!!Donkey Kong franchise in general
* DorkAge: After Nintendo sold off Rare in 2002, the franchise struggled in finding a new identity for itself. Donkey Kong stopped starring in platform games and went into quirky spinoff titles that while they have their share of fans, [[SoOkayItsAverage were unimpressive]] and lacked memorability. It came to an end in 2010, when Retro Studios took over and developed ''Donkey Kong Country Returns'', which was [[WinBackTheCrowd was released to wide acclaim]] and brought in a new legion of DK fans.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Stanley has a bit of a fanbase despite his obscurity.
* MyRealDaddy:
** Creator/{{Rare}} is generally considered to be the true shaper of the ''Donkey Kong'' franchise for introducing DK's unique supporting cast, setting, and enemies, as otherwise the original games would have been a footnote in the history of the ''Mario'' series. Cementing this further is the DorkAge the franchise suffered from 2002 to 2010, the time between when Rare left the helm, and before Retro Studios took over the franchise.
** While the fans have not forgotten Rare even after their buyout by Microsoft, they have also embraced Creator/RetroStudios as a "second" daddy for their work on ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'' and winning back the fandom for the then-suffering franchise.
* {{Sequelitis}}: ''Donkey Kong 3'' switched up the gameplay from a platformer to a shooter, and replaced Mario with an exterminator named Stanley. It ended up being far less popular than its predecessors, so Nintendo focused on the increasingly popular ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' game instead.

!!The original arcade game
* AccidentalInnuendo: "HOW HIGH CAN YOU GET?"
* FandomBerserkButton: Go ahead and say that the girl in the original game is Peach. ''[[InternetBackdraft I dare ya]]''. Not helped by Peach ''actually'' replacing Pauline in the Modern version of the G&W version in ''Game & Watch Gallery 2''.
* FollowTheLeader: The game was endlessly ripped off by other Japanese games companies, both straight clones and also variations - one of which, the 3D-isometric ''Congo Bongo'', was foreshadowing-ly made by Creator/{{Sega}}. It also had home version clones, one of which was ''VideoGame/{{Miner 2049er}}''.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The original appears to be more popular in the U.S. than in its home country of Japan. Nearly all of the notable world records are set by Americans, and not a single one by a Japanese player.
* MorePopularSpinoff: The entire ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series.
* NightmareFuel: In ''Donkey Kong 3'', when Stanley loses a life, all the enemy bugs on the screen swarm his lifeless body, and when they leave, nothing is left but his spray bottle. This only appears in the arcade version.
* PortingDisaster: The Intellivision version with its blocky graphics, limited number of screens, and terrible controls. So bad that it was purposely blocked from being played on the updated Intellivision II by its hardware. Carl Mueller Jr. created an updated version with better graphics, more screens, and even additional characters you can play as.
* SequelDisplacement: Many people born in modern times think that [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] debuted with ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1''. Likewise, there exists a small group of people who think, or at least once thought, that Donkey Kong made his debut in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry1''. Technically they're right, but it was the current Donkey Kong, with the original Donkey Kong debuting as Cranky Kong.
* SpiritualLicensee: The original arcade game was created after Nintendo failed to license ''WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}}''.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: The music played during Kong's initial climbing resembles the theme from ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}''. The music while Mario is swinging a hammer less closely resembles ''{{Film/Rocky}}'''s theme.