Characters / The Penguins of Madagascar

Although they only appear as comic relief in the movies, the penguins have proven to be Ensemble Darkhorses to the point that they received their own show, The Penguins of Madagascar and a solo movie. After all, Everything's Better with Penguins.

Note that this character sheet applies only to the TV series canon. For tropes related to the characters in the movie franchises (including Penguins of Madagascar), go here.
    open/close all folders 

     Penguins 

Skipper

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Skipper_2_975.jpg

The leader of a Badass Crew of Commando Penguins, voiced by DreamWorks animator/TV series co-creator Tom McGrath. He speaks in a crisp, hard-edged tone like a cool spy from a film noir movie. In the TV series, Skipper is somewhat abrasive with the other three penguins, often chastizing them and Dope Slapping them to keep them in line.
  • A Father to His Men: Genuinely seems to look out for and care about his men, and has even pulled off a one manned Big Damn Heroes more than once. And more than once when he was personally at a physical disadvantage.
    • He can be soft to the other three penguins, often awarding their hardwork and showing fear and worry when he knows they're in danger. He becomes especially upset when he believes one of them to be dead.
  • Afraid of Needles: In "Needle Point," he goes well out of his way to avoid getting a shot.
  • Bad Ass
  • Berserk Button: Okay, so he doesn't go berserk, per se, but Skipper really doesn't like it when you call him fat, or any of its synonyms. He likes to claim it's muscle.
    • He really doesn't like Hoboken, NJ.
      • Or Denmark.
    • He hates the lemurs going on solo missions.
  • The Captain: He is the heroic commander of the penguins. His name, "Skipper", is a synonym for "sea captain".
  • Dope Slap: Used often on his comrades. Sometimes all three in one swing.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Has shades of this in A Kipper for Skipper. He subjects his comrades to all sorts of difficult and impossible tasks.
  • Fantastic Racism: He occasionally makes less-than-complimentary remarks towards mammals. He especially dislikes humans.
    • Despite this he genuinely respects Marlene, and has openly said that she's smart, despite claiming that mammals have low intelligence
  • Flanderization: While the most unchanged of the penguins, his opinion of the main characters in the movies (referring to them as hippies) has been expanded to a low opinion of all mammals in general.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
  • Good Is Not Nice: They are openly heroic and have good intentions... even if they are usually needlessly ruthless and have little concern for collateral damage.
  • The Hero: Occasionally, he and the others do come off as jerks, but they almost always save the day in the end.
  • It's All My Fault: Done twice. The first time was when he poked a hole in Julien's bouncy house causing him to lose his crown (though he blamed part of it on Marlene for provoking him); the other, when one of the chimps causes him and the penguins to spin out and lose a race to the lemurs. In the latter episode, also he accepts full responsibility despite the fact he did nothing to cause it. He even said they would have his resignation in the morning because of his shame and guilt.
    • Never My Fault: The one time it was his fault, he pinned the blame on Private.
  • Large Ham: Lots of dramatic closeups and exaggerated gestures accompany his powerful paranoia and give the impression that Skipper has trained at the William Shatner school of acting. His tendency to clutch a flipper to his chest when upset gives one the permanent suspicion that he's suffering from some sort of heart condition.
  • The Leader: He leads and commands the penguin team.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: He fell for Arlene (Marlene in disguise due to chlorine accident) and became kinda Stalker with a Crush.
  • Meaningful Name: Skipper is also the title of the captain of a ship or team
  • The Nicknamer: He almost always refers to Julien as "Ringtail," Mort as "Sad Eyes" and Max as "moon cat."
  • Noodle Incident: The Danes don't like him for some reason.
    • As one episode showed, it apparently had something to do with it ending in a fish-sword fight, among others.
  • Odd Couple / Odd Friendship: With Marlene. They are certainly friends and honestly respect and trust one another. Even though Marlene's friendly and level-headed nature clashes with Skipper's raving paranoia
    • Also with King Julien. The two were described as best friends by Dr. Blowhole and Skipper's fellow penguins end up more or less agreeing.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Mostly Officer.
  • Penguin Non Grata: As stated above, he can't set foot in Denmark due to Hans the Puffin making him Public Enemy Number One.
  • Properly Paranoid: Sometimes. Other times, he wears the paranoia cap too long.
    • His tendency to overreact to situations new to him gets subverted in its own right: in one of the specials the show had, he and the other penguins get stuck in Hoboken's Zoo, which has all of their former villains reformed. Skipper's thoughts about this? He comes up with a plot about them being taken over by robot clones. He was right.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He's shown playing chess with Marlene in "Crown Fools".

Kowalski

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Kowalski_2_7104.jpg

The team genius and gadgeteer, voiced by Jeff Bennett. Kowalski builds all of the crazy technology that the other penguins use (and quite a lot that they don't use) and helps come up with plans.
  • Adorkable: Especially when he's excited.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Refuses to believe in anything supernatural despite having witnessed things that science just can't cover, though to be fair encounters with things of genuine supernatural origin are rare for the Penguins and such things are either mundane in origin or are ambiguous enough in nature that Kowalski can refute them because evidence to the contrary can't be found.
    • That being said, he is surprisingly knowledgable of anything concerning cursed and possessed objects.
  • Badass Baritone: Kowalski has a deep voice most of the time and is the Penguins' resident Badass Bookworm.
  • Bamboo Technology: Kowalski reguarly builds amazing things out of elastic bands, coffee cups, lollipop sticks and duct tape.
  • Berserk Button: Skipper learned the hard way what that was in the ep Goodnight and Good Chuck.
  • Bi the Way: He dated a female dolphin once, but in "Pet Peeved" he shouts out "I love you" to Skipper when he is taken away.
  • Bungling Inventor: His invention do have an AWFUL tendency to backfire, with Skipper showing skepticism of them working.
  • Butt Monkey: Often receives the brunt of Amusing Injuries, Sanity Slippage and just being a Bungling Inventor.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke:
    Private: There's two of you! That's a great trick!
    Kowalski: Private, can you recall a time when I have ever played a trick or even told a joke?
    • He has attempted to tell jokes since that episode... but they tend to fall flat.
  • Captain Obvious: "Kowalski, report!" Followed by Kowalski making a blatantly obvious statement.
  • The Chew Toy: His massive ego always makes sure he has it coming to him every time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments of this.
  • Ditzy Genius: Many of his inventions and plans are...questionable.
  • Flanderization: In the movies he is serious, logical and calculating, playing the Straight Man to Skipper. Here the serious part is removed and the other attributes are exaggerated to Mad Scientist levels.
  • For Science!: He tends to do experiments that put his teammates in danger out of scientific curiosity.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The team's primary source of Homemade Inventions.
  • Homemade Inventions: His specialty.
  • I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: Practically his Catch Phrase. Apart from, "For SCIENCE!"
  • Insufferable Genius: Kowalski is incredibly arrogant about how intelligent he is, bordering on narcissism.
  • Interspecies Romance: He has a girlfriend named Doris who is actually a real dolphin.
  • The Lancer: He is Skipper's Number Two, contrasting him both in appearance (Kowalski's tall and skinny, Skipper's short and stocky) and personality (Kowalski prefers to think, Skipper prefers to act).
  • Large Ham: Not particularly to Skipper's degree, but he's keeping up.
  • Love Hurts: his one-sided love of Doris the dolphin.
    Julien: Ooh, the dolphin-lady who broke him? Yes, he does go on and on about her.
  • MacGyvering: He can create awesome gadgets from the garbage he finds in the zoo.
  • Mad Scientist: A more low-key version, but still as mad as it can get.
    Skipper: Kowalski, have you ever invented anything that doesn't eventually threaten to destroy us all?
    Kowalski: Let me think. Uhhhhh... No.
  • Magic Versus Science: Is extremely skeptical of anything with a 'supernatural' bent. Can, however, be convinced of its veracity if the problem persists long enough.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Arguably, he's the one with the most fans.
  • Never Learned to Read: His inability to read serves as a Running Gag.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The things he does For Science! sometimes result in this, such as his Kick the Dog moment in "Friend-in-a-Box" (taking the circuit board from Mort's video game) that earns him a What the Hell, Hero? from the others.
  • Number Two: With the rank of Lieutenant, when Skipper goes AWOL, Kowalski does his best to take charge.
  • Papa Wolf: To Jiggles. He swears vengeance against the kiddies after thinking they ate Jiggles.
  • Phrase Catcher: In early episodes, Skipper would often say "Kowalski, options." or "Kowalski, report." to him. This catch phrase has cropped up again halfway through season 2.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Sports a particularly huge pair in the animatic for "It's About Time".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Rico's red.
  • Sanity Slippage: Is prone to this in most of his Butt Monkey instances.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Inverted, as he's the tallest of the four.
  • Techno Babble: Is very fond of giving his inventions techno babble sounding names, to the point of taking offense when the other penguins suggest very straigtforward alternatives.
  • The Smart Guy: He is the brain of the team.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: His usual method of handling evidence, including chameleon footprints and a strand of King Julien's fur.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kicks off the events of "Loathe at First Sight" by attempting to divine Doris's location through studying dolphin migatory habits while planning to use his Love-U-Lator on her.
  • Vocal Evolution: Has a very subdued and deadpan delivery in the pilot and early episodes, emulating Chris Miller's delivery in the movies, but both the voice and the character become more quirky as time goes on.

Rico

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Rico_9011.jpg

The demolitions expert and Hammerspace of the team, voiced by John DiMaggio. Usually, he speaks in short grunts, but his speech has become a little more coherent in later episodes of the series. Rico's main job is to spit up any sort of device that the other penguins need. Look closely and see that Rico actually has a scar over his beak, possibly from too much hacking up of stuff.
  • Allergic to Love: In one episode, it's stated that he has "mushy love sensitivity."
  • Ascended Extra: In the original films he was the least developed penguin character. Here, he got a more recognizable character design (a tuft of feathers on his head and a scar over his face), an Ax-Crazy Dumb Muscle personality, and his Stomach of Holding gag is turned Up to Eleven.
  • Ax-Crazy: Rico really loves Stuff Blowing Up and anything else that's destructive.
    • Taken to the extreme in "Kaboom and Kabust"; the other three penguins have to constantly keep him under control (which is why they almost never let Rico explode things,) otherwise Rico loses it completely and destroys everything he can find.
  • Berserk Button: His berserk buttons are messing with his dolly or hurting his friends, especially Skipper.
  • The Big Guy: He's a bit sturdier than the other three.
  • Chainsaw Good: As Private said in one episode, "Oh, Rico! Chainsaw's Your Answer to Everything!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: See Dumb Muscle below.
  • Combination Attack: Is a component of the most common move in the Penguins arsenal, which is for another Penguin to carry him around and fire him like a gun.
  • Dumb Muscle: The episode "Friend In A Box" has Kowalski make a mind-reading device. When the other two penguins are disgusted with Kowalski (and he with himself), Rico thinks only "Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiish". When the other two penguins are proud of him, Rico still thinks, "Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish". There are many other examples of Rico not being too bright...
  • Fat Bastard: The Token Evil Teammate of the Penguins and he has a large gut. Due to his status as Dumb Muscle, also counts as Fat Idiot.
  • Flanderization: In the movies, Rico chokes up very small things such as paperclips and matches (although he does pull a switchblade from nowhere in number 2). Somehow, this got magnified to him being a Stomach of Holding.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
  • Ho Yay:invoked "Kaboom and Kabust" very blatantly ships him with King Julien.
    • I always thought it was him being shipped with explosions.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Apparently his stomach contains a rare atom which can create absolutely anything.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: At times, his speech can be understood fairly easily, especially in later episodes. Either way, if what he's saying is important to the plot, the other penguins will usually provide some sort of translation.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Or crazier. See "Hello, Dollface" or "Kaboom and Kabust".
  • Mad Bomber: He has periods when his first response to anything is to cough up a stick of dynamite and a match.
    Rico: Kaboom kaboom kaboom?
    Skipper: Rico, enough with the dynamite already.
  • Manly Gay: Rico's Miss Perky doll was ditched about halfway through season 2, and in any case it only appeared in a few episodes. He has the most instances of attraction to other male characters while having no female relationships set up even as a gag. Since homosexuality is usually associated with femininity, it's funny to see the most violent, aggressive male show the most signs of homosexuality.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Rico is perfectly happy with things that give the other penguins nightmares. Like serenely munching away on popcorn while watching a brutal Nature Documentary with penguins getting gobbled up by leopard seals. And when Kowalski and Private are clearly horrified/nauseated at Skipper's broken flipper in "I Was a Penguin Zombie," Rico looks… a little too interested.
    • In "Roger Dodger", as Roger is being pummelled offscreen by the rats, Rico stares at said beatdown, a blank smile on his face, his left eye twitching, and licks his beak at the end.
  • Nausea Fuel: in-universe example. The only thing that makes him gag is love.
  • Overly Long Tongue: Possibly concealed within the Stomach of Holding most of the time.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: So very much.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni; The red to Kowalski's blue.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Later episodes add a running gag of him randomly singing "Fiiiiiiiiiissssh!" in a deep and clear voice.
  • Unintelligible Snarker: Frequently.
  • Stomach of Holding: Exaggerated; he can spit up almost anything he or the other penguins need, and he can swallow almost anything and regurgitate it for later use. He has coughed up things ranging from grenades and TNT, to an Ait-To-Ground missile and platform. In one episode he has to swallow Mort... while in another, he ends up swallowing Kowalski, only to have Kowalski battle his way back up.
    Kowalski: The things I have seen...
  • Token Evil Teammate: The mischievous, psychopathic, loose cannon of the penguins.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: In "Needle Point", after Rico gets his shot, he actually doesn't seem to mind the pain too much, scooching his butt around on the floor. Or perhaps he just likes comforting the pain. Either way he looks really kinky.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiish!

Private

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Private_2051.jpg

The youngest member of the team. Voiced by James Patrick Stuart, he tends to be the most sane and logical — at least in comparison to Skipper's paranoid delusions, Kowalski's mad science, and Rico's love for explosions. Sometimes he's also got a little bit of childish naïveté. He has a tendency to get the sucker jobs.

     Lemurs 

King Julien XIII

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_King_Julien_101.jpg

A ring-tailed lemur and (apparently self-proclaimed) king. Egomaniacal and ditzy, he's the closest thing the show has to a recurring antagonist. But at the same time, the penguins tolerate him when he's not being that big of a jerk. Julien "rules" over a small empire also comprising Maurice and Mort (see below). Voiced by Danny Jacobs.
  • Ambiguously Gay/Bi the Way: He likes to dance; he's obsessed with his own booty; he gives bedroom eyes; he's dressed in drag on occasion (though that may be even less significant to his actual sexuality than in Real Life crossdressers, as he normally wears nothing but his crown); despite his attempts at maintaining a ladies' man image, he was unfamiliar enough with females that he didn't know where mammal babies come from, and was disgusted to find out the truth (though that may just be simple Cloud Cuckoo Lander status); and one episode blatantly ships him with Rico. Oh yeah, and he even said that he has a Girlfriend in Canada. On the other hand, he "courted" Marlene twice and has hit on Rico's Ms Perky doll. Wild Mass Guessing has also pegged him as Ambiguously Transsexual, thanks to the Animal Gender-Bender mentioned below.
    • Taken to its limits with Julien in "It's About Time," when he sees Skipper and Private wrestling over the episode's MacGuffin and begins poking Maurice.
    Julien: Ah, look at them Maurice. Why can't we play affectionately like that?
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Real Life lemur groups are ruled by females. Then again, now he's in a zoo with only two other lemurs, both of which are male, and he's probably the nearest thing they've got. Also, when he claims Eggy is his, Kowalski says mammals can't lay eggs and asks if he's part platypus, without mentioning that males don't lay eggs either. (Then again, see above.)
  • Anti-Hero: The closest thing the show has to a recurring antagonist - but he also repeatedly helps out the penguins when it benefits him.
  • Anything That Moves: Forget Ambiguously Gay or Bi the Way, it's easier to believe that Julien just loves to be admired, and doesn't care whether that admiration is sexual or otherwise.
  • Attention Whore: He views himself as King of the zoo.
  • Berserk Button / Hates Being Touched: Never, EVER touch King Julien's feet. And if you ever decide to skate over them... well, say hello to Julienderung.
    • "Friend-in-a-Box" suggests that a Freudian Excuse may be involved. After Mort becomes obsessed with a portable video game, Julien goes out of his way to try and force Mort upon his feet, claiming that he wants to experience the joy of kicking Mort off. Eventually, he even goes so far as to beg Maurice and the penguins to pay attention to the royal feet.
    • NEVER forget or ignore King Julien Day, for that matter... "Which forgetter is next for the whooping?! Come on, I want you to hurt LIKE I DO! UAHAHAHAHAA!"
  • Buffy Speak: A normal part of his speech pattern, along with Malaproping; he frequently makes comments like "What is up with the unbig tiny-littleness of my royal estate?"
  • The Caligula: Parodied by his existence.
  • Casting Gag: When the celebrity voice actors were replaced in the transition from the film to the series, Sacha Baron Cohen (Julien's voice actor in the movies) was replaced by Danny Jacobs. Jacobs previously played an impersonation of Cohen's Borat character in Epic Movie.
  • Clingy Jealous King: Thanks to his believing that It's All About Him, he quickly gets jealous when somebody/something else is getting the attention he thinks he deserves.
    • He also doesn't like that Marlene is crushing on Fred rather than him. He doesn't give a reason why this makes him so upset, other than that Marlene was "in love with Julien" the whole time before... which was another lie.
  • Comic Trio: With Maurice and Mort; he's The Leader.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Part of King Julien's regular speech pattern.
  • Distressed Dude: He's this thrice: once with a feral Marlene, once with Savio the boa and once with the Red Squirrel.
  • Evil Laugh: Not as amazing as other Nicktoons, but pretty close. Usually Played for Laughs, much like most of the tropes on this page.
  • Fat and Skinny: Skinny Julien is the silly one, and fat Maurice is the Straight Man.
  • Flanderization: A bit more of a Jerk Ass than in the movies, but he still has his moments (such as saving Skipper's life in one episode). His dialect is also noticeably stronger.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Skipper. The two spend most of their shared screentime arguing and generally being annoyed by each other, but Skipper will go out of his way to help Julien, and Julien has gone to Skipper to have his problems fixed. They were actually mistaken as 'BFF's by Skipper's Arch-Nemesis Dr. Blowhole... and the other penguins said he had a point.
    Julien: So I face danger and the adventure of a lifetime and nobody will ever know about it?!
    Skipper: Welcome to my world. That makes you an honorary penguin.
    Julien: Does that mean I am your BFF?
    Skipper: Eehh... we'll keep that code on the QT.
  • Fun Personified: He's the master of boogies, singing and parties.
  • I Am Not Weasel: In one episode, he tries to tell a Crazy Cat Lady that he is not a kitty.
  • Incidental Villain: Being a spoiled ego-maniacal control freak, he's the most common antagonist on the show, with his schemes often being the catalyst for larger plots or being the main threat of the episode. But, despite being something of a Jerk Ass, he is only casually disliked by the rest of the cast. The other characters tolerate him when he's not doing anything antagonistic, since he's not generally a bad guy, just a spoiled jerk who occasionally screws with people to get his own way.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Ringtail."
  • It's All About Me: He is the King, and so obviously is more important than any non-kingly animals, right?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has his moments of being... less mean to the others. Notably, King Julien Day is a holiday dedicated entirely to him, participation was mandatory and lack of participation meant severe punishment, but unexpectedly includes a closing ceremony where Julien rewards his subjects.
  • Large Ham: With a side of Keet
  • The Load: Bringing him along usually does more to hurt the penguins than help.
  • Malaproper: He is a bit of a word mangler. Examples include "These stitions are very super!" and "No one will be sucking seed!"
  • Man Child: He has a tendency to throw childish tantrums, and on one occasion starts talking to his cuddly toys when he's depressed.
  • Narcissist: To the point that he has distinct ho yay with a robot copy of himself.
  • Nice Hat: His crown. He loves it a lot, but he has a spare for emergecies.
  • Papa Wolf: To save the baby Fusa from a snake. He even tells the snake to eat him first when they get cornered, hoping his fuzzy build will make it choke so it can't eat the baby.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Nothing major, but the end of his short Congaga song in 'Eclipsed' is rather impressive, especially considering his usual voice is not all that pleasant.
  • Sixth Ranger: When the squad is lacking in numbers, Julien often comes in as a substitute.
  • The Millstone: When he tags along on the Penguins' missions, he occasionally helps, but usually ends up being more of an obstructions.
  • The Sociopath: King Julien displays far too many of the typical sociopathic qualities to ignore this trope.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Not evil per se, but a narcissistic Jerkass who often tags along with the penguins but only cares about himself.
  • True Companions: Among himself, Maurice and Mort. Arguably.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The same general quasi-African accent in the movie, only (as mentioned above) more exaggerated.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: He dressed as a cheerleader in the episode "Miracle On Ice" and was jealous of Skipper's "pretty pink bow" in "Miss Understanding". The "wholesome" is debateable, but his un-wholesome characteristics are not related directly to the crossdressing.

Maurice

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Maurice_8740.jpg

An aye-aye who serves as King Julien's right hand man and advisor, although Julien rarely follows his advice. Although he seems easily annoyed by Julien's antics, Maurice isn't above saving his life. Voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.

Mort

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar__-_Mort_6622.jpg

A mouse lemur who is also part of Julien's companions. He is pretty much there to be the victim of physical comedy, although Marlene in particular seems to care for him. Voiced by Andy Richter.
  • Badass Adorable: Although small, dumb and pathetic, he's shown to be capable of beating Skipper at arm wrestling. Another episode has him uprooting trees.
  • Berserk Button: Not surprisingly, King Julien's feet, as indicated by his reaction to being separated from them.
  • The Chew Toy: To the point where he's declared too dumb to feel pain. Lampshaded in one episode, where he says, "Yay, I'm expendable!"

     Central Park Zoo 

Mason and Phil

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Mason_and_Phil_5765.jpg

A pair of chimpanzees. Mason is a stuffy British-accented one (voiced by Conrad Vernon), while Phil is mute and communicates only through (completely accurate) sign language.

Marlene

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Marlene_4743.png

A female otter who tolerates the penguins. Playful and kind, she tries to see the best in others and is one of the only characters who cares for Mort's well-being. Voiced by Nicole Sullivan.
  • Action Girl: Has saved Skipper and Kowalski's lives on separate occasions.
  • Berserk Button: Never leave her outside or she'll go nuts!
  • The Chick: The only major female character. She often joins the penguins as a fifth member on their adventures.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Goes hand in hand with her Only Sane Woman status.
  • Expy: Arguably, she's one for Gloria the hippo and/or Alex the lion.
  • Hartman Hips: At the very least, she's obviously more curvy than your average otter.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: If she leaves the zoo grounds, she becomes feral. Dee Bradley Baker voices her feral side.
  • Only Sane Woman: Along with Maurice, she seems to be the only one trying to reason with the main characters. She even tries to provide some stable ground when Skipper seems to be losing it.
  • Playful Otter: Love of clams? Check. Playful and cute? Check.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: World Class Beauty as Arlene.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Shown playing chess with Skipper in "Crown Fools".
  • The Smurfette Principle: She's the only protagonistic female character.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Does this on occasion. Skipper even tells her to say something before surprising them once.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Due to being born in captivity, whenever she leaves the confines of the zoo's walls she goes 'feral', which results in an increase in strength, speed, and ferocity, but a decrease in intelligence.
  • Women Are Wiser: In comparison to the penguins (save for Private). Often overlaps with Only Sane Woman.

Alice

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Alice_6370.jpg

Voiced by Mary Scheer. She is a zookeeper who doesn't seem to care too much for her job, and expresses annoyance at tour groups.

Bada and Bing

Two hulking, thuggish gorillas living in the zoo. Bada is dark grey, Bing is a lighter shade of grey.

Roger

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Roger_2579.jpg

A large, friendly alligator. Although the others are terrified of him at first, they grow to like him once they find that he is pacifistic and friendly. Eventually he moves into a habitat in the zoo. Voiced by Richard Kind.
  • Ambiguously Gay: A friendly, sensitive, soft-voiced alligator who wants to sing Broadway tunes and bake muffins to placate his enemies…
  • Chekhov's Gun: His singing in "Roger Dodger".
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: When he's in a confined space with the penguins, he becomes a menace simply by turning around.
  • Gentle Giant: He has to undergo a mind-swap with Rico at one point because he's simply not aggressive, which makes him an easy target for the sewer rats.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his fearsome appearance, he's friendly, soft-spoken and mild-mannered.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: He seems genuinely annoyed at Julien's pranking in the "April Fools" episode.
  • Reluctant Monster: He is a terrifying alligator, but also a very nice and mild-mannered person.
  • Sewer Gator: Roger is a sewer gator who is good friends with the penguins.

Burt

The resident elephant at the zoo. Though normally an easygoing guy, he's easily annoyed by anyone messing with his food. But if you do manage to set him off...
  • Cultured Badass: Burt is a lover of Victorian (particularly Dickensian) literature, and an accomplished artist. He also admits to have always wanted to visit Paris. He's also a huge elephant, and single handily beat up Savio the giant boa.

Leonard

A paranoid koala who first appears in "Night and Dazed". He is rather afraid of the penguins in their attempts to be nice to him, mainly because he's often the target of unintentional injury. Voiced by Dana Snyder.
  • Australian Accent: Strangely averted.
  • Deep Sleep: He is nocturnal to an absurd degree; he essentially goes into a coma the moment sunlight hits him and can't be woken until it sets.
  • Not So Different: as seen in "Kanga Management". Because he's nocturnal and Joey's diurnal, Joey is angered by Leonard always doing something when trying to sleep...but at the end, they bond when they realize that they both hate the penguins.
  • Properly Paranoid: You would be too, if the penguins accidentally blew up your habitat.

Joey

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Joey_6171.jpg

An ill-tempered, violent kangaroo with a stereotypical Australian accent. Antagonist to both the penguins and the lemurs most of the time.

     Animals Outside the Zoo 

Fred

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Fred_4217.jpg

A not-too-bright squirrel who lives in the park. When the penguins leave the zoo, they often cross paths with him. Voiced by Fred Stoller.
  • Ambiguously Gay: He seems mostly indifferent to Marlene when roped into dating her, and didn't seem too upset when she broke up with him, and is shown to live with Antonio ("the otter bachelor of Central Park").
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Has some traits of this.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His "fight" with Julien was initially interpreted to be this until he revealed he simply did everything accidentally and let Julien's clumsiness do the rest (which a humiliated Julien admits).
  • Cuddle Bug: "What am I gonna do, say no to a hug? I love hugs!"
  • Distressed Dude: He gets tied up by the Red Squirrel.
  • The Ditz
    • Genius Ditz: He actually does know the answer to the question that scientists have been trying to figure out for years; how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • Dumb Is Good: He's too stupid to be evil, as the Red Squirrel learned pretty quickly.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He considers Archie his best friend (despite calling him a backstabbing liar and a cheat) and even allowed Julien to be his financial adviser when he became rich. In addition, he is prone to trusting complete strangers based on how well they hug.
  • Literal-Minded: Spelled out in one episode where Marlene tries to date him. She asks him to show her the town and he answers by pointing and saying, "That way."
  • In-Series Nickname: Bushy Tail.
  • Madness Mantra: "Acorns! Jackpot! Acorns! Jackpot! Acorns! Jackpot!"
  • Rags to Riches: He becomes wealthy (at least in squirrel terms) following his mass acquisition of several hundred pounds of acorns. He's promptly exploited first by Julien and then by the Red Squirrel who want his money for their own selfish purposes.

Max

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Max_1399.jpg

A stray cat whom the penguins first meet in a failed attempt to fly to the moon. Max has reappeared in several episodes, often seeking help from the penguins. Voiced by Wayne Knight.
  • The Cameo: He appears for about two seconds in "The Helmet".
  • In-Series Nickname: "Moon Cat". It's lampshaded by him when he points out that he's not really from the moon.
  • Lovable Coward: Nearly always appears when fleeing a threat of some sort.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: In his debut, he gives up trying to eat the penguins (who are unaware of his intentions) when they hand him some food. He so rarely gets food on his own that he is grateful, and pretty much remains their friend after that.
  • True Companions: He'll occasionally try to abandon the penguins to save himself, but always come back when he realizes they are his only friends.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In his introduction, he falls for Schmuck Bait; a pigeon trolls him by pretending to be unable to fly. The pigeon then rubs it in his face and flies off, leaving a starving Max to wish for a bird that couldn't fly. He spends an awful lot of time being the Butt Monkey even after the penguins give him food.

Eggy

An adorable little duckling whose egg came under the penguins' care during "Parental Egg-Stinct". After hatching and being returned to Mama Duck, he showed an innate talent for Skipper's style of leadership.

Kitka

A falcon who crash-landed in the zoo, setting off the events of "The Falcon and the Snow Job" and serving as Skipper's Temporary Love Interest as he fought to clear her good name.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Directly acknowledged and the root of the others' distrust. She tries to allay concerns by swearing not to eat anyone in the zoo. She didn't know that they also had friends outside the zoo, like Fred.

Doris

A dolphin whom Kowalski still yearns after. Appears in the Grand Finale, "The Penguin Who Loved Me."
  • Badass Adorable: She may not have as much experience as the crew, but holds her own during the Grand Finale.
  • Beauty Mark: Has one just under the corner of her left eye.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: She's kind, friendly, and cares for her brother. It's not her fault that her brother is a Supervillain.
  • The Ghost: She is continually mentioned throughout the series, but doesn't appear until the finale.
  • Interspecies Romance: Aside from Kowalski's crush on her, she's dated several others outside of her species.
  • Just Friends: She tries telling Kowalski that she she likes him, she doesn't like like him.
  • Tailfin Walking: Manages this by getting her fins on one of Dr. Blowhole's scooters.

Parker

A platypus who helps Doris contact Kowalski during "The Penguin Who Loved Me".
  • The Ace: Kowalski can't help but be jealous of him, especially when he manages to impress Skipper with his fighting skills.
  • Everything's Better with Platypi: He appears to be a heroic and helpful platypus. He is eventually revealed to work for Dr. Blowhole.
  • Poisonous Person: Has venomous spurs on his feet, which he uses to help take down opponents with ease.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Immediately backs down when faced with Rico aiming a bazooka his way.
     Villains 

Dr. Blowhole

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Dr__Blowhole_3797.jpg

A mad scientist and primary antagonist to Skipper. At first, he was only mentioned in passing by Skipper, leading to Marlene's belief that he didn't exist. The half-hour "Dr. Blowhole's Revenge" showed him to be real. Voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.

Officer X

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Officer_X_5953.jpg

An animal control officer who has made repeated, failed attempts to capture the penguins while they're out on the town. After getting thwarted by the penguins in one episode, he loses his job and reappeared later on as an exterminator and so on. Voiced by Cedric Yarbrough.
  • Badass: Most of the time, the Penguins can't beat him by themselves and require a Deus ex Machina to get past him, like the doll from "What Goes Around".
  • Badass Beard: Before it was ripped out by tape thanks to the penguins. It grew back though.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Most people think he this cause lets face it, when you hear you keep losing to Penguins, it doesn't send the image of a sane person.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Uses Kowalski as a boomerang to hit Rico and Private in "A Kipper for Skipper".
  • Cool Car: His animal control van features a laser, claws and a winch. He also gets angry when it gets destroyed in "What Goes Around".
    Officer X: I loved THAT VAN!
  • Cool Shades: He wears them all the time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He fires off a salvo of puns in "The Officer X Factor."
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Because of the penguins, of course!
  • No Name Given:
    Alice: X, eh? Is that the name your mommy gave you?
    Agent X: Mother never told me my real name. Said it was classified.
  • Pungeon Master: Easily notified by the penguins are his plentiful one-liner puns. Can even be a Hurricane of Puns.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His exterminator uniform is pink.
  • Scary Black Man: He's visibly of African-American descent and he's evil.
  • Shock and Awe: Wields a shock stick.
  • The Worf Effect: Pulls one on Rico and one on Joey.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Parodied in "What Goes Around".
    Officer X: Delinquent penguins! In the name of the Metropolitan Department of Animal Control and Pretzel Cart Regulation, You Shall Not Pass!

Rat King

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Penguins_of_Madagascar_-_Rat_King_5961.jpg

A large, muscular sewer rat with a heavy East-Side accent and a tendency to say "Dude!" and "Awesome!" a lot, who often antagonizes the penguins. Voiced by Diedrich Bader.
  • Gullible Lemmings: In "Rat Fink", he blindly follows what he believes to be the true rat king, despite the Paper-Thin Disguise. He only becomes confused when the invasion plan is put into action.
  • Hustling the Mark: See Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Mooks: The other sewer rats who follow him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Inflicts this on Skipper in "Crown Fools".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He and the rats pretend not to know the rules of ice hockey before the penguins challenge him to a game. It turns out they were hustling the penguins, and the rats curb-stomp them.
  • Rat King: He's not a literal "rat king" (which are several rats stuck together by their tail), but rather a gigantic, muscle-bound rat.
  • Recurring Character: So far, he's appeared in a total of eight episodes.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Exaggerated; he's taller than the penguins. This is because he's a genetically modified lab rat.
  • The Worf Effect: He seems to exist only for the Penguins to have moments of awesome against him. He also inflicted this on Skipper in "Crown Fools".

Hans

A puffin who has a dark history with Skipper. Whatever happened in Denmark is between Skipper, him and the Danes.
  • Affably Evil: His first episode revolves around him trying to make peace with Skipper, but it turns out to be an act.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Played with in the ep Smotherly Love.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Attempted to Invoke this, but:
    Hans: —And I kissed your sister! On the lips!
    Skipper: I don't have a sister. And if I did, she wouldn't have lips.
    Hans: ...Oh. Then who did I kiss?
  • Dub Name Change: To "Lars" in the German dub. This is probably due to the pronunciation of Hans being a lot shorter in German than it is in English (the a is much longer in English). Lars is about the same length as the English Hans and looks similar in lip movement.
  • National Animal Stereotypes: A Danish puffin.
  • Third-Person Person: Sometimes he starts to talk like this:
    Hans: —What will be now with Hans the puffin?
  • Shamu Fu: He always (ray guns and "capuccino gun" do not count) wants to fight using a fish, but he is terrible in "fish flynning"

Clemson

A lemur who was mailed from Hoboken Zoo to Central Park and back.
  • Sycophantic Servant: He comes off like this at first towards Julien, but it turns out to be a rather non-fatal version of...

Savio

A boa constrictor who was temporarily transferred from Hoboken Zoo to Central Park.
  • Badass: Unlike Dr. Blowhole, Savio didn't need to use any gadgets to take down the penguins by himself. In "All Tied Up With A Boa", and "The Terror of Madagascar" he was able to outsmart and defeat them every time, with the penguins barely even making a scratch on him. In "All Tied Up With A Boa", he dispatched the zoo keepers sent to catch him after escaping from the Hoboken zoo, and swam the Hudson River from New Jersey all the way towards Manhattan just to take revenge on the ones responsible for sending him there. He may be the only villain that the penguins never actually defeat.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Has a strong Spanish accent, and always acts charming and witty even when he's gloating about taking his revenge on his enemies by swallowing them one by one, regurgitating them and then swallowing them in reverse order
  • Diabolical Mastermind: His intellect could possibly rival Dr. Blowhole's, since in each appearance he always managed to find ways to outsmart the penguins and take down previous threats. Not only did he figure out how to unlock the locks in his habitat in his first appearance, but the next episode "All Tied Up With A Boa", he took down the zookeepers at his enclosure, swam the Hudson River all the way towards the Central Park Zoo presumably on memory alone, got Burt the elephant (who beat him up in the first episode) out of the way by mailing him a mouse, evaded every single trap devised by the penguins, and overpowered them by using said traps to incapacitate them along with Marla, Maurice and Mort (who were also armed). He would have won if it weren't for Julien and a bucket of old popcorn butter.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lampshaded by Marline when they learn Savio has escaped from Hoboken Zoo to take revenge on the animals for sending him there, even though most of them were just his victims.
  • The Dreaded: News of his escape in "All Tied Up In The Boa" sent the penguins (with the exception of Skipper) into Troubled Fetal Positions, even Rico who is the Axe Crazy of the group.
  • Hurricaneof Puns: Always makes constant food related puns when he's about to eat someone. Lampshaded by Savio himself, when Julien makes fun of one his lamer ones.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Episodes in which he is involved are generally more serious.
  • National Animal Stereotypes: A boa constrictor with a Hispanic accent.
  • Picky Eater: Has a predilection towards mammals. However he had no trouble eating Private disguised as a mammal.
  • Roaring Rampageof Revenge: Goes on a truly epic one against the penguins when he escapes from the Hoboken Zoo. A herpetologist on the breaking news of Savio's escape even goes to state that his breed has a biological insatiable desire for vengeance, nursing a grudge for months before wreaking hideous retribution.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Very deceptive and sly.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In "The Terror of Madagascar", Savio gets a taste of his own medicine when the baby fossa he was planning to eat uses him as a chew toy, forcing him to flea in terror screaming in fear and pain all the while.
  • Villainous Glutton: Savio's most consistent trait is his desire to eat, either out of hunger or revenge.
  • The Worf Effect: Possibly the only villain the penguins were never able to defeat on their own. They only managed to gain an edge on him with the help of Burt the elephant, Julien, popcorn butter, and a baby fossa. Lampshaded by the penguins in "The Terror of Madagascar".

The Red Squirrel

An evil squirrel who longs to Take Over the World, but is experiencing problems getting any evil plans off the ground, mostly because he lacks Mooks.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Buck Rotgut and Uncle Nigel.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Is very up front about how evil he is. In "Nuts to You," he flat out says he wants the jackpot acorns "for [his] own evil purposes."
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Tries to be this but can't quite cut it, due to a combination of crippling overconfidence (his Fatal Flaw) and Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Evil Old Folks: He is very old, having been out of retirement for over forty years, but he's still quite spry.
  • Expy: Of the Red Skull.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Concealing the button he uses to launch his missile.
  • Fantastic Racism: He despises penguins more than almost anyone.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Says things like "Do svidaniya!" and so forth.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He gets mad very easily. Often it seems like the slightest thing will set him off.
  • Mooks: He has none and frequently laments the lack of them. But sometimes he forgets this, and shouts orders to henchmen who don't actually exist before remembering he's alone.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Red." Begun by Rotgut and sometimes appropriated by the other penguins.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He doesn't think highly of his fellow squirrels, least of all Fred.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When his "ally" Julien sells all of their acorns (intended to pay for Mooks) to buy not just magic beans, but magic jellybeans.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: He has a vague "European bad guy" sounding accent, despite the Gratuitous Russian.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He seems to think he's in a far more serious action thriller, but he exists in an illogical cartoon universe, and so everything he tries is doomed to failure because he approaches all his plans as if his enemies were from the same spy movie 'verse he thinks he's in, dooming himself to failure and rendering his towering intellect effectively meaningless.

Jiggles

A gelatinous Green Cube creation of Kowalski that nearly killed the penguins twice.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Eating fruit made it grow larger each time. While it never gets exceedingly massive, it does get larger than Kowalski is able to handle.
  • Blob Monster: Well he more gelatinous than a blob but he does fit it.
  • Dub Name Change: "Flubbi" in the German dub.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Eats fruit in its first appearance, and Kowalski modifies it to eat whipped cream instead later.

Blue Hen

Incredibly intelligent chicken from Delaware
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lampshaded by Private.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She was defeated because Kowalski was able to distract her with a suggestive song and dance. It happened again in P.E.L.T, but only for few seconds.
  • Insufferable Genius: Blue Hen is really proud of her genius IQ and she never misses the chance to shove it in somebody's face.
  • Seers: According to gorrilas, she is able to predict the future. Subverted, she just has REALLY strong strategical thinking and is good at figuring out what will happen thanks to her knowledge of physics and psychology.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/ThePenguinsofMadagascar