The leader of a Badass Crew of Commando Penguins, voiced by Dream Works 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.Tropes associated with Skipper:
Afraid of Needles: In "Needle Point," he goes well out of his way to avoid getting a shot.
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; 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.
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
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.
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.Tropes associated with Kowalski:
Sniff Sniff Nom: His usual method of handling evidence, including chameleon footprints and a strand of King Julien's fur.
The big, dumb guy 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.Tropes associated with Rico:
Allergic to Love: In one episode, it's stated that he has "mushy love sensitivity."
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.
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...
Admittedly in the second movie Rico does start pulling other things - like a switchblade, for example - out of nowhere, and then putting them away again, and regurgitation is as good a reason as any. But nothing particuarly lol-worthy comes up - it's still majorly flanderised.
A promo for the third movie has him smoothly vomiting up a match. Maybe they are starting to take cues from the show?
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 pummeled 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.
Singing Voice Dissonance: Later episodes add a running gag of him randomly singing "Fiiiiiiiiiissssh!" in a deep and clear voice.
Stomach of Holding: Exaggerated; he can spit up almost anything he or the other penguins need. In one episode, Mort requires an elevator to get to the bottom of his stomach to remove a bomb.
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.
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.Tropes associated with Private:
Adorkable: There seems to be an in-universe consensus on this, with both Skipper and Kowalski reassuring him of being "Adorable!" on separate occasions. They also use this trait as a tactic once in awhile, and it even features as a plot point in one of the episodes, wherein he becomes jealous that his "title" has been handed over to someone else.
A gelatinous Green Cube creation of Kowalski that nearly killed the penguins twice
Blob Monster: Well he more gelatinous than a blob but he does fit it.
King Julien XIII
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.Tropes associated with King Julien:
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.
"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.
He freaks out when no one does what he tells them on King Julien Day.
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?"
Casting Gag: When the celebrity voice actors were replaced in the transition from the Madagascar films to the series, celebrity voice actor Sacha Baron Cohen (the voice of King Julien) was replaced by Danny Jacobs. Jacobs previously played an impersonation of Cohen's Borat character in Epic Movie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Tropes associated with Maurice:
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.Tropes associated with Mort:
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.
Foot Focus: Mort is crazy over King Julien's feet. One could argue that he just likes feet in general; when Julien and Skipper trade places for one episode, Mort glomps Skipper's feet and is fascinated by their webbing.
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.Tropes associated with Marlene:
A mad scientist and primary antagonist to Skipper. At first, he was only mentioned in passing by Skipper, leading to Marlene's belief the Cat he didn't exist. The half-hour "Dr. Blowhole's Revenge" showed him to be real. Voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.Tropes associated with Dr. Blowhole:
Verbal Tic: He has habit of pronouncing penguins as "peng-you-ens". According to Kowalski, he probably does it just to tick them off. While not exactly verbal, he also has a habit of having his computer dramatically announce the names of his creates.
Xanatos Speed Chess: He normally has a plan to begin with, but is far from incapable of improvising on the fly. Refrenced in "Brand New Plan", where he points out that, despite things having not gone as he planned, it'll work out perfectly for him and makes up a new plan on the fly.
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.Tropes associated with Fred:
Hair-Trigger Temper: He'll beat up other animals just for being in his habitat... and deliberately keep them there so that he can beat them up some more if they try to escape.
Stupid Evil: When fighting the "skorca", he beats off the penguins first because he doesn't want them to win against it. Skipper calls him out on it, but Joey dismisses him on the grounds that "Joey doesn't share".
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.Tropes associated with Max:
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.
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.
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.Tropes associated with Officer X:
Badass Beard: before it was ripped out by tape thanks to the penguins. It grew back though.
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.Tropes associated with Rat King:
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.
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.Tropes associated with Roger:
Ambiguously Gay: A friendly, sensitive, soft-voiced alligator who wants to sing Broadway tunes and bake muffins to placate his enemies…
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.
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.
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.Tropes associated with Eggy:
All Your Powers Combined: Thanks to being cared and trained by the penguins while still an egg. At the end, Julien teaches him how to dance, resulting in Eggy talking like Julien (see Buffy Speak above).
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.Tropes associated with Kitka:
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.