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.
Tropes associated with Joey:
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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.
Tropes associated with Skipper:
- 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
- Badass Adorable: In "Rock-A-Bye Birdie".
- 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.
- He really doesn't like Hoboken, NJ.
- The Captain
- Deadpan Snarker
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 a 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.
- Screams Like a Little Girl
- 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.
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.
Tropes associated with Rico:
- Allergic to Love: In one episode, it's stated that he has "mushy love sensitivity."
- Ascended Extra:
- 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.
- Bi the Way: Lots of characters suggest this, but as well as having a toy doll girlfriend, Rico probably has the most moments of showing attraction to the other penguins.
- 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.
- Drives Like Crazy
- 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...
- Flanderization: In the movies, the only thing Rico ever spits up is a paper clip. Somehow, this got magnified to him being a Stomach of Holding. Not that this is a bad thing - on the contrary it's hilarious.
- 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?
- 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.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
- Ho Yay: "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.
- 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.
- Nausea Fuel: 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. In one episode, Mort requires an elevator to get to the bottom of his stomach to remove a bomb. There's also a staircase, but the elevator is faster.
- Token Evil Teammate: The mischievous, slightly 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!
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.
- Badass Adorable: His cuteness is actually weaponized in "Cute-astrophe".
- Beware the Nice Ones: Private can pull off a Moment of Awesome just as easily as any of the other penguins. Betraying his belief that all animals are basically good also serves as a Berserk Button for him.
- Bishie Sparkle: Parodied, his weaponized cuteness includes a spontanously generated rainbow.
- In High moltage where he was molting, it had the opposite effect of REALLY grossing people out.
- Butt Monkey: He's the team rookie, after all.
- Cheerful Child: The youngest of the penguins, Private is the most cheerful zoo animal.
- Closer to Earth
- Comically Cross-Eyed: Private has outward cross-eyes, giving him a constantly goofy expression, which is in line with him being childishly naive. He's still The Heart of the team, and considered the cutest one, and is often the Only Sane Man compared to his Ax-Crazy comrades.
- The Conscience: Though usually holding the moral high ground, he also tends to be rather timid when first voicing his concerns, gradually losing his patience as Hilarity Ensues.
- Cuteness Proximity: Honed to the point of becoming an incredibly effective weapon in "Cute-astrophe".
- Dark and Troubled Past/The Gunslinger: Parodied when Private's backstory is revealed in "Mr. Tux". He used to be a hardcore miniature golf player in Florida.
- Flanderization: Less so than the other penguins, but his British accent is more pronounced.Skipper: You just stick to the cuteness and the hackney Britsh Slang. "Okay, guv'nor"?Private: Right Skipper. I'm a jolly pip, I am!
- Florence Nightingale Effect: The cause of his crush on student nurse Shawna.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
- The Heart: Spelled out in "Command Crisis."
- His Name Really Is Barkeep: Private is his name and his rank.
- Love Makes You Crazy: His crush on Hospital Hottie Shawna in "Love Hurts" led him to deliberately injure himself. When the others threaten to come between them, he improvises a Wounded Penguin Gambit.
- Nice Guy: According to Julien, he's the nicest guy in the zoo.
- Sanity Ball: Most often, it's in his flippers. "Skorca!" inverts the situation by having him paranoid about the title character and the other penguins not believing him.
- Sweet Tooth: See below.
- Token Good Teammate: The most well-intentioned and unambiguously heroic member of the group.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Peanut butter winky. Also butterscotch lollipops.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's afraid of badgers, and not fond of cockroaches.
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.
Julien: Ah, look at them Maurice. Why can't we play affectionately like that?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Sociopath: King Julien displays far too many of the typical sociopathic qualities to ignore this trope.
- Token Evil Teammate
- True Companions: Among himself, Maurice and Mort. Arguably.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
- Upper-Class Twit
- 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.
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:
- The Big Guy: See Fat and Skinny, above.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: Has shades of this. At times, it seems that he really doesn't want to be part of Julien's world, but for some reason he stays faithful.
- Closer to Earth: He is easily the sanest of the three lemurs.
- Four-Fingered Hands: A strange aversion. Maurice has five fingers/toes, yet Julien and Mort each have four.
- Funny Animal Anatomy: This is what a real aye-aye looks like. Eek.
- Only Sane Man: When you're working for someone like Julien, of course someone has to be there to rationalize with him.
- Servile Snarker
- The Creon
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.
- 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!"
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Creepy Child: He's not quite a child, but he certainly has moments where he comes off as this. For example, he's way happier about being used as bait for a hungry falcon than he should be."I'm tasty!"
- Disability Superpower: In "Sting Operation", it's revealed that he's literally too stupid to feel pain.
- The Ditz:"Which of the colours is blue?"
- Fearless Fool: See above.
- Feel No Pain: Also see above.
- Flanderization: In the movie, the royal feet get merely a passing reference when Julien misinterprets Mort cowering in fear next to him. Here, Mort has a full blown fetish for Julien's feet.
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Non-genital example. He's named his tail "Rodney".
- In-Series Nickname: "Sad Eyes".
- Older Than They Look: Word of God is that he's actually the lemur equivalent of a thirty-five-year-old. Mouse lemurs simply look like babies their whole lives.
- Paste Eater:"I'll get the glue."
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's cute enough to rival Private.
- Small Annoying Creature: He's this with his feet fetish.
- Tagalong Kid: Quite often.
- Team Pet: He's either Tagalong Kid, this or both.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: A completely unidentifiable one. It usually comes across as heavily warped Baby Talk.
- Yandere: Mort is quite devoted to King Julien, and not just to the royal feet.
Central Park Zoo
Mason and Phil
A pair of chimpanzees. Mason is a stuffy British-accented one (voiced by Conrad Vernon), while Phil is mute and communicates only through sign language.
Tropes associated with Mason and Phil:
- Divergent Character Evolution: Thanks to greater focus on them (compared to their One-Scene Wonder status in the original movies), Mason's Neat Freak nature and Phil's relaxed and slovenly behavior have been revealed and developed.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Averted for the sake of Phil's sign language.
- Never Learned to Read: Mason is illiterate. Phil, on the other hand, is the penguin's go-to translator, with Mason translating his signing.
- Odd Couple: Phil is a total slob, much to Neat Freak Mason's chagrin.
- Road Apples: Mason mentions throwing poo a couple of times, though this is never seen on-screen.
- Shown Their Work: Phil's sign language is completely accurate.
- The Speechless: Phil.
JigglesA gelatinous Green Cube creation of Kowalski that nearly killed the penguins twice.
Tropes associated with Jiggles:
- 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.
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:
- 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
- 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 Man: 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.
- The Smurfette Principle: She's the only protagonistic female character.
- 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.
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.
Tropes associated with Alice:
Bada and BingTwo hulking, thuggish gorillas living in the zoo. Bada is dark grey, Bing is a lighter shade of grey.
Tropes associated with Bada and Bing:
- Animals Not to Scale: They are unusually large gorillas, not much smaller than Burt the elephant.
- Dumb Muscle: Neither of them is too bright, but they are incredibly strong.
- Killer Gorilla: They occasionally act as bullies to the other animals, and may go on a rampage if you steal their food.
- Meaningful Name: "bada bing bada boom" is a stereotypical mobster phrase
- Those Two Guys: Seldom seen without each other.
- Trademark Favourite Food/Stock Animal Diet: Bananas.
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…
- 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.
- Out-of-Character Moment: He seems genuinely annoyed at Julien's pranking in the "April Fools" episode.
- Reluctant Monster
- Sewer Gator: Roger is a sewer gator who is good friends with the penguins.
BurtThe 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...
Tropes associated with Burt:
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Gentle Giant
- Trademark Favorite Food: Peanuts.
- In-Series Nickname: Long Trunks and Big Grey
LeonardA 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.
Tropes associated with Leonard:
- Australian Accent: Strangely averted.
- 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 ill-tempered, violent kangaroo with a stereotypical Australian accent. Antagonist to both the penguins and the lemurs most of the time.
Tropes associated with Joey:
- Animal Gender Bender: He has a pouch.
- Australian Accent: He shares a voice actor with British-accented Private.
- 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".
- Third-Person Person: Lampshaded in "Kanga Management".
- The Worf Effect: Officer X and Eggy have pulled one on him.
Animals Outside the Zoo
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:
- 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.
- Everything's Nuttier With Squirrels: Averted, as he's both dumb and pretty mellow.
- 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.
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.
EggyAn 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).
- Badass Adorable
- Buffy Speak: He copies Julien's idiosyncratic speech patterns.
- Defeat Means Friendship: With King Julien.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: How Mama Duck views his obsession with combat and commando operations.
- Tykebomb: Leads to Defusing The Tykebomb in "Hard Boiled Eggy".
KitkaA 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.
- Clear Their Name
- Falling in Love Montage
- Girl of the Week
- Love at First Sight
- Ship Sinking: Didn't make any impact on the Skipper/Marlene fanbase. Possibly lampshaded by Skipper; even he admits that it wasn't working out.
DorisA dolphin whom Kowalski still yearns after. Appears in the Grand Finale, "The Penguin Who Loved Me."
Tropes associated with Doris:
- 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
- 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.
- Sapient Cetaceans
- Tailfin Walking: Manages this by getting her fins on one of Dr. Blowhole's scooters.
ParkerA platypus who helps Doris contact Kowalski during "The Penguin Who Loved Me".
Tropes associated with Parker:
- 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
- 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.
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.
Tropes associated with Dr. Blowhole:
- Arch-Enemy: To Skipper. Also, at least with the technology and science department, to Kowalski.
- Bigger Bad: Is mentioned as Skipper and the Penguins' Arch-Enemy, but rarely appears or has a large effect on the series.
- Bad Ass Bookworm: He might be an extremely intelligent scientist who doesn't fight often, but when we actually see him fight, he's able to go toe to toe with Skipper in a prolonged fight.
- Calling Your Attacks: All of his inventions announce themselves with the same dramatic voice whenever the are activated.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He tried to flood the world in revenge for being used as a show dolphin.
- Friendly, Playful Dolphin: Subverted.
- Embarrassing First Name: Francis.
- Evil Is Bigger: He towers over the penguins.
- Eye Beams: Can fire a laser from his cybernetic eye.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Has lobster henchmen, and also made Crome Claw, a giant lobster with a metal claw.
- Genre Savvy: He's smart enough to know to NOT leave his enemies in a Death Trap and then leave the room, he stays to watch unless it'd kill him as well.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a scar over his right eye that's just barely visable under the metal plate covering it.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Ultimately has his memory erased by his own machine.
- Insistent Terminology: No, Julien, he's not a fish.
- Large Ham
- Mad Scientist
- The Reveal: He and Doris are siblings.
- Sapient Cetaceans
- Tailfin Walking: He stands on his tail-fins on an electric scooter.
- 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.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: He fits it to an E.
- Debatable, after all, half the main protagonists are Heroic Sociopaths with little to no concern for collateral damage
- Villain Song: Get's a few in "Doctor Blowhole Strikes Back" (It Makes Sense in Context). It's actually a plot point that he gets the best songs. Most noteable being "Brand New Plan", which is a pretty straight up Villain Song. Helps he's voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.
- We Have Reserves
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Kowalski complains about bad guys always getting the coolest stuff, but it's never explained where he gets the resources required for them.
- 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.
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.
- Bald of Evil
- 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.
- Cool Shades: He wears them all the time.
- Deadpan Snarker: He fires off a salvo of puns in "The Officer X Factor."
- 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.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His exterminator uniform is pink.
- Scary Black Man
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Because of the penguins, of course!
- The Worf Effect: Pulls one on Rico and one on Joey.
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:
- Dumb Muscle
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You Dirty Rat
HansA puffin who has a dark history with Skipper. Whatever happened in Denmark is between Skipper, him and the Danes.
Tropes associated with Hans:
- 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. Since villains could never have a good traditional German name, like Hans, or Adolf, or...
ClemsonA lemur who was mailed from Hoboken Zoo to Central Park and back.
Tropes associated with Clemson:
- Sycophantic Servant: He comes off like this at first towards Julien, but it turns out to be a rather non-fatal version of...
- Thinking Out Loud: Does this so often even he thinks it's weird.
SavioA boa constrictor who was temporarily transferred from Hoboken Zoo to Central Park.
Tropes associated with Savio:
- 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.
- Faux Affably Evil
- 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.
- 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 SquirrelAn 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.
Tropes associated with the Red Squirrel:
- 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.
- Everything's Nuttier With Squirrels: He fits this trope far better than milquetoast Fred.
- 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.