"A man boxing a kangaroo is a peculiar spectacle, but a kangaroo boxing a robot? Now I'm afraid you've lost me."
Exactly What It Says on the Tin
, and Truth in Television
. Y'see, during the 1800s
(and even into the early 1900s), "boxing matches" that pitted a man against a kangaroo were part of traveling shows in Australia, the Western United States, and sometimes elsewhere. Men were challenged to defeat... or sometimes just last a single round against... a tame kangaroo. Usually, the men got their asses handed to them
. Every once in a while, someone will revive the idea. Never mind the fact that a fully grown kangaroo can disembowel
and kill their opponent with a single kick. Up for a fight, Skippy?
In media, kangaroos are often portrayed as either literally wearing boxing gloves, or else as capable of boxing moves. The origins of this image lay in the fact that, when defending itself, a kangaroo uses its upper legs (the ones usually thought of as "arms") first
, to hold an opponent in place, while it rakes its opponent with its lower legs, thus giving the animal, for a short while, anyway, the appearance of "boxing".
Often Played for Laughs
, despite the brutal ass-kicking the humans usually receive.
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Anime And Manga
- In the French comic The Diamond Boomerang, The Butt Monkey finds himself fighting one of these in an underground Australian boxing rings, and wins.
- Invoked by the Marvel Comics villain the Kangaroo—two of them, in fact. The first was just an enhanced guy, but the second wears a full suit of kangaroo armor.
- A Brazilian Disney comic starring Joe Carioca (of Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros fame) has his friend Pedrão being punched by such a kangaroo and becoming so angry he starts training to get payback.
- In the 80s, there was a comic book series called Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos that were Expies of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , but in a marsupial sense.
- The German silent movie Das Boxende Kanguruh, directed by Max Skladanowsky in 1895, featured a boxing kangaroo.
- The titular kangaroo from Kangaroo Jack boxes one of the protagonists during a confrontation.
- Warriors of Virtue had five kung-fu kangaroos aiding the hero on his journey in the land of Tao.
- 1978's Matilda was a movie based around this concept.
- There's a quick shot in All Dogs Go to Heaven depicting two kangaroos fighting in a boxing match. It's just another sporting event the anti-hero Charlie wagers on.
Live Action TV
- Older Than Radio: A cartoon titled "Jack, the fighting Kangaroo with Professor Lendermann" appeared in a Sydney newspaper in 1891.
- Roger and Roger, Jr. from Tekken. Minor subversion: they borrow quite a bit (at least in Tekken 2 and Tekken Tag Tournament) from Professional Wrestling. The series also notably features Alex, a boxing velociraptor.
- Roo, a midlevel boss and unlockable character from Streets of Rage 3 is a boxing kangaroo.
- Ricky, one of the three Powerup Mounts from The Legend of Zelda Oracle games, is a boxing kangaroo. In both games, you had to retrieve his gloves for him before you could ride him.
- Chipple from the Klonoa series is an anthropomorphic boxing kangaroo. He wasn't at first, though; he was introduced as a humanlike boxer, and inexplicably became a kangaroo between games.
- There's the titular Kao The Kangaroo. (Geddit? "KO"? Geddit?)
- The cleverly named Kangaroo featured a kangaroo in Red Boxing Gloves.
- One of the Demonic Spiders in their respective areas of Space Station Silicon Valley were the boxing kangaroos.
- In a very old game for Sega Genesis, Gadget Twins, one of the bosses during the final world is a mechanical kangaroo with boxing gloves piloted by the game's antagonist, Thump.
- One of the minigames in Lenny Loosejocks Walkabout pits Lenny against a boxing kangaroo. While it takes several hits from Lenny to knock out the 'roo, if she manages to kick you, it's an instant knockout for Lenny.
- Sierra Championship Boxing (an old PC game from the 1980's) let you create your own boxer, choosing from 4 races: white, black, cartoon, and kangaroo.
- Kangoo and palette swap Thunder from Clay Fighter 2.
- One of the controllable animal-machines in Silicon Valley for the N64 was a classic boxing kangaroo.
- Kangaskhan can learn a variety of punching attacks, including Comet Punch.
- Breloom seems partially based on a kangaroo; it's part-Fighting-type, has a very high Attack stat, and learns a variety of punching moves.
- The Digimon V-Pets gave us Kangalmon.
- Team Fortress 2's Engineer Update introduced us to Australium, an element that has a man boxing a kangaroo engraved onto its ingots, and its nucleus features two kangaroos boxing.
- It's also apparently how Australians choose their king.
- The kangaroo-based Maverick Vanishing Gungaroo from Mega Man X7 are based on this trope.
- If you're playing as a Naturalist in Twilight Heroes, the first superpower attack you'll learn is the Kangaroo Punch. It's not very strong, but it's accurate.
- Monster Racers has one named Jabberoo. Of course, given the game's Wacky Racing theme, it never gets to use them.
- The Atari rescue-the-Joey game simply titled "Kangaroo" with a boxing-gloved Mama.
- Tokyo Jungle features one during a story section.
- Kangaroon, the first boss of Mole Mania, wears boxing gloves, but instead of directly hitting you with them, he pulls out gloves from his pouch and tosses them at you.
- Rooney, Animal Crossing's first male kangaroo, is dressed up like a boxer and has a boxing ring in his house.
- Etrian Odyssey IV features a FOE called a Bounding Beast. It's a massive (its joey is taller than the average human!) black-and-white kangaroo monster that, naturally, fights using devastating punches and uppercuts. Also includes the Bounding Beast's non-FOE Palette Swaps later in the game.
- The Fleischer Brothers cartoon The Boxing Kangaroo (1920) featured, naturally enough, a boxing kangaroo.
- The Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Kangaroo (1935) has him training the title character, a nonhumanized kangaroo named Hoppy, to be a boxer. It gets hilarious once the kangaroo really gets into the role and starts punching Mickey's face several times per second, while Mickey's still as happy-go-lucky as ever.
- In the cartoon, Hoppy beats the bejesus out of Mickey alone. But in the comics of the same period, she fights Pegleg Pete's gorilla Growlio, and wastes no opportunity along the way to pound luckless assistant trainer Horace Horsecollar into the ground.
- A Donald Duck short also had him taking care of a baby boxing kangaroo named Joey. Despite all the hard time Donald has keeping it in line, the pet really loves him, to the point of attacking him while he was dressed in a bear rug because it thought Donald was eaten by said bear.
- And a Goofy short, Baggage Buster, had him working at a train station as a baggage handler keeping track of a magician's luggage. While he was messing with the magician's cape, it disgorges a boxing kangaroo which beats the snot out of him before hopping off.
- Hippety Hopper from Looney Tunes: Sylvester often mistook him for a giant mouse and ended up on the wrong end of a Curb-Stomp Battle for it.
- Though ''Bell Hoppy'' represented quite the victory over the "monster" for the lisping "puddy tat."
- Futurama: Theodore Roosevelt comments on a boxing match between Super King/Bender and a supervillain's trained kangaroo in "Less Than Hero".
- Barney and Betty Rubble in The Flintstones had Hoppy, a dinosaur boxing kangaroo.
- In The Simpsons, the logo of the billing service "Hopping Mad Collection Agency" has boxing gloves.
- An episode of Mr. Magoo had the titular character accidentally walk in on a fight which featured a kangaroo who would start boxing if he heard a bell go "ding ding".
- Jackie Chan Adventures: The first episode to feature the Monkey Talisman has Jackie, a skilled martial artist even in the cartoon, turned into a kangaroo; naturally, he proceeds to knock out the Dark Hand enforcers one by one.
- Of course, the fact that he was turned into a female kangaroo with a pouch brings up other questions.
- An old Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jinks short pitted Jinks against a boxing kangaroo.
- Animalympics has Joey Gongolong, a kangaroo version of Muhammad Ali, competing for a gold medal in boxing.
- LeShawna is forced to fight one in Total Drama World Tour, the kangaroo knocks her out, Harold then jumps into the ring to fight for his girlfriend's honor... only to be knocked out as well.
- An episode of the old Rankin-Bass animated series Tales Of The Wizard Of Oz had one named Boomer Rang (complete with boxing gloves and a heavy Australian accent when he speaks), whom the scarecrow (named Socrates in this series) is a big fan of, but when he accidentally knocks out the champion marsupial, he is forced to fight Boomer Rang in the ring. Needless to say, things don't go well.
- The Walter Lantz short Punchy Pooch had one of these.
- Joey the kangaroo on The Penguins of Madagascar would beat up anyone who invaded his habitat.
- Kangoo is a French cartoon series about about a team of basketball-playing and crime-fighting kangaroos. The Big Guy Kevin is also a "freestyle" martial artist.
- During World War II, boxing kangaroos were stencilled on Australian fighter aeroplanes of the No. 21 Squadron RAAF based in Singapore and Malaya. It would later be adapted as the symbol of the Australian Air Force.
- A flag featuring a gold-colored boxing kangaroo on a green field, wearing Red Boxing Gloves, was flown by the Australia II during the successful 1983 Australian challenge for the America's Cup. This flag has since been adopted as the (un)Official Australian Sporting flag.
- A boxing kangaroo was the official mascot of the Australian 2004 Summer Olympic Team.
- The mascot for the Brockton Rox minor league baseball team in Brockton MA, K-O the Kangaroo, has been known to don boxing gloves from time to time◊.