main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Curious as a Monkey
Something caught this little monkey's attention...
"Oh, what's that? What is that? Ohh, that thing has numbers on it! Hey, look at that thing. No, that other thing."
The Curiosity Core, Portal

A character, usually a child, who is always monkeying with things to see how they fit together, or work, or what they are made of. (Always in total innocence.) Generally found with assorted parts of a now-out-of-commission machine scattered about his feet. Or attempting to find out what the Big Red Button does. Truth in Television for anyone who's seen the aftermath of a bored six-year-old with any form of tool.

Hilarity Ensues.

Curiosity Is a Crapshoot even for him, but generally turns out well. Usually the Cheerful Child.

The Wrench Wench can show signs of this in the presence of an engine although she usually does less damage. (She may even improve it.)

Compare with the Constantly Curious, who ask questions for the same reason. Curious as a Monkey tends to be a less persistent nuisance, but makes trouble on a much grander scale. Sometimes, they overlap, when the child has moments of acting like either.

Contrast Little Jimmy, who has no characterization except his ignorance.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • In Bleach, of all people, Senbonzakura, Byakuya's Zanpakuto is revealed to be this, childishly pressing any button in sight. The difference between Senbonzakura and Byakuya is noted, though it was pointed out that Byakuya acts exactly the same! Just hides that side better.
  • Yokoi from Tonari no Seki-kun is a teenager who get involved in every game she has on sight. She wants to be a regular student, but the titular character, Seki, got enough talent to suck her in absolutely everytime.

    Comic Books 
  • This is the defining trait of Beastbox in Transformers, who lacks a proper robot mode and instead has a gorilla as his primary form. He's naturally curious, like an ape... but he's also easily angered and frustrated. This doesn't help him in his job as an interrogator; there isn't an Autobot who has made it out of a session with Beastbox alive.
  • Calvin in several Calvin and Hobbes strips. He throws water on his dad to test dad's reflexes, drops an expensive compass out of a tree to study gravity, and considers wetting his pants while wearing winter clothes just so he can know how astronauts feel when they go in their suits.

  • Curious George is the Trope Namer. His sense of curiosity always leads him and his caretaker, The Man in the Yellow Hat, on adventures throughout the city where they live.
  • Miles Vorkosigan: The titular protagonist as a child. Cordelia complains at one point that she didn't even know that a certain machine could come apart.
  • The protagonist of "The Caves and the Cockatrice" by E Nesbit:
    His inquiring mind led him to take clocks to pieces to see what made them go, to take locks off doors to see what made them stick. It was Edmund who cut open the India rubber ball to see what made it bounce, and he never did see, any more than you did when you tried the same experiment.
  • In Please Don't Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr, this is the defining trait of one of the children, a toddler who could "take apart the toaster with a wooden spoon and a drying pan".
  • Skysong (Kitten), a young dragon, from Tamora Pierce's The Immortals series can be this. While on one hand Skysong stayed at a political discussion over exploring a capital city (apparently very interested); Skysong has also been known to open locks to see what is behind them, and was describes as "like a bear in your wardrobe, except a bear doesn't have magic to open locks" if her curiosity is not satisfied.
  • Everything's Better With Elves: Sal has shades of this, especially in the prequel, "If You Give an Elf a Cookie".

  • Monkey See, Monkey Do, a song by Eddie Turner, an American bluesrock guitarist.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The kender in Dragonlance want to investigate everything. Since they also don't understand the concept of personal property beyond a very superficial level, "investigating" tends to at best be easily mistaken for and at worst a be a euphemism for "stealing."
  • The Curious disadvantage in GURPS. It overlaps with Constantly Curious, but the presence of this trope — the description explicitly says that a character with the disadvantage will be the one who presses buttons to find out what they do — is the main reason why it's a disadvantage.

    Video Games 
  • The 19-year-old magician Owyn from Betrayal at Krondor, with anything concerning magic.
  • GLaDOS' Curiosity Core from Portal will constantly ask the player to investigate everything they see.
  • Sheep from Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf just can't resist stepping on a button when they see one, just to see what happens.


    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Monkeys. Never, ever leave one unattended in your house. Hence the expression, "curious as a monkey".
  • Many species of parrots and macaws are very curious, but Kea Parrots are particularly (in)famous for investigating everything they see. Known as "Clowns of the Mountains", their ability to solve puzzles and group cooperation, vital when living in a harsh environment, makes them a pest for residents as their curiosity often causes them to take apart cars with their sharp beaks or fly away with someone's passport.

Bluff The EavesdropperInformation DeskConstantly Curious
Crying Little KidYoungstersCute Bruiser
Cunning LinguistCharacters as DeviceCynical Mentor
Crying Little KidImmaturity TropesDeliberately Cute Child

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy