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Kangaroo Pouch Ride
Why people shouldn't try this.

Bart: Ewww! It's not like in cartoons!
Homer: There's a lot more mucus...''

Many works like to feature exotic animals, and nothing is a cooler way to introduce a weird beast than by using it for transportation. One unusual class of mammals with natural potential for transport are marsupials - after all, they come with their own pockets. And every so often, a character gets the bright idea of using that potential, and climbs into the pouch of a fast-moving pouched creature, typically a kangaroo. A few short hops later, character is safely at their destination, ready to resume the plot.

Given that a marsupial's pouch is something like an incubator for its embryonic infants much of the time, and is very rarely empty of young, this trope means Artistic License - Biology. Extra discredit if the marsupial is supposed to be male: the pouch is part of the female reproductive suite. In truth, trying to ride in a kangaroo's pouch would get a much... squickier result.

Even if the kangaroo is indeed female and not carrying young, unless the intended passenger is a small Talking Animal itself, there just wouldn't be room to hitch a lift. And, if they are small enough to fit, the rider won't be able to get out unless the kangaroo allows it: mother roos can constrict the pouch's entrance to restrain unruly joeys. Wait, for some people that's probably... Oh....

A Sub-Trope of Kangaroos Represent Australia.

Compare Horse of a Different Color, Fur Is Clothing.

Examples:

Anime
  • While there are no kangaroos in Pokémon per se, there are Kangaskhan. They are much larger and exclusively female. In an episode of the anime, they adopt and raise a human child who could easily fit inside the pouch. Furthermore, as seen in the end of the episode, the pouch could fit the child, his birth parents, and a baby Kangaskhan, with room to spare. Note that Kangaskhan are 7'1" in size and fricking tough. Furthermore, all Pokémon hatch from eggs, so a pouch used as an incubator wouldn't need to be wet, just warm. But then all Kangaskhan hatch fully grown with a "joey" already in their pouches.

Literature
  • Subverted in one of Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger novels when the intelligent kangaroo has a large, powerful, ill-tempered genie living in her pouch.
  • In an Encyclopedia Brown story, a kid tells a bunch of stories about his travels around the world in order to secure membership in some sort of club only for Encyclopedia to claim he's lying his ass off. The "male kangaroo with marsupial pouch" mistake is one of the many errors in the kid's stories.
  • Subverted in Sterling Lanier's The Unforsaken Hiero. Giant kangaroos are used as mounts in D'alwah, but people ride on their backs with highly specialized saddles.
  • In Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit kidnaps Roo by dropping Piglet into Kanga's button-up pouch when she isn't looking (they're about the same size, so she just thinks Rabbit put Roo in for her). Piglet doesn't enjoy the ride at all.
  • In Deltora Quest Dread Mountain, the heros meet a small number of creatures called the Kin, large, winged, intelligent creatures whom were hunted to near extinction by the Gnomes and Grey guards respectively. After rescuing one of their young three of the largest of the Kin volunteer to fly the characters to the titular mountain in their pouches.

Live Action Film
  • In the children's movie Napoleon, the titular puppy is given a ride through the Australian outback in a kangaroo pouch.

Music
  • This early 90s song by a Dutch children's choir.

Newspaper Comics
  • A panel in The Far Side features Hannibal's first attempt at crossing the Alps. It involves his men riding kangaroos along the narrow ledges (with predictable results).
  • Pearls Before Swine had Rat do this in an attempt to conserve energy.
  • Cartoon History of the Universe, when talking about the spread of Cro-Magnons throughout the world, shows a map including, in Australia, a woman riding in a kangaroo's pouch. The kangaroo looks a bit puzzled about this.

Video Games

Webcomics
  • The nation of Jetstone uses "cloth golems," large, animated plushies, as heavy war machines. The so-called "Tankeroos" are used as mounts with this technique; justified, since they're custom-built for this purpose.
  • Faux Pas references this trope (and the differences in roo gender) here.
  • Not so much a kangaroo as a vaguely feline marsupial alien but in Last Res0rt Jigsaw's Robot Buddy Gangrel usually hides in her pouch, where she also keeps a Bag of Holding.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Deconstructed in The Simpsons; Bart and Homer try to ride one but soon discover that, unlike cartoons, real kangaroos have mucus in their pouches and can't accommodate anything bigger than their joeys.
  • Also deconstructed in Family Guy. Peter climbs into the pouch of a kangaroo, but the poor kangaroo can barely move.
  • Schoolhouse Rock, "Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla." The titular character gains a pet kangaroo and rides around this way.
  • In The Wild Thornberrys, a kangaroo once allows Eliza to travel this way as a favor. It's a little more realistic since Eliza is shown crammed in the very tiny pouch.
  • Futurama: Bender's Game had orc spear-throwers riding in giant war-kangaroo pouches. A baby kangaroo was hanging around with the orcs in the pouch.
  • Happens with giant-sized kangaroo monsters in an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Daffy Duck Slept Here," Daffy claims that he has an invisible kangaroo named Hymie. Porky doesn't buy it, so Daffy climbs up on an invisible pouch and his disembodied floating head is seen bouncing all over the room. Even so, Porky still doesn't buy it.
    • Bugs Bunny got "adopted" by a kangaroo in one episode who insisted he ride in her pouch- which had a zipper on it.
  • On The Flintstones, Hoppy frequently gives Bamm-Bamm these.
  • Johnny Bravo attempts this after thinking he got adopted by Kangaroos, he was too big for the pouch.
  • Dot and the Kangaroo (and its sequels) had a whole song about it.
    The best fun in the world/ And I tell you it's true/ Is to ride in the pouch of a red kangaroo.
    • The mother kangaroo had lost her baby, thus leaving her pouch empty and she was elated to have Dot ride in it because it reminded her of the feeling of having a child.
  • The World of David the Gnome did this once. It was either a kangaroo or a wallaby. (Of course, being a six inch tall gnome, this makes sense.)
  • One episode of Danger Mouse had DM and Penfold being given a pouch ride by a male kangaroo. Due to the Cosgrove Hall animators sometimes being forgetful when it came to DM and Penfold's size, they were about human size in this part.
  • "Fun Down Unda" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrslKdGEJzw
  • In Sonic Sat AM, Dulcy the dragon has a pouch for her passengers. Of course, Western dragons (and some dinosaurs) look a bit like kangaroos to begin with, so this trope is not limited to mammals where SF and fantasy are concerned.
  • In one episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie Chan and Kid Sidekick Jade try to claim the Monkey talisman, one of the twelve talismans that grants the user to change themselves and others into the shape of any animal. A series of shape changing shenanigans occur between the heroes and Valmont's mooks, until Chan is accidentally transformed into a kangaroo and Jade into a rabbit. After beating up the villains in his kangaroo form, he puts rabbit-Jade in his pouch and tries to make a jumpy getaway. Considering that in a later episode, Jade used it again to transform herself into a maned lion, the talisman presumably alters gender as well.

Real Life
Kangaroos Represent AustraliaMammal TropesThe Marvelous Deer
Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is CryingArtistic License - BiologySomewhere, an Equestrian Is Crying
Matzo FeverImageSource/Western AnimationKung-Fu Jesus

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