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Kangaroos Represent Australia
aka: Everythings Better With Kangaroos

Ah yes, the kangaroo. Perhaps one of the silliest looking animals around: It hops around on two huge feet, it has a thick tail and, of course, it has a pouch. Because of their almost cartoonish nature, kangaroos are certainly ubiquitous in fiction. Sort of another animalistic Rule of Cool, if you will. Maybe it's just that exotic feel that Australia gives — after all, this is the country that's also home to the trope-worthy platypus. If the work is set in Australia, this is commonly a way to say "Hey! We're in Australia, mate!"

If it's a male, expect him to be named "Joey", have a comically exaggerated Aussie accent and possibly have a pouch (even though, in reality, only the females have pouches). It may also be depicted boxing, carrying someone in its pouch, or just plain jumping really high.

Occasionally, a wallaby may be used instead. Think of them as fun-size kangaroos.

The trope is not exactly Truth in Television, as kangaroos have very sharp claws on their huge feet, and will use them on you if you get too close. Although it is rare, they are capable of killing a human being (just like pretty much everything else in Australia).


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • The Aussie brand of shampoo has a purple kangaroo for a mascot. Some of their ads include a purple animatronic kangaroo puppet.
  • Dish Network's Hopper device has a red kangaroo for a logo.
    • And within the commercials, kangaroos are present in the most unlikely places!
  • Dunkaroos cookies.
  • The mascot for Malt-O-Meal's off-brand line of cereal is a blue kangaroo in sunglasses, with a joey in her (?) pouch. Their names are Cool Blue and L'il Oaty.
  • As part of Google's Logo Joke, the 2006 Christmas ones involved what appear to be kangaroo parents and their joey. For no particular reason.
    • There are also kangaroos in the logo for 2006's Australia day.
  • In the late Seventies, the Australian government ran an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging Australians to be nicer to tourists. It listed a series of foreign misconceptions about Australia, including the idea that kangaroos catch trams.

     Anime and Manga 
  • Australia from Hetalia has a pet kangaroo in one of his sketches, and she has her baby in her pouch.
  • In a filler episode of Naruto, Rock Lee has to fight a boxing 'roo. And her baby, who's just as good of a boxer as its mama.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew accidentally gets in a fight with a lady kangaroo... you, the reader, probably have guessed how this ended.
  • When the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo crew travel to Sydney, everyone there is either a kangaroo or a koala.
  • G Gundam is a story about an international martial arts tourney where each country's fighter controls a Humongous Mecha with a motion capture interface. Australia's entry is, of course, a Boxing Kangaroo.
    • Another G Gundam spinoff manga shows a different Australian Gundam from an earlier tournament, the Southern Cross Gundam. While it's based on an aborigine warrior with a giant boomerang, for some bizarre reason it has a fannypack with a smaller Gundam sticking out of it.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, the main characters are initially stationed at a base in Australia. Naturally, they wear shoulder patches displaying a kangaroo.

    Comic Books 
  • In Tank Girl, the title character's boyfriend is a male kangaroo named Booga.
  • Marvel has the villain Kangaroo, a Spider-Man villain who made his first appearance in the seventies. Second character sporting the alias even had a kangaroo-like high-tech suit.

    Film - Animated 
  • Not surprisingly, you can find a 'roo in The Rescuers Down Under.
  • ...and in FernGully.
  • A mother kangaroo and her joey appear as background characters in Dumbo.
  • A kind-hearted mother kangaroo was (naturally) a main character in Dot and the Kangaroo. Kangaroos also appeared in a few other films in the series.
  • The animated sequel to Kangaroo Jack.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Citizens of the titular town in Welcome to Woop Woop make pet food out of kangaroos, which isn't cool. But then a giant kangaroo god makes an appearance near the end, which is.
  • Crocodile Dundee has a scene where some hooligans are shooting kangaroos for fun. So Mick hides behind one of the dead ones and convinces them that it's shooting back.
    Mick: Good on ya, Skippy!
  • The above might be a Shout-Out (or Take That) to Wake In Fright, with its notorious (unstaged) kangaroo hunting sequence.
  • Kangaroo Jack obviously.
  • A 1952 Hollywood film called Kangaroo: The Australian Story augments its banal bushranger story with plenty of wildlife footage, including (you guessed it) kangaroos. It's claimed that an early draft of the script showed roving herds of kangaroos murdering people... until Australian crew members informed the director how ridiculous that was.

    Literature 
  • Sour Kangaroo in Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss is a villain.
  • Kanga and Roo from Winnie the Pooh. Kanga is the mother and Roo is her son.
  • Scrappy is a magical kangaroo character (and Shout-Out to Skippy) in the Discworld book The Last Continent.
    • Actually, he's a magpie called, or at least described as 'trickster', the Kangaroo thing is just his normal early avatar (he also uses a pony and a sheep, pandering to other well-known aussie works).
    • There's also a brand of beer called 'Roo Beer'.
  • The Spellsinger novel Day of the Dissonance has a kangaroo called Snooth who runs a magic shop. And a powerful and terrible kangaroo djinn she keeps in her pouch.
  • Animorphs had The Unexpected, which landed Cassie in Australia. Cue the kangaroo morph.
  • In "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo" from Kipling's Just So Stories, Kangaroo pleads with the gods to make him different from other animals, so Nqong sics Yellow-Dog Dingo on him until he starts hopping all over Australia.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game Shows: Virtually ever game show that has offered a trip to Australia as a prize has, on its graphic, has included a picture of a kangaroo somewhere in the artwork. On the game show Press Your Luck, it was the only graphic (along with the word "Australia" beneath it). On shows where filmed/video footage is used to illustrate the trip (during the announcer's voiceover), stock footage of kangaroos will invariably be used.
  • Skippy The Bush Kangaroo - Skippy is built entirely on this trope.
  • When The BBC launched BBC2 TV in 1964, the channel's stationery was headed by a cartoon of a mother kangaroo with a baby in her pouch. For no good reason, the mother was called Hullabaloo and the baby was called Custard. A few months later when David Attenborough took over as controller of BBC 2, one of his first acts was to ditch Hullabaloo and Custard for being totally ridiculous.
  • FlashForward (2009) liked to show a random kangaroo hopping around after flash forwards, as a Book Ends sort of thing.
  • One episode of ER features news reports about an escaped kangaroo, with Jerry the Receptionist listening to them and planning how to capture/kill it. At the very end of the episode, one of the main characters is walking home when they see the kangaroo in an alleyway.
  • There are a good number of videos featuring people bothering and then getting kicked by kangaroos on America's Funniest Home Videos. No, they're not always Groin Attacks.
  • Goodness Gracious Me had "Skipinda the Punjabi Kangaroo", which was a Gag Dub of Skippy.
  • Whazzat Kangaroo from Zoobilee Zoo. She's a cool kangaroo in her own right, and boy, can she sing!

    Music 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One of the recurring characters in the comic Pluggers is a flyer named Sheila.
  • The Far Side shows a kangaroo on a street amongst some humans, and one of the humans is dead and has a boomerang in his head, and the kangaroo is thinking, "That was meant for me!" Boomerangs were originally Australian hunting weapons.

     Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech there is an animal named the Coventry Kangaroo. According to information on it the Australian colonists to Coventry took Red Kangaroos with them and genetically modified them to be larger. So large one can use them as mounts for Cavalry troopers.

    Toys 
  • There are four different kangaroo Beanie Babies. All four are flyers with joeys in their pouches. Their poems are all written in first person as well.

    Webcomics 

    Video Games 
  • Bomberman from Bomberman '94/Mega Bomberman onward has roois/ruis/Looeys/Louies, which can be found inside spotted eggs and provide a ride when found. In later games like Super Bomberman 5, they each have unique abilities, depending on color. And like almost everything else in the game, they're Ridiculously Cute Critters.
  • Kangaskhan is a kangaroo Pokémon. Naturally, it's Always Female and always depicted as carrying a joey even after it... um, hatches. Wow, that's a lot of Fridge Logic.
    • Naturally, its move set includes punch-type attacks.
  • Kangalmon from Digimon, also a boxing type.
    • Actually, it's just a Veemon in a Kangaroo suit and a motorcycle helmet.
    • There is no apparent in-universe explanation for the plushie in its pouch.
      • Odd, considering that all the other digimon with plushies have explanation for them. Usually, it's a representation of another digimon that that one is supposed to be allied with. Perhaps it's supposed to be a Veemon plushie with boxing gloves?
  • Legend of Zelda features Ricky the Kangaroo from Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, who carries Link in his pouch (despite being a male), can jump over holes and cliffs, and sports a large pair of boxing gloves.
  • Jabberoo, a racing monster that resembles a kangaroo with boxing gloves for hands, from the Nintendo DS game Monster Racers.
  • Atari's Kangaroo, a platform game similar to Donkey Kong.
  • Tekken has Roger, and later his nameless wife, with his son Roger Jr. in her pouch.
  • The psychotic Laughing Mad blue kangaroo in straitjacket, Ripper Roo, from the Crash Bandicoot games.
  • One of the mid-bosses in Streets of Rage 3 is Roo, a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves. He can also be one of the playable characters if you defeat his owner first.
  • Some mooks in the Australia level of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves are green Funny Animal kangaroos.
  • Spyro the Dragon 3 features playable character Sheila the Kangaroo.
  • One of the playable characters in Fur Fighters is a kangaroo. He's a bit dim but a very hard worker. His theme tune is a mix of whatever level you're on an Waltzing Malitda.
  • In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Johnny Cage's Animality had him turn into a kangaroo and kick the opponent off screen.
  • The Parental Kangashark from Mother 3 is, as you might have guessed, a cross between a kangaroo and a shark. In battle, its joey will sometimes cheer it on and help recover some of its health. Aww.
  • Chipple from the Klonoa series appeared as a human-like character at first, but was later re-designed as a kangaroo.
  • One of the playable characters in C-2: Judgment Clay is the World Clay Boxing Association champion, Kangoo (as well as her Evil Twin, Thunder). The joey in her pouch pops out and helps with special moves.
  • Kangaroos are enemies in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. There's also harmless wallabies.
  • Team Fortress 2: The nucleus of the element "Australium" resembles two kangaroos boxing. It causes those exposed to grow facial hair and can turn human beings into pure gold.
    • Australium bars are stamped with a logo of a man boxing a kangaroo, which is how Australia chooses its king.

    Western Animation 
  • Joey is a recurring kangaroo character on The Penguins of Madagascar. He is of the "thick Aussie accent" and "pouched male" variety, and rather aggressive.
  • Dot and the Kangaroo, of course.
  • Hoppy, a dinosaur-ish kangaroo on The Flintstones.
    • A Hoppasaurus.
  • A Running Gag in Looney Tunes involved Sylvester pursuing an escaped kangaroo, named Hippity Hopper, whom he mistakes for a giant mouse.
    • Similarly, a Pixie & Dixie cartoon had Mr. Jinks encounter a boxing kangaroo.
    • And in the Saturday Supercade videogame-cartoon series, there's Katy in Kangaroo.
  • Ovide and the Gang featured a female kangaroo character named Matilda.
  • Rocko, the eponymous character of Rocko's Modern Life, is a wallaby. Similar enough.
  • Another wallaby character: Mr. Thickley from Taz-Mania.
  • Dinny Kangaroo, voiced by Carl Reiner, was a character on Linus The Lionhearted.
  • Kip Kangaroo, voiced by Nancy Cartwright, was a second-season addition to Shirt Tales.
  • Splodge the Kangaroo, one of Blinky Bill's friends.
  • Naturally, being a show about animals, kangaroos appear in a few episodes of The Wild Thornberrys, being more anatomically correct, but the Aussie accent is still there.
  • Austin in The Backyardigans; one of the few examples that doesn't have an Aussie accent.
  • A kangaroo can be seen adopting a frog in the episode of The Simpsons where Bart is forced to go to Australia to have his butt kicked for prank-calling them. When pursued, Bart and Homer attempt to get away in kangaroos' pouches, only to conclude that "it's not like in cartoons".
  • In Family Guy Peter and Lois are at the Zoo and Peter seeing the Kangaroo exhibit climbs into it's pouch "Hey Lois I'm Roo! Hey Kanga let's go help Poohbear get some honey!" while the Kangaroo pouch can't hold his weight and the Kangaroo collapses.

    Real Life 
  • Australian airline Qantas uses a kangaroo in its logo, and is often referred to as the "flying kangaroo."
  • The mascot for the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, is a kangaroo named Zippy of indeterminate gender.
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City also uses a kangaroo mascot for its basketball team.
  • The mascot for the Brockton Rox minor league baseball team in Brockton, Massachusetts, is K-O the Kangaroo.
  • Several of Australia's national sports teams have kangaroo-themed names:
    • Kangaroos (Rugby League)
    • Wallabies (Rugby Union)
    • Boomers (Men's basketball - a male kangaroo is called a "boomer")
    • Socceroos (Soccer)
    • Hockeyroos (Women's hockey)
  • The North Melbourne Kangaroos in Australian Rules Football
  • Is used in the center of the roundel on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ensign, and is used as the Army's roundel as well.
  • The kangaroo is Australia's national faunal emblem and appears (with the emu) on the national coat of arms
  • Averted with the mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympics - a kookaburra, echidna, and platypus. The organisers felt that kangaroos and koalas were overused.


Honorable ElephantMammal TropesKangaroo Pouch Ride
Land DownunderHollywood AtlasMysterious Antarctica
Everything's Better with PlatypiUsefulNotes/AustraliaLand Down Under

alternative title(s): Everythings Better With Kangaroos
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