Gorillas, orangutans, and sometimes chimpanzees: about the same size and shape as humans (normally), but tougher, hairier and generally meaner. Don't incite them to gorilla warfare, because the things they throw tend to hurt. They may also may like to squeeze people to death.
In a nutshell, this trope is when gorillas and other great apes (excluding humans) are, contrary to their real usual behaviour, treated as belligerent, pugnacious creatures. It's pretty much been a Discredited Trope
for gorillas (and orangutans
) since at least The Nineties
. The sign that it was pretty much done for was when Disney's Tarzan
adaptation changed the fictional Mangani of the original novels
to gorillas to reflect how science has marched on
. However, chimps are still subject to Maniac Monkeys
after a nasty incident where a pet chimp gnawed the face off of his owner.
A subtrope of Maniac Monkeys
. For the Lighter and Softer
relative of this trope, see Everything's Better with Monkeys
Anime and Manga
- Gorillamon from Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers. It's a gorilla, with an Arm Cannon.
- Wyald, a Psycho for Hire hedonist and adrenaline junkie from Berserk closely resembles an ape even in his human form. He then reveals that his Apostle form is a colossal, three eyed gorilla with a tiny head, and an extra mouth (with a massive spiky penis for a tongue) on his chest.
- In The Black Island, the villains keep a gorilla named Ranko to attack anyone who trespasses on the island of the title.
- DC Comics supervillains Gorilla Grodd and Monsieur Mallah.
- The Ultra-Humanite may also count, as he's most commonly seen in the body of a great white ape.
- The second arc of The Incredibles comic series starts with an attack on the mall by the Ungorilla, a Captain Ersatz of Grodd.
- Don Martin drew a comic around the self-created holiday National Gorilla Suit Day (that's January 31st.) In it, recurring character Fester Bestertester is visited by several wearers of gorilla suits, many of them being actual killer gorillas who creatively mangle him several times.
- A comic book miniseries prequel to The Dresden Files called Welcome To The Jungle plays with this, in that a silverback gorilla name Moe is a suspect for a number of murders at the Lincoln Park Zoo, but he is actually very gentle and protective with his handlers. What he does to a hag who is threatening one of his friends is very messy, though.
- Hitman Miami: The last chapter has the protagonist up against genetically engineered, gun-toting, yet still bestial, gorilla assassins.
- King Kong, no ordinary gorilla but a member of a giant prehistoric species.
- In the Star Wars universe, Wookiees, despite being a fantastic sapient species, look and act this part. As Han says, they're known to rip people's arms out of their sockets.
- In the original Planet of the Apes and sequels gorillas are the soldier class, and are the only meat-eaters. Science Marches On, though, and it's now known that gorillas generally don't eat meat, but chimpanzees do.
- Which makes the scene in the book where Zira frowns at the gorillas, calling them "meat-eaters", quite ironic.
- Mighty Joe Young (1949). The title giant gorilla is fed liquor and goes on a drunken rampage, turning lions loose and causing tremendous damage.
- The film Congo has a pack of hyper-territorial gorillas guarding the city of Zinj.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the Ink&Paint Club had a (toon) gorilla named Bongo as the doorman/bouncer.
- The Three Stooges were often terrorized by, and sometimes befriended by, a gorilla.
- Dario Argento's Phenomena featured a razor-wielding chimpanzee on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, the henchmen working for Lord Shen that are not wolves are actually gorillas, which are native to Africa despite the film's Asian setting.
- Subverted in Disney's Tarzan: Kerchak is a very aggressive silverback, but he's just overprotective of his family. He's much Lighter and Softer than his book counterpart, who was the one killing Tarzan's father...
- The Kentucky Fried Movie has a gorilla who goes on a rampage and trashes the studio after his sexual impotence is mentioned. The gorilla is named "Dino" and played by simian impersonator Rick Baker, who also played the title part in Dino de Laurentiis' 1976 remake of King Kong.
- In Pootie Tang, a gorilla kills Pootie's dad. Apparently, it's a common form of working hazard in the factory he worked.
- In Team America: World Police, Gary Johnston's saddest memory is the day when his brother fell into the gorilla enclosure in the zoo and pummelled to death.
- In The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Edgar Allan Poe's first tale of Detective Dupin, the murderer is an escaped orangutan. The Film of the Book changed it into a gorilla, both because of this trope and because it's really hard to squeeze an actor into an orangutan suit.
- The Librarian of the Unseen University from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels is an orangutan, prone to violently correcting anyone who calls him a monkey.
- Animorphs Played with but mostly averted. Marco goes on quite a few rampages in gorilla morph, but it's the bad guys he's usually throwing around. The play-it-straight version may exist in the later part of the war, when the Yeerks got the morphing cube.
- Tarzan of the Apes and the other Tarzan books have the Mangani (Frazetta Man - like humanoid apes) and the Bolgani (actual gorillas).
- A gorilla takes a brutal, if entirely justified revenge, on one of the villains at the climax of the Solomon Kane story Red Shadows.
- In Eugene O'Neill's play The Hairy Ape, the protagonist goes to the Zoo to talk to a gorilla and releases it from its cage, whereupon it crushes him to death.
- Golden Sun has gorillas as part of the Random Encounters. Infamously, The Lost Age's first boss is a trio of gorillas named "Chestbeaters" that attack you because they happened to be at the end of the dungeon.
- Donkey Kong in the original Donkey Kong (which had a clone on the BBC Micro actually named Killer Gorilla). In most later games, however, Donkey Kong (who's actually the son or grandson of the original 1981 DK) is more fun-loving than threatening.
- Heavy Weapon has the boss "Kommie Kong", which is a giant communist mecha gorilla that throws exploding rockets and tries to stomp the player. Renamed "Gorillazilla" in the PS3/Xbox360 release.
- In World of Warcraft, most gorilla mobs are are aggressive and will attack on sight. In a typical Blizzard manner, there are lots of Shout Outs: a giant gorilla living on an island and holding a woman captive, a (robotic) gorilla called A-ME trained to communicate with humans and gorilla mobs dropping barrels on death.
- In Tomb Raider, the Grecian ruins are populated by lions, crocodiles, bats, and aggressive gorillas.
- There is one hairy white gorilla in the Trophy Room in Brain Dead 13. And surprisingly, it has the same atomic wedgie kill scene as Moose!
- Borderlands 2 has a four-armed variation known as bullymongs. Like many of Pandora's wildlife, they are hostile to everyone.
- In the Creepypasta Normal Porn for Normal People the last video, "useless.avi", shows a woman getting mauled to death by a chimpanzee.
- In Donald Duck and the Gorilla (1944), Ajax, the titular antagonist.
- Tublat from The Legend Of Tarzan. While Tublat's comparatively passive personality from the books were used to make Disney's Kerchak a much gentler character, Kerchak's personality from the books were consequently used to make Disney's Tublat more violent.
- In an episode of Clerks: The Animated Series, Jay announces that they have "decided we need more gorillas in our empty lives", and they free the gorillas from the fair across the road from the QuikStop. The gorillas proceed to attack everyone in sight. ("Oh no! Caitlyn!" "Except Caitlyn Bree and Dan Whiffler who are *** *** in a car!")
- In The Venture Brothers, one of the many supervillain Captain Ersatzes is King Gorilla, a Manly Gay supervillain gorilla who spent some time in prison with the Monarch. He got thrown into prison for murder and rape (yes, in that order). He was later let out of prison since he was dying of lung cancer.
- The escaped circus ape in Scooby Doo Meets The Boo Brothers.
- Genghis Kong in Scooby Doo And The Reluctant Werewolf.
- In Johnny Test, Susan and Mary's oblivious love interest, Gil, is accidentally transformed into a gorilla and causes general mayhem in Porkbelly for awhile before he changes back.
- The Simpsons episode "To Cur With Love" reveals that the predecessor to Krusty's chimp Mr. Teeny was a gorilla who would beat up Krusty, causing him to remark, "next time I get a smaller monkey."
- This trope especially comes into play when misguided humans, charmed by how much a baby chimpanzee resembles a human child, try to take one as a pet. The problem comes when this cute little chimp hits puberty and becomes a very strong, very aggressive primate easily strong enough to rip your arm off and beat you to death with it. Or if you're lucky they'll stop at merely ripping your face off.
- Chimpanzees in general can be Gentle Giants most of the time like gorillas, but they are more unpredictable and have a much worse temper problem. Some of them are belligerent most of the time. So chimps are actually among the few animals (along with hippos, swans and the sort) that are much more dangerous than people generally think. Almost every individual chimpanzee has the potential to play this trope straight, and some chimpanzees play it straight a lot of the time.
- Averted with real life gorillas though, which fall into the Gentle Giant category. They will normally try to fend off intruders with bluff attacks rather than actually hurting them.
- This◊ World War I propaganda poster depicts Imperial Germany as a savage gorilla wielding a club and carrying off a woman.
- There's been some argument among paleontologists that extinct super-ape Gigantopithecus might have been like this. Of course, unless someone stumbles across one on a deserted island or in the backwoods of Washington state, it's all rather academic.