"Monkeys, apes, they all hold stuff with their feet, man! We're talking freaks of nature!"These monkeys are used as signs that something bad is about to go down. Because of their similarities to humans, a superintelligent ape is going to suffer from an inherent sibling rivalry with the human race, and want to either wipe it out or subdue it. Often, in a series which features anthropomorphic animals, apes and monkeys will play the bad guys. This trope is distinct from Killer Space Monkey in that these monkeys are usually Super Intelligent Mad Scientists who want to Take Over the World or at least make life difficult for humanity. Another possibility is that they are Genius Bruisers determined to both overpower and Out Gambit their fellow primates. This here is the opposite of Everything's Better with Monkeys. Killer Gorilla is a subtrope, as gorillas (and other great apes) are particularly often portrayed as malevolent, due to their great strength and menacing appearance.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z are like this. They are galactic conquerors who can transform into giant apes during the full moon. Their only simian-like characteristic in their normal form is their monkey tails.
- The apes in Princess Mononoke, who distrust and hate San.
- Aozaru from The Twelve Kingdoms.
- Etemon from Digimon Adventure. And Makuramon from Digimon Tamers.
- The Beast Titan, from Attack on Titan. It's 17 meters tall, with Creepily Long Arms, a cruel, brilliant mind, and possibly the ability to turn humans into Titans. Its appearance heralds very bad things.
- It also loves baseball and frequently makes baseball references (or at least its host does).
- One of the rival teams faced by the Sunny Farm F.C. in Dreamkix had several spider monkeys who'd physically impede their progress, even in blatant displays like covering Roy's eyes and trying to drag George down. Yet they were apparently not committing fouls because they were deemed "too small and weak to really physically assault anyone".
- Rimba Racer: OoAa the chimpanzee is never shown to speak intelligibly, unlike the other Petting Zoo People on the show, and tend to screech and grab people when annoyed.
- The DCU:
- Gorilla Grodd, one of major Flash's villain, is probably the most archetypal example of this trope, because of his utter disdain for humanity, psychopathic nature and plots to make gorillas the dominant species on Earth. Do NOT call him a monkey, though — unless you really want to make him mad. And he hates bananas.
- Likewise, Ultra-Humanite sort of fits this trope, as he is a Mad Scientist inside an albino gorilla's body.
- Dc love this trope; in addition to the two examples above, there's also the late Monsieur Mallah, a superintelligent machine-gun-toting communist revolutionary homosexual French-speaking gorilla (seriously), the muscle (and lover) of the also deceased Brain. Coincidentally, Grodd killed both of them in Salvation Run.
- In the Saga of the Swamp Thing story arc, a demonic creature resembling a marmoset fed on the terrors of traumatized children.
- Marvel Universe:
- The Disney Mickey Mouse Comic Universe features the monkey mad scientists Ecks, Doublex, and Triplex as enemies of Mickey Mouse. Another comics pal of Mickey's is the tough robot operator Sam Simian, seemingly a gorilla. There's one story where Mickey and Sam take on the three Professors. Apart from Mickey himself, everyone in the story is a monkey!
- From Astro City There's the Brass Monkey, a foe of Jack in the Box, who was a janitor whose soul got transferred into a monkey statue.
- After Calvin opens a circus box in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, he releases a monkey and Hilarity Ensues.
- The Kim Possible fanfic An Old Foe Returns gives us Mastermind, a sinister superintelligent chimp who intends to make simians the dominate species on Earth. It's revealed that he used to be Bobo, the Camp Wannaweep mascot that created Ron's monkey phobia.
Films — Animated
- The Cymbal-Banging Monkey from Toy Story 3, who monitors Sunnyside Daycare to see if any of the prisoners are trying to escape.
- Shen's gorillas from Kung Fu Panda 2 are Elite Mooks in his army that otherwise consists of Savage Wolves.
- The main antagonist in Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is a prehistoric ape pirate captain called Gutt.
Films — Live-Action
- The Simians from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror of Mechagodzilla are green chimpanzee aliens who attempt to use Mechagodzilla to Take Over the World.
- The Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. Though they're actually Punch Clock Villains.
- The apes from Planet of the Apes, who have replaced humanity as the superior species.
- The titular primate in Shakma is a genetically altered baboon with a murderous attitude.
- Ella in Monkey Shines is an assistant to a paralyzed man who develops a psychic connection with him. Whenever he lashes out at someone, she is soon out to get them.
- The Killer Apes of Zinj from Congo.
- 1986 film Link had a killer chimpanzee butler, rather similar to Ella above.
- In The Shadow of Kilimanjaro, thousands of aggressive baboons ransack villages and attack humans because a drought has depleted their natural food sources.
- In Jumanji, the game introduces a troop of monkeys to wreak havoc: "This will not be an easy mission. Monkeys slow the expedition". Though the monkeys aren't so much dangerous as a sheer nuisance.
- A segment from the anthology horror film Terror Tract features a killer capuchin monkey named Bobo, who has a talent for stabbing people offscreen.
- The gorilla in Baby's Day Out doubles as this and also an ape version of a Papa Wolf.
- One monkey in Raiders of the Lost Ark works as a spy for Those Wacky Nazis. No, really. He ends up inadvertently helping the heroes when he eats a date and dies, tipping Sallah off that the bowl of dates is poisoned.
- The Bandar-log (Monkey-folk) from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book capture Mowgli so he can teach them human things and help them become masters of the jungle. It's a subversion because the Bandar-log's attention spans aren't long enough to complete their plan.
- The talking ape Shift serves as an Antichrist figure in C. S. Lewis' The Last Battle.
- In His Dark Materials, Mrs. Coulter's dæmon is a handsome golden monkey with long, lustrous fur. Considering how your dæmon signifies your true self, that shows that Mrs. Coulter is very intelligent, cunning, and charming; then again he also likes to pull small creatures limb from limb when he's bored. Mrs. Coulter is not good.
- Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley uses apes to symbolize the decline and fall of human civilization.
- In Catching Fire, the Hunger Games arena contains genetically-modified killer monkeys with claws and fangs.
- Apes were a common monster in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories, being prominent antagonists in The Phoenix on the Sword, Iron Shadows in the Moon, and Rogues in the House.
- The Wickersham brothers from Horton Hears a Who!
- The Pak, in Larry Niven's Known Space, are the ancestors of mankind, and are known to Earthly science as Homo habilis—young Pak look like somewhat leggy chimpanzees. Their life-cycle is odd, consisting of an animalistic "breeder" phase followed by eating a poisonous root, Tree of Life, that mutates them into Protectors, hyper-intelligent, super-strong sociopaths concerned only with the protection of their progeny. Most of them regard human beings as competitors—and therefore as appropriate targets for genocide.
- In After Man: A Zoology of the Future, several species of deadly predator have evolved from monkeys, including the fish-eating swimming monkey, the cheetah-like horrane, and several species of theropod-like raboon.
- Journey to Chaos: Looming Shadow boasts of a monkey beastfolk who becomes a Life Drinker with necrocraft and goes on a screeching and insane rant about how he has become a god.
- In The Enemy, the Holloway kids are attacked by diseased monkeys and apes which have escaped (or been released) from London Zoo, resulting in them losing five members of their group.
- In Helix, the hunt for lab monkeys infected with The Virus is critical to the CDC team's effort to figure out how to contain the outbreak at a remote research base. Though their existence is at first vociferously denied by Arctic Biosystems staff, Dr. Boyle discovers infected macaques are the source of zoonotic transfer after she's attacked by an unusually intelligent and violent escaped specimen. Balleseros later finds the rest of the infected lab monkeys frozen outside the base.
- Dr. Cube's demon Hell Monkey of Kaiju Big Battel.
- Among the factions of Feng Shui are the Jammers, intelligent apes working in concert with the few humans immune to the influence of Chi. They're a faction of Mad Bombers who do not care one whit about who they blow up, so long as they get to blow up Feng Shui sites and bring about Battlechimp Potemkin's dream of a world without chi.
- Pathfinder features a city of evil sentient apes called Usaro. Their ruler, Ruthazek the Gorilla King, is one of the setting's major villains.
- A swarm of less lethal but very annoying monkeys is summoned by the spell "Mad Monkeys".
- Given that Terra Primate is at the least a loose shoutout to Planet of the Apes as a whole, this is quite applicable.
- Dungeons & Dragons has had a wide variety of ape and monkey-based monsters appear in it during its history, such as the psionic carnivorous Su-Monsters and six-armed carnivorous gorilla-like Girallons.
- Freedom City has several, including Dr. Simian, criminal refugee from a city of intelligent apes, and Dr. Geistmann, a Nazi scientist trapped in the body of an albino ape.
- Star Fox
Pilot: I am no match for you. I admit defeat.Falco: Are you gonna listen to that monkey?
- Andross is an evil genius primate who leads an army of Maniac Monkeys and has two of them as his proteges.
- His nephew, Andrew Oikonny, is a highly incompetent Maniac Monkey, a character trait which is Played for Laughs.
- His grandson Dash Bowman appears to be a subversion of this trope, as he joins the Star Fox team to clear his family name and right Andross's wrongs, but two of the possible endings of Star Fox Command have him follow in his grandfather's footsteps to become another galactic overlord. So far, there hasn't been a single ape or monkey in Star Fox who hasn't turned out to be evil.
- There's also the Meteo Crusher pilot in Star Fox 64, yet another monkey who works for Andross. Falco even calls him a monkey in an insulting, derogatory way.
- The Monkeys from TimeSplitters. They have guns!
- The monkeys causing havoc across time, especially Specter, from Ape Escape.
- System Shock 2 has screeching monkeys with cryokenitic and pyrokinetic powers, who still have their heads cut open and their brains exposed from experimentation.
- In RuneScape the monkeys and apes of Ape Atoll form a terrifying militaristic faction bent on world domination. And during the Do No Evil quest, where the desert god of monkeys has her senses split into 3 parts, and they take the form of 3 dark and powerful gorillas.
- The demon monkeys chasing you in Temple Run.
- Gohma Howlers from Asura's Wrath, which don't hesitate to kill humans in packs.
- The monkeys in Alundra are bloodthirsty, violent and murderous little bastards.
- The Monkeymen from the Thief series.
- Morty's Cyberchimps in Super Solvers: Gizmos & Gadgets. They can steal your vehicle parts and pick up parts on the floor, making them very irritating. Feeding them a banana makes them sleep and drop their parts. Later on the slow, fat Chimps are replaced with fast, wheeled Chimps that sleep for a much shorter time.
- The Mini-Boss "Ausf A Gestell" from Einhänder is a Humongous Mecha ape. It attacks the player's ship like a deranged robot monkey would as well as having a number of dangerous weaponry. Befittingly enough, its battle theme is called "Madness".
- The Pokémon Mankey and its evolution, Primeape are characterised for their Hair-Trigger Temper and violent outbursts, making them notorious for going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for minor slights. Various renditions of Primeape describe it as being willing to "chase you down forever" in order to give you a thorough beating if you piss it off.
- In Dominions 4, the Early Age nation of Lanka is composed of various castes of different sorts of primates, from chimps to gorillas, ruled over by gluttonous demon ogres. They're heavy users of Blood Magic and one of the few nations that can benefit from increasing the Turmoil in the land.
- Hun Batz, the Howler Monkey God of the Mayan pantheon in Smite, is a rather sinister monkey driven with vengeance of being humiliated by the Hero Twins. While at first being introduced to replace Sun Wukong, at least Wukong's old kit was meant to be silly, Hun Batz made the kit more sinister as he's more serious in cracking the enemy's skulls wide open. Also, he babbles about The End of the World as We Know It because he's Mayan.
- Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls.
- Along with his army of fellow Uplifted Simians.
- During the first The Fairly OddParents! TV movie, AJ's monkey takes a bite out of a magic muffin that grants its eater any wish, regardless of Da Rules. The monkey's wish is—you guessed it—to make apes Take Over the World. Or it could have been a banana. Cosmo always mixes those two up.
- Monkey Fist and his army of monkey ninjas from Kim Possible.
- Baboon and his army of monkey ninjas from Skunk Fu!.
- Dr. Wasabi's ninja chimps from Chop Socky Chooks.
- Simian from the Dexter's Laboratory "Dial M For Monkey" shorts, though he gets a Heel–Face Turn.
- The Monkey King from Jackie Chan Adventures.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold has all DC Gorillas team up to form G.A.S.P., Gorillas and Apes Seizing Power.
- Young Justice has had robotic monkeys, Cobra venom mutated monkeys, Monsieur Mallah, The Ultra-Humanite, and Joker monkeys in the tie-in comic. You can understand Conner's hatred of these buggers.
- Literal example from Invader Zim
The letter M: Dib's screaming like a Maniac... monkey.
- One episode of Back at the Barnyard dealt with a space test monkey who pretended to be friendly for awhile before revealing his true colors by somehow intending to take over the entire farm in front of the horrified animals due to his opposable thumbs (which is sort of Fridge Logic as Otis and his friends never had problems with manipulating objects before despite not having opposable thumbs), although it could all be down to playing the entire scenario for comedy.
- Evil Monkey from Family Guy, though he and Chris eventually become friends and he moves on to another boy's closet.
- As a throwaway joke, in the episode where the family finally discovers his existence, Meg reveals she also deals with an evil monkey, this one being bigger and scarier looking.
- Dr. Frankenollie, the Mad Scientist from the Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain.
- The Mr. Bogus episode "Hipster Tripster" featured a trio of monkeys who Bogus plays around with in the first act, but in the second act, they become this after Bogus releases them from their cage. At the end of the second act, Bogus is able to corral the monkeys back into their cage by luring them away from the zoo's gift shop while hiding under a banana peel.
- In Xiaolin Showdown, Jack Spicer's favorite Shen Gong Wu is the Monkey Staff, which gives him the appearance and characteristics of a monkey.
- Rancid Rabbit's buddy Mr. Sunshine from CatDog hates Cat as much as his friend does.
- Nonhuman primates in general are extremely dangerous animals. Chimpanzees take the cake, having killed quite a few people, not just in the wild, but also in zoos.
- Baboons are territorial, and they often raid human settlements to steal food. They tend to travel in groups, too.
- Inverted with gorillas, who are generally docile and peaceful despite being more menacing in their appearance. Harm them or their families, however, and you will soon learn why they have no natural predators.
- Human primates are sometimes considered the most dangerous animals on Earth. note
- Former wildlife TV show presenter Jeff Corwin would frequently handle venomous snakes and other reptiles, but disliked and feared monkeys; everywhere he went, monkeys caused him problems.