"Monkeys, apes, they all hold stuff with their feet, man! We're talking
freaks of nature!"
The opposite of Everything's Better with Monkeys
. Instead of being inherently cool or exotic, 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 series which feature anthropomorphic animals, apes and monkeys will play the bad guys. 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.
is a subtrope, where the primate in question is not just malicious but also big and strong.
Anime & Manga
- 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".
- Gorilla Grodd from The DCU is probably the most archetypal example of this trope, because of his utter disdain for humanity 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.
- The folks behind The DCU 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.
- In the Saga of the Swamp Thing story arc, a demonic creature resembling a marmoset fed on the terrors of traumatized children.
- Ape X from Squadron Supreme. Which in Squadron Supreme tradition is a homage to the above comic book supermonkeys.
- Red Ghost and his Super Apes are enemies of the Fantastic Four.
- The Disney Mickey Mouse Comic Universe features the monkey mad scientists Ecks, Doublex, and Triplex as enemies of Mickey Mouse. There's one story where Mickey and Sam take on the three Professors. Apart from Mickey himself, everyone in the story is a monkey! Another comics pal of Mickey's is the tough robot operator Sam Simian, seemingly a gorilla.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- After Calvin opens a circus box in Calvin & 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.
- 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 monkey named Bobo.
- The gorilla in Baby's Day Out doubles as this and also an ape version of a Papa Wolf.
- 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-expy 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.
- 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.
- The Crazy Monkey in Stern Pinball's Family Guy; hitting him repeatedly starts "Crazy Chris" mode.
- The "Monkey Mayhem" table of Extreme Pinball is all about this trope.
- In The Wizard of Oz, the Flying Monkeys carry the pinball from the lower playfield to the Wicked Witch's Castle.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- The Monkeys from TimeSplitters.
- The monkeys, but 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".
- Nonhuman primates in general are extremely dangerous animals. Chimpanzees take the cake, having killed quite a few people, even in the wild. We would rather no go into too much detail there.
- Baboons can also be extremely dangerous, either when defending territory or raiding human settlements to steal food. The fact that some species travel in groups of over a hundred helps.
- Averted with gorillas, who are generally docile and peaceful, being more menacing in their appearance.
- Human primates are demonstrably the most dangerous animals in all of known universe. As a species, we're a Real Life badass.
- 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.