The tendency for animals to outperform their human coworkers in comedies. Most often takes the form of a gorilla or chimpanzee in a business suit who quickly climbs the corporate ladder after being hired. Powersuit Monkey
can come in a few flavors:
Type One: Said monkey actually is competent, at least according to the other character's Lampshading
. Type one's competence is normally contrasted to another human character's incompetence for laughs. Type one never speaks, and other than being a part of the scenery, typically doesn't interact with the human characters physically.
Type Two: This is when the monkey acts just like a typical monkey would, but the work environment is so atrocious to begin with this behavior actually lands the monkey promotions and praise from his coworkers. Unlike Type one monkeys, Type twos are free to interact with their coworkers, usually in the form of random tantrums, face-scratching, and the classic poo throwing.
Type Three: Type three monkeys are practically human in all but species. Type threes typically form rivalries with the Protagonist, but are otherwise portrayed as popular with the rest of the characters. While you are more likely to see a Type three courting the office hotty or chatting it up with the fellas at the water cooler, they do sometimes slip back into Type two territory, usually when tempted by a banana.
Anime and Manga
- In Panty And Stocking a Type 2 is featured in "1 angry ghost". It becomes a Type 3 after being electrified.
- In The Flintstones movie, there is a monkey in Fred and Barney's work, and he is, after Barney, the smartest of the employees!
- In the Discworld books, there is an orangutan librarian. He is not a monkey.
- As a matter of fact, the Librarian used to be a wizard, working in Unseen University's library until a magical accident in the second book turned him into an ape. He's been transformed for so long that most people new to the series assume he's this trope, and even his fellow wizards have trouble remembering that he used to be human (although depending on the Rule of Funny it can be the other way around; it's mentioned that if you told the other Wizards there was an ape in the library, they'd go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.)
- The "Chekhov and the Gorilla" sketch from A Poke in the Eye With a Sharp Stick has Anton Chekhov discussing the final dress rehersal of The Cherry Orchard with Sergei Nemirovich, the financial director of the the theatre. Nemirovich is a gorilla and keeps suggesting that Chekhov find some way to work a gorilla into the plot.
- Futurama: Farnsworth comes up with a hat that makes a monkey intelligent. This results in a Type 3 rival for Fry.
- There's a duck named Stuart in The Simpsons. He works at the power plant. And outranks Homer.
- In "Homer's Enemy", Mr. Burns hires a dog to fill the job he originally planned to give Frank Grimes.
- Homer is outranked by an inanimate carbon rod.