Real life adventures of the Australian conservationist Steve Irwin, the curator of Australia Zoo in Queensland, as he studied and captured crocodiles, either to relocate them or to take them for his zoo. Oh, and he also sometimes studied (but rarely captured) snakes.

The show was full of physical action as Irwin and his mates jumped on crocodiles all at once and restrained them with duct tape. He was also shown hand-feeding crocodiles, and distracting them while the rest of his staff raided the crocodiles' nest for the eggs to incubate.

The show offered an unbeatable combination of old-fashioned derring-do with a strong conservationist message. It also gave parodists a field day, and (perhaps unintentionally) did much to contribute to the stereotype of the "Australian Naturalist" as a khaki-clad testosterone-fueled adrenaline junkie whose passion for up-close-and-personal encounters with large, dangerous, or deadly animals bordered on protracted suicide.

Irwin made several other movies with conservationist themes, enlivened by his bubbly Larrikin personality and his {{catch phrase}}, "Crikey!", and he soon became perhaps the world's most visible and charismatic spokesman for the environment, filling a role left empty by the death of Creator/JacquesCousteau. Irwin even produced and starred in TheMovie of his TV show, ''Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course'', in which a crocodile accidentally swallows a top-secret government satellite that falls to earth, and Irwin and his wife Terri are unwittingly caught in the middle as they try to film their TV show.

Despite all the crocodile antics, they were not the ones to kill him. [[FatalMethodActing Irwin died in a freak accident with a stingray while diving]]. He was mourned worldwide. And, in a stunning case of general oddity, many Aussies went on [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge stingray-butchering rampages]] in the name of one of the most famous animal lovers in history. [[WhatTheHellHero They were called out on this]], as people said that that's not what Steve Irwin would have wanted. Perhaps even more bizarrely (though far less disturbingly), Philadelphia Phillies fans used Irwin as a rallying cry during their successful 2008 World Series run against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Irwin's legacy lives on in the family he leaves behind: his wife Terri, who often served as his sidekick on ''Crocodile Hunter'', their son Robert and their daughter Bindi, who continue their father's work in the capacity of "junior animal activists." Bindi has starred in the DirectToVideo film ''Film/FreeWilly: Escape From Pirate's Cove'', and now has her own kids' show, ''Bindi's Bootcamp''. Nowadays, Robert Irwin is most well-known for his appearances on Series/TheTonightShow with Creator/JimmyFallon, where many people have noted that [[GenerationXerox his excitement and enthusiasm for animals is very similar to his father]].

!!Irwin and the show provide examples of the following:

* AdamWesting: A slight example in TheMovie as it's scripted and Steve and Terri kinda come off as somewhat oblivious (almost to WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget levels) to what is actually going on in the plot of the film.
* AdmiringTheAbomination: He never let down his guard around very dangerous animals, but he also seemed to be gleeful when he saw or handled them.
* AwesomeAussie
* BadassFamily: Terri's as much of an activist as Steve was. And Bindi, rather than face traumatization, went right to work in her late Father's footsteps as an activist and a animal-related TV show host.
* BigFun: Steve was slightly overweight, which lent this element to his enthusiastic personality.
* CanineCompanion: The Irwin's beloved dog Sui.
* CatchPhrase: Several, including:
** "Crikey!"
** "Danger, danger, danger!"
** "Gorgeous."
* FluffyTamer
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Something he was famous for, though it's debatable how much the animals thought of him as a friend. According to the camera crew who witnessed his death, his last words were basically telling them that the stingray didn't mean to sting him ([[ObliviouslyEvil technically, though, he was right]]) meaning that he held this attitude even as he bled to death from his wound.
* HappilyMarried: Steve and Terri.
* {{Irony}}: Everyone assumed Irwin would eventually get killed by an animal, and he was...but not during one of his crazy stunts, but in a random accident that could have happened to anyone.
* {{Keet}}: Personality-wise, Steve was very much this, both on and off-camera.
* TheKiddieRide: There is one land rover ride with a fiberglass mannequin of the late Steve Irwin on it. Each of the ride has a plaque attached saying that it was built in memory of Irwin. A photo of the ride is currently being used to illustrate said trope's page.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Both Steve ''and'' Terri say they felt this the instant their eyes met; Terri relates that her first thought was, "He's ''got'' to be taken," and Steve - who was in the middle of ''feeding a crocodile'' at the time - was so spellbound by her he [[LoveMakesYouDumb almost got eaten himself]].
* NatureDocumentary
* ThePollyanna: It didn't matter if a komodo dragon chased him up a tree or if a snake threw itself at him, Steve would never lose his upbeat attitude and saw his close calls (and other moments where most people would freak out) as something to be excited by, either as a show of the animals' skills or the adrenaline rush of being attacked by a cool critter (like when a baby Nile crocodile bit his thumb, he was happy to have been bitten by a Nile crocodile).
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: The show practically existed to avert this trope, showing the audience how cool lizards, snakes, and of course, crocodiles could be.
* StageMom: They were some accusations that Terri pushed Bindi too hard into being [[TheFaceOfTheBand the face]] of Australia Zoo right after [[TheBandMinusTheFace Steve's passing]], including taking her to America and doing lots of things over there. It died down as Bindi made it clear that she wants to be more visible and take over her father's work.
* TrueCompanions: The zoo staff to each other.