* AccidentalInnuendo: Given how much the writers enjoy GettingCrapPastTheRadar and loading the show down with HoYay, this may not actually ''be'' accidental, but the slang term isn't widely known outside the fanfic community ... a wildcat known as the Red Rhodesian ''{{Slash|Fic}}er?''
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: One of the implications of how the other penguins behave around Rico is reminiscent of that of an adult with a learning disorder - when he loses control they seem just as concerned that he might hurt himself as others. Significantly, in "Kaboom And Kabust", Skipper's lines describe serious concern for Rico's safety, with the penguins all implying that he's not fully responsible for his own actions, while Julien's behaviour in this episode is ''highly'' manipulative, taking advantage of Rico for his own personal amusement. Julien even describes himself as Rico's enabler at one point. An enabler is a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behaviour in another.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Doris. Deliberate heartbreaker, or a flawed character whose fickle nature has her making the same mistakes over and over, but still likeable enough?
* BellisariosMaxim: The penguins can't read and need to consult Phil and Mason to read for them. Except for all the times when they clearly can read when it's important for a joke.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in "Eclipsed." King Julien gets a big, long musical number about his "congaga." Although this musical number has all the trappings of a BLAM in its over-the-top, out-of-nowhere-ness (keep in mind the show almost never does musical numbers), it sets up the plot.
* CantUnhearIt: Jeff Bennett and James Patrick Stuart's performances as Kowalski and Private were so well received that many people thought they should've been brought back for ''WesternAnimation/PenguinsOfMadagascar'' instead of Chris Miller and Christopher Knights.
* CargoShip: Julien has repeatedly flirted with Rico's Miss Perky doll and has had some slight narcissistic HoYay with @Lemmy', the robotic Lemur. Kowalski had a thing for Officer X's animal control van, and the sentient gel-o that is Jiggles.
* ClicheStorm: After a while, the plots become very generic and predictable [[TropesAreNotBad not that it really keeps the show from being enjoyable though]].
* CrazyAwesome: Rico, obviously.
* DesignatedVillain: [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed The John Travolta Pigeon]] in "in the line of doody" wanted to poop on the parks and recs manager... for trying to get rid of all the pigeons around all the parks. Pigeons are being treated as AlwaysChaoticEvil while the Penguins support this man.
** Officer X. It's hard to argue with his grudge against the penguins given the constant scorn and public humiliation he goes through because of the penguins while he's doing his job
* DracoInLeatherPants: King Julien. While certainly one of the funniest characters in the show who does have redeeming qualities, he's also a JerkAss who constantly abuses [[OnlySaneMan Maurice]] and [[ButtMonkey Mort]] while ruining everyone else's lives at the drop of a hat for his own [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish gain or momentary satisfaction]]. Despite this see LauncherOfAThousandShips below...
** All the penguins are insane, but Rico is especially popular among Shippers, despite being the lowest intellectually, by far the most violent, and psychotic even by Skipper's standards.
* EarWorm: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afY0TElqS6M "Pull up a seat and sit a spell, while this spooky tale I relate.."]]
** All the songs in Return of the Revenge of Dr Blowhole.
* FandomRivalry: When "In the Happy Little Land of Hoboken Surprise" took the Emmy Award for Best Original Song, the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Brony community]] wasn't pleased as it won against two of ''FIM''[='s=] songs.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: All the jokes in "The Hoboken Surprise" about Hoboken being a terrible place are a lot less amusing after Hurricane Sandy. Or Hurricane Irene, for that matter (the episode literally aired a week before the latter storm hit).
* GeniusBonus: In ''Cute-astrophe'' Skipper says he can "smell an anecdote from 1.6 klicks away". One klick equals one kilometer. One mile is 1.6 kilometers. Even in klicks Skipper hates the metric system.
* [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff Poles Love Penguins]]: The show is very popular in Poland, partly due to SuperlativeDubbing.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Possibly one of '''''the''''' most triumphant examples in WesternAnimation; in "Hello Dollface", Private is berated for his love of Lunacorn toys, because [[PeripheryDemographic it's meant to be a girl's toy]][[note]] Note that this is never actually stated. The actual problem is that the Lunacorns are ''too soft'' for Skipper's taste; the words girl toys were never used[[/note]]. When did this episode air? ''October 9, 2010''. [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Exactly]] '''''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic ONE]]''''' [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic day later...]]
*** To say nothing of the fact that Tara Strong voices the Lunacorn doll.
** Hans mentioned that he kissed Skipper's [[Main/MySisterIsOffLimits sister]] but Skipper claimed that he doesn't have a sister. Given the similarities Skipper has with [[WesternAnimation/AllHailKingJulien Clover]], one would wonder what would Skipper say if he met [[http://orig10.deviantart.net/0783/f/2015/006/f/7/separated_at_birth__by_firestriker-d8cvlvq.png her]].
* HoYayShipping: The show has its own HoYay page as it is, but the level of subtext between Kowalski and Rico is the highest thanks to how often they are paired.
* JerkassWoobie: One episode features a poison dart frog with such potent venom that the slightest touch renders one temporarily paralytic and with a comical rash; he uses this power to keep all the other animals at his pettiest whim. Private eventually knocks up a protective suit that will allow him to give the slimy little chap a nice big hug. Barry contemplates if he's really a jerk, but decides that yes, he likes hugs more.
** Officer X. His antagonism toward the penguins is because they thwarted him in the process of doing his job.(In their defense, they WERE protecting someone they considered a friend) While you can't blame the penguins for trying to keep themselves safe, anytime he's not opposing the penguins, he's really just doing his job, and his "reward" for this is constant public humiliation and scorn.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips:
** King Julien, hands down. Not only do fans pair him up with Mort and Maurice, but every single penguin too. The show [[ShipTease provides plenty of chances]]. It's only a matter of time before they pair him with [[ScrewYourself himself]].
** As the closest thing the show has to a female lead, Marlene has been paired with every character, though pairing her off with Skipper is by far and away the most popular.
* MemeticMutation: Know who else mutates memes? [[WitchHunt THE RED SQUIRREL!]]
* MoralEventHorizon: Dr. Blowhole letting Skipper fall into the ocean, relishing the fact he won't remember how to swim and likely drown.
* OneSceneWonder[=/=]EnsembleDarkhorse: The penguins and lemurs were this in the movies. That's why they have their own show and not Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman.
* PortmanteauCoupleName: "Skilene" for Skipper/Marlene, by far the most common {{shipping}}.
* {{Shipping}}:
** Despite the fact that Marlene is the only regular female character, Skipper and Marlene is still far and away the most common fanfic pairing for them...
** ... when the penguins aren't being paired with each other.
* ShipTease: Despite how much HoYay Rico has with Kowalski, he still gets some tease with Marlene, with the suggestion that Marlene actually likes how excitable he can be, such as in "Jungle Law" when he uses her as a boomerang and she finds it fun, and "The Otter Woman" when he thinks 'Arlene' is attractive. Since Rico is the only Penguin who doesn't have a canon living girlfriend, this has resulted in a small fandom for those who want to try something new.
* {{Squick}}: In ''Friend-in-a-Box'', Julien happily tells Kowalski that he never learned the PottyDance, because as king he's entitled to go wherever he happens to be at the time. Kowalski backs away from him with a disturbed look.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: "Paternal Egg-Stinct" uses one of "Brahms's Lullaby."
* TheWoobie: Poor, poor Leonard the koala.

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