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King Dedede

Debut: Kirby's Dream Land

Voiced by: Masahiro Sakurai (Kirby 64 and Super Smash Bros.), Shinya Kumazaki (Return to Dream Land, Triple Deluxe, Star Allies)
Click to see Masked Dedede 

Hammer-wielding penguin (possibly) and self-proclaimed ruler of Dream Land, though he never really does anything related to administration. Usually ends up as the villain through Greed or Demonic Possession.

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    Main Continuity 
  • Absentee Actor:
  • Acrofatic: Depending on the game, he can be pretty agile despite his size.
  • Actually a Doombot: The first encounter with him and Meta Knight in Kirby Fighters 2 turns out to be a pair of Waddle Dees in disguise.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Triple Deluxe is where he gets quite some spotlight despite not being the villain. He gets kidnapped in the opening and becomes Kirby's motivation for the game. He then gets Brainwashed and Crazy and is fought as a Climax Boss. After Kirby Beat the Curse Out of Him, Dedede then helps Kirby reach Sectonia's One-Winged Angel form and then releases Kirby from Sectonia's clutch to save him. The final narration even notes Dedede's contribution to the whole story as it notes that the Dreamstalk (which, despite the People of the Sky expecting Kirby as their hero, lifts Dedede's castle as well as Kirby's house) works In Mysterious Ways. He even gets his own extra mode, something that Meta Knight had done twice before.
  • Adipose Rex: You would be hard-pressed to find a fatter individual in Dream Land, and none of them are claiming to be royalty either.
  • Affably Evil: He's not really that bad a guy, he's just vain, extremely greedy, and occasionally mean-spirited. Of course, that doesn't mean he's not affable — in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he hugs Kirby towards the end of The Subspace Emissary when he realizes he's alright.
  • Ambiguous Species: He definitely looks like a penguin, but it's questionable if he's even a bird. Unlike a penguin, he can fly, doesn't appear to have feathers, and his feet being attached to his body seemingly without legs may be because of art style more than anything. One official guide calls him a "regal eagle", but likely wasn't meant to be taken literally. As far as we know he's a Dedede.
  • An Axe to Grind: In Triple Deluxe, his hammer winds up being broken during a fight with Kirby when Taranza's using him as a puppet, so he rips a battle-axe taller than he is off a nearby statue and showcases that he's every bit as proficient with it as he is with his hammer.
  • Another Side, Another Story: He gets his own "extra mode" run in form of Dededetour! in Triple Deluxe. He's described as going on his own adventure to stop Queen Sectonia and her rule (and either stop her from ruling Dream Land, or try to take over Floralia as part of his territory).
  • Anti-Hero: He's more commonly this than an outright villain. He's selfish, greedy, and tends not to hesitate when it comes to clobbering Kirby when their interests don't align, but he's never really gotten to the point of being evil. As far back as Kirby's Adventure, Dedede's been proactively defending Dream Land from much worse threats (when he's not being possessed by them) in his own unscrupulous ways, and more modern games seem to forgo Dedede's animosity with Kirby entirely in favor of portraying him as one of Kirby's True Companions.
  • Anti-Villain: In Kirby's Adventure, Dream Land 2, and Dream Land 3.
  • Arch-Enemy: Most likely due to longevity. He is not Kirby's worst enemy, but he is the most common.
  • The Atoner: His Guest Star description in Star Allies mentions that he goes on a journey to save his people and to clean his name (presumably after being Brainwashed and Crazy).
  • Art Evolution: His design has changed quite a bit over the years, but the 3D games in particular seem to update his design with each new console generation. Return To Dream Land's design was basically a 3D version of his old design from the GBA and DS games, his Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot designs changed his facial structure with a differently-shaped beak and his eyes being further apart, and Star Allies changes his face again to be more expressive while modifying his proportions to resemble his appearance in Super Smash Bros.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He may be a self-proclaimed king, but a good deal of games demonstrate he's not afraid to show off just what he can do, be it fighting against Kirby or defending Dream Land. Especially seen in Triple Deluxe's Dededetour where he defeats Queen Sectonia DX (a more powerful version of the original); Shadow Dedede (a dark doppelganger made by the Dimensional Mirror); and Dark Meta Knight — (who defeated Meta Knight on his own but is now powered by the Dimensional Mirror with a plentiful supply of new abilities). ALL IN A ROW. BY HIMSELF.
  • Authority in Name Only: Besides his soldiers and servants, no one respects his rule. Not even his "friends", since Meta Knight tried to overthrow him in Revenge of Meta Knight, while Whispy Woods and Kracko show no qualms in attacking the king in Return to Dream Land and Triple Deluxe, respectively. In fact, officially he has no actual power and his edicts go unheeded by the people of Dream Land. Also implied to be the case in the anime. However, Character Development as a result of being possessed and beaten repeately has made him decide to get stronger and attempt to improve his reputation, so that maybe the people of Dream Land will eventually start treating him like a real leader.
  • Badass Baritone: In games where he is voiced, Dedede is liable to have a bellowing, kingly voice. It's greatly emphasized by his tendency to roar, and he indeed has the strength to back it up.
  • Badass in Distress: In Triple Deluxe, Kirby's mission is to save him.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Whenever he gets possessed, this is usually how he's saved.
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite the Authority in Name Only status as listed above, and Dedede largely initially just claiming kingship as an excuse to do whatever he wants, he's actually surprisingly dedicated to the role of King in multiple series entries, even having shown signs as early as Adventure in making the hard choice of breaking up the Star Rod to protect Dream Land. His other feats in the name of acting as King include diplomatically aiding both Ribbon and Magolor of other worlds when they ended up stranded on Popstar, aiding the Floralians and later acting to free them of his own accord, and even his Guest Star mode in Star Allies is Dedede attempting to prove that he can protect his kingdom. Such actions might well be part of the reason why nobody has actually contested his claim of kingship and just sort of let him retain it.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He may appear goofy and serve as Plucky Comic Relief from time to time, but underestimate him at your own will; for as his skill with the hammer (which he wields almost flawlessly) is enough to show why he should be respected as the (self-proclaimed) king of Dream Land.
  • Big Bad: Of the original game, Spring Breeze in Kirby Super Star, and Revenge of the King in Ultra. Also is the villain in most spinoffs such as Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby's Dream Course, Kirby's Super Star Stacker, Kirby Fighters Deluxe, Kirby's Blowout Blast and Kirby Battle Royale. Appears to be the Big Bad of several other games as well, but actually isn't, for various reasons.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Meta Knight team up to take down Kirby in the story mode of Kirby Fighters 2.
  • Big Eater: Not shown doing this as often as Kirby (due to not being the focal point of the series), but Dedede can pack it away as much as his friend/foe. There's a reason that the plot of the very first game kicked off with Dedede stealing all of Dream Land's food, and the same reason is why he's Kirby's opponent in Gourmet Race.
  • Big Fun: When he's not doing something bad, anyway.
  • Big Good: Believe it or not, of The Subspace Emissary - had it not been for his reviving brooches, Tabuu would've won. In fact, if that game was your introduction to his character, you'd be forgiven for assuming that he was one of Kirby's biggest allies, considering how friendly he acts towards him.
  • Black Hole Belly: Dedede's range and power for his Vacuum Mouth is even greater than Kirby's, and he'll even demonstrate it by inhaling Kirby if given the chance.
  • Boss Subtitles: "His Royal Nemesis, King Dedede" in Kirby Star Allies.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: So, so often, usually by Demonic Possession.
  • Burning with Anger: Occasionally in Kirby's Dream Land 2, he will go into a rage that will make his next attack highly explosive.
  • Butt-Monkey: If it's not happening to Kirby, it's happening to Dedede.
  • The Caligula: He's a pretty selfish, greedy, and gluttonous king who acts entirely on his whims. He's also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, however, and can at times be pretty nice. And he does care for his kingdom, which shows whenever it gets threatened.
  • Can't Catch Up: He learned to duplicate Kirby's flight after his first defeat, while Kirby learned to run as fast as Dedede and copy powers.
  • Cartoon Creature: It's not clear what he's supposed to be, but some elements of his design seem to indicate he's a penguin.
  • Characterization Marches On: From being a Big Bad in the very first game, to a Well-Intentioned Extremist in Adventure, to a reluctant ally in Crystal Shards, to become an outright good guy in Return to Dream Land onwards. Inbetween, though, he might sometimes get Brainwashed and Crazy or possessed, or be the major antagonist in the spinoffs, showing the "enemy" part of his relationship with Kirby. It's pretty telling that when he (once again) steals all the food in Dream Land at the start of Star Allies, it's noted that this is horribly out of character for him, despite the fact that this was his first ever scheme.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: According to his trophy information in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he underwent training to learn how to inhale air to float like Kirby after his first defeat. As we can see, the training paid off.
  • Cool Mask: He dons an intimidating mask as Masked Dedede, and he usually goes all out in the battles where he's wearing it.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a greedy, gluttonous bumbler who seemingly exists to either take the blame for what another villain has done or be possessed by them. He is also at the same time one of the most powerful individuals in Dream Land, a fighter on the same level as Kirby and Meta Knight, and actually incredibly clever when the situation calls for it.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • He only appears as a clay sculpture and a doodle (in Elline's diary) in Rainbow Curse (and Kirby can wear his hat with a Dedede amiibo), having no appearance in the game's story.
    • In Planet Robobot, he only makes an appearance in the intro and the ending, as well as a set of stickers. However, clones of his DNA appear as a boss battle.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: in Kirby's Adventure and Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3.
  • Distressed Dude: In Triple Deluxe, he gets kidnapped by the spider mage Taranza for an unknown reason.
  • Drop the Hammer: Rarely seen without it.
  • Dual Boss: He finally fights alongside Meta Knight in Kirby Fighters 2, complete with new team attacks that they perform together.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: Dedede's torso and abdomen was colored fully blue just like his head in earlier games, and he didn't wear gloves. Kirby Super Star was the first game to give him gloves and a cream-colored body as opposed to a blue one. Despite this, he still retained his old look in Dream Land 2, Dream Land 3, Kirby 64, and even the anime. It wasn't until Nightmare in Dream Land where he would permanently keep his Super Star design. (However, his blue-bodied design does show up occasionally, such as his figurine in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and his artwork for Play Nintendo). Star Allies shows that his cream colored body is really a shirt or a vest, akin to how he looks in Super Smash Bros. (where he wears a yellow yukata as undershirt), implying that his outfit was simply updated over time.
  • Energy Ball: Masked Dedede's Revenge, as well as Shadow Dedede, can shoot these from their axe. Star Rod-Hammer Dedede uses the power of Star Rod to make his hammer shoot balls of light. Dedede Clone can also utilize it.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: Whether or not he's a king, he looks quite the part - with a Nice Hat, gloves, a fancy red coat and the belly band-like sash.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Maybe. He looks an awful lot like one, but is never actually stated to be one (a fact that's lampshaded in Super Smash Bros. Brawl during Snake's codec conversation about him).
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kirby, being a Villainous Glutton. Later appearances emphasized this by giving Dedede aerial abilities. Shadow Dedede serves as one to him in Triple Deluxe.
  • Evil Knockoff: In Planet Robobot, the Haltmann Works Company use a sample of his DNA to create a series of Dedede Clones.
  • Extreme Omnivore: At least in the Super Smash Bros. series, where he'll eat almost any item in the games if you make him inhale it.
  • Face Fault: An unusual, but just as goofy example, as it's one of Dedede's signature attacks. Akin to a penguin sliding on its belly, he often dashes forward, trips, and skids face-first across the ground. Surprisingly, up until Star Allies, it was completely absent from his moveset as a player character.
  • Fatal Flaw: Greed, though he's mellowed out considerably in recent years. Star Allies implies he still has some greedy tendencies, as the Jamba Heart (which exaggerates a person's worst qualities) causes him to (once again) steal all of Dream Land's food. He's just learned to keep his behavior in check.
  • Fat Bastard: He has stolen all the food in Dream Land, twice. Though he is fat because he is a greedy over-eater, as of Kirby's Adventure he trained to duplicate Kirby's flight, so he must eat enough to stay fat despite his work.
  • A Father to His Men: He seems to actually care very much about his Waddle Dees.
  • Final Boss: In the original Kirby's Dream Land. He also sometimes assumes this role in the spinoff games.
  • Flying Flightless Bird: Just like Kirby, he can fly by sucking up air, despite the fact that he is (possibly) a penguin.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Interestingly played with in regards to his name. In Planet Robobot Japanese version, in the 5th world's boss stage, Susie is talking about the "product" that she'll show Kirby; she described it - in English - as "Dangerous", "Deadly" and "Deluxe". Then she reveals it to be the Dedede Clone. And when you beat the clones in the second phase (with the D3 Cannon), said clones explode, each forming the letter "D" in sparkles.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He's prone to occasionally employ technology for his ends, from rocket launchers to Humongous Mecha.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: This is pretty much what Gourmet Race is.
  • The Good King: Downplayed. Greedy face-stuffer that he is, he's been known to occasionally try his hand at a noble action or two, usually helping Kirby out with his abilities or so. He's especially protective of "his" Dream Land despite robbing its people of their food at least twice. It's also noted that his Waddle Dee subjects are quite fond of him, and deep down he loves them as well.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: His early design only had him wearing a robe and sash on his body. His later design would give him a cream colored yakuta, which is made a lot more apparent in Star Allies.
  • Harmless Villain: Dedede's not really bad (except in the anime), he's just big and greedy so Kirby has to bring him down to earth. In fact, he's been known to give Kirby giant hugs.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kirby's Super Star Ultra marked a permanent change in the status quo (an incredibly unusual thing for a series so light on continuity) by finally ending Kirby's rivalry with Dedede (at least the genuinely hostile aspects of it) and changing them from "enemies" (and occasionally reluctant allies as in Kirby 64) to "friends". Return of the King is the final game in which Dedede plays the role of an antagonist knowingly and cognizantly; after his defeat here, from Return to Dream Land onward Dedede has abandoned virtually all reluctance or hostility with Kirby and was thrust into the spotlight as one of the main protagonists in his own right.
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently, he's into chess.
  • Hulking Out: Star Allies has Dedede's corruption turn him into a gorilla-like creature, complete with barrel chest and big, musclebound arms (and with his legs still small). He throws food and climbs the columns of his castle like a gorilla as well. It's a reference to one of the anime's episodes.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In Kirby's Epic Yarn, he sees a group of Yarn Waddle Dees having tied up his own Waddle Dees. He then proclaims that only he can be mean to his Waddle Dees.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: In Super Smash Bros., his hammer has a jet engine for the sole purpose of swinging extremely strong hits. In "Revenge of the King" in Kirby Super Star Ultra, Masked Dedede has an even cooler new hammer. Aside from also having the jet engine, it can launch missiles, shoot a gout of flame, and be used for an extreme Spin Attack.
  • Interface Screw: He in Kirby Fighters Deluxe can throw out Dedede keychains towards the screen to obscure it.
  • Jerkass: In the spinoffs and the anime. Also in the original game, one of the few games in which he's not a good guy, possessed or a Well-Intentioned Extremist. He just steals everyone's food for no real reason, apparently, as he's never shown eating it. Okay, he is on the second time around in Super Star.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • In Kirby 64, he's still a jerk but ultimately means well.
    • Same thing in Kirby's Adventure, where the only reason he was opposing Kirby was to protect Dream Land from Nightmare, who was still sealed in the fountain.
  • Jiggle Physics: Played for Laughs in the trailer for Kirby's 20th anniversary. After making the jump to the 3rd dimension, Dedede strikes a pose with Kirby and Meta Knight, and notices that his belly jiggles; he then proceeds to look at his stomach crossly, and poke it with the haft of his hammer.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The Mt. Dedede theme from Kirby's Dream Land was eventually Bootstrapped into his personal music by Super Star, and has since been used as such by nearly every game since.note 
    • The popular "Gourmet Race" theme from Super Star got re-orchestrated for Nightmare in Dream Land into his Boss theme when they duel at the Fountain of Dreams.
  • Large and in Charge: He is not the largest creature in Dream Land (his larger friend, Whispy Woods, is a frequent sight), but he is larger than most of his army and the rest of the creatures he claims to rule over.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: In Star Allies, when he does his falling smash attack with his enlarged arms, he may sometimes get his arms stuck on the ground, leaving him open to attack.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: As Masked Dedede, he tends to be far more serious (and difficult) than when he's just regular Dedede. This also extends to his boss theme, which is a faster paced and more intense remix of his normal boss theme.
  • Lovable Jock: Despite being selfish, greedy, and above all gluttonous, he's not really such a bad guy deep down. He's also surprisingly athletic despite his girth as indicated by the Snack Tracks race and his boxing match like fight with Kirby in Revenge Of The King.
  • Magic Versus Science: Downplayed. By and large, King Dedede has a specific preference for technological enhancements and weaponry, even as far back as his missile launcher from Block Ball and his Humongous Mecha Robo Dedede in Dream Course and Dededestroyer Z in Battle Royale. Usually he only uses magic or magic-like abilities when under the influence of Demonic Possession; he has, however, used a power-up from the Fountain of Dreams in Fighters Deluxe.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Makes himself somewhat larger in Kirby Fighters Deluxe upon defeating his Combo Dedede backup. Then in Kirby's Blowout Blast he goes full-on Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever with the power of the Sparkling Star.
  • Mask Power:
    • Kirby Super Star Ultra features the unlockable "Revenge of the King" segment, which is a Hard Mode-style rerun of "Spring Breeze" (remember how Kirby's Dream Land had a Hard Mode?). King Dedede has clearly taken a leaf out of Meta Knight's book for the occasion, going so far as to give himself a steel mask that obscures everything except his eyes. He's a lot harder than he was before.
    • This form of Dedede makes a return in Triple Deluxe, and has been improved even further.
    • He can don the mask in Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, though all it does is add a sound effect during backbeat combos.
    • Then in Kirby's Blowout Blast, he combines the mask with Make My Monster Grow in the Secret Path final boss, becoming Giant Masked Dedede. Here, the mask actually helps him protecting his face from weak star shots; Kirby has to inhale a lot of stars at once to actually hurt him.
    • In Battle Royale it's also one of the unlockable costumes.
    • He also puts it on for his Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • Kirby Fighters 2 gives him a new mask with a lunar motif known as the "Mask of Dark Bonds", which he wears with Meta Knight to increase their power together.
  • Morality Pet: While he can be pretty mean at times, he genuinely cares for his Waddle Dees, who adore him in kind.
  • Mouthy Bird: Zigzagged. Averted the earliest games where he was shown almost exclusively from the side which emphasized his relatively normal and unmouth-like beak. Once Art Evolution kicked in, he started being shown more from the front, which made him fall into a type 2, right down to having teeth in some depictions, particularly the anime. Currently it's downplayed with his current 3D model which, while still plenty expressive, is stiffer and longer, making it generally more evocative of his early more bird-like beak.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Is it "dee-dee-dee" or "day-day-day"? Seems to depend mostly on region. Most English-speaking territories use the former; Japan as well as Italian-, French-, and Spanish-speaking countries use the latter. It seems both are correct, because the announcer of Super Smash Bros. Brawl pronounces his name both ways depending on your game's region. Additionally, if the crowd begins chanting his name, they'll alternate between the pronunciations.
  • Not Me This Time: After stealing all the food in Dream Land and then taking a bath in the sacred Fountain of Dreams, Kirby tends to view Dedede with suspicion. Predictably, games after that (with few exceptions) never show him being the actual villain. In fact, when he pulls one of his old schemes at the start of Star Allies, the pause screen descriptions imply that Kirby is confused by this, meaning it's gotten to the point where Dedede isn't even considered a villain by Kirby anymore.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction when things go wrong. Like when Kirby shows up to rescue the trophies in the Subspace Emissary or when Kirby accidentally awakens Nightmare.
  • Penguins Are Ducks: He is implied to be a penguin, yet he resembles a duck more due to his feet, his beak being rounded (although they do resemble lips sometimes, as mentioned above), and as mentioned above, he can fly by inhaling enough air.
  • Poke the Poodle: Any genuine villainy he performs always ends up being this. He's always more of a nuisance than an actual threat to Dream Land.
  • Power-Up Mount: Plays this role for his sections in Kirby 64, as well as Return to Dream Land (the other playable characters can also serve as this in said game); with his brute strength and hammer, Dedede can bust down walls for Kirby.
  • Powers via Possession: Dedede's repeated possessions during the Dark Matter trilogy featured his body exhibiting strange abilities like floating through the air like a dangled puppet, shooting dark Energy Balls from an eye that popped out of his stomach, or developing a ravenous Belly Mouth. Shadow Dedede of Triple Deluxe has these same powers but developed to a much more advanced degree. The game's commentary about the "darkness in his heart" could be an implication that Shadow Dedede was possessed by an alternate version of Dark Matter (implied to be Dark Mind) for far too long.
  • Pre-Final Boss:
  • Recurring Boss Template: Whenever he doesn't appear as a boss (and/or he's playable), there'll usually be another boss made in his likeness, namely Shadow Dedede, Dedede Clone, King D-Mind, and Parallel Dedede.
  • Redemption Demotion:
    • Downplayed. As of Return to Dream Land, King Dedede's fully playable self utilizes a modified version of the Hammer Copy Ability, as opposed to any of the attacks he's usually seen using. He does, at least, have a few extra tricks: he can freely spam his Hammer Throw (although the damage is lessened), and in Triple Deluxe he can launch a slicing beam out of his hammer as a ranged attack to cut ropes.
    • Though Star Allies got rid of the beam, wind on his spinning attacks, and the fire for Hammer Twirl, he's even larger than Bonkers and has unique attacks like his Face Fault and (after an update) his super jump from just about every boss battle. Both are completely invincible and can ensure he stays completely unharmed through a long fall, and the slide move gets a surprising amount of distance. If anything, they're improved!
  • Robot Me: Mecha Dedede in Dream Course and Robo Dedede in Return to Dream Land's Scope Shot minigame. There's also HR-D3 in Mass Attack and Return to Dream Land's Extra Mode, although in the latter, its color scheme more resembles Metal General EX and even has his head instead of Dedede's V-Sign logo. Battle Royale also has Dededestroyer Z, a mech that Dedede himself drives as the Final Boss.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: While some may question his "King" title from time to time, there's no question that he's quite active when something big happens.
  • Self-Duplication: He's cloned himself in Kirby Fighters Deluxe. He can have up to 63 of them depending of how much continues you used and the difficulty level. Planet Robobot has his clone being able to split into 3 as it takes damage.
  • Shock and Awe: In Kirby's Pinball Land he can fire lightning from his hands to disable one of flippers. It was never explained how he was able to use this attack and he never used it ever since in any other games.
  • Shockwave Stomp: One of his moves from the very beginning has been a huge leap that ends with stars very forcefully flying from his feet when he lands. A bit of Hoist by His Own Petard in this case, as Kirby can inhale those and fire them back at Dedede. When the devs need the battle to be harder, though, he also produces ripples of energy, proper shockwaves that can actually hurt Kirby.
  • Slide Attack: In addition to the sliding kick that playable characters have, Dedede sometimes kicks off the ground to slide a little further for his Face Fault attack. He slides a fair distance when using it as a playable character, too.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": On occasion, such as the end of the Extra Game in Kirby's Dream Land, his name is spelled "DeDeDe".
    "With all those friends, two-player simultaneous play and many other helpful surprises, Kirby should have no trouble saving Dream Land again, right? Not if Kind Dedede has anything to say about it!"
  • Spam Attack:
    • As Masked Dedede's Revenge, one of his moves is just him wildly swinging his axe around multiple times. Shadow Dedede can do the same thing, which lasts longer.
    • In Kirby Fighters Deluxe this is one of his new moves he can do after he Turns Red. He has the "furious axe swings" move that Masked Dedede's Revenge and Shadow Dedede has, only with his hammer. He also moves back and forth as he repeatedly slams his hammer in front of him before leaping up for a massive smash that creates a shockwave. Dedede Clones, after they split, can do this as well.
  • Spin Attack: He originally doesn't have one, but he can do it when he's playable. Masked Dedede, his "Revenge" version in Triple Deluxe, Shadow Dedede and Star Rod-Hammer Dedede can do it as well.
  • Stout Strength:
    • Despite being pudgy, anyone who can swing that hammer with such force has to be strong. Kirby: Planet Robobot calls him one of the strongest lifeforms on Planet Popstar.
    • While a spinoff game, In Super Smash Bros. Brawl during the Subspace Emissary, King Dedede goes toe-to-toe with Bowser, one of (if not the physically strongest) character in the Mario franchise, and King Dedede canonically wins.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Meat, every cutscene of him eating has at least one instance of him chowing down on Cartoon Meat.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: In Kirby Mass Attack he also throws bombs.
  • Training from Hell: King Dedede has always been able to mimic Kirby's Inhale ability but, according to his trophy description in Melee, intense training between Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby's Adventure was what allowed him to learn to fly like Kirby.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Happens to him in Kirby Fighters Deluxe and Kirby Battle Royale, when you land the final blow on him in the former after a fight against Team DDD, and when his Dededestroyer Z's explosion launches him in the latter after you defeat it. Also happens to the Dedede Clones, although they don't simply twinkle - instead they explode in a D-shaped blast each.
  • Vacuum Mouth: He's able to inhale things the same way Kirby can, but he's unable to use Copy Abilities because he's "already perfect".
  • Videogame Flight: Like Kirby, he flies by inflating his stomach and flapping.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted continuously by Dedede. Every time he returns to fight Kirby (and isn't being directly possessed by Dark Matter or some such), he always brings something new to the table. Most notably shown in Kirby's Adventure after training himself to learn Kirby's techniques, Revenge of the King with his Masked Dedede state, in Kirby Fighters Deluxe wherein he empowers himself via the Star Rod, and in Kirby's Blowout Blast where he becomes gigantic. Played painfully straight in Squeak Squad where he ends up being the very first boss, but even there he summons Parasol Waddle Dees (which Kirby may choose to inhale and shoot back at him, whereas back in Adventure he didn't do anything of the sort).
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the first game, he throws a violent tantrum upon being defeated in the Normal Mode of the game, leading into the game's Extra Mode. After beating that mode too however, he enters a different type of breakdown.
  • Villainous Glutton: Again, his debut saw him abscond with all the food in the land for his own pleasure. This first impression has effectively colored all of his relations with Kirby since.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: A possible interpretation of his actions in Kirby's Adventure (and Nightmare in Dream Land). For having secured a Sealed Evil in a Can, Dedede apparently decided himself entitled to use the Fountain of Dreams as his own personal swimming pool.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Played this part in Kirby's Adventure, as well as the remake Nightmare in Dream Land, where it seems like he was up to standard villainy by stealing the Star Rod from the Fountain of Dreams, but it is later revealed that he had a very good reason for doing so: as a horrifically evil entity, aptly named "Nightmare", had contaminated the Fountain of Dreams and threatened to escape out of it; Dedede removing the Star Rod prevented Nightmare from breaking out, at the cost of the people in Dream Land being unable to have restful sleep.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: In Dededetour, his hammer abilities are improved so his hammer can solve any puzzle in the game (except for the Hypernova sections). Such as how his Hammer Swing can put out flame blocks or he gains a new Charged Attack where he launches a "hammer beam" (that works like Archer Kirby's arrow) that cuts ropes.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The bio for Dedede Clone 2.0 in Planet Robobot implies that the events of Triple Deluxe left him with a fear of "a certain insect"note .
  • Worthy Opponent: He sees Kirby as this. In Revenge of the King, he even makes sure Kirby is fighting on the same terms as him by refusing to fight until Kirby picks up his old hammer, in the same way Meta Knight does with the sword. Also, in Kirby Fighters Deluxe, when the pause screen description for Team DDD64 has him speak in first person, he sounds rather menacing and inviting at the same time.
  • Your Size May Vary: There's some difference as to how much bigger than Kirby Dedede really is. Classic Dedede is easily twice as tall as Kirby, while from Nightmare in Dream Land forward his was easily three times Kirby's height. He was briefly shrunk down to only a fraction taller than Kirby for Return to Dream Land and Triple Deluxe, while Fighters Deluxe implicitly reconciled the difference by demonstrating him using the Fountain of Dreams' power to grow.

    Right Back at Ya!

The self-proclaimed king of Dream Land, with a huge castle, an army of Waddle Dees and his servant Escargoon at his disposal.

Tropes associated with King Dedede

  • 0% Approval Rating: Aside from Kirby and Escargoon, nobody on the show likes him. Meta Knight and Customer Service are just using him, the Waddle Dees only serve him because he gives them food and a place to stay, Waddle Doo is only loyal to the Waddle Dees. Really, the only exceptions are Kirby and Escargoon, and even then Escargoon makes it clear in several episodes that he sticks around the king to use his position, and thinks King Dedede is actually a rather terrible boss. When he's unable to get angry or fight back because of Togeira in "Sweet and Sour Puss", everbody save for Escargoon welcomes his new change in personality, though they did have some fun in tormenting him or pummeling his head to see if he reaches his Rage Breaking Point.
  • Accent Adaptation: He gets a Southern accent in the 4Kids dub, like Tao Ren getting a British accent or Jack Levin getting an Australian accent. Ted Lewis stated in an interview that he based said accent and Dedede's mannerisms — and constant mispronunciations — in the dub on then-US President George W. Bush.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While he is often antagonistic to Kirby, Dedede in the games is more of an Anti-Villain who is more willing to join Kirby against a more serious threat or genuinely help out. This version of him is just unpleasant, if Laughably Evil, by comparison. This is arguably made even worse in the dub, where most Japanese lines that DIDN'T contain personal threats to Kirby now do.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the game series, Dedede is in all appearances shown to be very combat-capable, strong enough to fight on par with Kirby. Here, Dedede needs outside help and usually gives up after the Monster of the Week fails rather than fighting Kirby himself. His flying and swallowing powers are gone, and he only really uses his hammer to hit Escargoon for comic relief.
  • Adipose Rex: Played for laughs in an episode where he tries to trick Kirby into eating enhanced chips to make him fat. Dedede ends up eating the chips himself before Kirby does, and grows too big to even leave his throne room. The ending result is they both have to be put on health regiments by Max Flexer.
  • Affably Evil: Aside from ordering monsters to "clobbah dat dere Kirby".
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Episode 93 screams this. He played a nasty trick on Kirby that almost got him killed. When he thought the prank indeed killed him, he didn't take it well, despite not liking Kirby since the very beginning.
  • Arch-Enemy: Taken Up to Eleven with Kirby. Dedede wasn't always particularly friendly with Kirby in the games, but he doesn't outright hate him either, and he most certainly didn't want anything to do with Nightmare. Tiff also qualifies to a lesser extent, since she is always suspicious of him and she's Kirby's strongest supporter.
  • Authority in Name Only: Dedede is officially the king but since almost nobody likes him, he has no real power in Cappy Town beyond how much the citizens are willing to obey him, which is never.
  • Bad Boss: Dedede constantly belittles Escargoon when he isn't hitting him with his hammer. He also tried cutting the food supply to his loyal Waddle Dee army when he found out how much it cost. Needless to say, the populace don't think much of him as a king either, especially when he has occasionally destroyed their festivities in the belief they were plotting against him. Still, he does have his good moments as well.
  • Baddie Flattery: Subverted in the dubbed "Devil Kirby" episode (Frog Wild).
    King Dedede: He done WHAT?!
    Escargoon: Kirby's smashing up Cappy Town like a pink wrecking ball!
  • Big Eater: The most extreme example being when he ate what seems the entire throne room's worth of chanced chips.
  • Butt-Monkey: All the bad luck has to happen to him: only getting a Trooper collectible, losing a school 3 times, being charged massive amounts from NME for everything he buys, need we go on?
  • The Caligula: He's depicted as a capricious, petty and mean-minded Manchild who uses his position as king to bully the people of Cappy Town and take whatever he wants from them, and doesn't have much issue with Nightmare's monsters causing havoc in his kingdom.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He's referred to himself as evil a few times, in both the original and dubbed anime.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Cool Car: Owns a four-wheel drive tank described as a "monster on wheels". He later custom-orders a pimped-out limousine equipped with hammers, and after using it for the Wacky Racing episode, he keeps it until the end of the series.
  • Corrupt Hick: As a result of his Accent Adaptation in the dub.
  • Compressed Vice: Dedede is suddenly shown to be illiterate in "A Novel Approach", despite episodes before and after this showing him reading just fine.
  • Demonic Possession: In episode 95 (97 in the dub), he gets possessed by the Demon Frog after Kirby spits it out. Then again, he let the Demon Frog possess him voluntarily.
  • Dirty Coward: Dedede will act tough around Escargoon and bully Kirby when he doesn't have an ability. The minute something that can fight back appears however, he runs away.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: He gets a recurring nightmare in a two-parter of a giant flaming Kirby heading towards Dreamland. It's later revealed that this was actually a premonition about a giant meteor heading towards Dreamland, which will hit in 1000 years. The reason why he saw it as Kirby was due to his deep hatred for him. Said premonition becomes a lot truer due to NME deciding to speed it up a lot more.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In an instance where the town is seemingly doomed to be destroyed, the town decides to confess a lot of their misdeeds from the past. After forgiving Escargoon for stealing funds (after pounding him), Dedede mourns he can't join in because he has done nothing wrong in his life to apologize over. Escargoon is less than impressed.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The many things he orders from Nightmare to deal with Kirby frequently cause just as much trouble for him, which takes him practically the whole series to realize.
  • Evil Laugh: And a very signature one at that which he uses a lot.
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Mentioned by Tiff that he buys a lot of highly expensive toys like a giant telescope only to quickly get bored with them. He lavishes lots of attention on Scarfies in one episode only to abandon them when he realizes how much they cost to feed them. About the only things Dedede arguably keeps an interest in are golf, tormenting Kirby and friends, and pummelling Escargoon.
  • For the Evulz: Orders monsters like the way a spoiled child would buy toys. It gets him into lots of debt from NME.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Even worse than Tiff. His quick reaction to agitation becomes a plot point in Episode 55, where his pent up rage ends up revealing the monster inside Dedede.
  • Harmless Villain: Just like in the games. He has to rely on his monsters he orders from NME to attack Kirby (who all fail, every time, of course). He doesn't put up much of a fight on his own, either (unless while under the influence of certain monsters, of course), and his plans to make money backfire every time as well. And he gets humiliated more often than not in front of his subjects.
  • The Heavy: The most active regular villain of the anime.
  • I Own This Town: He claims that he's the 17,062nd ruler of Dream Land.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: A lot of the slapstick of the show befalls Dedede, often for karmic reasons. Not that it changes him or keeps him down for very long.
  • Irony: For all his unpopularity, not a single one of his subjects seems to want to actually overthrow him. In one episode we find out they see the thought as laughable!
  • Jerkass: To clarify: what does Dedede do when he first meets Kirby? He throws him off a cliff. But he softens as the episodes go by, ultimately siding with Kirby for the final fight against N.M.E. His plans eventually go from "majorly harm Kirby" to "humiliate Kirby".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He does care about his citizens a little, and he's shown to love taking care of pets like Scarfies. He even builds a playground for Kirby, which, while done out of guilt and when everyone thought they would be struck by a meteor, the playground actually stayed there for future episodes.
  • Just Fine Without You: In almost every episode of the show, Dedede tries to destroy Kirby, or some other dirty trick, with the help of a monster sent from Nightmare Enterprises. Almost. Sometimes Dedede will try to finish Kirby through some other means as well, without the help of Nightmare Enterprises. Take a look at "Un-reality TV", where he hypnotizes the Cappies to kick Kirby out of town. Or "Kirby's Egg-celent Adventure", where he tries to tempt Kirby into eating Dyna Blade's egg so she will get angry and kill him. However, these mostly apply to earlier episodes before the king suffered Villain Decay, and later episodes have him relying more and more on monsters for other purposes than attacking Kirby.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Every episode ends with him — often along with Escargoon — suffering some sort of karmic punishment for his Jerkassery in the episode.
  • Laughably Evil: Just like his game counterpart. For a cruel dictator, he's pretty hilarious.
  • Leitmotif: Strangely does not have his traditional theme from the games, instead always being accompanied by a synth horn fanfare.
  • Malaproper: Has quite a habit of this, probably at least Once per Episode.
  • Manchild: He tends to act like a spoiled kid, despite being a self-proclaimed authority figure. One episode even implied that he experienced some trauma that caused his mental development to stop.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: In the finale, Dedede and Escargoon turned on Nightmare when he sent Heavy Lobster to destroy them, along with Kirby and company.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In episode 93, Dedede and Escargoon play a mean-spirited prank on Kirby, tricking him into eating a bomb. The heroes, fed up with the King's constant bullying of Kirby, trick the two into thinking the explosion killed Kirby instead of the usual Amusing Injuries. Dedede discovers Kirby's "funeral" underway, and, despite having seemingly gotten rid of the pink annoyance at last, breaks down sobbing in remorse.
  • Narcissist: His castle has statues of him all over the place, and he even puts up a statue in the village just so he can admire it.
  • Never Learned to Read: He's revealed to be illiterate in "A Novel Approach", where he feels left out when everybody else is reading Pappy Potty and the Fool's Stone. He seemed to have learned how to read by "Fossil Fools", however.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Really, Dedede, did you have to explain Meta Knight's entire plan to Customer Service?
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • In episode 76 after dinosaur Kirby ate the torchlight, he could just sit back and enjoy, how it destroys everybody, but no, he had to throw a bomb so Kirby can inhale it and fight back. Genius!
    • Not to mention that - unless it's Kirby 64 - there is no way Kirby can use two different abilities at once, but even then, he has to "fuse" it first by temporarily getting rid of the ability he currently has.
    • Another instance of this happens in episode 84. Kirby is fighting Mumbies, assassins of Star Warriors, and losing. Dedede appears and wraps up a bomb as a "farewell present" to Kirby. He sucks it up, becomes Bomb Kirby, and defeats Mumbies. Lampshaded by Escargoon.
    Escargoon: And whose fault was that?
    • Mind you, the expression on his face before he throws the bomb suggests that he threw it on purpose, perhaps indicating that deep down, he really does like Kirby.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He has moments where he is somewhat menacing, and he occasionally gains the upper hand. While his own combat prowess leaves a lot to be desired, he can still terrorize the heroes with his Waddle Dee army, his virtual monopoly on weapons, his immense resources, or his monsters. Before Kirby came along, no one could really oppose him because of those factors. And once again, there's the Dedede Stone incident.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When he gets turned into an All-Loving Hero in "Sweet and Sour Puss", due to being under the effects of Togeira, his new personality becomes quite a shock to everybody. Especially Escargoon.
  • Pet the Dog: In episode 42, Dedede fulfills his promise of building a park for the village kids right before the apocalypse happens. It turns out that the crisis is averted, but it actually stays there for the rest of the series.
    • In the same episode he thanks Escargoon for enduring all the abuse he subjects him to.
  • Sigil Spam: His peace-sign symbol (as shown on the back of his pimped out coat) shows up on a lot of his homemade monsters, mimicking eNeMeE's own sigil.
  • Signature Laugh: "Bwuh heh heh heh heh!" in the dub. "Dyeh heh heh heh" in the original.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When he sits on his throne.
  • Stylistic Suck: His homebrew anime, entitled Dedede: Comin' At Ya in the dub and Dedede of the Stars in the original.
  • Take That!: In the 4Kids dub of the Kirby anime, they had King Dedede give a Southern accent as well as uttering "Bushisms", similar to a certain former U.S. President.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: His catchphrase in the Japanese version.
  • Toppled Statue: Does this to his own solid-gold statue under the belief that he will die when the giant meteor obliterates Dreamland, then orders a playground in its place as a final good deed, making sure Kirby sees it.
  • Toothy Bird: He has a mouth of them as shown when some scenes show him drawn with them. This even plays a huge role in "A Dental Dilemma", where he pridefully claims that his choppers as he calls them are completely immune to cavities at first. Soon enough, he ends up being proven wrong, and gets scared out of his wits when he learns he's now due to get his teeth drilled.
  • Verbal Tic: In the Japanese version, he adds "zoi" at the end of a lot of his sentences. This carries over to the Japanese version of Kirby's Epic Yarn.
  • Villain Decay: He's gotten less malicious as the episodes go by.
  • Villain Love Song: When he tries to propose to Princess Rona.
  • Villain Protagonist: While Kirby is still often the center focus, a lot of screentime is given to Dedede in many episodes, with Dedede at many times initiating or driving the plots.
  • Villain Song: His twisted version of "Old McDonald had a Farm" in the dub of episode 7 must be heard to be believed.
  • Worthy Opponent: King Dedede admits in episode 93 that he actually does like Kirby being around, even though the entire reason is having an enemy means he isn't bored.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ignoring for a minute that Kirby's a baby, Dedede's attempts to "clobber that there Kirby" have put the lives of Tiff and Tuff in danger as well. Him being aware that they are in danger doesn't help. He even tried to crush Tiff with a statue once and would have succeeded too if not for Meta Knight.

    Light Novels 

King Dedede

"I am King Dedede, great ruler of Dream Land!"
Self-claimed ruler of Dream Land

  • Anti-Hero: He would help in solving cases, but always expects for reward.
  • Authority in Name Only: This is especially emphasized in the novel, where it is told in the first novel that most of the residents only see him as a nuisance.
  • Catchphrase: "I'm King Dedede, great ruler of Dream Land!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It is shown few times in the novel that he genuinely cares about Kirby and Waddle Dee's well-being.
  • More Hypnotizable Than He Thinks: In the fourth novel, he scoffs at Sword Knight and Blade Knight for being brainwashed, believing that that could never happen to him. Until chapter 4 rolls around...
  • Narcissist: He thought of his clone as "adorable."
  • Smarter Than You Look: Begins showing signs of this in the eighth volume.
  • Terrible Artist: Another common trait with Kirby, where Waddle Dee was appalled by his drawing of rocket.
  • The Rival: He is frequently at odds with Kirby, although the two have a lot to share.


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