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King Dedede

Debut: Kirby's Dream Land

Voiced by: Masahiro Sakurai (Kirby 64 and Super Smash Bros.), Shinya Kumazaki (Kirby Super Star Ultra onwards)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kf2_king_dedede_8.png
Click to see his appearance as of Kirby and the Forgotten Land 
Click to see Masked Dedede 

Dedede, that's the name you should know! Dedede, he's the king of the show!

A hammer-wielding penguin (possibly) and the king of Dream Land, though nobody actually acknowledges him as such since said title's entirely self-proclaimed. That, and he never really does anything related to administration, preferring to eat his own weight in food and cause general mischief. While often seen as the franchise’s Big Bad, he really only has this role in the very first game and certain spin-offs. In the main series, however, he usually ends up as the villain by getting possessed by the whomever the real one is and has to be broken free of their control by Kirby, two the point where he’s more comparable to a Deuteragonist.

This page is for tropes that apply to his counterpart from the games. For tropes that apply to his anime and light novel counterparts, go to the character pages for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and Kirby (Light Novel).


Warning! Due to Dedede's nature as a former recurring villain, usually as a Final Boss, who eventually becomes a friend to Kirby, every spoiler from before Kirby's Return to Dream Land relating to his intentional villainy will be unmarked.

  • Acrofatic: Depending on the game, he can be 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.
  • 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. In 2019, a Kirby Twitter post from Zan Partizanne called him a "mouthy penguin", but since that's in-character for her, there is still no definitive proof. Star Allies, though, shows that he releases roast chicken during the Cook Potluck/Supper Party attack, at least suggesting that he is at least a bird-like creature.
  • 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: He can be a selfish and greedy Jerkass and his methods can more often than not bring him in conflict with Kirby, but he undeniably has good intentions most of the time. One such case being in Kirby's Adventure, in which he breaks up the Star Rod to prevent Nightmare from returning and wrecking havoc.
  • Arch-Enemy: He is one to Kirby, being his most persistent and personal foe across the franchise. Though he is certainly not his worst enemy and how much of an enemy he is towards Kirby at all varies from game to game. In fact, his recent appearances have him get along with Kirby most of the time unless he is possessed.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted in Blowout Blast. Giant Masked Dedede's mask actually protects his face from weak Star Bullets, so Kirby needs to inhale a lot of Star Bullets to actually damage him.
  • 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, while Star Allies changes his face again to be more expressive while modifying his proportions to resemble his appearance in Super Smash Bros., and Forgotten Land changes his proportions again to resemble his design from The Crystal Shards. In addition, the Forgotten Land design is reused for Return to Dream Land Deluxe.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: It's implied that the only reason nobody challenges his self-proclaimed rule is because he's one of the best fighters in Dream Land — he challenges hopefuls in a wrestling ring surrounded by his cheering, loyal subjects.
  • 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).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In Blowout Blast; after being defeated by Kirby the first time, he absorbs the power of the last Sparkling Star and becomes gigantic, towering even the stage itself. The final time he does this, he combines it with his Masked Dedede mask that protects his face from weak Star Bullets.
  • 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 repeatedly 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. By Forgotten Land, the Waddle Dees now show him huge admiration and respect, with one Waddle Dee basically declaring "Long live King Dedede!" At this point, it's fair to say that Dedede has succeeded.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!:
    • Giant Masked Dedede's theme in Blowout Blast is a heavy metal Medley of "Decisive Battle with a Mighty Boss" from Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Masked Dedede's theme.
    • Both of his boss themes in Forgotten Land include a heavy emphasis on electric guitars. While "Roar of Dedede" includes electric guitar as a secondary instrument, "Masked and Wild: D.D.D. includes this as the primary instrument. And with how insane he becomes in the Forgo Dedede fight, it shows.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • In Triple Deluxe, where he becomes brainwashed by Taranza as Masked Dedede's Revenge at the end of the game. He even plays the Ax part quite literally, grabbing a large poleaxe from the background and starts violently swinging it at Kirby.
    • Forgotten Land sees Dedede get corrupted by a boar mask created by Leongar that clouds his mind and further enhances the usual Brainwashed and Crazy treatment he experiences. By the second phase, there's nothing left of him but an insane, feral animal. Need more proof? Whenever Dedede inhales Kirby, he usually just spits him out; but here, he's actively chewing on Kirby like a violent beast who just caught their prey!
  • Badass Adorable: While not quite on the level of cuddliness possessed by every other main character (Kirby, Meta Knight, Bandana Waddle Dee, etc.), he still has a lovably chubby build under normal circumstances (i.e. whenever not brainwashed or possessed) that fits well with how his Ambiguous Species correlates him to penguins, who themselves are cuddly and chubby in an endearing way. All the same, while he's reasonably cute in looks, and his Character Development has resulted in him gaining increasingly lovable qualities such as a Friendly Rivalry with Kirby and being an adoring Benevolent Boss to his minions, he's still got incredible power that makes him serve well as either a boss or player character, wielding his Hammer with immense force and learning from past defeats to become increasingly more skilled. This is best represented by his utter defiance of Villain Forgot to Level Grind, with every successive boss fight he's in (willingly or otherwise) making it clear that he's continuously training to improve his skills in an effort to get one up on his rival.
  • Badass in Distress: In Triple Deluxe, Kirby's mission is to save him from Taranza.
  • Barely-Changed Dub Name: He's called Roi DaDiDou (prounced "dah-dee-doo") in French.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: As Forgo Dedede in Forgotten Land, he drops both of his hammers and switches to using his brute force by using an Elemental Punch to create fiery tornadoes which weakly home in on Kirby.
  • Baritone of Strength: 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.
  • Battle Aura: When he goes One-Winged Angel in both Triple Deluxe and Star Allies, King Dedede gets a purple aura surrounding him.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Whenever he gets possessed, this is usually how he's saved. In Forgotten Land, this doesn't work the first time, and only after being defeated twice as the savage Forgo Dedede does it finally take.
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite Dedede largely initially just claiming kingship as an excuse to do whatever he wanted, 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. Accordingly, his descriptions start calling him a "self-made" king rather than a "self-proclaimed" king, probably on account that Asskicking Leads to Leadership.
  • Benevolent Boss: With a side order of Hypocritical Heartwarming, of course, but Dedede adores his Waddle Dees. Forgotten Land really drives this home by having him pull off a Go Through Me against a horde of Beast Pack mooks for the sake of one Waddle Dee.
  • 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. Subverted in several other games, usually due to misunderstandings or brainwashing.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Meta Knight team up to take down Kirby in the story mode of Kirby Fighters 2.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Adventure, he inhales Kirby and spits him out into the sky alongside the reforged Star Rod to fight Nightmare.
    • In Triple Deluxe, he and Taranza save Kirby from being squeezed to death by Queen Sectonia's One-Winged Angel form. Once that is done, he throws the unconscious pink puffball at a Miracle Fruit to take down the tyrannical queen.
  • 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, he's the outright true supporting hero 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 always one of Kirby's biggest allies, considering how friendly he acts towards him.
  • Big "NO!": Masked Dedede screams this upon defeat in Revenge of the King.
  • 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.
  • Body Horror: While possessed by Dark Matter in Dream Land 3 and The Crystal Shards, Dedede's torso will rip open to experience a Belly Mouth which can chomp at Kirby and shoot spheres of darkness at him. Good luck sleeping after that.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: In the "Kirby of the Stars ~ Manpuku Pupupu Fantasy" comedy manga, King Dedede is usually the Tsukkomi to Kirby's Boke.
  • Boss Subtitles:
    • "His Royal Nemesis, King Dedede" in Kirby Star Allies, which is reused in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. In Japanese, it's the similar 宿敵の暴君 (Shukuteki no Boukun, or "Tyrannical Arch-Rival").
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land gives him some new subtitles in the form of "His Primal Nemesis, Forgo Dedede" in the rematch fight. In Japanese, it's "Fierce Animal Mask, Wild Dedede".
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: So, so often, usually by Demonic Possession.
    • By Dark Matter, complete with Belly Mouth and Eyes Do Not Belong There. Also Necrodeus (presumably).
    • In Epic Yarn, he gets turned into yarn and is forced to fight Kirby with marionette-like strings on his body, courtesy of Yin-Yarn. The marionette strings part is also done by Taranza in his game's climax.
    • Happens again in Star Allies, this time with the added side effect of making him absurdly muscular. After you Beat the Curse Out of Him, you can add him to your team in the Dream Palace or by throwing a Friend Heart at him.
    • Forgotten Land has yet another case where he's gone crazy from outside influence, and he progressively deteriorates into a savage beast over the course of the game, eventually experiencing the usual Demonic Possession. He gets better like always, but it takes more than one fight to do so unlike past games.
  • Burning with Anger: Occasionally in Kirby's Dream Land 2, he will go into a rage that will make his next attack highly explosive.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: In this tweet, Dedede claims the "unidentified warrior", Masked Dedede, just has to be a manly man with a persistent spirit, and a nice guy underneath the mask to boot!
  • Butt-Monkey: If it's not happening to Kirby, it's happening to Dedede.
  • The Caligula: A heavily downplayed case of this. 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. He also genuinely cares 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. Though as the series went on, Dedede would compensate for this by honing his own special abilities to allow him to perform feats with his hammer that even Kirby can't pull off with his 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.
  • Charged Attack: The Dedede Hammer Flip has huge potential to be one of the most devastating attacks depending on how long the move is charged up. Releasing the attack button lets King Dedede perform an uppercut-like hammer swing, along with having fiery properties and it can deal tremendous damage to bosses by taking away chunks of their health with the correct timing and positioning.
  • Character Development: 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 an outright good guy in Return to Dream Land onwards. His descriptions reflect this by changing from "self-proclaimed king" to "self-made king". In between, 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 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. Kirby and the Forgotten Land shows him sacrificing himself to save one Waddle Dee, which stands in stark contrast to his incredibly selfish actions in the first game.
  • 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.
  • Clothing Damage: After landing in the New World in Forgotten Land, Dedede's robes gain small tears in them. Once he returns to normal, the tears are patched up.
  • Color Motifs: He is mostly associated with red. His robes are red, his icon in Triple Deluxe and Star Allies are red, while the aura that surrounds Landia when King Dedede rides him in Return to Dream Land is red.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Refuses to speak to Kirby after he saves him at the end of Forgotten Land, with one of his vassals explaining that Dedede resents how his rival should've prioritized rescuing him first rather than last.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Though "antagonist" may be a bit of a stretch by this point in the series, in Forgotten Land, he's this to Meta Knight in Planet Robobot. Both are captured by the main villains of the game off-screen, and aren't seen until the fourth world of the game (Gigabyte Grounds and Winter Horns), having already been brainwashed by the main antagonist's Dragon (Susie and Leongar) with some significant alterations to their wardrobe (Mecha Knight's metal mask and rocket thrusters and King Dedede's leopard-spotted robe). They then return for a second battle in the sixth and penultimate level of the game (Access Ark and Redgar Forbidden Lands), further corrupted into more destructive states (Forgo Dedede and Mecha Knight+) and acting as the last line of defense for the villains. Once they're freed from mind-control, they help Kirby out in some way (Meta Knight returns with the Halberd to help Kirby defeat Star Dream while King Dedede pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice to deal with a stampede of Beast Pack soldiers). However, whereas Meta Knight actively takes part in the final battle with Star Dream, all King Dedede does after saving a Waddle Dee and pulling a Go Through Me on the Beast Pack is return to Waddle Dee Town to recover from his wounds. Furthermore, Mecha Knight is simply just Meta Knight's brainwashed state brought upon by the mechanization Susie put him through, while Forgo Dedede is King Dedede's suffering from extreme Mind Rape brought upon by Fecto Forgo's brainwashing and Leongar's boar mask.
  • Cool Mask: Whenever he starts taking things especially seriously while fighting, mainly against Kirby, he wears a steel mask and dubs himself "Masked Dedede".
    • Kirby Super Star Ultra segment "Revenge of the King" is the introduction for this appearance.
    • Masked Dedede makes its first return in Triple Deluxe, with several improvements to his combat strategy. When you defeat him the first time, part of the mask breaks and he is revived by Taranza, transforming into "Masked Dedede's Revenge".
    • He can don the mask in Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, though all it does is add a sound effect during backbeat combos.
    • In Kirby's Blowout Blast, he dons it again, and this time combines the mask with Make My Monster Grow in the Secret Path final boss, becoming Giant Masked Dedede. Here, the mask actually helps protect 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 one of the unlockable costumes.
    • The version of his Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has him wear it.
    • 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.
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land gives him another new mask that looks like a boar as Forgo Dedede. While it does make him stronger, it also takes over Dedede's mind and regresses him into a feral beast.
  • Costume Evolution: Beginning with Super Star, King Dedede starts wearing a cream-colored yukata to go with his robes, while the portrait of him giving the peace sign was changed to simply his hand giving the peace sign. In the Smash Smash Bros. series, his yukata looks more detailed to an actual yukata and his peace sign symbol looks more detailed.
  • 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.
  • Dark Reprise: King Dedede's theme in Forgotten Land, "Roar of Dedede", is a slower and more dramatic remix of the similarly named "Macho of Dedede" from Star Allies, which just shows how serious he is when it comes to working for the Beast Pack.
  • Dash Attack: For his playable outings he can spin his whole body around by swinging his mallet outward horizontally for games such as Kirby's Return to Dream Land. As Forgo Dedede, one attack of his involves charging directly into Kirby on all fours, which can end up being a semi-Bull Fight Boss battle until he trips.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Triple Deluxe is where he gets quite some spotlight. 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, and there's an entire sub-game where you guide Dedede through four levels as he hops across drums with a tambourine. And he even got his own spin-off title based on that sub-game!
  • Demonic Possession: Him being the (self-proclaimed) king of Dream Land and one of Dream Land's most powerful inhabitants has caused him to be possessed by many villains, and it's usually up to Kirby to break him free of their control.
  • 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.
  • Depending on the Artist: While he is consistently shown wearing a cream-colored kimono in most games following Super Star, his artwork for Squeak Squad and one of his cards in the Kirby Card Swipe minigame in Ultra shows him with a cream belly.
  • Depending on the Writer: How much of an antagonist he is towards Kirby varies from game to game, often being consistent within the main series but much more varied in the spin-offs. In some games (and in cases like the anime), he is a full-on Jerkass who despises the pink puffball or at the very least only thinks of defeating Kirby without a care for anything else and goes to great lengths to do so (Battle Royale, Fighters 2); while in others, mainly the mainline games, he is on good or at least cordial terms with Kirby and only fights him when he's Brainwashed and Crazy. More commonly, he even forms a four-man squadron with the pink puffball, Meta Knight and Bandana Waddle Dee (starting with Return to Dream Land).
  • Designated Victim: Since he's more of a Friendly Rival to Kirby than an outright villain, most boss fights against Dedede in the main series happen when he gets brainwashed, possessed, and even cloned by the real antagonist. Special mention goes to Kirby and the Forgotten Land, where he's forced to take part in caging the Waddle Dees and sending them off to slavery in Lab Discovera against his own will.
  • Deuteragonist: He's usually this to Kirby in most of the games he appears in. This is in full effect in Triple Deluxe, where he gets kidnapped by Taranza at the beginning of the game and is Kirby's mission to save him, helps him reach Queen Sectonia's One-Winged Angel form after being saved using a cannon, pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment at the end of the game to help Kirby defeat Queen Sectonia, and then gets his own extra mode adventure told from his perspective, where he stops Sectonia, defeats his own Mirror World counterpart Shadow Dedede, and then finally defeats Dark Meta Knight inside the Dimension Mirror.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Some of his Ground Punch attacks he gains after becoming muscular in Star Allies often leave behind rocks that Kirby can inhale for the Stone ability.
  • Distressed Dude: In Triple Deluxe, he gets kidnapped by the spider mage Taranza for an (initially) unknown reason.
  • The Dragon: To Leongar in Forgotten Land, who himself is this to Fecto Forgo. Not only is he seemingly the one leading the Beast Pack in kidnapping the Waddle Dees and the one responsible for kidnapping Elfilin, he's fought twice - both at Winter Horns and Redgar Forbidden Lands.
  • Dual Boss: He finally fights alongside Meta Knight in Kirby Fighters 2, complete with new team attacks that they perform together.
  • Dual Wielding: His Forgo Dedede form wields two hammers.
  • Dub Name Change: In Forgotten Land, Forgo Dedede, his savage form, was simply called "Wild Dedede" in the Japanese version.
  • 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.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: In Kirby Fighters Deluxe, he and his 23 to 63 clones of himself are known collectively as Team DDD.
  • Elemental Punch: A brand new power that he utilizes as Forgo Dedede is when he starts resorting to fisticuffs by setting the ground alight with punch attacks as both of his fists are heavily cloaked in flames. The impact from his punches can also create miniature blazing tornados.
  • Elemental Weapon: A unique mechanic that's shared with other playable characters who are weapon wielders in Kirby Star Allies is that as long Kirby's Copy Abilities have Elemental Powers, he can even grant and empower King Dedede's mallet, giving him hammer attacks outfitted with potential elemental attributes as the wooden head of his mallet is noticeably coated with whatever kind of element he's been given, whether it's fiery, watery, electrical, icy, or wind-based.
  • 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 hat, gloves, a fancy red coat and the belly band-like sash.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In Forgotten Land, Dedede gets a tattered, leopard-spotted version of his usual robes to go along with his joining the Beast Pack. For his second battle, he gets an all-new boar mask to go with them.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kirby, being a Villainous Glutton who has his Vaccuum Mouth and flying abilities (the latter he didn't even have until Adventure). Later appearances emphasized this by giving Dedede aerial abilities. Shadow Dedede serves as one to him in Triple Deluxe. Could also be considered a Good Counterpart to Queen Sectonia, as while both are prideful monarchs, Dedede genuinely cares about his subjects and aims to protect Dream Land while Sectonia oppresses Floralia and is more than willing to sacrifice the people under her rule in her pursuit to become the goddess of Popstar.
  • Evil Knockoff: In Planet Robobot, the Haltmann Works Company use a sample of his DNA to create a series of Dedede Clones.
  • Evil Laugh: Downplayed, but in his giant form in Blowout Blast, he does brief periods of evil chuckles throughout the fight.
  • Ex-Big Bad: He's the very first main antagonist of the franchise, but following his appearance as the Big Bad of the "Revenge of the King" sub-mode in Super Star Ultra, he never willingly chooses to be villainous and is shown to have become one of Kirby's friends, often joining him in the fight against the various nefarious entities that threaten Planet Popstar.
  • 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. Starting in Triple Deluxe, it's made to look more like a deliberate body-slam, which is particularly emphasized in Forgotten Land. Surprisingly, up until Star Allies, it was completely absent from his moveset as a player character, though a similar move appears as his dash attack in Super Smash Bros..
  • Fair-Play Villain: Clearly taking a page out of Meta Knight's book of giving Kirby a sword, King Dedede gives Kirby a hammer before their final battle in Revenge of the King.
  • 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. After his Character Development, the "Bastard" part became Downplayed.
  • A Father to His Men: He seems to actually care very much about his Waddle Dees despite his claim that only he gets to be mean to them. At times he's even shown to be incredibly protective of his subjects and will risk his life to keep them safe. This has lead to his subjects such as the Waddle Dees and even Meta Knight being fiercely loyal to him.
  • Feral Villain: As Forgo Dedede, he forgets his true identity with Leongar's boar mask leading him to become savage. By time of the second phase, and the Mind Control has become strong enough to deteriorate Dedede into a deranged, mindless beast. And while we have seen Dedede get possessed before, it's almost like the possession has drove him insane.
  • Final Boss: In the original Kirby's Dream Land, as well as "Spring Breeze" in Super Star and "Revenge of the King" in its Ultra remake. He also sometimes assumes this role in the spinoff games.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: If one looks closely during his defeat after his first fight in Forgotten Land, his eyes are still red, showing that he's not free from the Beast Pack's brainwashing yet.
  • Flunky Boss: In Squeak Squad he can summon Waddle Dees from the monster teleporter in his boss arena. In Mass Attack, two Waddle Dees assist him after he takes enough damage. In Forgotten Land, he is accompanied by a few Primal Awoofies. Becoming Forgo Dedede gives him the ability to call Awoofies and Buffahorns to his side with a Mighty Roar.
  • Flying Flightless Bird: Just like Kirby, he can fly by sucking up air, despite the fact that he is (possibly) a penguin.
  • Foil: To Queen Sectonia in Triple Deluxe. Both are the rulers of their respective kingdoms (Dream Land and Floralia), but while Dedede is only a monarch in name only, genuinely cares for his people, learned to control his greedy nature, and learned to copy Kirby's ability to fly by pushing his body to its limits, Sectonia is an actual queen who treats her subordinates like trash to the point of even imprisoning them if they dared to defect her rule, was consumed by Pride and vanity via her corruption by the Dimension Mirror, and spent centuries trying to achieve eternal beauty by possessing other beings, which ultimately led to her being pushed beyond her limits and ended up having her life taken away.
  • Foreshadowing: During his fight in Dream Land 2, whenever he's not attacking he's snoring, and he keeps his eyes closed during the whole thing. One might assume that he's sleep-fighting at first glance, but he was actually possessed by Dark Matter.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic. He's greedy, lazy and doesn't do much to rule his "kingdom", preferring to stuff his face with food and occasionally battle his iconic pink rival, but he's also a skilled fighter and one of the strongest warriors on Popstar; he's also Affably Evil and is quite handy when the time calls for it.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In Forgotten Land, he takes advantage of the usual end-of-stage victory screen by getting up during the freeze-frame and capturing Elfilin while he's frozen.
  • Friendly Rivalry: What his relationship with Kirby has settled down to in the modern era. While he still proclaims they're 'destined rivals' (as per his figurine in Forgotten Land states), and he certainly won't hesitate to take a chance to one-up the pink puffball, at the end of the day he's one of Kirby's most stalwart companions and equally won't hesitate to have his back at the face of any massive crises they may go through. A Waddle Dee even states that the king was "crestfallen" when he failed to find Kirby in the new world.
  • Full-Boar Action: Not him, but his savage Forgo Dedede form wears an intimidating boar mask, and he has the feral wrath in his second phase to back it up.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Interestingly played with in regards to his name. In Planet Robobot's Japanese version, in the 5th area'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. Then 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 employing technology for his ends, from rocket launchers to Humongous Mecha and even a Kirby Printer which creates (somewhat imperfect) copies of Kirby solely for the sake of a tournament.
  • 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.
  • Ground Pound: He's used this method of fighting Kirby ever since Kirby's Dream Land by lunging upwards to the air and slamming onto the ground with his weight, along with his infamous Face Fault attack. This attack was also implemented as a part of his moveset for the Super Smash Bros. series as his Up Special.
  • Ground Punch: After Hulking Out in Kirby Star Allies he can slam the ground with his proportionally enlarged muscular arms. After taking enough damage, he'll perform an overhead axe swing that shatters the ground as the fight will transition through various floors, and he'll keep repeating that process until he's defeated.
    • As Forgo Dedede in Forgotten Land, his feral state ditches his signature mallet entirely and resorts to using his natural physical attacks. He strikes the metallic ground with his fists so hard, that he somehow spawns flaming tornadoes that can spread across the arena.
  • Ground Wave: An attack he has in Triple Deluxe's Dededetour mode where he's capable of performing his own hammer variant of Kirby and Meta Knight's Sword Beam, by firing an energy bullet projectile out of his mallet that travels across the ground if his health is at its fullest.
  • 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 yukata, which is made a lot more apparent in Star Allies. King Dedede's Revenge in Kirby's Blowout Blast has him wearing only his robe and sash in reference to his old design.
  • 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.
  • The Heavy: He's the most active threat in Forgotten Land. His first fight sees him kidnapping Elfilin for the Beast Pack, and it becomes Kirby's goal to save him. Then, he's fought again at the end of Redgar Forbidden Lands as the insane Forgo Dedede, acting as the last line of defense for the Beast Pack before Kirby boards the elevator to Lab Discovera. And then it turns out that he's actually The Dragon to Leongar, who himself is The Dragon to Fecto Forgo.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While his shift to the good side technically happened as early as Adventure, 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 settling 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". Revenge of the King is the final game in which Dedede plays the role of the villain knowingly and cognizantly; after his defeat here, from Return to Dream Land onward Dedede has abandoned most of his reluctance or hostility with Kirby and was thrust into the spotlight as one of the main protagonists in his own right.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, after being freed from mind control, King Dedede apparently sacrifices himself to fend off the large amount of Beast Pack troops attacking in order to save both Kirby and the Waddle Dees he just freed. He turns up fine later, however, albeit beaten and exhausted enough to need some rest for healing up.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • In Adventure, Kirby assumes Dedede is back to his old tricks because he shattered the legendary Star Rod, preventing the denizens of Dream Land from dreaming. But then, when Kirby reassembles the Star Rod, defeats Dedede, and places it back on the Fountain of Dreams, the true villain, Nightmare emerges. From there, Dedede's actions get cast in a much different light.
    • Considering that the chest Dedede had in his castle from Squeak Squad contained Dark Nebula, his battle with Kirby could be seen as him (unknowingly) trying to protect his treasure, and by extension, keeping Nebula trapped. And seeing Kirby and Daroach accidentally set it free at the end of the game, Dedede's actions might've been unintentionally heroic.
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently, he's into chess.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Constantly inverted. He hasn't been the main villain of a main game since the very first game in the franchise and a recreation of it in Super Star, with him instead constantly getting possessed or overshadowed by the new Villain of the Week. Overlaps with Superdickery since this has also continued to occur in the mainline games after he's undergone a Heel–Face Turn in Return to Dream Land.
  • 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. Hilariously enough, it's a direct reference to episode 95 (97 in the dub) of the anime, "Frog Wild".
  • Humongous-Headed Hammer: King Dedede's signature weapon is a wooden mallet. Though its size varies in each game, it's nearly the size of the king's own head in most depictions. In Revenge of the King, he replaces it with an even larger mechanized hammer.
  • 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.
  • An Ice Person: One of his attacks in Forgotten Land has him slamming a huge pillar into the floor, causing icy spikes to erupt from the site of the impact.
  • 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.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Though not as innocent as Kirby, King Dedede has blue eyes and can be quite helpful when he needs to be.
  • Interface Screw: He in Kirby Fighters Deluxe can throw out Dedede keychains towards the screen to obscure it.
  • Interface Spoiler: In Triple Deluxe, Masked Dedede is one of the unique stickers found in Stage 3 of Old Odyssey. And guess who shows up as the Pre-Final Boss?
  • Jaw Drop:
    • In the first game after beating the main game, his jaw hangs loose after landing in the unlock screen for Extra Mode. The sprite has been reused as a keychain and sticker in Triple Deluxe and Super Kirby Clash, officially nicknamed "Shocked Dedede".
    • In Return to Dream Land, his jaw drops when he and the others witness Magolor transform with the Master Crown.
    • In Blowout Blast, his jaw drops after defeating his Revenge form in the EX stages in a reference to the "Shocked Dedede" sprite from the first game.
  • 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.
  • Killer Gorilla: King Dedede's One-Winged Angel form in Star Allies looks like a gorilla, with a barrel chest and top-heavy body to match. He also fights by throwing food around and swinging around the poles of the castle like a gorilla.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Fitting with the game's Darker and Edgier aspects, Dedede's usual brainwashing in Forgotten Land turns him into a force to be reckoned with, being able to pick up an entire stone pillar with one arm and even kidnapping and making his escape with Elfilin - during the victory screen, no less. And then there's Forgo Dedede, who's a further-brainwashed form of Dedede suffering from Mind Rape and being reduced to a wild animal by his second phase.
  • Laughably Evil: Even in his bouts of villainy, he's certainly no Knight of Cerebus (aside from Forgotten Land), that's so sure. In the first game alone, there are several signs that he's not up there on the likes of Bowser or Ganondorf; his castle being littered with several pictures of him giving the peace sign, having a literal Face Fault for an attack, throwing a tantrum when being beaten the first time and then just crying like a baby after being defeated in Extra Mode, the fact that he's a literal king penguin (well, at least we think he's a penguin), he's certainly a very silly bad guy.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The Mt. Dedede theme from Kirby's Dream Land, which was not explicitly his own theme at first, was eventually bootstrapped into his personal music by Kirby's Dream Land 2, and has since been used as such by nearly every game since.note 
    • The "Gourmet Race" theme is a secondary motif for him, especially when it was orchestrated into the "Fountain of Dreams" theme for Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was then reused for Nightmare in Dream Land.
    • His boss theme in Kirby Fighters Deluxe combines several of his previous boss themes — namely, the original, the Kirby's Adventure theme, the Kirby's Dream Course theme, and Masked Dedede's theme — into a huge medley. It's as awesome as it sounds.
  • 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.
  • Lazy Bum: Downplayed. While he's a fat, greedy self-proclaimed king who's a Big Eater who is on almost the same levels as Kirby himself, he has proven himself to be quite athletic in most games and will not hesitate to fight back against whatever Eldritch Abomination attacks Dream Land. In Forgotten Land, he's seen lying down in his iconic crouching pose from the Super Smash Bros. series after completing the game, but it's justified given how he just fought a horde of Beast Pack soldiers moments after Kirby Beats The Curse Out Of Him yet again.
  • 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.
  • Lightning Bruiser: You may think that just because he's larger than Kirby he would be automatically seen as a Mighty Glacier just by looking at him at first glance right? He is indeed no slouch when it comes to moving at rapid speeds, examples such as in Gourmet Race, he can actually keep up with Kirby and actually outrun him on foot. The last part for the intro to Returns to Dream Land has him leaving Meta Knight in the dust (although that might be because he was last one out the door). One scene for the opening to Star Allies shows him clearly dodging an incoming Jamba Heart meteor hurtling towards him. His powerful mallet along with his Stout Strength makes him a highly formidable force, and he undoubtedly hits hard as much as you'd expect by having the power to batter and wallop anyone or anything with it.
    • In Kirby Star Allies he's agile enough to swing around the beams of his castle in his boss fight like a monkey and strong enough to crush the floor to pieces that can leave behind a giant hole in the ground.
    • His surprising speed is also frighteningly demonstrated during his rematch against Kirby in Forgotten Land as he switches his typical gait by fully adopting a bestial form as he sprints after the pink puffball by frantically Running on All Fours as well as zooming around specific angles and darts in on Kirby in the arena while attacking with punches so powerful that it can do a nasty number on Kirby's health. And that's when he's NOT using his mallet to fight.
  • Loss of Identity: As Forgo Dedede in Forgotten Land, he forgets his true identity with the combined power of Fecto Forgo's Mind Control and Leongar's boar mask clouding his thoughts. By the second phase, the Mind Rape becomes so bad that he's reduced into a feral wild animal.
  • 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 Gourmet Race and cage match-like fight with Kirby in Revenge of the King.
  • Magma Man: When Forgo Dedede enters his second phase in Forgotten Land, his Shockwave Stomp is upgraded with Dedede leaving behind large puddles of lava just by leaping into the air and doing body slams. He's also capable of tossing his mallets so hard that they spawn rising fiery pillars that dissolves into sizzling magma.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Forgo Dedede, his boar-masked form from Forgotten Land, has forgotten his true identity thanks to Fecto Forgo's Mind Control and Leongar's boar mask. Later in the battle, he decides to forgo his usual hammering tricks in favor of Running on All Fours and fiery melee attacks.
  • Me's a Crowd: In Kirby Fighters Deluxe, he uses the power of the Fountain of Dreams to make up to 63 smaller and weaker clones of himself that are known collectively as Team DDD.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: Phantom Forgo Dedede in Forgotten Land begins his second phase by summoning a meteor shower, just to show he's deadlier than his main counterpart.
  • Mighty Roar: He usually lets this out right before you fight him in games since Triple Deluxe. In Epic Yarn, it's weaponized to push Kirby and Prince Fluff away from him. And as Forgo Dedede in Forgotten Land, he begins his second phase by letting out a loud and threatening scream as he's triggered into his uncontrolled feral form as his entire health refills. He can also use this periodically to summon Primal Awoofies to his side.
  • Mind Rape: In Forgotten Land, when he is brainwashed by Fecto Forgo, he can clearly be seen trying to fight it off, but due to his Weak-Willed nature, he ends up succumbing to it anyway. And after beating Forgo Dedede the first time, the Mind Control gets so bad that it reduces him to a feral, bloodthirsty monster, destroying his memories in the process.
  • 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.
  • Moveset Clone: How he's viewed as playable character in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, aside from mimicking his floating maneuvers, he can often be seen as a "Kirby" that's stuck with a permanent Hammer ability as most of the attacks he can use are even downright identical to Kirby's Hammer moves. Ironically, he's been wielding a mallet way before Kirby began using the Hammer ability in games after the first installment.
  • Mythology Gag: Gordo Toss, his side special from the Super Smash Bros. series, somehow became canon to the main games; Parallel Dedede uses it in Star Allies, Dedede can use it as one of his attacks in Fighters 2, and Phantom King Dedede can use his hammer (and later pillar) to bat Gordo Bars in Forgotten Land.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The Mean to Kirby's Nice and Meta Knight's In-Between. He's greedy, vain, and is Kirby's Arch-Enemy, but is also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who isn't afraid to put aside his rivalry with the pink puff to stop a greater threat to Dream Land, and is also kind and caring to his Waddle Dee servants.
  • 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.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Forgotten Land after being freed from his usual possession/brainwashing, one of the first things he does afterwards is save a Waddle Dee who tripped while they were fleeing from encroaching Beast Pack members. He then realizes he can't make it to the elevator in time, he hurls the Waddle Dee into the elevator, draws his hammer, and gets ready to throw down. We don't see the aftermath of these events, but it's all but explicitly stated that he single-handedly fought off an entire army.
  • 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.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: In Forgotten Land, Dedede replaces his iconic hammer with a massive stone pillar from the background and wields it with one hand. While his attacks become much slower and he loses access to his Slide Attack, he makes up for that with greater range and more damage.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • In Dream Land 3 and The Crystal Shards, when Kirby manages to deplete Dedede's health, his body goes limp and he begins floating around in the air like a dangling puppet. He then grows a Belly Mouth and begins shooting black orbs of darkness from it and even starts trying to chomp at Kirby. It's a sign that Dark Matter's possession of him is in full effect.
    • In Triple Deluxe, Kirby faces off against Masked Dedede as the penultimate boss. But when he is defeated, Taranza uses his magic to revive and empower him into the much more dangerous Masked Dedede's Revenge, who grabs a large poleaxe from the background and begins using powerful axe swings with long-range and speed, with some help from Taranza's magic of course.
    • Downplayed in Blowout Blast. After King Dedede is defeated, Kirby strikes a victory pose. But then, a Sparkling Star falls down to revive him, turning him into Giant King Dedede. He plays this straight during the True Final Boss, where he not only becomes giant, but also gets his Masked Dedede mask to make Giant Masked Dedede.
    • In Star Allies, King Dedede fights using his old tricks as per usual. However, when Kirby depletes his health, he drops his hammer; he then swoles up and becomes incredibly muscular. He then begins attacking Kirby and his friends with his massive arms, which are slow, but have large range and damage.
    • In Forgotten Land, after his first battle and escaping with Elfilin, King Dedede gets corrupted into the powerful Forgo Dedede, who now wields two hammers and begins violently swinging them at Kirby. Once he manages to nearly deplete his health bar, he snaps and begins Running on All Fours, and begins violently punching the ground to create fiery tornadoes with no other weapon to use other than his brute strength.
  • Out-of-Character Alert:
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Forgotten Land, he becomes much more serious than normal and is surprisingly skilled at his job as The Heavy to Leongar. This extends to his boss theme, "Roar of Dedede", which is a Dark Reprise of the similarly named "Macho of Dedede" from Star Allies. Then we get to his second battle as Forgo Dedede, where he starts acting like a feral animal, Running on All Fours and ditching his signature moves in favor of furiously punching the floor. It's a sign that Dedede isn't himself.
  • 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, and he can fly by inhaling enough air.
  • Playing with Fire: He somehow becomes capable of creating fireballs and pillars of fire from his hands as Forgo Dedede.
    • He charges up his Dedede Hammer Flip attack with his mallet becoming Wreathed in Flames the longer the button is held, as well as his Hammer Twirl attack in Triple Deluxe.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Whenever he's not important to the story, he'll be there to add some comedy to it. It's taken tenfold in Return to Dream Land, where his jaw drops when he witnesses Magolor's transformation and Evil All Along moment, and the final cutscene, where a flower gets stuck on his head, and it stays there for the rest of the cutscene.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • The whole reason the plot of Adventure kicks off was because Dedede didn't get the chance to explain his reasoning for shattering the Star Rod. It's only until after Kirby deals with Dedede that he sees what he was really trying to do.
    • In Squeak Squad, Kirby's shortcake is stolen by the Squeaks. However, his mind immediately jumps to Dedede, being Dedede, being the culprit, and the first level, Prism Plains, focuses on him heading to Castle Dedede, hoping to get his cake back. But like in Adventure, it's only until after Dedede is given a beating that he finds the true culprits: the Squeaks.
  • 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:
  • Primal Stance: As Forgo Dedede when he Turns Red in Forgotten Land, as a sign that he's now a destructive, savage animal.
  • Punny Name: Forgo Dedede's Boss Subtitles in Japanese are "Moujuu Kamen", literally "Fierce Beast Mask". But with different kanji, "moujuu" can also mean "blind obedience", indicating what has happened to him.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Masked Dedede's Revenge, King Dedede's Revenge, and Giant Masked Dedede all have purple robes and are much stronger. His robe also become purple during his second fight in Mass Attack, his eyes turn purple when brainwashed by Yin-Yarn in Epic Yarn, and he gains a purple aura surrounding him in Star Allies after he Turns Red.
  • Rage Helm: Forgo Dedede's boar mask makes him look like he's giving off an angry glare.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: He may be a self-proclaimed king, but a good deal of games demonstrate he's not afraid to prove himself to be deserving of such a title, be it fighting against Kirby or defending Dream Land. Especially seen in Triple Deluxe's Dededetour where he climbs up the dreamstalk and 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.
  • 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!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Usually has these as Mind-Control Eyes whenever he gets Brainwashed and Crazy or undergoes Demonic Possession. When he gets possessed by the Jamba Heart in Star Allies, his pupils turn pinkish-red as a visible sign of The Corruption. He gains these back in Forgotten Land as a member of the Beast Pack, and they even begin to glow during the Forgo Dedede fight as a sign that Fecto Forgo's Mind Rape on him is getting worse. These also appear when he wears the Mask of Dark Bonds in Fighters 2.
  • Red Is Heroic: Dedede wears a red coat and cap, and has since been one of Kirby's strongest allies since his Heel–Face Turn in Return to Dream Land.
  • Red Is Violent: Again, he wears a red coat and cap, and was originally antagonistic to Kirby before he finally settled their grudge in one final battle in Revenge of the King. This frequently pops up from time to time whenever Dedede gets possessed or brainwashed.
  • Robot Me: Mecha Dedede in Dream Course and Robo Dedede in Return to Dream Land's Scope Shot minigame and Deluxe's Egg Catcher 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.
  • Running on All Fours: In Forgotten Land he starts running around on all fours during the second phase of his Forgo Dedede boss fight. It's a sign that Dedede's not himself.
  • Sanity Slippage: Over the course of Forgotten Land, Dedede slowly loses his sapience and his own identity. In his first battle, though, he remains in control while fighting Kirby and is quite capable, even picking up a large stone pillar when he loses his hammer. Come his second battle, and his status as Brainwashed and Crazy has upgraded into full-on Demonic Possession as he's forgotten his true identity from Fecto Forgo's Mind Control and Leongar's boar mask. The moment his second phase begins, he goes hog wild, assumes a Primal Stance and begins Running on All Fours, signs to demonstrate that he's no longer Kirby's longtime rival, but instead a crazed, feral beast.
  • Self-Duplication: He's cloned himself in Kirby Fighters Deluxe. He can have up to 63 of them depending on how many times the player continues and the difficulty level. Planet Robobot has his clone being able to split into 3 as it takes damage.
  • Shadow Archetype: Not him, but his Phantom counterpart in Forgotten Land is suggested to be this, being an Empty Shell that has no memories of Kirby or any of the adventures that brought them closer.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: [[spoiler:After going through a Villainous Breakdown as Forgo Dedede in Forgotten Land, he loses his dual hammers, but makes up for it by becoming terrifyingly fast while on all fours and having destructively strong melee attacks.
  • 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. And in some cases where he's in a 3D space (i.e. Blowout Blast and Forgotten Land), he can create a shockwave ring around himself.
  • Smashing Survival: If Forgo Dedede successfully inhales Kirby during his second phase in Forgotten Land, he will begin to violently chew on him. The player must mash the circle pad to free him, or else Dedede will spit Kirby out himself.
  • Slasher Smile: Shows off a rather scary one in the opening cutscene of Super Star's Gourmet Race.
  • 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.
  • Smashing Survival: If Forgo Dedede inhales Kirby during his second phase in Forgotten Land, the player must mash the circle pad to get Kirby out while Dedede repeatedly chews on him. Otherwise, Dedede will spit Kirby out himself.
  • So Proud of You: In a Dedede Directory tweet, he assumes the spider-like Como underwent Training from Hell because of the huge Redemption Promotion it gets in Kirby Star Allies and congratulates it on taking a level in badass with tears in his eyes.
  • Sore Loser:
    • He doesn't take his loss well in the original Kirby's Dream Land, with the details changing depending on the difficulty. On the normal mode, after landing on the screen, he throws a temper tantrum and storms off in a huff. On Extra Game, he instead lies motionless and starts crying after Kirby arrives.
    • In Ultra, Dedede throws a fit when he loses to Kirby in Gourmet Race.
    • At the end of Battle Royale he challenges Kirby to battle no less than three times in a row, getting increasingly exasperated each time. The final time, he's so pissed off that he fights Kirby in the Dededestroyer Z, a Humongous Mecha armed with the Kirby Printer and loads of missiles.
  • 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.
  • Spell My Name With An S:
    "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!"
  • 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, Forgo 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.
    • In Forgotten Land, Dedede is capable of picking up and swinging a giant stone pillar about one-handed.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Masked Dedede, his "Revenge" form, Shadow Dedede, Star Rod-Hammer Dedede, and Forgo Dedede all have a Spin Attack that leave them dizzy for Kirby to attack them.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Kirby 64. Clearly, he hates Kirby, but hates Dark Matter even more; and fearing that Kirby will get defeated by them without him, he reluctantly tags along. This is even referenced in the title of his post-battle cutscene, "A Reluctant Ally".
  • Telephone Polearm: Halfway through his first battle in Forgotten Land, he grabs a pillar from the fortress he's fighting Kirby in and uses it in place of his hammer.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Usually happens when Dedede becomes stronger in his fights.
    • In Triple Deluxe, Masked Dedede's theme plays the slow-paced but intense "Revenge of the Enemy". In the second phase, it then changes to the fast-paced and powerful "Dedede's Royal Payback".
    • In Fighters Deluxe, the theme that plays during the second phase of the Team DDD battle on Easy, Normal, or Hard will usually play the upbeat and fast-paced main theme of the game. But on Very Hard, it instead plays the intense and erratic "History of Dedede", a medley of all of Dedede's past themes.
    • In Forgotten Land, Forgo Dedede's theme changes from the slow but powerful "Roar of Dedede" to the intense, even more powerful, and fast-paced "Masked and Wild: D.D.D." when he Turns Red.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet:
    • In the Egg Catcher minigame in Adventure, Dedede will throw bombs to stop Kirby from eating all 30 eggs and end the minigame early.
    • In Kirby's Pinball Land, Dedede can throw bombs to disable the flippers.
    • Kirby Mass Attack, he also throws bombs as an attack.
    • His Final Smash in Smash 4, Dedede Burst, ends with him popping a large bomb out of his hammer to explode on his caught opponent.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Oh yeah. Every time the King shows up, he gets more powerful. In the first game, he could do nothing but jump, swing his hammer, and inhale. Now? He's considered one of the strongest things on the planet, and it it shows.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Goes from Arch-Enemy to one of Kirby's greatest allies, helping him constantly and only acting as an enemy if he's possessed or brainwashed.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Meat, every cutscene of him eating has at least one instance of him chowing down on Cartoon Meat.
  • 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". Since Triple Deluxe, his inhale is consistently shown to match Kirby's Hypernova ability in power, all without the use of a Miracle Fruit.
  • Videogame Flight: Like Kirby, he flies by inflating his stomach and flapping. According to his trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he went through intense training between the first two games to do so.
  • 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.
    • Then, in Battle Royale, after losing to Kirby a third time, he flips out and resorts to siccing the Dededestroyer Z on Kirby in his rage.
    • Finally, in Forgotten Land, King Dedede finally loses it as Forgo Dedede; as Fecto Forgo's Mind Rape grows stronger on Dedede, he is reduced to a feral, homicidal monster with his memories destroyed. He then starts Running on All Fours and resorts to Elemental Punches after ditching his signature hammer-smashing tricks.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In the first game, after throwing a tantrum, Dedede runs off-screen in a huff. Later, after beating him and Meta Knight in his first legitimate battle in Fighters 2, Dedede leaps off the arena after throwing a short tantrum. Finally, after his battle in Forgotten Land, he sneaks up on Kirby while the results screen is up and takes off with a captured Elfilin.
  • 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, which inevitably led to the "Villainous" part being outright dropped.
  • 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.
  • Weak-Willed: Dedede gets himself brainwashed or possessed by the Big Bad approximately once every game, but what cements him as this trope is the fact that in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Meta Knight shakes off Fecto Forgo's attempts at Mind Control through sheer force of will, whereas Dedede remains under its influence until the very end of the main story.
  • Weapon Specialization: He's very adeptly skilled at wielding various forms of hammers to smash his foes, whether that's Kirby or another villain.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot: In Forgotten Land, you see a familiar silhouette leading some Primal Awoofies capturing some Waddle Dees. Then, when Kirby and Elfilin step in, that figure turns around, revealing King Dedede!
  • 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.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In Forgotten Land, after rescuing a Waddle Dee from an incoming stampede of Beast Pack soldiers, King Dedede stays behind to hold them off as Kirby ventures further into Lab Discovera.
  • 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.

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