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Kangaroos Represent Australia

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Australia's national animal: Stampy

Ah yes, the kangaroo. Perhaps one of the silliest looking animals around: It hops around on two huge feet, it has a thick tail and, of course, it has a pouch. Because of their almost cartoonish nature, kangaroos are certainly ubiquitous in fiction. Sort of another animalistic Rule of Cool, if you will. Maybe it's just that exotic feel that Australia gives — after all, this is the country that's also home to the Puzzling Platypus. If the work is set in Australia, this is commonly a way to say "Hey! We're in Australia, mate!"

If it's a male, expect him to be named "Joey", have a comically exaggerated Aussie accent and possibly have a pouch (even though, in reality, only the females have pouches). It may also be depicted boxing, carrying someone in its pouch, maybe sporting an Australian Army slouch hat with one brim pinned up, or just plain jumping really high.

Occasionally, a wallaby may be used instead. Think of them as fun-size kangaroos.

Be warned: kangaroos have very sharp claws on their huge feet, and will use them on you if you get too close. Although it is rare, they are capable of killing a human being (just like pretty much everything else in Australia).

Subtrope to National Animal Stereotypes. Compare Boxing Kangaroo.


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  • The Aussie brand of shampoo has a purple kangaroo for a mascot. Some of their ads include a purple animatronic kangaroo puppet.
  • Yellow Tail, an Australian brand of wine, has a type of Wallaby on its bottle. However, a Super Bowl ad contains a kangaroo.
  • In 1990s UK advertising for Kellogg's Coco Pops, one of Coco's friends was Kylie Kangaroo, who had an Australian accent and was obviously named after Australian pop star Kylie Minogue.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Australia from Hetalia: Axis Powers has a pet kangaroo in one of his sketches, and she has her baby in her pouch.
  • When the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo crew travel to Sydney, everyone there is either a kangaroo or a koala.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam is a story about an international martial arts tourney where each country's fighter controls a Humongous Mecha with a motion capture interface. Australia's entry is, of course, a Boxing Kangaroo.
    • Another G Gundam spinoff manga shows a different Australian Gundam from an earlier tournament, the Southern Cross Gundam. While it's based on an aborigine warrior with a giant boomerang with a fannypack containing a smaller Gundam sticking out of it presumably to mimic a kangaroo pouch for some bizarre reason.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, the main characters are initially stationed at a base in Australia. Naturally, they wear shoulder patches displaying a kangaroo.
  • Adventures of the Little Koala features an Anthropomorphic Animal cast and is set in Australia, and although the main protagonist is a koala (another mammal closely identified with Australia), the closest the series has to regular antagonists are three kangaroos, Walter, Horsey, and Colt.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Hayato Maeda uses an Australian themed deck, with his main Animal Motif being koalas, supplemented with kangaroos as the secondary animals of his deck. His Ace Monster, Master of Oz, is a Fusion between Big Koala and Des Kangaroo, and therefore has the characteristics of both animals. Funnily enough, Jim "Crocodile" Cook, the actual Australian, goes for a completely different animal instead, the crocodile; but he doesn't center his deck around that animal either.

    Asian Animation 
  • Episode 11 of Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Travel Around the World has the gang go to Australia to find Slowy. Besides the other goats they see looking for him, there are also several kangaroos that appear throughout the episode.

    Comic Books 
  • In Tank Girl, set in the Australian outback, the title character's boyfriend is a male kangaroo named Booga.
  • Marvel has the villain Kangaroo, a Spider-Man Legacy Character villain who first appeared in the seventies. The original trained himself to jump like a kangaroo, the second had kangaroo-themed Power Armor. Both were Australian.
  • Comic Cavalcade: When Cotton Top Katie's uncle from Australia sends her a gift it turns out to be an adult, and strangely intelligent, kangaroo.

    Comic Strips 
  • One of the recurring characters in the comic Pluggers is a flyer named Sheila Roo. It's not clear if she is Australian (the old cast list says she is, but it says a lot of things), but her name is a reference to Australian Slang.
  • The Far Side shows a kangaroo on a street amongst some humans, and one of the humans is dead and has a boomerang in his head, and the kangaroo is thinking, "That was meant for me!" Boomerangs were originally Australian hunting weapons.

    Films — Animation 
  • A kind-hearted mother kangaroo was (naturally) a main character in Dot and the Kangaroo. Kangaroos also appeared in a few other films in the series, which was focused on Australian wildlife.
  • In Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost pokes fun at Bunnymund's Australian accent by calling him the Easter Kangaroo. Of course, this is also ironic since rabbits — of which Bunny is a gigantic alien version — are an invasive and highly destructive species in modern Australia.
  • The animated sequel to Kangaroo Jack.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Citizens of the titular town in Welcome to Woop Woop make pet food out of kangaroos, which isn't cool. But then a giant kangaroo god makes an appearance near the end, which is.
  • "Crocodile" Dundee has a scene where some hooligans are shooting kangaroos for fun. So Mick hides behind one of the dead ones and convinces them that it's shooting back.
    Mick: Good on ya, Skippy!
  • The above Crocodile Dundee scene might be a Shout-Out or Take That! to Wake in Fright, with its notorious (unstaged) kangaroo hunting sequence.
  • Kangaroo Jack is all about the attempts to capture a kangaroo that's carrying $50,000 in mob money. (It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • A 1952 Hollywood film called Kangaroo The Australian Story augments its banal bushranger story with plenty of wildlife footage, including (you guessed it) kangaroos. It's claimed that an early draft of the script showed roving herds of kangaroos murdering people... until Australian crew members informed the director how ridiculous that was.
  • A direct-to-DVD movie called Joey features a boy trying to help the baby kangaroo find its mom in Sydney.
  • In Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a kangaroo (along with a crocodile) is one of the animals Ben has hired for Alexander's Australian-themed birthday party. However, the kangaroo escapes and Ben has to chase it along a suburban street, getting punched in the face by the roo in the process.

  • Averted in Horton Hears a Who!: Sour Kangaroo is the villain (backed up by "the small kangaroo in her pouch"), but the setting is the fictional Jungle of Nool and there's nothing particularly Australian about them except their species. A similar kangaroo heckles Horton in the earlier book Horton Hatches the Egg (though the Merrie Melodies adaptation gives it a (curiously masculine sounding) Australian voice).
  • Kanga and Roo from Winnie the Pooh. Kanga is the mother and Roo is her son. However, their Australian connection is never referenced except for some audiobook narrations. The Disney adaptations usually avert this as well, as Kanga and Roo consistently have American accents, though some cartoons show they have a map of Australia on the wall of their house as a background gag.
  • Scrappy is a magical kangaroo character (and Shout-Out to Skippy) in the Discworld book The Last Continent. Actually, he's a magpie called, or at least described as 'trickster', the Kangaroo thing is just his normal early avatar (he also uses a pony and a sheep, pandering to other well-known aussie works). There's also a brand of beer called 'Roo Beer'. According to Scrappy, the Old Man Who Carries the Universe in a Sack goes around adding new continents to different worlds, and putting kangaroos on them is his signature.
  • In Son of Spellsinger, Buncan and his companions find a land which is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Australia, complete with Australian Slang, boomerangs, and didgeredoos (although the spellsinging version is a didgeredon't). The inhabitants are a wide range of Australian wildlife, but the majority of them are kangaroos, including their leader.
  • Animorphs had The Unexpected, which landed Cassie in Australia. Cue the kangaroo morph.
  • In "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo" from Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, Kangaroo pleads with the gods to make him different from other animals, so Nqong sics Yellow-Dog Dingo on him until he starts hopping all over Australia.
  • The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution takes an absurd twist to this trope: being a work of Speculative Biology exploring an alternate timeline where the dinosaurs never became extinct and continued to evolve, it has spec-Australia be populated by the Gwanna, an Iguanodon descendant that hops like a kangaroo. Along with the Tubb, an arboreal herbivore dinosaur that is nearly exactly just a koala, it is heavily criticized for having koala-saurs and kanga-saurs evolving in, of all places, Australia, as if the very topography of Australia inevitably forces the evolution of kangaroo-like animals because Australia is Just Like That.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of Modern Family has the family vacationing in Australia. Naturally, Phil gets a kangaroo punch to the face.
  • Kangaroos are featured prominently in the 2016 wildlife docuseries Wild Australia With Ray Mears. Ray watches some Eastern grey kangaroos in the bush, spots a rare tree-kangaroo in a Queensland forest, then visits a red kangaroo sanctuary in the desert. The sanctuary staff sometimes carry orphaned joeys around in pillowcases because this reminds them of their mother's pouch and therefore calms them. The sanctuary's founder lets Ray hold one of the joeys for a little while.
  • The opening credits of Whiplash feature multiple shots of mobs of kangaroos, presumably to inform the American and British audiences that the show is set in Australia. They often appear in the individual episodes as well.

  • "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" is a song by Rolf Harris which references various Australian animals, with the most prominent being the kangaroo.
  • Steely Dan's song "Black Friday" has the narrator escaping to Australia, where he has "Nothing to do but feed all the Kangaroos".
  • In an early 2000s interview with MTV Europe, Craig Nicholls of The Vines was asked why so many Aussie bands, including his own, leave their homeland for elsewhere. In response, he deadpanned, "There's too many kangaroos in Australia!"

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Outback Jack, who used a northern Australian bushman (he actually was from Australia) used the theme, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport."

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech there is an animal named the Coventry Kangaroo. According to information on it, the Australian colonists to Coventry took Red Kangaroos with them and genetically modified them to be larger. So large one can use them as mounts for Cavalry troopers.

  • Squishmallows: Keely the Kangaroo's favorite place to visit is stated to be the Sydney Opera House.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing has two kangaroos named Walt and Mathilda after the famous Australian song "Waltzing Matilda". However, koalas are more associated with Australian stereotypes.
  • Rising Storm 2: Vietnam: the Australian Army is represented with a kangaroo logo, in contrast to the US Forces' eagle emblem and the ARVN's tiger symbol.
  • Although the Bomberman series features the kangaroo-esque roois/ruis/Looeys/Louies, there's nothing really Australian about them. The Fan Game Power Bomberman, however, features a brand new one called Buckarooi, who wears a slouch hat and whose main ability is throwing a boomerang, both common Land Down Under stereotypes.
  • Some mooks in the Australia level of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves are green Funny Animal kangaroos.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon features playable character Sheila the Kangaroo. Her level is called an 'Alp' and looks it, the other inhabitants are all obviously meant to evoke Oktoberfest, and yet Sheila has an inexplicable Aussie accent.note  Her leitmotif also features a didgeridoo.
  • One of the playable characters in Fur Fighters is a kangaroo. He's a bit dim but a very hard worker. His theme tune is a mix of whatever level you're on and Waltzing Malitda.
  • Kangaroos are enemies in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, which features a lot of Australian marsupials. There's also harmless wallabies.
  • Team Fortress 2: The nucleus of the metal element Australium, named after the country in which it was discovered, resembles two kangaroos boxing. Ingots of Australium are also stamped with the image of a man boxing a kangaroo, which is the method by which Australia chooses its king.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Yuri's Revenge has the fourth Allied mission in Sydney. While other maps feature Burger Kong fast-food restaurants with a giant ape standing on the roof, on this map they are replaced with giant kangaroos.
  • The red kangaroo is all over the decorations and marketing in Planet Zoo's Australia Pack to an even greater extent than the other Australian animals. Ironically, they're not actually particularly popular with guests in-game.
  • Kangaskhan is a Pokémon based on a Boxing Kangaroo, but aside from the pouch with a baby, she looks more like a dinosaur. In Pokémon GO, they can only be caught by players in Australia.
  • Three guesses on which animal species can bee seen fleeing from Octogeddon's titular monster octopus during his rampage on Sydney. Also, this world's boss is Kongaroo, a jumbo-sized robotic kangaroo, which wields a Battle Boomerang to make things even more stereotypical.
  • Debuting in Civilization VI, the Australian's symbol is a kangaroo.

  • An Enforced Trope for Bruce and Roosevelt in Housepets!. As zoo animals, they're expected to represent (the US idea of) Australia, and they hate it.
    Roosevelt: Every single word feels like throwing up.
    Bruce: "Shrimp on the barbie?" We're herbivores.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (1987): One of the animals Webby meets in "Back Out in the Outback" is a kangaroo.
  • Joey is a recurring kangaroo character on The Penguins of Madagascar. He is of the "thick Aussie accent" and "pouched male" variety, and rather aggressive.
  • Ovide and the Gang featured a female kangaroo character named Matilda, as in "Waltzing...".
  • Another wallaby character: Mr. Thickley from Taz-Mania, who is notably one of a very small number of characters in the series who actually has an Australian accent, despite it supposedly being set in Tasmania.
  • Naturally, being a show about animals, kangaroos appear in a few episodes of The Wild Thornberrys, being more anatomically correct, but the Aussie accent is still there.

    Real Life 
  • There's a widespread meme about there being no kangaroos in Austria, due to the similar names of Austria and Australia. Austria even has a popular souvenir T-shirt, saying "No Kangaroos In Austria".
    • Ironically, one escaped from a zoo in Austria and was seen bounding its way along the meadows of the similarly-named but far-away nation. Needless to say, the incident quickly went memetic.
  • Australian airline Qantas uses a kangaroo in its logo, and is often referred to as the "flying kangaroo."
  • Several of Australia's national sports teams have kangaroo-themed names:
    • Kangaroos (Rugby League)
    • Wallabies (Rugby Union)
    • Boomers (Men's basketball - a male kangaroo is called a "boomer")
    • Socceroos (Soccer)
    • Hockeyroos (Women's hockey)
  • The North Melbourne Kangaroos in the Australian Football League. Sherrin, the official ballmaker for the AFL, uses a kangaroo silhouette as part of its logo.
  • A kangaroo is used in the center of the roundel on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ensign, and is used as the Army's roundel as well.
  • During The Korean War, the XO of a Royal Australian Navy destroyer, sick of being mistaken for British (with his British-designed ship flying the British naval ensign - the RAN wouldn't get a unique flag for another decadenote ), got the biggest sheet of brass he could find, cut a kangaroo silhouette out of it, and stuck it to the top of the ship as a weathervane. Nowdays, all major RAN warships have a red kangaroo icon fitted somewhere visible on the ship. Usually on the side of a funnel, but other locations are used if a ship's funnels aren't particularly prominent.note 
  • The kangaroo is Australia's national faunal emblem and appears (with the emu) on the national coat of arms These animals were chosen because neither species can travel backwards! This is meant to symbolize the ideal for Australians to always think and move forward.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, the most iconic of Australia's extinct Pleistocene megafauna is the 2-meter tall kangaroo Procoptodon goliah.
  • Averted with the mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games - a kookaburra, an echidna, and a platypus. The organizers felt that kangaroos and koalas were Cliché.
  • The Navajo word for Australia translates as "Land of the Kangaroos".note 

Alternative Title(s): Everythings Better With Kangaroos