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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 trope-worthy 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.


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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.
  • Dish Network's Hopper device has a red kangaroo for a logo.
    • And within the commercials, kangaroos are present in the most unlikely places!
  • Dunkaroos cookies.
  • The mascot for Malt-O-Meal's off-brand line of cereal is a blue kangaroo in sunglasses, with a joey in her (?) pouch. Their names are Cool Blue and L'il Oaty.
  • As part of Google's Logo Joke, the 2006 Christmas ones involved what appear to be kangaroo parents and their joey. For no particular reason. There are also kangaroos in the logo for 2006's Australia day.
  • In the late Seventies, the Australian government ran an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging Australians to be nicer to tourists. It listed a series of foreign misconceptions about Australia, including the idea that kangaroos catch trams.
  • Speedy Cash loans has a mascot named Speedy Roo.
  • 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.
  • In a filler episode of Naruto, Rock Lee has to fight a boxing 'roo. And her baby, who's just as good of a boxer as its mama.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew accidentally gets in a fight with a lady kangaroo... you, the reader, probably have guessed how this ended.
  • 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.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: 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, the title character's boyfriend is a male kangaroo named Booga.
  • Marvel has the villain Kangaroo, a Spider-Man villain who made his first appearance in the seventies. Second character sporting the alias even had a kangaroo-like high-tech suit.
  • 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.
  • 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 

    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 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.
  • 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
  • The Spellsinger novel Day of the Dissonance has a kangaroo called Snooth who runs a magic shop. And a powerful and terrible kangaroo djinn she keeps in her pouch.
  • 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 
  • Game Shows: Virtually ever game show that has offered a trip to Australia as a prize has, on its graphic, has included a picture of a kangaroo somewhere in the artwork. On the game show Press Your Luck, it was the only graphic (along with the word "Australia" beneath it). On shows where filmed/video footage is used to illustrate the trip (during the announcer's voiceover), stock footage of kangaroos will invariably be used.
  • Skippy the Bush Kangaroo - Skippy is built entirely on this trope.
  • When The BBC launched BBC2 TV in 1964, the channel's stationery was headed by a cartoon of a mother and baby kangaroo. For no good reason, the mother was called Hullabaloo and the baby was called Custard. A few months later when David Attenborough took over as controller of BBC 2, one of his first acts was to ditch Hullabaloo and Custard for being totally ridiculous.
  • FlashForward (2009) liked to show a random kangaroo hopping around after flash forwards, as a Book-Ends sort of thing.
  • One episode of ER features news reports about an escaped kangaroo, with Jerry the Receptionist listening to them and planning how to capture/kill it. At the very end of the episode, one of the main characters is walking home when they see the kangaroo in an alleyway.
  • There are a good number of videos featuring people bothering and then getting kicked by kangaroos on America's Funniest Home Videos. No, they're not always Groin Attacks.
  • Goodness Gracious Me averts this with "Skipinder the Punjabi Kangaroo", which was a Gag Dub of Skippy.
  • Whazzat Kangaroo from Zoobilee Zoo. She's a cool kangaroo in her own right, and boy, can she sing!
  • One episode of Modern Family has the family vacationing in Australia. Naturally, Phil gets a kangaroo punch to the face.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Fabulous Kangaroos were a pioneering tag team.
  • 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.

  • There are four different kangaroo Beanie Babies. All four are flyers with joeys in their pouches. Their poems are all written in first person as well.

  • Sheila in At Arm's Length, a four-armed punk kangaroo at that.
  • The two main characters in Boomer Express, plus plenty of supporting characters as well.
  • 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 

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Bomberman from Bomberman '94/Mega Bomberman onward has roois/ruis/Looeys/Louies, which can be found inside spotted eggs and provide a ride when found. In later games like Super Bomberman 5, they each have unique abilities, depending on color. And like almost everything else in the game, they're Ridiculously Cute Critters.
    • Naturally, its move set includes punch-type attacks.
  • Kangarumon from Digimon, also a boxing type.
  • Legend of Zelda features Ricky the Kangaroo from Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, who carries Link in his pouch (despite being a male), can jump over holes and cliffs, and sports a large pair of boxing gloves.
  • Jabberoo, a racing monster that resembles a kangaroo with boxing gloves for hands, from the Nintendo DS game Monster Racers.
  • Atari's Kangaroo, a platform game similar to Donkey Kong.
  • Tekken has Roger, and later his nameless wife, with his son Roger Jr. in her pouch.
  • The psychotic Laughing Mad blue kangaroo in straitjacket, Ripper Roo, from the Crash Bandicoot games.
  • One of the mid-bosses in Streets of Rage 3 is Roo, a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves. He can also be one of the playable characters if you defeat his owner first.
  • 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. Her leitmotif also features a didgeridoo.
    • Fridge Brilliance though: the Alps border Germany and Austria, a country commonly mistaken for Australia. Of course they'd put a kangaroo character there for pun's sake.
  • 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 an Waltzing Malitda.
  • The Parental Kangashark from Mother 3 is, as you might have guessed, a cross between a kangaroo and a shark. In battle, its joey will sometimes cheer it on and help recover some of its health. Aww.
  • Chipple from the Klonoa series appeared as a human-like character at first, but was later re-designed as a kangaroo.
  • One of the playable characters in C-2: Judgment Clay is the World Clay Boxing Association champion, Kangoo (as well as her Evil Twin, Thunder). The joey in her pouch pops out and helps with special moves.
  • Kangaroos are enemies in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. 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.
  • Kangaskhan is a Pokémon based on a Boxing Kangaroo, but aside from the pouch with a baby, she also resembles a more reptilian-based dinosaur. Virtually no references to Australia are made with Kangaskhan though (apart Pokémon GO, where that's the only place where she can be found).
  • 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.
  • Averted in the Wipeout series: Australian team Triakis's Animal Motif is a shark.

    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.
  • Dot and the Kangaroo, of course.
  • Hoppy, a dinosaur-ish kangaroo (a Hoppasaurus) on The Flintstones.
  • A Running Gag in Looney Tunes involved Sylvester pursuing an escaped kangaroo, named Hippity Hopper, whom he mistakes for a giant mouse.
    • The earlier Looney Tunes short, "Hop and Go" has a bungling kangaroo, Claude Hopper, heckled by a pair of rabbits after he boosts to be the champion hopper. While the Scottish rabbits are Funny Foreigners voiced by Mel Blanc, the blatantly non-Australian Claude is voiced by Pinto Colvig in his Goofy voice.
    • Similarly, a Pixie & Dixie cartoon had Mr. Jinks encounter a boxing kangaroo.
    • And in the Saturday Supercade videogame-cartoon series, there's Katy and Joey in Kangaroo, who, like Kanga and Roo in the above example, have American accents.
  • Ovide and the Gang featured a female kangaroo character named Matilda.
  • Rocko, the eponymous character of Rocko's Modern Life, is a wallaby. Similar enough.
  • Another wallaby character: Mr. Thickley from Taz-Mania.
  • Dinny Kangaroo, voiced by Carl Reiner, was a character on Linus The Lionhearted.
  • Kip Kangaroo, voiced by Nancy Cartwright, was a second-season addition to Shirt Tales. Another example of an American-accented kangaroo.
  • 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.
  • Austin in The Backyardigans; one of the few examples that doesn't have an Aussie accent.
  • A kangaroo can be seen adopting a frog in The Simpsons episode "Bart vs Australia", where Bart is forced to go to Australia to have his butt kicked for prank-calling them. When pursued, Bart and Homer attempt to get away in kangaroos' pouches, only to find that, unlike in cartoons, they're filled with disgusting slime.
  • Skippy: Adventures in Bushtown, an Animated Adaptation of the aforementioned Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. It takes place in a World of Funny Animals, and the two main heroes (Skippy and his girlfriend Matilda) are Funny Animal versions of kangaroos.
  • Blinky Bill has Splodge and his family, as well as Nurse Angelina.
  • Now disgraced artist and childrens' entertainer (Australian born) Rolf Harris, when doing a series for British TV explaining how animation works and using classic cartoons as examples, devised an Author Avatar animated character called the Rolferoo - a sort of kangaroo-centaur that was a caricatured Harris from the waist up.
  • Averted in the T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Mom's Away". A kangaroo mom (with her joey in her pouch) appears briefly, but she doesn't have an Australian accent.note 
  • The Tales of the Wizard of Oz episode "Boomer Rang" features the titular Boxing Kangaroo, who speaks with a heavy Australian accent.

    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."
  • The mascot for the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, is a kangaroo named Zippy of Ambiguous Gender. However, the school nickname is Zips.
  • The University of Missouri-Kansas City also uses a kangaroo mascot for its sports teams. The teams started out as the Kansas City Kangaroos, became the UMKC Kangaroos when the school joined the University of Missouri system in 1963, and then rebranded as the Kansas City Roos in 2019 (although the university name didn't change).
  • The mascot for the Brockton Rox minor league baseball team in Brockton, Massachusetts, is K-O the 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 Australian Rules Football
  • 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 decade), 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.
  • 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 overused.

Alternative Title(s): Everythings Better With Kangaroos


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