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Killer Gorilla

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SpongeBob (left half): Patrick? Sandy?
Patrick, Sandy: Y-yeah, SpongeBob?
SpongeBob (left half): I'm sorry I caused all this. I'm not scared of going outside anymore... but I'm terrified of gorillas now.
Sandy: [shaken] That's okay, SpongeBob... us, too.
SpongeBob SquarePants, "I Had An Accident"

Gorillas, orangutans, and sometimes chimpanzees: about the same size and shape as humans (normally), but tougher, hairier and meaner (maybe). Don't incite them to gorilla warfare, because the things they throw tend to hurt. They may also like to squeeze people or other animals to death. Or pick them up and bash them to the ground. Sometimes they will even try to eat people, despite real gorillas being primarily herbivorous (though they can also be portrayed as herbivorous, yet pretty nasty). They'll also often be shown towering over humans, something real-life apes would have a hard time doing (Average gorilla heights range anywhere between 4’7 to 5’11, but many can grow up to 6 feet or more, with the tallest recorded one being about 6’5).

In a nutshell, this trope is when gorillas and other great apes (excluding humans) are, contrary to their actual behaviour in real-life, treated as belligerent, pugnacious creatures. It's been a Discredited Trope since at least The '90s, a notable swerve being when Disney's adaptation of Tarzan changed the fictional Mangani of the original novels to gorillas to reflect how science has marched on. However, it still pops up in media from time to time, often with a Lampshade Hanging that the violent behavior is not normal for gorillas, or as a Subverted Trope where a gorilla first appears vicious, but then is revealed to be a Gentle Giant. When they pull this trope in such situation however, that overlaps with Beware the Nice Ones. Chimpanzees, meanwhile, are still subject to Maniac Monkeys, as they can be more dangerous than they appear—though since they tend to be smaller than gorillas, they're more likely to be portrayed as an Evil Genius than a Dumb Muscle.

This trope was especially common in the Poverty Row B movies and studio-produced "creepy cheapies" of the 1940s (and in comedy-horror spoofs well into the '60s) - a cheap gorilla suit was the best monster a lot of these productions could afford, and a few prominent stuntmen (who brought their own gorilla suits from home) made entire careers out of roles like this - guys like Ray "Crash" Corrigan, George Barrows, and Steve Calvert. In the movies, the ape would typically be kept, Madwoman in the Attic-style, in a cage in the laboratory of a Mad Scientist, who probably plans to put a human brain into the ape's body. They would probably also develop a sexual interest in human women (which, ludicrously enough, was in line with a lot of the science of the day).

A subtrope of Maniac Monkeys. Often overlaps with King Kong Copy, and may also be a form of Dire Beast. For other unlikable non-human primates, see Killer Space Monkey and Cymbal-Banging Monkey. Related to Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti, another large, hairy and often dangerous hominid, and Frazetta Man, where primitive humans are portrayed as savage brutes with an ape-like appearance. See also Cruel Elephant, Rhino Rampage, Brutish Bulls, Angry, Angry Hippos, Hellish Horse, and Gruesome Goat for the similarly malevolent portrayals of herbivorous animals. See Attack Animal for when a human master is sending a killer gorilla after someone.

For the Good Counterpart to this trope, see Gentle Gorilla and, more generally, Silly Simian.


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  • This World War I propaganda poster depicts Imperial Germany as a savage gorilla wielding a club and carrying off a woman.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Wyald, a Psycho for Hire hedonist and adrenaline junkie from Berserk closely resembles an ape even in his human form. He then reveals that his Apostle form is a colossal, three eyed gorilla with a tiny head, and an extra mouth (with a massive spiky penis for a tongue) on his chest. The Band of the Hawk know him as a "monkey monster" for good reason.
  • Gorillamon from Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers. It's a gorilla, with an Arm Cannon.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Kingdom have Doraemon getting dragged into a series of Gladiator Games, including fighting a thirty-foot robot gorilla called Kongfighter.
  • Oozaru aka The Great Ape Transformation from Dragon Ball, turns Saiyans and half-Saiyans into massive Baboon/Gorilla like ape creatures at the full moon. The Saiyans used this transformation to effortlessly conquer a new planet from the Tuffles. The downside is the form is impossible to control for young Saiyans. (Gohan was the sole exception in the non-canon Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might.) Adult Saiyans can control the form and used to wipe out populations under Frieza's orders (which led to him fearing the Saiyan's power and committing near genocide on them). The after the battle with Vegeta, Great Apes have were never seen again in Dragon Ball Z or Dragon Ball Super, but Dragon Ball GT did bring them back having Goku, Vegeta and Baby transform into a Golden Super Saiyan Great Ape.
  • The Beast Titan, from Attack on Titan. At 17 meters tall, it towers over regular Titans and its Creepily Long Arms give it not only reach but complement its Improbable Aiming Skills. It doesn't help that it is also exceptionally cruel, with a brilliant mind and possibly the ability to transform human victims into Titans it commands. It is very bad news, and causes a battle-hardened veteran to have a Freak Out just by speaking to him.
  • Shoukaku from Gintama. Yeah, he is in fact an alien gorilla who is the 4th captain of Harusame and defies Katsura in a combat.
  • Forever from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is an orangutan who gained human-level intelligence after acquiring a Stand (in the form of a mind-controlled ship) and became a sea captain. He manages to give Jotaro quite a bit of trouble in the Stardust Crusaders arc.
  • Kemono Friends: Western Lowland Gorilla is the leader of the Friends living in a jungle, appearing to be rough and scaring her followers into submission. However, she turns out to be a subversion. In reality, she is a pacifist who only intimidates her opponents, and acting tough in front of her followers causes her stress.
  • One Piece: Eiichiro Oda really loves this trope and puts badass gorillas all over the place.
    • Scarlet The Brute (literally) from One Piece Film: Strong World is a giant pink suit wearing perverted gorilla that pisses Sanji off when he captures Robin and proclaims he's love for her on a tower. It's a big Shout-Out to King Kong.
    • in the manga and anime, Blackback the gorilla Mink from Zou is subversion though he seem like one when he first appeared, he is actually a big softie who loves bananas.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, one of Leon's Pokémon is Rillaboom. It is very strong, being able to beat most of Diantha's team (Tyrantrum, Gourgeist, Goodra and Aurorus) before getting one-shotted by Gardevoir. During Ash's battle with Leon, Rillaboom is able to beat Dragonite (who had managed to beat Dragapult) and Sirfetch'd before being beaten by Dracovish who uses its extending spikes and Dragon Rush to beat the Grass-type.
  • Both Invoked and Subverted in Tiger Mask: when presenting Tiger's Cave wrestler Gorilla Man, Mr. X describes the gorillas that originally raised him as this trope, but later the Combat Commentator points out they're actually nice and gentle unless provoked, contrasting them to the (apparently) ferocious Gorilla Man. Everyone still agrees that provoking a gorilla (or Gorilla Man) is suicidal.
  • The Iron Kong from Zoids is modeled after the gorilla.

  • 19th Century sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet created two statues, one in 1859 and one in 1887, depicting a vicious-looking gorilla carrying a woman. On the first one, the woman is fully clothed and appears unconscious or dead; on the second, award-winning one, she's naked and visibly struggling, implying that the gorilla is about to rape her. The statues were a major inspiration for King Kong (1933).

    Comic Books 
  • Anderson: Psi-Division: After a mind-transfer goes wrong, Judge Anderson and Vernan D'Arque both end up trapped in the subconsciousness of an intelligent gorilla. D'Arque uses the gorilla's body to go on a killing spree to recover his fortune.
  • The DCU:
    • Gorilla Grodd (pictured above) is an Evil Genius gorilla with telepathic powers who hates humanity and wants to Take Over the World.
    • Monsieur Mallah is an intelligent gun-toting communist gay French gorilla who works for the Brain in a Jar supervillain named "The Brain".
    • The Ultra-Humanite is most commonly seen in the body of a great white ape.
    • Obscure Batman villain Gorilla Boss might also count as like Ultra-Humanite, while he started as a human, his brain's in the body of a gorilla.
    • Depending on the Writer, DC comics may make the point that normal gorillas are Gentle Giants, and that even most of Grodd's fellow Gorilla City denizens follow suit - Solovar, for example, is usually the rightful king of Gorilla City, and is pretty consistently portrayed as a good guy. And then there are stories where the Flash says that every so often he's reminded that Grodd is a wild animal...
    • Wonder Woman:
      • Vol 1: Villain Giganta was a very large and unusually strong gorilla that was going to be put down after she escaped the zoo and threatened many lives. She was instead bartered for by Dr. Zool for use in an experiment that turned her into a large woman, who was even more murderous than she had been as a gorilla.
      • In Volume 2 Giganta was the scientist Dr. Doris Zeul, whose mind was transferred into a gorilla kept for experimentation out of desperation when she was dying from an incurable illness. She later transferred her mind into a meta-human with size shifting abilities.
    • Superman baddie Titano is depicted as a gorilla, though this is Depending on the Writer as he's also been a chimpanzee. Regardless of his species, his backstory is usually that he's a lab animal that grew to gigantic size and gained kryptonite Eye Beams following a freak lab accident. In his episode of Superman: The Animated Series, however, he's depicted as a sympathetic Non-Malicious Monster, and a childhood friend of Lois.
    • Starfire's Revenge: Supergirl's Starfire kept a vicious gorilla in a pit to get rid of anyone who displeased her.
  • Don Martin drew a comic around the self-created holiday National Gorilla Suit Day (that's January 31st.) In it, recurring character Fester Bestertester is visited by several wearers of gorilla suits, many of them being actual killer gorillas who creatively mangle him several times.
  • A comic book miniseries prequel to The Dresden Files called Welcome to the Jungle plays with this, in that a silverback gorilla name Moe is a suspect for a number of murders at the Lincoln Park Zoo, but he is actually very gentle and protective with his handlers. What he does to a hag who is threatening one of his friends is very messy, though.
  • Hellboy gives us the Kriegaffes, cyborg gorilla henchmen of the Nazi Mad Scientist head in a jar Hermann von Klempt. One story has Hellboy initially hesitant to use violence against something he perceives to be just an animal, until he hears it talk, realizes it's an Uplifted Animal - and therefore, a willing accomplice to the Nazis. He kills it without any further hesitation, though he later wonders if he might have misheard it and misinterpreted events.
  • One of the main characters in Cavewoman is Klyde, a gigantic, violent gorilla.
  • The second arc of The Incredibles comic series starts with an attack on the mall by the Ungorilla, a Captain Ersatz of Grodd.
  • In Rawhide Kid #39, Rawhide battles the Ape: a trained gorilla under the control of Mad Scientist Dr. Karlbad.
  • In the Tintin album The Black Island, the villains keep a gorilla named Ranko to attack anyone who trespasses on the island of the title. Subverted, however, in that Ranko is mostly dangerous because it is abused by the villains, and in fact Tintin befriends it by helping it after it is injured.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge:
    • Enjin is an Animalistic Abomination kaiju whose full form resembles an amalgamation of different primates, with the body portion resembling a gorilla's. Other parts include tamarin claws and a mandrill-like face.
    • Subverted with King Kong, an evolved kaiju sized descendant of Ardipithecus, meaning he's actually more closely related to humans than he is to gorillas. While brutal in combat against rivals and the skullcrawlers, he's a Gentle Giant unless provoked and specifically protects the Iwi islands. He becomes the Mentor Archetype to a young Godzilla Junior.
  • In the Encanto fic Just Like Balloons, Guadalupe, a chimpanzee, goes on a rampage in casita. Antonio and Isabela, are the only survivors, with Isabela being disfigured in the attack.
  • Hitman Miami: The last chapter has the protagonist up against genetically engineered, gun-toting, yet still bestial, gorilla assassins.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live Action 
  • After attacking its cruel circus trainer and escaping, a gorilla in The Ape is killed by the local scientist, who takes its fur to disguise his forced gathering of spinal fluids as gorilla attacks.
  • The Ape Woman series.
    • Captive Wild Woman: Cheela is an exceptionally intelligent gorilla, which draws the attention of Dr. Walters. He steals her to be the subject of his next grand experiment: to turn an animal into a human by means of human hormones backed up by a human cerebrum for stability. It all goes according to plan and Walters gives the gorilla-turned-human the name Paula Dupree. The new form's flaw is that strong emotions and the ape hormones released with them wreak havoc on the human tissue, causing the Ape Woman to reach a transitional state between gorilla and human or become Cheela fully again. As events unfold, Cheela ends up strangling and crushing the necks of three people: her abusers Gruen and Walters as well as one innocent woman when Cheela attempts to kill her romantic rival. Ultimately not evil, just an animal, Cheela dies while saving the life of Fred Mason, a man she was close with as gorilla and became infatuated with as woman.
    • Jungle Woman: The possibility is brought up that the gorilla Cheela, who has been turned into the human Paula Dupree by means of hormone and cerebrum transplants, actually started life as a human and was turned into a gorilla by an undisclosed scientific experiment. Originally, the change was permanent, though damage to the human tissue could undo it, requiring another operation to bring back Paula. Possibly by simply getting the time to heal, the Ape Woman has become able to change freely. She enjoys the strength of a gorilla in all of her forms, but can only talk and supposedly swim in her human form. Morally, Paula retains her animalistic lack of a true conscience and on top of that is seemingly traumatized after her near-death experience. She goes on to kill Willie, who won't leave her alone otherwise, several chickens, and attempts to murder both Fletchers out of romantic jealousy and self-preservation.
    • Jungle Captive: Following her death and resurrection, the Ape Woman no longer has access to her human form Paula Dupree due to damage to her human hormones and cerebrum. Rather than fully reverting to her gorilla self Cheela, she is stuck in-between the two forms. Stendahl, who brought her back to life, gives her new hormones and prepares to get her a new cerebrum, but at this point the Ape Woman just wants to no longer be a scientist's plaything and kills both Stendahl and one of his guard dogs to achieve freedom. She does, however, also prepare to kill her would-be donor Ann, for which she's gunned down.
  • The Battle Wizard: The main villain's Right-Hand Attack Dog is a carnivorous, kung-fu fighting gorilla, which he sics on the titular wizard late in the film.
  • Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla plays its gorilla this way.
  • Black Panther: The Jabari's totem animal is a gorilla and come off as a tribe of brutish warriors, their leader M'baku being the most aggressive of them all. Turns out M'baku's an honorable and reasonable leader despite political differences. He even pokes fun at this trope by threatening to eat people, only to reveal he's a vegetarian.
  • Black Zoo: Conrad uses the gorilla from his zoo to murder Jenny Brooks.
  • In The Bowery Boys Meet The Monsters, the Mad Scientist Dr. Gravesend wants to put Huntz Hall's character's brain into the body of a gorilla he keeps in the attic of his Old, Dark House. Naturally, the gorilla escapes and attacks people.
  • The Bride And The Beast: A Great White Hunter has a gorilla caged in his basement. It breaks out and attempts to get with his wife, who was apparently a gorilla in a previous life. Gorillas are discussed throughout the movie as if they're the deadliest predators of the jungle, and in the movie's climax, gorillas are shown in their natural African habitat: the Bronson Caves.
  • Circus of Horrors: While fleeing from Rossiter, Martin releases a gorilla from its cage that subsequently chases and attacks Rossiter.
  • Congo: has a pack of hyper-territorial albino gorillas guarding the lost city of Zinj. The film goes out of its way to mention that gorillas aren't normally aggressive, and that the hostile ones in the film had been specifically bred for violence - a sort of Cannibal Clan of gorillas. Also, they're smarter than normal gorillas, capable of using tools, tactics, and teaching the same behavior to their offspring. This is in contrast to Amy, a kind and intelligent gorilla who knows sign language, and is a key member of the main cast. Toward the end of the film, Amy encounters a troupe of regular gorillas, whom - though they're a little threatening at first - she ultimately decides to join, saying goodbye to her human friends.
  • The 1939 Ritz Brothers comedy The Gorilla has an escaped gorilla causing havoc during the reign of terror of a notorious criminal who, coincidentally, is also dubbed "The Gorilla".
  • Gorilla At Large is a movie about a circus gorilla that escapes and kidnaps Anne Bancroft. However, the gorilla is portrayed as a Non-Malicious Monster, as the climax of the movie revolves around distracting him into letting Anne go. Most of the murders in the movie are actually committed by the human villain in a gorilla suit.
  • Gorilla, Interrupted: Ray turns into a gorilla when he's angry, so whenever he's angry, his gorilla-self beats up anyone nearby and trashes the place.
  • The 1967 comedy Hillbillies In A Haunted House has a gorilla caged in the house's basement.
  • Hollow Man has an invisible and somewhat vicious gorilla at the beginning. (which could count as Foreshadowing: if a gorilla was altered, how would a human perform?
  • House Of Mystery features a cast of characters staying in mansion whose owner is targeted by a Hindu curse that takes the form of a murderous orangutan.
  • Ingagi was a mockumentary Exploitation Film from 1930 about vicious gorillas taking African woman (actually white women in blackface) as sex slaves. The general consensus is that it's pretty awful and incredibly racist, although it was enormously popular at the time.
    • The not-quite-sequel Son Of Ingagi, from 1940, featured an ape-like monster named N'Gina, who is kept in a cage in the basement of a female Mad Scientist and said to be a "missing link". This movie had no blackface, and was, in fact, the first monster movie ever made with an all-black cast, so that's cool.
  • The first part of It Came from Hollywood covers killer gorillas, though most of them aren't quite as terrifying as they're supposed to be. It opens with a comic sequence of a Screaming Woman being warned on the radio about an escaped gorilla, who then proceeds to inadvertently do everything she's warned will attract said gorilla.
  • While King Louie in the 1967 adaptation of The Jungle Book was a goofy, scat-singing orangutan who mostly averted this trope, the 2016 live-action remake changes him to a very large and violent Gigantopithecus whose mannerisms evoke a Mafia don with a dash of Colonel Kurtz. For extra scare value, he's voiced by Christopher Walken.
  • The Kentucky Fried Movie has a gorilla who goes on a rampage and trashes the studio after his sexual impotence is mentioned. The gorilla is named "Dino" and played by simian impersonator Rick Baker, who also played the title part in Dino de Laurentiis' 1976 remake of King Kong.
  • King Kong, no ordinary gorilla but a member of a giant prehistoric species. The natives present human sacrifices to him, he wrestles giant reptiles, and rampages through a city, killing numerous people. He pretty much codified this trope for modern media and spawned numerous expies.
  • Mighty Joe Young:
    • In the 1949 original, the eponymous giant gorilla is fed liquor and goes on a drunken rampage, turning lions loose and causing tremendous damage. Overall, though, Joe is treated a lot more sympathetically than most of these examples; the movie was made largely for people who were sad when King Kong died, and lets its own big ape live happily ever after at a ranch in Africa.
    • The rampage also happens in the remake, albeit with him getting angry and\or scared instead of drunk. Like the original, this one mostly treats Joe as kindhearted Gentle Giant, stressing that Humans Are the Real Monsters.
  • In The Monster And The Girl, a Mad Scientist transplants a human brain into the body of a gorilla. The man whose brain it is - a mild-mannered church organist who was wrongly convicted of murder and executed - uses his new body to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the gangsters who framed him, and have also kidnapped his sister. Ultimately a justified trope, since the gorilla brain is no longer in control.
  • In The Monster Maker, Dr. Markoff keeps a murderous gorilla in a cage in his lab. He eventually uses it in an attempt to dispose of his lab assistant Maxine.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the man whose hand is shown turning the pages of the book telling about the search for the Grail gets grabbed suddenly at one point by a gorilla, who proceeds to take over the page-turning role.
  • Nope: Ricky is the Former Child Star of Gordy's Home, a 1990s sitcom which featured a family living with a pet chimpanzee named Gordy. However, during the filming of a Birthday Episode, some of the balloons in the scene popped, frightening Gordy, who went on a rampage, killing two members of the cast and maiming a third before being gunned down. This ties into the movie's theme that Nature Is Not Nice and no animal is ever 100% tamed.
  • In Pacific Rim, one of the Kaiju, Leatherback, resembles a gigantic, hairless gorilla, with a bulky body, long arms, large fists and walking on his knuckles.
  • Dario Argento's Phenomena climaxes with a razor-wielding chimpanzee on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. She's actually heroic, though, and saves the heroine from the film's real villain.
  • In Pixels, the final boss is the Donkey Kong, who has his entry in Video Games section.
  • In the original Planet of the Apes and sequels gorillas are the soldier class, and are the only meat-eaters. Science Marches On, though, and it's now known that gorillas generally don't eat meat, but chimpanzees do. Which makes the scenes where Zira frowns at the gorillas, calling them "meat-eaters", quite ironic. It's also mentioned (most explicitly in Escape from the Planet of the Apes) that calling apes "monkeys" is considered a very severe insult.
    Breck: Because your kind were once our ancestors. Because man was born of apes, and there's still an ape curled up inside of every man. You're the beast in us that we have to whip into submission. You're the savage that we need to shackle in chains. You taint us, Caesar. You poison our guts. When we hate you, we're hating the dark side of ourselves.
    • The 2001 remake still has the gorillas as soldiers, but the 'aggressive killer' stereotype is instead used on the chimpanzees, true to what was discovered by ape researchers.
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes zigzags this. On one hand, Buck, Caesar's friend and main gorilla of the film, kills more people on-screen than any other ape by virtue of being big, strong and not particularly keen on restraint. On the other hand, the greatest contribution of the gorillas to the collective effort of the apes was to move a bus, which a large group of chimpanzees later use as cover to attack.
    • Pretty much averted in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as far as gorillas go. In combat situations, the movie focuses more on the gorillas taking wounded apes out of the line of fire or assisting the other apes in hunts, not by killing preys, but by carrying weapons for the actual meat-eaters to use.
  • In Pootie Tang, a gorilla kills Pootie's dad. Apparently, it's a common form of working hazard in the factory he worked.
  • Zigzagged in Rampage (2018) with George, an unusually large and intelligent albino gorilla. In his natural state at the beginning of the movie, he's a friendly, mischievous fellow with a mastery of sign language and a strong bond with his animal handler. Once he gets a dose of the mutagen, he gets bigger, hungrier, and angrier, and starts acting more like this trope. He does eventually manage to shake off the behavioural effects of the mutagen, and heroically fights the other monsters in the movie's climax.
  • Towards the end of Road to Zanzibar, Bob Hope's character gets tossed in a cage with a wrestling gorilla.
  • SHAZAM! (2019): Out of the seven demons resembling the Seven Deadly Sins, Wrath has a distinctly gorilla-like body, with long arms he uses for knuckle-walking and Ground Punch.
  • In Snow White & the Huntsman, the troll walks on its knuckles and has the general body proportions of a gorilla. The goblins in the sequel, The Huntsman: Winter's War, are even more ape-like: not only they essentially look like large black apes with goat horns, they also swing on trees and generally move like apes.
  • The Star Wars universe:
    • Wookiees, despite being an alien species, look and act this part (albeit as a mostly heroic proud warrior race, rather than villains). As Han says, they're known to rip people's arms out of their sockets.
    • In the Expanded Universe book The Wildlife of Star Wars, there's the Veermoks, large predatory apes that stalk the swamps of Naboo.
  • Teenage Zombies, another '50s B-Movie, has a Mad Scientist trying to turn people into Technically Living Zombies. She already has a zombified gorilla under her control as her main henchman. It is, of course, caged in the basement.
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1924) provides one of the earliest examples in cinema. One of the beasts guarding the palace is a monstrous ape, played by a live chimpanzee that looks taller than a human thanks to forced perspective. Ahmed is nearly executed by getting thrown to the ape.
  • The Three Stooges were often terrorized by, and sometimes befriended by, various gorillas.

  • Brazilian Folklore: The Arranca-Língua (Tongue-Ripper) is an enormous and monstruous ape from the Midwest region, especially in Goiás. It has a taste for tongues, ripping them off cattle and sometimes even humans to eat. The legend was even, appropriately enough, nicknamed "Brazilian King Kong".

  • Animorphs: Played with, but mostly averted.
    • Marco goes on quite a few rampages in gorilla morph, but it's the bad guys he's usually throwing around. Unlike many of their combat morphs, though, he never mentions the gorilla's instincts as being particularly violent (as opposed to many predators, like big cats or even eagles, that they sometimes have trouble controlling). He does repeatedly state that gorillas aren't aggressive because they don't need to be.
      Arnold Schwarzenegger using his entire body could not have bent back my wrist if I didn't want him to.
    • Indeed, Marco actually comments at least once that he's fully aware that real gorillas actually aren't usually violent — but Marco still uses it as his combat morph, because they're nevertheless strong. On the other hand, Marco is one of the most ruthless members of the team, so in that regard its played straight.
  • In Bulldog Drummond, the villains' Booby Trap-filled lair also has a savage gorilla that is let loose at night to discourage anyone from wandering in or out without permission. The hero escapes death at its hands, but is told of another man who was less adept and was found with his throat torn out.
  • C. Auguste Dupin: In "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", the murderer is an escaped orangutan. The Universal film adaptation changed it into a gorilla, both because of this trope and because it's really hard to squeeze an actor into a convincing orangutan suit.
  • Conan the Barbarian takes on an intelligent ape-like creature that has usurped its master in the short story "Rogues in the House".
  • The Librarian of the Unseen University in Discworld is an orangutan (formerly a human until a mgical accident), prone to violently correcting anyone who calls him a monkey.
  • Subverted in The Fantastic Flying Journey: when the Dollybutt siblings and Great-Uncle Lancelot look for the gorillas in the jungles of Africa, the kids are concerned that the animals might be dangerous, but Lancelot explains that they are docile animals who don't deserve their fearsome reputation. The first gorilla they encounter is a silverback who charges at them, but calms down when Lancelot explains to him that, unlike most humans, they mean no harm. The silverback tells them afterwards that he's rather tired of acting fierce to keep humans away from his family.
  • In Desert And Wilderness has one attack the protagonists, quite randomly.
  • The feral plague in Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse which turned half of the population into Technically Living Zombies also affected great apes. A troop of feral chimpanzees is encountered in the second book, making moose and bison stampede away in panic. Smaller but faster, stronger, more agile, and toothier than humans, they're considerably more threatening than human ferals.
  • The John Carter of Mars series feature the white apes — gigantic, carnivorous white Martian gorillas with six limbs.
  • In the children's book Killer Gorilla (also published as Gorilla! Gorilla!) by English writer Jeanne Willis, a mother mouse loses her baby in the African jungle, and encounters a gigantic gorilla. The mouse runs all around the world, believing that the ape wants to kill and eat her — but as the gorilla finally catches up with her, he reveals that he was only chasing her because he wanted to return her baby.
  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • The "Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn" mentions that one of Jermyn's ancestors, a circus performer whose act consisted of a mock boxing match against a gorilla, was brutally killed by it after he had a breakdown and assaulted it after it accidentally punched him too hard during practice. Said story also has a twist ending based on Frazetta Man and a very grim take on Darwin, in which the Jermyn family are revealed to be descended from a Great White Hunter who married a white ape.
    • "The Lurking Fear" describes the bloodthirsty monsters lurking in the Old, Dark House (actually the Inbred and Evil Cannibal Clan remnants of the household) as vaguely simian.
  • Modesty Blaise: In The Impossible Virgin, the villain has a gorilla in a cage at his compound in Africa. He keeps it around mainly to make a point about how he, small and physically unimposing as he is, has more power than the hulking beast, but there are also times when people get locked in the cage to be torn to shreds.
  • Parodied in the P. G. Wodehouse story "Monkey Business": the Hollywood-based protagonist ends up face-to-face with a baby-stealing gorilla... only to learn that it's actually a human in a costume who is embarrassed to explain he got a little too into his role.
  • Quest for Fire, a novel written and published not long after the Mountain gorilla was discovered by science, is one of the earliest subversions of this trope long before Diane Fossey's work. The gorilla-like "Blue-haired men" initially appear agressive and inspire fear from the humans who encounter them but they turn out to be peaceful foragers who just want to be left alone.
  • A gorilla takes a brutal, if entirely justified revenge, on one of the villains at the climax of the Solomon Kane story "Red Shadows".
  • Kovo The Ape in Spirit Animals was one of the two Great Beasts to turn evil and help the villain. Being locked up in the middle of a scorching desert for several millennia as punishment has not inspired him to change his ways.
  • Tarzan of the Apes and the other Tarzan books have the Mangani (Frazetta Man-like humanoid apes) and the Bolgani (actual gorillas). The two species are mortal enemies, and both of them are portrayed as pretty violent.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 features the extra-large, probably mutated, post-apocalyptic descendant of a zoo's gorilla habitat, with a habit of letting out monstrous roars before it rips people's limbs off with its bare hands.
  • Animal Face Off has one in "Gorilla Vs. Leopard". That said, its more the oppisite trope, as the narrator say its a Gentle Giant that only attacks when it or its family is threatened.
  • In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Penny confesses that she had a topless scene in a B-movie about a killer gorilla called "Serial Apist". In a later episode, she is offered a part in its sequel, Serial Apist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill, in which she herself turns into a killer gorilla.
  • Dusty's Trail: In "Love Means Not Having to Say You're Bananas", a gorilla that has escaped from a traveling circus invades the camp and captures Betsy. Dusty, Andy, and Mr. Callahan try to think of some way to get her out of the cave the gorilla has put her in.
  • The Electric Company (1971): Several gags involving Paul the Gorilla, although he is completely harmless. Most notably is a skit about f-words (no, not THAT word) where Melanie Henderson blindfolds Luis Avalos, brings in Paul and has him feel fingers, feet, fur and a face before he takes off his blindfold, sees Paul staring him in the face, and then he feels funny and faints. Paul looks at Avalos then stares into the camera.
  • The above mentioned Grodd appears in The Flash (2014), where he's the victim of sadistic Animal Testing from the military prior to his intelligence being enhanced, leaving him to think none too highly of humans. In season 2, he's sent to Gorilla City Earth 2, figuring he'd be happier among his own kind. It turns out not to be the case, as there's Always Someone Better. In season 3, it's revealed that Grodd feels chafed under Gorilla City's ruler Solovar, who is stronger than him. While Barry does end up battling Solovar, he spares his life, and Solovar later stops the gorilla invasion of Central City in return.
  • The Gong Show: A recurring gag saw a giant gorilla hand often grab a hilariously bad act – often a stunningly beautiful girl – and yank her offstage, with host Chuck Barris implying the worst. These were non-scoring acts done for comedy relief.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977): In the episode "The Beast Within", Dr. Banner ends up working at a zoo, and meets a gorilla named Elliot, who is initially friendly and docile, but turns violent after getting injected by an aggression-inducing serum by the bad guys. Naturally, Banner ends up turning into the Hulk and fighting the frenzied ape.
  • Wonder Woman: In "Wonder Woman vs Gargantua", the Nazis train a gorilla named Gargantua to kill Wonder Woman. However, Wonder Woman understands that Gargantua himself is innocent and works to befriend him and help him overcome his training, rather than just killing him.


  • In the music video for "Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz, a bunch of zombie gorillas show up in a graveyard that the band members need to fight.
  • Lee Scratch Perry's albums Super Ape and Return Of The Super Ape use a gigantic killer gorilla on their album covers.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • Naturally, these are featured all over the place in Congo.
  • The backglass for Atari's Middle Earth pinball shows a giant hairy ape holding a human in one clawed hand while fighting against a giant horned Kaiju.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Various kinds of monstrous, malevolent apes have turned up in various editions and settings for Dungeons & Dragons and assorted spin-offs, such as Pathfinder. In fact, the last module Gary Gygax created for 1st edition before leaving TSR was Isle of the Ape, which was basically a riff on King Kong.
    • Girallons appear in several editions, resembling large, white gorillas with four arms (as a likely Shout-Out to the White Apes of Mars listed above). Tomb of Annihilation gave us an undead variant.
    • Blood Apes are red-furred 6-foot tall gorillas that behave like regular animals... except the part where they can increase their size (which not only gives them more hit points, they also do more damage) to fend off threats. And unlike gorillas, they go straight for the kill instead of making threat displays, giving them an undeserved reputation as murderous carnivores.
    • The Barlgura is a demon appearing in every edition of D&D. It's a large but stocky, hairy monster with long arms and short legs, resembling a monstrous orangutan. Like all demons, it is chaotic evil, and possesses a handful of magical powers such as seeing through invisibility and turn invisible itself.
    • Another type of demon, the Nalfeshnee, resembles a cross between a gorilla and a boar, with filthy vulture wings on its back. They're antisocial, even by demon standards, and in some versions of the game are made from the souls of especially greedy and self-interested mortals.
  • Most of the above monsters also appear in Pathfinder, which also adds a few of its own. The city of Usaro, deep in the Mwangi Expanse, is devoted to this trope - and a bit of Maniac Monkeys, as its rank-and-file warriors are mostly the mandrill-like charau-ka. The city is ruled by The Gorilla King - a formerly human warlord turned into an intelligent dire ape to better serve Angazhan, the Demon Lord of Apes, who resembles a cross between a King Kong Copy and a Big Red Devil. Usaro is also populated by angazhani, or "high girallons" - intelligent and evil versions of the above girallons.
  • In the obscure D20 setting Weird Wars II, the bestiary (Horrors of Weird War II) includes three kinds of ape-man monster; apes given near-human intelligence and trained as Nazi soldiers, apes with Nazi soldier brains transplanted inside of them, and humans mentally devolved into quasi-ape monsters.
  • Although Venusians are an intelligent, cooperative and developed people in Rocket Age this doesn't change the fact that they are two and a half meter tall war-like ape men.

  • In Eugene O'Neill's play The Hairy Ape, the protagonist goes to the Zoo to talk to a gorilla and releases it from its cage, whereupon it crushes him to death.

    Video Games 
  • Ape Escape, Pumped and Primed has Pipotron G, a white-furred mutant who serves as the most physically intimidating member of the New Pipotrons working for Nazo.
  • Ape Out: You play as a gorilla which breaks out of a cage and smashes gun-toting humans into piles of giblets. In this preview by Rock Paper Shotgun, they describe it as the most violent game of 2019 (but it was only February).
  • Borderlands 2 has a four-armed variation known as bullymongs. Like many of Pandora's wildlife, they are hostile to everyone.
  • There is one hairy white gorilla in the Trophy Room in Brain Dead 13. And surprisingly, it has the same atomic wedgie kill scene as Moose!
  • Applies to Bongo from the Sega's Congo Bongo, which was essentially their answer to the original Donkey Kong.
  • Koala Kong from Crash Bandicoot is a muscular, gorilla-like koala who's known to have a vicious temper and fights Crash inside of an active volcano by throwing boulders at him. Rilla Roo from Crash Bash looks the part, but mainly serves as an Evil Counterpart for Dingodile (who along with Tiny Tiger was subjected to Heel–Face Turn for this particular game only). There's also the Scorporilla from Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind Over Mutant, a massive gorilla-scorpion hybrid and one of the strongest Titans in the game.
  • Crazy Climber: The 1980 video game, which cashed in on the media fad where stuntmen attempted to climb the side of tall skyscrapers, featured a King Kong-type gorilla (on buildings 1 and 3) whose punch was deadly. He returns in Crazy Climber 2 to throw bricks.
  • Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck: The boss of the Jungle is the Jungle King, a gorilla whose crown is one of the four treasures that Donald is seeking in his quest to rescue Scrooge McDuck. The Jungle King chases Donald and causes fruits to fall from trees. Donald cannot damage him directly, but must evade him so that he will eventually slam into a tree.
  • Donkey Kong in the original Donkey Kong was a woman-kidnapping, barrel-tossing antagonist. In most later games, however, Donkey Kong (actually the son of the original 1981 DK) is more fun-loving than threatening... until someone steals his bananas. He fits this trope the most in the Gamecube version of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat where he goes around beating up a bunch of jungle rules to become "King of the Jungle'' whereas the Wii version has him doing so because the Party Monkeys contacted Donkey Kong for help after the Ghastly King invaded the Kingdoms and brainwashed the kings to steal all of the bananas.
  • Tongada from Dusty Revenge is a giant gorilla brute who made his intro by derailing the train Dusty is on with his fists. Cue boss battle. Tongada is also the largest boss in the game, and will repeatedly try pounding Dusty to a pulp with his Power Fist.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The gorillas are normally docile, and Zophy's team is even on first name basis with one of them. But thanks to the frenzy wind, even the gorillas have become hostile. The majority of them are content to sit in place and throw rocks, but the aforementioned friend is a larger specimen that attacks directly.
  • Fantastic Four have gigantic, genetically-modified orange-furred gorillas as recurring Giant Mook enemies, though they can be easily beaten even in large numbers.
  • Gekido have a fierce gorilla boss who's simply named... gorilla. It greets you with a Primal Chest-Pound during a cutscene before the boss fight commences proper.
  • Golden Sun has gorillas as part of the Random Encounters. Infamously, The Lost Age's first boss is a trio of gorillas named "Chestbeaters" that attack you because they happened to be at the end of the dungeon.
  • Gryphon Knight Epic: Simiel Totec, one of the bosses of the game, rides a gorilla named Gronko.
  • The Half-Life mod Heart of Evil has a lot of them.
  • Heavy Weapon has the boss Kommie Kong (renamed Gorillazilla in the PS3/Xbox360 release), which is a giant communist mecha gorilla that throws exploding rockets and tries to stomp the player.
  • Inazuma Eleven: When SARU mixi-maxes with the S Gene, he bulks up and starts resembling a furious gorilla.
  • Injustice 2: Gorilla Grodd, obviously. When we first meet him, he's established himself as the leader of the Society, to take over the world after the fall of the Regime. On a team including Cheetah, Poison Ivy, and The Scarecrow, he comes across as the most depraved of them, to the point that he betrays Earth to ally with Brainiac purely for his own gain. Outside the main story, Grodd is still pretty threatening: he enters the battlefield carrying the skull of his latest victim, which he then crushes, he roars while beating up his opponent and jumping towards the screen in his victory animation, and if his arcade ending is anything to go by, he kills Brainiac, enslaves humanity and goes on a world-conquering spree.
  • Keineged an nor: Pulling a lever to the left in the third room releases a bunch of gorillas to trample you.
  • Kirby:
    • One of Kirby's recurring foes is Bonkers, a muscly gorilla-like Beast Man with a huge mallet. He can also toss exploding coconuts at Kirby. He's usually only a Mini-Boss, but he gets upgraded to a full-fledged boss in the Clash subseries. In the 3D games, Bonkers is depicted more like a gorilla such as always supporting himself with one hand and his Star Allies description in Guest Star mode mentioning how much he loves bananas.
    • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the boss of White Wafers is Goriath, an aggressive, unpredictable gorilla-like Waddling Head who attacks Kirby with various anime-inspired techniques. If you fight him on Extra Mode, he even gets a Spirit Bomb. The Magolor epilogue in Deluxe introduces a water-themed version called Hydriath who not only has water versions of Goriath's attacks but can also teleport!
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land, in addition to Wild Bonkers (who is referred to as "they" by the figure you can collect of them instead of him for whatever reason), has Gorimondo, the enormous "Strong-Armed Beast". He's part of the Beast Pack's "executive council", and he uses his colossal strength to hurl boulders at Kirby. In the first stage of Forgo Dreams, the much more dangerous Phantom Gorimondo appears as one of Fecto Forgo's malevolent thought constructs.
  • The Lion King has one at the end of the "Hakuna Matata" level. Subverted in that he's not actively attacking Simba, only throwing coconuts at him, because apparently he wants to be left alone. It doesn't stop him from being widely considered That One Boss.
  • The General enemy and its variants in Miitopia are giant gorillas that have nastily powerful fists.
  • Monster Eye have a zoo level filled with hostile simians, culminating in a gigantic King Kong-esque gorilla monster who repeatedly tries to squash you as you flee atop a Ferris Wheel.
  • Monster Hunter has a number of ape- and monkey-like Monsters, classified as Primate Fanged Beasts:
  • The Steel Mechorilla, fought at the top of Snowcap Mountain in Mother 3, is a powerful mechanical chimera whose hands have been replaced with wrecking balls. You might think it a good idea to strike it with PK Thunder, since it's weak to electric attacks. Think again. Additionally, there are biological chimarae in the form of the Batangutan (an orangutan head with bat wings) and the Monkalrus (a walrus head on an orangutan's body). It's suggested that the same orangutans were used to create both creatures.
  • Zigzagged with Winston of Overwatch. Normally he's a friendly and cute talking gorilla who's interested in engineering. But when he uses his Ultimate, he loses his calm demeanor and goes on a roaring rampage (combined in-game with increased health and mobility.) Played straight with the rest of the enhanced gorillas from Winston's lunar colony. They violently took over the colony and killed the human researchers who were working there, partially out of jealousy towards Winston for being smarter than them.
  • Rampage: The legendary video game series stars three mutated monsters, including George – a King Kong-like gorilla. George (along with his "friends") could eat people to earn bonus points and maintain/gain energy.
  • T-virus infected zombie gorillas were a planned monster for Resident Evil 2, and had been successfully modeled and programmed by the "1.5" edition, but they were cut from the released game. The concept would be revived in Resident Evil 0; originally, a giant killer monkey named "Wesker's Monster" was planned as a boss monster, but it was scrapped. Instead, the game featured the Eliminators; Progenitor-infected laboratory chimpanzees whose small stature, quick movement rate, leaping & grappling abilities, and surprising durability would see them become one of the more infamous members of the series' Demonic Spiders.
  • Riot: Every now and then, the game will throw a giant gorilla as a Recurring Mini-Boss who will jump up and down attempting to crush you, or swat you with its fists. The gorilla may or may not have other mooks flanking him, and in one occassion you fight two of them at the same time.
  • Mechapon, a giant mechanical gorilla, appears as one of the Stage 2 mid-bosses in Strider (Arcade), and returns as a proper boss in the 2014 HD version.
  • Saiyuki: Journey West has one of these as Son Goku's Super Mode.
  • Scrap Garden: One of the bosses Canny faces is a giant gorilla.
  • As if the half-possessed humans of The Many, two malevolent AIs and suicide bomber robots aren't enough problems for System Shock 2 to throw at you, turns out the scientists on the Von Braun brought along some chimps for experimentation...and gave them the ability to throw psychic fireballs!
  • Temtem: Gorong resembles an ape and is implied to have a violent reputation, because its Tempedia entry says it assaults anyone who insults it.
  • In Tomb Raider, the Grecian ruins are populated by lions, crocodiles, bats, and aggressive gorillas.
  • One of the roaming monsters in The Ultimate Haunted House is one of these, a tormented pet gorilla kept in a cage in the Menagerie.
  • One of the bosses Venture Kid is a giant long-armed gorilla.
  • In World of Warcraft, most gorilla mobs are are aggressive and will attack on sight. In a typical Blizzard manner, there are lots of Shout Outs: a giant gorilla living on an island and holding a woman captive, a (robotic) gorilla called A-ME trained to communicate with humans and gorilla mobs dropping barrels of death.
  • Gorilla-type enemies are a Recurring Element in the Xenoblade Chronicles series, in the form of Gogols in the first and second mainline games, and Simius in Xenoblade Chronicles X It's also something of a Running Gag that a gigantic, ludicrously high-levelled red-furred unique Superboss of this type (with a name that usually translates to 'Redbeard'; 'Territorial Rotbart' of XC1 and 2, 'Hayreddin, the Territorial' of X and 'Jingoistic Gigantus' of 3) patrols an early area of each game, along with an even bigger blue-furred one named "Immovable Gonzalez" in the numbered titles providing a roadblock of some kind.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • In the Creepypasta Normal Porn for Normal People the last video, "useless.avi", shows a woman getting mauled to death by a chimpanzee.
  • This article by The Onion uses killer gorillas as a thinly-veiled metaphor for guns. Another article uses the violent gorilla metaphor again, but this time for cancer. Averted in this video, though, where a once kind and happy gorilla is taught that one day it will die.
  • The "Ride Wife, Life Good" meme features a Hulk Speak-talking gorilla who kills his wife after she refuses to let him ride on her back.

    Western Animation 
  • Kiki from the Animaniacs episode "Kiki's Kitten" is a violent female gorilla, who only calms down if she gets kitten whom she can play with. Poor Rita gets to be her toy. Unlike many examples, she is clearly shown to be an outlier; the other gorillas are shown to be happy and peaceful.
  • The Cold Open of the Arthur episode "War of the Worms" has Fern narrating a story about an explorer who gets menaced by a giant talking gorilla that tries to eat her for lunch. Brain calls her out on it, pointing out that gorillas are not as big as the one in the story, they don't eat people (they're herbivores), and they don't talk. This coming from a talking anthropomorphic bear.
  • In an episode of Nelvana's Babar animated series, Babar and his friends get shipwrecked on an island and get antagonized by a King Kong-like giant gorilla named "Conga the Terrible". Subverted at the end of the episode - Conga is revealed to be a Gentle Giant who tried to scare Babar and his friends away because he believed they wanted to capture him.
  • The villain of the obscure Rankin/Bass Productions special The Ballad of Smokey the Bear is a gorilla who escaped from the zoo and proceeds to make a mess of the forest for no apparent reason.
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series heavily based on The Island of Doctor Moreau has a mook gorilla-human hybrid made by a villainous Mad Scientist.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • Mickey Mouse was antagonized by a gorilla named Beppo in several shorts. In The Gorilla Mystery (1930) and The Pet Store (1933), Beppo kidnaps Minnie, whom Mickey rescues; in Mickey's Mechanical Man, the gorilla, dubbed "The Kongo Killer", gets into a boxing match with the titular robot.
    • Averted with the gorilla in Pluto at the Zoo (1942). Although it looks scary and Pluto faints at its sight, it's just a curious Manchild who plays with Pluto as if he was a toy.
    • In Donald Duck and the Gorilla (1944), Ajax, the titular antagonist, is an extremely violent gorilla escaped from a zoo who chases Donald and his nephews through the house before being subdued with a tear gas grenade.
    • In Duck Pimples (1945), as Donald Duck listens to the radio, one of the programs he tunes into is about a killer ape. He briefly imagines his armchair turning into the ape (who looks the same as Ajax from Donald Duck and the Gorilla) and trying to strangle him.
  • In an episode of Clerks: The Animated Series, Jay announces that they have "decided we need more gorillas in our empty lives", and they free the gorillas from the fair across the road from the QuikStop. The gorillas proceed to attack everyone in sight. ("Oh no! Caitlyn!" "Except Caitlyn Bree and Dan Whiffler who are making out in a car!")
  • Family Guy:
    • A cutaway gag at first subverts, then horribly and hilariously plays it straight when Peter mentions how he once introduced a gorilla to a kitten.
      Lois: Awww look Peter! She's taking care of that kitten like its her own child!
      Peter: Yes, I knew that eventually she'd stop tearing them in half. *the camera pans out to show the gorilla sitting next to a small mountain of dismembered kittens*
    • Another gag shows Stewie rushing out of a building, finding a door saying "Not An Exit". He opens it anyway, and gets pounced and beaten up by a vicious gorilla.
      Stewie: Why did the sign say "Not An Exit"? It should have just said "Gorilla Door"!
    • Played straight again in the episode "Adoptation", where the gorillas in the zoo are portrayed as quite violent; they surround Tatum menacingly when she ends up in their enclosure, they tear the zookeeper trying to rescue her from limb to limb (with one gorilla putting on his torn-off face as a mask to disguise himself as a human to escape the zoo), they charge at Lois when she climbs into their habitat to rescue Tatum, and finally they brutally beat up Brian because they didn't like his book.
  • One episode of Fangface ("The Great Ape Escape") had the gang imprisoned in an Underground City of gorilla-men (straddling the line between this trope, Beast Man, and Frazetta Man) inside a mountain on an Island of Mystery. They practiced Human Sacrifice via a number of overly-elaborate death traps and prayed to an "ape idol". A scene in the kitchen of their city's prison, however, implied that they were vegetarians, as the larder was well-stocked with veggies and no apparent meat.
  • George of the Jungle: In the episode "Ungawa the Gorilla God", the eponymous creature is a "ten-foot-tall man-eating gorilla" who is worshipped by a native tribe. They capture the district commissioner and his wife, Shep the Elephant and George and present them as sacrifices to the giant ape.
  • The Great Grape Ape, a Gentle Giant who Does Not Know His Own Strength, only looks like this, but is actually quite harmless. Nevertheless, a Running Gag that happens at least Once an Episode has people running away from what they believe to be a ferocious "goril-il-il-il-il-il-il-il-la".
  • In Johnny Test, Susan and Mary's oblivious love interest, Gil, is accidentally transformed into a gorilla and causes general mayhem in Porkbelly for awhile before he changes back.
  • Tublat from The Legend of Tarzan is a violent, downright murderous silverback who got exiled from Tarzan's family. While Tublat's comparatively passive personality from the books were used to make Disney's Kerchak a much gentler character, Kerchak's personality from the books were consequently used to make Disney's Tublat more violent.
  • The Lion Guard episode "Beshte and the Beast" starts with a immensely powerful and gigantic Hulk-like mountain gorilla named Shujaa seemingly being this trope, scaring away some giraffes and zebras from a watering hole. But when the Lion Guard confront him, he quickly reveals that he's actually friendly, he came to help the Lion Guard, and believed that the giraffes and zebras were the enemies. He causes a lot of destruction later on, but it is either accidental or targeted at the villains, prompting Beshte to teach the great ape how to think before he acts.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the 1942 short "Aloha Hooey", Cecil Crow manages to impress a hula girl after rescuing her from a brutish, mean-looking gorilla (who happens to be wearing a shirt with "THE VILLAIN" printed on the front, and "AS IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW" printed on the back).
    • Gruesome Gorilla from "Gorilla My Dreams" and "Apes of Wrath" (renamed Elvis in the latter cartoon) is a "ferocious ape" who isn't willing to accept Bugs Bunny as his son, and beats him up.
    • In "The Ducksters", Porky Pig finds out the hard way that Daffy Duck's special guest "Miss Shush" is actually an ill-tempered gorilla named Mamie when he receives an off-screen beating and barely escapes with his life.
    • In "Hurdy-Gurdy Hare", Bugs becomes an Organ Grinder but fires his monkey because it was pocketing some of the change. The monkey goes to a gorilla in the zoo, who breaks out and goes after Bugs. Bugs eventually finds that Music Soothes the Savage Beast and makes the gorilla his new hurdy-gurdy monkey. The gorilla looks identical to Gruesome from "Gorilla My Dreams", with a red tuft of hair on his head.
  • Lord Tirek from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Season 4 finale is a centaur with a simian head and torso.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: "Ape Army of the Amazon". In South America, an exiled military officer named Colonel Vasta and a disgraced scientist named Dr. Rucas control apes, with the transmitter on Dr. Rucas's back, in a plot to rob an underground treasure.
  • One episode of Over the Garden Wall has a schoolhouse terrorized by a wild gorilla, who turns out to actually be the teacher's human fiance, who had gotten a job wearing a gorilla suit at the circus and become trapped in the costume.
  • Downplayed with Bada and Bing in The Penguins of Madagascar: they are dumb and thuggish, and occasionally act as The Bully for the other animals, but they are part of the zoo gang and are often friendly with the penguins. They're still disproportionally big, roughly the same size as a rhinoceros.
  • In Primal (2019), the strongest warriors of the ape-man tribe resemble enormous gorillas. The Super Serum that their champion drinks makes him even bigger and more aggressive, turning him into a King Kong-like monster.
  • Rollo is Boris Badenov's pet gorilla in the Rocky and Bullwinkle story arc "Wailing Whale." He looks for victims for Rollo to play with "because they break so easily." The Either/Or Title of one of the episodes is "Playtime For Rollo, or: Rest In Pieces."
  • The Scooby-Doo franchise features several gorilla-like monsters, including:
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Bart Gets an F": Bart and Homer watch a killer gorilla movie where the ape eats people at random.
    • "Treehouse of Horror III": The segment "King Homer" is a direct parody of King Kong (1933), where Homer plays the role of a giant gorilla who eats several people, including Mr. Smithers, Lenny and a Shirley Temple-lookalike.
    • "To Cur With Love" reveals that the predecessor to Krusty's chimp Mr. Teeny was a gorilla who would beat up Krusty, causing him to remark, "next time I get a smaller monkey."
    • "Gorillas On the Mast" features a female gorilla named Lolo, who goes on a destructive rampage after being freed from the zoo by Bart and Milhouse. Somewhat subverted in that she only threatens people rather than actually hurting them (other than throwing a Duff bottle at Ned, and even then it was an accident), and it's implied that her rampage may have been due to stress.
  • One really mean gorilla appears during the Gainax Ending of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode I Had an Accident". It's played by a live actor in a gorilla suit. How is there a gorilla underwater? Well, it's lampshaded in the ending with him getting paranoid SpongeBob is "onto him" and running away on a zebra.
    • Another gorilla appears in the last Patchy segment of "Friend or Foe", who is hired at The Poop Deck after Patchy and Potty get fired. It violently throws all the burger toppings at Patchy after being called a "hairy fleabag".
  • One of the Superman Theatrical Cartoons, "Terror on the Midway" is about a giant gorilla accidentally getting released in the circus and going on a rampage. Its tamer was nowhere to be found.
  • In TaleSpin, one of Trader Moe's goons is a gigantic gorilla who is taller than Baloo (the other goon is a rhinoceros).
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • One of the many supervillain Captain Ersatzes is King Gorilla, a Manly Gay supervillain gorilla who spent some time in prison with the Monarch. He got thrown into prison for murder and rape (yes, in that order). He was later let out of prison since he was dying of lung cancer.
    • There was a "normal" gorilla in the E-Den at the Venture Compound. Dr. Venture apparently had no idea that it was in there, because he led a group of small children into the place as part of a tour of the compound. It mauled one of them to death and Dr. Venture "fixed" it by cloning the kid and giving the clone to his parents when they came to pick him up.
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "Adopted", the three bear cubs get adopted by an eccentric billionaire, to be the companions of his pet silverback gorilla Carl. Carl's room is littered with torn-apart teddy bears and it's implied he'd do the same with the bear cubs when he gets bored. In the climax of the episode, Carl saves the bears from a big fall and is revealed to be genuinely fond of them.
  • An episode of The Wild Thornberrys has Eliza and Darwin trying to sneak a wheel-shaped rock (as a replacement wheel for the comvee when it loses one) from some gorillas in order to avoid invoking this trope. The gorillas turn out to be aversions, being willing to negotiate and give the rock to Eliza if she asks for it, with the troop leader teaching her an example about taking things without permission.
  • Despite looking like a gorilla, Rondo Jr. from Yakkity Yak serves as a threat to the titular character.

    Real Life 
  • This trope especially comes into play when misguided humans, charmed by how much a baby chimpanzee resembles a human child, try to take one as a pet. The problem comes when this cute little infant hits puberty and becomes a very aggressive primate strong enough to rip your arm off and beat you to death with it. Or, if you're lucky, they'll stop at merely ripping your face off.
    • Chimpanzees are among the few animals (along with hippos, swans, and other species) that are much more dangerous than people generally think. Almost every individual chimpanzee has the potential to play this trope straight, and some chimpanzees play it straight a lot of the time.
    • Also, in contrast to gorillas, who are almost exclusively vegetarians, chimps also often supplement their plant-based diet with animal protein, including monkeys, antelope, pigs, and even infant chimps kidnapped from other troops or their own if food is scarce—or if they're just feeling lazy. There's a reason Jane Goodall locked her son in a cage when studying them.
    • When chimpanzee troops undergo a change in leadership, it's not uncommon for every chimp in it to go berserk in a bid for power.
    • In one very infamous case, a woman's pet chimp attacked her friend. The woman tried to fight her pet chimp off with a shovel and a knife, but the chimp was unfazed and continued to attack the friend, with the carnage only stopping once the chimp was gunned down by the cops. The friend of that woman is blind and mutilated now, and ended up having to get a face transplant. The extent of her injuries were so horrific that her doctors had to undergo therapy.
    • It has become somewhat of a running joke on Reddit that any time a chimpanzee is mentioned, there will inevbitably be a slew of replies going along the lines of "chimps will literally rip your face off!!!"
    • Jane Goodall discovered the extent of chimps' "dark side" during the Kasakela territorial dispute in the 1970s. Goodall was quite shocked and horrified by the brutality of the attacks and describe the whole thing as a "war".
  • Largely Inverted with real life gorillas, who fall into the Gentle Giant category and are Real Life examples of Herbivores Are Friendly.
    • They are usually pretty passive towards humans unless they feel threatened, and even then they will normally try to fend off intruders with bluff attacks rather than actually hurting them. While early reports by hunters painted gorillas as vicious brutes who attack humans with little to no provocation, this public perception was changed largely due to the research of primatologists George Schaller and Dian Fossey. That does NOT mean you should push them too far, though...
    • If you encounter gorillas, do not look them in the eye, show your teeth (even by smiling), or pound your chest, as they may interpret them as a challenge. If you avoid doing these, the gorillas are likely to leave you alone.
    • Male gorillas occasionally commit infanticide, which means that they kill the offspring of rival males they defeat for mating opportunity.
  • There's been some argument among paleontologists if extinct super-ape Gigantopithecus was like this or not. It clearly was omnivorous and bamboo stalks were a major part of its diet (similar to the giant panda). Paleontologists find a lot of animal bones in caves where Gigantopithecus supposedly lived and some of those caves are quite far above ground, meaning the dead animals were brought there by some predator. To complicate matters, we know very little about Gigantopithecus' anatomy — all skeletal remains found are fragmentary; most of the finds are just mandibles (the rest of the skeleton has historically been used in traditional Chinese "medicine"). Of course, unless someone stumbles across one on a deserted island, in Asian mountains or in the backwoods of Washington state, it's all rather academic. Studies on tooth enamel indicate Gigantopithecus was effectively a pure herbivore and unlikely to attack an animal with the intent of eating it. That said, Herbivores Are Friendly is a trope that is very much not true in nature, so how aggressive or dangerous the big ape was is anyone's guess.
  • There have been several incidents in zoos where gorillas behaved violently with visitors:
    • In 2007, at the Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands, a male gorilla named Bokito escaped his enclosure and attacked a woman, biting her multiple times and dragging her around for tens of meters. The ape was sedated with a tranquilizer gun and returned to the enclosure. The woman was a regular visitor to the zoo who often engaged in eye contact with Bokito and smiled at him, which the gorilla might have misinterpreted as an aggressive display and a challenge to fight.
    • In 2016, a boy fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 17-year-old male named Harambe caught the kid and proceeded to pick him up and drag him around. Not wanting to see whether this trope became Truth in Television or not, zookeepers shot and killed the ape in order to save the boy's life. Much controversy arose by objectors to the act, including several biologists and primatologists, who argued that Harambe was actually trying to protect the boy and/or merely behaving curious about him, or was nervous due to the screaming crowd, as well as animal rights activists who saw the decision as unfairly placing human life above animal life by blind policy alone. The debate about the zookeepers' decision to kill the gorilla continues over five years on, and Harambe himself has since been notably memorialized through ambiguously ironic memes. note 
    • Magnificently averted in 1986, when a boy named Levan Merritt fell into a gorilla enclosure in Jersey Zoo; one of the gorillas, Jambo, caressed his back, and kept the other gorillas away from the unconscious boy. The zookeepers managed to get young Levan out. Sadly, Jambo died in 1992, but a memorial to him stands to this day.


Ride Wife, Life Good

A gorilla tells the story of how he killed his wife.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / KillerGorilla

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