Follow TV Tropes


Killer Space Monkey

Go To

Maybe it's because they land somewhere in the Uncanny Valley. Maybe, as with the Monster Clown, it's because writers like subverting the traditionally "cute". Maybe it is a reflection of our savage ancestry. Maybe it's a remnant of our struggle with our differently-evolved cousins. Or maybe it's simply that Everything's Better with Monkeys. Whatever the reason, killer simians make for good alien monsters.

Such extraterrestrial monkeys tend to be brutish killing machines - an intelligent alien ape is usually a subversion.

Yes, we know this should be called Killer Space Non-Human Primate. No, Earthly villains who happen to be actual apes are not Killer Space Monkeys.

See also Maniac Monkeys. May be a Killer Gorilla IN SPACE!. Not to be mistaken with Apes in Space, who are monkeys that go into space.



    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • The Saiyans from Dragon Ball. They used their power to transform into giant "apes"note  during the full moon to conquer planets for Frieza. And calling the Saiyans 'monkeys' was a bit of a racial slur used by Frieza and his underlings.

     Comic Books  

  • A group of intelligent killer space monkeys appear in the Doctor Who Magazine strip "Sins of the Fathers".
  • The Thunes in Mike Baron and Steve Rude's comic book Nexus resemble apes. Thunes are an intelligent race, though, and are just as varied morality-wise as humans. The two most prominent Thune castmembers are Nexus's two best friends, Dave and his son Fred, who calls himself Judah.
  • The Marvel Transformers Generation 1 comic had a race of (somewhat) intelligent, vicious cyborg monkeys living in limbo.
  • The Gorilla Swarm from Astro City.


  • The aliens in Evolution start evolving into ape-monsters around the third act of the film as they reach the monkey stage of the evolutionary "ladder".
  • The Simeons in the Godzilla series were a race of apes from a planet that was coming close to being sucked into a black hole, deciding to relocate themselves to Earth and building Mechagodzilla to try and conquer the planet in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror of Mechagodzilla.
  • One variation is the Planet of the Apes franchise, in which the apes are exactly as brutish and nasty as humans. Also, they're not from space.
  • Wookiees in Star Wars are intelligent and heroic, but they're still among the biggest badasses in the galaxy. The Wampa from Hoth is a more traditionally monstrous version.
  • The Morlocks in the 2002 adaptation of The Time Machine were particularly ape-like.



     Live Action TV  

  • The Magog from Andromeda.
  • The Ogrons, a race of mercenary grunts often turning up as henchmen to the Daleks in Doctor Who.
  • A Doctor Who spin-off novel revealed that the Soviet equivalent of UNIT was called OGRON (Operativnaya Grupo Razvedkoy Obyedinnyonich Natsii- United Nations Surveillance Operations Group); this is regarded as a metafictional in-joke.
  • Firefly: Space monkeys are raised as a possible reason why Kaylee's engine room is so untidy in "Train Job".
  • Goldar of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers fame was treated as one (though the original version in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger was griffin-themed).
  • Big Bad Pearl Forrester acquired a killer space monkey named Professor Bobo as a henchman in later seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He... wasn't particularly good at his job.
  • The Kromaggs, the product of parallel evolution on one of the worlds of Sliders with a taste for human eyeballs. In their initial appearance, they were most definitely ape-descended, though later appearances made them more human, with something of a Nosferatu bent. (Note that their name comes from "Cro-Magnon", but the actual Cro-Magnons were modern humans.)
  • The Mugato from Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • Ultraseven: One of Alien of the Week was Goron, a simian Mad Scientist intent on replacing humanity with a new race of genetically-engineered human-ape hybrids.


  • An Easter Egg in Adobe Photoshop CS2 enables you to bring up an alternate about box, (very temporarily) relabeling the program "Adobe Space Monkey".

     Tabletop Games  

  • Space 1889 High Martians look and act like evil flying monkeys.
  • Not so much killer, as their role is more of The Engineer despite questionable sapience, but Warhammer 40,000 features the Jokaero, a race of space orangutans. They produce fantastically advanced and powerful weapons which can fire in a variety of modes (heavy flamer, lascannon, melta), and it's possible to have an entire army of them plus one Inquisitor.
  • Another tabletop wargame, AT-43, features the Karmans a race of intelligent apes (actually uplifted Earth gorillas), fond of philosophy and simian-related Shout Outs. With fondness of BFGs.
  • Star Frontiers had the Yazirians as a playable race. They were generally good guys, of the Proud Warrior Race Guy sort.
  • Spelljammer brought the Yazirians back, but renamed them "Hadozee," or "deck apes."
  • Alternity had the Weren, who were also Proud Warrior Race Guys.
  • In Eclipse Phase police forces on Mars often use genetically modified baboons adapted to the atmosphere, a lot of people are scared of them. In one of the stories an Olympus Ranger character has two of them, one of which smokes and is prone to tearing faces off if he doesn’t get his nicotine fix.

     Video Games  

     Western Animation  

  • Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars: The Betelgeusian Berserker Baboons make up the bulk of S.P.A.C.E.'s Space Marine contingent and are more likely than not to go for Good Old Fisticuffs in a setting where Frickin' Laser Beams are the standard armament. The first baboon seen is a warp drive engineer, but that doesn't stop him from drop-kicking his way through a bulkhead. However, the baboons are firmly in the heroic camp, though they are The Dreaded to the Toads, and tend towards the Blood Knight side of the spectrum.
    • They are also, unlike most examples of this trope, rather small (by human standards, they tower over most of the cast). Willy is a pre-teen human boy, but he can comfortably wear Betelgeusian combat armor with only minor alterations.
  • Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys had as its main cast a group of good guy space monkeys. The Big Bad, meanwhile, had an evil cyborg space monkey after them, RHESUS-2.
  • An episode of Superman: The Animated Series has Titano (see Comics section) as Lois Lane's pet monkey (her father was part of NASA at the time.) He eventually lands in Metropolis, starts growing to massive size and runs amok downtown.
  • An odd twist on the trope is the Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. They're technically the good guys, but they have no compunction whatsoever against killing their enemies, and being brutal about it.
  • Simion from the "Dexter's Laboratory" segment Dial M for Monkey seeks revenge on the human population for sending him into space and becoming a super ape.

     Web Comics  

  • The Lespuko from El Goonish Shive probably count as this. It is a species of alien, its name means "Rock Ape" and it has been shown to be aggressive.

     Real Life  


Example of: