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Monkey Morality Pose

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The Monkey Morality Pose is a visual comedy trope frequently seen in film, television and animation.

It is based on the old idea of the Three Wise Monkeys, whose example good people should follow to live their lives: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil with hands over eyes, ears, and mouth, respectively. A fourth monkey, Do No Evil, keeps his hands in his lap — but since that could be interpreted in at least one unfortunate way, it may explain why the fourth monkey is not so well-known. According to the Other Wiki, the saying dates back to Confucius. When translated to Japanese, it becomes "Mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru" (literally, "Don't see, don't hear, don't say"). Since -zaru sounds like saru (which means "monkey") it became known as the Three Wise Monkeys.

Generally the western world has a more cynical interpretation of this trope, where it is used to convey people refusing to acknowledge things they should be acting on. It may also be used as a shorthand for people reacting to something shocking or horrifying as a type of Battle Discretion Shot, if you will.

Not to be confused with See No Evil, Hear No Evil, when off-screen events aren't audible until they appear on-screen. May turn up in shows with Silly Simians.


    open/close all folders 
  • A 1980s trailer for the British Columbian "restricted cougar" logo that aired before adults-only movies featured three monkeys flipping through television channels. They come across a channel with the cougar logo on it, scream in fright, with one monkey covering its eyes, one covering its ears, and the last one covering its mouth.
  • A Chilean commercial known as "Los Niños Pudú"(thought lost for a while and famous for being scary) shows 3 men in such a pose. The men are at the end shown without their mouth, ears and eyes, respectively.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In a rather frightening version, episode 51 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has an eyecatch showing three members of the "cyclops army" in such a pose.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Saiyu weaponizes these monkeys: Any successful attack done by these monkeys will deprive the victim of his or her sight, hearing, or ability to speak depending on the monkey.
  • In Last Period, this is the basis of Wiseman's theme. Their names are based on the Japanese translation of the phrases, and each has an appropriate fashion accessory: Mizaru's hat covers her eyes, Kikazaru's headphones cover her ears, and Iwazaru's bandanna covers her mouth.
  • A variation in Naruto: when the Ten Tails enters its second form, it gains an eyeball on its head, an ear on its side, and a mouth on the back.
  • Referenced in Saint Seiya, where Shaka, who seems fixated on monkeys, once faced three enemies (Camus, Shura and Saga) and left one without his senses (with the loss of taste rendering the victim mute, due to paralizing the tongue) except his sight, one without senses but his hearing, and one without senses except taste. They caught the reference and laughed at it.
  • During the credits in episode 9 of Zombie Land Saga Revenge, Yugiri's three dance students do this pose while dancing in front of statues of the Three Wise Monkeys.

    Comic Books 
  • Banana Sunday: The Monkeys ARE the original Wise Monkeys.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: in Don Rosa's Escape From Forbidden Valley, Huey, Dewey and Louie do this as Scrooge McDuck starts ranting about all the ways he can profit from the titular's valley's dinosaur population.
  • Foolkiller: The MAX version of the Foolkiller arranges his victims' bodies into 'artistic' displays. The first example seen: three disemboweled men in this pose on a park bench.
  • Green Lantern: The War Of The Green Lanterns arc had Hal Jordan create constructs of three Guardians where one covered his ears, another his eyes and the last one his mouth when he confronts the rogue Guardian Krona and expresses his disbelief that Krona retained his emotions.
  • Journey to the West: When Sun Wukong is born in a 4-panel comic abridged version, several of the strips reference these monkeys.
  • Justice League of America: Alluded to in the Rock of Ages arc of Grant Morrison's run on JLA (1997). In the Bad Future where Darkseid has conquered Earth, humans are herded into a “zombie factory” and emerge with masks shaped like three pairs of hands covering their eyes, ears, and mouths. To drive the point home, the words "WISE MONKEYS" can be seen over the exit.
  • The Punisher: Played with in an issue of Jason Aaron's run on The Punisher MAX, where Elektra walks into a mob meeting and slices some goombahs up. One loses his ears, the other his tongue, and the third his eyes, and they put their hands to where the wounds are.
  • Tank Girl: One publicity shot shows Tank Girl, Jet Girl and Sub Girl with, respecively, headphones, shades and tape over her mouth.

    Films — Animated 
  • Spoofed at one point in El Arca, where the third monkey puts his hands over his groin instead of his mouth.
  • In Madagascar, when Mort nervously says that Alex is "going savage", there are three lemurs behind him playing this trope.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls Movie, the titular girls are briefly seen in this pose when hiding from their problems on an asteroid. They try to ignore the screams of the Townsfolk, which their super-hearing allows them to hear through space (somehow). Ironically, at the time, the town was being attacked by hordes of evil simians.
  • In Rio, three of the marmosets do this after Nigel tosses their leader Mauro up and then catches him after he falls for a long distance.
  • Scary Godmother: Darryl, Katie, and Bert do this briefly, along with gasps of shock, when Jimmy tells them that he's planning to ditch Hannah. Doesn't stop them going along with his plan, though.
  • Shrek 2:
  • Turning Red: Some of the movie posters evoke this, especially "Speak No Evil".

    Films — Live-Action 

  • There is a short story (could be folklore, or not) which puts the three monkeys in a very different light. You see, the monkeys are living in a palace, and the first monkey witnessed the king brutally beating a slave for nothing. When he told the steward about what he saw, the steward threatened to glue the monkey's eyes with pitch, so the monkey decided he didn't really see anything. Etc.
  • Ephraim Kishon had a little statuette of the monkeys in his apartment. He once commented that they reminded him of the UN whenever Israel was the topic.
  • In one of his travel memoirs, P.J. O'Rourke once described visiting a souvenir shop in another country and seeing a sculpture the row of monkeys with the accompanying slogans below them, but with a fourth monkey with its hands firmly grabbing its crotch, and the slogan, "FUCK NO EVIL".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed (1998):
    • In one episode, Prue, Piper, and Phoebe rescue three chimpanzees. Near the end, Phoebe reveals she's taught them to do this pose whenever she says the word "evil".
    • A later episode has the three sisters cursed with this. One sister is struck blind, another deaf, and the third mute. This leads to an amusing moment where Piper does a Face Palm (covering her eyes), Paige covers her mouth in surprise, and Phoebe (deaf and uncertain what they're doing) assumes they're striking this pose and covers her ears. And Leo figures out right away what the problem is.
  • Community: in the Christmas Glee Club episode of Season 3, in the song Baby Boomer Santa, you can see Britta, Annie, and Shirley cover their ears, eyes, and mouth respectively.
  • In the Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior episode "See No Evil", the UnSub patterns their attacks after this. The first attack is an Eye Scream, the second Ear Ache, and the third Tongue Trauma.
  • In the Doctor Who story "Revenge of the Cybermen", the Cybermen's hostages (including the Doctor) assume this pose while sitting against the wall, holding their faces in pain.
  • In an All-Star Family Feud special, the cast of The Waltons featured this pose—Jon Walmsley covered Judy Norton-Taylor's ears, Eric Scott covered Mary McDonough's mouth, and Kami Cotler covered her eyes.
  • Friday the 13th: The Series had a horror variant with three statues of the monkeys used by a Japanese father to tempt his two sons and daughter in order to know which one was worthy. The monkeys do exactly the opposite of what they're suppose to do.
  • In one episode of Friends, when Ross announces he has to give up Marcel (his pet monkey), he, Chandler and Joey take this pose for a moment.
  • In one episode of Gilligan's Island, one of Gilligan's monkey friends terrorized the castaways with objects made of plastic explosives. At the end of the episode, thinking he had one left, Skipper, the Professor, and Gilligan did this just before he threw it. Fortunately, it turned out to be a regular plate.
  • In the Sick Episode of The Golden Girls "The Flu", at one point the girls are lined up on the couch mimicking this. Blanche is rubbing her eyes, Dorothy is holding her head with her hands over her ears, and Rose is blowing her nose with her hands over her mouth.
  • The Haven two-parter "See No Evil" and "Speak No Evil" has the Barrow family. They have monkey dolls in this pose, and their Trouble causes people to get their eyes, ears, and mouth sewn shut when they deliver bad news.
  • In the final round of the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, as the contestants Austin Rogers, Alan Lin, and Buzzy Cohen are being introduced, they collectively strike this pose, leading host Alex Trebek to call them "a bunch of monkeys."
  • Kamen Rider Ghost has this as the Finishing Move for Sanzo Damashii.
  • In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the villain of the week spray-painted these monkeys as part of his trail for the police.
  • Briefly referenced in a Halloween episode of NCIS. A trio of pranksters wearing monkey masks discover the corpse du jour at the beginning of the episode. They're listed in the credits as "See," "Speak," and "Hear."
  • Sadakatsiz: After she learns Volkan kissed Asya, Derin runs to Onur's house seeking solace. She goes to the backyard to take a breath and the camera lingers on a trio of monkey statues that are in this pose. As with most of the show's symbolism, this has two non-mutually exclusive meanings. Up to this point, Derin has deluded herself into thinking Volkan loves her and Asya is trying to seduce him — the kiss is when she starts to realize that the reality is quite the opposite. If Derin wants to grow as a person and achieve happiness, she needs to pull the proverbial rug off her eyes and face the truth, something that she has difficulty with but finally manages to do. The secondary meaning is that her heartbroken state leads her to have comfort sex with Onur, something that she's deeply ashamed about later. The feeling of guilt makes her insist on keeping it under wraps because it was a mistake and no, she didn't do this. Basically, Head-in-the-Sand Management.
  • This is the logo for the production company of Sliders.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? has one game called "Animals", where the players attempt to act out a generic drama scene while behaving like predetermined animals — any game that has them acting like primates will end in this fashion.

  • There is an old MAD comic where the shadow shows what people really think/want. The comic where a man is being mugged shows the three passengers waiting at the nearby bus stop and not responding have shadows in this shape.
    • Alfred E. Neuman strikes the pose on one cover of the magazine.
    • In a full-page gag from the early 1970s, then-President Richard Nixon was shown in the "hear no evil" and "see no evil" poses, and then with his hands cupped around his open mouth with the caption "Well, two out of three ain't bad!"
    • In Don Martin's Tarzan parody. Jane asks the monkeys who encouraged Tarzan to get plastered, after which they take this pose.

  • Very subtly referenced on the cover of Check Your Head by Beastie Boys — Ad-Rock is wearing sunglasses, MCA is covering his mouth, and Mike D is wearing a woolen cap.
  • Genesis: The sleeve artwork for the single release of "Keep It Dark" depicts a statuette of the "say no evil, see no evil, hear no evil" monkeys in that order. The music video additionally features the band members striking the pose in the same order during the Title Drops, with Mike Rutherford covering his mouth, Phil Collins covering his eyes, and Tony Banks covering his ears and grimacing.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre: In the music video for "Zoolook", a robot circus show in Shanghai features three robots that cover their eyes, ears, and mouth, respectively.
  • Referenced verbally in the Marillion song Holidays in Eden that uses the phrase "See no speak no hear no evil" in the choruses.
  • The back cover photo of the Mötley Crüe record Theatre Of Pain has a take on this, where the hands doing the covering are coming from behind them. It's also a rare instance with all four poses: See No Evil (Mick Mars), Hear No Evil (Tommy Lee), Say No Evil (Nikki Sixx) and Do No Evil (Vince Neil).
  • The album cover for Sin Shake Sin's Lunatics and Slaves depicts three sheep with their respective ears, eyes and mouth stuffed with money. Quite fitting, as the album's theme is a criticism against the society's tendency to simply accept everything they see/hear from the media at face value without having a thought on their own.
  • System of a Down included this in their song ATWA.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The June 26, 2011 comic of Bizarro suggests that the monkeys that aren't able to perform one of the three tasks do the other two. Another has the monkeys using respective features of the iPod.
  • Mr Boffo once had a set of "also-rans", which included things like "Step On No Evil" and "Swallow No Evil".


    Professional Wrestling 
  • DDT Beer Garden Pro Wrestling 2011 - Day 5 - Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa Day included a three-way match to see which one was superior. It was No Hearing Monkey.
  • In 1998, during the Austin vs. McMahon feud, there was a shot of Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco doing this at "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
  • D-Generation X did a vertical version of the pose once, with Triple H (see no evil, but peeking through his fingers), Shawn Michaels (hear no evil) and Chyna (say no evil).
  • Back in the 1980s, the WWF marketed a poster of the Hart Foundation in this pose, with Jim Neidhart representing "hear no evil" (but with one ear unplugged), Bret Hart representing "see no evil" (but peeking through his fingers, and Jimmy Hart representing "speak no evil" (but with his mouth partly uncovered).

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: In one of the Journey to Ernie segments, Big Bird searches for Ernie at a playground. Ernie is found on the monkey bars amongst a horde of monkeys, sitting between two of them who are taking on the famous poses, with Ernie himself mimicking the "see no evil" pose.

  • A song on John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, season 4 episode 1. Each monkey sung about its own method of avoiding evil ("And although some don't think it wise/To simply cover up your eyes/It's certainly working for me") Of course, the third monkey just went "Mph, mph, mph". As with many modern versions, the point is that, rather than being virtuous, the monkeys are ignoring injustices they could be fighting. ("And if he sees no evil/Maybe there's no evil to see.")
  • Our Miss Brooks: Two examples:
    • In "The Loaded Custodian", Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton mime the three wise monkeys when caught looking for hidden treasure in Mr. Barlow's office.
    • In "Wild Goose", again Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton mime the three wise monkeys when asked by Mr. Conklin who had tricked him into thinking he had won a free television set.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the angelic sisters Bruna and Gisela got themselves new cards with Eldritch Moon, with the flavor text representing See and Hear No Evil respectively. Their cards can be merged to form Brisela, Voice of Nightmares.
    Bruna, the Fading Light: She now sees only Emrakul's visions
    Gisela, the Broken Blade: She now hears only Emrakul's murmurs

  • In the play The Curious Savage, three inmates at a sanitarium assume this pose on a couch for a while.
  • The Spongebob Musical has Spongebob and his friends imitate this pose when Mr. Krabs and Plankton start cussing each other out; Patrick covers his eyes, Spongebob his ears, and Sandy her mouth.
  • The Virgins in Agnes de Mille's early comic ballet Three Virgins and a Devil strike this pose while the Devil is tempting them.
  • Norwegian play Two Acts For Five Women has a small statuette showing the monkeys as an essential plot point.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, Sota Sarushiro (Simon Keyes) is given this motif when upset. This is actually Foreshadowing that Simon is a Chessmaster who have incited several murders, never directly killing anyone until the final case of the game. In other words, a monkey that neither sees, hears, speaks, or does any of the crimes he's responsible for.
    • All three lawyers in the Wright Anything Agency follow this pattern. Not only do they have color coordination, but monkey coordination through their unique abilities. "See No Evil" is handled by Apollo with his perceive system letting him spot tells. Athena is the "Hear No Evil" role with her ability to hear emotions. And finally, Phoenix and his magatama talking someone into revealing the truth fulfills the "Speak No Evil" of the pattern.
  • AdventureQuest spinoff site has a variation with Zorbak, Twilly and Twig in this pose.
  • Cult of the Lamb: When he was imprisoned, the One Who Waits inflicted a wound on each of the Bishops creating the four monkey version: Leshy lost his eyes (See); Kallamar lost her ears (Hear); Heket's throat was torn out (Speak); and Shamura's skull was cracked (Think). Since he was once a Bishop of the Old Faith himself, Narinder represents a fifth monkey: He is bound in chains and cannot free himself on his own (Do).
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns: Towards the end of level 3-2: Button Bash there's a column of monkey statues doing these poses.
  • In the casual game Drawn: Trail of Shadows, one of the puzzles involves finding the missing eyes, ears and mouth from a trio of giant simian statues and setting these parts in place.
  • In stage 3 of Enchanted Portals, the monkey hazards rolling on the ground are each posed in one of the three ways.
  • The Season Pass promotion of Far Cry 6 shows the primary villains of the past three games doing the poses: Vaas covers his ears, Pagan covers (one of) his eyes and Joseph has his hands together in front of his mouth.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, the three protagonists do a variation of this trope when the incredibly corrupt government agent tells them some of the government is corrupt. Trevor double facepalms, Franklin covers his mouth with his fist, and Michael puts his hands behind his head, covering his ears in the process.
  • A variation of this occurs with the three head shrines in the Gretel and Hansel as one of the puzzles needed for Gretel to progress through the game. To activate them and get the remaining stone pieces to fit into the statues near the ravine, Gretel must commit an evil act related to the three senses in front of each head including: (1) killing a fawn with an arrow, (2) chanting Black Speech from a book of spells from the stickman's kitchen, and (3) carrying a screaming mandrake after watering it near the bridge. Doing so will cause the heads to cover their eyes, mouth and ears, opening their compartments and allowing Gretel to take the pieces.
  • The final scene in Jewel Match: Naturescapes has a statue of three frogs in the poses.
  • Three characters from Killer7 are based on (and named after) this trope. Iwazaru (who hangs from the ceiling in a gimp suit and makes the "shush" hand sign) gives you important information, Mizaru (who wears bondage gear and covers her eyes) points out obstacles Kaede can remove, and Kikazaru (who wears all white, is completely silent, clings to walls and ceilings, and disappears when you draw near) indicates the presence of Soul Shells.
  • Mario Party 9 has a bonus event on DK's Jungle Ruins featuring totem poles depicting Diddy Kong with his hands over his eyes, ears, and mouth.
  • While the poses themselves don't appear in Paracentric, each of the game's three worlds is symbolically connected to one.
  • Persona: The protagonist's Initial Persona, Seimen Kongou, comes with three monkeys. While the monkeys aren't doing the poses, one has a blindfold, another has headphones, and the third has a bandana over its mouth.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour, as well as their evolutions all appear to be based off this trope, but each is actually based on a Japanese delinquent subculture that inverts their corresponding pose.
    • Darmanitan's Zen Mode appeared to evoke all three at once, as its eyes are blank, it appears to be covering its ears (despite having no visible ones), and its mouth is closed.
  • A variation appears in Resident Evil (Remake), wherein there are four death masks around the mansion that have to be collected. One's missing its eyes and one's missing its mouth, but as the masks don't have a place for ears, the third doesn't have a nose. The last one's missing everything. A file can be found referring to them as "a mask that sees no evil, a mask that speaks no evil" and so on.
  • Runescape does this. The three monkeys are actually found ingame, with the original names. There is a whole quest centered around them, even! A short version of the story is like this: Monkeys have once lived on the desert. The clash of two gods, Amascut, goddess of destruction, and Apmeken, goddess of friendship and sociability and monkeys, caused Apmeken to lose and lose her three senses — and so did the desert monkeys. Out of the stolen senses, three monsters were forged, and killed off the debilitated monkey population — except for Mizaru, Iwazaru, and Kikazaru, which escaped to a monkey island (no, not that one), by helping each other and filling out for their respective lackings. Also due to Apmeken's loss, people of the desert turned hostile and started wars. In the quest, the player establishes a new monkey colony on the desert and defeats those three monsters, restoring Apmeken's senses, and is spoken to by the goddess... and also does a lot of other funnier things. Talking to the three monkeys is a rather comedic routine if one can't talk back and one doesn't hear you.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has an unconventional boss fight against the Folding Screen Monkeys, whom you must defeat by stealth instead of direct combat. The monkeys correspond to the proverb, but act inversely from their original roles. Instead of covering his eyes, "the seeing monkey" sees far with his glasses; instead of covering his mouth, the "speaking monkey" shouts loudly and bangs a gong; and instead of covering his ears, the "hearing monkey" listens intently with a straw collar acting as an amplifier. There's also an unnamed fourth monkey that's invisible, which is a play on the "Do no evil" monkey who is almost always left out of the references.
  • Magazine ads for Skull Monkeys parodied this. The ad had 4 Skullmonkeys, the first three posed as "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil". The fourth was being smashed by Klaymen dropping in from above with the caption "Smash evil with your butt."
  • Team Fortress 2 promotional material "The Sound of Medicine", Pyro (covering their eyes), Scout (covering his mouth), Heavy (covering his ears) and Soldier (covering his crotch) recreate the four poses.
  • The World Ends with You has several pins from the Gatito brand that only work when used together. One set, with the Irregular Note psych, has the Gatito logo (a skull) performing Monkey Morality Poses: Swift as the Wind is covering its eye sockets, Hushed as the Wood is covering its jaw, Fierce as the Flame is covering its ear cavities. The "Do No Evil" pin, Stalwart as the Mount, has its hands covering its entire face rather than recreating the traditional pose.
    • NEO: The World Ends with You establishes the trope as a motif for the Fatal Flaw of each protagonist in the series. Neku was a misanthrope who wore headphones to block out the world around him, while Rindo wears a facemask and stays quiet so he can avoid responsibility and making decisions. Both of them wear clothing from the Jupiter of the Monkey brand. Unintentionally, Neku’s design might follow Rindo’s as well because his first outfit has a big turtle neck that obscured his mouth often and in this game, his new outfit doesn’t obscure his mouth whatsoever. Like Rindo, Neku also didn’t want to speak or be spoken to.

    Web Animation 
  • In No Evil: Ixtlilton, Xochipilli, and Xochiquetzal, who incidentally are depicted as spider monkeys, sacrificed their vision, hearing, and voice respectively to seal the Black Tezcatlipoca in And The Raven Brought Fire. They receive artifacts that cover their eyes, ears, and throat respectively.
  • RWBY: In the dining hall, Nora throwing food for Yang to catch with her mouth escalates until Nora accidentally hits Weiss in the face with a custard pie. Team JNPR is shown with Ren covering his eyes, Pyrrha covering her mouth and Jaune covering one of his ears. Nora, meanwhile, points at Ren, passing the buck in a parody of the fourth monkey, 'Do no Evil'.

  • Ava's Demon the TITAN propaganda poster in Gil's ship showing the order of cyborg implants in order to achieve "perfection".
  • Seen in this panel of Bad Machinery.
  • In one strip of Flaky Pastry Nitrine's three cousins are seen assuming this pose as they brace for an explosion. While covering eyes and ears in the face of an impending explosion is quite sensible, covering the mouth is slightly less so, and can be chalked up to the fact that goblins are rather stupid. The Alt Text reads "Hear no explosion... see no explosion... taste no explosion?"
  • Sam & Fuzzy has ninjas doing this.
  • Subnormality uses it here
  • Walking in the Dark: Third panel of this page.
  • Woody After Dark has three guys doing it here

    Western Animation 
  • Three famous Harman and Ising cartoons — "Good Little Monkeys," "Pipe Dreams," and "Art Gallery" — featured the three monkeys as statues come to life, trying to be good but always misbehaving. There's also a "Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil, no!" song.
    • The song is also almost impossible to decipher unless you know something about 1930s culture. Gay meant rakish, and jazz was bad (or worse... ethnic!):
      Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil, no!
      We're the Goody-Goody Monkeys every place we go.
      Never have we gone astray —
      Don't believe in being gay
      Being good's the only thing we know; so
      Speak no hi-de, see no hi-de, hear no hi-de-ho!
      Not a single wild oat will we sow!
      We're so very very good, wouldn't be bad if we could —
      Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil, no!
  • Daffy the Commando: The letter that Von Vulture reads depicts Adolf Hitler, Hirohito and Benito Mussolini as the "see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil" monkeys.
  • Danny Phantom has Sam, Tucker and Danny take the pose in "One of a Kind" while Samson the Purpleback Gorilla puts the beatdown on Skulker.
  • One episode of Jackie Chan Adventures has Tohru, Jade, and Jackie being struck blind, deaf, and mute respectively by a giant statue of the three monkeys. Daolon Wong then teleports the statue to inflict an entire village with these, and at the end of the episode, he is cursed with receiving all three.
  • The Loud House: Happens in "Butterfly Effect" when Lola and Lynn are shown leading a getaway on TV, with Izzy, Lincoln, and a monkey mimicking "hear", "see", and "speak" respectively.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: The title cards for three different episodes named after each line have a variation of Jenny striking the three poses.
  • The Censor Monkeys from Disney's House of Mouse appear to be covering their eyes, ears, and mouths during all of their appearances, respectively.
  • One Daria credits gag has the Three J's as monkeys making these poses.
  • Ovide and the Gang has a trio of koalas who echo this—one of them wears headphones, one of them has dark sunglasses, and one of them is usually just covering their mouth.
  • The old Porky Pig cartoon "Porky's Hero Agency" has Porky imagine himself as a hero-for-hire in mythical Ancient Greece, and taking on the Gorgon. At one point, the Gorgon petrifies some look-alikes of The Three Stooges, who proceed to adopt this pose, leading the Gorgon to quip "Guess I made monkeys outta them!"
  • On Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko brings his car to a repair shop. The mechanics are all monkeys (a pun on "grease monkey"), and three of them do this pose while laughing. Subverted in that they are laughing at Rocko for wanting to repair his old car and have it compete in a race against their muscle cars.
  • In one episode of TaleSpin when Baloo and Louie were having a fight, Louie's monkey employees did this as a suggestion of how Louie should fight.
  • In a easily-missed moment, in the Rugrats episode "The Word of the Day", Stu, Didi, and Grandpa do this after Angelica swears on live television (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • The 1970 adaptation of Horton Hears a Who! has the Wickersham Brothers take up the poses during their Villain Song.
  • The second season of Ninjago has a moment where Zane tells the ninja about a dream involving the Green Ninja during training, and when Sensei Wu turns around, he sees Cole covering his ears, Jay covering his mouth and Kai covering his eyes. His response is worth a few chuckles.
    Sensei Wu: That looks like the Shocked Monkey. Bad form. More focus.
  • Walt Disney Presents: In the animated special "Donald's Award", Jiminy Cricket goes to Big Pete's house to ask him about a bad experience he had with Donald Duck, and he sits down next to a small statue of the monkeys. As Pete explains that it involves his trombone and he plays a few notes for him, Jiminy looks at the "kikazaru" monkey and says "I'm with you" before covering his own ears.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "Mini-Golf at the DSA", Sunspot helps Mindy putt the golf ball into the tenth and final hole — the rocket ship. The ball ricochets all over the place. Jet, Sean, and Sydney, all on edge, do the famous pose — Sean is see no evil, Jet is speak no evil, and Sydney is hear no evil.
  • Cro: In the episode "Let Me Help", Gogg, Ogg and Bobb do the pose when Phil tells them to brace themselves for the gunpowder explosion.

    Real Life 
  • Bob Dole once saw Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon together. Dole quipped, "That's hear no evil, see no evil, and evil."
  • Romanian president Traian Băsescu featured himself in place of the monkey, as part of his electoral campaign.
  • A disturbing example is this poster, directed at those involved in the Manhattan project, telling them to keep quiet about what was happening there.
  • The emoji "Monkey Covering Eyes" (🙈), "Monkey Covering Ears" (🙉) and "Monkey Covering Mouth" (🙊).
  • Ryan Reynolds posted a picture on his Instagram where he, Hugh Jackman and Pierce Brosnan are doing this.

  • As a gag item popular among doctors who treat sexually transmitted infections, there's sometimes a statue of a fourth monkey covering his crotch with the phrase "Spread no evil."
  • The St. Clare Entertainment logo.


Video Example(s):


Any More Questions?

In Rio, three of the marmosets do this, after Nigel tosses their leader, Mauro up and then catches him after he falls for a long distance.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / MonkeyMoralityPose

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