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The tendency for animals to outperform their human coworkers in comedies. Most often takes the form of a gorilla or chimpanzee in a business suit who quickly climbs the corporate ladder after being hired. This trope can come in a few flavors:

Type One: Said monkey actually is competent, at least according to the other character's lampshading. Type one's competence is normally contrasted to another human character's incompetence for laughs. Type one never speaks, and other than being a part of the scenery, typically doesn't interact with the human characters physically unless their job requires it.

Type Two: This is when the monkey acts just like a typical monkey would, but the work environment is so atrocious to begin with this behavior actually lands the monkey promotions and praise from his coworkers. Unlike Type one monkeys, Type twos are free to interact with their coworkers, usually in the form of random tantrums, face-scratching, and the classic poo throwing.

Type Three: Type three monkeys are practically human in all but species. Type threes typically form rivalries with the Protagonist, but are otherwise portrayed as popular with the rest of the characters. While you are more likely to see a Type three courting the office hotty or chatting it up with the fellas at the water cooler, they do sometimes slip back into Type two territory, usually when tempted by a banana.

Has nothing to do with monkeys in Powered Armor. Compare Animal Occupation Stereotypes for animals, whether anthropomorphic or not, being associated with certain professions.


Anime & Manga

  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, a Type 2 is featured in "1 angry ghost". It becomes a Type 3 after being electrified. What's worse is he's Panty and Stocking's lawyer in a game-show/legal court and he keeps mistaking Panty's hair as a bunch of bananas even when he's smart.

Comic Books

  • Rex the Wonder Dog got a job as a photojournalist before he ever came across the fountain of youth and attained a magically enhanced intellect.


  • In The Flintstones movie, there is a monkey in Fred and Barney's work, and he is, after Barney, the smartest of the employees!


  • In the Discworld books, there is an orangutan librarian. He is not a monkey. As a matter of fact, the Librarian used to be a wizard, working in Unseen University's library until a magical accident in The Light Fantastic turned him into an ape. He's been transformed for so long that most people new to the series assume he's this trope, and even his fellow wizards have trouble remembering that he used to be human (although depending on the Rule of Funny it can be the other way around; it's mentioned that if you told the other Wizards there was an ape in the library, they'd go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.)

Live-Action TV


Newspaper Comics

  • Dilbert: Zimbu competes for Dilbert's job. Being able to type with both hands and use the mouse with his tail is a natural advantage.


  • The "Chekhov and the Gorilla" sketch from A Poke in the Eye With a Sharp Stick has Anton Chekhov discussing the final dress rehearsal of The Cherry Orchard with Sergei Nemirovich, the financial director of the the theatre. Nemirovich is a gorilla and keeps suggesting that Chekhov find some way to work a gorilla into the plot. A Type 3.


Western Animation

  • Futurama: Farnsworth comes up with a hat that makes a monkey intelligent. This results in a Type 3 rival for Fry. Then the monkey loses the hat and becomes a Type 2 equal for Fry.
  • The Awesomes has, in its second season, a gorilla in a suit. Actually, rather a lot of them; one of them is marrying Muscleman's sister, and the "groom's side" is full of gorillas in suits and dresses. At least one of these (the groom's uncle) is firmly convinced that humans are the inferior species, and he's not shy about telling everyone his opinion either.
  • The Simpsons.
    • The director of NASA is a chimp who was sent to space and came back super-intelligent.
    • There's a duck named Stuart who works at the power plant. And outranks Homer.
    • In "Homer's Enemy", Mr. Burns hires a dog to fill the job he originally planned to give Frank Grimes.
    • In "Deep Space Homer", Homer is passed over for Employee of the Month in favor of an inanimate carbon rod.
  • In the Family Guy episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" Lois tells her mother that she doesn't think she would be better off married to the chimp across the street no matter how well he's doing. At the end of the episode she tells Peter that just because the chimp makes more money that doesn't make him any smarter.