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Video Game / Banjo-Kazooie

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— Banjo's Signature Laugh

A seminal Platformer series, created by Rare for the Nintendo 64, the Banjo-Kazooie series (sometimes simply referred to as the Banjo series) tells the tale of the lazy honey bear Banjo, his best friend Kazooie (who is an avian known as a "breegull"), the nasty witch Gruntilda Winkybunion who likes messing with their lives, and lots and lots of shiny golden puzzle pieces called Jiggies. Traversing many strange and improbable worlds, the dauntless duo go about Saving the World from the evil witch's latest scheme, with the help of moleish mentors, cute bird-anteater... things called Jinjos, and a very liberal helping of British Humour.

Games in the series:

  • Banjo-Kazooie (1998, Nintendo 64)
    • Banjo the bear, his little sister Tooty, and Banjo's loudmouthed best friend Kazooie live peacefully in the tranquil Spiral Mountain. However, the ugly, witch-shaped form of the witch Gruntilda's lair lurks overhead. Grunty sees that Tooty is the fairest in the land, and Grunty envies that beauty! She kidnaps Tooty and absconds to her lair. Now Banjo and Kazooie must brave the depths of her labyrinthine lair to save Banjo's sister.
  • Banjo-Tooie (2000, Nintendo 64)
    • Two years after Grunty's defeat (and subsequent imprisonment beneath a rock), her sisters Mingella and Blobbelda come with a fancy new tank to save her. Grunty's been beneath the rock for so long, she's only an animate skeleton. But her witchy sisters have a new machine that can suck the life energy out of anything, and they plan to use it to restore Gruntilda! Banjo and Kazooie once again set out to stop her, and prevent her from turning the whole world into a zombie wasteland!
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge (2003, Game Boy Advance)
    • A midquel that takes place between Kazooie and Tooie. Grunty's faithful sidekick Klungo builds her a Mecha-Grunty suit, and her spirit inhabits it from beneath the rock. With her evil magic, she kidnaps Kazooie, and flings Banjo into the past, attempting to stop him and Kazooie from ever meeting! Now Banjo (and Kazooie, once he's rescued her) must stop Gruntilda from destroying the past!
  • Banjo-Pilot (2004, Game Boy Advance)
    • A racing game spinoff, this game features the Banjo-Kazooie cast racing around in airplanes. Gruntilda does appear, but poses no real threat.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (2008, Xbox 360)
    • This sequel changed the game's mechanics from regular platformer to vehicle-based platformer. Set many years after their last adventure, Banjo and Kazooie have gotten fat and lazy from no adventures. Then, a strange, TV-headed spirit calling itself the Lord of Games shows up. He intends to have Banjo and Kazooie resolve their old issues with Gruntilda's skeletal head by... throwing them into a new video game. Well, whatever works, right?

Cameos and Crossovers:

  • Diddy Kong Racing (1997, Nintendo 64)
    • Appearing as an Early-Bird Cameo, Banjo made his debut, though without Kazooie, as a heavy racer in the original release. Due to Rare being bought by Microsoft, he didn't make the cut for the DS release and was replaced by an older version of Tiny Kong.
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing With Banjo-Kazooie (2010, Xbox 360)
    • Banjo returns to his racing roots, this time bringing Kazooie along for the ride. Together, they form a guest racer exclusive to the Xbox 360 version, based on their appearance in Nuts & Bolts.
  • Minecraft (2011, multiplatform)
    • A skin pack depicting Banjo, Tooty, Mumbo, Gruntilda, and Klungo is available in the Bedrock Edition. It was originally released in 2012 exclusively for the Xbox 360, which has since been consolidated with various other versions of the game with the Better Together update.
  • #IDARB (2016, Xbox One)
    • Banjo and Kazooie are members of the "Rare Ltd." team in this eight-player eSports game.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018, Nintendo Switch)
    • In 2019, Banjo and Kazooie collectively were added to this game as the third member of Fighters Pass Volume 1, and the fourth DLC fighter in general, reuniting with Diddy, Sonic and Minecraft's Steve. Spiral Mountain is their home stage, which features Bottles, Gruntilda, Mumbo, and Tooty as additional cameos.

Banjo-Kazooie started development as a completely different game - an RPG for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System called Dream, which would have used the pre-rendered 3D graphical style of Banjo-Kazooie's predecessor, the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. After years in Development Hell and a hearty dose of inspiration from Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie debuted on the N64 on June 29, 1998. It was a critical and commercial success that cemented Rare's place as a vital supporter of the console in its losing race against the PlayStation. Despite their close relationship however, Microsoft purchased Rare in September 2002, divorcing the Bear and Bird from Nintendo's home consoles.

Banjo-Kazooie saw an Updated Re-release for the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade, developed by Rare and 4JStudios. This version is largely the same as the original gameplay-wise, but uses the additional processing power of the 360 to save which Notes and Jinjos you’ve collected in a stage so you don’t have to chase them all down again after dying or exiting the level. It also runs in HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio, uses high res UI elements, uses updated camera controls, and restores functionality to the previously abandoned Stop ‘n’ Swop system. This version of the game has since been released physically as part of Rare Replay, which can be played on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

In a Nintendo Direct on September 24, 2021, Nintendo announced that Banjo-Kazooie would be coming to Nintendo Switch as part of the Nintendo 64 Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. This release is a straight port of the original N64 release, and the first time this version has been brought to modern consoles. It was added to the library on January 20, 2022.

Bear and bird provide examples of:

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  • 100% Completion:
    • Only 94 of 100 Jiggies and 810 out of 900 notes are required to reach the Final Boss. Rewards exist if you collect further notes (with 882 needed for the last one), such as free refills on your feathers and eggs before the final fight, and collecting all of them earns you an achievement in the XBLA version. There's also a double-health upgrade in exchange for four more Jiggies, bringing the total number necessary to unlock everything to 98. The last two Jiggies don't do anything, but getting all 100 allows you to see a bonus ending that reveals the locations of the Stop 'n' Swop items.
    • The honeycomb pieces that extend your health bar are completely optional to find — you can skip at least six of them, since the last six don't increase your health bar any further. But they are a nice benefit to have, especially when you fight Gruntilda, and the XBLA version at least gives you an achievement for your trouble.
    • Collecting all of 116 of the Mumbo Tokens is not only optional — only 75 are needed — but nearly impossible due to glitches in Mad Monster Mansion and Click Clock Wood. For some reason, two of them in Mad Monster Mansion share the exact same flag number, so without a workaround one will disappear when you collect the other. There is a different issue in Click Clock Wood that has a similar effect; two of the Tokens are in close enough proximity to each other, one will vanish when you collect the other, because of overlapping proximity regions.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Jinjonator, which conveniently turns up right when the bear and bird have exhausted literally every other option in the battle against Gruntilda.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: The game has mandatory abilities you have to learn, and you won't get far without them. For example, the game forces you to learn the Talon Trot from the first level in order to even get beyond the lobby of Gruntilda's Lair.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: All of Clanker's Cavern is a massive sewer. To put it in perspective, the central room contains the level's eponymous whale-sized robot shark. Clanker's Cavern itself is accessed through one of the many similarly large sewers of Gruntilda's Lair (though they're comparatively small).
  • Abusive Parents: Boggy is just extremely neglectful, abandoning his children at Christmas in order to go sledding instead of buying them presents.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Kazooie can't fly until you specifically gain the ability from Bottles, and even then, it's only in specific places. In Tooie, she has to gain the ability to glide and doesn't get it until fairly late. She's a reasonably fast runner, though.
  • Action Bomb: Shrapnels and Boom Boxes. If you come too close to them, they explode, damaging Banjo and Kazooie.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: In-Universe, one of the three possible names for Gruntilda's broomstick is the Lardmaster 2000.
  • Adventure Duo: Banjo and Kazooie are an inseparable duo who overcome obstacles together to reach the goal.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Gobi's Valley includes these, despite being ancient Egyptian-themed and named after (a camel named after) a desert in Asia.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Mumbo's Mountain
    • Treasure Trove Cove (the first two words, the second and third words rhyme instead)
    • Clanker's Cavern
    • Mad Monster Mansion
    • Rusty Bucket Bay
    • Click Clock Wood
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The game employs a very literal final-exam approach for this game's final level. In the final part of Gruntilda's Lair, the eponymous duo enters Grunty's Furnace Fun, where they have to win a contest against Grunty to rescue Tooty. Over the course of the contest, they have to answer questions about the game's past levels. Some questions show directly a level in-game and the answer revolves around a specific part of it, or a character that is in that level. Other questions are about character voices or items' sound effect. At certain points, the duo has to replay a minigame or boss that appeared in a past level, now under a strict time limit.
  • Already Done for You: Unlocking Stop 'n' Swop in the XBLA version (only if you have a save file of Nuts & Bolts or the XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie on your 360's hard drive, however). Stop 'n' Swop involved ridiculously long cheat codes to unlock it in the original release, though they were useless in that version.
  • Always Night: The creepy Mad Monster Mansion and the cheery Freezeezy Peak are both set entirely at night. It's also justified, because the former is themed around Halloween (in fact, Mumbo's spell of choice is to transform Banjo into a pumpkin), and the latter is a level with a Christmas theme. Bubblegloop Swamp has a pitch-black "sky", but it's not clear whether it's supposed to be night.
  • Ambiguously Human: Gruntilda. If you get a game over, she will appear even more human.
  • Amphibian Assault: Flibbits are giant frog enemies that appear in Bubblegloop Swamp. Their yellow variants serve as the level's Wolfpack Boss.
  • And I Must Scream: At the end of the game, Grunty is trapped underground by a boulder and somehow manages to survive being Buried Alive for two years. By the time she's freed in the opening of Tooie, her flesh has rotted away completely. And by the end of the second game, she's reduced to just a skull and eyeballs — and, yes, she's still alive and conscious. (The third game gives her a robot body, which she seemingly gets to keep, so things do improve for her. Sort of.)
  • Animate Inanimate Object: If anything didn't outright move and talk, it would have googly eyes slapped on it. Examples include: a totem pole, boulders, a leaky pail, acorns, musical notes, honeycombs, eggs, feathers, exploding mines, life preservers, oranges, trees, cauliflower, stone sphinxes, ice cubes, snowmen, cold water, cacti, cauldrons, cowl ventilators, onions, exploding boxes, flying broomsticks, treasure chests, beehive boxes, carrots, a toilet, golden jigsaw pieces, and a book of spells that flies by flapping its pages, just to name a few!
  • Animorphism: Visiting one of two shaman-type characters (Mumbo-Jumbo in the original and Grunty's Revenge or Humba-Wumba in Tooie) will allow you transform into different things; this is usually an animal (but not always; other transformations have included a tank, a submarine, and a washing machine). Oddly, the main characters are already animals.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Mr. Vile's challenge is so frustrating to complete that the game gives you the option of coming back later after you've learned how to use the Turbo Trainers (which Banjo's crocodile transformation can use). These greatly increase Croc Banjo's speed, which makes beating Mr. Vile much easier.
    • In Rusty Bucket Bay, during the ship whistle puzzle, the background music subtly switches to a music track that's identical to the main level theme, except with the music's whistles removed. This is to ensure the player doesn't confuse the background music with part of the puzzle.
    • If you decide to obtain the last remaining Jiggies after defeating Grunty, you won't need to travel all the way to the top of the lair again, as the true ending will play immediately after you collect your last Jiggy.
    • The XBLA version saves your highest note score and it stays there, while in the N64 version, you had to get all 100 notes in a level in one go; if you died or exited the world before you did, you'd have to start all over.
  • Aquatic Mook: The game has only one aquatic enemy, but it's noteworthy. The Snacker is a blue shark that appears into scene whenever Banjo and Kazooie are swimming in the waters of Treasure Trove Cove (the only safe part is the water surrounding Captain Blubber's ship). Snacker returns in Rusty Bucket Bay, guarding the southwest waters (the one with a buoy where a yellow Jinjo is).
  • Artistic License – Biology: Eyrie the eagle stays in the nest and continues growing from spring to winter. In reality, eagles are fully grown-up after 10 to 12 weeks and leave the nest 3-4 weeks later.
  • Art Shift: Nuts & Bolts has a far blockier style than the previous games, to the point where Banjo looks blockier on the Xbox 360 than he did on the Nintendo 64.
  • Asteroids Monster: Boss Boom Box, the boss of Rusty Bucket Bay. He splits into half after a few hits, and then splits again, and again, until you have to defeat a total of eight smaller versions of him. A mook example is the ice cubes found in Freezeezy Peak and the winter version of Click Clock Wood.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The crab Nipper in Treasure Trove Cove can only be hurt with an attack to his face.
  • Background Boss: Gruntilda assumes this role for part of the final battle, hovering outside the rim of the arena and throwing fireballs at you while you shoot eggs at her in four different spots.
  • Backtracking: The game has a few bits of mandatory backtracking, but the bulk of the levels can be completed in one visit — Freezeezy Peak and Gobi's Valley are the two exceptions, as both have abilities in them that you have to learn from each other to complete them (i.e. you need the Beak Bomb unlocked in Freezeezy Peak to complete Gobi’s Valley, and you need the Turbo Trainers unlocked in Goby's Valley to complete Freezeezy Peak).
  • Badass Adorable: One of Banjo's magical transformations is an adorable little green crocodile. Crocodile Banjo is also the only transformation in the game that has an attack, and it's a rather good one at that.
  • Badass Boast: Grunty has plenty that even rhyme!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: This is what happens if you lose all your lives or save and quit the game: Gruntilda tells Klungo to activate that ugly-fying machine, and she takes Tooty's beauty. Mumbo offers to marry the witch and Tooty comes out of the machine looking like an ogre.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Upon completeing the Grunty's Furnace Fun mini-game, the duo are offered a choice of three prizes: Tooty, a washing machine cauldron, and an ugly Grunty doll. This exchange happens:
    Banjo: Which prize shall we take, Kazooie?
    Tooty: Me! Me! Me! Me!
    Kazooie: Err... How about that grotty ugly thing?
    Banjo: I think we should take Tooty...
    Kazooie: That's what I meant!
    Banjo: (appalled) Kazooie!!!
  • Balloon Belly: Nabnut gets one after he eats too many acorns, getting so full and bloated that he can hardly move.
  • Battle Theme Music: The game does the Boss Remix variety whenever you take on a boss, with the battle music being a more intense version of the level's background music. Unlike in the sequels, boss music in this game is played with a soundfont that matches that of the boss's level, while the other games use Orchestral Bombing. The exception is Gruntilda's final battle theme, which also uses an orchestra-styled soundfont because she is the Final Boss.
  • Beak Attack: The series gives Kazooie many moves along these lines such as the Beak Barge (Banjo crouches and then slides forward with Kazooie sticking her beak out), the Beak Buster (a Ground Pound move where Kazooie sticks her beak downward while falling from a jump), and the Beak Bayonet (during the First-Person Shooter Breegull Blaster segments where Banjo holds Kazooie like a gun, he jabs her forward). These moves would also be incorporated into their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate moveset.
  • Beary Friendly: Banjo is friends with Kazooie, Bottles, and Mumbo. In general, he's also very kind and friendly to most of not all of the minor NPCs he comes across, at least in comparison to his companion Kazooie.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: All Tooty wanted to do was go on an adventure. She did - indeliberately.
  • Bee Afraid: The Zubbas, which are larger-than-usual orange hornets that aim rapidly at Banjo and Kazooie to try to sting them. They're the bosses of Click Clock Wood, fought specifically in Summer.
  • Berserk Button: The "Tick the Mole Off" part of the game very early on. All you have to do is claim to know all the moves and then bother Bottles until he actually threatens to erase your game pak.note 
  • Bicolor Cows, Solid Color Bulls: Subverted. In the original game, the Bigbutt enemy is a greyish-blue bull, but Bovina, an NPC from Banjo-Tooie is a light brown cow.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Mad Monster Mansion. It features a creepy villa full of ghosts, skeletons and bats, an abandoned wine cellar, a creepy cathedral with moving tombstones and a ghost that plays the organ, and a hedge maze.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The game features Tickers (large pink termites), Buzzbombs (large yellow dragonflies) and Scabbies (large, rounded flying scarabs colored black and yellow). The Tickers can be found in Mumbo's Mountain and the Christmas tree of Freezeezy Peak, the Buzzbombs appear in Bubblegloop Swamp and the autumn period of Click Clock Wood, the Scabbies appear in Gobi's Valley, and all three of them roam the entrances to their respective levels in Gruntilda's Lair. Click Clock Wood also has the Zubbas, which fall under Wicked Wasps.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Gruntilda's reaction to learning about Tooty in the German version is to shriek out a very shocked "WAS?!"
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • Even before you factor in all the levels in Grunty's castle, that place is enormous in comparison to the outside. When you actually do factor in the levels, there has got to be either some kind of magical teleportation going on, or Grunty can fold three-dimensional space like no-one's business.
    • A lot of interior locations (too many to list) would qualify. Rusty Bucket Bay's Engine Room and Chuffy's Boiler are just a few examples.
  • Bizarrchitecture:
    • Grunty's lair, which is a giant castle shaped like her head, resting on the side of a mountain. The inside of it is even more bizarre.
    • Mumbo Jumbo's house, which is shaped like a giant skull.
  • Blatant Lies: Occasionally, Gruntilda will make remarks as you roam her lair. One of them is this:
    Grunty: Tooty says she's fine with me, if you go home I'll set her free!
  • Body Horror:
    • Embodied by Clanker, the garbage compactor. He resembles a shark made of scrap metal, and at first glance he seems to be a robot. Then you enter him, and find out that his interior shows remnants of organic material, crudely patched together with mechanical parts. The implication here is that he had once been a living creature, and was later reconstructed into a (fully sentient) waste disposal system. It doesn't stop here, though. The longer you think about it, the more you notice how many things are wrong with Clanker's anatomy. It is impossible to tell if Clanker is a whale or a shark, since he has both gills and a blow-hole (with a metal bolt in it). His gills are directly connected to his stomach. His body is filled with sharp, rapidly moving metal objects. His spine is located in his front, rather than his back. Weird parasitic tentacle creatures are growing out of his flesh. The list can probably be continued even further.
    • A promotional VHS distributed prior to the game's release shows a brief glimpse of a fully organic Clanker in place of the mechanical one. Assuming that most of the level design remained similar, this would mean that Gruntilda had a living, breathing sea animal chained to a giant anvil so that he couldn't surface, and that she was still using him as a garbage disposal. It continues when Clanker becomes part of the museum in Nuts & Bolts — and he's still alive. The most you see of him is his head, which has been bolted into the floor, with his very sad-looking eyes watching you, his flesh/machine parts are now a sickly green color, and we don't even know what happened to the rest of his body.
    • Mumbo's entire head is a fleshless skull. By Nuts & Bolts, he can pull his own eyes out, juggle with them, and pop them right back in again.
  • Border Patrol: In Treasure Trove Cove, you can kill Snacker the shark (who prefers one-liners to one-hit kills). He respawns after a short period of time, though. Treasure Trove Cove still needs an Invisible Wall, because that's one of the levels that allows Kazooie to take flight.
  • Boss Banter: Nipper and Gruntilda tend to do this when you're fighting them.
  • Bottomless Pits: A rarity within the game, only appearing the Hub World Lair, the infamous engine room of Rusty Bucket Bay, and the final battle atop of Lair.
  • Broken Bridge: The only thing keeping you from reaching Gruntilda's Lair is a literal broken bridge with a gap far too large to jump across. Learning all the basic moves from Bottles (or simply telling him you're good enough) will have him automatically fix the bridge for you.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: This game features the Trope Namer; its entrance lobby can be seen in the lower left corner of this page's image. It's a green, moist marshland filled with extensive moats of water populated by piranhas, making them dangerous to navigate without wearing Wading Boots or mounting water lilies. Red frogs (called Fibblits) and yellow dragonflies (called Buzzbombs) serve as the main mooks, with a group of strong yellow Fibblits serving as a Wolfpack Boss. It also includes several breakable huts built upon tall poles, a friendly giant turtle who needs your help and has a playable location inside his body (where a group of singing turtles are practicing for a rehearsal), a large egg that has to be broken from different angles, and a wooden maze flooded with piranha water where the Wading Boots are a must for navigation. At the end of that maze, Mumbo can be found; his magic in this level transforms Banjo and Kazooie into a small crocodile, who is not only immune to the piranha bites in the water but can also enter a much larger crocodile elsewhere to challenge a fellow specimen in a difficult minigame.
  • Buried Alive: The fate of Gruntilda at the end of the first game. She stays buried alive for 2 years until the boulder is finally moved (no thanks to Klungo).
  • Butt-Monkey: Quite a few.
    • Kazooie seems to have it in for the universe. The universe retaliates by showing her no mercy.
    • Gobi the camel is horribly abused by the main characters.
    • Roysten, an extremely minor character who first appears in Banjo's fish bowl, is very often barbecued in the games in which he appeared. Not so in Nuts & Bolts, though.
  • Cain and Abel: The evil witch Grunty was at odds with the fairy godmother-esque Brentilda.
  • The Cameo: In the bunker room of Rusty Bucket Bay, a poster of Berri from Twelve Tales: Conker 64 can be seen hanging on the wall.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: It's not a lecture, but Brentilda tells you a bunch of trivia regarding her sister when you talk to her. Remember those bits of trivia, as they will come into play during the Grunty's Furnace Fun quiz. The correct bits of trivia are chosen at random for each playthrough, too, so you can't cheat (unless you skip the Grunty questions with jokers).
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Jinjos seem to be not much more than distressed NPCs for you to collect. But at the end of the game, they turn out to be crucial in turning the tide against Gruntilda, and the final blow is delivered by the mighty Jinjonator.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: There are no checkpoints in individual worlds. If you die, you return to the world's warp pad.
  • Chimney Entry: To get the Jiggy from Napper, a sleeping ghost in Mad Monster Mansion without waking him up, Banjo and Kazooie will need to enter the mansion through the chimney, then hop across the chairs to reach the table Napper is sleeping on, as walking across the creaky floors will wake Napper up.
  • Christmas Episode: Freezeezy Peak, complete with holiday advent calendar entrance. It even comes with a few Saving Christmas challenges, such as rescuing Christmas lights from being eaten and collecting Christmas presents for sad children.
  • Collect-a-Thon Platformer: While Super Mario 64 did it first, it was the success of Banjo-Kazooie that really got the genre going.
  • Compilation Rerelease: While not wholly Banjo-Kazooie focused, Rare Replay does contain Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
  • Console Cameo: The 3rd file on the file select screen is a scene of Banjo playing on a Game Boy. It wasn't removed in the Xbox 360 port.
  • Continuing is Painful: You had to collect all 100 notes in each world in order to complete the game, since you need at least 810 of 900 notes to finish the game and 882 out of 900 to double your ammo capacity before the final boss fight. Aggravating this is that the game had a strange score system for them where, if you left or died in a level without collecting them all and returned, you would have to collect them all over again plus the ones you missed in order to add to your note score (i.e. if you collect 50, then leave and come back, you have to collect 51 before your overall score will start increasing)note . This becomes extremely frustrating in Rusty Bucket Bay, where a few notes are placed in the boiler room, where it is very easy to die, forcing you to collect all of the level's notes all over again. Jinjos also have to be collected in one go to get the Jiggy from them (which is a big headache in Rusty Bucket Bay (again), where one Jinjo is located in a far-off corner of the oxygen-draining polluted water). The Xbox Live Arcade and Rare Replay ports mitigated this by allowing you to keep the notes permanently on collecting them.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Grunty's Furnace Fun, as well as a few other regions of Gruntilda's Lair, has Banjo and Kazooie traveling over lava without any ill effects.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Gruntilda threatens to make an armchair of Dingpot in the German version for informing her about Tooty.
    Gruntilda: WAS?! Du mieser alter Kessel, ich mache aus dir einen Sessel!Literal English translation 
  • Copy Protection: When certain Game Shark or PAR cheats are used (which inadvertently do something like violating protected memory or the checksum), the bridge to Grunty's Lair in Spiral Mountain will have a large hole in it, making it impossible to cross without a levitation cheat. There are no still effects otherwise.
  • Cuckoolander Commentator: Gruntilda during the game show at the end.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: In the first game, "Winkybunion" was just one of three potential Embarrassing Middle Names Gruntilda could have. In later games, it ascended to being her actual last name instead.
  • Dangerous Interrogative: Gruntilda does this in the German translation when Dingpot, her Kessel, says Tooty is prettier than she. Roughly translated in English...
    Dingpot: Hmmm... doch da gibt es ein Mädchen... ("Hmmm... but there is a girl...")
    Gruntilda: Das kann nicht sein, niemand hier darf schöner sein! ("That cannot be, nobody here can be more beautiful!")
    Dingpot: Tooty ist so süss und klein, sie ist die hübscheste von allen! ("Tooty is so cute and small, she is the prettiest of them all!")
    Gruntilda: WAS?! Du mieser alter Kessel, ich mache aus dir einen Sessel! ("WHAT?! You miserable old cauldron, I'll make an armchair out of you!")
    Dingpot: Tooty ist nicht nur hübsch, sie ist ein wahrer Engel! ("Tooty is not only pretty, she is a real angel!")
    (Gruntilda prepares to depart with her broom)
    Gruntilda: Dem Biest werde ich es zeigen! ("I'll show that brat!")
  • Dead Character Walking: There's an unusual glitch you can trigger in flight — if you Beak Bomb into a wall with only one honeycomb left and hit the wall at the very last frame of the attack, you can fly around without dying. Curiously, if Banjo lands, he won't die, but if he attacks something like a beehive, he will die. Leaving the level or pausing and unpausing the game will cost you an extra life, but it refills your health and won't make you go through a death animation.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: Clanker's belly contains rapidly-moving fans with serrated blades, while the Rusty Bucket is fitted with deadly propellers (the ones at the back of the ship underwater are One-Hit Kill propellers).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kazooie, though any number of characters will engage in this. A Running Gag is how she will respond to various enemies' Badass Boasts with a dismissive "that's nice".
  • Death Mountain: Mumbo's Mountain, in the first game, has two types of terrain: the grassy dirt Banjo and Kazooie can walk through without slipping to the bottom (with the help of the Talon Trot skill), and the gray rock terrain that will make them slip no matter what (unless they're transformed into an ant by Mumbo).
  • Deletion as Punishment:
    • Talk to Bottles enough times in a playthrough where you decided to bypass his tutorial, and he'll eventually threaten to delete your save data (though Banjo convinces not to do it).
    • If you use one too many cheat codes (not counting the ones you receive during the course of the game or Stop n Swop codes), Grunty actually will delete your save data.
  • Dem Bones: The game' has humanoid skeleton enemies in Mad Monster Mansion called Limbo.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Mighty Jinjonator, who has not been foreshadowed at all, appears at the end of the final battle to help deliver the final blow to an otherwise-invincible Gruntilda.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Wonderwing move. You learn it as early as Clanker's Cavern, and it effectively makes you invincible against enemies and kills all of them, even normally invincible enemies like the Mummies and Skeletons. The only catch is that you can only hold 10 feathers at a time for the move, and refilling it isn't easy due to how scarce the feathers are.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Think about it for a second. Grunty kidnapped Banjo's sister; did she really think he wouldn't come after her? She forces him to undertake a huge, dangerous quest and fight for his very survival, sending minion after minion to attack him relentlessly, all the while threatening him with bodily harm and outright demanding that he come up and face her, all because he's being a good big brother. It's also hinted in the instruction manual that it wasn't even Tooty that she was interested in surpassing in terms of the beauty department, but her sister Brentilda, and all Tooty's looks were to her was an excuse to finally use the machine that would allow her to grant this goal.
    • Bottles also qualifies very early in the game when you say you know the moves and try to ask for help. After asking five times, Bottles gets increasing ticked off, to the point, by the fifth time, he tries to erase your game pak. His threat becomes a lot more serious in the French version, in which he tries to destroy your TV!
      Bottles: Vous l'aurez voulu... Je vais faire sauter votre télé!Literal English translation 
  • The Dog Bites Back: Having put up with enough of Gruntilda's abuse, Dingpot switches sides and conveys Banjo and Kazooie to the final battle against Grunty.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: After you rescue Tooty, the credits roll and there's a cutscene of the victorious Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo, and Bottles celebrating with a barbecue—then Tooty comes out and reminds them that they still haven't defeated the Big Bad, and that Banjo had better get off his butt and do it.
  • Double Jump: One of the duo's most basic moves, utilizing Kazooie's wings to flap for more height.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: This is the secret to beating Boggy's second sled race. If you try to stay ahead of him, his Rubber-Band A.I. will ensure that he'll rocket ahead of you. Trail just behind him though (but not too far or he'll call off the race) and waiting till you're close to the finish line makes the race much easier, since Boggy won't be able to catch up to you in time when you jump ahead to the finish line.
  • Down the Drain:
    • Clanker's Cavern, the third level. It's a large sewage network with many parts flooded, requiring efficiency when swimming in search of items to avoid drowning.
    • The eighth level, Rusty Bucket Bay, where the oil-contaminated water drains your Oxygen Meter even on the surface, doing so at twice the normal rate when you are submerged. The part involving swimming past instant-kill propellers to get a Jiggy is one of the most difficult tasks, even by Rare themselves.
  • Edible Ammunition: Kazooie can attack by shooting eggs from either her mouth or her rear.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Gruntilda Winkybunion is randomly given one in the first game for use in the Pop Quiz at the end.
  • Empty Room Psych: Can be invoked if you play the game on an original, used Nintendo 64 cartridge. The game doesn't store the Stop ‘n’ Swop items per save, but per cartridge, so if they have been collected already, their locations will remain empty on every new save. You will visit an empty ice cave, a secret, empty room behind a wine barrel, an ancient Egyptian tomb with nothing in it, and an entire remote island without anything.
  • Enemy Roll Call: The game has a Character Parade, which shows the names of all the side characters (once the Pop Quiz minigame near the end is won) and the enemies (after the defeat of the Final Boss, Gruntilda).
  • Enter Solution Here:
    • Even if you already know all of Cheato's codes in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, you still can't use them until you've earned them. Rusty Bucket Bay also has a puzzle where you need to use a code written on the side of the ship, though you don't have to seek it out like with Cheato.
    • By using the Internet (or just plain luck), you can find out that you can still use the cheats if you enter "CHEATO" in then the cheat backwards, rendering the poor book useless. Of course, you won't know the cheats unless you collected them all or have Internet access, meaning he can still be useful.note 
  • Eternal Engine: Rusty Bucket Bay, while largely Down the Drain, includes a large interior whose machinery puts the ship into work. Banjo and Kazooie have to be careful when moving through the rotating setpieces, as they may otherwise fall into the pit and lose a life. There's a Jiggy that can only be obtained after slowing down the metallic fans from the central part of the area, while another Jiggy requires shutting down the underwater propellers so it can be safely collected. The boss is Boss Boom Box, a King Mook of the sentient explosive Boom Box crates, hidden in the ship's depository.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Grunty's Code Vengeance is a sign that she hates when the player tries to cheat using codes not already learned from Cheato, and threatens to erase the Game Pak if the player doesn't stop. She doesn't actually delete the whole pak, but the file you've been playing when putting the cheat will be gone as soon as you exit it.
      Grunty: Stop this cheating, Grunty says, or your Game Pak I'll erase! [player disregards warning] You didn't listen, I'm amazed, so now your Game Pak is erased!
    • Grunty enjoys cuddling a loogie-filled handkerchief in bed, wearing streaky brown undies, and blowing balloons up with her butt at parties, but when the heroic duo venture into a talking toilet to collect a Jiggy from Mad Monster Mansion's septic tank, that's where she draws the line!
      Grunty: I can't believe you went in there, wash your hands now, filthy bear!
  • Everything Fades: Averted with dropped items. Don't need that honeycomb piece yet? You can come back to it any time as long as you haven't left the level. Played straight with Mooks though.
  • Everything Talks: If it's an item and has eyes, it can talk.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Gruntilda has a pretty impressive one, especially when you hit the "Save and Quit" option in Banjo-Kazooie. She also laughs evilly constantly during the final boss battle. And, the game works an evil laugh into the beginning of the "Grunty's Lair" theme and all its variants, which restarts every time the music loops back to the beginning.
    • Numerous minor enemies have one as well; Sir Slushes, Grublins, and Tee-Hees in particular.
  • Excuse Plot: Really, it's all just an excuse to make Banjo and Kazooie run around collecting Jiggies.
  • Expressive Health Bar: The health bar is paired with an image of the titular duo's face. As the player loses health, their expressions go from grinning to sad, ultimately falling unconscious when they lose a life.
  • Eye Poke:
    • Repeated eye-poking is the method needed to defeat a giant hermit crab in Treasure Trove Cove.
    • One Jiggy in Gruntilda's Lair appears in the eye of one of her statues. The eye is apparently made of glass and must be pecked out to reach the Jiggy.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Mumbo Jumbo pulls one of these for Gruntilda in the Game Over cutscene in the first game; good thing it's not canon.
  • Fairest of Them All: Gruntilda's plot in the first game is to suck the beauty out of Banjo's sister Tooty with a special machine, to become this. Get a game over, and you get to see it happen.
  • Fairy Godmother: Brentilda's a mix of this and Glinda the Good Witch.
  • Fake Difficulty: In the Autumn section of Click Clock Wood, you're supposed to use the Wonderwing to get a few musical notes from a Snarebear trap. Thing is, unless you use Cheato's "Goldfeathers" cheat, you're stuck with a meager 10 the whole game, and gold feathers are far more scarce in all of the game's levels than red feathers, meaning that if you're careless with using them, it can become extremely tedious or near impossible to get those notes—approaching the snares as is isn't an option since they can whittle down Banjo's health very fast and knock him away. Factor in that you have to collect all 100 notes for each world in one go in the games original release, and it makes completing an already arduous level an even more exasperating challenge, though the HD port at least makes it so you don't have to collect every single note all over again.
  • Falling Damage: The amount of damage taken by falling down will depend on the height. If Banjo falls down for too long, then he'll die after crashing into the ground.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Banjo and Kazooie end up walking around larger creatures' insides surprisingly often.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Happens to Gruntilda, who gets trapped under a boulder for two years... and yet she survives (albeit as a skeleton).
  • Feather Fingers: In the ending of the first game, where Kazooie holds a mug.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Gruntilda requires Banjo and Kazooie to make the most of the abilities they've learned from Bottles throughout the game.
  • Floating Platforms: Not that common in the series, but examples include the vicinity of the treehouse in Click Clock Wood from Banjo-Kazooie (seriously, there's planks of wood just floating there).
  • Flying Books: Cheato, the big book of cheat codes, hovers in place while flapping his pages.
  • Foreshadowing: Brentilda points out to Banjo and Kazooie that her facts will "save them from a fiery fate". This sets up Grunty's Furnace Fun near the end of the game, where Banjo and Kazooie have to answer questions (of which some of the answers can only be found from Brentilda) or risk getting dunked in lava.
  • Four-Seasons Level: Click Clock Wood is The Lost Woods, but it is the same level four times over the course of one year, with the duo visiting all four seasons.
  • Free-Sample Plot Coupon: The very first Jiggy Banjo and Kazooie collect, right at the entrance of Gruntilda's Lair, tells them that the objective of it and the other Jiggies in the game is to open new levels. Good thing that Jiggy was instantly available, and that the first world only requires one.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: There's a dolphin that's trapped under an anchor in grimy toxic water. Swimming up into the ship and slamming the button to drag the anchor off of him causes him to thank you by leaving behind a Jiggy.
  • Fun with Acronyms: One of Banjo-Kazooie's "Disinformation Central" rumors is about about Gruntilda going back in time with her giant T.I.T (Time Interfering Truck). Here's the link.
  • Fun with Flushing: After turning the pair into a pumpkin, you can go into a haunted house through a window and then flush yourself down the toilet to reach a secret room where you'll find a Jiggy.

  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • If you lay two eggs into Leaky the Bucket from a ledge above and then jump near a Yum-Yum clam nearby while Leaky is speaking, if the Yum-Yum clam attacks you, the game will crash on the spot.
    • During the final battle with Gruntilda, if you fall off the tower and let Grunty hit you just before you hit the death barrier, the game will softlock because Banjo is stuck in his pain animation indefinitely and floats around the tower aimlessly, forcing the player to reset the game.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Treasure Trove Cove includes a ship stranded near the center of the level's mountain, and it's where Captain Blubber is lamenting that his gold ingots went missing.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Treasure Trove Cove has Nipper, the second boss of the game. He only became an enemy because of Kazooie's big mouth, but it's still necessary to defeat him because there's a Jiggy inside his shell.
  • Giggling Villain: Gruntilda. She's one of the few that pulls both this and Evil Laugh off perfectly.
  • Golden Super Mode: Although Banjo and Kazooie don't turn gold themselves, using their Invincibility Feathers covers them in golden glimmers.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Brentilda and Gruntilda. Their designs are based on Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Got Me Doing It: Bottles and Kazooie's constant name-calling leads to Banjo accidentally calling Kazooie "Chicken Legs" upon unlocking the ability to collect the Wading Boots.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Jiggies and notes are the main collectibles in the games, but Jinjos, empty honeycombs, Cheato pages, Mumbo tokens, and other items appear everywhere. 100% Completion can be a pain in this series.
  • Green Gators: The shaman Mumbo Jumbo can transform Banjo into a crocodile with forest-green scales. There's also a gigantic crocodile of the same green colour, whose head emerges from the swamp. Inside its mouth you'll find another crocodile, a red-scaled bully named Mr. Vile, who challenges you to an eating contest.
  • Green Hill Zone:
    • Spiral Mountain, Banjo's home and the tutorial level of the first game. It has very basic enemies and its design is tailored for the study of the most basic skills taught by Bottles. It returns in Banjo-Tooie, although it's significantly gloomier thanks to the events of the game's intro and has been heavily ransacked by Gruntilda's minions. It appears yet again in Nuts & Bolts, serving as both the prologue area and later the battlefield for the last fight against Gruntilda.
    • Mumbo's Mountain, the first actual level of the first game, overlaps with Death Mountain by having three steep slopes (two of which can be tackled when Kazooie learns the Talon Trot move, and another which will be slippery no matter what). Other features include some stone monuments, a large termite mound, an area (over)protected by a bull (Bigbutt) and another by an angry gorilla (Conga).
    • Click Clock Wood is the penultimate level, though it has a surprisingly gentle and happy feel to it despite it being one of the most difficult levels in the game and the last "normal" level before you face Gruntilda.
  • Grimy Water: Rusty Bucket Bay. The water is so ass-nasty that on the surface, you're forced to hold your breath, and underwater, your air runs out twice as fast.
  • Ground Pound: There's a rather painful-looking variation in which Kazooie slams face-first into the ground as Banjo drops down on top of her. In Banjo-Tooie it is upgraded to a Drill Ground Pound.
  • Guest Fighter:
  • Guide Dang It!: Click Clock Wood has two Snarebear Jiggies, one of which is so elusive and so easy to confuse with the one near the door high up in the Spring, that many players were led to believe they were experiencing a Game-Breaking Bug. The notorious Jiggy is located at a very well hidden platform that's even higher up around the tree than the first Snarebear Jiggy, and it's only accessible by using the bee transformation.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Clanker's Cavern (Absurdly-Spacious Sewer + Down the Drain + Womb Level), Rusty Bucket Bay (Ship Level + Eternal Engine + Down the Drain), and Click Clock Wood (The Lost Woods + Four-Seasons Level + Slippy-Slidey Ice World).
  • Halloween Episode: Mad Monster Mansion in Banjo-Kazooie, especially since Mumbo's transformation there is a Pumpkin, which is one of the most iconic symbols for Halloween.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: With the exception of Gruntilda, the boss fights in the first game are very simplistic and easy compared to the plaforming challenges you go through.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: An interesting example: during the board-game challenge, Gruntilda calls you a "furry geek". Whoops.
  • Heart Container: Empty Honeycombs. ​In this game, 6 Empty Honeycombs equal one new section for your Life Meter. There are six in Spiral Mountain (the tutorial level) and two in each major world, for a total of 24 (though only 18 are needed to extend the meter to the max; the remaining 6 are entirely optional). Also, a special jigsaw puzzle at the very end rewards you with red Honeycombs that effectively double the life meter.
  • Hedge Maze: The game features a hedge maze in the Mad Monster Mansion level. It is a lot easier to figure out how to get through it once you realize that you can actually hop on top of the hedges themselves.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: All of Bottles's tutorials involve telling Banjo and Kazooie which buttons on the controller to press.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The Final Boss Battle against Gruntilda includes a part where the player has to use a flying pad to go after her while she flies on her broom.
  • Homing Projectile: One of Gruntilda's spells in her Final Boss battle can't be avoided without using invincibility. She performs it only twice during most of the battle (namely at the end of the first phase, and at the end of the second), but will periodically shoot it during the final phase, urging the duo to activate the Jinjonator to win the battle before they run out of Gold Feathers (or, should they persist, before they run out of HP).
  • Hornet Hole: Click Clock Wood features a large beehive that contains a Jiggy and a Jinjo. Banjo can safely enter it in his bee transformation, but the hornets inside will attack him if he enters it normally.
  • Hub Level: Gruntilda's Lair is where Banjo and Kazooie can access all the levels through themed portals. Throughout the game, they will be exploring the lair, using Jiggies and Notes to unlock new areas and levels.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Kazooie is clearly too big to fit in Banjo's backpack, but she somehow manages to fit perfectly in there. This is to say nothing of all the eggs, feathers, tokens, and various other items that the two of them are carrying around.
  • Iconic Item: The series has Jiggies, golden puzzle pieces that serve as the main collectibles of the series. The games practically center around them, and there's an entire order dedicated to these golden relics as shown in Tooie and Grunty's Revenge. Even when Nuts & Bolts shifted focus to vehicle customization, the Jiggies remained as the big item to collect. It's such an iconic item that, when the titular duo were announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the telltale sign of their inclusion was a random Jiggy thrown through Donkey Kong's window.
  • Idle Animation: Kazooie pecking Banjo on the head, which itself had two variations: Idle once, and Kazooie pecks Banjo and giggles before returning to the backpack. Continue to idle long enough, and Kazooie will peck Banjo again, but then Banjo catches her by the neck and throttles her a bit. There's also the animation of Banjo playing a Gameboy.
  • The Igor: Klungo is Gruntilda's ugly, disproportionate, hobbling lab assistant who operates the machinery to transfer Tooty's beauty.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: All the Jinjos look identical. With different colors.
  • Instructive Level Design:
    • Spiral Mountain is designed to encourage players to get used to the game's moves and controls, with six Honeycomb Pieces lurking around to entice players further:
      • The first of them is the area with tree stumps, where you learn the Feathery Flap and Flip Flap moves. Because the Honeycomb piece is impossible to reach with your normal jump, you're forced to use the move to reach it.
      • The second of these is the area near the waterfall, with a Honeycomb sitting at the end. There are three platforms jutting out of the wall that are just too far apart for your normal jump to cross, forcing the player to try out the Feathery Flap to make it across. As an extra enticement, there's an Extra Life sitting even further ahead behind a waterfall, challenging the player to see how far they can go with the Feathery Flap to try and reach it.
      • The third of these is a pair of trees near the stone bridge and the mountain, where you learn how to climb. You can't make it to the top of the tree with the Flip Flap, so you're forced to climb it to reach the Honeycomb floating above it.
      • The fourth of these is the little quarry where you learn the Beak Barge. Even if you had learned how to attack beforehand, none of them can put on a scratch on the rocks, forcing the player to ram the rocks to break them open, with the last one busted awarding you a Honeycomb.
      • The fifth of these is the garden where you learn how to attack. Because one of the enemies is airborne, it forces the player to try out the Rat-a-tat Rap attack to get used to its physics, thus rewarding them with a Honeycomb.
      • The last of them is the moat around Spiral Mountain itself, where you have to learn to get used to the swimming controls in order to reach the Honeycomb hidden in an alcove below the mountain's wooden bridge.
    • Mumbo's Mountain is also a great tutorial level that's tailored around making you learn how to use its three new moves in addition to the basic abilities you've learned so far. Once you learn how to shoot eggs, you're immediately given a mini-boss to encourage you to use them, as well as a totem pole near Mumbo's hut that gives you a Jiggy if you shoot eggs into it. There are three huge slopes in the level with items scattered around them, encouraging the player to try out the Talon Trot to traverse two of them. The Beak Buster is also learned right inside of a village where you can smash the nearby huts and get rewards. Ticker's Tower also encourages the player that there's a reason to seek out the Mumbo Tokens, since you need to use Mumbo's termite transformation to traverse it and reach the Honeycomb hidden in an alcove on a slope that's too slippery for even the Talon Trot to cross.
  • Intercom Villainy: Gruntilda verbally harasses you constantly as you traverse her lair without physically makes an appearance. She makes badass boasts and cracks jokes at Banjo and Kazooie's expense, always in rhyme. She also speaks up the first time you're hurt by specific hazards. Once you beat her, you can still explore her lair, but the intercom is silent.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: There are four types of enemies that are impossible to kill by any means.
    • A few areas contain a bull named Bigbutt, who cant be killed, though he can be knocked out for a few seconds.
    • Whiplashes are a kind of fleshy tentacle thing that appear only in Clanker's belly, and are not affected by any means of attack. They closely resemble Whipcracks, an enemy that appears much later. Whipcracks can be killed with Eggs or Wonderwing, which pass right through Whiplashes and cannot reach them, respectively.
    • Rusty Bucket Bay introduces Grimlets, living cowl ventilators with sharp teeth that can't be entered into or harmed — even the Wonderwing will just make Banjo bounce back if he uses it on them.
    • Click Clock Wood introduces Snarebears, which can't be affected by any means at all, and the only way to protect yourself is to use the Wonderwing or transform Banjo into a bee (which they won't react to).
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Golden Feathers; interestingly, you can use them anywhere, though gold feathers are scarce and you can only hold 10 at a time (20 if you find and use one of Cheato's codes).
  • Iris Out: An iris in the shape of Gruntilda's head is used when a cutscene involving Gruntilda ends, you quit playing the game, or get a Game Over.
  • Irony: Rusty Bucket Bay of the first game, a level which takes place primarily on a large ship, has life preservers that can attack you and knock you off the ship.
  • I Taste Delicious: Honeycombs, Oranges, and even Caterpillars will divulge to the player how delicious they are.
    Honeycomb: Mmmm . . . I'm sticky tasty honey energy!
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: The infamous Game Over sequence, where Gruntilda successfully uses her machine to steal Tooty's beauty and becomes a Hot Witch, leaving Tooty as a hideous green monster.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Kazooie. She will insult anyone and take great delight in doing so, but she really does mean well and can be nice when she wants to be.
    • Mumbo Jumbo is snarky and gruff, but also goes above and beyond the call of duty to help his friends.
  • Justified Tutorial: Bottles offers to teach you all of the games basic moves as soon as you leave Banjo's yard, but the game also gives players an option to skip it if they already know the basics. The former choice leaves the bridge to Gruntilda's Lair broken until you learn each individual move from Bottles, but the latter choice gives you all your moves and fixes the bridge off the bat.
  • Karma Houdini:
  • Kazoos Mean Silliness: Kazooie is named after the kazoo. In the game's opening sequence, which contains a fast-paced and comical song, she plays the Mocking Sing-Song tune on kazoo as part of the song.
  • King Mook: Boss Boom Box from Rusty Bucket Bay is, as the name suggests, a big Boom Box. Nipper is one among the Snippets, and by extension the Mutie-Snippets (these being a Wolfpack Boss to begin with).
  • Lethal Lava Land: Grunty's Furnace Fun is a board game taking place over a volcanic pit of lava. There is another area in Gruntilda's Lair which is filled with lava, as it was meant to be the entry to the scrapped lava level of the game.
  • Live Item: The Jinjos, and practically everything in the first game.
    Random Collectable Orange: Yum... oranges are nice!
  • Luke Nounverber: Gruntilda Winkybunion (from winky, as in someone who winks; and bunion, or the swelling of a foot's joint). It's an Embarrassing Last Name for her, as noted during the final battle against her in Banjo-Tooie.
  • Macro Zone: Click Clock Wood in the original game is a blend of normal-sized and giant-sized elements, with the giant-sized ones being more dominant overall. Some other levels, such as Mad Monster Mansion for instance, have oversized portions as well (like the large dining table and the surrounding chairs).
  • Marathon Level:
    • Click Clock Wood is the longest level by far, by virtue of it being one level, which is already fairly large, being split into four different levels for each season.
    • Mad Monster Mansion, while nowhere as long as Click Clock Wood, is also longer than the rest of the game's levels, by virtue of its maze-like structure and having a lot of side areas, three of which are very large in scale.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Near the end, when Tooty interrupts the heroes' barbecue to warn them that Grunty is still on the loose, everyone freaks out: Banjo and Kazooie are so shocked that their chair's legs break, Mumbo screams, and Bottles falls out of his own chair.
  • Memory Match Mini-Game: Inside one of the pyramids in Gobi's Valley, the player has 100 seconds to Ground Pound the floor's tiles to reveal images and match the couples. If the images don't match, they'll flip back and the player will have to keep trying; if they do, they'll stay shown. There's a total of 16 tiles distributed in a 4x4 pattern (meaning there are 8 pairs). If all of them are revealed under the time limit, a Jiggy appears. In the Pop Quiz challenge near the end of the game, this minigame can reappear, with the added caveat that the time limit has been reduced to only 75 seconds.
  • Morphic Resonance: All the transformations still have Banjo's shorts and backpack.
  • Musical Theme Naming: Banjo, Kazooie, and Bottles are all named after musical instruments. Tooty was originally named Piccolo (probably a good thing they changed that), but this instrument seems out of place with the others anyway, as it doesn't belong in the Deep South.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Bubblegloop Swamp plays this straight with Mr. Vile, but subverts this with the friendly Croctus and Banjo's crocodile transformation.
  • New World Tease: The puzzle for Click Clock Wood is located in an underwater cavern near the entrance to Treasure Trove Cove, but the podium is missing—you have to find the switch in Click Clock Wood's entrance very late in the game in order to use it. You can access Clanker's Cavern entrance right away, but you need the Shock Spring Jump from Treasure Trove Cove to access its puzzle. It's also possible to complete the Bubblegloop Swamp puzzle before you even go into Treasure Trove Cove, even though you won't have enough notes to get to that level yet.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The level Mad Monster Mansion has plenty of undead mooks: Limbo (skeletons that rebuild themselves after being crumbled to pieces by an attack from Banjo and Kazooie), Tee-Hee (green-colored ghosts based on Grublins that chase the characters relentlessly, and can only be defeated with a Golden Feather), and Portrait Chompa (skeletal versions of Grilla Chompa that come out of paintings to attack the duo). The game also has undead mummy enemies called Mum-Mums, but they appear elsewhere (in Gobi's Valley).
  • Nintendo Hard: The game is fairly easily aside from the odd challenge like Mr. Vile or Boggy's sled race, but one part of the game that is considered legitimately hard, even for experienced Banjo players, is the Boiler Room in Rusty Bucket Bay due to it demanding precision platforming over a Bottomless Pit, with narrow, shifting platforms and giant fans that will knock you aside if you so much as brush against them—one slip up, and you'll be starting the level all over again.
  • No Fair Cheating: There are three kinds of "Cheats": "Cheats" which are just item capacity upgrades, which you get from Cheato anyway, "Infinite Item" cheats which give you unlimited Feathers/Eggs/air/whatever, and special "Bypass" cheats that let you get through parts of Grunty's Lair. But be warned—using more than two of the "bypass"-style cheats will result in Grunty deleting the offending save file. It was a nasty surprise to any players who had seen Bottles' threats of this beforehand and assumed Grunty's would play out the same, only to be met with an empty save upon restarting the game. The Xbox Arcade remakes of both original games make it so inputting ANY CHEAT (barring ones from Cheato or Bottles) will turn off saving, achievements, and the leaderboards. Mercifully, Bottles and Jamjars will at least warn you if you want to go through with this.
  • Noob Cave: Spiral Mountain in the first game. It's a small, short and very easy hub level to complete in one go and it lets you cut your teeth on the basics of the gameplay in a safe environment. Mumbo's Mountain falls in the same boat, but it gives you the real meat of the gameplay besides just learning moves and grabbing Honeycomb pieces.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The beautiful Gruntilda post-transformation as seen on the Game Over screen just so happens to be a dead ringer for Posh Spice as she appeared at the time of the game's release, right down to her iconic Little Black Dress.
  • No-Sell: While the Wonderwing attack will plow through most enemies, it is useless against Grimlets, enemies found in Rusty Bucket Bay, as the duo just bounces back after touching one.
  • Not-So-Safe Harbor: Rusty Bucket Bay, which serves as the eighth level. It is a harbor where the H.M.S. Rusty Bucket, a cargo ship that floats in oily water, resides. The dock workers all work for Grunty and are trying to attack Banjo and Kazooie, the oily water drains Banjo and Kazooie's Oxygen Meter twice as fast as regular water, Snorkel the Dolphin is trapped under the H.M.S. Rusty Bucket's anchor, Snacker the Shark lurks in the water near a buoy a Jinjo is stranded on, and another Jinjo is stranded on a barrel floating in a pool of toxic waste. You'll also need to use the cranes to get the Jiggy in the cage and to unlock Boss Boom Box's hideout, and there's also the infamous Jiggy hidden behind the H.M.S. Rusty Bucket's propeller blades.

  • Odd Couple: The eponymous duo. Banjo is very lazy and easygoing, Kazooie... not so much.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Brentilda appears in no less than 10 different locations throughout Gruntilda's Lair, and you never see her move from any of them. Perhaps justified, since she's some sort of fairy god mother.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gruntilda gets an enormous Jaw Drop when she faces The Mighty Jinjonator.
  • Old Save Bonus: The indended purpose of the long-lost Stop 'n' Swop feature, properly implemented in the XBLA rereleases.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • In Rusty Bucket Bay, the propellers in the lower end of the ship's stern can kill the characters instantly upon contact. They can only be disabled for a limited time, and it's the reason why getting the Jiggy behind them is so difficult.
    • In Gruntilda's Furnace Fun, the eponymous characters play a quiz game. Failing to answer a question on the green-eyed skull tiles will send them to the lava automatically, and they will die.
  • Opposites Attract: Although Banjo and Kazooie are complete opposites in terms of personality, they seem to get along pretty well.
  • Ouija Board: In Mad Monster Mansion, you have to spell the main characters' names on an enormous board to receive a Jiggy. And as they do so, they have to avoid touching the Tee-Hee who's roaming the board's perimeter.
  • Our Founder: The giant statue of Gruntilda in the depths of her lair.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: One area in Clanker's Cavern has a huge pit you need to swim into, but it's very, very deep. A friendly fish named Gloop appears down there who spits out oxygenated bubbles.
  • Oxygen Meter: The Oxygen Meter is represented by blue-colored honeycombs (in analogy to the yellow honeycombs that represent the standard health meter); if it runs out, you immediately drown. Rusty Bucket Bay has oily water that not only drains the meter twice as fast when submerged, but drains it at the regular speed when on the surface (this also happens with the water in Click Clock Wood in winter, due to its low temperature).
  • Palatial Sandcastle: In Treasure Trove Cove, there is a sandcastle in a pool of water that one has to drain to enter (while it's accessible with the water present, it's of no use in that case). Inside it is a letter grid drawn in the floor that is used for a spelling puzzle needed to earn a Plot Coupon and, more famously, to input the game's Classic Cheat Codes.
  • Palmtree Panic: Treasure Trove Cove, though it also has a large Death Mountain section in the topmost area and Gangplank Galleon at the center. Features include beach-dwelling enemies, a shark that aims to repeatedly chew Banjo and Kazooie while they're swimming, a Giant Enemy Crab boss, a Palatial Sandcastle, and a search for a treasure chest whose underground location changes constantly.
  • Pass Through the Rings: The game has at least five ring-passing missions, two of which are in the Clanker's Cavern level.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • In the first game, there are 116 Mumbo Tokens, but it's only possible to collect 115 of them due to a glitch in Mad Monster Mansion. For some reason, the level treats two Mumbo Tokens (one in the mansion's basement and another in the sewer) as one and the same, so collecting one will make the other vanish.
    • The Mumbo Token in the water-logged pyramid in Gobi's Valley: once you collect the Jiggy at the bottom, the water drains, making the token unreachable.
    • On the XBLA, completing the Bottles Bonus Puzzles before completing Mad Monster Mansion and Click Clock Wood can make some of the notes in those levels impossible to collect. This was fixed in an update from Xbox Live.
  • Perpetual Molt: Using the Red Feathers to fly takes this form.
  • Perspective Magic: A seemingly accidental version of this occurs in the Twinklies quest in the first game's Freezeezy Peak. Normally, you have to defeat enemies to stop them from eating the lights, but moving the camera off of the path the enemies are on works just as well.
  • Physical Attribute Swap: Gruntilda kidnaps Tooty because she wants to drain the latter's beauty for herself. The Game Over screen shows one specific way this manifests by having Tooty take on Grunty's massive girth.
  • Pickup Hierarchy:
    • Primary: Jiggies (jigsaw pieces)
    • Secondary: Extra honeycomb pieces, Mumbo tokens, jinjos, glowbos, Cheato pages, Banjo statues
    • Tertiary: Music notes, eggs, and feathers.
    • Extra: ? Eggs, Ice Key.
  • Platform-Activated Ability: There are two round-shaped pads that are respectively tied to two of the moves the eponymous duo can perform when taught by Bottles: The green-colored Shock Spring Pads (which have the drawing of a bird's foot), allowing Kazooie to briefly duck to boost a tall Spring Jump and reach a high; and the blue-colored Flight Pads (which have the drawing of three red feathers), allowing Kazooie to fly. In both cases, the pads are shown empowering her with bright sparks (green in the former case, red in the latter), and neither the higher jump nor the flight are possible without these platforms.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Banjo and Kazooie. It helps that one is a bear and one is a bird.
  • Playable Epilogue: You could play even after slaying Grunty. In the first game, you could even dance on her still-moving grave.
  • Player Nudge: As soon as Banjo first enters Gruntilda's Lair, the player is given two paths; the upper path is a dead end due to the slope being too steep for Banjo to traverse, prompting Bottles to give a hint that he could learn how to do it (via the Talon Trot) by going into Mumbo's Mountain, which is located on the other path. Provided the player hasn't already collected the Jiggy nearby, the subsequent roadblock (a puzzle to unlock the first level that's missing a piece) will have Bottles encourage the player to seek out the missing piece, to emphasize to players how important it is to collect them.
  • Polluted Wasteland: The oily water in Rusty Bucket Bay is so polluted, it makes you drown while swimming on the surface! (You drown twice as fast when you swim underwater).
  • Pop Quiz: Grunty's Furnace Fun is an impromptu quiz of everything you've learned and seen from the game, taking place when you'd expect to be facing the Final Boss instead. The question categories are: General (simply answer a question regarding a character or event), Visual (identify the place or character shown), Musical (identify the soundtrack or sound effect heard), Personal (answer a question regarding Gruntilda's personal life), and Challenge (replay a minigame or boss battle, now with an extra perk that makes it much harder). The answers to personal questions about Gruntilda are randomized each playthrough, and can only be learned by talking to Brentilda in the parts of Gruntilda's Lair where she appears. As a final side note, there are two extra tile types in the minigame's board: Joker (any category except Challenge; answer correctly and you'll get two Joker cards that will allow you to bypass a tile; fail, and you won't get another chance) and Death (again any category except Challenge, and better have the right answer to the chosen question in your mind, or at least a Joker card to bypass it. If you fail, you'll be sent into the lava and die).
  • Portal Endpoint Resemblance: The nine worlds accessible from Gruntilda's Lair are entered from rooms that look like them, often complete with fake painted skies resembling those in the worlds. So Treasure Trove Cove is entered through a beach-like room complete with a fake pirate ship, Gobi Valley is entered through a palm tree on an outcropping in a room full of quicksand, and Mad Monster Mansion is entered through a steepled building in a gloomy graveyard, etc. Interestingly, this destination resonance is also true of the areas around the Jiggy murals you must fill in to open the entrances, even if the murals and entrances are far from each other; for instance, the mural to open Freezeezy Peak is in a very icy room.
  • Power Up Motif: Using the Wonderwing power changes the background music for the duration.
  • Proj-egg-tile: One of Kazooie's signature abilities is firing eggs like grenades out of her butt, which you'd expect (well, sort of), and... out of her mouth like bullets.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Gruntilda to Mumbo, though this isn't mentioned much; it's really only in the manual of the first game and a few easily-missable comments Mumbo makes when you first meet him.
  • Racing Minigame: Boggy the polar bear challenges Banjo to two ice sledding races. In the first, Banjo faces him as a walrus (courtesy of Mumbo's transformation magic) using a sled; in the second, he faces him in his usual self with the help of Kazooie's Turbo Trainers.
  • Railroading: The game makes sure that you complete the first course thoroughly before it lets you tackle the rest of the game. The slope which takes you out of the lair's lobby is impossible to pass without learning the Talon Trot ability. Then you find out you need to collect just enough musical notes to pass the Note Door located at the top of the slope. And after that, you find out you need to collect enough Jiggies to complete the Treasure Trove Cove puzzle. And then the game forces you to play Treasure Trove Cove in and out, since another Note Door blocks you from reaching Bubblegloop Swamp, even though you can complete its puzzle before even entering Treasure Trove Cove, and the Clanker's Cavern puzzle requires you to learn the Shock Jump ability to reach it. The game is a little more lenient after that—you can complete Bubblegloop Swamp before Clanker's Cavern, for example.
  • Recurring Riff: Tons of it. The main title song and the Grunty's Lair song are the two themes that get remixed the most throughout the series. In fact, practically every level theme in the games had remixes that played when you traveled to different areas, including the respective games' Hub World.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Gruntilda speaks entirely in verse in the first game and Nuts & Bolts. Shortly into Tooie, her sisters tell her to knock it off, and she reluctantly does so for the rest of the game.
  • Riddling Sphinx: The Ancient Ones are Sphinx statues in Gobi's Valley with hexagonal rings on their top. They tell Banjo and Kazooie that they can defeat Gruntilds if they Pass Through the Rings while flying. When the bear and bird pass through the rings of all five statues, they admit that they were joking and can only give them a Jiggy as reward.
  • Sand Is Water: Gobi's Valley is full of "quicksand pits," and even a few "sand waterfalls."
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: In later levels of the first game, bees will start flying around the beehives, and will chase and sting you if you destroy it.
    Beehive: Touch my honey this time and you'll be sorry!
  • The Scapegoat: If you neglect to break the boulder that's blocking the entrance to Gnawty's den during summer in Click Clock Wood, then Gnawty will remain outside in fall and winter. In winter, he will claim that it's your fault he's stuck outside, even though Banjo and Kazooie had nothing to do with the placement of the boulder in the first place.
  • Secret-Keeper: Brentilda knows all of Gruntilda's disgusting personal secrets. She's more than happy to share them with you.
  • Sequel Hook: Mumbo pops out of a tree and shows pictures of the infamous Stop 'n' Swop items, saying that you would find out what they were for in Banjo-Tooie. Then there's Gobi talking about going home to the "lava world", a world that doesn't appear in the game but does end up appearing in the sequel.
  • Sequel Snark: The 100% completion ending shows snapshots of the eponymous characters obtaining items inaccessible in the main game. When asked what they're for, Mumbo Jumbo tells them they'll have to wait for the sequel (which was made two years later).
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • The game is designed in a way to railroad you into making sure that you complete at least the first two levels in order to make sure to get the bulk of the moves you'll be using throughout the game. After that, you can complete Bubblegloop Swamp before you go into the Clanker's Cavern level. It is also possible to access and complete the Freezeezy Peak puzzle without having the Wading Boots ability or Bubblegloop Swamp transformation, simply by getting Banjo through the tunnel to it as fast as possible without getting killed by the piranha infested waters—tricky, but feasible.
    • It's possible to bypass the slopes of the Termite Mound in Mumbo's Mountain without turning into a termite by timing Banjo's jumps very carefully. You can use the same trick to reach the Switch Jiggy that appears on top of the lobby for the level.
    • In Clanker's Cavern, you can exploit Kazooie's egg laying ability by ejecting her eggs into Clanker's teeth while he's still underwater, allowing you to enter him before you raise him.
    • In Freezeezy Peak, you can reach the Honeycomb piece in Wozza's Cave without the Walrus transformation by exploiting a glitch called the Quick Dive, while allows Banjo to dive far enough to go through the tunnel (normally, he can't dive underneath the freezing water, but the glitch bypasses this).
    • Much of the game's quiz show in Grunty's Furnace Fun can be skipped with a family of related exploits. The Furnace Fun quiz show contains several Skull Panels that are supposed to launch you into lava if you fail to answer the questions they trigger correctly, ending the quiz show and causing instant death. However, they can be manipulated into not sending you into the lava, terminating the quiz show early yet allowing you to simply prance across the game board uninterrupted and skip right to the top of Grunty's Lair.
    • In Gobi's Valley, there's a glitch that allows you to Beak Barge your way through the side of Jinxy, allowing you to access the inside of it without shooting eggs into its nose. Also, the switch Jiggy for that level can be reached without pressing the switch by using the Shock Jump pad nearby and leaping onto the coffin with the Jiggy on it, and then rolling into part of it—Banjo will clip through just enough to grab the Jiggy inside.
    • In Rusty Bucket Bay, it's possible to use the Beak Barge to clip through the glass window in the Boiler Room, allowing you to get outside quicker when you shut off the ships propellers. In the same level, you can use the eggs to immediately knock back the Big Boom Box boss, skipping his intro cutscene while also giving you a couple second window to grab his Jiggy and hightail it out of there.
    • Subverted in Click Clock Wood; it's possible to destroy the boulder blocking Gnawty's home in Spring, before the water level drains in Summer, by strategically laying eggs from the platform above. However, Gnawty will still act like the boulder is there, and because you were never intended to enter his home in Spring, it doesn't exist as part of the level's geometry, allowing you to jump out of bounds.
    • There's a tricky clipping glitch involving the Talon Trot that allows you to skip past the door blocking you from accessing Dingpot, allowing you to fight Gruntilda without collecting 94 of the game's Jiggies.
  • Sequential Boss: The final boss fight against Gruntilda has about four phases. The battle first has Banjo and Kazooie dodging her dive-bombs and retaliating when her broom stalls, then dodging her spells while hitting her with eggs, then taking to the air to hit her with the Beak Bomb, and finally summoning Jinjos to knock her off the tower.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Gobi's Valley has all the desert level clichés you can think of. Sandfalls, pyramids, sphinxes, mummies, out-of-place cacti...
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the file select, Banjo can be seen playing a Game Boy, and the sound effects are taken from Donkey Kong Land.
    • Grunty and her sister Brentilda are very reminiscent of The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda. Likewise, Grunty's overall characterization in the first game was similar to the Evil Queen in Snow White.
    • The third-place prize in Grunty's Furnace Fun is a plush Grunty. Grunty herself refers to it as a "cuddly toy", a possible reference to The Generation Game. This one was naturally lost on players outside the UK.
    • Two of the levels reference Super Mario 64's levels. Freezeezy Peak is extremely similar to Snowman's Land, as both are ice levels dominated by a giant snowman that has to be climbed. Click Clock Wood makes conceptual references to Tick Tock Clock, being a late-game vertical level with an extremely similar name. Both levels operate on a temporal mechanic, with Click Clock Wood being based on the seasons while Tick Tock Clock had a mechanic of tuning the clock interior to different speeds. Click Clock Wood's central tree setpiece during the first section, spring, even resembles the hub entrance to Tick Tock Clock in 64, with the clock itself being framed in a large green-leaved tree.
  • Silliness Switch:
    • An Easter Egg Mini-Game gives you several cheat codes that change Banjo's appearance, ranging from giving him a giant head to making his body long and skinny. The final one turns him into a washing machine.
    • You can occasionally be accidentally turned into a washing machine via standard use of Mumbo.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game:
    • In Bubblegloop Swamp, Banjo and Kazooie have to Ground Pound the "Tiptup Choir" members in the same order as these sing their respective notes. The session is divided in three rounds: Six notes in the first, seven in the second, eight in the third. It reappears as a possible challenge in Grunty's Furnace Fun.
    • In Mad Monster Mansion, Banjo and Kazooie have to Ground Pound the keys Motzand is playing on the Ominous Pipe Organ located inside the chapel.
  • Skippable Boss: If you aren't going for 100% Completion, the regular level bosses are entirely unnecessary to fight since you don't need all of the Jiggies to get to the end.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Freezeezy Peak and the Winter season of Click Clock Wood. Though the slippery slopes aren't a problem (Kazooie's Talon Trot overcomes them), the cold water is harmful upon contact (the deep water in Click Clock Wood is suitable for swimming, but the cold temperature will make the Oxygen Meter deplete twice as quickly). Both levels have evil snowmen that toss snowballs and can only be defeated by beak-bombing their hats.
  • Snark Knight: If Kazooie is talking to anyone but Banjo, she'll use snarky nicknames or insults at minimum, and actively mock them at most.
  • Snowlems: In Freezeezy Peak and the winter season of Click Clock Wood, there's a snowman enemy called Sir Slush that can't move around, but does throw snowballs at you with pinpoint accuracy, and it laughs at you the whole time. The only way to defeat them is to knock off their stovepipe hats with a difficult aerial maneuver (and dispatching all of them on Freezeezy Peak is necessary to unlock a Jiggy).
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: Every winter track from the game features sleigh bells at some point.
  • Speaking Simlish: There is hardly any full voice lines. Instead, characters speak with gibberish formed of very brief voice clips.
  • Spooky Animal Sounds: The soundtrack prominently features howling wolves in the background ambiance of various "spooky areas", such as Mad Monster Mansion in the first game and Witchyworld's "horror zone" in the sequel.
  • Spring Jump: The Shock Spring Pads allow Kazooie to perform an enhanced jump to reach high places.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Turbo Trainers, a pair of white shoes which speed up your the duo's walk speed tremendously. Their use is learned from Bottles in Gobi's Valley, but they can be found earlier in Bubblegloop Swamp and Freezeezy Peak (in fact, they're required in the latter world to win Boggy's second race, so the duo has to return there after Gobi's Valley).
  • Sssssnaketalk: Gruntilda's right-hand man Klungo and the Snippet Mutants speak with elongated "sss" sounds.
  • The Stinger: Technically everything after the quiz segments (Final Boss included), since you get staff credits after the quizzes.
  • Stock Beehive: Averted by the regular beehives (which are shaped like a Langstroth hive — aka, a "bee box", an artificial hive used by beekeepers), but played straight by the Zubba Nest in Click Clock Wood. Weirdly, the Zubbas look more like hornets or wasps, but their hive is full of honey.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Talk like Yoda, Cheato does.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Many of the transformations in the Nintendo 64 games. Some are justified (Walrus, Crocodile, inanimate objects); others, like the Termite, not so much. Although notably, the bee in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie will just fly back up again when it approaches water.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The hazardous Bubblegloop Swamp, although some of the inhabitants are friendly.
  • Termite Trouble: Tickers are termite-based enemies found primarily within Ticker's Tower on Mumbo's Mountain, and later inside the giant Christmas tree in Freezeezy Peak. Unlike most examples, they're not really interested in wood, though they do desire Termite Banjo's clothing and demand he give it to them.
  • That Poor Cat: In the first game's file select screen, selecting the first file will occasionally cause Banjo and Kazooie to get flung out the window. Cue cat noises.
  • Thin Chin of Sin: Gruntilda has an exaggeratedly long chin, which is just one of the many ways in which she is a parody of the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Third-Person Person: Mumbo the Shaman, Nipper the Hermit Crab, Clanker the Whale, Mr. Vile the Crocodile, Wozza the Walrus, Trunker the Tree, Motzand the ghost hand, Loggo the toilet, Snorkel the Dolphin, Nabnut the Squirrel...sometimes they talk normally, sometimes it's exclusively this, but it's very common throughout the game.
  • This Cannot Be!: Spoken verbatim by Gruntilda in the intro when Dingpot hints at the presence of someone prettier than she.
    Gruntilda: What d'you mean, this cannot be, there's no one prettier than me!
  • Threatening Shark: Snacker the shark is rather antagonistic and will attack Banjo if he goes into the ocean or any of the water directly connected to it. Subverted by the massive cyborg Clanker, who is a Gentle Giant.
  • Toilet Humor: Mixed in with the Black Comedy and the innuendos are occasional smatterings of this. Notable examples include:
    • Captain Blubber's Speaking Simlish, made up of belching noises.
    • The farting sound that accompanies Kazooie's "reverse egg launcher" technique.
    • A Jiggy in Mad Monster Mansion requires Banjo and Kazooie to flush themselves down a toilet and into the mansion's septic tank, something that even grosses out Gruntilda herself.
    • The music for Clanker's insides has fart and burp noises sprinkled throughout.
    • Some of the facts Brentilda gives about her sister, such as Grunty having a 'loogie bush' near her bed, streaky brown undies, among others.
    • Nabnut, the squirrel Banjo and Kazooie meet in Click Clock Wood, is reduced to a burping and gassy mess during the Summer portion of the level.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Lampshaded. Mumbo Jumbo has this unstoppable Tyrannosaurus Rex transformation... but decides it's too awesome for the game and saves it for the next one instead.
  • Too Much Information: Grunty loves to mix these in with her Badass Boasts. Could also be said of all of Gruntilda's revolting secrets Brentilda likes to share.
  • Towering Flower: In Click Clock Wood, Kazooie must lay eggs into a hole in Spring to plant a seed. As the plant grows, Banjo and Kazooie must water it in Summer and Autumn by Beak-Busting Gobi so he will spit his water out at the plant. When the plant is fully watered, it is revealed to be a massive flower that blooms to reveal a Jiggy inside. To get to the top of the flower, Banjo and Kazooie must jump off the Zubbas' Hive a third of the way up the massive tree the level takes place in.
  • Tree Trunk Tour: A good part of Click Clock Wood involves the gigantic tree found in the level. A path revolving around the tree allows Banjo to climb it and a few NPCs can be found living in its insides.
  • Tropical Epilogue: After Grunty is defeated for real, the heroes are all shown vacationing together on a beach. If all the Jiggies have been collected, Mumbo will show photos of the Stop 'n' Swop items.
  • Tsundere: Kazooie, who, rather than fitting into either category listed on the trope page, is both caustic and sentimental at the same time, all the time.
  • Underground Level: Clanker's Cavern takes place in a sewer, without any view of the world outside.
  • Updated Re-release: Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie were rereleased on the Xbox Live Arcade with full Stop 'n' Swop support.
  • Useless Item:
    • The first game has two dozen empty honeycomb pieces, and collecting six gets you one extra unit of health...except it only works three times. The last half-dozen are only if you want 100% completion.
    • With the use of cheat codes, the dummied out six Stop ‘n’ Swop eggs and the Ice Key can be collected. They are then visible in your inventory, and Banjo and Kazooie even comment on it when you collect them. In the original game, they don't do anything at all.
  • Variable Mix: Every overworld and level. Ever. But for starters, every level with an appreciable amount of water has an underwater version in the form of a muted harp.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Grunty's Furnace Fun, a board game/quiz show hybrid where you must answer specific kinds of questions depending on the tile you step on. Getting to the end leads to a small area with a few note doors leading to the Final Boss battle against Grunty.
  • Victory Pose: Every time you collect a Jiggy (and open a note door) in Banjo-Kazooie, unless Banjo is underwater or transformed.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In Click Clock Wood, Eyrie the eagle is seemingly abandoned by his parents and relies on Banjo and Kazooie to feed him. If you refuse to do so until autumn, in winter he will be... gone. Of course, the other option is not much less cruel, as you need to feed him 15 live caterpillars who talk.
    Eek! Hungry animals like caterpillars...
  • Video Game Flight: Kazooie can fly, but only with Red Feathers (unless you only need to make a short flight), and you can only launch from Flight Pads. And in some levels, getting up to them is a hassle in and of itself.
  • The Villain Must Be Punished: After beating Gruntilda in a quiz, the witch releases Tooty. However, even though Grunty's plot to steal her beauty has been thwarted and the heroes returned home to relax, Tooty demands Banjo and Kazooie to march back up and defeat the witch once and for all. After beating Gruntilda and trapping her under a boulder, that's when the heroes are allowed to relax until the sequel.
  • Voice of the Legion: The Jinjonator at the end of Banjo-Kazooie, which booms "Jiiin-joooo!" when it's released from its stone prison.
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: A walrus is among the things that Banjo can transform into. This transformation is necessary to interact with another walrus named Wozza, who is terrified of bears, and will panic and retreat if Banjo meets him as a bear. But Wozza is lonely, and only wants to be friends with another walrus, so if you meet him in walrus form, he'll invite you into his cave and give you items.
  • Warp Whistle: The colour-coded cauldrons in the Hub Level, Grunty's Lair, can be used for quickly teleporting around the large hub.
  • We Can Rule Together: Gruntilda attempts to do this to Kazooie. "You side with Banjo, but change tack; imagine you on Grunty's back!" Luckily, there's no option to do this, as Kazooie at her most Jerkass-ness might consider it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: You can stomp, peck, or punch to pieces some perfectly sapient enemies because they are crabs, clams...etc. The game wouldn't be able to keep its E rating if you could do this to more appealing animals.
  • White Sheep: Brentilda, when you look at how the rest of her siblings turned out.
  • Wicked Witch: Gruntilda is a classic example, with green skin, black robes and a pointed hat, an evil cackle, a magic cauldron, and a flying broomstick.
  • Wing Shield: Kazooie can perform the Wonderwing ability when she learns it from Bottles in Clanker's Cavern. When used, Kazooie can use her wings to shield Banjo, making them both temporarily invincible. Each Gold Feather Kazooie collects grants her and Banjo two seconds of invincibility. They can hold up to ten Gold Feathers, but once they learn a special cheat from finding Cheato the Spellbook a third time,note  they can hold up to twenty.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Half of the boss cast in the first game are not singular characters, but instead a group of enemies that Banjo and Kazooie have to defeat to earn a Jiggy. Namely, the Mutie-Snippets in Clanker's Cavern, the Flibbits in Bubblegloop Swamp, the Zubbas in Click Clock Wood and, to a lesser extent, the Mr. Slushes in Freezeezy Peak.
  • Womb Level: The inside of Clanker in Clanker's Cavern and the inside of Tanktup in Bubblegloop Swamp.
  • You Have Failed Me: Gruntilda makes this clear to Napper once he loses his Jiggy. "Yes I'm mad, my boot I'll put, up your USELESS SPOOKY BUTT!"
  • You Have Researched Breathing: The first game has Kazooie learn how to lay eggs and fly from Bottles, something that should already come naturally to a bird.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: This happens after rescuing Tooty, the credits roll and Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo, and Bottles are celebrating with a Barbeque. It seems like the game is over, only for Tooty to remind them that Grunty got away and they need to stop her for good. Oddly enough, Tooty herself stays rescued.


Video Example(s):


Gruntilda Did Nothing Wrong

Chuggaaconroy discusses how the developers of Banjo-Kazooie went out of their way to make Gruntilda appear as a disgusting and detestable character, but ended up achieving the opposite by having half of the trivia about her be incredibly cool. However, when using it to say that Grunty did nothing wrong, ProtonJon has to remind him that she literally kidnapped Tooty and mutilates her during the game over screen, which Chugga tries to excuse under the pretense that "kids are awful".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / DracoInLeatherPants

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