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Western Animation / Rocket Monkeys

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The Rocket Monkeys
They're monkeys in space!
They try to be heroes
But they're easy to replace!
—The first lines of the show's theme tune

Rocket Monkeys is a Canadian animated television series produced by Breakthrough Entertainment (the same studio that created Atomic Betty, Captain Flamingo, and Jimmy Two-Shoes) and animated by Atomic Cartoons (who also animated Atomic Betty and Captain Flamingo). Created by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson, the show ran from 2013 to 2016 with a total of 65 episodes over 3 seasons.

The show centers around dimwitted simian brothers Gus and Wally, who are members of GASI (Galactic Animal Space Institute), an organization of animal astronauts focused on interplanetary exploration. The brothers possess an astounding lack of intelligence and skill, but when all the good GASI teams are unavailable, Gus and Wally are usually the ones who end up saddled with whatever life-threatening space missions their boss Dr. Chimpsky needs completed. Thus, the pair travel through space on their makeshift rocket with their loyal if beleaguered Robot Buddy YAY-OK, encountering various strange lifeforms and worlds, as well as dealing with the occasional galactic evildoer. But Gus and Wally, being the incompetents they are, always find a way to screw things up, and as a result, have to clean up their own messes wherever they go.

The show first aired on Teletoon in Canada on January 10, 2013, then aired on Nickelodeon in the United States in February and in the United Kingdom and Ireland in April. While Nickelodeon in the U.S would only air the first season, KidsClick began airing the remaining two seasons on July 3, 2017.

This animated series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: The Rocket Monkeys often call Lord Peel "Banana Man".
  • Age Lift: Wally has the voice of a child in the 2008 version, in the official cartoon he doesn't seem to be much younger than Gus.
  • Always Someone Better: The Space Gorillas compared to the Rocket Monkeys.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Gus and Wally both have feelings for Monkevil, and often Gus flirts with other women. However in "Always a Monkey Never a Bride", while Gus and Wally try to help Monkevil get away from her fiance Bazz to win her heart, Gus gets jealous when Bazz falls in love with Wally in disguise and the two fight over him.
  • Apologises a Lot: In every episode where Gus is a jerk to Wally he apologises at the end each time.
  • Archnemesis Dad: YAY-OK's father seems to care for his son, but cares about destroying anything that moves more.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Zombie Bananas", when Wally and Gus are attacked by Lord Peel's zombies they yell "Zombie baboons! Zombie gibbons! Zombie chrysanthemum!"
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Usually played straight, though in "Monkey Hearts" when Monkevil is making her escape into space she's wearing a space suit and helmet.
  • Big Bad: Lord Peel is the main villain of the series.
  • Big Brother Bully: Gus physically and emotionally bullies Wally, by making him go to the bathroom in a bucket and once in a while disowning him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In spite of his bullying, Gus does care about Wally and can even be overprotective.
  • Birthday Hater: In "Happy Gus Day", Gus has never liked birthdays, but he gives in and opens what he assumes is Wally's birthday surprise - a box of Green Goo.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Often. One instance, when Lord Peel removes Gus and Wally's love for bananas, causing them to really, really hate all bananas. It cuts to YAY-OK back in the ship's kitchen.
    YAY-OK: Gus and Wally will love this all-banana 10-course meal... I hope I didn't miss any important plot point. Ehh, I'm sure everything is fine.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Nefarious.
  • Catchphrase: "Poopy doopy" for Monkevil.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • "The Peel Who Stole Christmas", where Lord Peel seeks revenge on Gus and Wally by impersonating Santa and tricking them.
    • Ships, Trips and Worm Holes", where Gus and Wally try to get to a Christmas party before all there cake is eaten.
    • "A Very Monkey Christmas", in which the monkeys learn that they're on Santa's "Super-Naughty" list for Christmas and have to do one good deed before the midnight bell rings.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Nefarious has a hilarious one in "Ships, Trips and Wormholes".
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: In "B.A.L.L.", Gus and Wally are reminded of the titular explosive everywhere they turn.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The monkeys' mother and Lord Peel are heard listening to the show's main theme while rollerblading in "Not Lord Peel."
  • Dinner Deformation: This happens when Wally swallows an entire bag of sugar whole.
  • Disguised in Drag: Nefarious's plan in "Princess Nefarious" is to disguise as a princess so someone will save him.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Pinky-Winky states that she's not a monster before saying that she's technically more of a beast.
  • Early Personality Signs: An episode shows that the brothers have always been competitive idiots ever since they were babies.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In "Scare-Larious" Wally causes Gus to shoot toothpaste into his eyes. He then exclaims "It burns!" before calmly adding "But minty fresh."
    • In "Bro to Bro" Wally shoots himself in the eyes with his goop gun. Twice.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Which details on just how useless and good-for-nothing our monkey "heroes" are.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Wally's pet Trixie in "Trick or Trixie."
  • Faceless Eye: The Delivery Boy in "Inspection Day" has a giant eye for a head.
  • Freudian Trio: Wally is the Id, Gus is (barely) the Ego, and YAY-OK is the Superego.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • G.A.S.I (Galactic Animal Space Institute). "Heh, heh, gassy."
    • B.A.L.L. (Ballistic and Lethally Loaded)
    • YAY-OK is seen with Slo-Mo, wearing a robe. They are both hiding inside of a lunar crater.
  • Gasshole: Gus and Wally both, to the point where they're also notorious sleep-farters as Nefarious finds out the hard way in "Nefarious' Slumber Party".
  • Gender Bender: In "Day of the Doodah", Gus gets turned into a girl when Wally wishes that he "weren't [his] brother".
  • Grossout Show: Pretty much everything gross which Canadian cartoons enjoy showcasing all jumbled up into one giant revolting pile.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: When Wally gets a cramp on his twisted-up leg.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: In "Trick or Trixie" when Trixie spits Gus out after trying to eat him his torso is severed from his legs, the former hovering an inch away from the latter.
  • Happy Fun Ball: In the episode "B.A.L.L.", the monkeys are tasked with delivering the eponymous B.A.L.L. (Ballistic and Lethally Loaded), which is an actual ball. They have to refrain from playing with it or it will explode.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: The innocence-feigning Monkevil is most certainly this, with a large amount of her screentime even accompanied by a Sexophone. Naturally, she uses this to her advantage in "Love on the Run," roping Wally and Gus into acting as accomplices for her bank heists.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Monkevil makes one in her second appearance, only to become a heel again at the end of the episode when Inky frames her for theft and the trio doesn't trust her.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Pinky-Winky.
  • Idiot Hero: Wally and Gus. Gus is slightly smarter than his brother, keyword slightly.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Lord Peel; before the events of the series, he was a noble businessman. But then the Rocket Monkeys began to crave him, and he's been trying to get revenge on them for trying to eat him and especially for forcing him into the dark side.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One:
    • In "Ukulele Wally" when Wally and Gus list Pinky-Winky's many faults, the only one she's offended by is that they called her sweaty.
    • When Lord Peel insults the Rocket Monkeys in the presence of their mother, she gets incredibly angry when he calls them stinky (although she agrees with the first two things he says).
  • Last Day to Live: When he thinks that Gus has caught the fatal and fictional disease "Monkey-Itis", Wally tries to make his brother's last days as comfortable as possible, no matter how much he hurts him in the process.
  • Lazily Gender-Flipped Name: Gus becomes "Gustina" when he gets turned into a (very ugly) female in "Day of the Doodah".
  • Love at First Sight: Gus and Wally upon seeing what Monkevil actually looks like.
  • Lustful Melt: In "Love on the Run", both Gus and Wally melt from Monkevil's charms at one point.
  • Made of Plasticine: Lord Peel. Justified as he's a living banana.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Gus' only response to being split in half is that he needs a bandage.
  • Manchild: Gus and Wally may be adults, but they act like very stupid and hyperactive little kids.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller Parody: One in "Zombie Bananas".
  • Mister Seahorse: In "Monkeys vs. Gorillas" when the Space Gorillas call the Rocket Monkeys chicken Gus states that they're not... then suddenly lays an egg that hatches into a misshapen chick.
  • My Beloved Smother: Gus' and Wally's mother is quite overprotective of the two and often babies them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The ending of "Home on the Strange"; the monkeys are sent to deliver cow-like creatures as food to a living asteroid, but they destroy it to save one creature that Wally had grown attached to. Said asteroid was the only thing keeping their population in check, so without it they quickly overpopulate and exhaust their food supply.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Zombie Bananas", this is Gus' reaction to seeing that Wally ate a crapload of the poisoned bananas that have been turning people into zombies.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: YAY-OK's father in "My Dad-Bot, the Doom-Bot" is a doomsday device that had been powered-down for the good of all mankind.
  • Only Sane Man: YAY-OK serves as the straight man for Gus and Wally.
  • Papa Wolf: YAY-OK goes to great lengths to keep his monkeys safe.
  • Parental Substitute: Despite the monkeys probably being adults, they need YAY-OK to look after them. He goes as far as to call them "my monkeys", "my Gus", or "my Wally".
  • Pet Monstrosity: Trixie, a toothy beast with an appetite for EVERYTHING, from the monkeys' food supply to the ship itself.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gus and Wally, who respectively wear blue and red jumpsuits.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Nefarious is kept at bay be being stuck on an asteroid.
  • Sequel Episode: "Love on the Run" and "Monkey Hearts" have the episodes' plots connected with each other.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Dude, Where's My Dad?" reveals that the monkey that was frozen in ice is not the brothers' long-lost father after all.
  • Shout-Out: In "Trick or Trixie" when Wally demands that Inky paint something for him he gets a face full of ink that makes him look like Gene Simmons, complete with hanging tongue.
  • Something Else Also Rises: In "Princess Nefarious", YAY-OK explodes tokens when he developed a crush on Slo-Mo. The next scene shows that he looked embarrassed.
  • Team Pet: Gus's pet space squid Inky.
  • Toilet Humor: Very constant.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The monkey brothers, Once per Episode.
  • Torso with a View: When the monkeys accidentally shoot Chimpsky in the chest during a simulation, it leaves a hole exposing his heart.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Bananas (surprise, surprise) for the Rocket Monkeys. Their love for bananas are so powerful, that in "Destroy all Bananas" when Lord Peel gives them a lobotomy removing the part of the brain that makes them love Bananas, it can easily grow back with a bit of encouraging.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Both Gus and Wally, especially Gus. Both are seen by almost everyone as nothing but nuisances who make everyone miserable. In "It's a Rocket Monkey Christmas" it's even proven that most characters would be better off if neither of them ever existed.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Gus and Wally both get sick on a coin-operated ride.
  • Wasteful Wishing: Let's just say that the monkeys do a lot of this in "Day of the Doodah"...


Video Example(s):


Mission Accomplished

In this promotional short, Dr. Chimpsky gives some unusual assignments to GASI animals, then wonders who wrote them.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhoWritesThisCrap

Media sources: