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     The games 
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The inability to play as the titular character in the original trilogy's sequels. Instead, you play as kid-appeal characters who aren't considered nearly as badass as DK. Because of this, the original DKC is more popular than its sequels in some circles, despite the improvements made in Diddy's Kong Quest.
  • Awesome Music: Enough for its own page.
  • Broken Base: Fans either view the original DKC games as classics, or overrated Mario clones.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • An interesting case, there are actually a substantial number of professional reviewers who dislike Diddy Kong, whereas among fans he is an extremely popular character.
    • In a similar vein, the DK Rap from Donkey Kong 64 is frequently lambasted by critics for being a cheesy rap song, while fans view it as deliberately cheesy. Many enjoy it without a sense of irony.
    • The GBA ports are much appreciated by critics, while long-time fans seem to criticize each and every change they made from the original.
  • Dancing Bear: While the SNES trilogy has always been loved for its super-fun gameplay, it's obvious that the main draw of the series in its heyday (and the obvious key to its staggering success) was the superb pre-rendered CGI sprites, which were nothing short of jaw-dropping for a SNES game, and all without any add-ons or even a Super FX chip. This ironically became a criticism of the game, saying it wouldn't have been as loved or fun without the graphics—-which prompted Rare to develop the Donkey Kong Land series on Game Boy (and later successfully porting the first DKC onto Game Boy Color) which kept the solid gameplay of the consoles intact, in spite of the inevitable downgrade to 8-bit (but still first rate for handheld) graphics. In hindsight, while the graphics are dated now, the series (particularly the first two) are still acclaimed as legitimate platformer classics, once again owing to their still first-rate gameplay, and the appealing cartoon art has helped take the burden off the dated CGI.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Kabooms from Donkey Kong Country 2. If you're even a second late from jumping, they run right into you and explode. Black/dark gray Klobbers steal lives away from you on contact. Their cousins, the Klasps, which are found in both Donkey Kong Country 3 and Donkey Kong Land III also qualify.
    • Zingers are lethal on contact and cannot be harmed except by projectile attacks or while under the effect of an invincibility barrel. DKC2 introduces reinforced red Zingers that can only be killed with TNT or invincibility. The Buzzes in DKC3 serve the exact same purpose.
  • Ear Worm: Most of the songs in DKC1, DKC2, and both versions of DKC3.
  • Even Better Sequel:
    • DKC1 did things with graphics that no one had seen before, but DKC2 streamlined that gameplay (for the most part), fixed what minor problems there were, got much more creative and fair with the bonus stage locations, included about a half dozen Platform Hell levels and a Bonus Boss for players dedicated enough to go for 100% Completion, and in general made it seem less of a Super Mario World clone and more of its own game.
    • Tropical Freeze is generally considered better than its predecessor Returns, featuring better level design, more unique settings and David Wise's soundtrack.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: People will often mistake Diddy and Dixie for siblings. They're supposed to be an Official Couple. This bugs fans, especially shippers.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • DKC has something of a fandom rivalry with Nintendo's more mature, anime-styled niche franchises, especially Kid Icarus and Fire Emblem. Part of this rivalry is due to the fact that DKC, once revered as one of the most revolutionary and popular series in gaming, has been shafted in favor of KI, FE and similar franchises, with the latter in particular getting a huge popularity and marketing boost in The New '10s. Super Smash Bros. hasn't helped matters due to the relative amounts of character representation of each of the series, with the highly demanded King K. Rool failing to make the cut. As such, many DKC fans are bitter over this relationship and lash out at KI and FE for being "niche", appealing to "weebs" and veering away from the quirky, cartoony aesthetic of DKC and its flagship parent series. This, in turn, incenses KI and FE fans who bash DKC for its "kiddy" feelnote  and for the alleged "overrated" nature of its games and characters, arguing that DKC itself became somewhat niche after its debut. This has been toned down since the Kid Icarus franchise hasn't been getting a lot of attention after for 3DS/Wii U and King K. Rool becoming a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • The series used to have one with Metroid after the revival of the series by Retro Studios turned out to be much more successful than the hated Metroid: Other M, which caused the revival to get a sequel making Metroid fans angry of how Donkey Kong is "stealing the spotlight" away from Metroid. Once Metroid got two new games announced at E3 2017, however, the rivalry died down. It helps that in Super Smash Bros., there's almost always a Donkey Kong newcomer for each Metroid newcomer.
    • Within the franchise, there is a rivalry between the Rare-developed games and the Retro Studios-developed games. Fans who prefer the Rare games tend to criticize the Retro games for their Lighter and Softer tone, cartoonish art style, changes to gameplay, and emphasizing loud action over the quiet ambience of the original games. Fans who prefer the Retro games consider them better for their more modern art style, gameplay, and emphasis on action while considering the Rare games dated and simplistic.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The Japanese love Funky Kong.
    • The series itself may not be a complete example because Donkey Kong originated in Japan, but the Donkey Kong Country games did very well in Japan despite their Western developers. The third game actually sold significantly more in Japan than it did overseas, probably because it was a SNES game released after the Nintendo 64, and unlike everywhere else, Japan tends to continue supporting consoles even after their successors come out.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • A glitch in the first game's level can cause Rambi's sprites to be mistakenly replaced with a copy of the player's character with a messed-up palette. This can be combined with another glitch which causes Donkey Kong to get stuck in a certain animation while riding "himself," making the situation resemble something else...
    • There's another glitch in DKC2 where you can avoid the difficult Bramble Race against Screech. If you come up right behind Screech to where the race will not start yet, and you fly upwards (you must have both characters at this point for this to work), you will then hit the the ceiling and hurt yourself causing yourself to blink. Quickly, while you are still blinking, pass Screech and head off to the rest of the level without having to worry about doing it in good time.
    • The Castle Crush glitch is one of the most infamous, scariest, and a literal Game-Breaking Bug to go as far as being independently mentioned in the series Nightmare Fuel page, but with so many results and odd visuals and effects upon activating it, it can also be one of the most entertaining. If you have an emulator or a Virtual Console port, go wild, just make sure to try to back up your save files, but do not attempt it with a real console.
  • Hype Backlash: At the time of the series' initial release, the massive amount of publicity and hype centered almost entirely around the impressive graphics, with little attention paid to anything deeper. As a result, it became popular in the following decade to refer to it as "overrated", with "unspectacular" or "standard" gameplay. However, in the years since that time, the game has actually undergone something of a re-re-appraisal, as more critics have come to realize that the gameplay actually is quite well-designed and creative, and that the game remains fun and memorable to this day even without the fancy visuals.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: A common complaint about the first Donkey Kong Country. It is more often the main complaint about Donkey Kong Land 1 and 3.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "If you don't buy this game, you are stupid! Yes, I know that's insulting, but it's also the truth."
    • Expand Dong: The art of chopping up letters in the various Donkey Kong logos (along with various other letters on the packaging) and rearranging them ransom note-style to say usually sexual things has become a thing on Tumblr. It's done with other video game characters, but Donkey Kong is especially popular thanks to his goofy facial expressions.
    • To a lesser extent on Tumblr, "Do not forget this ape."
    • Lanky Kong is starting to grow popular on 4Chan, along with his part of the DK Rap.
    • "Disappointed Kongs" is a meme based on the original game, wherein Donkey Kong and Diddy arrive at their empty banana hoard, with whatever the user doesn't like placed over the "Kong's Banana Hoard" sign, before performing their animations whenever they fail a bonus game.
  • More Popular Spinoff: More people seem to be familiar with this series than the original Donkey Kong.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The "AAUGH" noise that some enemies make when being defeated is always good for a laugh. Especially when it echoes.
    • Also, when you have one Kong, and you are traversing a tough level, the sound of a Kong in a DK barrel makes a great Hope Spot.
    • The chimes you hear when you reach the goal of a level also count.
    • When you beat the bosses in Donkey Kong Country Returns with the right timing, you can flail the wiimote like crazy, which causes DK to massively pummel the Tiki controlling the boss. The more punches he gives, the more awesome it sounds.
  • MST3K Mantra: It's probably best not to ask how a parrot can fly around while holding two apes in his claws.
  • Never Live It Down: Shigeru Miyamoto will never live down saying "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good." This is a shame, especially since he probably never actually said that. He stated in a 2010 interview that he does like DKC, saying that he worked closely with Rare on the project. He also was instrumental in Retro Studio's revival of the series in The New '10s.
  • Popularity Polynomial: The series was huge in the mid-90s, with both critics and gamers praising it to no end. While DKC3 may not have had the impact the first two games hadnote , the series remained popular, though the critical praise tapered a bit drawing closer to the Turn of the Millennium. Sometime during the mid-2000s, Hype Backlash set in, and it became trendy among critics and gamers to badmouth the series. Most retrospectively attribute this to spite over Rare's decision in late 2002 to leave Nintendo for Microsoft, while others point to a well-publicized quote supposedly from Shigeru Miyamoto, proclaiming that the series was all graphics and no gameplay. Either way, the Donkey Kong Country series found its way onto many "Most Overrated Games Of All Time" lists and was seen as a prime example of all that was wrong with the mid-90s shift to 3D. Fortunately, the backlash subsided greatly after Donkey Kong Country Returns became a massive critical and commercial success. And the series' reputation has, since, returned to greatness among critics and gamers.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Tiny Kong from Donkey Kong 64, who is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Dixie.
    • Ellie the Elephant from DKC3, who replaced the series' most iconic animal buddy, Rambi the Rhino.
    • Kiddy Kong. Aside from holding things in front of him instead of over his head, being able to bounce off of water, and having tag actions (which weren't possible in DKC1), he plays exactly like Donkey Kong. There were those who wondered why Donkey Kong was only playable once in a series named after him and felt that there was no excuse to not have those changes applied to Donkey Kong instead of creating an entirely new character. Some even felt as if it made him look less badass since he got kidnapped twice in a row by the same villain, whom he's already been shown to be able to beatnote . Chunky Kong, who replaced Kiddy in Donkey Kong 64, was better received since he played the bruiser role without replacing Donkey Kong.
    • The Tiki-Tak Tribe from Returns, who replaced the iconic Kremlings as the villains. Their goofy, unimposing appearance didn't help. They have become so hated that certain parts of the fandom refuse to acknowledge the existence of Returns. This was averted with the Snowmad Tribe from Tropical Freeze, which were much better received.
    • An example of Replacement Scrappy music. Opinions on the soundtrack from the GBA version of DKC3 are mixed, some think it's better, some worse, but almost everyone agrees the music to the tree and ice stages are a significant downgrade to the originals, if not outright awful.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Squawks went from being virtually useless in DKC1 to fulfilling a vital role in DKC2. Also, Squawks' purple Palette Swap (named Quawks, according to Donkey Kong Barrel Blast) goes from being just a prop in DKC2 (and blue) to a playable character with a separate, equally useful moveset in DKC3, able to grab barrels and use them instead of shooting eggy-nut dealies. In Returns and Tropical Freeze, Squawks can hint the player on where hidden puzzle pieces are. For many beginning players and completionists, Squawks is frequently purchased in shops.
    • Tiny Kong, thanks to her complete redesign in Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo DS which earned her quite a few fans in the process. Though averted with some who liked her cute younger design, and were rather unsettled at seeing a kid character suddenly fanserviced up.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Happens in all games except Donkey Kong 64 (more commonly occurring in the Donkey Kong Land trilogy due to hardware limitations), when any of the character(s) fall down from a great height faster than the game can keep up with them. The game mistakenly thinks you fell down a bottomless pit, resulting in you losing a life. Have fun repeating part of the level again due to Fake Difficulty! This was fixed in the GBA ports, since the GBA has a more powerful processor than the SNES.
  • Sequelitis: It's generally agreed that Donkey Kong Country 3 is the weakest of the original trilogy. Those who like the game find it to be just as fun and enjoyable as its predecessors (though you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks it's better). Those who dislike the game do so mainly for the Lighter and Softer treatment (especially compared to DKC2), the absence of fan-favorite characters and the Replacement Scrappies in their stead, and both versions of the soundtrack, with the original featuring little to no input from longtime DKC composer David Wise.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The little-known novel adaptation of the first game (dramatic reading available here). While nobody expects a children book based on a mostly plotless videogame to be a great work of literature, it doesn't make the stiff dialogue and repetitive plotting any less amusing.
  • Squick: Tiny Kong's redesign, to some. The aging and fanservicing up of an underage character disturbed a few fans, while others are repulsed by the idea of making an ape attractive at all, though the latter case is not to the same degree as Candy Kong.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The second half of Gang-Plank Galleon sounds very similar to the Iron Maiden song Hallowed Be Thy Name.
    • The opening part of Nuts & Bolts from Donkey Kong Country 3 sounds somewhat similar to the main riff of Kashmir.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • The song for the Enchanted Wood level from DKC2.
    • "Aquatic Ambiance" from DKC1 is also often a big favorite among fans for its relaxing nature. Special mention goes towards the remix from Tropical Freeze, thanks to modern technology. Listen here.
    • "Mainbrace Mayhem."
    • "In a Snow-Bound Land".
  • Tear Jerker: The fact that Wrinkly Kong died some time between the third game and Donkey Kong 64. Her theme is also sad.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • A DKC2 promo image from a Rare company overview book featuring Mario features the portly plumber looking a little... off.
    • Candy Kong and post redesign Tiny Kong, to some people.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Back in the day, the graphics were absolutely amazing, and they still hold up remarkably well today. And more amazing is that the games didn't use any add-ons, or even the SNES Super FX chip; everything you see on-screen is done on the actual hardware!
  • Vocal Minority: Most of the DKC fandom is fairly peaceable and gets along well with other Nintendo fandoms, and is always happy to share memories and memes from their series. One wouldn't know this from looking at King K. Rool's extremely vocal cult following in the Super Smash Bros. fandom, which has been known to not only attack other franchises, but also Donkey Kong Country games that don't feature K. Rool (even deriding the widely-loved Snowmads just for not being the Kremlings).
  • Underused Game Mechanic: After the SNES trilogy, the role of the animal buddies decreased greatly. Donkey Kong 64 only features Rambi the rhino and Enguarde the swordfish, who appear in one main level each (Rambi also appears in the final level, while Enguarde gets a minigame); you don't get to ride them either, your Kong just transforms into them. Rambi is the lone buddy in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and he appears in just three or four levels in each game.

     The cartoon 
  • Accidental Aesop: "Kong for a Day" has one thanks to Diddy Kong's ineptitude as ruler when King K. Rool attacks: "A capable, unpopular leader is better than a popular, incapable one."
  • Accidental Innuendo: In some of the songs.
    Diddy: Yes means no and no means yes, it should be rather obvious!
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Many fans likes to view Krusha's Genius Bruiser personality from "Speed" as his true self.
    • In "It's a Wonderful Life," Diddy is the future tyrant of Kongo Bongo without Donkey Kong around. Fans started to view Diddy's selfish behavior in previous episodes ("Kong for a Day" especially) as his evil side slipping into view.
    • Thanks to the VHS release of "The Legend of the Crystal Coconut" (which was actually a compilation of the titular episode, "Bug-A-Boogie", "Booty and the Beast", and "Ape-mesia") airing the episodes out of order, which resulted in one of the flashbacks in "Ape-mesia" appearing before the actual event, some fans imagine that Diddy Kong can see the future.
    • Does Candy Kong genuinely love Donkey Kong, despite her constantly being angry with him, or is she only in it because of his future status as ruler of the island?
  • Awesome Music: A surprising amount of the songs are actually REALLY good, even the one's with incredibly stupid lyrics.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Downplayed for Donkey Kong himself. He still retains his Super Strength, but he's been turned into an idiot.
    • King K. Rool in the games was a capable fighter who was able to abduct members of the Kongs several times. Here he's an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who is typically taken out with a single punch from DK.
    • Krusha and Klump. In the games they're Elite Mooks who pose a problem when encountered, especially if you don't have DK (they're immune to Diddy's jump attacks). Here, Krusha is presented as rather threatening in the pilot, but after that is relegated to a slow-witted Dumb Muscle henchman, and Klump is only mildly smarter in exchange for being far less physically impressive.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "Bug A Boogie," when after Cranky laughs about the Snipe Hunt he sent Donkey and Diddy Kong on, we cut to Skurvy's ship, where a song and dance routine is taking place. People tend to remember the song before the context. The songs themselves can be seen as these moments.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Similar to King Dedede's southern accent, some fans can't unhear King K. Rool having a deceptively posh accent.
  • Crazy Awesome: Leo Luster, who is Bluster's alternate identity in one episode. Also, Funky Kong.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Donkey Kong can slip into this at times. He is extremely stupid and tends to be selfish too, which very often leads to foolish, short-sighted decisions that cause a lot of problems for everyone.
    • Candy Kong is a Tsundere, but tends to be so tsun that she often comes off as a Jerkass to everyone, especially Donkey Kong.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Despite only appearing in a few episodes, the Pirates are generally considered to be some of the most entertaining characters in the show.
    • The Annotated Series counts Bluster Kong as well.
    • Also Dixie Kong, who maintains her popularity from the games.
    • And then there's Evil Diddy from It's a Wonderful Life. Villains were already quite popular on this show, but this guy is just epic.
    • Leo Luster, Bluster's alternate identity, has a decently sized fanbase for the single episode he appeared in.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Kremlings may not be able to steal the Crystal Coconut, but they steal the show on account of being far funnier, cooler, and generally more entertaining to watch than the Kongs. They also tend to get better songs.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Candy Kong robot used to weaken DK by cutting his hair.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The aforementioned Accidental Aesop in "Kong For A Day" can be interpreted as "it doesn't matter what wrongs your leader has committed against you, so long as they can protect you", due to the trickery that resulted in DK's banishment in the first place never being discovered or rectified.
  • Foe Yay: K. Rool using a love potion to turn DK and Candy into his servants.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • The fact that Klump and Skurvy have the same model makes perfect sense when you realize that Scurvy was based off of the in-game enemy from Donkey Kong Country 2 named Kannon which was essentially Klump from the first game with a cannon and dressed in pirate gear. This is taken Up to Eleven when you also learn that Skurvy is Klump's big brother.
    • Another one involving Skurvy. In his debut episode, he had a pet parrot named Polly Roger. But when next we see Polly, he works for King K. Rool. Some fans have been wondering why Polly would work for K. Rool, especially considering that K. Rool and Skurvy don't like each other. But we learn a very interesting fact about Polly in his last appearance "Speak No Evil, Dude." Aside from the obvious fact that he has Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and "would sell his own mother for a single cracker," it turns out Polly carries the highly contagious (and terminal) "Kongo Bongo Gone Wrongo" disease. It's possible that Skurvy got rid of Polly because he or his crew got infected by this bird's disease, or they otherwise heard about it. Suddenly, the unexplained switching of sides makes sense.
  • Fridge Horror: In the pilot episode, Krusha is considerably more intelligent than he in all other episodes. Since the last we see of him in that episode is getting beat up by DK, it's possible that the beatdown gave him brain damage. A later episode then gives an x-ray of his body. His brain is actually missing from his skull, being down by his gut instead. It's possible that it got dislodged during the beatdown, seeing as this is a cartoon.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show was so popular in Japan that it spawned its own unique merchandise line over there, including a collectible card game that not only featured elements of the show, but also from Donkey Kong 64.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Vote of Kong-fidence," DK briefly imagines himself in a boxing ring, wearing red boxing gloves, just like in his appearance as the Bonus Boss in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!. He can also fight King K. Rool in a boxing ring in Donkey Kong 64.
    • During the memetic "I'm gonna be a Star" sequence, Donkey Kong sings about wanting to drive around in a big fancy car. With Mario Kart Wii having the Honeycoupe and Mario Kart 8 getting a Mercedes-Benz as DLC, he finally got his chance. From the same song, Cranky Kong sings about how he's gonna "be a smash", which can easily be misheard as "be in Smash". 18 years later, he would appear as a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • In the opening scene of "To the Moon Baboon," DK briefly inquires whether there are bananas on the moon.
    • "It's a Wonderful Life" has Diddy being the villain instead of King K. Rool. Maybe that tidbit serves as decent inspiration for this.
    • A Kong with martial arts skills named Kong Fu appears in one episode of the same name. Nearly a decade later, another martial arts-based kong (Karate Kong) is an enemy in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. And in the original Japanese version and the French release, Karate Kong is named Kong Fu.
    • In "From Zero to Hero," Krusha and a Kritter mention meeting a "very cute lizard." Almost a decade later, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast has a female Kremling (Kalypso).
    • "Follow that Coconut" begins with DK and Diddy talking about an annual soccer game with the Kremlings. Donkey Kong would later go on to be playable in two soccer video games, with Diddy also appearing in the second. And the goalies in both games are Kritters.
    • "From Zero to Hero" features King K. Rool's Villain Song, "My Finest Hour"; which is an apt description of his inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 20 years later.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Several jokes implying that the crocs are gay pop up in "Four Weddings and a Coconut."
    • Klump and Krusha have their share throughout the show. In "Hooray for for Holly Kongo Bongo" their audition for Bluster's movie has them re-enacting the famous ending to Casablanca, complete with Krusha wearing a frilly pink hat and Klump holding Krusha in a romantic fashion.
  • Idiot Plot: There is unfortunately quite an abundance of these.
    • The Crystal Coconut has the ability to grant wishes, which is rarely ever exploited, not even by the show's major antagonist, King K. Rool, who has been able to grab the Coconut at least four times over the course of the series, and mostly just postures with it.
    • "Follow that Coconut's" entire plot is due to the characters confusing a real coconut with the Crystal Coconut in spite of very obvious differences.
    • "Vote of Kong-fidence" has most of the supporting cast take a death grip on the Idiot Ball and consider voting for King K. Rool after a few honeyed words, completely forgetting about all of the evil deeds he's done.
    • "Message in a Bottle Show" has Donkey Kong receive a message telling him that he's been accepted for an important position that requires him to leave Kongo Bongo for good, and the whole island throws a farewell party for him. Then the episode has a Sudden Downer Ending where it turns out that the message was actually addressed to Monkey Kong, and then everyone else gets mad at DK for wasting their time. However, Diddy Kong was the one that said the message was for DK, and both DK and Cranky read the same message shortly afterwards, so one of them should've been able to notice the name read "Monkey Kong" instead of Donkey Kong before they set up the farewell party. Not only that, but the idea that "Monkey Kong" might simply be a typo and the message really was intended for Donkey Kong never crosses anyone's minds.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • King K. Rool occasionally treaded around this territory.
    • Bluster Kong also.
    • Eddie the Mean Old Yeti deconstructs this considering that he is mean, it's highly implied that his time alone on the White Mountains has made him Go Mad from the Isolation which actually makes him a woobie at the same time.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: The number of people who've actually watched the show for its plot likely pales in comparison to the number of people who know about the show due to it Fountain of Memes status, courtesy of its bizarre animation, zany quotes, and surprisingly catchy songs.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • K. Rool screaming "WHYYYYY NOOOOTTTT!!!???" from "Bug a Boogie."
    • WEEEELLLLLL LISTEN HERE WHILE I MAKE IT CLEAR
    • A video called "OH MY GOD WATCH OUT DK" features a snippet from "Kong for a Day" with DK singing "I don't know what's happening to me" edited to look like a plane crashes into DK. There are variations that either have a character dubbed with DK's voice suffering similar disasters or people's reactions to the original video.
    • A minor meme is to include a picture of Donkey Kong sitting on the edge of a dock in a way that makes his butt look prominent, with the caption, "It's not like I'm sexually attracted to Donkey Kong." A variant of this meme has the same scene captioned "You may spank it... once."
    • I'll shower you with coconut cream pieeeees~
    • I'm gonna be a star!/WE'LL BE DRIVING AROUND IN A FANCY CAR
    • The show as a whole has reached minor memetic status, thanks to the bizarre animation, expressions and storylines, and the rampant insanity of the show in general, having spawned several YouTube Poops.
    • It was particularly common to reference the cartoon on Twitter after King K. Rool was announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • This gif tends to be used in the Fighting Game Community when someone and their friends (or ride/people riding with them if it's a local one) all participate in a tournament and get zero wins.
    • "Man it hurts to be this hip" from Leo Luster's song is often paired with failed attempts at appearing hip.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • K. Rool's dirtiest trick came in "The Curse of Kongo Bongo." Magical chain letters are sent to all the Kongs, with a curse that if two people read them, the Crystal Coconut will lose its powers and the island will sink into the ocean. DK unknowingly reads his letter before he finds out what it is, and the rest of the episode concerns him and Diddy getting the rest of the letters before anyone can read theirs. K. Rool gets his hands on Cranky's spellbook which has his letter in it, and when Cranky explains the curse to him to make sure he doesn't read it by accident, K. Rool threatens to read it if Cranky doesn't give him the Crystal Coconut. Cranky points out they're all doomed if the island sinks, but K. Rool doesn't care. And if you think he's just bluffing, no; when Diddy and DK invade his lair to get the spellbook and letter, he reads it, and then begins to panic when the island begins to sink. K. Rool wants the Coconut so badly, he would doom the entire island and everyone on it, including himself and his Kremlings, to get his claws on it.
    • All of DK's friends crossed the horizon themselves in "Kong for a Day," where Donkey Kong gets framed for various things that K. Rool and his Kremlings have done. Every one of DK's friends turn their backs on him, Cranky strips him of his title of future ruler, and he's banished to the White Mountains. Except the crimes they believe DK committed are just minor inconveniences, like losing Funky's surfboard, flirting with Dixie, and leaving a banana peel on the ground that Candy slips on. Cranky meanwhile blames DK for wrecking his hut for no reason but Krusha left a banana peel on the floor as "evidence", nevermind that all the Kongs eat bananas. By the end of the episode, only Cranky shows any regret about what happened (he reveals the suitcase he gave DK when he was banished was full of bananas, and admits he couldn't banish him without at least letting him take some bananas with him), but everyone else still believes DK did these acts and blames him for them, and Diddy only apologizes to DK in the sense that he admits they need DK's protection from K. Rool. Almost makes you wonder if the Kings deserve DK's protection.
    • Bluster crosses this in "A Thin Line Between Love And Ape," where he wants to use a Love Potion to make Candy fall in love with him. When DK found this out, boy, was he pissed. And DK is usually pretty easygoing and friendly most of the time. Not helping was the Crystal Coconut—you know, the MacGuffin of this show—actually giving Bluster the recipe for said love potion.
    • Polly Roger crosses this in "Speak No Evil, Dude." It's revealed he carries the highly contagious "Kongo Bongo Gone Wrongo" disease. He knew full well biting Diddy Kong would spread the disease, yet he did it anyway. He also clearly was enjoying Donkey Kong struggling with his Sadistic Choice between saving his best friend or the island. The threat of the island being blown up could have been prevented, but Polly held his tongue because K. Rool insulted him, and for no other reason. Not helping was the fact that, much like K. Rool in "Kong for a Day," Polly was a Karma Houdini after all of this. Kinda makes you wonder why he's not a member of Kaptain Skurvy's crew anymore...
    • While Krusha is normally a Punch-Clock Villain, his Genius Bruiser persona in "Speed" crosses it with his plan to kill Donkey Kong. He tricked Dixie and Diddy into a mine cart that had no breaks, told Donkey Kong about it, but had set a bomb on the cart to that would go off when it stopped with the intent to kill all three of them. Even Klump was appalled.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Diddy's singing voice.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: DK's singing voice, on the other hand...
  • Narm Charm: Depending on who you ask, some of the songs fall into this category.
  • Nightmare Fuel: DK's description of the bog monster.
  • Nightmare Retardant: "Follow that Coconut" features a scene where K. Rool grabs Diddy and dangles him over a sheer cliff with the full intention of dropping him to his death if D.K doesn't give him the Crystal Coconut. This would've been terrifying for young viewers, if the whole hostage situation hadn't been negotiated through a rap.note .
  • One-Scene Wonder: Bluster's Super Mode, Leo Luster, only appeared in a single episode late in the second season, but is beloved for his memetic factor.
  • Painful Rhyme: Since the show pumped out two songs per episode, this was bound to happen at least once.
  • Rooting for the Empire: K. Rool and his minions completely steal the show on account of being far cooler, funnier, and just more entertaining to watch than the Kongs, and this goes double for Skurvy and his crew who are a legitimate threat to the island and yet still rather funny, and both Skurvy and K. Rool get great Villain Songs. Between the villains being so much fun, and the Kongs being various shades of inept, stupid, or Jerkasses, one can find themselves hoping that some day the Kremlings will triumph.
  • The Scrappy: This show's version of Candy Kong is wildly disliked for always getting mad at Donkey Kong at the slightest provocation, even if Donkey Kong had nothing to do with it, and yet acting entitled to his help whenever she needs it. It doesn't help that she has an ugly character design which barely resembles her game counterpart. Notably, even Erika Strobel, the most prolific writer on the show, hated her.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: While the CGI, especially the bizarre expressions and body gestures of the characters, is made fun of nowadays, it's worth noting that back in 1996-1997, it was really quite a big advance in the field of CGI animation for television. Notably, it was the first show to be entirely animated using Motion Capture technology.
  • So Bad, It's Good: See "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny and Narm Charm. The show overall frequently straddles the line between this and being actually pretty good.
  • Special Effects Failure: Oftentimes, a character's mesh will end up clipping with itself (especially noticeable with the model used for General Klump/Captain Skurvy) during the first season. The second season, while having noticeably stiffer looking movements and was overall much brighter, generally avoided this. The animators also seem to have taken a page from Beast Wars and made the body parts separate from each other.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The last few measures of "Metalhead" sound a lot like Daft Punk's "Around the World."
    • The melody of "Bluster the Benevolent" is a variation of "Ding Dong Merrily On High."
    • "Pirates' Scorn" bears a strong resemblance to "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by the Canadian comedy band The Arrogant Worms.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • "Nobody's Hero", which DK sings after K. Rool's machinations get him alienated from his friends.
    • "Klump's Lumps," as well as Klump's song in the episode.
    • "The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights" cements Klump's status as a Jerkass Woobie, showing him alone for the holiday season as the rest of the Kremlings excitedly leave for the holiday season to visit their loved ones, and being incredibly lonely and depressed, made worse by being unable to remember the end of a poem that's his only link to his long-lost family. Fortunately for him, he's reunited with his long-lost brother Skurvy before the episode ends.
    • The entirety of "It's a Wonderful Life", which takes the premise of "Kong for a Day" and turns up a few notches. The other Kongs act like Ungrateful Bastards towards DK and berate him for accidents he never intended (such as breaking Funky's board, causing the barrels at Bluster and Candy's factory to collapse and throwing Diddy's lucky ball too far). Cranky's case is even more noteworthy, as he is mad at DK for giving the Crystal Coconut an extra layer of protection even though Cranky was aware of how dangerous the Coconut was and how K. Rool could use it for evil! DK then sleeps through the day, only to find all the Kongs angry at him because he slept through a dinner where he was the guest of honor, and they all give up on him and tell him that they'd be better off without him. Poor DK leaves the island, singing about his feelings of rejection until he gets knocked out by a tree branch. He hallucinates Eddie (referred as the "Guardian Angel Yeti") showing him a world in which he never existed, in which Bluster and Candy have been married, Diddy is a tyrant and the new MacGuffin is a papier-mache lilypad guarded by the Kremlings. But even after DK pleads to Eddie to brind him back to existence, things turn out the same way and his klutziness causes everyone to be mad at him once again, with the enemy Kongs and Kremlings forming an Enemy Mine taking their wrath out on DK. Eventually, Donkey Kong wakes up and realizes that it was All Just a Dream, the Kongs apologise to him for being mean earlier and the conflict is resolved and it ends on a happy note.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Dixie Kong, despite her overall popularity had the least amount of scenes in the show out of all the main characters.
    • The Pirates only show up for a few episodes despite stealing the show in most of their appearances. Notably, they disappear entirely after the first episode of Season 2.
    • Krusha's far more dastardly yet far more capable as a villain version seen in Speed. Some fans have expressed a wish that he continued to appear after his sole appearence thanks to the spice brought to the cast's dynamics.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Raiders of the Lost Banana" concerns Donkey Kong stealing the Golden Banana from the Temple of Inka Dinka Doo, enraging the idol. K. Rool exclaims the Golden Banana has powers to rival the Crystal Coconut, and when DK returns it to the temple at the end of the episode, Polly Roger steals it for K. Rool. Cranky reveals that anyone intending to use the Banana for evil will be cursed with misfortune, which prompts a Gilligan Cut to K. Rool's lair exploding. While Inka Dinka Doo becomes a supporting character, the Golden Banana and its curse are never mentioned again.
    • "It's a Wonderful Life" has an example. Dixie is noticeably absent from this alternate universe. This is predictable given her rare appearances, but with Diddy as the evil tyrant of this world, and the series making it clear that they're in a relationship, one can imagine how cool it would have been to see her as his "evil queen."
    • Song example: In "The Big Switch-A-Roo," one of the songs sung in that episode is titled "Metal Head." Yet despite the fact that it's the same as the name for fans of metal music...it's a hybrid of electronic music and rock music.
  • Uncanny Valley: The CGI has not aged well at all.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For its time, the CGI was quite something to behold. It still is today, but for all of the wrong reasons.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • 90% of the problems occur or because of Donkey Kong's own stupidity. A great example is "Legend of the Crystal Coconut" where he believes that for him to learn the Crystal Coconut's secrets, he'll have to give it away. Who does he give it to? General Klump. note 
    • He also has a pretty idiotic moment in "Ape-nesia." He gets amnesia and Captain Skurvy convinces him that he's a pirate. How does he do this? By putting an empty picture frame in front of himself and claiming (in song, of course) that DK is looking into a mirror. And DK believes him, despite the fact that his "reflection" is singing while he isn't, and isn't singing while he is (among other things that should have tipped him off). He also never thinks to look down at his own hands or feet.
    • King K. Rool seemingly has the election for the next ruler of Kongo Bongo clinched in his favour in "Vote of Kong-fidence", and is likely minutes away from having unrestricted, legitimate access to the Crystal Coconut. He then decides on a whim to steal the Coconut before the polls close anyway, causing his voterbase to turn on him and giving DK a chance to redeem himself, costing him the election and his best shot at ruling Kongo Bongo Island.
    • In many episodes, King K Rool has the Crystal Coconut in his hand for hours worth of time and doesn't use it until Donkey Kong takes it back.
    • The Crystal Coconut grants unlimited wishes, they could easily wish K.Rool to go away forever, except Cranky's "So powerful it must never be used" note  insistence, averts any of that.
  • The Woobie:
    • General Klump is generally the Butt-Monkey of the show, so it's intended he gets this reaction. "Klump's Lumps" and "The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights" completely cemented this status.
    • Also Dixie Kong in most of the scenes she's in qualifies for this.
    • Donkey Kong can also hit this status, especially in "Kong For A Day" and "Its A Wonderful Life."
    • Baby Kong in every important scene he's in.

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