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"Monkeys, apes, they hold stuff with their feet man! We're talking freaks of nature here!"

The opposite of Everything's Better with Monkeys. Instead of being inherently cool or exotic, these monkeys are used as signs that something bad is about to go down. Because of their similarities to humans, a superintelligent ape is going to suffer from an inherent sibling rivalry with the human race, and want to either wipe it out or subdue it. Often, in series which feature anthropomorphic animals, apes and monkeys will play the bad guys. Distinct from Killer Space Monkey in that these monkeys are usually intelligent mad scientists who want to Take Over the World or at least make life difficult for humanity. Killer Gorilla is a subtrope, where the primate in question is not just malicious but also big and strong.

Examples of Maniac Monkeys include:


Anime

Comic Books

Film

Literature

  • The Bandar-log (Monkey-folk) from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book capture Mowgli so he can teach them human things and help them become masters of the jungle. It's a subversion because the Bandar-log's attention spans aren't long enough to complete their plan.
  • The talking ape Shift serves as an Antichrist-expy in CS Lewis' The Last Battle.
  • In His Dark Materials, Mrs. Coulter's dæmon is a handsome golden monkey with long, lustrous fur. Considering how your dæmon signifies your true self, that shows that Mrs. Coulter is very intelligent, cunning, and charming; then again he also likes to pull small creatures limb from limb when he's bored. Mrs. Coulter is not good.
  • Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley uses apes to symbolize the decline and fall of human civilization.

Religion

Tabletop Games

  • Among the factions of Feng Shui are the Jammers, intelligent apes working in concert with the few humans immune to the influence of Chi. They're a faction of Mad Bombers who do not care one whit about who they blow up, so long as they get to blow up Feng Shui sites and bring about Battlechimp Potemkin's dream of a world without chi.
  • Pathfinder features a city of evil sentient apes called Usaro. Their ruler, Ruthazek the Gorilla King, is one of the setting's major villains.

Video Games

  • Star Fox
    • Andross is an evil genius primate who leads an army of Maniac Monkeys and has two of them as his proteges.
    • His nephew, Andrew Oikonny, is a highly incompetent Maniac Monkey, a character trait which is Played for Laughs.
    • His grandson Dash Bowman appears to be a subversion of this trope, as he joins the Star Fox team to clear his family name and right Andross's wrongs, but two of the possible endings of Star Fox: Command have him follow in his grandfather's footsteps to become another galactic overlord.
      • I'm pretty darn sure that Dash genuinely admired the Star Fox team. Of course, he had to stay on Venom to rebuild the place... Oi.
      • So far, there hasn't been a single ape or monkey in Star Fox who hasn't turned out to be evil.
  • The Monkeys from Time Splitters.
  • The monkeys, but especially Specter, from Ape Escape.
  • System Shock 2 has screeching monkeys with cryokenitic and pyrokinetic powers, who still have their heads cut open and their brains exposed from experimentation.
  • In Runescape the monkeys and apes of Ape Atoll form a terrifying militaristic faction bent on world domination. And during the Do No Evil quest, where the desert god of monkeys has her senses split into 3 parts, and they take the form of 3 dark and powerful gorillas.
  • The demon monkeys chasing you in Temple Run.
  • Gohma Howlers from Asura's Wrath, which don't hesitate to kill humans in packs.
  • The monkeys in Alundra are bloodthirsty, violent and murderous little bastards.

Western Animation

  The letter M: Dib's screaming like a Maniac....Monkey.

  • One episode of Back at the Barnyard dealt with a space test monkey who pretended to be friendly for awhile before revealing his true colors by somehow intending to take over the entire farm in front of the horrified animals due to his opposable thumbs (which is sort of Fridge Logic as Otis and his friends never had problems with manipulating objects before despite not having opposable thumbs), although it could all be down to playing the entire scenario for comedy.

Truth in Television

  • Nonhuman primates in general are extremely dangerous animals. Chimpanzees take the cake, having killed quite a few people, even in the wild. We would rather no go into too much detail there.
  • Former wildlife TV show presenter Jeff Corwin would frequently handle venomous snakes and other reptiles, but disliked and feared monkeys; everywhere he went, monkeys caused him problems.
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