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Donkey Kong Family Tree

Since Donkey Kong’s first appearance alongside Mario in 1980 he has gone on to star in dozens of his own games, spin-offs and cross-overs. Naturally this has lead to an expansion of his own cast of family members.

With the revelation that Cranky Kong was in fact the character from that original 1980 game, fans have often wondered how the family falls into place.

By piecing together all of the information provided to us throughout the Donkey Kong games, let’s take a look at our favorite Ape family!

*M = Mate

Please note that this uses characters from the video games only. Sorry, Bluster! Additional information, references and such can be found below!

Familial Ties
DK -> Cranky. Grandson/Grandfather.
Wrinkly -> Cranky. Wife/Husband. It isn’t confirmed if she is DK Jr’s mother/ DK’s Grandmother
Diddy -> Dixie. Boyfriend/Girlfriend.
Dixie -> Tiny. Sisters (DK64)
Kiddie -> Chunky.  Brothers
Dixie/Tiny -> Kiddie/Chunky. Cousins. (DKC3)
Manky Kong -> Kong Family. Rejects (DKC1)
Wrinkly -> Dixie/Tiny (also Chunky/Kiddie). ‘Relative’ (DKC3)
DK -> Candy. Boyfriend/Girlfriend
Cranky -> DK. Jr. Father/Son
Lanky -> ‘Distant Cousin’/’Twisted Branch’ (DK64)

Conflictions/Additional Info:
Cranky -> Diddy/Dixie
(this is perhaps an honorary title) ‘Grandpappy’ (DKC2)
Lanky -> Chunky/Kiddie. Uncle Once Removed (German DK64).
Diddy -> Nephew or friend. ‘Nephew Wannabe’ according to DK64 manual (it may be an honorary thing).
Cranky -> DK. Cranky refers to DK as ‘son’ in DK64, which would make DK the grown up DK Jr. This is the less accepted narrative, however, and ‘son’ could technically be short for ‘grandson’.
Cranky has an unnamed/unseen great grandfather mentioned by Bazaar in DKC3. He is likely deceased.

Kong family members with no known place in the family tree:
Redneck Kong
was set to appear in the cancelled Diddy Kong Pilot.
Swanky Kong appears throughout the original DKC Trilogy, though his place in the family is unknown.
Funky Kong is often described as DK’s friend (Brawl), his exact place within the family is unknown.
Super DK/Super Diddy are a mysterious duo of characters found in Donkey Kong Country returns.
Chained Kong is a Kong who doesn’t even directly appear in the DK series itself. He is instead found in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars!
Hat Kong (Unnamed Kong with Hat) was a scrapped character for the gameboy game, Donkey Kong Land.
Sumo Kong, Dread Kong, Karate Kong & Ninja Kong are four Kong Bosses from Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. It isn’t known where they fit into the family, however they are seen celebrating the defeat of Ghastly King along with DK at the end of the game!

Possible, unconfirmed Kongs who were not included:
Bink
Final Kong/Ghastly King

Special thanks to Nantenjex and Cart Boy for helping with the research

Which Kong Family member is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

 

8 comments
  1. My favorite Kongs are Diddy and Dixie. 😉

    GreatMeat on June 17 |
  2. I don’t think the Super Kongs are canon. Same with Pink DK Jr. (seems like just a doppelganger for multiplayer rather than an actual character).

    MagcargoMan on June 18 |
    • We don’t have much info about the Super Kongs which is why I included them in the graphic.

      Junior (I) is DK Jr’s (assumed) brother according to Math, he has his own unique name and everything!

      TheAnvil on June 18 |
      • To elaborate a bit on the Super Kongs, both Professor Chops and Returns’ manual makes reference to summoning them when Donkey and Diddy need help, which implies they do exist in-universe as separate characters.

        Of course, discussing the finer points of their place in the series’ lore is kind of fruitless since they’re merely the game’s Super Guide, but a Kong family tree wouldn’t be complete without mentioning them.

        Cart Boy on June 19 |
  3. As far as I’m concerned with the DK family tree, this isn’t Uncle Scrooge!

    Classic DK is the father of Rare/Current DK and DK Jr. (would has been updated in years). DK Jr. Math gives a few hnts.

    I also flat-out ignore Cranky’s claims of being the original DK. And of the mythos of Cranky being current DK’s grandfather is true, how old do you think that makes Mario. Cranky is unrelated, while everyone else has their own separate family connections.

    This whole tree is a mess because the franchise had two different fathers in its 90’s heyday, Miyamoto and Rare. I just think that a giant ape antagonist shrinking into a wise ape elder is ridiculous.

    And I know a lot of people pick on this show, but the Nelvana cartoon handles things a lot better by keeping everyone unrelated.

    amanfromdeclan on June 22 |
    • I disagree that the Kong’s family tree is a mess. The only meaningful point of contention is if Donkey Kong Jr. is the current Donkey Kong or his father (which is a topic I’d like to talk about someday).

      But most of this is merely background stuff that doesn’t affect the gameplay or anything, so you can stick to whatever interpretation you like. That said, discarding Cranky’s status as the original Donkey Kong completely undermines the character as Rare wrote him.

      I realize it’s odd how he aged for his Country revamp whereas Mario’s design remained static during the time, but it made sense. Donkey Kong 3, the last major Donkey Kong game, launched in 1983. Donkey Kong Country, which redesigned and expanded DK’s world, launched in 1994. An 11-year difference was really big back then! Aging Cranky and Jr. was, in my opinion, a clever way to contextualize that gap.

      Cart Boy on July 1 |
  4. “With the revelation that Cranky Kong was in fact the character from that original 1980 game”, is there a source? Like, was there a (re)confirmation about that?

    Ar on June 23 |
    • It was openly stated during Rare’s tenure on the series. It was confirmed from the get-go in Country’s manual and an arcade homage was the first thing we saw Cranky do in that game. It was also essential to how Rare characterized Cranky.

      Nintendo hasn’t emphasized that as much post-Rare, but it still gets affirmed here and there. Off the top of my head, it was mentioned in Brawl.

      Cart Boy on July 1 |