Nintendo Files Official Tradmark On Clinton-Era Catch Phrase

Isn’t it hilarious whenever your parents start trying to drop that hip new slang the kids are using these days? Yes it is, but bittersweet too, because the attempt is always stark evidence that not only are they failing to age gracefully, but that the hip new slang in question is now totally out of fashion. Kind of like when my friend Greg’s dad attempted to relate to him by asking “you going out to do the homies tonight, son?”.

I bring this up because, in celebration of the upcoming release of Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii, Nintendo has inexplicably “filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the pop-culture phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong.”” No, this is not a joke. Nintendo, it seems, will now be asking all of us if we’re going to do the homies.

For your enjoyment, the official statement in its entirety:

Nintendo Files Official Trademark for Catchphrase ‘It’s On Like Donkey Kong’

In honor of the upcoming Nov. 21 launch of Donkey Kong Country™ Returns for the Wii™ console, Nintendo has filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the pop-culture phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong.” For those unfamiliar with the term, “It’s on like Donkey Kong” is an old, popular Nintendo phrase that has a number of possible interpretations depending on how it’s used. In addition to Nintendo’s use, it has been used in popular music, television and film over the years, pointing to Donkey Kong’s status as an enduring pop-culture icon and video game superstar.

Donkey Kong™ is one of the oldest and most recognizable video game characters. He has been a pop-culture icon since the launch of his 1981 self-titled arcade game. Donkey Kong again rose to prominence in the 1994 Super NES™ game Donkey Kong Country. His new game, Donkey Kong Country Returns, marks his triumphant return in a new side-scrolling adventure with new challenges amid a beautiful setting. The game features the first simultaneous cooperative game-play mode for the series, with one player controlling Donkey Kong and the other controlling his agile pal, Diddy Kong™.

On Nov. 21, It’s on like Donkey Kong™!

For more information about Donkey Kong Country Returns, visit

Nintendo, nothing demonstrates how hilariously behind you are like adding “For those unfamiliar with the term…”, into a discussion of something that has been ubiquitous since the early 90s. But if it makes you feel better, we will get off your lawn, OK? Now stop trying to slap grandma’s rump in front of us, and let us play with our rocknroll-hiphop-video game-cybercomputer-skateboards in peace, ok gramps?

But seriously, we doubt the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will approve this request. As Calvin and Hobbes’ Bill Watterson found out, if you wait too long to challenge copyright abuse, it becomes impossible to enforce. Shigeru Miyamoto might be one of gaming’s greatest minds, but there’s no way he’s invented a time machine so he can go back to 1993 to enforce this*. But if he has, we promise you this: We are absolutely salivating at the possibility of a pitched trademark war between the creators of Diddy Kong, and Sean Combs. Bring it. Preferably before the release of Ma$e’s first album.

* H/T Earnest Pettie.

Are you eager to — get it on like Donkey Kong ™? We’ve got a full walkthrough for Donkey Kong Country Returns available here.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

No Comments on Nintendo Files Official Tradmark On Clinton-Era Catch Phrase