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Expresso, as he appears in Donkey Kong Country.
Species Ostrich
First appearance Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Latest appearance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Spirit cameo) (2018)
“This crazy bird is a valuable animal to find. Although he can't really fly, he can run even faster than Rambi and can make long, wing assisted leaps. Expresso's legs, being long and spindly, are not suitable for jumping on enemies. Smaller enemies will crawl right under him, but larger ones are trouble. You can make Expresso flap his wings by repeatedly pressing the B Button Button.”
Donkey Kong Country instruction booklet, page 24

Expresso is an Animal Friend in the Donkey Kong franchise. He first appears in Donkey Kong Country and makes another playable appearance in Donkey Kong Land.

Being an ostrich, Expresso has the appearance of a normal male one, complete with black and white feathers. Expresso only wears a pair of sports sneakers. He has the ability to run fast and glide through the air by flapping his wings. Expresso's name is a portmanteau of "express" and "espresso", a type of coffee drink.


Donkey Kong franchise[edit]

Donkey Kong Country[edit]

The Kongs riding Expresso in Orang-utan Gang

In his debut appearance, Donkey Kong Country, Expresso only appears in a few of the later levels. He cannot defeat enemies by jumping on them, and attempting it even harms him. Expresso is unaffected by Klaptraps, which pass through his long legs. Expresso has the ability to glide distances while flapping his wings.

Like the other Animal Friends, Expresso has his own bonus stage (named Expresso Bonus! in the Game Boy Advance version), and the Kongs can enter it by obtaining three Expresso Tokens. The bonus stage is set in a jungle-themed area, and like other Animal Friend stages, Expresso must collect as many mini Expresso Tokens within the time limit in exchange for extra lives.


Donkey Kong Land[edit]

Expresso makes his second appearance in Donkey Kong Land as one of the two Animal Buddies, the other one being Rambi the Rhino. Like Donkey Kong Country, Expresso also appears in four levels, although he mostly appears in Bonus Levels. Expresso's abilities are largely the same as in his first appearance, except he can defeat enemies, including Zingers, by jumping on them.


Donkey Kong Country 2 (Game Boy Advance)[edit]

Expresso only reappears in the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 2, as the starring and titular character of the minigame, Expresso's Racing. Prior to the game's events, Cranky Kong uses the "vast fortune" he made from his "starring role" in Donkey Kong Country to buy Expresso as a pet. Both Cranky and his pet Expresso are at Cranky's Hut.

Cranky wishes to raise Expresso as a racing bird, although his Expresso is too small and weak. Cranky requests Diddy and Dixie Kong to find and obtain a golden feather in every level. The golden feathers enhance Expresso's stats for the Expresso's Racing challenges. Each golden feather increases a bar of Expresso's Power, Speed, Acceleration, or Boost. Expresso progressively gets larger for every golden feather the Kongs apply to him. If Expresso gets first place in Expresso's Racing, he wins a gold trophy.

When the Kongs and Expresso obtain all six trophies, Cranky rewards them with a photograph of himself for the Scrapbook. The Kongs can obtain a photograph of Expresso from Animal Antics, and Expresso's photo appears under the thirteenth page of the Scrapbook.

In the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System release, a golden statue of Expresso appears in the background inside the Monkey Museum.

Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24[edit]

In the German Club Nintendo magazine comic "Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24", Diddy and Dixie Kong are briefly seen riding Expresso to an airport.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle[edit]

In the Donkey Kong Adventure story of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Expresso makes a cameo appearance as one of Rabbid Cranky's Boombow weapons, the Expresso Atomizer. The weapon is described as officially licensed Expresso the Ostrich merch. The description also mentions that it has double kneecaps for authenticity, referencing how bird legs are composed of two intermediary articulations, although they only have one kneecap for each leg.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Expresso has a trophy in both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and later Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. He is also a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Other appearances[edit]

Expresso in the canceled Donkey Kong Racing.

A stampede of Expressos appears at the start of the trailer for the canceled Nintendo GameCube title, Donkey Kong Racing.

Expresso appears in Picross NP Vol. 8 as one of the images that must be cleared.

An Expresso appears in the Banjo-Pilot course, Jinxy's Dunes. This was a leftover from the Plain Pursuit stage from the 2003 build of Diddy Kong Pilot.

A street name in New Donk City from Super Mario Odyssey is "Expresso Street". One of the store signs on the side of the buildings reads "Expresso Espresso".


Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy[edit]

Name Image Game Description
Expresso BrawlTrophy328.png SNES Donkey Kong Country An ostrich friend with sneakers on both feet. Riding Expresso allows for high-speed dashing. As an ostrich, Expresso can't fly, but rapid button pressing can put extra distance on his jumps. This can be used to help Donkey Kong reach distant places.
GBA Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS trophy[edit]

Name Image Description
Expresso Expresso the Ostrich Trophy.png NA: His name is no joke–this bird is fast! Despite his size, Expresso is light as a feather and loves to glide through the air. In fact, he was too light to hurt enemies at first! He got a little stronger in Donkey Kong Land, and now jumping on foes is a piece of cake!

PAL: Just as fast as his name implies! Expresso can't fly, but his running and jumping make up for it. Try not to step on any enemies, though, or he'll get hurt! Unless you're playing the Game Boy title Donkey Kong Land, that is. If you are, he can stomp on fiendish foes to his heart's content!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit[edit]

Name Image Game Type Class Effect How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponents Battle conditions Stage Song
Expresso Expresso.png Donkey Kong Series Support (1) Novice Trade-Off Speed ↑ World of Light (Light Realm); Spirit Board Falco Rule: Slippery Stage
  • The stage's platforms are really slippery
  • The enemy has increased move speed
  • The enemy falls slowly
Green Hill Zone The Map Page / Bonus Level






Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese エクスプレッソ
Russian Экспрессо
Spanish Expresso -


  • Cranky Kong references Expresso in the Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest instruction booklet by saying, "A more tragic looking bunch of useless no-hopers you'll never see! I liked Expresso and Winky--where have they gone?", as well as in the Donkey Kong 64 instruction booklet with, "I just hope they've included poor old Winky and Expresso this time instead of that bone-brained rhino that always seems to get in the games."
  • In the original Donkey Kong Country, the sound effect for when Expresso hits an enemy is the same as that of a Mini-Necky being defeated.