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Artwork of Expresso's appearance in Donkey Kong Country
Franchise Donkey Kong
First appearance Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Latest appearance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) (spirit cameo)
Full name Expresso the Ostrich
Species Ostrich
“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, and he first appears in Donkey Kong Country. Expresso is an ostrich who can run fast and glide distances by flapping his wings. Expresso has the appearance of a normal male ostrich, complete with black and white feathers, and he wears only a pair of sports sneakers. Expresso's name is a portmanteau of "express" and "espresso," a type of coffee drink.


Donkey Kong Country

The Kongs riding Expresso in Orang-utan Gang in Donkey Kong Country

In Donkey Kong Country, Expresso only appears in four levels: Temple Tempest, Orang-utan Gang, Ice Age Alley, and Misty Mine. Expresso cannot defeat enemies by jumping on them, and attempting to do so even causes him to take damage. Expresso is unaffected by Klaptraps, which pass through his long legs.

Like most other Animal Friends (except Squawks), Expresso has his own Token Bonus Area, named Expresso Bonus! in the Game Boy Advance version. It is automatically accessed by obtaining three Expresso Tokens. In Expresso Bonus!, the player controls only Expresso, who must collect as many mini Expresso Tokens within the time limit. At the end, an extra life is received for every 100 mini Expresso Tokens collected.

In Donkey Kong Country for the Game Boy Color, one of the Alphabet graphics, printable from the Game Boy Printer, depicts Expresso holding the letter N. There is also another of Expresso holding an Ñ, but it otherwise has the same depiction.

Donkey Kong Land

Expresso DKL sprite.png

Expresso makes his second appearance in Donkey Kong Land as one of the two Animal Friends, the other one being Rambi. Like Donkey Kong Country, Expresso also appears in four levels — Deck Trek, Mountain Mayhem, Landslide Leap, Collapsing Clouds — though is mostly just featured within Bonus Levels. Expresso has largely the same abilities as in Donkey Kong Country, although he can now defeat enemies, including Zingers, by jumping on them. {{br|left}

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, a golden statue of Expresso appears in the background of the Monkey Museum.

Donkey Kong Racing (canceled)

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

Donkey Kong Country 2 (Game Boy Advance)

Expresso racing in Ship Deck Dash, the first track of Expresso Racing in Donkey Kong Country 2 for the Game Boy Advance

Expresso was given a substantial role 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, although the gold Expresso statue no longer appears in the background of the location.

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. A photograph of Expresso can be obtained from Animal Antics, and in doing so, Expresso's photograph appears under the thirteenth page of the Scrapbook.


Banjo-Pilot Expresso.png

An Expresso appears in the Banjo-Pilot course, Jinxy's Dunes, as a leftover from the Plain Pursuit stage from the 2003 build of Diddy Kong Pilot. In either version, if a character flies into the Expresso, their plane is briefly knocked out.

Other appearances

Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24

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.

Picross NP

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

Super Smash Bros. series

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.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

A render of several weapons from the Donkey Kong Adventure story expansion of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, including the Expresso Atomizer, a crossbow based on Expresso

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 merchandise. 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 Mario Odyssey

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

Name Image Game Description
Expresso SSBB Trophy Expresso.png SNES Donkey Kong Country
GBA Donkey Kong Country 2
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.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS trophy

Name Image Category Description
Expresso SSB3DS Trophy Expresso.png Series Related Flag of USA.png 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!
Flag of Europe.png 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

No. Name Image Series / game Type Class Strength / effect(s) How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponent(s) Battle conditions Stage Song
153 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



Sprites and models



Names in other languages

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.