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A monkey, Y, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a small omnivorous apelike creature that can be seen via infravision.

A monkey has a claw attack that can steal items and a bite attack.

Monkeys can be tamed with bananas, and additionally consider them a treat.


Randomly generated monkeys may be created as peaceful for neutral characters.

Five monkeys are generated in the Bazaar Town map of Minetown at level creation, with two placed randomly and the other three occupying the room north of the central fountain.

Monkeys appear among the random Y that make up the second quest monster class for Healers and make up 6175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Healer quest.


Monkeys are not particularly fast, making chasing them down much less annoying compared to nymphs even if your character is somewhat burdened. Their theft attacks can also fail and give you time to kill them in melee before they can actually steal anything. Unlike nymphs, monkeys will not teleport after stealing and cannot steal cursed items.

Early Knights may want to take care in dealing with monkeys, as attacking a fleeing monster in melee incurs a small alignment penalty; using a pet to do the dirty work for you or attacking from range are both effective as an alternative.


The monkey first appears in SLASH 6, and makes its vanilla debut in NetHack 3.3.0.



In SLASH'EM, monkeys are considered fully can be generated in real zoos.


In dNetHack, a monkey is one of two default starting pets for the Pirate role.

Two monkeys are randomly placed on the upper filler level of the Pirate quest at level creation. Three monkeys are randomly placed on the Paradise Island map of The Sea at level creation.


In notdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, 15 of monsters randomly generated on the Archipelago adventure branch will be monkeys.


In addition to SLASH'EM details, the Corsair role in SlashTHEM has a monkey as one of five possible starting pets.

Four monkeys are generated in the village of the Town branch at level creation.

Encyclopedia entry

"Listen, man-cub," said the Bear, and his voice rumbled like
thunder on a hot night. "I have taught thee all the Law of
the Jungle for all the peoples of the jungle--except the
Monkey-Folk who live in the trees. They have no law. They
are outcasts. They have no speech of their own, but use the
stolen words which they overhear when they listen, and peep,
and wait up above in the branches. Their way is not our way.
They are without leaders. They have no remembrance. They
boast and chatter and pretend that they are a great people
about to do great affairs in the jungle, but the falling of
a nut turns their minds to laughter and all is forgotten.
We of the jungle have no dealings with them. We do not drink
where the monkeys drink; we do not go where the monkeys go;
we do not hunt where they hunt; we do not die where they die...."

[ The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling ]