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Donkey Kong Side B SSBU.gif
Headbutt being used in Ultimate.
User Donkey Kong
Universe Donkey Kong

Headbutt (ドンキーヘッドバット, Donkey Headbutt) (also spaced as Head Butt on the DOJO) is Donkey Kong's side special move.


As its name suggests, Donkey Kong performs a headbutt. This attack can meteor smash an opponent if used in mid-air, or plow them into the ground, rendering them temporarily immobile, if used against opponents on the ground. Headbutt comes out faster in Super Smash Bros. Brawl than in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It can be utilized to break shields, especially so in Super Smash Bros. 4, where the move gains even more shield damage, capable of bringing shields to their final bar of health in one hit.

Headbutt is useful for setting up KOs. Trapping the opponent and then using a fully charged Giant Punch, down smash or side smash can result in a KO. This combo has a higher chance of working if the opponent has a medium to high damage percentage. The higher their damage is, the longer the opponent will stay stuck. This will not work in Melee, as nothing can dig out the trapped victim. Headbutt does 5% in Melee and 10% in Brawl and SSB4 when used on the ground. When used in the air, it does 10% in Melee and SSB4 and 14% in Brawl.

In Brawl, Headbutt can be used as a Cape glide, though it is slightly inferior to Mario's.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Headbutt now has super armor for frames 5-14, allowing Donkey Kong to tank through opponent's attacks. This property somewhat resembles his former custom move Stubborn Headbutt.

Technical data[edit]

While most bury moves follow the traditional formula, Donkey Kong's Headbutt is one of the few that do not. Instead, it has its own formula, which changes based on whether it is an aerial or grounded variant.

In Ultimate, the formulas go as follows:

  • Grounded mash frames: 130 + (attack damage / 2) + (opponent damage)
  • Aerial mash frames: 115 + (attack damage / 2) + (opponent damage)

As a result of these formulas, it is possible to get 4 different kinds of mash frames given the 1v1 multiplier. However, stale-move negation cannot affect it.

Reverse Headbutt[edit]

In Brawl, Donkey Kong's Headbutt can be reversed by tapping the control stick/d-pad in the opposite direction a few frames after the side special move has been activated, like Falcon Punch or Warlock Punch, but the reverse Headbutt has no increase to damage, knockback and has no reverse animation, unlike Falcon Punch and Warlock Punch. This makes reverse Headbutt nearly useless while staying still because it is possible to hit the button facing "away" from Donkey Kong along with the special button. It is interesting to note that when using a reverse Headbutt in Donkey Kong's running animation, Donkey Kong will turn around and slide forward a little while attacking. This is probably because the running momentum switches direction with Donkey Kong since there is no animation for the reverse Headbutt, which pushes him forward as if he didn't turn around at all. A reverse Headbutt combined with a Cape glide is very effective and can be used to surprise other players, Donkey Kong will receive the momentum to glide off the stage, but will then turn around and Headbutt while getting the same speedy momentum in the opposite direction. This results in Donkey Kong speeding off the stage, Headbutting and meteor smashing an opponent off the stage or one that has hold of the ledge, then returning onto the stage without using any jumps.

Instructional quotes[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee instruction booklet DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png Smack opponents and drive them into the ground.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl instruction booklet DonkeyKongHeadSSBB.png Whack standing foes with a mighty head butt to drive them into the ground.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS case foldout DonkeyKongHeadSSB4-3.png Headbutt opponents on the ground to bury them.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List DonkeyKongHeadSSBU.png Buries opponents when they’re hit on the ground. Can’t be interrupted by weaker attacks.


Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. Headbutt 2. Jumping Headbutt 3. Stubborn Headbutt
Jumping Headbutt in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Stubborn Headbutt in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
"Headbutt opponents in front of you, and bury them if they're on the ground." "Jump up before headbutting. Buries opponents for a shorter time." "A slow but powerful headbutt. Being attacked won't interrupt this move."
  1. Headbutt: Default.
  2. Jumping Headbutt: Adds a jump before the headbutt. Bury effect is shorter. Aerial version causes DK to plummet downward, which can result in an SD if used off-stage. Does 10% damage.
  3. Stubborn Headbutt: Stronger but with a long wind-up time. Gives super armor. Does 13% damage.


Diddy Kong executing the Chimpy Charge in DK64. From the Mario Wiki.
Diddy Kong executing the Chimpy Charge in Donkey Kong 64.

While Donkey Kong does not specifically perform any unique "headbutting" moves in his original series, headbutts do occur infrequently throughout the Donkey Kong and Mario games.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ドンキーヘッドバット, Donkey Headbutt
UK English Headbutt
France French (PAL) Coup de boule
Quebec French (NTSC) Coup de tête
Germany German Kopfnuss
Spain Spanish Cabezazo
Italy Italian Testata
China Chinese (Simplified) 森喜刚头锤
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 森喜剛頭錘
South Korea Korean 동키콩 박치기
Netherlands Dutch Kopstoot
Russia Russian Удар головой

Technical details[edit]