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"Monkey in the Middle" is the twenty-sixth and final episode from season one of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.



There's a crime wave sweeping the Valley of Peace, but Po's enthusiasm for busting crime takes a hit when he discovers that the culprit might be Monkey.[1]


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An angry mob led by Mr. Ping arriving in the courtyard of the Training Hall

All the merchants in the Valley are being robbed and want the Jade Palace masters to catch the culprit. Monkey sees the evidence and begins to act strange. Po, Mantis, and Tigress are sent for some police/detective work. The three investigate Ping's noodle shop which was also robbed and come to the conclusion that since there is one house that hasn't been robbed, the thief is headed there next. Then they have to pull an all nighter to catch the criminal. Po sees the culprit in the middle of the night and fights him, seeing that it has the body of a monkey and some of Monkey's moves. Po tries to make the arrest but he's so shocked that he lets the thief go. Po denies that his friend could be the thief so he starts trying to get evidence to prove Monkey's innocent. Po conducts a search of his own to prove his friend not guilty but every clue he finds unfortunately leads to the conclusion that Monkey is somehow tied to the robberies. First, Po cuts a piece of Monkey's fur to compare it to the fur of the criminal and they are the same revealing that the criminal is a monkey. Second, in the middle of the next night, Po slips into Monkey's room and investigates it and finds a map of all the robbed places in the village meaning that Monkey is either the culprit or is in cahoots with him. Soon other people piece together that Monkey has to be the culprit and Po publicly defends Monkey because they're friends... but then Monkey confesses. Now that the thief is revealed, Monkey runs off and Shifu orders his team to track him down but Po refuses. Po says that he can talk to Monkey at the grain mill about the robberies. Shifu agrees but says if they don't come back, the others will come for Po and Monkey.

That evening, Po heads to the grain mill and sees the same monkey he saw that night and starts trying to convince him but when the mask comes off, the culprit ISN'T Monkey but someone else. Po begins to interrogate the thief asking him who he is when Monkey appears and says that the thief is Wu Kong, his brother. Monkey knocks out Po and chains his wrists to a wall. When Po wakes up he is shocked that Monkey helped his brother and not him. Monkey explains that when he was a child, him and Wu Kong would be the local trouble makers but when Monkey got accepted to train at the Jade Palace, Wu Kong went deeper into a life of crime and was imprisoned until he escaped. One day Wu Kong tried to rob their own mother. The two brothers fought at their house but their fight caused their mother to die from depression. Wu Kong escaped but before she died, she made Monkey promise to protect the family, including Wu Kong. Monkey and Po start fighting with Po reminding him that Monkey also made a vow to Shifu, the Furious Five, Po, the village, the Jade Palace, and himself to do what is right.

With the angry mob quickly approaching the mill, Wu Kong prepared to leave, offering to take Monkey with him. When he planted a bag of money next to the unconscious Po with the intent to frame Po for the thefts, Monkey chose doing the right thing over keeping his promise and battled Wu Kong at last.

Wu Kong attempted to distract Monkey by pulling the helpless Po onto a conveyor belt slowly dragging him towards a pair of grinding stones, making the battle more difficult, but eventually ended up falling towards the grinding stones along with the panda. Monkey barely managed to save them both, only for a chain attached to his foot during the fight to get caught in the grinding stones, threatening to drag Monkey to his death. With Po desperately trying to save his friend after regaining consciousness, Wu Kong prepared to escape.

However, seeing his little brother facing certain death caused him to rush back and grab his brother just as he was falling towards the stones. Unfortunately the force of the stones pulling on the chain caused Wu Kong to lose his grip, but Po managed to save them both by jamming the stones with a large piece of wood and carry them out the mill before the building collapsed. When the mob confronted Monkey again, Wu Kong was revealed to be the true thief. But he distracts Po and Monkey and escapes. Monkey yells for him but Wu Kong says "That's Wu Kong, King of Thieves".

In the end, Po and Monkey have to fix the grain mill and Shifu congratulates Po and Monkey and says even though they couldn't take in Wu Kong, their actions may cause him to change one day. The episode ends with Wu Kong watching over the Valley of Peace before leaving.

Voice cast


Award Category Winner(s)/Nominee(s) Result
40th Annie Awards Best Editorial in an Animated Television Program Hugo Morales, Adam Arnold, Davrik Waeden, Otto Ferraye Nominated


  • The episode's title references a popular children's intercepting game, going by other names such as "Keep Away," "Piggy in the Middle," "Pickle in a Dish," or "Pickle in the Middle."




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Legends of Awesomeness Season 1 episodes
# No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod. code
1 1 "Scorpion's Sting" Jim Schumann Doug Langdale Sep. 19, 2011 101
2 2 "The Princess and the Po" Jim Schumann Doug Langdale Oct. 21, 2011 103
3 3 "Sticky Situation" Gabe Swarr Scott Kreamer Nov. 7, 2011 102
4 4 "Chain Reaction" Michael Mullen Kevin Seccia Nov. 8, 2011 104
5 5 "Fluttering Finger Mindslip" Jim Schumann Jessica Gao Nov. 9, 2011 105
6 6 "Good Croc, Bad Croc" Michael Mullen Scott Kreamer Nov. 10, 2011 111
7 7 "Hometown Hero" Juan Meza-Leon Kevin Seccia Nov. 11, 2011 109
8 8 "Jailhouse Panda" Michael Mullen Doug Landgale, Jon Ross Nov. 18, 2011 117
9 9 "Owl Be Back" Michael Mullen Doug Langdale Nov. 26, 2011 107
10 10 "Bad Po" Luther McLaurin, Jim Schumann Jon Ross Nov. 26, 2011 113
11 11 "Sight for Sore Eyes" Juan Meza-Leon Doug Langdale Nov. 27, 2011 108
12 12 "Rhino's Revenge" Michael Mullen Scott Kreamer Nov. 27, 2011 106
13 13 "Master Ping" Michael Mullen Paul Rugg Nov. 28, 2011 119
14 14 "Ghost of Oogway" Lane Lueras, Luther McLaurin Kevin Seccia Nov. 29, 2011 120
15 15 "The Kung Fu Kid" Juan Meza-Leon Scott Kreamer Nov. 30, 2011 122
16 16 "Ladies of the Shade" Michael Mullen Joshua Hamilton Dec. 1, 2011 123
17 17 "Big Bro Po" Lane Lueras Doug Langdale Dec. 2, 2011 118
18 18 "Po Fans Out" Juan Meza-Leon Kevin Seccia Dec. 9, 2011 112
19 19 "Challenge Day" Jim Schumann Scott Kreamer Dec. 16, 2011 110
20 20 "My Favorite Yao" Luther McLaurin Joshua Hamilton Dec. 30, 2011 114
21 21 "In With the Old" Michael Mullen Kevin Seccia Jan. 16, 2012 124
22 22 "Has-been Hero" Gabe Swarr Kevin Seccia Mar. 31, 2012 126
23 23 "Love Stings" Juan Meza-Leon Joshua Hamilton Apr. 2, 2012 115
24 24 "Hall of Lame" Juan Meza-Leon Kevin Seccia Apr. 3, 2012 116
25 25 "Father Crime" Michael Mullen Doug Langdale Apr. 4, 2012 121
26 26 "Monkey in the Middle" Lane Lueras Gene Grillo Apr. 5, 2012 125