- "There are dozens of Bonus Levels found in Donkey Kong Country. Some are easy to find, while some are almost impossible. All will give you extra lives, bananas or other surprise items."
- —Donkey Kong Country manual, pg. 23
Bonus Barrels are present throughout several Donkey Kong games, particularly in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. Bonus Barrels are easily recognized by their large "B" and yellow explosion in the center. They have been featured in many platforming DK games.
 Donkey Kong Country/Land series
Initially, in DKC's Super Nintendo iteration, Bonus Barrels were simply Barrel Cannons that, when entered, would automatically launch the Kongs into a Bonus Level. However, it was Donkey Kong Country 2 that introduced the Bonus Barrel's design, which was kept for Donkey Kong Country 3 and the original DKC's Game Boy Advance remake. The same was applied for the Donkey Kong Land series and its sequels as well.
Bonus Barrels were scattered throughout nearly every single level in the DKC and DKL series (water levels initially did not have bonus barrels). The appearance of a bonus stage varied per type of level. For example, a walkway level had a walk way as the main platform for a bonus game. The goal of the bonus games themselves are indicated when entered; a screen will show what kind it is (i.e. "Destroy them All!"). In Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Land 2, Donkey Kong Country 3, and Donkey Kong Land III, the player was rewarded coins for completing such challenges. DKC2's bonus coins were Kremkoins, with the notable exception of Lost World's DK Coin reward. DKC3's were Bonus Coins.
In all 6 games, bonus barrels were required to get the highest percent of completion. If the player got all the bonus barrels in a level, there was a ! added to the end of a level's title. In DKC3, the flag flapping high indicates that all the bonus barrels were found.
Donkey Kong 64, they functioned differently. Instead of the "B" on the barrel, a picture of a Golden Banana is on them, and when approached, purple sparkles appear around them. When a Kong jumps into one of these, they are taken to a special mini-game which rewards them a Golden Banana. In the stage Hideout Helm, the bonus barrels are metallic with K. Rool's face, and when you win the bonus you earn a Banana Medal.
Bonus Barrels no longer have any coins in them, and are mainly used to get bananas in the bonus game, Banana Bonanza, for bonus lives.
|Throw-able||DK Barrel • TNT Barrel • Mega TNT Barrel • Steel Keg • Wooden Barrel|
|Enemy-influencing||Check and X Barrels • Krochead Barrel • Stop & Go Barrel • Switch Barrel • Plus and Minus Barrels|
|Transformation||Animal Barrel • Invincibility Barrel • Tag Barrel|
|Transportation||Auto-Fire Barrel • Barrel Cannon • Biplane Barrel • Booster Barrel • Diddy & Dixie Barrels • Fuel Barrel • Funky Barrel • Ghost Barrel • Golden Barrel • Ignition Barrel • Rocket Barrel • Rotatable Barrel • Steerable Barrel • Tracker Barrel• Warp Barrel • Wooden Barrel|
|Bosses||Belcha • Dumb Drum|
|Misc.||Barrel Shield • Bonus Barrel • Button Barrel • Dumb Drum • Kong Barrel • Oil Barrel • Oil Drum • Star Barrel • Style Barrel|