[[caption-width-right:300:''[-[[{{Music/Brentalfloss}} "Brightly colored pills! They'll cure all your ills! Just as long as you've got fever or the chills!"]]-]'']]

->''"The pills Dr. Mario throws to destroy the viruses are in fact the major threat. The viruses in the bottle can never actually do any harm. In fact, it is the pills that can do harm, causing the player to lose the game if they obstruct the neck of the bottle. Thus ''Dr. Mario'' is, as a game, one about bad medicine."''
-->--'''[[http://projectnes.blogspot.com/2011/01/doctor-who-and-healing-of-death-dr.html El Sandifer]]'''

Around the time of ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'', ''Dr. Mario'' cashed in on both that puzzle game's fame and the fame of [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]], while providing an intelligent twist on both.

Mario in this game has changed from a plucky plumber to a determined doctor who has to destroy all of the viruses (red, yellow and blue ones). He uses a series of capsules to eliminate them (when four capsule pieces/viruses of the same color line up in a row).

''Dr. Mario'' proved just as addictive as its puzzle game parent. "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CB1fFeb1n8 Fever]]" and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsBtQCDbTWc Chill]]", the game's two main themes, are almost as iconic as "[[VideoGame/{{Tetris}} Korobeiniki]]". Two other tunes, "Cough" and "Sneeze", have also been present since the N64 iteration.

The game made an appearance as a minigame in both ''VideoGame/{{WarioWare}} Inc.: Mega Microgame$'' ("Dr. Wario", which is pretty much a sprite swap of the NES version) and ''VideoGame/BrainAge'' ("Virus Buster", which introduced touch controls to the series). Dr. Mario himself has showed up in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Melee'', ''Super Smash Bros For [=WiiU/3DS=]'', and the viruses appear as enemies in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga'' and ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam''.

This game has been on the following systems:
* UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem
* UsefulNotes/GameBoy
* UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem (in a double pack with ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'')
* UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}} (''Dr. Mario 64'', featuring characters from ''VideoGame/WarioLand3'' as opponents, notable for being the only time VideoGame/{{Wario}} characters appear in the extended Mario universe)
* UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance (in a double pack with ''[[VideoGame/PanelDePon Puzzle League]]'' and as the aforementioned "Dr. Wario")
* UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube (''Dr. Mario 64'', as part of the [[NoExportForYou Japan-only]] ''Nintendo Puzzle Collection'')
* UsefulNotes/WiiWare (''Dr. Mario Online Rx'', an online-capable version)
* UsefulNotes/NintendoDS[=iWare=] (''Dr. Mario Express'' on the [=DSi=]'s Virtual Console)
* UsefulNotes/WiiU (''Dr. Luigi'', a MissionPackSequel to ''Dr. Mario Online Rx'' which celebrates Advertising/TheYearOfLuigi by replacing Mario with Luigi and introducing the "Operation L" mode)
* UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS (''Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure'', which introduces power ups to the series and features Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi together for the first time)
!!This series provides examples of:

* AnIcePerson: Chill, the Blue virus.
* AscendedExtra: In most media outside the game, the Viruses are given their own powers and personalities relating to the sickness they instill. Two of them are also named after the tunes in the game, the other one being "Weird", the Yellow Virus. In the games, they're simply obstacles.
* BackAlleyDoctor: Miyamoto has [[http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/09/24/miyamoto-tezuka-interview.aspx suggested]] that Mario is not exactly a legitimate doctor.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: It's a color-match puzzler, so...
* ComicBookAdaptation: "[[http://www.mariowiki.com/The_Doctor_Is_In..._Over_His_Head The Doctor Is In... Over His Head]]" from the ''ComicBook/NintendoComicsSystem'' explains to us how Mario got to be a doctor.
* ContinuityNod: Not necessarily in this game, but all three viruses have been featured as enemies in the ''Mario and Luigi'' series.
** In ''Superstar Saga'' they change into different viruses, and are taken out all at once when matched up. In addition, they also power up another enemy called an Eeker.
** In ''Bowser's Inside Story'' a Blue Virus is spat up by Toothies as an attack. They stab Bowser with a spear if they reach him in time.
** ''Dream Team'' has them as enemies again, with the same matching color gimmick, except this time they always come in a 4-by-4 group of 16 and the matching colors have to be next to each other to get a match kill.
* DressedToHeal: The lab coat makes sense, but there's no reason other than this trope for Dr. Mario, who appears to work in pharmaceuticals, to wear a mirror and stethoscope.
* EasyModeMockery: In ''Dr. Mario 64'', when playing Round 7 in Easy Mode, it's just you and the Hammer-Bot from ''Wario Land 3''. But in higher difficulties, it's a free-for-all between the aforementioned, your rival, and Mad Scienstein. You also can't face the {{True Final Boss}}es in Easy Mode. Interestingly, Easy Mode also creates a case of WhatHappenedToTheMouse when playing as Wario in the opening for the final round, Dr. Mario is seen entering the castle after Wario, but doesn't show up again after that. In the higher difficulties, however, Dr. Mario just sits there dazed from the free-for-all battle as Wario enters the castle without him.
* FallingBlocks: Well, falling pills.
* HeroAntagonist: If you play as Wario in the N64 story mode, Dr. Mario is an opponent twice (three times if you count the aforementioned free-for-all). Once as your first opponent and as the TrueFinalBoss on Hard mode.
* HospitalHottie: [[AllThereInTheManual As seen in the manual for the game]], Princess Peach is a nurse at whatever clinic Mario oversees.
* MonstrousGerms: The ever-present trio of viruses are blue, red and yellow {{Cephalothorax}} creatures with eyes, mouth, hands and feet.
* NintendoHard: Good luck.
* NoEnding: The "Fever Clear," "Chill Clear," and "Game Over" songs go on for several seconds before abruptly cutting off.
* OhCrap: The Viruses in ''Miracle Cure'' get this expression when their respectively-colored Virus Buster appears in play. All three do this simultaneously when a Zapper or Exploder appears. When there is only one color of virus left in play in Classic mode, it starts to panic.
* OneWingedAngel: In ''64'', Wario turns into a vampire after glomming on some Megavitamins. Dr. Mario turns metal instead.
* RecycledSoundtrack: In regards to the "Virus Buster" game mode, ''Online Rx'' averts this by creating brand new arrangements of "Fever" and "Chill". ''Dr. Luigi'' and ''Miracle Cure'', on the other hand, play this straight by straight-up reusing the original ''VideoGame/BrainAge 2'' arrangements.
* ShrunkenHead: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUC058AGV6M A commercial]] had a guy telling how he beat a witch doctor at the game, and got his [[SoreLoser head shrunk as a result]].
* TrueFinalBoss: ''Dr. Mario 64'' has two. If you beat the game as either character, you face [[spoiler:his rival, who has just ingested the megavitamins, resulting in either Metal (Dr.) Mario or Vampire Wario]].
* WithLyrics: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc-EP-0xEDQ Of the background music]].