[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Main_cast_scene_SMB3.jpg]]
->''"So I give you... SUPER! MARIO BROTHERS! '''THREE!!!'''"''
--> --'''The Video Armageddon announcer''', ''Film/TheWizard''

''Super Mario Bros. 3'' is the third installment in the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series by Creator/{{Nintendo}}. Having saved the Mushroom Kingdom, the Mario Bros. must now liberate the surrounding kingdoms from Bowser, who, in the vein of UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte, has divvied those kingdoms up between his seven kids, the Koopalings. Mario and Luigi must first trounce the Koopalings, retrieve the {{Magic Wand}}s stolen from the rightful rulers, and [[BalefulPolymorph restore the kings to human form]] before they're allowed to tackle Bowser.

The final installment in the [[The8bitEraOfConsoleVideoGames 8-bit]] trilogy (more or less, considering the second game), it featured several new [[PowerUp power-ups]] and features, in addition to a much larger selection of levels, enemies, and so forth. ''Super Mario Bros. 3'' was also the first ''Mario'' game to have a specific cartoon SpinOff, in the form of ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3''. It also received [[EarlyBirdCameo advance publicity]] in the west from the movie ''Film/TheWizard''.

A [[VideoGameRemake remake]] of ''Super Mario Bros. 3'' was later included in the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioAllStars'' CompilationRerelease, and that remake was [[UpdatedRerelease updated again]] as a standalone game with e-Reader support as ''Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3''. '' VideoGame/SuperMarioMaker'' features ''Super Mario Bros. 3'' as one of the styles that players can use to create the courses of their dreams.

Oh, and Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=78&v=uu2DnTd3dEo confirmed]] that the whole game is a stage play.
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!!Tropes present:
* AdaptationExpansion: ''Advance 4'' has an intro cutscene explaining how the Koopalings transformed the kings and took over the other lands.
* AirborneMook: In addition to Koopa Paratroopas, there are now Paragoombas, Para-Beetles, and Boos.
* AnimatedActors: While the relationship between ''Mario'' characters in general has been equated to this trope, ''Super Mario Bros. 3'' plays this trope straight; originally, many of the background elements and props have obvious bolts/wires and have shadows on what's supposedly ''thin air'', leading fans to speculate for years that the game was a stage play and finally having it confirmed by Miyamoto himself. ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'' later removed the "fake" stage-like elements, leading to further WildMassGuessing.
* AnimatedAdaptation: ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3'', which was also a follow-up to ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow''.
* AutoScrollingLevel: Several. Many of them are [[ThatOneLevel notoriously difficult]] due to the many obstacles that must be traversed while keeping up with the screen.
* {{Backtracking}}: Possible to do with a warp whistle to go from World 6 to World 5, or from the end of World 5 to the beginning of World 5.
* BadassCape: Bowser himself wears one in some of the game's main artwork, but it's sadly missing in-game and all subsequent appearances.
* BalefulPolymorph: The seven kings who get changed into animals (or, in ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'', characters from other ''Mario'' games).
* BigBad: Bowser, of course.
* BilingualBonus: The Treasure Ships have "treasure" written on their masts in kanji.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: There are items that had enemies' names in their names that the game and instruction manual forgot to localize accordingly, but this was fixed in some subsequent versions. One is Kuribo's (Goomba's) Shoe, the other is Jugem's (Lakitu's) Cloud. The Magazine/NintendoPower Strategy Guide even called the Goombas wearing the Kuribo's Shoe [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "Kuribo's Goomba."]]
* BootstrappedTheme:
** Underground levels use a remix of the underground theme from the first ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1 Super Mario Bros.]]'' game.
** Also, the melody to make the wandering Hammer Bros. fall asleep is the overworld theme from the same game.
* BossArenaIdiocy: The final fight with Bowser is won by dodging him as he butt-smashes his way through the floor (which is made entirely of breakable blocks), until he inevitably falls to his doom.
* BreakablePowerUp: As in the first game, getting hit as Super Mario reverts him to regular Mario, unable to break bricks from below. Starting with the international version of ''3'', getting hit when empowered by any PowerUp ''other'' than the Super Mushroom (Fire Flower, Super Leaf, Tanooki Suit, Hammer Suit, Frog Suit, etc.) reverts Mario to Super Mario rather than all the way back down to regular Mario.
* BubblyClouds: The second half of World 5, Sky Land/The Sky.
* CallBack: If you beat Bowser and save the Princess, you get the message from the end of each of the first seven worlds in ''Super Mario Bros.'': "Thank you. But our Princess is in another castle!" The game then adds, "Just kidding! Ha ha ha! Bye bye."
* TheCameo: In ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'', instead of generic animals, the kings of the different worlds are changed by the Koopalings into different characters from other games:
** World 1: Grass Land: Dog -> Cobrat, from ''Super Mario Bros. 2''
** World 2: Desert Land/Desert Hill: Spider -> Hoopster, from ''Super Mario Bros. 2''
** World 3: Water Land/Ocean Side/Sea Side: Kappa -> Dino Rhino, from ''Super Mario World''
** World 4: Giant Land/Big Island: Dinosaur -> Donkey Kong Jr. from his eponymous game
** World 5: Sky Land/The Sky: Vulture -> Albatoss, from ''Super Mario Bros. 2''
** World 6: Ice(d) Land: Sea lion -> Monty Mole, from ''Super Mario World''
** World 7: Pipe Land/Pipe Maze: Piranha Plant -> Yoshi, from ''Super Mario World''
* {{Cap}}: Mario and Luigi can only have 99 lives. ''Advance 4'' bumps this up to 999.
* CentralTheme: Children and offspring; the Koopalings are introduced as Bowser's children, the Paragoombas are shown spawning mini-goombas, Bloopers now have their offspring following them, and even Big Bertha is introduced as the mother of Baby Cheeps.
* CheckPointStarvation: None of the levels in this game have checkpoints, a rarity for a ''Mario'' game. This may be because the stages are relatively short.
* ChekhovsGun: The final stage, Bowser's Castle, is constructed out of distinctive red bricks not seen in the game's other castles and fortresses. During the FinalBoss fight, the main way to defeat Bowser is to trick him into smashing his way through these same bricks and down into a BottomlessPit.
* ChildrenInTow: The Blooper Nanny can send its children to attack you.
* ColorCodedMultiplayer: Played straight in the original (where Luigi is just a PaletteSwap), but [[AvertedTrope averted]] in ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'' (where he's a separate sprite).
* ContinuingIsPainful: {{Zigzagged}}. Getting a GameOver and continuing results being thrown back to the start of the world's map plus all action levels that you cleared get reset and have to be completed again. However, fortresses and battleship levels in World 8 that were cleared previously remain as such, which also means any shortcuts you opened beforehand also remain open so you can bypass a few levels. On the plus side, all mini-games and item houses you used will regenerate upon restarting.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: In addition to the typical application of this trope (being able to stand JUST above lava without getting fried), there's also the fact that in the leftmost Hand Trap level in World 8, Cheep Cheeps fly out of lava to attack you! Also, in ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'', all Hand Trap levels have the bottom half of the background glowing red.
* CoOpMultiplayer: The "Progress in Turns" variation. In ''Advance 4'', you can exchange [[VideoGameLives extra lives]] between Mario and Luigi when they occupy the same space, while in the other versions, they enter a minigame [[NostalgiaLevel styled after]] ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' where they compete for the next turn in the main game and steal each other's goal cards while they're at it. The ''All-Stars'' version even included a Battle Mode completely dedicated to this minigame.
* CoversAlwaysLie: A screenshot from one of the DummiedOut levels is pictured on the back of the NES game box.
* CraniumRide: Mario can hop on the shells of Para-Beetles to reach greater heights.
* DemBones: Dry Bones, which are actually Koopa skeletons.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: You can kill ''the sun''. And it's just as awesome as it sounds.
* DifficultyByRegion: In the original Family Computer version, Mario reverts all the way back to small Mario when hit even if he's fully powered-up (Fire, Raccoon, etc). In the localized NES version, he reverts back to Super Mario, meaning he's able to take an extra hit. This revision would also apply to ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'', both in Japan and internationally. (''Advance 4'' was planned to include an e-Reader switch that would bring back the original damage behavior, but it was never produced anywhere.)
* DifficultySpike: World 3 is significantly harder than the previous two worlds, partially because water levels tend to be harder to begin with, and also due to Boss Bass. The difficulty evens out somewhat in World 4, but then starts rising again in World 5 and never really lets up.
* DisneyVillainDeath: Happens to Bowser if he is defeated the normal way by tricking him into smashing through the floor. Even if he is defeated by the Fire Flower or Hammer Suit, he falls off the screen anyway.
* TheDragon: Ludwig is [[AllThereInTheManual described in the strategy guide]] as being Bowser's second-in-command. Contrast with ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', where Larry apparently assumes this role.
* DroughtLevelOfDoom: In Worlds 6 and 7, Toad Houses are slim in comparison to earlier areas. If you use all your items in these worlds without restocking (via GameOver and farming), then you'll be in for a rude awakening for World 8, which has some of the hardest stages in the game and ''no'' Toad Houses at all. The N-Mark Spade Panel for the card matching minigame won't appear even if your score goes over a multiple of 80,000.
* DungeonBypass: There are two items of this sort: the P-Wing and the Lakitu's Cloud. The P-Wing grants the player a Raccoon Suit that has unlimited flight, allowing them to fly over most levels with open ceilings. The Lakitu's Cloud, on the other hand, bypasses a level entirely; however, the course won't be marked as complete. This means the player will have to replay the level if they lose a life, and it won't count towards the ''Advance 4'' level count if skipped. Also, if you lose a life on an airship, it will try to move to a new spot past an uncleared level, forcing you to either play it it use another cloud to bypass it again.
* DummiedOut:
** There are ''fifteen'' (mostly) incomplete levels hiding in the coding.
** Worlds 4-5 and 5-1 have dummied-out exits. The latter is the result of localization; a glitch in the Family Computer version involving the original exit led to the NES version having an alternate exit for this level, although the first one was never taken out.
** There are even two dummied-out enemies: gold Cheep Cheeps and green Para-Beetles, both of which move faster than their red brethren.
** Two whole sets of e-Reader cards didn't make it to North America, and perhaps as a result, the e-Reader content was DummiedOut in the European and Australian releases for ''Advance 4''. This was rectified with the UsefulNotes/WiiU UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole release, which also has all the e-reader levels unlocked in all regions.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** This is the only game in the entire series to give Luigi the raccoon tail and Tanooki Suit forms instead of his unique fox tail and Kitsune Suit forms found in later appearances, even in ''All-Stars'' (which solidified Luigi's DivergentCharacterEvolution) and ''Advance 4''.
** This is the first game to have the "athletic" levels have a separate theme than the game's normal level theme. It's also the only game with an athletic theme that's not a remix of the game's main theme.
* EasterEgg:
** Complete the airships as Tanooki, Hammer, or Frog Mario/Luigi and the king will give a different message.
** If a Chain Chomp tugs on its Chain 49 times, or if the clock hits 160 seconds, the Chain Chomp and all others in the level will break their chains and run off the level.
** Selecting a previously finished level in 2-player will allow both to play a competitive minigame based on ''VideoGame/MarioBros'', which determines the next player's turn and allows them to steal one another's cards.
** Press Select on the map screen to choose ''any'' item for use (including a warp whistle). This only works in ''some'' versions of the game.
* ElectricJellyfish: Jelectros are underwater obstacles that spell pain for Mario and Luigi. They're also an InvincibleMinorMook, and even Super Stars and Hammer Suits can't defeat them.
* EvilOverlord: Bowser, King of the Koopa. He has it all here; a vast army of {{mooks}}, {{airships}}, and a {{hell}}ish kingdom.
* ExpansionPack: Literally "pack" - ''Super Mario Advance 4'' was compatible with Nintendo's e-Reader, and several packs of cards were sold to add new levels and give you items at any time.
* FakeUltimateMook: The {{Giant Mook}}s in World 4 are no harder to kill than their normal-sized counterparts, despite towering over Mario.
* FloatingPlatforms: Many levels. Notably, some of them are hanging from wires.
* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: Much like the first game, this one has flying Cheep Cheeps that jump out of the water. Some levels also have a Boss Bass do the same thing.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Emerging from the statues of Bowser that litter his castle.
* GameBreakingBug:
** In World 3-9, it's possible to go behind the water in the underwater bottom half of the level, which makes it impossible to go up the pipe leading to the exit.
** World 5 consists of two separate halves: the ground and a BubblyClouds upper half. The cloud map has a bit of inaccessible "land" in one corner, depicting your view of the ground far below; the airship is erroneously able to land there as though it were real terrain. Preventing this is probably the only real use for the [[PowerupLetdown Anchor]].
** If two sets of Hammer Brothers, or a Hammer Brother and a card matching game get on top of each other on the world map, it's possible for them to get stuck together and perpetually wander around the map, with control never being given back to the player. World 4 tends to be particularly vulnerable to this glitch, as it has three sets of Hammer Brothers all in the same area.
* GiantMook: Almost every enemy in [[MacroZone World 4]].
* GracefulInTheirElement: The Frog Suit is a godsend in underwater levels, giving enhanced control and the ability to stream through currents. However, as to be expected, it's painfully slow and awkward on land.
* GreenHillZone: World 1, Grass Land, and the first half of World 5.
* GuideDangIt:
** The Treasure Ship and White Mushroom House. The former requires the tens digit of the player's score to match both digits of his or her coin count[[note]]After which, you must clear the stage with the ones digit of the timer on an even number.[[/note]], and the latter requires you to collect an unspecified number of coins in an unspecified level. Of course, being an NES game, the only way to learn how to find these secrets (at the time it was originally released) was by word of mouth.[[note]]Or Magazine/NintendoPower. Or in the NES Game Atlas, one of the original four Nintendo Player's Guides.[[/note]] In the case of the White Mushroom Houses, the coin collection requirements basically boil down to "all the coins in the autoscrolling levels" which made getting them considerably easier once you figured it out.
** Also, several stages have numerous Super Star power-ups hidden in blocks, and can allow the player to be invincible through the entire stage. However, you have to find the actual Super Star at the beginning of the level, or use one from your inventory before entering the stage, because the subsequent blocks only contain Super Stars if you're invincible while hitting them. Qualifies as a bit of UnstableEquilibrium. This gimmick is re-used several times in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii''.
* HeyYou: Due the possibility to finish the game as Mario or Luigi without any gameplay or story changes, like many other classic games for that matter, any character referring and talking to Mario or Luigi will not address them by name.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Bowser will try to flatten Mario by jumping down on him from above. But each time, he bores a hole into the floor, going deeper and deeper, until he falls right through.
* IFellForHours: World 5-2 starts the player at the top of a very long abyss. Mario or Luigi can be steered while falling downward, gathering coins in the process.
* InfiniteOneUps:
** Any level with a long chain of respawning enemies (such as the pipe in 1-2 which spits out Goombas), several Bill Blasters near each other (e.g., World 4-5), three Dry Bones in the same vicinity, or a Koopa close to a Bill Blaster (see the image at the article), to say nothing of the goal cards. Even a not-so-great player can easily hit the {{cap}} of 99 (or 999 in ''Advance 4'') lives.
** While not necessarily infinite, the fortress in World 7 involves a room with a Switch Block, hundreds of bricks, and no enemies. Once you hit the Switch Block, you have plenty of time to get enough coins for at least one 1-Up, and you can reset the room as often as you like by leaving and re-entering.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Hammer Suit. Its hammers can kill any enemy vulnerable to fireballs, and can also take out Boos and Thwomps - enemies that normally can only be killed by a Super Star. Ducking in the Hammer Suit makes Mario curl up and grants him immunity to fireballs as well. Naturally, the Hammer Suit is extremely rare and for many players, it's just TooAwesomeToUse. About the only things Mario can't do while wearing it are slide downhill and fly.
* KaizoTrap:
** After Bowser is defeated, you still remain in control of your character. If you must do a VictoryDance, care not to fall into the same pit Bowser fell into... though if you defeated him with the Fire Flower or Hammer Suit, there's no hole to fall into.
** Some levels have enemies at the very end where the level goal is, serving to trip up players who bum rush blindly when they see the background change.
* KidAppealCharacter: Toad isn't the only one. The Koopalings, introduced in the game, bring some kid-of-heel technicality to the ''Mario'' franchise. Of course, [[KidsAreCruel Koopa Kids are cruel]].
* KillItWithFire: Unlike in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', the Fire Flower is still a primo power-up, and works against many otherwise intimidating baddies.
* KnightOfCerebus: Bowser. While not as extreme as ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' and the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' games, his letter with him gloating about kidnapping the Princess again causes a MoodWhiplash and after reading it it instantly cuts to Mario arriving in Bowser's kingdom, full of doom and gloom. You don't see Bowser himself until the very end of his castle, in which he just jumps right into the final battle.
* LawOfOneHundred: Gathering 100 coins still nets you a OneUp, just like in the first ''Super Mario Bros.''
* LevelsTakeFlight: All of the airship stages are presented as auto-scrolling, obstacle course style levels above the clouds. Oftentimes, players have to cross bottomless pits using bolt lifts, which require you to jump repeatedly to move them forward.
* LighterAndSofter: A relatively mild example, but the ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4'' versions of World 8 had a considerably lighter color palette. The original NES version by comparison had a much darker palette and a bleaker overall feel.
* MarathonLevel: World 6 has ''ten'' levels, along with three fortress levels. Luckily, you don't have to complete all the normal levels to beat the world, but if you want OneHundredPercentCompletion in ''Advance 4'', you'll have to do it all.
* MacroZone: World 4, Giant Land/Big Island. Some levels even have doors that change the level's size, foreshadowing ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'''s Tiny-Huge Island.
* MeaninglessLives: ''Advance 4'' plays with this trope; it allows you to donate some of your lives to the other player and vice versa, similar to ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld''.
* MiniDungeon: This is the first ''Mario'' game to introduce the fortresses, which serve this purpose. The status they used to have as end-of-world levels in the previous games was downgraded to a middle-point stage whose completion merely opens locked gates to create shortcuts that help the player skip levels if all lives are lost.
* MissionControl: The Princess sends you telegrams at the end of each World, along with an item. The final letter is from Bowser, gloating about kidnapping her again.
* {{Mordor}}: World 8, [[DarkWorld Dark Land]]/Castle of Koopa/Bowser's Castle, takes place in a lava-filled ruin.
* MusicalThemeNaming:
** Most of the Koopalings are all named after famous musicians: [[Music/LudwigVanBeethoven Ludwig]] von Koopa, [[Music/{{Motorhead}} Lemmy]] Koopa, [[Music/RoyOrbison Roy]] Koopa, [[Music/IggyPop Iggy]] Koopa, [[Music/ThePlasmatics Wendy]] O. Koopa, and [[Series/TheMortonDowneyJrShow Morton]] Koopa Jr. The only possible exception is [[Music/{{U2}} Larry]] Koopa who, due to FlipFlopOfGod, may not have been particularly named after anybody.
** The Boo enemy, which debuted in this game, is called [[Music/BoDiddley “Boo” Diddly]] in the NES version.
* NewGamePlus: In the NES version, clearing the game and starting over without resetting the console loads your inventory with P-Wings. This is actually not present in the Family Computer version, and was not re-added to ''All-Stars'' and ''Advance 4''.
* NintendoHard: Not as unforgivably difficult as ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBrosTheLostLevels'', but still rather hard. The difficulty really peaks in World 7. (World 8, by contrast, tends to look harder than it is.)
* NoNameGiven: The Koopalings in the Family Computer version. Their names were established during the NES localization of the game, and were named after musicians.
* NothingButSkulls: Some of the areas on the World 8 map are adorned with skulls.
* NothingIsScarier: The first fortress in World 7 has ''no'' enemies except for the Boom Boom; in their place are the empty holders for Roto-Discs and Hot Foots, and the blocks for "Stretch" Boos. It also has [[GuideDangIt no obvious way out]].
* OneHitKill:
** Boss Bass. Appearing in two levels in World 3, it jumps out of the water trying to engulf you, and if it does, [[EatenAlive you instantly lose a life]], even if you were powered-up.
** On the player-benefitting side of things, the Hammer Suit can kill Boom Boom and each of the seven Koopalings with a single hammer.
* OneUp:
** Just like in the first ''Super Mario Bros.'' game, special mushrooms give 1-ups, and one is awarded every 100 coins. There are also goal cards at the end. Any combination of three grants a 1-up, and gathering all mushrooms, all flowers, or all stars grants 2-, 3-, and 5-ups, respectively. In addition, the spade game offers 2-, 3-, or 5-ups for matching up a picture, and you can earn a 1-up in the card matching minigame.
** ''Advance 4'' kicks those spade games up a notch by giving you a heart game once you clear the spade, in which the Super Star is replaced with a Super Leaf that'll give you seven lives. Clear that, and you get to play a club game where the Super Leaf is replaced with a big "3" that'll give you 10 lives. Clear THAT for a diamond game, where the slots are all rigged with one symbol. After playing the diamond game, it reverts back to a spade.
* PaletteSwap: Mario and Luigi in the original 8-bit version, as well as most of the enemies in all versions. Also, Larry and Iggy are head swaps of each other in this game, as are Morton and Roy.
* PalmtreePanic: World 3, Water Land/Ocean Side/Sea Side; overlaps with UnderTheSea.
* PipeMaze: World 7, Pipe Land/[[TropeNamer Pipe Maze]].
* PlayerTic: One of the most well known ones. Players tend to jump to grab the wand in mid-air after defeating a Koopaling.
* PowerUp:
** Along with the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star from the original game, this game introduced the Super Leaf, which allowed Mario to take flight and whack enemies with a raccoon/tanuki tail.
** In addition, this game has several powerups unique to itself: the Tanooki Suit, a souped-up Super Leaf with the ability to transform into a statue; the Hammer Suit, which destroyed almost anything with hammers that travel in an arc; the Frog Suit, which allows for easier control underwater but lessened control on land; and Goomba's Shoe, which allowed safe crossing over spikes and Munchers, but was only available in World 5-3.
** ''Advance 4'' added the Cape Feather from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', as well as a brand new item, a blue boomerang that you can toss around not unlike the Boomerang Bros. These were only available via e-Reader cards, however.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: The Koopalings debut here, as the boss of the airship level for each world.
* RemilitarisedZone: The airship levels that serve as the end-of-world challenges. World 8 also features tank and battleship levels along with the airships.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: In one of the bonus games, the Mushroom Person says "Miss twice and ''your'' out." It was later changed to "You can only miss twice," because there wasn't any room in the text box for an apostrophe. The ''All-Stars'' version brought back the original message, and ''Advance 4'' corrected it.
* SaveGameLimits:
** Even though this game is exceptionally long by prior games' standards, ''there is no save feature''. ''All-Stars'' allows saving at any time, with the consequence of having to restart at the beginning of the current World. ''Advance 4'' also features a SuspendSave feature, along with a more permanent saving feature upon clearing any fortress or airship.
** The UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole release can suspend the game at any point if you return to the Wii menu and then reload the exact same state when you load up the game again. The UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS and UsefulNotes/WiiU Virtual Console versions even allow you to save an actual save state that can be reloaded at any time.
* SaveThePrincess: A DoubleSubversion. The main plot of the game is to rescue the Mushroom World kings. For most of the game, the Princess is [[StayInTheKitchen safe at home in the Mushroom Kingdom]], sending you letters and gifts. It isn't until you beat World 7 where your usual letter is instead from Bowser proudly claiming that he has kidnapped the Princess while you were away ([[XanatosGambit which was his plan all along, kings or princess]]). Only the ''Advance 4'' version decides to fill you in on this plot development if you skipped to World 8 by warping.
* SchrodingersGun: There's two slightly different {{Boss Room}}s in Bowser's Castle, with both having a holding cell behind them. No matter which one you go to, you'll always face Bowser there and find the Princess in the room behind.
* SetBonus: Using two warp whistles at once (that is, using a warp whistle while already in the Warp Zone) is the quickest ticket to World 8.
* SequelDifficultyDrop: Compared to ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBrosTheLostLevels The Lost Levels]]''. Granted, this game [[NintendoHard isn't very easy either]].
* ShiftingSandLand: World 2, Desert Land/Desert Hill. A few levels in World 7 are also desert-themed.
* ShipLevel: The airship stages at the end of every world.
* ShooOutTheClowns: World 8 is the only world in the game in which Mushroom People do not appear. Even in the two outdoor field levels, the color scheme is dark and the cave music is used.
* ShoutOut:
** Use the game's WarpWhistle, and you'll hear the warp tune from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI The Legend of Zelda]]''. Mario will also be swept away in a whirlwind, much like Link in the same game. In the Japanese versions, they even share the same name.
** As listed above under MusicalThemeNaming, the Koopalings are named after musicians.
* ShowWithinAShow: It's implied that the game is a stage play; props cast shadows on the background, floating platforms hang from wires, the end of each level looks like a backstage area, and curtains even rise and fall when the game begins and ends. Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto himself confirmed this in September 2015.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: World 6, Ice(d) Land.
* SpeedRun: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz3BuYYhnn0 This legendary 11-minute speedrun]] of the game, probably the most famous tool-assisted speedrun on the Internet, though it has since been surpassed... while controlling ''three'' other ''Super Mario Bros.'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x9Pwy8C_6s games with the same "controller" simultaneously]].
* TheSpiny: Not just the TropeNamer type, but also a second, bouncing type. Neither can be stomped on, but both can be killed with fireballs or tail-whips.
* SpiritualSuccessor: [[VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand There's two]] [[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros2 of them.]]
* SprintMeter: Inverted with the game's Power Meter, in which you run at full speed whenever it's full and can fly if you have the Raccoon Leaf or Tanooki Suit.
* {{Tanuki}}: The Tanooki Suit allows Mario or Luigi to temporarily turn into a statue.
* TimedMission: As per ''Super Mario Bros.'' standards, each stage is on a time limit. The underground warp levels are the only ones that don't have a time limit.
* TotallyRadical: Bowser opens his letter to Mario with "Yo!"
* TooAwesomeToUse:
** The Tanooki Suit and the Hammer Suit. You can waste other powerups willy-nilly even if you die, because Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, and Super Leaves are a dime a dozen. But Tanooki Suits and Hammer Suits can be counted on one hand each... (The Frog Suit is similar in terms of rarity, but only useful in underwater areas.)
** The Hammer. Do you use it in World 2 to grab an early Frog Suit and the third warp whistle? Or do you perhaps save it for later, such as World 3's lengthy series of Toad Houses and Spade Panels to accumulate items and extra lives?
* TowerOfBabel: Mario and Luigi must ascend a spiral-shaped tower to reach the sky of World 5. There is speculative debate as to whether the familiar looking Tower was inspired by the Tower of Babel or Mount Purgatorio.
* TremorTrampoline: If Mario or Luigi is stunned by a GroundPound from a Sledge Bro or from some of the Koopalings, they'll bounce up and down in place for a few moments. After defeating Bowser, the resulting impact from down below will also bounce Mario or Luigi high into the air if they're standing on the ground.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: In the pyramid level in World 2, there is a hill you can slide down and take out a few Buzzy Beetles along the way, only to fall directly into a pit that happens to be at the bottom. There is absolutely no way to know this is there the first time you play the game.
* TurtlePower: Koopas and Bowser yet again, along with the introduction of the Koopalings.
* UnderTheSea: These levels begin to appear in World 3, but they occasionally appear in worlds after that. Their overall design is more complex than that of the water levels in the first ''Super Mario Bros.'', which is why this game introduced a swimming power-up (the Frog Suit) so Mario and Luigi can move more freely.
* UndesirablePrize: There are a couple of Toad Houses late in the game that have a chance of giving you either a Tanooki suit, a Hammer Suit, or a Frog Suit. Particularly as these houses come up well after World 3 (the only place players generally want to have the Frog Suit's improved underwater maneuverability), getting the Frog Suit is seen as a huge letdown. However, there are a few underwater passages and secret rooms that are difficult or impossible to navigate without it.
* UniqueEnemy: Shoe Goombas, Para-Beetles, Spiny Cheep Cheeps, and homing Missile/Bull's-Eye Bills all turn up in exactly one level apiece. Also, a single fire-breathing Nipper Plant appears in World 7-8.
* UnlockableContent: ''Super Mario Advance 4'' enters full-on NewGamePlus mode once a perfect clear is achieved in each world. Additionally, there are certain game features that only come to effect if certain e-Reader cards were swiped. These range from gameplay features from other ''Mario'' games, to different kinds of {{Mercy Mode}}s, to making the game harder.
* VideoGameRemake: Two of them; ''Super Mario All-Stars'' for the SNES included the game with a 16-bit graphical overhaul, along with remixed music and a revamped Battle Mode. This was later updated and released as ''Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3'' for the Game Boy Advance, which added e-Reader support and voice acting.
* VillainBall: Bowser takes it and runs with it at the end of World 7. His master plan to distract the Mario brothers while he kidnapped the Princess worked great. Too bad he had to send Mario a letter taunting him and telling him exactly where to find her.
* WakeUpCallBoss: While Larry and Morton aren't really any more difficult than any Boom Boom (save for adding some easily avoidable projectile attacks), Wendy ramps up the difficulty by throwing rings which bounce around the room and makes it much harder to safely hit her. All of the subsequent bosses do something to make the battle that little bit trickier.
* WarpWhistle: TropeNamer; there are three of them which take you to a WarpZone. In the NES version, this is the only way to quickly jump to whatever world you left off at, due to [[SaveGameLimits the lack of a save feature.]]
* WeaponizedOffspring: Yellow Paragoombas attack by releasing Micro Goombas from the air. Similarly, Blooper Nannies send their Blooper Babies to swarm Mario underwater.
* WhamEpisode: The Princess is actually just fine up until around the end of World 7, at which point Bowser announces he has come back to kidnap her!
* WhenAllElseFailsGoRight: Averted in World 5-3, but otherwise played straight.
* WrapAround: There are certain vertically oriented levels (mostly in World 7) that have left / right wraparound and are only one screen wide.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: Jokingly referenced by the Princess in the NES and ''All-Stars'' versions of the game:
-->"Thank you. But our princess is in another castle!...Just kidding! Ha ha ha! Bye bye."
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