[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sprite0_7390.png]]
[[caption-width-right:300: [[SublimeRhyme Together in dreams, now in 3D.]]]]

The fourth game in the ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' series for the 3DS. Its [[MarketBasedTitle Japanese name]] is ''Mario & Luigi RPG 4: Dream Adventure'' and its European name is ''Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.'' As with ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros2'', it was announced late in its development and, therefore, closer to its release date (February 2013-Summer 2013).

Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toadsworth, and the many Toads are invited to Pi'illo Island and so they travel to the island for sightseeing. While touring the island, Luigi sleeps on one of the special pillows of the island, opening a portal to the Dream World. This gives an opportunity for the game's BigBad, Antasma, to kidnap Peach and take her into the Dream World. It is then explained that there are two sources of power in the Dream World, the Dream Stone and the Dark Stone, the latter being shattered by Antasma in order to turn Pi'illos into stone. It is then up to Mario and Luigi to travel across the island, trek into the Dream World, and to free the frozen Pi'illos and to SaveThePrincess.

The game's main gimmick, opposed to ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Partners in Time]]'' (TimeTravel) and ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Bowser's Inside Story]]'' (FantasticVoyagePlot), involves [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind a journey in Luigi's dreams]]. For the first time since ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Superstar Saga]]'', Mario and Luigi are going on an adventure by themselves (the previous two games paired them up with [[MyFutureSelfAndMe the Baby Mario Bros.]] and [[EnemyMine Bowser]], respectively). The catch: for most of the game Luigi sleeps, allowing Mario to visit his dreams. Luigi can still manifest within his own dreams to assist his brother, and he can even [[MesACrowd multiply himself]] in this case.

Notably, despite the DS' polygonal graphics, [[VideoGame3DLeap this is the first time the style of the games' artwork gets adapted to 3D graphics.]] This transition is smooth though, so the PolygonCeiling is thankfully an AvertedTrope.

----
!! Tropes include:

* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: The level counter maxes out at level 100. It's likely you'll be about level 40 when you beat the final boss. And it takes longer to get to level 100 than to literally start the game over and play through it twice more. Similarly, your stats max out at around 999 (assuming, no one's got there yet). Reaching level 100 gives you maybe 400-500 per stat if you're lucky. And grinding to that point with randomly dropped beans is likely another fifty hours worth of gameplay. Either way, don't expect to reach either in the storyline, and don't expect anything to last a single turn in battle (including the final boss) if you do.
* AchievementSystem: The game has the Expert Challenges, which give you points for things like dodging a certain number of enemies, winning fights against each monster without getting hit and using special attacks successfully. This eventually unlocks some useful items.
* ActuallyFourMooks: Inverted in the beginning, where a two enemy ambush turns out to be just one enemy. Which is weird because right after features one enemy that turns out to be two. Played straight with viruses or the dream world, where one enemy on the overworld ends up being about 16-20 enemies in the battle. Or where [[BossInMookClothing background enemies]] fly in mid battle.
* AgonyOfTheFeet:
** As per the series norm, jumping on a spike-covered enemy results in ''you'' taking damage rather than the target. A certain enemy also has a sneaky attack that superheats the ground after you dodge the initial fireball, still resulting in foot pain ''and'' a [[StandardStatusEffects burn]] if you don't keep jumping.
** [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser]] has an ''incredibly'' [[BlackComedy painful-looking]] variation if you reach the end of his chase attack.
* AirborneMook: Par for the course, some enemies fly and can't be hit with hammers or other ground-based attacks. A variation later in the game involves enemies appearing in the background where they cannot be attacked directly. The Taunt Ball item can either defeat them, provoke them into the foreground or provoke an attack that can let the bros do tons of damage via counter-attacks.
* AllJustADream: A version in a non-Dream World context at the beginning, with Luigi dreaming of Antasma attacking the Zeepelin and causing it to crash. [[spoiler:And again during the MushroomSamba.]]
* AlwaysAccurateAttack: Strike Badge powers. Additionally, the first laser/energy ball attack Robo-Drilldigger uses is unavoidable too, with the game then using the damage taken from it as an excuse to teach you how to heal in giant battles.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: Inverted. While the background itself is no slouch in the looks department, it is positively outshone by [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser, who is glowing in all colours after inhaling the remnants of the Dream Stone.]]
* AmbidextrousSprite: The development team took special care in ''16'' different directions for both bros, as opposed to 8 directions in the previous games. Because Mario always raises his left arm when jumping and Luigi has an L letter on his cap, mirroring their moves would look glaringly obvious.
* AmbiguouslyGay:
** The Bedsmith. He desperately wants to "nap" on Prince Dreambert and even has hearts emitting from him on one occasion. Later on, seeing how the Mario Bros. get things done, he wants a reward for the things he's done in helping them... namely "napping" on the Mario Bros.! Cue hilariously horrified expressions and Bedsmith's insistence that's it's just a Pi'illo expression...
** A more straight [[AccidentalPun (heh)]] example would be Dreamy Broque Monsieur, who claims Dreamy Luigi is a "dreamboat."
* AmbiguouslyHuman: Dr Snoozemore. Even the Mario wiki says "species: unknown". And his fancy facial hair makes it even harder to work out what he's supposed to be.
* ApatheticCitizens: Actually, it's [[AvertedTrope averted!]] Everyone on the island gets changed and understandably terrified dialogue when [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle appears in the sky and blasts away the barrier islands.]]
** Well, most of them do at least. The side-quests are entirely unchanged before or after the aforementioned event, meaning you can nonchalantly [[spoiler:[[RefugeInAudacity help a tourist make a marriage proposal to his girlfriend while a giant death fortress hovers above them]]]].
* ArtEvolution:
** The art style got even more vibrant and colorful for this game, perfectly reflecting the theme about dreams.
** Animations, especially noticeable with the Mario Bros, have more frames, making them smoother. Characters also now have separate idle animations, instead of just using the first frame of their walking animation for all but a few characters like the previous games.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: Giant battles return from the [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory previous game]], done with Dreamy Luigi instead of Bowser. [[spoiler:You even ''fight'' Giant Bowser in this manner near the end, and he doesn't hesitate in calling Luigi out for copying him.]]
* {{Badass}}: Even though [[spoiler:Bowser isn't a playable character anymore, he's just as {{Badass}} as he ever could be in this game - he manipulates an ancient, powerful nightmare creature to his benefit, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy sets effective traps for the Mario Bros.]], and gets not one, but ''two'' [[OneWingedAngel giant powered-up forms]] that are quite challenging to beat - with the second one, his FinalBoss form, being just as spectacular as previous games' final bosses.]]
* BagOfSpilling: The Mario Bros. have not retained any of their items or Bros. Attacks from Inside Story, as is usual for the series. This trope is subverted, however, in that Bowser has retained all of his abilities from the last game! [[spoiler:Up to and ''including'' the ability to turn into a ball, which is one of his attacks during the Bowser and Antasma fight, his ability to turn giant (though only in the Dream World), and even the Vacuum Block ability, which ends up being the basis for the final boss of the game!]]
* BattleThemeMusic: The game has different battle themes depending on where you battle, either the real world, or the dream world.
* BeTheBall: The Ball Hop.
* BigBad: Antasma, a literal living nightmare. [[spoiler: It later turns out that Bowser was this as well, and not just Antasma's lackey; in fact, he is the one to betray Antasma and use the Dream Stone for himself, not the other way around.]]
* BigBadDuumvirate: Antasma and Bowser team up early on.
* BigBadWannabe: Take a guess who's who. [[spoiler:It's not who you think it is: It's '''Antasma'''.]]
* BigBeautifulWoman: Madame Broque can count, especially since she has put on a lot of weight since ''Bowser's Inside Story''.
* BigDamnFireExit: [[spoiler:Averted, as opposed to Superstar Saga. Neo Bowser Castle has mostly collapsed when you try and escape, and there's no remaining path out. Thankfully the Zeekeeper is there to save Mario and co when the last bit gives way]].
* BigDamnHeroes:
** Just before Dreamy Mount Pajamaja runs over Mario, Luigi turns giant and sends him flying with a hammer swing.
** [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper, when he rescues Mario and Luigi from the crumbling castle. He lampshades it immediately afterwards.]]
* BigFancyCastle: Pi'illo Castle.
* BigWhat: Starlow and Toadsworth got this after finding out that [[spoiler:the Peach was a fake]].
-->'''Toadsworth''': Master Mario! How fared you?
-->'''Starlow''': Did you hide her in a pleasant spot?
-->Mario explains to them.
-->'''Toadsworth''': Mm hmm... So Princess Peach [[spoiler:was an impostor]], was she?
-->'''Starlow''': Well, excellent news. [[spoiler:It was a fake prin -]]
-->'''Both''': [[DelayedReaction WHAAAAAAT?!]] [[spoiler:SHE WASN'T REAL?!]]
* TheBlacksmith: The Pi'illo equivalent is [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep The Bedsmith]]. In fact, [[Main/HisNameReallyIsBarkeep his name]] ''[[Main/HisNameReallyIsBarkeep is]]'' [[Main/HisNameReallyIsBarkeep Bedsmith]].
* BleakLevel:
** Dreamy Mount Pajamaja, on the summit. Bleak enough in itself (being the summit of an icy mountain), but even moreso in context. While you're in there, everyone in the real world is unconscious, and the portal back to the real world is sealed. It may be the closest the bad guys have ever gotten to winning.
** Dreamy [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]]. The regular [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]] has an exciting intensity to its ominousness that keeps it from being too eerie, but the Dream World equivalent has nightmarish chains and [[spoiler:Bowser faces]] floating around and two musical tracks, a dirge-like one for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKCGDq4RVcM the main portion]] and a harsh electronic one for [[spoiler:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAwK_k9NCSw Bowser's Dream]]]], that give it a very sinister vibe.
* BonusBoss: [[spoiler:Bowser Jr.]] Making his debut in the ''Mario & Luigi'' series on the 3DS.
* BossBanter: Activate: Pi'illodium RoboSpeak. With upper hand: mocking. When wings unoperational: depressive.
* BossBonanza: [[spoiler: Neo Bowser Castle]] has three fights with Kamek and, later on, a gauntlet with [[spoiler:Giant Bowser]], Antasma and [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser]]. Luckily [[AntiFrustrationFeatures you can save]] in between, and you get healed before the FinalBoss.
* BossInMookClothing:
** Pi'illodactyls in Mt. Pajamaja can become this if you provoke them with a Taunt Ball. They take a long time to defeat and can deal very powerful damage to the Mario Brothers. There's also a tougher variation later on in the game in Somnom Woods.
** The Gold Beanie too, being the toughest non-boss enemy in the dream world. It even has its own chase attack (a sequence with Mario running to the foreground/background), which is usually only given to bosses. [[TookALevelInBadass It's come quite a way since ''Superstar Saga''.]]
* BossRemix: Antasma's {{Leitmotif}} is remixed for the final battle with him, as well as the very first battle against him in the beginning of the game.
* BrokenAesop:
** PlayedForLaughs, of course. [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper refuses to piece the Dream Stone's dust back into its original form because he doesn't want people to use a trinket to get their jobs done for them... Instead, he turns the dust into a massive Dream Coin that he breaks through to shower the island with coins, and then he adds that the money will pay for his illogical services for helping the heroes. Dreambert is ''crushed'' by this action.]]
** [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper also says people shouldn't use the Dream Stone for material gain... [[HypocriticalHumor right before he shouts how much he loves coins and uses up the Dream Stone to shower the island with money.]]]]
* BrownNote: The Dreambeats. Anyone who hears them that isn't a Pi'illo, Starlow or Antasma instantly falls into a deep sleep. Mario barely got out of it, Bowser simply covered his ears, but Luigi wasn't so lucky, to the point of [[spoiler: falling into a sleep so deep that the Dream Portal collapsed, trapping Mario in the Dream World he was hiding in]].
* BuffySpeak: Dreambert's comment before the Earthwake battle is this. "Dreamy Luigi! Focus! Don't freak out! Be at one with defeating this giant... town... monster."
* BullyingADragon: Popple gets in a fight with a Wiggler and forces Mario and Luigi to help him. Throughout the fight, the Wiggler beats him up with a few of his attacks and Mario and Luigi beat him up when Popple tries to "help." [[spoiler:And after you beat the Wiggler, he decides to fight the ones who did all of the work to get them out of the way.]] Yeah, reeeaaalll smart there, Popple.
* TheBusCameBack:
** Many characters who only appeared in [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga the first game in the series]] return, including Popple and some Beanbean Kingdom citizens, such as the Beanish folk. There's also the Yoshis, who missed the [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory previous game]]. [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Kylie Koopa]] also makes a return.
** We also have Toadsworth, who was [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome absent from the Mario series as a whole]] since ''Bowser's Inside Story''; and Bandits, which were last seen in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' and ''[[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Yoshi's Island DS]]''.
** The game also features Hooskis, which strongly resemble Hoohooligans from ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga''.
* ButtMonkey:
** Luigi, as usual.
** Mario has his moments as well. Far fewer, but they're there.
* CallBack: ''Dream Team'' is '''loaded''' with them.
* CatapultNightmare: Upon waking from a nightmare where Antasma causes their Zeepelin to crash, Luigi shoots up and starts running in panic across the perfectly intact vehicle, only to fall off so hard that he conks out ''again''. It was an epic nightmare though according to one of the Toads.
* CatchingSomeZs: Luigi in the localization's boxart.
* CharacterCustomization: Limited, but whenever you rank up, you get to pick a trait that will stick on your character for that playthrough, with no way of changing it.
* CharacterDevelopment: It's subtle, but Mario is getting more of it such as his [[BigBrotherInstinct reactions towards his brother]], his shock upon being completely ripped off, and that Mario can act, how shall we say, in a less than heroic manner?
--> '''Dreambert:''' Mario, I never knew you could be so... devious.
* ChainOfDeals: In Wakeport, you can engage in a MatchmakerQuest that turns into one of these.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] with Dr. Snoozemore. He's mentioned (but doesn't appear) in the beginning, dropped for a while, and then finally appears tells Mario and Co. about the Ultibed, but still plays a relatively minor role.
* CognizantLimbs:
** Pi'illodium's wings. Taking them out causes Pi'illodium to drop to the ground and reduces its power and defense.
** [[spoiler: Dreamy Bowser]]'s arms. You have to destroy the right arm otherwise he will shield damage to his head.
* CommonPlaceRare: Beans and Wellington Boots (Farmer Boots in the American Localization). Seriously, the only way to get the Pi'illo Island/Mushroom World version of a common real life food item is literally to dig up at random marked spots, kill rare enemies or equip the (equally rare compared to real life) Wellington Boots that let you grind them from normal enemies.
* ContinuityNod: ''Tons'', not just to previous games such as the return of old characters like Beanbean Kingdom residents, but also to past (non-RPG) Mario games.
** One NPC is singing a song whilst working in the desert, and mentions [[VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld Donut Plains]] and [[VideoGame/SuperMario64 Jolly Roger Bay]] in his song.
** Bowser's portrayal within itself is a huge continuity nod to ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory''. Corporal Paraplonk, Private Goomp, and Sergeant Guy have all been made elites, and Bowser retains and uses all the abilities he had in that game--including the [[VacuumMouth inhale ability]] and [[spoiler:the power to grow giant (though it's only used in his dreams, ironically).]]
** [[spoiler:Also pertaining to Giant Bowser: instead of the usual transformation method, he is instead trying to grow giant in his dream by [[VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor eating a lot of meat]] ([[ExtremeOmnivore and a bunch of background objects]]), but it just doesn't cut it before the Mario Bros. arrive. So he presumably [[DrivenToSuicide jumps off the wall to his death]]... and then you remember that a NearDeathExperience was the [[DesperationAttack regular trigger for his supersizing.]]]]
-->'''Bowser''': [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Show time]]!
** [[spoiler:In the Giant Bowser battle, Giant Luigi can grab him by the tail, spin him around and throw him like in VideoGame/SuperMario64.]]
** [[spoiler:Kamek acts as a decoy Peach, just like in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii''.]]
** [[spoiler:Peach and Starlow retain their ability to use good feelings as a powerful weapon.]]
** One to VideoGame/LuigisMansion and its [[VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon sequel]]: one of the things Luigi [[SuddenlyVoiced says]] during the first visit to Dream's Deep is "I fight ghosts!"
** The lanterns in the UndergroundLevel areas are shaped like [[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Lantern Ghosts]].
** It's possible to catch Broque Monsieur [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory talking about his hatred towards the Mario Brothers to his fellow Brocks because of the fact that they hit blocks and getting their contents, thus devaluing them]].
*** Another subtle nod to the above game: The poses the bros make after certain Bros. Attacks are the same ones they made when victorious in battles from ''Inside Story''. Namely, their "level up" poses for the Bye-Bye Cannon, and their "battle victory" poses for the Star Rocket.
** [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser can summon a number of dream-versions of his common mooks, which look exactly like the regular enemies, only given an overlaying color. Dreamy Goombas [[http://www.mariowiki.com/Goomba#Super_Mario_Bros. are]] [[http://www.mariowiki.com/Gloomba blue.]]]]
* ContractualBossImmunity: Gold Beanies are immune to Luiginary Flame. Just Gold Beanies. All bosses? Take normal damage from it. And Gold Beanies themselves take normal damage/effects from everything else but Luiginary Flame. No idea why.
* ConvenientlyEmptyBuilding:
** The villains demonstrate their newly gained power by blasting apart a number of small neighboring islands with no visible features and no mentions of casualties.
** Similarly, it's very lucky that Dreamy Wakeport's buildings are deserted during the battle against Earthwake. Especially when you consider that the hammer uppercut sends Earthwake flying straight through a line of skyscrapers. Though, as a Dream World location, it's vague as to whether the buildings were ever occupied in the first place.
* CoolAirship: There's several of these as background enemies, manned by Shy Guys. [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser can create them, as well.]]
* CreditsMedley: The credits theme uses the beginning of the real world's battle theme, as well as the themes of all of the levels [[spoiler:besides Neo Bowser Castle]] before ending on the end of the battle theme.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy:
** You're never gonna believe this one: [[spoiler:it's '''Bowser'''. He is heavily implied to have been anticipating Antasma was just trying to use him to succeed from the very beginning, and was only waiting to get Peach, the Dream Stone and his new castle so he could kick the Bat King to the curb the moment he showed signs of malcontent. And so he chucks Antasma to the ground to be left at the mercy of the Mario Bros. while he leaves to conquer the world with his newfound power.]]
** Also shows up in [[spoiler:his giant battle. After being knocked into the lava by a sideways hammer attack, he calls in airships to erect a barrier there so Luigi can't do it again.]]
** Additionally, many enemies and bosses seem to focus their attacks on dazed, fallen or otherwise [[StandardStatusEffect status]] afflicted characters knowing that they can't dodge or fight back in this state. This is especially true of the Pi'illodium boss battle, where it'll use its stun inducing hammer attack on one character, then immediately attack straight after with something else and focus its full power on the currently near unconscious bro it hit just before for a possible KO.
** You could also count Earthwake's armour attack as this, since it uses the 'unmovable/unbreakable' armour JUST before its most deadly attack, counting on the fact Luigi can't move twice in one turn and ends up having to dodge/counter it.
* DealWithTheDevil: Why Bowser and Antasma team up. [[spoiler:While Antasma (and many M&L veterans) thought he was the devil in the deal, he finds out all too late that it was '''Bowser''' all along.]]
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: If you are knocked out in a battle, you are given the option to try it again, even on easy mode if you so want to, without having to go back to your last save point, and in Giant battles, you can retry as often as you want but there is no easy mode available. [[spoiler:Averted on Hard Mode, where dying sends you back to whenever you last saved.]]
* DeathMountain: Mount Pajamaja. Also a [[HailfirePeaks dormant volcano covered in snow on it's upper levels]].
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: From the Earthwake battle: "BAD-DAMAGE! DAMAGE-BAD! BAD-STACHES! MUST DEFEAT!"
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Almost everything Dreamy Luigi does affects the real Luigi in some way. Every time Dreamy Luigi jumps (not Mario; just him), the real Luigi's eyebrows jump with it. This occurs even in cutscenes.
** Also, when using a Luiginary move in the Dream World, pressing B will still make Luigi's dream self react in some way.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: The [[spoiler:Zeekeeper]] battle. To wit: [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper is heavily implied to be a PhysicalGod. It can shoot [[FrickinLaserBeams powerful energy blasts]], lay [[AbnormalAmmo explosive eggs]], rip open dimensional rifts, and other god-like powers. Luigi manages to defeat him with nothing but jumping, his hammer, a bunch of tree stumps and sheer determination. He even manages to keep up with the god-bird... WHILE ON FOOT.]]
* DifficultButAwesome: Luiginary Wall is tricky to master, but if you do, it can deal more damage than Luiginary Hammer can do.
* DifficultySpike: When you start out the game, things are fine and dandy. it throws you a curveball now and again, but for the most part remains your smooth-sailing Mario & Luigi game. Suddenly, Bowser in Dream's Deep. A bit of a warning sign, not ''too'' bad, but unusually hard for being so early on. Then meet Big Massif and his disciples. The game wasn't lying when it said at the beginning that was better to beat every enemy you see, because you will ''need'' the levels and understanding of the gameplay mechanics by the time you reach these guys. Steel yourself, because the game pulls no punches now. And you can't even level-grind if you have problems with the giant battles.
* DisneyAcidSequence: A ''text-based'' example, if you drink from the fountain at Mount Pajamaja.
* DivergentCharacterEvolution:
** Mario and Luigi once again have unique special attacks, after sharing specials in the last two games. The only special attack used by both is the basic shell attack, which is a red shell for Mario and a green shell for Luigi, but even that works slightly different depending on the character: Mario's is aimed at the initially targeted enemy until it dies while Luigi's hits random targets.
** You can also enforce this for Mario and Luigi through the ranking system, picking bonuses that the other brother does not have such as HP increases and so on.
** As usual for the series, the bros stats develop differently by nature, such as Luigi lacking Speed but having more 'Stache. Level-up bonuses and beans can be used to balance this out or to specialize them more as the player wishes.
* DoubleTake: Upon first encountering Dreamy Luigi in Dreamy Pi'illo Castle, Mario simply nods at his younger brother and keeps walking into the level...only to turn back around and realize that, from his own perspective at least, there's no logical reason for Luigi to be following him in ''Luigi's own dream''.
* DoWellButNotPerfect: The Rookie Gloves allow you to use Bros./Luiginary Attacks without using any BP, as long as you don't get a Excellent score.
* DreamLand: The main setting aside from the real world.
* DreamWalker: Mario journeys through Luigi's dreams, assisted by Dreamy Luigi, Luigi's dream self.
* DreamWeaver: Luigi himself can manipulate the environment to help Mario through outside intervention by Starlow, help Mario directly through the same method, split himself up into many Luigis, and give Mario an attack boost and access to "Luiginary" special attacks while in his dreams.
* DreamWithinADream:
** [[spoiler:Mount Pajamaja has a weird fountain of technicolor "magic water" that puts Mario and Luigi to sleep, giving a text description of their dreams. Its dream world counterpart has one too, thus giving a use of this trope.]]
** [[spoiler:During the final fight with Antasma in the Dream World, if you fail to dodge his bat swarm, Mario can fall asleep and has to dodge ''another'' attack before he can wake up.]]
* DropTheHammer: Mario and Luigi of course. Also, Earthwake and Pi'illodium, who don't so much use a hammer as ''become'' a giant hammer and smash into the Mario bros in one attack each. [[spoiler:And Dreamy Bowser summons one at the end, deciding which Bro. to smash by flipping a coin.]]
* DualWorldGameplay: Pi'illo Island and the Dream World. The part of the Dream World the Bros. end up visiting depends on where exactly Luigi falls asleep.
* DungeonTown: While the main portion of Wakeport is rather non-dangerous, the outlying sections and the Dream World feature plenty of monsters and puzzles.
* DurableDeathTrap: Pi'illodium, who despite being the last... active part of the Pi'illo kingdom for how many hundreds or thousands of years, is still in enough working order to try and blow up the Mario Bros. with missiles and lasers and make comments about their imminent demise. Possibly also Earthwake, which has presumably just been left in Dreamy Wakeport for goodness knows how long and yet is still in perfect condition and able to horribly maul the last couple of adventurers confident/stupid enough to try and get the Nightmare Chunk.
* EndGameResultsScreen: A pretty detailed one shows up after the credits. As a nice bonus, it's set to a soothing music box version of the main theme.
* EvilOverlooker: Antasma on the cover. Though not in gigantic head as per the norm, but as a bat.
* ExperienceBooster: One rank effect, some gear, one badge effect.
* ExpositionFairy: Starlow returns from ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Bowser's Inside Story]]'' as one of the two main fairies, though quite a bit more [[TheCynic cynical]] than last time. Prince Dreambert is the other fairy, who is much more direct and eloquent.
* FaceFault: All of the time. Mario and Luigi even have a unique animation for it. One scene has them do several in a row in reaction to a character making some bad puns.
* FakeSpecialAttack: When you encounter Bowser's lackeys in his castle, they opt to use their special move: "LETHAL RETREAT!"
* FissionMailed: [[spoiler:Drinking from the fountain at Mt. Pajamaja triggers a cutscene where Mario and Luigi fall into a deep sleep, wakes up, discover a huge mushroom patch and begin munching on them. They grow huge, unable to return to normal. Game Over. [[AllJustADream Until Dreambert wakes them.]]]]
* FlatWhat: Starlow uses one of these in response to another absurd statement from the [[LargeHam Massifs]] in Mount Pajamaja.
-->'''Big Massif:''' BEEF!\\
'''Li'l Massif:''' FOR!\\
'''Big Massif:''' TWO!\\
'''Both:''' BEEF STEW!\\
'''Starlow:''' What.
* FlunkyBoss: Just about every normal Dream World boss is this or a variant, thanks to how [[HerdHittingAttack attacks work]] in the Dream World. [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser also counts, with his ability to summon Dreamy versions of the Koopa Troop.]]
* FinishingMove: Giant Luigi battles end using a special move called Finishing Bros. Dreamy Luigi jumps into the sky to retrieve a star. Mario hops on as Luigi throws it at the boss, allowing Mario to guide it into the enemy for the final hit.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Why is it that, [[spoiler:for being the main antagonist]], Antasma has [[spoiler:little to no direct conflict]] with the Mario Bros., while [[spoiler:Bowser and his minions are constantly stirring up trouble?]] Furthermore, [[spoiler:Bowser's]] visage is all over [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]], and even the ''name'' of the place; why does [[spoiler:Antasma]] get such little emphasis? [[spoiler:Because he isn't the main antagonist.]]
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Big Massif and his Hooraw disciples. [[TheEeyore Sorrow Fist]] (melancholic), [[HeavySleeper Beef]] [[StoneWall Cloud]] (phlegmatic), [[GenkiGuy Heavy]] [[BloodKnight Zest]] (sanguine), [[PintSizedPowerhouse Thunder]] [[HotBlooded Sass]] (choleric), and Big Massif (leukine).
* FromNobodyToNightmare: [[spoiler:Antasma used to be a normal bat living on Pi'illo Island before he started eating nightmares to become a SorcerousOverlord.]]
* FusionDance:
** The Power Booster kind; when battling in the dream world, Dreamy Luigi sort of disappears into Mario, leaving a green glow around Mario. The effect is that the brothers get only one turn, but also a huge boost in attack power and turning all attacks into {{herd hitting attack}}s.
** Antasma and Bowser pull the same trick during the first Bowser battle; Bowser gets a purple aura, and lots of Antasma clones appear for certain attacks.
** Giant Luigi is created from hundreds of Luiginoids.
* GameBreakingBug:
** It's very, very possible to have the game completely fail to register gyroscope input during [[spoiler:the Zeekeeper and Giant Bowser]] battles. This pretty much makes them impossible until the game decides to work correctly, since these battles both have parts which have Luigi moved by the gyro only. As mentioned [[http://nintendo3dsdaily.com/nintendoarticles/looks-like-ive-found-a-game-breaking-bug-in-mario-luigi-dream-team/ here]]
** If you downloaded it off of the [=EShop=], it is very possible for the save file to randomly become corrupted, forcing you to start all over.
* GenericDoomsdayVillain: Antasma doesn't have nearly the amount of characterization the other RPG villains have. [[spoiler:Which may be intentional, given how Bowser turns out to be the real BigBad.]]
* GeniusLoci:
** The boss of the Dream World version of Mount Pajamaja is... Mount Pajamaja. The volcano itself is sapient and wants to kill you.
** Earthwake is a partial example; it's made of the buildings of Dreamy Wakeport, though it's more of a HumongousMecha controlled by a single computer than a living location.
* GenreSavvy: When [[spoiler:Bowser gets access to the wish-granting Dream Stone]], the protagonists immediately conclude he'll [[spoiler:go after Peach again]] and set off to hide [[spoiler:her]] in the dream world. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, they're too late; Peach was swapped out with a disguised Kamek at some point beforehand]].
* GetBackHereBoss: [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper]] fight consists entirely of you attacking it while chasing it down.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: A few times, like when one character notices that Starlow isn't wearing clothes, or much later in the game when Starlow and Prince Dreambert need to distract the three Fly Guys to get the Driftwood Jellyfish Sheets back, and make up a rumour involving a secret birthmark Bowser has somewhere on his body. It's implied that both its location and its shape are somewhat...interesting.
* GiantFlyer: The Pi'illodactyls, as well as [[spoiler:the Zeekeeper]].
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Mt. Pajamaja, Earthwake, Pi'illodium, and [[spoiler:Bowser Jr.]]
* GreenHillZone: Mushrise Park.
* GrinOfAudacity: [[spoiler:Luigi sports one in his sleep right before the final Giant Battle in a badass display of CharacterDevelopment. Even Starlow notices that he's exuding confidence.]]
* GroupPictureEnding: One's shown at the end of the credits montage, with the friendly [=NPCs=] in it. [[spoiler:The other is shown after the ending/results screen when you finish Hard Mode, and has all the important characters and bosses in it]].
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: The first battle with Bowser. At the end of the fight, he doesn't explode into sparkles like other bosses; instead, he and Antasma simply leap offscreen, ending the battle. Afterward, Bowser knocks the bros. out with his fire breath.
* HeavySleeper: While Luigi is asleep, Starlow can tickle his nose, pull on his moustache, and even knock his hat over his eyes. He doesn't appear to be disturbed from his sleep despite this. The fact that he also appears to be able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat shows how easy it is for him to fall asleep as well.
** Luigi apparently likes being touched somewhere on the side of his face as well, making a rather pleased sound. Go figure.
** Beef Cloud, too. In battle, all he does is sleep to heal himself every five seconds -- ''in real-time''.
* HijackedByGanon: [[spoiler: For the first time in the Mario and Luigi series, Bowser is the true villain of the story, being Genre Savvy enough to know that Antasma was trying to use him. Using this fact, he was able to make it so that it was actually ''him'' that was manipulating Antasma, not the other way around. This game is also marks the first time in the series that Bowser's ''consciously'' the final boss of the game.]]
* HisNameReallyIsBarkeep: The Bedsmith's name appears to actually ''be'' Bedsmith, just because of how good a bedsmith he is.
* HPToOne: Non-attack example: The Badge Combo Risk + Starter Badge will either do this or do a full heal.
* HumanSnowball: Mario and Luigi get turned into one these escaping the erupting Mt. Pajamaja.
* HumongousMecha: Robo Drilldigger and Earthwake, two of giant Luigi's foes.
* HuskyRusskie: The Massifs.
* HypocriticalHumor: At the end of the game, [[spoiler:the Zeekeeper's message about being less materialistic is a little ruined by how much he clearly loves coins.]]
* ImprobablePowerDiscrepancy:
** Considering their species, Goombas in this game are kind of stronger than usual, being mid/late game enemies instead of weak ones. In fact, all of the usual Bowser Minions don't show up until about halfway into the game.
** Hermite Crabs, which have two different species, are absolutely tiny... but surprisingly tough when they do attack.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Star Rocket and Zee Egg, the last two Bros Attacks. On the one hand, they're found quite out the way, with the former being hidden in the final dungeon and the latter requiring you to save all 52 Pi'illos first. On the other hand, they're by far the best weapons/attacks in the game, ludicrously easy to use and able to make every other attack you have obsolete immediately (especially with the Casual Bros rank up choice). [[spoiler:Bowser Jr. can steal these away from you though.]]
* InterfaceScrew: Apart from the fake Gameover, [[spoiler:a minor one occurs after Bowser in the Dream World fakes out, and Antasma flips the screen during one of his attacks]].
* InventoryManagementPuzzle: Hard Mode's item restrictions. Not as bad as many games (it's a fixed limit of 10 of each item rather than 10 items total), but it still means the likes of Taunt Balls, Refreshing Herbs and other such 'one type' items are easy to run out of. Also, the Battle Ring, which gives you a very stingy preset list of items to use against bosses, meaning that you'd better not mess up too often.
* JerkAss: The Dream Stone's Spirit. So you just want some information on where the real world Dream Stone is. Well, he'd be happy to... NOT TELL YOU! You still insist? SHADDUP! SHADDUP! GO TO SHADDUPVILLE! Oh, you've bumped into it with a Luigi stack? GET THE [[HumongousMecha BIG GUNS]] OUT! At least until you kick his backside upon which it will finally, ''finally'' divulge the secret with "big green".
* JiveTurkey: The Mad Skillathon's host is probably one of the more egregious examples of this in the Mario series.
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: The basic premise.
* KaizoTrap:
** If you are in a battle with some [[PlayingWithFire Fire Bros.]] with one brother down and the other on very low health, then you can still be KO'ed even if you defeat the Fire Bros. One attack launches a fireball in the air that falls down later. It ''will'' fall down no matter what and could very well knock you out if you're low on health and do not counter it.
** One of the bosses activates a self-destruct at low health, which could result in this as well if neither bro survives the explosion.
** [[spoiler:If you successfully dodge Bowser Jr's version of the Border Jump, he'll kick the Shy Guys away. Those Shy Guys are actually flying toward Mario and Luigi, so you need to dodge them, too.]]
* KillSat: [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]] has one and demonstrates it in the first minutes after first appearing.
* LargeHam: Oh, so very much with Big Massif and Lil' Massif, the tour guides for Mount Pajamaja, with their constant references to '''BEEFY MUSCLES!''' and being '''PRIME CUTS OF STEAK!''' They even mention "HUGE HAM", which is possibly [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] it.
* LittleMissSnarker: Starlow plays this role once again. She will let [=NPCs=] know if she thinks something they say is stupid or ridiculous and then, and then there is her hilarious reaction to being told that she is nude...
-->'''Starlow:''' "OPEN YOUR EYES! [[ComicallyMissingThePoint I have SHOES!"]]
-->'''Pi'illo:''' "Just shoes?"
* LoadBearingBoss: The final boss.
* LoneWolfBoss: Grobot, Torkscrew, Drilldigger, Big Massif, Mammoshka, Mount Pajamaja, Wiggler, Popple, Pi'llodium, [[spoiler:Zeekeeper]]... About half your opponents are just jerks or characters with no real connection to the BigBad.
* LostForever: The 1-Up Gloves are the only missable item in the game. They're a 50% drop from Mammoshka.
* TheLostWoods: Somnom Woods.
* MadLibsCatchphrase: Dreambert's "Be at one with __________!" as well as Bedsmith's "BEDSMITH! IS! ________!"
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Bowser was simply using Antasma for his own ends from the beginning.]]
* MagicMusic: The Dreambeats. No ordinary person can resist sleeping when they hear them. The only characters shown to be immune are Antasma, Starlow, and Prince Dreambert. Luigi, who is the characters' portal to the Dream World, is even more affected by the Dreambeats than the rest, as shown when [[spoiler:the portal out of the Dream World collapses, temporarily trapping the team inside Luigi's dream]]. Even Mario is affected, though he manages to resist it long enough to avoid falling asleep. Bowser, while not immune, simply covers his ears.
* MagikarpPower: The Expert gear starts out rather weak, but gets stronger as you progress through the game and complete Expert Challenges, eventually becoming [[InfinityPlusOneSword some of the strongest gear in the game]].
* MakeMyMonsterGrow: [[spoiler:Bowser uses several of his usual methods during his boss fight: [[VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor eating meat]], [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory having a near-death experience]], and [[VideoGame/YoshisIsland calling upon Kamek]]. And they ''stack''. What's the final result of this, you may ask? You know how standard Giant Bowser's usually around as tall as his castle in these games? Multiply that size by about ''five''. Yeah. Giant Luigi is barely up to the largest form's ''knee''; "Giant Giant Bowser" could probably body slam a ''city''.]]
* MeaningfulName: Aside from being a PunnyName, Mammoshka is quite literally, a MatryoshkaObject.
* MegaMicrobes: The DrMario viruses. They are absolutely huge compared to the size a virus should be.
* MesACrowd: While journeying through Luigi's dreams, Mario can be assisted by an army of Luigis called Luiginoids, either in the field when using a constellation Luiginary Work or in battle.
* MercyMode: The game will offer to make battles easier if you keep on getting knocked out. Also, [[spoiler:if you keep on failing the Star Driver in the final Giant Luigi battle]], the game will offer to make the dodging sequence visually easier.
* MetalSlime: The [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Gold Beanie]] is this proper in this game. Two things make it easier to defeat, though: perfectly countering its attacks will prevent it from running away, and letting it defeat Mario will allow fighting it in Easy Mode, which will forfeit all experience and most of the money, but will still grant its RareCandy drop.
* MilestoneCelebration: This game is released as part of the Nintendo-declared "[[TheYearOfLuigi Year of Luigi]]", celebrating the 30th anniversary of Luigi's debut in ''VideoGame/MarioBros''. In an unintentional example, the game is this for the VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi series, as this game was released in 2013, ten years after ''Superstar Saga'' was released.
* MiniGame: Several are part of the main story line, such as the drilldigger. And then there's Kylie Koopa's photo puzzles, which are optional, but net you some beans.
* MoneySpider: Best not to think about how defeating the likes of Mount Pajamaja gives you a human sized pair of gloves, a couple of thousand coins and some edible items. Or how come the items dropped by the monsters and bosses all come in a nice gift box with a ribbon and bow.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130808001316/ssbb/es/images/a/ac/Bowser_Dream_Team_Bros..png One concept art piece]] depicts a ferocious Bowser triumphantly stomping ''a pillow''. And not one of the Pi'illo folk, either, but a regular white pillow.
* MushroomSamba: Mario and Luigi [[spoiler:come across a spring of "magic water" on Mt. Pajamaja. Should you choose to drink from it, [[IntoxicationEnsues they instantly fall asleep]] and we're treated to a trippy description of their dream, which involves a literal field of mushrooms, culminating into a [[FissionMailed fake Game Over]].]]
* MusicalNod:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bnJuCUV9LM "Sunny Driftwood Shore"]] is a remix of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYjk9TGkMcU "Oho Oasis"]] from ''Superstar Saga''.
** Bowser's theme is the same as the one he had in ''Bowser's Inside Story'', but sounds more sinister and has ominous chanting.
* MythologyGag: After passing the first elevator in [[spoiler: Neo Bowser Castle]] there are four coloured tiles, which are [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem Yellow, Red, Blue and Green]] clockwise, the colours of the Super Nintendo controller (when viewed at a 90 degree angle). This is the only time these four colours are together, and the only time they're arranged as such.
* NeverSayDie: Averted with Britta. She appears to be dying after being spat up by Torkscrew and as her workers crowd around her, the screen goes black and depressing music plays, only for her to shout "I AIN'T DEAD!" Played straight later on with [[spoiler: the Zeekeeper]] talking about leading you into the light and Bowser wanting to make the Mario Bros 'disappear'.
* NoCureForEvil: [[AvertedTrope If only!]] Three out of five giant bosses and ''every'' normal boss from the Elite Trio onwards can heal, and for a significant amount of their health. [[spoiler:This includes [[FinalBoss Antasma and both Giant and Dreamy Bowser.]] ]] And good luck [[ThisIsGonnaSuck if they heal faster than you can damage them.]]
* NoManShouldHaveThisPower: When Antasma was about to be sealed in the Dream World in the past, he destroyed the Dark Stone as a final curse on the Pi'illo, petrifying them all. [[spoiler:Peach and Starlow later do this to the Dream Stone in an attempt to save Mario and Luigi from Bowser wishing them away, but then he inhales the fragments, and absorbs all the power. Dreambert tries to have it restored afterwards, but the Zeekeeper instead uses up all of its power to make millions of coins, saying it's for the best]].
* NoodleIncident: In an NPC's dialogue at one point.
-->'''Dozing Sands Worker:''' "I keep hearing loud noises coming from the sky! Is something up there? See, I don't look at the sky anymore. Not after. . . the incident."
* NothingIsScarier: Your first visit to Dream's Deep has no enemies besides [[spoiler: Bowser and Antasma]].
* OhCrap: A Paratroopa has one when [[spoiler:Bowser, in his dream, appears to have jumped to his doom. GenreSavvy veterans of ''Bowser's Inside Story'' will probably also be making this expression, [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever but for a different reason]].]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: Kylie Koopa appears not to have aged at all since the past portion of ''Partners in Time''.
* OminousFloatingCastle: [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]]. By the time you storm it, [[spoiler:it's ceased floating though]].
* OminousLatinChanting: The music heard in the dream world version of the final dungeon contains this. Bonus points for being able to speed up or slow down the chanting in one of the dream worlds.
* OneDimensionalThinking: Mario and Luigi do a lot of running away from foes in boss battles, usually towards the camera. They never think to just step sideways a bit.
* OneHitPointWonder: [[spoiler:The Mammoshka, once you break through its protective shells]].
* OneToMillionToOne: Antasma can split apart into a swarm of many bats (He can also do this when "bat" is his default state, making it more akin to MesACrowd in those cases), and then reform into his normal form. Notably, jumping on and destroying the bats during this attack will deduct from Antasma's HP.
* OneWingedAngel:
** [[spoiler: For the final boss battle, Bowser inhales the fragments of the shattered Dream Stone to become Dreamy Bowser, a giant, technicolor-glowing RealityWarper version of himself with the Dream Stone on his forehead and chest.]]
** Antasma takes on five different forms over the course of the game; a ball of vapor, a pillow, a bat (or bats), his human-sized true form, and the true use of this trope for his battle form.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Antasma is awfully similar to a ClassicalMovieVampire without actually being a vampire. This includes the wardrobe, the fangs, the VampireVords, and the bat association. Certain translations base his name on "Count" and/or "{{Dracula}}," and his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrAYVhPU-9g battle music]] even sounds like something that wouldn't be too out of place in a ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' game.
* OvershadowedByAwesome:
** Luiginary Stack, which is made completely pointless the minute you get Luiginary Hammer (and anything else afterwards).
** The Fire Flower Bros Attack which is inferior to everything else for single enemies and outclassed by a massive degree in every respect by the Zee Egg. Fire Flower is, however, excellent for dealing with the [[EverythingsWorseWithBees Beehoss]] enemies of Somnom Woods, which have a [[ForMassiveDamage weakness]] to [[KillItWithFire fire]].
* PalmtreePanic: Driftwood Shore.
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: The entrance to Wakeport can easily be this, especially on Hard Mode. Why? Because it has Hermite Crabs you can fight the minute you enter the Mushrise Park area, which give you much more experience than the stuff found in Mushrise Park or Dozing Sands itself. Very useful if you want to level grind past the point you're supposed to be at.
* PlotCoupon: The Dream Stone. It used to be one of a pair, but long ago, Antasma stole the Dark Stone, and broke it when the Pi'illos had him cornered, which resulted in them being [[TakenForGranite petrified]] and Antasma being trapped in the Dream World. Both stones are able to grant wishes, which is why Antasma wants them.
* PlotTunnel: The dreampoint segment of Dreamy Mount Pajamaja. The dream portal closes and traps you there until you beat the boss (who happens to be a living copy of the mountain itself).
* PortTown: Wakeport.
* PowerGlows: [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser]].
* PteroSoarer: The Pi'illodactyls.
* PunnyName: The entire ''Mario & Luigi'' series thrives on this, aside from the obvious:
** Mammoshka, which combines "mammoth" with [[MatryoshkaObject "matryoshka."]]
** The previous inhabitants of this island are called Pi'illo. They got turned into pillows. Also, the island's tourism, when not about sightseeing, is about being able to sleep well.
** The two pairs of larger than normal, Mega Pi'illos you rescue are named Phil and Lowe (pillow) and Cush and Shawn (cushion).
* RealityWarper: [[spoiler:After inhaling the Dream Stone, Bowser]] can basically do whatever the hell he wants. Portals? Child's play. Creating dark vortexes? Comes standard. ''Duplicating'' himself for a pincer attack? A nonissue. ''Generating airships and minion swarms from nothing'' to assail you? Of course! Poofing up piles of [[spoiler:meat]] to ''heal'' himself? Would you have it any other way?
* RecurringBoss:
** Antasma and Bowser.
** Kamek is fought three different times in [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]].
* RedHerring:
** During your first trek through Pi'illo Blimport, Broque Monsieur is suddenly seen with a dark purple aura and an angry scowl as he sics several Grombas at the Mushroom Kingdomites while threatening the new guests. Has he suddenly been bewitched or possessed by Antasma to be used as a puppet to attack our heroes? Nope, turns out this was all just another part of the welcoming festivities, and he apparently got that purple aura for no real reason. Or at least, he thinks so.
** [[spoiler:Antasma [[CompositeCharacter actually looks like a cross between]] previous ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' antagonists, all of whom hijacked the BigBad role from Bowser, so you'd expect him to be the biggest threat in the game, right? Nope, he's upstaged by the Bros.' long-time ArchEnemy and no-longer ButtMonkey, Bowser.]]
* ResetButton: The Miracle/Silver Badge combo is a badge effect that acts as an any time player-activated version of this, reverting your status to how it was the turn before it was used.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Bowser is the true BigBad of the game, not Antasma. Bowser was manipulating Antasma to his benefit instead of the other way around.]]
* RingOutBoss: Earthwake and [[spoiler:Giant Bowser. Especially in the gyro control section for the latter]].
* RoboSpeak: Everything said by Pi'illodium and Earthwake, two of the robot foes in the game.
* SameContentDifferentRating: Not notably different content-wise from the past games, but for reasons no one will ever be quite sure of, the ESRB saw it perfectly fit to raise the rating a notch. The extra detail resulting from the VideoGame3DLeap, or the surprising increase in sex related jokes (one NPC commenting that Starlow is nude). Oddly, PEGI gave it a 3+, the same as the other games.
* SaveScumming: What you might end up doing for all of the "Excellent Ten" and "Dodge Ten" Expert Challenges, as later enemies tend to have very ridiculous attack patterns. In some cases it's actually recommended to do this, as getting enemies to respawn (especially in the Dream World) tends to be a bit of a chore in the ''Mario & Luigi'' series, and getting those Expert Challenges out of the way as fast as possible ensures that your fun isn't cut short by frustration.
* SaveThePrincess: This time, she's lost in Luigi's dreams. [[spoiler:For a while, anyway. At some point Kamek [[DisguisedInDrag takes her place]] and the real Peach is taken to Neo Bowser Castle]].
* SeniorSleepCycle: Dr. Snoozemore.
* SequelDifficultySpike: The enemies hit very hard in this game, and especially the bosses are very capable of decimating you if you're not careful. And if that's not bad enough, [[NintendoHard they added a Hard Mode on top of that!]] Enemies are even ''tougher'', and the already-narrow window of timing for button presses practically is cut in half. On the other hand, the game also includes AntiFrustrationFeatures such as Easy Mode, and there are several combinations of badges and equipment that are plainly overpowered. The game is overall harder than its three predecessors, but includes options to soften the difficulty.
* SequentialBoss: The multiple bosses variant is done with Wiggly the Wiggler and Popple. Though unlike most such bosses, your strongest attacks and healing items should be used during your fight with Wiggler.
* ShiftingSandLand: Dozing Sands.
* ShockinglyExpensiveBill: The [[spoiler:Zeekeeper]] will only help you out once a price has been agreed. First, Dreambert declares that Mario will hand over every last coin to the cause. (Surprisingly, it's ''Mario'' who objects to this the most; Dreamy Luigi doesn't seem particularly bothered.) Then, when the [[spoiler:Zeekeeper]] tots all the expenses up, the final bill comes to ''80 million coins.'' No wonder Mario's horrified by it.
* ShoutOut: Thunder Sass tells the Mario Bros that [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/do-you-even-lift "he can tell that they lift"]].
* SmarterThanYouLook: [[spoiler:Bowser.]]
* {{Smurfing}}: The Hooskis milk this hoo for all its worth. Oddly, the Massifs, as well as Big Massif's Hooraw disciples seem to be exempt from this.
* SneezeOfDoom: If Starlow gets Luigi to sneeze while dreaming, this happens within the dream. Also, while in the real world, Luigi has an ill-timed sneeze that causes the boss of Mount Pajamaja to wake up.
* SnotBubble: Luigi has one of these in the Japanese boxart.
* SomeDexterityRequired: The various Bros. moves and Luiginary moves not only utilise the usual A and B buttons but also tilting left and right, back and forth and the option to have the 3D effect on or off, and if you're not careful, you can easily mess up your timing. This also applies to dodging enemy attacks so you're not just getting attacked from the right or above, but also left, below, back, from the foreground and even the ''background'' and they can be pretty difficult to avoid. Now try getting [[DeadlyDodging ten dodges]] and [[AttackAttackAttack ten Excellent attacks]] in a row in the Expert Challenges and you've definitely got yourself a challenge. Also, the Giant Battles require the use of the stylus and occasionally tilting as well. ''Phew.''
* SophisticatedAsHell: [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper]] appears to be a terse and easily angered character with some WorthyOpponent tendencies. Then Dreambert shows up, and he drops the act.
* SoundTest: Unlocked for beating the main game once.
* SpinAttack: Bowser has one, and Giant Luigi performs one [[spoiler:''against'' Bowser]].
* SpritePolygonMix: The environments are completely 3D, and some of the characters use 3D models. Most characters seem to still be represented by sprites done to look like 3D models, though, in the same general style.
* TheStarscream: Private Goomp, Corporal Paraplonk and Sergeant Guy, when hearing about the possibility of a promotion for beating the Mario Bros., imagine being promoted over ''Bowser'' and what's more about bossing him around. Of course, that obviously would never happen even if they ''did'' win.
* StealthPun: While many aspects of Pi'illo Castle have changed since the disappearance of the population, Dreambert vouches that the Battle Ring was their traditional place for competition. Or in other words, [[spoiler:Pi'illo fights]].
* StrongerThanTheyLook: Luigi in particular despite a lot of characters thinking that's he definitely less than buff. Dreamy Luigi is definitely strong if he's able to stop himself from being crushed by [[spoiler:''Giant'' Giant Bowser, Giant Bowser made even more massive thanks to Kamek. Dreamy Luigi is also able to block an absolutely humongous fireball from Giant Giant Bowser as well. That's some strength.]]
** Oh, and Goombas. Goombas are first encountered around the midgame. What do you expect of Bowser's lowest henchmen that are usually easily squished in many other Mario games (and are usually the first enemies fought in other Mario {{RPG}}s)? These Goombas are pretty powerful for when you fight them and they even have a slightly more powerful version later on. Oh, don't forget the Goombas that fight alongside the Elite Trio ... they can swarm up on you and do an almost UnavoidableAttack on you.
* SuddenlyVoiced: ZigZagged with Luigi. While he's just as illegible as Mario during most of the game (as in the past games in the series), when you visit Dream's Deep for the first time, you briefly read what's going on in his mind. It the culminates to the point where Luigi directly addresses Mario telling him about what would happen next and asking him if he still wants to carry on, before joining him again as Dreamy Luigi. He becomes illegible again then after, except before every Giant Battle, where you can here what goes on in his mind while he grows.
* TakenForGranite: In the backstory, when the Dark Stone was shattered, the fragments rained down all over the island, turning all the Pi'illo people into stone pillows. The only way to turn them back is to enter their dream world and break all the fragments there.
** The Massif Bros. can temporarily turn into stone as a sort of defensive mechanism, though it's mainly used as a shock reaction.
* TakeYourTime: [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle won't collapse until you leave the tower before the final boss. Despite the falling bombs.]]
* TakingYouWithMe: The [[spoiler:Pi'illodium]] will self-destruct once it runs extremely low on HP. If you don't destroy it in time, it will self-destruct (taunting you before it does) and cause massive damage. If both of the Mario Bros get KO'd, it's a game over (or loss in the Battle Ring). Interestingly, the countdown is in real time, rather than being turn-based. As such, the execution time of attacks becomes critical.
* TalkingToThemself: In Dreamy Wakeport, [[spoiler:the tour guide is actually Big Massif. So when Big Massif called him on his phone, it was actually him talking to himself]].
* TechnicolorFire: One of [[spoiler:Dreamy Bowser's]] attacks is to breathe rainbow-colored flames.
* TemptingFate: During the Elite Trio battle, Private Goomp actually boasts after you KO one the first time "You like that, buddy?! It's called teamwork! Unless you KO all 3 of us at once, we can't lose!" Thanks for making it ridiculously obvious you idiot!
* TestosteronePoisoning: The Massif Bros. are {{Large Ham}}s and practically never stop talking about bulking up or overcoming challenges.
* ThatsNoMoon: The giant bosses for the most part. Those drills and machines in the background of Dreamy Dozing Sands? Form the main structure of the boss Drilldigger. That version of Mount Pajamaja in the Dream World? Is alive, and tries to kill you. That weird building holding the Nightmare Chunk in Dreamy Wakeport? That's Earthwake's head, which flies into the air and summons a HumongousMecha made of buildings before it attacks. You only ever realise any of this right before the giant battles with said foes begin.
* ThemeNaming: To keep this section short, let's just say that many of the places visited and characters met over the course of the game have something related to sleeping in their names. To the point that the few bosses that don't directly have a name based around sleep/dreaming (Pi'illodium and a few others) get such names in the French/German/Spanish/Italian translations.
* TheresNoKillLikeOverkill: Miracle Badge and Gold Badge combo + max level + high stats + Zee Egg and Star Rocket over and over + Duplex Crown = 99,999 damage on weak enemies. Enough to destroy the first monsters you see twelve thousand times over!
* ThirdPersonPerson: The Bedsmith every now and then. [[NoIndoorVoice "BEDSMITH! IS! THRILLSMITH!"]]
* ThisIsADrill: The giant drill machine in the desert (And its HumongousMecha counterpart in the Dream World). Also Torkscrew, the area boss, has a gigantic horn drill on its head.
* ThrowTheDogABone: Luigi seems to be treated with more respect in this game from nearly every character remembering his name, except Bowser of course [[spoiler:(and even he remembers it at the very end after having his tail handed to him by Luigi in the final giant battle and the definitely final battle.)]] He's generally the one to come up with ideas on how to solve things such as the solution to opening the Pi'illos door panels and significantly, he gets equal credit alongside Mario for helping save Pi'illo Island and, by extent, the world. Even Starlow is (a little) less teasing to him this time round.
* TieredByName: Like its counterpart in [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Bowser's Inside Story]] All of the bosses in the Battle Ring [[spoiler:Besides Bowser Jr.]] are rehashes of older bosses, who also have the same names as the original bosses but with "X" at the end of their names. In addition, all UndergroundMonkies in this game have the same name as the originals but with "R" at the end of their names.
* TimeLimitBoss:
** Every boss in the Battle Ring, with the hard mode fights having shorter time limits and the hard mode giant boss fights having 'do perfect or die' time limits.
** Pi'illodium looks like one when it activates the self destruct timer in its own battle (oddly, this is a 30 second count down in real time, despite the turn based battle format). However, its quite possible to survive the self-destruct and win anyway, especially with a Boo Biscuit which turns the Bros into [[IntangibleMan Intangible Men]]. It's also entirely possible for the player to defeat Pi'illodium before it even activates the self-destruct.
* TimeStandsStill: What happens when the Gold and Miracle badges are used in combination with one another.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** [[spoiler:Bowser apparently finally, finally learned some cunning before the game, and was using Antasma all along. Good to see you back, Koopa King.]]
** Just as well? Remember Private Goomp, Corporal Paraplonk and Sergeant Guy? The three ragtag rookie minions from Bowser's Inside Story, who Bowser allowed back under the stipulation that they pull their weight? Guess what they go by these days? ''The Elite Trio''. You even have a boss battle against them, wherein Goomp commands the entire Goomba army, Paraplonk airlifts Giant Bob-Ombs and becomes a whirling shell of death, and Guy has a ''Banzai Bill Cannon'' and a magic scepter--the kind the ''Magikoopas'' use. Nice job, guys.
** Kamek has become more dangerous than ever, having gained the ability to summon hordes of Dry Bones as well as incredibly specialized clones of himself. In fact, he and the Elite Trio took such a level in badass that Bowser still praises them at the end despite losing to the Mario Bros.
** It's not just the villains, either. Mario and Luigi's abilities, both in an out of battle, are ''much'' more dynamic, resulting in situations like Mario swinging around a huge ball of [[MesACrowd Luiginoids]] to smash through rock, or using them to create a tornado, or flinging themselves through the air at high speeds to smash through rocks. [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu And they beat a]] [[spoiler: RealityWarper Bowser]] at the end of the game ''without powering up''.
** Giant Luigi is ''made'' of this trope, particularly the battle with [[spoiler:Giant Bowser]].
** Bowser's Koopa Troop have finally gotten their act together, after the last three games. Every single Koopa Troop enemy is a nonbrainwashed mid-to-endgame enemy, when in other Mario [=RPGs=] (Except the first ''VideoGame/{{Paper Mario|64}}'' or ''[[VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar Sticker Star]]'') including the other three games in the M&L series, they are some of the earliest enemies encountered, and in some games, the most powerful of them are brainwashed into service of someone else.
** The Beehoss enemy from the previous game returns with brand-new SpikesOfVillainy and now releases a swarm of bees instead of a single one. If the Bros. jump on any of the bees while dodging, the rest will counter with an unavoidable attack.
** [[spoiler:Bowser Jr, usually a Recurring Boss in games where he appears, is the Bonus Boss here.]]
* TookALevelInJerkass: Popple is much crueler in this game than in ''Superstar Saga'', especially when he [[spoiler:turns on the bros after they beat the Wiggler.]]
** To an extent, Starlow is much more critical and snarky towards Luigi than she was in the previous game, though she also softens up more.
* TrainingBoss: Antasma, believe it or not. Smoldergeists also serve this role.
* TransformingMecha: Both Earthwake and Robo Drilldigger. The former is a mecha made of buildings that can transform into a flying swarm of them and a gigantic hammer, the latter a robot made of drill pieces that can become a tank or a flying vehicle in order to use different attacks.
* UndergroundMonkey: Tougher versions of early enemies appear with "R" added to their names, with the expected PaletteSwap. The more iconic foes like Goombas and Spinies don't even get ''that'', retaining the exact same appearance but with increased stats.
* UnexpectedCharacter: [[spoiler:Bowser Jr.]] is an interesting case. He usually wouldn't be unexpected, but he doesn't show up at all until [[spoiler:he's revealed to be the Bonus Boss, showing up with no foreshadowing whatsoever.]]
* UniqueEnemy: There is only one Monolift R in the entire game, strangely. It's in the eastern part of Mt. Pajamaja, in the area with the warp pipe.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:Antasma]] ultimately turns out to be [[spoiler:one of Bowser]].
* UpToEleven: Hoooooly shnikies, does this game throw scale out the window towards the end. [[spoiler:Remember Giant Bowser? Remember how he can grow giant by himself, now? Remember how Kamek used to be in charge of that? Guess what? '''HE STILL CAN.''' In the final phase of the final Giant Battle, this results in an actually ''terrifying'' final obstacle: a ''GIANT'' GIANT BOWSER.]]
* VacuumMouth: Bowser kept this ability from the previous game. [[spoiler:He uses it to merge with the Dream Stone for the final boss battle.]]
* VampireVords: Antasma sports this type of accent.
* VariousVideoGameViews: ThreeQuartersView for the overworld, SideView for the dream worlds.
* VehicularTurnabout: If you use a jump attack on [[spoiler:Bowser Jr's Koopa Clown Car]] while he's not in it, the bros hijack it, and can then [[spoiler:chase ''him'', throwing random junk at him to do damage]].
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:Neo Bowser Castle]].
* VillainousCrossdresser: Anybody who [[CallBack remembers]] [[spoiler:''New Super Mario Bros. Wii'']] sees this coming.
* VillainTeamUp: Antasma escaping sets off the plot, but him teaming up with Bowser is what drives it forward, Antasma doing his best to become TheManBehindTheMan [[spoiler: and failing]].
* WakeUpCallBoss:
** Hope you're used to dodging in the Dream World by now, and are decent at Luiginary Ball, as Bowser will be a nightmare if you're not, and it's still not easy if you do either, thanks to its multi-hit attacks and ability to attack multiple times per round, while Mario only gets one turn (and Luigi's boost do not compensate for Mario's paper defense and the boss's offensive and defensive stats). Have some Super Shrooms handy for this battle.
** Later in the Dream World, there's Big Massif and his disciples. Make sure you're decently-levelled and well-acquainted with all of your current skills, or you won't be getting past them easily.
** For Giant Luigi battles, Mount Pajamaja. The previous giant boss Drilldigger was pretty easy, and you even had a point in the fight where Dreambert tells Luigi to heal back to full health, then lets him use Rhythm Mushroom non-stop until he does. The battle with Mount Pajamaja? Has a strategy needed to weaken the boss for attack, a much wider range of moves, some attacks that knock Mario away, preventing the use of Bros attacks, and some nice strategy needed to stop him healing. Think of it as a nice warning about the next few such bosses, who will certainly not go kind on anyone...
* WalkingSpoiler:
** [[spoiler:The Zeekeeper and Bowser Jr.]]
** [[spoiler: For the final boss battle, Bowser inhales the fragments of the shattered Dream Stone to become Dreamy Bowser, a giant, technicolor-glowing RealityWarper version of himself with the Dream Stone on his forehead and chest.]]
* WarmUpBoss: Smoldergeist for normal battling, which also doubles as a WolfPackBoss. Antasma's Dreamy Mario in the Dream World.
* [[WhamLine Wham Line]]: [[spoiler:In Neo Bowser Castle, after Antasma declares that he has Bowser on his side to back him up, Bowser throws him to the ground and reveals that he was just using Antasma all along.]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Bowser:''' Hmph! I don't work well with others!\\
'''Antasma:''' SCREEEK! Vut do you mean by this?!\\
'''Bowser:''' I mean you're an idiot! You thought you were using me? ME?! Buddy, I was playing you like a bat fiddle!]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Just where did Broggy go after the very beginning of the game?
** [[spoiler:What did the destruction of the Dream Stone at the end do to the Dream Stone's Spirit? And where is the Dark Stone Spirit, if it has one?]]
* WhoDares: Bowser exclaims "How DARE you?!" upon [[spoiler:being hit by a Hammer Chop during the Giant battle with Luigi.]]
* WolfpackBoss: The Smoldergeists, as well as The Elite Trio that combine this with FlunkyBoss, as well as Kamek's third battle.
* TheWorfEffect: Antasma [[spoiler:finds himself on the receiving end of one]] near the end of the game. From '''[[spoiler: Bowser]]'''.
* WorldTree: In Dreamy Somnom Woods.
* YouGetKnockedDownYouGetBackUpAgain: Averted, if Mario or Luigi get knocked down by an enemy attack or first strike, they'll be perfectly vulnerable to enemy attacks.
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: Towards the end of the Wakeport ChainOfDeals, a Toad will tell you to look through a pale patch of grass near the pair of fountains. Normally, you're supposed to dig through this after finishing the trading portion. However, if you dig through it earlier than that, you will find nothing.
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