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''Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door'' is the 2004 GameCube sequel to the original ''[[VideoGame/PaperMario64 Paper Mario]]'' and the second game in the ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' series. It starts like a lot of Mario games, with a letter from Princess Peach. She wants Mario to meet her at a distant town called [[NotSoSafeHarbor Rogueport]], to help her search for a legendary treasure indicated by [[TreasureMap the map]] she sent along with the letter. By the time Mario actually pulls into port, Peach is gone, and for once it's not Bowser who kidnapped her (and he's very, very peeved about that).

The mysterious Secret Society of X-Nauts and their leader, Sir Grodus, are the ones responsible this time. They're after the same treasure as Mario, and are hanging onto Peach for an unknown purpose related to this treasure hunt. Mario learns from the Goomba Professor Frankly and his young assistant Goombella that said treasure is locked behind the eponymous Thousand-Year Door beneath town, and that opening the massive door involves collecting the Crystal Stars scattered across the surrounding regions. As the game goes on, the nature of the treasure and why the X-Nauts are holding Peach comes to light, and let's just say said treasure is not a pile of gold coins.

The game retains the same paper aesthetic, TurnBasedCombat, {{Action Command}}s, and BetterThanABareBulb humor of the previous game, with some extra tweaks introduced. Action Commands are also needed for the LimitBreak moves that are attained with each Crystal Star. The previous game's damage-reducing button presses during enemy attacks are supplemented by a BlockingStopsAllDamage mechanic with a narrower window of accuracy. Each battle is fought in front of an audience that must be pleased by a good performance in order to increase the amount of Star Power recovered per turn. Your partners now have a health meter, and can be incapacitated if they run out (though the battle will still go on as long as Mario is alive). World exploration is aided by Mario gaining several paper-themed transformations like a paper airplane and a paper boat.

Lastly, this is the game that introduced the CerebusSyndrome that the ''Paper Mario'' sub-series became famous for. Not only is the EvilPlan of the X-Nauts surprisingly dark for a ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' game, but the individual Chapters often have their own self-contained sinister elements. While later ''Mario'' games such as ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'' and ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'' would also explore the Mario-verse from a more menacing angle, ''The Thousand-Year Door'' was the very first to delve into darker material than what is typical for the franchise.

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!!Tropes include:

* AbsentMindedProfessor: Professor Frankly.
* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: '''Level 99.''' Good luck trying to get Mario up to that number because every time you level up, the star point value of every enemy goes down by one, and you will eventually reach a point where every battle only gives you one star point.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Rogueport Sewers, but in truth it used to be the prospering town narrated in the opening of the game.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Mario is referred to by various [=NPCs=] as Murphy, Marty-o, Gonzales, and [[color:green:Luigi]], among other names.
* ActionCommands: Every attack has one or more of these. Pulling off certain hidden commands will even refill your star power meter.
* AdaptationDecay: The {{in-universe}} ''Super Luigi'' books, which novelize Luigi's (mis)adventures in the Waffle Kingdom. Among other things, they claim he played "a purifying earth spirit" in the Jazzafrazz Town play, when he was actually an inanimate patch of grass on the side of the road (but the town was full of Dayzees who idolized nature, and thus he was hailed by them). In fact, everything portrayed in his books [[spoiler: except for the ending]] are absolute lies, starting with the very first paragraph in the series. Just listen to his partners. They'll tell the truth.
* AirplaneArms: Ms. Mowz.
* AirVentPassageway: Used twice in the Glitz Pit and once in the X-Naut Fortress.
* AlmostDeadGuy: [[spoiler:TEC.]]
* AlwaysNight: Played with in [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Twilight Town]].
* AndIMustScream: You know those black chest spirits that [[CursedWithAwesome curse you?]] [[spoiler:Those are the four heroes that sealed away the Shadow Queen, but she laid a curse on them beforehand to trap them.]]
* AndTheAdventureContinues: Both in Gameplay and Story: Gameplay wise, you do stuff in Rogueport after the final battle. Story wise, it ends with Peach coming to Mario's house and saying she's found a new treasure map in the castle and is waiting for Mario on the boat. The look on Mario's face and the music just fit at that moment of the utter surprise/despair of [[HereWeGoAgain having to go on another adventure so soon.]]
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: There are two badges you can collect to change Mario's outfit. One is the L Emblem, found in the Poshley Sanctum, which makes Mario's outfit have Luigi's color scheme. The other can be bought from Charlieton, the W Emblem, which gives Mario Wario's color scheme. [[spoiler:Wear them at the same time, and you get Waluigi's color scheme.]]
* AntiGrinding: Eventually, you'll only get 1 star point from battles, so it's best to move on with the plot rather than stick around and fight.
* AntWar: The Punis aren't exactly insects, but their war with the "rival tribe" of mosquito like Jabbies plays out as this trope.
* [[spoiler:ApocalypseMaiden: Princess Peach]].
* ArtifactMook: [[TheGoomba Goombas]] are encountered during chapter 6 in Riverside Station, despite the fact that they are far too weak to pose a threat by that point.
* AutobotsRockOut: The fight music for Chapter 3's miniboss, Rawk Hawk, is made of this. Listen to it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1CDK_JnMa4 here]]. (The other battles in the Glitz Pit have the standard battle music.)
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: Prince Mush, Jolene's younger brother.]]
* {{Backtracking}}: Pretty {{egregious}} considering every chapter except the last one involve doubling back at some point. Chapter 4 is the worst in this regard because you have to travel from one end of the map to the other and back ''3 times''.
* BadassGrandpa: Bobbery.
* BadassMustache:
** Mario, Luigi, and Bobbery.
** General White fits this too. Heck, there are quite a few of these in the game.
* BalefulPolymorph : The residents of Twilight Town (As well as the Travelling Sisters Three and Dupree, who were unlucky enough to get there at the wrong time) transform into pigs whenever the Creepy Steeple's bell rings, because of [[spoiler:Doopliss]]' curse. [[NoOntologicalInertia They all turn back to normal when Mario kicks his ass.]]
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: [[spoiler:Vivian's motivation for joining Mario.]]
* BeefGate: Gus, though he can be bribed as opposed to beaten up. You, with good timing, can have him be the very first enemy you beat in the game with perfect countering, meaning you won't take damage. It should be noted bribing only works until you come back, beating him up puts him out of the way for the rest of the game.
* BerserkButton: Implying (intentionally or unintentionally) that Rawk Hawk is weak is a bad move, as he'll either go to great lengths, even cheat, to prevent the accuser from commenting on it as a means of exacting revenge on the accuser, or directly attack the accuser (although the latter did not end so well for him as the person who accused him, Bowser, was more than entitled and justified for saying that).
* BigBad: Sir Grodus, [[spoiler:until it's revealed that he was Beldam's pawn he whole time.]]
* [[spoiler:BiggerBad: The Shadow Queen.]]
* BigBoosHaunt: Creepy Steeple qualifies.
* BigBulkyBomb: The Bulky Bob-ombs and their Pit of 100 Trials [[UndergroundMonkey equivalent]] Bob-ulks. Notably their explosions are among the few things that cannot be super guarded.
* BigEater: Heff. T; he steals Chef Simmi's soup on the Excess Express and ends up not being able to leave because he can't fit through the door. He then lives on room service.
* BigOlEyebrows: Mayors Kroop and Dour.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: An isolated instance: Sky-Blue Spinies that have curled up into balls are referred to by the game as "Sky-Blue Pipes". ''Paipo'' is the Japanese name for Spiny Eggs, which may be where the confusion came from.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: You can Super Guard against pretty much anything that causes damage in battle, regardless of whether that means physical attacks, projectiles, lightning strikes, falling walls, fire or explosions. All with no harm done to Mario.
* BonusBoss: [[spoiler:Bonetail]] and Atomic Boo.
* BonusDungeon: The Pit of 100 Trials, though it's a good idea to go to at least floor 50 for any playthrough, as a bigger item bag is always useful.
* BookEnds: It ends how it started, with Peach wanting to treasure hunt again.
* BossBonanza: [[spoiler:The Palace of Shadow contains boss fights against Gloomtail, the Shadow Sirens (and Doopliss), Grodus, Bowser and Kammy together, and The Shadow Queen. Arguably also the two battles with the Dark Bones, too, as they have HP on par with early-game bosses and are among the enemies whose Tattle entries can show up in Professor Frankly's wastebasket.]]
* BossRemix: Lord Crump, Sir Grodus, and Bowser all get this treatment.
* {{Bowdlerization}}:
** Peeka, the Boo who guards the entrance to the Pianta Syndicate headquarters, had bunny ears in the original Japanese version; essentially, she was a Boo PlayboyBunny.
** In the Japanese version, the home of the bandit that steals your coins in the prologue had a ChalkOutline of a Toad surrounded by ''dried blood'' on the floor.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Happens quite a few times.
** "You out there in front of the TV!" If Goombella is your partner when Professor Frankly says this, she'll lampshade it with "Why do we always have to break through the fourth wall?"
** When asked to describe Stewart in Glitzville, Goombella will mention that Cheep-Cheeps have been around since the first Mario game, and then say "I just broke through the fourth wall there, didn't I?". If you get her to describe the gatekeeper in Twilight Town, she'll mention that the game would be too easy without him, before flustering and saying 'What? I didn't say anything!'
** If you defeat Gus in Rogueport, he will exclaim, "You video-game heroes ALWAYS do this!"
** After Bowser goes through Rawk Hawk's secret training facility, Rawk Hawk will point at the camera and presumably ask the player if they forgot about him.
** An NPC in Petalburg mentions wanting a game called "Paper Luigi". Later, he says that he's playing a new game... called ''Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door''. Oh, and he also finishes it before you do. He also mentions [[FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem]], another game by Intelligent Systems. And at the end of the game? [[spoiler:He's playing ''SuperPaperMario''!]]
** When you are in the Keelhaul Key chapter, at one point, the pirate "Four-Eyes" ([[PaperThinDisguise a.k.a. Lord Crump]]) looks at the TV and tells the audience not to tell Mario who he obviously is. Weirdly, if your partner is Goombella at this point she will have just broken the fourth wall in Chapter Four and then acts confused when someone else breaks the fourth wall in Chapter Five.
** When [[spoiler:Koops is reunited with his father after the first dungeon]], he says "Everyone thought your game was over!" This may have been an example at the time, but [[{{Retcon}} it no longer remains so.]] With the release of ''SuperPaperMario'', the common term for death in-universe has become GameOver.
* BreatherEpisode: Chapter 3 is the only chapter to have absolutely no connection with the main plot whatsoever.
* ButThouMust:
** After catching the Yoshi egg in Glitzville, Mario is given an option to, instead of free him, say "Let there be hot dogs!" Of course, picking this option will simply result in Mario's partner yelling at him and overriding his decision.
** Immediately afterward, Mario is given [[BlatantLies an option]] to bring the egg with him or not. If he says no, his partner immediately changes his mind.
** The player must open the chest in Creepy Steeple to proceed any further.
* CasanovaWannabe: Dupree.
* CerebusSyndrome: Last game, Mario and company were just putting the stomp on Bowser, standard Mario heroics. For this go-round, Mario gets to [[spoiler:prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.]]
* CharacterDevelopment
* CheckPointStarvation: The [[BonusDungeon Pit Of]] [[MarathonLevel 100 Trials]] is the epitome of this. The dungeon takes hours to complete, and you can't save your progress at all.
* ChekhovsGunman: When you first visited the Rogueport Sewers, you notice a small creature who runs away in a hole whenever you approach him. He becomes prominent in Chapter 2 when [[spoiler:he's revealed to be Punio, a Puni who was trying to seek help as the X-Nauts captured his home. He follows you around for that chapter]].
* ChickMagnet: Every female party member kisses Mario when they join ... must be the [[BadassMustache 'stache]]. Even [[{{Jerkass}} BELDAM]] thinks he's handsome. What can we say? Chicks dig the [[BadassMustache 'stache.]]
* ClarkKenting:
** Ms. Mowz, who is also the Badge Shop Owner.
** Also the [[spoiler:mysterious lady in the Glitzville juice stand, who is very heavily hinted to be Jolene. Near the end of the game this is confirmed but at that point the woman is actually Prince Mush in disguise.]]
* [[ClassyCatBurglar Classy Mouse Burglar]]: Ms. Mowz.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** ''All'' of the Koopas, with the possible exceptions of Koops and Koopie Koo. Mario also runs into a few Shiver City penguins, all of whom are just as spacy and excitable as they were in the last game, you betcha!
** [[TheDragon Lord Crump]] is another one.
* CluelessDetective: Pennington, though it's revealed at the end of the chapter that he's not a real detective anyway.
* CognizantLimbs: Smorg and Cortez.
* CollectionSidequest: The Star Pieces.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: The Shadow Sirens' hats are indicative of their elemental powers. Vivian's is red (fire), Beldam's is blue (ice), and Marilyn's is yellow (lightning).
* ColourCodedStones: The crystal stars which must be collected throughout this game are coloured as such. The diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire and garnet stars are white, green, red, blue and reddish-orange, respectively. Another star is palette swapped for gold and referred to as the "gold star", despite it being obvious that the star is a crystal not a metal. Perhaps a slight inversion as the last star is an iridescent white, yet it is the "crystal star" not diamond.
* CombinedEnergyAttack: [[spoiler:Used against the final boss.]]
* ContinuityNod: At the beginning of the game, Parakarry from the first ''PaperMario'' game delivers a letter to the Mario Bros. In the [[PlayableEpilogue post-game]], you can meet another of your party members from ''VideoGame/PaperMario64''. There would've been more than just the two, but they were DummiedOut. Jr. Troopa can also be seen in the background of a picture attached to e-mail sent to Mario by Zip Toad. Also, in Hooktail's castle, the note written by a dead Koopa is addressed to his son Kolorado, an NPC in the first game.
* CowardlyLion: Koops.
* CreditsMontage
* CripplingOverspecialization: Somewhat literally played with the Hammerman and Jumpman badges- each grants 1 extra damage for either Hammer or Jump attacks in exchange for being incapable of using the other.
* CrosshairAware: Magnus Von Grapple 2.0 sucks up audience members and uses a crosshair to aim them at Mario. It's just for show, though.
* CursedWithAwesome: The black chests curse you... with the paper abilities you'll need to explore the next area/dungeon. One of the few instances where this is played for laughs. It's also justified by the fact that the [[spoiler:"demons" are former heroes who are exploiting a loophole.]]
* CuteBruiser: The nameable, color-customizable Yoshi partner found in Glitzville.
* CuteWitch: Vivian.
* DamselInDistress:
** Peach, but like in the first game, she does a little more than just sit around and wait to be rescued. at the end of the chapters, you get to play as Peach sneaking around the X-Naut Fortress, looking for information to help Mario.
** Luigi gets his own in the form of Princess Eclair.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The Thousand Year Door is ''definitely'' darker and edgier than its predecessor. Let's start with the opening shot of the prologue looking right at a ''gallows'' in the middle of town. The aptly named Rogueport is a textbook example of a [[WretchedHive Wretched Hive]], predominantly inhabited by cutthroats and miscreants. Many of the areas in the game - notably Twilight Town and its surrounding areas, Riverside Station, the Pit of 100 Trials, and the final dungeon itself - have a creepy atmosphere by any standard, let alone those of the famously family-friendly Mario franchise. There is a dark undertone that permeates throughout the entire game, and as the plot begins to unfold, players come to the realization that [[spoiler:the ultimate motive of the X-Nauts is far more sinister than anyone could have initially imagined, with potentially world ending repercussions.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: There's Twilight Town, and even [[spoiler:your own party member, Vivian. Also, the black chests and the "demons" within.]]
* DeadManWriting:
** Mario gets to deliver one of these letters in a quest. [[spoiler:It's from Bobbery's wife, Scarlett, which perks him up to help Mario and co. travel to Keelhaul Key.]]
** Koops finds and reads one of these found amongst his father's bones. [[spoiler:(well, ''[[VideoGame/PaperMario64 Kolorado's]]'' father's bones, really).]]
* DealWithTheDevil:
** Mario has to sign a contract that Grubba gives Mario to participate in the ring while advising him not to read all of it, and in fact, sign without reading it. Some of the lines in the contract include Mario not being able to leave the Glitz Pit until Grubba releases him. Oddly enough, Mario can leave Glitzville via blimp after signing the contract without any repercussions.
** You can also make one with the final boss for a NonStandardGameOver.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: The Yoshi partner specializes in doing lots of damage in 1-point increments, though he can't hurt enemies with Defense. Any sort of attack boost will cause the little guy to do ridiculous amounts of damage, though.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The Boggly Woods.
* DemBones: The various Dry Bones species, Cortez, and [[spoiler:Bonetail]].
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler:Peach gets possessed by the Shadow Queen.]]
* DescendingCeiling: A spike trap in Hooktail's Castle does this.
* DetectiveAnimal: Pennington the penguin.
* DetectiveDrama: Chapter 6 is a spoof of this.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Mario defeats [[spoiler:the demonic Final Boss]] by jumping on it and hitting it with a hammer. ...After [[spoiler:being powered up by the Crystal Stars]], admittedly.
* DifficultButAwesome: The Super Guard requires better timing than the standard guard, but nullifies all damage and deals damage to some attackers.
* DisappearedDad: Koops' father, Koopley, left for Hooktail Castle ten years before the start of the game to slay Hooktail. It doesn't end well, which gives Koops the motivation to join Mario to avenge his dad. [[spoiler: When they defeat Hooktail, though, the dragon spits up Koopley, who survived in his stomach for ten years.]]
** You could count Kolorado's father. Since he suffered the same fate Koops thought of his father.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Rawk Hawk goes to great lengths to prevent Mario from fighting him or from advancing. Why? Simply out of revenge for Mario and his partners allegedly calling his champion's belt fake and thus inadvertently implying that he was a bad fighter (and they weren't even talking about the belt itself, but the crystal star on him). Similarly, the Armored Adonis Twins in the same chapter wanted to beat Mario to a complete pulp, and later attempted to ambush Mario right after Mario defeated another group after losing to them in a rematch because Mario allegedly talked trash about [[YourMom their mom]] (something he didn't even do, but Grubba did while pinning the blame on Mario).
* DistaffCounterpart: Goombella serves pretty much the same purpose as Goombario from ''VideoGame/PaperMario64''; Bobbery is a SpearCounterpart for Bombette as well.
* DownerEnding: This pretty much happens if you decide to [[spoiler:become the Shadow Queen's servant, as the game says "The Shadow Queen engulfs the world with her foul magic. For Mario, Peach and the world it was... [[NonstandardGameOver GAME OVER]] .]]
* TheDragon: Lord Crump. Beldam also counts, [[spoiler:though she is TheDragon to the Shadow Queen and is actually the Big Bad of the game due to her manipulation of Grodus]].
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Peach dons an X-Naut uniform at one point.
* EasterEgg: There's a place in the X-Naut Fortress where Mario can be 8-bit again.
* EggMcGuffin: In Glitzville, Mario and party save an egg from being [[EatenTheMacGuffin made into a hot dog]]. The egg hatches into the Yoshi that joins your party.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: [[spoiler:The third phase of the final boss.]]
* EliteMooks: Koopatrols (which have their own elite version, Dark Koopatrols), Elite X-Nauts, Elite Wizzerds, Red Bones, Dark Bones.
* {{Elopement}}: One subplot involves the daughter of a Pianta mafia don eloping with one of his underlings. The first time you meet, he agrees to secure you a ride to the place where the next PlotCoupon is if you bring them back. On finding them, they return of their own accord and he tells them to get lost but gives them his blessing in a roundabout way. They settle on a tropical island a few chapters later. [[spoiler: In the next chapter you need a ride once again, so you return and find him sick (literally) with worry about them. One subquest later and you have [[NotRareOverThere your ticket]], the couple and the Don reconcile and everyone's happy.]]
* [[spoiler:TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What Mario is trying to prevent.]]
* EnsembleDarkHorse: InUniverse. Luigi and his "character" were the most popular out of the entire play he was in during his quest. [[invoked]]
* EpicFail: When asked about Luigi's adventures his "[[BeleagueredAssistant sidekicks]]" tell Mario that they're pretty much an UpToEleven series of this. Except [[BunnyEarsLawyer Hayzee.]] But he's a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} from a village full of more {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Crayzee Dayzees [[ItMakesSenseInContext who LOVED his "role" of grass.]]
* EscapeBattleTechnique: The game featured a "Run Away" option outside of most scripted fights, though it had a good chance of failing and cost coins (albeit coins that could be picked up afterward).
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: For the whole setting. The player's first clue that this game will be DarkerAndEdgier than the Mario norm? Practically the first thing you see in Rogueport is ''a gallows''.
* EvilChancellor:
** In the "Super Luigi" book series, [[spoiler:Minister Crepe, who called for help, turns out to have been behind the kidnapping all along.]]
** [[spoiler:Jolene is an inversion: Although it seems like she was the one who was making the fighters disappear, it was actually her boss, Grubba, who did the deed. And while she was trying to betray him, it was actually due to the fact that she wanted to stop him knowing how much of a scumbag he really was.]]
* EvilCostumeSwitch:
** At the end of the game, [[spoiler:Peach gets a dark version of her usual dress]].
** You could also count [[spoiler:Mario in his Waluigi outfit when he equips the W Emblem and the L Emblem.]]
* EvilGloating: Crump to Mario, but little does he know...
* EvilIsNotAToy: [[spoiler:Grodus learns this the hard way after unsealing the Shadow Queen]].
* EvilLaugh: Grodus, Lord Crump, the cursed chests, Beldam, and [[spoiler:the Shadow Queen.]]
* EvilSorcerer: Grodus, though he's more of an Evil TechnoWizard.
* ExactEavesdropping:
** PlayedWith in Twilight Town with [[spoiler:the crows. Mario and Vivian learn by eavesdropping on the crows how to learn the name of the monster who [[GrandTheftMe stole his body]]. Of course, they have to listen to the ''right'' crows, or they get nothing but random philosophy.]]
** In Chapter 3, while in the vent, the person you're spying on basically goes over his entire diabolical plan to himself. Just to grab your attention, he more or less says "And since I'm talking out loud here, I'll just put this extremely important piece of paper in this desk drawer here and leave. Ah, there we go. Right there in the drawer, [[TemptingFate nobody's gonna steal it at all]]."
* {{Expy}}:
** Cortez has many similarities to Johnathan Jones from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG''. Both are pirates, both have the fifth [[PlotCoupon star]] (which happens to be blue in both cases), and [[spoiler:both of them [[DefeatMeansFriendship become your allies]] and help you defeat a boss who wants to steal it from the heroes.]]
** Merlon, Merluvlee, and Co. Explained in game, by Mr. Wonky (an NPC whom you pay for information), that they're from a tribe that names people according to profession, hence why this trend continues into ''SuperPaperMario''.
* FakeLongevity:
** Chapter Four would actually be the shortest Chapter in the game if it weren't for the fact that you're forced to go BackTracking through the Twilight Trail '''four times'''. Because of this, Chapter Four is considered one of the worst parts of the game due to the unnecessary amount of repetition.
** Chapter Seven, the penultimate build-up to the final part of the game, is ruined by a mandatory sidequest where you have to find a bob-omb named General White. This involves going to all the places you've already been to and finding out that's he's already long gone to somewhere else until he finally shows up at Fahr Outpost. A final act of dickery by the programmers has you stomping General White ''11 times'' just to wake him up.
* FalseInnocenceTrick: Although it appears that the beings trapped in the black chests were [[spoiler:originally the four heroes of legend and thus good guys]], the end result is the same nonetheless. They plead for Mario to let them out, so of course, he does. They curse him as thanks. Kind of subverted, because [[CursedWithAwesome the curses help you]], to the point that you literally cannot continue without "acquiring" them.
* FauxAffablyEvil: [[spoiler:Grubba]]
* FemaleMonsterSurprise: [[spoiler:Hooktail]]
* FireIceLightning: The Shadow Sirens' elemental powers (Vivian wields fire magic, Beldam wields ice magic, and Marilyn wields lightning magic).
* FightingFromTheInside: [[spoiler:Peach to the Shadow Queen, thanks to the Crystal Stars.]]
* FightingYourFriend:
** [[spoiler:When Doopliss steals your identity, you very own friends, who don't recognize you, fight alongside him. You don't have to kick their asses, but still.]]
** [[spoiler:There's also Peach getting possessed by the Shadow Queen at the end of the game.]]
* FiveBadBand:
** BigBad: Sir Grodus.
** TheDragon: Lord Crump.
** TheEvilGenius: Beldam, who also counts as TheDragon. [[spoiler:...To The Shadow Queen, that is. She ends up being [[TheManBehindTheMan The Woman Behind The Man]] to Grodus and ends up manipulating him.]]
** TheBrute: Marilyn.
** TheDarkChick: Vivian, [[spoiler: who then pulls a HeelFaceTurn and joins Mario.]]
* FloatingContinent: Glitzville
* FoodPorn: Classic ''Paper Mario'' food cooking in all its glory. You'd be surprised how good cartoony 2D food can look.
* ForegoneConclusion: Luigi's Adventure. Before Luigi actually finishes his adventure, the book based on his adventure starts to release. The first volume of Super Luigi's first paragraph starts something like this: Have you ever tried your hardest to do something, fail, and then feel like you completely wasted your time. This is a story much like that. Now, this is a pretty accurate statement, [[AdaptationDecay considering]] [[UnreliableNarrator the source]]. Except for the fact that Luigi isn't done with his quest yet. He won't be for at least two more chapters of Mario's Adventure. How does the book know?
* ForTheEvulz: [[spoiler:Doopliss]], who curses the people of Twilight Town to transform into pigs as an ironic prank.
* FourIsDeath: The haunted [[spoiler:fourth cabin of the Excess Express.]]
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: Because the game's battles take place on a stage, various monsters will attack the audience, eating them, stealing their souls, using them as machine gun ammo... It interestingly also works in reverse, audience members will throw rocks and items at those in battle, they'll run on stage and give one side some power or mess something up... Not to mention their cheers refill the Star Power meter (you can get more by using stylish moves), or that you can cause some of them to explode and take out those sitting next to them.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: On occasion while you're in the middle of cutscenes in Rogueport and other towns.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Flurrie.
* GangplankGalleon:
** Keelhaul Key and Pirates' Grotto.
** Rogueport, as it contains many pirates as well. It even has a gallows.
* GetItOverWith: The cursed chests. By the fourth cursed chest, even Mario, mute as he is in these games, is getting tired of the whole rigmarole. The cursed chest ends up quite hurt by the whole thing.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** There is a ''noose'' prominently displayed in the middle of Rogueport. The way it is displayed means that the hangings are public, similar to old towns back in the day.
** This game seems to delight in getting gang and drug references past the censors.
** One is the gang war between what are essentially the wealthy [[TheMafia Mafia]] (TheYakuza in Japan) and a poor street gang.
** There are also conspicuous skulls jammed on stakes on either side of Rogueport. Note that this is a common way for a drug dealer to mark his territory.
** One of the troubles deals with bringing a mysterious package to someone ''in the back alley'' of Rogueport.
** At one point before Chapter 3 Professor Frankly says the Phrase "Assuming will just make" before cutting himself off and instead just ends it saying "well you know the saying" meaning he's referring to the old phrase "Assuming will make an ass out of you and me". Flurrie's response makes it even more obvious. "Oh, yes. How inappropriate."
** Princess Peach winds up being naked on more than one occasion, as well, although the player can never see her (either she's showering or she's invisible).
** A relatively minor example, but when tattling Fuzzies, Goombella will remark, "these things really suck...HP."
** Everything that has to do with Flurrie, from her appearance to the fact that her breasts make noise when they [[{{Gainaxing}} gainax]]. She is the source of subliminal boob jokes. Where does Mario grab when she uses her blowing ability?
--->'''Magazine/NintendoPower:''' "We're not touching that one with a ten foot pole."
** A Bob-omb refers to businessmen as "brown nosers". The phrase "brown noser" essentially means someone who sucks up or "kisses ass", and comes from what would happen if you literally kissed someone's ass too far.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere:
** Just what the hell IS Smorg? [[note]]A scene cut from the game showed that it was something sent by the Shadow Sirens. You were supposed to fight the Shadow Sirens in the basement of the train station, but this was all cut, so it's never explained where Smorg came from in the final version. Also, there's an NPC that pops up randomly on the Excess Express post-Chapter 6, a Goomba researcher, who heavily implies that there's more of them, wondering what the feeding habits of the wild Smorg are, then asking you if you've seen one, which you must have by then.[[/note]]
** Luigi parodies this; [[spoiler: after beating the Chestnut King, what he could only describe as a huge nightmarish monster appeared that he took out. The Super Luigi books say it's Minister Crepe, but it's unsure which is the true story.]]
* GladiatorSubquest
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: [[spoiler:The Shadow Queen]].
* GoldfishPoopGang: Lord Crump, the Shadow Sirens [[spoiler:(and Doopliss once he joins the latter)]].
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:Mario and Doopliss]]; a line directly related to it has become the trope's [[Laconic/GrandTheftMe Laconic page]].
* GratuitousSpanish: Cortez talks like this.
* GravityScrew: [[spoiler:The gravity on the moon is much less, allowing for higher jumps and slower movement.]]
* GreatBigBookOfEverything: Goombella has one that she uses for her Tattles. This even includes [[spoiler:Princess Peach after she is possessed by the final boss]].
* GroupieBrigade: The wrestling fans at the Glitz Pit. You even get your own once you become the champion. You can also [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential wail on them with your hammer]]. And if you get rid of all of Rawk Hawk's fans this way, he [[WhatTheHellPlayer chews you out for beating up his fans "just 'cause you ain't got none"]].
* GuideDangIt: Finding the [[BonusBoss Atomic Boo]]. [[spoiler:Remember the church full of Boos clinging to you and [[MookBouncer sending you back to the entrance]]? You can send them flying with a SpinAttack. Do so until the boss shows up.]]
* {{Halloweentown}}: Twilight Town.
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: Subtle, but you can only continue by [[spoiler:having your body-switched fake Mario defeat the real Mario]]. Makes sense at the time, when the player doesn't realize [[spoiler:they've been switched]].
* HeavySleeper: General White. "Sleeping like a 'stached baby."
* HeelFaceTurn: TEC, [[spoiler:Vivian, and Cortez.]]
* HelloInsertNameHere: The player can name the Yoshi partner, which is justified by Yoshi being a newborn.
* HereWeGoAgain: The end has Peach finding another treasure map and inviting Mario to come with her to search for the treasure.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Luigi goes on his own adventure to save a princess, and even writes books about it!
* HeroicMime: Mario, almost. He speaks, but only as dialogue responses chosen by the player. Goombella lampshades this during Chapter 4 after [[spoiler:Doopliss has switched places with Mario]]. "Wow... You, like, NEVER talk!"
* HiveMind: Smorg.
* HopelessBossFight: [[spoiler:The second phase of the final boss.]]
* HubLevel: Rogueport and Rogueport Sewers.
* HugeRiderTinyMount: Mario and the baby Yoshi.
* HumanCannonball: There is a giant cannon, powered by Bob-ombs, that can launch Mario to the moon.
* HumongousMecha: The two Magnus von Grapple bots.
* IdiosyncraticComboLevels: Nice, Good, Great, Wonderful, and Excellent.
* IdleAnimation: There's plenty. Mario's IdleAnimation in battle, for example, makes him look like he's teetering to the music.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: Rogueport. Also the [[spoiler:Palace of Shadow]].
* IWasQuiteALooker: Mayor Kroop, the Puni elder, and one of the women in Twilight Town.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Bowser falls into this.
* InevitableTournament: The Glitz Pit.
* InGameNovel: The Super Luigi books, a novelization of Luigi's tales from that game.
* IntellectualAnimal: The crows in Twilight Town discuss such things as renewable energy sources and Internet start-up companies.
* InterfaceSpoiler: [[spoiler:Each time you finally get your hands on a Crystal Star, the game will tell you about its special powers in battle and what they do. So when you get the Ruby Star in Chapter 4 only to move on without learning about its abilities, [[GrandTheftMe you know something's up]]]].
* InvincibleMinorMinion: TheSpiny can roll itself up into a completely invincible ball, and it can't be attacked until the next turn. Its stronger variant, the Sky-Blue Spiny, uses this method to power itself up.
** The Iron Clefts have a special defense that prevents even [[ArmorPiercingAttack defense-piercing attacks]] [[NoSell from hurting them]], and the only attack that can hurt them is Yoshi's Gulp.
* InvisibleStreaker: Peach. Seriously.
* {{Irony}}:
** The Duplighost boss does not want you to know his name. But by the time [[spoiler:he joins up with Beldam]], he's practically begging to be called by name, rather than "Freak Sheet".
** The Piantas threw Mario in the slammer in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' after falsely accusing him of being a criminal. The Piantas in this game ''are criminals'' (kind of).
** In Chapter 2, Punio states the secret entrance to the Great Boggly Tree won't be labelled "Secret Entrance", [[CaptainObvious or else it wouldn't be a secret entrance.]] When you get [[WhiteDwarfStarlet Flurrie]] and have to use [[BlowYouAway her power]] to reveal the entrance, it turns out it WAS labelled "Secret Entrance", complete with neon lights. Punio, surprisingly, [[FailedASpotCheck doesn't realize the]] [[DramaticIrony irony.]]
** Mr. Hoggle is a Hot Dog Vendor. Pork is one of the traditional meats used in making Hot Dogs.
* {{Jerkass}}:
** [[spoiler:Doopliss]], who later [[spoiler:gets his comeuppance by joining up with and becoming the ButtMonkey of the Shadow Sirens]].
** Mario himself, depending on [[DialogueTree what choices]] you make for answers.
* JiveTurkey: The Glitz Pit's King K.
* JokeItem: Several of the badges are situational at best and useless at worst. In particular, the SFX badges aside from Attack FX R do nothing but add sounds to your attacks.
* JustEatHim: Hooktail.
* KaizoTrap: This is possible, but you have to be very unlucky. Occasionally, at the end of a battle, the final attack will cause the stage background to fall after the enemies are dead, but before the victory dance. In the off chance that you have only 1HP and forget to defend (which is likely, as this is the nature of a KaizoTrap), you will die.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Beldam and the Shadow Sirens. Despite loyally serving and unleashing an unspeakable horror upon the earth, they get off with a few apologies and promises. Doopliss even goes on to be an actor with Flurrie. It becomes averted for Beldam and Marilyn, who get defeated by Mario (and possibly Vivian) and justified for Vivian (Chapter 5) and Doopliss (End Of Game) as they both did a Heel Face Turn.]]
* KillAndReplace: [[spoiler:Doopliss does an attempt at this with Mario.]]
* KingMook: Generally much less, with a number of more unique bosses, but some still crop up here and there.
** [[spoiler: Doopliss]] is basically a [[VideoGame/PaperMario64 Duplighost]] with a white sheet and some party attire. [[spoiler:He also successfully advances his Duplighost powers by switching Mario's identity with his cheap, shadowy doppelgänger]].
** [[spoiler: Macho Grubba]] is the second boss variation on the Clubba family, after [[PaperMario Tubba Blubba]].
* {{Ladyella}}: Goombella
* LargeHam: Rawk Hawk, champion of the InevitableTournament, and Bowser as usual.
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Happens to the sad music in Chapter 5 once the gang realizes [[spoiler:that [[NotQuiteDead Bobbery's just sleeping]].]]
* LethalJokeCharacter: Making Mario into one is more or less the basis of a Danger Mario run.
* LethalJokeItem: One of the Attack FX badges comes in handy when facing Hooktail. Who would've known that a [[WeaksauceWeakness cricket sound effect]] would be anathemic to a giant dragon?
* LivingShadow: The Shadow Sirens.
* LivingToys: The residents of Twilight Town appear to be living plush dolls. Mayor Dour appears to have a small tear on his head where his stuffing is exposed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfSidequests: The game has a decent number of side quests given by [=NPCs=]. Then there are the Star Pieces, Shine Sprites, Badges, Recipes to find/make, [[MarathonLevel the Pit of 100 Trials]], and so forth.
* LostWeddingRing: Frankie and Francesca, ''twice''.
* LowLevelAdvantage: The "Danger Mario" setup backfires at level 72, because your BP and SP will both be maxed at that point, so you will be forced to upgrade HP, breaking the status.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Variation; instead of actual missiles, Magnus Von Grapple 2.0 [[GrievousHarmWithABody sucks up your audience members and uses them as projectiles.]]
* MaliciousMisnaming: [[spoiler:Doopliss]] is referred to as "Freak-in-a-sheet" by Beldam.
* [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace Mario Can Breathe In Space]]: Goombella lampshades it if you tattle in [[spoiler:the X-Naut Fortress]], saying that [[MST3KMantra it's probably best not to worry about it]].
* MassMonsterSlaughterSidequest: One of the troubles you can take on at the Trouble Center is "Roust These Cads!", in which you are expected to fight all the enemies in the Boggly Woods for a reward of 20 coins (plus drops and Star Points).
* TheMafia: Yes, really: the Pianta Syndicate. [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything They never really do anything]], though, aside from the minor scene in the beginning and selling (scalping?) tickets.
* MagicMap: One of the main objects is actually called the Magical Map. It's mostly blank at first, but each Crystal Star Mario claims causes the map to get filled in with the location of another. Said Crystal Stars tend to fall into various characters' hands and move about before Mario starts tracking them down, and despite it being made a thousand years ago, displays locations as they are in the present, such as a suburban neighborhood or a [[spoiler:SpaceBase]].
* ManipulativeBastard: Grodus and [[spoiler:Doopliss.]] Both are topped by [[spoiler:Beldam, the true Big Bad of the game.]]
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Beldam is this, as Grodus appeared to be the BigBad right up until he succeeded at summoning the Shadow Queen, only to get zapped into nothing but a head, and it was revealed that he'd been manipulated all along.]]
* MarathonLevel: The Pit of 100 Trials.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent
** The Bowser interlude after Chapter 6 happens to take place riiiight in front of that huge chest in Rogueport that has been taunting you the whole game, but you might have forgotten about by now. This clues the player into the fact that you can ''finally'' get it now.
** The one time you catch the Pianta Syndicate doing anything really bad is in the prologue, when Tony and Vinny ambush and mug a passing pair of Robbo Gang members (Gus and Garf?), which lets you know that Rogueport isn't just rough around the edges, but actually dangerous.
* MeaningfulName:
** Beldam is a pun on "beldame", an old-fashioned English word for an ugly old woman. It's also a play on "bedlam" with the two middle letters swapped around.
** TEC's full name is TEC-XX. Since 'X' is pronounced as "cross" (as with the X-Nauts), the two Xs could be said as "double cross", appropriate given the character's role in the story.
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Marilyn of the Shadow Sirens. Although being the strongest, she doesn't have too big of a role compared to Beldam and Vivian. However, Vivian is usually the one that's abused/left out.
* MilesGloriosus: Subverted with Flavio. He is a [[DirtyCoward coward]] who [[FeetOfClay boasts about his "feats"]], but he is willing to put his life on the line when he has to [[spoiler:try and persuade Cortez to help them fight the X-Nauts.]]
* MirrorBoss: [[spoiler:Doopliss.]]
* MonsterCompendium
* MonumentalTheft: [[spoiler:Doopliss successfully hid ''the letter p'' in a chest in the basement of Creepy Steeple.]]
* MoodWhiplash: Going from [[spoiler:Grodus essentially killing TEC in front of Peach]] to another Bowser sequence.
* MookBouncer: The Boos in Creepy Steeple.
* MrExposition: Professor Frankly.
* MusicalNod: The music for Petal Meadows contains part of the main theme from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros''
* MythologyGag:
** When Mario ('Great Gonzales' to everyone at this point) walks into the arena of the Glitz Pit before his fight with Rawk Hawk, the camera makes a short pan over the entire crowd, who is unanimously shouting "Gonzales, Gonzales!" except for one person who quickly shouts "[[VideoGame/DonkeyKong Jumpman]]! Wait... what?"
** You can also buy from Charlieton a badge named "Jumpman" which prevents you from using your Hammer but raises your Jump power by 1.
** A Hammer Bro in the Glitz Pit mentions his grandfather (who he inherited his hammer from) being from ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1 World 7-1]]''.
* NeverLiveItDown: [[{{In-Universe}} Zess T. always calls out Mario]] for stepping on her contact lens.
* NeverMyFault: Never Beldam's fault, shifting blame to Vivian, and later to [[spoiler:Doopliss]]. Marilyn rarely gets blamed for anything, but she's not exactly ''respected'', either.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Happens when [[spoiler:Mario and co. are tricked by Doopliss (disguised as Professor Frankly) into opening the Thousand-Year Door so the villains can get through]]. However, [[spoiler:it's implied that this was for the best in the end anyway.]]
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Near the very end of the game, [[spoiler: the ''only'' reason that Grodus doesn't manage to kill Mario is because of a timely, accidental interruption by Bowser.]]
* NoFairCheating: By altering the Gamecube console's internal clock ahead for joining Rogueport's daily lottery multiple times, the event will be blocked until you talk to Lucky the Bob-omb to apologize by buying another lottery ticket for 500 coins.
* NoFourthWall: The reason why you have to [[spoiler:go all the way to Creepy Steeple, get the letter "p", and go all the way back is because Doopliss stole it. Yes, he stole the letter "p" from the keyboard.]]
* NoHeroDiscount: No matter what town you save, they'll still charge you money for everything. Even the recovery blocks require coins, the amount of which is marked on top.
* NonstandardGameOver: Five: The first is if you fail to escape the Spike Room in Hooktail Castle in time, the second is if you let the TimeBomb go off in the Great Boggly Tree, third being if you [[TemptingFate read the diary]] a Toad ghost explicitly told you not to read during the Excess Express level, the fourth is triggered if the Dull Bones in the Palace of Shadow push you to the center of the room, and the fifth is triggered if you [[spoiler:agree to the DealWithTheDevil before the final boss fight]].
* NotRareOverThere: After returning to a mafia Don who was part of a previous quest, you find him deathly ill and his bodyguards promise you the tickets for a trip on the Excess Express you need if you find his daughter and son-in-law (who he exiled at the end of said quest). On recovering when they return to his side he's furious...until you state what you were promised; he bursts into laughter and asks how many you want.
* NPCRoadblock: Zess T. keeps you out of the west side of Rogueport after you break her contact lens. She doesn't budge until you buy her a new one.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Grubba]].
* OhCrap:
** TEC, once he discovers what Grodus has in store for Peach.
** When Bowser [[spoiler: accidentally ignites the superbombbomb when it didn't go off the first time]].
* OneHitKill: [[spoiler:Bowser is the only boss]] that is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_An_p7DO8 vulnerable to Showstopper.]]
* OpenEndedBossBattle: Every fight in Chapter 3 except the Armored Harriers without the chapter's party member and [[spoiler: Macho Grubba, who wants to get rid of Mario.]]
* OptionalPartyMember: [[spoiler:Ms. Mowz]].
* OverlyLongGag:
** In a rare case of one being able to ''harm you,'' near the climax of chapter 2, a time bomb is set off in the Great Boggly Tree. When you reach the base of the tree, the Puni elder confronts Lord Crump, resulting in her spending some time complaining about her back.
** I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. One hundred times and they actually count them out! And only one per text box. Thank Nintendo for the B button.
* OverusedRunningGag: WHEE HEE! FOOOOOLS! It's made clear that Mario has gotten tired of this by the fourth chest. "Spare me the prologue and just [[CursedWithAwesome curse]] me already."
* PaperThinDisguise:
** Lord Crump, to the point where he breaks the fourth wall to tell the player to not tell Mario.
** Every single disguise in this game is [[IncrediblyLamePun paper thin]].
* ParentalBonus: Plenty, but perhaps the most obvious is Chapter 6, which centres on a [[{{HerculePoirot}} stout little man with a moustache]] [[Literature/{{MurderOnTheOrientExpress}} attempting to solve a mystery while on a three-day voyage aboard a luxury train.]]
* PassThePopcorn: All fights have an audience watching. No matter what situation they're in. And being in the audience can be hazardous during boss fights: Hooktail the dragon takes a bite out of the audience to restore HP, after which the battle spills into the stands; Cortez does the same, but with the souls of some of the viewers; Lord Crump fires audience members at you from a cannon, and [[spoiler:the Shadow Queen subsumes the ''entire'' audience to heal herself fully, putting you in a very sticky situation.]]
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: You can encounter [[MetalSlime Amayzee Dayzees]] in the fourth chapter. After gaining the fourth chapter's Star Power, you can go to the area where they're found (preferably under the effects of the special spell that can sometimes double your experience), use said power to quickly defeat them, and bask in the levels.
* PlayableEpilogue
* PortalNetwork: The Mario franchise's signature pipes are required to get to most areas.
* PostFinalBoss: Unusual, smaller-scale example. Cortez is the "final boss" local to Chapter 5, and the end-of-chapter bells and whistles occur after his defeat, but then you have to have a miniboss battle against Lord Crump before everything is at peace for the chapter.
* PowersAsPrograms: The badges.
* PowerupMount: Yoshi, a baby BoisterousBruiser that can carry a plumber three times his size.
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: Parakarry in the prologue, [[spoiler: and Bow in the PlayableEpilogue]].
* ProductPlacement:
** Mario has a "Mailbox SP", which looks exactly like a Game Boy Advance SP.
** There's a kid NPC in Petalburg who goes on about an awesome new video game he's playing. The title? ''FireEmblem''.
** The monitor you use to reserve a fight in the Glitz Pit in TTYD is a Gameboy Advance.
** Pennington also "[[BatDeduction deduces]]" that what the young Bob-omb Bub wants for his birthday is a Gameboy Advance "because that's what all the kids want these days".
* PropheciesRhymeAllTheTime: "Hold the Magical Map aloft before the entrance to the Thousand-Year Door. Then the stars will light the way that leads to the stones of yesterday."
* PunchClockVillain: Most of the lesser X-Nauts. Implied for most of the game with their over-casual nature and general uncoordination in the area of Mookery, and confirmed if you examine the chem lab notes with Mario: "I have some stuff to do, so I'm not coming in to work tomorrow, and that's that." Also, they tend to appear as audience members.
* PunnyName: Most of the Toads have one, like the cook, Zess T., or the heavy eater, Heff T.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits:
** You have a ValleyGirl archaeologist, an overly meek turtle, a wind spirit WhiteDwarfStarlet, a hyperactive baby dinosaur, [[spoiler:a shadow creature with an inferiority complex who was part of the TerribleTrio]], an exploding sea captain, and [[spoiler:[[OptionalPartyMember maybe]] a mousy ClassyCatBurglar]].
** Luigi's team is even better. He's got a crispy floating squid, a living bomb that looks like a cherry, a disgruntled mechanic who builds roving death vehicles, a spacey actor, and a mysterious ''thing'' that must deliver a package. All of them are with Luigi to keep him from doing/not doing something or other.
* RapidFireTyping: Peach and TEC.
* RashomonStyle: In most cases, the story Luigi tells contrasts with the account given by the partner. Interestingly, only the ''second'' account[[note]]The first account has no partner to confirm or contradict the story Luigi tells[[/note]] is irreconciliably contradicted by that of Luigi's partner (Blooey in this case)--and it's also impossible to take Blooey's account as ''complete'' truth, [[FridgeLogic as it fails to explain how Luigi secured that second compass piece]]. Mostly, the partners' conversations are used to reveal their ''real'' motivations for following Luigi around.
* RecognitionFailure: This is a RunningGag; whenever Mario meets a village elder, they're behind the times and don't recognize him (to the annoyance of their younger relatives).
* RecurringBoss: Lord Crump.
* RecurringExtra: The Toad Sisters and Dupree.
* RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear: Since Mario himself [[HeroicMime never speaks]] aside from a few stock lines of dialogue, the other characters have to talk for him.
* {{Retirony}}: In chapter 3, KP Pete (aka King K) announces his plans to retire from the Glitz Pit after his match with Mario. After the match, and his retirement, [[spoiler:he ends up stumbling on Grubba's use of the Gold Star, the real one to maintain his youth, and ends up silenced.]] A slight twist in that he doesn't end up killed, although he is certainly beaten to a huge pulp and barely even able to breathe.
* RichBoredom:
** Flavio.
** There is also a Koopa living in West Rogueport who is so rich, he [[IdleRich Doesn't have to do anything.]] by the end of the game he decides to finally do things to entertain himself.
* {{Robinsonade}}: Chapter 5.
* RocketPunch: The Magnus von Grapple robots use this.
* RunningGag: If you aren't very careful, Mario falling into bodies of water and getting bitten by Chain Chomp-like fish can become this.
* SchmuckBait
** Go ahead, ignore the repeated warnings and read that diary... you'll get a NonStandardGameOver for your troubles.
** In Chapter 3, there is [[spoiler:a cake delivered to the locker room ''just'' after you accept the 2nd seed battle]]. Fall for it [[spoiler:by eating it, and you won't have your partner for the next battle]]. Don't, and [[spoiler:Shellshocker, the Shady Koopa, will be on the floor, unable to move.]] Subverted with [[spoiler:a similar cake]] delivered earlier in the chapter; ''that'' one will actually [[spoiler:recharge your HP, FP, ''and'' '''Star Power'''.]]
* SchrodingersGun: Right after Zess T. tells you about her lost contact lens, no matter where you move, you will always end up stepping on them.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: About halfway through the game, [[spoiler:Vivian decides that she's fed up with Beldam's abuse and leaves to join the mysterious shadowy person, even sticking around once he's revealed to be Mario]].
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:The Shadow Queen.]]
* SequentialBoss: Cortez, and later [[spoiler: Grodus, followed immediately by Bowser and Kammy]].
* ShapeShifterGuiltTrip: Not quite an exact use, but referenced: When [[spoiler:the Shadow Queen takes over Peach's body at the end]], Goombella tells you that no matter how much it looks like your friend, you can't think of it that way and just have to fight it.
* ShesAManInJapan: Vivian is a transwoman in the Japanese version, but this was removed in the English release. The other European localisations stick to the original Japanese script and consider her either a transvestite or transgender.
** Likewise, [[spoiler: Bonetail]] is referred to as female in some translations of the game.
* ShooOutTheClowns: After Lord Crump's defeat, the story starts to become nightmarish and disturbing.
* ShoutOut:
** Luigi's tales are actually shout-outs to other games.
** Luigi and the Crazy Cart Race is Kart Racing UpToEleven, until you realize that it's TwistedMetal.
** [[spoiler:The Toad who fought the Shadow Queen with a Goomba, a Boo and a Koopa could be this to the Japanese fairy tale of Momotaro, who fought off a demon and its entourage with the help of a dog, a bird and a monkey.]]
** Do you really think that Rawk Hawk is an original character? [[HulkHogan Well, let me tell you something, brother!]] [[DwayneJohnson IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!]]
** Probably unintentional, but the X-Nauts salute by [[TheWall crossing their arms to create an X.]]
** Chapter 2 has Mario leading a swarm of tiny creatures with flower-like stalks on their heads around to aid him. [[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Sound familiar?]]
* ShowerScene: Peach, though the shower curtain prevents the player from seeing her in all her paperrific glory.
* ShowsDamage: Grodus. [[spoiler: Grubba as well]].
* SicEm
* SmurfettePrinciple: Actually averted big time, where more than half of Mario's party are female... and every one of them has at one point kissed Mario.
* SpoiledBrat: Bub the Bob-Omb.
* StrangeSalute: The X-Nauts have one.
* StealthBasedMission: Peach has one or two.
* StealthPun:
** On the [[spoiler:moon base]], it's revealed that X-Naut is pronounced [[TicTacToe Cross Naut]], which in turn means that TEC-XX becomes [[HeelFaceTurn TEC-Double Cross]].
** One of Luigi's companions is a red Bob-omb named Jerry. [[spoiler:Cherry bomb.]]
* StorybookOpening
* StrongerSibling: [[spoiler:Gloomtail and Bonetail]].
* SunglassesAtNight: The Dark Koopas (this is actually [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Goombella when she wonders why they wear sunglasses in the depths of a cave).
* SurpriseCreepy: In particular, the final boss is a pretty jarring development in a Mario-branded game.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Several of Mario's party members in this game are functionally identical to the ones in the first game. This is most obvious with party members that are the same species, such as Goombario and Goombella, or Kooper and Koops.
* SwordOfPlotAdvancement: Before the Yoshi joins your party, it's impossible to defeat the Glitz Pit's [[NighInvulnerable Armored Harriers]].
* TeleportersAndTransporters: A pair of teleporters connects two distant locations ([[spoiler:Rogueport and the moon]]).
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything : Even if you do know [[spoiler:Doopliss]]' name, you still have to spell it just like that for him to accept it. Trying to [[spoiler:replace the missing lowercase p with an uppercase P will not work]]. That's an obvious, yet clever way to prevent players from cheating and skipping a lot of that chapter.
* ThemeNaming: The dragons Hooktail, [[spoiler:Gloomtail, and Bonetail]].
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: The Pianta Mafia isn't shown doing anything particularly unsavory, save in the prologue, which introduces the turf war backstory.
* TheVonTropeFamily: Magnus von Grapple.
* ThoroughlyMistakenIdentity: Pennington, who incorrectly deduces Mario's identity as ''Luigi''.
* TieredByName: The "Hyper" prefix is used for variants of enemies that charge their attacks. Some more traditionally upgraded foes get the "Elite" prefix.
* TimeKeepsOnTicking: In the escape from the Great Tree.
* TotallyRadical: The Yoshi partner talks this way, but is most likely a parody.
* TournamentArc: Chapter 3
* TraintopBattle: Vs. the Smorg.
* TreasureMap: The Magical Map.
* UnexplainedRecovery: [[spoiler: TEC caused the X-Nauts' base to self-destruct, but after the game is completed, not only is TEC still alive and well, bue ''even the damn base'' is intact. Not even he has a clue how it is possible.]]
* TheUnintelligible: Marilyn, though her sisters seem to have [[IntelligibleUnintelligible no trouble understanding her.]]
* {{Unishment}}: The "[[CursedWithAwesome curses]]" that the black chests give Mario. [[spoiler:They're doing this on purpose--they're forced to be "dark", but are exploiting a loophole.]]
* TheUnReveal: Subverted. If you save a game clear file and go back to visit Frankly, [[spoiler:he'll reveal that the treasure was... a dried shroom, which is apparently an amazing discovery, as it reveals that people ate mushrooms one thousand years ago.]]
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:Crump was Grodus's, and Grodus was Beldam's.]]
* ValleyGirl: Goombella, though only in her speech patterns.
* VerbalTic: Several characters.
** Cortez has a fondness for GratuitousSpanish, amigos!
** Fuzzies...'''MEEEOOORK!!!'''
** Master Crash, a Bob-omb in the minor leagues in the Glitz Pit, randomly sprinkles "BOMB" throughout his sentences.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:The Palace of Shadow.]]
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** During the final boss battle of Chapter 4, [[spoiler: Doopliss, aka Imposter!Mario, has the real Mario's first 4 Partners fighting with him. You can wail on them and even K.O. them if you're heartless enough.]]
** You can also smash away all the fans in the foyer of the Glitz Pit.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:In the FinalBattle against the Shadow Queen, you drive her to one after you manage to hurt her.]]
* VillainousRescue: So [[spoiler:Grodus finally has Mario at his mercy after threatening to kill [[DistressedDamsel Peach]], when who should come falling through the ceiling to the rescue of our heroes but Bowser himself? Subverted in that it was [[SpannerInTheWorks completely unintentional on Bowser's behalf]], and he [[SequentialBoss attacks you]] immediately after.]]
* VisualPun: One of Luigi's companions is a cherry Bob-omb.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: Continued from ''VideoGame/PaperMario64'', but made even worse due to Mario's partners now having their own HP values. If Mario's partners bite the dust, you continue as normal. If Mario goes down, it's game over, even if your partner is healthy enough to finish off the enemy party.
* WeaksauceWeakness:
** Hooktail's weakness turns out to be ''crickets''.
** In the Japanese version, Hooktail's weakness is ''frogs'', which explains why the Attack FX badge doesn't sound much like a cricket.
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[spoiler:When the final boss asks you this, remember to say no, [[NonstandardGameOver or else...]]]]
* WelcomeToCorneria: Averted with the residents of Rogueport, who change their dialogue after every chapter.
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler: TEC's death.]]
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: TEC.
* WhatTheHellHero: There are several instances when Mario can choose between two things to say, and sometimes the second choice is less than morally sound to say the least. If he chooses that option, his partner will chew him out and, in a case of seeking the next course of action, [[ButThouMust insist on taking the first option]]. (For one example of these options, see the sub-note under EggMcGuffin.)
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Goombella sends a letter to Mario at the end, detailing what happened to his partners and several other important characters.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never do get to see what became of Bowser and Kammy at all during Gombella's travels when she tells Mario what everyone is up to. Heck, the last time they're ever seen in the game is [[spoiler:lying in defeat in the Palace of Shadow just before the final boss fight, and they disappear after you leave the room and aren't mentioned at all during the ending]]. However, this being the constant BigBad of Mario games, he's bound to return.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Flurrie.
* WordSaladTitle: The play Luigi participates in, ''The Mystery of the Fiery Hat of Social Awareness''.
* WordsCanBreakMyBones: [[spoiler:Doopliss]]'s curse is broken by Mario saying his name.
* WrongSideOfTheTracks: Rogueport. The name speaks for itself.
* XanatosGambit: Grodus pulls one of these [[spoiler:by leaving the final Crystal Star with Lord Crump, so that his plan would work regardless of whether Crump lost to Mario or not.]]
* YinYangClash: The Iron Clefts' bodies can withstand any attack... and their spikes can pierce anything. You defeat them by knocking them into each other.
* YouAreATreeCharlieBrown: Luigi performs in a play and gets the role of... grass. He's the only one who never got any lines, either. Subverted, however, in that he was playing to an audience of flowers. Grass is very important to them, so they absolutely adored him!
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: [[spoiler:The reason for the lowercase p hidden in Doopliss' basement.]]
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: One sidequest requires Mario to dress up as Luigi. The real Luigi shows up and is mistaken for an impostor. This also [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on the fact that, until the release of the U.S./European "VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2", Luigi was originally a [[PaletteSwap palette swapped]] version of Mario.
* YourMom: Grubba basically delivers some trash talking (which he attributed to Mario) to the Armored Harriers/Iron Adonis Twins, with one of the trash talks also revealed to be a veiled Yo' Mama joke, as he mentions that outie belly buttons run in the family, causing the Iron Clefts to get very angered at Mario, as their mother has an outie.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: If not for [[spoiler:the second half of the chapter where Mario must reclaim his body from Doopliss]], chapter 4 would've been pretty short.
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