Western Animation: Super Mario Bros.

aka: Super Show
There were three cartoons based on the Super Mario Bros. franchise.

First was The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a 1989 animated/live action DiC Entertainment production was an Animated Adaptation of Nintendo's flagship games, featuring the adventures of those plucky plumbers from Brooklyn. The show ran four days a week in syndication, with Fridays reserved for a cartoon based on The Legend of Zelda.

Saturday morning cartoons titled The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World were later made (without live-action segments) and would air alongside Captain N: The Game Master on NBC. All three shows are now available on DVD. See also Super Mario Bros The Parody Series for The Abridged Series version.

Ironically, the shows are (relatively speaking) more accurate to the spirit of the games than any other Mario adaptation on either side of the Pacific.

For tropes unique to one of the three shows, see their respective articles.

Tropes present on more than one show:

  • Acrofatic: King Koopa may be large but he sure can be agile when the situation calls for it.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Princess Toadstool's appearance is a fairly good direct rendition of her early game sprite: a more Daisy-like redhead.
    • King Koopa is also completely green scaled (likely so he also fills the position of Wart, see Composite Character below).
  • Adaptational Badass: Princess, particularly in the Saturday morning spinoffs. Some episodes had her escaping captivity and even foiling the Koopas' plans on her own.
  • Adipose Rex: King Koopa, though it never is stated as such except when a button pops off his tuexdo in an episode of Super Show.
  • Adorable Evil Minions: Most of the Koopa Kids.
  • The Anime of the Game: To the extent that sound effects, backgrounds and music from the shows' games (Super Show counting for SMB 1 and 2) are used extensively.
  • Badass Mustache: Mario and Luigi.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: What Koopa teaches his kids, as long as their bad deeds aren't against him.
  • Bastard Understudy: It seems at times, Koopa did a bit too good a job raising his kids to be underhanded villains. Cheatsy is the most recurring case, though all of the kids have at least one moment they stab their Pops in the back.
  • Beauty Mark: Kootie Pie (or Wendy O. Koopa) in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World.
  • Big Brother Bully: Bully was portrayed as the oldest of the Koopa Kids and often pushed his siblings around.
  • Big Eater: Mario, and later Yoshi.
  • Birthday Episode: "Reptiles in the Rose Garden" takes place on Kootie Pie's sixteenth birthday.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: All of the Koopa Kids, natch.
  • The Bully: Bully Koopa, obviously.
  • Canon Immigrant: Luigi's Cowardly Sidekick personality debuted here. Toad's oddly screechy voice is eerily similar to the gibberish sound Toadfolks make in recent games.
    • The games version of Bowser shares several traits of King Koopa from game to game (eg. Deadpan Snarker moments, a loyally Card-Carrying Villain, genuinely love for his offspring).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Koopa and his kids are classic examples.
  • Christmas Episode: "Koopa Klaus" and "The Night Before Cave Christmas."
  • Circling Birdies: Super Stars in this case, and Mario uses it to his advantage.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: The song covers in SMBSS and a few SMB3 episodes being replaced by instrumentals from the latter series, most notably an instrumental version of "Mega Move," an original song created by DIC that first appeared in the Super Mario Bros. 3 series.
  • Co-Dragons: Kooky and/or Cheatsy in the Saturday morning spinoffs are the ones most likely to be on hand in aiding their dad.
  • Composite Character: King Koopa, the cartoons' version of Bowser, appears to be a mix of both Bowser and Wart (especially in the Super Show).
    • Specifically, King Koopa has Wart's crown, green skin and Mooks.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Luigi, and later Yoshi.
  • Creepy Twins: Hip and Hop.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Kootie Pie  Koopa.
  • Damsel in Distress: Toadstool 90% of the time in SMBSS; in SMB3 and SMW she took on a more active role.
  • A Day in the Limelight: All three shows have at least one episode focusing on Luigi - "Quest for Pizza" in SMBSS, "Life's Ruff" in SMB3, and "Mama Luigi" in SMW.
    • Especially notable is that Luigi is the only one of the four heroes to be in "Life's Ruff".
  • Demoted to Extra: Kootie Pie and Kooky were the most prominent Koopa Kids in SMB3, most of Koopa's schemes primarily involving them. In SMW, they have only one limelight episode, limited to non speaking cameos otherwise.
  • The Dragon: Mouser in SMBSS. The role tends to be granted to either Kooky or Cheatsy in the later cartoons.
  • Dub Name Change: Zigzagged for Bowser, who is referred to by his Japanese moniker King Koopa (though a Full Name Ultimatum is used a handful of times). The writers made up their own names for the Koopalings, called the Koopa Kids in the actual show, before the English version of The Manual was final. That, and some of the references Nintendo ended up using would likely go over most kids' heads anyway.
  • Flanderization: Big Mouth seemed to originally earn his moniker from being an Obnoxious Snarker (a role that was admittedly sorta redundant between him and the other mouthy Koopa Kids). By SMW he is a Large Ham Motor Mouth who drives his siblings crazy by never shutting up.
  • For the Evulz: Koopa's motive for doing the things he does. Examples include turning his sons into giants to kidnap Prince Hugo just so he can turn him into a poodle.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Mario does this a handful of times he is delivering smack talk to Koopa. These are also the only times he is referred to by his game moniker of Bowser.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: In Mama Luigi episode.
  • Loud of War: One episode had a group of cute little aliens saving the day by using their kazoo-like noses to hum a tune which drove King Koopa nuts and forced him to flee. The song they sang? The theme of The Legend of Zelda!
  • Mad Scientist: Kooky  von Koopa.
  • Magic Skirt: Princess Toadstool , of course.
  • Mondegreen: "Ohh... fuck you, Luigi!"
  • Meaningful Name: All of the Koopa Kids' names but some (such as Bully, Big Mouth and Cheatsy) are more blatant.
  • Motor Mouth: Big Mouth Koopa Jr.note 
  • No Indoor Voice: Kootie Pie.
  • Off Model: Every. Freaking. Thing. There are countless animation errors, all around sloppy animation quality, and some blatant inconsistencies between drawings! (note, for example that in the "Night Before Cave Christmas" episode, that Mario inexplicably grows large between cuts when he's talking to Oogtar about being "good". And the Super Mario World cartoon is probably the least frequent offender.)
    • This scene features Luigi in Mario's cap and Mario calling Luigi "Mario" in Luigi's voice. In the exact same shot!
    • The intro meanwhile has some very good animation that one can think it wasn't for the show.
  • Once per Episode: In each series, the Mario Bros. and Koopa (with the Koopa Kids in the latter two) fight to the beat of a musical montage. Each episode of Super Show, along with a few SMB3 episodes, has a pop music song covered by the cast. The rest of the SMB3 episodes and the entire SMW series have songs specifically written for the shows.
  • Only Sane Man: Luigi is often this.
  • Pet the Dog: King Koopa thrives on being as underhanded and nasty a villain as possible. In the later two shows however, it's clear he genuinely cares for his kids, particularly Kootie Pie who he spoils rotten.
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: At no point in the series does Koopa breathe fire, even though that's been one of his powers throughout the games. Given the fact that Fire Flowers time out in this milieu, it probably would have made him too broken.
  • Quicksand Sucks: A few times the good guys got stuck in it and needed someone to help them out, apparently forgetting they have the ability to hop out of the quicksand.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Toadstool. Possibly King Koopa too, though it's arguable if he's a real king since his crown appears to be taped together.
  • Saving Christmas: The Christmas episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Super Mario World do one of the different types of this.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Big Mouth but Kooky sometimes did this too.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Inspector Gadget appeared in two live-action segments and was referenced in a third.
    • Wheel of Fortune is referenced twice. King Koopa hosts a spoof in Super Show and he spies on a family watching the show in Super Mario World.
  • Smug Snake: King Koopa. Also Cheatsy in the later shows.
  • Spoiled Brat: Kootie Pie  Koopa, to the max.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills
  • Tagalong Kid: Toad in first two series and Oogtar in Super Mario World. Yoshi also generally acts like an infant, though leans more as a Team Pet.
  • Team Rocket Wins: Happens in at least one episode of each series
  • Theme Twin Naming: Hip and Hop.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Princess Toadstool took a more active role in the adventures and was less prone to kidnapping than in the Super Show. She and Toad were even able to use power-ups in the same way as the Mario Bros.
  • Vague Age: The Koopa Kids in the cartoons are a special case. It's averted with Kootie Pie, who is sixteen, along with Hip and Hop, who are both six. The rest are allegedly in their teens.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: King Koopa frequently pulls this off in the Super Show, usually by way of a warp-generating potion (based on the doors to Sub-Con in the American Super Mario Bros. 2), and a few times on the later two as well.
  • Women Are Wiser: Princess Toadstool is generally the smartest member of the cast.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: King Koopa.
  • YouTube Poop: A prime source, especially the Super Mario World cartoon.

Alternative Title(s):

Super Mario Bros Super Show