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What An Idiot: Super Mario Bros.
Luigi: You lost your noodle?


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    The Video Games 
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 has Bowser sending the Koopalings far and wide to turn the Mushroom World kings into animals and make off with their wands. While the Mario Bros. go out and set things straight, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach.
    You'd Expect: Bowser to revel in his dirty deed while keeping quiet about what he had just done.
    Instead: He sends Mario a taunting letter admitting he took the princess to his castle and challenges him to save her.
    Furthermore, You'd Expect: That if he was going to send a letter to dare the hero to come to his castle and save the princess, that he'd might have known by then that was exactly what the hero was going to do and that he'd been a little more Dangerously Genre Savvy when Mario arrives. As in, setting a trap for the hero or a sort of ambush already foreseeing that Mario indeed would come for Princess Toadstool (her then Western name). Particularly when arriving at Bowser's Castle.
    Instead: With the exception of the levels of hell, it doesn't seem that the villain has made much preparations at all when Mario arrives and with the "King of the Koopas" ending up giving the player one of the most lame final boss fights in Mario history.
  • Paper Mario has Bowser who kidnapped Princess Peach. On one of the occasions that the princess escapes, Bowser spots her while he is talking with Kammy Koopa about what Mario may be afraid of.
    You'd Expect: Bowser to summon his guards to throw the princess back to her room.
    Instead: Bowser asks Peach herself on what Mario is afraid of, not thinking that the princess can just lie.
    However: The player can give whatever answer they wish, so they can lie (pretend Mario is afraid of helpful items) or be honest (say Mario is afraid of an Elite Mook).
  • Speaking of the above incident, if the player chooses healing items as Mario's greatest fear.
    You'd Expect: Bowser or at least Kammy to realize that these things would help Mario if anything and refuse to listen to the princess.
    Instead: Both Bowser and Kammy are fooled and actually put healing items along Mario's path. At least Kammy is suspicious of the whole thing.
  • Super Mario Sunshine gives one of the worst Kangaroo Court proceedings in the history of video games. He is arrested on the sole premise that his face is the same as the one on a poster. Peach shouts "Objection"!
    You'd Expect: The judge to let Peach, who is of royalty, make her objection, which could put this misunderstanding to rest in the slightest.
    Instead: The judge ignores her, saying, "Overruled! I judge the defiant guilty as charged!" This is more rigged than Saddam Hussein's trial!
  • Super Paper Mario gives a railroaded example. One of the villains is Mimi, a shapeshifter. Once each time she is met, she uses a different form and asks the heroes to do something. Since she uses this technique after we've seen her transform, it's pretty easy for the player to guess that it's her.
    You'd Expect: The characters to see through the illusion (most of the time, Mimi uses this technique to lure the heroes into a trap) and guess correctly that the character in front of them is Mimi in disguise.
    Instead: You're forced to do what Mimi asks you to and the gang falls into Mimi's trap. Just great.
    What Makes It Worse: Mimi sometimes takes on the appearance of a character that has absolutely no reason to be there (such as Merlon, the Sage of the Hub Zone, who never leaves it).
  • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, every time Mario finishes off the boss in the castle stage, you see him with Bowser Jr. and there's the airship with Peach right behind him.
    You'd Expect: Mario to attack Bowser Jr., then jump on the airship to get Peach.
    Instead: He just stands there watching them. And then they take off. It's especially jarring when Mario has the propeller hat.
    However: Though there are two occasions where the airship takes off without him, allowing you to chase him to the airship.
  • In Yoshi's New Island, it turns out the stork actually brought Baby Mario and Baby Luigi to the wrong house.
    You'd Expect: For the stork to remember that Kamek is after the babies and to keep a close eye on them while carefully finding the right parents. This after having been attacked before.
    Instead: He takes flight up in the sky where he can easily be spotted. Sure enough, the stork freezes when Kamek finds him, Baby Luigi is kidnapped and Mario falls on Egg Island.
  • Throughout the series, Princess Peach is kidnapped and the Mushroom Kingdom attacked and effortlessly conquered over and over again.
    You'd Expect: Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom ruling class to come up with measures to enforce their army and hire elite guards to at least TRY to stop this from happening, even if it ultimately proves ineffective.
    Instead: They don't do ANYTHING whatsoever to prevent future kidnappings and conquering and rely solely on one plumber and maybe his brother to save them after the fact.
    Additionally: The few guards the Mushroom Kingdom DO have just cower in fear whenever they're required to actually do their jobs, even when their own lives are on the line and just stand around waiting for Mario to save them.

    The Cartoons 

Super Mario Bros. Super Show
  • In many episodes, a defeated King Koopa escapes from Mario and company, sometimes by a Warp Potion that leaves itself open after awhile.
    You'd Expect: That they'd follow him down the pipe back to his castle and teach him a lesson.
    Instead: They let him get away. In one episode, they are even shown standing on one (granted, that was an animation goof but still).
    However: Koopa probably has guards on the other side of the warp to deal with anyone who follows him.
  • "The Great Gladiator Gig": During the battle against Tryclydius, Mario cuts Luigi from a net by using a sword.
    You'd Expect: That Mario would continue to fight Tryclydius by using his sword.
    Instead: He tosses the sword to the side and tells Luigi to dance. Yes, it works, but even Luigi calls him out for the suggestion.
  • "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em": Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad are captured by Queen Rotunda's Beezo guards and arrested for stealing peppers. Princess speaks out to claim their innocence.
    You'd Think: She would tell the guards that she is a princess of the Mushroom Kingdom and that neither she nor her friends knew the peppers belonged to Rotunda Land.
    Instead: She tries to argue that the peppers were growing in the wild when they were clearly shown enclosed in a fence.
    Later: The gang meets Queen Rotunda who plans to give Prince Pompadour a Passion Potion to make him confess his love to her. She demands the Marios to make her a dessert for the wedding, pistachio ice cream laced with hot peppers. After trying some, she shouts for water.
    You'd Expect: Mario or one of his friends to rush off and get the queen some water.
    Instead: Mario snatches the Passion Potion off Queen Rotunda's throne for her to drink. She then falls madly in love with the first person she sees...Mario. Oops.
  • "Koopa Klaus": Mario and his friends catch Koopa about to drop Santa Claus from the edge of a snowy cliff. Princess asks Koopa why he hates Christmas.
    You'd Think: Koopa would calmly explain his hatred for the holiday.
    Instead: He screams at the top of his lungs that Christmas is a Bah-Humkoop, causing an avalanche. The Marios take shelter in a nearby cave but luckily, they manage to save Santa using Mario's plumber snake.
  • "Quest for Pizza": In Caveman Land, Mario has been knocked out cold by a snakebite and the only thing that can revive him is the smell of pizza. His friends start making one in the shelter of a city concealed by a waterfall. While picking tomatoes out in the open, they are ambushed by Alley Koop but leave him distracted long enough to get away safely.
    You'd Expect: For the gang carefully consider how much tomatoes they can carry while keeping their hideout a secret.
    Instead: They leave a trail of tomatoes into the waterfall. Alley Koop discovers this and has Mousersaurus reroute the waterfall to flood the city, ruining their pizza.

Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
  • "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas": King Koopa has Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool trapped in a cage in his throne room, and his sons-turned-giants are present. Mario arrives and sneaks up, getting to the wands that King Koopa used to turn the Koopa Kids into giants and Prince Hugo into a poodle.
    You'd Expect: Mario to snag the wands and use them to turn himself into a giant (or anything that could beat the Koopas) and/or revert the Koopa Kids back to normal. After that, he would use them to change Prince Hugo back to normal.
    Instead: He switches the wands' jewels (the source of their powers) and tries to trick King Koopa into using them on him, so that he would use the wrong wand and transform him into a giant that could then fight his sons. Granted, his plan worked, but it was unnecessary, and he got lucky that King Koopa didn't notice that the jewels were swapped (especially since they had different colors). Also, he wouldn't have needed to fight the giant Koopa Kids if he had used the wands on them. Not to mention that without the wands, Mario had no way of changing Prince Hugo back to normal.
    You'd Also Think: That after accidentally turning Mario into a giant, King Koopa would simply use one of the wands that he still had to revert him back to normal or turn him into a poodle.
    Instead: It doesn't pass through his mind and his sons are forced to fight Mario. In the midst of this, Princess Toadstool grabs a wand, using it to revert his sons to normal size and the Koopas get the heck out of there.
  • "Reptiles in the Rose Garden": Mario and friends see Koopa's Doomship hovering overhead.
    You'd Expect: That they'd just make a run for it or something like that.
    Instead: They stand motionless, somehow avoiding getting shot by the ship's Bullet Bills. Princess even volunteers to stall them while telling the others to run. By that time, it's too late and they get captured by the Chain Chomps that King Koopa sends down after them. Even after Kootie Pie proudly boasts to the princess that she's about to become America's new empress, which isn't any smarter, our heroes can't even warn the USA that the Koopas are coming.
    So: With the entire gang still chained up and guarded by Sledge and Fire Bros, the princess hatches a plan to help them escape (and loudly declares her intention to put it into action). She decides to turn the Sledge and Fire Bros. against each other by claiming that each badmouthed the other to her.
    You'd Think: That the Sledge and Fire Bros.—who have been in the room with the group the whole time—would realize that Princess Toadstool is lying, as they would have heard the phony insults, considering that the princess was never out of earshot of any of them.
    Instead: The Bros. fall for the trick hook, line, and sinker, and start attacking each other.
    It Gets Worse: Princess (again, quite loudly) then tells Mario, Luigi, and Toad to use the crossfire to break the Chain Chomps holding them.
    You'd Then Think: The Sledge and Fire Bros. would stop fighting at once.
    Instead: They don't let up for a second, freeing everyone from their clutches.
  • "The Beauty of Kootie": Mario and Luigi find Lady Fettuccini Alfredo (Kootie Pie in a human disguise) in the basement of the Sultan's castle. Mario falls for her but Luigi notices she has a tail and wastes no time revealing this.
    You'd Expect: Mario to catch on, too, and realize something is fishy with this dream girl.
    Instead: He ignores her tail the whole time and doesn't discover she's really Kootie Pie until Cheatsy changes her back.
    Compounding It: To get back at Kootie Pie, Mario turns Luigi into Casanova Koopa with one of the Koopa Kids' unattended wands.
    You'd Think: Kootie Pie would act suspicious, knowing she had easily tricked Mario with the same exact scheme.
    Instead: She instantly falls for Casanova head over heels.
    It Gets Worse: With Princess Toadstool, Toad, the sultan and a guard locked up, Luigi requests some privacy when Cheatsy asks who this mysterious Koopa is.
    You'd Then Think: Kootie Pie would have Cheatsy guard the prisoners while she and "Casanova" have their alone time.
    Instead: She releases the prisoners in a fit of rage. It's only when Kootie's wand accidentally changes Casanova back into Luigi, which blows his cover, does Kootie realize, "I'VE BEEN KISSED BY A PLUMBER!".
  • "Never Koop a Koopa": Koopa announces that he and the Koopa Kids are admitting defeat and moving out of the Mushroom Kingdom. He hands Princess Toadstool the key to his castle as a token of forgiveness. After he disappears, Luigi tells her that she's being set up and to dispose of the key.
    You'd Expect: Princess to trust Luigi and determine that all this is indeed too good to be true.
    Instead: She talks the Mario Bros. and Toad into visiting the castle with the key in her possession, thinking she can turn Castle Koopa into a retirement home.
    Later: After Princess Toadstool and Mario have been captured, Koopa claims he'll blow them up with Bob-ombs unless the Princess signs the kingdom over to him using a scroll; Cheatsy, his son, is inspired by his father's advice to double-cross people and decides to have the Princess sign the kingdom over to him. She sighs and agrees, writing something on the scroll and handing it back closed.
    You'd Expect: Cheatsy to realize that it's possible that the Princess is tricking him, too, and look at the signature—or, at least, to open the scroll for a second before running off to declare himself king.
    Instead: He marches into the throne room and declares that he is now in charge to Koopa, only for his father to open the scroll and discover that, rather than sign her name, the Princess has drawn an cartoony scowling face on the document. It takes up the entire center of the paper, so opening it even slightly would have given the trick away, but apparently Cheatsy didn't think of that.
  • "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel": King Koopa and Kooky plan to trap the Mario Bros. in Brooklyn by blocking the only way they can escape, a woman's drainpipe that leads to the Mushroom Kingdom. They don plumber outfits and introduce themselves to the lady.
    • You'd Expect: That she'd catch onto them being costumed plumbers and call someone else to fix her plumbing or, better yet, alert the police.
    • Instead: She invites Koopa and Kooky into her home where she reveals a problem with the same bathtub drain that brought them there. The two Koopas proceed to clog it with anything they can find.
    • To Be Fair: Mario DID mention that she wasn't all there.
  • "Dadzilla" features Kootie Pie and Big Mouth travelling to Hollywood to find their "real" father, who they decide is a gigantic reptilian robot named Madzilla. After bringing him to life with their magic wands, they boss him around and one point, demand that he help them perform a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Kootie and Big Mouth can't sing, so a crowd of patrons pelts them with several items; this upsets the Koopa Kids, so they ask Madzilla to help them.
    • You'd Expect: The crowd to run like the dickens from the ten-story monster that's looming over them.
    • Instead: They pelt Madzilla with garbage. Naturally, this angers him, and he comes extremely close to hurling the citizens into the Pacific Ocean.
  • "Tag Team Trouble" has a couple of cringe-worthy moments in the beginning. While delivering a sack containing one million coins to the orphanage, Toad overhears Koopa and Cheatsy scheming for money. He arrives at the orphanage and rings the doorbell.
    You'd Expect: Toad to keep a close eye on the money until the nanny opens the door and thanks him for a job well done.
    Instead: He falls asleep, leaving the sack open for easy capture.
    Then: The nanny and two kids answer the door.
    You'd Then Expect: Either one of them to wake up Toad and express their gratitude for bringing over the money.
    Instead: The nanny simply carries the bag inside the orphanage. When Toad wakes up to find the coins missing, he immediately assumes that Koopa stole it and panics.
  • "Oh, Brother!": Mario and Luigi have a heated argument, with the latter threatening to walk out of Toad's House where a thunderstorm (created by Kooky) is brewing.
    You'd Expect: Luigi to realize that going outside in the middle of a thunderstorm isn't a safe thing to do and maybe try to patch things up with Mario.
    Or: For Luigi take a Frog Suit at Princess Toadstool's request since it had been raining nonstop for two weeks by this time.
    Instead: He storms out of the house without a Frog Suit, claiming he doesn't need one.
    To Make Matters Worse: Mario goes after Luigi, completely ignoring the princess yelling "Take your Frog Suit!" and winds up getting captured by the Koopas.
  • "Mush-Rumors": The beginning where Norman inadvertently drives his family from Kansas through a Warp Zone en route to the theme park they're visiting.
    You'd Expect: After taking a quick peek at the unfamiliar scenery, to turn the car around (or at the very least, have his wife and kids tell him to do so) and find a different way to the park.
    Instead: He keeps driving and, with the wife suggesting they pull over and ask for directions, assumes the family is in Iowa (a state that does not border Kansas).
    You'd Also Expect: Norman to pay attention to the road.
    Instead: He gets distracted by the scenery and hits some blocks, crashing the car.
  • "Crimes R Us": All the Koopa Kids get one when Crimewave Clyde shows them how to break into the Mushroom Kingdom Treasury. He hands Kooky a Bob-omb with which they will use to bust open the doors.
    You'd Expect: For Kooky to go on with Clyde's instructions. Once they've finished with the heist, the Koopa Kids can catch Clyde off guard by revealing Koopa's double cross.
    Instead: Kooky shackles the Bob-omb to Clyde and when the prisoner asks what's going on, Cheatsy and Kootie Pie tell him they're following Koopa's orders. At that point, Cheatsy reveals the double cross and all seven laugh at Clyde, making no attempt to stop him from dousing the flame when he jumps in a pond. They proceed to rob the treasury without Clyde who begs the Mario Bros. for their help in stopping the Koopas.
  • "7 Continents for 7 Koopas" has a few acts of Moral Dissonance as the heroes reclaim the continents. First, as Asia's new ruler, Bully sprays graffiti all over the Great Wall of China. Mario goes there with a magic wand to set things right.
    You'd Expect: Mario to erase the graffiti.
    Instead: He turns the Great Wall into a dragon (?!?), lets it chase Bully away, and leaves without changing it back. Now there's a huge dragon running amok in China, and that's supposed to be a smaller problem than graffiti on the Wall?
    Compounding It: Luigi does something similar to end Big Mouth's rule in Antarctica. Big Mouth has created an "Abominable Snowkoopa" which he uses to scare the continent's penguins. Luigi arrives, steals the wand and defeats the Snowkoopa.
    You'd Expect: Luigi to simply chase Big Mouth out of Antarctica with his wand.
    Instead: He makes the penguins gigantic and leaves as they angrily chase Big Mouth away. Great, now Antarctica's got a giant penguin problem, making it in worse shape than what Big Mouth did to it.
    Plus: Mario has another one when she disposes of Kootie Pie in Europe. Kootie has changed all the art in the Louvre to reflect herself, one of them being "The Birth of Kootie".
    You'd Expect: Mario to change the art back.
    Instead: He makes a wall of water flow out of "The Birth of Kootie", sweeping Kootie Pie away but also flooding the Louvre! He's lucky he didn't get washed away as well but Mario may have ruined an entire museum of art just to erase Kootie's alterations.

Super Mario World
  • "Fire Sale": Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Yoshi have found Kootie Pie inside Ice Palace which is beginning to melt due to Mama Fireplant's tirades. Mario, Luigi and Princess have all been frozen by Porcupine Fish, leaving Kootie Pie to deal with Yoshi.
    You'd Think: Seeing that Yoshi could not pose much threat since he is afraid of water that Kootie Pie would simply stay put. Perhaps she could taunt him in hopes that he will panic and touch a Porcupine Fish.
    Instead: She lashes out at Yoshi for trying to steal back Mama Fireplant, goes after him and steps on a Porcupine Fish. Yoshi rescues Mama Fireplant and his friends before the Ice Palace collapses.
    The Result: Kootie Pie becomes frozen from the shoulders down in a block of ice. Her screams are unanswered because her Koopa Troopa minion refuses to help her.
  • "Send in the Clown": Luigi, after seeing a poster for Koopaling Bros. Circus, tells Mario, Yoshi and Princess that King Koopa may be luring the cave people into a trap. They take a Star Path to Neon Castle and find the circus tent.
    You'd Expect: For them to round up the cave people and leave immediately.
    Instead: Mario persuades the gang to watch the show together with the cave people. Despite Luigi's suspicions, the heroes don't discover they're in trouble until a nose falls off one of the Rex's clown disguises.
  • "Ghosts 'R' Us": The Mario Bros. and Princess have been caught by Wizardheimer in the Enchanted Forest. He threatens to blow them up with a Bob-omb if they don't go in a warp pipe leading to his haunted house.
    You'd Expect: For them to just run like the dickens since they're in a huge forest.
    Instead: They enter the pipe.
  • "The Night Before Cave Christmas": Koopa is holding a present that Oogtar has spoiled, a Bob-omb that has lit its fuse.
    You'd Think: Koopa would throw the Bob-omb away.
    Instead: "Stop! You're not supposed to go off 'til Christmas-" BOOM!! "...morning."
  • "Gopher Bash": Mario, Luigi and Yoshi have just taken back the food previously stolen by Cheatsy and the Monty Moles.
    You'd Expect: That they'd keep a close eye on the crops during the return trip, particularly considering they're for the cave people.
    Instead: Along the way, Yoshi climbs into the sack, devouring its entire contents. Luigi discovers it only when they return and tells Yoshi to start planting the veggies all over again.
  • "A Little Learning": Princess Toadstool has caught Hip, Hop, Yoshi and Oogtar fighting during recess.
    You'd Expect: That she'd let everyone tell their side of the story and dole out punishments when necessary.
    Instead: She immediately blames Oogtar for starting the fight while Hip and Hop make faces behind her.
    Then: For their science fair project, Hip and Hop build a volcano.
    You'd Expect: Well, anything other than how they demonstrate it below.
    Which Is: Rigging the volcano to have real lava squirt out of it.
    Even Worse: King Koopa intervenes and accidentally causes Hop to release huge amounts of lava which destroys the school and causes Princess to expel Hip and Hop.
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