Paper Mario has Bowser who kidnaped 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).
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 illlusion (most of the time, Mimi used 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. Made even worse when Mimi took on the appearance of a character that had 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.
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 her throne for Queen Rotunda 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. Instead: He switches the wands' jewels 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. You'd Also Think: That after accidentally turning Mario into a giant for King Koopa to simply use one of the wands that he still has 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 gunshots, and as a result, 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 For the Villains: 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. While she and Cheatsy are distracted with Luigi, Mario and the others set up their trap. 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.
"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 the crowd of patrons pelts them with several items; this upsets the Koopalings, 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. Mario then goes after him without a Frog Suit as well, and also completely ignores the princess telling him "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 Kooky how to bust open the Mushroom Kingdom Treasury doors with a Bob-omb. You'd Expect: For Kooky to go on with Clyde's instructions and the rest of them to carry out the heist as normal. Once they've finished, they can reveal Koopa's double cross to Clyde when he least expects it. Instead: Kooky shackles the Bob-omb to Clyde and when the prisoner asks what's going on, Cheatsy and Kootie Pie boast their father's plan. All seven then 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 cornered 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: Kootie Pie would simply stay put and perhaps taunt Yoshi in hopes that he will also step on a Porcupine Fish if he chooses to run toward her. In addition, Yoshi is afraid of water so he may panic and accidentally touch one. Instead: She goes after Yoshi and steps on a Porcupine Fish, enabling him to rescue 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.
"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 thus, they need to plant 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 whileHip 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. While All This Has Been Going On: The Piranha Plant that Hip and Hop planted to sabotage Oogtar's "eggabaga" project grows large when Oogtar adds fertilizer to get an edge over Hip and Hop's volcano. During the chaos that ensued when the volcano errupted, the Piranha Plant runs out of the school and eats Koopa, Hip, and Hop. Yoshi then walks up and eats the Piranha Plant. He sits there with a bloated stomach, complaining that he doesn't feel good. You'd Expect: Mario et al to encourage Yoshi to deal with it and let him digest, thus effectively killing off their archenemy and 2/7ths of his children. Instead: The princess directs Yoshi to inexplicably spit Koopa, Hip and Hop (who logically should still be inside the Piranha Plant) into a pipe. Even though it's pretty doubtful Mario and Toadstool would want to resort to killing the Koopas (particularly the children) in order to be rid of their aggression. Aside from this being a kid's cartoon, Mario and group are simply too kindhearted and not cold enough to do that sort of thing.