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YMMV: Super Mario Bros.

The Series as a whole:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Of the Tear Jerker variety.
    • Also Mario (and Luigi) himself: Mario is a ruthless One-Man Army killing anything in his path, not caring if his foes WANT to hurt him or not, captures countless lands, and basically waged a war against a rivaling kingdom with many casualties on their side, just to rescue a princess.
      • Although even the enemies who don't pursue Mario if he jumps over them (instead of on them) would still hurt him if they touched him, so it's not clear whether they don't want to hurt him or they do but they're incompetent.
      • Given the sheer number of them who simply walk off cliffs without even slowing down, "incompetent" is probably a safe bet.
      • And also, kidnapping another country's regent wouldn't signify an act of war?
      • As an addendum to the above, some argue that Mario is genuinely good, but a Heroic Comedic Sociopath. He genuinely wants to save Peach, but he has too much fun basically slaughtering the equivalent to entire armies (there's some actual canonical basis for this, notice how Mario tends to sound like he's having fun in some of his ingame sound bytes?).
      • Game Theory suggests Mario has Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
    • Peach and Bowser have the 'kidnapping' thing going on to make money, since only Mario and Luigi can get coins out of those blocks.
      • Or Bowser's feelings toward Peach are actually mutual.
    • Cracked had a lot of fun with the interpretation that Bowser is actually in love with Peach but bad at expressing it; Peach has conflicting feelings and notably never denies being the mother of Bowser Jr. when Bowser Jr. claims she is. Bowser is also a Well-Intentioned Extremist, who captures the Yoshis because they're an ecological menace (they eat anything), until he finds time to find a permanent solution to the crisis, due to the fact that he captures them, rather than killing them. He may also be the also the only person capable of ruling the land, as he has time to build, maintain and run seven castles simultaneously, manages to conquer and subdivide the lands into more effective zones, and find time to kidnap Peach. He essentally keeps trying to perform a Benevolent Alien Invasion but it keeps getting screwed up by Mario...by the way, where was he while Bowser was doing this anyway?
      • Another Cracked article assumed that Peach has a case of Stockholm syndrome, since she says Bowser kidnaps her, never hurting her, and and playing sports with her.
      • A How It Should Have Ended video portrays Bowser as attempting to make peace treaties with Princess Peach due to Mario always killing his people.
    • Professor E. Gadd gets this thanks to Bowser Jr. using his Paintbrush in Super Mario Sunshine. Absent-Minded Professor who gets his stuff stolen fairly often, or Chessmaster arms dealer using Obfuscating Stupidity to Play Both Sides?
  • Archive Panic: We are talking about a series that has been going strong since the early to mid 1980's, has spawned numerous main series games, and so many spinoffs and cameo appearances that it reaches triple digit territory. And that's not even counting the substantial amount of tie-in material, such as comic book appearances, the OVA and live action movie, and the DiC cartoon series. To say the least, trying to even collect all of the series, much less sit through all of it, is an exercise in futility.
  • Awesome Ego: Bowser is boastful and arrogant despite his repeated defeats from Mario. His fans however, agree he lives that, and when he doesn't fight Mario, he usually does.
  • Awesome Music/Ear Worm: Koji Kondo and others have composed many memorable tunes for the series. See here for more details.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Bizarro Episode: The US Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario USA in Japan) is pretty much this, as it has nothing to do with the rest of the main platformer series, and is revealed to be All Just a Dream in the end. This was because it wasn't the actual sequel to the original Super Mario Bros. The Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2. (called Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in the US) was the real sequel, directly following the previous game, while the US version was actually an entirely different game called Doki Doki Panic, only with four Mario characters added in place of DDP's characters. This was done because SMB:TLL was deemed too difficult and too similar to the original game. US players had to wait until Super Mario All-Stars, a collection of remakes for the NES, came out to play The Lost Levels. So the Mario platformer series has TWO second installments, though SMB2: TLL is the actual canon sequel while SMB2: USA is a BLAM episode. YMMV on which you prefer though.
  • Breather Boss: Has had a few in some games, such as The Big Bully in Super Mario 64 and Topmaniac and the Undergrunt Gunner in Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Crazy Awesome: The series (and most characters) as a whole. Especially Wario, Waluigi and Bowser
  • Creepy Cute: Most of the series' Adorable Evil Minions are this. Case in point, Boos—roundish ghosts with beady eyes and sharp fangs...that also let out adorably high-pitched cackles whenever they spot you, and stick out their tongues like BrattyHalfPints.
  • Demonic Spiders: The series has two main ones: Hammer Bros., and Lakitu. Hammer Bros. because they lob a barrage of hammers at you, which is jarring since you mostly jump over most hazards. Lakitu because they mostly float out of your reach and they throw the already hard-to-kill Spinies at you.
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome: Mario suffers a bit from this, since he's The Everyman.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Bowser. Despite his redeeming qualities, he has committed evil plenty of times and has failed to learn from any of his defeats.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Many given the series long history
    • Despite only appearing in one game and its ports/remakes, Wart is one of the franchise's most popular villains. Being one of the few non-Bowser Big Bads in the main platformers probably helps set him apart.
    • The Koopalings. They are quite the colorful bunch, having different personalities and different hairstyles. No wonder fans were upset when Bowser Jr. replaced them.
      • Iggy in particular stands out; the New Super Mario Bros series remade him as a Laughing Mad, Ax-Crazy boss that's capable of walking on ceilings (no, not clinging, flat out walking).
      • Also Ludwig. Being the "boss" of the group and is portrayed as the most capable of them.
    • Rosalina has become popular for being a princess that you don't have to rescue. Not many people were happy when Lubba replaced her in Galaxy 2 and she only appears in the end. On the other side of things, fans were very happy when Super Mario 3D World included her as a fully playable character. This has gotten to the point where she was announced to be a playable character in the next Smash Bros.!
    • Donkey Kong, Wario and Yoshi, who all ended up getting entire series to themselves.
    • Before any of these, there was Luigi. Especially once he became one of the most rounded characters in the series. Nowadays, it's expected for him to be playable in any Mario game.
    • Waluigi┤s outlandish personality and comic relief scenes alongside Wario. People lamented his absence from Mario Kart 7. And when Mario Kart 8┤s trailer was released, he was one of the first characters to be shown.
      • Although Waluigi still has haters, so pends more towards base breaker.
    • Fawful. Started out as Cackletta's henchman in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, but his popularity led to him being promoted to Big Bad in Bowser's Inside Story. To this day, he's undoubtably the most popular character ever to be introduced in a Mario RPG.
    • An in universe example is in Mario Party Advance where Mushbert brings up that Britney surpasses Jack in popularity when it comes to Toad Force V.
    • Ever since Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, there have been two more sets of characters who've ended up becoming this, the Big Bad Antasma and the somewhat beef and muscle obsessed Massif Bros. Will either be Fawful's replacement as fan favorite? Hard to tell yet, but it's possible.
  • Escapist Character: Mario.
  • Even Better Sequel: Often what fans think of Super Mario Bros. 3 compared to the original.
  • Evil Is Cool/Love to Hate: Bowser is one of the most beloved and classic video game villains of all time. He's also one of the few Mario characters that has a fleshed-out personality. Even though he suffers Villain Decay intermittently, he is able to make up for it by reversing it in games like Super Mario Galaxy.
    • And every other villain in the series. Fawful was so cool he ended up an Ensemble Darkhorse because of it, Dimentio went the same way, Cackletta, Midbus, the Shadow Queen, X-Nauts and Antasma all have a pretty dedicated fandom due to their evil acts and general coolness... Wario was so cool he became a Break-Out Character and got his own franchise... really, the only villain who don't have some variant of this are probably the version of Bowser from Sticker Star and the Shroobs, and even the latter is uncertain.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Technically the vast majority of them fits, considering the Excuse Plot nature of the games. Examples include:
  • Fandom Berserk Button: The game is called Super Mario Brothers, NOT Super Mary-Oh Brothers, as some old Mario commercials would lead you to believe.
    • Asking for Super Mario Bros. 4 to be made will lead irked fans to pointing out that it already exists ´┐Ż only it was called Super Mario World in the US.
    • Mario and Luigi's last names are not Mario ´┐Ż as far as Nintendo themselves are concerned, they have no last names.
  • Fanon: A starting point can be found here.
    • The Gold and Blue Toads in New Super Mario Bros. Wii have been given the names Wolley and Yvan, respectively (pronounced "Wally" and "Ivan"). Less popular names given by the development team are Alla-Gold and Bucken-Berry.
  • Fridge Logic: The manual for Super Mario Bros. 1 stated that Bowser used his dark magic to turn the people of the Mushroom Kingdom into trees and bricks, and Mario spent the entire game destroying the latter. So when you think about it, Mario is actually a mass murderer.
    • It's never said that Mario hitting the bricks destroyed them (other than what the 8-bit pixels seemed to represent); if anything, once the bricks were broken, the people were probably returned to normal (that's the way it goes in these types of games anyway). Besides, this was never mentioned anywhere outside of the instruction manual for that one game, which is suspect as the blocks show up in almost every Mario game afterwards.
      • Or, the fact that it's specifically mentioned that the people were turned into bricks and not blocks could be significant. Hitting and breaking the blocks just detaches the individual bricks from each other without necessarily destroying them.
    • Another example of fridge logic: how do the many enemies that walk in a straight line and never change direction until they bump into something (such as the Koopas described under "Fridge Horror" below) get between the two objects they're walking back and forth between in the first place if they can't walk or jump over them? Does Bowser really go to all the trouble of finding countless pairs of immovable objects and putting minions between them before kidnapping Peach? How do the authorities not start to notice this pattern and take precautions to protect Peach whenever Bowser starts dropping minions between immovable objects?
    • Probably the most overlooked example of this trope is the fact that the Super Mushroom would technically kill Mario if not for its beneficial result. Some brightly colored mushrooms can be poisonous.
    • What about what happens to the coins you have that you collected when the brick blocks turn into coins when you hit the P Switch? If it turns all coins into bricks and all bricks into coins, what happens to the coins you carry?
  • Fridge Horror: Letting a Koopa bounce around in between blocks or pipes. Koopa Troopas can't get out of their shells if they're still in motion. They don't lose momentum when they hit solid objects. Ergo, they can possibly go on stuck there forever.
    • The Paper Mario series shows that they can stop their shells if they need to.
  • Funny Moments: Examples are here.
  • Game Breaker: The blue Yoshi in Super Mario World. If you grabbed a Koopa shell of ANY color, you could fly anywhere and easily skip whole levels at a time!
    • Though to a lesser extent, the cape is also overpowered. A single swipe can kill most enemies in the game, and you can fly for as long as you like as long as you can build enough running speed.
      • Oh, and flying is the only time you can get hit without taking damage.
    • See here for more.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The "small fiery Mario" glitch. If you hit Bowser and the axe at the same time at the end of an x-4 level, you'll start the next level as a large Mario who dies in one hit. Take a mushroom and you become small; take a Fire Flower and you become small and fiery.
    • Also, a related glitch: if you're small and you hit Bowser and the axe at the same time, Mario dies but the level still registers as a win, leaving Toad saying his "Thank You Mario/Luigi!" line to a blank screen.
    • There's also the fact that the correct pipes in the World 8-4 Pipe Maze will have the Pirahna Plants inhabiting them suddenly disappear as you approach them. This significantly reduces the potential aggravation of guessing the correct pipe.
    • If you jump on the axe just as the timer reaches zero in any castle level, you'll get a huge bonus of 50,000 points. This is because of a bug in which the timer rolls over to 999 and keeps counting down from there. However, this does not work in the NES version, since it doesn't give you a time bonus for castles. This can only be done in the "Vs." (arcade) and Super Mario All-Stars versionsnote 
  • Heartwarming Moment: This.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Who knows what Mario will look like in the future? Maybe he'll wear metallic clothes?"
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Toad and Toadette, though it seems that it's because people don't know that the two are brother and sister. It doesn't help that Nintend can't make up their minds about whether they're siblings, friends, dating, or what.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Bowser is incredibly popular with the gay fandom, most notably with furries.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Fawful and, depending on the game, Bowser.
  • Memetic Badass: The Mario Brothers. With good reason.
  • Memetic Loser: Luigi and the goombas.
  • Memetic Sex God: There's a reason why Bowser is Draco in Leather Pants.
    • The princesses, but especially Rosalina.
  • Memetic Mutation: Quite a bit, actually.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The 1-Up chime.
    • Also, the power-up sound.
    • The pipe sound and level ending fanfare, too.
  • Never Live It Down: "Hi, I'm Daisy!" It doesn't help that while a lot of Mario fans don't play the spinoff games all that much, they do play Mario Kart games, and for many Mario Kart: Double Dash was their first impression of Daisy.
    • Peach's reaction to Bowser Jr telling her that she's his mommy in Super Mario Sunshine. Many people (especially detractors of the character) cite it as an example of the princess being a complete ditz, and ignore the instances of her being portrayed competently in the series (particularly in the RPGs).
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has a lot of it.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Luigi's ended up playing the villain (usually after deciding he's tired of playing second banana to Mario) in a number of fanworks, Super Mario World ROM hacks in particular.
    • Or alteratively Mario, who gets sick of having the rescue the same princess over and over and over again.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Daisy for some. Aside from the fact she technically only uses the line in a few games, her "Hi, I'm Daisy!" quote has become something of an online meme for her character. This is also regardless of the fact that Mario characters are all known for shouting annoying one-liners, so it's likely a case of bandwagon.
      • Her Baby counterpart takes it Up to Eleven in annoyance. If only because there has never been a Baby version of her, and just putting her again in the game makes it worse. Being there for a simple counterpart to Baby Peach doesn't help matters either.
      • Pretty much all the Baby characters could count at some point due to their crying.
    • Waluigi also has his own share of haters. He's never been featured in a non-spinoff Mario game, so he has no real place in canon, and hardcore fans generally dislike the Mario spinoffs to begin with. However, thanks to alternate character interpretation, getting some good stages and themes to his name, and getting his character taken in an overall hilarious direction, he's been somewhat Rescued from the Scrappy Heap and become a Base Breaker Ensemble Darkhorse in his own right, enough for people to actually get mad when he didn't appear in Mario Kart 7.
    • Despite her vital role (or maybe because of it), Princess Peach has started to become this.
    • Bowser Jr. for replacing the Koopalings (as stated below), but also for having a lazy design and name. He is an exact copy both personality and looks-wise of Baby Bowser. The only way to distinguish the two is the picture on Junior's bib.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Bowser Jr. While he is also hated for his lackluster design (he is an Expy of Bowser's baby self), he is mostly hated for replacing the Koopalings in Super Mario Sunshine. To a lesser extent, for replacing the Koopa Kids of the spinoffs as well. As of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, he is forgiven by a lot of fans, as he appeared alongside all of them in the game.
    • Now that Word of God has stated that the Koopalings are no longer considered Bowser's children and only Bowser Jr. is his true child, the hate toward him is quickly returning.
    • Also Lubba for Rosalina.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Bowser is so damned likable and fun that many players find themselves wanting him to win out over the Mario Bros for once. Look at the top of the page and see how much Fanon and interpretations are about Bowser being the good guy. This is even more prominent during his Jerkass Woobie moments. Bowser's Inside Story seems to be a shout out for such players, since it puts Bowser in the limelight.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: No matter how many extra lives you've gotten, in some Mario games, if you save, quit, and reload your game, you're back down to 4 or 5 lives.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The original Super Mario Bros compared to Mario Bros..
  • That One Level: It has its own page.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Although Waluigi and Daisy have mixed reception, there are a plenty of fans that feel they are interesting characters in their own right and feel that Nintendo should let appear in the main games. The fact that Rosalina was playable in Super Mario 3D World made many of these fans more vocal about this.
  • Ugly Cute: Goombas.
    • A lot of other enemies could count as this.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Toad giving you the finger in the original Super Mario Bros.
  • Villain Decay: Bowser tends to go back and forth with this to a nearly unprecedented degree; though he's usually a genuine threat in the 'core' games (ranging from downright silly plots to accidentally destroying reality after nearly conquering it). In spinoffs, though, he's typically little more than a comic-relief nuisance, a reluctant ally, or even a near Woobie level Butt Monkey as in Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga.
  • The Woobie: Luigi, being the Butt Monkey and all.
  • Woolseyism: The first Mario RPG was translated by Ted Woolsey himself. Since then, the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series have done their localizations in a style not unlike Woolsey.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: See World Of Chaos on the Franchise page.

The Cartoon Series

The Film

  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Speed of Light (aka, the bgm for the mattress sled scene) is considered one of the best parts of the movie, even to the detractors.
  • Cult Classic: For any fan of the Mario series, this is a must-see. The Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive is a thriving fan community devoted to the movie that's even had exclusive interviews with members of the cast and crew.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Somewhere My Love", the song Mario and Luigi trick the Goombas into dancing to... La, la, LA LA....
    • "Walk the Dinosaur".
  • Foe Yay: It's possible to see some between Lena and Daisy.
  • Funny Moments: Mario and Luigi are chained as they get their picture taken, when they mistake the cameras for guns.
    Mario: Are we dead?
    • In addition, the dancing Goombas can also be seen as one of the few intentionally funny moments.
  • Ham and Cheese: Dennis Hopper's acting is okay in some scenes, but in others, he's clearly having fun overacting and taking his role not at all seriously.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The two towers that dominate Koopa's Manhattan-inspired city, one of which looks half-destroyed (actually, it's not finished construction yet, but the visual effect is the same), and the other of which has a glowing stylized "K" on the side that looks like, depending on how you see it, either an explosion or a gaping hole.
    • Even worse in the climax when the dimensions begin to merge, including a shot which can visually can be described as the World Trade Center disintegrating.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Lena, who is played by Fiona Shaw, tells Daisy that she has her mother's eyes.
  • Mind Game Ship: Between Koopa and Daisy. Lena is not pleased.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Lena stabbing Yoshi.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Harry Potter fans will surely recognize Aunt Petunia as the villainess now.
  • Snark Bait: Courtesy of RiffTrax.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The entire movie, arguably.
  • Special Effect Failure: Amongst all the revolutionary visuals and complicated animatronics for Yoshi and the Goombas, the devolved King Koopa puppet looks like an escapee from a bad episode of The Muppet Show.
  • Squick: The fungus, in-universe. Mario in particular is constantly grossed out by it.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: God bless you Bob Hoskins, for trying to give a performance. And consider he's playing Mario, of all roles to be stuck with.
  • Ugly Cute: Yoshi.
  • Video Game Movies Suck: The Ur Example of this trope; YMMV on how much it sucks, or whether it even does. While many lament that it's so different from the games as to be In Name Only, some people do enjoy it.
  • Vindicated by History: It seems that audiences are warming up to this movie. Probably because looking back, it still kept the basic plot of a Mario game, but with a few changes, or simply for the So Bad, It's Good factor.
    • Though if Reviews Are The Gospel remains in play, there is likely a large contingent that will continue to avert this, given the Nostalgia Critic's intense panning of the film.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Much like Jurassic Park, this film had to literally invent new technology to make much of its visual effects look as realistic as they do. Unfortunately, Jurassic Park's effects were a much more explicit focus, so it gets more attention for its influence on the industry.
    • Daisy appearing in the sand.
    • Yoshi. For an animatronic puppet, it looks like it just stepped out of a time portal to the Jurassic Era.
    • This also applies to a lesser extent the Goombas. All of them, including those only seen in the background, had multiple movements built into the heads.
    • The pan over the city towards Koopa's tower. This was done by one man over a period of six months and was deemed impossible beforehand.
    • And the King turning back into a human.

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