- Anti-Climax Boss: The final Bowser is barely changed from every other one. Like the fake Bowsers in Worlds 6 and 7, he tosses hammers, but that's it. The real challenge is just getting to him, much less with a power up on hand (in World 8, not likely). And getting to Bowser with an extra hit turns him into a complete joke no matter when you fight him. Just take a hit and then run to the other side and grab the axe before your Mercy Invincibility wears off.
- Awesome Music: The Overworld theme is probably the most well-known song in all of gaming. The Underwater theme isn't too bad either.
- Demonic Spiders: Two main ones:
- Hammer Bros. They throw hammers at an absurd rate that makes it hard to dodge and attack them, especially since touching the hammers at all counts as a hit, and jump a lot making it hard to hit them. Their jumping can often make jumping on them a risk, because unless you hit the top of them, then you get hit instead. They can also jump downward from platforms, meaning if they're on a set of blocks, trying to hit them from below can easily result in them killing you. It's quite telling that their speed has been decreased in most succeeding games in the series, yet they're still very tricky to deal with.
- Lakitus... oh boy... those bastards are on clouds at the top of the screen, and it's extremely rare to come across a point that lets you get high enough to hit them. Even then, if you manage to kill one, another one will take its place shortly afterwards. For attacks, they drop Spinys, which you can't jump on. So to recap, you, for the most part, can't hit them, and they drop a constant supply of enemies you can't kill unless you have a Fire Flower.
- Everyone Is Satan in Hell: Basically, as some players noted, Mario's design resembles Soviet leader Josef Stalin, Mario is the hero of the game, and the ending of a level basically depicts Mario putting down a flag that slightly resembles the peace sign and hoisting a flag that has the Red Star of the Soviet Union. In one Nintendo Power issue, this subject was discussed in the mailbag section, although the staff denied the resemblance, noting that Mario collects coins and is saving a monarch, even trying to put Mario's moustache on the Russian boxer/soldier from Rocky IV. It's much clearer in later games with more advanced graphics: the symbol of the flag that Mario pulls down is supposed to be Bowser's silhouette. In its 8-bit form, it resembles a human skull or a Koopa shell.
- First Installment Wins: Sort of. While future games in the Super Mario series are just as, if not even more beloved in the fandom, this first one is undoubtedly the most famous.
- Good Bad Bugs:
- In Super Mario All-Stars, the Hammer Bros. hammers can't hurt you if you're on the left edge of the screen. This carries over to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
- Spiny eggs falling straight down when thrown by Lakitu is actually the result of a bug; as demonstrated here, they were intended to be thrown at an angle and bounce off walls and objects on their way down. Needless to say, this would have made the already-frustrating Lakitus even more of a menace.
- Growing the Beard: While there were a few successes beforehand, this game was where the Mario franchise started to hit its stride, as all of its famous themes, characters, and traditions where born in this game, and would influence all future sequels.
- Memetic Mutation:
- "...but our princess is in another castle!" We even have a trope named after it.
- Mario's "death" music cue, or the "Game Over" music cue often get used in videos to accompany an Epic Fail moment. For example, the Angry Video Game Nerd uses one of the cues at the end of his "Atari 5200" review, when he can't get the replacement plug to fit.
- Mood Whiplash: The underwater section of World 8-4 uses the "happy" underwater music. After passing this section, it goes back to the ominous castle music. The All-Stars version uses the castle music throughout the entire level.
- Nightmare Retardant: Bowser looks like an intimidating dragon creature at first, but his fearsome reputation is instantly sunk by his Boss Arena Idiocy: all it takes is an axe that he inexplicably keeps nearby to drop him into the fiery pit. Notably, Bowser ended up being portrayed more comically in most subsequent appearances.
- Polished Port: Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on Game Boy Color has a number of features that make it worth keeping: being able to save your progress and select any stage you've completed so far (even in its Unlockable port of The Lost Levels, which is necessary given how difficult it is) a Challenge Mode for each level, and a 1 and 2-player race mode. Unfortunately, the screen resolution was significantly cropped to fit the handheld's small screen (and to keep from squishing the sprites down), which can make gameplay more frustrating than the original. The port does have some tweaks to make up for this, such as allowing you to reorient the screen to look above or keep the view locked ahead of Mario, in addition to tweaking the Ratchet Scrolling so you can slightly backtrack to an out of view area, but it only helps so much.
- Sacred Cow: It was the first Mario platformer, after all.
- "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Even though the game was a massive success and people still look back on the game as one of the ways of making a game being done right, even long time fans agree that games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World did a better job in showcasing what Mario can do and how the games should be. While the original game is never considered to be bad, it can be barebones and choppy with its difficulty when compared to the later games in that era.
- Scrappy Mechanic:
- For newcomers coming off of newer games, the fact that Fire Mario goes straight to Small Mario after being hit instead of Super Mario is this. Some veterans, however, appreciate the added challenge. Unlike Japanese Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, there is no Video Game Remake that fixes this, as both All-Stars and Deluxe keep it in.
- Not being able to Goomba Springboard led many a newer fan to call Damn You, Muscle Memory!.
- In Deluxe, saving resets your score and makes you revert to Small Mario/Luigi when you reload. This wouldn't be that big a deal, if score wasn't so stressed in this version of the game, what with there being a score attack Challenge Mode, a tradeable high score table, and Unlockable Content gotten by getting a high enough score. Also, you get a photo for defeating each Bowser with fireballs, so it would have been easy to get a Fire Flower from an early stage and then warp directly to the castle after beating the game. But the game not saving your form forces you to go through each level of the world, collecting every power-up possible, and KEEPING your form until Bowser. Coupled with the already annoying Scrappy Mechanic of reverting straight to Small Mario when Fire Mario takes a hit. The Japanese version fixes both of these problems.
- That One Level: Has its own section on the That One Level page for the franchise.
- Unwinnable by Insanity: The Minus World. Also, there are some places where you can jump on the ceiling in a castle level (i.e. x-4 level) and get stuck because there's no way down, and you have to let the timer run out.
THANK YOU MARIO!
BUT OUR MAIN PAGE IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE!
BUT OUR MAIN PAGE IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE!