Main characters: The Mario Brothers | Allies | The Koopa Kingdom (Bowser — Bowser Jr. — The Koopalings — Other High-Ranking Subordinates — Bosses) | Assorted Nasties
RPG characters: Super Mario RPG | Paper Mario (64 — The Thousand-Year Door — Super — Sticker Star — Color Splash — The Origami King) | Mario & Luigi (Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser)
Spinoff series: Yoshi's Island | Luigi's Mansion | Mario Golf | Mario Tennis | Super Mario Maker | Donkey Kong series (Kongs) | Wario series (Wario and Waluigi)
Crossovers: Punch-Out!! | Super Smash Bros. | Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games | Skylanders | Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Other media: The 1993 film
Characters from Paper Mario: Color Splash.
A paint bucket-like creature who helps Mario restore Color to Prism Island. Huey is determined to save the Big Paint Stars and is generally kind-hearted, though he's not above materialistic vices.
- Animate Inanimate Object: He has the appearance of a living paint bucket.
- But Now I Must Go: In a rather somber moment in an otherwise bright and cheerful game, Huey absorbs all the black paint covering Bowser's castle and goes off to a faraway place to make sure it doesn't cause trouble again.
- Living Mood Ring: The tab where Huey's eyes are will change color depending on his feelings: blue for sad, red for angry, yellow for happy, and purple for shocked.
- Lovable Coward: Whenever danger arises, Huey isn't afraid to sit aside and let Mario do all of the work. At times he genuinely tries to help out, but if there is a situation he knows he can't handle, he'll let Mario take over.
- Money Fetish: Huey really has a thing for obtaining and keeping wealth—he expects others to pay for him, like Peach for a possible burger. Meanwhile, he expresses outrage when the pay load of Mondo Woods' giant coin is equal to a normal one.
- Nice Guy: Huey is very nice and openly supportive of Mario, and while he has some negative qualities, overall he's very sweet.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Huey's purpose is to encapsulate the corrosive and corrupting black paint, but he doesn't realize it until the end. Huey himself is quite benevolent, essentially the "can" (literally and figuratively) to the black paint's "evil".
A bunch of 3-dimensional items found here and there on Prism Island.
- Dance Battler: The Piggy Bank hurts the opponents with some sick break-dance moves.
- Mythology Gag: The Flute plays the same melody heard while playing the same instrument in The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3. Like in those games, the melody summons a tornado.
- The Power of Rock: The Hammer is literally a metal-head, and slams the enemies with electric guitar riffs going in the background.
A regular Shy Guy who found the wannabe-hero Toad's Journal and got inspired by it.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The Journal gives him better stats and it can catch an off-guard player with 10 HP attacks. Other than that, he is a regular —and still rather weak— Shy Guy. (In comparison, he has the same stats and behavior as the later encountered Shield Guys, making him some sort of Artifact Mook.)
- Calling Your Attacks: "HARDCOVER JUSTICE MISSILE!". Since he's making them up on the spot, after a few turns he runs out of names.
- Fearless Fool: Following the motto of the Journal and forgetting all sense of Mook Chivalry, he jumps on Mario and draws first paint stain.
- Heroic Wannabe: He is inspired by the Justice Toad's writings, unaware that he is a Heroic Wannabe too.
- Mook Horror Show: This Shy Guy, despite thinking of himself as a hero, calls Mario a "bad guy" and attacks him on the spot. And why wouldn't he? From his point of view, he is a mook slaughterer!
- No Sneak Attacks: Averted. All the regular bad guys of the game can sneak attack Mario, but this is the only scripted one. Weird in a sense as Mario definitely saw him first, it's just that the Shy Guy was feeling courageous at this instant.
- Secret Diary: The Hero's Journal, his improvised weapon and shield.
- Throw the Book at Them: He fights with the Heros Journal.
- Unique Enemy: Has his own title and lines of dialogue, and also has the unique ability of smashing you with a book.
A terrifying Shy Guy miniboss found in the depths of the Indigo Underground.
- Achilles' Heel: He is only vulnerable to fire. And "Thing" cards too, he isn't that invulnerable.
- Body Horror: Not only was he literally sucking the life out of a Green Ranger Toad when you find him, he then folds backwards and creepily crawls towards Mario.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Looks like a regular Shy Guy, but is actually the Mini-Boss of the level.
- Crate Expectations: He is hidden in one in the Sunset Express.
- Degraded Boss: He wasn't that much of a boss to begin with, but he comes back several times, and now the player knows his only weakness. (That plus the "Strong as They Need to Be" effect caused by the Gameplay and Story Segregation.)
- Exorcist Head: The Horror Trope implied by his backwards folding.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: When you meet him again, your hammer has upgraded and is able to One-Hit Kill him with a preemptive strike. But if you fight him normally, the hammer cards are useless again like in the first encounter.
- Invincible Minor Minion: After defeating dozens of Shy Guys of various forms, not being able to defeat this creepy but otherwise unremarkable Slurp Guy with basic attacks makes him even more creepy.
- Just Between You and Me: After a few turns wasting your attacks on him, he will eventually plainly spell out his own weakness that would defeat him in only one well done attack.
- Kill It with Fire: The (almost) only way to destroy this monstrosity.
- Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Regular attacks like the jump and the hammer won't work against him. Justified, as his folding allows him to absorb any stomp without damaging him.
- Life Drinker: Like all Slurp Guys, he sucks the paint out of Mario and the Toad. The horror of the scene only makes this even more uncomfortable.
- Monster Closet: How you find him at Tangerino Grill.
- No-Sell: He is immune to almost all the cards in the game.
- Oh, Crap!: Even Mario can't stay unfazed by the Shunned Guy, and starts the fight trying (and failing) to escape.
- "Psycho" Strings: His own theme song.
- RockPaperScissors: He is the third and final opponent (which means you have no clues about how to beat him) of the third Roshambo Temple.
- Shout-Out: Of all things, to The Grudge (or rather the original Ju-on). Didn't expect to see that kind of reference in a Nintendo game, did you?
- Uniformity Exception: The only difference between this guy and a regular Slurp Guy is that he is folded and suddenly crawls backwards towards you.
- Unique Enemy: Even though you meet him several times after the initial confrontation in the Indigo Underground, it is implied that it is always the same as you never met multiple occurrences of him at the same time.
- Unwinnable by Design: If you wasted all your fire-based and "Thing" cards before the fight, the only recourse left is to run.
- Wall Crawl: Can do that after you find him in the Sunset Express.
An exiled Shy Guy who has donned a mask (atop his Shy Guy mask) and taken to a life of thievery. He occasionally appears on the world map, where he will mark a location with his calling card. If you don't head him off or defeat him, he'll suck the paint out of the location, reverting all of its colorless spots.
- Action Initiative: The Shy Bandit will always attack first, and his opening move will always be to either shoot paint at your eyes or summon Mooks.
- Assist Character: As with most enemies, you can acquire a battle card of him and summon him as an ally. If he defeats an enemy, the defeated enemy has a very high chance of dropping a card of their own after the battle.
- Bandit Mook: Though rather than steal your items, he'll steal all the hard work you made in repainting a level.
- Blow Gun: Unlike most Slurp Guys, who only use their straws to suck in paint, the Shy Bandit will also do the reverse.
- Calling Card: He marks a level icon with his calling card, which lets you know where to race him to. Beating him there and claiming the card will cause him to leave without a fight.
- Domino Mask: He wears a domino mask over his standard-issue Shy Guy mask, ostensibly to hide his identity.
- A Handful for an Eye: When the battle starts, sometimes he will immediately attempt to blind you with a shot of paint to the eyes. If you get hit, your subsequent attacks will miss.
- Mini-Boss: A randomly-recurring one.
- Overworld Not to Scale: Since you fight him on the world map, the scenery accompanying your battle will be amusingly-tiny versions of levels.
- Phantom Thief: Self-styled as such, though his getup is somewhat lacking.
- Random Encounters: He has a small chance of appearing whenever you exit a level to the world map.
- Bystander Syndrome: Even though it is their problem and that they would be perfectly able to fight together and thus be stronger, the three remaining members of the team are just standing in a corner and watching Mario kick their leader's butt. Justified as the Shady Sledge Bro told his gang to let him handle Mario.
- Cool Shades: The Shady Sledge Bro.
- Decapitated Army: The rest of the gang don't even try to continue the fight once Mario defeated the Sledge Bro.
- Drop the Hammer: The Sledge Bro's weapon of choice, obviously.
- Large and in Charge: The Shady Sledge Bro is the boss of the gang and, as all Sledge Bros, quite a Fat Bastard.
- Last Words: When he is defeated, the Sledge Bros expresses his regrets that he never had the opportunity to sit on "it".
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Their team is composed of a Shy Guy, a Paratroopa, a Spike, and a Shady Sledge Bro.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When their leader is defeated, the rest of the gang flees without further ado.
A Shy Guy who watches over the Laundry Machine in Vortex Island.
- Throw the Book at Them: He swings the magazine he was reading as a way to attack.
A living Steak that the VIP passenger wants Mario to serve for him at the Tangerino Grill.
- Bait-and-Switch: Thought it was a Thing that you needed to squeeze? Surprise! It's actually a Puzzle Boss.
- Food Eats You: It attacks Mario by whacking him when encountered.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Like the other Things, the steak is actually rendered in 3D, as opposed to being paper like the rest of the characters.
- Puzzle Boss: In order to progress the game, you have to cook the steak for the VIP by tenderizing it (with hammers), and using specific Things in a certain order. Also, replicas won't work.
- Ascended Extra: The Buzzy Beetle Tower from Super Mario Maker is this, and the game even reveals its name!
- The Beastmaster: The Animal Trainer Shy Guy, who can calm the Wild Dino Rhinos down. When the Trainer is defeated, the Dino Rhinos go mad in rage until another Shy Guy comes to calm them down.
- Puzzle Boss: The Trampoline Shy Guys, who can only be defeated by pounding the trampoline with a hammer before jumping on them. When jumped without pounding the trampoline, they will jump high up in the air before Mario could have a chance to stomp them.
- Unique Enemy: The Unicycle Shy Guys, who only appear once as the first fight of the Emerald Circus Performers. (Well, at least until 3 years later in Yoshi's Crafted World.)
- Arch-Enemy: Is this to the Big Paint Stars and Huey. The entirety of the game is dedicated to restoring all the color on Prism Island while also freeing Bowser from it.
- The Corrupter: It corrupts Bowser's normal personality, making him more evil than normal and obsessed with covering the world in black paint.
- Demonic Possession: Does this to Bowser after he mixes the colors, amplifying his evil traits and even making him hurt Peach despite Bowser himself not meaning any harm.
- Greater-Scope Villain: It has a mind of its own and is controlling all of Bowser's actions, but never takes on an active role in the plot as Bowser is the one in the foreground.
- Toxic Phlebotinum: Bowser uses it on Banzai Bills to create toxic bombs, with plans to cover the entire world in it. It also does heavy damage to Mario if he touches it.
- Voices Are Mental: Bowser does most of the talking for it in the entire game. Justified, since it is living paint and can't talk fully even after Bowser is defeated.
- Living Macguffin: The Stars are revealed to be sentient, and communicate with others though their minds.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Can't find any of the Toads? Try talking to the chief in Port Prisma. He'll tell you if you've missed anyone, as well as where they were missed.
- Expy: The group as a whole is a reference to the Super Sentai;their name in particular appears to refer to Kyukyu Sentai GoGoV.
- Heroic Wannabe: You can meet one Toad that wants to join the Rescue Squad, but is turned down since he's been shrunk down. You can help him later get back to normal size to join the squad.
- Back from the Dead: Apparently, before the start of the game, Piper had wilted away and turned brown. By planting the seed, the friends were able to grow Piper a new body.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: All of Piper's friends are colored differently and placed in a colored location matching them (besides Purp, who starts the whole quest).
- Foreshadowing: As the quest continues, more memories shared the friends give hints that Piper may not be another Toad like the rest of his friends...
- Interspecies Friendship: Piper is revealed to be a Ptooie friends with Toads.
- Leitmotif: This theme whenever the group reminiscence about Piper.
- Meaningful Name: Besides Piper, all of the Toads are named after the color they are.
- Odd Name Out: The 6 friends of the group: Purp, Redd, Greenie, Bloo, Yella, and Piper.
- Red Herring: Shortly after the flowers on the tree fly off, a seed falls from the tree and a Ptooie pops out from it. Mario prepares to fight it, complete with music... when the other Toads stop him, saying that the Ptooie is Piper.
A Toad who runs the Action Command Dojo.
- Hint System: If you need a Thing to progress, but you don't know which one, you can talk to him to get some cryptic advice on the Thing you need. He'll also let you know if you're carrying it at the moment.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Know-It-All Toad's hint-giving abilities make him a functionally similar character to Merlon (as he was in the first two games, at least).
- "See, once you get your first squeeze, you never wanna let go. You're hooked. That's how I turn a profit."
A Toad who sells "Things" to squeeze.
- Hint System: He'll give you hints about where Cutouts are, for a small fee.
Three special Toads who are quite literally the key to open the gate to Crimson Tower.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Red, Blue and Yellow. Since they don't really have any name, it still is the best way to describe them.
- Cool Key: They are living keys with impressive telekinetic powers. Also, they spell "K-E-Y" when they are side by side.
- Disney Death: When they "fit" into the gate, Huey salutes their Heroic Sacrifice. But they immediately open windows in the door to prove that they are fine, and are even seen at the Dance Party Ending of the Red Star.
- Flight: They gain that ability with their powers, and directly go to the Crimson Tower this way.
- Glowing Eyes: Their eyes start to glow when their powers eventually awaken.
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": The Justice Toad's description of himself in the Hero's Journal is a bit exaggerated.
- Heroic Wannabe: The red Toad dreams of being a super-hero. His wish is eventually fulfilled when he awakens his powers.
- Identity Amnesia: The yellow Toad (a.k.a. the Mountain Sage) lost his memories after being attacked by a Slurp Guy who sucked some of the color off of his hat.
- Implausible Boarding Skills: When a giant wave destroys his boat, the blue Toad uses a piece of it as an improvised board.
- MacGuffin Person Reveal: Mario and Huey had to discover which Toads were the Chosen Ones, as the three Toads weren't even aware of their hidden potential (except for the mountain sage Toad, but he had amnesia at the time).
- MacGuffin Super Person: They have incredible powers, but ultimately only serve to open a door.
- Mind over Matter: The red Toad is able to move a Star to Mario's reach, the blue one freezes a tsunami in place, and the yellow one destroys an entire mountain.
- Naked First Impression: You meet the red Toad without his clothes and need to find them before he can help you.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The red one is nice and heroic, the blue one is grumpy, and the yellow one is wise and neutral.
- Not-So-Phony Psychic: The revelation than the red Toad is actually a Chosen One comes after several scenes where he ridiculed himself.
- Robot Antennae: The keys on their heads are interpreted at this at first. It is unknown how much they are related to their newfound abilities.
- Small Town Boredom: The blue Toad wanted to go on an adventure because he was sick of the happy-go-luck attitude of the locals.
- Teleportation: The yellow Toad first demonstrates his powers by doing this.
- A Wizard Did It: It's never explained why they are the Chosen Ones, where did they powers came from, or from where comes this prophecy.
- Clam Trap: One of the Guys is hidden in one. It creases his "hair" due to the fact that it closed on him before he was ready.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It doesn't matter how many times you try, you just can't win at the "Toad Shuffle" without Fixing the Game, even if you know that they are cheating and try to pick a random one.
- Fixing the Game: The Five Fun Guys are actually cheating during the "Toad Shuffle". You have to paint the Toad(s) before playing to prove that the game is rigged.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The five green Toads look exactly the same, which is then used for a Shell Game. You could argue that all the Toads look the same anyway.
- Moral Myopia: You can paint the Toads to help you win without even knowing that the game was rigged in the first place. Then, Huey calls the manager out for cheating despite the fact that you were cheating in the first place.
- Punny Name: They are "fungi". 'Cause they're mushrooms.
- Red Herring: The folded Toad looks like a hint for the following "Toad Shuffle", but it is just to throw the player off even more and make him realize that there is something fishy going on.
- Scandalgate: When they are caught, the manager is afraid to see "Shufflegate" spreading in the news and gives the prize to Mario and Huey in exchange for their silence.
- Shell Game: The "Toad Shuffle", in order to win the key to Blissful Beach. It is more difficult that it looks, and for good reasons.
- Uniformity Exception: After the "Toad-and-Go Seek", one of the Guys' head is a bit folded; a detail that may or may not be useful later.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Averted. The Professor is just a regular archaeologist.
- Assist Character: When you use the Bone "Thing", it's actually Princess who comes for it and rolls over the enemies. Required to beat Iggy Koopa's chariots.
- Attack Hello: It's difficult to say if Princess is trying to be friendly to her master or is just plainly assaulting him.
- Bad Vibrations: The earth is shaking when you arrive at Marmalade Valley, but you soon discover that it is no earthquake, but Princess going through the walls.
- Canis Major: Princess, as most adult Chain Chomps in the Mushroom Kingdom.
- Dinosaur Doggie Bone: Princess was frolicking in the archaeological site of Marmalade Valley for this reason.
- Dub Name Change: Princess is called "Chompinette" in French.
- Dynamic Entry: Is "destroying a mountain" dynamic enough for you?
- Fluffy Tamer: The Professor, though it took care of Princess since she was a baby.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Princess, a giant cardboard Chain Chomp.
- Indy Escape: You have to escape Princess' roaring rolling rampage when you first meet her.
- Inelegant Blubbering: The professor when his Princess is missing. He becomes a sobbing mess literally flat on the ground.
- The Juggernaut: Nothing will stop Princess: not a crate, not a scaffolding, and certainly not Mario...
- Moment Killer: Huey was having a touching Bromance talk with Mario when Princess brutally interrupted it. At the same time, it established Huey as a Lovable Coward.Huey: I just want you to know that, should something catastrophic happen, I will protect you. I would literally throw my body in front of—
(Princess smashes through a wall and Huey takes to his heels)
- Mood-Swinger: The professor goes from extreme sadness to extreme happiness when his Princess is involved.
- Mythology Gag: The pink bow on Princess is a reference to one of Madame Meow-Meow's "dog" in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
- Non Standard Game Over: Being rolled over by Princess is a One-Hit KO.
- Red Herring: The first hints of Princess (a tiny chain and pictures of her when she was a puppy) make you believe that she is a small Chomp. Then you meet her...
- Shoo the Dog: Subverted. The professor eventually realizes that Princess has grown too big and should be free to frolic wherever she wants, but on the other side of it Princess seems completely remorseless and was already gone long before his decision.
- Stock Animal Name: Princess, for a pet.
- Stronger with Age: Old pictures of Princess show her smaller than a Toad, regular paper-sized, and only able to tickle her master with her bite. Now, she is more than four times the size of Mario and large as five cardboard sheets, destroying everything in her path!
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Outside of the name, you can tell that Princess is female since she has a classical pink ribbon on her head.
The ghosts of six tea-enthusiast Toads haunting the Dark Bloo Inn.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The end of their sidequest. If you actually bring back the teapot and finish their party, they will leave this mortal realm appeased and free the hotel from their curse. (Plus the manager gives you a deck capacity upgrade.)
- Big Boo's Haunt: The Dark Bloo Inn is a Haunted Hotel unknowingly cursed by the ghostly Toads. The whole level is a "Groundhog Day" Loop puzzle, and completing it restores the place to its former shining glory.
- Blind Without 'Em: The glasses wearing ghost.
- Creepy Changing Painting: Subverted. Despite the setting, the context of the painting now showing the six Toads is here to show that they found peace and went to a better place.
- Failed a Spot Check: One of the ghosts just can't find his glasses. They're on his head.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: If they are not all reunited within three hours, the time resets itself to 12 o'clock and all the achievements in the level are lost.
- Invisible Monsters: You can't see not hear the Toads until you painted them.
- Mistaken for Dog: One of the ghosts calls his pet Paratroopa a bird. More mysterious is the fact that, despite annoyed to be called like that, it still willingly goes into its narrow birdcage.
- Monochrome Apparition: They appear in white and blue. But if the paint used to make them appear is to be trusted, they were orange when they were alive. However, the painting depicts them as regular red Toads.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: The glasses of one of the ghosts.
- Poltergeist: Several of them move furniture all around.
- Rays from Heaven: Some appear after they finally enjoyed some tea, and they float away to a better place.
- Spooky Silent Library: One of the Toads creates havoc in the library because he can't find his favorite book (Tea Recipe Book).
- The Trope Without a Title: "It". Actually a Yoshi.
- Unfinished Business: The Toads haunt the hotel because they didn't have the opportunity to do their long-awaited tea-party.
- Uniformity Exception: The Toad with the glasses.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Essentially take up the roles Flavio and his crew had from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
- Talk Like a Pirate: The Captain talks like this throughout the voyage. When sword fighting with the Legendary Captain after the Violet Paint Star is collected, the Legendary Captain tells him to quit it with the accent, causing the Captain to confess that he's really just a Toad from Port Prisma, indicating that the accent was fake.
The operator of the Sunset Express.
- Cowardly Lion: Despite being scared to march into the cab of the train during the boss fight with Larry, he still manages to not only make it to the cab, but even kicks the Shy Guy recovering Larry's health out of it.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Deconstructed. He is a nice guy and talks to Mario about the nature of his life and wonders why he fights for Bowser like he does. Then he realises that the next time they meet it will be as enemies, and if you do meet again, he dies.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You do not actually have to meet him again and kill him. In fact, it is actually quite difficult to encounter him as he is one of the Shy Guys on trapeze in Mossrock Theater and requires you to wait for him to appear.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: A nice Shy Guy who questions his life choices and talks to Mario. He can still die like any other mook though.