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The Mario Bros. are the protagonists of the series, as the name implies. Mario is The Everyman, all-around hero, while Luigi is the quirky, cowardly, and much more developed sidekick. Together, they fight Bowser (or whatever threat comes their way), utilizing power-up items and their own natural abilities.

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Tropes that apply to both of the Mario Brothers:
  • Achilles' Heel: Their only real weakness is losing their hats. In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, this means their speed, power and defense all decrease; they can't survive extreme temperatures; and can't get power-ups from Question Blocks (trying will simply release a Bob-omb instead). Taken to a logical conclusion in 3D Land and 3D World, where the Mario Bros' small forms lose their hats. Super Mario Odyssey subverts this, with the main mechanic being hat-throwing as a weapon and for Capturing other entities, with the added bonus of returning to the user automatically. However, there are several sections in the game where Cappy can get stolen or otherwise can't be used for certain challenges because he's holding a switch down, severely diminishing Mario's abilities and mobility.
  • Action Heroes: Considering that the premise of the series is that they have to traverse dangerous terrain and defeat entire armies in order to save Peach, they qualify by default.
  • Airplane Arms: They've dashed this way in the 2D games since Super Mario Bros. 3 in order to facilitate their flight power-ups.
  • All Loving Heroes: Being very idealistic heroes, the Mario Bros. will never bear a grudge against anyone. In a promotional interview, Mario answered that he invites even the bad guys to his thanksgiving dinner because even though they are bad, he considers them friends.
  • Almighty Janitor: Mario, in particular, has managed to, among other things, defeat a powerful mechanical overlord and his second-in-command, slay a thousand-year old demon and her three pet dragons, kill the sun, and repel the forces of a powerful nation about a hundred times.
  • Always Identical Twins: Averted. They're possibly one of the most well-known pairs of same-sex fraternal twins in fiction. Mario is fat and short while his younger twin is thin and tall. Though Luigi was originally a Palette Swap of Mario, they weren't established as twins till after Luigi's redesign.
  • Artistic Age: Officially, Mario and Luigi are 24-26 years old. Their facial hair gives the impression that they're much older than that, though men of that age with such magnificent mustaches in Real Life aren't unheard of.
  • Badass Adorable: Downplayed. They're lovable goofballs with cartoony designs, but are still supposed to be cool first and foremost. Regardless of how silly they can be, they're still fully capable (if young) adults.
  • Badass Cape: The Cape powerup in Super Mario World.
  • Badass Moustache:
    • Back then, it was tough to show distinctive facial features on such low-res sprites, so Mario was given his iconic moustache to make his nose stand out. Unlike many mustachioed characters in media, Mario and Luigi eschew the idea of being the gruff, or hardened type, and instead have very youthful personalities.
    • It doubles as a stat in the Mario & Luigi sideseries: the more badass your mustache is, the better chances you have to land a critical hit, and the better discounts you can get in shops! Also, stat-wise, Luigi's moustache from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and onwards is considerably better than Mario's. The manuals always describe Luigi's moustache as luxurious, though, more so than Mario.
  • Bag of Sharing: They share their inventory in every RPG they show up in.
  • Balloon Belly: Literally with the Power Balloon and with Mario's flower ability in 64 DS.
  • Bash Brothers: Particularly in the Mario & Luigi series, where they always fight in tandem, and pull off combination moves together, but even outside that series, the Bros. often team up to fight whatever may come their way.
  • Beauty = Goodness: They are adorable in contrast to the morally darker Wario and Waluigi, who are hideous.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: If you threaten anyone they care about, such as each other, you might as well put your affairs in order. While you still can.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Mario Brothers are not, generally speaking, the most serious or mature people. When they do get serious, there's almost nothing in the universe that can stop them.
  • Big Eater: Mario loves to eat pasta, and, according to Super Mario Sunshine, tropical seafood. In the Super Mario Adventures comic, Luigi constantly talks about food and was really eager to eat a giant slice of cheese in the middle of a ghost house.
  • Blow You Away: As part of their standard spinning move, starting with Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Although Mario and Luigi are mostly associated with red and green, respectively, both brothers wear blue overalls.
  • Bouncing Battler: Possibly the most famous examples in gaming.
  • Brains and Brawn:
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Their caps both have the first letter of their name.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Both:
      • "Let's-a-go!"
      • "Here we go!"
      • "Thank you so much for playing my game!"
      • "Mamma mia!"
    • Mario:
      • "It's-a-me, Mario!"
    • Luigi:
      • "Okie-dokie!" Whenever you hear Mario say "Let's-a-go!" in the Mario & Luigi series, you will hear Luigi reply with this, whether he actually does or not.
  • The Chosen One: A lot. Most interestingly, in Super Paper Mario, Mario's the chosen hero of light, while Luigi is the chosen host of ultimate destruction, and the one who makes the choice determining the fate of all worlds. He is, however, also a hero of light. And, of course, there's the whole Star Children thing, even if it's not entirely clear what this entails beyond being the likely source of their abilities.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Mario more than Luigi, who is a bit more reluctant, but they instantly go after Bowser when they see he has a fairy in a jar, for instance.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Their special powerups, most notably Super Mario Bros. 3's Frog, Tanooki, and Hammer Suits, which allow them to swim faster, fly, and throw hammers, respectively. Also their hats in several games. (In Super Mario 3D Land, the Tanooki Suit allows slower landings when jumping instead of flying, apparently because flight would have been a serious Game-Breaker.)
  • Coordinated Clothes: It may have been born out of Luigi being a Palette Swap, but Mario and Luigi wear matching overalls and caps.
  • Costume Evolution: In the early days, the colors of the Bros' overalls were in flux, with things like Mario wearing a blue hat, or Luigi wearing brown. They would eventually be standardized as wearing blue with red or green, but at first their shirts were blue, while their overalls were the colors that matched their caps. Later games swapped the colors, starting with the cover and instructions for Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World was able to render the changes in-game.
  • Deadly Dodging: Several bosses are based on this principle. Mario & Luigi took the concept and ran with it for every battle in the game.
  • The Determinator: Mario's primary personality traits are his kindness, heroism, and simply not stopping for anything to save the world. It's not quite as prominent with Luigi, but he does not give up on anything he sets his mind to, either.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: They have faced deity-like beings in battle and defeated them. Crowning examples are Shadow Queen, Super Dimentio, Dark Star, and Dreamy Bowser.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: with a Rock Mushroom, they can roll over enemies as a boulder. To an extent, the Tanooki Suit (when one of them turns into a statue; in Super Mario 3D Land regular leaves don't allow this, but Statue Leaves do) and Galaxy 2's drill.
  • Dork Knight:
    • Mario constantly risks his life to save Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom, goes out of his way to help anyone he meets, and is unfailingly brave and noble. He's also a happy-go-lucky, excitable guy who possesses an extreme optimism and enjoys all sorts of activities, no matter how childish they might seem.
    • Luigi is flat-out Adorkable, would rather stay out of trouble, and is constantly overlooked in favor of his more famous, older brother. However, that doesn't stop him from being the best person he can be, and his moral fiber is just as strong as Mario's even if he doesn't seem so effortlessly courageous.
  • Drop the Hammer: Their signature weapon, especially in the Mario and Luigi series, is a very large sledgehammer.
  • Elemental Powers: Courtesy of the various powerups found around the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: They do quite a bit of spinning. For example, there's the Spin Jump, the Star Spin, and the Cape spin.
  • Fat and Skinny: Downplayed. Mario's definitely pudgier than Luigi, but not by that much. It's mostly Luigi's height amd face shape that makes him look skinnier.
  • Famed In-Story: Several games show that their various exploits have made them world-famous, though Mario more so than Luigi.
  • Fireballs: Provides the page image. When they get a Fire Flower, they gain the ability to throw these. Of course, in certain games, like the Super Smash Bros. series and Super Mario RPG, they can throw fireballs even without the Fire Flower.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Writer's Bible for The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 describes the Bros. as having this sort of dynamic, with Luigi wishing Mario would weigh risks more often, however, in the games it doesn't quite apply. While Mario is often characterized as impulsive, and Luigi is often described as the more level-headed of the two, the contrast rarely comes into play or is just as often reversed, with Mario being focused on the task at hand, while Luigi's cowardice often leads him to making foolish decisions.
  • Flying Brick: Though they only really fly when powered-up, they've still got the speed, agility, and strength to qualify.
  • Force and Finesse: Relatively, Luigi is usually force and Mario is finesse when they have different stats. Luigi always has higher jumping power, at the cost of having less traction. This sometimes allows him to take shortcuts, or just be better at speed running by climbing up faster. While Mario's abilities aren't as extreme as Luigi, he has much tighter controls and can stop on a dime for precise landing and maneuvering. When applied to their actual fighting skills, however, it's reversed. Mario almost always attacks head-on with a lot of power, while Luigi often takes a different approach.
  • Funny Foreigner: The Bros. are based on stereotypical Italian-American plumbers, and are known for their goofy Italian accents and catchphrases. The Mario & Luigi subseries even has them speak in Italian-sounding gibberish peppered with their usual English and Italian quotes.
  • Golden Super Mode: Gold Mario/Silver Luigi, introduced in New Super Mario Bros. 2. Acting as a souped-up Fire Flower, they can turn anything from enemies to even blocks into coins.
  • Good Is Not Soft: They're generally Nice Guys, but have taken on and defeated a lot of bad guys. The most blatant example of this is their first fight with Cackletta in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga; by the end, they've beaten Cackletta to a pulp and left her on the brink of death.
  • Good Luck Charm: In Super Mario 64 DS, this is the in-game justification for them taking more damage without their hats. One of the toads mentions to Mario that his hat is special, and bad luck will befall him should he lose it.
  • Goomba Stomp: Their main method of defeating their enemies. It also helps in reaching higher places.
  • Gratuitous Italian: "Ohh, mamma mia!" It's kind of hard to tell that they're supposed to be Italian from looks alone.
  • Ground Pound: From Super Mario 64 and onwards.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: While they usually use hammers or magic in the combat-heavier situations, most frequently RPG titles, the two are perfectly capable of fighting like this, and will do so. (OK, so they aren't bare-fisted with their gloves, but the fighting style is the same.)
  • Heroic Mime: Both of them, though rather inconsistently. Even if they don't have dialogue, they tend to have more fully voiced lines than other characters. In the Mario & Luigi series, they speak Italian Simlish. Both have had written dialogue from time to time, but it's significantly more common for Luigi, though he's usually an NPC in those cases.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Well, they're brothers, but still. For one, they're well into their twenties, still share a bunk bed, and spend almost all of their time in each other's company.
  • An Ice Person: With an Ice Flower, they literally are made of ice in Galaxy, and they shoot ice-balls in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Iconic Item: Their hats, of course, which they've had since even before they met their parents.
  • Iconic Outfit: The brothers are rarely seen without their caps, shirts, denim overalls, and brown shoes. Although Mario does trade them in for a doctor's outfit when he's Dr. Mario.
  • Idiot Hair: Mario and Luigi have matching cowlicks under their caps, fitting their silly, cartoony natures.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In the old cartoons, you'll see them using wrenches, plumber's snakes, plungers, and pieces of pipe as weapons.
  • In a Single Bound: Mario's jumping abilities are legendary, and Luigi's are even better. Though, Mario seems to be somewhat more coordinated than Luigi, since in Super Mario Galaxy, he does a front flip in his triple jump, while Luigi just kicks his feet to go upwards.
  • Instant Expert: The only things they need to engage in any new activity are player-directed instructions.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: The brothers are endlessly altruistic and kind, with Mario's heroism being his main defining personality trait. Their distinctly bright blue eyes reflect their role as a force of good in the series.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Mario was the former Trope Namer for a reason. In many of the spinoffs (most notably Mario Kart), his stats will be exactly balanced. Luigi's usually close, but never quite the same.
  • Keet: Especially in newer games where they spout their Catchphrases.
  • Left-Handed Mirror: They're usually displayed as using opposite hands for the same actions to give them some contrast. For example, in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and onwards, Mario always has his left arm up when he jumps; for Luigi, it is his right. It's different which of the two favors his left for different games and even different actions within a single game.
  • Le Parkour: As gaming marches on, Mario and Luigi's jumping prowess have evolved from "jumping good" to wall-kicks, elaborate flipping maneuvers, performing olympic-class long jumps, and the list goes on.
  • Lightning Bruiser: If their stats aren't average, they'll usually have all or most of them being above average. This is very noticeable in the platform games — there are very rarely times when the Mario Brothers will have any significant drawbacks to offset their strength, agility, and speed.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario and Luigi get fire and lightning abilities respectively. This might be due to their personalities. Mario, a hero, is brave and consistent, though his fire powers existed before this game as the Fire Flower powerup. But Mario is also aggressive and impulsive, showing a little hotheadedness. Luigi is slightly cowardly (you could say that he's gone in a flash), but is also more expressive in his emotions and funny (he might have a spark of life in him). When Luigi does act, he can make all the difference, and he is as brave as his brother during events with strong enemies. Hence, the partnership between the two.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Mario and Luigi's births are described in four different ways, and none of them are normal. In addition, where they grew up is either various actual locations on Earth (usually Brooklyn), or the Mushroom Kingdom, and there are multiple variations on how they got to the Mushroom Kingdom from the real world.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Neither Mario nor Luigi have any defined muscles to speak of, but that doesn't stop them from pulling off ridiculous feats of strength, like Mario swinging Bowser by the tail in Super Mario 64.
  • National Stereotypes: Both Mario and Luigi (but mostly Mario) are walking pastiches of Italian stereotypes. For starters, their names are some of the most common names given in Italy. Both are pudgy characters adorned with big goofy mustaches and speak with exaggerated Italian accents and stock Italian phrases (i.e. "Mama Mia!") and occasional faux-Italian gibberish, and Mario is sometimes shown having an affinity for pasta in the games (though nowhere to the extent of the DiC cartoons), as pasta and ravioli is very commonly associated with Italians. Their old backstory sometimes placed their residence in Brooklyn, New York, which has a large Italian population, and even though Odyssey implies that Mario started off in New Donk City, it's clearly based on New York.
  • Never Bareheaded: There are very few instances where one of the brothers will be seen not wearing his hat... the most common, by far, being if it's in his hand at the time and he's about to put it back on. Most games don't even model their hair under the hat. Exceptions to this being...
  • Nice Hat: Shigeru Miyamoto was unable to depict hair to his satisfaction on 8-bit sprites back then, so Mario was instead given a hat, and Luigi started out as a Palette Swap of him. His hat also plays a vital gameplay role in Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Odyssey. In 64, if Mario has his hat blown off or stolen, he takes more damage without the hat on. In Sunshine, Mario takes damage being exposed to the intense sunlight (unless he is in the shade) without his hat. In Odyssey, throwing the hat, which is inhabited by his adventuring partner Cappy, is his main attack method.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Rare heroic example. Their standard response to facing Bowser is to throw him into a pool of lava. This outright kills Bowser. Luckily for the Koopa King, Death Is Cheap applies to both sides in the Mario 'verse. Luigi might actually be worse: technically, in Luigi's Mansion, his entire goal is to subject a mansion full of ghosts to a Fate Worse than Death. Do not kidnap Mario, it ends up much worse for you than kidnapping Peach.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Compared to the other human characters, both recurring and random oneshot characters from the spin-offs, Mario and Luigi have much larger heads and more cartoonish proportions than everyone but Wario and Waluigi.
  • Olympic Swimmer: Rather literally in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, but, in general, they can swim incredibly fast both above and under water without tiring, and sometimes without even needing to breathe. Other characters can also be this from time to time, but not as consistently and not to the same extent as the Bros.
  • One-Man Army: They can effortlessly plow through Bowser's forces.
  • One Mario Limit: Of which Mario is the Trope Namer, even though this applies to both brothers (Luigi to a slightly lesser extent, though). For starters, even though both names are very common in Italy, simply googling either "Mario" or "Luigi" will have the respective protagonists pop up as the first result. Typing 'Mario' or 'Luigi' in The Other Wiki directly links to the brothers' respective articles too. Finding a character outside of the franchise named Mario that isn't a reference or a Shout-Out is all but a challenge as well.
  • Only One Name: For the longest time, officially, Mario's name was simply Mario, and Luigi's was just Luigi. But in occasional instances of American-made media such as the Super Show! and live-action film, his full name was Mario Mario, with Luigi as Luigi Mario. Earlier, Nintendo of America representatives have stated that they don't have last names and it was up in the air why they were even called the Mario Brothers in-universe, which was a sentiment later echoed by Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto in 2012 (although around the same time, Charles Martinet stated exactly the opposite as Mario at San Diego Comic-Con). However, during the 30th anniversary of the first Super Mario Bros. game, the latter finally confirmed it was their real last name, making it a Flip-Flop of God.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: While the original Mario Bros. was a plumbing job, these plumbers aren't usually seen plumbing all that much. Pipes continue to show up in many Mario games, but that's usually as far as the plumbing references go outside of a handful of games like Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Super Mario 3D World, and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. E. Gadd even lampshades it in the latter, saying "We'll make a plumber out of you yet!". Nintendo also occasionally refers to their plumbing job in the past tense, listing it as simply one of Mario's many jobs.
  • Playing with Fire: With a Fire Flower, this is their most commonly used power. Sometimes even without a Fire Flower. Mario is consistently associated with it, while Luigi is just as likely to use another element to contrast with his brother as he is to use fire.
  • Pluralses: Both Bros. do this sometimes (fitting, considering how they're bilingual), but it's kinda rare. Mario is a bit more prone to doing it, if only because he's more likely to show up in promotional things urging you to play his "gameses".
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The brave, outgoing and hot-blooded Mario vs the cowardly, timid and shy Luigi.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Like you wouldn't believe. They can be anywhere from normal guys who can jump really high to extremely overpowered Flying Bricks minus the actual flying, unless they get flight power-ups.
  • Protagonist Title: Mario more so than Luigi, because his name features in almost every title in the series. If Luigi's name features in the title, then it's a game giving him A Day in the Limelight.
  • Rambunctious Italian: As noted, they are excitable, expressive fellows and have thick Italian accents.
  • Red Baron: They both get titles like this in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Mario Hoops 3-on-3.
    • Mario: The Merciless Executioner, The Superstar Sequel, and The Jumpman.
    • Luigi: The Mustachioed Green Baron, and Mushroom Dynamite.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mario is the Red Oni: aggressive, competitive, and reckless; while Luigi is the Blue: calm, thoughtful, and cautious. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga even gives them a Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition (Playing with Fire for Mario; Shock and Awe for Luigi) to reflect this.
  • Renaissance Man: Between the two brothers, they have quite a long resume:
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: To an extent. Mario is always the aggressive go-getter, while Luigi is more prudent, often to the point of cowardice.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: There's no question Mario and Luigi will win. The only questions are how they'll do it, how cool it looks when they do it, and how much fun the player will have when they win.
  • Sibling Team: From Mario Bros. on, when Luigi was introduced.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Mario is outgoing and brave, Luigi is timid and cowardly.
  • Signature Move: Their jumping, of course. Fireballs as well. Lampshaded in Super Mario RPG and Mario & Luigi, where NPC characters recognize Mario on sight when he jumps. Also, the Spin Attack/Jump, which is even an ability unique to them in a number of spin-offs.
  • Special Person, Normal Name: "Mario" and "Luigi" are pretty unremarkable Italian names.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Their limits are usually pretty high, but not very well-defined. They can beat anyone, but lose when the plot demands it, as in Super Princess Peach.
  • Super Mode: While most of their transformations are more on the line of Swiss Army Hero, White Raccoon Mario/White Fox Luigi is a very good example of this. The basic abilities are the same as the normal Raccoon/Fox forms, but they accelerate faster (so it's easier to fly), can stand and walk on water, and have invincibility that never runs out. So far, it's only used if you die a lot, but it's still far more powerful than nearly all of their other forms.
  • Superpower Lottery: The abilities they get from Power-ups would easily make them this, making them very effective and powerful swiss-army heroes. Even without them, though, the sheer number and magnitude of powers and abilities they display is far beyond most of the characters in the series.
  • Super Speed: They're shown to be incredibly swift frequently, though it's rarely drawn attention to directly. They're able to run up walls and regularly outpace Bullet Bills, airships, and cannonballs, and generally move much faster than everything else in the game, but there's never been a clear idea of how fast they're supposed to be.
  • Super Strength: Easily their most commonly displayed power besides their signature jumps. Usually it only amounts to being able to throw around baddies two or three times their size and smashing though solid bricks with their fists, but there's also the notable time when Mario/Luigi lifted a castle.
  • Super Toughness: Not so much in the 2D games, but the other games show them surviving fairly ridiculous things such as burning up on re-entry with no lasting injuries. The biggest example would definitely be at the end of Super Mario Galaxy, when the universe is sucked into a black hole, and the Lumas cause a second big bang. The Mario Bros. live through both without so much as a scratch.
  • Third-Person Person: When they're especially excited or happy, such as their victory quotes in sport, kart or party games, they'll dip into this. ("Mario/Luigi, number one!")
  • Token Human: In the main series — the only other human that makes repeated appearances is Peach. All of the other humans live outside the Mushroom Kingdom, except maybe Waluigi and E. Gadd.
  • Twin Telepathy: Hinted at in Yoshi's Island and outright referred to in Yoshi's New Island.
  • Two First Names: "Mario" isn't the most typical surname. It wasn't canon to the games till the 30th anniversary. Originally their surname was either unknown, but explicitly not "Mario", or explicitly non-existent; but alternate media nearly always used it long before Nintendo changed their tune.
  • Underestimating Badassery: New villains don't usually take them seriously. Even the ones who do take them seriously usually underestimate just how much of a threat they pose.
  • Undying Loyalty: To each other. A constant throughout the series, especially the Mario & Luigi games, is that Mario and Luigi will stand together no matter what, and go to any lengths for one another.
  • Unexplained Accent: They've got pretty noticeable Italian accents, and often speak in Italian-sounding gibberish. Despite this, they've never actually lived in Italy in any version of their Multiple-Choice Past. Then again, one of said Multiple Choice Pasts has them born in Brooklyn, New York (and New York has one of the larger Italian-American populations out there).
  • Wall Jump:
    • One of their abilities as of Super Mario 64. It originated out of a glitch in the original Super Mario Bros..
    • Sometimes, if there's an ensemble cast where everyone has a gimmick, this is cast as Mario's special ability instead of a platforming maneuver for everyone - Super Mario 64 DS and Mini-Mario and Friends have the wall jump exclusive to Mario, while Mario Tennis Aces has him wall jumping into the air for his Zone Shot.
  • Wall Run: If the terrain allows for it, Mario and Luigi are able to run straight up walls and even on ceilings. In most games this appears in, they have to hit a triangle block at the foot of the wall first, but this isn't necessary in Super Mario 64 or when it's an ability granted by power-ups such as the Mini Mushroom or Super Bell.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In a number of games, they're basically crippled without their hats.
  • Weapon of Choice: Hammers in Donkey Kong, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and Mario & Luigi.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If a villainess is hurting innocent people, Mario and Luigi certainly do not care if their opponent is a girl.
  • Would Hurt a Child: If they're evil, at least. They pull no punches against Bowser Jr. or the Koopalings.

It's-a me, Mario!
Species: Human
Debut: Donkey Kong
Voiced in English by: Harris Shore (live-action Donkey Kong commercial), Peter Cullen (Saturday Supercade), Captain Lou Albano (The Super Mario Bros Super Show!), Walker Boone (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World), Ronald B. Ruben (Mario Teaches Typing; Floppy version), Colin Case (Super Mario Compact Disco), David Platshon (Mario's Time Machine; PC version), Nick Glaeser (Mario is Missing; PC version), Marc Graue (Hotel Mario), Charles Martinet (video games, 1995-present)
Voiced in Japanese by: Toru Furuya (The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!, original video animations and Satellaview games), Kōsei Tomita (Japanese dubs for live-action film)
Portrayed by: Harris Shore (live-action Donkey Kong commercial), Captain Lou Albano (live-action segments from The Super Mario Bros Super Show!), Bob Hoskins (live-action film)

"Life is a game, kid! It all depends on how you play!"

The Hero, and inarguably the most iconic video game character of all time. A short, stocky Italian plumber and inhabitant of the Mushroom Kingdom. He is primarily charged with saving the perpetual Damsel in Distress, Princess Peach Toadstool, from the clutches of King Bowser Koopa and his minions. Since his debut in Donkey Kong in 1981, he's gone on to take many different professions, including golfer, tennis player, doctor, and go-kart racer.

Mario has a rather simple personality. Aside from his cheerful get-up-and-go attitude, bravery and occasionally being quick to anger; he's primarily a silent protagonist through which the player gets to experience the game.

  • The Ace: Mario excels at just about everything he does. Especially when it comes to heroics and sports.
  • Acrofatic: Shigeru Miyamoto explained that his chubbiness is the result of games back in the 80's only being able to register collisions with squares. Doesn't stop him from pulling off all sorts of acrobatic feats.
  • Age Lift: An internal case, rather than an adaptation based one. Mario was originally envisioned as middle-aged in the early days, he was even called "Ossan", "Middle-aged man", in some documents. (So the cartoon and the movie weren't necessarily wrong in casting older men to play him) Currently, though, he's only in his mid-twenties.
  • And I Must Scream: In both of the Luigi’s Mansion games, Mario was turned into a painting by King Boo, desperately trying to escape.
  • An Ice Person: Ice Mario, whether it be in the cosmos, or on his own world.
  • Art Evolution: Mario's limbs were a lot stubbier in the early days, which gave him a much stockier look, modern art gives him longer limbs, going from two heads tall to roughly three heads tall, which has the side effect of making him seem thinner and not nearly as chubby as he used to be. This seems to follow the idea that, earlier in the series, Small Mario was considered Mario's default size, while modern games consider Super Mario the default.
  • Badass Baritone: Played for Laughs in one interactive booth at E3—he can imitate Darth Vader, of all characters. Not bad for someone who typically speaks in a friendly-sounding falsetto.
  • Badass in Distress: In Mario Is Missing (which is safely forgettable), Luigi's Mansion (and again in its sequel), Super Mario 64 DS, and Super Princess Peach. Not to mention several minor incidents in the Mario & Luigi series.
  • Be the Ball: Literally in Pinball Land.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He is very protective of Luigi.
  • Big Bad: Of Donkey Kong Jr. Likely the only time he'll ever portray a villainous role, as this was before he developed more characterization.
  • Big Good: He's became one of the most famous heroes in his franchise, as well in video game history. Within the games, he forms a Big Good Duumvirate with Peach. As The Hero, he is acknowledged as the key to victory against Bowser. In each of his adventures, especially the RPGs, he is always the most responsible for the good guys' victories.
  • Big Eater:
  • Blood Knight: Sorta. Just listening to him in the 3D games makes it obvious he's enjoying himself as he traverses dangerous terrain, dodges obstacles, and battles all sorts of monsters, in comparison to Luigi's more serious tone while doing so. He's also known to be rather competitive.
  • The Captain:
  • The Champion: Peach’s champion. Kind of the point, really.
  • Characterization Marches On: In his very early days, Mario wasn't the squeaky clean hero he's become famous for today. He was the highly questionable circus owner of a large ape, who taunted and laughed at the ape during performances, and also captured the ape once more and tried to kill his son for trying to save him in the direct sequel for revenge. It was the first and so-far only game where Mario was actually a villain. Needless to say, several video games and world-saving adventures later, Mario's early grey phase has long since faded away, and he has truly become The Hero.
  • Chick Magnet: Mario seems to be the most eligible man in the Mushroom Kingdom, especially in the Paper Mario series. Any female character who has something to say about him that isn't a villain is mostly likely to regard him as handsome, charming or both. In fact, every female playable character in The Thousand-Year Door kisses him at least once. Even outside Paper Mario, Peach is his Implied Love Interest, Pauline was formerly his girlfriend, and Daisy took a shine to him post-rescue before she started being Luigi's answer to Peach. Toadette is sometimes shown to have a crush on him. Even Wendy O. Koopa thinks he's cute. Just about the only main female character who hasn't shown any real interest in him is Rosalina, who generally operates on another scope, being a guardian of the cosmos and all.
  • Chrome Champion: Metal Mario.
  • Color Motif: Red of course, also gold as of the 2010s with the Gold Mario powerup, his golden cat costume in 3D World and construction clothes in the art for Super Mario Maker.
  • Competition Freak: Mario gets very serious when in a competition. If official Mario art has Mario angry, there's a good chance that it is from a sports title. Overlaps with Unsportsmanlike Gloating in Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium, as seen here. In Mario Power Tennis, he is transparently angry at Luigi's success during the latter's ending. Taken to the extreme in Super Mario Strikers.
  • Dance Battler: One or two of his moves look surprisingly like breakdance moves.
  • Dance Sensation: "Do the Mario!"
  • Deadpan Snarker: In his few official fully-voiced appearances, Mario isn't above making wisecracks or poking fun at things — sometimes at others' expense (such as Sony's).
    Mario: Boy, that Sony. It's fantastic... (his nose stretches out like Pinocchio)
  • The Dreaded: To Bowser's minions. Mario might be a well-known nice guy with a sense of justice and drive to protect others, even to Bowser's minions, but his strength and skills are legendary. To most of them, the idea of facing Mario in a real fight is terrifying.
  • The Everyman: The producers say that they have intentionally kept his characterization minimal to make him versatile and able to be put in many situations.
  • Expy: The original Donkey Kong arcade game was originally conceived as a Popeye game. Of course, Mario took the role of Popeye the Sailor himself.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Metal Mario in Super Mario 64. Also combined with Playing with Fire for his Mega Strike "Fiery Metal Mario".
  • Famed In-Story: From Super Mario RPG onwards, the RPGs he stars in all give him this. In the DS remake of Super Mario 64, there is a sign in the courtyard describing him as a superhero. Less so in Lavalava Island and Rogueport, which are not in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Fun Personified: He always seems to be having a blast, even in the most dire of circumstances.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's physically strong enough to smash stone bricks with ease, yet he's trained in plumbing, carpentry, and even medicine. He's also often shown to be a clever problem solver.
  • Glass Cannon: In the Mario & Luigi series, Mario is faster and hits harder than Luigi, but is frailer to compensate.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Sure, Mario and Bowser are mortal enemies, but that doesn't stop them from playing games together every once in a while.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Mario is a genuinely nice and righteous person who will help anyone in danger, and someone has to be pretty evil to actually get on his bad side. Anything that does get on his bad side doesn't last long.
  • Has a Type: As of Odyssey, his two known romantic interests (Peach and Pauline) are both authority figures that dwarf him in height. Daisy, too, depending on how you view their interactions in Super Mario Land.
  • Hat of Flight: The wing cap.
  • Having a Blast: The ability he gains as Bomb Mario. It's not as useful as it may sound, since he only uses it for deleting save files. Wario would later assume the form in his first starring role and Virtual Boy Wario Land for the same purpose.
  • The Hero: The central character and protagonist of the series and the most blatant example of the classical hero archetype.
  • Hope Bringer: He is considered to be a symbol of hope and liberty for the Mushroom Kingdom. Especially prevalent in the RPGs like Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi; talking to NPCs early-on will have them confident that Mario is going to save the world.
  • Humble Hero: He's the main hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, and he's fairly modest about it.
  • Ideal Hero: In nearly every game he is in, he is always an ideal hero, which comes with being The Everyman. Therefore, Mario's heroism is his most notable trait.
  • I Have Many Names: Some call him Jumpman, or the Great Gonzales, or Murphy, or butterball, or New Bee, or Hero of Legend.
  • Implied Love Interest: Princess Peach. How "implied" it is at any given moment tends to vary, with some sources portraying their relationship as nothing but platonic, while others throw the "implied" idea out the window and seem to outright confirm their status as the Official Couple. Odyssey confirms that Mario has a romantic interest in Peach, but her feelings aren't addressed.
  • Improbable Age: Mario is said to have a long and storied career as a hero, reflecting his real world fame and history. In universe, though, Mario is either 24 or 25, a bit too young to have that long history as a hero.
  • Informed Flaw: Mario is sometimes described as being impulsive, the sort of guy who dives into things without thinking. However, because his personality is usually minimal, this almost never comes across, outside of the implication that he dives head first into saving people without much of a plan. He is also described as being hot-headed and short-tempered at times, which is mostly shown more outside of the main games, such as in Strikers being a guy who doesn't take too kindly to losing very well (as seen in Power Tennis when Luigi wins the tournament, although Mario praises his brother he is jealous of him and shows it by patting him on the back rather hard to the point Luigi almost loses his balance and rubbing on his shoe) can take something as simple as a game of golf seriously (just look at his losing animations; although the other charcaters takes the sport just as seriously, if not worse than him sometimes). He also seems to take a lot pride in himself and having a cocky side, especially in some of his winning animations in the spin-offs. "Mario is Number 1" indeed. As mentioned on this page already, Mario can come off as a Competition Freak. However, this impulsiveness side of Mario has shown in a main game in Super Mario Odyssey, and his tendency to do things without thinking manages to get the better of him, for once, when he gets caught up in trying to one-up Bowser's affections for Peach, after Bowser butts in on his proposal to her. This, in turn, causes Peach to get annoyed with both of them, and she puts her foot down. Maybe there's a good reason Nintendo keeps Mario as showing nothing more than him having a joyful demeanor in the actual platformers.
  • Interpretative Character: Given the sheer longevity of the series and the amount of creative teams in charge of each game, Mario's personality and traits are subject to change depending on whatever circumstances he finds himself in. Luigi, on the other hand, developed a more solid, definite personality as the series went on.
  • Lady and Knight: The White Knight to Peach's Bright Lady. Mario is not a knight by job, but otherwise plays the trope straight.
  • Leitmotif: World 1-1, of course.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Mario's a goofy, happy-go-lucky, friendly guy. He doesn't seem very threatening, but if you dare to hurt an innocent person, you'll see just what a force of nature a good and serious Mario can be.
  • Magnetic Hero: In the Paper Mario series.
  • Manchild: A positive example. He's a boundless fount of happy-go-lucky energy, that takes on challenges with a whoop of excitement. He also engages in any fun activity, no matter how juvenile.
  • Mascot: To his own series, and to Nintendo as a whole. Arguably to the entire medium of Video Games, a title to which his only real rival is Pac-Man.
  • Nice Guy: A heroic and friendly individual who goes out of his way to help anyone he meets, even Bowser.
  • Paper Master: Every power-up he gets in the Paper Mario games includes origami-ing himself.
  • Pinocchio Nose: One time, he lied about a Sony console being "fantastic". No points for guessing how his nose reacted to that one.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's actually pretty short, the second shortest human member of the cast after E. Gadd. If the people of the Metro Kingdom in Odyssey are the size of an average human, he only comes up to their waists. Despite that, he's performed some incredible feats over his career and taken down foes who would dwarf any man in the real world. note 
  • Playing with Fire: Perhaps because the Fire Flower was the first power-up with a unique ability, Mario is strongly associated with fire abilities. He gets Firebrand in Superstar Saga, the Fire Orb series of spells in Super Mario RPG, and many of his various special moves in sports spinoffs are fire themed.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Mario dresses in blue overalls and a red shirt and hat, and is one of the most well-known heroes in fiction.
  • Progressively Prettier: Early Donkey Kong era Mario was a Gonk. (He also greatly resembled Popeye, as he used to be an Expy of him.) Even after he gained his more familiar design, he was still pretty goofy-looking, with stubby limbs. Modern Mario is far cuter, and while he's still pudgy, his longer limbs make him seem slimmer compared to his design from the late 80s and early 90s.
  • Red Is Heroic: Wears a red shirt, and originally wore red overalls before they were changed to blue, but some of his power-up forms turn them red. And, of course, there's his iconic hat.
  • Repetitive Name: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! first posited that Mario is also the family surname, but this was never truly apparent in game material until the 30th anniversary celebration of the first Super Mario Bros., where Miyamoto confirmed it as fact via Flip-Flop of God.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Has made cameo appearances in both Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Luigi's Sensitive Guy. He becomes a Sensitive Guy in comparison to Hot-Blooded Bowser too.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: We all know he will win, but dear God, it's fun to watch him win.
  • Static Character: Mario only has a handful of constants throughout the series in terms of character traits. He's optimistic, energetic, headstrong, kind, and competitive. That's dating back as far as the early N64 releases, and he has not budged an inch since; though this is intentional so as to let him fit into any role as needed.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: Acknowledged as the greatest hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, goes out of his way to help anyone he meets, is quick to forgive and forget, dresses in primary colors and defeats entire armies through sheer determination and athleticism. He is associated with the element of fire and has the Hot-Blooded-ness that comes with it. The spin-offs, particularly Super Smash Bros., put more focus in his competitive streak.
  • Stout Strength: Mario's pudgy physique belies the fact that he's capable of astounding feats of strength, such as spinning Bowser around by the tail.
  • Suddenly Voiced: While Super Mario 64 was not the first time Mario had a voice, nor the first time Charles Martinet voiced him, it was many people's first time hearing the plumber talk.
  • Sudden Name Change: He was originally nameless in Japanese-language materials for Donkey Kong, alternatively going by the development name "Jumpman" in English-language versions. He was renamed "Mario" late during production of the arcade version after Nintendo's at-the-time landlord, Mario Segale.
  • Super Doc: Despite how much the fandom likes to joke about it, Mario is actually an incredibly capable doctor. The Megavitamins, the impossible cure-all pills that just need the right combination to make a patient good as new? He personally invented them.
  • Super Hero Origin: Officially, Mario's first outing saving the day was rescuing Pauline from Donkey Kong, and it has been said it was during this adventure that he truly developed his fantastic abilities.
  • Title Scream: He does it in many games.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pasta. To be precise, Spaghetti Bolognese with alfredo sauce and meatballs. And also carbonara if the Star Gate in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is anything to go by.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He's usually portrayed in spin-offs as somewhat stronger physically than Luigi, but his overall skill level is somewhat less developed. The Mario Golf series however plays this straight since Mario has often one of the longest drives in exchange for poor control in that series.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Mario's voice seems to go perma-falsetto when he's excited, and otherwise regularly breaks between his falsetto register and his lower tenor register. This is especially noticeable when contrasted to Luigi's more consistently tenor voice that never goes falsetto. And then there's that faux-boyish voice that's something of a low tenor given to him in The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! movie courtesy of Toru Furuya.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • Mario has gone through this during Charles Martinet's voicework as him. His original voice was deeper and gruffer, with the occasional high-pitched squeal for when he's happy or a scream for when he's falling into a pit. Starting from Mario Kart 64, the high-pitched voice also became Charles Martinet's normal voice for him, so until Super Mario Galaxy when they were finally retired, whenever Nintendo decided to reuse the old Super Mario 64 clips it always sounded a Just compare his Voice Grunting from Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy.
    • In Nintendo 64 era games, Mario's various Title Screams were fairly low key, but as time went on, and his personality became more cheerful, they became more energetic and excited. Just compare his "Welcome to Mario Kart!" to "MARIO KART EIIIIIIGHT!"
    • Mario's accent used to be even more exaggerated than it is now, with an emphasis on somewhat odd turns of phrase and sticking the stereotypical "-a" onto as many words as possible. Take the Thanking the Viewer catchphrase, for example. In 64 it's rendered as "Thank you so much-a for-to playing my game", but later games like Galaxy and Odyssey it's delivered without the weird quirks. ("Thank you so much for playing my game")
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: The bonus for using the Wedding Peach amiibo in Super Mario Odyssey is a wedding dress that Mario can wear (the outfit can also be bought in thd postgame). A later update also gives him Hariet's full outfit, complete with a blonde wig.
  • Wolverine Publicity: As the most popular video game character of all time, this is to be expected, as Mario shows up everywhere in Nintendo's marketing, even more proportionally than Mickey Mouse does for Disney.
  • Working-Class Hero: Mario remains highly original as a video-game hero. Despite being the first major video game star, and living in a fantasy world, he stands out as a stocky, mustached plumber in working overalls whose real powers are his ability to move with his hands and legs, as opposed to video-game heroes who are elites — soldiers, warriors, super-soldiers. Super Smash Bros. demonstrates this best, in that Mario, despite his stature, is one of the very few Working Class Heroes in a roster full of warriors and creatures of various kinds.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: One of the ways he destroys a castle in Super Mario World is by dropkicking it.

I'm-a Luigi! Number one!
Species: Human
Debut: Mario Bros.
Voiced in English by: Danny Wells (The Super Mario Bros Super Show!), Tony Rosato (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World), Bob Sorenson (Mario is Missing), Mark Graue (Hotel Mario), Julien Bardakoff (Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, Mario Party 2 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit), Charles Martinet (video games, 1997-present)
Voiced in Japanese by: Yuu Mizushima (The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!), Naoki Tatsuta (OVA trilogy), Kouji Tsujitani (VHS dub of live-action film), Bin Shimada (1994 TV dub of live-action film), Ichirōta Miyagawa (BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge and Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium), Julien Bardakoff (Mario Kart 64)
Portrayed by: Danny Wells (live-action segments of The Super Mario Bros Super Show!), John Leguizamo (live-action film)

"I wanna be a great plumber like my brother Mario."

Mario's taller, marginally younger, and not-quite-as-famous twin brother. Eventually got his own proper game in Luigi's Mansion. Unlike Mario, Luigi is more of a reluctant (read: cowardly) hero who would rather stay at home than save the world, but he always pulls through in the end. He has been shown to be quite brave on other occasions as well. Luigi is often paired off with Princess Daisy.

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Mario and Peach are just about the only characters who can consistently remember Luigi's name in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. There, everyone else calls him some variation of "Green" most of the time. Also happens occasionally in other games, too, but nowhere near as frequently.
    • Inverted in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, where everyone knows Luigi's name, but no one knows/remembers Mario's.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, when Bowser vows to make Mario pay, he says, "And you too, Green 'Sta... Luigi!". It's the first time in Mario & Luigi he has ever remembered Luigi's name.
    • In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the game’s resident Exposition Fairy, Beep-O, misnames Luigi. What makes this especially egregious is that there’s already the Rabbid counterpart of Luigi on the team, named Rabbid Luigi.
  • Adorkable: Being shy, clumsy and friendly is a part of Luigi's charm.
  • Amazon Chaser: The manual for "Mario Party 4" states that the reason Luigi is attracted to Princess Daisy is due to her feisty, hardcore nature.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Daisy is his Implied Love Interest in spinoff games, but in Superstar Saga, he seems to be smitten with Prince Peasley.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: In Super Paper Mario.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ever since Luigi's Mansion, King Boo has become his greatest enemy.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender:
    • In the old Super Mario Adventures comic, he flawlessly impersonates Princess Peach.
    • Subverted in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Luigi can pull off a convincing Princess Peach... but only while his face is covered with his hands. When he's tricked into dropping his hands, his captors promptly open fire.
    • Inverted off-screen in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, where his Bob-omb partner Jerry only follows him to keep him from ever putting on a dress again.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: As a victory pose in Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World.
  • Balloon Belly: One of his special attacks in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is called the Snack Basket, where he eats a lot of sweets and grows big while Mario throws him in the air.
  • Big Brother Worship: Luigi will go to the ends of the earth for his bro. Revealed in Luigi's wish in Super Mario RPG: "I wanna be a great plumber like my brother Mario." And then in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team:
    Luigi: "Big bro... it's your choice... Luigi... will follow you... We're all here for you, bro. Always."
  • Big Little Brother: Luigi is taller in comparison to Mario. Though, since they're both fully grown adults, and twins, the expectation isn't for Luigi to be shorter than Mario, but for them to be much closer in height.
  • Blow You Away: The Tornado Ball and Tornado Swing in Super Sluggers. Inverted In Name Only with the Poltergust 3000's vacuum mode. Along with Mario, appears in their Spin Attack in various games.
  • Breakout Character: Nintendo eventually caught onto his popularity; every main series game since New Super Mario Bros. features him as a playable character in some capacity (often as a Secret Character of some sort) with the exception of Super Mario Odyssey (but Mario can wear his clothes), side series frequently feature him prominently (Super Paper Mario, the Mario & Luigi series, and Luigi's Mansion being notable examples), and he often gets major roles in cutscenes of the sports spinoffs. Despite being the poster boy of neglected sidekicks, he is still one of the most prominent characters in the series. He even had a whole year to himself.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Luigi's pretty laid-back most of the time, but proves to be incredibly intelligent when he actually applies himself, even showing shades of being a Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Butt-Monkey: Luigi may be the taller brother, but he tends to get the short end of the stick. Heck, even Princess Peach has been known to play a little meaner when he's around. Throughout the franchise, Mario is the only one to consistently treat him with respect, and Daisy is the only one of the few females to actually show concern and affection for him.
  • Cain and Abel: Played for laughs in Sunday's start-up screen in Super Mario Maker, where an 8-bit Luigi walks up to Mario and, after a brief Beat, shoots a fireball at him before running off.
  • Camp Straight: (Well, maybe, see Ambiguously Bi) His mannerisms are occasionally Camped-up, most egregiously in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, but outside some one off gags in Superstar Saga he's only really shown to have interest in Princess Daisy.
  • Characterization Marches On: Officially, Luigi's current personality as a Cowardly Lion didn't emerge till around 2001's Luigi's Mansion, however, this wasn't the first time Luigi was portrayed as a coward, as various Western sources, such as the cartoons, had a cowardly Luigi, too. However, there's a few major differences in how Nintendo plays it, namely, Nintendo's Luigi isn't just a coward, but quite timid and shy.
  • Character Development: In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, where finally, as of this game's end, it seems Luigi has finally — if only mostly — kicked his fear of ghosts. Luigi has not only proved himself a true hero from Luigi's Mansion until now, but overcame his own phobia by facing it head-on through sheer willpower and bravery to save his brother first, and the ghosts that King Boo drove amok this time.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: An unusual, temporary case. After 1991's Super Mario World and 1992's Mario Is Missing, Luigi more or less dropped off the face of the planet aside from small cameos or supporting appearances in multiplayer games like Mario Kart or Mario Party till Luigi's Mansion in 2001, and didn't appear as a playable character in any main series games or RPGs until Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in 2003 and New Super Mario Bros. in 2006 — basically, he was stuck in Comic-Book Limbo for nearly a decade.
  • Classical Antihero: Compared to the more straightforward Mario, Luigi is quite flawed, being a cowardly, insecure, and clumsy, but when push comes to shove, he's just as brave as Mario and won't back down from a bully (see Character Development above).
  • Color Motif: Green, which is quite interesting. While Luigi is undoubtedly on the side of good, he's definitely more quirky compared to the squeaky-clean hero persona of his brother.
  • Confusion Fu: His more powerful abilities, such as the Negative Zone, tend to be random.
  • Cool Pet: The Stinger for the ending to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon reveals that he now has a Polterpup (a ghost that resembles and acts like a dog) as a pet.
  • Cowardly Lion: Luigi is prone to fits of cowardice, especially if it involves ghosts. But he'll easily become The Determinator if you threaten his friends, Princess Peach, or his brother.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: When Mario takes center stage, Luigi often fills this role. Most of the time.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In the mid-2000s, this started to creep into Luigi's characterization. Luigi has gotten place as an evil entity in an ancient text, a dark secret from his past, and the power to create a void of nothingness said to come from the darkness in his heart. Once the 2010s rolled around, this was largely abandoned. The void of nothingness, for example, was replaced with his Poltergust as his Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. 4.
  • Darker and Edgier: No, seriously. Luigi went through a period of this during the DS-Wii era, being implied to keep a dark secret, having sufficient "darkness in his heart" to create a veritable zone of Mind Screw, and that's not counting his role in Super Paper Mario. The 3DS-Wii U era deliberately reined this all back in.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
  • Deadpan Snarker: In Luigi's Mansion and the cartoons.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: A variation. He doesn't crave affection so much as for people he's known for years to remember his name. Or maybe even some respect.
  • Deuteragonist: Luigi is always the go-to second player. No other character but Mario himself is ahead of him.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: If Luigi is given a different play-style to compare to Mario, he will generally be this (in home-series Super Mario Bros. games, at least). Traditionally, Luigi has superior jumping ability that's balanced by inferior traction.
  • Disguised in Drag: Has happened three times so far with Luigi. He can somehow mimic Peach perfectly, right down to the Noblewoman's Laugh, only needing to cover his moustache, and in describing his adventures to Mario in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, he says "I was one hot sacrifice, bro."
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Heck, the trope was originally called "Luigification"!
    • When he first started out, Luigi was nearly identical to his brother in every way, being his literal Palette Swap. This changed with The Lost Levels, where he gained his traditional "better jumps, worse traction" distinction; in America this was reflected with Super Mario Bros. 2, where he gained the floaty jump. If he has a distinct playing style from Mario, it will usually involve these distinctions.
    • Luigi's understudy status became apparent during the N64 era (in which, you'll recall, he was only to be seen in spin-offs), and when he re-emerged in Luigi's Mansion, he was finally his own man, so to speak. The Gamecube-Wii/GBA-DS eras went on to emphasize his status as a cowardly, even reluctant Foil to Mario's heroism (most notably in the Mario & Luigi series — however, in Paper Mario, its sister series, he's actually much more keen on adventure).
    • It's even become apparent with his power-up designs. While they used to be identical to Mario's, Luigi's designs for several forms have become unique. For example, when he dons a Tanooki Suit or becomes Raccoon Luigi, his design is actually based on a kitsune rather than a tanuki.
    • In keeping with his nature, it should be noted that the Mario & Luigi series inverts Luigi's standard gameplay mechanic distinctions. In most games, Luigi is generally a little bit faster or more maneuverable than Mario (the Mario Kart and Mario Tennis series, for example), but in this series, Mario favors offensive and speed stats (which naturally allows him to take point in battle), leaving Luigi to favor HP and defense (just as naturally in the rear of combat).
  • Domain Holder: Within his Negative Zone bubble in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he can pull various Reality Warping tricks on his opponents.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Luigi gets next to no credit for his actions, no matter how brave or daring (or how much more impressive his feats are relative to his cowardice). This is especially galling in that most of his detractors are the Toads, the little mushroom-caps whose main claims to fame are being cowards and generally useless in the face of danger. Take Super Mario 64 DS, for example, where about half of the Toads rag on him even while he's trying to save them from being imprisoned in the walls. He's... not exactly happy about this.
  • Fighting Clown: In the Mario & Luigi games and especially in the Super Smash Bros. series. Luigi started out as a Moveset Clone of Mario, but through Divergent Character Evolution several of his attacks were redesigned or replaced to represent his status as The Klutz of the Mario series. For instance, both Mario and Luigi have a jumping punch attack, but Luigi now lands on his head afterward, and his dash attack involves him flailing about like a child. That's not even mentioning his taunts and idle animations, one of which involves Luigi pulling his nose for no particular reason.
  • Friendly Enemy: Team names from Mario Party 6 indicate he gets on pretty well with the playable Koopa Kid. They're actually called "Friendly Enemies".
  • Friend to All Living Things: Implied. In the original Luigi's Mansion, if you scan the mounted deer heads and leopard skin rugs in the Safari Room with the Game Boy Horror, Luigi expresses sadness and disgust at the idea of animals being treated in such ways.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Luigi's had an understated tradition of tinkering at least as far back as the original Mario Party, where his personal board was "Luigi's Engine Room".
    • In Super Mario Galaxy, he does a lot of work in the garage after being rescued.
    • As Mr. L, he builds and upgrades a Humongous Mecha.
    • This even goes back to the old cartoons — one notable instance being when he turned a sarcophagus into a rocket.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe. Mario's the more popular of the two, but a remote location where his book has become a best seller in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door gives him his own fanclub.
  • Green Thumb: In Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, this is Luigi's main attacking type, contrasting Mario's fire. Plus, the Negative Zone puts the Lip's Stick flowers on people's heads sometimes.
  • Happy Dance: Happens frequently, especially in Mario & Luigi. In some games, it turns into happy breakdancing.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He adopts a Polterpup at the end of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Is said to be in love with the orange-haired redhead Princess Daisy, and the feelings appear mutual.
  • Hidden Depths:
  • An Ice Person: Galaxy's Ice Flower and the Poltergust 3000's — wait for it — ice power-up. In Super Smash Bros. 4, he can also do it as an alternative to his fireball.
  • Identical Stranger: Up to Eleven in Galaxy where the NPC Luigi and the playable Luigi are two separate characters with no apparent prior affiliation to one another despite them both being called Luigi and looking exactly the same (though the NPC Luigi is slightly taller).
  • Implied Love Interest: Princess Daisy. Since his brother and Princess Peach are a near-item, fans and even some official material just pair him up with the other Princess. Though it's nowhere near as common as Mario/Peach. Luigi and Daisy are a pair to an extent, at least for the spinoff titles. Outside of them, Luigi's romantic relationships tend to vary, as he's crushed on Rosalina and even Prince Peasley.
  • Interpretative Character: Not to the same extent as his brother, though. His traditional, and more iconic, portrayal has him reluctant and fearful; but, in other games, like Paper Mario, he's portrayed as being pretty eager for adventure and doesn't like to stick at home.
  • Ironic Name: 'Luigi' actually means "Famous Hero" (or "Famous Warrior") in Italian. He's certainly a hero, but as for the famous part...
  • The Klutz: While it can come off as an Informed Flaw at times, especially when he's playable, Luigi is often said to be rather clumsy. Several games, such as the Mario & Luigi games and the second Luigi's Mansion do show Luigi having bouts of clumsiness, and he comes across as uncoordinated in the Super Smash Bros games. His clumsiness may be why Mario is considered the better jumper, despite not being able to jump as high.
  • The Lancer: He acts as the cowardly foil and trusted brother companion to Mario.
  • Leitmotif: Usually an upbeat remix of the Luigi's Mansion theme when he isn't sharing World 1-1 with Mario.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Luigi is Adorkable, timid, and klutzy, but when push comes to shove, like threatening his brother or his friends, he'll be quick to remind you why the heroes are called the Super Mario Brothers, as he smashes your face in with impunity.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Compared to the other playable characters in the platformers. He has speed and agility without sacrificing strength.
  • Living Dream: Dreamy Luigi whom Mario adventures along with during the Dream levels in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is basically Luigi as he sees himself.
  • Lovable Coward: As of Luigi's Mansion.
  • Make My Monster Grow: As Dreamy Luigi, he can combine with an army's worth of Luiginoids to become giant-sized, but he can only do this when Dreamy Luigi and Mario are in danger.
  • Manchild: Mario might be full of youthful exuberance, but Luigi often just comes across as childish and immature. It is particularly evident in the Mario & Luigi series, where he's prone to crying like a child, though latter games in the series tone it down somewhat; Superstar Saga, Partners in Time, and Bowser's Inside Story have loud, exaggerated sobbing and Ocular Gushers, Paper Jam has quiet crying into his hands. Even his voice comes across as more childish than Mario's, despite Mario having the more higher pitched voice of the two.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Whenever he's paired up with Princess Daisy.
  • Meaningful Name: Luigi's name has interesting, non-Italian origins; the word "ruiji" in Japanese (which is actually his Japanese name, to boot) means "similar", which is a play on how he tends to play very similarly or identically to Mario in most games in the franchise. Add the fact that "L" isn't present in Japan's speech.
  • Miles Gloriosus:
    • Portrayed this way in the Paper Mario series. In the second game, he tells Mario of his adventures in the Waffle Kingdom, but the accounts of his partners reveal him as cowardly and a bit clumsy. However, his stories are mostly true: He really did save the day, he just did it in a more clumsy way than he says.
    • Meanwhile, the novelization of his exploits go the whole nine yards and portrays him as ultra-competent, painting everything he does (even the most spectacular failures) in a positive light. Then again, those were written by somebody else.
  • Neat Freak: Revealed as such in Luigi's Mansion.
  • Nice Guy: One of the friendliest, most open characters in the entire cast. Luigi, for example, is the only character in Mario Strikers Charged who actually thanks his teammates for their contributions and is one of the few who doesn't blow up at said teammates when losing.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Several of his power-up forms have significantly different designs than everyone else's. The most notable is that he becomes Fox/Kitsune Luigi, as opposed to Raccoon/Tanooki, when touching a Super Leaf. Other examples include:
    • Fire: Lacks the color red.
    • Bee: Has a reversed color scheme.
    • Cat: Has leopard spots, round ears, and a darkened tail-tip.
    • Gold: Silver instead of gold.
  • Out of Focus:
    • Following the release of Super Mario World,note  Luigi was absent from all the mainline platformer games, even the handheld ones, until the release of his own game, Luigi's Mansion. It wasn't until 2006's New Super Mario Bros. that Luigi was once more in a proper Mario game.
    • It's implied in Paper Mario that Luigi's been stuck at home the whole time, watching the house. Being told to do so while Mario is clearly on another adventure (with party members, no less) obviously irks him.
  • Pair the Spares: Occasionally teased with Princess Daisy in the spinoff titles.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: "Mr L." from Super Paper Mario.
  • The Pollyanna: Luigi exhibits a rather unique variation of this trope. He's optimistic about everything... except his own abilities, where his insecurities lie.
  • Primary-Color Champion: An interesting subversion. Luigi wears green (secondary) with blue (primary) overalls. While Luigi is clearly a good guy, he is definitely more quirky compared to the more straightforward heroism of his brother, Princess Peach and Toad, and in some instances, harbors a Dark Side.
  • Prone to Tears: He's timid, shy, and cries somewhat easily.
  • Punny Name: Luigi's name is a play on ruiji, which is the Japanese word for "similar", a reference to his origin as a palette swap of Mario. The original meaning got lost once he developed his distinct looks and playing style; however, around the same time, Luigi and Mario officially became twins, thus giving the name a new meaning.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: In Mario Party 3, each character has a predetermined stamp aligned with them, except for Luigi, who will fill in the hole in the cast if you choose one of the other characters. Mario's proper stamp is Courage, of course, but if you're playing as Mario, Luigi fills in his spot in the lineup instead. If you'd like, you can interpret this as Luigi qualifying for each stamp (Wit, Strength, Courage, Kindness, and Love) while the rest of the cast only qualifies for one each.
  • Secret Character: In some platform games most of the time, due to his Lightning Bruiser tendencies. He is also one of only two characters to attend all the games in the Super Smash Bros. series as a secret fighter until the fourth entry (where he's a starter character).
  • Self-Duplication: Dreamy Luigi can create Luiginoids for offensive and exploration purposes.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Mario's Manly Man.
  • Shock and Awe: The Thunderhand in Superstar Saga, and his Mega Strike in Mario Strikers Charged. Even in appearances where he doesn't use it, Luigi is sometimes still associated with lightning or thunder.
  • The So-Called Coward: The accusation of being a coward mainly coming from Toads who run about screaming and doing nothing whenever Bowser comes to kidnap the princess again.
  • The Southpaw: Is commonly depicted as left handed in several of the games he appears in, including the Mario & Luigi series, and the Mario sports games. It's even the hand he uses when he jumps!
  • Spring Jump: His Signature Move in a number of spin-offs and Super Paper Mario.
  • Stone Wall: In the Mario & Luigi series, Luigi is sturdier than Mario, but is slower and deals less damage.
  • Straw Nihilist: In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, one of his bits of dialogue (according to Toadette) is that "there's no such thing as a safe place in this terrifying world."
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: In-Universe. His defining trait, above all, is that he does just as much work as Mario and is just as good at dealing with a threat, but never gets equal credit for what he does. Smash Bros. 64 gives him the title of the Eternal Understudy.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: With a brother like Mario, it's inevitable. Though, while most of Luigi's insecurities come from not being able to measure up to Mario, the brothers are very close in spite of whatever issues Luigi may have, and Mario's success motivates Luigi to try even harder.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Luigi's a Heroic Mime in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga up until he needs to disguise himself as Peach, at which point he's suddenly capable of normal speech.
  • Trojan Prisoner: On three different occasions. And he ends up Disguised in Drag each time.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He's frequently shown to be an even stronger jumper than Mario, but he lacks his brother's control and coordination. However, this only applies to his coordination, see Weak, but Skilled.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • Luigi's first ever vocal performance in a game was not given by Charles Martinet, but rather by Nintendo of France localizer Julien Bardakoff, who voiced Luigi in the Japanese version of Mario Kart 64. Bardakoff's clips were dubbed over with the now-familiar Martinet voice for the game's international release; however, they are heard in all regions' versions of the first three Mario Party games. Bardakoff's performance is notably different from the modern Luigi, opting for very high-pitched voice clips.
    • Conversely, Martinet opted for a low pitched voice for Luigi, a performance that was more down to earth, emphasizing his status as the Cowardly Sidekick. While still lower in tone than Mario's voice, Martinet's Luigi voice has gotten slightly higher-pitched over the years, going from deep and confident in Mario Kart 64 to a bit nasally and skittish in Luigi's Mansion onward, in keeping with Luigi's Divergent Character Evolution. It's also seen in the Super Smash Bros. series, where Luigi goes from having sped-up versions of Mario's voice clips in the first game and Melee (seemingly in emulation of the high-pitched voice Julien Bardakoff gave Luigi in the aforementioned N64 games) to having his own voice starting with Brawl.
  • Walk on Water: Running variant in Super Mario 64 DS. If you dash onto a body of water, Luigi can stay on the surface for a couple of seconds before sinking in.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He's usually portrayed in spin-offs as somewhat weaker physically than Mario, but his skills are more diverse and better developed than Mario's. The Mario Golf series plays it straight since Luigi tends to have more control over his ball compared to many others.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ghosts in this case. Unfortunately for him, the universe seems to want him to face them... a lot.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Has blue-colored electricity in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its remake and uses green-colored electricity for his Mega Strike in the second Strikers game.


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