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Referenced By / Super Mario Bros.

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"It's the brand new hit video game Super Plucky-o Bros.!"

Nintendo's Flagship Franchise Super Mario Bros. is one of the most prolific and well-known video game series of all time, so it's no surprise that it has been the target of countless allusions and parodies in pop culture.

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  • A commercial for Energizer batteries features a Fictional Video Game called Beauty and the Beast: The Ultimate Adventure, where a dragon chases a princess through Super Mario World-esque environments. Midway through the commercial, the Bunny interrupts by appearing from one of the doors and shrinks the dragon with one of his drumsticks. The "pipe" sound effect from Super Mario Bros. is also used when the Bunny shrinks the dragon.
  • In one Got Milk? commercial, two kids are playing Super Mario 64 and trying unsuccessfully to get Mario up a steep wall. After they give up and leave, Mario leaps out of the television, goes to their refrigerator, and drinks a carton of milk, growing to giant size. Then he returns to the game and scales the wall with ease.
  • A commercial for Sonic the Hedgehog features the president of H.A.G. (Humans Against Genesis) complaining about the titular character, asking, "Why can't he be more like that nice boy, Mario?". Another commercial for the same game features a salesman trying to sell the then-newly released Super Nintendo Entertainment System with the Super Mario World game to a customer for $199.95. The game is shown alongside a Sega Genesis playing Sonic, and the game's fast action, as well as the Genesis' price of $149.99, manage to convince the customer to buy Sonic.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Death Note, Ryuk once asked Light if he wants to play Mario Golf.
  • Aside from the references found in the main Neptunia games mentioned below, one chapter of the manga adaptation references Mario Kart: after the baby carriage Neptune was keeping a babyfied Nepgear, Rom, Ram and Uni ends up rolling down the road, the girls pass by a bunch of floating question mark blocks, out of one of which pops a Koopa shell.
  • One scene in Nichijou has the Robot Girl Nano make increasingly absurd reactions to her creator's antics. One of which involves bouncing up and hitting ? blocks, complete with coins popping out of them.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 40 of Happy Heroes, Happy S. and Careless S. play a video game that greatly resembles the original Super Mario Bros., complete with ? blocks and pipes. On top of that, the game outright uses the signature Super Mario Bros. music.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The Super Mario Bros. coin sound appears in episode 5 of Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Sports are Fun.
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Khelo Samosa", Samosa and his gang play an arcade game and rescue citizens of their hometown Chatpata Nagar who are stuck there acting as enemies and damsels in distress. The final level is meant to be one of the castle levels from the original Super Mario Bros. game for the NES, complete with the bridge above lava and Cham Cham (a male) playing the part of Princess Peach.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Fic 

    Film - Animated 
  • Wreck-It Ralph has a few references to the series. The Fix-It Felix game itself is largely an Expy of Mario's earliest games like Donkey Kong and Wrecking Crew; and Sugar Rush is based on Mario Kart. Meanwhile, Bowser is part of Ralph's Bad-Anon group, and Ralph finds a Super Mushroom in Tapper's lost and found. Mario himself didn't appear because the writers couldn't figure out how to use him well, but he is mentioned as being "fashionably late" to Felix's party.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic views a planet covered in mushrooms with disdain, stating "I hate mushrooms" which has been confirmed by writer Patrick Casey to be a jab at this franchise which used a lot of mushroom imagery and served as the Sonic games main rival for a long time.
  • In Under the Silver Lake, Bar Buddy plays the original game on Sam's NES.

    Light Novels 
  • Oreimo has a game labeled "Super Mario Sisters".

    Live-Action TV 
  • The George Lopez Show: In Vic tries to impress George's sister by presenting himself with his hair dyed black and wearing a red shirt and blue pants. When Vic asks George if she likes his hair, George replies, "Yeah, that's smooth. Put her on the spot there, Super Mario."
  • The Thick of It has Nicola Murray compare Steve Fleming to Super Mario at one point.
  • In Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Ex-Aid and Genm have powers based on a platformer video game like Mario's, titled Mighty Action X. By the end of the season, there are more Mighty games resembling Mario's including Mighty Brothers and Doctor Mighty. Late in the series, Genm manages to give himself extra lives, and whenever he respawns he jumps out of a purple Warp Pipe.

  • "Rocketeer" by Far East Movement has the lines:
    Where we at?
    Only few would know
    Go on the next level, Super Mario
    I hope this works out, cardio
    'Til then let's fly, geronimo

  • Dino Attack RPG: Doctor Marco Martinet started a reference to the Dr. Mario games before expanding to being inspired by the Super Mario Bros. series as a whole. His brother, Louie Martinet, is based upon Luigi, his cousins Warner and Wallace are inspired by Wario and Waluigi, and his former love interests Pearl and Primrose are inspired by Princess Peach and Pauline, respectively. Additionally, the sports Martinet participated in his youth (including going to the Olympics) are references to various Mario spin-off games.
    • Dr. Alvin Gadd, a XERRD scientist, is named after Professor Elvin Gadd from Luigi's Mansion. One of Alvin Gadd's inventions, the Flight and Laser Ultra Destruction Device, is based upon one of Elvin Gadd's inventions, the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device.
    • Rosalie Mercedes is based upon Princess Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy. Her first appearance flying into the final battle with a fleet of T-1 Typhoons following her and destroying Fright Knight windships was inspired by the cutscene in Super Mario Galaxy'' featuring Rosalina flying into Bowser's Galaxy Reactor and destroying the airships that guarded it.
    • One comment on the comm chatter showed someone finding a technicolor butterfly and declaring it "hi-technical."
    • One comment thought the Maelstrom had been created by a chaos heart and needed pure hearts to defeat it, referencing the Void created by Count Bleck in Super Paper Mario.

    Video Games 
  • Asterix and Obelix XXL2 have several references to the series:
    • Even before entering Las Vegum proper, you'll face the first special Roman soldier. He has a big moustache, a helmet with a red Roman Eagle shaped like a M, and turtle shells as shoulder pads. He's equipped with a FLUDD device (Super Mario Sunshine was the most recent entry of the main series at the time of XXL 2's development). When defeated, these Mario Soldiers emit a muffled "Mamma mia!" They get some statues on the Arc de Triomphe, and small flags near the Eiffel Tower.
    • In one of the employee back rooms, a menhir colored like a Yoshi egg is clearly visible.
    • A giant Super Mario World-like wall is visible from some spots in Lutetia. If you look around from the top of the Eiffel Tower, you'll also notice a few of the characteristic striped hills.
    • There are several small portraits of Toad on the walls in Venetia.
    • Also in Venetia, you can see rows of small flags with red Yoshi eggs and mushrooms.
    • A transition room in Venetia has the faces of Mario and Luigi near the two big buttons. The buttons themselves are of the same red and green as the Mario brothers.
    • Later in Venetia, in the square inside the giant dark hall, you can see several statues, among them Princess Peach and a Shine Sprite (you can find two more a little later).
    • In the large courtyard at the beginning of WCW, there's a big green pipe. You can enter it and find an entire Mario-themed area. There are floor mosaics of carnivorous plants, tiles of mushrooms, flowers, banana peels and Shyguys, unstable platforms shaped like Shine Sprites and POW blocks, and Thwomp-like devices (although they are designed to make you fall rather than crush you).
    • Also in the exterior areas of WCW, there are two small Mario-esque artificial hills that stand out evidently.
    • At the end of WCW, before entering Pirate Island, you can notice wall tiles reproducing Super Mario blocks.
    • On the beach of Pirate Island, you can find towels with the crab enemy from the original Mario Bros.. A few Starmen can also be seen on the sand (although they may be just cartoony starfishes).
    • Near the end, after the section with the Zelda and Link statues, you enter a waterway whose walls are decorated with Bloopers and Cheep Cheeps.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
  • A unit in The Battle Cats, Green Shell Cat, has, as its name suggests, quite the resemblance to a Koopa Shell/Green Shell.
  • As promised by its official page, BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is filled with nods to the Paper Mario series, particularly The Thousand Year Door. Most notably, the Hype Train’s layout is virtually identical to that of the Excess Express, and they’re both ridden in their respective games’ Chapter Six.
    • If you stand in a certain spot in the Battle Arena at night, you can see Mario and Vivian in the crowd.
    • In her Early-Bird Cameo in Chapter 3, Tyalie can be seen wearing a Princess Peach cosplay.
    • The “Sacred Seeds” sidequest is an obvious parallel to gathering the Bub-ulb seeds in Paper Mario 64, right down to a doorway appearing in the garden once all the seeds are planted. The quest-giver’s name, Mint Leaf, is even similar to Minh T., the Toad who helps you in Paper Mario.
  • Death Stranding: At one point, Sam compares his relationship with Amelie to be like Mario and Princess Peach... in a game not released for any Nintendo platforms.
  • The description for the Spiny Shell item in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: "Jumping on this one is a bad idea."
  • Duke Nukem 3D has Mario playing Mario Kart.
  • Grow
    • In Grow Comeback, if you place objects in a specific order, you can give Mario's cap and mustache to the retired hero.
  • An area in Kingdom of Loathing has you fighting Goombas, Koopas, Buzzy Beetles, Bullet Bills, and Bloopers. The Buzzy Beetles only appear after you ascend once, a reference to their appearances in the New Game+ of Super Mario Bros..
    • Also, one part of the fight against a Goomba has this message:
    At least he doesn't look like a guy with a tiny head. That movie sucked.
    • Also, the fumble message for one monster has it eat several mushrooms, only for it to grow and hit its head on the ceiling.
    • Another adventure quotes the "Your Princess Is in Another Castle!" spiel.
    • The description for the penguin shorts state that it allows you to slide around on your ass, which is pretty much what you must do to beat the penguin in a race in Super Mario 64.
    • The cyborg stompin' boot has a couple qualities that imply it's a homage to the Kuribo's Shoe.
    • Rescuing the King leads him to say "I'm sorry, adventurer, but the king is in another castle."
  • An Idle Animation in Epic Battle Fantasy 3 has Natz playing Mario on a Nintendo DS.
  • Enough Plumbers is very inspired by the series.
  • As was Super Giana Sisters, which declared "The brothers are history!" Nintendo responded with a lawsuit.
  • Forum Fantasy has Bowser as a boss.
  • Hitman: Two of the NPCs in Sapienza, the Italian mission map, are a pair of plumbers named Mario and Luigi, dressed in the iconic colors.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has several references to the series, least among them being a recreation of the Final Boss of Super Mario World... with Wart and Dr. Wily.
  • In Lollipop Chainsaw, Juliet's super-mode has her change a variety of different colors, and a special music plays ala Mario once he gets a star.
    • During the Fulci Fun Center stage:
    Nick: Alright, this is all too surreal. If a little dude in a red cap and blue overalls pops out at me I am seriously gonna vomit all over myself.
  • Märchen Forest: Mylne and the Forest Gift has a mushroom-themed quiz with this question:
    Nintendo's Mario comes to mind as a hero of mushrooms, but what was his debut game?
    A1. Mario Brothers
    A2. Wrecking Crew
    A3. Donkey Kong
  • The emblem reward for getting ten kills in a row while having no killstreaks equipped in Modern Warfare (hence worth trying only for this) is an 8-bit image of Capt. Price that looks exactly like Mario's Super Mario Bros. 1 sprite.
  • Neptunia has several expies from the series.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan: The plumbers in "Bambina" are obvious expies of Mario and Luigi.
  • The Excuse Plot of Overcooked! involves a going on a mission to save the Onion Kingdom.
  • Punch-Out!!: Mario makes an appearance as the referee.
  • Vector Thrust: Several of the campaigns are set against the backdrop of the Mushroom Kingdom. In a rather dark twist the "Mushroom" in the name stems from the massive nuclear war that took place there.
  • Everybody Edits has a few.
    • There is a pipe package that reads, "Factory outlets or italian [sic] plumbings?" as a reference to that Mario is an Italian plumber.
    • An official Christmas level shows off music blocks containing the first few notes of the Super Mario Bros. theme, along with text that says "It's-a-me, Mario!"
    • The coin sound was once taken directly from Super Mario World.
  • The Legend of Zelda often has references to its sister series:
    • The majority of them appear in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Tarin is a Mario Expy who goes out mushroom-hunting and gets turned into a tanuki at one point. A Yoshi doll is part of a Chain of Deals. Several Mario enemies show up like Goombas, Piranha Plants, Thwomps, Pokeys, and Shy Guys; and one character keeps a Chain Chomp as a pet. Wart from Mario 2 is an NPC, and another NPC (a goat-woman) sends a picture of Peach to her pen-pal claiming it's her own photo.
      • The Chain Chomp returns in Hyrule Warriors as the most powerful version of Link's ball-and-chain weapon.
    • Tarin becomes "Talon" in later games, but continues being a Mario equivalent: In many games he's given a red shirt and blue overalls like Mario's, and he and his daughter Malon often also wear Bowser brooches. These games also often include an additional character, Ingo, who is similarly based on Luigi.
  • In the Kirby series, Kirby can use the Stone ability to turn into a random statue. Depending on the game, the statue may be a Mario Brick Block, or it could even be a statue of Mario himself.
  • In Pikmin, Olimar is loosely named after Mario by reversing the syllables (Ma-Ri-O became O-Ri-Ma). Pikmin 2 adds a second character, Louie, whose name is derived from Luigi's.
  • In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio has an uncle named Mario. That in itself wouldn't be enough to count as a reference, but he introduces himself with "It's-a me, Mario!"
  • In the Tamagotchi Licensed Game 64 de Hakken! Tamagotchi Minna de Tamagotchi World, two of the obtainable "Special Adult" Tamagotchis are Waddling Head versions of Mario and Wario named Mariotchi and Waruotokotchi respectively.
  • Stardew Valley has a twofer, both referencing how Luigi is oftentimes seen as stuck in his brother's shadow.
    • When clothes tailoring was added, the Green Overalls get described as "a slightly less popular farming classic". The Red Overalls, meanwhile, are described as simply "a farming classic".
    • Upon the addition of Ginger Island, there is also a pirate hangout in the cove. There, a red pirate is trying to calm down his brother, dressed in green, who is picking a fight due to being seen as The Unfavorite. The phrase "Mamma mia" is even spoken by the red pirate.

    Web Animation 

  • Square Root of Minus Garfield:
    • Rice has the titular rice being sucked through a Warp Pipe.
    • The Bonus Chance from Super Mario Bros. 2 is among a long list of things that sound like "minus" in They Just Won't Stop!
    • Mariofield edits a Christmas-themed strip. In the original, Garfield gives Jon the "Box O' Mystery", which turns out to be empty. In this version, the box is a Question Box and it contains a Poison Mushroom.
  • xkcd:
    • The strip actually called "Mario", which coins the phrase "They should call you Mario, 'cause you just got <<1-up'd>>", and then asks people not to use it.
    • "Fucking Blue Shells" is a piechart of swearing which shows it's mostly at Mario Kart.
    • "Finish Line is also about Mario Kart, in which Megan suckers Cueball into letting her win.
    • If you scroll far enough to the left in "Click and Drag" there's a re-creation of Super Mario Bros. Level 1-1. If you scroll down on the pits, you find a spelunker explaining that the walls have been "worn smooth by billions of tumbling Mario corpses".

    Web Video 
  • Joueur du Grenier's reviews of Platoon and Metal Gear have Mario and Luigi cosplayers. His review of Road Runner: Death Valley Ralley has a small skit involving Mario and Luigi, and one of the endings of his second fighting game special is a reference to the infamous ending of the american Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The movie Super Mario Bros. was reviewed, as was The Super Mario Bros Super Show!.
    • In his review of The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland, Critic notes Alice's resemblance to Princess Peach in her photo, and also notes that she's been kidnapped by an evil monster in a magical land from a giant castle. He then asks why The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland is closer to a Super Mario Bros. movie than the actual Super Mario Bros. movie.
    • In his review of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Critic makes a reference to his Mario review when he gets confused whether Mr. Conductor and Junior are father-and-son or cousins, saying "If the Mario Brothers can be father and son, anything's fucking possible".
    • In his review of Mamma Mia!, Critic puts the familiar "jump" sound effect over the scene where a group of men kick in a chorus line wearing only scuba gear.
    • In his review of Garfield, after seeing the live-action version of Odie looking nothing like his cartoon counterpart, Critic asks the movie if it's trying to go for the Goomba Award for having a majority of the characters look nothing like the ones they were based on, referencing the Super Mario Bros. movie.
    • In another episode, he reviews The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!.
  • Stopmotion Chess uses Mario sound effects in it.

    Western Animation 
  • There are a number of references to the series in Chowder, such as Expies of Mario and Luigi showing up in one episode, and an Expy of Bowser in another.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot has the Hammer Bros., complete with the Super Mario World jumping sound effect.
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "The Buck Swaps Here", two men resembling Mario and Luigi are seen carrying a mirror, which Eduardo and his friends chasing him for his $100 bill miss, but the thief crashes into.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Uncle" centers around Gumball mistakenly thinking that Ocho knows Mario. It turns he does know Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "K-ACME TV" has a commercial for the "Super Plucky-O Bros." video game for the Numbmindo System. In addition to parodying the game itself, actual sound effects from the Super Mario Bros. video game are used.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • In the sketch, "3 Fast 3 Furious" from the episode, "Gold Dust Gasoline", Mario, Luigi, and Wario compete in a race against various other pop-culture characters. Although none of the three plumbers win, at one point, Mario uses the blue shell, with Wario explaining the purpose of the blue shell to the viewers.
    • In the sketch, "Grand Theft Mario" from the episode, "Lust for Puppets", Mario and Luigi take a wrong turn and stumble into the violent world of Vice City. At the end of the sketch, Yoshi drives into Raccoon City.
    • In the sketch, "Ballad of Gay Tony" from the episode, "Fool's Goldfinger", Princess Peach makes a cameo appearance when Tony sings about how heroes are always trying to save the Damsel in Distress.
    • In the sketch, "Mario Meets Parents" from the episode, "The Departy Monster", Mario pays a visit to Princess Peach's castle, where he makes a bad first impression on Princess Peach's parents, leading to him accidentally destroying the castle.
    • In the sketch, "I'm the Best" from the episode, "Due to Constraints of Time and Budget", Toad assists a gang of bank robbers in a getaway.
    • In the sketch, "Mario Party" from the episode, "Eviscerated Post-Coital by a Six Foot Mantis", Mario and Luigi find a block filled with gold coins and begin spending their newfound wealth however they like, including buying a mansion. When it comes time to pay the bills, the block is out of coins, and the mansion is demolished.
    • In the sketch, "The Fattest Fat Loser" from the episode, "Poisoned by Relatives", Mario competes in the titular Show Within a Show, alongside Garfield, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Miss Piggy.
    • In the sketch, "Thank You Mario!" from the episode, "Collateral Damage in Gang Turf War", After Mario defeats Bowser, Toad informs him that Princess Peach is in another castle. After Mario leaves, Peach asks Toad if he's gone, and calls him a stalker.
    • The sketch, "Mario Kart Battle" from the episode, "He's Not Even Aiming at the Toilet" has Mario as a driving teacher, and order to pass his test, the student must defeat Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Toad in a Mario Kart battle.
    • The sketch, "Mario Golf" from "Max Caenen in: Why Would He Know If His Mother's a Size Queen" features Mario and Bowser playing a game of golf together. As they play, Bowser asks Mario if he found it weird how he used to kidnap his girlfriend, and Mario says, "Eh." as Bowser hits his golf ball.
  • The title card for the The Loud House episode, "Game Boys" resembles a level from the original Super Mario Bros. video game, with Lincoln and Clyde dressed as the Mario Brothers.
  • Mickey Mouse (2013): In "Tokyo Go", the "power-up" and "coin" sound effects from Super Mario Bros. can be heard during the 8-bit section in the train tunnel.
  • In the Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island episode "Sir Nut-a-Lot", Slip and Slide wear clothes resembling the outfits of Mario and Luigi when the Island is turned into a video game.
  • Episodes 99 and 100 of Kaeloo (both parts of a Multi-Part Episode) have Kaeloo and her friends wearing costumes of well-known video game characters, with Quack Quack wearing a costume of Mario.

  • One of the 33 miners trapped in the Chilean mine collapse in 2010, Mario Sepúlveda, was nicknamed "Super Mario" by the local media for his energy, wit, and humor. He served as host of the miners' video journals during the time between their discovery and rescue.


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