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  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Roy from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade actually debuted in Melee first. The Binding Blade didn't release in Japan till four months after the release of Melee.
    • The Gekkos from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots appear in the Shadow Moses stage. More meta, Shadow Moses itself also returned for MGS4 as the setting of its fourth act. Brawl debuted in January 2008, while Metal Gear Solid 4 debuted in June in the same year.
    • The Wii U version of the fourth game has a stage based on Yoshi's Woolly World, which didn't see a release until mid-summer 2015 (or October for the US), compared to Smash's release in late November of 2014.
    • Wario's victory theme in Brawl is also the first level theme in Wario Land: Shake It!, which was released six months later.
    • For American and European players of 3DS/Wii U, Corrin was released as DLC on February 4, 2016, a whole two weeks and a whole three months before the US and EU releases of Fates, respectively.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: A meta example for Melee, which based its characters on their Nintendo 64 era designs. Later GameCube games would provide these characters redesigns that would eventually become the basis for their modern appearances.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The Poké Ball Pokémon that fills the role of "small, cute Water-type that runs across the stage pushing opponents away" doesn't exist in 64 and is not a starter in Melee.
    • 64 has a lot of things that changed with time:
      • There is only a 12-character roster, with 4 unlockable, and they were all protagonists in their respective series.
      • There are also fewer stages to fight on, with only one stage unlockable. These stages also have simpler gimmicks, and the stage backgrounds are simply background images instead of being 3D-rendered.
      • Final Destination and Battlefield are in the game... in 1P Mode only. They also have more "runic, ancient" kind of looks rather than their reincarnations in later installments (Final Destination got more of a high-tech look later with the universe as the backdrop, whereas Battlefield was changed to look similar to Final Destination in Melee but became more of a lush, green landscape in Brawl, 4 and Ultimate). Battlefield is also referred to as "Duel Zone" by official Japanese medianote , although Final Destination keeps its name.
      • Items and minor characters such as Poké Ball summons and background characters are rendered as 2D sprites instead of 3D models.
      • Classic Mode is called "1P Game", and does not feature hidden bosses such as Crazy Hand. Master Hand also has 300 HP regardless of the difficulty setting. All of the opponents are also fixed, with the sole exception being whose power the last of the Kirby team copies.
      • While "Break the Targets" would return to future games in a few different incarnations, and even "Race to the Finish" reappeared in Melee (and implicitly in Ultimate), the "Board the Platforms" bonus game is only featured here, yet to be seen again.
      • Master Hand's design is also different from in later games. Instead of his wrist slowly fading into nothingness, it ends with a "cuff".
      • The menus in this game have eerily soft ambient music, until you get to character selection. Every game afterwards has a triumphant orchestral theme that plays through most (if not all) menus, and is the same for the character select screen.
      • Training Mode has its own music theme that overrides the normal stage themes, and replaces the backgrounds with the Smash logo.
      • The characters are supposed to be animated dolls instead of trophies.
      • Characters on the character selection screen had their fully animated in-game model displayed at the bottom when hovering the selection chip over them, and would strike a pose when the chip was placed down. This small touch would never return after 64, with each player's selection instead being represented by a static image.
      • Instead of a trophy gallery containing info on a majority of items, enemies, and other stuff across Nintendo's franchises, there are biographies of the playable fighters only.
      • The game lacks a lot of mechanics that became mainstays, such as air-dodging, sidestepping, side specialsTechnical note , and even Final Smashes.
      • Unlike future games, it was possible to accidentally KO yourself by touching the ceiling 'blast line' even at 0% damage if you were to jump away from an attacking opponent while off-screen. Since Melee and onward, you were only KO-ed if you were launched to the ceiling 'blast line' in a damaged state, or if you were standing on a platform that will launch vertically and off-screen.
    • Melee has also its share:
      • This is the first game to implement a camera where you can take snapshots of people. Unfortunately, it's restricted to a single mode and only three players can participate while the fourth player takes the pictures. In Brawl and later games, this is implemented whenever you pause in any offline mode and you can take pictures by pressing certain buttons.
      • There are a much larger amount of trophies from Japan-only games, possibly related to the fact that the first game in the series was itself originally planned to be Japan-only. Many of these are never seen again and such trophies in later games are generally either playable characters or related to them in some way, such as those from MOTHER 3 (whose predecessors are not Japan-only) and the Fire Emblem series (specifically, anything released between the since-Remade for the Export first game and the series's international debut).
      • Classic Mode trophies don't use the characters' in-game model; rather, they use a model that resembles what the character looks like in their home series. Additionally, they aren't posed like in their artwork.
      • Final Destination and Battlefield are unlockable stages in this game; later games would make them available from the start.
      • Battlefield's aesthetics were themed on metallic platforms in the middle of colourful, swirling vortexes instead of the more naturalistic settings in the later installments.
      • All-Star Mode's Rest Area uses a peaceful remix of Float Islands from Kirby's Dream Land as the background music. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U use peaceful remixes of their own themes for their respective Rest Areas.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Smash taunts are taunts done by pressing the down taunt button for a single frame (often said to be by pressing up and down taunts repeatedly; true for Samus, but simply a method to get the required timing on others). Examples include:
      • Fox, Falco, and Wolf's respective smash taunts (the former two on Corneria or Lylat Cruise, the latter only on Lylat Cruise) will cause a conversation with different Star Fox characters to appear, complete with a matching Heads-Up Display for each stage. Corneria and Venom resemble Star Fox 64 which were changed to the ones from Star Fox 64 3D in Ultimate, and Lylat Cruise resembles Star Fox: Assault.
      • Snake's smash taunt in the Shadow Moses Island stage will cause a codec conversation to appear, based on Metal Gear Solid. Snake will talk to either Roy Campbell, Mei Ling, or Otacon, depending on whom he's fighting against (he also talks to Slippy if he's fighting Falco).
      • Pit's smash taunt in the Palutena's Temple stage will prompt a conversation between him and either Palutena and/or Viridi, a la Kid Icarus: Uprising (Chrom also makes an appearance if Pit is fighting Robin in Wii U, and Alucard appears if Pit is fighting Richter in Ultimate).
    • If the camera is turned slightly in the Mushroom Kingdom stage (both the original and Melee), a sign that says "DANGER" can be seen. Appropriate, because that's where the blast lines are. This Easter Egg, as well as most other stage Easter Eggs on this list, also apply to returning stages in later titles.
    • In the ice portion of Pokémon Stadium 2, a picture of a cat can be seen inside the hut a Snorunt is hiding in.
    • In the Onett stage, there's a sign off-screen that reads "Caution: A black van driven by this guy has been spotted racing recklessly through town. Be careful!", referring to one of the stage hazards. The sign is also in the Brawl version of the stage, but can't be seen without hacking. However, the text is more blurry due to texture compression. It's also in the Wii U version and Ultimate, but it's no longer hidden, as you can now stand near it.
    • Snake can be seen hiding under the Cardboard Box trophy in Brawl.
    • In Luigi's Mansion stage in Brawl, under a bed in one of the rooms is a drawing of a Boo, alluding to the "monster under the bed" urban legend.
    • In the Dream Land stage on 3DS, the battery light on the Game Boy will start to dim at the last few seconds of a timed match.
    • Villager's Timber attack has a chance of spawning an apple or a piece of firewood when the tree is chopped down.
    • The Hylian text in the Wii U version of the Temple stage translates to "Smash Brothers".
    • In Melee and Brawl, tilting the C-Stick tilts the menu around.
    • Almost every stage in Melee has an extra song that can be heard by holding down the L button while the stage is loading.
    • The Barrel Cannon trophy has text on the bottom that reads "2L84Me", which is short for "too late for me". This refers to an illustration of Cranky Kong's cabin made to promote the original Donkey Kong Country that features the same text on a crate in the background.
    • The Smashville stage has a patch of flowers in the background that reads "SB", obviously standing for "Smash Bros."
    • When Little Mac does a taunt, there's a random chance Doc Louis will say something.
    • In the "Jigglypuff Live" event in Melee, if Jigglypuff is on the monitor in the background and uses her Up Special, all of the other players will fall asleep, regardless of position.
    • The Metal Mario trophy in Melee has a reflection of the Yoshi's Island stage on its surface.
    • Luigi's and Greninja's down taunts will actually damage an opponent if they're close enough.
    • The Metroid trophy in Melee has a reflection of Super Metroid's title screen, minus the logo.
    • If Shulk is present on the Gaur Plain stage in Wii U and Ultimate, Metal Face will comment on it.
    • The first letters of Green Hill Zone's song list in Brawl spell out "SEGA".
    • In Melee, viewing Ganondorf's trophy under certain lighting will cause his eyes to glow.
    • The box Snake uses for his taunt can damage opponents if he's close enough. They can even pick it up if they're quick enough.
    • The back of Captain Falcon's red costume in Ultimate reads "Hell Hawk".
    • Some of the monitors in the Big Blue stage in Melee and Brawl have two dolphins on them, a reference to the GameCube's code name, "Project Dolphin".
    • If you set the language to Japanese, there's a Virtual Boy in the background of the Collection in Melee. The space is empty if any other language is set.
    • Try watching and listening to Peach's Final Smash at a slower tempo. The song that plays during it is a sped-up version of the Coin Heaven song from Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • In Wii U, Nintendo of Japan's headquarters can be seen on Smash Bills.
    • In Wii U, if every player holds down shield while Orbital Gate Assault is being selected, and no one is playing as Fox or Falco, one of two conversations between StarFox members will initiate throughout the match. Once again, the Heads-Up Display is taken from Star Fox: Assault.
  • Eldritch Location: Master Fortress, the final form of Master Core in the Wii U game.
  • Emulation: In Brawl and Wii U, there is a "Masterpieces" section, in which you can play time-limited demos of the games that some of the characters originated from. All of the games in this section are on the Virtual Console, and in the Wii U game, you can purchase the games directly off the eShop should you so desire.
  • Endless Game:
    • The Endless Multi-Man modes. They end when you're KO'd for good. The same goes for Cruel mode, though it's unlikely you'll last very long there. Rival Smash in the fourth game also ends only when you are KO'd.
    • Time battles on Versus mode with the time limit set to infinite. It will never end unless using the reset command in the pause screen. And if that wasn't enough, after unlocking the extra rules, it's possible to turn off the pause function, making turning off the system (or using the Home button) the only way out of the game.
  • Enemy Mine: A possible variation, as if you are playing a team battle, then you could have one of the villains be paired up with their rival in their series (such as teams like Bowser and Mario, Samus and Ridley, or Link and Ganondorf).
  • Enemy Roll Call: Brawl has this at the end of Classic Mode in the form of Mini-Game Credits.
  • Enhanced Punch: It's unclear exactly what, if anything, enhances Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch, but the equivalent move used by his Moveset Clone Ganondorf, the Warlock Punch, is powered by magic. Both have a short charge time but pack a serious wallop.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Any of the Pokémon, Pokémon Trainer, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Duck Hunt, and the Inklings. Downplayed with the Ice Climbers, who are still identified individually as Popo and Nana, and the Mii Fighters, addressed as such by the announcer but shown with the name you gave them in battle. Defied by Robin and Corrin, who go by their default names rather than "[the] Avatar".
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Peach and Zelda. 3DS/Wii U adds Lucina, who may or may not qualify as a "princess" (though she definitely is of royal blood), alongside Wendy (sometimes) and Corrin. Ultimate includes Daisy in the roster.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: In Melee, Peach's taunt and Up Smash. Brawl adds spinning taunts for Kirby and Jigglypuff, and the fourth game does so for Palutena.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The credits of the first two games won't show staff that was only involved with creating characters and stages that haven't been unlocked yet. Also, if someone worked on, for example, Mario and Luigi, it would say they worked on Mario and ???? if Luigi's locked.
    • The first scene in the opening sequence of Brawl (both the quick pass by the group and the shot of them standing on the cliff) gets increasingly filled with secret characters as they get unlocked. This is carried over from the N64 game, where the final scene before the title screen is the silhouettes of the secret characters, that are revealed as they are unlocked. The 3DS game opens with a line-up of all characters, again excluding ones that haven't been revealed or purchased.
      • Also, when the Isle of the Ancients is destroyed during the plot, it is replaced on the title screen with a large glowing X in the distance.
  • Exact Words:
    • The Challenges. For instance, one of them (Wii U Version) is "Clear Classic Mode without losing a life". It didn't tell you what difficulty to do it on, so you could possibly clear it on 0.0/Effortless and still complete the challenge (through there is a similar challenge which specifically requires 9.0).
    • The 2018 E3 Nintendo Direct concerning Ultimate mentions halfway that they're now going to talk about a new character, only to then reveal it's the Inkling, which is absolutely true, given the context.
  • Exploding Barrels: Containers, including barrels, crates, capsules, and party balls, sometimes explode instead of dropping items when broken open, making it not always safe to smash one open with a punch, kick, or throwing directly at the ground.
  • Explosive Stupidity: Striking an explosive item, such as a Bob-Omb, Gooey Bomb, or Motion Sensor Mine, with an attack will probably set it off. It is entirely possible to make a bomb explode in your face if you try to pick it up just outside of the effective range from which you can actually do so, and also entirely possible to flat-out kill yourself by making such an error if you're damaged enough. In pre-Ultimate installments, you could also blow yourself up by throwing a Bob-Omb at the ground (or an opponent) at point-blank range.
  • Exploited Immunity: It's possible (if risky and requiring perfect timing) to grab an enemy and fall off a ledge, throwing them at the edge of the screen at the last second before dying. If done right, it gets you a point before losing it to suicide, while the opponent is left with a lost point.
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    F 
  • Face Ship:
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • Some stages of Classic mode have you fight alongside one or two CPU allies (when you're facing two enemies or a giant enemy). In the harder difficulty settings, while the CPU enemies get stronger and smarter, the CPU allies get weaker and more inept, to the point of standing there waiting to be KO'd or even committing suicide.
    • In Melee, the C-stick doesn't function properly in the 1P modes. Instead of acting as a stick to easily input smash and aerial attacks, it instead acts as a camera control in 1P mode, which is completely useless since all this does is screw with your interface while you're fighting CPUs (who are completely unaffected by the interface screw). And with no C-stick to use, many advanced techs become much more difficult, if not impossible, to perform in 1P mode. Playing in general also becomes more difficult without it, as most players primarily play the versus mode, where the C-stick functions properly and is utilised heavily. Fortunately, this was fixed in Brawl, where the C-stick's function and the controls remained unchanged throughout all modes.
    • In the 1-Player modes, explosive items spawn as normal, and can spawn on top of you while you're in the middle of an attack, causing you to inadvertently hit the explosive, often resulting in KOing you at really low damage to no fault of your own. This is especially bad in the 15 Minute and Endless Multi-Man modes, where endurance is the objective and you're typically in a single spot throwing attacks (thus significantly increasing the probability that an explosive spawns on you), and you can end up getting KO'd as low as 50% from an explosive spawning on you, when you can easily live well beyond 200% in these modes. Many a player had promising runs in these modes cut short to no fault of their own because the RNG decided to spawn a Bob-omb on them.
    • Brawl featured tripping, which randomly happened when a character changed directions while running or inputting a Smash attack using the control stick. There's nothing quite like randomly falling over right when you try to deal a KO attack.
    • In both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4, custom moves for each fighter have to be obtained individually. The problem is, is that each custom move is dropped at complete random, and to make things worse, you can obtain completely useless duplicates. The same also applies to the Mii Hats and Outfits.
    • When playing Smash Run in Smash 3DS, one might notice that Tacs, the little ninja cat creatures that steal a large chunk of stat boosts if you let them, sometimes spawn right next to you just as the round is ending just to screw you over by relieving you of a bunch of your hard-earned stat boosts, while giving you almost no time to get them back before time runs out.
    • Also in Smash Run, Metroids. Not so much from the creatures and their attack themselves, but if one grabs you when there's no solid ground close below, for some reason, the Metroid will almost always Meteor-Smash (read: launch you straight downward) you upon letting you go, often leading to a KO as a result. The fact that they rarely do this when there actually is ground directly beneath you while being attacked by one makes this a rather blatant case of this.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Something of a rule of the Smash franchise — no realistic bullet-shooting firearms allowed; energy weapons and explosives are okay. Snake's arsenal was limited to explosives as a way of enforcing the trope. However, Duck Hunt's presence might subvert this, since the Wild Gunmen (and the Sheriff assist trophy) are definitely firing real guns, but they're 8-bit and somewhat cartoony. Bayonetta does have semi-realistic bullet-shooting firearms, but they're heavily stylized, and the bullets they shoot are immaterial anyway. Finally Zig-Zagged with Joker, who uses a realistic but still fake toy gun, that due to the rules of The Metaverse, acts like an actual gun.
  • Fighting Clown:
    • Mr. Game And Watch. The things he attacks with include: a bell, sledgehammers, juggling, a frying pan that can toss out sausages/fish/steak/shrimp, fishbowls, a turtle, a pesticide pump, a key, a package, a submarine helmet, chairs, racing flags, a helmet, an oil bucket, a parachute, a torch, a manhole, and a fire fighter trampoline.
    • The Villager uses boxing gloves, an umbrella, a stick, fireworks, a bowling ball, weeds, radishes, potted plants, a shovel, a slingshot, a net, grabbing projectiles to use against their senders later, a rocket, balloons, a tree, and an axe for his/her attacks. Isabelle is similar, although she uses a fishing rod and doesn't have an axe.
    • The Wii Fit Trainer fights with yoga poses.
    • Bowser Jr. All of his attacks come from the aptly-named Koopa Clown Car, which comes packed with drills, boxing gloves, buzzsaws, cannons, wrecking balls, hammers, explosives, and extendable grippers. Heck, his reveal tagline was "Bowser Jr. Clowns the Competition!".
    • Pac-Man's moveset includes the bonus items from his original game (consisting of various fruit, a bell, a key, and a Galaxian fighter), as well as a fire hydrant.
    • Piranha Plant is literally a plant in a pot/pipe. It attacks by using its leaves, head, jaws, and the potted base.
  • Final Boss:
    • Master Hand is the quintessential final boss for the Super Smash Bros. series. In the games proper, he was the boss of 1P Game in the original 64 game, and reprises his role as Final Boss in the Classic Mode of all games thereafter. He, alongside Crazy Hand, are also the final bosses of Melee's Events.
    • Bowser is the final boss of Melee's Adventure Mode.
    • Mr. Game & Watch is the final boss of Melee's All-Star Mode.
    • Tabuu is the final boss of Brawl's Subspace Emissary, and Boss Battles Mode.
    • Olimar is the final boss of Brawl's All-Star Mode.
    • Bowser, Ganondorf, and King Dedede are the final bosses of both Brawl's and Wii U's Events. Both games also feature a Boss Rush against the playable villains and rivals as part of the final boss battle in Co-Op Events.
    • Crazy Hand is the final boss of his very own mode in for Wii U: Crazy Orders.
    • Galeem and/or Dharkon is the Final Boss of World of Light in Ultimate.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: An item in Brawl, 4, and Ultimate is a plate of super-spicy curry that lets you breathe fireballs. You also erupt in a fiery aura. If you stand still, you can even get to see the character dance in agony.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Heroes are willing to work alongside their arch-nemeses in Brawl, while still acting in character, just to illustrate how much more important it is for them to fight the Big Bad than each other. This is continued in Ultimate, but downplayed due to the scarcity of cutscenes and lack of co-op in the Adventure mode.
  • Fixed Floor Fighting: Final Destination fits this trope to a 'T', being just one flat platform suspended over the air. This is taken further in the "For Glory" online mode of the fourth game, which turns almost every stage into a flat platform suspended in the air and all hazards removed, in other words, only reskinning Final Destination with the other stages. These stages are referred to ingame as Ω forms.
  • Flaming Emblem:
    • Used in 3DS and Wii U. The intro cinematic also has it form by having a circle cut by flames, resulting in this.
    • One was used to announce Ultimate; the trailer started with the Inklings duking it out on a white background like their original game's reveal, but then the screen goes dark and the girl turns to look at the new light source...
  • Floating Continent:
    • Most stages are floating platforms, others are just tall buildings. Also, there's the Isle of the Ancients in the Subspace Emissary.
    • Smash Run in the fourth game takes place on a particularly large one.
  • Flunky Boss: In Crazy Orders mode in Wii U, Crazy Hand will come with one to four minions depending on how many challenge tickets you've completed before fighting him, with both of these minions using the same character. And if you've cleared enough turns, Master Hand joins in on the fun too.
  • Force and Finesse: It's a very common pattern for many of the custom specials introduced in the fourth installment to stand in a Force and Finesse relation to the original specials. Typically, one custom special option will deal more damage and/or knockback, feature a larger hitbox or extra hitboxes, or pack further offensive effects like entrenchment; the other custom special will be faster, hit in a wider range, offer extra mobility, or in some other way serve as a more flexible choice. Most custom specials make sacrifices in one of these areas in exchange for gains in the other, so that you'll often end up with the original special, a "Force" alternative, and a "Finesse" alternative.
  • Four-Seasons Level: The Yoshi's Island stage introduced in Brawl is one such stage. During a match, the stage changes scenery and colors between all four seasons, also changing the music. Nothing besides the graphics, colors, and music changes, having no effect on actual gameplay.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In Brawl, the Pokémon Manaphy's Heart Swap move causes you to play as an opponent's character temporarily. However, you have the same lives, so you can't commit suicide to your advantage.
  • Free Floor Fighting: Most of the stages — Big Blue is a particularly notable example.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Pausing at the right moment lets the viewer see the Mark of Grima on Robin's hand, as well as the Brand of Naga in Lucina's left eye.
    • In one of the Japanese trailers for 3DS/Wii U, during a scene of Pikachu taunting, you can briefly see Ganondorf. This would also count as an Early-Bird Cameo, as he wasn't officially announced prior to release.
    • Several furniture items from Animal Crossing appear during Villager's Final Smash, but their appearances are so brief you won't be able to make them out without pausing repeatedly.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Team Battles. Can be turned off and does not work with explosives that also hurt the user.
    • Friendly Fire is almost always on in competitive play to prevent horribly abusive strategies (especially involving firing projectiles through your partner). However, there are also plenty of abusive strategies enabled by having friendly fire on...
    • The blog for Brawl discussed strategies that can be used if the Friendly Fire setting is on, such as having a teammate throw projectiles into Mr. Game & Watch's Oil Panic bucket.
      • An alternate use for this is Ness and Lucas' PSI Magnet, which is the only way to heal with items turned off. Turn the Friendly Fire setting on and have a character with energy attacks shoot them when PSI Magnet is up (through 3DS/Wii U nerfed the use so it only heals at half the projectile's damage if that projectile is from your partner).
    • One fun thing to do is set up a human player versus three computers and turn on Friendly Fire. Most of the time, all you have to do is stay out of range and watch as Hilarity Ensues.
  • Fun with Homophones: In the French translation, Sheik's title on the boxing ring stage is "Qui Sheikah éteint la lumière?" or, "Who is it that has turned off the light?", where Sheikah stands in for the similar-sounding "c’est qu’a". French players have noted that the line uses awkward phrasing in order to shoehorn in the word Sheikah.
  • Furry Confusion: Combined with the Roger Rabbit Effect. Due to its crossover nature, this will come up often. For example, we have Fox, an anthropomorphic fox who flies a fighter jet spaceship, next to Lucario, a bipedal dog with Aura powers, next to the Dog from Duck Hunt. Plus they can all be fighting on a stage with actual puppies running around in the background (the Living Room from Nintendogs). Pretty much lampshaded with Wolf's Ultimate character video, showing him playing fetch with the Duck Hunt dog.

    G 
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There are quite a few of these in the Smash games, especially in Melee.
    • In Melee, there's the infamous Black hole glitch. While a fun glitch to fool around with, it can severely lag the game, and is prone to causing a complete game freeze (especially if the players do "modifications" to the black hole).
    • In really early versions of Melee (the 1.0 versions), there's the Shadow glitch, which allowed players to catch the tiny Shadow Balls thrown by Mewtwo from his forward throw. If one of these balls is thrown after being caught, the game freezes.
    • Another glitch in Melee with Mewtwo is the Soul Breaker glitch. When Mewtwo uses Confusion on a projectile too strong to reflect (thus causing his reflector to "break") while simultaneously grabbing an opponent with it, the opponent will become permanently stuck to Mewtwo and unable to move, with no way of escape unless Mewtwo is KO'd. Mewtwo can also permanently freeze other characters when the Soul Breaker is activated by using his down throw on them (where he must then use Confusion to unfreeze them). Due to the possibility of Mewtwo being able to auto-win matches by activating this glitch (such as if he's ahead and thus can wait out the time to win while the opponent can do nothing), the glitch is banned from being intentionally performed in tournaments.
    • Similar to the Soul Breaker glitch above is the Freeze glitch in Melee, which allows the Ice Climbers to permanently freeze opponents unless they grab them again (though unlike Mewtwo with the Soul Breaker, the Ice Climbers can perform it entirely by themselves). Having the capacity to auto-win matches like the Soul Breaker, it too is banned from being intentionally performed in tournaments. Unlike Soul Breaker, though, the Freeze glitch can be useful in the 1P modes, particularly the Home-Run Contest (where it's necessary for the Ice Climbers to obtain max distance).
    • A more obscure game breaking bug in Melee is the Box glitch. This is a glitch that can only be performed on the Mario Bros., and only by Fox and Falco. If Fox/Falco use their down throw on one of the Mario Bros. in specific locations on stages at certain damage percentages, the Mario Bro becomes stuck in an invisible box that they cannot escape from unless another character grabs and throws them out. Besides completely restricting the affected player's movement, this glitch can be an auto-win if the trapped player was behind in the match and the non-trapped player(s) let time run out to win instead of freeing them.
    • When playing Master Hand (whether from the Name Entry glitch or from hacking), the game will freeze in vs. mode after a match finishes if Master Hand wins the match. The game will also freeze in Classic, Adventure, and Target Test before anything can be played, and will freeze in the intermission stage of All-Star mode (thus with Master Hand, the player can only play one match in All-Star).
    • In Brawl, it's possible to become stuck on Tabuu when he uses his whip grab. The player remains stuck and completely unable to move until Tabuu kills the player. The glitch is thus an auto-loss in Boss Battles and if the player only had one stock left in SSE.
    • In Brawl, some of the available hacks out there can freeze the game under certain conditions. One such common example is if the player has the smash stack file on an inserted SD card but didn't disable custom stages, which will cause the game to freeze when they go on the stage select screen and the game freezes trying to load the smash stack file as if it were a custom stage.
    • In SSB64, there's the Ultimate glitch, which is pretty much the SSB64 equivalent of the Black Hole glitch.
    • Also in 64, it is possible to glitch the game into 'freezing' the characters in their current positions when a Captain Falcon strikes all three opponents at once in midair. All four characters will be stuck in midair for several minutes, while the 'damage' visual effect and soundwave will continuously display/play, over and over 2-3 times per second. Unfortunately, the characters (except Captain Falcon) will actually take damage every time the 'hit' repeats itself, lasting long after the targets reach maximum damage. Pausing and unpausing will not correct the issue. Fortunately, when the glitch finally does end for whatever reason, the victims will only fly as though they've been struck at their damage percentage prior to the glitch. Retaining the 999%, however, probably means they won't last long.
    • The fourth game has had some issues related to network features:
      • In the earliest versions, playing as Peach in For Glory and using the Turnip move may cause the system to think the player is using items in a mode that doesn't allow it, resulting in a ban.
      • In rare occurrences, the system would ban a player for decades by accident.
      • Mewtwo became available in mid April for Club Nintendo players who owned both versions of the game. Fans were happy to see that he works rather seamlessly in all of the single-player modes... until they went online and saw that playing 10-Man Smash in the WiiU version or playing some of the one-player modes in the 3DS version could, if unlucky, cause the game to give a Global Smash Ranking of 0 for the "all characters" ranking in that mode, and make online modes impossible to play due to "irregular save data". This was fixed via an update.
    • Exclusive to 3DS, play Training mode with Mario. Spawn a Smash Ball while the speed is set to 1/4 using the "hold L" function. Pause the game right at the frame where Mario hits the Smash Ball then try to restart. Enjoy your game crash.
    • When playing Smash Run in 3DS, the game will crash in the unlikely event that at least two players have the exact same score in the final event.
    • In Ultimate, the addition of Pirahna Plant led to game data being corrupted and irreversibly lost if All-Star Mode was played as Pirahna Plant, Duck Hunt, or Mii Swordfighter. This has been fixed since.
  • Game Gourmet: Melee]] introduces "food" as one of the items. This is a variety of different food and drinks you can eat to regain a small bit of health. A few of them are burgers, ice cream, apples, pizza, tea, chocolate, orange juice, and cake.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The Pirate Ship stage. The Paper Mario stage also features the ship from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
  • Gang Up on the Human:
    • The AI will always favor attacking human targets. Except teammates. And low-level AI won't always follow that rule, either.
    • In Melee, there are events called "Trophy Tussles" in which you fight against 3 other CPU opponents with the trophy you're trying to win being the stage. The CPU really does gang up on you during the events. All three of them.
    • In Brawl, the AI was terribly flawed to the point that playing a Free-for-All match alone made it feel like a 1-vs-3 fight instead, ruining the replay value for players who didn't have any friends.
    • In Smash Tour mode in Wii U, before the start of a battle, if a computer player chooses to use an item that negatively affects an enemy, it will almost always use it on you.
  • GASP: The crowd sometimes gasps when a Smash Ball appears or when a character barely recovers from a fall.
  • Genre-Busting: There's still some debate over whether it should be classified as a "true" Fighting Game on par with Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, or a multiplayer-party game with Fighting Game elements. Sakurai has said that he thinks of it as a giant party game, although he was likely using it as an analogy. Some say it created its own Fighting Game genre, Platform Fighter, comprised of all the games it's inspired.
  • Geo Effects: A few characters' Final Smashes can be affected by the current stage they're playing on.
    • Ness/Lucas: PSI Starstorm (in Brawl) is hard to dodge on small stages and easily avoidable on large stages.
    • Ice Climbers: Iceberg becomes useless on high-altitude stages like the Battleship Halberd because only the uppermost part will ever obstruct the environment, greatly reducing its effectiveness.
    • Luigi's Negative Zone is unavoidable on small stages but useless on large ones.
    • Jigglypuff's Puff Up is unavoidable on small stages but useless on large ones.
    • Lucario's Aura Storm loses effectiveness depending on the size of the stage and the mobility of the opposition to the point that it can completely fail at getting in any damage.
    • Mr. Game & Watch's Octopus is effective on small stages but worthless on large ones.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
  • G.I.F.T.:
    • In Brawl's Basic Brawl online mode, due to the completely anonymous nature, set rules of 2-minute time matches with the players deciding the items and stages, and complete lack of any sort of reporting feature, the mode devolved to people having "Taunt Parties" (e.g. just taunt and fool around instead of actually fighting, while ganging up on anyone trying to seriously fight), constantly choosing giant stages that allow players to run away with ease (Temple became notorious for being chosen all the time), and outright griefing. After the first couple years of Brawl, the mode became an utter cesspool for anyone looking to actually fight. 3DS/Wii U's "For Fun" mode, the successor to Basic Brawl, is beginning to become infested with Taunt Parties, despite the implementation of a reporting feature among other improvements. Ultimate finally stopped the taunt parties by completely disabling taunting online... unfortunately, players quickly started crouching instead, to the same effect as teabagging in FPS games.
    • In Wii U's For Glory mode, players can't normally communicate with each other. However in the mode, you can use and change your name tags, which are fully visible to the opponent. While altruistic players will utilise it to honestly communicate, many salty players and griefers use it to insult opponents. This also applies to the aforementioned For Fun mode. It's additionally not unheard of for people to friend opponents on Miiverse only to use the messaging system to insult and harass them. The inability to change your tag and friend opponents on the 3DS version prevents this on its For Glory mode.
    • In an undocumented feature to combat this on For Glory, there is what is known by fans as "For Glory Hell". To elaborate, if a player is reported too much on For Glory, instead of being banned from the mode, they'll find themselves only being able to be matched up with other such reported players for a undisclosed temporary time. As such, when someone is in For Glory Hell, they'll find themselves matched up with the same few griefers, heavy laggers, and extremely campy players over and over, or not being matched up with anyone at all. This feature isn't infallible, however; honest players who just win a lot, especially if they have a disliked playstyle, have found themselves in For Glory Hell before by salty opponents reporting them.
    • One of the features of the Miiverse stage is that it shows Miiverse posts submitted by fans to encourage specific characters. It is not uncommon to find posts that insult the characters instead (or posts that don't even relate to the characters in question).
    • Due to how rules are handled in Ultimate's Quickplay mode and the current inability to limit what rules you can get matched up with, there are several players that abuse the preferred rules feature to grief competitive players or otherwise try to cheese wins out against better players they wouldn't be able to beat normally. This can just entail running Smash Balls, all stages, and/or items in 1v1, but can also entail running absurdly short time limits to time people out, one stock, and Stamina matches. A particularly nasty variant is running matches with just the Special Flag enabled, which ensures matches will invariably go to time in a long drawn-out boring match as neither player will be able to loss all their stocks unless one gives up and suicides their stocks away.
  • Gigantic Moon:
    • The Moon from Majora's Mask in Great Bay, of course. In Ultimate, it even becomes an Assist Trophy.
    • In Brawl, the moon in the background of the stage Luigi's Mansion is very, very large.
    • Greninja's Final Smash causes one to appear as it strikes its captive foes repeatedly, complete with Full Moon Silhouette.
  • Glass Smack and Slide: In 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, this happens to characters during their screen KOs; they're hit into the screen, stick to the "glass" for a couple seconds, and then fall off.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Whenever a character picks up a Smash Ball in Brawl.
  • Goomba Springboard:
    • Mario enemies have always been suspect to this, and fighters can pull this off using the footstool jump since Brawl.
    • However, in Ultimate, Piranha Plant will automatically bite anyone who tries this on it when it's crouching.
  • Graceful Loser: On the winner's victory screen, the other characters are shown in the background applauding the victor, though with degrees of enthusiasm ranging from sincere congratulations to very grudging. Averted completely with Mewtwo, who doesn't even clap at all, and the Ice Climbers, who Cry Cute.
  • Grapple Move: Every character can grab enemies, beat on them while held, and then throw them in any of the four cardinal directions for damage. Melee even offers a score bonus, "Compass Tosser", for using all four throw attacks during a match. Characters with tether grabs, such as Link and Toon Link and Samus and Zero Suit Samus, can also use their grab moves (the hookshot and grapple beam/laser whip, respectively) to grapple onto ledges and pull themselves up. In Brawl, Zero Suit Samus and Ivysaur can use their Up Special attacks to do the same thing. In Ultimate, Joker can use a grappling hook.
  • Grandfather Clause:
    • In Melee, Marth speaks in Japanese to reflect the fact that the Fire Emblem series had not been released outside of Japan. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U continue to have him do so despite games from his home series getting international releases since Melee and giving him several appearances that show him speaking English. This is finally averted in Ultimate.
    • To an extent, this applies to most of the playable roster, as their debuting Smash movesets and overall character designs don't deviate much in their subsequent Smash appearances, with most characters getting a revamped special and a few new standard moves and animations at most, even when the characters gain new moves/abilities in their respective series' subsequent installments.
  • Gratuitous English: Common in the Japanese versions of the games. A prominent example from 3DS/Wii U was Bayonetta. If you choose her default Bayonetta 2 character model, she speaks Japanese, but her original Bayonetta character model speaks English; the original Japanese release of Bayonetta kept the English voice cast.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Marth and Roy in the English versions (Melee, Brawl and 3DS/Wii U) only speak in Japanese, as the games they star in were not (initially) given a worldwide release. Interestingly, Marth still speaks Japanese in 3DS/Wii U despite his game being released in English several years prior. Cloud also only speaks in Japanese, despite already having an English voice actor (Steve Burton). This is averted for Marth and Roy in Ultimate, as they are voiced in English, but Cloud still plays this straight.
  • Gravity Screw: The Super Mario Galaxy stage requires you to compensate for the gravity emanating from the center of the planet. Windy Hill Zone has odd gravity, too, albeit less pronounced.
  • Green Hill Zone:
    • Green Hill Zone from Brawl and 3DS only kind of fits; its lamppost hazard and walk-off edges can easily complicate gameplay.
    • Battlefield from Brawl onward.
    • Wii U has Windy Hill Zone, from Sonic Lost World, a more traditional example than the trope namer.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • In Brawl, one of King Dedede's special moves involves him chucking various Mooks at his opponent. In 3DS/Wii U, the move only uses Gordos and he hits them at his opponent with his hammer.
    • Many characters are able to damage other enemies while throwing an opponent they've grabbed, whether by hitting them with the grabbed opponent during their throw animation (Mario's spinning throw is actually a decent way to clear off a crowd of enemies) or actually hitting them in the sky with the thrown opponent. The attacks, however, are brief, and not particularly damaging.
    • In Brawl, when a character is launched, their body becomes a hitbox while they're in knockback and will harm any other characters they hit into. In Melee, this mechanic only worked off of thrown opponents, and in Smash 4, it was removed completely.
    • One of the Subspace Emissary enemies in Brawl, the Bombed, has a bomb. For a head. Three guesses what he does with it.
  • Ground Punch: One of Donkey Kong's moves consists of slapping the ground repeatedly.
  • Guest Fighter: One of the codifiers. Since Brawl, many characters outside of Nintendo's ownership have appeared as playable in the series thus far.
    • Brawl was the first game in the franchise to feature these sorts of characters, although both were suggested for Melee, and only skipped out on them due to time constraints:
      • The biggest headline coming out from the initial reveal of Brawl was the appearance of Solid Snake, hailing from Konami's Metal Gear series, as the last of the first five newcomers.
      • The second of the two characters, whose development caused a delay in the game's release, was Sega's mascot and Mario's old rival, Sonic the Hedgehog. Following Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Brawl is the second title to feature the two characters in the same installment.
    • 3DS/Wii U feature the first — and so far, only — absence of a third party character with Snake, who was not in either the base game or the DLC, but made up for it with several major third party additions:
      • The classic version of Mega Man got a similar amount of headline attention as Snake, largely due to the dormance of his franchise and then-recent cancellations of high-profile projects. He would be the first of many Capcom representatives.
      • Pac-Man joined as the representative of Bandai Namco Entertainment, the company who helped develop the fourth installment of the series.
      • Street Fighter protagonist Ryu served as the first DLC guest fighter, the second Capcom representative, and the first fighter that actually heralded from a fighting game series.
      • Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII fame would fight for Square Enix, specifically representing the "Square" half of the company. Cloud is notable in that, at the time of his inclusion, his game of origin never appeared on a Nintendo console, and his only appearances were in a few Final Fantasy spin-offs that appeared on Nintenodo's handheld systems.
      • Bayonetta, who won the Smash Ballot, was the third DLC guest character and final DLC character overall, representing PlatinumGames and is Sega's second representative.
    • Ultimate features the return of all previous guests in addition to Snake, with the three of the five announced DLC characters also being guest fighters. It is believed, but not confirmed, that all five Fighters Pass characters will be third-party. They are:
      • Simon Belmont from Castlevania, who has the first Echo Fighter guest in his descendant Richter Belmont. The two serve as the second and third representatives for Konami.
      • Ken Masters from Street Fighter is an Echo Fighter for Ryu, and was the last guest fighter to appear in the base game. He is the third representative for Capcom.
      • Joker, created by Atlus to represent Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, also serves as the third Sega representative, and is the first DLC guest fighter. Like Cloud, his game of origin was not given a release on a Nintendo platform at the time of his inclusion, with his only Nintendo appearance at the time of his announcement being Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth.
      • The Hero of the Dragon Quest franchise serves as the second Square-Enix character, specifically representing the "Enix" half of the company. The Hero holds the distinction of having multiple Palette Swaps representing completely different characters (three of the other protagonists of his home series), a trait that no other guest fighter has had.
      • Banjo & Kazooie serve as representatives for both Rare and Xbox Game Studios, the latter of whom bought out the former between the release of Melee and Brawl. The characters were seemingly considered for Melee, but it was too late to include them then at the time, and afterward, they couldn't join the roster until Nintendo and Microsoft started to collaborate more.
      • Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters fame, joins as a representative of SNK, and the third character hailing from a traditional fighting game series. Notably, his trailer emphasized how Nintendo and SNK were briefly rivals in the console market.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Smooth Landing, known to most as Z/L-Canceling, in 64 and Melee. It's a technique that involves you pressing shield as you land with an aerial attack, completely negating landing lag in the former game and cutting the landing lag in half in the latter game. While an intentional feature that's very useful and an absolute necessity in competitive play, the technique isn't mentioned anywhere in the manuals or the games, only on the Japanese website for the original game. This lack of official mention led many to players to believe L-canceling was a glitch rather than an intended feature.
    • In Brawl and Smash 4, there's the really useful pivot grab, a new type of grab not referred to anywhere in the manual nor in-game, and is not performed by the CPUs at all. Like L-canceling, the only place it's officially referred to is in a minor blurb in a "quick techniques" section on Brawl's official website (though this time the official site can be read in more than Japanese).
    • How to obtain some of the after-match bonuses in Melee, which is required to get the Diskun trophy. There are three things with these bonuses that cause them to be this. One and two, unless you look it up, you won't know the bonus exists until you obtain it, and only then will it show up among your collected bonuses, where you then get a short blurb on what gets you the bonus. Three, some of them though are really obscure and/or have unclear conditions to obtaining them that aren't properly explained how to get in the ingame blurb or anywhere (good luck getting the "Lethal Weapon" bonus without any guide, or knowing that "Button Holder" was a bonus).
    • The alternate method of unlocking Mewtwo in Melee requires having 20 hours worth of playtime in vs. mode across human players. While you're guaranteed to get him eventually as long as you keep playing the game, it's going to take a very long time for a player to get him without looking up his unlock condition and ways to speed up the process (hint, the playtime is cumulative from all human players, so you can get him in as little as 5 hours across 4 human players).

    H-K 
  • Hammered into the Ground:
    • Occurs through some methods, particularly through the Pitfall from Brawl onwards. Getting stuck in the ground prevents characters from moving or attacking until they get un-stuck.
    • Waluigi will also the do the same, curb-stomping them several times before whacking them into the distance with a Tennis racket.
    • King K. Rool can piledrive opponents with both his down tilt and down throw.
    • Banjo's down throw has him throw the opponent literally into the ground.
  • Healing Checkpoint:
    • The last level in the Subspace Emissary story mode of Brawl includes save points that heal you and revive fallen party members.
    • The Boss Rush mode in Brawl has heart containers that you can use between battles.
    • All incarnations of the All-Star mode have healing areas in between rounds.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The Master Fortress' cores make a heartbeat sound, especially loud with the last one. Since it's a True Final Boss upon a True Final Bossnote , and losing means dropping difficulty and loot and doing all the bosses over again, it's fitting, to say the least.
  • Heavy Voice: A character gets this whenever they pick up a Super Mushroom and increase in size.
  • Hey, You!: The DLC characters in 4 (Mewtwo, Lucas, Roy, Ryu, Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta) and the Fighters Pass characters in Ultimate (Joker, Hero, Banjo & Kazooie and Terry) don't have a specific Palutena's Guidance sequence referring to them and all just use the same "unknown fighter" spiel. This is especially weird in Bayonetta's case, since her trailer had Pit and Palutena discussing about her, and Lucas', since he and Pit were in Brawl.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Subverted. During the Subspace Emissary, Ganondorf betrays Bowser and prepares to hijack Master Hand, only to realize that the true Big Bad of the game is in control. He is then promptly turned into a trophy.
  • Hit Points: Not in normal gameplay — each fighter's damage is tracked with percentages, expressed as a decimal number ranging between 0% and 999%. However, in Melee's Stamina Mode, Brawl's Special Brawl "Stamina" option, the final Classic Mode fight (the Hands only), the Subspace Emissary (enemies only), Boss Battles Mode (boss enemies only), 3DS/Wii U's Stage Bosses (boss enemies only), and Smash Run (enemies only), Hit Points are utilized. Only the Stamina Modes and the final Classic Mode fight use visible numerical values; all other instances feature a red Life Meter instead or, in the case of 3DS/Wii U's stage bosses and Smash Run enemies, visual cues. Ultimate elevates Stamina to a standard battle option and uses it liberally in Spirit battles (as well as in Classic Mode for Ryu and Hero), though bosses have a red Life Meter even in Classic Mode.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One of the easiest ways to take down Meta Ridley in Brawl is by using a character with a reflector. It is possible to kill the boss in seconds, even on the hardest difficulty, by playing as Fox or Wolf, jumping in front of Meta Ridley's mouth as he's about to launch his breath attack, and triggering their Attack Reflector.
  • Home Run Hitter: A major point in the series, because it is one of five ways to kill someone, the others being KO effects, self-destruction, stamina mode, and making it impossible for the opponent to recover. Applied with the Home Run Bat, the smash of which OHKOs in such fashion.
  • Hood Hopping: Big Blue has the fighters fighting on top of F-Zero vehicles, jumping from one to another as they get too far ahead or behind. Sonic, if he's wearing a Bunny Hood, can just run along the raceway itself and keep up.
  • Hunk: Smash Bros is filled with quite a few characters who can be considered as such: Link, Ganondorf, Captain Falcon, Marth, Ike, Chrom, Snake, Male Wii Fit Trainer, Little Mac, Ryu and Ken, Simon and Richter Belmont, etc.
  • Hurricane Kick: The Mii Brawler, obviously drawing a lot of inspiration from Bruce Lee and Ryu, has one of these. Taken to its logical conclusion with Ryu's inclusion to the roster as DLC, where his Tatsumaki Senpukyaku is one of his special moves.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Fire Emblem Awakening and Kid Icarus: Uprising feature some of the most exact clone characters in Smash to date (Lucina and Dark Pit), but in the Palutena's Guidance for Robin in 3DS/Wii U, Chrom makes a surprise appearance explaining his reasons for not being on the roster, prompting this remark from Viridi (note that Dark Pit's Guidance reveals that he is now working directly under Viridi):
    Viridi: [to Chrom] No point in having characters that are carbon copies. Am I right?
  • I Am Not Shazam: Joked about briefly In-Universe, when utilizing Palutena's Guidance on Metroid- er, Samus. Palutena points out that Link is also not Zelda and Pit is not Kid Icarus.
    Pit: Okay, this joke has officially run its course.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
    • The CPU players on Brawl Versus mode are labeled, according to the number (from 1 to 9) as Puny, Wimpy, Weak, Normal, Hardy, Strong, Burly, Mighty and Nasty.
    • The difficulty levels on Classic Mode in the fourth game are labeled. As the scale goes from 0.0 to 9.0, with every .1 interval available, the label only changes for every whole number from: Effortless, Easy, Standard, Tougher, Challenging, Heatin' Up, Extra Spicy, Infernal, White Hot, and Nothing Harder!
  • I Fell for Hours: The Umbra Clock Tower stage takes place on a falling platform made of a destroyed clock tower, as seen in the first Bayonetta game's prologue. The platform will never land.
  • Immune to Flinching:
    • Many of the slow, hard-hitting characters (Bowser, Ganondorf, etc.) have attacks that cannot be interrupted by an opponent's move, although they will still flinch from attacks in their default state. Certain special attacks (like Ike's "Aether" strike) also have short moments in which the character is not interrupted or knocked back by any attacks, even ones which would otherwise KO them.
    • Little Mac has this in the fourth game, despite being one of the smaller, quicker characters.
    • Collecting a hundred coins in Golden Plains offers this on top of enhanced strength for your character's Super Mode.
  • Infernal Background: In the intro of Melee, Mario's nemesis Bowser appears standing in a field of flames. With Bowser himself darkened aside from his Glowing Eyes of Doom, the effect is pretty creepy... or badass.
  • Injured Vulnerability: The Trophy Stands in Brawl will only succeed when thrown at weakened enemies.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: One of Wolf's communication channel conversations implies that Leon feels this way about Wolf.
  • Insistent Terminology: As of Ultimate, they are not "Moveset Clones," they are "Echo Fighters". There is a distinction, as some clones (such as Dr. Mario and the three Links) are considered distinct enough to be individual characters.
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!:
    • All the different Links use their spin slash attack as a recovery move, making them go upwards when performed in the air.
    • Almost every character with a spinning move uses it either as their official B-Up third jump or can at least use it to hover, Mario Tornado, Spinning Kong, Spin Attack, Whirling Fortress, etc.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: At least half of the stage roster.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Togepi's Night Shade, the nintendog, to some extent, Tingle's spotlight, Mr. Resetti, and Dialga and Palkia in Brawl. The fourth game adds Skull Kid and Nightmare to the list.
    • In 3DS, the black fog that makes up Master Core completely covers its health meter on the bottom screen. You have no idea how much health it has left while fighting it. It finally dissipates when you get to its final form, but by that point, you pretty much have the fight won. In Wii U, it has no health meter at all.
  • Intra-Franchise Crossover:
    • Mega Man's Final Smash is a powered-up Mega Buster in which all versions of him (X, Rock Volnutt, MegaMan.EXE and Omega-Xis) appear to make a Multiple Mega Buster together. In Ultimate, Proto Man and Bass also join in.
    • The Zelda franchise features Toon Link, an alternate incarnation of Link from Wind Waker. Ultimate takes this even further, as its characters come from completely different sources: Link is based on Breath of the Wild, Zelda is based on A Link Between Worlds, and Sheik, Ganondorf, and Young Link are based on Ocarina of Time.
  • In-Universe Game Clock:
    • Smashville and Town & City adjust the time of day based on the system's internal clock, just like Animal Crossing proper. K.K. Slider shows up at 8:00 PM on Saturdays.
    • For some reason, the [[Video Game/Bayonetta Umbra Clock Tower]] also has its clock based on the system's internal clock.
  • Invulnerable Attack:
    • Most Final Smashes.
    • There's also Super Armor, which makes the attacker invulnerable to knockback, but not damage.
    • Also, the invisibility cloak, which makes the attacker invulnerable to damage, but not knockback.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The game itself was thought of this way. Also, the various mods getting into tournament play.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate's Beam Sword takes the appearance of a laser katana.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Peach, Daisy, Zelda, Rosalina and Palutena wear their Pimped Out Dresses while in the middle of, well, smashing opponents.
  • Kill ’Em All:
    • In Subspace Emissary, once the remaining Smashers confront Tabuu, he kills them all by unleashing his Off-Waves.
    • The gameplay in World of Light starts proper with everyone but Kirby dead thanks to Galeem.
  • Koosh Bomb: Present throughout the series, but most apparent are Toon Link's bombs, which are drawn in the same style as Wind Waker.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Ganondorf. In the Legend of Zelda universe, he's described as an extremely powerful wizard, and in Smash, he evidently uses those powers to brawl exclusively in close-quarters combat, as one of the heaviest hitters in the game.

    L 
  • Lag Cancel:
    • Pressing one of the shield buttons just before hitting the ground after using an aerial attack in 64 and Melee will negate the landing lag and halve it, respectively.
    • Lag cancelling plays heavily into Ryu and Ken's fighting styles, emulating the mechanics of their native game series.
  • Large Ham Announcer: Each game's announcer is a Large Ham, with each subsequent game's announcer being larger and hammier than the last. The announcer for 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate is the hammiest to date.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Quite a few of the plot points in various games are revealed by stages or trophy descriptions.
    • Palutena's trailer has her and Pit casually discuss the events of the Chaos Kin arc from Kid Icarus: Uprising.
    • Lucina's mere existence is a spoiler in and of itself, but then she blatantly calls Chrom her father in her reveal trailer.
    • Zelda's ability to transform into Sheik in Melee and Brawl reveals that they are the same person, a plot twist from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
    • Nintendo of America ran an eShop sale on Virtual Console games featuring fighters during the month preceding the 3DS version's release. One of the games on sale during the first week was Super Mario 3D World, with the video discussing the week's offerings spoiling the fact that Rosalina is unlocked after one completes the main game. The game is also listed in Rosalina's trophy, and its official site is linked to from her page on the website.
    • The Little Birdy trophy mentions that it's a younger version of Ridley, spoiling the fact that he appears in Metroid: Other M.
    • The trophy for the Plasm Wraith mentions it's found in the last area of Pikmin 3 after rescuing Olimar, revealing that he shows up in the game.
    • Brawl has several MOTHER 3 spoilers. For example, it spoils that Porky shows up in the game; in Brawl, Porky is one of the bosses of the Subspace Emissary mode, and he appears as he does in Mother 3. Lucas' Trophy also spoils that he fights with his twin brother Claus at the end of the game, who was shown dead near the beginning of the game.
    • Wii U has a Xenoblade trophy that spoils the fate of Fiora; not only that she is seemingly-killed at the start of the game, but that she shows up later on in the game in a mechanized form. Even worse, this Trophy is used as a power-up in Smash Tour. Ultimate goes further and adds this character to Shulk's Final Smash.
    • Corrin uses the Omega Yato as their sword. It's the final form of the Yato and it's only available in Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation.
    • During the Final Presentation, Sakurai reveals that Mii QR Codes for certain costumes can be scanned; said feature was in place since DLC was first announced.
    • Spirits in Ultimate can be rather spoiler-y on their own, but some of the enhanced versions of Spirits can give away their identities in their home games, such as Zelgius being the Black Knight, Mumkhar being Metal Face, and Dracula becoming Soma Cruz.
  • Laser Blade: The Beam Sword started as a Lightsaber rip-off, but evolved into a more distinct multi-colored blade.
  • Last Lousy Point: From Melee onward, the Smash series has many things to unlock and collect, ranging from novel items like trophies and music CDs to things that affect gameplay like stickers and custom moves and equipment. Naturally, some of them are difficult to obtain due to either difficulty or pure blind luck. For example, for 3DS/Wii U, it isn't unheard of for players who have unlocked everything else in the game to wait a whole month before they finally get the very last thing they need.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
    • Beam Swords are very clearly based off of Lightsabers from Star Wars, going so far as to have very distinctive buzzing and cutting sounds which are akin to the inspiration. This is much more obvious in Brawl, as the blade is blue instead of purple and straight instead of curved.
    • The Motion-Sensor Bombs are from GoldenEye (1997), which is no longer under Nintendo's ownership due to it being part of Rareware and the license issues surrounding the movie. The is lampshaded in Melee's trophy description, which lists its origin as "TOP SECRET". The Japanese Version of Melee instead used the Remote Mine model from Perfect Dark, and the trophy description actually verifies the game of origin.
    • The Cloaking Device in Melee is an item from Perfect Dark, another Rareware property that Nintendo lost ownership of. Like the Motion-Sensor Bomb, its trophy description in the international version lists the game of origin as "TOP SECRET".
    • The Color TV-Game 15 Assist Trophy is almost a Pong cameo because of its Captain Ersatz origin.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Done pretty literally in 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate. The screen KOs now have characters slam against the 3DS or television screens for half a second before finally falling off (this is also to make them last about as long as a star KO). Some of the more cute characters like Pikachu and Kirby actually press up against the screen, which flattens their body a bit.
  • Lemony Narrator: The descriptions for most of the trophies in the fourth installment are definitely more humorous and snarky in contrast to Melee or Brawl. For example, the 1-Up Mushroom trophy describes a bunch of Marios discussing whether the true goal of their quest was to collect more 1-Ups.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Planet Zebes, Brinstar, Norfair, and the Pyrosphere. Although, technically, it's acid and not lava for Zebes and Brinstar. Only in the Pyrosphere does the lava not play an active part in battle.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Since the beginning of Super Smash Bros., Jigglypuff is commonly mocked as being the weakest character in the game. The laughter suddenly stops when the Jigglypuff pro players appear and proceed to humiliate the unsuspecting opposition.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • The fan, since the weapon hits as fast as you can mash the A button, you can deal out high amounts of damage without allowing the victim to escape or retaliate. Not indefinitely, though, as most characters can jump out of it and most that can't can force a prolonged spammer off the edge. Throwing it at someone also launches them in the air, making it possible to KO them into the sky. Lastly, it's a surprisingly potent shield breaker.
    • Mr. Saturn appears to be nothing but a weak throwing item at first, but it has the previously-hidden ability to instantly shatter shields on contact. Broken shields leave the character stunned and completely vulnerable for a few seconds.
    • The Gust Bellows cannot do any damage whatsoever, but turn out to be one of the most powerful items in the game for precisely this reason. Because victims don't flinch or take damage, they don't get their mid-air jumps back when the Bellows push them away from the stage.
  • Lettered Sequel: In Japan, Super Smash Bros. is known as Great Melee Smash Brothers. The sequels, Melee and Brawl, are known respectively as Great Melee Smash Brothers DX and Great Melee Smash Brothers X (DX stands for Deluxe).
  • Let X Be the Unknown: The Japanese title of Brawl qualifies as this: Dairantō Smash Brothers X.
  • Level 1 Music Represents: The music for the stages in all games (default music in the case of Brawl) usually follows this trope — the "Ground Theme" from World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. serving as the most prominent example, being featured on both Super Mario stages in Super Smash Bros. 64, the Mushroom Kingdom stage and as part of a mix on Peach's Castle stage in Melee, two different remixes on Brawl's Mushroomy Kingdom, and is otherwise featured in part or in whole in other medleys from the series.
  • Level Editor: Brawl lets players build their own stages out of blocks and other features, however, it was subject to an exploit that allows users to load Game Mods on the original console. While the editor is missing in 3DS, it reappears in Wii U, in a far more robust form from Brawl's: Rather than having a specific set of stage blocks to create a fighting arena like in Brawl, terrain can be freely drawn using the gamepad. Ultimate goes further with it; 12 different backgrounds can be chosen, background objects can be added, and now, many multiple textures can be used to simulate different ground/wall types (like grass or steel).
  • Levels Take Flight:
    • Melee has Poké Floats, Mute City (when you approach the looping on the track), and Rainbow Cruise.
    • At one point in Brawl's Subspace Emissary, you're working your way across the side of the Halberd to get to the deck of the flying ship. Also, you're dealing with a constant wind in your face, slowing you down.
    • Brawl has the Halberd, Delfino Isle, and the Rainbow Cruise.
    • Although the mechanics don't necessarily represent it, all the various Star Fox stages take place on the back of the Great Fox or other ships.
    • Wii U has a stage where you fight atop the biplanes from Pilotwings (both the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 3DS version) as they fly toward and around Wuhu Island, where Wii Sports Resort takes place, as well as a stage which floats around and takes players to various locations within Skyloft.
  • Life Meter: Used to display the enemies' Hit Points in Brawl's Subspace Emissary and Boss Battles modes.
  • Lighter and Softer: While as a whole the series is a lot more lighthearted than most fighting games, 3DS/Wii U has a generally brighter and more saturated color palette than Brawl, though that installment had a darker and more Real Is Brown color palette than Melee from the start.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The game has several of them. A few, in no particular order:
    • Little Mac. He can rack up combos quickly with his rapid attacks and also is capable of landing a very powerful uppercut if he gives or takes enough damage, his many armored attacks keep him from being launched or comboed easily, and he's incredibly agile on the ground. The catch is that his aerial moves and recovery are terrible, so beating Mac often means keeping yourself or him in the air.
    • Donkey Kong and Bowser. High weight, high speed, and high damage. All of these things make them rather formidable foes. Problem is, they are big and easy to combo on.
    • Captain Falcon! He has high speed and a bunch of good aerial attacks that can knock back foes hard.
    • Yoshi. In Smash 4, he really stepped up his game. He went from being a rather foolish and clumsy character to an outright monster. His aerials are some of the best in the game, allowing him to easily spike a foe up or down, and all of his attacks now do more damage.
    • Wario. Yes, Wario. Not only is he incredibly agile in the air, but he has plenty of good attacks at his disposal. From his bike, powerful smash attacks, and surprisingly good aerial game, Wario can definitely be counted among the lightning bruiser team.
  • Limit Break:
    • Final Smashes. In Brawl, 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, each character is permitted to activate this whenever they manage to shatter the Smash Ball.
    • In 3DS/Wii U, Cloud, hailing from the trope-naming game, has an actual Limit Break meter, which is charged with his Down Special Move or by dealing and taking damage. When full, it boosts his stats and gives his specials a single-use power boost. Also, Little Mac has a "power meter" filled by giving and taking damage that, when filled, switches his "Straight Lunge" special with the KO Uppercut.
  • Living Toys: Played with (no pun intended). The fighters aren't animate toys per se, but have been shown or confirmed to be plush dollsnote  or trophies in the "real world", and become living fighters in the "world of imagination" where the games take place. The level of "toy-ness" that is shown or implied varies from game to game (becoming more and more downplayed in the last two installments), but given the various bits of Canon Welding with some of the characters' home franchises, this doesn't preclude the fighters from being tangible living characters on some level of existence, and said "world of imagination" from being a functioning fictional universe in its own right.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters:
    • For fans of the later games, this is surprisingly inverted in the first installment, which only had 12 playable fighters. Justified in that the game had a small budget, since Nintendo had no way of knowing at the time how well a crossover fighting game featuring their various franchises would catch on, and was mainly developed by Sakurai during weekends at HAL Laboratory as a personal project. Several more characters were considered during development, but only 12 ended up making the cut. A few of these characters, like Bowser and Mewtwo, ended up making their debut in ''Melee''.
    • Melee doubled the playable roster from a paltry 12 playable fighters to a meaty 26 playable fighter roster Explanation  and included obscure picks like Ice Climbers, Mr. Game and Watch, and most notably, Marth and Roy, two swordsmen from a then-Japan-only series called Fire Emblem.
    • Brawl pushed the envelope as far as it could possibly go in terms of content at the time and really made its predecessors seem tiny in comparison. It has a whopping 39 characters Explanation  in total, ranging from more obscure characters such as Pit, R.O.B, and Lucario to even Guest Fighters Solid Snake and Sonic making the roster. This isn't including the Assist Trophies, either.
    • The roster count for 3DS/Wii U, without the addition of the seven characters released via DLC, clocks in at 51 characters Explanation ; 58 with the addition of the seven DLC fighters — Mewtwo, Lucas, Roy, Ryu, Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta. Counting Assist Trophies and Final Smash characters, the number goes up into the hundreds. The total roster count is nearly quintuple the original's tiny 12-character roster and more than double of Melee's 26-character roster.
    • Taken to the absolute extreme in Ultimate: the playable roster includes everyone who has ever been playable in a Smash game (Nintendo-owned, guest, and DLC from any point in the series history) and still grows the roster on top of that. The initial launch confirmed SEVENTY-SIX, with six more DLC characters on the way, making for a total of 82 playable fighters. Talk about this being the most ambitious crossover in video game history! Even past that, the game has the largest cast of Assist Trophy characters to date as well, having 59 in total. This isn't even concerning Spirits (replacing the static trophies but having a game-play element), which may number in the thousands.
  • Long Bus Trip:
    • In 3DS/Wii U, Dr. Mario had to wait 13 years after Melee to return to the game's roster. Mewtwo and Roy had to wait a few months longer to return to the game through DLC.
    • Ultimate represents this for characters who were cut from Brawl and Melee. In the former case, Snake, two of the characters represented by Pokémon Trainer (Squirtle and Ivysaur), and Wolf had to wait a decade to return to the game. Meanwhile, Pichu and Young Link both returned for the first time in 17 years!
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Smash Run. It's all about running around the map collecting powerups for a final battle. The only problem is that enemies are more likely to drop one stat boost than another and that the final battle is randomised, so you might have the wrong powerups for the wrong final battle. For instance, you can find a lot of powerups except for speed and jump, and the final battle can be a race to the finish.
    • Classic Mode in 3DS/Wii U. With items like the Gust Bellows, Beetle, and Boss Galaga, and no way to turn them off, it's very possible to lose stock very quickly because a computer-controlled player got their hands on one. Dragoons and Daybreaks tend to be more frequent as well.
    • Some of the challenges in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, especially when it comes to collecting all of a certain set of item (CDs, stickers, custom moves, Smash Run powers, Mii Outfits/Headgear). A few of these items are collected through other challenges, but the vast majority are randomly acquired. Adding to the frustration involved in these challenges, it is quite possible that an item dropped happened to be a duplicate of one the player already had; not only does this mean no further progress is gained on the challenges, but for all cases except the stickers in Brawl, duplicates are functionally useless, making their acquisition a complete waste of time.
    • Items and item containers will spawn in random locations, and unless you set the Item Switch to only spawn one particular type of item, the items you get will also be randomized. This means an unluckily-dropped Bob-Omb or Red Shell (Melee only) can decide who ultimately wins in a close match rather than (just) player skill and judgement. For those who don't like this, there's the option to turn off items altogether.
    • In Adventure Mode in Melee, the The Legend of Zelda-inspired level has a 2-in-5 chance of spawning the Triforce at a location that the player can get to without having to fight a Dark Link at all. If that happens, and the player can avoid the slow-moving monsters in the area, the level is over and the otherwise frustration-inducing Switzerland bonus can be easily earned. If not? Enjoy a couple Dark Link fights.

    M 
  • MacGuffin: Starting with Villager's trailer, it's shown that video game characters are invited to Smash often via wax-sealed invitations or other means. It's apparent they're highly sought-after as Morgana considered one the "greatest Treasure of all" and a large majority of the SNK cast kept trying to catch a flying one until Terry Bogard caught and claimed it.
  • Made of Iron: Everyone gets burned, frozen, electrocuted, bludgeoned, bruised, stabbed, slashed, drilled, bitten, stomped, crushed, pelted, blasted, and shot at with all sorts of physical and elemental attacks... and they'll still have absolutely nothing to show for it. The games' vague Living Toys angle was created partly to justify this. Little Mac is the first character to avert this trope, as he gets bandages and bruises the higher his damage meter goes up.
  • Masochist's Meal: The Superspicy Curry appears to cause intense pain for the consumer, as they become visibly distressed and start breathing fire due to how spicy it is.
  • Market-Based Title: The game series is referred to as Dairantou Smash Bros. in Japan ("Dairantou" being Japanese for "Great Battle"). Melee is Dairantou Smash Bros. DX, Brawl is Dairantou Smash Bros. X, and Ultimate is Dairantou Smash Bros. Special.
  • Meaningful Name: Final Destination is the last stage unlocked in Melee and is where the Final Boss is fought in several modes across the games.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter:
    • In the first installment, 3 of the 12 had at least one quirk making them different form the standard character template. Yoshi's Up Special was a projectile instead of a third jump, but he became Immune to Flinching during his extended double jump. Ness' Up Special was a remote control projectile that you had to hit yourself with to get an aerial boost, and Jigglypuff had no Up Special for recovery at all, instead using a combination of its neutral Special and 4 'double jumps' for recovery.
    • Melee added the Ice Climbers, where one player would control two characters simultaneously, Zelda, who could transform mid-battle, and Pichu, whose attacks damaged itself.
    • Brawl made Samus unusual in that her Final Smash triggered a transformation into Zero Suit Samus. Olimar has the majority of his attacks be tied to his Pikmin, Lucario gets stronger the more damage he takes and points he falls behind, and Pokémon Trainer not only can rotate between three transformations, but actually starts to get weaker if you stay in any transformation for too long. This makes for about 8 of 35 characters that are different from the typical mold.
    • Transformation-style gameplay is defied by 3DS/Wii U; Samus and Zero Suit Samus, as well as Zelda and Sheik, have been split off into separate character slots, and Charizard became the sole Pokémon Trainer Pokémon to return.
      • Pokémon Trainer's return in Ultimate plays it straight once again, with Charizard being reintegrated as part of the fighter, and remaining as the sole transformation character.
    • Despite these splits, a greater emphasis was placed on fighters with unique attributes. Mega Man's moveset is based almost solely around projectiles or other Robot Master weapons. Rosalina fights alongside a Luma like a sort of Ice Climbers/Olimar mashup. Little Mac has a Power Meter that allows him to unleash a powerful uppercut when full, and also has a great ground game but a terrible air game. Palutena and the Mii Fighters are based around customization, and have their twelve custom moves from the start. Robin uses magical tomes for their specials, but much like in Fire Emblem Awakening, they can only be used so often before breaking and needing to be recharged. Their smash attacks also replace their default Bronze Sword with a Levin Sword, which can be used to perform smash attacks in mid-air and is also subject to breaking from overuse. Shulk is given a unique buff/debuff mechanic using the Monado; each of the Monado Arts gives a boost to one stat while weakening one or two others. Duck Hunt Dog primarily relies on traps and zoning as opposed to almost every other character, who is more rush-down based. And finally, there's Ryu, who plays a lot like a traditional fighting game character. First, he's able to cancel weaker versions of his tilt attacks into stronger versions if they connect, and even into special moves in the cases of his down tilts. Second, he can get different versions of his standard special moves by inputting them with the original commands from Street Fighter (eg. inputting a forward, down, down-forward motion and then pressing B will give you a more powerful Shoryuken in comparison to doing one with the normal up-B input). Ken, being Ryu's Echo Fighter, shares his command special and light/heavy attack gimmicks.
    • Ultimate introduces Inkling, having most of their attacks based on the player's ink. Inked opponents cause more damage than usual; however, using up all the ink will make their attacks weaker or have no effect. They can refill their ink by pressing the "special" button while shielding.
  • Medley: Many of them, although it's possible you might not even be able to recognize some of them, since some songs are remixed heavily:
    • Brawl has an Ocarina of Time medley for the Bridge of Eldin stage. The Great Temple theme is a mash of The Great Temple and the normal Temple theme, both from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
    • There's also a Kirby "Boss Theme Medley" for the Halberd.
    • There are also a number of medleys that aren't labeled as such — for example, "Tal Tal Heights" is a medley of the overworld music for the three Gameboy Zelda games and Tal Tal Mountain Range from Link's Awakening, "Song of Storms" has, in addition to the titular song, Ganondorf's theme and Serenade of Water, "Title (Legend Of Zelda)" has the dungeon music mixed in, "Butter Building" is a medley of Butter Building, Green Greens, and the title screen for Kirby's Dream Land, etc.
    • Two of the Mario-themed songs in Melee were medleys: the overworld theme mashed-up with the underworld theme of Super Mario Bros., and the Rainbow Ride theme of Super Mario 64 mixed with the underwater theme of SMB.
    • The fourth game adds some more Mario medleys, such as a compilation of Super Mario Bros. 3 music and an overworld/underground/castle merging from Super Mario Bros..
    • There are various medleys that consist of music taken directly from older games, generally labelled "Retro Medleys". This includes Kid Icarus, Wrecking Crew, a few Mega Man installments, various Famicom titles, and old Namco arcade games.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Super Smash Bros. is well known for promoting sales of other series featured in it, and by the time of for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U, Nintendo was well aware. According to Word of God, the fourth game(s) explicitly excludes most characters from series that were (at the time) Japan-only or inactive. Considering this game was launched alongside the very first amiibo, it's likely this was done to provide figures of recognizable characters that people would want to buy. Besides that, many of the trophies throughout both versions of the game feature enthusiastic descriptions of their source game that read suspiciously like an ad copy.
  • Mercy Invincibility: After you lose a life, after you grab a ledge, and when getting up after tripping, making a hard landing after being sent flying, or having gotten footstooled.
  • Meteor Move: There's a whole category of moves that slam foes right into the ground: Meteor Smashes. These moves launch the target sharply downward, which can cause a KO if done over a Bottomless Pit, but before 3DS/Wii U, the knockback can be cancelled by jumping or using an Up Special after a certain period of time. Because the angle considered "meteor smash" in Melee was much narrower than in future installments, there are some moves in that game that launch at a steep downward angle yet can't be canceled in this way, most infamously Falco's down aerial.
  • Mighty Glacier: Slow characters such as Bowser, Ganondorf, King K. Rool, etc. tend to have stronger but slower attacks. As of Smash 4, Bowser's and Charizard's movement speed isn't slow by any stretch of the imagination anymore, but their attacks are still a bit on the sluggish side.
  • Min Maxers Delight: With customization on, the "Risky Respawner" equipment gives on average much better stats than usual. You can possibly get a 70 point difference between what you gain and what you lose. The only downside is that you have no invincibility when respawning, which isn't really a big deal, especially in the solo/group modes, and has no effect at all in Crazy Orders. You can achieve similar effects with other equipment that debuffs normal combat abilities, though, with varying levels of power.
  • Mini-Boss: Minibosses are fought in the games' single-player modes:
    • In the original's 1P Game, the Fighting Polygon Team is found right before Master Hand. The game also had two minibosses at the middle and before the last bonus minigame: Giant Donkey Kong (who was so massive that you got two allies to help you fight against him) and Metal Mario who was hard to launch and very heavy.
    • In Melee, there's the Fighting Wire Frame team as well as the Metal Bros. (Metal Mario and Metal Luigi) in Adventure Mode. Classic Mode has just a fight against a metal version of any character. Some stages also had you fight a playable character after traversing through the stage or after fighting another character, that character being the stage boss.
    • In Brawl, minibosses are very plentiful in the Subspace Emissary, and include dark versions of Diddy, Peach, Zelda, and (during The Great Maze) all remaining characters that appeared up to that point.
    • In 3DS/Wii U, the Fighting Mii Team appears as the penultimate opponent before Master Hand, though you have to choose the path that leads towards them in the 3DS version (otherwise, you fight a Horde Battle consisting of several copies of one character as the penultimate miniboss).
  • Mini-Game: Target Test, Home-Run Contest, Coin Launcher, and others. Brawl and Wii U also lets you play timed demos of several Nintendo "masterpieces".
  • Mini-Game Credits:
    • The original and Melee have one at the end of Classic Mode where the player shoots the names in order to see exactly what they did.
    • Brawl downplays this trope. While there's no end credits at the end of classic mode, there is a mini-game where the player shoots pictures of all the fighters, assist trophies, items, Poké Ball Pokémon, and trophies the player has unlocked.
    • The 3DS and Wii U games ditch the shooting mini-games in favor of the player using their character to attack names in the scrolling credits. The goal is to fill the ending image in the background by hitting the developers' names. However, instead of hitting as many names as possible, the player fills the image by timing their attacks so each name is in front of a blank part of the image. The game will automatically clear the rest of the picture if the picture is 90% revealed by the end. The more complete the image is, the more gold they win after the credits are over, at a maximum of 100.
    • Ultimate makes the Classic Mode credits into a shooting game again, though the Adventure Mode credits are non-interactive.
  • Mirror Match:
    • This is always the final opponent in 100-Man mode (in the case of Brawl) or all multi-man modes where you face an explicit amount of fighters (in the case of 3DS/Wii U), even if you hack the game to play as Giga Bowser.
    • In 3DS/Wii U, Master Core's final form (penultimate if you're playing at Intensity 8.0 or higher on Wii U) is a copy of your character, right down to the custom moves.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: Brawl and Wii U have a lot of two-player action available in them. Some co-op options are well-done; Event Mode, for example, has events specifically tailored for two players, either by altering single-player events or just making new ones entirely. Some co-op features... don't work so well. In the Brawl Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary, the game ends if Player 1 is knocked out, while Player 1 can go on without Player 2 if need be (barely justified in that Player 2 is just sort of... there, like Tails in the Sonic the Hedgehog series). It's still better than a lot of the other co-op modes, though, especially the Nintendo Hard Boss Battles mode and the Wii U version of All-Star mode; they end in defeat if either player is KO'd.
  • Misguided Missile: You can pull this trick on the ROB Launchers and Duon in Brawl's Adventure Mode.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • Clone Characters, which share moves and animations with another character. It started in the original game with Luigi, and was utilized heavily in Melee to expand the roster: Dr. Mario, Falco, Pichu, Ganondorf, Young Link, and Roy are all complete clones.
    • Brawl dialed back significantly on the cloning; Luigi, Ganondorf, and Falco were decloned significantly with many new moves and animations, and the rest of Melee's clones were removed. Of the 18 newcomers, only three of them were cloned to some degree (Wolf, Toon, and Lucas), and they're considered "semi-clones" at bestnote .
    • The newcomers of 3DS/Wii U were made to be as unique as possible, though it brought in a few direct clones (Lucina and Dark Pit), and of the returning semi-clones (Dr. Mario, Luigi, Ganondorf, Falco, Toon Link, Lucas, and Roy), only Roy and Dr. Mario saw further decloning.
    • 3DS/Wii U also takes a very different approach on this to include more characters while economizing on character slots, by having some characters included as purely aesthetic costume swaps:
      • The seven Koopalings were put in as Bowser Jr.'s other 7 palette swaps.
      • Four of Olimar's eight palette swaps are replaced by Alph and 3 palette swaps for Alph, though Alph was planned to be an Olimar clone that used Rock Pikmin instead of just a costume swap.
    • Ultimate has since labelled certain clones as "Echo Fighters". The criteria for this is based on their development time as well as their moveset and statistical similarities: full clones like Dr. Mario are not labelled as Echo Fighters while Ken, a semi-clone, is.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Much of the music from the series. Melee has a full-blown Orchestral Bombing version of the light, silly Gourmet Race theme from the Kirby series, while Brawl has a Heavy Metal version of the exact same song.
  • Museum Game: The series is all about referencing the past and present of Nintendo. The game has many locations, characters and music from different Nintendo franchises, as well as a trophy gallery of different characters with information that can be read about them.
  • Musical Nod: The main theme for 3DS/Wii U contains a little nod to the Character Select theme from the original game.
  • Mythology Gag: The entire series is a love letter to the history of Nintendo and gaming in general, with everything from character movesets to the reveal trailers referencing some aspect of both popular and forgotten franchises.
    • This Youtube channel covers a mere fraction of the attention to detail found in Melee and Brawl.
    • In the Wii U version of the Boxing Ring stage, Peach's American alias is "Princess of Toadstools", a reference to the fact that she was originally called "Princess Toadstool" in the west.note 
    • At the end of Ryu's reveal trailer, he says "You must defeat my Shoryuken to stand a chance", one of his victory quotes from Street Fighter II. note 
    • Kirby's take upon Robin's Thunder behaves very similarly to the limited-use abilities from their home games, complete with him losing the ability (and, with it, the hat) upon exhausting the tome Kirby gets for the attack.
    • One of Lucario's "Congratulations!" pictures shows a female Villager giving him a chocolate bar. This is a reference to Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, in which Lucario develops a liking for chocolate after Max gives him a bar as a gift.
    • In each game, the chance that legendary Pokémon come out references how many Pokémon were in the National Dex at the time. In the original, Mew has a 1/151 chance of coming out, in Melee, legendary Pokémon have a 1/251 chance, in Brawl, it's 1/493, and in For Wii U and For 3DS, it's 1/721.
    • The Inklings' reveal trailer starts out as almost exactly like the reveal trailer for the original game: a white background with Inkling Girl in orange fighting against an Inkling Boy in bluenote .
    • The reveal trailer for Simon and Richter features a shot of Simon cracking Death in the face with his Vampire Killer whip, similar to Richter taking out a skeletal mook in the opening to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. Said trailer also references the Holy Water's Item Crash ability by having Richter toss a bottle of Holy Water on the Distant Planet stage as it begins to rain.
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