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The franchise in general:

  • Adored by the Network: The Mario series is Nintendo's flagship series, stars their Mascot, and gets the largest focus in terms of marketing.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • Toad's quote from Super Mario Bros. is sometimes wrongfully quoted as "Sorry, Mario, but our princess is in another castle!", when it's actually "Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!". Sometimes "our princess" may be replaced with "your princess".
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    • Daisy is often associated with her infamous "Hi, I'm Daisy!" quote, which originated in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! . Even though Daisy doesn't say "Hi, I'm Daisy" in any of the other games she has appeared in, the line is often used to antagonize Daisy, with many people claiming that she says it every single game she appears in. Granted, she does say the line a lot in Double Dash.
    • No, Waluigi doesn't say "Too bad! Waluigi Time!" in any of the games he has appeared in. That line originates from Brawl in the Family. He does say "Waluigi Time!" (without the "too bad!" part) in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! though, but then again "[character] time!" is a pretty common Catchphrase among many characters in the series.
    • Wario doesn't say "D'oh! I missed!" in the first two Mario Party games. He actually says "So ein mist!" which is German for, roughly, "Oh, shoot!" or "No way!" (In the international versions at least, as in the Japanese versions he, alongside Luigi, says "Oh my God!").
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  • Cash Cow Franchise: Mario is the best-selling video game franchise of all time, by a massive margin. Pokémon, which is in second place, only has half the sales (though it is way, way higher-grossing as a media franchise).
  • The Character Ice Cream Bar: Popsicle has an ice of Mario's face. It's more stylized than usual, only being white and red. It's cherry flavoured and has a gumball nose. The ice has been discontinued.
  • Character-Specific Pages
  • Creator Backlash: Shigeru Miyamoto was not pleased with the original Super Mario Bros. 2 due to it being a blatant rehash of the original game, as well as too difficult for its own good. He much preferred the USA Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices:
    • Bowser was voiced by Japanese soul singer Akiko Wada in The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!.
    • Lani Minella voices Larry, Lemmy, and, perplexingly enough, Morton in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
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    • Dolores Rogers and Caety Sagoian have provided Bowser Jr.'s voice, as well as Baby Bowser's voice.
    • Similarly to Morton, Boom Boom is voiced by Lani Minella, despite being a big, tough brute.
    • The various Toads are voiced by Jen Taylor and Samantha Kelly, who also voices Toadette and Princess Peach.
    • Kazumi Totaka has voiced Birdo in all of her voiced appearances sans Super Mario Advance, where she was voiced by Jen Taylor.
    • Honey Queen/Queen Bee is voiced by Katsumi Suzuki, who also happens to voice Diddy Kong.
  • Dawson Casting: Mario and Luigi are estimated to be 24, and Wario and Waluigi are around the same age. Charles Martinet, who voices all four, is in his 60s, and started voicing Mario in his 40s. Yoshi is older than the Mario Brothers. Kazumi Totaka started voicing him when he was 30 years old.
  • Denial of Digital Distribution: Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a Compilation Rerelease featuring three Super Mario Bros. games, was only available until March 31, 2021. This applies to both the physical version and the digital version.
  • Development Gag:
    • Mario's (and Luigi's) character design is one, as the mustache and overalls were only designed by Shigeru Miyamoto as a greater contrast for players due to the 8-bit graphical limitations of Donkey Kong.
    • Right in Yoshi's character design this whole time. According to Takashi Tezuka in "Super Mario History 1985-2010" (which was bundled with Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition), the reason Yoshis have saddles in the first place is because it's a visual leftover from the time in development they were meant to be a type of Koopa, originally making it their shells. As a result, their saddles have been stated to be shells on occasion.
  • Executive Meddling: Shigeru Miyamoto is famous for his belief that video games are at their best when they focus on gameplay and have as little story as possible. This ideology often sets him at odds with fans and other Mario developers who wish to put more story and lore into the series. The reason Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Paper Mario: Sticker Star had less plot than their predecessors was because he decided it was unnecessary, as opposed to the development teams who wanted the games to continue to have a larger focus on story.
  • Exiled from Continuity: Spin-off games made before the Microsoft buyout of Rare very seldom referenced characters and elements created specifically for the Donkey Kong Country series. Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 used Donkey Kong Jr. because the developers were unsure if they could legally use Diddy Kong. This changed after the buyout, and Nintendo assumed full ownership of the DKC characters, starting with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: Stage 5, because the Mario series is basically the most well known, popular video game series in history. Especially true of the 'Mario Mania' years, wherein American children knew Mario better than Mickey Mouse.
  • Flagship Franchise: It goes without saying that the Mario series is Nintendo's flagship franchise, constantly getting at least one new game (including spin-offs) every year ever since it debuted in the 80's.
  • Flip-Flop of God:
    • Surprisingly enough, the exact relationship between Mario and Peach. Given that in most games, the whole point is to rescue Peach from Bowser. Some games all but outright state that they're an Official Couple while others only have them as Implied Love Interests. Other characters like Luigi and Daisy also muddy the situation.
    • Sources aren't really sure if Wario and Waluigi are brothers or not. They also aren't sure if Toad and Toadette are siblings, love interests, or entirely unrelated.
    • Is Yoshi a dinosaur or a dragon? Most sources state dinosaur, but at least one instance (the Japanese "Nintendo Kids Space" official site) has denied it.
    • Do Mario and Luigi have last names? Over time the official word has flipped between "no, they don't", "Yes, but it's unstated", and "yes, and it is 'Mario'".
    • The Koopalings' relation to Bowser. From their introduction in Super Mario Bros. 3 to as late as Super Smash Bros. Melee, they were explicitly stated to be Bowser's own children. Then in 2012 Shigeru Miyamoto went on record saying Nintendo's "current story" is that they're unrelated to Bowser; however, they're still high-ranking members of Bowser's army whom he treats as such. Then in 2014, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U shifted the relationship again from a definite "No!" to an ambiguous "Maybe" with some of them being labeled as Koopa royalty and their relationship to Bowser being described as "unknown". Despite a phase in which Nintendo also had a direct hand in historical revisionism, it has been relented and accepted that the Koopalings are still at least referred to as Bowser's children in re-releases of older material.
    • Is Rosalina a queen or a goddess? What we only know that she is the "Mama" of the Lumas, with her clothing designs related to royalty, but her Long-Lived lifespan suggests agelessness. She's been stated to be a princess in the official guides of Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel as well as online material for Mario Kart 8, but unlike Peach and Daisy, she's almost never referred to as Princess Rosalina.
  • Follow the Leader: Mario Kart is often joked about for launching countless ripoffs, but it's often forgotten that the original game launched just as many during its time.
  • Franchise Zombie: Some of the subseries are considered this, churning out regular sequels of generally diminishing quality and originality with no involvement from the creative teams that worked on their earliest installments. The Mario Party and Mario Tennis spinoffs are two of the more notable examples.
  • God Never Said That:
    • Nintendo never retconned anything about Mario being a plumber in 2017, in fact, they never made any meaningful statement about his current job at all. The Japanese Twitter linked to a profile that happened to refer to him being a plumber in the past tense, but this was specifically referencing the original Mario Bros. game, which was one of the few times he's actually done a plumbing job. Several articles reporting on this warped it into "Mario is no longer a plumber!" In response to the misunderstanding, the profile was updated again in 2018. Clearly stating that, yes, Mario is a plumber, but he's not limited to just that.
    • No, the developers of Super Mario World didn't confirm that Mario abuses Yoshi, misleading headlines simply lead people into believing they did. They said that while it was originally conceived as Mario hitting him, most of the development team found that too mean for Mario and revised it into him simply pointing and telling Yoshi "Go". So they, in fact debunked the idea that Mario abuses Yoshi.
    • No, Peach and Daisy are not canonically cousins and Nintendo has never said that they were. This particular piece of misinformation came from an issue of Prima Guides, which are fairly infamous for getting many things wrong both about lore and about gameplay, sometimes even outright making things up out of the blue like the aforementioned cousins thing. Presumably the writer of that particular issue was operating under the assumption that the princesses had a connection akin to that of Mario and Luigi (and for what it's worth, Wario and Waluigi have suffered similar uncertainties over the years about the nature of their own connection). Instead, Nintendo has only ever said that Peach and Daisy are close friends.
    • Miyamoto never said he disliked Toad. This stemmed from an interview with him, which has him state that Toad was his least favorite character in Mario Kart, which led some to assume that he dislikes or hates him entirely, which was not at all the case.
  • Image Source: See here.
  • Killer App: Along with The Legend of Zelda, this series is usually the one to get the ball rolling in terms of console sales.
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • Nintendo gave Luigi a whole celebration of the 30th anniversary of his debut in Mario Bros. A year-long one.
    • The 30th anniversary year of Super Mario Bros. saw the release of Super Mario Maker, a level-creating and -sharing game for the Wii U allowing players to make levels in the style of SMB, SMB 3, Super Mario World, or New Super Mario Bros. U. A downgraded port was also release to Nintendo 3DS the following year.
  • No Export for You: Mario Super Sluggers was never released in Europe or Australia because baseball is not a popular sport in those regions, thus making it the only Wii game not released in those regions.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Mario's entire design was created from technical limitations. During the development of the original Donkey Kong arcade game, the devs went whole hog creating a character that could work, and look good, in the game's spritework. Thus, he was given a hat (easier to show than hair in a death animation), overalls (the contrasting colors helped make movement look smooth), and a mustache (easier to animate, especially for facial definition, than a mouth), and became the Acrofatic Italian Stallion we all know today.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Mario's voice in Saturday Supercade was none other than Optimus Prime himself, Peter Cullen, the very first actor to ever voice the character.
    • Toru Furuya provided the voice for Mario in The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach! OVA and various Japanese anime shorts from the late 80's. Surprised?
    • At one point, when Charles Martinet was just getting started as the voice of Mario, his friend Stevie Coyle filled in for him from time to time so that he could catch a break during the long, long CES hours.
    • In Mario Party 1 and 2, the Japanese version of Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Luigi is voiced by a French localizer called Julien Bardakoff. His take on Luigi is completely different from Martinet's. You can hear him here. In those same games, German localizer Thomas Spindler voices Wario, so he has a slight accent. It even caused the infamous "D'oh I missed!"/"So ein mist!" Memetic Mutation.
    • Peach had a much lower voice in the International versions of Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, provided by Nintendo Localization Director Leslie Swan. This voice was brought back in Super Mario 64 DS, complete with newly recorded lines for the ending to take the added playable characters into account... and then she's back to her high voice for the subsequent games, with the odd exception of Super Paper Mario, where Swan voices the character for the final time. Jen Taylor became Peach's voice actress for almost a decade, starting with Mario Golf and voicing her for the final time in Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games. Samantha Kelly began voicing Peach in Mario Strikers Charged and is her current voice actress.
    • In the original N64 installment of Mario Tennis and Mario Party 3 through 5, Daisy had a much higher-pitched and girlier-sounding voice provided by Jessica Chisum and Jen Taylor respectively, but starting with Mario Golf Toadstool Tour, she is voiced by Deanna Mustard, whose take on Daisy is much, much different from Chisum and Taylor's.
    • Bowser has been voiced by Scott Burns from Super Mario Sunshine up to Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. He is instead voiced by Eric Newsome in Super Paper Mario. Kenny James voiced Bowser in Super Mario Strikers, but he wouldn't come back until Super Mario Galaxy, the game in which he would become Bowser's current voice actor.
    • Bowser Jr. was voiced by Dolores Rogers from his debut in Super Mario Sunshine up to Mario Party DS. Starting with Mario Strikers Charged he is voiced by Caety Sagoian.
    • The Koopalings' voice actors have also changed over time. From New Super Mario Bros. Wii up to New Super Mario Bros. U, Lani Minella voiced Larry, Morton, Wendy and Lemmy, while Iggy and Ludwig were voiced by Mike Vaughn. Starting with Mario Kart 8, Larry is voiced by Michelle Hippe, Morton is voiced by David Cooke, Wendy is voiced by Ashley Flannegan, Lemmy is voiced by Carlee McManus, Iggy is voiced Ryan Higgins and lastly Ludwig is voiced by David J. Goldfarb. Roy is the only one of the Koopalings whose voice actor (Dan Falcone) hasn't changed.
    • In both Galaxy games and in Mario Kart Wii, Rosalina was voiced by Mercedes Rose, but from Mario Kart 7 onwards, she is instead voiced by Kerri Kane. Her voice actor changes yet again to Laura Faye Smith from Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 onwards. Interestingly enough, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reuses Kane's portrayal of Rosalina instead of having her voiced by Smith.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Yes, most characters are Heroic Mimes, but nonetheless, Charles Martinet voices both Mario brothers, their baby versions, both "Wario brothers", and Toadsworth.
    • From the Nintendo GameCube Era onwards, Peach, Toad and Toadette have all shared the same voice actress, the first one being Jen Taylor and the current one being Samantha Kelly. Jen Taylor also voiced Daisy alongside Peach and Toad in Mario Party 3, 4, and 5.
    • Yoshi and Birdo are both voiced by Kazumi Totaka.
  • Throw It In: Blocks which release multiple coins were originally the result of a glitch and not intended to be in game, but were kept since they were liked.
  • Unisex Series, Gendered Merchandise: Super Mario Bros is a perfectly unisex franchise yet, when it comes to merchandise, it very often gets pinned as being "for boys". Toys, clothes, etc featuring Mario and Luigi are near exclusively aimed at male fans. The main exception to this is Princess Peach merchandise, as her pink Princess Classic design results in her being used for girl-aimed merch.
  • What Could Have Been: Considering how long the series has been around, quite a few examples exist.
  • The Wiki Rule:
  • Word of God:
    • Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto infamously stated in a 2012 interview that the Koopalings aren't Bowser's children, as described above.
    • The nicknames the developers respectively gave the Blue and Yellow Toads are, allegedly, Bucken-Berry and Ala-Gold.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Charles Martinet (talking in-character as Mario) confirmed the Mario last name at Comic Con 2012, prior to the Flip-Flop of God finally settling on same. Mind you, he also stated that Mario's parents are named "Mama Mia Mario" and "Papa Pia Mario", so how seriously you take his statements in that role is up to you.
  • Write What You Know: According to various interviews, Samantha Kelly's voice for Toad is based on a dog puppet she had when she was younger named Cedric, which she would always play with before going to bed.

The series is the Trope Namer for:

The Cartoon Series:

Trope Namer for:

The film:

  • Acting for Two: Daisy and her mother are both played by Samantha Mathis.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: When The King turns back into a human, it was Lance Henriksen's idea for him to cough up fungus. Henriksen used Rice Krispies in his hand to achieve the effect.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $42 million (not counting marketing costs), $48 million (counting them). Box office, $20,915,465.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
  • Cast the Expert: Mojo Nixon, who played Toad, has stated in interviews that "...I'm not really an actor. I was a drunk musician playing a drunk musician."
  • Creator's Apathy:
    • Despite being given creative control by Lightmotive, Nintendo had no interest in overseeing the film's production. To them, the Super Mario brand was too big to fail and this was more or less an experiment to test the strength of the franchise.
    • After the script they had initially seen (and loved enough to sign on) had been revised again and again, often in the middle of filming, the cast eventually gave up on trying to make a good film. The script was getting several revisions a week (often more than one a day) so the actors gave up on reading the new versions, except just before having to act out the scene, and focused more on just getting through the day.
  • Creator Backlash: Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo disliked the film, though the latter seems to have eventually warmed up to the film, per this video. The experience getting through the film was extremely difficult due to on-set accidents and the directors constantly changing things as filming went on. Leguizamo stated he and Hoskins required a lot of alcohol to go through production, and that marijuana was also very common among the cast as well.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields), the producer, never really recovered from the film's failure, though the similarly In Name Only adaptation of The Scarlet Letter he directed that was released two years later certainly didn't help.
    • Rocky Morton has yet to direct another feature-length film since Super Mario Bros., with or without his ex-wife. He has even admitted in interviews that most of his projects stop dead in their tracks once his potential producers learn he directed this film.
    • Annabel Jankel (now going by AJ Jankel) did not direct another theatrically released feature film until 2018's Tell It to the Bees, 25 years later.
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that he liked how the movie took creative liberties, preferring it to the anime The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach! which he felt was too close to the games.
  • Deleted Scene: Nearly a half-hour of footage was cut to give the movie a proper running time. Deleted scenes include:
    • An extended sequence of Koopa chasing Daisy's mother in New York, which featured him gazing admiringly at the buildings which would later inspire his warped construction projects in Dinohattan.
    • Mario and Luigi actually confronting the "Scapelli brothers", Mike and Doug, in the River Front Café. They threaten the café's owner, Pascal, by invoking their boss' name. Pascal takes Mario aside and offers him and Luigi a free lunch to make it up to them, which leads to:
    • An alternate scene of Mario and Luigi eating. Daisy enters the café and uses the payphone inside, slipping on a wet floor as she leaves. Luigi catches her and the movie continues that way.
    • Mario and Luigi getting ready for their dinner date, during which Luigi expresses embarrassment at being a plumber. Mario chastises him and tells him he has no "family pride."
    • An extended sequence in the de-evolution chamber, during which one of the devo technicians is de-evolved into slime. A puddle can still be seen on the floor in the final film.
    • Iggy and Spike getting drunk at the Boom Boom Bar and rapping an anti-Koopa song, which Lena cites later to Koopa as them "preaching your overthrow."
    • Various assorted scenes, including additional sequences from the cut "family pride" subplot.
  • Development Hell: Went through a rapid version of this, with over a half-dozen different writers, three sets of directors, and both Tom Hanks and Dustin Hoffman expressed interest in playing Mario before executives rejected them. In the end, the script was almost entirely rewritten on set with mutual silence between the cast, director, producers, and Nintendo brass, leading to postponed release dates and shooting schedules way over the promised time.
  • Directed by Cast Member: The Latin American Spanish dub was directed by Rubén Moya, who voiced Anthony Scapelli.
  • Distanced from Current Events: Following 9/11, many edits of the film remove the shots of the World Trade Center transforming into its counterpart from Koopa's dimension. However, because these shots are intercut with Scapelli's arriving at the building site, this has the side-effect of Scapelli suddenly appearing out of nowhere when Koopa accidentally turns him into a chimp.
  • Doing It for the Art: Roland Joffé believes that reason Nintendo gave Lightmotive the rights to the movie over the big name studios and gave them so much free reign over the project was because they believed that Super Mario was too big to fail and they just wanted to see what kind of effect a big budget movie would have on the franchise.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Mojo Nixon, who played Toad, was legitimately terrified of Dennis Hopper's performance as Koopa, particularly the scene where he was de-evolving and strapped to the chair.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel hated the fantasy based elements of the script and only agreed to direct the film if they could rewrite it to be more gritty and sci-fi. In the end, the producers feared it wasn't kid-friendly enough, so they forced heavy rewrites and barred directors from contributing to them. Further changes to the script in terms of special effects and character development limited their vision even further.
    • In the end, over twenty minutes of footage was cut to get Mario and Luigi into the parallel world sooner while the atrociously animated intro was inserted to make up for it.
  • Fake Nationality: The British Bob Hoskins and Colombian John Leguizamo play the Italian (or Italian-American) Mario and Luigi Mario, respectively.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Barely averted.
    • During the chase through the pipe, someone thought that the mattress was going too slow, so they loosened one of the wires that was pulling them. When the crew came back from lunch, nobody checked the rig. They then shot the scene where Mario and the Brookyln Babes flew out of the tunnel, only to find they were going way too fast and out of control. One of the Babes almost fell off the mattress twenty five feet onto solid concrete. They all stayed on, but when it hit the ground, it flipped over and they all smashed their heads. Aside from a few bruises, they were okay.
    • Bob Hoskins claimed that during the course of the production, he broke a finger, got stabbed four times, got electrocuted and very nearly drowned. "And that's just what happened to me".
  • Focus Group Ending: More like a focus group beginning, as test audiences weren't getting the concept of the parallel dimensions, so a pixelated intro was made in postproduction to spell it out.
  • Follow the Leader: The directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel went in hoping to make this movie their Batman (1989), which is what put the fellow eccentric filmmaker Tim Burton on the map. With that in mind, the tone being darker and the setting being that of stylized sprawling cityscape make a bit more sense.
  • Hostility on the Set: The cast and crew disliked Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel for their allegedly obnoxious and controlling behaviors, their regular rewrites of the script, and for making major changes to the film without telling each other or members of the production.
  • Looping Lines: According to the post-production supervisor, this had the most ADR-looping of any film she had ever encountered.
  • The Merch: Like most blockbuster movies of the time, there was a sizable marketing push involved in promoting the film, with everything from pogs to action figures to tie-in books being made. There was also a short manga adaptation in the spring 1993 issue of CoroCoro.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • While Lightmotive gave Nintendo the merchandising rights in exchange for lower price for the license, which is effectively giving up a massive portion of profits a studio would usually get, that's only because they saw the film as a stepping off point. They believing the film was a sure to be hit due to the name alone and that the box office would give them a large financial boost and that the movie's fame would turn them into the next big name studio that would get tons of lucrative licenses and film deals in the future. As is obvious, the complete opposite happened.
    • This is the reason why the film has one of the highest Embarrassed Actor Quotients since 1990. Apparently, many very good actors were having critical shortages of money around the same time...both Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins admitted they did it for the paycheck (in Hopper's case, it may have been a joke).
      Dennis Hopper: I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time — he’s now eighteen — he said, "Dad, I think you’re probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?" and I said, "Well, Henry, I did that so you could have shoes," and he said, "Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly."
  • No Export for You: Second Sight's 2014 Blu-ray and digital release of the movie boasts far superior picture quality and features than Disney's barebones and Laserdisc-quality DVD release. Too bad that Disney mandated to Second Sight that the Blu-ray could only be available in Region B and not playable elsewhere...
  • Old Shame:
    • Being the film that ruined his career, as well as the onset turmoil and conflicts with the producers over the script and editing, Rocky Morton once stated in an interview that his most prominent memory of the film is "humiliation."
    • This was John Leguizamo's first leading film role, and he joined his costars in railing on the experience, though he's far less negative about the movie nowadays. Though he admits the movie isn't very good, he nonetheless has fond memories of working on it, says they all had a blast and was thrilled to get to work with Hoskins and Hopper. He also points out that even though the film wasn't great, the fact that people remember it 20 years later means it certainly left it's mark for better or worse.
    • Conversely, many of the non-leads have stated it was one of their favorite movies to work on. Some even say it is their favorite movie.
    • The film was this for Bob Hoskins, who stated he only took the role of Mario for the sake of one of his sons who was a huge Mario fan. Unfortunately, the film ended up being an unpleasant experience for Hoskins, as he clashed with Morton and Jankel and grew exasperated by the script's frequent rewrites, which prevented him from getting a handle on his character. His only positive memories involved some of his costars, with whom he would share alcohol (and occasionally marijuana) during days off from shooting. Hoskins remained bitter about the experience for the rest of his life, as shown by an interview with The Guardian's Rosanna Greenstreet in 2011:
      Rosanna Greenstreet: What is the worst job you've done?
      Bob Hoskins: Super Mario Brothers.
      Rosanna Greenstreet: What has been your biggest disappointment?
      Bob Hoskins: Super Mario Brothers.
      Rosanna Greenstreet: If you could edit your past, what would you change?
      Bob Hoskins: I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.
    • Dennis Hopper often admitted his regret in working on the film before dying of prostate cancer in May 2010, and claimed he only did it for the money.
  • Orphaned Reference:
    • There's a puddle of slime on the floor of the de-evolution chamber. This is left over from a deleted scene where a technician is de-evolved into slime.
    • There was a talking Mario action figure that said, among other things, "Nobody touches my tools", which is a line from a deleted scene where he confronts the Scapelli Bros.
    • The Running Gag involving the pizza delivery that never gets to Koopa was supposed to end with the delivery guy finally arriving at the very end and throwing the pizza onto Koopa, who's been turned into primordial ooze.
  • Real-Life Relative: Production designer David L. Snyder's daughter, Amy, was a makeup artist during filming.
  • Romance on the Set: Lance Henriksen met his second wife Jane Pollack on the set. Likewise with John Lequizamo and Samantha Mathis as they started dating during production. Lequizamo even wrote once it was the only good thing that came out of the film's production.
  • Screwed by the Network: Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were hired to make the film dark and gritty like Max Headroom. However, right after the sets were finished and the plot was storyboarded, the producers got cold feet on making a mature Super Mario film and made family friendly rewrites to the script without input from the directors, who did everything they could to keep the film as close to their original vision as possible. The fights between the directors and the producers for control of the film is one of the major reasons for the chaos during the movie's production.
  • Sequel Gap: The webcomic began publishing two decades after the original film's release.
  • Sequel Hook: Daisy dressed as Ripley. According to co-writer Parker Bennett, this was literally lifted from Back to the Future.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • Despite the film's critical and box-office failure, this possibly was what catapulted John Leguizamo into stardom.
    • Also for Samantha Mathis, at least for awhile.
  • Stillborn Franchise: The movie's troubled production, box-office failure, and resulting mandate from Nintendo ended the production of a sequel, and dashed studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg's dreams of bringing Nintendo products into Disney's business model. More drastically, it put Nintendo off licensing their products for live-action films. It would take 25 years before Nintendo allowed another film version of the franchise to begin production, this time as a cartoon from Illumination Entertainment.
  • Throw It In: Fisher Stevens and Richard Edson improvised most of their lines as Spike and Iggy.
  • Troubled Production: The film suffered from a nightmare mix of this and Executive Meddling, and started a trend of poorly received video game film adaptations that continues to this day.
    • Before the film had even reached production, the project went through several directors and script writers, as well as a number of potential stars. Unable to find a director willing to commit to the original idea of a more direct adaptation, the producers decided to take a chance on a pitch by husband-and-wife directing team Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel of Max Headroom fame, who envisioned the film as dark, gritty political satire. New scripts were written with this new direction in mind, and while it impressed the likes of Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, and Fiona Shaw enough to sign on, the adult tone completely flew in the face of the conception of being a children's film and had nothing to do with the game series beyond its name. The producers proceeded to bring in new script writers, again, and ordered massive rewrites just before and during shooting.
    • The damage these rewrites did to the production cannot be understated. Jankel and Morton had done their own rewrites to bring the film around to their Darker and Edgier vision, their rationale being that they wanted to make a film parents could appreciate as well. The studio hired Ed Solomon, showed him some drafts, and gave him two weeks to pull something together, before shooting started, and he did. Unfortunately no one had bothered to tell the directors, who had storyboarded scenes from the script they thought they'd be shooting and were beginning the set-design process ... when someone walked in with Solomon's draft and told them this was what they'd be shooting. They went out into the lot and burned all the storyboards they had done, coming close to quitting right then and there.
    • Things truly turned disastrous once shooting began. Conflicts between Disney and the directors led to massive Executive Meddling, daily on-set rewrites occurred without any of the involved parties allowed to communicate with each other,note  and production went over-budget and far over-schedule (Dennis Hopper stated "I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for seventeen."). Morton and Jankel's Control Freak tendencies and poor communication caused severe friction between them and the film's stars. John Leguizamo declared that he and Bob Hoskins were having such a bad time that they would frequently get drunk to make it through the experience (which led to injuries to the both of them during shooting). Around a half-hour of scenes were cut from the final film to get it to an acceptable run-time. In the end, the film became a massive Box Office Bomb, making a mere $20 million out of a $48 million budget.
    • The frequency of re-writes got so bad that towards the end of production, Dennis Hopper snapped and went a long, profane rant on-set about how Morton and Jenkel were the most unprofessional directors he'd ever worked with. After reportedly ranting like this for hours, the couple were practically begging Hopper to finish shooting the scene and were willing to acquiesce to whatever he wanted. Hopper agreed to do the scene as written, saying later he just needed to get the tension out of his system.
    • The fallout from the film was massive. It scuttled an attempt by Disney, who distributed the film through Hollywood Pictures, to integrate Nintendo into their business model. It caused Nintendo to reject any further forays into live-action film adaptations of its franchises, it ruined the directorial careers of Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, and played a large role in the downfall of producer Roland Joffe's career. It was also considered a massive Old Shame by Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins, the latter of whom had the following to say in an otherwise pretty congenial interview with The Guardian in 2011:
      What is the worst job you've done?
      Super Mario Brothers.
      What has been your biggest disappointment?
      Super Mario Brothers.
      If you could edit your past, what would you change?
      I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.
    • It is said that the film's turbulent history ultimately led to Nintendo granting their theme park license to Universal Studios instead of Disney twenty-two years later. According to rumors, Nintendo executives still knew about Disney's treatment of the project, and were adamant that Disney not get any slice of that pizza.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Multiple figures were once involved in the project, from the directors wanting Kevin Costner for Koopa, Dustin Hoffman lobbying for the chance to play Mario as a treat for his kids and Harold Ramis, the producers' original choice for director (contrary to popular rumor, Danny DeVito was never a choice for the role of Mario).
    • As far as casting Mario, Tom Hanks was initially hired for the role, but was fired and replaced with Hoskins, whom the executives thought was more profitable. Bruno Kirby was also considered.
    • In addition to Costner, Michael Keaton and Arnold Schwarzenegger were considered for Koopa.
    • According to Mojo Nixon, he was cast in the role of Toad because the production wanted an actual musician for the character, but their first choice Tom Waits was unavailable. Nixon's agent pitched him to casting as a "third-rate Tom Waits—for half-price."
    • The first draft of the script, Super Mario Bros. (1991), was a pure fantasy movie. Bowser only disguises himself as a human in his first two scenes, the Princess character is named Hildy, and Bowser wants to marry her in order to obtain the Crown of Invincibility with which to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. Actual game enemies such as Piranha Plants and Thwomps make appearances, Toad accompanies the Marios throughout their journey as a main character, a baby dinosaur named Junior thinks Mario is his mother, Luigi gets Raccoon Power at one point, one of Bowser's lackeys (a possible prototype for Kamek) tells Mario "Your Princess Is in Another Castle!", Mario and Luigi sing a Villain Song about Bowser, and Bowser ends up falling into a pit of lava. In other words, this draft is much more faithful to the games.
    • Five early scripts, including the aforementioned Fantasy script, can be read on The Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive's Scripts page.
    • According to this issue of TV Guide, the movie was originally planned to be released in 1991 and would have been animated.
    • Jerry Goldsmith was attached to score the film but pulled out due to scheduling conflicts (Alan Silvestri filled in).
    • Mario's character was written differently before Bob Hoskins was attached to the role. Screenwriter Parker Bennett described him as "Bill Murray-esque", closer in age to Luigi,note  and that they had Bruno Kirby in mind for the role.
      [...]what we decided is, "Okay, Mario has a big chip on his shoulder about being a plumber. He’s inherited his dad’s business [and] it's not what he wants to do"; it’s sort of a It's a Wonderful Life thing with Jimmy Stewart at the bank when he wants to be traveling the world.
      […] And in the end he learns through the adventure that he’s the greatest plumber in the world and he needs his brother and they’re a team together and that was sort of what we were trying to do for that.
    • Originally Toad was going to die by being turned into slime in the Devo chamber, while the friendly Goomba that Daisy helps was a separate character named Hark. Thanks to Mojo Nixon's screen presence the decision was made to combine the characters, with the sliming victim being changed to a technician.
    • The biggest one was the reason Jeffrey Katzenberg bought the rights to this film for Disney. Had the film been successful, the Walt Disney Company would have then started efforts to market Nintendo and their franchises, led of course by the Super Mario franchise, in the Disney Theme Parks. Katzenberg and Disney Animation were also working with Sega to a limited degree for the same reasons with the Aladdin video game, and both attempts virtually faded when Katzenberg departed the company the next year. Their attempt specifically to bring the Nintendo franchises into the Disney parks ended up biting them in the ass later on when major rival Universal Studios struck a licensing deal with Nintendo in May 2015 (and it ended up stinging Disney even more when Universal later announced that it would be producing an animated Mario movie through Illumination Entertainment in 2018).

The 2022 animated film:


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