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  • Ascended Fanon:
    • Standard directional attacks, where one attacks while pressing a direction but not hard or fast enough to perform a Smash attack, were officially called "Strong Attacks" in previous games, but were called "tilts" by the community. Ultimate is the first game to use "tilt" in menus and the website.
    • "Neutral" was the term used by the community when using any move without pressing a direction, while "Standard" was the official name used by prior games. In Ultimate, the fan term is officially used in menus.
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    • "Dash Dancing" is a high-level technique that originated in Melee. And now after many years, Level 9 Computers can and will "Dash Dance" in Ultimate.
    • Viridi uses the competitive term "edge guard" (the act of preventing an opponent from coming back on stage) in Incineroar's Palutena's Guidance skit.
    • The Mii Gunner costume for Sans from Undertale depicts him wearing pink slippers. Although Sans wears slippers in the original game, they appear white in all of his sprites. After the game's release however, it became extremely common for fan artists and modelers to depict the slippers as being pink. This game marks his first official appearance outside of merchandise with them colored this way. He is also depicted wearing a white shirt underneath his hoodie, which the fandom usually depicted him wearing instead of an exposed ribcage which some could interpret from his sprites. The original model also gave Sans' non-gun hand actual fingers, again another common fan depiction, before Toby Fox requested it be changed to a mitten-like hand.
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    • After it was stated that Joker entered Smash with a stolen invitation, this indicated that invitations are apparently interchangable between recipients, much like fanart depicting a character giving their invitation to another, usually out of kindness. This was brought up again with Terry and Min Min's reveal trailers, showing various characters from SNK's series of games and ARMS respectively trying and failing to grab the invitation.
    • The tracks that play in Smash 64's Metal Mario and Battlefield stages return in this game, giving them English names for the first time... and they merely retain their Japanese names, "Meta Crystal" and "Duel Zone", almost certainly due to the community's long-time usage of those names.
    • It is a common fan theory that getting into Smash is considered a huge honor In-Universe. This is referenced in both Terry's and Min Min's trailers, which show various characters getting excited over and going after the invitations, as well as Joker's reveal, wherein Morgana states the invitation is "the greatest treasure of all".
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  • Blooper: The 8.0.0. update released with Spring Man's logo on the LCD screen in Spring Stadium incorrectly being Springtron's, something also visible in "Mr. Sakurai Presents Min Min".
  • Content Leak:
    • Some information on the roster was leaked by GameFAQs user Vergeben. Prior to the E3 2018 reveal, he stated everyone from 3DS/Wii U would return, and that Ridley would finally become playable, alongside Simon from Castlevania. Post-E3, he'd mention Isabelle, Ken, and Incineroar as playable before their official reveals. Before E3 2019, he leaked Banjo and Erdrick, though the latter was actually a Palette Swap of the Dragon Quest XI hero.
    • ResetEra administrator Shinobi teased Banjo & Kazooie days before they were officially announced.
    • There was actually a leak for the three final pre-Fighters Pass characters, including Piranha Plant, more than a month before the final pre-launch Smash Direct, though it didn't circulate until after the Direct.
    • On the night before the August 8, 2018 Direct, Nintendo accidentally posted the then-recently uploaded "Galaga Medley" with the title of "Bloody Tears/Monster Dance" on Ultimate's website, which spoiled that Castlevania was getting some form of representation.
    • On September 21, 2018, this image of Ken was posted on 4chan that caused a lot of debate on whether or not it was real, especially since the Ken model was never traced back to any existing ones, and the screenshot appears to contain graphical oddities that have been observed in demo builds. Sure enough, the November 1st, 2018 Direct not only confirmed Ken, but the model from the pic as well.
    • Two weeks before the release day, the entire game, including the Final Boss, was leaked onto the internet thanks to Nintendo sending early copies to a Mexican mom-and-pop store that ended up selling it prematurely, and was able to be illegally downloaded from online.
    • On March 30, 2019, Best Buy's website featured an ad for the Fighters Pass which included a never-before-seen Joker render. It was removed later the next day, which blatantly confirmed it was his official render placed in the ad by mistake.
    • On April 9, 2019, a TV ad for the game briefly showed Stage Builder on a menu screen in the background, a mode which had since been missing from launch and was later confirmed to be added in the 3.0.0 update.
    • Microsoft listed Nintendo's E3 2019 Direct on their E3 2019 schedule, cluing people in that something pertaining to them would be revealed in the Direct, which turned out to be Banjo & Kazooie in Smash.
    • On July 26, 2019, 8 spirits of characters from Dragon Quest were found to have been uploaded on Ultimate's spirit database.
    • On September 1, 2019, a copyright for SNK was added to the page for Challenger Pack 4 on Nintendo of Europe's website. The day after, multiple leakers that included Vergeben and Sabi claimed that it would be Terry Bogard, which was verified in the September 4th, 2019 Nintendo Direct.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • In the August 8, 2018 Nintendo Direct, Sakurai said that the Castlevania series was very popular with the music team. Hence the reason why "Dracula's Castle", the sole Castlevania stage, contains a whopping 34 music tracks, 12 of which are new remixes.
    • He also declared that Mega Man was popular with the composers as well, and one person, Takeshi Kuramochi, single-handedly swelled the library of Fire Emblem remixes.
    • Ridley's down taunt (the one where he stands up straight) is one of Sakurai's favorites from this game.
    • Min Min's inclusion as a fighter was specifically requested by ARMS producer Kosuke Yabuki, as she's his favorite character.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices:
    • The Inklings of both genders are voiced by Yuki Tsujii, a man, albeit through a rather heavy voice filter.
    • Morgana, a male cat, is voiced by Cassandra Lee and Ikue Otani in English and Japanese respectively.
    • The Luminary (the default costume for the Hero) is voiced by Mitsuki Saiga, a woman.
    • Kazooie, a female bird, is voiced by Chris Sutherland.
  • Demand Overload:
    • On Christmas Day, 2018, so many people tried to download the game at once that many reported having to wait up to 6 hours before the download finished.
    • Within seconds of the 3.0 update (which includes Joker and the stage builder) the server immediately overloaded due to many people trying to update the game at once. It also managed to take down the eShop for everyone as well since many people were trying to buy either the Joker DLC or Fighters Pass.
  • Descended Creator: Greg Chun is the voice of Ike and the music director of "Lifelight", the theme for Ultimate.
  • Development Gag:
    • Back in Brawl, Ridley was planned to be an Assist Trophy, before being converted into a boss. The similarly-draconic Rathalos appears as an Assist Trophy and a boss.
    • Ditto was planned to be a Poké Ball Pokémon all the way back in Melee, but was scrapped due to difficulties getting it to work. 17 years later, Ditto finally ended up appearing in Ultimate, functioning exactly how it was planned to in Melee (transforming into an AI controlled copy of the player who summoned it).
    • Banjo's backpack has a flap that opens at the bottom, as seen when using Talon Trot and Grenade Egg. This was something his designer Steve Mayles had wanted to include since the first Banjo-Kazooie.
    • Ninjara spends the second most amount of time with the envelope before he loses it, which reflects how close he was to becoming a fully playable character; Sakurai, when talking about why Min Min was picked, said that his choices were down to Min Min or Ninjara, with Min Min winning out due to Kosuke Yabuki telling Sakurai he wanted her in.
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • Masahiro Sakurai fought tooth and nail to get every single fighter back for Ultimate; re-securing the rights to all the third-party characters and songs, in particular, was the hardest part, but he and the team were able to do it.
    • Grant Kirkhope had to redo his remix track for Spiral Mountain 12 times before he finally got a satisfying result, since he normally has a difficult time revisiting older songs he's composed.
    • When Sakurai's staff went to SNK for approval of selected songs from their game library to come with Terry, 50 of them were proposed with the prospect that an amount between 10 and 20 would make the cut. They gave the OK to every single one of them. As a result, Fatal Fury, or rather, SNK collectively (via the representation of The King of Fighters, Alpha Mission, Athena, Psycho Soldier, Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown, Ikari Warriors and Metal Slug) has the most amount of music for a DLC and third-party franchise and the third most amount of music available for any given franchise in the game so far, only losing out to Mario and Fire Emblem.
  • Dueling Games:
    • With Jump Force, due to being a crossover fighting game of Shonen Jump works while Ultimate is a crossover fighting game featuring the characters from Nintendo's video game series and other related works. Plus, both games were announced at E3 2018, and were released on competing consoles (Ultimate is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, while Jump Force instead was released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with no set release on the Switch itself at the time, until 2020 when it would end up coming to the Switch).
    • To a lesser extent, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. Both games are easy to play Massive Multiplayer Crossover fighter games with characters from various franchises (though in BB:CTB's case just multiple characters from four different franchises compared to Ultimate) being released almost six months apart from each other and unlike Jump Force it was also ported to the Nintendo Switch but not Xbox One. It also features characters and franchises that were involved with by two different creators that died in the same year of 2015 (Satoru Iwata for Ultimate and Monty Oum for BB:CTB, though the former had a much more lasting impact than the latter).
  • Enforced Method Acting: Erika Harlacher stated that Ann’s Big "WHAT?!" to Joker joining Smash was her own genuine reaction.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Sakurai originally had no plans to alter Wii Fit Trainer's appearance, but the Wii Fit devs requested that he update her face. Positive example, as the redesign was well-received.
    • According to Sakurai's book published in 2019, DLC was planned without the developers' will. Positive example, because most of the DLC has been extremely well received.
    • One of the reasons why Mai Shiranui wasn't included with the rest of the SNK cameos was because CERO's (Japan's equivalent of the ESRB) restrictions prevented her from appearing in a game rated for all ages.
  • Fandom Nod:
    • Ridley's announcement trailer carried the slogan "Ridley Hits the Big Time!", playfully referencing how the character was considered "too big" for Smash and would be unlikely to be included for that reason. His Palutena's Guidance even begins with Pit excitedly screaming out "RIDLEY CONFIRMED!", much like the general fan reaction.
    • It was assumed by some fans, due to the team fighting style of Duck Hunt and one of their alternate palettes, that the two were a very obvious stand-in for the titular duo of Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo & Kazooie's release trailer for this game references this, with Duck Hunt impersonating the two as a prank before being knocked away by Banjo and Kazooie making an entrance. The first fight for Banjo & Kazooie's Classic Mode also has them fight Duck Hunt with a palette swap resembling their colors on Spiral Mountain.
    • Byleth's trailer has Sothis asking "Too many swordsmen, are there?", referencing a common jab at the roster.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Some refer to the Battlefield Forms of each stage as their Alpha Forms, as a complement to their Final Destination Forms being called their Omega Forms.
    • "Echoes Fighter" for Dark Samus, due to her game of origin and that she was able to create duplicates of herself called "Echoes" in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
    • King K. Rool has been called "the true Smash Ballot winner" due to Sakurai mentioning his popularity in the 3DS/Wii U ballot, and how suspicious some fans were of Bayonetta's Dark Horse Victory in that poll.
    • With the far-reaching Massive Multiplayer Crossover that seems to grow even more with each new announcement, Ultimate itself is playfully called "Video Games: The Video Game".
    • A few fans have nicknamed the Piranha Plant either "Audrey" or "Planty". Plant is also common.
    • After the infamous "World of Light" trailer was released, many took to calling this game "Super Smash Bros.: Infinity War".
    • The Adventure Mode intro's heavy focus on Kirby, as well as a theme song that sounds like it came straight from his anime and a villain that would fit right in on Pop Star, earned the mode the unofficial title of "Kirby and the World of Light". This nickname has only been reinforced by the release of the game, as the mode turns out to feature Marx as a boss and has a second primary villain who also would be in good company with Kirby's Rogues Gallery.
    • While the second major overworld level in Adventure Mode is officially known as "The Dark Realm", many players have taken to calling it the "World of Dark" to contrast the "World of Light".
    • The Lariat that Incineroar throws on a successful Alolan Whip results in the receiver taking a really violent hit to the neck, chin, or face. Several nicknames can apply here such as "Guillotine", "Necksnapper", "Jawbreaker", and "Facesmasher".
    • As if the sudden inclusion of Piranha Plant wasn't ridiculous enough, the players who picked it as a main like to kick it up by just calling it "Plant" and the people who play it the "Plant Gang". Some also refer to Ivysaur as a part of the Plant Gang, due to its typing.
    • One of Joker's possible stances while firing his gun has him spin in mid-air while shooting downwards. The competitive community proceeded to nickname this move "Rainstorm". Even more hilarity ensues when one realizes how much of Joker's pre-existing moveset is nearly similar to that of Dante's.
    • The Erdrick alt for Hero has inevitably been called "Goku" by many people, due to the resemblance between the two as a result of Akira Toriyama having designed both.
    • Some refer to Terry Bogard as "Hat Ken", either intentionally because of the physical similarities to Ken or because they forgot his name.
    • Byleth's down special is referred to as the "Warlock Axe", since, mechanically, it's basically Ganondorf's Warlock Punch, but in the form of an overhead axe swing. Because it's an overhead swing that's mechanically like the Warlock Punch, it's also been referred to as the "Warlock Doriyah," since it's a combination between two of Ganondorf's most iconic moves, his neutral special, and his Ultimate forward smash.
  • God Never Said That:
    • Near the end of the E3 2018 presentation, Sakurai said "We made including every single fighter ever our number one goal, so I'm kind of hoping you aren't expecting too many new challengers..." right before revealing Ridley. In the subsequent weeks, many video game news outlets took this to mean that the full roster had already been revealed in that presentation, and that Ridley would be the last new fighter. This was proved wrong in the following months, with an additional eight fighters slowly being announced as joining the base game, and at least six more to be included as DLC.
    • Inverted one time when Sakurai stated right after the August 2018 Direct not to expect as much of a bonanza after that showing. Fans thought he was lying and that he was going to do the opposite and reveal a huge swathe of characters, culminating in the Grinch hoax. Turned out Sakurai didn't lie.
    • A quote circulated after Joker's reveal seeming to show that Reggie Fils-Aime said that all of the Fighters Pass DLC characters would, like Joker, be from series never before seen in Smash, seemingly disconfirming basically every current major Nintendo franchise and also any further representatives from all current third-party franchises in Smash. In reality, his quote from the post-Joker reveal was that all of the DLC characters would be new to Smash itself, and they would be just as unexpected as Joker, like Dragon Quest's Hero was for Japan and Banjo-Kazooie's Banjo & Kazooie were to Western audiences. This also applies to Nintendo characters whose series are in the base game, like Fire Emblem's Byleth.
    • Many people say that Sakurai based the user interface off of Persona 5 and that the game was the main influence for Ultimate's UI design. This got more common after the reveal of Joker. Sakurai never said anything like that, he simply praised the UI of the game stating that it would probably win a game UI contest by a mile. Tellingly, he also mentions Pokémon GO as an example of good game UI and yet no one ever mentions that game when talking about Ultimate's UI. There was also minor confusion that the game took some influence from Persona 5's aesthetic (with the player color, black, and white victory screens and the Super Move Portrait Attack during the Final Smashes) but he never said anything on the manner.
    • Online, tons of people have used made-up rules (often called "fanrules") as reasons why a particular character "can't" or "won't" be added to Ultimate. The only rule Sakurai has given is "no fourth-parties" (i.e. all characters have to either be from a video game, or be significant to gaming like R.O.B.), but a casual perusal of Discord servers, Twitter, and any other online gathering place will show people saying characters can't be made playable in the game for reasons like "only appearing in one game" (in spite of several characters who fit this criteria, like Ness, Ice Climbers, Lucas, and Duck Hunt already being playable), "being a Spirit, Assist Trophy, or Mii costume" (Spirits deconfirming was shot down with Min Min in the second pass and, as many have pointed out, lots of popular characters are both playable and have a Mii costume based on them, though people still argue post-launch spirits and DLC costumes—especially those bundled with a song—are off the table as they would've been saved for a character otherwise), "their aesthetic clashing with the game", "not having moveset potential" (in a Famitsu column, Sakurai shot this one down) or "not being well-known by the Smash fandom and/or general public" (this was also discredited by Sakurai in "Mr. Sakurai Presents "Terry Bogard"", where he said "whether or not the character is fun to play as is more important than whether the character is new or old, or whether the character is recognizable to everyone").
    • During the announcement of more DLC beyond the first Fighters Pass, Sakurai said that more DLC fighters would mean adding more worlds to the game. As had happened when Reggie stated the Fighters Pass characters would be new to Smash, many once again took this as all post-Fighters Pass 1 DLC would continue to solely be third-party characters, disconfirming all Nintendo franchises. In reality, Source Gaming's PushDustIn had his own translation of the statement conducted, actually meaning that every time DLC is added to the game, its scope increases. The third-party assumption would later be proven false with both the last member of the first Fighters Pass, Byleth, and the first member of the second Fighters Pass, Min Min.
    • After it was announced that there would be more DLC characters after the Fighters Pass, many interpreted this as an announcement of a second Fighters Pass, despite there being nothing in either the September 2019 Direct or "Mr. Sakurai Presents "Banjo & Kazooie"" that suggested that the new fighters would be in a bundle. However, this turned out to be the case, as demonstrated with the announcement of Fighters Pass Vol. 2 at the tail end of "Mr. Sakurai Presents "Byleth"".
    • When Sakurai said that the DLC characters were chosen by Nintendo and he decides if they can create a fighter based on them, people interpreted it that Nintendo gave Sakurai a list of characters to choose from. However, the wording didn't suggest that, and he later said that the characters were not decided by him.
    • When the game was first released with the DLC packs underway, it was implied early on that characters that appeared as Spirits in the game would not be considered eligible for promotion to fighting as a character in-game, due to the context of how Spirits came to be. It continued to be the case until Wave 2's first fighter revealed was Min Min, a character whose Spirit was already confirmed as a Spirit to fight against in-gamenote . With Min Min's inclusion, it opened up a second chance for characters that made it as Spirits only to appear as a fighter in Ultimate.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Many people expected that the Inklings would be among the first, if not the first newcomer announced for the next iteration of Smash, due to the immense popularity of Splatoon. The Inklings were the first confirmed characters for Ultimate alongside series staples Mario and Link, although actual gameplay for the characters wasn't shown off until E3 2018.
    • When Link's silhouette was shown in the Inkling teaser, many people assumed that the character had been updated to reflect The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and if so, that he would also have his Tunic of the Wild as an alternate outfit in order to still represent the classic green outfit. Both things checked out come E3 2018.
    • Since the Ice Climbers were cut from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U solely due to issues making their duality gimmick work on the 3DS, fans assumed that the fifth Smash game would bring them back by virtue of releasing on stronger hardware. Sure enough, when the E3 2018 presentation revealed them, nobody was surprised (but many were still excited).
    • Many people were expecting Dark Samus to be an Echo Fighter for Samus, due to a suspicious absence of both her Assist Trophy and Samus' Dark Samus outfit. Chrom was also expected, due to Robin's Final Smash not being shown off in his/her character videonote . They were both confirmed on the 2018/8/8 Smash Direct, and Sakurai even teased those who made these predictions, saying "You may have seen this coming" immediately after revealing them.
    • Fans had been expecting Simon Belmont as a newcomer as far back as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, both due to fellow Konami representative Solid Snake appearing in that game and due to Simon's home series having appeared more often on Nintendo consoles than the latter's. Snake's return and fellow Konami rep Bomberman's introduction as an Assist Trophy made the anticipation even greater. This all culminated in an incident on August 7, 2018 where the Galaga medley sample on the official Super Smash Bros. YouTube account accidentally got renamed "Bloody Tears/Monster Dance" before being changed back. Simon ended up getting his introduction trailer during the Smash Bros. Direct the next day.
    • Fans were predicting that several characters who got DLC Mii Costumes in the previous game were ballot consolation prizesnote  and that most of them would appear in the next game as playable. The Inklings were confirmed as the first newcomers in March 2018, Chrom and King K. Rool were confirmed in August, and Isabelle was confirmed in September. Out of the remaining Mii Costumes, only Lloyd currently remains without an appearance in the game.
    • Sakurai has left multiple statements indicating that characters (including veterans like Snake and newcomers like Chrom and Dark Samus) are included by "popular demand". While some speculated that these were Smash Ballot choices, it wasn't until Sakurai released a column in Famitsu after the August 2018 Nintendo Direct that he officially revealed that the Smash Ballot greatly influenced the roster for Ultimate. Before that, Nintendo had also promised that they would use the ballot for future Smash games.
    • Isabelle's absence as an Assist Trophy, popularity in the Ballot, and Mii costume in the previous game led to people correctly guessing that she would be a newcomer for the game. While most people thought she would be an Echo Fighter, at least one person accurately guessed she'd be a unique fighternote .
    • The hidden mode from the August 2018 Direct being called "Spirits" and involving all or most of the characters getting killed was a foregone conclusion since Sakurai first teased at it, with many piecing it together from the blurred text and the trend of characters dying in the past few reveal trailers.
    • Considering Ultimate's focus on Echo Fighters and the fact that Ken Masters is the original Shotoclone, it was taken for granted that he would be revealed as Ryu's Echo Fighter. Sakurai even references the above-mentioned fact that Ken is the original clone in fighting games.
    • Many people guessed that Incineroar and Ken would share a reveal trailer due to both of them being fire-based physical fighters and Smash Bros. generally having a fire-based theme. And since both Ken and Incineroar are combat-based fighters, many also guessed that their reveal trailer would be set in the Boxing Ring.
    • As The Game Awards 2018 were airing literally just hours before the game released, it was thought that Nintendo would unveil the first DLC character from the Fighters Pass at the event as a final surprise before the launch. Sure enough, "Challenger Pack 1" was unveiled during the event, with Joker being announced as well.
    • After it was shown that Stage Builder was removed, there has been speculation about it being added back in an update. Nintendo leaked its return via a commercial posted on April 9, 2019.
    • It was theorized that since Bayonetta came with her iconic handguns, Sakurai may have loosened up on the use of realistic firearms after Brawl. Sure enough, this was proven true once Joker was shown using his pistol.
    • Many people expected female Inkling to represent Futaba’s Spirit due to their resemblance to each other.
    • Due to the Dragon Quest series being the Trope Maker for the Eastern RPG, a personal favorite of Sakurai's, and having an updated version of Dragon Quest XI coming to the Switch in 2019, observers expected a Dragon Quest character to be added as DLC. They also correctly guessed that the Slime would be represented by Kirby in its Spirit Battle.
    • Due to Nintendo and Microsoft having arranged a partnership with each other involving the Xbox Live Service and the porting of Microsoft-owned games like Minecraft to the Switch, there were theories that this would lead to a Microsoft-owned character showing up. Most assumed it would be Banjo and Kazooie due to that series' history with Nintendo. This came to pass when the two were revealed at E3 2019. Everyone knew that Spiral Mountain would be Banjo & Kazooie's home stage. People also predicted that they would use expendable items in their moveset (they get five Gold Feathers, used to perform Wonderwing, per stock), that the Mighty Jinjonator would be their Final Smash, and that Donkey Kong Country characters (fellow Rare creations) or Duck Hunt (a similar "mammal and bird" duo) would appear in their trailer.
    • A 2019 video ad that showcased upcoming July Switch releases, and also featured a snippet of Hero's gameplay, was later hastily changed to say "Summer", which had most fans believing this accidentally tipped off a release within the month for Hero. They turned out to be correct once he was launched on the 30th.
    • A dataminer had uncovered 16 dummy character slots among the files for World Of Light, with 6 of them seemingly being used by Piranha Plant and the Fighters Pass characters (although it was revealed that Hero and Banjo & Kazooie don't use up said slots). A select few believed that this meant there would be more DLC planned after the Fighters Pass, and this was confirmed to be the case after Terry was revealed.
    • People have been using post-release Spirit Events as a measure for whether a title would get in as a DLC fighter. After all, logic dictates that if that character is a DLC, then its spirits wouldn't be featured as a standalone event. Indeed, many games for the Nintendo Switch have Spirit Events to commemorate their release. And yet surprisingly enough, Fire Emblem: Three Houses never got one. Sure enough, Byleth, the main protagonist of Three Houses, appears in Ultimate as the final character in the first Fighters Pass.
    • Most fans expected the Fighters Pass format to continue in 2020 onward. This is indeed the case, as Fighters Pass 2 was announced within Byleth's showcase.
    • There was the assumption that Fighters Pass 2 would be the final phase of DLC, despite Sakurai not explicitly saying so during the presentation for Byleth. He later confirmed it in a Famitsu column article in February 2020.
    • Due to her massive popularity amongst both the staff and fans, as well as having won the ARMS Party Crash Bash over Ninjara, many fans have called Min Min being the ARMS rep prior to her reveal.
    • Several fans assumed that since Spirits are a replacement for trophies, this wouldn't prevent any of them from getting a character promotion like Mewtwo and Lucas in 4. Min Min becoming playable removed all doubt over this.
    • For a good while, some fans argued the possibility that any character that already had a piece of art used for their spirit could simply use a different one, should they become playable. This was proven after Min Min's launch, as her fighter spirit makes use of a drawing that showcased her before ARMS launched.
  • Image Source for:
  • Inspiration for the Work: Jun Senoue stated his inspiration to make the Sonic Adventure-esque Mega Man 4 medley was seeing the Sonic and Mega Man crossover Archie comics.
  • Jossed:
    • An early prediction after the first teaser was that Ultimate would just be a Switch port of the fourth game, with all content that was exclusive to the Wii U and 3DS versions and a few new additions on top of that. While it borrows a lot of assets from its predecessor, Ultimate is instead a brand new game.
    • When the Inkling teaser showed that Link had his hatless Champion's Tunic look, most people assumed that Zelda would also have her Breath of the Wild design. Turns out she has a combination of her A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds looks. The fact that Sakurai gave specific reasons for the Breath of the Wild Zelda being absent indicates that even he was aware it was what fans were expecting.
    • Many predicted that Chrom and Isabelle would be included as Echo Fighters of Ike and Villager. While Chrom is indeed an Echo Fighter, he's based off of Roy instead of Ike, and Isabelle isn't an Echo Fighter at all, instead being mostly a unique character who borrows a few moves from Villager.
    • It was theorized that with the concept of Echo Fighters and Richter being proof that third-parties could have Echoes, Shadow the Hedgehog would be playable. He is still an Assist Trophy.
    • During the pre-release period, the YMMV subpage for this game was filled with theories that related to popular characters being mysteriously missing as Assist Trophies (such as Skull Kid and Shadow) and trying to provide other hints that they may become playable. In the end, most of them are either still Assist Trophies or simply a spirit.
    • It was thought that Robin would get a new Final Smash due to Chrom being Promoted to Playable. They didn't, and it still involves Chrom.
    • Due to the Zero Assist Trophy being officially labeled "Zero (Mega Man)", many thought Zero/Zero-Two from Kirby would appear in some capacity, such as a boss. This turned out to not be the case; the other Zero was the character from Metal Gear Solid 3.
    • It was widely speculated that Spring Man would get into the game's roster as one of the first DLC fighters, due to ARMS coming out after Ultimate's initial roster planning. With the announcement that an ARMS character would be the first character of Fighters Pass 2, speculation shifted to him being Promoted to Playable, and breaking the barrier for characters like Waluigi and Skull Kid. Min Min's reveal put the kibosh on those theories.
    • There was a lot of speculation and rumors after the November 2018 Direct when the game was getting datamined that Sonic's final boss fight in Classic Mode was Tabuu, due to Sonic shattering Tabuu's wings in the Subspace Emissary campaign. While Tabuu is in the game as a spirit, Sonic's final opponent in Classic Mode is Master & Crazy Hand.
    • Because the DLC characters for the fourth game had a generic "I don't know who this is" message for their Palutena's Guidance, people assumed the same would happen for the Ultimate DLC characters. Piranha Plant turned out to have a unique Palutena's Guidance conversation, which then led people to assume the Fighters Pass characters would as well; Sakurai later disconfirmed this as well.
    • Semi-jossed with Hero. Due to a codename leak of "Brave" among other things, many fans deduced that Erdrick would be the main character to primarily represent Dragon Quest, with other heroes or female Erdrick possibly being his alts. It turns out that Luminary actually is the base character, while Erdrick himself is an alt alongside Solo and Eight, and there are no female Hero alts.
    • Because all the other games which then-recently got SNK guest fighters all had a different character each, some people thought Smash would follow this pattern, featuring someone like Kyo, Marco, or thanks to certain rumors, Nakoruru instead. Terry's appearance in Fighting EX Layer did not stop him from being in Smash.
    • Due to an SNK copyright appearing on the website for the Spirit Board event from November 1-4, 2019, people speculated that Terry was going to be stealth dropped on the starting day of the event. He wasn't.
    • Both his appearances in Garou: Mark of the Wolves and SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy were commonly speculated to be alternate costumes for Terry. Neither shows up, although his Palette Swaps do reference various cap designs he's had.
    • It was speculated that, to go with the theme of fighting game characters, the Mii Fighter costumes accompanying Terry's release would include the return of the Smash 4 costumes based on Akira and Heihachi. While the Akira costume does return, the other returning costume is instead Jacky Bryant. Heihachi was eventually confirmed as a returning costume for Min Min's reveal for Wave 2.
    • One mindset that was prevalent among most fans was the lack of recognition and recent appearances limiting the possibility for certain characters to be chosen as fighters. In Terry's showcase, Sakurai officially stated that this is not the case, saying that the only criteria that matters is whether the characters are fun to play as, and cites Samus as an example of a character that wasn't widely recognised during Super Smash Bros. 64's timeframe.
    • Because Joker was unveiled at The Game Awards 2018 as the first character in the Fighters Pass, many speculated/hoped that the fifth character would be announced at The Game Awards 2019 as a Book-Ends to the pass. Barring a few nominations (including Game of the Year) and it winning "Best Fighting Game of the Year", Smash had no presence at the awards.
    • It was heavily assumed that Challenger Pack 5 would continue the trend of having third-party representations as DLC after already having 4. In particular, it was strongly believed it would be Dante since the game's producer told Devil May Cry fans that "a little something extra" would be announced for Switch players on January 16th, 2020, which so happen to coincide with the date of Sakurai's next presentation. It turned out that the announcement had nothing to do with Smash; and with the reveal of Byleth, the whole third-party character assumption was proven false.
    • Fans who wanted a Three Houses rep to be something for fans of all three houses expected something like a Pokémon Trainer-esque fighter involving the house leaders. Instead, Byleth can use their Heroes' Relics and has Palette Swaps based off of them.
    • Fans who expected the second pass to follow the same 5-fighter format got quite a surprise when a 6th spot was suddenly shown off.
    • Those who expected Spring Man to not be the ARMS fighter did so because he is an Assist Trophy. Rather, it is because the producer of ARMS personally requested Min Min and believes all of its characters are the protagonist.
    • For a long time, there was a debate as to whether or not a character being represented as a spirit means that character can't become playable. With the inclusion of Min Min, who was a spirit prior to her reveal, that debate has been put to rest for good.
  • Killer App: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was positioned as the keystone for Nintendo's holiday 2018 season, and it not only moved many Switch units when it launched but also sold so many copies itself that within just 4 months (13.81 million worldwide by then) it became the best-selling Fighting Game of all time.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Thanks to Dragon Quest X still not being localized at the time of the Dragon Quest Hero's release, this marks the first appearance of the hero from DQX to Western audiences.
  • Meme Acknowledgment:
    • This Nintendo Versus tweet announcing Richter's debut in Ultimate says "Enough talk! Have at you!" in reference to one of Dracula's lines from the infamous dialogue between Richter and Dracula in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The announcement of the Castlevania-themed event for the Spirit Board also riffs on this line.
    • This Nintendo UK VS tweet wishes luck to all the European players at the Genesis Smash tournament... with a picture depicting four King Dededes on Battlefield-form Summit, referencing the "European players are penguins" meme that started just days prior.
    • This Nintendo Versus tweet mentions the Plant Gang, Piranha Plant mains' term for themselves.
    • This Nintendo Versus tweet refers to Yoshi as "no fraud", in reference to the memetic allegations that Yoshi commits tax fraud.
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • SSB Ultimate's nature as a Dream Match Game is especially significant because it came out one month before the entire Super Smash Bros. series' 20th anniversary.
    • The first trailer for the game was released on March 8, 2018, one day before the 10th anniversary of the North American release of Brawl.
    • Ultimate brings back Young Link and Ganondorf's Ocarina of Time design, just in time for that game's 20th anniversary. Ganon's beast form from that game is also a boss.
    • The game's one-year anniversary gets celebrated with a Spirit Board event. In particular, the image that represents this event features every newcomer in Ultimate up to that point, as well as every other character that came back after being Put on a Bus in either Brawl or 3DS/Wii U (or both in Young Link and Pichu's case). Inkling even gets the Smash logo in her eye, again!
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The dialogue for Joker's reveal trailer at The Game Awards 2018 is different at the beginning from the version released on the Smash Bros. website. The Game Awards trailer has Joker mentioning he's infiltrated the Awards Show and the rest of his team are shocked he ran off alone until Morgana explains why. The online version removes all mentions of The Game Awards.
    TGA Version
    Joker: This is Joker, I've infiltrated the theater.
    Ryuji: Wait, seriously?! He went alone to The Game Awards?!
    Ann: But it's so far away, why is he there?
    Online Version
    Joker: This is Joker, the mission is go.
    Ryuji: Wait a second! You mean...he went alone?!
    Ann: What's so important that he'd run off by himself?
  • Name's the Same: Spirits with the same name are differentiated by adding the name of the game in parenthesis to their usual name.
  • Newbie Boom: As a running theme among first-party titles to the Nintendo Switch, this game brought in a whole ton of fans that had never played a Smash Bros. game before due to the hype train surrounding it before release and the Switch's install base, which has led to the game selling nearly Brawl's lifetime sales in a month. This has led to a lot of people experiencing many of the things that for 3DS/Wii U introduced. The boom was especially apparent in Japan, where the series had been decently popular but not nearly as popular as it was in North America; Ultimate managed to outsell the lifetime sales of the previous Japanese best-seller (for 3DS at about 2.5 million) in a bit over a month.
  • No Budget: According to Sakurai, the budget for the DLC characters' gameplay overviews practically ran out after Joker's flashy trailer, which is how the "mock livestream" setup, "Mr. Sakurai Presents", came about for the gameplay overviews for Hero, Banjo & Kazooie, Terry, Byleth, and a special, at home under quarantine set-up for Min Min. Fan reactions to this new setup have been very positive regardless.
  • The Original Darrin:
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Kengo Takanashi takes over as Link, replacing Akira Sasanuma after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
    • Zelda and Sheik are now voiced by Ayumi Fujimura (reprising her role as Zelda from A Link Between Worlds) rather than Jun Mizusawa. For a brief moment in the English World of Light introduction, Zelda is voiced by Brandy Kopp as well.
    • Dayci Brookshire takes over Hynden Walch's role as Viridi. In addition to recording all of Viridi's lines during the new Palutena's Guidance conversations, Brookshire also redubbed all of Viridi's old dialogue from Smash 4.
    • While Takashi Nagasako does return to replace Hironori Miyata as the voice of Ganondorf, he does not do so for his other major role as Donkey Kong, whom he voices in most games outside of the Smash series, with DK once again using his realistic gorilla roars from previous entries. This also applies to Bowser, Diddy, and King K. Rool, who all utilize Stock Sound Effects instead of being voiced by Kenny James, Katsumi Suzuki, and Toshihide Tsuchiya respectively.
    • Billy Bob Thompson takes over for Michele Knotz as the male Pokémon Trainer, though Knotz still reprises Squirtle in the roster. Additionally, Ivysaur is now voiced by Justin Anselmi rather than Craig Blair in English, and by Inuko Inuyama (replacing the late Tomoko Kawakami, who passed away of ovarian cancer in 2011) in Japanese. In the Italian version, Tania Di Domenico replaces Francesca Giudice as Pokémon Trainer.
    • Satomi Koorogi takes over for Shoko Nakagawa as the voice of Spiky-Eared Pichu in this game. The latter had originally voiced Spiky-Eared Pichu in Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
    • Transitioning from Assault to 64 3D and Zero: Takashi Ohara replaces Kenji Nojima as the voice of Fox, while Kosuke Takaguchi takes over for Hisao Egawa as Falco, and for Mahito Oba as Wolf.
  • Posthumous Credit:
    • Incineroar is voiced in Japanese by Unshou Ishizuka, who succumbed to esophageal cancer 4 months before the release of Ultimate.
    • Colonel Roy Campbell appears in the game via reused codec calls from Brawl. His Japanese voice actor, Takeshi Aono, died of a stroke in 2012. His passing is a heavily cited reason as to why there are no new codecs, since this was the exact reason why Campbell was retired from the series.
    • Grey Fox's Japanese voice clips were archived from Metal Gear Solid where he was voiced by Kaneto Shiozawa, who suffered a fatal cerebral contusion in 2000.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Ultimate features content from Snipperclips, made by a group that once named themselves the Super Flash Bros. after their love for the series.
    • Ray Chase loved Roy in Melee before getting to be his English voice actor.
    • Playtesters for the game include Japanese competitive Smash players.
    • An accidental example - the Masked Man Spirit used a fan-made sprite prior to Version 2.0.0, which was replaced by his canon sprite in that patch.
    • Abby Trott, the singer of the English version of "Lifelight", is a life-long fan of Nintendo and said that she cried when she was told that the song was for Smash.
    • Likewise, Erina Koga, the singer for the Japanese version of "Lifelight" was also a fan of Smash via playing as Kirby. She didn't actually know Sakurai created Kirby until she looked him up after meeting him in person.
    • According to Sakurai, it was a dream for Yuuki Kaji, the voice actor for Eight, to provide voicework for both Dragon Quest and Smash Bros. Kaji was more than happy to express his excitement on Twitter.
    • Sakurai himself used to play many SNK games in Japanese arcades and on the Neo-Geo, and the presentation video for Terry makes it very obvious that Sakurai is very ecstatic to be working with the characters from the games he grew up playing so much and eager to go over the games' history.
    • Zach Aguilar, the voice of male Byleth, said that it was a dream come true to voice him in Smash Bros.
  • Prop Recycling: Much like with Mega Man and Pac-Man almost entirely using unmodified sound effects from their original series, Banjo and Kazooie's voice clips are the same ones they had in their original games.
  • Reality Subtext: In Min Min's trailer, Ninjara is the ARMS fighter who has the most amount of screentime before she shows up. This reflects how Sakurai initially intended to choose him as the playable ARMS fighter, before Yabuki suggested Min Min instead.
  • Refitted for Sequel:
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
  • Role Reprise:
  • Screwed by the Lawyers:
    • In one of Sakurai's Famitsu Columns, he mentioned that it was either very expensive or very difficult to secure the rights to some of the music for a worldwide release. While he didn't say which franchises were affected by this, most people conclude that is the reason why the Final Fantasy and Sonic the Hedgehog franchises in particular have a limited amount of songs in the game. Similarly, this was also assumed for the Dragon Quest songs after Hero was released, due to the songs in the game only being in MIDI format, and their composer Koichi Sugiyama being infamously difficult to work with.
    • Similarly, among the very few songs from Brawl not returning for Ultimate are Checker Knights, which was originally from the Kirby anime, and all of the Strawberry Flower songs for the Pikmin stages, which no doubt would have carried a fatter price tag than the songs owned wholly by Nintendo.
    • The reason that Cloud still speaks Japanese in the localized versions of the games is because Cloud's English voice actor at that time before the end of the 2010s, Steve Burton, is a union member and the game's dub is a non-union project. Other union actors who appear in the game get around this by using pseudonyms or not appearing in the credits, but Burton's contract required that (a) he used to be the only one who could voice Cloud in English, and (b) that he must be credited using his real name in any project he appears in before he got replaced by Cody Christian. Furthermore, the Crispin Glover Rule in the SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement prevented Square Enix and Nintendo from just re-using Burton's archived audio of Cloud from past appearances without paying a ridiculously large amount of money. All of these rules and red tape combined make it impossible for Steve Burton to voice Cloud in Smash, in any shape or form and Ultimate had been developed and released long before Burton had been officially replaced by Cody Christian as Cloud's voice actor in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: Infamously, after Isabelle was revealed, the box for the Special Edition was unveiled, showing off every fighter revealed thus far (except for Isabelle) on the sides. Because of the way the characters were organized, it implied that only two characters were left to be revealed, with one of them being an Echo Fighter of one fighter from a specific set of characters. People figured out that the two missing characters were Ken and Incineroar, which the leaker Vergeben later confirmed.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • In English, David Vincent voices both Male Robin and Richter Belmont.
    • Yuri Lowenthal voices both Marth and Alucard.
    • As always, Charles Martinet voices Mario, Luigi, Dr. Mario, Wario, and Waluigi.
    • Xander Mobus returns as the Announcer and Master & Crazy Hand, and reprises his role as Joker, while Jun Fukuyama (who already plays Roy in Japanese) reprises as Joker as well. This marks the first time the voice actor of Master Hand shares a role with another member of the roster.
    • Ikue Otani voices both Pikachu (in all regions) and Morgana (in Japanese).
    • Billy Bob Thompson now voices the male Pokémon Trainer, as well as Greninja.
    • Brandy Kopp voices both Palutena and Zelda (though the latter only in the World of Light cutscene).
    • Travis Willingham reprises his roles as Knuckles and Guile, albeit through voice clips for most of them.
    • Banjo and Kazooie are both voiced by Chris Sutherland.
    • Cassandra Lee voices both Morgana and Sothis.
    • In both English and Japanese respectively, Matthew Mercer and Tomokazu Sugita voice Chrom and Yusuke Kitagawa. As a nod to this, Yusuke's spirit battle has you battle Chrom.
    • A majority of the Mii Fighter voices share Japanese voice actors with important characters: Type 1 (Yuji Kishi) is Ken, Type 3 (Takashi Ohara) is Fox, Type 4 (Ayumi Fujimura) is Zelda and Sheik, Type 5 (Ryotaro Okiayu) is Alucard and Zero, Type 6 (Makiko Ohmoto) is Kirby, Ness, Lyn and Viridi, Type 7 (Michihiko Hagi) is Ike, Type 8 (Minami Takayama) is Pit, Dark Pit and Knuckle Joe, Type 9 (Hideo Ishikawa) is Simon and Type 11 (Kiyoyuki Yanada) is Richter.
  • Teasing Creator: Nintendo had a bit of fun with this one: In the ARMS series DLC reveal for Ultimate, shown during the March 26, 2020 mini-Direct, the only clue given for the fighter representing the game was "This fighter's arms can exteeeend!". A quote punctuated by a character gallery for ARMS' entire roster.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Sakurai noted during an interview that the reversibility of the World of Light's Japanese title to refer to Kirby note  was a coincidence, but one that they did notice during development and ultimately left in.
    • In a less intentional case, the "Don't be late. [S]" message in Terry's reveal trailer actually stemmed from an in-joke among the staff, with the "S" in brackets standing for Sakurai. The man himself was quite embarrassed when he found out that it was left in, and he stated that the "S" could also mean Super Smash Bros.
  • Trolling Creator: In a jab at fans who complain that there are "too many anime sword-users," Byleth is initially shown off in his/her trailer using only sword attacks alongside other sword-wielders to fool those fans into thinking that he/she is just another generic Fire Emblem character. To show that Nintendo is well aware of this complaint, Sothis wryly remarks, "Too many swordsmen, are there?" and only after that is it revealed that Byleth can actually use a variety of different weapons.
  • What Could Have Been: Has its own page along with the rest of the series.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: Nintendo went nuclear when Smash Ultimate was leaked more than two weeks ahead of schedule, striking down YouTube channels (such as that of longtime game soundtrack uploader Crunchii) that uploaded music videos, Classic and World of Light videos, and generally a wide assortment of Smash footage.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: According to Sakurai, he ad-libbed the entirety of the Hero's trailer.

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