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Defy the laws of gravity in the wildest Mario Kart game yet!
"MARIO KAAART... EIIIIIGHT!!"
Mario

The eighth installment in the Mario Kart console series, available on the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.

Released on the Wii U in May 2014, it is the first game in the series to feature HD graphics, as well as the first one to have orchestrated music. The main gameplay concept of this installment is the addition of anti-gravity, which allows racers to drive on walls or even upside-down. Notably, the game also brings back several features from previous games in the series, such as the vehicle customization and the glider/underwater driving of Mario Kart 7, the motorbikes and 12-character races from Mario Kart Wii, and (in the Deluxe port) the unique Battle Modes that were exclusive to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

The game has reconciled unforgiving game elements that recurred throughout the series, such as having Lakitu immediately rescue you when you fall off the course like he once did in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, without going through a place-costing Fade to Black first. There are also less stipulations on getting star ranks (getting Triple Star in a cup in a higher engine class counts for all lower classes too), and several new power-ups, most notably the mighty Super Horn, a counter to the nemesis of all leaders, the Spiny Shell. However, items must be used before the item slot is freed, in contrast to how previous installments empty the item slot when certain items (such as shells and bananas) are dragged behind the kart instead of used immediately, though Deluxe features both Double Item Boxes and adds a second item slot akin to the one previously seen in Double Dash!!. The game also introduced Slow Motion cuts, which can be accessed via Mario Kart TV.

The game has amiibo functionality, compatible with several figures outside of the Mario universe that unlock Mii Racing Suits.note  The game was also the first Mario Kart to have paid Downloadable Content in the form of two packs featuring tracks, characters, and vehicle parts from The Legend of Zelda, Excitebike, F-Zero, and Animal Crossing alongside extra Mario universe content.

An Updated Re-release of the game was released in April 2017 for the Nintendo Switch under the name Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Deluxe not only includes the original game and the DLC additions, but adds new items and racers, including the Inklings, as well as a revamped Battle Mode with actual battle arenas.note  A June 2018 update for this port later added Nintendo Labo support, while a July 2018 update added a Breath of the Wild Skin for Link, along with the Master Cycle Zero as a bike, a matching set of tires, and a Glider based on the Paraglider. A December 2022 update would add "Custom Items" to the item ruleset, allowing players to freely choose the items that appear during a race.

In February 2022, it was announced that Deluxe would receive its own set of DLC called the "Booster Course Pass". Featuring 12 new cups released over the course of six waves, the DLC expansion features retro tracks from across the entire mainline Mario Kart series (including Mario Kart Tour, which was released after Deluxe itself), completely new tracks, and extra characters. Wave 1 released March 2022note ; Wave 2 was released August 2022note ; Wave 3 was released December 2022note ; Wave 4 was released March 2023note ; Wave 5 was released July 2023note ; and Wave 6 was released November 2023note . The Booster Course Pass is available both as a permanent one-time purchase, as well as a free rental for those subscribed to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.

    open/close all folders 
    Drivers 
(* denotes a character newly introduced to the series)

Starting Roster

  • Baby Daisy
  • Baby Luigi
  • Baby Mario
  • Baby Peach
  • Bowser
  • Daisy
  • Donkey Kong
  • Koopa Troopa
  • Luigi
  • Mario
  • Peach
  • Shy Guynote 
  • Toad
  • Waluigi
  • Wario
  • Yoshinote 

Unlockablenote 

  • Baby Rosalina*
  • Iggy*
  • Lakitu
  • Larry*
  • Lemmy*
  • Ludwig*
  • Metal Marionote 
  • Mii
  • Morton*
  • Pink Gold Peach*
  • Rosalina
  • Roy*
  • Toadette
  • Wendy*

DLCnote 

  • Cat Peach*
  • Dry Bowser
  • Isabelle*
  • Link*note 
  • Tanooki Mario*
  • Villager*note 

8 Deluxe

  • Bowser Jr.
  • Dry Bones
  • Inkling Boy*note 
  • Inkling Girl*note 
  • King Boo

8 Deluxe DLC

  • Birdonote 
  • Diddy Kong
  • Funky Kong
  • Kamek
  • Pauline
  • Peachette
  • Petey Piranha
  • Wiggler

    Tracks 

    Battle Tracks (8 Deluxe

    Booster Course Pass Tracks 

Mario Kart 8, as well as the Updated Re-release Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, contain examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: A notorious weakness of the Inklings in their series is that they can be defeated by being submerged in water due to it dissipating the ink in their bodies. Here, they're perfectly capable of using the underwater routes.
  • Adaptational Expansion: This game keeps the series tradition of bringing back tracks from previous games remade with newer graphics. But whereas previous games tried to recreate those retro tracks in every detail, Mario Kart 8 takes many creative liberties, adding plenty of graphical details that weren't in the originals, as well as changing the layouts and gameplay elements to accommodate for the newer mechanics. The tracks that got the most changes were ones taken from the SNES and GBA games, as those games were 2D but used Mode 7 to simulate 3D at the cost of requiring completely flat terrain, so the remakes would ditch the flat terrains in exchange for more ups and downs. The tracks Cheese Land and Ribbon Road look almost nothing like the originals even if you compare them side to side. Here's a comparison of all the tracks.
  • A.I. Breaker: The 200cc engine class, which is an extremely fast speed compared to the then-fastest 150cc class. 200cc has the speed cranked so high that the AI can barely handle it. Depending on the track played, you can see the AI smash into the walls or go flying off the track and into a Bottomless Pit. The clearest case of this is Cloudtop Cruise, which has a shortcut near the end involving driving off the track and landing on a series of small platforms. The AI is programmed to attempt this shortcut, and almost every single time, it will overshoot the platforms and fall off every lap, making it one of the easiest tracks to place 1st in 200cc (provided you've accustomed yourself to the track).
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Cloudtop Cruise, all of the Rainbow Roads, Wii Moo Moo Meadows, N64 Toad's Turnpike, GCN Dry Dry Desert, N64 Royal Raceway, Dragon Driftway, Wild Woods, GBA Ribbon Road, Big Blue, and Urchin Underpass. In British English, this also applies to 3DS Melody Motorway and 3DS Piranha Plant Pipeway. The Booster Course Pass also gives us Tour Paris Promenade, Tour Sydney Sprint, Tour London Loop, Tour Berlin Byways, Merry Mountain, Tour Singapore Speedway and Tour Vancouver Velocity.
    • Deluxe introduces Renegade Roundup as a new Battle Mode type.
    • Mario Motors, one of the in-game sponsors.
  • Alternate Catchphrase Inflection: When losing a race, Metal Mario says Mario's losing quote in reverse.
    Metal Mario: Mia Mama!
  • Alternate Self: Mario, Peach, Link and Bowser have alternate selves in the form of Metal/Gold and Tanooki Mario, Cat and Pink Gold Peach, Champion Tunic Link, and Dry Bowser respectively. A patch during the Booster Course Pass sliently adjusted it so the alternates of the first three can't appear as CPUs if another version is already present as either a player or another CPU racer, though Bowser and Dry Bowser can still co-exist, somehow. And then there's the baby versions of the various racers that can co-exist at the same time.
  • Always Night: Both N64 and SNES Rainbow Road now take place in a night sky rather than space. This also applies to Mario Kart Stadium, Twisted Mansion, Electrodrome, Bowser's Castle, N64 Toad's Turnpike, 3DS Music Park, Wii Grumble Volcano, 3DS Neo Bowser City, GCN Luigi's Mansion, Ninja Hideaway, Tour New York Minute, Merry Mountain, Tour Singapore Speedway, Wii Moonview Highway, Tour Vancouver Velocity, Tour Rome Avanti, Piranha Plant Cove, and 3DS Rosalina's Ice World. Additionally, GCN Sherbet Land and GCN Waluigi Stadium were switched to now set during nighttime instead of daytime. Subverted in Animal Crossing, where it's only nighttime in the winter variant, while all the other variants have daylight of some kind. Inverted with the previously night-themed DS Wario Stadium and 3DS Wuhu Town, as they were switched to now set in daytime instead.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: All five Rainbow Road tracks (New, N64, SNES, 3DS, and Wii) along with Electrodrome with all of the flashy colors.
  • Amphibious Automobile: Like in Mario Kart 7, all vehicles are suited for driving on land as well as underwater. They're all equipped with gliders for aerial driving in certain parts of the courses, too. The only courses where the bodies of water cannot be raced through are those whose layout doesn't incorporate them within their routes, such as Electrodrome and Royal Raceway.
  • Amusement Park:
    • Water Park combines this with Under the Sea, being a partially submerged amusement park with an ocean theme.
    • GCN Baby Park takes place on a ride in a more traditional amusement park that bears some resemblance to Disney Theme Parks.
    • Tour Sydney Sprint has the racers drive through Luna Park Sydney in the first and third laps.
    • Part of Tour Los Angeles Laps takes players through the real-life Santa Monica Pier.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • The Palette Swaps for Yoshi and Shy Guy could be obtained by purchasing both DLC packs in the original Wii U release.
    • Having amiibo allows you to unlock Mii Racing Suits.
    • In Deluxe, Gold Mario is a variant of Metal Mario that is unlocked by winning all Grand Prix cups on 200cc.
  • Anthropomorphic Typography: Both the Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8 versions of Music Park have giant music notes with faces that act as obstacles on the track, bouncing back and forth to the music.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In Animal Crossing, after the glider ramp, there are a bunch of Item Boxes hanging from balloons. You can get an item by hitting the Item Boxes proper, and you can also get them by breaking the balloons holding them up.
    • Unlike Wii and 7, players aren't allowed to freely vote for a course during Worldwide and Regional online play. Instead, this game offers a selection of three courses and a random course. This helps cut down the chances of playing the same course multiple times in a row, and makes sure there’s plenty of variety in courses.
    • Only one person in a group needs to own the Booster Course Pass in order for the whole group to vote for its tracks during local wireless and online play, whenever or not they were the host.
    • The only way to change characters and karts in Wii, 7 and 8 Wii U was by leaving the current game. 8 Deluxe allows you to change your combination while waiting in the lobby, so there's no need to leave.
    • While the Piranha Plant is active, the rear view camera gets adjusted slightly so that it doesn't block your view.
      • In the rare occurrence where a player has a Piranha Plant that is about to run out of time while in possession of a second item, and a Blooper is used by an opponent and locks the Piranha Plant into its eating animation, the player is still given access to their second item the moment the timer runs dry, even as the animation continues past what the timer would allow. This also means the Piranha Plant will eat the Blooper as normal, and the driver will thus not be affected by its ink.
    • Characters now hold their items, so it’s much easier to see what they have while focusing on driving. This is especially helpful in the Wii U version, since the GamePad isn’t easy to look at during a race.
    • Winning cups in 150cc will also award a trophy in the lower engine classes, which allows them to be skipped entirely.
    • The 2.2.0 patch alters the Lightning's behavior when it comes to players that are in the air with their gliders. Originally, being hit by Lightning while gliding would cancel out your glide and send you plummeting to the ground or Bottomless Pit below. Due to the patch adding the ability to change what items appear and thus making it possible for Lightning to be the only item, getting struck by Lightning won't make you crash to the ground while still making you shrink and lose coins.
    • Golden Mushrooms now have a timer that shows you how much time you have left until they run out of juice.
    • After being hit with an item, you have a few seconds of Mercy Invincibility so that you aren't stun locked to death. Lighting bypasses this, but you'll just shrink as normal instead of spinning out again.
  • Anti-Grinding: The amount of VR you obtain in online races is directly affected by how much the other racers have. If you have less than theirs, you'll obtain far more points even if you didn't finish in first place, though the reverse can also happen, forcing you to look for others with a large amount of VR.
  • Arc Symbol: A fair number of the tracks often feature the number "8" in some form.
    • Mario Circuit, Mario Kart Stadium, Animal Crossing, Super Bell Subway, and N64 Toad's Turnpike are shaped like a figure-8, while 8's Rainbow Road, N64 Yoshi Valley, N64 Rainbow Road, 3DS Neo Bowser City, GBA Cheese Land, and GBA Ribbon Road all have 8s in their track layouts. Ironically, Figure-8 Circuit from Mario Kart DS isn't in this game.
  • Arc Welding:
    • One of the "local information" maps in Super Bell Subway shows that the subway system is underneath the same town that N64 Rainbow Road hovers over. The map itself also appears to connect nearly all of the race courses.
    • From N64 Rainbow Road, it is possible to see the Princess Peach Statue of Liberty from Toad Harbor and the course itself.
    • On Sunshine Airport, the intercom in the terminal makes announcements for flights to Sweet Sweet Canyon and Dolphin Shoals, and an advertisement for GCN Dry Dry Desert can sometimes be seen when you're driving through the main terminal.
    • There's an advertisement in Toad Harbor for Shy Guy Metals, the mining company that forms the setting for Shy Guy Falls.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Mario Kart 8 is the first HD game in the series, and boy does it show. The courses in this game feature far more detail than the ones in previous installments. This includes the retro tracks, which get total graphical revamps (DS, Wii and 7 just made the barriers and enemies 3D, and didn't change much of the scenery).
    • The Booster Course Pass DLC started with fairly direct imports of courses from Mario Kart Tour with only minor improvements to the lighting and texture work, which made for quite a drastic Art Shift. As the DLC waves carried on, the new tracks steadily became more detailed and polished, to the point where courses like Merry Mountain and DS Peach Gardens would not look out of place in the base game. Later updates also gave spit-shines to the older DLC courses to keep them in-style with the newer ones.
  • Art Shift: The race tracks in Booster Course Pass go back to the more cartoony style of the GameCube-7 era, as the aesthetics for the courses are taken directly from their appearances in Mario Kart Tour.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The game is one in itself when compared to its predecessors, but it also provides an interesting case of an art shift happening within the same installment. The original game tracks (and the ones from its Downloadable Content) all use a heavily detailed, pseudo-realistic art style, unlike the brightly colored, cartoonish settings of Mario Kart games past. The Updated Re-release Mario Kart 8 Deluxe kept this aesthetic for the newly added battle courses. In that version's DLC, though, many of the new courses are lifted from Mario Kart Tour and use a slightly updated version of its simplified, stylized, low-detail art style, including for tracks that didn't have Tour counterparts at the time. Even brand-new courses like Sky-High Sundae use this art style. While it works better on some tracks than others, playing a course from the base game, then one from the DLC back-to-back can be pretty jarring.
  • The Artifact:
    • The wooden Goomba and bush cutouts in 3DS Piranha Plant Slide were originally created to demonstrate the 3DS's stereoscopic 3D capabilities, similar to the objects littered throughout Super Mario 3D Land. The Wii U and Switch can't pull off the same effect, yet the cutouts still remain.
    • The 1.6.0 update replaces the Skyward Sword Link with the Champion Link as the default hero, yet the one chosen for the title screen and loading screen is still the Hero of the Sky.
  • Artifact of Attraction: Like in Double Dash!!, the Shine Sprite in Shine Thief entices human players to have a strong tendency to congregate around the Shine and to follow closely behind the Shine holder, often resulting in them getting in each other's way and enabling the Shine holder to escape. Strangely, while in this game there are CPU-controlled characters in the mode, the trope doesn't apply to them.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • 200cc is a challenging race for players and the AI alike. Computer-controlled racers still attempt to drive as if they were in a 150cc race, resulting in a lot of bashing into walls and falling off course. This was fixed for Deluxe.
    • The first Goomba on Tour New York Minute is placed such that the AI in first will consistently ram into them while trying to drift.
    • Computer players will still use a Spiny Shell even if they’re currently in first place.
  • Artifact Title: The Booster Course Pass DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was initially called that because it was focused entirely on adding new courses to the game. The second half of the DLC began adding new characters as well, yet the original name remains.
  • Ascended Meme:
  • Astral Finale: Rainbow Road takes place in and around a space station. N64 Rainbow Road takes place above a city. Averted with the original DLC, as SNES Rainbow Road is the second course of the Triforce Cup, while the last course of the original DLC is Big Blue. For the Booster Course Pass, 3DS Rainbow Road represents the end of the first half (being the last course of the Moon Cup), while Wii Rainbow Road is both the final course of the Spiny Cup and the final Booster Course Pass course overall.
  • Athletic Arena Level:
    • Mario Kart Stadium is designed like one, resembling an F1 Grand Prix course. What makes it different is the anti-gravity sections, which include a segment where the drivers have to descend into the surface as a landing plane.
    • Battle Stadium, which is a Deluxe battle stage set in a stadium similar to Mario Kart Stadium.
    • Excitebike Arena, a giant motorcycle obstacle course based on, well, Excitebike.
    • DS Wario Stadium and GCN Waluigi Stadium, which are stadiums with a motocross/dirtbike theme.
    • Four of the city tracks feature sports stadiums as part of their layouts, these being the Float @ Marina Bay Stadium in Tour Singapore Speedway, the Dodger stadium in Tour Los Angeles Laps, the Rogers Arena in Tour Vancouver Velocity, and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Tour Madrid Drive.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: There are only a handful of car parts that improve the Speed stat, but they all have a likewise net loss in the rest of the stats:
    • Slim tires increase Speed and decrease Acceleration by .25 each. However, Traction goes down by .5 for a .25 increase in Handling, for a .25 loss in stats.
    • Metal and Gold tires increase Weight and decrease Acceleration by .5 each, while Traction takes a .5 hit for a .25 buff in Speed, for another .25 loss in stats.
    • The Circuit Special and its reskins, as well as the Slick tires, all have the same attributes; they increase Weight and decrease Acceleration by .25 each, while Traction takes a whole 1.0 loss for a .5 buff in Speed, for a .5 loss in stats; while it's possible to perfectly balance heavier characters to match the acceleration and handling of lighter onesnote , you cannot turn lighter characters into speedsters without sacrificing a little ability.
  • Badass Biker: With the return of bikes (and the introduction of ATVs), Link's default vehicle is the Master Cycle.
  • Balance Buff: The Booster Course Pass Wave 4 update also came with a balance update that buffed virtually the entire roster except the most played racers, karts and wheels in an attempt to curb the drastic predominance of certain characters and vehicles. This includes a .25 buff to all stats for everyone except most of the heavyweights, as well as .25 mini-turbo buffs for lightweights and some middleweights, several karts, and all wheels except the Roller, Azure Roller, Button and Leaf Tires.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the December 2013 edition of Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata introduced a trailer for an announced upcoming 2014 game as their "last title to show". A promotional animation was then shown that suggested a Kirby was coming to Mario Kart 8... before it turned out to be an unrelated trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (those games and MK8 were all scheduled for 2014). Iwata then showed a real gameplay trailer for MK8, commenting beforehand that Sakurai must have anticipated that they'd have news to share for this game since they hadn't discussed with him what content other than Smash Bros. would be featured on the Nintendo Direct.
  • Band Land:
    • 3DS Music Park, going as far as having some parts of the track modeled after instruments like a piano, a drum, or a xylophone.
    • Electrodrome has parts of the track where different layers are added to the music, like on the anti-gravity split path segment.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames:
    • Wii Grumble Volcano takes place in an active volcano.
    • Bowser's Castle is set with a background that closely resembles a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: The background Toads on Rainbow Road and 3DS Rainbow Road need spacesuits, but the racers don't.
  • Bat Scare: Swoopers appear as hazards in the cave portion of Mount Wario, as well as tunnels in N64 Yoshi Valley, Wii Wario's Gold Mine, N64 Choco Mountain, and 3DS Rock Rock Mountain. In Hyrule Circuit, Swoopers are replaced with Keese to fit with The Legend of Zelda crossover.
  • Bat Signal: A Bowser Signal is present in the skyline of 3DS Neo Bowser City.
  • Battle in the Rain: 3DS Neo Bowser City takes place at night during a rainstorm.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Boomerang Flower allows players to throw up to three boomerangs when they get it.
  • Beanstalk Parody: Part of Cloudtop Cruise takes place on a giant beanstalk.
  • Big Boo's Haunt:
    • Twisted Mansion takes place in a haunted, distorted mansion populated with Boos, and even includes an underwater section to give the Fish Bones some screentime.
    • The Luigi's Mansion battle course from Double Dash!! makes a return appearance in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
    • In the DLC of Deluxe, Boo Lake returns from Super Circuit as the second race of the Rock Cup.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Bowser's Castle is a more aggressive and sinister version of this. The Booster Course Pass DLC also brings Ninja Hideaway, which takes place in and around a Japanese castle. N64 Royal Raceway features Peach's more fairytale-styled castle in the background.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The intercom voice in Super Bell Subway speaks in (grammatically incorrect) German.
  • Bookends:
    • The staff ghost for the first course, Mario Kart Stadium, is Mario himself. The staff ghost for the final course in the second DLC Pack, Big Blue, is also Mario, as is the 150cc staff ghost for the final course in the Booster Course Pass, Wii Rainbow Road.
    • The title screen theme ends with an arrangement of the title screen from Super Mario Kart. The end credits of the Booster Course Pass begins with an arrangement of the end credits theme from the same game.
    • 8 initially ended with N64 Rainbow Road, which begins with a steep incline that now features anti-gravity and was from the game that initially had the most courses represented in 8's selection of classic courses. The Booster Course Pass ends with Wii Rainbow Road, which features a similar downwards incline now also in anti-gravity, and is from the console game with the most courses represented in 8 Deluxe as a whole.
    • The first wave of DLC for the Wii U version of 8 had a track from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Kart Wii each, one of which was a circuit track. The final wave of the Booster Course Pass has one course each from the first two games and two from Wii, with one of them also being a circuit track.
    • The first classic course in 8 was Wii Moo Moo Meadows. The final classic course in 8 Deluxe is Wii Rainbow Road, from the same game as Moo Moo Meadows.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: In Deluxe, ff you make the grueling effort to complete the 200cc version of all cups, you get rewarded with... Gold Mario, who is nothing more than a Palette Swap of Metal Mario. A number of players will admit that they were expecting something more than just a recolor of an existing character for completing the game's hardest mode.
  • Bowdlerise: The Shy Guys in Sunset Wilds no longer wear feathered headresses, nor do they live in tipis. They're now miners who are staying in camping tents, which is consistent with Tour.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • The item distribution is no longer based on where you rank. For races, it is determined by the distance difference between 1st place and yourself, meaning that getting super powerful items is no longer limited to just last place and can be obtained by 2nd place if the distance from 1st is that far off. For battle, it is based on the time elapsed in minutes.
    • The base Mario Kart 8 is the only game in the series to not feature a Bowser's Castle or SNES Mario Circuit as part of the retro courses. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, would eventually rectify this by bringing back SNES Mario Circuit 3 and Bowser Castle 3 in the Booster Course Pass.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • For the babies, Toadette, and Waluigi, who were excluded from 7. Dry Bowser returns in the April 2015 DLC. Bowser Jr, Dry Bones and King Boo, absent since Mario Kart Wii, returned in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
    • In terms of items, Deluxe brought back the Boo item last seen in Mario Kart DS (which turns you invisible while also stealing another player's item), and in the updated Battle Mode, brought back the Cape Feather from the original Super Mario Kart. It also brings back the double item mechanic and Double Item Boxes last used in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
    • Deluxe also brings back two Battle Modes from Double Dash!! that haven't been seen since 2003, Shine Thief and Bob-Omb Blast, as well as encoring the Luigi's Mansion Battle map that was introduced in Double Dash!!
    • Birdo, whose last appearance in the console games was back in 2008, returns in Wave 4 of the Booster Course Pass.
    • The Yoshi's Island course in Deluxe is the first new Yoshi-themed track in 15 years, with the last new one being Yoshi Falls from Mario Kart DS.
    • Yoshi's Island brings back a number of characters from the Yoshi's Island series, such as Nep-Enut and Poochy, who were last seen in Yoshi's Crafted World (the former having its first ever appearance outside of said series in this track), and the Huffin Puffin, who last appeared in 2005's Mario Party Advance.
    • From Wave 4 onwards, the Booster Course Pass brought back characters from prior entries in the franchise, with the ones originating from the non-Tour games having been missing from the console titles for over a decade. Specifically:
      • Birdo, who is only seen in the "Women of Racing" ads on N64 Royal Raceway and the "Sydney Music Festival" banners in Tour Sydney Sprint. She's also mentioned by the intercom in the terminal in Sunshine Airport. She would eventually become playable in Wave 4 of the Booster Course Pass, nine years after the original Wii U release.
      • Wave 5 of the Booster Course Pass brings back Petey Piranha and Wiggler, who haven't been seen in a console game since 2003 and 2011, respectively.
      • Diddy Kong and Funky Kong, both last seen in a console game with Mario Kart Wii, finally make their return in Wave 6 of the Booster Course Pass.
    • A Blue and Yellow Toad appear as the poster characters for the Two-player Online feature (and can sometimes be seen floating in space in the online play menus, along with a Green Toad). They previously appeared in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario 3D Land.
    • The classic F-Zero characters, including Captain Falcon, appear on electronic billboards scattered throughout Mute City. None of them are playable, though, unless you have a Captain Falcon amiibo.
    • Many of the special characters from the Animal Crossing series appear on its course, along with several pre-determined villagers.
    • A reconstruction of Luigi's Mansion appears as a theme park attraction in the background of GCN Baby Park. The original mansion is brought back as a retro Battle stage in Deluxe.
    • Multiple Mini-Toads and yarn Yoshis can be seen in GBA Ribbon Road.
    • Several enemies and NPCs from the Yoshi's Island series appear on Yoshi's Island — Stilt Guys and Huffin Puffins appear as obstacles, and Petal Guys, Goonies, Poochy, and a giant Nep-Enut appear in the background.
  • Cap: 99,999 VR is the maximum amount of points you can accumulate in online races and battles.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Attempting to cut through the spiral around Jupiter in 3DS Rainbow Road will result with Lakitu towing you back.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Featured on the front of the Koopa Clown Car in Deluxe, as well as two Koopa Clown Car-themed jack-in-the-boxes on the glider segment of GBA Ribbon Road.
  • Christmas Episode: Merry Mountain, set in a cheery mountaintop village at Christmastime, returns from Mario Kart Tour in the third wave of the Booster Course Pass DLC — which, fittingly, released in December 2022.
  • Clockworks Area: Tick-Tock Clock returns from Mario Kart DS and adds up many details like countless gears, bells, pendulums, etc. It also takes place in a giant Clock Tower.
  • Compressed Adaptation: N64 Rainbow Road, known for being one of the longest Mario Kart tracks ever back in its original console, is a lot shorter in the 8 revamp. It's now one long lap divided into three segments.
  • Continuity Drift: In spite of first appearing on Tour in December 2020, April 2021, and February 2023 (respectively), and official material stating that same information, Merry Mountain, Ninja Hideaway, and Piranha Plant Cove are presented in-game as original courses.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Several of Tanooki Mario's tricks are references to Super Mario 3D Land: in particular, one of them is a reference to his artwork (which is in turn based on an artwork of Raccoon Mario from Super Mario Bros. 3), and his anti-gravity trick sees him transform into a statue.
    • The eight different Shy Guy colors were available in Download Play for Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7, but they can now be accessed as a bonus for purchasing both DLC packs, or as a default feature in Deluxe.
    • Sunshine Airport features a Koopa-shaped island during the final gliding section, similar to N64 Koopa Troopa Beach.
    • The Snowmen in GCN Sherbet Land are now given blue caps and orange scarves, resembling not only the enemies in previous Mario Kart titles but also a similar group of Snowmen in Paper Mario 64.
  • Cool Crown: In Deluxe, the leading player in points for all the Battle modes (or whoever is carrying the Shine in Shine Thief) except Renegade Roundup wears a giant sparkly crown.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Electrodrome is one the size of a city, with upbeat rave music playing from every wall of speakers, multiple crowded dance floors, and a giant disco ball.
  • Cosmetic Award: Gold Mario in Deluxe, a variant of Metal Mario who is unlocked by completing every cup on 200cc. There's no real reason to play as him over Metal Mario other than to show people you've unlocked him.
  • Credits Medley:
    • The Staff Credits theme, unlike past Mario Karts, which tended towards entirely original pieces, features excerpts from a variety of songs from the rest of the game, most notably Mario Kart Stadium, Electrodome and Mount Wario (which segues perfectly into a reprise of the original Super Mario Kart theme, which itself makes its usual appearance in the new title screen theme if you wait around long enough).
    • Deluxe includes an additional credits medley, which plays when obtaining all cups (3rd place or higher) of the Booster Course Pass. This medley includes not only an arrangement of the credits theme from Super Mario Kart, but also arrangements of Tokyo Blur, Ninja Hideaway, Berlin Byways, Singapore Speedway, Vancouver Velocity, Los Angeles Laps, Madrid Drive, and Sky-High Sundae.
  • Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle: In Deluxe, the female Inkling would make a Bicep-Polishing Gesture whenever she hit someone with an item. This was patched out in the game's first patch: now the Inkling simply fist-pumps.
  • Crossover:
    • The first two batches of DLC include Link, the Blue Falcon, two Villagers, Isabelle, and new tracks based on the series they come from.
    • Deluxe adds the Inklings and a Splatoon-themed Battle course, Urchin Underpass.
    • 3DS Wuhu Town, a crossover with Wii Sports Resort, is brought back from Mario Kart 7 as one of the Battle stages in Deluxe.
    • Using certain amiibo in the game also unlock various Mii Costumes that include non-Mario characters such as Samus, Olimar, and Kirby, as well as non-Nintendo characters Sonic, Mega Man, and Pac-Man.
  • Cruise Episode: GCN Daisy Cruiser returns as part of Deluxe's Booster Course Pass DLC. As in past appearances, it's a luxury cruise ship in the middle of the ocean that also serves as a racetrack. Notable changes to it include Innertube Goombas floating on the pool and the moving tables being occupied by Toads, Shy Guys, and Yoshis.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: 3DS Neo Bowser City takes place in a driving rainstorm at night, with an overhauled skyline.
  • Death Glare: When two characters pass each other, they'll stare for a brief moment. This can have an unsettling effect with certain characters, such as Luigi or Yoshi.
  • Death Mountain:
    • The base game introduces Shy Guy Falls, in which the drivers have to go through a large waterfall with anti-gravity.
    • N64 Choco Mountain in Deluxe's DLC, complete with falling rocks and mine detour.
    • 3DS Rock Rock Mountain reappears in the Rock Cup with its rolling rocks, pine forest, and steep slopes (which are now an anti-gravity sequence).
    • GCN DK Mountain returns in the Acorn Cup, launching racers to the top of a volcano and challenging them to race back down.
  • Demoted to Extra: Several:
    • Paratroopas become audience members on Cloudtop Cruise, GCN Dry Dry Desert, 3DS Piranha Plant Slide, 3DS Neo Bowser City, and several Booster Course Pass courses.
    • While not to the degree of the above examples, the 1.6.0 update for Deluxe demotes the classic green tunic Link design to an alternate costume, as his face icon on the character select is replaced with that of the newly added Champion Link based on Breath of the Wild costume, making him akin to the alternate color Yoshis, Shy Guys, and Inklings. Even once he's changed to the default by selecting him from the pop-up menu, the icon remains that of the new costume. The same happens to Metal Mario once you unlock Gold Mario, as Metal Mario becomes treated as an alternate skin to Gold Mario. Finally, starting with the release of Wave 6 of the Booster Course Pass, the female Villager and the Inkling Boy are demoted to alternate skins of the male Villager and the Inkling Girl respectively in order to make space in the roster for Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, Pauline and Peachette.
    • Subverted by five characters who initially didn't make the cut in the original release of Mario Kart 8, but were promoted back to playable characters through DLC expansion packs or the Deluxe release.
      • Dry Bones initially is reduced to a course hazard in Bone-Dry Dunes and spectator in Bowser's Castle and 3DS Neo Bowser City. Deluxe promotes him back to playable.
      • Dry Bowser becomes a Desert Skull in Bone-Dry Dunes. The April 2015 DLC pack promotes him back to playable.
      • Bowser Jr. becomes the mascot of the Bowser Ship in GCN Baby Park. Like Dry Bones, Deluxe also promotes him back to playable.
      • Birdo is reduced to appearing on a sign in N64 Royal Raceway in the original Wii U release and initially in Deluxe. She eventually returns as a playable character in Wave 4 of the Booster Course Pass.
      • Wiggler only appears as an ATV, a carving in Ninja Hideaway, and obstacles in the returning Wii Maple Treeway and DS Mario Circuit. It makes a return in Wave 5 of the Booster Course Pass alongside Petey Piranha and Kamek.
  • Desert Skull: Dry Bowser's skull is seen in Bone-Dry Dunes.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Of a sort. Playing as Wendy in Deluxe will ensure Peach and Daisy as opponents.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Like in 7, you can customize your vehicle, and greatly so if you have all of the DLC packages. It is impossible for a combination to have any stat less than 1 or greater than 5.75. Furthermore, the vehicles are not weight-class restricted, so any character can get any vehicle. In the base Wii U version, once all DLC is included, there are 37 vehicle bodies (22 karts, 6 outside drifting bikes, 5 inside drifting bikes, 4 ATVs), 21 sets of tires, and 14 gliders available for usage, for a total of 10,878 possible combinations of vehicle, tires and glider. Deluxe has 41 vehicle bodies (23 kartsnote , 7 outside drifting bikesnote , 5 inside drifting bikes, 6 ATVsnote ), 22 sets of tiresnote  , and 15 gliders available for usagenote , for a total of 13,530 possible combinations of vehicle, tires, and glider.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If a player uses a Boo, and no other racers on the track have any items, the Boo will automatically supply the player with a Mushroom.
    • Ramming into a rock on the Animal Crossing track will sometimes result in a coin popping out of it. This is referencing the "Bell Rock" mechanic in the Animal Crossing series, where once per day, hitting a certain rock with a shovel or an axe causes Bells to come out of it. Since players are conditioned to avoid hitting obstacles on the road, almost no one would even think to try this unless they're familiar with the Animal Crossing games.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Naturally, using Circuit Special, B-Dasher or Sports Coupe and Slick tires together on the heaviest characters results in nearly maxed Speed with a hefty Weight stat to mow through race tracks and opponents. Unfortunately, you'd better have a good grip on drifting turns and avoiding items if you don't want your horribly slammed Acceleration, Handling, and Traction to get in the way.
  • Disco Tech: Electrodrome, a very psychedelic course where several parts are illuminated with different lights and effects. The Piranha Plants are adorned with these effects as well.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • Mario Kart 8 features Mercedes-Benz karts as free DLC (part of a cross-promotion with the company that was also incorporated into Super Mario Maker), released on August 27th, 2014.
    • Released in November 2014 and April 2015 respectively are two add-on packs, which include retro courses such as Wii Wario's Gold Mine and GBA Ribbon Road, new courses and karts based on The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Animal Crossing, and Excitebike; and characters including Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link from The Legend of Zelda, two Villagers and Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Dry Bowser. Eight different-colored Yoshis and Shy Guys are included with purchase of both packs. All of this content is embedded by default into the base game for Deluxe.
    • Several updates were added to improve the overall game experience. For example, previous updates have included raising the VR Cap to 99,999, adding the ability to display the minimap on the TV screen, tracking in-game totals such as how many coins you've collected, enabling amiibo support to unlock Mii Racing Suits, and adding the crazy-fast 200cc mode.
    • Deluxe would later get its own round of paid DLC with the "Booster Course Pack". There are six waves of content, each consisting of eight courses from previous titles (including the later-released Mario Kart Tour), that were released beginning on March 18, 2022 and continuing into 2023.
  • Down the Drain:
    • 3DS Piranha Plant Slide features the drivers going down a sewer system that's mostly dry, until reaching a water-filled section.
    • Squeaky Clean Sprint features a more literal interpretation of this, as drivers eventually find themselves getting sucked down a bathtub drain with screws and a diamond ring clogged inside it.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: During online play, the rank display in the HUD disappears when on the last stretch of a track on its final lap, increasing suspense for close finishes (this is also done for technical reasons, to account for the potential lag).
  • Driving Up a Wall: For the first time in the series, tracks include vertical and upside-down sections of track that karts can drive on. During these sections, brushing up against opponents and certain obstacles provides a speed boost.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: The Animal Crossing DLC stage has four different variants that move between seasons, but also between the time of day. The spring track is in the morning, summer occurs during the day, autumn is in the evening, and winter takes place at night.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Instances in the Booster Course Pass in 8 Deluxe:
    • Sky-High Sundae's inclusion in the Booster Course Pass is meant to be this, as the track would be released in Mario Kart Tour less than a week after Wave 2's release.
    • Yoshi's Island's inclusion in Wave 4 and Squeaky Clean Sprint in Wave 5 is also this, as both tracks were released in Mario Kart Tour only almost a month after the wave's launch.
    • Tour Sydney Sprint includes elements of the Sydney Sprint 3 route in its second lap/segment. Sydney Sprint 3 was about a month and a half off from launch in Tour at the time Wave 2 released. This oddity also occured with Tour Athens Dash, as the latter hadn't yet introduced the third route in Tour itself by the time the full course was added to 8 Deluxe in Wave 5.
  • Easier Than Easy: Deluxe adds optional "auto-steering" and "auto-acceleration" features that prevent you from falling off the course and moves the kart forward without having to bother with the button, respectively.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Totaka's song can be heard on any track with Yoshi spectators (as Kazumi Totaka is the voice of Yoshi), albiet barely, since it's normally drowned out by the background music. Notably, this is the first time the song makes an appearance in a game that was not composed by Kazumi Totaka.
    • If you don't have an item, you can tap the button you use for items to sound the horn. The only thing it does is spook nearby drivers.
    • Some courses, such as Water Park and GCN Yoshi Circuit, have a map posted on billboards within the course. These maps are exactly the same as the minimap found on the Gamepad screen and the TV.
    • Holding down the L, R, ZL, or ZR buttons on the GamePad or Joycons when selecting the Animal Crossing course in Vs. mode or the Crossing Cup in Grand Prix mode will guarantee a particular season for the course (e.g., L will set the course in spring, R will set the course in summer, ZL will set the course in autumn, and ZR will set the course in winter). You have to invert the button order for Mirror Mode (R for Spring, L for Summer, ZR for Autumn and ZL for Winter).
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: In Deluxe, you can't get the Ultra Mini-Turbo if you're using Smart Steering. Using Smart Steering also makes an antenna stick out of the kart / bike, which makes it pretty obvious that it’s in use.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: The Mercedes-Benz DLC, though only the GLA model is contemporary.
  • Evolving Music: Like in Mario Kart 7, being in first place and at full speed adds extra instruments to the track - except on 50cc.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Water Park perhaps holds the honor of having the most straightforward course name in the series.
  • Expansion Pack: Five years following its release, Deluxe received a massive expansion known as the Booster Course Pass. It incorporates 48 extra courses that add to the existing 48 from the base content (thus doubling the total to 96), and are released in six waves between 2022 and 2023. Starting with the fourth wave, it also adds characters that weren't originally present in the roster.
  • Expy Coexistence: A Statue of Liberty-esque statue of Peach can be seen from Toad Harbor and N64 Rainbow Road. In the Booster Course Pass, the real Statue of Liberty can be seen in Tour New York Minute.
  • Fake Longevity:
    • Combined with Moving the Goalposts; be prepared to take a long time if you're trying to get all the parts. They unlock when you reach certain milestones of collected coins. However, they not only unlock randomly (making it difficult to get the part you want), but once you reach specific coin milestones, the frequency of parts unlocking decreasesnote . Not only that, but unless you complete at least one race or battle, those coins don't count, AND you can only collect 10 at a time (any more coins collected after that don't count, period). Essentially, unlocking the parts ends up becoming a combination of both grinding and farming, and that's not getting into the gold parts, which have their own unlocking criteria.note  Also, if you're trying to go for a perfect run, it's possible (especially in the higher difficulties) to not get a first place win, even though it was not the player's fault whatsoever...
    • Finally averted to an extent with trophies and stars; earning them for a cup on 100 cc or 150 cc will have them count for lower classes too. It still doesn't apply if you use Mirror or 200 cc, however.
  • False Camera Effects: Lens flares, of course. Rain gets on the camera lens in 3DS Neo Bowser City, as does waterfall mist in Big Blue.
  • Fantastic Fireworks: Many fireworks depicting Mario characters are fired into the night sky during the race on N64 Rainbow Road.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: N64 Yoshi Valley takes place in a nature reserve for the Yoshis, known as the Wild Yoshi Sanctuary.
  • Four-Seasons Level: The Animal Crossing course changes seasons each time it's played. Only summer appears in time trials, though.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Lightweight characters are divided into six subcategories and some middleweightsnote  actually are closer to this trope.
    • Concerning vehicles, the examples below concern the Deluxe version:
      • The Fragile Speedsters of this game are the silly-looking Biddybuggy and Mr Scooty: they give little-to-no top speed, no weight and average traction, but a ludicrous acceleration and mini-turbo coupled with a smooth handling. Roller tires enforce every single aspect of the vehicle along with Cloud, Parachute, Flower and Paper Glider.
      • Landship and Streetle give slightly less acceleration, handling and mini-turbo than the vehicles above, but slightly better top speed and traction. Button and Leaf tires reduces the traction, but enforces the mini-turbo.
      • Pipe Frame, Varmint, and City Tripper are slightly less light and more controllable, but also less stable.
      • Standard Bike, Flame Rider, Wild Wiggler, and W 25 Sliver Arrow have less acceleration and mini-turbo, but more top speed and traction.
      • Cat Cruiser, Comet, Yoshi Bike, and Teddy Buggy are a bit heavier but less stable. Sponge and Cushion tires make them more stable and preserve their acceleration, but make them weaker everywhere else.note 
  • French Accordion: As was the case with the original version of the track, the main instrument in Tour Paris Promenade, the capital of France, is an accordion.
  • Friendly Fire: In team-based gameplay, after being averted in Mario Kart Wii, items can now be used to attack drivers on the same team. The only exception to this is the Lightning Bolt, which only strikes everyone on the team opposite of the user's.
  • Funny Background Event: On lap 3 of London Loop, the Chain Chomps scattered around the track all break off their chains and start roaming the course. Most are moving hazards... but if you look in the background, one of them is just splashing around in the River Thames.
  • Furry Confusion: Bloopers, which are relatively normal squid, appear alongside the heavily anthropomorphized Inklings in Deluxe.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: On Ninja Hideaway, if you're playing on 200cc or use a Mushroom at the wrong time, you can jump off the ramp on top of the final shuriken platform and land on an arrow sign, becoming unable to move. Sometimes your character will slide off on their own eventually, but other times, the only way to escape is to quit out of the game.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • On Electrodrome, even if Larry Koopa is being used as a racer on the track, he'll still appear in the live video feed as the silhouetted DJ.
    • On Big Blue, when reaching the final section of the course, the announcer from F-Zero X will shout "YEAH! THE FINAL LAP!" despite the course being a point-to-point race. Ironically, the other F-Zero course, Mute City, does use a circuit with three laps — but it uses the standard Final Lap jingle used by every other course.
    • The Inklings will instantly dissolve if they fall into water in their home games. In 8 Deluxe, they're granted the same Super Not-Drowning Skills as everyone else so that they can drive through underwater sections of courses, though they'll still be yoinked out by Lakitu if the water is out-of-bounds (again, like everyone else).
    • Dry Bones and Dry Bowser can be harmed by Fire Flowers, which they’re normally immune to. Justified as while the characters themselves are immune, their karts aren't.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • Mario Circuit is a Mobius Loop. You go twice around the course in one lap, once normally and then upside-down.
    • The F-Zero tracks, Mute City and Big Blue, are completely done in anti-gravity. There are no coins on the track; instead, you have to obtain coins by driving over recharge strips, though you can still obtain coins from item boxes and by knocking them out of other racers.
    • Excitebike Arena features a basic stretched-oval track layout, which changes every time you play it. There are over 200 possible layouts. The exception is in Time Trials, where there is just one standardized layout.
    • Big Blue and Mount Wario are point-to-point races, done in three segments instead of three laps.
    • Animal Crossing has four different seasonal variants, with each variant having a different version of the music, and different hazards. Except in Time Trials, where Summer is the sole season used.
    • GCN Baby Park retains the gimmick of having 7 laps (like in Double Dash!!, and unlike in DS and Tour where it only has 5), due to the course being so short, and, like the F-Zero tracks being entirely within anti-gravity.
    • N64 Rainbow Road and 3DS Rainbow Road are single-lap tracks divided in three segments.
    • Wild Woods is the only track where the start-finish line is on an anti-gravity segment, but the track itself isn't entirely done in anti-gravity.
    • The city tracks from Mario Kart Tour have been brought back with Deluxe's Booster Course Pass in an interesting way: rather than just bringing a single variant of the cities to Deluxe, all variants have been combined into a single track, allowing players to race through different paths per lap:
      • Paris Promenade's first and second laps use the same route: a combination of the original Paris Promenade 1 and 3, in which racers race forward after going around (or right under) the Arc de Triomphe. But in the third lap, the racers have to take a turn to the right at the Arc de Triomphe, and keep racing straight forward like in Paris Promenade 2, essentially racing the rest of the track backwards.
      • Tokyo Blur, New York Minute, Vancouver Velocity and Rome Avanti all have each lap take a different route, matching the equivalent numbered Tour variants for each stage. The only major change regarding Vancouver Velocity is that the second lap uses the clockwise orientation seen in 2R instead of the counterclockwise one seen with the original 2.
      • Sydney Sprint's first lap is that of Sydney Sprint 1, while its second lap begins with the Sydney Sprint 3 route before diverging into Sydney Sprint 2's route for the rest of the lap, which continues into the third lap (itself being the first driven backwards).
      • London Loop's first two laps are respectively based on London Loop courses 1 and 2, while the final lap combines the first half of London Loop 2 with a portion of London Loop 3R.
      • Berlin Byways' first lap is based on Berlin Byways 2. The second lap is based on Berlin Byways 3, but with racers driving past the Brandenburg Gate and traveling along the ending of Berlin Byways 1 back to the start-finish line. The third lap then emulates Berlin Byways 1.
      • Amsterdam Drift's first lap is based on Amsterdam Drift 1. The second and third laps are based on Amsterdam Drift courses 2R and 3R respectively. This makes the course stand out for largely relying on the R (reverse) versions of its original variants for their 8 Deluxe incarnation.
      • Bangkok Rush's first lap emulates Bangkok Rush 1. The second lap starts with a portion of Bangkok Rush 2 before following the route of Bangkok Rush 3, and the reverse is the case for the third lap.
      • Singapore Speedway is a track that uses both laps and segments. First, racers do a lap around Singapore Speedway 1. The second segment (which makes up for the first half of the second lap) takes racers through Singapore Speedway 3's Chinatown, before joining Singapore Speedway 2, going through Merlion Park and gliding over to a road beneath the Marina Bay Sands. Here, racers hit the checkpoint to denote the start of the final segment (making up for the second lap's later half). Racers complete Singapore Speedway 2, then do a lap around Singapore Speedway 3 to return to the finish line.
      • Athens Dash combines laps and segments like Singapore Speedway (and by extension N64 Kalimari Desert), but executes the idea in reverse order. It's the first lap which features two segments (respectively based on Athens Dash 1 and 3), meaning that the "second lap" is actually the second half of the first and uses an extra starting line, while the real second lap (labeled as the "third") begins when the player returns to the original starting line and then goes to a new segment based on Athens Dash 2. As a fun fact, Athens Dash 3 hadn't debuted yet in Tour by the time this track made its debut in Wave 5 of the Booster Course Pass.
      • Los Angeles Laps uses exclusively segments, namely a total of three for one unified lap similar to the Wuhu Island and Rainbow Road courses seen in Mario Kart 7. The first segment is based on Los Angeles Laps 1, the second on 3 and the third on 2. This means the connecting routes are reconfigured so the player transitions between them directly, making it so it's never necessary to return to the starting line until the end of the race.
      • Madrid Drive goes through the three variants of its Tour incarnation in reverse order. The first lap is based on Madrid Drive 3, the second is based on Madrid Drive 2R, and the third is based on Madrid Drive 1. And like in Tour, the track features a Variable Mix for when drivers drive within the Prado Museum and another for when they drive within the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
    • In a similar method, N64 Kalimari Desert combines both it and Kalimari Desert 2 from Tour into one, with the first lap being the original route and the second and third laps being both sections of Kalimari Desert 2.
    • Sky-High Sundae, much like the F-Zero tracks and GCN Baby Park, is entirely in anti-gravity.
    • DS Peach Gardens, brought back for Wave 3 of the Booster Course Pass, is reconfigured to be raced in similar fashion to Paris Promenade. You drive the first two laps running clockwise around the course, then on lap three are redirected down an alternate path and do a lap around the course in reverse.
    • Despite not being based on a real-life city, Piranha Plant Cove from Mario Kart Tour adopts their idea of layout combination for its racetrack in 8 Deluxe, incorporating the routes of Piranha Plant Cove 2, 1 and 3 (in that order) into one unified track where each lap takes place into one of them.
  • Glass Cannon: The game officially prevents these combinations from happening, but you can still invoke this trope with a little imagination. The examples below only apply to the Deluxe edition:
    • Taking the most powerful lightweights (Toad, Shy Guy or Larry Koopa) or the lightest middleweights (Cat Peach, Female Villager, Inkling Girl or Diddy Kong) with one of the vehicles below, Slim, Wood or Crimson Slim tiresnote  and your favorite glider turns them into Glass Cannons (even if they are still on the Fragile Speedster's side). This also works with heavyweights on similar vehicles with Roller tiresnote , even if they actually tend to be well-balanced.
    • These examples have all have the second-to-best land top speed, a below average mini-turbo and the bikes have inside drift, a strong handicap considering how drift works in this game: Prancer, Sport Bike and Jet Bike only have an above nothing weight and below average acceleration; Sneeker, Gold Standard and the Master Cycle bike have a slightly better weight, but no traction, making them less stable; Blue Falcon and Splat Buggy correct the problem of traction and give slightly better acceleration than the previous examples, but are extremely light and have less handling, making them more imprecise.
    • This also works in another way if you simply take a speed combo for the light characters mentioned above, for example the Circuit Special on Slick tires for Toad: you become slighty faster than Mario with the Standard combination and remain as controllable (which is a strong advantage on 200cc), but you are more vulnerable to off-road because of the low acceleration, lack stability because of the low traction, and are still too light compared to the rest of the cast.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Now go karting with the Koopalings too, since they became playable for the first time in a Mario game.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The game brings back the unlockable gold kart parts from 7, and adds a gold motorbike as well. There's also Pink Gold Peach is the Distaff Counterpart to Metal Mario. She's like Peach, but made of pink gold. The Deluxe version adds the unlockable Gold Mario, who is just a gold version of Metal Mario.
  • Grand Finale: Three of them:
    • N64 Rainbow Road is this for the base game of 8, as it is a drastic remake of Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64 that makes liberal use of anti-gravity, changes the setting to the skies above Toad Harbor at night, and is now divided into three sections rather than being three laps long to compensate for its long length.
    • Big Blue is this for the DLC and the base game of 8 Deluxe, being a crossover track with F-Zero to cap off the crossover-based DLC of 8, but split into three sections and being completely in anti-gravity with a layout featuring many twists, turns, corkscrews, and other designs that wouldn't be possible without anti-gravity.
    • Wii Rainbow Road is this for the Booster Course Pass as well as 8/8 Deluxe as a whole, on account of it being the longest and one of the most difficult tracks in the game, as well as entirely set in anti-gravity, and being a fan-favorite track from the bestselling game in the series after 8 Deluxe.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
  • Gravity Screw: A major selling point of the game is the anti-gravity feature.
  • Guest Fighter: Isabelle and two Villagers from Animal Crossing, Link from The Legend of Zelda, and the Blue Falcon from F-Zero in the paid DLC packs. Also the promotional Mercedes-Benz karts which are downloadable for free. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe adds the Inklings from Splatoon. The 1.6.0 update adds Link in his Breath of the Wild incarnation while demoting the original Link to secondary costume.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • To activate LAN play in Deluxe, go to the main menu, hold in L and R, then push in the left analogue stick. This is never explained.
    • The game doesn't tell you about the Mini-Turbo stat. It's hidden from the character/kart selection menu. You'll notice other racers "Snaking" as much as you are yet somehow pulling away, leaving you in the dust. Most players confuse it for Speed or Acceleration - it's neither and its importance cannot be understated. Knowing about it, and which characters drift boost the best, can make a huge difference on track straights or curves.
  • Hammerspace:
    • All of the characters do this when they get an item from the roulette.
    • Whenever Link does a boost jump or trick, he somehow produces his sword and raises it. He can also produce the Triforce when performing a trick off an anti-gravity ramp.
    • Inklings pull their Splattershots out of nowhere for Jump Boosts and victory animations.
    • Kamek pulls out his wand when performing a trick and during victory animations.
    • Three of Pauline's tricks (one for karts and two for bikes) involve her pulling out a microphone stand out of nowhere. When performing a trick off an anti-gravity ramp, pyrotechnics will also appear.
    • Funky uses his surfboard in most of his tricks, manifesting it out of nowhere.
  • Harder Than Hard: 200cc mode, released in April 2015. On top of the crazy speed and the required use of the brakes, not only is the computer even more of a cheating bastard, but it will also make full use of shortcuts whenever it gets a mushroom.
  • Head Desk: Carrying over from 7, whenever Donkey Kong gets 7th place or lower in a race while using a bike or ATV, he will slam his head into the dashboard of his vehicle repeatedly.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The DLC course Wild Woods has a Shy Guy village in the trees located in the deepest canopy of a forest. Due to the vertical architecture of the village, a big portion of the course is accordingly positioned that was as well, but keeps all drivers attached via anti-gravity technology for a smooth race.
  • High-Altitude Battle:
    • Cloudtop Cruise takes place on a floating beanstalk, actual clouds, an airship, and an anti-gravity platform through a thundercloud.
    • Sunshine Airport has an elevated anti-gravity platform hovering just off the edge of the runways.
    • All five versions of Rainbow Road take place in the sky. N64 Rainbow Road takes place over the same city that Toad Harbor and Super Bell Subway are set in. The 8 Rainbow Road, the Deluxe battle stage Lunar Colony, and the Wii Rainbow Road all take place just above the planet's atmosphere, while the 7 Rainbow Road winds its way through deep space.
    • GBA Sky Garden, as the name would imply, takes place in the clouds.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Mario Kart 8 has some bugs in regards to certain walls, fences, ramp sides, and barriers that previous games didn't have. The effects of this dissonance can vary depending on the surface, but players have found themselves stopped completely just by simply brushing up against the surface's side or when boosting, being thrown 90 degrees away from the surface's side. Items that are shot ahead often bounce off these sides back at the users even if the user fires them at an angle.
  • Hubcap Hovercraft: Whenever a vehicle is on an anti-gravity section, its wheels turn sideways.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The British English version retains the Dub Name Changes from 7 for Music Park and Neo Bowser City (Melody Motorway and Koopa City respectively), but the banners and screens within the courses that read their name aren't edited.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: Some tracks, like Cloudtop Cruise, Rainbow Road, Big Blue, and Tour Singapore Speedway, have sets of conveyor belts placed beside one another and going different directions. (Wii Coconut Mall features escalators that work the same way.) Per function, the ones going the same direction of the course give you a slight boost; the ones going against the course slow you down slightly.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Shy Guy Falls, where part of the course has racers driving up and down a giant waterfall.
  • Interface Spoiler: Averted with the drivers added with the Booster Course Pass: Although 5 question marks were added to the character select screen on Wave 4 (and 2 remained when Wave 5 introduced three characters), there were actually 8 drivers added in total thanks to Wave 6 merging the two Inklings and the two Villagers into one each to make extra room.
  • In Name Only:
    • Some of the retro courses are so overhauled that they are almost unrecognizable. On the other hand, some retro courses that were this in their home games are given overhauls that make them more true to their names (N64 Toad's Turnpike actually taking place near a tollbooth, DS Wario Stadium having a giant statue of Wario, GBA Boo Lake actually having water, etc.) thus turning them into aversions.
    • The GBA courses get this a lot. Cheese Land now has lots of hills, and new shortcuts and hazards. Ribbon Road goes from being one long red ribbon set on the blue carpetnote  of what seems to be a sky palace with large presents in the background, to being a multicolored ribbon around a toy castle in a bedroom. Among the tracks added to Deluxe via the Booster Course Pass, the most overhauled is Riverside Park, which (like in Mario Kart Tour) takes place in a dense jungle and goes through the interior of a cavern with a waterfall, instead of a wide-open rainforest.
    • N64 Toad's Turnpike gets this because, even though it's the same basic figure-8 layout, the original course had no backdrops, other than the giant sound barriers along the side of the highway. Now there's a city in the backdrop on the front half of the course, and the back half of the course takes place in forests on the outskirts. Some of the walls are also anti-gravity segments.
  • Jack of All Stats:
    • The middleweights have varying stats, but the more straight examples are Mario and Luigi: concerning the Deluxe version, the latter has a stronger handling but less traction. Ludwig and the middleweight Miis follow Mario while Iggy follows Luigi.
    • Mach 8, Sports Coupé and Inkstriker subvert this trope in a special way: they are slightly heavier than Standard Kart and have more traction, but less acceleration and handling, while remaining balanced nonetheless. However, these are only the official stats: the game doesn't show their anti-gravity top speed which is more important than every other vehicle, including the officially most powerful ones like Circuit Special or B Dasher.
    • The game allows any character to take the vehicle they want to with the tires they prefer and their favorite glider. More than cosmetic, all of these elements have strengths and weaknesses that impact your gameplay. However, that means you can take a heavy combo for a lightweight (or the opposite) and have this trope in action to varying degrees: balance is the reason behind the popularity of the (in)famous "Waluigi on Wild Wiggler with Roller tires and Paper Glider" combo.
  • Jiggle Physics: Peach and Daisy have subtle breast physics when they are in their dresses, most noticeable with Peach's victory animation and Daisy's select animation. Hilariously, Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi have jiggle physics for their mustaches.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Baby Rosalina is introduced in this game, as well as the returning baby forms of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Daisy. Deluxe adds Bowser Jr. to the roster.
  • Kirk's Rock: The diagonal cheese stacks in the background of GBA Cheese Land distinctly resemble the rocky deserts of the southwestern United States, but is actually made of cheese. Some of the formations in the background are loosely modeled on the Vasquez Rocks. This wasn't the case for the original Mario Kart: Super Circuit iteration of Cheese Land, which was far more generic because of graphical limitations of the time.
  • Land of Tulips and Windmills: Tour Amsterdam Drift. The track features spots of grassland on the outskirts of the city with tulips and windmills.
  • Large Ham: Several characters, but most notably is Mario himself, who sounds like he's on helium most of the time.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • In Grand Prix mode, getting triple stars in some of the faster classes (especially 200cc) and Mirror Mode can border on insanity when the computer decides to hate your guts. It's quite common for many players to have their triple-star runs ended in-progress due to either:
      • CPU item spam when you don't have any items or just Coins in first place.
      • Not getting any helpful items while the CPU in first place speeds to the finish and the other CPUs don't get anything good to slow the lead CPU down.
      • Getting knocked off the track by CPU attacks, track hazards, or CPU shoving, allowing other CPU to pass ahead to the finish.
      • A CPU using a Mushroom to pull ahead on the last lap and steal first.
      • In Deluxe, getting absolutely showered with items during the final stretch.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Bowser's Castle, Wii Grumble Volcano, and SNES Bowser Castle 3. In all three courses, fire serves as the primary obstacle in the form of Fire Bars, Fire Snakes, falling volcano debris, and rising lava. DS Wario Stadium and GCN Waluigi Stadium have spinning fire rings.
  • Level Ate:
    • Sweet Sweet Canyon is made of cakes, doughnuts, candy, and other treats. The battle stage Sweet Sweet Kingdom in Deluxe is similarly themed, with a slightly remixed version of Sweet Sweet Canyon's music.
    • GBA Cheese Land looks more appetizing than before. There are even large formations in the far background shaped like slices of pizza, with Toad houses on top resembling pepperoni.
    • The DLC of Deluxe adds Sky-High Sundae, a level made of ice cream.
  • Level in Reverse: In addition to the classic Mirror Mode, which reverses all racetracks per tradition, there have been tracks from the Booster Course Pass from Deluxe that invoke the trope without needing that mode:
    • The final lap of Tour Paris Promenade has the player travel the course backwards after being forced to turn right at the Arc de Triomphe.
    • The final lap of Tour Sydney Sprint is the first lap driven in reverse.
    • The final lap of DS Peach Gardens is driven in reverse owing to a new pathway at the first flower patch unused in the other versions leading to the mansion's left side.
    • A cross-game example involves both Amsterdam Drift, Vancouver Velocity and Madrid Drive. In all three tracks, the second lap is based on the reverse version of the course's corresponding second variant; for Amsterdam Drift, this also applies to its third lap, which is based on the reverse version of its third variant.
  • Level in the Clouds:
    • Cloudtop Cruise, which is designed in the style of Gusty Garden Galaxy of Super Mario Galaxy fame. The drivers have to go through clouds as well as branches of giant beanstalks, an airship from Super Mario Bros. 3, and a mechanical anti-gravity platform through a thundercloud.
    • The Booster Course Pass DLC brings back Sky Garden from Super Circuit, which takes place among an assortment of clouds, beanstalks, and mushrooms.
  • Lighthouse Point: Not only does the Cheep Cheep Beach lightouse reappear, but the track Bone-Dry Dunes also has lighthouses that oversee the sand rivers.
  • Living Statue: In Bowser's Castle, a section of the road that splits around an even larger statue of Bowser who will alternate between punching both paths, flattening any race who gets in the way.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • Cloudtop Cruise's theme switches to an overdriven guitar variant during the thunderstorm part of the track, which during normal gameplay plays for about 12 seconds before you return to the calmer part.
    • N64 Rainbow Road's theme. You'll very likely already be done with section 2 and kick in the Final Segment version of the song before you've made the song loop once.
    • The title screen music is a very long, varied piece, but it cuts to different music as soon as you've made your initial main menu selection.
    • The "Final Lap version before full loop" also applies to Big Blue.
    • The moon's rendition of 3DS Rainbow Road also applies.
    • Both instances where you enter Chinatown in Tour Singapore Speedway have a unique rendition of the song. But it's so short that you are unlikely to hear the full theme.
    • Like in Mario Kart Tour, the sections of Madrid Drive that go through the Prado Museum and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium have unique remixes of the course's main theme; however, since drivers will go through those areas very briefly, the remixes will have very little time to be heard.
  • The Lost Woods:
    • Wild Woods, naturally, featuring gigantic trees and lily pads to race on, and a Hidden Shy Guy Village for good measure.
    • Wii Maple Treeway returns as the finale of the Rock Cup, winding its way around a gigantic maple tree and the surrounding forest in mid-autumn.
  • Ludicrous Speed: 200cc engine class can have shades of this. Some glider and boost pads can exaggerate this more so. Many of the tracks have to be altered to allow for the faster speeds, whether that be depowering the Boost Panels or increasing the localized strength of gravity.
  • Macro Zone:
    • One of the DLC tracks is GBA Ribbon Road, which now takes place in a child's bedroom, much like Toy Time Galaxy.
    • Wave 5 of the Booster Course Pass for 8 Deluxe introduces a brand-new track called Squeaky Clean Sprint, which takes place in a giant bathroom.
  • Mad Bomber: Returning from Double Dash!! in Deluxe, Bob-omb Blast revolves around all characters gathering Bob-ombs from the Item Boxes to throw them at each other to pop the rival balloons. Since characters now revive after losing all their balloons (unlike in Double Dash!!), the challenge consists on scoring points, and whoever explodes the most rival balloons after time expires will get the highest score, winning the round.
  • Maneki Neko: Though the Lucky Cat powerup from Super Mario 3D World remains exclusive to that game, the orange bell that grants it makes a symbolic cameo in 8 Deluxe to represent the second Booster Course Pass cup (which, not coincidentially, features the Japan-related courses Tokyo Blur and Ninja Hideaway, both from Mario Kart Tour).
  • Megamix Game: The Booster Course Pass DLC is one big Megamix DLC, consisting of remasters of tracks throughout the Mario Kart series, from Coconut Mall to Choco Mountain. Notably, this includes tracks from Mario Kart Tour, which was released long after the original Mario Kart 8 as well as 8 Deluxe itself.
  • Me's a Crowd: There's no limit to how many players in an online room can play as the same character. This can result in strange rooms.
  • Metropolis Level:
    • Toad Harbor is a racetrack located in a seaside city that is very reminiscent of San Francisco, California. Features include a marina with sail boats, a train station, and an outdoors market. Interestingly, the track also features a statue of Princess Peach inspired by the Statue of Liberty.
    • The original DLC adds Super Bell Subway, where drivers race through a metro station, being also able to go over trains if they know where to go.
    • N64 Toad's Turnpike and 3DS Neo Bowser City both take place in the center of bustling cities, the latter with a Cyberpunk flair. The Booster Course DLC adds in many courses from Mario Kart Tour based on real cities, these being Paris Promenade, Tokyo Blur, New York Minute, Sydney Sprint, London Loop, Berlin Byways, Amsterdam Drift, Bangkok Rush, Singapore Speedway, Athens Dash, Los Angeles Laps, Vancouver Velocity, Rome Avanti, and Madrid Drive. In addition, it also brings back Wii Moonview Highway, which has part of the titular highway take racers through a city section.
  • Mickey Mousing: Several elements move in time to the music, such as the stereo on the Badwagon and the Super Horn item. They even speed up on the final lap. In addition, a few courses do this as well:
    • At Electrodrome, objects like the disco balls, Piranha Plants, and stars to the side move with the music.
    • At 3DS Music Park, the instruments in the background move with the music, as well as the Piranha Plants, the metronome and the Bouncing Notes.
    • At DS Tick-Tock Clock, the several gears in the background all move along to the music.
    • In SNES Rainbow Road, the hills in the background change color in time with the music.
    • GCN Baby Park has the music increasing in tempo and pitch every time a lap is cleared.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The original iteration complexifies heavyweight characters' classification a bit by making Metal Mario a Stone Wall while Deluxe pushes it further by distinguishing light and heavy Cruisers, but also old school heavyweights separated from more skilled based ones who maintain the top speed and gain handling and traction at the cost of some weight.
    • The vehicles examples below only reflect the Deluxe version:
      • The Circuit Special, B Dasher, and P Wing have the best top speed in the game coupled with a decent weight, but just above nothing acceleration, handling and traction stats. Slick and Cyber Slick tires are the best to amplify their power and making them a bit easier to drive, but they conserve their other handicaps.
      • The Badwagon, Standard ATV, and Mercedes GLA are more traditional: unlike the original iteration, they have the same top speed as the above with the maximum weight and the second-to-best traction, but their other handicaps are worse than the previous examples. Metal and Gold tires amplify their powers and make them a bit easier to drive too, but reduce their traction and makes them even slower to start.
      • The Steel Driver, Tri-Speeder, and Bone Rattler have the same weight as the above, the second-to-best top speed on land and the best underwater, but only a below average traction and above nothing acceleration and handling. The Off-Road, Retro Off-Road, and Triforce Tires and making them more stable and balanced, they still remain hard to drive.
  • Minsky Pickup: Sweet Sweet Canyon, Deluxe battle stage Sweet Sweet Kingdom, N64 Yoshi Valley, and GCN Baby Park all feature the pickup.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • Some character share stats with each other, such as Mario, Ludwig, and a medium Mii.
    • A few parts have identical stats.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: The Cape Feather, which previously appeared in all modes of Super Mario Kart, is exclusive to Battle Mode here. It is used to jump over obstacles and incoming attacks.
  • Musical Nod:
    • Mount Wario is partially a rearrangement of Athletic Theme 2 from Super Mario 3D World.
    • The Chinese music on Dragon Driftway and Dragon Palace seems to take a few cues from Super Mario Land's Chai Kingdom.
    • Hyrule Circuit's music makes several nods to classic Zelda themes, such as Zelda's Lullaby and both the Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess versions of Hyrule Field. In addition, the item roulette sound is replaced with the music that plays when opening a chest in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
    • Animal Crossing, meanwhile, has four different themes, one for each season, featuring nods to every game across the series. The first half of each theme is a cover version of the main theme for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, played with different instruments to correspond with the respective seasons. The second half changes to incorporate music from the Animal Crossing series depending on each season:
      • Spring — The main theme for Animal Crossing (2001).
      • Summer — The second half of the main theme for Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
      • Autumn — The main theme for Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk.
      • Winter — A medley of the music that plays on Christmas Eve and the 7 PM theme in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
      • The results theme is replaced with a piano cover of The Roost in all versions.
    • Mute City and Big Blue both have remixes of their respective themes from the F-Zero games. The opening and results themes are also replaced with the corresponding tunes from the SNES version of F-Zero. The final lap jingle is also taken straight from F-Zero X.
    • Super Bell Subway adds a dynamic bassline based on the original Super Mario Bros. underground theme when in the train tunnels.
    • The dramatic new awards ceremony theme where your trophy and ranking is displayed after the MKTV recap features a few moments containing the opening notes of Mario Kart 64's ending theme.
    • Cloudtop Cruise includes parts of Gusty Garden Galaxy and Sky Station Galaxy.
    • The Urchin Underpass battle course in Deluxe has several:
      • The Background Music for the course is a cover of "Splattack!", one of the random battle themes in the original Splatoon and the closest thing to a "main theme" the series has.
      • The item roulette sound is replaced with the sound effects for the Stat Slot.
      • When one minute is left in timed matches, the music changes to a slightly abridged remix of "Now or Never!"
    • The Yoshi's Island track features a cover of the original game's Athletic theme (which hadn't had an official arrangment since 2011's Fortune Street), and the opening, victory, and results theme are all rearranged from the original game as well.
    • Wii Rainbow Road retains the brief sample of Good Egg Galaxy's music from Super Mario Galaxy, along with the rest of the elements in that course themed after Galaxy.
  • My Future Self and Me: The baby characters, who are the past selves of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Mario Kart 64's Rainbow Road appeared in F-Zero X and was remade for Mario Kart 8. Blue Falcon from the F-Zero series appeared in Mario Kart Wii and returns to 8 as a kart along with two F-Zero-themed tracks.
    • In the F-Zero tracks, you get coins by driving over recharge strips.
    • In Animal Crossing, sometimes a Bell will come out if you hit a rock.
    • The Blue Falcon has 111 written on the side, which is what was on the Blue Falcon on the cover of the original F-Zero (before X and GX/AX confirmed the Blue Falcon's number to be 07).
    • Some of the time trial ghosts make references to what world the Koopalings were bosses in Super Mario Bros. 3. For example, Lemmy is the ghost of GCN Sherbet Land (Iced Land), Ludwig is the ghost of 3DS Piranha Plant Slide (The Pipe Maze), and Wendy is the one in Dolphin Shoals (Ocean Side).
    • Promotional artwork of Link for Deluxe has him holding the Boomerang Flower Boomerang, which operates exactly like the boomerangs in his home series.
    • In Hyrule Circuit, the coins have been replaced with Rupees, the Piranha Plants and Swoops in the last section have been replaced with Deku Babas and Keese, and the item roulette sound has been replaced with the music that plays when opening a chest in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and when you hit all the crystals inside the castle staircase and reveal the Master Sword shortcut, it plays the "secret revealed" fanfare from the Zelda games.
    • In Mute City and Big Blue, the race intro jingle and victory results music are replaced with the corresponding music from the original F-Zero game. Instead of there being coins on the tracks, there are energy strips like the recharging ones in F-Zero that refill your coins, complete with the recharge sound effect from F-Zero X (though it's still possible to get coins from item boxes). Big Blue even calls out "YEAH! THE FINAL LAP!" upon reaching the third segment.
    • The Animal Crossing track is filled with nods to its origins for dedicated fans. For example, mimicking the games' change in seasons, there is a chance the track will change its season when you next play it. Coins are replaced with Bells, collecting an item makes the appropriate sound, Mr. Resetti appears taking the place of Monty Moles, and multiple important NPCs appear as spectators near their respective establishments (The Able sisters near their shop, for example). The theme for Nook's Cranny can faintly be heard as racers drive past. Even K.K. Slider can show up, and he of course plays music on his guitar. There are even little touches like Public Work Projects from New Leaf — park benches, a fountain, and balloon arches — being scattered across the track. Like the F-Zero tracks, the race results theme is replaced, in this case with a piano cover of The Roost's Background Music.
    • Urchin Underpass, the Splatoon battle course, features remixed music from the source game, replaces the item roulette sound with that of the Stat Slots, and replaces coins with the Inkopolis "Cash" currency, with the appropriate sound effect playing once collected.
    • The promo art for the Nintendo Labo support update in Deluxe shows Mario and Luigi driving on thin air using the Toy-Con, just like the cover for Mario Kart Wii where they used the Wii Wheel.
    • Shy Guy Metals has been around since 1987, which was the year Shy Guys made their debut. Likewise, advertisements for Mario Motors claims it’s been in business since 1992, the year that Super Mario Kart released.
    • The first lap of Tour Berlin Byways is based on its second layout, while most other city courses base their first lap on the first layout. This reflects how Berlin Byways 2 was the first version of the course released in Mario Kart Tour.
    • Yoshi's Island contains many references to the Yoshi's Island series it's based off of, such as the course's layout referencing the various worlds seen in the original game, various enemies from the series making cameos, the course's banner featuring the Yoshi's Island logo rather than the normal Mario Kart one, and even Poochy making an appearance near the starting line, resting on Yoshi's mailbox. The Staff Ghost for this course is Baby Mario, referencing his prominent role in the game. In addition, despite being based on Yoshi's Island, the starting line is based on Yoshi's House from the original Super Mario World, complete with the overhang, mailbox, and fireplace.
    • The Staff Ghost for DS Mario Circuit is Mario in the B Dasher, which was the kart featured on the box art for Mario Kart DS.
    • The easier Staff Ghost for Tour Amsterdam Drift is Daisy in a vehicle that uses the Wood tires and Super Glider. This is a reference to Daisy Hills from Mario Kart 7, because both courses are themed around the same setting (Land of Tulips and Windmills), the aforementioned vehicle parts debuted in the 3DS game, and Daisy Hills was the princess' Home Stage there.
    • Kamek's horn sound is his dialogue sound from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
    • In Grand Prix mode, Wendy's rivals are Peach and Daisy as opposed to another Koopaling like the rest of her brothers, which is a nod to Wendy considering Peach and Daisy to be her rivals in past Mario games.
    • Petey Piranha has the same stats as Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach (maximum weight, subpar acceleration and good top speed), the same stats his car, the Piranha Pipes, had in Double Dash! and after his inclusion, he and King Boo became mutual rivals in Grand Prix mode, referencing their partnership in the GameCube game.
    • A screenshot for Wave 6 of the Booster Course Pass recreates the box art, bringing everything full circle.
    • Falling off in Wii Rainbow Road will result with your character burning up in the atmosphere, just like in the original game.
    • Pauline's horn is the sound that plays when you complete a level in the original Donkey Kong.
    • The 150cc ghost for GCN DK Mountain in Time Trials is Funky Kong, who was the ghost for GCN DK Mountain when it first returned in Mario Kart Wii.
    • 3DS Rosalina's Ice World and Wii Rainbow Road are in the same cup, referencing how both are tracks based off of Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Nerf:
    • Bikes can no longer wheelie (a measure taken to prevent it from being overpowered, unlike in Mario Kart Wii). They will still do one when you get a speed boost from a mushroom or a Boost Panel, but it's just visual.
    • On the Wii U version, players can only hold one item at a time, and any items you trail are still considered to be in your item slot, preventing you from picking up another item. Deluxe rectifies this with the ability to hold two items.
    • Offroad speed is now the same for every character and vehicle combination.
    • Bob-ombs take longer to explode.
    • Spiny Shells now can be destroyed by using the Super Horn. Deluxe amps up Spiny Shell rates to counter the Super Horn, but reduced its travel speed, enabling players to outrun it on 200cc given enough speed.
    • Deluxe also nerfs Red Shell travel speed.
    • Deluxe gets rid of fire-hopping from the Wii U version, where a player could hop repeatedly from left to right after a Mini-Turbo to maintain speed for a bit longer.
    • A December 2022 update removed the Lightning Bolt's ability to knock any gliding players out of the sky like in Mario Kart Tour, but will still shrink them and make them lose their items.
    • Ver. 3.0 removed the ability to camp out at item boxes to get strong items.
  • New Neo City: 3DS Neo Bowser City, which now has a greatly overhauled skyline.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: A post-release update added 200cc, increasing the speed by roughly 35% over 150cc. The AI is still the same as 150cc, however, resulting in Artificial Stupidity as the AI failed to account for the speed increase, so once you master the difficulty of driving at 200cc speed, the mode stops being much of a challenge. This was fixed in Deluxe.
  • Non-Indicative Name: GCN Dry Dry Desert now has a giant oasis.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • Downplayed with Villager Girl, who is the only character in the roster to have a brown seat on the Standard Bike rather than the typical black seat everyone else uses. This was likely done to make sure the seat didn't blend in with her black plants.
    • Averted with Link, as his design was heavily tweaked and simplified, giving him proportions similar to that of Rosalina or Waluigi. The Animal Crossing and Splatoon characters on the other hand already had suitable cartoony designs that meshed well with the Mario universe.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • By default, there are four "Nitro" cups (Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special) with 16 new tracks, and four "Retro" cups (Shell, Banana, Leaf, and Lightning) with 16 tracks from older Mario Karts. The DLC cups (Egg, Triforce, Super Bell, and Animal Crossing) include seven older Mario Kart tracks, as well as nine tracks that include new tracks and crossovers with other games.
      What sets 8 apart is that it goes a step beyond the previous games when it comes to the retro tracks. In the old games, they usually just ported the old track as was and modified it to incorporate the new physicsnote . The retro tracks in 8 have been remade with updated HD visuals, new set pieces and remastered music. This means the retro tracks look and feel new with the upgrades, but they also still play in a way most old fans would remember them for. On top of all this, some retro tracks use the anti-gravity and glider mechanics to give the old tracks a fresher feel to them without deviating from the original design of the tracks.
      Another thing 8 does with its retro tracks, that none of the predecessors ever did, was to modify the banner for the start-finish line to something appropriate for the settingnote . The remastered tracks also have all-new recordings of their soundtracks rather than remastering the original soundtrack. Particularly in-depth remasters include N64 Rainbow Roadnote  and GBA Ribbon Roadnote .
      There are some retro tracks that are virtually unchanged at all, in particular the tracks ported from 7. For instance, Music Park in the Leaf Cup has no changes to its layout of any kind, though there are some visual changes made.note  Neo Bowser City's layout is unchanged other than converting the three-quarter turn before the finish line into an anti-gravity segment with spin boosters. Same goes for DK Jungle, where the only change to the track is the addition of an anti-gravity segment inside the Golden Temple. And Piranha Plant Slide is unchanged save for turning the underwater segment into an anti-gravity segment and making it arc downhill through a giant tank.
    • 3DS Piranha Plant Slide is a double dose since it's a retro track from 7, and it's a throwback to Super Mario Bros..
    • SNES Mario Circuit 3 in the Booster Course Pass doubles down on this — not only is it designed to look nearly identical to the original version (as opposed to the major graphical overhauls most courses get), the new remix of the music uses most of the original synths for the melody.
    • Yoshi's Island, which was added to 8 Deluxe as DLC, is a major throwback to the setting of the eponymous island of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its sequels. The course goes through many landscapes of the island, and features a Winged Cloud that creates an airborne bridge in the style of the objects and assets that appear when this kind of cloud is shot at with a Yoshi Egg in the source material. The fanfares heard respectively during the course's race start and finish, as well as the results theme, all hail from Yoshi's Island as well; and the sound effect heard upon collecting a coin is a modern version of the one played in that game.
  • Obstacle Ski Course:
    • Mount Wario is a three-leg ski down a mountain that involves going through sheer, icy cliffs in the first segment, a dam and support platforms, plus a dense forest, in the second segment; and finally a slalom course and ski jump in the final segment.
    • Wave 4 of the Booster Course Pass adds Wii DK Summit, which takes place at a ski area. After being shot up the mountain by a cannon, the upper half of the course involves traveling through ski jumps and a mogul field, while the lower half involves navigating a half-pipe populated with snowboarding Shy Guys.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • Bikes in this game were changed slightly by not allowing the player to pop a wheelie for boosts of speed, which now makes bikes more on par with karts. A common criticism of the bikes in Mario Kart Wii was that they trumped karts so much that it was impossible to find any time trial record that wasn't a bike user and online play (when the Nintendo WFC was active) was also mostly a bike user game. However, they will perform a purely aesthetic wheelie during a boost from another source (e.g., a Mushroom).
    • Lakitu resets players who drive the wrong way for a certain amount of time with the usual three-coin fee. This was likely done to prevent griefers from camping near item boxes and spamming offensive items at other racers, or simply not taking the game seriously.
    • In Deluxe, there is a tiny window after grabbing an item box where you cannot get another one until it wears off. This is done to encourage racers to actually aim for double-item boxes rather than just driving through two singles at once.
    • In Deluxe's Renegade Roundup Battle Mode, any member of the Authorities team who approaches the key switches under the jail cells will have their Piranha Plant disappear; this is to prevent the Authorities from camping out near the key switches to catch Renegades attempting to free their partners with minimal effort required. Any Renegade who is freed will also gain a temporary speed boost so they aren't recaptured immediately upon being released.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Several vehicle parts have different colors depending on the character using them. This is especially true with the Koopalings. When driving the Pipe Frame, they all have unique colored steering wheels and have unique colored exhaust pipes, whereas all other characters just have yellow exhaust pipes. When using a Koopaling on the Landship, the back cabin and cannon covers will match their airships from New Super Mario Bros. U and the seat matching their shell colors, while all the other characters have a similar color scheme to Bowser's airship from the New Super Mario Bros. games. The palette swaps on the Landship also apply to the Koopa Clown kart in Deluxe: the rim by default is green unless you're driving one of the Koopalings, in which case it will use the colors of the Koopa Clown Cars that Koopaling used in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
    • For a more traditional example, ordering both DLC Packs nets you 8 extra colors for the Yoshis and Shy Guy.
    • Both genders of Inkling have three palette swaps each, consistent with their home franchise. When driving the Splatoon themed ATVs, the Inkstriker and Splat Buggy, the vehicle will shoot out colored ink when it gets a boost. The ink color will change depending on which Inkling you're using. If you're using a non-Inkling character, you'll get pink ink while using the Splat Buggy or purple ink if using the Inkstriker.
    • In Deluxe, completing every course on 200cc unlocks Gold Mario, who is exactly like Metal Mario in every meaningful way aside from being... well, you know.
    • Wave 4 of the Booster Course Pass brings back Birdo in nine color variants.
  • Palmtree Panic:
    • DS Cheep Cheep Beach. The ability to drive underwater makes the coast segment more manageable than in its original version.
    • Dolphin Shoals, which is an underwater cove with currents generated from pipes and a large Unagi resting nearby. It's combined with Under the Sea.
    • Tour Los Angeles Laps takes players down the Santa Monica Beach in the first section.
  • Pinball Zone: DS Waluigi Pinball returns in the Booster Course Pass.
  • Port Town:
    • Toad Harbor, a lively urban location where people move from one spot to another via San Francisco style cable cars (which naturally will serve as obstacles during the race). 3DS Wuhu Town in the Deluxe Battle Mode also counts.
    • Thanks to its DLC, Deluxe also adds Sydney Sprint from Tour (where a coastal plaza is run across during the second lap) and Daisy Circuit from Wii (which takes place in a coastal town and is raced during sunset).
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: N64 Rainbow Road is drastically shortened in its remaster for 8. Not only that, but it's also divided into three segments for 8 rather than three laps.
  • Product Placement:
    • The free Mercedes-Benz DLC karts. A tournament by Mercedes-Benz can be accessed in online play for those that want to compete with the new karts. It's part of a cross promotion where Mario is used in a series of Mercedes-Benz GLA Class commercials in Japan and Nintendo has the GLA Class available as a free kart.
    • As with series tradition, ads for in-universe products are scattered around the game. Alongside the usual billboards in the tracksides... this time, there are also sponsor logos on some of the karts (like the Circuit Special) and at the end of the credits. In fact, Super Bell Subway and GBA Ribbon Road have advertisements for Mario Kart 8 itself!
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: With the DLC, Mario Kart 8 became the most extensive game in the series, with an increased total of 48 tracks distributed in 12 cups (thus surpassing Mario Kart: Super Circuit, which held the record prior with 40 tracks in 10 cups). Then came the Updated Re-release 8 Deluxe, which not only incorporated the DLC as part of its base content, but eventually got its own DLC which doubles the content, thus raising the numbers to 96 tracks in 24 cups.
  • Promoted to Playable: This is the first game in the Mario series to feature the Koopalings as playable characters. Also applies to Isabelle from Animal Crossing in DLC Pack 2.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender:
    • The Miis' stats are solely based on the size of the Mii rather than gender.
    • Averted with the Inklings and the Villagers. Unlike in Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon, the boys are slightly heavier and faster, while the girls are a touch lighter and have better acceleration.
  • Randomly Generated Levels:
    • Excitebike Arena has over 200 different possible variations of jumps and mud patches. It does have a standard layout for time trials, though.
    • N64 Toad's Turnpike has a bunch of different traffic patterns that are chosen at random. In some, traffic in all three lanes drives in the same direction as the racers. In others, the cars in the far right lane (left in Mirror Mode) are driving against the racers.
  • Real Is Brown:
    • Many of the tracks have a strangely subdued, low-contrast palette. This is particularly noticeable in the remastered Retro tracks, when you compare both versions and notice just how much brighter the old versions are (compare Piranha Plant Slide from Mario Kart 7 to its appearance in 8, for instancenote ). There are still plenty of courses with the familiar bright colors of past Mario Kart games, though, and the tracks are generally much better at distinguishing what amount of less saturated colors is actually more realistic than some other courses.
    • The Updated Re-release Deluxe averts this and has a much brighter color palette all around. This is thanks to the Nintendo Switch being able to display colors in full RGB, unlike the Wii U (which can only use limited RGB, causing somewhat subdued colors). Furthering this, all of the Booster Course Pass courses use Mario Kart Tour's art style, which seems to actively reject using desaturated colors.
  • Real-World Episode: Tour Paris Promenade, Tour Tokyo Blur, Tour New York Minute, Tour Sydney Sprint, Tour London Loop, Tour Berlin Byways, Tour Amsterdam Drift, Tour Bangkok Rush, Tour Singapore Speedway, Tour Athens Dash, Tour Los Angeles Laps, Tour Vancouver Velocity, Tour Rome Avanti, and Tour Madrid Drive from Deluxe's DLC take place in stylized versions of those cities, instead of anywhere in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Reentry Scare: Much like the original version, falling off Wii Rainbow Road will cause your character's kart to burn up on reentry.
  • Ret-Canon: The Master Cycle from the original DLC was eventually brought into the official The Legend of Zelda series, as in Breath of the Wild, it becomes an item unlocked in its own DLC, though it's officially a different bike in the same line, being the Master Cycle Zero with a different appearance. In July 2018, the Zero version was added to Deluxe, bringing this full circle.
  • Ribcage Ridge: On Bone-Dry Dunes, one can drive along a series of ribs that act as an anti-gravity segment.
  • Roaring Rapids:
    • Shy Guy Falls has you drive up a waterfall with boost pads on it. You must drive over the boost pads in order to negate the opposing water flow. Once at the top of the hill, you do a U-turn and proceed to drive down another waterfall to a gliding ramp.
    • 3DS Piranha Plant Slide, Wild Woods, and Big Blue all have running water slides that speed you up if you drive on it.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: Wii Wario's Gold Mine. Unlike the original course, the minecarts are not hazardous. Instead, since the track inside the mine is an anti-gravity segment, racers can get spin boosts by colliding with them.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake:
    • Thwomp Ruins, a wrecked course where Thwomps serve as the primary obstacles. Due to the damaged state of the ruins, some parts are anti-gravity segments.
    • GCN Dry Dry Desert has greatly overhauled ruins, including falling pillars from Mario Kart Wii's Dry Dry Ruins from which you can do aerial tricks.
    • Bone-Dry Dunes takes place on a dig site.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Three Rainbow Roads: A new one in the Special Cup, the N64 version in the Lightning Cup, and the SNES version in the Triforce Cup. (The Booster Course Pass boosts this up to five with 3DS Rainbow Road in the Moon Cup and Wii Rainbow Road in the Spiny Cup.)
    • Three Wario-themed courses: Mount Wario, DS Wario Stadium, and Wii Wario's Gold Mine.
    • Three snow-themed courses: Mount Wario, GCN Sherbet Land, and Ice Ice Outpost. (The Booster Course Pass boosts this up to eight with GBA Snow Land, Merry Mountain, Wii DK Summit, Tour Vancouver Velocity, and 3DS Rosalina's Ice World)
    • Three Toad-themed courses: Toad Harbor, N64 Toad's Turnpike, and 3DS Toad Circuit.
    • Three Yoshi-themed courses: N64 Yoshi Valley, GCN Yoshi Circuit, and Yoshi's Island.
    • Three DK-themed courses: 3DS DK Jungle, Wii DK Summit and GCN DK Mountain.
    • Three food-themed courses: Sweet Sweet Canyon, GBA Cheese Land, and Sky-High Sundae.
    • Three desert-themed courses: Bone-Dry Dunes, GCN Dry Dry Desert, and N64 Kalimari Desert.
    • Three courses in the Booster Course Pass where the final lap is driven backwards: Tour Paris Promenade, Tour Sydney Sprint, and DS Peach Gardens.
    • In general, most of the tracks have three sets of stationary item boxes.
  • Sand Is Water: Bone-Dry Dunes features rivers of sand which can be navigated by sailboats.
  • Scenery Porn: Nintendo pulled out all the stops for the first HD entry in the series. Not only is everything gorgeous, but every track, even the retro tracks, is littered with tiny details that really make the world feel alive.
  • Schmuck Bait: A number of the courses have areas and turns that look like good places to drift...when doing so will result in you going off course or into a wall. Some examples of this are the mini-turn after the waterfalls in Shy Guy Falls, the winding road prior to the finish line in Dolphin Shoals, and the sand dune cave at the end of Bone-Dry Dunes.
  • Seasonal Baggage: The Animal Crossing track has four seasonal variations.
  • Self-Offense: Your AI battle teammates can and will hit you with their own items.
  • Sequel Escalation: An update for the game adds an even faster and harder mode than has ever been featured in the series: The 200cc class.
  • Shifting Sand Land:
    • Bone-Dry Dunes, complete with rivers of sand and even sand fountains you can bounce off of.
    • GCN Dry Dry Desert. It's a bit less dry than before, now featuring an oasis where the players drive underwater, passing over underwater jets similar to the pipes in Dolphin Shoals.
    • GBA Cheese Land resembles one in appearance, though it's actually made of cheese.
    • N64 Kalimari Desert in the 8 Deluxe DLC is a Wild West-flavored verion.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A poster in the background of GBA Ribbon Road advertises Kung Fu Lakitu, which is also a reference to Dragon Driftway from the Egg Cup, featuring many Lakitu motifs.
    • The Baby Castle in the background of GCN Baby Park is clearly meant to evoke the castle attractions at various Disney Theme Parks, most closely resembling the Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland.
    • When in anti-gravity mode, the karts' wheels turn sideways, similar to what the DeLorean's wheels would do when flying in Back to the Future.
  • Skyscraper City:
    • N64 Toad's Turnpike now takes place on an inner city highway, with buildings in the background, and the traffic moves slower than the original.
    • 3DS Neo Bowser City has a greatly revamped city skyline.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
    • Mount Wario is a race down a snowy mountain, from the summit all the way down to the base.
    • GCN Sherbet Land. Ice-skating Shy Guys and Freezies appear on the track as obstacles. However, unlike the original track, the Freezies do not freeze you on contact; instead, they simply cause you to spin out.
    • Ice Ice Outpost takes place in and around several icebergs.
    • Animal Crossing (Winter) is much more slippery than in other seasons, increasing lap times by about two seconds.
    • GBA Snow Land takes place on a frozen road, with snow surrounding the track and penguins serving as hazards.
    • Merry Mountain takes place on a snowy mountainside at Christmastime.
    • Tour Vancouver Velocity takes played during the snowy forest area that is traversed with the Capilano Suspension Bridge during the first lap. And at key points during the second and third laps, drivers pass through the ice hockey-themed Rogers Arena.
    • 3DS Rosalina's Ice World takes place in a glacial landscape, featuring frosty half-pipes and a divable cold lake.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells:
    • The remix of the GCN Sherbet Land race track has joyful sleigh bells ringing rythmically through the song.
    • The theme for the winter version of the Animal Crossing track has sleigh bells to go with the holiday atmosphere.
    • The remix of GBA Snow Land's theme makes the sleigh bells from the original version even more prominent.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: Since Double Dash!! it's been a Mario Kart tradition to speed up the music and raise it a half-step on the final lap. 3DS DK Jungle raises the music up a full step for the final lap. GCN Baby Park takes this further by having seven laps and speeding up the music after every single lap.
  • Sound Test: Added in the Wave 6 update for Deluxe. The Music Player can be accessed from the main menu and allows you to listen to all 96 track themes as well as battle course themes. Players can also listen to the Booster Course exclusive tracks without requiring the DLC.
  • Space Zone: Rainbow Road is set in and around a space station.
  • Speaking Simlish:
    • Isabelle's voice clips are based on the "animalese" speech from her home series, which is shared with every other non-human character in that series. Because of the way her "language" worksnote , most of her voice clips have actual phrases behind them... good luck deciphering any of them, though. The same applies to the animal spectators on the Animal Crossing course.
    • The Inklings in Deluxe speak Inkling. Which is a different style of Simlish compared to Animal Crossing's, being made of gibberish words and phrases.
  • Springy Spores: One features in GBA Sky Garden in 8 Deluxe's DLC. More show up in the DLC's second wave in Wii Mushroom Gorge.
  • Stealth Pun: In Sweet Sweet Canyon, there are bottles of soda spraying liquid. You know, soda fountains.
  • Steel Drums and Sunshine: The steel drums heard in the melody for DS Cheep Cheep Beach are even more prominent in the updated remix for this game than they already were in Mario Kart DS.
  • Stock Footage: The majority of Tanooki Mario's voice clips are reused from older performances by Charles Martinet. You may even recognize some of them from waaay older GBA and DS titles (New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Advance, to name a few), finally in uncompressed glory.
  • Stone Wall:
    • While Metal class characters, Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach are the same height as their respective counterparts, they are as slow to start and as heavy as Bowser and share their miserable traction. However, their top speed only reaches Cruiser levels (like Waluigi) but the counterpart is that they are as controllable as them. Deluxe amplifies this trope by making them as controllable as lightest Cruisers, making their top speed a compromise between them and the heaviest Cruisers, and by giving them a bit more acceleration and more traction. All of this while having middleweight sized vehicles with the hitbox that comes with it in both versions.
    • Petey Piranha is a large character with the same stats as Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach, but with the maximum invincibility time to compensate.
    • Some vehicle builds can be considered this, too. In Deluxe, Tanooki Kart, Koopa Clown and Master Cycle Zero are a bit slow concerning acceleration and top speed, but have a decent weight, good controls and the best traction: Monster, Hot Monster and Ancient Tires make them heavier and more stable, but less controllable, while Off-Road, Retro Off-Road and Triforce Tires make them faster in every way (except mini-turbo), but still hard to control.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills:
    • There are Toads wearing scuba gear in the underwater sections of Dolphin Shoals, while the racers get along just fine.
    • Despite the Inklings exhibiting the opposite trope in their home series, they can drive underwater with no problems in Deluxe.
  • Temple of Doom: Thwomp Ruins takes place within a winding set of ancient ruins populated by giant stone Thwomps that try to crush anyone who passes underneath them.
  • Third-Person Seductress: Like Mario Kart Wii, playing any of the adult human female characters with a bike will cause them to wear a body-clinging suit instead of a frilly dress (which would be very impractical to wear on a bike). They also will wear their biker suits if you use an ATV, for similar reasons. In Peachette's case, she uses a variation of her usual dress, having a shorter skirt and wearing a pair of high boots.
  • Tick Tock Tune: DS Tick-Tock Clock returns, and its ticking musical theme does as well, sounding much more majestic.
  • Title Scream: Mario (and Luigi) delivers this in the hammiest way possible.
  • Toilet Humour: Fitting for Wario, his kart horn is the sound of an extremely loud fart.
  • Tomorrowland: Mute City and Big Blue (obviously, considering the source franchise) as well as 3DS Neo Bowser City. All three wind around futuristic metropolises, with lots of bright lights, shiny towers, and flying vehicles for backdrops.
  • Toy Time: GBA Ribbon Road is revamped and now takes place in a kid's bedroom, featuring giant toy boxes scattered around and wind-up toys both as spectators and as hazards.
  • Tomboy Princess: As usual, this applies the most to both Daisy and her baby counterpart when doing tricks, and for the first time in the series, Baby Daisy does not share those specific animations with anyone else (something that was the case in Wii, where her tricks were lifted wholesale from Baby Peach). The new tomboy-ish tricks includes her cheering really quickly, doing the splits while looking behind her, jumping upside down in the air, pumping her fist in the air and waving behind her; the last three being similar to animations used by Baby Mario/Luigi.
  • Tree Top Town: Wild Woods has a village inhabited by Shy Guys inside the trees.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: The music modulates up a half-step on all of the tracks for the final lap, with a few exceptions: Big Blue, where the final segment's music is a different variant of the music from the first two segments; same for Mount Wario; 3DS DK Jungle has its music modulate up a full step for the final lap; and GCN Baby Park's music modulates a half-step up on every lap.
  • Uncommon Time: The music for Wild Woods is in 5/4 time, making it the only course theme that isn't in standard time. This is reflected with its unique backbeat variation.
  • Underground Monkey: The Deku Babas in Hyrule Circuit are just reskins of the Piranha Plants in other tracks. Similarly, the Keese are reskins of the Swoops (bat enemies) from other tracks.
  • Under the Sea:
    • Water Park mostly takes place in a flooded water park, and the majority of it is underwater.
    • Except for its anti-gravity segment on the rocks, Dolphin Shoals is entirely underwater. It's also the first course in the series where the starting line is underwater (the other being Piranha Plant Cove in Mario Kart Tour and eventually this very game).
    • Some of the retro courses also receive underwater segments like in Mario Kart 7, such as DS Cheep Cheep Beach, GCN Sherbet Land, and DS Wario Stadium (and more of them were added in 8 Deluxe with its downloadable Expansion Pack).
  • Undesirable Prize: The Coin item, which appear even after you've reach the maximum amount of coins you can hold, and are useless defensively. About the only thing they are good for at that point is for quickly replenishing your coins if you get hit by an item, or to act as a booby prize for any opponents sending out a Boo to steal, but it's still best to use the coins to throw them away before hitting the next item boxes.
  • Updated Re-release: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch. The update revamps Battle Mode to have eight actual stages instead of eight repurposed race tracks (and on top of retaining the original Balloon and Coin modes it also adds a new one plus two from Double Dash!!), adds several new characters, a couple new vehicle bodies, and adds two new mechanics: double items and Double Item Boxes from Double Dash!! and Ultra Mini-Turbo, a third charge step for the Mini-Turbo that lasts even longer than a Super Mini-Turbo. A later software update adds the ability to use the Toy-Con Motorbike and the Toy-Con Car from the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit and Vehicle Kit as alternate controllers, while yet another update included a Champion skin for Link and the Master Cycle Zero (which was based on the Master Bike from the original release), both from Breath of the Wild.
  • Variable Mix:
    • The menu music gains more layers based on how close you are to picking everything needed to have an actual race.
    • The music in races warps when certain power-ups, such as the lightning bolt, are used.
    • The percussion of the course's song gets deeper if the player is in the lead. Unless you're playing on 50cc.
    • Shy Guy Falls adds the sounds of mining equipment and chanting Shy Guys when driving past the mines. Wii Wario's Gold Mine also adds these effects in the mine's entrance, as does Wild Woods while passing by sling-gliding Shy Guys.
    • Water Park's music becomes calmer during the underwater sections.
    • Dolphin Shoals has three variations. Calmer versions play in the starting zone and cave, while the land section at the end features a more upbeat variant with a saxophone melody. Averted on the final lap, which only features the saxophone version.
    • Cloudtop Cruise has an epic, orchestrated, and trumpeting airy beat as its main theme, but then changes to a gritty rock guitar mix inside the more tension-filled thundercloud/anti-gravity segment.
    • Electrodrome, being a nightclub-themed track, is built on medley magic. Its already pulse-pounding musical beat is accompanied by electronic riffs on the first anti-gravity segment as the player drifts across the interactive track. Then, there's a really trippy anti-gravity area where the soundtrack changes to a twinkling variant, and even has several shimmering rectangular sparkles stimulating stronger beats popping up on the track surface. Plus, the track itself sounds off some musical stings increasing in key as the player hops across several staggered platforms which light up going into the second glider ramp. There's the aforementioned first place variant, the final lap variant, and, then there are versions for the normal and final laps of the crowds clapping in tune to the music, with Shy Guys chanting along, too.
    • Mount Wario's music gets more intense as you make your way down, eventually becoming a triumphant fanfare during the third and final segment.
    • 3DS Music Park still has you drive over piano, xylophone, and glockenspiel keyboard turns, which will create the appropriate sounds in harmony with the music.
    • Super Bell Subway has a few different variations. While it's normally an upbeat and cheery theme similar to Sunshine Airport, driving underground will cause the instrumentation to become more sparse as drums and bass take the lead. The Highlight Reel plays an extended version of the first theme, like Dolphin Shoals.
    • The Animal Crossing track has four variations that depend on the course's season. All versions of the track start with the first half of the theme from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and the second half is a theme from another Animal Crossing game.
      • Spring: The main theme for Animal Crossing.
      • Summer: The second half of the main theme for Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
      • Autumn: A blend of the main themes for Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk.
      • Winter: A medley of the music that plays on Christmas Eve and the 7 PM theme in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
    • Big Blue's final segment is, rather than a sped-up version of the regular theme, a guitar-and-sax solo to the same backing beat. The Highlight Reel transitions from one to the other.
    • The Dragon Palace battle course adds "Hoo! Hah!" chanting to the Background Music while you're in the courtyard.
    • Like in Mario Kart Tour, Singapore Speedway has two versions of its theme: The standard form, and a special one for when drivers pass through the Chinatown area.
  • Vocal Evolution: Most of the characters sound the same (albeit a bit hammier). Some voices, in particular, are much higher-pitched and louder, such as Mario (whose higher pitch manages to surpass that of Super Mario Sunshine at times, especially on the title screen), Yoshi, Donkey Kong (whose higher pitch would be the basis of both of their voices going forward), Rosalina, the Koopalings (except for Wendy and Morton)—the latter two had replaced their respective voice actors from previous games, save Roy, who is reprised by Dan Falcone, though his voice is a lot higher than before—and Baby Luigi, who sounds just like an infant now.
  • The Voiceless: The Villagers have no voice; they "speak" with Animal Crossing emotes instead.
  • Wacky Racing: It's a kart racer with weapons like shells and banana peels. Naturally, it would fall under this.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: In Deluxe, you can win in lower difficulties by doing absolutely nothing and let the AI drive your vehicle with the help of Smart Steering and Auto-Accelerate. Naturally, Luigi is in the case to prove this by not only scoring a race win, but also winning an entire cup by doing absolutely nothing.
  • Windmill Scenery:
    • Wii Moo Moo Meadows has two rural windmills facing each other near the end of the track.
    • Tour Amsterdam Drift, of course, has plenty of windmills placed just outside the city.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky:
    • GCN Sherbet Land has been given, among many other visual improvements, a nightime aurora-laced sky in its Mario Kart 8 appearance.
    • Animal Crossing (Winter) also adds auroras to its sky, due to taking place at night unlike the other seasons.
    • Tour Vancouver Velocity retains the auroras on its night sky from Mario Kart Tour.
    • Ironically, Ice Ice Outpost, which does take place in a polar environment, has no auroras in its sky since the race takes place during daytime. Merry Mountain, which is set in the early evening rather than at night, also lacks auroras.
  • World Tour: An indirect trait from Mario Kart Tour inherited by the Booster Course Pass in Deluxe, by virtue of bringing back the courses based on real-life cities from France, Japan, the United States (twice), Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Thailand, Singapore, Greece, Canada, Italy and Spain. More symbolically, by virtue of the DLC revisiting courses from all non-arcade installments in the Mario Kart series.
  • Wormsign: Monty Moles leave kicked-up dirt in their wake. Racers can use them as trick ramps.
  • Wutai:
    • Dragon Driftway has a Chinese motif.
    • Dragon Palace in Deluxe is a battle arena set in and around a Chinese-flavored dojo. Its music is a remixed version of Dragon Driftway's music. In addition, when in the courtyard, vocal calls can be heard being made in time with the music.
    • Deluxe's DLC also brings back Ninja Hideaway from Tour, which has a more Japanese flair.
  • You Bastard!: Wario has this opinion of any player who selects him.
    Wario: Cheater!
  • Your Size May Vary:
    • Spectator characters (Yoshis, Toads, Animal Crossing townsfolk, Shy Guys, Dry Bones, etc.) are noticeably larger than the playable versions of those characters. Compare the playable Shy Guy to the skating Shy Guys on GCN Sherbet Land.
    • In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the Funny Animal characters vary in height but are generally only slightly shorter than the human protagonists. Here, the Villagers are both middleweight (with the boy being slightly heavier than the girl) while Isabelle is lightweight.
    • The Master Sword that Link pulls out in some of his tricks is much smaller than the one that appears in Hyrule Circuit.

Alternative Title(s): Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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Paris Promenade

Paris Promenade is a very idyll interpretation of Paris, with some architectural accuracy for good measure.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

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