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"Ahem! Today... I'll tell you the story of the lost book of prophecies. This prophetic book was a mysterious tome full of stories of future events. Of course, many people desired this book, wishing to glimpse their futures. But no person, after obtaining this amazing book, ever found happiness. The reason? The book held frightful secrets not meant for people's eyes. The book came to be called the Dark Prognosticus and was sealed away. This... is the tale of the forgotten book's last owner. It is a tale of love..."

The third installment in the Paper Mario series of RPGs, Super Paper Mario (Wii, 2007) mixes it up a bit by being... well, totally different from its predecessors. Instead of being a turn-based RPG with action elements like the first two games, Super Paper Mario is a side-scrolling platformer with RPG elements. One of the most interesting features of the game is the ability to switch between 2D and 3D view at will—a lot of puzzles can only be solved in 3D, and switching to 3D will often show enemies and items that you couldn't see (or interact with) before.

The plot is noticeably darker than the previous entries. It is said that a book called the Dark Prognosticus exists that can tell the future. But no one who has found it could ever be happy again, for the book foretells the inevitable end of all existence. The Ancients were the keepers of this dark book, but one day it was stolen by former ancients who would create the Tribe of Darkness, who would watch over the book themselves and ensure it is never opened. However, a day came when it fell into evil hands...


Mario and Luigi hear that Princess Peach has been kidnapped (again) and go off to Bowser's Castle, only to hear that he didn't do it. At that moment, the real culprit, Count Bleck, appears with Peach and declares his intent to destroy all dimensions to replace them with perfect new ones, as foretold in the Dark Prognosticus he wields. He then takes Bowser, the Koopa Troop, and Luigi to his stronghold, Castle Bleck. Mario is left out cold until he is awoken by Tippi, a being called a Pixl in the shape of a butterfly who brings him to the town of Flipside, a place between dimensions. Here he meets Merlon, who holds the Light Prognosticus, a book created to counter the Dark Prognosticus and foretells of a group of heroes who will save existence. Meanwhile, Bleck forces a marriage between Bowser and Peach, summoning the Chaos Heart and causing a rift called The Void to appear, which Bleck plans to use to destroy all dimensions. Mario and Tippi must journey throughout dimensions and collect the Pure Hearts, which can counter the Chaos Heart, and fight Bleck and his strange team of villains—the Secretary Nastasia, the brutish O'Chunks, the shapeshifting Mimi, and the jester Dimentio—to save the multiverse... and, in the process, figure out just why Bleck seeks to destroy everything.


Super Paper Mario provides examples of:

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  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: Mario’s power to flip into 3D is one massive aversion of this trope.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range:
    • Bowser's arms flail around in circles when he's surprised or having an Oh, Crap! moment. Lampshaded by Dimentio, who refers to him as "the arm flailer" at one point.
    • Mimi cracks her neck and spins her head around in circles before turning into a Giant Spider.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: You will need more than 20 million experience points to reach Level 99. For reference, most players finish the game around Level 20.
  • Abusive Parents: Blumiere's father is of the emotionally abusive variety; he refuses to let his son leave the castle, isolates him from Timpani, attempts to ruin what he loves, tells him a lie that she was only deceiving him, withholds affection as punishment, and accuses him of disgracing him and their entire tribe.
  • Action Girl: Princess Peach, believe it or not, after getting rescued in the second chapter, decides that it's time to stop getting kidnapped, go out there, and kick some ass.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Wracktail, the evil prototype of Fracktail, was locked away by the Tribe of Ancients for being violent.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • After you defeat King Croacus in Chapter 5, the Floro Sapiens will come by and tell Mario and the gang that he only kidnapped and brainwashed the Cragnons because they were dumping their trash in the river and contaminating the water the Floro Sapiens drank from. Fortunately, he survives his defeat.
    • Also applies to Count Bleck once you discover that his actions were all due to depression after losing his One True Love.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Before Dimentio allows you to fight him at the end of Chapter 8-3, you first have to chase him through sections from the seven previous worlds.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of supplementary information can only be heard from Garson and Carson. Information ranges from the origin of the Flipside to the backstories of Count Bleck and his minions.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: During the 66th Annual "That's My Merlee!", you can ask the Merlees "[w]hat is the first thing you wash in the bathtub?" The real Merlee takes it as meaning "what part of your body do you wash first when bathing" and says her hair gets cleaned first. The fake Merlee reads it as "what part of the bathtub do you wash first when cleaning it" and replies that the tile mold and hot and cold water faucets are washed first.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Bowser and Peach. Peach is literally forced into saying "I do". Bowser obviously doesn't have to be forced to say the same.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Whenever Mario takes damage from the Flip Gauge emptying, the gauge is immediately reset to full to prevent the player from taking lots of unavoidable damage.
  • Anti-Grinding: You level up by gaining points from beating enemies and collecting power-ups ala the original Super Mario Bros. platformers, and like those platformers, you gain more points for consecutively jumping on enemies. However, if your jump combo gets too high, the game starts subtracting points from your score. This does not cause a Level Drain, but it does make it harder to reach the next level threshold.
  • Anti-Hero: Given that Bowser, the regular Big Bad of the Mario series, is on the side of the heroes, he is definitely this. You even have to fight him a few times and he's mostly down for the quest because for one, if all of the worlds are destroyed then he won't have anything left to rule over, two, he enjoys taking on and defeating enemies, and three, he does it to try and impress his supposedly new wife, Princess Peach.
  • Anti-Villain: Count Bleck, who — despite wanting to unmake the world — genuinely cares for his henchmen, and is driven by the loss of his love rather than actual evil (even helping the heroes near the end after being reunited with her).
  • Apocalypse How: Count Bleck's plan is to bring about a Class Z, summoning the Void to cosume every last dimension there is.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Luigi. No, really. He gets Brainwashed by Nastasia and further manipulated by Dimentio.
  • Applied Mathematics: The first few levels feature "joke" equations in the background, made up of random numbers and mathematical symbols combined with famous Mario icons such as the Fire Flower and mushrooms.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: One active main character (and one Pixl) at a time, even though for much of the game all four, or at least more than one, of the main characters are traveling together, along with considerably more than one of the Pixls.
  • Arranged Marriage: The Chaos Heart can only be awakened to its full, reality-sundering power by the marriage of two individuals never meant to be together. Count Bleck invades Mario's reality to abduct Peach and Bowser for his attempt to engender a Reality-Breaking Paradox, and Nastasia is forced to take control of Peach to get the doom train out of the station (Peach, naturally, would never agree to wed Bowser).
  • Arc Number: 256. It's the number of Catch Cards in the game, Dimentio's Dimension D makes its inhabitants 256 times stronger, and in Chapter 5, Monzo and Hornfels crew say they have heard about Flint Cragley fighting Rainbowzilla 256 times.
  • Arc Villain: The odd-numbered chapters, except for Chapter 1:
    • Chapter 3: Francis, where the conflict in that chapter is having to rescue Tippi from him.
    • Chapter 5: King Croacus, who had the Cragnons kidnapped and enslaved.
    • Chapter 7: Bonechill, leader of the Skellobits who invaded the Overthere.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Chapter 7-2, when you encounter Bowser, he complains that he's hungry, among other things.
  • Art Shift: While characters from the Mario universe retain their appearances from Thousand Year Door, new characters created for this game are more stylized, being made of disjointed shapes and lines. It typically changes based on which world you're in, highlighting the fact that they're alternate dimensions and not just different places in the same world.
  • The Artifact: Luigi usually wears overalls, which have buttons. As Mr. L, he wears a one-piece black suit, but the buttons are still there.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Chaos Heart, a shadowy heart created from the marriage of Bowser and Peach. It is used by Bleck to create the Void, which will eventually destroy all worlds if it isn't countered with the Pure Hearts.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Luigi was mostly in the background in the last two games and basically only existed to provide optional and humorous dialog like his diary or his Marvelous Compass quest stories. In this game, he plays a huge part in the plot.
    • While Bowser was the Big Bad in the original Paper Mario, he was Demoted to Extra in the previous game. Here, however, he plays a big part in the plot once again.
    • Merlon and the other wizards return and play a much bigger role in this game than they did before. In the previous games, they were wizards and fortune tellers who assisted Mario on his quest but were not relevant to the main story. Here, Merlon acts as your guide, and some of your missions involve seeking out the other wizards and fortune tellers.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror:
  • Ascended Glitch: Well, not exactly, but there is a throwaway line referencing the original Minus World from Super Mario Bros..
  • Ash Face: Subverted; after tricking you into opening an exploding chest, Mimi complains when this doesn't happen.
  • Asshole Victim: Blumiere's father. (See Honor-Related Abuse, Parental Marriage Veto and Self-Made Orphan.)
  • Bathroom Brawl: The boss fight against Mimi in Chapter 2-4 takes place in the ladies' room in Merlee's basement.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: No he can't. Mario needs a space helmet to breathe in space, unlike the previous game. You can be a smart ass and refuse to put it on when Tippi instructs you to, with appropriate results if you do.
  • Batman Gambit: Dimentio needs the heroes to retrieve the Pure Hearts and use them to beat Count Bleck in order to steal the Chaos Heart and remake the universe. If the heroes fail, Dimentio cannot get the Chaos Heart and would end up getting erased from existence just like everyone and anything else.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When you begin the game Luigi is talking to Mario saying that he wants some "KERBLOOEY" events to happen. Needless to say they end up meeting Count Bleck who plans on ending all of existence. And later on in the story the game has plenty of Wham Moments, starting in Chapter 6 when the entire world of Sammer's Kingdom gets destroyed. And then there's Luigi, himself.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Francis can be deadly if you don't take him seriously as a boss because of his character. But you just know you can't take him seriously.
  • Big Bad: Count Bleck. At least, until he gets usurped by The Starscream, Dimentio. After all, his villainy was nothing more than the effect of sadness and regret.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Merlee's Basement (Chapter 2-4), and the Underwhere (Chapters 7-1 and 7-2). The latter is justified, since it's the afterlife and is the Mario Universe's equivalent of Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Castle Bleck and Fort Francis. Bleck being a villain, a Man of Wealth and Taste, and filthy rich, it's obvious he'd get such a gorgeous castle, but you wouldn't really expect an otaku as big as Francis to live in a massive castle. (On the other hand, Francis' castle is a giant eight-bit assembly staffed by Catgirl Maid Weapons Systems).
  • Big Good: Merlon deciphers the Light Prognosticus, and instructs the heroes on where to go and what to do.
  • Blackout Basement: Underwhere Road. Certain segments become incredibly dark; the only way to alleviate this is to light a torch with Bowser's fire breath, and that only lasts for a short time.
  • Blank White Void: The aptly named World of Nothing, which results from the annihilation of the Sammer's Kingdom, is little more than a very long white level devoid of anything save for the occasional debris.
  • Body Horror: Mimi's Transformation Sequence is quite freaky for an E-rated game.note  It certainly doesn't help that the end result is a Gonkified version of her with giant spider legs coming out of her upside-down head. Plus there's the whole cracking neck thing...
  • Bonus Boss: Three: Wracktail at the bottom of the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials, Shadoo at the bottom of the Flopside Pit if you go down twice, and End Boss, the 100th Sammer Guy. They are also the only optional bosses in the game, barring the Francis rematch. While End Boss is the only one that can't be fought until the postgame, Shadoo is considered to be the hardest of the three and must be defeated after Wracktail.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • The Flipside Pit of 100 Trials. 9 floors of fighting enemies to find a key, 1 floor with treasure, an exit, and a door to the next 9 floors. Repeat this until you fight the Bonus Boss, Wracktail, on floor 100.
    • The Flopside Pit of 100 Trials. Imagine the above, but all the enemies are tougher and look like black silhouettes, and the Bonus Boss is silhouettes of the playable characters. And you have to complete it twice before you can face the boss and get the reward, for some reason.
    • The Duel of 100 in the postgame. Take on 25 Sammer Guys, one by one, for 4 levels. (It's not quite the same thing, though - you still have to do it all at once, but you have the option to save every 25 fights and you can leave at any time.)
  • Book-Ends:
    • Mario is the only playable character in World 1 and most of 8-4. Lampshaded by Tippi: "It reminds me of when we first met..."
    • Also, the introduction sees the wedding of Peach and Bowser, which causes the Void to open. The final scene sees the "wedding" of Timpani and Blumiere, in the same dimension, at the same altar (lampshaded by Luigi: "Hey, I remember this place!"), which causes the Void to close. Interesting in that the first occasion was a wedding that wasn't for true love, and the second wasn't really a wedding, but was for true love.
    • And the game begins with Tippi waking up Mario, then taking him to Flipside, where we see the Void for the first time. The final scene sees Luigi, the first character alongside Mario to be seen in the game, waking up Mario on Flipside tower, where we see the Void for the last time.
      • Flipside tower is also the first playable area in and after the game.
    • The first and last scene are the only scenes in the game in which the player doesn't know where Tippi is.
  • Boss Bonanza: Castle Bleck is divided into four sub-chapters, each of which ends in boss fight: O'Chunks, Mimi, Dimentio, and Count Bleck, respectively. After Bleck's defeat is the Super Dimentio fight.
  • Bowdlerise: The post-Chapter flashbacks has a scene where an injured Timpani rejects Blumiere, leading him to wonder if his father was behind it. The North American release replaces her being injured with her crying.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Luigi gets brainwashed by Nastasia into working under Count Bleck as Mr. L.
    • O'Chunks, or rather, O'Cabbage qualifies.
    • Fracktail also qualifies. His is more of a case of forcibly-induced programming error, but same principle.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 7, at least relative to Chapter 6 and Chapter 8. Though more intense than the first five chapters, it's far from the Wham Episode of Chapter 6 or the overall bleakness of Chapter 8.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The Overthere Stair and the Overthere which are also Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: When Timpani almost dies from being doomed to wander between dimensions forever, she gets transformed by Merlon into the butterfly-shaped Pixl we all know and love.
  • But Thou Must!: Subverted, in which you can refuse to save the world and get a Non-Standard Game Over before the real game even starts.
    • You can also vehemently refuse to wear a helmet in space, resulting in another Non-Standard Game Over.
    • And also if you refuse to look for Luvbi when Jaydes asks.
    • And again in Chapter 8-3 if you agree to help Dimentio overthrow Count Bleck.
    • In a different vein, the interaction with Carrie the Pixl in Fort Francis has her asking you what you thought of Francis. She'll agree completely with you no matter what you said.
    Carrie: So what you're saying is, Francis is awesome and irresistible. A stallion basically. I was thinking the exact same thing!
    • There is one time in which it is played straight: when "Merlee" (who is actually Mimi in disguise) asks you to sign a contract that is obviously bad for you, if you select "Sign" twice, the next set of choices are "No way!" and "Forget it!".
  • The Caligula: King Croacus, who more or less declares an incredibly one-sided war against the Cragons while spending his fortunes on making everything, especially himself, "beautiful". We later learn that he was a wise and just ruler in the past, and only started acting badly after he got poisoned from polluted waters. His last sane order was that none of the defeated Cragons be killed, just held prisoner until they stop poisoning the water supply with their trash.
  • Call-Back: And a pretty funny one at that. At the beginning of the game, Bowser yells at one of his minions for not locking the gate to the castle. When you reach Fort Francis at the end of Chapter 3, Bowser questions what the castle has over his. What's the first obstacle you need to get by? A locked gate.
  • Calling the Old Man Out : It's implied that Blumiere's first act as Count Bleck was to kill his father. It's also implied that he wiped out the Tribe of Darkness.
    • When Luvbi discovers her true identity as a Pure Heart she believes that Grambi and Jaydes' overprotectiveness was not out of love, and that they did not let her enjoy life, knowing that her time was short.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Count Bleck. Or is he?
  • Cartoon Meat: The Power Steak and Bone-In Cut items, which are cartoonish depictions of a steak and a piece of meat on a bone, respectively, with the latter being drawn in the game's characteristic Retraux blocky style.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The darkest Mario game yet. The game starts to go into this full-stop in Chapter 6 and its aftermath. Basically, the main characters actually witness a world getting destroyed, and they have to explore the empty void to look for the now defunct Pure Heart. After the end of the chapter, Dimentio murders the entire playable cast. They get better, but damn.
  • Chain of Deals: There's a very long one that makes you backtrack across all the worlds you previously visited, but thankfully, it's optional.
  • Chaos Is Evil: The villains are trying to destroy The Multiverse with the Chaos Heart.
  • Check-Point Starvation: You cannot save during either of the Pits Of 100 Trials at all.
  • Chekhov's Gun: If you look carefully, you can see a bunch of tiny houses and pipes in the chapters before you get Dottie, hinting early on that you'll need to be small to fully experience that world.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Interspecies Romance between Blumiere and Timpani in the post-Chapter flashbacks seem irrelevant right up until The Reveal that they are Count Bleck and Tippi respectively.
  • The Chessmaster: Dimentio, outwitting everyone by the end of the game.
  • The Chosen One: It's stated that Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser are the Heroes of Light chosen by the Light Prognosticus. Luigi is the Chosen One for the Dark Prognosticus, being the Apocalypse Maiden.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kammy. She was a major character in the first two games, but is absent from this one with no explanation. This might have been done because giving her a role alongside the now playable Bowser would be awkward.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Pixls (except for Tippi). They don't have many lines, but what little dialogue they do have is extremely bizarre.
    Thoreau: I express concern when the Ancients stuffed me in that chest 1,500 years ago. But now I see my worries were unfounded!
    • Although, even the ones like Barry and Dottie that weren't imprisoned anywhere (we don't know how Dottie got in the Floro Caverns, and Barry was just kinda wandering around the Bitlands) are a little strange (although, they may be the most normal).
  • The Collector: Francis has a massive collection of nerd memorbilia in his fortress, and is constantly trying to get more, which even leads him to kidnap Tippi.
  • Collision Damage: Being based on traditional Mario platform games than turn-based RPGs, it plays this straight with pretty noticeable knock back. Which is odd, because 2D Mario games have never had knockback before or since.
  • Common HTTP Status Code: One of the lines Fracktail says after being corrupted is "404 computer hamsters not found".
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watchinvoked: Mocked with one of the True or False questions Francis's door gives to Peach before entering Francis's room.
    Question: I love going on message boards and complaining about games I've never played!
  • Console Cameo:
    • The recipe computers look like Nintendo DSs, and the cards needed to expand their list of suggested recipes resemble DS game cards. One item in the Chain of Deals is also apparently a DS.
    • Every Nintendo console to ever exist up to the Wii can be seen in Fort Francis.
  • Counting to Potato: Slim (who does, in fact, count to ten).
  • Creepy Circus Music: This type of music is used in association with the sinister Magical Clown Dimentio:
    • Dimentio, Charming Magician is Dimentio's leitmotif, which combines a sort of swanky, circus/magic show tune with a feeling of power and dread.
    • "It's Showtime," Dimentio's Boss Remix, starts out with chaotic fast notes, creating a feeling of overwhelming power. However, the more "magical" elements from "Dimentio, Charming Magician" slowly come in, and this trope comes into full effect later (0:47 in the linked video), as the song switches to a dark waltz-like reprise of "Dimentio, Charming Magician"'s main melody.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Mimi, judging by the jagged purple Speech Bubbles. Of course, in that form, she's not so much "cute" as OH MY GOD WHAT IN THE NAME OF MIYAMOTO'S FLOOPY HAIR IS THAT.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The pictures at the beginning of the game canonize that Mario recruited every optional partner in the previous two games and that the baby Yoshi was green.
  • Cumulonemesis: The Ruff Puff return once more, appearing fittingly enough in the Overthere.

  • Darker and Edgier: While this game's predecessor was already dark for Mario standards, this game takes it even further. While the X-Nauts' true goal of bringing the end of the world wasn't made apparent until halfway into the last game, in this game the threat of not just Mario's world, but the entire multiverse collapsing into total nothingness is constantly looming over you through an ever-increasing void that will eventually swallow the multiverse whole. Even ignoring that, a theme of death and the loss of loved ones seems to permeate the game's atmosphere as Count Bleck's backstory involves him losing his true love, Timpani (Tippi's former self) when his father banishes her to wander across dimensions until she dies, which causes Bleck to go mad from grief and try to exact revenge on the entire multiverse by completely wiping out everything. Mario and co. even get front row seats to watch the end of a dimension, and Dimentio shows up afterwards and kills them, except not really, leading them to a journey through the afterlife, where they witness the daughter of the rulers of the afterlife transform into a Pure Heart. Finally, in the end, Tippi and Count Bleck sacrifice themselves to stop the apocalypse. Even just the beginning, where Peach is forcibly married to Bowser (and the union is so unhappy that it creates the tool of the apocalypse, establishes that the game is going to be fairly different. Super Paper Mario may well be the single darkest game in the entire Mario franchise, let alone the Paper Mario spin-off series.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • As creepy as the Underwhere is, the people there are all pretty nice.
    • Flopside is Flipside's dark counterpart, but it isn't evil either.
    • The Tribe of Darkness. While they did some sketchy things like taking the Dark Prognosticus and had darkness-related powers, they were only trying to prevent the book from being misused and mostly kept to themselves for safety reasons.
  • Dating Sim: Parodied in Chapter 3-4. Francis can't speak to females (like Peach) directly, and instead uses an interface that plays like one of these. You can choose Peach's answers for her.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Variations of the phrase "end of your game." Fairly funny in some contexts, such as wedding vows lasting "'till your games be over." Really freakin' creepy when "I'll end your games" is used as a death threat.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Peach, surprisingly enough. The standout example is her scene with Francis, where her patience with Francis and his dating sim wear thin and she begins pelting him with snark.
  • Death Mountain: Mt. Lineland in Chapter 1-2 is a single mountain level with a village at the top. There is also Mt. Crag which is the setting for Chapter 5-1 and Chapter 5-2.
  • Deep South: Chapter 2 seems to have a Louisiana aesthetic, starting in a swamp and transitioning to Merlee's large wooden mansion.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Subverted more than once with Bowser, who joins due to reasons completely different from the defeat, and clearly states the first time that he is only doing it for his own benefit, not that of the heroes. Specifically, so he can take his castle back AND ensure there's a world that he can actually take over in the first place. Acts as a nod to another game in the series.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Castle Bleck. Nothing but pure blackness with white outlines. Also, Sammer's Kingdom after it's destroyed in chapter 6: Nothing left but empty white space and occasional blackened ruins.
  • Descending Ceiling: Traps in Merlee's Mansion and Castle Bleck.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Peach and Mimi face off one on one in the last chapter of the game.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • At one point, the player can use a Koopa to repeat the "infinite lives" exploit from Super Mario Bros., which in this game would grant infinite experience points instead. Do it for more than a few seconds to try and level up, and it will deduct experience points from your score to prevent you from staying there to max out your level.
    • It's possible to skip certain Pixls if you use items right, and doing so will change the post-chapter dialogue from summarizing the events of the last stage to giving you the Pixl anyway (since you need them to get to the next Heart Pillar). This message exists for Thoreau, Boomer, Slim, Carrie, and Dottie.
      This Pixl heard all about your adventures while waiting in a basement in Yold Town. Thoreau the throwing Pixl is now your friend!
  • Dialogue Tree: Inverted. You can only have one of the heroes out at a time, and the dialog of other characters (say, pre-fight Boss Banter) will change to reflect that.
    • In Chapter 3, super nerd Francis will use an interface reminiscent of a dating sim to converse with Peach. The player can choose Peach's responses.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Just before Luigi fights Dimentio, Dimentio provokes Luigi by calling his mustache a "Shag." Obviously, the term did not reside well in Great Britain, as the word was a coarse verb for sexual intercourse, so it was changed to referring to Luigi as being a pushover.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Mario, Peach, Bowser, and Luigi travel through various dimensions to prevent the end of all existence. Also, Count Bleck and his minions can travel through various dimensions.
  • Disc-One Nuke: It's possible to clear the first Pit of 100 Trials and get the optional Pixl, Dashell, before you finish Chapter 2. Much more devastating is the number of levels you will gain from completing the pit. You'll have far more hit points and attack power than you should have by chapter 2. Of course, this is more of an example of Level Grinding than disc one nukage.
  • Disney Death:
    • Timpani is alive in the form of the Pixl Tippi, much to Count Bleck's remorse.
    • At the end of Chapter 6, Dimentio inflicts this on Mr. L, turning him back to Luigi, then the other three playable heroes. Given where they're sent, it really looks like they died until Jaydes tells Mario and Luigi they were sent to the Underwhere alive.
    • Damn near every heroic character by the end. Bowser gets crushed under a Descending Ceiling, Peach falls into a pit (but gets her fall broken by Bowser), and Luigi gets trapped in an exploding box Dimentio used to inflict Disney Deaths earlier. During the final boss, they all show up and they're just fine.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Blumiere's father cursed Timpani to wander between dimensions until her death as punishment for her engagement to his son. In response, Bleck took the Dark Prognosticus and sought to destroy reality in revenge for his lost love. Like Father, Like Son...
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: Planet Blobule is the home to weird dragonfly-like aliens called Choppas. They are dangerous foes, as they can freely shift between 2D and 3D, have a very unpredictable movement pattern and are as big as Mario.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Pixl Cudge allows your player character to wield a hammer.
  • Duel Boss: In Chapter 3, there's Mario vs. Bowser. Chapter 8 brings us Bowser vs. O'Chunks, Peach vs. Mimi, and Luigi vs. Dimentio, all followed with both opponents suffering Disney Deaths.
  • Dueling Player Characters: After the group has been split due to Dimentio seemingly killing them all, Mario manages to find Bowser after some exploration, and they have a fight due to some misunderstandings. Once Mario defeats Bowser, he comes to his senses and rejoins the party.
  • Dummied Out: A particularly strange example. Eleven unused maps were recently uncovered that only seem to exist in Korean copies of the game. Many of the maps are large, open areas in the style of the first two games, and a few contain these unknown feline NPCs that can’t be spoken to and don’t fit with SPM's art style at all. One theory is that someone on the Korean team was dabbling in making their own game inside this one.
  • Dying as Yourself: Fracktail. Right as you deal the final blow his software reboots, allowing him to leave you with an apology for his errant behavior.
  • Eating the Enemy: During the fight with Francis, he might swallow you with his tongue which will cause gradual damage. You'll have to mash to break free.
  • E = MC Hammer: The background of Lineland features floating mathematical equations consisting of random symbols and various Mario icons such as Fire Flowers and mushrooms.
  • Elopement: Blumiere tried to run away with Timpani in order to find a place where their love would survive. Before they could do so, his father cursed her to wander between dimensions to near death.
  • Emergency Transformation: Tippi, who had to be turned into a Pixl by Merlon.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Dimentio. Even Count Bleck himself doesn't know quite what Dimentio is or where his true allegiances lie.
  • Escaped from Hell: An interesting heroic case: Mario and friends are thrown into the afterlife, and Mario fights his way in the Underwhere to find his brother Luigi. Queen Jaydes, who is not actually an evil person, allows them to return to the living world, and the duo continue to Chapter 7, which is... you guessed it, the afterlife again; but this time Mario and Luigi have to find Bowser, who is imprisoned in the Underwhere, and Peach, who is somewhere in the Overthere.
  • Escape Rope: The Return Pipe, which lets you return to Flipside at any time, with a few exceptions.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Subverted. Queen Jaydes, ruler of the Underwhere, seems pretty intimidating at first, but it's quickly revealed that she's pretty nice off-duty.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Merlon claims that only he and Nolrem know about Flipside and Flopside existing within their own towns. There are a few NPCs who mention the opposite town and mention having been to the opposite town. Also, it's mentioned that Bestovius only teaches his flipping technique to the hero. Several NPCs make reference to going places they can't possibly go without flipping, and many Mooks can flip as well.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is Bowser's reaction to seeing what happens to worlds consumed by the Void.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Dimentio used the Heroes to get the Pure Hearts, and allowed them to use them on Count Bleck so that he could get the Chaos Heart easily. He honestly thought that the heroes using the Pure Hearts meant that they were gone for good. He ended up legitimately shocked when, due to Bleck/Blumiere, Tippi/Timpani, O'Chunks, and Mimi's love for one another, the Pure Hearts had returned and stripped him of his invincibility.
  • Evil Counterpart: Each of the four members of Count Bleck's team serves as a counterpart to one of the four heroes, battling them one-on-one in the final chapter: O'Chunks and Bowser, Mimi and Peach, Dimentio and Luigi, and Bleck and Mario.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: After you free Gnaw, the giant dog creature in Merlee's Mansion, it immediately proceeds to chase after Mimi. Tippi's description implies Gnaw is trying to protect Mario and co. from Mimi. His reaction to seeing "Merlee" for the first time in the chapter is also a nice bit of foreshadowing.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Bonechill, leader of the Skellobits. Like the name implies, he has An Ice Person powers.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Bowser and Count Bleck. Later, Count Bleck and Dimentio.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
  • Exact Words: The prophecy only said that the Man in Green would harness the Chaos Heart to destroy the universe. It never said anything about the Man in Green doing so willingly...
  • Face–Heel Turn: Count Bleck is revealed to have gone through one in flashbacks after losing his fiancée due to dimensional banishment. He betrayed the Tribe of Darkness and stole the Dark Prognosticus, and then proceeded to enact his plan to destroy all dimensions out of grief.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Peach's, even though it was just a white version of her usual dress.
  • Fake King: The first time you meet King Sammer, he's real. The second time, it's actually Mimi impersonating him.
  • Fake Longevity: The Flopside Pit of 100 Trials. The voice at the end refuses to reward you the first time, and makes you go through the entire area a second time to claim your prizes and your Bonus Boss battle.
  • Fake Weakness: Mimi tries shapeshifting into Merlee and asking Mario his a place where Merlee has no business being. She'll put power-ups and helpful items out if you tell her you're weak to them. And you can even get her to spawn a boss from a previous chapter.
  • Fallen Angel: Bonechill is implied to be a fallen Nimbi.
  • False Prophet: Count Bleck claims that he wants to destroy the multiverse so that he can create a new one without any of the original's flaws. He's telling the truth about destroying the multiverse, but lying about the part where he'll replace it with a new one. And the reason he's doing this? He couldn't find any joy in life after he believed that his lover was dead, so he decided that everyone had to die with him.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: The Golden Apple, as well as the Pink, Blue, Yellow, Red, and Black Apples scattered throughout Chapter 7-3.
  • Fantastic Racism: Implied. Judging by the first conversation between Blumiere and Timpani, there seems to have been some tensions between the Tribe of Darkness and the humans.
  • Fartillery:
    • O'Chunks uses this as his exit in the first three encounters, but he actually uses this as an attack against Bowser as Super O'Chunks.
    • This is possibly how the Cherbils attack. If you use Tippi to tell you about the creatures, she says "some say the gas comes from its mouth. Others say it comes from... elsewhere." Due to the creature's appearance (basically a set of eyes and a large pair of cheeks), it's difficult to tell which end it's coming from.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Dimentio, who's charming, funny, and guilty of some particularly monstrous things.
  • The Ferryman: Charold, for a fee of four coins, will take people across the River Twygz, allowing them to avoid the Underhands.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: After the first and second chapters, there are short segments featuring Peach and Luigi waking up at Castle Bleck, trying to escape, only to be tracked down and hypnotized by Bleck's assistant Nastasia. It is not till the final chapter where you actually travel to Castle Bleck for the final battle with Count Bleck and Dimentio.
  • Fishbowl Helmet: Mario and his party need a fishbowl helmet to be able to breathe in space. Yes, one. Even though there's three characters in Mario's party (at the time), they apparently only need to breathe when they're the active character. It even changes size depending on who's wearing it.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Early on in the game, Princess Peach gets unexpectedly teleported out of Castle Bleck. While many characters and enemies can teleport like this, this instance is accompanied with the visual effect exclusive to Dimentio's style of teleportation. All the way toward the end of the game, Dimentio affirms that it was he who saved Peach.
    • When you encounter Thoreau, he makes a comment about Tippi's appearance being quite different from other Pixls wondering if she's a new type of Pixl. Tippi pauses a moment before regaining her composure. Tippi wasn't originally a Pixl made by the Ancients.
  • Foul Flower: The Floro Sapiens are a race of sentient walking flowers who brainwash and enslave the caveman-like Cragnons. Subverted when it is revealed that they only turned evil because the Cragnons polluted their water. Once the problem is solved, every Floro makes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Four Is Death: Prince Croacus of the Floro Sapiens is mentioned to have suddenly died wilted in the year 444.
  • The Four Loves: All four kinds of love show up in the game, since the Power of Love is extremely important to the plot. Agape and eros are the most prominent of the four. Bowser's one-sided eros for Peach nearly causes the destruction of the multiverse and it ends up being saved by the eros (which also has traits of agape) between Lady Timpani, aka Tippi, and Lord Blumiere, aka Count Bleck. Nastasia's love for Count Bleck is definitely Agape because she loves him despite the fact that he does not return her feelings and goes so far as to take a bullet for him. In fact, many of the games chapter's have different forms of love as their theme. At the end of the third chapter, the needed Pure Heart suddenly appears in response to the philia that Tippi felt when she is rescued. The fourth chapter's theme turns out to be Storge, in the form of Squirps's love for his long-dead mother. The seventh chapter's theme is Storge in the form of Jaydes' and Granbi's love for their daughter Luvbi when it is revealed that they created Luvbi out of the final Pure Heart in order to disguise it, but they did care for her just as they would if she was their real daughter. The characters Francis, Mimi, and Luvbi all badly want to have Eros, although for Francis and Mimi it is on a much more shallow level.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: Mario gets the first Pure Heart handed to him before the player even officially has control of him. Hilariously, you can avert But Thou Must! by refusing multiple times to accept the item, eventually leading to the giver just giving up and a Non Standard Game Over before the game even begins.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • A number of 2D Mario games don't use breath meters when Mario's underwater. Water breathing was explicated lampshaded as an actual ability Mario has (and it justifies how he's able to use a fishbowl as a space helmet).
    • Tippi will not be able to help you find hidden objects or read enemy descriptions when she's been kidnapped by Francis and after beating the game because by then she and Blumiere have permanently disappeared.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Floro Sapiens still appear as enemies in chapter 5 even after you complete it, likely because you'd have no way of getting the Sap Syrup item they drop, which is used for some recipes if they didn't. However, the brainwashed Cragnons no longer appear as enemies.
    • No matter how long you take to defeat Mimi in Sammer's Kingdom, whether it's two seconds or ten minutes, she will still taunt you about her wasting "LOTS of your time."
    • Koopa Troop members still patrol the worlds and attack the player characters after beating the game, at which point Nastasia would presumably undo their brainwashing. If this weren’t the case, the game would lose many of its enemies.
  • Gemstone Assault: Mimi frequently uses sharp Rubees as weapons. Mario and his team can pick them up and throw them back at her, too.
  • Genocide from the Inside: Blumiere is implied to have destroyed his people, the Tribe of Darkness, after transforming into Count Bleck.
  • Genre Blind: When Toad mentions at the beginning that Peach is kidnapped, Luigi ponders who would do such a thing before deducing it must be Bowser. At this point in the series history, it shouldn't take more than 1/64th of a second to figure that out. Of course, it doesn't help it's also one of the few times it's not him.
  • Girls with Moustaches: Peach briefly grows a moustache if you feed her an Orange Fruit (instead of the story-progressing Black Fruit) while she's asleep in the Overthere Stair.
  • Global Currency Exception: 1 million Rubees to pay for the vase.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Dimentio. He's got a reason to be happy, though, as he's taking the whole multiverse with him.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "DOOFUSES!" from Mimi; it makes sense, though, as she's intentionally meant to be childish.
  • Gravity Screw: On the Planet Blobule, Mario can jump much higher than usual. The Whoa Zone allows him to walk on the walls and ceiling.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Blumiere's father is the one responsible for the disappearance of Timpani that left his son with the desire to destroy everything, setting off the chain of events leading to this game.
  • Green Aesop: The Cragnons learn one at the end of chapter 5.
    • Sure enough, if you come back to Chapter 5-1 after clearing Chapter 5-4, the water will have cleared up after the Cragnons learned that throwing garbage into the river is bad.
  • Green Hill Zone: Chapter 1-1, Lineland Road, is a grassy plain with easy obstacles and layout and music that make it a Nostalgia Level. Chapter 3-1, the first area of the Bitlands, has the same environment, just with more blockiness.

  • Happy Harlequin Hat: The Monster Clown Dimentio has a variation of this.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Unlike the first two games, which were pretty even for both stages and bosses, Super Paper Mario has rather easy enemies and bosses with very simple strategies required to defeat them. Many stages, on the other hand, can be surprisingly challenging in no small part thanks to how the levels are laid out, as well as some puzzles.
  • Heart of the Matter: The villain wants to summon the Chaos Heart, which powers a universe destroying rift known as the Void while making its summoner practically invincible.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Most of the main villains, including Count Bleck, team up to help you stop Dimentio.
  • Hell Invades Heaven: An army of Skellobits from the Underwhere invades the Overthere, where an army of Nimbis rises to fight it.
  • Hellhound: The Underchomp is an obvious parody of the typical Cerberus, being a three-headed Chain Chomp that guards the last door between the Underwhere and the Overthere.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Done by Count Bleck and Tippi to destroy the Chaos Heart.
    • Bowser and O'Chunks hold up a collapsing ceiling in 8-1 to keep the others from getting crushed.
  • High-Class Glass: Count Bleck wears a monocle over one of his eyes, going along with his presentation of a suit-and-cane gentleman.
  • High Collar of Doom: Count Bleck, the game's main villain, wears a suit with a collar that rises higher than his head.
  • Hollywood Chameleon: Francis. He can turn completely invisible and move around the battlefield like that. Even more bizarrely, he cannot be hurt or touched while invisible.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Francis is a tech genius with opaque glasses, way too much geek paraphernalia, and an obsession with getting a girlfriend.
  • Honor Before Reason: Subverted with the Sammer Kingdom. In order to reach the Pure Heart, you have to fight the Sammer Guy's 100-Man Army one by one. Once it becomes apparent that it won't be long before the Void destroys the Sammer Kingdom, however, they allow you bypass the fighting in order to hurry you to the Pure Heart. You don't even come close to making it.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Deconstructed with Blumiere. He fell in love with a woman named Lady Timpani and eventually got engaged to her, breaking his tribe's taboo against marriage outside of them in the process. In response, his father cursed her to wander between dimensions until her death, and then callously scolded him for disgracing him and their entire tribe by his engagement to a "dirty" human girl. He eventually snapped and lashed out on "everything that had taken her away from him", even going as far as killing his father and seeking to destroy reality. Fortunately, he gets better upon finding out that his love is still alive.
  • Hub Level: Flipside is the biggest city of the dimension Mario has been transported to, and he explores it fully to place Pure Hearts into Heart Pillars to unlock the doors to new Chapters. It contains many other services like shops, a chef, and an arcade. Halfway through the game, he unlocks Flopside, a mirrored version of Flipside that contains the remaining Heart Pillars and some extra services.
  • Humanity Ensues: One of Carson's stories is about a man who saves a bat from a trap while on a journey; the bat falls for him and turns herself into a human so she can accompany him. The implication is that the bat was Nastasia, and she was rescued by Blumiere while he was searching the dimensions for Timpani.
  • Humongous Mecha: Mr. L fights with the Brobots, machines built in the shape of his head. The first is a spaceship that serves as the boss of Chapter 4 once he's defeated in person, and he upgrades it to the Brobot L-Type (which walks on land and uses Giant Hands of Doom) when he fights as the last boss of Chapter 6.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Listing all the punny names, events, and other innuendos in this game could take up an entire article on its own.
    • Each and every one of the Sammer Guy's 100-Man Army has a punny name (examples: See Shout-Out), complete with pre- and post-battle text.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: The playable characters have a special "hurt" animation when they land on something sharp, humorously clutching their foot as they fall backward.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Peach in the beginning of the game, to make her cooperate with being married to Bowser.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Nastasia has a rather obvious crush on her boss, Count Bleck, though she must know that it could never possibly be anything but unrequited, since Count Bleck has an extreme case of Single-Target Sexuality, and losing the woman he loved was his entire reason for becoming an Omnicidal Maniac in the first place. O'Chunks' crush on Nastasia also counts, since as Bleck's Dragon she outranks him.
  • Incoming Ham:
    • Bleck precedes his grandiose entrances and speeches with his Evil Laugh. "BLEH HEH HEH! BLECK!"
    • Dimentio provides one of his bizarre similes whenever he warps in. "We meet again, like two angry, burly dinosaurs with indigestion!"
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    Mr. L: I uh... got to go deflavorize the Brobot's uh... Flavorizer.
  • Inevitable Tournament: The Sammer's Kingdom storyline, where Mario's party has to fight 100 Sammer Guys in the Duel of 100 to obtain Chapter 6's Pure Heart. They don't get to finish the tournament initially, as Bleck shows up after the 20th opponent and commands the Void to consume the world, leaving them to get the (temporarily disabled) Pure Heart by fighting Mr. L in the destroyed kingdom. In the post-game, the Duel of 100 can be attempted for real, with Catch Cards of Mario's partners from The Thousand-Year Door as a reward.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: Bowser, when he attempts to climb ladders.
    [Bowser flails his arms, attempting to climb the ladder]
    Bowser: (under his breath) Can't climb this!
  • In Medias Res: The wedding scene that plays during the Attract Mode. Chronologically, that scene occurs during the span of time when Mario is blacked out, after Count Bleck captures Bowser, the Koopa Troop and Luigi partway through the introduction.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Flipside and Flopside, which are said to exist between dimensions.
  • Innocent Innuendo: A lot of what Squirps says, like wanting to be squeezed and twisted into small spaces and also twice asking the player if they were in love with him (whether it was Mario, Peach, or Bowser didn't matter).
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Subverted when Mario gets separated from his teammates one by one in Chapter 8, but they come back together to assist him in the final boss fight.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Super Star turns the character into a giant 8-bit version of themselves.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: "Look, nobody likes having their butterfly kidnapped by a geek, but it's dangerous!"
  • I Was Quite a Looker: The Three Hags, old crones from the Underwhere based on the Greek Fates, claim that they looked a lot better in their youth. One of them, Hagnes, even competed for Grambi's love back in the day, though she lost out to Jaydes.
  • The Jester: Dimentio is a harlequin jester and one of Bleck's main minions, mostly serving to make weird jokes and be the brains behind a few plans like the Floro Sprout production in Chapter 5. Most of this jesting is an act; beneath it all, he's a maniac who's been manipulating the whole plot for his own means and planning to betray Bleck at the last minute.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Blumiere's father started out as refusing to let his son leave the castle. When he found out his son fell in love with Timpani, he blackmailed her into breaking up with him from behind the scenes. When that failed, he cursed her to wander between dimensions as a last resort, almost killing her in the process.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Blumiere's father told his own son that Timpani was just deceiving him. Deconstructed, as it backfired.
    • Nastasia is killed by Dimentio shielding Count Bleck from one of his attacks. His response: "What an adorably hopeless gesture".
  • Kill and Replace: Shadoo explicitly attempts this with the heroes after they make it to the bottom of the Flopside Pits of 100 Trials, making clones of the heroes to try and kill them off in an attempt to steal their Pixls so that he can take revenge on the Ancients.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: In the Flipside and Flopside Pits of 100 Trials, Mario and his companions go through 100 rooms, and each one has assorted enemies which the player must kill to find the one that has a key that opens the door to the next room.
  • Knockback: Taking damage makes your character bounce back a considerable distance, certainly enough for Ledge Bats to be a problem. Tippi even lampshades it one of her enemy tattles, telling the player to be careful near narrow ledges.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The game has a lot of fun with commenting on aspects of the story and standard Mario conventions, advancing the trend started by the first two Paper Mario games.
  • Large Ham: O'Chunks, Francis to an extent, Squirps to an extent as well, possibly Super Dimentio, and so on. The characters that end up memorable tend to be this.
  • Last of His Kind: Count Bleck is implied to be the last of the Tribe of Darkness.
  • Leap of Faith: Some of the levels are designed to require jumping into or over unseeable gaps to progress, though since bottomless pits aren't lethal, it's not much of a hassle.
  • Left for Dead: Blumiere's father didn't bother killing Timpani after he cursed her to wander between dimensions until her death. She survived thanks to the help of Merlon.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Appropriately enough, the theme of the final boss, Super Dimentio, who is a fusion of Dimentio, the Chaos Heart and Luigi, is a mixture of their individual leitmotifs.
    • Count Bleck's theme undergoes many repeats and variations, forming the backbone of the soundtrack, along with the main fanfare and the "Memory" theme.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: In the final flashback sequence, this happens to the music when Blumiere cements his Face–Heel Turn and takes the Dark Prognosticus.
  • Line Boil: The darkness effect from Chapter 7-2 is a highly animated series of black lines forming a dark area around your character.
  • Living Crashpad: Bowser and O'Chunks were last seen holding up a Descending Ceiling. The camera cuts to Mario and his friends in another room, and we hear the ceiling come down, suggesting Bowser and O'Chunks were crushed. Later, we see Princess Peach and Mimi fall down a hole in the floor, into their apparent doom. Eventually, Bowser and Peach return unscathed during the battle with Count Bleck.
    Tippi: You're all here... But how?
    Bowser: I fell through the floor before I got flattened by the ceiling.
    Peach: I fell through, too, and landed right on Bowser! It was a surprisingly soft landing...
  • Loners Are Freaks: Francis. He gets incredibly nervous once Peach shows up and is so awkward and inept at normal face-to-face socialization that he needs to use a special program just to interact with her. On top of that, the program is a dating sim.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The English translation removes or downplays several aspects of Dimentio seen in the Japanese version, such as his frequent use of nicknames, Gratuitous French, Gratuitous English, and Gratuitous Spanish.
    • The post-Chapter flashbacks has a scene where an injured Timpani rejects Blumiere, leading him to wonder if his father was behind it. The North American release replaces her being injured with her crying.
    • After Count Bleck's defeat, he states that the Dark Prognosticus has been passed down his family. The North American translation drops this information.
    • When Count Bleck explains to Tippi his motives, he says he wanted to devote all worlds to Timpani, the love of his life. The North American release replaces it with him saying he wanted to destroy everything that took her away from him.
    • In the Japanese version, Carson states that Count Bleck saved O'Chunks from being killed at the hands of one of the latter's underlings. However, in the English translation, Count Bleck is said to have played on the guilt of this event to eventually sway him to his side.
  • Love Dodecahedron: O'Chunks has unrequited feelings for Nastasia, who has unrequited feelings for Count Bleck alongside Mimi. Count Bleck has a Single-Target Sexuality for Timpani, who loved him back but lost all of her memories upon her Emergency Transformation into Tippi, after which she shows signs of liking Mario.
  • Love Freak: Luvbi tends to act based on her desire to find a true love. It's most likely a side-effect of her being formed from a Pure Heart, a love-based artifact.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Count Bleck's motive.
  • Love Redeems: Count Bleck finally sees the error of his ways, and helps the heroes save the world by restoring power to the Pure Hearts, and then, after Dimentio is defeated, marries his true love, Timpani, to stop the Big Bad's last resort, and undoes the Chaos Heart's damage. Unfortunately, this kills them in the process. Except The Stinger reveals a shot of what appears to be a couple standing in a meadow, one of whom is wearing a top hat, which suggests that it's Count Bleck/Lord Blumiere and Timpani. Whether their location is another world or something else entirely, though, is up for debate.

  • MacGuffin Person Reveal: Luvbi is the white Pure Heart.
  • Magical Clown: Dimentio, an evil magical jester. As his name implies, he has control over dimensions, and can even create his own. His Leitmotif is even called "Dimentio, Charming Magician."
  • Magikarp Power: Piccolo's ability to alter sound effects seems completely useless and gimmicky, until you find out that her Magic Music can cure all status ailments.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: The game opens with Count Bleck forcibly taking Bowser into Another Dimension, then mind-controlling Bowser and Peach into marrying each other, causing an interdimensional rip that will destroy all universes if left unchecked. (It Makes Sense in Context.) Though Mario initially thinks Peach going missing is Bowser's work, he realizes what happened when the two meet in The Bitlands, and the two join forces (among others) to take Count Bleck down. Count Bleck would then be usurped by an even more recent villain, Dimentio, who waits until Mario defeats Bleck, then takes the power of the Dark Prognosticus for himself and fuses with Luigi to become Super Dimentio.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: According to Carson, the Tribe of Darkness lived in seclusion to protect their magic from foreign contamination out of pride. Ironically, this brought their own downfall when Blumiere took the Dark Prognosticus in an attempt to avenge his human fiancée's Disney Death.
  • Marathon Level: The Pit of 100 Trials.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Nastasia, which means "She shall rise again". She survives an apparently fatal attack. Especially brilliant, in that most players merely see a play on words between the word "nasty" and the name "Natashia", suggesting that it's just a name for a villain.
    • Also Luvbi (as in "love" - hearts), who transforms into a Pure Heart.
  • Me's a Crowd: At one point in Chapter 8-3, Dimentio floods a hallway with copies of himself. While they don't harm you, they are in your way and push you back to the center of the room.
  • Minecart Madness: Mario has to ride a few mine carts in the Floro Caverns and one of them includes loop-de-loops in the track. Another one has a split that cannot be seen in 2D, so Mario's 3D flip timer is suspended.
  • Mirror Boss: The boss(es) of the Pit of 100 Trials in Flopside are like this.
  • Mirror World: Flopside is a mirror image of Flipside.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: A canon example: Luvbi is a Pure Heart in the form of a Nimbi.
  • Monster Clown: Dimentio, who superficially resembles a jester and has truly dark machinations at work.
  • Mood Whiplash: A lot of the later chapters get dark. One world gets sucked into the Void, leaving nothing but a white void left, and in the second part of the Bonus Level of Heaven, the Void actually appears in the background! What's more, the Void grows larger as the game progresses, and if you revisit an older level, you may see the Void in the background when it wasn't visible before. Revisit World 1-1 after the Void has grown a couple times to see this effect.
  • Mook Bouncer: The Back Cursya and Gnips.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: At one point in Chapter 5, you progress to a series of floating blocks. The only way to make the pipe appear to get to the next area is to it the blocks in order in a long, complicated sequence. The only way to know the sequence (without using an external source) is to talk to one of the villagers, whom you have to say please to five times (by repeatedly typing the word "please") before he gives you the very long pattern. Definitely a Guide Dang It! for those who don't bother to Talk to Everyone.
  • Morton's Fork:
    • When you're in Green's house to get him to activate the bridge, he asks you if red or green is a better colour. No matter what answer you give, he'll kick you out of his house for one reason or another.
      (if "Red!" is selected) RED?! Get out of here with your ugly red cap! I said GET OUT!
      (if "Green!" is selected) Hey... You're wearing red! I'm onto your lie, buddy!
      (if "Both!" is selected) Wh-What?! Both of 'em?! Grow a spine! And when you do, you can use it to get out of my house!
    • Luvbi is faced with one when she finds out that she is the last Pure Heart: if she chooses to become the Pure Heart again, she will die (and since they are already in the afterlife, experience Cessation of Existence). However, if she does not do this, then the heroes will not be able to stop the destruction of all worlds, meaning that everyone in the multiverse will cease to exist, including those who are already in the afterlife. She will experience Cessation of Existence either way. Her Heroic Sacrifice seems a little less heroic considering that. Fortunately, she appears again in the Overthere after the game is complete.
  • Mr. Exposition: Merlon. While the Merlons of previous games were just helpful seers, this one is a major character who gives a lot of direction for Mario and explains a lot about Flipside and Bleck.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not explicitly shown, but the Violent Glaswegian O'Chunks used to be a military commander, until a betrayal cost him the lives of all his men.
  • Mythology Gag: The Pal Pills are very similar to a brigade of miniature Marios who briefly appeared in the Super Mario World cartoon episode "Rock TV". They also use the 8-bit Mario sprites, complete with death animation.
  • The Needless: Played with. Mario can't survive in space without oxygen yet he only needs to use a fishbowl as a helmet to avoid suffocation.
  • Never Say "Die": Whenever death is mentioned, it's referred to as a Game Over if you're not related to flowers, in which case it's referred to as wilting. This is actually played for laughs, rather than censorship. At one point, your whole party visits the afterlife and gets a chance to speak with the dead, all of whom have died in ways you'd expect to die in a Mario game. When your party is ready to leave the afterlife, they even get a literal continue.
    • Actually, during the Final Boss battle, Dimentio says "dies" when relating to Count Bleck.
    • And the queen of the afterlife says that she has power over life and death. It seems more like the word "life" is simply interchangeable with "game".
    • Interestingly, it seems that the afterlife in the games is laid along the same lines as in Greek Mythology.
    • After the Peach and Mimi fight in 8-2, Peach saves Mimi and says "I can't leave you here to die."
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Mimi.
    Mimi: Stupid-heads... I'd mimicked her perfectly! You know it! ...I guess I'll congratulate you... by tearing you to little bits like stupid confetti!
    • Dimentio, good God...
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Count Bleck is the Noble Male and O'Chunks is the Roguish Male.
  • No Fourth Wall: The Thousand-Year Door didn't have much of a barrier on the fourth wall to begin with, but this game takes it further with characters bringing up concepts like Game Overs and sequels naturally. Still, the game keeps itself self-contained and most of the fourth-wall breaking is just for gags.
  • No-Gear Level: After Dimentio sends Mario to the Underwhere he winds up in the Underwhere without Peach and Bowser and with no Pixls or other items. His first run through the level requires only his moves to make it through the stage.
  • No Hero Discount: Bestovius outright asks you why you, as the hero, should be able to learn his world-saving technique for free. (You can if you resist paying for long enough.)
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Lampshaded:
    Mimi: But... But... That explosion didn't even turn you black with soot! That totally didn't even hurt you at all! This stinks!
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • The very start of the game, you can refuse the Pure Heart that Merlon tries to give you by saying "No" three times (with Merlon getting increasingly desperate each time). After that, he'll wander off worrying, you get a text screen saying that the universe was destroyed. Overlaps with Press Start to Game Over.
    • In the beginning of Chapter 4, you can refuse to put the helmet on while you're in space and then say you enjoy not breathing. You'll obviously die from lack of oxygen.
    Tippi: Ugh. Who's stupider? You? Or me, for listening to you... No more... Good-bye.'
    • If you refuse to help Queen Jaydes find Luvbi, she strikes you with lightning and kills you.
    • In Chapter 8-3, if you agreed to join Dimentio, he brainwashes you, and it's Game Over.
  • Noodle Incident: One of the Sammer Guys was King Sammer's personal trainer, until an unfortunate sit-up incident.
  • No Power, No Color: The 8 Pure Hearts are all powerful and colorful artifacts, and when the violet one loses its power, it gets turned into a gray stone. When the violet Pure Heart's power gets restored, it regains its color as well.
  • No Sneak Attacks: Averted; at one point, Dimentio DOES appear in Merlon's house as the heroes are delivering the petrified Pure Heart, and, after a brief dialogue, sends them to the Underwhere them without giving them a chance to fight. However, he only did this to send them to the afterlife so they could get the eighth Pure Heart, as well as to reunite Mario and Luigi, as part of his grand Batman Gambit.
  • Nostalgia Level: A room in chapter 3-1 is identical to level 1-2 from the original Super Mario Bros, complete with warp zone.
    • A mine passage in chapter 5-3 is identical to level 2-1 from the same game, complete with the hidden vine that takes you to coin heaven.
    • The entirety of Chapter 1-1 is a reference to level 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. complete with a remix of the music.
    • World 2-2 was recreated in Chapter 3-2.
  • Not Me This Time: Peach is kidnapped at the beginning. Immediately, Mario and Luigi go to Bowser's castle to rescue her. However, it turns out that Bowser was in the middle of a rallying speech in preparation for invading Peach's castle and did not actually do anything yet.
  • Number of the Beast: Well, sort of referenced. They used 667 instead of 666 for one of Dorguy's questions referencing the unlucky numbers.
    "Shayde B buys 667 pens for 13 coins and buys 108 notebooks for 42 coins each.
  • Off the Rails: Instead of finding Slim and emptying the rubee vault in Chapter 2-3, the player can get all 1,000,000 rubees they need by simply earning the cash they need. It'll take about six hours to do (minimum!), but it's possible.
    • You still need Slim to reach the end block though.
  • Oh, Crap!: More specifically, "OH CRAG!"
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Count Bleck. Until he learns that the love of his life is still alive, that is. Then he becomes more of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Castle Bleck.
  • Optional Party Member: Barry, Dashell, Piccolo and Tiptron.
  • Overly Long Gag: Super Paper Mario loves these, least of all being the repeated block-hitting and hamster-wheel running in Merlee's Mansion.
    • "Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...Um...A girl fell from the sky!"
  • Painting the Medium: Tiptron's tattle cursor moves more slowly and hesitantly than Tippi's, hinting at her serious identity crisis. Her text boxes are also shaped like other machines', while retaining Tippi's rainbow border.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Pun aside, no one on Mario's side ever knows who Mr. L really is. Not even Mario himself, who only finds him "familiar."
    • Inverted and played with in Mimi's first appearance. She disguises as Merlee to fool Mario, leading to a Quiz Game Show in which you're supposed to guess which one is the real deal from the answers. But there's no info on the real Merlee to be used as reference at that point, so it would seem like it's merely a lucky guess, and Mimi's plan would have worked greatly, were it not for the fly that was fluttering around the real Merlee all the time due to hiding in the toilet.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Blumiere's father to Timpani and Blumiere. Of the 'she's the wrong race' type. This involved banishing Timpani to the edges of the universe, as well as almost killing her. Let's just say it didn't turn out well for the father.
  • Party in My Pocket:
    • To the point where if a cutscene calls for more than one playable character to be on camera, the others have to appear or disappear Behind the Black. A notable instance takes place during the Overthere Stair level — in the cutscene where Peach returns to your party, whichever character you are using (Mario, Luigi, or Bowser) feeds her a black apple to wake her up, which tastes disgusting. Her Wild Take knocks the single character off camera, then Mario, Luigi, and Bowser all walk back on camera. After a while of discussion, Luvbi interrupts, and the camera moves to get her in frame, conveniently leaving Mario, Luigi, and Bowser out of the shot again. Peach remains on camera for the rest of the cutscene, and when gameplay returns, Mario, Luigi, and Bowser are no longer standing there — you're controlling Peach now, but you can switch back to one of the others.
  • Party Scattering: Dimentio sends Mario and gang to the Underwhere, the Mario-verse equivalent of Hades. Mario wakes up alone and has to team up with Luigi before they can escape, then go back and reunite with Bowser and Peach so they can advance the plot.
  • Perky Female Minion:
    • Inverted with Count Bleck and Nastasia. He is cheerful in embracing his over-the-top villainy and magician-like looks and personality. His secretary, Nastasia, is gloomy, precise, and organizes most of the actual plans. Subverted as he turns out to be a Stepford Smiler.
    • Mimi is Count Bleck's perky female minion in contrast to the more enigmatic Dimentio.
    • Gender Inverted with O'Chunks. He is a stereotypically Scottish big dumb guy.
  • Perspective Magic: Much of the game's puzzles and level navigation focus on flipping from 2D to 3D and back to manipulate the perspectives on scenery elements.
  • Pet the Dog: Count Bleck may be an evil world-destroyer, but his treatment of his minions, while sometimes involving manipulation, are the first sign that he's not as straight-evil as he likes to present himself as.
  • Playable Epilogue: Once you beat the final boss, Super Dimentio, you can reload your save and continue to play the game. Some of Count Bleck's minions are now in Flipside and you can talk to them, and some post-game challenges like the Duel of 100 become available.
  • The Player Is the Most Important Resource: Played for Laughs; the "Almighty Player Who Watches Over Us" is said to be the only one who will understand the fourth-wall breaking control instructions.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Blumiere's father only told him that Timpani was no longer a part of "this world," which a heartbroken Blumiere took to mean that she had died. Turns out his father meant it a bit more literally, in that he only banished Timpani from their dimension, but Blumiere kills him before he can clarify the difference.
  • Pop Quiz:
    • The "That's My Merlee!" contest in Mimi's Mansion to determine which Merlee is the real one.
    • The doors in Francis's Mansion will give a pop quiz with nerdy questions. Only Princess Peach is allowed to take the quizzes, since she's a "totally sexy lady".
  • Potty Emergency: In Chaper 4-2, Squirps ends up having to go to the restroom, but the only one nearby is occupied by Fleep.
  • The Power of Love: The game's main theme.
  • Press Start to Game Over: You can end the game right at the beginning by repeatedly refusing to help Merlon.
  • Press X to Die:
    • You can die before the game even officially starts. Just tell the character telling you about the rift in the world that you don't want to do anything about it. He will ask if you're sure and tell you the world will end without your help. Say yes and he asks if you are REALLY sure. Say yes again and he then says something like "Well... I guess there is nothing to be done about it then. This world and all who live in it will be destroyed." And you get a Game Over, even before you can officially control your character.
    • When you enter level 4-1, which is set in outer space, you can choose not to put on your air helmet. Do that 3 times and after Tippi mocks your ineptitude, BOOM — game over.
    • Another We Can Rule Together happens in the next-to-last chapter. Cue another few "Are you sure"'s from the same character from the previous example before leaving you at the Big Bad's mercy.
  • Pride: According to Carson, the Tribe of Darkness avoided mixing with other people out of pride.
    • This was the Fatal Flaw of Blumiere's father. He doesn't take it well when he felt that his honor has been disgraced by his son's engagement to Timpani. His pride is his downfall, as it makes him commit horrible deeds without understanding the value of love to restore his honor, which indirectly caused his death.
  • Promoted to Playable: Bowser, Peach and Luigi; the latter two were only playable through interludes and Luigi wasn't even playable at all in the previous games, but here they become full-fledged playable characters.
  • Prophecy Pileup: Zigzagged; both the Light and Dark Prognosticus tell the tale of the end of the world and the heroes who would challenge it, but Merlon openly states that the Light Prognosticus was only written to counteract the Dark one, and isn't actually prophetic. Though the game is very confusing on this point; the characters all act as though the Light Prognosticus is just as valid and consult it for advice, and in the end, it is the one that ends up fulfilled.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Mimi, possibly.
  • Punny Name: Every Pixl has one based on their ability - Tippi gives you tips, Thoreau throws things, Boomer blows obstacles and enemies up, and so on.

  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Count Bleck has a squad of elite minions who work to stop Mario from getting the Pure Hearts, and they all have standout odd appearances, personalities, and speech patterns. The main quartet (O'Chunks, Mimi, Dimentio, and Mr. L) get at least three boss fights each across the game; the last one, Bleck's second-in-command Nastasia, is never fought but still plays a big role in his enforcing.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your partners are the lady who's typically your Damsel in Distress, the giant monster who's typically your arch-nemesis, and your typical sidekick, who bears a striking resemblance to one of the Big Bad's minions. And you have about a dozen Fairy Companions, all of whom have their own eccentricities from thinking a princess in a pink dress is worth lots of girth to constantly singing in a French accent.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Squirps, but there's other 1500-year-old characters as well!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mimi gives one to Peach. Big mistake.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Happens to the music played during Tippi's Flashbacks when she realizes Count Bleck is really her lover, Blumiere, who presumably kills his father in vengeance for banishing Tippi to walk all the worlds until she dies.
  • Refusal of the Call: Mario doesn't have to save the world if he doesn't want to, but...
  • Reluctant Warrior: Fracktail initially intended to simply let Mario pass on by to acquire the Pure Heart without any conflict. Unfortunately for the both of them, Dimentio took care of that.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Tiptron for Tippi, despite a mild identity crisis on whether she really is Tippi or a creation of Francis. Trust me, you will want to buy Tiptron — still heartbreaking to see the circles at the ends of her antennae, though.
  • Retraux: Done in an odd way with Bitlands, which is made to resemble mosaic art rather than pixel art.
  • Robot Maid: Giant cat robot maids, in fact.
  • RPG Elements: This game is a platformer with RPG elements like attack stats and health. This is the inverse of the other Paper Mario games, which are RPGs with platform elements.
  • Rule of Three: In the final chapter, three sets of Pure Hearts were used up to counter the Chaos Heart: One set, which Mario and the Party spent the entire rest of the game acquiring up to that point, was used to remove the barrier protecting Count Bleck; The second set, created from Bleck/Lumiere and Tippi/Timpani reigniting their love for each other, was used to do the same to Dimentio when he usurped Bleck's control over the Chaos Heart; And the last set, created when Bleck and Timpani got married, was used to stop the Chaos Heart from destroying all worlds.
  • Save the Villain: As she begins to fall, Peach grabs Mimi, surprising her into turning good.
  • Saving the World: Or worlds, rather.
  • Scoring Points: Though due to the RPG Elements the score also doubles as an experience system.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The Flopside counterpart of Merlon nicknames himself "Nolrem" to avoid confusion.
  • Searching the Stalls: Towards the end of Chapter 2, Merlee is found hiding inside a toilet in a restroom at the bottom of her mansion.
  • Secret Diary: Dimentio quotes Mimi's and asks if she was dreaming about "pools of gems and hunky pool boys." Mimi turns into Bowser as she yells at Dimentio for reading her diary, in a Continuity Nod to the first Paper Mario.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: Two of them in quick succession. First, Count Bleck is impervious to all damage until Mario's companions arrive, giving the Pure Hearts the power to nullify Bleck's invincibility. After Bleck is defeated, Dimentio goes One-Winged Angel. Because the Pure Hearts were depleted in the fight with Bleck, Super Dimentio is invincible until the Pure Hearts are restored in another cutscene.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: By banishing Timpani/Tippi to "save" the Tribe Of Darkness from its destruction, Blumiere/Bleck's father indirectly made his son its eventual destroyer.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Blumiere, a.k.a. Count Bleck, is heavily implied to have done this. To be fair, his father was a Jerkass (see Parental Marriage Veto above).
  • Sequel Escalation: The previous game merely involved Saving the World; this game has you traveling across dimensions to save the multiverse. As a point of fact, the Saving the World aspect of The Thousand Year Door only became a factor near the end of the game. The stakes of this game are established in the introductory cutscene, before you even press Start.
  • Serious Business: It's implied left and right that Francis lost friends over arguments about their favorite shows.
  • Shabby Heroes, Well-Dressed Villains: Mario and Luigi wear work clothes. Count Bleck, the Big Bad, is a Man of Wealth and Taste.
  • Shaped Like Itself: This game gives us the "Dark Dark Boo", a dark version of an already dark enemy.
  • Shell Backpack:
    • The Koopa Striker enemies wear soccer uniforms that cover half of their shells.
    • Bowser also wears a white tuxedo during his wedding with Peach in the introduction.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Yold Desert in Chapter 1-2 is a traditional desert.
  • Shipper on Deck: Luvbi spends at least half of her screentime speculating about relationships between the characters.
  • Shout-Out: Tons.
    • Nearly every Sammer Guy has a Punny Name of some sort, mostly relating to other characters or elements in the greater Mario series. See here for a full list.
    • Francis has a Pink Princess poster.
    • The Underchomp battle is an Unexpected Gameplay Change based on the old-school Dragon Quest games. And just like the Cerberus, putting it to sleep with Piccolo is the easiest way of dealing with it.
    • Nastasia's dialogue in the English version is very reminiscent of a certain office manager.
    • One of the worlds is called "Lineland", after a location in Flatland, which is, of course, about a 2D being who gets introduced to 3D.
    • Also, Fracktail ends up being driven crazy by the Big Bad, forcing Mario to fight it and only regains control over itself when Mario delivers the final blow and perishes soon thereafter, just like Volvagia and Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's manga.
      • Speaking of Fracktail and Zelda, one of the phrases Fracktail spouts while glitching out is "I AM ERROR."
      • When Fracktail is searching his databases for Mario, his eyes turn into the Wii Shop loading logo, and the sound plays as well.
    • Chapter 7 involves you starting from hell and going up to heaven to defeat a Satanic Archetype in a similar vein to Kid Icarus.
  • Shows Damage: Bonechill and Mimi; the latter loses one of her spider legs every time you damage her enough.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Mimi's transformation sequence to "True Mimi" has one of these. Every time.
  • Sissy Villain: King Croacus IV, the latest in a line of flower rulers of the Floro Sapiens and the boss of Chapter 5. He's got a beauty mark and big lips, and he's very flamboyant and obsessed with beauty.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Flint Cragley, one of the Cragnons. He's a famous explorer among his people, but he's moreso focused on news filming and gets pretty cowardly when actual danger arises. He's something of a successor to Kolorado and Flavio from the preceeding Paper Mario games, and is also a focus of Chapter 5 like they were.
  • The Sociopath: Dimentio checks off every aspect of a sociopath in his characterization: he doesn't care for anything or anyone besides himself, he lies and schemes constantly to set up his plan, and he wants to create a world in his own image rather than eradicate everything like Bleck.
  • Something Completely Different: Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are both RPGs with Turn-Based Combat and other typical RPG Elements. Super Paper Mario, on the other hand, features real time combat and is more of an adventure game with several RPG elements. Only time will tell whether another Super Paper Mario game will come and make it its own series.
  • Sorry I'm Late: Midway through the battle against Count Bleck, Mario is joined by Peach, Bowser, and Luigi.
  • Space Zone: The first and third parts of Chapter 4 which of course are also Unexpected Shmup Levels.
  • Spider Limbs: Mimi can twist her head upside-down to grow long spider legs out of it. They give her a big height and speed advantage, but they break off as she gets hurt.
  • Spoiler Title: Once you enter the second segment of Chapter 6 and see that it's titled "The End of a World", you know what's coming.
  • Stalked by the Bell:
    • Mimi on level 2-4, where she'll show up if you linger in a room for too long.
    • In the Pits of 100 Trials, you receive 5 minutes per room to get the key and enter the next room. Any longer and you get an instant Game Over.
    • There are enemies known as Megabites that can spawn during certain parts of the game by spending too long in one room.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Count Bleck (AKA: Blumiere) and Tippi (AKA: Timpani), on account of the Parental Marriage Veto.
  • The Starscream: Dimentio actually usurps the throne at the end of the game.
  • Start of Darkness: The post-Chapter flashbacks reveals Blumiere's descent into villainy. He fell in love with a human girl named Timpani. However, his father banished her from their home dimension, pushing him beyond the Despair Event Horizon. He snapped and sought Revenge by becoming Count Bleck and siccing the Dark Prognosticus on his father.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Before their showdown in Chapter 8-2, Mimi mocks Princess Peach for her title and her tendency to be kidnapped and rescued by the Mario Bros. It was really big mistake, and Mimi is reduced to a emotional wreck afterwards.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The River Twygz in the Underwhere is a parody of the River Styx in Greek Mythology. Now say them aloud. Styx sounds like sticks, Twygz sounds like twigs.
    • You can ride a mine cart. It's a...Mario Kart.
  • Storybook Opening: As with the previous games, the introduction starts with a narrator detailing a major importance to the story.
  • Straw Fan: Francis is the absolute epitome of this trope. In one of his private rooms, you can find and read this "Geeklog" entry:
    Geeklog Date: 11.26
    Mood: Ranty

    The sun is bright outside so I'm going to stay in and watch "The Blubbening".
    Season One has better writing and voice acting than the later seasons.
    I mean, COME ON. Everything went totally downhill after the big dream sequence.
    Still, the animation in the scenes where Tubba Blubba battles robots is schweet.
    Season Three was obviously just a vehicle for selling action figures and vehicles!
    I never understood why they changed the sound effect when the princess appears.
    It was "Deet-dinga-deet-ling!" then suddenly it was "dinga-deet-dinga-ling!"
    As if no one would notice! Pffft! True fans care about important stuff about that.
    They should totally run the show without commercials and let fans suggest story lines!
    That's what fans want, and we're the only ones that matter.
    I guess I'll still buy "The Blubbening" box set. The preorder bonus is a costume!
    While I wait for it to come, I'll go online and tell everyone it's stupid.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In 2-3, you wind up having to pay off a 1,000,000 Rubee debt for breaking Mimi's vase at the very beginning of the level. You could just ignore the vase, thus never bringing up the debt in the first place... but the game won't let you leave the area this way, so you have no choice but to break it.
    • And another when Merlon makes you hit a block, opening a pit beneath you that you fall into, despite his dialogue heavily hinting that something is amiss. If you refuse enough times, he even lampshades it, explaining how event flags work and how you need to fall for the trap to progress the game.
  • Super Cell Reception: The Queen of the Underworld makes a phone call to the King of Mario's-equivalent-to-Heaven. That's not a normal phone whichever way you look at it.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Unlike the previous games.
    • Except for a small pool of polluted water in the Cromag village. Which foreshadows the true motive behind the Floro Sapiens' invasion.
  • Super Speed: The secret pixl, Dashell, allows your character to run much faster. Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach can be seen to outrun a sound wave without Dashell, though Bowser is just barely slower.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Mario. Despite being the main hero of the Light Prognosticus, the game isn't about him. It's about the tragic romance of Tippi and Bleck, Luigi's role in the Dark Prognosticus, and Dimentio taking advantage of the three. The introduction narration even outright tells you who the story is really about.
  • Surprise Creepy: This is quite notable for much of its dark elements, especially if you're coming from one of the other games in the series.
  • Take That!:
  • Taking You with Me: Dimentio decides that if he can't create his own perfect world, then he'll destroy all worlds instead.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Dimentio. His talent for weird similes that still somehow make sense is rivaled only by his prowess in dimensional magic.
    "And so I arrive, like a sudden windstorm at a kindergarten picnic!"
  • Temple of Doom: The Yold Ruins in Chapter 1-4. The boss battle with Fracktail though is fought on the surface.
  • That Man Is Dead: Subverted. Count Bleck gives this speech, but ends up turning good at the end all the same.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Count Bleck's trying to cause the end of The Multiverse as we know it.
  • Theme Naming: Fracktail and Wracktail.
  • Theme Song Reveal: There's a clever one hidden rather well: Count Bleck's theme is the "Memory" theme played in ragtime and transposed to a different key.
  • There Are No Therapists: Despite all the dysfunctional things Count Bleck went through, no one in-game mentions the concept of therapy.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Very possible to pull off. The basic Goomba has one single hit point. There is an item that temporarily doubles your attack. There is a Pixl that doubles your attack with a butt-stomp. There is a card that globally doubles your attack. By leveling up and obtaining certain power-ups, you can reach a maximum of 198 attack for Bowser (the other characters cap at 99). Finally, you can hold a maximum of 99 cards of an enemy, and each card multiplies the damage you deal to it. So in conclusion, with the maximum circumstances, you can give a poor weak Goomba a total damage of 2 x 2 x 2 x 198 x 100 (99 cards = 100x damage). This sums up to a brutal 158,400 points of damage.
  • Third-Person Person: Count Bleck. He is probably reading his own dialogue from the Dark Prognosticus, so this is justified. Or it's just a Verbal Tic. However, he does occasionally refer to himself in first-person, which gives further weight to the quoting-from-the-Dark-Prognosticus theory.
    • Squirps and most of the Cragnons also do this.
  • Throw-Away Country: Sammer's Kingdom.
  • To Hell and Back:
    • Your whole party is seemingly given a Game Over, and end up in The Underwhere. Luckily, the Queen is pretty friendly and gives you a Continue when it's revealed that you aren't really dead and shouldn't be there.
    • And then the door to Chapter 7 brings you right BACK into the Underwhere, because that's where the final Pure Heart is located. And then you get back. So it's a double dose of this trope in the same game. Although the second trip was via dimension-hopping both ways, not death.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Dark Prognosticus.
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: The Dark Prognosticus and the Light Prognosticus.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Peach.
  • Totally Radical: The Floro Sapiens, once you get to know 'em. Their hippy-like speech patterns may be a bit of a Stealth Pun — they're flower children!
  • Tragedy: The post-Chapter flashback storyline in a nutshell.
  • Treacherous Spirit Chase: In the final chapter, Mimi appears before you disguised as Merlon and Merlee, both of which are so ridiculously obvious that if you keep talking to her, she'll lampshade the Stupidity Is the Only Option of this situation, as Mario falling for her extremely obvious trap is the only way to progress.
  • The Trickster: Combined with Monster Clown with Dimentio.
  • True Companions: Perversely enough, Count Bleck and his henchmen (except Dimentio, The Starscream).
  • Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo: Mimi has some characteristics of a jorogumo: her true form resembles a robotic Giant Spider, but she usually presents herself in less-unnerving, humanoid disguises.

  • Underground Level: The first example is a part of Chapter 3-1, which is also a Nostalgia Level. The later parts of Chapter 5 also take place in an underground mine called the Floro Caverns.
  • Under the Sea: The Tile Pool in Chapter 3-3 is an underwater stage hearkening back to the underwater levels from Super Mario Bros..
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Besides the Unexpected Shmup Level, there's the Underchomp battle, which plays like a Dragon Warrior battle.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Outer Space has sections like this, such as the Brobot boss battle.
  • The Unfought: Nastasia. This is probably justified, because she doesn't seem like she has any combat abilities apart from her ability to brainwash others.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Mimi, in one of the few video game examples of this trope. She goes through ten separate outfits in the relatively short game. Contrast the Limited Wardrobe that applies to every other character. However, she may be using her shapeshifter abilities to change her outfit.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Early in the game, when asked to help out, you can ignore it, by choosing the "No" option three times. You'll get a game over, and since there hasn't been a Save Point yet, have to start over at the very beginning. Before you even take control of Mario.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Blumiere's father, who kickstarted the events by banishing his son's love into another dimension and leaving her for dead.
  • Vague Age: The game doesn't establish whether Mimi is meant to be a creepy young girl or a childish adult. The in-game theories of her origin paint her as being made in the times of the Ancients, though it's unclear how that would translate to age in human years. There's also the chance that she's some form of machine.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • ...said Count Bleck!
    • Nastasia has one too, 'k?
    • So does Squirps! SQUIIIIIIRP!!!
    • There's also the Crags, brah.
    • Flint Cragley should be here too, Cragley ho!
    • Francis thinks that TV Tropes is hi-technicaaaaaaaaaaal, NERR!
    • And Old Man Watchitt, WATCH IT!
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can find a cute and friendly creature named Whacka, and if you hit him, you can get a bump that serves as a healing item. The game does harshly remind you of what you did to get it: "A bump from a poor, defenseless Whacka. Restores 30 HP and cures poison. Worse, if you hit the Whacka eight times, he disappears, with the implication that he died. Afterwards, you can find a Cragon woman in his place waiting for him. She figures out he's gone and cries "Bring back my Whackaaaaaa". As if you needed to feel even worse.
  • Villainous BSoD:
    • When the Pure Hearts depower Dimentio allowing you to defeat him.
    • Before that, Count Bleck goes into a mild one after getting overthrown by Dimentio.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Dimentio, of course.
  • Villain Teleportation: Done repeatedly. Dimentio and Bleck even have the nerve to do it during battle!
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Well, game, rather. But Count Bleck's pretty vile for a villain in a Mario game, wanting the destruction of all worlds. Of course, Dimentio is MUCH more vile.
  • Violent Glaswegian: O'Chunks.
  • Visual Pun: At one point, you have to feed Peach the correct apple to wake her up. One of the incorrect ones turns her into a literal peach.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: Tippi is this for Mario.
  • We Can Rule Together: Much like the Shadow Queen from the previous game, Dimentio does this. Also like the Shadow Queen, accepting this offer rewards you with a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 6-2, in which Sammer's Kingdom succumbs to the void, making the Pure Heart useless, followed by Dimentio sending the party to the Underwhere, setting up Chapter 7.
  • Wham Line: Two very important ones in the game, which both change everything about the seemingly irrelevant post-Chapter flashbacks.
    • One by Count Bleck in Chapter 6-1; he mentions Timpani, a name only cited in the flashbacks so far, implying he might be Blumiere. This also makes Tippi slowly remember her past as Timpani.
      Count Bleck: [To Tippi] All things...are meaningless. Aside from Timpani, no treasure mattered in the least to me...
    • One said by Nastasia to Count Bleck near the end of the game (after completing Chapter 7-4), trying to convince him to back out of his plan after learning that Timpani might be still alive as Tippi and giving to the player the ultimate confirmation that Count Bleck is Blumiere.
      Nastasia: [To Count Bleck] Yeah, I'm on board with what you're saying...but there must be a way. There must... Lord Blumiere!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Chapter 1, Tippi instantly recognizes Dimentio when they first meet him. How Tippi knew him or why she recognized him was never explained or mentioned again afterward.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: It is implied that, after the heartbreak of Blumiere's (Count Bleck's) love, Timpani (Tippi), being exiled to multiple dimensions by his father and presumably killed, that Blumiere ended up wiping out his race, the Tribe of Darkness.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach are undeniably good. Bowser is thrust into an Enemy Mine situation because he has standards. Count Bleck is the bad guy initially, but is tragic, and undergoes a Heel–Face Turn in the end. Mimi and O'Chunks turn face likewise. The only true villain of the entire game is Dimentio. He plays everyone and everything behind the scenes in his plot to destroy everything and make a new world in his image.
  • White Void Room: Sammer's Kingdom becomes a blank white expanse after being consumed by the void, only leaving behind small, monochrome bits of debris.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Chapter 7 is The Divine Comedy.
  • Wicked Cultured: Count Bleck and Dimentio.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol: While it is countered by the benevolent Pure Hearts, the Chaos Heart is an incredibly dangerous artifact that can destroy every single dimension in existence.
  • Wild Teen Party: It is implied that the remaining unbrainwashed members of the Koopa Troop intended to throw one of these while guarding Bowser's fort in the Bitlands when he joins Mario and Peach.
  • Witch Species: The Tribe of Ancients are a race of magicians distinct from humans. The Tribe of Darkness, in particular, forbade intermarriage so they wouldn't lose their magic, which was said to be stronger within their parent tribe. Ironically, this law was what caused their downfall, as shown in the post-Chapter flashbacks.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Count Bleck. Hoo boy.
  • Word Salad Title: Parodied with Francis's manga collection: Android Love Patrol.
  • World Tree: The Dotwood Tree, the only level where the player has to Rise to the Challenge.
  • Wutai: Sammer's Kingdom. Which is completely wiped off the map by the Big Bad.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Flopside is like a run-down, depressing version of Flipside.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Nimbis speaketh this way (albeit with decidedly modern language thrown in as well).
  • You Bastard!: The description for Whacka Bumps, obtained by bashing the perfectly nice Whacka over the head with a hammer, now contains this little tidbit:
    Whacka Bump description: How do you sleep at night?
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Dimentio ends Mr. L's game after he loses to the heroes the second time. This serves the secondary purpose of allowing Luigi to join the heroes.
    • Dimentio does it again in the final chapter. After Count Bleck's defeat, he shows his true colors by attempting to assassinate him. Once he steals the Chaos Heart from his former boss, he sends him to Dimension D and declares that he will kill him later. In the Japanese version, he actually says this line to a T.
      Dimentio: Count Bleck! You look so tattered and pathetic, I nearly forgot about you. I'll squeeze the life out of you later. Just wait over in that dimension, OK? Great.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Downplayed. Several Pixls bestow on Mario and crew abilities that should already be in their repertoire, including turning sideways, ground pound, or even just hammering things.
  • Your Door Was Open: In the opening cutscene, Mario and Luigi simply walk into Bowser's castle.
    Bowser: What? My front gate was open?! How many times have I told those idiots?! If you're the last in, LOCK THE GATE!
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Mimi taunts Peach this way right before their duel.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Catch Cards capture an enemy's soul and turn them into Cards. The more Cards one has of a species, the more power Mario (and the other heroes) have in their attacks on them.


Super Paper Mario

Dimentio openly betrays Count Bleck, using the Chaos Heart to destroy the universe and create a new one in his image.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

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Media sources:

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