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Let's keep it clean! Now come out boxing!

"You think the speed of your fingers can match the strength of my fists?"
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Punch-Out!! debuted in 1983 as a dual-screen arcade game produced by Nintendo. It was a boxing game where the player fought for a world title against a series of quirky opponents, typically consisting of various comically exaggerated national stereotypes, such as Glass Joe, Bald Bull, Pizza Pasta, and Mr. Sandman. It was followed by a sequel, Super Punch-Out!!, released in 1985, which added more stereotypes like Bear Hugger, Dragon Chan, Vodka Drunkenski,note  Great Tiger, and Super Macho Man. A spinoff game titled Arm Wrestling (an arm wrestling game) was also released in 1985. A modified version endorsed by the British heavyweight boxer Frank Bruno was also released in 1985 on various eight bit computers of the era.

The series made its home console debut on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Originally released in Japan as a gold cartridge given away exclusively to Second Place Winners of the Famicom Golf: U.S. Course Tournament, this new version of Punch-Out!! featured most of the classic boxers, as well as newcomers such as Von Kaiser, Don Flamenco, and King Hippo, Mario in a cameo as the Referee, and two new protagonists in Little Mac and his trainer Doc Louis. The final opponent was Super Macho Man.

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After then-Nintendo of America CEO Minoru Arakawa saw Mike Tyson at a boxing match, the decision was made to capitalize on his then-growing popularity, by releasing the game publicly worldwide under the name Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, in which the final opponent was the infamous real-life champ himself. The 1990 reissue of the game (available in the first Animal Crossing game as well as on the Wii and Nintendo 3DS Virtual Consoles instead of the Mike Tyson version), reverting back to the original Punch-Out!! name, replaced him with a fictional champ named "Mr. Dream" (actually a white head swap of Tyson, more reminiscent of Rocky Balboa). Many people assume that this stems from Tyson being convicted of rape, causing Nintendo to ditch him, but since Tyson was dropped from the game a year before he was arrested on the rape charges, this is clearly not the case. In reality, Nintendo's contract with Tyson expired, and since Tyson was no longer the heavyweight champion of the world, having lost the title earlier to Buster Douglas, Nintendo opted to neither renew the contract nor seek a new one out with Douglas— who had already signed a licensing deal with Sega to use his likeness in a pair of boxing games for the Master System and Genesis (a decision made specifically to spite Nintendo).

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A second console installment was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994 titled Super Punch-Out!! (unrelated to the earlier arcade game, but closer to it gameplay-wise), which brought back several characters from the first NES game (as well as the arcade installments), while introducing new ones, including new champions: the Bruiser Brothers, Rick and Nick.

Fifteen years later, a Wii version of Punch-Out!! was released in 2009, developed by Next Level Games (of Super Mario Strikers fame). Featuring modernized 3D graphics and full voice acting (with all boxers accurately speaking their native tongue), the game functions as a "greatest hits" collection of the series, consisting almost entirely of boxers from previous entries with the same patterns and weaknesses. This game adds several new modes to play. In "Title Defense," Little Mac has to defend his newly-gained World Circuit title against the boxers he defeated in the traditional Contender Mode to win it, but they have new moves and strategies to make the fights much more difficult. "Mac's Last Stand" pits Mac against an endless series of randomly generated Title Defense opponents, and he will retire from boxing once he loses three fights. Fights from Contender, Title Defense and the secret character unlocked via Last Stand can all be replayed anytime thanks to Exhibition Mode, where the player can tackle several unique challenges that have to be completed when fighting against the boxers; finally, there's a super-secret mode that turns Mac into a One-Hit-Point Wonder during the fights, elevating the difficulty into a level that is only suitable for true experts. The game was rereleased on Wii U eShop in January 2015.

A WiiWare stand alone game titled Doc Louis' Punch Out!! is an exclusive download for platinum Club Nintendo members where players take control of Little Mac once again and fight against his mentor, Doc Louis. Released around the last week of October 2009, players spar with Doc Louis in training sessions, so the game could be a prequel to the Wii version. Doc Louis can also use the same Star Punch technique as Little Mac, since he invented it. This title was later rereleased for all Club Nintendo members to purchase during the club's closing sale in 2015.

Little Mac has also appeared three times in the Super Smash Bros. games; as an Assist Trophy in Brawl, and as a playable character in the fourth game and Ultimate. He also cameoed in the Japan-only adventure game Captain Rainbow, where he's gone overweight from years of not boxing and needs help getting back into shape.

King Hippo, meanwhile, appeared as one of the major lackeys to Mother Brain in Captain N: The Game Master, though no other characters from Punch-Out!! ever appeared in the show for some reasonnote .


This series features examples of:

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    A-D 
  • Acceptable Targets:
  • Acrofatic: Mad Clown in Super Punch-Out!! may be fat, but he is also acrobatic enough to retreat by doing a few backflips.
  • Addiction-Powered: Soda Popinski.note  He drinks huge amounts of soda, even in the ring. The drink restores his stamina and increases his punching power, albeit for a short time.
  • Addressing the Player: Overlapping with Thanking the Viewer, the game does this when Little Mac retires after completing Mac's Last Stand. At the end of the credits, it shows "(name of Mii in save file) as Little Mac".
  • Adipose Rex: King Hippo, whose large stomach is his Achilles' Heel. the developers portray him as the king of a tropical island.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Super Macho Man, an egocentric Eaglelander who is blatantly based on Hollywood celebrities. He gets his fame and fortune stolen after his initial defeat by Little Mac, and in Title Defense, he gets greeted to jeers and boos from the fickle audience, with even the spotlight wanting to get away from him. If he wins, he comes to the realization that Celebrity Is Overrated as the crowd suddenly "loves" him again, only to promptly ignore that and go back to posing.
    Super Macho Man: Oh, now you love me. Now you love Macho Man. Well, it's too late... (Beat) ...Maybe not! (flexes)
  • Agony of the Feet: When you knock off King Hippo's manhole cover in the Wii version's Title Defense mode, it lands on his foot — much to his dismay. It even knocks his health down a small chunk.
  • All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: Dragon Chan (Hong Kong) and Hoy Quarlow (Beijing). Both rely on kung fu-based attacks despite being boxers, and the latter isn't even dressed with boxing clothes.
  • Alliterative Name: Bald Bull and Pizza Pasta
  • All-Stereotype Cast: Most of Mac's opponents starting in the second arcade game are national/ethnic stereotypes. These include a cowardly Frenchman, a Canadian lumberjack, the original Vodka Drunkenski (aka Soda Popinski) from Russia, a militaristic German guy whose stage music is Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, a Bruce Lee Clone from Hong Kong, an old martial arts master from China, an aggressive Irishman, a Flamenco-dancing Spanish ladies' man, and more.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Disco Kid in the Wii version. Although he's just projecting up the ambient gay of the 1970s. In Title Defense Mode he jumps into the air and arcs like a rainbow. While letting out a blissful "WHEEEEEEE!" And he's dressed up exactly like Richard Simmons. This is followed by:
    Disco Kid: "I AM FAB-U-LOUS!"
  • Angry, Angry Hippos: King Hippo, a real behemoth of a man who has hippopotamus as his Animal Motif. While not the meanest of the bunch, he's still a very tough opponent to fight.
  • Animal Athlete Loophole:
    • Bear Hugger brings in a tiny squirrel as his partner in the Wii version's Title Defense mode, keeping it under his hat. Nobody even blinks when Mac knocks him out and sends the squirrel flying into the crowd.
    • Apparently, there Ain't No Rule that an ape can't box, according to the World Video Boxing Association.
  • Animal Theme Naming: The Major Circuit opponents in the NES version of included King Hippo, Great Tiger, and Bald Bull. Also included is Don Flamenco, which sounds sort of like "Don Flamingo".
  • Animesque: Inverted. Despite the Arcade, NES and SNES games being developed in Japan, they are extremely cartoony with over-the-top cartoon caricatures of international stereotypes. The games also draw heavy influence from many Western boxing films like the Rocky series and Raging Bull. The Wii game averts it on principle for being developed in Canada and still retaining the Western designs for the characters.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In the NES game, the first fight of each circuit has a way to easily end the fight in under a minute. Since passwords all only start at the beginning of a circuit, this way the player can get to the harder fights without straining themselves too much.
    • In the NES game, in the latter half of the game (from Great Tiger onwards) you can't get up from a third knockdown against most opponents, including against the final three opponents of the World Circuit, a big part of why the difficulty spikes so much at this point. One of the fighters though that it takes four knockdowns to permanently put you down against is Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream, and you also get much more generous health refills upon getting back up too, which helps ease the pain a bit against his very hard-to-dodge One-Hit Kill Dynamite Punches and means as long as you can survive the first 90 seconds without getting TKO'd, you still have a somewhat reasonable shot at beating him even if you took two quick knockdowns from the Dynamite Punches.
    • Also in the NES game in the second Bald Bull fight, you can only knock him down with Star Punches or by intercepting the Bull Charge. To make this less frustrating for players who don't know how to or aren't good at getting stars against Bald Bull 2, he'll periodically do an ear rubbing taunt that leaves him open to any punch, which will guarantee a star, and he will always do this taunt immediately after getting up from a knockdown, supplying players with a decent amount of essentially free stars throughout the match. Also Bull will stay stunned longer when he is countered to make it easier to hit him with Star Punches, unlike in his first fight where he would unstun faster than you could throw a Star Punch and dodge or counter with his own uppercut.
  • Anti-Mentor: Glass Joe is known for being the worst boxer in the franchise. That being said, he's the one who trained Gabby Jay from Super Punch-Out!! how to box. Gabby Jay's only win is against his own mentor, and his record ends up being about the same.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: In the Wii version, per Nintendo standards.
    Doc Louis: That's great kid, you won! But you look a bit tired out there. Isn't it past your bedtime?
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: In the NES and Wii versions, the amount of starting energy you have varies from opponent to opponent, with no in-universe explanation for why Little Mac has a whopping 50 hearts for fighting Piston Honda but has to ration his 10 hearts for King Hippo.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The Wii game gives Mac's height at 5'7 and his weight 107 lbs. He's depicted as quite muscular both in gameplay and in the cutscenes, but 107 lbs at his height would be extremely skinny and dangerously underweight. He should be at least fifty pounds heavier.
    • Glass Joe is 5’10 and weighs only 110 lbs. That is SEVERELY underweight for someone of his height. Although this could be deliberate considering Glass Joe’s skinniness and his wimpy characterization.
  • Artistic License – Sports: The game doesn't take itself seriously and plays very fast and loose with the rules of boxing overall. This is a good thing, as by real world rules there's a lot going on that wouldn't be allowed in a real-life boxing setting.
    • The series doesn't care for weight divisions. Little Mac is the wrong height (4'8 in the original game, upped to 5'7 in the Wii game), size (107 pounds), and age (17) for boxing, yet is allowed to fight amongst adults who can be over twice his size, such as the 440-pound Bear Hugger and 290-pound Bald Bull. Line up the weights of all the boxers together and you'll see that — depending on the promotion — the only other fighters who would possibly be in the same weight class as Little Mac (107 lbs.) would be Glass Joe (110 lbs.) and Hoy Quarlow (100 lbs.). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it neatly shows just how much of a badass Mac is, especially for his size.
    • They also don’t seem to account for a normal rule in boxing, as when someone gets up from a knockdown, the referee stops his count and the match resumes. In reality, referees continue the count up to eight to help see if the boxer is still in good condition to fight.
    • Boxing actually has a rather strict dress code that forbids long pants, personalized branding, not having a clear line indicating the waist (indirectly forbidding overalls and leotards), and any form of jewellery or headgear (even something as simple as a headband). A not insignificant number of boxers violate this dress code in some way.
      • The only real exception would be Great Tiger's turban, which would most likely be protected as a religious garment.
      • Glass Joe's headgear in the Wii game's Title Defense mode is an odd case. The WVBA seemingly allows fighters who lose one hundred fights to wear onenote , and Joe's intro cutscene also establishes that he needs it for medical reasons. That said, by real-world rules, him wearing it constitutes an unfair advantage, and he and Mac should both be wearing headgear for sake of fairness.
      • This dress code also covers hair, both facial and on the head. Boxers need to be clean-shaven or well-groomed, as excessive facial hair would provide cushioning, and long hair could potentially blind the boxer or even cause injury by getting torn out by the roots. Bear Hugger and Heike Kagero are perhaps the worst offenders (the former with his huge beard and the latter with his long hair), but fighters such as Von Kaiser and Bob Charlie would also have to get a trim at least.
    • In addition, the series allows the boxers to get away with things that would result in penalties or worse in real boxing. These range from the mundane (illegal blows such as backhands and headbutts, touching the ropes, general poor sportsmanship) to the unusual (Disco Kid's earphones, Don Flamenco's perfume, Bald Bull using hot towels instead of cold ones, assuming they're not cold and he's just that hot from his burning rage) to the outright criminal (Aran Ryan's horseshoe-loaded gloves and improvised flail weapon). In the Wii game, three fighters - Aran Ryan, Bald Bull and Super Macho Man - go so far as to attack the referee during intermissions or victory cutscenes, which would be a lifetime ban even if it wasn't during a match.
  • Ascended Meme: In the Wii game, Doc Louis may joke about stealing Mac's bike in the chatter between rounds, based on the meme of him doing that in the NES game.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: This is how the "Release the bogus!" meme was born in the Wii game. In Title Defense, Super Macho Man says "Release the beast!" when using one of his new moves, and "Bogus!" if you counter or dodge his attack, so interrupting his special move with a counter at the right time results in "Release the- Bogus!"
  • Atrocious Alias: The first opponent you face in the first Arcade, NES and Wii games is called "Glass Joe", which has the combination of referring to how fragile glass is and being a play on "glass jaw", a term in boxing used to refer to vulnerability. Despite this, Joe seems rather proud of the nickname, even shouting it for the whole stadium to hear in the Wii version.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Hit King Hippo in the mouth when he opens it to get his pants to drop. Then hit his stomach repeatedly when his hands drop down to pull his trunks back up. Repeat until you've depleted his meter once. He won't get back up.
    • Hitting opponents at certain windows of vulnerability is how you can pull off most One-Hit KO tricks.
    • Bear Hugger is so overweight that hitting him in the stomach doesn't do squat, so he has to be hit on the head. However, in the arcade and SNES Super Punch-Out!!, if the player waits a second, Bear Hugger will taunt the player, making Bear Hugger's belly vulnerable enough to stun him. In Title Defense mode in the Wii game, he wears a hat that makes doing so harder, so Little Mac has to wait for him to take it off to be able to do much damage.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: While the main themes of the Wii game are all heavy on guitar, the final boss (Mr. Sandman), is outright metal.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Aran Ryan in the Wii version. Mr. Sandman in Punch-Out!! Wii may also qualify, as he punches an entire building to rubble out of anger from having the WVBA title taken from him by Little Mac.
    • Bald Bull; his contender movie shows him attacking the paparazzi, and his victory sequence in Title Defense Mode has him chase the referee for no reason.
  • Badass Normal: Little Mac. Considering the gimmicks used by most of his other opponents, Mr. Sandman and the Bruiser Brothers might also qualify.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: The series has its share of hairless heavyweights, but none are more prominent than resident Wake-Up Call Boss Bald Bull, who's just as chrome-domed and ruthless as his moniker implies. In the NES game in particular, he acts as both the champion of the Major Circuit and as a rematch on the World Circuit. Both times, he acts as a massive difficulty spike, having the hard-to-dodge Bull Charge as his signature attack and, in the World Circuit, being immune to knockouts except through either Star Uppercuts or perfectly countering the Bull Charge.
  • Banana Republic: The fictional Hippo Island, in the South Pacific Ocean. (Though not so much the republic part, since its resident boxer isn't called President Hippo or Prime Minister Hippo.)
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Piston Hondo in his Title Defense intro cutscene in the Wii version. It's part of his training for his rematch against Little Mac.
  • Battle Theme Music: As the series series evolved, so did its relationship with this trope. None of the arcade games (Punch-Out!!, Super Punch-Out!!, Arm Wrestling) featured any music, the NES game (Punch-Out, both the Tyson version and the Mr. Dream version) has the same fighting music for all boxers you challenge (what does change is their intro fanfare), the SNES game (Super Punch-Put!!) has a theme for each of the four circuits, and the Wii game (Punch-Out!!) adds a battle theme for the Minor Circuit title bout (against King Hippo, used again in his rematch in Title Defense), another for the Major Circuit one (against Don Flamenco, used again in his rematch in Title Defense), and then one for every boxer when you face them in Exhibition mode (all of them are based on the series' main theme, albeit remixed to fit the cultural stereotypes of the boxers). In the Doc Louis game, only one theme is used, since your only opponent is Doc himself.
  • Bear Hug: Bear Hugger is a huge Canadian lumberjack that would love to give his opponents Bear Hugs.
    Bear Hugger: NEED A HUG?!
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Don Flamenco uses this against you. For most opponents, you have to block or dodge their attacks and then counterattack. Don does the same trick against you, refusing to land a blow on you unless you strike first so he can counter. Of course, you can counter his counterattack.
  • Begin with a Finisher: Mike Tyson (or Mr Dream) infamously opens his fight with his most powerful attack, 90 seconds of nothing but One-Hit Kill uppercuts. If you avoid them all, he'll switch to fighting you more traditionally, but he'll still pepper in the uppercut.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Narcis Prince really doesn't like being punched in the face.
    • The Wii version's Don Flamenco really doesn't like having his hair being touched.
    • The Wii version's Soda Popinski will get very angry if you punch out his...er..."soda" bottles.note  He also gets equally pissed if you knock him down or manage to land a star punch on him.note 
    • Doc Louis gets his own berserk button in his WiiWare game. If you manage to punch out his chocolate bar during the fight, he gets angry and tears his jacket off, revealing a jaguar-patterned shirt and starts attacking much faster. If you manage to knock more of his candy out of his hands, he gets even faster!
      Doc Louis: Now you done it! You won't like Doc when he's angry!
      [Doc Louis tears his jacket off, creeping out Little Mac.]
      Removal of Doc Louis's chocolate bar may be hazardous to your health. The WVBA is not responsible for any frustration from this point forward.
  • Big Applesauce: The NES and Wii games take place in NYC as you see Doc Louis train Little Mac with the bike and you see the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty in the background. Little Mac is also listed as being from the Bronx.
  • Big Eater:
    • King Hippo, Bear Hugger, and Piston Hondo in his Title Defense mode.
    • Soda Popinski is basically this with his carbonated drinks.
    • Mad Clown, ostensibly.
    • And Doc Louis with his chocolate bars.
  • Big Fun: Bear Hugger, while easily one of the physically widest and most rotund boxers to get in Little Mac's way, is also an entertaining, goofy Boisterous Bruiser with a big laugh, whose lines are pure comic gold, usually playing into his Canada, Eh? stereotype for all it's worth. He also seems to be in it for fun rather than harboring any serious thoughts of contending or being outright Ax-Crazy.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Aran Ryan gives one of these when you dodge his more, uh, questionable attacks. Though slamming his foot with his own boxing glove might have something to do with it.
    • Mr. Sandman when you're about to Star Punch him.
    • Doc when you punch one of his beloved chocolate bars out of his glove in Doc Louis' Punch Out!!.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Piston Hondo. His eyebrows even make a "doink doink" sound in the Wii version!
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The main non-opponent characters from the Wii game: Little Mac (short), Doc Louis (big), and the Referee (thin).
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Most non-Anglophone challengers' dialogues in the Wii version are voiced in their native (foreign) language. In fact, the only one who doesn't speak a real language is King Hippo, and that's probably only because his home country is fictional as well. Granted, he doesn't appear to speak any kind of language, period. He mostly just grunts and roars, not unlike a hippo.
    • The cornerman for Dragon Chan in Super Punch-Out!! calls out advice to him in Mandarin.
  • Black Boxer Stereotype:
    • In the original NES game, Mike Tyson was your final opponent (until his contract expired, leading to the white-skinned Mr. Dream replacing him), and he's by far the most ferocious opponent in the game with his instant-knockdown uppercuts. He's also portrayed in a cocky manner, though he does congratulate Mac after the latter defeats him.
    • Despite being one of the highest-ranked boxers as well as one of the strongest, Mr. Sandman doesn't show much of this in the Arcade, NES or SNES games. However, he definitely does in the Wii game, not only retaining his power and having an intimidating entrance scene prior to the fight, but also having an angry attitude at all times plus nicknaming Little Mac "Mac baby" to provoke him.
    • Subverted by Doc Louis. The African-American former heavyweight champion can seem imposing, but he is actually quite friendly and cheerful. Just make sure not to knock away his chocolate while training with him, or else he may end up playing the trope straight...
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead:
    • The Minor Circuit in the Wii game have Glass Joe (redhead), Von Kaiser (brunette), and Disco Kid (blonde). As King Hippo is completely hairless, he doesn't count.
    • And the World Circuit also follows this; Aran Ryan have reddish-brown hair, Soda Popinski, Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman all have black hair or mustaches, and Super Macho Man's gray hair is often considered as platinum-blonde.
  • Blood Knight: Aran. Ryan.
    "Fightin's like breathin', Mac!"
    "Keep hittin' me, I love it!"
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Doc Louis strikes a standing variant of this pose for his portrait in the Wii game. Though in his case, it's more of a Paunch-and-Butt pose.
  • Boss Game: Each individual boxer is a boss with its own patterns.
  • Bowdlerise: Changing the Russian boxer's name and his drink of choice from Vodka Drunkenski to Soda Popinski. Even worse, his between round dialog ("I can't drive, so tonight I'm gonna walk all over you!", etc.) clearly makes references to alcohol as his drink of choice. This carries over into the Wii version, as one of his between-round taunts translates to "I am Soda Popinski! I will run over you!"
  • Boxing Battler: Though most boxers play the trope straight, others mix up their "boxing" style with moves and techniques that wouldn't be approved in a real-life boxing tournament, such as Dragon Chan landing kicks like in kung fu, Aran Ryan using headbutts, or Great Tiger using teleportation.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Beating an opponent in Exhibition Mode with Champion Mode enabled (turning you into a One-Hit-Point Wonder) will add a trophy emblem next to that opponent, alongside any of the three exhibition challenges you cleared. The reward does nothing.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • They didn't call it the World Video Boxing Association for nothing.
      Mr. Dream/Mike Tyson: You think the speed of your fingers can match the strength of my fists?
    • In the NES game, Mike Tyson says between rounds, "You think the speed of your fingers can match the strength of my fists?" The line is also said by Mr. Dream in the game's rerelease.
    • In the Wii game, Doc Louis may try to plug the old Nintendo Fun Club like he did back in the day, before correcting himself to the modern version.
      Doc Louis: Join the Nintendo Fu—I mean, Club Nintendo today, Mac!
    • In the Wii game, Aran Ryan literally breaks the fourth wall if you lose to him in contender mode. He attempts to literally break it again in the next round cutscene in Title Defense, but the ref stops Aran Ryan.
    • Soda does this in the Wii game's Title Defense, where he pushes a bottle box at the screen, covering it up.
  • Briefs Boasting: Super Macho Man stands out for his extremely small underwear. It demonstrates his show-off attitude.
  • Bring It: The entirety of Don Flamenco's boxing strategy is to goad you into making the first move, then countering it. That is, unless you've hit his Berserk Button. His Wii lines accentuate this. "Venga, venga!"
  • Broken Armor Boss Battle: The second fight with King Hippo in the Wii game has him protecting his belly with a manhole cover. You cannot deal real damage until you figure out how to take the cover out.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Little Mac hails from the Bronx, and has the skill to defeat the toughest of boxers. Even Mike Tyson.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The player character of the spinoff Arm Wrestling has a V on his shirt; since he's nameless outside the initials you give him, it's unknown what it might stand for.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: Dragon Chan is a reference to Bruce Lee as "The Dragon," and Jackie Chan.
  • Bullfight Boss: Bald Bull. Instead of dodging his special technique — the Bull Charge, you have to hit him head-on. In the Wii version, it's possible — and preferable — to do this against almost all special attacks. Von Kaiser, of all people, has one that can't be stopped this way.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Glass Joe, He sucks to the point that one of the challenges is letting him win.
    • Von Kaiser even more so, having been beaten up by his own pupils and cowering behind his gloves whenever he gets hit with a star punch. At least Joe takes his beating like a man. It's especially humiliating when you consider that Kaiser's pupils are children. In the NES game, Kaiser is much bolder and more confident; Glass Joe, on the other hand, is afraid of you, and constantly talks about how he just wants to retire, yet he still doesn't cower from you.
    • The referee himself in the Wii version, mostly noticeable if you lose to someone in Title Defense mode. Bald Bull will literally chase the referee around and headbutt him like a bull. Mr. Sandman lifts the referee up with just one arm. Super Macho Man also smacks the referee before the start of the next round.
  • Button Mashing: Discouraged. If you randomly spam punches, the enemy will eventually do nothing but block until you get tired. Once tired, you're very easy to defeat, and chances are, if you try this tactic, you'll have no idea how to counteract tiredness.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Useful as an audio cue in the Wii version.
    • This seems to be a bit inverted, as most people seem to be naming attacks after the attack cues, rather than calling the name of an attack as a cue.
    • Early fighters vocalize their attacks, and a few later fighters do too, but there's also a distinct sound attached to every motion the character makes, making it essential to develop keen ears.
    • The arcade games have the announcer call every punch you make.
  • Camera Abuse: If Aran Ryan wins, he'll shake the camera and smash the "screen" with his head.
  • Canada, Eh?: Bear Hugger. He's a woodsman from Salmon Arm, British Columbia, who drinks maple syrup, chops down trees, plays hockey, and hugs bears. When not being trained by one. He talks like a stereotypical Canadian in the Wii game, often saying "eh" and calling Little Mac a hoser. Incidentally, that installment was developed by Canadian developer Next Level Games, and both the developer and the character are from Salmon Arm.
  • Can-Crushing Cranium: Soda Popinski in the Wii game does this with his bottle during one of his opening scenes. The fact that it crumples rather than shatters is a testament to the fact that yes, it is actually soda pop this time, and not the lazily-censored vodka it was in older versions.
  • Cane Fu: It's more of a staff, but Hoy Quarlow uses his with gusto.
  • Canon Discontinuity: A sequel for the NES was developed under the name Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch and released as Power Punch 2, where the player takes the role of Mike Tyson lookalike Mark Tyler as he sets out to punch a variety of aliens in their faces. Unfortunately, when Nintendo saw what a terrible mess the game had become, they pulled the plug on the project, and a third-party publisher decided to release the game instead. For more information, see this video.
  • Captain Ersatz: Mac is definitely based on Rocky Balboa. His miniscule size is a nod to Sylvester Stallone's below average height. Taken a step further with the Challenger in the arcade game, whose face is clearly based on Sylvester Stallone's.
  • Captain Ethnic: It's easier to count how many Punch-Out characters aren't fairly blatant ethnic and/or national stereotypes: Piston Hurricane, Little Mac and the Bruiser Brothers. Possibly Pizza Pasta, who aside from his ridiculous name, doesn't do anything especially "Italian" and comes from Napoli instead of Rome. The addition of language appropriate voices and mid-match cutscenes in the Wii version only makes it even more obvious. The majority of boxers also tend to come from the capital of their home country. The fact that the publisher (Nintendo) is also making fun of their compatriot, Piston Hondo, is an indication on how no one is spared. Same with Next Level Games and Bear Hugger (on the Wii version).
  • Carpet of Virility: As befitting a Canadian logger, Bear Hugger has one in the shape of a pine tree.
  • Catchphrase: The boxer in the SNES game (whose identity is subject to inconsistent veracity) is fond of saying "Piece of cake!" when he KOs his opponent without being knocked down.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: In Title Defense Super Macho Man's cutscene, Little Mac is clearly shown as uncomfortable around the paparazzi, which is probably one of the things that influences his decision to retire early in the end. Super Macho Man himself realizes this after you lose to him in Title Defense. Almost.
  • Cel Shading: The Wii game features this look and manages to make all characters move at 60 FPS, except in the cutscenes showing Mac training with Doc Louis. The game's overall art style harkens back to old-school American comics.
  • Champions on the Inside: At the end of the Wii game, after Mac loses three times in Mac's Last Stand.
    Doc Louis: Listen, son! You've had a great career! I'm proud of you, son! You're still the champion in my book!
  • Character Development: In the rematches in the Wii version, basically, most of the fighters seem to try to rectify mistakes that got them beaten, and try to remove blind spots.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • Aran Ryan was an unassuming, generic opponent in SNES Super Punch-Out!!. Then they brought him up to the Wii version. And made him a completely insane dirty fighter, bringing good luck horseshoes into the ring (within the knuckles of his gloves) and eventually making a boxing glove whip, which is as ironic as anything when you consider that he was one of the few boxers in Super Punch-Out!! who generally fought clean, as his gimmick in that game (clinching) is common in Real Life boxing.
    • Kid Quick probably would have applied to this assuming his name was kept the same in the transition to the Wii title (he is now Disco Kid). It's quite possible his new characterization was the reason for the name change, assuming he can still be considered the same character at this point.
    • Bear Hugger seems to have a more mellow personality in the Wii game. In the SNES game, he introduced himself as "a killer," but in the Wii game he says he's "a hugger, not a fighter." In addition, the Wii game's portrayal of him as being fond of wildlife hardly fits how he described himself in the SNES game.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Some of the training methods the opponents put themselves through for their rematch in Title Defense mode qualify.
    • Piston Hondo's is the most prominent example. In it, he:
    • Bald Bull can now stay on his feet even after being rammed head-on by a charging bull.
    • Mr. Sandman punches out a building when he's enraged over Little Mac having been able to defend his title against all other boxers except him (since he's the last one remaining unfought in Title Defense).
    • The premise of the game since the NES. You have Mac who is in his late teens and weighs only a little over 100 lbs. go on to fight and defeat Mike friggin' Tyson!
    • Inverted with Don Flamenco. He sends a charging bull flying with a single punch before his contender match, but then is shown simply lifting dumbbells in preparation for his Title Defense match.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In the Wii version, you can pull this on Aran Ryan by using a 3-Star Punch on after blocking his headbutt or a Star Punch during his illegal Last Ditch Move where he swings a horseshoe on a rope. He will NOT get back up from this, and you will win.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Glass Joe both plays this trope straight and inverts it. Played straight because he has a record of one win and 99 losses. Inverted in that despite his record, he refuses to surrender (retire), and he'll gladly go through a fight until his inevitable defeat. This also applies to his student, Gabby Jay, who has the exact same record as him. His only victory was against Glass Joe.
  • Cherry Tapping: A number of challenges for the Wii version are effectively this, particularly ones that involve KO'ing your opponent in less than a minute, in a certain small number of punches, or ignoring your natural instinct to avoid your opponent's attacks. Also, most of the One-Hit KO attacks reward you for counterattacking them with an instant knockdown for an otherwise minimal-damage punch.
  • The Chew Toy: If you're going for world records, there will be some fights that require getting knocked down. But for Soda Popinski, you have to BARELY survive a TKO in order to get the fastest time.
  • Chromosome Casting: Every boxer in the series is male. Female characters are extremely rare, and there is only one named female characternote . This is at least somewhat justified, seeing as the series focuses on boxing, a male-dominated sport. The spinoff Arm Wrestling features a girl named Alice who is indirectly participating by controlling a robotic monkey called Ape III (the tournament is unisex; what prevents Alice from playing directly is her young age).
  • Circling Birdies: In the Wii version, this indicates that you've stunned the opponent and set him up for a flurry. In some boxers' cases, it's something different, and more appropriate to that boxer:
    • Stunning Piston Hondo causes tamago nigiri (egg sushi) to circle around his head, which he sometimes proceeds to point out by repeating the said item's name.
    • Bear Hugger has fish circling his head, likely as a reference to the name of his hometown of Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
    • Doc Louis has chocolate bars, of course.
    • Glass Joe has croissants and baguettes when he suffers a massive KO (he gets birds for regular hits).
    • Don Flamenco has roses.
    • Bubbles rise from Soda Popinski's head.
    • Mr. Sandman gets groups of Z's.
    • King Hippo has pineapples.
  • Classic Cheat Code: In 2022, it was discovered that Super Punch-Out contains a code that unlocks a Free Play mode. This mode in itself contains a code that allows a second player to control the opponent.
  • Clean Dub Name: Vodka Drunkenski from the Super Punch-Out arcade game became Soda Popinski in the NES and Wii versions.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The multiplayer for the Wii game has Mac fighting a clone of himself in different clothes. Doc Louis even lampshades this.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Masked Muscle from the SNES game, who includes headbutts and spitting in your face in his boxing repertoire. Aran Ryan takes on this role for the Wii version, complete with headbutts, elbow shots, and even uses horseshoes in his gloves and swinging weighted boxing gloves.
    • Don Flamenco in the world circuit rematch in the NES game, who will constantly force you to punch at him as he just stands there blocking until you're tired and unable to hit him back when he unloads on you.
    • Although it is quite subtle, the Macho Spin is resembling a Haymaker Punch which is illegal as an "impure" punch: arm whipped with minimum elbow bend which deals a lot of damage but leaves you vulnerable if you miss
  • Comeback Mechanic: The Wii game has two examples:
    • If the player is about to go down from a KO or TKO, mashing buttons 1 and 2 or shaking the Wiimote and Nunchuk can help bring Little Mac back into the action and not lose, coming back with about 1/4 of his energy. However, the mechanic has a great chance of failing if said mechanic is relied on too much in a single round.
    • If Mac takes a hit that will normally knock him out, there's a small chance that he'll force himself to stay up through Heroic Willpower. However, it only works once per fight.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: This is King Hippo's weakness. In the Wii version, he wears Super Star-print boxers.
  • Company Cameo: Throughout the series, Doc Louis has random tips telling Little Mac to join Nintendo's external services. In Mike Tyson's... and ...Featuring Mr. Dream, he says to join the Nintendo Fun Club; in the Wii Punch-Out!!, he begins to say "Nintendo Fun-", but since that program had been defunct for two decades by the game's 2009 release, Doc corrects himself to "Club Nintendo". In Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!, a game which was only available by getting a code from Club Nintendo, he thanks Mac for having joined the club.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • The NES game managed to be popular despite (or perhaps even because of) this. Many of your opponents use attacks that would be illegal in real boxing. This is notably averted by Mr. Sandman, who despite being one of the toughest opponents in any Punch-Out keeps it clean by using only legal moves.
    • Super Punch-Out upped the ante, with characters who obviously break boxing rules, like Dragon Chan's kicks (imported from the arcade game), the Bruiser brothers' elbow strikes, and Hoy Quarlow attacking you with a staff instead of his fists.
  • Confusion Fu: There are two in the Wii version:
    • Aran Ryan. He has no "idle animation" like the other opponents and never holds still, and slides all about the ring throwing in random punches. Also unlike every other fighter it's impossible to land a combo on him unless you counter him mid-attack. He's also a foul stinking cheat and incorporates headbutts, elbow strikes, horseshoes in his gloves and perhaps most blatantly of all a boxing glove on a rope that he swings around like a flail, into his attacks. Also, he's fucking crazy.
    • Donkey Kong beats even Don Flamenco in the taunt-and-counter department, with multiple taunts, each with their own counter-attacks, and a lot of his attacks have similar build-ups. And sometimes he'll just accidentally hit himself in the face and give you a free star.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Title Defense Sandman in the Wii game is a clear throwback to Mike Tyson with his new haircut and his winking attack.
    • During the breaks between rounds against King Hippo, sometimes Doc Louis suggests to Little Mac to take Hippo out to lunch after the fight. This was something Hippo said to Mac in one of the intermissions in the NES game ("I feel like eating… after the fight, it's time for lunch!").
    • Also from the breaks, Doc Louis will suggest you give Hondo a "TKO from Tokyo", one of his taunts from the original.
    • "Join The Nintendo Fun… I mean, Club Nintendo today, Mac!" In turn, Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! (only distributed through Club Nintendo) has Doc say: "Thanks for joining Club Nintendo, Mac."
    • Bear Hugger's special Knock Out animation involves spinning on his toes and landing in a sitting position, much like his knock-out animation in the previous games.
    • One of the comments Doc Louis can give about Bald Bull is that if Mac can't beat him at boxing, he should try arm wrestling, a reference to his cameo in Arm Wrestling
    • Title Defense as a whole is a reference to the arcade games where, after beating the Final Boss, the game would loop, and the opponents would get stronger.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Depending on how you get knocked down, Mac won't stand up no matter how much you mash the buttons, but the game's "Get Up!" message still flashes as you try. Averted in the Wii game, as no matter how hard Mac gets knocked down, he can always get back up in time (unless it's his third knock-down, in which case he's immediately TKO'd).
  • Counter-Attack: The key to victory is to dodge and counterattack. In early fights, the enemies tend to hang open for quite some time; the window rapidly closes as the game goes on. In addition, launching your own attack successfully just before the opponent does theirs deals extra damage and grants you a Star.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: In the Wii game, exactly one of the special cutscenes triggered by finishing the opponent with a Star Punch (or under certain other circumstances) features Little Mac delivering additional punches that finally send the opponent to the canvas.
  • Crack Defeat: In the NES game, you'd better KO your opponent in the title bouts, or else the judges will always vote for the other guy. Mr. Sandman must also be KOed even though he isn't a circuit champion. Same with King Hippo who isn't a champion either, though it only takes one knockdown to defeat him anyway. The worst case is the Bald Bull rematch: Usually, you can win on points in other matches, though it takes a ludicrous amount; but this rematch is particularly egregious as it's possible to dodge every single one of his punches and hit him several times and still get a loss from the judges.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The Wii game lets you punch the names in the credits. The important part is to look out for weird symbols, misspellings, and the names of characters from the game in particular.
  • Creator Provincialism: In the Wii game, Bear Hugger is portrayed as originally being from Salmon Arm, British Columbia (where Next Level Games is headquartered). He's actually from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
  • Credits Gag: After finishing Contender Mode in the Wii version, you will play a little mini-game with the following credits sequence. Some of the names will have upside-down letters or names of some of the characters you have fought on your way to the top. If you move the boxing glove cursor over those names and press A, you will gain points. Chain together combos for higher scores.
  • Critical Existence Failure: The NES and Wii games offer a slight correlation between Little Mac's ability to keep standing and his ability to fight back — taking or blocking an opponent's hits will reduce both his stamina and his heart count, and running out of hearts means he can't punch or block. Therefore, it's possible to take a few blows and suddenly be unable to retaliate. Dodge a punch or two, though, and Little Mac is ready to strike back, even if one more hit would knock him down.
  • Crunchtastic: In Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!, Doc will sometimes take a break in the middle of a fight to eat one of his beloved chocolate bars, healing himself back up. Upon taking a bite, he proclaims that the bar is "choctastic" or "choclicious".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Glass Joe can be knocked out in one properly-timed hit to the gut, or several to the jaw, all while he fails to retaliate properly. It is quite amusing.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Some characters in the Wii game are shown doing amazing feats in their intros before the fight, like Piston Hondo outrunning a bullet train or Mr. Sandman who punches down a building. In battle they are tough to beat, but still are on a rather human level. Either that or Little Mac is absurdly strong. Title Defense Bald Bull is shown to take a charging bull to the chest and not fall down, if only barely; he reacts to same way to Little Mac's punches.
  • Cycle of Hurting:
    • In Glass Joe's Title Defense rematch (Wii game), you can Star Punch him to stun him, gain a star at the end of the stun period and then Star Punch him again.
    • In the original NES game, it's possible to beat Don Flamenco with a series of quick 1-2 jabs to the face. This was carried over into the Wii version, though the combo to do this is slightly more complex.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In NES Punch-Out!! you blocked by holding down, which blocked all attacks besides uppercuts and a couple other certain moves, whereas in Super Punch-Out!! there's a low guard and high guard system which has holding up block attacks aimed at your head while holding no direction blocks blows to your body, with down now only inputting ducking. This will for sure trip up people playing either game for the first time after having extensively played the other game beforehand.
  • Dance Battler:
    • Disco Kid. Later an aerobics battler as well.
    • Even more so with Don Flamenco, who uses many dance moves in his attack patterns.
    • The SNES version has Bob Charlie and Heike Kagero.
  • Darker and Edgier: While not very dark on its own, the Punch Out Wii installment does have more of an edge than any other installment so far. For starters, all of the boxers can get torn up pretty badly and unlike the NES game, the injuries stick throughout the match, not just in the intermissions. Some boxers actually swear during a match which is disguised by them speaking in their own language. Some of the boxer's personalities are also darker. Von Kaiser has a bad case of self esteem issues, Aran Ryan's attitude is much more psychotic, and some of his tactics could actually kill someone if done a certain way. There's also a little bit of angst in this version as seen during the Mac's Last Stand bout and even has a fairly emotional moment between Doc and Mac before the bout begins.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Disco Kid. Super Macho Man is theoretically of the "surfer with a tan" variety in the Wii version, though what's supposed to be silver-blonde hair just looks grey.
  • Dartboard of Hate: The "punching bag of hate" variation occurs in the Wii game, where Super Macho Man has a bag with Little Mac's face on it during his title defense Training Montage.
  • David Versus Goliath: In the NES game, protagonist Little Mac fights a series of boxers who are all at least twice his size. He still prevails.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: This is how Little Mac fights, along with being a Fragile Speedster. While most of the other fighters have moves that deal roughly a fourth of Macs health bar, Mac uses a flurry of jabs and uppercuts to whittle down his opponents health.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack:
    • Most of the fighters have a specialty move that will knock you down if they nail you with it but which will allow you to knock them down if you can either counter it or dodge/block it and hit them afterwards (depending on the opponent).
    • Bald Bull's Bull Charge attack. If it hits you, you're kissing the canvas. But if you can hit him at just the right moment, he goes down. Nick Bruiser has very similar attack that's harder to counter. Averted in his Title Defense match on the Wii version. If you counter his Bull Charge, it seems like he'll go down… only for him to stay up and laugh in your face. It will still deal him quite a bit of damage, but it's no longer an instant knockdown.
    • In the Wii game, after you knock Title Defense Mr. Sandman down twice, he goes into his Berserker Rage. This is a series of fourteen uppercuts, none of which can be countered and the last of which is a One-Hit Kill. But if you dodge all fourteen, Mr. Sandman is exhausted, unable to throw a single punch (or even block) and vulnerable to a beatdown (a Star Punch will instantly KO him in this state).
  • Deer in the Headlights: In the Wii iteration, the Contender half of the game has all of the opponent boxers get stunned in fear of Little Mac's signature Star Punch should he throw one while they're in their idle animation. All of them (even Glass Joe) grow out of this in time for the Title Defense portion, where all of them will dodge the Star Punch should they not be in a stun or the middle of an attack.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Almost everyone who's played the NES game knows how to defeat King Hippo; hit him in his big mouth to get him to drop his pants, then pummel his fat belly. This strategy has been kept untouched in the new Wii game though in the rematch, he's taped a manhole cover to his stomach, which you need to punch off first.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: The final fight in the series is about defeating the undefeatable.
    • In Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on the NES does this by making the final opponent Mike Tyson, who was undefeated at the time the game was made. Same with Tyson's replacement Mr. Dream in Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream.
    • In Super Punch-Out!!, Nick Bruiser has a 42-0 record before losing against you. To add insult to injury, according to Official Nintendo Magazine, he then lost again. To Glass Joe. His twin brother Rick is almost undefeated, having lost to Nick.
    • Punch-Out for the Wii does this for the Final Boss Mr. Sandman. Not only does he have a whooping 31 wins - 0 losses record, but his introduction cutscene shows him knocking out every other boxer in the game like it was nothing.
  • Deletion as Punishment: A variation—Fail Mac's Last Stand three times and you're permanently locked out of Career Mode (and, by extension, permanently locked out of Champion's Mode).
  • Desperation Attack:
    • The Wii version gives Mr. Sandman a brutal desperation attack when he's on the cusp of losing the match. He roars with anger, huffs with exhaustion and wipes sweat between throwing an onslaught of punches with no openings, and surviving long enough to land a counter-attack is the only time the game gives you a free star... and landing that star punch will knock Mr. Sandman out guaranteed. Those familiar with Mike Tyson, the man Mr. Sandman was based on, will recognize this as a reference to Tyson having a lung condition which made him tire quickly, forcing him to rely on a very aggressive fighting style in order to win before tiring out.
    • Aran Ryan has this as well, but it's much more realistic in its execution...cheating aside. Namely, he tries using a boxing glove on a rope, but he's really slow because of all the damage he took during the match, to the point where he won't hit you unless you intentionally let him.
  • Determinator:
    • In the Wii Version, it's an actual game mechanic for Little Mac to occasionally come back from sure defeat with one final burst of strength if you're doing reasonably well in the fight. Really cool when it happens, and even cooler to come back and WIN when it happens (one of the Exhibition challenges against Mr. Sandman in Title Defense requires you to do the latter).
    • Glass Joe is still determined to fight after 99 (later 100) defeats, more so in the Wii Version. By extension, his friend Gabby Jay from Super Punch-Out!! also counts.
    Gabby Jay: I'll never retire! I can win at least once more. Come on!
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • There are two defeat cutscenes that show Little Mac after the fight beaten on the mat, Kaiser's Title Defense and Don Flamenco's Contender matches. Lose by decision and the cutscene is abbreviated and Little Mac doesn't show up.
    • In Title Defense, even if you lose the belt to any of the challengers, you get the same intro cutscene in rematches. Against Mr. Sandman, the same cutscene that plays in Contender Mode's Title Bout against him plays if you rematch him in Title Defense after losing the belt to him.
  • Disco Sucks!: Doc Louis says "Gonna let you in on something, Mac. Disco's dead, Rock and Roll soothes the soul" during the fight against Disco Kid.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Defeating Mr. Sandman at the end of the World Circuit will net Little Mac the title belt of WVBA champion, and the game's credits roll... now it's time to retain that title, which marks the start of Title Defense mode. Mr. Sandman once again displays this trope at the end of Title Defense itself, as even after defeating all boxers once again Mac has to keep fighting until his planned retirement in the true last mode, Mac's Last Stand.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: World Circuit in the SNES and Wii versions. In the SNES version, there is a fourth circuit unlockable by having an official 4-0 record on the other three circuits. In the Wii version, gaining the WVBA title is only half of the work! Also, World S Circuit in Title Defense mode for the Wii, as Mac still has to keep fighting until the end in Last Stand.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Super Macho Man in the SNES version; Mr. Sandman in the Wii version, in both circuits.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: There are a fair few characters that have evolved over the years, the most notable being Aran Ryan. In the SNES game, he was a bland palette swap of Piston Hurricane who fought by the rules. In the Wii game, he's a complete lunatic who threatens Mac, the referee and the audience. He breaks just about every rule of boxing, from using his elbows to loading his gloves with horseshoes to tying a rope to one of said horseshoe gloves and using it as a flail.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Great Tiger does a simple mirage move in the Wii game in Contender Mode to mess up with Mac. But in Title Defense and his NES game's solo fight, he'll use a more elaborate version where he summons multiple replicas.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Great Tiger's signature move. In Title Defense, he summons an army of them.
  • Dork in a Sweater: Aside from his boxing uniform, Glass Joe can usually be seen in a cozy turtleneck, which communicates his softness compared to the rest of the cast.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: In the Wii game, you have the Challenge with Glass Joe that requires to knock him down three times, and let him win by decision, and the Challenge with TD Mr. Sandman that requires you to almost get knocked out, and then return to win. Also, there's the protective headgear unlocked for losing 100 times in Career Mode. It becomes Permanently Missable if you clear all of Career Mode without getting it, since Career Mode goes away upon completion. That's the only mode you can use it in anyway, though, so it's not a big loss.
  • Downer Ending: The Wii game has one, and it's terribly depressing. If Little Mac loses 3 matches in the mode "Mac's Last Stand", he will keep his word in retiring from boxing for good. The game then shows Doc Louis in a room that shows various photos of Little Mac's victories over the boxers he faced. Doc Louis then rings the bell on the bike that was Little Mac's. If that wasn't enough, Doc Louis looks up at a photo of him and Mac during their training, saying to himself that he is proud of Mac. And just to make sure that the point is driven home, players cannot play the career section in their profile since it is literally "retired."
  • Drunken Master: In his appearance in the Wii version, Soda Popinski takes a swig from his trademark bottle of soda to power himself up and restore his stamina.
  • Drunk on Milk: Soda Popinski and his bottles of soda in the Wii version. In the original NES game, it was more of a Frothy Mugs of Water scenario (with his name getting changed from Vodka Drunkenski, his name in the arcade, and just plain old booze), but the Wii remake ran with the soda angle and made it vague whether he was getting drunk or high from his drinking (the remake plays his drinking for laughs by noting he trains by hauling crates full of soda, which he then proceeds to down by the ton). Either way, he retains enough of his Lightning Bruiser skills to still be a tough opponent.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Appears in the Wii game's Title Defense match with King Hippo, who duct-taped a manhole cover to his belly to keep the player from punching at it. It doesn't really do him much good, though, since the player can just punch across it to remove the tape and knock it off.

    E-H 
  • Eagleland: In the Wii game, BOTH types are present: Little Mac is Type 1 (young, scrapper, humble roots, works hard to get to the top and achieve his dream). Super Macho Man is Type 2 (rich, arrogant, self-absorbed, etc.).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The original gold cartridge version of the NES game featured a different song for the Title Bout, and no Dream Fight tune, as well as slightly different graphics and Engrish.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Losing 100 times in single player mode unlocks the headgear, which protects your face from attacks, greatly reducing the damage you take from most attacks. However, it means you're as much of a loser as the game's resident French punching bag, Glass Joe.
  • Endless Game:
    • Arm Wrestling goes on and on until you get a Game Over.
    • In the Wii version, Mac's Last Stand goes on until you lose three times, after which Career Mode is over and closed.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: In the Wii game, the end of the line is made explicit in the hidden "Mac's Last Stand" mode. After its completion, Career Mode is locked permanently, emphasizing that Little Mac has retired.note 
  • Enemy Posturing: Several of the boxers in the Wii game will taunt you at least once during the match, essentially giving you a free hit. You can also fill up your star meter if you hit them right when they're blinking yellow.
    • Disco Kid is a particularly shameless example, in that he strikes a pose at you right at the beginning of the first round. And then, when you rematch him in the Title Defense mode, he starts the first round the exact same way.
    • Donkey Kong, the True Final Boss, is a less straightforward example. During the fight, he spends a lot of time making faces at you, dancing, scratching himself, etc. You can try to attack him while he's taunting, but you have to get the timing just right, or else he'll dodge and counter-punch.
  • Enemy Roll Call: All games since the NES version give the names of all the fighters during the credits. The first two entries out of them also give one last line to each of them.
  • Epic Flail: In the Wii game, Aran Ryan packs an improvised flail made using a boxing glove and a rope when you rematch him in the Title Defense mode. He can also use it when he is knocked down, though it cannot knock Mac down.
  • Equal-Opportunity Offender: The series has a long list of nationally stereotypical boxers. It also helps that two of said boxers are from the creators' home countries: Canada for Next Level Games, and Japan for Nintendo.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Doc Louis' Punch-Out, oddly. After Mac defeats Doc in the final training session, Doc declares it's time for some chocolate cake and the two share a laugh.
  • Evil Costume Switch: The Wii version takes it furthern in Title Defense Mode. It takes every single opponent in the entire game, gives them all a badass makeover, and makes them all much harder than they are normally. Some of the makeovers have practical purposes, namely, Glass Joe's headgear and King Hippo's manhole cover, but for the most part, they just make them look different and distinguishable from their weak counterparts, plus Darker and Edgier.
  • Evil Laugh: Mainly Great Tiger's. It really gets on your nerves after a while, to the point where you want to beat him just so you won't have to hear it anymore.
    • Soda Popinski's good old 8-bit guffaw (which was recycled the following year for Ganon), for when Little Mac is knocked down, and he doesn't stop laughing unless Mac gets back up. The Wii game gives him a more realistic-sounding laugh that fits this trope pretty well, and is used in the same manner as his laugh in the NES version.
    • In the NES game, Bald Bull (and Mr. Sandman) laughed like Soda Popinski when he won a match. The Wii game gives Bull a gruff "heh heh heh" laugh which in that game he has for whenever Little Mac is knocked down (though, unlike Soda Popinski, he doesn't wait until Little Mac gets back up to stop), regardless of whether he wins.
  • Excited Show Title!: The series' name is officially written with two exclamation points at the end, which is reflected in all the games (minus the spinoff Arm Wrestling).
  • Expy:
    • Disco Kid, who is advertised as the only new character in the Wii installment, was designed to be an updated version of Kid Quick from the original arcade game. Piston Honda/Hondo from the NES game is also somewhat based on Piston Hurricane from the arcade game.
    • Gabby Jay in Super Punch-Out is a Glass Joe expy, right down to the country of origin, despite saying "Come on!" in a Southern United States drawl. In fact, his only win in 100 fights came against Glass Joe.
  • Expressive Health Bar: The NES version, in addition to an actual health bar, has Little Mac's sprite change depending on where his health's at in-between rounds, going from happy, to happy with a swollen eye, to sad with a swollen eye.
  • Extremity Extremist: Not surprisingly, in a boxing game most of the boxers fight with only their fists, but certain boxers subvert this trope by using weapons, items and other body parts to fight with. Hoy Quarlow is the worst at following the trope, as he barely punches at all.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Mac's Last Stand can't be won per se; it only keeps going endlessly until you lose three times, and Mac retires.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: Don Flamenco in the Wii game has a toupee which you can knock off, to his annoyance.
  • Fat Bastard: King Hippo (NES); Bear Hugger and Mad Clown (SNES). The first two also appear in the Wii installment, while the third originally appeared in the SNES Super Punch-Out!!.
  • Fictional Country: King Hippo hails from the fictional Hippo Island, located in the South Pacific. The island is very tropical and King Hippo rules it.
  • The Fighting Narcissist:
    • Narcis Prince, who, true to form, goes completely apeshit if you manage to punch him in the face.
    • Also applies to Don Flamenco in the Wii game, where knocking off his toupee causes him to fly into Unstoppable Rage.
  • Final Boss:
    • Arcade Punch Out: Mr. Sandman, though the game loops.
    • Arcade Super Punch Out: Super Macho Man, though the game loops.
    • Arm Wrestling: Frank Jr., though the game loops.
    • NES Punch Out: Depending on your version, Super Macho Man, Mike Tyson, or Mr. Dream.
    • SNES Super Punch Out: Super Macho Man, though there is a True Final Boss in Nick Bruiser.
    • Wii Punch Out: Mr. Sandman. Donkey Kong is an unlockable Superboss.
  • Final Death Mode: In the Wii game, there is a mode called "Mac's Last Stand", where Little Mac will keep fighting opponents until he takes three losses, at which point he retires and the Career Mode closes. It's downplayed in that you can still fight in Exhibition Mode, but if you retire before obtaining the extra perks (Champion's Mode, Donkey Kong as a hidden opponent, etc.), they'll be lost forever on that save file.
  • Finishing Move: The Wii game uses Little Mac's Star Punch as one during the Title Defense battle against Mr. Sandman. After you survive his Berserker Rage (which he'll only do when he's already on the brink of defeat), he'll be so tired that you can start punching him to receive free stars, and then finish him off with one big powerful uppercut.
  • Flawless Victory: In the Wii game, some of the characters can be knocked-out instantly by performing certain actions during combat, but it will require that Little Mac is never hit (such is the case of Don Flamenco in Contender Mode and Bald Bull in Title Defense). And in Exhibition Mode, one of the challenges require you to defeat Piston Hondo in his Title Defense rematch without taking damage or lowering your stamina.
  • Flexible Tourney Rules:
    • It's a boxing federation... that includes "boxers" who use flying kicks (Dragon Chan), a quarterstaff (Hoy Quarlow), throwing weapons (Mad Clown's apples), his own hair (Heike Kagero), and more. Hell, even one of the more mundane fist fighters uses an elbow crush that would get him thrown out of any actual ring.
    • The Wii version's Title Defense mode is hard because of this. Realizing that his stomach is a weakness, King Hippo wears a manhole lid over it. They're even worse cheaters than before!
    • Wait until you see Aran Ryan's title defense move. It can't be legal in any ring whatsoever. He's made a boxing glove whip - and the glove has his lucky horseshoes in it too.
    • Even some of the more mundane attacks tend to go against most boxing convention and rules. Backhands, overhead punches, double hooks, etc. Even the Bull Charge probably goes against some kind of rule, despite being just a ludicrously powerful uppercut in the end.
    • Amusingly, the Wii version provides a possible explanation for this. Considering how much abuse and humiliation the Referee takes in the World Circuit, he probably couldn't enforce the rules even if he wanted to.
    • As Bumbles McFumbles points out in these analysis videos, almost everyone in the Wii version commits an infraction of some sort. Yes, including Little Mac himself, who is too young and underweight to theoretically compete with anyone he actually fights. Mr. Sandman actually is completely above board, except for his Title Defense outfit, where one could argue there isn't clear enough demarkation between his waistband and trunks, though one can also argue that he can get away with it purely because of how terrifying he is. Of course, Aran Ryan's level of cheating is more than double his next closest competitor in the regular roster of boxers in this regard at 20 infractions. Bumbles even observes that even Ryan's cheating is cheating. As it happens, if we include the Optional Boss, Donkey Kong almost catches up at 19 infractions.
  • Flower Motifs: Don Flamenco of Punch-Out!!, being a Spanish stereotype that walks like a man, carries a rose to the ring. In his Title Defense rematch, however, he chooses to Paint It Black and switches it out for a black rose. A black rose means "revenge". The game even lampshades it, as he asks you (in Spanish) between rounds "Do you know what a black rose means?"
  • Foreign Cuss Word: In the Wii game, various boxers who are walking national stereotypes speak foreign languages. Great Tiger tells Little Mac (in Hindi) to do what translates to suggesting he go back to his mommy's milk, while Bald Bull asks (in Turkish) if Louis (Mac's Trainer) is teaching Mac how to get spanked.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Don Flamenco's intro has him punch a bull mid charge, providing a hint on how to stop Bald Bull's charge.
    • Look in the background after getting into the World Circuit and you might see a familiar if nonhuman shadow in the crowd. Said shadow gets closer during the Title defense bouts. If you go far enough, Donkey Kong shows up to challenge you.
  • Four Is Death: One of the Exhibition challenges tasks you to defeat Japanese boxer Piston Hondo after blocking 44 jabs.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • In "Super Punch Out", the Special Circuit follows this trope, albeit a bit less straight; Narcis Prince (choleric), Hoy Quarlow (phlegmatic), Rick Bruiser (sanguine), and Nick Bruiser (melancholic).
    • In the Wii installment:
      • The Minor Circuit has: Glass Joe (melancholic), Von Kaiser (choleric), Disco Kid (sanguine), and King Hippo (phlegmatic (until you knock his crown off)).
      • The Major Circuit in the same game has: Piston Hondo (choleric), Bear Hugger (sanguine), Great Tiger (phlegmatic), and Don Flamenco (melancholic).
      • The World Circuit has: Bald Bull and Aran Ryan (choleric), Soda Popinski (phlegmatic), Super Macho Man (sanguine), Mr. Sandman (melancholic), and Donkey Kong (leukine)
  • Fragile Speedster: Mac is definitely one. He's good at dodging and punch way faster than the opponents, but it generally only takes a handful of punches from any given opponent to knock him down. Even Glass Joe can knock down Mac in less than half the punches it takes Mac to knock him down.
  • Franchise Codifier: This boxing series debuted with two arcade installments (plus an Spin-Off based on arm wrestling) during the 1984-85 period, but it was the NES game released in 1987 (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!) which premiered the format and presentation the series is known for: A longer roster of boxers ready to challenge the player, tiered by circuit (Minor, Major, World), plus a very powerful opponent (or an entire circuit hosting four such opponents in the SNES game) unlocked after earning the WVBA title belt. Most importantly, the NES game was the first in the series to actually end, since the arcade games were Endless Games.
  • Frankenstein Monster: Frank Jr., the final boss of the spinoff Arm Wrestling. True to his name, his appearance is even reminiscent of the iconic creature.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: There's a bearded guy in a corner of the crowd in the NES version that nods only in two occasions: When you can One-Hit Kill an opponent. Most people never noticed this and was discovered in 2014.
  • French Accordion: The French boxer Glass Joe's theme uses an accordion.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Bear Hugger in the Wii Version. His training and drinking partner is a bear, and in Title Defense he has a little squirrel in his hat, that he seems to have developed a rather strong bond with. It actually makes him one of the nicer fighters (he even describes himself as "a hugger, not a fighter, eh"), personality wise, when he isn't one-shotting you.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Face it: the first time you play Title Defense mode, you will lose to Glass Joe. Part of this is due to muscle memory. You're literally so jumpy and hair-triggery after surviving Mr. Sandman that Joe's laconic jabs, misleading body language and invulnerable head mess with your mind, watching yourself being outsmarted by Glass Joe is video game psychological manipulation of the very first order.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Soda Popinski is really drinking Soda in the Wii version, inheriting the changes made to him from the Arcade to the NES versions (in the former, he is called Vodka Drunkenski and always fights drunk).
  • Funny Background Event: In the background of Don Flamenco's Contender Mode cutscene, someone is holding a sign that reads "Te amo Don" ("I love you Don") in all caps and pink letters.
  • Funny Foreigner:
  • Gaiden Game: Nintendo's arcade game Arm Wrestling is in the same little universe as Punch-Out!!, and includes Bald Bull as a contender named Mask X.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In Title Defense, Glass Joe is back with damage-reducing headgear after his 100th loss. If you lose 100 times, Mac will be given headgear too, which does actually reduce damage for you.
  • Germanic Efficiency: Parodied with Von Kaiser. He claims to be the very model of German efficiency, and when he winds up to attack you hear sound effects like a toy soldier rattling or the cocking of a rifle. If he manages to knock you down, he begins mechanically jogging in place, and when he wins a match he paces around Little Mac's unconscious body disapprovingly like a drill sergeant. Despite this, it's soon revealed that this affected perfectionism is a front to cover the fact that he's a twitchy, nervous wreck. In Contender mode, a single counterpunch turns him into a basket case, hiding his face and whimpering "mommy", and hitting him with a Star Punch in this state will automatically knock him down or even KO him outright. Later played straight in his Title Defense fight, where he loses his fragile Star Punch weaknesses and gains an attack that will instantly knock down Little Mac if it lands (coincidentally this is when he namedrops German efficiency in his between rounds quotes).
  • The Giant:
    • Plenty of fighters, but especially Bald Bull, Bear Hugger, and Mad Clown.
    • Soda Popinski and Mr. Sandman as well in the Wii version. Mr. Sandman in particular comes off massive enough that even when he slouches for a particular move, he's about as big as any other character in the game. Bald Bull is noticeably shorter that many of the later boxers in the Wii version, but no less muscular than he's always been.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere / Guest Fighter:
  • Glass Cannon: King Hippo. He hits hard, yes, but once you knock him down, he's not coming back up. Once you figure out how to hit him reliably, he's one of the easiest fights in the game.
  • The Glomp: Doc does this to Little Mac during title belt victories in the Wii version.
  • Gorgeous George:
    • Heike Kagero, who appears in the SNES game, is an effeminate boxer on the World Circuit with bishonen traits aplenty. He has a slim build, lilac trunks and matching lipstick, long silver hair which he uses as a lethal weapon, and skips back and forth when he knocks you down. And he gives a Noblewoman's Laugh when he wins. According to the manual, Kagero was actually trained in kabuki (specifically the balletic arts of Nihon Buyo) before taking up boxing as a means of defending himself.
    • Narcis Prince on the Special Circuit (SNES) shows this via the blonde hair, and absolute rage he flies into, should the player manage to hit his pretty face.
    • Disco Kid from the Wii game is also a very flamboyant boxer who cares more for dancing then for fighting.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Wii game features boxers from all over the world, and every non-English-speaking boxer (except for King Hippo) speaks in their native language.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Piston Honda in the NES version behaves more like a Japanese Tourist, because they put this into his character. The following is one of his between-round quotes: "Sushi, kamikaze, Fujiyama, Nippon'ichi..." Remedied in the Wii version, where he is now Piston Hondo, and a boxer with Samurai motifs. Plus, now he speaks exclusively in genuine Japanese.
  • Guest Fighter: Donkey Kong in the Wii game. You can challenge him in Mac's Last Stand, which requires surviving for long enough until he appears. Luckily, it's not necessary to defeat him in this mode to have him available in Exhibition Mode; just meet him once in the former mode and you're good.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Both Nintendo and Next Level claimed that players would be able to "intuitively" figure out to beat the opponents in the Wii version without having to use a guide. However, while this might be the case for some players, others may have a really hard time, especially in Title Defense mode and in "Mac's Last Stand". The biggest offender however, is the challenges in exhibition mode, as it's not immediately clear what you have to do to clear some of them. Without a guide, it could take hours, maybe even longer, to figure out how to clear some (if not most, or even all) of the challenges.
    • How to earn stars. Stars allow you to use a powerful uppercut that is essential for taking out most opponents quickly. Most players will easily learn to earn a star by hitting the opponent when he taunts and flashes gold. However, this will only get you one or two stars per round - the game never even hints that most moves can give you stars if you counterpunch them. Even if you know that, when to counterpunch - as the move winds up, just before the move connects, after the move misses and the opponent is in the follow-through animation, just before the opponent puts their guard back up - differs from boxer to boxer and even move to move, with no discernible patterns. The game also never mentions that after a standard dodge-and-counter combo, you can extend the combo with a few extra hits by timing it so you hit the opponent's head just as he starts to center himself; doing this long enough earns more stars. The World Circuit and Title Defense are much easier when you learn this trick.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: The NES version plays with the trope. The game over screen shows a depressed-looking Little Mac against a red background, at first making one feel bad about crushing the little guy's dreams of becoming champ...until you see the text at the bottom encouraging you to "Start training, make a comeback!"
  • A Handful for an Eye: Masked Muscle, who cheats repeatedly. One of his moves is to spit in your eye, making everything blurry and preventing you from attacking for about ten seconds.
  • Hair Colors: The arcade entries in the series star a nameless, green-haired pugilist. The fourth Super Smash Bros gives Little Mac's black hair in his character illustration a tint of green in reference to this.
  • Harder Than Hard: In the Wii game, surviving long enough in the (hard by itself) Mac's Last Stand mode gives you Champions Mode, accessible via Exhibition when choosing an opponent in Contender or Title Defense. Every opponent can floor Little Mac with a single punch.
  • Hard Mode Filler:
    • The Wii game has Title Defense mode. You have to refight all the characters from the game with remixed movesets, and you have less HP.
    • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for the NES makes you re-fight Piston Honda, Bald Bull and Don Flamenco a second time in tactically improved form with halved HP.
  • Head Swap:
    • The arcade games have Glass Joe/Kid Quick, Bald Bull/Mr. Sandman and Vodka Drunkenski/Super Macho Man (both of which appear in the NES game) and Piston Hurricane/Pizza Pasta/Great Tiger.
    • In the NES version, every character except King Hippo shared a character model with another boxer: Glass Joe/Don Flamenco, Von Kaiser/Great Tiger, Bald Bull/Mr. Sandman, Soda Popinski/Super Macho Man, and Piston Honda/Mike Tyson. Mr. Dream was also just a headswap of Tyson.
    • The Super NES game has Bald Bull/Mr. Sandman once again, as well as Gabby Jay/Bob Charlie, Bear Hugger/Mad Clown, Piston Hurricane/Aran Ryan, Dragon Chan/Heike Kagero, Masked Muscle/Super Macho Man, and the two Bruiser Brothers. The only characters with unique models are Narcis Prince and Hoy Quarlow.
    • Given that the Wii game uses 3D models instead of sprites, this is less blatant with all of the fighters having unique models and animations, though the body type similarities still remain as they did in the NES game. Disco Kid's similar to Piston Hondo, King Hippo and Bear Hugger are both overweight, and Aran Ryan is closest to Glass Joe and Don Flamenco. Only Donkey Kong is so obviously unique.
  • Healing Boss:
    • In the SNES Super Punch Out, if you perform a KO punch on Aran Ryan, he?ll follow up with a clinch that heals him while lowering your own health.
    • Wii Version:
      • Soda Popinski will drink some cola to heal up both in between rounds and in the middle of one. The amount healed in between can be decreased by skipping the scene, and he can be stopped during a round by punching the bottle out of his hand.
      • On higher difficulties, Doc Louis will pull out a chocolate bar to restore health. He can be stopped on the highest difficulty by punching the chocolate out of his hand.
  • Heel: Aran Ryan puts horseshoes in his gloves and sabotages opponents. Super Macho Man knocks the ref over and showboats like there's no tomorrow. The crowd reacts to both of them like wrestling heels, booing whenever they do well and cheering like crazy when Mac takes them down.
  • Heroic Mime:
    • Little Mac in the Wii version. His only speech appears to be grunts when he attacks or is hit/KOed or what have you, and happy laughs and whoops when he wins; the only actual word he ever says is, "Yeah!" That said, in the NES version, he seems to speak a bit more, asking Doc for help in between rounds.
    • Averted by the SNES protagonist, who always has something to say after a match, with the phrase changing depending on how many times he was knocked down.
  • Heroic Second Wind:
    • Incorporated into the gameplay of the Wii title; after a few knockdowns, start mashing 1 + 2 (or shake like crazy) after being hit by a punch that would ordinarily KO Mac instantly. If you're lucky, Mac stops himself from hitting the canvas, and fights passing out just to give himself one more chance to win. Becomes this trope instead of merely Determinator if you manage to start thrashing your opponent immediately and easily after returning to the fight.
    • Subtly applied in the gameplay of the NES version; normally you get more health refilled and stamina by getting up as quickly as you can after being knocked down. But in the later, harder fights, if you get up on a 9 count instead, you'll always get 9 hearts (the maximum you can get back after getting up from a knockdown) and get much more of your health back, possibly even as much as an entire health refill depending on the opponent and how many times you already been knocked down. Learning how to time your mashing to get up on 9 can really help make getting knocked down in the later fights not so devastating.
    • Bald Bull can do this in the NES and Wii versions. If you drain his stamina completely during his NES World Circuit bout, he recovers a little bit with the next punch he throws; he'll only go down if you punch him during a Bull charge or uppercut him when his meter is low enough. He takes it one step further during his Wii Title Defense Bout, recovering about a quarter of his meter even if you drain it by hitting him mid-charge, and will only fall to a Star Punch.
    • In the NES game the opponents generally don't change much in Round 3, but after having a rather tame and predictable pattern in the prior round, Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream overhauls his entire pattern and becomes very random with a variety of different punches, unlike every other opponent in the game who have significantly less deviation from their basic patterns, while he is throwing out punches that are barely within human reaction time. His uppercuts also deal quite a bit more damage than they did in the prior round, and he can now throw out his unstoppable Dynamite Hooks infinitely until you get knocked down if you fail to block the initial four he throws after blinking. Indeed strategies for beating Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream will advise going for a Round 2 TKO, as trying to knock him out in Round 3 or survive for the decision victory is incredibly difficult, especially if you can only take one or two more knockdowns before Mac can't get back up.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: In the Wii version: "I'm a hugger,  not a fighter."
  • Honor Before Reason: Piston Hondo in the Wii game has a really bad habit of bowing before a match, being Japanese and all. You can punch him in the middle of his bowing to gain a start punch. He learns his lesson for the title defense match against him and will dodge and counter your punch if you try to do it again.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Super Macho Man's opening montage in the Wii game shows him with a series of girlfriends, each one about half his size.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: When knocking off the manhole cover over King Hippo's belly, it lands on his foot, causing him to hop up and down while holding it.
  • Husky Russkie: Vodka Drunkenski, who became the non-alcoholic Soda Popinski. The Wii game goes further by making him 6'6", the tallest human character in the game, even taller than Final Boss Mr. Sandman (although he is shorter than the non-human Donkey Kong) and he does the cossack dance when he wins. Also, in a possible Shout-Out to Rocky IV, after losing to Mac, scientists create a chemical formula to make him faster and stronger. The funny thing being that the contender mode montage (instead of the tougher Title Defense mode) features him performing rustic workouts like Rocky did in that movie.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Doc Louis's remedy chocolate bars will instantly replenish his health if he manages to eat them. In fact, if Doc Louis eats one around Little Mac between rounds, Little Mac will replenish some health himself. This also goes for Soda Popinski and his soda.

    I-L 
  • Iconic Outfit: Little Mac is well-known for his black and green outfit — especially the iconic, bright green boxing gloves. In the Wii game, it's the attire he wears in the Minor Circuit at the start of the game.
  • I Hit You, You Hit the Ground: Disco Kid's plan for Mac in Title Defense mode:
    ''"I have a three step program for you — I punch you; you fall down; I win!"
  • I Let You Win: Rick Bruiser's record is 41-1, and his only loss is to his brother, Nick Bruiser. However, Rick Bruiser claims he let his brother win their match, and that he's really the best.
  • Important Haircut: Von Kaiser and Mr. Sandman in Title Defense mode in the Wii game, both before their respective rematches with Little Mac. Kaiser is shown getting a military cut, symbolizing he's not letting his emotional trauma hinder him for the next match. Sandman does it to reinforce his desire for revenge after losing the WVBA belt to Mac.
  • Improbable Weapon User: This being a boxing series, it shouldn't feature weapons other than fists and gloves. Nevertheless, in Super Punch-Out!!, luchador/boxer Masked Muscle uses (illegal) wrestling techniques, Dragon Chan uses Jeet Kune Do, Heike Kagero attacks with his Bishonen hair, Mad Clown has his juggling balls, and Hoy Quarlow likes to hit you with his walking stick repeatedly. It might be easier to mention the boxers that fight fair. And of course, the ref will never call them on it.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The NES game was originally titled Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, referencing that Mike Tyson is the Final Boss. Later versions of the game changed the name to Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, since Tyson himself is absent (and replaced by the eponymous Mr. Dream) due to license expiry.
  • Instant-Win Condition:
    • Many of the boxers can be instantly KO'd under the right conditions, usually involving three-star counterpunches. Making proper use of this is the only way to clear certain challenges in Exhibition Mode. Some of them are alluded to, if not outright stated (such as doing 50 jabs to TD Glass Joe), while others are simply referred to by a strict time limit, forcing you to use this trope to clear the challenge.
    • Some notable aversions to the challenges include Piston Hondo (blocking 44 jabs does nothing), Super Macho Man and Donkey Kong (who don't have instant KOs, though the latter has an instant KD, and must be TKO'd in a perfect run to beat their time challenges), and Sandman (knocking him down in 33 seconds is partially a Luck-Based Mission).
  • Jerkass: Many of the fighters in the game are massive jerks at the start, while some are just eccentric. However, if they best Little Mac in a bout, the jerk tendencies come immediately to the surface for each and every one of them. The one exception seems to be Disco Kid.
  • Jive Turkey: Disco Kid.
    Doc Louis: Time to teach this turkey how to jive!
  • Jobber: Glass Joe, your first opponent, has a 1-99 record (his one win once being jokingly called a fluke victory in a freak incident over Nick Bruiser, the final boss of Super Punch-Out. Or a fluke win over Von Kaiser; no one knows for sure, though the latter is more likely due to Nick's undefeated record). In Super Punch-Out, Gabby Jay has the same record... and his one win was explicitly against Glass Joe, his trainer. The Wii version returns Glass Joe to his place of "prominence".
  • Kaizo Trap: Subverted. Aran Ryan, in Title Defense on the Wii version, will do one last desperate attack every time he's knocked down. However, the said attack can't actually knock you down regardless of how little life you have left, even in the mode where every hit knocks you down, and star-punching him during the attack is a One-Hit KO.
  • Kevlard: Lots.
    • King Hippo is one of the earlier video game examples. He was completely immune to being knocked out until you figured out you were supposed to hit him in his gaping maw and then proceed for the rather obvious bandages.
    • Bear Hugger and Mad Clown, both fat boxers, are nearly immune to body blows. You have to punch them in the head to damage them. Punching them in the stomach results in a boing, and the boxer mocks you. If they taunt, their midsection is vulnerable, and hitting it will stun them.
  • Killer Bear Hug: This is a Signature Move for Canadian boxer Bear Hugger; he will swing his arms out wide and try to bring Little Mac into a crushing grip.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Would you have guessed that Bear Hugger's bear coach is female?
  • Large and in Charge: In the NES game, the opponents are at least twice as tall as Little Mac (they don't call him little for nothing). The Wii version tones down the height advantage that opponents have over Mac, but they don't tone down the weight advantage. Mac weighs in at 107 pounds. Glass Joe, his first opponent, weighs in at 110 lbs. Von Kaiser, his second opponent, weighs in at 144 lbs, and Disco Kid, his third opponent, weighs in a 210 lbs! In real life, that's several weight classes apart! Then there's King Hippo, whose weight and height are listed as "???".
  • Large Ham: In the Wii version, Super Macho Man is "gonna put on a show". He also loves the fans until they go over to Mac after he wins against Super Macho Man. He dials up his hamminess trying to get the crowd to love him again.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Wii game has Aran Ryan, who has two signature illegal moves: a headbutt and, in Title Defense, a glove on a rope that he uses when he gets knocked down. Countering the former with a 3-Star Punch or the latter with any Star Punch will KO him instantly.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The Wii version allows the player to mildly recover if the character (Little Mac) is about to lose by KO or TKO during a fight. One of the Exhibition challenges actually requires this to be done during the fight against Mr. Sandman in Title Defense.
  • Last Ditch Move: In the Wii game, Aran Ryan has one of these. In the first round of Career Mode, every time you knock him down, he takes a swing at you which doesn't hit. However, in Title Defense mode, he has a boxing glove on a rope that he uses like a flail. When you knock him down, he brings out the glove on a rope and tries to whack you one more time before falling down. Of course, it's not really capable of turning the tables, because he can't knock you down with it, and if you time a Star Punch right you'll instantly knock him out.
  • Last Stand: In the Wii game, there's a mode called Mac's Last Stand, where you have to fight random Title Defense opponents. If you lose three times, that's it. The game ends. Mac retires and the Career mode is locked. It really is Mac's Last Stand. Fortunately, a locked Career Mode simply means the "story mode" of that profile is over. You're still able to fight anyone anytime in Exhibition Mode (and Last Stand only unlocks after you've beaten all of the regular fighters in both their modes, so you have the run of them). The main goals of the Last Stand are to unlock Champion's Mode (where every hit on you is a One-Hit KO) and fight the Guest Fighter, which in turn adds him to the Exhibition roster.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Wii U rerelease uses the Donkey Kong fight as one of the screens on the Wii shop.
  • Late to the Punchline: If Little Mac were taller, he would be called Big Mac. This may be why Aran Ryan asks Little Mac if he has cheeseburgers in his gloves when he knocks him down.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The pre-fight intros in the Wii version see some of the opponents messing around.
    • Von Kaiser, Great Tiger, and Bald Bull all get up and personal while glaring at Mac.
    • Aran Ryan runs over to Mac's side of the screen to antagonize him.
    • King Hippo ignores Mac and stares into the camera.
  • Leitmotif: The series as a whole has a very recognizable theme that is in nearly every single game of the franchise. The Wii version goes as far as giving each challenger their own variations of the same theme, to give them more personality and matching each of their nationalities and/or quirks.
  • Leotard of Power: In the Wii game, Disco Kid wears a purple leotard when he challenges you for the World Championship in Title Defense mode.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: After an entire career of facing opponents with questionable tactics or attire in the Wii game, the Final Boss and World Champion Mr. Sandman is the only boxer in the game to not resort to using weapons, dirty / illegal moves, support like Soda Popinski's health-replenishing soda, or even improper boxing attire or a national stereotype (fellow American boxer Super Macho Man got him covered there anyway). During the Championship bout and the Title Defense rematch, he gives you a straightforward and fair fight, and one that's more difficult than any other opponent in the game save for Secret Character Donkey Kong.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Almost every opponent in the World Circuit qualifies in most versions, but Mike Tyson takes the cake, giving you very little time to react to his One-Hit KO move.
  • Limit Break:
    • The Star Punch is this, especially at Three-Star level.
    • Great Tiger's special attack in Title Defense.
    • Von Kaiser's TD move is a windmilling wowser of a hit: it slams Mac horizontal before he actually falls to the canvas!
    • A game mechanic in the multiplayer mode in the Wii version. When the other player flashes blue, landing a hit on the opponent fills your Giga Juice meter. Should the meter become full, the player's Little Mac character transforms into Giga Mac, a taller, more muscular version of Little Mac, and the camera angle shifts behind the non transformed Little Mac, mimicking how fights look in single player. Giga Mac hits a lot harder than Little Mac, but he is prone to being stunned, allowing the other player to combo him, which is also what you do in single player.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The training music in the Wii version is chopped up to only 14 seconds or so due to the length of the videos, so all you ever hear is the introduction to the song. Until you think to stitch all the training montages together…
  • Lost Food Grievance: In the Wii game, Soda Popinski will occasionally get out a bottle and drink it to restore his health. However, you can knock it out of his hands before he has a chance. If you do, he'll launch a flurry of powerful uppercuts very quickly at you. Far worse is if you do the same thing to Doc Louis's chocolate bar during Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!, which makes his attacks much faster (and he gets out another chocolate bar straight away that you can't knock away).
  • Lover, Not a Fighter: Spoofed by Bear Hugger in the Wii game, when he claims to be a hugger, not a fighter. He would be right if he didn't use that Bear Hug to inflict so much damage to his opponents in combat...
  • Love to Hate: In-universe, Doc Louis says this about Aran Ryan as one of his intermission quotes.
  • Luck-Based Mission: In the Wii version, one of Mr. Sandman's Title Defense challenges requires you to come back from getting knocked out to win the match. This has a random chance of happening if you mash buttons or shake the Wiimote and Nunchuk as you are getting knocked out, and if it doesn't happen, you have to start the whole match over again.
  • Lucky Seven: In the Wii version, being Irish, Aran Ryan has some motifs with the seven, such as the number of hearts you have and when he's knocked down, he'll get back up when the ref counts to seven. He'll also take up to 7 punches when he's stunned, and the Contender and Title Defense mode challenges require you to land 7 star punches on him and defeat him on the 7th minute of the match, respectively. Even his stats contain 7s, in a sense. He weighs 160 lbs, and he's 6'1" tall).

    M-P 
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Doc Louis in the Wii version, during an ongoing fight's intermission. "What's your favorite kind of ______? Mine's chocolate!"
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: The Wii game has an accidental example in Super Macho Man. He calls his attacks with Surfer Dude lingo, but only finishes the phrase if they connect. If he misses, the phrase is interrupted with his disappointed interjection. Popular phrases resulting from this include "Release the... Bogus." and "Crunch... Dude?"
  • Marathon Boss: King Hippo is a fat, overgrown boxer from Parts Unknown that has an amount of HP so large that it is only required to knock him down once to win. And in the Wii version, when fought in Title Defense mode, he'll tie a manhole cover to his belly so you can't hurt him there without removing it first, which only prolongs further the fight.
  • Mask Power: Masked Muscle, as well as Bald Bull in his Mask X disguise.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Glass Joe (think Glass Jaw), Kid Quick (his attacks are fast).
    • Mr. Sandman will put you to sleep.
    • Soda Popinski drinks a lot of Soda, King Hippo wears a crown and is roughly the size of a Hippo, Super Macho Man embodies the stereotypical strong male celebrities, Bear Hugger's signature move is the Bear Hug, etc.
    • An unusual case: In the Japanese arcade version of Super Punch-Out, Super Macho Man's name is still written as such on the screen, but the announcer calls him "Super Body Bill" (as in "body builder"), which is an extremely appropriate name.
  • Megaton Punch: In the Wii version, Don Flamenco does this to a bull during his back story.
  • Mercy Mode: In the Wii release, lose 100 times during Career mode and you will be given damage-reducing headgear … much like they did to Glass Joe after he took his 100th loss against you.
  • Mind Screw: In Super Punch-Out, one of the top fastest times against champion Nick Bruiser is Glass Joe. Because of this, people are starting to say that Joe's one win was a fluke win against Nick before the Bruiser Bros. went pro.
  • Mini-Game Credits: In the Wii version, you can correct inaccuracies (mirrored/upside down letters and boxer names) in the credits for points.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: The primary tactic involved in fighting Narcis Prince is first hitting him in the face, which enrages him and causes him to use a series of attacks that can be easily countered.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: The Wii game has a head-to-head mode that is regarded as this by many people, though others will argue that this mode is actually a very deep and intense battle of the wits and people are mainly disappointed that they can only play as recolored clones of Little Mac as opposed to popular characters like King Hippo or Super Macho Man.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The arcade Super Punch-Out!! is one to the original arcade game. The only differences between the two arcade games, besides the opponents you face and haircut of your character, is the addition of an extra button used for dodging attacks (which is required to avoid certain moves) and a more detailed display of top scores.
  • Modern Minstrelsy: The various opponent boxers all come from different countries, and each of them is an obvious stereotype of their respective nation. This ranges from Frenchman Glass Joe being a weak fighter, Spaniard Don Flamenco being a dashing bullfighter who knows how to dance, and Russian Soda Popinski who drinks a lot of soft drinks in an E-rated send-up of the vodka-chugging Russian. In the Wii iteration, the characters are, if anything, more stereotypical than in previous installments, though any potential offensiveness is, at least, highly mitigated thanks to each character being voiced in their native language. Also, as it is a Japanese Game, there's also a Japanese character called Piston Hondo who is just as stereotypical as all the others.
  • Mood Motif: In the Wii game, everybody has their own remix of the same tracks. For example, Soda Popinski's fight is filled with Orchestral Bombing and Ominous Latin Chanting. Don Flamenco's is an acoustic guitar.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the Wii game, Von Kaiser, a very serious boxer with a menacing, overpowering leitmotif, is sandwiched in between the comically pathetic Glass Joe and the fabulously flamboyant Disco Kid.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Aran Ryan's introduction video has him doodling a moustache onto a poster of Little Mac.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: In the Wii game, during Title Defense intermissions, Aran Ryan will yell that his sister is a better fighter than Little Mac.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Little Mac has fought against opponents who intentionally disregard the fact that boxing is strictly a hands-only sport. Intended by the game designers as defeating them makes Little Mac a very honorable badass.
    • Dragon Chan uses kicking attacks.
    • Masked Muscle spits in your eyes and headbutts you.
    • Hoy Quarlow fights with a walking stick.
    • Heike Kagero attacks with his hair.
    • Aran Ryan uses headbutts and elbow strikes. He adds a boxing-glove flail in Title Defense mode, and it can hit you even when his health is depleted.
  • Mystical India: Great Tiger, a "boxer" who fights with attacks like teleporting and illusions. Justified, as Great Tiger is also performs magic for show, and he presumably plays up some of the stereotypes as part of his image.
  • Mythology Gag: The Wii version has references to the games the characters appeared in.
    • When knocking down Glass Joe, he staggers and falls the same way he did in the NES version. The knockdown sound even plays!
    • Sometimes, Donkey Kong's distinctive silhouette appears in the audience, just like in the arcade days.
    • Doc says if you can't beat Bald Bull in boxing, maybe beat him in Arm Wrestling. Bald Bull indeed was present in Arm Wrestling.
    • In the NES game, you could trap Don Flamenco in a Cycle of Hurting by jabbing him in the face quickly enough. It's totally possible to trap him in a Cycle of Hurting in both of his fights, but the way to do it is slightly more complicated than in the NES days.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Don Flamenco in the Wii version does this in Spanish as one of his taunts.see 5:04.
  • National Animal Stereotypes:
    • Bear Hugger the Canadian lumberjack is heavily themed around bears, especially in the Wii game where he has an actual grizzly bear for a sparring partner.
    • The Indian boxer is named Great Tiger, and wears tiger-striped pants.
  • National Stereotypes: Among the cast are a cowardly Frenchman, a militaristic German man, a Spanish ladies man, an aggressive Irishman, and several others.
  • Nerf: Happens to all three veteran characters who appear in the SNES game. Bald Bull is demoted to the champion of the Minor Circuit; he is notably much slower and easier to beat than in the original NES game. Mr. Sandman (who is usually the champion or at least the runner-up of the World Circuit in other games) is only the champion of the Major Circuit, and consequently this marks his weakest incarnation. Super Macho Man didn't have a tier downgrade (he's still the World Circuit champion, like in the NES and second Arcade games), but he's still easier than in other games. However, for all three characters, the nerf was reversed in the Wii game, where they're back to normal.
  • Nintendo Hard: The series is well-known for this. The last few fights in the NES version (the very last one in particular) are the biggest example. Champion Mode on the Wii version is hard enough to unlock: win 10 random defense fights before losing 3 in Mac's Last Stand. Should you fail, you literally need to create a new save file and climb up the ranks to try again. But you probably don't want it anyway; Champion Mode is an option you can enable in any exhibition fight that turns any attack on Mac into a One-Hit KO, and stops enemies from blinking red before they attack. Then again, should you do manage to unlock it, winning every fight in said mode is a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: A rare male example; this is a Verbal Tic of Heike Kagero's.
    Hoo, hoo, hoo, hooo.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Don Flamenco has a battle quote telling you not to touch his hair. In the Wii version, it's a wig you can punch off him, which angers him. The NES version has the same thing, although you don't see him bald until the closeup on his face between rounds.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Bob Charlie, if in name only.
    • How to make up for Mike Tyson's absence with a game that had him as one of its claims to fame? Make Title Defense Mr. Sandman an Expy of him.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you use a Game Genie or Pro Action Replay with a Super Punch-Out career, you won't be able to access the fourth and final circuit for that career. An Emulator/Console Game Genie code now exists to reverse the disabling effect.
  • No Name Given:
    • There is absolutely nothing hinting as to who the boxer in the SNES Super Punch-Out!! was.
    • The green-haired fellow from the arcade games is only known by the player's initials.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Mr. Sandman, the champion of the WVBA in the Wii and first arcade game, doesn't rely on gimmicks or cheats during his fight. He's just a regular boxer who's very good at what he does. Relatedly, he doesn't waste any time with national stereotypes (unlike all other boxers, including fellow American Super Macho Man), so his traits and portrayal are also decidedly realistic.
  • No-Sell: Two examples in Super Punch Out!!, although neither one is completely played straight.
    • Aran Ryan's gimmick is that standard punches don't faze him - they do only scratch damage. He's something of a Wake-Up Call Boss, forcing the player to get better at counter-punching (counter-punches do full damage to him).
    • When you land jabs and hooks on Nick Bruiser, the dour expression on his face never changes. However, he's taking normal damage from the punches even if he's acting like he doesn't.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Is very much present in the Wii and SNES installments, the latter moreso. Aran Ryan in the Wii title is all about this, as he puts horseshoes in his gloves before the Contender bout, uses said gloves as a makeshift mace via rope in the Title Defense bout, and will often attempt to headbutt the player regardless of the bout.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In the Wii version, fighters gain this expression just before you counter them with a signature uppercut, though Von Kaiser's is particularly noticeable, as he shouts "HILFE!"note 
    • Doc Louis has one when you first go up against Mr. Sandman.
  • Old Master: Hoy Quarlow, who fights with a staff!
  • Once per Episode: Every game in the series features a match against Bald Bull, with the exception of the arcade Super Punch-Out!!, although the developers made up for it by including Bull in Arm Wrestling.
  • One-Hit KO: A staple of the series, for both you and opponents.
    • In the NES game, a universal one that applies to all opponents is after you knock them down and they get up on a 1 count, their health bar will be entirely refilled but if you hit them with a Star Punch it'll instantly send them right back to the canvas. If someone gets up on a 1 count can be either random or have some prerequisite conditions that have to be fulfilled (such as against Great Tiger, for him to get up on a 1 count your health must be full and it has to be within the first minute).
    • In Super Punch-Out for the SNES, it is possible at some point to throw this in any fight. When you punch your enemy enough times within a short enough time window, they will become dizzy and will come back and forth dazed. If the player unleashes a super punch and it lands on the opponent right as they waddle back into range, no matter if it's Gabby Jay or Nick Bruiser, they'll be instantly knocked down. Plus if knocked down this way, they'll usually stay down for longer so you can recover more health, and they'll get a significantly smaller health refill than usual upon getting back up.
    • The most well-known character-specific instance across the series is from Bald Bull - if you get hit by his Bull Charge, you're going down. Conversely, if you throw a jab at him just before he throws that punch, he gets knocked down instantly (and in the Wii game, if the uppercut is powered by three stars, it'll be an instant knockout instead). Bear Hugger (only in the second arcade game), Dragon Chan, Von Kaiser (only in the Wii version's Title Defense), Super Macho Man, Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream, and Rick and Nick Bruiser later continue the tradition. Mac himself can pull off OHKOs on almost everyone in the Wii gamenote , whether it's a simple knockdown or a match-finishing knockout (in fact, it's necessary for various otherwise impossible Exhibition challenges).
    • Piston Honda's 2nd fight in the NES version (and Piston Hurricane in the SNES version) allows Mac to hit a literal one hit KO. Counter the Piston Rush with a left body blow and Honda will stay down nearly every time.
    • In the NES game Glass Joe at specific times will step back, do a taunt, and then come in to punch, while if the player jabs him right as he moves forward he will be instantly knocked down, and if the punch landed on the right frame, he won't get back up (otherwise if your timing is off he gets up on a 1 count, which as covered prior means a Star Punch send him right back down). Since there's no reason to attack before the taunt in the first round (it's impossible to knock Joe down before it and he won't begin attacking before he does it) this becomes a literal One-Hit KO.
    • The Wii game allows you to score this against certain opponents by landing a Star Punch at a key moment. Do it right, and you win the bout regardless of the opponent's stamina or how many times he's been knocked down in the current round.
    • The Wii game has an unlockable extra option in Exhibition Mode that is permanently missable if you screw up Mac's Last Stand, which turns any and all opponent's attacks into a One-Hit KO (with the exception of Aran Ryan's attack whenever he gets knocked-down in Title Defense).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: In case you thought the Title Defense mode in the Wii version wasn't Nintendo Hard enough, a special mode, called Champion's Mode, makes every one of your opponent's attacks knock you down in one hit - even Glass Joe can send you to the mat with a single punch. The only exception to this is Title Defense Aran Ryan's rope-glove attack when you knock him down.
  • Only Known by Initials: Your character from the arcade games only has a descriptor of "Challenger", and you enter three initials to name him when starting play.
  • Out of Continues: Your third loss in Mac's Last Stand on the Wii game is the hard end to Little Mac's career and you won't be able to play Career mode again afterwards. As there is unlockable content associated with this mode (Champions Mode and Donkey Kong as an opponent selection for Exhibition), you better survive long enough to open this stuff up or you've got some Permanently Missable Content on your hands.
  • Paint It Black:
  • Palette Swap: In the earlier games, many boxers have each a swapped counterpart with a different face:
    • The first arcade game has Glass Joe and Kid Quick, Piston Hurricane and Pizza Pasta, and Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman.
    • The second arcade game (Super Punch-Out!!) actually has the first two of five fighters, Bear Hugger and Dragon Chan, have their own distinct palettes. Vodka Drunkenski and Super Macho Man share similar bodies. Great Tiger is Piston Hurricane with a turban and slightly longer mustache.
    • The NES version has Glass Joe and Don Flamenco, Von Kaiser and Great Tiger, Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman (returning from the arcade game), Vodka Drunkenski / Soda Popinski and Super Macho Man (returning from the arcade sequel Super Punch-Out), and Piston Honda and Mike Tyson / Mr. Dream. The only character with a unique model is King Hippo.
    • Super Punch Out for SNES has Gabby Jay and Bob Charlie, Bear Hugger and Mad Clown, Piston Hurricane and Aran Ryan, Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman (again), Dragon Chan and Heike Kagero, Masked Muscle and Super Macho Man, and the two Bruiser Brothers (sharing their own model). The only original palettes are Narcis Prince and Hoy Quarlow.
    • The Wii game gave all of the characters distinct character models, although they still have similar appearances, indirectly referencing this trope.
  • The Paralyzer: In the SNES game, the Bruiser brothers can render one of your arms useless for ten seconds, making it impossible to punch with it or to block. The arm thus "broken" turns red until it heals.
  • Parts Unknown: The Bruiser Brothers, Rick and Nick. Also King Hippo, hailing from "Hippo Island".
  • Pec Flex:
    • Super Macho Man in the NES and Wii versions. (In the former, he tends to do so when Little Mac is knocked down, much like Soda Popinski laughs in the same situation.) In the Wii version, he steps it up by flexing his glutes at you before the fight begins.
    • Also Frank Jr. in Arm Wrestling, who strikes a big ol' man-candy, arms-curled pose in a thong when you lose.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Three instances in the Wii game.
    • If you never fight Superboss Donkey Kong before losing three times and retiring in Mac's Last Stand, you won't be able to fight him in Exhibition Mode.
    • In Exhibition Mode, there's an alternate option called Champion Mode which turns you into a One-Hit-Point Wonder. It can only be unlocked by defeating ten boxers (doesn't have to be consecutively) during Mac's Last Stand. Lose three times before accomplishing this, and it becomes locked forever in that save file.
    • If you never train in Exhibition Mode against wireframes before reaching Mac's Last Stand in Career mode, the second movie will be locked on that file.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The Bruiser Brothers. Rick Bruiser is outgoing and hot-blooded, while Nick Bruiser is quiet and cold.
  • The Power of Hate: While a lot of opponents in the Wii version train harder to get at Mac during their rematches during "Title Defense" mode, a few who Mac beat use THIS to fuel their focus:
    • Aran Ryan resorts to a whip tied to a boxing glove to take on Mac.
    • Don Flamenco was extremely bitter after losing to Mac, tearing down a poster of Mac and putting on black shorts and black eyeliner, and giving Mac a black rose.
    • Super Macho Man found that Mac was the somewhat reluctant darling of the public, with girls falling for him and Mac dealing uncomfortably with the media. He trains harder to get back what he lost.
    • Mr. Sandman wrecks the building he trained in with his bare hands.
  • Primal Chest-Pound:
    • Aran Ryan will do this if you lose to him in Contender Mode.
    • Donkey Kong does this in his pre-Round 1 cutscene.
  • Produce Pelting: In Title Defense mode on the Wii, the crowd will pelt Aran Ryan with all sorts of garbage, to which he threatens the spectators. Super Macho Man also gets this treatment before the start of the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
  • Product Placement: Doc Louis will urge Little Mac to "JOIN THE NINTENDO FUN CLUB TODAY, MAC!" between rounds. The Wii sequel sometimes has him correcting himself mid-sequence to reference Club Nintendo instead.note 
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: Entries in the series have become progressively longer over the decades.
    • The three arcade games, Punch-Out!!, Super Punch-Out!!, and the spin-off Arm Wrestling had only 5-6 opponents apiece.
    • The NES game, however, featured a whopping 13 opponents fought in three circuitsnote , with a 14th challenger serving as the final boss; depending on the version, it's either Mike Tyson or Mr. Dream. There's also a fourth circuit, accessible only by code, with the rather uninspired name "Another World Circuit." It doesn't contain any unique fights, but the fight order is different from the original World Circuit, and losing to any opponent once triggers a Game Over.
    • In the SNES sequel, there are 16 challengers across four circuits — the most unique fighters of any Punch-Out!! game.
    • The 2009 Wii version has only 13 regular opponents, but each is fought a second time in completely remixed (and much harder) fights in the newer Title Defense mode. Additionally, a secret 14th challenger can be found in the Last Stand Mode, making for a grand total of seven circuits in story mode. Then, of course, there's Exhibition mode, which allows players to challenge any previously defeated fighter individually.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The NES version has many instances:
    • "Sakura, Sakura", a traditional Japanese folk song, is used for Piston Honda's ring entrance. This is referenced in the Wii game (where he was renamed "Piston Hondo").
    • "Ride of the Valkyries" is used as the themes to Von Kaiser and a couple other boxers.
    • Glass Joe's entrance theme is La Marsellaise, the French National Anthem.
    • Don Flamenco's theme is an excerpt from the Georges Bizet's opera Carmen.
    • Soda Popinski's theme is "Song of the Volga Boatman".
  • Punny Name: Glass Joe is pronounced similarly to "glass jaw", referencing his fragility. Other examples include Soda Popinski (or Vodka Drunkenski), Bear Hugger (some people do go by the name "Bear"), and Narcis Prince.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • King Hippo, who can only be hurt in the stomach, which he guards constantly unless punched in the mouth. More so in the Title Defense bout for the Wii version, where you have to knock off a manhole cover that he taped onto his stomach. It is also possible to hit his stomach without punching him in the mouth first, but it's not the best and easiest strategy (and it only has to be done once for an Exhibition challenge).
    • In the Wii game, you will likely not win (even by decision) unless you figure the best way to outmatch the strategies done by the opponents. In Title Defense, Glass Joe has a helmet to protect his head, so it won't be so easy to land a jab unless the helmet is raised with a Star Punch; in the same mode, both Bear Hugger and Soda Popinski must be dealt with via unique methods (namely and respectively, landing a Star Punch to prolong the stun period for extra hits, and not being hit at all so the stun period prolongs gradually by itself); and so on.

    Q-T 
  • Racing the Train: Piston Hondo does this as part of his training for the upcoming Title Defense rematch. Specifically, he's racing a bullet train.
  • Railing Kill: Twice in the Wii version:
    • Every time you knock out King Hippo, he staggers back, falls over the ring ropes and crashes onto the floor below. Just like in Real Life boxing, leaving the ring for any reason is a disqualification, and King Hippo is done the second it happens.
    • Aran Ryan can get tangled in the ropes when you KO or TKO him. In Real Life boxing, a fighter who ends up in this situation is considered to have been knocked down, and the referee will either start a 10-count or declare a TKO as appropriate.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Little Mac wears a pink tracksuit when jogging, as seen in the Training Montage in the NES and Wii versions.
  • Redheads Are Uncool:
    • Glass Joe, the laughingstock of the WVBA, is typically auburn-haired, if not outright redheaded.
    • In the Wii version, Von Kaiser is redheaded, and like Joe, he's seen as a hasbeen and a joke, even getting beaten by a kid!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: A surprisingly not Color-Coded for Your Convenience example: The Bruiser Twins - Fiery red Rick with speed and overwhelming power on his side, and cruel blue Nick with the grim inevitability of a glacier (while lacking all the warmth) and, uh, even more overwhelming power on his.
  • Recurring Riff: Almost every theme from the NES game returns in the Wii version, with each boxer having their own versions of the fight theme, both countdown themes, title bout victory theme and failure and game over themes done in their own style (a laid back acoustic guitar style for Glass Joe, a beat-driven orchestral style for Soda Popinski, a menacing metal style for Mr. Sandman, etc.).
  • Recycled INSPACE: The NES game's sequel was going to be Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch, but then Tyson's controversy erupted and the game was changed to drop all ties to the series as it is. Super Punch-Out!! for the Super NES, which is not set in space, was the true sequel.
  • Recycled Title: There are 3 games with the name "Punch Out". The latest one was released in 2009 on the Wii.
  • Regenerating Health: Released in early 1984 with its first arcade game, this series provides the Ur-Example for the medium. After a boxer gets knocked down and gets up again, the health generates, though never back to full health (with very rare exceptions, such as Bald Bull and Mr. Sandman in the Wii game, when knocked down in their Title Defense rematches). There are also unique instances with certain boxers: Bald Bull in his rematches (he mildly recovers if his health is depleted with a normal punch, only a star-powered uppercut will knock him down properly), Soda Popinski in the Wii game (he drinks soda to recover some health), and Little Mac himself if he's flexing his punches while an opponent is knocked down. Doc Louis can also recover some HP by eating a chocolate in the Douc Louis spinoff.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: In the Wii installment, many opponents cover up their weaknesses during Title Defense. For example, Glass Joe wears headgear to protect his glass jaw while King Hippo wears a manhole cover over his stomach. Special mention, however, goes to Bald Bull. Normally, Bald Bull will instantly be knocked down if he's punched in the stomach during his Bull Charge, but in Title Defense he will keep his balance and go right back to fighting (this also happens in his rematch in the NES game). In all these cases, Mac will need to figure out a way to disable the extra perks, reinforcing their nature as Puzzle Bosses.
  • Replay Mode: In the Wii game, both the training session scenes and the slide show of the boxers (both in Contender and in Title Defense) are available for rewatch.
  • Retcon: According to material that is All There in the Manual, Super Punch-Out!! Bear Hugger was originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In the Wii version, this is changed. He's from Salmon Arm, British Columbia instead.note 
  • Ring Out: Defeating King Hippo in the Wii game will result in this, complete with an audience member (presumably the one Hippo landed on) screaming.
  • Rogues Gallery: Several boxers, most notably Glass Joe, Mr. Sandman, Bald Bull and Super Macho Man, have been recurring antagonists from the very early arcade game in the 1980s. In fact, the only of the arcade boxers that doesn't come back in any waynote  is Pizza Pasta.
  • Rule of Funny: How else could they get away with such stereotypes? And how else could they let many of the characters get away with fairly blatant cheating?
  • Rule of Seven: All over the place with Aran Ryan in the Wii game. He can knock you out in seven punches, he always gets up from a knockdown on the seventh count, you can hit him seven times when he's stunned, and sevens pop up in his challenges in Exhibition Mode. He's Irish, so it's a "lucky seven"/"luck of the Irish" gag.
  • Rule of Three: Knocking down an opponent (or getting knocked down yourself) three times in one round results in a TKO. Also, each bout has up to three rounds and in the Wii version Mac can get up to three stars for his star punch.
  • The Sandman: Invoked with the Mr. Sandman character, a boxer whose quotes are about to "put to sleep" the opponent.
  • Scary Black Man: Mr. Sandman, especially in his Wii rendition, which has been compared to The Incredible Hulk. He levels up in scariness in Title Defense mode where he gets pissed off at Little Mac for basking in the glory of his fans and the camera zooms in on Sandman's face. Also occurs in the in between round segments where he says something like "Did you brush your teeth, Little Mac? It's bed time!" and having a close-up of his scary face. Finally, in the cinematic before his Title Defense Fight, he punches down a gym to the ground just because there was a poster of Little Mac on the side wall. He punches a building once with his bare fists, and it falls to the ground.
  • Second Person Attack: The SNES and Wii versions essentially use this perspective, with only a transparent version of the player visible in the foreground.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Nintendo is the publisher of the series, but to prove no nationality is spared from funny stereotypes, they conceived Piston Hondo as a Japanese boxer who looks like a stereotypical samurai fighter and who, despite his over-the-top training regiment, can't do any better than the lowest rank of the major league (and is beaten out by Bear Hugger, whose training regiment basically consists of drinking maple syrup and playing hockey with a bear).
    • Next Level Games, a Canadian game studio, when put in charge of making a new Punch Out!!' title for the Wii, went out of their way to pick Bear Hugger as one of the only two returning characters from Super Punch Out'' (the other being Aran Ryan), and went even further out of their way to make him more of a walking embodiment of Canada, Eh? stereotypes.
  • Selfie Fiend: Super Macho Man in the Wii version takes selfies in-between rounds during his Title Defense match. This serves as an Unbuilt Trope because he did this before selfies became popular or even socially accepted, and he only does it because he's a washed-up has-been celebrity that no longer has a camera crew following him everywhere.
  • Self-Plagiarism: Between the SNES and Wii games, Nintendo made a similar boxing game called Teleroboxer for the Virtual Boy.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: Doc Louis will promote the Nintendo Fun Club between rounds. In the Wii version, he reuses this quote but corrects himself to mention Club Nintendo instead.
    "JOIN THE NINTENDO FUN CLUB TODAY, MAC!"
  • Shielded Core Boss: In the Wii version, King Hippo becomes this kind of opponent in Title Defense. He uses a manhole cover he finds in an urban street to cover his belly during his fight against Little Mac. The cover is attached by three pairs of duct tapes, and to disjoint each pair the player has to stun Hippo after countering an attack and then land three hooks. When the cover is dropped (hitting one of Hippo's feet in the process), then the fight proceeds as a regular one.
  • Short-Lived, Big Impact: An In-Universe case in the Wii game. This is the end result of the "Mac's Last Stand" mode, in which Little Mac takes on an endless stream of challengers and then retires after three losses to go out in a blaze of glory. In the grand scheme of things, his career was very short-lived, but it was still the stuff of legends considering just how many people he took on and beat, especially considering all of them have height and weight advantages over him, and even after he does retire he's considered a Living Legend, enough to have an entire wall in a museum dedicated to his short career.
  • Shoryuken: Little Mac's full-power Star Punch is a rising uppercut that straight up knocks down most of the early opponents outright. The three-stars version in Punch-Out!! Wii is identical to the last hit of Dudley's Rocket Upper Super Art.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some of the training montage scenes are inspired by similar scenes the first Rocky film. The scene where Mac trains by jogging in the pink hoodie is very similar in appearance to a shot from Rocky's training montage, except Rocky's hoodie was gray.
    • Dragon Chan is a reference to both Bruce Lee (appearance) and Jackie Chan (name).
    • Both times you fight Mr. Sandman in the Wii game:
      • The first time around, he bears a resemblance to Muhammad Ali.
      • In Title Defense, it's clear he's supposed to be a Mike Tyson Expy.
    • TD Disco Kid appears to be channeling Richard Simmons. And his intro and intermission are total riffs on the dance scene from Flashdance.
    • In the NES version, Soda Popinski mentions that he's gonna "walk all over you", a reference to Nancy Sinatra's song, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'".
    • When doing a blocked right uppercut, Don Flamenco shouts out, "Carmen, mi amor!" before executing this attack. This is a Spanish shout-out to his quote in the NES version: "Carmen, my love... I dance so sweet for you!" The name Carmen in itself is a shout-out to Carmen.
    • One of Doc's taunts against Giga Mac is, "Come on, kid, you got to be smart out there again. What's your brain age again?" referencing Brain Age.
    • If Aran Ryan knocks you down:
    "Ya prob’ly got CHEESEBURGERS in those gloves, have ya Mac?!"note 
  • Shown Their Work: Punch Out Wii actually has the characters speaking in their native tongues, and it's pretty accurate on that front.
  • Shows Damage: The NES and Wii versions, but especially the Wii version. Both Mac and his opponents develop black eyes, bruises, and Instant Bandages as they take hits and are knocked down. In the NES version, this happens to the characters' portraits in between rounds.
  • Signature Laugh: Bald Bull and Soda Popinski from the NES games are the only characters who laugh at you. The sound effect of the laugh later found its way onto the overseas version of ''Zelda II: The Adventure of Link'.
  • Signature Move:
  • Slasher Smile: Aran Ryan in Title Defense before the 2nd or 3rd round starts.
  • Smug Snake: If Super Macho Man knocks you down, he'll pose and sneer, "Stay down". Then you just want to beat his face in.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Alice from Arm Wrestling is the only female character in the entire series who serves as an opponent. Ape III, her robot, fights in her stead, presumably because she's just a kid going against grown adults arm-wrestling.
  • Something About a Rose: Don Flamenco carries one around before he enters the ring in both of his appearances. In Title Defense form in the Wii version, he carries a black rose instead of a red one, to show you that he means business.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The games have a dire "GET UP!" music play if you're knocked down. You only have 10 seconds to get up from the mat or you will be considered KO'd and lose.
  • Sore Loser: In the Wii version, Mr. Sandman acts like this after being defeated in Contender Mode. Visiting the opponent selection screen will show him shaking with rage, plus his Title Defense cutscene has him leveling a building just because a poster of Little Mac was on it.
  • Sound Test: In the Wii version, whenever the three challenges of a particular fight are completed in Exhibition Mode, the audio theme and voice clips from the boxer fought in that particular battle will be available for the player to play. Rinse and repeat with all fights and characters to complete the music collection.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Losing to Don Flamenco in the Wii version will still play his "Match Over" theme, done in very relaxing Spanish guitar.
  • Southpaw Advantage: Much of the reason Soda Popinski (formerly known as Vodka Drunkenski) can be a challenging opponent to face is the fact that he fights southpaw, meaning his patterns are flipped from the standard, and as such, he's trickier to react to.
  • Soviet Superscience: Parodied in the Wii version, where Soda Popinski's Title Defense intro shows Soviet scientists working with all their might to produce... grape soda. Grape soda that makes Soda Popinski strong enough to drag a truck with his teeth.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Super Macho Man's Signature Move is the Super Macho Man Combo, a series of spinning backhands which are technically illegal in real life. In nearly all appearances of the character, these punches are instant-knockout moves (the exception is in the Wii game's Contender Mode, as they only deal high damage; the instant-knockdown effect only applies in Title Defense).
  • Speed Run: There are videos of people defeating almost every boxer in Super Punch-Out in under ten seconds.
  • Splitting Pants: In Super Macho Man's promo comic for the Wii game, he flexes his muscles so vigorously in front of a group of women that he tears his speedo, leaving him completely naked besides his gloves.
  • Stage Names: Almost all of the boxers use stage names, though some such as Glass Joe reference their real names while others like Bob Charlie seem to literally be their names.
  • Stamina Burn: An important mechanic in the series. You start each match with a number of stamina points that vary between each opponent. Getting hit, hitting the enemy while he's defending or blocking too much reduces stamina and losing all of it prevents you from attacking or defending. You get some back each time you dodge.
  • Stealth Insult: The game jabs at Japan this way with Piston Hondo. He's shown to be the most stereotypical Japanese super-warrior imaginable, training by catching swords and outrunning bullet trains, yet he's merely the lowest ranked boxer of the second circuit who can't defeat the lumberjack who trains by chopping down trees and guzzling maple syrup. Doubly funny if you're aware that the development studio, Next Level Games, is based in Canada.
  • The Stoic: Nick Bruiser, the Final Boss from the SNES game. Hardly ever changes expression while fighting, even after being hit in the face. Only getting hit with a super punch will faze him.
  • Story Overwrite: Depending on how well you fight in the Wii game, you sometimes get a cutscene of Mac's final blow to the opponent. It's fairly common for the punch thrown in the cutscene to not match up with the punch that you actually used to finish the fight.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Everyone in the Wii version (including Little Mac, who doesn't have any lines in the main game, and King Hippo, who just has inhuman grunts), thanks to the addition of voice acting. Mac does speak in the live-action commercials for the Wii game, but has no actual dialogue in the (cel-shaded) game itself. He has a few lines in Head-to-Head mode between rounds, but they don't always play.
  • Superboss: Donkey Kong in the Wii version. You can fight him if you survive for long enough in Mac's Last Stand (do make sure to not receive three defeats until then, or else you won't have another chance; luckily, the chances of him appearing early are pretty high). He's by far the toughest opponent, having a wide array of attacks, and being able to chain them in different ways.
  • Super Speed: In the Wii game, Piston Hondo is shown outrunning a bullet train as part of his Title Defense training.
  • Super Strength:
    • Mr. Sandman doesn't need a wrecking ball to demolish a brick building. He's strong enough to destroy it with his bare hands! Plus, he can curl the ring ropes as if they were strings. By being able to defeat that monster, Little Mac has this by de facto.
    • Giga Mac gives Mac even greater strength.
  • Surfer Dude: Super Macho Man has fully transformed into one of these in the Wii edition. His new Theme Music positively screams this.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Numerous foreign languages at that in the Wii game. Next Level Games didn't BS on the boxers' native languages, to the point that Great Tiger speaks Surprisingly Good Hindi. Most people wouldn't be able to even tell you what language they speak in India.note 
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • The Wii version introduces Disco Kid, a character who resembles Kid Quick from the first arcade game: Both are 210 pounds and have their home in Brooklyn, New York, and also share a few attacks and moves. Disco Kid isn't quite as stereotypically black as Kid Quick, though, as he embodies more the image of a disco dancer from a suburb. A look into the game's files reveals that Disco Kid's codes are typed as kid_quick. It's been revealed that Disco Kid was supposed to be Kid Quick, but they had a lot of fun with the redesign so they just called him a new character.
    • Super Punch-Out!! for SNES has Gabby Jay. French nationality (though he looks and sounds like a Southern USA Colonel for some reason), a 1-99 record, first opponent in the game, just like Glass Joe. It is Lampshaded, too, since Gabby Jay is Glass Joe's pupil and his one win was against Glass Joe.
    • Piston Honda/Hondo from the NES and Wii Punch-Out!! is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Piston Hurricane, who appears in the arcade Punch-Out!! and the SNES Super Punch-Out!!
    • The 1990 reissue of the NES version replaced Mike Tyson with Mr. Dream, after Nintendo declined to renew Tyson's contract.
    • In the Wii game, Mr. Sandman deliberately looks like Muhammad Ali in Contender mode, and like Mike Tyson in Title Defense. He even borrows Tyson's infamous one hit uppercut in the latter fight.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: The NES game gives you 77 hearts for the fight against Great Tiger, more than any other fight, and certainly far more than was given for previous fights. You'll be using a lot of them to block.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • King Hippo. If he never opened his mouth, he'd literally be unbeatable. This doesn't apply in the Wii version, though, since hooking his stomach when he jabs provides Stars for Star Punches, which don't discriminate.
    • Everybody would have a better chance against Little Mac if they didn't have tells, stop to taunt, etc. Of course, they do recognize this in time for Title Defense mode, shoring up some of their vulnerable spots (and sometimes opening up whole new cans of this).
  • Taking You with Me: In the Wii installment, Aran tries to hit the player just as he's knocked down. During the contender bout, he never gets close enough to, so nothing to worry about there. During the Title Defense bout, however, the mace he makes from his old, horseshoe-power gloves give him just enough reach to give you a good smack on the way down. You can dodge it, though (or even instantly KO him with a well-timed Star Punch).
  • Teleport Spam: Great Tiger's tactic in the Wii version, though it can be intercepted. He teleports after certain stun animations, to launch hooks and uppercuts, during gem blink combos during his title defense fight, and before performing either of his super attacks. He'll even teleport during the between-round cutscenes, changing places with Doc Louis!
  • Terms of Endangerment: In the Wii game, Mr. Sandman is the only character aside from Doc Louis to refer to Little Mac as "Mac Baby". He obviously does this for the sake of intimidation.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: This is how Super Macho Man stereotypically portrays the United States, especially in the Wii game where he combines his muscular physique and macho imagery with boorish-flavored Eagleland and Surfer Dude traits. Little Mac, who is also from the USA, doesn't care about any of that and simply beats the crap out of him.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Soda Popinski does this in one of his win animations.
  • Theatrics of Pain: Happens especially in the Wii version, where boxers react in differing degrees to punches; depending on how you hit them, they'll either stand there stunned and take a flurry, take one hit and back off, or, depending on if you knock them down with a jab or a body blow, get sent flying or twirling backwards instead of merely falling over as real boxers usually do. Of course, the comical reactions are there to help the player and give them a rush from clobbering their opponent.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: The Wii game takes the Punch Out!! theme and culturally rearranges it for every boxer in Exhibition mode.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Played straight with Mr. Sandman, who personifies the meaning of the number in many subtle ways: He manages to beat twelve boxers from the WVBA and becomes World champion. Little Mac, the 13th opponent, beats him and renders his victory track imperfect. The inversion comes from Mac having defeated 12 boxers and then Mr. Sandman to become the champion. This is further symbolized with the following statistics: Little Mac has 13 hearts of stamina in both fights against Sandman (the rematch is in Title Defense mode, where the latter is once again the 13th opponent), Sandman's Contender introduction cutscene is 13 images long (the other boxers only have four-image-long cutscenes), he has to be hit 13 times (in case Star Punches aren't used) after the Berserker Rage is over to be definitely defeated, and even his stats (age, fight record, height) provide nods to number thirteen as well. Oddly, during his World title hold, he has the highest rank in the World Circuit, while Aran Ryan (who embodies the Lucky Seven trope) is the lowest in the same circuit.
  • Timber!: Lumberjack Bear Hugger says "Timbeeeer!" when knocked down.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The arcade Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!! give you a single 3-minute round to win. Run out of time and you're done.
    • Unlike the SNES or arcade games, the NES game has "winner by decision" if there is no knockout by the end of the third round. Some of these matches are automatically decided for your opponent (these are called "unfair hometown decisions" in the NES manual) while others can be called in your favor if you score enough points (3,000; 5,000; or 10,000; depending on the opponent fought), though it's more straightforward to just win by TKO. This mechanic returns in Punch-Out!! for Wii, albeit without a visible score counter.
    • Super Punch-Out!! gives you only 5 minutes to beat your opponent and if it rounds out, you lose.
    • In the WiiWare game with Doc Louis, failing to beat him in 3 rounds makes you lose by default.
    • A strange thing to note about the timer is they all run down extremely fast. 3 minutes of game time can be just a minute and a half real time. The clock does slow down or stop at times when certain actions happen in the fight.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All of the rematched fighters, but especially Don Flamenco.
    • This is perhaps the driving premise behind the Title Defense mode in the Wii version. Just about everyone can dodge star punches and loves to fake you into dodging the wrong way or too soon.
    • Don Flamenco MOST especially took a level in badass in the NES version when you fight your rematch with him on the world circuit. If you're expecting it to be anything like the pushover your major circuit match with him was, think again.
    • Glass Joe, usually the weakest opponent you'd fight (as well as the first), becomes a surprisingly difficult Wake-Up Call Boss when you face him during Title Defense within the Wii game, catching many players off guard.
  • Toros y Flamenco: Don Flamenco. Besides his name, this fighter likes to comment about everyone's hair, thinks he's very beautiful, dances flamenco (some dance the game designers thought looks like flamenco, anyway) with a rose between his teeth and has a girlfriend named Carmen. And the entrance music is from Bizet's opera — specifically, "The Toreador Song". The Wii game not only retains these characteristics, but adds to them by showing him in a bullfight during his intro cutscene, adding a rose print to his trunks, having him swear his love to Carmen nonstop during his fight, and gives him dialogue in actual Spanish (a trait shared with all other boxers from non-English speaking countries).
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • The Wii version gives Doc Louis chocolate bars.
    • Soda Popinski, and his namesake.
    • Bear Hugger chugs down jugs of maple syrup between rounds and in his intro montage. That may be why he weighs 440 pounds.
    • He's also a Big Eater, as his intro in Exhibition mode shows him eating tons of bacon, eggs, and pancakes.
    • Piston Hondo and egg sushi (it replaces the Circling Birdies for crying out loud!).
  • Training Montage: In the NES and Wii versions. Well remembered for Mac's bright pink track suit, which caps off the end of the montage in the Wii version.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: King Hippo's home, Hippo Island, is shown to be this in the Wii version.
  • True Final Boss: Nick Bruiser in the SNES version. He's the champion of the brutal Special Circuit, which can only be unlocked by winning the other three circuits without losing against any opponent. Nick borrows many attacks from his brother Rick (being his Palette Swap also helps), but he's much stronger and eager to use his most dangerous attacks (including his One-Hit KO special move) more often.
  • Turns Red: Most opponents in the NES version, and all of them for the Wii version, get more difficult the more times you knock them down.
    • Soda Popinski goes from pink to bright berserk red upon getting up from knockdown, getting hit by a star punch or having one of his sodas knocked out of his hands. In any of these cases, the end result is between 3 to 6 successive uppercuts (depending on which fight, and when in the fight).
    • Bald Bull turns red before unleashing a Bull Charge in the Wii version. The second time you fight him in the NES version, regular punches will not knock him down. Once his energy is low enough, you can only drop him with an uppercut or by punching him during a Bull Charge. If you dodge a charge, he'll keep doing them until one of you knocks the other down. In the Wii version, only a Star Punch can knock him down after the first time you beat him; that said, if you take him to the brink, you usually get one and can use it to finish the job if you time the punch just right as he comes back to you.
    • Don Flamenco also turns red after you knock off his toupee.

    U-Z 
  • Underestimating Badassery: What happens in the Wii version as the challengers don't take Little Mac seriously enough in "Contender" mode. Once they're beaten, they take Little Mac a LOT more seriously (as with the belt on the line, their reps could be remade and then some).
  • Un-Installment: Power Punch II was originally going to be a direct sequel to the NES game, titled Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch; however, the combination of Nintendo's distaste at the game's quality and Tyson himself being convicted of rape forced Beam Software to change the title and give it to a different publisher. Why they decided to give a numeral "II" is anyone's guess.
  • The Unintelligible: In the Wii game, King Hippo has only animalistic roars, contrasting his coherent speech in the NES game.
  • Unlockable Content: The Wii game has a secret mode called Champions Mode which is unveiled after the player wins 10 matches in Mac's Last Stand. There are also audio tracks that can be heard via Sound Test when the player completes the challenges in Exhibition Mode.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Two characters invoke this in the Wii game:
    • Don Flamenco, in both fights. When you knock his toupee off his head, he will get so pissed that he will constantly throw punches at you until he goes down, you go down, or if the round ends.
    • Title Defense Mr. Sandman gets this at a certain point in the fight, requiring you to dodge enough of his punches until he gets tired to counterattack or block, at which point depleting whatever life he has left while he stands there defenseless leads into an instant KO. Also, he apparently tore apart a building with his bare hands prior to the fight.
  • Unwinnable by Design: After beating the Contender and Title Defense modes of the Wii game, you can partake in Mac's Last Stand, an Endless Game where you will face the boxers and Donkey Kong until you eventually lose three times and retire. Permanently. This is justified, as Little Mac wants to cement his place in boxing history with one last show.
  • Upgraded Boss: The Wii version has Title Defense variants for all the boxers you've faced on the way to world champion. These rematches often involve gimmicks or attacks not present in your first fights with them (such as Glass Joe having protective headgear, Von Kaiser adding a One-Hit Kill move to his attack pattern, and Bald Bull only getting knocked down if he gets hit by a Star Punch), some can use fake-out attacks to throw off your dodging, and they all dodge your star punches if you don't stun them first.
  • Vague Age: The age of Rick Bruiser and his brother, Nick, is listed as ??.
  • Variable Mix: In the Wii version. The soundtrack from the original Punch Out!! is used, but is remixed multiple times, with the fighters getting variations based on their country of origin. Their battle themes will shift to a different melody if you or they get knocked down.
  • Video Game Remake: Punch-Out!! for the Wii is a "remake" in the truest sense of both the word and the trope. That is to say, it's a "remake" of an older video game (specifically the NES version) in the same way as a movie or TV series being a remake of an older movie or TV series. It features nearly all the classic characters from the NES Punch-Out!! game, plus two characters from the SNES sequel (and which originally debuted in the second arcade game), a new character (Disco Kid, who is a remake of a character in the first arcade game, Kid Quick), a two-player versus mode, and a new Title Defense mode where you fight harder variations of the same fighters (which means Glass Joe can finally knock you out if you're not careful). Also, Donkey Kong is the Guest Fighter (interestingly, Princess Peach was originally supposed to fill the role).
  • Visual Pun: After you press Start on the NES game, a boxing glove Punches Out of the screen towards you.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: Soda Popinski is the Trope Namer. His stereotype is that of Russians drinking a lot. He was even called Vodka Drunkenski in the arcade version of Super Punch Out!!, until he was renamed in the console games.
  • The Von Trope Family: Von Kaiser. He's a stereotypical World War I-era German aristocrat and apparently a military academy boxing instructor. This still doesn't change the fact that after years of fighting, he has only made it to or has just dropped down to the number two place in the WVBA Minor Circuit. With a record of 23-13. One suspects he's 23-1 against Glass Joe and 0-12 against anyone else.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Bald Bull in the arcade version, due to his Bull Charge being an instant-knockdown attack.
    • King Hippo and again Bald Bull in the NES version, the former because he's the first (and only) enemy where you can't dodge and counter after his attacks, you must counter-punch when he opens his mouth; the latter because, again, you have to counter-punch his bull charge rather than just dodging or blocking it.
    • Dragon Chan in the SNES version, due to his habit to attack with kicks.
    • In the Wii version, Beginners will more-likely-than-not easily beat Glass Joe, wipe the floor with Von Kaiser, learn a new trick on Disco Kid, and then get horribly, horribly owned by King Hippo when they find their old tactics don't work. Doc tells you to meet him in the Exhibition mode after your first loss to practice, and for beginners, it'll probably be against King Hippo.
    • After you become champion you'll enter Defender Mode, where you'll face all your oponents again. You might underestimate the concept until you fight Glass Joe and find out he's become a lot harder than his first battle. Yes, it's very likely that you'll lose the championship belt to Glass Joe.
    • Both Great Tiger and Don Flamenco are big wake-ups in the Wii version, especially if you played the NES version. In the Wii versions, it seems like their attack patterns are the same... and then Tiger starts using spooky mystical ghost powers he never had in the NES version and he introduces you to the concept of having to dodge a specific way in order to avoid an attack (rather than just dodging in one direction the whole time like you could in the NES version). Flamenco, meanwhile, gradually increases the speed of his attacks (and in Title Defense, he can attack up to twice in a row before you can attack him back).
    • Aran Ryan is this in two separate games: in Super he's the first boss you need to use the super-punches on and in Wii he's the first boss you have to use counter-punches against.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Almost the whole cast. The only boxers that don't are Narcis Prince, Hoy Quarlow, Mad Clown, Disco Kid (in Title Defense), and Little Mac himself.
  • Warmup Boss: Glass Joe in the first arcade, NES and Wii games, and his successor Gabby Jay in Super Punch-Out on SNES. They're both rather frail boxers who take a while to mount any offense; their special punch merely consists of them taunting you, and leaving themselves wide open to an easy knockdown.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Boxer Don Flamenco wears shorts with the colors of the Spanish flag, though inverted.
  • Wham Line: In the Wii version, after Little Mac succesfully defends his champion belt against all opponents (including former champion Mr. Sandman), he and Doc Louis talk about the former's "plans in mind" for the future. Cue the start of the seventh and final boxing circuit of the game:
    Doc Louis: You really sure? Three losses and you call it quits?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Many people wonder where Bear Hugger's squirrel ended up after his defeat.
  • Wild Samoan: King Hippo's official bio lists him as hailing from Hippo Island, which is somewhere in the South Pacific. And although he isn't a hippo, he's called that because he looks and sounds like one.
  • Wink "Ding!": In a case where it's not done for hilarity, Mr. Sandman does an audible eye wink that precedes a fast and powerful uppercut during his Title Defense rematch; he spams this attack when he's almost defeated, forcing the player to dodge efficiently to avoid being defeated in turn. Mike Tyson (and, by extension, Mr. Dream) has this type of attack in the NES game as well, but the winks don't emit any sound.
  • The Worf Effect: You will know how dangerous Mr. Sandman is in the Wii game as soon as you unlock the final fight. That is, by watching the 8-second clip that shows him effortlessly knocking out every other opponent you beat before him. When he enters the ring, even Doc Louis is afraid of him.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Played with in the Wii game with Von-Kaiser. Prior to his first match he's KO'd by what appears to be a kindergarten student and mocked by all the kid's friends, making him suffer from a nasty inadequacy complex when facing you for the first time, resulting in weakened attacks and a tendency to cower with fear and beg for his mother. Unlike the other characters who Take a Level in Badass, change tactics, or cheat to up their game for the Title Defense match, Von Kaiser merely gets so angry that you have the championship belt that he gets over his complex and shows up at full strength to challenge you. It's played with because, while he's about as difficult as the Major Circuit opponents from before, the "full strength" Von Kaiser is still laughably easy to beat.
  • Worthy Opponent: Rick Bruiser says he's okay with having lost to you; his brother Nick, however…
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: The game was originally going to have Princess Peach as an opponent but she was cut due to this reason.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Mr. Sandman says this trope word by word prior to his Title Defense boss fight, upon seeing Little Mac has taken not only his title but also his fans.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Happens in Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!. Midway through the fight, Louis pulls out a chocolate bar that he'll eat and restore all his health with if not interrupted. However, punching the bar out of his hand is the ultimate way to push his Berserk Button. He immediately flips out with the phrase - "NOOOOOO! NOW You've done it! You won't like Doc when he's angry!", proceeds to rip off his jacket, and his attack speed doubles. Right after pulling out another chocolate bar and healing himself out of your attack range.

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Punch-Out!! (Wii) - Fighters

Mac's opponents in this game are all various national/ethnic stereotypes. Including a cowardly Frenchman, a militaristic German, a Canadian lumberjack, an aggressive Irishman, a Flamenco-dancing Spanish ladies' man, and many more.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (26 votes)

Example of:

Main / AllStereotypeCast

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