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Western Animation / The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3

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I'll get those plumbers!
"It is a legend no one will forget. Everyone thought King Koopa had left the Mushroom Kingdom, and then—his Doomship attacked! King Koopa was back! With the greatest danger ever known: his Koopa Kids. Using their new superpowers, the Super Mario Bros. rescue Princess Toadstool and beat back the evil Koopa family."
The Narrator, the opening titles.

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990) was the second of three cartoons based on the Super Mario Bros. franchise, this one based on Super Mario Bros. 3. It is about the Marios' adventures in the game's worlds, with the Earth—er, "Real World" getting involved frequently. It also featured King Koopa's Koopalings, who have completely different names from their video game counterparts.

Originally broadcast on NBC alongside the second season of Captain N: The Game Master, the series suffered from a lack of advertising due to NBC exhausting their advertising expenditures toward another Saturday morning series, Saved by the Bell.

This show was preceded by The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and followed by Super Mario World.

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: While in the game itself, Princess Toadstool is back to being a full-time Damsel in Distress, here she is still an active and cunning heroine as she was in Super Show, only occasionally needing to be rescued. "Reign Storm" ends with her surfing into the castle and taking her crown back with a harpoon gun, amongst other moments.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The term "Doomship" is used instead of "airship." It was the only major airship in the show, though, unlike the seven airships in the game, so having a proper name isn't a big deal.
    • The Koopalings are all given different names from their video game counterparts.
      • Ludwig Von Koopa = Kooky Von Koopa
      • Wendy O. Koopa = Kootie Pie Koopa
      • Roy Koopa = Bully Koopa
      • Morton Koopa Jr. = Big Mouth Koopa Jr.
      • Larry Koopa = Cheatsy Koopa
      • Lemmy Koopa = Hip Koopa
      • Iggy Koopa = Hop Koopa
  • Adventure Towns: Many episodes take place on a location somewhere in the Mushroom Kingdom or Earth.
  • Affably Evil: King Koopa, in contrast to his Faux Affably Evil nature in Super Show and his Card-Carrying Villain status, actually does genuinely care about the Koopa Kids. He especially loves Kootie Pie to the point where he'd conquer America for her if she asked for it, just to make her happy, and stop whining, though even he knows how to discipline them when needed.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: After capturing the heroes, Koopa decides to instruct Cheatsy on how to backstab and double-cross people. Cheatsy does take it to heart... by backstabing his own father. Unfortunately, he wasn't experienced enough to check if the princess actually signed her kingdom over to him, causing both their plans to fail.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In "Super Koopa", Koopa is able to combine the Mario's powerups, something they can't do. At one point, he uses Raccoon, Fire, and Kuribo's Shoe all at once.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • According to the writers' bible for the series, King Koopa was apparently locked up in the Banishment Zone somewhere between The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and this, but he escaped.
    • The writer's bible also gives some interesting character tidbits you might not know otherwise:
      • Before he was the Princess' servant, Toad was a pizza boy and encyclopedia salesman, after that he was the personal chef of the Mushroom Castle.
      • Bully Koopa loves to listen to 50s greaser music in Nintendo style.
      • Kooky Von Koopa is a graduate of Frankenstein University. He's also the one who built the Doom Ship and is responsible for the creation many of the monsters and creatures seen in the series, also his favorite foods are candy and fried foods.
      • Cheatsy Koopa's hobby is counterfeiting gold coins.
      • Hip and Hop have the most powerful magic wands out of all the Koopa Kids.
  • Appliance Defenestration: Kootie Pie does this to her birthday presents and cake at the beginning of "Reptiles in the Rose Garden".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Crimes R Us" the Koopa Kids steal the following from the Mushroom people: 522 wallets, 391 purses, 912 gold coins and one yo-yo.
  • Artistic License – Prison: In "Super Koopa" King Koopa imprisons the Mario Bros in the Bastille, which in real life had been destroyed during the French Revolution. Also, no real French prison would referr to itself as "Le Slammer".
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Parodied in "The Venice Menace" in which the Italian language is made up of nothing but names of famous Italians and Italian-Americans. Hilariously, one of the names uttered is "Lou Albano", AKA Mario's old actor/voice actor (he and Danny Wells were replaced by the time of this cartoon).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Kooky, Bully, Big Mouth and Cheatsy in "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas" wreak havoc in Giant Land.
  • Badbutt: Bully Koopa, who's portrayed as a kid-friendly gangster type.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In a rare villain example, this happens to the Koopa Kids in "Crimes R Us". Crimewave Clyde and the Mario Bros. throw them in a dollar-sign bag, Bound and Gagged, then send it to Koopa in the Doomship.
  • Beach Episode: Downplayed in "7 Continents for 7 Koopas." It starts out as a beach episode but soon takes a turn into a completely different plot, despite Princess Toadstool keeping her swimsuit on for the entire episode. Played straight in "Reign Storm," where Princess Toadstool and Toad take a vacation in Hawaii while King Koopa schemes to replace her with a robot duplicate.
  • Bearded Baby: In "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel", Kooky Von Koopa's Time Travel Tube turns him, King Koopa, Toad, Mario, and Luigi into babies. The infant versions of Mario and Luigi are shown to have mustaches, much like their adult counterparts. note 
  • Birdcaged: In "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas" the heroes, sans Mario, are held captive inside the birdcage of Prince Hugo's pet parrot. This being Giant Land, the cage is more than large enough to fit all three of them.
  • Birthday Episode: "Reptiles in the Rose Garden" takes place on Kootie Pie's Sweet Sixteenth birthday.
  • Brown Note: The Doom Dancer Music Box, which causes people who hear it to dance. The only ones unaffected are the person turning the crank and anyone unable to hear anything.
  • The Cameo: Since there were a ton of enemies in the game, many of them only appear in one episode or one scene, such as Boss Bass, Hot Foot, and the giant-sized enemies from Big Island. The Koopa Tanks and the small Koopa Airships also only made appearances in one episode each, while the Koopa Battleships never appeared at all, their role as the aquatic warships filled by the Doomsub.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live Without Them: Mario says this almost word-for-word at the end of "Oh, Brother."
  • Cargo Concealment Caper: In the episode "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel", Mario, Luigi, and Toad sneak aboard King Koopa's Doomship by hiding in one of the crates that Koopa's henchmen load onto the ship.
  • Chaos Architecture: The interior of Castle Koopa is inconsistent between episodes. In earlier-produced episodes, the walls of the hallways and throne room are blue, while later episodes depict them as being orange. The throne room also appears to be larger in its "blue wall" rendition.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: All of King Koopa's henchmen from the previous show, most notably Mouser, are completely absent from this show and the sequel series with no reason given for their disappearance, having been replaced by the Koopa Kids as his main goons.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Super Mario 3 didn't suffer nearly as much in its transition to DVD as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, though there were still a small handful of licensed songs that were removed and replaced with BGM from the series—though not on the "King Koopa Katastrophe" or "It's A Wonderful Warp" DVD. Infamously, the episode "Kootie Pie Rocks" used the instrumental version of "Mega Move" over any lyrical songs from Milli Vanilli. This resulted in the very odd visual of the two singing but no words coming out of their mouths.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Do the Koopa", Koopa is using the magic music box to force everyone to dance, including his traitorous kids.
    Bully: King Dad is gonna pay for this!
    Big Mouth: Yeah! Dancing lessons are expensive!
  • Convection, Schmonvection: In "Misadventures in Babysitting," The Mario brothers are trapped in a room slowly filling with a boiling lava, but suffer no ill effects. In Mario’s case, the lava is even shown to have reached waist height before he gets out.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Had Toad known that the Orphanage actually got the money in "Tag Team Trouble", none of the plot would've happened. Instead, Toad went though all this trouble to end up handing extra money to the Orphanage, which while sweet, was unnecessary to begin with.
    Toad: Another bag? Wait a second! Then Koopa didn't steal it! And the orphans had it all along! Then I didn’t need to... AAAAHH!
  • Covered in Gunge: Pretty much everyone involved in "The Beauty of Kootie" gets sprayed with oil at some point.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Kootie Pie's threat to Luigi in "The Beauty of Kootie": "I'll tie your lips behind your head and you'll never kiss again!"
  • Dangled by a Giant: In "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas", giant Big Mouth grabbed Raccoon Luigi by the tail. Which caused him to power down, and instead grabbed by his overalls.
  • Dartboard of Hate: King Koopa has two, one for each of the Mario Bros.
  • Deus ex Machina: The wands were used like this a couple times, but this was averted in "Recycled Koopa", where magic didn't fix everything.
  • Diabolical Dog Catcher: The episode "Life's Ruff" features a dog catcher dead set on catching a pair of dogs, who happen to be a transformed Luigi and King Windbag, and locking them away in his "Poochitentiary."
  • Digital Destruction: Both Complete Series releases had "The Venice Menace" and "Super Koopa" glitch out near the end of the episodes due to problems with the master tapes, though this didn't happen with the "What a Wonderful Warp" smaller compilation.
  • Disability Immunity: Bowser has a cold in "Do the Koopa", rendering him hard of hearing. This means he can't hear the Doom Dancer Music Box's music, and therefore isn't affected by it.
  • Disowned Sibling: The Feud Episode "Oh Brother" has Luigi disowning Mario after Mario states he wishes that he never had a brother during an argument. Fortunately, they manage to reconcile during the end.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After the Koopas treat Crimewave Clyde like dirt in most of "Crimes R Us", they get their just desserts when he ambushes them at the Mushroom Treasury.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This series mostly does away with the parody format of Super Show for more game-loyal plots, with only briefer more sporadic Shout Outs. The first episode, "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas" however brings back Koopa's affinity for pop-culture based evil schemes. No guesses what it references.
  • Easily Conquered World: Earth itself. Several episodes feature King Koopa taking over a country or a city with minimum effort. One even has each of the Koopa Kids taking over the continents, with nothing more than their magic wands.
  • Einstein Hair: Kooky von Koopa is a mad scientist and the primary inventor of gadgets for the bad guys. He also has wild blue hair sticking out at every angle.
  • Election Day Episode: "Princess Toadstool for President", which features the princess challenging Koopa into an election to see who the people would rather have as their ruler.
  • Episode Title Card: Done in the style of the title screen for Super Mario Bros. 3 (a curtain raising), naturally (except "Kootie Pie Rocks").
  • Even Evil Has Standards: At the end of "Princess Toadstool for President", Koopa not only loses the election, but only gets one vote, himself. His kids and his own army didn't even vote for him.
    Cheatsy: We couldn't help it, King Dad. We had to vote for her. She's so nice and you're so... so... (Koopa growls angrily) Exactly, Dad.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Junior may be a notorious troublemaker, unlike the Koopalings he does draw the line at actually trying to seriously harm or kill people.
  • Evil Living Flames: A Hot Foot, a kind of fire enemy resembling an orange flame with feet, appears in one episode. It hides inside a candle flame, and when Mario and Luigi come near it jumps out and starts chasing them.
  • Exploding Closet: King Koopa falls victim to this as a result of Kootie Pie's shoddy job of cleaning her room in "Dadzilla".
  • Expressive Mask: The eyes on the frog suit open and close at the same time as the wearer.
  • Extreme Doormat: King Koopa to Kootie Pie (most of the time).
  • Face Palm: Koopa and Norman at the end of "Mush-Rumours".
  • Fanservice: Princess Toadstool wears a swimsuit in more than one episode. Sure, it started as a Beach Episode, but at one point, she gets captured wearing it and spends the whole rest of the episode clad as such. She also wears a Totally Radical '80s outfit in the episode "Kootie Pie Rocks".
  • Fantastic Racism: Invoked by the Koopas in "True Colors", who paint the townsfolk red and blue and spark riots between them.
    Mario: You're so stubborn now that you're red, Luigi!
    Luigi: Yeah? Well, you're a blue know-it-all!
  • Fish People: The episode "The Ugly Mermaid" features a race of water-breathing fish people who live in a domed city under the water. Strangely, the fish-peolpe can't breath air, yet they fill their dome with air and walk around with fishbowls filled with water to breathe.
  • Fountain of Youth: Mario, Luigi, Toad, King Koopa and Kooky accidentally turn themselves into babies in "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel".
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Used on King Koopa in three separate episodes (twice in one of them, too!). Also, interestingly, the only times the name "Bowser" was ever used in DiC's cartoons.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Kooky can build machines that do just about anything, but Luigi has also been shown to build complex machinery on a few occasions.
  • Gossip Evolution: In "Mush-Rumors," a mushroom citizen sees a "Real World" family and assumes they are aliens. He warns Hip and Hop there are aliens about, and they in turn carry the rumor to Kastle Koopa, where it moves through the other Koopalings, eventually growing into a full-blown alien invasion. That same mushroom citizen tells various other people in town, with similar results.
  • Haven't You Seen X Before?: "Hey, what're you staring at? Haven't you ever seen a reptile ready to conquer the world?!"
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • During the episode "Crimes R Us", King Bowser Koopa abducted Crimewave Clyde out of prison to train his kids how to become hardcore criminals. They became too much for Clyde and after the Koopa Kids double crossed him at the Mushroom Kingdom Treasury, he switched sides with the Marios and gave Bowser and his kids a lesson in payback. Though Clyde did return to prison, he was more happy to 12,423-year prison sentence with no parole than to spend another day with the Koopas.
    • Downplayed with Junior in "Misadventures in Babysitting". While he isn't evil, he still is very prone to misbehaving and causing problems for others. He even teams up with the Koopalings to play pranks on the Mario Bros. But once he realizes they're not just playing games and the bros save him, he becomes a lot nicer.
    • King Windbag of Ice Land also had one in "Life's Ruff". Princess Toadstool accused him of being a bully and sent Luigi to his castle. He witnessed the king mistreating his servant and threatening him with his wand. He and Luigi were turned into dogs by Hip and Hop and were eventually sent to the pound by a dogcatcher. King Windbag was cajoled by Luigi to work with the other trapped dogs and together they escape. After turning himself and Luigi back to humans, he arrived back at Ice Land with a warm heart and prepared a feast for his servant.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: When the crank breaks off the Doom Dancer Music Box, Koopa gets his claw caught in the hole. Cheatsy, Big Mouth and Bully pry it off, but it falls off the Doomship and gets destroyed.
  • Here We Go Again!: "Oh, Brother!" ends with the Bros. reconciling and vowing never to fight again...then Mario says the fight was his fault which Luigi detests, then they argue.
  • Hot in Human Form: Invoked in The Beauty of Kootie, when Cheatsy transforms his sister into Mario's dream girl to distract the heores from their evil plot. Inverted afterwards when Mario returns the favour by turning Luigi into Kassanova Koopa.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Kootie Pie's reaction to her human disguise in "The Beauty of Kootie".
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Played with. When Mario was brainwashed as mentioned above, Luigi tries to remind him of the good times they shared in order to snap him out of it, but this doesn't work. However, when Luigi then plays a prank on him as he had done earlier in the show while they were arguing, (specifically, Luigi pulls on Mario's hat, then his overalls, and then his stache') he snaps out of it.
  • Identical Grandson: In "The Venice Menace," Mario and Luigi feel a strange connection to the titular city, but can't explain why. It's eventually revealed that they're the descendants of Marco Polo's official plumbers, who traveled to China with him and brought back the science of plumbing. A statue of the plumbers reveals that they look exactly like Mario and Luigi.
  • Idiot Ball: Princess Toadstool picks it up in "Never Koop A Koopa." When King Koopa pretends to give up and hands her the key to Castle Koopa, she decides that she'll turn the castle into a retirement home for elderly mushrooms and runs off to check it out. It's a trap.
  • Involuntary Dance: The Doom Dancer Music Box causes this; Koopa tried to make the entire Mushroom Kingdom dance to death with it.
  • Kissed Keepsake: In "Kootie Pie Rocks," during a Milli Vanilli concert, King Koopa abducts the duo from the stage, and as they float away, a fan manages to briefly touch them, exclaiming "I'll never wash this hand again!"
  • Landslide Election: Koopa's defeat to Princess in "Princess Toadstool for President": He lost 6,436,212 to one, only getting his own vote, meaning not even his children or his minions voted for him!
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • This exchange from "Up, Up, and a Koopa":
      Toad: It's really hard to control these raccoon power wings. I must look ridiculous!
      Princess Toadstool: Don't be so self-conscious! It's not like you're on television with millions of people watching you.
    • Also, there's everyone's' tendency to refer to Earth as "the real world", implying that they're fully aware that their world is fictional.
  • Left the Background Music On: Cheatsy dances to the underground music on a Walkman until Koopa takes away the headphones.
  • Leitmotif: Since the show re-arranges most of the music from the game, the tunes are indicative of the character or type of environment that is currently on-screen. Examples: Water Land's theme playing any time there's a swimming scene; Dark Land's theme playing whenever King Koopa or his fortress is on-screen; the airship theme whenever Koopa's airship appears. And appropriately, most episodes ended with the credits theme from the game.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: "Never Koop a Koopa" had King Koopa teach Cheatsy how to lie and cheat by tricking the heroes into thinking he'd given up, then catching them in an inescapable trap unless the Princess signed over the kingdom. Cheatsy took the lesson to heart and tried to backstab Koopa and take control, accidentally freeing the heroes in the process and ensuring neither of them got what they wanted.
  • Literal Transformative Experience: In "Life's Ruff", Luigi meets King Windbag, an obnoxiously arrogant king. After Hip and Hop steal the king's magic scepter and turn both of them into dogs, the two of them have to chase them around to get the scepter back. During the adventure, King Windbag ends up learning how being rude with other people all the time is not the right way to behave. After turning back to normal, Windbag uses his scepter to make a dognapper that kept chasing after him and Luigi fall asleep and transforms him into a poodle for a few seconds, so that he can feel in his dreams how it feels to be a stray dog in order to get a small life lesson of his own.
  • Ludicrous Gift Request: In one episode, Kootie Pie asks for America as a birthday present and throws things at her father when he reminds her that it's in the "real world". She gets her wish via the White House being thrown into an ocean in the Mushroom Kingdom because of a gadget on the Doomship. However, Mario and Luigi soon hack the Doomship and use the same gadget to bring the White House back, where Kootie Pie happened to be napping at the time.
  • Magic Music: The Doom Dancer Music Box made anyone who could hear it dance uncontrollably. This became a plot point as Koopa, who had a cold, couldn't hear it and thus wasn't affected when Bully tried it on him.
  • Make My Monster Grow: In the first episode, Koopa turns Kooky, Bully, Big Mouth and Cheatsy into giant ninjas.
  • Makeup Is Evil: In "Reign Storm" the Koopas create an evil robot version of Princess Toadstool. Who wears really dark lipstick.
  • Mama Bear: In "Mind Your Mummy Mommy, Mario," Queen Mushroomkhamen becomes enraged when her son's sarcophagus is stolen.
  • Mermaid Problem: In one episode Mario was rescued by a mermaid named Holly Mackerel, who fell in love with him. Complicating matters was the fact that she was closer in appearance to the Creature from the Black Lagoon than a typical mermaid, and the fact that she saw Mario in his Frog Suit, which made her think he was a frog.
  • Mind-Control Music: The Doom Dancer Music Box makes anyone who could hear it dance uncontrollably. It can also be used to march others away, and if cranked slowly, makes them slow down and stop moving.
  • Mobile Fishbowl: In the episode "The Ugly Mermaid", a city of mer-people wear fishbowls filled with water to survive in air-filled environments — such as inside their own city! The episode also specifically points out the decrease in visual acuity for anyone wearing this setup (due to light refraction, presumably). Finally, the mer-people are terrified by King Koopa blasting a hole in the city's dome and flooding it with ocean water, despite the fact that they can only breath underwater.
  • Mooning: Probably just a goof, but Luigi does this to Koopa in "Misadventure of Mighty Plumber".
  • Mundane Utility: The Wizarding King in "A Toadally Magical Adventure" waited decades to get a magical wand. This wand was powerful enough to bring inanimate objects to life. He then revealed he wanted to use it to roast hot dogs.
  • Mushroom House: The Toads live in large mushrooms, which in this case are solid brown and with upturned caps with purple gills, with doors in their stems and windows in their caps.
  • Near-Villain Victory:
    • Koopa comes very close to winning in "Never Koop a Koopa". He has all the heroes captured and at the mercy of Bob-Ombs and loses cause Cheatsy decided to cheat him.
    • The entire Mushroom Kingdom Treasury could have been Koopa's for the taking in "Crimes R Us" had it not been for Crimewave Clyde having a Heel–Face Turn, setting the bros free and them foiling the Koopalins' heist.
    • In "Recycled Koopa," Koopa has invaded New York and covered it with magic garbage, which has turned the human population and wildlife into koopa zombies, including Mario. If it wasn't for Luigi managing to avoid the zombification, he would have had a complete victory.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Rivals!: In "Do the Koopa", Luigi and Toad end up breaking the crank off of the Doom Dancer Music Box when they try and force it out of King Koopa's grasp. King Koopa attempts to use his finger in lieu of the crank by sticking it in the crank's hole, only for it to get stuck. Bully, Big Mouth and Cheatsy manage to pull the Doom Dancer off of King Koopa's finger, only for the music box to accidentally go flying out of Big Mouth's hands. It falls over the edge of the Doomship and down to the ground, where it shatters upon landing on a Goomba.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Cheatsy's meddling in "Never Koop a Koopa" foiled his dad's scheme.
    • Koopa wasn't immune from these either. His plan in "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas" went sour in a heartbeat after he accidentally turned Mario into a giant.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Used to show King Windbag's character development. He insults his servant at the beginning of the episode, but after he Took a Level in Kindness, he's shown serving his servant dinner.
  • Not in Kansas Anymore: The human father from "Mush-Rumors" utters this when they drive through the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: According to the show's backstory, the Mario Bros.' last encounter with King Koopa ended with him being chased into a Banishment Zone, where he was sealed away with 10,000 bricks. This notably does not happen at any point in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!.
  • Opening Narration: As provided by the legendary Ernie Anderson (strangely, considering this was an NBC show and he was famously associated with ABC): "It is a legend no one will forget! Everyone thought King Koopa had left the Mushroom Kingdom..."
    • And when it was originally paired with Captain N, this brief bit preceded it: "And now... Captain N! And the Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3!"
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: In "The Ugly Mermaid" Mario met a tribe of "mermaids" who resemble the Creature from the Black Lagoon. They can also only breathe water and need water-filled bubble helmets out of it. For some reason they live in an air-filled dome, yet King Koopa flooding it's treated like a bad thing.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The episode "Reign Storm" has Kooky building a robot look-alike of Princess Toadstool to bring ruin to the Mushroom Kingdom and then turn it over to King Koopa. Somehow, Mario and Luigi are completely fooled by the robot, despite it having obvious robotic lines on its arms and speaking in a voice so monotone that anyone with ears could tell it wasn't the real Princess.
    • It seems they were intentionally mocking this trope, since when Koopa sends Kooky to Hawaii to make sure the Princess stays there, all he gives him to fit in with the humans is a lei to wear around his neck and it works.
    • King Koopa and Kooky dress up in plumber's clothes in "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel" and proceed to clog an apartment's drainpipes. Justified as their Koopa faces don't go unnoticed; they claim to be "costumed plumbers" who make plumbing a party.
    • This doesn't work for the good guys. In one episode the Mario Bros. try to disguise themselves as sledge brothers to stow away on the Doomship. Luigi is worried that it won't work, Mario tries to assure him that he barely recognizes him. But once they get aboard, an actual sledge brother deadpans "Puttin' on a little weight, aren'tcha Mario?"
    • Double Subverted with Kootie Pie's human transformation in "The Beauty of Kootie". Though Cheatsy pulled off a believable disguise, he forgot to remove her tail which Luigi and Princess noticed but not Mario.
  • Plug the Volcano: In "Misadventures in Babysitting" Mario and Luigi stop an erupting volcano by launching a boulder into the air while Mario guides it into the mouth of the volcano via his Super Leaf power. Making things slightly more unusual is that this volcano appears to have a pipe as its spout.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: Bowser does this in an episode. He's only able to go through with it thanks to a "Nice Guy Potion" cooked up by Cheatsy and Kooky.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In "Tag Team Trouble," Toad delivers a huge sack of Gold Coins to a local orphanage, and is so exhausted from the trip that he falls asleep on the doorstep after ringing the bell. The orphanage's matron comes out and takes the bag with a smile, figuring it's better to let Toad rest than wake him. Unfortunately, when Toad does wake up, he immediately assumes that King Koopa stole the bag while he was asleep and decides to enter the titular wrestling tournament to make the money he "lost" back. At no point does he consider asking the matron about what happened, and at no point does she reach out to say "Thank you for the money, we took it inside while you were napping."
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: Demonstrated in "Never Koop a Koopa" when Koopa watches Princess badmouth him through the eyes of his own portrait.
  • Pun:
    Mario: Well, I wanna listen to music! This record's hot!
    Luigi: (takes the record and tosses it in the fireplace) There, now it's even HOTTER!!
  • Produce Pelting: Bystanders throw various items at Kootie Pie and Big Mouth during their number, "Stomp My Name on the Walk of Fame" in "Dadzilla", burying them in trash by the end of the performance. They also do this to Madzilla.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Tag Team Trouble" where Toad enlists his muscular mushroom cousins into winning a wrestling match for him, but then Mario and Luigi end up having to stand in for them.
  • Refugee from TV Land: A common gimmick in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 has the Koopas traveling to "The Real World" to cause havoc, and the Marios following to fix it.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The episode "Kootie Pie Rocks" featured guest stars Milli Vanilli singing "Blame It on the Rain" and "Girl You Know It's True" in the original broadcast version. This was changed to a generic rock riff (an instrumental of the Captain N: The Game Master song "Mega Move") for re-runs and the home video version, and a reference to "Blame It on the Rain" in King Koopa's dialogue was excised. The fact that Milli Vanilli's lips don't match the music created a Hilarious in Hindsight moment when producer Frank Farian revealed in November of 1990 that the frontmen of Milli Vanilli had been lip-syncing to recordings by a much older ensemble of artists, ending the group's careers on the spot. Many speculate that the ensuing scandal from Farian's revelation played a considerable role in DiC choosing not to pursue regaining the license for the Milli Vanilli songs, though their track record with the original Super Show suggests that it was just another case of them deeming the licensing fees for including the music on home media and re-runs to be too much of a hassle.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Koopa Kids rotated as the main villains of each episode but only a few ("Crimes R Us", "7 Continents for 7 Koopas" and "Mush-Rumors") had all seven working together.
  • Running Gagged: After the odd attempt to maintain it early on, this series largely ditched the genre parody format of Super Show, choosing for more conventional adventures.
  • Same Language Dub: The show's German translation actually had two dubbing tracks recorded, one for the original broadcast and an additional one included with the DVD release.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Sledge Bros reaction after the Marios turn the tables on them using Starmen in "Tag Team Trouble".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: This show was the closest adaptation of the games, even featuring P-Wings and the Kuribo's Shoe in an episode, as well as the ruler of Desert Land. Ice Land's ruler is also featured but is given a different appearance from the game.
    • The music box in "Do the Koopa" may reference a similar item from the game.
      • To add to that, the Paper-Thin Disguise Mario and Lugi wear in "Reptiles in the Rose Garden" are reminiscent of the Hammer Suits.
  • Slow Transformation: Seen in "Recycled Koopa" with Mario's transformation into a Koopa Zombie. Oddly, he's the only one who suffers this—everyone else, including the mayor, is transformed fully as soon as they're exposed to the Koopa Kids' trash.
  • Snot Bubble: A rare Western example when Koopa falls aleep near the end of "True Colors".
  • Space Whale Aesop: "Recycled Koopa" is supposed to be about recycling, but that aspect only shows up at the very end after Koopa's trash has turned the inhabitants of Brooklyn into zombies.
  • Spaghetti and Gondolas: The episode "The Venice Menace," is set in Venice, and features an extended chase scene in gondolas. Koopa's plan is to chase out the humans population and turn the flooded city into a water park for Kootie Pie.
  • A Storm Is Coming: In "Oh, Brother!" Mario and Luigi's argument hits its peak as it starts to rain.
  • Stylistic Suck: In the original airing of “Kootie Pie Rocks”, when Mario and friends disguise themselves as a backup band to rescue Milli Vanilli, they distract Kootie by playing “Girl, You Know It’s True”. Their performance is not exactly stellar. In the re-airings, this entire joke is lost, due to the music being replaced by the exact same instrumental as every other copyrighted song. Despite this, we still see Rob and Fab covering their ears, and Koopa yelling about the music being awful.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: Toad and Princess Toadstool use a filled-to-the-brim chest of power-ups that Toad well-stocked in "Super Koopa" to keep Mario and Luigi powered up each time King Koopa de-powers them, though they sometimes cause Koopa to be de-powered. Both sides use their power sources (a pendant for King Koopa, the chest for Mario and Luigi) to keep the fight going. The constant stress of this, however, causes King Koopa's pendant to short-circuit, and we see him turn into many powered-up King-Koopa versions before he finally explodes into his normal de-powered self, the pendant useless as he's sent through a manhole into the Mushroom Kingdom again.
  • Suspender Snag: In the episode "Oh, Brother!", Kooky drags Mario into a Warp Zone leading to King Koopa by hooking the Plumber Pole (a fishing rod) onto the strap of his overalls and reeling him in.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: Mario and Luigi do this in "Crimes R Us" before spotting the Doomship, thinking it's a cloud at first.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A good number of "real world" people fall into this category.
    • A crowd from "Dadzilla" angers the gigantic robotic Madzilla by throwing garbage at him.
    • The family from "Mush Rumors", all completely oblivious that their journey in the Mushroom Kingdom and Castle Koopa was not part of the theme park they were trying to visit.
    • Crimewave Clyde was one of the few aversions. He was level-headed in spite of the Koopas' antics.
    • In "Never Koop a Koopa," Cheatsy is inspired by his father's lessons on double-crossing and has Princess Toadstool sign the kingdom over to him, and not Koopa. He then rushes off to brag about how he's in charge now and leaves the Princess to escape...and never bothers to look at the document, which she signed with a giant smiley face rather than her name (which apparently isn't legally binding).
  • Took a Level in Kindness: King Koopa is still as much of a bad guy as ever, but he is a caring father to the Koopalings, in contrast to the Hate Sink he was in Super Show.
  • Training Montage: In the episode "Tag Team Trouble," Toad convinces Mario and Luigi to enter a wrestling match against the sledge brothers. Prior to the match, we get a training montage where ht Mario brothers prepare for their match.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: In typical fashion, Earth is usually referred to as "the real world".
  • Underwater City: Mertropolis from the episode "The Ugly Mermaid". It was a bizarre case in that the city was inside a large dome filled with air, despite the native merfolk not being able to breathe air, which meant they walked around wearing fishbowls filled with water.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Taken to the extreme in "Crimes R Us":
    Big Mouth: It's curtains for you creeps! You're history! You've had it! You're done for! It's all over! We win! Time's up! Your clock is cleaned! The sun has set! The fat lady has sung! The cheese has molded! The Super Mario Bros. are no more!
  • Very Special Episode:
    • "True Colors" is a not-so-subtle jab at racism. It even ends with everyone questioning whether or not everyone is the "Real World" will learn the same lesson.
    Mario: Heheh, yeah, when humans get as smart as Mushrooms!
    • "Recycled Koopa" takes aim at pollution and recycling with everyone in New York City mutating due to the Koopas dumping their trash there.
  • Water Is Air: In "The Ugly Mermaid", King Koopa tries to make a kingdom of fish surrender to him by flooding their air-filled dome with water, to which they react negatively for some reason. Making it even weirder is that they wear helmets filled with water so they can breathe.
  • Welcome to the Real World: About half the episodes are about the characters visiting Earth.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In "The Beauty of Kootie", Kootie Pie locks Princess, Toad, Desert Land's sultan and one of his guards in a dungeon. When she releases them, the guard is nowhere to be seen.
    • In "Reptiles in the Rose Garden" a bunch of kids get turned to stone by King Koopa. At no point do they get turned back.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Mario Bros. seem to have developed a natural fear of Bob-Ombs.
    Mario: Bob-Ombs! Next to Koopa himself, they are my least favorite things!
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • In "Misadventures in Babysitting" Kooky, Bully and Cheatsy have no qualms with putting Junior in the Pipe Maze which they plan on filling with lava.
    • In "Mush-Rumors", the Koopas fire Bob-ombs at the human family, two of its members being young children.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In "Misadventures in Babysitting", after the bratty Junior helps Bully, Kooky, and Cheatsy trap the Mario Bros. in a cave, the Koopalings repay him by tossing him down a pipe and into a Pipe Maze.
    Cheatsy: Look, kid. You've been real helpful, but the truth is, Junior, we really don't like you very much.
    Bully: Which is why we're getting rid of you.
    Kooky: Right now!
    • In "Crimes R Us", Koopa promises the notorious Crimewave Clyde that in exchange for teaching his Koopalings how to be criminals, he can keep half of their stolen goods. However, after Clyde helps trap the Mario Bros. and train the Koopalings, the Koopas double-cross him and handcuff a Bob-omb to his ankle.
    Crimewave Clyde: What's goin' on here? Wh-What are you doin'?!
    Cheatsy: Just following orders.
    Crimewave Clyde: I didn’t tell you to do that!
    Kootie Pie: No, but King Daddy did.
    Cheatsy: Dad never planned on giving you half of anything! We're double-crossing you!
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In "Recycled Koopa," the Koopas' garbage turns the residents of Brooklyn into Koopa Zombies.
  • Zombie Infectee: Averted. When Mario starts turning into a koopa zombie after being exposed to too much garbage, Luigi immediately notices and tells him.


SMB3 Intro

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / OpeningNarration

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