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Western Animation / The Super Mario Bros. Movie

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"Mushroom Kingdom, here we come!"note 
"Nothing can hurt us as long as we're together."

Somebody help! Somebody describe The Super Mario Bros. Movie here!

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a CGI animated film by Illumination Entertainment in association with Nintendo, in the latter's first-ever hands-on role in a theatrical movie, based upon — what else? — their long-running Super Mario Bros. franchise. It is the third feature film adaptation of the series, after the anime film The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach! in 1986 and the live-action Super Mario Bros. in 1993.

The plot is an origin story of how the Mario Bros. became the heroic defenders of the Mushroom Kingdom, and is treated as its own new separate universe rather than part of the original video games' timeline. Starting out as simple Brooklynites looking to earn some recognition with their new plumbing business, they stumble upon a magical Warp Pipe that whisks them to another world, but in two different places: Mario winds up in the idyllic Mushroom Kingdom protected by Princess Peach, while Luigi is stuck in the Dark Lands, where the evil King Bowser reigns supreme. Guided by Peach and armed with sheer determination, Mario sets out to stop Bowser's invasion and rescue his beloved brother. But his budding chemistry with the princess doesn't sit well with Bowser, who seeks to claim her hand in marriage — and with the mighty Super Star in his grasp, he will burn the Mushroom Kingdom to ashes if he doesn't get what he wants...

Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic of Teen Titans Go! fame directed the feature from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part), while Dick Figures co-creator Ed Skudder is the head of story. Brian Tyler is the composer of the film's score, collaborating with Koji Kondo to integrate the iconic leitmotifs from the games. Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto produced the film alongside Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri.

The All-Star Cast of the film features Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Also appearing are Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Sebastian Maniscalco as Foreman Spike, and Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek. Charles Martinet, the original voice actor for the Mario Bros. in the games, also makes several cameos, including as Mario and Luigi's father and a heavily-accented man named Giuseppe, his last major voice-over roles prior to his retirement from voicing characters in the Mario games on August 21, 2023.

It is the first piece of animated Mario media since the cancellation of Super Mario World in 1991 (and to a lesser extent, Donkey Kong Country in 1998-2000 due to DK's involvement in the film), and the first piece of Nintendo animated media not related to the Pokémon franchisenote  since Animal Crossing: The Movie in 2006 (discounting promotional shorts released during the interim). It also marks the second major collaboration between Nintendo and Illumination's parent company, NBCUniversal, after the Super Nintendo World areas at the latter's Universal Studios theme parks.

The film released on April 5, 2023 in North and South America, Europe, and many other regions.

It opened in Japan on April 28 as the "Super Japanese version" (スーパー日本語版); instead of directly translating the English script into Japanese, Nintendo wrote their own script for the movie, tailoring it for Japanese norms.

On March 10, 2024, it was announced by Nintendo that a sequel is in production, set for a release date of April 3, 2026, with both Hovath and Jelenic returning to direct, and Fogel also coming back as writer.

Previews: Nintendo Direct Teaser Reveal, Teaser Trailer, Nintendo Direct Full Trailer Reveal, Official Trailer, International TV Spots, "Mushroom Kingdom" clip, Game Awards 2022 commercial, 2022 World Cup TV clip, "Smash" commercial, Super Bowl LVII ad, Final Trailer.

We're the Mario Brothers, and troping's our game...:

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    Tropes #-A 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Mario Bros. use the Super Star Bowser stole against him to beat him and his army up while they’re in a wrecked-up Brooklyn.
  • 555: The plumbing advertisement features Mario and Luigi's plumbing number as 929-55-Mario, which serves Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. In the film itself, the area code is 917, which encapsulates all five boroughs, and the number is 555-0185.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Bowser's entire scheme is an attempt to court and marry Peach, a concept that she finds completely reprehensible. It doesn't help that he thinks subjugating other kingdoms and sacrificing prisoners in lava are acts that will impress her.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers below Brooklyn are pretty roomy and the room with the warp pipe leading to the Mushroom Kingdom is massive. Given a minor lampshade since the Mario Bros., who are plumbers, find the massive room to be strange.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal:
    • The Koopas wear helmets, boots, and knee and elbow guards (and in at least one case a spiked pauldron and an eyepatch) but are otherwise unclothed.
    • The only things the penguins wear are some belts and bandanas (and a crown and ermine cape for the king).
    • All the Kongs are shown wearing various pieces of clothing, including Donkey Kong with his now iconic monogrammed tie; the only Kong prominently shown who is fully clothed is Cranky Kong with his royal robe.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Charles Martinet himself does a self-aware impression of the voice Mario has in the original Mario games when he praises Mario and Luigi's Italian accents in their Super Mario Bros. Plumbing commercial as the Italian Giuseppe.
    • Seth Rogen does his trademark laugh almost deliberately after Mario shrinks himself with a Mini Mushroom during his fight with Donkey Kong.
    • When Mario wakes up during the ending, "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra is heard playing in the background, which is the same song used during the start of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where Chris Pratt also plays the main character.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • Lumalee in the games is shown to be just as cheerful as the other Lumas. In the movie, he's the main source of Black Comedy as he cheerfully accepts being one of Bowser's prisoners and sacrifices.
    • Downplayed with Peach; she confesses to Mario that she ended up in the Mushroom Kingdom as a small child, and has no idea where she really came from. However, at the same time, she's happy that the Toads raised her.
    • Mario himself is a No-Respect Guy who has to deal with a lot of insecurity regarding his own competence and earning the respect of his father.
    • To a lesser extent, Donkey Kong is also trying to earn his father's respect, and wants to prove he's not just a guy that smashes things.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Outside of spinoffs, all playable Mario characters are strong but very fragile, able to take two or three hits at most to account for either short-and-sweet level design or the high availability of healing items. This is in sharp contrast to the film, where the characters in general and Mario in particular are subjected to a heaping helping of cartoon violence with little to no consequences. Even when things start looking serious near the end of the film, Mario only needs a minute to shake off the beating Bowser gives him before the tide turns, as if he merely took a bad fall rather than get thrown like a wet rag against a building and several cars.
    • While Princess Peach has always been able to hold her own both physically and tactically in every game she's been playable in, she has an infamously bad case of Ping Pong Naïveté, with most mainline games using her being in some form of distress as the basis for their Excuse Plot. The film, meanwhile, makes no bones about her being one of the strongest and bravest people in the Mushroom Kingdom, with Bowser only able to bend her to his will under the duress of threatening her subjects, and only temporarily at that.
    • While Kamek is a recurring boss in the games who can obstruct the player in various ways, his film counterpart blows him out of the water in the film's first scene, magically subduing an entire army with a mere flick of his staff.
    • Of all things, the Biddybuds — in the game, they're a very minor enemy who will always die in one hit, but in the film, Toad hops on one while introducing Mario to the Mushroom Kingdom and only seems to startle it. Perhaps there's a matter of intent that can't be accounted for in the games.
    • In some non-character-specific cases, some power-ups are notably stronger:
      • While the Mini Mushroom's actual effect shrinks you down even smaller than in the games, here it also grants an extra hit instead of keeping you as a One-Hit-Point Wonder like in the games. Ironically, it's regarded as a Power Up Letdown despite the lack of an extra hitpoint being the main issue players have with it in the first place, because in the context of the film it doesn't grant any benefits in the situations it's used in.
      • The Cat Suit in the games does grant a claw swipe attack and the ability to climb ledges, but here it also grants the user Super-Speed.
      • While the Spiny Shell retains its ability of creating a powerful explosion like in the Mario Kart series, the film version is strong enough to destroy the racetrack itself.
      • The Tanooki Suit grants limitless flight, essentially making it a cross between the regular item and the P-Wing.
      • The Ice Flower is now capable of freezing Bowser (albeit after multiple hits), who would No-Sell it in the games.
      • Although it still is only temporary, the Super Star's Temporary Invincibility lasts much longer than it does in the games. This is balanced somewhat by its Collision Damage being nerfed for the sake of cinematic Rule of Cool — in-game, any enemy that so much as touches you while you're invincible is defeated instantly, whereas in the film, the brothers do need to put in combative effort, however little, in order to get the same result, with contact from an enemy otherwise resulting in a simple No-Sell.
  • Adaptational Context Change: In the games, whenever Mario says "Let's-a go", he usually does so loudly and in an excited tone of voice in anticipation of entering a level or after achieving something impressive. The trailer has a nervous Mario quietly whisper this to steel himself in anticipation for his coming fight against Donkey Kong, and in the film itself, he says it to prepare himself for the final battle against Bowser in Brooklyn.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Given that the film is meant to serve as the Origins Episode of the movie universe, a lot of the characters, objects, and power-ups appear a lot earlier in the overall narrative than their video game counterparts, with many elements seen in the movie being based on concepts first introduced in the newer games.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: How intelligent Donkey Kong and the rest of his kin are varies pretty dramatically throughout the extended series, but in games where he interacts with Mario he's typically in the Nearly Normal Animal range. In the film, not only are the Kongs a fully sapient civilization like in the Country series, they seem to have uniquely-advanced technology and no longer have a language barrier.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Cranky Kong is the king of the Kong Kingdom in this continuity, as opposed to the Donkey Kong Country series where he's already retired by the first game.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • This incarnation of Bowser is far more malevolent than his game counterpart, who is a Card-Carrying Villain but still won over his mooks and is a Papa Wolf to his son. Here, he is an absurdly Bad Boss who mistreats his armies, crushing Kamek's fingers with a piano lid and even burning one Koopa to bones for daring to question him. Also gone from this Bowser is his genuine affection for Peach; here, his crush on her is portrayed in a far pettier and childish light, and he ultimately attempts to kill her when he is rejected.
    • This incarnation of Donkey Kong is also notably more of a jerk than in the games. While DK in the games is an easy-going but noble guy, this one is an egotistical show-off who's more than ready to go below the belt, physically or otherwise.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Biddybuds in the games are minions of Bowser, typically sharing the role of The Goomba with... Goombas. The movie, in contrast, shows several Biddybuds walking in the fields and down a street in the Mushroom Kingdom past Mario and numerous Toads without any apparent hostility. They don't even become hostile when jumped on, which is the most basic way to kill them in their origin games.
    • Bramballs appear to be natives of the Mushroom Kingdom in the movie, and while one of them does walk over Mario, it steps over him rather than attempt to step on him. Unlike the Biddybuds that occupy the town, though, the Bramballs are only seen in the Mushroom Fields, suggesting they're just part of the wildlife.
  • Adaptational Skill: The Cat Suit grants Mario Super-Reflexes, something that wasn't available in Super Mario 3D World.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Bowser in the games wears his villainy on his sleeve and is for the most part a legitimate threat note , the movie's interpretation of the Koopa King is arguably the most vile he's even been — by the end of the film, he's destroyed an entire kingdom to steal its Super Star, blasted the flesh off of one of his Koopa minions for asking what he'd do if Peach were to say no to his marriage proposal (don't worry, the Koopa just turned into a Dry Bones), tortured and explicitly death-threatened multiple people out of spite, a threat that he very nearly follows through with in the form of ritualistic sacrifice, and essentially tried to nuke the Mushroom Kingdom just so Mario can't be with Peach, something that was never even a serious possibility in the first place — Bowser just convinced himself he was a romantic rival out of jealous paranoia enough to consider murder-suicide.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation:
    • The first game has an Excuse Plot that wouldn't work as a film, since it lacks the interactive elements to make it fun. So, the game's plot is combined with plot elements from Super Mario Odyssey (Bowser wanting to marry Peach), Donkey Kong (Mario and Donkey Kong's rivalry, and turn from enemies to vitriolic friends), Wrecking Crew (Mario and Luigi's history with Foreman Spike), and others.
    • One thing the film does retain from the early games is the brothers originally hailing from real-world New York and only ending up in the Mushroom Kingdom thanks to being Trapped in Another World. This was indeed the given backstory during the NES era before being retconned by the Yoshi's Island series; however, it was more or less entirely All There in the Manual, with only spinoff media like the DiC Entertainment cartoons and the 1993 film exploring it to any capacity until now.
    • The power-ups include Fire Flowers, Super Bell, Tanooki Suit/Racoon Suit, Ice Flowers, and others spanning multiple games across the 30+ year franchise. The Star in particular serves as a combination of the Power Stars from 3D games like 64 and Galaxy and the Super Star from 2D games.
    • Kart racing is an acknowledged part of the culture of the Kongs, rather than a side thing that they inexplicitly reshape the local geography for.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Though overall much Truer to the Text than its ill-fated 1993 predecessor, the movie still deviates significantly from the games:
    • Instead of Mario and Donkey Kong (or rather, Cranky Kong) meeting and fighting in a construction site to rescue Pauline, here Cranky is King of the Jungle Kingdom and DK is his son, who battles Mario in a Test of Strength to determine whether the Kongs will provide support to the Mushroom Kingdom to fight Bowser. Pauline, meanwhile, is completely uninvolved with the plot other than a cameo as the Mayor of New York City during the flooding of Brooklyn's manholes (as opposed to New Donk City). The Kongs are also the ones with weaponized go-karts.
    • Instead of Peach being the Damsel in Distress needing to be rescued by the established hero Mario, other than a bunch of times where she also takes the heroine or a more proactive role and one time where their roles got reversed, here she acts as Mario's mentor, who here is a Naïve Newcomer while Luigi acts as the Distressed Dude. Also, Mario and Peach's relationship is different, as they justifiably only just met each other for the first time, Mario and Peach simply become close friends during their travels and Mario is only concerned with saving his brother and the kingdom with Peach's help and becomes an Unknown Rival to Bowser for Peach's affections during the forced wedding unlike his original game counterpart. That being said, the Ship Tease moments they have throughout the film laid out enough groundwork for their friendship to eventually blossom into romance in the future.
    • Everything from Yoshi's Island, which acts as the Origins Episode in the original games, is ignored in favor of returning to the plumbers from Brooklyn origin presented in early American media and the original Mario Bros. arcade game before being retconned in its remakes after Super Mario Bros. introduced the Mushroom Kingdom and became the setting of the Mario series onwards.
    • Peach was originally implied in the American Super Mario Bros. manual to have parents as the Mushroom Kingdom's king and queen (the Japanese manuals and subsequent releases don't mention them), as well as Yoshi's Island DS, which shows her being delivered as a newborn baby to the Mushroom Kingdom's castle, showing that she was born into her royal position. This movie shows Peach to have come to the Mushroom Kingdom as a baby of unknown origin, and the Toads raised her and later crowned her their princess.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: While the Mario brothers' hair on the top of their heads has always been brown, their mustaches are now a brownish shade of black to match.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • In this movie, we finally get to see Mario and Luigi's family like their mother and father (along with additional relatives) instead of leaving their family status vague (in the original games, their mother and father only have appeared briefly at the end of the Yoshi's Island games, though their faces aren't seen) or non-existent (the additional relatives haven't appeared or been mentioned whatsoever in the games thus far).
    • Peach's backstory is briefly touched upon: as a baby, she wandered into the Mushroom Kingdom through a Warp Pipe, and the Toads took her in and raised her themselves. Once she came of age, they deemed her worthy of becoming the princess of their kingdom, and the rest was history.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Mini Mushrooms are called Blue Mushrooms.
    • The Banzai Bill that Bowser launches at Peach's Castle is called a Bomber Bill. That said, the Bomber Bill is MUCH larger than Banzai Bills usually are in the games, and the name "Bomber Bill" has appeared previously in English translations on the Japanese Nintendo website.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Pauline has had a long history with Mario in the games, being his first-ever love interest in the original Donkey Kong, where the ape (Cranky, the original DK) captured her, and appearing in a side series where Mario and the younger DK competed. In the film’s continuity, Mario and Pauline don't seem to have any familiarity with each other (the Bros. just watch her reporting on TV and head to the scene to get a job in), and neither Cranky nor Donkey Kong are ever remotely hinted to have any connection with her either.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Despite the wide array of Toads present in the film (with even Toadette making a small appearance on a poster), and the presence of an older Toad official overseeing war strategy this character is not Peach's trusted steward, Toadsworth, and Toadsworth is nowhere to be found.
    • While the Spinies are among the soldiers in Bowser's army, no Lakitus (the Koopas often paired with Spinies, throwing them onto the ground from their clouds) are seen.
    • Bowser's only son (and mainstay character) Bowser Jr. never appears or receives any allusions in the film.
    • While Lumalee makes an appearance in the movie, Rosalina and the other Lumas do not.
    • King Boo is the only member of the Boo species to appear in the film.
  • Adorable Evil Minions: Bowser's Koopa Troopas are just as cute as they are in the games. One poor little guy is even seen shivering in its shell at the sight of what they think is an army of massive penguins (a trick of the light enlarging their shadows from behind their gate). However, with that being said, they do tend to look a lot more aggressive and angry in some posters and a lot of scenes in the movie than the happier, cutesier Koopas that we know of from the games.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • In the second trailer, a shot prominently showcases a herd of Yoshis travelling. This is also the only shot of them in the entire film. A Yoshi egg, however, in seen near the start of the third act... And the film's post-credits scene has it begin to hatch.
    • In the third trailer, Bowser looks at his troops and mentions Goombas and "whatever those things are" (Spinies). That's basically the entirety of the interactions they have with others in the movie, since Goombas and Spinies infrequently appear throughout the movie in scenes like Bowser's wedding and being defeated by Mario and his allies.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: A variant - characters sometimes show affection to the leads by playfully pulling their hats down over their eyes, Mario doing it to Luigi during their introduction and Peach doing it to Mario much later.
  • Airplane Arms: Invincible Mario and Luigi have their arms in an airplane wing-like position during their Foe-Tossing Charge against Bowser's army.
  • The Alleged Car: Mario and Luigi's van that they use for their plumbing business looks pretty beat up and fails to start after they get their first job, which requires them to travel on foot to their destination through a construction site.
  • All for Nothing: Mario joins Peach to negotiate an alliance between the Mushroom Kingdom and the Jungle Kingdom's Kong Army against Bowser's forces. Though they succeed, said army is captured on the way back, leading to the main cast rescuing everyone during the climax, while Peach is forced to marry Bowser to prevent the Mushroom Kingdom from being destroyed. About the only thing gained from all that is that it's what convinces Mario and Donkey Kong to put their differences aside and help save everyone.
  • All There in the Script: Despite being a prominent character in the film, Kamek's name is only revealed in the cast announcement and the credits. While not as prominent, the same applies to Mario and Luigi's family members, although their parents and cousin still remain unnamed.
  • Alternate Continuity: It's an adaptation of the original Mario video games, treated as its own new separate universe rather than part of the original video games' timeline.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: When does the movie take place, exactly? At Brooklyn, people are seen at arcade machines and playing classic Nintendo games, both of which were prominent in The '80s, yet Luigi has a cell phone that looks a bit too... modern to fit in that time period. The film's prop artists at least seem to think that it takes place in the modern day, as the pipes on the Bros' van are dated to 2021; if this is the case, the retro Easter eggs can be chalked up to isolated cases of people appreciating old media.
  • Analogy Backfire: A small example during the dinner. When the uncles are making fun of them, Mario and Luigi's mom tries to cheer them up saying "The world laughed at da Vinci too". Luigi quickly replies "I'm not really sure they did, Ma".
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: While Bowser does propose to Peach legitimately, it's not until she refuses that he starts getting forceful. She gives in after Bowser has Kamek torture Toad in place, but she still plots against Bowser, especially when he attempts to sacrifice his captives as part of the ceremony.
  • Answer Cut: In the first trailer, Bowser yelling out "NOW WHO'S GONNA STOP ME!?" is immediately followed Mario coming out of the pipe into the Mushroom Kingdom. In the movie, the line is changed to "And now, no one can stop me!" before it cuts to the Mario Bros.'s plumbing commercial.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Nothing can hurt us as long as we're together". This is what the brothers tell each other as reassurance that things will be okay.
    • "Save Brooklyn". Mario and Luigi's advertisement proclaims that they are going to "save Brooklyn", with the phrase repeated over how the two grow from blue-collar workers to true heroes.
    • "You just don't know when to quit". Mario has been told this multiple times by a lot of people. Even Peach says this herself and tells him that it's a good thing.
  • Art Evolution: Downplayed. While the movie maintains the series' colorful, polished art style, the characters, and world are given an extra-detailed cinematic coat of paint.
    • Mario has a slightly more detailed and realistic appearance compared to the games, with smaller eyes, more realistic-looking anatomy and like in Super Mario Odyssey, more detailed clothing (including laces on his shoes and a collar on his shirt), and hair textures. This also applies to Luigi.
    • Likewise, the Toads also have more realistic anatomy, as well as visible teeth.
    • Peach looks significantly more Disneyesque, especially compared to her video game counterpart.
    • Bowser has more detailed scales, which are closer to realistic reptile skin, his head has less contrast between his jaw and face, his arms and legs are more well-defined, he has gotten more teeth and more spikes on his tail, and has overall more realistic proportions. Bowser's mouth has also been reworked to allow for more expression, such as allowing it to be completely closed. The bottoms of the spikes on his shell, while still having a tint of red, blend in more seamlessly with the green parts of his shell in the movie.
    • Donkey Kong's head is redesigned to roughly resemble the original 1981 Donkey Kong design, while his torso is modified to more emphasize his Heroic Build compared to his game appearances.
    • Fire and Ice Flowers have the same base visual design as their modern game appearance, but are now depicted with distinct petals and realistic texture, rather than being composed of very cartoony oval rings in a stylization only loosely plausible as a flower bloom.
    • Inverted for the mushroom power-ups, which lack their iconic eyes likely to make them appear less anthropomorphic since they have to be consumed. The Fire Flower, Ice Flower, Super Star, and Super Leaf all retain the eyes since they only need to be touched.
  • Ascended Meme:
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: Mario and Luigi's plumbing advertisement is shown in 16:9, then pulls wider as we see the two brothers watching it in-universe on a 16:9 TV.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Mario grabs and eats a Blue Mushroom during his arena fight with Donkey Kong, thinking it'll have the same effect as a Super Mushroom, then charges at DK. Unfortunately for him, Blue Mushrooms shrink people, so he turns around and runs as soon as he realizes this.
  • Attack Backfire: While fighting Bowser's minions, Peach lights King Bob-Omb's fuse. The explosion ends up hitting her and taking away her power-up.

    Tropes B-C 
  • "Back to Camera" Pose: A poster shows Mario from behind as he looks at the view of the Mushroom Kingdom in front of him.
  • Bad to the Bone: The scene where Mario, Peach, Toad, and the Kongs ready their karts to prepare a raid on the Dark Lands is scored to "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC.
  • Bad Vibrations:
    • Bowser's footsteps are accompanied by booming sounds, most prominently when he arrives at the Ice Kingdom.
    • Later in the film, Bowser arrives at the Mushroom Kingdom, forcing the Toads to evacuate. One Toad drops his produce, and the camera briefly focuses on one of the fruits, which is vibrating since Bowser has appeared in his ship castle.
    • In the climax, after Mario sends the Bomber Bill to explode within the Warp Zone, the pipe essentially becomes a vortex that envelopes the surrounding area. The scene cuts to Mario and Luigi's family having breakfast, which is interrupted when the apartment's furniture and lighting begin to shake, preceding the arrival of the main characters and Bowser's fortress to Brooklyn.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Kamek inviting all of the prisoners to Bowser and Peach's forced wedding seems like a Pet the Dog moment (even saying that they don't deserve the honor), until he reveals that they aren't guests, they're sacrifices.
    • At the end of the movie, we see a clipping of a newspaper article written about the final battle. We’re inside the brothers' bedroom. Mario and Luigi wake up and prepare to go to work. This implies that they went home to Brooklyn and their adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom is now only a memory. Until they leave the house to reveal that they now live in the Mushroom Kingdom.
    • When Mario and Toad are going to the castle only to get stopped at the front door by the guards, Toad gets out his frying pan and screams as if he's going to fight them... and then starts cooking for the guards.
  • Bait-and-Switch Compassion: After Mario and Donkey Kong are eaten by the Maw-Ray, DK fears he'll die with his father not appreciating him. When Mario says his father sees him as a joke, it seems as if they'll get back on the right foot... only for DK to tell Mario his dad was right.
    Donkey Kong: 'Least you're not gonna die with your dad thinking you're a joke.
    Mario: Yeah, well, my dad thinks I'm a joke, too.
    Donkey Kong: Yeah, well... YOUR DAD'S RIGHT!
  • Bat Family Crossover: Much of the Donkey Kong Country cast appears in what is otherwise a movie focused on the Super Mario Bros. end of the Shared Universe, including Cranky, Diddy, Dixie, and Swanky alongside DK himself. While Cranky Kong did originally share his debut appearance with Mario and DK himself would later appear in the sequel, he and his fellow Kongs usually only join the Mario characters in spin-off games like Mario Kart and Mario Party (and usually just Donkey and Diddy). Several Yoshis are also seen.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Among the other monsters shown in an aerial shot of Bowser's army are a flock of Bats from the Galaxy games.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Mario pretends that he belongs inside the castle to get past a pair of Toad guards. To their credit, it only ends up buying him a few seconds as they quickly realize he's an intruder and make chase.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: All the Kongs get a good laugh out of Cat Suit Mario, but it's a shockingly powerful transformation, granting Mario cat-like reflexes and incredible speed. The dive attack is powerful enough to drive Donkey Kong through several platforms.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Dark Lands is a creepy area where Dry Bones chase Luigi towards a decrepit castle. Has shades of Mordor thanks to the lava.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • One of Mario's defining character traits is his protectiveness of Luigi. It's displayed very early on when he furiously picks a fight with Spike for insulting his brother, and the entire reason he embarks on his journey and goes to see Peach is to seek out her help in saving Luigi from Bowser. A brief flashback shows that this has been the case since infancy, with Baby Mario scuffling with and driving off a bully who was picking on Baby Luigi.
    • Luigi also overcomes his meek nature to show some Little Brother Instinct for Mario at a crucial moment: getting between Bowser and Mario when the former attempts to blast the latter with his flame breath and blocking the fire with a manhole cover.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Two in quick succession: Bowser's prisoners are about to be lowered into his lava pit, with Luigi and Cranky Kong in particular just inches away from it, when Donkey Kong reverses the crane and starts hauling them back up. But then Luigi loses his grip on what's left of the cage and he starts the plummet back towards the lava anyway, only to be grabbed in midair by Tanooki Mario.
    • In Brooklyn, Mario stands his ground defiantly in front of Bowser, who sends a huge blast of fire at him. Mario, realizing he's not singed, opens his eyes and sees that Luigi has jumped between them, using a manhole cover as a shield to block the fire.
  • Big Damn Reunion: After Mario saves Luigi from falling into the lava and carries him to a safe place, they proceed to hug each other out of joy over being reunited, with Mario nearly shedding happy tears and hugging Luigi so tightly he actually gets lifted off his feet at one point.
  • Big Entrance: Bowser arrives at the penguin castle by bringing his whole castle to their doorstep, and emerges Out of the Inferno from the mouthpiece of his head statue on the front of his flying volcano island.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: The penguins are introduced as huge shadows looming on the gates of their kingdom, scaring a Koopa. Then the gates open and it's revealed that they are smaller than the gate itself.
  • Big "SHUT UP!":
    • After Donkey Kong’s showboating makes the crowd of Kongs go wild with excitement, Cranky Kong shouts at the crowd to simmer down. He then shouts “That means you, Diddy Kong!” when the Kong in question is the only one who’s still cheering.
    • The Penguin King combines this with Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!" to Lumalee after listening to too much of his twisted drivel.
      Lumalee: Ooh! Fresh meat for the grinder!
      Cranky Kong: Who's this ray of sunshine?
      Lumalee: There is no sunshine. Only darkness.
      Penguin King: Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!
  • Bilingual Bonus: One of the buildings in Brooklyn is a restaurant with a Duck Hunt duck for its logo/mascot. The restaurant is named Chasse au Canard, which is "Duck Hunt" in French.
  • Binocular Shot: During the Rainbow Road scene, Bowser finds Mario and Peach and watches them through a set of high-tech binoculars. We see through the point of view of Bowser with his binoculars, with markings from the binoculars visible.
  • Bizarre Dream Rationalization: When Mario first arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom, he asks Toad to clarify that this is not a dream. Toad hits him with a stick and asks him if it hurt.
    Mario: [angrily] YES!
    Toad: Definitely not a dream.
  • Black Comedy:
    • One unlucky Koopa Troopa questions Bowser after the latter announces his plan to marry Peach. Bowser responds by blasting them with fire, instantly turning them into a Dry Bones. It’s done in a cartoonish and silly way, but he still burned that Koopa’s flesh clean off.
    • Everything that Lumalee says is dark and macabre. The little guy longs for the “sweet relief of death”, and even expresses disappointment when Donkey Kong saves him from burning in lava!
    • After Luigi ends up in Bowser's clutches he is interrogated for information about Mario, a situation that quickly escalates into Cold-Blooded Torture. It'd be quite a serious situation if not for the torture only getting as bad as his mustache getting tugged on, which still gets him singing immediately.
  • Black Comedy Burst: While the franchise isn't a stranger to dark jokes, they're very much the exception to the rule, and almost never as blunt as the writing in the film. While the most obvious source of it is Lumalee, dark jokes feature throughout.
  • Bland-Name Product: At the end of the sequence where Mario does parkour across a construction site, he slides down the signpole outside a castle-shaped restaurant titled "CASTLE BURGER". This is a lawyer-friendly reference to a real-life American fast-food restaurant franchise, White Castle.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The Toad guards at the doors of Princess Peach's castle tell Mario that the Princess must be in a different castle to send him off on a wild goose chase despite the fact the castle has large stained glass windows depicting Peach herself and it would beg the question why they're guarding the castle's doors.
    • After Mario still fails to beat Peach's obstacle course despite noticeably improving, Peach tries to cheer him up by claiming to have been "even worse" when she first tried it. It's clear from her expression that she's lying, and Mario calls her out on it.
    • When Kamek informs Bowser that Peach has been seen with another human, Bowser nonchalantly asks if they're an item. When Kamek tells him he shouldn't feel threatened, Bowser assures him he isn't... then he slams Kamek's fingers in his piano's fallboard and demands to gather more intel on the human.
    • While in Bowser's clutches, Luigi claims he has no idea who Mario is, even when he gives out a good description of what he looks like. Bowser responds by threatening to yank a chunk of Luigi's mustache, causing him to admit the truth.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The official Danish subtitles for the movie's theatrical release (also used for the movie's digital release on Google Play) has Donkey Kong's line "This is fun!" rendered as "Ram den her bold!".Translation This is likely due to the subtitle translator somehow mishearing the line. This does not apply to the official Danish dub, where the line is instead more accurately rendered as "Det her er mega sjovt!".Translation
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • When Mario becomes Cat Mario during his fight with Donkey Kong, he leaves several painful-looking scratches on the ape's face. However, despite DK's agonized reactions, no blood is spilled. Before he gets the advantage, Mario gets a large amount of nasty blows, but even though Peach gives him some ice after the match, he has no signs of bruises or injuries and doesn't shed a single drop of blood (though it should be noted that this is a movie about a franchise with children as the main audience).
    • Later, in the final battle, Bowser goes completely berserk and Mario gets violently beaten up, including getting thrown against the windshield of two cars (he even falls head-first on the second car, landing on the glass on the second time). After getting smacked away by his tail, crashing into the Punch-Out Pizzeria window and lands back-first onto the TV, which gets severely damaged and results in a crack in the middle of the screen, Mario is visibly badly injured, holding his right shoulder in pain like he has a fractured arm (possibly from when Bowser grabbed him before punching him into the first car) and with realistic bruises on his cheeks and nose and one on his right eye. With those injuries, including getting thrown three times into glass, a nasty punch to the face and a tail swipe to the back, they would realistically result in cuts on his head and body, glass shards stuck on his skin and a serious blood loss, injuries that would be fatal for normal humans even with just the first hit since he was beaten up by Bowser, who is huge, yet his clothes are fully intact, though a bit dirty, the most he has in terms of wounds is the bruises on his face and the black eye, and he doesn't bleed at any point through the scene.
  • Boisterous Weakling: In the opening scene, the penguin king talks big and assumes that he's left a good impression on Bowser, even after his army put up an absurdly pathetic resistance.
  • Bookends:
    • During the training montage, Mario jumps and flips off of some dummy Bullet Bills, then gets chomped by a dummy Piranha Plant. During the Super Star scene, Mario and Luigi do similar jumps and flip off real Bullet Bills, and get eaten by a real Piranha Plant. This time, however, they easily escape due to being empowered by the Super Star and continue decimating Bowser and his army.
    • Musically, the classic overworld theme is the first song we hear as the lead characters are introduced, and the very last thing we hear as the movie ends, respectively in its original and triumphantly orchestrated form.
    • When they’re sucked into the Warp Pipe, Mario briefly grabs hold of Luigi as they spin out of control, reassuring him that “Nothing can hurt us as long as we’re together”. Seconds later, the brothers are separated by a junction. When the finale moves the action from the Mushroom Kingdom to Brooklyn, it’s Luigi who echoes this reassurance while protecting Mario from a stream of Bowser’s fire breath. After they become invincible, the brothers separate once more…but this time, it’s planned: Mario deals with Bowser's Minions directly, while Luigi protects civilians that have been caught in the crossfire. Luigi quickly rejoins Mario to fight Bowser and the rest of his soldiers.
    • A very subtle example - at the beginning of the film, one of the very first things we see Luigi do in person is playfully thwap Mario in the stomach a few times in quick succession while they celebrate their commercial making it to air. At the very end of the film, we see him do this again while Mario is distracted with their Secret Handshake.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Before the credits roll, Lumalee pops out and drops one more existential bomb on the audience, as he did with his fellow prisoners. Then he whips out a saxophone and the main credits begin.
  • Breath Weapon: Bowser uses his signature fire breath throughout the film, starting with using it to destroy the penguins' castle in the opening.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of their drive across Rainbow Road, Mario and Peach are chatting about the human world and one of the things that shocks the latter is when the former mentions that turtles are not huge monstrous tyrants and are usually pets, causing Mario to offer to get her one once all is said and done. At the end of the movie, once Bowser is defeated, force-fed a mini mushroom and trapped in a jar, Mario jokes that he got Peach a pet turtle after all.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: The Super Mario Bros. Plumbing commercial has the brothers using thick Italian accents reminiscent of the games. Their natural New York accents are already pretty thick but not quite as cartoonish.
  • Bright Castle: The penguin castle is a beautiful, pristine ice palace before Bowser gets through with it. Peach's castle also fits this.
  • The Caligula: Subverted - during the meeting where Princess Peach is introduced, a Toad refers to the Kong Kingdom's "mad king" and suggests diplomacy with him would be a fool's errand. When we actually meet him, however, Cranky Kong turns out to be mostly just stubborn and a little hedonistic, so only a tyrant by Toad standards.
  • Call-Back:
    • During the brothers' first plumbing job, Mario winds up doing a slow-mo jumping dodge to avoid and trap the owner's dog, exclaiming "Mama mia!" while doing so. He later does the exact same dodge as Tanooki Mario to trap the Bomber Bill, complete with "Mama mia!"
    • Mario tells Peach that back in his world, turtles are pets and not warlords, something she finds hard to believe. He tells her that if she ever visits Brooklyn, he'll get her a pet turtle to prove it. After the final battle, which takes all the main characters to Brooklyn, Peach shoves a Mini Mushroom into Bowser's mouth to shrink and trap him, with Mario quipping that he did get her that turtle.
    • After the fight against Donkey Kong, Peach praises Mario for how he just kept getting back up every time DK knocked him down. After Mario gets his Heroic Second Wind during the final fight against Bowser, the Koopa King snarls, "You just don't know when to quit!". Mario retorts "I've been told that before".
    • During the final attempt of his Training Montage, Mario finally reaches the end of the course, and there's a dramatic slow-motion shot of him jumping and showing off to Peach, only to get eaten by a random prop Pirahna Plant at the last moment. The final battle features a similar slow-motion shot, this time with a fully-focused Mario... but he still gets eaten by a plant (a real one this time). Except this time, Mario's invincible.
  • Call-Forward: Mario and Peach have a romantic relationship in the games but in this movie, though they do get Ship Tease throughout the story, their romantic relationship hasn't yet been fully explored. It is justified that in this movie, they just met for the first time.
  • Canon Character All Along: A variant. The Koopa General that chases Mario on Rainbow Road appears to just be a Koopa with a slightly different design. However, after seemingly being defeated by Mario, he unfurls his wings, retreats into his shell, and declares "Blue Shell!", revealing himself to be the infamous Spiny Shell from the Mario Kart series and launching at Mario exactly like the item does in-game. This is actually the first time that a Koopa living inside a Spiny Shell has ever been seen, as the item has heretofore been unique to the Kart series.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • The Koopa General is brand new to this franchise, though his shell turns out to be a Spiny Shell attack from the Mario Kart franchise, making him a Canon Character All Along.
    • The Penguin King is original to the film, as the Penguins never had a monarch in the games, nor a kingdom to fully call their own.
    • The Ice Peach power-up form debuts in this film, as she never been a playable character in a game that features the Ice Flower.
    • Fire DK. Donkey Kong generally has not used transformations in the games he headlines. The power-ups are implied to be usable by anyone in this continuity, though.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Central Theme: Perseverance. Director Aaron Horvath explained in a interview the theme of the movie is essential to Mario's character arc, which is to not give up. Very tied to the games, in which the only way to defeat Bowser is if the player doesn't give up; if they keep trying again and again, you'll get to the finish line.
  • Catch a Falling Star: While Bowser and Peach's wedding is being trashed, Luigi nearly falls to his death in the former's sacrificial lava pit, but Mario catches him and carries him to safety using a Tanooki Suit.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: After getting the Super Star, Luigi still has time to greet Spike, whom he saves from being harassed by a pack of Bowser's soldiers.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Warp Pipe that Mario gets thrown out of into the Mushroom Kingdom comes up when Mario manages to cram a Bomber Bill into it to absorb the explosion. However, this has a nasty side-effect of sucking the entire surrounding area into Brooklyn.
    • Mario and DK running into the latter's wrecked kart while in the belly of the Maw-Ray, and using the leftover barrel missile as a Rocket Barrel to help them escape back to the Mushroom Kingdom.
    • The cheaply-made plumbing commercial from the beginning appears again when Mario gets thrown into the Punch-Out Pizzeria and is on the verge of giving up, only for the broken TV to play the commercial again and gets stuck on the "save Brooklyn" part, giving him his Heroic Second Wind.
    • Bowser planned to use the Super Star he stole from the Ice Kingdom on the Mushroom Kingdom in the event Peach doesn't agree to marry him. It comes into play during the climax, only with Mario and Luigi using its power to defeat Bowser and his army.
    • While running away from the Dry Bones, Luigi inadvertently discovers that hitting one hard will cause it to temporarily fall to pieces before it reforms itself. Luigi even dispatches a Dry Bones by knocking its head into the lava. Upon getting the Super Star, Luigi’s first plan of attack is to dissemble a Dry Bones and use its shell as a shield and projectile.
    • A Mini Mushroom, first seen during Mario and DK's fight, is used to shrink down the defeated Bowser.
    • One of the presents given at Bowser's attempted wedding to Peach is a green Yoshi Egg. Said egg is transported to Brooklyn with the rest of Bowser's fortress and hatches in The Stinger.
  • Chekhov's Skill: It's established on the way to their first plumbing job that Mario is very adept at freerunning and platforming, but not to the extent of the games or the obstacle course later (with disastrous results), but still manages to adapt quickly.
  • Childish Villain, Mature Hero: Bowser is the Childish Villain to both Mario and Peach's Mature Heroes. Mario is a fairly grounded and humble guy who initially wasn't interested in becoming a hero, only agreeing to help Peach save the Mushroom Kingdom if it meant saving Luigi in the process. Peach, meanwhile, is a Reasonable Authority Figure, as she is presented as an ideal ruler who loves and protects her subjects at all costs. On the other hand, Bowser is a tyrannical conqueror with the mentality of a Spoiled Brat who usually responds to criticism or rejection with violence, with his whole antagonism with Mario only happening because Bowser mistakenly believes he's stealing Peach from him.
  • Citywide Evacuation: When Bowser's flying castle arrives at the Mushroom Kingdom's capital, Peach orders the Toads to evacuate the city and flee for the hills, which they're seen doing in a mad panic.
  • Close on Title: The very last thing to appear before the end credits is the film's very title, just after the final scene of Mario and Luigi entering a warp pipe. Though part of the title, Super Mario Bros., appears right after the first scene with Bowser and the penguins as part of the Mario Bros.' plumbing commercial.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: When Mario is depressed that no one other than their mom has faith in their plumbing business, he turns the TV on to see a newscast about a water main problem that's causing the streets to flood.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: As much as can be done in a kid-friendly movie:
    • When presented with a kidnapped Luigi, who's suspended in midair by Kamek and can't move or defend himself at all, Bowser intimidates him by touching his face and throat with his claws, and then grips Luigi tightly and starts yanking on his mustache to force information out of him about Mario, culminating in him ripping out a large chunk of it, tossing him aside, and angrily declaring his intent to kill him to spite Mario.
    • Played even straighter when Peach refuses Bowser's proposal to her, at which point he has Kamek not only float Toad in midair as well, but also uses a spell on him that causes him pain, with the implicit threat that this is what they'll do to all the other Toads of the Mushroom Kingdom as well if she doesn't comply. Peach quickly gets the picture and surrenders on the condition that he doesn't hurt them.
  • Color Contrast: Used very strikingly in the opening scene. We first see the palace of the penguins on the right of the screen in the midst of an ice field, all of which is rendered in various shades of blue. Then, from the left, we see globs of reddish-orange lava dripping onto the ice before huge cascades of the molten liquid herald the arrival of Bowser's castle.
  • Commended for Pushback: When Mario first meets Peach and tells her about Luigi being captured by Bowser, he asks to accompany her on her quest to stop him. Peach is dismissive of Mario due to his small size, but Mario remains persistent and demands she help him. Peach, taken aback, ultimately gives in and allows Mario the chance to prove himself.
  • Company Cross References:
    • On the Illumination side of things, at one point, Bowser practises his proposal to Peach with Kamek dressed up like her, with the scene set up like Gru dressing Stuart as Lucy to practise asking her out on a date.
    • There are several references to other Nintendo franchises as well.
      • Spike, who owns a business named "Wrecking Crew", that employed Mario and Luigi, is antagonistic towards the brothers.
      • The brothers are seen hanging out somewhere called "Punch-Out Pizza", featuring many characters from the Punch-Out!! series in photo frames in the background.
      • A Duck Hunt duck shows up at least twice, once in a frame in Punch-Out Pizza and again on a sign outside the brothers' town.
      • The Balloon Fight kid appears on another sign.
      • Mario is seen playing Kid Icarus on an NES.
      • Diskun, the mascot of the Famicom Disk System, appears on another sign.
      • A polar bear from Ice Climber is on one of Mario's posters in his bedroom.
      • On top of Mario's TV is a model of an Arwing from Star Fox.
      • Another poster from Mario's room shows Captain Falcon's racer.
  • Console Cameo: Mario is shown playing Kid Icarus on an NES early on after a disastrous first day. He winds up losing and the "I'm Finished!" Game Over screen is shown.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Much like the games, the Dark Lands' lava does not have the kind of ambient heat it would have in real life as Luigi and a horde of Dry Bones manage to jump over a pool of lava without getting burned. Taken to extremes in the climax where Luigi nearly gets dipped face-first into a pit of lava until Donkey Kong manages to save the caged prisoners, with more than half of Luigi's cage melted off while he was hanging onto the ceiling. The film ignores conduction as well, since both the metal cage, as well as the manhole cover that Luigi uses to shield Mario from Bowser's fire breath, don't seem to absorb any of the heat.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Bowser immediately becomes furious upon finding out that Peach has met and is traveling with a fellow human that she seems to like, and when Luigi, another human, is captured and brought to him soon after, he violently interrogates him about Mario and whether Peach might be interested in him, and even promises to murder Luigi as a way to hurt Mario. Bowser gradually grows more and more unhinged as the movie goes on and it becomes increasingly clear that Peach likes Mario, even though not romantically just yet, far more than she'll ever like him.
  • Creator Cameo: Charles Martinet voices Mario and Luigi's father, as well as an Italian man named Giuseppe who compliments Mario's accent in his commercial (in Martinet's exact Mario voice).
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: As part of his twisted "wedding ceremony", Bowser attempts to subject his prisoners to this by slowly dipping their cages in lava. Fortunately, they are saved at the very last second.
  • Cultural Translation: The "Super Japanese version" of the movie replaces the English script with one written by Nintendo for Japanese audiences. Changes include reducing the sarcasm and "Amerikan Jooku" (jokes), more use of Japanese wordplay, more subtle use of honorifics, and minor changes to characters' personalities. A video summarizing the differences can be found here.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The penguins attempt to fight back against Bowser and his army... by throwing snowballs. Bowser just stands there, ignoring the barrage, and the penguins only manage to knock out one Koopa (out of hundreds) with a larger snowball launched from a catapult. Kamek then uses his magic to take out all of the penguins at once, before Bowser destroys the castle with his fire breath.
    • Mario and Donkey Kong's fight inside an arena, at first - Mario rushes at Donkey Kong only for the big ape to perform a Punch Catch and hit him with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs. Mario manages to get back up but continues to struggle against Donkey Kong who has an easy time at beating no matter what he does until he ends up getting the Super Bell. This gives him the catlike reflexes, speed, and natural weapons to turn this trope on its head to completely clown on Donkey Kong and win the match.
    • Happens to Mario again when he is forced to fight Bowser in Brooklyn; with the Koopa King in full Villainous Breakdown mode, he barely even gets the chance to put up a fight and gets the full brunt of his wrath, sustaining meaningful injuries for the first time in the film. While he's incapacitated, Bowser also turns the tables on the combined efforts of Peach, Toad, and Donkey Kong, all of whom fare only marginally better. However, just like in the battle with Donkey Kong earlier, Mario and Luigi both end up turning the tables by getting the Super Star, handily trouncing Bowser and his entire army in a flurry of swift and powerful attacks.
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • When Peach tries to rally the other Toads into aiding her fight against Bowser, a Toad responds "How? Look at us! We're adorable!", and all of them do the Puppy-Dog Eyes.
    • The reveal of Mario getting the Cat Suit powerup briefly stops the action of the arena battle as the watching audience coos over Mario's new adorable form.
      Toad: He looks adorable!
      Peach: [giggles] He really does!

    Tropes D-G 
  • Darker and Edgier: Downplayed, as while Mario's more insecure than usual and the Koopa Army makes more overt threats of death than the usual Super Mario game contains, the film as a whole retains the bright hues and jolly attitude that's found in the rest of the franchise. However, despite its mostly comedic tone, the movie has one of the darkest portrayals of Bowser in the franchise and some surprisingly dark moments here and there, like the Koopa General's suicide attack, Mario getting brutally beaten up by Bowser, which leaves him with realistic injuries, Luigi and the rest of his prisoners almost dying in the lava, Bowser's possessive obsession with Peach, the destruction of the Ice Kingdom as soon as the movie begins, Bowser almost killing Donkey Kong and Kamek briefly using a torture spell on Toad.
  • Darkest Hour: After the ambush on Rainbow Road, it appears the heroes have managed to defeat the Koopa General and continue to drive towards the Mushroom Kingdom. But the Koopa General manages to make one last attack on Mario by turning into the Blue Shell. The explosion sends Mario and Donkey Kong falling into the ocean where they get swallowed up by a Maw-Ray and with the road destroyed, the entire Kong Army is captured. Only Peach and Toad make it back to order an evacuation of the kingdom, and Peach is coerced into marrying Bowser under threat of the Toads' safety. Finally, Luigi and the prisoners are informed that they will be attending the wedding to be ritually sacrificed.
  • Dark Reprise: Bowser sings another verse of “Peaches” in the mid-credit scene. Although it includes the chorus about how he loves Peach, he specifically mentions Mario, Luigi and Donkey Kong. It's no longer a love song. Bowser is vowing to make Peach his prisoner and eradicate anyone who gets in his way.
  • The Day the Music Lied: During the Penguins' defense of their kingdom from Bowser and the Koopa Troop, the song "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" plays, though their actual assault of using snowballs to hit Bowser doesn't even do anything.
  • David Versus Goliath: In order to win the Kongs' aid, Mario ends up in a duel against Donkey Kong. And that's to say nothing of how everyone is smaller than Bowser.
  • Death Mountain: Bowser's Castle is a Floating Island that has its own active volcano.
  • Death Seeker: Lumalee is actually disappointed when he and Bowser's other captives are saved from being dipped in lava.
  • Decomposite Character: Mario as represented in the film is largely in the ballpark of his modern incarnation with the most obvious change being his voice, and a minor character named Giuseppe seems to represent elements of the character have either changed naturally over the decades or were changed for the adaptation; he is voiced by Charles Martinet doing his usual cartoony Mario voice and is designed in such a way that's clearly meant to reminisce Mario's classic "Jumpman" look (older, red overalls over a blue shirt, a smaller and more practical-looking hat, and a more square body).
  • Declaration of Protection: Toad joins Mario and Peach on their mission, vowing to let nothing harm the Princess.
  • Defeat by Transformation: After the Mario Bros. give Bowser a beating with the power of the Super Star, Peach decides to force-feed him a Mini Mushroom to shrink him, and Toad puts him in a jar so he can't do any more damage.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Subverted after Mario beats Donkey Kong in a fight. DK is instead very bitter, trading snarks and mocking Mario afterwards, setting him up in more of a The Rival position. It isn't until after working together to fend off Bowser's ambush on Rainbow Road and being swallowed by a giant eel that they become more Fire-Forged Friends, albeit with a cooperative rivalry now.
  • Delicious Distraction: In order to distract the front door guards at Peach's Castle so Mario can sneak inside, Toad sets up a mini cook-out and gives the guards some cooked vegetables.
  • Dem Bones: After landing in the Dark Lands, Luigi ends up running from a horde of Dry Bones before fleeing into a castle.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In the "Super Mario Bros. Plumbing" ad, one of the streets in Queens is called "Road St."
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The penguin kingdom did not prepare to fight a fire-breathing dragon/turtle tyrant in the slightest, even disregarding the fact that their only weapons are snowballs and a massive block of ice. Even worse, their castle is made out of ice, making it easy for Bowser to just burn it down.
    • Bowser's own entire plan to invade kingdoms, steal priceless artifacts and murder a whole lot of people in order to propose to Peach is...flawed, to put it mildly. Even his own minions point out that Peach hates his guts, which he flagrantly ignores in his lovey-dovey daze. Of course, it doesn't go well. He has to resort to hostage-taking to get his wedding, and when that goes awry too, he doesn't take it well.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Why on earth would Bowser think Peach will marry him?
    Peach: You really thought I marry you?
    Bowser: Kinda.
    Peach: (pulls out Ice Flower) I'd never marry a monster.
  • Diegetic Switch: At the very end, "Mr. Blue Sky" plays from Mario's clock radio as he and Luigi get ready for the day in their new house in the Mushroom Kingdom. Once they open the door to leave, it switches to being the background music as they greet the Toads and jump into the warp pipe before the Close on Title.
  • Different World, Different Movies: While most of the video games in Brooklyn are indeed real games made by Nintendo, the arcade game that put them in the big leagues, Donkey Kong, has its name changed to Jump Man to avoid the Recursive Canon with Mario, Cranky Kong, and Pauline being real characters in this universe. Cranky Kong in Jump Man, for example, is replaced with an unnamed yeti. It's left unclear how Punch-Out!! Pizzeria factors into this - perhaps the franchise only exists in the form of a sports-themed restaraunt, or perhaps the games exist as-is and have enough cultural impact in this universe to warrant a themed restaraunt. The walls of the pizzeria are covered in what appear to be photos of athletes from the series, so if the games are real, perhaps they went all-in on Celebrity Endorsement in this universe rather than dropping it after the first game.
  • Dirty Coward: The Shy Guys are this. They’re brave when they’re in a pack and can gang up on and capture a frightened and helpless Luigi. But when Luigi is powered-up by the Super Star in Brooklyn? Unlike the rest of Bowser's minions, who at least try to fight back, the Shy Guys try to run away. They don’t get far.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Subverted. Bowser's minions are a bit confused and disappointed when their leader reveals they had destroyed the entire Ice Kingdom and took its prized Super Star... planning to use it as a wedding proposal to Peach. They then are reinvigorated when Bowser promises to use its power to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom if she says no.
  • Disapproving Look: As Mario storms off after his father deems him a disappointment and goes as far as to say that he brings Luigi down with him, everyone gives the father a "You went too far this time" look for hurting Mario's feelings by saying those hurtful words. A quick shot shows the mother shaking her head back and forward, barely hiding her disappointment in her husband.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Mario and Luigi trying to flee Francis the dog causes them to bend the sink. This cascades into every pipe in the bathroom bursting in sequence.
  • Distressed Dude: Luigi is separated from Mario when the two are sent to the Mushroom Kingdom and, after landing in territory that he controls, spends much of the movie in Bowser's clutches. Doing this to his enemies seems to be his modus operandi; every character Mario teams up with on the way to saving his brother correctly assumes this is what happened, and the dungeon Luigi gets thrown in is full to the gills. Apparently, he keeps them there until special events, whereupon he uses them for ritual sacrifices.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Ironically, Mario doesn't actually like mushrooms, picking them off his pasta during dinner. He's disgusted when he has to repeatedly eat red mushroom power-ups during the training montage (Peach even had to force-feed him his first one), even throwing them up at one point. However, he seems to grow accustomed to them after a while.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: After the heroes pull a surprise one-two on Bowser, with Peach literally putting their wedding on ice while Mario and Donkey Kong plow through his army and free his prisoners, the day seems to be saved and the Mushroom Kingdom seems safe; the film even gets its emotional high point as Mario finally reunites with Luigi. Unfortunately, Bowser had a backup plan in the form of a Bomber Bill, setting off the series of events that leads to the actual final showdown.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: After Mario first arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom, Toad pops out at him to loudly warn him that touching the blue mushroom would kill him, before realizing his mistake and clarifying that the mushroom is safe.
  • Double Take: As Bowser tells his army of his plans for the Super Star, he tells them about his ultimate one, which is to use it to convince Peach to marry him. Due to his army cheering to the previous things he said, they cheer again before realizing and being confused over what Bowser just said as the rock music stops.
  • Dramatic Irony: Bowser assumes that Mario is intentionally trying to steal Peach's love from him, and develops seething hatred towards the Brooklyn plumber, eventually swearing he'll personally ruin Mario's life for it. It couldn't be further from the truth. Mario and Peach simply become good friends during their travels with only the most subtle romantic hints between them, and Mario is only accompanying Peach because she's the best chance he has to rescue Luigi, who is being held as Bowser's prisoner. Mario isn't even aware that Bowser's ultimate plan is to marry Peach until the big climatic fight, by which point Peach has already told Bowser why she wouldn't marry him even without Mario.
  • Dream Reality Check: While walking with Toad, Mario wonders aloud if this is a dream. Toad responds by whacking him in the arm with his hiking stick (much to Mario's exasperation), with his pain confirming it's all real.
    Mario: So this is... not a dream?
    (Toad smacks Mario in the arm with his walking stick)
    Toad: That hurt, right?
    Mario: YES!
    Toad: Definitely not a dream.
  • Dub Name Change: Foreman Spike originated in the 1985 game Wrecking Crew with the name "Blacky" in Japan. However, recognizing that the name would be unacceptable today, the "Super Japanese version" of the movie uses the name "Spike".
  • Dub Personality Change: The "Super Japanese version" contains some subtle changes to the characters through dialogue:
    • Mario is more uncertain of himself, and treats the Bomber Bill as a Worthy Opponent. Also, no one makes fun of his height.
    • When told that he can't be scared all the time, Luigi comments that it depends on the circumstances — a possible nod to him being as brave as Mario in the 2D games but a coward in the Luigi's Mansion games.
    • Peach is made even feistier and less formal than the English version.
    • Toad is excessively polite to everyone he meets.
    • Donkey Kong is less of a braggart and less antagonistic towards Mario, forming a friendly rivalry with him. He's also more hyperactive and enthusiastic, requiring Cranky Kong to keep him restrained.
    • Cranky Kong is less cranky overall, being more weary than aggrevated.
    • Bowser isn't as dark as he is in the English version but is slightly more serious.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: While traveling to Peach's castle, Toad clears a path for himself and Mario by shouting that "This guy's brother is going to die imminently!” All it takes from Mario is an unimpressed expression and Toad quickly backpedals and assures him that Luigi will be fine.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fire Peach's design is slightly different than usual in the film, with her hair down instead of in a ponytail. This same design would go on to be used in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, the first game to be released after the film.
  • Easily Conquered World:
    • The Penguin Kingdom. They are courageous, but their only weapons are snowballs. While they do have catapaults that can launch ones big enough to knock a Koopa over, they don't have anywhere near enough to really do anything.
    • The Mushroom Kingdom is implied to be one. Aside from the guards' decorative halberds, there are no civil defenses, police, or standing armies of any sort anywhere. When the leaders are informed of Bowser's threat, their immediate response is to petition the Jungle Kingdom for aid. And when Bowser's flying castle finally arrives, the only action available is to evacuate the city (even the royal guards lay down their arms and flee, presumably on Peach's orders). It's further implied that Toad himself is the only Toad in the whole kingdom willing to fight back, as Peach remarks this aspect alone is amazing and enough to merit him coming with her and Mario. Peach herself makes it clear that she sees the Toads as a people who need her protection and she has no expectations of them protecting her from Bowser.
  • Eat the Camera: Happens three times in the movie, also in the teaser trailer, when the penguins charge at Bowser, with one of them eating the camera in the process:
    • First, when Francis lunges towards Mario and Luigi, his mouth engulfs the camera.
    • Second, a Dry Bones does this when it starts chasing Luigi.
    • Finally, when a Maw Ray eats Mario and Donkey Kong, it eats the camera too.
  • Elite Mooks: The Koopa General gives Mario and Donkey Kong quite a lot of trouble during the battle across Rainbow Road.
  • Embarrassing Animal Suit: When Mario uses a Question Block and gains a Cat Suit as a power-up to aid in his fight with Donkey Kong, the ape is left laughing helplessly at how adorable and fluffy he is. This is before Mario proves the Cat Suit is actually useful due to granting him Super-Reflexes.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The post-credit scene has the camera roving through the Brooklyn sewer until it rests on the Yoshi egg that was a wedding gift and has been left behind. The egg begins to hatch before the camera cuts to black.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Uncles Tony and Uncle Arthur poke fun about Mario and Luigi's commercial, but they drew the line when the father tells Mario that bringing his brother into making reckless decisions is the worst thing he's ever done, causing Mario to leave the table out of hurt. Even they look at the father in disappointment, as if saying that he didn't have to hurt Mario's feelings like that.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Bowser thinks that conquering the Mushroom Kingdom will cause Peach to fall in love with him and that sacrificing prisoners (including a significant number of Peach's Kong allies and the brother of her new friend, whom she was trying to help him rescue) as a "wedding present" will somehow help to woo her over to his side. He seems to be genuinely confused when this plan very predictably doesn't work.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Bowser's ominous floating volcano island is at least three times as big as the city of the penguins. And Bowser himself is the biggest character we see.
  • Evil Is Hammy: From the opening scene alone, it's clear that Jack Black was having as much fun voicing Bowser as the animators were animating him.
    Bowser: I've finally found it! NOW NO ONE CAN STOP MEEEEEE!
  • Evil Overlooker: One poster with most of the main characters shows Bowser overlooking the Mushroom Kingdom with dark clouds behind him whereas the cover shows Bowser towering over the rest of the cast, looking down on them menacingly.
  • Evil Overlord: Bowser, being the powerful ruler of a Mordor-like domain who is shown defeating and conquering a kingdom of penguins in order to obtain an Artifact of Doom that will grant him invincibility.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Bowser has a booming, growling voice as par for the course with other portrayals, courtesy of Jack Black.
  • Exact Words: Bowser convinces Peach to marry him by promising not to harm her Toads if she says yes. He never said anything about sparing people who aren't Toads.
  • Face, Nod, Action: The Mario Brothers face each other and give themselves an affirmative nod to signal when to go into action when they're invincible and about to knock down Bowser's army.
  • Failure Montage: Mario's Training Montage shows him getting slapped by an artificial Fire Bar, carried away by a Bullet Bill and unwittingly dropping on a Donut Lift, leading to Peach rolling her eyes and headdesking on a railing and eventually falling asleep until Mario starts to get the hang of it.
  • Faint in Shock:
    • A background Toad faints when the Toad official mentions the Mushroom Kingdom potentially being doomed if Bowser isn't defeated.
    • There's a Funny Background Event during Bowser's victory party where a Shy Guy removes his mask (seen from the back, of course), causing a few of his comrades to react in horror and one to faint on the spot.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The giant Bomber Bill Bowser orders to obliterate the Mushroom Kingdom out of pure anger is treated as the equivalent of a nuclear missile strike. Oh, and it's ALIVE.
  • Fictional Currency: The traditional Coins from the games make an appearance. Toads are seen using Coin Blocks as makeshift automated teller machines.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: While Mario is throwing it down with Donkey Kong and mistakenly eats a Mini Mushroom, DK takes advantage of his size downgrade by flicking him like a paper football.
  • Fingore: A furious Bowser slams the piano cover on Kamek's claws when he tells him about Mario's progress in the form of flattery. Flattery will get you nowhere, Kamek.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Mario and Donkey Kong become a Vitriolic Best Buds version by the end after fighting together and saving each other several times, complete with DK pulling him, Luigi, their parents, Peach, and Toad in for a Group Hug after the Final Battle is won.
  • Five-Man Band: By the film's climax, Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and Donkey Kong all work together to fight Bowser.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At both the beginning and the end of the movie, there's a shot of the bros' hats being placed on/taken off the coat rack at home. But while in the beginning there were other clothing items also on the rack, the second time it's just their hats. Moments later, it's shown that they've moved out of Brooklyn to the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Flashback Effects: The flashback of Mario defending Luigi from a bully has a noticeable blur effect to the left and right.
  • Flat Joy: This is Luigi's reaction to Bowser saying he plans to Take Over the World:
    Luigi: Wow, uh, heh heh... Yay.
  • Floating Continent: Floating pieces of land are pretty common in the world of the Mushroom Kingdom, with notable examples being the Kongs' floating colosseum and Bowser's volcanic castle which is fully capable of flight.
  • Floating Platforms: Floating platforms can be found everywhere in the Mushroom Kingdom, to the point of becoming Mundane Utility. Toads think nothing of trotting across a paved path hundreds of feet in mid-airnote , while Mario is (understandably) apprehensive about following suit.
  • Flying Seafood Special: One part of the trio's trek to the Jungle Kingdom shows Mario, Peach, and Toad crossing a bridge with Cheep Cheeps jumping from an unseen body of water over them (referencing certain levels from the original Super Mario Bros.).
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: During the final battle, Mario and Luigi get to do one at the onrushing army of enemies while powered up by the Super Star, sending them all flying.
  • Forced Meme: Luigi's "You just got Luigi'd" line when he knocks out a Dry Bones is trailing off the success of another Illumination Entertainment meme, "You just got Vector'd" from the first Despicable Me.
  • Forced Transformation: At the end of the movie, Bowser receives his just desserts by being force-fed a Mini Mushroom and getting shrunk to mini size.
  • Foreshadowing: When Mario, Peach, and Toad briefly visit Yoshi's Island during the Travel Montage, a herd of Yoshis of every color makes an appearance in the background, except for green. Guess what color was the Yoshi egg that hatches in The Stinger...
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Many of the Mythology Gags are shown very briefly on-screen or are otherwise easy to miss. And there are so many of them, being able to "watch [the film] again and again to catch every easter egg" is advertised as the main reason to buy the digital and Blu-Ray versions.
    • While Mario and Luigi are in the current transporting them to the separate kingdoms, the infamous red-and-white striped socks Luigi wears in the Mario & Luigi RPG series are very briefly visible.
    • Early in the movie, Mario follows Toad to Peach's castle, with a massive crowd shot chock-full of details in an otherwise quite busy section. Among them is a brief cameo from various powerups from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Fungus Humongous: The Mushroom Kingdom is littered with giant shrooms, like in the games.
  • Funny Background Event: There's a lot of gems to look for during crowd shots.
    • In the opening, after the penguins hit the Koopa with the snowball (right after Kamek dodged with his magic), one of them with an Eyepatch of Power can be seen lifting said patch to look over at their toppled comrade.
    • During Bowser's victory celebration, a Shy Guy can be seen taking off his mask. As always, while we don't see what's under the mask, we do see the horrified reactions of his comrades.
    • In the same scene, while the camera goes through the crowd, a pirahna plant bites down on a Koopa. Later, when Bowser is rallying his troops, the same Koopa is in the background, joining in on the cheering while still halfway in the plant's mouth.
    • When Bowser announces his intent to marry Princess Peach, most of his army is confused and disappointed, but one Koopa in the corner looks positively delighted with Puppy-Dog Eyes. He even reappears during the wedding, looking just as delighted as he did before.
  • Gatling Good: One of the Kong karts comes equipped with one of those, which they use to briefly repeal the Koopa ambush.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Zigzagged. The Maw-Ray which swallows Mario and DK, holding them harmlessly inside it. Naturally results in Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth with a rocket. This is somewhat justified as Mario and DK were very clearly not in it's stomach acid area yet and DK even comments that they will inevitably be slowly digested to death.
  • Gilded Cage: Almost literally in the mid-credits scene when the now-shrunken Bowser ends up imprisoned in a bird cage. His jailors allow him to have access to a miniature piano... and quickly come to regret it when Bowser uses it to keep playing/singing "Peaches" late into the night.
  • Gladiator Games: Mario fights Donkey Kong in a gladiator arena with numerous Kongs in the crowd, as part of a condition to get the Kong army to help stop Bowser.
  • Go for the Eye: After Bowser launches a Bomber Bill towards the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario's taunts and attacks fail to get its attention until he swipes his Tanooki tail right into one of its eyes.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Mario, Peach, and Toad set out to request the assistance of the Jungle Kingdom's Kong Army against the impending Koopa invasion, since Toads aren't worth much in a fight.
  • Good Castles, Evil Castles: Peach's castle is a brightly lit traditional princess's palace, while Bowser's castle is a mobile fortress used for his attacks on the other kingdoms. Unsurprisingly, Peach and her Mushroom Kingdom is the Big Good while Bowser is the Big Bad.
  • Goomba Stomp: Not surprisingly for the Trope Namer, Mario stomps some Goombas when fighting alongside DK.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Mario and Luigi's commercial has them using fake Italian accents, despite speaking with Brooklyn accents in real life. A nearby customer who hears it is impressed.
  • Green Hill Zone:
    • The Mushroom Kingdom looks more like an adventure world than it does in the games, with giant mushrooms, floating islands, and Peach's castle on top of a mountain.
    • On their way to see the Kongs, Mario and co. pass through an area with a cannon, ramp and floating island in the background that's clearly based on Bob-Omb Battlefield from Super Mario 64.
  • Grin of Audacity: The king of the penguins can be seen smiling with furrowed brows as he orders his soldiers to attack the Koopas — even though his confidence is woefully misplaced.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Twice in a row.
    • The guards at the front door of Peach’s castle are easily distracted by Toad whipping up a cookout for them, allowing Mario to sneak in.
    • After Mario sneaks in, he gets chased by some Toad guards (though the two who gave initial chase had to do a Double Take after he salutes them back), but they only catch him after Peach judo-flips him to the ground.

    Tropes H-M 
  • HA HA HA—No: In the opening scene, Bowser's response to the Penguin King's question about whether or not he will yield is a chuckle followed by "I do not", before having Kamek toss aside the penguins with magic and burning their castle with his fire breath.
  • Head Desk: At one point during the Training Montage, Peach drops her face in disbelief after seeing Mario fail the obstacle course (again).
  • Headbutt of Love: After a last-second rescue from a firey death and finally reuiniting, Mario and Luigi do this between hugs.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Donkey Kong mocks Mario for getting the Super Bell that puts him in a cat suit, but it ends up being exactly what Mario needs to get his head back in the game.
  • Height Angst: Downplayed. Early in the movie, Foreman Spike mocks Mario for being small, and it's implied this has happened to him a lot in his life. However, Mario doesn't let it get to him much, especially after the power-ups help him get temporarily stronger. The Japanese version doesn't make reference to this.
  • Held Gaze:
    • Of the romantic variety - Mario and Peach give each other these at several points in the film, like their first time meeting, before Mario nearly completes the training course, their time in the fire flower field, after Mario defeats DK, and briefly as they're holding hands before Bowser broke free of the ice at his crashed wedding.
    • We get a familial example when Mario rescues and finally reuinites with Luigi, where he breaks their hug for a few moments to hold his face against his and look him reassuringly in the eyes.
  • Heroic Second Wind: A bruised, injured Mario is knocked into the pizza shop by Bowser, and seems on the verge of giving up even as DK, Peach, and Toad try to keep fighting outside. Seeing the broken TV monitor playing the Mario Bros. Plumbing ad, especially the part about saving Brooklyn, gives him the push he needs to get back up and go outside to face Bowser. It's actually briefly subverted when all he gets for his trouble is nearly being incinerated by Bowser's flame breath, but it's then double subverted by Luigi saving him, at which point they both power up with the Super Star and kick Bowser's ass.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Toad does this accidentally when Mario first arrives. Mario finds himself in a forest of huge mushrooms and cautiously approaches a blue one on the ground. Then another "mushroom" behind the blue one — actually Toad kneeling on the ground — yells out Don't Touch It, You Idiot!, which leaves Mario very startled.
  • High-Speed Hijack: During the Rainbow Road sequence, Mario's kart gets blown up by the Koopa General, forcing him to jump off it. He gets a hold of a Koopa Troopa riding a bike, and uses them to get near another whose kart he steals and continues to drive for a while.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Francis the Dog lunges at Mario and Luigi on top of his owners' shower in one of his many attempts to maul them, only to accidentally jump out of the bathroom window after they duck out of the way. Luckily for him, the brothers manage to save him by using a plunger to grab him.
    • As Mario and Donkey Kong are Storming the Castle, Mario at one point kicks a Koopa into his fellows, only for the shell to ricochet back and hit him, costing him his Super Mushroom power-up. Donkey Kong laughs at his misfortune, only to himself fall victim to the same shell when it ricochets again because he isn't paying attention, which takes away his Fire Flower. This doesn't impede their charge much, however, as Mario simply grabs the next powerup he can find — the Tanooki Suit — and keeps right on fighting.
    • A rare literal example - Peach, while fighting all the guests and mooks at her wedding ceremony, takes out a large number of them by lighting King Bob-omb's fuse, causing him to explode. Unfortunately, she herself is too close to him and gets caught in the blast radius too, such that she's slammed into the stairs and loses her Ice Flower power-up.
    • The Super Star Bowser intended to use to conquer the world is the instrument of his defeat.
  • Hope Spot: Luigi manages to escape a horde of Dry Bones after fleeing and barricading himself in an abandoned castle. Then, as he’s sitting down in relief, a flash of lightning shows that there are a group of Shy Guys and a Snifit behind him, and the screen cuts to black as Luigi screams.
  • Humans Are Special:
    • The world of the Mushroom Kingdom doesn't seem to have any native humans, and thus humans who arrive there from elsewhere are treated as special. The Toads all took a liking to Peach when she arrived as a baby from parts unknown, even making her their princess, and Mario is looked at with awe as he walks through the crowd of Toads as he makes his way to the castle.
    • It’s ultimately the actions of three humans that completely ruin Bowser’s plans of marriage and conquest. It’s established early on Peach has been protecting her kingdom from Bowser prior to the arrival of Mario and Luigi. However, the latter duo prove themselves to be a thorn in the Koopa King's side. Mario enlists the support of Donkey Kong and the Jungle Kingdom, who are more than likely willing to help out should another threat surface. Luigi prevents Bowser from using the Super Star for mass genocide, allowing himself and Mario to acquire it. The subsequent battle leaves Bowser with no power, army or fortress.
  • Human Sacrifice: Bowser plans to ritually sacrifice all of his prisoners in "Peach's honor". Thankfully, they're all saved by the combined efforts of Peach, Donkey Kong, and Mario.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Nobody in the film correctly identifies Tanooki Mario, with Donkey Kong calling him a raccoonnote  and Luigi asking why he's dressed like a bear.
  • Ice Palace: The penguins live in a castle made of ice. Bowser is shown easily destroying it with his fire breath.
  • An Ice Person: Thanks to Toad hiding an Ice Flower in her wedding bouquet for her, Peach becomes this at the wedding ceremony, using her powers to take out the Koopa minions and most of the guests, temporarily freeze Bowser himself, and briefly pause the winch that's lowering the prisoners' cages into lava. She loses it after "taking a hit" from being stunned by an explosion from King Bob-omb.
  • I Choose to Stay: After all is said and done, Mario and Luigi decide to settle down and share a house in the Mushroom Kingdom as they help the Toads with rebuilding their town, but they have a Warp Pipe set up outside of their house which presumably leads to Brooklyn so they can maintain their plumbing business and keep in touch with their family.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: As Peach tries to make Mario feel better about failing the obstacle course numerous times, she lies about having took her multiple times to get it right herself but Mario deduces she got it right the first time stating now she's just trying to make him feel better. Peach denies it, but then asks, "Is it working?"
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the opening scene, very few of the snowballs the penguins throw at Bowser and the Koopas even hit their targets (not that it would have made any difference).
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Bowser's jawline and facial expressions in the film strongly resemble Jack Black's. Ironically, some have noted that Mario bears a slight resemblance not to Chris Pratt but to his previous big-screen actor, the late Bob Hoskins.
  • Innocently Insensitive: During dinner with the family, Mario and Luigi's father unintentionally insults Mario when he points out that all he does is bring Luigi along into his decisions that he deems reckless. After Mario hurtfully leaves, everyone disappointingly looks at him as he insensitively asks, "What did I say?"
  • Insult Backfire: During Bowser's fight with Mario, the former tells the latter "you just don't know when to quit". Mario replies that he's been told that before. This is a Meaningful Echo to an earlier scene where Peach tells him not knowing when to quit is a good thing.
  • Internal Deconstruction:
    • The movie dissects the "Bowser kidnaps Peach" dynamic by exploring what kind of being would resort to repeatedly kidnapping someone he fancied. The answer: a dangerously entitled individual with no respect for another person's boundaries. Bowser's "love" for Peach reveals itself to be a dangerous obsession that drives Bowser to kidnap, give death threats, and even destroy an entire kingdom when his "beloved" (read: object of desire) wants nothing to do with him.
    • In a way, it also dissects the plots of most Mario games, where Bowser kidnaps Peach and Mario rescues her, by exploring it in a symbolic way. The answer is: one big Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Bowser kidnapping Peach in the games is like Bowser trying everything he can to keep Mario and Peach apart so he can have Peach for himself, like he does in the movie. But all he succeeds in doing is create a series of events that eventually draws Mario and Peach closer together; in the games Bowser creates an adventure for Mario to power through so he can rescue Peach, who gives Mario a kiss after rescuing her. In the movie, when Bowser kidnaps Luigi and threatens to kill him to spite Mario and destroy the Mushroom Kingdom should Peach refuse his marriage proposal, he ends up creating an adventure for Mario and Peach to bond over, which by the end of the adventure, Mario and Peach are beginning to flirt with each other and even hold hands. Also in a way, Mario ended up saving Peach from being trapped in a loveless marriage with Bowser.
  • Internal Reveal: During his fight against Donkey Kong, Mario gets ready to eat what he thinks is a Super Mushroom. However, the color and size of the mushroom indicates that what he really got was a Mini Mushroom.
  • Ironic Echo: During their fight, Donkey Kong, after beating the absolute crap out of Mario, asks him, "Had enough yet?", and the latter dazedly responds "Not...even...close," prompting DK to Megaton Punch him into the air. Mario actually does manage to recover from this and get the Cat Suit Power-Up soon after. Once he changes the tide of the battle and has knocked DK silly, they swap these lines, although in DK's case, he really is done, and only Mario grabbing him by the tie stops him from falling into the water below, at which point Mario is officially declared the winner.
  • Irony:
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Peach is forced to surrender and marry Bowser after Kamek uses magic to torture Toad. However, she makes a surprise attack during the ceremony with an Ice Flower to make it clear she's not interested. The fact that Bowser was going to sacrifice his captives during the event certainly didn't help his case.
  • The Juggernaut: Anyone who gets the Super Star power-up becomes this. Super strength? Super speed? Invincibility? All in one. Mario and Luigi acquire it before Bowser and curb stomp every soldier who gets in their way, including Bowser himself. What makes this stand out is that Bowser sicced his entire army on them and not even they could hinder the brothers.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: The Brooklyn scenes start with a commercial for the Mario Brothers' plumbing. A shorter version of this advertisement had been released before the movie.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When Bowser and Peach finally meet, he tries to woo her by saying that his love for her made him come out of his shell. She's underwhelmed at best and confused at worst by his pick-up line, and Bowser hisses to Kamek, "I told you that line wouldn't work!"
  • Large and in Charge:
    • True to his game depictions, Bowser is massive compared to his Koopa legions. Only the castle-busting Bomber Bill is larger.
    • Princess Peach is a downplayed example, being normal by human standards but significantly taller and more athletic than the Toads of the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end of the movie, Mario and Luigi emerge from their new home in the Mushroom Kingdom and jump down a warp pipe, supposedly back to Brooklyn to work. All the while, they exchange greetings with their new friendly Toad neighbors, then give one last wave before they disappear down the pipe that looks like a wave goodbye to the audience.
  • Leaning Tower of Mooks: During the wideshot of Bowser's army during the party, a bunch of Goombas standing on each other (called a Goomba Tower in the games) can be seen before falling over.
  • Left the Background Music On: During the scene where Mario and Peach are talking under the starry sky, flute music can be heard. The camera zooms out to show that it's being played by Toad.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The trailers use a Moody Trailer Cover Song version of the iconic "Ground Theme" from Super Mario Bros. as this for Mario. It's used exclusively for the part where Mario enters the Mushroom Kingdom and when the movie's title and cast list are shown off; it's absent in the parts with Bowser's invasion of the penguin kingdom and Luigi running from the Dry Bones.
    • Almost all notable musical compositions from the games get some sort of composition into the film's score, usually at an appropriate point such as the warp pipes or arriving at Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Mario, unaccustomed to the ways of the Mushroom Kingdom, is initially quite inexperienced and susceptible to slipping up. However, later on, he's able to successfully lead a cavalry charge with dozens of karts or use a Tanooki Suit to fly around perfectly and redirect Bomber Bill away from Princess Peach's castle.
    • It's heavily implied that Mario's attitude stems from Luigi’s safety. When the brothers get sucked into the warp pipe, they're both spinning out of control as they fall. But when Luigi screams for Mario, he instantly uses the current to his advantage and launches himself towards his younger brother, briefly taking his hand before they're separated by a junction.
    • Luigi has spent the movie remembering all the times Mario had stood up for him. When Bowser is about to incinerate Mario in a last-ditch effort to stop him getting the Super Star, Luigi blocks the barrage with a manhole cover, being the one who protects Mario for a change. This action grants the brothers enough time to reach the Super Star and whale on Bowser and his army.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The base of operations for the Koopas is a mobile version of this, basically a huge, floating chunk of igneous rock with a lake of lava and even a volcano. Some of the lava is constantly cascading out of the structure, melting the ice cap outside the penguin palace as it drops.
  • Lightning Reveal: When Luigi is being chased by a swarm of Dry Bones in Bowser's realm, he narrowly finds sanctuary in the sanctum of an abandoned castle, much to his relief... only for a lighting flash to signal to the audience that he's surrounded by Shy Guys and Snifits.
  • Little "No": The penguin king gives one when watching Bowser destroy the entire ice palace with his fire breath.
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: The Kitschy Local Commercial gave us an address for a website for the Bros' plumbing business.
  • Logo Joke: As per usual for an Illumination Entertainment film, the film begins with a Minion about to start racing in a go-kart resembling the Mario Kart standard model.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Mendelssohn is played at the forced wedding between Peach and Bowser.
  • Lorre Lookalike: Kamek's voice in this film is a dead-ringer for a quasi-Asian-influenced Peter Lorre.
  • Love at First Sight: ZigZagged - Mario and Peach seem to have this look the moment they lay eyes on each other for the first time... before Peach snaps out of it to deliver a judo flip, realizing he's an intruder to the Mushroom Kingdom castle. Later on, however, the film does go on to indicate a mutual, budding romantic interest between them.
  • Love Interest vs. Lust Interest: Mario and Bowser are respectively this to Peach. While he is astonished by her beauty when he first meets her, Mario never tries to (intentionally) win her heart, focused more on rescuing his brother Luigi, and ends up falling in love with her for her kindness, empathy, and supportiveness. Mario also treats her as a person and an equal and cares about what she wants: for example, when she expresses interest in Mario's world, he invites her to come visit Brooklyn so he can show her around. Finally, even after accomplishing his mission to rescue his brother, Mario still went out of his way to save her kingdom from being destroyed. Bowser, on the other hand, only likes her for her "heart-shaped bangs, the way she floats in the breeze, her immovable tiara", treats her as nothing more than a prize to be won, and even threatens to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom and even her should she refuse to marry him. He also doesn't care about what she wants: he genuinely believes that she would like innocent people being sacrificed, and when she shows that this is not the case, he doesn't hesitate to try and kill her. It's no wonder Peach would be repulsed by Bowser and ends up liking Mario far more than she'll ever like Bowser.
  • Lyric Video: Bowser's song "Peaches" has a lyric video that is available on the streaming service, DVD, and Blu-Ray releases of the film as a bonus feature.
  • Makes Us Even: Mario saves Donkey Kong from drowning before they get consumed by a Maw-Ray. Once they find DK's kart and use its remaining missile as a Rocket Barrel to escape and head to the Mushroom Kingdom, DK declares them to be even.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: In typical franchise fashion, Bowser's floating castle/island has sculptures of his head all over the place, most prominently at the "bow" of the structure. It's a far cry from the penguin castle or Princess Peach's castle, which don't obviously have depictions of their rulers all over (barring the iconic stained glass on the latter).
  • Man-Eating Plant: Several Piranha Plants can be seen amongst the monsters making up Bowser's army — one of which devours an unfortunate Goomba. Bowser makes a bouquet out of three small ones and ends up smashing it because they try to bite Kameknote .
  • Menacing Stroll: In the opening scene, Bowser's Castle lands in front of the penguin's castle and Kamek introduces Bowser, the King of the Koopas, followed by Bowser slowly walking out of the statue of his head attached to the front of his castle while being backed by fire.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • When Mario and Luigi are first sent through the Warp Zone, Mario grabs onto Luigi and tries to reassure him, saying that "Nothing can hurt us as long as we’re together!", unfortunately a moment before the currents separating them. The line is repeated again by Mario after rescuing him from being sacrificed by Bowser; then, finally, during the final battle, Luigi echoes the line while saving his brother from Bowser's fury. The line even becomes literal when this moment allows them both to grab the Super Star and defeat Bowser.
    • The words "Save Brooklyn" are first shown in the Mario Bros. Plumbing commercial at the beginning of the movie. Before the final battle, Mario is battered, bruised and is about to give up, when a TV nearby begins to glitch and starts to play the commercial, only for the audio to start glitching as well and begins to repeat "Save Brooklyn" over and over again. This gives Mario motivation to come out and fight Bowser, so he can really save Brooklyn.
  • Meta Twist: In most forms of prior media, Luigi was treated as the No-Respect Guy who could never get out from under his more famous brother's shadow. In the movie, it's Mario who is treated as The Unfavorite of their father, with him mocking Mario for quitting his job to start a plumbing business and believing he is only dragging Luigi down.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: In-Universe, after the brothers view their commercial on TV, Mario questions if the fake Italian accents they used were “too much”. The Italian-born Giuseppe (Charles Martinet doing the classic Mario voice) overhears and reassures them that the accents were perfect.
  • Miles Gloriosus: When he first appears, Foreman Spike harasses Mario and Luigi not only because they left his company but because they’re shorter than him. In the climax, when Bowser's Fortress is teleported to Brooklyn, Spike immediately runs for the hills and is seen being harassed by four of Bowser's soldiers before Luigi saves him.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Mario is compelled to act a bit cat-like while using the Super Bell. More exaggerated in the Japanese dub, where he ends almost all of his sentences with a compulsive "nyah."
  • Misery Builds Character: While jamming on the grand piano together, Bowser slams the cover on Kamek's fingers in a fit of jealous rage over Mario getting closer to Peach. As the King of the Koopas walks off, Kamek asks if he can lift the cover, to which Bowser refuses, saying "Pain is the best teacher".
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In the opening, the appearance of Bowser and his army in a massive volcanic castle/island is portrayed with a very sinister tone, but the scene suddenly becomes silly when the penguins retaliate with a hilariously ineffective snowball attack. It turns sinister again when Bowser destroys their palace with his fire breath. This whole scene is then followed up by the Mario Bros. comically Stylistic Suck commercial for their plumbing business.
    • When Mario first walks up to one of the blue mushrooms, Toad loudly says that touching it would kill him... before calmly correcting himself, saying that it's perfectly safe.
    • After the Bros’ Big Damn Reunion, Luigi notices the Tanooki Suit Mario is wearing as a result of the Power-Up and asks Mario why he’s dressed like a bear.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The second half of the teaser trailer, where the audience is introduced to Mario, features a slow piano cover of the series' theme tune. This is also used in the official trailer, where Mario arrives at the arena to fight Donkey Kong. This remix of the theme is called "Super Mushroom", was composed by Black Hydra, and was made available to listen to on Black Hydra's YouTube account a day after the official trailer released.
  • Mook Lieutenant: The blue-shelled Koopa General who leads the attack on the heroes on the Rainbow Road and proves himself a serious threat by turning into a Spiny Shell and suicide attacking Mario and Donkey Kong. His attack destroys the segment of the bridge that Mario and Donkey Kong are riding on, sending the two of them plummeting into the water below and halting the Kong Army's attempt to come to Mushroom Kingdom's rescue.
  • Mordor: Bowser's floating kingdom looks similar to the actual Mordor, being a massive floating piece of volcanic landscape. When Luigi first lands on the kingdom, it is a dark and desolate place filled with dead trees, with Luigi being chased by a horde of Dry Bones into a large fortress surrounded by a moat of lava.
  • Mundane Utility: Peach grabs a fireflower, magically transforming her, gaining powers, and donning a lovely white and red ensemble, just to light the campfire.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: This is what Bowser thinks he's doing when he ambushes Mario and company while they travel down Rainbow Road, as it only took the suggestion that Peach might potentially like him, if not now then in the future, to convince him that he was an active romantic rival who must be eliminated at all costs.
  • Musical Nod: All over the place. Nearly every piece of original music in this film contains references to music from the games, with composer Brian Tyler saying there are over 130 spread throughout the soundtrack.
  • My Car Hates Me: The Mario Brothers get a call for a plumbing gig, only to find their van stubbornly refuses to start. Mario gives up and proceeds to leg it to the location, showing off his Le Parkour skills while Luigi clumsily follows behind.
  • My Instincts Are Showing:
    • Evidently a side effect of using the Super Bell in this universe - Mario scratches at his ears like a cat before even registering the transformation, and after defeating Donkey Kong he kneads his paws in delight.
    • Mario later uses the Tanooki suit to rescue Luigi and wags his tail after their Big Damn Reunion.
  • Mythology Gag: Far too many to count, so it has its own page here.

    Tropes N-R 
  • Naïve Newcomer: Since the film is an Origins Episode, this incarnation of Mario is repeatedly shown to be a newbie to adventuring who is terribly inexperienced, out of shape, less powerful, and generally far, far out of his depth. However, he does have some experience in free-running across Brooklyn for a start.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Despite having his wedding with Peach ruined, Bowser manages to beat Mario within an inch of his life out of sheer rage and quickly subdues Peach, Toad and Donkey Kong and almost kills the ape when they all try to help while still possessing the Super Star. What ultimately turns the tables is Mario and Luigi gaining a Heroic Second Wind and Peach kicking a Koopa Shell towards the Star to free it from Kamek's magic wand so Mario and his brother can obtain it, but Bowser makes another attempt to kill Mario with his fire breath when the latter makes a dash for it, and would have succeeded if Luigi hadn't saved his brother by shielding the both of them with a manhole cover, allowing the Mario Brothers to grab the Super Star, defeat Bowser and his army and thwart the King of the Koopas' quest for world domination.
  • Never Say "Die":
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • In the teaser...
      • Kamek is shown twirling his magic rod before cutting to the penguins getting hurled aside to be captured by the Koopas. But if you look behind Kamek as he twirls his rod, you can see the penguins have already been captured by the Koopas, implying that Kamek is actually using a second spell for some other reason. In the film itself, the shot is actually him manipulating some ice for Bowser to step on.
      • Mario exclaims "What is this place?" once as he almost touches the blue mushroom upon his arrival in the Mushroom Kingdom. The movie reanimates this scene to have his mouth completely shut, and the aforementioned line is actually spoken when Mario discovers the large network of pipes underground.
      • Infamously, Mario saying "Mushroom Kingdom, here we come!" is dubbed in as he and Toad hop over mushrooms to get to Peach's castle, which happens after the above scene, instead of "Here we go!" or "Let's-a go!" as would be expected from him. Mario doesn't actually say anything in this scene.
    • The reviews on the bros' plumbing website imply the bros do a few successful jobs before taking on the one which results in them ending up in the Mushroom Kingdom. In the movie proper, they only have the failed job with the dog before Mario sees the news report about the flooding, which leads him taking the initiative and them stumbling upon the dimensional warp.
    • Several instances of this trope involve Bowser:
      • The teaser shows Bowser yelling "Now who's gonna STOP ME?!". The movie changes his line to "Now no one can STOP ME!".
      • Similarly, he's also shown at one point in the later trailers lifting his arms in a Milking the Giant Cow pose and saying "Let's end this," implying he's saying it to Mario at the climax. In fact, this shot is actually from when he arrives at the Mushroom Kingdom with his floating castle and is greeting Peach, and his spoken line here is instead "Princess Peach. Brave as ever".
      • Also, the trailers all make it look like Bowser's main goal is the destruction of the Mushroom Kingdom (which is also what Princess Peach herself believes he wants), and completely conceal that Bowser actually wants to marry Peach and Take Over the World together with her. His line from the trailer of "We will DESTROY the Mushroom Kingdom!", in context, is Bowser explaining to his minions what he plans to do if Peach turns down his proposal, and not just as a first resort.
      • In the trailers, Bowser is made out to be a No-Nonsense Nemesis due to his increased cruelty being emphasized as his defining trait. In the actual film, while still falling under Adaptational Villainy, most of Bowser's screentime portrays him as being Laughably Evil (apart from his Unstoppable Rage in the climax).
      • In the teaser trailer, one of the Koopas is shaking in fear as Bowser walks by. In the movie, they're actually scared of what's coming out of the castle to fight Bowser (until they see that they're penguins).
    • The main trailer that portrays the beginning of Mario's fight with Donkey Kong shows the audience cheering the former on and chanting his name as he enters the arena. In the actual movie, since the entire audience consists of Kongs, they're (not surprisingly) booing him, while DK, one of their own, is the crowd favorite. They only start cheering for Mario after he wins the match fair and square.
    • The main trailer has a quote from Peach: "There's a huge universe out there, with a lot of galaxies. They're all counting on us — no pressure!" It's actually two different quotes from two different parts of the movie. The first sentence is her thoughtful response to Mario wondering if she may have originally come from his world, while the second is her reassuring Mario as the Toads are cheering for them as they head off to stop Bowser.
    • One scene in the trailer shows Mario getting chomped in the face by a Cheep-Cheep while crossing a bridge with Peach and Toad, and they then try to help him pull it off. Only the first part of this sequence actually happens in the film proper.
    • Mario's line from the final trailer of "Yeah, I'm not afraid; I'll do anything for my brother!" is not actually spoken in the movie at any point.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mario leads the Banzai Bill to the Warp Pipe he arrived in the Mushroom Kingdom from so it won't hurt anyone. The resulting explosion is magnified by the Pipe's magic and doesn't just cause damage to both the Mushroom Kingdom and Brooklyn, but also creates a suction that brings Bowser's castle to Brooklyn. In fairness though, it wasn't all Mario's fault...
  • No Help Is Coming: Bowser's army counter-ambushes the Kong Army on the Rainbow Road, and a section of it ends up being destroyed, leaving everyone except Peach, Toad, Mario, and Donkey Kong stuck on the wrong side of the gap (and presumably unable to reach the Mushroom Kingdom in time to help).
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: This seems to be the reason why Humans Are Special in the Mushroom Kingdom — the local residents, the Toads, seem to be entirely simple and peaceful folk with no physical strength to speak of, making Peach an obvious choice for their princess and even an average Joe like Mario turn heads. This is downplayed to an extent, however, as Mario still needs to spend conscious effort adjusting to the world in order to fully tap into his potential, with Peach insisting that she's only ahead of the curve because she grew up there.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: All of the characters in this movie are faithful adaptations of their video game designs with slight adjustments (or a new costume in the case of Cranky Kong), with the notable exception of the Maw-Ray that Mario and Donkey Kong encounter in the ocean, which looks more realistic than its counterpart from Super Mario 64, and also looks different than its design in Super Mario Odyssey, which was also a more realistic version of the character design.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Traversal through the Mushroom Kingdom is... perilous, to say the least. Mario and Toad make their way to the castle using small platforms with no rails, then have to jump to another platform, and then have to step on a series of small brick blocks over a chasm. Mario's nervousness throughout the entire ordeal is completely justified.
  • The Noseless: All of the Toads have no nose, just like their game designs.
  • No-Sell: Mario and Luigi get the Super Star before Bowser, and he responds by stomping them. Not only are they completely unharmed, but they stand completely still even while the impact cracks and breaks the tarmac behind them.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Bowser clearly doesn't take the hint throughout the movie that intimidating, invading, and destroying kingdoms and their inhabitants are not the ways to win a person's heart; not that Peach ever had any interest in him anyway.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Downplayed; While Bowser is played largely as a comical villain for most of the movie, with his lovestruck delusions and even some of his cruel deeds used as a source for jokes, he still is treated as a legitimate threat from start to finish and the characters around him take him and his actions very seriously. All of his silliness practically goes out of the window entirely after Mario and Peach disrupt his wedding plans, and he goes on a no-holds-barred rampage that pushes the boundaries of what the ratings boards will allow.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: A major theme in the movie is how committed Mario has always been to protecting and taking care of Luigi, to the point of it being the driving force of the plot. By the final act of the film, Mario has successfully foiled Bowser's plans in the Mushroom Kingdom, putting him squarely in the path of his subsequent Villainous Breakdown. Mario makes a run for the only thing left that can stop him, the Super Star, but Bowser catches onto him and seemingly burns him to a crisp... only for Mario to look up and see Luigi holding off the attack with a manhole cover, buying the two of them enough time to both grab the Star and turn the tide.
  • Nuke 'em: Turns out Bowser's backup-backup plan in case his wedding with Princess Peach doesn't happen and he's unable to use the Power Star to defeat her is to simply blow her entire Kingdom to smithereens with a Bomber Bill, a Banzai Bill that's apparently powerful enough to do just that.
  • Oblivious Transformation:
    • After grabbing the Super Bell, it takes Mario a few moments of instinctively licking his paws to register his change into Cat Mario.
    • Earlier in the same fight, he also has a comically delayed reaction to noticing he's been shrunk by a Mini Mushroom.
  • Ominous Clouds: Bowser's Castle is accompanied by dark clouds, something noticeable as it looms over the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Bowser has a mobile floating castle that he uses to travel to different kingdoms, and is dark and foreboding with lava dripping out of the sides.
  • The Oner:
    • After Mario and Luigi's van breaks down, there is a long, uninterrupted shot of the bros running through Brooklyn to get to their customer, meant to emulate the look of World 1-1 from the first game. It lasts upwards of 20 seconds.
    • During the climax, Mario and Luigi have been powered up by the Super Star and, after disposing of Bowser's soldiers, curb stomp the Koopa King himself in an uninterrupted sequence.
  • Origins Episode: The film centers around Mario and Luigi visiting the Mushroom Kingdom for the very first time in this continuity, both of them Naive Newcomers instead of established heroes as in the games. Furthermore, Mario physically struggles with all sorts of Platform Game obstacles that he could have easily traversed in the games; Princess Peach even sets up a floating training course for him to practice jumping and other skills, and he still struggles at first.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Mario and Donkey Kong fall off Rainbow Road into the sea far below after their cart is blown up by the Koopa General. Everyone—Peach, Toad, the Kongs, and Bowser and his forces—believe them to be dead, and don't find out they're alive until they show up to crash (and help Peach smash) the wedding.
  • Pac Man Fever: While the movie's setting does not have a specified time period, it can't be earlier than the 2010s given the modern cellphones and One World Trade Center Building. However, the only two video games seen in the movie are Jump Man (this universe's equivalent of Donkey Kong) and Kid Icarus, giving the impression that video games haven't moved on since the 8-bit era of the 1980s, while the F-Zero and Star Fox merch in Mario's room imply that it's at least The '90s.
  • Parental Substitute: The Toads became this to Peach after she entered the Mushroom Kingdom from an unknown homeland as a baby, adopting and raising her as one of them and making her their ruler when she came of age. This is a huge part of why she's so protective of them, and why she instantly caves to Bowser's demands (at least temporarily) when Kamek tortures Toad.
  • Patchwork Map: Peach's castle includes a map showing different-biomed islands that don't seem to be that far away from each other.
  • Pec Flex: Donkey Kong is shown making his pecs dance heralded by him saying "Dancing pecs!" While Cranky Kong doesn't like it, female kongs in the audience enjoy it. He does this again at the end of the movie where he becomes part of the team with Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad.
  • Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: As Mario and Luigi are preparing to drive to their customers' house to fix their plumbing, there's a bunch of short shots of Mario getting the vehicle ready, including him pushing the gas. The car breaks down before the driving happens, forcing the Mario Brothers to go on foot.
  • Penguins Are Ducks: The penguins, much like the ones that appear in the games, have broad, duck-like beaks.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: The Toads are implied to be this; aside from the ceremonial guards at the castle, the Mushroom Kingdom appears to have no defenses whatsoever, and their only recourse upon learning of Bowser's imminent threat is to ask the nearby Jungle Kingdom for help. It's suggested that the main reason Peach and Mario are the heroes of the kingdom are because they're the only people capable of doing any sort of fighting at all.
    "Look at us; we're adorable!"
  • Personal Space Invader: While crossing a bridge on the path to the Jungle Kingdom, a Cheep-Cheep flies itself onto Mario's face.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: In the opening scene, Bowser single-handedly demolishes the castle of the penguins with his Breath Weapon. Justified, as the castle is made of ice and Bowser breathes fire.
  • Piano Cover Slam: As they are both playing on the piano, Bowser slams the fallboard on Kamek's finger as he vents his jealousy when they discuss if Mario could threaten Bowser's plan to marry Princess Peach.
    Kamek: (weakly) May I lift the cover?
    Bowser: (off-handedly, more focused on dealing with Mario) Not yet. Pain is the best teacher.
  • Pipe Maze: The trek to Peach's castle shows Mario trying to follow Toad through an elaborate series of pipes leading up to Peach's Castle. Mario has trouble finding the right series of pipes that will take him up rather than deposit him back in the same spot, though the Toads can navigate them just fine.
  • Planet of Hats: On their way to visit Cranky Kong, their tour of the Jungle Kingdom consists of going through countless roads and jumps, where using vehicles is supposedly the appropriate option a la Mario Kart.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire Flower returns as an item, and Peach, Mario, and Toad come across a whole field of them. Peach touches one, turns into Fire Peach, and creates a Fireball in her hand to make a campfire. An Item Box in the Jungle Kingdom also has one that Mario was about to use until DK blows out the fire.
  • Polar Penguins: The film begins with Bowser invading the penguins' kingdom, which features a giant castle made of ice. The penguins try (and fail) to attack the Koopa Troop with snowballs.
  • Power Glows: The Super Star glows like a lantern when Bowser approaches it. The star's light is bright enough to completely engulf him in light moments later.
  • Power Up Letdown: The Mini Mushroom's status as one is acknowledged In-Universe, with Mario getting beat up horribly by DK after mistaking it for a Super Mushroom. This trope is also exploited in the climax, where the heroes force-feed Bowser one in order to easily imprison him.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • Many of the changes to the leads' designs serve to either make them more effective as animated characters or bring them a little closer to reality, as there's not only an inherently lower suspension of disbelief in film but there's conscious effort within the narrative to make them more grounded in reality in order to contrast the fantastical situation they're thrown in. Their smaller facial features, for instance, give the animators more room for exaggerated expressions, and their outfits are made a lot more overtly practical, with pockets, work-shirt collars, and laced-up boots in place of generic, vaguely dress-like shoes. Their gloves are also thicker and built like actual leather work gloves, with the obvious impracticality of them being white Lampshaded as them needing a "signature look."
    • While a point of controversy prior to the film's release (and beyond, though to a much lesser extent), the decision to replace Mario's iconic cartoon-Italian voice with a much more down-to-earth performance - somewhere in the ballpark of his early Big Applesauce representations, only younger - allows for him to have a much wider emotional range as a protagonist.
    • Since gameplay is no longer a factor to worry about, the way power-ups work in this version of the story has been overhauled to be more straightforward. In the games, the characters' default height is their "Super" size, with one hit of damage causing them to shrink down to their "Small" size, a Super Mushroom returning them to Super, and all other Power-Ups, if acquired while Small, including Super-sizing as an additional effect. In the film, this is simplified to the Super Mushroom's size/strength boost being treated as its own Power-Up, with characters maintaining their default height while using any other Power-Up. This is partially a case of Revisiting the Roots as well, as in the original NES game, Mario's default height compared to other characters tracks with his non-Super size, although Fire Flowers still have the additional effect of making him Super. Additionally, Question Blocks seem to be far less ubiquitous in this version of the setting - the only characters who have ready access to them are royalty, suggesting they're rare and/or governmentally-controlled - to keep just any character from using them and unbalancing the story.
    • While main series ? Blocks have had their integration put into more specific instances, item blocks from the Mario Kart series are Adapted Out entirely. Instead, most of the items are pre-loaded into the karts, with the Kongs having reserves of banana peels (and in Donkey Kong's case, the ability to launch the exhaust systems) and the Koopas having cannons for shells, Bullet Bills (which only have a use similar to the main series of shooting rather than the Kart functionality of transforming) and Bob-ombs. Mario is required to defeat soldiers while driving and use their shells in order to fight back. And the Blue Shell is also a minion.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Bowser provides one in the first scene when the king of the penguins threatens him. It doesn't help that the best the penguins could do was throw snowballs at him.
    Penguin King: That is but a taste of our fury! Do you yield?
    Bowser: [chuckles] I do not. [Kamek tosses the penguins aside with magic, then Bowser melts the castle with his Breath Weapon]
  • Predecessor Casting Gag: Charles Martinet, who usually voices Mario, Luigi, and most of the named male Super Mario characters in the video games, appears as Mario and Luigi's father among other roles in the movie, including a kindly old man that gives his stamp of approval on their sillier Italian accents used in a commercial.
  • Professional Voice Dissonance: The bros affect silly, exaggerated Italian accents for their plumbing commercial, paying homage to how their video game counterparts sound.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera)" from Carmen plays during the brothers' first plumbing job as things go awry.
  • Quaking with Fear: In the opening, one Koopa in Bowser's army is quivering as the leader of the Ice Kingdom approaches. They stop quaking when they see that it's a penguin.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Bowser does this before Peach feeds him a Mini Mushroom after he's defeated by Mario and Luigi wielding the Super Star.
  • Real-World Episode: Thanks to a Bomber Bill exploding in the Warp Zone, the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, as well as Bowser's castle, get sucked in and are sent to Brooklyn for the final battle.
  • Recursive Canon:
    • Mario briefly plays a barely altered original NES console with Kid Icarus. Makes for a very unique example, considering Mario is THE console mascot, prompting viewers to wonder just what this Alternate History version of Nintendo would have to look like and who their mascot is.
    • Subverted with the arcade machine in the Punch-Out Pizzeria. At first glance, it seems to be an exact copy of Donkey Kong, which makes little sense since the movie features Mario and Cranky Kong's first encounter, but a closer look at the arcade machine reveals it's actually a fictional but still very familiar game called Jump Mannote  with Cranky Kong being replaced by a white yeti monster.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Dry Bones have yellow eyes when docile but gain fiery red eyes when they sense prey, making them look ten times scarier, almost resembling Dry Bowser.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: The movie adjusts or combines several aspects of the games to suit the story it's telling.
  • Remake Cameo:
    • Charles Martinet, who usually voices Mario, Luigi, and most of the named male Super Mario characters, appears in the film as several cameo characters. These include Giuseppe, a "Punch-Out Pizzeria" customer who uses Martinet's famous Mario voice and claims that the Mario Brothers' accents are perfectly fine, as well as Mario and Luigi's father.
    • The Latin Spanish dub chose the voices for the Mario family members based on their previous appearances in productions related to the franchise.
    • Also for the Latin Spanish dub, Roberto Carrillo, who voices Kamek, had previously voiced the narrator and a police officer in the 1993 movie.
  • Resized Vocals: Anyone under the effects of a Mini Mushroom gets a high-pitched voice to match their shrunken size, including Mario during his fight with Donkey Kong, and Bowser when Peach feeds him one after he's defeated. The mid-credits singer seemingly averts this, with Bowser singing a reprise of "Peaches" in his normal voice until the camera zooms out to reveal that he's still small and imprisoned in a birdcage inside Peach's castle with his voice sounding squeaky to normal-sized people.
  • Retraux:
    • In the Mushroom Kingdom, there is an "Antiques" shop that sells classic items like the P Switch and the Music Box, stylized in such a way that they resemble 3D renderings of the original 8-bit sprites. Even the font for the "Antiques" sign above the shop uses 8-bit text.
    • While most of the music is done in an orchestral style with live instruments, a brief snippet of the original chiptune version of the Super Mario Bros. "Ground Theme" can be heard right before we first see the Super Mario Bros. Plumbing Commercial.
    • When Mario jumps up with his Standard Kart, the jumping sound effect from the NES games can be heard.
    • Kamek disappearing/reappearing and using his magic are all accompanied by their respective sounds from Super Mario World.
  • Retro Universe: Some visual details in the Brooklyn scenes, particularly their portrayal of electronics, call back to the era the original Mario games came out in - the Punch-Out Pizzeria has several arcade cabinets, Mario himself has an NES in his room, and the Brothers' commercial for their plumbing service displays obvious scan lines. Despite this, more modern technology, such as the smartphone used by the woman in the aforementioned commercial, does appear as well.
  • Revisiting the Roots:
    • Chris Pratt and Charlie Day's voices as the Mario Bros. harken back to their characterizations prior to Charles Martinet's depiction, which codified the idea of them having cartoonishly-heavy Italian accents. Before then, the DiC Entertainment cartoons gave them strong New York accents because they originally come from New York City in that continuity, an idea which has been supported by Shigeru Miyamoto in the games' continuity before being retconned by Yoshi's Island (according to him, the classic arcade Mario Bros. takes place in NYC, but he never specified which borough—the aforementioned cartoons chose Brooklyn, likely because of its large ethnically Italian population, and the film ended up following suit).
    • Bowser's portrayal is closer to many of the earlier games where he was a more menacing and outright villainous character, whereas modern depictions of him are typically more comical (albeit still formidable) and having a somewhat amicable relationship with the heroes sometimes. This isn't to say he doesn't have funny moments in the movie, but the opening scene where he attacks the penguin kingdom was clearly chosen for the teaser trailer to establish just how powerful a villain he is. It gets taken further when he interrogates Luigi, implicitly threatens to murder him by holding his claw to Luigi's throat, and then explicitly threatens to murder him as a way of breaking Mario.
  • Rewatch Bonus: When the brothers are attacked by Francis the Dog, Mario stands in front of Luigi, while the latter hides behind a bathroom mirror, using it as an improvised shield. In the climax, Luigi uses a manhole cover to protect Mario from Bowser's fire breath. After being granted the Super Star power-up, Luigi uses the shell of a Dry Bones as a shield before throwing it as a projectile at a Hammer Bro.
  • Ride the Rainbow: Rainbow Road makes up one of the climactic battles, with Mario, Toad, Peach, Donkey Kong, and numerous Kong comrades piloting karts and motorbikes on it while pursued by Bowser's forces.
  • Rotten Rock & Roll: In Bowser's kingdom, we see him and his army partying and rocking out to a Koopa rock band.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • In the opening, Kamek explicitly introduces Bowser as "the King of the Koopas", and not only does Bowser personally lead his army against the penguins, he's also the one who destroys the penguins' palace with his Breath Weapon once the latter have been subdued.
    • The Penguin King is this, too, leading his armies (unsuccessfully) against Bowser with snowballs.
    • Peach is revealed to be one as well, deciding to take the fight to Bowser herself and being proactive enough to join Mario and Toad on their adventure, making the three a Token Trio.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The heart arch at the altar in two ways.
    • Mario and Luigi's Big Damn Reunion in front of the heart arch after the former rescues the latter symbolizes their brotherly relationship's status as the heart of the movie.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus example, but Mario and Peach holding hands in front of the heart arch symbolizes the potential beginning of a future romance between them.

    Tropes S-Z 
  • Save the Jerk:
    • When Francis the dog lunges at Mario and Luigi, but ends up jumping out the window when they dodge it, they hoist him back up using a plunger.
    • Despite incessantly beefing with each other up until that point, Mario doesn't hesitate to save Donkey Kong from drowning when the two of them get knocked off the Rainbow Road.
    • During the climax, Luigi takes a moment to save Spike from being hassled by a few of Bowser's minions while powered up with the Super Star, even saying hi for good measure.
  • Say My Name:
    • Mario and Luigi get multiple while traveling through the warp pipe: first when they see and try to reach each other, and then when they're knocked apart and sent flying in opposite directions.
    • Peach to Mario in his fight with Donkey Kong after being punched silly and sent flying into the air, although she's actually trying to get his attention and point out the item box nearby for him to grab and obtain a powerup.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: A warp pipe variation. Mario tries to figure out how to use the pipes, only to pop out of ones right behind him or one just slightly above. It doesn't help when he sees there are a whole lot more pipes to go through, prompting him to complain, "Aw, come on!"
  • Scream Discretion Shot: After Luigi shelters from the Dry Bones inside the Dark Lands' castle, he's relieved about not having to deal with them again, only for lightning to reveal Shy Guys and Snifits behind him. The screen conveniently cuts to black and stays like that when Luigi realizes they're after him and screams.
  • Seal the Breach: Mario and Luigi's first job is fixing a leaky bathroom faucet. While they fix it with no issue initially, a tussle with the clients' dog damages the plumbing, and causes more leaks throughout the bathroom that the brothers try to physically seal as more erupt.
  • Second-Person Attack: The punch Donkey Kong tries to give Mario after he gets the Cat Suit is shown from a first-person perspective. Mario dodges it, realizing at the last second that he has super reflexes as an ability from the suit.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Upon hearing about Mario impressing Peach and them traveling together, even though they're only becoming good friends, Bowser immediately sees Mario as a rival for Peach's love and does everything he can to kill Mario and rid himself of competition. But all he succeeds in doing is bringing Mario and Peach closer than before, to the point where they are starting to flirt with each other and even hold hands, therefore setting in stone for their bond to blossom into romance in the future. For bonus ironic points, the only reason Mario seeks out Peach in the first place is to enlist her help in saving his brother Luigi from Bowser.
  • Sequel Hook: The Stinger involves a Yoshi egg hatching next to the warp pipe entering the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Shared Universe: Several smaller Nintendo franchises that take place in the real world get small cameos and nods in Brooklyn, most prominently the fighters from Punch-Out!! appear framed in the Punch-Out Pizza shop in the Bros' first scene.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Lumalee is originally referred to as a "he", but in the Croatian version (both dubbed and subtitled) he's female.
  • Shipper on Deck: Toad, Donkey Kong, and to an extent Luigi, are this to Mario and Peach in various ways:
    • Toad sets the mood by playing his flute while Mario and Peach share a Held Gaze under the starry sky in the Fire Flower field, and later stands up for Mario when Donkey Kong mocks his flirting, saying and guaranteeing that a princess like Peach will go out with Mario.
    • Donkey Kong teases Mario over flirting with Peach on Rainbow Road, but later on after they crash Bowser's wedding, he smiles at Mario and Peach holding hands when they reunite.
    • When interrogated by Bowser about whether princesses like Peach find Mario attractive, Luigi has this to say:
      • When Mario reunites with Peach, Luigi is seen putting his hands on his hips with a smile that says, "My big bro sure knows how to catch a girl's eye there!"
  • Ship Tease: Mario and Peach get moments like these throughout the movie, just like in the games. Bowser explicitly considers him a rival for her affections, DK makes fun of him for supposedly flirting with her, Luigi and Toad both get mild Shipper on Deck moments for them at different points, and Mario gets a POV shot of Peach on her motorbike, while Peach herself shows general excitement when asking him about his world, admiring how cute he is as Cat Mario, and getting openly affectionate when he grows into a true hero.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Lumalee and the Penguins disappear after being rescued by Donkey Kong. The finale becomes more dangerous and violent from then on.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Upon receiving the call for their first plumbing job, Luigi excitedly shouts "We got one!"
    • When Bowser and Kamek jam on a piano, Bowser plays the underground theme while Kamek mimics the coin, mushroom, and 1-Up sound effects. This is an homage to Martin Leung, the viral pianist who famously played a Mario medley while blindfolded.
    • The entrance to the Jungle Kingdom strongly resembles the gate in the original King Kong.
    • Mario's entrance into the arena for his fight against Donkey Kong is framed almost exactly the same as Maximus first entering the Colliseum in Gladiator. Donkey Kong makes his own reference to the same film after delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle against Mario and then asking the crowd, "Isn't this what you came for?!".
    • Foreman Spike's outfit and tools make him kind of look like Fix-It Felix, himself another Mario expy.
    • Mario and Donkey Kong get devoured by a Maw-Ray but manage to get themselves out by using one of the rockets on DK's kart in order to force it back to the surface and open its mouth so they can fly out, similar to Pinocchio and Gepetto escaping the Terrible Dogfish by making it sneeze.
    • The final blow landed on Bowser is a Diving Kick delivered by two similarly dressed heroes, a nod to the classic Rider Double Kick, as well as Shinji and Asuka's synchronized attack.
    • When Peach in her wedding dress uses an Ice Flower, she looks and fights a lot like Elsa.
    • The post-credits scene with the camera panning through an underground area before moving in on a single egg as it hatches (into a Yoshi, in this case) is an homage to the final scene of Tristar's Godzilla. The music is even very similar.
    • The final battle against Bowser ends with him firing his flame breath straight up into the sky as the Super Starred brothers descend to stomp on him, framed in a very King of the Monsters-esque fashion.
    • After curb-stomping Bowser, Mario and Luigi angrily stare him down, reminiscent of the Avengers after they defeat Loki.
  • Shy Shelled Animal: In the opening, one Koopa Troopa (a turtle-like creature) is seen shivering with fear, with his head tucked into his shell, when the leader of the Ice Kingdom approaches.
  • Significant Name Shift: Initially, Foreman Spike gives the Mario Bros. derisive nicknames like "Stupid Mario Brothers" at the Punch-Out Pizzeria or "Subpar Mario Brothers" in his review of their plumbing business as a way to belittle them. Once Mario and Luigi save him and the rest of Brooklyn from Bowser and his army, he leads the citizens to cheer for the heroic duo and refers to them as the Super Mario Brothers.
  • Silly Love Songs: Bowser's love song "Peaches" is Played for Laughs, given how masculine of a bad guy he is and how rarely he sings in the series. You certainly wouldn't expect a big, scary turtle general to have a genuine, heartfelt song for his crush. The word "Peaches" gets repeated constantly at the end, as if he's already run out of ideas for lyrics, and escalates to Chewing the Scenery-levels of soulful.
  • A Simple Plan: The Mario Bros.'s first plumbing job is a bathroom sink that is leaking. Mario does seem to easily fix it, but the owner's pet dog disrupts things because Luigi accidentally broke its favorite toy, which ends up with the bathroom being wrecked.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The film opens with Bowser and his forces invading an icy kingdom populated by penguins.
  • Snowball Fight: When Bowser invades a kingdom of penguins, its king orders his troops to throw snowballs at the invaders. Unsurprisingly, outside of one Koopa getting knocked out by a large, catapult-flung snowball, this does absolutely nothing.
  • So Proud of You: Mario and Luigi's father doesn't hide how impressed he was of Mario for defeating Bowser and saving Brooklyn.
    Mario and Luigi's father: Mario, you were amazing!
    Mario: (touched by his approval) Thanks, dad.
  • Spanner in the Works: Mario and Luigi, two Brooklyn plumbers, ruin Bowser's plans of marriage and conquest when nobody else can:
    • Mario's arrival in the Mushroom Kingdom kickstarts a series of events which lead to Bowser's defeat. His determination to find and rescue Luigi impresses Peach enough that she allows him to accompany her on her journey to the Kong Kingdom to recruit Cranky and his army. Mario fights and beats Donkey Kong, the champion and Cranky's son, earning Peach another ally against Bowser. Even when the Kongs are captured by Bowser, and it seems that Mario and Donkey Kong have died, the pair escape the Maw-Ray which swallowed them and begin an assault on Bowser’s army, disrupting his wedding and rescuing Luigi and the prisoners. Mario then proceeds to save the Mushroom Kingdom from being blown up when Bowser launches a Bomber Bill. And to add further insult to Bowser's injury, it is possible that Mario may have unknowingly garnered some romantic attention from Peach.
    • Luigi may have been chased, captured and tortured the moment he arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom, but he still plays a significant part in Bowser’s downfall. The Mushroom Kingdom has been saved, but the final battle has come home to Brooklyn, and Bowser gets dangerously close to winning. He's incapacitated Donkey Kong and all Peach can do whilst restrained is kick a Koopa shell at the Super Star to knock it towards Mario. Bowser shoots a stream of fire at Mario and it looks like he’s about to be incinerated. Luigi saves Mario by shielding them both with a manhole cover. This action buys the brothers enough time to reach the Super Star and turn the tide of the fight.
  • Special Effects Failure: In-Universe. Mario's "superhero" commercial segment has him and Luigi quite clearly planking on stools in front of footage of Brooklyn to make it look like they're flying.
  • Springy Spores:
    • When Mario arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom, he bounces off a mushroom before landing on the ground.
    • During the final battle, Luigi uses a mushroom as a springboard to propel himself behind Bowser and blindside him with a Question Block.
  • Squishy Wizard: Kamek is taken out by a single punch from Peach.
  • Stacked Characters Poster: The movie poster depicts the various Mario characters stacked on top of each other, with Bowser evilly glaring down at them.
  • Stealth Insult: The Mario Bros. write on their own website that they started their own plumbing business after getting fed up with "spiky" bosses, making a subtle jab at the expense of Foreman Spike, who resents the fact that they left his employ and still bullies them to this day.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Cranky Kong is the Kongs' king. That is, he's the King Kong?
    • The Jungle Kingdom has Kong mechanics that help Mario and company build their karts. One could call these mechanics grease-monkeys.
    • The cheaply-made "Super Mario Bros. Plumbing" commercial was mentioned to have cost Mario and Luigi their life-savings to air. It comes back in the climax to give Mario his Heroic Second Wind despite his injuries, so his life-savings did end up saving his life.
    • Cranky Kong calls Lumalee a “ray of sunshine”. Given that Lumalee actually is a star, he literally is a ray of sunshine.
    • Luigi is shoved to the side for the bulk of the feature as he gets taken hostage, but after Mario rescues him, he becomes an Instant Expert despite not training the way his brother did and helps to win the day. Would than mean he, true to perhaps his most famous Internet meme, Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing?
  • The Stinger:
    • In a mid-credits scene, the tiny, defeated Bowser croons a somber reprise of “Peaches” while locked up in a cage. Then a Toad barges in and tells him to pipe down.
    • A scene at the end of the credits shows a green Yoshi egg hatching in the sewers below Brooklyn, complete with the Yoshi calling out his name after it cuts to black.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Bowser uses his fire breath on a Koopa Troopa at one point, turning him into a Dry Bones.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The commercial for Mario and Luigi's plumbing business, complete with bad acting and "special effects" that are just the brothers lying on stools while fans blow their capes.
    • Bowser's musical tribute to Peach, filled with clichés and lines that are just her name repeated over and over again.
    • The official website has an intentionally broken image that leads to a 404 page with an easter egg.
  • Suicide Attack: After it seems like Mario and his friends are about to get away from Bowser's army on Rainbow Road, the Koopa General goes inside his Spiny Shell and speeds towards them and slams down on Mario and Donkey Kong's kart, exploding. He is never seen again after this.
  • Super Mode: Some of the power-up transformations from the games appear in the movie:
    • Mario uses a Super Mushroom numerous times to get bigger and stronger—much to his chagrin at first, since he hates mushrooms—starting with attempting to master Peach's training course, where he chokes down many of them.
    • He gets a Cat Suit via a Super Bell during his fight with Donkey Kong, and a Tanooki Suit with a Super Leaf just in time to arrive at Peach's wedding and rescue Luigi.
    • Peach uses a Fire Flower (as does DK, briefly, when teaming up with Mario), and she also gets an Ice Flower to wreak havoc at her own forced wedding.
    • Mario and Luigi grab the Super Star in Brooklyn, and become invincible. They quickly sweep through the entire Koopa Army and punch the practically unstoppable Bowser so hard into his own castle, it turns to rubble.
    • Inverted, of course, with the Mini Mushroom, though one minor perk it has compared to the games is that it does still give you an "extra hit". Mario ends up being shrunk by one while fighting DK, and once Bowser is defeated by the Mario Bros. in Brooklyn, Peach force-feeds him one and captures him.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: In the Dark Lands, one of the Dry Bones trips and falls whilst chasing Luigi and, like the games, falls to pieces. However, its head continues to bounce after Luigi.
  • Super-Reflexes: Mario becoming Cat Mario during his fight with Donkey Kong gives him this, able to swiftly dodge all of his attacks before dealing a final blow. It's how he wins the match and the Kong army.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Luigi, abducted by Bowser, offers that he doesn't know "every human being with a mustache, wearing an identical outfit [to Luigi's] with a hat with the letter of his first name on it".
  • Swallowed Whole: After falling off the Rainbow Road, Mario and Donkey Kong are swallowed in a single gulp by a giant Maw-Ray.
  • Tactical Door Use: While fleeing from a group of Dry Bones, Luigi runs towards a castle and holds down the entrance before they could catch him.
  • Tail Slap:
    • Mario uses a spinning tail slap with the Tanooki Suit to get Bomber Bill's attention. It works, but it really doesn't take well getting whacked in the eye.
    • Bowser gets to do it himself to Mario in the final battle, sending him flying.
  • Take Over the World: Like the games, this is part of Bowser's goal in the film, although it seems to be secondary to winning Peach's love; more specifically, he wants to marry her and then do this together with her, thinking it'll impress her. Naturally, he's sorely mistaken.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • The Koopa General reveals himself to be a personified Blue Shell, spitefully transforming into the infamous power-up after his ride is wrecked and blowing up Donkey Kong's kart, sending both him and Mario plummeting from the track.
    • When his wedding with Princess Peach goes belly-up, Bowser orders the launch of the Bomber Bill in a fit of rage, essentially trying to nuke the Mushroom Kingdom as a last resort despite being frozen and unable to avoid going down with it.
  • Tanuki: Mario spends a good portion of the film's third act wearing his Tanooki Suit, using it to rescue Luigi and save the Mushroom Kingdom by misdirecting the Bomber Bill away from it.
  • Targeted to Hurt the Hero: Played with in regards to Luigi. He's originally just chased and captured by Mooks as a stranger/intruder in the Dark Lands, but by the time he's brought before Bowser, the latter has already heard about Mario working with Peach and entered Crazy Jealous Guy mode, so upon learning that they're brothers, threatens to kill Luigi in revenge for Mario "trying to steal" Peach. Bowser does end up trying to murder Luigi, but not just him exclusively, and not specifically to spite Mario; he decides to sacrifice all of his prisoners at his wedding to Peach—by which point he thinks Mario is already dead after falling off Rainbow Road—in an extremely misguided attempt to impress her and prove his love for her.
  • Temporary Platform: Mario gets tripped up on a Donut Lift during his training, thinking he has finally gotten that part of the obstacle course taken care of when the Donut Lift falls, taking him with it.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • As he lays claim to the Super Star, Bowser yells out in triumph, "NOW NO ONE CAN STOP ME!!!" Cut to the Super Mario Bros. Plumbing commercial.
    • The scene where Mario and Luigi are warping, Mario says "Nothing can hurt us as long as we're together!"; almost as soon as he says this, they're knocked apart, and Luigi accidentally flies in the direction of the Dark Lands.
  • This Song Goes Out to TV Tropes: The soundtrack version of Bowser's Villain Love Song "Peaches" begins with a short speech mentioning he's dedicated it to his "one and only true love", Princess Peach.
  • Title: The Adaptation: The film is called The Super Mario Bros. Movie — which was possibly done to differentiate the film from the 1993 live-action film. Averted with its Korean title, which is simply Super Mario Bros.
  • Token Trio: Mario, Peach, and Toad become this (and a Big, Thin, Short Trio in that same order), with Luigi being the one who gets kidnapped and interrogated as to Mario's whereabouts by Bowser this time.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Super Star. Yes, it makes the one who uses it incredibly powerful and completely impervious to harm, but the power only lasts a short time and Bowser searched for years to find just one. In light of that, it makes sense that he would wait to use it until the best moment.
  • Training Montage: Set to "Holding Out for a Hero". Princess Peach sets up a training course for Mario to go through. After initially failing, Mario eventually gets the hang of things and even punches out a cardboard cutout of Bowser.
  • Trapped in Another World:
    • The movie retains the origin story as depicted in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and other early Mario media, with the brothers being sent to the Mushroom Kingdom via a warp pipe from Brooklyn. The alternate-world cast gets "reverse-warped" for The Final Battle.
    • Peach cannot leave even if she wanted to as she has no idea where she is from and no memory of her birth parents due to wandering into the Mushroom Kingdom via a warp pipe as a toddler.
  • Trauma Button: While Luigi is being taken to Bowser, he has a painful flashback on when he was a little toddler, a bully picked on him by stealing his flag and knocking over his tower before Mario comes to his defense and the bully ends up running away. It's more painful since he and Mario had always been side by side and never been apart from each other for a long time.
  • Troll: Cranky Kong put power ups in boxes to help level the playing field between Mario and DK, but he also included the Mini-Mushroom and Super Bell for nothing else than his own amusement. The cat suit ended up back firing, since it gave Mario increased speed and reflexes, and equips him with a pair of claws that helped Mario win.
  • Truer to the Text: Just glancing at the poster and teaser trailer shows that this adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. games is much closer visually to its source material than the 1993 live-action movie. Mario, Bowser, Toad, the Mushroom Kingdom, and the rest look similar to their game counterparts save for some relatively minor Art Evolution and Peach looking Disneyesque, in contrast to the changes the 1993 film made like turning Bowser into a human(oid) character descended directly from dinosaurs and making Dinohattan (its Mushroom Kingdom equivalent) a realistic-looking sci-fi dystopia.
  • Underequipped Charge: The opening has the penguins charging towards Bowser merely tossing snowballs at him and only hitting a single Koopa with a block of ice.
  • Universally Beloved Leader: Among the vanishingly few things Peach and Bowser actually have in common, though they're on completely opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of how much they deserve it - Peach cares for the Toads like her own family, which turns out to be no coincidence, while Bowser is a petulant tyrant whose troops nonetheless adore him seemingly out of pure enthusiasm for violence.
  • Unnamed Parent: For the first time in the history of the franchise, Papa and Mama Mario appear, but their names are never mentioned.
  • Unseen No More:
    • After only a brief, anonymous appearance at the end of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and being absent ever since, the movie surprised everyone by properly introducing Mario and Luigi's parents, plus an extended family for good measure note .
    • This is the first time we ever see a Koopa that lives inside a Spiny Shell, with the Koopa General revealing himself to be one at the end of the Kart sequence, since the shells have only ever been used as items in that series with their owners either separate from them or hidden inside.
  • Unstoppable Rage: At the climax of the movie, Bowser has lost his mind and is furious at Mario for ruining his wedding to Peach. So he pulls no punches at beating down Mario however he can when they and other Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants end up in Brooklyn. When Luigi joins the fight, and he and Mario get the Super Star power-up, Bowser screams at his men to “Rip (the brothers) to pieces”.
  • Untouchable Until Tagged: How power-ups operate, according to Peach. Similar to most games, just one good hit will rob you of any ability you have from an obtained item. The only power-up that is exempt from this rule is the Super Star, which, just like in the games, makes the user(s) temporarily invincible. Considering Bowser attempts to stomp Mario and Luigi after they acquire it, nobody in the Mushroom Kingdom knows this.
  • Vanity License Plate: On a close look, the license plate on the Mario Bros' van reads "M4R10BR0".
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: The shots of Bowser's army shows a few Koopa Paratroopas with white birdlike wings in addition to their arms and legs.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Downplayed with Bowser and Kamek: Bowser is huge, strong, ambitious, ruthless, unhinged, and has both dangerous fire breath and a willingness to use it even on minions who so much as annoy him. His dragon Kamek has powerful magic that includes flight, teleportation, and telekinesis, and probably includes object transformation if the games are any indication. Both have plenty of comical moments, but Bowser is clearly the one in charge and more dangerous than Kamek, as the scene where they play piano and Kamek's fingers are slammed under the key cover (and kept there at Bowser's command) clearly demonstrates.
  • Villain Love Song: Bowser gets one called "Peaches", about how he plans to win her love by showing off the Super Star that he stole.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The movie opens with Bowser's army invading and conquering the Ice Kingdom and stealing the penguins' Super Star. This was also the first scene that the very first trailer showed.
  • Villainous Breakdown: During the climax, Bowser completely loses his mind in rage at Peach trashing her forced marriage to him, and from then on just tries to kill all the heroes as viciously as he can, while forcing Mario to bear the brunt of his wrath, blaming him for ruining his wedding.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • After stealing the Super Star from Ice Land, Bowser and his minions celebrate with a wild party, complete with several Koopas performing the theme of Fury Bowser in a heavy metal band, with Bowser bobbing along with the rhythm while sitting on his throne, and later headbangs together with everyone else after telling his army about his Evil Plan.
    • Bowser plays a Villain Love Song dedicated to Peach called "Peaches" on his grand piano, and later jams the underground theme together with Kamek while discussing Mario.
    • Subverted with Bowser's self-described "fairy tale wedding"; he and his troops pull out all the stops to plan a completely normal white wedding with all the usual festivities and traditions, with the one discrepancy being setting it all to the sound of his prisoners being ritualistically sacrificed. He doesn't even bother waiting for the vows to finish first.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Mario and DK eventually become this; they still having their bickering dynamic, but empathize and bond with each other over their daddy issues, and work together as a team increasingly well.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • The penguin king, despite being a penguin, has a surprisingly deep and regal voice courtesy of Khary Payton. His voice is ironically almost as deep as Bowser's.
    • Most of the Toads have the exact kind of high-pitched voices you would expect from such creatures. However, the proprietor of the Antiques shop has a deeper and raspier voice, and one blue Toad in Peach's court has a deep and dignified voice (courtesy of Eric Bauza).
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: At one point, Mario hurls when training with Peach due to the amount of mushrooms he's been eating, which is already pretty ironic considering that Mario hates mushrooms.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss:
    • The Mushroom Kingdom has floating islands with waterfalls that suddenly end in mid-air.
    • Bowser's castle similarly has lava falls at several points around its perimeter, which melt parts of the Penguin Kingdom as it passes over.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Bowser's fire breath is a straight, precise beam of flame, which he uses to destroy the penguins' ice castle.
  • We Can Rule Together: Part of Bowser's plan to Take Over the World involves marrying and becoming a Ruling Couple with Princess Peach. He even incorporates this into his proposal to her, directly asking her to rule the whole world with him "together forever". Peach, of course, is disgusted and refuses.
  • Wedding Smashers: Peach causes havoc during her own forced wedding to Bowser after Toad smuggles in an Ice Flower in her bouquet. Mario and Donkey Kong rendezvous with them to join the action.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Both Mario and Donkey Kong have issues with feeling that their respective dads just see them as failures, and even bond over this in the stomach of the Maw-Ray.
  • Wham Line: During the Rainbow Road sequence, Mario and crew have finally destroyed the vehicle of the Koopa General, and it seems like all the heroes will make it off the road together... only for the General to stride Out of the Inferno and drop the line that lets every Mario Kart fan in the audience know exactly how bad things are about to get:
    Koopa General: You can't escape ME!
    Mario: What?!
    (The General takes off his helmet and unfurls his Paratroopa wings)
    Koopa General: BLUE SHELL!!
  • Wham Shot: Mario gets sent back to Brooklyn as the Mushroom Kingdom's warp pipe vacuums in at an alarming rate. Spike was just about to yell at him for getting in his way when, with no warning whatsoever, Bowser's airship bursts out of the ground, bringing the final battle to Brooklyn which only a few incarnations in the past have done.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never see what happens to Kamek after Peach kicks the Super Star from him.
  • Where It All Began: After Mario leads the Bomber Bill to the pipe where he came from, he opens a rift forcing himself, his friends, and his enemies into Brooklyn, making the final battle take place there. Mario is even thrown into the Punch Out Pizzeria where he and Luigi were first introduced, and their commercial seen at the beginning of the film is what motivates Mario to get back up.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: In the Mario Plumbing ad, the woman acting for the commercial is confused by the script she's reading.
    Woman: Thank you, Super Mario Bros! It seems like the only thing you haven't drained... is my... bank account? *confused shrug*
  • Widely-Spaced Jail Bars: Bowser keeps his prisoners in cages with widely spaced bars. Justified as those cages are hanging above a lava pit and the room has guards in flying Clown Cars. The flying Lumalee could easily escape but doesn't, probably because he's a Death Seeker.
  • Willfully Weak: At the start of his challenge duel, Donkey Kong boasts that he won't need to use any of the power-ups in the arena to defeat Mario.
  • The Worf Barrage: The first scene sees Bowser and his army of Koopas invading a kingdom of penguins. The penguins charge at Bowser and his army, but all they do is just throw snowballs at everyone. Bowser doesn't even move as the snowballs pelt him. The worst thing that happens is one Koopa Troopa gets knocked over by a snowball, but it's rendered moot when Bowser unleashes his flame breath on the castle and melts it all at once.
  • World of Badass: Mostly downplayed as the Toads aren't particularly shown to be strong in general, but platforming is practically a basic skill needed whenever you're in the Mushroom Kingdom. Toad's tour shows that things like jumping across moving platforms several stories above the ground is something that Toads calmly go through on a daily basis. Just living with them ensured that Peach was able to perform impressive aerobic feats in a dress and high-heels. Mario, as a comparison, is incredibly athletic by human standards yet still struggles with platforming for quite a while.
  • Worth It: The Mario brothers are completely confident that using their life savings to produce their terrible commercial (and buy airtime on network TV) for their plumbing business was worth it, detractors be damned.
  • Would Hit a Girl: As much as he tried to delude himself into being in love with her, the second Peach turns on Bowser he tries to kill her.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the dozens of prisoners Bowser intends to sacrifice in Peach's honor is a young Luma.
  • Wronski Feint: In the climax of the film, Mario leads the Bomber Bill toward the Mushroom Kingdom warp pipe that leads back to Brooklyn, jerking up at the last moment to ensure that only the Bill goes in.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Implied. Mario and Luigi fell into the pipe some time at night, then although Mario's journey takes place over the course of at least two days, when he and Luigi return to Brooklyn, it's only sunrise. Combined with Mario and Luigi's family not too concerned with the bros' disappearance as they casually enjoy breakfast and it suggests that only a single night has passed in the real world while Mario and Luigi were in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Because of course the film was going to invoke this trope. In this case, a pair of guards initially deny Princess Peach is at the castle Toad brings Mario to for help finding Luigi. This leads Toad to prepare a Delicious Distraction so Mario can sneak in.
    Mario: Oh, hey. I need to see the princess. It's an emergency.
    Blue Guard: What princess?
    Yellow Guard: I never heard of any princess.
    Blue Guard: Oh wait, I did. Your princess, though, is in another castle.
    Yellow Guard: Oh yeah, that's right.
    Blue Guard: You should try another castle, maybe.


Video Example(s):


Blue Shell!!!

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it seems like Mario and his friends are about to get away from Bowser's army on Rainbow Road, but the Koopa General, having lost his mind, goes inside his spiny blue shell and zooms over to slam down on Mario and Donkey Kong's kart, creating an explosion that causes a gap in the rainbow that sends the duo falling to the ocean below. The general is never seen again in the movie following this.

How well does it match the trope?

4.81 (32 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuicideAttack

Media sources: