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    A 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • After the time limit on capturing big enemies like the T-Rex expires, Cappy says "*gasp* It's too big! I couldn't hold on to it any longer!"
    • Several Power Moons in Bowser's Kingdom are obtained by using a Pokio's beak on an open arrow hole. Basically, you're stabbing into a small hole with an extending long object and have to aim perfectly for a reward.
    • In the Wooded Kingdom, there are many Moons that are obtained by breaking open tree nuts, or in other words, busting nuts.
    • There is a Moon in the Snow Kingdom called "Blowing and Sliding".
  • Adorkable: Cappy has his moments, such as when he's admiring the souvenirs in the Odyssey. It helps that he's also adorable.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • A number of fans are convinced that "Jump Up, Super Star!" is a love song that's Pauline's way of trying to win back Mario. This theory is given more credence when the game's producer confirmed during a Reddit AMA that the theme song came about as a direct result from the development of Pauline's character.
    • Mario's Capture ability gets played for all the Fridge Horror it's worth, being portrayed as completely unethical.
    • Why did Peach reject Mario's wedding proposal?
      • On the more understanding side of things, some say that Peach was rightfully angry that Mario and Bowser were both acting immature by treating her as a mere prize to be won, and she just needed a brief moment for everybody (including herself) to calm down. Others interpret Peach's decision as the result of trauma, since she spends most of the game trapped into a forced marriage from Bowser only to immediately find herself in a situation where both Mario and Bowser are shoving flowers in her face, forcibly trying to convince her to marry one of them; essentially, it was "too soon!" for her. There's also those who think that if Bowser hadn't butted in, and Mario had the chance to give Peach a nice, simple proposal like he was trying to, she would've said yes.
      • On the negative side of things, some argue that Peach is an Ungrateful Bitch for giving Mario literally no reward for saving her this time despite all the trouble he repeatedly goes through to rescue her; from what we've seen, not even a thank you.
      • Then there are those who believe Peach merely sees Mario as a friend.
      • Finally, there are those who see it simply as Rule of Funny and don't look too deeply into it, especially since they were expecting the status quo not to change for Mario and Peach's relationship. The Art of Mario Odyssey book supports this interpretation, with the developers seeing it as showing new sides to the characters and ending the game on an upbeat, lighthearted note.
    • Whose point of view is the ending song, which is a love song, from? Is it Mario's? Is it Bowser's? Is it Peach's? And then there's the question of whether it's even supposed to have a point of view in the first place.note 
  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: On your initial play through the main story, between every world Cappy will chime in and try to give a pointer that you are more than likely to just mash the A button through. It's always a random section from the Action Guide that you're already reminded time and time again exists, plus there's already a lot of signs throughout the game that teach you the moves to begin with, making it a combination of Viewers Are Morons and Viewers Are Goldfish.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The Ruined Dragon is an interesting case. Not long after the game's release it was seen as a highlight, and still is considered one, for how out of place and awe-inspiring it is. The thing is one of the largest and most realistic things in the franchise and dwarfs everything else near it. Then you get to fight it, and you get a pretty simple fight that doesn't take as much effort as you'd expect and only has two attacks. It's still considered an amazing part of the game, but the fight itself ends up a minor let-down. The post-game rematch adds in a slippery floor and slightly harder-to-avoid attacks, but it doesn't really change up much.
    • The rematch against Brigadier Mollosque-Lanceur III. The difficulty with the original battle comes from the Gushen used to battle him needing to get periodic refills of water. The rematch takes place in a rainstorm meaning the Gushen has an endless supply of water and the only other change to the match is the battle taking place in a sea of clouds. The only part of the fight that's harder is the last phase, as the boss will never float down, meaning you have to carefully position yourself in front of the boss and spray him in the face, unlike the first fight, where you can just reach him from a higher vantage point.
    • The rematch against the RoboBrood in Rabbit Ridge is also an example of this. In its first appearance in Bowser's Kingdom, the fight is actually quite tricky, since you're controlling a slow-moving bird creature and have to use its beak catapult abilities to scale the boss in order to do damage. In the rematch, on the other hand, you're A: in space (so the low gravity lets you leap to the top of the boss in two jumps) and B: controlling a Hammer Bro (so you can rapid-fire throw hammers to destroy its leg armor). This means a fight that can take a while and be extremely risky for the player in its first version can be finished without taking damage in less than five minutes in what's supposed to be a Brutal Bonus Level.
    • While the Boss Rush with the Broodals on the Dark Side of the Moon isn't extremely easy – as it being a Boss Rush reduces your room for error – it's disappointing that one of the bonuses for getting more stars than the story demands is yet another fight against the oft-reappearing wedding planners, who weren't difficult in their previous appearances. In a striking lack of imagination in a game that is usually full of it, the fights are literally Recycled In Space and just strung together with only minor alterations, such as reduced gravity and the RoboBrood being fought with a Hammer Bro this time.
    • The rematch against Bowser after getting all 880 moons is not much tougher than the original, despite being a Bonus Boss. His attack pattern remains largely the same, and the only differences from the original fight are Bowser's defensive tactics. After throwing three fireballs, he will jump away, making it harder to land the initial punch, and it takes more punches and tail swings before he's down for the count. At this point, a player would already be familiar with his attack pattern, and these changes don't fundamentally change how the battle plays out, so he's not much more difficult than the original version.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • One of the standard complaints about several 3D Mario games are that most bosses aren't particularly challenging. This game works at rectifying that by having the bosses change up their attack patterns after each hit and not all of them are of the "hit the boss on the head" variety. Even if they are, it takes much more effort to do the bop, making for more engaging fights. Likewise, the repeated boss fights with the Broodals adds different phases to their fights, and shortcuts to skip counterattack phases.
    • Another one of the most common complaints, particularly about the 2D Mario series, was that the games didn't push the boundary enough. Some of the sub-complaints include that most of the friendly characters were Toads, most of the gameplay was recycled from New Super Mario Bros., and the games tended to reuse original bosses or used the Koopalings, Boom Boom, and Pom Pom instead of creating new ones for each area. In Odyssey, Toads are probably the rarest friendly character type you'll encounter in any of the Worldsnote , the gameplay is entirely its own thing while taking cues from many 3D Mario games, and all of the bosses that aren't the Broodals or Bowser are entirely unique.
    • Before the 1.2 update, getting all of the gold coin costumes (especially the Skeleton outfit) and buying the 119 Moons needed to bring the Odyssey's total to 999 required a lot of tedious coin grinding. The fastest way to get coins was to do a particular sub-section in Bowser's Kingdom over and over again — a perfect run of the level netted 180 coins, and your required total was typically 10,000-20,000. The 1.2 update introduced Luigi's Balloon World, a post-game minigame that gives out coins in spades, allowing players to quickly get the gold they need to get those Last Lousy Points and have fun while doing it. However, the minigame requires an internet connection, so for those in a vehicle or otherwise without internet, the problem remains until they can connect.note 
  • Award Snub:
    • One of the most acclaimed games of 2017, Odyssey was snubbed of many awards by another first-party Switch release, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For what it's worth, the two games benefit from Friendly Fandoms who consider them roughly equal in quality.
    • It could've easily won Favorite Video Game at the 2018 Kids' Choice Awards, but Just Dance 2018 stole the spot. Just Dance already had a bad habit of winning every Favorite Video Game since 2011 (except for 2015).
  • Awesome Art: This game has a level of polish that makes everything pop in just the right way and mixes the colorful and cartoony with the surprisingly realistic and detailed seamlessly. The official art book only accentuates this, showcasing many intricate designs and small details that went into each world.
  • Awesome Music: This game has so many fun and catchy songs that it now has its own page.

    B 
  • Base-Breaking Character: The Broodals. Some view them as intriguing new characters and a welcome substitution for the Koopalings, Boom Boom, and Pom Pom, while others consider their fights too basic and feel their presence is no better than the Koopa underlings of before and that they could have been used again rather than inventing new characters.
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • Mechawiggler in the Metro Kingdom. The giant robot climbs on the wall and fires while you shoot its segments from a Sherm. Once all the segments are deactivated, you have to shoot it enough to hit it, at which point it will charge a few times and alternate between firing and charging. In the rematch, it's split in two.
    • Brigadier Mollosque-Lanceur III, the boss of the Seaside Kingdom. He starts attacking long before the fight begins, and when he's finally knocked off of his perch, he makes the entire stage his arena while you chase him down in a Gushen to spray his head or face with water. It gets crazier in the rematch, as it takes place in the sky during a lashing storm and the only ground is the starting platform. The Gushen replenishes itself due to the rain.
    • The Ruined Dragon, a realistic looking dragon that towers over even Bowser, thanks to sheer spectacle alone.
    • Cookatiel also counts, seeing as it's another capture-based battle, but has you as a fireball in a pot of stew dodging Cookatiel's attacks until you find an opening.
    • RoboBrood, the boss of Bowser's Kingdom, is a very fun and unexpected surprise of a boss fight. The battle has you capture a Pokio to knock bombs back into a leg to make it collapse. After that, you have to get on top of it and attack one of the cockpits until all four Broodals are destroyed. It's fought again as the last boss of the Dark Side, this time using Hammer Bros.
    • The Bowser fights likewise are quite fun, involving you having to actually run up and get into a punching match with Bowser (albeit using his hat/boxing gear). Especially on 100% mode, where he's much more difficult.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • The Metro Kingdom (a.k.a. New Donk City) is seen as one of the most notable parts of the game, with its semi-realistic setting, the various nods to the Donkey Kong games, and the last level (in the main game, anyway) being a feel-good Breather Level with Pauline and her band performing "Jump Up, Super Star."
    • Bowser's Kingdom, which is a full world set in Bowser's Castle, which is now a Japanese castle instead of his usual Lethal Lava Land, and has tons of Moons, multiple boss battles, and awesome visuals and music.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment
    • The Ruined Kingdom and the boss battle against the Ruined Dragon are incredibly out of place, even in a game as wacky as this. Even in the context of the story, it comes out of nowhere. How did Bowser tame the Ruined Dragon? What happened to this kingdom?
    • In New Donk City, two moons require going into a generic building, then escaping a photo-realistic T-Rex wearing an aviator's cap. There is no indication that entering a building in an area based on New York will get this result, nobody speaks of it afterwards, and there's no other section in the game like this. Even by Mario standards, that sequence is random.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Hariet. Once you realize you can knock her smaller bombs back into her to knock off her hat faster and also to end her counterattack phase, you can blaze through any fight against her without taking damage.
    • Torkdrift. In its main fight, it has exactly two attacks: one very slow-moving laser shot that merely not standing still will let you avoid with ease, and a circular laser you can safely jump over with the Uproot you're controlling. Add how it doesn't really change its attacks as the battle progresses, and you've got a fight which ends in about a minute or two at the most. The blocks surrounding its protective cores are supposedly trying to make it harder to aim your Uproot correctly, but no matter how irregular the formations get, it's still incredibly easy to find the center and break through in the right place.
    • The Ruined Dragon also counts. His lightning attacks are surprisingly easy to dodge for the most part, as is the procedure used to remove his crown. You'd think a realistic-looking monster would up his game.
    • Spewart is actually easier to defeat in his second encounter than his first, with the larger arena and no changed tactics, and in all of his fights, he's capable of being stun-locked due to his attacks always placing him at the center of the arena and his counterattack being easily halted before it can begin. All you have to do is make sure you're where he will land and you can jump on him again.
  • Breather Level:
    • The Lake Kingdom and Snow Kingdom are half-size worlds with simple layouts, short main quests, few enemies, and Rango (one of the easier Broodals) as their only boss encounters. They're coupled with the Wooded and Seaside Kingdoms respectively, which are a lot more wide-open and have involved main quests. Additionally, it's possible to have to do Lost Kingdom (also a half-size world, but full of hazards to make up for it) after Lake Kingdom, and Luncheon Kingdom (a Lethal Lava Land showing its late-game status proudly) after Snow Kingdom.
    • Once you deal with its pest problem, Metro Kingdom has no enemies in its main area, and manageable ones in its side areas. There's still a lot of exploring needed to grab everything, but death is unlikely unless you accidentally jump off the edge of the world. Understandably, many people thought this was the first level when it was heavily featured throughout promotional material.
    • The Koopa race in Bowser's Kingdom, by simple virtue of you starting at a high point and finishing at a low one. With properly aligned and timed jumping, you can easily leave even the golden Koopa in your dust by the first spark pylon and never look back.
    • The Koopa race in the Lake Kingdom is a cakewalk if you can leap onto the top of the cliff instead of swimming through the tunnels like the Koopas' do.
  • Broken Base: Does Odyssey have too much content? Criticism of Odyssey highlights the game's rather bloated nature, with almost 900 moons to collect from challenges and such. Many have noted that you could cut the vast majority of these moons and nothing of value would be lost, since dozens upon dozens of them are barely challenging to reach in the first place and often repeat content found in other Kingdoms. Some argue that dropping the moon count to roughly 300 or 400 would make the game more fun to play and have better pacing as well. Others argue that having this many moons to collect turns the game into a meditative, fun experience, 100-percenting the game isn't something that should be done in one sitting, and that to truly complete the game, one must complete the resident Brutal Bonus Level as no new content is added past that.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: In keeping with the recent series tradition of ending the postgame with one of these, Culmina Crater only has one Power Moon Quest, but it's a gauntlet. Basically, you run through different areas representing almost every part of the game you've been to, requiring all your skills to traverse. It's a very long level with no checkpoints at all, meaning if you die, it's back to the start. It gets especially difficult in the foggy area with the traversing platform which has a Pulse Beam in the middle and Burrbos that never stop coming until you make it to the other side: as they can't be jumped upon, you need to either throw your hat or use the Pulse Beam to clear them out, with the problem being that the Pulse Beam is just too close for comfort. As if that wasn't bad enough, this is immediately followed by an immensely difficult Pokio challenge involving flinging yourself across swinging pendulums suspended over a pit. Towards the end of this section, you have to swing between pendulums while they're moving. One false move, and it's back to the beginning of the entire stage with you.
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    C-F 
  • Catharsis Factor: This game allows you to capture and use the abilities of some of the more frustrating Mario enemies, such as the Hammer Bros. and Chargin' Chucks.
  • Crazy Awesome: Hariet - an anthropomorphic, Cute Monster Girl rabbit whose Turns Red phase involves merging with a superpowered hat of her own to become a Grenade Spamming UFO. Oh, and she cackles like a maniac as she does so.
  • Creepy Cute: The squat Chinchos have big, starry eyes that make them hard to take too seriously.
  • Difficulty Spike: As with other Mario games, difficulty ramps up significantly in the post-game, with additional Power Moon challenges and objectives. Of special mention are the Boss Rush against the Broodals in the Dark Side of the Moon, its sub-levels, and the Darker Side of the Moon.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Similar to Bowser's car, Bowser's suit has received a lot of positive fan reception.
    • Mecha-Wiggler has been well-received for having a complex, threatening design, having a decently challenging and incredibly fun boss fight, and for being a giant robot centipede.
    • Pauline, for not just coming back, but coming back as a singer and mayor of New Donk City.
    • Hariet the Broodal, for obvious reasons. Heck, the Broodals in general have been well-received as a good Quirky Miniboss Squad that almost hold a candle to the Koopalings when they were first introduced.
    • The Tyrannosaurus rex, simply due to the sheer awesomeness of being able to possess and play as it. It helps that it looks absolutely hilarious when sporting Mario's trademark 'stache and hat. In an official poll asking which enemy players want to take control of the most, the T. rex won against numerous iconic Mario baddies by a large margin.
    • Mario as a frog has gained plenty of fan-art thanks to his sheer adorableness.
    • Several new enemies have become popular thanks to being very fun to play as. Examples include Gushen, who can use water to hover and travel at high speeds; and Pokio, a cute bird whose Beak Attack can kill Spinies and climb walls. Being used in fun boss fights also contributes to their popularity.
    • The Ruined Dragon - a photorealistic dragon, and the darkest boss in the game.
    • Mario-possessed Bowser is well-liked for providing an awesome story moment and gameplay mechanic, and for essentially being a Good Counterpart to the possessed versions of Bowser from the RPGs, such as Bowletta.
    • The male New Donker shopkeepers who dress ridiculously and greet the player with dialogue that sounds suspiciously like "I just want to die". While this dialogue is shared among other New Donkers, the shopkeepers particularly struck a chord with players due to people finding it a hilariously appropriate thing for them to say.
    • Cookatiel, the boss of the Luncheon Kingdom. She's a totally insane bird chef who bears a striking resemblance to Captain Toad's Arch-Enemy, Wingo. The updated Switch/3DS port of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker marks the first time they appear in the same game, which goes to show...something.
    • The hat-wearing Shiba Inu for its realistic design and being both adorable and helpful.
    • Goombette, a female Goomba who appears in some worlds who will give you a Moon if you can reach her as a Goomba. She's gotten lots of fanart for her very cute design with a Nice Hat, and for her resemblance to Goombella from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • Once concept art was officially released as an artbook, some fanartists got really attached to a scrapped New Donk City version of Rosalina, portraying her as a lonely street musician.
  • Even Better Sequel: Odyssey comes on the heels of the critically acclaimed Super Mario 3D World. While 3D World was already considered a vast improvement from its own top-notch (if comparatively debated) predecessor, Super Mario 3D Land, Odyssey is considered even more of an improvement due to its unique, creative characters and bizarre worlds and exploratory nature as well as having a bit more than your typical Excuse Plot, reaching the heights of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Evil Is Cool: Bowser does pretty well for himself here: planning a Refuge in Audacity wedding, wielding a Hat of Power of his own, commanding the well-received Broodals, somehow taming a colossal dragon, and getting multiple last laughs on Mario (until the Final Battle, of course). Not for nothing that him being playable at the end is such a Signature Scene.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Just how the hell did Bowser find, befriend, and tame a colossal, non-cartoony dragon?
  • Fanon: Due to its position in the globe, its relatively small size compared to others, and the fact that it's a big island in the middle of the sea, some have argued that the Mushroom Kingdom is the Australia of the Mario world.
    • A lot of fandom interpretations of the Broodals tend to portray them as siblings with Madame Broode as their mother, likely due to their similarities to Bowser and the Koopalings.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: The game's amiibo of Mario and Bowser can be made to look like they're holding hands, leading to many jokes about how the game is actually about Mario and Bowser's wedding. Not helping matters is that if you go into the final encounter wearing the dress from Wedding Peach's amiibo, Bowser really approves of it.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Odyssey has gotten some very positive attention from fans of Yooka-Laylee, as both games aim to modernize the exploration-based style of 3D platformers that fell by the wayside by the Seventh Generation. However, with some of the mixed reception stemming from Yooka's throwback nature, some of this has degenerated into a Fandom Rivalry which proclaims that Odyssey is the "true" modernization of open-ended platformers, especially in the face of Odyssey's numerous quality-of-life features that would help make things less frustrating for the player, in comparison to Yooka's negligence to even address issues that have plagued games of its genre since the N64 days (like Camera Screw).
    • On a similar, more positive note, many fans of A Hat in Time have also come to love Odyssey. Not only is the former another throwback to exploratory 3D platformers of the N64/PS1 era, but both games have versatile, acrobatic movement options that are simple to understand yet reward skill and experimentation.

    G 
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Assist Mode, obviously. It not only grants you extra hit points, but also prevents instant death from falling into a Bottomless Pit, and Mario's life bar will magically refill itself if he stands motionless long enough. Also, unlike Super Mario Galaxy 2's Cosmic Spirit, there is virtually no penalty for using Assist Mode. Not even bronze Moons.
    • Player 2. Player 2 plays as Cappy, who, when not on Mario's head, has free range of movement in a wide radius around Mario, but doesn't have mobility limitations like Mario (no sense of traction) and is in perma-spin mode, which allows Cappy to wipe out enemies simply by flying into them. As if that weren't enough, Cappy also has access to a jump and even a Ground Pound while in 2 Player Mode, which means Cappy can effectively take care of anything Mario can, but faster and more efficiently.
    • The Wedding Mario amiibo is this. Given that it gives you essentially the same effect as a Super Star, albeit being able to be used repeatedly for an unlimited number of times, combine it with Assist Mode and you'll be breezing through everything. Yes, even Darker Side's Culmina Crater.
    • Scanning a Peach amiibo gives you a Life-Up Heart whenever you need it. While this doesn't affect most of the game and doesn't save you from falling into a pit, it seriously takes the edge off the attrition-based endgame challenges.
    • Want to get all 999 Power Moons fast? There's a trick in Bowser's Kingdomnote  that allows Mario to farm up to the max limit of 9999 coins in an hour. Doing so grants him enough money to buy hundreds of Power Moons from all the kingdoms, an option that becomes accessible once you defeat the final boss. Although some of the rewards require collecting all the listed moons regardless of how many are bought.
    • The motion controls when playing Glydon increases his glide height slightly. Repeated shaking of the controller can extend his glide distance massively, almost to the point of flight. In fact, using this during the Glydon segment of the Brutal Bonus Level will allow you to skip over even the Bowser segment.
    • The double Cappy dive: You jump, throw Cappy, dive on Cappy, then dive once more after Mario jumps off of him. This lets Mario cover a ton of distance. Mastery over this technique can lead to loads and loads of Sequence Breaking. Also, as powerful as this move is, it's not an exploited glitch in danger of being patched out; it's demonstrated in-game by the golden koopa in the Wooded Kingdom race.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Small, non-capturable enemies like the yellow Goombas and the multi-colored Burrbos can be incredibly annoying due to their habit of attacking in large groups and respawning when defeated. Due to the fact that the Burrbos are The Spiny and cannot be jumped on, they can become borderline Demonic Spiders if, for whatever reason, you encounter them in a place where it is difficult to throw Cappy at them. In fact, their presence makes certain sections of Culmina Crater way harder.
    • Fighting Chinchos is rather tricky, since they have a few quirks that make them harder to fight than other enemies. First, they can't be captured, and throwing Cappy won't kill them either, meaning the only way you can get rid of them is to jump on them. Second, you can't bounce on them, and since they always come in large groups, jumping on one can easily lead to you getting hit by another one. The Chinchos are a major reason why Knucklotec's rematch is so difficult.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • While Knucklotec doesn't get any new attacks or environmental hazards in his boss rematch, he does generate a swarm of Chinchos with every attack. This makes the battle rather frustrating, since the Chinchos like to spawn quickly and in just the wrong place as to leave Mario trapped between a boss attack and the Chincho horde.
    • The Broodal Boss Rush that you come up against on the dark side of the moon. While the bosses aren't really that hard individually — the hardest one is actually thrown at you first, as the ludicrous amount of hats that Topper wears gives you very little room to maneuver — but when you consider that you have to fight five boss battles in sequence, and start all the way from the beginning if you lose a life at any point, with only a single life heart before the fifth and final battle available note , it can be quite an annoying task to accomplish on the three health points that you get by default. It also doesn't help that the low gravity has the side-effect of introducing input lag, and making some of the bosses harder to jump on than usual (especially Harriet, who can change direction randomly and without warning during her "panic run"). Thankfully, you can return to the Odyssey to restore your health without having to start all over again — and there's a secret Life-Up Heart you can find as well.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • A glitch involving Talkatoo and a precise Cap Toss makes it possible to get Mario suspended in the air. There happens to be a Talkatoo near Metro Kingdom's Jump-Rope Challenge. So long, That One Sidequest!note 
    • Another glitch, still remaining (but only available in the postgame), allows you to take one of the "MARIO" sign letters out of the area they're supposed to stay in. The letters are taller than the jump rope's arc and make a lovely platform.

    H 
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Zombie Mario costume was added not long before the death of Mario Segale, Mario's real-life namesake.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Some months before the game's unveiling, conceptual videos of Mario running around in realistic Unreal 4 environments were kind of a thing, with people arguing that didn't fit the series' aesthetic. Now the game's revealed and one stage is indeed a mundane metropolis complete with realistic people.
    • A few fans across the two franchises tend to state (jokingly or otherwise) that Sonic the Hedgehog "stole" from Mario in a number of ways, the most well-known being the style of Sonic Lost World, which was often compared to Super Mario Galaxy. This time, it seems the plumber is the one taking a little inspiration from his ex-rival, if the comparisons made to Sonic Adventure purely on the trailer seem to be any indication. The addition of a vocal theme song, a first in Mario history, which Sonic games have been doing as early as 1993, only compounded the comparisons, as well as Mario's ability to curl up into a ball and roll to gain speed, one of Sonic's signature abilities. Also, Mario spills coins when he dies which can be recollected, similar to Sonic spilling rings upon taking damage, and Pauline's voice actress in this game, Kate Higgins, previously provided the voice of Tails in Sonic Colors and Lost World.
    • There's an old hack of Super Mario World with the same name as this game. One theme, known as "Above the Clouds," is even a remix of Super Mario World's bonus room theme.
    • The The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode "Do You Princess Toadstool Take This Koopa..." is now made funnier and more relevant thanks to this game.
    • The The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode "The Unzappables" was really ahead of its time. It features Mario and co. in a 1920s-esque metropolis, introduced the idea of hats-as-power ups, and even features a good stand-in for a Talkatoo; all a good 30 or more years before this game was even in the pre-planning stages!
    • Similarly, this image by Nintendrawer has turned out to be oddly prophetic for this game.
    • Given that Bowser is trying to forcibly marry Peach in this game, some have taken to pointing out what happened the last time the two were wed. As it ultimately turns out, this wedding didn't seem to get as far as Count Bleck's did, as Mario barged in while Peach was fighting against Bowser giving her the wedding ring, with the vows looking like they still had yet to come.
    • A joke regarding an Off-Model Luigi from the PC version of Mario Is Missing! (aka "Weegee") is that he is able to take over people. Well, we see that Mario has his own way of doing that.
    • A canceled Philips CD-i game called "Super Mario's Wacky Worlds" would have featured Mario traveling through Earth-inspired levels. And "Jump Up, Super Star!" includes the lyric "this great wide wacky world".
    • Mario's ability to possess certain enemies and objects have drawn some humorous comparisons to a different Odyssey.
    • The comparison of Bowler Hat Guy gets even funnier considering that there is in fact a T-Rex wearing a bowler hat in one of the levels.
    • There is a somewhat well-known bootleg that goes by the name of Mario 4: A Space Odyssey. You can even purchase items! Granted, doing so crashes the game, but still.
    • When the game was first revealed, one fan was inspired to clumsily edit Mario's hat and mustache onto a photo of a Honda Odyssey. Then later gameplay videos revealed Mario has the ability to possess people and objects, including cars.
    • Mario in a parody of New York City was the main plot of the 1993 live-action movie, which featured a parallel universe version of Manhattan called Dinohattan. Parts of the movie also took place in Brooklyn, which is one of the five boroughs of New York City. The realistic dinosaurs also call the movie to mind, as does one sub-area where a giant T-Rex chases you through the city.
    • The game's clothing customization, ability to posses certain creatures, "don't be scared" in the chorus of the main theme, and the release date (Oct. 27, 2017) coming right on the heels of Halloween the following week. Coincidence? Also, there is a level themed after the Day of the Dead, which takes place around the same time.
      • Similarly, Odyssey ended up releasing not long before Coco, another major work that dealt with the Day of the Dead and had the living protagonist interacting with friendly Calacas.
    • There's also the fact that you can combine the caveman tunic Mario can acquire in Fossil Falls (the outfit being from a German Club Nintendo comic) with his normal hat can result in Mario bearing a resemblance to the Mario/Fred Flintstone mash-up sprite seen in the infamous 7 Grand Dad bootleg. One could argue the comic is hilarious in hindsight itself.
    • For Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, Masahiro Sakurai considered demoting Dr. Mario to an alternate costume of Mario, but eventually decided against it. Similarly, the Brawl mod Project M made that same consideration, but went through with it. This game makes both directions hilarious, as Dr. Mario is an alternate costume for Mario.
    • A month before Mario released a game introducing a team of five color-coded villains who help the main villain, Sonic did the exact same thing. They even use the exact same colors!
    • Months before the game's release, a hack of Super Mario 64 sprouted up that implemented a crude version of the capturing feature, where Mario's cap flies off his head and places itself on various entities that the player can control in limited ways. Then it was eventually leaked that Odyssey has a late-game outfit that changes Mario's model to his 64-era model, and the trade-off was complete.
    • Mario fighting a bunch of maniacal rabbits that speak gibberish. Didn't he deal with something similar not too long before Odyssey's release?
    • The Western Show on Super Mario video suddenly get a whole lot funnier after seeing Mario and Bowser try to propose to Peach at the end.
    • Ironically enough, both Sonic Forces and this game allow you to customize characters (you can gain and switch clothes on Mario in Odyssey, and likewise gain more outfits for the Avatar/Rookie character in Forces).
    • At one point, Mario faces off against a dragon known as the Ruined Dragon, whose character design seems like it came out of a decidedly less cartoony video game like The Elder Scrolls. Interestingly, Charles Martinet, Mario's voice actor, also voiced a dragon from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which has also become the first game in that series to be released on a Nintendo console. The same one as this game, no less.
    • Many a player who's been to New York City would know who the Naked Cowboy is. This has led quite a few people to wear the Boxer Shorts and Cowboy Hat together before entering New Donk City!
    • This is the third Mario game in 2017 where Bowser gets possessed, after the Megabug did so in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Cackletta did so in the Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remake. Only this time, Mario is the one possessing the Koopa King rather than another villain.
    • Bowser's Kingdom has a Japanese theme going on; now, which fan-made series did the same thing?
    • A couple months before the game's release, several news articles sprung up online claiming that Mario was no longer a plumber due to a misinterpretation of an official profile Nintendo linked on their Twitter. Odyssey actually contains more references to Mario's plumbing job than usual, with Bowser even calling him "Plumber Boy" at one point.
    • This Tumblr post, released one month prior to Odyssey coming out, edited two screenshots of the game so that Mario's model was replaced with the one he had in Super Mario 64. Come the actual release of the game, it was revealed that "64 Mario" is actually an alternate costume for the game.
    • Long before Odyssey was even conceived, The Amazing World of Gumball featured a Halloween episode where Gumball and Darwin, having ended up as ghosts, decide to go possess things and locals of their hometown, including a recurring Tyrannosaurus-character. This post on Tumblr made an instant note about it after the E3-trailer's release.
      Gumball: "You know what would be fun? Being a T-Rex!"
    • A famous platforming mascot putting a sentient object commonly worn on his head onto enemies to gain control of their powers...where have we seen this before?
    • The beginning of October 2017 saw the release of the Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remake, which features Luigi cross-dressing. This game, released at the end of October 2017, features Mario cross-dressing instead (if the player so chooses).
    • The Ruined Dragon and its ridiculously realistic appearance had a lot of people comparing it to more realistic and serious games, especially Dark Souls. Guess what game's Updated Re-release got announced for a Switch release the January after the game came out?
    • Among the costumes that you can unlock in the game are a football costume and a king costume. So this means that, adding the fact that Mario has a mustache and you can go to space via the moon, you can be a football playing king in space! With a mustache.
    • In an interview from 2009, Charles Martinet stated he told Shigeru Miyamoto that he originally wanted to provide Link's Voice Grunting in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, only to be replaced by Nobuyuki Hiyama in the final game. Guess who voices Topper the Broodal in this game?
    • For all the hype surrounding Bowsette note , fans will be amused to know Nintendo had something close enough planned months before. Concept art for Odyssey revealed that Bowser was intended to have a cap that allowed him to take possession of other people, similar to Mario's Cappy. The storyboard image shows that one of Bowser's victims would have been Princess Peach, except the Bowser-Peach's color scheme — up to and including her hair and eyes — would have changed to suit Bowser. The key difference is that Bowsette is a Bowser with a body that looks like Peach, whereas this is Bowser possessing Peach. The same artbook also included scrapped Mario costumes, including a Toadette one.
    • Pauline's newfound singing career could have been something she'd been doing all along: The unreleased game Donkey Kong's Fun with Music had her as the lead singer of the "Donkey Band", consisting of her, DK, Jr., and Mario.
    • There's a infamous Crysis video featuring a frog being thrown at a windshield and slowly flying into the sky towards the moon. It took it a little under six years, but if the frogs in the Moon Kingdom are any indication, the frog actually made it!
    • This comic where Mario quips "Princess Peach reminds me of my ex-girlfriend.", only for Luigi to respond "Sometimes King Koopa reminds me of your ex-girlfriend!" Back then, a colorful insult towards how nasty certain women are. In light of Bowsette? If nothing else, it's unintentional comedy.

    I-L 

    M-N 
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The game has invited many comparisons to Sonic Adventure, especially with how Mario runs around in a huge city with realistic-looking humans. It also draws comparisons to Sonic Unleashed (which also had a level based on New York, as well as Odyssey taking a small amount of the former game's "'round the world" style) and Sonic '06 (because of course it does). The second trailer which revealed the game has a vocal theme song. To further compound the comparisons to the Sonic series, the singer of said vocal theme song used to voice Tails, which hasn't gone unnoticed either. Fans were quick to nickname Super Mario Odyssey as Mario Adventure, Mario '06 (or Mario '17), and Mario Unleashed.
    • "Mario finally made it back to Brooklyn!" due to New Donk City's resemblance to New York.
    • On that note, the name "New Donk City" itself.
    • Bowser's stylish new suit by itself has reached this, leading to a number of pimp and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure jokes.
    • Quite a few jokes have been made comparing the city levels to Grand Theft Auto.
    • Mario's hat now has eyes, reminding fans of Rare (and by extension, Playtonic Games)'s tendency to put eyes on inanimate objects. Playtonic even commented on this in a tweet.
    • The sight of Mario and Bowser tossing their hats like boomerangs have also provoked comparisons to Oddjob and Robert E. O. Speedwagon, with a few going as far as to nickname the game "Super Mario Oddjob".
    • T. Rex Mario became this almost immediately after the game's E3 trailer, thanks to the sheer insane factor in his appearance in the trailer (complete with Mario hat and mustache) and being an awesome addition to the game.
    • Related to the T. Rex, jokes that it is Yoshi are prominent, which is both a Mythology Gag and Hilarious in Hindsight because Yoshi was a realistic baby Tyrannosaurus in the live-action Mario movie. It's made even more Hilarious in Hindsight by Yoshi also being in the game, and Capturable to boot!
    • "I have a big head and little arms!" has picked up steam with Mario's demonstration of the Capture ability (which lets him control creatures, people, and objects with his hat) on a Tyrannosaurus rex, with other comparisons following suit.
    • With the announcement of the new amiibo for this game, there's been plenty of jokes about Mario, Peach, and Bowser all getting married together, or buying just Mario and Bowser to have a gay marriage.
    • Mario looking unnatural compared to the regular humans of New Donk City and his newfound ability to possess people has led to jokes about him not being human.
    • There's also jokes about how Mario is actually the hat, and has been possessing the corpse of an Italian man for 30 years.
    • "u throw ur hat on a frog & ur the frog". This gained even more traction when frogs turned out to be the very first thing Captured in the game.
    • Mario's new Capture ability has inspired people to create edits and fanart of practically anything and putting Mario's hat, mustache, and/or blue eyes to show that he's possessing them. These types of edits and fanart have been used for both humor and... other things.
    • After the 9/13 Direct showed off a costume of Mario in swim trunks, many have been focusing on Mario's nipples, and, to a lesser extent, the fact that he's hairless, aside from his head and facial hair.
    • It's been joked that the lyric, "It's time to raise our sails" is actually Nintendo declaring, "It's time to raise our sales."
    • A review that gave the game a 6/5 garnered some buzz.
    • The fact that Cappy (when possessing Mario's hat, at least) is a sentient piece of clothing with eyes with a red and black motif, combined with Bowser's tux having a white and blue color scheme, have led to people making joking comparisons between Odyssey and Kill la Kill (combined with some bizarre fanart).
    • "I've turned myself into Mario, Morty!". Mario's Mad Scientist outfit with wildly messy white hair and an open doctor's coat has resulted in a number of comparison jokes to Rick.
    • Thanks to his castle having a heavy Wutai aesthetic, jokes about Bowser becoming a weeaboo have become pretty popular.
    • The RoboBrood boss has been jokingly compared to the Metal Gear mechs in the Metal Gear series.
    • The game lets you mix and match hats and outfits. This resulted in people mixing the Cowboy Hat with the Caveman costume and making "the caveman is the sheriff" jokes.
    • If you watch someone livestream the game, you can expect the chat to light up with "BECOME AS GODS" whenever Mario Captures anything.
      • This goes double for playing through the Wooded Kingdom in particular, which gets a lot of jokes about its resemblance to Nier Automata (in particular the flowers and the factory areas), as well as the final battleground of Metal Gear Solid 3.
    • After hearing the awesome theme to "Honeylune Ridge: Escape", many have declared that Mario's anime theme is awesome, due to it sounding like it belongs in one, especially its Japanese version.
    • "Hey you we ma tard!"Explanation 
    • Other Mondegreens include the New Donker Crazy Cap employee "saying" "I just want to die", and Topper yelling "Go to hell!" before the Robobrood boss fight.
    • Due to the large variety of costumes, hats and scenarios in the game, some fans started recreating covers from movies, mangas and comics, or just iconic scenes using the screenshot feature. Examples include: It, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Room, E. T., Gravity, Jaws, and Akira.
    • "(Comment about Mario's costume). Not that it matters, since you WEREN'T INVITED! So now it's time for you to make like a bouquet and get thrown out!"Explanation 
    • Mario jumps off a building Explanation 
    • you dropped this Explanation 
  • Memetic Psychopath: This version of Mario can invade someone else's body by throwing his hat. Everyone had a field day with this.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: So far, Mario's sombrero outfit has received a largely positive response from Latinos. note 
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some people misinterpreted Peach taking off on the Odyssey with Cappy and Tiara as her ditching Mario and Bowser on the moon, apparently missing her calling out "Let's go home,"note  and the fact that Mario didn't seem terribly concerned by what she was doing.
  • Moe: Cappy. Just Cappy. Between his innocent appearance, cute-sounding voice, and overall chipper personality, he can be very hard not to find adorable. Ditto for his sister Tiara, who is just as adorable if not more so.
    • The Shiverians also count, being absolutely huggable-looking round seals with cute faces.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Mario saying Peach's name is a wonderful thing to hear, since that's not something that happens very often.
    • Tossing Cappy onto a shining object nets you a Moon, as well as him shouting a wonderfully jovial "CAPPY!"
    • In the post-game, when Peach and Tiara notice Mario and Cappy, they call out to them in a very cheerful and excited way.
  • Narm: You can invoke this with the customizable outfits. One instance that may result from catching players off-guard is when they face the Ruined Dragon; since there's no indication you're about to fight it, you can't change clothes afterward due to the Odyssey being wrecked, and one of the missions in the previous level requires a specific outfit to complete, it's common to hear players going up against this dark and serious boss… dressed as a chef.
  • Narm Charm: The lyrics to "Jump Up, Superstar" sound utterly cheesy, and under normal circumstances would be impossible to take seriously. But with the incredibly catchy big-band jazz number that it comes with, plus an enthusiastic vocal performance from Kate Higgins, you can’t help but sing along.
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    O-S 
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Mario has traveled outside of the Mushroom Kingdom in "strange new worlds" in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. Luigi has also done this in games like Mario Is Missing!. And of course, the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series involves the characters participating in the real-world Olympics outside of the Mushroom Kingdom. And as far as crossovers go, Mario, Luigi, and Peach were Guest Fighters in the GameCube versions of SSX on Tour and NBA Street V3, both of which are set outside of the Mushroom Kingdom as well.
    • Peach and Bowser got married in Super Paper Mario, although that one was forced on them (but Bowser was okay with it) while in this game, it looks like he's the one forcing marriage on Peach. And even before that, Super Mario Adventures had Bowser asking Peach to marry him (with the threat that he'd turn her citizens to stone if she refused). It also occurred even earlier than that in The Super Mario Bros Super Show! episode "Princess Toadstool, Do You Take This Koopa?". And even older than that is The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!, which had Bowser kidnap Princess Peach to be his bride, with Mario and Luigi setting out to save her.
    • Also relating to Super Paper Mario, Bowser's trophy depicting his wedding suit in Super Smash Bros. Brawl noted that "this might just be the last time we ever see Bowser in a tuxedo". Turns out that would be proven wrong with Odyssey, and Bowser's suit is fairly similar in the previous game.
    • This isn't the first Mario game where you use a Warp Pipe to go from a largely 3D-controlling game to 2D sidescrolling sections. That was done in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and inverted in Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: Color Splash.
    • The idea of realistic humans in a main-series Mario game is one that goes as far back as Super Mario Sunshine, with a conspicuous human girl being visible for a brief moment in the Spaceworld 2001 trailer. The game was going to have human tourists, but they were ultimately scrapped.
    • Mario fans unfamiliar with spinoff titles (besides the major ones like Mario Kart and Mario Party) have referred to this as the first time Pauline and Mario have been reunited since Donkey Kong. This is actually incorrect, as Pauline has appeared in several other titles, such as Mario vs. Donkey Kong.
    • Many fans have referred to Pauline as being Suddenly Voiced in Odyssey thanks to her singing. In actuality, Pauline has voice clips in the Mario vs Donkey Kong games. Even before that, you could hear her say "Help" if you played Donkey Kong '94 on a Super Game Boy, and there were two unused voice clips saying "Help" and "Nice" in the Donkey Kong arcade game.
    • Although the internet claims that the Caveman outfit is a reference to the infamous 7 Grand Dad bootleg, it actually stems from a German Club Nintendo comic called Super Mario: Lost in Time, which has Mario wearing a leopard skin tunic throughout most of the comic, even coming across a T-Rex like in the game.
    • One of the earliest appearances of Mexican Mario was from the Game Boy version of Qix from 1990note .
    • Mario had previously been shown in swim trunks with visible nipples in two pieces of art from 2016 (though Odyssey is the first 3D appearance): a Miiverse stamp from Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and a wallpaper/piece of art from the Summer of 2016; as a matter of fact, that artwork is what the boxer shorts are a reference to.
    • While "Jump Up, Super Star" is the first vocal song to appear in an actual game in the main series, the idea of Mario characters doing vocal songs goes back to "Save Me With Your Charm", a song sung by Daisy on a disco album released in the 90s. She has a British accent. And the idea of using a lyrical song in a Mario game goes as far back as the "DK Rap" from Donkey Kong 64 in 1999.
    • Mario's scientist outfit isn't a Shout-Out to Rick and Morty. It's a reference to this commercial.
    • Sphinxes and moai heads aren't newcomers to the Mario series. They were present as enemies in Super Mario Land.
    • Some more casual fans believe that this is Pauline's debut. She's been around since day one.
    • This isn't the first game where Bowser actually triumphs over Mario during their initial clash in the opening sequence.
    • This isn't the first Mario game where the levels are based on real-world countries, Super Mario Land did that first. Sarasaland's four kingdoms are based on Egypt, Bermuda, Easter Island, and China. And as far as spinoffs go, Mario Party 7 featured boards based on different countries, including Italy, China, Egypt, the United States, and the Netherlands.
    • The thing where Mario enters a retro pipe and goes through 2D platforming sequences on walls? A game centered around this type of platforming, Sideway: New York, was released 6 years earlier.
  • One True Threesome:
    • After the reveal of the wedding-themed amiibo, there were many jokes about how Peach was actually marrying both Mario and Bowser at once. However, she rejects both of them in the game's ending.
    • There was also significant Mario/Peach/Pauline shipping.
  • Sacred Cow: Super Mario Odyssey quickly reached this status much like its sister game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Mario franchise in general is a very strong Sacred Cow for Nintendo, and with Odyssey bringing the series back to artistic greatness and having few to no argued flaws, a vast majority of the Mario and Nintendo fandom holds the game in very high regard.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • For some, the Motorbike, Jaxi, and Rocket Flower, which all boost Mario's speed insanely… at the cost of next to no control over the increased mobility. Jumping with a bike or flower can turn you around in mid-air, leading to accidental deaths, but is usually required to get certain moons. Part of the reason why Gushen is so popular is because it's the only fast thing that's easy to control. At least Jaxi has the decency to warn you that he goes quick.
    • As of version 1.2.0, when Luigi’s Balloon World was first added, players who are familiar with the game’s glitches can clip through walls or hide balloons in other impossible-to-reach locations. Because there’s no cost except time to hide a balloon, anyone who abuses these glitches can try as many times as they need to hide it in such a spot, while a player searching for the balloon will almost always have their win streak broken, and if they don’t realise the nature of the hiding spot, potentially spend more coins than the reward for finding it.
  • In VR mode, the camera cannot follow Mario, which means you'll often be controlling a hard-to-see Mario far away, which is cumbersome.
  • She Really Can Act: Samantha Kelly's performance as Peach in this game is far more emotional than previous games and really sells how traumatizing the entire experience of Bowser trying to forcefully marry her must be. Of particular note is when she begs Bowser to stop when he shoots Mario and Cappy down into the Lost Kingdom.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • When Mayor Pauline was first revealed to be returning, many fans began drawing art shipping her with Peach. Although they've never interacted before (and don't directly interact here, either; the closest they come is when Pauline is forced to attend Bowser's Wedding on the moon), they have some similarities: they're both authority figures, both were/are Mario's love interest, and while Peach is wearing a wedding dress, Pauline's mayor attire is a suit.
    • Madame Broode is encountered twice in the game: once in Fossil Falls and a second time in the Honeylune Caves. Despite being very Bowser-like in design, she and Bowser never actually interact.
    • Likewise, Cookatiel bears a resemblance to Wingo, yet aside from a mention by Captain Toad in the Lost Kingdom, Wingo doesn't even appear. Even when they finally appear in the same game together, thanks to the Switch/3DS port of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, they still don't interact.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • A T-Rex being in the game, we knew that. It's pretty powerful... and sleeping in the Cascade Kingdom. You are not expecting one to suddenly roar at you and charge while wandering the dark forest far below the Wooded Kingdom, even with the in-game description warning about "giant creatures."
    • What happens after you take off from the Luncheon Kingdom. Bowser appears riding atop an enormous, realistically detailed dragon that looks like it belongs in a serious fantasy game, not the goofy, cartoony world of Mario.
    • The Broodals try one last resort to keep Mario from interfering with the wedding. A giant robot as big as their ship, working nothing like their usual boss fights.
    • The final part of the game where you capture Bowser and use his sheer might to escape the moon's crumbling interior, especially the last area where "Honeylune Ridge: Escape" plays.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Luigi's Balloon World has overtaken many players' desire to complete their Moon collection. Being able to put one's speedrunning skills to the test against other players is a very rewarding experience.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The game's Downer Beginning, especially since it was heavily used in the marketing.
    • The New Donk City festival, which became one of the most beloved sequences upon release.
      • New Donk City (aka The Metro Kingdom) itself as it represents the first impression most people got of this game and the console since it was used in the early preview material prior to the Switch's launch. Nintendo also capitalized on this by using it as the setting for the commercials for the game.
    • The attack of the Ruined Dragon.
    • The escape sequence on the moon, after the Final Boss.
  • Signature Song: Cascade Kingdom, which doubles as the main theme of the game. "Jump Up, Super Star" is also a contender.
  • Special Effect Failure: One that doesn't negatively affect the experience at all, and is actually sort of cool! The Snapshot Mode filters all work pretty normally, but the Coin filter has the unique quirk of ignoring all elements which aren't completely opaque. This means textures and environmental elements like water, ice, fog and fire will not be visible. Thus, the Coin filter can allow you to see through certain things, like various things in level backgrounds or Astro-Lanceur's helmets, and to see things like the Cap Kingdom's full models without the fog, Knucklotec without his crown, or the modeled older license plate design for the wrecked New Donk taxis which was textured over.
  • Squick: The Cookatiel fight in which you have to swim up a stream of liquid she regurgitates in order to hit her. And both she and her vomit end up in the stew eaten at the Volbonan cooking festival later on (though, if it helps, her puke was no different from the lava heating the pot).
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:

    T 
  • That One Attack:
    • In the rematch, the Ruined Dragon has an altered second attack in which its lightning now arches. You now need to react as the lightning comes out to know where to stand and whether or not to jump. The floor being slippery in the rematch doesn't help matters.
    • In his final fight, Topper's floor-sweep spin with his stack of hats is very hard to avoid due to the sheer number of hats creating a wide radius for the spin.
  • That One Boss:
    • While the Broodal Boss Rush on the Dark Side on the Moon isn't too tough otherwise, the boss fight against Topper more than makes up for it due to the fact that the massive amount of hats he fights with can become a big problem in a hurry. Not only is it easy to be overwhelmed when he uses the attack where he sends them all spinning across the arena, but his hat slam and spin attack follow-up are tough to dodge due to coming out quick and covering a huge amount of ground. The moon physics certainly don't help, either. The worst part, however, is the fact that he's the first boss, meaning he's liable to eat up most of your health and make the remaining fights all the more difficult.
    • The only difference between the normal Knucklotec fight and the rematch is the introduction of Chinchos that constantly spring up from the ground. This one addition is enough to take what was one of the easier bosses in the game and turn it into easily the toughest of the rematch fights. Dodging Knucklotec’s attacks requires you to be constantly on the move, which is severely hampered by tiny mummy skeletons constantly popping up in front of you and swarming you. Even worse, they’re one of the few enemies that completely No-Sell Cappy’s attacks and can't be bounced off of with a stomp, meaning there’s no easy way to get rid of them. This is one of the few fights where going in with a life-up heart is practically a requirement; without it, you simply won’t have enough health to withstand the constant Chincho onslaught.
  • That One Level:
    • The Lost Kingdom is full of poisonous water that instantly kills you, it's made up of islands that are easy to get lost in and provide little to no sense of direction, the enemies are all either spiky or immune to your cap (or both), the latter of which throw Cappy back like an explosive (which has a very tight time limit to dodge or jump over and is required to get to some areas and Moons, but can be easily crouched under), and the entire island plays a piece of music that can quickly become annoying. The tone of the level is set nicely when you arrive and Klepto makes off with Cappy, and you can't even to go to previous kingdoms until you've collected the quota of Power Moons. Likely a deliberate example, as Bowser sends you crash-landing here after the game promised the highly promoted Metro Kingdom as your next stop.
    • The Luncheon Kingdom is surrounded by lava, and, as usual, falling in causes Mario to go flying in pain. Unfortunately, you cover a lot more distance than you did in older games and Mario isn't as easily controlled. This is not good when the map is full of small platforms, so it's entirely possible to overshoot the platforms completely by mistake. (Or worse: Fall off, then Mario goes the opposite direction.) What's more, there are also several areas with very narrow platforms you must hop onto, and if you miss, then you fall into the lava — which might as well be an instant death trap, since you'll likely not have any way to recover (at least, not without accidentally hitting the lava again). There is also the primary gimmick of navigating the area with Lava Bubbles. A captured Lava Bubble will disappear if it hits anything other than lava. Naturally, this means any slip-up in sections requiring you to jump over solid ground are likely to send Mario into the lava.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Jump-Rope Genius requires you to perform one hundred consecutive jumps in the jump-rope mini-game. This has been regarded by most as the most challenging Power Moon to get in practically the entire game. While all you need to do is get in sync with the rhythm, the rope eventually turns fast enough that holding the button down for even a split second longer than needed will result in a loss. There are a few techniques that can make the challenge easier, such as doing it while riding a mopednote  (provided you position it correctly) or throwing Cappy in mid-jump to get more hang time as the rope gets faster, but even then it remains very difficult. When most tell you to abuse the Talkatoo hoverlock glitchnote  or the Out of Bounds Letter Glitch to beat the challenge, you know you're gonna be in for a bad time.
    • Beach Volleyball is just as bad if you're playing single-player, as Mario by himself just isn't fast enough to hit the ball at times. In order to reach one hundred hits, you must either learn to throw Cappy quickly and efficiently or jump into two-player and play as just Cappy or get a friend to help and put both characters to work.
    • On The Eastern Pillar in the Sand Kingdom requires you to shake the controller to steer a Bullet Bill into a box far away, but shaking it means you can barely aim, and your timing has to be exact or you'll blow up too soon.
    • The Master Cup Koopa Race in the Wooded Kingdom. The golden Koopa Troopa will skip the entire Uproot maze along Iron Road by doing a long jump across the Bottomless Pit next to it, throwing his hat, diving into and jumping off of the hat, then throwing his hat again. While this isn't the most difficult of maneuvers, this is the only time it's essentially mandatory for collecting a power moon, and the distance means that you'll just barely make it even if you are good at it.
    • The Lost Kingdom Koopa Race. This one is long, spanning from the Odyssey to the top of the mountain, and it is very easy to fall into the insta-death poison water or get hit by enemies. There is also a section that requires using Trapeetles to clear the way. To give an indication of how bad this section is, the Koopas all fail this at least once on the regular cup and the fastest skips this section by jumping off the mountain and using his hat to make the jump around it.
    • The Koopa race in the Luncheon Kingdom. Most of these races are across safe terrain, with the challenge being simply to go faster than the Koopas rather than precision platforming. This one, on the other hand, has you scaling half the volcano, with rotating platforms, deadly lava, Fire Piranha Plants, and many other hazards to screw up your performance. Combine this with a likely lack of health, enemies that can temporarily eat Cappy until you defeat them, and the Koopas jumping across what seems to be thin air, and it makes for a rather frustrating challenge. There exists a much faster back route you can take that can avoid much of this and allows you to finish in less than 30 seconds, but it requires you to either know that it exists in advance or have enough luck/reflexes to act upon it on the fly, and calls upon advanced movement strategy that takes practice to perform.
    • Iceburn Circuit Class S has the AI play near perfectly on a racetrack where one wrong move can send you bouncing out of control. This is especially so in the hairpin turn that concludes a lap, as they take the turn pretty far on the inside — if you bounce even further inside, you have a strong risk of landing offroad, which severely hampers your movement. No wonder the racer you take control of was scared to participate.
    • "Herding Sheep in the Fog", a mini-level that opens up in the Wooded Kingdom's postgame. You have to herd a sheep across thin walkways over bottomless pits, with very few handrails. You need very precise angles on your cap throws, or the sheep will go flying into the abyss and respawn at the very beginning.
    • And then there are some Moons you can only get with Glydon. Doesn't sound too difficult? Well, his gliding turns into more of a fast dive mere seconds after you press the action button, making the objective difficult as you'll more than likely not reach your target by a mile. These missions can be made easier with the motion control boost that help maintain altitude... but the game never tells you about it.
    • The moon "Secret 2D Treasure" in the Mushroom Kingdom. It's a 2D segment where the background moves. If Mario ever leaves the background, he'll turn 3D and fall to his death. The mechanics make this one insane. Move too slow through the first section and you die, but moving too fast kills you as well. Then there's all the Bullet Bills you have to dodge. The second section is a timed platform challenge where you have to frantically climb upwards via running over gaps and jumping on blocks. It ends with three difficult jumps onto small blocks. The third section has moving backgrounds on spherical platforms that screw up your controls. One wrong move and it's back to start. Did we mention there's Fuzzies which will gladly take the health you haven't lost to the Bullet Bills?
    • The secret level Dark Side of the Moon contains challenges that are remixes of existing ones. For some of these challenges, the remix is that you don't have Cappy, which makes them absolutely nightmarish. One has you navigate the invisible Poison Piranha Plant maze, and without Cappy, you can't clear the poison. Another sends you to a timed motorcycle challenge without the motorcycle (or Cappy). You need to be able to quickly use advanced movement techniques like rolling, long jumping, and diving, and your timing needs to be near-perfect. And then there's the Bullet Bill challenge, especially the Moon behind the wall that only the Banzai Bill can break. Since you can't capture it, you have to lure the Banzai Bill back to the start of the level. The way back is a single row of blocks with long spaces between them. You have to constantly long jump across these small blocks with the Banzai Bill chasing you, a mission that requires expert skill and timing.
    • "Diving From the Giant Pot" in the Luncheon Kingdom won't kill you, but it's still frustrating. To start, the name doesn't tell you where to dive or that you're supposed to stay in a Lava Bubble, which may cause you to dive off randomly, hoping to land somewhere with a Ground Pound spot for a Moon. Once you realize you're supposed to jump into the other small stewpot on top of the buildings, it doesn't become any easier, due to it being very close to the giant pot and falling aim already being quite difficult to control. Expect to warp back to the top several times before you finally splash your Lava Bubble successfully in the goal.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Madame Broode. She's only encountered twice in the entire game, and is never seen again after her second defeat, not even in the dark side of the moon. You would think that the boss of the Broodals would not only get at least one more fight, but also receive some more characterization.
    • Tiara is Cappy's younger sister and has the same powers as him, but all she does is be a Damsel in Distress, and has the underwhelming role of joining Peach as an NPC when she travels the kingdoms without becoming playable in the post-game. You don't even see much of the relationship between her and Cappy, with her relationship with Peach getting more focus in the post-game.
    • Luigi. Many of his fans were displeased that this gigantic Mario release left out the green guy initially, though whether his status as a host of a fun post-game minigame makes up for this (as opposed to having him fully playable) is up to debate.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Believe it or not, the wedding itself. When we finally get to see the wedding in the final stage of the game, it's mostly just Bowser trying to put a humongous ring on Peach than won't fit her finger at all, as well as the noticeable lack of a minister. All this to say that, despite all the work he went through, Bowser still isn't quite as close to marrying Peach as he was in other Mario adaptations before Mario's inevitable intervention, most notably Super Paper Mario.
    • Peach denying the chance to marry Mario, as this could have been an opportunity to explore Mario and Peach's relationship past it being simply the implied romance it's always been.
    • Both the "boss-only" levels in the game (Cloud Kingdom and Ruined Kingdom) are among the most visually interesting ones in the whole game. Too bad they're not as full-fledged and explorative as the other levels.
    • The Brooklyn Bridge equivalent in New Donk City is inaccessible.

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  • Ugly Cute:
    • There's something oddly adorable about Peach's wedding bouquet of Piranha Plants.
    • The Ruined Dragon, once you defeat it. It just sits around lazily and is implied to be a Gentle Giant when not under Bowser's control; if Mario talks to it, it complains about how tired it is, and Mario can climb up on it with no issues as its eyes just follow him around. The whole thing is strangely adorable.
    • The Broodals themselves may also qualify with many — the only exception being Madame Broode herself, of course.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The humans in New Donk City's more realistic style clashes heavily with Mario himself, who looks very cartoony and stylized by comparison. They even clash with their own mayor, Pauline, who despite having the same body proportions, has a relatively cartoony face that fits with the Mario cast instead. It's even weirder when you hear the photo-realistic humans Speaking Simlish, but Pauline not having bizarre voice clips. Given that the Mario series tends towards the surreal or otherwise bizarre, the oddness of the effect is likely intentional. The fact that the travel brochure refers to New Donk City's inhabitants as "New Donkers" rather than humans is a bit suspect. It has the possibly-deliberate added effect of hiding the lack of variation in NPC faces/appearances/clothing, something less striking in the non-human species.
    • Mario's hair and mustache being made of individual hairs dips into this due to to it slightly clashing with Mario's simplified, cartoony design. The hair and mustache on the actual in-game model of Mario fares a bit better with this, since, while it has more detail that his model usually does, it's in a simplified way.
    • The Tyrannosaurus rex, which looks like it stepped straight out of Jurassic Park.
    • The Ruined Dragon, who would fit right into Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, or The Elder Scrolls.
    • The Swim Goggles, unsettlingly, make Cappy's eyes appear where Mario's eyes should be.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Pauline's appearance as New Donk's mayor was likely one of the last things players expected, even with New Donk City being a stand-in for New York. To put this into perspective, Pauline had been relegated to the Mario vs Donkey Kong series and the closest to a main series appearance she had was the original Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong '94.
    • Literally no one ever expected Poochy to show up; the character has recurred often and even has an amiibo, but the main series almost never borrows elements exclusively from the Yoshi's Island series.
    • Toadette showing up was also surprising, as the closest she had gotten to being in a mainline game beforehand was a still picture in the prologue to Super Mario Galaxy.
    • Klepto debuted in Super Mario 64 and hasn't made any major appearances since that game's remake (not counting its cameos in Mario Party 7 and Mario Party 8), so seeing it pop up in the Lost Kingdom was a nice (or perhaps not so nice) surprise.
      • Dorrie, who also debuted in Super Mario 64, hasn't appeared in any Mario game since New Super Mario Bros., so it is surprising to see it appear in the Lake Kingdom.
    • Most returning enemies that Mario can Capture are iconic ones appearing in multiple games. The exceptions are Ty-Foos and Parabones, which both debuted in Super Mario 3D World and were minor enemies even there. As for non-Captureable enemies, there's the Maw-Rays, based on the Unagi that last appeared in New Super Mario Bros. (Not counting the cameo in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7), as well as Donkey Kong himself being a miniboss in New Donk City, since DK has never appeared in the main Mario platformers due to having his own series.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Knucktolec in the Sand Kingdom, bordering on Designated Villain territory. He's the guardian of the Binding Band, and he only attacks Mario due to mistaking him for its thief. And after the battle, he explodes instead of getting a chance to make amends. It also doesn't help that Cappy acts openly hostile toward Knucktolec (to a level that he doesn't really show toward any of the game's other bosses) throughout the boss fight, shouting things along the lines of "that'll teach you!" every time the player gets a hit in.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The visuals shown off in the trailers are absolutely spectacular. Special mention goes to the giant mechanical centipede Mecha-Wiggler boss seen at the end of the first trailer, facing off against Mario in New Donk City atop a skyscraper during a thunderstorm!
    • The level of detail on Mario in the official art. His overalls are clearly made of denim, his shirt is clearly made from a jersey knit. There are seams everywhere you'd expect seams to be. And though it may dip into the Uncanny Valley, the detail in Mario's hair and mustache is also pretty cool. The design might be the most realistic-looking Mario design ever next to that of Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • The film quality CG Mario featured in the "Jump Up, Super Star!" live action trailer, it's essentially the promotional render mentioned above, but in motion.
    • To anyone who thinks Nintendo can only do cartoony graphics, the Ruined Dragon and the Ruined Kingdom shows that they're more than capable when it comes to 'realistic' graphics as they are with stylized ones too.
    • During some of the 8-bit segments, enemies will switch from 2-D to their full 3-D models (sometimes alternating between the two). The transition between styles is seamless.
  • Waggle: While the game is entirely playable without motion controls, with no power moons requiring them, there are enhanced forms of moves that can only be performed with the motion controlsnote ; something which doesn't sit well with many players who don't like them. At startup, the game even recommends playing with the Joy-Cons detached to make it easier to use the motion controls, as the other control modes either work fine though not as well (Such as the Joy-Con Grip and the Pro Controller), or are plain impractical. (Undocked, Joy-Con-attached mode, which is basically the only way to play with a Switch Lite).
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Playing Odyssey is typically a surreal experience. The worlds and their inhabitants are a part of this – from a land populated by sentient forks to New Donk City, whose citizens, except for Pauline, are unusually realistic-looking but speak simlish, and have the visual uniformity of people in a Magritte painting unless they are important – but the body-snatching capabilities brought by Cappy make the game reach surreal heights. Occupying the bodies of ememies is to be expected – and this in itself can be weird, such as when you control a ten-plus stack of Goombas – but Mario can occupy some truly out-there things, most of which gain his cap and moustache: a manhole cover, a T. Rex, a traffic cone on a building, a fork, a zipper in a wall or a floor, and a giant slab of thick, flabby meat that he can make flop around and fall into a giant stew pot. Hats abound in setting-appropriate varieties, so Bullet Bills can be found wearing fancy wedding hats and even sheep can be found wearing sombreros.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • The return to Wide Open Sandbox-style gameplay won over many fans who had longed for a more explorative game akin to Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and some parts of the first Super Mario Galaxy.
    • On the flip side, fans of the linear games who were wary of Odyssey received the game much more warmly come the E3 2017 trailer, when they were shown the sheer variety of environments, the possession mechanic, and an extremely catchy jazz number.
    • Previous Mario games such as the New Super Mario Bros. series were praised for their gameplay, but criticized for recycling the same basic Video Game Settings with little variation or mixing and matching. The levels in Odyssey exhibit a huge variety of creative designs that emphasize surprise and variation, even if that makes them dip into the Uncanny Valley a little bit.
    • In contrast to the New Super Mario Bros. series, Bowser's given much more recognition by NPCs, is seen more often, and performs some truly awesome things, like raiding every kingdom without a hitch, riding a dragon, striking down Mario and the Odyssey twice, and eventually becoming Promoted to Playable right at the end.
  • The Woobie: Poor Tiara. While Peach has a lengthy track record of kidnappings and is probably used to it by now, this is presumably Tiara's first time, and needless to say, she's pretty darn terrified of Bowser.

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