Mario: better known than Mickey Mouse because he's used in more Nintendo games than the A button.

Just The Facts

  1. Anyone "joking" about how Mario hasn't gotten any from Peach after a million rescues is saying "I only wish I had the chance to have sex with a videogame character."
  2. EVERYONE knows that Super Mario 2 isn't the real Mario 2. Get over it.

Lazy Design

The most successful video game character of all time was invented by Shigeru Miyamoto in the same way that some children are "invented" by their parents on accident after a night of heavy drinking. For instance, Miyamoto:

  • wanted to make a Popeye game but failed to get the license
  • called the character "Jumpman" in the least creative naming ceremony since George Foreman named his fifth child George.
  • renamed "Mario" to flatter a warehouse landlord Nintendo of America hadn't bothered to pay rent
  • given white gloves to avoid drawing the arms
  • a hat so Shigs wouldn't have to draw the hair
  • a mustache so he wouldn't have to draw a mouth
  • was made a plumber because a friend happened to walk in and said "Hey, that guy looks like a plumber!"

Mario "versus" Sonic

A huge deal at the time, but like the Street Fighter versus Mortal Kombat debate we can now calmly admit that Sonic was Mario's rival in the same way the Riddler technically counts as a Superman villain. Mario has gone on to feature in every generation's Best Platform Game Ever, while Sonic has 'expanded' into racing, action-adventure and the third dimension in the same way an overflowing septic tank will 'expand' into your garden.

The Glory Days. Or more accurately The Glory Two Hours, until you finished the game and played something else.

Mario Kart

In 1992, Nintendo announced a Mario racing game and everyone cried "Cash-in!" When the game was bought by everyone who even thought about liking wheels, there followed an embarrassing period of every other company programming "Shamelessness And Absolute Lack Of Imagination" into software form:

Uh, no, Nintendo, we just happened to put all our iconic characters into go-karts by coincidence. Years after you did. And yes, specifically go-karts, not even hovercraft or jetfighters or even the remotest pretense of any kind. Coincidence.

See also: motion controls, right the hell now.

The Best Power-Ups

Over the years Mario has enjoyed more powerful and insane power-ups than James Bond on LSD. But which were the best?


The single most iconic power-up of all time. If you want to murder someone, just play the invincibility theme over their radio when they're driving. They'll instantly swerve into oncoming traffic.

Tanooki Suit
Mario can even make dressing up as furry animals cool, proving he's far beyond the abilities of real humans.

Metal Cap
Turns you into the Mario-1000, which is kind of cool, and turns "a goddamn water level" into a standard platform level, making it the best thing ever and a mandatory addition to every platform game ever made.

Water levels: the designer's way of saying "I hate you."

The Blue Shell
The best (and most hated) item in the Mario Kart franchise. It homes in on the leader, blows them up, and triggers incessant whining in hardcore players who complain "If this was a real racing game I'd easily and constantly dominate everyone else!" And then wonder why no-one will play a real racing game against them. Which is odd, because you'd think a gamer would be good at pattern recognition.

Mario's Worst Appearances

Super Mario 2

Super Mario 2 was really Doki Doki Panic with Mario scribbled on top, meaning that the average 1993 gamer's trapper-keeper had just as much right to be a Mario sequel. The "real" Mario 2 was just a full-price expansion pack (but because the internet didn't exist yet, people didn't know they were meant to be upset about/have a lame rationalization for pirating).

The fact that the real Mario 2 was harder than a sexually excited statue didn't help. Western players wouldn't volunteer for ridiculously difficult Japanese insanity until the Dance Dance Revolution. The hasty conversion explained why it
  1. played like Mario had finally found some real magic mushrooms
  2. sucked

Punch Out

Shigeru Miyamoto was a tiny bit upset to find his family-friendly mascot character presiding over a rapist brain-damaging a midget.

Mario loves this shit

The Movie
The movie so bad it couldn't even get its own hero's name right. Shigeru is on record as saying that Mario's name is not "Mario Mario," presumably because that would be stupid, and because it's as close as the ultra-polite Japanese can come to saying the movie sucks.
When you're played by Bob Hoskins in your own autobiography, that's bad, and when you can't make Dennis Hopper trying to kill Bob Hoskins fun, that's impossible.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Sonic versus Mario was the dream game of every child growing up in the 90s, which SEGA ruined by adding the only thing un-fun enough to cancel out the combined awesome.
It was more disappointing than being woken by sexy twins just so they could criticize your career choices.

Mario Monopoly

You couldn't make a game more opposite to Mario by removing his ability to jump. Which Nintendo did in 1985 with Wrecking Crew. Which was still more fun.

I Am A Teacher: Super Mario Sweater

Mario has "starred" in more insulting edutainment games than any other hero, but that's just statistics. He's also appeared in more golf and origami-based adventure games - by sheer numbers Mario has randomly appeared in more things than the face of Jesus. What he is guilty of is appearing in the worst educational game since "Scavenger Hunt: Finding Candy In Strangers' Vans"
"I am a Teacher: Super Mario Sweater" taught people how to knit cardigans, in the first example ever of kids buying their parents a game to get them to shut up.
As expected, wearing a Mario cardigan causes boys to give up on ever meeting a girl almost immediately. These happy chappies have already come up with an alternative lifestyle.

New Super Mario Bros Wii

Yeah, you're going to see more bubbles than a bubble bath

Dedicated gamers loudly whine that they could finish this game far faster if they were playing alone. Which says far more about their skills and life decisions than we think they intend.

The Mario Brand

The Mario Brand
Some complain that there are too many "damn Mario games", which makes as much sense as saying there are too many cars with a Ferrari badge. He's a walking, jumping brand, a way of saying "Nintendo Golf" that attracts people. Whereas just writing "Golf" would warn people that they're about to buy a goddamn Golf game.

Or worse.

Hey, forums? THIS is why Nintendo keep making Mario games

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Bros revolutionized gaming, Super Mario 64 proved that the third dimension didn't have to suck, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 doubles as an absolutely foolproof asshole detector. If a gamer claims that Galaxy 2 is bad for any reason, they're an asshole! As in real life (and for Mario Cardigan wearers) the flavor of asshole you find may vary, including

  • Sony fanboys suffering "existence of mascot character" envy
  • Microsoft fanboys who think Halo (aka "My First FPS") is more manly
  • Those still suffering from "Saying great things suck is cool" syndrome