The Best Super Mario Bros. Movie Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is full of Nintendo callbacks and references! Here are the very best easter eggs we found in the film.
This Super Mario Bros. Movie article contains spoilers.
Surprise! The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which celebrates the long history of the most popular Nintendo character to ever appear on consoles, is jam-packed with tons of easter eggs, callbacks, and references to Mario’s gaming legacy. But it’s not just the video games themselves the movie turns to for inspiration. You’ll also find references to a certain 1993 movie as well as the animated series and comics sprinkled throughout the film. And there are plenty of even more obscure references, too.
In fact, there are so many easter eggs, we’re still finding more days after the movie’s release. Here are the very best callbacks to the Mario Bros. and Nintendo history that’s we’ve spotter so far:
Super Mario Bros. History
– Mario and Luigi’s plumbing commercial has them flying around with yellow capes, a power-up introduced in Super Mario World.
– Speaking of power-ups, mystery boxes are floating all over the magical kingdoms Mario, Luigi, and Peach visit in the movie, with plenty of fun stuff inside, including magic mushrooms and the Tanooki and Cat Mario power-ups.
– Fire flowers, another common power-up, adorn much of the green landscapes of the Mushroom Kingdom. Wielding it gives our heroes special fire abilities and changes their appearance to a white and red color palette, just like the games. An ice flower, which allows characters to freeze things, appears late in the movie during the fight that breaks out the wedding.
– The Mario Bros. get sucked through a green warp pipe at the start of their adventure. The warp pipe is one of the oldest mechanics in the Mario series. When you encounter one of these in a course, jump into one. More often than not, you’ll be led to a secret room with some goodies inside or another way pathway to complete the course.
– Bowser hopes to win over Peach with the help of the Super Star, an item that grants the character who wields it invincibility for a short time. Mario and Luigi end up using it to take down Bowser and his koopa army in the streets of Brooklyn.
– The commercial that opens features a familiar tune about the Mario Bros. This is the theme song from the 1989 animated series Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
– When Luigi finds himself in Bowser’s neck of the woods, one of the first things he says is, “Mario, where are you?!” While that is a completely natural thing for Luigi to say in that situation, it also might be a callback to the ridiculous ’80s commercial for Mario Bros., where a frantic, live-action Luigi exclaims the same thing to music.
– During the training sequence at the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach shows Mario how to complete a near-impossible obstacle course in order to hone his platforming skills. The goal is to make your way to a flag pole at the end of the level. The flag pole represents the finish line of most courses in the classic Mario games.
– That training obstacle course as a whole gives off Super Mario Maker vibes, doesn’t it? In that brilliant sandbox title, fans can create their own courses and upload them online so that other players can try to complete them. This has resulted in some of the most monstrous Mario courses you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s the best.
– We learn Mario and Luigi have a whole family of Marios to make fun of them at the dinner table, including Papa and Mama Mario. There has been a lot of debate about Mario’s family and what their last name actually is, which we wrote a bit about here.
– Flashbacks to their childhoods give us a look at Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, the infant versions of the Mario Bros. first introduced in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. We later see a Baby Peach, too.
– There are lots of other musical cues in the movie:
1) When Mario enters the Mushroom Kingdom, you immediately here the “World 1-2” theme from Super Mario Bros., one of the most beloved songs in the series.
2) The dramatic reveal of Peach’s castle comes with the opening theme of Super Mario 64.
3) Of course, when Mario and Luigi grab the star, the movie plays a variation of the invincibility theme.
Both the stranger supporting Mario and Luigi’s fake accents, a fella by the name Giuseppe, and Mario’s father are voiced by Charles Martinet, who has been voicing Mario, Luigi, and their sleazy doppelgangers in the games for decades. You’ll also notice that many of his signature catchphrases are included in the movie, including “Mama mia,” and “Wahoo!”
Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom
– Princess Peach’s castle looks exactly like the one from Super Mario 64, complete with the stained glass window at its center. If you grew up playing Nintendo 64 in the ’90s, you know this location and its many secret passageways and rooms very, very well.
– The woman in the plumbing commercial is voiced by Jeannie Elias, who played Peach/Princess Toadstool in the Super Mario Bros. Super Show and its follow-ups.
– Peach’s tendency to act as a headstrong, badass leader among a bunch of ineffectual Toads while being completely sick of Bowser’s bullshit seems to be based on her depiction from Super Mario Adventures, the comic adaptation of Super Mario World that was featured in Nintendo Power.
– In a nice bit of brand synergy, the shopping area in the Mushroom Kingdom strongly resembles Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios.
– Toad wields a frying pan, a weapon Peach could unlock in Super Mario RPG. It was her most powerful weapon in the game.
– As Mario tries to see the Princess, a Toad guard jokes that she’s in another castle. The original Super Mario Bros. game featured various Toads telling this to Mario and Luigi at the end of the first seven castle stages. Peach herself would joke about it in the ending of Super Mario Bros. 3.
– Bowser’s floating fortress was introduced in the Paper Mario games and has become a staple of the character ever since. Some think that the inside of Bowser’s castle also resembles the Lava Lair from Super Mario Galaxy 2.
– King Koopa leads an army of all kinds of Mario enemies, including Goombas, Buzzy Beetles, Spinys, and of course Koopas themselves.
– Bowser’s piano is inscribed with “Ludwig Von Koopa,” which is both a reference to Ludwig Von Beethoven and the Mario character Ludwig Von Koopa, who was one of the Koopalings introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3. Ludwig shows up briefly, alongside his Koopalings Lemmy and Iggy, as members of the band playing in Bowser’s fortress.
– The little tune Bowser plays on the piano while jamming with Kamek is the “Underworld Theme” from the original Super Mario Bros. game. Have fun trying not to hum this little chiptune for the rest of the day.
– Bowser’s white wedding outfit is taken from Super Mario Odyssey. His whole plan to marry Peach is also from this game. It didn’t work out then either.
– Being the romantic he is, Bowser rehearses offering Peach a bouquet of Piranha Plants. These are some of the most common enemies in the games, including in Mario Kart, where they’ll try to chomp on you as you zoom by.
– King Bob-omb, a boss first introduced in Super Mario 64, attends Bowser and Peach’s wedding and pays dearly for it with his life. We believe things go a little better for King Boo, who’s also in attendance.
– The Jungle Kingdom is based on the Donkey Kong Country spinoffs, which redesigned the character and his lore back in the early 1990s. This includes appearances by Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Chunky Kong as onlookers during the big Mario vs. Donkey Kong fight. Other playable DK characters from the years show up in background shots.
– The king of the Jungle Kingdom is Cranky Kong. It used to be that Cranky was an older version of the original Donkey Kong from the 1981 arcade cabinet, but Nintendo seems to have dropped that idea.
– When Donkey Kong makes his big entrance, he is accompanied by the DK Rap, one of the worst rap songs you have ever heard. Seth Rogen told us he really had to fight to get this easter egg into the movie.
– The battleground for Mario vs. Donkey Kong is made to resemble a Super Smash Bros. stage, but it also includes girders and barrels, making it reminiscent of the Donkey Kong game.
– At one point in the film, you may a spot a poster of tubular ape surfing and vibing. That’s a nod to Funky Kong!
Mario Kart, Rainbow Road, Blue Shells, and Banana Peels
– Much like in the later games, Mario and his allies are able to customize how their karts look. In fact, the three-wheel system for kart customization looks straight up like the menu from Mario Kart 8, one of the best installments in the series.
– The heroes ride their karts on Rainbow Road, the go-to final track for pretty much every Mario Kart game. There have been plenty of different versions of this beloved track, some more elaborate than others. The one featured in the movie features multiple levels and pathways to get to where you’re going.
– The spiny koopa turns out to be the ominous blue shell, which hones in on whoever is in first place and unleashes an explosion that’s near impossible to dodge. This was introduced back in Mario Kart 64 and is considered by many players to be the absolute worst of the power-ups. Unless you’re in last place. Then it’s the best power-up on the planet.
– At one point, a kart slips up on a banana peel. This gag is of course a reference to one of the most oft-used power-ups in the Mario Kart series. Slipping on one of these peels can be absolutely devastating in the final stretch of a race.
– Other power-ups included in this sequence include green shells, bombs, and bullet bills, all from the Mario Kart games.
Luigi’s tendency to carry around the tools is a visual callback to his role in Luigi’s Mansion to the point that people thought he was carrying around his vacuum cleaner back in the trailer. He’s even carrying a flashlight that’s less than useful when he encounters those monsters. Fittingly, he also ends up having to deal with the supernatural undead of the Mushroom Kingdom. He does not fare well against the Shy Guys and Dry Bones pursuing him.
Punch-Out Pizzeria is filled with references to the Punch-Out series, with headshots of many of the classic fighters, from Mr. Sandman to Glass Joe. The real question is whether the restaurant is run by an aging Little Mac or obscure boxer Pizza Pasta. It should be noted that in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Mario acted as the referee.
The pizzeria features a Jumpman arcade machine. Jumpman was Mario’s original name back in his first appearance in Donkey Kong. From the looks of it, the Jumpman game appears to play similarly.
Although there’s a serious lack of Yoshis in this movie, you can spot a few multi-colored ones in a montage as Mario and Peach make their way through the lands beyond the Mushroom Kingdom. But it’s in the big post-credits scene that the movie more directly references our beloved Yoshi. We hear him chirping as his egg begins to hatch, all but confirming that we’ll get to finally see our little green pal in action in the sequel.
– Peach, Mario, and Toad wander through Sarasaland, the desert area ruled by Peach’s counterpart (and potential future love interest for Luigi) Princess Daisy.
– Speaking of Daisy, the original Super Mario Bros. movie featured Daisy as a hybrid of the two princesses. Her origins were opposite of this version of Peach. The live-action version was from the fantasy land and ended up in the human world as a baby while the animated Peach is from the human world and ends up in the fantasy land as a baby.
The official trying to downplay the flooding during the news report appears to be Pauline, the damsel in distress from the original Donkey Kong. She returned in Super Mario Odyssey as the Mayor of New Donk City.
Foreman Spike and Wrecking Crew
While hanging out in Brooklyn, the Mario Bros. are constantly antagonized by a character named Spike (voiced by Sebastian Maniscalco). This is of course a reference to Foreman Spike, the antagonist in Wrecking Crew, an obscure Mario game from the NES days. The title is also on Spike’s van.
Duck Hunt and Pikmin
A framed photo of one of the Duck Hunt ducks is at the Punch-Out Pizzeria. There is another Duck Hunt-themed restaurant out in Brooklyn, which uses the same graphic.
The home of Mario and Luigi’s first and only job features a Pikmin statue. There’s also a large painting portraying the laughing dog from Duck Hunt.
Kid Icarus, Star Fox, and F-Zero
In his bedroom, Mario is shown playing Kid Icarus, one of the earlier releases for the NES. Fittingly, playing the NES before getting sucked into the Mushroom Kingdom is something that happened to Mario back in the Super Mario Bros. anime. Mario’s room also features references to Star Fox (the Arwing toy), Captain Falcon’s car from F-Zero, and Baseball for NES.
Pro Wrestling and Ice Climber on NES
– Mario has a wrestling poster hyping up a big match between Starman and the Amazon. These two come from Pro Wrestling for NES. While Starman is your basic luchador, Amazon is based on hardcore legend Abdullah the Butcher.
– Both a poster in Mario’s room and a sign in Brooklyn use an image of the sunglasses-wearing polar bear from Ice Climber.
During the news report about the flooding, there’s a ticker at the bottom of the screen mentioning giant crabs in the sewers. This comes from the original Mario Bros. game, though their official name is Sidestepper.
One of Bowser’s prisoners is Lumalee, a star being from the cosmos. The Lumas come from the Super Mario Galaxy series and are closely associated with Rosalina. You can read more about little Lumalee here.
The Magikoopa who is always by Bowser’s side, ready to perform a spell against King Koopa’s enemies, is named Kamek. He first appeared in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island and has become a staple of the series ever since, showing up across several of the Super Mario sub-series, including the Mario RPG games, the Party titles, Paper Mario, and many more.
Luigi’s phone plays the GameCube intro jingle. If you were gaming in the early 2000s, you know this little theme song very well. Remember that if you hold Z on your controller as the GameCube is booting up, you get a little surprise!
There’s a fairly prominent sign for playing cards that shows up in the final battle. This tips its hat to Nintendo’s origins as a playing card company back in 1889.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is in theaters now.