Everyone’s favorite plumber has a squeaky clean record as the Mushroom Kingdom’s beloved savior. At least that’s what Nintendo would like us to believe. They paint him as a good guy with a happy grin and cheerful cries of ‘Wahoo!’ as he jumps about the kingdom. Mario certainly seems like the perfect poster child. There’s even a blog dedicated to praising him, emphasizing how "good" he is.
I wouldn’t blame you for falling for his good boy act. But that’s what it truly is: an act. With a history of despicable deeds, this round-faced "hero" has been hiding his true colors. Please allow me to show you 10 reasons why Mario is actually a villain.
10. He Kicks Down His Friends To Get Where He Needs To Go
It’s great that Mario is so determined to rescue the princess from danger, but it seems he will stop at nothing. And I mean nothing. He doesn't care who gets hurt along the way. In Super Mario World, he can jump off of Yoshi mid-air, leaving the loyal dinosaur to plummet to his doom. If it was the best way to progress, Mario took it. He’s beginning to look a little less heroic and a little more ruthless. In many other games, he’ll call on Yoshi, force-feeding him fruit and then ditching him when he’s done.
9. He Punches Yoshi
What? Surely Mario would never physically hurt his faithful companion? May I remind you this is the same Yoshi who saved him as a baby, and has already been sacrificed multiple times to help Mario reach greater heights? It would seem the plumber isn’t bothered by that. You might think that when riding Yoshi in Super Mario World, he would be pointing forward as if to say "Go!" But look closely and you’ll see he actually punches Yoshi in the head, shocking him into sticking his tongue out. You can even hear the ‘bop’ sound! That is no way any hero would treat their true friend.
8. He Leaves Luigi In The Dust
Luigi is the dream brother. He’s sweet, he’s caring, and he adores his big brother. Mario, on the other hand? Not such a dream. He leaves poor Luigi behind any chance he’s got, despite the fact Luigi would love to join Mario on his adventures. Luigi has even saved Mario in Luigi’s Mansion, and still, this mustachioed menace leaves him in the dust. In the ending of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Luigi appears with a hot air balloon for Mario and Peach. The couple gets in and flies off, leaving him to fall over, abandoned. Brotherly love, right?
7. He Abuses His Brother
Oh yes, it gets worse. Remember the opening clip of Mario Kart Wii? Peach smashes into Luigi, sending him flying, and Mario’s response? A gleeful grin and a laugh, as they race side-by-side — as if it’s just a cute date. And then there’s Mario Power Tennis. Each character has a celebration cutscene if they win a tournament, and Luigi’s is downright disturbing. Mario walks onto the stage clapping, appearing to congratulate him for his rare moment in the spotlight. Then he slaps him on the back, too hard for it to be friendly, and stamps on his foot! Luigi deserves better.
6. He Possesses Living Beings
In his latest big adventure, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario ‘captures’ various creatures, inhabiting their bodies and taking control of them for as long as he chooses. He uses their abilities, then dumps them when he’s finished, leaving them to poof out of existence.
Nintendo doesn’t seem keen on their poster boy being accused of bad things. They insisted on Twitter that he captures things, not possesses them. Capturing doesn’t sound much better! And besides, inhabiting a body and controlling it? That’s possession! So add creepy demon abilities to the list of arguments against him.
5. He Attacks Innocent Creatures
I know what you’re thinking: Goombas aren’t innocent! They hurt Mario! Well, if I walked into a wild dog’s territory it might hurt me, too, but that doesn’t make it bad. What if the Goombas are just protecting their families and their homes? The humble Wiggler is a friendly caterpillar; only when Mario stomps on them do they get aggressive, and he’s more than happy to do that.
Not only that, but Mario attacks children. The Koopalings and Bowser Jr. are only trying to help their dad—it’s all they know—but Mario shows no remorse.
4. He Steals Public Money
In nearly all Mario games, he collects coins that are scattered about the world. But just because they’re left unattended, does that mean they’re free to take? Since they’re floating in public areas like that, it’d be safe to assume these coins could be public funds. Mario, the greedy crook, is happy to hoard the money for himself, blowing it all on mushrooms or silly outfits. Meanwhile, the Toads live in a little toadstool house. He doesn’t give a second thought to how it might affect the economy. Sure, live it up, Mario – who cares about the townspeople...
3. He’s Totally Okay With Destroying Citizens
Another fundamental element of the Mario series is the brick blocks which our plumber can jump up and break, sometimes receiving coins or power-ups as a reward. But what if I told you that those blocks are actually people? That’s right — in the original Super Mario Bros. manual, we learn that Bowser magically transformed the Toads into ‘bricks’. Uh-oh.
Surely, as the hero sent to save the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario knew this, right? Does he do anything to help these poor souls? Nope. He just carries on smashing those blocks without a care in the world, showing zero remorse. That’s dark.
2. He’s Also Okay With Murder
In most family-friendly games, the good guy defeats the bad guy. This is usually done with some sort of comic violence like sending them flying. In Sonic games, the eponymous Hedgehog destroys Dr. Eggman’s machines. But Mario? He sees no problem with ending Bowser’s life, forcing him to fall into a fiery pit of death. And he’s still the happy-go-lucky Mario afterward, even getting a kiss for his efforts.
Bowser doesn’t technically kill people. He turns them into bricks and flowers. Yes, and he does kidnap Peach, but no harm ever comes to her. But if you get on the wrong side of Mario? Death.
1. He’s The Villain Of Donkey Kong Jr.
The most damning evidence of all... In the game Donkey Kong Jr., Mario is literally the villain. Donkey Kong Jr. must rescue his dad from the clutches of Mario who has trapped him in a compact cage. We know that Donkey Kong supposedly kidnapped the princess previously (who knows what the truth is anymore?), but why force him into a cage? Whatever happened to forgiveness? Isn’t that what a hero does?
Well, Mario is no hero.
He can also be seen whipping the other animals to get them to do his bidding for him and stop little Junior from reaching his dad. It’s needless animal cruelty.