Super Mario Bros. is arguably one of the greatest games in the history of pixels moving around on-screen–if nothing else, it has the kind of sales that would make anyone sit up and pay attention. And with fans from around the world, it’s hardly surprising that the game has been played nearly to perfection. At this point, Mario may be almost as famous as Mickey Mouse–but there are probably still a few things you don’t know about the plumber and the worlds he’s adventured through.

In any game, there are bound to be easter eggs hidden somewhere by bored programmers and wily designers, but Mario practically explodes with them. Here are some of our favorite Mario trivia facts; see how much you know!

Now, we’re not saying no one will know these trivia items–as surely as the sun rises, there’s someone out there who knows more about Nintendo’s mascot than we do. But for the rest of you, hopefully this will give you some hot knowledge to impress (or perhaps annoy) your friends with!

1. The first Super Mario Bros. game is among the best-selling games in history–it’s sold over 40 million units since it appeared in 1985.

▼Which means he’s died at least a billion times by now…


2. Mario wasn’t always a plumber! He started off his gaming life as a carpenter on Donkey Kong, but switched careers in Super Mario Bros.

3. You probably know that Mario’s name comes from the landlord of the old Nintendo offices, Mario Seagale. But did you know his original name was “Jumpman“?

▼At least it wasn’t “LaddersMan.”


4. Speaking of names, what is Mario’s (and Luigi’s) last name? Well, unofficially, it’s “Mario,” but officially Nintendo has never revealed it. After 29 years, we’re starting to think he doesn’t have one!

5. Bowser wasn’t always a turtle–he apparently started out as an ox in Miyamoto’s original designs. However, it looks like Bowser as a turtle may have more of a link to reality

6. Of course, you probably know that in Japan, Bowser is called “Daimaou Koopa” or “King Koopa” (though a direct translation would be “Great Evil King Koopa”), but did you know “koopa” comes from the Japanese name of a Korean soup, called “kuppa” in Japanese (and “gukbak” in Korean).

▼We wonder if that means Bowser is edible…


7. Quick! What colors are Mario’s shirt and overalls? Depending on how long you’ve been playing you may have a different answer. In Donkey Kong and the first Mario games, his overalls were red and his shirt was blue. From Super Mario Bros. 3 onward, the colors were switched.


8. Considering when the game was originally made, it’s hardly surprising that the original file size for Super Mario Bros. was only 32 kilobytes–less than any of the pictures on this page!

9. Goombas, perhaps the most famous video game enemies ever, are known to have once been part of the Mushroom Kingdom before betraying it and joining Bowser. In Japanese, the goombas are called “kuriboh,” with “kuri” meaning “chestnut,” but they’re actually designed to look like shiitake mushrooms, hinting at their traitorous history.

10. Apparently some people mistakenly believe that Mario is using his head to break bricks! If so, you can put away your worries about concussion-related injuries–he’s using his hand!

▼You may need to worry about broken hands, wrists, and arms though…


11. The Bowsers in worlds 1 through 7 of Super Mario Bros. aren’t actually Bowser. They’re Goombas and Koopa Troopers which have been transformed into fakes!

12. But the Goombas and Koopa Troopers aren’t the only ones who have been transformed: The blocks (like the ones Mario breaks willy-nilly) are actually the citizen of Mushroom Kingdom! They were transformed when the Koopas first attacked.

13. While Bowser has had many reasons for kidnapping Peach over the years, in the first game, it wasn’t because he was in love. It turns out that Peach was the only one with the power to undo the magic spell that transformed the Mushroom Kingdom’s citizens!

14. Hardcore players probably already know this, but it turns out that you can actually jump over the flagpoles at the end of levels. We’re not sure why you’d want to, but this video shows how to do it in world 3-3.

15. Of course, Super Mario Bros. has tons of secrets and secret worlds, but one of our favorites has to be world 9-1 which looks like a photo negative of a regular Mario world. Oh, and you can swim everywhere….

16. Chain chomps are annoying, we suppose, but it’s not like they can chase you. Well, unless you stand and wait for them to charge at you 50 times! Then, they’ll break free and come looking for some noms.

17. Unless you bought the game in Japan in 1986, you probably never got the chance to play Super Mario Bros. 2 (at least until 2007). And in case you think you did, you should know that the Super Mario Bros. 2 that was released in the West wasn’t actually a Mario game when it was first made. (The game was originally Doki Doki Panic.) This is fairly common knowledge now, but have you ever wondered what was released in Japan? Simple! The real Super Mario Bros. 2, which was apparently very similar to the first game–but with a much, much tougher level design! If you’ve never played the rereleased version on the Wii Virtual Console, you can check out a speed run done with the original below.

18. Speaking of speed runs, what’s the fastest that anyone has ever beaten Super Mario Bros.? 4 minutes and 57.69 seconds!

19. Here’s another speed run trivia item: Did you know you can finish Super Mario 64 without a single star? While the game normally requires you to have 70 stars before heading to fight the final boss, there’s a way to get to the boss battles without fussing over stars! (Yes, it requires exploiting a lot of glitches.)

20. One of Mario’s most iconic features is his lovely mustache…but apparently the character got it out of laziness. It allowed the programmers to skip facial expressions!

▼With a mustache like that, what expression do you need besides pride?


21. Another graphics related piece of trivia is the clouds and the bushes. If you look closely, you’ll notice that they’re the same image with different colors! Apparently this was to save space–remember the game was only 32 kilobytes.

▼We’re guessing all the mushrooms didn’t help ether…


22. Another feature the creators had to skip due to size restraints was Yoshi. While they had intended to allow Mario to ride the dinosaur in the halcyon days of the NES, it was apparently too difficult with the technology of the time.

23. Not only is Super Mario Bros. an iconic game, but it also features an iconic cover. But if you never looked closely at it, you might not have noticed that Mario is in some dire straights–he’s about to fall into a lava pit!

▼That’s like making the cover to Macbeth a room full of dead bodies…


Well, that’s a lot of mamechishiki (“bean knowledge” or “trivia”) for one dude with a mustache. But what a magnificent mustache it is!
We bet there’s some great trivia out there that we missed, so feel free to chime in with your favorite Mario trivia in the comments!