Considered by many to be the ultimate video game character, Mario no longer has much of an air of mystery about him. In the arcade game where Mario first appeared called Donkey Kong, Mario was simply known as "Jumpman." (Because jumping was all he could really do.) As more games have been released with Mario as the star, we have all gotten to know our favorite overall-ed plumber a little better.

However, maybe we don't know him as well as we might think. Beneath that agreeable exterior lies a man who is shrouded in some of the weirdest abilities ever. As a kid, we took these aspects of Mario in stride. Why would we question the exact nature of the power-ups Mario could receive? Those power-ups were occasionally the only thing that stood between us and failure. And why would we question odd facets of Mario's appearance? We were too busy focusing on gameplay. But now that we have some time to reflect (and our brain capacity to really think about the important things in life has increased), we can all look back at Mario and his strange proclivities with a fresh eye.

Mario's body, so familiar to us in pixelated form and now in shiny new graphics, is a fun-house of weird. As a fan of Mario games, I decided to look back on all that Mario can do, and boy, the strangeness didn't cease. When we choose to play a Mario game, it's like we make an unspoken agreement with the developers to just ignore the oddities that crop up. But here, today, with this list, we're going to face those oddities head on. Read on if you want to confront the stranger aspects of Mario's person that we willfully forgot.

25 He's Not Even Human


New Donk City, a location in the latest Mario game, is one of the best settings ever made in a video game. However, it definitely upped the disturbing factor present in most Mario games by shoving in our faces how inhuman Mario really is.

New Donk City is populated with actual human-looking humans. Next to these denizens, Mario looks downright cartoonish. It makes me wonder whether or not Mario has an official species with which to belong to. He clearly does not belong to the collective group of Homo sapiens.


24 Buns Of Steel

via: (UncommentatedPannen)

A classic Mario move is the ground pound. When there is something beneath Mario that absolutely needs to be destroyed, he jumps in the air, then forces his body downward with a mighty thump to obliterate the offending object with his posterior or feet.

After years of doing that in numerous games, it's apparent that Mario's lower half has to be stronger than concrete. Otherwise, all of the bones that comprise his rear end would be shattered. Kind of makes you reminisce about all those busted brick blocks, doesn't it?

23 The Skinny Mushroom


Super Mario Maker did not solely introduce us to the opportunity of crafting our own Mario levels. It also introduced us to the Skinny Mushroom. Most fungi that Mario consumes turns him into a larger, stronger version of himself.

This strange, skinny mushroom, on the other hand, turns Mario into a tall, lanky version of himself that looks like an abomination. His knees get bent at an odd angle, and even his pixelated face takes a turn for the weird. If you ever see this strange mushroom while playing, I recommend you avoid it at all costs.

22 Where Did His Hair Go?


Early versions of Mario in video games portrayed him as a villain. He was responsible for locking up Donkey Kong and mistreating him. This early version of Mario was also pictured differently than the image we know today. Sinister Mario had a much more twirly mustache.

Sinister Mario was also decidedly bald.

The bits of hair that we could see sticking from the side of his red hat was the only bit of hair he had. The top of his head was shiny and bare.

21 Sporting A Strange Mustache


This took me way longer to notice than the average person. I'm pretty embarrassed about it. One odd thing about Mario's features is that his mustache is colored differently than his head of hair.

His hair is a light brown, whereas his mustache is a darker brown or black.

I don't know if this is a common sort of thing to observe in real life, but it's pretty weird to see in a video game. I only noticed this in Super Mario Odyssey because Mario spent quite a bit of time without wearing his hat.

20 The Tanooki Suit


Mario's Tanooki suit is probably one of the most useful outfits he can wear, but have you ever noticed how at odds it is with its own abilities? On the one hand, it can make Mario jump higher and longer than he does when he's wearing his overalls. On the other hand, it can turn him into a heavy statue that is invulnerable.

Those are two qualities that are the complete opposite of each other. I never questioned this before today, but it is pretty weird.

19 The Mini Effect


Being Mini is one of my favorite power-ups in all of the Mario games. It's more of a hassle than it's worth, really, but I love it anyways. In case people didn't know, being Mini makes Mario extremely vulnerable, but it also allows you to get into areas you wouldn't normally be able to access.

It can also let Mario walk on water.

That's right. Simply by being smaller, Mario can move his teeny-tiny legs so quickly that he won't sink below the water's surface unless he stops moving.

18 Cash From Bricks

via: (Vleeskind)

Anyone else think that it's weird how Mario can get money from punching bricks? The Mushroom Kingdom's economy must be saturated with all the coins that Mario has earned on his adventures.

Mario should never worry about marrying Princess Peach ever again. With the all of the money he has made from rescuing her over the years, he could become a prince in his own right. The ability to turn bricks into gold should make Mario the one Bowser constantly steals away. That way he'd get more bang for his buck.

17 That's Not A Plumber's Body


We all know Mario as a plumber. (For some reason, the plumber for the Mushroom Kingdom is the one who is always called upon to rescue Princess Peach, but that's a gripe for another time.)

Did you know that Mario was originally intended to be a carpenter?

A carpenter was initially supposed to travel through those sewage drains and jump on Goombas. Having a plumber plumb the depths of the Mushroom Kingdom definitely makes more sense.

16 Putting The Fun In Fungi


I'm not fond of mushrooms. I think they can be seasoned to perfection, but the texture of the mushroom as I'm chewing it really throws me off. As such, I would hate to live in the Mushroom Kingdom, where consuming mushrooms is necessary for survival.

Of course, mushrooms in the real world don't give you a height and endurance boost like Mario's mushrooms. When Mario gets himself a mushroom, he gets bigger and he also is allowed to take extra damage. 

15 Now That's What I Call Bloating

via: (ProsafiaGaming)

The steady stream of Mario games has inured us to the illogicality of certain aspects of it. Mushrooms making a person bigger is one of them. Another is an ability Mario showcased in Super Mario 64. Mario's special skill in this game is to enlarge himself like a giant balloon and then gain the ability to float around the map for a short period of time.

Excuse me, but what?! How does that happen? If Mario is floating, that would mean that the gases inside of him are lighter than air. 

14 The Real Iron Fist

via: (Volkan Demir)

Does Mario really need power-ups to defeat Bowser? He clearly has a gargantuan source of strength already. An average Mario can bust up blocks with a simple upward thrust of his fist. If you ask me, Mario doesn't need special mushrooms or flowers.

His hand can break a brick with one blow.

Whenever Mario takes on Bowser, instead of going about defeating him in a roundabout way, like grabbing his tail and giving him a spin, Mario should just punch him one in the jaw.

13 The True Age Of Our Mustached Hero

via: (SuperSmashIn3DLand)

Mario has been around for years. Since 1981, Mario has been jumping onto platforms, dodging enemies, and saving princesses. But even though he's been in many games over time, Mario hasn't aged a bit.

According to Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario is around twenty-four years old. I used to think Mario was pretty spry for a middle-aged man, but now I have to come to terms with the fact that Mario is even younger than me. Plus, he's ageless to boot.

12 A Stinking Wardrobe


Super Mario Odyssey introduced us all to the joys of dressing Mario up in different outfits. Prior to this game, we had never gotten to experience this.

Mario was just constantly stuck in his red shirt and blue overalls.

But isn't that just the slightest bit odd? Mario never changing his outfit would mean he either has the biggest collection of the same outfit ever seen in the history of video games or he has been wearing the same pair of clothes this whole time. And that, ladies and gentlemen, would reek to high heaven.

11 Aqua-Lungs

via: (SupraDarky)

Water levels are usually never any fun. Your normal movement is reduced by half, and you have to worry about whether or not your character has any air to breathe. Funnily enough, getting oxygen was never a concern for Mario in his platforming water levels.

Mario could just swim/bob along beneath the waves for as long as it took you to finish the level. That means he has the best pair of lungs this side of the Mushroom Kingdom. Or maybe he can breathe underwater like a fish.

10 The Olympic Long Jump

via: (New Super Mario Bros. U Channel)

For a stout plumber with short legs, Mario can perform some incredible jumps. No real human could leap as tall or as far as he does. (And with the creation of a place like New Donk City, we now know that Mario is not a real human.)

Mario's triple jump is a legendary feat that we take for granted because he's in a video game. And his long jump defies the laws of physics. Why would crouching while sprinting vault Mario to exaggerated lengths?

9 What Are These Flowers?


When we play Super Mario Bros., we learn quickly to always snatch a Fire Flower whenever we can. The Fire Powers that these flowers grant Mario are vital in beating difficult levels (especially those water levels).

Without these flowers, we would be reduced to jumping and dodging like savages. But how in the world did flowers get equated with flames? Fire typically destroys plant life. Somehow, we've all learned to ignore that fact as we sprint towards the nearest Fire Flower, desperate for the scorching ability it gives us.

8 Wearing The Animals

via: (Typhlosion4President)

A trend in most Mario games is for Mario to place a costume of an animal over his regular overalls. When he does this, Mario gains special abilities from whatever animal he is wearing. For example, when he places a penguin suit on his body, he is able to slide over ice on his belly and refrain from slipping on icy surfaces.

When Mario does this, is he just wearing a simple suit, or is he actually wearing the skin of the animal he is emulating? (Maybe that's why the penguins on the ice level always attacked Mario.)

7 Sweet Dreams


Super Mario Bros. 2 stands out from other Mario games. There are a few gamers who absolutely loathe the sequel to Super Mario Bros. Admittedly, the game doesn't feel like a traditional Mario game. Something about it feels off.

That weird vibe is there for a reason though. The whole game of Super Mario Bros. 2 is a dream that Mario dreamed up. That's why enemy types and the setting are so at odds with what the Mushroom Kingdom normally gives us.

6 Creature Possession

via: (Fantmx)

Super Mario Odyssey showed us one of Mario's most disturbing abilities to date. With the help of Cappy, an anthropomorphic hat, Mario is able to mind-control other creatures. If Cappy lands on the head of another being, Mario's consciousness is transferred over to that being.

While Mario possesses whoever he's in, he has all of the abilities that the creature would have at his disposal. It's all fun and games when you're playing, but if you really think about it, it's a total Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind of deal.

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