The Super Mario Bros. Movie: The best Easter eggs and references you might have missed

The film is packed with plenty of gaming lore — and enough to satisfy even the most fervent of Nintendo fans

It's only appropriate that The Super Mario Bros. Movie is hitting theaters for Easter weekend, as the film is packed with a dizzying number of Easter eggs, cameos, and references for Nintendo fans to soak in. It may be impossible to catch all of them on first viewing, but let's-a-go hunting for the very best ones you might have missed:

'Punch-Out!!' and Jump Man

The film's Brooklyn pizza parlor is named Punch-Out Pizzeria, a reference to the series of boxing games of the same name, primarily Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Photos on the wall of the parlor reference characters from the game, such as Little Mac. 

There is also an arcade machine at the pizza place that closely resembles the original Donkey Kong. This was the first game that Mario ever appeared in, predating the original Super Mario Bros., though Mario was known as Jumpman back then. In the movie, the name of this arcade game has been changed … to Jump Man. 

'Wrecking Crew'

Mario and Luigi are given a hard time at the pizza shop by their former boss, a man named Spike who wears a hat that says "Wrecking Crew." This is a reference to the 1984 game Wrecking Crew, in which Mario and Luigi starred. Spike is an enemy in the game, and he's meant to be a foreman at a construction site where the brothers work.

Charles Martinet cameos

Charles Martinet voices Mario in the games, and although the role was given to Chris Pratt for the movie, the original actor is still involved in the film project. Not only does he voice Mario and Luigi's father, but he also voices the man playing the arcade machine at the pizza shop. When the man talks, he sounds just like the version of Mario from the games, spinning a clever meta-joke out of his insistence that Mario and Luigi's over-the-top accents sound "perfect" in their commercial. What's more, the character is wearing Jump Man's outfit from Donkey Kong

The GameCube music

When Luigi gets a call early in the movie, his ringtone is the startup theme for the Nintendo GameCube.  

The 'Super Mario Bros Super Show!' theme

Hey, paisanos! The song used in Mario and Luigi's Super Mario Bros. Plumbing commercial — an ad that everyone in the movie relentlessly mocks — is the actual theme song of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, which debuted in 1989. 

'Duck Hunt'

Keep your eyes peeled for a French restaurant in Brooklyn named Chasse au Canard. That translates to "Duck Hunt," the name of the famous shooting game often offered on the same cartridge as Super Mario Bros. on NES.  


Another store featured in the movie is called Disk-Kun, a reference to Diskun, the mascot of Japan's Famicom Disk System. 

'Super Mario Sunshine'

Look out for the Sunshine travel agency, a reference to Super Mario Sunshine.

'Balloon Fight'

A car wash in Brooklyn refers to Balloon Fight, which was released on the NES around the same time as the original Super Mario Bros


When Mario and Luigi do a plumbing job early in the movie, viewers can catch a glimpse of a statue of one of the Pikmin from the Pikmin series. 

'Kid Icarus'

Holed up in his bedroom, Mario appears to be playing the NES game Kid Icarus on an actual NES, suggesting the Nintendo Entertainment System, a console that was bundled with Super Mario Bros., exists in the world of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Trippy! 

'Star Fox' and 'F-Zero'

Mario has a model spaceship in his room that looks identical to the Arwing, the spacecraft from the Star Fox games. He also has a poster for F-Zero up on the wall. 


Pauline briefly appears on television during a news report about flooding in Brooklyn, and she seems to be the mayor. Pauline was originally the woman Mario had to rescue in the game Donkey Kong, not Princess Peach. By 2017's Super Mario Odyssey, though, Pauline had been promoted to mayor of New Donk City.

Ludwig von Koopa

The "Ludwig von Koopa" inscription on Bowser's piano isn't just an obvious Beethoven pun — it's also the actual name of one of Bowser's Koopalings, who first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3

The Bramball and the Maw-Ray

One of the less famous Mario characters featured in the movie is the Bramball, one of which Mario passes by in the Mushroom Kingdom. This enemy type originated in 2009's New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Later, a Maw-Ray, a giant creature originally from Super Mario 64, swallows Mario and Donkey Kong.

Blow into it

Mario and Toad pass by an antique shop in the Mushroom Kingdom, where a customer can be seen holding up what appears to be an NES cartridge. "Does this thing work?" the customer asks, to which the shopkeeper responds, "Yes, you just have to blow into it." That's a reference to the infamous tip that blowing into your busted NES cartridge will supposedly get it to work — a joke that will surely make all the parents in the audience feel as old as dirt. 

Crazy Cap

In the scene where Mario and Todd are traveling through the Mushroom Kingdom, they pass by a Crazy Cap store from 2017's Super Mario Odyssey. 

The Donkey Kong rap

That delightfully cheesy rap that plays when viewers meet Donkey Kong? It's from 1999's Donkey Kong 64, in which it plays as an introduction to the game. The song has been heavily mocked since the game's release, though its creator has stressed it was intended as a joke. 

Lots and lots of soundtrack references

The soundtrack is filled with constant references to music from the games. But one of the best allusions is to the music from the Mario Kart 8 menu, which plays while Mario and the gang are selecting their karts. Plus, Mario Kart's "3…2…1…" sound effect plays over the Illumination logo at the start of the film. 

The Princess Peach castle music from Super Mario 64 is also heard many times in the movie, as is the "underground theme" from world 1-2 in Super Mario Bros. on NES, which plays before Luigi initially goes through the pipe, and later, when Bowser offers up a rendition on the piano. There is also a sign in the sewers that says "Level 1-2," referring to the underground level where that music plays in the NES game. 

Rainbow Road and its shortcut

The racing sequence takes Mario and company to Rainbow Road, an infamous track from the Mario Kart games known for its difficulty. But there is also a moment where Mario veers off course and falls onto the track below, a reference to an actual shortcut players could take on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart. 

The blue shell

As far as Mario Kart items go, blue shells, which lock onto the player in first place, circle around them, and blow up, are as good as gold. In the film's Mario Kart-inspired racing scene, a blue shell naturally appears and does the same thing, except here, it's turned into an actual character, not just an item. 

The barrel rocket

Mario and Donkey Kong travel together on the back of a barrel rocket, which is a key part of the Donkey Kong Country games going back to Donkey Kong Country 3

Wedding guests

A few familiar characters show up as guests at Bowser and Peach's wedding, namely King Bob-omb, originally from Super Mario 64, and King Boo, originally from Luigi's Mansion. 

Bowser's wedding attire

Bower's wedding get-up at the end of the film is pretty similar to what he wears in 2017's Super Mario Odyssey, in which he also tries to marry Peach. 

Yoshi's egg 

The post-credits scene revealing a Yoshi egg that's about to hatch appears to be a reference to a teaser at the end of 1998's Godzilla, a film that most of The Super Mario Bros. Movie's audience likely wasn't even alive to see when it was released. That movie concluded with the dramatic reveal — shot in the exact same way as Mario — that there was one last Godzilla egg, teasing a sequel that was never made due to the film's box office performance. 

But based on Mario's early box office numbers, it's safe to say a sequel featuring Yoshi will happen, and audiences won't be left hanging like Godzilla fans were in the '90s. Kids these days don't know how good they have it.


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