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This ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Easter Egg Put Me in a Tailspin

Mario and Luigi pump their fists, standing in the street. Luigi has a bag of plumbing tools on his shoulder.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is out, and unfortunately, it’s not good. However, it had a few bright spots, including one Easter egg that had me scratching my head. In a fun way! Or, like, in a depressing makes-me-want-to-crawl-under-my-bed way.

In the first act of the movie, we meet Mario and Luigi’s family in Brooklyn. Mario and Luigi are excited about the new plumbing business they’ve just opened up, but after a disastrous first job, they go home defeated. Their dad apparently thinks that running a small plumbing business is, forgive the pun, a pipe dream. (Sheesh, buddy, it’s not like they’re running for president or something. What has America come to, if wanting to fix toilets for a living is seen as delusional?)

Angry over his dad’s rejection, Mario goes to his bedroom to play video games. And what does he play?

Kid Icarus. On an original NES.

But. Wait. What? Nintendo, what are you doing to us? Our emotional well-being is already brittle and frayed from three years of Covid, and now you’re thrusting us into existential questions about whether Mario and Nintendo exist in the same universe?

The scene raises other questions, too. How old are Mario and Luigi, if they’re still living in their childhood bedrooms and taking shit from their overbearing parents? When I was a kid, I always saw the Mario Brothers as middle aged. Like, I don’t know, 40 or something? 70? I didn’t know how years worked. The future was a hazy web of infinity to me, and all grownups were the same age. But I’m pretty sure I never saw the Mario Bros. as young enough to still be living with their parents.

So I looked it up. Apparently, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario and other Nintendo characters, once said that the Mario Brothers are around 25 years old. Well, that’s just great. Mario and Luigi are canonically a little over half my age, and now I’m going to carry that knowledge around with me for the rest of my life.

Anyway, if you want to see a good movie, Mario ain’t it, but if you’re looking to question reality while staring your own mortality in the face, then you’ll love it!

(featured image: Universal Pictures)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at