Mario Movie References and Easter Eggs
Image: Nintendo Life

Lots of us have already seen the long-awaited The Super Mario Bros. Movie and if there is one thing to take away from our initial viewing, it's that this thing is absolutely jam-packed with Yoshi Easter eggs and references.

We sort of knew that this was going to be the case. Each trailer gave us a taste of what was to come, but nothing could have prepared us for the sheer barrage of nods to Nintendo's past that would be heading our way each and every second.

With this in mind, we have plucked out some of our favourites from the movie and broken them down. Now, this is not going to be a comprehensive list of every reference out there, but rather some of the smaller details that we noticed and brought smiles to our faces.

It goes without saying, but we will be going into some Mario Movie specifics in this one, so if you want to avoid spoilers, then it would be best to turn away now and come back once you have a list of your own favourites.

So, without further ado, let's head down the pipe into the Easter egg kingdom...

Punch-Out Pizzeria

Mario Movie Van
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

One of the first locations we see in the film is the Punch-Out Pizzeria in Brooklyn, which is obviously named after Nintendo's 1987 NES title Punch-Out!!

Punch Out Pizzeria really sets the tone of the number of references that we can expect to see throughout the 92-minute runtime. And there are a lot of little details in the restaurant that we absolutely adore. Of course, this is where Foreman Spike first appears, but let's look in a bit more detail.


Apart from referencing the iconic NES title in the diner's name, the interior is covered in framed pictures of the game's characters including Doc Louis, Little Mac, Glass Joe and more. The pictures look like their Wii counterparts.

Donkey Kong arcade cabinet

There is also an arcade cabinet in the back corner of the diner which appears to be playing the original Donkey Kong, though there are some noticeable changes like the absence of DK himself (here replaced by a large yeti-like creature) and the name being switched to 'Jump Man' (Mario's original title).

And the man playing it? Well, take a listen to his voice and you'll probably recognise that distinctive "wahoo!".

GameCube ringtone and Mii caller ID

Mario Movie Phone
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

We saw this in a late TV spot prior to the film's release, but we did enjoy that Luigi's phone's ringtone is the GameCube's start-up jingle. Not only that, the phone also uses a Mii icon as the image for a caller ID.

World 1-1 in Brooklyn

Mario Movie World 1-1
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

An early scene sees Mario and Luigi forced to run to a nearby apartment after their van breaks down in order to make it to a job on time. When taking a shortcut through a building site, the camera angle changes to imitate the games' side-scrolling perspective. It's a nice touch.

Nicer still is how the layout of certain objects (yellow paint cans, wooden crates, air conditioning units, etc.) stand in the exact place of corresponding objects (brick and item boxes) from the original World 1-1 in Super Mario Bros.

It's even capped off by sliding down the flagpole outside a restaurant called Burger Castle.

An apartment of riches

Mario Movie Galaxy
Image: Nintendo

The New York apartment where Mario and Luigi are attending their first plumbing job is home to a fair few references of its own.

Galaxy Book

When cutting back to the owner's sitting room, we can see one of them reading a book titled 'Galaxy' with a spherical planet reminiscent of a Super Mario Galaxy planet on the cover.

Pikmin statue

Mario Movie Pikmin
Image: Nintendo

Look closely in this same scene and you will spot a glass Pikmin statue on the right of the frame. We know Miyamoto is very fond of Pikmin, so we're not surprised to see them get a little nod in the movie.

Mario's bedroom

Mario Movie Plumbing
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

Much like the Punch-Out Diner, Mario's bedroom is filled with references. Of course it is


We can see Mario playing Kid Icarus on an NES, which sits on a stand in front of his TV. This one's pretty easy to spot of course, but it's amusing to see Mario playing a game on a console that he himself has a game on...


On top of the TV, there is a statue of an Arwing from Star Fox.

Blue Falcon

Mario has tons of posters in his room, and all of them reference Nintendo's past. One of our favourites is the Blue Falcon poster, which obviously refers to Captain Falcon's vehicle in F-Zero.

Duck Hunt Sign

Mario Movie Duck Hunt
Image: Nintendo

When heading out to fix a leak that threatens Brooklyn, Mario and Luigi walk past a sign for a French restaurant that uses an image from Duck Hunt on its sign. It's called 'Chasse au Canard', which is French for duck hunting.

Underground Music

Mario Movie Underground
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

The musical references in this film are almost deserving of a list of their own, but the first one that really got us smiling was the presence of the "denum, denum, denum" underground theme when the Mario brothers first go, well, underground in Brooklyn. It's subtle, and it's lovely.

The underground sewer is also called 1-2, which is another reference to the first ever underground level in Super Mario Bros.

Luigi's Mansion Motif

Mario Movie Luigi's Mansion
Image: Nintendo

Another musical moment to catch us somewhat off guard comes from the appearance of the Luigi's Mansion theme, which Brian Tyler uses as a small motif when Luigi is first dropped into the badlands. You can catch it briefly as Luigi walks through the dark forest with his torch in hand.

The Mushroom Kingdom

Yet another packed location — which makes sense because this is the world we associate with the Mario video games! We got a pretty good look at the Mushroom Kingdom back in the trailers, but a few moments really stood out to us while we were watching the finished product.

Toad House

At the coin bank in the Mushroom Kingdom, if you listen to the music closely, you can hear the Toad House music from Super Mario Bros. 3.


While the pigtailed mushroom isn't in the movie, she does make a brief appearance on a little poster in the Mushroom Kingdom. Look closely as Mario wanders through the crowds of Toads, and you'll spot Toadette as the marching band drummer on a blue plaque.

Antique store

Yes, the antique store is full of little Mario Easter eggs such as hammers from Wrecking Crew, Dragon Coins from Super Mario World, and the Super Bell from Super Mario 3D World. But one of our favourites sees an eager little Toad picking up what seems to be an old game cartridge and asking if it works only for the shop keeper to reply "yes, but you have to blow into it". We've all been there Toad, we've all been there...

Crazy Cap

In another blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, we can briefly see Super Mario Odyssey's Crazy Cap store on a packed Mushroom Kingdom street. We wonder if they accept both types of currency...

Diddy Kong's Bongos

Mario Movie DK
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

Through a "computer enhance" level of zooming in on the earlier trailers and posters, we had an inkling that Diddy Kong would be making an appearance in this one. Of course, he does (at Donkey Kong's big fight, no less) but we didn't expect him to be playing some bongos à la Donkey Konga!

Cranky Kong's Super Mario World Map

Mario Movie Cranky
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

When plotting the best course to ambush Bowser and his army of Koopas, we get a look inside Cranky Kong's hut and the design of his map particularly caught our eye. Paying attention to its style and layout, you will notice a good amount of crossover to the map from Super Mario World.

Seemingly there is only one cartographer in and around the Mushroom Kingdom...

Ludwig Von Koopa Piano

Mario Movie Bowser
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

A small plaque on Bowser's piano says that the instrument was made by one Ludwig Von Koopa. We guess that the eldest of the Koopalings is also into his woodwork — hey, it's good to have a hobby.


Mario Movie Karts
Image: Nintendo / Illumination

When driving along Rainbow Road, Mario drifts from left to right to turn the sharp corners and avoid oncoming attacks from a Blue Shell. Neatly, when performing these drifts, small blue, yellow, and red sparks come off the back of his tyres just as you would see in the Mario Kart series.

Ice Climber Polar Bear Sign

Mario Movie Ice Climbers
Image: Nintendo

Returning to Brooklyn for the final battle, we get another look at the references in the city itself. Amongst the shops that we noted earlier, one store that we assume sells ice cream or maybe just ice is advertising its product with an Ice Climber polar bear on its sign.

The polar bear can also be seen in a poster in Mario's bedroom earlier in the film, but the sign was a fun, easily missable moment that we really loved spotting.

Disk-Kun Store

Mario Movie Diskun
Image: Nintendo Life

Also back in Brooklyn, we get a look at the 'Disk-Kun Store' which has the little fella found above as its logo. Diskun was the mascot for the Famicom Disk System in Japan, appearing on manuals and making cameos in several games.

Luck Cards Poster

Mario Movie Hanafuda
Image: Nintendo

Okay, the last one that made us feel smug for spotting can also be found in the climactic Brooklyn battle. Once the fight is over and the team are dealing with bringing Bowser down to size, you can see a poster for 'Luck Cards' in the background and we could swear that we saw the word Hanafuda appear on it too. Either way, it's a hidden little nod to Nintendo's card-making history.

There are, of course, many, many more references in this film aside from the ones that we have listed above but those that made the cut were some of our favourites. If you spotted any more that you think deserve a place on this list, be sure to mention them in the comments below.

What did you make of all the references and Easter eggs in the Mario Movie? Take the pipe down to the comments and let us know.

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