Tanooki Suit

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Tanooki Suit
A Tanooki-like suit.

First Appearance

Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

Latest Appearance

Super Mario 3D World (2013)

Effect on Player

Turns Mario into Tanooki Mario.
Mario wearing the Tanooki Suit at the top. At the bottom, the ability of Mario in becoming a statue wearing the Tanooki Suit.

The Tanooki Suit is a fairly uncommon item found in Super Mario Bros. 3 and its subsequent remakes. It transforms Mario or Luigi into Tanooki Mario or Tanooki Luigi, respectively. The suit grants the same abilities as the Super Leaf, with the added ability of turning into a statue when the player presses down and B Button at the same time. The statue ability can be used offensively if you transform in midair and drop on them. Such a tactic can defeat some normally undefeatable enemies. Also, if Mario or Luigi run fast enough to fill the Speed Gauge and jump, they can temporarily fly, like when Mario or Luigi gets a Super Leaf. In the e-Reader level Tanooki Suit's secret, the Tanooki Suit is revealed to be able to break certain blocks when in statue form. This item is probably the most unique because once a player loses it, it pops out of the player, turns white and disappears, just like the Frog and Hammer Suit. It can first be found in World 4, and then the rest of the worlds. The Tanooki Suit can be combined with the P-Wing.

While Tanooki Mario returns in Super Mario 3D Land, the Tanooki Suit doesn't. [1] Instead, Mario must obtain a Super Leaf to transform into Tanooki Mario. Tanooki Mario is able to attack enemies with his tail and scuttle to jump longer. Statue Mario also appears, but only after Mario or Luigi grabs a Statue Leaf, which is a brand-new item in the game. If the player has trouble completing a course, the Invincibility Leaf will be introduced, turning Mario into White Tanooki Mario, which acts like a Star, but lasts the entire level, and the player doesn't receive 1-Ups from defeating enough enemies. In the second ending, Peach was shown wearing a variation of the Tanooki Suit that came with a skirt. Presumably, she ended up gaining it completely by accident, due to her surprise at her new Tanooki-style dress and the Toads (themselves in Tanooki suits) were shocked at her wearing it.

Tanooki suits are named after tanukis, Japanese creatures who, according to mythology, can use leaves to shape-shift and cause chaos.

The Tanooki Suit was prominently featured in a Nintendo Comics System story titled "Tanooki Suits Me"; according to this story, the suit was one of many magical suits made by a tailor named Tanooki whose trademark was to sew a tail on the back of each one. It is revealed in this comic that Mario turns into a statue by pressing a button on the front of the suit, and changes back by wishing to return to human form.


Main article: List of Mario-related controversies#Mario Kills Tanooki

After the release of Super Mario 3D Land, PETA made a website and game to promote their anti-fur campaign ("Mario Kills Tanooki") with regard to the live skinning of raccoon dogs or tanukis. The site implied that Super Mario 3D Land was promoting the use of animal furs as clothing. This resulted in strong backlash from Nintendo and their fans. A spokesperson from PETA later claimed their allegations were "tongue-in-cheek" and "a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur." This campaign received a lot of negative comments.

PETA even went so far as to create their own Mario-based browser game entitled "Super Tanooki Skin 2D". The game stars the character of Tanooki, a skinless animal who is chasing Mario to get his skin back. The game has the player dodge obstacles in order to catch up to the famous plumber, who is flying ahead of Tanooki, wearing his skin which is dripping with blood. When the player wins the game, a message pops up that reads, "The skin belongs to an animal!"

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Traje de Tanooki Tanooki Suit
French Costume de Tanuki Tanuki Costume
German Waschbär-Anzug Raccoon Suit
Italian Abito Tanooki -


  • In Super Mario Bros. 3, if Mario or Luigi wear the Tanooki Suit and defeat a Koopaling, the Mushroom King will say, "Thank you, kind raccoon. Please tell me your name."
  • In Nintendo Monopoly, there is a Coin Block/Brick Block card that charges the player $50 for a new suit. The artwork depicts Mario wearing a Tanooki Suit.
  • In the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, during one of Scott's flashbacks of dating one of his ex-girlfriends, he is wearing a Tanooki Suit.
  • In Super Paper Mario, Francis wants a Tanooki Suit that's made out of real Tanooki fur.
  • In Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario 3D World, if Luigi gets a Super Leaf he gains a suit with a different design. The tail of this suit is not striped like a tanuki's, but is tan with a lighter tan at the tip, resembling a fox's tail. This suit is also lighter and has more pointed ears. This is a reference to the tanuki and kitsune of Japanese mythology - in fact, this form of Luigi is known as Kitsune Luigi in most languages.


  1. ^ http://www.1up.com/news/super-mario-3ds-combines-galaxy-mario-64-e3