From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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The Banana Shot is a lock-on item which takes the form of a metal bazooka loaded with a Banana. When fired, the Banana Shot will launch its ammunition toward the racer it is locked on to, causing them to spin out upon a successful hit. If the Banana Shot is fired at a wall, the Banana will drop to the ground and be left on the track for racers to run over.
The Banana Shot has a stronger variant known as the Tox-Banana Shot.