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This article is about the ghost enemies that appear throughout the Super Mario franchise. For the microgame from WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, see Boo (microgame). For the area in Mario Party 10, see Boo (area).
"Boo Buddy" redirects here. For the circular group of Boos, see Boo Buddies.
Not to be confused with Bloo.
Artwork of a Boo in Mario Party Superstars
Artwork from Mario Party Superstars
First appearance Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Latest appearance Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Nintendo Switch) (2024)
Latest portrayal Sanae Suzaki (2004-present)
Notable members
“Mind turning around for a minute?”
Boo, Paper Mario: Color Splash

Boos (originally known as "Boo" Diddlys[1], a nod to American R&B singer Bo Diddley, and later Boo Buddies[2][3][4][5][6][7] or simply Ghosts[8]) are recurring ghost enemies that first appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. They are a type of white spherical ghost with menacing and normally open mouths. They are known for their large tongues and small stubby arms. However, the most distinctive characteristic of the Boos is their shy personality, as they cover their faces when someone looks directly at them, but then uncover and move after the character when their back is turned; this exact behavior is used by Mumbies in the Kirby series.

Shigeru Miyamoto got the idea for Boo from the wife of his coworker and close friend Takashi Tezuka, as she is shy but one day got very angry with him for coming home late from work.[9][10]


Main article: History of Boos

Since their debut in Super Mario Bros. 3, Boos have mainly been identified as an antagonistic enemy species, having their most major role within the Luigi's Mansion series. Sometimes, a Boo has appeared as a playable character, and the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Tennis marks the first time that one appeared as a playable character. Boos have a variety of roles in spinoff series of the Super Mario franchise, such as being an item in the Mario Kart series.

General information[edit]

Physical appearance[edit]

A laughing Boo with a shy Boo
BooArtwork of Bigger Boo from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's IslandBooBoo
(Clockwise from the top left) The Boo's Super Mario Bros. Wonder design, the Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island design, Super Mario Sunshine design, and Luigi's Mansion design

Though their specifics change from game to game, Boos are usually bashful, cowardly, spherical ghosts. They have black beady eyes and fangs. Although they are typically white, there are sub-species of the Boo race that appear in different colors, such as pink. From Luigi's Mansion onward, it became common to picture Boos sticking out their tongues. Boos often have wide open grinning mouths with their tongue sticking out. In most games, Boos are unable to change their facial expressions. The only exception is when they are looked at, in which case they bashfully cover their faces along with the section around their eyes blushing red or pink. However, the Luigi's Mansion and early Paper Mario games portray Boos as being more expressive than in other games, being able to frown, scowl, or even smirk. Since Super Mario 64, Boos have been portrayed with a unique, high-pitched laugh. Both this laugh and Bowser's laugh are derived from the same stock recording of a human man laughing recorded by Charles Martinet;[11] it was sped up for the Boos and slowed down for Bowser. However, Boos received a new laugh starting in Mario Power Tennis, being more of a haunting laugh than before. Although most species of Boo will cover their faces and become intangible when looked at, they will often sneak behind their victim and strike when their back is turned. Due to their ghostly abilities, Boos are generally invulnerable and cannot be harmed by ordinary means of attack. Despite this, they are not invincible and are especially vulnerable to the light. If they are exposed to a source of light, Boos are usually weakened, and in some cases, they may even be defeated. Usually, they can also have other weaknesses. Because of their intolerance to the light, Boos will often hide if they are trapped in lit rooms. However, King Boo claims that Boos cannot truly be killed. While the ghosts generally appear to be more afraid of their victims than their victim is of them, this is not always the case. Some Boos have absolutely no problem meeting their victim's gaze, and will even try to attack. Boos tend to have a taste for the fine arts, as seen in Paper Mario and Mario Party 4. In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon it is shown that Boos will actually save someone if only later to trick them. This is seen when Luigi watches through pipe in the Old Clockworks as a Yellow Toad balances on a ledge. Some Boos appear and watch the Toad before it falls off the ledge, which is later found to be quite a drop, the Boos show a large amount of concern and shock when this happens before diving down for the Toad. The Toad is later found in a painting because of the Boos.

Boos are often characterized by their sub-species despite their similarities in appearance and attack manner. Boo species tend to vary wildly in size, with some such as Boo Buddies being miniature, while others such as the Big Boos boast gigantic size.

In Luigi's Mansion, Professor E. Gadd notes that Boos have mysterious powers that increase when they gather together in large groups. While it is difficult to stop them, they can be weakened if one is able to defeat members of the group. Although in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon this does not seem to affect them or King Boo in any way suggesting that they do not always need to be in groups anymore.

Boos have few predators, their only known threat being a Spike named Tubba Blubba in Paper Mario, when he began devouring Boos. This, however, may have been his revenge for the countless times the ghosts scared him.

Color variations[edit]

Boos come in many different colors. The following is a list of all known Boos and the first appearance of the respective Boo.

Image Color First appearance
Sprite of a Boo in Mario Party Advance White Super Mario Bros. 3
Sprite of a blue Boo in Mario Party Advance Blue Super Mario World (as Big Boos)
Sprite of a red Boo in Mario Party Advance Pink Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
Green Boo Green Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
BlackBoo.png Black Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
Bootler.png Chartreuse Paper Mario
Lady Bow PM2.png Mint Paper Mario
Herbert. The sprite is also shared with other Boos in Gusty Gulch Brown Paper Mario
Peeka/Lahla Light-blue Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Yellow Mario Party DS



Boos typically make their homes in dark forests, such as the Forever Forest and Boo Woods, and tend to be most commonly found in older buildings such as mansions, castles, and Ghost Houses. Although most of them live in such dwellings, they also seem to enjoy wastelands. One of the only known Boo villages lies in Gusty Gulch.

They are typically found in groups because their fears make them find strength in big numbers.


Though most Boos tend to side with Bowser and King Boo, they seem to, for the most part, actually stand as neutral. For example, Boos are by now a common enemy in most side-scrolling games; however, in the Paper Mario series and now increasingly in the multiplayer games, Boos have been seen to take the side of the Mushroom Kingdom. Lady Bow, in fact, helped Mario save the kingdom in Paper Mario. In another example, the Boos in the Creepy Steeple from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door attack Mario initially, but later in the game Mario is sent a friendly letter from one of them. King Boo, on the other hand, has several times been shown to wish nothing but terrible things for Luigi (but this could be accredited to Luigi being easily scared, making him a prime target for most Boo antics). They also have attacked Bowser in some games, such as the Mario Party series, mainly from Mario Party 5 to Mario Party 8.


As hinted in the game Super Mario Galaxy, Boos have their own unique language called Booish. It most probably is spoken only by Boos since Mario cannot understand it. However, upon absorbing a Boo Mushroom and turning into Boo Mario, he gains the ability to read it, if not speak it as well.

Paper Mario also features Boos replacing certain words with "Boo", possibly as a part of the Booish language:

I am so bored!! Boo-ored!

Boo-st of luck!

Hey, what can I Boo for you?

It's going to be the most Boo-tiful wedding ever!

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Main article: List of Boo profiles and statistics

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga enemy
MLSS Boo Idle.gif HP 10 POW 128-134 Defense 1000
Speed 110 Experience 40 (110) Coins 10 (8)
Location Bowser's Castle Jump Normal Hammer Normal
Hand Weak Fire Critical Thunder Normal
Stat down? 100% Stun? 0% Burn? 0%
Level 40 (33) Role Common Item drop 1-Up Mushroom – 6.45%
Random Slacks – 25.81% (32.26%)
  • Stats in parentheses are from the Japanese version (if they differ from the original American and European stats).
  • Stats in gray are only found in the game's coding and are not available during "normal" gameplay.

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

Paper Mario: Color Splash enemy
Boo Idle Animation from Paper Mario: Color Splash HP 33 Type Normal Role Common Card
Strong None Weak None Card drop rate 3
A Boo card from Paper Mario: Color Splash
Moves Hand Attack (6), Terrify Attack (reduces paint of Mario), Vanish (removes self from battle for one turn), Group Attack (6), Blowback Attack (12)
Location(s) Vortex Island, Lighthouse Island, Fortune Island
Quotes Usual: "Quit staring!" ~ "Ahahaha!" ~ "Mind turning around for a minute?" ~ "Boo! Yeah!"
Enemy class
Dropped items
Hammer Scraps 10 Red paint 6 Yellow paint 6 Blue paint 6 Orange paint 3 Green paint 3 Purple paint 3

Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch)[edit]

Super Mario RPG enemy
Image of a Boo from the Nintendo Switch version of Super Mario RPG HP 43 Weak Elements N/A Drops Pure Water
Exp. 2 Weak Statuses PoisonSleepMute Rare Drops Honey Syrup
Found in Kero Sewers
Monster List profile They scream to try to debilitate their enemies with fear, but they end up startling themselves too. Their hearts are secretly always pounding.
Thought Peek "Don't look at me, I'm shy... Aaah! He's looking at meeeee!"


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Boo.

Audio samples[edit]

Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese テレサ
テレサ(しょう[12] (Yoshi's Island DS)
Teresa (Shō)
From「」(tere-ya, a very shy person) and possibly「~さ」(-sa, a nominalizing suffix meaning "-ness")

"Boo (Small)", in comparison to Big Boo

Chinese (simplified) 害羞幽灵
Hàixiū Yōulíng
嘘嘘鬼[13] (prior to Mario Tennis Aces)
Xūxū Guǐ
淘气鬼 (McDonald's China, Winter 2016 Happy Meal promotionMedia:Mario Happy Meal 2016 CN Promotional Image.jpg)
Shy Ghost

From「嘘」(, "boo") and「鬼」(guǐ, "ghost")


Chinese (traditional) 害羞幽靈
Hàixiū Yōulíng
幽靈[14] (Talking Super Mario Animated Stickers)
Shy Ghost


Dutch Boo
French Boo
Les amis de Boo (Super Mario World instruction booklet)
Boo Buddy[15] (Hotel Mario)
Boo's friends
German Buu Huu
Boo Hoo
Italian "Boo" Diddly[16]
Boo Hoo (Mario Kart DS)
Whistle; literal translation from "to boo"
Korean 부끄부끄
Partial repetition of 부끄럽다 (bukkeureopda, to be shy)

Portuguese Bu
Monstro (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Romanian Bau Bau (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Fantomă (Super Mario World television series)
Boo (McDonald's Romania, Summer 2016 Happy Meal promotionMedia:McDonaldsRomania2016Banner.jpg)
Russian Бу
Привидение (prior to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon + its official website)


Spanish (NOA) Boo
Spanish (NOE) Boo


  1. ^ Nintendo (1990). Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 38.
  2. ^ 1991. Super Mario World instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 24.
  3. ^ 1991. Yoshi (NES) instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 5 and 12.
  4. ^ 1991. Yoshi (Game Boy) instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 4 and 11.
  5. ^ Miller, Kent and Terry Munson (1995). Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Player's Guide. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 126.
  6. ^ "Still haunting the Yoshis, the Boo Buddies bust back onto the scene." – January 1998. Nintendo Power Volume 104. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 16.
  7. ^ Hodgson, David S J (October 21, 2003). Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games (American English). ISBN 0-7615-4425-9. Page 19, 35, 45, 56, 57, 66, 71, 82, 85, 97, 102, 103, 104, 121, 122, 125, and 126.
  8. ^ "The candle in this contraption scares Ghosts into covering their eyes, so you can safely walk your Mini right through them." – Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge Items. Play Nintendo (American English). Retrieved March 31, 2020. (Archived August 16, 2020, 21:52:14 UTC via Wayback Machine.)
  9. ^ Stuart, Keith (September 13, 2010 - 08:56 EDT). Super Mario Bros: 25 Mario facts for the 25th anniversary. The Guardian (English). Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  10. ^ January 1996. Nintendo Power Volume 80. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 25.
  11. ^ File:Charles Martinet and the Comical Laugh Pt 2.pngMedia:Charles Martinet and the Comical Laugh Pt 2.png
  12. ^ "「テレサ(だいしょう)」" – 「ヨッシーアイランドDS任天堂公式ガイドブック」 (Yoshi's Island DS Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook). Shogakukan (Japanese). Page 22.
  13. ^ 无敌阿尔宙斯 (August 28, 2013). Baidu Tieba (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  14. ^ 超級瑪利歐兄弟有聲動態貼圖 – LINE貼圖 | LINE STORE. LINE STORE (Traditional Chinese). Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  15. ^ French Hotel Mario instruction booklet. Page 9.
  16. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 Italian instruction booklet. Nintendo (Italian). Page 38.
  17. ^ New Super Mario Bros. Wii - Album ufficiale, pag. 6

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