Escape from Koopatraz

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The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode
"Escape from Koopatraz"
Escape from Koopatraz Title Screen
Production Number 151
Airdate November 21, 1989 (English)
December 19, 1990 (French)
Writer(s) Phil Harnage
Plumber's Log # 10 - 51
King Koopa's alter-ego Judge Koopa
Warden Koopa
Cover song(s) None
Replacement song(s) None
Title reference Escape from Alcatraz
Live-action segment French
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"Escape from Koopatraz" is the forty-sixth episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. Its corresponding live-action segment is "French".

Plot synopsis[edit]

The Dishonorable Judge Koopa

On the streets of an unknown city, Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad, having been chained up in shackles, are being escorted by two Koopa Troopas up to a courthouse with the words "JUST US" on its front. According to Mario, King Koopa had captured them, and is putting them on trial for their lives.

Inside the courtroom, Mario's group find themselves sitting before the defendant's table, with a Koopa Troopa lawyer standing on each side. Bailiff Mouser steps out of the judge's chamber and orders everyone to rise for His Honor, the Dishonorable Judge Koopa. The jury, which consists of a Phanto, a Shyguy, a Birdo and a Pokey all rise, as does Mario's group. Judge Koopa then steps out of his chamber, sits down at his bench and bangs his gavel, stating that Koopa Kourt is in session. He then tells Bailiff Mouser to read the phony charges the two of them cooked up. Pulling out a note, Bailiff Mouser reads that Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad have been charged with disturbing the Koopa, plumbing without a license, and not eating their pasta. Bailiff Mouser asks the four of them how they plead, to which they all plead not guilty. Judge Koopa disregards what they said, claiming that they instead confessed to every crime.

Princess Toadstool tries to object to Judge Koopa's statement, but he merely bangs his gavel and proceeds to thumb through a law book, informing her that they have laws against sassing the judge. Toad fears that Judge Koopa is going to throw the book at them, and he responds by literally throwing the book at their table, telling them that their comments will get them another fifty years. Mario asks if his group gets to talk in their own defense, to which Judge Koopa informs him that he has five minutes. Before Mario can finish a single sentence, Judge Koopa announces that his time is up, and asks the jury if they have reached a decision yet. The jury starts talking amongst themselves, but Judge Koopa tells them to say "guilty", and threatens to feed them to a Piranha Plant. Upon hearing the threat, the jury quickly agrees that Mario's group is indeed guilty, and Bailiff Mouser relays the message to Judge Koopa, noting that everything had worked out like they planned.

Judge Koopa then orders Bailiff Mouser to prepare the Scales of Justice for the four "criminals", while Princess Toadstool comments that the real crime going on is their phony trial. Bailiff Mouser opens up a panel in the wall, revealing the Scales of Justice. Judge Koopa first orders Mario to weigh himself in, and a Koopa Troopa tosses him onto one of the scales. Mario argues that he should at least get to take off his shoes, as the meter on the scale tips all the way over to five-hunded pounds and lights up. Judge Koopa congratulates Mario, and tells him that he has won a five-hundred year all-expense paid trip to Klub Koopatraz. Luigi cannot believe what he is hearing, only for Bailiff Mouser to inform him that it could have been a life sentence, and that they will be up for parole in a century or two. Judge Koopa tells Bailiff Mouser to show the convicts what they have won, and he proceeds to push a button, which lowers a projection screen onto his head, and a black and white film starts playing. Mouser narrates the images depicted on the screen, stating that their stay will begin with a cruise across scenic Trouter Bay to the island prison of Koopatraz. He goes on to mention that their visit will be uninterrupted by escapes, because no one has ever left the maximum security dungeon alive.

"Warden Koopa"

Later, Bailiff Mouser and the two Koopa Troopa lawyers escort Mario's group up to the front gate of Koopatraz. Toad comments that at the very least, they no longer have to deal with Judge Koopa. Bailiff Mouser tells him to be quiet, as Warden Koopa does not allow their prisoners to talk. Before Luigi can react to hearing about Warden Koopa, the gate opens up to reveal Warden Koopa standing on the other side. Warden Koopa states that he had so much fun being their crooked judge, he decided to become their cruel warden. He then orders Bailiff Mouser to show the convicts to their cells, and soon they are led into the prison.

Inside one of the cells, an eldery Mushroom Man draws a tally onto an already-covered wall, announcing that he has been in Koopatraz for fifty-four years, seven months and nine days. He proceeds to sit down on one of the bunk beds, as Bailiff Mouser's group walks in front of his cell, and prepares to unlock it. Bailiff Mouser tells Princess Toadstool that girls have their own cell, then tells Gramps that he is going to be having some company now. Gramps is relieved, and tells everyone that he has been alone in the prison for the past thirty years. Bailiff Mouser leads Mario, Luigi and Toad into the cell, and locks them in. He then tells them to yell if they need anything, except for the fact that no one will hear them. Bailiff Mouser then walks off with Princess Toadstool and two Goomba guards.

Mario first introduces himself to Gramps, then introduces Luigi and Toad to him. Upon hearing Toad's name, Gramps asks if he is related to the Fungusville Toads, and Toad responds positively, stating that his father was the top Toadstool. Gramps asks Toad if he is Moldy's son, and Toad agrees, asking if Gramps knows him. Gramps tells Toad that Moldy is his son, thus making him Toad's grandfather. Having made the connection, Toad and Gramps hug each other. Noticing that Mario is crying, Luigi asks if it is because he is happy Toad finally found his grandfather. Mario says he is sad instead, noting that Toad will look like Gramps some day if they do not get out of Koopatraz.

Later, in the prison's mess hall, Mario's group and Gramps are sitting at a table, where Mario takes a bite of some strange-looking food, nearly making him nauseous. Mario asks what it is, and Gramps informs his that it is called Koopa Surprise, because it looks and smells like Koopa. Mario states that Warden Koopa's crazy if he thinks he is going to shovel Koopa Surprise into his face. This comment gives Luigi an idea; shoveling out of Koopatraz with utensils from the mess hall. Toad fears that it would take twenty years to tunnel all the way under Trouter Bay, and Princess Toadstool asks him if he has anything better to do. Mario figures that they only need to tunnel under the walls and hijack a boat to make their escape on. Gramps tells them that although tunneling is a good idea, the staff always counts the spoons after chow.

Mario decides to instead create a distraction, so he leaps onto the table and tosses his tray at one of the Goomba guards. Toad announces a food fight, and tosses a cup at another guard. Gramps picks up his bowl of Koopa Surprise and tosses it at a guard, as do Luigi and Princess Toadstool. One of the guards blows his whistle, summoning Warden Koopa and Bailiff Mouser into the mess hall. Warden Koopa tells the heroes that if they do not like their food, they can start living without it. Mario laments on the thought of no food, and asks for how long they will be without it, to which Warden Koopa responds that it will be at least until he gets back from looting the Mushroom Kingdom, which he figures will be ten years. Princess Toadstool tells Warden Koopa that he will not get away with his actions, only for him to claim that he can rob and pillage all he wants while the four of them are trapped in Koopatraz. Warden Koopa orders Bailiff Mouser to lead the prisoners back to their cells, and tells him let them starve while he is gone whilst destroying her kingdom.

Escape from Koopatraz
Gramps and Toad watch as Mario and Luigi attempt to dig out of their cell.

At night, while Warden Koopa is still at Koopatraz, Mario and Luigi remove a piece of the stone floor from their cell with forks, which is accidentally dropped on Luigi's shoe, causing him to shout in pain. Gramps tells him to keep the noise level down, as they risk waking the sleeping Goomba guard in their cell block. Mario, Luigi and Toad begin to dig away at the exposed dirt beneath the floor, and eventually the four of them have created a small tunnel leading under the prison. The Goomba guard wakes up at one point to check on the prisoners' cell, and sees them playing cards, taking no notice of the sheet they used to cover the hole. The Goomba returns to his post and falls alseep again, giving the prisoners a chance to continue digging.

Eventually, the tunnel has grown fairly long, and Mario, now sweating, asks how much longer they need to dig. Gramps claims that according to his calculations, they should be right outside the front gate. Using a ladder to dig upwards, Mario assumes that he must be close, as he can hear someone sawing wood. Digging his way up to the surface, Mario's tunnel leads him directly underneath Warden Koopa's bed, knocking the sleeping tyrant off it in the process. Warden Koopa wakes up and turns on the light, only to see Mario sticking his head out of the hole.

After making a threat to Mario, Warden Koopa arrives at Princess Toadstool's cell to inform her that Mario interrupted his sleep and asks how he can plunder her kingdom if he does not get his rest. Princess Toadstool responds by asking Warden Koopa what he did to her friends, and he tells her that since he gets cranky when he is tired, he put them in solitary, then gave them each five-hundred more years plus hard labor.

The next day, the male prisoners are outside in the blisterring sun, breaking rocks with pickaxes, while Mario leads a military chant against Warden Koopa. Later, they are in the laundry room, where Bailiff Mouser cracks a whip, ordering them to scrub a pile of dirty clothes. Mario claims that they are out of soap, so Bailiff Mouser orders him to get some more. Mario goes over to the extra boxes of soap and pockets one while Bailiff Mouser is not looking. After the clothes are cleaned, Bailiff Mouser orders the prisoners to return to their cells. He then tells Luigi that he has an escape plan figured out, and to be ready just before dawn. Mario tells Luigi to pass the message along, so Luigi whispers it to Toad, who in turn whispers it to Gramps.

Back in his soliary cell, Mario finishes whittling away at the soap he stole, having just shaped it to resemble a Bob-Omb, which he covers in black shoe polish, figuring that it is good enough to fool a Goomba. Mario then shouts to get the Goomba guard's attention, claiming that there is a big, ugly spider in his cell, and that he will yell about it all night unless he gets rid of it. The Goomba guard enters Mario's cell to search for the spider, only for Mario to threaten him with his decoy Bob-Omb. Mario takes the Goomba's keys, frees the other male prisoners, and they all make an escape across the prison's yard to other side, where Mario rescues Princess Toadstool from her cell.

In their attempt to avoid the searchlights and sirens, Mario's group runs through the yard, where they are soon spotted by a searchlight. Warden Koopa and a group of guards approach them, and Mario attempts to ward them off with his decoy Bob-Omb. Suddenly, it starts to rain, which causes the decoy Bob-Omb to foam up. Warden Koopa orders his guards to chase after Mario's group, who take refuge in a storm drain. The drain deposits them in an underground chamber with a large drain stopper. The group proceeds to pull the plug, which causes the chamber to start flooding. They escape by swimming out through another drainpipe, and surface next to a rowboat outside Koopatraz.

A geyser suddenly shoots through the center of the island, as Warden Koopa steps out of the front gate, and kicks a Bob-Omb onto the dock, just as Mario's group takes off in a boat. The Bob-Omb explodes, misses Mario's group, and instead blasts broken planks into Warden Koopa's face. Mario's group laughs as the entire island starts flooding, and ultimately sinks down into Trouter Bay. Warden Koopa and Bailiff Mouser then swim for their lives to escape from the Trouters that proceed to chase them.

Luigi comments that Koopatraz Prison is no more, and Toad reassures Gramps that he will never have to return. Gramps exclaims that he is now a free Mushroom, and can finally do what he wants to once again. Mario asks Gramps if he is free to buy them all dinner, and Gramps points out that he even packed them a snack from the prison's mess hall. Pulling out a steel cup and a loaf of bread, Gramps displays what he brought, to which Mario shrugs.


"Baliff Mouser"


Animation and continuity errors[edit]

  • When Mouser tells everyone to rise for Judge Koopa, he is layered over a wall.
  • When Warden Koopa tells Mouser to show Mario and his friends their cells, his foot overlaps on a Koopa Troopa
  • The tile from the cell that Mario and Luigi lift from the ground is blue, but it turns white when hits Luigi's foot.
  • Mario only paints the body of his fake Bob-omb, but the rest of its colors appear after he coats it with the shoe polish.
  • In several scenes, the tags that are on Mario and his friends are missing.
  • When Gramps reveals that he is Toad's grandfather, Toad joyfully shouts, "Gramps!", but he appears upset when he speaks, making it appear as if he does not believe him.
  • When Mario tastes the Koopa Surprise, it is to the right of the bread on his tray, but in the next shot, it is to the left of it.
  • When Gramps describes the Koopa Surprise, his mouth does not move when he says, "Well..."
  • In some scenes, the Koopa Troopas' costumes are missing.
  • When Princess Toadstool asks what Warden Koopa did to her friends, her brooch has its colors reversed.
  • When Mario carves the fake Bob-omb, he is in Princess Toadstool's cell instead of his room.
  • When Mario and his friends run past a spotlight, the paint on the fake Bob-omb is missing. This also happens when Mario shields his eyes from a spotlight.
  • When Gramps is happy about not staying at Koopatraz anymore, Luigi is colored like Mario.
  • In his initial appearances, Gramps says he was in prison for fifty-four years, seven months and nine days, but the tallies show a total of one-hundred nine days, or around six months, instead.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
French La Petite Evasion
The Little Escape
German Ausbruch aus Koopatraz
Escape from Koopatraz
Italian Fuga da Alcatraz
Escape from Alcatraz (same as the movie)
Russian Побег из Купатраза
Pobeg iz Kupatraza
Escape from Koopatraz



  1. ^ The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. Netflix. Retrieved June 23, 2020.