From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Flippers, also known as one-way gates, are bars that, once passed through, prevent access to the area before. They are commonly referred to as "pinball flippers" due to their resemblance to flippers from a pinball game. Yoshi can open them temporarily if he jumps on them.
Debuting in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, the flippers show up again in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 in the following World-e levels: Slidin' the Slopes, Doors o' Plenty, Swinging Bars of Doom, Sea to Sky, Puzzling Pipe Maze and Treacherous Halls. In this game, they are colored yellow.
A similar type of flippers appears in New Super Mario Bros. in World 2-3 only. These types are wooden flippers with red arrows on them indicating which way it opens to, and are usually found individually rather than in pairs. Flippers exist unused in New Super Mario Bros. Wii; however, they reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2 in a few levels.
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