List of references in the Mario franchise

From the Super Mario Wiki
(Redirected from List of Cameos)

It has been requested that this article be rewritten. Reason: Lacks Donkey Konga 3 information; many of these references are unsourced and seem to be based on pure speculation (tagged on May 10, 2017).

The following is a list of references and parodies to works and elements of the media, other assets of popular culture, and real-life celebrities and historical persons that have appeared in the Mario franchise and its partner franchises. Note that references to other Mario video games are not included here, nor are references in crossover games referring to the original series' source material.


Arcade games[edit]

Donkey Kong[edit]

  • The tune that plays when Donkey Kong is climbing to the top of the construction site is a snippet of the theme song of Dragnet.

Donkey Kong Jr.[edit]

Mario Bros.[edit]

  • The music that plays when the player begins Phase 1 is the opening eighteen notes of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
  • In the Atari commercial, the song that plays is a parody of the Car 54, Where Are You? intro.
  • The Japan-only re-release of this game, Kaettekita Mario Bros., features advertisements between its levels, either for other Mario games (such as Super Mario Bros. 3) or for the re-release's sponsor, the Nagatanien food company.

Mario Undoukai[edit]

  • On the front of the machine are pictures of Anpanman and Baikinman from the Anpanman series.[1]

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros.[edit]

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.[edit]

The head by the pipe is Sunplaza Nakano, while the head in the pipe is Tamori, both respective replacements of Goomba and Piranha Plant.

An officially licensed retool of Super Mario Bros., many of the game's graphics have been altered or completely changed to feature references to All Night Nippon:

  • The faces on the Goombas and the Piranha Plants are based on Sunplaza Nakano and Tamori, the show's DJ's.
  • Starmen are replaced with Hiranya, a symbol popularized by the Japanese radio show Young Paradise.
  • The symbol that appears on the flag raised when Mario enters the end-of-level fortress and the axe at the end of each of the castle levels is replaced with the logo for Fuji Television.
  • The mushroom retainers saved at the end of each castle have been replaced with various Japanese celebrities. Respectively, they are: Miyuki Nakajima (World 1), Takaaki Ishibashi (World 2), Noritake Kinashi (World 3), Kyōko Koizumi (World 4), Takeshi Kitano (World 5), Daisuke Matsuno (World 6), Hideyuki Nakayama (World 7), and Goro Itoi (World A-World C)

Super Mario Bros. Special[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

  • The "Magic Whistle" item is the Recorder from The Legend of Zelda; it summons a whirlwind to warp the player character to another location and plays the same tune when used, which has become a reoccurring melody in the original series.
  • The island on which the castle of Water Land is located is designed after Japan; the castle itself is also placed in the same location that Kyoto would be, the city in which Nintendo's headquarters is located.
  • Excluding Larry Koopa[2], the Koopalings are named after rock-and-roll musicians or classical music composers:
    • Morton Koopa Jr. is named after former country/western singer-turned talk show host Morton Downey Jr., since he "looked like a loudmouth."[2]
    • Wendy O. Koopa is named after Wendy O. Williams, lead singer of American rock band The Prismatics.[2]
    • Iggy Koopa is named after Iggy Pop, lead singer of American rock band The Stooges.[2]
    • Roy Koopa is named after early American rock musician Roy Orbison, since they both wore glasses.[2]
    • Lemmy Koopa is named after Lemmy Klimister, late lead singer of British rock band Motorhead.[2]
    • Ludwig von Koopa is named after composer Ludwig van Beethoven, due to their hairstyle.[2]

Super Mario Land[edit]

  • The theme that plays for the Super Star in this game is taken from a portion of the song Infernal Galop, also known as the "Can Can Song".

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins[edit]

  • Level 4 of the Mario Zone features LEGO-like surfaces. At one point in the level, it is revealed that these are N&B Blocks, a toy manufactured by Nintendo in the 1960s to compete with the popularity of LEGO.
  • Level 2 of the Turtle Zone has urchin-like enemies, Unibō, that strongly resemble Gordos from the Kirby series.
  • The design of the Masked Ghouls of Pumpkin Zone is a reference to Jason Voorhees from the movie series Friday the 13th. In Japanese material, they are given the name "J-Son" (J・ソン Jei Son), which is also a reference to that character.[3]

Super Mario World[edit]

Super Mario 64[edit]

  • Whomps are based on Nurikabe, which in Japanese folklore is a living wall that gets in the way of travelers.
  • Bowser's roars and growls used in this and other games are stock sound effects that were previously used for King Kong and other movie monsters throughout several decades.

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

  • World 5-2 was based on the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda, in honor of the series' 25th anniversary. Additionally, when Mario/Luigi opens the area that contains the second Star Medal, the "found a secret" theme as heard in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is heard.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

  • The Reznor's roar bears a strong resemblance to Godzilla's roar.

New Super Mario Bros. U[edit]

Super Mario 3D World[edit]

  • When Bowser captures the Sprixie Princess at the start of the game, he does so by trapping her in a bottle, which is the same way Link catches fairies in The Legend of Zelda.
  • In Rainbow Run, a secret area similar to the one from Bob-ombs Below appears, except this time the blocks make up an 8-bit sprite of Link. After stepping on every block, the "Item Get" tune from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will play, followed by a remix of the series' theme.

Super Mario Maker[edit]

Mario wearing a Link costume.

Super Mario Odyssey[edit]

Super Mario Maker 2[edit]

Mario Kart series[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

Baby Mario in the Blue Falcon

Mario Kart 8[edit]

A Peach statue based upon the Statue of Liberty.
Kung Fu Lakitu

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

  • Urchin Underpass and Inklings from Splatoon appear in the game, as a battle course and playable characters respectively.

Role-playing games[edit]

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars[edit]

  • Link can be found sleeping in the Rose Town inn after beating Bowyer in the Forest Maze. Talking to him plays the series' classic discovery jingle.
  • Samus can be found sleeping in the guest bed of Toadstool's Castle after beating Yaridovich, and before going to Land's End. When spoken to, she says she is "resting up for Mother Brain", a recurring villain in the Metroid series.
  • A Samus action figure can be found in a toy box in Booster Tower.
  • Hinopio's shop in the Barrel Volcano has models of Captain Falcon's and Samurai Goroh's F-Zero machines (Blue Falcon and Fire Stingray, respectively) from F-Zero, and an Arwing from the Star Fox series.
  • Several references to the Final Fantasy series, are in this game, due to the game being produced by Squaresoft.
    • Culex is an optional boss designed to resemble a Final Fantasy boss. The music heard during the battle is a remix of "Battle 2", the boss battle theme in Final Fantasy IV, and after the battle is won, the famous Victory Fanfare theme is played. His Elemental Crystals are also the same as in Final Fantasy IV. In addition, his English name is the Latin word for "mosquito", referencing the final boss of Final Fantasy IV, Golbez, whose name is taken from a type of fly.
    • In the Japanese version of the game, Culex's dialogue is based around the use of 2D sprites in the four Final Fantasy games in existence at the time, in contrast to Super Mario RPG's pre-rendered 3D graphics. In addition, the item he gives the player upon defeating him, the Quartz Charm, is named "Crystal Charm", another reference to the crystals of the series.
    • The enemy Bahamutt is named after the powerful dragon Bahamut from the Final Fantasy series.
    • The Czar Dragon shares its name with a superboss that does not appear in but exists within the coding for Final Fantasy VI.
  • Upon encountering Bowyer, Mario attempts to simply charge toward Bowyer, fist punching, but Mallow holds him back and exclaims, "Who do think you ARE??? Bruce Lee!?"
  • The game's end credits sequence features a nighttime portion heavily based on the Disney theme parks' Main Street Electrical Parade, and the music track "Happy Parade, Delightful Parade" is a soundalike of said attraction's theme tune, "Baroque Hoedown."
  • While translating this game, Ted Woolsey initially wanted to name Punchinello "James Bomb," a reference to James Bond, but Square America would not allow it.[5] In the final game, however, Punchinello does introduce himself with a line referencing Bond's introductory quote: "The name's Nello...PUNCHINELLO!" He also says "It's clobbering time!", the catchphrase of The Thing from The Fantastic Four, which is also used by Domino.
  • The Axem Rangers are based on the Power Rangers.
  • Like the Star Bits in Super Mario Galaxy, the Rock Candy attack is based on a Japanese candy called konpeitō.

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario[edit]

  • The Koopa Bros. are based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • When tattling Moustafa after he reveals his true identity, Goombario says, "Da da da Duuum!", the theme for collecting an item in a treasure chest from The Legend of Zelda series. In addition, Moustafa's alter ego Sheek is a reference to Sheik from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Like in Super Mario RPG before it, this game's end credits sequence references the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door[edit]

  • In the English version of the game, a Toad in Petalburg mentions that his favorite Game Boy Advance game is Fire Emblem when talked to. In the Japanese version, the game he mentions is Super Mario Bros.
  • Petalburg shares its English name with a city in the Pokémon series. Two of the key items the player must obtain in this chapter, the Sun Stone and Moon Stone, are also two types of evolutionary stones in Pokémon.
  • TEC-XX is likely based on HAL 9000, the artificial intelligence serving as the antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Furthering this reference, in the Japanese version, TEC's camera has a red lens.
  • In TEC-XX's quiz, one of the choices when he asks how to defeat the demon is a "legendary sword", a reference to the Master Sword from the The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Peeka's outfit is based on the Playboy Bunny outfit. In the Japanese version, she is wearing bunny ears, though this was edited for the North American and European releases so that she wears cat ears like her sister Lahla.

Super Paper Mario[edit]

Paper Mario: Sticker Star[edit]

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

  • The Fan Thing animation movie—in which a giant fan emerges from Earth's horizon in outer space—is a reference to the final scene of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, including the music played during said scene.
  • In Bloo Bay Beach, the Five Fun Guys manager references the real life Watergate scandal. He mentions "Shufflegate: Exposed," referencing Watergate Exposed, a book on the event.
  • In Violet Passage, during the Shy Guy attack on the ship, Huey evades a cannonball by tilting backwards, and the scene is played in slow motion while the camera turns around him. This references the famous bullet-dodge scene in The Matrix.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions[edit]

Kirby Story
Legend of Stafy
Movie posters at the Yoshi Theater.
  • In the original game, two posters at the Yoshi Theater advertise films centered around Kirby and Starfy. The last character, whose games at the time had not been localized, has his name romanized here as "Stafy."
  • Starbeans Cafe is a pun on Starbucks.
  • Wario, Fox McCloud, Captain Olimar, Samus Aran, an Excitebike Racer and Link were all going to make appearances at the shop, but they were all replaced by a single appearance from Professor E. Gadd. They were all planned to give Mario certain special items, but these are given out by E. Gadd and most were renamed in the final game. The items would have been as follows:
    • Fox would have given the Gold Ring, a reference to the Supply Rings of the Star Fox series (renamed the Bonus Ring).
    • Olimar would have given the UV Lamp, one of his ship parts in Pikmin (renamed the Cobalt Necktie).
    • Samus gives an Energy Tank from the Metroid series (renamed the Power Grip).
    • The Excitebike Racer gives the Excite Spring; this is the only item that was not renamed for the released game.
    • Link gives Mario and Luigi the Triforce (renamed the Great Force). Coincidentally, for the remake, not only was the Great Force redesigned to resemble the item it replaced, but Mario and Luigi's obtaining it was also accompanied by the Legend of Zelda games' "item get" jingle.
  • In Bink's mini-game Barrel, an 8-bit Stalfos sprite from the original The Legend of Zelda will appear on the right for a few seconds once the player gets 30 points.
  • The Secret Specs, a version-exclusive item that replaces the Power Grip in the remake, resembles the top half of a Virtual Boy.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time[edit]

  • The Shroobs' method of fueling their ships is to extract Toad Vim, a reference to The War of the Worlds and how the Martians use human blood to fuel their ships.
  • Princess Shroob's throne has three legs, which leads to resemble Tripods.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team[edit]

  • Wakeport is a pun on Wayport, Inc. This place also appears to be based on Mykonos.

Mario Party series[edit]

Mario Golf series[edit]

Mario Golf (N64)[edit]

  • The names of various The Legend of Zelda and Star Fox characters appear on the scoreboard.

Mario Golf (GBC)[edit]

  • The last club is called "Link's Club" and uses the Triforce as its logo.

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour[edit]

Pikmin flying out from a patch of flowers.
  • If the golf ball is hit and lands on a patch of flowers, several Pikmin will pop out from the ground.
  • The Coin Attack mode can spawn coin formations in the shape of the Triforce.

Mario is Missing![edit]

Mario's Early Years![edit]

The following is a list of songs appearing in Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters, Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers, and Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun.

Kinopio Live[edit]

The game features songs by Elton John and the song "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion.

Mario Ice Capades[edit]

The "Purple Plunger for Bravery" is a reference to the Purple Heart military medal.

Super Mario-Kun[edit]

  • Kirby makes a cameo in one volume.
  • Mario makes a passing reference to Doraemon in volume 3, confusing Doraemon with "Dorabon" (or "Drabon" in the French localization), the Japanese name for Rex.
  • In the French release of Super Mario-Kun volume 3, after having trouble recalling enemies from Super Mario Land, Mario finally recognizes their origin game, but Luigi asks if he meant Sonic the Hedgehog.[6]
  • In volume 4, there is a chapter based on The Legend of Zelda, in which, while on the way to save Princess Peach, Mario and friends are warped to Hyrule. At the end of the chapter, several F-Zero racers make a cameo.

Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up[edit]

  • Link makes appearances in the Chef/Waitress page, as a patron at Mario's restaurant, and on the Travel Guide page as the travel guide. A Bot, Daira, and Moblin, enemies from the early Legend of Zelda series, appear on other pages.

Wario Land series[edit]

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3[edit]

  • Several sound effects of this game are borrowed from Metroid II: Return of Samus, such as the pause sound effect and the sound that plays when Wario hits a boss. Both games were developed by the same developers, and run on the same engine.

Wario Land II[edit]

Flagman D.D

Wario Land 3[edit]

Pokémon Pikachu

In The Big Bridge, there is a collectable called the Pokémon Pikachu.

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country[edit]

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest[edit]

Cranky's Video Game Heroes
  • Dixie Kong's hat features the Rare logo printed on it. This stayed with her until 2002, after the company was bought out by Microsoft.
  • Chief Thunder, a character from Killer Instinct, makes a cameo on a poster found in Cranky's Monkey Museum. Also within the museum is a Killer Instinct arcade cabinet.
  • After the player has beaten the game, they can take part in Cranky's Video Game Heroes competition. The competition is simply whichever video game hero can collect the most DK Coins. When the player first sees this competition the heroes already present are Mario, Yoshi and Link. A garbage can can also be seen in the bottom corner of the screen next to Sonic the Hedgehog's shoes and Earthworm Jim's raygun, with a sign saying "No hopers" on the can, a jab at Sega. These were removed in the Game Boy Advance version, which was released after that company's rivalry with Nintendo ended.
  • The music for the first level of Krem Quay, Barrel Bayou, has a part that sounds similar to Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight". The composer for the game, David Wise, confirmed that the similarity was intentional.[7]

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble![edit]

Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[edit]

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

The Gunship in the background of Busted Bayou.
  • In the level Busted Bayou, in the area where the "K" can be found, the player can find Samus' gunship sitting on some tree branches similar to the plane wreckage.
  • In the level Amiss Abyss, if the player passes the first signpost and giant illuminating statue, reaches the end of the trench and heads back towards the statue through the anemone (the player must have more than one hit point to do this), a Metroid can be seen floating in the background.
  • When hovering over the Crash Guard in Funky's shop, he says, "Vehicle trouble? It's dangerous to go alone--take one of these!", a reference to The Legend of Zelda.
  • Donkey Kong can be seen playing a Nintendo 3DS during his idle animation; in addition to several Mario games, one of the games he can be heard playing during this is Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Donkey Kong Land[edit]

BS Super Mario Collection[edit]

Shitamachi Ninjō Gekijō[edit]

Hotel Mario[edit]

Yoshi's Island series[edit]

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island[edit]

Yoshi's Island DS[edit]

  • When Kamek is introducing Hector the Reflector to Yoshi, he says "Mirror, mirror on the wall, I've got a friend who's the ghastliest of them all! Are you frightened yet, little Yoshi?" This references "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?", a quote from multiple incarnations of Snow White.

Yoshi's Story[edit]

Yoshi's Woolly World[edit]

Diddy Kong Racing / Diddy Kong Racing DS[edit]

  • Banjo and Conker were included in the original playable roster as "sneak previews" for their then-upcoming games Banjo-Kazooie and Twelve Tales: Conker 64 (which would later be reworked into Conker's Bad Fur Day).
  • In the original Diddy Kong Racing, Timber's hat has the Rareware logo on it. This was replaced with the Nintendo DS logo in the remake.
  • In Diddy Kong Racing DS, Dixie Kong's hat shows a silver Rareware logo on it, but only when an event happens while racing that she is shown through a box.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

The Beam Sword
  • The Beam Sword bears a strong resemblance to the lightsabers of the Star Wars franchise. Originally the Beam Sword's sound effects were taken from the Star Wars films. The sound effects were removed for the international releases of Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, though they have been included in every installment since.
  • Samus's green alternate costume that appears in every game in the series is referred to by Masahiro Sakurai on the Japanese Super Smash Bros. website as "mass-produced Samus", a reference to the Gundam franchise.
  • Sakurai considers the dual blades that Pit uses in Super Smash Bros. Brawl similar to Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as well as the television series The Clone Wars. He also revealed himself to be a fan of the Star Wars series in an issue of Nintendo Power.

Donkey Kong 64[edit]

Gameplay of Jetpac
  • Two classic games, Jetpac and Donkey Kong, are included as bonus features in this game.
  • In the final boss fight of this game, Nintendo and Rareware, the game's publisher and developer respectively, are announced as the sponsors.
  • An earlier version of the game featured a shower stall in Donkey Kong's Treehouse with Banjo and Kazooie on the side.
  • The first part of the background music for Creepy Castle is an arrangement of "Dauði Baldrs" by Burzum.

Luigi's Mansion series[edit]

Luigi's Mansion[edit]

  • The boxart of this game resembles the cover design of Home Alone.
  • If Luigi goes to the door to King Boo's alter before capturing the required amount of boos, a scene will show King Boo mistaking Luigi for Mario. In the scene, King Boo states that, "I will not give up my favorite decoration, I like Mario just where he is". This is a reference to the film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, in which Jabba the Hutt states, "I will not give up my favorite decoration, I like Captain [Han] Solo just where he is". Han Solo hangs frozen in carbonite on a wall similar to Mario being trapped in King Boo's painting.
  • The Game Boy Horror resembles a Game Boy Color.
  • Two (or rather, three) of the Portrait Ghosts are named for real-life historical persons. Henry and Orville are named for Henry Ford and Orville Wright respectively, and Vincent Van Gore is a parody of Vincent van Gogh. In the Spanish translation, however, the twins are given the names of Pedro and Enrique II of Castile, famous stepbrothers in the royalty of Spain; and Van Gore takes the name of another artist, Pablo Picasso.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon[edit]

WarioWare series[edit]

"Sheriff" from Mega Microgame$! was an early Nintendo arcade game.

Wario World[edit]

NES Wario World treasure.jpg

Donkey Konga series[edit]

Donkey Konga[edit]

The Donkey Konga series includes both famous songs and music from other Nintendo franchises. The songs are different in each region. All of these songs are listed here.

Donkey Konga 2[edit]

More songs from both popular culture and other Nintendo games.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle[edit]

Mario and the gang find the chest concealing "A Song of Ice and Desert"
  • The title screen theme takes a few tunes from Tribalstack Tropics in Yooka-Laylee, as both games were composed by Grant Kirkhope.
  • The soundtrack that plays during the sandy portions of Sherbet Desert is titled "A Song of Ice and Desert", in reference to George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • In Spooky Trails, the player can find a Rabbid sleeping on a house-like structure. When observed, Beep-0 will say, "He'll catch the Red Baron one of these days." This references Snoopy from Peanuts, particularly his "Flying Ace" persona.
  • The name and description of Luigi's Attack From The Future II sentry both reference Back to the Future Part II. The sentry's description, "It's back! It's back from the future and believe me, it looks VERY gloomy for you enemies[...]", references the events of the film, as Marty McFly returns from 2015 to a dystopian alternate 1985.
  • The beginning of one of the battle themes, titled "Cold Start, Hot Finish", borrows a riff from the Freezeezy Peak theme from Banjo-Kazooie. One of the reasons may be because they are both composed by Grant Kirkhope.

Play Nintendo[edit]

Mario Stargazer[edit]

  • The preview description "The fault is not in our stars, but Mario is!" references the novel The Fault in Our Stars.


  1. ^ Borp's coverage on Mario Boards
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Klepek, Patrick (December 29, 2015). How A Mario Character Was Named After Motorhead's Lemmy. Kotaku. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  3. ^ Super Mario Character Guide, page 88
  4. ^ Nintendo. (May 15, 2019). Super Mario Maker 2 Direct 5.15.2019. YouTube. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Bob Rork Woolsey Interview
  6. ^ Mario (beaten up): "Oui! Vous étiez dans le jeu Super Mario Land... ("Yes! You were in the game Super Mario Land...")
    Luigi: "T'es sûr que ce n'était pas Sonic le Hérison? (You're sure that wasn't Sonic the Hedgehog?)"
    Sawada; translated by Florent Gorges. Super Mario: Manga Adventures, volume 3, p. 153. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  7. ^ [1]