List of Mario references in real life

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The following is an alphabetical list of Mario-related sightings and references outside of print, video game, film, television, or Internet-based media.

2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony[edit]

Mario's appearance during the Closing Ceremonies and Shinzo Abe in his Mario outfit.
Mario's appearance during the Closing Ceremonies and Shinzo Abe in his Mario outfit.
Mario's appearance during the Closing Ceremonies and Shinzo Abe in his Mario outfit.

At the end of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Shinzo Abe (the prime minister of Japan) was given the opportunity to give a presentation in preparation for the next Summer Olympics: the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. His intro was preceded by a short skit featuring Abe, where he is driving in Tokyo and suddenly realizes that he cannot make it in time to Rio. He then transforms into Mario, albeit with the "M" on his cap saying Tokyo instead, and takes off running. While running, he meets with Doraemon, who pulls out a Warp Pipe that drills its way through the ground, carving a path from Tokyo to Rio. Mario thanks Doraemon and hops into the pipe, plummeting towards Rio, holding a red ball (symbolizing the hope of Japan that it carries to the rest of the world[1]). As he reaches the end of the Pipe, the scene transitions to Maracanã Stadium (where the closing ceremony was taking place), focusing on a Warp Pipe at the center; Abe, fully dressed in Mario regalia, then hops out of the pipe while the Warp Pipe and Mushroom sound effects play. After Abe leaves the pipe, he takes off the Mario outfit (while already wearing a suit underneath it) and leaves it on the ground.[2][3][4] After the performance, the "Course Clear" tune from Super Mario Bros. plays.


The original Mario statue in Kungsbacka, Sweden, which was replaced in 2016
The current statue, during an event in August 2016

The Swedish company Bergsala that handles the distribution of Nintendo products in Scandanavia uses Mario extensively around its office in the Kungsbacka locality. This includes a road named "Marios Gata" ("Mario's Street") and numerous signs, including a large pole that is viewable from the nearby freeway and acts as a local landmark.[5]

On August 25, 2016, Bergsala held its 35th anniversary event that saw the original Mario statue, which was considered a poor rendition of the character and had been compared to Saddam Hussein,[6] being replaced by a newer statue featuring him in modern appearance atop a Warp Pipe[7].

Donkey Kone[edit]

A Donkey Kone ice cream truck.

There is a fleet of "Donkey Kone" ice cream trucks operating in Toronto, Canada. As well as the title, the side also shows a gorilla holding a girl, referencing the Donkey Kong arcade game. In addition, the two boys flanking the gorilla are dressed in red and green T-shirts and blue overall shorts, clearly modeled after Mario and Luigi.

Donkey Kong monster truck[edit]

Main article: Donkey Kong (monster truck)
The Donkey Kong monster truck.

There was a monster truck driven by Frank Krmel and Kreg Christensen featuring Donkey Kong. This truck ran from 2007 until 2010.

Foxtrot-01 Murals[edit]

A mural of Mario and Bowser next to a mushroom cloud in the Foxtrot-01 nuclear bunker in Nebraska.

A nuclear bunker in Nebraska that is stocked with Minuteman III missiles is known for having murals featuring several Mario characters, first reported by National Public Radio.[8][9] One mural features Mario, based off a render from Dance Dance: Revolution: Mario Mix, and Bowser, based off a render from Mario Kart DS, next to a mushroom cloud. Princess Peach, Wario, and the art resembling Super Mario Bros. 3's cover have also been shown.

Game On[edit]

Mario was featured alongside numerous other videogame consoles and series as part of the Game On travelling exhibition. As well as information and a poster, original Donkey Kong concept sketches drawn by Shigeru Miyamoto were provided by Nintendo for the exhibit.

Hollywood Wax Museum[edit]

The wax-statue of Mario.

Mario is the only videogame character with a wax statue in the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Mario Monti[edit]

Mario Monti, the prime minister of Italy from 2011 to 2013, was nicknamed "Super Mario" due to his work in international finance.[10]

Miami "Nintendo Fun Day"[edit]

In 1991, the mayors of Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida both declared "Nintendo Fun Days." The one in Miami was celebrated with the appearance of a Mario mascot and billed as "Mario Gets His Day In Miami."[11]

Musée Grévin Montreal[edit]

In collaboration with Nintendo of Canada, the wax museum Musée Grévin Montreal created an exhibit based on the Mario franchise titled "Super Mario and Friends: The Exhibit!", running from October 7, 2016 to January 8, 2017. The exhibit features several games spanning across the entire series, multiple life-sized figures of the characters (though most of them focus on Mario), and occasional interactions with Mario, who walks around the exhibit to speak with visitors.[12]

Negative Celsius[edit]

The "Super Macaron" sign beside the Negative Celsius truck.

The Malaysian food truck vendor, Negative Celsius, uses a "Super Macaron" sign to advertise their macaroon ice cream burgers, which depicts Mario's signature hat and moustache above and below a side-view of a pink version of the desert.[13]

"Super Mario" street[edit]

The suburb of Arcosur in the city of Zaragoza, Spain named a street after Super Mario, called "Avenida de Super Mario Bros." Upon naming the street, residents of the town held a celebration in honor of Mario's 25th anniversary.[14][15]

Target Corporation[edit]

To promote Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, starting April 20, 2017, 650+ brick and mortar stores in the United States were themed with elements from the game, including shopping carts to be like karts, the entrances being like the finish line complete with Lakitu, and the red spheres having Mario and Luigi's faces.[16][17]

Wade Shows[edit]

The "Marioland" attraction.

The Wade Shows, Inc. traveling carnival has a ride based on the Mario franchise, titled "Marioland". Images of Mario and Luigi are painted on the sides of certain parts, along with other Mario decals like Bullet Bills and a Beanstalk. The bulk of the attraction does not seem to be based on the Mario franchise beyond its visual motif.


  1. ^ Image from the event program of the 2016 Summer Olympics' Closing Ceremony featuring a description of Mario. Tumblr. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  2. ^ NBC (August 21, 2016). "With help from Mario, Tokyo is ready for 2020 Olympics". YouTube. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  3. ^ CBC Olympics (August 21, 2016). "Shinzo Abe, the greatest video game character of all time". Twitter. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Palazzo, Chiara (August 22, 2016). Japanese PM Shinzo Abe emerges from a green pipe disguised as Super Mario during Rio Closing Ceremony. The Telegraph. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  5. ^ A set of photos from a bike trip through Bergsala. (2005). Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Benson, Julian (August 26, 2016). "Nintendo's Swedish Distributor Replaces Terrible Mario Statue". Kotaku UK. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  7. ^ "Massive new Mario statue makes its way to Sweden". Nintendo Wire. August 25, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  8. ^ Brumfiel, G. (July 29, 2014). "Welcome To The Nuclear Command Bunker". NPR. Accessed April 23, 2022.
  9. ^ Gach, E. (July 3, 2017). "Here's A Closer Look At That Nuclear Bunker Filled With Mario Murals". Kotaku. Accessed April 23, 2022.
  10. ^ Smith-Spark, Laura (November 13, 2011). Who is Italy's 'Super Mario' Monti? CNN. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Mario Gets His Day In Miami news bulletin. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "NEW EXHIBIT AT GRÉVIN MONTREAL!". Grévin Montreal. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  13. ^ New Ice Cream Wave – Macaron Ice Cream at Negative Celsius. (2015). Food Ink. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Spanish Town Names a Street After Super Mario Tom's Guide. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  15. ^ Spanish neighborhood unveils 'Super Mario' street. CNN. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
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  17. ^