List of Super Mario Bros. glitches

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This is a list of glitches in Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. All names are conjectural unless otherwise specified.


Brick glitch

A brick must be partially hidden at the left side of the screen. Destroying the brick in Super or Fiery form does not render the debris like it normally would.

Bullet lift glitch

An odd, glitchy Bullet Bill.
The effect of the glitch

In World 6-3, the player must wait on a Super Mushroom. If playing the NES or SNES version, after a while one of the Bullet Bills, if jumped on, will fall on a string, like a Scale Lift, although it will fall much slower. Occasionally, it will even stay suspended in the air. Note that, due to the long time spent waiting for the strange Bullet Bill, the player's time will run out, costing them a life.[1]

Disappearing Power-Ups glitch

The item glitch from Super Mario Bros.
The glitch in action

Super Mario Bros. was not programmed to have two power-ups on the screen at the same time. Thus, if a power-up comes out of its block and is not used, and a second one then comes out of its block, the first power-up will disappear from the screen at the moment the second one comes out. This was not fixed in Super Mario All-Stars. This is actually very useful in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, because in the game's coding, Poison Mushrooms are considered a power-up, and therefore finding a second power-up will cause the Poison Mushroom to disappear.

Disappearing enemy glitch

Due to the graphical limitations of the NES, sometimes the defeat of one enemy meant the spawning or the disappearance of another. This is also notable in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. However, this glitch has been fixed in Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe.

Disappearing Jumping board glitch

Sometimes, if the player breaks the bricks at the end of World 3-1 at just the right place, the Jumping board will disappear. If Mario lands where the Jumping board used to be, he will not be able to move until the time runs out or the game is reset.

Double death glitch

To perform the glitch, the player must be on any level with a Hammer Brother. The player must allow themselves to die by hitting its hammers. When Mario dies, the player must pause the game, then unpause. They may need to do this once more, while the death music is playing. If done correctly, when a second hammer reaches the area Mario was at, the death music will repeat.[2] It is also possible to perform it without pausing by falling into a pit then with a hammer reaching the area Mario was at.

Duplicate Vines glitch

This glitch was found nearly 30 years after the game came out.[3] The player has to beat the game and restart in Hard Mode with two players. Mario must die in World 1-2, while Luigi must go to World 5-2, hit a block with a vine, hold it, and get killed by a Hammer Brother nearby. If done correctly, after Mario enters in the pipe for World 1-2, a vine suddenly pops out from the ground. Mario can even do an infinite 1 up trick by holding the vine and waiting for the nearby Buzzy Beetles.[4]

This is because the game thinks the player is going to Coin Heaven where the vine would appear from the ground when dying.

A similar glitch exists where the player gets hit by the Hammer Brother in World 5-2 while on a vine. Doing so will result in an invisible vine near the start of the level when the player respawns.[5]

Enemy clipping

The NES has poor collision detection, making it possible to touch the outside pixels of an enemy without getting hurt if enough speed is gained through dashing.

Floating Buzzy Beetle glitch

To do this glitch, the player must replay World 1-1 in Hard Mode. They must then go to the left side of the second pit. Mario must wait until one of the Buzzy Beetles is about to fall into the pit, and once one does, Mario must jump on top of it while it falls into the pit, then bounce out of it to the other side. If done correctly, the Buzzy Beetle's shell will stop in midair. When it comes out of the shell, it will be walking in midair and can float through walls.

Frozen Ax glitch


In any of the castle levels, the player must go to Bowser or fake Bowser and defeat him with fireballs. Then, Mario must run and jump so he touches the far right side of the ax. The screen will scroll to the mushroom retainer but the ax will still be there.

Frozen flag glitch

SMB Flagpole Glitch.gif

Through incredibly precise movements, the player must jump right next to the block that holds the flagpole and then jump again. If done correctly, Mario or Luigi will jump onto the flagpole normally, but the flag will remain raised. It is also possible to do this with a Bullet Bill, which also causes Mario to move automatically and the timer to go down like when he normally enters the fortress.[6]

Hands up glitch

To perform the glitch, Mario must reach a flagpole with a Fire Flower. He must throw a fireball the instant he touches the flagpole. If done correctly, when he walks to the castle, his arms will be raised as if he was still going down the flagpole.

Harmless enemy glitch

For the glitch to work, Mario must be either Super Mario or Fiery Mario. He must take damage from an enemy of any kind. If he stays where the enemy is, he will not take any more damage. If he stops touching the enemy and then tries touching it again, he will take damage. This bug remains in Super Mario All-Stars but was fixed in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe.

Instant Game Over glitch

When the player gathers exactly 128 lives, then loses a life, they will receive an instant Game Over. This is most likely caused by a data overflow (signed byte), as the developers may not have thought said number of lives could be earned. (They may be acquired via "turtle-tipping," the infinite 1 up trick.) In the SNES version, the life count will be simply capped at 128 instead.

Invisible Piranha Plant glitch

In World 8-4, there is a short underwater section. In the pink pipe that the player enters at the beginning of this section, a Piranha Plant is there, but it is invisible. Despite it being invisible, the player can throw fireballs at it, as well as take damage from it. In Super Mario All-Stars, the glitch is fixed as the Piranha Plant can now be seen underwater.

Minus World

Main article: Minus World
Screenshot of Minus World, a Super Mario Bros. glitch.
The Minus World entrance screen

The Minus World is one of the most infamous glitches in Super Mario Bros. and in video game history. It is an endless underwater level, identical to World 7-2, and once there, Mario or Luigi is doomed to the death from either running out of time or being killed by enemies.[7] While there is no strategic advantage in performing this glitch, many find it intriguing. The glitch was removed in some re-releases of the game, excluding the imports, the Virtual Console releases, and Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. The Japanese Disk System version of the game includes a different version of the Minus World (even though the game itself does not have other differences). It contains three levels that can be beaten, and once -3 is complete the player will return to the title screen as if they have beaten the game.

The Minus World in the NES version

To perform the glitch, Mario must go to World 1-2 and stand on top of the pipe that leads to the above-ground flag, without going in the pipe, then he must break the second and third block from the pipe, but leave the one on the far right (though the player can still perform the glitch without breaking these two blocks, as pictured). Mario must then stand on the left edge of the pipe (facing left) and duck. He then has to jump while in a ducking position and move right in mid-air (while still facing left). If done correctly, Mario will go through the block on the far right and through the wall to the Warp Zone. Mario must then go through the pipe that would normally lead to World 4-1 (the one on the far left), and Mario will enter the Minus World (World -1; it is actually World 36-1, but the game displays the number 36 as a single blank space). If the player instead goes down the middle pipe, they go to 5-1.

There is also a third way[8] to activate that glitch. The player needs a Family Computer, a Super Mario Bros. game cartridge, and a Tennis game cartridge. To activate the glitch, the player needs to start playing Super Mario Bros. After a few seconds, slowly and carefully take the cartridge from the console and replace it with the Tennis game. After that, the player needs to reset the game. The player needs to play a match, and after a few seconds, carefully swap the cartridges again. When the title screen appears, the player needs to hold down A Button and press Start Button, and the Minus World will generate. The Minus World will be different depending on score gotten during the match in Tennis.

In World 1-2 of Super Mario Bros., Fire Mario runs, lands on the front of the exit pipe, and quickly crouches and jumps to reach a peak where the exit pipe crosses the ceiling. At that moment, Mario stops crouching and is ejected through the wall to reach the warp zone and ducks into the pipe to World 36.
Mario passes through the wall and enters World -1.

If World 2-2 or 7-2 is edited in a ROM editor, so that it is possible to beat it during the underwater segment, there is a World -2, an underwater version of 3-4. If World 3-4 is edited in a ROM editor, then, there is a World -3. It is also a version of 3-4, but with overworld graphics.

Moonwalking through walls glitch

SMB W4-2 Glitch1.png

On any level with a ceiling that has a hole in it, the player must scroll the screen to the left so half of Mario can fit there. Mario must go to the left side of the screen, jump, and not fall. Holding down left and repeatedly jumping will cause Mario to get inside of the wall, causing Mario to moonwalk. Moonwalking is possible in NES and SNES versions.

Mushroom jump glitch

The jumping glitch from Super Mario Bros.

When the player gets a power-up (except for the Starman) in midair, and presses the A Button button while Mario is transforming, he will jump in midair. If this happens with a Fire Flower, the fireball sound will replace Mario's jump sound. This can also be done in the SNES version.

Music change glitch

This works in World 1-1. Mario or Luigi must hit the block with the Starman inside, then they must go to the bit with the half pyramid with 10 blocks on each half, without touching the Starman. Then they let the Starman touch them, and as quickly as possible, the player must run to the flagpole. If done correctly, when the invincibility wears off, the overworld music from the level will interrupt the part of the usual flagpole fanfare.[9]

Video.svg Music Change Glitch - Video describing the Music Change glitch.
File infoMedia:SMB W1-1 Glitch1.ogv
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Over the flagpole

The over the flagpole glitch from Super Mario Bros.
The glitch in action

On some levels, it is possible to jump over the flagpole. Beyond the flagpole is nothing but an endless path. There is nothing to do; all that can be done is wait for the timer to get to zero. To do this glitch in World 1-1, right after the second pit, Mario needs to wait for the Koopa Troopa to about to fall into the pit and simultaneously jump at the top of the level right above the Koopa Troopa. After that, the Koopa Troopa will be stuck underneath the level, but the player will still be able to see it. When the Koopa Troopa starts to walk under the level, Mario should follow it to the end. Along the way, it is required to grab a Magic Mushroom. When the Koopa Troopa is halfway between the staircase and the flagpole, the player must do the glitch again and Mario will jump above the flagpole.

To do this glitch in World 3-3, at the end of the level, the player must stand off the last Scale Lift until another one has completely lifted, before falling off. After that, the player must accelerate as fast as possible and jump from the far edge of the lift. The lift should not lower while doing so.[10]

There is a brick right after the fortress' or castle's first door, which stops Mario from going past the fortress at the end of the levels.

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, this is actually exploited to hide Warp Zones. In Worlds 3-1 and A-3, there are Warp Zones placed beyond the goals. In other worlds, while it is possible to go over the flagpole, the edge of the world is a few steps past the fortress, and the player is not able to go far enough that the flagpole is out of reach.

On a side note, this glitch was fixed in the SNES version of the game.

This glitch was featured in the 25th-anniversary super play.

While the timer of the game will eventually cause Mario or Luigi to lose a life upon running out, if the player were to disable the timer using a cheat code and continue running, they will eventually reach an area where the background and platform sprites become jumbled.[11]

Video.svg Over the Flagpole Glitch - Video describing Over the Flagpole glitch in World 1-1
File infoMedia:SMB W1-1 Glitch2.ogv
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Path puzzle glitch

When there is a path puzzle where the player must choose the right path, if Mario is on the right one but jumps repeatedly, the game will think he is on the wrong path and will not allow him to continue the level (there will be the usual loop).

Red Shell out of thin air glitch

SMB W4-1 Glitch1.gif

This glitch can be performed in World 3-1. After avoiding three Koopa Paratroopas below the bricks with a green Koopa Troopa, it is possible to make a Red Shell appear. First, the player should attack the green Koopa Troopa from below the bricks. Then, when the Koopa Troopa is about to come out of its upside-down shell, the player should hit the bricks again. If it is done at the right time, the green shell will turn into a red one. It can also happen in Worlds 4-1 and 6-1. At the ending, there are two ?s. The player must make the Lakitu throw a Spiny Egg aiming above the blocks. If the player hits the block while an egg lands on it, it will still become a red shell.[12] [10] This glitch was not fixed when Super Mario All-Stars was released.

Screen overlap glitches

Jumping damage glitch

SMB Jumping Damage Glitch.gif

In World 1-1, when the player gets to the bricks high above the ground close to a pitfall with two Little Goombas walking towards it, they must stand on the edge of the bricks and wait until the Little Goombas appear on the screen. Then, the player must back up and wait for the first Little Goomba to approach the pitfall. As soon as it is about to fall in, the player must start running to the edge and when he falls, they must jump high to the left. The player should go off-screen from the top. If done correctly, Mario or Luigi will die or take damage depending on their form. The timing for this glitch can be difficult.

Magic Mushroom glitch

SMB W1-1 Glitch2.gif

This glitch also works in World 1-1. In the part where the second mushroom block is in Mario's or Luigi's Small form, the player should get the mushroom off the bottom gap. As soon as this happens, the player must jump to the top of the level. If done correctly, the player will become their Super form, even though the Mushroom has fallen off the gap.[12] This is because certain objects overlap to the top of the screen as they fall in a hole, only disappearing when the last pixel is down the hole. They cannot be seen because Super Mario Bros. has no vertical scrolling.

Shell vs. Hammer Brother glitch

It has been requested that more images be uploaded for this section. Remove this notice only after the additional images have been added.

In World 8-3, if Mario manages to kick a Koopa shell at a Hammer Brother, it will often pass through it, due to a programming error. In the event that it does defeat any Hammer Brothers, it will only award the player 500 points for the first and 800 for the second instead of the usual 1000 points for defeating a Hammer Brother normally. In Super Mario All-Stars, the shell always hits a Hammer Brother perfectly, awarding the player 1000 points.

Simultaneous death and completion glitch

The glitch in Super Mario Bros. where Mario and Bowser are both defeated at the same time.

While going to any castle level, Mario or Luigi should go through the whole level by becoming Small Mario or Luigi. Mario or Luigi will need to touch the ax as usual, but if Bowser or fake Bowser touch Mario or Luigi while he touches the ax, he will die and complete the level.[12] If Mario or Luigi performs it with 0 lives, he will die and win, but then after the text that says "Thank you Mario! But our princess in another castle!" is over, the Game Over screen will be shown.

The mushroom glitch from Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario becomes Small Mario when collecting a Magic Mushroom

If this glitch is performed by having Super or Fiery form hit the ax. If Bowser or fake Bowser hit the player while the player hits the ax, Mario will flash, but stay Super Mario. Bowser will be defeated, and then the player will move on to the next level after rescuing the level's mushroom retainer. The game continues as normal, except when the player gets hit, they die. Collecting a Magic Mushroom will make the player Small Mario, and when they get hit they will become Super Mario again. When the player grabs a Fire Flower as Small Mario, the player will become Fiery Mario, but in the smaller body. When Mario shoots a fireball, he will become large, then, when the animation is complete, he returns to the small size.[13] If Mario dies, the player will need to repeat the glitch to play as him again. A similar variation on this is to do the same thing with Small Mario. Mario will do his usual dying animation, but the screen will scroll over, like normal, to the mushroom retainer, even though there is no Mario. When transforming, Mario will do a swimming "pose" on the ground.

Also, in the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, the player can get small Fiery Mario like this; When the player is Fiery Mario and hits an enemy, the player must pause and click save, small Fiery Mario will appear. However, Mario will lose a life in one hit, unlike small Fiery Mario in Super Mario Bros.[14] For the short sequence of Mario's death when he dies from a time-up, and when Mario has a Fire Flower, the player should notice that small Fiery Mario is actually appearing instead of the normal dead Small Mario.

Small Fire Mario (glitch)
Small Fire Mario (glitch) making a jump.

One of the challenges in NES Remix involves defeating 20 enemies with small Fiery Mario.

Sliding glitch

SMB Glitch Unmovingmario.gif

If Fiery Mario jumps and shoots a fireball right when a level starts or he comes out of a pipe, he will not move his feet when he walks. This glitch wears off after a few seconds or if he gets hit.

Stuck underwater glitch

A glitch from Super Mario Bros.; Mario cannot move.
The effect of the glitch

At the end of swimming levels, there is one block-sized space above the pipe that leads to the exit. If the player crouches as Super Mario and then swims into space while still crouching, Mario should walk backward and get stuck in the far right side of the wall. After pulling off this glitch, it is impossible to move. This works in the NES version, but not in the SNES version, as the space directly above the pipe has been filled up with a block. This also cannot be done in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe or the European NES version.

Thousand seconds left glitch

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, if the player clears a castle with the timer at "000", the game thinks that the player cleared with 1000 seconds left which will result in gaining 50000 points. This can be done for all castle levels and is a tactic some players use to do a high score playthrough. Doing this in all of the game's castles can give the player a total of 600,000 points. This works in both games in Super Mario All-Stars.

Uncollectable item glitch

The player must press the A Button button to jump and get a Magic Mushroom. The player must not collect it but chase it and then collect it. Mario will not receive the power-up and the player cannot obtain the mushroom. If the player presses A Button to jump on the mushroom, the mushroom will disappear. This glitch was not fixed in Super Mario All-Stars or Super Mario Bros. Deluxe and the Virtual Console release.

Vine teleporting glitch

Smb vinewrap.gif

If the player touches the vine at the extreme left edge of the screen, Mario or Luigi will be teleported to the right edge. Super Mario All-Stars did not fix this glitch.

Walking through walls glitch

SMB Walking Through Walls Glitch.gif

In any level with walls just above the ground, the player must scroll the screen far enough so half of Mario can fit in it. Then they must jump in it, holding left, and jumping rapidly. They will slide through the wall. In levels like castle levels, Mario can access the ceiling this way.

Wall jump glitch

SMB Wall Jump Glitch.gif

If Mario's foot catches on a wall or pipe, he can jump again to do the Wall Jump at that frame. However, Mario has to be moving toward the wall with some velocity. This is because when Mario hits a wall, he goes slightly into the wall. The bricks in the wall count as individual surfaces, so Mario has a surface to jump off. This glitch also exists in Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island.

Wall suction glitch

In any level with walls in midair, the player must stand under the bottom corner of that wall, then jump while slightly tapping the same direction of the corner (e.g. if the player is standing under the bottom-right corner, then they have to tap right) for the first few frames of the jump, if done correctly, Mario will get sucked into the wall. The player can also jump rapidly while holding the same corner direction to get sucked in further and slide through further walls. They can also jump out of the wall by jumping without holding a direction after getting sucked into the wall to do a "standstill wall jump". Doing this under the bottom corner of a ? block with a power-up on top of it can cause Mario to get powered up from underneath the block.

Wrong warp glitch

Sometimes an entry point like a vine or pipe teleports Mario somewhere else than its intended destination. This glitch occurs because the game can only determine one area as the destination where all pipes and vines on the current screen lead. Usually, this information is updated before Mario can access the next pipe so that he gets teleported to the right area. However, if Mario leaves the center of the screen and gets further right than usual, which can be done with backward jumps or by wall clipping, he can get into a pipe before the teleport destination gets updated, so that said pipe leads to the area which should be entered through the previous entry point. On the other hand, if Mario runs far enough to update the teleport destination for an upcoming entry point, while another pipe is still visible on the left half of the screen and then runs back to enter the latter, this pipe leads to the updated destination. The Wrong Warp glitch is best known for being used in Worlds 4-2 and 8-4:

  • 4-2: There is a vine in a hidden block, which leads to a Warp Zone, and shortly after there is a pipe which leads to another secret area. If Mario gets far enough to the right of the screen, he can enter said pipe without updating the destination, so he gets teleported into the Warp Zone area.
  • 8-4: In the third section, instead of taking the pipe after the lava pit to get teleported to the water section, Mario can use the glitch and use the pipe before the lava pit. To do this, Mario has to scroll the screen far enough so that the first block after the pit is visible, and then he has to go back and enter the pipe. Instead of getting warped back to the beginning, Mario gets teleported to the updated destination, which is the water area.[15][16]

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the player can also perform this glitch with upside-down pipes. Upside-down pipes normally cannot be entered or exited in this game; however, if Mario can get inside of one, he can enter them.[17] Some examples include:

  • 5-2: This glitch can be used to reach the warp to World 8 faster, by entering the upside-down pipe right before the vine to said area. The upside-down pipe at the end can be used to skip the animation of Mario coming out of the pipe.
  • 8-1: The first upside-down pipe can be used to skip to roughly the middle of the level. This is made possible by the fact the entrance page address remains at 6 from the necessary pipe transition in World 7-2, and the absence of any warp pipes after until 8-1, as the value persists between levels, deaths, and Game Overs. Doing this glitch coming from the Warp Zone in 5-2, however, will instead send the player to the start of the level, as Warp Zones will set the entrance page value to 0.
  • C-1: The entrance page value of 14 (which comes from the pipe leading to the warp to World D in B-4, which is the same area as the warp to World C in A-3) is used on the first pipe in the level to warp directly to the end. Attempting this glitch coming in from the Warp Zone will, like in 8-1, send the player to the start of the level.