Rock TV

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Super Mario World episode
"Rock TV"
Production number 409
Airdate November 16, 1991 (English)
October 23, 1992 (French)
Writer(s) George Shea
Featured song "Tail of the Dinosaur"
Captain N episode "Three Men and a Dragon"[citation needed]
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"Rock TV" is the tenth episode of the Super Mario World animated series. This episode can be seen as a commentary on television addiction, an issue that had gained widespread focus by the time it aired. In 1990, the year before this episode aired, the United States Federal Communications Commission enacted the Children's Television Act which required networks to strengthen educational values in children's television. After Super Mario World aired its lone season, NBC followed suit in 1992 by discontinuing its Saturday morning cartoon lineup in favor of expanding the morning news program Today to Saturdays.


While pacing back and forth in his castle, King Koopa muses about how he has not done anything exceptionally evil in a while. Trying to think up a plan of some kind, Koopa remembers one of his trips to the Real World; more specifically, how television can put people in a near vegetative state. Suddenly, Koopa comes up with the idea of using TV to rot the minds of the cave-people in Dome City.

Later, Oogtar the Caveboy rushes to the Dome Castle of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Toadstool, telling them to come quickly and see something. Following Oogtar, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Toadstool are surprised to see what appears to be a giant, screenless television set.

Mario and co. discovering the giant, screenless television.

As the cave-people stare in awe at the giant television set, King Koopa appears behind it with Cheatsy and Kooky von Koopa, who are helping him put on a rather crude human costume. Going into the giant television's empty screen, Koopa, in costume, introduces himself as "Robby Rockwell". "Robby" proceeds to tell all the onlookers that he is here to introduce "Rock TV". Oogtar proceeds to ask what Rock TV is, and Koopa explains that it has hundreds of different shows such as "Mr. Koopa's Neighborhood" (which Yoshi finds fun) and "The World Dinosaur Wrestling Federation" (which is really nothing more than dinosaur puppets bumping into one another). After being booed for this poor performance, Koopa shows the cave-people "Rock, Rock TV" with such stars as "Vanilla Ice-Age"; after saying this, Koopa proceeds to dress-up and dance around. Leaving the stage, Koopa returns in his Robby disguise and proceeds to tell everyone that they can buy their own "Koopasonic Rock TV" for ten coins and a coin a minute.

Mario faints after seeing his phone bill.
Mario's reaction after getting the phone bill.

Later, Mario and Luigi are in line to buy a Rock TV. Despite Mario saying that ten coins is a great deal, Luigi says that one coin a minute can really add-up and reminds Mario of the "Speak to Santa Hotline" incident in Brooklyn, which added up to a $1,295.31 phone bill. Hearing this, Mario simply tells Luigi that paying for their TV will be easy, as all they need to do is bash blocks to get them. Approaching Koopa, Mario proceeds to buy a TV, despite Luigi's suspicion of "Robby Rockwell".

Yoshi approves of Rock TV.
Yoshi reacting to King Koopa's "preview" of "Mr. Koopa's Neighborhood".

Once the TV is at home, Princess Toadstool proceeds to tell Mario and Luigi that she won't have any part in watching the TV, saying that she and Yoshi are going for a nature walk, and proceeds to walk out with a protesting Yoshi. Putting a coin in the TV, Mario and Luigi are suddenly hit by the spell of a Koopa Wizard hidden in the TV. Appearing to go into a trance, Mario and Luigi crouch down on their couch and begin watching "everybody's favorite Kooparobics show, Koopa Sez!". As Koopa, wearing sports equipment, begins giving demands on TV, Mario and Luigi and all the cave-people begin to follow him in a daze.

After a while, Koopa says he has "a game he wants everybody to play", at which point Mario and Luigi's TV breaks down, snapping them out of the trance. On the rest of the televisions, Koopa orders all the cave-people to go to Dome Castle and capture Mario and Luigi. Like robots, the cave-people obey Koopa and, grabbing anything nearby to use as weapons, rush off to Dome Castle. At Dome Castle, Mario, frustrated with his broken TV, throws it out a nearby window and into the moat surrounding the castle. As Mario does this, he notices a mob of cave-people storming the castle with clubs. Before Mario or Luigi can do anything, they are captured by the zombified cave-people.

Brought to King Koopa's giant TV, Mario and Luigi are forced to participate in "All-Star Prehistoric Tag-Team Wrestling", which has Hip and Hop Koopa as the judges and Big Mouth Koopa as the announcer. After going on an extremely long-winded speech, and introducing the Tyrannosaurus Twins, Big Mouth is finally shut up by Koopa, only to return, and then as he is introducing the Marios, one of the twins tosses him out. Koopa proceeds to introduce Mario and Luigi into the ring.

Attempting to be friends with the Tyrannosaurus Twins, Mario ends up being swirled around by the bigger of the two, while Luigi gets tangled up in the ropes and sling-shot into the opposite side of the ring by the smaller one. With the Mario Bros. taking a beating, Princess Toadstool and Yoshi appear and, after seeing that Mario and Luigi are in trouble, with Yoshi's help, hitting a ! Block at the top of the giant TV, they release a swarm of miniature Marios. With Big Mouth, Hip, Kooky, and Bully Koopa chasing the miniature Marios and the Tyrannosaurus Twins distracted, Princess Toadstool manages to hit a ? Block, which releases a feather.

Attempting to grab this feather, Koopa is knocked aside by Mario, who uses the feather to transform into Cape Mario. With his newfound powers, Mario easily defeats the Tyrannosaurus Twins. In the next scene, Yoshi begins eating all the nearby Rock TVs, spitting the apparently disgusting-tasting Koopa Wizards out of them.

As Mario and Luigi thank Princess Toadstool for helping them, Yoshi begins eating the nearby, giant TV. A panicking King Koopa tries to stop Yoshi because he thinks that the giant TV is still useful to him somehow, only to be crushed by dozens of falling blocks. A cheerful Yoshi, wanting to help the trapped Koopa, begins to eat all the blocks around him at an extremely slow pace.


References to real media[edit]

  • The family King Koopa spies on watch Wheel of Fortune.
  • "Mr. Koopa's Neighborhood" is a parody of the children's show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mario also tells Princess Toadstool and Yoshi that "maybe [he will] see them on PBS," referring to the network on which Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was broadcast.
  • The "World Dinosaur Wrestling Federation" can be seen as a parody of the World Wrestling Federation, now called World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
  • "Vanilla Ice-Age" is a parody of the American rapper Vanilla Ice. Oogtar also says "Ice Age Baby", a reference to "Ice Ice Baby".
  • The company name "Koopasonic" is a pun on the Japanese electronics company Panasonic.
  • Mario's line "I want my Rock TV!" is a parody of MTV's slogan at the time, "I Want My MTV."

Animation and continuity errors[edit]

Mario Brothers Plumbing from the Super Mario World television series. Note Mario's missing sideburns.
Mario's missing sideburns.
  • When Mario and his friends run over to the giant television, Princess Toadstool and Yoshi can be seen to appear from nowhere.
  • When King Koopa introduces "Rock Rock Baby", Luigi is depicted as Mario.
  • When Luigi asks how much the television sets cost, his eyes are blue like Mario's instead of green.
  • In the plumbing flashback, after Mario mentions they used to have to work for a living, his sideburns briefly disappear.
  • After Mario suggests that Robby Rockwell's lips do not move because he has been watching too many cartoons, his mouth moves but his voice is not heard. Due to the context, however, this may have been an intentional joke.
  • When the Marios look at each other after Mario mentions that the Cave People are storming the castle, the stripes on Mario's gloves are the same color as his shirt.
  • When Luigi asks what show he and Mario will be in, their eyes are mostly closed.
  • Hop is depicted with black eyelids in this episode instead of his usual green ones.
  • When the green dinosaur wrestler sticks out its right hand, its shackle is on it instead of the other hand.
  • In one scene, Luigi has four fingers on each hand instead of five.
  • When the Tyrannosaurus Twins throw Mario and Luigi into each other, their clothes switch, but the letters on their caps remain the same.
  • When Luigi says that he is bruised everywhere, the shackle on the orange dinosaur wrestler is black with red spikes instead of green with black spikes.
  • When Princess Toadstool and Yoshi jump into the ring, the green dinosaur wrestler's sclerae are white instead of green.
  • In a couple of scenes, the stripe on the green dinosaur wrestler's horn disappears.
  • When Luigi gets off one of the wrestlers, he passes through them while their jaw is transparent.
  • When Yoshi spits out the second Koopa Wizard from Oogtar's Rock TV, as it runs away, its face is completely white.
  • When King Koopa urges Yoshi to stop eating the giant television, he is briefly layered in front of and behind the ring.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
French La télé réalité Reality TV
German Die beste Show The best Show
Italian La Tv rock della pietra The Stone Rock TV/The rocking TV of the Stone Age
Portuguese Rock TV -
Romanian Rock TV[1] -
Spanish (NOA) Roca Televisón Rock Television


  • This is the only Super Mario World episode in which the real world made an appearance.
  • The family King Koopa spies on in his flashback strongly resembles Norman's family from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Mush-Rumors", except Missy is not there.
  • Six of the Koopalings can be seen in "Rock TV", making it the Super Mario World episode with the most Koopaling appearances. Kootie Pie is the only one absent, and Big Mouth is the only one with dialogue.
    • This is also Kooky's last animation appearance. Similar to Kootie Pie in "Send in the Clown", Kooky has no lines despite his screen time.
    • While Big Mouth has actual dialogue in the episode, Bully, Kooky, and Cheatsy only vocalize in grunts while Hip and Hop do not vocalize at all.


  1. ^ May 20, 2015. "Rock TV", dubbed in Romanian by KidsCo. Odnoklassniki ( Retrieved January 4, 2016.