True Colors

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The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode
"True Colors"
True Colors.PNG
Production number 123
Airdate November 24, 1990 (English)
November 22, 1991 (French)
Writer(s) Steven Fischer
Opening curtain Grass Land
Featured song "When Koopas Paint The Town"
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"True Colors" is the twenty-third episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. It aired alongside another episode entitled "Recycled Koopa." This episode depicts a social commentary concerning racism, highlighted when Luigi asks Mario if people in the real world would learn to not judge someone by color.

Plot synopsis[edit]

The Doomship comes hovering over the Mushroom Kingdom at midnight. However, King Koopa cannot stay awake for the sneak attack, so Kooky and Cheatsy have to pull it off themselves. They send out swarms of Para-Goombas and Para-Beetles to attack and terrorize the Mushroom People, but Mario and Luigi show up in Raccoon form and chase the enemies away.

A screenshot from the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode, "True Colors".
Kooky reminding Koopa that he is getting tired.

Back at his castle, Koopa complains about his sneak attack having failed, claiming that the Mushroom People are too united to be beaten. Cheatsy says he has a plan of his own: to divide and conquer the Mushrooms. Koopa, however, is too tired from trying to pull off the midnight attack to listen and falls asleep.

A screenshot from the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode, "True Colors".
Two of the Mushroom People after being sprayed by some of the Koopa Color Goopa.

The next morning, Cheatsy and Kooky fly the Doomship over the Mushroom Kingdom, spraying red and blue paints called Koopa Color Goopa all over the residents, including the Mario Bros. (During this, Koopa has to monitor the progress as he is too tired to navigate.) At first, the Mushrooms pay no mind to their new colors, but Cheatsy and Kooky walk around disguised as red and blue Mushroom folk themselves (respectively) and cause problems for folks of the other color (and even each other) so that the red and blue Mushrooms turn against each other. Princess Toadstool (who was not hit by the paint) and the Mario Bros. try to break up the fight, but soon even Mario (who was painted blue) and Luigi (who is now red) are tricked by the Koopalings into bickering with each other. The Koopalings then convince the Mushrooms into having a "rumble" tomorrow morning.

A screenshot from the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode, "True Colors".
Cheatsy and Kooky talking about their plan as Mario and Luigi overhear them.

That night, on orders from the Princess, Mario and Luigi sneak into Kastle Koopa to find out what King Koopa is up to. Reaching a three-way fork, the brothers cannot agree on a passage to take, so Mario goes through the left tunnel and Luigi goes right. Both routes turn out to be bad choices (the left one has a Chain Chomp and the right one a Fire Chomp). A swarm of Para-Goombas then fly at them, and the brothers both run down the center passage. Leaping through a Warp Pipe (unseen until they exit), they are faced by three more pipes, though while they are arguing over which path to take, they hear Kooky and Cheatsy's voices coming from one of the pipes. Looking down the pipe, they overhear the Koopalings saying that once the Mushroom folks have worn each other out, King Koopa will march in with his army and take over. Realizing that they have been tricked into bickering over their color, Mario and Luigi apologize to each other, and then Mario says he has an idea to "unrumble that rumble!"

A screenshot from the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode, "True Colors".
The Mushroom People after realizing they have been tricked.

The next morning, a still-tired Koopa, accompanied by an army of Sledge Brothers, is observing the Mushroom People's civil war just as it is starting. Before the fight can start, though, Mario and Luigi come between them, saying that the Princess is trapped in a warp drain. The people immediately follow the Marios to a pipe where Toad is waiting. The Princess then comes out from behind the pipe, saying that she is glad the Mushroom folks have left the battlefield. Mario then gives a speech to the Mushrooms, letting them know that they are all Mushroom People no matter what color they are. The Mushroom People then make up.

A screenshot from the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode, "True Colors".
Mario explaining to Princess Toadstool as the effects of the Koopa Color Goopa wear off.

Cheatsy and Kooky jump in at that point, trying to continue the war, but when the two Koopa Kids start fighting each other, Mario and Luigi pull their masks off, exposing them. Cheatsy tries to call King Koopa for help, but he has fallen asleep again, so he and Kooky run off. At that point, the Koopa Color Goopa wears off, but as Mario points out, it does not really matter since everyone has learned that it is what is inside that counts.


Animation and continuity errors[edit]

  • In the title card, Steven Fischer's first name is misspelled as "Steve."
  • Despite the opening taking place at night, it still appears to be daytime.
  • In several scenes, Kooky's head is the same color as his snout.
  • When the Koopalings try to wake up their father, the spikes on King Koopa's shackles are colored white instead of orange.
  • When Cheatsy says that he and Kooky need to wake up their father, King Koopa's underbelly is the same color as his body.
    • In the same scene, there is a lever that is gray, but in the next shot, it turns green while the top turns pink.
  • When some Paragoombas enter a house, their shoes are light-brown instead of dark-brown.
  • The first group of Mushroom People that are attacked by the King Koopa's minions are incorrectly colored as though they have already been hit by the Koopa Color Goopa.
  • When the Mario Bros. arrive during the attack, one of the Mushroomers overlaps a bush.
    • In the same scene, Mario's hair is colored black like Luigi's instead of brown. This also happens when King Koopa's minions retreat.
  • When King Koopa says that the Mushroomers will never be divided, Cheatsy is to the left of Kooky, but in the next shot, he is to the right.
  • When King Koopa asks for Cheatsy and Kooky to tell him their plan, Kooky is sitting in midair.
  • When the camera pans from a painter as he paints a wall, he freezes.
  • When a Mushroomer says Cheatsy arrived first, Cheatsy's snout is the same color as his head, while Kooky's underbelly is missing.
  • When Luigi says that he will take the second pipe, he mouths "three" and holds up three fingers instead of two.
  • When Princess Toadstool arrives at the argument, Mario's hair is colored brown instead of black. This also happens when he and Luigi get to the first decision point.
  • When Toad says that the Mushroomers are too distracted arguing based on their color, Princess Toadstool's brooch has its colors reversed.
  • When the Mushroomers leave each other, two of them overlap a house.
  • When Mario and Luigi make their first decision, Mario briefly overlaps Luigi for a few frames.
  • When Kooky puts on his disguise as Cheatsy says that they should head to the rumble, Kooky speaks with Cheatsy's voice.
  • When King Koopa says that he hopes to quickly conquer the Mushroom Kingdom his mouth does not move.
  • When Cheatsy says that he and Kooky will start the rumble, his tail turns to the same color as his shell's rim.
  • When the painter says that the rumble is scary, the paint falling from his brush briefly freezes.
  • When Cheatsy tells the painter that he is red, the handle on his wand is colored blue instead of green.
  • When Cheatsy says that the Princess is not the Mushroomers' leader anymore, his head is colored red instead of green.
  • When Cheatsy tells King Koopa to attack, his mouth does not move.
    • In the same scene, his hair is the same color as his head while King Koopa's wand is miscolored.
  • When Cheatsy tells Koopa his plan, his nostrils disappear several times.
  • When Mario and Luigi are talk about entering Kastle Koopa, one of Mario's legs is missing.
  • When the paint hits the farmers, the farmer with the hoe turns red while the other farmer turns blue, but in the next shot, their colors are swapped.
  • When Cheatsy says, "Oh yeah?" for a second time, Kooky's mouth moves, but no sound can be heard.
  • When Cheatsy claims that King Koopa will be top banana with the kingdom split, his disguise's pants has his usual feet showing.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
French L'attaque surprise
The surprise attack
German Alles bunt
All Colorful
Italian La guerra dei colori
The War of Colors
Portuguese Verdadeiras Cores (Herbert Richers dub)
As Verdadeiras Cores (BKS dub)
True Colors
Romanian Culori adevărate[1]
True colors
Spanish (NOA) Colores verdaderos
True colors
Spanish (NOE) Colores reales
Real colors



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