10 Coolest Super Mario Bros. Movie Easter Eggs

Contains spoilers for "The Super Mario Bros. Movie"

Nintendo's flagship video game franchise gets the big screen treatment with the bombastic "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." When brothers Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) get transported to the magical Mushroom Kingdom, they discover that the fantastical realm is under attack by the fiery monster Bowser (Jack Black). Separated from Luigi during their strange odyssey, Mario sets out to stop Bowser and rescue his brother, teaming up with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen).

A true labor of love for fans of the iconic game series, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" has Easter eggs, subtle nods, and direct references to the full breadth of the long-running franchise. From musical cues from beloved games and television adaptations to a variety of power-ups and items players know and love, there are tons of allusions in virtually every scene. Here are the best Easter eggs of all, celebrating the Mario Bros. in all their popular iterations as the franchise is reimagined for the silver screen.

Mario and Luigi's commercial evokes an '80s classic

After a polar prologue, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" launches into a television commercial for Mario and Luigi's fledgling plumbing business in Brooklyn. More than serving as an introduction to the characters, the commercial directly homages the 1989 children's series "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" The lovingly lo-fi ad is set to "The Mario Rap," by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy, which served as the show's theme.

More subtle references to "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" include a cameo by Jeannie Elias, who starred as Princess Toadstool in the classic series, playing a customer in the commercial. The ad ends with Mario and Luigi wearing the cape power-up from the 1990 Super Nintendo game "Super Mario World" while pretending to fly. The power-up is a nod to the final season of "Super Show!," which rebranded itself as "Super Mario World" to reflect the release of the latest Mario game.

Jumpman gets a major shoutout

Mario's very first video game appearance wasn't in 1983's "Mario Bros." but in the enormously popular 1981 arcade game "Donkey Kong," where he rescued his girlfriend from the eponymous gorilla. In the original Japanese release, Mario was simply known as Jumpman before gaining his famous moniker from Nintendo of America's Italian American landlord at the time, Mario Segali, for the subsequent North American release. A version of the arcade game appears in Brooklyn's Punch-Out Pizzeria, where Mario and Luigi watch their ad as it airs on television for the first time.

Given Mario and Donkey Kong's roles in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," neither Jumpman nor his nemesis resemble their video game (with the alternate title "Jump Man") at the pizzeria. In this arcade facsimile, Jumpman has a different colored outfit and hair, while the monster he is chasing looks more like a yeti than a gorilla. However, the Mario Easter eggs don't end with the "Jump Man" arcade cabinet. A familiar voice can be heard playing the game as the movie begins.

Charles Martinet passes the torch to Chris Pratt, twice

Mario's longtime video game voice actor, Charles Martinet, has two roles in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," both serving as perfect ways to give Chris Pratt his blessing in playing the iconic character. Martinet is first heard voicing Giuseppe, a kindly elderly man playing "Jump Man" at the pizzeria, who approves of the exaggerated Italian accents Mario and Luigi use in their television commercial. If there was anyone who built a wildly successful career from playing up a faux Italian accent, it's Martinet, so the moment provides a sly wink to viewers in the know.

Martinet's second, more prominent role is Mario and Luigi's discerning father, who disapproves of his sons deciding to start their own business. However, this stance changes when the unnamed father sees his boys save Brooklyn by defeating Bowser and his army all by themselves. As the Mario Brothers are hailed by the neighborhood as heroes, their father lavishes the siblings with the overdue praise and support they deserve. The moment carries added weight with Martinet's casting.

Downtown Brooklyn is chock full of Nintendo references

For an unassuming neighborhood in Brooklyn, Nintendo has a strong presence in the city, even apart from the Mario brothers' presence. The pizzeria the brothers frequent is named after the 1984 boxing game "Punch-Out!!" with pictures of the game's main characters Little Mac and his trainer, Doc Louis. Among the pizza parlor's patrons is Spike (Sebastian Maniscalco), who runs the construction company Wrecking Crew and is Mario and Luigi's bullying former boss. This is a direct nod to 1985's "Wrecking Crew," an early Nintendo game starring the Mario Brothers at a construction site where they are antagonized by Spike.

Outside of the pizzeria, other businesses referencing classic Nintendo games are a carwash themed after 1984's "Balloon Fight," a storefront named "Chasse au Canard" (which is French for "Duck Hunt"), and a store called "Disk-kun." Disk-kun is the name for the Famicom Disk System's mascot, with the system a peripheral to the Famicom released only in Japan. Finally, the Sunshine Travel Agency is an allusion to 2002's "Super Mario Sunshine" on the GameCube, with the business even using a similar font as the game.

Mario is also a major Nintendo fan

After retreating to his bedroom after an argument with his father about his career choices, Mario is seen to be a Nintendo enthusiast himself. Mario sullenly plays the 1986 game "Kid Icarus" on a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and his walls are adorned with referential Nintendo posters. Among Mario's posters and bedroom decor is an Arwing from "Starfox," the Falcon Flyer from "F-Zero," the polar bear from "Ice Climbers," and wall art for Nintendo's various sports games on the NES.

The presence of the NES does raise the question of whether Nintendo itself exists in a similar capacity in this cinematic world. If so, is Jumpman the company's flagship mascot and franchise as Mario or Donkey Kong are in our world? Those questions have haunted me ever since I walked out of the screening, like an enduring image of an 8-bit Ouroboros of endlessly cyclical self-referential Nintendo properties.

Mario's original girlfriend gets a new job

Hardcore Mario fans know that Peach isn't the first damsel-in-distress who was repeatedly rescued by Mario. That distinction goes to Pauline from "Donkey Kong." Originally named Lady in the Japanese release, Pauline was named for Nintendo of America executive Don James' wife, who got him his job with the company. Pauline has since resurfaced in all the "Mario vs. Donkey Kong" games, "Super Mario Odyssey," and as a playable character in several of the spinoff Mario sports titles.

In "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," Pauline holds the office of the Mayor of Brooklyn (the borough somehow gets its own mayor in this version of New York City). As downtown Brooklyn floods uncontrollably, Pauline appears during a televised news broadcast asking for assistance, prompting Mario and Luigi to pick up their plumbing tools and come to her rescue. Interestingly, this isn't the first time Pauline has held a mayoral position. The character serves as the Mayor of New Donk City in "Super Mario Odyssey," helping Mario while moonlighting as the lead singer of a band.

Level 1-2 kicks off a sonic smorgasbord of Nintendo music

Level 1-2 from the original "Super Mario Bros." is the first underground Mario level and contains the first-ever warp pipe, making it only fitting that the 1-2 section of sewers is where Mario warps to the Mushroom Kingdom. However, more than just getting the story going, Level 1-2 serves as a sonic springboard to musical references from Koji Kondo's celebrated Nintendo scores. From the familiar underground theme in 1-2 to the "Super Mario World" theme playing briefly when Mario passes Yoshi's island, the leitmotifs and musical cues come fast and furious once Mario leaves Brooklyn.

The Mushroom Kingdom itself has several medleys that span the entire breadth of Mario scores composed by Kondo, while the "Super Mario Bros." victory fanfare plays when Peach completes her obstacle course. Not to be completely outdone by his brother, a brief cue from Kazumi Totaka and Shinobu Tanaka's "Luigi's Mansion" theme is heard when Luigi warps to the Dark Lands. Even Donkey Kong gets in the referential game music fun, with "Jungle Hijinx" by David Wise heard when Mario and Peach enter the Jungle Kingdom. The "DK Rap" by Grant Kirkhope plays during Donkey Kong's entrance.

The Koopa Kids lead a line of villainous cameos

One of the more complicated elements of the Mario mythos is how many children Bowser has, with the '80s and '90s games giving him seven Koopa Kids, occasionally referred to as Koopalings. Though Bowser's presumed progeny have inconsistently been listed as associates rather than offspring (with Bowser, Jr. sometimes cited as his sole child), there are a couple of references to the Koopalings in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." When Bowser plays an ode to his unrequited love, Peach, on a grand piano, the instrument is branded Ludwig von Koopa, one of the Koopa Kids who himself is named after Ludwig von Beethoven.

A more obscure reference to the Koopalings takes place at a party thrown by Bowser in celebration of seizing a Super Star from a kingdom of penguins. A rock band provides music at the party, and two performers, resembling Koopalings Larry and Lemmy, are identifiable by their distinct haircuts. A third performer is seen wearing  Koopaling Roy's signature sunglasses, though he doesn't quite match his video game counterpart's more physically imposing physique. Other notable Mario villains that make cameo appearances are King Boo and King Bob-Omb, who both are invited to Bowser's wedding at the film's climax.

An antique shop introduces a plethora of power-ups

From the invincibility-granting Super Star to a variety of flowers and mushrooms that give users an edge, power-ups have been a staple of Mario games since 1985, and they figure prominently into the film's plot. One easily overlooked purveyor of power-ups appears in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" when Mario arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom and is led through town by Toad (Keegan-Michael Key). A small antique shop, fully stocked with items from the franchise's history, is briefly seen. Many of the shop's wares are from "Super Mario Bros. 3" and "Super Mario World," in particular.

Among the visible goods from "Super Mario Bros. 3" are hammers for unlocking shortcuts in the overworld maps, P-switch blocks to turn blocks into coins, and music boxes to bounce off. The items on sale from "Super Mario World" include Dragon Coins, exclamation blocks, and P-balloons for temporarily inflating Mario and Luigi to float high. As an added allusion, the shopkeeper advises customers to blow on items to ensure they work properly — a strategy that players used to improve the functionality of cartridge-based Nintendo games.

Mario Kart's influence looms large

Mario's history with go-karts plays a pivotal role in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," as Mario, Peach, and Donkey Kong lead an army driving karts to attack Bowser. The kart selection and customization screen used by Mario and Peach echoes a similar menu from "Mario Kart 8," complete with paragliders and wheels equipped with hover functionality to drive on tracks upside-down. The usual items, like banana peels, turtle shells, and Bob-ombs, are incorporated into the karts as weaponry, working exactly as they do throughout the "Mario Kart" video game series.

With Peach (wearing her racing tracksuit from "Mario Kart 8") leading the ensemble, the showdown happens on Rainbow Road, where Bowser's forces ambush the Kong army. The Koopa commander leading the ambush is a powerful blue shell Parakooper who homes in on Donkey Kong just like "Mario Kart's" most frustrating equalizer. Although the battle ends in defeat for the Kongs, Mario finds a commonly used Rainbow Road shortcut from "Mario Kart 64" to give himself enough breathing room to live to fight another day.