Everyone loves a weird little guy. Maybe it’s Danny DeVito, maybe it’s cats, maybe it’s Turgle, Meat Boy, or the Prince of All Cosmos. The longer the list of gaming’s weird little guys, the more Nintendo shows up on it. It’s been churning out weird little guys for decades. Goombas. Midna. Basically everyone in Animal Crossing. And Nintendo’s latest offering, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, is basically a master class in weird little guy design. Let’s celebrate some of its best, shall we?
1. Prince Florian
Right out of the gate, just look at this guy. Does he have a cute butt? Two cute butts? A cute butt with its own butt? Adorable.
Then there’s the wardrobe. Classic red pea coat, very regal. Two pairs of matching white gloves for a bit of royal austerity. Sensible brown shoes, an understated nod to the working class? Perhaps. And a crown that’s both form and function thanks to those handy badges. Top it off with a perfectly quaffed head of green hair (foliage?) and a big, honkable orange schnozz.
Toads have been a perennial weird little guy favorite, but the Poplin are here to offer a staunch challenge as most lovable royal subjects. Maybe we’re biased because every Poplin we encounter is extremely helpful, running shops or opening up secret pathways, but it’s hard to argue with that fit. Lofty pantaloons, hooded shawl, a mysterious hat that is part flower, part … skull? Eyes that are … black? Just the right tinge of weird to keep us titillated by this little guy.
3. Maw Maw
Still waters run deep. Don’t let the wide-set eyes, vacuous stare, and dullard’s tongue fool you. Maw Maw is a ruthless predator and one of Mario’s deadliest new foes. This salamander-esque smol bean has a voracious appetite and a mouth to match. He’ll eat enemies, power-ups, coins, you name it. He’ll even eat a Goomba-ized Mario whole! But look at the sweet face, how can you stay mad at this hungry boi? It’s not his fault he has a high metabolism.
Mumsies are the most Halloween-y of the Super Mario Bros. Wonder weird little guys. A throwback to Tinseltown-era mummies, Mumsies make up for their diminutive stature with an absurdly tall wrap job. Why do they wrap so high? No one knows, but it makes it more fun to unravel them so we’re all for it.
5. Rolla Koopas
Rolla Koopas may have the most rizz of any of the weird little guys in Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Their magenta shells and matching skates give off some sweet, sweet Kenergy. Their form is immaculate. And they genuinely seem like they’d rather be skating than assisting in a violent coup of the Flower Kingdom. Who has time to transmogrify Bowser into a castle when there are sick ramps everywhere? Really the only piece missing here is a Walkman playing ABBA Gold on cassette.
Skedaddlers feel like a curse from Greek mythology. Possessing notable size and speed for a creature in the Flower Kingdom, Skedaddlers are nevertheless consumed by fear. They never look forward, only backward, obsessed with their own fleeting mortality. This existential dread gives way to a disarming vulnerability, those big puppy dog eyes and chubby cheeks make us want to swoop in and save them. Maybe keep them in a little shoebox with a piece of lettuce to nibble on until they get too big, then a tearful goodbye at the local park once dad gets home from work.