The Super Mario franchise is possibly the most beloved in all of video games. Audiences worldwide love the series for its colorful characters, simple-yet-brilliant gameplay, and above all else, how well the games lend themselves to sharing with others.
However, what people sometimes forget are moments where the games can pass from wacky and whimsical, to so frustrating you’re pulling your hair out. This is usually the result of dealing with a recurring character that’s a complete jerk, and drains your extra lives faster than you can say “Mamma Mia!”
These are just a few of the absolute douchelords that you’ll inevitably have to deal with at some point in the franchise.
1) Hammer Bros.
While there are bigger jerks in the franchise, these guys are the OG jerks who’ve been around since the beginning. Always ready to take you on with their erratic jumping and a stream of hammers that seem tailor-made to hit you no matter where you are, they were the bane of plenty of Mario players back in the 90s.
A part of the franchise as long as the Hammer Bros., these tenacious squids are made awful for the sheer reason that they show up when you’re stuck swimming instead of running and jumping. Add in the fact that they’ll pretty much follow you through the whole level if they can, and you have a recipe for total underwater rage.
Rounding out the Unholy Trinity of jerks from the original Super Mario Bros. is Lakitu. This goggle-wearing coward loves to float around on his cloud and toss Spineys at you, with often pixel-perfect aim if you’re not running full sprint. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Spineys instantly come alive and start marching after you.
Sure, he’s had his moments of redemption by being the camera man in Super Mario 64 and pulling you out of hazards in the Mario Kart series. We may have forgiven you Lakitu… but we never forget.
4) Angry Sun
He may have only appeared in one level in Super Mario Bros. 3, but this jerk’s angry look is seared into our deepest nightmares forever. The level starts off innocently enough with him hovering and the sky and following you (like some kind of Lovecraftian horror from beyond the stars). That’s when… IT happens.
Suddenly the angry bastard starts shaking, and then BAM, he descends on you from above like the Angel of Death and continues to dive bomb you until the end of the level. You thankfully take him out when you hit the goal… but you’ll always wonder if he’s going to come back.
These undead jerks are back from beyond the grave to give you a hard time, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Often indestructible and usually attacking you in groups, these floating fanged spheres can often be a real problem. Thankfully they’re too shy to attack you when you’re looking at them.
6) Unagi the Eel
This dead-eyed bastard is in one of the earliest levels of Super Mario 64 and has probably caused more people to be afraid of deep water than Jaws and E.Coli combined. Not only is he terrifying, but he’s an absolute jerk: he blocks off not one but TWO of the Stars you have to collect in the level.
It wouldn’t be so annoying if you could beat him like any other enemy, but oh no; he hurts you if you even touch him. So, you have to lure him out by swimming scarily close to his face, going back up for air, and then racing for the Star before he gets back. Ugh.
Click to the next page for even more nostalgic Mario jerks!
7) Baby Mario
Before you get mad at me for calling a baby a jerk, hear me out. It’s easy to love Baby Mario: he’s tiny, he wears an adorably oversized hat, and he’s a baby. “What’s not to love?” you might ask. Initially, when you spend the first bit of Yoshi’s Island meeting the little tyke, nothing.
But then you get hit…
Suddenly the game turns into an absolute panic: Mario’s in a bubble, a timer is very quickly ticking down before you lose him, and worst of all, HE WON’T STOP CRYING UNTIL YOU GET HIM! It turns one of the most whimsical and cute games into a stress-inducing nightmare. So yes, this baby is a jerk for stressing us out.
8) The Lightning Bolt
Everyone gives the Blue Shell all the grief in Mario Kart, but realistically, unless you’re in first place it’s rarely ever a problem. Even then, it keeps the game interesting and means that someone with a big lead has to be careful. The Lightning Bolt though? This thing is just a giant middle finger to everybody. Especially on Wario Stadium.
It not only stops you in your tracks just like the Blue Shell (except even worse because it doesn’t care what place you’re in). but now you get to drive around at half speed while tiny, meaning you’ll get instantly crushed by anything bigger than a rock. They even made it worse in the recent games: it zaps your items away to boot! Seriously, screw this thing.
9) Wario and Waluigi
This almost feels like cheating as these guys’ entire personalities can be defined as “Jerk Mario and Luigi,” but they’ve been around long enough (and even occasionally starred in their own games) that I think it’s fair. Whether Wario’s shaking people down for coins or Waluigi’s answering his every rough turn with “WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!,” these guys just live to annoy you.
10) Klepto the Condor
Like his name implies, this giant buzzard found in Shifting Sand Land loves to steal things that are important to Mario. Your first job in the world is to get one of the Stars back from him, which is as simple as jumping into him and knocking it out of his talons. Problem is, this guy holds a grudge.
That’s right, this flying jerk comes back after you and steals Mario’s hat, making you not only look like a doofus but also doubling the damage Mario takes until you get it back. Worst of all, you don’t get the hat back if you die and exit the level, meaning you have to go BACK for it. Klepto, you’re on my list pal.
11) Donkey Kong
He may have gone on to star in his own franchise and saved his island from crocodiles a bunch of times, but let’s not forget that DK and Mario both got their start as enemies in the arcade game Donkey Kong. The original DK (who is now Cranky Kong, the current DK’s grandfather) was a complete jerk; he kidnaps Mario’s girlfriend Pauline, climbs the side of a massive building, and throws barrels at you.
Now, it’d be easy to forgive this if the current Donkey Kong wasn’t also a complete jerk to Mario whenever they meet up. Regularly an opponent in Mario’s racing and sports endeavors, the giant ape also continues to mess with Mario’s toy productions AND kidnap Pauline in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong games! Talk about a family grudge.
Luigi’s normally the meek, go-getting, often overlooked brother of the Mario Bros. duo. So much so, in fact, that it’s become a running joke in the Mario & Luigi series that people keep forgetting what his name even is! How could he be a jerk?
Put him behind the wheel of a go-kart though, and all bets are off. He’s had enough of everybody stealing his spotlight.
Who do you think is the worst?