Surprising reason why Mario is a plumber in ‘Super Mario Bros.’

Mario of Super Mario Bros.

From a carpenter once tasked to save a damsel in distress from a gorilla to a plumber who does the same, but which has become his preoccupation since Mario’s entry in video games is that of a humble member of the workforce. But have you wondered why Nintendo chose to make a superhero out of a plumber instead of another role?

In case the premise confused you, Mario did officially enters the scene as a carpenter in a game that is not named after his. A game which predates even the very first Super Mario Bros. game by several years. If that arcade game did not ring a bell, allow me to tell you—it’s Donkey Kong.

So, even before Mario has gone building or fixing tubes, he’s actually, technically, building or repairing buildings or houses. But why is it really that this iconic video game figure underwent a work transition before starting his own game?

From Carpentry to Plumbing

While we cannot say for certain why Mario had to switch jobs before starting an enduring franchise, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has an answer as to why the company chose the plumbing role for him.

In an interview with CNN, Miyamoto claims that the reason for choosing Mario to become a blue-collar worker is to simplify his presence.

“We wanted him to be someone who might live near you, and not a superhero.”

Which, thus, makes perfect sense. Because if Mario happens to become rich and famous like Bruce Wayne and Tony Starks, chances are Mario would not be a common person who lives in the suburbs. Even so, it would be hard to fathom how the franchise would have been like if Nintendo decided to make the plumber protagonist in the same economic stature as the big guys.


The Super Mario Bros. franchise is a phenomenal success in that it managed to survive a 35-year long existence. Where many other titles, even great ones, tried to do the same, but couldn’t, makes the Super Mario Bros. franchise even more impressive.

For a series which started off in a 2D environment, seeing it transform into 3D and even spawn spin-offs make for a historic event that not everyone experiences.

But while the franchise’s staying power does not always take root in success, it does have its highs that further entrench it into the minds of gamers. Seeing how the series is now, it’s likely that we are going to see the franchise in many more years to come.

Image used courtesy of ProsafiaGaming/YouTube Screenshot

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