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Strange things about Mario and Peach's relationship

For over 30 years, there has been no greater love story in the video game universe then that of Super Mario and Princess Peach Toadstool. From 1985's Super Mario Bros., the first time Mario defeated King Bowser to rescue the princess, to 2017's Super Mario Odyssey, the most recent time Mario defeated King Bowser to rescue the princess, it's seemingly been one adorably perfect-couple moment after another.

Or so we think. The truth is, we know very little about Mario and Peach's actual relationship. All we've seen is an endless string of dramatic rescues, followed by some combination of cake and nose-kissing. What's more, when you think about it, any hints about what might possibly be going in between the plumber's adventures makes their relationship seem downright odd. Here are some strange things about Mario and Peach (Meach? Pario?) that make us wonder if theirs is truly the everlasting love story we think it is.

Mario still thinks he has a chance after 30 years

Let's just come right out and say it: it's highly possible that Mario and Peach's relationship isn't really a relationship at all. Instead, it might be the sad case of a guy risking his life for a woman for over 30 years, trying to win her heart through heroic deeds but being completely unable to wrap it around his head he has absolutely no chance with her.

We've never gotten any indication Peach sees Mario as Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now, or literally anything besides a particularly brave friend. He saves her, she thanks him, and her life goes on. Mario, meanwhile, may be banking on each rescue being the one that convinces Peach he's the one for her. If so, perhaps Toadsworth should knock some sense into the guy, and teach him that's not how you win a woman. For one thing, you don't "win" a woman, period. Just because he keeps saving her from evil dragons and turtles, doesn't mean she's under any obligation to throw herself at him, or even take him to the movies.

Mario, however, doesn't seem to understand that. He seems to insist each successful rescue put him one step closer to putting a ring on it, but Peach doesn't seem to care much at all. She's fine with rewarding him with a kiss on the nose, and perhaps the big piece of cake, but the heart wants what it wants. And it might just be that her heart doesn't want short, fat plumbers.

Peach kisses Luigi too

When you're in a committed, exclusive relationship, you typically reserve kisses for your lover. That doesn't appear to be the case with Peach, since not only does she kiss men other than Mario, she regularly kisses his brother. That's just plain weird.

As you can see in this compilation, Peach is almost as likely to lay one on Luigi as she is on Mario. True, most Mario games simply provide the same ending whether you're Mario or Luigi, but no one at Nintendo thought that strange? Not once in 30 years did anybody bother to give Luigi his own ending, where he's rewarded with money, or ravioli, or a platonic hug? As it stands, Peach gives off the vibe that she's got a thing going on with both brothers. Even in Mario-free games like Super Luigi U, Big Green rescues Peach, she kisses him, he cheers, and we're apparently not supposed to think twice about it.

To make the whole thing even more ridiculous, games like Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, where both brothers play separate roles at the same time, show Peach kissing both in the same room, each fully aware of the other getting some Peach-flavored sugar. Neither one objects, so perhaps Mario and Peach aren't as monogamous as you might assume. That's certainly their choice, but to include a sibling in the relationship is simply too close to Jerry Springer for comfort.

Peach and Mario rarely adventure together

Princess Peach isn't a delicate flower, but rather a powerful wizard who can cause untold destruction. You can count on one hand, however, the times she fights alongside her equally powerful betrothed, Mario, which doesn't say great things about their chemistry as a couple.

From the start, Peach has been low-key powerful. The manual for 1985's Super Mario Bros. says she's the only one who can undo Bowser's black magic: Bowser keeps her locked up so she can't. Despite that, it's decades before we see Peach do anything beyond stand there, look pretty, and get kidnapped. (Super Mario 2 doesn't count, being Mario's dream.)

It's not until 1996's Super Mario RPG that Mario and Peach fight evil together. While her abilities are mainly of the white magic, healing variety, she does possess a "psych bomb," harming everyone around her with a gigantic explosion. Later, in Super Princess Peach, she saves Mario and Luigi from Bowser by magically using her emotions to destroy all in her path. If she's mad, she becomes an invincible ball of fire that can cause earthquakes. If she's sad, her tears flood the world and straight-up drown her enemies. Even when she's joyful she becomes an active tornado and can send the baddies flying to their doom.

Mario's seen Peach's powers — he's not ignorant. Yet they rarely work together, even though they'd absolutely be the most unstoppable of forces. It makes you wonder if, for one reason or another, they simply don't want to.

Peach might have mothered a child with Bowser

Any relationship would be affected by news that one partner made a child with somebody else. So how awkward must it be for Mario knowing that Princess Peach not only might have mothered a child, but possibly did so with Bowser?

In Super Mario Sunshine, we meet Bowser Jr., who immediately yells at you to leave his mother alone. By that he means the princess, whom he calls "Mama Peach." Rather than immediately be outraged and deny this ridiculous notion, Peach actually … thinks it over, like it might be true. "Mama? Mama Peach? I'm your Mama?" she asks, like she somehow wouldn't know that. Did she suffer memory loss in the delivery room? Is she simply playing dumb because Mario's there, mouth agape, probably pondering exactly who this princess he keeps rescuing really is.

A later scene has Bowser Jr. admitting to his dad that he knows Peach isn't his mother, but this actually makes the whole thing even more bizarre. Peach didn't mother Junior, but based on her reaction, clearly something happened during at least one kidnapping. Did she and Bowser hook up? Was it consensual? Did she get pregnant? If Bowser Jr. isn't her son, perhaps someone else is. There may be another mini-Bowser out there, whom Peach actually did birth. And if we ever see that child, expect Mario to finally throw up his hands and find another kingdom to save.

They might be completely different species

For most of his career, fans have largely assumed Mario's a human, albeit a cartoonish one. But then Super Mario Odyssey came out, which featured a world full of anatomically correct humans who didn't look a thing like the plumber. That's because the plumber isn't fully human after all, and neither is his girlfriend.

The question about Mario's species was actually answered years ago in an official Nintendo guide to the characters. The guide unveils Mario's species name, but it's not homo sapien as you might expect. Rather, he's a homo nintendonus, a branch of humanity so obscure archaeologists have yet to uncover any fossilized records. Simply put, Mario is more humanoid than human.

Then there's Peach. She looks fully human, but looks can be deceiving. As we learn in Super Mario RPG, Peach's grandmother is 100% Toad. We've never seen Peach's mom, but it's safe to assume she too was a Toad. Meanwhile, the few glimpses we've gotten of the Mushroom King, Peach's father, show he's a human. This means that, despite scientific impossibility, a male human and a female toad spent the night together and produced a Peach, one whose Toad genes are clearly recessive.

It's certainly possible for an inter-species romance to work, but you have to assume they take a lot more effort than a traditional relationship. Let's hope, for Mario and Peach's sake, they're more Roger and Jessica Rabbit, and less the bastion of toxicity that is Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Mario's Odyssey behavior might soil their relationship

From Super Mario Bros. 1 on, Mario has been a consummate gentleman. But he may have soiled his reputation with Princess Peach with Super Mario Odyssey, as he behaves completely out of character and almost certainly forced Peach to look at him in a different, less flattering light.

At the end of Odyssey, after Mario travels to the Moon and beats Bowser for the umpteenth time, the Koopa King attempts to win over Peach by presenting her with a bouquet of piranha plants. Obviously, Peach isn't thrilled, both because he's evil and man-eating plants aren't really her thing. Mario steps in, but not to bonk Bowser on the head or send him careening into a lava pool like usual. Rather, he plays Popeye to Bowser's Bluto, presenting Peach with flowers of his own. As it turns out, Peach isn't much into men competing for her like she's a prize, and so she chooses neither one. Instead, she straight-up hijacks Mario's ship, perfectly content to leave the two squabbling dudes stranded on the dang Moon. Luckily for Mario, he comes to his senses in enough time to hop on his ship and return to the Mushroom Kingdom with Peach.

The game ends before we know if Mario spent the trip apologizing for letting his fragile male ego take over, but for the sake of his relationship with Peach, he better have done just that. Otherwise, the princess might decide to rescue herself from now on.

Where do Daisy and Pauline fit into all this?

With many relationships, it's fairly awkward when one side keeps hanging out with their exes. Mario's guilty of this, and you have to wonder what Peach thinks when it happens.

Outside of Peach, Mario has been seen with two different women. In Super Mario Land, Mario travels to Sarasaland to rescue Princess Daisy. Based on his heart-racing reaction of "Oh Daisy! Daisy!" when he finds her, there's probably more going on than a simple damsel in distress being un-distressed. Daisy disappeared afterwards, and Mario returned to Peach, but years later Daisy's been showing up every time Mario and Peach want to play some sports. Did Mario invite her? Did she invite herself? Either way, he doesn't exactly object to her presence, and though Peach puts on a nice face and plays tennis with her, it's still a case of a volatile love triangle either currently happening, or about to.

One ex is bad enough, but what about two? Super Mario Odyssey reintroduced Pauline, the woman Mario saved from Donkey Kong long before meeting Peach. Nobody heard a peep from her until Odyssey, when she resurfaced as the mayor of New Donk City. Neither found it particularly awkward to run into the other, giving off the impression that an old flame might be re-lit. At the very least, we're looking at a new go-kart racer or golfing partner for Peach to smile and wave at while preparing to confront Mario with more than a few heated questions.

Have they even been on a real date?

The odds of the endlessly busy Mario and Peach spending a simple, chill evening together are staggeringly small. The Mushroom Kingdom has no living king or queen that we know of, leaving poor Peach to run the entire place all by her lonesome. Her schedule gets even more hectic due to those pesky kidnappings constantly interrupting her schedule. Between governing an entire nation solo and being held hostage seemingly every other week, she barely has time to breathe, much less date.

Then there's Mario, who's plenty busy himself. Obviously, he's the one doing all the rescuing, which takes up a ton of time and energy, but what about when he's not in adventure mode? Over the past 30 years, we've seen Mario take on a bevy of jobs, all of which require extensive training and study to be successful at. He's most famously been a plumber, but he also works as a carpenter, doctor, and archaeologist, all while running his own toy company. The little guy has his fingers in so many occupational pies, he probably hasn't thought about Netflix in months, never mind Netflix and chilling with Peach.

If they ever do spend quality time together, it's probably on the sports field. The two have appeared in dozens of sporting games together, and between baseball, golf, tennis, kart racing, and soccer (among others), these two would almost certainly be better off staying friendly super-athletes than keeping on attempting love and commitment.

She and Bowser are probably in this together

You'd think that, by now, Princess Peach would do something about being kidnapped countless times. She could wage military war on the Koopa Kingdom, use her angry crying powers to wipe out anything resembling a turtle, or subject Bowser to the guillotine rather than let him go again. But she's done nothing of the sort, almost like she's content to keep the kidnapping cycle going. There's good reason to think she's doing just that, and she's doing so because she enjoys it.

The only logical reason Bowser can keep hauling Peach off to his castle is because she wants to go there. She might well be in love with Bowser (must be the red hair), but knows full well going public with such a relationship would cause scandals galore and completely destroy her reputation. Instead, she gets herself "kidnapped" so she and her fire-breathing beau can spend quality time together. The whole "damsel in distress" thing is nothing more than a political front.

Perhaps you're wondering where Mario fits under this theory. Basically, he's a mark. The poor guy naively thinks he's conquering a monster and rescuing the fair princess, but it's all a ruse. Seriously: Bowser's a monstrously violent demon who can grow to about a hundred times Mario's size, but he still loses every time? That only makes sense if he's taking a dive, letting Mario "save" the princess to keep up polite appearances. After all, they can't spend too much time together or her subjects would get suspicious.

How on Earth did these two even meet?

How a chubby, work-a-day plumber even met a beautiful princess, much less stole her heart, nobody knows for sure. Did Peach clog her toilet, find his number in the Yellow Pages, and give him a jingle? Did one of Peach's trusted Toads set them up on a blind date? Because on their own, they come from two completely different classes that rarely, if ever, interact.

Peach, being royalty, is presumably worth billions, and she lives in a humongous castle. Meanwhile, whenever we see Mario's house, it's some tiny, humble cottage he has to work multiple jobs just to afford. (Those coins he collects on his adventures don't likely have any monetary value, since you can't buy anything with them.) Never mind different classes: these two come from different school systems entirely.

About the only "hint" regarding their initial meeting comes from the Super Mario 1 manual, which vaguely says, "Mario … hears about the Mushroom People's plight and sets out on a quest." Well, how did he hear about it? The newspaper? A town crier? Perhaps he woke up in Peach's bed after their first night together and she wasn't there. After all, he likely already met her pre-kidnapping, in order to be properly motivated to rescue her.

However they met, it's clear they defied massive, class-based odds to become the 30-plus year power couple they are today. It's like Jack and Rose from Titanic, only with fewer boats, more spaghetti, and a much happier ending.