Super Mario: 15 Most Insane Glitches You Never Knew About

The Super Mario Bros. series has always been on the forefront of innovation in video gaming. This also extends to the spin-off games, like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, which have helped the Italian plumber expand into new genres and leave his mark on the history of the industry.

Nintendo might be the strictest company when it comes to testing their games for bugs. A few glitches have managed to sneak past the beta testers, due to the fact that the Mario games have been played by millions of people around the world. The fans have picked these games apart, which has led to the discovery of some of the weirdest glitches in gaming history.

We are here today to look at the craziest glitches that you can encounter throughout the Super Mario Bros. series.

From the mythical vault over the flagpole to the secret of cloning items within the 3D realm, here are the 15 Most Insane Super Mario Glitches You Never Knew About!

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Flagpole Jumping

What better way to start than to go all the way back to the beginning. This was the original white whale of the NES era that gamers all across the world swore was impossible - jumping over the flagpole in the original Super Mario Bros. 

It is possible to jump over the flagpoles in two of the stages in Super Mario Bros, though the first one requires the use of a glitch. In World 1-1, you need to wait for a Koopa Troopa to fall into the second pit of the level and jump over it at the perfect time.

This will trap the Koopa under the stage. You can then follow the Koopa to the end of the level and jump on it a second time, which will allow you to get over the flagpole. The castle at the end of the level will just keep scrolling to the right endlessly until the timer runs out and you die.

The second flagpole that can be jumped is the one in World 3-3. If you time the jump perfectly on the last lift before the flagpole, then it is possible to get over it. This leads to another endless castle.

14 The Key-Way Battle

A common theme among the bosses in Super Mario Bros. 2 is the fact that they provide you with the weapons you need to defeat them. If King Wart didn't fight you in a room with a giant machine that spits out vegetables, then he would have kicked Mario's ass back to the Mushroom Kingdom.

Birdo is another boss who provides you with the method to defeat her, as she spits out eggs that you can catch out of the air and throw right back at her.

It's possible to use a better weapon to fight Birdo in Level 1-2. You can bring the key with you from earlier in the stage to the battle against Birdo with a correctly timed Super Jump. This means that you can repeatedly throw the key and use it to kill Birdo. Phanto will still be pursuing you through the level, so watch out for him.

13 The Tanooki Boot

The Kuribo Shoe appears in World 5-3 of Super Mario Bros. 3. It is a huge green shoe that allows Mario to walk over dangerous terrain. The Kuribo Shoe only appears in a single stage, but it was memorable enough to earn a place in the franchise. We got to see several different variants of the Kuribo Shoe in Super Mario Maker, which also had entire levels dedicated to the piece of footwear.

The weakness of the Kuribo Shoe is that being hit while wearing it will cause you to lose it. There is a way to get around this by using a glitch, however. If you wear a Tanooki Suit in World 5-3 and turn into a statue while falling into the shoe, you will become invincible. You will gain the invulnerability of the statue form whilst still being able to move around.

As this form was unintentional, you won't be able to enter any of the pipes in the stage, which means that you need to find another power-up in order to overwrite the Tanooki Suit.

12 Game Boy Wall Jumping

Super Mario 64 introduced the Wall Jump to the series. This is a move that allows Mario to kick away from a wall in order to perform a second jump. The Wall Jump can usually be performed in succession, so long as Mario can reach another surface in time.

The later Mario games made the Wall Jump a vital part of the gameplay, especially in the new 2D titles in the series. This is especially true in Super Mario Maker, as most of the stages require mastery of Wall Jumping in order to proceed.

It was actually possible to perform a Wall Jump in Super Mario Land for the Game Boy, though it requires a glitch in order to be pulled off. If the player possesses impeccable timing and pixel-perfect button pressing, then it is possible for Mario to perform a Wall Jump in Super Mario Land. This doesn't really help you complete the game, but it does look cool if you can pull it off.

11 The Magic Ball Trick

There is a glitch in Super Mario World called Item Storage. It's possible to put a glitched item in the box at the top of the screen, which allows you to access things that you wouldn't normally be able to collect. This is useful in order to acquire an item that will let you breeze through the game.

One of the levels in Super Mario World is actually a sunken Airship from Super Mario Bros. 3. One of the reasons we know this is because it has a Magic Ball item at the end. These were the balls you found at the end of certain stages in Mario 3. Once you pick up the Magic Ball in Super Mario World it ends the stage.

By using the Item Storage glitch, you can instantly end the level by creating a Magic Ball. This is vitally important for people who want to speedrun the game, as it allows you to quickly finish certain stages.

10 Lava Swimming

There are certain aspects of video games that are just a clever facade which is meant to trick the eyes of the player. The biggest example of this is the skybox you see in most games, as it is little more than a giant GIF pasted onto the furthest reaches of the level, yet it gives the impression of a realistic sky above the character.

Super Mario Sunshine had an unusual example of this involving the lava you found in the game. The lava was actually just a damaging layer of fire that was put over water.

It's possible to glitch your way under the lava in Corona Mountain. You can do this by hitting a Lava Cheep-Cheep at the exact right time. This will allow you to pass the fiery barrier on top of the lava and swim beneath it.

Swimming under the lava is just an impressive looking trick that doesn't help you complete the level any faster, as trying to leave the lava will kill Mario.

9 The Goomba Survivor

There are people who dedicate their lives to certain causes, such as hunting criminals or curing cancer. Then there is a YouTuber named pannenkoek2012 who has dedicated his life to the unusual goal of completing Super Mario 64 without pressing the jump button. This led to a series of entertaining videos where he gave his insane methods for going through the stages in the most counter-productive ways possible, in order to avoid jumping.

One of the greatest discoveries that pannenkoek2012 made in Super Mario 64 was the being known as the Mystery Goomba. In the last stage of the game, there is a Goomba who spawns at the bottom of the map, due to the platform at the top of the level being too small for him to appear on. It appears for a fraction of a second before unloading, as Super Mario 64 only loads the assets next to Mario.

The presence of the Mystery Goomba means that there is an enemy in a Mario game that has never been killed.

8 Hanging Luigi

The GameCube was the first Nintendo console to ship without a Mario game at launch. It was up to Luigi to fill the void with his own adventures in a haunted house. Luigi's Mansion was a fun and highly polished game, though it was considered to be too short for many gamers at the time of its release.

Luigi's Mansion might be the darkest game in the series. One of the reasons for this is due to a scene where it appears as if Luigi has hung himself from the rafters.

There are several points in the game where lightning will flash outside of the mansion, which will create an unusual lighting effect that will make Luigi's shadow appear somewhere it shouldn't be.

This will sometimes make Luigi's shadow appear as if it is hanging from the ceiling. The Hanging Luigi glitch happens at various points throughout the game, though it appears clearer in different locations, due to the different lighting.

7 Eat The Baby

Baby Mario might be the most annoying video game character ever. Every time you take a hit in Yoshi's Island, Baby Mario is knocked from your back and you are given a couple of seconds to reclaim him. He lets you know that your time is limited by making the most annoying noise in the world. It took the unique Chain Chomp item in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! to redeem him.

It's possible to use a glitch to get sweet revenge on Baby Mario. You need to possess a 10 or 20 Stars item in World 5-5 in order to pull this trick off. It's possible to prevent Baby Mario from being taken away if you transform into the Helicopter form and use the Stars item just as the bubble is popped.

Once you revert to your Yoshi form, you will be able to eat Baby Mario inside his bubble. You won't be able to finish the level, but it will still be cathartic.

6 Princess Koopatrol

Princess Peach is one of the characters used when people talk about a "Damsel in Distress" in video games. Her role throughout the Super Mario series has been to be captured by Bowser and held in a cage at the end of the world.

There have been some Mario games that have played around with this concept, but Peach seems destined to forever be a prisoner. This is even true of Super Mario Odyssey, which was something brought up in the reviews of the game.

In Paper Mario, you were given the opportunity to control Princess Peach during the Intermissions. If you hit either the Koopatrol or Hammer Bro with her parasol at just the right time, then Peach's sprite will turn into that of the creature. This is just a visual effect, as Peach won't gain any new abilities and the other characters will still treat her as if she is a Princess.

5 The Mallow Zombie

Nintendo had a very close relationship with Squaresoft during the NES and SNES era. Square produced some of the best games on Nintendo consoles, including the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI.

 The relationship between the two companies was so close that Square was allowed to make an RPG using the Mario franchise. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo and it helped to inspire the Paper Mario series.

It's possible to bring Mallow back from the dead in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars in a certain battle. In order to do this, you need to let Mallow die during the battle against Croco. If Croco steals the party's items, then it will cause Mallow to stand up, even though he is at zero hit points. Mallow will just stand there for the remainder of the battle while being unable to act.

4 The Rainbow Road Skip

The Rainbow Road is the most iconic course in the Mario Kart series. It represents the ultimate challenge for the player, as it generally doesn't have any barriers to stop them from falling off the sides. Each game in the series has its own version of the Rainbow Road and they are all extremely difficult for different reasons.

By far the worst Rainbow Road is the one that appears in Mario Kart 64, as it is very long and incredibly boring. Luckily, there is a glitch that allows you to skip most of it.

There is a part of the barrier near the start of the Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64 that is actually intangible. If you run through this barrier at the right angle, then it is possible to land further on the track, which will allow you to skip a great deal of the course.

3 The Invincible Parade Kart

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is still lauded as one of the best games in the series. The karts allowed for the use of two riders at once, which meant that you could store items and switch them out on the fly, as the driver can swap seats with the passenger at any time.

It's possible to have two players riding in a single kart in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and they can both switch out instantly. This is actually helpful for a glitch that allows you to make a kart invincible.

In order to perform this glitch, you need to be riding in the Parade Kart while the other driver is holding an explosive item. You need to have the kart blown up by the item while heading towards something that crushes you, like a Thwomp.

If you are blown into something that crushes you, the Parade Kart will continue on the track while still upside down. This will make the kart immune to damage from all other items, except for the Lightning Bolt, which will turn it back to normal.

2 The Toad/Nozzle Fusion

The Luigi's Mansion games have helped to distinguish Luigi from the rest of the Mario franchise. He has his own enemies and weapons that can represent him in the other Mario games, such as the ghosts and the Poltergust 5000. Fans rejoiced when Luigi's Final Smash in the latest Smash Bros. game had him pulling out the Poltergust, instead of having him perform the incredibly creepy dance that he used in Brawl. 

There is more to the Poltergust 5000 than simply capturing ghosts. It's possible to merge the Poltergust with a Toad in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, which briefly fuses them together. You will get a chance to do this during the segment where you free the Toad from the portrait.

If you activate the Poltergust before the Toad's dialogue tree appears, then his head will appear on the nozzle. Activating the blow function on the Poltergust will knock Toad's head out and end the glitch.

1 Cloning Items

Mario 64 is one of the most important video games ever made. It showed what 3D visuals were capable of and how they could be applied to gameplay. Nintendo used Mario 64 to showcase their latest console and prove to the world that they had what it took to lead the industry into the third dimension.

While Mario 64 is impressive to look at, it's obvious that Nintendo took a lot of shortcuts in order to make the game appear as good as it did. This included limiting the amount of items that could appear on the screen at once, which was linked to their proximity to Mario.

It is due to these memory limitations that Mario can create clones of items within the stage. If you pick up a cork box and have it unload (which requires amazing timing) then you can make other items appear in its slot, including things that you normally shouldn't be able to pick up.


Can you think of any other insane glitches in Super Mario that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments!

More in Lists