‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Do Mario & Luigi Defeat Bowser?

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” takes the beloved Nintendo game characters and brings them to the silver screen with big hoorahs and many nods to the games themselves. A massive Hollywood cast and the production house of the “Despicable Me” movies bring to us a cheerful and light animated film that is rather short but absolutely enjoyable. With its adorable characters, two post-credit scenes, and massive fanbase of the game, there are definitely chances of a follow-up film in the near future.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’?

The movie begins with Mario and Luigi quitting their job at the wrecking crew with Spike and spending all their savings on a TV commercial where they explain how they will save Brooklyn by tending to all their plumbing needs. This has been Mario’s big dream, and Luigi has always been supportive of him, but their father doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, his father believes Mario is just bringing Luigi down with himself. After getting their first big call, the Super Mario Bros. leave a terrible first impression by making a mess at their first job. Hearing his father’s nagging, Mario feels very disheartened.


Luigi tries to convince him that all will be fine when, on TV, Mario sees that Brooklyn truly needs saving. A pipe has burst, and the city is getting flooded with water. Mario and Luigi end up in the underground sewer in their quest to save the city. While there, they get sucked into a warp pipe together but get split up at the end, sending Mario to the mushroom kingdom and Luigi to the dark land. Mario is the braver of the two brothers, and this turn of events might’ve been too much for Luigi to handle, but before getting split, Mario told Luigi that everything would be okay as long as they were together. Luigi gets captured by shy guys and taken to Bowser, the evil turtle who has just stolen the Superstar from the penguins. He wants to rule the galaxy, but to the shock of all his Koopas, he has another plan too. He wants to marry Princess Peach of the mushroom kingdom and rule the galaxy together. When Bowser finds out that Mario is with Peach, he immediately gets envious, like a little child. All that pining for what?

In the meantime, in the mushroom kingdom, Mario needs to eat the fungi he hates the most to gain strength and impress the princess so he can join her in order to save Luigi from Bowser. Mario is able to show the princess that his biggest strength is never quitting, and they are joined by Toad on their trip to the jungle kingdom. To get the Kong army on their side, Mario needs to defeat Donkey Kong in battle. After a lot of hard work, he is able to beat DK and win the Kong Army for Peach as they get their carts and head out for a surprise attack on Bowser and his army. But before they can do so, Bowser’s little minions are able to tell him about the attack, and he decides to ambush the Kong army himself. Bowser is successful in defeating the Kong Army on the rainbow road, leading Donkey Kong and Mario to fall into the ocean below. Everybody believes Mario and DK are dead, but in fact, they are very much alive. Mario saves Donkey Kong, only for both of them to be devoured by a giant eel.


The princess evacuates the mushroom kingdom as she returns and gets ready to fight Bowser. When he arrives, he asks for her hand in marriage, which is not at all what she was expecting. She refuses, but Bowser tortures Toad until Peach is forced to say yes.

How Did Mario And Luigi Defeat Bowser?

Hidden in Peach’s bouquet is an ice flower that gives her the power to freeze anything in her sight. She is able to freeze Bowser and save the Kong Army, Luigi, and all of Bowser’s prisoners, whom he was going to sacrifice in the name of their love (where is the love, though?).


In the nick of time, DK and Mario return, saving themselves from the eel. DK finally receives a pat on the back from his father rather than hearing his taunts, and he’s happy. The ice melts, and Bowser is freed, launching a Banzai Bill on the mushroom kingdom to destroy it. You see, he feels betrayed by Peach and will not stop until she loses everything. Mario eats a mushroom and gets a Tanooki suit that allows him to fly.

With the help of the suit, he reaches the giant Banzai Bill and pokes it in the eye just before it hits the palace. Mario has enraged Banzai Bill and is chased by it until they reach a warp. Mario thinks he has saved the day, but when the Banzai Bill explodes in the pipe, everything and everyone from the mushroom kingdom gets sucked into the world of… Brooklyn. Bowser can easily beat up Mario in the real world, and when he’s completely defeated, Mario runs and hides in a diner. The rest of the fellows fight Bowser off until Mario sees their commercial about saving Brooklyn. He feels renewed and stands up again to face Bowser. Mario and Bowser try to get the Superstar, but Bowser almost kills Mario with his fire breath.


Cowardly Luigi (who is always afraid) comes to Mario’s rescue and shows everyone that he can be there for his brother when he really needs him. Mario grabs Luigi’s hand and reiterates that they are stronger together. Together, they grab the Superstar and become virtually invincible. They defeat Bowser with ease, with all of Brooklyn watching, including their family. Mario and Luigi both manage to complete their little character arcs, with Luigi facing his fears and Mario showing his father that he is, in fact, a worthy son. They give Bowser the blue mini mushroom, and Bowser becomes small enough to fit in Toad’s palms. They put him in a birdcage, and everyone is saved. Or are they?

A little while later, Mario and Luigi are seen returning to the mushroom kingdom, meaning they can travel back and forth from the real world to the other galaxy rather easily. The movie ends with Lumalee explaining that just because Mario is done with this adventure doesn’t mean all is well in the galaxy.


Mid-credit And Post-credit Scenes Are Explained: What’s Next For Super Mario Bros.?

The mid-credit scene is just Bowser pining after Peach, giving us a sweet rendition of peaches, but it might be a sign that as Mario’s biggest archnemesis, he will escape only to return for revenge in the future. He is still tiny, and the toads are annoyed by his singing. Possibly his family will come to rescue him. In the end-credit scene, we see a white and green egg that cracks and ends with the famous sound of fan-favorite Yoshi. This clearly means that Yoshi will be a big part of the sequel to the Mario Bros. movies. This possibly means the sequel will adapt parts of the Super Mario World games and introduce us to Mario and Luigi’s trusted sidekick.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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