10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Luigi of Mario Brothers Fame

Poor Luigi... Mario gets all the credit and all the best games, and his brother is stuck hunting ghosts and dating the lesser princess who has A FREAKY THIRD EYE IN THE BACK OF HER HEAD! That's not exactly the most auspicious career for a video game hero.

For me, though, Luigi has always been my favorite Mario character since I got the chance to play him in Super Mario Bros. 2. There's just something awesome about him as he stands in the shadow cast by his most famous brother. Today we salute him with a collection of trivia you may not have realized about the lanky hero!

See also: 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Legend of Zelda

His Name Is a Pun: Since Mario became an Italian after an encounter with Nintendo of America's irate landlord Mario Segale over some unpaid rent, it was only fitting that his brother also be given an Italian name. Luigi's is supposedly the name of a nearby pizza place, but the truth is that "ruiji" in Japanese means "similar." For much of his video game life, Luigi was just a color swap of Mario, making it a total pun. Unfortunately, that sort of half-existence was also the result of...

He Was Colored to Look Like an Enemy: Of course, the brothers first appeared in Mario Bros. eliminating enemies from the New York sewers before discovering their source in the Mushroom Kingdom. Limitations on the arcade hardware couldn't generate a distinctive second character, so Mario was cloned to create Luigi. There was still a problem because of the limited color palette, a problem that was humiliatingly solved by giving Luigi the same coloring as the Shellcreeper. That's right, his distinctive green outfit was the result of the inability to create an original character.

He Got in Trouble Briefly for "Promoting Lesbianism": In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Luigi celebrates good shots with an L-shaped hand gesture. Some interpreted that as the American Sign Language word for "lesbian," and it caused a very mild controversy. In reality, Luigi isn't signing "lesbian," since he's using the wrong hand and in the wrong position. Regardless, hero that he is, we assume Luigi supports LGBTs of all walks of life.

He Can Beat Super Smash Bros. Melee Without Doing Anything: If you're having trouble getting through the single-player mode on the hardest difficulty in Super Smash Bros. Melee, there's a simple two-step process: 1. Pick Luigi. 2. Don't Move. It sounds daft, but it's true. YouTube user Omega Tyrant proved that by carefully selecting the right level and port for the right opponent, Luigi can topple every combatant by not fighting back until the other character ends up dead in a pit. That is the most amazing metaphor for nonviolent resistance ever.

His Fondest Wish Is to Be a Better Plumber: In Super Mario RPG, Mario and his party visit Star Hill, where all the world's wishes made upon stars are generated before falling to Earth. You can find a variety of wishes there, but hidden among them is that of Luigi, who wants to be a great plumber like his brother. That's because...

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner