The legendary Mario has worn many hats over the years. From his humble origins as a plumber to his mighty status as a hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario has embarked on several careers. Some of his professions are well known, such as his baseball and go-karting careers, but that’s not all the former plumber has done.
While Nintendo has weighed in on giving Mario seven official careers, he’s had many more “unofficial” jobs that turn out to be as varied as they are unexpected. Whether it’s creating something new, showing off his skills, or tearing things down, Mario has built an impressive resume.
ten Mario got his start as a carpenter
Mario’s best trait is his versatility, something displayed all the way back in the original donkey kong arcade cabinet. In his first game, Mario was not a plumber but a carpenter. Since the setting of the game was a construction site, the creators felt that the role of the carpenter fit better with the theme of the gae.
The role of carpenter would not last long. Mario quickly returned to his job as the iconic plumber just a few years after the arcade game was released. Looking back on it, carpentry work almost seemed like a part of donkey kongthe beta version of, given how quickly Mario’s occupation changed.
9 Mario made sure every punch was above the belt as a boxing referee
In the 1987 game Punch !! players jumped into the shoes of Little Mac rather than Mario. While the pint-sized boxer was at the center of the game, Mario still appeared in an unconventional role. Every boxing match needed a referee, and it was by chance that Mario took over.
Mario has refereed every game where the player has guided Little Mac. As players eliminated their opponents or went down for the count, Mario made his appearances. In the Wii sequel, however, a different referee relieved Mario of his position.
8 Mario briefly became a pastry chef
A somewhat obscure puzzle game, Yoshi cookie loaded players with matching tiles (cookies) as Tetris. In the game, the person responsible for the association of these cookies was none other than Mario himself, with an appropriate chef’s outfit.
Mario was no stranger to working with food, as many mario party mini-games tasked revelers with baking cakes and other meals. However, Yoshi cookie became Mario’s first foray into the world of baking. Interestingly, that wouldn’t be his only job as a pastry chef. Mario returned to the craft when the Japanese-only sequel was released in 1994.
seven Mario worked with his brother to demolish buildings
In the 1985 game Demolition Crew, Luigi joined Mario while they were working as a demo team, tearing down a building. Comically, Mario and Luigi used their now-iconic big hammers to smash through walls.
fans of the Smash Bros. franchisemight be familiar with the game since it featured the Demolition Crew place as a stage in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. This allowed a new audience of gamers to relive Mario and Luigi’s glory days as demolition experts.
6 An Excitebike remake turned Mario into a professional biker
In 1997, Japan received an exclusive remake for the classic Excitebike in the form of Excitebike: Mario Bun Bun Battle (“bun bun” being Japanese onomatopoeia for buzzing). This remake replaced the generic biker with Mario and co. as they ran through the courses.
Excitebike: Mario Bun Bun Battle was separated into several episodes, providing different playable characters depending on the episode collected. While Mario would later return to riding motorcycles in the Mario Kart games, the Japanese exclusive Excitebike remake marked its first foray with the vehicle.
5 Mario has diversified from pastries to full meals
The game and watch were a fascinating collection of small titles that have found a permanent place in Nintendo history thanks to the presence of Mr. Game&Watch in Super Smash Bros.. While these games rarely featured Mario, Chief would include Mario and friends in the Game Boy Color remake.
In this remake, Princess Peach, Mario, and Luigi have all taken a break from their side-scrolling adventures to work in a kitchen filled with all manner of cartoon mayhem. As the trio quickly learned, there were way too many cooks, and Mario would quickly give up that career.
4 Mario once owned and operated a cement factory
As bizarre as it may seem, Mario was once the owner and operator of a cement factory. Another interesting career from the strange days of the game and watch At the time, Mario was tasked with emptying his factory’s mixers into several trucks.
The title, Mario’s cement factory, suggests that Mario owns the factory, but in the game he acts as both a business owner and a factory worker. In a remake of the game, Toad and Yoshi would join Mario at the factory as truck drivers. Despite the new employees, Mario found himself stuck doing the heavy lifting in his own factory.
3 Mario was temporarily a professional snowboarder
A deal between EA and Nintendo has resulted in Mario, Luigi, and Peach joining the roster of playable characters in the snowboarding game SSX on tour. The game aimed to be a semi-realistic snowboard racing game, and because of Nintendo and EA’s small deal, Mario soon added professional snowboarding to his roster of professions.
SSX on tour would come out long before Mario became an Olympian in the mario and sonic games, acting as a kind of precursor. The game also featured skis, allowing Mario to double down and add a ski pro to his impressive career roster.
2 The NBA once welcomed Mario to the team
NBA Street V3 is a basketball game released for GameCube and several other consoles by EA. It includes many real-world basketball teams and the Nintendo All-Stars, a team made up of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach. As strange as it may seem to see Mario and his friends face off against real NBA players in 3v3 matches, it turns Mario into an NBA player.
Although Mario is no stranger to sports games, he has never faced the best in the NBA. Similar to SSX on tour, Mario can thank a deal between EA and Nintendo for allowing him to add an NBA player to his ever-expanding resume. It’s easily one of Mario’s most bizarre professions simply for creating the surreal visual of Mario’s cartoonish form facing off against real-world athletes.
1 Mario served in the Vietnam War
As crazy as Mario’s arm cannon in Mario + Rabids may seem, Mario is no stranger to armed combat. In the 1983 game and watch Title Mario’s Bombs Away, Mario finds himself a soldier at war tasked with delivering a bomb from one end of the screen to his ally on the other side. Along with this weird spin-off, the game features a highly visible jungle setting and classic military attire for the soldiers.
As amazing as seeing Mario of all characters in a war scenario, analyzing the game’s setting makes it even stranger. Between Mario’s outfit and his comrades in arms, as well as the appearance of the trees in the background of the jungle, the game doesn’t seem to hint so subtly that Mario is fighting in the Vietnam War.
NEXT: 5 Anime Characters Mario Could Beat In A Fight (& 5 He Couldn’t)