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What Is a Mario Mustache?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Jan 29, 2024
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A Mario mustache is a type of mustache, which is facial hair found upon the upper lip, styled after the design of a video game character named Mario. Mario is the lead protagonist of the majority of Mario Bros. games and his initial design featured the mustache he continues to wear in modern games. The basic design of the mustache has an upward curve to the top of it, much like a smile, while the bottom of the mustache has a scalloped design. As the Mario mustache has become increasingly popular, a number of different products have been designed featuring the mustache.

While the term “Mario mustache” could potentially refer to any mustache worn by a well-known Mario, it typically refers to the mustache of Mario the video game character. First featured in the Nintendo® game Donkey Kong in 1981, Mario is a character often recognized by his hat, overalls, and mustache. Much of his design was based on the realities of video game graphics at the time, which were limited to only a handful of pixels for each character. Mario’s hat was created to avoid having to animate hair, the overalls were used to give his arms more definition, and the Mario mustache and large nose made the character’s face more interesting through the use of only a few pixels.

The Mario mustache is quite simple in design, and has changed very little from his first appearance. It is typically depicted with a top that curves upward at each end, like a crescent, and may either be an unbroken line or dip down in the middle to indicate Mario’s large nose. The underside of a Mario mustache is scalloped, with a number of bumps that give it a wavy design. This is typically depicted with six bumps of even width, though the two middle bumps may be slightly smaller on some designs.

Mario is one of the most recognizable and famous video game characters of all time, and so the Mario mustache has become equally famous. A number of different companies produce synthetic mustaches that people can wear as part of a Mario costume. There are also patterns online that can be used to create a Mario mustache using felt, which can then be adhered to someone’s face with a piece of elastic. Other products that have been created and feature the mustache include drinking glasses, giving the drinker a mustache through the glass, jewelry, t-shirts, and even neck warmers.

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Discussion Comments
By titans62 — On Nov 10, 2011

@TreeMan - I think I have heard of the Mario event, too, so I don't think you are imagining it.

The mustache from the games that I really like is Wario's. For people not familiar, Wario is supposed to be the evil opposite of Mario. I really like what Nintendo did by giving the moustache the same basic shape - it has the upturned ends and the scalloped bumps on the top - but they made it more pointed to look evil. They also gave him a slightly different nose. Overall, though, it's a very creative character that still resembles Mario, but has its own personality.

By TreeMan — On Nov 10, 2011

@stl156 - I don't think I like the sound of someone spray painting it onto buildings, but I have a friend who is obsessed with the Super Mario Brothers and he likes to draw pictures of the moustache on people's faces in magazines and on fliers. It never does any harm, and some of them can be really funny to look at, especially on kids.

I do like seeing people that have grown Mario mustaches. I want to say there is even a competition held every year where people grow the mustache and dress up as Mario. I could be wrong about that, though.

By stl156 — On Nov 09, 2011

@anamur - I agree that his mustache always reminded me a lot of a Middle Eastern one like you mentioned. I am pretty sure I have seen pictures of Italians with similar mustaches, though, so maybe Mario's mustache isn't such a stretch.

I think it is pretty interesting that the mustache has become so iconic that you don't even have to have the rest of the body with it to know what it is.

Where I used to live, there was a street artist (also read graffiti artist) whose "calling card" was to spray paint a picture of a Mario mustache on the side of buildings.

By animegal — On Nov 08, 2011

@Sara007 - My younger brother also got dressed up as one of the Super Mario brothers for Halloween. He purchased both the Mario hat and mustache online and we ended up just modifying some clothes for him to wear. His best friend went as Luigi, so it was a really cute set.

My mother originally was worried about sticking the fake facial hair to my brother, but I told her that a Mario without his mustache was just a sad thing to look at. She finally relented when I told her that there was no possible way my brother would be allergic to the accessory. Parents are so strange sometimes!

By Sara007 — On Nov 08, 2011

This Halloween I had a rather interesting hunt for Super Mario costumes for kids, as my little ones wanted to go as some of the characters that appear in the video games. The hardest thing to get was a Super Mario mustache for my son.

I ended up having to order a Super Mario Brothers mustache online. You would be amazed at the number of accessories that are sold to make a Super Mario Halloween costume just right. My daughter also got turned into a very lovely Princess Toadstool.

My only advice if you decide to help your family with their Mario costumes is to make sure that you get the facial hair right away. It is really hard to make.

By serenesurface — On Nov 07, 2011

@JaneAir-- I remember playing Super Mario when I was little too. I think I was around seven years old then. I thought it was pretty funny that Mario had a mustache. My family was living in the Middle East at that time and Mario's appearance actually fits the traditional Middle Eastern look a lot! I always thought that Mario was a Middle Eastern man for that reason.

Having a video game character with an upward curved thick mustache is one thing, and having it in real life another! I think it would be very unstylish to support a Mario mustache nowadays and I sure hope no one does it!

I think that a nicely trimmed, connected beard and mustache looks best on men.

By starrynight — On Nov 07, 2011

@JaneAir - I don't think it would be so bad if Mario lost the mustache. As you said, you rarely see anyone in real life with a mustache like that these days. It might be fun to play a Mario game where Mario looks a bit more like a regular person. After all, he's supposed to just be an average Joe who is a plumber, right?

I will say though, that the Mario mustache seems to have taken on a life of its own. I've actually seen the Mario mustache products discussed in the article in more stores than you would think.

By JaneAir — On Nov 06, 2011

I'm really glad they never took off the Mario mustache in Mario's modern incarnations. When I was younger I used to love playing Super Mario, and I always thought the mustache really gave Mario some character!

I think it's especially cool because it's so pronounced. It's definitely a cartoon mustache, you know? I can't remember the last time I saw someone in real life with a mustache shaped like that.

Although, this year on Halloween I did see someone dressed up as Mario with a fake mustache. I guess he didn't want to try and grow a real one just for Halloween!

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