Internet debates this “hidden gay message” in Mario Bros. promo, but that’s just the beginning

A faux fan theory about a hidden message in promos for the upcoming The Super Mario Bros. movie has prompted some lively conversation about the plumbing duo’s actual queer connections.

Nintendo, along with its flagship gaming franchise, has long attracted an LGBTQ fanbase despite the company’s reluctance to feature explicitly queer characters. But that doesn’t mean fans haven’t tried to read between the pixels.

Related: Marvel’s gay Spider-Man flirts with “frustratingly hot” crimefighter in this steamy preview

That explains why some were quick to believe it when a Reddit user posted this “fan theory” to a sub dedicated to fake movie details.

“On the 2023 Mario movie, if you count all the sparkling letters you get ‘ur mr bi,’” the user wrote, adding, “This is a reference to Super Mario Galaxy’s ‘ur mr gay.’”

“At this point, I feel like it’s gotta be intentional. Once is a coincidence. Twice? On purpose,” one commenter concluded.

Others chimed in to point out that the “sparkling letters” were, in fact, photoshopped onto the 2023 film’s actual logo:

While clearly meant as a joke, the post seemed almost believable given these other moments in Mario history:

UR MR GAY

While The Super Mario Bros. movie logo may have been doctored, the Super Mario Galaxy one was not. The cover art for the 2007 game featured a hidden message that was either a total coincidence or the work of a rogue Nintendo artist. The starred letters on the box art spelled out: UR MR GAY. The message became a meme among gamers, and it’s no surprise that Nintendo changed the star placements for the cover of Super Mario Galaxy Two.

So long, gay Bowser

In 1996’s Super Mario 64, every Bowser level culminates in a showdown with a giant Koopa. When Mario delivers each final blow, it sounds like he says, “So long, gay Bowser.”

It didn’t matter that the line was actually “So long, King Bowser” — the above clip is more than enough proof that folks were hearing things clearly.

Related: Fans rejoice at the return of this bisexual bat-babe’s bubble butt

The questionably homophobic line read became wrapped up in nostalgia for the iconic game, but when Nintendo released the game on its Switch console as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars in 2020, it decided to say “so long” to the whole mixup. Instead, Mario just says, “Buh-bye!”

That led to some pretty hilarious tweets:

Fans claim Luigi as trans canon

Some fans support the theory that Mario’s younger, taller fraternal twin, Luigi, is actually transgender.

The idea Bros. fully in 2019, following a Nintendo update on the Super-Crown in New Super Marios Deluxe, the Nintendo Switch rerelease for New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U.

When Toadette finds the Super-Crown, the character temporarily turns into Peachette. Players thought the item could transform any character into female form.

Related: The 10 best queer games available on the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo addressed the theory on the game’s website, writing: “When Toadette finds one of these, she can transform into the super-powered Peachette. (Sorry Luigi—only Toadette can use this item!)”

The fact that the company singled out Luigi, who in past games has occasionally dressed in traditionally female clothing, and who really clicked with the nickname “Mama” in an episode of the Super Mario World series, gave ample fuel for the “Luigi is trans” theory to take hold.

It hardly mattered to some players what Nintendo’s official stance was. To them, Luigi was suddenly trans canon. Period.

It sure sounds like fans are hungry for some queer Mario content. Your move, Nintendo.

Check out the trailer for The Super Mario Bros. movie below:

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