That Time Fans Argued For a Decade About Whether Mario Called Someone Gay

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Mario Mario (yep, that’s his full name according to Nintendo) is a videogame character who casts a imposingly long shadow over the industry. With decades of banger games and now a hit movie under his belt, Mr. Videogame is a beloved icon of the entire medium thanks, in part, to his squeaky clean reputation. We mean, besides that 2 decades fans argued about whether or not he was calling someone gay.

To explain since the release of Mario 64 in 1996, fans have argued incessantly about what exactly Mario says when he hurls all 2 tons of King Bowser’s ample ass out of the final arena of destiny.

Why? Well, to put it simply, it kind of sounds like Mario calls Bowser gay. With it being the opinion of many fans of the character and series that Mario says the following when he punts the King of the Koopas into the lower atmosphere.

“So long, Gay Bowser.”

Now normally we’d never cover something like this on the site but there are two key reasons why we think it’s worth mentioning.

  1. Nintendo, despite multiple requests to clarify what Mario is saying, have remained frustratingly opaque on the matter.
  2. It really sounds like Mario is calling Bowser gay.

Due to these two things the fact that Mario calls his full-time foe gay has become a firmly established part of Mario lore with many fans of the series assuming that’s just what he says due to Nintendo’s staunch refusal to even comment on the matter.

In fact, the closest we ever got to any kind of official answer as to what Mario is actually saying is a comment from the guy who voices Mario, Charles Martinet, who claims that Mario is saying, and we quote –

“So Long, Kinga Bowser.”

Which, when said aloud with a mock Italian accent before being distorted all to fuck by a Nintendo 64 sound chip does kind of sound like So Long, Gay Bowser. So mystery solved. However, it’s worth noting that for a re-release of the game Nintendo saw fit to remove the line, replacing it with the line used in the Japanese release of the game in which Mario says “Buh-bye.“.

A change that resulted in fans choosing to believe that Mario calls Bowser gay even harder. Which, given who’s voicing him in media now, is at least somewhat consistent. We guess.