Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

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This game is the Game Cube sequel to the original Paper Mario and the second game in the Paper Mario series. It starts like a lot of Mario games, with a letter from Princess Peach. She wants Mario to meet her at a distant town called Rogueport, to help her search for a legendary treasure indicated by the map she sent along with the letter. By the time Mario actually pulls into port, Peach is gone, and for once it's not Bowser who kidnapped her. (And he's very, very upset about that.)

The mysterious X-Nauts and their leader, Sir Grodus, are the ones responsible this time. They're after the same treasure as Mario, and are hanging onto Peach for an unknown purpose. As the game goes on, the nature of the treasure and why the X-Nauts are holding Peach comes to light, and let's just say said treasure is not a pile of gold coins.

This game has a Character Sheet.


Tropes used in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door include:
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Frankly.
  • Action Commands: Every attack has one or more of these. Pulling off certain hidden commands will even refill your star power meter.
  • Adaptation Decay: The In-Universe Super Luigi books, which novelize Luigi's (mis)adventures in the Waffle Kingdom. Among other things, they claim he played "a purifying earth spirit" in the Jazzafrazz Town play, when he was actually an inanimate patch of grass on the side of the road (but the town was full of Dayzees who idolized nature, and thus he was hailed by them). In fact, everything portrayed in his books are absolute lies, starting with the very first paragraph in the series. Just listen to his partners. They'll tell the truth.
  • Airplane Arms: Ms. Mowz.
  • Air Vent Passageway: Used twice in the Glitz Pit and once in the X-Naut Fortress.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: TEC.
  • Always Night: Played with in Twilight Town.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The Blooper. Mostly his lines.

"Who goes around whacking somebody's tootsies like that? Somebody with some serious moxie, that's who! It must be this saucy little mustache guy!"

  • And I Must Scream: You know those black chest spirits that curse you? Those are the four heroes that sealed away the Shadow Queen, but she laid a curse on them beforehand to trap them.
  • And the Adventure Continues...: Both in Gameplay and Story: Gameplay wise, you do stuff in Rogueport after the final battle. Story wise, it ends with Peach coming to Mario's house and saying she's found a new treasure map in the castle and is waiting for Mario on the boat. The look on Mario's face and the music just fit at that moment of the utter surprise/despair of having to go on another adventure so soon.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: There are two badges you can collect to change Mario's outfit. One is the L Emblem, found in the Poshley Sanctum, which makes Mario's outfit have Luigi's color scheme. The other can be bought from Charlieton, the W Emblem, which gives Mario Wario's color scheme. Wear them at the same time, and you get Waluigi's color scheme.
  • Anti-Grinding: Eventually, you'll only get 1 star point from battles, so it's best to move on with the plot rather than stick around and fight.
  • Ant War: The Punis aren't exactly insects, but their war with the "rival tribe" of mosquito like Jabbies plays out as this trope.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Princess Peach.
  • Autobots Rock Out: The fight music for Chapter 3's miniboss, Rawk Hawk, is made of this. Listen to it here. (The other battles in the Glitz Pit have the standard battle music.)
  • Back From the Dead: Prince Mush, Jolene's younger brother.
  • Badass Grandpa: Bobbery.
  • Badass Mustache: Mario, Luigi, and Bobbery.
    • General White fits this too. Heck, there are quite a few of these in the game.
  • Badass Spaniard: Cortez; a badass, undead spaniard.
  • Baleful Polymorph : The residents of Twilight Town (As well as the Travelling Sisters Three and Dupree, who were unlucky enough to get there at the wrong time) transform into pigs whenever the Creepy Steeple's bell rings, because of Doopliss' curse. They all turn back to normal when Mario kicks his ass.
  • Beef Gate: Gus, though he can be bribed as opposed to beaten up.
  • Big Bad: Sir Grodus.
  • Bigger Bad: The Shadow Queen.
  • Big Bulky Bomb: The Bulky Bob-ombs and their Pit of 100 Trials equivalent Bob-ulks.
  • Big Eater: Heff. T; he steals Chef Simmi's soup on the Excess Express and ends up not being able to leave because he can't fit through the door. He then lives on room service.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Mayors Kroop and Dour.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: An isolated instance: Sky-Blue Spinies that have curled up into balls are referred to by the game as "Sky-Blue Pipes". Paipo is the Japanese name for Spiny Eggs, which may be where the confusion came from.
  • Bonus Boss: Bonetail and Atomic Boo.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Pit of 100 Trials, though it's a good idea to go to at least floor 50 for any playthrough, as a bigger item bag is always useful.
  • Book Ends: It ends how it started, with Peach wanting to treasure hunt again.
  • Boss Remix: Lord Crump, Sir Grodus, and Bowser all get this treatment.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens quite a few times.
    • "You out there in front of the TV!" If Goombella is your partner when Professor Frankly says this, she'll lampshade it with "Why do we always have to break through the fourth wall?"
    • When asked to describe Stewart in Glitzville, Goombella will mention that Cheep-Cheeps have been around since the first Mario game, and then say "I just broke through the fourth wall there, didn't I?". If you get her to describe the gatekeeper in Twilight Town, she'll mention that the game would be too easy without him.
    • If you defeat Gus in Rogueport, he will exclaim, "You video-game heroes ALWAYS do this!"
    • After Bowser goes through Rawk Hawk's secret training facility, Rawk Hawk will point at the camera and presumably ask the player if they forgot about him.
    • An NPC in Petalburg mentions wanting a game called "Paper Luigi". Later, he says that he's playing a new game... called Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Oh, and he also finishes it before you do.
    • When you are in the Keelhaul Key chapter, at one point, the pirate "Four-Eyes" aka Lord Crump looks at the TV and tells the audience not to tell Mario who he obviously is.
    • When Koops is reunited with his father after the first dungeon, he says "Everyone thought your game was over!" This may have been an example at the time, but it no longer remains so. With the release of Super Paper Mario, the common term for death in-universe has become Game Over.
  • Breather Level: The Excess Express in Chapter 6, for the most part. It's more puzzle-oriented than battle-oriented, but it does have a "dungeon" portion with some fairly tough enemies.
  • But Thou Must!: After catching the Yoshi egg in Glitzville, Mario is given an option to, instead of free him, say "Let there be hot dogs!" Of course, picking this option will simply result in Mario's partner yelling at him and overriding his decision.
    • Immediately afterward, Mario is given an option to bring the egg with him or not. If he says no, his partner immediately changes his mind.
  • Call a Hit Point a Smeerp: Heart Points and Flower Points are HP and FP, respectively.
    • Star Points for EXP. Which is kind of confusing when you've got Star Power as your Limit Break points.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Dupree.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Last game, Mario and company were just putting the stomp on Bowser, standard Mario heroics. For this go-round, Mario gets to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. And then in the third one, he helps prevent the end of all dimensions in existence.
  • Character Development
  • Check Point Starvation: The Pit Of 100 Trials is the epitome of this. The dungeon takes hours to complete, and you can't save your progress at all.
  • Chick Magnet: Every female party member kisses Mario when they join ... must be the 'stache.
    • Even BELDAM thinks he's handsome. What can we say? Chicks dig the 'stache.
      • Vivian too, and Vivian's actual gender is still being debated.
  • Clark Kenting: Ms. Mowz, who is also the Badge Shop Owner.
    • Also the mysterious lady in the Glitzville juice stand, who is very heavily hinted to be Jolene.
  • Classy Mouse Burglar: Ms. Mowz.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: All of the Koopas, with the possible exceptions of Koops and Koopie Koo. Mario also runs into a few Shiver City penguins, all of whom are just as spacy and excitable as they were in the last game, you betcha!
  • Clueless Detective: Pennington, though it's revealed at the end of the chapter that he's not a real detective anyway.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Smorg and Cortez.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Star Pieces.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Used against the final boss.
  • Continuity Nod: At the beginning of the game, Parakarry from the first Paper Mario game delivers a letter to the Mario Bros. In the post-game, you can meet another of your party members from Paper Mario. There would've been more than just the two, but they were Dummied Out. Jr. Troopa can also be seen in the background of a picture attached to e-mail sent to Mario by Zip Toad.
  • Cowardly Lion: Koops.
  • Credits Montage
  • Crosshair Aware: Magnus Von Grapple 2.0 sucks up audience members and uses a crosshair to aim them at Mario. It's just for show, though.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The black chests curse you... with the paper abilities you'll need to explore the next area/dungeon. One of the few instances where this is played for laughs. It's also justified by the fact that the "demons" are former heroes who are exploiting a loophole.
  • Cute Bruiser: The nameable, color-customizable Yoshi partner found in Glitzville.
  • Cute Witch: Vivian.
  • Darker and Edgier: This game compared to its predecessor.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: There's Twilight Town, and even your own party member, Vivian.
  • Dead Little Brother: Prince Mush to Jolene; He gets better, fortunately.
  • Dead Man Writing: Mario gets to deliver one of these letters in a quest. It's from Bobbery's wife, Scarlett, which perks him up to help Mario and co. travel to Keelhaul Key.
    • Koops finds and reads one of these found amongst his father's bones. (well, Kolorado's father's bones, really).
  • Deal with the Devil: Mario has to sign a contract that Grubba gives Mario to participate in the ring while advising him not to read all of it, and in fact, sign without reading it. Some of the lines in the contract include Mario not being able to leave the Glitz pit until Grubba releases him.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Yoshi partner specializes in doing lots of damage in 1-point increments, though he can't hurt enemies with Defense. Any sort of attack boost will cause the little guy to do ridiculous amounts of damage, though.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Boggly Woods.
  • Dem Bones: The various Dry Bones species, Cortez, and Bonetail.
  • Demonic Possession: Peach gets possessed by the Shadow Queen.
  • Descending Ceiling: A spike trap in Hooktail's Castle does this.
  • Detective Animal: Pennington the penguin.
  • Detective Drama: Chapter 6 is a spoof of this.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Mario defeats the demonic Final Boss by jumping on it and hitting it with a hammer. ...After being powered up by the Crystal Stars, admittedly.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Rawk Hawk goes to great lengths to prevent Mario from fighting him or from advancing. Why? Simply out of revenge for Mario and his partners allegedly calling his champion's belt fake and thus inadvertently implying that he was a bad fighter (and they weren't even talking about the belt itself, but the crystal star on him). Similarly, the Armored Adonis Twins in the same chapter wanted to beat Mario to a complete pulp, and later attempted to ambush Mario right after Mario defeated another group after losing to them in a rematch because Mario allegedly talked trash about their mom (something he didn't even do, but Grubba did while pinning the blame on Mario).
  • Distaff Counterpart: Goombella serves pretty much the same purpose as Goombario from Paper Mario; Bobbery is a Spear Counterpart for Bombette as well.
  • Damsel in Distress: Subverted; at the end of the chapters, you get to play as Peach sneaking around the X-Naut Fortress, looking for information to help Mario.
    • Luigi gets his own in the form of Princess Eclair.
  • Downer Ending: This pretty much happens if you decide to become the Shadow Queen servant, as the game says "The Shadow Queen engulf the world with her foul magic.For Mario, Peach and the world it was... GAME OVER .
  • The Dragon: Lord Crump. Beldam also counts, though she is The Dragon to the Shaaddow Queen.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Peach dons an X-Naut uniform at one point.
  • Dronejam: Zess T. keeps you out of the west side of Rogueport after you break her contact lens. She doesn't budge until you buy her a new one.
  • Easter Egg: There's a place in the X-Naut Fortress where Mario can be 8-bit again.
  • Egg McGuffin: In Glitzville, Mario and party save an egg from being made into a hot dog. The egg hatches into the Yoshi that joins your party.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower/Hopeless Boss Fight: The second phase of the final boss.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Shadow Queen.
  • Elite Mooks: Koopatrols and the Elite X-Nauts.
  • Elopement: One subplot involves the daughter of a Pianta mafia don eloping with one of his underlings. The first time you meet, he agrees to secure you a ride to the place where the next Plot Coupon is if you bring them back. On finding them, they return of their own accord and he tells them to get lost but gives them his blessing in a roundabout way. They settle on a tropical island a few chapters later. In the next chapter you need a ride once again, so you return and find him sick (literally) with worry about them. One subquest later and you have your ticket, the couple and the Don reconcile and everyone's happy.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What Mario is trying to prevent.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: In-Universe. Luigi and his "character" were the most popular out of the entire play he was in during his quest.
  • Epic Fail: When asked about Luigi's adventures his "sidekicks" tell Mario that they're pretty much an Up to Eleven series of this.
  • Evil Chancellor: In the "Super Luigi" book series, Minister Crepe, who called for help, turns out to have been behind the kidnapping all along.
    • Jolene is an inversion: Although it seems like she was the one who was making the fighters disappear, it was actually her boss, Grubba, who did the deed. And while she was trying to betray him, it was actually due to the fact that she wanted to stop him knowing how much of a scumbag he really was.
  • Evil Costume Switch: At the end of the game, Peach gets a dark version of her usual dress.
    • You could also count Mario in his Waluigi outfit when he equips the W Emblem and the L Emblem.
  • Evil Gloating: Crump to Mario, but little does he know...
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Grodus learns this the hard way after unsealing the Shadow Queen.
  • Evil Laugh: Grodus, Lord Crump, the cursed chests, Beldam, and the Shadow Queen.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Grodus, though he's more of an Evil Techno Wizard.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Played With in Twilight Town with the crows. Mario and Vivian learn by eavesdropping on the crows how to learn the name of the monster who stole his body. Of course, they have to listen to the right crows, or they get nothing but random philosophy.
    • Has to be parodied in Chapter 3. While in the vent, the person you're spying on basically goes over his entire diabolical plan to himself. Just to grab your attention, he more or less says "And since I'm talking out loud here, I'll just put this extremely important piece of paper in this desk drawer here and leave. Ah, there we go. Right there in the drawer, nobody's gonna steal it at all."
  • Expy: Cortez has many similarities to Johnathan Jones from Super Mario RPG. Both are pirates, both have the fifth star (which happens to be blue in both cases), and both of them become your allies and help you defeat a boss who wants to steal it from the heroes.
    • Merlon, Merluvlee, and Co. Explained in game, by Mr. Wonky (an NPC whom you pay for information), that they're from a tribe that names people according to profession, hence why this trend continues into Super Paper Mario.
  • False Innocence Trick: Although it appears that the "evil" beings trapped in the black chests were originally good (the game appears to imply that they were the original four heroes of legend), the end result is the same nonetheless. They plead for Mario to let them out, so of course, he does. They curse him as thanks. Kind of subverted, because the curses help you, to the point that you literally cannot continue without "acquiring" them.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: The Piantas, who have several businesses and act like stereotypical gangsters, but don't appear to be actually be doing anything illegal and will help you when you need it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Grubba
  • Female Monster Surprise: Hooktail
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Shadow Sirens' elemental powers.
  • Fighting From the Inside: Peach to the Shadow Queen, thanks to the Crystal Stars.
  • Fighting Your Friend : When Doopliss steals your identity, you very own friends, who don't recognize you, fight alongside him. You don't have to kick their asses, but still. There's also Peach getting possessed by the Shadow Queen at the end of the game.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Floating Continent: Glitzville
  • Foregone Conclusion: Luigi's Adventure. Before Luigi actually finishes his adventure, the book based on his adventure starts to release. The first volume of Super Luigi's first paragraph starts something like this: Have you ever tried your hardest to do something, fail, and then feel like you completely wasted your time. This is a story much like that. Now, this is a pretty accurate statement, considering the source. Except for the fact that Luigi isn't done with his quest yet. He won't be for at least two more chapters of Mario's Adventure. How does the book know?
  • For the Evulz: Doopliss, who curses the people of Twilight Town to transform into pigs as an ironic prank.
  • Four Is Death: The haunted fourth cabin of the Excess Express.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Because the game's battles take place on a stage, various monsters will attack the audience, eating them, stealing their souls, using them as machine gun ammo... It interestingly also works in reverse, audience members will throw rocks and items at those in battle, they'll run on stage and give one side some power or mess something up... Not to mention their cheers refill the Star Power meter (you can get more by using stylish moves), or that you can cause some of them to explode and take out those sitting next to them.
  • Funny Background Event: On occasion while you're in the middle of cutscenes in Rogueport and other towns.
  • Gang Plank Galleon: Keelhaul Key and Pirates' Grotto.
    • Rogueport too, as it contains many pirates as well. It even has a gallows.
  • Get On With It Already: The cursed chests. By the fourth cursed chest, even Mario, mute as he is in these games, is getting tired of the whole rigmarole. The cursed chest ends up quite hurt by the whole thing.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: This game seems to delight in getting gang and drug references past the censors.
    • One is the gang war between what are essentially the wealthy Mafia (The Yakuza in Japan) and a poor street gang.
    • There are also conspicuous skulls jammed on stakes on either side of Rogueport. Note that this is a common way for a drug dealer to mark his territory.
    • One of the troubles deals with bringing a mysterious package to someone in the back alley of Rogueport.
    • Probably coincidence but if you fall underneath Rogueport and get up to the door near block elevator (near the fountain) on the left, you enter a room that's mostly empty with some guy who pretends to know everything. In this room are a lot of green-themed items, and everyone thinks the guy is deep and insightful. The kicker? The toadstool's name is Herb T. Tell me you're not picturing cannabis influence.
    • While fighting Hooktail, she tries to bribe you with coins and badges. If that doesn't work, she offer to let you smell her feet, a privilege she says others will pay for.
    • At one point before Chapter 3 Professor Frankly says the Phrase "Assuming will just make" before cutting himself off and instead just ends it saying "well you know the saying" meaning he's referring to the old phrase "Assuming will make an ass out of you and me".
    • And then there's half of the things Peach does during the intermissions.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Just what the hell IS Smorg?
    • A scene cut from the game showed that it was something sent by the Shadow Sirens. You were supposed to fight the Shadow Sirens in the basement of the train station, but this was all cut, so it's never explained where Smorg came from in the final version.
  • Gladiator Subquest
  • God Save Us From the Queen: The Shadow Queen.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Lord Crump, the Shadow Sirens (and Doopliss once he joins them).
  • Grand Theft Me: Mario and Doopliss.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Cortez talks like this.
  • Gravity Screw: The gravity on the moon is much less, allowing for higher jumps and slower movement.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Goombella has one that she uses for her Tattles. This even includes Princess Peach after she is possessed by the final boss.
  • Groupie Brigade: The wrestling fans at the Glitz Pit.
  • Guide Dang It: Finding the Atomic Boo. Remember the church full of Boos clinging to you and sending you back to the entrance? You can send them flying with a Spin Attack. Do so until the boss shows up.
  • Halloweentown: Twilight Town.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Subtle, but you can only continue by having your body-switched fake Mario defeat the real Mario. Makes sense at the time, when the player doesn't realize they've been switched.
  • Heavy Sleeper: General White.
    • "Sleeping like a 'stached baby."
  • Heel Face Turn: Vivian, TEC and Cortez.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: The player can name the Yoshi partner, which is justified by Yoshi being a newborn.
  • Here We Go Again: The end has Peach finding another treasure map and inviting Mario to come with her to search for the treasure.
  • Hero of Another Story: Luigi goes on his own adventure to save a princess, and even writes books about it!
  • Heroic Mime: Mario, almost. He speaks, but only as dialogue responses chosen by the player.
    • Goombella lampshades this during Chapter 4 after Doopliss has switched places with Mario. "Wow... You, like, NEVER talk!"
  • Hive Mind: Smorg.
  • Hub Level: Rogueport and Rogueport Sewers.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: Mario and the baby Yoshi.
  • Humongous Mecha: The two Magnus von Grapple bots.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: Nice, Good, Great, Wonderful, and Excellent.
  • Idle Animation: There's plenty. Marios Idle Animation in battle, for example, makes him look like he's teetering to the music.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Rogueport. Also the Palace of Shadow.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Mayor Kroop, the Puni elder, and one of the women in Twilight Town.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Bowser falls into this.
  • Inevitable Tournament: The Glitz Pit.
  • Infallible Babble / Tempting Fate - In Chapter 2, Punio states the secret entrance to the Great Boggly Tree won't be labelled "Secret Entrance", or else it wouldn't be a secret entrance. When you get Flurrie and have to use her power to reveal the entrance, it turns out it WAS labelled "Secret Entrance", complete with neon lights. Punio, surprisingly, doesn't realize the irony.
  • In-Game Novel: The Super Luigi books, a novelization of Luigi's tales from that game.
  • Intellectual Animal: The crows in Twilight Town discuss such things as renewable energy sources.
  • Interface Spoiler: Each time you finally get your hands on a Crystal Star, the game will tell you about its special powers in battle and what they do. So when you get the Ruby Star in Chapter 4 only to move on without learning about its abilities, you know something's up.
  • Invisible Streaker: Peach. Seriously.
  • Irony: The Duplighost boss does not want you to know his name. But by the time he joins up with Beldam, he's practically begging to be called by name, rather than "Freak Sheet".
  • Jerkass: Doopliss, who later gets his comeuppance by joining up with and becoming the Butt Monkey of the Shadow Sirens.
    • Mario himself, depending on what choices you make for answers.
  • Jiggle Physics/Gainaxing: Flurrie.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: The battle theme as well as the BGM of Petal Meadows is this to the Mario Bros theme song.
  • Jive Turkey: The Glitz Pit's King K.
  • Just Eat Him: Hooktail.
  • Kaizo Trap: This is possible, but you have to be very unlucky. Occasionally, at the end of a battle, the final attack will cause the stage background to fall after the enemies are dead, but before the victory dance. In the off chance that you have only 1HP and forget to defend (which is likely, as this is the nature of a Kaizo Trap), you will die. It is very humiliating, trust me.
  • Karma Houdini: Beldam and the Shadow Sirens. Despite loyally serving and unleashing an unspeakable horror upon the earth, they get off with a few apologies and promises. Doopliss even goes on to be an actor with Flurrie. It becomes averted for Beldam and Marilyn, who get defeated by Mario (and possibly Vivian) and justified for Vivian (Chapter 5) and Doopliss (End Of Game) as they both did a Heel Face Turn.
  • Kill and Replace: Doopliss does an attempt at this with Mario.
  • King Mook: Generally much less, with a number of more unique bosses, but some still crop up here and there.
    • Doopliss is basically a Duplighost with a white sheet and some party attire. He also successfully advances his Duplighost powers by switching Mario's identity with his cheap, shadowy doppelgänger.
    • Macho Grubba is the second boss variation on the Clubba family, after Tubba Blubba.
  • Ladyella: Goombella
  • Large Ham: Rawk Hawk, champion of the Inevitable Tournament, and Bowser as usual.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Happens to the sad music in Chapter 5 once the gang realizes that Bobbery's just sleeping.
  • Living Shadow: The Shadow Sirens.
  • Living Toys: The residents of Twilight Town appear to be living plush dolls. Mayor Dour appears to have a small tear on his head where his stuffing is exposed.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: Frankie and Francesca, twice.
  • Low Level Advantage: The "Danger Mario" setup falls apart at level 72, because your BP and SP will both be maxed at that point, so you will be forced to upgrade HP, breaking the status.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Variation; instead of actual missiles, Magnus Von Grapple 2.0 sucks up your audience members and uses them as projectiles.
  • Mario Can Breathe In Space
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: One of the troubles you can take on at the Trouble Center is "Roust These Cads!", in which you are expected to fight all the enemies in the Boggly Woods for a reward of 20 coins (plus drops and Star Points).
  • The Mafia: Yes, really: the Pianta Syndicate.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Grodus and Doopliss.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: Beldam is this, as Grodus appeared to be the Big Bad right up until he succeeded at summoning the Shadow Queen, only to get zapped into nothing but a head, and it was revealed that he'd been manipulated all along.
  • Marathon Level: The Pit of 100 Trials.
  • Meaningful Name: Beldam is a pun on "beldame", an old-fashioned English word for an ugly old woman. It's also a play on "bedlam" with the two middle letters swapped around.
    • TEC's full name is TEC-XX. Since 'X' is pronounced as "cross" (as with the X-Nauts), the two Xs could be said as "double cross", appropriate given the character's role in the story.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Marilyn of the Shadow Sirens. Although being the strongest, she doesn't have too big of a role compared to Beldam and Vivian. However, Vivian is usually the one that's abused/left out.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Subverted with Flavio. He is a coward who boasts about his "feats", but he is willing to put his life on the line when he has to try and persuade Cortez to help them fight the X-Nauts.
  • Mirror Boss: Doopliss.
  • Monster Compendium
  • Mood Whiplash: Going from Grodus essentially killing TEC in front of Peach to another Bowser sequence.
  • Mook Bouncer: The Boos in Creepy Steeple.
  • Mr. Exposition: Professor Frankly.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Mario is referred to by various NPCs as Murphy, Marty-o, Gonzales, and Luigi, among other names.
    • Doopliss is referred to as "Freak-in-sheet" by Beldam.
  • Mythology Gag: When Mario ('Great Gonzales' to everyone at this point) walks into the arena of the Glitz Pit before his fight with Rawk Hawk, the camera makes a short pan over the entire crowd, who is unanimously shouting "Gonzales, Gonzales!" except for one person who quickly shouts "Jumpman! Wait... what?"
    • You can also buy from Charlieton a badge named "Jumpman" which prevents you from using your Hammer but raises your Jump power by 1.
  • Never Live It Down: Zess T. always calls out Mario for stepping on her contact lens.
  • Never My Fault: Never Beldam's fault, shifting blame to Vivian, and later to Doopliss. Marilyn rarely gets blamed for anything, but she's not exactly respected, either.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Happens when Mario and co. are tricked by Doopliss (disguised as Professor Frankly) into opening the Thousand-Year Door so the villains can get through. However, it's implied that this was for the best in the end anyway.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Near the very end of the game, the only reason that Grodus doesn't manage to kill Mario is because of a timely, accidental interruption by Bowser.
  • No Hero Discount: No matter what town you save, they'll still charge you money for everything. Even the recovery blocks require coins, the amount of which is marked on top.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Two; the first is if you read the diary a Toad ghost explicitly told you not to read during the Excess Express level, and the second is triggered if you make an agree to the Deal with the Devil before the final boss fight.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Bowser sidescrollers.
  • Not Rare Over There: After returning to a mafia Don who was part of a previous quest, you find him deathly ill and his bodyguards promise you the tickets for a trip on the Excess Express you need if you find his daughter and son-in-law (who he exiled at the end of said quest). On recovering when they return to his side he's furious...until you state what you were promised; he bursts into laughter and asks how many you want.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Grubba.
  • One-Hit Kill: Bowser is the only boss that is vulnerable to Showstopper.
  • Optional Party Member: Ms. Mowz.
  • Overly Long Gag: In a rare case of one being able to harm you, near the climax of chapter 2, a time bomb is set off in the Great Boggly Tree. When you reach the base of the tree, the Puni elder confronts Lord Crump, resulting in her spending some time complaining about her back. Oh, did I mention that the clock is still ticking, and can run out during this scene?
    • I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. One hundred times and they actually count them out! And only one per text box. Thank Nintendo for the B button.
      • Some GC controllers have a turbo function. Thankfully this means you can just hold A down.
  • Overused Running Gag: WHEE HEE! FOOOOOLS! It's made clear that Mario has gotten tired of this by the fourth chest. "Spare me the prologue and just curse me already."
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Lord Crump, to the point where he breaks the fourth wall to tell the player to not tell Mario.
    • Every single disguise in this game is paper thin.
  • Parental Bonus: Plenty, but perhaps the most obvious is Chapter 6, which centres on a stout little man with a moustache attempting to solve a mystery while on a three-day voyage aboard a luxury train.
  • Pass the Popcorn: All fights have an audience watching. No matter what situation they're in. And being in the audience can be hazardous during boss fights: Hooktail the dragon takes a bite out of the audience to restore HP, after which the battle spills into the stands; Cortez does the same, but with the souls of some of the viewers; Lord Crump fires audience members at you from a cannon, and the Shadow Queen subsumes the entire audience to heal herself fully, putting you in a very sticky situation.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: You can encounter Amayzee Dayzees in the fourth chapter. After gaining the fourth chapter's Star Power, you can go to the area where they're found (preferably under the effects of the special spell that can sometimes double your experience), use said power to quickly defeat them, and bask in the levels.
  • Playable Epilogue
  • Powers as Programs: The badges.
  • Powerup Mount: Yoshi, a baby Boisterous Bruiser that can carry a plumber three times his size.
  • Previous Player Character Cameo: Parakarry in the prologue, and Bow in the Playable Epilogue.
  • Product Placement: Mario has a "Mailbox SP", which looks exactly like a Game Boy Advance SP.
    • There's a kid NPC in Petalburg who goes on about an awesome new video game he's playing. The title? Fire Emblem.
    • The monitor you use to reserve a fight in the Glitz Pit in TTYD is a Gameboy Advance.
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: "Hold the Magical Map aloft before the entrance to the Thousand-Year Door. Then the stars will light the way that leads to the stones of yesterday."
  • Punch Clock Villain: Most of the lesser X-Nauts. Implied for most of the game with their over-casual nature and general uncoordination in the area of Mookery, and confirmed if you examine the chem lab notes with Mario: "I have some stuff to do, so I'm not coming in to work tomorrow, and that's that." Also, they tend to appear as audience members.
  • Punny Name: Most of the Toads have one, like the cook, Zess T., or the heavy eater, Heff T.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: You have a Valley Girl archaeologist, an overly meek turtle, a wind spirit White Dwarf Starlet, a hyperactive baby dinosaur, a shadow creature with an inferiority complex who was part of the Terrible Trio, an exploding sea captain, and maybe a mousy Classy Cat Burglar.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Peach and TEC.
  • Recognition Failure: This is a Running Gag; whenever Mario meets a village elder, they're behind the times and don't recognize him (to the annoyance of their younger relatives).
  • Recurring Boss: Lord Crump.
  • Recurring Extra: The Toad Sisters and Dupree.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Since Mario himself never speaks aside from a few stock lines of dialogue, the other characters have to talk for him.
  • Retirony: In chapter 3, KP Pete announces his plans to retire from the Glitz Pit after his match with Mario. After the match, and his retirement, he ends up stumbling on Grubba's use of the Gold Star, the real one to maintain his youth, and ends up silenced. A slight twist in that he doesn't end up killed, although he is certainly beaten to a huge pulp and barely even able to breathe.
  • Rich Boredom: Flavio
  • Robinsonade: Chapter 5.
  • Rocket Punch: The Magnus von Grapple robots use this.
  • Running Gag: If you aren't very careful, Mario falling into bodies of water and getting bitten by Chain Chomp-like fish can become this.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: About halfway through the game, Vivian decides that she's fed up with Beldam's abuse and leaves to join the mysterious shadowy person, even sticking around once he's revealed to be Mario.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Shadow Queen.
  • Sequential Boss: Cortez, and later Grodus, followed immediately by Bowser and Kammy.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Not quite an exact use, but referenced: When the Shadow Queen takes over Peach's body at the end, Goombella tells you that no matter how much it looks like your friend, you can't think of it that way and just have to fight it.
  • She's a Man In Japan: Vivian's gender is a transgendered male in the Japanese version, but just plain female in the English release.
    • Still unconfirmed. Beldam speaks to Vivian using male honorifics/phrasing. In Japan, using the wrong-gendered set is considered highly offensive... which is exactly something Beldam would do.
  • Shout-Out: Luigi's tales are actually shout-outs to other games.
  • Shows Damage: Grodus.
  • Sic Em
  • Smurfette Principle: Actually averted big time, where more than half of Mario's party are female... and every one of them has at one point kissed Mario.
    • Also, possibly parodied with the Punis.
  • Spoiled Brat: Bub the Bob-Omb.
  • Strange Salute: The X-Nauts have one.
  • Stealth Based Mission: Peach has one or two.
  • Stealth Pun: On the moon base, it's revealed that X-Naut is pronounced Cross Naut, meaning that TEC-XX becomes TEC-double cross.
    • One of Luigi's companions is a red Bob-omb named Jerry. Cherry bomb.
  • Storybook Opening
  • Stronger Sibling: Gloomtail and Bonetail.
  • Sunglasses At Night: The Dark Koopas (this is actually lampshaded by Goombella when she wonders why they wear sunglasses in the depths of a cave).
  • Surprise Creepy: In particular, the final boss is a pretty jarring development in a Mario-branded game.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Several of Mario's party members in this game are functionally identical to the ones in the first game. This is most obvious with party members that are the same species, such as Goombario and Goombella, or Kooper and Koops.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Before the Yoshi joins your party, it's impossible to defeat the Glitz Pit's Armored Harriers.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything : Even if you do know Doopliss' name, you still have to spell it just like that for him to accept it. Trying to replace the missing lowercase p with an uppercase P will not work. That's an obvious, yet clever way to prevent players from cheating and skipping a lot of that chapter.
  • Theme Naming: The dragons Hooktail, Gloomtail, and Bonetail.
  • The Von Trope Family: Magnus von Grapple.
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: Pennington, who incorrectly deduces Mario's identity as Luigi.
  • Time Keeps on Ticking: In the escape from the Great Tree.
  • Totally Radical: The Yoshi partner talks this way, but is most likely a parody.
  • Tournament Arc: Chapter 3
  • Traintop Battle: Vs. the Smorg.
  • Treasure Map: The Magical Map.
  • Unexplained Recovery: TEC caused the X-Nauts' base to self-destruct, but after the game is completed, not only is TEC still alive and well, bue even the damn base is intact. Not even he has a clue how it is possible.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Invoked In-Universe: When Mario and and his group first meet Rawk Hawk face to face shortly after being transferred to the Major League Locker Room, Yoshi (or whoever the partner character the player currently has out) examines the Gold Star on the belt, and deduces the star was a fake. Unfortunately, the player words it in such a way that causes Rawk Hawk to think that they're calling his belt fake, and thus also implying that Rawk Hawk was an extremely bad fighter, causing Rawk Hawk to be extremely infuriated at them, and it is also implied that the reason he's resorting to dirty tricks to prevent them from facing him was out of revenge for that remark.
  • The Unintelligible: Marilyn, though her sisters seem to have no trouble understanding her.
  • The Un-Reveal: Subverted. If you save a game clear file and go back to visit Frankly, he'll reveal that the treasure was... a dried shroom, which is apparently an amazing discovery, as it reveals that people ate mushrooms one thousand years ago.
  • Valley Girl: Goombella, though only in her speech patterns.
  • Verbal Tic: Several characters.
    • Cortez has a fondness for Gratuitous Spanish, amigos!
    • Fuzzies...MEEEOOORK!!!
    • A Bob-omb randomly sprinkles "bomb" throughout his sentences.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Palace of Shadow.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the Final Battle against the Shadow Queen, you drive her to one after you manage to hurt her.
  • Villainous Rescue: So Grodus finally has Mario at his mercy after threatening to kill Peach, when who should come falling through the ceiling to the rescue of our heroes but Bowser himself? Subverted in that it was completely unintentional on Bowser's behalf, and he attacks you immediately after.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Hooktail's weakness turns out to be crickets.
    • In the Japanese version, Hooktail's weakness is frogs, which explains why the Attack FX badge doesn't sound much like a cricket.
  • We Can Rule Together: When the final boss asks you this, remember to say no, or else...
  • Welcome to Corneria: Averted with the residents of Rogueport, who change their dialogue after every chapter.
  • Wham! Episode: TEC's death.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: TEC.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: There are several instances when Mario can choose between two things to say, and sometimes the second choice is less than morally sound to say the least. If he chooses that option, his partner will chew him out and, in a case of seeking the next course of action, insist on taking the first option. (For one example of these options, see the sub-note under Egg McGuffin.)
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Goombella sends a letter to Mario at the end, detailing what happened to his partners and several other important characters.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do get to see what became of Bowser and Kammy at all during Gombella's travels when she tells Mario what everyone is up to. Heck, the last time they're ever seen in the game is lying in defeat in the Palace of Shadow just before the final boss fight, and they disappear after you leave the room and aren't mentioned at all during the ending. However, this being the constant Big Bad of Mario games, he's bound to return.
    • Prince Mush, who, after he's revealed to be alive at the end of Chapter 3, never appears again for the rest of the game. A shame, too: Apparently, he would've been an extra boss after going through the Glitz Pit again.
  • White Dwarf Starlet: Flurrie.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Doopliss's curse is broken by Mario saying his name.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Rogueport. The name speaks for itself.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Grodus pulls one of these by leaving the final Crystal Star with Lord Crump, so that his plan would work regardless of whether Crump lost to Mario or not.
  • Yin-Yang Clash: The Iron Clefts' bodies can withstand any attack... and their spikes can pierce anything. You defeat them by knocking them into each other.
  • You Are a Tree Charlie Brown: Luigi performs in a play and gets the role of... grass. He's the only one who never got any lines, either. Subverted, however, in that he was playing to an audience of flowers. Grass is very important to them, so they absolutely adored him!
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: The reason for the lowercase p hidden in Doopliss' basement.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: One sidequest requires Mario to dress up as Luigi. The real Luigi shows up and is mistaken for an impostor.
  • Your Mom: Grubba basically delivers some trash talking (which he attributed to Mario) to the Armored Harriers/Iron Adonis Twins, with one of the trash talks also revealed to be a veiled Yo' Mama joke, as he mentions that outie belly buttons run in the family, causing the Iron Clefts to get very angered at Mario, as their mother has an outie.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: If not for the second half of the chapter where Mario must reclaim his body from Doopliss, chapter 4 would've been pretty short.