Mario and Luigi’s rivalry has been a great source for memes over the years as Nintendo fans find themselves relating to the brotherly competition in real life. This has sparked a number of great memes as fans explore the relationship between these two competitive brothers and the implications it has on their personal lives outside of the games.
This special bond that permits both a deep loyalty and occasionally fierce sibling rivalry is something only brothers will truly understand, which makes these memes most relevant for them.
This meme shows that Mario is by far the cooler brother. Mario can be seen dunking a flaming basketball, playing tennis, racing a Mario-kart, skiing, break dancing, and other intense and interesting activities.
Meanwhile, Luigi is running scared from ghosts despite wearing a ghost-busting vacuum and... well, literally being a baby. The obvious implication is that, while Mario is engaged in highly active and intense sports, Luigi is a coward. This comparison between brothers based on who does cooler things and which one is timid is a time-honored aspect of sibling rivalry.
While the previous meme made the case for why Mario is cooler, this one makes a different case for why Luigi would in fact be cooler. Sure Mario is known for his intense and active lifestyle, but Luigi is the one actually fulfilling his responsibilities and being a mature adult.
Dunking a flaming basketball is cool and all, but which one are you more likely to hire for an important job? The brother who has never done a day of plumbing in his life, or the brother who immediately suits up and gets to work removing ghosts? Couch surfing in someone else’s castle is lame compared to the guy who worked hard to get his own mansion.
It’s tough having a brother more popular with a wider social circle, and this meme does a great job at pointing that out. While Mario is instantly recognized, Luigi is simply known as his brother who happens to be wearing green.
Many younger or less popular brothers out there can probably relate to being known as just the awkward brother. It’s even more frustrating if both brothers were called upon to do a task, but the boss can only remember the one’s name.
As awkward as it is to be just the brother to friends or coworkers, it’s even worse when you own mother forgets your name. This meme shows a great exchange as Luigi becomes upset when his mother refers to them as the Mario Bros.
To make things worse, when the mother apologizes for not remembering Luigi’s name, she refers to him as Green Mario. Many brothers may feel like their parents are comparing them to their older siblings and often are questioned as to why they can’t be more like them. Hopefully, no one has ever experienced a situation in which their own mother forgot their name.
The rivalry between brothers can run deep when they are in direct competition with each other. Many brotherly bonds have been tested in video games like Mario Tennis, and even the characters on the screen aren’t immune to the bitter feelings that result from losing to your younger brother.
After patting his younger brother on the back, Mario can be seen grinding his foot into Luigi’s. It’s an act familiar between brothers after a competition. In an effort to save face, the losing brother will try to make the other seem like a wimp by slapping them on the back, gripping their hand hard in a handshake, or another attempt to take the brother down a peg or two.
Looking at the congratulations screens that pop up each time Luigi beats Mario in a Super Smash Bros fight, Mario's toe stomping seems tame by comparison. Luigi is seen smacking his brother in the back of the head, punching him in the face, or standing over his unconscious body.
The sibling rivalry can run so deep that it can go too far, and what should have been a friendly competition can lead to injury and violence. There are countless stories of brothers dislocated joints when wrestling, Wii remotes thrown through TVs, and knockouts following a prank.
It’s a running joke that the younger sibling will end up playing as Luigi in the Mario games, and this meme shows that Luigi isn’t happy about it, either. The younger brother is hitting the gym in an effort to get so ripped that he can take Mario’s place as player one.
When the older brother has a natural physical advantage over his sibling, it’s common for the younger brother to start intense workouts and training to overcome that disadvantage. Perhaps this explains why Luigi can jump higher and farther than Mario in the games.
No matter how much training that younger brother gets, it won't matter in the long run, as the older brother and his friends will always find a reason to make fun of him. This meme shows that, even though Luigi can jump higher, he’s still made fun of by the gaming community who sides with Mario.
It’s especially odd when you consider that the ability to jump higher would be invaluable in a platforming game where jumping is the main method of motion and attack. This is analogous to the younger brother who gets better grades or is better at sports yet is made fun of nevertheless.
This works both ways, but the younger brother tends to get the short end of the stick on this one. The meme shows that awkward moment when the younger brother joins the other brother at a social event—usually mandated by mom—and the older brother’s friends are uncomfortable with it.
It’s understandable parents would want brothers to get along or for the younger brother to feel included, but it creates an awkward situation as everyone is aware the brother is a tag-along, even if they are more than capable of saving the world too.
Many brothers have experienced this situation where they meet their brother’s friend only to find that they are a social pariah in their eyes. This meme illustrates how Luigi is finding out that Toad is not really a big fan of him and would prefer to talk to Mario.
It’s tough living in the shadow of a brother that largely gets the credit for saving the kingdom. It’s even worse when the reason he’s popular boils down to inherent strengths and attributes the younger brother doesn't have.