Mario is a plumber. Ever since the first Super Mario Bros. game hit store shelves back on September 13, 1985, everyone has known Nintendo's mascot as a plumber — that's why the game's worlds are littered with pipes.

It's just a part of who Mario is — without plumbing, what would Mario be?

Well, back in the early days of modern gaming, Mario was basically anything but a plumber. The Game & Watch series had him starting a new career seemingly once a week, and early spin-offs on the Nintendo Entertainment System and the original GameBoy continued that trend for years. That's not to say that Mario hasn't taken on some weird jobs in recent years, either: it seems that Nintendo's portly plumber will do just about anything someone asks of him.

So, with Super Mario Maker getting set to launch later this month, what better time to go back and look at Mario's long list of previous workplaces? It's been a truly insane 30 years: here are the top 10 weirdest jobs that Mario's ever had:


As seen in: Donkey Kong (Arcade)

Back in the early days, Mario's job wasn't really nailed down. Case in point: everyone's favorite plumber started off as a carpenter. That on its own isn't that weird — but as the game's manual revealed, Mario wasn't just an ordinary carpenter. No, he was a carpenter with a hot girlfriend and a giant gorilla for a pet. Wait, what?

Not only that, but according to the manual, Mario was mean to Donkey Kong, spurring the great ape's escape. If you thought Nintendo was weird nowadays, you should have seen the '80s.

We're also going to go out on a limb and say that most carpenters never have to deal with giant, tie-wearing gorillas stealing away their significant others. Just a hunch.

Demolition Worker

As seen in: Wrecking Crew (NES)

Again, in the beginning, Mario didn't really have a single job. For the NES game Wrecking Crew, Mario ditched his tool belt for a giant hammer and explosives, then started knocking down buildings. At least that's what the game implies — with old-school video game storytelling, Mario could have had a breakdown and started vandalizing his neighborhood, for all we know.

As with his tenure as a carpenter, Mario's demolitions title never really stuck — probably because Wrecking Crew was an incredibly repetitive, monotonous game. Granted, it's a bit of a shame that Mario's not more well-known for his love of explosives.

Cement Factory Worker

As seen in: Mario's Cement Factory (Game & Watch)

Back before Mario was an expert in every sport ever played by mankind, he was an expert in every blue-collar profession ever. For example, after mastering carpentry and demolition, Mario owned his own cement factory ... for some reason.

Also, saying that he was an expert in keeping the factory going may be giving him a bit too much credit. Then again, this was back in the days of the Game & Watch, meaning that Mario had a new job in every single game — you can't blame the guy for not mastering the job when he's got so many others to worry about.

Vietnam-era Soldier

As seen in: Mario's Bombs Away (Game & Watch)

Before you ask: yes, this is 100 percent real.

Back in the early '80s, the Game & Watch was one of the few ways to play decent games (Atari was so chock-full of terrible titles that it crashed the market) — as a result, Nintendo was putting Mario in anything they could — including the Vietnam War.

Granted, Mario wasn't blasting Vietcong soldiers away or anything, but the idea of Mario transporting bombs across a battlefield is about as surreal as it can get. At the very least, he was able to put his demolition skills to use one last time.


As seen in: Yoshi's Safari (SNES)

All right, Mario may not have been gunning down enemy soldiers in Vietnam, but that doesn't mean he isn't skilled with a rifle. All throughout Yoshi's Safari, Mario mowed down Bowser's army from atop his trusty steed. Sure, it's basically a simple rail shooter, but the idea of Mario with a gun is almost as weird as Mario heading to Vietnam.

Who knows — with the Wii U's GamePad, maybe Mario will return to the battlefield once more. Then again, given Nintendo's family-friendly nature, it's probably best not to get your hopes up.


As seen in: Mario Bros. (Game & Watch)

After traveling to Vietnam and being forced to gun his way through Bowser's army, it'd be entirely understandable if Mario wanted to unwind with a drink. While Nintendo of America may censor anything resembling alcohol out of the Mushroom Kingdom these days, back in the '80s, Mario could have owned his own brewery and gotten away with it — and he did.

Going back to the Game & Watch, some of the different Mario Bros. systems featured a game in which Mario owned and operated a small brewery. It's harmless, to be sure, but it's a relic of the days in which alcohol was actually allowed in the Mushroom Kingdom. These days ... not so much.

Boxing Referee/Tennis Umpire

As seen in: Punch Out!! and Tennis (NES/GameBoy)

These days, Mario's no stranger to sports games — however, back in his early days, Mario was much happier just running the show. His cameo appearance in Punch Out!! is no secret, and it's one of Mario's most prominent cameos to date. Tennis, on the other hand ... well, just think of it this way: did you even know Tennis existed before reading this?

Again, it's a relic of a bygone time: back when Mario was content with a simple cameo rather than dominating the box art of whatever sport Nintendo feels like trying out. It looks like 30 years of success haven't done much for Mario's ego.

Theme Park Owner

As seen in: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem

All right, this is getting ridiculous. Mario has owned a brewery, a cement factory and now a theme park — and that's just the stuff that's on this list! Including the castle he gets in Super Mario Land 2, Mario is either a real estate genius or all those coins added up in the end.

Of course, as with most of Mario's ventures, he doesn't do such a great job of actually running the theme park. He went through the entirety of Mario vs. Donkey Kong while trying to capture a giant, rampaging gorilla with nothing but an army of toys ... why not just call animal control?

Marine Biologist

As seen in: Octopus (Game & Watch/GameBoy)

This is just getting ridiculous.

Apparently, Mario was able to find time in between all of his other business to become a biologist, learn how to scuba dive and then track down a giant octopus. Not only that, but he's then able to make off with the octopus' treasure, further funding his bizarre lifestyle and other insane investments.

Really — does it get any weirder than Mario stealing treasure from a giant octopus?

Break Dancer

As seen in: Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix

Yes, yes it does.

At this rate, we'll see Mario take on politics in the next Civilization game and literally become ruler of the entire planet.

While all of these jobs are absolutely ridiculous, his latest endeavor seems a bit more down-to-Earth: everyone's favorite plumber is just about ready for his first construction gig, as Super Mario Maker is set to debut on Sept. 11.

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