I’m going to apologize in advance, because I’m pretty sure I’m about to ruin a whooooole lot of childhoods: An image of Mario without his mustache has taken Twitter by storm, and as someone who regularly writes about memes and other strange viral phenomenon, it is my duty to now impart this knowledge unto you. Once you see it, you will not be able to unsee it, so if you have no desire to see what Nintendo’s famous plumber looks like without his signature facial hair, turn back now.
Except, uh… you already clicked on this, didn’t you?
So it’s probably too late.
I mean... to be fair, I did apologize in advance, right?
Although the image went viral over the weekend after being reposted by a Twitter account that pretty much exclusively reposts existing memes, it was actually created by the Photoshop genius behind the @yourfavisbald2 Twitter account. @Yourfavisbald exclusively creates and posts bald Photoshops of illustrated, animated, and video game characters, with a heavy emphasis on manga and anime — and it is now my new favorite thing. @Yourfavisbald2 posted their bald Mario Photoshop on May 10, and I am immensely glad that they did, because now I know exactly what I’m doing with the rest of my day.
Are you ready for it?
Are you suuuuuure?
OK. Here it is:
Is this you right now?
It’s OK. You’re not alone. We’re all in this strange, mustache-less boat together.
Here’s the interesting thing about @yourfavisbald2’s Mario Photoshop, though: It’s not blowing everyone’s mind because Mario has no hair in it; the thing that folks keep getting stuck on — and that includes me, by the way — is the fact that Mario has no mustache in it. And, I mean, that’s fair: Since Mario wears a hat most of the time, we don’t see his hair much anyway — but his 'stache? That’s arguably his most defining physical feature and has been since he first debuted way back in 1981. So to see him without it? That’s… really something else.
In fact, it's so very much "something else" that the prevailing response to mustache-less Mario is people describing him as someone else entirely. Here’s a small selection of the various people that Twitter users across the world think Mario sans mustache looks like: