As if the internet wasn't weird enough already, people are now, apparently, quite obsessed with the fact that shirtless Mario has nipples. You know Mario, the red-hatted, overall-wearing, mustachioed cartoon that ruled your early childhood? The Italian plumber turned protagonist veritably synonymous with Nintendo? Yep, that Mario. If you're wondering how a video game character's areolae suddenly became such a hotly debated topic, let's back up.
On Wednesday, Nintendo released two images tied to the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey. In one, Mario is cozied up in a full-on parka, traipsing around a fictional land called Snow Kingdom, which shows that when Game of Thrones says "winter is coming," Nintendo does not play. In the other, Mario is shirtless in a red and white polka dot swimsuit, bounding down a sandy beach in Bubblaine — which, judging by the internet's reaction, is the Mushroom Kingdom equivalent of Cabo. You can guess which one got more attention, but something tells me this wasn't exactly the marketing push Nintendo has been planning on. Ce'st la vie, I guess? Did anyone think we'd ever be debating the merits of Mario's body online? This is our world now.
In any regard, it raises a myriad of questions. You might be asking yourself, for example, why am I looking at this? Do I want to be looking at this? Should I even care? If I do care, why do I care? And is this going to be one of those domino effect situations where we wind up with a whole line of swimsuit-clad Nintendo characters and start regretting everything? How in the hell did we even get here? Don't I have better things to do with my life? Why don't I have better things to do with my life? How is a cartoon character's nipples putting me on the brink of a shame spiral? I digress.
Needless to say, the internet had lots of opinions.
1. Some Pointed Out The Obvious
I mean, he's human right?
2. And Got This Response...
There are some things better left to the imagination.
3. Others Were More Shocked By His Evolution
4. Or Simply Overwhelmed
Just another day in 2017.
5. This Person Got Ahead Of Himself
For the record, Yoshi is a dinosaur.
6. And This One Took It Too Far
I can't tell if this is better or worse.
7. Like, Way Too Far
8. No Wonder People Were Uncomfortable
It's a little much.
9. Some Did Their Research
Shirtless Mario may not be new to Nintendo, but he's nonetheless piqued the interest of the internet. According to Google Trends, which measures the relative popularity of search trends over time, queries for “Mario nipples” spiked yesterday just after the announcement — shortly before 7 p.m. on the East Coast — and reached an all-time high overnight.
10. Others Got Into An Entirely Different Discussion
All valid points.
11. This Prankster Saw An Opportunity
That will be a fun in-class discussion.
12. And Finally, This Person Had The Right Idea
Same, yadi. Same.
Look, I get it, change is hard, and this feels oddly like seeing one of your teachers outside of school. Worse yet? Seeing them at the beach. But Mario is a free man defending the world from evil, OK? If he wants to wear a swimsuit while frolicking through the water — a perfectly appropriate outfit for that setting — let him live. Now can we all move on with our lives? I'm all for Mario feeling comfortable in his skin, but seeing his nipples (or anyone's, for that matter) 100 times in my Twitter timeline is not what I signed up for.