If there ever was a blue collar “everyman” hero in gaming, that crown would have to sit firmly on one man’s head – Mario Mario, former resident of Brooklyn, New York now residing in The Mushroom Kingdom. The man has had more jobs than pretty much anyone in all of gaming, transcending time, space and basically any other means of classification. Here is a look at the numerous professions that adorn his resume, in no particular order.
The job that started it all! Who can forget Mario’s first foray into the working world way back in 1981? Problem was, whenever he would scale up the big red construction site, a crazy ape always seemed to ruin his day. Rather than being a workman’s comp statistic, Mario fought the threat off, and even won the heart of Pauline, his one-time love interest. It was even in this job we saw Mario’s only outing as a game villain in Donkey Kong Jr. Looks like the pressure got to him. Not sure why he worked this job as the pseudonym “Jumpman”, seems sort of sketchy Mario!
As seen in: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr.
Ah yes, the classic. This is the one job that our rotund old friend is known for, but was he all that good? As Jesus of Nazareth is not really known as a carpenter, Mario must have been a lackluster plumber. There is some evidence of this theory if you take the cartoon the Super Mario Bros. Super Show as canon, in that Mario’s ineptitude in pipe fixing transported him to a magical land. While a nice little diversion, I doubt too many Brooklynites would really care to have that happen whilst sitting on the toilet reading the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
As seen in: Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.
3. Space Explorer
One of Mario’s newest job opportunities has got to be one of his most exciting. Not only do we see him discovering all sorts of small planetoids and meteors, but helping a space princess has got to be a good thing for a resume. It must pay well too, as it seems like just about everyone from the Mushroom Kingdom, including side-kick dinosaurs seem to want to be in on the action.
As seen in: Super Mario Galaxy
4. Dinosaur Herder
They say that nothing beats the life of a cowboy. Awake at sunup and moving cattle around the plains before most people even get up in the morning. Imagine how hard Mario had it when he found out that he was tending to a flock of Yoshi! These little dinos seem to be a handful in most games, but Mario always seems up to the task. Mario dusted off his boots recently to see if he still had it in him, and even gained the ability to become a dino himself!
As seen in: Super Mario World Series, Mario Odyssey
Despite initially being forced to clean up toxic waste due to an imposter besmirching his name, Mario did the job well and even carried on long after he was proven innocent. While the water pack may look a bit Ghostbusters, it suited the pudgy New Yoker well.
As seen in: Super Mario Sunshine
When many think of a famous Italian man in the ring, most will think of the “Italian Stallion” Rocky balboa, but those of us that are gamers may think of our good old buddy Mario. While he never laced up any boots, Mario did a great job keeping order for the biggest ticking time bomb ever in Mike Tyson. Note, no ears were bitten off during his watch.
As seen in: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!
7. Damsel in distress
For one night only Mario found himself in the very situation that the lovely Princess Peach historically finds herself in. While locked up, I wonder if Mario dreamed of a much bigger, beefier plumber to rescue him? Probably not.
As seen in: Super Princess Peach
8. Demolitions Expert
With Mario’s expert use of bombs and other explosives in many of his games, one would wonder why he only did it professionally a small handful of times.
As seen in: Wrecking Crew
9. Racecar driver
Move over Michael Schumacher, there is another racing veteran wanting some recognition for his illustrious career. While not the fated man on four (or even two!) wheels, he is a master of driving whilst juggling all manner of dangerous weapons.
As seen in: Mario Kart Series
10. Time Traveler
Being a big fan of time traveling myself, It’s good to see that Mario gave it a shot at one point, shame the game was utter garbage!
As seen in: Mario’s Time Machine
11. Cement Factory Worker
Not too long after he kept a giant Gorilla at bay in a construction yard, Mario tried his hand at working at a cement factory, but he ever got anything done due to trying to protect all of his unobservant co-workers.
As seen in: Mario’s Cement Factory
It’s a little known fact that Mario once did a small tour in the military, perhaps leading up to his later job as a demolitions expert. We can’t really tell what war this is, but it definitely reeks of a island invasion of some sort.
As Seen in: Mario Bombs Away!
Mario has been involved in the pinball industry a few times. First he was trying to deflect the ball in some sort Pong-like role, then he became a pinball himself. I guess the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”
As seen in: Pinball, Mario Pinball Land and more
Mario has had many forays into the world of sports in the last 40 years, and one of the very first was golf. He’s gone back to the tee multiple times in his life and always seems to be of a Master’s level no matter how unlikely you think that would be.
As seen in: Golf, Mario Golf Series
This is without a doubt Mario’s biggest job and encompasses more than half of all of his gigantic resume. My guess is that he hoards all of his money from his other business ventures and goes on these trips as some sort of high-octane adventure. Much in the same manner that a lot of wealthy people go on hunting safaris, Mario seems to have a knack for saving people. Now, the question is why is Princess Peach so willing to be captured?
As seen in: Too many games to count
16. Hockey Player
One of the briefest and least impressive of Mario’s entire job list is this tiny venture into professional Hockey with his occasional adversary Donkey Kong. He has not gone back since, so we can imagine that he was likely not very good at it!
As seen in Donkey Kong Hockey
17. Clothing Designer
One of the more bizarre things Mario dabbled in, was fashion! Mario once starred in a bizarre game to create sweater patterns of all things. I am a Teacher – Super Mario Sweater was designed to be a sewing simulator. Players would input their measurement sizes and design sweaters, adding pictures of famous characters such as Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser in the process.
As Seen in: I am a Teacher – Super Mario Sweater
Who knew that Mario had the time to get a full-on medical degree. Maybe The Mushroom Kingdom’s status as a developing country has allowed him to fast-track his training? With the Global Covid-19 Pandemic still slowly raging, there’s no better time to enlist a man who seems pretty adept at eliminating viral threats.
As seen in: Dr. Mario
Another “blink and you missed it” job was Mario’s short stint as a professional juggler! This also did not go much further than a quick “Game and Watch” game, so juggling must not have been his passion at all.
As seen in: Mario the Juggler
Aside from teaching sewing, Mario has been in the education field more than a few times with stints as a typing expert and any number of young childhood classes under his belt. In the 90’s he had a whole series of games related to teaching numbers, letters, reading and much more!
As seen in: Mario Teaches Typing, Mario’s Early Years! Fun with Letters, and more
21/22. Artist and Musician
Who knew Mario had the time to pursue the arts? In Mario paint, Mario was at the forefront of 16-bit art and music composition at a time when such games were unheard of.
As Seen in Mario Paint, Mario Odyssey
23. Pastry Chef
Not too long after befriending Mario’s longtime companion/pack animal Yoshi, Mario was stuck accommodating his ravenous hunger for baked goods. This only lasted for one game, so we can only assume Yoshi was delivered an intervention and told to back off from sweets.
As seen in: Yoshi’s Cookie
24. Tennis Player
When one thinks of impressive sports resumes, many will think of guys like Bo Jackson, Deon Sanders, or Michael Jordan due to their ability to balance multiple professional sports at once. Now imagine a man that plays EVERY sport at a professional level? That is Mario Mario. One of the more popular ones was his tour as a professional tennis player – move over Andre Agassi!
As seen in: the Mario Tennis series
25. Basketball Player
As with the above, Mario has been known to dabble in Basketball with ability to play so hard he literally sets the ball on fire!
As seen in: Mario Hoops 3 on 3
About the same time the film Fight Club was released to theaters, Mario seems to have formed an amateur fight club with all of his friends that continues to this day. Sometimes they use their abilities to fight off evil invaders, but one has to wonder Mario’s mental state for starting up such a thing.
As seen in: Super Smash Bros. series
Yet another case of trend-jumping, Mario seems to have latched onto the dance craze started by the Dance Dance Revolution franchise. While not known for his sick steps, Mario has surprised many with his numerous talents, so why not dancing?
As Seen in Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix
28. Baseball Player
You may have thought I forgot baseball, but here we go! Mario is truly impressive as he holds just about every baseball record with any pesky substance abuse scandals – unless his over-reliance on mushrooms becomes something of contention!
As seen in: Mario Superstar Baseball
Even though snowboarding isn’t as “edgy” and “in your face” as it was back in the X-Games craze of the 90’s – you can’t say Mario is outside of the bleeding edge of competitive sports.
As seen in SSX on Tour
30. Soccer Player
Mario and pals definitely play a weird futuristic version of soccer here, but it’s definitely soccer (or football) at it’s heart.
31. Olympic Athlete
Hell, I’ll just point out that Mario holds gold, silver and bronze metals in literally every Olympic sport after finally burying the hatchet with longtime rival Sonic the Hedgehog. The pair absolutely have dominated every Olympics for more than a decade now, both winter and simmer! There are too many sports to list, but if you can think of an Olympic sport, they’ve done it!
As seen in: Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
32. Door Closer? Hotel Invader? What was this?!
In one of the more insane games in the entirety of the Mario Saga is Hotel Mario for the Philips CD-I. In the game Mario and Luigi run around frantically closing doors for some reason. Wonder why the CD-I never took off?!
As seen in: Hotel Mario
There it is, a list of 32 jobs Mario has had – and to think some people online have lists of over 100! There’s a few games I have yet to play, and some jobs are redundant (like listing every Olympic sport) so I like how small and yet all-encompassing mine is here. It looks like no matter what ills befall Mario in terms of his job security, it seems like he ALWAYS will have something to fall back on!
Note: This is a heavily edited version of an article I posted on a now-defunct gaming website called Gamrfeed in around 2010. As with some of this videogame-related stuff, I am posting it again to preserve it. I always figure that some of this could be of some value to my new readers. I actually tripled the size of the original article, so this is basically entirely new!