It doesn’t get much more iconic than Mario. The rotund plumber with a turtle-murdering blood lust is more well-known worldwide than a lot of his compatriots from supposedly less nerdy mediums than video games.
Unsurprisingly, then, most people think they have a pretty good idea of what Mario looks like, and could even describe him to you, right down to his particular sartorial choices. Obviously, he’s a squat, mustachioed man with a blue shirt and red overalls. …Or was it a red shirt and blue overalls!?
Well apparently, both are technically right!
▼ Wait, what?
Even casual Mario fans might be familiar with the story of Mario’s inception: With only so many colors and pixels to work with, game designer Shigeru Miyamoto cleverly used red overalls/suspenders – and we’re using this definition loosely here since it was like 5 pixels back then – on a blue “shirt” to give the character more personality and make him stand out more from the largely black backgrounds of Donkey Kong.
And that’s the classic Mario image that stuck around in everyone’s heads, even though Nintendo pulled the old switcheroo on us in 1987 and swapped the colors around. In fact, Mario’s been wearing blue overalls on red shirt for most of his life and we didn’t even notice. Our whole entire lives have been a lie. Next, we bet someone’s going to tell us he wasn’t a plumber at all.
▼ Actually, according to this Japanese profile, he isn’t. He was an “Adventurer” the whole time. That’s another word for “Unemployed.”