Like that summer in high school you spent flipping burgers at a fast food joint, Mario’s plumbing days are part of his past.
Usually, if video game characters have an sort of job, it’s one related to their world-saving or other adventurous activities. Final Fantasy’s Cloud Strife is a mercenary swordsman, Metal Gear’s Solid Snake is a soldier, and Uncharted’s Nathan Drake is a treasure hunter, all lines of work that serve as obvious jumping-off points for the action and challenges they face in their respective franchises.
Nintendo’s Mario is kind of an odd exception. Sure, he travels through pipes in pretty much every Super Mario Bros. game, but we never see him laying down or fixing said pipes, which is kind of an odd oversight considering that he’s video gaming, and perhaps the world’s, most famous plumber.
Except, according to Nintendo itself, Mario isn’t a plumber.
たす (@hinatas_Q) September 03, 2017
At least he’s not a plumber anymore, as pointed out by Japanese Twitter user @hinatas_Q. On Nintendo of Japan’s official Mario portal site, you’ll find portraits of the regular members of the Super Mario Bros. cast. Clicking on Mario’s portrait brings up a short bio for the leading man.
The character’s introduction reads:
Cheerful, popular, and loved by everybody. He’s really close to his younger twin brother Luigi, the other half of the famous duo.
Athletic, he looks cool playing any sports, from tennis to baseball to soccer and even kart racing.
Actually, long ago it seems he used to work as a plumber too…
He loves Princess Peach, so whenever she gets into trouble, he’s ready to spring into action and save her.
With his skillful jumping and power-ups, he puts a stop to Bowser’s evil plans.
In case you missed it, Nintendo says “long ago it seems he used to work as a plumber,” which means that he isn’t a plumber now (incidentally, Luigi’s bio makes no mention of any current or former profession).
The revelation sent shockwaves though Japanese Twitter, with reactions such as:
“When did he quit?”
“Did he hit retirement age_”
“So he’s unemployed?”
“Mario’s a NEET.”
“Wait…Mario and Luigi are twins?!?”
Mario’s apparent lack of employment had some wondering how he pays for his living expenses. The most common theory is that after starring in so many of Nintendo’s best-selling games, he can now live comfortably off fat royalty checks from the company. We’re not sure Japanese business law requires the payment of royalties to fictional characters, though. But in any case, Mario spends most of his time in a world where you can’t walk more than a few feet without coming across a pile of gigantic, waist-high golden coins, so he probably has no trouble making ends meet.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s wondering if next we’ll hear that Dig Dug and the chef from Burger Time are also out of jobs.