Is There a Transgendered Character in the Super Mario Brothers Universe?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to video games and whether they are true or false.

VIDEO GAME URBAN LEGEND: Super Mario Brothers features a transgendered character.

In Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers 2, one of the various bad guys that Mario and Luigi have to fight is named Birdo.


Birdo would spit eggs, flames or some combination of the two. In Japan, the charcter was known as Catharine.

In the user manual, here is how Birdo is described:

Birdo thinks he is a girl and likes to be called Birdetta. He likes to wear a bow on his head and shoot eggs from his mouth.

The Japanese version says “Catharine” and “Cathy” in place of Birdo and Birdetta, respectively.

Well, as is the case with most of his former villains, Mario ended up befriending Birdo, and Birdo shows up in Mario Tennis…


Here is Birdo in Mario Tennis…


In Mario Tennis, Birdo is now referred to as “she” and is shown apparently being romantically involved with Yoshi.

Birdo has been playable in many games since, and the gender of Birdo always APPEARS to be female….


Recently, Birdo was playable in Mario Kart…


However, in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, they make a point of calling Birdo “it” and specifically do NOT assign her a gender.


It appears likely, though, that Birdo is, for all intents and purposes, a woman, making her one of the few transgendered video game characters out there.

Good for you, Birdo! And good for the game designers (well, except for those who made a point of calling you “it” – bad on them!)!

The legend is…

STATUS: Basically True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is

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7 Responses to “Is There a Transgendered Character in the Super Mario Brothers Universe?”

  1. Birdo is a species. There are boy and girl birdos. The gamecube mario tennis had three in the intro.

  2. It may be nice to mention the dildo bit from Captain Rainbow, a Japanese game that features Birdo using the ladies restroom, then being arrested for using the ‘wrong restroom’. You get to prove that Birdo is a ‘lady’ after finding a censored vibrating object under ‘her’ pillow. This is undeniable proof that Birdo is… a lady?

    Right.. a ‘lady’.

  3. Thanks, Dustin!

  4. Black Barry…

    […]Is There a Transgendered Character in the Super Mario Brothers Universe?[…]…

  5. Speaking of vibrating things. What about the vibe scepter used in Super princess Peach? And the fact that you can find Princess Peaches “????” hidden in her room in Super Mario RPG? šŸ˜‰

  6. In Super Smash Brothers Brawl, they called Birdo “it” because it’s literally a creature. Creatures do not require gender pronouns. It’s only dehumanizing to refer to human beings as “it.” They were not being transphobic.

  7. So, they’d previously used “she” because…? Birdo is an anthropomorphic creature, Danai. It’s not that complicated.

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