This page explains in detail the interactions between the Hot Tub Time Machine series and the Mario series.

Hot Tub Time Machine

20100326 March 26, 2010


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The Super Mario Bros. arcade in the final movie.

In a scene in the movie, as soon as the characters realize they've traveled back in time to 1986, various iconic things are rapidly shown, such as an MTV bumper or an audio cassette player. One of these is an arcade cabinet for Super Mario Bros., which is actually a generic console with an image stuck on its side. Despite Super Mario Bros. being an NES game, this is not a mistake since there was an arcade version of the game called Vs. Super Mario Bros. which was released in 1986 and featured some slight differences to the NES version. Furthermore, the PlayChoice-10 arcade cabinet featured various NES games that you could play for a certain amount of time. So, an arcade machine with Super Mario Bros. is not unlikely in the movie's plot.

The poster however is very inaccurate, since rather than being an actual Mario poster, it's an original image composite of an artwork of Mario from the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (which is from 1986, but wasn't released outside Japan), one of Luigi from the Super Mario Bros. pinball machine (which is from 1992) and, most notably, the title of New Super Mario Bros. (which is a Nintendo DS game from 2006, creating a twenty-year anachronism). The title was only edited to change the black parts into red, and Mario's face was added next to "Super". It's possible that the poster is supposed to be a promotional image that should be read "New: Super Mario Bros." but still it feels very cheap.

File:Hot Tub Time Machine - Red Band Trailer

Ironically, a much better recreation of a fictional Super Mario Bros. cabinet can be seen in the red band trailer for the movie, being featured in a scene deleted from the final film. This one features a much more colorful image on the side, following the console's shape, rather than being a rectangular poster, but still features images from later games, specifically an image of Peach from Super Princess Peach (2005), one of Bowser from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2006) and one of Yoshi from Super Mario World (1991), this one being the most notable since Yoshi is not in the game, and didn't exist yet in 1986. The scene also clearly shows gameplay from the game, and the dying jingle is heard at the end of it.

As the arcade is shown, an actual Mario Bros. cabinet is also there, being next to the Super Mario Bros. one.


The creators of Hot Tub Time Machine didn't hold any right over Nintendo's Mario, but they only included a minor reference to the game in the final movie. The scene from the trailer features a more prominent reference, so it's possible that it was deleted to avoid legal issues.