Everybody loves Wario. The greedy anti-hero has become a cult icon through the years alongside his platonic life partner Waluigi. Wario seems to have it all: his own franchise, the adoration of Mario fans, sacks of gold, a high ranking in most Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier lists ... but there’s one thing Wario doesn’t have.
Wario leads a lonely life devoid of romance compared to characters like Mario, who is constantly smooching royalty. Even characters like Yoshi are in long, healthy relationships that have lasted for decades. Meanwhile, Wario only appears to be married to his wealth. Wario’s single status is somewhat surprising given Nintendo’s love of duality in the Mario franchise. Every character has an equal and opposite foil. If Wario and Waluigi are supposed to be mirrors of the Mario Bros., then surely there’s an evil Peach and Daisy back at home, right?
The answer to that question is tragic, confusing, and a little mean.
In September 2017, popular Mario Twitter account @MarioBrothBlog dug up an old Nintendo Power interview about Mario Tennis that sheds some light on the situation. According to the game’s creators, there’s actually a specific reason Wario and Waluigi don’t have girlfriends in the game: Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto just said no.
“We asked Nintendo about girlfriends for Wario and Waluigi, too,” says producer Hiroyuki Takahashi, “but Mr. Miyamoto said that he didn’t even want to see their girlfriends.”
That’s an abruptly closed book on that question … or is it? Despite having no explicit romances in any Mario games, we do know a little bit about the greaseball’s romantic aspirations. In March 2018, Twitter account @VGArtAndTidbits dug up an old Nintendo Power comic that reveals a surprising detail about Wario: He’s got a crush on Princess Peach.
The comic chronicles Mario and Wario vying for Peach’s affection by buying her the perfect birthday gift. The two sabotage one another’s efforts and it all ends in fisticuffs, like high schoolers squabbling over a crush. The comic concludes with Luigi getting a big smooch from Peach instead because she has no time for toxic masculinity (see: the ending of Super Mario Odyssey).
So, Wario may not have a girlfriend simply because he’s harboring a secret crush on Peach that will never be reciprocated. Like most of the Mushroom Kingdom, Wario only longs to be whisked away by the princess, not some second-rate clone … or does he?
Here’s where the love story gets real spicy.
@SuperMarioBroth made another fascinating find in August 2019 that may prove that Wario does have a partner after all: Daisy. In the German version of Mario Party 5, pairing Daisy and Wario together gives them the title “Heimlich Liebende.” Translation? “Secret lovers.”
This is, quite frankly, scandalous.
As we know, Luigi and Daisy are something of a long-time pair. Despite Mario’s green-and-blue-clas bro getting some smooches from Peach in the past, he’s since moved on to her better half. This tabloid secret, however, turns Luigi’s entire life upside down. How long has Wario been seeing Daisy behind Luigi’s back? Perhaps it’s direct revenge for the birthday fiasco that left both Mario and Wario in the doghouse.
If none of this makes any sense to you, then you’re not alone. If anything, the convoluted storytelling shows how weirdly complicated and freeform Nintendo has been with the Mario franchise over the years. With so many games, comics, cartoons, movies, and everything in between, Nintendo has a mess of lore on their hands. It’s hard to blame fans for wanting to untangle it all to find some consistency with so many strange threads kicking around.
The best advice we can give is to not to read too much into it. Nintendo seems to be making things up as it goes along with the Mario franchise without any firmly established canon, because, well, it’s the video game where a plumber jumps on turtles.
Even still, the story still contains TMZ levels of intrigue that one can’t help but eat up. I for one am here for a Mario-themed dating simulator down the line that’ll let Wario finally find happiness. My dude deserves it.