Back in 1983, Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto was working on a new platforming video game. Having had huge success with 1981's Donkey Kong, Miyamoto wanted to create a new game for its protagonist, Jumpman.
This game would evolve to become the very first Mario Bros., with Jumpman becoming the titular Mario. Miyamoto wanted to incorporate a second player into the game, but given hardware limitations, he could only differentiate this second character by switching its clothes from red to green. Thus, Luigi was born.
However - have you ever wondered why they're called the Mario Brothers? Why, if they're really from a shared parentage, would Luigi be grouped under his brother's name?
It's a 30-year-old a riddle that's just been given a novel answer by Reddit user wsw82 that makes so much sense we can't believe we never thought of it.
"Although the Super Mario Bros. movie from 1993 explained that Mario was simply their last name," writes wsw82, "I don't think this is considered canon elsewhere. In the games themselves, Mario and Luigi's last names are never even spoken. I think there's a reason for that, and it has to do with the Mushroom Kingdom's culture and it's standard naming conventions.
"One thing that's surprisingly consistent in the Mushroom Kingdom, is specific characters being named after their own species, with individual names being less common. Toad of the Toads, Yoshi of the Yoshis, and any number of baddies are named that way. I think what may have happened, is that when Mario and Luigi first introduced themselves to the Mushroom Kingdom, likely to a group of Toads, Mario was the first to speak up and say "My name is Mario." The Toads simply assumed Mario was his species name as well and dubbed the two brothers as Marios collectively. Hence The Mario Brothers."
Convinced? Let us know your thoughts.