The Top 7 Mario Side Jobs

4. Chef


Mario seems to prefer eating raw mushrooms, cookies made by Yoshi, and any cake that’s baked by Princess Peach. There’s also his insatiable love of pasta and pasta puns in the 90s Mario cartoons, but I don’t count that crap for Mario’s diet. However, in another Game & Watch remake, it’s revealed that Mario is actually a pretty decent chef.

mario chef nintendo

G&W games are traditionally very simply titled, but the original version, titled simply Chef, had Mario nowhere to be seen. In the Game Boy remake, all the parts are recast with Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants, featuring Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and Mario filling up a pretty busy kitchen, tossing cooked meats willy nilly through the kitchen. Mario is at least a speedy chef, but how good can that food really be? Yoshi is the only one eating it, and given his tendency to gobble up raw plants, live animals, and discarded shells, he’s never displayed a very discerning palette. Work smarter, not harder, Mario.

3. Archaeologist

Picross comes from the novel idea of taking the concept of Sudoku, then throwing out all the numbers and instead literally chiseling away at squares until a pixelated image is left. These days westerners are plenty familiar with Sudoku, but back in the mid-90s, the idea of picture-based puzzling seemed like a bizarre proposition for a Game Boy games. So, Nintendo went with an idea that worked in the past: Just add Mario! And, uh… make him an archaeologist? Whatever, it works!


Decked out like he’s searching for Dr. Livingston (what, too old a reference?!), Mario spends the game picking away at rocks in search of the hidden images. For a neat little hybrid of Battleship and Minesweeper, the core gameplay mechanic suits Mario fin, although not necessarily his “Every Man” style. Has he been hiding some secret doctorates from Mushroom Kingdom University, or could all his degrees be forged? He left this profession pretty quickly, so no time to ask questions.

2. Referee


Some might think this list should be filled with all the sports Mario played. Obviously, he’s spent time as a professional golfer, basketball star, and tennis ace, right? Maaaaaybe it could be argued that could be considered a profession, but I consider it time spent between friends. A real job requires a suit! Note the immediate difference in the original NES Punch-Out!, where Mario is all business.


Mario’s iconic role as the ref in Punch-Out! made him both a player’s best friend and worst enemy, depending on which side of the 10-count you were on. After being the lead in so many games, it was quite a shift to see him in a position of power and judgement. And if you thought Mario looks a little different from normal, that’s because he was unofficially added while in development without permission.

1. Doctor

dr mario nes laser time

This series just turned 25, and it’s the job that’s stuck around the longest, so of course doctor is Mario’s top job. Ever since the first game hit NES and Game Boy in 1990, the addictive puzzle series has kept Mario in stethoscopes for decades. But just what is the man’s expertise? Well, he knows how to kill viruses when they’re trapped in a bottle, so he can’t really compare to an oncologist. I mean, you don’t need to study 8 years to know Megavitamins will kill a virus. That’s fucking bush league.

But even if his expertise is in doubt, Dr. Mario’s secret strength is being the toughest fighter around. A variation on Mario in Smash Bros. Melee, Dr. Mario was my top guy back in the day, and I was happy to see him return in the recent 3DS/Wii U versions. Who knew that a doctor could do so much damage?

14 thoughts on “The Top 7 Mario Side Jobs

      1. Could have been one of those honorary Doctorates that Mushroom Kingdom University likes to hand out all the time to get free publicity.

  1. really enjoyed this article Henry, I’ve never really noticed that was meant to be mario as the referee in punch out, it’s obvious now as you pointed him out but i just never thought about it.

  2. Hank, you NEED to write the “Top 7 Ways Mario is Like Jesus” when Easter rolls around. I’m holding you to that. If it doesn’t happen, I will write it for you.

  3. Would all the sports game he does be considered a job, he was at the Olympics for example. Therefore, he would be an athelete.

  4. So professional arena fighter and cart racer aren’t real jobs?

    I get him playing golf, soccer, and tennis for fun or at least charity, but you can’t say he’s going in the ring to hit people for fun or pure vengeance or chaos, or entering the Twisted Metal of cart/kart racing world for fun or because he wants to road rage on others.

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