The story of Bowser Jr. from the Super Mario Bros. franchise.
Bowser Jr. was born to Bowser and an unknown mother as the crown prince of the Koopa Troop. Growing up, he listened to his father telling him false stories about how the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach was his biological mother and was kidnapped and brainwashed by his arch-nemesis Mario, who defeated him every time he attempted to retrieve her. Whether or not he actually believed these lies at the time, Junior dedicated himself to helping his father take back Peach and defeat Mario once and for all. Bowser also warned his son that Mario is too strong and never fights fairly, and that he had to think of a way to defeat Mario instead of just fighting him head-on.
At some point, Junior somehow obtained a magical brush from Professor E. Gadd that would grant all his wishes, as well as a mask that would disguise him as Mario. With these items, the Koopa Prince came up with a plan to spread graffiti everywhere while posing as Mario in order to frame the plumber for all his dirty work and get him sent to prison, thereby allowing him to kidnap Princess Peach with ease without Mario coming to rescue her. Upon learning of their planned vacation to Isle Delfino, Bowser Jr. began his plot there, turning the once peaceful paradise into a polluted nightmare. This action also caused the island's guardians, the Shine Sprites, to flee from their home at the Shine Gate, thus causing the island to be blanketed in darkness and making the inhabitants' predicament even worse. With the populace unfamiliar with Mario and his prior heroics, they easily believed the noble plumber to be the culprit as Bowser Jr. used his image. Bowser also accompanied his son to the island, where they set up their base in Corona Mountain while calling it their "family vacation".
Main Series Appearances
Super Mario Sunshine
Onboard their flight to Isle Delfino, Mario, Princess Peach and her attendant, Toadsworth watched a video that described their destination; during which, Peach saw a silhouette of Mario running and jumping in the background while holding a paintbrush and was perplexed by it while Mario and Toadsworth were too focused on the island's hospitality to notice.
Upon reaching Delfino Airstrip, the group came to a sudden stop as the strip was covered in a graffiti portrait of Mario's face. As the men discussed the problem, Peach saw the mysterious figure resembling Mario again atop a water tower. She attempted to tell the others about it, but then the figure disappeared when she looked again. With the help of his new device/companion, F.L.U.D.D., Mario was able to clean up the graffiti and thus rescue the Shine Sprite trapped in it. Despite this action, the inhabitants still believed him to be responsible to their island's pollution and declare him guilty on trial, sentencing him to clean up all the graffiti and forbidding him from leaving until all of Isle Delfino is pollution-free. While this did coincide with Junior's plot somewhat, his intention was to keep Mario locked up forever, and thus he was frustrated that they'd let him out.
On the first day of Mario's sentence, the plumber is commanded to clean up the area in Delfino Plaza where the town statue once was. Upon completing this task, the statue emerged, but with "Shadow Mario" standing on top of it, which shocks Peach. Shadow Mario then immediately kidnaps Peach, but Mario was able to stop him, thus forcing the doppelganger to escape through a portal he creates to Bianco Hills, where Mario chases him and deals with one of the monsters that he had created called Petey Piranha, though Shadow Mario himself disappears.
Shadow Mario continues to spread graffiti across the island to keep Mario distracted until he finally gets Princess Peach all alone. He takes her onto a Bowser-themed speedboat and heads to Pinna Park, but not before giving Mario a raspberry when he catches up to them. Upon encountering Shadow Mario again in the amusement park after reaching it via cannon, Mario chases his twin to the park's fountain, where he unveils a giant Bowser-shaped robot called "Mecha-Bowser" to crush the hero. After gaining assistance from the park's operator, Mario was able to best Mecha-Bowser and confront Shadow Mario, who then reveals his true identity to Mario and Peach. After explaining his plan and motives (while pretending to believe the same lie his father told him), Bowser Jr. then escapes again with a hot air balloon attached to the robot's head and heads toward Corona Mountain with Peach in tow.
Afterwards, Junior re-assumes his "Shadow Mario" form and continues to create havok throughout Isle Delfino. Whenever Mario enters a special stage, Shadow Mario would appear and take F.L.U.D.D. from him, forcing the plumber to continue on without him. He also attempted to steal a Yoshi Egg and two devices for F.L.U.D.D. to use for himself, only to be thwarted each time by Mario. After Mario chases Shadow Mario out of each region of the island, the evil duplicate finally had enough and causes a flood of boiling water to cover Delfino Plaza, thus endangering its inhabitants. Mario then chases him into Corona Mountain, where he confronts both Junior and his father, who were both relaxing in their goopy hot tub high in the sky, in the final battle to decide the fate of the island. While Bowser blasted fire from his mouth, his son would support him by firing guided Bullet Bills from his submarine.
After Mario defeats them by forcing their hot tub to flip over, Bowser Jr. and his father fall far out into the ocean and use their tub as a makeshift raft, from where they witnessed the Shine Sprites they chased away return to the Shine Gate. With a heavy heart, Bowser was about to tell his son the truth that Princess Peach wasn't really his mother, only for Junior to stop him by revealing that he already knew the truth all along, which stunned Bowser and caused him to worry about losing his son's affection. However, his worries were put to rest when Junior exclaimed that he wished to fight Mario again after growing up a little more. Bowser beamed with pride for his son, claiming that their royal bloodline was as strong as ever, but suggested that they should rest a while before putting their next plan into action.
New Super Mario Bros.
Bowser Jr. has been seen in other Mario games since then. He even appeared as a final boss along with his dad in the New Super Mario Bros. game for the DS. He is the main antagonist of this game; it is he who kidnaps Peach for Bowser, and summons a boss to each level for Mario and Luigi to fight such as Petey Piranha, Mega Goomba, Lakithunder and others. He is fought in a tower at each level. When Mario kills Bowser by destroying the bridge, making him fall into the lava (or pelting whim with fireballs until he falls in), Bowser Jr. takes the bones and eventually brings Bowser back to life (it is unknown how many other times throughout the series he has needed to do this, if any). Bowser and Bowser Jr. fight Mario, but both are defeated and knocked over the edge. Both survive the fall, and Bowser Jr. is last seen dragging Bowser away by the tail.
Super Mario Galaxy
Bowser Jr. also appeared several times in Super Mario Galaxy, where he aids his father in his plot to conquer the universe.
Junior was entrusted with some of the Grand Stars that Bowser stole from the cosmic princess, Rosalina to keep them safe from Mario. He uses one of them to power a giant Snifit-like robot named Megaleg, which he sends to destroy Mario, only for it to be promptly destroyed by the plumber, allowing him to recover the Grand Star powering it. In their next confrontation, Junior decides to fight Mario himself aboard his own personal airship, but is defeated and forced to retreat while his airship blows up, revealing another Grand Star. After apparently getting scolded by Bowser, he becomes determined to best Mario the next time in order to avoid his father's wrath, so he sends his final weapon, King Kaliente, to defeat him. Alas, Junior's beast was vanquished and he was possibly punished for his failure.
When Mario finally confronts Bowser in his Galaxy Reactor, Junior appears alongside his father on his airship again with Princess Peach herself in tow. As Mario begins ascending the stairs to reach Bowser, Junior protects his father by firing meteors from his cannons at Mario, but he evades them all nonetheless and reaches Bowser before the stairs crumble from the cannon fire. After Mario defeats Bowser in the final battle, Junior suddenly loses control of his ship and both he and Peach fall from it, though Mario rescues the princess.
After the black hole created from Bowser's malfunctioning reactor is stopped by the Lumas sacrificing themselves, Junior is seen with everyone else in the Mushroom Kingdom celebrating their survival.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Bowser Jr. is also fought three times on the airships in New Super Mario Bros Wii (the first game he appeared in alongside his Teammates the Koopalings). The first time he can be jumped on with propeller blades, the second time he must be bumped into electric walls, and the third Mario must stomp the ground to hit a bomb back at him.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Like the first Super Mario Galaxy, Bowser Jr. is encountered three times. The first is in Bowser Jr.'s Fiery Flotilla, where he summons Gobblegut to eat Mario. The next is in Bowser Jr.'s Fearsome Fleet, where he pilots the Megahammer robot to attack Mario and Yoshi, but is forced to retreat when they destroy it. His last appearance is in Bowser Jr.'s Boom Bunker, where he pilots a massive machine called the Boomsday Machine. Once Mario destroys it, Bowser Jr. is last seen sent flying off into space.
New Super Mario Bros. U/New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Bowser Jr. pilots the flagship, and is the boss of Soda Jungle and Meringue Clouds. In Soda Jungle's The Mighty Cannonship, Bowser Jr. uses his Clown Car as a submarine and uses it to fire Torpedo Tets and Targeting Tets, and can be defeated by guiding the Targeting Tets at his Clown Car. After being defeated, Bowser Jr. uses the Mecha Hand to crush the heroes, but they jump out of the way and escape. In Meringue Clouds' Boarding the Airship, Bowser Jr. uses his Clown Car equipped with boxing gloves to destroy the blocks the player is standing on and throws Bob-ombs, which the players can pick up and throw at him. After his defeat, Bowser Jr. attempts to use the Mecha Hand to crush the heroes again only to damage the airship instead, forcing him to flee.
Bowser Jr. reappears in the last stage, where he uses his Clown Car holding Kamek to use his magic to revive Bowser and turn him gigantic. During the final battle, Bowser Jr. pilots his Clown Car, attacking by tossing Bob-ombs and slamming into the ground. The player must then jump on Bowser Jr. to kick him out of the Clown Car for the player to pilot it themselves and slam on Bowser's head. All the while Bowser Jr. will shoot fireballs at the saboteur. After smashing the Clown Car three times into Bowser's head, he falls off the castle, defeating him. The players then turn towards Bowser Jr., who decides to accept defeat and jumps off the castle.
In the ending cinematic, Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings make their escape on the badly damaged airship, only for it to crash when Bowser jumps onto it. Bowser Jr. is then seen flying away on his Clown Car, struggling to carry Bowser and the Koopalings clinging on the side.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
While absent in the original game, Bowser Jr. appears in the Bowser's Fury mode as an ally to Mario. After Bowser is corrupted by black paint, Bowser Jr. summons Mario to Lake Lapcat to help him defeat his father and stop his fury. He flies around in his Junior Clown Car and wields his Magic Paintbrush, which he can use to defeat enemies or bring powerups out of ?-marked walls. He can be playable by the second player.
After Mario successfully defeats Bowser and turns him back to normal, Bowser Jr. held back his father when he still tried to attack Mario. Instead of thanking Mario for all he's done, Bowser Jr. simply roars at him before leaving. The end credits show that Bowser Jr. reflected his and Mario's adventure through paintings. After going back to see him afterwards, he continues to accompany Mario while he retrieves more Cat Shines, with the very first one you get after returning being on a mission that's titled "Graffiti Gratitude", which you get my making him reveal in additional picture he painted on a ship by one of the lighthouses. In addition to the pictures he made about their adventure that was seen in the credits, this confirms that despite acting like he was ungrateful, he was in fact quite grateful to Mario for his help and actually enjoyed their adventure; he probably just didn't know how to express it, felt pressured to act hostile to him again once they were finished helping his dad, and was better at expressing his true feelings through painting rather than through words.
- Main article: Paper Bowser Jr.
Mario & Luigi
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Bowser Jr. appears as an optional boss in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team after beating Antasma and Dream Bowser. He is fought as the final opponent of the Battle Ring, reachable after defeating all other X Bosses. He battles by riding in his Junior Clown Car. After every Bros. Attack used, Bowser Jr. tickles Mario or Luigi with his Magic Paintbrush before snatching it, preventing it from being used until he drops it by doing enough damage. After a few hits, Bowser Jr. jumps out of his Clown Car and has Monty Moles repair it for a few turns. Throwing a Taunt Ball at the Monty Moles increases the amount of time for them to repair the Clown Car.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Bowser Jr. meets his paper counterpart and unlike his father, he got along with him. As Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario defeated both of them in a boss battle, both Bowsers come in to comfort them after they defeat. Both Bowser Jr.'s lay down in their arms, they both try to tell their fathers about the book, but their fathers hush them as they both said they're delirious.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
Bowser Jr. only appears in "Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser". He is unlocked by reaching the true ending of the game's story. He is a flying type and his special is a smack back attack.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
Bowser Jr. is the main protagonist of "Bowser Jr.'s Journey". In it, he competes with the Best Fitness Friends, who were hired by Fawful and Midbus in finding a cure for the blorbs. He starts out as a melee type, and can be reclassed as a flying or ranged type as the game progresses.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Bowser Jr.'s first appearance in a Mario Kart game was Mario Kart: Double Dash!! as a playable character with his partner being his father. His kart is the Bill Blaster, a kart that only lightweights like him can use, as it can be unlocked by winning the 50cc Special Cup.
Mario Kart Wii
Bowser Jr. once again returns in Mario Kart Wii as a playable character. This time, he is now unlockable and is classified as a middleweight. He can be unlocked by earning at least a 1-star rank or better in the entire Retro Grand Prix in 100cc, or playing 3,450 races.
Just like most characters in the game, Bowser Jr. has no Wi-Fi unlocking criteria, and his Super Blooper/Turbo Blooper in British English is the only one where is Blooper Body is gold rather than white. In a similar manner, he Diddy Kong, and both Mii genders are the only characters who do not have a white body on their Sprinters/B Dasher Mk 2s, in his case, it's green.
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
Bowser Jr. returns as an unlockable character in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, now classified as a featherweight.
Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
While originally only appearing in Mario Kart 8 as a background character on the Baby Park course, Bowser Jr. returns to the series as a playable character in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, where he is a lightweight character ala Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
Mario Kart Tour
Bowser Jr. returns in Mario Kart Tour as a playable character in both his default design and in a pirate-inspired costume. The former of the two is of the Super rarity and uses the Bowser's Shell as their item, while the latter is of the High-End rarity and uses the Bob-omb Cannon as their item.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Bowser Jr. appears as a trophy and two stickers, one of which increases the chance of finding trophies and the other increases tail attacks for Yoshi, Diddy Kong, Pikachu, and Charizard.
Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Super Smash Bros. For Wii U
Bowser Jr. made his debut as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series in Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Super Smash Bros. For Wii U. He is unlockable in the 3DS version by clearing Classic Mode as Bowser with 6.0 intensity or higher, or by playing 100 VS matches, but he is available from the start in the Wii U version. When played, Bowser Jr. uses his Junior Clown Car for combat. The Junior Clown Car contains a large abundance of weapons including: shooting a cannonball out of the mouth, lashing the opponent with it's tongue, retractable robotic arms that contain either drills, or boxing gloves, retractable wheels so Bowser Jr. can ram into his opponents, distribute Mechakoopas, drop two iron balls, and even explode if Bowser Jr. abandons ship. Bowser Jr. also carries a hammer to defend himself when he abandons the Junior Clown Car.
Bowser Jr.'s Final Smash is Shadow Mario, with Bowser Jr. transforms into Shadow Mario and uses the magic paintbrush to create an X-shape mark on the screen. Anyone who comes in contact with the mark will be dealt with damage. The effect lasts for a few seconds when the mark explodes and launches everyone touching it. For his alternate costumes; all seven of them alternate are the Koopalings riding the Junior Clown Car: Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, and Ludwig von Koopa.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Bowser Jr. returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable character. His moveset is identical to Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, although his Clown Car is slightly faster, and able to consume healing items whenever it sticks out its tongue. The Koopalings are still his alternate costumes and Shadow Mario is still his Final Smash. His Classic Mode campaign is "Mama Peach, Where Are You?", where Bowser Jr. battles against princesses until reaching Peach.
Mario & Sonic series
Bowser Jr. appears in every installment of the Mario & Sonic games starting in the second installment, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. He is classified as an all-around character. In the Nintendo DS version of the original title, he aids Bowser and Dr. Eggman in kidnaping the snow spirts. After Mario and Sonic win, he teams up with Metal Sonic and gives the player missions to complete. After completing them, Jr. and Metal become playable in adventure mode.
Mario Party series
Bowser Jr. appears as the secondary antagonist of the Mario Party series starting with Mario Party DS, having replaced the Koopa Kids as Bowser's assistant. He serves as a boss in Mario Party 9, Mario Party 10, and Mario Party: Star Rush. He doesn't make his playable debut until Super Mario Party. His special Dice Block has a half chance of rolling a one, two-sixths in rolling a four, and one-sixth in rolling a nine.
Bowser Jr. appears in Fortune Street as a playable character. As a computer opponent, he has Ranked A difficulty.
Dr. Mario World
Bowser Jr. is one of the playable doctors. His stage mode ability pops up to ten bubbles. His verses mode ability hides Viruses in the opponent's stage behind bubbles.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Bowser Jr. serves as one of the main antagonists of the game along with the MegaBug. After the Rabbids accidentally cause their Time Washing Machine to malfunction and send them into the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser Jr. finds the Rabbid with the SupaMerge stuck to him and befriends him, naming him Spawny. He intends to use Spawny's ability to create Rabbid copies of the Mushroom Kingdom characters to create an army and conquer the Mushroom Kingdom to impress his father after returning from vacation.
Throughout the game, Bowser Jr. has Spawny create multiple clones and cause mayhem across the Mushroom Kingdom, but Mario and friends and their Rabbid counterparts team up to defeat the evil Rabbids. They eventually confront Bowser Jr. in his factory in the Lava Pit, where he summons Mecha Jr. After destroying the robot, the team reclaim Spawny, only for him to be taken by the MegaBug given a physical form and flies towards Bowser's Castle. Bowser Jr. chastises Mario's team for letting Spawny be kidnapped, noting that his father was still away. Just then, he receives a text from Bowser who tells him he was returning home early, and flies off to save his father.
At Bowser's Castle, Bowser Jr. beckons Mario's team to save his father, as the MegaBug fused with him to become MegaDragonBowser. Upon destroying the MegaBug and freeing both Spawny and Bowser, Bowser Jr. gives Spawny back to the team and thanks them for helping him. He now awaits for his punishment once Bowser wakes up.
Super Nintendo World
Bowser Jr. will appear in the upcoming Super Nintendo World area at Universal Studios Japan. He will play a role in the Power-up Band Key Challenges, where he steals Princess Peach's Golden Mushroom and locks it away, giving the five keys to his minions. After recovering three of the keys, the attendees can battle Bowser Jr. in an interactive boss fight.
Illumination's Super Mario Bros.
While not yet confirmed, it is more than likely that Bowser Jr. will appear in Illumination Entertainment's 2022 upcoming Super Mario Bros. film, presumably as the secondary antagonist or have an unknown role. Right now, however, there's no details regarding whether he will appear.