The Yoshi Shuffle


Mario, watching three cave people fail at making a three sided square out of stone slabs, suggests that they're in need of organisation and teamwork; convenience strikes when Luigi comes in, gets dissed for his use of words, and nearly kills Mario by throwing a stone football at him, giving him a bright idea: Using the sport of jumping on each other and throwing things as means of teaching dim-witted cave people the joys of unification.

And naturally Cheatsy and Bully Koopa hear of this but I imagine that goes without saying.


Instead of overloading them with information at once, Mario goes with the "tell them what you do as the game goes along" style of instructions, so after Yoshi launches the ball and Mario tells the cave people to tackle him, they just shrug their shoulders and jump on each other. Meanwhile, Luigi, the one chasing after the ball, gets into a scuffle with a Magikoopa and is turned into an egg, only for the ball to hit the Magikoopa, sending his wand flying into some bushes.


Cheatsy and Bully happen to see this, and imagine the praises they'll get from dearest pop if they bring him Luigi. Yoshi, following Luigi to see the touchdown and unaware of his partner's new form, mistakes the egg for the football and heads for the touchdown, with Mario following after telling him he's out of bounds. Triple the delight for the Koopalings! They notice this, and prefer to jump down a random pipe that leads straight to Bowser's castle instead of being caught.

After being greeted by two Koopa football players who squash them, Bully explains that the football is actually an egg, and the egg is actually Luigi, and they're going to tell their dad about who they've captured!


Bowser's asleep, though, so Cheatsy is a brat and makes up his own responses. Kids. Tch.


So instead of actually doing what they've been trying to do to Mario for how many episodes, the Koopalings put them into a football game, with Mario and Yoshi versus the Koopalings and any other minion they can throw into the mix. But before we can actually get to the action, we're treated to Mario making a diagram of his tactics, only for it to be eavesdropped upon; Mario giving us a moral lesson on how winning or losing isn't important (completely ignoring the fact his brother's life is at stake); and of course, a year long speech by Bigmouth. After some pleasant words from Bully, maybe we can actually get to the game!


Okay wait no Mario complains about them being outnumbered first and Yoshi eats a football player, claiming they taste like sweatbands.


Now we can start! Except half of the game is spent on Mario complaining about the rule breaking, and it doesn't last very long before it turns into an awkward song time, where Mario and Yoshi catch the egg, crawl through a secret passage until they find a star, and then take a ridiculously high leap into the air and score a touchdown, only for Cheatsy to complain about the rule breaking. The irony!


Of course, not like they can just walk out with no trouble. One of the Koopaling's names is Cheatsy for God's sake.


Thankfully, the cave people managed to follow the footprints of the Koopa Kids and save the day by head butting every bad guy in sight, and our heroes escape back up the pipe. There, they look for the wand that transformed Luigi, and despite Mario considering it team work, all they do is walk in a straight line.


Cave man 1: Walks into a tree.


Cave man 2: Walks into a wall.


Cave man 3: Walks into a bush. Success!


Yoshi spits out the egg and Mario is handed the wand, although the cave people remember the rules of football and get the ball, but land on it just as Luigi is transformed back to his normal self. Oblivious to what they've been through, Luigi asks if he caught the ball. "What do you mean, catch the ball? You were the ball!" is his response.


Luigi's brain is promptly melted.

Gotta love how the ball completely shatters upon hitting the Magikoopa.


The whole teamwork moral is evident, but are they trying to teach something against breaking rules? Mario constantly complains about the Koopalings having terrible rules, but then he ends up going down the same path to score a touchdown. Is this meant to say that if other people break rules, join in? Or break a rule so they'll stop breaking more rules? See, it would make sense if it suggested that breaking rules can lead to more diversity and progress, but it doesn't at all.


I admire how King Koopa manages to sleep through the entire episode.