Princess Toadstool for President - After Mario and Luigi stop Bowser's flock of giant Paragoombas from causing a famine in the Mushroom Kingdom, the Princess challenges King Koopa to run against her in a fair election. Kooky realizes he has no chance of winning, but he fortunately has just invented a Nice-Guy Potion, which makes Bowser much more pleasant. Looks like Bowser and John McCain have the same campaign strategy of being hopped up on drugs whenever they make speeches. When the Mario Brothers find out about the potion, they travel to Castle Koopa to dispose of the next batch. I wonder if that would count as sabotage, or if personality-changing potions are against the rules of Mushroom Kingdom elections. Anyway, Bowser loses the election by a vote of over six million to one, and gets mad that even his own kids didn't vote for him. I'm kind of surprised they'd be able to vote at all, seeing as how they're not citizens, and are quite possibly still minors. But then, we don't really know how elections work in that kingdom, do we? I do find it interesting that, at the beginning, the Princess tells Bowser, "There's an election coming up," so despite being a monarchy, there must be some elected offices in the kingdom (perhaps local ones).
Never Koop a Koopa - After we see the Dark Land map with the Grass Land music playing, the plot begins with the Mario gang having a meal of spaghetti and wine outside Toad's house. I guess we don't know for sure that it's wine, but that's what it looks like. But then, it also looks like King Hippo drinks an entire six-pack of beer near the beginning of "The Trouble with Tetris," but the makers of the show would probably say it was soda or something. Incidentally, in the Captain SNES webcomic, King Hippo is an alcoholic. Anyway, the Mario team's meal is interrupted by Bowser and a few of his kids, claiming that they're leaving the Mushroom Kingdom forever, and giving the Princess the key to Castle Koopa. Luigi realizes that they're up to something (no wonder I like him better than Mario; he's actually able to spot the obvious), but the Princess is naive enough to think they might be telling the truth, and says she wants to turn the castle into a retirement home for elderly Mushroom People. She and Mario enter the castle, and are soon ambushed by Thwomps and Ptooies. I appreciate the rock crumbling off the lead Thwomp, and the Princess holding up her dress while she runs. They're nice bits of attention to detail in an episode that's mostly very shoddily animated. I mean, there's one scene where Cheatsy's snout keeps changing color for no reason. Anyway, Mario and the Princess end up falling into a trapdoor to the dungeon, and when Luigi and Toad go in to investigate (they'd been waiting outside on a motorboat), the Sledge Brothers throw them in as well. When her friends are threatened with Bob-Ombs, Peach agrees to turn over her kingdom to Bowser if he moves the prisoners to the throne room, brings in his court photographers (who turn out to be Goombas; I wonder how they activate their cameras without hands), and dresses up for the occasion (which turns out to mean that he wears a red cape). Cheatsy adds an extra twist by trying to get the Princess to sign the kingdom over to him instead, but Peach tricks him by drawing a face on the scroll instead of actually signing it. The group uses Super Leaves to escape the castle, and we learn that Toad and the Princess are capable of using raccoon power.
Dadzilla - After being grounded by Bowser, Kootie Pie decides that he's not her real dad, and she and Big Mouth go to Hollywood to find their real father. (This might well be the only episode with Big Mouth in a major role where he doesn't make any long speeches.) As it turns out, they're filming a movie about Madzilla, a Godzilla rip-off played by a giant robot. Thinking that Madzilla is their real dad, the Koopalings bring him to life with their magic wands. The newly-animated Madzilla is quite naive, and is willing to do whatever the Koopalings say. The Mario gang shows up to stop them, but the giant lizard and the Koopas trap them inside a storage shed. Luckily for them, the shed contains a lot of old monster movie props, and they manage to make their own robot of Madzilla's mom. Mario controls the robot, and scares the Koopalings away by threatening to make them take naps and do chores. He and his friends then reveal the deception to Madzilla, and give him a new home in Giant Land.
Tag Team Trouble - This was the first episode of this cartoon I ever saw, and I remember my brother pointing out where all the different tunes they used originated. It starts out with Toad delivering a bag of a million gold coins to the local orphanage. Hey, didn't they already get a bunch of money to save the orphanage in "Mario and the Beanstalk"? The Mushroom Kingdom must have a lot of orphans, or perhaps a crooked director who squanders away most of the funds. Toad falls asleep on the doorstep of the orphanage, and the director takes the money, but Toad assumes it's been stolen. Wanting to replace the money without having to admit that he failed, he convinces his muscular cousins to wrestle in a tag team tournament, with a million gold coins as the grand prize. Bowser is also intent on winning the prize money, however, and gets Cheatsy to hypnotize Toad's cousins into sleeping for two more days. Mario and Luigi agree to fill in for them, and there follows a montage of the brothers working out, with an irritating song playing in the background. The workout scenes themselves are kind of amusing, though, showing Luigi jumping rope on note blocks, and both brothers running through a pipe and up a pyramid in Desert Land. The match opens with the "you're running out of time" music from the game, which is a nice touch. Between Cheatsy's booby traps and the fact that the opposing team is the Sledge Brothers, though, the Marios don't look like they stand a chance. Fortunately, the Princess finds some stars (they're apparently allowed under the rules of the Mushroom Wrestling Federation), and they easily knock out the Sledge Brothers. Toad delivers the prize money to the orphanage, and finds out that they'd already gotten the last bag. Oh, what an ironic twist! Wait, that's not irony, just a typical stupid cartoon gag about the plot of the episode wasn't really necessary. I hope the orphanage put those two million gold coins to good use. I mean, hey, with that kind of money, you could get 20,000 extra lives!