In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Sunday (or when I’m feeling spicy) I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community from a Latina perspective. Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
P.S. I, Lyra Hale, do not give any site permission to copy or repost my work in any form. If you are reading this on any site besides Fangirlish, it has been stolen.
The world of Super Mario Bros. has been part of my life as long as I can remember. It’s like the movie Inside Out where they have core memories that define them. The classic music reminds me of long nights with a blanket over my head trying to pretend I was sleeping while playing to the wee hours of the night. Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina taught me you could look cute while still being a baddie. And I always wanted a yoshi or a goomba. Point is, Super Mario Bros. has been part of me for ages. But even then, I somehow missed that people ship Luigi and Bowser.
This discovery happened in the land of TikTok. The Super Mario Bros. Movie invigorated the Super Mario Bros. fandom and I was expecting simping over Peach, throwing shade at Chris Pratt‘s non-existent accent, or renditions of Bowser’s “Peaches” song. But no. What I got instantly got was a video of an artist remaking the infamous Beauty and the Beast scene but with Luigi being Belle and Bowser being the Beast. And to say I was shocked was an understatement when I saw the comments asking for a fanfiction just like this and people responding with, “Oh don’t you worry. There’s a fic just like that!”
It’s here. It’s called Luigi and the Beast by DracotheDeathEatingCupcake. You’re welcome and please tell me how it is.
The point being, I shouldn’t be surprised that people are shipping Luigi and Bowser, or lovingly known in the community as Bowuigi. This is the internet we’re talking about and there is legit a fic about Hermione from that property that shall not be named having a child with a dementor, multiple fics of Frozen‘s Elsa and Anna falling in love, and Derek Hale from Teen Wolf having “complicated” feelings about Stiles jeep. Like, it’s weird out there people. But even then, I was caught by surprise, but oh so fucking intrigued, by Bowuigi. So I spiraled on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. And my FYP is fucked.
So here’s what I found.
For one thing, people have been simping for this ship and frothing at the mouth as soon as the trailer dropped.
And other people were ready for the sweet sweet fanart that always comes along with a ship.
With The Super Mario Bros. Movie here, you better believe people delivered.
And look, I’m not going to lie, some of it looks cute. But dear lord I was not ready to look back at my entire life playing Super Mario Bros. Had I missed the signs?! Was I a fool for not noticing their love?! Because they’ve known each other for ages with Bowser consistently getting into fights with Mario and kidnapping Peach. And of course, Luigi is involved. It’s his brother and friend in danger after all. But could Bowser have meant something more by calling Luigi “green stache”? Was Bowser bugging Mario because he was trying to get Luigi’s attention? So many questions! But I think I know why people are shipping Luigi and Bowser. Two reasons actually.
One: it’s a perfect enemies-to-lovers. Luigi has spent ages battling Bowser without getting to know him or understanding his motivations. That’s the perfect material for shippers to expand on to create situations where they get to see the “real” versions of each other. Then the tropes come out. Meet cutes, sharing one bed, and the most important…FORBIDDEN LOVE! Mario wouldn’t approve of Luigi’s relationship with Bowser because of his actions aka causing trouble and kidnapping Peach. So it’s the yearning and not getting what you so desperately want that (again) is perfect material for shippers to lose their minds over.
This is why they ship.
And the reason why they’re so out and proud is … monsterfucking has boomed in the past couple of years. Shippers who like monsterfucking have been around for ages. i.e. tentacles in anime. And it’s been a taboo subject seen with disgust and plenty of side-eying. Now that the internet has grown into what it is today, people from different corners of the world have realized they have similar interests and are not alone in wanting a thick scaly daddy to sweep them off their feet. That has led to The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert, The Orc from the Office by Kate Prior, Stalked by the Boogie Man by Siggy Shade, Deceived by the Gargoyles by Lillian Lark, and the immensely popular Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon. Basically, people feel liberated in 2023 to let their freak flag as they should.
Combine these two key factors together and I’m starting to wonder, “Why haven’t I started shipping Bowuigi sooner? Did I just convince myself in this editorial?” But that’s a cross I will have to bear and analyze on my lonesome while staring out the window and questioning my life and the choices I make. But honestly, I hope that this post gives readers perspective on this ship. Because it might be weird to some, but it’s not hurting anyone or breaking any laughs. Instead, it’s just two headstrong personalities that creatives have connected with and continue to explore to this day through fics, art, and more.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theaters.
What do you think of Bowuigi? Do you ship it? Don’t be shy. Tell me in the comments below!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Sunday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)