Mario Kart Characters Ranked in Terms of Queerness

Super Mario Kart on the Super NES was my childhood jam. I could never get into sports or racing games, as they were too intense and I preferred watching my older brother play them anyway. But Mario Kart was cute and bright and controlled perfectly and had a perfect learning curve so that novices and experts alike could find infinite replay value. Its multiplayer was also one of the best.

I always played as Toad or Yoshi, which I didn’t know at the time was because I was gay! Or it turned me gay; it’s not clear which. Some Mario Kart characters are more queer than others, and over the many years and 10+ games we’ve had plenty of opportunity to speculate about their IDs.

Note: I’m not including every character here. I’ve taken out the baby and children characters, for obvious reasons (they’ll grow into their queerness eventually, let’s give them space). I also took out characters that only appeared in one game, were alternate costumes/colorways of other characters, or about whom I couldn’t find something funny to say. Also, canon is utilized when convenient. Please disagree with me (and tag yourselves!) in the comments!

19. Mario

Mario is a cis, straight, white dude. I just remember when Mario teamed up with Bowser, Peach’s consistent kidnapper and abuser, in Super Mario RPG and Peach was like, “WTF?” and Mario just shrugged. He plays golf and soccer and races karts with Bowser like every weekend. Sounds like a straight guy thing to do.

18. Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong seems like a frat bro, honestly.

17. Daisy

I don’t know much about Daisy; she is pretty but seems like she has no personality, which reminds me of a lot of straight women I know? Her only real plot point is she’s a potential love interest of Luigi’s. OK.

16. Shy Guy

Aww, don’t we all know a shy guy? He grew up in the midwest and never got a chance to be “out and proud” or whatever, so he’s really timid and wears a mask (THE MASK IS A METAPHOR)!

15. Bowser

Bowser is a late-in-life elder gay. He kidnaps Peach because he wants a mother for his child (Bowser Jr.) from a previous partner. In later games, especially the RPGs, he has become much more of his flamboyant self and isn’t as macho as he used to be when he was straight-acting. Also Mario outed him in SM 64 with “So long, Gay Bowser!” Which is a dick move.

14. Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is also a late-in-life gay with a child from his early days (DK Jr. is actually either his father or his son depending on which timeline you subscribe to… yeah).

13. Koopa Troopa

Koopa Troopa is a trans guy who joined the military out of high school for lack of gainful employment options in the Mushroom Kingdom but was dishonorably discharged during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. :(

12. Peach

Peach is a high femme pillow princess. In Super Smash bros she slaps her opponents around with her white gloves, a frying pan, or her umbrella, which, yes. She has no qualms about requiring Mario to rescue her over and over and giving him nothing but a kiss on the cheek in return, because she deserves better than his basic ass.

11. Funky Kong

Just look at this guy. He’s clearly the gay cousin of the Kong clan, and is “the best dancer on the island” according to Wikipedia, so.

10. Toadette

Toadette is actually Toad in drag. Don’t @ me.

9. Lakitu

Lakitu is a nerdy but sweet pansexual who hopelessly crushes on straight girls and other cuties from her vantage point behind a stack of books in the library.

8. Wario

Wario is a messy, sassy, playful polyamorous bottom. Though he works out constantly and is ripped (look at those arms!), he’s a sweetie who loves playing games and pranks and subverting masculine stereotypes. He’s actually really sensitive about being considered the villain all these years, because he’s really a fun guy (and gets a lot of mileage out of that pun, considering it’s the Mushroom Kingdom after all). “Hot stuff, baby!” Is his catchphrase according to the Wikia Mario Villain’s Wiki. Just putting that out there.

7. Rosalina

Rosalina is a bisexual hard femme top. She’s tall and cut like an MMA fighter. Look at her white and seafoam leather motorcycle getup. She’s a pro domme. I could easily see her being in the front of the pack for Dykes on Bikes.

6. Birdo

Birdo is a trans woman, and not just in my head but legitimately in the Mario CANON. She is arguably the first trans video game character of all time, and as such is a TRUE TRANS ICON.

5. Waluigi

Waluigi is an ace andro nonbinary person who presents slightly masculine of center. They’re totally comfortable not being in the spotlight and are happy to just be included! Wahhhh!

4. Toad

Toad is a femme vers twink. Obviously.

3. Yoshi

Yoshi is a tender non-binary lesbian. They’re always there for their friends even though they get much less fanfare and are constantly used and then discarded by the more mainstream bunch.

2. Luigi

Luigi is a sweet trans demisexual switch. Luigi jumps higher than their brother but Mario’s the one famous for jumping, which, I know that feel, Lu. I’m a sweetie but would be salty at my mistreatment and have a death stare once in a while too.

1. Mii

The queerest one is you, the player! You are beautiful and important and super gay. I see you.

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Abeni Jones

Abeni Jones is a trans woman of color artist, educator, writer, and designer living in the Bay Area, CA.

Abeni has written 91 articles for us.


  1. strong disagree with the placement of daisy in this list! she’s definitely queerer than peach at LEAST. aside from that though YES. frat bro diddy kong is accurate af and i don’t know how i didn’t see that before!

    • Ok tbh I haven’t played much Mario kart since the n64 (oops!) and a lil mk8… so all I know about Daisy is that she was rescued in the game boy games…

      Well, she can be super queer in your head canon I guess ☺️ I just don’t know about her!

    • Yeah seconded about Daisy.

      She’s sassy af, and in that motorcycle jumpsuit (which is how I always play her) the QUEEREST. :D

  2. Abeni, I love this. It’s so timely, too, because I was able to get an SNES Classic by dumb luck last holiday season and Mario Kart has been probably my most-played game out of the list. I’ve never tried Super Mario RPG but it’s on there, so I look forward to the chance. I have to laugh because I am a hardcore Luigi player. Literally almost never race with any other character, and especially not Mario, even though they have identical handling (as do Toad and Koopa Troopa, DK Jr. and Bowser, and Yoshi and Princess in the first one). It’s always been Luigi.

    It’s funny, too, because in college my friends and I would play Super Smash Bros. Melee for hours on end. A lot of them were really good and would use “top tier” (read: fast and light) characters like Fox, Zelda/Sheik, and Marth. Me? Luigi, baby! Because Luigi had a DRAGON PUNCH that would set you on fire if it hit just right. Eat your heart out, Ryu. I probably used Link just as often, though. I’m all about having tons of equipment on hand.

  3. THIS. I agree that Daisy should be higher up (at least that’s my hope!) but otherwise it seems accurate af. Toad, Yoshi, and Shy Guy are my standard picks, too!

  4. I’m either a Lakitu or a Yoshi. This list is awesome! Thank you for making it, Abeni!

  5. Welp. I always played as Luigi or Waluigi so this confirms my queerness above all else.

  6. Nintendo canon has always described Daisy as a tomboy, so idk why she’s so low on this list.

    • Hmmmmm when my very cursory research of canon fails I’ll just point out that I used canon when convenient and threw it out when it wasn’t lol!

      Or say that tomboyness does not equal queerness or something I dunno.

  7. re: super queer head canon Daisy, I think maybe she just hasn’t realized that she’s super queer yet! Like, if she went to A-Camp I think she would very quickly realize YES THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.

    I love this post so much. <3

  8. I always felt super boring for having Toad as my regular because you sacrifice all the acceleration and top speed for control but honestly I also just always thought Toad was non-binary and that’s my jam.

  9. Why is King Boo not on this list?!
    I’m greatly looking forward to the inevitable queer Pokemon and queer Animal Crossing villagers lists.

  10. I almost always play as Rosalina; that turquoise biker getup is 100% certified dyke bait ?

  11. I used to play some Mario kart game where you got to have 2 players, so I always played as Toad and Toadette, mostly because their team name was the Zoomin Shrooms and as a young aspiring psychonaut I thought this was absolutely hilarious.
    Nowadays my favorite is Wario bc like me he is fun and fat!

  12. Another one for the ‘Daisy is def gay’ squad. Mario’s description made me SCREAM though. Sounds like a straight guy thing to do, indeed.

  13. i’ve been playing various versions of mario kart since approximately 1998 and i have never played as any character other than Toad or Yoshi.

  14. This makes no sense at all…
    For one I’m not queer, Birdo has been retconned and literally every character here is straight or nothing. Luigi isn’t trans and he likes Daisy. What is wrong with you???

    • There have been at least a handful of “Luigi is a crossdresser” gags in various games and comics, though I’m not sure how canon any of them are. This has resulted in some fans headcanoning Luigi as a closeted trans woman, particularly since it’s implied that he’d love to be able to use toadette’s super crown (which causes the user to turn into a semi-clone of Princess Peach) but can’t. He could *just* be a crossdresser, though, and that’s okay too… though Nintendo treating it like a joke is something of an issue, regardless.

      Birdo is a case of “nope, no take-backsies, Birdo has long been a trans icon and no amount of retconning will change that.”

      In my opinion we should probably let Daisy be a straight tomboy icon, though. Not everything has to be LGBTQ+, and there aren’t enough of those.

  15. The top 2 should be Toad and Toadette, your list is trash because of that

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