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At times, Pikmin will make a reference to another piece of media, normally within the same company, Nintendo. These nods to other franchises can range from subtle to obvious, and their discovery is a small entertainment reward for savvy and attentive fans. The Mario series is the most commonly referenced one. For the sake of completion, references that are ambiguous but mostly agreed upon by the community will be included in this article as well.
- Olimar's Japanese name, オリマー?, is an anagram of Mario. To fit in with this reference, Louie was given that name to resemble Luigi.
- Pokos resemble coins from the Mario series.
- The name Hocotate comes from Nintendo of Japan's headquarters address, 11-1, Kamitoba-hokotate-cho, and Koppai comes from Nintendo's founding name, "Nintendo Koppai".
Some treasures contain cameos of other Nintendo series. These include:
|Cosmic Archive||The Mysterious Murasame Castle||The Mysterious Murasame Castle||The treasure is a Japanese Famicom disk with the game Nazo no Murasame Jō, otherwise known as The Mysterious Murasame Castle.|
|Decorative Goo||Mario||Mario Paint||Like the Master's Instrument, this treasure belongs to the fictional brand "Mario Paints".|
|Dream Architect||Game and Watch||Ball||This treasure is actually a Game and Watch game, Ball, the first one in the series.|
|Flame of Tomorrow||Mario||Bowser||The matchbox exhibits the text "Bowser Breath Brand" and has a picture of Bowser. The choice was made because of Bowser's iconic fire breath.|
|Growshroom||Mario||Super Mushroom||According to Olimar's journal and the sales pitch, eating the mushroom will make a person grow in size, much like how Mario characters grow when collecting Super Mushrooms.|
|Implement of Toil||N/A||Nintendo 64||The pencil belongs to a "brand" named Nintendo 64, after the console.|
|Master's Instrument||Mario||Mario Paint, Princess Peach||The treasure says "Mario Paints" on it, with a font type and color scheme similar to the one used in most Mario games, and references the game of the almost identical name. The text "Peach Pink" refers to Princess Peach and her characteristic color, pink.|
|Remembered Old Buddy||N/A||R.O.B.||The treasure is actually a R.O.B. head, a product released by Nintendo as an accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In addition, the gyro block-related treasures are gyros to be used with R.O.B.|
|Talisman of Life||N/A||Nintendo||The treasure is a case of Nintendo's Daitouryou hanafuda cards.|
|The Key||Mario||Key||The key highly resembles the key used in the secret entrances in Super Mario World, and later, the locked rooms in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.|
|Unspeakable Wonder||Mario||Princess Peach||The crown treasure looks identical to the crown used by Princess Peach in the Mario games.|
- The fact that Armored Cannon Beetle Larvae (which are green) shoot linear boulders, and the Decorated Cannon Beetles (which are red) shoot homing boulders could be a nod to how green shells and red shells work in the Mario Kart series: green shells go straight, whilst red ones home in on opponents.
During the introduction cutscene, when the diagram shows the S.S. Drake being gravity assisted by a celestial body (likely Koppai's moon), a faint chiptune-like sound effect plays. This sound is actually the walking sound for Mario on the NES port of Mario Bros.. In addition, when the cutscene shows a diagram of the Drake exploding and the three leaders scattering, a jingle similar in retro nature can also be heard. This one is actually the sound byte that plays when a player lets the ducks fly away in Duck Hunt.
- On the cutscene after Alph and Brittany first communicate via the KopPad, Alph notices some growling sounds and stashes away his KopPad. When he puts the device away, a sound similar to the one that plays when the player puts something in their pocket in the Animal Crossing series can be heard.
- In the Twilight River, the main pipe that connects the two sections of the map, and the tilted flower pot near the section with the clipboards are quite similar to the Warp Pipes from the Mario franchise. For the latter, one might need to use the KopPad's camera to see it well.
- The SPEROs have some Koppaite text on their lens' frames. This text, , means "Automatic Ultrascope", and is a reference to the Japanese name of a periscope toy released by Nintendo in 1971.
Pikmin Short Movies
Treasure in a Bottle
- When the Red Pikmin notices the size and details of the bottle, a song similar to Also Sprach Zarathustra plays.
- The bottom of the bottle has Nintendo written on it.
- When the Pikmin are exploring some tubes laid down on the ground, several Mario references can be spotted.
- A Yellow Pikmin pulls out a mushroom similar to the the ones in the Mario series or a Spotcap.
- One Pikmin comes out of a tube that resembles a Warp Pipe far more than the others do.
- Coins come out of the previous pipe after it comes into view, accompanied by their sound effect from Super Mario Bros..
- The "pipe entered" sound from the same game can be heard straight after the coins come out.
- A Red Pikmin appears with dust on its face, making it resemble Mario.
- When that Pikmin jumps out, the "jumping" sound effect from Super Mario Bros. plays, along with the main theme from the same game.
- When the Pikmin land safely on top of the unconscious Bulborb after the backhoe's bucket lifts them all up, one Pikmin bumps into another, and the "shell kicked" sound effect from Super Mario Bros. plays.
- At the start of the 14th level, "Out of the Darkness", one can see a castle that resembles the ones in Super Mario Bros..
- Pikmin in other media
- Easter eggs
- Treasure Hoard – some treasures are real-world items that use real-world brands.
- YouTube video featuring the Pikmin 3 introduction cutscene, with the Mario Bros. walking being heard (at 01:02)
- YouTube video of Mario Bros. gameplay; Mario's walking sound can be heard through most of it
- YouTube video of the cutscene, with the Duck Hunt failure jingle being heard (at 01:35)
- YouTube video of Duck Hunt gameplay, with the player letting a duck fly away (at 07:23)