Live-Action Plot: The episode begins with the brothers basking in the greasy glow of bachelor living. Pizzas in various stages of digestion and decomposition litter the pad, and Luigi wields an NES controller (presumably playing one of the games in which he stars, yet fails to receive any royalty money from).
It is at this zenith of high class living that the Marios are rudely interrupted by a phone call from their intimidating mother: she’s coming over.
Mama Mario is an angry, nagging force for cleanliness and food safety. The Marios do their best to clean up before her arrival, but are forced to continue work while she’s there. It’s only after Luigi fakes a lottery win for his mother that she leaves.
Very Special Guest: Mama Mario is, of course, played by Lou Albano in drag. She looks an awful lot like cousin Marianne, but with a full mustache in place of that taped-up growth. To add to the groans, Mama talks like a clumsy female Vito Corleone impersonator.
Animated Plot: The brothers are biking across the dessert without a hint of complaint, despite the anti-biking stance Mario has taken in the past, when a living fireball interrupts. The guy claims Toad owes him 60 gold coins, and being the free-spending, heavy-gambling guy that he is, Toad takes him at his word. This instantly leads to the bros jumping into a bike race in the hopes of winning enough cash for Toad to dig his way out of his street debt.
Unsurprisingly, the race is a scam orchestrated by Koopa, and the other competitors are a rogues gallery of baddies past. The ordeal plays out with the Marios fighting off their rivals, and the royal couple getting kidnapped and then un-kidnapped. Oh, and it turns out the Fryguy who claimed Toad owed him money was a fake as well. How Toad failed to recognize this immediately leads me to question the mushroom’s competence as a government official.
Despite the whole thing being a scam, the race track is inhabited by a lone building, a fully operational pasta restaurant, unaffiliated with any bad-guy hijinks.
Horrible Stereotype Alert: This might just be a new high (low) point for the series. Expressions like “Mama Mia!” “leapin’ lasagna” and “whatsa matta you?” burst from every scene. The Marios live in an endless sea of greased up pizzas, and an aging Italian woman even boasts a mustache.