Birdo's Secret Past

January 23, 2006 By R. LeFeuvre

While the tale I'm going to tell you is certainly not anything new, it's interesting enough to be brought up now and again for the benefit of those not 'in the know': Birdo started "her" life out as a video game character a bit differently than you know "her" now.

Namely, popular belief has it that Birdo is the first transgendered video game character (there's obviously no official comment from Nintendo on this.) Why? How!? Well, let's flip through his past, through the pages of old instruction manuals and game art.

His first appearance was made in the US/UK release of Super Mario Bros. 2. He was found as an end level 'boss' and fired eggs out of his mouth. Here is his description as found in the instruction book

Note: The book swapped Birdo's and Ostro's names in the manual, Ostro is actually the ostrich that Shy Guys are often found riding. However, the description is obviously still meant for Birdo.

So during the adventures of SMB2, Birdo was most definitely a he. Birdo simply aspired for a different lifestyle.

Let's advance through time.... to Mario Tennis, Birdo's first chance to reappear in a Nintendo game.

Well, she kept her name, but she changed other things! Namely, he's now officially a she! Also, now that she is a woman, she also get's the steortypical 'agility' attribute.

But let's not stop there. Birdo, now comfortable with her life, has decided to seek love.

You think Yoshi is aware of Birdo's past?

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#1 Otherland Jan 23, 2006 06:01am

She goes for younger men apparently

#2 hobbie Jan 23, 2006 06:03am

Maybe this explains why Yoshi 'allows' the Mario Brothers to ride him

#3 Servo Jan 23, 2006 11:04am

There's no mystery going on here. It's actually quite simple: Birdo is a protoandrous hermaphrodite. Whether this is due to environmentally controlled sex determination or some phylogenetic constraint is a matter for Nintendo to decide.

I suggest a letter be written to clarify the issue.

#4 w3a2 Jan 23, 2006 05:10pm

hmmmm, and i thought pokemon was the first franchise to promote cross-genderism

#5 Dublyner Jan 23, 2006 06:48pm

Heh, VGCats speculated on this one back in 2003.

#6 professor_scissors Jan 28, 2006 09:52pm

I'm guessing Servo is a biology major.

Just guessing here.

#7 yoshidragon Aug 16, 2006 03:22pm

You guys are all idiots!! Nintendo officially said that Birdo being a boy was a mistake in the SMB2 manual. So forget that Birdo was ever a he! Why does she wear eyeshadow and mascara in excess? Well she's ugly because of her mouth and desperate for love and known to be slutty, Yoshi has been the only one who got close to liking her. That's why she's been added her characteristic accesories to give her more appeal like her big ring and bow. Except for that stupid manual, in every other game she has been referred to as a girl. So get with the program! Birdo is NOT a guy and neither is she a transexual!

#8 Fiddytree Aug 16, 2006 03:29pm

yoshidragon wrote:
Birdo is NOT a guy and neither is she a transexual!

That's what they want you to think

#9 D. Riley Aug 16, 2006 03:33pm

The Japanese have a long standing history of transexualism in videogames.

Exhibit A:

#10 hobbie Aug 16, 2006 05:32pm

You forgot Bridget!

#11 Kamikaze Aug 16, 2006 06:19pm

yoshidragon wrote:
You guys are all idiots!! Nintendo officially said that Birdo being a boy was a mistake in the SMB2 manual.

"He thinks he is a girl"

So, that was supposed to be "she thinks she is a girl"? Ok, that makes sense!

also, Bridget is hot

#12 R. LeFeuvre Aug 16, 2006 09:31pm

You know yoshidragon, just because you find a fictional once-male dinosaur totally freaking sexy doesn't mean you have to hide behind these lies.

She's post-op, it's cool.

#13 yoshidragon Aug 23, 2006 03:26pm

*glares at R.Lefeuvre* Did I say she's sexy? NO! So don't put words in my mouth, dumbass. Maybe it's you who finds her freakingly sexy. If all of you don't believe me, see it for yourselves on wikipedia! This level of ignorance surprises me....

To Kamikaze: the whole bio is wrong....

#14 R. LeFeuvre Aug 23, 2006 04:26pm

Two things: One, when I orginally wrote this either Nintendo hadn't reconned the issue away or the Wikipedia wasn't up to date because it was still a common belief (even on the Wikipedia) that "she" was one of the first transgender characters in video games. Two, I really don't care what Nintendo says now about the whole thing as I was just harmlessly commenting on some funny shit in an old manual.

It was printed. It exists. It's hilarious! I'm just having some fun. Loosen up.

#15 Fiddytree Aug 23, 2006 04:34pm

yoshidragon wrote:
Did I say she's sexy? NO!

Pfft, then there must be something wrong with you. I'd hit it.

#16 w3a2 Aug 23, 2006 07:16pm

see it for yourselves on wikipedia


#17 Fiddytree Aug 23, 2006 11:44pm

w3a2 wrote:
see it for yourselves on wikipedia


Someone hasn't seen colbert's segment on Wikiality =D

#18 JackTafardy Dec 3, 2006 01:04am

Great piece, but I would just like to make a correction. Mario Tennis is not Birdo's first appearance since Mario Bros. 2. He/She appeared as a boss in Super Mario RPG. However, I don't believe his/her gender was specified in this game.

#19 Anonymous Nov 24, 2007 08:39pm

Birdo Showed up in Wario Woods before Super Mario RPG

#20 mdizzle187 Jul 1, 2008 04:00pm

Birdo is A boy that wants to be A girl, they were pretty specific about that in the manual. The original green yoshi we all know and love says its a boy.....but even snake from metal gear questions this in ssbb. I think that birdo is A transexual boy and yoshi is A transexual girl who have A relationship together......which is pretty weird and nasty......

#21 Anonymous Jan 1, 2009 11:22pm

Birdo is freaking ugly! She is SOOO NOT sexy!!! Anybody who THINKS shes SEXY must be a total computer geek/video-game freak. You must see her differently than I do because to me, she is a prissy hooker!

#22 peachanddaisyhater Jan 1, 2009 11:27pm


#23 Dr. Wong Feb 15, 2009 11:59pm

In the japanese version of every game birdo was in her name was Catherine, and she is consistently stated as being a male who either thinks or wishes he was female.
The manual for the relatively new Mario Super sluggers also uses the pronoun "He" to describe birdo, even in the english version.

#24 velcro13 Mar 24, 2009 11:18am

Well... if you go on http://mariostrikers.nintendo.co.uk/

and you skip intro, go onto "strikers" and then "sidekicks" and look up Birdo. The name is referred to twice as "he".

So. That summs things all up i suppose then, ey?