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The ? Block (also known as a Mystery Block, Prize Block, or Question Block) is a type of Block in the Mario franchise. Since their first appearance in Super Mario Bros., ? Blocks have become one of the most common Blocks in the series, along with Brick Blocks. ? Blocks are sometimes used as a symbol representing the Mario franchise.


A ? Block is a yellow block depicting a question mark. A ? Block and its question mark symbol is based on the fact that they can contain one of several items. Upon being hit, the ? Block releases a specific item, most often a Coin, but several can also release a power-up item, such as a Super Mushroom, and turns into an Empty Block afterward. If Mario or another playable character is in their Super form, ? Blocks that yield a Super Mushroom instead yield a different power-up, such as a Fire Flower or a Super Leaf, depending on both the game and level. As with other blocks, a character can also stand on a ? Block as a platform.

Hitting a ? Block requires Mario or another character to either jump from it below or throw a Koopa Shell at it. The former method is a lot more common, although the latter is required if a ? Block is on the ground, given that most of them appear in midair. In certain games, Ground Pounding onto a ? Block is another way of hitting it, and this results in the item emerging from below.

? Blocks with more than one Coin are named Coin Blocks, and invisible ones are named Hidden Blocks.

In Super Mario series[]

Super Mario Bros.[]

Question Block SMB sprite

? Blocks appear in as early as World 1-1. If Mario or Luigi are in their Super form, ? Blocks with a Super Mushroom release a Fire Flower instead. Certain ? Blocks reveal a Vine when jumped under, while certain others reveal a 1-Up Mushroom or a Starman. A Question Block has a slow flashing animation.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[]

? Blocks retain their design and function from Super Mario Bros.. However, some Question Blocks can be considered hazards because they release a Poison Mushroom, which damages Mario or Luigi upon contact.

Super Mario Bros. 3[]

Question Block SMB3 sprite

? Blocks make a reappearance. Given that more power-ups aside from Fire Flowers have been introduced, certain ? Blocks containing a Super Mushroom instead yield a different power-up, most commonly the Raccoon Leaf, if Mario or Luigi are in their Super form. Several Question Blocks still yield a Fire Flower while they are in this form. For its animation, a Question Block no longer flashes but rather shows its "?" scrolling sideways, coming out from the right side to transition back into the left side.

The Battle Game in the original Nintendo Entertainment System version features blue ? Blocks that can be kicked, and some of them contain a coin.

Giant Land features large ? Block variations named Large Question Blocks that function the same as regular ? Blocks.

Super Mario Land[]

Here, they are named Item Blocks. They function the same as before, although some Item Blocks release a Superball Flower if Mario is in his Super form. Item Blocks do not have any animation.

Super Mario World[]

Question Block SMW sprite

? Blocks retain their role from earlier Super Mario series installments. Certain Rotating Blocks act the same as ? Blocks. There are also winged variants called Flying Question Blocks, which are the same as Question Blocks except they have a pair of wings to fly around. A red variant with a different use can also be found in the game.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins[]

Question Block SML2 sprite

Question Blocks retain their role from previous Super Mario series installments. If Mario is in his Super form, certain Question Blocks release a Fire Flower, as before, while others can release a Carrot for the Bunny Mario transformation. Certain Question Blocks release a 1-Up Heart, the substitute for 1-Up Mushrooms in the game, or a Moneybag, the equivalent of fifty Coins.

Super Mario 64 DS[]

In Super Mario 64 DS, there are red Question Blocks which release either a Power Flower or a feather (which turns Mario into Wing Mario) once the ? Switch at the Tower of the Wing Cap is activated. Certain ones release a Feather, but only while playing as Mario.

New Super Mario Bros.[]

Question Blocks make a reappearance. This is the first 2D Super Mario series installment in which Mario or Luigi have the ability to Ground Pound onto a ? Block. Aside from some Question Blocks releasing a Super Mushroom (or Fire Flower if Mario or Luigi are in their Super form), a 1-Up Mushroom, or a Starman as before, some others reveal a Mini Mushroom, Mega Mushroom, or a Blue Shell, owing to the newly-introduced Mini Mario, Mega Mario, and Shell Mario transformations, respectively. A certain few Question Blocks reveal a Switch upon being hit.

Aside from regular Question Blocks, the game introduces a spiked variation with spikes on one side, known as a Spiked Question Block, found only in World 6-3. There is also a Red Flying Question Block, which can be found in whichever level it is seen flying over in the overworld.

Super Mario Galaxy[]

Question Block Galaxy

? Block artwork for Super Mario Galaxy

? Blocks no longer release a power-up item upon being hit, but instead usually release some Star Bits or sometimes a Coin like in earlier appearances. Some Question Blocks with Star Bits are functionally like Coin Blocks in that they release a Star Bit for each hit. ? Blocks disappear upon being used, and they cannot be activated via a Ground Pound.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[]

? Blocks function similarly to their appearance in Super Mario Galaxy, although ? Blocks that release one Star Bit per each hit do not return from Super Mario Galaxy.

Super Mario 3D Land[]

Question Blocks are functionally similar to their appearances in the 2D Super Mario games. There is a type of Question Block named the ? Box, which Mario or Luigi can wear on their head to obtain Coins as they move around.

Blokkabloks, a type of enemy debuting in the game, have a few body segments that are Question Blocks with a single spike on top.

Super Mario Run[]

The ? Block appears as a Special building. The player can buy the ? Block at the shop for 100 coins. If the player places the ? Block in the Mushroom Kingdom, the player can touch the ? Block. The ? Block may contain coins or Rally Tickets.

In Mario Kart series[]

Super Mario Kart[]

Regular ? Blocks do not appear, but they have a variation named ? Panel that lies flat on the ground, and racers can collect an item from these. Since Mario Kart 64, ? Panels have been replaced with Item Boxes.

Mario Kart Wii[]

Question Blocks make a few background appearances. In Coconut Mall, Question Blocks appear to be one of the items sold in the shop Delfino Dream, as well as Coco Burger. In Grumble Volcano, there are giant Question Blocks on some of the sinking mountains, along with regular Brick Blocks. In Moonview Highway, Question Blocks (depicting their New Super Mario Bros. artwork) appear on two different types of Green Fuel sponsor graphics; one of these graphics has a border made up of Question Blocks, save for the Green Fuel logo in the upper center.

In Donkey Kong (Game Boy)[]

Question Blocks make a background appearance during the ending in an area reminiscent of an overworld level in Super Mario Bros..

In Paper Mario series[]

Paper Mario[]

Question Blocks are first shown after the veranda collapses. The first Question Block found by Mario cannot be hit unless he has acquired the Hammer, which is required to hit Question Blocks. The first Question Block releases a coin upon being hit.

Aside from coins, Question Blocks may dispel items such as Sleepy Sheep or others which can be used during battle.

Red Question Blocks also make an appearance. The first one is found in Goomba Road, and it releases a Close Call badge.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door[]

Question Blocks appear and function the same as its predecessor.

Super Paper Mario[]

Question Blocks function like in the Super Mario series.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star[]

Question Blocks appear in many places and always release a Sticker. In some stages like Ice Flow and Shy Guy Jungle, you can press Y button to place sticker inside a red box. They will multiply, upgrade and if you placed a sticker like Flashy Infinijump, it downgrades. The Flashy Infinijump can be obtained by placing the Flashy Clone Jump sticker, but sometimes it has no effect.

In Mario & Luigi series[]

Question Blocks are found on the overworld throughout the series. Jumping underneath one can give Mario and Luigi coins or another item, usually a healing item.

In WarioWare series[]

WarioWare: Smooth Moves[]

In level 1 of the microgame On the Edge, if the player has to trace out a square and does so successfully, a graphic of an upscaled Question Block sprite from Super Mario Bros. is displayed, along with a sound effect from Super Mario World of a power-up item being revealed from a Question Block.

A Question Block also appears in Levels 2 and 3 of the Super Mario Brothers microgame. Here, the object is for Mario to hit the Question Blocks as he moves under them automatically.

In Mario Party series[]

Certain modes in one of the Nintendo 3DS Mario Party games, either Mario Party: Island Tour, Mario Party: Star Rush, or Mario Party: The Top 100, feature Question Blocks as a type of space.

In Super Mario Party, there is a tissue box resembling a ? Block in the background of the minigame Sizzling Stakes. In Strike it Rich, the object is jump to ? Blocks in rhythm.

Crossover appearances[]

Super Smash Bros. series[]

? Blocks appear in certain Mario stages throughout the Super Smash Bros. series. Hitting a ? Block does not necessarily cause it to release a Mario item, but typically one of the game's items. In some stages, a ? Block is more likely to release a Mario item upon being hit.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[]

Question Blocks appear alongside Brick Blocks in the Mushroom Kingdom stage. Hitting a Question Block causes it to release and item and then disappear.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[]

Question Block Mushroomy Kingdom W1-1 SSBB

A Question Block in the World 1-1 portion of the Mushroomy Kingdom stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Question Blocks are found in both the World 1-1 and World 1-2 portions of the Mushroomy Kingdom stage. Here, they appear realistic, like the stage in general, as well as realistic and withered, with cracks and a metal border. Unlike Super Smash Bros. Melee, jumping under a Question Block turns it into an Empty Block, which would also become the case for subsequent Super Smash Bros. series titles. Whenever Mushroomy Kingdom loops, any of the Question Blocks hit reset to normal.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS[]

Question Blocks appear in two newly introduced stages, 3D Land and Super Mario Maker, and return alongside the Mushroomy Kingdom stage, acting the same as before. In 3D Land, Question Blocks more often release a Super Leaf, a signature power-up of Super Mario 3D Land, whereas Question Blocks in Super Mario Maker are more likely to release a Mario item in general.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[]

Question Blocks return in the Super Mario Maker stage, acting the same as in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[]

Question Blocks appear in two returning stages, Mushroomy Kingdom and 3D Land, functioning the same as in each stage's original iteration.

Mario & Sonic series[]

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii)[]

In Dream Figure Skating, Question Blocks are shown in the New Super Mario Bros.-based background during the first segment.

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Nintendo 3DS)[]

? Blocks appear in Golf Plus, where they can be hit with a golf ball to obtain a number of Star Coins. Upon being hit, a Question Block turns into an Empty Block.

List of contents[]


Hat mario For ? Block's in-game
statistics, click here.


Hat mario To view ? Block's
image gallery, click here.