Special Attacks first appear in the game Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Bowser, Mario and Luigi are able to use these, which each special attack using a certain amount of Special Points, or SP. Special Attacks even have a menu section in the Star Menu, where the player can watch demos and practice the attacks.
Mario and Luigi's Attacks
Mario and Luigi both use a total of ten Special Attacks throughout the game. To obtain a Special Attack, Mario and Luigi need to collect ten Attack Pieces. They can be obtained from special Attack Piece Blocks and completing various sidequests. All ten of Mario and Luigi's Special Attacks are shown in the table below (Note: When using an attack with a Tight Belt, the SP cost is reduced in half):
|Green Shell||3||Trash Pit||The Mario brothers kick a green Koopa Shell toward the target.||Single (changes targets if you kill the target)|
|Fire Flower||4||Pump Works||The Mario brothers enter their Fire Forms and toss fireballs at their foes.||All (random)||Can burn enemies.|
|Jump Helmet||6||Flab Zone||Luigi charges a foe with a golden Koopa Shell on his head. On this shell is a spring. Mario bounces on this spring as the bros. make their way to the target.||Single|
|Yoo Who Cannon||7||Toad Town||The Mario brothers hide in barrel cannons that shoot them towards the foes, allowing them to kick the enemies.||All (random; maximum 8)|
|Super Bouncer||7||Energy Hold||Luigi boards the Super Bouncer and tries to move to the bouncer's top as Mario throws it high up. When Luigi lands on his target, press B to strike. This attack CAN hit spiny foes.||All (random; maximum 8)||Can stun enemies.|
|Spin Pipe||10||Plack Beach (complete Kuzzle's puzzle)||The Mario brothers stack up, fly somewhere above their target, and stomp down. Press the appropriate button to kick, bouncing off.||Single (changes targets if you kill the target)||Can stun enemies.|
|Mighty Meteor||8||Toadley Clinic||The Mario brothers smack a giant meteor into their target.||All (random; maximum 5)||Can lower the enemy's attack power.|
|Snack Basket||14||Dimble Wood||Luigi devours the food in the basket, causing him to bloat. Mario catches him and tries to throw him high up with all his might. Press B as Luigi falls to ground pound, shaking the ground and damaging grounded foes.||All (does not affect flying enemies)|
|Magic Window||18||Beat the three Shroobs in Bowser Castle||The Mario brothers sneak-attack their target via the Magic Windows. Press the appropriate button to stomp.||All (random)||Can stun opponents|
|Falling Star||20||Peach's Castle||The Mario brothers throw smaller stars toward the larger star to power it up, dealing more damage to a single foe.||Single||Can lower the target's defense.|
These attacks are referred to as Bros. Attacks in the 3DS version.
Bowser has a total of six Special Attacks that he gathers throughout the game. (Due to his nature, these are called Brawl Attacks in the 3DS version.) Like Mario & Luigi, Bowser has to unlock them in many areas of the game. To unlock these type of attacks for Bowser to use, the player must liberate Bowser's loyal, non-brainwashed troops. The player finds them in cages all around the Mushroom Kingdom. Out of the six, five of them would be found inside one of the cages. The last one is when the player collects all fifteen Blitties through the vacuum ability. Unlike Mario & Luigi's attacks, which use the buttons, Bowser's attacks use the touch screen. All six of Bowser's Special Attacks are shown in the table below (note: When using an attack with an Economy Ring, the SP cost is halved):
|Goomba Storm||6||Dimble Wood (after rescuing the Goomba corps)||Bowser fires up his goombas to deal more damage. This can burn targets.||Single (changes targets if you kill the target)|
|Shy Guy Squad||8||Bowser Path (after rescuing the Shy Guy corps)||The Shy Guys drag Bowser backwards to slingshot him into the foe. Press the appropriate button to have Bowser kick.||Single|
|Koopa Corps||10||Blubble Lake (after rescuing the Koopa unit)||Bowser rebounds his Koopa Troopas back via his shell.||All (random)|
|Bob-omb Blitz||12||Bowser Castle (after rescuing the Bob-omb squad)||Bowser aligns his bombs with his target and orders them to charge. This can stun targets.||Selected (maximum 6)|
|Magikoopa Mob||15||Peach's Castle (after rescuing the Magikoopa corps)||Bowser powers up the Magikoopas with his own magic. This can burn the enemy.||All (random; maximum 24)|
|Broggy Bonker||20||Broque Monsieur's Shop (After collecting all fifteen Blitties)||Bowser cleans up the Broggy and sends him charging. The more you cleaned his body, the more charges the Broggy does. As he charges, the Broggy can stun targets.||Single (changes targets if you kill the target)|
- Despite the top screen of Mario and Luigi's tutorials always show a Goomba being defeated by the acquired Special Move, no normal Goombas are seen in the game as enemies except Jailgoons, Choombas, and Chuboombas.
- Additionally, the top screen of Bowser's tutorials always show a candy-less Chuboomba being defeated by the acquired Special Move. However, in normal battle conditions, Chuboombas flee once Bowser devours their candy with his Vacuum Block.