The Barrels seen in Smash most resemble those from the Donkey Kong series. In the original Donkey Kong, they act as hazards which Donkey Kong throws at Mario; if Mario gets hit by a barrel he loses a life. Barrels also feature prominently in the Donkey Kong Country games, appearing in roles such as objects that could be thrown by the players, enemy projectiles, and a respawn mechanism. Similar to Smash, the barrels in the Country series also occasionally contain items like bananas and golden figures that access bonus levels.
The barrel is a common real world item. Usually made of wood or metal, the crate is primarily used as a shipping container for particularly large objects that could easily be damaged outside of an enclosed space. Due to their unique oblong and bulging shape, they can be placed on their side and rolled around, making them easier to transport compared to other containers.
Overall, barrels work very similarly to crates. When a character picks up a barrel, they lose the ability to jump or attack, and (with the exception of Donkey Kong) their movement speed is greatly lowered due to the barrel's massive weight. They also cannot be picked up in mid-air. Barrels can be thrown up, forward, or down.
If a standing barrel is hit with a weak attack or lands on a sloped surface it starts rolling across the stage; if a rolling barrel hits a fighter, the barrel will break and deliver medium knockback to the fighter.
Super Smash Bros.
In the original Super Smash Bros., the player cannot move at all while holding a barrel, with the exception of Donkey Kong. Interestingly, Donkey Kong can not throw Barrels below him due to the way he carries the item. There is a 12.5% chance that barrels will explode upon being thrown, and in the case that it does, it may damage the player who threw it as well.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, barrels can very rarely release an Adventure Mode enemy, such as a ReDead, an Octorok, or a Goomba. When they are thrown at opponents, they can deal 18 to 22% damage and good knockback. When they explode after hitting an opponent, they deal massive damage and strong knockback. They contain only one item each.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, barrels and crates have a different appearance depending on what stage the match is fought. On more futuristic stages (e.g. Lylat Cruise) they take on a metallic appearance, while on more fantastical stages (e.g. Yoshi's Island) they look like wrapped-up presents. Barrels also fly much farther and faster when struck. Additionally, if a rolling barrel comes to a rest, it stops being harmful to players and can be picked up and thrown again, or attacked to be either sent flying or broken.
Super Smash Bros. 4
Barrels return in Super Smash Bros. 4 with their functionality largely unchanged from Brawl.
Appearance (Wii U)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Barrels return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, keeping their designs from Super Smash Bros. 4.
Damage throughout the series
Names in other languages