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Inhale (Kirby)

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Kirby Neutral B SSBU.gif
Kirby using Inhale in Ultimate.
User Kirby
Universe Kirby
Article on WiKirby Inhaling
For King Dedede's neutral special move of the same name, see Inhale (King Dedede).

Inhale (すいこみ, Suction), called Swallow in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, is Kirby's neutral special move in the Super Smash Bros. series.


When the special attack button is pressed, Kirby will inhale and create a vortex of wind in front of him. Kirby will not stop inhaling until the button is released. Characters near the vortex will be sucked inside Kirby, who will bloat up with the character inside of him (which thereby increases his weight). In the original Super Smash Bros., he is immobile in this state, but in all following games he can walk extremely slowly and even jump a short height. At this point, Kirby can swallow the victim by pressing down or the special move button, copying their neutral special move and popping the victim out of himself. Kirby can also spit them out as a star without copying their ability by pressing the attack button. Spitting deals set knockback to the victim while sending them a fixed distance forward, and those hit by the star will take damage and moderate vertical knockback (much more in SSB4). Swallowing the enemy does more damage than spitting them out, but spitting is more easily repeatable.

In all games prior to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby is unable to inhale projectiles. In Ultimate, Kirby can inhale certain projectiles; upon doing so, Kirby can either swallow it to regain health, or spit it back out as a star.

Swallowing characters[edit]

Kirby with a swallowed character in Ultimate.

After inhaling a character, pressing down or the special attack button will make Kirby swallow them and receive a corresponding Copy Ability, which is the victim's neutral special move. Kirby receives a unique hat depending on the Copy Ability received, such as Mario's hat if he swallows Mario. After a short period of time, Kirby may lose his Copy Ability by being attacked, and he will also lose it upon being KO'd. He can also manually discard it by taunting. If a Kirby attempts to copy another Kirby that has no Copy Ability, the swallowed Kirby will pop out normally, though a different sound will play (which plays in the Kirby games when he copies an enemy with no ability). If a Kirby swallows a Kirby with a Copy Ability, he will steal it away from them.

Because Kirby is smaller than most of the characters he inhales, his copied moves are sometimes inferior versions to theirs due to his lower reach and smaller hitboxes. This is typically applicable for physical neutral special attacks, as exemplified by moves such as the Giant Punch, as well as certain projectiles; for example, Kirby's lower release point causes Mario's Fireballs to bounce faster and therefore last a shorter amount of time. On the other hand, his small size and unique moveset allow for interesting setups with some copied moves. For example, Kirby's relatively lower height prevents some characters from ducking under shots fired from projectiles such as Blaster and Bullet Climax. He can also laser lock more characters than Falco can for similar reasons. Some abilities are modified from the original copied character, simply because they require a part of a moveset that Kirby doesn't have. Some examples include Olimar's Pikmin Pluck, where Kirby plucks a Pikmin and immediately throws it as a projectile before they disappear, or Rosalina and Luma's Luma Shot, where Kirby shoots out a Luma to hit the opponent before the Luma immediately disappears.

In earlier Smash games, a majority of Kirby's copy abilities are identical or at least extremely similar to their original counterparts, although some have direct differences to their original counterparts (outside of Kirby's different dimensions/attributes). This is the case, as Kirby's copy abilities all have their own animation/hitbox data found within Kirby's character files. This meant that if the developers wanted to change a character's neutral special move, they would have to do the same with Kirby's versions and in some cases, Kirby's versions did not see those changes. An example of this which can be seen in Smash 64, Melee and Brawl is with Falcon Punch. In Smash 64, Kirby's Falcon Punch sweetspot deals 1% more than Captain Falcon's making it slightly stronger (although Kirby's aerial version does not deal extra shield damage). In Melee, Kirby's Falcon Punch does not have a mid hit and its sweetspot and sourspot are positioned differently from Falcon's (with Falcon's sweetspot being closer to him while Kirby's is further away from him). In Brawl, Kirby's Falcon Punch has smaller hitboxes than Falcon's; however, it has higher knockback scaling (keeping its values from Melee), making it stronger than Falcon's.

In Smash 4, the hitbox data for copy abilities are now loaded from the original fighter rather than Kirby having his own hitbox data for his copy abilities. This was likely done as it was easier for the developers, since if they had to change any character's neutral special, they wouldn't have to worry about making those changes to Kirby's version, as the changes would be made automatically. As a result, whenever a character's neutral special's hitbox properties got changed in a patch, Kirby's received the same changes as well with no input from the developers. Because of this, most of Kirby's copy abilities are identical to their original counterparts with a select few exceptions. Some attributes (such as animation length outside of frame speed multipliers, interruptibility and intangibility) are still tied to Kirby, so in theory, Kirby's copy abilities could still have a differing amount of ending lag or intangibility to their original counterparts.

In Ultimate, most of Kirby's Copy Abilities are around 20% stronger than the character originally copied. However, there are a few exceptions to this change, such as Monado Arts, which don't boost Kirby's stats as much as Shulk.

Copy Abilities gained from opponents in game modes with off-loading fighters (such All-Star Mode) are lost once the corresponding character is off-loaded.

Spitting characters[edit]

After inhaling a character, Kirby can spit them out ahead of him as a star by pressing the attack button, dealing damage to the spat character and potential collateral damage to bystanders. In Smash 64, most characters spat via Inhale deal 17% damage to bystanders although Yoshi and Donkey Kong deal much more damage than the rest of the cast. Starting in Melee, the damage dealt by a spat character is loosely based on their weight; this remains the same between the NTSC and PAL versions of Melee despite differences in weight. Both Kirby's and Dedede's Inhales operate the same in this respect.

Collateral Damage
Character Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Melee Super Smash Bros. Brawl Super Smash Bros. 4 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Banjo & Kazooie 16%
Bayonetta 12% 12%
Bowser 19% 18% 19% 21%
Bowser Jr. 16% 17%
Byleth 15%
Captain Falcon 17% 18% 16% 16% 16%
Charizard 17% 17% 18%
Chrom 15%
Cloud 15% 15%
Corrin 15% 15%
Daisy 14%
Dark Pit 14% 15%
Dark Samus 17%
Diddy Kong 14% 14% 14%
Donkey Kong 30% 19% 18% 18% 20%
Dr. Mario 17% 15% 15%
Duck Hunt 14% 13%
Falco 15% 12% 12% 13%
Fox 17% 16% 12% 12% 12%
Ganondorf 18% 17% 17% 18%
Greninja 14% 14%
Hero 16%
Ice Climbers 16% 14% 14%
Ike 16% 16% 16%
Incineroar 18%
Inkling 14%
Isabelle 14%
Ivysaur 15% 15%
Jigglypuff 17% 10% 09% 10% 10%
Joker 14%
Ken 16%
King Dedede 18% 18% 20%
King K. Rool 20%
Kirby 17% 12% 12% 11% 12%
Link 17% 18% 16% 16% 16%
Little Mac 12% 13%
Lucario 15% 15% 14%
Lucas 14% 14% 14%
Lucina 13% 14%
Luigi 17% 17% 15% 14% 15%
Mario 17% 17% 15% 15% 15%
Marth 15% 13% 13% 14%
Mega Man 15% 16%
Meta Knight 12% 12% 12%
Mewtwo 17% 11% 12%
Mii Brawler 14%
Mii Fighter 15%
Mii Gunner 16%
Mii Swordfighter 15%
Min Min 16%
Mr. Game & Watch 13% 11% 11% 12%
Mythra 14%
Ness 17% 16% 14% 14% 14%
Olimar 13% 12% 12%
Pac-Man 14% 15%
Palutena 14% 14%
Peach 15% 14% 13% 14%
Pichu 09% 10%
Pikachu 17% 13% 12% 12% 12%
Piranha Plant 17%
Pit 14% 14% 15%
Pyra 15%
Richter 16%
Ridley 16%
R.O.B. 16% 16% 16%
Robin 14% 15%
Rosalina 12% 13%
Roy 15% 14% 15%
Ryu 15% 16%
Samus 17% 18% 17% 16% 17%
Sephiroth 12%
Sheik 15% 12% 13% 12%
Shulk 15% 15%
Simon 16%
Snake 17% 16%
Sonic 15% 14% 13%
Squirtle 12% 12%
Steve 14%
Terry 17%
Toon Link 14% 14% 14%
Villager 14% 14%
Wario 16% 16% 16%
Wii Fit Trainer 14% 15%
Wolf 16% 14%
Yoshi 25% 18% 16% 16% 16%
Young Link 14% 14%
Zelda 15% 13% 13% 13%
Zero Suit Samus 12% 12% 12%
  • Giant Donkey Kong in Smash 64 deals 50% when spat out, although he cannot hit other players in normal gameplay.
  • All Fighting Alloys in Brawl deal 16%.
  • Giga Bowser deals 17% in Melee, 62% in Brawl, 61% in Smash 4, and 23% in Ultimate. As he cannot be grabbed however, this cannot be achieved in normal gameplay.
  • Wario-Man deals 20% in Brawl and 16% in Smash 4. As he cannot be grabbed however, this cannot be achieved in normal gameplay.
  • Giga Mac deals 21%. As he cannot be grabbed however, this cannot be achieved in normal gameplay.


Main article: Item-swallowing

Just like King Dedede's Inhale and Wario's Chomp, Kirby can swallow items using Inhale, starting in Brawl. Inhaling certain items such as Food or Superspicy Curry will take effect promptly after being eaten. In addition, Kirby can inhale any item on the screen, automatically swallowing and keeping other characters from using it. In Super Smash Bros. 4, this heals Kirby by 1%. However, Poké Balls, Mr. Saturn, and other select items cannot be swallowed. Large items such as crates take a longer amount of time for Kirby to digest, and Kirby can neither move nor attack until they are fully swallowed. If Kirby inhales an explosive such as a Bob-omb, he will receive 5% damage while dealing damage and knockback to anyone close to him.

Inhaling projectiles[edit]

Starting with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby is able to inhale certain projectiles. If the projectile's hitbox that Inhale detects has a radius of 5.0 or greater (for comparison, Kirby's shield has radius 8.2), he can hold the projectile in his mouth and spit it out as a star, while if it is smaller he swallows it and gains some healing. The following is a list of projectiles Kirby can inhale, and what state he is put into after inhaling them. He cannot inhale another Kirby's star, as it will go straight through the move and hit Kirby.

Projectiles Kirby can Inhale
Projectile Automatically heals Kirby Automatically damages Kirby Can be exhaled Notes
Fireball Yes
F.L.U.D.D. Yes
Link's forward smash Yes The projectile that appears when Link is at 0% damage.
Bow and Arrows Yes
Boomerang Yes
Remote Bomb Yes
Charge Shot Yes Yes Can be exhaled when mostly charged.
Missile Yes Both Homing Missiles and Super Missiles.
Samus' Bomb Yes Yes Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.
Egg Throw Yes
Final Cutter Yes
Fox's Blaster Yes
Thunder Jolt Yes
PK Flash Yes Can be inhaled during detonation.
PK Fire Yes
PK Thunder Yes
Vegetable Yes
Fire Breath Yes
Ice Shot Yes
Needle Storm Yes
Burst Grenade Yes
Megavitamins Yes
Falco's Blaster Yes
Fire Bow Yes
Young Link's and Toon Link's Bombs Yes
Shadow Ball Yes Yes Can be exhaled when mostly charged.
Disable Yes
Chef Yes
Palutena Bow Yes
Silver Bow Yes
Paralyzer Yes
Wario Bike Yes Can be inhaled once dismounted. Longer eating animation.
Hand Grenade Yes
Remote Missile Yes
Cypher Yes Can be inhaled once released.
Water Gun Yes
Bullet Seed Yes
Flamethrower Yes
Peanut Popgun Yes
Banana Peel Yes
PK Freeze Yes Can be inhaled during detonation.
Gordo Throw Yes
Super Dedede Jump Yes The stars produced upon landing.
Olimar's forward smash Yes Regardless of Pikmin color.
Olimar's up smash Yes Regardless of Pikmin color.
Olimar's down smash Yes Regardless of Pikmin color. Either side.
Pikmin Throw Yes Yes Only Yellow Pikmin can be exhaled.
Aura Sphere Yes Yes Can be exhaled at large sizes, based on charge and Aura.
Robo Beam Yes
Gyro Yes
Wolf's Blaster Yes
Villager's forward smash Yes
Villager's dash attack Yes
Villager's forward aerial and back aerial Yes
Lloid Rocket Yes
Timber Yes Only the watering can and the wooden item that is sometimes spawned after the tree is felled.
Mega Man's neutral attack, forward tilt, and neutral aerial Yes
Mega Man's forward smash Yes Yes Can be exhaled when mostly charged.
Mega Man's up aerial Yes
Mega Man's down aerial Yes
Metal Blade Yes
Crash Bomber Yes
Leaf Shield Yes
Sun Salutation Yes Yes Can be exhaled when mostly charged.
Header Yes
Star Bits Yes
Water Shuriken Yes
Hydro Pump Yes The water that is expelled can be inhaled.
Substitute Yes The log and Substitute Doll generated by this move can be inhaled.
Shot Put Yes
Gale Strike Yes
Chakram Yes
Shuriken of Light Yes
Mii Gunner's forward aerial Yes
Charge Blast Yes Yes Can be exhaled when mostly charged.
Flame Pillar Yes Yes Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.
Bomb Drop Yes Yes Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.
Laser Blaze Yes
Grenade Launch Yes Yes Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.
Gunner Missile Yes Both Homing Missiles and Super Missiles.
Autoreticle Yes
Bonus Fruit Yes All types of Bonus Fruit.
Power Pellet Yes Only the large pellet can be inhaled.
Fire Hydrant Yes Yes The water can be inhaled, but not exhaled.
The hydrant can be exhaled, but cannot be inhaled while expelling water.
Robin's Thunder Yes Thunder, Elthunder, Arcthunder, and Thoron.
Arcfire Yes
Elwind Yes
Robin's Tomes and Levin Sword Yes Once exhausted and discarded.
Clown Cannon Yes
Mechakoopa Yes
Trick Shot Yes
Clay Shooting Yes
Wild Gunman Yes
Hadoken Yes Standard, Input, and Shakunetsu variations.
Blade Beam Yes Yes Limit Break variation can be exhaled.
Dragon Fang Shot Yes Yes Can be exhaled when mostly charged.
Plasma Breath Yes
Axe Yes
Cross Yes
Holy Water Yes
Blunderbuss Yes
Crownerang Yes
Isabelle's dash attack Yes
Isabelle's forward aerial and back aerial Yes
Ptooie Yes Yes
Poison Breath Yes Yes The projectile will be swallowed if inhaled before it forms the poison cloud, while the cloud itself can be exhaled.
Eiha Yes Both Eiha and Eiagon can be inhaled.
Frizz / Frizzle / Kafrizz Yes Yes Only Kafrizz can be exhaled.
Woosh / Swoosh / Kaswoosh Yes
Bang Yes
Kaboom Yes
Sizz Yes
Sizzle Yes
Whack Yes
Snooze Yes
Egg Firing / Breegull Blaster Yes Both Egg Firing and Breegull Blaster can be inhaled.
Shock Spring Jump Yes Only the midair Shock Spring Pad can be inhaled.
Rear Egg Yes
Power Wave Yes Both grounded and midair version can be inhaled.
Failnaught Yes Can’t be inhaled if traveling at too high of a speed or if fully charged.
Minecart Yes Only when empty.
Flare / Megaflare / Gigaflare Yes Gigaflare can't be inhaled.
Shadow Flare Yes Only the initial hit can be inhaled.
Blazing End Yes
Ray of Punishment / Chroma Dust Yes Yes Only Ray of Punishment can be exhaled.

Inhaling non-playable characters[edit]

Kirby cannot gain Copy Abilities from swallowing enemies, bosses, and thus all non-playable characters aside from Giant Donkey Kong and Melee's minor bosses. However, Kirby can still inhale and swallow members of the Multi-Man teams, Metal Mario in 1P Game, and the various enemies appearing in Smash Run and Master Fortress. Kirby can inhale and swallow whole enemies from Adventure Mode, as well as Waddle Dees and Doos thrown by King Dedede. In the Subspace Emissary, the vortex created by Inhale pulls in false characters and deals repeated damage to the Subspace Army.


Main article: Kirbycide

In Super Smash Bros., Kirby can jump off the stage and inhale an opponent, then fall off the stage and force a KO. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4, Kirby is capable of slowly walking around the stage while carrying opponents in his mouth or swallowing a foe while slightly off-stage. This allows for some forms of Kirbycide, wherein Kirby jumps off the edge with someone in his mouth and releases them at a distance or position from which they are unable to recover and force a KO. One may Inhale at the last second for a K.O. (usually during Time Mode for an extra point) and may survive due to Kirby's tall recovery.

Instructional quotes[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee instruction booklet KirbyHeadSSBM.png Press B to swallow an enemy, then B again to copy his or her power. Press D-Pad to discard the copied power.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl instruction booklet KirbyHeadSSBB.png Swallow your foes, then use their copied standard moves. Ditch the ability with the + Control Pad.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS case foldout KirbyHeadSSB4-3.png Inhale foes, and copy their standard special moves.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List KirbyHeadSSBU.png Inhales opponents. Can then copy opponent's ability or spit them out as a star.


Special Move customization was a feature exclusive to Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. Inhale 2. Ice Breath 3. Jumping Inhale
"Inhale an opponent. You can then copy one of their abilities or spit them out as a star." "Breathe cold air to freeze nearby opponents." "Leap forward and inhale an opponent. The star you can spit out won't do damage, though."
  1. Inhale: Default.
  2. Ice Breath: Ice Kirby's attack. Breathes out cold air to deal damage with a freezing effect. The customization move itself is based on Kirby's Ice Copy Ability from the Kirby series.
  1. Jumping Inhale: Kirby jumps and moves a significant distance forwards as he inhales. It lacks the vacuum hitboxes outside of Kirby's mouth, and enemies that are spit out as stars don't deal damage to other enemies they hit - though they still cause knockback. Despite these downsides, the move has far better range than the default even without the suction, and spitting enemies into others is an extremely situational attack, respectively. It was initially considered much better than the default Inhale until the 1.1.0 patch, with the default Inhale now coming out faster and having less endlag by 4 frames.


Kirby inhaling in Kirby Super Star.

Inhaling and spitting has been Kirby's trademark attack since Kirby's Dream Land, but it was not until Kirby's Adventure was he able to swallow an enemy to copy their attack. Kirby Super Star introduced unique hats indicating different Copy Abilities. A single attack from an enemy or damage incurred from the environment was usually enough to make Kirby lose his Copy Ability, though later Kirby games feature entire health bars instead of health points, so it is possible for him to occasionally keep his Copy Ability even after being damaged. After Kirby loses his Copy Ability, it takes form of a star bouncing around the screen. Kirby can inhale and swallow it to regain the ability before it disappears after it contacts a hazardous surface or enough time passes.

One of Kirby's custom moves, Ice Breath, is based on his Ice ability, which first appeared in Kirby's Adventure.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese すいこみ
UK English Inhale
France French Aval'tout
Germany German Einsauger
Spain Spanish Tragar
Italy Italian Risucchio
China Chinese 吸入
South Korea Korean 빨아들이기
Netherlands Dutch Opzuigen
Russia Russian Вдох
Portugal Portuguese Aspirar


  • Despite being able to inhale and spit out projectiles in his home series, Kirby has been unable to do so in every Super Smash Bros. installment prior to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, he can inhale projectiles if he copies King Dedede's Inhale and spit them back as projectiles rather than stars as of Ultimate.
  • As with King Dedede, Kirby is unable to inhale enemies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.
  • If viewing a character while they are about to be sucked into Kirby's mouth, one can see that the character's head and torso are simply decreased in size. This can also be seen with King Dedede's Inhale, Wario's Chomp and the vacuum portion of King K. Rool's Blunderbuss.
  • Kirby can't inhale another Kirby who already has someone in his mouth.
  • If a player is standing near Kirby when he swallows another character, there is a chance they will go flying. This is because the fighter coming out of Kirby is going fast enough to have the cannonball effect.

See also[edit]