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Lightning Bolt

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Lightning Bolt
Lightning (Mario Kart 8).png
The Lightning Bolt as an item in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Universe Mario
Appears in Brawl
Item class Status
Article on Super Mario Wiki Lightning

The Lightning Bolt (サンダー, Thunder) is an item from the Mario Kart series that appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


Toad and Toadette are struck by Lightning in Mario Kart Double Dash, shrinking them in the process.

The Lightning Bolt's primary effect comes from the Mario Kart series. The Lightning Bolt first appeared in Super Mario Kart. Racers at the back of a race have a chance of acquiring a Lightning Bolt (sometimes named Thunderbolt or Lightning), which upon use instantly strikes all other racers, spins them out, and causes them to shrink. Shrunk racers have lowered top speed and can be easily knocked around or even flattened when getting run over. Since Mario Kart DS, the length of the shrinking time depends on what place each opponent was in when the item was used, with those at the back regrowing near-instantly and those in the front staying shrunk for much longer. In Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, tiny players can get flattened by normal-sized players. The item cannot backfire as it does in Brawl. It also serves as the logo for the Lightning Cup since Mario Kart: Super Circuit.


The Lightning Bolt in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

The Lightning Bolt appears as an item in Brawl, Smash 4 and Ultimate. When used, it will shrink every other character to Poison Mushroom size, reduce their attack power to 0.7x, make them lighter, and increase the amount of knockback that they take, similar to its function in the Mario Kart series. However, the item can backfire as well, shrinking the player who picked it up or making the other characters' sizes increase (much like collecting a Super Mushroom, only the size-altering effects are amplified even further, causing fighters to grow to 2.4x their normal size, and their direct attacks will deal 1.84x their normal damage). These effects stack with Mega/Mini mode in Special Smash. Touching a Super or Poison Mushroom will cancel Lightning’s effects.

Unlike most other items, the Lightning Bolt requires a character to simply make contact with it in order to gain its effect. Any character affected by knockback while being struck by the Lightning Bolt is still affected by knockback after the shrink/growth occurs. Similar phenomena occur with the Super Mushroom and Poison Mushroom.

Damage Multipliers[edit]

The table below displays the damage multipliers that are used whenever players are turned tiny or giant by the Lightning Bolt. These values primarily apply to Super Smash Bros. 4 and Ultimate.

Size Standard Smash Giant Special Smash Tiny Special Smash
Tiny 0.7 0.94 0.505
Giant 1.84 3.64 0.904

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]


Trophy in Brawl.

An item that goes off the moment you touch it. It may shrink every other character on the screen. Tiny players suffer a reduction in their attack power and become easier to send flying. After a set amount of time, all the characters will return to their normal sizes. In the Mario Kart series, all players but the item user shrunk, and got flattened when run over.

  • Super Mario Kart (1992)
  • Mario Kart 64 (1997)


Name Game Effect Characters
Lightning Mario Kart DS AttackElectric+004EffectIcon(Electric).png Attack +4 All charactersRandomHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Lightning (Mario Kart DS).png
(Mario Kart DS)

Transform glitch[edit]

In Brawl, if a character uses the Lightning Bolt on Zelda or Sheik and either character Transforms, this glitch makes the size of the Lightning Bolt user permanent until either Zelda or Sheik gets KO'd or picks up another size-changing item.[1] This glitch does not occur for Charizard, Ivysaur, or Squirtle.

Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]


North America If there is one thing I've learned from Mario Kart, it's that lightning can strike without a cloud in the sky. Picking this up will hit your foes with a character-shrinking blast of lightning, making them really easy to launch into the distance. If you get struck, you'd best run until the fight is fair again.
Europe Don't let sunny weather fool you! Lightning can strike at any time. This mighty force of nature can make you feel small...and actually make you small, too. In this state, you'll be quite weak and easily launched, so just try to stay out of everyone's way until you go back to normal. THEN you can get your own back!
SNES: Super Mario Kart (09/1992)
Wii U: Mario Kart 8 (05/2014)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

The Lightning Bolt returns as an item, retaining the same damage multipliers from Smash 4.


While the Lightning Bolt itself doesn't appear as a spirit, its backfire effect appears as an ability on the Max Brass support spirit. The ability activates when the player is above 85% damage or below 35% health, but only once per match.

No. Image Name Type Class Cost Ability Series
SSBU spirit Max Brass.png
Max Brass
★★★★ 3 Critical Super Giant ARMS


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese サンダー, Thunder
UK English Lightning
France French Éclair Lightning
Germany German Blitz Lightning
Spain Spanish Rayo Lightning
Italy Italian Fulmine Lightning
China Chinese (Simplified) 闪电 Lightning
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 閃電 Lightning
South Korea Korean 번개 Lightning
Netherlands Dutch Bliksemschicht Lightning Bolt
Russia Russian Молния Lightning


  • The Lightning Bolt is the only item that doesn't spawn normally on two different stages: The Great Cave Offensive and Garden of Hope.
  • Although being mini reduces one's ability to recover, certain up specials which are affected by a fighter's gravity stat will actually go higher as a result of the reduced gravity applied by being tiny.
  • The largest a character can be under normal circumstances is in Mega Smash, after lightning backfires. In this state, all size-altering effects are at their strongest, including character voices and sound effects being even deeper than collecting a Super Mushroom in Mega Smash, or after lightning backfires in a normal match.
    • This could be visually amplified even further with Mario’s size-altering taunt prior to Ultimate.
  • In Brawl, Pikmin Throw uniquely won’t change pitch upon growing or shrinking.
  • In SSB4, although Pikmin grow and shrink with Olimar, the pitch of Pikmin depends on what size they were when plucked, and this pitch persists even after further size changes.
  • If a character grows bigger in-size while getting struck by Lightning during Mini Smash, the character's pitch will sound normal, despite being slightly smaller than their base-size.