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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 made its debut in Super Mario Kart and serves as the logo for the Lightning Cup. It can only be used by racers who are in or near last place. When used, it summons lightning to strike the other racers, causing them to simultaneously spin out of control and shrink in size. Shrunken 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 returning to their normal size instantly for much longer.


Image of the Lightning Bolt.
Lightning Bolt artwork from Brawl.

As an item[edit]

The Lightning Bolt debuted as a status item in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When used, it will shrink every other fighter to tiny size, similar to the effect of the Poison Mushroom, reducing their attack power to 0.7x, making them lighter, and increase the amount of knockback that they take. However, it can backfire as well, shrinking the fighter who picked it up or causing the other fighters to become giant, similar to the effect of the Super Mushroom, causing them to grow to 2.4x their normal size, and their direct attacks will deal 1.84x their normal damage.

In Special Smash, these effects stack with Mega/Mini modes. Touching a Super Mushroom or Poison Mushroom will cancel the Lightning Bolt's effects.

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

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.

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


In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Lightning trophy from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Lightning's 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.
SNES: Super Mario Kart
N64: Mario Kart 64

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

The Lightning Bolt trophy appears in both versions. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, it is part of the Super Mario Kart Trophy Box.

Lightning's trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
NTSC 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.
SNES: Super Mario Kart (09/1992)
Wii U: Mario Kart 8 (05/2014)
PAL 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 (01/1993)
Wii U: Mario Kart 8 (05/2014)


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


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.
    • Prior to Ultimate, the largest a character can be under special circumstances is in Classic Mode during a Giant battle after lightning backfires on a Giant CPU.
      • This could be visually amplified even further with Mario’s size-altering taunt prior to Ultimate; during Classic Mode if a player faces against Giant Mario who gets a lightning backfire and KOs the player or another CPU he can still use his up-taunt which will also stack with the Giant status and lightning backfire.
  • 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 while getting struck by Lightning during Mini Smash, the character's pitch will sound normal, despite their current size still being slightly smaller than default.