The on-screen appearance, also known as an intro or entrance, is a minor feature in Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was not present in Super Smash Bros. Melee, where instead, characters become animated from their trophy forms as seen in the opening movie. It includes a small animation unique for each character entering the battlefield during the announcer's three-second countdown before the match begins, but the announcer’s three-second countdown before the match begins was not present in Super Smash Bros. Melee VS. Mode, where instead, the announcer says “Ready...” before the match begins. In Smash 64, Brawl, and Ultimate, as the announcer counts down before a match starts, the camera will either pan far enough away from the stage to show each entrance or zoom in on each character during the first few frames of their entrance. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, when a match starts, the screen will occasionally focus on the player's own on-screen appearance for the entire duration of the countdown, rather than moving between each character as they appear or showing the entire screen. It usually has no effect whatsoever on gameplay other than visually dramatic and comedic purposes. The exceptions to this rule are Zero Suit Samus's entrance in Brawl, which allows the players to hit their opponents with the fallen pieces of the power suit; Wario's entrance, which lets Wario charge up his Wario Waft the moment he appears; and Olimar's entrance, which automatically has him pluck three Pikmin. Each entrance usually relates to that character's universe, such as Mario entering in through a warp pipe the way he does at the beginning of Super Mario 64.
Unique character based entrances and the announcer counting down from three before the start of the match were removed in Melee. Instead, all playable characters briefly start as trophies that "come to life" and the announcer says “Ready... Go!” at the start of the match, and when the characters ending in a tie, the announcer says “Sudden Death...Go!” at the start of the sudden death match, a reference to the game's introduction. Only Master Hand and Crazy Hand have "true" on-screen appearances, where they both gradually enter the stage from the background, laughing.
Giga Bowser, when fought in The Showdown and Adventure Mode, has no on-screen appearance of any type; when the countdown starts, he's already standing on the stage, although he does have an introduction clip before being fought in Adventure Mode, which consists of Giant Bowser's trophy being flung back onto the stage, transforming into Giga Bowser. Taking advantage of hacks, Giga Bowser may be fought in Vs. Mode. He then appears as a trophy when the "Must be ON" code from Action Replay is not turned on. When this happens, he will be in a T-pose upon trophy appearance. This freezes on stages that are not part of the Smash universe. The CPU players, including allies, in Event matches are already in the fight when the countdown starts. In Event 50: Final Destination Match, the hands' "true" appearances don't occur; they are already in the fight.
The on-screen appearances and the announcer counting down from three in Brawl appear in VS. matches only. The single-player modes instead use a quicker appearance and announcer says "Ready...Go!" method similar to Melee's. The characters are simply already present when the match/mode starts, or characters will spontaneously spawn out of nowhere during the match. Additionally, Peach, Bowser, Ice Climbers, Sheik, Zelda, Falco, Marth, Ganondorf and Mr. Game & Watch receive their new on-screen appearances due to their unique on-screen appearances and announcer counting down from three are both absent in Melee.
On-screen appearances and announcer counting down from three return in Super Smash Bros. 4 and it can only be used in VS. matches, similar to Brawl. Single-player modes used Melee's quicker version and announcer voice clips "Ready...Go!". Additionally, Dr. Mario, Roy and Mewtwo receive their new on-screen appearances due to their absence in Brawl.
On-screen appearances and announcer counting down from three returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and can only be used in VS. matches, similar to Brawl. Single player modes use Melee's quicker version and announcer voice clips "Ready...Go!". Additionally, Pichu and Young Link receive their new on-screen appearances due to their absence in both Brawl and Smash 4.