The on-screen appearance, also known as an intro or entrance and as Entry (or EntryL and EntryR) internally, is a short animation that shows each character entering a stage before the beginning of a match. Except in Super Smash Bros. Melee, each character has a unique appearance that usually relates to their universe, such as Mario entering through a warp pipe the way he does at the beginning of Super Mario 64. On-screen appearances may not occur in some modes or for non-playable characters, in which case they will stand idly before the match begins.
In Super Smash Bros., they are used in VS Mode and the standard matches in 1P Game except for the battle with Master Hand. In Melee, they are used in all modes. In subsequent games, they are only used in multiplayer modes.
While the characters appear, the camera will either pan far enough away from the stage to show each entrance on-screen, or zoom in between each character during the first few frames of their entrance. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the screen will occasionally only focus on the player's own on-screen appearance. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the camera may sometimes not focus on every character, instead focusing on just one, depending on the number of players.
On-screen appearances typically do not occur all at once, but instead one after another for the sake of giving every character a moment in the spotlight. The order is typically decided by Port priority, with the lowest port always going first, essentially left to right. The only exception is in Battle Arenas, where the host always appears first.
Besides characters, the on-screen appearances may also show other entities being summoned alongside them: Zero Suit Samus in Brawl scatters Power Suit Pieces, Olimar plucks three Pikmin, and Steve has a crafting table placed at his position.
Lists of on-screen appearances
Unique on-screen appearances are absent in Melee. Instead, all playable characters briefly start as trophies that "come to life" before the match begins. 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. 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. When playing as Giga Bowser in Vs. Mode via hacking, he can be forced into the regular on-screen appearance when the "Must be ON" Action Replay code is not turned on. He will be in a T-pose upon appearing, freezing the game if he's fought on stages outside the Smash universe.
CPU players in Event matches (including allies) and the Hands in Event 50: Final Destination Match do not go through their on-screen appearances. In All-Star Mode, the player will only go through their on-screen appearance in the first stage, while CPU enemies (barring the Mr. Game & Watch team in the final stage) will always go through them normally.
- In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, if there is at least one human player in the battle, then only Player 1's on-screen appearance will be focused on onscreen, before showing the other fighters standing in place. However, if the battle consists of only CPUs then all on-screen appearances will be shown one after another.
- When in a battle to unlock a fighter, however, the opposing fighter's on-screen appearance is focused on onscreen instead.
- Link, Zero Suit Samus, and Sheik are the only characters to have their on-screen appearances change between games.
- Of these, Link is the only one not to change from Brawl to SSB4. Link is also the only one to change in multiple games.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there was a small error regarding Toon Link's entrance. If one looks closely at the explosion, one can clearly see that both his sword and shield are not sheathed even though they should be. This was fixed in Super Smash Bros. 4.
- Although Little Mac's entrance animation shows him flinging off his pink sweatshirt, he does not do so if his currently chosen palette swap has him wearing it permanently (both wireframe and non-wireframe versions included).
- In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Little Mac's gloves only change color to match his currently chosen palette swap after he throws his sweatshirt off, meaning he always enters the stage wearing green gloves and a pink hoodie when not using a wireframe costume, and pink gloves with a green hoodie when using a wireframe costume. In Ultimate, Little Mac's green hoodie in his wireframe costume becomes pink when he throws it off during his on-screen appearance.
- Mario, Luigi, Peach, Snake, Pokémon Trainer, and Ken are the only characters that speak during their on-screen appearances.
- Of these characters, Snake is the only one not to always speak during his on-screen appearance. This only applies in Brawl.
- Pokémon Trainer has different lines depending on which Pokémon is sent out first.
- Daisy, Pichu, Wario, Ike, Lucario, Duck Hunt, and King K. Rool also vocalize during their on-screen appearances but do not actually speak real words.
- Additionally, Pichu, Ike, and Duck Hunt are the only characters who do not use a specific voice clip for their on-screen appearance, as Pichu's is also used for its side taunt, Ike uses one of his attack voice clip, and Duck Hunt's is shared with one of their victory poses.
- Captain Falcon (since Brawl), the Ice Climbers (in Brawl only), Pyra, and Mythra are the only characters whose on-screen appearance animations significantly differ depending on which direction they are facing.
- Chrom, Dark Pit, Ken, and Richter are the only characters in Ultimate to completely share their on-screen appearance animations with other characters. Coincidentally, all of them are Echo Fighters.
- Some series’ characters have a pattern where many of them use a similar on-screen appearance, even if the animation is not exactly the same:
- Mario and Luigi both emerge from Warp Pipes.
- Peach and Daisy both appear from thin air with their parasols.
- Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong both jump out of a DK Barrel. King K. Rool does not, making him the only Donkey Kong character with a different on-screen appearance.
- The Star Fox characters all jump out of their respective ships.
- All Fire Emblem characters except Corrin appear using warp magic.
- Pit and Dark Pit both appear from a beam of light, though the color of the beams differs between the two. Palutena does not, making her the only Kid Icarus character with a different on-screen appearance.
- Ryu and Ken both walk on stage from some mist in the background.
- Simon and Richter both appear on stage surrounded by light.
- All Pokémon characters except Mewtwo and Lucario emerge from a Poké Ball.
- Villager and Isabelle both exit from a building, though the building they exit from differs between the two. Villager’s building is a house, while Isabelle’s is the town hall, the same buildings they use for their Final Smashes.
- Pyra and Mythra both catch their swords that are thrown to them by Rex. Unlike the other characters listed above, Pyra and Mythra are a transformation duo, akin to Sheik and Zelda from Melee and Brawl.
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros.
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Japanese version)
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate