Taunt

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Super Smash Bros. series
Captain Falcon's down taunt in Smash 4
Mario's side taunt in Brawl.
Mario's taunt in Melee.

A taunt, previously referred to as a finishing pose and as Appeal internally (AppealL and AppealR in Super Smash Bros. Melee's Debug menu), is a move designed to provoke, annoy, or mock opponents, or to just celebrate a successfully executed move or combo. In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, each character has only one taunt, but from Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward, they have up to three different taunts: up, down, and side taunt. To use a taunt, the player must press the L button in SSB, and up on the D-Pad in Melee. In Brawl, Smash 4, and Ultimate, the direction the player presses on the D-Pad (or the buttons on the Wii Remote for Brawl) determines which taunt is used.

In Super Smash Bros., there is only one taunt animation, so characters that taunt either face the screen or away from it depending on whether they are facing left or right. This was changed in Melee so characters that turn towards the screen have slightly different animations, making sure they never face away (unless they are caped). Using this functionality, Pichu and Captain Falcon's taunts in Melee have two distinctly different animations depending on the direction they are facing. Additionally, Wario has an extra taunt when he is riding his bike, used by pressing any of the taunt buttons. Taunts can all be done on the ground only, and are canceled if the character goes airborne or slides close to an edge during their execution.

Taunts are different between every character - even those who are direct clones of another. However, taunts always have the character doing a motion (such as dancing), and the character may speak or yell out a battle cry, which is often taken advantage of within taunt matches. Taunts have variable durations between characters, some of which are very noticeable, such as Young Link's taunt in Melee, which is the slowest in the game, taking more than three times longer to finish than Kirby's taunt, which is the fastest in the game. However, some characters such as Mario in SSB, Pikachu in Melee, and Bayonetta in Smash 4 can interrupt their taunts noticeably earlier than the end of the animation. In Ultimate, this feature is amplified to every taunt in the game except those that affect gameplay (such as Greninja and Luigi's down taunts), being all interruptible on frame 50 regardless of their animation length, although several of them have faster animations than in previous games regardless.

Cloud is the only character in non-Japanese versions of the series who still speaks Japanese in any of his taunts as of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, some "speaking" taunts change between languages. A notable example is Jigglypuff, whose dialogue changes to reflect its name in other languages, such as its Japanese name, "Purin", or Fox in Melee, when he says "kakatte koi" ("come on").

One of the intended uses of taunting is after KOing an opponent, which is implied by CPUs using them as such at all times in Melee and Brawl; in the latter game, this includes the opponent self-destructing or getting KOed by a teammate of the CPU. Similarly, in SSB, they taunt any time they launch an opponent a far distance away. In Smash 4 and Ultimate, this was changed so CPUs will not always taunt, with their likelihood decreasing as their level increases: level 9 CPUs will never taunt on the whole. While CPUs usually never use taunts for other purposes (such as removing Copy Abilities as Kirby), CPU Luigi in Smash 4 will, interestingly, attempt to use his down taunt against foes hanging on ledges. In Ultimate, Figure Players can use their taunts during battle, with the frequency of the taunt and which taunt they perform being able to be determined by the player as they learn.

In Ultimate, taunts are disabled during online Quickplay matches, even those that affect gameplay (excluding Kirby discarding a Copy Ability). However, they can still be performed in Battle Arenas.

In gameplay[edit]

While predominantly only for show, seven characters' taunts in the series can affect gameplay outside moving the character's hurtboxes:

  • All three of Snake's taunts equip him with a weak projectile.
  • Luigi's down taunt in all games (or his only taunt prior to Brawl) deals weak damage and meteor smashes opponents. In Brawl and Smash 4, it has a significantly high base knockback, sometimes being a one-hit KO if used against foes hanging on ledges that don't meteor cancel properly, though this is very difficult to pull off due to the taunt's long startup and the hitbox of the attack being miniscule.
  • All three of Kirby's taunts make him lose his Copy Ability.
  • In Brawl, using Samus's up taunt and then very quickly pressing down and up on the D-Pad causes her to change into Zero Suit Samus.
  • Greninja's down taunt damages targets for 2% while inflicting some knockback. If Greninja initiates a jab lock using the second hit of its back aerial, it can perform a true combo from down taunt into up aerial to end a stock around 160%. The taunt itself can KO above 500%. It is also the only attack Greninja can use while charging Shadow Sneak.
  • King K. Rool’s side taunt briefly gives him Belly Super Armor. However, being attacked while taunting will also damage his armor’s hitpoints.

In Ultimate, while most taunts are interruptible, most of gameplay-affecting ones are not. The only exceptions are Kirby’s taunts (which will remove the copy ability before the taunt animation begins) and Samus’s (as she and Zero Suit Samus are completely separate).

Some characters also have a special Smash Taunt that only can be done on specific stages.

  • Snake and Pit have personalized smash taunts on Shadow Moses Island and Palutena's Temple respectively where they converse with characters from their series about a random opponent. There is unique dialogue for every character (or in Snake’s case, only those who were present in Brawl).
  • Fox, Falco, and Wolf have smash taunts on Lylat Cruise.
    • The former two also have smash taunts on Corneria and Venom.
    • There is a special smash taunt on Orbital Gate Assault that activates if neither Fox nor Falco are present in the match, and can only be activated with a special input prior to selecting the stage.

Lists of taunts[edit]

Main article: List of taunts (SSB)
Main article: List of taunts (SSBM)
Main article: List of taunts (SSBB)
Main article: List of taunts (SSB4)
Main article: List of taunts (SSBU)

Taunt messages[edit]

Two players displaying taunt messages.

One feature of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's With Friends mode when playing on Wi-Fi Connection is that it allows a player to assign four different taunt messages to all four taunt button combinations. If the player were to perform an up taunt on the With Friends mode, their character will display a personalised taunt message written by the player that they have assigned to the up taunt. This feature is disabled in the With Anyone for security and censorship reasons. Each message is limited to 20 characters in length.

The function returns for Super Smash Bros. 4's With Friends mode played over the Nintendo Network. The user is prohibited from including certain of inappropriate words, and each message is limited to 16 characters at most.

The custom message feature was taken out in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in favor for pre-made messages, most likely so they can be translated and shown in every language. As most taunts are disabled in Quickplay, (with Kirby as the exception), taunt messages only shown at the start of the match and at the results screen. The player can personalize eight taunt messages, four at the start of the match and four at the results screen.

Custom taunts[edit]

King Dedede’s infamous crouch “taunt”.

A custom taunt is an action that is intended to taunt opponents without using one of the taunts already available in the game. Custom taunts often involve actions that look similar to an ordinary taunt; a well-known example is King Dedede's crouch, though others include Ness's up and down smashes, where he performs yo-yo tricks, Bowser Jr.'s down tilt, where the Koopa Clown Car licks the foe with its tongue, Olimar's down tilt, where he appears to be doing "the worm", Charizard's slow walking animation, dubbed the "Zard Walk" by fans, Shulk using Monado Arts while walking, dubbed the "Monado Walk" (which applies to Kirby as well when he copies Shulk's neutral special), many characters' crawling animations (with those of Wario and Zero Suit Samus being the most common), and Mr. Game & Watch's up tilt where he waves a "#1" flag.

Within taunt matches, actions that produce loud, irritating, or otherwise repetitive sounds can become custom taunts; examples include crouching as Jigglypuff and Kirby, Daisy's forward smash, Ganondorf's up smash prior to Ultimate, and his forward smash in Ultimate, Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch, the majority of Wario's moves (especially Wario Waft), Shulk's Back Slash, Little Mac's neutral attack, Olimar's Pikmin Order, and any of Inkling Boy's tilt attacks, where he can sometimes say "Ngyes!".

Some of Incineroar's attacks will cause it to taunt after landing an hit. These moves are:

Repeatedly crouching and standing back up (i.e. teabagging) is a common form of pseudo-taunting. Ridley and King K. Rool's teabags make them look like they are "dabbing". This also applies to Falco's spotdodge prior to Ultimate. In Ultimate, teabagging is notoriously common on Quickplay due to taunts being disallowed, and is a widespread criticism of the mode that is considered a form of griefing. As such, players are often advised to mentally and emotionally prepare themselves for opponents who will attempt to aggravate them.

Other examples of custom taunting involve showing off advanced techniques, such as DACUSing or dash dancing.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U digital manual description[edit]

"Press D-Pad to make your character taunt. You can trigger different taunts depending on the direction you press."

  • "Taunting leaves you exposed to enemy attacks, so taunt wisely."

Trivia[edit]

  • Mario and Charizard are currently the only characters to have more than one taunt replaced in a later installment.
  • One of the effects of Luigi's Negative Zone is suddenly doing a random taunt.
  • Snake, Luigi, and Greninja are the only characters to have a taunt that can damage other characters.
    • Oddly, while the taunts are impervious to staling, they will always have the freshness bonus when used.
  • Luigi's down taunt is technically a looping hitbox, however since it is only active for one frame, it can never hit more than once.
  • Prior to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Bowser, Rosalina, Wario, R.O.B and Luigi (in Brawl only), Ice Climbers, Little Mac, Bayonetta, Bowser Jr. and Lucario (in Smash 4) were all able to taunt during their Final Smashes.
    • Bayonetta, Ice Climbers, Rosalina and Bowser Jr. are the only characters of this group who can taunt during their Final Smash in Ultimate, however Inkling and Snake can now do so as well.
  • Some taunts have become internet memes, for both the character's motion or phrase spoken, and the mocking purpose they are used for. Some infamous examples are Captain Falcon's "Show me your moves!", Falco's "Hands off my prey!", or Sonic's "You're too slow!". Taunt matches often involve irritating serious players with these type of taunts, and other annoying or provocative taunts have also been used frequently, such as Kirby's "Hi!" taunt or Ness's "Okay.".
    • Some lines were already memetic within their respective communities before their addition in Smash Bros; for example, Inkling Girl's side taunt (where she utters "Woomy!") or Shulk's "I'm really feeling it!".
    • Falco’s "Piece of cake!" and "Hands off my prey!" taunts are additionally notorious in Ultimate due to them appearing as though Falco says "piece of cock" or "hands off my cock" when interrupting one of the taunts into a down smash right before Falco says "cake" or "prey".
  • In SSB, it can be seen that members of the Kirby Team won't lose their copied abilities even if they taunt. In Melee, the Kirbys with copied abilities in Adventure Mode do lose their abilities, but the Kirbys taunting is extremely rare, even though other CPU Kirbys do so as frequently as normal CPUs.
    • In SSB, it can also be seen that non-playable characters (excepting Master Hand) have taunts identical to their original character. For example, Metal Mario grows and shrinks just as Mario does.
  • The phrase "Come on" is the most common phrase in taunts, being used by seven characters: Pit (from SSB4), Sonic (from SSB4), Captain Falcon, Fox (prior to Ultimate), Falco (in Ultimate), Chrom, and Ryu. Variations of "Come on" are also used by other characters: "Come at me!" is used by three characters (Lucina, Chrom, and Fox in Ultimate), "Come" is used by two (Meta Knight and Simon), and Sonic has a unique variant in Brawl ("Come on, step it up!").
  • In Melee, after a CPU KOs an opponent, if it gets KO'd, and the opponent is away just as the CPU comes out of the revival platform, it will walk a distance and apparently taunt for no reason. This can be exploited with characters that have long taunts, notably Young Link.
  • Starting in Brawl, Captain Falcon’s down taunt (“show me your moves!”) animation is slightly faster if he is facing left/away from the screen.

See also[edit]