Taunt

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SSB64 Icon.png SSBM Icon.png SSBB Icon.png SSB4 Icon.png
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. Up until Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there was a limit of one taunt per character (with the exception of Pichu and Captain Falcon in Melee); in Brawl and Smash 4, however, each character has three different taunts: up, down and side taunt. To use a taunt, the player must press the L button in Super Smash Bros., and up on the Directional Pad in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In Brawl and Smash 4, the direction the player presses on the D-Pad (or the buttons on the Wii remote for Brawl) influences which taunt is used.

In Super Smash Bros., there was only one taunt animation, so characters that taunted would either face the screen or face away from the screen depending on whether they were 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 had taunts in Melee that had two distinctly different animations depending on what direction they were facing. Also, Wario has an extra taunt when he is riding his bike (used by pressing any of the taunt buttons).

Each taunt is different between every character. However, taunts will always have the character doing a motion (such as dancing), and the character may also speak or yell out a battle cry. Some people take advantage of taunts where characters talk within taunt matches. Taunts can all be done on the ground only, and they also cancel if the character goes airborne or slides close to an edge, which is known as taunt canceling.

Marth, Roy and Cloud are the only characters in non-Japanese versions of the series that still speak Japanese in any of their taunts. 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 most common uses of taunting is after KOing an opponent, which is implied by computer players using taunts as such in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In both games they push their taunting habits to such a degree that in Melee, they taunt regardless of what is around them, which leaves them vulnerable to other nearby players or traps such as active items, and in Brawl, they taunt even if their foe self-destructs. This has sparkled dislike among some players, who perceive this behavior of the AI as "disrespectful". In the original Super Smash Bros., CPUs also taunt, but they do simply when launching a foe a high distance instead of when KOing them, which also often leaves them exposed like in Melee. In Super Smash Bros. 4, this was changed so that CPUs will not always taunt (though when they do taunt, it is in the same instances as in Brawl), with their likelihood of taunting decreasing as their level increases: level 9 CPUs will never taunt on the whole. In Brawl and Smash 4, CPUs in Team Battles also taunt when a teammate KOs an opponent. While CPUs never use taunts for other purposes (such as removing Copy Abilities with Kirby), CPU Luigi in Smash 4 will, interestingly, attempt to use his down taunt against foes hanging on ledges.

Other common use of taunting is also after breaking an opponent's shield, as this is a rare achievement and the attacking player often finds this an opportunity to mock the foe before KOing them, without being left open to attacks due to the foe being unable to move. This is a common practice for Ganondorf players in SSB4 in particular.

In gameplay[edit]

While predominantly only for show, five 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%.

Some characters also have a Smash Taunt; a more specific and character-involving taunt that can be done on specific stages.

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)

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 online over the Nintendo Network, except that it prohibits the inclusion of inappropriate words due to the ESRB E10+ and CERO A ratings, and each message is only allowed to be 16 characters at most.

Custom taunts[edit]

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 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, Ganondorf's up smash, Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch, the majority of Wario's moveset (especially Wario Waft), Shulk's Back Slash, Little Mac's neutral attack, and Captain Olimar's Pikmin Order. Others also involve showing off advanced techniques, such as DACUSing or dash dancing.

Trivia[edit]

  • 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.
  • Bowser, Wario, R.O.B (in Brawl), Little Mac, and Lucario (in Smash 4) are the only characters with 'Transformation' Final Smashes who can taunt while using them.
  • 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!", Sonic's "You're too slow!", or Shulk's "I'm really feeling it!". 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 Fox's "Here I come!".
  • 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 five characters: Pit, Sonic, Captain Falcon, Fox, and Ryu. Variations of "Come on" are also used by other characters, such as Lucina ("Come at me!"), Sonic in Brawl ("Come on, step it up!"), and Meta Knight ("Come").
  • 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.

See Also[edit]

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