Taunt canceling is the act of canceling the taunt animation prematurely, typically by sliding or being pushed off of a platform. It is often done for mindgames or for humorous purposes. It is separate from the interruptibility frame found on some character's taunts—taunt canceling is instead a result of other gameplay elements stopping or overriding the animation.
It is done by combining a taunt with the teetering animation that occurs when a character is on the edge of a platform. Inputting the taunt at the moment the teeter occurs will result in that character's taunt sound being played, but without the animation, allowing a player to move freely. When done rapidly, it is possible to have the same taunt sound be played multiple times overlapping each other.
Any character can taunt cancel, but Luigi, Link, Samus, Kirby, and Fox will not produce a sound while doing so. The player can also taunt cancel using the wind on Dream Land, as well as using the revival platform.
Players can taunt cancel using the following techniques:
- Teeter cancelling the taunt.
- Taunting using the wind on Dream Land (can be done repeatedly).
- Taunting while on the respawn platform.
The following characters produce sounds while taunt cancel due to their taunt sound and animation beginning simultaneously:
Luigi, Link, Samus, Kirby, and Fox produce no sound but can taunt cancel with usually no visible effect. However, if Kirby has inhaled an ability, taunt canceling can be used to quickly remove it.
Taunt canceling is used in competitive play in Smash 64 as a quick way to move and not run off platforms. This is especially true with Captain Falcon and, to an extent, Mario. Due to the closeness of the taunt button on Hori minipads, multiple Falcon mains such as Tacos subsequently prefer these controllers.
In Melee, the player can taunt cancel with Dr. Mario and Young Link. To perform this, one must dash towards an edge and then taunt before they reach the edge. The momentum of Dr. Mario or Young Link will keep going during the start of their taunt animations, and the taunt animation will then be canceled by the edge animation.
In addition to this, Young Link is able to taunt cancel using his Boomerang. To perform this, one must throw his Boomerang before initiating their taunt, in such a way that the Boomerang will return to Young Link for him to catch. This catch will start an animation which will cancel the taunt animation.
This technique is also possible in Melee by using Randall the Cloud by taunting right before Randall moves back into the stage. It is also possible to use the platforms on Rainbow Cruise that disappear to do a pseudo-taunt cancel.
Like in Melee, the platforms on Rainbow Cruise can be used to do a pseudo-taunt cancel. It is also possible to taunt cancel in Brawl using the "escalator platforms" in the Stage Builder.