A throw (投げ) is an attack performed after a character grabs an opponent, damaging them and ending the grab. Throws appear in all installments of the Super Smash Bros. series. In Super Smash Bros., two types of throws can be performed by tilting the control stick left or right after grabbing the opponent, depending on the direction the user is facing. Beginning in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the player can also tilt the control stick up or down to use two other throws. The main purpose of throws in general is to either start combos, create space between the user and their opponent, or knock opponents near edges offstage to set up an edgeguard.
Throws cannot be escaped once started, with the exception of Donkey Kong's cargo throw, and Kirby's forward and back throws in Melee. Throws also grant a short period of invincibility to the thrower when started, as a measure of protection against any bystanders. In Melee and Brawl, this invincibility has a set duration of 8 frames for every throw, which is increased to 18 frames in Smash 4. In Smash 64 and Ultimate, throw invincibility is instead specific to each throw; in the latter game, it lasts from frame 1 all the way until the frame the opponent is thrown.
A general rule of throws is that characters that rely on supernatural powers, such as Ness, Mewtwo, Zelda, and Lucas, have above-average throws in strength, while those that mainly attack with swords or other weapons, such as Link, Marth, and Sephiroth, have below-average throws in strength. However, this often refers merely to the damage or knockback inflicted by the throws, and does not strictly leave weak throws at a disadvantage, as they tend to be useful for starting combos, and can sometimes even lead into other KO moves.
Throws do not use standard hitboxes when releasing opponents, instead having a throw command with hitbox data that only affects the target of the throw, and not any bystanders. Throw releases also usually inflict no hitlag (thus being immune to smash directional influence), nor have any associated graphical or sound effects (these are instead part of the throw animation itself). However, several throws possess a hitbox before their release, such as Captain Falcon and Link's, which can hit both the thrown opponent and bystanders as if it was a standard attack, effectively hitting the thrown opponent twice. Similarly, a few throws such as Mario's back throw have collateral hitboxes, which can only hit bystanders and not the thrown opponent.
Throws always make characters flinch upon relese, regardless of whether or not they have armor or knockback resistance. However, the target's weight, knockback taken multiplier, and knockback resistance still affect how much knockback the throw deals.
From Melee to Smash 4, some throws have their speeds affected by the grabbed character's weight. An easy example is comparing Mario's back throw speed against both Bowser and Jigglypuff; the latter is thrown about twice as fast. This benefits heavier characters, as slowing down weight-dependent throws gives them more time to react and DI properly, and either leaves them less vulnerable to combos or allows them to escape altogether, due to the throw effectively having more ending lag. On the other hand, lighter characters are hindered by weight-dependent throws, as the resulting speed-up gives them less time to react, and more time for the opponent to combo them. For example, Jigglypuff's space animal slayer in Melee works against Fox and Falco, but not Captain Falcon, as while their falling speed and gravity are similar, Captain Falcon's much higher weight causes Jigglypuff's up throw to execute slower.
In Melee and Brawl, the speed difference of weight-dependent throws is achieved by applying a frame speed multiplier equal to the target's weight divided by 100. In accordance to this formula, characters with weight values of 75 and 125 will cause a weight dependent throw to execute 50% faster and 25% slower, respectively (0.75× and 1.25× of the base duration), while a character with a weight of 100 will be thrown at the default speed. In Smash 4, the formula instead calculates the weight-dependent throw's total frames, and is equal to
Weight-dependent throws were removed in Ultimate, causing all throws to execute at the same speed against all characters.
Throws in Super Smash Bros. are generally stronger than in later games. They deal high damage (12% for forward throws and 16% for back throws on average), launch opponents horizontally, and have high base knockback. However, they still have low knockback scaling, and as such are not exceptional KO moves, with a few exceptions. Because of this, they are often used to set up edgeguards. The main exceptions to this are Captain Falcon and Jigglypuff, whose forward throws launch opponents vertically, making them useful for combos. All throws cause enough knockback to make opponents enter a tumbling state under normal conditions.
In Melee, throws in general inflict much less damage and knockback, with only a few throws being powerful enough to KO at realistic percents. Every throw in the transition from Smash 64 to Melee received a reduction to their power (with the majority of them now dealing less than 10% damage), and directional influence can also be used to further hinder their effectiveness. However, many more throws, usually the newly-introduced up and down throws, are highly viable combo starters, and can even lead repeatedly into subsequent grabs, which is known as chain grabbing.
As mentioned before, Melee introduced weight-dependent throws, which change their execution speed based on the opponent's weight. Additionally, in Melee only, all throws calculate knockback with a weight of 100, homogenizing combo and KO potential for every character; as a result, the only effect weight has on throws is the duration of weight-dependent ones.
In Brawl, the introduction of hitstun canceling has hindered the combo potential of many throws, limiting the followups numerous characters can get out of them. This makes KO setups out of throws less common than in Melee. However, due to DI no longer working against knockback that does not cause tumbling, as well as hitstun canceling requiring tumbling to work, throws with low enough knockback and ending lag have more effective followups, with chaingrabs in particular being powerful; some notorious examples are Falco, King Dedede, and Pikachu's down throws. The stronger effect of stale-move negation in Brawl further improves these throws' combo potential if used repeatedly, while preventing the opponent from escaping them.
Additionally, throws that can KO reliably at high percents are less common than in Melee, with those such as Peach's forward throw or Mario's back throw being nerfed in power. However, some others such as up throws can KO slightly earlier due to universal changes (characters having reduced falling speed and gravity), and because weight is now properly considered for the knockback calculation of throws, they can KO lighter characters more reliably.
The effect of throw invincibility is mitigated in Brawl because hitlag from an attack is only applied to the attacker, not the character using the throw. Additionally, the attacker's hitbox can hit the thrower after the invincibility wears off, even if initially blocked by it. Therefore, moves with either high hitlag or long-lasting hitboxes may be impossible to block with the 8 frames of throw invincibility.
Throws have not received many direct changes in Smash 4, other than the lengthened throw invincibility and the duration of weight-dependent throws. However, chain grabbing has effectively been removed, as characters are now immune to grabs for 70 frames after escaping from one. This makes throws much less effective if they do not cause tumble. Naturally, some throws have been rebalanced in terms of knockback and speed. Some throws (like Falco's down throw) had their knockback noticeably increased, weakening their followups after a grab, while still usually being too weak to KO. On the other hand, the removal of hitstun cancelling and the weakening of DI gives many new followup options out of a throw if it causes tumble. Some notable examples of this can be seen with Luigi, Mr. Game & Watch, Sheik and Donkey Kong. Multiple throws are also more effective at KOing, not only due to receiving an increase to their knockback but also due to the introduction of rage, although some throws did naturally see a decrease to their KO power.
Throws have significantly changed; weight dependent throws have been removed, making all characters' throw speed remains the same regardless of the thrower's weight, much like in Smash 64. In addition, the thrower is now invincible until the opponent has been thrown.