A victory pose is a short animation that any character or team characters does after winning a match, while the losers stand in the background or in a separate window, applauding. Typically, every character will have three different poses that will be performed randomly at the end of a match. The results screen will then appear after the victory poses are finished.
Each installment of the game has its own screen transitions into the victory screen upon the completion of a match, where the victor performs their victory pose.
Lists of victory poses
For most characters, the victory poses are generally the same in each game, although there are exceptions.
Choosing a pose
The victory poses are picked randomly. However, if the player is holding down on a specific button during the match's end, it will force the character to use a specific animation.
In Melee, holding down B, Y, or X determines the victory pose that will occur.
In Brawl, the game follows a mechanic similar to its predecessor. The B, Y and X buttons, (or up, left, and right on the D-Pad) on the GameCube controller can be held down before the victory screen to choose a pose.
In SSB4 and Ultimate, the victory pose can be chosen by pressing the D-pad up, right, or left. Holding directionally down on the D-pad will not determine anything, and the pose will be chosen randomly. Also, the held pose might be changed to a different one in replays. In Team Battles, holding any direction does nothing.
In Super Smash Bros., a transition animation plays before transferring to a black screen. Among these are by falling apart in a checkerboard pattern and folding into a paper plane before flying away. After this animation, the victor's series symbol appears before zooming out into the background of a tinted stage (in the color of the victor's damage meter), with the stage consisting of a checkerboard floor and clouds in the distance. The victor performs their victory pose while confetti falls down the screen, with the losers standing beside the victor, clapping. The losers' position in the background depends on their standings in the match: the lower they rank, the further away they appear.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the game immediately transitions to a black background, with the same zoom-out animation for the series symbol. The losers instead clap in a window within the results screen overlay. In a team battle, characters stand in different elevations when doing a victory pose. This can make them apparently float beside their teammates after they win a team battle, which is unique within the series.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there is no transition animation and the screen immediately turns black with the series symbol zooming out after filling the screen, like in Melee. However, the camera is slightly more dynamic, zooming out in different ways while the victor performs their victory pose. This game's backdrop features a cloudy sunset backdrop with sand-colored ground, with all players once again sharing the screen using their full models, losers applauding for the victor. Also similarly to Smash 64, losers appear closer or further depending on their final match ranking.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, screen transitions much like the ones from SSB64 return, alongside camera angles from Brawl. However, they are visually more intense and dynamic compared to all previous installations, with screen transitions including a slash across the screen or a glass-shattering effect, and camera angles being considerably more fluid. While the game still features a similar sunset backdrop as Brawl (though with the addition of several monuments in the distance), an additional spotlight in the shape of the Smash Bros. logo focuses on the victor as their animation plays. Once the announcer calls out the victor's name, the screen will dramatically shift to the shade of the victor's player color (either red, blue, yellow, green, orange, cyan, purple, or slate for human players, grey for CPU players, or mauve for amiibo). This lasts for the entire results screen on the 3DS version, but quickly reverts to the normal background if playing on the Wii U. The losers clap off-screen in a separate "results" window like in Melee, although they do not clap on the results screen in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS or in team battles in either version of SSB4.
In SSB4's team battles, only the leading character animates their victory pose. In a timed match, this is the fighter with the best score; in a stock match, the one with the most stocks/least amount of damage. Their teammates play their after-pose idle animations the whole time instead. In addition, victors will only use a single, fixed victory animation instead of randomly choosing from their existing ones. Some characters will use one of two poses depending on if they were in the lead or not.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the victory screens are similar to that of Smash 4, though with considerable aesthetic upgrades. There are new screen transitions along with returning ones from SSB4, and just like in the Wii U version, the screen will shade in the victor's player color before turning back to normal. The victory screens now take place on a detailed platform similar to Battlefield rather than sandy ground, and many characters move around more rather than remaining static. Additionally, team battles now have every character animate rather than just the leader (with the one who landed the final hit being placed up front), with some victory poses having some alterations (for example, Doc Louis will not appear during Little Mac's team poses).
Joker has two completely unique victory screens based on the results screen from Persona 5. Normally, he constantly runs to the left with a panning red background and jagged lines surrounding him. The jagged lines use his port color in matches with three or more players. The announcer does not call out his name and the crowd does not clap for him; instead, the Phantom Thieves chime in with their own comments. If Joker lands the finishing blow with All-Out Attack, the final splash art will remain as the victory screen, as in Persona 5, undulating over time. If the match was played on Mementos, the victory screen's aesthetic and music will change to match the stage. In addition, the transition to the victory screen will always be the animated cloud from Persona 5, rather than being randomized, but the other fighters' applause windows still appear.
Sephiroth also has a unique victory screen, based on his appearance during the Nibelheim Incident in Final Fantasy VII, where he glares at the screen accompanied by a field of flames. The standard results theme is replaced by a single droning note, as well as the ambient sound of burning fire. All other aspects of the regular victory screen appear, including the announcer calling his name and the other fighters' applause windows.
In all installments except Melee, canceling a game and going into the "No Contest" screen will show all characters standing and clapping onscreen. Characters in Melee simply clap in their respective "results" windows instead.
- A majority of characters will applaud for the victor, but some stipulations apply:
- While most characters who wield weapons sheathe them while clapping, or their weapons do not appear, Pit (in Brawl), King Dedede, and Rosalina are the only fighters who keep their weapons while clapping. Ike uniquely plants his sword into the ground while clapping in Brawl and SSB4 (only visible during a No Contest in the latter).
- Jigglypuff cannot clap due to its short arms—instead, it simply bobs its head left and right endlessly. In Smash 64, it only moves its head right and left once and then stops.
- The Ice Climbers don't clap and instead cry while wiping their faces, referencing the screen seen when failing a bonus stage in Ice Climber.
- Mewtwo simply stands with its arms crossed, looking away in disappointment.
- In Brawl, Diddy Kong takes off his cap and looks down at the ground with a confused expression on his face, scratching his head, as a reference to his idle pose in the original Donkey Kong Country. He applauds normally in SSB4 and Ultimate.
- In Brawl, Pokémon Trainer will pull his hat down, cover his face with his hand, and hang his head in disappointment, in reference to the Pokémon Stadium games; the last Pokémon he had out applauds instead. In Ultimate, the Trainer claps alone, and no Pokémon appear.
- No Pikmin accompany Olimar; he claps alone. A similar case applies to Luma for Rosalina.
- Wario claps, but he will stop clapping every few seconds to open his mouth and call out towards the victor.
- Only the dog claps when Duck Hunt applauds. In contrast, Banjo and Kazooie both clap.
- Because Samus, Dark Samus, and Mii Gunner have arm cannons, they will instead pat it in an attempt to mimic clapping. Despite Mega Man also having an arm cannon, it turns into a hand.
- Many characters appear to be sized differently relative to other fighters compared to their size difference in actual gameplay.
- One example includes Peach and Bowser (in Ultimate). Bowser is significantly taller than Peach during gameplay, but appears shorter than her on the No Contest screen, even if he appears slightly hunched in his animation.
- Another example is Bayonetta, who appears much taller than other characters, similarly to her design in the Bayonetta games.
- Luigi (in Smash 64), Wolf (in Brawl), Lucas (in SSB4 and Ultimate), and Richter are the only characters who share their clapping animations with another character. All of them are clone or echo characters and use the animation of the character on whom they are based.
- In Ultimate, Wolf still uses Fox's clapping animation from Brawl, while Fox's has been slightly updated since then.
- This makes Melee the only game where no characters share a clapping animation with another character.
- In Team Battles, Joker is the only character to have the camera move continuously after his victory poses finish.
- In Ultimate, the characters furthest in the back in a team consisting of either six or seven characters will have certain visual effects absent during their victory animations (e.g. the dark energy radiating on Mewtwo's palm, the beam on Shulk's Monado, the beam on Mega Man's entrance, the landing smoke effects for most characters, etc.). This was possibly done in order to reduce the strain on the game's rendering engine.
- Byleth is the only character with victory poses that completely differ depending on which alternate costume is being used. Pokémon Trainer and Inkling also have slight alterations in several of their victory animations.
- Robin and Piranha Plant are the only characters with victory poses where another fighter appears (in these cases, Chrom and Mario, respectively).
- Meta Knight and Sephiroth are the only characters to completely leave the screen in one of their victory poses.
- Kirby only has two victory poses in Smash 64, marking the only instance in the entire series when a character has less than the usual three victory poses. However, Kirby would have three victory poses from Melee onwards.
One of Pikachu's victory poses in Super Smash Bros.
One of Fox's victory poses in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
One of Meta Knight's victory poses in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
One of Bayonetta's victory poses in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Steve's victory screen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Sephiroth's unique victory screen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.