Between his day job of menacing the Mushroom Kingdom and his many, many extracurricular activities, it can be easy to forget that Bowser has an actually relatable problem: He’s a single dad.
While the Koopalings are no longer his children (one can only assume they are a little league of villainy Bowser is coaching), he has his mighty claws full managing the precocious Bowser Jr., as we see in this video explaining the Nintendo Switch’s parental controls.
While this is ostensibly a vehicle for explaining how to utilize the Switch’s parental controls, it actually provides us with a rare window into the Big Bow Wow and the Lil Bow Wow’s home life. Their… weirdly antiseptic… home life.
As a concerned parent, Bowser wants to make sure Junior enjoys video games responsibly; they’re practice for crushing the competition in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, not a replacement. But, being an 8-year-old turtle punk, Junior has no impulse control. Should Bowser trust Junior to respect the house rules? Or should he go for the nuclear option of making the system turn off if Junior goes one second over his allotted time? There is more interpersonal drama packed into this three-minute video than in any mainline Mario game, and the only parenting partner Bowser has is a picture of Peach as the background of his absurdly tiny iPhone. (Get a tablet! And over your ex! She doesn’t love you!)
It’s a testament to Bowser’s fatherly love that he’s trying to overcome his literally fiery temper to provide the best for his son. He even fights off a pack of Boo trolls at the drop of a hat for the little guy! You know Bowser’s the kind of dad who comments on all of his kid’s social media posts. He’s basically the Will Smith of the Mushroom Kingdom. I love him.