While it sounds like he’s pushed aside his plumbing duties to take on racing full-time, Mario wasn’t even always a plumber to begin with. According to the character’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario started out in a different trade.

“If you go back to (1981’s) Donkey Kong, it was a 16-by-16 (inch) screen area. The character I came up with to fit that best was this small little guy with a big nose and a mustache, the characteristics that would stand out in that medium. We created the game design first and then we put the characters in to fit that. With Donkey Kong, we have this gorilla who grabs this gal and runs away with her and you have to go chase the gorilla down to save the lady. And the game’s stage was a construction site, so we made him into basically a carpenter,” he said in an interview with USA Today.

“With (1983’s) Mario Bros., we brought in Luigi and a lot of the game was played underground so we made him to fit that setting and, we decided he could be a plumber. The scenario dictates his role.”