(Originally posted to my LiveJournal.)
Okay, this is all kinda weird, but... bear with me.
I've been going over some of my old video games, and doing a little thinking. (It should go without saying that I have too much free time on my hands.) In the early Super Mario Brothers games, the plot almost always consisted of Princess Peach Toadstool getting kidnapped by King Bowser of the Koopa, whereupon Mario and Luigi, the heroic Brooklynite plumbers, square off against Bowser's forces, infiltrate his holdings, and win the Princess back. It's a cliche at this point, and I'm sure a lot of female gamers are bothered by the rather sexist plot.
But let's take a harder look at Peach. She's been kidnapped by Bowser about six times now (Super Mario Bros., SMB: The Lost Levels, SMB 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and New SMB). Realistically, a woman who's been abducted so many times by the same guy would, I dunno, take some self-defense lessons, carry some mace around, and file a restraining order, but Princess Toadstool doesn't so much as beef up her security (not that the Toads could do much, but whatever). And besides that, look at Peach's record in other Mario games. In SMB 2, she accompanies the Mario Brothers herself in the liberation of SubCon from Wart's evil forces, and latter-day games such as Super Mario Kart, Super Mario Strikers, and (of course) Super Smash Brothers have proven that Peach is indeed a woman of action. Furthermore, the Mushroom Kingdom has been attacked by two other invaders -- Tatanga the Spaceman and Wario -- and neither of them was able to capture the Princess.
All of this has led me to a conclusion. The reason Bowser has abducted her so many times is not because of any particular skill on his part... but because Peach lets him kidnap her! Why would she do such a thing, you ask? The answer will shock you:
Peach is madly in love with Bowser!
It sounds insane, doesn't it? But think about it. Bowser's not such a bad guy. Sure he has a temper (and kickin' halitosis), and yeah, he's a giant turtle, but he's not evil. Bowser's never killed anyone. He's a brilliant military strategist, having successfully invaded the Mushroom Kingdom at least six times. He's also a family man, with eight or nine kids all eager to follow in his footsteps. He's just not very good with relationships, which is presumably why we've never seen his kids' mother, and why Peach inevitably tires of him and aids Mario in "rescuing" her. Then she goes back to dating Mario for a few more months or years before she gets bored with her humdrum mustachioed beau and, as Bowser invades yet again like clockwork, she lets herself get "kidnapped" once more. I doubt either Mario or Bowser is aware of just how seriously she's playing both of them.
But come now, you say. This has been going on for twenty years. Surely someone would figure it out by now. Well, look at Peach's entourage. Mario's a good, reliable, stand-up guy, but he's never been shown to be much of a thinker. (Sure, he's a doctor, but how do we know he even has a PhD? I bet Doctor Mario's a quack.) And as for Toad, he and the rest of his kind are all bred for nothing but servitude, so none of her retainers would have any idea. And of course there's Yoshi. Clearly, the woman intentionally surrounds herself with idiots. It's possible that Luigi knows, though... he's smarter than his brother. But being the shy fella he is, he'd never bring up such a sensitive subject, and besides, he's already courting Peach's sister Daisy, so he has no reason to care.
So there you go. Irrefutable proof that Peach is secretly carrying on a double relationship with both Mario and Bowser. Crackpot though it may seem at surface value, I think I've stated my case succinctly. You be the judge.