Super Mario Bros. 2 was sitting in almost every American’s NES, so that look for Luigi basically stuck in US media. Any gamer that was a kid at the time will remember 1989’s Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a syndicated cartoon that shoved together SMB and SMB2 into one strange world, a place filled with terrible puns on Italian food. In both the cartoon and the live action skits that bookended them, Luigi was once again cast as slimmer and taller than Mario, proving that his SMB2 redesign was here to stay.
The Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon that followed in 1990 continued the look, but reflected a new, subtle difference between the brothers: their hair color. Both kept their black mustaches, but Mario’s hair was now light brown, a change Luigi’s mane would make in a year’s time. Once that all those alterations were in place, Luigi’s look was basically set for the US, though it took Japan a little while to catch up.