Propellers (also called Flippers) are stationary obstacles in stages which, when touched, will spin rapidly and bounce both players and enemies away. This obstacle only appeared in the first two games and their remakes, outside of some references.
In Vs. Balloon Fight and the NES version, the Propeller consists of a central bolt with two red rubber orbs attached to two white rods protruding out from the center. Most flippers start out vertically, but some start out horizontally with a Balloon Bird resting on top. This same design is used in Tingle's Balloon Fight DS.
For its appearance as an item in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the model largely follows the original design, but the central bolt is blue and the arms are one continuous piece of yellow metal in a slight "Z"-shape.
It bounced any moving object that touched it (Excluding Sparks) in a random direction, sometimes even going through the Propeller. In some phases of Vs. Balloon Fight and the NES game, Balloon Birds spawn on Propellers. It is only when they are done pumping their Balloons that the Propellers go off and spin, bouncing the birds across the stage. When a Propeller settles, if it stops in a horizontal position, Balloon Birds can land on them if they are parachuting.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Propellers, which are referred to as Flippers in this game, are throwable items that can appear during matches. After being thrown, it will lock itself in place in mid-air. When attacked, it will start to spin rapidly, and for as long as it spins, it will bounce players and items away. The Flipper does not return in any later Super Smash Bros. games, as it was replaced by the Bumper. However, it does appear in the Balloon Fight stage of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
While no normal Propellers appear in Balloon Trip Breeze, there is a section of Day 7 Morning which is modeled after Phase 7 of the NES game, complete with three red Balloon Breakers spinning in place of the Propeller that was in the middle of the stage.
- The Flipper was likely added to Melee because they were considering the Balloon Fighter as a character for the game. However, the Ice Climbers were chosen instead of the Balloon Fighter, but the Flipper item and a trophy of the Balloon Fighter are the only remains of this.
- While Flippers don't appear in Balloon Kid or Balloon Fight GB, Bumpers serve a similar purpose.
- The US NES and 3DS manuals call them "Propellers," and the Japanese Famicom and the Sharp X1 port manuals call them "グルグル" (Guruguru, onomatopoeia for spinning).
|Vs. Balloon Fight/Balloon Fight (NES)||Clouds - Pipes - Platforms - Propellers|
|Dangerous||Arrow - Sparks|
|Balloon Kid/Balloon Fight GB||Bumper - Game Boy - Loose Ground - Moving Platforms - Ultra Hand|
|Dangerous||Big Chestnut - Boulders - Crusher - Icicles - Light Bulbs - Oil Drums - Snowflakes - Stalactites|
|Balloon Trip Breeze||Bell - Block - Buoy - Brick Block - Rest House - Rest Island - Podium|