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Video Games Main Series:

Spinoff series:

Spinoff titles


Other Official Media


Fan Works


Hello there! Welcome to the world of Pokémon! My name is Oak! People call me the Pokémon Prof!
Professor Oak, Pokémon Red and Blue

The Role Playing Games, developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise rivaling the Mario series (which of course is also published by Nintendo), and indirectly caused the proliferation of Western broadcasts of Anime along with Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon.

Released in Japan in February 1996 for the Game Boy, Pokémon (or in Japan, Pocket Monsters) came in two versions: Red and Green. The idea of the game is to run around and battle wild Mons with your own, catch them with hand-held balls, and teach them to battle (non-lethally) with each other under the guidance of human Trainers for fun and profit. The original idea was for an artificial form of insect collecting for kids that lived in cities and thus couldn't participate in such a hobby (as the original creator was a bug collector when he was a kid), with the paired versions providing incentive for players to get together and trade Mons with their friends (but more on that later).

The strategy in the gameplay comes from two factors. First of all, there's an ambitiously large Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors setup. No fewer than 15 (and later 17) different elements are in play, and some species of Pokémon belong to two elements instead of just one, which can neutralize or compound the elements' respective resistances or weak points; Pokémon aren't strictly limited to moves of their elemental type either,[1] but can learn almost any move the particular creature might reasonably be capable of executing (like Water Pokémon using Ice-type moves, or Dragon Pokémon using Fire-type moves), and sometimes ones they aren't. The second factor is the strict move limit: each of your Pokémon can only know 4 moves at once, out of a large movepool that they can learn from. This was hampered in the first generation by balance issues leading to some elements and species becoming obvious Game Breakers, but later generations have made many strides in balancing them out, most notably with the addition of Dark and Steel elements.

The Plot of each main-series game is typically a quest To Be a Master; the player is given one Pokémon to start their team with, then proceeds to take on the "Pokémon League" by catching new Pokémon, defeating other Pokémon trainers in battles (most importantly your childhood friend and rival), challenging elementally themed Gym Leaders and collecting Gym Badges, and ultimately battling the Elite Four to become the regional League Champion. Oh, yeah, and you manage to single-handedly take down some kind of crime syndicate (and/or save the world) at some point along the way, and capture really powerful Pokémon that the local legends are based on.

While these aren't necessarily the greatest stories ever told, the games are certainly enjoyable, and the franchise took off like a (Team) rocket. This was mainly because the completion of the in-game storyline and Bonus Dungeons only comprised part of the gameplay. The real meat of the game (or as some would say, the only point of the game) was the one-on-one Competitive Multiplayer. Not only were the teams of Pokémon usable against the in-game enemies, these same Pokémon can be pitted against Pokémon trained by other live players of the game. As such, players continued to train and catch Pokémon just so they have the best team among their peers. And when we say they took off like a rocket, that's an understatement. Despite being a relatively young series, the franchise is the second best selling video game franchise of all time, by a wide margin,[2] and only is beaten by its older brother, the Mario franchise. Though it consistently has come close to topping it, Pokémon still has a way to go before it's number one.

The multiplayer combat was one aspect of the game designed to promote interaction between players. To further facilitate interaction was the fact that Pokémon can also be traded among players, and that certain Pokémon can only be obtained by trading. That was the main reason behind the different versions of the game, as each version had eleven Pokémon that were exclusive to it, and trading was the only way to get those exclusives.

The concept of Pokémon would not be confined to the Video Game medium. Merchandising sprung up all over the place, including, of course, an anime. As such, it became a full fledged Cash Cow Franchise. The game series continued on with a third version, Blue, that mostly just improved the graphics and altered the distribution of the mons, which also started the practice of making a "Special Edition" game for each generation, with an altered Pokémon lineup, and special events and items.

Yet after all this, it wasn't until September 1998 that Pokémon made its way to North America and then the world at large. The world got two versions, labeled Red and Blue, which were pretty much Red and Green with Blue's better graphics. With so much time to prepare, the merchandising launch was all ready to go, and the games became as much of a smash hit in America and the rest of the world as they did in Japan. About a year later, a version loosely based on the anime called Pokémon Yellow was released, that featured now-Mascot Pikachu as your starting Pokémon and even better graphics.

Of course, sequels were inevitable, especially in the Video Game world. The next generation of Pokémon games, titled Pokémon Gold and Silver, added the two new Types mentioned earlier, around 100 more Pokémon, among other improvements. Most notably, the developers improved game balance; the Psychic element was no longer the ruler of the roost. Further sequels added their own wrinkles to the game mechanics among other minor improvements/adjustments: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire completely overhauled the the way stats were handled and gave Pokémon special Abilities and Natures, as well as implementing 2-on-2 battles. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl reclassified attacks as Physical or Special based on the nature of the move, rather than on elemental Type as in previous generations; plus new features allowed worldwide trading over Wi-Fi. Pokémon Black and White escalated the multi battles by expanding them to 3-on-3 and introducing combination attacks, as well as adding new connectivity features.

Since then, the series has expanded to:

You can get the "é" symbol by holding down "ALT" and keying in "0", "2", "3", "3" or "1", "3", "0" in that order on the numerical pad to the right of the keyboard. For some keyboards "CTRL-ALT-E" works too (though others may end up with the Euro symbol instead). If you are using British keyboard layout, "ALT GR-E" will get you it (but it only works with the right hand key marked ALT GR). For Mac users, hold down option-E, then type an E. For iPhone, iPod touch and Android users, hold down on the letter E to get the option. Of course, if you are a native Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or French speaker or have your keyboard set to the U.S. International layout, chances are you don't need all that mess to produce a simple accentuated character.


It also provides examples of Edit

  • Action Pet: Basically what a captured Pokemon becomes.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": All un-nicknamed Pokémon qualify as this.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Noctowl as stated in the Pokédex in the Silver Version. Justified, though, since owls can rotate their heads by a lot in real life.
  • The Ace: Starting in Generation IV, there's been a trainer class literally called "Ace Trainer".
    • Earlier games used the phrase "Elite Trainer" instead.
  • Action Bomb: Anything that learns Selfdestruct or Explosion, most notably Koffing, Voltorb, Geodude... Pineco in particular can learn it at very low levels since Generation IV. Their AI Roulette makes them Goddamned Bats if you're lucky.
  • Action Initiative:
    • A Pokémon's "Speed" stat determines which Pokémon goes first in each round of combat, with varying effects:
    • Certain moves can have different attack power or effects depending on whether they execute before or after the opponent. In particular, the "flinch" status can only occur if the opponent strikes first.
    • Certain moves (like "Quick Attack") have increased or decreased "priority", making them always strike before or after the opponent's move. Later generations add other increased-priority moves such as ExtremeSpeed, Mach Punch, and Sucker Punch. Vital Throw (introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver) is an example of a move with decreased priority; it hits last but is guaranteed to hit as long as the user is still conscious.
  • Adaptation Overdosed: The anime, various Spin-Off games, remakes of certain main games, multiple book series, a trading card game, and currently 39 manga (but most people act like only one exists).
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: As you advance in the game, the items in the Poké Marts get progressively more expensive. Justified by the fact that it's because the item selection gets better, but it's still Fridge Logic that every Pokémon Trainer would start at Pallet Town and progress through the cities in the same order; newer generations fix it by tying the product selection to the number of badges possessed instead of location.
  • Aerith and Bob: Masculine names in the franchise range from Barry to Ghetsis and feminine names range from May to Shauntal. However, this seems to largely be because the use of meaningful and punny names is more important than keeping the names completely realistic.
  • AI Roulette:
    • Wild Pokémon, and some of the early Trainers, pick their attacks entirely at random. You'd better pray that your rival doesn't pick Scratch or Tackle five times in a row during the first battle.
      • However, this was not the case in the original games (Red/Blue), as the AI would use the most Type Effective move it had. This led to Pokémon using moves like Agility over and over until they ran out of PP. This was fixed in Yellow.
    • The move Metronome essentially lets the AI pick a move for you from almost every move programmed into the game.
      • It also allows the AI to pick its own moves, meaning the first Clefairy you see may start the battle with Roar of Time.
      • Assist does a similar thing; a random move known by one of the Pokémon in your party is selected.
  • All Flyers Are Birds: A lot of Flying-types that have a bird-like body shape behave in a sort of avian fashion. Aerodactyl, for example, is often seen standing on two legs and carrying things in its talons like a bird of prey. A few bird Pokemon invert this trope, though, such as the flightless Doduo and Dodrio.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Baton Pass move allows you to pass any secondary effects to another `mon. With luck and patience, you could pass along a quadrupling of both defenses, speed, the attack stat of your choice, give opponents only a 33% chance of connecting with most moves, and the ability to regenerate. It requires the patience of a saint and can be thrown off by a critical hit, some status ailments, the moves Roar and Whirlwind (unless you have a Smeargle with both Baton Pass and Ingrain, or Pokémon with the ability Suction Cups), or the move Haze.
    • However, this can easily backfire through the use of Perish Song (luckily, the countdown does not apply to which ever Pokémon switches in) and Psych Up (your opponent copies any stat changes you have made and, since it's a single turn move, does so in much less time than you did).
    • The EV system works like this in a way. Every time you beat a Pokemon (trained or wild), you gain EVs in whatever is their best stat (like HP for Chansey, Speed for Ninjask, etc). After enough EVs in one stat, that stat increases one point. Basically it means your Pokemon starts to take on the stats of the enemies it faces.
  • Always Accurate Attack:
    • "Swift" from the first generation never misses.
    • Similar attacks of other elemental types have been introduced in later generations: Faint Attack, Vital Throw, Aerial Ace, Magical Leaf, Shock Wave, Shadow Punch, Magnet Bomb, and Aura Sphere. Some of them (Swift in particular) can even hit targets who are currently using Fly or Dig (which normally grants one turn of invulnerability before striking).
    • The No Guard Ability causes all attacks used by a Pokémon to become always accurate, in exchange for granting the same to all attacks used against it, even allowing you to hit targets that are in the air, underground, or temporarily non-existent.
    • Lock-On and Mind Reader ensure the next attack will hit, even if the target uses the aforementioned moves.
    • Hurricane and Thunder always hit when it's raining, and Blizzard always hits when it's hailing.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair:
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: They come in some funky colors. Shiny Pokémon have even funkier colour variations.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: The fact that Pokémon lack visible attributes (with exception for Miltank's cow udders, of course, as well as for some weird reason, Nuzleaf having nipples) is likely a culmination of its simple visual art style and kid-friendly target audience (and G-Rated Sex). The actual Mons can probably be assumed to still possess their attributes ... after all, that Berry fertilizer (made in part from their "well, you know...") has to come from somewhere....
    • Various Pokemon draw their designs from things other than animals, so whether their attributes could even be identifiable as such varies as much as the Mons themselves. How exactly does one tell the difference between, say, a male and female Grimer — living blobs of toxic goo? Eh, forget we even asked.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating:
    • In Ruby/Sapphire you can be rewarded with items to decorate your secret base, while in Diamond/Pearl it's your underground cabin. Platinum adds a villa, though you can only buy items and not choose where to place them.
    • It started in Gold/Silver, where you could decorate your bedroom at your mother's house.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: A large number of Pokémon fit this description.
    • Banette used to be a doll that was thrown away by a child, and now seeks revenge. By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Shuppet.
    • Rotom can possess objects, as revealed in Pokémon Platinum, where it can possess a washing machine, a lawnmower, an oven, a freezer, and a table fan. Specifically, it possesses technology that uses a special kind of motor (if you're wondering why, spell Rotom backwards). The aforementioned objects are specially prepared for research purposes.
    • Voltorb is also implied to be a Poké Ball turned sentient, through an unknown cause. Its SoulSilver Pokédex entry specifically states that it was discovered when Poké Balls were invented. An entry in another game says its components are not found in nature.
    • Shedinja is the discarded exoskeleton of a Nincada after it evolves into Ninjask. Exactly how it is animated, especially considering the former occupant still lives, is not explained.
    • Claydol, according to the Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Pokédex, is "An ancient clay figurine that came to life as a Pokémon from exposure to a mysterious ray of light." By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Baltoy.
    • Trubbish is a trash bag that came to live because of a chemical reaction.
    • A few more that are based on inanimate objects, yet are not implied to have been animated by outside forces, include Magnemite (magnets), Nosepass/Probopass (Moai Statue), Bronzor (a bronze mirror), Bronzong (a bronze bell), Klink (a gear), Darumaka (a daruma doll), and Litwick/Lampent/Chandelure (Candle/Lamp/Chandelier, respectively).
    • Don't forget Vanillite, the most delicious Pokemon ever.
  • Anime Hair: Too many characters to list.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: With the addition of the Vanillish line, we can now battle with living ice cream.
    • Cherubi (living cherry) and Exeggcute (cluster of sentient eggs) may count as well.
  • Anything That Moves: The shapeshifting Ditto will breed with just about anything. Except Legendary Pokémon (or itself, as of Gen 4) Including "gender-unknown" species who refuse to breed even with each other.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • A crime syndicate takes over our city? Cults attempt to flood and/or dry out the world? Some god-wannabe tries to restart all of creation? No problem, I'm sure some Trainer will take care of it for us.
    • There is one exception. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, when you disguise yourself as a Team Rocket member, if you talk to people, then they'll say stuff like "Imagine, a kid so young on Team Rocket..." and stuff like that.
    • Also, N and Ghetsis in Black/White are kinda counting on this to pull off their plans (though N is also really frustrated by it, going so far as to outright state that if people in general were more like the player character, he wouldn't have to bother with separating people and Pokémon.)
    • In Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, citizens of the three ocean cities, Mossdeep, Sootopolis, and Pacifidlog, do show concern about the torrential downpour/drought/both affecting the area. The rest of Hoenn? Doesn't even care.
    • In Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, when Team Galactic blows up Lake Valor, the resulting shockwave/earthquake is felt all the way in Canalave City. The people in the library and the citizens standing outside comment on it. No one else does though.
      • In general, the people of Sinnoh seem to be more aware of Team Galactic compared to people of earlier generations and their respective teams... However, they still don't do much about it.
  • Art Evolution:
    • In the Japanese Red and Green versions, the designs for the Pokémon are (sometimes) really ugly, even by Game Boy standards. By the time the Yellow version came out, the designs became the ones we're more familiar with, and general graphics (especially sprite resolution) became more sophisticated with each generation.
    • The artwork had this happen as well. Compare the appearances of the main characters of Red and Blue and Gold and Silver with their appearances in those games' remakes, FireRed and LeafGreen and HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • The Artifact:
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, one of the 10 phone numbers you can have at a time is Bill's, which is useful as he tells you how many spaces are left in your current Pokémon storage box and calls you to tell you when your current one is full, which is also useful because if the box currently being used and your party is full you can't catch anything. However, in the third generation, the box system was fixed so that a full box simply meant the captured Pokémon went to the next box, making registering Bill's number in the fourth generation remakes of those games largely pointless (he instead tells you of all the places in your boxes total, in which case you are screwed if you manage to fill all of them). On the other hand, you can register all the numbers you want in the remakes, so he's not hampering you, either.
    • The namesake trait of Shiny Pokémon is pretty much one; their original defining trait was that they were a different color (hence the Red Gyarados being referred to as such rather than Shiny Gyarados), with the shining effect and accompanying sound effect originally being due to the fact that their debut games could be played on monochrome Game Boy systems in addition to the Game Boy Color; on the former the shininess distinguishes them from the standard forms since a lack of color would have made it difficult otherwise.
    • When the Nidoran lines were first introduced, they were unique in being the only Pokemon that had gender. Though Gold and Silver included genders for Pokemon, the Nidoran lines originally remained unique in having different appearances for each gender. Later games introduced gender differences to many more Pokemon, and even included certain Pokemon that could evolve differently based on their gender. At this point, there's no in-universe reason why Nidoran male and Nidoran female shouldn't be considered just one Pokemon that evolves into two separate lines based on gender (the real reasons are likely to avoid having to renumber the National Dex, and to allow each gender Nidoran to have a different moveset, which is still a unique attribute of the Nidoran lines)
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Many NPC trainers don't pay a lot of attention to the moves you have or use much in the way of strategy.
    • Mostly averted with the Battle Tower/Frontier, though occasionally the Trainers there will still do some odd things.
    • Generation IV in general bumped up the AI as well. Especially with specific Trainer types like Ace Trainers, Gym Leaders, and the Elite Four/Champion. There are also cases of Trainers using specific move strategies like Endeavor - Quick Attack and Mean Look - Curse (with Ghost types).
      • The Veterans in Gen V will catch you off guard by hitting your Mons with super-effective moves that you'd never expect their Mons to have. Yes, they finally have Trainers outside the Gym Leaders/Elite Four/Battle (insert facility name here) who bother to use TMs!
      • Ghetsis' Hydreigon being a prime example. It will be hitting you with Fire Blast, Surf, Focus Blast, and Dragon Pulse. The last being the only move that Hydreigons learn normally. It tends to be the biggest threat in his entire team.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • The fan term "Eeveelutions", referring to the myriad of ways that Eevee can evolve, has been adopted for use by Nintendo in the card game, the official guide for Pokémon Stadium 2, and in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia.
    • 'Shiny' was the official term for shiny Pokémon back when Gold and Silver were released, but later generations called them 'alternately colored'; Nintendo then used the term 'shiny' again in Generation V, such as in the forms section of the Pokédex (which is easy to find when viewing the Pokédex entries for Johto's legendary trio after transferring the shiny versions of them given out prior to the launch of the generation).
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Used in both some of the games and some of the adaptations.
    • Pokémon Black and White does this with some of the fridge horror of the series. They introduced Team Plasma, an organization based on the idea that it's morally wrong to force Pokémon to beat each other nearly to death for sport. The organization has two conflicting leaders — N, who honestly believes in the organization's mantra, and Ghetsis, who only preaches this to try and convince everyone else in the world to release their Pokémon so that he'll be the most powerful Trainer around.[3]
    • Pokémon Special makes use of the "Pocket Monsters have the power to seriously injure or even kill" Elephant in the Living Room. Colosseum and XD do the same, with depicted Pokémon-on-trainer and human-on-human violence, with the S.S. Libra as the capper.
  • Ascended Meme: It's rumored that the infamous "PIKACHU! THE HORN!!!" moment from the anime led to Rhyhorn and Rhydon (and later on Rhyperior) all getting the Lightningrod ability in the third generation. Unlike in the Anime, they retain their immunity to electric attacks. In fact, as of Generation V, Lightningrod NULLIFIES Electric attacks (not that they care).
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Becomes more and more blatant as generations go on. Seeing just how expensive Gym contraptions become and how they serve literally no purpose other than that to confuse the challengers just for the hell of it - how much profit can you receive from that? - how some Gym Leaders like Clay and Elesa order people around, how Gym Leaders are the go-to authority (Crasher Wake) and no one but them, player characters, and Looker, does anything about anything, a Gym Leader is, by all means, the mayor / sheriff of the town in particular.
  • Audible Gleam:
    • Happens whenever you send out or encounter a shiny Pokémon. Comes with sparkling stars radiating from the Pokémon. This was mostly because in Generation II (when alternate colored Pokémon were introduced), unless you were playing on a Game Boy Color, there would be no way to tell if a Pokémon was shiny or not; the gleam and sound was the only way to tell. It's also useful for people who happen to have color-blindness.
    • In addition, when the player enters the Trick House in Generation III, an Audible Gleam tips the player off to where the Trick Master is hiding. Until the difficulty spike, anyway.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, has Asperger Syndrome. One characteristic of it can be an obsession with collecting. He took it Up to Eleven by inventing something new to collect. Also, when he was younger, he was an avid bug collector. This is why one of the Trainer classes is "Bug Catcher."
    • Game director Junichi Masuda's favorite Pokémon used to be Pichu.[4] It kinda shows. It's all over the place despite not seeming to be that popular with the fans.
    • Satoshi Tajiri favorite Pokémon is Poliwhirl. In one of the Pokémon mangas, it's the main character's starter Pokémon.
  • Auto Doc: The Healing Machine in Pokémon Centers.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • Moves such as Hyper Beam which are ludicrously powerful and require a recharge turn afterwards, moves like Sky Attack which require a charge BEFORE, and it even extends to Pokémon - Slaking, Rampardos and Regigigas are all very strong, but are not that good competitively. Slaking has the Truant ability which prevents it from attacking every turn (and in 4th generation, each turn is much more important than 3rd generation, and it can still be utilized well if one is very good), Rampardos is a Glass Cannon to a massive extreme, and Regigigas has the Slow Start ability which keeps him from having full power and speed for 5 turns, which are reset if it switches or is forced out.
    • Use Skill Swap on Slaking in Double Battles, and watch it become a truly terrifying, team-slaughtering threat. Rampardos can be made into a huge threat with a speed boost or under Trick Room.
    • Some Pokemon qualify as this. Onix for instance, is surprisingly weak for a giant snake made out of stone.
    • Shuckle has the highest Defense of any Mon in the series, and by using "Power Trick" can acquire the highest Attack of any Mon in the series. But good luck actually landing a blow after Power Trick, because swapping out its Defense means that just about any physical strike whatsoever will cause a One-Hit Kill.
    • Theoretically, Shuckle can deal a whopping 481,266,036 damage with a critical hit (A number so much higher than the highest possible life total that it's Awesome but Impractical) under the right conditions—conditions so improbable that they have rarely been reproduced even under laboratory environments.
    • Generation V adds Archeops, a Pokémon whose overall base stat total is exceeded only by the legendaries, "pseudo-legendaries" (Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross, Garchomp, and Hydreigon), and Slaking, who as mentioned before has a severe handicap limiting its usefulness. Its stats aren't terribly balanced, however, with high numbers in both attack stats andspeed but mediocre HP and defensive stats. It also has an ability which halves its attack stats when its HP drops below 50% of maximum.
  • Badass Adorable: Pokémon in general are powerful enough as it is, so ones like Riolu and Pichu could fit, but the best of the best include the ranks of Azelf, Celebi, Mew, etc.
  • Badass Crew: Forming one with your Pokémon so you can get all your badges and become a Champion is one of the main goals of the games.
  • Badass Grandpa: Literally. There is a battle with Professor Oak in Generation 1 that was taken out of the final game. He uses Pokémon that are level 66 to 70. This places his strength on-par with the player's rival and the Pokémon League Champion.
  • Badass Normal:
    • The Blackbelt characters are of the Charles Atlas Superpower variety. Fittingly, most of the Pokémon you could consider Badass Normal ("normal" being a relative term in a universe where almost everything has psychic or elemental powers to some extent) are Fighting type, like Machamp or Hariyama. The same is true for most of the physically based Fighting attacks (read: all but four), bringing us the likes of Brick Break and Close Combat.
    • The Normal type is a subversion as many of them can learn a wide variety of special moves such as the traditional Fire, Ice, Lightning moves. Even a lot of the so-called "Normal" moves have strange properties that could hardly be considered "normal".
  • Bag of Holding: While the earlier games in the series had more limited space in the player's backpack, by the 4th Generation, your bag could have one slot for every item. Its possible (if you go out of your way) to fill it up to the point of being unable to get more by getting at least 999 of a single item (to force an item to take 2 slots), but very unlikely in practice.
  • Banned in Saudi Arabia: They've denounced it as a way to promote gambling and Zionism.
  • Battle Theme Music: But of course. Over a dozen in later titles.
  • Battle Tops: Hitmontop is based on a combination of a spinning top (hence the name) and capoiera martial arts.
  • Being Evil Sucks:
    • In order to get the move Frustration to have its max power, the user's happiness must be 0. Walking 256 steps increases happiness by 1, and leveling up increases it by 5 (if the current happiness is at minimum), while to lower it, your only options are to use the bitter medicine on it (-5, -10, or -15 depending on what you use) or let it faint (-1). By contrast, max happiness and max Return power is easy to maintain even if you let the Poké faint every now and then thanks to walking.
      • Averted in Mystery Dungeon where it depends on user's IQ. Normally weak, it's incredibly useful in dungeons like Purity Forest where your Level is reduced to 1 and IQ is at minimum level, at which Frustration deals 45 damage, more than Lv. 1 Mon should.
    • Of course, this doesn't prevent it from being a massively powerful attack when trainers in the Battle Frontier use it, as the happiness stat of enemy Pokémon is always zero (Most Pokémon start at 70 happiness when caught).
  • Beneficial Disease: The Pokérus virus. If you're very, very lucky, a wild Pokémon you fight might just spread Pokérus to one of your Pokémon. With this condition, that Pokémon will gain twice as many effort points when an enemy mon is defeated. Basically, it will save you time when trying to fine-tune your Pokémon's stats. It can be spread from inside the mon's PC storage box. Pokérus does, however, "cure" after so many hours of play, so exploit it while it lasts. It isn't even clear whether Pokérus causes any suffering. So never mind the Video Game Cruelty Potential of mass temporary infection, trainer.
    • At least since Gen III onward, it doesn't spread inside the PC. However, storing a Pokémon DOES prevent it from "healing" so that you can put it in your party and spread it to your team later.
  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: Many, many.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Some Pokémon, by their mere presence, always change the weather in the general vicinity. It's easy to see how this could be inconvenient.
    • Pokémon that lose arms and/or legs when they evolve.
    • Supposedly, Lugia spends all its time sleeping at the bottom of the sea because it's too powerful. It can fly, but if it were to so much as lightly flutter its wings it would cause a 40-day storm and blow apart buildings.
    • Jirachi has the power to grant wishes, but only for one week every thousand years. It's asleep all those years. That means Jirachi must have a lonely existence, because if Jirachi were to make a friend, they would be long gone by the time it awakens. Unless they were a Ninetales or something else long lived.
  • Blue Is Green: Bronzor, Bronzong, Golett, and Golurk are in the green Pokédex group despite obviously being blue.
  • Bonsai Forest: Often, the entire forests in the series look like they've been recently planted.
  • Bonus Boss: Several, though exactly which ones count depend on your criteria.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Experienced players tend to favor mid-level attacks like Thunderbolt over the flashy, high-power attacks like Thunder due to their higher accuracy and PP counts.
    • The Normal type also counts here; it isn't super effective against anything, but it in turn has decent defenses against everything except Fighting, and even an immunity to Ghost attacks. Normal type Pokémon also generally can learn a variety of different types of moves, both with or without TM assistance, making them quite versatile at the cost of no STAB for non-Normal-type moves.
    • Seismic Toss for defense-oriented Pokémon with low Attack or Special Attack, such as Chansey and Eviolite Dusclops.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • Lots of innuendo in the Japanese versions has failed to make it overseas. Even stuff that used to be considered acceptable was bowdlerized in the remakes, e.g. the Dirty Old Man outside the Celadon gym having his dialogue changed to state he's peeping into the gym because of the "strong trainers". The aid in Goldenrod City didn't notice you because he was also too busy admiring the 'strong' trainers, which happened to be all Beauties and Lasses.
    • Most likely the most important example of them all is the Dark type. The original name is Aku (Evil) and not the Japanese Dark equivalent Yami. This is why the various evil teams typically use Dark types, all Dark moves not named Dark Pulse or Night Daze are combat pragmatism bordering on just plain being a Jerkass, and over three Dark type families are based on criminal stereotypes.
    • The moves Lovely Kiss and Sweet Kiss are known In Japan as Demon's Kiss and Angel's Kiss respectively. They probably changed the names to remove religious references, however, they did not bother to remove or edit the animations of the moves in Generation 2, so it still shows a animation of a demon or angel giving a kiss whenever those moves are used.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • The games are big on treating Pokémon humanely and with kindness, but it usually doesn't matter in practice - a Pokémon happiness will still increase just by being in your party and not treating them with anything less than general indifference. In fact, the ways to get super-powered teams for competitive play or the Battle Frontier generally involve complex eugenics programs that will leave you with dozens of Pokémon you'll just toss aside.
    • Goes a bit further with the Musketeer Trio in the Black and White games. An old man will tell you about how the Musketeer Trio grew to hate humans, but maybe, just maybe, if they were captured by a nice trainer, they would trust humanity again. That's fine and dandy and all, until you consider that the vast majority of players will just capture them for collecting and the dex info and likely won't use them in battle, just let them sit in a PC box for eternity.
    • Despite the "kindness" you show to your Pokémon, you are still forcing them to withstand lava and meteors and poison until they faint, then stuffing them in balls and making them go to some weird floating green dimension where they will float aimlessly about until you need them again. Also: In the games, the info on Pokémon is incomplete, so the player probably collects it themselves, and puts it in the Pokédex. Some of the entries: Golem can withstand DYNAMITE! Staryu's limbs will grow back even if CUT OFF!
  • Broken Bridge: The need to beat certain Gyms to activate certain overworld actions and... extremely thirsty guards that will stop doing their jobs and let you through if you give them some water (tea in the remakes).
  • Brother-Sister Incest and Parental Incest: Pokémon can and will breed with any other compatible Pokémon, family or not. This was partially averted in Generation II, due to the way the offspring inherited its statistics from the parent.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • At this point, Poison as an entire type seems to be this for the developers. You know they've got something against the type when it's the only one out of all 17 that doesn't have a legendary Pokémon to call its own after over 14 years and 47 legendary Pokémon. Not to mention it's only super effective against one type (Grass). And then there's how the last of the only two characters who specialize in the type was introduced over three generations ago and took the exact same position as the last Poison specialist.[5] Did we mention that it's weak to Generation I's Game Breaker element?
      • It seems a bit less of a strangler when one considers its defensive benefits - namely, resistance to the Fighting type and absorption of Toxic Spikes.[6]
      • It seems that it's finally averted. According to CoroCoro leak there will be a Poison-type Gym Leader. Finally, after like 'twelve years, there is a Poison-type Gym Leader outside of Kanto.
    • Also, in the first generation, Poison was the most common type. But this got scaled back dramatically by the next gen; the other four generations combined don't have as many Poison-types as the first gen had!
    • 2.B.A Master (I wanna be the very best...) listed all the types available in the first generation. However, one of the types listed is Flame, listed alongside Fire. They listed Fire twice to avoid mentioning Poison.
    • Also, about that "Effective against Grass" part. Only Paras/Parasect and Tangela in the first generation were weak to it; everyone else's dual typing prevented them from that.
    • In Generation I, Poison-type moves were also super effective against the Bug type. The designers took that advantage out in Generation II's type matchup revision, and Poison-types never ever got it back. Though Poison also lost its own weakness to the Bug type.
    • Ice types have been deemed nearly useless outside of hail teams, as Ice has four weaknesses and only resists itself. However, Ice moves are very potent attacking choices...
    • Fire types, too. There are very, very few of them and the ones that do exist are often ineffective or outclassed by other Pokémon. But damn, are they awesome.
    • Dark types, to a lesser extent. Prior to Generation IV, all of the Dark-type moves were classified as Special moves, however, almost all of them were physical attackers, meaning their STAB usually dealed less damage than physical attack of any other type. Out of any other type, Dark appeared as a Gym type the least. Zero, to be precise. The most glaring example would be Generation V that introduced around as much Dark-types as there were previously in all generations combined, yet it didn't have a Gym. On the upside, it shares with Fighting, Psychic, Ghost and Dragon-types the trait of being commonly chosen by Elite Four members.
    • For a specific Pokémon, Flareon. The poor thing has high Physical attack on a Special type, making it useless while its Eeveelutions siblings are always awesome (Or at least decent). After the Physical/Special split, it still sucked because it was denied a decent physical Fire type move. For four times on a row (DP, Platinum, HGSS, now BW). The worst part? There's a Fire move that would be perfect for it. It's called Flare Blitz. Flare, as in Flareon. Entei could fit for similar reasons, but it got Flare Blitz in an event.
      • Its special attack stat isn't terrible, either. It actually faired better than some of the other Eeveelutions did in the split. Which is not to say the entire family couldn't stand to have its move sets redone. Like learning a STAB attack at evolution, for example. The ones created in Gen IV received Ice or Grass types, giving them more weaknesses than strengths from inception. Truly, the combat mechanic refinements were not kind to the Eeveelutions.
  • Captured Super Entity
  • Cash Cow Franchise
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • In terms of the evil organizations you battle in the game. The first two generations had the at least somewhat Affably Evil Team Rocket (with quotes like "It feels so good to be evil!"), barring a couple disturbing instances (killing Pokémon and chopping off Slowpoke tails). But by RSE, you had a group trying to force climate change. By the fourth generation, Team Galactic wants to reset all of existence.
    • Averted at first with Team Plasma, along with their leader, N, from Pokémon Black and White, who want to separate Pokémon from humans to probably prevent incidents like with the previous teams from happening again. It turns out that the true villain, Ghetsis, the true mastermind behind Team Plasma, is such a despicable, vile, and evil person that he manages to outstrip all the previous teams combined! (Including Cipher!)
    • In the first couple of generations the villains didn't seem to do anything besides wreak havoc on random Pokémon and locations. In the third generation, the villains had a coherent theme and goal, but they still didn't make much sense. By the fourth generation, though, defeating the villain had become just about as important as the stated goal of To Be a Master, a trend which continued into the fifth generation, owing to the nastier villains on the one hand, and greater plot streamlining on the other. In fact, Black and White are the first games of the series where you don't even battle the League Champion to beat the game; you have to face N and then Ghetsis instead.
  • Charged Attack:
    • There are a wide variety of moves which manifest as "charging energy" on one turn and unleashing it the next, but most are executed as a single move requiring two turns. Exceptions include:
    • "Stockpile" can be used up to three turns in a row to store power for "Swallow" (a healing move) or "Spit Up" (an attack).
    • "Charge" doubles the power of any Electric move used on the next turn.
  • Cheated Angle: Pikachu is almost never drawn without the tail projecting outward and prominently visible, even when it should be behind him or otherwise blocked.
  • Chest Monster: Occasionally, that item you pick up turns out to be a Voltorb/Electrode, or in Black and White, Foongus/Amoongus.
  • Circling Birdies:
    • The result of the Confusion status since Gold/Silver.
    • Also circling Psyduck in the Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver minigames.
    • In the Pokéwalker, however, the player's Pokémon has circling stars when they are knocked out in the Pokéwalker, as shown in the journal.
  • Cold Flames: The Will-O-Wisp attack.
  • Color-Coded Elements:
    • Almost every single Pokémon's Type can be guessed based on their color, with red Pokémon being Fire, blue Pokémon being Water, and so on. This is so omnipresent it's easier to list the Pokémon who don't follow this formula:
    • Normal type Pokémon—Since Normal types can learn many types of moves, you usually don't know what moves they taught a Pokémon unless you already fought them before.
    • Many people assumed Reshiram and Zekrom would be Psychic[7]/Dragon and Dark/Dragon respectively because of their color scheme and Yin Yang theme. They're not; they're Dragon/Fire and Dragon/Electric.
    • Lugia has been mistaken for a Water Type before. It's Psychic/Flying. The fact that it is said to be the guardian of the seas (where it lives) and has a version counterpart that is part Fire does not help matters.
    • Groudon is not a Fire Type, it's a Ground Type. It has the same problem as Lugia of having a version counterpart that helps perpetuate this mistake.
    • Riolu and Lucario look like Dark/Fighting types. They're Fighting (with Lucario being part Steel). Lucario was even thought to be the first Dark legendary at one point.
    • Mawile looks like a Dark/Fighting type. It's Steel, making it probably the only Steel Type other than Jirachi without a gray, blue or red color scheme.
    • The fanbase has noticed for a while now that Charizard and Gyarados both really look like they should be Dragon Types but for some reason they're not. This is made all the more conspicuous by Altaria, which is obviously a bird but for some reason is part Dragon despite having no clear draconic features, and the Gible line, land sharks. Yes, the European dragon and the sea serpent based off of a Japanese myth of a carp turning into a dragon are not Dragons, but the living cloud and the hammerhead sharks are. Our Dragons Are Different indeed.
      • Gyarados at least has the excuse that Water/Dragon would have been incredibly broken back in Gen 1. Charizard, on the other hand, has no such excuse.
    • Buizel/Floatzel and Bidoof/Bibarel are brown and often found on land, so you'd expect them to be that generation's answer to Zigzagoon. This is only half-true for Bibarel (Normal/Water) but averted with the all-water Buizel.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Dark Type is characterized by attacks that involve fighting very dirty in order to win, to the point where some of the moves seem to constitute outright cheating. Some options from the Dark Type movepool include: punishing the opponent for raising their stats (Punishment), false crying (Fake Tears), slugging the opponent as they ready an attack (Sucker Punch), beating up an already hurt opponent (Assurance), throwing foreign objects (Fling), denying the opponent use of their held item (Embargo and Knock Off), stealing the opponent's item (Thief), stealing the opponent's stat changes or healing attempts (Snatch), switching held items (Switcheroo), pissing the opponent off enough to force it to use only attack moves (Taunt), banning the opponent from using moves twice in a row (Torment[8]), hitting an opponent hard as they try to retreat (Pursuit), and calling on the other Pokémon on your team to beat up on the opponent (Beat Up).
  • Comeback Mechanic: The moves Reversal and Flail do more damage the less HP the user has.
  • Com Mons:
    • Rattata, Pidgey, and pretty much everything else that resides near the player's hometown.
      • Magikarp deserves special mention as the most common Pokémon, being available in every body of water in games in which it appears. Even in Pokémon Snap.
    • Starting with Gen III, these Pokémon have been given certain gimmicks to make them more viable mons in general.[9]
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It is not uncommon to encounter Trainers owning evolved Pokémon who are below the level you'd have to train them to to reach that form. Lance having a Lv.45 Dragonite for example, when Dragonair doesn't evolve to that form until Lv. 55.
    • Slightly subverted in the original games since you could also find under-leveled monsters in some areas. Lance is STILL a cheater though, since his Dragonite knows moves that it can't learn.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • Pokémon with wider movepools can run five or six different sets, making them harder to determine and counter.
    • Hidden Power can be any of the 16 non-normal types and learned by almost every Pokémon.
    • Metronome, which selects a completely random move that could be anything from uselessly flopping around like a fish [10] to the wrath of the Pokémon equivalent of God.[11]
  • Conservation of Competence
  • Continuity Drift: Green/Red/Blue/Yellow's Pokédex and sprites portrays the Pocket Monsters as genuinely monstrous, a stark contrast to the later generations. The dex entries also frequently reference real world locations (Arcanine) and animals (Gastly), has Pokémon giving live birth instead of eggs (Mew), and more.
  • Continuity Nod: The first generation had a very prominent puzzle involving searching trash cans to locate a pair of randomly-placed switches. Every game in the series gives a response every time you examine a trash can, any trash can, even if 99% of the time your response is merely "the trash can is empty."
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Attempting to throw a Poké Ball at a Trainer's Pokémon will only result in the Trainer knocking the ball aside with a reprimanding reminder that Poké Balls are for wild Pokémon only.
    • Rui and the Aura Reader will prevent you from Snagging a clean Pokémon in the Orre games as well. You keep the ball, because the Snag Machine (which was designed to steal a trainer's Pokémon!) doesn't get a chance to function.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • The diploma awarded for completing the entire Pokédex; that is, registering every last known species in each generation.
    • Ribbons awarded for winning Pokémon Contests or the Pokéathlon.
      • In the three main Generation IV games, Ribbons allow you to enter the Ribbon Syndicate. On the upper floor, you can massage one Pokémon daily, which increases their happiness (and the lower floor lets you buy more ribbons).
    • Shiny Pokémon. Sure, they aren't really any different from a normally-colored Pokémon,[12] but when you only have a 1 in 8192 chance of even seeing one, much less actually catching it, wouldn't you want to brag? Especially if it's a legendary?
    • The stars on your trainer card. You can usually earn up to four or five by accomplishing such things as beating the Elite Four, completing the dex, defeating the Brains at the Battle Frontier, etc. Serves slightly more of a purpose as other Trainers may look at your card and see how much you've actually done in-game judging by the stars you have.
  • Cosmic Egg: Where Arceus came from.
  • Console Cameo: Every Pokemon game features the current Nintendo home console in the player's room, and whatever system the game is on is mentioned by NPCs.
  • Critical Annoyance: That beeping when your Pokémon get low on health, which becomes averted in Black and White.
    • The noise that happens when your Pokémon take poison damage while walking, which is eliminated in Black and White.
  • Critical Status Buff: Starting in Generation III, several Pokemon abilities like "Blaze", "Torrent", and "Overgrow", boost the power of matching elemental attacks when the user is low on HP. Certain Berries can also provide a one-time automatic status boost when the user is low on HP.
    • The Archen/Archeops family from Generation V also has the inverse: Their "Defeatist" ability creates a status penalty when they are low on HP.
  • Crossover: With... Nobunaga's Ambition?
    • Nobunaga's Ambition for the title, but Samurai Warriors 3 for the character appearances. Amusingly, the game introduces a new region called Ranse...
    • Before that, with the Mystery Dungeon franchise (which includes Dragon Quest: Torneko's Mystery Dungeon, Shiren the Wanderer, and Chocobos Dungeon).
  • Curb Stomp Battle: A good understanding of the basics can lead to pretty much this for every battle you'll encounter (just knowing the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors can get you really far by itself). Go deeper into the metagame, and you're just being cruel to them.
  • Cute Giant: Many Pokemon probably qualify. Snorlax in particular looks like a big cuddly bear-cat thing.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Gardevoir and Lopunny. Which are equally likely to be male.
  • Damage Over Time: The series has many ways to inflict Damage Over Time beyond its standard "Poison" and "Burn" statuses, and many of these can even be combined:
    • If a Ghost-type uses "Curse", the opponent receives significant damage (1/4 max HP) per turn, the largest amount of damage in the system.
    • Hazardous weather like "Sandstorm" or "Hail" inflicts 1/16th damage on most elemental types.
    • Certain abilities can also cause damage (or, inversely, healing) over time during specific weather conditions: "Dry Skin" damages during intense sunlight, "Rain Dish" and "Ice Body" heal during heavy rain or hailstorms, respectively. "Solar Power" also causes damage during intense sunlight, but with the tradeoff of boosted attack power.
    • The Grass-type "Leech Seed" not only inflicts Damage Over Time on an opponent, it also restores the user's HP by the amount drained.
    • The "Sticky Barb" item inflicts damage-over-time on whichever Pokemon holds it, but can be passed from user to opponent by moves involving physical contact.
    • Sleeping Pokemon receive damage while subjected to "Nightmare" status, or similarly, the "Bad Dreams" effect of legendary Pokemon Darkrai.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Curse (for Ghost types), Selfdestruct and Explosion, Perish Song, and more. Plus several others; Final Gambit in particular comes to mind. Let's just say that it's a damn good thing Blissey can't learn it.
  • Darker and Edgier:
  • Dark Is Not Evil
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You befriend the Pokémon who you've defeated and/or caught. In the main series, they must specifically be caught conscious—no fair knocking them out.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: The Elite Four, and Red in Gold/Slver/Crystal.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: There are a few moves whose effectiveness relies on your opponent getting the first hit in, like Payback, Revenge, Sucker Punch, Avalanche, etc.
  • Defictionalization: The games, themselves. In Real Life, it is extremely possible to encounter others playing a Pokémon game, and (if conditions are right) battle them, just like that damn Bug Catcher kid outside Vermilion City. In fact, many events and tournaments have been held in real life using the game and connection equipment (with real badges and rewards) Not to mention that getting an actual Pokédex can save you a lot of trouble in the games.
  • Desperation Attack:
    • The second-generation move "Flail" (and, later, "Reversal") inflicts more damage when the user's HP is low. If the user is down to their last point, it actually becomes stronger than Hyper Beam.
    • The third-generation move "Endeavor" reduces the opponent's HP to the same value as the user. It has been used in some very deadly combinations.
    • In competitive battle, Explosion tends to be used as this (though it rapidly crosses the line into Taking You with Me.)
    • All of the starters (and some others) have abilities that up the attack power of moves that match their primary type. It kicks in if they have one third or less HP remaining.
    • Struggle, a literal Desperation Attack. It only becomes available when the Pokémon literally can't do anything else.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything
    • Many moves have subtle side effects depending on the situation. Jump Kick and Hi Jump Kick causing the Pokémon to keep going and receive crash damage if it misses, Stomp and Steamroller dealing extra damage if the opponent is using Minimize, Earthquake and Magnitude doing double damage if the enemy Pokémon is underground, and Rollout and Ice Ball being stronger if the user also used Defense Curl the turn before are just a few examples.
    • In Black and White, the TMs are no longer single-use items. When a Pokémon forgets a move in order to learn from a TM, the move learned with a TM takes on the current PP of the move replaced by the new move. This is to prevent repeated usage of TMs for the purpose of PP restoration.
    • The already useless move Splash (called Hop in Japan) can't be used while the move Gravity is in effect.
    • Cedric Juniper says that you met a Klink, and that Pokémon is unavoidable due to being used by N. However, if one cheats to avoid N, he instead says You haven't seen a Klink yet.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It was by accident, really! We were trying to capture it alive.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • The games invariably spike in difficulty between the eighth gym leader (~Lv. 43) and the first Elite 4 member (~Lv. 54), leading to a bit of Level Grinding to get your mons up to a comparable level. This is a sort-of positive trope; people somewhat enjoy the challenge of the Elite Four.
    • And that's the first Elite Four member. In most games, expect the Elite Four and Champion levels to top out at 60 if not higher. In the Gold and Silver remakes, repeated visits to the Elite Four allow you to face Pokémon that start out at that level and go up to 75. Massive experience for all, though!
    • Generation IV was merciless with its difficulty spikes. The bigger one is the noticeable level spike between Blue (~Lv. 57) and Red (~Lv. 76 (GSC)/84 (HGSS)) in the Johto games, a holdover from Gen II. The more subtle one was the spike between Lucian and Cynthia; while the change in level is relatively graceful, the change in skill is anything but. One can quite easily coast through Lucian, but be pulverized by Cynthia's Garchomp alone (champion-level AI, psuedo-uber, three moves with 150 power, perfect IVs, and optimized EVs; the only way the devs could've made it harder is by giving it a Yache Berry.)
    • In Gen V, Ghetsis, the Team Plasma boss, is ridiculously difficult compared to the Elite Four, which have levels in the high 40's. Ghetsis has level 52's, and his Hydreigon (the 3-headed dragon) is 54.
      • And the first new trainers you can challenge in the post-game have their Pokémon's level around 64. That's ten levels higher than Ghetsis, and that's the common trainers.
        • After that is Cynthia, who can be fought in Undella Town. Like the Elite Four on your second visit, hers are around level 75. Which is understandable, since she's the Sinnoh Champion.
  • Disc One Nuke: Lots. The famous example is purchasing a Magikarp for $500 in the first generation, and Level Grinding until its Magikarp Power kicks in.
  • Dowsing Device: The Itemfinder and later the Dowsing Machine.
  • Double Entendre: Describing one's sex life as a Pokémon moveset is popular thread idea on forums. It's amazing how many moves sound suspect once you've established the proper context.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Green Oak, your rival in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow/FireRed/LeafGreen, outside of Japan was named "Blue" due to Green being released as Blue outside of Japan along with Red, both of which were changed a bit. He ended up having Green as a default name in FireRed in the third gen to due to FireRed/LeafGreen being released without title changes, but ended up still being referred to as to "Blue" in HeartGold/SoulSilver as in the localizations of the games they are remakes of, even though he didn't have Blue as a default name in Generation III. Despite the fact he's the Viridian Gym leader and has a green carpet. Oh, and in the Japanese version, it's called the Green Badge.
    • Many Pokémon. Some do keep their Japaneses names, though.
  • Duels Decide Everything: If you want to resolve anything, duel with Pokémon.
  • Dummied Out: The Bird-type, a trainer battle with Professor Oak, 39 Pokémon, ???-type Arceus, etc... more on that page.
  • Easily-Conquered World
  • Eat Dirt Cheap: The Geodude line eats rocks, while Sableye eats gems.
  • Elemental Baggage:
    • Most Pokémon are capable of expelling ridiculous quantities of their elements from their bodies. One episode of the anime had Ash's Squirtle fill up a whole truck with water using only Water Gun. In the games, a Pokédex entry mentions that Blastoise (about the size of a van) could fill an Olympic swimming pool. How did so much water end up inside the Mons? Nobody knows. Then again, that creature the size of a van fits in a ball the size of a clenched fist (which in the anime can become even smaller).
    • Not so much in the Pokémon Special manga. Almost at the end of the third arc, the day is saved because Blue's Blastoise had run out of water and Red filled it with flammable water from a mystical healing spring.
  • Elemental Powers: 17 (18 if you count ???) of them!
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors / Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors:
    • You know those 17 elemental types? Yeah.
    • Lampshaded in Pokémon Black and White. Early in the game, there is a young girl that will ask you to play "Pokémon Rock Paper Scissors" if you speak to her.
  • Emergency Weapon: If a Pokemon is ordered to attack but is unable to actually execute any move (usually due to running out of PP for moves), it will resort to a hidden move called "Struggle", which inflicts moderate damage at the cost of sustaining recoil damage in the process.
  • Encounter Bait: The move Sweet Scent, the items Honey and White Flute, the Poké Gear Radio song "Pokémon March", and the Illuminate ability all attract Pokémon or increase the chances of Random Encounters. Using the Running Shoes or the Bicycle will also do the same in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • Encounter Repellant: Likewise, we have Repel which repels all Pokémon with lower levels than your party leader. The Poké Gear Radio song "Pokémon Lullaby", and the abilities Intimidate and Stench decrease the rate of encounter.
  • Escape Battle Technique:
    • The move Teleport and the items Poké Doll and Fluffy Tail (when used in battle) and Smoke Ball (when held in battle).
    • Pokémon with the "Run Away" ability can escape from any wild Pokémon, guaranteed, just by using the normal "Run" command.
    • The "Roar" and "Whirlwind" moves are inversions: they end wild Pokémon battles by forcing the opponent away, rather than the user, therefore working in situations where the user is blocked from escaping.
  • Excuse Plot: For many players, the real point of the game is to collect, train, and breed a team of Pokémon for the purposes of competing against other owners of the game who do the same thing. With the Nintendo DS having a wireless online connection, it has made finding opponents much easier.
  • Experience Booster:
    • The Exp. All (from Red, Blue, and Yellow only) and Exp. Share divides experience gained from battle among your party or a certain Pokémon when held respectively, and Lucky Egg, which doubles the experience gained in battle, and rarely held by Chansey (and given to you free mid-way in Black and White).
    • The Macho Brace, Pokérus, Power Weight, Power Bracer, Power Belt, Power Lens, Power Band, and Power Anklet affect Effort Value gains after battle, with the first 2 doubling all, and the rest give you a bonus 4 points of a particular Effort Value. Pokérus stacks with all the rest (With Macho Brace you get 4x effort values, and with the "Power" items you get a bonus of 8 plus double of whatever the normal yield for your victory is.)
      • The Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, and Tamato Berries decrease Effort Values of a particular stat.
  • Explosive Breeder: This can happen with certain combinations of Pokémon and a little luck.
  • Exponential Potential
  • Expy: Many of the Pokémon in each new generation are Expies of those from previous generations. More information on the individual game pages.
  • Fannage: Pokémon is a multi-billion dollar franchise and the second best-selling video game series. Ever. Compare the size of this page to other series' pages. Then realize this is the smallest we could manage to get this page after splitting it up into over thirty individual pages for each branch of this thing.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables:
    • There are a wide variety of berries since their introduction in Generation II. Since Generation III, they have Punny Names like Pokémon. The berries are used as items during battle and ingredients in making Pokéblocks and Poffins.
    • Also, obviously, some Grass-type Pokémon are based on fruits and vegetables (such as Oddish).
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: The Safari zone.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The games' locations are based very much on real-life locations in Japan and the United States. Kanto is based on the real-life region of the same name; Johto is based on the Kansai region and western Chubu region; Hoenn is based on the Kyushu region; Sinnoh is based on Hokkaido. The current generation has branched out into the United States with Unova being based on New York. Here's a more detailed list.
  • Fantasy Gun Control:
    • Despite being set in very modern times, there are actually no guns in the games. When you consider that mankind is capable of taming monsters who can breathe fire, shoot electricity, and shoot a beam of ice, amongst other things. Who needs gunpowder when you can get a Pokémon to do it? Even Ghetsis in Generation V thought of this!
    • The move Bullet Seed (Seed Machine Gun in Japan) is probably the closest equivalent to guns you'll find in Pokémon, outside of the banned episode of the anime.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: More in the anime than the games, the Legendary Pokémon are referred to as or given the attributes of gods.
  • Feed It with Fire: A handful of abilities, starting in the third generation. Volt Absorb and Water Absorb absorb Electric or Water attacks as HP, Flash Fire absorbs Fire attacks to power up the user's attacks, and so on.
  • Field Power Effect: Terrain bonuses as well as weather.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning:
    • Moves sometimes have a couple of counterparts (moves with the same power, accuracy, and effect) that only differ in type. Fire, Ice, and Electric types in particular have a lot of these.[13]
    • Flamethrower, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt: 95-power Special moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect (Burn, Freeze, and Paralysis respectively).
    • Ember, Powder Snow, Thundershock: 40-power Special moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect.
    • Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch: 75-power Physical moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect.
    • Fire Fang, Ice Fang, Thunder Fang: 65-power Physical moves with 95% accuracy, a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect, and a separate 10% chance of making the opponent flinch.
    • Fire Blast, Blizzard, Thunder: These moves actually have pretty widely-varying stats, but the three are usually grouped together as high-power, low-accuracy versions of Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt.
    • Tri-Attack is a solitary Normal-type move, but it stands out in that its animation features a blast of fire, ice, and lightning, which has a chance of randomly burning, freezing, or paralyzing the target.
    • And then, of course, there are 'mons that follow the Fire, Ice, Lightning trend:
      • Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos: The original Legendary Trio.
      • Magmar, Jynx, and Electabuzz: A set of humanoids that are very hard to get in the first set of games; in those games, they were also the only ones to learn the Elemental Punches noted above, barring Hitmonchan, who learns all three. All three got baby forms in Gold and Silver, but Jynx didn't get an evolution with the other two in Diamond and Pearl.
      • Entei, Suicune, Raikou: The second generation's Legendary Trio (Suicune is actually a Water-type, but it naturally learns more Ice-type moves and is thematicaly connected to the icy North Wind).
      • In Generation V, we have the Yin and Yang Pokémon Reshiram (Fire) and Zekrom (Electric) and the only other dragon legendary in that game is the grey-colored Kyurem (Ice).
        • Kyurem represents Wuji, the absence of Yin and Yang, rounding out the trio.
      • Pokémon Pinball Ruby and Sapphire played Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza this way, even though that would be a bit of a stretch in the main series.
  • First-Name Basis: Last names definitely exist in the Pokémon Verse, but extremely few are actually known aside from those of the professors and their relatives (e.g. Daisy Oak and Cedric Juniper), as well as the Stone family from Generation III, with Steven Stone being among the few characters with both a first and last name that isn't related to a professor.
  • Fishing Minigame: While every game has featured fishing rods, it's not actually a minigame so much as an alternate method to encounter wild Pokémon.
  • Flavor Text: For every Pokémon a player captures in the wild, their Pokédex adds one or two sentences of in-universe description for their species. Later games add such details as the creature's footprint (if applicable), a Sound Test ability to play the creature's vocal cry, a size/weight comparison to the player character, and a comparison of form or gender differences between the species's different members (where applicable). The species's weight actually does have some gameplay consequences, but those are very few and far between. Additionally, since Generation IV, each Pokémon's status screen includes text documenting when and where it was caught, and a one-sentence remark about the individual creature's personality.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Every NPC that matters has a plant-based name in the Japanese version.
  • Foe Yay: In-universe; Zangoose and Seviper, despite being eternal rivals, are in the same Egg group.
  • Fog Feet: Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus.
  • Follow the Leader: In-series. Quite a few adaptations take elements from other adaptations which do not exist in the games, such as Poké Balls being see-through and the protagonists starting at age ten (the only protagonists with a confirmed age so far are Red and Leaf, who are eleven).
  • Fossil Revival: How you obtain some Pokémon from fossils. Almost every generation has a place where you can do this.
  • Four Is Death: You can see the Elite Four like this (they're even the Shitenno in the Japanese version) but better fits are Team Rocket and Team Galactic, which have four executive officers each (the former in HGSS, the latter in Platinum).
  • Fragile Speedster: Sweepers are usually this, but a prime example is Ninjask, who is completely built around Speed, yet falls behind in actual fighting. It's usually used to Baton Pass its Speed buffs to other sweepers.
  • Free-Range Children: The protagonists are probably barely teenagers, yet they run about the world with little concern from anyone. Of course, they're bringing bodyguards: up to 6 reality-warping, enslaved monsters, most of whom who are bound to be loyal forever.
  • Frictionless Ice: Functions as a puzzle in some areas.
  • Fun Size: Many small Pokémon count, including Mew, which is mythical and very powerful.
  • Fun with Palindromes: Eevee, Girafarig, Ho-Oh, and Alomomola.
  • Gainaxing/Pec Flex: Nidoqueen in the Pokémon Stadium games and Slaking in Diamond/Pearl.
  • Gambit Pileup: Competitive play, as well as (to some extent) Battle Frontier play, at least once you start accumulating wins.
    • I Know You Know I Know: My Giratina should use Thunderbolt on your Gyarados, but you know I'll do that, so you'll switch to Electivire and my Giratina should use Earth Power, but you know I'll realize that and keep Gyarados in, so my Giratina should use Thunderbolt, but...
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Pokédex entries. For example: according to the Pokédex, all Gyarados are on the verge of murdering something, all Cubone are depressed due to dead mothers, and all Piplup have huge, huge egos. They can all have natures that contradict these entries. Then again, that could just mean your Gyarados is jolly by Gyarados standards.
    • A sizable portion of the Pokédex's entries point out abilities and attributes of several Mons that are never displayed during gameplay. For example, Dragonair's entry in Generation I states that it is capable of controlling the weather. Climate control moves weren't introduced until Generation II and still Dragonair doesn't learn any without TM's.
      • Like Houndoom. The burn from the flame it spews is supposed to hurt forever, but there is no evidence of this in game. Maybe it's a in-universe myth?
  • Gender Bender: Fans have discovered that Azurill has a 3-to-1 female/male ratio, but its evolution, Marill, has a 50-50 gender ratio. Due to the way the game determines gender, this makes 1 of every 3 female Azurill become male upon evolving into Marill.
  • Genetic Memory: Used and averted. Newly hatched Pokémon may know their father's TM's and HMs as well as level up moves known by both parents, but clones appear to be functionally identical to new-borns.
  • Geodesic Cast: Some groups of Pokémon tend to repeat with each new generation. Exceptions when they are due:
    • A starter trio made of statistically above-average Pokémon of the Grass, Fire, and Water types. They tend to evolve at levels 14-18 and 30-36. Their ability provides a boost to moves of their type when HP is low.
    • Vendor Trash Com Mons, usually of the Normal type, always a small bird and a small mammal. A second bird is optional.
    • One or two early game Bug types, mostly incompatible with teachable moves and evolving at low levels into Pokémon that are moderately useful early in the game but are weak in the long run. A cocoon middle stage is often included.
    • A cute Electric rodent. Fans have dubbed these "Pikaclones".
    • A pair of Rock type Pokémon obtainable by reviving them from a fossil.
    • A Pokémon whose final form's stats and powers rival legendaries. It takes long to train it, and it evolves at the highest levels of its generation. Occasionally there are two of these.
    • At least one trio of legendary Pokémon with base stats totaling 580, a running theme, and no usage restrictions.
    • A pair or trio of very strong legendaries, representing each version of the main games.
    • A cute little event-only legendary, with a value of 100 on each base stat.
  • Geo Effects: There are several effects to change the weather, and each weather type will boost certain moves or Pokémon types while hindering others. There's even one Pokémon whose ability is geared towards adapting to each of these effects, and others geared towards preventing them.
    • The move Secret Power gains bonuses according to the battle environment: fight on the sea and it occasionally lowers attack, fight in a cave and it may cause flinching, and so on.[14]
  • Glass Cannon: While many Pokémon can be built into one, some species are more prone to working in this fashion. Deoxys-Attack is by far the best example: it has sky-high attack stats and Speed, but the worst Defense of any Pokémon in the game. It'll faint to just about any attack with moderate power! (In fact, it's been known to OHKO itself while confused!!!) There's several others as well, on a slightly lesser scale.
  • Global Currency Exception:
    • The Game Corner credits, though regular money can be cashed in.
    • Battle Frontier/Subway credits, which must be earned.
  • Gradual Grinder: The Poison-type downright relies on this (as it sucks at dishing out direct damage.) To a lesser extent, the Ghost-type is also pretty good at this. Fire-types can pull it off as well via the burn condition, and Grass-types have access to Leech Seed, which combines this with a Healing Factor for the user.
  • Guide Dang It: See here.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: In all of the games, the player has to name the main character as well as his/her rival (except for the Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Black, and White versions). Hilarity Ensues.[15]
  • Heroic Albino: The Ralts line, despite having green hair, actually all have pale, white skin, and large red eyes (Ralts' are less obvious because its eyes are constantly covered by its hair).
  • Heroic BSOD: The player character if he/she loses all his/her Pokémon. Well, "black-out" ("white-out" in Generations II and III), but the trope is still valid.
    • At least in HeartGold and SoulSilver, this includes dropping money in panic.
      • FireRed and LeafGreen as well.
  • Hit Points: One of the integral game mechanics in the Pokémon games, represented by a Life Meter.
  • Honorable Elephant: Donphan is known to be helpful in road maintenance, Phanphy on the other hand is known for injuring people on accident
  • Horn Attack: the moves Horn Attack (the Trope Namer), Horn Drill, Megahorn, and Horn Leech.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Moves like Fly and Dig involve the player's Pokémon moving itself out of the opponent's range for one turn, making them invulnerable to most attacks. Later generations introduced a handful of moves that can strike the Pokémon during this phase, and some even inflict double damage (e.g. Earthquake against Dig, Surf against Dive, Gust against Fly). Shadow Force is a newer and straighter example of the trope, but is indirectly banned within the game's specialized battle-scenario environments.[16]
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Your room is somewhat customizable in G/S/C; in R/S/E and D/P/P, you get a much more advanced "Secret Base" to decorate. In Platinum, you receive a rather large villa for free when you enter the Resort Area. You buy the furniture you want, but you can't put it where you want.
    • Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald also added an exterior-design element, to a degree. Do you want your secret base to be in a tree (as a treehouse), a large bush, a mountainside cave, or a lakeside cave? Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum also let you choose your base's location (which did depend somewhat on where you entered the Underground from), except that there was no real aesthetic variation underground.
    • And in HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can now design the frakking SAFARI ZONE.
      • The Dream World in the Pokémon Global Link deserves a mention.
  • An Ice Person: Lorelei of the Kanto Elite Four, Pryce of the Johto Gym Leaders, Glacia of the Hoenn Elite Four, Candice of the Sinnoh Gym Leaders, and Brycen of the Unova Gym Leaders. Interesting to note that Candice is actually quite Hot-Blooded.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The legendary 'Mons (Arceus in particular, as well as Mewtwo in Generation I).
    • Infinity-1 Sword: The legendary trios and "pseudo-legendaries" such as Dragonite and Garchomp fit this bill in some generations. They're not as powerful as the "main" legendaries, but you can obtain them before entering the leagues and/or encountering the main legendaries.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Several, but the most Egregious example would have to be the one-way ledges. Yeah, the ones that appear to be half the player character's height but cannot be climbed, regardless of whether or not one's Pokémon know Rock Climb, Fly, or any other field move that would logically allow one to overcome such an obstacle.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: "Pokémon Double Trouble", an Orange Islands episode of the anime, features the official debut of double battles, a whopping THREE YEARS before Ruby and Sapphire Versions! (Double battles unofficially debuted in "Ash Catches a Pokémon", where Team Rocket conducted them illegally.) Likewise, the manga series featured double battles that predated Ruby and Sapphire.
  • Interpol Special Agent: An NPC on the S.S. Anne and Looker are police officers who work for the "international police".
  • In Their Own Image: Team Galactic's plan, and comparable to the plans of Aqua and Magma.
  • Jerkass: Some of your rivals, particularly the rivals in Red/Blue/Yellow and Gold/Silver/Crystal.
    • Gets different in FRLG. If you compare dialog, you can find that later he doesn't call you pal, whereas in originals he did. On other hand...

  Gary:Oh yeah, right. I feel sorry for you. No, really. You're always plodding behind me. So here, I'll give you a little present as a favor. *gives Fame Checker*

  • Just Add Water: Poffins (muffins).
  • Karma Houdini: Giovanni, Maxie, Archie, and Cyrus. (Though, for Archie and Maxie, it's justified by a Heel Face Turn.)
    • And Cyrus's case is somewhat debatable; see the Pokemon Nightmare Fuel section for details. There's also the fact that, at least in Platinum, his actions are made out to be the result of his terrible childhood and implied to be self-destructive as well.
  • Kill It with Fire: Grass, bug, steel, and ice types, specifically.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Breeding can sometimes give learned moves to the child.
  • Leitmotif: In all games, a different tune plays in each city, changing for battles, Poké Marts, Pokémon Centers, and even while Surfing. Some cities recycle tunes, though (RBY and GSC being the worst offenders due to lack of data storage space).
    • There are also several different songs that play when you meet trainers. In Gen IV and V, they're surprisingly long.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Wobbuffet. Despite its limited moveset and comical appearance (and actually being partially based on a Japanese comedian), it has high HP reserves and knows how to Counter Attack (Counter and Mirror Coat return double the damage inflicted against the user). From the third generation onwards, its baby version Wynaut learns Encore, which can force the opponent to repeat one attack multiple times (making them easier to counter), and comes with an ability that prevents the opponent from switching out. Ghost- or Dark- type Pokémon can take advantage of their elemental immunity to Counter and Mirror Coat (respectively), but other types are on their own.
    • Early in the games, you get an Old Rod. Most first-timers are excited about fishing for Pokémon, but are disappointed to see that the Old Rod yields little more than Magikarp, which are one of the weakest species in the game. Most first-timers don't have the patience to level one up until the Magikarp Power kicks in (at Level 20).
    • In the fifth generation, most Pokémon have a different ability if you catch them through the Dream World, and some of these abilities make them significantly more useful. The most notable would have to be Dream World Ditto receiving the ability Impostor, which causes it to Transform automatically upon switching in. A small change, but it makes it potentially the best revenge killer in the game.
    • With the right set up and some luck, even Rattata and Magikarp can become this.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Looker in Platinum is almost totally useless until the very end of the game, at which point he successfully ambushes one of the remaining big bads.
  • Level Grinding: Time to tweak my EVs...
  • Lie to the Beholder: The fifth-generation species Zorua (and its evolved form, Zoroark) feature an ability called Illusion, which makes it appear as a different Pokémon until hit by an opponent's attack in battle. This means that, since it's Dark-type, a Psychic-type attack won't dispel the illusion. Of course, a human opponent will get a little suspicious after the following exchange: "Mewtwo used Psychic!" "It doesn't affect Emboar..." (Emboar should be weak to Psychic-type attacks.)
  • Lightning Bruiser: There are a lot of examples, most of them being Legendaries or otherwise classified in the "Uber" tier.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: Each Pokémon can only learn four moves at a time. In order for a Pokémon to learn a new one, a currently-known move has to be replaced. HM moves can only be deleted outside of battle, with the assistance of a person known as a Move Deleter; this is meant to prevent the player from getting trapped in an area due to not having a Pokémon with the required HM move needed to navigate out of the location in question.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters:
    • There's currently 649 different species of Pokémon, although only a handful serve plot-related functions in each game.
    • Not to mention the 46 Gym Leaders in the games, the 19 Elite Four members, six Champions (including some overlap between the three in Generations I through III), the countless NPC classes, the player characters...
  • Lost Forever: The event-only Pokémon, which is especially infuriating as there is nothing you can do ever to get them back - unlike most examples of the Trope, you can't even restart your game for them.
    • For a while, the GTS had some of the event Pokémon on it, but later event Pokémon have been contained a special Poké Ball and have had Ribbons applied to them that prevent them from being traded, respectively being the Cherish Ball, the Classic Ribbon, and the Premier Ribbon (Mew-exclusive).
    • If you release a Pokémon, you cannot get it back, even if it is a one-time-only legendary Pokémon. Minor exceptions include Pokémon that know certain HM moves (to prevent players from becoming stuck in certain areas), Pokémon with high happiness levels, and whenever the Pokémon being released is the only Pokémon in the player's current party.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The animation of Fire Blast and its spread is a reference to a festival that also provides the Japanese name, Daimonji.
    • The Ultra Ball is called a "Hyper Ball" in the Japanese version, hence why it has an H on it.
      • Additionally, the Pokémon Contests ranks of Generation III were originally based off of the Japanese names of Generation I's basic Poké Balls, excluding the Safari Ball: Normal ("Monster"), Super, Hyper, and Master. The English naming scheme Pokémon Contest ranks did not catch this, and the original Japanese terms were used instead. Generation IV's Super Contests partially rectify this, with the "Hyper" rank getting properly translated to "Ultra" rank, referencing the Hyper Ball's English renaming of "Ultra Ball". However, Super Rank, which corresponds to the Japanese Super Ball/English Great Ball, still retained the name of "Super Rank".
    • A number of Trainers in later games have the same name and Pokémon as characters from the movies, though these references are almost always missed in the translation.
    • The Dark type doesn't actually mean dark. It is called "evil type" in Japan. Because of this, lots of fans see the dark type as actual darkness rather than using dirty tricks to win and wonder why there isn't a "light" type yet.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Capturing wild Pokémon, especially legendaries. (Knocking them out is fairly easy; it's catching them alive that takes forever.)
    • To explain this, each Pokémon species has a specific "catch rate" that affects the probability of snagging it with a given Poké Ball. Com Mons have a base rate of 100%, making them easy to catch, while most legendaries have a base catch rate of about 1%. There are a variety of modifiers, but even with all the modifiers in your favor, the chances of catching a legendary are still less than 10% per throw.
    • The Safari Zone cranks this Up to Eleven, with every Pokémon encountered willing to run away at the drop of a hat, and having your strategic options limited to either throwing rocks (which increases the chance of them being caught, while increasing the chance of them running), or throwing bait (which does the opposite).
    • Many of the Battle Frontier challenges, particularly the Battle Pike (where the whole purpose is to test the player's luck) and the Battle Palace (where Pokémon fight on their own, without commands from their Trainers). The Battle Factories of Hoenn and Sinnoh/Johto are also notable, as the selection of Pokémon offered to the player at the start of each challenge is randomized each time.
      • Factory Head Noland,[17] Factory Head Thorton,[18] and Hall Matron Argenta all have randomized party Pokémon each time they are challenged, meaning that essentially any' Pokémon (other than those[19] that are not admissible to the Battle Frontier, and excluding species that debut in subsequent generations) could appear as an opponent Pokémon. So not only is the players team subject to luck, the opposing teams (and the difficulty of every battle with the aforementioned Frontier Brains) are as well.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong:
    • Played straight in the anime, but subverted here. Because the Revival Herb, a purchasable item from that herbal shop where they make bitter-tasting medicine, is the Herbal Expy of a Max Revive, which can't be found in stores. Do you mind your Pokémon thinking of you as a Jerkass?
    • Mass breeding/catching and releasing Pokémon to get good nature-IV combos is another example of this trope. Competitive players do this a lot, especially since some battles can be decided by one or two stat points.
  • Made of Explodium: Several Pokémon, most notably Voltorb and Koffing. See also Action Bomb above.
  • Mana: Each move's Power Points, or PP, effectively serve as this.
  • Mascot: Pikachu is the Mascot of the Pokémon franchise across almost all the media.
  • Master of None: A number of Pokémon - Spinda is particularly bad, with 60 in every stat.
  • Meaningful Name: The majority of the gym leaders in the games have them. Just guess which elements these guys specialize in: Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Falkner, Bugsy, Whitney, Pryce, Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, the list goes on.
  • Metagame: You should be able to get a basic idea just by reading this page.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: Quite a few Pokémon do this while evolving. The most obvious example is Magikarp to Gyarados (small karp to sea serpent), but there are others, such as Vibrava to Flygon (lacewing to dragon) and Feebas to Milotic (fish to elegant-looking sea serpent).
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Many Pokémon fit under this category on either the physical and special sides of the spectrum. The most common physical Glaciers are usually Rock/Ground/Steel types and bulkier Fighting types, while quite a few special-based Glaciers are usually bulkier Psychics or Normals. There are a lot of Water and Steel types that are bulky on both ends, leading to the term "bulky Water" and Steel's reputation as one of the best defensive types in the game. Of course, Uber-level legendaries are often classified as such at least partially because of their incredible defenses on both sides.
    • The legendary Pokémon Regice is a literal glacier. It's a very large chunk of sentient ice that's vaguely human-shaped.
  • Miss Conception: Somehow the couple running the day care don't know where the eggs keep coming from.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Especially plant-animal hybrids.
  • Money Multiplier:
    • The Amulet Coin and Luck Incense items double the amount of money gained from defeating Trainers.
    • The move Pay Day also grants Trainers an additional amount of money each time it is used, with the awarded amount of coins being based off of the level of the Pokémon using the move. During Generations 1 and 2, the amount of money scattered was two times the user's level. From Generation 3 onwards, the multiplier was increased, so that the money received per use is now five times the user's level.
      • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, there is a glitch where the wrong amount of money will be displayed if the Amulet Coin is held when Pay Day is used, leaving the impression that the Amulet Coin does not affect Pay Day. However, if the player checks his/her Trainer Card, it will be discovered that the money earned from Pay Day has correctly been doubled and added to the player's total savings. This error was fixed in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions, as well as all subsequent games.
    • Pass Powers, introduced in Generation V, include increasing the reward money from winning Trainer battles.
  • Mons: Somewhere between the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Some of the Gym puzzles, and the Trick House in the third generation.
  • Moral Dissonance: In Pokémon Colosseum, a fair amount of Shadow Pokémon are in the posession of ordinary Trainers who don't know what's wrong with their Pokémon. After you snag them, you never explain to them why you did so. While it's understandable for Wes, it's downright bizarre for Rui (and also Michael, from the sequel).
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: One of the best examples out there. The various Mons appeal to Japan and the Western world, as well as girls and boys. The gameplay appeals to both casual gamers who play simple games and hardcore, competitive gamers who try to understand deeper strategies used to take down the opponent.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: Many species have multiple tails, such as Vulpix (six), Ninetales (obvious), and Tauros (three). Espeon has a forked tail with two tips, as do Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. Buizel and Floatzel have two (they even use them as propellers), as well as Ambipom and Electivire. There are also some ambiguous cases, such as Grovyle (which has branching fern leaves for a tail) and Suicune (which has two ribbons for a tail).
  • Mushroom Man: Shroomish, Breloom, Foongus, and Amoongus.
  • My Nayme Is: Names like "Feraligatr", "Victreebel", and "Cofagrigus" were likely artificially shortened from their natural forms ("Feraligator", "Victreebell", and "Cophagrigus") due to a 10-character limit on names in the games. However, as a result, all official media goes by the constrained names instead of dismissing the shortening as a trick of the game device.
  • Mythology Gag: Some recurring gameplay elements that exist for no particular reason - a Bug-type Pokémon that evolves at a low level, a three-stage Normal/Flying bird Pokémon in starting locations, etc.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Blue/Gary Oak's sister. Twice. In the games, she's named Daisy, which confuses people familiar with the anime where one of Misty's sisters is also named Daisy. In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, she's named May, which confuses people who follow the anime and games even more, as that's the name of Ash's companion in Hoenn and the female character in RSE.
    • They did it yet again in Pokémon Black and White. The name of the player's rival is Bianca. That's also the name of a major character in Pokémon Heroes.
      • Somewhat justified in this case because of Generation V's Theme Naming: Bianca means "white" and Cheren means "black".
  • Nerf:
    • In between the strengthening of the types that were already strong against it, the decreased proliferation of the types that are weak against it, and the ease of finding Dark-type moves, the formerly game-breaking Psychic type is now much more balanced.
    • Up through Generation IV, Selfdestruct and Explosion actually inflicted double their stated attack power because they secretly reduced the opponent's Defense by half. This has been changed as of Gen V, likely due in part to the introduction of Triple Battles, where this could be extremely centralizing, even more so than it already was in Double Battles.
  • Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: Combat Pragmatist Dark-types are weak to Fighting-type attacks.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
    • Meet Blaziken, the giant kickboxing fire chicken. Or Garchomp, the dragon jet-plane Land Shark. Or Tropius, the flying dinosaur with palm-leaf wings and bananas growing from its chin. Or Flygon, the antlion dragon. Yup.
    • Scyther. Human-sized mantis ninja raptor with scythes for arms.
    • In Generation V, we have Emboar, the professional wrestling pig with a beard of fire, and Genesect, a prehistoric Cyborg bug that can fly using its laser cannon as a Jet Pack.
    • Vespiquen, a combination of a bee and a battleship with a touch of European royalty.
    • Sharpedo, a torpedo shark that evolves from a piranha.
    • Blastoise, the water jet cannon tortoise.
    • Dewott is a samurai otter that evolves into a samurai sea lion.
  • No Biological Sex: Most Legendary Pokémon and a couple regularly found Pokémon. Most genderless Pokémon seem to be quite powerful, however. And sometimes fan-viewed gender on Pokémon are accepted by the fandom at large to be correct (Meloetta is female, Mewtwo is male, etc.).
  • No Export for You: Pokémon Battrio (an arcade game), The Wii Ware Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, and the second video game for the card game, among other things.
  • No Fair Cheating: Abusing in-game glitches can cause your game to crash or data to get corrupted; using a Game Shark or Action Replay may lock your DS cartridge out from official Nintendo-sanctioned tournaments (Though not everyone cares about this one), and also carries the potential to seriously screw with the data, preventing whole features from being accessed. That said, it is not likely to happen if you know what you are doing.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: The main series of handheld games isn't voiced, so you generally have to wait until a Pokémon appears in the anime to get the official pronunciation (usually intuitive enough, but not always—Arceus goes against the usual conventions for when a C should be soft and when it should be hard, and logically, Blastoise should be pronounced "blastus"[20] and not "blastoyse", though that one depends on your accent). Then there are the console games (the Pokémon Stadium series, etc.), which... don't always follow the official pronunciations faithfully.
  • No Sell
    • Foresight and Odor Sleuth enable Normal- and Fighting-type attacks to strike Ghosts, which are normally immune to those elements. Likewise, Miracle Eye enables Psychic moves to hit Dark types, and Gravity allows Ground attacks to strike Flying types.
    • The Mold Breaker ability allows attacks to bypass abilities (like Wonder Guard) that would otherwise prevent an attack from inflicting damage (though it cannot override elemental immunities, such as Electric versus Ground).
    • Unaware makes a Pokémon's attacks ignore changes to the opponent's Defense, Special Defense, or evasiveness.
    • There's also Gastro Acid, a move that disables the opposing Pokémon's ability.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The move Doubleslap can hit up to five times.
  • Non-Lethal KO: Pokémon who have fainted are too weak to battle, but can still perform field moves such as Fly or Surf.
  • Non-Linear Sequel
  • Not Drawn to Scale: The sprites generally fall victim to this. For example, Bonsly (left) should be 1'8" and Sudowoodo (right) should be 3'11".
    • Averted by Stadium games. By a lot.
  • Olympus Mons: Arceus is implied to be the creator of the Pokémon universe. Yet Arceus still can't break out of a Master Ball. Go to a Nintendo special event to get one of your own!
  • One Curse Limit: A Pokémon cannot be affected by two major status effects (Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, etc.) at the same time.
  • One Game for the Price of Two:
    • Arguably the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker. Each generation of the series comes in at least two "versions", with certain Pokémon exclusive to a particular version. Trading between versions is the only way to truly catch them all.
    • They have even gone so far as to make two versions of the same movie, complete with version exclusive Pokémon. Can anyone say Cash Cow Franchise?
    • Arguably inverted in Gold and Silver and their remakes: although the trope remains valid, these games also offer the ability to go to a whole new region with new Gym Leaders and a rematch of the Elite Four after beating the main game. It's true that the Kanto portion is abbreviated compared to Johto, but still, it almost feels like a separate game.
  • One-Gender Race: Several species of Pokémon are exclusively male or exclusively female, although some (like the Nidoran, or Volbeat/Illumise) are considered different genders of the same species, officially or otherwise.
  • One Head Taller: Not for romantic reasons. However, measuring a person's height by their head is a way of telling their age in all medias. Children usually are 5 heads tall, teens six, and adults seven.
  • One-Letter Name: Only three in the entire series; here they are (listed below):
    • J, a Pokémon poacher from seasons 10-12 of the anime.
    • N, the leader of Team Plasma in Black & White.
    • O, the ping pong expert from the season 12 episode "To Thine Own Pokémon Be True".
  • One-Man Army: A single Pokémon can be used throughout the game, despite type advantages/disadvantages. Other Pokémon could be solely for useless HMs.
  • Only Shop in Town: In the vast majority of the towns and cities throughout the series, the local Pokémart will be the only place where goods of any kind are bought and sold.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: A lot of Pokémon. The 5th generation in particular is known for this, but the other gens have some weird ones as well.
    • In Gen. V, we have a ice cream cone, a candle that first evolves into a lamp, then a chandelier, a trash bag, gears, a sarcophagus that used to be human, a disembodied brain, a legendary trio based on The Three Musketeers, and a species based on The Nazca Lines Condor
    • Previous generations introduce monsters based on such concepts as the entire English alphabet including ! and ? marks, magnets that evolve into a UFO, living Poké Balls, a pinecone, a boombox, a windchime, a mon based on the futakuchi-onna,[21] a Shapeshifting pink blob that can breed with almost anything and looks like a wad of bubble gum, a powerful cat fetus, a flying magnetic Moai head that looks like a Jewish stereotype, an mutated Shapeshifting alien space virus with its brain in its chest, a stomach, living sludge, Eggs that evolve into a walking coconut tree with faces on its fruit, ghost balloons that try to abduct children, a cursed, probably possessed doll that seeks the child that disowned it, a incredibly stupid hippo thing that gains super genius level intelligence when a clam bites its skull and releases toxins while it's holding a special rock, etc...
  • Overly Long Tongue: Lickitung and Lickilicky.
  • Palette Swap: Quite literally, for shiny Pokémon. They are no more or less effective than their normal counterparts (except Generation II, where they have mid range stats all around), but their rarity (a 1 in 8192 chance of being encountered) make them sought-after, even if they're Com Mons.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: Pretty easy to do with two stall-heavy Mons, or if the battle has been going on for a while and Mons only have Struggle as their move left. Reaches ridiculous levels in Wobbuffet vs. Wobbuffet battles, where due to a lack of actual attacks beyond counterattacks means that they can only hit with Struggle, and their high defence means that winning with that will take a long, long time. And heaven help you if you both have Leftovers attached, which will easily heal more HP than Struggle will hurt you for...
    • The Wobbuffet vs. Wobbuffet scenario is the likely reason why in Generation IV and onward the recoil damage from Struggle is equal to 1/4 the user's max HP instead of 1/2 the damage dealt to the target.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: One of the trainer classes.
  • Party in My Pocket: Quite literally—Mons are stored in pocket-sized Poké Balls. (Due to this, it's among the few RPGs to justify its use of this trope.)
  • The Peeping Tom: In the original Pokémon games, there's one of these standing outside the all-female gym in Celedon City.
  • Petal Power: Razor Leaf, Leaf Storm, Magical Leaf, and Petal Dance.
  • The Phoenix: Ho-oh and Moltres.
  • Pinball Spinoff: Pokémon Pinball and its sequel for the GBA.
  • Planet of Hats:
    • Many Pokémon. All Absol try to warn people about disasters despite suffering from Cassandra Did It, all Bagon want to fly so badly they developed natural crash helmets to protect themselves when leaping off cliffs, all Meowth like shiny things and collect them, etc... This can lead to an Out of Character if you happen to get a Single Specimen Species with a nature that contradicts its Canon personality, like a timid or Jolly Mewtwo.
  • Planimal: Bulbusaur's family is both animal and plant simultaneously. Also Chikorita, Treeko, Turtwig, Snivy and Pansage, being part weird dinosaur, gecko, turtle, snake and monkey, respectively.
  • Police Are Useless: To varying degrees. In the anime, Team Rocket never get arrested (mostly because Ash makes them blast off). In the games, officers only fight at night, and even when there's a museum robbery, or when an organization has set up an evil-looking base in the middle of town, both done in broad daylight, only the player actively attempts to fight back.
    • Looker is a one-man exemplification of this trope, up until his very last appearance, in which he actually arrests someone, go figure.
    • Taken further in Pokémon Colosseum. There are only two officers in a crime-filled desert, and their long arm of the law isn't nearly long enough to stamp out the crime in their town, much less all of Orre.
    • Averted with the Ranger Corps, which you are part of.
  • Post End Game Content:
    • The first generation unlocked the Cerulean Cave, home to the most powerful Pokémon Mewtwo. The remakes also unlocked the Sevii Islands.
    • The second generation unlocked the Kanto region, with the leaders of the first generation ready to fight you again. Many people however consider this to be part of the game and not an unlockable. Mt. Silver on the other hand only unlocks when you beat the 8 old gyms and lets you fight the True Final Boss, the protagonist of the first generation.
    • The third generation unlocks the roaming Pokémon Latios (in Ruby) or Latias (in Sapphire), with Emerald letting the player choose which one of the two will be roaming. Ruby and Sapphire unlock the Sky Pillar (where Rayquaza can be battled/caught) and the Battle Tower; Emerald unlocks the Battle Frontier, Terra Cave and Marine Cave (the locations where Groudon and Kyogre can be battled/caught, respectively), the National Pokédex (completion nets a choice of one of the Johto starters), and new areas in Hoenn's Safari Zone (of which the inhabitants are mostly Johto Pokémon).
    • The fourth generation unlocks the upper right part of the map, with the Fight, Survival, and Resort Areas, but to unlock the latter two you need to have seen every Pokémon in the Regional Pokédex (which can be a pain in the ass and a Guide Dang It to boot). Turnback Cave also appeared when you unlocked the previous areas. Pokémon swarms started to appear every day too.
    • The fifth generation went one step further than any other, as the League Champion is now a post-endgame battle, something never done before. Other important fights with Bonus Bosses are unlocked too, as well as new areas (the right part of the map) where old generation Pokémon appear. The option to connect with the fourth generation becomes available too.
    • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series are far from over when you end the game. You'll gain access to many new areas and a second storyline. You'll also be able to fight the boss legendary Pokémon from the first part.
  • Power Copying: Pokémon can do this in a variety of ways, both temporarily (Ditto and Mew's move Transform, as well as the moves Mimic and Mirror Move) or permanently (Smeargle's Sketch makes it learn the opponent's move).
    • The Pokémon ability Trace allows the user to specifically copy the opponent's ability (determined randomly if more than one foe is present), and the move Role Play is a manual method of accomplishing the same thing that the ability Trace does.
  • Power Limiter: Poké Balls of all kinds, though presumably the "limiter" (whatever it is; maybe a mental block?) can be removed by the Trainer temporarily, should they wish.
  • The Power of the Sun: Solarbeam, Sunny Day, Morning Sun, Weather Ball, the Abilities Chlorophyll, Solar Power, Forecast, Flower Gift...
  • Power-Up Food: Poffins, Poké Blocks, and Aprijuice.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Few HM moves have enough attack power to make them useful in competitive multiplayer battling, and become useful only in the field. A Pokémon equipped with HM moves exclusively for field usage is sometimes called an "HM Slave". Surf and Waterfall are the major exceptions, as they are both staples of competitive battling.
  • Practical Taunt: The moves Taunt, used in making the target only use offensive moves, and Torment, for preventing the target from using the same move twice in a row.
  • Psychic Children:
    • The series only plays this straight with Mossdeep Gym Leaders Tate and Liza, who look like young children (complete with Twin Telepathy). And maybe Caitlin, depending on which generation you're playing. All the other prominent Psychic-type trainers (eg. Sabrina, Will, Lucian, as well as the Psychic trainer class) appear to be at least in their twenties.
    • Some Psychic-type Pokemon, such as Mime Jr, Smoochum, Ralts, Kirlia, Gothita, and Gothorita actually resemble children.
  • Psychic Powers: Psychic-type Pokémon, as well as a few humans (human psychics coincidentally tend to favor Psychic-type Pokémon).
  • Punch Clock Villain: Most trained Pokémon owned by evil teams are apparently like this. The grunts of each version's evil team also tend to be this. (Team Plasma grunts are the major exception; they're Unwitting Pawns instead.) After Team Plasma collapses, a polite former member even sets up an incense shop in Driftveil's Market.
  • Punny Name: Just about every Pokémon's name is a pun or Portmanteau on their type, design, or general nature - some of the puns are even bilingual. Most of the gym leaders and elites have names that reflect their type specialty. In fact, just about everybody who is anybody has either this or at very least a Meaningful Name.
  • Race Lift: Colosseum Leader Rosie and Colosseum Master Sashay were given darker skintones in the American version of Battle Revolution due to complaints of a lack of any skintone variance.
  • Rain Dance: is a move.
  • Random Effect Spell: Metronome is the most dramatic, being able to use any other attack in the game. Assist and Sleep Talk are more minor ones, as is Present.
  • Random Number God:
    • Players curse pretty much anything that has a random chance of happening, whether it's Standard Status Effects, their Mon injuring itself in confusion, the opposing Mon landing a Critical Hit....
    • Accuracy/evasion are a special annoyance, as while all Mons have a base accuracy of 100%, moves that affect accuracy or evasion will make anything (short of an Always Accurate Attack) seem to miss at the worst possible times, and seemingly more against you than the AI.
  • Recurring Element: A ton. See the trope page for details.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!
    • Most field moves do essentially the same task: "Cut" and Rock "Smash" destroy obstacles (trees and rocks) on the field, "Whirlpool" and "Waterfall" grant passage across obstacles in water (like, well, whirlpools and waterfalls)
    • Aside from HMs, there are a lot of moves that have the exact same base power, accuracy, and/or effects, but with different elemental typings. Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt, for example. As of Gen V, Crabhammer became functionally identical to Aqua Tail (the former previously had slightly lower accuracy); Justified since they're both dependent on different body parts, and so currently have no overlap in which Pokémon can learn them.
  • Reality Warper: Stantler's Pokédex entry in Gold is "The curved antlers subtly change the flow of air to create a strange space where reality is distorted."
    • Based on its other Pokédex entries and the anime, it's more like where reality appears distorted. Its special abilities focus on hypnotism and illusions.
    • More accurately, Arceus in Soul Silver has the power to create an egg for one of the Gen 4 dragons in a special area. The way the animation for this is shown, it looks like it's remaking the entire Universe just to give you the egg. This is also the ONLY legitimate way to get a Legendary egg (Manaphy and Phione keep getting flip-flopped) or a level 1 Legendary of any kind.
    • We also have the Ralts-Kirlia-Gardevoir evolution line, all of whom can "warp reality" to some extent. Gardevoir in particular, according to its Pokédex entry, "has the psychokinetic power to distort the dimensions and create a small black hole", on top of future prediction and teleportation. Move aside, Alakazam and Mewtwo.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Pokémon Yellow Version and Pokémon Puzzle League are games based on the anime based on the main series of Pokémon games, with Yellow being part of the main series itself.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: Inverted with the "Pressure" ability, which doubles PP cost for the enemy's moves, and triples it in double battles if both Pokémon possess the Ability.
  • Red String of Fate: The held item Destiny Knot (a ball of red string) - if a Pokémon of the opposite gender uses Attract or the Cute Charm ability on you while you're holding it, your opponent becomes infatuated as well. Actually called Red String in the Japanese version, even.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Series creator Satoshi Tajiri dying as a result of the 2011 earthquake in Japan were proved to be a hoax within days.
  • Retcon:
    • Magnemite and its first evolution had their type changed from Electric to Electric/Steel in Gen 2. This makes them, along with Rotom, the only Pokémon who have ever had their Type Ret Conned.
    • Prior to the introduction of Pichu, the anime showed baby Pikachu.
  • Roar Before Beating: Utilized as a gameplay mechanic. Moves like "Screech" and "Growl" will lower an opponent's stats without doing actual damage.
  • Rolling Attack: The move "Rollout". It doubles in power if the move "Defense Curl" is used beforehand.
    • Ice Ball and Steamroller count as well.
  • Rule 34: Hit this franchise like a nuclear bomb. YMMV if this is a good or bad thing.
  • Rule of Cool: Many of the character designs.
  • Rule of Three: There always are three starters and at least one legendary trio per game. There also usually come out three main games per generation, not counting remakes. As of Gen V, Triple Battles and Rotation Battles (which also use three Pokémon, but different field mechanics). Starting with Generation III, version mascots tend to be part of a trio as well (with the third one being used for the inevitable Updated Rerelease).
  • Running Gag: There will ALWAYS be a trainer with 6 Magikarps.
  • Saharan Shipwreck
  • Save Scumming: You can do this with any one-time-only Mon, allowing you to get an ideal nature, or even a Shiny.
  • Schrodinger's Player Character:
    • Played straight in Crystal where the female character option was first introduced, as well as in FR/LG; averted in the subsequent main games, where the character you don't choose becomes an NPC.
    • Partly played straight in HG/SS which, despite Leaf being playable in LG/FR (leaving Red in purgatory), has Red as the Bonus Boss while Leaf is nowhere to be found.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: In general gameplay, you can override type advantages by simply being much stronger than all opponents. Even the Elite Four can be defeated by a single starter if it's at level 100. There's also the common tactic of giving a Pokemon moves that can trump its type weaknesses (say, a Psychic-type Reuniclus beating a Dark-type opponent with the Fighting-type Focus Blast).
    • The ability Tinted Lens, which increases the power of ineffective attacks back up to the power of a neutral hit, can lead to this.
  • Screw Destiny: Future Sight psychically projects an attack into the near future, hitting with a hefty 100 base power and 100% accuracy. It can't be stopped by Magic Guard, Endure, or even Protect. However, if the battle ends before it can trigger...
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Snake and cobra Pokémon Ekans and Arbok, and Technology Haunter Rotom. Taking Engrish and romanization into account, "Lucario" is supposed to be "oracle" (o-ri-ca-lu) in reverse.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Pokémon can become this in their Poké Balls, especially if their Trainer deposits them indefinitely into the Pokémon Storage System.
  • Second-Person Attack: Done in a lot of the 3D games, because battle animations weren't built for two Pokémon to ever hit each other or even be on the same side of the arena.
  • Secret Character: At least one every generation. However, Mew, the original Secret Character, was apparently so secret that not even Nintendo knew at first that it was programmed into the original Red and Green Versions.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Quite a few Mons are based off animals rarely seen in real life.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The "Nuzlocke" challenge, which quickly gained popularity. There are many variations that can further add to the difficulty, but the most basic rules are that (1) the player can only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area/route (whether you have to suffer catching duplicates is something dependent on your variation), (2) Pokémon that faint must be released or permanently boxed (they're "dead"), and (3) all Pokémon caught must be given nicknames (the only purpose this serves is to make it hurt more when they die).
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Due to the amount of Pokémon and the ways of finding/evolving them going up every game, along with the various sidequests and challenges.
  • Serious Business: In particular, Shiny collecting.
  • Shout-Out: Now has its own page.
  • Sidequest: Pokémon contests. And various others in individual games.
  • Sigil Spam
  • Sliding Scale of Turn Realism: Turn by Turn.
  • Socialization Bonus: This is actively encouraged by the One Game for the Price of Two mechanic, as it is the easiest way to complete your Pokédex.
  • Solar and Lunar: Solrock and Lunatone, along with various other Pokemon who evolve according to the game's day/night mechanic.
    • The two recovery moves Moonlight and Morning Sun.
  • Something Completely Different: Pokémon Re BURST
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: During battle, whenever one Pokémon strikes another Pokémon with a damage-dealing offensive move, one of three sound effects will play, depending on whether the move used was "not very effective" (dealt 1/2 or 1/4 the normal amount of damage), dealt normal damage, or was "super effective" (dealt two times to four times the normal amount of damage).[22]
  • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear: Have you ever released a Pokémon out into the wild or traded it over to someone else only to realize that you had some really valuable and/or useful item that you can only ever find once in the game equipped to it?
  • Spike Shooter: Any Pokémon with the moves Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Spike Cannon and/or Pin Missile. There are also Icicle Spear and Icicle Crash for the Ice-types.
  • Spinning Out of Here: Teleport pads in first-generation Pokémon games spin you.
    • Travel to the Union Rooms in Diamond and Pearl also spins you.
    • Using Escape Ropes to get out of caves or the Teleport or Dig attacks outside of battle makes the character spin quickly.
  • Spin-Off: Along with the ones listed at the top of the page and their sequels, there is Pokémon Trozei, Pinball, Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire, Dash, Box: Ruby and Sapphire, and Puzzle League/Challenge.
  • Spiteful AI: There are a few moves in the games that allow the AI to qualify as this. Selfdestruct and Explosion both deal massive damage at the expense of the user fainting; Destiny Bond makes sure that if the user faints, so does the opponent; Perish Song adds a counter to everyone out in battle that makes sure that everyone faints in 3 turns. Often when fighting a trainer, their last mon will use one of those moves. The Aftermath ability chips off 1/4 of the opponent's HP if the user faints because of the opponent's attack.
  • Spiritual Successor: Arguably to the MOTHER series, which is supported by recurring shout outs to MOTHER games as far back as Red And Blue, as well as the fact that Creatures Inc, formerly Ape Inc, the main developer of the MOTHER series, receives a major share of the profit from the series.
  • Spoony Bard: Several novelty or gimmick Pokémon, like Ditto (makes a Mirror Match), Wobbuffet (can only counterattack), Unown (for collection, not battling), Smeargle (blue-mage-like attack copying), Spinda (every one has a different spot pattern), Shedinja (One-Hit-Point Wonder), Castform (changes shape based on weather), and Kecleon (changes type). Wobbuffet is a noted game breaker, Shedinja has some effectiveness on scrubs or for catching Kyogre, Smeargle can basically have any possible combination of moves, and Ditto Took a Level In Badass when he got his own unique Ability in Black and White, but the rest... they may have niche uses due to type, ability, and/or move combinations, but many of those niches are so specific as to seem deliberately contrived. And some of them don't even have that much.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Cubone and Marowak carry one with them at all times. There's also the hold item Thick Club that doubles their Attack.
  • Stone Wall:
    • Two of the most popular are Skarmory (against physical attacks) and Blissey (against special attacks, with the additional bonus of having the highest possible base HP in the game), often used together for the lockdown Skarmbliss strategy. The other extremely popular walls now include Forretress, Ferrothorn, and Reuniclus for their excellent defensive stats and typings. This is also, arguably, parodied with Shuckle, which combines absurd stats in both defenses with an immunity to One Hit KO moves, but has horrifically abysmal attack stats. (Strangely, it also has pitiful hit points, so it can be taken out in two or three shots of Seismic Toss or Night Shade, if your opponent uses them.)
    • You can also adapt several others for this role, with the moves Cosmic Power or Stockpile.
    • Beyond them, Lugia and Cresselia qualify. They have titanic defensive stats and middling offenses... the catch is, the former is banned and the latter isn't used very often because of her unreliable recovery.
    • Wobbuffet, also banned in competitive play, has the third highest base HP in the game (over 500 at max level), but literally can't attack. It has no offensive moves, only counter-attacks. (Which are, admittedly, pretty powerful.)
  • Switch-Out Move: The moves Whirlwind, Roar, Dragon Tail, and Circle Throw (all of which have decreased priority), and the Red Card item forces the opponent to switch out. The moves Baton Pass, U-Turn, and Volt Change, and the item Escape Button allow the user/holder to switch out.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Different shades of purple represent Ghost and Psychic types.
  • Super Strength: The Pokédex claims this for quite a few Pokémon, especially Fighting types.
  • Sword Beam: Psycho Cut, especially when used by Gallade, who has swords for arms.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • The entire purpose of Destiny Bond, with Explosion and Self-Destruct also acting like this unless you're extremely defensive or lucky with evasion moves.
    • The Aftermath ability can do this, if the other 'mon is weakened enough when yours faints.
    • Perish Song can do this, if one or both don't switch out.
  • Take That, Audience!: Anytime someone talks about people treating Pokémon like they're tools and nothing else.
  • Teaser Equipment: Inverted in all the main series Pokémon games. Even if you have the money to do so, shops refuse to sell you the higher level PokéBalls and healing items until you've advanced the plot and obtained sufficient Gym badges.
  • Technicolor Fire: Sacred Fire and Blue Flare, as well as many Dragon-type attacks.
  • Technicolor Toxin: The poison type element is purple, and many poisonous attacks and/or poison type Pokémon are violet in color.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Played much more realistically than usual (i.e. different marking, horn sizes). Of course, there are also female Wobbuffet, who wear skanky lipstick.
  • Theme and Variations Soundtrack: Listen closely to the music that plays in each of the Gen IV Battle Frontier facilities (minus the Tower). You'll notice that they all share a different remix of a certain part. (And as a bonus, so does the beginning of Puella's Theme from Battle Arena Toshinden 4.)
  • Time Travel: Mentioned a few times in the series.
    • Celebi is the most well known for being able to do it (and it takes the player character on a trip through time during an event in Heart Gold and Soul Silver).
    • The ability to trade between the first two generations is achieved by the "Time Capsule".
    • Similarly, if a Pokémon that originated in Generation III is brought to Generation IV through Pal Park and then to Generation V through Poké Transfer, it will be noted as having arrived "after a long travel through time".
  • Took a Level In Badass:
    • Many Pokémon will do this as they evolve. (Tiny red lizard into giant fire-breathing dragon, friendly-looking alligator into a giant hulking leviathan, small turtle into a monstrous tortoise with an entire forest on its back, etc.)
    • Probably the most famous example is Magikarp. Magikarp goes from an Joke Character idiotic fish to a giant leviathan, and there's plenty of other examples, like Horsea being a tiny, cutesy seahorse, and its final form Kingdra being a watery dragon seahorse with the ability to create whirlpools by yawning. And Starly, Diamond and Pearl's Com Mons early bird, finally evolves into one of the strongest birds of prey in the entire series.
    • A possible subversion is Raichu. It's even in the same tier as its pre evo Pikachu, and since there is an item only Pikachu can use, it might even be weaker than it. This is probably because Pikachu is far more popular than it.
    • Cubone can also fit this in terms of his story. He starts out eternally sad over the death of his parents, but eventually starts to get stronger so he can overcome this sadness. In the end, he becomes a much more powerful creature for it and, if you really think about it, Marowak almost has the same backstory as Batman. Not to mention, Marowak and Cubone can become among the strongest Pokémon in the game when equipped with Thick Club.
    • Azumarill can fit this. It was introduced in Gold/Silver with a pathetic 50 base stat in Attack, but when Ruby and Sapphire came along with the addition of its new ability Huge Power, Azumarill is effectively stronger than Gyarados when stats are maxed - and by a good margin too, making it into a Cute Bruiser.
    • Ditto did this when it got its own unique Ability in Black and White.
  • Trading Card Lame: Averted. The Pokémon TCG is actually very successful in its own right when compared to other trading card games based on a licensed work.
  • Treacherous Spirit Chase: Several examples; see the trope page for details.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: The Dark type, who do this more often than Casting a Shadow, as it has "dirty" moves with unusual effects like Taunt, Torment, Thief, and Fake Tears.
  • Turns Red: All Starter Pokémon have abilities that increase the damage of their respective element's attacks when their HP is low.
  • Unblockable Attack: Giratina's Shadow Force attack.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody seems to care what Pokémon you use in battle, even if it's extremely rare and mythical.
  • Unwinnable:
    • Averted hard, and for a good reason. Pokémon games have insane amounts of content which to achieve 100% completion requires not only months of gameplay, but also trading with other people and, if you want some legendaries, going to one-time events. Now imagine if all the results of work were Lost Forever because of one single misstep. As such, Game Freak goes to insane lengths to ensure the player can never lock themselves into a corner.
    • Played straight if you end up with certain glitch Pokémon, most of which will freeze the game and at least one of which will cause your save file to corrupt upon catching it and attempting to access the storage system. Contrary to popular belief, however, MissingNo. will not do this; only a good amount of the REAL glitch Pokémon will.
    • Played equally straight with Glitch City if entered carelessly. If you make it there without bringing any Pokémon that know Fly/Teleport (Or at least the HM/TM respectively and Pokémon who can learn said moves), your only exit is to reset the power. Oh, and if you actually saved your progress there without any of the above... well, say goodbye to your childhood progress.
  • Unwinnable By Mistake: See here.
  • Updated Rerelease: Every pair of Pokémon games that isn't a Video Game Remake has had at least one. (In Japan, Red and Green had two; first Blue improved the graphics and sound, then Yellow improved the graphics further and introduced elements from the anime series.)
  • Urban Legend of Zelda:
    • One fan theory suggests that somewhere during the first generation's development, the sprite designs for Butterfree and Venomoth were accidentally switched due to a bug; Butterfree has a striking resemblance to Venomoth's pre-evolution Venonat. It's speculated that instead of correcting the mistake in later releases, the developers might've decided to just Throw It In.
    • "Okay, go to the mansion at night on the third Friday of the month with all three starters and a Raichu in your party, touch the statue one hundred times, and then go into the garden and run around clockwise another one hundred times. The lady in front of the door at the end of the right hallway will leave and when you go inside the room, Oak will give you a ball containing MewThree!" The funniest thing about this is that the Nugget Bridge area Mew Glitch actually works!
    • The Mew truck rumour.
    • Hell, if there's any series that doesn't have a dearth of rumors about things in the games, it's Pokémon. There were rumors that proliferated way back when about being able to find Togepi (introduced in the anime long before the second generation Pokémon were officially announced) and "Pikablu" (aka Marill) in the original games. And yes, millions of rumors of ways to find Mew. One particularly amusing one was that if you defeat the Elite Four 100 times, Professor Oak will tell you that he's sick of inducting you into the Hall of Fame every other Wednesday and give you free roam of the room. Take a guess what you would apparently find in the room. Hint:It rhymes with "stew", is almost as pink as Kirby, and has incredible learning potential.
    • http://www.blue-reflections.net/ragecandybar/projects/pokegods/ is a project working to archive and research all the old codes and rumors in the Pokémon games, particularly the Poké Gods.
    • 'M, one of the glitch Pokémon, was supposed to evolved into a Level 1 Kangaskhan that know Sky Attack in Red/Blue. It's true. (The Sky Attack is there because 'M starts with it.)
    • Almost every player had some variation of "Hold B while trying to capture a Pokémon to raise your success rate."
      • This tends to be more along the lines of D&D players' "Don't touch my dice!" superstitions. Not many really believe it works, but do it anyway as something resembling tradition.
    • An example of an ascended urban legend is Leafeon. Leafeon was a common rumor back during the late 90s because the Leaf Stone was the only one of the elemental stones (not including the Moon Stone) that didn't evolve Eevee. So naturally, rumors flew about the mythical "Leafeon". It took three more generations, but they finally put it in. Though, ironically, it doesn't evolve via Leaf Stone, but rather by leveling Eevee up in a particular forest near a particular rock.
  • Versus Character Splash: Shows up in important battles, starting with the third generation.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: After beating a Gym Leader you're given the TM of one of the moves their Pokémon had.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Some Pokémon can only evolve by being especially happy with you. Also, the move Return is stronger the more your Pokémon likes you.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Like Return, the move Frustration gets stronger the less your Pokémon likes you.
    • Getting the best possible stats on a Pokémon without resorting to cheating/hacking or drawn out Save Scumming involves abandoning a lot of newborns when they don't have the base stats you want.
  • Video Game Remake: FireRed and LeafGreen for the Game Boy Advance are remakes of Red and Green/Blue for the Game Boy, and HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS are remakes of Gold and Silver for the Game Boy Color.
  • Wake Up Call Boss: The first Gym Leaders in the first, third, and fourth generations use Rock Pokémon, which have a type advantage against Fire-type starters. This began with Brock for players who started with Charmander. The second generation instead starts with Falkner, who uses Flying Pokémon, which would have this trait for players who chose the Grass-type Chikorita.
    • Definitely Whitney. Whitney is always a WUC Boss because her Miltank has Milk Drink, Defense Curl, Rollout, and Attract. Defense Curl results in a 50% defense boost and doubles Rollout's power which continues to increase after each successive use. After 3 or 4, it can OHKO your entire team.
      • Made even worse in the remakes, where Miltank has the ability Scrappy, which allows it to damage Ghost-types. Considering that this was the easiest way to beat her in the original G/S/C, your only hope now is an over-leveled Fighting-type.
    • Generation V does this for everyone, as the Gym Leader changes based on your starting Pokémon. Assuming people who ask you what Pokémon you started with can't be lied to to avert this.
  • The Water Is A Deep Blue... Would you like to surf on it? (Perhaps it's all the Tentacool in it?) Most W Pokémon are b-colored.
    • In Emerald, it actually says "The w is dyed a deep b..." As though it's the contractual obligation of all the w-dwelling 'Mons to ensure that water is properly blue, so they actually scatter dye all over the place.
  • Weak but Skilled: If you decide to use more than 3 Pokémon on an in-game team prior to Generation 5's experience gain overhaul, you will likely have them all lower level than most Trainer's Pokémon if you don't grind, forcing you to exploit elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, which you can do easily thanks to your team's variety.
    • Unskilled but Strong: Going with only 1 or 2 Pokémon will result in you having a massive level advantage even without grinding.
    • For a specific Pokémon example, Smeargle, who has all-around poor base stats, but through its move Sketch, can permanently learn any move in the entire game.
  • Weapons Grade Vocabulary:
    • There's several sound-based attacks in the Pokemon series, varying in type between Make Me Wanna Shout, Brown Note and this.
    • An example of this type is 'Snarl', a Dark-type attack that seemingly involves the Pokémon ranting and shouting at the target for a while, inflicting damage and lowering their attack-power.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Team Plasma is this, with a side of Knight Templar and Hypocrisy.
  • Whale Egg: All Pokémon hatch from Eggs, even the mammalian, human-shaped, and mechanical ones. (Not to mention the Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action.) Even Arceus, hailed in Sinnoh legend to be the creator of all Pokémon, was born from an egg that emerged within nothingness/a swirling vortex of chaos.
    • Mewtwo is an exception. In the Pokémon games, documents within the Cinnabar Pokémon Mansion state that Mew gave birth to Mewtwo, while the Pokémon anime implies that Mewtwo is a unique Pokémon, being cloned on a New Island laboratory from a fossilized eyebrow of Mew.
  • What Are You Looking At: The other Trainers are deliberately staring in order to catch the eye of any passers-by and challenge them to battles.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Averted hard; where else can you befriend trash bags,[23] snakes,[24] ghosts,[25] mantises,[26] bees,[27] spiders,[28] lizards,[29] salamanders,[30] bats,[31] coelacanths,[32] jellyfish,[33] bag worms,[34] sharks,[35] mudfish,[36] kappa,[37] cacti,[38] psychic mirrors,[39] barghests,[40] eels,[41] antlions,[42] anomalocaris,[43] scorpions,[44] crabs,[45] skunks,[46] piranhas,[47] toads,[48] sea slugs,[49] hellhounds,[50] crocodilians,[51] weasels,[52] venus flytraps,[53] masses of vines,[54] giant moving stomachs,[55] lumps of sludge,[56] levitating sea mines,[57] crows,[58] rhinoceroses,[59] magnets,[60] exploding spheres [61] and living iron and mineral? [62]
    • However, the fourth gen's Amity Square plays it straight, only allowing certain Pokémon designated "cute" to walk with their Trainers inside. A nearby Trainer lampshades it, calling "discrimination."
  • Wingdinglish: Unown in Generations II and IV and the Braille in Generation III. The Undersea Ruins in Gen V has this written on parts of the walls. Good luck figuring out what the hell it means.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: In the English versions, almost every single Gym Leader and Elite Four member's name is a pun on their preferred type. Lt. Surge, Wattson, Volkner and Elesa are Electric trainers, Brock, Roxanne and Roark are Rock trainers, Pryce, Candice and Brycen are Ice trainers, Fantina, Morty and Shauntal are Ghost trainers, and so forth.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The games use the word "gender[63]" to refer to male vs. female. This works alright... until the fourth generation, which introduces "gender differences" (i.e. Sexual dimorphism).
    • Likely a subsection of Gosh Dang It to Heck; by calling it gender it avoids actually saying "sex" or "sexual."
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Generation III had four "Formes" for Deoxys, and Platinum introduces Giratina's "Altered Forme" and "Origin Forme", and Shaymin's "Land Forme" and "Sky Forme". The Pokédex still uses "forms" for its tab for viewing alternate forms, as well as for individual entries for most Pokémon, such as Unown's 28 forms (each labeled "one form" in the Pokédex, as opposed to "one forme").
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most of the player characters in the games have fairly normal black or b... except Kris, the female player character from Crystal, who has dark b hair. However, Lyra, her replacement from HeartGold and SoulSilver, is b-haired.
    • All of the Team Galactic members except for Mars and Jupiter have blue hair.

Notes

  1. though they do receive an attack bonus for it
  2. You can even put the third and fourth best-selling franchises together and they still don't top Pokémon!
  3. Guess which one has a Heel Face Turn, and which one's the final boss...
  4. (it's now Victini)
  5. The previous one, her father Koga, ascended to the position of Elite Four.
  6. nasty caltrops that poison Pokémon as they enter play.
  7. because it is the closest equivalent to a "Light" type Pokémon has
  8. wreaks hell on Choice Band/Specs/Scarf users!
  9. Good examples are Swellow's "Guts", which gives it an attack boost under status ailments and synchronizes with Facade and Brave Bird, or Staraptor's massive attack strength upon evolution and Close Combat to hit Rock and Steel types hard.
  10. Splash
  11. Judgement
  12. from the third generation onward--Shinies in the second generation had very slight statistical differences, but in the end they meant little anyway
  13. Ice-type versions will usually have less PP, since Freeze status is far more dangerous than Burn or Paralysis, but the stats are otherwise identical.
  14. An interesting note is that if one uses the move on ice or snow in Generation IV, the move gets the highest chance of causing freezing in the entire game, with a whopping 30% chance; the other moves that can do so only have a 10% or less chance.
  15. And by "hilarity", we mean "vulgarity".
  16. as the only Pokémon who can use it are themselves banned
  17. Presides over the aforementioned Battle Factory of Hoenn
  18. Presides over the aforementioned Battle Factory of Sinnoh
  19. Mewtwo, Mew, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Celebi, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Deoxys, Rotom (all Rotom forms except "Normal Rotom", Rotom's default form), Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Phione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus
  20. blast, tortoise
  21. a starved woman that had a hungry mouth emerge out of a wound in the back of her head.
  22. A Fire-type move used against a Paras or Parasect with the Dry Skin ability (Water-type moves restore 25% of the Pokémon's Hit Points, at the expense of Fire-type moves dealing 25% more damage) will deal five times the normal amount damage. In this scenario, the "super effective" sound effect is still played.
  23. Trubbish and Garbodor
  24. the Ekans, Dunsparce, Seviper, and Snivy lines
  25. too many to count
  26. the Scyther line
  27. Beedrill and the Combee line
  28. the Spinarak and Joltik lines
  29. too many to count
  30. the Charmander line
  31. the Zubat and Woobat lines
  32. Relicanth
  33. the Tentacool and Frillish lines
  34. the Pineco and Burmy lines
  35. Sharpedo
  36. the Mudkip line
  37. the Lotad line
  38. the Cacnea line and Maractus
  39. the Bronzor line
  40. Absol
  41. Huntail and Gorebyss
  42. Trapinch
  43. the Anorith line
  44. the Gligar and Skorupi lines
  45. the Krabby line
  46. the Stunky line
  47. Carvanha and Basculin
  48. the Poliwag, Croagunk, and Tympole lines
  49. the Shellos line
  50. the Houndour line
  51. the Totodile and Sandile lines
  52. the Sneasel and Mienfoo lines
  53. Weepinbell, Victreebel and Carnivine
  54. the Tangela line
  55. the Gulpin line
  56. the Grimer line
  57. the Koffing line
  58. the Murkrow line
  59. the Rhyhorn line
  60. the Magnemite line
  61. the Voltorb line
  62. too many to count
  63. To clarify: Sex (as in, "what is your sex") refers to physical characteristics, while gender refers to mental ones. They are often used interchangeably, but as any Transsexual can tell you, they don't always match.

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