[[caption-width-right:350: Ash [[LotsAndLotsOfCharacters and friends]], [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue over the]] [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire course of]] [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl four]] [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite regions]] of the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' series. [[note]]Not shown: [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Tracey]] from the anime-only Orange Islands arc, [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY the Kalos gang]], and [[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon the Alola students]].[[/note]]]]

->''"I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was!\\
To catch them is my real test, to train them is my cause!"''
-->--'''"Pokémon Theme"''', originally performed by Jason Paige

The ''Pokémon'' anime series, currently marketed in English as ''Pokémon: The Series'', is based on the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games by Creator/{{Nintendo}}. Given the success of the games, this series managed to make it to America as part of the marketing push, and, combined with the concurrent American airing of ''Manga/DragonBall'', helped keep the new wave of Western anime adaptations (which started after ''Franchise/PowerRangers'') going.

It features the tale of Ash Ketchum and his pals (who change every saga), as well as the perennially ubiquitous Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth, who attempt to steal Pikachu or another rare Pokémon/item [[OncePerEpisode nearly every episode]] and are, with even greater frequency, sent flying sky-high with the CatchPhrase "Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again! [[ATwinkleInTheSky *Ding!*]]"

The seasons are as follows:


[[folder:''Original series'' (Kanto and Johto)]]
English dub:
* Season 1: ''Indigo League'' (Episodes 1-80)
* Season 2: ''Adventures in the Orange Islands/Orange Archipelago'' (Episodes 81-116)
* Season 3: ''The Johto Journeys'' (Episodes 117-157)
* Season 4: ''Johto League Champions'' (Episodes 158-209)
* Season 5: ''Master Quest'' (Episodes 210-273)

Japanese version:
* ''Indigo League'' (Episodes 1-82)
* ''Orange League'' (Episodes 83-118)
* ''Johto League'' (Episodes 117-276)

* ''Pokémon Chronicles'' (Episodes 1-19)

[[folder:''Advanced Generation'' (Hoenn and Kanto's Battle Frontier)]]
English dub:
* Season 6: ''Advanced'' (Episodes 1-40)
* Season 7: ''Advanced Challenge'' (Episodes 41-92)
* Season 8: ''Advanced Battle'' (Episodes 93-145)
* Season 9: ''Battle Frontier'' (Episodes 146-192)

Japanese version:
* ''Hoenn League'' (Episodes 1-131)
* ''Kanto Battle Frontier'' (Episodes 132-192)

[[folder:''Diamond and Pearl'' (Sinnoh)]]
English dub:
* Season 10: ''Diamond and Pearl'' (Episodes 1-52)
* Season 11: ''Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension'' (Episodes 53-104)
* Season 12: ''Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles'' (Episodes 105-157)
* Season 13: ''Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors'' (Episodes 158-191)

Japanese version:
* ''Sinnoh League'' (Episodes 1-191)

* ''Pokémon Mystery Dungeon'' (Episodes 1-3)
* ''Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs''
* ''Dawn and Brock After Sinnoh'' (Episodes 1-2)

[[folder:''Black and White'' (Unova)]]
English dub:
* Season 14: ''Black & White'' (Episodes 1-48)
* Season 15: ''Black & White: Rival Destinies'' (Episodes 49-97)
* Season 16 (Part 1): ''Black & White: Aventures in Unova'' (Episodes 98-122)
* Season 16 (Part 2): ''Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond'' (Episodes 123-142)

Japanese version:
* ''Best Wishes!'' (Episodes 1-84)
* ''Best Wishes! Season 2'' (Episodes 85-108)
* ''Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N'' (Episodes 109-122)
* ''Best Wishes! Season 2 Da! (Decolora Adventure)'' (Episodes 123-142)

* ''Mewtwo Movie Prologue''
* ''Cilan and Iris After Unova'' (Episodes 1-2)

[[folder:''X and Y'' (Kalos)]]
English dub:
* Season 17: ''XY'' (Episodes 1-49)
* Season 18: ''XY: Kalos Quest'' (Episodes 50-93)
* Season 19: ''XYZ'' (Episode 94-140)

Japanese version:
* ''XY'' (Episodes 1-93)
* ''XY & Z'' (Episodes 94-140)

* ''Mega Evolution Acts'' (Episodes 1-4)
* ''Diancie Movie Prologue''
* ''Hoopa Movie Prologue''
* ''After XY Specials'' (Episodes 1-2)

[[folder:''Sun and Moon'' (Alola)]]
English dub:
* Season 20: ''Sun & Moon'' (Episodes 1-43)
* Season 21: ''Sun & Moon: Ultra Adventures'' (Episodes 44-??)

Japanese version:
* ''Sun & Moon'' (Episodes 1-??)

For more info on the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters many, many characters]], see the [[Characters/PokemonAnime character sheet]]. '''Save all character tropes there, not here.'''

A list of the various movies can be found [[{{Film/Pokemon}} here]].

A Light Novel is also written for this series. For more information, see [[LightNovel/PocketMonstersTheAnimation here]].

Has a [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/Pokemon Best Episode Crowner.]]
!!This show is the TropeNamer for:
* GottaCatchThemAll: Which was also the slogan of the games, before the ever-expanding number of creatures made this AwesomeButImpractical. GameFreak revived the slogan upon release of ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY''.
* PokemonSpeak
* TeamRocketWins
* ToBeAMaster
!!This show provides examples of:
%% HIDDEN COMMENT: Please make sure your example is not already on the character sheet before adding. Thank you.

* AbandonedCatchphrase: Early English dub episodes tried to translate Meowth's Japanese VerbalTic as "meow" or "Meowth". By the end of Kanto they scrapped it.
* AbortedArc:
** The original series conclusion to the anime was meant to be a climactic final battle between Ash and Gary... except by the time the conclusion was approaching, ExecutiveMeddling forced this all-important finale to the side and launched Ash on a perpetual journey and the show into being a LongRunner with no real conclusion in sight.
** The unopened GS Ball that appears in the original series is built up to be important, but after it's dropped off at Kurt's place it's never brought up again. It was originally going to contain Celebi, but it was decided to be the star of ''Anime/Pokemon4Ever'' and the idea was scrapped.
** Speaking of Kurt, Ash, Misty, and Brock each received a special Apricorn Poké Ball from Kurt, but while Ash and Misty actually ended up using their Lure Balls to catch Totodile and Corsola, respectively, Brock never used the Heavy Ball he was given.
** In the beginning of ''Black & White'', Team Rocket were collecting shards of a meteorite called the Meteonite for one of Giovanni's plans. The Meteonite is never brought up again after "A Venipede Stampede", as the final episodes involving them were never aired because of the Tohoku earthquake. [[spoiler: Various trailers and a synopsis based on leaked information show that it went pretty much how one would expect it to go - with Team Plasma stealing the Meteonite from Team Rocket, the two teams fighting over it, and Ash intervening and having Pikachu destroy it to end the conflict.]]
* ActuallyIAmHim: In "Fighting Flyer With Fire", Ash and friends have a long conversation with Falkner without realizing he's the Violet City Gym Leader they were looking for.
* AdaptationalJerkass:
** This is utilized with several Gym Leaders. Many, most notably Lt. Surge, Erika, and Skyla, are egotistical {{Jerkass}}es with a condescending demeanor towards their challengers (or, in Erika's case, towards those who don't appreciate the perfume her gym makes). Pryce is a JerkWithAHeartOfGold who is cold towards Pokemon due to a misunderstanding with his Piloswine long ago, although he ''does'' get better when the Piloswine is found and the situation explained. In particular in the games, Pryce is a perfectly pleasant and decent man, Erika is a laidback {{Ojou}}, Skyla is a NiceGirl, and Lt. Surge, while cocky in the games, isn't nearly as mean about it as he is in the anime (being a Type 2 {{Eaglelander}} instead of a Type 1). All of them [[DefeatEqualsFriendship make friends with the heroes]] in the end to downplay the trope.
** Misty downplays this more than the others, as her anime counterpart is a {{tsundere}} with a temper (though she calms down once Togepi enters the picture) while her game counterpart doesn't seem to be that way except for one occasion in the Gen 2 games. The English dub also toned down her narcissism compared to the Japanese version.
** Iris in the games is very peppy and nice; however in the anime, while heroic, she's far more smug and bratty than in the games, her CatchPhrase telling Ash that he is "just a kid" due to his immaturity ([[HypocriticalHumor despite being the same age as him]]), although like Misty she ends up maturing mostly out of this by the end of her run.
** Inverted with Gary in the English dub. In Japan, he and Ash are friendly rivals and Gary is respected, if infuriatingly cocky. The dub has Gary start out far more insufferable and rude in general and he is a jerk towards Ash, though does gradually develop and mellow in line with the Japanese depiction. This makes his depiction more akin to that of the games.
** Due to EarlyInstallmentWeirdness as a whole, most of Kanto is depicted as something of a CrapsaccharineWorld, with many civilians overzealous as trainers and apathetic towards Ash's hassles from being a rookie. This was toned down in later regions, with subdued exceptions (Petalberg City of Hoenn is shown to have a whole northern area populated by aggressive Norman fanboys for example, though Norman himself and the area of Petalberg he resides is largely as friendly as in the games).
** Downplayed for Sophocles, who is much more of a know-it-all and a DeadpanSnarker than his more introverted games counterpart, but still usually friendly and helpful.
* AdaptationalNiceGuy:
** Clair's anime personality is far nicer and more professional than her [[{{Arrogant Kung Fu Guy}} game]] [[{{Sore Loser}} one]].
** This happens with Gladion:
*** In the ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' games, Gladion is an enforcer for Team Skull who is incredibly abrasive in conversation and a perfectionist in battle [[spoiler: due to being disowned by Lusamine as a result of not wanting to follow her example]]. While his counterpart in the ''Sun and Moon'' series has shades of these traits, he is also shown to have a more noble attitude towards his relationships with people; such as treating Ash in a more friendly manner and fighting off Team Rocket and the recurring Team Skull grunts.
*** He also doesn't seem to have any relation to Team Skull and has a different reason for running away from home, almost solely revolved around his BigBrotherInstinct towards Lillie. Also while he is occasionally standoffish towards Ash's own protectiveness towards Lillie, it is either for genuine errors or simply because he doesn't want him involved in their dangerous matters.
* AdaptationDistillation: [[LawOfConservationOfDetail Most of the time]], only one element of a dual-typed Pokémon is mentioned. Often times, circumstances where the secondary typing would have an impact would not be encountered by the Pokémon with the secondary typing.[[note]]e.g. Poison Immunity but increased damage taken by Psychic attacks in the case of [[Videogame/PokemonRedAndBlue Bulbasaur]], whose secondary type in the games in {{Poison|ousPerson}}.[[/note]] Similarly, Abilities are not mentioned unless applicable to the plot. If an applicable circumstance ''does'' come up, either the encounter plays out per game logic and we learn about the secondary factor ''[[YouDidntAsk then]]'', ([[AdaptationExplanationExtrication or not]],) or the encounter plays out as though the secondary factor isn't there at all.[[note]]e.g. Normal-typed Pokémon getting hit by Ghost-type attacks, when they normally wouldn't in the games.[[/note]]
** In the ''Sun & Moon'' series, Ash is only required to defeat one Pokemon per island in order to face the Kahuna, so that he doesn't receive Z-Crystals he can't use (he receives a Fightinium Z from Hala, but Tapu Koko swaps it out for the Electrium Z since none of his current team know any Fighting type moves, and Lana is the one to take the Water Trial due to Ash having no Water types).
* AdaptationExpansion: Ever since the early days, the anime has used the extensive time frame between new generations to develop the Pokémon world, sometimes even giving interesting CharacterDevelopment for established personas. This was particularly handy back when the games had more of an ExcusePlot. Conversely, any adaptations of the anime (such as ''Manga/TheElectricTaleOfPikachu'') inevitably suffered from ''massive'' CompressedAdaptation.
** Of special note is the Pokémon School from the Sun and Moon anime. There's a Trainer's School on Route 1, but it doesn't have much story focus. Here, it's the main location of the region.
* AdaptedOut:
** [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Leaf,]] [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Hilda, Hilbert,]] [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 Nate, Rosa,]] and [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Calem]] do not show up at all despite being {{Player Character}}s from some of the games. Both sets of ''Black & White'' protagonists being absent was particularly noted by fans of all ages, as their total absence broke a multi-generation tendency of having the female lead of a generation be Ash's traveling companion, or at least making a significant appearance.
** Gary doesn't have a sister like his game counterpart, since Ash doesn't need the Town Map she provides.
** Game [[TheRival rivals]] [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Wally]] and (again) [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 Hugh]] are completely absent. Silver cameos briefly in the intro of the Raikou special, under the name "Kamon".
** Apart from Bill, whose occupation was changed to that of a Pokémon researcher, none of the Pokémon PC Storage developers make an appearance in the anime. This is mostly due to the fact that extra Pokémon are generally given to the lab where the trainer got his or her Pokédex from.
** Koga's daughter (and Gym Leader successor) Janine from ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' never makes an appearance. The part of the game she's in requires visiting Kanto to get the region's badges, which Ash didn't do since he'd already gotten them all.
** While their existence is acknowledged, some Elite Four members from Hoenn, Unova and Kalos are never shown.
** Sinnoh's Frontier Brains bar Palmer don't appear.
** The original incarnation of Team Plasma and the Shadow Triad are absent from the anime. While the original incarnation of Team Plasma ''was'' set to appear before those plans fell through, there is no evidence that the Shadow Triad would have ever been in the show.
** Despite being integral to ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', nothing related to AZ or his Floette appeared in the X and Y anime, and neither does Emma, the Battle Chatelaines of the Battle Mansion, or characters who debuted in ''Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire''.
%%* AIIsACrapshoot: A few times in the anime's history. The most notable example being Clembot going haywire and locking Clemont from his own gym.
%%* AlienGeometries: The Reverse World.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: As with a number of other anime dubs, the series has numerous English theme songs, all of them different from the Japanese version. For example, here's the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC_JcLYzl3k original opening]]. For those who don't read Japanese, "ポケモンGETだぜー!" ("Pokémon Get Da Ze~!", yes with the quiggy) translates to (appropriately) "Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All".
* AllCheeringAllTheTime: In the Kanto League, Gary's cheerleaders did this.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Moreso in the English dub, but despite it being fairly obvious that Misty has a crush on Ash, he remains oblivious and seems to only regard her [[PlatonicLifePartners as a very good friend]]. It's implied this is more due to immaturity than an outright lack of interest on his part though.
* AllMythsAreTrue: Every storyline about a Legendary Pokémon will include somebody saying that they thought they were just fake legends. The 50th time it turns out the Pokémon is real, you'd think they would know better.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: It's a recurring point of the anime that Ash lose tournaments by at least two fights... whoever beats Ash in a tournament tends to lose during their next match. Ritchie lost after beating Ash in the Indigo League, Misty lost in the Whirl Cup after beating Ash, and Harrison lost in the Silver Conference finals after beating Ash. Sometimes subverted, as Tobias beat Ash and went on to win the Lily of the Valley Conference and Ash lost to Alain in the finals of the Lumiose Conference, but double-subverted in Alain's case by his own admission to himself that Ash is a better trainer due to Alain's actions in helping Team Flare.
* AmbiguouslyAbsentParent:
** Ambiguously absent parents seem to be the norm for the protagonists for the anime. Ash's father was mentioned once in the second episode, but its famously not elaborated on any further, but that's still more then his friend's parents.
** No mention of Dawn or Serena's fathers has been made, Lana's father is similarly absent, but was mentioned by Lana once. Clemont and Bonnie's mother isn't mentioned. Neither is Mallow's mother.
** Neither of Misty's, Iris's or Cilan's parents are mentioned at all. Misty's parents are said to have abandoned Misty and her older sisters according to ''LightNovel/PocketMonstersTheAnimation''. Cilan and his brothers somehow run a gym by themselves despite being not that much older then Ash and Iris apparently has no blood relatives at all.
%%* AmbiguouslyGay: Harley.
* AmbiguousGender: Probably an artifact from [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue The Indigo League saga]], but most Pokémon that appear in the anime aren't explicitly mentioned to be a certain gender. Even Pikachu's gender was debated for years until it was finally settled as male. Debates are often conducted in the fandom on whether certain Pokémon are male or female and they're often only settled when a human character mentions that the Pokémon is male or female or if the move Attract is used by or on a given Pokémon. If it works, then the Pokémon is the opposite gender of the user while unaffected Pokémon are the same gender.
** The Sun & Moon series averts this with the Ultra Guardian symbols (for the main cast's Pokémon); male Pokémon appear to wear theirs on necklaces, while females wear theirs on bows.
* AndIMustScream: [[BountyHunter Hunter J]] captures Pokémon by [[TakenForGranite turning them into statues]].
** One episode dealt with a trainer who lost her Pokémon after her town was flooded, the Pokémon was in the Poké Ball for decades deep under the water. If Ash and friends hadn't rescued it, who knows how much longer it would have stayed there.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The movies tend to conclude on this note, typically featuring Ash and friends walking off into the distance while the camera pans to the sky.
* AndroclesLion: In "A Chansey Operation", when Team Rocket tries to take the Pokemon at the hospital, Chansey stands in the way. Arbok and Weezing refuse Jessie and James' orders to attack because Chansey treated their injuries earlier in the episode.
%%* AnimalChickMagnet: Used often enough--sometimes not just for how cute the Pokémon are but for the type of Pokémon too.
* AnimalTalk: Nearly all Pokémon are capable of understanding each other and usually what humans are saying. Meowth is also able to translate what they're saying for people's convenience. The only exception so far concerns Ultra Beasts, whose speech apparently cannot be translated by Meowth, which adds to their alien nature.
* AnimationBump: Battles are usually the recipients of this trope, but [[LongRunners as the show went on]], {{Animation Bump}}s began to occur for certain non-battle-centric episodes as well:
** Several battles are much better animated than others, especially Gym Battles and battles against important opponents. If you see [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Category:Episodes_animated_by_Masaaki_Iwane Masaaki Iwane]] listed in the credits as the animation director, expect a damn good looking episode.
** XY's animation is notably different from the previous anime incarnations, and for a good reason; The people who animated ''Origins'' took over the animation work of the main series anime. This is welcome news to a lot of people.
** A notable Bump occurred in the ''XY'' episode, "A Showcase Debut!", which had no battles take place in the episode. Before the episode ends, the animation had bumped up to near ''Pokémon'' movie-like quality, with more frames and smoother animations given to the characters in particular.
** One of the most noted things people said was that "Ash looks older" at first fans couldn't place it, but it turned out, he is now drawn with his sideburns overlapping his ears (before, his hair was tucked behind the ears), visible teeth and fingernails, and a less baggy outfit which makes him look thinner, sharper, and more mature than before.
** Prior to that, the Johto seasons (starting from "Here's Looking At You, Elekid") introduced digital animation, while the start of the Diamond and Pearl seasons upgraded the animation frame rate to 30 frames instead of 24. In general, each era also becomes increasingly crisper and more detailed.
** Sun and Moon switched to 2DCG style animation, causing a design change for Ash's character model but also increasing the quality of action scenes in the Japanese version, which were inexplicably slowed down in the English dub.
* TheAnimeOfTheGame: Probably the most successful adaptation of a game to another media.
* {{Animorphism}}: A witch turns Ash into a Pikachu for a short time at the end of the episode "Hocus Pokémon!".
* {{Anticlimax}}:
** The rivalry between Ash and Gary is set up in the show's very first episode and establishes that a victory over Gary is one of Ash's important long-term goals. After "Showdown at the Po-ké Corral" has Ash promise Gary that they would finally fight during the Indigo League, Gary is eliminated in a fight against a different trainer in the fourth round of the tournament; Ash goes out in the following round. The later Johto League, however, ties up loose ends with Ash and Gary's Full Battle which ends in the victory of the former.
** Team Aqua and Magma's two-part finale suffered from a rushed pace and horrid animation.
** In ''Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles'', Team Galactic is thwarted by Cyrus disappearing into a portal after he nearly succeeds in his plans to remake the universe. There is no real explanation as to why this happens and no climatic battle to lead up to this, he just up and vanishes. Then Dialga and Palkia are stopped from going out of control by Ash, Dawn and Brock just...wishing really hard.
** In ''Black & White: Adventures in Unova'', Ghetsis never battles with Reshiram, who is brought back to his senses with one shot from Pikachu. N then stops Reshiram from rampaging by [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talking it down.]] The promised Reshiram vs Charizard battle never happens either, though that could be a case of [[NeverTrustATrailer Never Trust an Opening]].
** PlayedForLaughs with numerous [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Team Rocket]] face offs, especially if they ham up their introduction more than usual.
* ArcHero: While Ash is the show's constant protagonist, each new region after Johto switches up the team he travels with -- after Misty and Brock in Kanto and Johto, it's May, Max, and Brock in Hoenn, Dawn and Brock in Sinnoh, Iris and Cilan in Unova, and Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena in Kalos. Each new {{Deuteragonist}} has their own arc, personality, and motivations, and more relationships with the natives of each region.
* ArtEvolution: Kind of a given since the show has [[LongRunners probably outlasted]] much of its original art staff.
** You don't even need to look that far. Just compare the [[GratuitousJapanese Dare Da?]] (The "Who's That Pokémon?" of the original Japanese version) from the [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/9/92/Dare_da_EP001.png first episode]] to that of the [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/7/7b/Dare_da_EP039.png thirty ninth.]]
** The ''Sun and Moon'' season has by the most drastic shift in art style, being looser and more expressive than previous seasons.
* AshFace: Being set on fire appears to be just a minor inconvenience in the Pokémon world.
* AskAStupidQuestion: In the episode "Dues and Don'ts" Team Rocket tries to catch a Delibird which throws snow at them.
--> '''Jessie:''' It's a Blizzard attack!\\
'''James:''' How do you know it's a Blizzard attack?\\
'''Jessie:''' Maybe because we're in a blizzard?\\
'''James:''' Oh. That makes sense.
* AttackReflector: The Counter and Mirror Coat moves.
* BailEqualsFreedom: At the end of their first appearance, Butch and Cassidy are in jail for their crimes. At their next appearance, they're free and tell Jessie and James it's because their boss bailed them out.
* BalletEpisode: "The Misty Mermaid" centers on an underwater synchronized swimming show in which Misty gets involved through a series of circumstances. Reinforced by Team Rocket's disguises in the episode.
* BalloonBurstingBird: It's quite common for Team Rocket to try to make a getaway in their hot-air balloon, only to have one of the good guys use a bird Pokémon to pop the balloon and send them crashing down to Earth.
* BangFlagGun: Haunter had one in "Haunter vs. Kadabra." (the actual "BANG!" flag appears too quickly to be easily made out though)
* BattleCouple: Oscar and Andi, from the ''Advanced'' season episode "The Bicker The Better."
* BeachEpisode: Complete with swimsuit competition! And [[BannedInChina Banned In America]]!
%%* BecauseDestinySaysSo
* BewareTheSuperman: A lot of episodes have antagonistic trainers that use their Pokémon for ulterior motives or in some way that threatens innocent bystanders. Downplayed in that the show doesn't go anywhere with it.
* BigDamnMovie: When legendary Pokémon get involved, the fate of the world is often at stake.
** Complete with at least one DisneyDeath! That is, unless they're KilledOffForReal (see below).
* BlindingBangs: The ghost-girl in "Ghoul Daze!"
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: Not only do the blocking moves appear, it seems meeting any attack with another produces results. This has led to Flamethrowers being karate-chopped.
* BodyWipe:
** "Bad to the Bone", where Professor Oak tells Ash that he should leave his lab.
** "Berry Berry Interesting", where Munchlax walks into the Pokémon Center and to a berry bush.
** In "A Fishing Connoisseur in a Fishy Competition", Bianca ''runs'' through the camera.
** "A Shipful of Shivers", one of the ghost's tongue fills the screen as he is licking Jessie and Meowth.
** "Address Unown", in Larvitar's mind, the Slowking's mouth fills the screen as Pikachu and Togepi are entering it.
* BookEnds:
** Johto begins and ends with Ash facing off against Gary.
** Misty began traveling with Ash after he stole her bike and got it destroyed, and in the episode where she leaves the group, she receives her rebuilt bike.
** Ash's Battle Frontier journey begins and ends with one of his Pokémon defeating a legendary Ice Type (Charizard defeats Articuno the first time, Pikachu defeats Regice the second).
** Pokémon X and Y begins with Ash and a Dragon/Ground-type Pokémon under the control of an evil team at the top of Prism Tower. Pokémon X and Y's ending arc has Ash and a Dragon/Ground-type Pokémon under the control of an evil team at the top of Prism Tower.
* BootstrappedTheme: A region specific case. The English dub's first opening theme was quickly replaced after the Kanto season was over, though has became iconic to English fans of the anime (as the page quote demonstrates), so much that the ''XY'' dub used a cover for it's first season opening.
* TheBusCameBack: Occasionally, a story arc will feature a main character from the previous series who makes a guest appearance. They invariably meet and become good friends with the newer cast members:
** In ''Advanced Generation'', Misty met with May and Max. They would meet up once more when they traveled to Kanto.
** ''Diamond and Pearl'' had May met Dawn and they both competed in the Wallace Cup.
** ''Best Wishes'' had Dawn travel to Unova where she met Ash, Iris, Cilan and Meloetta.
** A special episode had Cilan encounter Brock (without knowing that they both traveled with Ash at some point).
** Another special episode had Cilan encounter Clemont and Bonnie (again without knowing that they both knew Ash).
** ''Sun and Moon'' had a two-part story arc where Ash went back to Kanto, alongside his Alola classmates and met with Misty and Brock.
* ButtMonkey: Several cases, but most prominently:
** Team Rocket, being the perennial {{Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain}}s of the show, fall victim to constant Pokémon attacks and "blasting offs" OnceAnEpisode. Sometimes even when they aren't causing trouble, they're still punching bags to the cast or just cosmic fate (it plays a large part into their tragic backstories).
** Ash started off as such due to his ineptness and impulsiveness usually causing him to humiliate himself or get into danger. It downplayed following CharacterDevelopment, though still appears every now and then, especially during the ''Sun and Moon'' series.
** Out of Ash's many companions, Misty was near equally prone to slapstick and ego-denting humiliation as he was. Possible runners up include May due to being most liable to hold the DistressBall and get endangered, kidnapped or tied up, as well as Clemont, being an Adorkable BunglingInventor with several jokes based around his poor physical condition.
** Brock may not have been as bad, unless it comes to his chances with a pretty hot woman in the episode...
** Due to the Team Rocket trio [[TookALevelInBadass being taken more seriously]] in the ''Black and White'' Series, the role of "Butt Monkey" was transferred to different characters. The most prominent being Burgundy, who was introduced as Cilan's main rival but in this case, she's trying to measure up to him unlike the rivalries between Iris vs. Georgia and Ash vs. Trip. The poor girl gets humiliated and abused in various ways in most of her appearances.
** For an evolved Psychic-Type, Starmie seems to get the snot beaten out of it in every battle it's in. It even becomes a literal ChewToy when fighting a Raticate in the episode "Battle Aboard the St. Anne." No wonder Misty prefers Staryu.
* BrokenAesop: "Viva Las Lapras." There's a group of people who chase after a herd of Lapras, send out their pokemon to weaken them, throw their poke balls and... [[{{Hypocrite}} wait a minute.]]
* CallingYourAttacks: A variation; the calls are commands by a Trainer for the Pokémon to execute a specific technique/attack, as the Pokémon can use them without human intervention.
** The Pokémon showboat episode implies that the Pokémon do this, but we can't tell because of PokemonSpeak and the dubbing process.
* CallOfTheWildBlueYonder:
** In episode "Let Bagons Be Bagons" a Bagon tries to learn how to fly. It eventually does so with a jetpack before evolving into Shelgon.
** Another example was "Fly Me to the Moon" about a Pidgey named Orville who dreams of flying higher then any other Pokémon. Even Meowth was touched by the dream and decided to help him.
* TheCameo: The zany Clefairy from ''Manga/PocketMonsters'' appears in Episode 360.
* CanonForeigner:
** Jessie, James and Meowth of Team Rocket were invented to be the main antagonists of Ash and Pikachu. They would make appearances in ''Pokémon Yellow'' as reoccurring bosses.
** Of Ash's friends, Tracey is the only one with no real main game equivalent. His only game appearance was in ''Pokémon Puzzle League'', which is a DolledUpInstallment of ''VideoGame/PanelDePon''. Max is a borderline example as he resembles the male Schoolkid [=NPC=]s in ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire''.
** Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are perennial supporting characters that have appeared in every series. They were also invented for the anime. The Nurse [=NPC=]s in the games gradually look more and more like Nurse Joy as time goes on.
* CanonImmigrant:
** Due to the anime playing a large part in the promotion of the games series, there is ''a lot'' of RecursiveAdaptation. For example, ''Pokemon Yellow'' is a modified version of ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' that emulates the anime by having Pikachu as its only starter.
** For the main game series in particular, Ash's Pikachu and Team Rocket's Meowth were made as downloadable content for ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2''. Other Pokémon based on other characters have also been available from time to time.
** Ash-Geninja was a demo gift for ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon''. This Greninja was specifically based on Ash's Greninja as its Original Trainer is Ash and was caught on the same date of its debut episode and as a moveset similar to one he had in the anime.
** The Pokémon Center Nurses were originally indistinct [=NPC=]s that treated your Pokémon. Later games would have them look more and more like Nurse Joy from the anime.
%%* ChainOfPeople
* ChildProdigy:
** In "The Ancient Puzzle Of Pokemopolis", the trio meets an archaeologist who has earned her [=PhD=] at the age of ''eight''.
** Far later in the anime's life, Clemont joins the team. While most of his regular inventions tend to blow up as a running gag, he has managed to develop various facilities devoted to energy production in the Kalos region, including Kalos's power plant and Lumiose Tower.
* TheChosenOne: Ash frequently ends in this role, for better or for worse, both in the main anime (particularly in later eras) and the side films.
** In ''Best Wishes'', Ash is the scion of Ideals, while N is the scion of Truth.
** In ''XY'', Lysandre attempts to force Ash to be his DarkMessiah.
** In ''Sun and Moon'', the Guardians take an interest in Ash from the start. It is eventually revealed that they brought Cosmog to Ash so he can get a Solgaleo. Tapu Koko also personally gifts him a Z-Ring, which all the Tapus later convert into a Z-Power Ring.
* ChristmasEpisode: "Holiday Hi-Jynx!", which due to two unfortunate circumstances, did not air when originally intended in Japan and internationally.
** The ''Pikachu's Winter Vacation'' shorts.
* CirclingBirdies: While the games usually feature generic birdies, the ''Pokémon'' anime sometimes features characters seeing circling bird-like Pokémon; the anime has shifted to frequently utilizing Pidgey or Torchic for this effect. Often, it indicates when a Pokémon is succumbing to the effect of the Confusion status. There is also a low chance of circling stars.
** Also, the Ditto at the beginning of ''Pikachu's Ghost Carnival'', in which the Ditto gets circling stars when it got hit on the head by a Cubone while Ditto was disguised as a Cubone.
* CircusEpisode: The episode "It's Mr. Mime Time!" deals with the ringmaster of a traveling circus and her lazy Mr. Mime. When Ash is recruited to take the place of the Mr. Mime in the circus (in order to convince the Pokémon to come back to work) he gets mistakenly kidnapped by Team Rocket.
* ClamTrap: In the episode "Clamperl of Wisdom!", a Clamperl (an oyster-like Pokémon) bites down on Meowth's tail at one point. This scene currently serves as the trope's page image.
* ClipShow: Three of them (one in Hoenn, two in Sinnoh), all skipped in the dub.
* ComicBookTime: Confirmed to be the case in an [[https://www.reddit.com/r/pokemon/comments/6ov8wh/some_trivia_from_yuyama_concerning_the_anime_and/ interview with one of the writers]].
--> '''Yuyama:''' ''Time has not passed since the start of the journey. Ash is eternally 10 years old.''
* ComicTrio: Team Rocket, combined with a TerribleTrio. This was averted in ''Black and White'', in which they became much darker and more serious (they even traded their trademark white uniforms for black ones), and also only started appearing occasionally, taking a back seat to other antagonists. However, as of ''X&Y'', they have returned to their comical old selves, and are the main antagonists once again.
* ConspicuousCGI: Especially in some of the movies, but plenty of attacks in the ''Diamond and Pearl'' series of the anime also had a tendency to clash with the animation. Occasionally this was done on purpose with titles appearing for In-universe TV shows like "Sinnoh Now" and Ball Seal animations. The Gear Pokémon Klinklang was also CGI rather than traditional animation, which made its rotating parts look unusually smooth.
* ContinuityCameo: [[VideoGame/PokemonSnap Todd Snap]] joined the main cast as a GuestStarPartyMember during the Indigo saga to advertise his home game, [[Manga/PocketMonsters Isamu Akai]] (better known as the main character of the ''Pocket Monsters'' manga, Red) starred in a movie featured in an episode during the ''Advanced Generation'' saga, Jimmy and Marina (based off of the male and female protagonist of VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver and Crystal) starred in a special featuring Raikou (rival Silver, whose anime incarnation [[FanNickname is often called "Kamon"]] to distinguish him, appears in the Japanese opening for the special)[[note]]Marina would also go on to make several understated cameos later in the series[[/note]], and Lyra would become her own Guest Star Party Member during the DP saga. [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Brendan]] and [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Lucas]] appeared in the introductory shots of several movies in the Advanced Generation and DP sagas, always battling in an arena of some sort.
* ContinuityCavalcade: This [[http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/3474/bw001ashroomdp.jpg scene]] from the first episode of ''Black and White''.
** The newest Best Wishes ending has [[http://i.imgur.com/P0nweCa.jpg this]] pic of all the main characters and nearly all their mons.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Pretty much any time someone gets hit with a move like Flamethrower at close range.
* ConvenientlyTimedDistraction:
** During the Original series, when Ash is trying to catch a Weedle, Samurai tries to challenge Ash to a battle. While Ash is talking with Samurai, the Weedle escapes.
** During the Diamond and Pearl saga, when Dawn makes a second attempt to catch a Buneary, the Pokeball that she plans to use slips out of her hand and hits Ash in the face leading him to angrily scold Dawn which results in an argument between the two. While they argue, the Buneary slip away which Piplup notices and alerts everyone that it escaped.
** During the Diamond and Pearl saga, when Paul and Electabuzz are trying to catch a wild Drapion, they both get distracted when Ash's Gligar falls from the sky after being blown by a gust of wind in front of Paul and the Drapion escapes when it sees Paul and Electabuzz distracted.
* CookingDuel: In "Hail to the Chef", Rhoda and Rhonda face off against each other with their Mr. Mime and Sneasel, respectively, to see who's the best.
%%* CooldownHug: Several examples.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: In ''Chronicles'', Professor Oak is at one point kidnapped by Team Rocket, and then interrogated. When he failed to give the answers they looked for, they punished him by scratching a piece of glass with a nail. HilarityEnsues.
* CostumeEvolution: The main party members switch outfits whenever they go into a new region.
* CreatorCameo: Creator/IkueOtani appears in the episode "Lights! Camera! Pika!" as a voice actor for, who else, a Pikachu. Supposedly, next to her is Yūki Kaji, the Japanese voice actor for Clemont.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass:
** Marilyn is a girl that goes gaga over any Pokémon she says is cute, though not as bad as Gardenia with Grass Pokémon. So anybody watching the episode would've [[http://serebii.net/anime/pictures/shinou/593ps4.shtml never guessed that she's]] [[http://serebii.net/anime/pictures/shinou/593ps11.shtml good in Pokémon battles.]]
** Ash, and generally most newcomers start off this way before CharacterDevelopment kicks in, being more inept and flawed but with their potential obvious.
* CrossCounter: Used in quite a few match-ups between Pokémon, but though the episode "Pasta La Vista" was set up for one, Team Rocket interrupted before the two fighting Pokémon could hit each other.
* CulturalTranslation: During an early ''Indigo Plateau'' episode, rice balls are once referred to as donuts despite very clearly not being donuts. Later seasons would edit out Japanese food items and replace them with sandwiches and the like.
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow: Quite a few characters, be they lifted from the games or anime-original characters.
* CuteBruiser: Any cutesy Pokémon with fight in them may count.

* DarkIsNotEvil:
** Pick any [[CastingAShadow Dark]] or [[SoulPower Ghost]] Pokémon. "Houndoom's Special Delivery" is one of the best examples.
** ''XY'' introduced Malamar as DastardlyWhiplash villains. Their next appearance made sure to reveal benevolent Malamar, who became enemies with the villainous group after they [[PapaWolf attacked the Pokémon they watched over.]]
* DeadlyDoctor: Dr. Proctor from the Indigo saga, who fought Team Rocket armed with nothing but a [[BadassLongcoat labcoat full of scalpels]].
* DefeatMeansFriendship: This happens almost all the time for captured Pokémon. This is especially true for those who befriend the group, but demand to fight before they are formally caught. Among those this applies to are Ash's Treecko in AG, Ash's Snivy and Krokorok in BW, and Serena's Pancham in XY.
* DefeatingTheUndefeatable: The Elite Four, as well as several other characters.
* DemotedToExtra:
** Brendan and Lucas, {{Player Character}}s from the games the series is based off of, only show up as [[TheCameos cameos]] in a couple of the movies.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', Bianca is one of the player character's friendly rivals and makes frequent appearances. In the anime, she does show up fairly often but never rises above the level of supporting character. The other rival from those games, Cheren, only shows up in one episode.
** With the anime cast itself, most former companions, after their tenure journeying Ash is over, will be PutOnTheBus besides a return episode the following era and a few very minor cameos.
** Legendary and Mythical Pokémon often suffer this. Sure, they may get a movie to shine in as major characters, but afterwards [[UniquenessDecay they will simply show up as if they were nothing special]], and almost no attempt at depicting them as SingleSpecimenSpecies is made. Multiple Darkrai have appeared with little significance, the legendary birds ([[Anime/Pokemon2000 once harbingers of destruction]]) have made numerous appearances, and [[Anime/PokemonGenesectAndTheLegendAwakened there's a second Mewtwo]] just because.
** Despite being the other mascot of ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', Zekrom only makes one major appearance in the ''BW'' series to act as a glorified ResetButton for Pikachu. Afterwards, it never appears again in the series itself, while its opposite Reshiram received a major role in the ''Episode N'' arc.
** Pick a villainous team. Any villainous team. You can be sure that even if they get a big climax, it will be undermined by the organisation being ignored for the lion's share of the series, [[SpotlightStealingSquad with the Team Rocket trio usurping their roles as the recurring bad guys]]. The leaders also [[AdaptationalWimp rarely get into fights, instead letting their grunts and admins do the dirty work]].
*** Ironically, Team Rocket ''themselves'' were sidelined hard for much of the original series in favor of the iconic trio. In the Indigo League season, none of their plotline from ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' (such as taking over Silph Co. or their Game Corner hideout) was adapted into the series, Ash rarely battled Rocket Grunts, and Giovanni was TheUnfought, even at the Viridian Gym (he's also, bizarrely enough, [[NoNameGiven almost never called Giovanni]] outside the first movie!). This also means they never got a big climax where they were defeated for good.
*** Team Magma and Team Aqua also made sparse appearances, with the latter group appearing fifteen episodes after the former -- who debuted in the second episode of ''Advanced''. Furthermore, Maxie and Archie are demoted to {{Non Action Big Bad}}s, and Courtney and Matt [[AdaptedOut don't even exist]].
*** Out of 191 episodes in ''Diamond/Pearl'', Team Galactic only appear in just above ten. Cyrus, again, doesn't use Pokémon himself, and his defeat is... [[AmbiguousSituation open to interpretation]], and also [[SelfDisposingVillain had nothing to do with the heroes]].
*** Team Plasma is completely absent from the first season of ''Black/White'', though not for lack of trying -- they would have appeared earlier, if not for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the destructive content of their debut episodes. Said episodes would still have had them as bit players next to Team Rocket, [[SpotlightStealingSquad who were pushed more heavily as Unova's villains over Team Plasma for over half the series]]. When they and N finally ''did'' make a proper appearance, it was as their ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' selves, with much of their original depth and grey morality ignored. And their episode count still paled next to Team Rocket's.
*** Team Skull's focus in ''Sun/Moon'' seems token at best. While they're a recurring group of bumbling {{Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain}}s in the games, that role is taken from them by, again, the Team Rocket trio. Not only has this cut their screentime significantly, but Gladion doesn't have a connection to them here, and the series even adapts the climax of ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' long before Guzma and Plumeria appear!
* DenserAndWackier:
** The Advanced Generation was noted for this, having far zanier plots in filler episodes, Meowth's boss fantasies becoming a OncePerEpisode thing, and Team Rocket's VillainDecay reaching its peak.
** The Sun And Moon season is significantly more cartoony and light-hearted than previous installments, especially the previous ''XY'' season.
* DeusExMachina: It would be impossible to count the number of times Team Rocket or an opponent had the heroes on the ropes until a random Pokémon appeared, evolved, or learned a new move and cleaned house for them. ''XY'' adds onto this with the Mega Evolutions, which verge as the Pokémon equivalent of Super Saiyans.
* DiabolusExMachina: The "League Rivals", characters typically introduced near the end of each arc who all have a knack for being the one to eliminate Ash from the Tournaments. Of particular note is Tobias, who had (at least) two OlympusMons and swept the entire Sinnoh League, which Ash was actually doing pretty well in up until that point. Ash merely failed less than everyone else by managing to knock both out at the cost of all six of his Pokémon.
** In the XYZ episode “An Explosive Operation”, Team Flare pursue a Zygarde core (codenamed Z2) while Team Rocket fend them off with the intention of protecting it so they can bring Z2 back to their own headquarters. Eventually, they are beaten, but Z2 transforms into its 50% Form, leveling the whole area around it into a giant crater... Only for [[spoiler: Alain and his Charizard]] to suddenly appear and defeat Zygarde under [[spoiler: Lysandre]]’s orders, forcing it to disperse and leaving it too weak to resist being captured by Team Flare anymore.
* DiminishingVillainThreat: Jessie, James and Meowth debuted as formidable, cool headed baddies. After their obsession with capturing Pikachu was established they slowly and gradually devolved into a pitiful GoldfishPoopGang, all the way until ''Best Wishes'', which abruptly upgraded them into far more serious and dangerous villains. ''XY'' and ''Sun and Moon'' have gone the middle road, making them comical again but keeping ''some'' of their power boost.
* DistractedByTheSexy:
** [[LoveableSexManiac Brock]], ''every time'' a [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny]] shows up. Every time a ''pretty girl'' shows up.
** During a festival centering around Oshawott, Ash's Oshawott is using [[NotQuiteFlight Aqua Jet]] during an event. One glimpse at his crush, Osharina, caused him to lose control and crash into his trainer head first.
** One episode has Chespin having to run an errand for Clemont. Chespin continually ends up distracted along the way and one of the gags involved it being distracted by a Marill riding with its owner on a bike.
* ADogNamedDog: Almost all Pokémon that appear in the anime are not nicknamed. There are a few exceptions that belong to minor human characters especially when they own more then one of the same species but the number that are owned by main or re-occurring characters can probably be counted on one hand:
** Ritchie has nicknames for his Pokémon. He has a Charmeleon named Zippo, a Butterfree named Happy, a Pikachu named Sparky, a Pupitar named Cruise and a Taillow named Rose.
** Marina has a Feraligatr named Wani-Wani, a Misdreavus named Little Miss and a Jigglypuff named Pink.
** Misty obtains a Luvdisc named "Caserin", James has a Growlithe named "Growlie" at his parent's home and Lillie nicknamed her Alolan Vulpix "Snowy" (The reason for this is due to Samson Oak obtaining another Vulpix that hatched at the same time as Snowy).
* DoomDoors: A door in Professor Oak's lab has this sound in the Chronicles episode ''Showdown At The Oak Corral''.
* DramaPreservingHandicap: One of the recurring oddities of the show, especially of the early era under Takeshi Shudo's pen, was the fact that events kept conspiring to ''submarine'' Ash's journey ToBeAMaster by preventing him from having Pokémon that were both powerful (read: fully-evolved) and competent -- they could be one or the other, not both.
** Ash's Butterfree, the first Pokémon he'd ever fully evolved, was released to go participate in his mating season. [[PutOnABus He hasn't been seen since outside of rare flashbacks.]]
** Ash's Primeape left Ash's team to receive training from a professional boxing coach to become a P-1 Champion... except Primeape had already become a P-1 Champion in ''that very episode''[[note]]As a matter of fact, the reason Ash entered the P-1 competition in the first place was to convince the coach to retire from training Pokémon and spend more time with his family[[/note]]. Insultingly, this was also the episode in which the normally belligerent and disobedient Primeape finally bonded with Ash and began to listen to commands. He also hasn't been seen much outside of cameos in future Japanese openings.
** Ash's Pidgeotto evolved into Pidgeot and was left with a flock of other Pidgey and Pidgeotto in the very first episode of the Orange Islands arc. (Couldn't have Ash ''flying'' around the islands, now could we?) Despite his promise to return after he was done in the islands, Ash's writers haven't bothered with the bird in years.
** Misty had some of this, too -- when she returns to Cerulean City to briefly star in her sisters' underwater ballet, the episode ends with Misty's sisters relieving her of Starmie and Horsea.
** When Ash was allowed to ''keep'' powerful Pokémon, they would often have personality quirks, flaws, or foibles designed to prevent them from operating at maximum (or even remotely decent) efficiency. Most famously, Ash's Charizard was temperamental and often simply refused to lift a finger to help Ash in his battles. Late in the Orange Islands ([=EP105=]), Charizard is moved by Ash's devotion and finally decides to get its butt in gear. However, in the Johto arc, Ash is told that Charizard is too powerful and that he's been abusing its superiority, and the writers have him leave Charizard in the [[HiddenElfVillage Charicific Valley]] for training ([=EP134=])[[note]]The writers had apparently been planning this for a while, writing scenes to downplay Charizard's actual strength, such as when the Chikorita Ash would eventually catch managed to ''slam it into a mountainside''[[/note]]. So, for the 89 episodes Ash had a Charizard (he first achieved the form in [=EP046=]), the lizard was loyal for less than 30 of them before the writers did away with him. This made room for Cyndaquil, a little badger cub with powerful fire attacks... hampered by serious ignition problems, though Ash actually worked with Cyndaquil to overcome this problem a few episodes later.
** Ash's Sceptile is another good example -- it evolved from Grovyle to protect a Meganium it had fallen for... only to learn Meganium loved another. Its heartbreak crippled it so completely it couldn't use any special moves, though it got over this problem after only a couple of episodes.
** More recently, in XY, Ash's Goomy quickly evolved into a Sliggoo and then into a Goodra, a powerful pseudo-legendary Pokémon, and it had no issues obeying Ash. Soon after it fully evolved, Ash released it so that it could be with its friends at its swamp home.
** This eventually led to the writers utilizing the BagOfSpilling with the start of each new series, from ''Advanced Generation'' on -- Ash leaves his entire team, sans Pikachu, at Oak's lab just before he enters a new region. The narrative justifies this (somewhat) by him ''wanting'' to start from scratch and learn new things, and can (usually) be counted on to find some new way to DePower Pikachu accordingly. At least he brings back his old team members for tournaments....
** Greninja's "Ash-Greninja" form is strong enough to defeat Champion Diantha. However, Ash doesn't have full understanding of the transformation or even how to activate it. Furthermore, during the transformation Ash shares Greninja's pain and fatigue and they'll both pass if they push the form too hard. This obstacle is finally overcome after his first battle at the Snowbelle Gym.
* DubInducedPlotHole: In one episode, Shiftry kidnaps Nurse Joy by hitting her with Sleep Powder. However, the gang keeps referring to it as Stun Spore; a move that paralyzes a foe, not put them to sleep. Whoops.
* DumbassNoMore:
** In the first season, Ash was, to put it bluntly, a rather [[IdiotHero immature idiot]] who wasn't even that skilled a trainer; half his badges were given to him for some feat he performed rather than actually beating the Gym Leader, and Charizard's refusal to obey him was a long-running plot point. Beginning with the Orange Islands arc, he began to show more common sense and genuine skill, and from ''Advanced Generation'' to ''Diamond & Pearl'', while he was still [[HotBlooded reckless]] and occasionally naïve, it was clear he had matured, and he ended serving as a [[BigBrotherMentor mentor]] to [[NaiveNewcomer May and Dawn]], respectively.
** While he oddly returned to being an IdiotHero during ''Best Wishes'', this trope was taken even farther in ''XY'', where he hardly ever showed idiocy and was consistently depicted as a more than competent trainer.
** While his depiction in ''Sun & Moon'' has so far been more comedic, immature and idiotic than in ''XY'', he's managed to retain his battle competence from the latter, making him something of an IdiotSavant.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Plenty in the lead-up to each new generation, both in the series and the movies.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Second]]: Ho-Oh (a literal example, appearing at the ending of the first episode ''two and a half years'' before appearing in the games), Togepi, Marill, Snubbull, Donphan, Elekid, Ledyba, Slowking, Hoothoot, Lugia.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Third]]: Azurill, Kecleon, Wailmer, Latias and Latios, Blaziken, Wynaut.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Fourth]]: Munchlax (in ''2004''), Lucario, Weavile, Bonsly, Mime Jr., Chatot, Buizel, Mantyke, Manaphy, Electivire.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Fifth]]: Zoroark, Zorua.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Sixth]]: Sylveon (and the [[OurFairiesAreDifferent Fairy-Type]] in general), Mega Mewtwo Y (and by extension the new [[SuperMode Mega Evolution]] mechanic), Gogoat, Helioptile, Noivern.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon Seventh]]: Magearna.
** New forms also make their debut in the anime before any games. ''Anime/PokemonGiratinaAndTheSkyWarrior'' debuted Giratina's Origin Forme and Shaymin's Sky Forme prior to the release of ''Platinum''. ''Anime/PokemonDiancieAndTheCocoonOfDestruction'' featured Mega Diancie before ''Omega Ruby'' and ''Alpha Sapphire''. The second ''Mega Evolution'' special episode featured Mega Evolutions of Metagross and Rayquaza, also before ''Omega Ruby'' and ''Alpha Sapphire'', and ''XY&Z'' introduced Zygarde's alternate formes months before their official debut in ''Sun'' and ''Moon''.
** Additionally, in an example concerning humans, Gym Leader Roxie made her debut in the Pokémon anime nine days prior to the Japanese release of ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'', the games where she is introduced. This also extends to her bandmates, Billy Jo and Nicky, who are her guitarist and drummer in the games as well.
** Alexa, a character from ''X and Y'', appears during the Decolore Islands arc of ''Best Wishes''.
** Mewtwo appears in the Kanto League saga's intro for roughly half a second (at the very beginning, no less). It wasn't until 59 episodes later that he made his first physical appearance, setting him up to be the main antagonist in Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The entire Kanto saga can be considered this. Compare this saga, which only took around 80 episodes to complete, to later game-based League sagas. Another point is that the only Gym Leader of the Kanto League to dress ''remotely'' like his game counterpart was Koga, and even then his tunic was the wrong color (blue instead of black).
** The first season made mention of real animals existing alongside Pokemon multiple times: cows, mongooses, chickens, etc. The concept was dropped after Kanto.
** There was also a reference to Christianity when Misty tried to ward away a talking Gastly with a cross. Keep in mind, this was before [[OlympusMons Arceus]] existed.
** Other weirdness includes the occasional mention of real-world locations such as France, England, and most famously, Hollywood, which was the setting of an entire episode devoted to telling Meowth's backstory.
** A few early Gym Leaders gave Ash their badges for helping them out in different ways, even though he didn't officially defeat them (the Cerulean and Celadon Gym Battles were interrupted by Team Rocket and a fire respectively, sprinklers that gave Pikachu an edge, and the Haunter that Ash led back to the Saffron Gym snapped Sabrina out of her EmotionlessGirl[=/=]CreepyChild persona)— starting with Lt. Surge, and later with Koga, no other leaders have made exceptions like these. The closest exception that was made was in Sinnoh when Ash and Maylene battled to a draw, where it was at the discretion of the Gym Leader as to whether the trainer deserved a badge.
*** This was {{lampshaded}} at the Cinnabar Gym, when Ash expects to receive his badge for helping solve a problem, but Blaine only intended to let him re-challenge him for it.
** It also seemed that the Kanto Gym Leaders could freely substitute their own Pokémon during a Gym battle. The rule that only a challenger could make substitutions was first introduced in Ash's Orange League Championship battle. This rule was carried over to the Johto gyms and has been a standard gym battle rule ever since, with the odd exception of Lenora at the Nacrene Gym.
** Emphasis on RuleOfFunny also led to some bizarre situations, like a talking Gastly which godmodded by conjuring up illusions (rather than using typical moves) to counter any Pokémon attack.
** The episode "Bad To The Bone" has Jessie try to catch Otoshi's Doduo with a Poke Ball despite the fact he already owns it. In later episodes, when a character tries to catch a Pokémon under the ownership of someone else already, the Ball refuses to work, so Jessie should've known she's wasting her time. But the ball was knocked away by Marowak's bone club, so we don't know what would've happened. Interestingly, this is averted in the Japanese CD drama based on [[Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie the first movie]], in which Giovanni steals a defeated trainer's Magmar.
** There was also the Pokédex, who is usually just a computer spouting off information about Pokémon. In the first episode, it seemed to have a personality as a DeadpanSnarker, acting like a dick toward Ash when he found a Rattata going through his bag. This is different in ''Sun and Moon'' where the Rotom Pokédex is its own character.
** Levels were also mentioned in [[Recap/PokemonS1E9TheSchoolOfHardKnocks one episode]], such as saying Pidgey would evolve at level 18 or that Pikachu should be at level 25 after two months.
** There are lots of variants seen before Shiny Pokémon became a canon mechanic in Johto. Even then, the ''term'' "Shiny" itself isn't canon until Unova.
** The very first episode is the ''only'' episode, up until the 16th episode of the ''Best Wishes'' series, in which Team Rocket does not appear.
** On a meta level, episodes written by Creator/TakeshiShudo, most of which are from the first two seasons (and became increasingly rarer before he left during Johto), are noticeably more mature in tone, focusing on the darker aspects of the Pokémon universe. The clash between these and the vast majority of episodes, which are far more lighthearted, is quite jarring to viewers.
** The first season, in general, has an overall ... ''[[WorldGoneMad different]]'' feel to it than the vast majority of what followed, having zanier episode plots and a more openly comedic-- sometimes bordering on [[KafkaKomedy Kafka Komedic]]-- tone, including several BreakingTheFourthWall moments. Possibly subverted now that this style has resurfaced once again in the ''Sun and Moon'' series.
** In a slightly different way, the ''Sun and Moon'' series takes this. Early episodes have the overly-stylized faces cut back on, makes out trials to be the driving force of the series and treats Z-Moves as though they are something to be revered. Later episodes pretty much ignore the trials outside of a couple lines, make every episode a [[ShoutOut parody of other series]] and has the characters that can use Z-Moves for the most mundane exercises, including, but not limited to, snowboarding, baseball and ping-pong.
* EarthDrift: Just like the game series, the anime has been subject to this over the years. The Indigo seasons, Orange Islands and some Johto seasons reference a number of real world locations and concepts (like real holidays), but later seasons pointedly do not.
* EggMacguffin: Starting in the first series, one of the members of the cast find or are given a Pokémon egg. This egg eventually hatches into a Pokémon that joins the cast. Usually the egg has a pattern that indicates what species it'll hatch into.
** Ash has had a Phanpy, Larvitar, Scraggy and Noibat hatch from eggs over the course of the anime.
** Misty adopted Togepi, the very first egg ever seen in the anime.
** Brock was given an egg that hatched into a Happiny in the Diamond and Pearl saga.
** May was given an egg that hatched into an Eevee.
** Dawn was given a Cyndaquil egg.
** At the beginning of the ''Sun and Moon'' series, Ash and his mother were given an red egg by Professor Oak to deliver to his cousin, who lives in the Alola region. This egg would be later used in an assignment alongside a white egg that was found on Mt.Lanakila. Lillie chose the white egg to raise while Samson Oak took care of the red egg. Both would eventually hatch into Vulpix. Lillie received the Alolan Vulpix, which she would name Snowy while Samson obtained the Kantonian Vulpix.
* EldritchAbomination: Toned down some from the games' Pokédex descriptions, but some of the Pokémon remain delightfully creepy.
* ElementalHair: The Eevee brothers -- the yellow-haired Sparky having a Jolteon, the redhead Pyro a Flareon, the blue-haired Rainer a Vaporeon, and brown haired Mikey has an unevolved Eevee.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Following with the game's rules, though these can be [[LoopholeAbuse bent sometimes]] (Pikachu being able to harm Ground Pokémon with Electric moves, just for starters).
* EraSpecificPersonality: Most recurring characters' personalities tend to fluctuate with each change of region. The competence of both Ash and Team Rocket tends to be the most prominent victim.
* EverybodyCries: All of Gary Oak's cheerleaders cry whenever Gary loses a match.
-->'''Misty:''' If I cried every time Ash lost, I'd be waterlogged.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Serena has a crush on Ash, and nearly every girl around them (notably Alexa, Miette, Bonnie, and Shauna) catches on [[ObliviousToLove long before Ash does]].
** Everyone can see that Ash and Misty care for each other despite their constant fights (or maybe ''because'' of it...) as pointed out by several characters in the show (Nurse Joy, Tracey and even Danny).
* EveryoneOwnsAMac: Of the HoldYourHippogriffs variety, even. As [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/PC Bulbapedia]] has pointed out, if a PC appears in this series, chances are it's running the Pokéverse equivalent of Mac OS.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: In a Contest battle, anything + everything = sparkles.
* EvilerThanThou: Most arc villains tend to bitch slap Team Rocket out of the picture to prove their villainous cred. This was especially bad in the Hoenn era, where even most minor comical antagonists reduced Team Rocket to their ButtMonkey. Downplayed with odd cases such as Team Plasma and Team Flare, who were more sinister but fell to Team Rocket following an EnemyMine, and flat-out subverted by Team Skull, who are even ''more'' LaughablyEvil than Team Rocket.
* EvilVersusEvil: Teams Magma and Aqua [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire as]] [[Manga/PokemonAdventures always]], and Teams Rocket vs. all the other regional evil teams as well.
* EvolvingCredits: Done rather interestingly with the first ''Black and White'' opening, where, in the opening for the first episode, everything, including all the Pokémon, are in black and white, except for Pikachu who shows up fully colored. In the second episode's opening, as Pikachu passes the Pokémon, any that were seen in the previous episode start filling in with color to show who's been seen so far. This was thrown aside in the dub.
** The dub plays it straight for ''Adventures in Unova'''s opening -- the footage changed to the opening used in the Episode N and then the Decalore arc when it reached those points.
** The ''XY'' episode cards were later updated to have Serena's attire change. Again this was omitted from the dub.
** The first ending for ''Sun and Moon'' changes the image of Lillie when she obtains her egg, and again when the egg hatches into [[spoiler:Alolan Vulpix]] and becomes her partner.
* ExponentialPlotDelay: The relatively straightforward journey to each AdventureTown to get a badge, and later Victory Road for the tournament of champions, can take more than one season to complete. See {{Filler}} for more details.
* ExtremeMeleeRevenge: While ToonPhysics prevented any serious injuries, the heroes were sometimes left ''very'' pissy from Team Rocket's schemes. Cue a no holds barred barrage of Pokémon attacks on the Pokémon and their trainers for as much as it takes to make them blast off, be they attacking, retreating or begging for mercy.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption. The writers have ''never allowed'' Ash to win a ''regional'' tournament (with the exception of the Orange League, which doesn't exist in the games). He'll always lose no matter what. Their logic behind this thinking is that if he wins one single tournament, from one single area of the world, his entire journey ends.
** Similarly, Team Rocket will never hold onto Pikachu long enough to deliver him to Giovanni. Nor will they ever steal any other Pokémon and/or goods without them getting taken back and subsequently being launched into the stratosphere. Even if they have a legitimately genius plan and come close to succeeding, ''something'', whether it’s their own [[SmugSnake cockiness,]] [[DeusExMachina the protagonists getting lucky,]] [[IgnoredEnemy their failure to account for their other Pokémon,]] or any combination of the three, something will always ensure that they are perpetually empty-handed. And once the Hoenn saga rolled around, Team Rocket became a trio of delusional, pathetic, and annoying clowns who get their asses beat by [[IronButtmonkey literally everyone.]]
* {{Fainting}}: Mostly in the first season.
* FantasyKitchenSink: At various points we've had psychics, [[KiAttacks aura]], ghosts, HumongousMecha, Magic (albeit very little), HardLight Holograms, a few superheroes (an aged Franchise/{{Batman}} parody, and a Franchise/KamenRider parody), ToonPhysics, WeirdScience, Cloning, {{Pirate}}s, {{Ninja}}s [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and a talking cat]]. And that's just the stuff that doesn't apply to the Pokémon themselves (though most of these do).
* FemaleMonsterSurprise: When the Togepi from ''Where No Togepi Has Gone Before!'' uses Attract, affecting Pikachu, Croagunk and Meowth, confirming that this Togepi is female, as James points out. Jessie realizes her Yanmega wasn't affected, asking "You are a girl?!", surprised, while Yanmega glows red.
%%* FightingSeries
* {{Filler}}: Throughout every season, but more noticeable after Kanto. Justified on a meta-level by multiple concerns -- one, Filler allows the anime to lend the spotlight to the increasingly vast number of Pokémon; two, the games themselves tend to be so sparsely-plotted ([[StrictlyFormula some kid from some backwoods town goes on a journey to become Champion, fighting a rival and an evil organization along the way]]) that the anime would be at constant risk of [[OvertookTheManga Overtook the Games]] if it ''[[TropesAreNotBad didn't]]'' employ Filler. Regardless, it ''still'' [[TropesAreNotGood drags on]] -- [[http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/f228/filler-percentages-saga-saga-71342/ fifty percent of Ash's travels in Johto were filler.]]
** ''Black & White'' is a unique example: the show originally ''was'' plotted to be much more like the games, especially the plot arc of the first of the set, and would have even culminated in N's Castle rising dramatically from the ground as it does in the games... and then the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_T%C5%8Dhoku_earthquake_and_tsunami Tohoku Earthquake]] happened. As can be imagined, any plans to have a castle rise out of the ground via an earthquake were ''immediately'' thrown in the dumpster and the entire generation's plot arc was immediately and hastily re-plotted to try and get around having to address the end sequence of ''[=B&W=]'''s game version. This resulted in a fair bit of obvious filler where the original N arc was going to be, and the eventual Team Plasma and N arc being a continuous string of episodes set after the League, combining elements of both the original games and their sequels. The ongoing ''Team Rocket'' arc, on the other hand, managed to go by unscathed, concluding with [[spoiler: Ash finally facing Giovanni.]]
* AFistfulOfRehashes: "Showdown at Dark City" is basically ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}''...[[RecycledINSPACE with Pokémon!]] And two rival gyms going too far with the SeriousBusiness! [[LighterAndSofter And rated TV-Y7!]]
* FlamingMeteor: The move 'Draco Meteor' is depicted as the user summoning dozens of flaming boulders from the sky. This is in contrast to the [[VideoGame/{{Pokemon}} games]] where the same move calls down a number of non-flaming blueish-green meteors.
* FluffyFashionFeathers: A few feather boas are worn, one by a Socialite on the St. Anne.
* ForgedMessage: In "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?", two young Trainers, Emily and Ralph, hate each other even though the Nidorans they own are in love with each other. Misty schemes to write Emily and Ralph each a letter supposedly from each other so that they will fall in love too. It backfires very badly as the gifts Misty sends with the letters are unintentionally insensitive, causing Ralph and Emily to accuse each other of playing a sick joke.
* ForgottenFramingDevice: The movies tend to start with narration, but unlike episodes of the show, the narrator doesn't come back at the end.
* FreeRangeChildren: No one finds it disconcerting that ten-year olds run about the world by themselves - except [[OverprotectiveDad Bianca's father,]] and he gets over it by episode's end. That's what they do in the world of Pokémon so it's usually never a problem.
* FrenchMaidOutfit: The "Tanks for the Memories!" episode sees the gang helping out at a Maid Cafe because the joint was temporarily understaffed (Brock was training one of the maids working there). This results in Dawn, Ash (again!) and even some of their mons dressing up in these outfits.
* FunnyAfro: Everybody wears afro wigs in "Baffling The Bouffalant!", because the Bouffalant won't attack anybody who has a similar hairstyle to their natural afros.
* FunnyOctopus: James' Inkay gets in on the slapstick and mischief as much as any Team Rocket member.
* GRatedSex: Though the occasional egg pops up, the game's Breeding mechanic hasn't really been covered in the anime. That probably has to do with the fact the anime is made for kids. Then, all of a sudden, [=SM044=] features the legendaries of Alola, Solgaleo and Lunala, pretty much procreating a brand new Cosmog. ''[[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids Right in front of Ash]].'' Of course, the way it comes about involves both Legendaries [[BizarreAlienReproduction dissolving into space dust and mixing together to instantaneously form a brand new Cosmog]].
* GagDub: While not technically a parody, the English dub usually results in RuleOfFunny and tons of Lampshading.
%%* GenreShift: Due to the fact that Alola doesn't have gyms and/or a Pokémon League, and centers on Ash attending a trainer's school, the Sun and Moon series of the Pokémon anime might be incorporating elements of SliceOfLife alongside the Action the series is mostly known for.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: An InUniverse example in the Sun and Moon anime. Pikachu, a Kanto-native Pokémon, is quite popular in Alola.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: [[Radar/PokemonAnime Has its own page.]]
* GoKartingWithBowser: Team Rocket interchange between trying to steal Pokémon and trying out legitimate contests and businesses on the side. Especially apparent in the Sinnoh era where they actually become much better at it than their usual villainous job.
* GoodIsNotSoft: Ash and most of the other heroes are sweet, charitable, and have a suicidally forgiving streak. Keep crossing them however, and expect a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown from their most powerful Pokemon. Team Rocket are at the brunt of [[FriendlyEnemy both]] [[ExtremeMeleeRevenge extremes]] of this trope on a regular basis.
* GottaCatchEmAll:
** Despite this being the series' CatchPhrase, actually completely averted in regards to the Pokémon. Ash isn't interested in capturing every Pokémon, he's just on a journey to explore his limits. He catches a few Pokémon, enough to fill up a team, in each region but he doesn't just throw a pokeball at every new Pokémon he comes across. The main reason for this is because Pokémon are treated as characters in their own right and the cast size would be ''[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters bloated]]'' if Ash did attempt to catch them all.
** The series does have actual {{Plot Coupon}}s for Ash to actually quest for, namely he needs to acquire 8 gym badges from a region in order to compete in that region's Pokémon League. And during the Advanced Generation and Diamond and Pearl series, May and Dawn had to win 5 Contest Ribbons in order to compete in the region's Grand Festival. Serena also required 3 Princess Keys to reach the Showcase finales in the XY series.
* GrandfatherClause: Brock's main RunningGag is to [[LovableSexManiac fall in love and embarrass himself by flirting with any pretty girl he sees]]. Such a character trait can't be tacked on to later characters in a children's series without it coming off as creepy or demeaning to the woman in question, but Brock can get away with it since that's his most well known character trait.
* GratuitousEnglish: Oh so very much. And the Japanese opening themes amount to little more than this and boatloads of random Pokémon terms with a catchy tune. Case in point: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weMviilwDGg&feature=related Everyday is spelled evierdai]] Lyrics are [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/The_Greatest_-_Everyday! here]].
** The seasons based off of ''Black/White'' is called ''Best Wishes'' in Japan.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress: In "Pokémon Shipwreck", Ash wakes up on the ceiling of the capsized S.S. Anne, and stays there until Misty and Brock tell him he's on the ceiling. Only then does he fall to the ground.
* GreenAesop: Almost unique for both the series and the trope in that it ''doesn't'' drop the proverbial anvil (a few exceptions exist here and there). Beyond the obvious demonizing of poachers and animal abusers, it really just provides an example of humanity gone right. Animal rights are rarely an issue (especially because TheDogBitesBack with a ''vengeance'' if you kick one too hard). It's rare that smog from vehicles is even seen despite the existence of personal automobiles and heavy air transport, the skies are perennially clear and blue even over the largest metropolises, and huge tracts of land go free of harm. Even when pollution is referenced (outside of the Koffing, Grimer, and Trubbish families), it's never actually seen, or else is promptly cleaned up. And no one says a word. ''Because no one has to.''
** One example is [[PollutedWasteland Gringy City]] found in an early episode in the first season, whose air and water is so polluted from the extremely exaggerated number of factories most of which seem to exist only to pollute the air and water. The water is green and polluted with multiple [[MuckMonster Grimer and Muk]] (because of all the factories), the air is dark and filled with soot (because of all the factories), and there's no grassy area to speak of ([[RuleOfThree because of all the factories]]). Misty and Brock then end the episode by telling Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny that the Sludge Pokémon are a good indication that they should probably clean the place up a little.
** Another example is the early Diglett episode, in which Pokémon even refuse to come out of their Poke Balls to stop the Diglett. It turns out they already knew that the Diglett would be harmed by the dam construction, so shouldn't be stopped. It is also shown that the Diglett created the valley forests, and implied that they [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows create ALL the forests in the world]] (even though we NEVER see any evidence of this outside this episode).
** Most mentions of environmentalism are played for laughs when Team Rocket mentions how certain aspects of their schemes are good for the environment.
* GullibleLemmings: As often as the heroes outmatch Team Rocket, you can almost always expect them to fall hook, line and sinker for a booby trap or PaperThinDisguise beforehand. Played with for Meowth's HeelFaceMole stunts, since the heroes have become increasingly suspicious and prone to LampshadeHanging as they've continued. Even then though, he usually still manages to wheedle his way in eventually.

* {{Hammerspace}}: This appears in several varieties:
** The backpacks, which are not very big, but contain anything from large food supplies to camping tables and even an umbrella (in ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'', for example).
** Poke Balls are usually worn on the trainer's belt, but are usually not visible, and trainers grab Poke Balls from under their jacket.
** The Poké Balls themselves serve as technological hammerspace for Pokémon. Interestingly, any size Pokémon fits in a Poke Ball, but each ball can only fit one Pokémon. Poke Balls can also shrink and grow in size.
** Where does Team Rocket get the materials to create their giant mechs, nifty gadgets and other toys? Come to think of it, where does Clemont keep all of his materials for his inventions?
* HeroOfAnotherStory: The fate of the supporting characters when they inevitably [[TheFellowshipHasEnded depart Ash's company at the conclusion of each saga]]; they still carry on their own journeys to see their own goals through, but do so offscreen.
%%* HexagonalSpeechBalloon
* HumanPopsicle: If you count Pokémon, Pryce's Piloswine counts. In "As Cold As Pryce", we learn it was frozen in a glacier for many years, and defrosted harmlessly.
* HurricaneOfPuns: The 4Kids dub did this frequently, especially in the early episodes of Season 1.
** Puns are quite frequent in the original Japanese version too. The Diglett episode from the original series had an endless stream of bad puns in the original, far more so than its dubbed version. Blame the lack of knowledge of this on the lack of available fansubs.
* HypnosisProofDogs: Inverted in a later episode where Team Rocket used a Drowzee's hypnosis specifically to brainwash Pokémon but not their trainers.
* ImagineSpot: Meowth's "boss fantasies", where he outlines why Team Rocket should steal the Pokémon of the day and give it to Giovanni. Despite their ludicrous nature, they invariably convince Jessie & James. They were especially prominent during ''Advanced Generation'' and still occasionally feature to this day.
* ImprovisedLightningRod: Grass types, which are only resistant to electricity in the games, sometimes use a strategy of digging roots or vines into the ground to disperse electric attacks.
* InescapableNet:
** Pokémon caught inside Team Rocket's nets will only rarely manage to free themselves, despite them usually being pretty powerful in battle. Usually handwaved as being electric/whatever proof nets. The peak of this trope may be when Team Rocket captured Cresselia, a ''Legendary Pokemon'', with an ordinary net. Granted, Cresselia's main power is to grant good dreams, which is useless for escaping from a net.
** Notably averted in one ''Advanced''' episode: Ash simply had Grovyle cut the net with Leaf Blade.
* InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals:
** Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny were the original TropeNamer (under the name "Nurse Jenny"). Both of them are an extensive and very widespread family of pink haired nurses and blue haired police officers who look mostly identical save for small differences in their hats. After the ''Diamond and Pearl'' series, they started to deviate a bit in their general designs and what Pokémon they use but they're all just as dedicated to their jobs.
** ''Best Wishes'' had two male examples in the form of Don George and Porter. The Don Georges run faculties known as Battle Clubs where trainers battle and often hold tournaments. The Porters run a ferry service in the Decolore Islands. Neither have been seen since the ending of the ''Best Wishes'' series though.
* InstantCostumeChange: Team Rocket often partake in such to achieve their PaperThinDisguise dupes. At one point Meowth did a rapid multi costume change to mimic a transform ability.
* IntelligibleUnintelligible: Most Pokémon use Pokémon Speak that humans don't understand, but most all Pokémon understand each other. Since Meowth can also speak English, he often serves as a translator for humans when the other Pokémon are trying to communicate something.
** Also averted with most Legendaries who speak through telepathy. Oddly not averted with Victini in its two movies, though justified as a major part of the plot was Ash discovering Victini's tragic past, which if Victini just told him at the beginning the movie would be cut in half.
* InterspeciesFriendship: Friendship, trust, and understanding between trainers and their Pokémon are recurring themes on the show.
* InterspeciesRomance: Tropius/Meganium, Golduck/Azumarill, Bulbasaur/Gloom etc. Breeding group is also not important (Lombre/Mawile; Lombre is in the Water 1 and Plant groups, while Mawile is in the Ground and Fairy. Marill/Elekid: a Water 1 and Ground and a No Eggs who evolves into one in the Humanshape). There are also some Human/Pokemon examples (Ash/Pikachu, Ash/Bayleef, Ash/Aipom, Ash/Latias, Cassandra/Meowth, Harley's Cacturn/Jessie). Most of the love is one sided and on the human/Pokemon it's always on the Pokémon's side, except for [[TooKinkyToTorture Gardenia and her fetish]].
* IsleOfGiantHorrors:
** After surviving the sinking of the St. Anne, Ash's party and Team Rocket end up stuck on an island made up of malfunctioning giant animatronic Pokémon, separated from their Pokémon.
** Another episode during the OI season has Meowth and Pikachu [[ChainedHeat tied together]] in the middle of Fairchild Island, an island containing giant Rhydon and Pidgeot who attack anyone that comes near.
%%* ItMakesSenseInContext: Most of the examples on this page. Can also happen in RealLife as well.
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: In "Address Unown!", a Unown puts Ash and friends into Larvitar's mind to help it get past traumatic events.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Happens on occasion. Misty's Psyduck, James's Mime Jr., and Ash's Froakie all literally caught themselves by activating unused Poké Balls.
* {{Justification}}: In the games, the AI rarely ever switches Pokémon, even when it would benefit them to do so and even though it's essential to player vs. player battling strategy. For this reason, most Gym Battles in the anime have the referee announce that the Gym Leader is not allowed to switch Pokémon. One exception was Ash's Gym Battle with Lenora, where switching was ''explicitly allowed''.
* {{Kaiju}}: Legendary Pokémon are anywhere from "extra-large" to "titanic" in size, especially if it's a more "beastly" Legendary (Groudon, Rayquaza, Giratina). Non-Legendary examples include the cliff-sized Dragonite in "Mystery at the Lighthouse" and the skyscraper-tall Tentacruel in "Tentacool and Tentacruel".
* KidsRock: 2 B A Master
* {{Kodomomuke}}: The series is mainly intended for children, which is even more prominent in later seasons when the FleetingDemographicRule starts to show. That said, in Japanese, the older seasons (especially the movies) were a bit more family-oriented thanks to Takeshi Shudo's work on the show, and the Mega Evolution specials and linked XYZ episodes in ''any'' language are clearly aimed at a slightly older {{shonen}} audience.
* LaterInstallmentWeirdness: Each era adds new main characters and stipulations according to the games they adapt. ''Best Wishes'' in particular offered a few formula breakers, such as making the Team Rocket trio more minor, but far more competent and serious antagonists. Another formula breaker of ''Best Wishes'' was Ash's capture of nine new Pokémon, which he kept in regular rotation and stored at Professor Juniper's lab, rather than Professor Oak's, if they were off his active party. ''Sun & Moon'' features the biggest departure from the standard formula; instead of traveling around Alola, Ash attends a Pokémon School with Lillie and four of the Trial Captains (but they aren't Trial Captains as the job doesn't exist in the anime's canon) from the games.
* LaughOfLove: In the episode "[[Recap/PokemonS18E10UnderThePledgingTree Under the Pledging Tree]]", when Ash asks Serena what gifts she's planning to get while she's thinking that the two of them are on a date, she quickly replies "I'm not sure yet!", while chuckling nervously.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: There have been a few over the course of the series' run.
** Don't [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Sakura_and_Tomoyo_DP077.png these two]] [[Manga/CardcaptorSakura look familiar]]?
** [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Doyle Doyle]] in "Where Did You Go, Audino?" bears a resemblance to [[Manga/DetectiveConan Conan Edogawa]].
** Here's one example that managed to draw ire from lawyers anyway: [[https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Hamilton Hamilton]] from "Cream of the Croagunk Crop" was originally supposed to be one for Hiroshi from ''Manga/DokonjoGaeru''. Even his Japanese name was originally "Hiroki". However, it was deemed a bit too close to be a Lawyer Friendly Cameo and he was subsequently redesigned and renamed (to Takuya) for DVD release and international markets.
* LemonyNarrator: Not during the main anime so much, but he does during ''Pokémon Chronicles'' and such.
* LensmanArmsRace: Ash and Team Rocket's rivalry has slowly becomes this, due to the trio's constant quest to one up the twerps and Ash's team gaining ceaseless abilities and pointers from thwarting them. By the time the two sides enter the Kalos region, their rivalry earns an InUniverse HolyShitQuotient from the locales, just from the ridiculous skill and power displayed from an unfanfared rookie and a bunch of small time criminals.
* LethalChef: Whenever a character who doesn't normally cook meals attempts to cook, expect the results to be catastrophic. This is justified as most of the cast members are pre-teens and thus wouldn't have much experience with cooking. The ones who do the cooking are usually the older members.
* LighterAndSofter:
** Generally speaking, the tone of the anime is more zany and humorous than the games that it's based on, as they avoid the dark undertones the games include. That said, the anime has had its moments of seriousness and darkness too, especially with some of the movies (notably Takeshi Shudo's early movies), and the ''Mega Evolution'' specials take a ''hard'' turn toward the much more serious.
** ''Sun and Moon'' is an exaggerated trope. The show is the lightest it's ever been, as a SliceOfLife show with lots of light-hearted comedy. [[spoiler: It also features the bleakest episode with the death of an old Stoutland, and then the Aether Foundation and Ultra Beasts come into play, and good ol' CerebusSyndrome sets in.]]
* LighthousePoint: Episode 13, "Mystery at the Lighthouse".
* LimitedWardrobe: Although [[TrueCompanions Ash & co.]] usually get new outfits for each new journey.
* LineOfSightName: In "Showdown At Dark City", Ash tries to hide his real name. When he looks at Pikachu playing with a ketchup bottle, Ash announces his name is "Ketchup" before he quickly changes it to "Tom Ato".
* LiterallyPrizedPossession: It's revealed in a Kanto episode that Ash's NiceHat is an official Pokemon League hat he won by sending in hundreds of entries to a sweepstakes (making it clear that he's wanted ToBeAMaster for a very long time).
* LivingDinosaurs: Several episodes of the anime have had the cast dealing with living examples of fossil Pokémon that weren't the result of time travel or cloning.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: And that's just the ''human'' cast, excluding the hundreds of one-shots. Since Pokémon themselves also need characterization, the cast usually ends up being much larger then you would expect:
** Ash catches the highest amount of Pokémon within his group of friends, but the show has handled this trope not quite as good as it should be. Since Ash's team he has on hand will always be the SpotlightStealingSquad of the travel group, most of Ash's travel companions and his classmates don't catch too many Pokémon, since there wouldn't be enough screetime left for all Pokémon.
*** The original series is especially guilty of this, since the Pokémon he doesn't carry in his party (Krabby/Kingler, Primeape, Muk and Tauros) are OutOfFocus and barely get any development or screen time. The 30 Tauros he has caught in the Safari Zone are a notorious victim of this trope, since it makes it difficult to determine whether he either uses one of different ones in battle and all of them seem to have the same personality. Furthermore, Brock's and Misty's Pokémon, with the exception of Misty's Psyduck, are mostly put OutOfFocus and barely get development since the focus is on Ash's team. However, Misty's Starmie and Horsea are left behind later on to give her fewer options for her team while also giving her the opportunity to catch new Pokémon in later seasons. Later seasons would cut supporting character's teams from six to three at most. Team Rocket's Pokémon would also follow this restriction, with both Jessie and James having at most two each (apart from Wobbuffet, who is officially Jessie's Pokémon but is mostly a permanent member like Meowth).
*** The Johto journey makes it clear that is a bad idea for the series to start a new regional journey if Ash has too many Pokémon has on hand. Given the merchandise-driven nature of the series, Ash is required to catch new Pokémon and raise a full team of them (minus Pikachu). This results to Charizard and Squirtle being PutOnABus in a way that makes it a bit difficult to bring them back, and the recently caught Heracross stays at the lab to give room for Ash's new regional bird Noctowl (and it keeps him from having a member that is too strong). But this also leads to Bulbasaur being OutOfFocus for the majority of the journey since he's never replaced by his Johto counterpart, and when he does leave, not only doesn't Heracross come back, Ash gets a newly hatched Pokémon (Phanpy) which doesn't get enough screentime in the end. This time however, he doesn't catch more than six new Pokémon. When it comes to Misty's and Brock's Pokémon, only a selective few of them get some development: Brock's Zubat (which was caught off screen in the 5th episode of the original series and was promptly forgotten about unless they needed a second flyer) [[AscendedExtra gained more screentime]] as it evolved into the new Crobat and Misty's Poliwag became her main battler (alongside the new addition Corsola) when it evolved into Poliwhirl and then Politoed.
*** Starting from ''Advance Generation'', Ash starts every new regional journey with just Pikachu (except in Sinnoh, where Aipom tags along as well), which prevents him from having the same issues he had in Johto. While he doesn't catch too many Pokémon, Torkoal and Glalie are PutOnABus in the Battle Frontier arc, giving enough room for the returning Phanpy who didn't get enough screentime last time and the new member Aipom, who is deliberately not given enough screentime since she would join Ash in his next journey and would receive her evolution introduced in that generation (albeit with another trainer). Meanwhile, Brock also starts to enter a new region with only one Pokémon and he would always catch not more than three Pokémon per series, but in turn they get more development than Pokémon he has caught in the original series. May never travels with a full roster of six Pokémon in ''AG'', but as the series' deuteragonist, May and her team get more focus than Brock and his team, and the number of her team is small enough to give each of them enough characterization. However, a few of May's and Brock's Pokémon are PutOnABus during the transition between the Hoenn League and the Battle Frontier to give more room for newer additions. In ''Diamond & Pearl'', Dawn's team would get a similar treatment like May's, although she does end up with a full team. Coincidentally, both of the girls end up having seven Pokémon during their tenure -- May rotates her team in her Johto journey, while Dawn's Ambipom is PutOnABus á la Primeape.
*** ''Best Wishes'' does a better job than what the original series did with his Kanto roster, but Ash's Unova roster however still suffers from the large number of rotating members, resulting that around half of them don't receive enough development to flesh them out or give them enough screentime to show off their glory. Charizard's late return doesn't make things better, with two of the six slots being occupied by two Kanto Pokémon and the Unova Pokémon having to share the remaining four slots while Unfeazant is effectively PutOnABus. Charizard himself isn't a SpotlightStealingSquad either, so he has to share his limited amount of screentime with his teammates as well. Cilan's team gets a similar treatment as Brock's, and Iris never gets a full team, though as of her post-series special she's just ''one'' short of having one.
*** Due to the very small number of brand new Pokémon in ''X and Y'', the cast size was not too big but not to small, averting this trope. Notably, Serena only ever obtains three Pokémon, despite being based on a player character like May or Dawn.
*** With a set of ''six'' main characters on the good side, Ash's classmates have each a very small number of Pokémon on hand (generally one or two), not counting their Ride Pokémon (although Kiawe's Charizard is a borderline case as [[WolverinePublicity it's a Charizard]], [[RetiredBadass but an aged one who rarely battles]]). And thanks to the school setting, Ash's classmates don't all need to appear in every episode the way his travel companions did.
** In regards to human characters, there are so many of them that the fans, and probably the writers themselves, have a hard time judging who is going to be important to the plot in the long run.
*** Characters who are also important in the main games are generally well-regarded, even if they only appear in a single episode. While characters who only exist in the anime tend to not be regarded as such... Unless they make an important impact. It also depends on when they were introduced. People who have watched the anime since the beginning can tell you who A.J is [[note]]The trainer with the Sandshrew who appeared in episode 8 and only episode 8.[[/note]], but will probably struggle to tell you who Nicholai is [[note]]For those wondering, he's a trainer introduced in ''Advanced Generation'' who likes to dress up as Pokémon. He also appears in two episodes, which disqualifies him as a One-shot character.[[/note]].
* LongRunners: Has been running almost nonstop since April 1997 in Japan, with over 900 episodes and 15 movies - with every episode having been on TV Tokyo.
* LoveHurts: Both Ash and Jessie end up releasing Pokémon to take part in breeding migrations with their own kind; Butterfree, and Dustox, respectively. This was particularly painful for Jessie, who had to crush Dustox's Poké Ball to convince her to go through with it.
* LullDestruction: The dub has ''very'' few moments of silence, the maximum being about three seconds of silence per episode. The old episodes were short on silent moments as well, but the silent moments were much easier to find back then.
* MacGuffin: The infamous GS Ball; also badges and ribbons to some extent. There's also the handkerchief that Serena kept after Ash gave it to her when they were little and used it to bandage her hurt knee. When she showed it to him in Kalos, that's when he remembered who she was.
* MadeOfIron: Almost every named human character. Also, virtually any Pokémon: while they can be critically injured, almost Pokémon has been seen to be killed in a battle. The only exception being Jan's Talonflame, who was turned to stone from Yveltal's Oblivion Wing.
* MagicalComputer: Pokédexes. Pretty powerful ones, too, at least for the nineties.
* MerchandiseDriven: One of the most well-known and successful shows of this type. The direction that the show takes is usually determined by marketing and marketability.
* MidBattleTeaBreak: In "Ka Boom With A View!", Ash and Palace Maven Spenser take a break in the middle of their fight to enjoy lunch.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: New captures, attacks, and evolutions are typically gained throughout a season rather than being localized near the beginning or the end. This is mostly because the ungodly amounts of {{Filler}} act as huge buffers between plot points and wind up distributing them fairly evenly.
* MirrorUniverse: Ash travels into one in the episode "The Cave Of Mirrors". As expected, the inhabitants have opposite traits of their normal selves (i.e., Ash is timid and is shown to be a crybaby, Team Rocket are heroes who supported Ash from behind, Clemont is athletic and is into magic, etc.).
* MonsterOfTheWeek: They're usually kind or misunderstood, though.
* MoodMotif: The episode "A Chansey Operation" has the doctor be hit with a tranquilizer dart. He very quickly falls asleep as the background music is the rhythm of Jigglypuff's Lullaby.
* MovingBuildings: One of Team Rocket's mechas.
* MsFanservice:
** Jessie gets this as a cross between ParentalBonus and EvilIsSexy.
** The female companions also get this often. Misty [[SheCleansUpNicely cleans up nicely]] while May and Dawn have this as a side-effect of their Contest arcs. Among other things...
** The [[FairCop Officer Jennies]] and [[HospitalHottie Nurse Joys]] are subject to this too, deliberately lampshaded in the show with [[LovableSexManiac Brock]], who falls in love with each one he meets.
* MookChivalry: Even bad guys such as Team Rocket tend to obey the turn based ethics of Pokémon matches and rarely use more than one Pokémon at once, only really ganging up on a character for an exceptional KickTheDog moment. Played with since the heroes [[StupidGood do this just as often]], only using fuller forces to wrap things up or to show [[BewareTheNiceOnes they've been truly pissed off]]. This is likely a DramaPreservingHandicap in their case, since the combined army of all three companions could likely trounce anyone with ease.
* MusicalEpisode: Though not really an episode of the show nor even canonical to it, the stage show ''Pokémon Live!'' would seem to fit in this trope.
** "Gotta Dance!", the short before the sixth movie.
* MythArc: Ash's goal ToBeAMaster. [[LongRunner In each and every saga.]] But perhaps because this has no set conclusion and pay-off in sight, starting with Sinnoh, each major saga/series began to have their own Myth Arc that would be resolved by the end:
** In Sinnoh, the Myth Arc is based around the region's Time-Space Legend featuring Dialga and Palkia, the Legendary Lake Trio Pokémon and their mysterious connection to Ash, Dawn and Brock, and the machinations of Team Galactic as it attempts to use this legend and its Pokémon to create a new world for themselves that will replace the old one. Strangely, despite starting in the first episode (where Dawn catches sight of Mesprit), it concludes in episode 151, leaving 40 episodes still left to go.
** In Unova, the Myth Arc is based around the legend of the Black Hero and White Hero representing Ideals and Truth respectively, their Pokémon companions Zekrom and Reshiram, the new "chosen ones" Ash (with Pikachu) and N, and Team Plasma attempting to use this legend to advance its plan for world domination. While starting in the first episode, it only resurfaces in episode 64 and the ''Episode N'' story arc near the end of the series. It was supposed to have progressed through more episodes more routinely, but [[RealLifeWritesThePlot some real-life factors got in the way and changed this.]]
** In Kalos, the Myth Arc is based around the phenomenon of Mega Evolution, its origins and the characters who utilize it in the present day, and Team Flare desiring to use the energy of Mega Evolution and the Legendary Pokémon Zygarde to wipe out most of the world's population and preserve its "beauty". This arc not only progressed through many episodes but also through four "The Strongest Mega Evolution" side-story specials starring Alain (who would later become Ash's friend and rival in the actual anime), and concluded at the very end of the series.
** In Alola, the Myth Arc is based around the region's ancient mysteries and how they affect Ash and his friends in the present day: mysteries such as Z Crystals, the "Tapu" Guardian Pokémon, the legendary Solgaleo and Lunala, and the Ultra Beasts that come from Ultra Space.
* MythologyGag:
** A lot of {{Canon Foreigner}}s in the early show are actually obviously derived from trainers in the games -- Samurai is a riff on the Bug Catcher class[[note]]His samurai stylings appear to be an exaggeration of the common Japanese VisualPun on the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuto Kabuto]] helmet (cf. the ''kabutomushi'', the Rhinoceros Beetle[[/note]], AJ is a Cooltrainer, Giselle is based on the Lass, Duplica is based on Saffron City's Copycat, ''etc.''
** A minor, easy-to-miss one, but when Misty's Staryu is knocked out, it sometimes makes a sound similar to the [[CriticalAnnoyance low health beep]] from the games.
** In [=DP094=], "Doc Brock", a Zapdos makes a quick cameo. In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Pokémon Platinum]]'', Zapdos can be found roaming Sinnoh in the post-Elite Four storyline. Notably, this was the first episode to air in Japan after the release of ''Platinum.''
*** Repeated in [=DP142=], "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before", where the evil KillerRabbit Togepi knows Extrasensory. In Japan, this was the last episode to air before the release of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver]]''. In those games, guess which move Togepi can use for the first time?
** In "Ya See we Want an Evolution!", the organization dedicated to showing the strength of Pokémon without evolving them is called the "B-Button League", referring to the actual ''game mechanic'' used for the very same purpose.
%%** The ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Best Wishes]]'' series has one ''[[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/archive/c/c7/20100911021916%21BW001.png in the first episode.]]''
** Also in the first episode of ''Black and White'': the plane Ash takes to Unova is flight number [[Characters/PokemonGenerationIFamilies 151]].
** ''Black and White'' also has episode 6's classic "ding-ding-ding-a-ding!" chime when healing Pokémon in the games.
** In the Pokémon themed single for fourth ''XY'' ending [=DreamDream=], the B-side track is a cover of KISEKI (the credits theme for the ''XY'' games).
** One of Ash's t-shirts in ''Sun and Moon'' has [[https://twitter.com/JoeMerrick/status/806800362397048832 the icon used for Water Pokemon in the first generation games.]] Another shirt has the flower icon for Grass Pokemon.
** The backpack Lillie wears while going outside in the episode in [=SM014=] closely resembles the one her [[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon game counterpart]] wears [[spoiler: after her SignificantWardrobeShift]].
** During their guest appearance in ''Sun and Moon'', [[spoiler:Brock and Misty [[https://twitter.com/wofal_haitei/status/910810838176432128 do their Red and Blue poses.]] Misty also changes into her original bikini swimming with Lana.]]

* NamedAfterSomeoneFamous: Jesse and James take their names from UsefulNotes/JesseJames.
* NeverSayDie: Rarely brought up in the series, but there have been a few cases, for dramatic purposes at least:
** This is actually averted in many instances (mostly the movies), even while Creator/FourKidsEntertainment was handling it. For example, ''Anime/Pokemon4Ever'' actually has Sammy say that Celebi was going to die. However, it's still softened a bit -- in the original, it's already dead by that point. They also didn't make any attempt to cover up [[spoiler:Latios's]] death in ''Anime/PokemonHeroes'' or Lucario and Sir Aaron's deaths in ''Anime/PokemonLucarioAndTheMysteryOfMew''.
** Human deaths are also a rare event. They vary from a relative that died due to illness, accident or old age, historical figures, or the main characters actually encountering human ghosts.
** While the episode doesn't outright say it, it's made very clear in [=SM021=] that [[spoiler:Stoutland]] has died.
%%* NewSeasonNewName
* NoHarmRequirement:
** During Johto in the episode ''Once In A Blue Moon'', a Quagsire steals the GS Ball. When Ash gets it back by battling it with Squirtle, the gang almost get arrested by Officer Jenny because Quagsire in the town is a [[EndangeredSpecies protected species]]. So when the Quagsire steals the ball again, they have to follow it to waterfall where it conducts its waterfall ritual and wait for it to finish with the ball.
** In the Hoenn episode, ''You Can Never Taillow'', Ash and Pikachu find themselves having to square off against the leader of a fierce Taillow flock. However, is a [[TheDeterminator determined]] BloodKnight and keeps battling despite taking numerous powerful Electric attacks from Pikachu. Fearing that he may cause it too much damage, Ash ends up capturing.
** In Sinnoh, the gang had to deal with Hunter J who was an EvilPoacher that poached Pokemon, whether they were owned or rare, and sold them clients via a black market. To ensure maximum pay for her quarry, she would zap the Pokemon with a [[AndIMustScream petrification ray]] and seal them in clear pods.
** In the Unova episode, ''A Home for Dwebble'', the gang help a Dwebble get its home back from a bigger, bully Dwebble that attached its shell to its bigger one. Eventually, Dwebble gets to fight it mono-et-mono, but it has to restrain itself out of risk of damaging its own shell. Eventually it's able to use [[LimitBreak Shell Smash]] to destroy the rival Dwebble's shell and send it packing while leaving its own shell unharmed.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: The best you'll get for anyone (barring temporary characters and guest stars) is ShipTease. [[spoiler:Unless you're Serena.]]
* NonchalantDodge: Due to the turn based battle methods being imported from the games, the anime adds the ability to "dodge" command a Pokémon. Whenever a CurbstompBattle is demanded for the plot, expect this to get spammed a lot.
* NonDubbedGrunts: Some Pokémon, mostly the ones who kept their Japanese names.
* NonSerialMovie: ''Pokémon'' has a bunch of these; at present they number in the low twenties. Unlike other examples of the trope, however, a few of them are known to be canon to the series (such as ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'' and ''Anime/PokemonGenesectAndTheLegendAwakened'', both of which were foreshadowed in episodes), though their events are rarely if ever referenced in the series itself, or indeed between themselves (the first three ''D/P'' movies being a rare exception). While it's generally assumed all of them are canon, ''Anime/PokemonTheMovieBlackAndWhite'''s [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo dual-movie]] gimmick makes it difficult to fit in continuity, while ''Anime/PokemonIChooseYou'' is a full-on AlternateUniverse.
* NoodleIncident: Cilan is terrified of Purrloin because of an incident in his past involving one that he refuses to talk about until the voyage across the Decolore Islands. And even then, it is never explained to the audience, with only Ash and Iris's shocked reactions to go off of.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Team Rocket always get at least a handful of occasions per era they are good battlers or have a genuinely intricate and tight scheme. In some cases they genuinely have the heroes all but defeated until the Pokémon of the Week intervenes. This was especially apparent in ''Best Wishes'', which gave them [[TookALevelInBadass a temporary competence boost]].
* {{Novelization}}: Certain anime episodes (some books even compile several episodes within its pages) and at least two of the movies (some of the later movies have been released in manga format).
* NowYouTellMe: In the episode "Dues And Don'ts", Ash checks Delibird in the Pokedex. It says Delibird has a attack called Present. Delibird gives Ash and friends glowing ball "presents", which a couple seconds later go off as bombs. Dexter adds that some of Delibird's Presents explode. Ash says "now you tell me".
* OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo: The dub changes names every season except for between the first two, so whereas the original Japanese series has ''Pocket Monsters'' (seasons 1-5), ''Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation'' (seasons 6-9), ''Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl'' (seasons 10-13), ''Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!'' (seasons 14-15), ''Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2'' (seasons 15-16), ''Pocket Monsters XY'' (seasons 17-18), ''Pocket Monsters XY&Z'' (season 19), and ''Pocket Monsters Sun Moon'' (seasons 20+), the dub has ''Pokémon'' (seasons 1-2), ''Pokémon: The Johto Journeys'' (season 3), ''Pokémon Johto League Champions'' (season 4), ''Pokémon Master Quest'' (season 5), ''Pokémon Advanced'' (season 6), ''Pokémon Advanced Challenge'' (season 7), ''Pokémon Advanced Battle'' (season 8), ''Pokémon Battle Frontier'' (season 9), ''Pokémon Diamond and Pearl'' (season 10), ''Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension'' (season 11), ''Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles'' (season 12), ''Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors'' (season 13), ''Pokémon Black and White'' (season 14), ''Pokémon Black and White: Rival Destinies'' (season 15), ''Pokémon Black and White: Adventures In Unova and Beyond'' (season 16), ''Pokémon The Series: XY'' (season 17), ''Pokémon The Series: XY Kalos Quest'' (season 18), and ''Pokémon The Series: XYZ'' (season 19).
** The DVD releases have remedied the problem for the first two seasons: season 1 is now "Indigo League" and season 2 is now "Adventures on the Orange Islands."
* OffModel: As often as we have the AnimationBump, there's plenty of instances of this too. ''Black and White'' and beyond managed to cut back on occurrences, though.
* OhCrap: Lots of instances (Team Rocket are pretty prone to them, after all). In the episode "Pallet Party Panic", a Fearow that's been bullying the local Pidgey and Pidgeotto showcases a great example when it realises that the other Pokemon, after a confidence boost from Pidgeot, have [[NotAfraidOfYouAnymore finally had enough.]]
* OminousFog: Results in a ShipTease with holding hands.
* {{Ondo}}: Do-do-dogaasu, Do-doga-do!
* TheOtherDarrin: The entire American voice cast (with a few exceptions among the recurring cast) is changed three-quarters of the way through Advance Generation.
** In-universe, there was an episode where Bonsly and Mime Jr. are mistaken for actors and dropped into a movie in place of the real ones. [[DittoAliens Sure they look kinda the same to us, but one imagines any Pokémon viewers would tell instantly]] and have this reaction.
* OutOfFocus: Most of the villain teams get this treatment. The ''Advanced Generation'' had almost 200 episodes but Team Magma and Team Aqua only featured prominently in less than a dozen. The same goes for Team Galactic in ''Diamond and Pearl''. Team Plasma was supposed to have a greater role than they did but due to the Tohoku earthquake and release of ''Black 2 and White 2'', those plans were shelved. Team Flare do have a more consistent presence in ''XY&Z'', the third year of the ''XY'' series, but were totally absent from it in the two years prior.
* OverlyLongGag: Professor Westwood V's (a colleague of Professor Oak in "The Evolution Solution") constant apologies to his ancestors, [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals Westwood I-V]] before remembering that he's the fifth one.
* PantsPullingPrank: At one point, Sabrina's father psychically pulls Ash's pants down.
%%* PaperFanOfDoom
* PartyInMyPocket: They're called "'''Pocket''' Monsters" for a reason.
* PluckyGirl: All of Ash's female friends to varying degrees, but May, with her spunky optimism, fits it the best.
* PoliceAreUseless: Officer Jenny and her many, many, ''many'' [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals look-a-like family members.]] She tends to rely on children to do her work for her. [[https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/EP007 Get accused of stealing a giant vacuum?]] Just flash your pokedex or gym badge and you're off the hook.
* [[TalkingIsAFreeAction Pokédex Is a Free Action]]: No matter whether it's a friendly encounter with a Pidgey or they're being chased down by an angry wild Ursaring, no Pokémon ever attacks while a trainer is using their Pokédex. Ever. Well…except for that one filler which started off with a '''very''' random Giratina attack (caused by a Murkrow's illusion).
* PokemonSpeak: Most, but not all, Pokémon in the series speak a "language" consisting entirely of their species name. This is probably one of the best-known examples in fiction, especially with Pikachu. In fact, due to the anime's prominence, this was used as Pokémon species' ''de facto'' method of communication in most non-anime media too (other than the games) prior to the early 2010s.
* PoorPredictableRock: The point of every Gym Leader ever, except for the Orange League (which wasn't based on a game) and the Viridian City Gym, because the plot for the tv show was different then the game - since Team Rocket won't be defeated on the tv show, you don't have Giovanni and his ground-type Pokémon on the anime. However, being experts at their chosen type means they find ways to subvert this.
* PopCulturePunEpisodeTitle: Many, starting with the second half of Ash's Orange League Championship battle, "Enter the Dragonite," and continuing up through the end of the Diamond & Pearl saga.
* PowderTrail: "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon", coupled with IndyEscape...sort of.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: All Pokémon companions.
* PromptingNudge: In the first-season episode "Showdown at Dark City", Misty suggests making up pseudonyms so the group won't blemish their reputation by essentially taking sides in a gang war. Ash and Misty come up with names fairly quickly, but Misty has to nudge Brock to make him speak since he's too busy gawking at the female recruiter.
* PunBasedTitle: The American episode titles, sometimes going to "gems" such as "Doin' What Comes Natu-rally" and "Smells Like Team Spirit". Japan sometimes fall to this ("Do Coil[[note]]Magnemite[[/note]] Dream of Electric Mice!?") Most episodes in the early days were just English versions of the Japanese titles, but starting with the Johto seasons, many many episodes were given silly names in the American translation when the Japanese name was dull.
* PunnyName: ''Best Wishes'' is both initialized "BW" (Black and White), and in Japanese "Wishes" would be pronounced very similar to "Isshu", the Japanese name of Unova, the region the series is set. Also, the GratuitousEnglish is - goes without saying - a totally JustifiedTrope in this series given that Unova is based on North America rather than Japan.
* PutOnTheBus: Most of Ash's companions change after one era, the former ones disappearing outside the rare reappearance or cameo. Brock returned and lasted two more eras, but ultimately returned to this state after.
* RaidersOfTheLostParody: A couple examples. ''Battling the Enemy Within'' has the aforementioned "boulder rolling down a hall" parody. ''Explorers of the Hero's Ruin'' in ''Best Wishes'' goes much further by including the "boulder rolling down a hall" bit and Cedric Juniper keeping a log of the ruin that is similar to the Grail Diary in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''. Cedric already had the appearance of Henry Jones Sr. in the games, the anime also gives him his characterization. There are also traps styled after those found in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'', and the behavior of the Sigilyph found in the ruin is akin to the science fiction elements of ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull''.
* RealityEnsues:
** Ash fails to recognize the huge disadvantage Pikachu was at when he used it against Brock's rock type Pokémon, and is beaten. Even after giving Pikachu a power boost he's still unable to completely overcome the disadvantage and only wins thanks to Brock's siblings interfering.
** Team Rocket tries to attack Ash while he battled students of an elite training school. Only to be immediately chased off by the far more skilled and numerous students. As they lampshade, [[CombatPragmatist what's the point in playing fair against some Pokémon thieves?]]
** Meowth tries to battle Ash for possession of Togepi, setting up for a intense duel, only for Pikachu to [[CurbstompBattle idly knock him out with one Thundershock before Meowth can even plan a single attack.]] Lest we had almost forgotten Meowth was an IneffectualSympatheticVillain that got his ass fried by [[PintsizedPowerhouse Pikachu]] OnceAnEpisode anyway.
** Misty assumes that a Nurse Joy has overcome her fear of Water Pokemon after being forced to face it. She admits afterwards that she's still afraid of them, but just won't let it get in the way anymore.
** Which is somewhat ironic since the same thing had previously occurred to Misty herself with Ash's Caterpie. While she had learned to be less contemptuous towards it, when Ash asked that she show her affection, she was unwilling, since she was still terrified of bugs.
** As James learns the hard way in "The Misty Mermaid", Weezing, a living gas bag, is not the kind of Pokémon you'd want to bring to an underwater fight.
** After being built up as Ash's rival for most of the season, Gary Oak is eliminated in the first round of Indigo League tournament. Being the main character's rival doesn't mean that he's automatically going to be Ash's final opponent, nor does it mean there aren't other trainers better than him.
** A rare case in Team Rocket's favour. While Jessie made improvements in coordinating throughout the Hoenn and Kanto contests, she maintained a losing streak against May, who started around the same time. Come Sinnoh however, and Jessie's experience leaves her with a starting edge, with her finally winning contests while Dawn was still struggling to fine-tune a performing style.
* RecognizableBySound: {{Subverted|Trope}}. Every individual Pokémon, besides those that speak English (or whatever the dub language), makes a noise either identical or near-identical to its name. However, even if they've already heard the PokemonSpeak, no one in that universe has any idea what the Pokémon in question is unless they consult the Pokedex.
* RecurringElement: The series has quite a few. Onix often finds himself being one among Rock-type Gym Leaders, where nearly every Rock-type gym leader that made an appearance has an Onix, save for Roxanne.
* RecurringExtra: Downplayed. The anime will on occasion recycle character designs, but for the myriad background characters, like [[https://www.pinterest.com/pin/435301120209113464/ this mother-daughter pair from the movies]]. Here's [[http://www.pokesho.com/mobu.html a slightly more comprehensive list]].
* RedemptionPromotion: Team Rocket are generally {{Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain}}s with the occasional NotSoHarmless moment. Whenever they fight for the side of good however, their competence completely skyrockets. By the time of Sinnoh they can actually beat Ash's team in contests just by playing by the rules.
* {{Retcon}}: In the original series, it was stated that were only 150 Pokémon known to humans (In keeping with the games at the time). Further down the line though, there are episodes showing newer Pokémon that were owned or captured by characters before the series began (Such as Tracy's Marill, or the Carnivine James caught when he was a boy).
* {{Retool}}:
** Due to Gyms not existing in the Alola region in ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'', the ''Sun and Moon'' anime series follows a drastically different plot from the previous series: Instead of traveling from town to town with 2 or 3 companions, Ash and Pikachu are instead attending a Pokémon School alongside several classmates, thus it plays a bit more like a SliceOfLife anime (well, with Pokémon included) as oppose to the typical [[ShonenDemographic Shonen]] anime from series past. The Island Trials are being included though.
** Over the course of the anime's lifespan, the anime has been retooled more subtly. For example, Gen III changed the formula by having the female companion to be based on the female protagonist and the anime be about their growth as a trainer in addition to Ash's Gym battle quest, Gen IV added a series-running MythArc, and Gen V introduced story arcs that ran for well over 10 episodes within the larger saga (the Meloetta arc and the Team Plasma arc). Gen VI took all these to the highest degree possible, which explains a lot about the nature of Gen VII's retool.
* RevisitingTheRoots: Both ''Black and White'' and ''Sun and Moon'' attempt to ape the original Kanto saga in different ways and to varying degrees of success.
* RhymesOnADime: One segment in "2.B.A. Master":
-->So you've reached the Plateau, but not yet a hero. \\
Are you ready to meet and defeat...the Elite?\\
Can I expect survival...against your rival?
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Too many to list. Even some Pokémon you wouldn't think as cute to begin with.
* RunTheGauntlet: The Orange Crew and the Frontier Brains are non-villainous versions of this. While League tournaments involve hundreds of trainers, a participant in either of these special "Leagues" only ever battles each of the Orange Gym Leaders or Frontier Brains one at a time.

* SamusIsAGirl: Due to Pokémon genders being [[AmbiguousGender ambiguous]], a plot twist can occur where a Pokémon is revealed to be a certain gender after it is assumed to be the other, such as Jessie's Yanmega (a big scary dragonfly with a very deep reverberating voice), who was revealed to be a female.
* SandBridgeAtLowTide:
** In the episode called "The Crystal Onix", Ash and the gang find that the way to the mythical cave is a sandbar that only appears at certain times of the day.
** One of the Decolora Islands episodes has one of these as well.
* SawStarWars27Times: In "Guarding The Guardian Of The Mountain", Cilan meets Brycen and says he's seen the film Brycen starred in, "Enter The Beartic" at least 25 times.
* SceneryPorn: Every single movie has at least one positively epic set piece in full ConspicuousCG. And they are ''gorgeous''.
** You're also likely to see that set piece get absolutely [[SceneryGorn trashed]] at some point when the local OlympusMons get pissed.
** The movies also tend to open with gratuitous, sweeping shots of wild Pokémon. These are also typically gorgeous.
** The entire three part mini arc with the resolution of Team Galactic, from Hunter J's ship [[spoiler: getting sucked up with water]] to the Spear Pillar...whoa. Just whoa.
** The regular series isn't too bad, either. The backgrounds have gotten a ''lot'' better: just compare the forests as seen in the Orange Islands arc to those in ''Black and White''. The trees, riverbeds, and cliffsides are more meticulously painted, and so are some of the city areas.
* SchizoTech: You have Poké Balls that transmute living beings to light and store them in containers, which are used and sold in rural forest and mountain towns with little transportation.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: Jessie tries to do this in "The Battle Of The Badge" episode.
* SecondEpisodeIntroduction: Jessie, James, Meowth, Officer Jenny, and Nurse Joy.
* SecondPersonAttack: Used frequently in the fight scenes.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: A few of the Gym Leaders do this, which makes sense as their job is to test trainers in a multitude of ways.
* {{Sentai}}: In the ''Sun and Moon'' anime, Ash and his Alola classmates are tasked to protect Alola from the Ultra Beasts as the "Ultra Guardians". They also wear uniforms that resemble Sentai uniforms.
* SequelHook: A few of these appear at the end of each era:
** A trainer from Hoenn appears in the Silver Conference at the end of the Johto era, and this causes the original series ending with Ash travelling to Hoenn. The last episode ends with Pikachu sick.
** The Hoenn era ends with Gary re-appearing with an Electivire, a Pokemon discovered in Shinnoh and Ash travelling to Sinnoh.
** Not much is gleaned at the end of Sinnoh for Unova, except for Giovanni's newly-introduced secretary giving Jessie, James, and Meowth a promotion for a mysterious "new project", since their role in destroying Team Galactic had renewed Giovanni's faith in them.
** The last arc of the Unova era sees Ash, Iris, and Cilan accompanied back to Unova by Alexa, a reporter from Kalos, and her Helioptile, a Pokémon native to Kalos, thus causing Ash to travel to Kalos.
** Again, very little can be gathered from the end of the Kalos era about Alola, save for Team Rocket dropping souvenir trinkets of Solrock and Lunatone at the Lumiose City airport in the last episode.
* SeriousBusiness:
** The fourth episode of the anime has a Bug Catcher type Pokémon trainer who dresses and acts like a ''samurai'', treating his bug Pokémon catching profession as seriously as a samurai would treat his duties.
** In general, if there's an evil scheme or world endangering dilemma going on, rest assured it will always involve capturing some powerful Pokémon.
* SettingOffSong: "Viridian City".
* ShoutOut: Originally, Double Team in the anime used the rapid afterimage trick. After ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' became popular, now it works like Shadow Clone Jutsu. At the very least, it ''is'' called "Kage Bunshin" (Shadow Clone) in Japan.
* SighOfLove: In one of many ShipTease moments between Ash and Serena in ''X and Y'', in the episode "The Cave of Trials", the group has a photo taken, with Serena standing really close to Ash. Serena is later seen looking at the photo and sighing happily before Ash calls for her.
* SigilSpam: The stylized Poké Ball emblem appears everywhere.
* SillySpook: The first ghost-types to appear turned out to be pretty funny. They're fond of Creator/TexAvery-esque {{Eye Pop}}s and {{Wild Take}}s and clearly see their hauntings as pranking Ash & Pikachu, not attacking them.
* SingleSpecimenSpecies:
** Due to the [[LongRunner length]] of the anime, this is averted for some Legendary Pokémon as Ash has met different individuals of some species over the course of the anime. But is played straight with others, such as Dialga, Palkia and Giratina.
** Ash's Lycanroc is apparently the only one to become the Dusk form, as opposed to the Midnight or Midday forms.
* SkeletonGovernment:
** Besides Officer Jennys, and a few one-shot mayors of random towns and cities, there seem to be no form of government at all.
** In one Orange Islands episode there's the mayor of the city running for re-election, but he turns out to be paranoid about hiding the fact that he abandoned his Bulbasaur in the sewer.
** Episode XY108 of the Kalos arc shows that Kalos has monarchs present in the form of Princess Allies of Parfum Palace and Lord Shabboneau of Shabboneau Castle, however there is no evidence of them holding any sort of governing power. Other characters with royal titles have appeared plenty of times in the series but again, nothing about politics is mentioned.
* SlapstickKnowsNoGender:
** Most trainers in the series, male and female, suffer a fair amount of slapstick abuse or awkwardness, usually caused by their Pokémon. Jessie in particular is assaulted indiscriminately with the the rest of her Team Rocket buddies each and every time.
** Burgundy in the ''Black and White'' series got a bit of slapstick and humiliation. In her debut episode she inadvertently insulted each of Ash's Pokémon, and each responded by attacking her.
** Non-trainers aren't safe, either, e.g. in the first episode, before Pikachu warmed up to Ash, it blasted the crowd of people cheering for Ash going on his journey with an electric attack when Ash's mother called it "a little weird".
** Absolutely every main character has been shocked by Pikachu at least once. No exceptions.
* SlasherSmile: If a Pokémon has sharp teeth and isn't UglyCute, expect its grin to look like this.
* SleepsWithBothEyesOpen: Misty's Psyduck did this once, making Misty think he was immune to Jigglypuff's singing.
* SliceOfLife: In some episodes, Team Rocket don't antagonise Ash's team directly (or come ''Best Wishes'', sometimes don't appear at all), leading to full laid back plots concerning the heroes.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple:
** Up until 2013, whether it was Misty, May, Dawn, or Iris, only one girl was allowed in the group at a time. WordOfGod has admitted it's mainly done for FanService purposes.
** Averted in the XY series, as its group consists of two female characters: Serena and Bonnie (though only Serena carries around any Pokémon due to Bonnie's age).
** Usually both Ash and Team Rocket have one female Pokémon on their team following gender mechanics being introduced in the games.
** The Sun and Moon series averts this as well as Ash's class is evenly split with 3 boys (Ash, Sophocles and Kiawe) and 3 girls (Mallow, Lana and Lillie).
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: ''Pokémon Chronicles'' and the ''Mega Evolution'' specials focus on other characters.
** ''Sun and Moon'' looks to be this in both art style and setting.
* SneezeCut: In [=SM020=], a Cutiefly lands on Pikachu's nose as Ash was wishing Rotom was there with them to scan it. As Pikachu started to sneeze, cut to the [=RotomDex=] sneezing at the same time at Kukui's house.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The Gen IV saga did this a few times, playing absurdly epic and dramatic music as the backdrop for [[{{Filler}} chasing Pachirisu around for several minutes]], or [[EpicFail Team Rocket's evolution machine sputtering out repeatedly]].
* SpannerInTheWorks: Whenever another villain appears, expect the Team Rocket trio to find a way to interfere with that villain's plans in ways that they don't see coming. It might even be main reason that Giovanni still keeps them around.
* SpinOff: The ''Pokémon Mystery Dungeon'' specials, and ''Pokémon Chronicles''.
* SpoilerCover: Posters for the films are usually released around February in Japan, with the actual movie being screened in July. This often means that either the main poster or the "Pikachu the Movie" one[[note]]The poster that shows Ash's Pikachu and part of the other Pokémon owned by Ash and pals plus Team Rocket's Meowth and Wobbuffet plus some random ones, that is made even when there is no short before the film[[/note]] will spoil every single change in the teams of Ash and his friends in the next 5 months.
* SpoilerOpening: The openings are pretty notorious for this. It only got worse when they started making one per year, which means most of the plot points of the next year are spoiled in one go.
** Generally they're pretty good at avoiding this, at least in Japan. When a Pokémon evolves or is captured, it's [[EvolvingCredits added to the opening]] where empty space was before. The dub, however, tends to use visuals form the final version of the Japanese openings, so played straight there.
** Played straight in ''The Greatest - Everyday!'', however. We see Ash with Infernape and Torterra, and Dawn with ''Togekiss''. We also saw all of Ash's old Pokémon that eventually returned for the League (even though not all of them ended up actually being used). Gliscor's return was still a surprise though.
** The ''Advanced Challenge'' opening spoils the evolution of Ash's Taillow into Swellow. In fact, in that spoiler shot that includes all of the group's Pokémon, Swellow flies in for a close-up!
** The first ''Black and White'' opening soundly averts this. Only Pokémon which have appeared in previous episodes are revealed, and there is no way to tell which Pokémon the main characters will catch.
** Averted with ''Spurt!''-- TONS of Ash's old Pokémon appear in this opening (including Butterfree), but, with the exception of Charizard, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur (who don't appear until near the very end), NONE of them actually appear in the show itself. Still, this isn't the first time we've been teased with possibilities of old characters showing up again, only to have the rug pulled out from under us...
** Third ''Best Wishes'' ending ''Seven-colored Arch'' brings this back with a vengeance, spoiling four future evolutions (Unfezant, Pignite, Leavanny, and Crustle) and a capture ([[spoiler:the Sunglasses Krokorok!]]).
** The remixed opening and new ending for ''Episode N'' gives away the return of Ash's Charizard.
** The opening for ''Decalora Adventure'' has a few hints of episodes in that arc, but the one that really counts is the return of Blackthorn Gym Leader Clair.
** In the XY series, "Mega Volt!" gives away the capture of Ash's Hawlucha and the evolution of his Fletchling into Fletchinder.
** "Mad-Paced Getter!" spoils not only the capture of Ash's Goomy, but its evolution into Sliggoo and then into Goodra. The later updated version spoils the capture of Ash's Noibat.
** "Alola!" reveals that Lillie will receive a Pokémon egg at some point.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Team Rocket. Even ignoring the famous trio who appear in almost every episode, Team Rocket is the only villain team to not be disbanded and is the only one that is featured prominently in every season. What's more, their plot line in ''Black and White'' arguably has more time and attention devoted to it than Team Plasma's.
* StarCrossedLovers: The male and female Nidoran from the Orange Islands episode "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?", an obvious ShoutOut to ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''. As a bonus, they are named Tony and Maria after the protagonists of ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', a modern take on the original play.
* StockFootage: Each season has a bunch of Ash poses that are constantly reused during battles. There are also a bunch of poses or motions that are often reused when a Pokémon is called out of its Poké Ball or executes a move.
* StockSoundEffects: The last few movies keep using sounds from ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' monsters: Dialga and Palkia use the roars of Rodan, Ghidorah and Godzilla, Giratina has Mothra sounds and the ship of the 11th movie's villain sounds like [[Film/GodzillaVsMegaguirus Megaguirus]].
** When one considers that it's Toho Studios (the same company that makes the Godzilla films) that distributes the films...the rest speaks for itself.
** Palkia also has the roar of [[Film/RevengeOfTheSith Boga, Obi-Wan Kenobi's varactyl mount]], in the films and in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl''. Boga is the first part of the roar, with either Heisei King Ghidorah (films) or Godzilla 1954 (''Brawl'') at the end.
* StoryBreakerPower: Many Pokémon have abilities that would quickly make the anime dull to watch if not unchecked.
** Most Legendary Pokémon are portrayed as very strong demigod-like beings in [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} the anime]]. Naturally, this means that Ash will never have the chance to actually capture and own them in the same way player characters can in the games. He can befriend them (and has done so many times, especially in the movies), and has beaten a few that do belong to other trainers, but actually capturing them would not only be disastrous for the world, but it would also make Ash almost invincible.
** Many of Ash's Pokémon from previous regions such as Charizard, or Sceptile. He could have easily won most of his gym battles in the new regions, and might give him a higher chance of winning in the Pokémon Leagues. But that would remove the need to catch and train newer Pokémon (which is kind of bad for a MerchandiseDriven Show).
** [[SuperMode Mega Evolution]]. In the games, Mega Evolution is powerful, but only a select few Pokémon benefit enough from it to be a GameBreaker. The mechanic as a whole is balanced out by the fact all Mega Evolved Pokémon (except Rayquaza, who was so powerful, Smogon had to [[UpToEleven ban it from their banlist]]) have to give up their held item to hold a Mega Stone. In the anime, where held items are nonexistent, Mega Evolutions are a free powerup, and the only Pokémon qualified to fight them are other Mega Evolved Pokémon, the above-mentoined Legendaries, and [[TheHero Ash's]] [[StrongAsTheyNeedToBe Pikachu.]]
** Ash-Greninja, the unique Mega Evolution-like transformation exclusive to Ash's Greninja. It provides a power boost on par with a Mega Evolution, perhaps even stronger, and allows Ash to see the battle from Greninja's POV, which is an immense tactical advantage. At first, Ash and Greninja still had some trouble with it and tended to [[PowerStrainBlackout pass out]] from fighting too hard. However, as their proficiency with the form improved, they were able to challenge [[WorldsBestWarrior Diantha]] to a close fight, and upon completing the forme, not even Wulfric's Mega Abomasnow, which had a ''massive'' Type Advantage, had much of a chance. The only real drawback is that Ash [[{{Synchronization}} shares Greninja's pain]], but even this becomes manageable after mastering the form. [[spoiler: By the very end of the XY anime series Ash [[PutOnABus releases Greninja]] so it can protect Kalos alongside Squishy and Z2. Thus Greninja isn't likely to be recalled for future League battles.]]
** In a similar vein to Mega Evolutions, Z-moves are extremely powerful techniques that a Pokémon can perform if its trainer has the appropriate Z-crystal. Z-moves can very easily turn the tide of a battle if performed correctly, but using the powered-up move leaves the Pokémon exhausted. Like Mega Evolution, the limits in the anime aren't the same as the game - The only limit on Z-moves appears to be how much energy the Pokémon has, while in the games Z-moves can only be used once per battle and require it to be holding a Z-Crystal.
** Woah! Ash and his friends manage to catch an [[OlympusMons Ultra Beast]]! That'll surely help him in his Island Challenges right? Oh wait, they released it so it can go back to its home dimension...
* StrictlyFormula:
** Most episodes of Pokémon that aren't Gym battles or other plot point from the game follows the formula: Meet person of the week and/or Pokémon of the week, this person/Pokémon will either have a problem or cause someone in Ash's group to see a problem in themselves, Team Rocket will [[note]] though not so much in ''Best Wishes''[[/note]] plot to steal Pikachu and/or Pokémon of the week, Team Rocket unleashes their plan and is defeated in short order, the problem of the week is solved either by Team Rocket's defeat or some unrelated event.
** Since ''Black and White'', this formula has been getting less strict due to certain retools such as Team Rocket not being required in every episode. ''Sun and Moon'' barely follows the above formula due to Ash attending a school rather then traveling around to meet people and Pokémon, and more main characters to develop.
* StrongAsTheyNeedToBe: The actual competence and strength of characters and Pokémon is highly dependent on the plot.
%%* SuperEmpowering
* SupremeChef: In nearly every cast ensemble in each of the series, at least one of Ash's friends handles the cooking duties, and they're frequently very talented in that respect, so the main cast doesn't go hungry, especially on long journeys.
** Before joining Ash on his journey, Brock was forced to the main caregiver to his brothers and sisters (all 10 of them) so naturally his domestic skills are above par, including cooking.
** The Striaton Gym has a restaurant theme. Naturally this means that Cilan, Chili and Cress are all dressed as waiters and presumably know a thing or two about cooking.
** ''X and Y'' has a twist in that Clemont is the one that handles most of the cooking. He approaches cooking in the same way that he handles inventions, gather the appropriate ingredients and plan accordingly. Serena is also decent at cooking, but she prefers to make desserts. She's also very good at making Poképuffs.
** Since Mallow's family owns a local restaurant, she's naturally that group's cook. One of her goals is to add a signature dish to her restaurant's menu.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Quite a few of the characters, both human and Pokémon, introduced in later seasons are based on characters from earlier ones. To list them all would take up most of the page.
* SyndicationTitle: The first season aired on Creator/{{Boomerang}} as ''Pokémon: Indigo League''.

* {{Taps}}: At the beginning of the episode "Pokémon Shipwreck", Officer Jenny and the other survivors of the sinking of the St. Anne are mourning the apparent deaths of Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu, Jessie, James, and Meowth, after they were unable to get off the ship. After Jenny tosses a bouquet of flowers overboard, she tells everyone to give a salute while a trumpeter starts playing Taps, as the flowers sink into the ocean waters.
* TeamRocketWins: Being the TropeNamer, this occurs a fair few times for the trio, almost always when they start playing fair or side with Ash's team. "Dressed for Jess Success" and "A Dancing Debut" are the only episodes where they defeat the twerps and it sticks however.
* TextualCelebrityResemblance: The episode "Arriving In Style" is about dressing Pokémon in costumes. The "famous fashion designer Hermione" looks a lot like iconic costume designer Edith Head.
* ThemeTuneExtended: Occurs with several of the English theme songs (and the majority of Japanese songs). Some of the extended versions can be heard in select episodes, but such extended songs are typically heard in [[{{Film/Pokemon}} the Pokémon movies]]. Usually, the movie in question will feature the theme song of the season that is airing at the time of the movie's release. The first original series' theme song is probably the most notable example, though - it received [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZdzY9TGu1c an extended version of the regular show theme]] ''and'', for ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hvqFZzbV24 a remix of said extended edition.]]
* TheyveComeSoFarSong: The "Adventures in Unova" arc has the following in its theme song...
-->It's the next chapter, the ultimate goal
-->Ready for battle, brave and bold
-->I know we're gonna make it, we will find a way
-->We've come so far, we've fought so hard to get where we are
-->We belong together, it's always you and me, Pokémon...
* ThinlyVeiledDubCountryChange: During the early days, despite taking place in a FantasyCounterpartCulture, it was far more numerous with its Japanese set pieces, a fact that Creator/FourKidsEntertainment did its best to try and "correct". [[Memes/{{Pokemon}} Jelly filled donuts]], anyone? However, once the series started to become the cultural phenomena it is today, the writers started to make a better effort to make it more 'cultural neutral' to make it more easier on dubbers... though examples still pop up from time to time.
* ThreeAmigos: Ash, Brock/Tracey/Cilan/Clemont, and Misty/May/Dawn/Iris/Serena. Advanced Generation and XY both add a TagalongKid- Max and Bonnie, respectively.
* ToBeContinued: Even though most episodes don't end in cliffhangers.
** At the end of the last episode of every "series" in Japan[[note]]The episodes [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/EP274 "Hoenn Alone"]], [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/AG192 "Home is Where the Start Is"]], [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/DP191 "Memories are Made of Bliss"]], and [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/BW084 "Rocking the Virbank Gym! (Part 2)"]][[/note]], it ends with "Next Time... A New Beginning!" instead.
** Edited out of most of the dub "Chronicles" episodes.
* TooSoon: InUniverse, international dub only, in "The Kangaskhan Kid". After the events of "Hypno's Naptime", Misty reacting to being asked if she was a Pokémon or a person as though she'd just been asked about her rack (as she was in the Japanese version) makes perfect sense, seeing she'd been hypnotized into believing she was a Seel in that episode.
* ToonPhysics: Oddly character specific to Team Rocket. While the heroes suffer AmusingInjuries as well at times, the trio tend to bounce back from ceaseless brutality that would usually risk seriously injuring other characters, being little more than comically dazed or scuffed (one episode places genuine drama from May risking falling down a cliff, despite Team Rocket shooting down it Road Runner-style just seconds before). They also tend to be the only characters allowed to show MediumAwareness about being in a cartoon.
* TotallyRadical: Several characters and instances in the dub, including [[SurferDude Brawly]] and a one-shot ''DP'' character named Sho, who the dub made into a JiveTurkey turned UpToEleven.
* TraitorShot: The Teddiursa in episode "[=UnBEARable=]" has ''five'' of them.
* TransformationSequence: Pokémon evolution.
* TroublemakingNewPet:
** A Johto episode, ''[=UnBEARable=]'', had Ash and friends come across a cute and seemingly innocent Teddiursa, whom they temporarily take under their wing. However, when Ash, Misty, and Brock are not around, Teddiursa is not as innocent as it seems as it frames most of the Pokemon (Totodile, Chikorita, Psyduck, and Bulbasaur) for eating all the food, which it actually did itself.
** An Alolan Meowth plays around with this when it joins Team Rocket in an Alola episode. While it maintains the trope's usual BitchInSheepsClothing act, it is smart enough to only pick on their original Meowth and be genuinely helpful to Jessie and James, bewildering them into thinking the latter is paranoid. When it finds better digs at their boss Giovanni's headquarters however, it quickly drops the act and abandons them, and mocks all three of them through communicator.
* TournamentArc: The point of every region, both the League (called Conference for some reason) and the Grand Festival.
* TuftOfHeadFur: The show has used this trope to distinguish between two Pokémon of the same species:
** Ritchie had a Pikachu named "Sparky" who had a tuft of fur to distinguish him from Ash's Pikachu.
** In "Battling At Full Volume" a guitarist trainer with a mohawk exclusively battled powerful Pikachu. His Pikachu had his fur styled like [[DelinquentHair a fauxhawk]].
** In an episode featuring Slakoth and Snorlax, one of the resident Slakoth of a resort has a larger tuft of fur then the others. This one volunteered to evolve into a Vigoroth to deal with a Snorlax that moved in was eating all of their food.
* TwinkleInTheSky: Almost every episode has "Team Rocket blasting off again" with them getting by an explosion that launches them into the sky, which always ends with a twinkle and a "ting!" sound effect.
* TwoGuysAndAGirl: The human protagonists in Kanto, the Orange Islands, Johto, Sinnoh and Unova:
** Ash, Brock and Misty in Kanto and Johto
** Ash, Tracey and Misty in the Orange Islands
** Ash, Brock and Dawn in Sinnoh
** Ash, Cilan and Iris in Unova
* UnbuiltTrope: The early Pokémon seasons are the first and most famous examples of {{Mon}} anime. However they also deconstruct certain aspects of the Pokémon world. At the beginning of Ash's journey, he is an inexperienced child. He gets his food stolen, is disobeyed by his starter, and is nearly killed by a flock of Spearow, ''all in the first episode''. Other early episodes showed other darker issues like Pokémon abandonment, disobedience, the existence of a crime syndicate. Mewtwo's backstory is a tragic and terrifying example of the experimentation that can exist. However, as Ash became more experienced, he ended reconstructing the Pokémon world by showcasing the virtues: loyalty, bravery, teamwork, and love.
* UndersideRide: This was a favored method by Ash and whoever was with him at the time to sneak on board [[KnightOfCerebus Hunter J's]] [[CoolAirship base]] via her [[CoolCar ground vehicles]].
* UnderTheMistletoe: The Christmas Bash CD has a song with the same name as this trope. Misty sings about how she wants it to happen, Ash sings about how he doesn't want to be caught under it. [[ShipTease You know the rest....]]
* UnexpectedlyDarkEpisode: Mixed with BizarroEpisode, "Time Warp Heals all Wounds!" fits this, featuring May and Meowth traveling back in time in order to stop a man before he takes the train where he will die before his wife can tell him that she is pregnant.
* TheUnintelligible: Most Pokémon, although many of the human characters understand them just fine; actions speak louder than words, after all.
* UniquenessDecay: In the early days, Legendary and Mythical Pokémon were depicted as one of a kind, untameable and [[PhysicalGod extraordinarily powerful]], and were largely confined to movies outside of cameos or representations. Later on, however, they became far more common with the idea of them being [[SingleSpecimenSpecies one of a kind]] freely disregarded, and frequently appeared either under the control of Trainers or as ordinary wild Pokémon; both times with considerably less power than what they originally had. This came to a head with ''Anime/PokemonGenesectAndTheLegendAwakened'', which nonsensically featured a second Mewtwo in spite of [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup several factors]] logically making such a concept impossible.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: The titular Purrloin in the episode ''Purrloin: Sweet or Sneaky!'' caught the attention of Oshawott and Meowth (confirmed to be male in earlier episodes) and both of them competed to see who would be Purrloin's boyfriend. Only for that Purrloin's owner to point out that it was male and the whole act was just a ruse to steal stuff.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Most people and Pokémon don't seem to react to Team Rocket's Meowth, who is able to talk and act just like a human. It's occasionally noticed up from time to time, but for the most part, a lot of people are unfazed by the talking animal.
** Zigzagged in one of the Johto episodes where Team Rocket tries to cash in on Meowth's unique ability at a festival. At first it fails due to Meowth suffering from stage fright and remaining silent. The second time it initially works, however, Meowth's comedy routine is so bad that the audience stops caring about the miraculous talking animal and walk away disappointed.
* VersusCharacterSplash: Introduced in the XY series.
* VideoPhone: A common feature in the anime, Video phones in Pokémon centers appear to be the main way that trainers communicate with others while traveling.
* VileVillainLaughableLackey: While Team Rocket members in aren't always competent, only the TerribleTrio, and later Butch and Cassidy due to [[DiminishingVillainThreat characterization changes]], are actually [[GoldfishPoopGang goofy]]. Most members are some level of dangerous. Their boss Giovanni has a case of AdaptationalVillainy as he is more violent than in the games.
* WalkingTheEarth: Except when returning to Pallet Town, most series of the anime follows this. The ''Sun and Moon'' anime is the main exception as Ash and most of his friends stay in Hau'oli City and attend the Pokemon School on Melemele Island. They occasionally visit other locations such as the other Islands of Alola and even Kanto.
* WasntThatFun: Pretty much every Pokémon movie. Characters arrive at destination, all happy and sunshine for a good 10 minutes, figures out the threat or central plot, danger happens, barely survives the threat, then, live happily ever after for another year.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Ash frequently makes several friendly rivals and leaves several Pokémon behind, claiming he'll see them again someday. Sometimes he does, usually he doesn't.
** When Ash and Gary return to Pallet Town to prepare for their first tournament, Professor Oak mentions that there were two other trainers who collected the other two starters (later revealed to be Charmander and Bulbasaur since Gary was later revealed to have Blastoise in the Johto Conference), who failed to collect eight gym badges in time for the Indigo Pokémon League. These two trainers are never seen and are never mentioned again.
** The GS Ball was a ball that cannot be opened that was discovered in the Orange Islands and was given to Ash to take to Johto. It was left with Kurt to study its contents but nothing came from it and was promptly forgotten about.
** When the 2011 Tohoku earthquake occurred and the network pulled the conclusion of the Meteonite arc from the ''Best Wishes'' saga. While people know what happened to the Meteonite due to a pre-existing trailer that shows Pikachu destroying it, it had the unintended side effect of leaving Castelia City overrun with Venipede that were driven from the desert due to Team Rocket activating the Meteonite. Nothing is mentioned of whether the Venipede were returned.
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: In general, most remotely sinister-looking Pokémon, like Arbok and Murkrow, play antagonistic roles in the series, whereas all the "cute" ones are usually on the good side. This has been subverted on occasion, however, especially with James' Pokémon in later seasons.
* WhatsUpKingDude: Over the course of his adventures, Ash and his friends have met with dozens of characters who have royal titles. Just like other characters of the day, they're helped out or antagonize the cast but don't have much lasting impact on the series.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: A few of Ash's friends throughout the series started off as being scared or just disliking certain Pokémon.
** Misty was famous for being scared of Bug Type Pokémon, although she's willing to make exceptions for cute ones like Butterfree, Venonat or Ledyba. She also used to have a dislike of Gyarados before she obtained one for herself.
** Iris had a dislike of Ice Types due to being a Dragon Type trainer. It was noted In-universe for being unfounded as Dragon Types are also weak to other Dragon Types. She eventually got over her fear when she had to work with her rival's Vannilluxe to deal with a dangerous moss outbreak.
** Cilan had a dislike for Purrloin and all he mentioned was that he had a bad experience with one.
** Poor Lillie is afraid of touching or being close to ''any'' Pokémon. She is getting better after receiving a Pokémon egg and hatching it into an Alolan Vulpix, but she's still spooked by other ones.
** It's revealed that Sophocles is afraid of the dark (possibly a reference to his fight in the games which takes place during a blackout).
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Team Rocket would frequently try to surprise their targets in early episodes by ganging up on them with multiple Pokemon (which at the time was against the rules, which were limited to 1v1). This often backfired when their target returned the favor.
** In the third episode, Ash attempts this by trying to attack James in a normal fist fight after all his Pokemon (save for Caterpie) were knocked out. James effortlessly restrains him.
* WildChild: Tommy in the anime, and twice in the manga.
* WingdingEyes: Heart eyes showed up a lot when Brock saw a beautiful girl.
** And heart eyes have shown up on Pokemon at least a couple times, in the episodes "A Better Pill To Swallow!", and "Claydol, Big And Tall".
* WomenAreWiser: To a subtle extent with most female companions. While they still have [[NotSoAboveItAll profound moments of humility or hypocrisy]], they usually have at least a small cut of clarity over [[IdiotHero Ash]]. [[BigBrotherMentor Brock]] initially balanced this [[{{Flanderization}} until,]] [[ChivalrousPervert well...]]
** Clemont mostly subverts this - besides his inventions going haywire, he's probably the sanest and most straightforward member of the ''XY'' crew (more than even Serena, much of the time).
** Jessie tends to subvert this. While maybe more focused as a villain than James and Meowth, she is still a KnowNothingKnowItAll compared to them. WordOfGod is that Misty was supposed to be similar for the hero side. She's not ''totally'' incompetent however, just not smarter than Ash as often as she believes.
* WorstWhateverEver: The Japanese title for one episode translates to "The Worst Togepi Ever!" The English dub changed it to "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before".
* WrongContextMagic:
** Ash's Greninja is capable of attaining a SuperMode that is as strong as Mega Evolution, but the exact mechanics (apart from involving a form of {{Synchronization}} between Ash and Greninja) are unexplained. It's an alien concept that didn't exist in the games (save a unique Greninja that comes with the ''Sun and Moon'' demo, meant to emulate the anime) and many people In-universe wonder if it counts as a Mega Evolution or not.
** Back in the Johto saga, Ash and his friends came across a magician named Lily (who may or may not be a reference to ''Literature/HarryPotter'') who after gathering a bunch of magic ingredients, accidentally turned Ash into a Pikachu. While a few Pokémon (like Ditto) can transform into other Pokémon, there aren't any that are capable of turning another individual into one. It's not referenced again, but it flies in the face of what's established before or since.
* TheXOfY: There have been at least 16 instances of this: Challenge of the Samurai, Island of the Giant Pokémon, Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, The Case of the K-9 Caper, The Battle of the Badge, Tricks of the Trade...
* YourSizeMayVary: Just like ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', scale in ''Pokémon'' is often more of a suggestion than a fact. Many times, a Pokémon will be smaller than their actual height (the 4'11"[[labelnote:*]]1.5m[[/labelnote]] Dunsparce is sometimes shown as being smaller than the 1'00"[[labelnote:*]]30cm[[/labelnote]] Pidgey), and just as frequently a Pokémon will be even larger (Charizard is 5'7"[[labelnote:*]]1.7m[[/labelnote]], yet is usually larger than Ash). Not even humans are exempt; sometimes Misty's taller than Ash, other times they're around the same height.
''Minna no Pokémon, getto da ze!''\\
''Gotta Catch 'Em All! Pokémon!''