Characters: Pokémon: Generation I - Bulbasaur to Tentacruel
The character sheet for the first generation's Pokémon
got so big that it had to be split. This page has the tropes for Pokémon numbered 1 to 73 in the Kanto and National Pokédex, as well as their evolutionary relatives. For the rest, go here
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Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur (Fushigidane, Fushigisou, and Fushigibana)
A teal, toad-like creature which has a bulb planted on its back, its evolution pretty much consists of bodily growth and the bulb flowering and eventually turning into a large plant. This family is the first in many aspects: The first Pokémon in the National Pokédex order, the first Grass-type
and Dual-typed ones too, and, as a starter in the Kanto-based games
, the first Pokémon of roughly one third of the first Pokémon players. In battle, it is more of a utility Pokémon, as its offensive options are somewhat limited. Still, as a Starter Pokémon, it is quite well-rounded
and can be used offensively without much problem. Venusaur gained a Mega Evolution in Gen VI. Mega Venusaur's offenses and defenses receive a boost and even an ability which cuts damage from its fire and ice weaknesses in half.
- Badass: Venusaur. One of the few outright manly Grass-types.
- Cartoon Creature: Are they toads? Lizards? Dinosaurs? The most popular guess is mammal-like reptiles of the Permian period, but as Bulbasaur's Japanese name translates into "isn't it strange", some ambiguity was probably intended.
- Crutch Character: The line makes the first 3 gyms in Red/Blue and their remakes a cakewalk, but struggles against the rest until Giovanni, can't do much to the Elite Four bar Bruno, and more than half the Pokémon on Blue's Champion team have a type advantage over it.*
- Energy Ball: Gained in Diamond and Pearl
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Their design incorporates aspects of dinosaurs, reptiles and frogs.
- Gonk: Venusaur, especially when Mega Evolved. It's quite fat and sluggish-looking, and covered in warts.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Kevlard: Its Mega Evolution gets Thick Fat as an ability, letting it withstand fire and ice attacks.
- Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Venusaur's Mega Evolution allows it to shed its weakness to Fire and Ice.
- Life Drain: Leech Seed.
- Loophole Abuse: A Chlorophyll Venusaur in the Sun will still have double speed the turn it Mega Evolves since turn order is predetermined.
- Mighty Glacier: With a bulky 100 on both Special stats with everyone else in the 80s, it can deal a decent Special hit and take a strong one in kind, but is easily outsped. Its Mega Evolution emphasizes this by giving it Thick Fat, leaving only Flying and Psychic as a weakness, and beefing up its defenses to 123/120 while Speed remains stuck at 80.
- Lightning Bruiser: In sunny weather thanks to its Hidden Ability Chlorophyll, which doubles its Speed. Coupled with the buff to Growth to increase Attack and Special Attack twice in sunlight, and Venusaur can run a mixed set and do some serious damage with it.
- No Sell: To powder-based moves as of Gen VI. It's always been immune to poisoning.
- Petal Power: Learns Petal Dance and Petal Blizzard.
- Planimal: Moreso than anything else released in Red and Blue.
- Poisonous Pokémon: It has never had a large number of Poison moves to choose from, though. Bulbasaur is unique in that it is the only first-form starter from the main games with dual types.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: Venusaur's movepool is about as diverse as most other early Grass-types; not very. Aside from its Grass and Poison STAB, it's limited to a couple Ground moves, Outrage, and Knock Off.
- The Power of the Sun: The most famous user of Solar Beam thanks to adaptations and being the first Grass-type of many players. It can also heal itself with Synthesis.
- Rated M for Manly: Venusaur. Just look at it, and then compare it to the rest of the Grass Pokémon.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The pink flower growing from its back doesn't detract a thing from its manliness, nor does the additional flower its Mega Evolution gets.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bulbasaur.
- Secret Art: Frenzy Plant was exclusive to Venusaur before XD, and nowadays it is the Secret Art of the fully evolved Grass starters. Grass Pledge, too, as it is a Grass Starter.
- Standard Status Effects: Sleep Powder and Poison Powder.
- Super Mode: Gen VI gave it a Mega Evolution. Mega Venusaur becomes even more of a Mighty Glacier, gaining boosted Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense, in addition to gaining the Thick Fat Ability, negating its Grass-type weaknesses to Fire and Ice.
- Took a Level in Badass: While far from weak, the line has gone from strength to strength over the years.
- The glitch that rendered Poison-types weak to Bug-type moves was fixed in Gen II, removing the crippling weakness that the line had to Bug-type moves.
- The physical/special split in Gen IV gave them Poison attacks that worked off their good Special Attack.
- The Hidden Ability from Gen V, Chlorophyll, doubles Venusaur's speed when under sunlight. In addition to Growth's new mechanics raising both attacking stats twice in sunlight, takes Venusaur from a Mighty Glacier to a Lightning Bruiser.
- Its Mega Evolution in Generation VI has Thick Fat as its ability, which halves damage from Fire and Ice attacks. Venusaur just rid itself of two of its type weaknesses, and has a defensive boost to 123 Defense and 120 Special Defense. Though it loses Chlorophyll's speed boost, its ability to tank hits is hugely improved.
- Turns Red: Overgrow boosts Grass attacks when health becomes low.
- Whip It Good: This line heavily relies on Vine Whip in the anime and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. With that in mind, it was a little surprising that it could only learn Power Whip through breeding in Diamond and Pearl.
- Who's on First?: Bulbasaur's Japanese name can be translated to "isn't it strange?"
Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard (Hitokage, Lizardo, and Lizardon)
A bipedal, orange, lizard-like creature with a flame on the tip of its tail, it first evolves into a more feral version of itself with red coloring and a horn on the top of its head, then regains its original color at the next stage as it becomes a two-horned winged dragon. The first Fire-type
and single type in National Dex order, as well as the first change of type upon evolution. It's the second starter for the Kanto
region and definitely the fan favorite. An offensive-oriented fighter, it has some crippling weaknesses due to its typing
, but it may be able to take down an opponent before they can exploit its weaknesses
. It gains two Mega Evolutions in Gen VI, Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y. The former focuses on Charizard's draconic aspects and gives it the Dragon-type along with a brand-new color scheme, higher Attack stat, and an ability that powers up its contact moves. The latter focuses more on its Flying-type aspects and gives it a more aerodynamic design, a higher Special Attack, and the Drought ability
- Achilles' Heel:
- Rock-type attacks in general.
- Partially reduced by Mega Charizard X, who loses the double weakness. Stealth Rock is still a problem due to activating before the Mega Evolution can take place, but this can always be mitigated by leading with Charizard or switching out to it on the first turn. This is because when a Pokémon Mega Evolves, it stays that way for the rest of the battle, even when it switches out, so there is still a point to it (after all, the whole point of Stealth Rock is hindering the target's ability to switch out).
- Awesome, but Impractical
- From Generation V onwards, base-form Charizard gets Solar Power as its hidden ability. This makes it hit like a nuke in the sun, but it's still as frail as ever, Stealth Rock is still a huge problem, and it loses health every turn. Mega Charizard Y allows for the same playstyle, but is much safer and more powerful.
- Fits this trope very well in the TCG. Usually has extremely powerful attacks (in the 100-200 base damage range) that require tons of Energy and/or have crippling drawbacks; the Base Set Charizard was infamous for this. note Not to mention that its cards, despite this, usually fetch ridiculously high prices on the secondary market. The Mega Charizard X card is probably the Most Triumphant Example of this; it has both the highest HP and the highest attack damage in the game, but is both difficult to set up and makes you discard the top 5 cards of your deck every time it attacks.
- Badass: Charizard, notably in animated appearances where it is one of the biggest badasses of the cast. Its powerful Mega Evolutions definitely help its case; Y even has the highest Special Attack of all Fire-types and Flying- types. Even including legendaries.
- Blood Knight: Charmander is portrayed as a friendly Pokemon, but its evolved forms are often portrayed as proud creatures who relish battling others with their fiery powers.
- Blow You Away: Charizard, as a part Flying-type, has some wind-based attacks.
- Breakout Character: Charizard became this in 2013, as it began receiving a ton of new appearances and merchandise (even more than Lucario in Gen IV) that solidified it as one of the franchise's two most prominent Pokémon, the other being Pikachu.note
- Cast from Hit Points: When it has Solar Power and the sun is out, it gets a 50% increase to Special Attack, but it loses 1/8 of its health each turn.
- Confusion Fu: Charizard actually has a pretty decent movepool, getting Ground, Rock, Steel, and Dragon type attacks on top of its Fire and Flying STAB attacks. There is also the fact it has TWO Mega Evolutions, which makes predicting it even trickier given one is special-oriented with a Weather Manipulation ability and the other has its Attack stat augmented so it can use its physical movepool, and also swaps its Flying-type STAB for a Dragon-type one, giving it better STAB coverage.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Charizard's Mega X and Shiny palettes are pretty dark and sinister-looking, but it's the same old loyal, non-malevolent Charizard nonetheless.
- Discard and Draw: Mega Charizard X loses its Flying-Type (and, by extension, Ground immunity), but becomes a Dragon-type, gets much higher offenses and physical defense, an ability with zero drawbacks that boosts the power of contact moves, and no longer is afraid of pebbles.
- Evolution Gives You Wings: Gains wings upon evolution to Charizard.
- Expy: Mega Charizard X and Y share some similarities with the Tao trio (Zekrom/Black Kyurem and Reshiram/White Kyurem respectively), especially the Kyurem formes due to their being powered-up versions of a weaker base form.
- Extra Ore Dinary: Despite not being part-Steel, this line learns Metal Claw naturally to help in dealing with Rock-types (an addition to the remakes made to help against the first gym leader, whose Rock Pokémon resisted Fire). Charizard, on top of that, is the only Pokémon that can learn Metal Claw, Iron Tail, and Steel Wing, all attacks involving an impact with a metallified body part.
- Fiery Salamander: To the point Charmander was initially considered for the trope image.
- Flight: Flying-type that can learn Fly as Charizard.
- Flying Firepower: Applies to Charizard.
- For Massive Damage: Rock-type attacks for Charizard, which is really its greatest problem due to it already being pretty frail.
- Fragile Speedster: Normally it has decent Speed, but sub-par defenses. Most notable in Gen I, where its Special Stat used especially for its Fire attacks is not as great as its modern Sp. Attack.
- Giant Flyer: Charizard is 1.7 meters tall and weighs over 90 kg. Exaggerated with Mega Charizard Y and its gigantic wings.
- Glass Cannon: With Solar Power, once it gets going, it's capable of wiping out entire teams if it isn't stopped in its tracks. Granted, getting to this stage is quite difficult, but it is so rewarding to see the big guy kick so much ass. Mega Charizard Y doesn't remove much glass (except in terms of Special Defense, which is actually quite beefy) but notches up the cannon.
- Honor Before Reason: According to its description in Super Smash Bros. (and, for that matter, the official Pokédex), Charizard will never spit flames at a weaker foe unless directly ordered to do so by its Trainer. Apparently, Playing with Fire is only extended for equals.
- Incendiary Exponent: Fire-type, and the tail-tip being alight is a vital sign.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Charizard is the only dragon-based starter Pokémon, and is also the Breakout Character out of all eighteen starters so far. Mega Charizard X is a Dragon-type, probably to fully invoke this trope.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- Mega Charizard X keeps its Speed stat, but has much higher offenses (with contact attacks being boosted even further by Tough Claws) and physical defense. The fact that it doesn't have a typing that makes it die at the mere sight of rocks also helps. Really, Fire and Dragon is great on both offense and defense; the number of Pokemon that can shrug off attacks of both types can be counted on one hand (Heatran, Carbink, Azumarill, end list) and its Fire and Dragon types cancel most of each others' weaknesses (Fire removes the Dragon weaknesses to Ice and Fairy, and Dragon eliminates Fire's weakness to Water). And this is before Dragon Dance.
- Charizard Y is no slouch either; while its typing isn't as good defensively, it has insane Special Attack and beefy Special Defense.
- Magic Knight: Mega Charizard X, who has identical Attack and Special Attack stats (Base 130). Y can pull a mixed set as well, but it is far more suited in a pure special attacking role (Base 104 Attack and Base 159 Special Attack).
- Nerf: Zigzagged pre-emptively for Mega Charizard Y. It gets Drought? Groudon's ability? Sweet! Too bad auto-weather abilities were nerfed at the same time... It's not all bad though; with 159 Special Attack and automatic-boosted Fire attacks, it still hits like a thermonuclear weapon.
- No Sell: Charizard is immune to Ground-type attacks, due to being a Flying-type; Mega Charizard X loses this, however. They're all immune to burns, which gives Charizard the distinction of being the only Dragon Dance sweeper that can't be crippled through these means.
- Nonindicative Name: Charmander is a reptile and not an amphibian (as real-life salamanders are), Charmeleon looks more like a dinosaur than any chameleon out there, and Charizard resembles a dragon rather than a lizard. Charmander's name more likely refers to the mythical salamander, which was a reptile that lived within flames.
- Non-Malicious Monster: This evolutionary line was said to occasionally cause forest fires by accident.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Charizard is a stereotypical winged dragon; its German, French and Chinese names even include the respective word for "dragon". It took 17 years for it to gain the Dragon type, though, in its Mega Charizard X form.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type.
- The Power of the Sun:
- Gen IV allowed them to learn Solar Beam. This gives it good synergy with sun teams and the abilities in both subsequent generations.
- Solar Power, their Hidden Ability, makes them hit hard as long as the sun is out.
- Mega Charizard Y gets Drought as its ability.
- Power-Up Full Color Change:
- Mega Evolving to Mega Charizard X causes Charizard's orange skin to turn black and its red flames to become blue.
- The black-colored Shiny Charizard becomes dark green with some red embellishments (with blue flames) as Mega Charizard X, and dark purplish-gray as Mega Charizard Y.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The best Pokémon to be seen as this. It helps that the one most well-known in the anime constantly displays such behavior.
- Rated M for Manly:
- Charizard, the Badass, battle-loving fire-breathing note dragon.
- Both Mega Charizards crank this trope up several notches, especially X with its more rugged, darker appearance and affinity for physical attacks.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Well, not really "evil" at all. Charizard is black with blood-red wings and eyes in its Shiny form, which was lampshaded by a Darkness-type Shiny Charizard card in the TCG. Mega Charizard X is also black with red eyes, although its flames and wings are blue - which is, again, lampshaded by Mega Charizard X requiring Darkness Energy for its attack in the TCG.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Both shiny Charizard and Mega Charizard X have red eyes.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Charmander.
- Secret Art: Blast Burn was exclusive to Charizard before XD, and nowadays it is the Secret Art of the fully evolved Fire starters. Fire Pledge too, as it is a Fire Starter.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Delphox's and Dragonite's Sensitive Guy, with Delphox being the other Fire-type starter in X and Y, and Dragonite being the other orange winged dragon from Gen I. Charizard, as the other tropes here make clear, is a Rated M for Manly Blood Knight Proud Warrior Race Guy who searches the land for worthy opponents. Delphox is a calm and feminine-looking fox wizard that acts as an Oracle, and Dragonite is gentle and friendly and helps those in need.
- Super Mode: Gained two Mega Evolutions in Gen VI. Mega Charizard X is Fire/Dragon, has higher offenses, and Tough Claws, an ability that increases the power of contact attacks. Mega Charizard Y gains the Drought Ability, as well as a heavily boosted Special Attack (presumably to make up for the loss of Solar Power).
- Technicolor Fire: Mega Charizard X has blue flames emitting from its mouth and tail. In Real Life, fire can appear blue if they are a high enough temperature, appropriate to its much more powerful Mega form.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Mega Charizard X is Fire/Dragon, reducing its crippling weakness to Rock-type moves. It also has much better Attack to take advantage of its Physical movepool and its boosting moves, and an ability that increases the power of contact moves even further.
- Mega Charizard Y has Drought, and a big boost in Special Attack, which lets it act as a devastating nuke.
- Turns Red: Blaze boosts Fire attacks when health becomes low.
- Undying Loyalty: Charmander. For Charmeleon and Charizard, though... well, you have to earn their respect first, let alone their loyalty.
- Unstoppable Rage: The line can be taught Outrage through breeding or tutoring. Mega Charizard X can make full use of the move, since it gets STAB and Tough Claws boosts on it.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Charizard grows wings.
- Vocal Evolution: Charizard's cry is changed in Generation VI. All prior Generations had Charizard share it's cry with Rhyhorn. This cry is replaced with a much deeper version that sounds more like a hissing/rattling sound. Charizard's original cry, however, is revamped and reused for Mega Charizard Y.
- Weak, but Skilled: Mega Charizard X, compared to other Mega Evolutions. While its attacking stats lack the "oomph" factor of many other Mega Evolutions (including its Y counterpart), it can use its ability and boosting moves to become a serious threat.
- Weather Control Creature: Mega Charizard Y gains the Drought Ability, boosting its Fire attacks and allowing it to abuse Solar Beam.
- Whole Palette Reference: Mega Charizard X is one to Zekrom. Despite being completely unrelated, they are both black dragons with neon-blue accents (including on the tips of their crests) and red eyes.
- Recurring Element: Charizard X is also the third black-and-blue dual-typed Dragon-type introduced in a row as part of a duo, after Zekrom and Black Kyurem. Possibly to go with this, Charizard Y has a similar body structure and cry to White Kyurem.
- Wolverine Publicity: From late Generation V onwards (even more so for Generation VI), Charizard got a ton of gratuitous appearances across Pokémon media and merchandise, and (along with Mewtwo) got two Mega Evolutions. Chances are, if a given Pokémon adaptation from this era doesn't star Pikachu (read: isn't a regular anime episode or a movie), it'll star Charizard.
- Between the two Mega Evolutions, Mega Charizard X is the one who gets this, having appeared in two anime specials, being set to appear in Super Smash Bros. 4, and even ostensibly being added to Steven Stone's team in ORAS, while Mega Charizard Y has yet to appear.
- Your Size May Vary: Officially, a Charizard is about as tall as an average adult human, standing at around 5'07" (1.7m) in height - but aside from the main games, you'd be hard-pressed to find a human-sized Charizard in any other form of Pokémon media, be it the anime, various manga, or fanart. Charizard are more usually shown to be around 8 to 25 feet tall, depending mostly on how awesome/badass the writer or artist feels like portraying it. Keep in mind that Venusaur is actually supposed to be the largest out of the Kanto starter trio.
Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise (Zenigame, Kameil, and Kamex)
A light blue bipedal turtle with a light brown shell, it first evolves into a navy-blue version of itself with feathery ears and tail, and then into a massive, dark blue tortoise with two high-pressure water cannons jutting out of its back. The first Water-types
(of many), and the first pure-typed line, these guys are defense-based fighters
, but, as a starter, they are quite well-rounded and can play both styles
, especially after Generation I
, when they started to get support moves. Blastoise gains a Mega Evolution in Gen VI. As well as increasing its offenses and defenses, Mega Blastoise also does more damage with "pulse" moves.
- Arm Cannon: Mega Blastoise gets them, one on each arm.
- Backpack Cannon:
- Blastoise carries twin water cannons on its back.
- Its Mega Evolution exchanges those for a single, larger one.
- Badass: Blastoise. Its Mega Evolution takes it a step further.
- BFG: The cannon it gets in its Mega Evolution is almost as long as Blastoise's body.
- Boring, but Practical:
- A given considering that this is the role of pretty much most water Pokémon, and amongst the three starters. Venusaur is a Jack of All Stats with multitudes of useful moves that can be a sweeper (especially with its Hidden Ability), and a Supporter. Charizard is an offensive beast in terms of both physical and special attack, and has a good offensive movepool (Not to mention an ability that INCREASES its offensive power when its HP is low, and a Hidden Ability that makes it even MORE so). Blastoise, on the other hand, is a Stone Wall, and its stats, combined with its limited movepool, make it hard to sweep. On the other hand, Blastoise has several support moves, notably Rapid Spin, and a priority move. This turns Blastoise into a capable Anti Lead and an all around useful teammate.
- Mega-Blastoise, meanwhile, has much less presence than powerhouses like Mega-Lucario and Mega-Mawile, but has a useful niche in being one of the few Rapid Spinners that can beat Ghost-typesnote .
- Healing Factor: Its Hidden Ability, Rain Dish, serves this purpose during rain.
- Improbable Aiming Skills:
- According to the Pokédex, the water jets from Blastoise's cannons are accurate enough to hit empty cans from over 160 feet away.
- Taken way beyond that with Mega Blastoise, with its much larger cannon apparently possessing a range of six miles.
- Informed Species: Unlike the other two, Blastoise is listed as "Shellfish Pokémon". "Blind Idiot" Translation is to blame, as in Japanese it's only "Shell".
- Kamehame Hadouken: As of Gen VI, they can learn Aura Sphere as an Egg Move and Mega Blastoise's ability boosts it further, making it a literal Kamehameha ("Turtle Destruction Wave").
- Kill It with Ice: Like most Water-types, they can use Ice attacks to cover one of their weaknesses.
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- Mighty Glacier: Quite similar to the Bulbasaur line in this regard, but with more emphasis on the defenses. Mega Blastoise has very high Special Attack, making it more of a traditional Mighty Glacier.
- Mix-and-Match Critters:
- One Of These Is Not Like The Others: In contrast to the other two starters whose progression is fairly linear. While Wartortle is basically a bigger Squirtle with furry ears and fangs and a more exaggerated swirly tail, Blastoise looks the least like its pre-evolutions beyond being a turtle. Its plastron pattern is completely different, it gains a yellow muzzle to its mouth, the furry ears become small and pointed, and the increasingly wavy tail shrinks into a stub.
- Rated M for Manly:
- Blastoise. It has cannons on its shell.
- Mega Blastoise has cannons on its arms and an even bigger one on its back.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Squirtle.
- Secret Art: Hydro Cannon was exclusive to Blastoise before XD, and nowadays it is the Secret Art of the fully evolved Water starters. Water Pledge, too, as it is a Water Starter.
- Stone Wall: Base Blastoise's defenses are higher than its offenses, though it can learn several powerful offensive moves such as Water Spout. Mega Blastoise's defenses are higher, but its Special Attack is even higher, putting it in an offensive role instead.
- Super Mode: Gained a Mega Evolution in Gen VI. Mega Blastoise gains the new Ability Mega Launcher, which boosts the power of the attacks Water Pulse, Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, and Aura Sphere (all of which it is now capable of learning).
- Tank Goodness: Mega Blastoise resembles an army tank with its bulky body and single huge cannon. Blastoise in general is even called "Tortank" in France.
- Took a Level in Badass: Vanilla Blastoise is a passable but mediocre wall and okay Rapid Spin user who still never sees any significant use because there are plenty of things that do both of its jobs far better while offering other uses as well. This all changed once it received a Mega; not only is it bulkier, but it got a 20-point base Attack boost and a monstrous 50-point Special Attack boost, allowing it to do its old jobs even better while now having a hell of a lot of offensive muscle as well. Coupled with Mega Launcher, it will shrug off attacks all day while destroying hazards and blowing holes in anything that tries to get rid of it, and any Ghost that gets sent in to spinblock is going to have a bad day when it gets a boosted Dark Pulse to the face.
- Time Abyss: Wartortle is said to live 10,000 years. How long Blastoise lives is not mentioned.
- Turns Red: Torrent boosts Water attacks when health becomes low.
- Turtle Power: One that keeps on growing. Its cannons can punch through thick steel.
- Weaponized Animal: Blastoise, for some reason, obtains cannons upon evolution.
Caterpie, Metapod (Trancell) , and Butterfree
A green caterpillar with red antennae and an eye-like pattern, its evolution goes along as metamorphosis, first becoming a green chrysalis, then a purple-bodied, blue-winged butterfly. First Bug-types in the Pokédex, and first common Mons, are used fairly commonly early in-game, before being ditched. It is mostly used as a status inducer, but, like most butterfly and moth Pokémon, also learns Psychic attacks, and thus is a good alternative to a proper Psychic Pokémon until one can be obtained.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: First Bug-types in the Dex. Plus, Butterfree is 3'07".
- Blow You Away: Butterfree; Whirlwind is even called this in Japanese.
- Com Mons: The early areas of Kanto and Johto are filled with them.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Butterfree is surprisingly useful, with decent status effects and the ability to learn Confusion early on.
- Crutch Character: Fully evolved at level 10. Outclassed when your starter or anything else evolves. Also subverted; the Standard Status Effects attacks that Butterfree has are useful for quite some time.
- Disc One Nuke: Because it can be evolved and learn Confusion so quickly, it is devastating in the early gyms.
- Flight: Butterfree.
- Joke Character: For a fully evolved Pokémon, Butterfree's Base Stat Total (a not-so-whopping 385) is absolutely horrible.
- Lethal Joke Character: It also has the most accurate sleep attack outside of Spore, and a movepool that is most useful for fighting - believe it or not - BRUNO of the ELITE FOUR!
- Magikarp Power: Caterpie and Metapod are fairly useless by themselves.
- No Sell: Butterfree against Ground-type attacks. Caterpie is immune to Standard Status Effects when hit by a move that has a secondary effect.
- Psychic Powers: Butterfree, for some reason.
- Standard Status Effects: Poison Powder, Stun Spore, and Sleep Powder. Other Pokémon get them as well, but Butterfree's one of the more common abusers due to Compoundeyes making them far more reliable than when used by other Pokemon.
- Took a Level in Badass
- In Gen III, we have Compound Eyes, which raises accuracy by a third. In other words, Stun Spore, Poison Powder, and Sleep Powder now hit 97.5% of the time.
- Gen V made this by giving it Tinted Lens and Quiver Dance.
Weedle, Kakuna, and Beedrill (Beedle, Cocoon, and Spear)
A yellowish worm with a poisonous stinger on the top of its head, it also experiences a metamorphosis, first turning into an immobile yellow nymph, then into a giant hornet with 2 additional stingers as hands. Has many things in common with the Caterpie line and is always found at the same locations (but encounter rates tend to change with versions). Beedrill itself is a physically based Pokémon, also able to learn stat boosting moves and pass them to other teammates. However, those moves are not obtainable at low levels, and thus its usefulness is reduced in comparison to Butterfree.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Beedrill is a 3 feet tall hornet.
- Cherry Tapping: Gen VI gave it the move Fell Stinger, an attack with a paltry 30 base power. However, if Beedrill successfully KOs an opponent with it, it gains a serious boost to its Attack.
- Com Mons: Shares its habitat with the Caterpie family in every game they appear.
- Critical Hit Class: It can use Focus Energy in conjunction with a Scope Lens to cause all of its attacks to become critical hits. Combined with Sniper, this causes Beedrill's attacks to hit alarmingly hard, capable of OHKOing almost anything that doesn't resist it.
- Crutch Character: Same as the Caterpie family. However, Beedrill is quite a bit less versatile than Butterfree, and has fewer attacks to take advantage of in its usable time-span.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: Beedrill.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Kakuna's Japanese name is Cocoon.
- Expy: Weedle is a Wiggler, but with a stinger instead of a flower.
- Flight: Beedrill. Well, at least their Pokédex entry says they're capable of this.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Very fragile, but can hurt.
- Joke Character: Like Butterfree, Beedrill's base stat total isn't very high for being fully evolved.
- Lethal Joke Character: See Critical Hit Class.
- Magikarp Power: Again, Weedle and Kakuna are pretty much useless, apart from Poisoning opponents.
- Min-Maxing: Swords Dance, Agility, and Baton Pass to something more effective is a viable strategy, but it needs to survive long enough to pull it off.
- No Sell: To poisoning.
- Poisonous Insect: Poison-type bee.
- Secret Art: Twinneedle for Beedrill, although it is no longer exclusive to it as of Black and White.
- Super Speed: Learns Agility naturally.
- They Call Him Sword: Beedrill's Japanese name is simply "Spear".
- This Is a Drill: Despite not being able to learn any drill based moves (at least until Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, in which it can get Drill Run from a move tutor).
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Slightly in Gen VI. Beedrill gained a 10 point boost to its Attack and the new move Fell Stinger, and the introduction of Fairy types has made its Poison typing more useful. Gen V also gave it a solid Ground-type move in Drill Run, giving it something to use against Fire, Rock and Steel-Types.
- It gained a much bigger one due to the change in the critical hit formula. With Focus Energy and a Scope Lens, all of Beedrill's attacks become critical hits. This combined with Sniper finally gives Beedrill a niche allowing it to attack with a shocking amount of power.
Pidgey, Pidgeotto, and Pidgeot (Poppo, Pigeon, and Pigeot)
A brown bird with a cream-colored belly and elements of both pigeons and birds of prey, still in the chick stage, that evolves into a quite large, more mature version of itself with a small red crest of feathers, and then into a human-sized version of itself with the crest now going all the way down its back. The first Normal-types in the Dex, and also often one of the first Pokémon caught by anybody in the Kanto and Johto games. Their stats are fairly balanced and not weak in any particular regard, but, sadly, they are not very strong in any particular regard either (except, perhaps, speed as of Generation VI); as a result, they tend to be overshadowed by more specialized Pokémon of the same typing. Still, it tends to be a staple of in-game teams, since somebody
has to be on Fly detail.
- Big Badass Bird of Prey: Pidgeotto, and especially Pidgeot, which is well-known for hunting Magikarp.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type with moves like Gust and Hurricane.
- Com Mons: Found in almost all of the routes of Kanto and Johto.
- Confusion Fu: Not in its moveset, but in the fact that, thanks to its stats and the tricks it does have at its disposal, it can play a number of different roles at least reasonably well, as opposed to its Always Someone Better brethren, who tend to be more specialized. If Staraptor or Chatot show up in Team Preview, it's typically pretty clear what they'll try to do; with Pidgeot, it's not so obvious what it has.
- Drunken Master: Its Tangled Feet Ability, which makes it more evasive if it happens to be confused.
- Flight: A common Fly slave.
- Fragile Speedster: Its speed buff in Gen VI bumped it over the base 100 mark.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Most of its Dex entries say that Pidgeot can fly as fast as mach 2. In game, however, up until Generation VI, its base speed was only slightly above average - infamously, it was lower than that of Miltank, a cow. (Skarmory and Dragonite suffer from similar exaggeration issues.) After the Gen VI 10 speed boost, it's now able to outspeed all Normal/Flying birds except for Swellow, but still it's far from "mach 2"
- Giant Flyer: Pidgeot is a flying bird, complete with a compact build, as tall as an emu.
- Heal Thyself: Naturally learns Roost.
- Jack of All Stats: Pidgeot has quite well-rounded stats - too well-rounded, in fact, leading to...
- Master of None: Its typing is not good for defense, and it's overshadowed in the offensive department by other Com Mons of its ilk.
- Nonindicative Name: Have relatively little in common with pigeons, more strongly resembling finches.
- Non-Elemental: First Normal-types in the Pokédex.
- No Sell:
- To Ghost and Ground attacks.
- In addition, its Keen Eye and Big Pecks Abilities protect it from Accuracy-reducing effects and Defense-reducing effects, respectively.
- Off Model: Pidgeot's sprites in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal had a far shorter crest than in the normal design, despite having the signature long crest in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. Because the back sprites for the first- and second-gen Pokémon were revamped and carried over to the 3rd-gen games, despite the front sprites in that generation being fixed.
- Razor Wind: Also has moves like Air Cutter and Air Slash at its disposal.
- Secret Art: Feather Dance, but it could be bred into other Pokémon in its debut, and as of Gen IV was no longer exclusive via level up. Gust, in a way, too, as nothing else could learn it until Yellow (but nowadays it is a common move).
- Spell My Name with an S: Pidgeot's Japanese name has been officially Romanized as "Pigeot" and "Pijotto".
- Took a Level in Badass: A minor one in Gen VI, as Pidgeot gained a buff to its Speed, and it gained a newly improved Defog, enabling it to reliably use Hurricane without relying on the rain while at the same time removing those pesky entry hazards.
- You Cannot Research Breathing: Cannot learn Peck, since having both that and Gust for its low-level Flying move would have been redundant prior to gen IV.
Rattata and Raticate (Koratta and Ratta)
A purple rat with a cream-colored belly that evolves into a brown-backed, cream-bellied nutria/musk rat. The first line in National Dex order made up of two rather than three stages, they are one of the most common species in Kanto and especially Johto, being found in pretty much all Routes and a few caves. In battle, they are rather fast (though not absurdly so), but statistically unremarkable otherwise from the get-go. However, they learn strong moves early on, and tricky moves later, that, combined with their traits, makes them competent, if unconventional, fighters.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Super Fang halves the current HP of the target. No exceptions. Well, except Ghosts.
- Boring, but Practical: Super Fang, halving the HP of any non-Ghost instantly. Even Stone Walls are going to be nervous.
- Cherry Tapping:
- Com Mons: Found everywhere in Johto and Kanto. Especially Johto.
- Commonplace Rare: Despite being the archetypical early-game mammal that is everywhere, Ratatta cannot be found in Kalos at all. Not even in the Friend Safari. It can only be obtained through transfer.
- Combat Pragmatist: They get several Dark-type moves.
- Crutch Character: Hyper Fang is twice as strong as most attacks you are using by the point you get it, and Raticate has the Speed and Attack to use it effectively, only being hampered by slightly low Accuracy. It gets overshadowed later when other things also get strong moves, but it may even step into being a Disc One Nuke if you play with its additional tricks.
- Fragile Speedster: Not very strong, quite fast... until it gets the fang attacks and becomes a Glass Cannon.
- Lethal Joke Character:
- The F.E.A.R. (Focus Sash, Endeavour, Quick Attack, Rattata note ) strategy has led to low-level Rattatas being quite deadly. It Only Works Once, though, and the common Sandstorm and entry hazards render it unusable. (Plus, Aron has provided Rattata with some stiff competition as of Gen V.)
- Raticate on the other hand can combine a Toxic Orb with its Guts ability to throw out brutally powerful Facade attacks.note In tandem with some other moves for coverage, Raticate is surprisingly powerful... but it still takes hits like a damp piece of paper, not helped by being badly poisoned.
- No Sell: To Ghost-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: The first pure Normal-type in the Pokédex.
- Playing with Fire: Flame Wheel can be bred on to them.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Raticate weighs over 40 lbs/18 kg.
- Secret Art: Super Fang and Hyper Fang, although no longer exclusive as of Gen IV.
- Technicolor Eyes: Rattata.
- You Dirty Rat: In comparison to the Pikachu family.
Spearow and Fearow (Onisuzume and Onidrill)
An alternative if you don't want to use Pidgey. Unlike Pidgey, however, they are pretty mean and scrappy birds. Spearow is supposed to resemble a sparrow, with a bit of crow mixed in; it has short wings and a short beak. Fearow, on the other hand, has longer wings and a longer beak, and it looks more like a vulture or a crane.
- Big Badass Bird of Prey: Not quite as tough of the others, but Fearow is capable of some dangerous stuff.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type with moves like Razor Wind and Whirlwind.
- Com Mons: Spearow is common, though not as much as Pidgey.
- Crutch Character: Useful early on since Spearow learns a Flying-type move before Pidgey, making it useful against all the Bug-types you'll meet in the first few areas of the game.
- Feathered Fiend: They are very dangerous birds indeed.
- Flight: Another potential Fly slave.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Good Speed and Attack, but low defenses.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Fearow, Onidrill.
- No Sell: To Ghost and Ground-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type.
- This Is a Drill: It learns Drill Peck and Drill Run (and the latter coupled with its Hidden Ability... hoo boy). Fearow's Japanese name is even Onidrill.
- Took a Level in Badass: Its Hidden Ability is Sniper, which triples the power of critical hits instead of doubling them. Better? It learns Drill Run, which has an increased critical ratio. Not to mention that Drill Run is a Ground-type move. Rock-, Electric-, and Steel-type Pokémon, prepare to cower in Fearow.
Ekans (Arbo) and Arbok
Effectively purple snakes, Ekans resembles a rattlesnake while Arbok is a cobra. A pure Poison-type with a fierce reputation, the first version exclusive monsters in National Dex order, only widely available in the Red
version, while Green
, and Yellow
players had to trade for it. This often carries over to later games, where it's still found in only one version or another.
- Action Initiative: Can learn Sucker Punch.
- Cast of Snowflakes: In-game, no two Arbok are supposed to have the same markings.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Arbok knows the three elemental fang moves naturally, though you need the Move Relearner to make use of them.
- Glass Cannon: Its best stat is Attack, with Speed and Special Defense being close seconds. Everything else is below average.
- Mon Bites Mon: Learns several biting attacks. In addition to the usual Bite and Crunch, Arbok can use the three elemental fangs, and it can be bred to have Poison Fang.
- No Sell: To poisoning.
- Off Model: Most of Ekans' first-generation sprites look nothing like the snake should. Seriously◊, look at them!◊ Yellow got it right, thankfully. Arbok also has black stripes on its back in its first-generation sprites, which have not been seen since.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The probable reason why roughly one third of Team Rocket's grunts have one.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Ekans is snake backwards. Arbok is kobra backwards.
- Secret Art: Glare, but only in Generation I.
- Super Spit: Using Stockpile and Spit Up. They also learn moves such as Acid, Gastro Acid, and Acid Spray.
- Took a Level in Badass: It gained one thanks to Gen V's new boosting move Coil. In addition to the obviously helpful Attack increase, it also gives a Defense buff that, combined with its Intimidate ability, actually gives it some tanking ability, as well as an Accuracy boost that gives Arbok's most powerful attack, Gunk Shot, enough reliability to actually be usable.
Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu
Pika, pika pi pika pikachu!
A yellow mouse-like creature with ruby-red cheeks, brown stripes on its back and a tail that resembles a thunderbolt. It's cute, but it can appeal to both boys and girls, making it the perfect mascot
for the entire franchise. Practically half of all merchandise has this guy's mug on it. It also gained a baby form in Pichu (which is also heavily promoted), and a few signature items and moves (mainly Volt Tackle). Raichu is its stronger form, but it isn't given as much exposure as its younger forms. Which isn't to say that it's bad per se; it's still a very good Pokémon to take well beyond the beginning of the game. It's one of your best bets when facing Misty.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Pikachu became this from Gen II onwards when carrying a Light Ball; it hits like a truck and can one-shot a lot of things with the right coverage move, but absolutely must be faster than its foe or else it'll get one-shotted itself.
- The Artifact: Pikachu remains the Series Mascot, but its role in marketing for the entire Pokémon franchise, outside of the anime, has been downplayed slightly in Gen VI. Unlike a few other Pokémon, it hasn't received very many new features or gratuitous appearances outside of the anime and its merchandising, apart from Pokémon Speak in the games and a slight increase in base stats. Pikachu being outdated was actually acknowledged by Game Freak themselves in a TV program on Japan's NHK network, which also showed that for this reason, they were working on a new Pikachu character with a more mature personality for an upcoming "Great Detective Pikachu" game.
- Badass Adorable: With a Light Ball, Pikachu is a surprisingly deadly force, and with the right items, Raichu can be devastating. And it's so cuuuute! Raichu is also this trope, but with more emphasis on the "badass" aspect.
- Breakout Character: Originally meant to play second fiddle to Clefairy, became the series mascot.
- Costume Porn: Pikachu gained several outfits in the Ruby/Sapphire remakes:
- Crippling Overspecialization: Can be easily walled by Ground-types. This is the reason Surfing Pikachu is difficult to counter due to the type coverage and being generally faster than their conventional counters.
- Crutch Character: In RBY (and their remakes) and X & Y, Pikachu can be found in the wild very early on. They'll likely be the first wild Electric-type a trainer will encounter, but will likely be outclassed by midgame. But if they have a Light Ball, then things are different.
- Disc One Nuke: Get lucky enough to catch a Pikachu that holds a Light Ballnote , and you've got a very powerful attacker early on.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Formed a trio of fairies with Jigglypuff and Clefairy who all had stone induced evolution and baby forms introduced in Gen II. Togetic and Marill were also pseudo members of this group, though their evolutions worked/were introduced slightly differently. However Pikachu is the only one to not become a Fairy-type in Gen VI. Though never having the Normal-type associated with it and becoming the Series Mascot may have had something to do with this.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Pichu are said to be unable to handle their electricity, often shocking themselves. In the main games, this isn't the case.
- It's a different story in Super Smash Bros., where over half of Pichu's attacks involve electricity and cause damage. This is part of the reason it's ranked so low on the tier list, as it's difficult to KO opponents without causing too much damage to itself.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: A Pikachu with a Light Ball strikes really hard, but dies very easily. (If only it was just a bit faster, it could probably be considered a legitimate threat...) Raichu needs Choice Band/Specs to hit as hard, is slightly faster (especially after the 10 speed boost it received in Gen VI), and may be able to take a single attack. Its movepool reflects this, with it gaining moves such as Thunder Wave and Electro Ball (used in combination, Thunder Wave paralyses the opponent and lowers its speed, while Electro Ball does more damage based on how much quicker Pikachu / Raichu is than its opponent). Used properly, this can enable it to knock out things much stronger than itself.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Pichu was basically designed to be this. Pikachu too, especially when Pichu isn't around. Surprisingly, this is intentionally being averted for the more adultlike Pikachu from the "Great Detective Pikachu" project in development, who will have spoken (human language) lines akin to a stereotypical hard-boiled detective.
- Making a Splash: Is able to learn Surf in every generation, one way or another. It's always an unconventional method, though, because the HM won't work. According to the card game and Pokémon Snap, it does this via a surfboard and literally surfing.
- Mascot with Attitude: See Adaptational Badass and Tsundere.
- Mascot Mook: Definitely counts as this if you consider its role in the main games alone.
- No Sell: To paralysis as of Generation VI. With Lightningrod, they're immune to all Electric-type moves.
- Not Quite Flight: You can obtain a Pikachu with FLY from a Pokéwalker course. According to the card game, it flies via Balloonacy.
- Out of Focus: Raichu, in comparison to Pikachu and even Pichu. Game Freak seems to be adamant on making sure you forget that Pikachu can still evolve.
- Pokémon Speak: Pikachu is featured in the trope image.
- Notable because it's the only Pokémon to have its actual spoken name as a audio cry in the main series games (Yellow only), although all games afterwards reverted to its original 8-bit cry.
- NPC Pikachu in the games does this through their speech bubbles.
- Also does this in Pokémon Adventures, but only in a very few occasions.
- This seems to be Pikachu's default cry in X and Y.
- Power Incontinence: Pichu shocks itself because of youth and inexperience. This carries over into Super Smash Bros. Melee, where it cripples it so much it's the weakest character in the game.
- Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage: In HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can obtain a special Pichu with three spikes on one of its ears (Spiky-Eared Pichu). Too bad it can't evolve or be traded to any other game, not even Black and White, which came after these games.
- Recurring Element:
- There is at least one Electric Rodent Pikaclone in every generation.
- Played with in Generation II where Pichu, being a pre-evolution, was an expy of itself. Generation II had another pseudo-expy in the form of cute water-based rodent Marill. Excluding Marill and technically Pichu, no Pikaclones get Pichu or Raichu equivalent forms as Raichu itself is rarely featured in promotional materials or the anime.
- Retcon: Raichu's base Speed was boosted by 10 in Generation VI, one of the few mons to have their base stats outright changed between generations.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: THE. WHOLE. FREAKING. LINE. Pichu is an already cute Pokémon, made even more marketable. Even Raichu has not lost everything here.
- Secret Art:
- Series Mascot: Pikachu usurped Clefairy's intended role due to better reception.
- Shock and Awe: Electric-type.
- Shout-Out: Volt Tackle was based on Pulseman'snote Voltteccer attack, which in turn was based on Tekkaman.
- Surfer Dude: Apparently, it learns Surf by grabbing an actual surfboard.
- Third Option Adaptation: Former Trope Namer in regards to the anime.
- Took a Level in Badass: Gen II gives Pikachu the unique Light Ball item which DOUBLES Pikachu's Attack and Special Attack stats, taking it from "decent" to "devastating with same type attack bonus." This does mean that you can't evolve Pikachu, however.
- It also got a bit of this in version Yellow, mainly by gaining Slam at level 20. That, along with all that Level Grinding, was the only way you'd beat Brock with Pikachu, if you just HAD to abuse your starter instead of catching a Mankey.
Sandshrew and Sandslash (Sand and Sandpan)
Sandshrew and Sandslash don't really resemble shrews as much as they do armadillos or pangolins. They're the creatures you'll find in place of Ekans and Arbok if you have the Blue
versions in the original set of games.
- Be The Ball: Learns Defense Curl, which doubles the power of Rollout, another attack it learns early.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Ground-type. Despite this, however, it took until generation III for it to learn a damaging Ground attack, and even then it was the very low power Sand Tomb. Black 2 and White 2 finally remedied this, giving it access to Magnitude, Dig and the mighty Earthquake through leveling up.
- Everything Is Better With Spinning: Learns Rapid Spin.
- Mighty Glacier: Sandslash is slow, but it has high Defense and good Attack.
- Lightning Bruiser: Their Hidden Ability doubles their speed under Sandstorm.
- No Sell: To Electric-type attacks.
- Nonindicative Name: As mentioned above, albeit only in the English releases.
- Picky Eater: Sandshrew seems to not like foods with a high water content.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Sandshrew.
- Rolling Attack: Rollout.
- Spikes Of Doom: Sandslash has a lot of spikes on its back, just like actual hedgehogs.
Nidoran, Nidorino/a, and Nidoking/queen
One of the most notable things about these guys is that the males and females are different species. This is because the first generation of games (Red
) didn't assign sexes for Pokémon yet. They vaguely resemble rabbits at first, but they grow to be reptilian upon evolution. Both Nidoqueen and Nidoking are very dependable Pokémon. Nidoqueen is more defensive while Nidoking is more offensive, but both are extremely well-rounded.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Nidoking and Nidoqueen will be happy to demonstrate if you ask for proof.
- Badass: They're dinosaurs covered in spiky armored plates that can use a plethora of Breath Weapons.
- Cartoon Creature: They're poisonous porcupine-rat creatures that evolve into earth-elemental dinosaurs with aspects of rhinoceroses and gorillas. They also happen to resemble Baragon.
- Confusion Fu: Poison, Ground, Fire, Fighting, Water, Bug, Ice, Electric, Rock, and Dragon. There is nothing they cannot hit for at least neutral damage, and they have the bulk to put some force behind it, be it a Physical or Special attack.
- Crutch Character: In game, the Nidoran family's purpose is to add balance to your team by fitting multiple roles. They have a very wide movepool, but no outstanding stats.
- Disc One Nuke:
- In the games that put you in Kanto or Johto, you can find a Nidoran and get it evolved into Nidoking before you challenge the third gym, and in both regions the Leader will be at a major disadvantage (it's immune to Surge's Electric-types and resists Miltank's Rollout). It will continue to pull its weight for some time, but later on its mediocre stats and heavy weaknesses to Water and Psychic will really start to hurt.
- It is also a major one in Pokémon Black and White. If you have access to the Dream World, you could get a Nidoran of either gender with its Hidden Ability (Hustle). However, since the Pokémon of Generation V tend to evolve far later than earlier Pokémon, this means that earlier Pokémon level up way earlier, with both Nidorans evolving at level 16 and then having the option to evolve them further with a Moon Stone. This means you can get a third stage Pokémon with a wide movepool and an extremely effective ability (Sheer Force) before your starters have evolved. Astonishing.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Nidoking and Nidoqueen.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Subverted. Guys Smash, Girls Defend, and they both shoot (especially the Sheer Force variants). They're also decent at the role taken by their counterpart.
- Jack of All Stats: The primary strength of Nidoking and Nidoqueen is that they have overall balanced stats (Nidoking leaning towards offense and Nidoqueen to defense) and an amazing movepool to prepare for any enemy. The failing of both is their average Speed, but at base 85, Nidoking is still quite speedier than your average Mighty Glacier.
- Lunacy: First in the National Dex to require the Moon Stone for evolution.
- Master of None: Prior to Generation V, when it didn't have Sheer Force to give them that extra "oomph."
- No Sell: The final forms to Electric-type attacks. They're all immune to poisoning.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Inverted normally, straight in their shiny versions (Although Nidoqueen is mostly green).
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Rated M for Manly: Nidoking.
- Rhino Rampage: According to the Pokédex, once Nidoking starts his rampage, nothing can stop him.
- Shout-Out: Both Nidoking and Nidoqueen look like Baragon, a giant monster from the Godzilla films that is quite popular in Japan.
- Strong, but Unskilled: With the ability Sheer Force; see below.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Gen V gave them Sheer Force as a Hidden Ability. While this powers up their attacks that have secondary effects (and they learn many such attacks), it cancels out said effects from happening. If they use a move that gets the Sheer Force boost, it also cancels the Cast from Hit Points effect of Life Orb while still getting its boost. The short of it, almost all their attacks receive a 50% power boost, before factoring in typings.
- Although not up to the level of receiving Sheer Force, in Gen VI the pair were among the numerous older Pokémon to receive a 10-point boost to a particular Base Stat, and both of them got the bonus to their Attack, giving their Earthquakes and Poison Jabs a bit more impact.
Cleffa, Clefairy, and Clefable (Py, Pippi, and Pixy)
Cleffa debuts in Gen II
These pink cute Pokémon can be thought of as a Distaff Counterpart
to Pikachu's family. Their stats don't seem remarkable, but they learn a fantastic number of moves, plus later games introduced an ability that prevents damage from anything other than direct attacks. Their Metronome technique makes them very unpredictable in battle. This family is thought to come from space, as they're found on mountains with a history behind them (Mt. Moon and Mt. Coronet).
- Achievements in Ignorance: Their Hidden Ability, Unaware, lets them ignore any stat boosts the opponent has (except Speed) by not knowing they're boosted.
- Blush Sticker: Cleffa and Clefairy. Clefable loses them though.
- Confusion Fu: Like the Nidos, massive movepool, and all around decent stats that allows them to run both defense or offense with ease. Their main move, Metronome, also counts.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Its typing retcon can lead to this when trying to fight it. Going from Normal to Fairy-type removed its immunity to Ghost, changed its Fighting weakness to a resistance, and gave it new resistances and weaknesses that it previously was neutral to.
- Epileptic Trees: In-universe; it's widely believed that they came from the moon.
- Innocent Alien: They are shown to be rather peaceful, although according to the anime they're kleptomaniacs.
- Jack of All Stats: Slighty slow, but have good, balanced stats (though they favor the Special spectrum slightly).
- Lunacy: Learns Moonlight and Moonblast, evolves with a Moon Stone, and is even said to come from the Moon!
- Megaton Punch: For some reason, the line gets Meteor Mash, which is otherwise exclusive to Metang and Metagross.
- No Sell:
- Back when it was a Normal type, its typing made it immune to Ghost-type attacks. Now it's a pure Fairy type and thus immune to Dragon attacks instead.
- Magic Guard lets them ignore all non-direct damage. Holding a Life Orb? The only penalty is not getting the passive recovery you would of had from holding Leftovers. Sandstorm? Not a problem (for them, anyways). Stealth Rock? Nope. Toxic? Great, now they don't even have to worry about Paralysis or Sleep. Leech Seed? Enjoy your fat load of nothing.
- Its Hidden Ability, Unaware, lets it No Sell the opponent's Status Buffs.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type prior to Gen VI.
- Our Fairies Are Different: These have magic that let it use any move, and they're possibly from space. On top of that, the entire line has been revised in Generation VI to be a pure Fairy type (not Normal/Fairy or even Fairy/Normal).
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Depending on who you ask, even more so than Pikachu.
- Secret Art
- In Generation I, it was the only Pokémon to learn Metronome by level-up (aside from Mew).
- It had a unique ability in Gen IV, being the only line with Magic Guard.
- Shrinking Violet: All of them are rarely seen, but Clefable is particularly reclusive.
- Took a Level in Badass: It eventually gained the Fairy-type, allowing it to No Sell Dragon-type moves as well as resist Fighting- and Dark-type moves.
- Wings Do Nothing: They're only there for appearance, apparently. They can't fly, nor even learn Wing-associated attacks.
Vulpix and Ninetales (Rokon and Kyukon)
If you didn't pick Charmander, you're in luck, because there's Vulpix... if you're playing the Blue
version that is, as they're only found on those versions (Red
players get Growlithe instead). Vulpix resembles an adorable six-tailed red fox, while Ninetales is a large golden fox with... nine tails
- Badass: Ninetales, by virtue of being a tough Fire-type Pokémon.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Touch one of Ninetales's, well, tails, and prepare to be cursed for one thousand years.
- Fantastic Foxes: The line is based in part on mythological kitsune, Japanese trickster fox spirits. Reflected in the Ghost-type moves Vulpix and Ninetales can learn.
- Fusion Dance
- According to an in-universe legend mentioned in a pokedex entry, nine saints were united and reincarnated as Ninetales.
- Another Pokédex entry says that nine wizards possessing sacred powers merged into one. Whether this is a retcon, a mistranslation, or a separate legend is not clear.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom/Hypnotic Eyes/Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ninetales can control minds with its red eyes. They glow when it does this.
- Kitsune: Both are based off this.
- Light Is Not Good: Both are cute and Ninetales is light colored, but Vulpix is deceptive if nothing else and Ninetales is an extremely vindictive Mon with the potentially Nightmare Fuel inducing powers of controlling minds and inflicting long-lasting curses.
- Mind Manipulation: Learns Confuse Ray.
- Multiple-Tailed Beast: Both Vulpix and the more appropriately named Ninetales.
- Was a Lightning Bruiser on the Special Side in Generation I, but Gen II's Special split gave them lower Special Attack
- Though giving it Drought later helped by pretty much doubling the power of its fire attacks. The Special Attack-doubling Nasty Plot also boosts its offensive power. Then Gen VI nerfed weather to no longer be permanent, bring this trope back full circle.
- In Pokémon X and Y, Drought is no longer permanent but works as an instant Sunny Day.
- No Sell: To burns.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type.
- Really 700 Years Old: Ninetales lives for 1,000 years.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Vulpix.
- Soul Power: They learn quite a lot of Ghost-type moves.
- Speedy Stone Wall: Ninetales is fast, and can fend off Special attacks, but its attacks are rather lacking.
- Spell My Name with an S: It's "Ninetales", not "Ninetails".
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Getting Drought as an ability really gave a boost to their usefulness. Said ability was previously only known by Groudon.
- Weather Control Pokémon: Drought used to bring permanent sunlight until another weather replaces it. (See Nerf above.)
Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, and Wigglytuff (Pupurin, Purin, and Pukurin)
Igglybuff debuts in Gen II
Another family of pink Pokémon. These Pokémon have balloon-like bodies, huge eyes, and a tuff of hair on their heads. Originally all pure Normal-Type, they have gained the Fairy-type in Generation VI
. They have a high HP stat, and can learn a large number of moves, but their other stats are very average. Their talents include sleep-inducing singing. Jigglypuff is particularly notable for being the only Pokémon besides Pikachu to be a playable character in all three Super Smash Bros.
- Badass Adorable: Even before gaining the Fairy-type, the line hits rather hard. Afterwards, it became downright lethal.
- Breakout Character: Jigglypuff is popular enough (in Japan) that it's made multiple appearances in the anime, merchandise, and all games in the Super Smash Bros. franchise.
- Berserk Button: Be careful when trying to lower their stats. If they have the Competitive Ability, that will raise their Special Attack by two stages.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: 25 percent of them are male.
- Killer Rabbit: According to its Pokédex entry, Jigglypuff's cuteness is really a form of self defense, luring enemies in only to put them to sleep and give them a beating.
- Lunacy: Jigglypuff evolves into Wigglytuff with a Moon Stone.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Learns Hyper Voice and Disarming Voice naturally.
- Mighty Glacier: It has a massive HP stat and average offenses, with the rest of its stats being low.
- No Sell: To Ghost and (as of Gen VI) Dragon-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type until Gen VI, where the last two stages at least were reclassified as part Fairy-type.
- Our Fairies Are Different: As of Generation VI, the line is now also part Fairy-type.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: All of them. They seem to be designed for cute.
- Signature Move: Sing is strongly associated with Jigglypuff.
- Status Buff: Gen VI gave the Competitive Ability, which is basically Defiant for Special Attack (ie. Boosts its Special Attack when any of its stats take a hit).
- Took a Level in Badass: While the line may no longer be able to No Sell Ghost-types owing to its type changing, it can now No Sell Dragon-type moves and resist Fighting and Dark-type moves, which previously were prime ways of taking it down.
Zubat, Golbat, and Crobat
Crobat debuts in Gen IIThe bane of trainers everywhere
. These bats are found in almost every cave for almost four generations of games. What makes them so annoying is their speed (where your chances of running away is determined by speed stats) and their ability to confuse or poison you if you choose to fight back instead of trying to run. Crobat is excused from this hatred for not being available in the wildnote
. Because they are so common and annoying, trainers often don't want to do anything with them. But if they're patient enough to catch and befriend one, they'll have a strong ally on their side. It has one of the highest Speed stats in the game.
- Badass: Crobat is a tough Pokémon and one of the strongest Poison-types.
- Bat out of Hell: Golbat and Crobat are person-sized vampire bats, Zubat is quite larger than most real bats, they are able to poison you, and generally annoying.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type with moves like Whirlwind.
- Cast from Hit Points: Zubat can be bred to learn Brave Bird, despite the fact that it's not a bird.
- Com Mons: Every cave in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh is filled with Zubat. Except those filled with Golbat. Despite that, Crobat is actually a pretty good Pokémon, with stats on par with the evolved starters.
- Combos: It gets Defog and Hypnosis by breeding (Defog is also an HM in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum). Defog's evasion-lowering effect makes Hypnosis more accurate. In Generation 6, Defog has the bonus effect of clearing all entry hazards on both sides the field.
- Crippling Overspecialization: In-universe, Crobat's four wings make it very good at flying, but also very bad at walking and stopping to rest.
- Disc One Nuke: Crobat is roughly as strong as the evolved starters, and due to how happiness works, can be obtained one level after evolving into the already respectable Golbat with just a little tender loving care. Also, in Platinum, wild Golbat are capturable (but rare) before the first gym, and theoretically one could get a Crobat under level 10.
- Eyeless Face: Zubat, but this makes some sense, as it is a blind bat that depends on echolocation.
- Flight: Flying-type and possible Fly slave.
- Giant Flyer: Crobat is six feet tall. Even with the dubious height calculations of the Pokédex, that's big.
- Goddamned Bats: They provide the page picture for a reason — until Generation V, (and even there, you'll find them in Castelia Sewers), every cave in the world was infested with them, they were probably faster than your Pokémon and thus you can't flee, they use Leech Life to heal themselves so they're harder to kill, use Astonish and Bite to flinch you, and can use Supersonic to inflict Confusion. The game itself even warns you to be wary of them when you first get to Mt. Moon. And then in the late-game areas, instead of Zubat you meet Golbat, which have all the same annoyances with higher speed and Confuse Ray over Supersonic (the former is always successful).
- Gradual Grinder: Expected for a Poison-type, and Crobat is capable of learning a lot of disrupting moves like Taunt, Supersonic, Confuse Ray, Hypnosis, Super Fang, Defog, Haze, Mean Look, and Torment. Its offensive stats are alright, but its lacking offensive movepool makes this a good option.
- Jack of All Stats: Pretty well-balanced stats, except for Speed, with Crobat's being in the top 10 (not counting Mega Evolutions) in the game and gives it more of a lean toward Lightning Bruiser. Crobat also is one of two Pokémon with the highest base stat totals of its type that isn't a Legendary or Mega Evolved (Tyranitar is the other). Granted, Poison doesn't have a dedicated Legendary (no, Arceus does not count)...
- Magic Knight: Crobat has equally viable Physical and Special stats. Too bad they're both average.
- Magikarp Power: Annoying as it is, Zubat is much, much weaker than its evolved forms.
- No Sell: To Ground-type attacks, poisoning, and flinching if they have Inner Focus.
- Overly-Long Tongue: Golbat in its Red and Blue sprite.◊
- Perpetual Frowner: Crobat.
- Playing with Fire: Crobat has Heat Wave as a tutor move, giving it a very much appreciated counter for Steel types, especially since its Special Attack is only 20 points behind its Attack.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- The Power of Friendship: It's the only way to evolve Golbat into Crobat. Many villain teams are given them to show they have a softer side.
- Signature Move: Infamous spammers of Leech Life and Supersonic (or Confuse Ray in the case of Golbat) in the wild.
- Status Buff: Can be bred to have Nasty Plot.
- Status Buff Dispel: Naturally learns Haze.
- Took a Level in Badass: Twice in fact.
- First, in Gold and Silver, an annoying but otherwise forgettable Pokémon received a much stronger and much, much faster evolution, and in the same generation where the Psychic-type was heavily nerfed.
- Many years later in X and Y, it gains the ability to bypass Substitutes via Infiltrator, thus gaining an always-accurate Toxic which bypasses subs and Safeguard, and the ability to clear entry hazards with a newly-buffed Defog, which still lowers evasion for the sake of Heat Wave and Hypnosis. Better still, because of the Fairy type's existence, it now has a reason to run Poison-type attacks other than STAB.
- The Stoic: Crobat, at least in Pokémon-Amie. Its facial expressions don't change at all. Its mouth doesn't even move when it eats.
- Useless Useful Spell:
- Can be bred to know Curse, which is a Speed-lowering move on one of the fastest Pokémon in the game.
- Their original ability, Inner Focus, prevents flinching. Crobat is usually fast enough to not have to worry about flinching in the first place, except against Choice Scarf users of flinching moves. The only real defense it serves otherwise is against Fake Out.
- You Have Researched Breathing: Prior to Gen IV Golbat cannot learn Fly.
Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, and Bellossom (Nazonokusa, Kusaihana, Ruffresia, and Kireihana)
Bellossom debuts in Gen II
One of the archetypal Grass-type families, Oddish and its evolved forms are a good choice if you didn't start with Bulbasaur. Oddish resembles a radish that's blue in color and it walks on two feet. As it matures into a Gloom, it gains arms and becomes very smelly, much like a rafflesia. Finally can evolve into either a Vileplume, or a Bellossom... if you have one of the appropriate stones, that is. Bellossom is somewhat unique in that it shrinks in size and loses its Poison typing upon evolution, as well as losing its legs, which are replaced by a leaf-dress of sorts. In their debut generation, they were exclusive to the Red
- Com Mons: In Hoenn, where they are much more common than in Kanto or Johto.
- Dance Battler: Bellossom.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Bellossom has a 50% chance of being male.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Gloom's Japanese name is Kusaihana, which literally translates to "smelly flower". Also, Bellossom's Japanese name is Kireihana, which literally translates to "beautiful flower".
- Glacier Waif: Bellossom looks too frail and tiny to come off as tough compared to Vileplume.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Hula and Luaus: Bellossom.
- Irony: Vileplume is based on the Rafflesia flower, which smells like a corpse. Yet a Vileplume can learn Sweet Scent. What?
- Meaningful Name:
- A Rafflesia (Vileplume's name in the Japanese version) is the largest flower in the world and produces a highly foul odor, and the flower on its head highly resembles one. This may also go to explain why Gloom smells so bad.
- To be more specific, the rare rain forest flower Vileplume is based on uses that smell to attract insects, and said smell resembles what would come from rotting meat. That's why one of its nicknames is "Stinking Corpse Lily". Taking that into consideration really makes you understand how bad Gloom probably smells.
- Mighty Glacier: Both Vileplume and Bellossom have decent physical stats and good special stats, but their speed stat is rather lacking.
- No Sell: To powder-based moves as of Gen VI. Except for Bellossom, they're immune to poisoning.
- Petal Power: Learns Petal Dance.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: As noted above, Bellossom is the smallest form of the family, yet its stats are on par with the alternative evolution Vileplume.
- Plant Pokémon: Oddish and Gloom are weed Pokédmon. Vileplume and Bellossom are flower Pokémon.
- Poisonous Pokémon: As noted above, Bellossom is the only one that isn't this.
- Real Pokémon Wear Grass Skirts: Bellossom has an even chance of being male.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Oddish.
- Secret Art: Petal Dance, but only in Generation I.
- Stone Wall: Due to the increase to its Defense stat (thus sandwiching it between both its special stats), Bellossom leans on this.
Paras and Parasect
Paras and Parasect are an interesting
family. It's a cicada-like insect that's in a symbiotic [read:parasitic] relationship with a mushroom that only grows on the bug. Thus, it is capable of using both Bug and Grass type moves. This comes with a cost, though: Upon evolution, the mushroom takes over the insect's brain and it seems that it's the mushroom that is in control of the creature. It's considered a great Pokémon to catch other Pokémon with, though, since it has access to Spore, one of the best sleep-inducing moves in the game, and False Swipe, which will never reduce a target's health below one. Just keep it away from heat.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bug-type.
- Blank White Eyes: Parasect, as a result of losing its mind to the mushroom.
- Body Horror: Upon evolving, the mushrooms on Paras's back completely take over Parasect and turn it into a warped zombie of its former self. Yeesh.
- For Massive Damage: Fire-type attacks will do HUGE damage (see Kill It with Fire entry below), as well as flying-type attacks. In the first generation games, Poison also does 4x damage, as it and Bug were weak to each other in those games.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Healing Factor: In the rain, if it has Dry Skin.
- Kill It with Fire: Noteworthy that it can have a 5x weakness against fire moves if it has Dry Skin.
- Mighty Glacier: Somewhat. It has decent Attack, and okay defenses on both the physical and special ends (though it's undermined somewhat by its low HP), but very low Speed.
- No Sell: Water attacks, thanks to Dry Skin. They're also immune to powder-based moves as of Gen VI.
- Puppeteer Parasite: The mushrooms on Paras's back are influencing its thoughts.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Paras !
- And then it evolves into a Body Horror parasitic zombie insect.
- Secret Art:
- Spore, of them and the other two mushroom-based families — in fact, the move's Japanese name is Mushroom Spore.
- There's also Effect Spore, which is a unique ability. Again, only the Paras line and the other two mushroom-based families get it naturally (though Vileplume has it as its Hidden Ability).
- Status Buff: Through breeding in Gen VI, Parasect is one of two Grass-Types (the other is Cacturne) that can learn Rototiller, which can boost its Attack and Special Attack by one stage (like Work Up, which it can't learn) without having to be in a Double or Triple Battle. In such battles, any Grass-Type allies or enemies can reap the bonus as well.
Venonat and Venomoth (Kongpang and Morphon)
A furry bug-like creature that evolves into a moth with poisonous scales. It's kinda unremarkable, apart from the fact that it is a far better choice as a Bug Pokémon than Beedrill or Butterfree, except that it comes far
later than both of them.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bug-type.
- Blow You Away: Venomoth, despite not being a Flying type.
- Flight: Venomoth, in just the same way as Beedrill.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: It has good Speed and Special Attack, while the rest of its stats are average.
- Macabre Moth Motif: Venomoth is said to scatter poisonous powder when it flaps its wings while hunting at night.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- No Sell: To poisoning.
- Psychic Powers: They learn the 3 main offensive Psychic moves via level up.
- Standard Status Effects: Like Butterfree, they learn the 3 powder moves.
- Took a Level in Badass: Venomoth seems to have simply gotten better and better as time's gone by:
- Generation 2 brought it Poison STAB (Sludge Bomb).
- Generation 3 brought it a cool ability called Shield Dust which prevents the enemy's added effects of moves (like Flamethrower's burn).
- Generation 4 gave it the physical/special split, giving it good special STAB (Bug Buzz+Sludge Bomb), and more importantly Tinted Lens, a new ability that doubles the damage of any of Venomoth's attacks that the foe resists (ie, x.5 damage becomes x1, x.25 becomes x.5), meaning it has fewer safe switch-ins.
- Generation 5 gives it Quiver Dance, a new boosting move that increases Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by one stage. And it can Baton Pass it.
- Generation 6 introduced Fairy types, making its Poison typing more useful.
Diglett (Digda) and Dugtrio
Based on Whack-a-Moles, these are probably tied with Voltorb and Magnemite for the Pokémon with the simplest design. Diglett appears to be only a half-buried brown nub with a bright red nose. Dugtrio appears to be no different, except that it's three of them. What's also unusual about this Ground type (mostly populated by tanks) is that it's also lighting-fast, but can't take a hit well. It's also got the ability to trap land-based opponents.
- Bigger on the Inside: Fanart frequently depicts the tiny, adorable Diglett/Dugtrio as being a surface appendage for a massive subterranean abomination.
- Crutch Character: Can't defeat Lt. Surge because his Raichu is mopping the floor with your Squirtle? Don't worry; just go to the nearby Diglett's Cave and catch a Diglett (or a Dugtrio should one happen to crop up), then proceed to destroy Surge with a well-placed Dig.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: They really go out of their way to ensure that Diglett and Dugtrio is never seen leaving the ground, to the point of giving them special animations for when any other Pokémon uses a non-animated hop (Pokéathlon, Poké Transfer) or just appear in mid-air (when sent into battle in Black and White).
- Disc One Nuke: If you're very patient in the Kanto games, you can find a Level 29-31 Dugtrio in Diglett's Cave, at a time when your other Pokémon may be only Level 20-ish.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Ground-type.
- Fragile Speedster:
- In its own right, and especially by the standards of its type.
- Notably, Diglett has the second-worst base HP in the game, only being outdone by Shedinja. Dugtrio isn't much better.
- Hive Mind: All three of Dugtrio's heads think the exact same thoughts.
- Multiple Head Case: Dugtrio.
- No Sell: Electricity.
- Riddle for the Ages: We will likely never see what the rest of Diglett or Dugtrio's body looks like.
- Secret Art: Despite being a widespread move, prior to Generation III, they are the only ones to learn Dig naturally.
- Starfish Alien: Diglett and Dugtrio may be this. We just aren't sure. Given that Dugtrio has three heads from a one-headed Diglett, it's not out of the field of possibility.
- The Unseen: Their lower bodies will never be seen, only implied. They seem to have claws and feet at least.
- Useless Useful Spell: Can learn Final Gambit through breeding. This is a move that sacrifices the user to deal damage equal to the user's HP, on Pokémon with some of the lowest base HP in the game.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Again, Arena Trap.
Meowth (Nyarth) and Persian
These Pokémon are probably some of the most recognized Pokémon in the franchise after Pikachu, due to one individual being a main antagonist in the anime and because that particular one is unique in that it can speak human languages, something very few other Pokémon can do (and most of those use telepathy). It's only natural to have a cat Pokémon as an antagonist when your protagonist is a mouse. These cats are based on Maneki Neko
, a lucky cat that's supposed to grant its owner wealth. Persian has a regal air to it and is quite fast, but nothing note-worthy about it otherwise. In their debut, they could only be found in Blue
- Combat Pragmatist: Their natural movepool is not one made up of orthodox moves.
- Confusion Fu: They've got a massive movepool. That's par for the course for Normal-types, but Meowth and Persian still get more options than most.
- Critical Hit Class: Back in Generation I, Slash got a critical hit depending on speed, and Persian was already pretty fast, so pretty much all of the time Slash was a critical hit.
- Fragile Speedster: High Speed, but it's not going to take many hits.
- Glass Cannon: Gen 1 Persian, thanks to the broken mechanics around Hyper Beam and Slash. Most of Gengar's work back in that gen probably originated from being a hard check to it.
- Item Caddy: Meowth can have the Pickup ability.
- Maneki Neko: Based on these.
- Nerf: In Generation I, critical hit probability was based on Speed, and if you KO'd the opponent with Hyper Beam, you didn't need a recharge turn. This made Persian very dangerous; Slash was a critical hit 100% of the time and it could throw out STAB Hyper Beams to finish off opponents. Generation II changed the critical hit mechanics and removed the Hyper Beam loophole so you always need to recharge even if you KO'd something. Persian's ferocity dropped like a rock, and it's never recovered, becoming just another mediocre Normal-type.
- No Sell: To Ghost-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type.
- Panthera Awesome: Persian, a housecat.
- Secret Art: Pay Day for Meowth; the attack has actually been steadily limited to Meowth and only Meowth over the gens (even vanishing from Persian's learnset in Gen IV). However, in Gen V, Purrloin has this as an egg move; in Gen III, you can get a Skitty with this through Pokémon Box; and in Gen I, it was a TM.
Psyduck (Koduck) and Golduck
One of the most recognizable Pokémon, Psyduck is an eternally confused yellow duck-thing (some call it a platypus, though). It's got a headache that can somehow enable it to tap into mysterious psychic powers. Golduck is less silly, though.
- Action Initiative: Golduck has access to Aqua Jet, though it needs the move relearner to get at it.
- Confusion Fu: Has a decent array of both physical and special attacks to work with, and its attacking stats are close enough together that it can use either effectively (it even gets both Calm Mind and Hone Claws to boost whichever attacking stat you end up going with).
- Everything's Better with Platypi: They draw some inspiration from a platypus.
- Fragile Speedster: With its Hidden Ability of Swift Swim active. Granted, it's not all that fragile, but it isn't particularly sturdy either.
- Jack of All Stats: All of Golduck's stats are around 80, except for its Special Attack, which is 95.
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- Non-Indicative Name: Switching around the first part of their names may seem a little more fitting.
- Psychic Powers: Despite not being Psychic-type at all.
- Secret Art: Worry Seed, among Water-types. Not even the Water/Grass Lotad line gets it.
- Taking You with Me: Defied with its Damp Ability, which prevents moves like Explosion and the Aftermath Ability from working.
- Useless Useful Spell: Gets the Soak move, which changes the target into a Water-type. Unfortunately, despite its otherwise impressive movepool, it doesn't get any Electric- or Grass-type attacks to abuse this with (except the aforementioned Worry Seed, which doesn't do damage).
- Weather Control Creatures: It's under a different namenote , but one of their abilities is essentially Rayquaza's Air Lock.
- Youkai: Golduck is based on the Kappa.
Mankey and Primeape (Okorizaru)
Mankey and Primeape resemble puff-balls as much as they resemble monkeys and apes. They're fighting-types that always seem to be angry at something. In Yellow
, this is the guy you want to use to fight against Brock, since Pikachu really cannot do squat against him. They were exclusive to Red
in their debut generation.
- Ax-Crazy: Their tempers are definitely nasty enough to cross into this territory.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Primeape's main fighting style.
- Confusion Fu: They can learn moves of every single type, and damage-dealing moves from 14 of them.
- Cross-Popping Veins: Primeape
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They're pig monkeys.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Primeape is the fourth-fastest Fighting type (among the Fighting-types, only Mienshao, the Musketeers, Infernape, and Pirouette Forme Meloetta are faster), but it can only take one hit... if said hit is absurdly weak and/or comes from a type that Primeape resists. And like most Fighting-types, it has high-powered moves coming from a high attack.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Mankey and Primeape spend most of their lives in perpetual fury, going aggro on anything that even looks at them sideways.
- No Sell: To sleep-inducing effects with its Vital Spirit Ability.
- Off Model: Mankey's Red and Blue sprites don't really look like Mankey◊. Primeape's sprites don't◊, either◊.
- Power Up Letdown: Anger Point. It's bad enough that crits are generally treated as hyper-lethal to begin with, but Primeape's extra fragility really exxagerates that.
- Status Buff: Two of its abilities. Anger Point maxes out its Attack if it gets hit by a critical attack, and Defiant increases its Attack by two stages if one of its stats gets reduced by the opponent, including Attack — a great way to turn Intimidate users's strategy on its head.
- Unstoppable Rage: Hoo boy. Mankey is very prone to this, and this is pretty much Primeape's default mood. (You can still get a Calm-natured Mankey.) Once it's gotten riled up at something, Primape will never stop chasing the offending party until it has caught up and beaten the everloving crap out of it.
Growlithe and Arcanine (Gardie and Windie)
These Fire-type dog-like Pokémon are based on Shisa
. They vaguely resemble lions and tigers along with their more canine features. Arcanine has one of the highest stats for a non-legendary and access to a wide variety of moves, making it one of the best choices as far as Fire-types are concerned. They were exclusive to Red
in their debut generation.
- Badass: In both forms, but especially the latter.
- Badass Adorable: Just look at Growlithe!
- Canis Major: Arcanine is 6'03" and weighs 341 lbs/155 kgs.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite all the Pokédex entries rambling on about how it's probably the fastest Pokémon in existence, it's really not that hard to find something with a higher base Speed stat than Arcanine. Even its direct counterpart, Ninetales, is faster than it. It's worth noting, however, that ExtremeSpeed was its Secret Art in Gen II, so it held SOME merit.
- Heroic Dog: Growlithe is faithful and loyal to its trainer, barking at anyone who approaches the trainer unexpectedly.
- Jack of All Stats: No stats are particularly weak or strong aside from Arcanine's Attack.
- Lightning Bruiser: When Arcanine uses Agility or Extreme Speed, watch out.
- Magikarp Power: Growlithe's weaker than Farfetch'd, but when you evolve it, Arcanine's got the highest base stat total of all non-(pseudo)-legendaries with a useful ability.note
- Master of None: Highest base stat total of any non-(pseudo)-legendary without a negative ability, but its stats are too balanced to really abuse, with speed falling just short of the key 100 (it is 95, forcing a scarf, using Agility, or using ExtremeSpeed to sweep).
- No Sell: To burns.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type.
- Precious Puppies: Growlithe.
- Secret Art: ExtremeSpeed for Arcanine, in Gen II only.
- Strong, but Unskilled: In the first several generations of the franchise, Arcanine was well-known for having incredibly high stats for a non-legendary... and also for having a debilitatingly small movepool. Later generations have helped it out immensely in this regard.
- Super Speed: Although its speed stat actually isn't all that high.
- Took a Level in Badass: It seems like every generation makes sure to give Arcanine some handy new moves to move it up another level.
- Undying Loyalty: Growlithe, to its Trainer. It won't even move until it's been given a command by its Trainer.
Poliwag, Poliwhirl, Poliwrath, and Politoed (Nyoromo, Nyorozo, Nyorobon, and Nyorotono)
Politoed debuts in Gen II
These water Pokémon are based on tadpoles and frogs. They also happen to be Satoshi Tajiri's favorite Pokémon, and as such, they get plenty of showcasing. They're blue in color and have swirling bellies that can make their opponents sleepy by simply undualating it. Politoed is very different in that it's a fully mature green frog
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: The player needs a King's Rock (shaped like a crown) for evolving Poliwhirl into Politoed.
- Badass: Poliwrath has good Physical stats.
- Badass Adorable: Politoed is so cheerful and adorable for a frog, yet its Drizzle Ability is one of the most powerful in the game in terms of its utility and impact on the battlefield.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Poliwrath, as a Fighting-type.
- Fragile Speedster: Poliwag and Poliwhirl are quite a bit faster than their evolved forms with 90 base Speed.
- Frogs and Toads: They're tadpoles, except for Politoed, which is a frog.
- Hypnotic Intestines: The swirl pattern they show is perfect for making opponents fall asleep.
- Jack of All Stats: Poliwrath and Politoed have relatively rounded stats. Poliwrath has higher Attack and Defense while Politoed has higher Special Defense and Special Attack.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Politoed can learn Hyper Voice.
- Making a Splash: Water-type tadpoles.
- Nerf: As of Generation VI, Drizzle is no longer permanent; instead, it works exactly like an instant Rain Dance.
- Socialization Bonus: Politoed needs to be traded (while holding a King's Rock) to evolve. Sometimes it can be fished up, but this means you'll miss out on good moves and Drizzle.
- Took a Level in Badass: Poliwrath and especially Politoed got excellent Hidden Abilities. Poliwrath got Swift Swim, which turned it into a Lightning Bruiser in the rain, while Politoed got Drizzle, which summons rain the moment it enters battle. Back in Gen V, this rain was permanent.
- Truth in Television: For some real-life tadpoles, their swirling intestines are visible through their underside's translucent skin.
- Weather Control Creature: Politoed's Hidden Ability is Kyogre's Drizzle.
Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam (Casey, Yungerer, and Foodin)
The first psychic type you might encounter, Abra and its kin were one of the best Pokémon in the game in the days of Red
, and Yellow
, mainly due to how broken Psychic Pokémon were at the time. Abra was notable for teleporting away as soon as it appeared, so you only had one chance to catch it before it ran. Once caught, though, it's lightning fast and hits very hard with its special attacks. It's been available from Gens I-IV. Alakazam received a Mega Evolution in Gen VI, in which it's even faster and hits even harder
with special attacks.
- Badass: Alakazam is very tough and has good Psychic stats.
- Badass Mustache: Grows one as it evolves.
- Baleful Polymorph/Was Once a Man: According to the Pokédex, a boy with psychic powers transformed into the first Kadabra.
- Cartoon Creature: It's hard to figure out exactly what these Pokémon are based on. Bulbapedia claims they're a mix of goats and foxes along with humanoid traits, but... still.
- Disc One Nuke: In-game, Alakazam was second only to Mewtwo in the first gen, and could be captured before the second badge.
- Evil Counterpart: They have one in the Gastly-Haunter-Gengar family, to the point that Alakazam and Gengar are depicted as borderline Arch Enemies. Alakazam's Psychic typing gives it a simultaneous weakness and advantage against the Ghost/Poison type Gengar. The Abra family's Pokédex entries emphasize it is intelligent but benign, the Gastly family uses their powers to prey on the weak. Their parallels are referenced throughout the series in various ways.
- The anime has Ash recruiting a Haunter to battle Sabrina's Kadabra, and another episode has an ancient Alakazam and an ancient Gengar awakened to do battle.
- Compared to Alakazam, Gengar trades a few points of Special Attack and Speed for (slightly) less horrible HP and physical stats.
- Their original cards in the Pokémon TCG — Alakazam's Pokémon Power lets it move damage counters around on the player's Pokémon, Gengar's Pokémon Power moves around damage counters on the opponent's Pokémon. Both had one attack requiring three Psychic energy, which did 30 damage with an additional effect, and they both had 80 HP.
- In Generation VI, they both got a Mega Evolution and retain their similar stat distribution through them, and Alakazam got a slight buff to its Special Defense to match Gengar's 500 Base Stat total.
- Eyes Always Shut: Abra. The only glimpse of an Abra eye is the Gold sprite, where its left eye is half-open.
- Fantastic Foxes: The line looks like a weird hybrid between foxes, goats, and psychics.
- Foil: Alakazam to Machamp. Both have similar stats and methods of evolving (trade), but opposing types and ways of fighting.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Abra supposedly teleports while sleeping, but putting it to sleep is the most effective way to catch one.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Incredible speed and special attack, pathetic HP and defense. The Special defense is passable (especially after it gained a buff in Gen VI), but the low HP shoots down that.
- Heal Thyself: Can learn Recover.
- Heavy Sleeper: Abra spends most of the day asleep, and can teleport away from danger even if sleeping.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Its Mega Evolution gets the ability Trace, letting it copy beneficial abilities for itself and turn an opponent's ability against them. Naturally, Mega Alakazam can have it turned on itself if it copies an ability that's useless for it.
- Improbably High IQ: Not the first (or last) time that the Pokedex is hilariously inaccurate, but given the way the IQ scale worksnote , Alakazam's stated intelligence just breaks it into tiny whimpering pieces.
- Intelligent Gerbil: Alakazam has an IQ that exceeds 5,000, making it the smartest Pokémon in existence.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Mega Alakazam is in this stance.
- Magikarp Power: Good luck evolving Abra, as it lacks damaging moves. However, with some TMs, Abra becomes a dangerous creature itself, as it already has respectable Special Attack and Speed.
- Metal Slime: Good luck catching an Abra!
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kadabra is based on Uri Geller (its Japanese name is even a corruption of his name), a man who claimed to be able to bend spoons with his mind. Geller was not impressed, and sued Nintendo over it (he lost). The damage has been done, however, as Kadabra stopped appearing in the anime and TCG.
- No Sell: Inner Focus protects it from flinching, though it's fast enough to not really worry except for Fake Out. Also any variant of indirect damage, due to its Hidden Ability Magic Guard. Including Life Orb recoil.
- One Of These Is Not Like The Others: Alakazam only gets a Base Stat Total increase of 90 when Mega Evolving, while every other Mega gets an increase of 100.
- Power Up Letdown: Its Mega Form sacrifices the excellent ability Magic Guard in exchange for Trace. While Trace can be good in certain situations, Magic Guard protects against indirect damage, something Alakazam needs because it cannot take hits and its Mega Evolution does not boost its defenses significantly. Additionally, it has to give up its hold item; while Mega Alakazam gets a nice Special Attack boost, the original Alakazam could use a Life Orb for a substantial boost on its own without the recoil thanks to Magic Guard or hold a Focus Sash so it could guarantee a hit against something before dying.
- Psychic Powers: Yeah, this is a given.
- Punny Name: Abracadabra and Alakazam are stock magic phrases, which fits this line of Squishy Wizards.
- Secret Art: Kinesis for Kadabra and Alakazam. note Due to losing its TM status in Gen VI, Ally Switch became this for them as well.
- Socialization Bonus: Needs to be traded to evolve fully.
- Super Mode: Gained a Mega Evolution in Gen VI.
- Squishy Wizard: One of the best examples in Pokemon, with very high Special Attack and decent Special Defence, but low HP, physical attack, and defence.
- Synchronization: The Synchronize ability inflicts the opponent with the same status that this Pokémon gets. Mega Alakazam has Trace.
- Teleport Spam: Abra, especially in Spinoffs, although this is more of a case of When All You Have Is a Hammer.
- Theme Naming: Even the pre-production names of Abra and Kadabra (Hocus and Pocus, respectively) have a theme.
- Took a Level in Badass: Alakazam gained one thanks to getting Psyshock (a Special Attack that target's the foe's Defense) and the Magic Guard ability (which negates indirect damage, such as the recoil from Life Orb).
- Useless Useful Spell: The line's signature move Kinesis. At first glance, reducing the opponent's chance to hit sounds great for a Glass Cannon, until you realize that the spell has a rather paltry accuracy (80%) for an underwhelming accuracy decrease of one stage that deals no damage. Alakazam's purpose is to outspeed the enemy and deliver a one-hit knockout with its amazing special attack, and a dead target is better than a target with a slightly reduced accuracy.
- The line also learns Psycho Cut naturally, but it runs off its abysmal physical attack stat.
Machop, Machoke, and Machamp (Wanriky, Goriky, and Kairiky)
In the same way that the Abra kin represents brains, the Machop line represents brawn. These Pokémon are fantastically strong and use their muscles very effectively when it comes to manual labour. In order to get the four-armed Machamp, you need to trade it into another game.
- Always Accurate Attack: Any move, if it has No Guard. Even if you're using Fly, Dig, or Dive. Machamp used Dynamic Punch!
- Badass: The whole family, but especially No Guard Machamp with Dynamic Punch.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: With four fists!
- Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Machoke; on some sprites, Machop, too.
- Expy: Machamp, to Goro.
- Foil: Machamp to Alakazam, as mentioned above.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Their male-female ratio is 3:1, yeah, but females don't even get any visible difference.
- Mighty Glacier: They're not that fast, but their defenses are solid.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Machamp.
- Mundane Utility: They're regularly used in house-moving and construction work thanks to their strength.
- Off Model: The entire evolutionary line in Yellow and GSC are colored brown instead of blue. Fixed in the later games.
- Machamp's belt design is inconsistent crossing generations.
- Pec Flex: Machoke in its Crystal sprites.
- Power Limiter: According to the Dex, their belts.
- Rated M for Manly: The whole family resemble bodybuilders. Very masculine bodybuilders. Even the females. The family also has "macho" in all its members' names.
- Secret Art: The only ones to learn Submission naturally in Generation I.
- Smarter Than You Look: It's said that Machop is actually quite intelligent. Whether or not this applies to its evolutions is unknown.
- Socialization Bonus: Needs to be traded in order to evolve.
- Super Strength:
- As expected from the Superpower Pokémon.
- Machop can hold a sumo wrestler aloft on one finger, Machoke can lift dump trucks without effort, and Machamp can punch a man with enough force to send him flying away. Ridiculous strength much?
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Machoke and Machamp, which gets a bit awkward as they can be both female and male.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Machoke and Machamp even have a sumo belt.
Bellsprout, Weepinbell, and Victreebel (Madatsubomi, Utsudon, and Utsubot)
This family of carnivorus plants were exclusive to the Green
versions of the original games, in place of the Oddish family. Much like them, they're Grass/Poison-types. You would need a Leaf Stone to get a Victreebel though.
- Big Eater:
- It can digest pretty much everything it can swallow, except for itself.
- Comes into play with its Hidden Ability of Gluttony, causing it to eat health- or stat-boosting berries at half health instead of a third remaining health, as is normal.
- Character Name Limits: Victreebel is missing the second "l" that Weepinbell had room for.
- Fragile Speedster: With Chlorophyll active. It helps that Growth can double both of its attacking stats when the sun is out.
- Glass Cannon: In both the physical and special sides.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Hidden Elf Village: Apparently, they live in huge colonies in jungles.
- Man-Eating Plant: It's implied that Victreebels have eaten any and all explorers who stumble upon their secret society in the jungles.
- No Sell: To poisoning, and powder-based moves as of Gen VI.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Power Nullifier: Bellsprout and Weepinbell naturally learn Gastro Acid, allowing them to remove a target's Ability.
- Power Of The Sun: Gets the Chlorophyll Ability, giving it a doubled Speed when the sun is out. In addition, it can learn Growth, Synthesis, Solarbeam, and Weather Ball; the first gets a doubled effect in the sun, the second does additional healing in the sun, the third loses the usual charge-up turn when used in the sun, and the last becomes a Fire attack with a 100 base power when used in the sun.
- Super Spit: Victreebel learns the Stockpile/Swallow/Spit Up trio naturally.
Tentacool and Tentacruel (Menokurage and Dokukurage)
Whenever you go surfing on the seas of Kanto, Jotho, Hoenn, and Sinnoh, you're bound to encounter these Jellyfish Pokémon. Lots of them.
Luckily for you, you could handle these guys in the same way one handles Zubats: Electric and Psychic moves will normally do the job.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The entire species are seen destroying cities, not unlike Gyarados.
- Combat Tentacles: They can trap the opponent with Wrap.
- Com Mons: But, like Crobat, Tentacruel is a respectable fighter.
- Electric Jellyfish: Averted. Not only are they not part Electric type, but they can't learn any Electric moves outside of (possibly) Hidden Power.
- Healing Factor:
- In the rain, if it has its Hidden Ability of Rain Dish.
- In addition, it can be bred to know Aqua Ring.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Liquid Ooze variant can inflict this on users of Life Drain moves, as it causes them to drain the user's health instead of restore it.
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- No Sell: To moves that attempt to reduce its stats, thanks to its Clear Body Ability. Also, poisoning.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Speedy Stone Wall: Tentacruel can fend off any Special Attack, and is also quick at a speed of 100, but its attack stats aren't anything to write home about. Its physical Defense isn't great either, but at least it naturally learns Barrier to help deal with that.
- Tentacle Rope: Presumably uses its tentacles for attacks like Bind and Wrap.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Tentacruel became an excellent support Pokémon when Generation IV came.
- Took another one in Gen V, being one of many pokemon that could take advantage of Politoed's permanent rain
- Gen VI substituted the Weather nerf via giving Tentacruel a Poison-type advantage against Fairies.
- Trap Master: Naturally learns Toxic Spikes, and can be bred to know Rapid Spin.