Characters: Pokémon Gym Leaders
Gyms are Pokémon facilities that serve to test how strong a Pokémon trainer and their Pokémon are. Each gym usually specializes in a single type (though there are exceptions). The highest ranking member of the gym is known as the Gym Leader. They essentially serve as this game's version of boss battles. Defeating them nets the trainer an emblem known as a badge. You need eight of them in order to compete against the Elite Four.
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- Action Girl: There are plenty of female Gym Leaders and they kick just as much ass as the males.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: It's implied that particularly powerful trainers can be appointed Gym Leaders by Pokémon League.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: They are universally much more powerful than the other Trainers in their Gyms and usually the strongest trainers in the game up to that point.
- Badass: While their levels vary due to the typically linear nature of the games, in the story the Gym Leaders are usually considered the most powerful Trainers in the region bar the Elite Four and Champion. Franchise materials outside the games imply they purposefully hold back and use lower-leveled Pokemon against challengers that are too low-level to face them at full power, since they exist to test your skill, not stop your journey cold.
- Elemental Powers: Each Gym Leader specializes in a single type of Pokémon. The exception is Blue, since he's a former Champion.
- Graceful Loser: Most Gym Leaders are accepting of their losses, congratulating you on your victory and giving you the earned TM and Badge with well wishes. There are exceptions though, most famously Clair.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: It took until Generation IV for the Gym Leaders to start leaving their Gyms regularly to do other things. Until then, aside from maybe one leader along the way (usually the 8th) they sat in their Gyms waiting for a challenge.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: Initially played straight, and gets progressively downplayed. In the first two generations, it's easy to train a Pokémon that specifically counters the Gym Leader's team, as the Gyms are type-specific. There are a few in-game trades that give you Pokémon specifically designed to counter the Gym (like a Rock-type for the Flying-type Gym.) This gets progressively downplayed from the Third Generation onwards as leaders can find a way to fight back against your choices.
- Red Baron: Everyone gets a cool title that describes some facet of their specializing type.
- Signature Move: Every Gym Leader gives out a TM, near universally teaching an attacking move of their specialty type. Accordingly they will have taught that move to most of their Pokemon. Prior to Generation III the moves these TMs taught could only be learned by TM, giving you one chance to teach the Gym Leader's move to a Pokemon. In Gen III and beyond several such TM moves became naturally available to many other Pokémon, making the Gym Leader's connection to the specific move weaker, but still present.
- Took a Level in Badass: Starting with Gen III, it's possible to have rematches with Gym Leaders in various manners after you beat the Elite Four. They get smart in those rematches, putting together effective and varied teams and abusing prominent metagame combos and strategies.
- Weapon of Choice: Every Gym Leader has a signature Pokémon they're associated with. Typically this signature Pokémon was introduced in the same generation as the Gym Leader, though there are some exceptions. In the Gym battles, they are the highest-leveled, have good moves, and are nearly always sent out last. When fought in the Pokémon World Tournament in Black 2 and White 2, the Gym Leaders always send out their signature Pokémon first.
Pewter City Gym Leader—The Rock-Solid Pokémon Trainer!
"I believe in rock hard defense and determination! That's why my Pokémon are all the Rock-type! Do you still want to challenge me? Fine then! Show me your best!"
For the anime version of Brock, see Pokémon Anime - Original Series
- Dishing Out Dirt: Of the Rock variety.
- Early Bird Boss: In Red/Green/Blue, only Pikachu, Butterfree, Beedrill (the latter two requiring Level Grinding), and Com Mons are found before Brock, none of which can deal super-effective damage to his Pokémon. Tough luck if your starter is Charmander. It was made better in every game after, however: Yellow added Mankey and the Nidoran lines before him (now with an early Double Kick!) while FireRed/LeafGreen kept that detail and gave Charmander Metal Claw.
- Charmander can actually prove effective against Brock, should one level it up enough to use Ember, which is very likely to leave a burn effect on Geodude and Onix, and also exploits their awful Special Defense. Ditto Butterfree who can hit them hard with Confusion. The trick, of course, is surviving the super-effective retaliatory strike, particularly post-Gen-1.
- Eyes Always Shut: A very noticable trait of his.
- Improbable Power Discrepancy: One Gym Leader with Pokémon at level 12 and 14. Not so in the sequels and their remakes, however, suggesting that the Gym Leaders might use Gym-specific teams.
- Making a Splash: He's partial to ancient Rock-type Pokemon with this as their secondary type, working Omastar, Kabutops, and Relicanth into his team in various games. This may be intended as a reference to his anime incarnation, where he's friends with Misty.note
- Meaningful Name: Brock.
- Take is a homonym for "Peak" or "Mountain".
- In the French version: "Pierre" literally means "rock".
- Personality Powers: Lampshaded in the pre-battle quote.
- Signature Move: His TM in Gen I was Bide, in Gen III it was Rock Tomb. For difficulty purposes in both though, only Onix uses them. Gen IV gave him Rock Slide which half his team uses.
- Rock Based Pokémon: Both his Geodude and his Onix.
- Warm-Up Boss or Wake-Up Call Boss, depending on your progress:
- When it is a warm up training: For Red or Green if Bulbasaur or Squirtle was chosen. Geodude and Onix both have a 4x weakness to both types, and no power to resist special attacks in general. Even Charmander is arguably this as you could still power through against Geodude's and Onix's poor resistance to special attacks, and Charmander learns Metal Claw in Generation 3 anyway, which Nerfs his challenge further.
- When it is a wake up call: For receiving Pikachu in Yellow); the Rock-type cuts Fire damage in half. In Yellow, you also can't beat Onix by drenching it with sprinklers, so you have to go and catch Pokemon with attacks that can bypass Ground and Rock resistances. Lucky for you Yellow offers you access to Fighting and Psychic type moves so early, huh?
- Brock is also implied to be this by a Pewter City kid. The only Pokemon available to local trainers are Normal, Flying, and Bug types; they naturally hit a snag against his Rock type Pokemon. Red/Green caught a seriously lucky break, being pals with Professor Oak and all.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His original Red/Green/Blue sprite features him as shirtless but, interestingly, his official art for the games never seems to reflect this.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Until HGSS, all his Pokémon had a double weakness to Grass. The only Pokémon he gained in HGSS that doesn't is Rampardos, which only shows up in the rematch and is a Glass Cannon, so it will still faint to a moderately powered Grass-type attack. His appearance in BW 2 switches it with an Aerodactyl, whose Flying type balances out that weakness.
- Weapon of Choice: Onix. Oddly he never evolves it in any game except his rematch in Stadium 2, presumably to keep it in-line with his Rock-type specialty since it loses the type on evolution. He's also a frequent user of the Geodude line, which he does evolve.
Cerulean City Gym Leader—The Tomboyish Mermaid!
"Hi, you're a new face! What's your policy on Pokémon? What is your approach? My policy is an all-out offensive with water-type Pokémon! Misty, the world-famous beauty, is your host! Are you ready, sweetie?"
For the anime version of Misty, see Pokémon Anime - Original Series
- All of the Other Reindeer: Misty has much older and taller sisters that make fun of her.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: She wasn't bad-looking originally, but her HeartGold and SoulSilver design is... wow.
- Bare Your Midriff: In her original design her top showed off her stomach.
- Continuity Nod: Misty is first discovered in Gold, Silver, and Crystal on a date up at the Cerulean Cape, which the player interrupts (scaring off the apparently rather shy boy she was with). In Fire Red and Leaf Green, one of her Fame Checker records declares that she's had high hopes for a date at that very spot, which is a Nod to her bad luck in love doubling-up with a Call Forward.
- Date Peepers: When you meet her in the sequels you catch her on a date. She doesn't react well, to put it simple.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Between Generation I and Generation II, she stopped wearing her hair in a side ponytail and cut it shorter. Curiously, this trait never migrated over to her anime counterpart.
- Fangirl: To Lorelei.
- Fiery Redhead: Not altogether that fiery; at worst she can get a little irritable. When you first meet her in RGBY and FRLG she's actually quite perky.
- Improbable Power Discrepancy: Her training place is Seafoam Islands. The Pokémon in Seafoam Islands are higher-leveled than hers. Given that this line is even in the original games, it's probably the first hint that Gym Leaders use Pokémon teams specific to their Gyms, given that later games allow for Gym Leader rematches with all Gym Leaders being around the same levels.
- Lightning Bruiser: Trains two of them, but Starmie especially. It's very fast and hits hard with Bubblebeam/Water Pulse. It also has Recover in the remake, so if the player doesn't hit it hard enough or doesn't have a priority move, Starmie will just heal off the damage immediately in the next turn.
- Making a Splash: Water-type specialist.
- Meaningful Name: Misty. It should be noted that Kasumi pretty much means the same in Japanese.
- Ms. Fanservice: A redhead with long legs who walks around in swimsuits. Not until Generation V did we meet a female Gym Leader who showed more skin.
- Mythology Gag: If you take a Togepi following you to her gym in HGSS and talk to it, it begins crying softly. Togepi was the iconic Pokémon of the anime version of Misty... and cried a lot.
- Misty's Gym Leader Castle incarnation in Pokemon Stadium 2 has a Togetic in her Round 1 battle. (In Round 2, it's replaced by the more powerful Wigglytuff, possibly referrign to the fact that her anime version once tried to catch the Jigglypuff that stalked her group.).
- She's Got Legs: A handy side-effect of her Walking Swimsuit Scene.
- Shorttank: In Pokemon Yellow, she even has her iconic Trope Codifying outfit.
- Signature Move: Gives the TM for Bubblebeam in Gen I, Gen III and Gen IV give her Water Pulse instead, which most of her team uses in those games.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Has high hopes for finding a boyfriend or at least getting a date at the Cerulean Cape.
- Tomboy: According to her title.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Though she loses it in Generation II.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Despite being known as the "Tomboyish Mermaid", she Thinks Like a Romance Novel.
- Tsundere: Though she does react poorly to you at first in the sequels, she eventually warms up, and will even call you out of the blue (once you get her number) to thank you for kicking an intruder out of her Gym.
- Vague Age: Her age seems to vary a bit between the games.
- Initially, her art made her appear of a similar age to Red (due to the proportions of her sprite, etc) which is a large part of the reason she was chosen as a fixture of the anime over, say, Erika or Sabrina. And of course Yellow matched the anime exactly. GSC seemed to age her up an appropriate amount compared to the time that passed, although she was noted as looking a bit older than you'd think...
- ... And then FRLG comes around, and while it's still a recognizable Misty, she's a decent bit sportier than in RGBY, and gives off a slightly older vibe...
- ... And then HGSS rolled around with the example picture above, and combined with her revised dialogue, all of a sudden game-Misty comes across as being a twenty-something in the GS timeframe. This was carried forward whole-cloth into Gen 5, and then Pokémon Origins rolled around, and there was FRLG Misty... as an obvious late teenager◊, at least five or more years older (and taller) than Red. The apparent intent was that all the Kanto gym leaders are adults or near-adults... so Misty is, apparently, significantly older than Red.
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: All official artwork and sprites show her with a swimsuit, and just that unlike in the sequel games. And, granted, the sequels add a jacket and that's about it.
- Averted with her Yellow sprite, which is the only sprite to not feature her in a swimsuit. This is because of the game itself being a Recursive Adaptation of the anime, so both Brock and Misty look closer to their anime counterparts.
- Warm-Up Boss or Wake-Up Call Boss, again, depending on your progress:
- Misty can be brutal to a new player, especially if the player picked Charmander as their starter. At the point in Generation I or III when you face her as the second gym, you've probably got a few second-stage Pokemon or so, you're level 16-18, not everyone's evolved yet, most of your mons are probably around 300-400 base stats or so, you're getting there... meanwhile, that Starmie of hers is a final-evolution with a base stat count in the five hundreds, good bulk in general, more special/special attack than you can hope to match point for point, and one of the highest speed stats in all of Gen 1, which you literally cannot match at this point outside of tremendous amounts of grinding. Entire teams have been ripped apart by her Starmie's Bubblebeam (RBY) or Water Pulse (FRLG) because all this.
- Having said that, her Pokemon and movepools are shallow/predictable, so ultimately it'll just be a matter of time before she'll be going down to a Pikachu you've caught earlier, or an Ivysaur you've chosen. (Or, alternately, get an Oddish at Route 5.)
- Weapon of Choice: Starmie.
Lt. Surge (Matis)
Vermilion City Gym Leader—The Lightning American!
"Hey, kid! What do you think you're doing here? You won't live long in combat! That's for sure! I tell you kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war! They zapped my enemies into paralysis! The same as I'll do to you!"
- Ace Pilot: Apparently was one. He used his Electric Pokémon to power his planes.
- Adaptational Villainy: Lt. Surge is subjected to this in major adaptations. In the games, Surge is boisterous and cocky, but he's not a jerk about it. His anime incarnation ramped up his arrogance and made him condescending to Ash and Pikachu, referring to them as babies who couldn't hope to defeat him and Raichu. note And in ''Pokémon Adventures'', Surge is a high ranking member of Team Rocket before Giovanni disbands, still keeping some ties to the organization afterwards.
- The Artifact: His title as "The Lightning American". Since the fourth generation or so, Game Freak has gone out of their way to avoid referencing real-world places, but changing a persistent title like that was presumably too much of a change. A man in the Pokémon World Tournament's lobby mentions he might be from Unova, but that still doesn't change the title.
- Cool Shades: He has sunglasses in Generation II and HGSS, though unlike Blaine he is seen with them off in HGSS (he simply holds them in his hand before and after battles with him), and of course in Generations I and III he never wore sunglasses at all.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: He's very gruff and mean and is an army lieutenant.
- Eagleland: Take a look at his title. Type 1, by the way, proud and stalwart, and implied to be A Father to His Men in the war.
- A Father to His Men: As one of the Gym Trainers tells the player, Lt. Surge saved his life back during the war. He has since pledged Undying Loyalty to him.
- Fragile Speedster: Comes with specializing in Electric-types. His Pokémon are fast and hit hard, but they can't take it in return.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Designed the infamous gate puzzle in his Gym.
- Gratuitous English: This is how he speaks in the Japanese versions of the games.
- He does it in the French versions too, but only of the remakes, for some odd reason.
- Large Ham: He's very prone to shouting and boasting of his prowess.
- Meaningful Name: Surge, as in "electric surge".
- His Japanese name refers to the Clematis flower, which is called "Tessen" in Japanese. "Tessen" is a homonym for "steel wire", as in the type used in electrical work. Incidentally, we would later have another Electric-type Gym Leader using more or less the exact same naming joke...
- Patriotic Fervor: Again, his title is The Lightning American!
- Rated M for Manly: A former military officer who specializes in electrocuting his enemies, wears sunglasses and army camouflage, and his sprites show him striking a Badass Armfold and laughing at you. The other Kanto male Gym Leaders can only wish they were this manly.
- Real Men Wear Pink: For such a manly guy, he seems to like cute Pokémon. His favorite Pokémon are the Pikachu line. In HGSS, you can show him a Pikachu to get his phone number, and he practically gushes over the sight of it like a fangirl. He also adds a Pachirisu to his team for the rematch.
- Retired Badass: He's still quite young, however, looking to be in his late twenties.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: His signature Raichu.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Why he makes you solve a puzzle to unlock a gate to get to him: he's cautious and paranoid and sets traps to protect himself.
- Shock and Awe: Electric-type specialist.
- Signature Move: Thunderbolt in Gen I — coming from a Raichu, it hurt a lot. Gen III and Gen IV give him Shock Wave, which is more manageable, but he teaches it to his entire team instead. In his rematch in Gen IV he goes back to Thunderbolt.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His outfit leaves his bulging biceps bare.
- Trap Master: The first Gym Leader in Kanto to make you solve a puzzle to get to him, letting you stumble around fighting the other Trainers in his Gym while he waits for you in the back.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Catch a Diglett (or if you're lucky a Dugtrio) in Diglett's Cave right next to Vermillion City, train it a little and wreck his gym.
- Weapon of Choice: Raichu.
Celadon City Gym Leader—The Nature-Loving Princess!
"Hello. Lovely weather isn't it? It's so pleasant. ...Oh dear... I must have dozed off. Welcome. My name is Erika. I am the Leader of Celadon Gym. I teach the art of flower arranging. My Pokémon are of the Grass-type. Oh, I'm sorry, I had no idea that you wished to challenge me. Very well, but I shall not lose."
- Ambiguously Gay: Every trainer in her gym is a woman and she doesn't seem to like having men in it, but makes an "exception" for The Protagonist (even if the protagonist is female, likely due to legacy dialogue). Her Gym badge just happens to be rainbow themed too.
- Artificial Stupidity: In the first generation, a level 5 Bulbasaur can solo the gym battle because her Pokémon will do nothing but spam Poisonpowder until they run out of PP.
- Dub Name Change: Notably the only Gym leader in the franchise to AVOID this, until Iris in Pokemon Black And White.
- Gossipy Hens: Normally she isn't this, but catching her chatting with Jasmine in Celadon on her days off will yield surprisingly harsh gossip. She'll even stealthily make fun of Clair's outfit behind her back, not that anyone can blame her.
- Granola Girl: Very in-tune with nature and peaceful for it.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type specialist.
- Hair Decorations: Always sports a headband.
- Heavy Sleeper: Apparently has some mild form of narcolepsy. She almost dozes off before her battle with the player.
- Life Drain: Her TM moves Mega Drain and Giga Drain damage your Pokemon and heal hers.
- Meaningful Name: Not readily apparent, but even in English her name, Erika, is the genus of a type of plant.
- The same pun applies in Japanese, and in addition, the ka in the common name Erika is often written with the characters for either "flower" or "fragrance".
- Mighty Glacier: All of her Pokémon are slow, but have high offense and defense.
- The Ojou: Explicitly called such in the Japanese version, and this trope is a part of her official title.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Has pale skin but dark black hair.
- Signature Move: Mega Drain in Gen I, Giga Drain from Gen II on.
- Sleepy Head: When you speak to her to challenge her she exclaims she dozed off, and a rumor says peepers on the Gym often spy her snoozing in the middle of the day.
- Weapon of Choice: It's complicated. Throughout the games she seems to be unable to decide between both Vileplume/Bellossom and Victreebel together, or the Tangela line. Seems to have settled on Vileplume alone by Black 2 and White 2, though may find her using Victreebel, Tangrowth, and even her Bellossom on her teams.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: The kimono, the class, the fighting plants, etc.
Fuchsia City Gym Leader (Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen
)—The Poisonous Ninja Master!
For information on Koga, check the Pokémon Elite Four
page, for Koga has received a promotion.
Fuchsia City Gym Leader (Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver
)—The Poisonous Ninja Master
"Fufufufu... I'm sorry to disappoint you... I'm only joking! I'm the real deal! Janine of Fuchsia Gym, that's me!"
- Badass Adorable: She's a pretty darn cute young ninja, but don't be fooled, she's strong.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Of Koga.
- Daddy's Girl: She idolizes her father and wants to aspire to his example, achieving this in Generation II.
- Doppelgänger Spin: Her entire Gym is pretty much one.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The source of one of Koga's Fame Checker entries in FireRed/LeafGreen, although she was given a different name and her sprite was generic.
- Hypocritical Humor: Similar to what Falkner thinks of her, she thinks Falkner is a "daddy's boy who needs to grow up and become his own person". Apparently your character points out this hypocrisy, which prompts her to tell you to mind your own business.
- Inconsistent Dub: Apparently not realizing who she was, the translators of FireRed/LeafGreen named her Charine.
- Like Father Like Daughter: She's the daughter of Koga, and it shows.
- Meaningful Name: Ja-nine. Reverse those two and it spells "ninja".
- My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: This is what she keeps trying to tell Falkner.
- Ninja: A classic example, just like Koga.
- Poisonous Person: Poison-type specialist.
- Shell Game: In her Gym, all of her trainers impersonate her, even the one guy.
- Signature Move: Toxic, inherited from her father. As a status move she doesn't teach it to her entire team, but she's not shy about using it either.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: She and Falkner do not seem to like each other, or at least consider each other rivals. Ironically, the source of contention is a trait they both have in common.
- Theme Naming: Her Japanese name, Anzu comes from one reading of the character "杏", (meaning "Apricot"). This links her with her father, whose Japanese name is an alternate reading of the same character.
- Took a Level in Badass: Though she's still the weakest Gym Leader of the Kanto ones in HGSS, she got a larger level boost to her team from the originals compared to the other seven.
- Trickster Gym Master: See Shell Game above.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair: Her hair color is violet.
- Weapon of Choice: Venomoth.
Saffron City Gym Leader—The Master of Psychic Pokémon!
"I had a vision of your arrival! I have had psychic powers since I was a little child. I first learned to bend spoons with my mind. I dislike fighting, but if you wish, I will show you my powers!"
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Her HGSS redesign is a far higher tier than before.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Fighting Dojo used to be the Saffron City Gym. Then Sabrina came with her Psychic-types and utterly thrashed them. Now Sabrina's gym is the Saffron Gym.
- Bare Your Midriff: In the remakes.
- Creepy Good: Despite having all the glaring signs of an antagonist - being a psychic, having red eyes, being an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, having a whip in her original design - she shows no signs of being malicious or even mean. Could be why she changed her style.
- Note that she does suffer from Adaptational Villainy in Pokémon Special as well as the anime, though she gets better in both.
- She actually laments this a bit in BW 2, as she seems pretty aware of just why she was cast as the villainess of the movies she appears in.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivered one to the Fighting Dojo next to her Gym.
- Depending on the Writer: In different Pokemon adaptations, if Sabrina is in it she will be either a dreaded Gym Leader but actually a nice girl who cannot control her powers, a heroic and motherly figure, someone who terrorizes the entire Saffron City because she can or an obviously evil Rocket member who enjoys doing evil things for Giovanni.
- Glass Cannon: Her team of Psychic Pokémon if you have Bug, Dark, or Ghost-types. (It may not seem quite this way in Gen 1 due to mechanical oddities, though...)
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: Her Bellelba costume in Black and White 2 shows off her curves.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In Black 2 and White 2 she acts as the villainess of a fantasy movie.
- Meaningful Name:
- Sabrina, as in "brain", as in the source of psychic powers and the like.
- The me in Natsume is a homonym for "eye"
- In French, "Morgane" refers to Morgan le Fay, from the Arthurian legends.
- Olympus Mons: In one (presumably non-canon) Japan-only downloadable World Tournament, she uses Mewtwo.
- Nerf: Just as the overpowered Psychic types have fallen with the rise of Dark and Steel (and other things), Sabrina suffers from this too in the transition from Pokemon Red And Blue to Pokemon Gold And Silver. Also not helped by her being comparatively underleveled in the latter generation. Come the tournament in BW 2, she's Just Another Psychic Trainer, whose only gimmick is using largely Kanto mons.
- Power Floats: Her Black 2 and White 2 World Tournament sprite shows her briefly levitating.
- Psychic Powers: Not only do her Pokémon have these, but she possesses them as well. She also claims that everyone has psychic powers, but that tragically few people even realize it.
- Rapunzel Hair: Not as extreme as some future characters, but it's there.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: She isn't villainous (in this continuity anyway), but she is a very difficult opponent to face, especially in the first Generation with Psychic being as broken as it was.
- Reluctant Warrior: She constantly goes on about how she doesn't like to fight but she will if she must. It makes you curious why she's a Gym leader then.
- Signature Move: Her signature TM in Gen I was Psywave, Gen III gave her Calm Mind and Gen IV had Skill Swap. Being the Psychic-type leader however, she tends to teach her entire team Psychic and Psybeam too, which are far more dangerous than her TM moves.
- The Stoic: Is very stern and does not show much emotion. It's implied this may be because she's holding back her tremendous powers.
- Weapon of Choice: Alakazam.
- Whip It Good: Only in the original games.
Cinnabar Island Gym Leader—The Hotheaded Quiz Master!
"Hah! I'm Blaine! I am the Leader of Cinnabar Gym! My fiery Pokémon will incinerate all challengers! Hah! You better have Burn Heal!"
- Artificial Brilliance: In Gen IV his Pokemon all use Overheat, which sharply lowers their Special Attack with each use. They also are all holding White Herbs to restore their status the first time this happens.
- The Atoner: Implied to have been involved in Mewtwo's creation. More present in adaptations, though.
- Badass Bookworm: He's a quiz master, and is sometimes depicted as a scientist in spinoff media.
- Badass Grandpa: He's one of the older Gym Leaders seen, up there with Pryce. Still capable of trouncing your team.
- Badass Mustache: Badass enough to make Dr. Robotnik envious.
- Bald of Awesome: His head's shininess even lights up the whole screen when he briefly takes his hat off.
- Cool Old Guy: Old age has not extinguished his fire for life at all.
- Cool Shades: According to one of his Fame Checker trivia entries, he's said to take them off only while thinking up new quiz questions.
- Dishing Out Dirt: In the anime he inexplicably has a Rhydon.
- Fragile Speedster: His Ponyta and Rapidash move fast, but don't take hits well.
- Hot-Blooded: Surprisingly so for an old guy, as mentioned in his title. The TCG even had a Trainer Card called "Fervor" dedicated to his hot-bloodedness. Both of these explicitly use the phrase "hot-blooded" in Japanese.
- Lightning Bruiser: His two canine Pokémon, but mostly this applies to Arcanine. It's fairly sturdy, hits hard with both of its high attack stats, and is very speedy to top it off.
- Meaningful Name: Blaine sounds like "blaze", or arguably Blaine as in "flame".
- The "Ka" in "Katsura" is a homonym for fire.
- Nice Hat: He wears this in the remakes of Gold and Silver.
- Opaque Lenses: Though since they're sunglasses it makes some sense that they'd be hard to see through.
- Personality Powers: Read Hot-Blooded above.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type master.
- Pop Quiz: In the first generation, his gym is full of segmented rooms that force you to answer questions right or face a trainer.
- Signature Move: Fire Blast in Gen I and Gen III, Overheat in Gen IV.
- Weapon of Choice: Inconsistent. It's Arcanine in the original games, and jumps around between Rapidash and Magmortar in the second generation and its remakes, but returns to Arcanine for Black 2 and White 2. Because of the anime, he's more famous for using Magmar, where Arcanine and Rapidash were entirely absent.
- You Don't Look Like You: Blaine's appearance tends to vary. In his early artwork he was a middle-aged man, balding with red hair around his ears, no glasses or facial hair of any kind, and a shirt. His in-game sprites up to Gen III though depict him as an old man who's completely bald, has sunglasses and a white mustache, and wears a lab coat and tie. Then Gen IV came and gave us the above artwork of Blaine with a cane, hat, and dress clothes. The second depiction with him wearing the lab coat is the most iconic and used in spin-offs, but otherwise, Blaine's appearance has shifted a bit over the years.
Boss of Team Rocket and the Viridian City Gym Leader (no subtitle) (Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen
For information on Giovanni, check the Pokémon Villain Teams
Blue Oak (Green Ookido)
Viridian City Gym Leader (no subtitle) (Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver
For information on Blue, check the Pokémon Protagonists and Rivals
Violet City Gym Leader—The Elegant Master of Flying Pokémon
"People say you can clip flying-type Pokémon's wings with a jolt of electricity... I won't allow such insults to bird Pokémon! I'll show you the real power of the magnificent bird Pokémon!"
- Adaptational Badass: Despite his status as arguably the weakest Gym Leader to ever grace the series, he's routinely portrayed as a very powerful trainer in other media (most egregiously in one of the manga series where he uses Articuno). The remakes themselves made his team just a bit stronger by leveling them up...
- Artificial Brilliance: In Gen II. The best way to wall his Pidgeotto would normally be a Rock-type that can resist its Flying and Normal-type moves. Unfortunately for you Mud-Slap is a Ground-type attack, not only dealing super-effective damage but nailing your Rock-type with an accuracy loss.
- Bishounen: Especially in the remakes.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type trainer.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In his original gym battle his Pidgeotto is at level 9, half the level it needs to evolve. The remakes are no better, as it's four levels higher and still underleveled.
- Curtains Match the Window: In fact, every Johto Gym Leader except Morty and Pryce, due to palette limitation of sprites in the Generation II games.
- Disappeared Dad: His father was the previous Gym Leader, and the one who gave Falkner his Pokémon. He's supposedly traveling, and while not necessarily missing, the player never meets him.
- Some of Falkner's dialogue in the Pokémon World Tournament suggests his father may be deceased. He hopes his father is watching him from above. Or, if you think about it, "above" may mean from the back of the Flying-type Pokémon he uses to travel.
- Graceful Loser: After you defeat him, he says he'll bow out gracefully.
- Hypocritical Humor: He'll sometimes call you just to complain that Janine doesn't talk about anything other than her father.
- Meaningful Name: "Hayato" is a common Japanese boy's name, the "Ha" in which is often written with the character for "wing/feather".
- My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: His argument with Janine revolves around this.
- Olympus Mons: In one (presumably non-canon) Japan-only downloadable World Tournament, he uses Lugia.
- The One Guy: The only male Flying-type Gym Leader.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His hair style covers his right eye.
- Remake Difficulty Spike: In HGSS, his Pidgeotto has received a level spike and now knows the incredibly annoying Roost. He's still not very hard, but it counts.
- Signature Move: Mud-Slap in Gen II, Roost in Gen IV.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: There is definitely some rather petty animosity between him and Janine, though they seem to tolerate each other enough to hang out even if it is just to trade barbs.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the remakes, you can re-challenge the gym leaders post-game. By that time, Falkner uses a new team of six, all with decent movesets that can annoy anyone who's unprepared.
- Warmup Boss: His team in Gold and Silver is the lowest-leveled of any Gym Leader. He's a bit tougher in the remakes, though. Well, he is the first gym leader...
- Weapon of Choice: The Pidgey line. Pidgeotto in his first battle, but it's evolved into Pidgeot in rematches and the like.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: We don't know what his dad thinks of him, but just about everything Falkner says and does seems to relate to him somehow. Whether he's trying to impress him or just really looks up to him is unknown.
- Wind from Beneath My Wings: His type specialty is Flying, but he prefers specifically "bird" Pokemon, resulting in this trope when they attack.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has teal-blue hair.
Azalea Town Gym Leader—The Walking Bug Pokémon Encyclopedia
"I never lose when it comes to Bug-type Pokémon. My research is going to make me an authority on Bug-type Pokémon! Let me demonstrate what I've learned from my studies."
- Badass Adorable: He's cute, but his Scyther will mess you up.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bug-type specialist, and they get big.
- Cheerful Child: How old he is is up for debate, though he's probably somewhere between 10 and 14.
- Curtains Match the Window: Grey-lavender hair and eyes.
- Cute Bruiser: He may look unassuming. Then he sends out his Scyther.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yes, he's a boy. Doesn't exactly help that in the remakes, all his Pokémon are female, too.
- Friend to Bugs: He's a Bug-type specialist and loves to study them.
- Punny Name: Bugsy.
- Tsukushi rhymes with Mushinote .
- Remake Difficulty Spike: In HGSS, his Scyther now knows U-Turn, which can hit hard at this point in the game, especially with a STAB, and takes Scyther off the field if Bugsy still has any other Pokémon left. And since he always starts with Scyther now, this essentially gives him two free shots at you before you can do any real damage to it. Plus, Scyther now has Technician, which boosts its Quick-Attack by 50%.
- Signature Move: Fury Cutter in Gen II, U-Turn in Gen IV. In his rematches and his Gen V appearance he's more partial to X-Scissor.
- The Smart Guy: Possibly, at least when it comes to Bug Pokémon anyway; the sign outside his gym and the advice-giving NPC inside the gym both comment on his knowledge.
- Wakeup Call Boss: In the original and remakes, for separate reasons.
- Unless you chose Cyndaquil, in which case you can just spam Ember until all of his Pokémon faint.
- Weapon of Choice: The Scyther line. Scyther the first time, then Scizor in all subsequent battles. And yes, his Scizor abuses Technician-boosted Bullet Punches just like in the metagame.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Bugsy wears short shorts!
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair: His hair is a pale lavender.
Goldenrod City Gym Leader—The Incredibly Pretty Girl
"Hi! I'm Whitney! Everyone was into Pokémon, so I got into it too! Pokémon are super-cute! You want to battle? I'm warning you -- I'm good!"
- Badass Adorable: She's cute and sweet. And anyone who has faced her will tell you horror stories about her Miltank.
- Baseball Episode: Never seen in-game, but official artwork suggests Whitney is fond of playing softball◊, as does the trivia man outside the Pokémon World Tournament.
- Big Eater: She may call you on the phone and make small talk before mentioning this... and then defending herself by claiming it's normal for her age.
- Break the Cutie: When you defeat her. But one trainer explains that she often cries if she loses a battle and bounces back... and she does to give you a badge.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Admit it, you weren't expecting her to be half as tough as she turns out to be.
- Curtains Match the Window: Bright pink hair and eyes.
- Cute Bruiser: She's adorable, but do not underestimate her.
- The Ditz: She's more than a little on the dim side. Despite being a Gym Leader, she claims she got "into" Pokemon to be popular, since everyone else liked them.
- Genki Girl: She's very excitable and energetic; her pre-battle animation in Gen IV shows her jumping up and down and thrusting her finger into the air.
- Girlish Pigtails: She has two short spiked pigtails.
- The Idiot from Osaka: She sports a (very thick) Osaka accent in the Japanese version and her Genki Girl personality makes her fit. Strangely it's never been translated in an English incarnation of the series, any continuity.
- Meaningful Name:
- Whitney includes the word "white", which is generally plain and absent of coloration, or normal.
- The pun in her Japanese name is a little difficult to pin down, but more than likely stems from the Aka syllables. The most common theories are that it comes from Akaruinote or from "Akan de!"note in reference to her being The Idiot from Osaka.
- Her name also sounds like "whiny", which describes her attitude after losing to you.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type specialist.
- Remake Difficulty Spike: In HGSS, her Miltank now has the ability Scrappy, allowing its Normal-type moves to hit Ghost-types, and it comes equipped with a Lum Berry that cures it of a status ailment, in case you wanted to slow it down that way.
- Signature Move: Attract, her TM move in both Gen II and Gen IV.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Her Miltank is quite resilient, hits hard, infatuates your male Pokemon with Attract to make them unable to attack and, worst of all, is able to heal itself. In the remakes, it gains an ability that allows its attacks to affect Ghost-types, too.
- On a good day, her Clefairy is no joke either!
- Weaksauce Weakness: Miltank's formidability is greatly reduced, though, if you do the in-game trade and obtain a female Machop at the local department store, or level up your Geodude until it learns Selfdestruct.
- Weapon of Choice: Miltank. As seen in Wake-Up Call Boss, it's quite well known.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Her outfit in both the originals and remakes has her wearing tight white shorts.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Sports a Grade C in the remakes.
Ecruteak City Gym Leader—The Mystic Seer of the Future
"Here in Ecruteak, Pokémon have long been revered. It's said that a rainbow-hued Pokémon will come down to appear before a truly powerful Trainer. I believed that tale, so I have secretly trained here all my life. As a result, I can now see what others cannot. I see a shadow of the person who will make the Pokémon appear. I believe that person is me! You're going to help me reach that level!"
- Adaptation Dye-Job: HGSS gives him a completely new outfit and a tall, skinny, lanky build rather than his slightly buff body shape of the original game and the Anime.
- Bishounen: More so in the remakes than the original games, where he is given the makeover mentioned above.
- Blackout Basement: His gym in the remakes limits your vision and forces you to walk over narrow bridges to get to him.
- Blue Oni: To Eusine's Red Oni.
- Game-Breaking Bug: For those playing their HGSS games on PC emulator, the most common crash spot for the game is the moment after you defeated his gym, instantly killing your data progress.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Eusine.
- Meaningful Name: Morty. Heavy association with death, such as in mortician, mortality, ect.
- Matsuba, as in hakaba (grave).
- Mr. Exposition: Gives the most details of any Johto Gym Leader on Johto's myths regarding it's legendary Pokémon. Makes sense since his city is the center of these tales and a critical place for the player to visit in the original games and especially their remakes, where the player is required to visit the Dance Studio after beating Clair.
- Perky Goth: Very friendly despite his outward appearance.
- Refused by the Call: He trained to become a Gym Leader hoping it would make him worthy of being The Chosen One to bring back Ho-Oh. Then you came along.
- Remake Difficulty Spike: In HGSS, Morty's Gengar now has the ability Levitate, turning its former weakness to Ground into an immunity, and its Shadow Ball now runs off its monstrous Special Attack rather than its lower Attack.
- Scarf of Asskicking: His outfit in both games has a scarf wrapped around his neck.
- Signature Move: Shadow Ball in both Gen II and Gen IV. Thanks to the Physical/Special split, it hurts far more in the latter than the former.
- Soul Power: Ghost-type specialist.
- Weapon of Choice: Gengar, much like Agatha before him.
Cianwood City Gym Leader—His Roaring Fists Do the Talking
"Ooomph! The pounding waterfall right onto my head... Arrgh! Why did you stop the waterfall from pouring on me! You just spoiled my training! I have to warn you that I am a strong Trainer training every day under this waterfall! What? This has nothing to do with Pokémon? ... That's true! ... ... Come on. We shall do battle!"
- Badass Mustache: Fighting-type trainer with a magnificent 'stache.
- Block Puzzle: Only in Gold, Silver and Crystal.
- Happily Married: He has a loving wife who cares for him.
- Large Ham: He's loud, boisterous, and loves showing off his strength.
- Meaningful Name: Chuck is a synonym for "throw", something quite common in fighting.
- Meditating Under a Waterfall: In HGSS, you find him doing this when you get to him.
- Remake Difficulty Spike: In HGSS, Chuck's Pokémon make use of some good Focus Punch strategies. His Primeape will use the combination of Double Team and Focus Punch, and his Poliwrath will use Hypnosis and Focus Punch. In addition, his Primeape now knows Rock Slide to deal with Flying-types and potentially make you flinch.
- Signature Move: Dynamic Punch in Gen II, Focus Punch in Gen IV.
- Stout Strength: He's heavily built and as powerful as his Pokemon.
- Sweet Tooth: Though he's supposed to be on a diet. Don't tell his wife.
- Training from Hell: Self inflicted. He apparently trains 24/7, and spars with his own Pokémon.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He's never shown wearing anything on his torso.
- Weapon of Choice: Poliwrath. It can even abuse the Hypnosis and Focus Punch combo, and in his Gen IV rematch it replaces Hypnosis with Substitute to the same effect.
Olivine City Gym Leader—The Steel-Clad Defense Girl
...Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Jasmine, a Gym Leader. I use the...clang! Steel type! ...Do you know about the Steel type? They are very hard, cold, sharp, and really strong! Um... I'm not lying."
Mahogany Town Gym Leader—The Teacher of Winter's Harshness
"Pokémon have many experiences in their lives, just like we do. I, too, have seen and suffered much in my life. Since I am your elder, let me show you what I mean. I have been training Pokémon since before you were born. I do not lose easily. I, Pryce - the Winter Trainer - shall demonstrate my power!"
- Adaptational Villainy: In the anime he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and in the manga his alter-ego Mask of Ice is the Big Bad of a story arc. In the games, Pryce is a perfectly decent and pleasant guy.
- Badass Grandpa: He looks geriatric and frail in the original, but in the remakes he gets a revamp. His back straightens, his old man sweater is replaced with a classy blue overcoat and white scarf combo, and in his pre-battle sprite◊ he's simply holding out his hand invitingly. Also note his rematch in Stadium 2, where he wields an Articuno against you.
- Badass Longcoat: In HGSS.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Inverted, Pryce is quite proud of his middle name (Willow), which he states because it's a tree that bends under great forces but never breaks. Giving him a middle name at all is an attempt to preserve a similar metaphor he makes with his first name in the Japanese version; see Meaningful Name below.
- Frictionless Ice: His Gym requires you to navigate a field of it to make your way to him.
- An Ice Person: He's also a Cool Old Guy.
- Making a Splash: Being the Water-type has always been close to the Ice-type, Pryce's teams tend to contain a lot of dual-typed Ice/Water Pokémon.
- Meaningful Name: Pryce
- In Japanese, "Yanagi" means "Willow", causing him to make the metaphor explained under Embarrassing Middle Name. As for the usual pun, it's not entirely clear, with the two most likely candidates being that the ya can be written with the kanji for "melting", as in melting ice; or that the gi is a context-sensitive pronunciation of ki, as in reiki, meaning "chill".
- Scarf of Asskicking: Wears one in his Gen IV redesign.
- Signature Move: Icy Wind in Gen II, Hail in Gen IV.
- Weapon of Choice: Piloswine. In Gen IV and beyond he evolves it into Mamoswine,
Blackthorn City Gym Leader—The Blessed User of Dragon Pokémon
"I am Clair. The world's best Dragon-type master. I can hold my own against even the Pokémon League's Elite Four. Do you still want to take me on? ...Fine. Let's do this! As a Gym Leader, I will use my full power against any opponent!"
Rustboro City Gym Leader—The Rock-Loving Honor Student!
"I became a Gym Leader so that I may apply what I learned at the Pokémon Trainer's School in battle. Would you kindly demonstrate how you battle, and with which Pokémon?"
- Badass Bookworm: She's a student of the Trainer's School and became a Gym Leader because she was just that good as a result of her studies.
- Can't Catch Up: In Emerald she begins expanding her team and evolving them, putting together a pretty potent force of Rock-types including Golem, Steelix, and Aerodactyl... then poor little Nosepass is sent in looking helpless and pitiful by comparison. Gen V thankfully lets her upgrade to Probopass.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Of the Rock variety.
- Fossil Revival: Similar to fellow Rock-type specialist Brock, she uses a lot of fossil Pokemon in her rematches. The World Tournaments in Gen V give her Hoenn's fossils in Armaldo and Cradily, along with Carracosta, and in Emerald she has Aerodactyl, Omastar, and Kabutops.
- Hair Decorations: Her pink ribbon.
- Meaningful Name: Roxanne = Rocks.
- Proper Tights with a Skirt: Wears leggings along with a short minidress.
- Selective Magnetism: Her Nosepass's magnetism traps Steel-types in battle with it. Not that you'd have Steel types by that point, but this can apply in rematches in Emerald version.
- Ship Tease: With Brawly in the demo.
- Signature Move: Rock Tomb, her TM move.
- The Smurfette Principle: Only female Rock-type gym leader.
- Spoiled Brat: In the remakes' post-game, you find her talking to the Fossil Maniac near Fallarbor Town where she starts tossing a tantrum and crying crocodile tears, demanding him to give her some fossils. She does come around at the end, though.
- Vague Age: Even noted in-universe by the man in the Pokemon World Tournament lobby.
- Her redesign in the remakes makes her age more explicit. While she could have passed for a young adult in her original artwork, she looks more like a teenager now.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: If you chose Torchic - prepare to grind to either evolve the chicken or until you have a decent Water or Grass-type.
- Breather Boss: Unlike other Rock-type leaders, though, all of your starters will eventually know super-effective moves against Roxanne's Pokémon. Yes, even Torchic (or more accurately, Combusken) will have an easier time with this leader than Charmander did for Brock.
- Weapon of Choice: Nosepass. In Black 2 and White 2, it's evolved into Probopass.
Dewford Town Gym Leader—A Big Wave in Fighting!
"I've been churned in the rough waves of these parts, and I've grown tough in the pitch-black cave! So you wanted to challenge me? Let me see what you're made of!"
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Fighting-type specialist.
- Blackout Basement: His gym does this; oddly enough, it's the one that unlocks Flash.
- Cool Shades: Wears an orange pair on his forehead in the remakes.
- Crippling Overspecialization: All damaging moves his team uses in battle in Emerald are Fighting-type, which means that anything that resists said type has a very easy time against him. It's possible to get a Sableye by then, which makes things comically easy.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: Prominent in his design and the badge he gives out.
- Punny Name: His Japanese name refers to a type of herb. It's also a homonym for "fighting spirit".
- Ship Tease: With Roxanne in the demo.
- Signature Move: His TM move is Bulk Up. Being a great boosting move he keeps it around in rematches and his Gen V teams.
- Skippable Boss: Its possible to skip his gym entirely as you can just deliver Steven's letter and head straight to Slateport and proceed. You do however need his badge to fight Norman. This is averted in the remakes however where there's a Npc Roadblock preventing you from getting to Steven until you've defeated him.
- Surfer Dude: Only minus the Totally Radical (except in the dub of the anime). He surfs to train himself and his Pokémon.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: In the remakes.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Brawly will tear you apart if you go in unprepared,
- Weapon of Choice: Makuhita line, with it becoming Hariyama in Emerald rematches and the Pokémon World Tournament.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has pale blue hair.
Mauville City Gym Leader—The Cheerfully Electrifying Man!
"Wahahahah! Now, that is amusing! Then, I, Wattson, the Leader of Mauville Gym, shall electrify you!"
- Artificial Brilliance: Though Gym Leaders universally demonstrate smarter team planning after their initial battles, Wattson notably abuses the Rain Dance-Thunder combo in his Emerald rematches; half his team is packing it.
- Badass Armfold: His Gen V sprites in the World Tournament have him striking this pose.
- Badass Beard: Has a large white beard.
- Big Fun: He's the most pudgy of the Hoenn leaders and obviously the most jovial of them. Just look at him!
- Chekhov's Gunman: Thought you saw the last of him after beating him? Nope, he returns in a subquest after you get your fifth badge (post-Cave of Origin in the remakes).
- Cool Old Guy: He's old but he's still fun and badass.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He's not only set up trap doors in his Gym, but New Mauville was his attempt to kickstart a city expansion project. In Gen V's World Tournament he expresses interest in teaming up with Volkner to renovate more Gyms. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, his plan to revamp Mauville City was a success, as it's barely recognizable from the Mauville City of Ruby and Sapphire.
- Happily Married: He has a wife in the remakes, who the player can talk to when they visit his apartment.
- The Hyena: Just look at him! That's pretty much his default pose.
- Meaningful Name: Wattson.
- His Japanese name is a homonym for steel wiring. This is the exact same pun used for Lt. Surge's Japanese name (see his entry for details).
- My Greatest Failure: Under his cheerful laugh, he seems to have a lot of regret over the whole New Mauville construction. Especially seeing how its energy source came from Pokémon's life-energy, just like AZ's Ultimate Weapon, and he was willing to tank the entire project to stop this...
- Shock and Awe: Electric-type specialist.
- Signature Move: Shock Wave in the original games, Volt Switch in the remakes.
- Weapon of Choice: In Ruby and Sapphire and the remakes, it's Magneton. Emerald retcons it to Manectric, which he seems to keep for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
Lavaridge Town Gym Leader—One With a Fiery Passion that Burns!
"Welcome... No, wait. Puny Trainer, how good to see you've made it here! I have been entrusted with the... No, wait. I am Flannery, and I'm the Gym Leader here! Uh... Dare not underestimate me, though I have been Leader only a short time! With skills inherited from my grandfather, I shall, uh...demonstrate the hot moves we have honed on this land!"
Petalburg City Gym Leader—A Man in Pursuit of Power!
"I'm so happy that I can have a real battle with my own child. But, a battle is a battle! I will do everything in my power as a Gym Leader to win... you'd better give it your best shot, too!"
- Absurdly Youthful Father: He looked old enough in his original artwork. In the remakes, he looks more like your older brother than your dad.
- Artificial Brilliance:
- It was Norman who introduced the metagame to the idea of using Skill Swap to get rid of Slaking's crippling "Truant" ability in Double Battles, because in Emerald that's precisely what he does.
- Norman's first Slaking likes to use Yawn to force a switch... and the turn to switch is the turn Slaking's Ability takes effect.
- Badass Armfold: His artwork in the remakes strikes this pose.
- Climax Boss: For the first part of the game. You run across his Gym early on, when he takes part in a short subquest with Wally, but doesn't let you challenge him since you need more experience. This sets him up story-wise long before the battle, compared to most other Gym Leaders who don't appear until you arrive at their city, and being your father he's also a personal foe to overcome. Defeating him gives you access to Surf, opening the wider areas of Hoenn to you, and being the fifth Gym Leader you fight him roughly halfway through the game.
- Disappeared Dad: A notable aversion in the Pokémon games, as he's more involved in the Player Character's life.
- Disc One Final Boss: See "Climax Boss" above. By the time you beat him you've run across Team Aqua/Team Magma shortly before and know there's bigger crisis out there than just beating your old man in a Gym battle.
- Foil: In the remakes, and though the two pairs are unrelated or do not interact, he is this to Professor Cozmo's father, Raizou, as revealed in the letters hidden in Sea Mauville. Though Norman is a massive workaholic, with blowing off his intended date with your mother, ultimately, he still finds more personal time in his child's development, and also still being home to help welcome you at the end of the Delta Episode. In contrast, Raizo Cozmo was an even worse workaholic who was barely even home, effectively unraveling his marriage - Prof. Cozmo's mother even having an affair, and ultimately grew old delusional that his son's Hi Skitty Doll was his actual son.
- Good Parent: He clearly loves you and wants you to have a grand adventure with your Pokemon.
- Handicapped Badass: His Slakings can only attack every other turn thanks to their Truant ability. You'll be thankful for it because they're still going to kick your ass up and down the Gym walls in spite of it.
- Happily Married: He's perfectly happy married to your mom. But, its actually a Subverted Trope as Norman is a massive workaholic to the point that he blows off a long planned date with the player's mom! But then, he's nevertheless at home to help out in the epilogue of the Delta Episode, so it may be a Double Subverted Trope.
- In the Blood: Birch says that you have "your father's blood in your veins after all."
- Like Father, Like Son: Or daughter.
- Meaningful Name: Norman = Normal.
- His Japanese name refers to a saying often translated as "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"note , in reference to his wanting his child to get out and explore the world around him/her.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type specialist.
- Parents as People: He seems to be a Gym Leader first, a parent second and a husband a VERY distant third.
- So Proud of You: When you beat him, he is more proud of you than upset at losing.
- Signature Move:
- In the originals, Facade. Very painful to be on the receiving end of if you try using the usual status tricks to incapacitate his team.
- In the remake, Retaliate. Thought it hurt coming from Lenora's Watchog? Now try to imagine that attack coming from a Pokémon whose Attack stat is nearly twice as high as Watchog's.
- Weapon of Choice: Slaking.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: His work as a gym leader keeps him pretty busy, so he doesn't have much time to spend with his family. Neither his wife or child (the player) seem to hold it against him, however.
Fortree City Gym Leader—The Bird User Taking Flight into the World!
"I have become one with bird Pokémon and have soared the skies... However grueling the battle, we have triumphed with grace... Witness the elegant choreography of bird Pokémon and I!"
- Ace Pilot: Implied by her attire.
- Airplane Arms: Seems to be her default pose in the remakes.
- Badass: Her ace Pokemon is a Dragon-type, and in the World Tournament in Gen V, she participates in the Legendary Tournament, commanding Rayquaza.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type specialist. Unlike Falkner though she doesn't confine herself to bird-themed Pokemon. See Confusion Fu for why this may be a problem.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
- Most infamously, her Altaria in the Gym battle knows Dragon Dance despite being seven levels too low to learn it. In addition, her Altaria is level 33. Swablu doesn't evolve into Altaria until level 35. Neither of these apply in the remakes, where Altaria is at the legal Level 35 and no longer knows Dragon Dance, instead knowing Cotton Guard (changed from Lv.42 in X and Y to Lv.34 here) and Roost.
- In the second and third rematches in Emerald, she has a Dragonair that knows Earthquake. Only Dragonite can learn Earthquake in that line.
- Confusion Fu: Being that Flying is a very widespread type for dual-typed Pokemon, she has a wide variety of Pokemon to draw on to form a full team of six. Across her Emerald rematches and her appearance in the World Tournament, her line-up includes Altaria, Dragonite, Gyarados, Skarmory, Honchkrow, Tropius, and Sigilyph. All of them have radically different movesets and very different play styles despite technically sharing the same type.
- I Have the High Ground: You can find her on top of one of the towers at the top level in Mauville City postgame in the remakes, catching wind in her Airplane Arms pose, for the hell of it, apparently. The NPC you talk to in order to see this comments on the oddity of such an act.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Aside from her signature Altaria, the Emerald rematches adds the Dratini family to her team.
- Lightning Bruiser: Her Altaria; if you allow it to set up on you with a couple of Dragon Dances, you will be swept into the ground.
- Meaningful Name: Her Japanese name refers to a type of tree as per the usual Theme Naming, but is also a homonym for a "lull" in a storm. In English, Winona, like in wind.
- Mercury's Wings: For ornamental purposes only though. Interestingly enough, it's her hair.
- Nice Hat: Her aviator helmet.
- Olympus Mons: In one Japan-only downloadable World Tournament, she uses Rayquaza.
- Signature Move: Aerial Ace. In the remakes, her Altaria instead has Roost, which is the TM she hands out once beaten.
- Skippable Boss: It's possible to successfully navigate Hoenn without having to fight her. However, you'll still need her Gym Badge to gain access to the Elite Four. Averted in the remakes where an NPC will prevent you from proceeding until you've got her badge.
- Weapon of Choice: Altaria.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair
Tate and Liza (Fuu and Ran)
Mossdeep City Gym Leaders—The Mystic Combination!
"I can make myself one with Pokémon! Can you beat this combination?"
- Anime Chinese Girl: Liza.
- All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: Downplayed. Their artwork pose suggest this but considering their type, they likely don't. It's just part of the further enforcement of their Chinese imagery, complete with typical Chinese mountain scenery for their Gym.
- Badass Adorable: Both twins are this.
- Child Prodigy: Because they're psychic twins who do have psychic powers. A lab agent notes they can help the space center with their research on space travel. However, they're still younger than you, as evidenced when you spot them getting excited buying toys at Lilycove Department Store during the remakes' post-game.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Zigzagged. The World Tournament in Gen V features them separately and gives them different teams and battle styles. However, their actual dialogue is very similar to each other, so aside from their teams they're still interchangeable.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Tate, mostly due to the fact he looks almost exactly like his sister. In the remakes, this is less pronounced as the difference between him and his sister is more obvious.
- Dual Boss: Thus far the only Gym Leaders to engage you in a double battle for their respective Badge.
- Averted in Black 2 and White 2's World Tournament, in which they've entered the tournament separately. Notably, their teams play off to one another (Some Pokémon are shared, and those that aren't shared are often counterparts like Gallade and Gardevoir, Gothitelle and Reuniclus, ect).
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: They do this when you meet them as a demonstration of their powers.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Downplayed but present, in the World Tournament in Gen V Tate's team focuses on physical attacks while Liza's focuses on special attacks.
- Hair Decorations: Liza's bow. In the remakes, both get matching clips.
- Half-Identical Twins: Tate is a boy, Liza is a girl.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Liza has two long pieces of hair around her face, while Tate doesn't. Liza also usually is the smiling one, while Tate always sports a serious face. The remakes give them an extra difference: Tate has green stars on his clothes, Liza has red stars.
- Improbable Age: They are most likely the youngest Gym Leaders in the series, aside from Bugsy.
- Psychic Powers: Psychic-type specialists.
- Punny Name:
- Reverse the order of their names, and you get Liza and Tate. Liza-Tate really fast sounds like "Levitate".
- Fuu can be written with the kanji for "float". The second syllable, combined with Ran, makes up uranainote .
- Their French names, "Lévi" and "Tatia" are another pun on "levitation".
- Signature Move: Calm Mind. Only Liza's Lunatone uses it in the initial battle (remakes included), but in rematches they teach it to more of their team.
- Single-Minded Twins: Possibly, as being twins seems to be their main shtick.
- Stock Foreign Name: They have Chinese names in the Japanese versions.
- Stone Wall: Their team of Psychic Pokémon. Even super-effective attacks have trouble breaking through them, especially Claydol who they started the battle with.
- Twin Telepathy: They can read the other's thoughts.
- Weapon of Choice: Solrock for Tate, and Lunatone for Liza. Fittingly, the Sun is usually considered masculine and the Moon feminine.
Sootopolis City Gym Leader (Ruby, Sapphire, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire
)—Artist, and Lover of Water!
For information on Wallace, check the Pokémon Champions
Sootopolis City Gym Leader (Emerald
)—The Gym Leader with the Beauty of Pure Water!
"Please, you shall bear witness to our artistry. A grand illusion of water sculpted by Pokémon and myself!"
- Artificial Brilliance: His Kingdra knows Rest and comes equipped with a Chesto Berry to wake it up immediately after.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears a long blue coat.
- Badass Mustache: Has a short and well-styled mustache.
- The Casanova: Apparently, seeing as his Gym is full of female trainers. One of his lines is "The adulation of beautiful ladies fills me with energy!"
- Classy Cravat: He wears one, showing his sophistication.
- Confusion Fu: Luvdisc. Although most of its stats are terrible, it is very fast and will use Sweet Kiss to confuse you, and Attract if your Pokémon is male, so you will be much less likely to land a hit. Also, his Sealeo may use Encore, temporarily forcing you to stick with your last move, so be careful which ones you use.
- Making a Splash: Water-type specialist.
- Meaningful Name: Juan is pronounced similarly to "water". It also ties into his character as The Casanova.
- Adan can be written with the kanji for "open sea".
- The Obi-Wan: Juan is this to Wallace.
- Retired Badass: Wallace's mentor and the former Sootopolis Gym Leader. He returns to his previous position, taking Wallace's place, in Emerald. He seems to have gone back to this position in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
- Signature Move: Water Pulse, just like Wallace.
- Tights Under Shorts: Downplayed as his pants are not short enough to be called shorts.
- Weapon of Choice: Kingdra. Since Wattson's signature Pokémon was changed to Manectric in Emerald, this makes him the only Hoenn Gym Leader (And in fact, the only non-Johto leader) whose signature Pokémon is not a Pokémon introduced in that generation. It is also the signature Pokémon of Clair, somewhat redundantly.
Oreburgh City Gym Leader—Call me Roark the Rock!
"As the Gym Leader, I need to see your potential as a trainer. And, I'll need to see the toughness of the Pokémon that battle with you!"
- Badass: Expecting the typical Rock-type Stone Wall when you face him? Don't count on it; his Cranidos is a Glass Cannon with higher Attack than many full-evolved Pokemon, and if you can't outspeed it it will demolish you.
- Bishōnen: He has a rather feminine face, in comparison to his dad.
- Cool Helmet: His miner's hard hat.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Of the Rock variety.
- In the Blood: A Gym Leader and miner just like his old man.
- Meaningful Name: Roark "the Rock" speaks for itself.
- Alternatively, Roark, as in "ore".
- Hyouta contains the first syllable of takenote
- Megane: Wears glasses to look the part.
- Recurring Element: For being the third first Gym Leader that specializes in Rock-types.
- Signature Move: You can thank him for the infamous Stealth Rock, it's his TM that teaches it.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Like Brock, he can be a struggle if the player chose Chimchar. His specialty move is the infamous Stealth Rock, which both his Onix and Geodude know. When Cranidos comes out, trainers are dealing with a Pokémon with higher Attack than many fully-evolved Pokémon. If they try to switch out, Cranidos' Pursuit will take priority over switching and deal double damage — 80, which is a lot at the beginning-game.
- Weapon of Choice: Cranidos. It evolves into Rampardos for future fights, of course.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His father Byron wanted Riley to be the Gym Leader instead of Roark.
Eterna City Gym Leader—Master of Vivid Plant Pokémon!
"When I first saw you, I was convinced you'd find your way to me. My hunch was right on the money. You have a winning aura about you. So, anyway, this will be fun. Let's have our battle."
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit leaves her very bare from waistline to bustline.
- Genki Girl: She's eager to battle you and wants you to give her a fun fight.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type specialist.
- Hartman Hips: Her midriff-baring outfit emphasizes her hips.
- Lovable Coward: She's afraid of the Old Chateau and the ghosts said to lurk within.
- Meaningful Name: Gardenia, a type of flower whose fragrance is popular in perfumes and candles.
- It also contains the word "garden", of course.
- Aside from the fact that most major characters share a plant-based Theme Naming in Japan, with Natane meaning "rapeseed", the first singular and last two syllables of her name can pulled apart to make nanote and tanenote
- Multicolored Hair: Red and black, unless the black is actually a headband under her hair. It's difficult to tell.
- Turtwig Power: The only Gym Leader to use a starter in their original gym battle, in fact.
- Signature Move: Grass Knot.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Her Roserade has a massive Special Attack score, so watch yourself, especially if you chose Piplup.
- Weapon of Choice: Roserade. The earliest third-form Pokémon used by any Gym Leader, in fact.
- Why Did it Have to be Ghosts?: She's terrified of ghosts, and is unnerved by the possibility of a Grass/Ghost-typed Pokémon existing. (Don't tell her that Kalos has such Pokémon.)
Hearthome City Gym Leader—The Alluring, Soulful Dancer!
"Ohohoho!! Finally, you have arrived! Since I came to this country, always I try to learn new things. They hold Contests in this city? I say to myself, enfin, I will excel. That's why I dress this way. C'est une performance! Also I study Pokémon very much. I have come to be Gym Leader. And, uh, so it shall be that you challenge me. But I shall win. That's what a Gym Leader does, non?"
- Blackout Basement: Her gym in Platinum.
- Curtains Match the Window: Purple eyes and purple hair.
- Funny Foreigner: In all languages her mannerisms are quirky for her nationality.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She came to Hearthome to learn about Contests and loves competing in them and showing off her Pokemon.
- Gratuitous English: Japanese and French versions.
- Gratuitous French: Almost everywhere but the Japanese and French versions.
- Keep It Foreign: The reason that her Gratuitous English was changed to French worldwide.
- Meaningful Name: Fantina = Phantom.
- To expand more, according to the PokeWiki her name is the same in both english and spanish. In spanish, Fantina comes from the more obvious word Fantasma note . The wiki also suggest the name is a reference to Fantine from Les Misérables.
- Melissa = Meinote
- Odango Hair: What is that bulbous monster attached to her scalp? Oh, wait, that's her hair.
- Olympus Mons: In one (presumably non-canon) Japan-only downloadable World Tournament, she uses Origin Forme Giratina.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her dress is very impressive.
- Shout-Out: "Never give up, never surrender!"
- Signature Move: Shadow Claw.
- Soul Power: Ghost-type specialist.
- Supernatural Is Purple: Naturally specializing in the Ghost-type, she shares their prominent purple color scheme.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the World Tournament she wields a Giratina in its Origin Forme that holds a Ghost Gem. This is patently breaking the rules of the game; Giratina shifts into its Altered Forme outside the Distortion World and needs to hold the Griseous Orb to enter Origin Forme.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: In Platinum, she is the third Gym Leader the player will face instead of Maylene. The problem is that she still have her high-leveled-and-good-type-coverage-Mismagius. Since the player is restricted from going beyond Hearthome City while the surrounding Pokemon are severely underleveled winning against Fantina is difficult without a well-thought strategy.
- Weapon of Choice: It's a toss up. Mismagius is her signature Pokemon in battles, but she uses Drifblim in contests and her dress is designed on one, so it's heavily associated with her as well.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair: To further her connection to Ghost-types.
Veilstone City Gym Leader—The Barefoot, Fighting Genius!
"I don't really know what it means to be strong, or how I got to be the Gym Leader. But I will do the best I can as the Gym Leader. I take battling very seriously. Whenever you're ready!"
- Badass Adorable: Look at that face and try to say otherwise.
- Big Eater: You can find her in HGSS's Celadon City participating in an eating contest with several bowls stacked in front of her.
- The Cameo: Can be found stuffing her face at a food-eating competition in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- Cute Bruiser: She's adorable, but she's a martial arts expert and a Fighting-type specialist.
- Does Not Like Shoes: In Platinum, you encounter her walking all the way to Snowpoint without shoes or any appropriate clothing. This is apparently related to her training. She can also make some comments about going barefoot when you see her in the Battleground.
- Fingerless Gloves: As shown in the picture.
- Freeze Sneeze: That's what you get for walking from Veilstone to Snowpoint without so much as putting on shoes.
- Genius Bruiser: Heavily implied to be this, or at least a rough equivalent.
- Leotard of Power: Though she wears pants over the lower portion.
- Little Miss Badass: She's young but she's still capable of kicking ass.
- Meaningful Name:
- Maylene = Melee
- Maylene = Lean, as in the kind of shape a good fighter would be in.
- Brega in the spanish version comes from Bregar.note
- Sumomo = Sumo wrestling, though she herself apparently does not practice this particular martial art.
- One Steve Limit: She and a Kimono Girl from Gold and Silver had the same Japanese name. The Kimono Girl's name changed to Komomo in the remakes, possibly because Maylene makes a cameo.
- In a roundabout way, there's also the fact that her German name is Hilda....
- Parental Neglect: Mentions in Platinum that her dad is a gambling addict. You can also see him in the Game Corner.
- Pointless Band-Aid: Maybe she simply gets hurt that much. Either way, she's always wearing some.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: She's tough, that's for certain.
- Signature Move: Drain Punch.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Candice's Girly Girl.
- Weapon of Choice: Lucario.
Crasher Wake (Maximum Mask)
Pastoria City Gym Leader—The Torrential Masked Master!
"Welcome! I don't get challenged very often! The glory you are now beholding is the Pastoria Gym Leader! That's right, I'm Crasher Wake! My Pokémon were toughened up by stormy white waters! They'll take everything you can throw at them and then pull you under! Victory will be ours! Come on, let's get it done!"
- The Cameo: Makes several in HeartGold and SoulSilver, as well as one in Black 2 and White 2.
- Cool Mask: Wears one as part of his luchadore theme.
- Foil: To Brawly across generations. Brawly is a Fighting-type specialist who's into surfing. Crasher Wake is a Water-type specialist who's into wrestling.
- Insistent Terminology: Crasher Wake!
- Jack-of-All-Trades: This guy has a pretty weird dual-career choice: Luchador-slash-tenor. (And Gym Leader, of course.)
- Large Ham: While most Gym Leaders are relatively subdued individuals who try to demonstrate the versatility of their element of choice, Wake's a Hot-Blooded masked wrestler who insists on always adding "Crasher" before his name. In Platinum, if you refuse to fight him at the Top Trainer Cafe, he will sing his theme song. And on the TV from time to time, it will describe him fighting wrestling matches. He even shows up a few times in HeartGold and SoulSilver, first giving you the three Sinnoh starter masks (which he appears to force on you, commending your love of masks), and later on the bridge to the Safari Zone, where he goes off on a rant about how cool waterfalls are. He's hamming it up again in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, singing loudly on a cliff-top somewhere along Route 18.
- Making a Splash: Water-type specialist.
- Masked Luchador: His design theme.
- Meaningful Name: A wake is also the set of triangular waves left by something traveling through water (a boat, etc.). Also sounds similar to "crashing wave".
- "Maxi" is both written and spoken in Japanese as "Makishi", which contains the last two syllables of uzumakinote .
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Equal parts Fray Tormenta and Big Van Vader.
- Signature Move: Brine.
- Stout Strength: Like many luchadors in fiction, he has a belly on him.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: As the Water-type master it's practically tradition.
- Weapon of Choice: Floatzel, despite his Swampert-inspired costume.
Canalave City Gym Leader—The Man with the Steel Body!
"You've defeated my son. But that's no surprise. He still has much to learn. In place of my son Roark, I, Byron, will take your challenge!"
- Action Dad: Notably the second Gym Leader confirmed to be a dad, after Norman.
- Artificial Brilliance: His team covers each other's weaknesses; Bronzor (for Diamond and Pearl) handles the Fighting-types, Magneton (Platinum) is there to take care of Water-types, Steelix has Ice Fang for Ground-types, and Bastiodon has Ancient Power/Stone Edge for Fire-types. No matter what you try to use against him, he's got at least an option to counter you. And that's not in his rematch, he comes prepared Round One.
- Badass Cape: Wears a dull brown-green cloak.
- Badass Grandpa: He has to be in his early 40s at least and is still a very capable Gym Leader.
- Cool Old Guy: He prides himself on being powerful enough to give younger trainers like you and his son a run for their money.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Though his key type is Steel, he uses a lot of Steel-types dual-typed with Rock or Ground, including his signature Bastidon.
- Extra Ore Dinary: Steel-type specialist.
- Hot-Blooded: He's always laughing and ready for a good brawl.
- The Hyena: His booming laugh is frequently rendered as "Gwahahahaha!"
- Large Ham: Especially in the anime.
- Last Chance Hit Point: A lot of his team has the Sturdy ability, preventing a One-Hit KO on them.
- Meaningful Name: Byron = Iron.
- Acerón in the spanish version.note
- Tougan = kane.note
- Perma Stubble: He has a magnificent set of stubble on him.
- Rated M for Manly: A muscled miner with Perma Stubble who uses Steel-types.
- Signature Move: Flash Cannon.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His lack of them only adds to the rugged appearance.
- Weapon of Choice: Bastiodon.
- You Gotta Have Purplish-Red Hair: He even has purplish-red stubble to go with it.
Snowpoint City Gym Leader—The Diamond Dust Girl!
"You want to challenge Candice? Sure thing! I was waiting for someone tough! But I should tell you, I'm tough because I know how to focus. Pokémon, fashion, romance... It's all about focus! I'll show you just what I mean. Get ready to lose!"
- Catchphrase: She talks a lot about maintaining her focus.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Literally dangerously so, given the climate she lives in. Regarding modesty, one has to wonder how she can even move around at all without exposing herself, let alone jump like in her battle animation.
- Exposed to the Elements: She lives in Snowpoint, in the middle of constant snowstorms. Doesn't seem to mind going out dressed like it's the middle of spring.
- Genki Girl: She's very excitable.
- Girlish Pigtails: Enthusiastic? Oh yes.
- Hot-Blooded: Despite her main type.
- Lampshade Hanging: She'll acknowledge this and wonder if she should act more like an Ice-Type trainer "should" act.
- An Ice Person: Ice-type specialist.
- Magic Skirt: It's shorter than Dawn's. This seems like a health hazard when you consider that she lives in Snowpoint.
- Meaningful Name: Candice.
- Inverna in the spanish version, cames from Invierno. note
- Suzune = Suzushiinote
- Pungeon Master: She throws out a lot of ice puns, though not as many as some.
"I'm going to break the ice and bring out my last-resort Pokémon!"
- Signature Move: Avalanche.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female Ice-type gym leader.
- Third-Person Person: Candice is somewhat prone to this:
"Candice is on fire! I'm blazing hot! Hot enough to melt Ice-type Pokémon! I need a battle to cool me down! OK! I'll show you how good Candice can be! I mean, how good my Pokémon can be! Awww! That's it! I'm going to train so I can throw a Focus Punch myself!"
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Maylene's Tomboy.
- Weapon of Choice: Abomasnow in Diamond and Pearl, but changed to Froslass in Platinum, which seems to have stuck.
Sunyshore City Gym Leader—The Shining, Shocking Star!
"...all right, challenger. It's not often, but some Trainers manage to come and challenge me. But they've all been boring battles. I didn't break a sweat beating them. ...Sigh... I'm Volkner, the Gym Leader. They say I'm the top Gym Leader in Sinnoh, but... Anyway, I guess we'd better get this done. I hope you're the Trainer who'll make me remember how fun it is to battle!
- The Ace: Though a bit character, he has elements of this. He hadn't had a good match in a long time before you showed up, to the point where he was about ready to resign as gym leader and take on the Elite Four. On top of this, he got so fed up in his boredom that he took on an extremely outlandish project to remodel his gym and ended up blacking out all of Sunyshore City. Where most of the walking space is made out of solar panels.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: His interactions with Flint at your Villa sound like this. Obviously, he's the straight man of the duo.
- Brilliant but Lazy: It's stated that Volkner is skilled enough to take on the Elite Four, but his content with sprucing up his gym.
- Deadpan Snarker: He acts like this to Flint, if the chat at the player's villa is any indication:
Volkner: Flint's fascination with fire-types comes from his name. Someone once told him a flint was used to start a fire, and that was it.
- Elemental Hair: Blond and spiky, being an Electric specialist.
- Foil: To Flint. They have a Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition dynamic, and use mirror teams in their team battle against you; Luxray, Jolteon and Electivire to Houndoom, Flareon, and Magmortar. Their Personality Powers also mirror the other to match their types of choice.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He apparently built all the obstacles in his gym by himself.
- Genre Savvy: Thought you'd sweep his team with a Ground-type? Surprise surprise — in Diamond and Pearl he has an Octillery with Aurora Beam, Bullet Seed, and Octazooka; the types of those three moves are all strong against Ground-types. In Platinum he has a Luxray that knows Ice Fang, which is super-effective against any Pokémon type besides Electric itself that resists Electric-type moves. Also, all of his Pokémon except Jolteon have at least one move that is super-effective against Grass-type opponents.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Flint.
- Hot-Blooded: In contrast with Flint, he starts out sounding bored with everything, but becomes more fired up as a battle progresses.
- Meaningful Name: Volkner sounds like "Volt".
- Lectro in the Spanish version, from electric. Kinda obvious.
- "Denji" is a Japanese homonym for "electromagnetism".
- Personality Powers: He charges up like a battery, starting off bored and flippant, then as the battle continues he grows more excited until he's laughing about what a good battle you gave him when you beat him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The quiet and reserved Blue to Flint's Hot-Blooded red.
- Shock and Awe: Electric-type specialist.
- Signature Move: Charge Beam.
- The Stoic: He's adverse to open emotion and tends to be quiet.
- Troubled, but Cute: Though ultimately more cute than troubled, he still fits.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Flint.
Volkner: My relationship to Flint? There's no love lost, that's for sure.
- Weapon of Choice: Luxray in Diamond and Pearl. In Platinum, it's changed to Electivire, which along with Flint's change to Magmortar makes their status as friends/rivals even more evident.
Striaton City Gym Leaders (Black and White
The Striaton Gym uniquely has three Gym Leaders, which one the player faces depends on the starter they chose.
- Adorkable: Just look at the pictures!
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: All their names begin with "C".
- Badass Adorable: They're cute but they're still Gym Leaders.
- Bishōnen: They're all quite handsome.
- Bonus Boss: After beating the Elite Four in Black 2 and White 2, you can challenge the brothers, teaming up with one against the other two. This can be done daily as well. They also appear standalone in the World Tournament.
- Bowties Are Cool: They're designed as waiters so they each wear one.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Their hair and eye colors are green, red, and blue.
- Curtains Match the Window: Each of them has hair and eye colors that are the same. For bonus points they also match their bowtie color, their element of choice, and their elemental monkey.
- Divergent Character Evolution: In Black 2 and Whire 2, They stopped being Gym Leaders so they could train and become stronger as individuals, not as a set.
- Edible Theme Naming: In Japanese, they're all named after parts of corn. The English version names them after cooking ingredients.
- Elemental Hair: The Grass-type, Water-type, and Fire-type specialists respectively have green, blue, and red hair. Go figure.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They each use one of the elemental monkeys; Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour.
- Freudian Trio: Cilan is the middle-ground Ego, Cress is the calm and reasoned Superego, and Chili is the Hot-Blooded Id.
- Guest Star Party Member: Whichever of the two brothers you choose not to face in Black 2 and White 2 joins you as your teammate against them.
- Hollywood Genetics: How triplets could each end up with a different hair and eye color is impossible barring freak mutation.
- My Greatest Failure: Not showing up in the fight against Team Plasma at N's Castle puts the siblings into this in their Memory Link.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: Averted. Rather than screw over the players who picked Fire (or in Falkner's case, Grass), the Leader you battle here depends solely on your choice of starter and, as such, will always have the type advantage over you.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: They dress very classy.
- Signature Move: Work Up for all of them,
- Theme Naming: The brothers are all named after three different plant-based ingredients in cooking.
- Waistcoat of Style: They each wear one, being designed on waiters.
- What Happened to the Striaton Gym Leaders?: They are the only gym leaders not to show up during the Big Damn Heroes moment against the Plasma Sages at N's Castle because Bianca hadn't actually got to them by the time they were needed.
"So, um, if you're OK with me, I'll, um, put everything I've got into being, er, you know, your opponent."
A waiter who specializes in Grass-types alongside his brothers Chili and Cress.
For the anime version of Cilan, see Pokémon - Best Wishes
Striaton City Gym Leaders (Black and White
"Ta-da! The Fire-type scorcher Chili —that's me— will be your opponent!"
A waiter who specializes in Fire-types alongside his brothers Cilan and Cress.
Striaton City Gym Leaders (Black and White
"What incredible luck for you — you get to battle the best among the three of us."
A waiter who specializes in Water-types alongside his brothers Cilan and Chili.
Aspertia City Gym Leader (Black 2 and White 2
)— A Leader Who Seeks the Right Path
"Even if hurt, my Pokémon will fight for me with just one command. I think I'll value and trust your Pokémon more if you keep that fact close to your heart. What can I do for these Pokémon? What should I do? That's right! I battle with everything to find the ideal relationship between Pokémon and people!"
Hilbert/Hilda's rival from Black and White, who has since gone on to become a Normal-type Gym Leader.
- And Then What?: A key part of his development in the first games is Alder asking him just what he intends to do if he becomes Champion like he is so motivated to do and why he wants it so bad.
- Bishōnen: Not as much as N or the Striaton triplets, but it's there. Some even thought he was female at first!
- Break the Haughty: In Black and White. He's not overbearingly arrogant, but he still has to work out some ego issues.
- Bonus Boss: In addition to being in the World Tournament, he also appears if you use the Memory Link function with a copy of Black or White. He will use his team from those games, including his starter but with a different elemental monkey, in a match on Route 5. Unlike most other bonuses, this is a one-time battle.
- Colorful Theme Naming: "Cheren" is Slavic for "Black", which pairs him with Bianca, whose name means "White" in Italian (and whose Japanese name, Bel, is Slavic for "White".)
- As a gym leader his name meaning Black is the opposite of the first Normal gym leader whose name meant White. Black also comes from the same root as Blank as in plain or normal.
- Character Tic: Adjusting his tie.
- Childhood Friends: With Bianca and either Hilbert or Hilda.
- Com Mons: His Gym team consists of two (or three in Challenge Mode) of them.
- Curtains Match the Window: Grey hair and grey eyes alike.
- Deadpan Snarker: Shows definite traces of this. For example, he calls Team Plasma a "Waste of oxygen."
- The Glasses Come Off: He apparently stopped wearing his glasses in between games.
- Guest Star Party Member: In the first games on occasion, in the second games during the Plasma Frigate battles in the main story and more integrated in the Pinwheel Forest exploration in the post-game.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Hilbert if you're playing as him.
- Luminescent Blush: Due to the player being his first opponent as a Gym Leader, he's clearly a little nervous.
- Megane: In the first set of games. He's no longer wearing his glasses in the sequels.
- Non-Elemental: As a Gym Leader he focuses on the Normal-type, taking Lenora's place as such.
- Obstructive Code of Conduct: Cheren laments that one of the things he has to get used to as a gym leader is losing graciously because he is not permitted to use his "old team" in gym battles and must use low-leveled Pokémon in order to be a challenge, but not to the point of being so strong that gym challengers cannot defeat him easily. This reinforces the Improbable Power Discrepancy trope described in Brock and Misty's sections at the top of this page. Outside Aspertia Gym, Cheren's Pokémon are considerably stronger than the Pokémon he uses in gym battles.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Hilda if you're playing as her.
- Precious Puppy: Lillipup.
- The Rival: In Black and White. He shares this trope with Bianca, but their Character Development in that regard is quite different. Cheren begins his journey as determined and, arguably, overconfident. He gets better once he starts realizing his limitations and that simply becoming the Champion for the sake of it is a pointless goal.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Cheren now wears a suit.
- Signature Move: With the triplets bowing out of their position, Cheren gets Work Up and the associated TM.
- Stoic Spectacles: In Black and White.
- To Be a Master: In Black and White, he explicitly states that his goal is to become the Champion. Before mellowing out, he considered this goal his reason for existing.
- Warm-Up Boss: He's the first Gym Leader in Black 2 and White 2, and his Gym team consists solely of Patrat and Lillipup. His team is much stronger in the World Tournament, including a sneaky trick in having Castform on his team, which will transform into a Water type to break up his otherwise monotype team.
- Even though he uses Com Mons in the gym battle, it isn't wise to take him lightly. Like Striaton, he utilizes Work Up before attacking. While you might be able to take Patrat out in 2-3 hits, his Lillipup is likely to put up a fight. It will likely be faster than anything on your team at this point and once it uses Work Up once or twice, it will be strong enough to sweep your team. To add on to that, if you're playing Challenge Mode, he gets a Pidove with Quick Attack, which always strikes first regardless of speed, and the Super Luck ability which increases the critical hit ratio, and can spell trouble. And while Riolu are available before taking him on, it won't have a true super effective move until level 15, which is a bitch to get to due to the leveling system.
- Weapon of Choice: The Stoutland line, to differentiate him from Lenora, who is more associated with the Watchog line.
Nacrene City Gym Leader (Black and White
)—An Archeologist with Backbone
"Well then, challenger, I'm going to research how you battle with the Pokémon you've so lovingly raised!"
An archaeologist and the director of the Nacrene Museum, who specializes in Normal-types.
- Adventure Archaeologist: If her English title wasn't enough to convince you, she got to one of the stones before Team Plasma even went on the hunt and hid it right in plain sight! Mock her now.
- The Chessmaster: Her battle style. Easier to see in the anime and manga, but still shows up in the game. Example? No matter which of her Pokémon you face, you're in to get hit hard with her next Pokémon's Retaliate after beating her first Pokémon, which is going to be a base 140 STAB because of it.
- Coat Over the Shoulder: Her international sprite in Black and White had a variant that had her carried her apron that way. (she was wearing it in the Japanese version, but it was feared she'd seem too mammy-like to American players) Oddly, though, the original sprite's back in the sequel games.) See Mammy below.
- Curtains Match the Window: Her hair and eyes are the same shade of blue-green.
- Everything's Precious With Puppies: Herdier.
- Happily Married: To the vice-curator of her museum.
- Hartman Hips: Dayum.
- Mammy: By design and in her Team Mom status. Notably the character most resembling this archetype debuted in the generation representing the United States. Part of the reason for Coat Over the Shoulder above was to downplay this in international releases. There's not much reason for her to even have an apron besides this trope.◊
- Meaningful Name: Lenora = Normal.
- Continuing with the tradition of Normal-type leaders having names referencing both a plant and a saying, Aloe sounds similar to Haro/Hello when using Japanese pronunciation.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type Gym Leader.
- Signature Move: Retaliate.
- Team Mom: Of the gym leaders. She was apparently designed to be motherly according to Word of God. Without being mindful of the implications.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Much harder to take down than the trio. Her Pokémon's levels are 18 and 20, which is a steep jump up from what you've been facing, and both hit like tanks. Using a Roggenrola won't help you much either, since they both know Dark moves to get around its resistance to normal attacks. The Watchog even knows Hypnosis, to make things worse (you did give those Chesto berries that Cheren gave you to your Timburr, right?).
- And the first thing Watchog uses is Retaliate. Which is immediately after you faint her Herdier, therefore it's going to be a base 140 STAB attack. There's gonna be a really long time before you see a move with so much base power again. Even if you managed to switch out the two somehow, you're still not safe, because Herdier knows Retaliate as well. It's so nasty that the man in the Pokémon World Tournament who tells you about Gym Leaders mentions the move by name.
- Weapon of Choice: Watchog.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's a sort of blue-green color.
Virbank City Gym Leader (Black 2 and White 2
)— A Little Poison in Your Days, a Little Poison on the Stage
"Get ready! I'm gonna knock some sense outta ya!"
A musician who specializes in Poison-types.
Castelia City Gym Leader—Premier Insect Artist
"Thanks again for your help. My Bug-type Pokémon are scurrying with excitement about getting to battle you. Let's get straight to it!"
An artist who specializes in Bug-types.
- Ambiguously Gay: His appearance screams this trope.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A Bug-Type specialist.
- Bishōnen: He's rather pretty isn't he?
- The Coats Are Off: In Black 2 and White 2, he's inside of a web coat and rips it off in his battle animation.
- Engrish: His Japanese title- "Most Insect Artist"- is so grammatically incorrect it's not even funny.
- Green Eyes: For the Bug-type association, which is associated with light-green.
- Hurricane of Puns: He seems quite fond of insect-based puns in his dialogue in the gym. It's really insectible—er, incredible, but don't let it bug you.
- Meaningful Name: Burgh = Bug.
- "Burgh" also has the word "burg" in it, which means "city." Where is Burgh's Gym? Castelia City, the most big-city like city in the series!
- "Arti", in addition to referencing his occupation, sounds similar to both "Ari" (meaning "Ant") and "Honey", referencing both honeybees and the fact that his Gym (in Black and White, anyway) is absolutely slathered in the sticky stuff.
- Nice Guy: Has a Pokémon that only evolves with happiness, Leavanny.
- Even better, his Leavanny's at Level 23 - only three levels higher than the level it evolves into Swadloon!
- Performance Artist: Flamboyant, lively, and loves to put on a show.
- Pungeon Master: Doesn't show till his in-battle quotes. Made all the more painful by Pokémon's otherwise subtle puns.
- Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Wears a red scarf around his neck.
- Signature Move: Struggle Bug.
- Weapon of Choice: Leavanny.
Click here to see Elesa in Black 2 and White 2.
Nimbasa City Gym Leader—The Shining Beauty
"My beloved Pokémon are going to make your head spin!"
A fashion model that specializes in Electric-types.
- Adorkable: Her attempts to invoke Pungeon Master end up dive bombing her into this.
- Ambiguously Gay: Implied as heavily as an E rated game can get away with. She blows the protagonist a kiss at the end of the Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 credits regardless of gender, and is closest of friends with Skyla. And in the Join Avenue she wants to check out are always ones with a "dazzlingly cute girl." Some of her dialogue is a bit subtext-y too; quotes include explaining to Bianca's father that he needs to learn it's okay to be "different", and later she says "Pokemon trainers are born this way".
- Artificial Brilliance: Relying on Ground-types or Grass-types to fight the Electric-type leader? Good luck; her two Emolga are dual-typed with Flying. And if you wanna get tricky with any Ice or Electric-types, she can switch into Zebstrika, which absorbs Electric attacks with its ability and has Flame Charge for Ice-types and Grass-types.
- Bare Your Midriff: Both her outfits show off her navel.
- The Coats Are Off: For Black 2 and White 2, she does it in her battle against the protagonist in the trailer and in her sprite animation.
- Combat Stilettos: As a model she has no problem walking around in heels. Being a Gym Leader it doesn't hamper her skill at all.
- Cool Big Sis: Certainly gives off this vibe when she reasons with Bianca's dad in her introduction, and promptly earns Bianca's respect.
- Cool Horse: Zebstrika.
- Cool Shades: Her headphones have these built in.
- Emotionless Girl: Word of God says she was intended to come off as this.
- Not So Stoic: When you beat her, despite being very calm up until that point, she is overwhelmed with excitement and immediately becomes embarrassed over it. In Black 2 & White 2, her Memory Link with Skyla proves the point further.
- Everything's Nuttier With Flying Squirrels: Emolga. Two of them in Black and White, actually.
- Genre Savvy: Leads with Emolga in both Black & White and the sequels, throwing off any player with the idea they could mow down the Gym with a Ground-type attack.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Looking at this picture, her hair seems to be a shade of purple.
- Hair Decorations: Or, technically, headphones. Justified, as she seems to be based on a Vocaloid.
- Iconic Item: Her headphones. When her outfit got completely overhauled for the sequels, she still wears headphones, just of a different design (they even inherit her old pair's color motif).
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Nimbasa's Pokémon can dance a nimble bossa!"
- Informed Ability: She, for no reason at all, says she's a model in her first appearance, but unlike the other Unova leaders' careers, this doesn't pop up in any way aside from her sprite being dangerously thin (the waiter triplets have a restaurant for a gym, the archeologist has a museum and reference library for a gym, the painter has a gallery in the city, and she has... a roller coaster) and the comments of a few random NPCs. She does mention that she has a TV gig after she calls Clay to lower the bridge to Driftveil City, so she probably does model work for television. And it does explain her outfit (all gym leaders in Unova have outfits tied into their day jobs). Averted in the sequels where her gym is now a catwalk and stage.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: She is the only Electric type leader who isn't a Gadgeteer Genius compared to Surge, Watson, Volkner, and Clemont. She's also the only one of the first four that doesn't use a Raichu in any of her team's line-ups.
- Meaningful Name: Elesa = Electricity.
- Kamitsure = Kaminari (Lightning)
- Ms. Fanservice: She's a model; it comes naturally. She's got long legs, a slim figure, and wears clothing to emphasize her body. Notably the only Gym Leader to be redesigned between games, and her new outfit shows off more skin than ever.
- Naked in Mink: What it seemed like she was in the promotional trailer, until she ripped off her coat to reveal the outfit underneath. She's still very Pretty in Mink though.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Possibly meant to be a send up to Lady Gaga. She wears ostentatious but ever changing outfits and in the English version mentions that Pokémon trainers were "Born This Way".
- No Sell: You can imagine the frustration players had in the first game with her two Emolgas, prepared to sweep her Pokémon with Ground-type attacks, only to find that two of the three are dual Electric/Flying.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: In Black 2 and White 2, where her hair is dyed.
- She's Got Legs: She has leggings in the first game, but it's still clear she has a lovely pair. In the sequel she shows them off.
- Shock and Awe: Electric-type specialist.
- Signature Move: Volt Switch.
- The Smurfette Principle: Only female Electric-type Gym Leader.
- Straight Girl and Wise Woman: In Memory Link, she's the Wise Woman to Skyla's Straight Girl, to the surprise of many.
- Switch Out Move: Every one of her mons knows Volt Switch, and she is very fond of using it.
- Weapon of Choice: Zebstrika. She is also infamous for her Emolga as well. See No Sell and Genre Savvy above.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: In the sequels.
Driftveil City Gym Leader—The Underground Boss
"How much stronger ya get comes from how much you want to win! Always be loyal to that desire, ya hear?"
The president of a mining company who specializes in Ground-types.
- Americans Are Cowboys: Subverted — Word of God says he was designed as a Japanese immigrant who got rich in America by finding oil, making him a Fauxreigner. Still the Cowboy looking character debuted in the American based game similar to Lenora's Mammy status above.
- Brown Eyes: As a Ground-type specialist.
- Curtains Match the Window: Brown hair and brown eyes.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Of the Ground variety.
- Eaglelander: Type I, though again, not a born American.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: He's much larger than the other Gym Leaders.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: His watch and the band of his hat, which shines during his BW2 battle animation.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He comes off as pushy and lazy at first when he sends you and Cheren to stop Team Plasma in his town without offering to help himself, but he turns out to be a good guy. He even leads the gym leader charge at N's Castle.
- Matryoshka Object: Subverted; someone who saw Clay take his hat off thought he was wearing a second hat underneath his first hat, but it's pointed out it was likely just his hair.
- Meaningful Name: Clay is, well... clay.
- Yacon = "Kon" is the Japanese reading of the character "Kun", which is the trigram in I Ching which represents earth.
- Nice Hat: A cowboy hat, to be precise.
- Non-Idle Rich: He is one of the richest people in the history of the Pokémon games so far, and still runs a gym.
- Funetik Aksent: Seemingly a Texas accent
- Self-Made Man: He even waits for trainers at the bottom of his Gym/mine as a symbolic reminder of how he started out with nothing.
- Signature Move: Bulldoze.
- Weapon of Choice: Excadrill.
Mistralton City Gym Leader—The High-Flying Girl
"Hee-hee! I've been waiting for you. You're a tough Trainer who can face the wind and not get blown off your feet! I'm kinda excited about this battle! Why don't you and I have some fun?"
A pilot who specializes in Flying-types.
Icirrus City Gym Leader (Black and White
"You appear ready to face a battle. Bring it!"
A former movie star who specializes in Ice-types.
- Badass: He senses the presence of the Shadow Triad before they even appear, and fights Team Plasma alongside Cheren. All of this is done after your gym battle with him.
- Bears Are Bad News: Beartic.
- Break the Haughty: Implied with in his past as a movie star. In the Memory Link, he mentions how he used to think he could perform any action scene and felt like nothing could stop him prior to getting injured.
- Bonus Boss: Though he has retired from being a Gym Leader in Black 2 and White 2, he is present in the World Tournament.
- Cool Mask: Wears a domino mash over his eyes.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: He's wearing what looks like half a robe.
- An Ice Person: Ice-type specialist.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In the Brycenman movies the title character is Affably Evil and uses Dark-types. Brycen himself may be The Stoic, but he's also a Gym Leader, which in the video games at least are almost all considered good people.
- Meaningful Name: Brycen.
- Hachiku rhymes with kachi, which when doubled up (kachikachi) serves as an onomatopoeia for something freezing solid.
- Mythology Gag: In Pokémon Special's third arc, the main villain was Pryce, the Johto Ice Gym Leader, using the alternate identity of the "Mask of Ice."
- Brycenman's (English) trainer title is "The Masked Man", which was the name The Mask of Ice went by in one of the manga's (also English) translations.
- His English name is also very similar to Pryce's.
- Noodle Incident: The events surrounding about the injury that made him retire from acting the first time around.
- Recurring Element: He is the third seventh Gym Leader who specializes in Ice-type Pokémon, before returning to his acting career in the sequels.
- Retired Badass: Inverted; he's a retired movie star who became a Gym Leader, so he only became truly badass after retirement. Played straight in the sequel when he gives up the Gym Leader position to return to film but remains a powerful trainer.
- Slasher Smile: He plays a villain in a Pokéstar Studios movie, sporting one of these.
- The Stoic: Word of God says he's like this because he used to be a movie star, and went into depression after his career ended. He then went to an icy cave alone to train and become more knowledgeable, and feels he must keep his identity a secret.
- Signature Move: Frost Breath.
- Warrior Monk: He retired from acting when he was injured, and found a new path in training Pokemon and receiving comfort and purpose from them.
- Weapon of Choice: Beartic in Black and White. Cryogonal in the sequels during the Pokemon World Tournament. Zoroark in Pokestar Studios as Brycen-Man.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
Opelucid City Gym Leader (White
)—The Girl Who Knows the Hearts of Dragons
For information on Iris, check the Pokémon Champions
page, as well as the Pokémon - Best Wishes
page for her animated incarnation.
Opelucid City Gym Leader (Black, Black 2, and White 2
)—The Spartan Mayor
"As the mayor, I've given everything to developing the city. As a Trainer, I've simply been pursuing greater strength. But what I'm searching for now is a young Trainer who can show me a bright future. Perhaps you can show me that future, the way Iris has?"
The mayor of Opelucid City, who specializes in Dragon-types.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is the mayor of Opelucid City, and the eighth Gym Leader in Black. Even though he is the seventh in the sequels, he still poses a hefty challenge, even compared to Marlon.
- Badass Beard: So badass it covers the entire bottom half of his face, and sort of resembles the lower jaw of a dragon. Heck, it's even been compared to the metal jaw of Neltharion (Deathwing), which is also jagged along the top and juts out in the bottom-front.
- Badass Grandpa: Iris outright refers to him as her "Grandpa" in Black 2 and White 2. So badass in fact, Bianca mentions that he wrestles with his own Pokémon. To toughen himself up. And his Pokemon are fully evolved and fully fledged dragons
- Gentleman and a Scholar: He studied abroad to learn more about Dragon-types, but is still quite the gentleman.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Dragon-tye specialist.
- Meaningful Name: Drayden resembles dragon.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: The only real difference between him and Iris in battle is that his Pokémon are male; they're the same species and have the same moves. Their Druddigon's abilities are different, too; his has Rough Skin, which could be a nasty surprise.
- Red Baron: Spartan Mayor.
- Retired Badass: In White, he's stepped down as Gym Leader.
- Signature Move: Dragon Tail.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the first Black version, his Haxorus is underleveled. This can also apply in Black or White 2 under Easy Mode.
- Theme Naming: In the Japanese version, his name is Japanese for "iris," complementing... Well, Iris.
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: He's the effective ruler of Opelucid.
- The Unfought: In White, where Iris is the 8th Gym Leader.
- Weapon of Choice: Haxorus.
Humilau City Gym Leader (Black 2 and White 2
)— A Bigger Splash Than the Sea!
"You look strong! Shoots! Let's start!"
A swimmer specializing in Water-type Pokémon.
- Adorkable: Holy god.
- Ambiguously Gay: Similar to Elesa above, in that when visiting join avenue, he requests shops run by "a very energetic man." If you stand behind the female Jellicent/Frillfish half of the face board, he'll come out of the gym and take a photo with you from behind the male half. The face board is clearly meant for couples.
- Anime Hair: It sticks up out of the water while he's swimming.
- Animal Motifs: It resembles a shark fin when it does this, fitting him being a Water Gym Leader.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy
- Big Brother Mentor: He's described to be like this to the protagonist.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Much like Cynthia, he leaves the fighting of the evil team to you. In Marlon's case though, it's because he isn't aware of Team Plasma's history and doesn't instantly accept they're evil in spite of what he's heard about them, to the point it seems someone tossed him an Idiot Ball to keep him from getting involved.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: According to the Nation Gymquirer, the guy can swim so fast he can shoot out from under the surface and into the air. An NPC gossips that he can swim nonstop for seven days and seven nights.
- Brick Joke: He apparently does exactly that to get to the gangplank of the Plasma Frigate.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He is incredibly laid-back to the point he is almost entirely detached from reality — he runs off for a swim immediately after losing to you, claims that "the ocean accepts all rivers" as the reason why he doesn't see fighting Team Plasma as a big deal, and says that just because Team Plasma is flying their airship around Unova using their ice cannon to freeze over cities, doesn't mean he's gonna immediately accept that they're evil without thinking about it.
- Elemental Eye Colors: His blue eyes are fitting for a Water-type expert.
- Iconic Outfit: His Tan Lines.
- Jump Scare: Unintentionally does one by blasting himself out of the Humilau sea to introduce himself to the players.
- Making a Splash: One of two, the other being Cress.
- Meaningful Name: Mare is Latin for sea, used as a root in words like marine and maritime. His name, Marlon, also resembles marlin, a type of fish.
- Mr. Fanservice: Walks around with no shirt and is very fit and trim.
- Nice Guy: To the point he doesn't rejudge people no matter what stories he's heard.
- Prehistoric Monster: The first Pokémon he sends out is the prehistoric Carracosta.
- Sea Monster: In any challenge, his team is composed of sea-dwelling Water-type monsters.
- Signature Move: Scald.
- Spanner in the Works: When Hugh and the player are looking for a way into the Plasma Frigate after the 8th gym, Marlon almost instantly pushes down the drawbridge...because he thinks the player needs help, and walks away like nothing happened. He may have been oblivious to Team Plasma's entire plot, but he definitely played a decent part in their defeat.
- Stone Wall: In both normal and challenge modes, Marlon's team is generally defense-oriented. He uses scald often to inflict a burn to further reduce the damage you do to his pokemon as well. His Carracosta subverts this, though, having the move Shell Smash, which lowers its Defenses but effectively doubles its Speed and offenses.
- Surfer Dude: His localized dialogue has shades of this.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: The "dark" part is somewhat subverted by his prominent tan lines and very pale feet.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Another Water-type Gym Leader adverse to covering up.
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: His pants are part of a wetsuit.
- Weapon of Choice: Jellicent.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Water-type specialist, of course.
Santalune City Gym Leader —The Camerawoman Who Never Lets a Single Smile Escape Her Focus
"Whether it's the tears of frustration that follow a loss or the blossoming of joy that comes with victory... They're both great subjects for my camera! Fantastic! This'll be just fantastic! Now come at me! My lens is always focused on victory—I won't let anything ruin this shot!"
A photographer specializing in Bug-type Pokémon.
- Bare Your Midriff: A slim strip but it's there.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Notable for being both the first female Bug-type Gym Leader and specialist overall.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: A rare female example; she has very thick eyebrows.
- Camera Fiend: She's a nature photographer, so of course she brings her camera everywhere with her.
- Catch Phrase: "Fantastic! Just fantastic!"
- Genre Savvy:
- Enough to cleverly cover up her weaknesses — see Poor, Predictable Rock.
- In rematches with her in the Battle Chateau, her Vivillon knows Powder, a priority move that causes Fire-type moves to backfire and damage the user.
- Meaningful Name: "Viola" is the name of a genera of flowers and a butterfly.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: Makes an effort to defy it; her Surskit is part Water-type and knows both Bubble and Water Sport, so your Fennekin will not have as easy a time as you might hope. Played straight in that her other Pokemon, Vivillon, is a Flying-type, making them both fodder for Pikachu. And Water does not help to stop Flying-types either.
- Scunthorpe Problem: Due to the name censoring system in X and Y, it's impossible to name yourself or a Pokémon after her.
- Signature Move: Infestation, a move used by her Vivillon.
- The Smurfette Principle: As mentioned, she is the first female Bug-type Gym Leader.
- Stealth Pun: She's a photographer, aka a "shutterbug".
- Weapon of Choice: Vivillon.
- Youngest Child Wins: The younger of two sisters, but she is a Gym Leader while Alexa works as a journalist. Though granted, it could simply be a different career choice.
Cyllage City Gym Leader —The Wild Yet Cool and Collected Rock Climber
"I've been waiting in eager anticipation! What have I been waiting for? For a worthy challenger to appear! It's quite an achievement to have climbed all the way up here. Very impressive, actually! I have a feeling that our battle will turn out to be worth the wait! I hope you'll show me that your skill as a Trainer surpasses even mine."
A rock climber who also specializes in other sports, specializing in Rock-types.
- Anime Hair: Shaped like a rock-climbing wall.
- Bishōnen: He's rather androgynous.
- Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity: His Gym, not level exaggerated of course.
- Dishing Out Dirt: The pose, the brown Anime Hair with jewels, the badge, and the fact he's a rock climber makes it obvious he's a Rock-type Gym Leader.
- Genre Savvy: Sure Rock-types has got a lot of weaknesses, but there are actually good reasons why some homework may be needed this time. Firstly both of Grant's Pokémon are ridiculously bulky for this point in the game, which does dampen supereffective hits. Secondly, they also have really strong attacks, so your Pokémon better be able to either guarantee an OHKO against them or take a hit. Thirdly, while Fire-type starters are useless against Grant, Water and Grass aren't much better this time: they are countered/resisted by the two Pokémon's double-typings and movepools.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: As mentioned in his above description, he specializes in other sports.
- Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Zig-zagged this time. Sure Rock-types has got a lot of weaknesses, and there are lot more Pokémon that you could catch including those that have a type advantage. However, because of the reasons stated in the Genre Savvy entry above, not all of the aformentioned Pokémon are necessarily effective against Grant.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Unlike Brock, Roxanne, and Roark, Grant is the first Rock-type to not be the first Gym in their region that the player challenges (unless you count Brock in GSC/HGSS, who will probably be one of the last gym leaders you fight).
- He's also the first gym leader you fight that uses a dragon type Pokemon this early.
- Informed Ability: The only hints we know of his preference for sports are the Gym and his gear. He is apparently an ace cyclist given he finishes a race in first just before you arrived.
- Knuckle Cracking: He cracks his neck just before your battle with him starts. Though in this case it seems more like a way to loosen his muscles than to intimidate you.
- Meaningful Name: Grant is short for "Granite" as well as "Pomegranate", keeping the meaning his Japanese name had.
- Perpetual Frowner: In the artwork and game.
- Signature Move: Rock Tomb.
- The Stoic: Unlike other leaders, again.
- Weapon of Choice: Averted. He uses both fossil lines from Kalos, but they're the exact same Level, so neither can count as an "ace". However in the Battle Chateau he slightly leans to Tyrantrum, with Aurorus using more support moves while Tyrantrum is an all-out attacker. Also, in the anime, his Amaura is replaced with an Onix, but Tyrunt remains.
Shalour City Gym Leader —The Evolution Fighter!
A roller-skater girl, specializing in Fighting-types. She's also the Mega Evolution successor, and the one who gives you the Mega Ring.
- Anti-Climax: Either her Mega Lucario gets a lucky Critical Hit on yours thus decimating your first ever Mega Evolution battle, or you get the Critical Hit or spam the hell out of Power-Up Punch twice.
- Badass Adorable: She's adorable alright, but she's a master Fighting-type trainer and commands Lucario.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Fighting-type specialist.
- Boisterous Bruiser: She is very chatty and energetic and will kick your ass while doing it.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She is the third gym leader, but appears a few towns before you meet Grant, the 2nd Gym Leader.
- Climax Boss: Defeating her for the last time wraps up many of the plot threads in the early game.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Fighting type Pokémon are almost always at a disadvantage against Ghost types, but Korrina's have almost no defense against them (Almost all of her Pokémon's moves are Fighting or Normal, with the exception being Machoke's Rock Tomb ), which can lead to situations like these.
- Demoted to Extra: She has quite the presence in the story... Until after your gym battle with her, after which she's content to just stay in her town the rest of the game, bar Battle Chateau rematches.
- Duel Boss: Atop the Tower of Mastery, she battles you in a one-on-one battle, your new Lucario versus hers.
- Edible Theme Naming: Her Japanese name comes from "cornichon", the French word for "gherkin". This goes in hand with her grandfather's name: in English, it's Gurkinn, but in Japanese, it's Concombre, French for "cucumber".
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: She invokes this description of Power-Up Punch when she gives the TM to you.
- Friendly Rival: A first amongst Gym Leaders, she encounters you a few times during the beginning of your journey and you two have a series of battles up until you finally get access to Mega Evolution.
- The Gadfly: Downplayed. She indulges in screwing with the Player Character here and there such as jokingly overreacting about losing and saying she will resign as Gym Leader.
- Genki Girl: She's rarely seen without a cheery smile, even if she holds two jobs as both a Gym Leader and the Mega Evolution Successor.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. She is shown wearing the safety headgear that is necessary for rollerblading.
- Hidden Depths: One wouldn't expect an energetic and feisty young girl to be an authority on the concept of Mega Evolutions.
- Hot-Blooded: One of her Lucario, the one that takes a liking to you, appears to be this towards the other one she has. She herself also fits this trope.
- It Was a Gift: Hands you one of her Lucarios after beating her (or getting beaten) at the Tower of Mastery.
- Meaningful Name: Her name sounds like "k-arena".
- Large Ham: How does she make an entrance? She enters from above and shouts "Lady Korrina makes her big debut!" with the chatbox indicating it was a large shout.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Zigzagged. While previous Fighting-type Gym Leaders or Elite Four members show that they practice martial arts and have some discipline to them, Korrina's way of showing her dedication to Fighting types are through sports. On the other hand, the martial art/"discipline" she practices is Mega Evolution.
- Legacy Character: She is the descendant of the first trainer who performed the first ever Mega Evolution, with a Lucario no less.
- Little Miss Badass: She looks fairly young, but she is a Fighting-type Gym Leader and knows the Mega Evolution process.
- Modesty Shorts: Wears black biker shorts under her skirt.
- Passionate Sports Girl: Is really into rollerskating, which is why her gym is designed like an obstacle course for someone who does it.
- Pungeon Master: She can't speak a sentence without making a roller-skating related pun. Especially how she can roll with the punches.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair is very long.
- Recurring Boss: She first fights you in a friendly spar a few towns before you reach her Gym, then you have the actual Gym battle, and then you fight her in a sort of Mega-Evolution tutorial battle in the Tower of Mastery. Not counting formal rematches or Cheren's Call Back team in Black 2/White 2, this marks the first time since Giovanni that a Gym Leader is fought more than once and outside their own gym.
- Rollerblade Good: Definitely qualifies for the "badass" part of the trope.
- Signature Move: Power-Up Punch.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Wears one sticking out from her helmet.
- Weapon of Choice: Hawlucha and Lucario. The former is the one that she uses in her Gym Battle. The latter only sees battle when you meet her in the town before her Gym, when she challenges you to a Mega Lucario duel at the top of the Tower of Mastery, and when you fight her as a Duke/Duchess at the Battle Chateau.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: After you beat her in the Gym battle, she mentions that you have to go to the Tower of Mastery to get the ring from her.
Coumarine City Gym Leader —The Old Growth is Still in Bloom!
"So what'd yeh think, whippersnapper? Did yeh enjoy the garden playground I made with all these sturdy plants o' mine? Their strength is a sign o' my strength as a gardener and a Gym Leader! Yeh sure yer up to facing all that?"
An old gardener who specializes in Grass-types.
Lumiose City Gym Leader —The Inventor Lighting Up the World
"The future is now, thanks to science!"
A Gadgeteer Genius
young boy who specializes in Electric-types.
- Adorkable: His banter with his younger sister, Bonnie, suggests Clemont tries really hard to get people to take him seriously, but it doesn't work too well.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: His sister Bonnie, who keeps stealing his speeches during his Gym Battle.
- Awesome Backpack: It has two robot arms extending from it.
- Bungling Inventor: Heavily implied. One person from the central Pokémon Center mentions that while Clemont is an inspiration for inventors alike, most of his inventions don't work. After Shauna uses the Clemont's puzzle invention to unlock Team Flare's door, the device breaks down.
- Catchphrase: "The future is now!"
- Chekhov's Gift: Shauna mentions early on Clemont made her a device that could solve any puzzle for her if frustrated when you reach Centrico Plaza the first time in X & Y. The device ends up being really important near the end of Team Flare's plot when a door needs to be hacked open.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: The two arms coming out of his backpack seems designed for different purposes.
- For Science!: His motivation... SCIENCE!
- Gadgeteer Genius: He designed the entire Prism Tower from top to bottom and also enjoys inventing gizmos in his spare time.
- Genre Savvy: Thought you could use Ground-types to sweep him? He has an Emolga as his first mon to cover the Electric-type's weakness to Ground attacks, just like Elesa. He also has a Heliolisk that knows Grass Knot for super-effective damage. Also, if you were thinking of trying to tank him with Grass-types, Emolga knows Aerial Ace.
- Idiot Hair: Loosely shaped like a lightning bolt.
- Improbable Age: He seems to be younger than Serena and Calem, and yet he's already into advanced cybernetics and designing enormous towers.
- Legacy Character: He keeps the obligatory Electric-type Gym Leader trend for each region. Johto lacks one as they have their Kanto neighbors with Lt. Surge.
- Meaningful Name: His Japanese name is Citron and his English name is Clemont. Lemons and Citrus fruits can produce an electrical current. His English name also seems to come from inclement, which means stormy weather.
- Mundane Utility: If he decides to give you a Pearl String in the Battle Chateau, he mentions activating his gift-giving machine to do it.
- Odd Friendship: Not exactly odd, but he and Bonnie are apparently really good friends with Shauna.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: Fitting with his love of science.
- Recurring Element: A Gadgeteer Genius Electric-type leader, one of the many returns to this generation.
- Shock and Awe: His mechanical backpack, the inventor archetype, his lightning bolt-shaped Idiot Hair, and the design of the badge he gives clearly point to his specialty of Electric-types.
- Shorter Means Smarter: Not as short as Trevor, but still shorter than Calem/Serena.
- Signature Move: Thunderbolt. His Emolga gets Volt Switch instead.
- Weapon of Choice: Heliolisk.
Laverre City Gym Leader —The Maiden from a Land with History
"Oh, if it isn't a young Trainer... So you've flown all the way through my Gym, fluttering down to me on a fortunate wind. ...I hope your visit will prove entertaining to you. The elusive Fairy types may appear frail as a breeze and delicate as a bloom, but they are strong."
A fashion designer originally hailing from Johto who specializes in Fairy-types.
Anistar City Gym Leader —The Person Who Makes Paths with Starlight
"A ritual to decide your fate and future. The battle begins!"
A mysterious woman who specializes in Psychic-types.
- Ambiguously Brown: Dark-skinned but no clear nationality, putting aside Pokemon's geography.
- Anime Hair: The most glaring example out of the Kalos Gym Leaders.
- Badass: She's the seventh Leader, but her team's levels are higher than those of the eighth and final Leader in Johto, Hoenn and Unova note ďż˝ and almost on pair with the eighth and final of Kanto and Sinnoh. From a non-battle standpoint, Sabrina's psychic abilities pale in comparison to the things she displayed.
- Badass Cape: A long and flowing cape whose interior side looks like a galaxy.
- Crystal Ball: The shape of her Badge invokes this trope.
- Foreshadowing: She warns the player about a power that awakens and voices of woe in the near future. Not long after the player has left the Gym, the Big Bad appears on everyone's Holo Caster announcing his plan to awaken the version's legendary and activate the ultimate weapon that will kill everyone who's not part of Team Flare.
- Haiku: She all but speaks in haiku the whole time. Especially notable in the Japanese version.
- Meaningful Name: It comes from Olympus, the home of the gods in Classical Mythology, relating to the Psychic-type's mystical and mysterious nature.
- Power Floats: She's able to use her Psychic Powers to levitate.
- Perpetual Smiler: The only expression she seems to have is a serene smile.
- Psychic Powers: Both in type preference and being a really strong one to boot.
- Reality Warper: Heavily implied. The entire plane of her Gym gets warped the moment you enter and is held there by the absorbing the cosmos, implying it is Olympia's doing. If that's the case, she could give Sabrina a run for her money.
- Screw Destiny: Although she does have the power to see into the future, this is the advice she gives to the player. "Create your own path. Let nothing get in your way. Your fate, your future."
- Seer: She's demonstrated a level of clairvoyance.
- Signature Move: Calm Mind, which in her Gym Battle, is known by two of her three Pokemon.
- Star-Spangled Spandex: Not the spandex, but her cape, which looks like the night sky or the universe.
- Teleportation: After you defeat her, she offers to teleport you to the entrance of the Gym as a short-cut.
- Terse Talker: She speaks in as few words as possible, mostly because her dialogue is almost entirely in Haiku.
- Weapon of Choice: Female Meowstic.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair
Snowbelle City Gym Leader —Tough as an Iceberg, Hot as a Furnace
"Y'know what? Ice is both extremely hard and terribly fragile at the same time. You know what that means? Depending on which Pokémon you choose and what moves they use, I could be your most challenging opponent yet or I could be a total pushover. But that's all right. That's how it should be! Anyway, enough of my rambling! Let's get this show on the road!"
An old man who specializes in Ice-type Pokémon.
- Awesome Mccool Name: His name is Wulfric for crying out loud.
- Badass: His team is in the mid-high 50's, making him the highest level Gym Leader you can battle pre-Champion. In particular, his Avalugg is level 59, making it the highest-level Pokémon used by any Gym Leader. To put that in perspective, that level is higher than Steven Stone, Wallace, and Iris' highest-leveled Pokémon, and is on par with the lowest-leveled Pokémon of Blue and Cynthia!
- Badass Grandpa: He's old but he's still awesome.
- Badass Mustache: Forms vaguely icicle-like shapes, or perhaps the tusks of a walrus.
- Big Fun: The guy has a big gut, but an even bigger heart.
- Cavalier Competitor: When you talk to him in the Battle Chateau, he basically tells you the reason he does Pokémon Battles is simply because he enjoys it.
- Catch Phrase: "You know what?"
- Coat Cape: A heavy blue coat tied around his neck.
- Cool Old Guy: When you first meet him, he is visiting some Pokémon that were supposedly mistreated in the past and recognizes the player's bond with their mons. He acts as a kindly uncle of sorts, bidding the player a formal good luck as they head off for the Pokemon League.
- He also casually comments that the battle will be easy or hard depending on what Pokemon you brought, lampshading how some players tailor their teams to beat specific leaders, as well as the Ice-type's offensive and defensive matchups.
- Gentle Giant: He takes care of mistreated Pokémon. Coupled with his size, he's a giant teddy bear.
- He takes up three horizontal/vertical tiles in his overworld model, just like Valerie. You can speak to him standing in front of any of those tiles.
- Fat and Proud: He doesn't mention it in any dialogue but he does give his gut a good hearty smack before battling you.
- Friend to All Living Things: He is one of the curators of the Pokémon Village, a village filled with Pokemon who were abandoned or mistreated.
- Hot-Blooded: He is far more emotional than Brycen is, but isn't quite on Candice's level.
- Hidden Depths: He apparently is a fan of the Brycen-man movies, according to the In-universe TV show about Gym Leaders.
- An Ice Person: An Ice-type specialist.
- He even points out that the type can go from Mighty Glacier to Glass Cannon depending on their opponents, as well as their good offensive abilities and multiple defensive weaknesses!
- Lampshade Hanging: His comment that he will either be one of the hardest opponents you will face or a complete pushover. Not only does this refer to players who bring types strong against Ice, but also the fact that Ice is a great attacking type but has several defensive weaknesses, and also to the fact that his strongest Pokémon, Avalugg, has extremely high defense but virtually no special defense, while his Cryogonal's stats are the reverse.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Especially remarkable considering his type of choice.
- Signature Move: Ice Beam, known by his Abomasnow and Cryogonal.
- Stone Wall: His strategy is to pair up the physical wall Avalugg with the special wall Cyrogonal.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Continuing with Kalos' tendency to play with the lineup rosters, Wulfric is an Ice-type Gym Leader that is last instead of 7th like Pryce, Candice, and Brycen. In addition, his gym is the first Ice-type Gym that doesn't feature ice sliding puzzles.
- Weapon of Choice: Avalugg.