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Characters: Pokémon Protagonists and Rivals
The main characters of the series. The games revolve around their personal growth, their exploits and their (and by extension, your) relationship with Pokémon in general.

The protagonists are the player's avatar in the world of Pokémon. Generally they aren't the most verbose of people. But you can use this opportunity to play as them and gather together a team of Pokémon to conquer the game.

The rivals are kids that are just like you and the protagonists have a history with them. Their personalities are varied, but they're all willing to challenge you to see how strong you've become over your journey.

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Protagonists

    General Tropes 

  • Action Girl: The female protagonists by default.
  • Badass: They defeat every single trainer in their region, including leaders of the evil teams, the Elite Four and the Champion, can capture Legendary Pokemon, and become the best trainer in their region.
  • Child Prodigy: Their skill with Pokémon is so great that they are able to defeat adults who have years of experience on them.
  • Cool Hat/Nice Hat: All main characters has a hat in some form. Even Brendan's.
    • Notably, in Gen VI, while customizing your clothing you cannot remove the hat. Even though Calem and Serena appear hatless if they are NPCs, so clearly the models for hatlessness exist. But you wouldn't be a protagonist without the hat.
    • In fact, ironically, with the exception of Gen. III (where the Rival is the playable character you do not pick) Bianca is the only Rival who has a hat.
  • Did You Just Capture And Subjugate Cthulhu?: Each of them can capture the World of Pokémon's equivalent to Eldritch Abominations (one gen even allows you to capture the rough equivalent to God).
  • Disappeared Dad: The only games to avert this are Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The protagonist in every other game lives alone with their mother, and their father never makes an appearance, nor is any explanation given for his absence.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Zigzagged. Plot-critical NPCs seem aware of the fact that by the time you finish the game you've defeated the most powerful trainers in the region, saved the world from the local villainous team, and probably captured at least one Legendary Pokémon in the process. Normal NPCs on the other hand will continue to treat you like a nobody who isn't worth their time.
  • Even the Guys Want Him / Even the Girls Want Her: This can frequently pop up when playing as a certain gender. Leaf especially has a ton of unintentional Les Yay dialogues around her due to the unchanged dialogues in the remakes.
  • Free-Range Children: No one seems to mind that you're just a child who goes through dangerous situations that involve crime organizations and/or Legendary Pokemon who are very dangerous to the health of your mother.
    • This is a little better-justified in Gens III and VI; in R/S/E, you're the child of a Gym Leader, who understands exactly what a journey of this kind can do for a young person and encourages it. Granted, he probably had no idea that you'd square off against a trio of gods, but still. In Gen VI, your mother is a professional Rhyhorn racer, and like Norman understands how positive an experience this could be and encourages you to go.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Although they have Canon Names, as protagonists, they can be named whatever the player wants. This applies to most of the rival characters as well.
    • The one exception is Leaf, whose name was given to her by the fandom due to the fact she lacked a canon name. It's based off the in-game name she has in data to certain games; the same data refers to Red as "Red" but Blue as "Terry".
  • The Hero
    • Generation V took this Up to Eleven when Hilda/Hilbert of Pokémon Black and White is the hero.
    • Calem/Serena are such big damn heroes that they get a parade at the end of their games.
  • Heroic Mime: All of them, for the most part; the protagonist is usually completely silent. (Red doesn't even speak a word when he appears as a Bonus Boss in later games.) Some exceptions, however: in Black 2 and White 2 Nate and Rosa speak clearly when acting in the PokéStar movies (although, that is scripted) and in X and Y Calem/Serena is rather vocal when they respond to questions from other characters.
  • Hot-Blooded: Some characters are implied to be this.
  • Iconic Item: Their hats. Even if it has a color change.
  • Primary-Color Champion: With the exception of Ethan, Dawn, and Serena (and the Gen III protagonists in Emerald version only) all of their outfits feature red (or pink) and blue, and sometimes yellow especially for accessories like their bags.
  • Power Trio: With the Rival and the Player Character not chosen except for Gen I (where the player not chosen didn't exist) Black and White (where they formed a Power Trio with two rivals) and Gen VI which instead opted for a Five-Man Band with the two players and three rivals.
  • Saving the World: From Generation III and onwards, but replace "world" with "all of existence". May and Brendan are the first ones to do it.
  • To Be a Master: Their main motive. Red is one in Generation II and its remakes.
  • Spanner in the Works: The protagonist in every game is this to the villainous team in some form, eventually leading to defeating them. Hilbert/Hilda from the first Unova games takes the cake since their first interactions with N set off is the first of several things that dismantles Ghetsis' plans.
  • Walking the Earth

Gen 1

    General Tropes 
  • Coming of Age Story: At the end of the main game, Oak states that the protagonist's journey was one, remarking that "s/he has come of age."
  • Cutting Off The Branches: It's Red who appears in HeartGold and SoulSilver, rather than Leaf, though it may be due to them being remakes of GSC where he was the only one to appear. He was also the canon protagonist.
  • Curtains Match the Window
  • Disappeared Dad: He's mentioned once when you check out the televisions in Celadon Department Store, but he never appears.
  • Nice Hat
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: Pick one of them in FRLG, and the other won't appear. In the series as a whole, Red is the canonical protagonist.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The protagonist, unlike future heroes, actually makes the odd internal comment when examining objects (where future Player Characters merely get descriptions), such as mentioning his/her dad when you check out the televisions in the Celadon Department Store, and remarks that s/he "should get going" when you examine the TV in his/her house and notes that they "better not touch it" when examining various pieces of technology. S/he also talks to Copycat, causing her to state his/her unseen dialogue.
  • Vague Age: The only time in the series it is averted, in the case of Red at least, whose age is stated to be "11". The same can be assumed of Leaf, as she is his counterpart. To date, these are the only player characters whose ages are confirmed.
  • The Voiceless

    Red 
Voiced by: Junko Takeuchi (JP), Bryce Papenbrook (EN) (Origins)

This young man is perhaps the most iconic human character of the series. An 11-year old from Pallet Town who used to be the best of friends with a boy named Blue (or Green in the Japanese versions), until he became a bully. At the start of Pokémon Red and Blue, Red and Blue are given a task by Professor Oak, Blue's grandfather and the local expert on Pokémon: to travel around the Kanto region and capture all 150 known Pokémon to complete the Pokédex, a device that records data on Pokémon encountered and captured. To help with this, Oak gives Red and Blue one Pokémon each from Oak's remaining three. (In Pokémon Yellow version, Red's starter Pokémon is a Pikachu that Oak captured on Route 1). With this one Pokémon, Red ventures far from his home town, challenging the various gyms and thwarting the operations of the criminal enterprise Team Rocket in order to become a Pokémon Master.

In Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Yellow, he was the only player character, and is still the only protagonist to appear in later games in person. He's the strongest trainer in Pokémon Gold and Silver and can also be battled in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Red's design also appears as a character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which he commands Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard to battle for him.

Many characters based on Red have appeared in spin-off media, the most famous of which is Ash Ketchum, from the Pokémon anime. Ash and Red are confused with each other, and whether or not they can be considered, for all intents and purposes, two versions of the same basic character note , is something still debated among fans.
  • The Ace: By Gen II, Red is the toughest trainer in the game.
  • Badass: Implied through potential events that can transpire in the game, as well as Red's Bonus Boss status in Pokémon Gold and Silver. As a Bonus Boss, Red's team is the highest leveled of any trainer in the entire series (Not counting battle facilities that automatically set levels to 100).
    • Badass Adorable: He's 11 years old in Gen I/III. 14 in Gen II/IV, and he's gotta be at least 16 if not older by Black 2 and White 2, but hasn't aged a day since HeartGold and SoulSilver and still looks like a kid.
  • Bonus Boss: He does not need to be fought in Gen II / IV, but most fans opt to anyway.
  • Continuity Nod: Red's team in Pokémon Gold and Silver and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 reflects the events of Pokémon Red and Blue. He has a Pikachu and the final forms of the three starters from Generation I, the Snorlax that was once blocking a path, and Espeon in Pokémon Gold and Silver or Lapras in the Gold and Silver remakes and Black 2 and White 2, from the ones you acquire as gifts.
  • Disappeared Dad: No information is given about his whereabouts.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: In his HGSS and B/W 2 animations.
  • The Hero: In Gen II and the Gen IV remakes, Red is often referred to as this.
  • Heroic Mime: When he's a Bonus Boss rather than a player-controlled character, he displays Visible Silence. His encounter with CopyCat strongly implies that he does speak, but his dialogue is unheard by the player.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: His team was comprised of level 80's during his training on Mt. Silver, and they conceivably hit the Cap afterwards. Even still, they are powered down to level 50 during the World Tournament, like any other trainer.
  • Hot-Blooded: According to his counterparts, at least one in-game line, (possibly, due to its vagueness) the manual, and a Generation I comic drawn by Sugimori.
    • Taking the extended storyline of FRLG into consideration, he certainly counts when a rather intimidated thief makes a remark about the way he is glaring at them.
  • Iconic Item: Both his original and remake Nice Hats.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Red is mentioned several times throughout the game as the boy who singlehandedly stopped Giovanni and disbanded Team Rocket three years prior, and is held in high regard. His True Final Boss status has made him this as a meta-example among the fandom as well.
    • Game Freak doesn't discourage this, as he remains the most powerful trainer in the entire series. When Barry's levels in Platinum surpassed Red's, HG/SS corrected that. Red's Pikachu remains the highest level Pokémon to be challenged in a Trainer battle.
  • Nice Guy: Implied in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, as Prof. Oaks points out that Red is nice to his Pokémon.
  • Not So Stoic: His usual ellipses are accented with a "!" after losing.
  • Remake Dye Job: In Generations I and II, Red has black hair, but this is made into light brown hair in Generation III, IV, and V.
  • Perpetual Frowner: In all his sprites and FRLG official art he's this. Pokémon Origins reveals this to be his battle face more than anything. Out of battle, very cheerful young man.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: In Generations II, IV and V.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Irony time, Blue Oni to Blue's Red.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • In the games, Pikachu. High leveled Pokémon used by a trainer in Gen II and in the remakes it is still the highest leveled Pokémon you can battle in a trainer battle in the entire franchise. Going with the below, he also has all three fully-evolved Kanto starters, which (except for the Squirtle line) serve as his Weapon of Choice in other adaptations.
    • Depending on the adaptation, this tends to vary between the Bulbasaur line and Charmander line or simply having all three of the original starters. Considering these were the original two mascots of the games in Japan, it makes sense.
    • However before any adaptations or sequels it was pretty solidly the Bulbasaur line, such that Pokemon #001 goes to the first protagonist.
  • Silent Protagonist: All the protagonists are silent, of course, but Red takes it a step further by remaining silent every time he's seen, even when he's no longer the player character. Both in the Gen II games, and in the World Tournament, he says nothing but Visible Silence.
  • So Proud of You: His mother remarks that she's worried for Red, but proud of him for doing what he wants to do.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Red's Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Pokémon: The Origin counterparts qualify in addition to the examples he shares with Leaf.
  • Third Option Adaptation: He uses all four possible starters from the first game, avoiding giving him a canon starternote . He also uses Pokémon that the player character in Red & Blue received as gifts, or was forced to encounter.
  • Took a Shortcut: Getting to Red in Heartgold and Soulsilver requires at least one of your Pokémon knowing the HM move Rock Climb in order to scale the walls of the cave, but none of his Pokémon know the move.
  • True Final Boss: In Gold and Silver.
  • Visible Silence: Shown in the real final battle in GSC/HGSS.
  • Walking the Earth: In Gold and Silver, Red has retired as Champion and now focuses on training in Mt. Silver to get stronger.

    Leaf 

When Pokémon Red and Blue was remade for the GBA, the games went through some drastic changes. One important change that the GBA games brought about was the ability to choose between a male or female protagonist. Leaf, as she's most well known by is that female protagonist. Her backstory is roughly the same as Red's: A young girl from Pallet town who was given the task to catch them all for the Pokédex and To Be a Master. However, her origins are a bit older than the remakes suggest. She's based on a female trainer seen in early artwork for Red and Blue. This suggests that there were plans to have the ability to choose a male or female player from the very beginning, but was cut out at some point.

Gen II

    General Tropes 

    Ethan (Hibiki) 

Three years after Red defeated Team Rocket and won the Pokémon league, a new Pokémon trainer from New Bark Town in the Johto region was given his first Pokémon. He was given the same task to catch them all, although now there are more species to find.

Just like Red, he was the sole protagonist in Pokémon Gold and Silver. Although that changed when Pokémon Crystal game out. You could now choose him or the female protagonist of that game. When his games were given remakes, he was given another female counterpart named Lyra, along with a new canon name (Ethan) and a new design. He also has a few characters based on him in various media, including two anime counterparts (one using the old design named Yoshi/Jimmy and another using the current one as a cameo in a movie).
  • Awesome Backpack: In HGSS, it has no limit on the number of items it can carry.
  • Canon Name: The manual for Gold Version refers to the player as "a boy named Gold", and the manual for Silver refers to the player as "a boy named Silver". His anime counterpart was named Jimmy (Kenta in Japan). In Generation IV, he was finally given a canon name: "Ethan".
  • One Steve Limit: In the original Gold & Silver, a Pokémaniac on the S.S. Aqua had the name Ethan. In the remakes, said trainer is renamed Morgan to adhere to this trope.
  • Weapon of Choice: Marill if he fills the NPC role.

    Kris 

Introduced in Pokémon Crystal, Kris was the very first protagonist you could choose who was female. Before this, the only option was a boy. However, unlike some later games, this was purely aesthetic and had no bearing on the plot, and her story is identical to Gold/Ethan's.

She has a few characters based on her in various media. Her anime iteration was named Dani/Marina and her goal at the time was to be a "Pokémon Idol" (and later on in the series, a Top Coordinator). Kris does not appear in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, which might mean she must be iconic of the Crystal version.

    Lyra (Kotone) 

Rather than re-using Kris for the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, the game designers designed a new female protagonist for Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Lyra is a young girl who resides in New Bark Town and is just starting out as a trainer... If you're choosing her as the player character. Like most of the later games in the series, the protagonist that the player didn't choose will still show up as an NPC. In this case, she'll be a friend who shows you the ropes on catching Pokémon. She appeared in the anime as a trainer who traveled with Ash and friends for a time while promoting Heart Gold and Soul Silver.
  • Awesome Backpack: Same as Ethan, although for her it's more of a purse.
  • Iconic Item: Her Nice Hat.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Kris as the new female counterpart to Ethan. She has an appearance that's close enough to be considered a redesign although with brown instead of blue hair but Word of God says she was designed from scratch. Picking up on this in the manga adaptation Kris was simply given Lyra's outfit instead of creating a new character for her.
  • Weapon of Choice: Marill if she fills the NPC role..
  • Zettai Ryouiki

Gen III

    General Tropes 
  • Badass Adorable: S/he has no problem standing face-to-face with a beast that can shift continents, raise the sea, or Hyper Beam them to death, depending on the version. Or all three of them in Emerald.
    • Took a Level in Badass: S/he saves the world from utter annihilation of the awakened pissed-off Legendary (depending on version of course) by either defeating or capturing them.
      • Averted in Emerald, as technically Rayquaza is the one to solve the crisis. You just go to awake him. It is then played straight when they defeat Juan and go on to defeat the Elite Four and Wallace.
  • Disappeared Dad: So far as the player, the only aversion in the main series—the protagonist's father is Norman, the Petalburg Gym Leader.
  • Free-Range Children: As with all of the games, no one seems to care that you're traveling around the island and fighting villains even though you're only 11.
  • Nice Hat: As per tradition. Yes, that weird white thing for Brendan is a knit cap. A bandanna for May.
  • The Rival: The one you don't choose to play as, though to a lesser extent than the previous rivals.
  • Totally Radical: In Emerald, their PokéNav nickname is "Rad Neighbor."
  • Vague Age: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Sugimori's new art style gives Brendan and May the appearance of early teenagers as opposed to young children. It isn't helped by the fact that their age was never confirmed even in the originals; their age is always conjecture to begin with.

    Brendan (Yuuki) 

Much like Pokémon Crystal, For Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, you can choose between a male or female protagonist. Whichever one you chose, they follow the same story:

As the protagonist, You've recently moved to Littleroot Town in the Hoenn region from somewhere else (In Ruby and Sapphire, it was Johto, while in Emerald it was "somewhere far away"). Your father has become the gym leader of Petalburg City, and you're just the right age to start your Pokémon journey. Your town has a Pokémon Professor who will gladly give you a starter, but he's more into fieldwork than sitting around in a lab so he isn't there. Turns out that he's got himself into trouble with a wild Pokémon and you must help him by getting one of the starters from his bag. The rest of the story is up to you.

Brendan himself hasn't appeared in other adaptations, but he's made a few cameos in Pokémon movies where he's an accomplished trainer competing in tournaments. He also has counterparts in Pokémon Special, Pocket Monsters, and Pokemon Battle Frontier.
  • Ambiguously Brown: His Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire artwork has him with noticeably darker skin than his Ruby/Sapphire or Emerald art.
  • Badass Bookworm: Brendan's PokéNav description claims that he battles "with knowledge".
  • Break the Haughty: As your rival if you're May.
  • The Cameo: Unlike May, this is all he's ever received in the anime. In the Special manga, on the other hand...
  • Like Father, Like Son: As a NPC it's mentioned he wants to be a better researcher than his dad.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Yuuki means "bravery".
    • Two of Brendan's default names are Landon and Sean; referring to the 2 legendary Pokémon.
    • In Emerald, one of Brendan's default names is "Rald."
  • One Steve Limit: Very nearly broken in Emerald, as Brendan's name is similar to Pyramid King Brandon.
  • Ship Tease: In Emerald, as a rival he states "I just saw a huge green Pokémon flying across the sky!....I wish you were there, <player's name>." Take of that what you will, but the way NPC-Brendan acts toward you..
  • To Be a Master: Brendan as either role. (NPC-Brendan states that he wants to be a professor).
  • Tsundere: Brendan plays a Type B version of this as an NPC; normally a Nice Guy but often kind of a jerk toward you.
  • Weapon of Choice: Like Red, Brendan's Signature Mon changes depending on the adaptation or official source he's seen in. Both Special and the anime show him with a Swampert, thus branding Mudkip as his Signature Mon. However, the advertisements for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire give Brendan a Treecko; official art for the original games, however, shows him with a Torchic and Combusken. Out of all the Hoenn Starters, however, Brendan is affiliated best with the Mudkip line in the same way May is associated with the Torchic line.

    May (Haruka) 

The other protagonist of the Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire games, she is the option if you want to play as a girl.

If you don't chose her as the protagonist, she'll be a rival who is the child of Professor Birch, the Pokémon Professor of the Hoenn region. Unlike previous rivals, this one is more friendly. The same role applies to Brendan if you choose her as the protagonist.

May has had several different characters based on her. Her anime counterpart is the most prominent, as she was a traveling companion for Ash. At first she didn't care for Pokémon and only wanted to travel, but she soon discovered Pokémon Contests and she learned to like them.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: NPC-May gives off this vibe.
  • Genki Girl: NPC-May is quite energetic, moreso than NPC-Brendan anyway. She really shows off this attitude in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, with her adorable fist pumping action.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: NPC-May, somewhat; after you fight her in Lilycove City, she seems to be more interested in filling her Pokédex than continuing training.
  • Hair Decorations: May wears a bow in her Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire design.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Haruka means "Spring flower" but also means "far away", which goes with Norman's name Senri which can also refer to "1000 li" (2440 miles, but also an idiomatic way to say far away).
    • Two of May's default names are Terra and Marina; also referring to Groudon and Kyogre.
    • May is also the most well-known month of spring in the northern hemisphere, which matches her Japanese name.
  • Plucky Girl: NPC-May is clumsy and shy but never lets any losses get her down.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: In Emerald and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, May's top lacks sleeves.
  • Skirt over Slacks: In her Ruby and Sapphire outfit.
  • Tights Under Shorts: Her design in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
  • Weapon of Choice: In any adaptation (and in the official trailer for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire), May is seen with a Torchic. Official art has also shown her with a Mudkip and a Torchic, however Torchic has appeared the most alongside May.
  • What Happened To The Torkoal?: Not as prominent as Blue's Raticate , but if you picked Torchic while playing as Brendan in Emerald, she will sport a Torkoal in her second (optional) battle in Rustboro City. Afterwards, the turtle is never seen again and a Slugma will be in its place. The only assumption as to what happened is that she likely placed it in the PC.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Wears a tiny white pair over her bike shorts in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Gen IV

    General Tropes 
  • Awesome Backpack: Storage limit? What storage limit? note 
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Dawn and Lucas pair up to combat Team Galactic. One of them will even mention that they form a dream team together.
    • Also with Barry during the final confrontation with Team Galactic.
  • Badass Adorable: A dragon that has control over time? A beast that can expand space? A creature from a world separate from ours with control over antimatter? The creator of the universe? NO PROBLEM!
  • Blue Boy Pink Girl: In Platinum.
  • Curtains Match the Window
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Arceus Event if you accidentally take it out with a Fighting-type.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: There's confusion about his/her hair color. Sugimori drew it a navy blue (or black with blue hints) type color in their main artwork, but everything else has them with a lighter hue.
  • Missing Mom: As an NPC.
  • Nice Hat: A hunting cap for Lucas.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Regardless of version or gender, the scarf is always there. Candice really likes it.
  • Ship Tease: Lucas and Dawn with each other.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Lucas's hair and eye color matches Johanna's, albeit not the same shade. Dawn is basically Johanna ten or twenty years younger, with long hair.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair

    Lucas (Kouki) 

The male character for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Lucas is a boy from Twinleaf Town who is just old enough to start his Pokémon journey. After viewing a documentary on a red Gyarados, he and his rather impatient friend Barry decide to explore the nearby Lake Verity to see if any special Pokémon can be found there. Along the way, they encounter Professor Rowan and his assistant (The player character you didn't chose). Once they get to the lake, all they can find there is a lone briefcase, opening the briefcase reveals three Pokéballs, each with starter Pokémon. Suddenly, Pokémon start to attack the pair of friends! You'll need to choose carefully which Pokémon you decide to use...

Lucas has had a few characters based on him. He had a brief cameo in a few of the Pokémon movies where he's seen battling Brendan.
  • Adorkable: As an NPC, Lucas has shades of this. For all his brains, he's a very laid-back character.
  • The Cameo: Just like Brendan, he has very little relevance to the anime plot. Not to mention their only anime scenes is them battling rach other.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Barry, having grown up as childhood friends.
  • Primary-Color Champion: His outfit in Platinum is predominantly blue, red and white.
  • Theme Naming: Lucas's name comes from the Latin "lux," which means "light".

    Dawn (Hikari) 

The female trainer for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Dawn essentially has the same backstory as Lucas does if you choose her as the player character. As an NPC, she is an assistant to Professor Rowan and lives in the nearby Sandgem Town. She demonstrates how to catch a Pokémon to you and helps you out when Team Galactic makes their move.

Dawn has had quite a few characters based on her. Her most prominent incarnation is Dawn from Pokémon, who aspires to be a top coordinator like her mother, but experiences a few bumps in the road. Her catchphrase may be "No need to worry", but that's probably when you should worry the most.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Wow. Even in her winter dress, she keeps the short skirt with no fear of freezing thighs.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Especially since Sinnoh's supposed to be the cold region. At least Platinum gave her sleeves.
  • Hair Decorations: Dawn's clips.
  • Little Miss Badass
  • Mini Dress Of Power: There is some minor confusion about whether it's really a dress or just a coat, though many would be more comfortable with the dress idea.
    • Judging by the anime, she's wearing a minidress in Diamond and Pearl and a coat over that minidress that happens to be the exact same shape and size in Platinum.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Barry, having grown up as childhood friends.
  • Theme Naming: Dawn comes from the time of day the sun rises.
  • Tsundere: As an NPC. Type B: often sweet, but very mad when she gets angry.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Grade B.

Gen V

    General Tropes (Black and White) 
  • '80s Hair
  • The Ace/Always Someone Better: In final game. They considered the most strongest character in the game, superior than his/her rivals, same N, Gym Leaders, Team Plasma, Elite Four and even The Champion Alder.
    • Black 2 and White 2 In Memory Link, even more than prequel.
  • Armor Piercing Statement: Cut from Black and White 2 was a bit of dialogue that revealed his/her philosophy that swayed N.
    Hilbert/Hilda: "Words are the source of all misunderstanding! Everything can be understood through Pokémon battles!"
  • Badass Hilbert/Hilda have sweeped through the Pokemon League without using a legendary, stormed N's Castle, and summoned the legendary dragon to defeat N AND beat the shit out of Ghetsis! Yeah, I think they more than qualify...
  • But Now I Must Go: Offscreen one in between Black and White and the sequels where s/he leaves Unova to find N.
  • The Cameo: You only team up with the character you didn't pick during double battles in the Battle Subway. Otherwise, the other character doesn't appear in the game.
    • One was planned for Black and White 2's Pokemon World Tournament, but was scrapped when the tourney s/he was in was.
  • Character Development: Undergoes this in the Black and White games, molding them into being the selected hero to oppose N.
  • Disappeared Dad: As the protagonist. Interestingly enough, if you check out the television in his/her room before choosing your starter, it mentions his/her father bought it for him/her. He never appears in the game, though.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: Their B/W 2 sprites appears to purposely invoke Red.
  • Free-Range Children: S/he can't be older than sixteen yet s/he's allowed to travel the region on his/her own.
  • The Ghost: In the sequels.
  • The Hero: Black and White heavily emphasizes his/her role as the hero in the story than normal, to the point that s/he is to capture the plot-revelvant Legendary of the specific game version (Black for Reshiram, White for Zekrom) to oppose N's dragon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Depending on you chose Hilbert (with Cheren) or Hilda (with Bianca).
  • The Kirk: Between the calm and focused Cheren, and the kind and open-hearted Bianca, Hilda/Hilbert is this.
  • The Leader: Bianca and Cheren respect Hilbert/Hilda as the best battler among them, and as the person who always seems to know what they are doing.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: If Memory Link is enabled, the Player Character's name is this in the sequel games.
  • Meaningful Name: Hilbert means "magnificent in battle" or "battle bright." Hilda means "Battle Maiden." Touya and Touko come from "fight" (which makes their English names fitting), "transparent" or "untainted" which establishes their role as the middle and leader of the group.
  • Nice Guy: His/her characterization as an NPC implies this.
  • Nice Hat: It's a simple, standard cap worn in a straight way, reminiscent of Red's original Nice Hat.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Depending on you chose Hilbert (with Bianca) or Hilda (with Cheren)
  • Put on a Bus: In Black 2 and White 2 (instead of a Previous Player-Character Cameo). According to his/her mother, Hilbert/Hilda left Unova to search for N.
  • Suddenly Voiced: When you enter Dragonspiral Tower, Hilbert/Hilda's internal dialogue states that "Something's... going wild at the top of the tower...?" Additionally, when Tornadus/Thundurus first appear and Hilbert/Hilda is invited into the old lady's house on Route 7, s/he mentions that his/her soup is "delicious" and "jam-packed with vegetables."
    Hilbert/Hilda: "I just lucked into winning... Isn't that how it felt?"
  • ˇThree Amigos!: The player character of either gender along with Cheren and Bianca.
  • Vague Age: Not so much as the protagonists from X and Y but still hard to pinpoint. It is mentioned that Hilbert/Hilda are older than the protagonists from earlier generations, but that doesn't say much—they still can be anywhere between roughly fifteen and twenty years old.
    • The US manual mentions that they are old enough to have a driver's license.

    Hilbert (Touya) 

The main character of Pokemon Black and White. Hilbert is a teenager who lives in Nuvema Town, as do his Childhood Friends, Cheren and Bianca. He will receive a starter Pokémon and a Pokédex from Professor Juniper. After setting off on his Pokémon journey at the same time as Cheren and Bianca, Hilbert will at some point be asked by Fennel to do some sort of quest; in return for its completion, Hilbert will receive a C-Gear.

As well as encountering and battling his childhood friends at various points during his journey, Hilbert will also meet a man known as N, who wishes to create separate worlds for humans and Pokémon. In order to achieve his goals, he and Hilbert will battle several times during the course of the game. Hilbert also battles Team Plasma at various stages of his journey. Ultimately, Hilbert is recognized as a hero by Reshiram or Zekrom, depending on the version.

If not chosen as the player, Hilbert appears as the player's partner in the Battle Subway when choosing to ride the Multi-Train.

Hilbert never received an Anime Counterpart, though he has had several manga character based of him. The most prominent incarnation is Black from Pokémon Special. Others counterparts appearing in various manga: Monta from the Be a Master!! Pokémon BW, Touya from the Pocket Monsters BW: Meetings with the Legends, Shin from the Pocket Monsters BW: The Heroes of Fire and Thunder and Hiro from the Pocket Monsters B2 W2 ~ A New Legend ~
  • Spear Counterpart: To Hilda. Their default names are even gender flips of each other in both Japanese and English.
    • Word of God was Hilbert's design was created to match Hilda's, who was created before him.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Cheren and Bianca if he's the main character. In contrast to Cheren, Hilbert will always be certain and justified in his goals, and Cheren will become slightly frustrated with his own shortcomings compared to his friend.

    Hilda (Touko) 

The main character of Pokemon Black and White. Hilda is a teenager who lives in Nuvema Town, as do her Childhood Friends, Cheren and Bianca. She will receive a starter Pokémon and a Pokédex from Professor Juniper. After setting off on her Pokémon journey at the same time as Cheren and Bianca, Hilda will at some point be asked by Fennel to do some sort of quest; in return for its completion, Hilda will receive a C-Gear.

As well as encountering and battling her childhood friends at various points during his journey, Hilda will also meet a man known as N, who wishes to create separate worlds for humans and Pokémon. In order to achieve his goals, he and Hildat will battle several times during the course of the game. Hilda also battles Team Plasma at various stages of her journey. Ultimately, Hilda is recognized as a heroine by Reshiram or Zekrom, depending on the version.

If not chosen as the player, Hilda appears as the player's partner in the Battle Subway when choosing to ride the Multi-Train.

Unlike the females of other gens, Hilda never received an Anime Counterpart. She has only had one counterpart appearing in the manga, White from Pokémon Special.

    General Tropes (Black 2 and White 2) 
  • Anime Hair: Their hairstyles are much more conspicuous than previous protagonists.
  • Badass Adorable: More emphasis on the adorable part, but still as badass as the other protagonists.
  • Meaningful Name: Their English and Japanese names both come from the word "resonate".
  • Nice Hat: Aversion; despite it being traditional for male protagonists to have a hat, Nate instead has a Nice Visor. Rosa also has a visor.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Their pupils are as white as their sclerae.
  • Tights Under Shorts: In the case of Rosa, whether or not she was wearing a skirt was a topic for debate for awhile, but it's now clear she's wearing a pair of culottes over her tights.

    Nate (Kyouhei) 
Voiced by: Miyu Irino (JP), Tom Wayland (EN) (promo)

Nate is a young boy living in Aspertia City with his childhood friend Hugh. At the start of the game, he sets off with Hugh to collect his first Pokémon. They then go their separate ways and he starts her journey across the Unova region.

If the player chooses Rosa, Nate will appear in game as an NPC, first met in Nimbasa City. He will join the player in a Tag Battle against Emmet and Ingo. Afterwards, he will give the player the Vs. Recorder.

Nate himself hasn't appeared in other adaptations. Only had 2 counterparts appearing in the manga. The most prominent incarnation is Lack-Two "Pokémon Special" and in addition, Arata from Pocket Monsters B2 W2 ~ A New Legend ~
  • Anime Hair: Much bushier than previous protagonists, even with his hat off (as shown in concept art). In game, when he is seen without it, his hair is much neater. Of course it is pretty much tame in comparison to Hugh's "Qwilfish".
  • Brown Eyes: In contrast to Hugh's Red Eyes, Nate's brown eyes indicate he is the more agreeable, level headed of the duo.
  • Curtains Match the Window
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Will share a close, brotherly friendship with Hugh.
  • Rated M for Manly: The general fan reaction to him after the animated trailer for Black And White 2, with fans seeing him as the biggest Badass since Red.
  • The Smart Guy: His approach to double battles as an NPC in the Battle Subway.
  • Spear Counterpart: To Rosa.
  • Weapon of Choice: Emboar From the animated trailer, being the starter he chose.

    Rosa (Mei) 
Voiced by: Aki Toyosaki (JP), Lisa Ortiz (EN) (promo)

Rosa is a young girl living in Aspertia City with her childhood friend Hugh. At the start of the game, she sets off with Hugh to collect her first Pokémon. They then go their separate ways and she starts her journey across the Unova region.

If the player chooses Nate, Rosa will appear in game as an NPC, first met in Nimbasa City. She will join the player in a Tag Battle against Emmet and Ingo. Afterwards, she will give the player the Vs. Recorder.

Rosa, like Hilda, hasn't appeared in other adaptations and Second girl that not appearing in version of Anime. She only had one counterpart appearing in the manga, Whi-Two "Pokémon Special"

Gen VI

    General Tropes 
  • The Ace/Always Someone Better: The player will be superior to their rival counterpart when it comes to battling, and will always have a more completed Pokedex than Trevor.
  • Action Fashionista: The player can customize both characters in a variety of clothing from casual, to extremely professional, and in some cases elegant. And, of course, you can kick plenty of ass while dressed as such.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The player will just as frequently team up with their rival as they will battle against them.
  • Break the Haughty: Despite being straightforward with training and actively getting stronger while doing everything right, your rival can never beat you and they'll always question why.
  • Can't Catch Up: Your rival will go through a good deal of existential angst over losing to you when you beat him/her in a battle for the Mega Ring.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Unlike Tierno, Trevor, and Shauna, who have their own priorities, the rival will actively try to foil Team Flare's schemes, not unlike the player themself.
  • Color Motif: Calem's default outfit has colors resembling Xerneas while Serena's default outfit has colors resembling Yveltal, their outfits can also be customized to suit the player's own personal personality or elemental preferences.
  • Cool Shades: Wears a pair over his/her hat.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: A possibility for those who choose the darkest skin color and have their hair dyed at the hair salon.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As a Rival.
  • Declaration of Protection: The rival will feel it is their duty to look after and protect their friends from people like Team Flare.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted. At the end, after defeating Diantha, the Player Character, The Rival, and the other three are treated to a parade and are personally given the "Honor of Kalos" as thanks for taking down Team Flare.
    • Played straight in the battle chateau, an Alpha Bitch trainer will talk trash about your clothes saying "Did you dress yourself in the dark or dig them out of the garbage" regardless whether or not if you're the most stylish trainer in all of Kalos with the most expensive chic clothing.
  • A Father to His Men: The player's ability to utilize the Mega Ring implies that they share a special bond of trust and friendship with their Pokemon.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Much moreso than the others listed here. Even their skin color is mutable at character creation, and virtually everything else about their appearance can be changed at will at any point during the game. It's very unlikely that any two given Gen VI protags will look exactly alike, especially when comparing players who have unlocked everything.
  • Freudian Trio: The Player is Ego, The Rival is Super Ego and Shauna is Id.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: As Player, Sunglasses in his/her default outfit.
  • Gray Eyes: By default. In Calem's case related to his Meaningful Name below.
  • The Hero/The Lancer: The character chosen by the player is the former, the one not chosen will be the latter. Together with the other three rivals, they form a Five-Man Band.
  • Humble Hero: Though it doesn't have an effect on the story, there are a few dialogue options at certain points that are more modest than others.
  • Iconic Item: The player eventually assumes possession of the Mega Ring. The rival later gains possession of one post-game.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The rival will become slightly envious of the player, realizing that the player was simply meant for greater things than they are.
  • Immortality: In the postgame, Sycamore says that they and the rest of the Five-Man Band were exposed to Team Flare's machine, meaning that they might have become immortal. However, he says this in both X and Y, the latter case being a death machine, so it could simply be energy for the Mega Ring since our protagonists aren't dead.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Eventually, after performing enough stylish actions, many establishments around Lumiose City will comment in awe of how stylish the player is, even if you've never changed your hair or clothes since rolling out of bed.
  • In the Blood: As a Rival, they are specifically chosen to get a Pokédex because their parents are both excellent trainers.
  • In-Series Nickname: Near the beginning of the game, the player can create a nickname for the rest of the group to refer to them by.
  • The Leader: Whoever the rival is will initially serve this role; Type II.
    • Quickly Demoted Leader: Starts off as the member with the most experience, but after you finally battle, it becomes clear that the player has overtaken them.
    • The Player Character turns into a Type IV over the course of the game, with everyone, even the rival, looking up to them.
  • Legacy Character: Looker presents the player with the codename "Looker" after he leaves Kalos.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: As a rival, they act rather aloof from the beginning, mainly focusing on training rather than hanging around. By the time you take down Team Flare, however, they have a change in attitude and become more personable with the rest of the gang.
  • Meaningful Name: Calem and Serena's names (both in English and Japanese) come from the words "calm" and "serene," respectively.
  • Naďve Newcomer: As usual, the player character starts off completely new to Pokemon training, but they are also implied to be new to much of the Kalos Region as well. Luckily their rival will show them the ropes.
    • Rookie Red Ranger: Despite being the group's newest member, the player character quickly becomes its most capable battler.
  • Nice Hat: Interestingly, only the player keeps the hat.
  • Nice Guy: Reconstructed. As Rival, See Loner-Turned-Friend.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The rival starts to feel this way during the fight with Team Flare at the Pokeball Factory.
    "But if I keep relying on you like this, going on this journey will lose its meaning..."
  • Protagonist Powerup Privileges: As the Player Character, they are the only one of the five who gets to use the Mega Evolution mechanic. Justified given that they 1) Defeated the other candidate and 2) There was only one ring at the time. As a rival, they get access to Mega Evolution Post-game.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The rival will be the Blue Oni to the player's Red Oni. The player, however, will be the Blue Oni to Shauna's Red.
  • The Rival: If you don't play as one of them, Calem/Serena mainly focuses on getting stronger than you.
  • Roller Blade Good: The player gets a pair early on, and can learn an assortment of awesome tricks like backflips and swirls.
  • Silent Protagonist: Played with. You don't have explicit pre-created dialogue like the NPCs do but the options this generation are far more specific than in previous gens.
  • Ship Tease: With each other, and the player character with Shauna.
  • Team Dad: The rival, who leads by example, and likes to protect rather than support.
  • Team Mom: The player. The few dialogue options available to the player will always have one gentle, supportive option.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Calem, Serena and Shauna. Each of them receives one of the three starter Pokemon.
  • The Unchosen One: The rival really wants to be The Chosen One, but unfortunately for them, it would seem the player already holds the position.
  • Vague Age: Even more true than other protagonists, and in some ways for Serena even more true than Calem, thanks to the Virtual Paper Doll feature. Some outfit-and-hair combinations can make Serena look like a certain other 10-year-old tomboy in the franchise or make her and Calem look younger than even Red (Serena's "cute" clothes + pigtails are good at this), while others, particularly ones from Lumiose and Snowbelle, can make him/her look practically like a college student. By default s/he has the air of a mid-teen, however.
    • Post-game, a girl named Emma is introduced who is explicitly sixteen years-old. She treats the player with respect, as if they are older, but judging from appearances, the player character is of similar height and looks, implying they are somewhere very close to her age.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: In addition to choosing his/her skin color, the player can dress Calem/Serena in a variety of different outfits.
    • If you choose one of them as your main character, the other will remain similar to the ones used in promotional material but without the hat. Serena will also have a ponytail instead of unkempt hair.
  • Weapon of Choice: The starter and Mega Absol for the rival.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Your rival receives the fossil you didn't pick in Glittering Cave, but they don't ever use the Pokemon that is revived from it.

    Calem (Calme) 

The male main character (and rival if you choose Serena) of Pokémon X and Y. This young man has just recently moved to Vaniville Town in Kalos, along with his mother, Grace. Given his mother's previous occupation as a Pokemon racer, and his close bond with the family Rhyhorn, Professor Sycamore decides he's the perfect candidate to help with Sycamore's research into "Mega Evolution," and has Calem summoned to his laboratory in Lumiose City.

Calem hasn't appeared in anime adaptations, but his clothes served as the inspiration for Ash's new outfit in the Pokemon X and Y anime. His counterpart in the Pokémon Special manga is simply called "X".
  • Anime Hair: Averted. He's one of the few male protagonists to have a normal hairstyle. Even his alternate hairstyles don't really get all that crazy (certainly nothing approaching Nate).
  • Bishōnen: Compared to other male protagonists of previous generations, he really is very good-looking, which can help contribute to the "older" side of his Vague Age.
  • Color-Coded Characters: His primary color and speech balloon (when he's the rival) are blue.
  • The Dandy: Can be played this way with the Trainer customization feature.
  • Platonic Life Partners: As Rival with Shauna.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Calem's default outfit is predominantly blue and red.
    • Color Motif: Incidentally, he wears blue, white and red, the same colors as the French flag.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Some of his available clothes options.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: By default, Calem looks and dresses similarly to Hilbert. At least he can be customized for those who wanted more variety. As the rival he acts more like Cheren instead.

    Serena 

The female main character (and rival if you choose Calem) of Pokémon X and Y. This young lady has just recently moved to Vaniville Town in Kalos, along with her mother, Grace. Given her mother's previous occupation as a Pokemon racer, and her close bond with the family Rhyhorn, Professor Sycamore decides she's the perfect candidate to help with Sycamore's research into "Mega Evolution," and has Serena summoned to his laboratory in Lumiose City.

A younger version of Serena serves as one of the protagonists in the Pokémon XY anime. Her Pokémon Special counterpart is simply called "Y".

Rivals

    Blue Oak (Green Ookido) 
Voiced by: Takuya Iguchi (JP), Lucien Dodge (EN) (Origins)

"I'm moving on up and ahead! By checking my Pokédex, I'm starting to see what's strong and how they evolve! I'm going to the Pokémon League to boot out the Elite Four! I'll become the world's most powerful trainer! ...well good luck to you! Don't sweat it! Smell ya!"

The Rival of the Player Character in Red/Blue. He was once the best friend of Red/Leaf, but as he grew up he changed into a huge Jerkass. Though abrasive and cocky, he has the skills to back up his boasts and has set his sights on nothing less than becoming the Pokémon League Champion. After being defeated, he takes up the position of Viridian City's Gym Leader.]]
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the remakes. In the original he had a sneering, downright punchable face. The remakes changed it into a cocky grin.
  • Always Someone Better: He always shows up ahead of you, even up to beating the Elite Four before you and being the Final Boss.
    • His remake artwork plays with this and portrays him holding an Ultra Ball rather than a Pokéball like the protagonists.
    • Blue is also unique amongst the various "rivals" in that, no matter how short lived it was; he was a legitimate Champion of the Kanto region. Though the stakes for the other games would escalate and others would be your final challenge as opposed to that age old rival, this made Red and Blue distinct as their grand finale was personal.
    • This gets reversed in Gold and Silver, where in the remakes, he will often talk about Red and how Red defeated him.
  • Anime Hair
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: By HGSS, he's become the strongest Kanto Gym Leader.
  • Badass Boast: His final speech before battling him as Champion:
    Blue: "While working on my Pokédex, I looked all over for Pokémon. Not only that, I assembled teams that would beat any Pokémon type. And now… I am the Pokémon League Champion! Red! Do you know what that means? I'll tell you. I am the most powerful Trainer in the world!"
  • Bootstrapped Theme: His Champion battle theme plays during the Real Life Pokémon Video Game Championship Finals.
  • Break the Haughty: When you beat him and end his short reign as Champion. Professor Oak telling him that he stands no chance of becoming the Champion again in his current state adds salt to the wound.
  • Catch Phrase: "Smell ya later!"
    • "Whatever!", come HGSS.
    • "Smell ya later" continues into GenVI. While he himself doesn't show up, an NPC says he visited the region. While he's managed to learn how to say "Bonjour", he still makes his exit with "Smell ya later".
  • Character Development: More noticeable in FRLG. The first hint at this is him giving you the Fame Checker after you defeat him before Nugget Bridge because he felt guilty always being ahead of you. In the credits, he seems to be thinking about himself and his Pokémon after being told off by his grandfather and being beaten by you. In GSC/HGSS he is fairly less of a Jerkass.
    • He is also much more mature and seems to have learned how to take care of his Pokémon. This is evident when his Pigeot uses Return, a Normal attack that becomes stronger the more the Pokémon likes its user.
  • Continuity Nod: In the original games, his sprite as the Champion had him wearing a jacket, which isn't seen again in the second generation or the first generation remakes, but returns in his design for the second generation remakes.
  • Cutting Off The Branches: Averted, unlike with Red. He has none of the Kanto starters in any of his Gen II or Gen V teams. Likewise, he has no Pokémon in the Eevee line, which would confirm which outcome his first battle with Red had.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the second generation, he has settled into the role of Viridian City's Gym Leader.
  • Dub Name Change: To follow with the games' localized titles.
  • Final Boss: Of the first generation.
  • Informed Attribute: For his Champion battle, he claims to have built a team that can take down any Pokémon type. The team he uses for that battle is practically the same team that you've been trouncing in your previous battles.
    • Although in a surprising Meta example, in the original version, his team is between the three starters, Gyarados, Pidgeot, Arcanine, Exeggutor, Rhydon, and Alakazam, with Alakazam, Rhydon, Starter and Pidgeot as his team's mainstay. Setting movepool aside, his team has a good balance of each type, AND he used the strongest non legendary Pokémon of their respective type. The fact that he used Alakazam, Rhydon and Exeggutor shows his in canon Team Building sense.
  • In the Blood: His grandfather is a Pokémon researcher, and his sister was a superb coordinator (plus, she's pretty good with making tea), so there's little surprise when it comes to his personality and achievements.
  • It's All About Me: His downfall is that he thinks so much about himself that he forgets to treat his Pokémon with love and respect. For the entire game, he views Pokémon as nothing more than cool powerful creatures that can do whatever he wants for him and help him become Champion.
  • Jerkass: He likes to get under the player's skin anytime they cross paths.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Good luck trying to beat the game without accidentally finding out from somewhere that Blue is the Champion.
  • Non-Elemental: As a Gym Leader and Champion, Blue has no type specialty and is the only leader in the entire series who doesn't. Technically, his Pokémon cover Fire, Water, Flying, Grass, Psychic, Fighting, Normal, and Ground/Rock.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Red's Blue.
  • The Rival: The first and the most straightly played. The player and Blue compete to see who can become the better trainer. Blue is always a step ahead of the player no matter, and always arrogantly looking down on them, setting up a rival you want to beat.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Thanks to the localization exporting a renamed update of Green Version instead of the real (outdated) Green version, no one can agree whether this guy's name is Blue or Green. It gets more complicated when you start arguing about who you call Blue or Green in Pokémon Special, and moreso when you bring the anime into the picture.
  • Third Option Adaptation: His Gym Leader team is based off of his Red & Blue team... omitting the starternote . This is to avoid giving a 'canon' choice of his (and therefore Red's) starter. Notably, he does NOT have an Eeveelution, or any other Pokémon exclusively from his team in Yellow.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After his stint as Champion, he took over Giovanni's Gym and is the toughest Gym Leader of the 8 Kanto leaders (and the toughest of the 16 in the Indigo League, and possibly toughest of all the Gym leaders in the entire series). He may be 2nd to Red, but that still makes him the 2nd toughest trainer in the game.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: See Used to Be a Sweet Kid.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The guidebook for Red and Blue explains that he was Red's best friend until shortly before the time of the game, where he started to become a bully. Despite this, there's still times where he talks to you like an old friend.
  • Weapon of Choice: Averted. While one Pokémon will always inevitably be more powerful than the others, which Pokémon it is changes in every game. Given a nod in Black 2 and White 2, where he is one of the few trainers in the World Tournament who will lead with whatever Pokémon he feels like leading with, unlike almost everyone else, who always lead with their signature Pokémon.
    • He is sometimes associated with Eevee in the same way Red is associated with Pikachu, though its less prominent.
    • In early promo art for Red and Green. he was always seen with the Charmander line, in contrast to Red's Bulbasaur.
    • It should be noted that Alakazam is his most common Pokémon, being in all of his teams of all the games except the two HGSS teams.
    • Green from Pokémon Origins picked Blastoise.
  • What Happened To The Raticate?: Blue uses a Rattata against the player during their battle in Cerulean City, which evolves into a Raticate in his next battle. After that, it disappears from his team without mention. There is evidence that suggests his Raticate died at some point between the two battles, though the theory is strictly fanon at this point.

    Silver 

"I hate the weak. Pokémon, trainers. It doesn't matter who or what. I'm going to be strong and wipe out the weak. That goes for Team Rocket too. They act big and tough in a group. But get them alone, and they're weak. I hate them all. You stay out of my way. A weakling like you is only a distraction."

The Rival in Gold/Silver. He is a selfish thug whose first act is to steal his starting Pokemon from the Elm Research Lab. Fuelled by a hatred towards Team Rocket, he is obsessed with growing stronger as quickly as possible and sees his Pokemon as mere tools to his ascent. After being defeated by Lance, Silver begins to realise the folly of this approach and slowly turns over a new leaf.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Same as with Blue, Silver was considerably prettied-up in the remakes. He was made taller and slimmer, and his new expression is less threatening.
  • Artistic Age: His remake art makes him look more like a teenager, but he is stated to be Ethan and Lyra's age.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Fits this trope perfectly.
  • Bad Boss: Towards his Pokemon pre-Character Development.
  • Badass: Victory Road in G/S/HG/SS is the only Victory Road in the series devoid of trainers. The reason? Silver defeated them all.
    Silver: Man, they were all spineless!
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With the player when Lance and Clair decided to challenge them to a tag battle.
  • Bishōnen: His remake design, slightly.
  • Blood Knight: He loves to battle, if just to prove his superiority over others.
  • Character Development: At first, he's by far the nastiest rival in the whole series, but by the end he's completely reformed.
    • More is added in the remakes, featuring a new double battle against Clair and Lance after his turn. Also upon visiting the Elm Pokémon Lab afterwards, you discover that he tried to return his starting Pokémon, but Elm let him keep it since the Pokémon loved him so much. Not to mention his Freudian Excuse is fully revealed and explained.
  • Children Are Cruel: He's either abusive or borderline-abusive.
  • Continuity Cameo: His anime counterpart appeared in the Japanese The Legend of Thunder special's intro.
  • Crash into Hello: In HeartGold/SoulSilver, as a reference to Barry's usual way of meeting you.
  • Disappeared Dad: His dad up and left him when he wasn't even nine.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Your first clue that he's a darker rival than Blue is the revelation that he stole his Starter Pokemon.
  • Evil Redhead
  • Freudian Excuse: He's Giovanni's son. It was first implied in FireRed and LeafGreen, but for whatever reason, the outright confirmation in HeartGold and SoulSilver was edited out (a line literally translating to "I don't understand you, Dad!" dropped the "Dad" in the English version.)
    • His issues with strength and weakness also stem from him feeling like Team Rocket and his father were weak and fearing his own weakness.
      • Before you head off into Victory Road, the last trainer you battle mentions Silver and notices how he has the feeling he has to win at any cost, having a deep fear of failure and being weak.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: His dark red and purple design is definitely not meant to make him look cuddly.
  • Hate Sink: Before his Character Development, he's actually more the antagonist than Team Rocket! The player is pretty much meant to hate his guts early on.
  • Idiot Hair
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: In hindsight, all his obsession with being strong really amounts to this.
  • Jerkass: Until later in the game, when he loosens up. There are several trainers throughout the game pre-Kanto who mention the guy curb stomping them in a battle and taunting on how lame they were.
  • Loners Are Freaks: He seems to do everything on his own and is a crude and ruthless boy.
  • Meaningful Name: While his original design had him with red eyes, as his concept art showed, his remake design makes his name meaningful. His name is "Silver" and he has gray, or silver, eyes.
  • My Name Is ???: Trope Namer.
  • No Name Given: The closest he has been given to a canon name is Silver, which was his default in Gold and Crystal. In the remakes, "Silver" is never used- "Soul" is in HeartGold and "Heart" in SoulSilver.
  • The Rival: Silver ignites a one-sided, bitter rivalry with the player, hoping to prove he is better than them.
  • The Social Darwinist: He states he only has time for strong Pokémon, the others are worthless to him.
  • The Sociopath: Shades of this, even more of them in the remakes, initially.
    • Took a Level in Kindness: Resolves to be a kinder Trainer to his Pokémon after having his brutish behavior spelled out as the reason for his failures as a Trainer. This is even exemplified in game by having his Golbat evolve into a Crobat, which can only level up with extreme happiness.
  • Sore Loser: Despite being defeated by the player a number of times he calls you out for being pathetically weak. A Let's Player even compared him to Bass.EXE, who acts similarly towards MegaMan.EXE. He got better though.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom / Spanner in the Works: The infamous event where he strips the character of the Rocket disguise right before you could get the infiltration plan going is this. Unlike other examples of the trope, he soon realizes why you wore the outfit but calls you pathetic for resorting to disguise and walking off.
  • Worthy Opponent: In HG/SS, it's implied that he feels this way about the Player Character.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If you play as a girl. He also shoves Clair away when she offers to team with him against Lance and the player.

    Wally (Mitsuru) 

The Rival in Ruby/Sapphire. Wally is a sickly boy who starts his journey when you help him catch his first Pokemon. Drawing strength from the growing bond between himself and his Pokemon, Wally slowly manages to overcome his frailties and discover his resolve to become the Pokemon League Champion.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: His green and white color scheme matches up perfectly with the Ralts line (his starter Pokémon).
  • Handicapped Badass
  • Ill Boy
  • The Rival: He tries to be this to you and pretty much becomes it by the end.
  • Took a Level in Badass: You see him in Mauville, and he's hardly Rival material compared to the ones in the last two games or mon are chosen from either list. Then you run into him on Victory Road, and he's much stronger. Pokémon gave him hope to overcome his weaknesses, and in becoming stronger himself, he raised his Pokémon into total badasses. He's like Theodore Roosevelt, but with Pokémon.
    • At their highest levels, his Pokémon could actually pick a fight with Wallace.
  • Weapon of Choice: Ralts line, ending with Gardevoir.
  • You Gotta Have Green Hair

    Barry (Jun) 

The Rival of Pearl/Diamond. Barry is an impatient and hyperactive young man who always seems to be in a rush. His dream is to become the Pokemon League Champion, and especially wants to achieve it as fast as possible. However, his genuine talent at raising Pokemon is offset by his haste and lack of patience, and his preference for brute force over strategy.
  • Adorkable: Why female fans love him.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: After barging into your room in Platinum, he then notices your new laptop.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when it looks like you'll have to face Jupiter and Mars alone atop of Mt. Coronet, guess who shows up and heals you afterwards?
  • Catch Phrase: "What was that about?"
    • And briefly, "I'm fining you [large amount of money] if you're late!"
  • Character Development: As the story goes on, he becomes more patient and less hasty. He also becomes better at creating strategies and learning from his losses.
  • Crash into Hello: Your rival's normal way of greeting you. Lampshaded during one of your mid-game encounters with him, where he doesn't crash into you and gleefully points this out, asking if you were surprised.
    "Thud!!"
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He is so dorky and impatient that it's easy to forget that he is the second strongest trainer to have appeared in the series, right after Red.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Basically, what you do with him. It defines your relationship.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With the player character.
  • Generation Xerox: He looks and acts like his father, right down to the Crash into Hello.
  • Heroic BSOD: The events at Lake Verity/Acuity send him into one, and it takes the poor kid a while to snap out of it.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Keet: Especially at the very beginning.
  • The Rival
  • Scarf Of Ass Kicking
  • Schedule Fanatic: Times everything you do!
  • Shared Family Quirks: It turns out his father, Palmer, is just as hasty and has a tendency to be late just like him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: With Palmer.
  • This Loser Is You: Though not portrayed negatively. His way of banging into everything and everyone is a pretty obvious reference to how player characters tend to run or bike absolutely everywhere to speed things along, often running into things as a result. All those NPCs who mention how impatient he is? They might just say the same thing about you, except they're too polite to say it to your face.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Pokemon Platinum was first released, the levels of Barry's team actually exceeded Red's. Although Red regained his title again in the Gold and Silver remakes, that still makes Barry the second toughest opponent in the series.

    Bianca (Bel) 
Voiced by: Ayana Taketatsu (JP), Eileen Stevens (EN) (promo)

One of the two rivals in Black/White. Bianca is a ditzy and idealistic young trainer who is more interested in just travelling with her Pokemon than competitive battling. She uses her journey as a Coming of Age Story, discovering what she wants to do with her life.
  • Bonus Boss: If you use the Memory Link function with a copy of Black or White, she'll use her team from those games, including her starter and elemental monkey, in a battle on Route 1. Unlike other bonuses, this is a one-time battle.
    • She also appears in the World Tournament, despite not being a Gym Leader, using a team based on her role as Juniper's aide.
  • Break the Cutie: Right from the start, her father almost completely prevents her from going on her journey. She tries her best and still loses to the player, and then her Munna is stolen by Team Plasma (it's given back later), causing her to feel weak. Later, in Nimbasa, her father goes all the way there to attempt to drag the poor girl back home. Thank goodness for Elesa's interference.
    • Though it's possible for Bianca to win against the player, you still have to beat her to continue the plot.
  • Childhood Friends: With Cheren and either Hilda or Hilbert.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In the Black and White games, Bianca's team by endgame can easily be more robust, well-balanced, and have a more efficient movepool than Cheren's, despite the fact that Bianca is functionally a Pokemon hobbyist (later going into the non-combat side of Pokemon husbandry) and Cheren is dead-set on becoming the next Champion and is all about the battles.
    • As mentioned above, Bianca is in the World Tournament, in the Gym Leader tournaments, putting her up as one of the best Trainers in the world.
    • Notably, a random NPC at the World Tournament who will give you info on your opponents outright says that she's a powerful trainer.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Fridge Brilliance for this kicks in when you see her redesign featuring glasses.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The point of her character development.
  • The Ditz
  • Dumb Blonde: She is described as a bit of an unreliable airhead.
  • Everything's Precious With Puppies: Lillipup.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: It's gotten longer in Black 2 and White 2, apparently to make her look older.
  • Forehead of Doom: Not commented on, but her hairstyle greatly emphasizes it.
  • Friend to All Living Things: All of her Pokémon know Return, but only in her Memory Link battle. In the World Tournament, only her Stoutland uses Return.
    • In B2W2, you can call her on the Xtransceiver to have her rate your Pokemon's happiness (she even refers to them as your "little darlings.")
  • Genius Ditz: She ends up having a pretty good team. Also note the Gondor Calls for Aid moment below.
    • Also, she decides to become a Pokemon Researcher, which she's making good on in Black 2 and White 2 as Juniper's aide.
  • Genki Girl: Usually, anyway, unless she's troubled.
  • Girlish Pigtails: They aren't really pigtails, but the swept-up parts of her hair seem to evoke this.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: At the end of Black and White, she calls upon the Gym Leaders to hold off the Sages at N's Castle.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The goal Bianca ends up deciding on in the end of Black and White.
  • Guest Star Party Member: During the first visit at Reversal Mountain till you get to the main room and leave through Undella Town.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
  • Hartman Hips
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners/Platonic Life Partners: With Hilda and Hilbert, depending on which one you choose.
  • Meganekko: For some reason, she gained glasses between the two years. People joke that she stole them from Cheren, or at least received them from him in some manner. note 
  • Moe Stare
  • Nice Hat: Now with a ribbon on the side.
  • One Steve Limit: She's gonna cause some problems with this one. Pokémon Heroes also had a Bianca.
  • Overprotective Dad: She has one. At one point, he actually shows up to try to take her home!
  • Plucky Girl: Don't think anything's going to stop her from finding her own dream. Not losing in battles, not having her Pokémon stolen, not even her dad's interference. Hell, she doesn't even back down or flinch during their conversation in Nimbasa City!
  • The Rival: Despite sharing this trope with Cheren, their character development in that regard is very different. Bianca starts her journey without many expectations or hopes to become anything, and discovers her abilities as her journey progresses.
  • Shrinking Violet: Somewhat. While she's usually perfectly outgoing, she is also shown to be frightened pretty easily. It doesn't help that her father is constantly worrying over her journey, and his sheltering of her all her life probably caused her insecurities to start with.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Is her Japanese name spelled Beru, Bel, Bell, or Belle?
    • Because of this, her German name is Bell, Italian is Belle and Spanish is Bel.
  • Stocking Filler: She wears orange garters under her dress in the first game.
  • Theme Naming: Her Japanese name, Bel, is Slavic for "white"; her English name is Italian for the same.
  • Weapon of Choice: To avoid giving her a canon starter choice, Musharna has become this for her in Black 2 and White 2.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She's constantly looking on the bright side of things. Cheren is a little annoyed by this near the end, where she's still being bubbly despite the possible threat of N beating the Pokémon League ahead.

    Cheren 

One of the two rivals in Black/White. Cheren is an intelligent and competitive trainer who is utterly focused on becoming the Pokemon League Champion. However, he only seeks to become the Champion for its own sake, and over time this motive is called into question. He eventually becomes a Gym Leader in Black 2/White 2.

For information on Cheren, check the Pokémon Gym Leaders Character Page.

    Hugh (Hue) 
Voiced by: Junko Minagawa (JP), Sean Schemmel (EN) (promo)

The Rival in Black and White 2. Hugh is a Hot-Blooded young man with a serious grudge against Team Plasma, who stole his little sister's Purrlion years ago. To take revenge on them, he raised a Pokemon from an egg and became a trainer. Though he is usually cool and calm, he goes berserk when confronted by a member of Team Plasma.
  • Anime Hair: One of the most notable examples in the series' history. A Plasma Grunt even derisively compares it to a Qwilfish.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: To Cheren and Bianca, though they're still around.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Notable in that unlike all previous rivals, you spend much more time fighting alongside Hugh than against him.
  • Badass: Takes no nonsense from Team Plasma. At one point when you enter Driftveil City, he just rushes onto the scene and slaps/shoves/punches/otherwise physically assaults a grunt like it's nothing.
  • Berserk Button: He pretty much flips out the instant he sees a member of Team Plasma, both new and old. Part of his Character Development is about outgrowing this.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He cares heavily about his little sister and is said to be doting towards her. He also despises Team Plasma because they kidnapped her Purrloin. In a way, he also is this to the Player Character themselves throughout the journey through assuring they are never alone taking on Team Plasma and encourages you along the way.
  • Black and White Insanity: One of his main flaws is his refusal to acknowledge the original Team Plasma's Heel-Face Turn. He finally starts to overcome this outlook near the end of the game.
  • Catch Phrase: "I'm about to unleash my rage!" / "You're about to feel my rage!"
  • Character Development: Hugh starts off as an Ideal Hero, kind and supportive of the Player Character. His only flaw is that he refuses to forgive Team Plasma for, years ago, having stolen his sister's Purrloin. He is dragged down and blinded by this hatred, but finally comes to terms with the fact that former villains can redeem themselves. Hugh finds peace, and continues to care for his sister's Purrloin-turned-Liepard, even though it was raised and influenced by Team Plasma, knowing it is still good at heart.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Only if you're playing on Challenge Mode, but there his Pokemon's levels when he's battling against you are higher than when he's an ally, leading to one point where his Pokemons' levels actually go down within a short span of time.
  • Forgiveness: His personal struggle is learning to let go of his hatred for the former Plasma members and move on.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Fans' first impression on Hugh is that he would act like Blue or Silver because of his character design. Turns out it wasn't the case, he's very supportive towards the player. Played straight against Team Plasma though.
  • Freudian Excuse: Rare heroic example. Surely there's a reason he hates Team Plasma, right? Right?
  • Guest Star Party Member: On ocassion, but more active during the first visit at the Castelia Sewers.
  • Heroic BSOD: After finding out that his sister's Purrloin has evolved into a Liepard and will now only obey the Shadow Triad.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners/Platonic Life Partners: With Nate and Rosa, respectively.
  • Hot-Blooded: He is very passionate.
  • It's Personal: Chases Team Plasma because they kidnapped his little sister's Purrloin.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He is willing to go to violent lengths in order to get the justice his sister deserves.
  • Large Ham: Hugh will make the extra effort to let everyone know when he is about to unleash his rage.
  • Meaningful Name: Hue, as in colour, fits in with a number of other colour based names.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his flaws, he ultimately seems to admire the protagonist and cares for his Pokémon. In fact, he actually apologizes several times for dragging the player character into his quest to take down Team Plasma. He also wants to see the protagonist become the Unova Champion.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Oddly enough, his Xtransceiver is pink, which contrasts with the red and yellow ones Nate and Rosa possess, respectively.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Not evil, but seems to be darker than more recent rivals, excluding Silver. Of course he plays this straight towards the Plasma Grunts he mows down.
  • The Rival: Technically is this, but is more of...
    • Friendly Rival: At no point in the game does he ever challenge you for the sake of beating you and proving himself superior. As your best friend, he offers to battle you in order to test your Pokémons' strength, and after losing, shows complete confidence in your abilities and encourages you to continue on your quest to become the Unova champion.
  • Two Words: Obvious Trope: Call him before you reach Reversal Mountain to know where he is.
    Hugh: One word: Reversal Mountain. Oh wait, that's two words...
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair
  • Weapon of Choice: Samurott, in the animated trailer, though this of course has no bearing in the actual game.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Clay for blindly trusting Rood and his followers.

    Tierno 
An excitable boy from Vaniville Town whom you befriend at the beginning of Pokémon X and Y. Obsessed with dancing, his goal is to create a troupe of performing Pokemon dancers.

    Trevor (Toroba) 
A curious boy from Vaniville Town whom you befriend at the beginning of Pokémon X and Y. He doesn't much care for battling, and prefers to challenge the player on who has more entries in their Pokedex.

    Shauna (Sana) 
A spunky girl from Vaniville Town whom you befriend at the beginning of Pokémon X and Y.
  • Action Girl: Not Shauna herself (most of the time), but her starter Pokemon will always be female. This is a first compared to the rivals having male ones.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Seems to be a shade or two darker than her friends, with an Arabic name in the Japanese version. France does have a sizeable Middle Eastern population.
  • Babies Ever After: Again, not Shauna herself, but her starter. She'll trade you the offspring for any Pokémon in the post game, and it has a nature that amplifies its greatest stat, along with 31 IVs in that particular stat.
  • Batman Gambit: Yes, really. During the final confrontation with Team Flare's Admins, she cowardly runs away screaming how she "hates being chased." This turns out to have been a clever ruse to split up the admins, who were heavily outnumbering the player, and it works.
  • Bow Ties Are Cool: Not in the usual way, but her shirt and her purse sport several bowtie-like designs.
  • The Chick: Seemingly fills this role as your friend. Counting the player characters as The Leader and The Lancer depending on which one you pick, this makes the main Pokemon Trainers close to a Five-Man Band.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Her love for solving puzzles and close friendship with Clemont and Bonnie comes in handy later down the story when you deal with Team Flare the final time, in which her skills help open the final locked door to the machine.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Pink.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: When battled on Route 19 before Couriway Town, she has a Goodra at Level 49, which is a tiny bit underleveled. Only by one level, but still.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: One could easily mistake Shauna as someone similar to Bianca given she is less interested in Pokemon battling than the main rival, but she tags along on the final quest to take down Team Flare and in your second battle with her on Route 19, she is packing a Goodra.
  • For Happiness: Shauna's reason for journeying is simply to have fun and make some memories with her friends and Pokemon.
  • Genki Girl: Her Omura art has her with an enormous grin and Word of God describes her "an incredibly energetic girl" who's "friendly and outgoing."
  • Girlish Pigtails: Four of them.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners/Platonic Life Partners: With Serena and Calem, respectively, if they are the player's rival.
  • Hidden Depths: She is much more insightful than her bubbly exterior would suggest. It also seems that she is the only one of the gang who really savors the memories they're creating on their journey. There is also the fact she is a fan of puzzles.
    • As the above Batman Gambit indicates, she's also good at understanding people, and can be unexpectedly cunning in a crisis.
  • Meaningful Name: Her Japanese name is Arabic for "sunshine" or "brilliance."
  • Pink Means Feminine
  • Recurring Boss: The first trainer you battle in the beginning of the game, using the starter weak to yours. Then she battles you much later in the game as the first of a Boss Rush involving all the rivals except Calem/Serena.
  • Red Oni: Sharply contrasts with the current rival, who will be more reserved and mature.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: With Calem, she is the more irresponsible one. Even more so if Calem is the rival.
  • Say It with Hearts: She says things with a musical note at the end often.
  • Shipper on Deck: Hinted as one for Calem and Serena (regardless of which one you're playing as). She'll say they're the strongest and make a good combination.
  • Ship Tease: With the protagonist, regardless of gender, at Parfum Palace. The game is less subtle about it with Calem, though.
    Shauna: "Um... I've never watched fireworks alone with a boy, before. I'll remember this forever."
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Shauna's design seems to be inspired by Cincinno and Pachirisu, though she doesn't necessarily own either one.
  • Weapon of Choice: The starter that has a type disadvantage to the player's starter, but the one most everyone remembers is her Goodra. In the Battle Maison she also has a Sylveon.
  • We Need a Distraction: Both at the Poke Ball Factory and Flare's Geosenge Headquarters, she uses herself to distract members of Team Flare to run after her.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?


Pokémon: Generation VI FamiliesCharacters/PokémonPokémon Gym Leaders

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