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Pokemon: Tropes A to I
(Back to main page) (You are here, Tropes J to R, Tropes S to Z, YMMV, Trivia)
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    A 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Level 100. This is really only useful to achieve for competitive battling purposes as you can complete everything within most games with Mons in the level 50-60 range.
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: The move Cut allows the player's Pokemon to, well, cut down small trees with a single slicing movement. Flavor Text for various Pokémon species describes how their claw/pincer/etc. weapons are sharp enough to inflict significant property damage. Also repeatedly demonstrated in the anime, with Scyther in particular repeatedly seen chopping down trees in a single swipe.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Invoked. The "Unaware" ability allows a Pokémon to act as if its target hasn't been affected by any stat-changing moves during the battle. In other words, it can ignore boosted Attack/Defense simply by not knowing the stats were boosted.
  • Action Pet: Basically what a captured Pokémon becomes.
  • A Dog Named Dog: All un-nicknamed Pokémon.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Noctowl as stated in the Pokédex in the Silver Version. Justified, though, since owls can rotate their heads by a lot in real life.
  • The Ace: There is a Trainer class literally called "Ace Trainer", though it was known as "Cooltrainer" prior to Generation IV. Their AI tends to be smarter than most other trainers, and their Pokémon more powerful.
  • Action Bomb: Anything that learns Selfdestruct or Explosion, most notably Koffing, Voltorb, and Geodude. Pineco in particular can learn it at very low levels since its introduction in Generation II. Their AI Roulette makes them Goddamned Bats if you're lucky.
  • Action Initiative:
    • A Pokémon's "Speed" stat determines which Pokémon goes first in each round of combat, with varying effects:
    • Certain moves can have different attack power or effects depending on whether they execute before or after the opponent. In particular, the "flinch" status can only occur if the opponent strikes first.
    • Certain moves (like "Quick Attack") have increased or decreased "priority", making them always strike before or after the opponent's move. Later generations add other increased-priority moves such as ExtremeSpeed, Mach Punch, and Sucker Punch. Vital Throw (introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver) is an example of a move with decreased priority; it hits last but is guaranteed to hit as long as the user is still conscious.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: As you advance in the game, the items in the Poké Marts get progressively more expensive. Justified by the fact that it's because the item selection gets better, but it's still Fridge Logic that every Pokémon Trainer would start at Pallet Town and progress through the cities in the same order; newer generations fix it by tying the product selection to the number of badges possessed instead of location.
  • Aerith and Bob: Masculine names in the franchise range from Barry to Ghetsis and feminine names range from May to Drasna. However, this seems to largely be because the use of meaningful and punny names is more important than keeping the names completely realistic.
  • A.I. Roulette:
    • Wild Pokémon, and some of the early Trainers, pick their attacks entirely at random. You'd better pray that your rival doesn't pick Scratch or Tackle five times in a row during the first battle.
      • However, this was not the case in the original games (Red/Blue), as the AI would use the most Type Effective move it had. This led to Pokémon using moves like Agility over and over until they ran out of PP. This was fixed in Yellow.
  • All Flyers Are Birds: A lot of Flying-types that have a bird-like body shape behave in a sort of avian fashion. Aerodactyl, for example, is often seen standing on two legs and carrying things in its talons like a bird of prey. A few bird Pokémon invert this trope, though, such as the (supposedly) flightless Doduo and Dodrio.
  • All Myths Are True: In one of the most roundabout ways possible. All legendary Pokemon, and quite a few regular Pokemon, are based off some form of mythical creature. Golduck, for example, is the Kappa. Lugia is most likely based on the Ryūjin, a dragon who lived on the ocean floor and was the Shinto god of the sea, while Ho-Oh is based on the Huma bird, a legendary bird that is said to never rest, living its entire life flying continuously, and resurrects itself and others in its own ashes and flames, and more obviously a Phoenix. The Hoenn Weather Trio Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza, are based off the Leviathan, a sea monster; Behemoth, a land beast; and Ziz, a giant bird, respectively. Arceus is based off of any manner of creator Deity, and the list simply goes on. Even some Pokémon types follow this; Ghost, Dragon, and Fairy are all elemental types with unique matchups.
    • Xerneas represents the Stag Eikţyrnir, Yveltal represents the Hawk Veđrfölnir, both from Norse Mythology, and Zygarde is either based on Níđhöggr or the Jörmungandr both Serpents from Norse mythology. Most of these are based on creatures connected to the mythical Norse Tree of Yggdrasil. Xerneas also slept in the form of a tree, to hammer it in further.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Baton Pass move allows you to pass any secondary effects to another Pokémon. With luck and patience, you could pass along a quadrupling of both Defenses, Speed, the Attack stat of your choice, give opponents only a 33% chance of connecting with most moves, and the ability to regenerate. It requires the patience of a saint and can be thrown off by a critical hit, some status ailments, the moves Roar, Whirlwind, Dragon Tail (unless you have a Smeargle with both Baton Pass and Ingrain, or Pokémon with the ability Suction Cups), Haze, or Clear Smog (though Steel types are immune to the last option).
    • However, this can easily backfire through the use of Perish Song (luckily, the countdown does not apply to whichever Pokémon switches in) and Psych Up (your opponent copies any stat changes you have made and, since it's a single turn move, does so in much less time than you did).
    • The EV system works like this in a way. Every time you beat a Pokémon (trained or wild), you gain EVs in whatever is their best stat (like HP for Chansey, Speed for Ninjask, etc). After enough EVs in one stat, that stat increases one point. Basically, it means your Pokémon starts to take on the stats of the enemies it faces.
  • Always Accurate Attack:
    • "Swift" from the first generation never misses. It even works if your opponent is underground or up in the sky (though this was removed in later generations).
    • Similar attacks of other elemental types have been introduced in later generations: Feint Attack, Vital Throw, Aerial Ace, Magical Leaf, Shock Wave, Shadow Punch, Magnet Bomb, and Aura Sphere. Certain other moves, such as Gust or Earthquake, can even hit targets who are currently using Fly or Dig (which normally grants one turn of invulnerability before striking).
    • The No Guard Ability causes all attacks used by a Pokémon to become always-accurate, in exchange for granting the same to all attacks used against it, even allowing you to hit targets that are in the air, underground, or temporarily non-existent.
    • Lock-On and Mind Reader ensure the next attack will hit, even if the target uses the aforementioned moves; the only way out is switching Pokémon.
    • Hurricane and Thunder ignore accuracy and evasion checks (similar to Swift) when it's raining, while Blizzard does so when it's hailing in Generation V. Before that it instead raised their accuracy to 100% (Blizzard didn't do that in Gen III, though).
    • In Generation VI, Toxic becomes this if the user is a Poison-type, allowing the user to badly poison even those using Fly or Dig.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair:
    • Standards of the series are patches of grass with a darker shade than others, trash cans, the centers of plateaus, dead-ends, and rocks. Thank Arceus for the Item Finder/Dowsing Machine when they're anywhere else.
    • Don't bother with pots or trash bins, however. There are millions of them starting in Generation III; every single one of them is empty, but the text leads you on to think that some of them aren't. In Gen I you could find a great ball in a trash can on the S.S. Anne.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: They come in some funky colors. Shiny Pokémon may have even funkier color variations.
  • An Aesop: The entire series looks at the conflict between human civilization and nature, and examines the idea that one should be sacrificed for the sake of the other, and the difficulties and struggles needed so both can flourish. It's been around since Gen I with Team Rocket abusing Pokémon for profit and the existence of artificial Pokémon like Grimer and Koffing as a result of human pollution, and has come into the spotlight since Gen V with the villainous teams (aside from Team Flare) pursuing goals rooted in the idea that humans and Pokémon shouldn't co-exist.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: The fact that Pokémon lack visible attributes (with exception for Miltank's cow udders, of course, as well as for some weird reason, Nuzleaf having nipples) is likely a culmination of its simple visual art style and kid-friendly target audience (and G-Rated Sex). The actual Mons can probably be assumed to still possess their attributes... after all, that Berry fertilizer has to come from somewhere. The various Pokémon that draw their designs from things other than animals are a bit more ambiguous. How exactly does one tell the difference between, say, a male and female Grimer — living blobs of toxic goo? Eh, forget we even asked.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Most Pokémon based on animals are either much larger or much smaller then the animal they are based on. For example, Donphan and Ariados are both 3 feet and 7 inches tall. Donphan is an elephant while Ariados is a spider.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating:
    • In Ruby/Sapphire, you can be rewarded with items to decorate your Secret Base, while in Diamond/Pearl it's your underground cabin. Platinum adds a villa, though you can only buy items and not choose where to place them.
    • It started in Gold/Silver, where you could decorate your bedroom at your mother's house.
    • The Dream World home in Generation V falls into this as well, as well as the decoration mode in Generation VI's Pokémon-Amie.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: A large number of Pokémon fit this description.
    • Banette used to be a doll that was thrown away by a child, and now seeks revenge. By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Shuppet.
    • Rotom can possess objects, as revealed in Pokémon Platinum, where it can possess a washing machine, a lawnmower, an oven, a freezer, and a table fan. Specifically, it possesses technology that uses a special kind of motor (if you're wondering why, spell Rotom backwards). The aforementioned objects are specially prepared for research purposes.
    • Voltorb is also implied to be a Poké Ball turned sentient, through an unknown cause. Its SoulSilver Pokédex entry specifically states that it was discovered when Poké Balls were invented. An entry in another game says its components are not found in nature.
    • Shedinja is the discarded exoskeleton of a Nincada after it evolves into Ninjask. Exactly how it is animated, especially considering the former occupant still lives, is not explained.
    • Claydol, according to the Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Pokédex, is "An ancient clay figurine that came to life as a Pokémon from exposure to a mysterious ray of light." By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Baltoy.
    • Trubbish is a trash bag that came to life because of a chemical reaction.
    • A few more that are based on inanimate objects, yet are not implied to have been animated by outside forces, include Magnemite (magnets), Nosepass/Probopass (Moai statue), Bronzor (a bronze mirror), Bronzong (a bronze bell), Klink (a gear), Darumaka (a daruma doll), Vanillite/Vanillish/Vanilluxe (contrary to popular belief, it's an icicle), Litwick/Lampent/Chandelure (Candle/Lamp/Chandelier, respectively), Honedge/Doublade/Ageislash (a sword, then two swords, and finally a sword and shield), and Swirlix (a cotton candy).
  • Anime Hair: Too many characters to list.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Oddish, the radish Pokémon; Cherubi, the living cherry. Subverted with Exeggcute, which aren't actually eggs.
    • Inverted with the Vanillite line. While it resembles an ice cream, it's actually an icicle with snow developed on its top. It has an actual "bald" head when the snow is not present. Casteliacones are inspired by Vanillite.
    • Swirlix, the Cotton Candy, as well.
  • Antlion Monster: Trapinch waits in its hole to capture prey, and like its Real Life counterpart, evolves into a dragonfly-like creature. Its Arena Trap ability prevents non-flying enemies from escaping.
  • Anything That Moves: The shapeshifting Ditto will breed with just about anything. Except Legendary Pokémon (or itself, as of Gen 4). Including "gender-unknown" species who refuse to breed even with each other.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • A crime syndicate takes over our city? Cults attempt to flood and/or dry out the world? Some lunatic with a god complex tries to restart all of creation? No problem, I'm sure some trainer will take care of it for us.
    • Also, N and Ghetsis in Black/White are kinda counting on this to pull off their plans (though N is also really frustrated by it, going so far as to outright state that if people in general were more like the player character, he wouldn't have to bother with separating people and Pokémon.)
    • In Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, citizens of the three ocean cities, Mossdeep, Sootopolis, and Pacifidlog, do show concern about the torrential downpour/drought/both affecting the area. The rest of Hoenn? Doesn't even care.
    • In Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, when Team Galactic blows up Lake Valor, the resulting shockwave/earthquake is felt all the way in Canalave City. The people in the library and the citizens standing outside comment on it. No one else does, though.
      • In general, the people of Sinnoh seem to be more aware of Team Galactic compared to people of earlier generations and their respective teams... However, they still don't do much about it.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in X/Y, where the main villain announces his intention to kill every human and Pokémon worldwide except a choosen (paying) few humans via a live broadcast, and nobody cares a bit except the player and their rivals.
      A bit later, a big, crystal-like thing (the weapon for said mass murder) shoots out of the ground in Geosenge Town, knocking down some of the houses there, and not even the people in the local Pokémon Center could care less.
      • Though somewhat averted, as the region gives the player a parade for saving them all.
  • Art Evolution:
    • In the Japanese Red and Green versions, the designs for the Pokémon are (sometimes) really ugly, even by Game Boy standards. By the time the Yellow version came out, the designs became the ones we're more familiar with, and general graphics (especially sprite resolution) became more sophisticated with each generation.
    • The artwork had this happen as well. Compare the appearances of the main characters of Red and Blue and Gold and Silver with their appearances in those games' remakes, FireRed and LeafGreen and HeartGold and SoulSilver.
    • In general, Pokemon in generation I started out with a hard, coarsely shaded 80's-90's Shōnen manga style which started to get smoother in generation II and III, generation IV and V made use of the space allowed with two larger screens and featured more detailed character sprites, and generation VI has full 3-D models and sleek artwork.
  • The Artifact:
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, one of the 10 phone numbers you can have at a time is Bill's, which is useful as he tells you how many spaces are left in your current Pokémon storage box and calls you to tell you when your current one is full, which is also useful because if the box currently being used and your party is full you can't catch anything. However, in the third generation, the box system was fixed so that a full box simply meant the captured Pokémon went to the next box, making registering Bill's number in the fourth generation remakes of those games largely pointless (he instead tells you of all the places in your boxes total, in which case you are screwed if you manage to fill all of them). On the other hand, you can register all the numbers you want in the remakes, so he's not hampering you, either.
    • The namesake trait of Shiny Pokémon is pretty much one; their original defining trait was that they were a different color (hence the Red Gyarados being referred to as such rather than Shiny Gyarados), with the shining effect and accompanying sound effect originally being due to the fact that their debut games could be played on monochrome Game Boy systems in addition to the Game Boy Color.
    • When the Nidoran lines were first introduced, they were unique in being the only Pokémon that had gender. Though Gold and Silver included genders for Pokémon, the Nidoran lines originally remained unique in having different appearances for each gender. Later games introduced gender differences to many more Pokémon, and even included certain Pokémon that could evolve differently based on their gender or were otherwise always one gender. At this point, there's no in-universe reason why Nidoran male and Nidoran female shouldn't be considered just one Pokémon that evolves into two separate lines based on gender (the real reasons are likely to avoid having to renumber the National Dex, and to allow each gender Nidoran to have different stats, which is still a unique attribute of the Nidoran lines).
      • The situation is made even WEIRDER with the inclusion of Meowstic in Gen VI. This Pokémon has differing stats and moved for each gender despite being the same species. If this was allowed through there is literally no excuse for Nidoran.
      • Weirdest of all with the Nidoran lines is that Nidorina and Nidoqueen cannot breed with anything, even Ditto — not even the male Nidoran line.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Many NPC trainers don't pay a lot of attention to the moves you have or use much in the way of strategy.
    • Mostly averted with the Battle Tower/Frontier, though occasionally the Trainers there will still do some odd things.
    • Generation IV in general bumped up the AI as well. Especially with specific Trainer types like Ace Trainers, Gym Leaders, and the Elite Four/Champion. There are also cases of Trainers using specific move strategies like Endeavor - Quick Attack and Mean Look - Curse (with Ghost types).
      • The Veterans in Gen V will catch you off guard by hitting your mons with super-effective moves that you'd never expect their mons to have. Yes, they finally have Trainers outside the Gym Leaders/Elite Four/Battle (insert facility name here) who bother to use TMs!
      • Ghetsis' Hydreigon being a prime example. It will be hitting you with Fire Blast, Surf, Focus Blast, and Dragon Pulse. The last being the only move that Hydreigons learn normally. It tends to be the biggest threat in his entire team.
      • The Mix Tournament in B2/W2's Pokemon World Tournament involves your opponent temporarily taking one of your Pokemon and vice versa. This can lead to some stupid moves like Elesa taking the only thing on your team weak against electricity in trade for one of her Electric types.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Used in both some of the games and some of the adaptations.
    • Pokémon Black and White does this with some of the fridge horror of the series. They introduced Team Plasma, an organization based on the idea that it's morally wrong to force Pokémon to beat each other nearly to death for sport. The organization has two conflicting leaders — N, who honestly believes in the organization's mantra, and Ghetsis, who only preaches this to try and convince everyone else in the world to release their Pokémon so that he'll be the most powerful Trainer around. note 
    • Pokémon Special makes use of the "Pocket Monsters have the power to seriously injure or even kill" Elephant in the Living Room. Colosseum and XD do the same, with depicted Pokémon-on-trainer and human-on-human violence, with the S.S. Libra as the capper.
  • Ascended Meme: It's rumored that the infamous "PIKACHU! THE HORN!" moment from the anime led to Rhyhorn and Rhydon (and later on Rhyperior) all getting the Lightningrod ability in the third generation. Unlike in the anime, they retain their immunity to electric attacks. In fact, as of Generation V, Lightningrod NULLIFIES Electric attacks (not that they care).
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Becomes more and more blatant as generations go on. Seeing just how expensive Gym contraptions become and how they serve literally no purpose other than that to confuse the challengers just for the hell of it - how much profit can you receive from that? - how some Gym Leaders like Clay and Elesa order people around, how Gym Leaders are the go-to authority (Crasher Wake) and no one but them, player characters, and Looker, does anything about anything, a Gym Leader is, by all means, the mayor / sheriff of the town in particular.
    • Possibly justified, given that the only times we see a character go on to become a gym leader (Blue/Green and Cheren) they were shown to already be powerful trainers (who hold back against challengers), so gym leaders are probably the most powerful trainers in the town.
    • Drayden from Gen V's title in Japanese literally is 'The Spartan Mayor'.
  • Audible Gleam:
    • Happens whenever you send out or encounter a shiny Pokémon. Comes with sparkling stars radiating from the Pokémon. This was mostly because in Generation II (when alternate colored Pokémon were introduced), unless you were playing on a Game Boy Color, there would be no way to tell if a Pokémon was shiny or not; the gleam and sound was the only way to tell. It's also useful for people who happen to have color-blindness.
      • In Gen II, shiny Pokemon had a 3-sparkle icon next to their name. It was easy to miss, so the sparkle effect was understandable.
      • In Black 2 and White 2, if you encounter one of N's Pokémon in the wild, they sparkle like Shinies but are normally colored. You'll also get a shiny-like sparkle from a Pokemon that became a star at Pokéstar studios.
    • In addition, when the player enters the Trick House in Generation III, an Audible Gleam tips the player off to where the Trick Master is hiding. Until the difficulty spike, anyway.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Game director Junichi Masuda's favorite Pokémon used to be Pichu. note  It kinda shows. It's all over the place despite not seeming to be that popular with the fans.
    • Satoshi Tajiri's favorite Pokémon is Poliwhirl. In one of the Pokémon mangas, it's the main character's starter Pokémon.
  • Autodoc: The Healing Machine in Pokémon Centers.
  • Automatic New Game: Games from Fire Red and Leaf Green (except Emerald) until Black and White still display their title screen, but automatically proceeded to a New Game when the A or Start button is pressed and there is no save file.
  • Autosave: The various games do this... but only after you beat the Elite Four and champion (and Red in the second gen games).
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Moves such as Hyper Beam which are ludicrously powerful and require a recharge turn afterwards, moves like Sky Attack which require a charge BEFORE.
    • Some Pokémon qualify as this. Onix, for instance, is surprisingly weak for a giant snake made out of stone.
    • Shuckle has the highest Defense of any Mon in the series, and by using "Power Trick" can acquire the highest Attack of any Mon in the series. But good luck actually landing a blow after Power Trick, because swapping out its Defense means that just about any physical strike whatsoever will cause a One-Hit Kill.
      • Theoretically, Shuckle can deal a whopping 481,266,036 damage with a critical hit (a number much higher than the highest possible life total) under the right conditions — conditions so improbable that they have rarely been reproduced even under laboratory environments.
    • Generation V adds Archeops, a Pokémon whose overall base stat total is exceeded only by the legendaries, "pseudo-legendaries" (Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross, Garchomp, and Hydreigon), and Slaking, who as mentioned before has a severe handicap limiting its usefulness. Its stats aren't terribly balanced, however, with high numbers in both attack stats and speed but mediocre HP and defensive stats. It also has an ability which halves its attack stats when its HP drops below 50% of maximum.
    • Most of the game's more powerful damage dealing moves come with a significant tradeoff; either they have a measly five PP, also cause a lot of damage to the Pokemon that uses them, or have a high probability of missing. Or some combination of three. There are also quite a few moves that are best avoided during team battles, as they will deal damage to every Pokemon on the battlefield, including your own teammates.

    B 
  • Badass Adorable: Pokémon in general are powerful enough as it is, so ones like Riolu and Pichu could fit, but the best of the best include the ranks of Azelf, Celebi, Mew, etc.
  • Badass Crew: Forming one with your Pokémon so you can get all your badges and become a Champion is one of the main goals of the games.
  • Badass Grandpa: Literally. There is a battle with Professor Oak in Generation I that was taken out of the final game. He uses Pokémon that are level 66 to 70. This places his strength on-par with the player's rival and the Pokémon League Champion. And the Pokemon themselves are from strong species too.
    • A few gym leaders also qualify: Blaine, Pryce, Wattson, and Drayden as well. Alder, the Unova League Champion, was also revealed to be one in Black 2 and White 2.
  • Bag of Holding: While the earlier games in the series had more limited space in the player's backpack, by the 4th Generation, your bag could have one slot for every item. It's possible (if you go out of your way) to fill it up to the point of being unable to get more by getting at least 999 of a single item (to force an item to take 2 slots), but very unlikely in practice.
    • The earlier games still qualify, if only due to Fridge Logic — for example, with 19 other different items in your bag, it's impossible to have, say, 1 Poke Ball and 1 Great Ball, but it's perfectly possible to have, say 50 Great Balls, since the game cares about the number of item slots, not the number of items.
  • Battle Theme Music: But of course. Over a dozen in later titles.
  • Battle Tops: Hitmontop is based on a combination of a spinning top (hence the name) and capoeira martial arts.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: Though the Mons fight until exhaustion instead of death, and you have to treat them nicely.
  • Being Evil Sucks:
    • In order to get the move Frustration to have its max power, the user's happiness must be 0. Walking 256 steps increases happiness by 1, and leveling up increases it by 5 (if the current happiness is at minimum), while to lower it, your only options are to use the bitter medicine on it (-5, -10, or -15 depending on what you use) or let it faint (-1). By contrast, max happiness and max Return power is easy to maintain even if you let the Poké faint every now and then thanks to walking.
      • Averted in Mystery Dungeon where it depends on user's IQ. Normally weak, it's incredibly useful in dungeons like Purity Forest where your Level is reduced to 1 and IQ is at minimum level, at which Frustration deals 45 damage, more than a Lv. 1 Mon should.
    • Of course, this doesn't prevent it from being a massively powerful attack when trainers in the Battle Frontier use it, as the happiness stat of enemy Pokémon is always zero (Most Pokémon start at 70 happiness when caught).
  • Beneficial Disease: The Pokérus virus. If you're very, very lucky, a wild Pokémon you fight might just spread Pokérus to one of your Pokémon. With this condition, that Pokémon will gain twice as many effort points when an enemy mon is defeated. Basically, it will save you time when trying to fine-tune your Pokémon's stats. It can be spread from inside the mon's PC storage box. Pokérus does, however, "cure" after so many hours of play, so exploit it while it lasts. It isn't even clear whether Pokérus causes any suffering. So never mind the Video Game Cruelty Potential of mass temporary infection, trainer.
    • At least since Gen III onward, it doesn't spread inside the PC. However, storing a Pokémon DOES prevent it from "healing" so that you can put it in your party and spread it to your team later.
    • And at least since Gen IV, a Pokémon cured from the Pokérus simply becomes unable to spread it, keeping the effort value boost forever.
  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: Many, many.
    • Probably the most extreme example is Ho-Oh, a legendary 3.8 m bird, Lugia (if you consider it a bird) at 5.2 m, and the biggest one, Yveltal, at almost 6 metres!
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Some Pokémon, by their mere presence, always change the weather in the general vicinity. It's easy to see how this could be inconvenient.
    • Pokémon that lose arms and/or legs when they evolve.
    • Supposedly, Lugia spends all its time sleeping at the bottom of the sea because it's too powerful. It can fly, but if it were to so much as lightly flutter its wings it would cause a 40-day storm and blow apart buildings.
    • Jirachi has the power to grant wishes, but only for one week every thousand years. It's asleep all those years. That means Jirachi must have a lonely existence, because if Jirachi were to make a friend, they would be long gone by the time it awakens. Unless they were a Ninetales or something else long lived.
  • Blue Is Green: Bronzor, Bronzong, Golett, and Golurk are in the green Pokédex group despite obviously being blue.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: The moves Detect and Protect block any damage from the opponent's moves, except for a certain few moves.
  • Bonsai Forest: Often, the entire forests in the series look like they've been recently planted.
  • Bonus Boss: Several, though exactly which ones count depend on your criteria.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: Zig-Zagged. FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald added music to the Mystery Gift feature. This music was remixed in Diamond and Pearl, and it was used for Wi-Fi Connection in that game as well. But Platinum introduced an entirely new theme for Mystery Gift, which has been used in every game since. (except HeartGold and SoulSilver which had another entirely new theme) Black and White, as well as their sequels, still used the old Mystery Gift theme for Wi-Fi Connection, but when X and Y put every Wi-Fi feature in the PSS, the theme vanished completely.
    • The goofy little song that played after a print error occured in Gen II (most commonly heard if no Game Boy Printer was attached to the console) was remixed, expanded upon, and abridged slightly to becoame the theme for the Pokéwalker menu in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Experienced players tend to favor mid-level attacks like Thunderbolt over the flashy, high-power attacks like Thunder due to their higher accuracy and PP counts.
    • The Normal type also counts here; it isn't super effective against anything, but it in turn has decent defenses against everything except Fighting, and even an immunity to Ghost attacks. Normal type Pokémon also generally can learn a variety of different types of moves, both with or without TM assistance, making them quite versatile at the cost of no STAB for non-Normal-type moves.
    • Seismic Toss for defense-oriented Pokémon with low Attack or Special Attack, such as Chansey and Eviolite Dusclops.
  • Boss Bonanza: The main series games in general are applicable to this trope, as the Elite Four and the Champion are five bosses in one location while the rest of the game has Gym Leaders as one boss per location.
  • Bouncing Battler: The "Bounce" attack.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • Lots of innuendo in the Japanese versions has failed to make it overseas. Even stuff that used to be considered acceptable was bowdlerized in the remakes, e.g. the Dirty Old Man outside the Celadon gym having his dialogue changed to state he's peeping into the gym because of the "strong trainers". The aide in Goldenrod City didn't notice you because he was also too busy admiring the 'strong' trainers, which happened to be all Beauties and Lasses.
    • Most likely the most important example of them all is the Dark type. The original name is Aku (Evil) and not the Japanese Dark equivalent Yami. This is why the various evil teams typically use Dark types, all Dark moves not named Dark Pulse or Night Daze are combat pragmatism bordering on just plain being a Jerk Ass, and over three Dark-type families are based on criminal stereotypes.
    • The moves Lovely Kiss and Sweet Kiss are known In Japan as Demon's Kiss and Angel's Kiss respectively. They probably changed the names to remove religious references; however, they did not bother to remove or edit the animations of the moves in Generation II, so it still shows an animation of a demon or angel giving a kiss whenever those moves are used. This also happens in Generation III, though Generation IV changed the former's animation and it doesn't match the name anymore.
  • Breakout Character: Charizard is one of three Kanto starters, none of which were given preferential treatment. But largely thanks to Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons, it's since evolved to become the second most marketed Pokémon in the franchise behind Pikachu. Jigglypuff was also this during the franchise's early days.
    • The fact Charizard is the only out of the three Kanto starters to have a second mega-evolution only adds to this
  • Bring It: The animation for the move Taunt has a hand appear to do this. The targeted Pokémon gets so angry that for a few turns, it refuses to do anything other than attack the user, preventing the use of status moves during that time.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • The games are big on treating Pokémon humanely and with kindness, but it usually doesn't matter in practice — a Pokémon's happiness will still increase just by being in your party and not treating them with anything less than general indifference. You'd really have to go out of your way to be a Jerkass to your Pokémon, far more than most players would bother to. In fact, the ways to get super-powered teams for the Battle Frontier generally involve complex eugenics programs that will leave you with dozens of Pokémon you'll just toss aside.
    • Goes a bit further with the Musketeer Trio in the Black and White games. An old man will tell you about how the Musketeer Trio grew to hate humans, but maybe, just maybe, if they were captured by a nice trainer, they would trust humanity again. That's fine and dandy and all, until you consider that the vast majority of players will just capture them for collecting and the dex info and likely won't use them in battle, just let them sit in a PC box for eternity.
    • Despite the "kindness" you show to your Pokémon, you are still forcing them to withstand lava and meteors and poison until they faint, then stuffing them in balls and making them go to some weird floating green dimension where they will float aimlessly about until you need them again. The former's Hand Waved since it's said that all Pokemon genuinely enjoy battling, and the fact that the Luxury Ball makes your Pokemon start out with a higher level of friendship implies that they don't mind being in the Pokeballs (especially since only a handful of Pokemon across the franchise ever outright refuse to get in), but it's still pretty creepy if you stop and think about it. Also: In the games, the info on Pokémon is incomplete, so the player probably collects it themselves, and puts it in the Pokédex. Some of the entries: Golem can withstand DYNAMITE! Staryu's limbs will grow back even if CUT OFF!
    • This is a major plot point in the original Pokémon Black and White games. Team Plasma wants to liberate Pokémon from the abuses of people — yet we see the grunts not only battling you with Pokémon, but abusing them themselves. Then we find out that only one of the whole lot actually believes their own message, because he was engineered to be the false "leader" of Plasma. The real leader could give Ardos a run for his money.
    • Trainers across the entire franchise will constantly tell you that it doesn't matter what Pokemon are "strong" or "weak", and that you should just try and win with your favorites. Problem is, the game's just too unbalanced to make that sort of approach even remotely practical. You can get away with using weak Pokemon against strong ones to an extent in the main game, provided that they're a high enough level in comparison to the opposing Pokemon and your opponent chooses enough wrong moves. However, it's still significantly easier to use Pokemon with higher base stats, and there's absolutely no way to make the weaker ones catch up.
  • Broken Bridge: The need to beat certain Gyms to activate certain overworld actions and... extremely thirsty guards that will stop doing their jobs and let you through if you give them some water (tea in the remakes).
  • Brother-Sister Incest and Parental Incest: Pokémon can and will breed with any other compatible Pokémon, family or not. This was partially averted in Generation II, due to the way the offspring inherited its statistics from the parent. Ironically with what you'd expect of in-breeding, chain-breeding Pokémon with each other over and over in order to get one Pokémon with the best traits of all its ancestors is the whole reason to do this.
  • But Thou Must: There are some trainers you can't avoid. If you try walking past them while they're facing away from you, they will do an instant 180 turn to face you.

    C 
  • Captured Super Entity
  • Cast From Money: The attack Fling can work like this. Damage varies depending on the object thrown, with one particular piece of valuable Vendor Trash yielding a respectable attack power.
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • In terms of the evil organizations you battle in the game. The first two generations had the at least somewhat Affably Evil Team Rocket (with quotes like "It feels so good to be evil!"), barring a couple disturbing instances (killing Pokémon and chopping off Slowpoke tails). But by RSE, you had a group trying to force climate change. By the fourth generation, Team Galactic wants to reset all of existence.
    • Team Plasma, along with their leader, N, from Pokémon Black and White, want to separate Pokémon from humans to probably prevent incidents like with the previous teams from happening again. It turns out that the true villain, Ghetsis, the true mastermind behind Team Plasma, is such a despicable, vile, and evil person that he manages to outstrip all the previous teams combined! (Including Cipher!)
    • Team Flare in Pokémon X and Y, who at first seem to be a call-back to the villain teams in early games who are Only in It for the Money, with a few hints of something about "making a beautiful world". By the time you reach Lysandre Labs, you learn that their leader's plans for "a beautiful world" involves killing everyone and everything except those who are loyal to him, which not even most of the grunts are aware of; i.e. committing genocide. Though Lysandre does this because he is sick of how corrupt the world has become, filled with greed, racing for power, polluting until the world is destroyed, he thinks what he is doing is the right thing even if it means killing everybody
    • In the first couple of generations, the villains didn't seem to do anything besides wreak havoc on random Pokémon and locations. In the third generation, the villains had a coherent theme and goal, but they still didn't make much sense. By the fourth generation, though, defeating the villain had become just about as important as the stated goal of To Be a Master, a trend which continued into the fifth generation, owing to the nastier villains on the one hand, and greater plot streamlining on the other. In fact, Black and White are the first games of the series where you don't even battle the League Champion to beat the game; you have to face N and then Ghetsis instead.
      • Worth mentioning is that the battle with N is very similar to the circumstances of the battle against your rival in the original games. Your rival has barely conquered the Pokemon League, previous Champion and all, before losing his position as Champion to the player. N defeated the Pokemon League and had just finished his battle with Unova's Champion, Alder, before being defeated by the player. N was the Champion for all of a few minutes before losing the title.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities:
    • In the early game you have to more or less take what you can get in terms of mons and attacks. You start out with just a few monsters with low coverage on the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors table, and healing items are rare and expensive, if available at all. Having one of your monsters faint can absolutely cripple you, especially if that monster was your only answer to a specific problem. As the game progresses and you build your collection of monsters, this problem fixes itself. It also helps that you gain the ability to heal and revive your monsters more easily. The later games, especially in generations after the first, give you a huge amount of variety in what you can put in your team and new ways to learn attacks of different types.
  • Charged Attack:
    • There are a wide variety of moves which manifest as "charging energy" on one turn and unleashing it the next, but most are executed as a single move requiring two turns. Exceptions include:
    • "Stockpile" can be used up to three turns in a row to store power for "Swallow" (a healing move) or "Spit Up" (an attack).
    • "Charge" doubles the power of any Electric move used on the next turn.
    • "Focus Punch" charges energy and unleashes the attack all in one turn, but if the user takes damage during that turn, the charging process is interrupted and the move fails.
  • Cheated Angle: Pikachu is almost never drawn without the tail projecting outward and prominently visible, even when it should be behind him or otherwise blocked.
  • Chest Monster: Occasionally, that item you pick up turns out to be a Voltorb/Electrode, or in Black and White, Foongus/Amoongus.
  • Circling Birdies:
    • The result of the Confusion status since Gold/Silver.
    • Also, circling Psyduck in the Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver minigames.
    • There have been some instances in the Pokémon anime where circling Pidgey or Torchic have been used for this effect.
    • In the Pokéwalker, however, the player's Pokémon has circling stars when they are knocked out in the Pokéwalker, as shown in the journal.
  • Color-Coded Elements:
    • Almost every single Pokémon's Type can be guessed based on their color, with red Pokémon being Fire, blue Pokémon being Water, and so on. This is so omnipresent it's easier to list the Pokémon who don't follow this formula:
    • Normal type Pokémon — Since Normal types can learn many types of moves, you usually don't know what moves they taught a Pokémon unless you already fought them before.
    • Many people assumed Reshiram and Zekrom would be Psychicnote /Dragon and Dark/Dragon respectively because of their color scheme and Yin Yang theme. They're not; they're Dragon/Fire and Dragon/Electric.
    • Lugia has been mistaken for a Water Type before. It's Psychic/Flying. The fact that it is said to be the guardian of the seas (where it lives) and has a version counterpart that is part Fire does not help matters.
    • Groudon is not a Fire Type, it's a Ground Type and only a Ground type. It has the same problem as Lugia of having a version counterpart that helps perpetuate this mistake. The Ruby cartridge being red, just like Red version with Charizard (a Fire/Flying type) on the cover, did not help either.
      • Primal Groudon, it's altered form in the Ruby and Sapphire remakes is, in fact, a Ground/Fire type.
    • Riolu and Lucario look like Dark/Fighting types. They're Fighting (with Lucario being part Steel). Lucario was even thought to be the first Dark legendary at one point.
    • Mawile looks like a Dark/Fighting type. It's Steel/Fairy, making it probably the only Steel Type other than Jirachi without a gray, blue, or red colour scheme, and one of the few Fairy-types with a dark colour scheme.
    • The fanbase has noticed for a while now that Charizard and Gyarados both really look like they should be Dragon-types, but for some reason they're not. This is made all the more conspicuous by Altaria, which is obviously a bird but for some reason is part Dragon despite having no clear draconic features, and the Gible line, land sharks. Yes, the European dragon and the sea serpent based off of a Japanese myth of a carp turning into a dragon are not Dragons, but the living cloud and the hammerhead sharks are. Our Dragons Are Different indeed.
      • Gyarados at least has the excuse that Water/Dragon would have been incredibly broken back in Generation I. Also, Game Freak may have been going for Rule of Symbolism with the Legendary Carp legend — while Gyarados is not a literal dragon per se (by virtue of being Dragon-typed), it is a dragon "through perseverance" (has Dragon-type affinity via moveset and Egg Group placement) - not to mention that Gyarados is a Flying carp. Some also believe that the myth has the part where after the dragon-carp caused an outrage, the gods removed its rights to be a dragon. Charizard, on the other hand, has no such excuse.
      • It kinda does; making it a Dragon would have gotten rid of its weakness to Blastoise's water attacks, thus breaking the Rock-Paper-Scissors type advantages of the Kanto starters.
      • To be fair, though, they can both learn Dragon-type moves on their own, and they both are in the same breeding group as many other Dragon-type Pokémon.
      • Do note that the Dragon egg group isn't really about "dragons". It contains non-"dragons" like Arbok and Seviper, and is treated more as a general reptile group.
      • Altaria is a dragon if one were to connect its references (which are very obscure). It's based on the Tyltalis, which is then referenced as the Blue Bird of Happiness, which is then referenced as one of the stars in the Draco constellation. Garchomp is a dragon land shark.
      • Also, Mega Charizard X is part Dragon. About freaking time. (Mega Gyarados is part Dark instead, though. Huh?!?)
    • Buizel/Floatzel and Bidoof/Bibarel are brown and often found on land, so you'd expect them to be that generation's answer to Zigzagoon. This is only half-true for Bibarel (Normal/Water) but averted with the all-water Buizel.
    • The Gothita line, being coloured black, and based on the Goth subculture. One would assume they'd be Dark type. Nope, pure psychic.
  • Color-Coded Stones: The original Generation I games were Red, Green, and Blue. For Generation III, which was essentially a continuity reboot (couldn't link back to Gen I/II games, and included updated Retcon remakes of Gen I,) started with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.
    • Gen IV's Diamond Version was a pale blue.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Dark Type is characterized by attacks that involve fighting very dirty in order to win, to the point where some of the moves seem to constitute outright cheating. Some options from the Dark Type movepool include: biting (Bite, Crunch), punishing the opponent for raising their stats (Punishment and Topsy-Turvy), false crying (Fake Tears), slugging the opponent as they ready an attack (Sucker Punch), beating up an already hurt opponent (Assurance), throwing foreign objects (Fling), denying the opponent use of their held item (Embargo and Knock Off), stealing the opponent's item (Thief), stealing the opponent's stat changes or healing attempts (Snatch), switching held items (Switcheroo), pissing the opponent off enough that they only use direct attack moves (Taunt), enraging the opponent so that they can't use the same move twice in a row (Tormentnote ), hitting an opponent hard as they try to retreat (Pursuit), hitting an opponent by using their own strength against them (Foul Play), and calling on the other Pokémon on your team to beat up on the opponent (Beat Up).
    • One memorable example: Night Slash is named tsujigiri in Japanese, a reference to a samurai's practice of cutting up an unarmed peasant at a crossroads to test his sword. Yeah...
  • Comeback Mechanic: The moves Reversal and Flail do more damage the less HP the user has.
  • Com Mons: Caves, tunnels, and mountains tend to be home to the Zubat family. Tentacool is often called "the Zubat of the sea."
    • Rattata, Pidgey, and pretty much everything else that resides near the player's hometown.
      • Magikarp deserves special mention as the most common Pokémon, being available in every body of water in games in which it appears - even in Pokémon Snap.
    • Starting with Generation III, these Pokémon have been given certain gimmicks to make them more viable Mons in general.note 
  • Competitive Balance: At first glance, Detect looks like Fighting-type Protect, except it's not a TM and has half its PP, making it almostnote  completely redundant to Protect. However, since Generation IV, Protect has worse decay, halving for every consecutive use (capping at 12.5% in Generation IV) while Detect caps at 50% (or effectively, halves only once). In Gen II, Detect was truly inferior to Protect since their decay was the same, though (decreasing by 50% for every consecutive use, be it success or failure. Gen III changed Protect to decay by half and cap at 12.5%, but it's bugged and doesn't cap — after the 4th use, the accuracy goes wild and ends at the 77th use where accuracy becomes 0%; Detect apparently didn't get any decay changes until Gen IV).
    • In Generation V, Roar and Dragon Tail do not work on wild Pokémon with the same or higher level (plus Roar is a sound-based move, so it won't affect anything with Soundproof) while Whirlwind and Circle Throw do, since the latter two can't be taught by TM. This was not present in previous Generations, though.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It is not uncommon to encounter Trainers owning evolved Pokémon who are below the level you'd have to train them to to reach that form. Lance having a Level 45 Dragonite for example, when Dragonair doesn't evolve to that form until Level 55.
    • Slightly subverted in the original games since you could also find under-leveled monsters in some areas. Lance is STILL a cheater though, since his Dragonite knows moves that it can't learn.note 
  • Confusion Fu:
    • Pokémon with wider movepools can run five or six different sets, making them harder to determine and counter.
    • Hidden Power can be any of the 17 non-normal types (except Fairy) and learned by almost every Pokémon.
    • Metronome, which selects a completely random move that could be anything from uselessly flopping around like a fish note  to the wrath of the Pokémon equivalent of God, note  to everything in between. Well, not everything.
  • Conservation of Competence: Gym Leaders, Team Leaders, and especially the Elite Four and Champion can and will kick your ass. Other trainers are basically speed bumps and nothing more.
  • Console Cameo: Every Pokémon game features the current Nintendo home console in the player's room, and whatever system the game is on is mentioned by NPCs.
  • Continuity Drift: Green/Red/Blue/Yellow's Pokédex and sprites portrays the Pocket Monsters as genuinely monstrous, a stark contrast to the later generations. The dex entries also frequently reference real world locations (Arcanine) and animals (Gastly), has Pokémon giving live birth instead of eggs (Mew), and more.
    • The fact that Miltank's Silver's (and by extension, FireRed's) entry was retconned in SoulSilver because it was implying Miltank gives birth [rather than laying Eggs like all other Pokémon], while journals at Cinnabar Mansion weren't, implies something.
  • Continuity Nod: The first generation had a very prominent puzzle involving searching trash cans to locate a pair of randomly-placed switches. Every game in the series gives a response every time you examine a trash can, any trash can, even if 99% of the time your response is merely "the trash can is empty."
    • Black 2 and White 2 go so far as to give you a medal for obsessively inspecting trash cans.
    • There's an entire article of these.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Attempting to throw a Poké Ball at a Trainer's will only result in the Trainer knocking the ball aside with a reprimanding reminder that Poké Balls are for wild Pokémon only.
    • Rui and the Aura Reader will prevent you from Snagging a clean Pokémon in the Orre games as well. You keep the ball, because the Snag Machine (which was designed to steal a trainer's Pokémon!) doesn't get a chance to function.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: In several places in each game, there is an area very near most cities where you can catch Mons who directly counter the type used by that city's gym leader. (For example, the Ground-type Diglett in Diglett's cave being right next to Vermillion City where Electric-type gym leader Lt. Surge takes up residence.) Sometimes, instead of catching a wild Pokémon, you'll have the option to make an in-game trade for one strong against the local leader instead. (Such as trading a easily-caught Bellspout for an Onix in Gold/Silver and the remakes to counter the local Flying-type leader.) In B/W, there is an NPC who will simply give you a Mon strong against the 1st gym leader completely free.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • The diploma awarded for completing the entire Pokédex; that is, registering every last known species in each generation.
    • Ribbons awarded for winning Pokémon Contests or the Pokéathlon.
      • In the three main Generation IV games, Ribbons allow you to enter the Ribbon Syndicate. On the upper floor, you can massage one Pokémon daily, which increases their happiness (and the lower floor lets you buy more ribbons).
    • Shiny Pokémon. Sure, they aren't really any different from a normally-colored Pokémon,note  but when you only have a 1 in 8192 chance of even seeing one, much less actually catching it, wouldn't you want to brag? Especially if it's a legendary?
    • The stars on your trainer card. You can usually earn up to four or five by accomplishing such things as beating the Elite Four, completing the dex, defeating the Brains at the Battle Frontier, etc. Serves slightly more of a purpose as other Trainers may look at your card and see how much you've actually done in-game judging by the stars you have.
    • Medals, in the generation V sequels, with collecting all 200+ of them taking more effort than the game's five trainer stars.
  • Cosmic Egg: Where Arceus came from.
  • Counter Attack: The moves Counter and Mirror Coat will reflect double damage from physical and special moves, respectively. Metal Burst works with any damaging move, but only reflects 1.5 times the damage.
    • Bide forces the user to do nothing for two turns, but they then counterattack with double the damage they took over those two turns.
  • Critical Annoyance: That beeping when your Pokémon get low on health, which becomes averted in Black and White by making a funky tune out of it.
    • The noise that happens when your Pokémon take poison damage while walking, which is eliminated in Black and White.
    • Averted completely in X and Y.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Save for a few moves, all Pokémon perform the same regardless of remaining HP. These few moves (Flail, Endeavor) perform better the closer a Mon is to zero health. Dropping to 1 HP to exploit these moves is a sought after goal for some competitive sets.
    • Though there are a couple of moves (Eruption and Water Spout) that get weaker as the user loses HP instead.
  • Critical Hit Class: Any Pokemon with Super Luck or Sniper abilities tends to have one of these. With moves like Slash, items like the Scope Lens, and other ways of increasing crit chances, these tend to make effective wall breakers, but lose to everything else since those high-critical-chance moves tend to be on somewhat weaker moves. The most common example is probably Absol, although its weakness in other areas makes it underpowered.
  • Critical Status Buff: Starting in Generation III, several Pokémon abilities like "Blaze", "Torrent", and "Overgrow" boost the power of matching elemental attacks when the user is low on HP. Certain Berries can also provide a one-time automatic status boost when the user is low on HP.
    • The Archen/Archeops family from Generation V also has the inverse: Their "Defeatist" ability creates a status penalty when they are low on HP.
  • Crossover: Pokémon has crossed over with its share of other game series:
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A good understanding of the basics can lead to pretty much this for every battle you'll encounter (just knowing the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors can get you really far by itself). Go deeper into the metagame, and you're just being cruel to them.
    • The games will often provide an easy way for the player to sweep through a Gym or two. A great example is the Gold/Silver games and their remakes. The player can trade an easily found and captured Bellsprout for an Onix with a man in Violet City. Not only is an Onix pretty powerful this early in the game but it levels up faster due to it being a traded Pokémon (traded Pokémon receive 1.5 the experience they would usually gain). Even with a Defense-impairing nature, Onix tanks everything Falkner can do and wins the war of attrition should it come to that. Bugsy fares even worse as his Scyther is 4x weak to Onix's Rock moves and Onix resists all of Scyther's attacks. Even Whitney, who is known (feared) as That One Boss, can have issues with the Onix if it is around level 20. And before Whitney, the game also provides an opportunity to trade for a Machop, which in addition to having super-effective moves against Whitney's normal-types is also female, providing it immunity from Miltank's Attract.
  • Cute Giant: Many Pokémon probably qualify. Snorlax in particular looks like a big cuddly bear-cat thing.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Gardevoir and Lopunny. Which are equally likely to be male.
    • And in Generation V, we get Gothitelle. Which also has a 25% chance of being male.
    • There's also Lilligant from Generation V, which are all female, but all of them are plants.
    • Generation VI introduces Florges, who are all female.

    D 
  • Damage Over Time: The series has many ways to inflict Damage Over Time beyond its standard "Poison" and "Burn" statuses, and many of these can even be combined:
    • Toxic is more powerful. It will cause exponentially increasing damage as the battle goes on.
    • Certain moves, such as Wrap, Fire Spin, and Whirlpool, will trap the target in the arena for 2 to 5 turns while doing a small amount of damage each turn.
    • If a Ghost-type uses "Curse", the opponent receives significant damage (1/4 max HP) per turn, the largest amount of damage in the system (ignoring Toxic's exponential damage increase).
    • Hazardous weather like "Sandstorm" or "Hail" inflicts 1/16th damage on most elemental types.
    • Certain abilities can also cause damage (or, inversely, healing) over time during specific weather conditions: "Dry Skin" damages during intense sunlight, "Rain Dish" and "Ice Body" heal during heavy rain or hailstorms, respectively (and the aforementioned Dry Skin also heals in heavy rain). "Solar Power" also causes damage during intense sunlight, but with the tradeoff of boosted attack power.
    • The Grass-type "Leech Seed" not only inflicts Damage Over Time on an opponent, it also restores the user's HP by the amount drained.
    • The "Sticky Barb" item inflicts damage-over-time on whichever Pokémon holds it, but can be passed from user to opponent by moves involving physical contact.
    • Sleeping Pokémon receive damage while subjected to "Nightmare" status, or similarly, the "Bad Dreams" effect of legendary Pokémon Darkrai.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Curse (for Ghost types), Selfdestruct and Explosion, Perish Song, and more. Plus several others; Final Gambit in particular comes to mind. Let's just say that it's a damn good thing Blissey can't learn it.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The series have been subtly going down this path, with meaner sounding Pokédex entries and the motives for the Big Bad becoming more extreme. Even the Anime is doing this, with more seriousness and having the former Goldfish Poop Gang Team Rocket Take a Level in Badass.
      • Pokémon X and Y, while not quite as story entrenched as Gen V, takes this even further in the story when it appears, and is the first game in the series where we see an actual war being used with Pokémon in the backstory, including the fact that an "Ultimate Weapon" ended the war in one blow. Sure, previous gens hinted at wars being fought in the pokemon world, but we never saw one, until now, that is.
    • The Manga Pokémon Special is known for this, it has fights to the death (even for the humans). At one point an Arbok gets cut in two by a Charmeleon. It got better, though.
    • In The Electric Tale of Pikachu, a Pokémon commits suicide, being so proud it preferred death to being captured.
      • Mind you, this particular Pokémon was in fact a massively-powered Haunter, who preyed on nearby civilizations and used Dream Eater to separate souls from their bodies. In the past, it had been worshiped as a god, hence the massive pride.
  • Dark Is Not Evil
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You befriend the Pokémon who you've defeated and/or caught. In the main series, they must specifically be caught conscious — no fair knocking them out.
    • Lampshaded in X and Y—
      Shauna: If I find a cute Pokemon, I'll throw lots of Pokeballs at it, and then we'll become friends!
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: The Elite Four, and Red in Gold/Slver/Crystal.
    • Somewhat averted in the remakes of the latter in regard to Red. A freshly caught Mewtwo grants the player a good chance against Red by itself, with only Snorlax being a challenge. Red was also toned down a bit, despite his team being given an increase by 7 levels all around. His Snorlax doesn't even know Rest anymore (similarly, his Venusaur can no longer heal itself either), and the Espeon that presented great danger to any Fighting Pokémon has been replaced by a Lapras. While it does know Psychic, Machamps aren't going to be running in fear anymore.
    • Though Arceus can fight and faint like any other Pokemon. A player stating the words "I defeated God in battle" still feels like it should fit this trope.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: There are a few moves whose effectiveness relies on your opponent getting the first hit in, like Payback, Revenge, Counter, Avalanche, etc.
  • Desperation Attack:
    • The second-generation move "Flail" (and, later, "Reversal") inflicts more damage when the user's HP is low. If the user is down to their last point, it actually becomes stronger than Hyper Beam.
    • The third-generation move "Endeavor" reduces the opponent's HP to the same value as the user. It has been used in some very deadly combinations.
    • In competitive battle, Explosion tends to be used as this (though it rapidly crosses the line into Taking You with Me).
    • All of the starters (and some others) have abilities that up the attack power of moves that match their primary type. It kicks in if they have one third or less HP remaining.
    • Struggle, a literal Desperation Attack. It only becomes available when the Pokémon literally can't do anything else.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything
    • Many moves have subtle side effects depending on the situation. Jump Kick and Hi Jump Kick causing the Pokémon to keep going and receive crash damage if it misses, Stomp and Steamroller dealing extra damage if the opponent is using Minimize, Earthquake and Magnitude doing double damage if the enemy Pokémon is underground, and Rollout and Ice Ball being stronger if the user also used Defense Curl the turn before are just a few examples.
    • In Black and White, the TMs are no longer single-use items. When a Pokémon forgets a move in order to learn from a TM, the move learned with a TM takes on the current PP of the move replaced by the new move. This is to prevent repeated usage of TMs for the purpose of PP restoration.
    • The already useless move Splash (called Hop in Japan) can't be used while the move Gravity is in effect. Neither can Jump Kick or High Jump Kick. Fly, Bounce, and Sky Drop don't work either, and get interrupted if already in progress.
    • Cedric Juniper says that you met a Klink, and that Pokémon is unavoidable due to being used by N. However, if one cheats to avoid N, he instead says You haven't seen a Klink yet.
    • There are no trainers in game that own a Ditto, due to Transform copying the opponent's moves' PP. This is to avoid the situation of the player having nothing but a Ditto and being forced to either restart from the last save or getting trapped in an infinite loop.
  • Did You Just Have Tea With Cthulhu: Pokemon-Amie allows you to pet, make funny faces with, feed snacks to, and play games involving bouncing yarn on their heads with any Pokemon. Even the most Eldritch Abomination of Pokemon, like Darkrai, Zygarde, Malamar and Giratina.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It was by accident, really! We were trying to capture it alive.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • The games invariably spike in difficulty between the eighth gym leader (~Lv. 43) and the first Elite 4 member (~Lv. 54), leading to a bit of Level Grinding to get your mons up to a comparable level. This is a sort-of positive trope; people somewhat enjoy the challenge of the Elite Four.
    • And that's the first Elite Four member. In most games, expect the Elite Four and Champion levels to top out at 60 if not higher. In the Gold and Silver remakes, repeated visits to the Elite Four allow you to face Pokémon that start out at that level and go up to 75. Massive experience for all, though!
      • There's also the fact that you have to fight five trainers with decently-leveled Pokémon with no break between them to heal. Time to buy a lot of potions, or do a lot of grinding. On the plus side, each individual member gives good money when defeated, so if you're strong enough to beat at least a couple of them and balance out your monetary losses for losing, a good way to grind for the Elite Four IS the Elite Four.
    • Generation IV was merciless with its difficulty spikes. The bigger one is the noticeable level spike between Blue (~Lv. 57) and Red (~Lv. 76 (GSC)/84 (HGSS)) in the Johto games, a holdover from Gen II. The more subtle one was the spike between Lucian and Cynthia; while the change in level is relatively graceful, the change in skill is anything but. One can quite easily coast through Lucian, but be pulverized by Cynthia's Garchomp alone (champion-level AI, psuedo-uber, three moves with 150 power, perfect IVs, and optimized EVs; the only way the devs could've made it harder is by giving it a Yache Berry.)
    • In Gen V, Ghetsis, the Team Plasma boss, is ridiculously difficult compared to the Elite Four, which have levels in the high 40's. Ghetsis has level 52's, and his Hydreigon (the 3-headed dragon) is 54.
      • And the first new trainers you can challenge in the post-game have their Pokémon's level around 64. That's ten levels higher than Ghetsis, and that's the common trainers.
      • After that is Cynthia, who can be fought in Undella Town. Like the Elite Four on your second visit, hers are around level 75. Which is understandable, since she's the Sinnoh Champion.
    • For players used to curbstomping trainers based on high levels, Legendary Pokemon, and type advantage, the post-game Battle Frontier/Tower/Maison/etc. of any of the post-Gen III games is liable to brutalize them. Want to unleash Mewtwo on some poor, unsuspecting trainers? Sorry, but he's off limits. Your level 100 Garchomp? He's capped at level 50 like all your opponents' Pokemon. Ready to switch to Jolteon to fry that Gyarados your opponent is about to sick on you? Well, no more free switches after KO-ing a Pokemon, and you can be sure that Gyarados has a Wacan Berry and an Earthquake ready for poor Jolteon...
  • Disappeared Dad: With the exception of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, this is played straight for the player character in every single one of the games. All of them start out at their mother's house, but their father is inexplicably absent, and nothing is ever mentioned of his existencenote . It's generally implied that he is a Pokémon trainer who is off on his own adventures, but needless to say, the player never meets him, or hears anything from him.
    • Also played straight with Ash in the anime. His father was passively mentioned in the second episode; apparently he's a Trainer who's off on some adventure of his own, but he's never made an appearance and hasn't been mentioned since.
      • Though it's implied that he isn't a very good trainer, as Ash's mother was impressed that it only took him a few days to get to Viridian City Stating that his father took several weeks-months.
    • The player's father is also mentioned by Tower Tycoon Palmer in Diamond, Pearl or Platinum if they beat his team of legendaries.
  • Disc One Nuke: Lots. The famous example is purchasing a Magikarp for 500 Poke Yens in the first generation, and Level Grinding until its Magikarp Power kicks in.
  • Dowsing Device: The Itemfinder and later the Dowsing Machine.
  • Double Entendre: Describing one's sex life as a Pokémon moveset is popular thread idea on forums. It's amazing how many moves sound suspect once you've established the proper context.note 
  • The Dragon: In every organization, the Big Bad always has a Dragon or three. These usually come in the form of Admins.
    • Generation I and II: The Dragons of Team Rocket were Archer, Ariana, Petrel, and Proton.
      • In the anime, Jessie, James, and Meowth could be considered Dragons, now... if they were powerful enough to supplement that newfound badassery of theirs.
    • Generation III: Teams Magma and Aqua both had two Dragons, Courtney and Tabitha, and Matt and Shelley respectively. However, the only discernible things about them were that they wore capes.
    • Generation IV: Quite possibly the most popular, Team Galactic boasted three Dragons; Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Different in personality, same horrible fashion sense.
    • Generation V: This Generation was a bit confusing, as the Dragons seemed to be ‘’everyone’’ in Plasma. Really, the Sages and Shadow Triad took a backseat ride on this rollercoaster of emotions and over-zealous gym contraptions. One could say that Ghetsis was N’s Dragon, but became the Big Bad in the end. Who knows?
      • In Black and White 2, both the Shadow Triad and Sages took a stance as Dragons… to Ghetsis.
    • Generation VI: Team Flare shook this up a bit; the Admins were Elite Mooks, while the Dragons were the scientists in general, and Xerosic in particular.
    • All Pokémon could possibly considered to be Dragons, considering the fact that they’re used to protect their Trainer and fight in their stead. Then again, they might as well be the Big Bad themselves, considering that your Trainer is apparently narcoleptic, having a bad habit of blacking (or whiting out, in Generation V) once they lose a battle. It's just that important.
      • This goes double for Dragon-type Pokémon.
  • Driven to Suicide: A Pokémon does this in the manga The Electric Tale of Pikachu. It was the "Black Fog", a giant evil Haunter. It was so proud it preferred death to being captured.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Green Oak, your rival in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow/FireRed/LeafGreen, outside of Japan was named "Blue" due to Green being released as Blue outside of Japan along with Red, both of which were changed a bit. He ended up having Green as a default name in FireRed in the third gen to due to FireRed/LeafGreen being released without title changes, but ended up still being referred to as to "Blue" in HeartGold/SoulSilver as in the localizations of the games they are remakes of, even though he didn't have Blue as a default name in Generation III. Despite the fact he's the Viridian Gym leader and has a green carpet. Oh, and in the Japanese version, it's called the Green Badge.
    • Many Pokémon. Some do keep their Japaneses names, though.
    • The Dowsing Machine, which helps find hidden items, was changed to Itemfinder in Generations I through III's English translations, despite the name already being in English in the Japanese version. Generation IV and on switched to using the Japanese name in the English translations.
  • Duels Decide Everything: If you want to resolve anything, duel with Pokémon.
  • Dummied Out: Many examples, for example, the Bird-type, a non-glitched Trainer battle with Professor Oak, 39 Pokémon, ???-type Arceus (said type being removed in Black and White due to Curse being made Ghost-type), etc... more on that page.

    E 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: (has it's own section)
  • Easily Conquered World
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Wild Pokémon universally are just a nuisance once you've caught your fill of them, and trainers out in the field (aside from the Ace Trainers and a few other classes) are probably underlevelled for your team and only have two or three Pokémon anyway. The Gym Leaders and Team Leaders, however, will stamp you into the ground unless you know precisely what you're up against and come prepared with an appropriate team and plenty of healing items. Legendaries can also put up a reasonable fight with a level advantage.
  • Eat Dirt Cheap: The Geodude line eats rocks, while Sableye eats gems and Aron eats iron.
  • Elemental Baggage:
    • Most Pokémon are capable of expelling ridiculous quantities of their elements from their bodies. One episode of the anime had Ash's Squirtle fill up a whole truck with water using only Water Gun. In the games, a Pokédex entry mentions that Blastoise (about the size of a van) could fill an Olympic swimming pool. How did so much water end up inside the Mons? Nobody knows. Then again, that creature the size of a van fits in a ball the size of a clenched fist (which in the anime can become even smaller).
    • Not so much in the Pokémon Special manga. Almost at the end of the third arc, the day is saved because Blue's Blastoise had run out of water and Red filled it with flammable water from a mystical healing spring.
  • Elemental Powers: 18note  of them!
  • Elemental Regions: The first four regions at least; Kanto is Spring, Johto is Fall, Hoenn is Summer and Sinnoh is Winter. The latter two is more blatant with this to the point of contrasting each other in many ways.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors / Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors:
    • You know those 18 elemental types? Yeah.
    • Lampshaded in Pokémon Black and White. Early in the game, there is a young girl that will ask you to play "Pokémon Rock Paper Scissors" if you speak to her.
  • Elite Mook: The Ace Trainers have well-balanced teams with good movesets and levels comparable to yours, and probably have a team of six or five compared to most trainers which have around three. Some other games have other classes in this role as well.
  • Emergency Weapon: If a Pokémon is ordered to attack but is unable to actually execute any move (usually due to running out of PP for moves), it will resort to a hidden move called "Struggle", which inflicts moderate damage at the cost of sustaining recoil damage in the process.
  • Encounter Bait: The move Sweet Scent, the items Honey and White Flute, the Poké Gear Radio song "Pokémon March", and the Illuminate ability all attract Pokémon or increase the chances of Random Encounters. Using the Running Shoes or the Bicycle will also do the same in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
    • In X and Y the Encounter O-Power is this as well.
  • Encounter Repellant: Likewise, we have Repel which repels all Pokémon with lower levels than your party leader. The Poké Gear Radio song "Pokémon Lullaby", and the abilities Intimidate and Stench decrease the rate of encounter.
    • In X and Y the Stealth O-Power works as this.
  • Escape Battle Technique:
    • The move Teleport and the items Poké Doll and Fluffy Tail (when used in battle) and Smoke Ball (when held in battle).
    • Pokémon with the "Run Away" ability can escape from any wild Pokémon, guaranteed, just by using the normal "Run" command.
    • The "Roar" and "Whirlwind" moves are inversions: they end wild Pokémon battles by forcing the opponent away, rather than the user, therefore working in situations where the user is blocked from escaping. Starting with the second generation, they can also be used in battles against fellow trainers, though not to escape—instead, when the opposing Pokemon runs, one of the trainer's other Pokemon is sent out in its stead.
    • As of Generation VI, all Ghost-type pokemon can't be prevented from attempting to escape battle or switch, presumably due to a degree of intangibility.
  • Experience Booster:
    • The Exp. All (from Red, Blue, and Yellow only) and Exp. Share divides experience gained from battle among your party or a certain Pokémon when held respectively, and Lucky Egg, which doubles the experience gained in battle, and rarely held by Chansey (and given to you free mid-way in Black and White).
    • The Macho Brace, Pokérus, Power Weight, Power Bracer, Power Belt, Power Lens, Power Band, and Power Anklet affect Effort Value gains after battle, with the first 2 doubling all, and the rest give you a bonus 4 points of a particular Effort Value. Pokérus stacks with all the rest (With Macho Brace you get 4x effort values, and with the "Power" items you get a bonus of 8 plus double of whatever the normal yield for your victory is.)
      • The Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, and Tamato Berries decrease Effort Values of a particular stat.
    • The Experience Point O-Power mixed with the above Lucky Egg is very useful in level grinding.
  • Exploited Immunity: From Generation 3 onwards, the moves sandstorm and hailstorm will cause all pokemon on the field to take gradual damage for the duration of the battle. This damage is negated if the pokemon is a ground/rock type (for sandstorm) or an ice-type (for hailstorm).
  • Explosive Breeder: This can happen with certain combinations of Pokémon and a little luck.
  • Exponential Potential
  • Expy: Many of the Pokémon in each new generation are Expies of those from previous generations. More information on the individual game pages.

    F 
  • Fannage: Pokémon is a multi-billion dollar franchise and the second best-selling video game series. Ever. Compare the size of this page to other series' pages. Then realize this is the smallest we could manage to get this page after splitting it up into over thirty individual pages for each branch of this thing.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables:
    • There are a wide variety of berries since their introduction in Generation II. Since Generation III, they have Punny Names like Pokémon. The berries are used as items during battle and ingredients in making Pokéblocks and Poffins.
    • Also, obviously, some Grass-type Pokémon are based on fruits and vegetables (such as Oddish).
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: The Safari zone.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The games' locations are based very much on real-life locations in Japan and the United States. Kanto is based on the real-life region of the same name; Johto is based on the Kansai region and western Chubu region; Hoenn is based on the Kyushu region; Sinnoh is based on Hokkaido. The 5th generation has branched out into the United States with Unova being based on New York/New Jersey. The 6th generation Kalos region expands even further, being based on France. Here's a more detailed list.
  • Fantasy Gun Control:
    • Despite being set in very modern times, there are actually no guns in the games. When you consider that mankind is capable of taming monsters who can breathe fire, shoot electricity, and shoot a beam of ice, amongst other things. Who needs gunpowder when you can get a Pokémon to do it? Even Ghetsis in Generation V thought of this!
    • invoked The move Bullet Seed (Seed Machine Gun in Japan) is probably the closest equivalent to guns you'll find in Pokémon, outside one of the banned episodes of the anime.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: More in the anime than the games, the Legendary Pokémon are referred to as or given the attributes of gods.
  • Feed It with Fire: A handful of abilities, starting in the third generation. Volt Absorb and Water Absorb absorb Electric or Water attacks as HP, Flash Fire absorbs Fire attacks to power up the user's attacks, and so on.
    • Generation V adds a couple of items, like the Absorb Bulb and Cell Battery, that provide a one-use-only version of the same effect.
  • Field Power Effect: Terrain bonuses as well as weather.
    • The move Secret Power changes based on what area the battle takes place in. Burmy's evolution into Wormadam is also dependent on this.
    • The 'pledge' moves are used to invoke this.
  • Final Exam Boss: Victory Road, which appears in every single game, either requires or encourages the use of all the HMs in the given game, except for Fly and Dive. It also involves puzzle solving, maze running and, of course, a large number of difficult trainer battles.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning:
    • Fire, Ice and Electric-types frequently, and fittingly for this trope, have cross counterpart moves with the same power, accuracy, and effect, differing only in type.note 
      • Flamethrower, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt: 95-power Special moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect (Burn, Freeze, and Paralysis respectively).
      • Ember, Powder Snow, Thundershock: 40-power Special moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect.
      • Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch: 75-power Physical moves with 100% accuracy and a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect.
      • Fire Fang, Ice Fang, Thunder Fang: 65-power Physical moves with 95% accuracy, a 10% chance of inflicting a status effect, and a separate 10% chance of making the opponent flinch.
      • Fire Blast, Blizzard, Thunder: These moves actually have pretty widely-varying stats, but the three are usually grouped together as high-power, low-accuracy versions of Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt.
    • Tri-Attack: A solid, solitary Normal-type move, but which features a blast of fire, ice, and lightning all at once, and which has a chance of randomly Burning, Freezing, or Paralyzing the target.
    • And, of course, there are 'Mons that follow the Fire, Ice, Lightning trend:
      • Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos: The original Legendary Trio.
      • Magmar, Jynx, and Electabuzz: A set of humanoids who are very hard to get in the first set of games; they were also the only ones in that generation to learn the Elemental Punches noted above, barring Hitmonchan, who learns all three.
      • All three also eventually got baby forms in Generation II, with only Jynx not getting an evolution in Gen IV.
      • Entei, Suicune, Raikou: The second generation's Legendary Trio (Suicune is actually a Water-type, but naturally learns more Ice-type moves and is thematicaly connected to the icy North Wind).
      • Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon: In Generation I, now with Glaceon in Gen IV.
      • Reshiram, Kyurem, Zekrom: The Yin and Yang Pokémon, with Kyurem representing Wuji, or the absence of Yin and Yang (i.e.: "nothingness").
  • First Name Basis: Last names definitely exist in the Pokémon Verse, but extremely few are actually known aside from those of the professors and their relatives (e.g. Daisy Oak and Cedric Juniper), as well as the Stone family from Generation III, with Steven Stone being among the few characters with both a first and last name that isn't related to a professor.
  • Fishing Minigame: While every game has featured fishing rods, it's not actually a minigame so much as an alternate method to encounter wild Pokémon.
  • Flavor Text: For every Pokémon a player captures in the wild, their Pokédex adds one or two sentences of in-universe description for their species. Later games add such details as the creature's footprint (if applicable), a Sound Test ability to play the creature's vocal cry, a size/weight comparison to the player character, and a comparison of form or gender differences between the species's different members (where applicable). The species's weight actually does have some gameplay consequences, but those are very few and far between. Additionally, since Generation IV, each Pokémon's status screen includes text documenting when and where it was caught, and a one-sentence remark about the individual creature's personality.
    • Text on where a Pokémon was caught (or otherwise obtained, including being hatched) has been present since Gen III.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Every NPC that matters has a plant-based name in the Japanese version.
    • All main series professors have tree-based names, along with a few other professors, such as Professors Ivy and Burnettnote .
    • The settlements of the Johto region also follow this trope.
  • Foe Yay: In-universe; Zangoose and Seviper, despite being eternal rivals, are in the same Egg group.
    • Addtionally, in certain dark grasses in Unova, they will attack you together.
  • Fog Feet: Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus. At least until they shift to their Therian Formes.
  • Foil:
    • The Hoenn and Sinnoh regions are this to each other.
      • Hoenn is a tropical region while Sinnoh is way colder (sans the post-game island which is suspiciously Hoenn-like); due to being based from Kyushu and Hokkaido respectively which are on different ends of Japan.
      • The player characters' redesigns for the third version/remake; while Brendan and May wear thinner clothes and shorten/remove sleeves from their outfits in Emerald/Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Lucas and Dawn get new coats and scarf in Platinum.
      • The female protagonists' starter of choice: In many well-known adaptations May is usually affiliated with the Torchic line while Dawn gets the Piplup line.
      • The token Ms. Fanservice gym leaders specialize in Fire-types in Hoenn and Ice in Sinnoh.
      • Lots of water routes(Hoenn) compared to only two(Sinnoh).
      • The soundtrack. Either trumpets and Dramatic Timpani everywhere or relaxing jazz.
    • Version exclusives are prone to contrast each other as well. Among many examples are Electabuzz and Magmar from the first two games. See the character pages for other examples.
  • Follow the Leader: In-series. Quite a few adaptations take elements from other adaptations which do not exist in the games, such as Poké Balls being see-through and the protagonists starting at age ten (the only protagonists with a confirmed age so far are Red and Leaf, who are eleven).
  • Foreshadowing: Kyurem's Pokédex entry states "It can produce ultracold air. Its body is frozen.". How Ice Burn apparently works? "On the second turn, an ultracold, freezing wind surrounds the target. This may leave the target with a burn.". From what game? White. Which form from what game got Ice Burn? White Kyurem from White2.
  • Fossil Revival: How you obtain some Pokémon from fossils. Almost every generation has a place where you can do this.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The "paws with only three digits" variant is prevalent in most pokemon's designs.
  • Four Is Death: You can see the Elite Four like this (they're even the Shitenno in the Japanese version), but better fits are Team Rocket and Team Galactic, which have four executive officers each (the former in HGSS, the latter in Platinum, both of which are part of the forth generation of Pokémon games).
  • Fragile Speedster: Sweepers are usually this, but a prime example is Ninjask, who is completely built around Speed, yet falls behind in actual fighting. It's usually used to Baton Pass its Speed buffs to other sweepers.
  • Free-Range Children: The protagonists are probably barely teenagers, yet they run about the world with little concern from anyone. Of course, they're bringing bodyguards: up to 6 reality-warping, enslaved monsters, most of whom who are bound to be loyal forever.
    • Generation V's Preschooler trainer class alone really takes this Up to Eleven. There is a Preschooler who has a level 59 Scyther in Black/White 2. This kid could have stopped the Radio Tower takeover situation in Goldenrod by himself. In X and Y, you can even find Preschoolers in facilities that don't let you in until you beat the Champion; going from simply having Preschoolers that could beat the Champion to Preschoolers that did. Don't feel so special now, do you?
  • Frictionless Ice: Functions as a puzzle in some areas.
  • Fun Size: Many small Pokémon count, including Mew, which is mythical and very powerful.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Same Type Attack Bonus, where a move gets stronger if a Pokémon that is the same type as the move uses it, is abbreviated as STAB.
  • Fun With Palindromes: Eevee, Girafarig, Ho-Oh, and Alomomola.

    G 
  • Gainaxing/Pec Flex: Nidoqueen in the Pokémon Stadium games and Slaking in Diamond/Pearl.
  • Gambit Pileup: Competitive play, as well as (to some extent) Battle Frontier play, at least once you start accumulating wins.
    • I Know You Know I Know: My Giratina should use Thunderbolt on your Gyarados, but you know I'll do that, so you'll switch to Electivire and my Giratina should use Earth Power, but you know I'll realize that and keep Gyarados in, so my Giratina should use Thunderbolt, but...
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Pokédex entries. For example: according to the Pokédex, all Gyarados are on the verge of murdering something, all Cubone are depressed due to dead mothers, and all Piplup have huge, huge egos. They can all have natures that contradict these entries. Then again, that could just mean your Gyarados is jolly by Gyarados standards.
      • Cubone's is especially jarring since you can breed Cubones/Marowaks, the baby will be born with a skull and the mother is fully alive and well.
    • A sizable portion of the Pokédex's entries point out abilities and attributes of several Mons that are never displayed during gameplay. For example, Dragonair's entry in Generation I states that it is capable of controlling the weather. Climate control moves weren't introduced until Generation II and still Dragonair doesn't learn any without TMs.
      • Like Houndoom. The burn from the flame it spews is supposed to hurt forever, but there is no evidence of this in game. Maybe it's a in-universe myth?
    • Durants are said to coat them selves in metal armor to protect themselves from Heatmor. This adds steal type to their already bug type, which makes Heatmor's fire attacks even more effective...
    • Of course, these Pokedex entries are likely to be written by the Trainer him/herself (an excited child/teenager), so some things may get exaggerated.
    • Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard is said that if it's tail touches water it will extinguish and it will die. Despite in Ruby/Sapphire you can fight with said Pokemon underwater.
  • Gender Bender: Fans have discovered that Azurill has a 3-to-1 female/male ratio, but its evolution, Marill, has a 50-50 gender ratio. Due to the way the game determines gender, this makes 1 of every 3 female Azurill become male upon evolving into Marill.
    • On the human side, there's a "female" NPC in Icirrus City's Entralink counterpart that used to be a guy until being changed by going into the Entralink.
      • Also a Beauty trainer in the Battle Maison heavily implies that she used to be a Blackbelt (Male only class) before an operation. Even heavier implied in the Japanese version.
  • Genetic Memory: Used and averted. Newly hatched Pokémon may know their father's TMs and HMs as well as level up moves known by both parents, but clones appear to be functionally identical to newborns.
  • Geodesic Cast: Some groups of Pokémon tend to repeat with each new generation. Exceptions when they are due:
    • A starter trio made of statistically above-average Pokémon of the Grass, Fire, and Water types. They tend to evolve at levels 14-18 and 30-36. Their ability provides a boost to moves of their type when HP is low.
    • Vendor Trash Com Mons, usually of the Normal type, always a small bird and a small mammal. A second bird is optional. A select fewnote  can last you the whole game.
    • One or two early game Bug types, mostly incompatible with teachable moves and evolving at low levels into Pokémon that are moderately useful early in the game but are weak in the long run. A cocoon middle stage is often included.
    • A cute Electric rodent. Fans have dubbed these "Pikaclones".
    • A pair of Rock type Pokémon obtainable by reviving them from a fossilnote .
    • A few "gimmick" Pokémon with overall low stats, such as Ditto (transforms into other Pokémon), Wobbuffet (which can only counterattack), and Castform (changes form and type with the weather). A few of them are Lethal Joke Characters.
    • A Pokémon whose final form's stats and powers rival legendaries, with base stats totalling 600. It takes long to train it, and it evolves at the highest levels of its generation. Occasionally there are two of these. It's likely to be a dragon and appears very late in the game.
    • At least one trio of legendary Pokémon with base stats totaling 580, a running theme, and no competitive usage restrictions.
    • A pair or trio of very strong legendaries, representing each version of the main games.
    • A cute little event-only legendary, with a value of 100 on each base stat.
  • Geo Effects: There are several effects to change the weather, and each weather type will boost certain moves or Pokémon types while hindering others. There's even one Pokémon whose ability is geared towards adapting to each of these effects, and others geared towards preventing them.
    • The move Secret Power gains bonuses according to the battle environment: fight on the sea and it occasionally lowers attack, fight in a cave and it may cause flinching, and so on. note 
  • Glass Cannon: While many Pokémon can be built into one, some species are more prone to working in this fashion. Deoxys-Attack is by far the best example: it has sky-high attack stats and Speed, but the worst Defense of any Pokémon in the game. It'll faint to just about any attack with moderate power! (In fact, it's been known to OHKO itself while confused!) There's several others as well, on a slightly lesser scale.
  • Global Currency Exception:
    • The Game Corner credits, though regular money can be cashed in.
    • Battle Frontier/Subway credits: Battle Points, which must be earned.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Trope namer, derived from a North American advertising slogan for Generation I. As more and more mons were added and later games added more plot, catching them all now seems incredibly daunting, given that the games started with 151.
    • However, now that Wonder Trading (randomized trading) and global wifi have been integrated into X and Y, obtaining mons of all kinds - all 718 of them - is slightly less daunting - as long as you have your 3DS connected to the internet, then you can trade with anyone, anytime, as opposed to being restricted to something like the game link cable from the Game Boy era. And even with One Game for the Price of Two having been in play for years, version exclusives and mons that needed to evolve by trading have always been kept at a low number.
    • Colosseum and XD avert it in the gameplay- the player character doesn't have a Pokédex, and catching them all isn't one of their goals. Instead, there's a "Strategy Memo" which can be filled to completion merely by seeing every Pokémon. (However, since a large number of Pokémon can't be seen in the games, it still requires you to trade with the GBA games to see them all.)
  • Gradual Grinder: The Poison-type downright relies on this. To a lesser extent, the Ghost-type is also pretty good at this. Fire-types can pull it off as well via the burn condition, and Grass-types have access to Leech Seed, which combines this with a Healing Factor for the user (or whatever's subbed in to replace it).
  • Guide Dang It: Enough to get its own page.

    H 
  • Hammer Space: Staring with Generation I, the Trainer's Bag can only hold a total of 1980 items (20 slots x 99 quantity). In generation IV, the Trainer's Bag can hold everything.
  • Hamster Wheel Power: A power station in the anime gets its electricity from some Pikachu running on a horizontal wheel around a Tesla coil.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Deconstructed, zigzagged, played straight, and subverted throughout the series. Occasionally we see abusive trainers that are hated by their Pokémon, or rebellious Pokémon who refuse to obey them. High-level traded Pokémon will disobey trainers if they don't have enough badges, implying a need to earn their respect and obedience. For the most part, however, caught Pokémon and their trainers get along well, and even members of villainous teams get attached to their Pokémon and their Pokémon to them. Black and White, along with many other mainstays of the series, examines this in detail. In the game, a few Team Plasma members who have released their Pokémon are confused when they don't want to leave them, and in the manga, White's Tepig leaves her to run off with N because she just uses it for acting and musicals, but it actually wants to learn how to battle.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: In all of the games, the player has to name the main character as well as his/her rival (except for the Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Black, and White versions). Hilarity Ensues.note  lampshaded in this comic
  • Heroic Albino: The Ralts line, despite having green hair, actually all have pale, white skin, and large red eyes (Ralts' are less obvious because its eyes are constantly covered by its 'hair').
  • Heroic BSOD: The player character if he/she loses all his/her Pokémon. Well, "black-out" ("white-out" in Generations II and III), but the trope is still valid.
    • At least in HeartGold and SoulSilver, this includes dropping money in panic.
      • FireRed and LeafGreen as well.
    • Rather ironically, in at least half of the games the screen will Fade to White when the player has been stated to "black out". The reverse, with the screen fading to black when the player "whites out" is also commonplace.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When you send out one of your last Pokémon knowing it won't be able to take the attack the opponent dishes out next turn, but the extra turn will give you time to use a Potion/Revive on your best team member.
    • The move "Healing Wish" causes the user to faint, but in return restores the health and status (minus fainting) of the next Pokémon sent out. Cresselia's Lunar Dance is basically Healing Wish that also restores PP.
  • Hit Points: One of the integral game mechanics in the Pokémon games, represented by a Life Meter.
  • Honorable Elephant: Donphan is known to be helpful in road maintenance; Phanphy, on the other hand, is known for unintentionally launching people over great distances.
  • Horn Attack: The moves Horn Attack (the Trope Namer), Horn Drill, Megahorn, and Horn Leech.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: The Trope Namer.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In most continuities, there are no bad Pokémon. Just bad humans misusing Pokémon. Fortunately, most Humans Are Good, so the trope is subtle.
  • Hybrid Power: A variant in the games via Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Breeding two mons together produces a mon of the females' species, that will learn some of the male's moves. So in theory the new mon might have some more powerful moves (sometimes at level 5, meaning just-hatched) without any drawbacks except that hatching it takes longer.

    I 
  • An Ice Person: Lorelei of the Kanto Elite Four, Pryce of the Johto Gym Leaders, Glacia of the Hoenn Elite Four, Candice of the Sinnoh Gym Leaders, Brycen of the Unova Gym Leaders, and Wulfric of the Kalos Gym Leaders. Interesting to note that Candice is actually quite Hot-Blooded.
  • I Knew There Was Something About You: Pops up in a couple of the main series games, usually with a gym leader or one of the final bosses saying it to the player character.
  • Improvised Lightning Rod: Generation III introduced an ability literally called "Lightningrod" that causes single-target electric-type attacks to automatically target the Pokemon with the ability. Most such Pokemon are already electric-type (which resist such attacks) or ground-type (which are completely immune). Generation V would add an immunity as well as an increase in Special Attack for every time the Pokemon is hit with an Electric attack.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Clay definitely qualifies for his poor handling of Team Plasma. He captured them and then proceeded to lose them when the bridge to Driftveil was lowered, which was a time span of just a few seconds. This is so important to Clay that he suspends his Gym activities by outright refusing the player's challenge, stating the player will only get the opportunity if the Plasma members are recaptured. After the player rounds the Plasma goons up for him, Clay loses the captured members again when Ghetsis gathers his captured subordinates right in front of Clay's own Gym without any fighting.
  • Infinity+1 Element: The Psychic-type in Generation I, and the Dragon-type in Generations 4 and 5. Both of these prompted new types to be created to balance them out.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The legendary 'mons (Arceus in particular, as well as Mewtwo in Generation I). As of the newest generation, the absolute example is Mega Mewtwo, with a whopping 780 base stat points (60 more than the aforementioned Arceus).
    • Infinity–1 Sword: The legendary trios and "pseudo-legendaries" such as Dragonite and Garchomp fit this bill in some generations. They're not as powerful as the "main" legendaries, but you can obtain them before entering the leagues and/or encountering the main legendaries. Interestingly, despite being "legitimate" legendaries the trios are actually slightly less powerful than the "pseudo-legendaries" (traditionally trio members have 580 base stat points, while pseudo-legendaries have 600).
  • Injured Vulnerability: Pokémon are much easier to catch when they're weakened. Lowering their health and inflicting them with status effects make the chances of successfully capturing them much higher.
    • When it comes to attacks, there's the move Brine which deals extra damage when the opponent has less than half their HP left. The Poison-type move Venoshock does double damage if the target is currently poisoned, while the Ghost-type move Hex does double damage if the target has any status ailment.
    • The Fighting type move Wake-Up-Slap does double damage if the opponent is asleep, and the Normal type move Smellingsalt does double damage if the opponent is paralyzed. However, both of these moves also cure that Pokémon with it when used.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Several, but the most egregious example would have to be the one-way ledges. Yeah, the ones that appear to be half the player character's height but cannot be climbed, regardless of whether or not one's Pokémon know Rock Climb, Fly, or any other field move that would logically allow one to overcome such an obstacle.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: "Pokémon Double Trouble", an Orange Islands episode of the anime, features the official debut of double battles, a whopping THREE YEARS before Ruby and Sapphire Versions! (Double battles unofficially debuted in "Ash Catches a Pokémon", where Team Rocket conducted them illegally.) Likewise, the manga series featured double battles that predated Ruby and Sapphire.
    • The first Pokemon movie featured (as a Desperation Attack) a nameless trainer sending out all three of his remaining Pokemon in a battle against Ash at once. Triple Battles wouldn't exist in-game for another 12 years.
    • Pokemon Yellow in general is one of the most blatant examples.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Your room is somewhat customizable in G/S/C; in R/S/E and D/P/P, you get a much more advanced "Secret Base" to decorate. In Platinum, you receive a rather large villa for free when you enter the Resort Area. You buy the furniture you want, but you can't put it where you want.
    • Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald also added an exterior-design element, to a degree. Do you want your secret base to be in a tree (as a treehouse), a large bush, a mountainside cave, or a lakeside cave? Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum also let you choose your base's location (which did depend somewhat on where you entered the Underground from), except that there was no real aesthetic variation underground.
    • And in HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can now design the frakking SAFARI ZONE.
    • The Dream World in the Pokémon Global Link deserves a mention.
  • Interpol Special Agent: An NPC on the S.S. Anne and Looker are police officers who work for the "international police".
  • In Their Own Image: Team Galactic's plan, and comparable to the plans of Aqua and Magma.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Moves like Fly and Dig involve the player's Pokémon moving itself out of the opponent's range for one turn, making them invulnerable to most attacks. Later generations introduced a handful of moves that can strike the Pokémon during this phase, and some even inflict double damage (e.g. Earthquake against Dig, Surf against Dive, Gust against Fly). Shadow Force is a newer and straighter example of the trope, but is indirectly banned within the game's specialized battle-scenario environmentsnote .
    • Sky Drop, a two-turn attack introduced in Black & White, takes it a step further by preventing the opponent from moving until this attack is finished. It has been banned in most competitive settings.
  • Irony: Some Pokémon give the impression that developers enjoy taking certain semi-aquatic animals and reimagining them as Rock or Ground types.
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: Commonly the word "Pokémon" is mispronounced.
    • The reason for this is probably because of the e-acute (é) in the word. The correct pronounciation is (as spelled on The Other Wiki) "POH-kay-mon".
    • The most common mispronunciation is "POH-kē-mon"; even the animé makes this mistake from time to time.
    • And the most stupid is "POH-kē-Man. Mostly people who don't know what they're doing say this.
    • Another mispronunciation is "Poh-KUH-mon", which is common among the British as well as a good portion of North American fans. However, it's become a semi-official pronunciation in recent years. (Listen carefully to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl announcer in this video when he gets to "Pokémon Trainer".note  Flip Flop of God, perhaps?)

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