What An Idiot: Pokémon


  • General
    • In several episodes, Team Rocket has Pikachu, (or A group of Mons), has eluded Ash & co., and is making their getaway.
      You'd Expect: Escaping in something more inconspicuous, such as disguising themselves and driving away in a Jeep once they were out of sight.
      Instead: They slowly float away in a distinctive Meowth-shaped hot air balloon, leaving themselves visible and vulnerable to Ash's Flying-type in that region.
    • Ash's general stupidity in regards to Team Rocket.
      You'd Expect: Ash, over his many encounters with Team Rocket, to smart up and realize that their weapons/tools/whatever are more often than not designed to nullify electric attacks.
      Instead: Time and again, Ash sics Pikachu's Thunderbolt on their asses as a first attack, with unsuccessful results.
    • On a similar note...
      You'd Expect: Ash and his company to recognize Jessie and James's hair colors, styles, and voices after all the constant encounters, and learn to identify them through such.
      Instead: They fall for the disguises almost every time.
    • Team Rocket's obsession with saying their motto Once an Episode even when it would screw up their plans such when they're supposed to be incognito.
      You'd Expect: Team Rocket to realize that this time they should keep their mouths shut and continue with executing their plan.
      Instead: They say their motto as usual, either blowing their cover and/or leaving themselves open to attack, ruining a plan that would otherwise have gone off without a hitch. And on that same note...
      You'd Expect: Someone to take advantage of Team Rocket's motto-induced distraction to launch a surprise attack.
      Instead: The heroes stand idly by and do nothing until the motto is finished and Team Rocket has indulged in some Evil Gloating.
    • Most characters' stupidity when it comes to the type chart and how the different types match up.
      You'd expect: One battler to send out a Pokemon with a type advantage or a resistance to the opponent's moves.
      Instead: They usually send out one with a disadvantage (and sometimes even a 4x weakness) and get curb stomped (Such as Cameron sending out a Ferrothorn, a steel/grass type, against Ash's Pignite, a fire/fighting type, or sending out Swanna, a water/flying type, against his Pikachu, an electric type. All in one battle, too. He could have easily switched the order and sent out Swanna for Pignite, and Ferrothorn for Pikachu.)
  • Original Series
    • In "Pokémon Paparazzi" Team Rocket has successfully captured Pikachu and defeated Ash and Todd.
      You'd Expect: Them to the get the heck out of there.
      Instead: They throw bombs at Ash and Todd and are fooled into posing for a shot, where the bombs blow up in their hands, thus defeating them.
    • In "The Breeding Center Secret", Ash and friends discover that a Pokémon breeding center is actually a Pokémon stealing center run by Butch and Cassidy of Team Rocket. The two manage to frame the kids and the Team Rocket trio (who happened to break in at the same time) for burglary. In jail, Ash, Todd, and Brock maintain their innocence, and beg Officer Jenny to see the breeding center for herself.
      You'd Expect: Jenny to suspect a possibility that the kids had been framed, follow their advice and check the breeding center out for herself. There, she'd discover the caged Pokémon (the breeding center falsely advertised itself as a resort spa) or, at the very least, Todd's camera and incriminating photos that Butch swiped.
      Instead: Jenny doesn't listen to them, saying that their attempts at sympathy won't work and that the judge will throw the book at them. It is only thanks to Misty who, along with Pikachu and Togepi, avoided capture and recovered Todd's camera and photos (along with Misty's Psyduck) that clears the boys and gets Butch and Cassidy arrested.
    • During the Indigo League, Ash is late for his battle against Ritchie. Late as in, ultimately, several hours late. During the time that Ash is a no-show, Misty angrily confronts Ritchie about a call he supposedly made, telling Ash to meet him at such-a-place and insulting Misty. Ritchie tells her that he never made that call. (It was actually Team Rocket using a voice synthesizer.)
      You'd Expect: Misty to put two and two together and realize that if Ash was told to go somewhere by someone impersonating Ritchie and he's currently nowhere to be found, he might be in serious danger.
      In Addition: This is just days after Team Rocket impersonated league officials and stole many trainers' Pokemon, indicating that the league has some major security problems.
      You'd Expect: Somebody—anybody—to assume the worst and put the match on hold while they dispatch search-and-rescue teams.
      Instead: Nobody. Does. Anything. Thousands of people just sit on their hands while Ash goes through insane amounts of crap to fight his way out of Team Rocket's clutches and return to the stadium. By the time he does, half his team has been exhausted.
      You'd Then Expect: That after everything Ash has been through, his battle with Ritchie would be postponed until tomorrow, giving him some much-needed time to rest.
      Instead: The battle takes place as scheduled. Ash loses.
    • In another episode, Ash is fighting Misty in the Whirl Islands Tournament. When Misty tries to use her last Pokémon, Psyduck comes out. Ash has his Kingler out on the field. However, Psyduck has a tendency to go into a Psycho rage when it gets a headache. Ash knows this; he has seen it on numerous occasions.
      You'd Expect: Ash to command Kingler to tickle Psyduck, or better yet, nudge it into the water.
      Instead: Ash commands Kingler to use Vicegrip. On Psyduck's head. A few seconds later, Ash's face comes in contact with flying crabnote .
  • Advanced Generation
    • In "All Things Bright and Beautifly", Jessie is participating in her first contest using her Seviper.
      You'd Expect: In preparation for the Appeal round, Jessie would look up what kind of moves Seviper can learn, or at least try to use common sense and determine what sort of moves Seviper can learn.
      Instead: She enters the contest unprepared, and during the Appeal round, she tries to make Seviper use Sacred Fire (which it can't learn). When Seviper predictably doesn't use the move, she gives it a bunch of other suggestions that don't work (including telling Seviper, a snake, to use Blaze Kick and Dragon Claw). Eventually, Meowth finally suggests telling Seviper to use Poison Tail (which it can learn), but by then, the damage is already done, and Jessie ends up losing.
    • In "Candid Camerupt", the group is having a friendly battle with the Winstrate family. Max is up and he's up against the youngest family member, Vivi, who he has a crush on; he's borrowing one of Ash's Pokemon and wants to go easy on her.
      You'd Expect: He'd pick one of the calmer, docile ones he has who'll listen to him.
      Instead: He picks Corphish. Said Pokemon doesn't listen and beats up her Marill causing Vivi to hate him and ruining any chance he had with her.
  • Diamond and Pearl
    • During the three-episode Enemy Mine tournament arc where Ash and Paul are forced to work together, Ash comes across Paul's intense training methods and how injured Chimchar was, all in the name of harnessing Blaze—the whole reason Paul caught Chimchar in the first place and kept him as long as he did, and the whole reason he's even in the tournament in the first place (this is already a big strike against him). Keep in mind that this is the night before their next match. Chimchar is taken to the Pokémon Center, and Paul is explicitly told by Nurse Joy that Chimchar would be far too worn out to battle tomorrow and would need rest. He is also aware that his next match involves a Zangoose, and that Chimchar fears this particular species.
      You'd Expect: Paul to take her advice and have Chimchar sit this one out. You know, since she IS a doctor for Pokémon and knows what she's talking about. Not only would this give Chimchar a chance to physically and psychologically recover, it would also ease Ash off his case. And who knows—maybe Blaze could come out the following round?
      Instead: Paul ignores Nurse Joy's warning and uses Chimchar in their battle the next day. Not only that, he then has Chimchar attack knowing that his moves would end up hurting Ash's Turtwig as well and finally, fed up with its 'weakness', leaves Ash to finish the battle solo. After the fight, he abandons Chimchar without a second thought, just like several other Pokémon he once handled.
      Taking the Stupidity Even Further: The kind of trainer Paul was meant to represent would know better than to send into an important match a Pokémon that clearly needs bench time, professional opinion or otherwise. Furthermore, anyone with even a shred of empathy would know that throwing a Pokemon against something it flat-out fears is more likely to petrify it than to trip Super Mode. And yet, despite such flagrant disregard for both his Pokémon and his teammate, especially in front of such a massive audience, Paul was not reprimanded one whit, either on-the-spot or in hindsight. Were it not for his leather pants and the author's praise for him, this would be the moment that destroyed any sympathy he deserved.
    • Barry is battling Ash. Ash's Chimchar defeats Barry's Staraptor.
      You'd Expect: Barry to send out his Empoleon, taking advantage of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors and the fact that Empoleon is a fully evolved Pokémon with powerful attacks, unlike Chimchar.
      Instead: He sends out his Roserade, giving Ash an Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors advantage.
    • Another one with Barry is when he has his Hitmonlee out against Paul's Ursaring.
      You'd Expect: That Barry would have Hitmonlee use Fighting-type attacks, which are strong against Ursaring. And no, this isn't a case of this only being true in games and not in the anime. Barry outright states that this the case; it's the entire reason he sent out Hitmonlee in the first place.
      Instead: Partway into the fight, Barry arbitrarily decides to have Hitmonlee start using the Fire-type Blaze Kick for no apparent reason. This ends up inflicting a burn on the Ursaring, which causes its Guts ability to kick in, resulting in Hitmonlee getting pulverized. Sure, Barry's a bit scatterbrained, but he's not this stupid.
  • Best Wishes
    • Stephan wins a tournament to make a wish that is guaranteed to come true
      You'd Expect: He'd wish to win the Pokemon League which is the biggest tournament in Pokemon
      Instead: He wishes to win an upcoming tournament that has nothing to do with the Pokemon League
    • Ash's final battle with Iris in one of the Club Tournaments,
      You'd Expect: Ash would know Iris saved her Excadrill for the final battle, so he'd use Palpitoad.
      Instead: Ash sends out Pikachu, who's two most powerful attacks (Thunderbolt and Electro Ball) have no effect on Excadrill AND Excadrill resists his other moves (Iron Tail and Quick Attack).
  • X and Y
    • In "Friend And Faux Alike", Team Rocket has a mecha-Heliolisk that they gleefully proclaim can repel electric attacks.
      You'd Expect: Ash to order Pikachu to use Iron Tail or Quick Attack, or for him to use one of his other Pokemon.
      Instead: He calls for Thunderbolt, which gets absorbed.
      You'd Expect: Ash to learn from this and use a non-electric attack.
      Instead: He calls for Electroball, with the predictable outcome.


  • Pokémon: The First Movie:
    • Mewtwo, having been persuaded to work with Giovanni, is still wondering what his purpose is.
      You'd Expect: Giovanni would keep in mind Mewtwo is one of the strongest Pokémon ever, and can take down multiple opponents all at once, AND that prior to this, he destroyed an entire laboratory and all those inside in a fit of rage over the scientists not caring about him, just what he is. Thus he should be careful not to offend/anger Mewtwo.
      Instead: He tells Mewtwo that, as Mewtwo was created by humans, his purpose is to serve them and not question it. Mewtwo promptly causes an explosion and takes off.
      But wait, there's more! It was this moment that convinced Mewtwo that humans cannot be trusted and nearly leads him to cause The End of the World as We Know It. Way to go, numbnut.
  • Pokémon 2000:
    • The villain Gelarden has just captured Moltres and Ash & co accidentally.
      You'd Expect: The villain to keep Ash and friends imprisoned, or just for kicks, dump them into the sea.
      Instead: He lets them go as he monologues. A few minutes later, his flying base is in ruins and the two birds he captured have escaped. Nice work, moron.
  • Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew:
    • Lucario needs to use his Aura power to heal the World Tree, but the amount of Aura required would be fatal to him.
      You'd Expect: Lucario to ask Ash, who has recently been revealed to have Aura power, to help him heal the tree, thus preventing a senseless loss of life.
      Instead: Lucario does it himself and dies a tragic, pointless death.
  • Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice:
    • Scraggy is accidentally left behind on a train station...and the train is leaving
      You'd Expect: Ash to just recall Scraggy and send him out again.
      Instead: Ash tries to get Scraggy to jump onto the moving train. Scraggy fails, and has to be caught by Snivy's vines.


  • In Pokemon Special:
    • Jasmine is traveling through Ecruteak City when there's an earthquake.
      You'd Expect: She run somewhere she won't get crushed.
      Instead: She runs to what has to be the most structurally weak building in the area: A crumbling, 700-year-old wooden tower! Not just inside it, either, but to the top!
    • Matt uses a bound-and-gagged Flannery as a hostage to lure Sapphire into an airtight cable car, which he locks and then floods with his Azumarill—but not before knocking out Toro and putting an air bubble around his head to make certain he can breathe in the flooded car.
      You'd Expect: Matt to let the water do the work. He can breathe; they can't. The entire situation, at that point, was engineered so he couldn't hope to lose.
      Instead: not only does he summon a Sharpedo to expedite the killing, but even after its teeth are broken off, he flagrantly violates Rule 6 of the Evil Overlord List, with some of the gloating going straight into Tempting Fate. Yes, Sapphire can hold her breath that long, and she does, up to the point she manages to cut a hole in the glass with the same teeth she just broke off!
    • Alexa has info on a major incident that no other news outlet appears to have.
      You'd Expect: It's common sense applying to almost any situation. In case of emergency, make copies or have backups for any important documents that you have.
      Instead: She doesn't, so when her editor-in-chief reveals himself to be evil and burns her report, there's nothing she can do about it. She later berates herself for being so excited over the info that she wasn't thinking straight.