- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Several of the gym leaders, but Erika as a pot head takes the cake.
- N in White: Hard Mode is much worse than Canon; he's willing to kill Pokemon just to lecture their owners about how "this wouldn't have happened if you hadn't caught them!"
- Also in White: Hard Mode, Cheren and Bianca being creepy psychopathic manchildren who stalked and hounded Hilbert so badly that he hung himself just to get away from them—and their reaction to seeing this is simply mild disappointment (with the mildly unsettling implication that this has happened before).
- Given the large number of variations on the same stories, there's quite a bit of this within the spinoff comics as well. One of the more common interpretations in runs of the first gen and its remakes is the common Fanon theory of Blue/Gary being Oak's Unfavorite while his grandfather favors the MC appears quite often. Other runs paint him as a flat-out Jerkass, while others split the difference for a Jerkass Woobie.
- Another frequent point of variation: how gym leaders and other trainers respond to death on the battlefield. Any given gym leader could be portrayed as a professional who has accepted death as a natural consequence of battle, a friendly foe who's honestly shocked at seeing their opponent's pokemon die, or an utter Jerkass who gloats and rubs the loss in their face.
- Professor Oak, Bill, and Mr. Briney are often portrayed as creepy perverts, as well.
- In almost any Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald run you read, Norman will be interpreted as a trainer who is so obsessed with Pokemon that he neglects spending time with his family.
- In the same vein, Archie is seldomly portrayed as anything more than a moron. Maxie has a few moments ("How did I not see water is GOOD?!"), but he is generally shown as more intelligent and having greater thought out motives.
- Also in Hoenn runs, Wallace tends to be depicted as Camp Straight and in a relationship with Winnona. This is probably influenced by Pokémon Special.
- Common Knowledge: The original challenge did not have "No Legendaries" as a rule (Legendaries weren't caught simply because they weren't the first encounter Nuzlocke ran into in their area), nor was "Blackout/Whiteout = Game Over" part of the original rules. ( Ruby ended the way it did probably because the author felt turning the loss against the Champion into a Downer Ending worked well from a story perspective) In fact, "you must nickname all your Pokemon" is generally accepted as part of the core Nuzlocke rules these days, but even that wasn't the case in the original either. The only two rules the first challenge used were stated in the first panel: "Release a Pokemon if it faints" and "Have to catch the first Pokemon on each route and nothing else".
- Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Plagued with it to a degree. Despite the random nature of the game and how death can result in some odd teams, a lot of the comic makers tend to make similar choices of starter Pokemon and likely make similar choices on keeping mons if they are able to use them. A Johto locke that picks Chikorita tends up attract intrigue and curiosity since it is a rare occurrence while a Sinnoh locke that picks a Chimchar is regarded as another run-of-the-mill Nuzlocke.
- And most people are almost always going to get, the bug type, the rodent, the bird, and a zubat at some point. Just cause of how common they are.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Here.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: Here.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: And here.
- Memetic Mutation: The Nuzlocke Challenge rules have since then become very popular among players.
- "It's all happening for a reason."
- Shipping: In spinoffs, the Main Character with Pokemon Gym Leaders/NPC:
- A LOT of Nuzlockers seem to have waifu-time with their favorite Gym Leaders. Or, more recently, with N. Here's actually a few Nuzlockers who shipped rivals with Gym Leaders.
- Or, if there's more than one rival (like in Ruby and Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl, Black and White, and X and Y), rivals with each other. Kynim's Diamond Nuzlocke is a noteworthy case of this, as one of the endgame pairings is the two male rivals.
- A LOT of Nuzlockers seem to have waifu-time with their favorite Gym Leaders. Or, more recently, with N. Here's actually a few Nuzlockers who shipped rivals with Gym Leaders.
- Misaimed Fandom: The Nuzlocke challenge itself qualifies—the creator of Pokemon stated that he wanted the Non-Lethal K.O. system in there partly so that the game doesn't become impossible and partly because he didn't want children to grow up associating death with losing a game. Didn't stop this self-imposed challenge from becoming a thing.
- One reason for it occurring the first place is most likely that, the above message Gone Horribly Right and the Pokémon themselves have been dehumanized to Living Weapon level(see:competitive players). By giving them a voice and have the threat of actual death hanging over them, the Pokémon became just as or if not more memorable than their trainers in terms of characterization and became more appreciated even moreso if the species in question isn't among the current meta. Think back, until reading the Nuzlocke comics, did you really care about your Pokémon beyond their Win/Loss records and stats in the games?
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: A pretty normal occurrence in Nuzlocke runs. Due to the rules, players often end up having to use Pokemon they don't normally use, and consequently develop newfound respect and appreciation for them.
- "Stop Having Fun" Guys: It is to be expected, given it is part of the Pokemon fandom, albeit rare. There are some who take the challenge rather seriously and will criticize the teambuilding of other players (if they are sharing the progress and results of their challenge) even though one of the premises of the challenge involves adapting to having no choice on what mons you can use outside of ones given as gifts.
- Strawman Has a Point: There's something to be said for N's claims — that Pokemon battles are cruel, selfish, and only result in Pokemon being hurt — on a normal playthrough. On a Nuzlocke run, he's pretty much right.
- Tear Jerker: Whenever a Pokemon dies. Deserves its own page...
- The Woobie: Chances are you will come across a character who has suffered so many hardships, be it the loss of a friend, a crushing defeat, or even personal matters, that you can't help but want to hold them and comfort them.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Very often a new team member will be given an interesting and unique personality... only to be either permaboxed or quickly die to a random critical hit. Of course, this is sort of forced by Anyone Can Die combined with Real Life Writes the Plot.
- Sliding Scaleof Silliness Versus Seriousness: The comics tend to vary from both extremes of this.
- Wangst: Once you apply Fridge Logic to the Nuzlocke comics.
- Broken Base: Episode 8 of White: Hard Mode has been getting this for having Ruby catch Victini, showing the "No Legendaries" rule is not in effect, resulting in either people okay with it (mostly due to the mon's personality) or crying "ruined".
- Although to be fair, the original comic never has never had the "No Legendaries" rule. The reason he didn't catch all the legendaries previously is because they weren't the first Pokemon he encountered in an area. Victini was.
- Complete Monster: Mewtwo is the Big Bad of the FireRed arc. A clone of the legendary Pokémon Mew, Mewtwo grew a hatred for humanity due to being tortured by one of the scientists who created him. After killing a scientist who took no part in his torture in a rage and destroying the laboratory he was created in, Mewtwo came across Mew, who trapped the former on a deserted island in hopes that it would give Mewtwo time for his anger to subside. Despite calming down and regaining sanity, Mewtwo still held his hatred of humanity despite knowing not all of them are cruel, attempting to slowly choke a human who accidentally washed on the island shore to death, simply because he believes it's been too long since he's killed somebody. Looking for a way to break the seal that keeps him trapped on the island, Mewtwo deceives Ruby into killing the three legendary birds, who kept Mewtwo's power restrained, by pretending to be the ghost of Ruby's deceased Nuzleaf. After Ruby defeats Gary and is about to be crowned Elite Four Champion, Mewtwo breaks the minds of everybody in the stadium except for Ruby, and frames Mew for it, intending for Ruby to kill Mew and completely break the seal. Mewtwo mocks Ruby for being tricked by him and proclaims that he looks forward to enjoying his newfound freedom, and might as well kill all humans while he's at it, promising to kill Ruby last as his way of "thanks".
- Growing the Beard: The Ruby run was good, but rough around the edges. The Fire Red run saw a general improvement in the art, dialogue, characterization and plot, and was an even better series.
- And it seems like the White arc is starting to grow it even further, by having it in full color, the art being a lot more clean, and not overusing the Lost references.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Meta-example. On late Feb 2017, the author would had his car broken into and have his 3DS and all his Pokémon games stolen. This meant that that he lost all of his friends in real life whether they lived through the story or not, meaning that in a way, they died for real. The only legacy left of them would be the webcomic itself where he already written down the notes for White.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In the Fire Red comic, Marowak's ghost is "defeated" in essentially the same way it is in Pokémon Origins.
- Ho Yay: Bill and the guy with glasses.
- Jerkass Woobie: Ruby is by no means a total jerk, and he warms up to any Pokemon he initially hates, but he's often a bit cynical in some chapters. You'd be too if your own father favored a Slakoth over you, you watched several Pokemon die, lost all your remaining teammates against the champion, almost lost everyone against another, were used by an all-powerful legendary who proceeded to kill another party member, and flung three years into the future in the aftermath without the remaining one of your Pokemon, where the cycle starts again via a certain green-haired Pokemon rights activist. Guy's got it rough...
- Squick/Fanservice: Torkoal used Attract!◊
- Nightmare Fuel: Marowak's Ghost in this comic, Mewtwo's wall of Nuzlockers in the Fire Red run, and as of White, N's Pidove. Coo.
Hale's Emerald/Platinum Hard Mode:
- Alternate Character Interpretation: May goes from a Flat Character who didn't get as much characterization as Rival Brandon to a Stalker With a Crush/Yandere whose expressions evoke Higurashi: When They Cry.
- Also in Emerald, Archie is a hippie, and Maxie is highly competent - he just wants to give land-dwellers a place to stay whenever Archie manages to flood the world.
- And then there's Tate and Liza... even their Pokemon were freaked out.
- In Platinum, Stanley is an abusive boyfriend who tries to keep Shrinking Violet Bern cowed.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: His depiction of May earned her an instant fanbase and Draco in Leather Pants status.
- The run itself gained a lot of attention from the site as a whole, to the level that they filtered Nuzlocke into Halelocke on the day of the Emerald Run's last update.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: May was treated as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain and her threats of murder aren't taken very seriously, even when she kills grandma Winstrait. But then she finally manages to kill Django...
- Harsher in Hindsight: In Hale's comic, Hale tells May that she should kill herself. Guess what she tries to do later on.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: This◊ strip has Hale hitting his Slugma and burning his hand as a throwaway gag. Fast-forward to Pokemon Xand Y, and playing with Slugma in Pokemon Amie results in the same thing.
- Ship-to-Ship Combat: Of a sort; the fight was between Hale/May and Hale/nobody.
- Fridge Brilliance: Giovanni is startled when Candace disguised as a Rocket greets him with "Hail Giovanni!", because he's not the leader of Team Rocket any more. She blew her cover.
- Moral Event Horizon: Candace breaking and entering into the Olivine Town lighthouse, now a shrine to honor Jasmine who sacrificed herself to allow the rest of the town to survive, by way of Forretress' Mirror Shot to get the badge, considered a sacred object by the survivors, was viewed as this by some people.
Nyachan's Nuzlocke Challenges:
- Ship-to-Ship Combat: So much in her Pearl run, between Lily/Gary and Lily/Kess, that she had to threaten to holler at the mods in the opening post of her Sapphire run. Gary won, if you're interested, but Word of God says the author originally intended Lily to end up with Kess before doing a total 180, which was probably the cause of this.
Kynim's Nuzlocke Runs:
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Creatively, Bianca's depicted as a Southern Belle.
- Crossover Ship: Nina is shipped with James, the protagonist of Death's Nuzlocke. (Apparently, they're Tsundere for each other.) The ship is known as "Nuzlocke Grumps", and has lots of fanart.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Kynim wasn't really expecting all the love Mimi got from the instant she joined the team.
- Jasper the Joltik, who helps out N in Chargestone Cave, was a smash hit despite him being a one-point character. Apparently, his design and mannerisms reminded the readers of Catbug so much that even the author acknowledges this.
- Leif, Cheren's Serperior, became the first mon that wasn't under the ownership of either protagonist to get their own gijinka artwork due to demand after one of the White Extra comics helping Zach out.
- And speaking of Cheren, he's been getting more love since his characterization in the comic of helping Nina cope with the loss of Jordan in a mature and caring manner is unique and refreshing compared to the tiring and overly-introspective route from the games to those who tend to twist the rivals into being much more horrible than they actually are.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Jordan is dressed up with a Fez and Bowtie in Extra Comic 13 of Kynim's White Run. The author became a Whovian later.
- Moral Event Horizon: Ghetsis challenges Nina under the threat of killing Alder, Cheren and N if she backs out, then proceeds to massacre her team with sadistic relish.
- Nightmare Fuel:
Asha: Tell me, child...are you afraid of death?
- The vision Skyla's fiancee gets when she touches Nina, displays a Hydreigon wrapped around her. Nina looks absolutely broken, and the scene is drawn with a creepy Art Shift. What is worse is that anyone who has played Black and White knows who the dragon belongs to and knows what it can do. It makes it rather horrifying to wonder how it will play out.
- Speaking of Ghetsis' Hydreigon, the opening scene of this comic features Ghetsis feeding it...something. We never see what it is, but the shape of its silhouette and Zinzolin's expression as he watches it eat heavily imply that it's a human corpse. Additionally, the way Ghetsis talks to Zinzolin while he's feeding the dragon further implies that it's the corpse of a Team Plasma grunt who "upset" Ghetsis.
- The battle with N has begun and already things are going from bad to worse—Laila takes down Carracosta with one Petal Dance but Archeops resists it and swoops down on her. Zach jumps in to protect her, which leads to him losing an eye when his armor ricochets off of his flipper and hits his face, before wiping his attacker out with Surf. When Laila panics over what Zach did, Zach gives a rousing speech about how he doesn't want anything bad to happen to any of his teammates again...and as he does so, N's Klinklang is looming ominously behind him and charging up an electric attack...
- Thank Arceus Jojo appeared when she did or he'd have been a goner.
- Right when it seems things are wrapping up nicely, Ghetsis' Hydreigon attacks Zekrom from offscreen.
- The battle with Ghetsis. How so? Let us count the ways:
- First off, Ky-nim gives us a handy explanation as to why Alder and Cheren don't help the player character with battling Ghetsis—he has the Shadow Triad restrain them and threatens to KILL THEM if Nina backs out of the fight. He does the same to N too...yeah, let that sink in...
- What does Ghetsis order his Pokemon to do to Nina's? "Destroy them."
- Ghetsis' Cofagrigus is truly terrifying.
- Nina's team manages to beat down Ghetsis' surprisingly easy...and then Hydreigon shows up. Andy in particular is truly terrified of the thing.
- Rex and Andy's deaths at the hands of Ghetsis' Hydreigon, Asha. First, Rex slices one of the thing's heads off, only for said head to grow back in true Hydra fashion. Hydreigon promptly fires a Focus Blast at Rex so powerful that it blasts a hole into his stomach. Andy tries to fight back and is promptly reduced to a charred, unrecognizable corpse via Fire Blast—which the Hydreigon promptly crushes under its foot with a crazed look in its eye. We then get the results of Skyla's fiancee's vision...
- Nina leaps in to save Laila from Asha's Fire Blast, only to get burned in the process. Even worse, Laila reveals that she was facing him because she knew the attack would miss (due to having gaps in it—and she's right, if you look at her position and that of the Fire Blast, you'll see that, possible convection aside, she could easily have dodged the attack by ducking) and was planning to put Asha to sleep, meaning that Nina didn't have to do that at all.
- Despite it being an awesome moment on his part, Zach killing Asha by chopping off all three of his heads in quick succession is kind of shocking—especially since this is likely the first time Zach (or ANYONE on Nina's team) has actually killed someone on purpose.
- Nina collapsing from exhaustion at the end.
- Ron the Death Eater: Bianca's father gets it worst, turning him into a Straw Misogynist and heavily implied to be a domestic abuser where in the games he was simply worried about Bianca's safety. Clay also gets hit with the Straw Misogynist stick, criticizing Nina's shorts as indecent and just generally being extremely unpleasant.
- Shipping: VERY prevalent in both comics.
- That One Attack: Self Destruct.
- Viewer Gender Confusion:
- Diamond: You'd be surprised how many people thought Haisi was a girl, probably due to his Bishōnen appearance mixed with his Camp Gay behavior. He finally set the record straight in a Q&A comic when someone asked if he was a boy or a girl, to which he responded "I have a dick and I like dick."
- White: Asha, Ghetsis' Hydreigon. He's got a feminine sounding name, is rarely referred to by any pronouns and is part of a Pokemon species that has no obvious sexual dimorphism. For the longest time, the only confirmation that he was male was Word of God. Part 4 of the battle with Ghetsis repeatedly refers to him by male pronouns, as if to finally drive the point home that this is a male Hydreigon.
- Write Who You Know: Word of God notes that Haisi is based on a real life friend of hers.
Lyrax's Gold Run:
- Moral Event Horizon: Lyrax's Gold run immediately establishes the rival as irredeemable when he steals both of the leftover starters, apparently just so he could tell Lyrax "Don't follow me or I'll kill one of them." He does.
In Azza's Run:
- Moral Event Horizon: Charmeleon (and his trainer as well) make it clear they're well over the line when Raticate argues that the murder of innocent Pokemon was completely unnecessary, and demands to be released from the team. They do so, but then Charmeleon claims that since Raticate is now a wild Pokemon, he can do whatever he wants, and very brutally murders Raticate as well.
Shining Ace's Nuzlocke:
- Nightmare Fuel: This comic's version of Giovanni is basically a mass-murderer who's proud of it. He gets several terrifying Nightmare Face shots too.
- Shipping: Notable as ShiningAce's Nuzlocke he is in an arranged marriage with Erika
- And then he met Sabrina...
- Lampshaded in this◊ extra comic.
Manic's Screenshot Runs:
- Nausea Fuel: The ways Stan is described as having killed the gym leaders in "Super Stan's Super Awesome Adventure!"
- The Scrappy:
- Beat from "Der Gnizalb" quickly established herself as this due to being a bigger Jerkass than Anemoi and for telling Bump to kill himself.
- From "Dark Stars," Sugar the Smoochum acquired this status due to her obnoxious behavior and turning Sophie against Manic.
Kit's Nuzlocke Adventure:
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Cynthia as a raging Alpha Bitch who mocks Kit whenever she can. To the point where secretly a grown up Angelica from Rugrats!
- Silver as just a nice guy everyone hates for no reason. He noticed Elm drop a starter's Pokeball and tried to give it back, Elm accused him of stealing, and he fled.
- Moral Event Horizon: Kit considers Kyogre killing his Grumpig to be this, even nicknaming the legendary "Murderer"
- Baskerville manipulating Fortune into hugging her in frount of Lyra, after finding out Lyra had a crush on him, was probably the point she earned her Scrappy status below. She's killed off pretty soon after, only expressing remorse for doing this when she's about to die.
- Nightmare Fuel: The Black run, due to it being the interpretation of the glitchiness that occurred when the author used cheats to sequence break in the game.
- The Scrappy: Baskerville. Initially she seemed like a well-meaning jerk, but later she was proven to be pure jerk. She did get a bit of an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment when she died though.
Jet's Black Nuzlocke
- Alternate Character Interpretation: While most people like to portray N as a Psychopathic Manchild and play up his innocence, creepiness or creepy innocence, this one portrays him as extremely serious and rational, evidently playing up how seriously he takes his status as Team Plasma's leader. He retains his social awkwardness, though.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- Broccoli and Bottles' deaths were as horrifying as they were heartbreaking.
- The nightmare Jet has just before her battle with Lenora—if the savage looking Watchog and Herdiers eating Firedog, Lilly and Leer don't scare you, than the downright demonic looking version of Lenora looming over them and laughing maniacally will. And then Broccoli and Bottle's ghosts show up...
- Nightmare Fuel The Unnamed Protagonist from Pitch Black is a terrifying, evil, sadistic protagonist. From the beginning it's established that he's NOT a good character, (Considering we see his first activities IMPALING POKEMON ON HIS PICKET FENCE). From then on, any Pokemon he catches he forces to fight and brutally murder his friends and family and sees them nothing more as tools, even going as far as to KILL his own Pokemon. Basically, he's an even worse version of Paul. His Oshawott, Icarus, MAY be just as bad.