These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Magmar and especially Magby's Japanese names: Boober and Booby, respectively! Of course, it was MEANT to reference birds like the Blue-Footed Booby, but... well... And Magmortar is Booburn. Ouch.
Quite a few Pokémon have a suggestive tuft of fur between their legs, like Blaziken, Reshiram and Beartic. White Kyurem gets a few of Reshiram's characteristics... but not that suspicious placing of fur.
The move Harden could make a few people with dirty minds giggle. Especially since the same Pokémon likely will know String Shot... Hydro Pump causes the same dirty thoughts sometimes. Particularly with Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action jokes.
Not to mention what the Internet has done with Cloyster.
Pokémon Special is far more well-known than any other Pokémon manga, even in its native country (where most manga stay), to the point where many consider it to be the official Pokémon manga.
Ask anyone over the age of 25 about Pokémon. They'll most likely answer something like "Pokémon? Isn't it that cheapkids' cartoon from the '90s about cute little monsters?" And since Most Writers Are Adults, most mainstream parodies of Pokémon are either based fully or partially on the early anime, which makes things like the Arceus reference in House and The Big Bang Theory's one Pokémon reference ever being to the "Pokémon cards" a bit surprising. Note, however, that this reputation is slowly changing, with TPCi's own attempts to "mainstream" the games in the west, as the current, game-based fans are themselves becoming the older generation, and as the anime continues on with its Franchise Zombie status.
This is in full effect in the Super Smash Bros. series. While Ash and the Rocket trio are obviously absent, the series' portrayal of the Pokémon game universe is lifted from the anime, complete with Pokémon Speak and Mewtwo and Lucario talking telepathically and having their movie personalities. This essentially makes it resemble what typical uninitiated mainstream audiences would think the game universe would look like; in fact, prior to Brawl, there weren't any Pokémon elements in Smash that weren't in the anime too, making it easy to mistake for a crossover with the anime rather than the games.
NPC trainers and the player character can easily be twisted into Jerkasses with regards to their interactions:
You're wandering down a road miles away from home, your Pokémon are weak, possibly paralyzed or poisoned, several are knocked out, you're out of healing items and are desperately looking for a Pokémon center to heal your Pokémon but don't know your way around the area. As you struggle onward another trainer spots you and immediately challenges you to a battle, giving you no chance to back down and having no regard for the safety and well-being of your 'Mons.
But then, the reverse. You see a trainer looking down the road and talk to them to challenge them to a battle. They only have one or two Pokémon five levels lower than yours, and depending on their dialogue said Pokémon may be freshly caught, or the trainer is on a losing streak, or is just out for a stroll. They may also be a young child or an old man or lady. You proceed to crush their Pokémon, take their money as spoils of victory, and leave them alone in the middle of nowhere while you continue on to find another trainer to do the same to. Your main goal in doing this is to obtain the Gym Badges and become Pokémon Champion, something which in-universe, especially in Black and White, is seen by the in-game characters as the hollow, pointless goal of pursuing power and fame just for the sake of being powerful and famous. Congratulations, you're a Sociopathic HeroVillain Protagonist!
Consider the real world equivalent of Pokémon battles, where human trainers force animals to fight for them? Bear-baiting, Cock-fighting and Dog-fighting! Yeah, it's suddenly become a lot harder to root for our heroes...
Except that in the Gen V games, the people who hold this view are the villains, who are counting on the fact that the people in the series really are genuinely good, and are all too likely to take to heart the What the Hell, Hero? speeches they give, despite said villains not really caring about Pokemon welfare at all, plus knowing that the trainers they talk down to treat Pokémon very kindly.
The alternate to this comes when material for the series tries to characterize the Pokémon themselves beyond doing whatever their trainer tells them to, by saying all the fighting is just as much a game for them as it is for anyone playing the games. This is essentially a world which humanity shares with nearly seven hundred different species of super-powered Blood Knights.
Due to the sparse details provided by the games, the Pokémon themselves are subject to this in the games. They display no personality outside of Pokémon-Amie, and their 8-bit cries would be fairly implausible to produce in a "real" setting, with their text cries alternating between Pokémon Speak and onomatopoeia. As such, the Pokémon's cries and personalities are largely left up to the viewer's imagination (and whichever Alternate Continuity they like best, be it the anime, the manga, Origins, etc.), which helps fuel the fandom's large roleplaying and fanwork community. For example, the Self DemonstratingMewtwo page on this very wiki mainly represents the games' Mewtwo, but is also a Composite Character between most versions of Mewtwonote except for the one from Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened due to it being the only second Mewtwo to exist in a continuity, which speaks telepathically and has a personality similar to the one from Pokémon: The First Movie (which, in turn, is a composite between the English and Japanese versions of that movie).
Jynx. Looking like a parody of blackface acting will do that.
The series has different Pokémon names for the Japanese, Englishnote with the English names used everywhere outside of Japan, France, Germany, Korea and China, French, German, Chinese and Korean versions, with all characters and locations having different names in each translation as well. Generally, these localizations are well-liked by each of their target audiences. However, French-speaking Quebecers, who generally grew up with the English games and a Quebec French dub of the anime that used the English names, are prone to have somewhat negative opinions of the French games and TCGnote which are imported from France, and use their localizations, with the most commonly mocked French names being "Tadmorv" and "Grotadmorv" (Grimer's and Muk's). This Tumblr post pretty much sums it up (translation just below the post). This French-Canadian review of X and Y also speaks for itself, with not a single French name in sight.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In contrast, Blastoise's French name of "Tortank" is popular with English-speaking fans, having earned special mention on a number of blogs and a Dorkly popularity poll. Since it's derived from "tortue" (which is similar to English "tortoise") and "tank", it can easily pass as a cooler English Pokémon name.note However, the actual French pronunciation is more like "toghr-TONK", not "TOR-tank" (admit it, you probably just read it as the latter). There are other examples like this; for example, Houndoom's Japanese name of "Hellgar".
Similarly, Latin Americans play the English games, and are critical of Spanish character and location names (used in Spain), with some Latin American users on Pokéteca (the Spanish Bulbapedia) causing an uproar over the use of said Spanish names on the wiki rather than the English ones.
Especially for French Canadians, this has gotten worse with the fourth Super Smash Bros. game, which does have a French-Canadian version that nonetheless keeps the European translations for the Pokémon elements.note Meanwhile, almost everything else is based on the North American translations. For example, Charizard is called "Dracaufeu" in both French versions of the game, but Rosalina is only called "Harmonie" in EU French and is still "Rosalina" in NA French. The Latin American version doesn't have it so bad due to Pokémon always keeping their English names in Spanish, and other Pokémon elements with Spanish Dub Name Changes aren't so prominent in the Smash series.
Currently, the anime is a more popular, widely-marketed, and integral part of the franchise in Japan than in the West.
Pikachu itself, similar to (and possibly in relation to) the anime. As mentioned below, it's a major Base Breaker to the Western fanbase, with some embarassing popularity poll losses under its belt. In Japan, it's pretty much the local equivalent of Mickey Mouse.
Audience Shift: While Pokémon started out purely as a "kids-only" franchise (and is probably most well known as such), over time the Periphery Demographic grew enough so that Game Freak would acknowledge them as a part of its demographic just as much as the kids themselves. Come Gen VI, lots of Pandering to the Base could be found in the games, and the official international website was overhauled to look more like an Apple product and less like an early 2000s kids' website.
Badass Decay: Although most Pokémon remain completely unchanged between generations, the constant influx of new Pokémon, moves and other meta-game-changing additions often sees powerhouses rendered obsolete in competitive play between generations:
Persian was an amazing Pokémon in Generation I, due to the way game mechanics worked back then. Critical hit probability was based on Speed, and thus Persian's STAB Slash would score a critical every time. And in those days, if Hyper Beam KO'd something, the user didn't need to take a recharge turn, so Person could use STAB Hyper Beams to finish off foes with no drawback. Toss in Thunderbolt and Bubblebeam for coverage, and it was deadly. Then Generation II's revamped critical hit mechanics and always needing to recharge from Hyper Beam meant Persian's Badassery decayed like acid.
In Generation I, Alakazam and the Psychic-type in General were lethal. Nothing resisted Psychic except other Psychics, and the only types they were weak to was Bug, due to a glitch with the Ghost-type, but back then the only damaging Bug moves were Twinneedle, Leech Life, and Pin Missile. The first two are awful and Pin Missile was limited to Beedrill and Jolteon. Beedrill is weak to Psychic, hence Jolteon's fame in the early days of the game as the only reliable anti-Psychic fighter. Generation II fixed the Ghost glitch, introduced a TM teaching a strong Ghost-type move, and introduced two new types which resist Psychic, bringing them down to normal. Alakazam is still pretty badass though.
Charizard, while never a powerhouse, becomes progressively less threatening as the generation count increases, up until the fourth generation. In Generation V it gains access to the stat-boosting Solar Power ability, allowing it to shine a bit more. Then Gen VI gave it two Mega Evolutions...
Tauros is considered the undisputed king of the Generation I meta-game due to its great Attack, Speed, and type-boosted Body Slam and Hyper Beam. However, Power Creep and the numerous changes in the meta-game in later generations — most significantly having the Special stat split into Special Attack and Special Defence in Generation II — has left Tauros in the dust.
The Pokémon suicide move, Explosion, was always bugged to do double the amount of damage it was supposed to. This is only fixed as late as Generation V, and predictably, a lot less people use the move as a last ditch effort attack (though some of the players who still do use the Normal Gem item to boost the move back to its former glory).
Pseudo-legendaries, i.e. a non-legendary Pokemons with base stats of 600, were formerly some of the best Pokemons competitively due to their excellent stat distribution, viable abilities as well as having a wide array of move pools. From Gen IV to V, all of the members are either OU or kicked upstairs to Ubers. Come Gen VI, the massive power creeps, the introduction of fairies designed to counter the dragons and mega evolutions that perform their roles better has hit them hard, resulting in a massive decrease of usage to the point that only Dragonite, Tyranitar and Garchomp remains in OU while the rest are cast down to UU (Or BL in Salamence case). Some specific examples.
Salamence has been hit with this. In Generation IV, it was considered a Game Breaker along the lines of Garchomp because of it's god-like stats and great movepool, causing it to be banned to Smogon's Ubers. However in Generation V, due to the Power Creep, it had some tough competition in the form of a newly-buffed Dragonite and Hydregion, although the introduction of choice scarf and Moxie combination gives it a breath of life to still remain in the OU environment. Now in Generation VI, with the advent of Fairy Type countering dragons, and stiff competition with Mega-Charizard X, Salamence is having a difficult time competing. In the end, the massive decrease in its usage has sent Salamence to UU at first but after it has been found to be too powerful in the environment, Salamence is instead Kicked Upstairs to BL where very underused in OU but too powerful in UU.
To say nothing about Metagross. In Gen III and IV, it was a powerhouse with great attack and defenses. Like Salamence, the Gen V Power Creep gave it stronger competition. Explosion, one of its niches, was nerfed (no longer halving foe's defence). Without getting many new things compared to other older Pokemon, it verged on dropping to BL/UU. Generation VI gave it two new things... newfound weaknesses to Ghost and Dark, compounded with Aegislash (similar weaknesses, much better resistances, and could hit SE with STAB Shadow Ball) and the buff to Knock Off which would now hurt Metagross for massive damage. Oh, and its signature move Meteor Mash had its power nerfed. All this and more firmly cemented its placing in UU.
Hydreigon got decayed in the worst way possible. Back in Gen V, it used to be known as uncounterable pokemon due to its good bulk as well as supreme move pool coverage allowing it to break through walls as well as revenge kill other pokemons with only his poor typing and slow speed holding him back. Now in Gen VI, the introduction of fairies completely obliterate the poor Hydra as they suffer from 4x weakness to fairy type attacks with little to no method of countering them as its STA Bs are completely walled by fairies, coupled with the introduction of Mega Charizard Y who can pretty much do everything Hydreigon does better sent Hydreigon to the depths of UU along with the likes of Metagross and Goodra.
Pikachu, possibly one of the most divisive Series Mascots ever among its respective fandom. Outside of its intended demographic of young children, it has quite a lot of fans who respect it as the face of the franchise and find it cute and/or cool. However, it is often criticized by the Periphery Demographic for its overexposure, blatant favoritism over more popular Pokemon, saccharine cuteness, association with Ash Ketchumnote who is just as much of a Base Breaker as his best friend, its fame giving Pokémon a reputation of being only for young children, and that it's actually a pretty terrible Pokemon battle-wise. An IGN Pokémon popularity poll placed Pikachu in a surprising 48th place out of all creatures in the series (to be fair, IGN's demographic consists mostly of young adult male gamers).note Note that this poll actually helped calm down some of the Pikachu hate; before the results came out, quite a few fans believed Pikachu to be the unequivocal fan-favorite Pokémon, leading it to suffer from It's Popular, Now It Sucks on top of everything else.
And in a more recent Dorkly popularity poll, the top 15 Pokémon in each generation were voted on and then pitted against each other. Pikachu got 23rd place out of all Gen I mons - it didn't even get voted into the top 15 of its generation. Ouch.
Dragonite is one of the most popular Pokémon ever, since it's a Badass Adorable dragon that's both cute and very strong. However, it gets a lot of flak for looking nothing like its serpentine and graceful pre-evolved form Dragonair, and also for looking very similar to the much belovedBarney the Dinosaur. And similar to Charizard, Dragonite gets a lot of flak for being popular, but possibly even more so than its fiercer cousin due to the aforementioned issues about its design. Possibly for this reason, the anime depicted Iris' Dragonite as a perpetually-angry, Rated M for ManlyBadass dragon who almost never shows the friendly, cuddly facial expression that the species is known for. Similarly, every Dragonite card in the TCG from Dragon Vault onwards has shown the Pokémon with a serious expression on its face.
Goodra has it worse. It is literally purple (Dragonite is orange) and looks like a cross between Barney and Ampharos. The fact that its attack stat is worse than Krabby's doesn't help.
Charizard has been a divisive Pokemon to say the least, where even mentioning it is enough to start a Flame War. The opinions at each extreme are: Charizard is easily the best Pokemon because of its awesome dragon-like appearance (people that think this are seen as "Genwunners"note people who prefer the first generation over any other, and are often perceived as doing little but complain about later games. who are blinded by nostalgia) or, Charizard is a terrible Pokemon, undeserving of it's popularity, that no-one over the age of 10 should be using (people that think this are seen as "Stop Having Fun" Guys that only like a Pokemon due to its competitive ability). The debate worsened when gen VI came around as Charizard received two mega evolutions whereas the other Kanto starters only got one, leaving Charizard open to accusations it became the Pokémon equivalent of Wolverine in terms of popularity and exposure.
Oshawott's design was highly polarizing when it was first revealed, but its evolution, Dewott, showed the emergence of samurai-like qualities and was rather widely well-received. Then their final stage, Samurott, was revealed, whose unexpected incorporation of sea lion qualities into its shogun motif promptly re-broke the base; being an apparent quadruped undermined many fans' expectations of a shell-sword wielding samurai. As it turns out, the shell armor on its forelegs do contain swords which Samurott uses in combat, somehow still without being bipedal — artwork portrays it as using a sword in one limb while standing on the other three.
Zoroark was deliberately designed to be an Ensemble Dark Horse by copying many of Lucario's traits, which works for some and not for others.
Dialga and Palkia. Although all box legendaries are popular overall, the creation duo seems to have fewer devoted fans because they just plain look weird compared to the others. And Dialga's cry sounds like a diseased horse.
The Generation IV evolutions of older generation Pokemon. Either they're hideous design departures from their pre-evolutions (not helped by many being evolutions of first generation mons) or creative evolutions of otherwise forgettable mons. The former opinion was widely held when they were first revealed, but over time, the evolutions grew on many fans.
Out of these evolutions, Rhyperior deserves special mention. While it's a very powerful Pokémon whose ability promotes much more survivability given the line's poor defensive typing, it's often lambasted for its overly bulky and ugly design (similar to Emboar and Conkeldurr), but even more so because it evolves from Rhydon, whose design was more popular and more rhinoceros-like.
In general, it seemed that the evolutions of the Gen 1 Pokémon (ex. Lickilicky and Tangrowth) sparked the most controversy, while the evolutions of Gen 2 Pokemon (ex. Weavile and Honchkrow) and Gen 3 Pokémon (ex. Gallade and Roserade) were more warmly received. It's noteworthy that the designs most bashed evolved from Pokémon already considered visually unpleasant (ex. Lickitung and Nosepass), so part of the problem may be long-time fans who simply pushed these designs out of their minds until Gen 4's evolutions jogged their memory.
Conkeldurr. While it's an extremely powerful and useful Pokémon (even competitively), it's generally viewed as (and possibly designed to be) extremely ugly. Its pre-evolution, Gurdurr may even be more widely hated, because it's just as hideous, if not more, than Conkeldurr, and it's a common annoyance in caves when you're looking for a rare Pokémon or have run out of repels. Not helped that the two resemble clowns.
Red, the player character of the first game. He has plenty of fans that like him, but similar to Charizard, he's been building up a hatedom noticeable in the fifth generation from those who view him as a boring, overrated trainer who doesn't deserve to be praised as much as he does. Part of it also stems from resentment towards the "fans" who act like Generations I and II are the only good ones.
Fans are also divided over whether the main series should go in a more story-driven direction like GenerationV, or stick to an excuse plot like the older games, and make the game more about catching 'em all and exploration.
Character Tiers: A heavily present feature in the metagame, and kind of necessary, given that for all of Game Freak's tweaks and additions, some Pokémon still clearly have it better than others. Most communities make an effort to organize the tiers thoughtfully, at least. Smogon has one example.
Critical Dissonance: According to critics, Pokémon has remained strong since the beginning. According to fans, the series hit its peak at Gen II, declined due to mixed reactions to Gens III and IV, zigzagging in Gen V before it skyrocketed in Gen VI.
Crosses the Line Twice: Nicknaming either Drifloon or Drifblim "Hindenburg" (and having either one of them with the Explosion attack) was already a pretty common joke, but then they got an exclusive Dream World Ability, Flare Boost, that increases their Special Attack while Burned — and right in step with the games that debut the series's equivalent of America, too. Oh, the Humanity!...
It's difficult (if not impossible) to flee from wild Pokémon with high Speed stats without a special item or ability.
During the first generation, trapping moves like Wrap prevented the opponent from taking any action, meaning a fast Pokémon could inflict it regularly with the opponent unable to take any action whatsoever. The same applies to Pokémon who could inflict Sleep.
Selfdestruct and Explosion actually inflict twice their stated attack power in damage (prior to Generation V), making them very likely to KO the opponent. There goes your chance for catching it, and all the experience you would have otherwise earned. Are you in an area populated by wild Voltorb or Geodudes? Hope you brought plenty of Revives!
The Rock-type move Rollout hits 3-5 turns in a row and doubles in power every time it hits (85% of the time). Rock is one of the best offensive types, inflicting an additional double damage against the (very common) Flying and Bug types, and resisted only by the (less common) Ground, Fighting, and Steel types.
Trainer-wise, we have Cooltrainers/Ace Trainers. Especially the case in the later games, due to them usually being stronger than you at some point in the game and carrying healing items on hand.
Veteran Trainers from Gen V in a similar vein to the Ace Trainers, even with the Rotation Battles.
Watchog. The entire genus is a walking middle finger to Nuzlockers.
Dork Age: While not as extreme as other franchises that suffered this (many fans have enjoyed the entire series), popularity hit a decline during Gen III with the end of "Pokémania" and the backlash towards Hoenn's isolation — both geographically and in Pokémon available — from the first two Gens, and Gen IV received flak for the large amount of Legendaries and previous-gen evolutions as well as the technical flaws experienced with Game Freak's first games on the DS. Even the aforementioned large population of fans who have always liked the games recognize that Pokémon's popularity has only resurged with the remakes of the beloved Gen II games and the innovation of Gen V.
Evil Is Cool: Some of the most popular Pokemon are known in-universe as sinister, malevolent, and destructive entities, such as Gyarados, Hydreigon, and Gengar. Special mention to Mewtwo, widely known for being a vicious and powerful Blood Knight in a land where being a Blood Knight is a way of life, and is one of the most famous and iconic creatures of the franchise.
Game Breaker: Many; some long lasting and some only occurring one generation.
The Psychic-type dominated here, but of them, Alakazam was the head (excluding Mewtwo). The type forced Game Freak to create two new Pokémon types for the next generation, Dark and Steel; one that's immune and one that resists the Psychic type.
Mewtwo. Chansey or another Mewtwo are the only two first generation Pokémon that had any chance against the most-used moveset in the first gen. Even after being nerfed in later generations, it is still one of three Pokémon that do not have any surefire counter. In addition, Mewtwo now learns Psystrike, a special move that does physical damage; meaning that Chansey is no longer effective at walling him.
Normal-type is, surprisingly, the most dominant type in this generation, having practically a lack of weakness, and stupidly powerful attacks, not unlike Dragon Types in Gen 4 and 5. Hyper Beam lacked a recharge turn when it is a killing blow, and Body Slam has a good combination of power and distribution, and can paralyze. Tauros and Snorlax are widely considered the biggest threats of RBY metagame, with the former being hailed as "The King of OU". In fact, Tauros was so dominant that some suspected that Skarmory and Foretress are created just to stop its dominance. And they succeeded. (Though the Special split also severely hurt it.)
OHKO moves (Horn Drill, Guillotine, Fissure, and Generation 3's Sheer Cold) have never seen the light of day in the metagame despite their godawful accuracy. It's not because the moves themselves are too powerful, but because their mere existence in competition would make playing defensive teams that rely on stalling completely obsolete if the opposing player was unlucky enough to have their strategy ruined from suddenly fainting to a OHKO move. In short terms, if OHKO moves were allowed, they would break the ability to utilize defensive teams. The same applies to damage specific moves such as Dragon Rage and Sonic Boom, which do enough damage (40 and 20 respectively) to be considered OHKO moves in Little League.
Curselax was the king of this generation. Snorlax is still pretty powerful, and is one of 4 Pokémon to have always been considered OU up to Generation V (along with Gengar, Starmie, and Zapdos, although all of them except Gengar got Overshadowed by Awesome in recent generations).
Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza. All three of them, and to an unquestionable degree to boot — even at level 1, the former two's ability to automatically induce an endless weather condition alone was enough to make teams built around sun or rain insurmountable to teams that weren't. This was felt even more acutely in Generation 5, when the weather abilities weren't just limited to those Pokémon. Drizzle combined with Swift Swim sweepersnote who get double speed in rain was particularly hated, to the point that both on the same team were banned.
Deoxys. It was thought that the Speed Forme wouldn't be broken. Its unbanning was what taught people how to use it, and now it is the most used of the four. The other three forms weren't even questioned.
Latias was allowed in the Generation 4 metagame for some time, and was incredibly durable and damaging thanks to Calm Mind. When it eventually got banned, the resulting power vacuum let Salamence become so dominating that it ended up banned, too.
Leftovers Wobbuffet vs Leftovers Wobbuffet in Generation 3 literally broke the game due to their Shadow Tag ability. The match-up was impossible to finish due to not being allowed to switch out because of their abilities, and for the fact that Struggle (once both Wobbuffets' PP run out) did less damage than the amount healed from Leftovers. The metagame banned the use of Leftovers on Wobbuffet to help solve this without banning Wobbuffet entirely, and was back to normal once Struggle's effect was changed to a more costly recoil damage in Gen 4 and the addition of no-switching abilities canceling each other out to allow switching.
Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, full stop. For extra fun, combine Palkia with Kyogre and proceed to wash crap away!!!
Darkrai. Fast, strong, and can incapacitate with ease things that can take it out fast.
Garchomp. One of the very few non-legendary Pokémon to have been Uber, due to overcentralizing the OU metagame around itself. As if its insane stats and attacking prowess weren't enough, it has an ability that increases evasion in Sandstorm — which led it to be banned for a time in Generation 5 as well.
Reshiram and Zekrom are rapidly shaping up to be this in their own right (Kyurem, however, seems to be held back by its typing). Reshiram in particular teams up with Groudon in much the same way that Palkia teams up with Kyogre (read: the opposing team gets nuked to oblivion). Meanwhile, Zekrom takes advantage of its physically-biased stats (and Electric-type STAB) to rip the specially-oriented Ubers metagame a new asshole.
In-game, Darumaka is a top tier mon. It learns Belly Drum and Flare Blitz by level-up, shortly before evolving into a 140-Attack behemoth with Sheer Force making its Fire Punch (also learned by Darumaka by level-up) even stronger. In competitive battle, it's not this, but it's still pretty darn good.
Excadrill. A very high 135 attack stat, and mediocre 88 speed... when not in a sandstorm. In an easily set-up sandstorm, its Sand Rush ability doubles its speed, turning a Mighty Glacier into a Lightning Bruiser. Being Ground/Steel, it had access to the very powerful Earthquake, laughed in the face of Stealth Rock, and had immunity to both Thunder Wave and Toxic. Having Swords Dance made it hurt even more, capable of pulling a Total Party Kill on anything without priority. It was banned in Gen V competitive play shortlynote Gen VI took away unlimited-turn sandstorm, making it less dangerous than in Gen V.
The Pokémon ability Moody. The effect? At the end of each turn, one random stat is lowered one stage while another random stat is increased two stages. Meaning that players clever enough could abuse this ability with stall movesets to pile-up stat bonuses to easily sweep teams afterwards. And for extra fun times, one of these stats is evasion. This strategy was considered so overpowered in the metagame that it would have got freaking BIDOOF banned from competitive play. In the end, Moody was banned from all competition, even Ubers.
DeepSeaTooth Clamperl in Little League. With the addition of Shell Smash to its moveset, and the added effect of its increased Special Attack by 50% from its held DeepSeaTooth item, Clamperl's Special Attack becomes astronomical after just one Shell Smash buff, and even makes for a hilarious trolling tactic if used correctly in the meta-game tiers. Its low health and speed stats (the later of which can be remedied with Trick Room support) are the primary flaws that keep Clamperl from being considered broken.
Thanks to being given a hidden ability from the Dream World in the form of Speed Boost, Blaziken is now considered ridiculously broken to the point that Smogon actually banned it. It's one of the few non-Legendaries to have that honor.
The Dragon-type was officially acknowledged as being a Game Breaker. They were heavily buffed in Generations 4 and 5 and allowed very few things to resist their attacks, effectively making them the new Psychics — especially with the latter generation's Power Creep. Gamefreak had to make an entirely new type (Fairy) in Generation 6 just for the sake of balancing the Dragons. And its effectiveness is... questionable at best due to the shortage of any decent competitive-play Fairy types outside Xerneas, Clefable, Azumarill, Togekiss, Sylveon, Florges, Mega Mawile, and Mega Gardevoir. (It did stop spamming of Dragon-type moves at least...)
Truant Durant comes off as this when the player is raking up winning streaks in Generation 5's Battle Subway and Generation 6's Battle Maison due to the AI's nature to NEVER withdraw their Pokémon in these areas. Due to its blazing speed, Durant can get off an Entertainment in almost any situation to make the opposing Pokémon have the same Truant ability as Durant. Afterwards, you just switch to a Pokémon that has Protect, and a move to stack up stat boosts to use on the turn Truant activates, repeating the combination until the player feels ready to pull a team sweep. This strategy has been well-known to have people easily reaching 100-wins-in-a-row.
A complicated team set known as "SPOOKY BOOGIE" used Liepard to attack without the opponent being able to hit back with anything, save for priority moves and Protect. A similar set allowed it to use Whirlwind before the opponent got a chance to move. Like Riolu's Copycat + Roar setup, this was removed in Gen VI.
Xerneas. Its signature move, Geomancy, raises Special stats and Speed twice after a charge-up turn. Give him a Power Herb to bypass that turn and you have something that competitive battlers are comparing to juggernauts like Kyogre and Extremespeed Arceus. In short, if you don't have something that can force it out when it burns that Power Herb, you are more or less completely fucked and really can't do anything about it, as Xerneas can and will demolish your entire team just like that.
Yveltal is looking just as nasty. It may not have the "oh shit" factor of Xerneas, but it more than makes up for it with incredible versatility, having the strongest STAB Sucker Punches and Dark Pulses in the game, as well as a very effective Secret Art that acts as an incredibly powerful drain and allows Yveltal to last for an incredible length of time without putting any EVs into bulk, and its ability to run physical and special sets equally well makes every encounter with it a gamble. Guess right, and you might have a fighting chance. Guess wrong, and it'll demolish you.
Mega-Evolutions in general were meant to be on par with legendaries, which was achieved with varying levels of success. But Mega-Gengar stands out as a nasty example with the ability Shadow Tagnote Only consolation is, you can switch out once on the turn Gengar Mega-evolves before you're stuck., on top of White Kyurem's Special Attack and Mewtwo's Speed.
Mega Kangaskhan wound up being far worse, to the point where it has been called the most broken thing in the history of Pokémon. First off, it got everything it ever could have wanted stat-wise, sporting great Attack, excellent bulk, and excellent Speed that allows it to outrun quite a few common threats. Like Mega Gengar, however, its ability is what makes it. To clarify, Parental Bond makes every attack hit twice while making the second hit do half-damage, but what it doesn't do is reduce the chance of secondary effects occurring. Not only does this make it hit like a nuke under normal circumstances, but it also makes Substitutes and Sturdy useless, and when combined with things like Power-Up Punch, Drain Punch, or Body Slam, you're looking at things like a free Swords Dance, a free Recovery, or near-guaranteed paralysis. Furthermore, it also benefits from a godly movepool that has nearly everything a physical sweeper could ask for, in addition to being comprehensive enough to allow it to build to deal with any potential counter. This thing wound up being so ridiculous that, much like Gen IV Garchomp, every viable team lineup boiled down to "Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Kangaskhan counter, Mega Kangaskhan counter-counter", and it was banned by Smogon because it overcentralized OU so thoroughly that nothing else could possibly compete with it.
The discovery of the "Funbro" tactic, which is basically having a Pokémon, like Slowbro specifically, with a move-set that has the ability to force player-battles to continue indefinitely. Most of the time, this ends with the opponent that got funbroed resorting to Rage Quit out of frustration. The description here goes into great detail as to what constitutes this strategy, and eventually got banned under the Endless Battle Clause from the Smogon meta-game entirely.
The Little Cup meta-game has its share of banned baby-stage Pokémon.
Carvanha. Its high attack and access to Aqua Jet would make it too much of an offensive threat, being able to 2HKO, or even 1HKO, almost everything.
Gligar. Its access to Acrobatics and amazing defensive capabilities proved to be too much, with almost everyone trying to find a counter to Gligar holding a Flying Gem, which ended up boosting a 110 power Acrobatics due to a Flying Gem not counting as an item being held.
Meditite. Its ability, Pure Power, which doubles the Pokémon's attack, would make Meditite the strongest physical attacker overall.
Scyther. Its overall stats and move-pool are just too powerful. It would basically be considered the Arceus of Little League.
Sneasel. Almost for the same exact reason as Scyther; just slightly weaker overall stats, but has higher speed and a better Ice/Dark typing for team sweeps.
Tangela. It becomes a monster when sunlight is active. Thanks to Tangela's amazing 115 defense stat, it can easily get off a Sunny Day to then take advantage of its ability in Chlorophyll, boosting its speed. It could then go on to sweep teams afterwards thanks to Tangela's 100 special-attack stat.
Vulpix, thanks to its Hidden Ability, Drought. Even with Tangela out of the picture, being able to provide instant sunlight would cause sunlight teams to always have a major advantage in matches, forcing opponents to centralize on how to counter Vulpix's ability.
Yanma. A Choice-Scarf and the access to the ability, Speed Boost, would make it the fastest Pokémon in Little Cup after one turn. Its other ability isn't too shabby, either. Compoundeyes would allow Yanma to use an almost perfect Hypnosis, which would always gimp the opponent from using one Pokémon since Yanma's got the speed to get Hypnosis off even without the benefit of Speed Boost.
In the trading card game, Mewtwo-EX has very quickly become this as of 2012 season. With the right set-up, X-Ball (its first and, bizarrely, most useful attack) is more than capable of churning out upwards of 100 damage every turn, all for a minimum of just 2 of any Energy. For the record, Mewtwo-EX is one of the fastest-to-play Pokémon in the game due to being Basic rather than Evolved, can be ready for battle in a single turn thanks to the same expansion's Double Colourless Energy... Mewtwo-EX is such a broken card that, for the most part, a deck could be determined as competitive by the question 'It's good, but does it have Mewtwo-EX?' All EX cards have the 2 Prize Card drawback, but with Eviolite being so popular (-20 damage taken from each attack when attached to a Basic Pokémon), and more health than just about anything except other EXs and Wailord, good luck taking one down before it tears a gaping hole in your team. Did we forget to mention that it can be obtained very easily and cheaply thanks to promo tins?
Genius Bonus: Some of the inspirations for the Pokémon species designs are delightfully obscure.
Shuckle resembles a turtle and many viewers automatically assume that it must be based on a turtle, but it's actually based on an Endolith, a kind of fungus that lives inside porous rocks.
Avalugg is likely based on Project Habakkuk/Habbakuk, a proposed World War II project to make aircraft carriers made of Pykrete, a mixture of wood pulp and ice. The project was considered for the fact that it turned out to actually be bulletproof, but ultimately turned down based on its ridiculously low maximum speed of six knots, along with the fact that so many measures would have to be taken to keep the damn thing from melting. Sound like someone?
As mentioned under Americans Hate Tingle, the English translations of the games are well-liked in Quebec and Latin America due to fans' issues with the actual French and Spanish versions (imported from Europe).
Charizard is pretty much an object of worship in the United States (and possibly other English-speaking countries), mostly due to the Periphery Demographic being a more "definitive" part of the fanbase in America than in Japan, and due to American Kirby Is Hardcore. Charizard merchandise regularly sells out and sells high in English-speaking stores, much more than the actual Series Mascot.
Actually, it was zig-zagged until Gen VI, as Charizard was generally hated amongst Smogon battlers - and we are talking about pretty much the majority of the battling community in the English-speaking world. This was due to Charizard actually being not very useful until the buff for Generation 6, and Scrubs attempting to use Charizard regardless adding to the ire. See the Tier-Induced Scrappy, and The Scrappy entry within the Pokémon pages.
Many Pokémon fans outside of Japan are cheering on Japan's Samurai Blue soccer team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to their choice of Pikachu and several other Pokémonnote the Kanto starters, the Kalos starters, Meowth, Litleo and Pancham as their team mascots.
Fortunately, in Black 2 and White 2, both Zubat and Woobat are only found in a few locations.
Taken Up to Eleven in Generation VI, where these Pokémon literally drop from the ceiling if the player isn't paying attention; even if the player has Repel active.
Weedle can be a much bigger nuisance than Caterpie due to its ability to inflict poison.
Tentacool are in every body of water you can surf into, quite fast, and not easy to kill thanks to their typing — when they aren't at levels so disproportionately low, you'll consider whether it's even worth the time and PP to beat them.
Then there's their Gen V expy, Frillish. Same problem, every body of water you can surf into, not easy to kill. At least they don't poison you.
Geodude and Graveler share a habitat with Zubat. And their tendency to explode in your face is not welcome.
And though Geodude/Graveler aren't present in Gen V, Boldore is. And both it and its pre-evolution Roggenrolla have both Sturdy, meaning you cannot kill it in one hit. They only learn exploding moves at higher levels, though.
Hoothoot are everywhere at night; there are even places where they are the only things present.
Wingull are as widespread and are as annoying as real seagulls. Then there's their evolution, Pellipper, which is possibly more annoying because it's not easy to kill if it's near your level. "Pelliper used ROOST! Pelipper used ROOST!"
Zigzagoon, the Hoenn Rattata. They're found on almost every single grass route in Ruby and Sapphire and are rather common on said routes. Yes, even on those where you encounter Linoone as well.
Bibarel. "Bibarel used Super Fang! Bibarel used Superpower!"
And now Watchog has somehow managed to top even that. With moves like Super Fang, Crunch, Confuse Ray, and Hypnosis learned very early on, some fans have suspected that they were created with the intent of pissing off Nuzlocke runners (and everyone else).
Magnemite and Magneton were this in the first generation, before they became easily-defeated dual-types. Fortunately, unlike their common representation in the card game, they've never been able to learn Selfdestruct/Explosion from leveling up.
For those who train their Pokémon by battling Audinos, Emolga can certainly be this. Not nearly as much Exp to be gained from beating it, and its high speed can make it a pain to run away from if you don't feel like dealing with it. If you do decide to try and fight it, its Static ability will constantly be afflicting your physical attackers with paralysis, regardless of their typing.
Audinos themselves can be considered this when you're attempting to look in the rustling grasses for rare Pokémon, but always ending up meeting an Audino.
Basculin in every Gen V river or pond. Especially when you see rippling water and fish for something rare and it's nothing but the opposite form of whatever Basculin is normally in your game.
In the earlier gens, it's usually Goldeen/Seaking popping up in all the non-ocean water.
Fearow in the postgame of D/P/PT... if you're in a hurry and not wanting a fight, anyway. The "RUN" button does no good half the time. Although that could simply be due to an extremely slow lead mon.
Koffing/Weezing. It also has the tendency to explode in your face.
Whismur. It's all over in Gen III and always uses Uproar. (Chatot has this move in Gen IV, but it isn't nearly as common as Whismur in III and it's really only useful for filling your dex or RNG breeding, so you're less pressured to catch one.)
Anything with a priority move, such as Swellow with Quick Attack in Gen 4. Unless you have your own priority move, you can't do anything but get your lead's health chipped off every single fight.
Generation VI brought about the pain of dealing with Pokémon that have the ability Arena Trap, such as the pairing of Dugtrio AND Trapinch when the player comes across the digging encounters throughout Route 13.
Growing the Beard: Each generation brought in numerous improvements to the game, either competitively or in-game speaking since Generation I.
Generation II pretty much is where the games hit their stride, with the introduction of genders, held items, and breeding, certain trainer rematches, and the first implementation of the series' wide battle tower in Crystal. Also, though elementary, it introduced the series' first move tutor who would teach a Pokemon of your choice a powerful move. Generation II also split the special stat into special attack and special defense stats to make it easier to determine which mons were going to dish out/take special attacks better or worse. It also introduced swarming, letting you catch certain monsters at certain times.
Generation III saw a noticeable improvement in art and sound over the previous two generations. It also introduced natures, innate abilities (like Mudkip's Torrent, for example), farming for berries, and a slew of more competitive-worthy items and monsters. Gen III also refined the ability to rematch against certain trainers (with gym leaders added to the list for Emerald) just by expanding the lists. It expended the move tutors abilities to teach your Pokemon far more moves as well, if you had the BP for it.
One thing that most people tend to overlook is the PC box system was completely revamped. In previous games, You had to save your game each time you moved to a new box and once you filled a box of 30, you could not catch any new Pokémon until you switched the box in the PC. Starting with Ruby and Sapphire, the system was given a radical interface change allowing one to switch boxes and select boxed Pokémon effortlessly and to see them all simultaneously.
Generation IV saw a massive overhaul of the standard battling system just by splitting up physical and special attacks by the individual move, as compared to what the type of the move was. Also, it introduced tons of moves that enabled broader strategies. Gen IV also introduced even better abilities to take mons From Nobody to Nightmare (Scizor, much?). Finally, it introduced the Pokétech, which was like the Pokégear with more functions such as EV counting, happiness checking, etc. It also introduced transferring across generations and wireless communications, all of which improved the number of Pokémon one could catch in one version before referring to a friend/GTS/themselves with another cartridge.
Gen V incorporated smoother game-play note to the point that one could beat it within a few days and much stronger story-telling elements (though whether or not it succeeds is up to the viewer). Black and White also redesigned a lot of interfaces to speed up action (weather listed on sidebars, Repels being used by the menu asking you rather than manually using one through the menu). Finally, it also introduced a long awaited sigh of relief: Reusable TMs.
Black and White 2 also refined the mechanics of breeding, and such to make it even easier to perform without sinking in a lot of time. The tutors (a returning feature from Generations 3&4) also encouraged a lot of innovative move-sets. It also shortened the Pokémon tournaments in postgame (the PWT) in a way that it's no longer tedious (though still time-consuming admittedly) to earn BP in order to get the items one needs compared to Generations III and IV.
Generation VI introduced many new improvements, including full 3D, trainer customisation, and wider options for Wi-Fi play. Many features were designed to quicken the pace of gameplay: easier EV training through the Super Training mini-games, even more streamlined breeding mechanics and greater accessibility to perfect IVs even for legendaries. Gamefreak also seemingly made a conscious effort to balance competitive play with, among many other things, a revision of type matchups (including a new type, Fairy, designed specifically to check Dragons and Fighting-types), nerfs to weather abilities, and a more reliable way of removing entry hazards.
Hell Is That Noise: The Viridian Forest, Mt. Moon, Lavender Town, and Pokémon Tower themes were potent examples of Nightmare Fuel back in the day. To the relief of many who wanted to enjoy the nostalgia of the positive parts of their childhoods, the former three got prettied- and cutesied-up in Gold/Silver, and the latter didn't show up at all. And outside of those, the series is rife with examples—for example, everyone has some Pokémon cry that would grind on him or her, be it because it belongs to Goddamned Bats, Demonic Spiders, or otherwise.
Hype Backlash: Not just the anime, but the game has also gotten this for some due to the decidedly old-fangled mechanics at the core of the battle system and the similarity between installments.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks: All of the updated rereleases and remakes (and to a lesser extent, the first titles in any given generation) have run into a certain amount of these complaints. Generally the series as a whole has gotten this over remaining the same at its core.
Memetic Badass: RED. Pretty much agreed to be the ultimate Pokémon master, if not the only one deserving of the title.
If there's a Pokémon who is absolutely terrible in combat and it doesn't benefit from virtually any sort of improvement, like evolution or a decent movepool, expect it to get this treatment. Spinda, Luvdisc, and Delibird are prime examples, and reviews on them spare no expense in tearing into these guys.
Nerfed Pokémon got it worse, since most of the time they did not get any sort ofuseful improvement to compensate their loss of power. At best they're ignored, at worst they get less respect than the aforementioned Spinda, Luvdisc and Delibird.
Mis-blamed: Despite that a company called Game Freak has had their logo plastered over most (if not all) games with the Pokémon title on it, nobody seems to realize that they are the company that actually develops the games in the first place, especially the "mainstream" ones that sell the best. Any criticisms with the games get attributed to the publisher, Nintendo. Game Freak seems to have gone over a decade without much credit or blame for the series.
More Popular Spin-off: Not of Pokémon itself, but the concept of Genwunners is actually spun off from the "GEEWUNNERS" of the Transformers fandom, who blindly support Transformers Generation 1 and bash all other incarnations (sound familiar?). Despite this, Transformers GEEWUNNERS aren't as infamous or widely debated as Pokémon Genwunners.
Most Annoying Sound: The critical HP bleeping alarm. However, in Black and White, it was changed by a new battle theme, with the alarm remixed into the tune, which is worse because it sounds like the opponent is dancing (read:taunting) on your impending doom. And most of the fights which reek of Awesome Music are fully replaced by that same irritating tune. X and Y returned to the beeps, but it only dings a few times, as opposed to the constant, grating DEE-DOO DEE-DOO.
Gen V introduced a new catching mechanic where on rare occasions, a thrown Poké Ball will make a jet-stream sound effect before making contact; telling you ahead of time that you had just thrown a Badass ball that will require almost no effort to catch the Pokémon.
Nightmare Retardant: One Pokédex entry estates that Drifloon tries to kidnap children, but that Drifloon are much too light and weak to actually carry the children away.
Periphery Demographic: Pokémon has, quite possibly, one of the clearest examples of this in video gaming. Outside its obvious target demographic, the entire franchisenote though the anime a bit less so than other incarnations is also quite popular with young adults that were kids in the late 1990s when the series was introduced, as well as with Otaku and Nintendo and JRPG fans in general. It can also be argued that Pokémon has been the greatest influence on Internet culture out of all mega-media-franchises, considering its popularity on Image Boards and the number of memes, videos, and fan tributes that the franchise has spawned.
Replacement Scrappy: Usually when a new Pokémon game comes around, you'll get this reaction towards certain Pokémon that supposedly replaced a previous favorite's role and failed/achieved to do the role better, or, in Zoroark's case, being purposefully advertised to be the next coming of the previous generation's Breakout Character, Lucario.
Roost and Brave Bird are two moves that greatly improved the potential of Pidgeot, making it at least able to hurt or last against opponents. Pidgeot also got Tailwind, which gave it brief notability until it was made available for a lot more Flying Pokémon in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Dragonite, in Gen III, is Overshadowed by Awesome by Salamence. In Gen IV, it got better, and become a "stronger slower Salamence" since the latter lacks Outrage, until Salamence get Outrage, and even after the Salamence ban, it isn't used enough to the extent of Salamence. Then come Gen V, giving it several new moves to play with, a better metagame that fits its playstyle, and a new awesome Dream World ability. Nowadays, it's the most used Dragon-type in OU and considered one of the best, in the same tier where Latios and Latias is allowed.
Ditto in the sequel games of Generation V skyrocketed from being a useless gimmick for four and a half generations, to becoming one of the best revenge killers in the game, even against Ubers, thanks to its new ability in Impostor that it receives from the Dream World; allowing it to not have to waste a turn anymore to Transform into the opposing Pokémon.
The Eviolite item did this for many unevolved Pokémon that become usable over their evolutions in the metagame. Chansey in particular obtains god-like defensive stats with Eviolite attached that Blissey could only ever dream of having.
The Generation V move, Shell Smash, widely considered to be the best stat increasing move in the game for literally being a Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, and Agility buff all in one move, turned many who can acquire this move into absolute monsters if used correctly. Previous Underused tier Pokémon such as Cloyster and Gorebyss were affected the most as Pokémon that jumped to being usable in the higher meta-games. Cloyster because its Ice/Water typing, and high defense stats, are a godsend in Ubers, allowing it to switch into many non-effective overused moves in the tier and pull off a Shell Smash buff to then sweep teams afterwards, and Gorebyss because it has the speed to Baton Pass a Shell Smash buff to another, much more deadly, Uber Pokémon.
Charizard in Generation VI, thanks to its two extremely powerful Mega-Evolutions and the Defog move, which now works as an unblockable Rapid Spin on both sides of the field.
As mentioned below, Flareon was finally, FINALLY, given a good physical fire-STAB attack in Flare Blitz at the start of Generaton VI to make use of its high physical attack stat. It still suffers from other problems though... but to be fair, they're the kind of problems that most other fire types have to deal with, such as being a bad type defensively that comes with the well-known weakness to Stealth Rock.note To be fair, Fire has only three weaknesses - roughly the average number - and the second-largest number of resistances, with a whopping six. The problem is that most of those resistances are nigh-irrelevant, and its three weaknesses are three of the best attacking types in the game.
Patrat, Pokémon Black and White's version of the early-game Mon is even more hated than Bidoof. Bidoof's evolved form, Bibarel, is at least a good HM slave. Patrat and Watchog, on the other hand, only learn a few HM moves. The creepy stoned-eyeson a chipmunk design didn't help matters. Fans often describe Patrat as "the next Bidoof".
Mr. Mime, Jynx, Probopass, and Garbodor are all generally disliked by the fandom because of their rather disturbing and unorthodox designs, compounded with the fact that they don't do well in competitive play.
Gimmick Pokémon with terrible stats often become the butt of many jokes among competitive players. Examples include Unown (has 28 forms for the alphabet and the ! and ? marks, but only learns Hidden Power) and Luvdisc (which most people would only seek out to find Heart Scales for re-learning moves, and Heart Scales are much easier to obtain by Gen IV).
Phione is often considered pointless, due to it being a much weaker version of Manaphy. It has worse stats, a worse movepool, and it doesn't even evolve into Manaphy.
Pikaclones, non-evolving Electric-type rodents resembling the Pikachu family introduced in every Generation. With Pikachu itself being a Base Breaker, most fans don't appreciate the overly cute design and blatant Expyism. It doesn't help that their stats and movepool are geared toward simply paralyzing for you for annoyance, but doing little else.
Plusle and Minun, two Pokémon basically designed to work together in Double Battles. This failed, because not only are Double Battles rare outside of the Orre games, but they both have the same type and are very weak regardless. Being Pichu lookalikes did not help them, nor did being advertised EVERYWHERE in Gen III.
Pachirisu isn't any better for having two abilities that are otherwise useless, but they can also be annoying when trainers use one against you in the early half of D/P/Pt, thanks to their high speed and surprisingly high defenses. This is subverted in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, where it is one of the starters and is actually quite useful.
Emolga is part Flying, relieving it of Electric's sole weakness to Ground and neutralizing Flying's weakness to Electric. This leaves it weak only to Rock and Ice, neither of which you are likely to have as early into the games as when Elesa and Clemont use them. Learning Double Team naturally just makes it even more annoying.
Dedenne is often viewed as a missed opportunity. It has a unique Electric/Fairy combo, but the best Fairy-type move it learns is Play Rough, which runs off of its terrible physical Attack stat. Add in its terrible stats everywhere else (except speed) and restrictive movepool even by Pikaclone standards, and it has merely earned a reputation as a Joke Character.
Whitney's Miltank. However, with a combo team of a Rock-type Pokemon and the Machop you got in a trade, she'll be a breeze. Or you can catch a Heracross in Azalea Town and bulldoze the whole gym.
Vullaby and Mandibuzz have a special hatred amongst players who bought Pokémon Black for not only being ugly, but for being the version exclusives that are supposed to be Rufflet and Braviary's counterparts for Pokémon White. A lot of Pokémon Black players ended up feeling like they got jipped; crying out that it's hardly a fair trade-off. Critical Research Failure also came into play here where some people went into Black expecting to catch the epic-looking Braviary, but eventually realized they couldn't catch it in this version and were stuck with Mandibuzz.
Pignite and Emboar, for being the third Fire/Fighting starter evolutions in a row.
Masquerain, for evolving from the uniquely-typed Surskit and then turning into yet another Bug-Flying type.
While shiny Pokémon are mostly well-received (due to how difficult it is to find them, chaining or not) some of the shiny colors are hated; either the palette looks awkward or just terrible on certain Pokémon (the various hideous shades of green on Pokemon like Nidoqueen, Dragonite, Scizor, Groudon, and many others, the dull grey flames on Rapidash, etc...) or they look exactly the same (Garchomp).
"The rain continues to fall..." All weather conditions cause first a lengthy animation and then a message to be displayed on every turn, which gets old fast. This was fixed in Generation V, where an icon was added to the lower screen displaying the current weather and no message is displayed.
Some people consider auto-weather in Generation V to be this, now that it's available to non-Ubers. Politoed and Ninetails went from obscure and unimpressive to the centerpieces of teams by virtue of getting Drizzle and Drought to induce rain and sun just by switching in. And in Generation V, when rain or sun were called by Drizzle and Drought, they lasted the rest of the battle or until the weather was changed by something else. This was removed in Gen VI to just last five turns like normal.
In games prior to Generation V, certain abilities and persistent attacks require a message and/or an animation to be played out at the start of the turn, along the lines of "Gyarados's Intimidate cuts Y's Attack!" and "Dialga is exerting its Pressure!". These are widely disliked because they disrupt the pace of the game. In Generation V, most such effects are instead listed in a small bar for a split second prior to the turn starting.
"Wild Entei/Raikou/Suicune fled!" Especially bad with those three in particular as, unlike other roaming Legendaries, measures taken by the player to trap them could be rendered moot by them using Roar to end the battle.
Double Team increases the user's evasion rate, and can be used repeatedly. There was no way to counter its effect in the first generation (aside from an Always Accurate Attack), and just about every Pokémon can be taught the move from a TM. Even in later generations, skills that reduce evasion or increase accuracy are in short supply, and moves that always hit regardless of accuracy or evasion are generally underpowered. Competitive players actually ban Double Team for this very reason.
Trapping moves in R/B/Y are a nightmare because until the later games, your Pokémon cannot move when the opponent uses Wrap/Clamp/Fire Spin.
The Safari Zone. Beloved as it was in Generation I for its simplicity, other versions introduced odd gimmicks to it to the point where the safari zones became too tedious to bother with until it was removed in Generation V and completely changed in Generation VI.
"Hey, [Trainer's Name], good morning. Are you awake? We just battled and beat a GEODUDE! I raised my Pokémon properly! CLICK!" If you accept the phone numbers of even one trainer in games prior to HeartGold and SoulSilver, expect unskippable calls like this every time you finish a battle.
Event Pokémon. Prior to Platinum, certain Pokémon were only made available for very limited periods of time in real life, and required the cartridge to be sent in physically to Nintendo. Platinum and later games have Wi-Fi events, making it much easier to obtain Event Pokémon, even if the events are still disliked for being one-time only and timed.
Poison draining a Pokémon's HP on the field. Taking a step blurs the screen for a moment, and, in games prior to Generation IV, a Pokémon can faint if its health is reduced to zero. The effect was removed entirely in Generation V.
Critical Hits can really screw you over when you're trying to catch a rare Pokémon.
Having only one save file per cartridge. Most RPGs let you build your party from a pool of maybe 10-20 characters; Pokémon has hundreds. The replay value would be enormous, if Nintendo allowed you to replay the game without sacrificing your old save.
The odd gimmicks such as the Honey Trees from Generation IV and the Hidden Grottos from Black 2 and White 2, that required a task to be completed, and then forces players to wait overtime before being able to catch Pokémon. Good luck trying to get the much rarer Pokemon such as Heracross and Munchlax to appear!
Hidden Machines (HMs) are special attacks that can also be used in the field. They differ from other attacks with field utility in that they are required to progress, and are practical when moving between areas. The downside is that they are generally mediocre in battle, and in most games, unlearning these moves is either impossible or highly impractical, requiring the use of one or more "HM slaves" — Pokémon solely used for HMs when in the field. This means a lot of juggling at the storage computers, since only six Pokémon can be carried at a time, and there is no reason to ever have an empty slot or untrained Pokémon in the party for important battles when it can be reasonably avoided. This is The Artifact from G1, where HM moves couldn't be unlearned in order to prevent making the game Unwinnable by Insanity (so that a player couldn't put an HM in the bank, go to somewhere using the HM, and then forget the move they needed to get there, becoming stranded). With the advent of the TM Pocket, this has become particularly unlikely.
The two exceptions to the above could be Surf and Waterfall, due to their high power and accuracy. Surf also helps that they can sweep the opposition in a horde battle. Waterfall also helps in possibly making the opponent flinch. In some generations, Waterfall is not designated as an HM, meaning once you have a better move, forgetting Waterfall is easier.
Finally gets a little better in Generation V where almost all roadblocks that require an HM are off the main path.
Stealth Rock. By far the best entry hazard, it takes into account the target's vulnerability to the Rock-type; Flying, Fire, Bug, and Ice types without a secondary type to neutralize their weakness to Rock would lose a fourth of their HP upon switching in. Any combination of those four-types would lose half their HP instantly, including the fan-favorite but already competitively-struggling Charizard. It was practically a requisite for any team to have a minimal number of Pokémon susceptible to Stealth Rock, including one Pokémon who could set it up (and it was a TM that many Pokémon could learn) and one that could get rid of it with Rapid Spin, a rare, weak move that can't even clear entry hazards if the opponent is a Ghost-type (many were put into teams simply to act as "spinblockers"). It lost its TM status in Gen 5, but people simply transferred Pokémon with the move from Gen 4 and Black 2 and White 2 have the move available through tutoring.
The Game Corners are minigame hubs which, in early generations, include slot machines, and in later generations contain randomized puzzle minigames. It is very easy to get distracted by them.
Pokémon Contests and the Pokéathlon have this effect as well. Since both pull different kinds of stats from the Pokémon and have different methods of gameplay than the usual battle, you can easily find yourself partaking in them for hours once you get the hang of it.
Pokéstar Studios is most definitely this. Here the player partakes in mock battles to create movies.
Squick: The spiral on Poliwag's stomach? That's meant to be Poliwag's innards as seen through the translucent skin on its belly. In fairness, this is true of tadpoles in general.
One of the eggs of each Exeggcute has a piece of their shell missing, exposing their "yolk". In other words, you can see their insides...
Despite resembling eggs, they are more characteristic of plant seeds or coconuts, but still.
Beautifly and Gorebyss' method of feeding is sucking out their prey's bodily fluids. Leaving them a dried, dead husk. Oh, and Gorebyss's pink colour becomes more vivid once it's finished.
Lick, the only standard Ghost type move from the first generation, can cause Paralysis. The anime deliberately interpreted the attack through this trope (Ash's Charmander does not like it, for certain). Later Pokédex data for Haunter actually reveals the attack is a form of Vampiric Draining, causing the opponent to shiver until it dies.
Though this seems to be more a product of GIFT than anything, as most prominent members of the competitive community, such as most Pokétubers and contributing members of Smogon, actually applaud players who make use of lesser-seen Pokémon and often try to do so themselves (though they can be less receptive if they believe said players are using such Pokémon poorly). After all, the alternative is seeing the same dozen or so Pokémonover and overAND OVER again.
Earthquake. Particularly in competitive play, where it seems to get spammed by players.
Double Team and Sand Attack, which raise the user's evasion and lowers the opponent's accuracy, respectively. Especially in the early stages of the game, they're absolutely horrible. They're both learned by (and spammed by) many of the Com Mons, and the only time you'll be facing those is long before you're skilled enough to have learned an Always Accurate Attack. Those battles quickly turned into a Waiting Puzzle where you just had to wait for all of your PP to drain so you could use Struggle and actually get a hit in.
These moves are arguably hated in competitive play even more, in part because many competitive players dislike the more luck-based mechanics, and in part because most of the counters to evasion have little to no use outside of countering evasion, which gets frustrating when Pokémon can only use four moves each, and Double Team can be used by effectively anything. Most player-based competitive communities ban them outright, and even in official tournaments, where they're allowed, players who rely on them tend to be looked down on.
Sleeping moves, Spore especially due to its perfect accuracy, in generation one, because Pokémon were unable to attack after waking up; meaning that not only was a turn wasted to give your opponent another free attack, but the Pokémon could also be put to sleep indefinitely if the timing to use a sleeping move was used the moment the sleeping Pokémon finally awakens.
Trapping moves such as Wrap and Fire Spin in generation one where you can't control your actions when your Pokémon gets trapped. Even worse is when your Pokémon doesn't have the speed to overcome being chain trapped every time the attack wears off.
Bullet Punch and U-Turn for Scizor.
Volt Switch from Rotom-W, which is usualy combined with Scizor's U-Turn.
Stealth Rock. A move so good that it defined the entire metagame of the fourth and fifth generations.
Gen IV buffed Dragon-type moves: Outrage was boosted from 90 base power to 120, and from a Special attack to Physical. Draco Meteor, a new addition, was nearly unresistable move that deals massive damage. It drops the attacker's special attack by two stages, but it can switch, anyway. It can be learned by every Dragon-type, and is partially the reason why Latios, Latias, and Salamence were claimed broken.
Similarly, Leaf Storm (same as Draco Meteor, except that it's grass type). It can be learned by Serperior, which can have the Contrary ability — this makes stat decreases into increases instead (though the reverse holds true as well). Effectively, a Contrary Serperior with Leaf Storm can raise unholy hell on the unprepared. Though this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it's impossible to obtain a legitimate one, as Serperior with Contrary were never made available, presumably for this reason (though they are allowed in some simulators).
Shell Smash for being a Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, and Agility buff all in one move; turning any Pokémon that has the move, or has it Baton Passed to, into an effective team sweeper.
In double battles, Selfdestruct and Explosion were considered this in the 3rd and 4th generations. They were Nerfed in response in Generation V.
Each generation had this regarding one or two Gym Leader Pokémon.
Generation I had Sabrina's overpowered Psychic-types, and Brock was That One Boss for people who started with Charmander.
Generation II had Whitney's god-given Miltank and Clair's evil Kingdra. The former was a Lightning Bruiser by that stage in the game and Kingdra's sole weakness, Dragon-type, was likely a luxury that you couldn't afford or get access to. Falkner can also be a rough roadblock for players that started with Chikorita.
Generation III had Norman's underleveled Slakings who were considered a Disc One Nuke at this point of the game. Thank god for their Truant ability.
Generation IV had Maylene's Disc One Nuke Lucario if the player didn't either start with Chimchar or caught a Starly and evolved it into Staraptor.
Generation V had Lenora's extremely annoying Hypnosis/Confuse-Ray/Retaliate Watchog and Elesa's Volt-Switching Emolga. There is also Clay and his Excadrill, who downright maim your party.
The game champions can be considered this depending on how players built their team, but Cynthia from Diamond and Pearl holds the honor for being the most troublesome for players due to the 15 levels of difference from the eighth gym and up to the end of the league.
Most legendaries are considered frustrating, not because they're powerful, but because they're so hard to catch. Giratina in Platinum might be one of the most difficult Pokémon ever to catch, due to its low catch rate, high level, and low PP of its attacks, meaning it will be using Struggle much sooner than other legendaries.
Generation I has Silph Co. for first timers since it's basically a teleport maze that needs to be traversed. Once players learn where the Door Key is, and the correct teleport tile that leads to Giovanni, it becomes a walk in the park on later playthroughs.
Generation III has the massive water routes after departing from Lilycove City, where players can easily get lost as to where they're supposed to go and are constantly annoyed by water Pokémon like Tentacool. It gets better in Emerald where they increased the Surf speed, but it's still pretty grueling.
Generation IV has its version of Victory Road. The path requires you to use up to FIVE HMs (Surf, Strength, Defog, Rock Smash, and Rock Climb) to worm your way through the maze, meaning that you'll possibly be gimping yourself to have up to two HM Slaves if you don't want to waste HMs on your primary Pokémon.
Generation VI gives the player its version of Route 13. Not exactly the hardest level to figure out, but the almost-impossible-to-bypassnote Unless you know a Guide Dang It trick to get them to disappear dig encounters against Pokémon that 50% of the time have the ability Arena Trap makes this route extremely annoying to navigate around. The saving grace is that if you're just trying to travel between cities, it's just a straight vertical shot... it"s when you go looking for the items, and the requirement to find, and complete, the Power Plant objective, that you start to realize just how painfully annoying this route truly is.
Caves in any generation are considered this when the player is not stocked up on Repels to keep annoying Pokémon such as Zubat off ya. Worse the first few times when the player is still learning the cave layout.
You won't be too hard pressed to find people who stubbornly claim that there are only 151 Pokémon, or that Gold/Silver/Crystal were the only good sequels, or that Generation III was absolute shite (FireRed and LeafGreen notwithstanding). In fact, the GBA generation has probably gotten the worst of it, due to the inability to trade and battle with games from the prior two generations.
At the time of each new generation, you would always hear Ruined Forever complaints about "something" that the newest generation brought to the Franchise. Examples being:
Generation II's introduction of the two new types, Dark and Steel, ruining the original type set-up.
Generation III's introduction of abilities being needless tweaks to people's favorite Pokémon. Starting the tradition of staying to one region instead of following the Gold and Silver example of being able to return to previous regions received a ton of backlash in particular.
Generation IV's Physical/Special split causing overused Pokémon to lose some of their offensive power in certain situations that they would win most of the time prior to the split. There was also the "kid-friendly" Voltorb Flip replacing the Game Corners in Heart Gold and Soul Silver outside the Japanese versions of the games.
Generation V's larger focus on story has divided some players.
Generation VI's removal of experience dividing (meaning any Pokémon sent out in battle gets the full EXP) and full-party Exp. Share, which can remove a large chunk of difficulty from the game. Also, massive game changers such as the Fairy type and Mega Evolution.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Game Mechanic: Gold and Silver's end-game, which allowed the player to return to the past generation's region and actually extending the previous generation's timeline. A lot of players believe that this was a great way to extend Pokémon's end-game, yet these were the only games to include such a feature (aside from the remakes, obviously).
Blissey stops pretty much any special-based attacker from doing its job, and is quite omnipresent.
Not as of Generation V, in which Psyshock was added to many special attackers' arsenals, which really hurts walls like Blissey who focus only on Special Defense. It's still a fair threat, but not as much as it was during the Generation II-IV metagames.
Poor, poor Flareon. All that Attack and nothing to use it with. Even several Fire-type special attackers got the perfect move for it, Flare Blitz.
Garchomp is scrappy enough to get him banned in Generation IV due to its stats, typing, and evasion ability.
It has been rescued to some degree thanks to various independent factors that have lightly defanged it without ruining it, namely the Fairy type, weather nerfs, and the fact that Gen VI is far more hostile to dragons than any of the previous gens. It's still got godlike stats and an awesome typing, but its days of wiping out entire teams are done, and it's because of that that people no longer hate it. Having a cool Mega Evolution that actually plays completely differently instead of just being a glorified stat buff doesn't hurt, either.
On low-high tier ends (yes you read it right, low-high tier), there's Electivire and Umbreon back in Gen IV. Both are claimed to be too weak in OU yet noobs used them so much that they become OU, where they can't competenote Tiers, at least the Smogon ones, are decided by usage statistics. Especialy the former thanks to Hype Backlash (Electivire is a good Pokémon in its own right with good stats and coverage, and an ability that makes it a good partner to Gyarados, much like Jolteon, making it seem to be a huge threat. Unfortunately, Super Effective is not same as a KO. And Electivire lacks a powerful STAB move and unlike Gyarados, lacks a good stat-buffing move as well, combined with fragility which means it can't set up anyways). It was so bad that one generation after that, the case is still commonly brought up amongst competitive players.
Black Kyurem was this among the Ubers for a while, due to its poor defensive typing and lack of a good STAB Ice-type move. It was later relieved of this status when it dropped down into OU, and was eventually discovered to be one of the best Pokémon in standard play! A lot of people also enjoy using it for novelty value since it has the 2nd highest Attack stat and BST in the game, and no hindering ability like Slaking and Regigigas — not to mention a much cooler design.
In the underused tier, Eviolite Dusclops is considered this, due to a lack of reliable recovery and no way to actually hit anything, both of which hurt what would have been a great Stone Wall.
Hydreigon. How the mighty have fallen in Generation VI due to having a 4X weakness to Fairy. Do note that other pseudo-legendaries have something to compensate (Dragonite's Multiscale and Garchomp's high speed and attack). Even in its own debut game, Hydreigon has speed issues.
Talonflame is getting hit with this for being a Pokémon in OU with an ability that gives its STAB moves priority, and the bulk to back up Brave Bird. (Which has priority.)
Ugly Cute: Numerous examples, at least whenever a Pokémon isn't simply plain cute.
Hydreigon arguably always has had some shades of this, but it's made more evident in Gates to Infinity, where it's a kind hero with a quirky personality and made completely undeniable with how adorably it behaves in Pokémon Amie in X/Y. It's hard to see it as a raging beast of mass destruction when it's beaming at you and doing happy dances, and also makes one question the accuracy of its Pokédex entries...
Pokémon-Amie can do this to just about any Pokémon.
Although often thought of as male (mostly because of its telepathic voice in the anime and in Super Smash Bros. Melee), Mewtwo is officially "genderless" . This applies to most legendaries as well (even the very female-looking Meloetta).
For the most part, this only affects a couple of abilities and attacks (most dealing with infatuation), along with breeding purposes. Perhaps mons like Mewtwo simply aren't impressed by love?
Mew. Like Mewtwo. While it doesn't speak, its cute, pink design and the fact that it is referred to as "giving birth" is enough (completely reasonably) to cause a large number of fans to think of it as female. (A small number of fans also think of it as male due to the masculinity of its clone and also due to its voice actor.)
Chikorita. The most feminine-looking of the starters, but they have the standard gender ratio of seven males to one female.
Like Mewtwo, genderless Darkrai is often referred to as male because of its telepathic voice in the anime, and because its counterpart Cresselia is female. Even the dubbers of the tenth movie were not immune, although Darkrai is clearly labeled as male (along with other legendaries) in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series.
Despite the fact that some legendaries have genders (and can be female), Meloetta, the most feminine-looking Legendary of all time, is genderless like most other legendaries.
Despite their names, Slowbro, Kingler, Goldeen, Seaking, and Mr. Mime can be of either sex, but since they were introduced before the introduction of gender mechanics, it can't really be helped. Slowking, Kingdra, and Slaking, however, were introduced alongside or after gender mechanics. Though Slaking was saved — at least somewhat so — for those who recognised the pun behind the name.
Some of those can be blamed on Dub Induced Plothole, since their original names didn't mention a gender, like Mr. Mime being Barrierd. Not all though, most notably Slowking, who was already Yadoking in Japan despite being introduced on the generation that also introduced genders. That, and it evolves with a King's Rock.
Eevee is often referred to as a girl, at least partially due to its name, as is anything it evolves into, despite seven-eighths of them being male. Sylveon is particularly feminine in appearance.
General agreement is this: Flareon, Jolteon, and Umbreon lean more toward masculine, while Vaporeon, Leafeon, Glaceon, Espeon, and Sylveon lean more toward feminine.
Reshiram and Zekrom are genderless, but both of them have masculine voices in the anime, which undoubtedly means they'll be referred to (and thought of) as male. Adding to this confusion, both of them are also thought of as female on occasion; Reshiram has a feminine design according to Word of God, while Zekrom has wide hips and also represents yin, which is feminine in mythology (although the latter is being mitigated by Game Freak attempting to show that Zekrom is the manliest Pokémon ever).
Ash's Pikachu was struck with the biggest case of this, with heated debate over its gender until it was finally confirmed as male 15 years after its debut.
Both Gardevoir and Gothitelle wear "dresses" but can be male. In a similar vein, Lopunny looks a lot like a Playboy Bunny, yet 50% of them are male.
For more fuel, Gothitelle is the evolution of Gothorita, the evolution of Gothita. As in Elegant Gothic Lolita. And they have a 25% chance of being male.
Would you believe that Granbull is in fact female 75% of the time?? Its pre-evolution being pink probably has something to do with it.
We Want Our Jerk Back: Many people miss when the rivals were Jerkasses, detesting the overly friendly attitude all of them after Silver show. If we must be forced into a sudden battle at often inopportune occasions, it's much more satisfying to knock the first two Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy rivals down a peg with each victory than another casual competition.
Many Pokémon and NPC names are portmanteaus or puns, and the translators took time to create a portmanteau or pun when translating from one language to another.
Renaming the Evil type to Dark type may count as this, especially considering the black colour of nearly all the Dark Pokémon.
Team Rocket is based off of the Yakuza in the Japanese version. In the other versions, they are based off of the more locally recognizable Italian Mafia stereotype, even down to the boss being named "Giovanni".
The Champion Ribbon is known as Hoenn Champ Ribbon in Japanese games. Except it's awarded for either Hall of Fame existing then. Fixed with the description in Gen IV as it states "in another region". Sinnoh doesn't have that problem, as Johto has a separate ribbon for the True Final Boss.