YMMV: Pokémon Anime

The anime series:

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In the original series episode, "It's Mr. Mime Time", there's a scene where Brock grabs Ash, asks him to "help" him, and then caps it off with Ash screaming when the screen cuts away. It's not hard to see it as Brock doing something inappropriate to Ash due to the scene cut.
    • In "Ditto's Mysterious Mansion", Team Rocket take Duplica's Ditto and say that they'll "have some fun [with it] before we hand it over to the boss!" Ditto is considered a Memetic Sex God by the fandom due to being capable of breeding with any Pokemon than can lay eggs, so Team Rocket sound like they are going to put their new Ditto through just that.
    • In the second episode of Diamond and Pearl ("Two Degrees of Seperation"), Brock says "These two men are gonna do it with or without a beautiful woman at their side!" with Ash's approval. It comes off as Brock and Ash agreeing that they don't need women around to enjoy having sex when they have each other.
    • In "Ancient Family Matters!" Byron responds to his son Roark about how he loves how a hole was dug. It's easy to take out of context and give sexual connotations.
      Roark: Somebody dug this hole!
      Byron: I don't believe it! [long pause] I love this hole! [In response, everyone else facefaults]
    • In the second episode of Black and White ("Enter Iris and Axew"), there's the line "You can't find anything this jiggly in Unova!" It reads like a advertisement about the bounciness of Unova's women.
  • Adaptation Displacement: If you ask anyone who isn't a fan of the games (or at least Nintendo-savvy to a minimal extent) what they know about Pokémon, they will very likely answer with anime-exclusive information (i.e. the trainers being 10 years old, "Aim for the Horn", the Pokémon Theme or Pokérap, Pokémon Speak, etc.).
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Though disliked by her fans due to the perception of ruining Misty's character, Togepi's farewell to Misty was still rather depressing and heartwarming to them.
    • Kenny's send-off also made some people who were less than impressed with his antagonism sympathetic toward him.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Misty's acquisition of Togepi allowed her to tame her earlier feistiness and matured her into someone more nurturing, instead of it being gone entirely.
    • Misty isn't a Faux Action Girl, She just didn't have as many opportunities to show her skills due to having a poorly defined goal and Ash being the main character.
    • Ritchie as the physical representation of Ash's potential when not weighed down by his negative attributes and the Status Quo Is God constraints of a cartoon Long Runner is a popular interpretation of him.
    • Ash himself is a "what-not-to-do" avatar for younger Pokémon fans for much of the series until Unova or Kalos.
    • Charizard sees Ash as unworthy to lend his strength, explaining why we refused to listen to Ash unless properly motivated before Character Development kicked in for Charizard.
    • Burgundy's interpretation of Cilan may not just be her imagination, as we see him in battle start toying with her needlessly and actually smiling in an sinister fashion.
    • Burgundy herself is thought to be a Tsundere with some Belligerent Sexual Tension with Cilan.
    • Something about Reggie making Paul's Electabuzz afraid of him is popular for interpretation.
    • Johanna (Dawn's mom) is often thought of as a pageant mom, conditioning Dawn into contests and making her succeed so she can live through her achievements.
    • Since not much is known about Trip, it's become a fandom thing to make Trip have hidden depths that were never touched on in the anime. The most common interpretation is that Trip is secretly cute and psycho and is obsessed with the occult (given he has two ghost Pokémon in his party). Additionally, there are speculations that Trip actually isn't that good with battling and the reason he loses in the first round of most tournaments because he's either letting his ego get to him or he honestly is that weak and given he loses to Ash in the first round of the Unova League makes it seem like Trip isn't up to snuff like the other rivals.
    • Serena tends to be Flanderized into a Clingy Jealous Girl bordering on Yandere.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Misty's Togepi is disliked by many American fans due to him contributing nothing to the group and being the occasional load due to never being used in a real battle. Meanwhile in Japan, he's still well-regarded to nostalgic fans.
    • Virgil also has notable hate in America: partly for for being the essence of Merchandise-Driven, partly for being bland and undeveloped, and partly for being The Unfought. He had all of Eevee's evolutions (to date) and an Eevee itself, for the sake of making him "unique" as a trainer, spontaneously got to be in the tournament (by coincidentally getting all the badges), had almost no interaction with the main cast (at least Cameron shared tons of scenes with Ash), had zero build-up (his introductory episode was the episode right before the tournament started), and wins the tournament when his Eevee knocked out a Druddigon with a rather overpowered move. Meanwhile in Japan, he is an Ensemble Darkhorse who gets copious amounts of fanart and is even very frequently shipped with Bianca.
    • Manaphy from Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea gets disliked by many American fans, due to it having tantrums without May so often that it constantly comes off as whiny. But in Japan? It has beaten fan favorites like Celebi, Jirachi, Shaymin, and Victini, since it was called "The Prince of The Sea" as 28th place in Pixiv's (Japan only) popularity poll.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: While the franchise as a whole has developed a diverse fanbase over time, the writers create the anime solely to tailor to kids. They often neglect elements that would appeal to older fans such as strong story, characters, and continuity, and often use Recycled Scripts due to the Fleeting Demographic Rule.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Trip in the Unova League. Despite being built up as Ash's rival throughout Black & White, Trip loses to him in a 1v1 preliminary match.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Ash/Satoshi is no closer to being a Pokémon master than he was over a decade ago, despite still being 10 years old; some say that he looks younger than when he started. It doesn't help that with each new arc he hits a Reset Button on his team, his Pikachu's level, and his own experience as a trainer.
    • Johto took 160 episodes. Compounded by the fact that there was only one main quest (Contests and the like would not be introduced until the next season). Some contend that the Whirl Islands Tournament and Special Guest arcs could've been removed, but that would have had the tied-for-4th longest gap between badges (27 episodes) succeeded by what would have been the shortest gap (1 episode, usurping Kanto's Boulder-Cascade's and Marsh-Rainbow gaps of 2).note 
    • Sinnoh lasted 191 episodes. As much as the Hoenn and Battle Frontier arcs in total. It also holds the record for both the longest and second longest gaps between Gym battles, with 31 episodes between Gardenia and Maylene and 52 episodes between Candice and Volkner.note  Granted, in these gaps we had the buildup and resolution, respectively, of both the Contest and Team Galactic arcs, and the first further justified by the distance between those two Gymsnote , but that still meant that the main quest was demoted to C-Plot status twice.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Many an attack has had its power mitigated by introducing strange physics into battle at the writers' convenience — in the rematch for the Thunder Badge, Pikachu safely No Sells Raichu's Thunderbolt by balancing on its tail and using it as a ground to divert the electricity.
    • The very well known "Aim for the horn!" trick used during Ash's first fight against Blaine, which somehow allowed Pikachu to ignore the Ground-type Rhydon's immunity to Electric attacks by aiming for its horn. While Ash didn't win the match due to this, it's still easily the most well known example of the writers' laziness.
    • During the battle against Tate and Liza in Advanced, Pikachu uses "Thunder Armor", an improvised move that has him use Thunder on himself and Swellow to increase their power and speed and let them beat Lunatone and Solrock. It comes out of nowhere with no real foreshadowing, and the technique is never used again.
    • At one point in Advanced saga May had Bulbasaur use a Razor Leaf to divert an incoming Fire Blast. No explanation is given for how this works, as the leaves should burn up due to the fire.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The Mega Evolution specials. Don't like Ash and Pikachu being shoved in your face every episode? Have a new, more serious teen protagonist and his Mega Evolving Charizard instead. It helps that the specials seem to be developing a Team Flare subplot, with the hero himself unwittingly helping along their plans - the kind of plot twist you'd rarely expect from the Pokémon anime.
  • Awesome Ego: Gary is incredibly smug about his abilities and knowledge as a trainer during the original series, but the way the show portrays him is so over-the-top it's hard to not enjoy it. Even though he's only a 10-year-old he has his own car, a group of cheerleaders that always follow him around, and he was able to get 10 badges to qualify for the Indigo Plateau even though only 8 were required. This lead to several memes such as GARY MOTHERFUCKING OAK to declare how awesome he is.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page.
  • Badass Decay:
    • In the first season, Gary was always three steps ahead of Ash, rolling around the region in a Corvette with teenage cheerleaders, acting like a total jerk to Ash whenever they met, flaunting his superiority. Then after a Break the Haughty moment occurs when he loses a big match, Gary is far more modest and humble out of nowhere, only lightly teasing Ash for the rest of his rivalry.
    • When introduced, Brock was a Gym Leader and a genuine threat. After joining Ash and Misty, his character became softer and his battling became less frequent. Just by looking at his previous most used Pokémon (Onix) and one of his last teams (Happiny and Bonsly), one can start to notice the difference.
    • Jessie's Lickitung. It was one of the most powerful Pokémon they ever owned; it easily defeated Ash's Bulbasaur, Brock's Vulpix, and Pikachu, before it was eventually defeated by Misty's Psyduck. In later appearances it was defeated easily by Ash's Pokémon, especially Pikachu, who previously couldn't even harm it.
    • Turtwig. In his first major battle, he was able to beat a dinosaur that's more than four times his size. Then writers turned him into a Jobber to make Paul (and by extension, Infernape) look stronger. Torterra was meant to still be considered strong, but beating nobody except Team Rocket seriously weakened his cred.
    • Team Rocket during Black and White took a level in badass, and have become a viable threat. But then in X and Y, they went back to being a Goldfish Poop Gang.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Ash, Pikachu and Team Rocket. Because they are the most prominent characters in the show, they do have a following among regular watchers of the anime, and their depictions in early seasons tend to be quite popular. However, it's very common for fans to label them as annoying, ineffectual and seemingly tailor-made to entertain young children and nobody else, with Flanderization and Adaptation Displacement not helping matters.
    • Barry is seen either funny or annoying.
    • Ash's female companions.
    • Paul. Some fans hate him, feeling like he got too much love from the writes, was an accurate representation for “Stop Having Fun” Guys and Munchkins, and never received any proper karma for his massive jerkassery. Others took a liking to him because he is a Strawman so Anvilicious that it's hard to seriously see him as such an accurate representation of competitive players, or are sympathetic to Paul because of the few things that are accurate to said players and his criticisms of Ash (usually considered an Idiot Hero). He's also a popular candidate for shipping, particularly with Dawn.
    • Cilan. Either he is a better character than Brock and his strong personality is refreshing, or he's getting too much focus, has gotten as stale as Brock was as a result, and is a Creator's Pet for those who find him and his antics "forced" or "overexposed".
    • Ritchie either serves as a good Foil to Ash, or is a blatant shallow Marty Stu.
    • Tobias is seen as either a God-Mode Sue, an amusing Troll, or a Badass all for using Legendary Pokémon in the Sinnoh League.
    • Ash's Infernape. Great character and Character Development, or Spotlight-Stealing Squad who stole glory from Ash's other teammates?
    • Iris's Dragonite. Legitimate Badass, or a poor clone of Charizard's story that gave Iris undeserved victory?
    • Ash's Goodra. They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character by having Ash release it so soon or Too Cool to Live because is was Ash's only Stage-2 Dragon-type and it wouldhave steamrolled the rest of Kalos?
    • The "baby Nidoqueen" mishap from the Mewtwo special. Is it a clear example of Critical Research Failure amongst the writers, or is it justified in that the reason Nidoqueen could have stage-two children is due to being one of Mewtwo's clones that has a scrambled DNA structure to allow for such a case to happen?
    • Paul. Some fans hate him, seeing him as a Creator's Pet and an accurate representation for “Stop Having Fun” Guys and Munchkins, as well as a Karma Houdini. Others took a liking to him because he is a Strawman so Anvilicious that it's hard to seriously see him as such an accurate representation of competitive players, or are sympathetic to Paul because of the few things that are accurate to said players and his criticisms of Ash (usually considered an Idiot Hero), a ship with Dawn also contributes to his popularity.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Johto episode "Hocus Pokemon". The gang helped a magician, Lily, find ingredients in order to help her complete a spell that would allow her to understand Pokemon speech. Ash volunteered to be the guinea pig, but the spell ended up turning him into a Pikachu instead. The spell carried over into the beginning of the next episode As Clear as Crystal, but wore off after a few seconds.
    • Any episodes that deal with Time Travel since only the people that caused the changes to the timeline actually know what happened.
    • Diamond and Pearl had the episode "Malice In Wonderland!" put the protagonists in a nightmare controlled by a wild Mismagius. Neither are ever mentioned again.
    • Also from Diamond and Pearl is the evil Togepi episode "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before!" that had the main cast randomly sent to space for a few minutes (which included a cameo from a Rayquaza).
  • Broken Base:
    • Kanto: Is it good in the first place or is it only good compared to the other seasons?
    • Orange Islands: Was Tracy's replacing of Brock a good idea for Brock's Character Development studying with Professor Ivy, or was it a bad idea that only made Brock's departure from Ivy a Noodle Incident that will never be explained?
    • Johto: Was the amount of Filler both necessary to extend the length of the season and a means to make more interesting stories, or did it all just lead to Arc Fatigue? Are the Johto starters worthy replacements of the Kanto starters on Ash's team? Or were the Kanto starters just better than them?
    • Hoenn: Was Ash's lack of a rival for the better, or did it just leave him unchallenged as a trainer for too much of the season? Was turning May into a Deuteragonist and having her focus on Pokemon Contests not only a good way to distance herself from Misty's shadow but an excellent way to lengthen the season? Or was May just inferior to Misty and the focus on Contests boring?
    • Sinnoh: Did it suffer from Arc Fatigue near the end, or was the whole season properly paced from start to finish? Is Dawn's Pokemon Contest arc better planned and more fulfilling that May's? Or was it a poor rehash of May's plot that left Dawn in her shadow? Was Chimchar's character arc with Ash and Paul one of the strongest in the season or franchise? Or did it turn Chimchar into a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and rob the rest of Ash's team of any possible glory?
    • Unova: Whether the season started out strong or was just the same as usual, the series continuing on from previous seasons with Ash, Pikachu and the Rocket trio rather than being a reboot like the games, Team Rocket's newfound competence, Ash's newfound incompetence, Iris taking Dawn's spot and Cilan replacing Brock,note  Charizard, N and Team Plasma not being played to their full potential in Episode Nnote , the pace going too fast leading to Ending Fatigue by the end, everything Cameron and the Tournament arc, and everything about Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened .
    • Kalos: Whether the season started out strong like Black and White appeared to at first, Team Rocket resetting to incompetent fools, Ash's newfound maturity, Serena's only goal seemingly being her crush on Ash, whether her character redesign is good or notnote , Bonnie being Max 2.0, Team Flare being absent, Arc Fatigue left over from Decolora Adventure.
    • Ash and Paul's Sinnoh league match has a rather odd split in the fandom as to, whether or not, it was justified that Paul had decided to use a team of Pokemon against Ash that he had never once battled against aside from Electivire. In return, detractors claim that the writers made Paul justifiably weaker just to allow Ash to win the battle with only his newly acquired Sinnoh team, making it seem like had Paul used his previous Pokemon again, Ash would have lost.
    • In general, the series' use of Pokémon Speak is rather divisive among older fans; while some people have no problem with it and find it cute, with it being a signature aspect of the franchise, others find it excessively cartoonish and annoying, and find that it makes a lot of Pokémon sound unintelligent and childish, even when they aren't supposed to be.note  This may be why recent adaptations, such as Pokémon Origins, ditch the Pokémon Speak. Notably, this criticism mostly applies to Western dubs; the Pokémon Speak in the Japanese version gets a bit less flak, for various reasons (listed under Subbing versus Dubbing below).
    • The series in general. Is it still entertaining and worth watching, even as a Guilty Pleasure, or is it an embarrassing Franchise Zombie that deserves to be given a mercy cancellation? TPCi seems to have taken a middle ground, continuing to dub the anime due to its success with kids and loyal older fans, but downplaying its marketing internationally compared to the rest of the franchise, especially the games. For the haters, whether Pokémon Originsnote  is enough to make up for the main anime is a debate unto itself.
    • How good the post-4Kids English dub openings are is an open question.
    • Which series is the best one? The big contenders are OS and DP, with just as many saying they are the worst of the worst. Conversely, while few will name BW or XY the best, there remain passionate arguments as to whether they are actually good or bad.
  • Canon Sue: Ash as of XY. He's hailed as an amazing battler and wins a lot more matches, his whole group fawns over him, are nowhere near his equals, and almost all the relationships revolve around an appreciation of Ash. Much of his personality is still kept generically "I love Pokemon, friends and battles!" Of course, given how much hate his BW incarnation got for losing several matches, some welcome the use of an Ash less akin to Kanto.
  • Complete Monster: The whole Pokemon franchise now has its own list, seen here, where you can find the examples from this anime.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Harley is considered a walking Law of Disproportionate Response to everything(becoming May's rival because she didn't think his cookies tasted good enough, for starters), and he only gets crazier and more awesome after his repeated failures against May.
    • Some of Gible's funny moments slide it into this at times such as eating away at giant mechanical robots, or even one particular moment where he located a certain lost Piplup on purpose with its Draco Meteor.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Dawn's Piplup, He's a whiny, spoiled toddler and a high and mighty control freak Spotlight-Stealing Squad that took over Pikachu's turf by staying out of it's Poke Ball in almost every single episode. That and the fact that it got at least twice as much Character Focus as any other Sinnoh Pokemon of the main cast in the DP saga, besides Chimchar.
    • Paul. You could easily tell where in the story the writer took a sudden shine to him because his Moral Event Horizon suddenly started getting Jerk Justifications and the Character Shilling started pouring in.
  • Creepy Awesome: Conway remains an Ensemble Darkhorse well after the end of Diamond and Pearl due to his hilariously disturbing demeanor(A Badass Bookworm strategist frequently framed in Scary Shiny Glasses while speaking in a Creepy Monotone) and equally creepy awesome Pokemon.
  • Critical Backlash: For years the show has been criticized for its repetitive nature, bland characterization concerning the main protagonist, Ash, and his apparent inability to get closer to his goal of being a Pokemon Master. The XY season and the Mega Evolution specials have been well received by fans for better characterization of Ash and (for the latter) a better developed plot.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • Despite constant criticism over how the series is handled and written, it's still going very strong. It's well-liked with kids and some of the older fans, helps sell merchandise, and hasn't shown any signs of dying (though ratings in Japan noticeably dipped in XY).
    • Despite being seen by some as a Dork Age, Black & White scored very high ratings throughout the first year and half of its run and maintained a steady 5 million viewer average throughout the entirety of the main Unova arc. It wasn't until the Episode N and the Decalore Islands Filler Arcs that the viewership diminished.
    • Despite XY being seen as one of the better sagas, the Japanese TV ratings for the show and box office receipts for Pokémon: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction were much lower than for previous seasons.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • The many times that attacks have worked on types they should be immune against. The prime example being Pikachu's Electric attacks damaging Ground types on more then one occasion.
    • The move Aerial Ace is drastically different from its game counterpart. Aerial Ace is meant to be a slashing attack that can be learned by pretty much anything with claws but is only used by Flying-types in the anime as a glorified Tackle.
    • The 4Kids and (to a lesser extent) TPCinote  dubbing companies are prone to this as well with translation mistakes such as:
      • Getting attack names wrong, calling certain Pokémon the wrong names, stating the wrong evolution chains and so on.
      • The dub-added Trainer's Choice misspelled many Pokémon names, got the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors wrong on multiple occasions, and once asked "Which Pokémon evolves into Seviper?" Nothing evolves into Seviper, but the dub writers thought that Arbok did for whatever reason.
      • One of the earlier episodes confidently stated that Pinsir evolves into Tauros. They don't, and aren't even remotely similar in design to warrant the confusion.
  • Die for Our Ship: Has its own page.
  • Dork Age:
    • The Johto seasons: The Johto Journeys, Johto League Champions, and Master Quest. They have an absurd amount of Filler (nearly half of the 167 episodes) that spaced out the time between Gym fights too much, the main cast got Flanderized, and focus on Brock, Misty, and the Team Rocket Trio was lessened.
    • Black and White and its subsequent seasons. The writers pushed the Reset Button on Ash in such a way that his Idiot Hero qualities got highlighted in a negative manner that contradicted his experienced Diamond and Pearl personality, many highly questionable narrative decisions were made like making the new rival Trip beat Ash's Pikachu in battle with an inexperienced Snivy, the Plasma story arc from the games didn't get involved as the anime advertised until after the Tournament Arc was over, and there was some Ending Fatigue caused by said Plasma story arc combined with a Filler Arc created to stall until Pokémon X and Y were released.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Jessie, James, and Meowth. Though they're not without their sympathetic qualities, many fans ignore their clearly unsympathetic actions, like trying to steal a 10 year old's best friend, trying to kill people who get in their way, harming Pokemon who've pissed them off (the Squirtle Squad and the Scythers who gave Jessie a new haircut being notable examples), trying to kill a 10 year old on several occasions, etc.
    • Paul is easily the biggest Jerkass among Ash's rivals, releasing any Pokemon that don't meet his standards, insulting Ash at any given opportunity and acting cold toward everyone else he meets, and most notably having his entire team gang up on his Chimchar in an effort to force it into activating its Blaze ability (which is unusually powerful) and then rage-quitting on it and releasing it, effectively abandoning it out of disgust (everything that happened that day and the night before really soured Ash's opinion of Paul). Despite his jerkassery, he has a sizable fanbase that are willing to ship him with Dawn.
  • Ear Worm: Listed in a separate subpage here.
  • Ending Fatigue: The quick pace of the Unova season ultimately resulted in the last 5 months prior to the release of the Gen VI games having an Orange Islands/Battle Frontier-style round of pure, aimless island-hopping filler, only without a pseudo-tournament like those arcs had. The subsequent ratings drop show the extent of the wear and tear.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Enough to have a dedicated page (shared with the rest of the franchise).
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • A very large number of people think Giovanni is Ash's father. Same with Professor Oak and Silver from Chronicles, though this is a hugely divisive topic in fandom. The camps are very, very....present, and get kind of strange.
      • Pokémon Live! makes nods to Delia's speculated relationships with both Giovanni and Professor Oak, and in an earlier draft of the show Giovanni was Ash's father.
    • On a similar note, there are those who speculate that Brandon is Paul and Reggie's father.
    • WHO were the other two Pallet Trainers? Fan theories range from Red to Damian and everything in between.
    • In Canon, Sir Aaron and Ash just have 'similar aura'. Many fans believe they are related.
  • Evil Is Cool/Love to Hate: Pokémon Hunter J. While clearly one of the worst human beings in the show, she's got plenty of Rule of Cool going for her and happens to be pretty damn effective in a show that is starved for competent characters.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Jessie and James (back when they could actually be considered competent anyways), Cassidy, Butch, Harley, Paul, Hunter J, Team Galactic's Saturn, Mars and Jupiter and then some. Even Giovanni.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Paul's abuse of his Pokémon later gets downplayed as simply being "a different training style" than Ash, and that Ash should learn to respect their differences.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The fact Ash was confirmed to still be 10 years old at the start of the Black and White era is NOT accepted by anyone who believes Ash is just in a slow aging process (Example: Ash aging one year for every three years of real life).
    • The anime is often ignored when franchise-wide canon is discussed due to the amount of Critical Research Failure, Plot Holes, and Ass Pulls it contains. Citing the anime as a source for anything (like saying Legendaries are able to breed in the overarching canon because a Lugia in the anime had a child) is often frowned upon. This is one of the various reasons why some fans dislike the Pokémon elements in Super Smash Bros., despite being misinterpreted: especially from Brawl onwards, Smash has been mostly faithful to the games instead in terms of canon, only retaining Pokémon voices and personalities from the anime (and, before Brawl, a few anime cameos and trophies).
  • First Installment Wins: The best remembered season is the one with the best-remembered theme song.
    • Older fans tend to defend the first season (and occasionally the Orange Islands/Johto seasons that are a part of the same series) as legitimately good or at least an enjoyable Guilty Pleasure compared to the later seasons, due to them not having as strict of an adherence to the formula. The formula is still there, just not as blatant as later on in the show's lifetime. Justified, as Takeshi Shudo was working on the show at the time, and was one of the few people ever involved with the Pokémon anime who made a widely-acknowledged effort to entertain fans of all ages and to avoid the Animation Age Ghetto.
    • The Pokémon Company International seems to have finally acknowledged this. When it came to make a dub opening for the first season of the XY series, they simply did a new cover of the original theme.
  • Foe Yay: Any set of rivals is probably going to have this.
  • Fountain of Memes: Brock, Team Rocket, Gary Motherfucking Oak.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The Black and White series was initially rather well-recieved by the Western fandom when it first aired, due to its brisk pacing and the B-Plot involving Team Rocket igniting people's interest - a fact which is largely forgotten since the Ending Fatigue at the end. Fact is that many of its problems were apparent from the start - Ash was rebooted to an Idiot Hero, Cilan and (especially) Iris were divisive supporting characters, Team Rocket's narrative was a drastic change in characterisation, the Team Plasma plotline wasn't immediately launched and finally the pacing was in any ways too fast (with Ash building his team at a rate that made the Original Series jealous and the badge quest skimming over the larger roles of the Gym Leaders in the games). The anime had a lot of Foreshadowing which suggested that all this was part of a larger plan and Story Arc (such as Iris getting development into a Dragon Master and Axew evolving), but in the latter half of the season it became apparent that these would not be coverednote ; by the end the problems with the BW series had largely overtaken the potential-but-untapped strengths, and the fanbase was ready to decry it as a Dork Age.
    • Similarly, the problems of the other Dork Age, Johto, actually had their roots in the Orange Islands arc that directly preceded it, namely increasingly formulaic filler episodes, unmemorable characters of the day, and the GS Ball as a supposed important plot element that was constantly put on hold from paying off (was there any real reason for Ash to go through the Orange League competition rather than head straight back to Kanto to give the GS Ball to Professor Oak?)
    • One of the main criticisms Black and White gets is that Ash caught too many Pokemon in too short a time for the writers to properly characterize. But this practice had its beginnings in Kanto right from the moment Ash caught Krabby. This is more justified though, because back then the anime was fully adhering to the franchise's original premise of Gotta Catch Them All.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Advanced Generation episode Shaking Island Battle! Dojoach VS Namazun!! had a Whiscash cause an earthquake, trapping Ash and his friends. One week before the episode was set to air, the Niigata region of Japan was struck by an earthquake and the episode was permanently shelved. A month and a half after that in the Indian Ocean...
    • Due to Japan being quite prone to earthquakes in general, moves that involve either a realistic earth-shaking effect or having a name reminiscent of said Natural disaster (Earthquake, Fissure and Magnitude) were banned from ever being used in the future after the 2004 Niigata earthquake - probably to minimise the risk of Harsher in Hindsight and Too Soon kicking in for local viewers (now moreso than ever, given the now-infamous controversy with the perma-shelved Rocket/Plasma two-parter of BW).
  • Gateway Series: A fair few anime fans and fans of other Pokémon incarnations started with this in their youth.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • In Japan, Pokémon: The First Movie showed that Pokémon stories could entertain adults as well as children through compelling characters and interesting storylines - which was one of Takeshi Shudo's goals from the beginning - and the next couple of films followed suit. In the US, the film was dubbed as a straight-up kids' movie and only became popular with adult fans years after its debut, but Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew more or less filled this role instead.
    • AG was seen as a general improvement over the Original Series after a initial rough start: Ash was generally smarter, the pacing issues were amended by having May seek Pokemon Contests out, and the animation improved over the previous seasons.
    • XY was given a new director after Black and White came under fire, and it shows. It is considered one of the better seasons so far, and hasn't drawn any significant criticism like a few of its predecessors. Not only is the writing and characterization (especially Ash's) a step up from previous seasons, but the Mega Evolution specials exist for those who still find the main episodes to be too childish. The willingness to mix the story up by going against previous story standards, like unevolved water-types, mid-series design changes, and the, if temporary, possession by Ash of a Goodra also keeps the series interesting.
    • The Mega Evolution specials themselves follow this pattern. Act I focused more on action than story, and mostly served as an introduction to the new cast of characters. Act II introduced more backstory and plot elements, including a Plot Twist for fans of the games that the main character is working as an Unwitting Pawn for Lysandre, secretly the leader of Team Flare.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Despite all the criticism, quite a few older fans watch and enjoy the series for what it is.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • One city in the Kanto saga features mass disappearances of young children. The culprit for this missing persons case? Hypno, who would later gain a reputation for being a Memetic Molester.
    • "Volcanic Panic" has Ash and co. try to stop the eruption of Cinnabar Island's volcano. In Pokémon Gold and Silver, Cinnabar Island has not only erupted, it's buried the whole island. There was only one year in between the Japanese debuts of the episode and the game.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first episode, Gary boasts about how he got the best starter Pokémon from his grandfather Professor Oak which was later revealed to be a Squirtle. Turns out according to Science, he was right. Troper's Digest: Squirtle has the best overall match-ups against the games' gyms, and is favored by Speedrunners for its good movepool, including moves like Dig, Mega Punch, and Surf.
    • Despite Pikachu not being officially part of the trifecta of Kanto starters, the revelation that Gary's starter was a Squirtle makes people realize that it was Ash who has the type advantage. note  Of course, the fact that Ash's Charizard was his strongest team member during their climactic 6-on-6 probably has something to do with it.
    • In Episode 3 overall, Ash calls out Team Rocket for sending out two Pokémon at once because that's cheating. Misty suggests that Ash do the same, but he worries because double battles aren't in the League rules...yet.
    • Episode 5 has Ash defeating Brock's Onix with a Thunder Shock after said attack sets off the sprinkler system in the Pewter Gym and soaked Onix in water, allowing it's ground immunity to be bypassed. Gen 5 introduces the move Soak, which changes the target's type to Water, which is weak against Electric.
    • All that talk about Brock being a Casanova Wannabe...when HG/SS updated his look to make him a true Bishōnen.
    • In an early episode, Ash asks Brock what he knows about the local gym leaders, as he wants to be prepared. He specifically says to succeed, one must "know yourself, and know your adversary!". Brock is impressed, before Ash notes he "got that one from Dexter!". He's referring to his Pokédex, but still, it describes that character's er, "work" philosophy quite accurately.
    • Episode 8 features A.J., an unofficial gym leader who puts his Pokémon through Training from Hell by fastening them with a "strength intensifier", a restraint that unlocks a Pokémon's potential but restricts movement. In Generation 3, cue the Macho Brace, an actual held item that...unlocks a Pokémon's potential but restricts movement. In-game art of the Macho Brace suggests it actually is the same item.
    • Goes hand in hand one of the "Harsher" entries: the gang's first impression of the eponymous Pokémon in the episode "Charmander the Stray Pokémon"? "I think that this Charmander has an attitude problem." Hilarious, because that very Charmander would later turn out to be the gentlest of Ash's starter Pokémon...and harsh, because, well, who else would it evolve into 32 episodes later?
    • In a season one episode, Jessie and James chases Ash and co underwater using a small mouth instrument that allows them to breath. Courtesy of Korean designer Jeabyun Yeon, that thing actually exists now.
    • In "A Chansey Operation" back during Season 1, the doctor recommends Ash and his friends could become competent doctors (being impressed by their handling of the sick Pokémon while he was out), but they choose to keep following their respective dreams. Come the end of DP, Brock decides to become a Pokémon Doctor.
    • An earlier episode had Ash, Brock, and Character Of The Day Suzy denouncing the idea of making Pokémon look flashy by dressing them up with make-up and accessories, saying that it diminished their inner beauty. Misty and Team Rocket went against this view, and were made to look wrong for it. Come Generation IV and we have Super Contests, which partly depend on picking out accessories in order to garner points, and Dress-Up Rooms, which let the player go wild with accessories and backgrounds that sometimes may move and be flashy. This is taken even further in Generation V, where the Pokémon Musicals rely solely on the types of accessories that Pokémon can wear in order to make them stand out from the rest of the performers, with Trainers only able to decide to toss away an accessory twice during the entire musical number.
      • Then again, Suzy's reappearance in Johto did say that making Pokémon look outwardly beautiful and fashionable is okay so long as the Pokémon consents to it and the human doesn't forget about the Pokémon's inner worth.
    • The first season episode "Showdown At Dark City" features a pair of gyms competing for the right to be made official. Both sides use underhanded tactics to sabotage the other gym, up to and including sending out multiple Pokémon at once to physically assault the opponent. In the end, Nurse Joy reveals herself and states that neither of them deserve to be a gym. This was written before Dark became an official type in the series and before Beat Up became a genuine Dark-type move.
    • During the battle between Ash and Misty regarding who got to keep Togepi, Psyduck barged out...again...and Bulbasaur made short work of him by using "Tickle". This was during G1; Tickle later became a real move in G3.
    • In The Tower of Terror, Ash and Pikachu got turned into ghosts by a wild Gastly, Haunter and Gengar. Years later, Generation VI introduced the move Trick-or-Treat, which changes another Pokémon's type to Ghost.
    • Anime!Lorelei only appeared during the Orange Islands saga. Come FRLG, we later learn Game!Lorelei's home is in the Sevii Islands. Coincidence?
    • In "The Ties that Bind", the announcer proclaims that Heracross' victory over Magmar was contributed to his "Guts". When game abilities are introduced, what would be one of Heracross' in-game abilities?
    • "Why? Wynaut?": the one time Ash had a justifiable means of jumping a hundred feet through the air, Team Rocket think it's impossible. What about their opinions on the other times it's happened?
    • Wobbuffet really is the strongest member of Team Rocket, but Jessie just can't use him properly. It may be idiocy on her part, but, until Generation IV, the physical/special mechanics weren't exactly precise (in one episode of Johto League Champions, Duplica mentions that Counter reflects physical attacks like Bite, which was technically inaccurate at the time, but has since been born out by the physical/special attack split in Generation IV). Contrast how well he's being used in Kalos.note 
    • The Team Shot at the end of the Black and White OP. Oshawott the Attention Whore is standing right behind Pikachu.
    • Georgia's hatred towards the (back then) broken Dragon-type Pokémon and her dedication to building an anti-Dragon squad becomes this in Generation VI when Dragon-types are completely overshadowed by Fairy-types as the most powerful type, leading to some players act like her and started to develop alternative strategies as well as building entire teams to specifically counter fairies and nothing else.
    • The anime always makes a big deal about contest rivalries so it's funny when in Pokemon Omega Ruby And Alpha Sapphire when Lisia says there aren't rivals in contests.
    • Back in The School of Hard Knocks, Misty dreamed about Paris and Eiffel Tower. Fast forward 16 years, and we're introduced to Kalos, which is France-based.
    • Iris once mistook Ash's Charizard for a dragon-type (but can you blame her?). Pokémon X and Y would introduce Mega Charizard X, which is a dragon-type.
  • Hypocritical Fandom: To an extent. A lot of fans criticize the series' use of Pokémon Speak, but when Pokémon Speak is used for characters in more "mature" series (such as for Groot or Hodor), fans love it and the Pokémon Speak character likely becomes an Ensemble Darkhorse. Possibly justified in that adult-oriented series play Pokémon Speak for laughs and uniqueness, while the Pokémon anime doesn't.note 
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Pick any two characters. There is a ___Shipping name for them. The more complete lists have thousands of entries. Here's the list.
  • It's the Same, so It Sucks: Not much has actually changed in the show's 15+ year run.
    • Every episode hits the same beats as all the others, and the plot resolutions are very predictable. Even the deviations from the norm (like Gym Leader battles) have their own norm that rarely, if ever, is broken. The lack on any overarching plot does not help at all (To Be a Master does not count as a plot when the main character is no closer to his goals than when he started).
    • The movies get this treatment too. One can count on a typical Pokémon movie consisting of Ash and friends teaming up with the current "cute" legendary or Lucario clone to help save the world from either a human villain or a scary Pokémon that turns out to be not evil, but just misunderstood. Or a human villain and a scary Pokémon that's not really evil.
    • One of the many recurring elements is the backstory for Ash's Fire-type starters; they all get abandoned by their abusive trainers, meet Ash, become his Pokemon, and eventually confront their former trainer in some fashion.
  • Jerk Stu: Paul. Your first clue was when he bounced down a 400-foot cliff like a damn ninja while Ash just plummets to his amusing injury. Your second clue is that in four seasons, his only defeats involved three legendaries and a Garchomp. And Ash at the last minute, but even that barely phased him like one would realistically expect it to.
  • Mondegreen: In the English dub, Episode 4 is infamous for one of Ash's lines being misheard as "Take back that novice crap!"
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ash with many of the girls that he meets...even Latias and his Bayleef.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Non-deadly example: Practically once every year during the Diamond and Pearl seasons, there was an episode wherein Team Rocket would either break up or actually quit following Ash & Pikachu to do something legit. It never sticks. They did it again in Black and White, culminating with Meowth joining Ash's team for a few episodes! But once again...
  • Love It or Hate It:
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Giovanni. He's managed to keep his organization up and running for fifteen years of this show's history and counting, with only a few setbacks and fewer defeats.
    • Hunter J. Never once lost a battle in any of her appearances, predicts the movements and actions of her opponents and plans accordingly, and successfully delivers on most of her jobs. It took two Legendary Pokémon catching her off-guard with a double Future Sight to finally put a stop to her operation. And said Legendary Pokémon didn't make it out unscathed, either.
    • Team Galactic's boss Cyrus in Diamond and Pearl before he got to the Spear Pillar and went completely batshit.
    • Dr. Zager, Jessie, James, and especially Meowth put an effort into being this trope in their Nimbasa Subway mission in Black and White, which was a very well put-together plan that only fell apart because of slight oversights, our heroes persisting, and Meowth deciding to be a Smug Snake by mishandling his captive Pokémon.
    • Dr. Colress in the "Episode N" arc, who out-does even his boss Ghetsis in malevolent scheming.
  • Magnum Opus: The early seasons and movies, known as the Original Series, are commonly regarded as Takeshi Shudo's greatest work (specifically in his native Japanese). Many consider it a shame that the show degenerated further and further from his original vision as he eventually left the show and passed away.
  • Memetic Badass: Gary Motherfucking Oak. You cannot ignore his girth. It helps that he once showed off his collection of ten badges during Road to Indigo. (That makes for a technical total of eleven badges, as he had not yet collected the Earth Badge — Gary Oak is so good that he collected three badges that are impossible for normal players to get).
  • Memetic Loser: Ash has been granted this status in no small part because he simply isn't allowed to return home a winner. Usually, he'll simply lose in the middle of a tournament, but even when he does "win" (as in the Orange Islands or the Battle Frontier), within a week of him returning home, Gary Oak will drop by to steal that from him. The first time, Pikachu lost to Gary's Eevee, and after the Battle Frontier, Gary subjected Ash and Pikachu to a straight-up Curb-Stomp Battle with his Electivire. The movies are usually kinder, allowing Ash to have quite a few heroic moments, but still..."Gary was here, Ash is a loser"note . Black and White didn't help this at all.
  • Memetic Molester:
  • Memetic Mutation: Chock full of em.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
  • Mis-blamed:
    • Poor, poor, Porygon...the only reason it and its evolutions have been banned (aside from a cameo here and there) from the show all together is because they were the Pokémon-of-the-week in the infamous seizure episode when it was actually Pikachu's thunderbolt that caused the flashing red-and-blue images. What really rubs the salt into the wounds is that Pikachu has been featured in almost every episode since.
    • The 2011 Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster catches the blame for pushing Team Plasma into an arc after the badge quest, as well as for some fans, dramatically changing (for the worse) that started off strong, or at least decent. In reality, the production of sequel games instead of the usual third version is what caused the Plasma arc to be temporarily aborted and the series to change so dramatically. This also made the aforementioned two-parter a Morton's Fork, in that, if it did air, the fans would be on the writers for giving Team Plasma as short of shrift as they gave Teams Magma and Aqua. That said, it certainly didn't help matters.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Paul's treatment of Chimchar in the Tag Tournament arc.
      Even though I just had all of my other Pokémon beat down on Chimchar and Nurse Joy herself told me he would be far too injured to participate in the big tournament match tomorrow, screw that! Chimchar, stand by for battle!
      You pathetic little...I command you to attack and you just sat there?!note  What the hell's wrong with you?! Pack your bags, you miserable monkey. I'm gone, and so are you. Enjoy your two-on-one, loser!
    • Pokémon Hunter J is always a Complete Monster in all of her appearances, but in the "Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu" two-parter she really shows her cruelty when - besides her pursuit of the titular Riolu - she tries to kill Ash several times. First she orders her Salamence to burn the surrounding forest and fire Hyper Beam point blank; then she has her Drapion attempt to crush him (leading to one of the few times Ash ever directly attacks a Pokémon); and finally, she ejects him from her ship at great height. She also says that she wanted to punish Ash personally and took pleasure in trying to kill him and everytime she attacks Ash she is shown with a Slasher Smile.
    • Team Galactic's (and Cyrus' in particular) comes when Cyrus ordering Mars to blow up Iron Island (full of people and Pokémon) after Team Galactic have finished scanning Mt. Coronet. And he sported a Slasher Smile when he gave that order. And the reason behind this order? Just to make a statement about Team Galactic and the "new world". The guy's an Omnicidal Maniac par excellence, after all. Cyrus's plan to destroy the universe and create a new world in his image qualifies too.
    • Damian, Charmander's former trainer, was on the brink when he first abandoned Charmander, but he soared right over the line when he refused to come back for it once it started raining - not only would Charmander not move from its rock despite the threat of death if its flame went out, Damian knew this once Brock told him yet still didn't care...his alternate counterparts in Pokémon Yellow and The Electric Tale of Pikachu subvert this, since in both he's shown to be a poor trainer for some reason or other, but still cares for Charmander's well-being. Ironically, after acquiring said Charmander, Ash himself ends up exposing its tail to the dangers of water quite a bit, but unlike Damian, he ultimately cares about Charmander and its subsequent evolutions when all is said and done.
    • Shamus the former trainer of Ash's Tepig (and a Damian Expy), already had a huge Kick the Dog to his name when he abandoned Tepig in Accumula Town by tying it to a post, but went over the Moral Event Horizon when we learn that when he did so, he actually acted remorseful for having to do it and told Tepig that it was for the best, making Tepig think that he still loved him...except that when he was far enough away, he smirked and laughed about being free of his useless Pokémon! And he gloats about this to Tepig during his and Ash's battle, painfully shattering Tepig's view of him. Karma caught up to him when Tepig evolved into Pignite, took out both Shamus' fighters down and roasted Shamus' face at the end. What really makes the guy worse is that he was showing that he enjoyed Tepig's anguish at being abandoned and later fighting him. While Paul wasn't much better in training methods, at least he doesn't take sociopathic glee in torturing Pokémon long after they were abandoned like Shamus does.
  • Narm: Serena's reaction seen here is supposed to come off as a heartwarming moment during her reunion with Ash. Instead, the look comes off kind of hilarious due to how over-the-top her eyes are drawn here...and maybe even a bit creepy.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • There's a reason why Porygon, a.k.a. 'The Seizure Pokémon', is never seen in the anime anymore and its evolutions are never seen in the anime, period...Even though it was Pikachu that actually caused the seizures in the Porygon episode.
    • Brock opening his eyes in an attempt to amuse Larvitar will NEVER be forgotten.
    • 4Kids will never hear the end of it regarding their continued attempts to hide the existence of rice-balls. At first, they would just call them something completely different: eclairs, doughnuts and even popcorn-balls, but by the time of the Hoenn era, they would change the rice-balls into other pieces of food such as crackers and sandwiches. To say they get ridiculed for this practice would be a major understatement.
    • The Trainer's Choice segment where the English dubbers claimed that Arbok evolves into Seviper. The dubbing companies will perhaps never escape the constant ridicule they receive from the fandom for such an obvious mistake. 4Kids received the blame due to being the dubbers at the time, however these segments were created and written by Pokémon USA.
    • Fans tend to remember Ash's failures better than his successes.
    • Pikachu's love for ketchup occurs in a total of one episode very early in the show's run, yet it ends up becoming one of his defining characteristics (with the image of Pikachu crying over the "death" of its ketchup bottle achieving meme status.
    • Fans will never let Pikachu live down losing to Trip's Snivy at the start of the Black and White series.
    • Ever since the Barboach/Whiscash episode that revolved around the Pokémon using Earthquake got banned before it's initial airing, many ground-type attacks such as Earthquake, Magnitude and Fissure have been established to never see the light of day in the anime to not have viewers be reminded of earthquakes that had struck Japan at some point in real life.
    • The Black and White series will always bear the stain of having the heavily hyped "Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma" two-parter that was meant to air in 2011 being indefinately postponed and retconned (although see Mis-blamed above.)
    • Serena is often treated by fans as walking scenery who only exists to be in love with Ash. While her development has been slow (as with almost all non-Coordinator companions), she has done stuff, and her crush on Ash was only that big in the beginning.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Similar to The Transformers, a few "Genwunners" hold up the Indigo League season as one of the greatest animated series of all time. While there's no denying that it was a massive success (read: fad), many other cartoons have been much better-received with critics and audiences, and have had more widespread and longer-lasting appeal.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • This series is highly well known for memorable one-shot characters, many of whom aren't even from the games. Many of these characters are considered far more appealing that the main cast (which in some cases is not hard to do), and while sometimes it is justified why we never see them again, other times it's not.
    • Gym Leaders: Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Falkner, Bugsy and Chuck (after which all Gym Leaders are featured in at least two episodes). Sabrina is hugely considered to be a One Arc Wonder, thanks to being such a memorably terrifying Arc Villain. Marlon and Cheren also count.
    • Elite Four: Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha and Bertha, and Drake.
    • Ironically, Steven Stone, despite being the Champion in Ruby And Sapphire, is reduced to one of these. However, he was given much different characterization (in particular, being hypocritical about Team Rocket digging holes in a cave, saying it would disrupt the Pokémon in the cave, as he blew a hole in the cave's roof), to the point that his one episode is rather infamous.
  • Only The Original Head Writer Does It Right: As stated several times on this page, the original series as written by Takeshi Shudo is often considered the best part of the show's history due to him at least trying to avert the Animation Age Ghetto and Strictly Formula nature and before the writers decided to invoke Flanderization on the main cast.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The episode "Electric Soldier Porygon", which has the notorious status of "that Pokémon episode that caused thousands of kids in Japan to have seizures" rather than "the first time Porygon appeared in the anime".
  • Periphery Demographic: Zig-Zagged:
  • Replacement Scrappy: The anime is one of the longest running in history, so this was bound to happen at least once. Or several times.
    • Tracey for temporarily replacing Brock. Some also hate Cilan for permanently replacing him, before he himself was replaced by Clemont.
    • All the female companions past Misty will be this for some: May for replacing Misty, Dawn for replacing May, Iris for replacing Dawn, or Serena for replacing Iris. It's an everlasting trend, unfortunately.
    • Among Paul's fanbase and others, Trip is this. His initial characterization — stuck-up and critical of Ash — was too similar to Paul's character. Even his design is a Palette Swap of Paul's with only minor differences of their facial features. The major difference is that he didn't hit on Iris like Paul would do to Dawn.
    • The second Mewtwo is VERY unpopular with fans due to her story's lack of originality and her replacing of the famous first movie Mewtwo.
    • May's Squirtle, due to being a poor replacement of Ash's beloved Squirtle from the first generation that lacks any of the charm and personality that made the original a fan favorite.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Post-Togepi Misty to those who didn't like her Tsundere self.
    • May got criticized much less by Misty fans after the latter returned in Advanced Challenge and became fast friends with May. This also led the Advanced Generation/Ruby & Sapphire series in general to be rescued. After she returned not one, but two more times, fans of both characters were elated.
    • Bianca, after she Took a Level in Kindness in Nimbasa City, and one in Badass in the Clubsplosion.
    • For those who disliked her anime portrayal in DP, Cynthia's characterisation in Black and White made some leeway in redeeming her. It helps that the preachiness was toned down some, with focus on making her a Cool Big Sis Mentor towards Iris.
    • Trip wasn't too popular until the Junior Cup, when he made up for his losses by impressively sweeping the tournament (with just Serperior). Losing to Alder and getting some much-needed Character Development also softened him up, making him a more likeable person as well.
    • For those who didn't like Dawn, many found her very enjoyable in BW, where she received less focus and bounced off Iris and Cilan well.
    • Ash himself in XY. In BW, he displayed the worst stereotypes of his own character, and was hated for it. In XY, the writers made him a lot more competent and mature despite not actually increasing his age, and fans are a lot more kindly towards him despite his bad reputation never going away.
    • While Whitney maintained her status as the toughest Johto gym leader, her tantrum did not carry over, giving viewers less of a reason to hate her.
    • Noibat got a lot of flack when it first appeared in trailers for taking Goodra's spot on Ash's team. However, it quickly redeemed itself upon first appearing as more than just a in-season rehash of Goodra's arc.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Despite their Base Breaker status in the West, the Team Rocket Trio is easily more popular than Ash due to being Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains and having surprisingly well-developed backstories.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Out of all the main characters who have ever joined Ash, Max gets the most hate. He's a blend of Annoying Younger Sibling, Insufferable Genius, and Tagalong Kid, sometimes ranging almost into being The Load (for example, Ash beat Norman in a battle and Max stole Ash's Balance Badge because he couldn't stand the thought of his father losing).
    • The classic one is Ritchie, a clone of Ash who has no negative qualities and was introduced just to knock Ash out of his first tournament (then again it was Ash's then unruly Charizard who made him lose) in the following episode. The writers proceeded to bring him back for a Johto mini-arc and then have two episodes in Chronicles focus on him.
    • Butch and Cassidy get a lot of crap for their transformation into the Terrible Duo of the spin-off series, since their usual popularity comes from being a more serious foil of Jessie and James.
    • Togepi is seen to be the reason for Misty losing her well-liked tsundere personality in Johto, as she started acting more motherly after obtaining it. It didn't help that it just sat in her arms and did nothing of any interest for four years, besides from being an occasional load or Deus ex Machina whenever the writers needed one. When Misty temporarily returned for a two-parter during Advanced, Togepi was swiftly put on a more permanent busfinally evolving into Togetic and staying behind to guard the Mirage Kingdom Togepi.
    • Piplup has become one to much of the fanbase for the opposite reason. Its "forced mascot" status isn't helping matters, and Everything's Better with Penguins be damned. A lot of that stems from the fact Piplup pussed out on evolving when the fans were hellbent on seeing a badass Empoleon sooner or later. But no, it had to stay cutesy and hold onto an Everstone so it doesn't evolve. And unlike Pikachu, he doesn't even have a legit reason for not evolving.
    • May's Squirtle made a bad first impression with the entire cheapness surrounding its first contest victory and the hate hasn't stopped since. The show already had a beloved Squirtle, making May's a Replacement Scrappy that was possibly particularly disliked by people who prefer Ash's original team.
    • May's Munchlax is not popular, as it was largely The Load before Battle Frontier, doing little but eating everything in sight. While it got better when it was trained and became one of May's battlers, it didn't help that he lost a contest to Harley. To make matters worse, Ash already had a Snorlax, making Munchlax little more than an Early-Bird Cameo with additional screen time.
    • Ash's Pignite also gets a lot of flak for being a recycled Charizard and Infernape. The fact that Pignite as a species is already a Scrappy does not help his case. Evolving could have potentially changed this, but no; it went the entire Unova series without evolving a second time.
    • Tracey, though a large reason for hatred of this character is due to his unsatisfying replacement of Brock in the Orange Islands arc, he contributed so little to the group dynamic that he's seen as pointless. Example: Pokémon 2000. The only thing he did the entire movie was pull Misty and Ash back to dry land. Making matters worse, his role in the 2nd movie? It was decreased from the Japanese-USA transition, due to a deletion of several scenes, meaning even the guys in charge have it out for him (at least in the US). However, now that the years have gone by people have warmed up to him and he gets shipped with Misty's oldest sister (Given their Ship Tease in Pokemon Chronicles, so he definitely has gained a following.
    • The Spiky-Eared Pichu from Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life, who due to appearing in HeartGold and SoulSilver in place of Celebi is looking down two smoking-hot hate barrels at once. Game-wise, its stats are pathetic, it cannot evolve into a more-useful form, its moveset is brutally limited, and it replaced Celebi. In the movie, all it does is act cute and grab a key in a dire situation - something that just about any other 'Mon could have accomplished in the same situation.
    • Tobias, who, even among the trainers who eliminate Ash from official tournaments, really stands out in how hated they are. Firstly, he has extremely little buildup before his battle with Ash, only appearing in a few cameos. Then there's how he defeats Ash. He wins 6-2 over Ash, and the only two Pokémon he reveals from his party are Latios and Darkrai, two legendary Pokémon. It is never revealed how he obtained them, and he seems to serve no purpose other than to eliminate Ash. Many fans even took this entire thing as a huge slap in the face.
    • Bianca during the four-part Club Battle arc. Aside from one battle, all she did throughout the tournament was mindlessly chase after a Pokémon that she wanted (Zorua) even though it isn't even hers, even to the point of offering to trade away her own starter Pokémon so that she could have it. However, the character development episode centered around her and her father was positively received, to the point where some consider her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. After she Took a Level in Badass in the Clubsplosion, some people don't consider her a scrappy anymore.
    • Trip, Ash's Rival from Black and White, isn't well received by a lot of fans either. People either dislike him for being a weak replacement for Paul, or just find him and his interactions with Ash irritating, especially his insistence on dismissing Ash's home region. And for basically replacing Cheren, who many felt would've been a better choice of a rival. Thankfully, unlike Paul, Trip's abrasiveness is toned down later, and he isn't as much of a Creator's Pet.
    • Paul himself was a Scrappy to many people for his extreme Jerk Ass attitude towards Pokémon training and to anyone who questioned his methods, for being a Creator's Pet with a Misaimed Fandom, and for being Easily Forgiven by Ash after the latter finally defeated him.
    • Cameron. Introduced at the end of the Junior Cup arc, he displayed far greater traits of an Idiot Hero than Ash ever did. Not only did he miss the tournament, but he thought the Unova League took place in Ecruteak City in Johto. He also got Ash lost in the woods, and even his own Riolu is disappointed with him; affectionately giving a Face Palm at his actions. It doesn't help that one, he defeated fan favorite Bianca in what many perceived to be a cheap win, and two, the kid has scary-ass evolved Pokémon that prove to be a huge threat, like a damned Hydreigon and his little Riolu which seems to have gotten through Training from Hell like one would expect from Ash's Pikachu. To add further insult to the injury, he brings only 5 Pokémon to an official Unova League match of 6-on-6 against Ash. Worse yet, Cameron's Riolu has received a lot of hate due to how he mimics his trainer's hyperactive attitude. The worst of all is Riolu evolving to Lucario as a last ditch attempt to defeat Ash's Snivy and Pikachu in the league. And then it happened: Lucario defeated Pikachu, and Cameron won the battle against Ash, meaning Ash has yet again lost a major league, this time to such an air-headed trainer, and adding insult to injury in that Cameron was handicapped by having one less Pokémon than Ash. But as a bit of small consolation, Cameron lost to Virgil who really crushed him by a landslide, who then went on to win the league.
    • The Mewtwo from Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened . She is quite unpopular with the fandom for filling a role that many believe could have been filled by the well-loved established Mewtwo character from Pokémon: The First Movie and its sequel, for having a voice and personality that contrast sharply with said original Mewtwo, for having no official explanation as to how a second Mewtwo ''is even possible'', and for generally being the Fleeting Demographic Rule personified. Even Miriam Pultro, her English voice actress and One of Us, knew that the role would be controversial. Naturally, fans were very pleased when the playable Mewtwo in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game turned out to be based on the original after months of speculation and rumors that it'd be based on the new one, despite its lack of proper English voice acting.
    • Virgil also has notable hate for apparently having all of Eevee's evolutions and an Eevee itself, for the sake of making him "unique" as a trainer, but he was rather bland and not incredibly developed. To make matters worse, he spontaneously got to be in the tournament (by coincidentally getting all the badges), had almost no interaction with the main cast (at least Cameron shared tons of scenes with Ash), zero build-up (his introductory episode was the episode right before the tournament started), and wins the tournament when his Eevee knocked out a Druddigon with a rather overpowered move. This lands him firmly in Creator's Pet territory. He's basically a grown-up Ritchie.
  • Seasonal Rot: Depending on who you ask: Johto, Hoenn, the entirety of Diamond/Pearl, and Black and Whitenote  are common answers.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The OS gets the most praise of any region and many feel the show has declined greatly since then. However, one may find that it hasn't aged well due to the Early Installment Weirdness.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: The giant list of pairings (like the one featured by Bulbapedia) includes hordes of couples constructed from characters that never meet in anime canon. One example might be Brendan/May (the anime incarnations of the protagonists of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire), the latter of whom being, of course, the Deuteragonist of the Hoenn saga while the former only cameo-ed a few times in the movies.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: The History of Pokémon Shipping. For those who don't feel like clicking on an outbound link, it reads like the Wikipedia article for World War II.
  • Snark Bait:
    • Specifically for older fans of the games, thanks to the show's formulaic nature, Ash's tendency to forget everything he learned each season, and, of course, the show being Merchandise-Driven. The anime was a subject of much mainstream mockery in its early days, and continues to be so for current game fans and haters alike.
    • The movies are also mocked for their tendency to depict antagonistic Pokémon as "not evil, just misunderstood"note  and for their tendency to allocate most of their screentime to "cute" legendaries acting all cute. This arguably reached its peak with Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened where, presumably due to a lack of actual "cute" legendaries, a Genesect of all things was depicted as one.
  • Strangled by the Red String: A complaint of Ash/Serena, which is completely unsubtle in it's Ship Tease and originates in a Retcon to Ash's backstory. Though in its defense, it is one-sided on Serena's part, as the retcon to Ash's past doesn't affect him at all.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guys: Paul, who was created as a Take That toward those types of players, but developed a Misaimed Fandom (thanks in due part to the head writer's apparent favoritism toward him).
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • In the fourth episode of the original series, whenever Ash blames the Samurai for all of his problems, it is meant to be seen as Ash just making excuses his mistakes for not only missing his opportunity to catch a Weedle but also allows his own Metapod to be kidnapped by the same Beedrills he provoked. At the end he eventually learns a "lesson" from it about patience and becoming a better trainer. Except that the only reason that this event happens is because The Samurai rudely intervened when he was about to capture a Weedle, provoking a swarm of Beedrill and when his Metapod is upset at Ash for letting this happen and blaming himself for it, its because he got sidetracked by Team Rocket, thus Ash has every right to blame The Samurai for letting his Metapod kidnapped in the first place. In other words, the Samurai is not just a novice but also an arrogant Hypocrite who is never called out by Misty nor the narratives.
    • Back during the Indigo League, the episode "A Chansey Operation" introduced Doctor Proctor, a callous, lazy physician who would rather flirt with Nurse Joy than lift a finger while off duty. When Team Rocket causes a traffic accident that injures a literal truckful of Pokémon, Nurse Joy essentially commandeers him and his hospital into helping treat the monsters, which decision he protests strongly. While the episode treats this decision as bad (and his casual attitude is admittedly cruel), he's absolutely right - he's a physician, not a veterinarian (or the Pokemon equivalent). He has little knowledge about their reactions to certain medicines or proper temperatures, if he had to do a major operation there would be no guarantee that he would have the faintest idea which major organs did what, never mind that a large number of the Pokémon are very dangerous and hard to control (and the injured Pokemon were all severely agitated — Ash and company had to use their own Pokemon to subdue them). If anything, he's being more responsible than the trio or Nurse Joy. She never seemed to consider just using the clearly established Pokémon teleportation technology to send them to another Pokémon center.
    • Upon being defeated by his friend Richie in the Indigo League, Ash becomes incredibly upset at his loss to the point of being that we were supposed to treat that as him being a Sore Loser with his "friends" reassuring him that he should trained his Charizard better and not to make excuses for his loss which Ash eventually accepts his defeat. However in this case Ash has a very good reason to react the way he does; At the start of the match, his other Pokémon were used up while trying to escape from Team Rocket due to Officer Jenny's absence, resulting in a massive handicap with his own Pokemons, with the referee refusing to let him postpone the match. In addition, Ash fell victim to an incredibly cheap defeat by the referee when one of his Pokemon "lost" solely by getting hit by his opponent's Sleep Powder (Which mind you, is never referenced again). And adding insult to the injury, his only healthy Pokemon Charizard fell asleep in the middle of the match resulting in hid immediate defeat (this was during a time when Charizard refused to obey Ash's orders and would only listen if his opponents were strong). No wonder Ash reacted the way he did after his defeat; He lost his match against Richie because nothing goes in his own way.
    • Barry's and Paul's differing opinions on the state of the Sunyshore Gym, which Ash and company would later see for themselves later in the season. This is one of the few times that Paul has a legitimate reason to demean the gym and its leader. Makes you wonder why Barry was all praise about the same subject, huh?
  • Subbing versus Dubbing:
    • Pokémon is an interesting variation; at the time the series first went international, lack of development of the Internet made the raw Japanese versions of anime and comparisons with the dub (let along Fansubs) not as easy to access in the West as they are now. So many fans were not aware of any differences between the Japanese version of the anime and dubbed version. But then early 2000 (mid-Orange Islands) Dogasu's Backpack launched, whose biggest feature is an easy-to-use Japanese-to-dub comparison for Pokémon, basically "Yu-Gi-Oh Uncensored: Pokémon Edition". Within a few years, 4Kids Entertainment's banning and censorship of episodes like Beauty and the Beach, music replacement, and radical editing of Pokémon: The First Movie became common knowledge. Still, many still preferred the dub, and the otherwise-criticized 4Kids still gets a pass on Pokémon, mostly because of nostalgia and the fact that it's actually one of their most faithful adaptations. So while the main series doesn't suffer much for it, a few episodes and movies have it quite bad - such as the first movie, with fans' perception of Mewtwo and the movie itself being affected by 4Kids' changes, and the dub getting a dismal rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Possibly justified due to 4Kids' Michael Haigney admitting his cluelessness with regards to the series and 4Kids' dub in general being aimed at a narrower demographic than Shudo intended; also, contrary to popular belief, the early Japanese dub did contain a bit more Parental Bonus humor, though not enough to make for a completely different series. Still, Dogasu's Backpack has made many fans go off to the Japanese version, and when TPCi took over, the dub became more of an Acceptable Target for criticism and many Western fans now watch the Fansubs, especially since XY when the music replacement got more prominent.
    • Some also argue that the Pokémon Speak, which is usually lambasted by Western fans, is less Narmy in Japanese. It's handled quite differently due to Japanese syllable structure, is often used for puns that are inevitably Lost in Translation Example , and apparently has more work put into the voices themselves (as hinted by Michael Haigney just not caring for some of the English Pokémon voices). This can even be seen within the English dub itself, in which Charizard's cry, usually considered cool and not Narmy at all, is actually Pokémon Speak of "Lizardon!" retained from the Japanese version.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • The Norwegian dub may be one of the few dubs that actually has a guy voicing Ash, and while his voice is obviously way past hitting puberty, it's still cartoonish enough to fit, and has left many people agreeing it's a fresh and unique type of voice for Ash than the usual strained female voices (not counting the original). Listen for yourself here.
    • The French-Canadian dub also used a similar teenager-ish voice for Ash, which like the Norwegian voice, some may find more tolerable than the Crossdressing Voices used in most other languages. Of note is the fact that it also used the English dub names for Pokémon and characters, unlike most other French Pokémon media, which the French-Canadian fanbase seems to appreciate - and which also means means they needed time to "adjust" when Nintendo of Canada started importing French games from France.
    • There is a large group of people who would consider the 4Kids English dub this.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The anime has several moments of this. Specially in the scenes when the Pokémon start "talking" to each other. Also, a lot of Dawn and Piplup's moments together.
  • Tear Jerker: Charmander was adorable and innocent, especially in Island of the Giant Pokémon in which the show translated the Pokémon Speak it was portrayed as the kid of the group. Upon evolving into Chameleon it became more focused and competitive, upon evolving into Charizard it became a complete jerkass who viewed power over everything. As Linkara theorized, Pokémon Evolution isn't so much evolution, but more just "growing up". This is Truth in Television if one had a childhood friend, who matured too quickly, stops liking the things the two did together because they are "stupid kiddy stuff" and hanging out with more mature cooler friends. This really hits hard.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Misty getting Put on a Bus after Johto will always leave a gaping hole in the hearts of some fans; thinking that her departure ruined the show completely.
    • The dub (4Kids/TPCi) gets hit with this hard whenever they decide to make a change to the original Japanese content.
      • The prime example nowadays is TPCi's music replacements over the original Japanese soundtrack, especially since XY when a new dub composer, Ed Goldfarb, took over and even less Japanese music got kept. Whenever a new dub episode is released, most of the forum discussion amongst viewers isn't about what occurred in the episode, but about how much Japanese music got replaced, and how much suckier the dub music is compared to the original music pieces. As a result, claims are made that the dub destroyed the show.
      • Some fans bailed on watching the English version of the show completely ever since the controversial voice-actor switch when TPCi took over the dub.
      • One of the main complaints from the side of the Broken Base that doesn't like Black and White is how it diverged from the formula that the previous AG and DP arcs used, and drastically changed the characterizations of Ash and Team Rocket.
      • The title cards in the X & Y series often showed one of the main characters in the Japanese dub (even Korrina got one dedicated to her), as well as episode 14 parodying horror movies. Since episode 12, the English dub prefers to focus the title card on Ash, and has been doing it for 15 episodes in a row, with the chances of the Japanese version's images used now very unlikely. Some older fans, especially those in his hatedom, are not pleased.
  • They Just Didn't Care: If Ash's initial gym battle against Whitney showed anything, it's that her Clefairy and Nidorina were afterthoughts just so the writers of the anime could hype up her dreaded Miltank from the video-games.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Gary Oak. Ash's rival didn't even show up for that many episodes. The writers effectively killed off the character when he choose to pursue a future as a researcher.
    • The two Pallet Town trainers that went off on a journey alongside Gary and Ash are only given a couple brief mentions of their unknown journey, and are confirmed by the end of Ash's Kanto journey to have decided to just give up on their goal completely. Why these two were never seen before to interact with Ash, or act as a roadblock for Ash to eventually overcome to become a better trainer, is anyone's guess.
    • Any One-Shot Character of the day that leaves a major impact amongst the fanbase. Particularly, ones that are Ensemble Darkhorse status that fans wish would return somewhere down the line.
    • It's odd that Bill, the guy who made the Pokémon transfer system, was a main character in many manga, yet has only appeared in one episode to date.
    • The champion of most Hoenn games, Steven Stone, only appeared in one episode of Hoenn with no reference to being anything beyond a typical hiker. You'd expect him to reappear later but he never did. This contrasts sharply to future champions depictions and his game version, who has a major role. Thankfully, he returned in the XY Mega Evolution specials and has been treated much better.
    • Pokémon that could/should have been captured by one of the main characters because they were either likable Pokémon by the fanbase or because their development with a certain character made it look like they would fit together with that trainer perfectly. Some examples being:
      • Haunter, Houndour, Larvitar, Hippopotas and Riolu for Ash. And related, Ash finally getting a member of a pseudo-legendary line (Gible), but the capture happened so late into the saga that nothing was ever done about it. Goodra also only stuck around for 15 episodes, and only appearing in a few of them, though it did a lot in those episodes, its departure is a punch in the face to fans who were hyped about Ash finally getting a fully evolved pseudo-legendary.
      • Stantler and Sharpedo for Brock.
      • Swablu for May — this example is especially mean-spirited on the part of the writers, who had May care for the injured bird for an entire episode. When they finally tried to rendezvous with Swablu's flock, the flock was completely absent, causing May to offer to allow Swablu to join her team. The flock suddenly appears out of nowhere to prevent this.
      • Grimer for Dawn.
      • Deino for Iris.
      • Flabébé for Bonnie.
    • While we're on the topic of Ash, pick a Pokémon from his roster that is believed to have gotten the shaft and watch it get ugly. However, it's almost universally agreed upon that out of all the Pokémon Ash has ever had, Pidgeot, Primeape, Kingler (after the Kanto tournament), Totodile, Torkoal, Torterra (after Turtwig evolved), Palpitoad, and Goodra got the worst treatment.
    • For the Episode N arc, Zekrom not being involved in any way has irked a lot of people. Mostly out of disappointment that Zekrom is now nothing more than a plot-device to restart Pikachu at the start of the Unova journey.
    • Trip. Ironically, fans preemptively hated him because he showed early signs of being a second Paul. But then the writers started to expand his character. Half way through the arc though, it became apparent that the writers lost complete interest in him and focused more on all of the other rivals. Come time for the league, Trip became a total Anti-Climax Boss and got eliminated by Ash in the very first round.
    • Ash's Charizard of all characters became this during Black & White. He's added to Ash's Unova team (sending away Unfezant in the process) and rarely, if ever, has any interaction with any of the Unova Pokémon outside of Iris's Dragonite, whose rivalry with him ends as soon it is introduced, and Ash's Pignite, who N states they already have a good friendship but otherwise show the same concern for each other as they would with other Pokémon. They may has well have had Ash send Charizard back to regain Unfezant.
    • The Diamond/Pearl writers made the mistake of trying to cram too many rivals into Dawn's Contest arc. As a result, Ursula's conflict with Dawn and Nando's decision to pursue Gym Battles and Contests were never explored in depth because of their lack of screen time.
  • Values Dissonance: In one episode, the heroes continuously vilify a pokemon smuggler who was capturing wild Scatterbug, having them evolve into different kinds of Vivillon, and selling them to collectors all over the world. Which is pretty much what everyone does with Vivillon in the games.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: According to Shudo's notes, Ash (Satoshi) was never meant to stand out very much. His original vision for the series gave rise to far more interesting antagonists (and so we got Gary, a jerk with a harem of cheerleaders, and Team Rocket, who need no explanation), and even Ash's traveling companions are more dynamic and interesting (Brock and his women-starved antics come to mind). Unfortunately, this generally results in Ash getting the short end of the Strong as They Need to Be Stick, as both his and his pokemon's intelligence, strength, competency, and luck are often completely random (though expect it to low to highlight some other character's prowess).
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: According to the Kids' WB! Kooky Karolfest, the recurring Jigglypuff is a male.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Paul's Moral Event Horizon is something that no sane trainer would ever do; and no player would do unless they were invoking Strike Me Down.
    • Cameron is, without-a-doubt, the dumbest character the show has ever created, even dumber than Unova!Ash. He thought you only need 7 out of 8 required badges to qualify for the league. Didn't think registering for participation in a tournament, actually involves registering for said tournament. Thought the Unova League was in the Johto region. The whole bring five Pokémon to a six on six match incident aside, he ends up bringing out his Ferrothorn to battle Pignite, and later Swanna to fight Pikachu. In games terms, both match-ups would of had his Pokémon fighting double-weakness match-ups. The anime actually portrayed this quite accurately and both ended up getting curb-stomped.
    • Ash has had his idiot moments as well; particularly with type match-ups. He even gets called out for it, in-universe, during the Falkner gym battle when he brings out his Chikorita to battle Hoothoot.
      • To be fair though, Ash often does well when fighting at a type disadvantage. And Falkner had just been saying that type advantages meant nothing to his beloved flying types.
    • No one ever seems to switch out pokemon other than Paul. Seriously.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It can get pretty damn dark at times, especially in some of the movies, but is still a children's show all the same. Special mention goes to the surprisingly dark and deep Japanese version of Pokémon: The First Movie, as well as Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions, which got the equivalent of a PG-13 rating in Japan - something very odd to hear about this show.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Advanced Generation (Hoenn) could be considered this after people started to get tired of the franchise due to the Johto era being plagued with loads, upon loads, of boring/irrelevant Filler. The makers even felt the need to shake up the main cast.
    • Happens again with the XY series due to what many seem to view as the Dork Age of the Pokemon anime. Yes, the Black and White era (Unova) was that bad.
    • For those who actually like BW see it as an improvement over the past series for removing most of the filler, having more original sidestories, giving Ash more than 6 Pokemon and forgoing the disliked "release a Pokemon to make room for another Pokemon" plot, reducing Team Rocket's appearances to plot-relevant episodes, and a twerp group with great chemistry - the latter moreso appreciated after the infamously poor DP dynamic.
    • The Mega Evolution specials seem to be tailored to appeal to the franchise's Periphery Demographic, after Black and White failed half-hearted attempts to do so. They star the teenaged Alain instead of the 10-year-old Ash, and have fan-favorite Charizard as the starring Pokémon instead of Base Breaker Pikachu. While not a nostalgia trip like Pokémon Origins, the first special closely resembles the popular Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 animated trailer in terms of action and music, and the second special keeps up the action while introducing more backstory and plot elements, including Lysandre's first anime appearance as the one secretly working the protagonists to his advantage.
  • The Woobie: Sometimes Dawn, sometimes Ash, sometimes May and/or Max, and sometimes the Team Rocket trio, especially James. And on the Pokémon side of things,Charmander in his debut and Chimchar.
    • After the revelation that they're simply punch clock villains in "Island of the Giant Pokémon", it's impossible not to feel sorry for poor Arbok and Weezing. After getting curb stomped by the heroes every single episode, you'd think that they would run away from Team Rocket just to escape the daily pain. But no- they keep on because they care about their trainers. And their final appearance is a testament to how Jessie and James feel the same way.
    • N, just by virtue of being N.
    • The Abra in "Fear Factor Phony." It was left behind by it's owners and left to live in old, abandoned, dilapidated building and always tormented about it's abandonment (as seen by its dream). Furthermore, it was demonized by the ghost Pokémon and Team Rocket thanks to it's siblings obnoxious behavior, despite it probably hated the noise as well, hence the force field.
    • In a meta sense, the late Takeshi Shudo, original head writer of the anime. He wanted to create Pokémon as a series that families could watch together and enjoy (see Animation Age Ghetto above), but Executive Meddling and the international influence of 4Kids Entertainment turned his product into the Merchandise-Driven "kids-only" cartoon that older fans enjoy ragging on to this day. He even wrote on his blog that his job had become literally painful for him because he wasn't being allowed to even do it properly due to the enforced writing formula. Especially after his death, many Pokémon fans sorely miss him and sympathize with his failure to realize his original vision of the series.
  • Woolseyism: Naturally quite a few, particularly the puns which can/can't be translated.
    • Brock's Sudowoodo's use of "Take Down" in the original Japanese - which Sudowoodo cannot legitimately learn in the games - was changed in the English dub to "Double Edge", a move with similar properties which Sudowoodo can use...similarly, in the episode where Ash challenged Roxanne's Gym, her Nosepass apparently used "Hyper Beam" twice in the Japanese version (during Ash's episode battling her) - but given the electric-based properties of the attack (which was actually plot-relevant), the dub changed these two instances to "Thunder Wave" and "Zap Cannon" respectively, which actually makes more sense (Zap Cannon is probably what the attack was meant to be, anyway).
    • Hikari/Dawn's Embarrassing Nickname, "Pikari"/"Dee-Dee", is a particularly clever one, which makes you wonder if PUSA had planned it ahead. Dawn's nickname is treated as a Noodle Incident until the last DP Season, where its origins are revealed to be from Dawn having been shocked by a Plusle and Minun when she was little - her friend Kenny partially traumatised her at the time by calling her "Pikari" (in reference to pikapika, the sound an electric sparkle makes). Since the dub changed her name, the nickname becomes Dee-Dee - which is short for "Diamond Dandruff", a rather suitable nickname for the scenario.
    • While being a "Pokémon Sommelier" fits for Cilan "tasting" the compatability between Pokémon and trainers, "Pokémon Conoisseur" works much better when it comes to Cilan's various hobbies when he declares himself a "—- Conoisseur", seeing as a conoisseur is another term for an enthusiast.
    • Team Rocket's English Motto. Don't you dare deny it.
    • When the Squirtle gang holds Misty hostage in Squirtle's debut episode, they originally threatened to kill her if Ash didn't do what they say. In the English dub, they threaten to dye her hair purple (which Misty is equally upset about). It might be censorship, but it's way funnier.