These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Pokémon Gold and Silver
YMMVs in Pokémon Gold and Silver
Breather Boss: In all versions, Janine's team is noticeably lower-leveled than the other Kanto Gym leaders, likely due to her inexperience.
The Kanto Gym Leaders in general aren't particularly difficult because their team levels are about the same as the Elite Four. It's not until Blaine that you encounter a Pokémon (his Rapidash) at Lv. 50, the level of Lance's strongest Dragonite that you would've had to beat to get into Kanto, and even then, the Fire type isn't hard to deal with. Blue's team averts this by taking a large level jump (his strongest Pokémon being at Lv. 58) and not using any one type, and the remakes made sure that all the Gym Leaders are as strong as, if not stronger than, Lance's team.
Disappointing Last Level: It's cool to revisit Kanto, but most of the trainers and Gym Leaders are around the levels of the Elite Four, and will get swept away by your E4 team. There's also not a lot to do, aside from beating the Gym Leaders, fixing the Power Plant, and defeating Red. As a whole, Kanto feels much less fleshed-out than Johto.
Scizor actually was Awesome, yet Impractical when it first debuted - it had a movepool that was mostly Normal-type moves that it didn't get STAB from. And then along came Gen IV which gave it X-Scissor, U-Turn and Bullet Punch, and the metallic mantis shot up to the top of the non-banned tiers.
Scizor's counterpart, Heracross, is also up there in popularity.
Jasmine is a pretty popular Gym Leader, even getting a cameo in Gen 4.
Even Better Sequel: When released, Gold and Silver were highly praised by gamers and critics alike for being an overall better game than the original games. Gold and Silver also introduced a number of mechanics that would become staples to the franchise as a whole: breeding, holding items, Day/Night cycles, protagonists of both sexes, special Poke Balls, rematches with trainers previously fought, and friendship evolution.
Why does Red go away after you beat him? He whited/blacked out and ran to the nearest Pokémon Center, just like in his games.
How can you tell that your rival has genuinely changed? Well, by the time of your last battle with him he has a Crobat, which only evolve from Golbat through having friendship with the trainer.
The rival turning over a new leaf is made clearer in the remakes. In it, he offers to return the stolen Pokémon to Professor Elm, only for Elm to let him keep it after seeing the fondness the Pokémon has for him.
The change in gender determination listed under Game-Favored Gender (based on behavior, not physical strength) reflects growing understanding of the differences between sex (biologically based) and gender (social expectations of behavior tied to either sex).
Why did Route 23 just disappear, even in the remakes? Remember those wild Larvitar very close by in Mt. Silver? They have to eat a whole mountain to grow.
Genius Programming: In development, the game filled up the entire cartridge despite only being half-finished. Satoru Iwata, now the president of Nintendo, singlehandedly did some very heavy compression to save the project from being released as an Obvious Beta. When he was done, there was enough space in the cartridge to include all of Kanto. To summarize, thanks to the current CEO of Nintendo, this game has twice as big a setting region-wise as every other Pokémon game released until the remakes.
Even before the in-universe opponents wised up in the later generations, Misty had shades of this in the original G/S/C. Against Electric Pokemon, she's got Quagsire and its Earthquake. note Quagsire is also a Ground-type which completely negates Electric-type moves. Against Grass Types, her Lapras and Starmie have Ice-Type moves. While she could still be a pushover, there's now a chance of a nasty surprise if you're not careful. note In the original Red and Blue, she's a guaranteed pushover if you did the elemental homework and brought in both (properly-leveled) Bulbasaur and Pikachu. Again this may be different in Gen III and IV remakes.
Due to a oversight on Game Freak's part, Rest (the user falls asleep to recover HP) can be used through Sleep Talk (a move which randomly uses one of the user's other three moves while asleep). This is just one reason why the second generation had a very stall-heavy metagame. This was rectified in later games, except it still does this in the remake.
Also the cloning trick, coupled with the ability to hold items. Allowing you to get up to five of the same item (and/or Mons) at once, and notably to get all three starters as much as you want (the fact that they don't show up in the Pokédex until you breed one being a small price to pay).
Ohhh man, the Celebi Egg Glitch. It involves breeding two Sneasel that have the same moveset with Beat Up as the THIRD move (it doesn't have to be Sneasel, but Beat Up is its Signature Move in Gen II), getting a 'bad clone' from the above trick, and five worthless Pokémon. It works because Celebi and Beat Up share the same index number, and its not just Celebi you can get, it's just that Celebi is, arguably, THE most unobtainable Pokémon of them all. For example, using Splash will get you...Mewtwo. This trick can also be used to get held items by using the fourth move, which shares index numbers with items.
Growing the Beard: Many people agree that this is when the Pokémon game franchise became really good in terms of playability, and to this day it's still the generation with the highest Gamerankings score along with Generation I (and is widely believed to be superior than Gen I). To be fair, reviews for the earlier games are taken from a much smaller pool than the newer games, but even among the newer games HeartGold and SoulSilver are the best-reviewed (along with Pokémon Black and White), since they took everything that made the original Gold and Silver so good and added all sorts of extras, including the Pokéwalker.
Little did anyone at the time know that anotherItsuki with psychic powers would become a popular character in nerd culture a few years down the line. For Bonus Points, the Psychic-type is known as the Esper-type in Japan and Korea.
Route 34 is the route containing the second daycare in the series, which may not seem like much, but now it also introduces the concept of breeding. (Kanto's daycare south of Cerulean City only held one Pokémon at a time and also was only useful for raising levels. In the remakes of the first generation, breeding isn't available until the Elite Four is defeated and at a completely different daycare.)
One of the working titles for Crystal was Pokemon X.
It Was His Sled: You can revisit the Kanto region after you beat the Elite Four, and at the very end of the game, you fight the True Final Boss, who is none other than Red, the PC from the first generation games. Both were very shocking twists in their day, but nowadays they're common knowledge. See Late Arrival Spoiler.
Karen's line, "Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites," is used in the fandom as a creed against things ranging from “Stop Having Fun” Guys, Tournament Play in general or just anything related to Smogon.
Which is odd, because the Tiers list Smogon popularized was made specifically so that players can use their favorite Pokémon without getting steamrolled by every ten-year-old who disregards that advice and just packs their team with Game Breakers.
My Name Is ???note The main rival is initially introduced with an unknown name, hence the question marks, because the player gets to decide his name later. Since a good chunk of the gamers were kids, chances are they choose ??? as his actual name.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: It's common knowledge that people hate Zubat. They're annoying, they're everywhere, and they have an extremely mediocre evolution in the form of Golbat. But Gen II gave it Crobat, which is much stronger, and much, much, much faster. Sure, it's still annoying as hell, but thanks to Gold and Silver, it became a very viable choice for a good Poison type in your team.
The Scrappy: Joey, the first trainer you fight after The Rival, will call you up to brag about his Rattata, a mediocre Com Mon. Constantly. You can rematch him later for an HP Up each time, but you'll probably be happier if you just never give him your phone number.
Whitney because of her difficulty and the fact that she throws a tantrum instead of giving you the Plain Badge.
Similar to Whitney, Clair was disliked due to her difficulty, her self-centered personality, and the fact that she refused to give the player the badge until after they found an item.
Scrappy Mechanic: Friendship-based evolutions. Instead of just slogging through the Elite Four a few times with an experience share to evolve a Pokemon, you need to use them and do things that increase friendship points, such as spending money on very expensive vitamins, or using them in battle a lot without them fainting. This is especially difficult with Eevee when you're trying to get Espeon/Umbreon.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Karen's speech, "Strong Pokemon. Weak Pokemon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites. You know what's important." However, this is An Aesop entirely ignored by the competitive Pokémon community. See Tier-Induced Scrappy, below. It can also break into Broken Aesop, as its very condescending towards players whose favorites happen to be powerful. "Oh, your favorite Pokemon is Gyarados, a Pokemon that clearly dominates the tier lists? LOL U SKRUB!!"
That One Boss: Whitney, and her evil milk-drinking Miltank. Even more painfully, it can hit through Ghost-types in HeartGold/SoulSilver.
Clair's Kingdra isn't very nice to fight either. It has only one weakness (Dragon, which you likely don't have at this point) and hits hard with Hydro Pump and Dragon Pulse. And after you've survived that harrowing experience, she doesn't give you the bloody badge!
Red, the highest leveled trainer in any game to date. Especially his Snorlax, which loves to spam Rest, if you aren't packing a good fighting-type move.
The Lavender Town music. It's a peaceful town after the Pokémon Tower was converted into a radio tower, so it sounds much chirpier than the original. Despite the in-story reason for it sounding happy, people still are divided on whether it's good or not.
Speaking of Lavender Town, the Pokémon Tower graveyard being converted into a radio tower was widely thought to be in poor taste. The graves were relocated to a new site, but seriously.
The lower levels compared to the previous generation have also been met with frustration from players. By the point of the last Gym, you're still fighting lv.30s, leading to many tedious hours of Level Grinding necessary if you hope to stand a chance against Lance and his trio of Dragonite.
Tough Act to Follow: Generation 2 improved GREATLY from the first games, and despite Generation 3 and the D/P/Pt games being more advanced with extra features, they suffer from this trope. The remakes, on the other hand, may have came close, if not equal, to the originals.
Bugsy is a guy, folks. This is lampshaded during his appearance in the Pokémon Special manga, in which Gold (Ethan's counterpart in that manga) mistakes him for a girl until Bugsy points out that he's a guy. Doesn't help that his team in the remakes is all female, and that he's referred to as female in an official strategy guide.
In another manga he is drawn in a more feminine manner then almost everyone in the manga, and his gender is only referred to once in the Japanese version and can be easily missed. It doesn't help that he's Ambiguously Gay in said continuity.
Many gamers also confused Silver for a girl in the early days.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The battle graphics have some truly beautiful color cycling and sprite distortion effects, otherwise unheard of in an 8 bit game.
Jasmine is remarkably put-upon in-game; she's quite embarrassed when you find her at the all-you-can-eat diner, and Erika seems out to make her look foolish during the latter's off-time.
Blaine. His entire island of Cinnabar was burned down by a volcano, and he had to move his Gym to a small cave in one of the Seafoam Islands all alone. Alleviated in HGSS though, as he now has trainers under his stead and the cave is retrofitted.
Accidental Innuendo: Any time Kurt gives you the custom Poké Balls, due to most of them having innuendo-ish names. "Kurt gave you the Friend Balls!" "Kurt gave you the Heavy Balls!" "Kurt gave you the Love Balls!"
Despite being a Bonus Boss, Giovanni only has four Pokémon ranging from Level 40 to 46—if you got past the Elite Four, and you almost certainly have by the time you get to him, you'll have no trouble at all.
Mewtwo is surprisingly not very hard to deal with due to its moveset at Level 70. Half of the time it'll waste turns with Power Swap and Guard Swap (steals your Status Buffs, but if you're trying to catch it, you're not going to Swords Dance) and its only offensive move is Psycho Cut, which runs off its weaker Attack stat.note Strangely, it learns its better STAB attack, Psychic, at level 71.
Base Breaker: Lyra. Mostly for replacing Kris. Although she did receive a noticeable spike in popularity once fans realized she dressed like a Mariocosplayer.
Game Breaker: If you trade a certain Movie Arceus from a DPPt save to this game as soon as possible, you can get the legendary Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina of your choice and with your OT before the first Gym.
Jerkass Woobie: Silver, after details concerning his childhood come to light.
So Cool It's Awesome: Gold and Silver were already well-loved by the fanbase, but the remakes took them and added all sorts of new features and enhancements and made them even better (to most fans, anyway).
Not everyone was fond of the remixed music (particularly the themes for Lavender Town and Goldenrod City), but thankfully Game Freak provided an option in the games that switched everything to the classic eight-bit tunes.
Voltorb Flip replacing the slots, and more importantly, removing the ability to buy coins. What's even more infuriating is that the Game Corner was the same as usual in the Japanese version.