YMMV / Pokémon Red and Blue


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    Both Generations 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Professor Oak's infamous line: "I came when I heard you beat the Elite Four."
    • There's a juggler who claims that he's "dropped his balls".
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Your rival is actually the hero, and you're either the real Jerkass or some kind of uncaring unstoppable force. In Lavender Town, he says to you "Hey, <player>! What brings you here? Your POKéMON don't look dead! I can at least make them faint! Let's go, pal!" before challenging you, without explaining what he's doing there. You then fight him, and if you've been paying attention, you will notice that he no longer has a Raticate. The theory is that the player character wounded their rival's Raticate so severely that it died of its injuries, spurring him on to beat the Elite Four before the player. But shortly after he has defeated the Elite Four, he must fight the player...who defeats him...and then is congratulated by none other than his grandfather, Professor Oak. The former champion promptly gets a scolding and is told he lost because he did not treat his Pokémon with love and trust. This gives the fairly one-dimensional rival character a deep story and portrays him as a tragic hero with terrible luck. It also makes your character's actions fairly despicable, as all this guy wanted was to be a great Pokémon trainer and win his grandfather's love. Granted, this requires some big assumptions (such as his post battle dialoguenote ) and doesn't change the fact that he acts like a Jerkass towards you.
      • On the other hand, some fans go the other way and suggest your rival was actually a member of Team Rocket. He's implied to have taken the Nugget Bridge challenge which was a recruitment for the team, and he probably got the same offer to join you did, but he never brings it up to you or warns you about it. Most damning, later in the game he shows up in Silph Co. in a room right outside Giovanni's, and his post-battle dialogue has him acknowledge Giovanni is here. Why would your rival infiltrate Silph Co. occupied by Team Rocket and wait right outside his room to battle you, unless he's become The Dragon? In this theory, his conquest of Pokémon League was a back-up plan by Team Rocket to Take Over the World using his status. Further evidence of his membership can even be found in Gold and Silver, where for no given reason he's suddenly in command of Giovanni's gym.
    • Professor Oak has had a few theories devised about him over the years. The first type of theory is that he's a Genius Ditz who understands Pokémon but is too stupid to keep all the data about them (or, indeed, remember his own grandson's name), hence why you have to recollect all of it. The second kind of theory puts him in a somewhat more malevolent light, either as having some illegal ties to the various villain teams or as the Man Behind the Man of the franchise. Some have also suggested that he is having affair with the player character's mother, and sends a ten-year-old child out into the world on his own to prevent him finding out.
    • Believe it or not, Team Rocket! The theory posits that all three of Team Rocket's major schemes in the game were actually for the greater good, but they formed an evil organization to accomplish these ends because it would lead to mass panic otherwise. The first time TR is encountered is in Mt. Moon, where they are looking to acquire fossils and are challenging up and coming trainers to battles (Moon Stones are later found in the Rocket Base). Later on, a Rocket recruiter is at the end of the Nugget Bridge (in Cerulean City, an important detail) and looks to recruit anyone who defeats the five trainers on it, because they have potential. The third time TR is encountered is in the Rocket Hideout, where you meet Giovanni and see he has a Silph Scope (an item that lets you see and catch Ghost-types, which but for a Bug are stronger than Psychic-types), which you take from him after you defeat him. As well, they were attempting to take the Poké-Flute from Mr. Fuji, which awakens sleeping Pokémon (like the two tanky Snorlaxes found in the game). The final time you encounter the whole organization, they've attacked Silph Co., and are attempting to take the Master Ball (the item that has a 100% catch rate), and are revealed to have been working with many scientists, some of which could have previously worked in the Pokémon Mansion (where Mewtwo was created). The final time you face Giovanni, he gifts you with Fissure, a 1-hit KO technique. Team Rocket all along were attempting to defeat and subdue Mewtwo. They looked to recruit powerful trainers that could face it, they looked to capture Ghost-types that could trump it, they looked to use the Master Ball to capture and control it, and Giovanni crafted a TM that could defeat it instantly as a last resort.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Giovanni manages to be both this and a Climax Boss in the same game. After defeating him at Silph Co., the open-ended part of the game ends, and the player can fight the last three Gyms in immediate succession. In the last, one fights Giovanni again, and he is just holed up in his Gym, doing no evil schemes or anything to call attention to himself, until he can regain power, apparently needing to hire new minions from scratch. And then the player steamrolls his team with a single Water-type. For all his bluster about putting the player through a world of pain and not holding back, it's actually kind of pathetic.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Dragonite. It's the original pseudo-legendary, and one of the best Dragon-types in the game (by virtue of being one of only three with the other two being his own pre-evolutions...) Many feel that Dragonite looks like Barney the Dinosaur. The fact that it bears little resemblance to its serpentine pre-evolutions doesn't help matters. Plus, just like Charizard, all the worship it gets from fans who only like the first generation annoys some fans of the newer gens. This may be why they gave Iris's Dragonite a grumpy personality and a generally angry expression in the Black and White anime season, to defy its cuddly appearance and help "unify" its popularity. Incidentally, Red/Blue are the only games in which it is shown with an angry expression, aside from its attack animations in Pokémon X and Y; in fact, every Dragonite card in the TCG from Dragon Vault onwards has shown the Pokémon with a serious expression on its face.
    • Pikachu, all for being the series' mascot. Either loved for being cute and getting lots of focus, or hated for being overused and promoted everywhere, yet still a very weak Pokémon. Especially the case in Yellow where it's the starter, walks with the player, and cannot be released or evolved. It's incorporation of elements from the anime such as expressions and Pokémon Speak provided by Ikue Otani, either made Yellow more interesting than the other games, or even more fuel on just how overrated Pikachu was.
      • The situation is aggravated even more when Raichu is brought up. Where some people feel that it's shafted by Game Freak, others feel that it's also overrated due to its perceived "underdog" status.
    • Charizard, despite being one of the most popular Pokémon designs in the series for its dragon-like appearance, is regarded by a segment of fans of the later games as an unofficial mascot for the widely-despised "Genwunners" - people who prefer the first generation over any other, and are often perceived as doing little but complaining about later games. Not to mention, for competitive gamers, Charizard became something of a Tier-Induced Scrappy for several gens thanks to the rise of Rock-types and the advent of Stealth Rock. Essentially becoming the Pokémon equivalent of Wolverine in terms of popularity and exposure - including being one of only two Pokémon to get two Mega Evolutions (the other being Mewtwo, who suffers similar problems) doesn't help matters on either end of the spectrum.
    • Mewtwo is very much in the same boat as the original Fire starter -— still very popular fandom-wide, but heavily resented by a chunk of fans of the later games for much the same reasons: utter worship by genwunners and heavy Wolverine Publicity extending to it being the only Pokémon other than Charizard to get two Mega Evolutions. The long-standing and extremely vitriolic Fandom Rivalry between its fans and those of Lucario and Greninja (who, for the most part, happen to be fan-favorites among those who prefer the later games) in the Super Smash Bros. series and the Psychic-type's constant Badass Decay throughout the years does not help things in the slightest. Even so, though, Mewtwo doesn't get quite as much hate as Charizard, though mainly due to having a fair bit less Wolverine Publicity, likely caused by a very negative reaction to the version of Mewtwo featured in the animé's sixteenth movie.
    • Magmar, and its whole evolutionary line except for Magby. Some people like it for being a powerful Fire-type Pokémon, while others find it ugly and mock its design (such as its forehead having an unfortunate resemblance to an arse) and Japanese name of "Boober".
  • Breather Boss: Giovanni is rather easy for being the final Gym Leader, since most of his Pokémon are rather slow and all of them have common weaknesses, or even double weaknesses. Even more so in FireRed and LeafGreen, where his strongest Pokémon in the original Red and Blue -— a mighty Rhydon -— was replaced by, of all things, its unevolved form, Rhyhorn.
  • Broken Base: The thorny question of whether the original Kanto games should be remade again after FireRed and LeafGreen. Some feel that they are completely unnecessary given that Kanto already had a fair chance at a remake, and that Game Freak has done everything in their power to appeal to fans of the original games short of actually re-remaking the games. Others feel that the Kanto games deserve another chance given that FireRed and LeafGreen feel very primitive compared to later remakes, had a host of problems that were fixed by later remakes (particularly denying any non-Gen I Pokémon until post-game), and had some other missed opportunities (such as going to Johto instead of the Sevii Islands).
  • Common Knowledge:
    • Two things people know about Red; he's ten years old, and he's a completely Silent Protagonist. Both of these are incorrect; the manual gives Red's age as eleven (though him being perpetually ten years old in the animé doesn't help), and there are moments where he's implied to speak (such as when talking to Copycat).
    • Thanks to Adaptation Displacement and changes in translation, many believe that Mewtwo was created by several scientists, and it's not too hard to find people who believe said scientists were part of Team Rocket. In truth, not only does Team Rocket have nothing to do with Mewtwo in the games, but the original Japanese text for the Pokémon Mansion journals is written in the first person, and Mewtwo's Pokédex entry in both languages only mentions one scientist creating it, meaning Mewtwo was a wholly independent project.
    • Professor Oak is commonly mocked for being unable to tell if the player is a boy or a girl, though he only did this in the remakes and HeartGold/SoulSilver - this never happened in Red/Blue due to gender not being an option. He's not even the first professor to ask the question; when gender became an option in Crystal, he never asked it (it being asked by a nondescript voice instead), and the first time a professor asked it, it was Professor Birch in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Giovanni gets this from some people claiming he wanted to "stop" Mewtwo by using the Silph Scope to obtain a Ghost to fight him and (when that failed) use the Master Ball to capture it. There's no evidence to suggest Giovanni even knew Mewtwo existed outside of the anime and Pokémon Adventures (both of which are separate continuities from the games), and the games never explicitly mention why Team Rocket was at Sliph in the first place, so this relies on a lot of Fanon. While Pokémon Origins confirms that they were there for the Master Ball, Giovanni's characterization makes it clear that he's Only in It for the Money, and Mewtwo isn't mentioned until after Giovanni's episode.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • To the dismay of many players, there is no "yes" option when the Rocket grunt at the end of Cerulean Bridge wishes to recruit you into Team Rocket after seeing you battle.
    • Mewtwo is one of the few "evil" (or at the very least, "not nice") Pokémon in the entire series, which (alongside its Game-Breaker status) has helped it become a fan favourite.
  • First Installment Wins: These games and the original 150 (+1) Pokémon are pretty much synonymous with the series. Starters from newer games are always compared to Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle, the fan favourites of Gen 1 typically dominate popularity polls, and Red and Blue/Green Oak are the most well known protagonist and rival respectively. Despite all the glitches and bad balancing, there's little doubt that the originals are the most well-remembered (mostly due to the Pokémania fad). One of the many reasons why Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Sun and Moon are so well-received is because of their huge focus on elements and species from Gen I as well as buffing many fan-favorites from said generation with Mega Evolutions and Alolan Forms. That said, the generation and its fans (especially the "genwunners") frequently receive heavy resentment from fans of newer gens for this very reason; many feel that the post-Pokémania games had much better plotlines, characters, regional variety, in-game and competitive features, and Pokémon designs, and feel that the Gen 1 references in fact hamper the later games rather than boost them.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • A rare case among foreign Western Pokémon names, in that Blastoise's French name of "Tortank" is popular with English-speaking fans, having earned special mention on a number of blogs and a Dorkly popularity poll. Since it's derived from "tortue" (which is similar to English "tortoise") and "tank", it can easily pass as a cooler English Pokémon name.
    • In an example of American Kirby Is Hardcore, Charizard is prehaps the most popular Pokémon in America, where it beats Pikachu in popularity polls by a huge margin. Charizard merchandise regularly sells out and sells high in English-speaking stores, much more than the actual Series Mascot.
  • Goddamned Bats: One thing that most have in common is that they appear in places (caves, open water) where you cannot avoid encounters by simply staying out of tall grass as they can appear at any time.
    • Zubat: They, along with their evolved form Golbat, appear in every cave in the game (you pass through no fewer than four different caves to complete the game). They're not particularly powerful on their own, but their encounter rate is annoyingly high, they're fast (which makes fleeing from them difficult), and they will gleefully confuse your Pokémon with Supersonic at lower levels and the more-accurate Confuse Ray at higher ones. Come the remakes, they're even given the Ghost-type move "Astonish" at low levels and Bite, which they have at higher levels, is reclassified as a Dark-type move, potentially hurting Psychic-types (which are strong vs. their Poison-typing) if you're trying to use them as a counter.
    • Tentacool: They're basically the Zubats of the sea. You'll run into them while Surfing everywhere. They have Supersonic to confuse you just like Zubat, and add in the ability to poison your Mons as well with various Poison-type attacks while trapping them in battle with Wrap. Another issue with them is that they appear at a wide-variety of levels randomly. Running into that level 40 Tentacruel after mostly battle Tentacool with levels in the high teens even becomes a Boss In Mooks Clothing encounter.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: While this is the first time we see a ghostly Marowak, it won't be the last.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The fact that Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket, is also the Viridian City Gym Leader is all but common knowledge among fans of the series who have never played the game. Strangely enough, once you enter the Gym, and read the plaque on the statue, it says right there it's Giovanni. And, yet, the character who often greets you at the entrances of the Gyms claims he has no idea who the gym leader is!
    • Your rival beating you to the title of champion and being the Final Boss after you beat Lance is common knowledge in video game circles.
  • Junk Rare: There are a number of incredibly rare Mons who provide virtually nothing useful other than to fill up your Pokédex. A few particular examples:
    • There is only one Farfetch'd and one Lickitung available in the game, and both must be traded for with NPCs. Farfetch'd is just as bad as the Spearow you have to trade for it, and lacks an evolution to make it more useful. It exists basically to show off the trading mechanic in-game and to give you a user for the Cut HM which is acquired very close by.
    • Tangela can only be caught in one place, has only a 10% rate of encounter there, has mediocre stats, and has a pathetic move set. The most noteworthy thing about it was that it was the only pure grass type at the time... Which doesn't help it when it comes to weaknesses.
  • Memetic Badass: Both Red and Leaf, actually. More so Red than Leaf, due to him being more well-known and for being the True Final Boss in Gen II and its remakes. Leaf gets her fair share though, when she's not on Red's level she's usually shown as being the best of the trio in both a playful manner and a battling manner because of her hypercompetence in Pokémon Adventures.
  • Memetic Loser: Charizard, particularly with fans who dislike it and its vocal fanbase, is mocked for being fairly ineffectual in competitive play (especially its Stealth Rock weakness) and for not being a Dragon-type despite looking like a dragon (with some people insisting that it's a mere "lizard" while un-dragon-like Pokémon such as Altaria and Alolan Exeggutor do get the Dragon-type). These points of mockery continue into Generation VI, even though Pokémon X and Y gave it two very viable Mega Evolutions, one of which is an actual Fire/Dragon-type while Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U outright labels it a "Fire Dragon".
    • Even in-game, Charizard is often mocked as the worst starter, as it possesses poor to average match-ups against all of the gym leaders barring Erika. Also, its only STAB attack is the pathetically weak Ember until the level 46, and it can't even learn Fly until Yellow. Despite this, its still capable of becoming monstrous just in time for the end of the game, being able to learn Fire Blast, Earthquake, Slashnote  and Hyper Beam, some of the most powerful attacks in the game.
  • Memetic Mutation: Professor Oak's Crazy Awesome nature has made him the subject of many parodies. He's unable to tell whether you're a boy or a girl, cannot remember his own grandson's name, and doesn't put much value on a Master ball.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The murder of Marowak crossed it for the entire Team Rocket organization. Ironically, this is softened in the originals for Boss Giovanni, whose Heel–Face Turn is less ambiguous in those games.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Flash is considered to be one of the worst move by many players. In battles, Flash only has 70% accuracy, which is pretty bad for a move that just lower the opponent's accuracy. In the overworld, Flash is only usable in one area. To make matters worse, HM moves cannot be forgotten and there's no Move Deleter.
    • Razor Wind. Despite its name, it is not supposed to be a Flying-type move, instead being a Normal-type. It is also underwhelming for a move that takes two turns due to neither exceeding 100 BP nor getting an invincibility phase like Dig or Fly to make up for it.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Choosing your starter Pokémon at Professor Oak's laboratory.
    • One of the most well-known towns in the game, Lavender Town (or, as it can be accurately nicknamed, the Pokémon graveyard).
    • Confronting Mewtwo deep within Cerulean Cave/the Unknown Dungeon.
  • That One Level: Silph Co. to first-time players. An immense dungeon, not helped by the labyrinthine layout of the various warp pads. The Card Key is needed to fully explore the dungeon, and there's no clues as to its location - you just have to stumble onto it. Even then, figuring out which warp pad behind which locked door leads to the end of the dungeon is trial-and-error. A veteran who remembers the location of both the Card Key as well as the proper warp to take (and who doesn't care about the plentiful experience from the various Mooks around the place) can beat the whole thing in five minutes, but to a newcomer, it's a nightmare.
  • The Scrappy: Mr. Mime and Jynx are widely disliked by the fandom for their disturbing designs. Mr. Mime suffers from Everyone Hates Mimes and was given unnerving Marionette Motion in later games, while Jynx was heavily controversial for her Unfortunate Character Design making her look like a blackface performer.note 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The game has a rather interesting plot thread that it never really does anything with; that being the implication that Mr. Fuji was once a scientist on Cinnabar Island, the Pokémon Mansion's original resident, the one who discovered Mew... and ultimately Mewtwo's creator (whose Pokédex entries mention the horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments it experienced during its creation), giving one of the kindest characters in the game a dark and cruel past. Yet even in the remakes, all of this is relegated to the background, and nothing more is done to expand upon it.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Alakazam and Gengar are so powerful and iconic throughout the years that many non-Legendary, non-Mythical Psychic- and Ghost-types from the future gens tend to be compared to them respectively to the point that very few of them stand out. Machamp too, but only in comparison to pure Fighting-types due to later dual-typed Fighting-type Pokémon Blaziken and Lucario becoming Iconic Sequel Characters.
    • The starter Pokémon are seen as this, for being very cute and familiar in their initial stages and simplistic but very threatening in their final stages, especially Charizard for highly resembling a classic European dragon. Only the Johto and Hoenn starters have come close (along with Greninja as a singular case), and some people suspect one reason why Pokémon Black and White failed to catch on as a soft reboot is that the Unova starter Pokémon were widely seen as inferior to the first few sets and nowhere near as appealing as the originals.
  • Ugly Cute: As dopey cartoony hippo-like creatures, Slowpoke and Slowbro definitely qualify.
  • Unfortunate Character Design:
    • Cloyster heavily resembles female genitalia, with the spike above its head ball thing looking like an erect clitoris.
    • Jynx's original design also had to be changed because it was basically blackface.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Sure, Blue may have been a cocky jerk who got what he deserved by losing his title in mere minutes, but having his grandfather come over just to berate him for not caring for his Pokémon? That's cold.
  • What an Idiot: The grunt in the Rocket Hideout who drops the Lift Key and says, "Oh no! I dropped the LIFT KEY!" For some reason, the dummy never thinks to pick it back up. Even worse, in Red/Blue, he doesn't drop it until you specifically talk to him.
  • The Woobie: Cubone. You would be too if your mother died after you were born, you couldn't look at the moon because you could see her face in it, and you had to wear her skull to hide your face.
    • According to the Yellow Pokédex entry, Cubone's weeping echoes inside its skull-helmet. Imagine having to deal with that on top of your grief.

    Gen I: Red, Blue, and Yellow 
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Missingno. is either a unique and interesting Pokémon if handled correctly or a horrifying abomination that will destroy your game (note that it does not actually do this, but it will corrupt Hall of Fame data).
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Nintendo's profit projections were grim when it came to Pokémon; with the Game Boy nearing the end of its perceived life cycle, no one expected it to be more than the handheld's last hurrah. Boy, were they ever glad they were wrong!
  • Arc Fatigue: For first-time players, the trinity of Lavender-Celadon-Saffron. A Snorlax blocking your way to Fuschia City? We'll need a PokéFlute for that. But wait, where is it? Mr. Fuji, who's currently in Lavender Tower? But we can't get past that mysterious ghost near the top! Use a Silph Scope? Where is that? The Rocket HQ in Celadon City? Finally. But then the Silph Co. invasion in Saffron City will get triggered, which might become a Marathon Level for the uninitiated. Definitely a long string of Guide Dang Its that would cause some players to lose steam.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: When you first meet Bill, he's in the body of a Pokémon after a Teleporter Accident. Nothing like this is ever mentioned again in the series... until Pokémon Sun and Moon, anyways.
  • Breather Boss: Bruno of the Elite Four can be easily taken out by any decent Psychic type. This was true in later generations as well, but somewhat downplayed because: a) Psychic Pokémon were no longer Game Breakers, so players were less likely to have them in their teams; and b) Bruno and other bosses in general wised-up and started utilising other attacking types to counter their weakness.
  • Casual/Competitive Conflict: In the remakes, actively, as the third generation is when Smogon was founded. In the originals, retroactively, as analyses of later games had sparked a renewed interest in the older games (though there was never much interest because the competitive balance was terrible).
  • Common Knowledge:
    • Because of the TCG grouping some types together and the misrepresentation of some of the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors in the anime, it is common to assume that Rock is immune to Electric instead of Ground, not helping that the most common Rock-types encountered in Gen I are part-Ground.
    • Ice also gets a similar reaction back in the older days, as some fans assumed that Ice shares the same strengths and weaknesses as Water and Water/Ice is also a common type combination in Gen I. Notably, Fire didn't resist Ice until Generation II.
    • Ghosts being good against Psychics was another anime-induced misconception that was utterly wrong, due to a glitch (see below).
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The combination glitches, Fake Balance, and the small pool of legitimately good Mons (read: fully evolved and didn't have bad stats) led to the competitive scene being dominated by about 10 of them and lacked any sort of playstyle variation like later generations would have.
  • Creepy Awesome: The infamous Lavender Town theme is absolutely chilling, and yet so cool at the same time.
  • Demonic Spiders: Anything that had Wrap or Fire Spin and was faster than your Pokémon was this. All the opponent has to do is use Wrap over and over to prevent you from attacking (AI players have infinite power points, you don't). This was especially bad with Tentacool and Tentacruel, who could couple it with Poison Sting, doing more damage and potentially losing you a Pokémon.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Do NOT call Red "Ash" on a Pokémon forum. It will not be pretty. Not helped by Nintendo calling the trainer and the rival with the same names from the anime, before they got the names of Red and Green/Blue in Generation II.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Lavender Town is a frequent setting for Pokémon-centric creepypastas.
    • Missingno. features in quite a few.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Mew is the first Mythical Pokémon - Pokémon only available for a limited time in (often one-time-only) real-life events. In Mew's case, this came about because it wasn't originally intended to be in the game at all, and was only slipped into a vacant data slot at the last moment. As such, real life events were the only way to get it (outside of Good Bad Bugs). Today, an extra thirteen exist, and in an era with WiFi and patches that could be used to insert previously nonexistent species, many fans are annoyed at how behind-the-times the gimmick is presented,note  and how the events are still limited-time one-time-only affairs (and some still require you to go to a real life location, which can be unreasonable if one lacks a car/understanding parents). Also, where Mew could be encountered via Good Bad Bugs, no such bugs exist for the later Mythicals (ironic, since said bugs were precisely why discussion and rumours about Mew spread at all). Mew was also given to players directly; there was no (deliberate) in-game event that let you catch it since, well, you weren't meant to. Starting with Pokémon Black and White, however, most Mythicals are usually directly distributed without any fanfare or in-game event. Those who dislike Mythical Pokémon cite this as another issue with the mechanic; not only is there no skill in getting them as with Legendary Pokémon, but since you don't really own them (they usually have a gimmick OT preventing them from being nicknamed/obeying the player), there's no real incentive for players to use them, and since they're released late into a gen's lifespan, most players who've long since beaten the game will have little to nothing to do with them anyway (owing to their banned status in postgame facilities).
    • Later games in the franchise have been criticized for being too easy, but it was actually Yellow that started the trend of making the campaign easier for the player; giving the player access to all three Kanto starters, making moves more available to some pokemon note , and adding some Crutch Pokemon early on to make Brock's gym battle more accessible note .
    • Some Pokémon can only evolve when traded to other players. While annoying and tedious then, the ones introduced in this generation and the next improve greatly on their pre-evolutions as well as being good in either competitive and in-game. Later trade evolutions would only get worse, from only evolving when traded for a specific Pokémon, to holding a specific item while being traded. While the introduction of the GTS in later games made getting trade evos considerably easier, getting the ones that need to be holding items was, and still is, nearly impossible for several reasons.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • X Accuracy in the first games gave every move perfect accuracy. This includes the one-hit KO moves. The real dangers of this come about due to the eighth Gym Leader, Giovanni, giving you the TM for Fissure, which could be taught to a lot of final form Pokémon—like Dugtrio, who could outspeed most Pokémon easily. And, because OHKO moves could be used to defeat higher level opponents, it made defeating the Elite Fournote  a piece of cake. The combination of X Accuracy and OHKO moves was so powerful that the mechanics for OHKO moves had to be changed in future generations so that they could never connect against an opponent whose level was higher than the user's level, and X Accuracy was later nerfed to only give a single-stage accuracy boost that doesn't affect OHKO moves.
    • The Psychic-type was highest on the elemental tier, as Psychic-types only had a weakness to types of attacks that did below-average damage even after being doubled, and there were very few Pokémon with the stats to use moves of these types anyway (and due to a bug, one of those types actually didn't affect Psychic-type at all, rather than do double damage). And also by the fact that in Generation I, the most common type was the Poison-type (which is weak to Psychic-type), with 33 members, just narrowly beating out the ever-common Water type (32 of the Generation I Pokémon). In later games, the Poison-type Pokémon count fell to the back so far that it was tough to remember why Psychic was ever such a powerful type to begin with. The Psychic-type advantage was made worse by the fact that the stat Special governed both Special Attack and Special Defense. This meant that Pokémon with high Special, such as Psychics, were much more useful than Pokémon with low Special, such as Fighting. This was fixed in later generations by separating them.
    • Anything that can learn Wrap, Fire Spin, and Clamp, especially because almost all of them have decent speed stats. The main reason for this is because said moves are incredibly dangerous, not allowing the opponent to move for a very long time. Probably why the moves are nerfed for the future games.
    • Nidoking. Its first stage is obtainable immediately after you deliver Oak's Parcel, and can hold its own in battles almost as soon as you catch it, and you can evolve it into Nidoking as soon as the first screen of Mount Moon. Sure, it doesn't naturally learn anything as a Nidoking, but it gets all the coverage it needs for the entire game from TMs. Thrash, Bubblebeam, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, and Earthquake are all obtained fairly easily and allow it to solo through the entire game (including Misty, who would normally have an advantage over it) without much issue. Nidoking's incredible coverage and overall strength is also why the Pokémon is the primary choice for speed-runners to complete the original games in record-breaking time.
  • Genius Bonus: The Magikarp line is a reference to a Chinese legend that states that if a carp can jump over the Dragon Gate (believed to be at the top of various waterfalls), it will be transformed into a dragon as a reward. This holds more ground when Pokémon Snap shows a Magikarp jumping into a waterfall and emerging as a Gyarados.
  • Genius Programming: No game of this size had ever been squeezed onto the Game Boy's cartridge before. The Good Bad Bugs in the game mostly came from all the shortcuts the programmers had to make to achieve this. note 
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Hyper Beam does not require a recharge if it successfully KO's a target or destroys a Substitute. Fixed in Stadium.
    • Selfdestruct and Explosion will not knock the user out if they destroy a Substitute, though their sprite will disappear. Recoil from moves like Double-Edge is also negated when they destroy a Substitute.
    • If a Pokémon that had just used Hyper Beam is targeted by a Sleep-inducing move before it gets to move again (before it can activate the "has to recharge" message), the Sleep-inducing attack will always hit and even overrides any status the Hyper Beam user may have.
    • Psychic-types are actually immune to Ghost attacks when they are clearly supposed to be weak to them.
    • Leech Seed does extra damage if the target is also inflicted with Toxic Poison.
    • Haze will cure opponents of any status effects and Leech Seed, and resets Toxic Poison to regular Poison on the user.
    • HP recovery moves will fail if the user's HP value is 255 or 511 below their max.
    • Status Buff moves are horrifically glitched out. First, the stat that just got changed will be recalculated from its base level and its buff level. Then, if it was your Mon whose stat changed, and you're in a storyline battle, all badge boosts will be reapplied, including the ones that weren't just negated a moment ago. Then, if the Mon who didn't just move is Paralyzed or Burned, its Speed or Attack will be quartered, even if that stat wasn't recalculated and therefore has already been quartered. But if a Paralyzed Mon uses Agility, or a Burned Mon uses Swords Dance, the stat penalty won't be reapplied, even though it did just get negated.
    • Focus Energy and the Dire Hit item will actually reduce the chances to crit to a quarter of the previous value. Fixed in Stadium.
    • Substitute does not protect the user from being inflicted by opponent's Standard Status Effects except for Poison (fixed in Stadium).
    • If a Pokémon behind a Substitute is inflicted with Confusion and hits itself, the Substitute will take the damage.
    • Status Buffs can roll over to actually lower the stat after they reach a certain point.
    • If a Pokémon takes Confusion damage or is fully Paralyzed during the invulnerability turn of Dig/Fly, they will remain invulnerable (and be able to attack) until switching out or using Dig/Fly again.
    • The Mew glitch, specifically the fourth method of it known as the Ditto glitch (or the "fifth's method" glitch, as it's known in Japan), is performed by having a Ditto copy a Pokemon with a desired Special stat, and it enables the player to have any Pokemon that they want. The fact that one can capture a level 1 version of that Pokemon that will instantly jump to level 100 if the Pokemon gains less than 52 Experience points (done by growling at the Ditto until it no longer has an effect, usually 6 times) makes it useful for getting a high-level Pokemon in a small amount of time.
    • The Old Man Glitch is one of the many ways you can encounter Missingno., and easily the most well known. It's caused by talking to the Old Man in Viridian City to activate the catching tutorial, then immediately using Fly to go to Cinnibar Island and Surf on the east coast of the island. This will trigger an encounter with Missingno., one of several non-glitch Mons, or a glitch trainer depending on the player's name, since the water tiles on that coast of Cinnibar read the encounter data incorrectly due to a programming oversight.
    • Missingno. itself corrupts the Hall of Fame data, screws up battle sprites if a Trainer is using it, and don't even try to go for Yellow's Missingno.... but it also thinks your 6th item's 7th quantity bit is its "seen in the Pokedex" flag, giving you an extra 128 of that item every time you encounter it when you're not already holding that many. That makes it insanely useful for getting large amounts of Rare Candies, Master Balls, Nuggets, PP Ups, and other one-use items that are extremely rare (or are just extremely expensive). And if you transport it in Pokémon Bank to Sun and Moon, while it will not successfully transfer, it will shift your Pokémons nicknames over by one.
    • In the Virtual Console versions, through a long, arduous process that involves combining the aforementioned "Mew glitch" and the "8F" arbitrary code execution glitch, it's possible to fool Pokemon Bank into believing that the Mew obtained from the Mew glitch is a legitimate Mew, thus allowing transfer to Pokémon Sun and Moon.
    • Due to the primitive nature of Yellow's friendship mechanic with Pikachu, it's possible to max it out in mere minutes by repeatedly using a Potion on it; the item won't be consumed if Pikachu is at full health, but it's happiness will still increase.
    • It is possible to obtain a level 100 other Pokémon as early as Viridian Forest. It requires a complicated setup and a lot of patience in Red and Blue (It's much easier to perform in Yellow), but it obliterates the difficulty of the game, since it will never disobey you.
  • Growing the Beard: Pokémon Yellow actually is a better game than Red and Blue in terms of gameplay, as the majority of bugs, glitches, and imbalances are fixed, and the way is paved for the full beard-growing of the franchise with Gold and Silver.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the Pewter City Museum, there is a model of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated in 2003. While it's still explicitly referred to as such in the Japanese version of the remakes (since the Japanese versions were released before the accident happened), in the English version, it's simply referred to as "Space Shuttle".
    • As soon as the player finishes his objective there, the S.S. Anne would be last seen leaving Vermilion Harbor. Now, think back to the anime episode that loosely adapted that plot...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A Lass outside of the Rock Tunnel complains that there should be a pink Pokémon with a floral print. Now that Black and White are out... Given the reported number of unused designs for Pokémon, many which got used later, it could easily have been an In-Joke at the time.
    • One of the little quirks of the Missingno. glitch is that, due to not having a back sprite, he'll appear as the last pokémon loaded into memory. This later became Zorua and Zoroark's signature power - they'll appear as the last Pokémon in the team.
    • Many fans had noticed that Hitmonchan's sprite in the Japanese Red and Green resembles Togekiss watching Doduo taking a dump.
    • Some unused battle data exists for Professor Oak with levels higher than Blue's final team, and even has the fully evolved starter not chosen by Blue nor Red. This suggests he was meant to be a Bonus Boss or even a True Final Boss. Then Pokémon Sun and Moon presents Professor Kukui as the final obstacle of the Pokémon League before the player becomes Champion, and he uses the fully evolved starter neither the player nor Hau chose.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The existence of Mew. At the time of the game's release, not even Nintendo was aware it was programmed into the game as a fully functional (but unobtainable) Mon.
    • Lance of the Elite Four derived a lot of his difficulty from using Dragon Pokémon, which resisted the primary types of all the starters (especially notable since starter-only runs with only Normal and STAB moves are very common among first-time players back then) and were so obscure that they were almost never encountered in actual battle. A player had to know the type chart really, really well in order to realize that Ice was their one practical weakness. Anyone who has played almost any Pokémon game from Generation II onward is pretty likely to already know this.
    • It's hard to remember now but Blue being the Champion and Giovanni being the last Gym Leader were originally spoilers.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: DUX, one of only two Farfetch'd in existence until Yellow. He was known for his horrible stats, his ridiculous name, and the fact that he was just a gimmick to show off trading. However, he began to gain fans when he appeared in Twitch Plays Pokémon Red, due to being one of the only members of the team who could learn Cut, along with showing that he could actually hold his own in battle, becoming known for a few Crowning Moments of Awesome against a Rocket grunt's Marowak and Giovanni's Onix. He was widely mourned along with his teammates when he was killed during the "Bloody Sunday" PC Crisis.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Pikachu refusing to allow itself to be evolved into Raichu in Yellow, just because the Pikachu in the anime also refused to evolve. It means the player either needs to keep a significantly weaker member in their party, or box their Pikachu and neglect one of the key features of the Yellow version by having a companion.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • Genwunner views aside, Red and Blue are feature-barren, plotless, and unbalanced compared to later games in the franchise. That said, they (well, technically Red and Green in Japan) started an international phenomenon. Also, by the standards of a Game Boy game, it was huge and ambitious. The Genius Programming required to fit this game into a Game Boy cartridge, as mentioned above, is harder to appreciate nowadays.
    • Blue's status as a challenging champion in the originals:
      • Part of it became this once fans discovered that the majority of his team have lackluster movesets. His Alakazam and starter however is generally considered difficult to beat and is one of the reasons why players have a hard time against him back in the day. While his Yellow team have slightly better movesets they're not as good as his Red and Blue team in other departments. With the existence of new, better moves and abilities in Gen III, the remakes are kind enough to buff up his entire team.
      • The entire twist during the reveal that he is the champion. Up until that point, the player had been led to believe that the only requirement to become considered champion is to defeat the Elite Four. Early Installment Weirdness means that the idea of their being a sitting Champion was not expected. In every subsequent game, this is treated like it's common knowledge, with the champions being wildly renowned and introduced to the trainers fairy early into the game.
  • That One Attack: Wrap, Fire Spin, Bind and Clamp. All of these moves disallow your opponent from moving for the duration of the attack. Sadly, since many Pokémon that learn these moves are fast, your Pokémon are highly unlikely to make a move when faced against these foes. Thankfully, they were nerfed in future generations.
  • That One Boss:
    • Misty's Starmie is effectively almost guaranteed to be faster and stronger than anything you will have at that point and it does very high damage even for mons that resist Water. In FireRed and LeafGreen, her Starmie has switched Bubble Beam for Water Pulse which confuses you about once every three turns it's used.
    • Sabrina at Gen 1. Her team of Psychic-type Pokémon is fifteen to eighteen (depending on which version you're playing) levels higher than the last Gym Leader. It doesn't help much that Psychic-types were also extremely overpowered in Gen I due to a glitch making them immune rather than weak to Ghost, contrary to in-game advice and Nintendo's own guides, and a poorly-balanced elemental system in which Psychic's only weakness, Bug, had lackluster Pokémon and moves. To rub salt in the wound, the only Ghost-types at the time were also part-Poison, creating a vulnerability to Psychic moves. Thank goodness this has been fixed in the remakes.
    • Lance’s Dragonite in Yellow. In Red and Blue, he wasn’t significantly problematic, apart from knowing Barrier, which Dragonite has never been able to learn. note  Not here. Got a Water-type that knows an Ice move, the Dragon type’s only weakness? He knows Thunder. An actual Ice-type? He knows Fire Blast. A Rock- or Ground-type Pokémon who knows a good Rock-type move, since Dragonite is part-Flying and therefore vulnerable to Rock moves? He is physically tanky enough to shrug it off and knows Blizzard. Get ready for a tough fight.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Fighting and Poison overall, and not just for being weak to the game-breaking Psychic-type. While Fighting is good against the common Normal-type, this can be easily be offset by having a Psychic or Ghost teammate to counter them. It doesn't help that Fighting-types in this generation tend to have shallow movepool to do anything else. The other type Fighting has an advantage against is Rock, which are few in number while being easily countered by Water, Ground and Grass. Poison-types on the other hand tend to have mediocre stats and are outclassed in terms of countering Grass-types as other types do that better and can fit into other roles as well.
    • Even in its debut Pidgeot is infamous for being overshadowed by other fully-evolved Flying-types. It doesn't stand out stat-wise and the strongest Flying-type move it can learn that doesn't take two turns is Wing Attack, which only has a paltry power of 35 in Gen I while Fearow and Dodrio get Drill Peck, a Flying-type move with 80 power.
  • Uncanny Valley: Many Pokémon in Red, Blue and Green due to how badly-drawn the sprites are. Crosses with Nightmare Fuel in some cases.
    • Golem's eyes are rather unnerving while looking like it's about to burst like a balloon.
    • Exeggutor's body is way shorter, its heads are much much bigger, and two of them are giving creepy blank stares.
    • Golbat's Red and Blue sprite is either this or outright ridiculous with its Overly Long Tongue. Or both.
    • Mew looks more like a fetus in the original Red and Green than in the future games.
    • Wigglytuff's eyes are drawn bigger and closer together in Red and Blue, making it outright terrifying in appearance.
    • Haunter has a much more menacing design with a sadistic grin, sharper claws, and insane eyes that are less kid friendly.
    • Seaking looks like a dead fish with disfigured lips.
    • Venonat's eyes are quite creepy looking as they're shaded very realistically.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: It's possible strand yourself on Cinnabar Island by bankrupting yourself, discarding all of your Poké Balls, and releasing all of your Pokémon bar one. You need to be able to Fly or Surf to leave the island, which you can't do if you got rid of all Pokémon that can learn the moves, and you can't trade them from another game since the game won't allow it unless you have a minimum of 2 Pokémon on you. None of this is remotely possible to do by accident; you have to be actively trying to make yourself stuck.

    Gen III: FireRed and LeafGreen 
  • Accidental Innuendo: Ever take a good look at the fountains at Silph Company first floor? Don't they look like breasts, complete with nipples?
  • Base-Breaking Character: Just like Lyra from HeartGold SoulSilver, Leaf suffers from this-although instead because of replacing a pre-existing character, Leaf is divisive due to being ignored by the developers after FRLG. Don't get into a conversation on whether or not she exists in the game universe, or whether she should appear in place of or alongside Red and Blue in later games.
  • It's the Same, so It Sucks:
    • Pokemon that were given evolutions after Gen 1 are unobtainable until the post-game! Want your Golbat to evolve into a Crobat? Well, too bad - it cannot evolve until you've beaten the Elite Four.
    • Pokemon that evolve using day/night mechanics are also unobtainable since the game has no day/night cycle. This means no fan favorites Espeon and Umbreon.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In spite of the Base-Breaking Character entry above, many people have gradually warmed up to Leaf for her cute design, and being the closest thing to a game counterpart to Green/Blue from the Adventures manga. They dislike the fact that she has been left out of the games since her debut, especially in the wake of Red and Blue getting grown up redesigns in Sun and Moon. Several fans have managed to make their own designs for Leaf hypothetically appearing in Alola.
  • Scrappy Level: The Sevii Islands, which are often regarded as a Filler Arc that offers very little to do and only exists to show off a couple new features that weren't in the originals. Not only that, but completing the Sevii Islands post-game is required if you want to enter the Cerulean Cave and get Mewtwo, as opposed to the original where you just simply had to beat the Elite Four. Many wanted to explore a pre-GSC Johto instead.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: FireRed and LeafGreen are adamant that you only use the original 150 Pokémon until the National Pokédex, to the point of denying evolution to Pokémon that got evolutions in later games (meaning good Pokémon like Crobat and Blissey are off-limits), breeding is impossible until the end of the game (Pre-evolutions don't exist! Pick one Hitmon__ Pokémon and love it!), there's no day/night cycle (no Espeon or Umbreon for you!), you can't trade in any Pokémon not in the Kanto Pokédex and you have to slog through a whole post-game sidequest before you can trade with Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. Mercifully, these arbitrary restrictions were dropped in later games.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A common response to the Extended Gameplay and Sevii Islands. And there's also the case of the music being remade at a different pitch from the Game Boy original.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The Vs. Seeker that was introduced was a great, and simple, item to use that would allow players to re-battle any trainer they've already come across, and possibly battle against new high-level teams. It made leveling up the player team's Pokémon much easier, and feel like less of a chore. Yet after Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, this Key Item is dropped completely.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/PokemonRedAndBlue