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.
Acceptable Targets: Poké Tubers, people on YouTube that post videos of "competitive" Pokémon matches, are often mocked due to them indirectly invoking Sturgeon's Law for competitive play and their propensity to give out bad advice. More skilled Poké Tubers or those directly from Smogon themselves (like pokeaimMD or CybertronProductions) aren't subject to this since they actually know what they're talking about.
Averted on the site itself, which has an entire subforum and IRC channel for non-competitive discussions.note Casual play, in-game, spin offs, the anime, and occasionally fan games.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The site is infamous for how much they love the entry hazard Stealth Rock, to the point that it's almost memetic; virtually every team carries it regardless of what tier is being played since it's just so darn useful. If you're playing on the actual games' random Wifi and doing a Singles battle, you can probably infer whether or not your opponent from the site based on whether you see Stealth Rock being used.
The Gen V metagame was widely hated due to the fact that Politoad's permanent rain caused this. Even after Drizzle and Swift Swim were banned from being used together, it was still powerful enough that few people used anything else, and Smogon refused to put any larger of a ban on it, for fear of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. About half of all teams used had Weather by the time X and Y were announced.
Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: An easy way to tell that someone doesn't read the website properly is when the person mocks Smogon for a bottom-tier Pokemon doing well (i.e. the Pachirisu that won the 2014 VGA tournament) or complains that the metagame has become too unfair based on the size of the NU tier. Aside from Ubers, tiers are based solely on usage, not the arguably-immeasurable usefulness of the Pokemon. A low-tier Pokemon can still achieve success in the right hands, and the website in fact attempts to maximize every Pokemon's potential, only truly bashing a few lost causes.
People also don't seem to understand that Doubles has different threats not because of the tier system (or lack thereof), but because the format requires different moves and traits that make a Pokémon viable to use in the format and allows for a different set of strategies from Singles. Mons with access to spread moves, attack redirection moves Follow Me or Rage Powder, Fake Out, Feint, the ability Intimidate, etc. are more valuable while Status Buff spamming and Choice items are far more risky to use due to how easy it is to get ganged up on. Doubles also make Stall (one of Singles' "staple" strategies) extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pull off (Timer Stalling not-withstanding), and some Stall staples like Chansey are completely worthless in Doubles due to how passive and easy to overwhelm they are.
Creator's Pet: Stall. Most Pokemon that are tested for banning are offensive in nature, and several have been tested specifically because they threaten this one playstyle. What makes this even worse is that the best Special Walls in the game (Chansey and Blissey) have never been put up for testing despite technically being suspect-worthy.Explanation The two of them invalidate just about every Special Attacker by themselves due to being Damage Sponge Bosses and have literally no peers, even when compared to Ubers (their closest competition, Lugia, is just a really bulky Mighty Glacier).
Fan Nickname: Most Pokémon have alternate names that are usually just shortened versions of normal names ("T-Tar" for Tyranitar, "Chomp" for Garchomp, etc.). A small number have one of their sets named after the user who came up with it, like "Crocune" for a RestTalking Suicune named after user Cromat.
Insane Troll Logic: Appears every so often in suspect tests. Examples include suggesting something is uncounterable...provided it runs four items and seven moves at the same time. note While the intention is to say that there isn't a 100% counter, the phrasing is often terrible or over-exaggerated. An especially well-known example is "Outplay the coinflip" (see Memetic Mutation for details).
Edgar Clause. Explanation A certain battle request◊by an obvious scrub has led to various competitive battlers jokingly asking for battles with the "Edgar Clause".
Focus MissExplanation The move Focus Blast is necessary on some competitive sets, due to it being the strongest specially-based Fighting-type attack appearing in most movepools... but its accuracy, at 70%, is far lower than is typically acceptable for competitive play. A Focus Blast miss typically costs the user the game, or at least considerable momentum, and is the cause of many a Rage Quit. The move has attracted a sizeable Hatedom as a result of this.
Stone Miss Explanation Stone Edge is essentially the Rock-typed physical coverage equivalent of Focus Blast, and is hated just as much, if not even more, despite actually having higher accuracy at 80%.
F***ING BLIND BIRD Explanation Moltres is a very powerful Pokemon in Smogon's RU tier, but gets a bad rep for a similar reason to Focus Blast and Stone Edge: both Fire Blast and Hurricane have infuriatingly low accuracy and cause Moltres to miss at the worst times, especially during important matches. This bad reputation earned Moltres the nickname mentioned in the meme name.
i have a bad team Explanation The username of a player who trolled Smogon's tiering system into near-oblivion, to the point that Smogon had to rework the whole thing specifically to prevent her method from ever working again. Sometimes also referred to as "Sticky Barb Emboar", after one of her especially notorious item choices. Here is an explanation of how it was done.
The Mighty Metang Explanation An instance similar what happened above with the user i have a bad team, except in this instance the Pokemon moved was a single Metang. The nickname of the Metang used by this player was THE MIGHTY METANG, hence the name of the meme.
This was also the name given to Metang's RU analysis, when a user called Molk played a huge number of RU matches with a team containing Metang, causing it to be Kicked Upstairs from NU despite being totally useless in RU. The writer of the analysis clearly thought so, anyway.
QUEM FALA LENGTHY BANExplanation Smogon's main servers are English-only, and the moderators do not like dealing with people who do not understand this.
Are smogon ruining the metagame? Explanation A thread made by a random person instantly gets the community to Self Deprecate itself with multiple responses of "yes" and the thread being added to Smogon's Greatest Hits before being moved to Trou Du Cul.
The Weather WarsExplanation Gen V's Dream World gave Politoed and Ninetales the abilities Drizzle and Drought, respectively, making permanent Rain/Sun possible outside of the Uber tier for the first time. Between this and the number of Pokémon who can abuse the buffs weather gives to certain types/moves, the metagame became dominated mostly by teams built to abuse their weather of choice. The "War" part came from the fact that two opposing weather teams need to constantly switch in their Weather Control Machine to keep their weather up; the war is "won" when one side's weather inducer has been knocked out/cannot switch in without fainting, leaving the other team's weather in play.
Kabutops is a threat in UU matches. Explanation Kabutops' analysis for the third generation looks like something out of the Laconic Wiki, which is very unusual for a Smogon analysis - they usually tend toward Wall of Text, and more detail is generally encouraged. The line quoted for the meme is the overview - the entirety of the overview.
Use Numel Explanation When the Swag Play tactic was being discussed, some users brought up this Pokemon, by virtue of it being the only one immune both to confusion and paralysis, and therefore, the only hard counter to this strategy. The catch? Numel is a terrible Pokemon in every other way
BAN DRUDDIGON Explanation There's an inside joke in the RU playerbase and several other areas of the site that Druddigonis the most broken Pokémon in existence. One user in particular, TROP, has such an immense personal hatred for Druddigon that he's well known on sites such as GameFAQs as "the guy who hates Druddigon".
RU Pride Explanation During Generation 5 a user by the name of tsunami would ask people on IRC for 5 random Pokemon (nicknamed after the people who suggested them) to make up a team he would battle with live for the chat. The random teams were eventual dubbed "RU Pride" for only using Pokemon tiered RU or lower, even in UU or OU matches.
Mightyena Explanation The last Pokemon on the team was always a Mightyena nickednamed after tsunami. It was discovered to be legitimately dangerous since it could solo unprepared teams after a Moxie boost.
"Fuck misclick" Explanation tsunami would say this occasionally to fake out his opponent when sending out Mightyena or during 50/50 situations. It actually worked.
AlexfowlExplanation A mixed Talonflame set posted by a moderator which was quickly found to be complete shit. The name comes from the moderator's name, alexwolf, combined with fowl.
4drag2magExplanation A team composed of 4 Dragon-types and 2 Magnet Pull users. The Magnet Pull users (usually Magnezone and Magneton) would trap and eliminate Steel-types so the Dragons could spam Outrage without being walled and pretty much assure victory. It was at its peak in Gens IV and V but died down when Fairies were introduced in Gen VI. A mutation, "Drag Mag", refers to any team with a Dragon-type and offensive Steel-type regardless if they're following the original strategy or not.
Flyspam/BirdspamExplanation A team of Talonflame with Mega Pinsir or Staraptor (or both) as partners. One member would soften up the checks/counters of the others to the point that they were too weak to do their job walling, letting the other members sweep without resistance. The name comes from the fact that they're all Flying-types and their go-to move is Brave Bird (Talonflame and Staraptor) or Aerialate boosted Return (Mega Pinsir)
More Popular Spin-off: Smogon's rules, while not perfect, are widely considered to be vastly superior to the official rules set down by Game Freak/Nintendo.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Gen 6, Charizard's Mega Evolutions made it a legitimately solid choice in higher tiers; Mega Charizard X is essentially Salamence with a better typing and a built-in, recoil-free Life Orb for contact moves, while Mega Charizard Y gets Drought and is the hardest-hitting non-Uber weather inducer. Not to mention that it's often hard for the opponent to predict which Mega Evolution Charizard is packing.
Prior to Gen VI, Charizard in any tier above RU (read: the tiers with the best/most used Pokémon) after Generation 4 introduced Stealth Rock, at least to the more experienced players. Especially so in the Uber tier, where Charizard has no business participating in at all. Here's a quick explanation of why.
Zig-Zagged with the item Assault Vest. While it's a legitimately good item, newer players tend to slap in on anything that runs sets with 4 attacks (such as Durant) and/or has middling Special Defense, giving it the reputation as a noob item.
Electivire. It was hyped up in Gen IV for having massive coverage in one moveset, but Hype Backlash quickly settled in once people found it it was too slow (its speed is Base 95 when Base 100 is the most important speed stat), too weak (all of its attacks have low Base Power), and too predictable (it was often found with Gyarados to try to abuse its ability by switching in to absorb Electric attacks Gyarados would have taken). It was horribly bashed while it was OU in Gen IV and it later dropped down to RU in Gen V (where it also sucked) and finally hit NU in Gen VI. It's still bashed for being a crappy Mon and is massive Snark Bait whenever people use it.
Shaymin-S is another infamous example for having a very high special attack and speed stat in conjunction with the annoying combo of Air Slash and Serene Grace. It was loathed so much that it was the first Pokemon to be banned to Ubers unanimously.
Claydol in RU. Often used by newer players, because of its seemingly good access to both Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin. However, in reality Claydol is so flawed that most experienced players regard it as complete trash (in fact, Rarelyused Leader Molk tried to make it work, and publically judged it as the worst Pokemon he's ever used after weeks of testing). While Rapid Spin is a great move to have, Claydol's ability to use it effectively is hampered by the fact that it simply gets dominated by any Ghost type Pokemon. Not just having its Rapid Spin blocked, but an almost complete inability to get past them otherwise and a weakness to Ghost type moves to top it all off. On top of this, Claydol's unfortunate defensive typing gives it a weakness to almost every relevant offensive type in the tier, making its good defensive stats almost moot and meaning that even if Claydol ends up getting past a Ghost type somehow it often gets K Oed or forced out before it can pull off a Rapid Spin regardless, and by the time it finally gets an opportunity to Rapid Spin the entry hazards its aiming to remove have already done their job. On top of all of that, the buff to Defog in Generation VI to remove hazards from both sides of the field gives it major competition since Defog cannot be blocked like Rapid Spin.
Averted... allegedly. Almost everything they ban is determined via tests, community feedback, and whether or not the supposed Game Breaker is overcentralizing (becomes so common that you are required to run something to counter it specifically, regardless of what kind of team you are running). The process is nonetheless prone to groupthink.
Ironically, evasion was allowed for Ubers after testing the tier and participants deciding that it isn't that bad due to how powerful everything is there. Doesn't stop a few losses turning into wins due to blind luck every now and then, though.
White Knighting your favorite pokemon, especially starters, against legitimate criticism by invoking Popularity Power will also cause you to be viewed as this. note For reference, this is the reason for Charizard's Scrappy Status in past gens.
Also played straight with casuals who try to adopt Smogon rules and force others to abide by them despite a) not having a single clue what half of them mean and b) not being anywhere near the skill level where those rules start to mean anything.
Skill Gate Character: Eviolite Doublade in RU. Thanks to Doublade's great Attack stat, incredible coverage, excellent Steel/Ghost typing, and absolutely absurd physical defense, players who are new to the RU tier often build teams that can't even hurt Doublade, let alone take it out, which often causes it to be mistaken for a Game Breaker among newbies. However, Doublade's poor Special Defense and Speed stats, reliance on moves with low base power, and vulnerability to the ever common move Knock Off (which doesn't just hit the sword super effectively, but immediately cuts its defenses because of its reliance on the item Eviolite) can be taken advantage of quite easily by someone who knows what they're doing, and cause it to be viewed as a perfectly manageable (albiet still threatening) Pokemon in higher level play.
"Stop Having Fun" Guys: As mentioned above, mostly averted. A diverse metagame is outright encouraged by the suspect test process. They don't have much of a tolerance for Scrubs, though..