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Team Skull

    In General 
  • Adaptational Wimp: Team Skull may have always been one of the less threatening groups in the Pokémon world. But with Guzma and Plumeria in charge, at least they could hold their own in a fight in the games. In the anime, by the time of the Ultra Beasts arc, Team Skull is quietly pushed aside in favor of Poké-kaiju attacks and the rare instance of Giovanni getting off his throne. That is until Guzma makes his first appearence.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Each individual Team Skull grunt has a unique character design.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In comparison to previous villain Teams, their goals, or at least Guzma's, are very low key, with Guzma only wanting to be considered the undisputed strongest trainer in the Alola region. The grunts themselves are just all about causing mischief in the region.
  • Evil Brit: One of the female grunts in the English dub has a noticable British accent.
  • Mythology Gag: One grunt at the mansion in Po Town fails to turn on a damaged TV via the power switch, which causes another grunt to just smack it, which actually works. In the games, Guzma claimed to do the same thing with malfunctioning technology, except he has a tendency to break it by doing so.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At least they're not dead or in jail like the other regional teams. So failing at life has some advantages. They finally become more relevant when Kukui announces the Alolan League Tournament and Guzma decides to get involved due to his and Kukui's shared past.

    Tupp, Zipp, and Rapp 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/team_skull_grunts_anime.png
From left to right: Rapp, Tupp, and Zipp.
Voiced in Japanese by: Taakaki Uchino (Tupp, SM001-SM011), Toru Sakurai (Tupp, SM024-present), Soshiro Hori (Zipp), Madoka Asahina (Rapp)
Voiced in English by: Billy Bob Thompson (Tupp), Jake Paque (Zipp), Lori Phillips (Rapp)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Osvaldo Trejo Rodríguez (Tupp), Geno Sánchez (Zipp), Noriko (Rapp)

  • Adaptational Jerkass: They're still harmless for the most part, but they're noticeably more nasty than they were in the games.
  • Bland-Name Product: Their Japanese names are Tupper, Zip, and Wrap. The inspirations, respectively, are Tupperware, Ziploc, and Saran Wrap. TPCi probably didn't want to run afoul of Tupperware or S.C. Johnson.
  • Book Dumb: Tupp literally has no idea that Kanto exists.
    Tupp: What's a Kanto?
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: They get "blasted off" by Ilima's Eevee in SM065, almost identically to Team Rocket.
  • Butt-Monkey: So far, everyone and their mother (literally even, in Ash's case) gets to kick their ass in a Pokémon Battle.
  • The Bully: Are described as constantly showing up to pick fights with people.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Despite having lost to Ash and Kiawe once already, the same three grunts force them to land and attack them again. This time, it's Ash who sends them flying. Then they do it a third time by attacking the school both attend.
  • Captain Ersatz: According to his English voice actor, Billy Bob Thompson, Tupp's English voice is based on that of Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Tupp was this as a kid; but the girls he was attracted to became more interested in Ilima, leading Tupp to develop a grudge against him.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: When Team Skull and Team Rocket are trying to get the Darkinium-Z, Tupp, Jessie, and James have their teammates distract the Totem Raticate while they climb the rock pillar to get the crystal. Jessie and James abandon the effort when they see their Pokémon in trouble, while Tupp ignores the plight of his teammates. Team Rocket ends up defeating the Totem Raticate and earning the crystal, while Tupp's attempt to steal it is foiled by the Ally Rattata and Raticate.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • They throw out nine Pokémon just to fight Kiawe and Turtonator, who is joined by Ash and Pikachu. It ends up being a case of Quantity vs. Quality, as their nine Pokémon are unevolved Com Mons (Yungoos, Zubat, Salandit) compared to Ash's experienced Pikachu and Kiawe's slower but tougher Turtonator. Pikachu fights all three Salandit, while the Yungoos and Zubat try to rush Turtonator and get a face full of exploding shell for the trouble. Turtonator's Z-Move knocks out all nine.
    • In their rematch against Ash and Kiawe, they shoot down Ash's Ride Pelipper then attack both him and Kiawe without even giving them a chance to defend themselves.
    • They really go for the overkill in SM065, where they bring as many fellow gang members as possible to attack Ilima's Eevee at once. They still get trounced.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In-story example. Tupp brags about his Salandit possibly being ready to evolve soon in SM065...but refers to it as a male. Only female Salandit are able to evolve into Salazzle.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Much like Team Rocket, most of their battles are thoroughly one-sided in the heroes' favor. Tupp is ecstatic from the mere fact he got in one single hit against Ilima's Eevee.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Rapp really loves cute Pokemon, and even draws her Zubat in a cute style.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Ilima apologizes to Tupp for inconveniencing him, Tupp only gets annoyed even more.
  • Driven by Envy: In SM065, it's revealed that Tupp has a history with Ilima; even when they were younger, the local girls loved Ilima more than him.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In their first appearance they each had three of their signature Pokemon, while in later appearances they only use one. Zipp's signature was also Yungoos instead of Garbador, with none of the former having yet reappeared.
  • Evil vs. Evil: SM025 has them competing with Team Rocket over a Z-Crystal, the Darkinium Z. Team Rocket comes out on top, since they actually beat the guardian and earned the crystal.
  • Fangirls: Tupp had three as a kid; but then Ilima came along and they became his fangirls instead, leading Tupp to develop a grudge against him.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: When they encounter the Rocket trio again in SM115, 90 episodes after their last meeting, the two groups only vaguely recognize each other, having forgotten their encounter in SM025.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: They show up every now and then just to cause trouble and get easily beaten. Even Team Rocket proves more competent than them.
  • Harmless Villain: It's very hard to take Team Skull seriously as a threat.
  • Jerkass:
    • They pick a fight with Kiawe so they can win his Charizard, and immediately try to cheat by using all their Pokémon against one of his.
    • Lana recounts how she found several grunts tormenting a Popplio for no apparent reason, which she saved and would eventually own.
    • They crash the open day at the school and use the Tauros to trash the place for no reason.
  • The Leader: Tupp acts as their leader. At least for small factions as they still serve under Guzma.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • They make a stink about Kiawe using a Z-Move while they vastly outnumbered him and Turtonator 9-1.
    • They kick up a similar storm against Ilima when he uses Extreme Evoboostnote , complaining using the numbers game is their strategy.
  • Oh, Crap!: The same three grunts who got their Pokémon blasted by Kiawe's Z-Move have this reaction when they realize Ash is about do the same with his own Z-Move.
  • Pet the Dog: Similar to Team Rocket, they seem to genuinely care about their own Pokemon. When Zipp dithers over going to the Pokemon Center when his Garbodor becomes ill, Ash realizes his problem and pretty much forces his decision. After everyone manages to heal it, Zipp purchases the cleaning tool they were using so he can heal Garbodor himself.
  • Poisonous Person: Tupp uses Salandit, Rapp uses Zubat, and Zipp uses Garbodor, all of which are Poison-type Pokemon.
  • Recurring Character: A trio of Team Skull grunts, two of which use the designs from the games, and the third member being a fat brown-haired guy, appear as recurring antagonists for the kids.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Become Team Rocket's rivals for the Z-Crystals in one episode. Unlike previous more menacing villain teams who blatantly outmatch Team Rocket, Skull are equally if not more buffoonish, meaning Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sore Loser: After Kiawe beats them, they complain that Kiawe should have told them he could use a Z-Move.
  • Terrible Trio: These three are the main recurring Team Skull grunts.
  • Theme Naming: The trio are named Tupp, Rapp, and Zipp, after food storage items. note 
  • Unknown Rival: Ilima didn't even remember Tupp, and even affably apologises if he upset him. Tupp can't stand it.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Tupp used a be a fairly normal kid, but then the girls he was attracted to fell for Ilima instead.
  • Villain Episode: They shared one with Team Rocket, in which they competed to get their hands on the Darkinium-Z which was being guarded by Totem Raticate.
  • Villainous Valor: When they are confronted at the school by Ash and Kiawe despite having lost to them twice and being outnumbered by the other students, they refuse to back down even after acknowledging the odds are against them.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In SM 135, they send out 3 of their Pokemon to attack Kiawe's sister Mimo, a defenseless little girl who couldn't have possibly done them any harm if she tried. Thankfully, Gladion and his Silvally bailed her out of that predicament.

    Plumeria (Plumeri) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/plumeria_anime.png
Voiced in Japanese by: Saki Endo
Voiced in English by: Jo Armeniox

  • Adaptational Wimp: In the original Sun and Moon games, she is the one to challenge the Champion of Alola, here she loses in the first round of the League.
  • Cool Big Sis: The Team Skull grunts look up to her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's significantly unnerved by how Guzma harshly berates his Pokemon.
  • Only Sane Man: Among Team Skull. She tries to warn Guzma not to underestimate Ash, but both her underlings and her boss brush it off.
  • The Worf Effect: Is eliminated by Ilima in the preliminary round of the Alola League, along with the Grunts.
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    Guzma 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/guzma_anime.png
Voiced in Japanese by: Yasuyuki Kase
Voiced in English by: Evan Maltby

  • Achilles' Heel: Golisopod is able to block an Iron Tail, Thunderbolt, and Corkscrew Crash with its arms, due to its shell being as hard as diamond. However, a single Quick Attack to its soft underbelly is enough to trigger Emergency Exit. This is exploited in its Alola League semifinals match, with Ash's Torracat using Fire Fang and Revenge on its underside to get it on the ropes quicker.
  • Adaptation Expansion: His past with Professor Kukui is elaborated on in SM128.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While he's the Arc Villain of the Alola League arc, he's not technically a villain at all since he's a legal participant and is more of an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. Unlike in the games, we never see him involved in any criminal activity, nor is he partnered with Lusamine and the Aether Foundation for a wrongful goal, as Lusamine and the Aether Foundation have also undergone Adaptational Heroism.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In addition to being a Dirty Coward here, Guzma in the anime is a Bad Boss who picks on trainers weaker than him and acts like a Jerkass to his Pokemon when they lose. In the games Guzma only ever chastises himself when he loses, and is shown to be Benevolent Boss with a major Inferiority Superiority Complex. By the end of his arc, though, he falls more in line with his game persona.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the games, he attempted to be a Trial Captain, and simply failed to do so in time. Here, he outright ran away.
  • Always Second Best: Ultimately revealed to be the reason for his Start of Darkness. In the past, he was never able to defeat Kukui in a battle which frustrated him enough to abandon his former teacher and start his stint as Team Skull's leader.
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: He and Kukui were both Hala's apprentices, but Guzma had a habit of defying Hala's teachings until he finally got fed up and ran away.
  • Arc Villain: Guzma is the main antagonist of the Alola League arc, with his goal being to destroy Kukui's dream by becoming Champion and preventing any more leagues from being held.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Guzma thinks of himself as Alola's strongest trainer, and claims that he has surpassed those who actually bothered doing the Island Challenge. That said, he is not a pushover as he defeated Ilima and his Mega Kangaskhan in the Alolan League, with Ilima originally being the one favored to win it all.
  • Badass Normal: Guzma can't use Z-Moves due to lacking a Z-Ring, but that doesn't stop his Golisopod from putting up a good fight against Ash's Pikachu, or his Scizor from defeating Ilima's Mega Kangaskhan.
  • Bad Boss: Downplayed. He frequently chastises his Pokemon whenever they remotely dither or appear to lose the upper hand. When Golisopod's Emergency Exit gets Scizor knocked out against Ash in the league, he browbeats a cowed Golisopod for costing him and makes clear it better win the rest of the match to redeem itself. Ash and even Plumeria look a bit unnerved by this treatment.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: His specialty is Bug types. Big bug-types, such as Golispod.
  • Break the Haughty: A huge one during his battle with Ash once his own Pokemon screws up his strategy and causes the scales to tip in his opponent's favor.
  • Catchphrase: In EP 138, he finally said his in a quite epic way!
    Guzma: (upon realizing how he's been running away from battles for no good reason at all) GUZMA, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!
  • Character Development: Late in his League battle with Ash, both he and Golisopod realize they have to stop running away and finish out their League run on a more fair note than what Guzma had intended when Ash started winning.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Guzma denounces the protagonists' use of Z-moves and prefers a much more methodical method of battling. His debut has him overwhelm Ash's Pikachu with his Golisopod's First Impression and steadily wearing him down with Poison Jab. In the Alola League, he takes advantage of Iima's position of his Mega Kangaskhan and has his Scizor attack the mother while her child is in front (therefore preventing her from retaliating without harming her child, and prevents Lana's Primarina from using its sound-based moves with a well-timed Throat Chop and continuously beating on it with Poison Jab (Which being part Fairy, Primarina is weak to).
  • Cowardly Lion: Once his Golispod decides to grow a backbone and stand its ground against Pikachu out of its own volition, Guzma eventually follows suit with growing a spine of his own and goes all in to see the whole fight through, regardless of its outcome.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Utterly destroys the Team Rocket-Trio in the span of a second.
    • His battle with Lana in the League is even worse. He ordered Golisopod to keep spamming Poison Jab on her Primarina, which is half Fairy-type and started the fight with Throat Chop to prevent its Sparkling Aria. When Primarina resorted to using its Z-Move, Golisopod uses Liquidation to slash the Z-Move in half. After that, Primarina was barely breathing.
  • Dirty Coward: He ran away from his Island Challenge in the past, which Kukui reminds him of when he decides to walk away from his battle with Ash.
    • During his second battle with Ash, his Golisopod switches out on its own and has Scizor take a Fire Blast meant for it. Guzma was pissed.
    • His undefeatable streak is stated to be this as Plumeria notes that Guzma usually picks fights against weaker trainers to make himself look stronger. If he's in a fight where it looks like he might lose, then he backs out of it under some false pretense.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ash, in regards to their championship records. Ash always was a good sport, even when he would come up short in his league records and always strive to improve despite it all. Guzma however, hated that he could never win and began to target only weaker trainers to bolster his pride and then skimp out on anybody that actually could pose a challenge to him.
  • Evil Is Petty: His main reason for entering the Alola League is out of spite for Kukui; he wants to crush Kukui's dream.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride. Guzma's insistence that he is the best Trainer in Alola causes him to brush off advice from Plumeria. Once his "undefeated" title is in danger of being broken, he loses it in front of an entire audience and some of the most important Trainers in the region.
    • In addition his pride lets him unable to fight off against opponents who actually have a chance of beating him and his "undefeatable" streak is based off of fighting off weaker trainers.
  • Fun-Hating Villain: He hates the idea of an Alolan League Tournament deciding a champion. This leads him to enter so that when he wins, he'll have the clout to prevent future tournaments from taking place.
  • Graceful Loser: Surpisingly, he has a turnaround during his League battle with Ash and ends up taking his first witnessed defeat much better than he should have had otherwise. Aka, "leaving the field with his beaten pokemon without causing the slightest fuss about it."
  • Heel Realization: Seeing Golispod wanting to continue his fight makes him flashback to how he had been such a dick before he unleashes his catchphrase and decides to go all out in his League battle against Ash.
  • I Meant to Do That: Once Golispod's Emergency Exit sets off, he tries handwaving it as Golispod lost interest in fighting a badly hurt and poisoned Pikachu.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: When a heavily poisoned Primarina managed the feat of slipping out from his Golispod's grasp, he first berate his Pokemon for loosening the grip and then orders it to go straight after the struggling opponent to finish the job thoroughly without giving them a chance for the Heroic Second Wind to play in effect. Even his Golispod showed a little concern about his attitude before following through on the command anyway.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He has his Scizor callously use the baby of Ilima's Kangaskhan as a meat shield to make her hesitant to attack it. During his second battle with Ash, Golisopod switches itself out and uses Scizor as a shield against Torracat's Fire Blast, instantly knocking it out and completely screwing over Guzma's strategy.
  • Metaphorically True: He's not wrong about his "undefeated" status because he only targets weaker trainers he knows he can beat, and always tries to find an excuse to avoid battling someone that could actually give him a fight.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has a major one during his battle with Ash at the Alola League; his Golisopod's Emergency Exit activates at the worst possible time, switching out with Scizor, who is wide open for a Fire Blast (which it has a double weakness to). Needless to say, it's a one-hit knockout.
  • Pet the Dog: After his loss to Ash at the Pokemon League, he helps his defeated Golisopod up before returning it to its Pokeball.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Defied. Lana goes into her battle with him expecting him to have Golisopod open with First Impression, as he did when he battled Ash at the school. After a few moments of silence, Lana instead makes the first move by commanding Primarina to use Sparkling Aria; which Guzma has Golisopod counter with a new move, Throat Chop.
  • Punch a Wall: In the aftermath of his intrusion and quick retreat from the Pokemon School, Kukui's words still infuriate him enough to punch the banner in his room, hard.
  • Ronin: Guzma in a nutshell, with his Golispod depicting the Samurai part of the archetype with its exoskeleton, ninja and samurai themed-moveset and rarely displayed shreds of honor towards its opponents while on the battlefield.
  • Sadist: He has shades of this, particularly shown in his battles with Ilima and Lana.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Plumeria finds a lot of second place trophies in the Team Skull hideout, hinting at why he's so insistent on being the best.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Golisopod pulls this when it's on the losing end of its semifinals League battle — when it sees the game-ending Fire Blast heading towards it, it activates Emergency Exit to switch to Guzma's other Pokemon...Scizor. Even Ash and Torracat are stunned.
  • Shrouded in Myth: SM135 hints that Guzma's "undefeated" status may not be what it seems, and a few episodes later we find out that the truth is he only defeats weak trainers and has backed out of any battle where he might lose. Being "undefeated" is more out of him being a coward than being a badass.
  • Sore Loser: He has this reaction when Golisopod's Emergency Exit activates at the wrong time, leading to a knocked out Scizor, taking the time to yell at his own Pokemon about it.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: His battle with Ash ends when Golisopod's Emergency Exit activates. Plumeria hints that this is the reason why he is "undefeated" — he either beats his opponents legit because he know he can win, or Golisopod activates its Ability and he uses it as an excuse to call off the fight.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Starts to suffer one in his Alola League semifinal battle against Ash when Golisopod's Emergency Exit activates and inadvertently gets his Scizor knocked out by an incoming Fire Blast. Ash's persistent determination also begins to wear on his patience.
  • Weapon of Choice: Just like in the games, his Golisopod.

Others

    Viren (Bourgain) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bourgain.png
Voiced in Japanese by: Kiyomitsu Mizuuchi
Voiced in English by: H.D. Quinn
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Ricardo Méndez

The president of Rainbow Happy Resorts.


  • Bald of Evil: He has much hair as he has goodness in him.
  • Beard of Evil: Wouldn't be complete as a bad guy without a beard.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gets reduced to one from SM081 onwards. He, of course, deserves every ounce of torment and misfortune he goes through.
  • Cool Car: His personal transportation is a gold-painted car.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He is the president of Rainbow Happy Resorts, and he will resort to forgery, blackmailing, harassment, hurting kids, destruction of property, and cheating to get what he wants.
  • Dub Name Change: From Bourgain to Viren. His company's name gets shortened to Rainbow Happy Resorts.
  • Expy: Of Guzma. Viren's eyes take a page out of Guzma, he is treated as a recurring villain, he will use dirty tactics to get what he wants, and of course, he is downright pathetic when brought down a notch.
  • Fat Bastard: His unpleasantness is as great as his girth.
  • Hypocrite: When Kiawe and Lana intervene in a match to free the Masked Royal's Incineroar from the Revengers' Pokémon, he gets mad at them for it, when he leads a group that's practically dedicated to using such methods to win.
  • Iconic Item: A folding paper fan that has the Z-Move symbol on it, he always has it in episodes that he appears in, and his gold statue even held one itself.
  • It's Personal: By SM085, he makes it clear that he hates Ash and his friends for interfering in his business, especially towards Ash. This is quite mutual on Kiawe's part, who will go into a blazing rage at the mere mention of Viren.
  • Jerkass: Don't let the name of his company fool you; he's far from a pleasant person.
  • Laughably Evil: He's more vicious and underhanded than Team Rocket or Team Skull, not to mention more powerful a figure, making him more of real threat. However his plans still often backfire in a buffoonish sort of way due to his bluster.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted in SM070, as he's arrested by Officer Jenny… only to return in SM081.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He reveals that he's the boss behind the Revengers.
  • Recurring Character: First appears in SM070, trying to buy out Kiawe's family's farm, and again in SM081, trying to buy out the Battle Royal Dome, as well as SM085 where the construction of his new hotel is caught in the middle of Stakataka and the Ultra Guardians' tussle.
  • Shock and Awe: He has an Electivire.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: He bears a strong resemblance to Electivire, and is named after the Pokemon as well.
    • Additionally, he has black rings around his eyes similar to a panda, and he also has a Pangoro.
  • The Unfettered: In his debut episode, he showed that he was willing to resort to forgery, harassment, tresspassing, blackmailing, and hurting little kids to get what he wants. Also, he and the Revengers are all too happy to fight dirty in order to win… sounds like the Invincible Pokémon Brothers would fit in with this group.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ordered his Electivire to attack Mimo. Thankfully, Turtonator jumped in to protect her.

    Pershie 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pershie.png
Voiced in Japanese by: Risa Shimizu
Voiced in English by: Kate Bristol

An Alolan Persian owned by a Madame that bullied Ash's Litten.


  • Casting a Shadow: It's a Dark-type and knows the Dark-Type move, Night Slash.
  • Cats Are Mean: It bullied Ash's Torracat back when it was a Litten by stealing its food.
  • Dark Is Evil: It's a Dark-type Pokémon, and a bully, no less.
  • Humiliation Conga: In SM007, it is sent running away with its tail on fire, and in SM083, Tsareena shaves off the fur on its back.
  • Recurring Character: First appears in SM007, bullying Ash's Litten, and again in SM083, chasing after the shrunken Ash, Lillie, and Sophocles. It shows up yet again in SM099 chasing down Lana's Popplio and Eevee.
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