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Characters / Pokémon Villain: Team Rocket

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"Steal Pokémon for profit. Exploit Pokémon for profit. All Pokémon exist for the glory of Team Rocket."
Team Rocket motto

The first villainous team in the series, and the villainous team of Red and Blue and Gold and Silver, and their respective remakes. A cruel team of criminals that capture and steal rare or strong Pokémon to sell them, but also perform experiments on them, all to Take Over the World. They are led by Giovanni, who's also the Gym Leader of Viridian City, but stopped running his Gym in favor of leading Team Rocket. Their hideout is located underneath the Celadon City Game Corner.

After Giovanni's final defeat at the hands of Red, the team is officially disbanded and lays low for three years, but some remaining members plan on rebuilding the team in Johto. They take over the Goldenrod Radio Tower to broadcast a message to their boss, but Ethan/Lyra nips their threat in the bud, preventing the team from reforming.


Roughly a decade after their downfall (in-universe and out), Team Rocket (now rebranded Team Rainbow Rocket) resurfaces in Alola and invades the Aether Paradise to obtain their Ultra Wormhole technology, intending to Take Over the World with the help of other team leaders: Maxie from Team Magma, Archie from Team Aqua, Cyrus from Team Galactic, Ghetsis from Team Plasma, and Lysandre from Team Flare.

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Tropes that apply to the organization as a whole:
  • Ascended Extra: In Gold and Silver, the Rocket Executives looked alike and weren't even named, not unlike the Grunts. It wasn't uncommon to believe that there were only two of them, one male and one female (there was one female, but in fact several males; you fight more than one male Executive during the Goldenrod Radio Tower takeover). The remakes made them into their own characters with individual looks and personalities.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The lower-ranked execs (dressed in the grunts' black uniform) begin with a P, while the higher-ranked execs (in customized white attire) have their initial be an A. Even with their Japanese names, the higher-ranked ones still start with A, while the lower-ranked ones start with a later letter (L).
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Most Rocket Grunts are not particularly difficult, but in the original RBY, there's one huge exception: in Mt. Moon, you'll find a Grunt with a Level 16 Raticate. Not only is Raticate likely to be faster than anything on your team, it knows Hyper Fang, which hits extremely hard at this point in the game, especially coming from a Normal-type. This Grunt is easily one of the toughest battles in the game relative to when he appears and to make things worse, this battle is unavoidable.
  • The Bus Came Back: They return in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon under the name "Team Rainbow Rocket" after being inactive for around a decade, both in-universe and out (the last game to feature them was HeartGold/SoulSilver).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Out of all the villainous teams, they are by far the most Obviously Evil. They don't even try to hide their actions behind good intentions; instead they proudly state to potential newcomers and foes alike that their only goal is to use and exploit Pokémon to gain wealth and power, including when the Grunt at Nugget Bridge tries to recruit the protagonist, with his lines getting referenced by Veteran Don in Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon during a reenactment of Nugget Bridge in Malie Garden.
  • Dark Is Evil: Dress in black uniforms in the games, which are featured in the anime for the nameless Rocket grunts (the main Team Rocket trio dresses in white). In the Unova saga, when the trio were turned into more serious villains, they were given black uniforms as well.
  • Dub Name Change: All executives were given a new name in the English localization, even though Proton's Japanese name was the only one with an obvious reason as to why it was changed (that being that there was already a character named Lance in the English versions).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Compared to later antagonists, Team Rocket are the only ones who are openly, unabashedly evil, with later teams believing they were doing the right thing, or at least putting up a similar facade. On the other side of the coin, their motives are far more mundane compared to later teams until Team Skull — they're a fantasy Yakuza in their operations. At no point in the original game canon is controlling an Olympus Mon their goal, however in many anime and manga they are involved in either creating or trying to tame Mewtwo. This finally makes its way back into the games in Gen VII when Giovanni has one as his Signature Mon.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: They are notoriously bad at guarding places or items. In the Rocket HQ under the Rocket Corner, a notable Rocket Grunt loudly exclaims that he dropped the Lift Key after he gets defeated, and doesn't bother to pick it up. In Saffron City, the Grunt guarding the Silph Co. entrance is found to be asleep on duty, allowing the player to sneak past him and liberate the company from Giovanni.
  • The Hedonist: "We're not always evil. We just do whatever we want!"
  • Kick the Dog: They explicitly killed a Pokémon in the original games, with the Pokémon Tower portion of those games' plot having the player calm its restless spirit.
  • Legion of Doom: After being reinstated as Team Rainbow Rocket, Giovanni recruits other evil team heads into his new organization.
  • The Mafia: They are made to invoke this as a Cultural Translation in the localized dubs.
  • Poison Is Evil: They have several Poison-type Pokémon in their groups, including Ekans and Koffing.
  • Poisonous Person: A vast majority of the Pokémon they use are Poison-type with the most notable examples being the Zubat, Koffing, and Grimer lines. The female grunts occasionally add the Ekans and Oddish lines in their ranks as well.
  • Rainbow Motif: Their appearance as Team Rainbow Rocket in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon gives them a rainbow-colored background when they challenge the player, and a logo adorning their headquarters is colored likewise. Coincidence or not, it matches the Rainbow Badge from their old base of operations, Celadon City.
  • Recurring Boss: Three of the Rocket Executives in the remakes of Gold and Silver are encountered at various spots, but all three are found and battled for a second time when Team Rocket takes over Goldenrod Radio Tower.
  • Slasher Smile: The male Rainbow Rocket Grunts in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon bare their teeth in their pre-battle shots.
  • Take Over the World: A Silph employee says that Team Rocket's ultimate end goal is to rule the world by using Pokémon.
  • Theme Naming: All four Executives are named after real-life launch vehicles or missiles, both in the Japanese and North American versions.
  • Unique Enemy: A Juggler helps them take over Silph Co. Presumably intended to catch the player off guard, he has a Kadabra and Mr. Mime.
  • Whip It Good: The Grunts' sprites in the first generation games are holding a whip in the pose they have for the battle encounter sprite in those games. This was removed in the remakes.
  • Yakuza: In the original Japanese. They seem to operate openly in Celadon City (so openly a child can walk into the office where they organize their shipments for the casino's Pokémon prizes), while they are clearly invading the neighboring Saffron.

    Giovanni (Sakaki) 

Giovanni / Sakaki (サカキ sakaki)

Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Pokémon Generations, Japanese), Richard Epcar (Pokémon Generations, English), Kouji Ishii (Pokémon Masters, Japanese), Andrew Russell (Pokémon Masters, English)

The Viridian Gym Leader — The Self-Proclaimed Strongest Trainernote
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original games, he declares that he'll dedicate his life to studying Pokémon in peace after disbanding Team Rocket, which implies he'll reform. In the remakes, however, it's very clear that he'll never abandon his goal of world domination, and in the continuation in the Mega Evolution timeline, as of Generation VII, he finally returns to the top of the criminal underworld as head of Team Rainbow Rocket.
  • A Father to His Men: In the Celebi event, Giovanni stresses the importance of being able to lead and handle the power of a bundled group of people, blaming himself for not making the best use of his grunts' potential and causing Team Rocket's downfall. He also values teamwork and steps down from his position when he feels he failed his subordinates. When the Nugget Bridge challenge is recreated in Malie Garden in Gen VII, Veteran Don (who is implied to have been the same Grunt at the original bridge) wonders how Mr. Giovanni is doing, implying a strong sense of respect towards him. Further, a number of the Rainbow Rocket grunts sing his praises, and express a desire to support him and not let him down.
  • Affably Evil: Sure enough, he's a ruthless, selfish and power-hungry crime lord but it doesn't prevent him from being a benevolent boss to his grunts, having loved ones such as his son, being graceful in defeat, respecting his opponents if they prove their strength (to the point of apologizing for being condescending to them), being an insightful and open-minded person and so on.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: In Generation V. Ironically, he's actually softened compared to previous generations, as he's already given up trying to resurrect Team Rocket after either Ethan or Lyra kicked his butt in the generation before.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the head of a criminal group and the final Gym leader. Of course, this trope is in effect. Played with in the event battle with him in HG/SS. His team is on-par with the Elite Four in level, but weaker than the Kanto leaders and the Elite Four in their rematches. So, having abandoned his Authority, he is no longer as proficient an Asskicker.
  • Badass Fingersnap: In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he snaps his fingers as he orders his Pokemon to attack.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He's always sharply dressed and is the most powerful trainer in Team Rocket.
  • Badass Longcoat: In HeartGold and SoulSilver, doubles as a Black Cloak.
  • Big Bad: He's the one behind all of Team Rocket's shenanigans in the first generation, and the one who gathers together every other Big Bad in the series to form Team Rainbow Rocket in the seventh.
  • Bonus Boss: Became the first event Trainer when the remakes added an optional battle in HG/SS with him with an event Celebi to access him.
  • Cats Are Mean: Frequently associated with the mean and agressive Kantonian Persian and Mewtwo, while being a ruthless crime boss with goals of world domination.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Doesn't even bother to try and hide the fact that he's Obviously Evil and wants to take over the world. Especially in the Rainbow Rocket episode.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The original Red and Blue games have Giovanni declare that once he disbands Team Rocket, he will dedicate his life to studying Pokémon in peace, implying he will reform (something his Pokémon Origins interpretation actually did). The remakes instead have him declare that he will go to train in solitude since he is unworthy to lead Team Rocket, and in HeartGold and SoulSilver he's preparing to take control of them again and go back to his old ways. His appearance in the World Tournament in Generation V makes it clear that while Giovanni may retreat, he will never fully abandon his dream of world domination. And as Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon shows, he's not all talk.
  • Climax Boss: The second battle, in Silph Co., counts as much as his Gym battle. It is the last mandatory thing the player does before the Plot Tunnel closes,note  and all that is left in order to reach the Pokémon League is 1) beat Sabrina, 2) reach Cinnabar Island (accessible by one of the simplest routes in the game), 3) retrieve the Secret Key from the (short) Pokémon Mansion and fight Blaine, and then 4) just Fly to Viridian City and take on Giovanni immediately. Compared to how much time is spent between each of the first six Gyms, the last two can be beaten in very quick succession. More importantly, after liberating Silph, Giovanni is the only Rocket left (until the sequels and remake).
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Pretty much his sole defining feature, until you battle him at the Viridian Gym.
  • Dimensional Traveler: In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he gains the ability to travel across dimensions and brings along various team leaders from alternate dimensions. Giovanni himself is still suggested to hail from the game's native universe, but leaves it after his defeat. Pokémon Masters shows what happened afterwards.
  • Disappeared Dad: To Silver.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: As the Viridian Gym Leader. Ground-type, not Rock-type.
  • The Don: Later games give him a fedora and corsage (and matching Honchkrow) to complete the imagery, which makes him "Don Giovanni."
  • Dragon Tamer: At the Pokémon World Tournament in Black and White 2, he can use the Dragon/Ground Garchomp in Type Expert and World Leaders.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Masters has him subvert this in a lobby conversation, stating he can understand where the protagonist is comming from. In fact, he states he's actually fine with them having different views, since 'that's how things get done in a business'. It's not surprising, however, given that he has his good aspects.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While he's not the best father by a long shot, outright abandoning his son to go become stronger, he still does seem to care about his son, even trying to explain himself to him before leaving and hopefully saying "One day, you'll understand" at the end of the conversation. This eventually puts him in contrast with Ghestis in the latter's Pokemon Masters event. When Giovanni sees Silver bring out Ho-Oh, he immediately backs down, both because he knows it's a sunk cost at this point since Kyurem and Zekrom have escaped but also because he's found something to be proud of that day. In contrast, Ghestis refuses to even consider the idea of reconnecting with his son, continuing to heartlessly belittle him before escaping with Kyurem, despite N and Nate going back to protect him and Kyurem from Giovanni.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The vast majority of Pokémon he uses resemble dinosaurs.
  • Fallen Hero: Implied to be this. He was a Gym Leader before forming Team Rocket, seems to have genuinely enjoyed being one as he appears to feel nostalgic for his past when he gives his TM and claims it to be a gift for any trainer who wishes to take on the challenge of the Pokémon League that he made when he was a Gym Leader, implying that he wasn't evil back then. So, one can wonder what made him give up his respectable job to run a criminal organization that actively abuses and steals Pokémon around the world.
  • Fragile Speedster: His Dugtrio is far less tanky than his other Mons, but has the highest speed of anyone on his team.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: He is an opponent in the Pokémon World Tournament in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 despite his criminal past.
  • Graceful Loser: When he's absolutely and finally defeated, he accepts it and abandons his ambitions for the time being. When he makes his grand reappearance in Ultra Sun/Moon, he bows out gracefully on defeat, but still begins plotting for future conquest before he disappears into an Ultra Wormhole.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In the Johto games, every crime that Archer, Ariana, and the rest of Team Rocket commit is done in his name and to facilitate his return—but he remains unseen in the main story, and in the remakes, he is only available to battle long after the main conflict has ended (as an optional event battle, at that). Also, your rival in those games is his son, and his nasty personality is a direct result of the poor way Giovanni brought him up.
  • Karma Houdini: In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he's forced to pull back from his attempt to invade the player's world, but is ultimately not stopped and merely leaves to pick another world to invade.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: The most well-dressed gym leader (and evil organization head) in the series, quite cultured, and nothing short of polite-yet-threatening to anyone who stands in his way. But still a diabolical mastermind with dreams of world domination.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is pronounced GEO-vanni. The name indicates both his occupations: a Mafia Boss and a Gym Leader of Ground-type Pokémon. His stance as The Don also ties in — don means "tooth" in ancient Greek and is used in the names for a lot of dinosaurs. Giovanni happens to own several dinosaur-like Pokémon, such as Rhydon and Nidokingnote . The term don also manages to incorporate the Japanese character 土 do (meaning "ground"), tying in yet again with Giovanni's type specialty, and many Ground-type Pokémon have don somewhere in their names.
  • Mighty Glacier: His Rhyhorn and Rhydon. And Rhyperior.
  • Missed the Call: Based on what we learn during Black and White 2 and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire; should the Champion abdicate their position, the new Champion title is offered to the eighth Gym Leader. Had Giovanni not gone MIA to focus on running Team Rocket; he ironically would have been offered the position of Champion, fulfilling his claim as 'the strongest trainer'.
  • My Greatest Failure: To the point that he abandoned his own son to train in order to beat Red. Losing to Ethan/Lyra pushes him over the Despair Event Horizon, and he leaves in a stuttering wreck, abandoning his attempted revival as the boss of Team Rocket.
  • Mythology Gag: In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he has Mewtwo at his beck and call. Of course, his anime counterpart also controlled Mewtwo for a small while, being responsible for its creation (as was his Pokémon Adventures counterpart).
  • Nice Hat: He wears a fedora in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
  • Noble Demon: He treats opponents as worthy opponents and appears to care for his underlings, retreating at the end of FireRed/LeafGreen because he feels he has "betrayed their trust". This extends to his Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon version, where instead of raging at being defeated he compliments the protagonist on their skill, says he enjoyed the battle and leaves without a fuss or even a further threat. Despite being described as "pure evil" by Ghetsis, Giovanni clearly has a code of behavior he adheres to.
    • In Pokémon Masters, he claims to not take any pleasure in hurting people for no reason, especially trainers who show so much promise, such as the Player Character and is waiting for them to grow strong enough to face him before enacting any evil scheme.
  • Olympus Mons: In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he owns a Mewtwo that can Mega Evolve.
  • One-Hit Kill: His Rhydon in the original Red and Blue knows both Horn Drill and Fissure. Also, his Rhyhorn in those games knows Horn Drill, while his Dugtrio in Yellow knows Fissure. When he is defeated, he also gives out TM27, which contains Fissure.
  • Parental Neglect: Implied to be a practitioner of this. He never acknowledges his son's existence in the original games or the remakes, abandoned the kid after being defeated by Red and prioritized his pride over raising him. His son is rightfully ticked off at him about it.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Although he didn't do the kid any favors abandoning him, it's clear that he does care about Silver and wasn't happy about it, attempting to explain his actions before leaving.
    • He is apparently not a Bad Boss, and in fact steps down from active leadership because he feels he has betrayed his followers' trust having lost to an eleven-year-old.
    • His Mewtwo can Mega Evolve, which at bare minimum would imply some form of bond between the two to exist.
    • He made a TM containing a very powerful Ground-type move just to give it as a gift to young trainers for their Pokémon League challenge when he ran his Gym.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He wants to take N's Zekrom and Ghetsis' Kyurem for himself in Masters before Ghetsis gets his hands on Zekrom, which would technically stop Ghetsis from becoming a threat. However, Giovanni states he is only doing this because he knows that Ghetsis would come after him once he has both legendary pokemon in hand to enroll his minions.
  • Rated M for Manly: Fearless, no-nonsense, intimidating AND his team is made of huge, physical Pokémon who happen to be dinosaurs or rhinoceroses. The few that aren't: his pet cat and what has effectively been recognized as the most powerful creature in the series since the first generation.
  • Recurring Boss: Fought three times in the original games, as well as the remakes. The third time, he's a Climax Boss, as he's the eight Gym Leader of Kanto and thus the last major story opposition before the Elite Four.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Downplayed in comparison to his anime counterpart, but Persian has still become one of his signature Pokémon and is even depicted alongside him in his Let's Go artwork, giving this impression. For what it's worth, there is also the fact Mewtwo is on his team in a couple of appearances, though the right-hand implied there would be in a rather different sense.
  • Signature Mon: Constantly played with.
    • Mostly his signature is the Rhyhorn line, but he's also partial to Nidoqueen, Nidoking, and Kangaskhan, and some games has him use them more prominently than the Rhyhorn line.
      • In Red and Blue, Yellow, and Let's Go, his strongest Pokémon as a Gym Leader is Rhydon (which is changed to a Rhyhorn in FireRed and LeafGreen) and he also has Nidoking and Nidoqueen on the team; the former of which is tied in level with his Rhydon in Yellow. Prior to that, in the first battle his strongest is Kangaskhan with Rhyhorn also on the team, then Nidoqueen for the second battle with Rhyhorn, Kangaskhan and Nidorino also on the team.
      • He has Rhydon, Nidoking, and Nidoqueen in Stadium but loses Rhydon in the rematch.
      • His HeartGold and SoulSilver Bonus Boss appearance has Nidoking, Nidoqueen, and Kangaskhan, with Nidoqueen being his strongest.
      • The World Tournaments in Black 2 and White 2 have Rhyperior as this while Nidoking and Nidoqueen are still in his roster, but he loses Nidoqueen in the Type Experts bracket.
      • In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon he has all three again.
      • In Pokémon Go when he first appeared, his second Pokémon may be either Nidoking, Kangaskhan, or Garchomp. His team line has rotated regularly since, but has included both of them as well as Rhydon and Rhyperior at various points, but there's no sign of Nidoqueen.
    • Yellow, Stadium, and Let's Go, give him a Persian as in the anime. In Yellow and Let's Go it replaces his Kangaskhan in the first two battles, and in Yellow it replaces a Rhyhorn on his Gym Leader team, but in Let's Go it's gone with no replacement in the Gym battle. His Let's Go artwork even showcases Persian alongside him. In Pokémon Go, Persian is his first Pokémon sent out.
    • In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon he has achieved his anime counterpart's goal of capturing Mewtwo, and now uses it as his team leader. He also uses Mewtwo in Masters, and he had one when he first appeared in Go (though he later uses various other legendaries that are cycled around).
  • Signature Move: His TM move as a Gym Leader is Fissure, which his Rhydon knew in Red and Blue, and which his Dugtrio featured in Yellow. The remakes replaced Fissure with Earthquake.
  • Super Mode: In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he can Mega Evolve his Mewtwo into Mega Mewtwo; the form he uses depends on the version (X in Ultra Sun and Y in Ultra Moon).
  • Token Evil Teammate:
    • While Koga may have a slightly sadistic streak, no other Gym Leaders are involved in a Mafia-style group that tries to seize fossils, lay siege to Silph Co., or run an illegal smuggling operation. Or, for that matter, kill Pokemon.
    • Even when recruited in Pokémon Masters, he plainly admits that he's still scheming evil plans while your role is to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't do anything shady under your watch.
  • True Final Boss: Being the Big Bad and final opponent of Episode RR in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, he serves as this for the game as a whole.
  • Unnamed Parent: Inverted — Giovanni has a name, but his son doesn't unless you give him one ("Silver" is just a placeholder).
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Inverted — People know he's the leader of Team Rocket but don't know that he's also a Gym leader, presumably because he's been absent from his Gym for a very long time.
  • Worthy Opponent: Generally treats the Player Character this way:
    • In the Generation I games, after you defeat him for the third time, he seems satisfied with the battle, promises to better himself so he can meet you again, gives the eighth badge to let you challenge the Pokémon League, a TM and acknowledges you as a better trainer. The Let's Go games have him outright apologize to you for condescending to you as a child when you beat him the first time, and unlike other games where he drops the Silph Scope on retreating, he gives it to you as a gift.
    • In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon he seems outright pleased at having lost to such a powerful trainer.

    Archer (Apollo) 

Archer / Apollo (アポロ aporo)

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Archer appears as an Admin of Team Rocket in Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!, marking his first named appearance in Generation I era, when the Admins including Archer were introduced in Gen II.
  • Affably Evil: He's quite polite, and a Graceful Loser after being defeated.
  • Ascended Extra: Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! add him to the Team Rocket ranks, and he's the only one of the four Admins to make an appearance.
  • Big Bad: He's the leader of Team Rocket in the Johto games.
  • Bishōnen: He's quite a handsome fellow.
  • The Cameo: The male Admin in FireRed and LeafGreen seems to be him, due to team similarities and his desire to bring back Team Rocket.
  • Climax Boss: He's faced at the top of the Radio Tower to finally end Team Rocket's scheme.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • His design is based off the male Executive from Gold and Silver; he originally shared this generic design with the Executives that became Proton and Petrel in the remake, but the latter two got new designs as seen above.
    • It should be noted that Archer and Ariana — in their original GSC forms — were pointedly reminiscent of James and Jessie, respectively, especially with regard to their team selection, as Archer had a Koffing and Ariana used an Arbok. Even when HGSS refashioned them into their own characters, the deliberate choice of white uniforms and blue and red hair color seemed to invoke their "heritage", in a kind of divergence nod.
  • The Dragon: Takes the role of the traditional right-hand man for Giovanni in Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!.
  • Dragon Ascendant: With Giovanni in hiding during the events of Gold and Silver, Archer has taken up interim leadership of Team Rocket. However, his ambitions are still fully motivated by his Undying Loyalty to Giovanni and he wishes to see him come back and lead them.
  • Graceful Loser: Defeated by the player, Archer curses his lack of strength to reunite Team Rocket and restore it to its former glory, but he immediately disbands Team Rocket and never gives the player any trouble thereafter.
  • Hell Hound: His Houndour and Houndoom.
  • Light Is Not Good: Like Ariana, his outfit is white, but he's quite villainous.
  • Recurring Boss: Averted; he's fought only once in HeartGold and SoulSilver, while the other Admins are each faced twice. Played straight in Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! where he is fought two times through the course of the main story and has an optional third battle in the post game.
  • Signature Mon: Houndoom, used in the Johto games and for his cameo appearance at the Rocket Warehouse. He's also fond of Weezing and Golbat, much like other Team Rocket members. Since Houndoom isn't in Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!, he sticks to Weezing and Golbat as his signature mons, seemingly substituting in Magmar for his Houndoom in a post-game battle.
  • Take Up My Sword: In a sense; the male Rocket Admin which he was based off of in Stadium 2 has a Persian in reference to Giovanni's Persian.
  • Undying Loyalty: Towards Giovanni. Despite being the head of a major crime syndicate by the events of the second generation, the crux of Archer's plan is to reinstate Giovanni as the head of Team Rocket, and his Boss Banter has him stressing Giovanni's importance (and begging his forgiveness upon defeat).
  • We Will Meet Again: When you beat him in the post game in Let's Go, he declares he will go to another region and rebuild Team Rocket there.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has pale blue hair.

    Ariana (Athena) 

Ariana / Athena (アテナ atena)

  • Ambiguously Related: She is a redhead working for Team Rocket, which brings to mind Silver who has a similar hairstyle and hair color and is directly the son of Giovanni, which had led fans for years to associate her as Silver's mother. However, Ariana's relationship with Giovanni has never been discussed nor does she speak of him in a manner associated with a lover, making this case unsolved and will probably never be solved.
  • The Baroness: Mocks the player as "baby," threatens them before battle, and is cold and sinister.
  • The Cameo: The female Rocket Admin in the Sevii Island Branch in FireRed and LeafGreen appears to be her, due to team similarities and the branch's research on radio waves to evolve Pokémon.
  • Dark Action Girl: She is essentially the strongest female trainer in Team Rocket.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: It should be noted that Archer and Ariana — in their original GSC forms — were pointedly reminiscent of James and Jessie, respectively, especially with regard to their team selection, as Archer had a Koffing and Ariana used an Arbok. Even when HGSS refashioned them into their own characters, the deliberate choice of white uniforms and blue and red hair color seemed to invoke their "heritage", in a kind of divergence nod.
  • The Dragon: To Archer in the reborn Team Rocket, as the second most powerful Admin.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Played with. She claims to be the official interim boss in Giovanni's absence, but Archer is the one overseeing their takeover of the Radio Tower, which his their true goal.
  • Dual Boss: You and Lance team up to fend off her and a lowly Grunt at the Team Rocket HQ.
  • Elite Mook: She is just an unnamed female Rocket Admin in Gold, Silver, and presumably FireRed and LeafGreen.
  • Evil Redhead: It's a bit on the chestnut side, though.
  • Hypocrite: She gangs up on you with a grunt, but when Lance appears to even the odds, she berates you for bringing an accomplice and asks where your sense of honor is.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Not originally, but her redesign really ramped up her figure.
  • Light Is Not Good: In contrast to the black uniforms of the grunts, and Petrol and Proton, Ariana wears a white outfit.
  • No Name Given: In the original Gold/Silver.
  • Recurring Boss: You have to confront her twice in the Johto games (once before going for her hideout's generator and again at the top of the Goldenrod Radio Tower before confronting her co-leader for the last time).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In Gen IV she has red eyes, doubling for Curtains Match the Window.
  • Signature Mon: Arbok and Vileplume, as both appear on all of her teams, or at least Vileplume does after her Gloom evolves. The Gen II games and the remakes give her Murkrow too, but her other appearances leave it out.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Sole female in the Rocket administration.
  • Worthy Opponent: Upon defeating her at the Goldenrod Radio Tower, Ariana chastises you for not being able to understand Team Rocket's goals, all the while lamenting that you weren't on their side, as she's come to respect your strength.

    Proton (Lance) 

Proton / Lance (ランス ransu)

    Petrel (Lambda) 

Petrel / Lambda (ラムダ ramuda)

Voiced by (in Pokémon Generations): Wataru Takagi (Japanese)

  • Affably Evil: He's a Master of Disguise whose disguises never work, he compliments your battle prowess, and gives you the key you need to advance while telling you what a nice guy he is.
  • Beard of Evil: A fashionable purple goatee.
  • Beauty Mark: Has one under his left eye.
  • Composite Character: Like Proton, Petrel replaces two generic Rocket Admins from Gen II, so he picks up their teams. He uses Zubat, Koffing, and Raticate in the Rocket Hideout, and a team of Koffings with a Weezing in the Radio Tower. In the Adventures manga he retains a Golbat and Raticate, and has an army of Koffing to Zerg Rush opponents.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Averted with his Weezing, surprisingly. His Weezing in both Gen II and Gen IV is Level 32, but Koffing doesn't evolve until Level 35. However, this is legally possible; in Crystal Level 16 Weezings can be found in the Burned Tower (if at a 1% appearance rate), and in HGSS the Johto Safari Zone has Level 15-17 Weezings. So, strictly speaking, Petrel isn't cheating, contrary to most instance of under-leveled Pokemon.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The idea of a door that only opens after saying a specific password was quite smart, even moreso in the remakes as it would only open with his voice. However, he should have considered the fact the Murkrow that was next to him not only knew the password but could also mimic his voice. This allows the player and Lance to disrupt the evolution-inducing signal.
  • Evil Genius: Subverted. His ideas may sound good on paper, but they don't really cut it in practice. Otherwise, the guy seriously lacks in cunning. His counterpart in the Adventures manga, on the other hand, does show tactical proves and even a good grasp of basic psychological warfare.
  • Master of Disguise: Well, apparently. His disguises seem genuine but never work.
  • Nice Guy: Self-proclaimed: "I am a nice guy. I will give you the Basement Key to get to the underground warehouse. Take it with gratitude!"
  • Signature Mon: The Koffing line. His Radio Tower team is five Koffings and a Weezing. The manga adaptations make his Raticate more prominent, though.
  • Taking You with Me: His Koffing are fond of Self-Destruct to attempt this trope, and his Weezing has the more powerful Explosion.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His hair is purple, complete with unusually colored facial hair.

    Jessie and James (Musashi and Kojirō) 

Jessie and James / Musashi (ムサシ musashi) and Kojirō (コジロウ kojirou)
A recurring duo of Team Rocket members made distinct by their unique designs and white uniforms, plus a Meowth to make them the iconic Terrible Trio. They appear in various locations in the Kanto region, only to be defeated by the player.

Originally debuted in the anime. See the character page for their original incarnations here.

  • Adaptational Badass: In Pokémon Yellow, Meowth will fight the player as a Pokémon unlike his anime counterpart who prefers to stay out of the fight due to being laughably weak. He also knows Pay Day, a move that the anime Meowth is infamous for not knowing (with an entire episode dedicated to that fact). Averted in the Let's Go games where Meowth is The Unfought.
  • Adaptational Nonsapience: Meowth doesn't talk like his anime counterpart and is treated more like a pet than an equal member of the Terrible Trio. What's jarring is that Pokémon in the past can form words and phrases in text boxes.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Meowth goes from a fighter in Yellow to a bystander who'll flee with Jessie and James once their Pokémon are knocked out. This is however closer to the anime Meowth who is not a fighter.
  • Bait the Dog: Jessie uses Blatant Lies to get the young Cubone to voluntarily follow the Terrible Trio to the HQ.
  • Bash Brothers: Their two only battle Pokémon are both male and are always sent out together and have moderately good teamwork.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: In some encounters with them, they are tasked with guarding the room where Giovanni is located in.
  • Canon Immigrant: Were initially introduced in the anime most likely to avoid using a faceless horde of Mooks as The Heavy, as actual admins weren't a thing in Gen I.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the original Gold and Silver, the top Admins seemed to be loosely based on Jessie and James, sharing a couple of their signature Pokemon, bearing a physical resemblance to them, and being depicted as the new leaders of Team Rocket after Giovanni's defeat. The remakes of Gold and Silver gave the Admins distinct names and new appearances that made it clear they certainly were not Jessie and James, and they've since appeared alongside each other in other media. James lampshades this in Let's Go, when he comments on how both he and Archer use Weezing, and he's surprised that an Admin shares his Pokémon preference.
  • Dual Boss: Averted in Pokémon Yellow where double battles weren't established in the gameplay yet. Played straight in Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! where they even use moves like Acid and Poison Gas, which are capable of hitting both of your Pokémon simultaneously.
  • Elite Mooks: Their different outfits and implied authority over the grunts suggests them to be this, at the very least.
  • Gasshole: The Koffing line, which specializes in gas-based poison.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Their overall threat level.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • Inverted. In battle Jessie's Arbok (who is ironically male) uses physical moves, while James' Weezing specializes in special attacks.
    • Played Straight in the first battle where Ekans mainly uses Acid and seldom remembers to use Wrap, while Koffing spams Tackle and less often uses Poison Gas.
  • Irony: Their anime incarnations, especially early on, relished in ganging up on others in Pokémon battles. In Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, they are some of the few opponents the player(s) can't gang up on.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Just about the most generous estimation of their ranking in the organization, as they simply can't be deemed as big enough threats to qualify as Co-Dragons. Interestingly, they do have a high enough ranking in the organization to be seemingly entrusted with overseeing the grunts during the Mt. Moon operation, instead of doing the heavy lifting alongside them.
  • No Name Given: Neither Jessie nor James are named in Pokemon Yellow, being referred to only as "Rocket" in battle. Averted in Let's Go, which uses their names constantly.
  • Non-Elemental: Meowth, who is actually used as a third Pokémon in battle by them in Pokémon Yellow.
  • Poison Is Evil: Both of them use Poison-type Pokémon and happen to be villainous.
  • Recurring Boss: Even though this incarnation of them isn't obsessed with the player's partner Pikachu/Eevee, they are fought four times in various locations.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Jessie uses the Ekans line.
  • Something About a Rose: James still carries his trademark rose.
  • The Unfought: Meowth is this in the Let's Go games, as neither Jessie nor James field him in battle. Averted for Yellow though as he is part of their team composition.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Fought shortly before the first two battles against Giovanni.


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