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Characters / Pokémon Villain Teams

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The main antagonists of the Pokémon series. These groups of people all have different goals, but they all involve the misuse of Pokémon and usually a callous disregard for other people. Your character will encounter these people and It's Up to You to stop them.

Caution: Unmarked spoilers abound.

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    Tropes that apply to all or most teams 
  • Bat Out of Hell: Grunts of any team will frequently have a batlike Pokémon on hand. Crobat is often used as a method of showing that they're not all bad, because Golbat can only evolve into Crobat if it shares a deep personal friendship bond with it's trainer.
  • Cats Are Mean: They frequently have the region's resident cat on hand. Particularly noteworthy ones include Glameow, Purrloin and, of course, Meowth.note 
  • Chest Insignia: All of their standard uniforms have their symbol on the chest.
  • Dark Is Evil: Grunts in most teams seem to favor Dark types. Justified in Sword and Shield, where Team Yell is a group of Trainers from the Dark-type Gym — but then again, they're not evil, just obnoxious.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Starting in Gen III, the villainous teams often try to take control of Legendary Pokémon to exploit their powers. It never goes well for them and almost inevitably backfires (with Team Plasma being the only ones to successfully exploit a legendary...twice, actually). This is most prominent in X and Y, where once you rescue Xerneas/Yveltal from Team Flare, the game gives you to the chance to switch it into your team so you can use it against Lysandre.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Their outfits tend to be pretty loud.
  • Mooks: Perhaps the most notable feature of the teams' grunts is that they are the only trainer class not to be given individual names. Sun and Moon even makes jokes about how everyone in Team Skull is named "Grunt".
  • Only in It for the Money: Team Rocket, Team Plasma's leadership, and Team Flare's grunts fall under this category; Team Galactic also went in this direction very briefly when they were under Charon's leadership. Team Skull also desires money, but this is only a secondary goal and they're really in it for family bonds with each other and respect from everyone else.
  • Pet the Dog: Many Team Admins and Bosses tend to have a Crobat in their team. Crobats can only evolve from Golbats that have max friendship with their trainers. Though they could have stolen them, gotten them through trades, or otherwise acquired them without expressing care for them. In the Gen VI games, Lysandre, Maxie and Archie gain the ability to Mega Evolve one of their Pokémon, something they could only do if they shared a strong bond with them.
  • Poison Is Evil: Poison-types are a common choice for grunts in all teams.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Teams Rocket, Galactic, Plasma, and Skull provide villainous inversions; as while the player characters in all games wear primary colors, these Teams favor blacks, whites, and greys in contrast.
  • Recurring Element: Regardless of the Team, there are three Recurring Element Pokémon its minions will almost always favor: The region's early game mammal/rodent (Raticate, Patrat, Yungoos, etc.), the region's annoying bat (Zubat, Woobat, etc.) and the region's cat (Meowth, Purrloin, Glameow, etc.)
  • Signature Mon: While there is some regional variation, it is telling that every single team based in a region with the Zubat line in its regional Pokédex uses them. (The outliers being Team Yell and the Black 1 and White 1 version of Team Plasma.)
  • Stealth Pun: Several teams' Japanese names are rendered as "[X]-dan" ("dan" translating to "Team"), which can also be read as "bullet". For example, "Rocket-dan" can be "rocket bullet".
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Hoo boy. While one can be excused for not doing their job when their Pokemon are disabled, every single team without fail is limited by the types or groups of Pokemon available to them spoiler , fall victim to the tripwire mentality note  and tend to not take valuable items like keycards with them when they're defeated.
  • Theme Naming: Applied to several characters, with each team having a different theme.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's difficult to talk about the teams and their leaders, especially in later generations, without hitting something significantly spoileriffic.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Teams Aqua, Magma, Galactic, Plasma, and the leaders of Team Flare are all aiming to do what they think is best for the world. Well, Plasma's leaders claim to, but many of the grunts buy into it. Team Yell's goal is smaller (supporting a friend and trying to bring promotion for their hometown that needs help), but they still take things too far.
  • You Dirty Rat!: You can pretty much always assume that the villain team of any given region will have that region's Com Mon mammal, which is usually some sort of rodent.


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