Due to the various often conflicting canons, the popularity of the anime, and a large amount of Fan Wank, Epileptic Trees, and fanon, the Pokémon franchise is especially prone to this.
- Many fans believe that in the infamous banned episode (Electric Solider Porygon) that caused seizures, Porygon was the culprit, when it was actually Pikachu who caused scene that caused the seizures.note Also, doctors believe that the seizures were wildly overreported; many prior episodes used similar flash effects without mass seizure reports, and most of the reported cases after that episode were actually reporting symptoms of psychosomatic illness (that is, the sort of things that your body can do to itself simply from the belief that you're ill). It seems that only a few kids had actual seizures, and then a rumor mill popped up where everyone worried that their kid would have a seizure, and the worrying itself produced the vast majority of alleged seizure cases.
- Each region has eight Gyms, and you need every Gym Badge to get to the Pokémon League, right? Except in the first season, it doesn't work that way. In Kanto at least, the actual number of Gyms is much higher and always increasing; you just only need eight of their badges to pass. The show displays this when Gary shows up in Viridian City to battle Giovanni; at the time, he had ten badges from the Kanto region, and wanted another. For that matter, you do not need to earn the badges in any specific order in the animenote , contrary to popular belief, and Gyms aren't ranked by "level". In fact, multiple characters other than Ash have displayed their badges, and at times they have various badges Ash also obtained, yet display them in their Badge Case in a completely different order than him,note and often include Badges that cannot be obtained in-game. Best Wishes also conflated the gyms from all of the Gen 5 games, with Ash getting the Toxic Badge in place of the Legend Badge and not facing either Drayden or Marlon.
- Fans frequently cite that Misty is twelve years old. Her confirmed age is ten, like Ash. The confusion probably exists because she is twelve years old in the loose The Electric Tale of Pikachu adaptation.
- Ash is one of only two protagonists with an official surname, and that's only in the dubs (in Japan he is simply "Satoshi"). The other one is Tracey Sketchit, also courtesy of the dubs (his original Japanese name is just "Kenji"). Misty is commonly cited as "Misty Waterflower" (which is an error brought on by confusing her sisters' titles for their surname) or "Misty Williams", but that is just fanon, as is Sabrina being "Sabrina d'Avalon", which has caught on in some sections of the fandom (it helps that it was derived from her French name, Morgane). Brock being "Brock Harrison" is Word of Saint Paul on Eric Stuart's part.
- People like to assume the reason Ash doesn't evolve some of his Pokémon, especially Pikachu, is because he wouldn't let them. However, at no point was Ash ever against his Pokémon evolving he enthusiastically welcomed it every single time it happened. Even with Pikachu, in the two episodes that Ash considers evolving him (Electric Shock Showdown and Pika And Goliath), Pikachu has been the one that refuses the offer, even in a dream (Dream a Little Dream from Me!), and Ash keeps him as a Pikachu to respect his partner's wishes. In addition, the other unevolved Pokémon in the series also refused evolution (Ash's Bulbasaur and Dawn's Piplup), or their time simply never came (Everyone else).
- It's often cited that all of the Ship Tease between Misty and Ash was 100% the work of 4Kids's translations and is not in the Japanese version. While 4Kids did add some teasing in and made it all-but-canon with songs like "Misty's Song" from Pokémon 2.B.A. Master and "Under The Mistletoe" from Pokémon Christmas Bash, the original Japanese scripts still had plenty of Ash/Misty teasing (such as Misty being jealous of Melody in the second movie).
- It's frequently (and incorrectly) stated that Pokémon: The First Movie was aired with Pokémon: The Birth of Mewtwo as its prologue, which 4Kids originally cut out. This introduction wasn't in the original theatrical version, but was added in later Japan-only re-releases (and added as a extra on the Mewtwo Returns DVD), thus why its animation style resembles Johto rather than Kanto.
- There's a misconception that being a "Pokémon Master" means either becoming champion or being the world's best trainer. The series is intentionally vague on what makes someone a Pokémon Master, never directly connecting being a Master to being a champion or being the best trainer out there (with Sun & Moon's director Takayasu Yahan even outright saying that being a champion is just a step towards being a Pokémon Master). The likely genesis of the misconception is the fact that the majority of the competitions that Ash competes innote are battle competitions, with the Contests that May and Dawn competed in having battle aspects attached to them, coupled with the fact that, in all of the games barring Pokémon Black and White, the player is considered to have beaten the game only when they defeat the Champion. Ash is explicitly asked what being a Pokémon Master means in the I Choose You manga adaptation, and all he says is that it's "far above" being the world's best trainer, which renders "Championhood" insufficient, but otherwise maintains the vagueness.
- Gary's starter is commonly mistaken to be Eevee, the first and only Pokémon he sends out against Ash for a long time. This is also fueled by Eevee being the starter for the rival in the anime-inspired Yellow game. He actually started with Squirtle, which won't be shown until his confrontation with Ash in the Silver Conference as a Blastoise.
- Following Ash's loss in the Kalos League, the rumors that they had hired the "BW writers" for it flared up, along with the constant saying that "XY hired new writers". However, the series, until Sun and Moon, has had mostly the same writersnote since the original series, with no "BW writers" or "XY writers".note
- Ash died in Pokémon: The First Movie. In the original Japanese version, he just turned to stone. Takeshi Shudō has stated that Ash didn't die during that scene. 4Kids added a lot of dub-only implications that Ash died.
- The Pokémon world is often stereotyped by non-fans as "a bunch of kids enslaving wild animals and forcing them to fight each other". This is completely untrue, and the franchise (particularly Pokémon Black and White) makes a ceaseless effort to demonstrate otherwise. While the core gameplay focuses on battling by its nature as an RPG, most Pokémon are said to enjoy battling, and even seek out Trainers of their own. Various characters of all ages are also shown to use Pokémon for non-violent means like sports, nursing, or construction. Even the aforementioned Black and White claims that captured Pokémon don't feel enslaved unless mistreated, and are capable of leaving their Trainers of their own accord if they so desired.
- Thanks to the old "Pikablu" rumours (circulated by magazine articles that used it as a preliminary name for Marill's Early-Bird Cameo in The First Movie), people often mistake or confuse Marill as a Pika-clone representative of Generation II. The truth is that Johto is one of the few regions with no Pika-clone — the closest Generation II has to that is Pikachu's newly-introduced baby form, Pichu, and Marill is an entirely unrelated Pokémon.
- It's not uncommon to find people who believe Genesect is a cyborg Kabutops and not a separate Pokémon. Besides the fact that the two are very different in inspiration (Kabutops is based on a horseshoe crab while Genesect resembles a cockroach) and typing (Kabutops isn't a Bug-type), nowhere does anything imply that Genesect's original form was any pre-existing Pokémon.
- There have been shonen-aimed adaptations; however, most Pokémon adaptations (including the anime and Adventures) are actually kodomo (unisex manga aimed at kids). Due to their actiony natures, along with Adventures' darker tone,note Pokémon works tend to get lumped into shonen (especially since several other mon series are shonen).
- Many Western fans, and even some people on This Very Wiki, believe that Giratina is a Satanic Archetype, and its home of the Distortion World is the Pokémon equivalent of Hell. In actuality, Giratina is meant to be a personification of antimatter, and the Distortion World is responsible for keeping the stability of the universe in check. The comparisons to Satan and Hell are mainly due to Values Dissonance; Arceus and the Creation Trio are based on Asian creation myths, but with the vast majority of Westerners coming from backgrounds informed by Christianity, Westerners immediately associate Arceus with the Abrahamic God just because Arceus created the world, and likewise associate Giratina with Satan because it was banished to the Distortion World by Arceus.
- People often assume all Mimikyu hold a grudge against Pikachu. While Jessie's Mimikyu in the anime holds a grudge against Pikachu, most other Mimikyu are depicted as lonely and kindhearted Friendly Ghosts who dress like Pikachu not only to protect others from seeing their true form (as doing so can be
for the viewer), but also because they want to achieve Pikachu's level of popularity and acceptance among others.
- Pokémon only go by "it". While most characters do use "it", Pokémon have always been referred to with gendered pronouns in English translations and it's gotten more common since the DS games. In general, the games use gendered pronouns more than other media.
- For a multitude of reasons, some of the weaknesses of certain types in the series' Elemental RockPaperScissors setup tend to confuse those who began playing the games during the first two generations; this comes down to the early TCG grouping some types together, accidentally inaccurate information from the anime, or dual-typings just muddling the situation.
- It is common to assume that Rock is immune to Electric. In reality, it's only Ground-types. This misconception is because the most common Rock-types encountered in Gen I (the Geodude, Onix, and Rhyhorn families) are part-Ground. The five other Rock-type Pokémon, those being all the generation's Fossil Pokémon, are vulnerable to Electric, but since only one of the fossil Pokémon are used by an enemy trainer over the course of the game, few players would have a chance to test and discover this. In fact, these five Pokémon are even weak to it due to also being part-Water or part-Flying.
- Ice was also assumed to share the same strengths and weaknesses as Water, as Water/Ice was also a common type combination in Gen I (shared by Dewgong, Cloyster, and Lapras). Notably, Fire didn't resist Ice until Generation II.
- Psychic is sometimes thought to be strong against Ghost. It does neutral damage. The reason for older fans thinking this is because the only Ghost-type family in Gen I (the Gastly line) was part-Poison, which is weak to Psychic . And while the only Ghost-type introduced in Gen II (Misdreavus) is a pure Ghost-type, it also isn't used by any trainer in the game (despite there being a Ghost-type Gym) and can only be encountered in the final post-game area.
- Pocket Monsters is often cited as the first Pokémon manga. While it is the first multivolume Pokémon manga, it's actually the second manga overall; the first was a single volume 4-koma released a few months prior.
- Western fans of Pokemon largely like to act as if Pokémon Adventures and The Electric Tale of Pikachu are the only manga adaptations of the series. This is incredibly wrong as there are over forty manga series and counting. And despite Adventures frequently being called "the" Pokémon manga, it's not even the longest-running (that title goes to the above-mentioned Pocket Monsters, though Adventures has already long since surpassed it in actual volume count). The confusion is probably due to how those two manga are readily available in several languages besides Japanese, unlike most others. It's why you usually have fans speaking of "the manga", where they mean to say Pokémon Adventures.
- Pokémon Adventures:
- The concept that Pokemon Adventures is super-dark is this. While it is darker and gorier than most incarnations, almost all of the darker elements are from the Gen I and Gen II arcs. Future arcs stay Darker and Edgier, with things like Norman beating up his son Ruby or X being a hikikomori due to trauma, but much of the series' fan reception comes from exaggerations (in part due to Fandom Rivalry with the anime). In fact, the two most often reposted "violent" pages are an Arbok being chopped in half, and a Psyduck being burned. The former ended up being fine later, and the latter was a zombie.
- There is a quote by Shudo that Adventures is the closest to his vision. This line has been taken out-of-context by fans who use it to say that the manga is the most accurate version of the series. The quote is from when Pokémon was in its infancy. Compared to its contemporary adaptations like the anime, 4-koma, or Pocket Monsters manga, Pokémon Adventures was the Truer to the Text version. It's since been displaced by even truer to the text adaptations, such as Pokémon Zensho and Pokémon Origins.
- Pokémon Adventures is thought by some people to be the official manga. In reality, Satoshi Tajiri never said that there was any official manga. Pokémon Adventures is simply the most popular one. It is worth noting, however, that Adventures is the only manga advertised on the official Japanese Pokémon website.
- Pokémon Live! is sometimes cited as having Giovanni as Ash's dad. In reality, the show only said that Delia and Giovanni dated. The two broke up years ago and Delia married Ash's Disappeared Dad. The play writer did say that they left some subtext that Giovanni is Ash's father, but it's still up to fan interpretation whether they believe the subtext.
- Pokémon does have a canon timeline within the games. Pokémon Red and Blue take place during the same time period as Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire; Pokémon Gold and Silver take place around the same time period as Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (three years later). Gold and Silver are perhaps most notable for including the entire Kanto region from Red and Blue with references to the earlier games galore, while Ruby and Sapphire are more subtle with their references to the fact that Gold and Silver haven't happened yet. Abundant references to Johto in Diamond and Pearl led fans to the (accurate) assumption that Gold and Silver would be remade. Pokémon Black and White take place sometime after all the other games up to that point; the events of Platinum are referenced by a someone from Sinnoh and a Team Plasma Grunt references the failings of Team Rocket and Team Galactic. A canon timeline of the games up that point was shared◊ by one of the developers. Pokémon X and Y takes place around the same time period as Pokémon Black and White 2, and Pokémon Sun and Moon happens some years later (with the Ultra versions depicting mostly the same events in an Alternate Universe).
- Contrary to popular belief, not a single player character in the series is canonically 10 years old. Most of them are of unknown age; the only player characters to have their age confirmed are Red during Generation I (and III) and the Sun and Moon protagonists, both of whom are 11. The protagonists of both Gen V games and Gen VI also look much older than 11, being closer to the mid-to-late teens. The reason the whole "ten years old" thing has been ingrained in the public consciousness is because of the popularity of the anime, whose main character is 10. Eternally.
- Nowhere in the games is it said that you must be ten to be a trainer or that all trainers start at age 10. In fact, throughout the games, you see trainers who are way younger than 10 (such as the reoccurring Preschooler and Twins classes). What you do have to be a current age for is to actually travel. In Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon X and Y, you begin your journey in your mid-teenage years, while in Alola, it is explicitly against the rules for anyone under 11 to undergo the trials. Most trainers in the 4-to-11-year-old range don't wander that far from towns or areas with a lot of people; it's the older teens and up (like Ace Trainers) who you see out on journeys.
- Despite people associating Professor Oak with the "Are you a boy or a girl?" question, he wasn't the one who originated it. The question first appeared in Pokémon Crystal, the first game in the series to have the option, with it being asked by the disembodied voice of Professor Elm. 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.
- All trainers get Pokédexes. Except they don't you're always a special case, along with some other select trainers. Along the same lines, not every trainer gets their first Pokémon from the local lab. A few trainers you'll met will mention in flavor text that they got their Pokémon in other ways, usually from a family member. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire even has the player help someone catch their first Pokémon when your father is too busy to assist them. This one largely comes from the anime, where Pokédexes are common and most trainers receive their starter from a lab, though neither is universal even there.
- A lot of people, when imitating the style of the game's battles, misuse the phrases "It's super-effective" and "It's not very effective". These phrases are only used in the games when attack moves do more or less damage than normal due to a type advantage. They aren't used with moves that only inflict status effects, and any moves that do more damage outside any type advantage are identified as "critical hits".
- Nurses in the games do not look any more identical than nurses in Real Life. They just share one sprite, which Nurse Joy of the anime is based on. An early TCG card even depicted a blue-haired nurse, despite the sprite having pink hair.
- It's common knowledge that Red spent three years on top of a mountain. In the games, while Red is said to have not seen his mother in a long time, it's never stated that he stayed on Mt. Silver for three years straight. He could have been on his journey, recently ended up on the mountain training, and you just happen to find him there. Red went to the tournament in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 and Pokémon Sun and Moon depicts an adult Red as a well-adjusted adult who travels, which shows that he isn't all that introverted.
- Red's design is a bit of an issue. It's extremely, extremely common in fanart (especially yaoi or art making him to be a stoic Badass Normal) for him to have a more bishonen variant of his classic design, dubbed "Pixiv Red" or "Uber Red" by fans. The major difference from his classic design is he's older than depicted in any game, has red eyes, and has straight hair. That design is used heavily in art for HGSS, while Red's design has long since changed to a different brunette design. Since Pokémon Origins, however, it's become more common to use his canon design due to the backlash surrounding the fanon and because several media (and Pokémon Sun and Moon) clearly uses his canonical design.
- Red's classic design appears to have a red jacket, similar to Ash's blue one in original anime. However, early promotional artwork◊ for Gen 1, along with a model sheet◊ provided for Let's GO, indicates he's actually wearing a red vest over a black shirt with white sleeves. His design in Masters reflects this, updating the vest to look more like, well, an actual vest◊.
- For a short time, it was commonly thought that at the climax of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Ghetsis orders Kyurem to kill the player in the Japanese version, and that the English version censored it to Harmless Freezing. But even in the Japanese version, Ghetsis orders Kyurem to freeze the player.note The mistake occurred due to non-Japanese speakers watching footage of the scene in the early days of the game's Japanese release and jumping to conclusions. It doesn't help that Kyurem's Glaciate is rendered as a circle of icicles that fly towards the player pointy-end first, making another outcome look more likely.
- In Pokémon Sun and Moon, a popular fan theory that popped up after players finished the story is that the Ultra Beasts attacked and destroyed the universe all pre-Gen VI games are set in. This is only vaguely implied in the games themselves. The closest thing to confirmation we get is that a character from Gen III Hoenn has some vague memory of defending the Battle Tower from some threat before falling through a wormhole. All that is known for sure is that whatever it was, it attacked the Battle Tower (and by extension, probably the Battle Frontier) of the GBA/DS universe, which is a major step down from the complete universe annihilation that's theorized.
- Many people will swear up and down that in the games, Mewtwo was created (at least in part) by Team Rocket. While this is true for Pokémon Adventures and Pokémon: The First Movie (the popularity of which can be blamed for this misconception), in Pokémon Red and Blue, no connection is made between the two at all. Likewise, many people will cite multiple scientists creating it. While the English localization wrote the Pokémon Mansion journals as if that were the case (which carried into both FireRed/LeafGreen and Let's Go Pikachu/Let's Go Eevee), the original Japanese instead had them written in the first person, and the actual Pokédex entries only mention one scientist (incidentally implied to be Dr./Mr. Fuji).
- Mewtwo being able to talk and being an aloof introvert is a case of Adaptation Personality Change in the anime, though Pokémon X and Y implies part of the latter has been added into game canon. In the games, it can't talk and it's considered extremely dangerous because it's uncontrollable. Detective Pikachu combines the two ideas, using its Berserk Gene as a plot point but also featuring a talking Mewtwo.
- A long-standing assumption made by fans is that the Pokédex's entries are written by the various child protagonists, and as a result a lot of exaggerations and misinformation are present, such as Magcargo supposedly having a body temperature of 18,000 °F. Pokémon Red and Blue, however, has Professor Oak explicitly state that the Pokédex itself automatically records data upon seeing a Pokémon, and not that the player writes it. This misconception likely stems from a combination of detailed entries only appearing when the player obtains a Pokémon (thus it appears they write it), Gameplay and Story Segregation being used to make certain Pokémon sound more impressive than what the game's rules allow them to be, and the entries themselves straining various axioms of the sciencesnote presuming that the entries are true.note As an example, the above temperature reading is hotter than that of the sun's surface.
- Several characters, most notably the rival from the Johto games, have Fan Nicknames that are often cited as official. They're actually unnamed in canon, with their name coming from the player.
- Giovanni is frequently assumed by both fans and non-fans to be a Villain with Good Publicity, with his public image as the Viridian City Gym Leader masking his secret role as Team Rocket's leader. But in fact, the inverse is true: NPCs will note that Giovanni being the boss of Team Rocket is common knowledge, while nobody knows the identity of the Viridian Gym Leader (not even the Gym Guide).
- The initial pair of mainline games in a generation always gets followed by a third release, which shares their Theme Naming. First Installment Wins is likely responsible for this one, as this is how Generation I's international release and the next three generations went. However, Generation I's Japanese release had an initial pair followed by a third and fourth that shared their Theme Naming. Further down the line, Generation V had a second pair which were Numbered Sequels, Generation VI didn't have any follow-ups, and Generation VII had a second pair which were Word Sequels. The Pokemon Direct on January 9th, 2020 addressed this as Pokémon Sword and Shield will not have a third game in the series and they will have a DLC Expansion Pack, completely eliminating the need for a follow up game.
- Many believe that the "Pika" in Pikachu's name comes from a lagomorph called a Pika". In reality, it comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia for sparkling, pikapika. Interviews state that Pikachu is based on squirrels, not pika.
- Many memes have been made about how expensive things are in the games - such as potions for "300 Pokédollars" or having to pay 200 Pokédollars for a bottle of water. This is actually because it's a Woolseyism for "円", which is the Kanji for Yen. The in-game currency is based off of Yen, not the "Dollar" like the US, Canadian, or Singapore dollar. Converting yen to US dollars is not exact due to relative currency values not being fixed, but can be roughly approximated as $1 USD = 100 JPY, resulting in $3.00 potions, $2.00 bottles of water, or selling gold nuggets for $50.
- This also ends up capturing the obscene price of the bike in Pokémon Red and Blue - this means that the player is expected to shell out almost $10,000 for a bike. For the record, most bikes cost only $100 - especially ones intended for young adults.
- "Gotta Catch 'Em All" is the series catch phrase, right? It's also common knowledge that Pokémon Sword and Shield betrayed this by "cutting" Pokémon from the dex and limiting you. Actually, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire didn't include Pokémon from prior games long before Sword and Shield did (though unlike Sword and Shield, every Pokémon in existence at the time was present in Ruby and Sapphire's code and eventually could be traded from Emerald, FireRed, LeafGreen, Colosseum, and/or XD)... and their box art suspiciously lacked the "Gotta Catch 'em All" motto used in marketing Pokémon Red and Blue in English speaking countries. As a matter of fact, No◊ single Pokémon game◊ since◊ Pokémon Gold and Silver (Not even their remakes◊!) have◊ featured◊ "Gotta Catch 'em All" on their◊ box art◊, especially not Pokémon Sword and Shield.
- Everyone knows that Pokémon Sword and Shield were the first games to "Cull the Pokédex", thus you cannot complete the full National Dex but many Pokémon games in the past did not have Pokémon available without the use of transferring data from past games. Some even required you to own GameCube games as well as Pokémon Ranger copies to this day. As above, however, past games still did contain data for all existing Pokémon and allowed them to be transferred in, while Sword and Shield are missing data for many Pokémon and moves, which prevents them from being imported from other games at all.
- Pokémon Bank is also the first service related to Pokémon that charges money to transfer Pokémon...sort of. The Pokémon Stadium games included storage on the cartridge, and Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire (though meant as storage for a single save file) allowed cross-file transferral if certain restrictions were met on the target game.
- Pokémon Channel is often cited as a stupid, pointless game where all you do is watch Pikachu watch TV. This is a gross oversimplification; while the TV is an important part of the game, you can also participate in game shows and buy stuff off the shopping channel. You're free to leave the house and venture off into other locations to talk to Pokemon and play games if you get bored of the TV, too. The game also runs on real time and new events will happen every day, making it more of a Play Every Day type of game.