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As of Generation VIII, there are over 890 species of Pokémon in existence, along with thousands of trainers, the anime and manga incarnations of specific mons and characters, and various AU games of Pokémon. When you have this many Loads and Loads of Characters, naturally, some will stand out better than others.

Starter Pokémon, mascot Legendaries (Pokémon that appear on the box-cover), and other Pokemon heavily promoted for a particular generation or beyond (Lucario being a major example) do not apply to this list, as they are purposefully designed to be popular and are the closest things to non-human main characters each Generation has. However, that doesn't mean they can't be Breakout Characters.


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Video games


General Examples

  • The fat guys that usually hang around starter towns and rave about the recent advancements of technology or science in general. No seriously, just listen to starter town tunes on Youtube, and count how many times you see someone comment on the fat guy standing there.
  • In a similar vein, the guys that greet the players in every Gym with "Yo! Champ in the making!", some tips and (Gen 5 onwards) a healing item. It's unclear if it's a different guy each time or the same one, but either way, he's as beloved as the fat technology guy.
  • "Hi! I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear!" A "Youngster" character saying something along those lines has appeared in every single game since he first was introduced. The original one of these is officially named Ben in FireRed and LeafGreen.
  • Another meme Trainer in the series is the Magikarp fisherman, who appears in every game with a team full of nothing but Magikarp. He even appears in Generation V, where Magikarp aren't native to Unova, which means he appears in the post-game... with a team of Level 60+ Magikarp. In another generation, he can be rematched, in which case the player is likely to get an Oh, Crap!, because he's evolved his entire team into Gyarados.

Generation I

  • While fans may argue about which generation is the best, there's no denying that Professor Oak is the most iconic and popular Pokémon Professor in the franchise, due to First Installment Wins and certain memes surrounding him.
  • The clumsy Team Rocket Grunt from the Celadon City Hideout is pretty popular for his memetic line. "Oh no! I dropped the LIFT KEY!"
  • The little girl in Lavender Town who asks the player if he believes in ghosts. If the player answers "no", she will say "Hahaha, I guess not. That white hand on your shoulder, it's not real."
  • Copycat, the girl who lives in Saffron City and mimics everyone she comes across. Not only is it funny, it offers some insight into what the usually unheard player is saying.

Generation II

  • Youngster Joey, whose Rattata is in "THE TOP PERCENTAGE OF ALL RATTATA!"
  • Eusine, a trainer introduced in Crystal introduced the idea that the third version of a given generation will have plotline differences. He was popular enough to be included in the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • Karen, the final Elite Four member, has her fair share of fans, largely because of her good looks, being the first notable Dark-type trainer, and her post-battle dialogue.

Generation III

  • Steven Stone is one of the more popular regional Champions — helped by being a Memetic Badass, Pretty Boy and being one of the toughest Champion in the series alongside Cynthia.
  • Pike Queen Lucy is seemingly the most popular of the Hoenn Frontier Brains, thanks to her attractive looks and dark, mysterious aura she gives off. She's also the easiest to encounter, and thus more well-known as a whole. Also notable is the fact that her anime counterpart is one of the few women who isn't put off by Brock's advances.

Generation IV

  • Riley from Diamond and Pearl is also rather popular, at least compared to the fellow Trainers who partner up with you at certain points in the game. He's a major Bishōnen (as well as that his very close resemblance to a plot-important character in the eighth anime movie has spawned many fan theories, some reaching Epileptic Trees levels).
    • Marley also enjoys a higher level of popularity than most of the other partners despite (or perhaps because of) saying almost nothing, even when directly spoken to. It's also helped by her Elegant Gothic Lolita design and apparent connection to one of the "cute event legendaries" (Shaymin). (The area that she joins up with you for is the path towards Shaymin's home and she manages to stammer out a "thank you" when you reach the goal, setting up the appearance of the Gratitude Pokémon at the far end of the ensuing route.) She also appears in an episode of the anime, again with Shaymin.
  • Looker of the International Police is well-liked due to his resemblance to David Tennant of Doctor Who fame and subsequent eccentricity. He was popular enough to be included somewhere in every generation since his introduction in Platinum (usually in the post-game). In addition, his return and post-game Side Quest in X and Y is considered to be much more interesting than the main-story for some players.

Generation V

  • In Japan, for whatever reasons, the Subway Masters Ingo and Emmet from Black and White are ridiculously popular, ranking second and third on a popularity poll despite not having any major role in the story. Nico Nico Douga is a pretty good testament to this, having hundreds upon hundreds of videos, covers, and animations pertaining to them, possibly even having more videos than N. They've gotten so popular that they've gotten quite a lot of official merchandise, more than even the protagonists. It's surprising considering they have little to no real personalities, have absolutely zero relevance to the plot and only serve as bosses in a sidequest, and are barely in the games.
  • Grimsley and Caitlin have eclipsed the other Elite Four members in popularity, the former thanks to his interesting character design and use of Dark types, and the latter for becoming an Elite Four member after being the largely action-less head of the Battle Castle. Grimsley in particular has gotten an upsurge in popularity after appearing in Sun and Moon, where he gives the player the option to ride a Sharpedo on the water, and also appears as a bonus opponent in the Battle Tree.
  • Yancy and Curtis from Black 2 and White 2. Their main purpose in the games, after a lengthy sidequest, is to trade you rare Pokémon with hidden abilities and items. However, they're both pretty popular since they serve as an (Implied) Love Interest for your character. It helps that they're both likeable and pretty cute, especially in Yancy's case.
  • You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't like Plasma Boss Colress, between his coolness, the fact that he turns out to be a pretty okay guy as opposed to a true villain, the fact that he's in Team Plasma more For Science! than to actually help Ghetsis with anything and the fact that he's not too hard on the eyes either. Not to mention his Internet Explorer hair. He proved so popular that he returned for a cameo in Pokémon Sun and Moon and again in a more plot relevant fashion in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, which came with him showing up out of nowhere to epically tell off Ghetsis and basically tell him that he hates his guts before sending him back to his world.

Generation VI

  • It's hard to find someone who doesn't like Professor Sycamore. He's been beloved for his attractive design (compared to the Adorkable or official looks of previous male professors), his positive demeanor, his more caring attitude towards the player compared to previous professors, him giving the player two starter Pokémon during the main story (one from Kalos and one from Kanto), and the fact that he is the first professor in the series you can legitimately battle.Note 
  • The Hex Maniac trainer-class in the X and Y games has quickly become popular among the fandom, already getting more fanart than the Gym Leaders, which is saying something. It probably has something to do with her likeness to Tomoko from WataMote and Tharja from Fire Emblem Awakening. Note that this did not apply to her Gen III version, which had a more generic Cute Witch design. There's also the class being the center of a rather strange (and largely unexplained) event.
  • Strangely, Tierno was ranked 3rd in popularity polls in Japan, but this doesn't seem to apply in other regions, who view him as The Scrappy due to having few character traits and relevance to the story. The anime makes him far more interesting then he is in the games though, which helped lessen his international hatedom.
  • The Furisode Girls from the Laverre Gym have a following, in part, because each one has a different unique sprite; making these trainers highly memorable for some players.note 
  • Malva from the Elite Four mainly since she's also a member of Team Flare, something that reminded a lot of fans of a certain plot twist in Pokémon Adventures as well as proving Evil Is Sexy quite well.
  • Siebold has quite a strong following for his philosophical words about Pokémon and the art of battling.
  • Emma, whose story made more than one person break down in tears.
  • They were once viewed as some of the worst teams in the series, but due to their endearing redesigns and extremely fleshed-out characterizations and plans in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Teams Magma and Aqua are now some of the most beloved teams in the series, even more so due to their hilarity and hamminess, especially present amongst Team Aqua.
  • One of the Gentleman in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that says the following quotenote  has gotten a minor fan following between competitive-minded players tired of hearing Karen's quote.

Generation VII

  • Youngster Tristan, one of the trainers you have to face when you defend your title in the Pokémon League is receiving a lot of positive reception for being just a kid who managed to beat the Elite Four and being one of the first people you meet when the player moves to Alola. It helps that he does have a very balanced team of multiple types of Pokémon.
  • Hiker David is popular due to him randomly photobombing Kiawe's trial.
  • Zossie of the Ultra Recon Squad has become very well-liked for being a Cheerful Child of a Moe, which makes her really stand out among the rest of her more mature and serious adult comrades.

Generation VIII

  • Within minutes of her introduction in the June 5th Direct, Sonia had already amassed a great deal of fanart, as the fanbase instantly latched onto her cute character design. On social media, Sonia actually trended higher than all the newly introduced characters, including the new legendary Pokémon.
  • The Ball Guy, an NPC who gives the player the Apricorn balls in each gym grows popular among the fanbase for his fun, quirky and endearing personality.

Other Game Examples

  • Spinoff game Pokémon Colosseum has Miror B. Crazy Awesome, literal Disco Dan with a Pokè Ball-shaped afro as the first villain team boss. He never cares quite as much about his duties as a boss of a crime syndicate as much as his dance moves. His Latino-sounding battle theme also contributes to his popularity. In fact, he was so popular that he is the only Cipher member from Colosseum to reappear in the sequel, where you could battle him as often as you want (or until you got all the Shadow Pokémon, whichever came first).
  • Some of Cipher's admins stand out on their own even if they don't quite reach Miror B.'s level.
    • Ein, due to his strategies and the fact that he's the unrepentingly evil creator of the process used to create Shadow Pokémon.
    • Nascour, for his truly sinister design that is quite unusual for Pokémon. Many feel that he would have been a better main antagonist than Evice.
    • Lovrina, Ein's equivalent in XD, due to her Friendly Enemy status and fairly attractive design.
    • Brothers Ardos, and Eldes. Ardos is unrepentent, even after Greevil concedes defeat, and sends the player a Death Threat while vowing to revive Cipher. Eldes sees the player as a Worthy Opponent, lamenting their opposition and talking down Greevil from a Villainous Breakdown in the finale.
  • Silver from Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, where the Translation Train Wreck results in him becoming unquestionably the largest ham in the Pokémon world, and beloved for it. His famous "trashy man" speech has reached the point of becoming emblematic of the game (well, that speech and Volcano Bakemeat).

    Pokémon - Generation I 
  • Cubone and its evolution Marowak are remembered partially because of their interesting design, use of bones as clubs, tearjerking backstory, and the fact that they're the only Pokémon in Gen I to have actual story relevance (the next closest to having anything to do with the plot was Snorlax, who simply was a Broken Bridge).
  • Ratatta is liked due to the top percentage meme mentioned above, and the fact that it's also the center of the "FEAR" strategy from Gen IV.
  • Meowth, probably because of its appearance in the anime. That's right!
  • Vulpix/Ninetales. You don't have to go far to see the many fanfics that claim this to be Naruto's favorite Pokémon. Even if you're not familiar with Naruto, these Pokémon are still considered very elegant. Add in the fact that the fox Pokémon were given Groudon's Drought ability, bringing about its usage in Sunlight teams.
  • The Oddish family have always been considered pretty cute-looking in the simplistic sense. It even gained an alternate evolution in Gen 2 where it became even cuter.
  • Gyarados, simply for being that badass Pokémon that evolves from Magikarp, the very first (intentional) joke Pokémon. It's also very strong despite its Achilles' Heel to electricity thanks to its decent speed and having access to Earthquake.
  • Gengar has always been considered one of the more powerful and cool looking Ghost-types. In Gen I, it was the only fully evolved Ghost-type. Even with the introduction of other ghosts, it has always managed to remain in the higher tiers, and is the only Pokémon to be in Smogon's OU tier in every generation. Its Mega Evolution is no joke either due to its ability becoming Shadow Tag, and is also considered better than most Legendaries.
    • When the creators of Pokkén Tournament asked for suggestions for a new character, Gengar ended up with the most requests and was made a playable fighter as a result.
    • Its pre-evolution Haunter is quite popular as well, often considered more visually threatening. In fact, say what you want about the quality of Red and Blue's art sprites, but Haunter's original sprite was perhaps the one image that people preferred over its latter design compared to other Pokémon that were redrawn.
  • The Abra line, particularly in the first generation where the Psychic type was nearly unbeatable. It required a little patience and Socialization Bonus, but almost everyone had an Alakazam on their team. It's since gotten a Mega Evolution and a few Expies for later generations. Even when Psychic-types got worse and less memorable in the later generations, Alakazam still remains strong and fondly remembered.
  • The Machop/Machoke/Machamp line due to their massive muscles and are generally what people think of (aside from Lucario and Blaziken) when Fighting-types are brought up. They also have a pretty good competitive following due to the combination of having the No Guard ability paired up with what is usually the highly inaccurate Dynamic Punch attack.
  • Because of this, Gengar, Alakazam and Machamp's usefulness in single and competitive play is one of the reasons why Trade Evolutions are tolerated to an extent.
  • Magnemite has gained popularity over the years. First, becoming a Steel-type in the second generation, which greatly increased its usability. Then, it gained a secondary evolution in Generation IV which made it a powerful Steel-type special user, helped by the incresed availability of Steel-type moves. In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Magnemite were used in the Magnemite Coil, a form of Emergent Gameplay, in Join Avenue.note  Magnemite's growing popularity has been seemingly lampshaded in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, where its trophy states that "The sense of nostalgia it inspires has only been strengthened by the many years that have passed since its debut in the very first Pokémon games".
  • Scyther the raptor mantis. One of the few awesome Bug types of the first generation despite not having good STAB-moves prior to Generation IV.
  • Pinsir was another well-liked Bug Pokémon from the first generation, but lost a lot of support over the years due to being overshadowed by the likes of Scyther (Scizor), Heracross, and Scolipede competitively and design-wise. Generation VI, however, finally throws Pinsir a bone and bestows upon it a Mega Evolution, putting Pinsir back on the map for the fan-base.
  • Beedrill and Butterfree are usually fondly remembered despite being extreme examples of Crutch Characters — Beedrill in particular is usually considered one of the best looking Pokémon, but sadly, both have terrible base stats and are regarded as trash. However, Beedrill received a Mega Evolution in Gen VI where it lost a few points in its useless special attack in exchange for massive gains in attack and speed, turning it into a very scary Glass Cannon. Also, once again, Beedrill's mega evolution was lauded as one of the best looking Mega Evolutions. Sadly, its counterpart Butterfree is still waiting for its Mega Evolution (though it does have the consolation prize of having some utility outside its Crutch Character role due to the many status moves it can use).
    • As of Generation VIII Butterfree gained a Gigantamax form, bringing it back into the spotlight while at launch the Beedrill evolutionary line wasn't even available in game.
  • Slowbro got nicknamed as "Funbro" in Generation VI thanks to the discovery that he can obtain a move-set that would force players to be stuck in a never-ending battle. Slowbro is now basically considered to be the king of trolls in the Pokémon world. Even before battle strategies, the Slowpoke line was always popular due to their dopey looks and persona. It's popular enough to warrant its own song.
  • Starmie. A (mostly) unique dual-typing and incredible stat distribution / move-pool has Starmie in Smogon's OU Tier; being able to pull off any role that the player wishes for. Being one of Misty's signature Pokémon helps too.
  • Before it gained an evolution, Chansey was greatly appreciated for being the only Pokémon that could actually stand a chance against Mewtwo (besides fighting it with another Mewtwo) due to its high HP stat. And even after its evolution was introduced, Chansey would later receive a gift from the gods in the form of the Eviolite item, which skyrockets its defensive stats to levels Blissey could only ever dream of having; giving competitive players a tough choice as to whether evolving Chansey is worth it or not.
  • Kabutops for being a rather scary, but well-designed Pokémon that's held usefulness throughout the generations and meta-game. Its popularity grew even further with the release of Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! where Kabutops became the go-to choice for speedrunners to finish up the game once they're able to surf to Cinnabar Island.
  • Eevee for inaugurating the concept of split evolutionary lines and for being incredibly huggable. Its interesting gimmick and generic appeal led to the Eevee family being constant fan favorites across the entire lifespan of the franchise, eventually ascending to Breakout Character status when Eevee was featured in a main series game alongside Pikachu.
    • Jolteon for being one of the few Pokémon that could take down Psychic types in the first generation due to its blazing speed. Competitively, it has the honor for always being in the Overused tier prior to Gen VI.
    • Flareon gained quite a following other the years mostly for being the underdog of the Eeveelutions; getting constantly screwed over for never receiving any moves to take advantage of its monstrous attack stat until Generation VI. And even still suffers a lot of problems. Oh, and it's known as the False Prophet thanks to Twitch Plays Pokémon.
    • Vaporeon as a highly competent Bulky Water competitive use Pokémon. In addition, Pokémon GO shot Vaporeon's popularity to even greater heights due to being one of the strongest Pokémon that players have easy access to.
  • Arcanine, despite getting overshadowed by Charizard, has always been a fan favorite, both because of its Canis Major design, and because Heroes Love Dogs. In a survey of 52,000 voters, based on how much each Pokemon were considered favorites, Arcanine ranked #3, behind Gengar and the aforementioned Charizard; this is despite its lack of prominence or noteworthy traits (i.e. Eevee's multiple evolutionary options, Magikarp's evolution into Gyarados) in comparison to the other examples on this page.note  Rule of Cool has certainly worked in its favor.
  • Ditto has always been considered the ultimate pimp of the Pokémon universe due to its nature of being able to breed with any other Pokémon that can breed. In addition, its popularity drastically increased after it gained the Imposter ability from the Dream World in Generation V; buffing the pink-blob from a useless gimmick, to one of the best revenge killers in the game.
  • MissingNo, in a mixture of Good Bad Bugs and Memetic Mutation. The fact that his presence glitches the world in a hilarious manner and replicates the item in the 6th slot (useful for Master Balls and the like) helps a lot, too. A number of fans have expressed hope that MissingNo will one day be canonized as a real Pokémon, usually as an Ultra Beast.
  • The baby Kangaskhan holds has a large popularity. If someone is creating their own fan generation and Pokémon, the baby is a popular choice for a Pokémon. It got a Mega evolution and not its mother, which is by far the most powerful of all the megas.
  • Thanks to Twitch Plays Pokémon, Omanyte and its evolution Omastar have become this in the form of Lord Helix.
  • As a result of being a Ride Pokémon in Pokémon Sun and Moon, Tauros has become one. There's something that's oddly satisfying and entertaining about riding the streets of Alola on a Tauros.
    • You can also thank Sun and Moon for giving this status to Exeggutor. Most of this is due to the hilarious long-necked design of its Alola Form, which, after a stint as a Base-Breaking Character and despite its type weaknesses, became one of the most popular Alola forms in the game, to the point that they are the first one highlighted in this Japanese TV spot for the games and one of the first ones to make a significant appearance in the Sun and Moon anime.
  • Nidoking and Nidoqueen are both remarkably popular. Not only is each a Disc-One Nuke that's very easy to obtain (especially compared to Gyarados or Alakazam), but they have impressive all around stats, massive movepools, and cool designs. They also introduced the idea of sexual dimorphism in pokémon a generation before pokémon had genders and three generations before others got sexual dimorphism.

    Pokémon - Generation II 
  • Crobat is one due to being a stage 2 Pokémon that can be acquired early due to evolution through friendship and also has a higher BST (and much higher speed) than most other Flying-types. It also single-handedly saved the Zubat line for a large number of fans.
  • Heracross retains a high level of popularity, partially due to Ash's Heracross, and partially due to its unique typing, good stats, and cute design. It even got a Mega Evolution. This is in spite of the fact that in Gen II it was not only hard to find, but also pretty useless, with a very weak movepool and almost no STAB moves other than its late-obtained signature Megahorn attack. It may also have something to do with the fact that Rhinoceros Beetles are popular in Japan and Beetle Fighting is a popular pastime. From Gen III on, though, Heracross hasn't had many problems with its movepool and has been considered one of the strongest physical attackers in the game. Although Heracross hasn't been immune to the rampant Power Creep from recent generations.
  • The two Eeveelutions of this generation, Espeon and Umbreon, are also immensely popular. They are competitively useful, have powerful stats, and are Wes's starter and signature Pokémon. They're also badass researchers in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. They're also deemed the most visually stunning of all the Eeveelutions, and the ones you are most likely of running into fanart of. Espeon is made further popular in Pokémon GO, due to being the second strongest Eeveelution in terms of CP, just not far behind Vaporeon, while its Psychic typing makes it very useful in gym battles.
  • Blissey. The ultimate high-HP defender against Special Attackers... but took a notable blow when Generation V's Psyshock came along.
  • At the time of its release, Azumarill was a pretty forgettable Pokémon, mostly notable for the fact that its pre-evolution was the subject of a popular Urban Legend of Zelda. However, later generations gave it the enormously powerful ability of Huge Power, a vastly expanded movepool, the Fairy typing, and the long-awaited ability to run Aqua Jet and Belly Drum on the same set, turning it into a Badass Adorable literal Killer Rabbit. And like so many others on this page, it got a boost in popularity thanks to Twitch Plays Pokémon as the hero of the Emerald run, "M4 Moee".
  • Scizor. An evolution to a Pokémon that was already a Darkhorse. Gains a Steel-Typing and new design to make it even more badass, and then gains an ability a few generations later that makes its Bullet Punch one of the most feared attacks in the game, even in Ubers.
  • Forretress. Created specifically to Stone Wall the Normal-Type kings from Generation I, and the only Pokémon that can set up all entry hazards (before Gen VI introduced Sticky Web, which it didn't get).
  • Politoed. Long forgotten as that random green toad from Johto, the moment it was given Kyogre's Drizzle ability, people went nuts to have it added to their Rain teams. It also turned Gen V's competitive scene into nothing but Weather Wars.
  • Quagsire. While not particularly great in-game or stat-wise, Quagsire's laid-back nature and goofy smile has made him a mainstay in forum/imageboard threads about Pokémon best suited to being a "bro". It got so popular on one board that it became its mascot, and is featured in most of the banners concerning said board. There's also a surprisingly awesome and hilarious Quagsire in the above-mentioned Gates to Infinity. Its popularity and competitive viability exploded in Generation 8 because the lowered amount of Pokemon from the National Dex turned it into the most effective check for the popular Excadrill and Crown Zacian.
    • Its pre-evolution Wooper has a small following for being adorable, but this exploded in 2020 when Wooper's beta version (named Madame) was leaked.
  • The competitive scene has retroactively made Skarmory one, who is considered to be one of the best physically-oriented Stone Walls in the game. Having a badass design definitely helps its case.
  • As of Sun and Moon, Skarmory's specially-oriented counterpart Mantine has become one as well. Aside from being a cute manta ray, the buffs given to it in Generation VII (higher HP and reliable recovery in the form of Roost) combined with its ability to remove hazards has made it a good choice for a Water-type special Stone Wall. The fact that it’s the star of the highly addictive Mantine Surf minigame definitely helps its case.
  • Despite being an utter joke in battle, Furret has garnered a cult following due to being an absolutely adorable ferret-like creature. Its cute sprite/model animations in every generation certainly help.
  • Tyranitar, Generation II's Pseudo-Legendary. It helps being one of the only ones, apart from Metagross, that's NOT a Dragon-Type. Gaining Sand Stream to summon instant Sandstorms (and give it a free 50% boost to its already good Special Defense as of Gen IV) certainly helped his cause in competitive play. During the 2020 Pokémon of the Year voting, Tyranitar managed to be in 12th place, only behind Dragapult as the second highest Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon and second highest Gen II Pokémon.
  • The popularity behind Dunsparce is a mystery. It might be due to the fact it's some bee-snake, desert-burrowing Mix And Match Creature. Or maybe because it's a rare Pokémon and finding it is an achievement on its own. Whatever the reason, it was popular enough for people to demand that it gain an evolution. It's popularity exploded in Gen 3 when it was one of the very few that could have the Serene Grace ability as well as a movepool which complimented the ability very well (Body Slam, Headbutt, Roost)
  • Ampharos may be slow, but its bulk, high defenses (both Defense and Special Defense), high Special Attack, and its diverse movepool more than make up for it. It helps too that it remains cute even after evolving from Flaafy and Mareep. And when Generation VI rolled along, it gets a much-deserved Mega Evolution; sure, Mega Ampharos does become slower, but who the hell cares when it gets Dragon as its second typing? Not to mention that majestic hairdo...
  • Granbull has seen a boost in popularity during Gen VI, due to its Fairy-type retcon giving it the novelty of being the only outright tough- and masculine-looking Fairy-type aroundnote , as well as quite a bit more useful in battle.
  • Misdreavus, another Ghost-type much like Haunter/Gengar, without the weakness of the dual Poison typing that made it weak to Psychic types. It could do almost anything that Haunter did, like Mean Look and Confuse Ray, along with the amazing Pain Split. It also looks visually stunning, with its pearls and wispy hair-like appendages.
  • Sneasel was extremely popular among fans due to its unique typing (Dark and Ice) and its design, being an ultra-sleek cat-like creature.
  • Natu and Xatu are fairly popular Pokémon, especially among Japanese fans. It's one of the few Psychic/Flying-type Pokémon (the only others fitting that role being Lugia, the Woobat line, and Sigilyph), their stats are nothing to sneeze at, and Xatu is just 20 points behind Sigilyph but also has a higher Attack stat. The only downside to them being that Natu and Xatu are extremely hard to find normally, and when the player can find them, it's almost always near the middle/endgame. Xatu also owes some of its Japanese popularity to Memetic Mutation interpreting its in-game cry as "Two-Two".

    Pokémon - Generation III 
  • Ludicolo has been one ever since it was solidified as Miror B.'s (a Darkhorse in his own right) signature Pokémon. In addition, it's a popular Pokémon in competitive play due to its abilities' synergy with Rain teams, and its only weaknesses being to three uncommon offensive types (Flying, Poison, and Bug).
  • Aggron, who restores mountains and looks like an even more badass metal version of another Darkhorse, Tyranitar. The fact the Aron and Larvitar lines are version exclusive counterparts for the Generation VI games furthers this connection that people make towards Aggron. It received a mega evolution with the highest physical defenses in the entire game as well. Its first form, Aron, has a following amongst "FEAR" strategists who use the Sturdy/Sand Stream ability combo with Endeavor.
  • Gardevoir is a Rule 34 magnet and would often place high in popularity polls. Pretty looks isn't all it has going for it, though. Gardevoir is also an extremely effective battler, having excellent Special Attack and learning all kinds of useful attack and support moves. Gardevoir got even better in Gen 6, with its new Fairy Typing eliminating two of its weaknesses (Dark and Bug), granting a very useful Dragon Immunity, and getting a Mega Evolution on top of it. Spin-Off games such as the Mystery Dungeon series also gave it a Mystical Waif vibe. Other spinoff games like Pokkén Tournament give it a Girliness Upgrade, playing up the "adorable" side a lot more, as it spins and curtsies a lot in its poses.
  • While Pikachu-clones in general are quite disdained, Plusle and Minun stand out among the rest and avoided the usual criticism. Unlike the rest there was actually creativity put into the duo with the positive-negative polarity theme between them. They are also speculated to have been planned for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Shroomish is considered to be a very cute walking mushroom, reminiscent of Mario's Goomba. Then it evolves into a vaguely dinosaur-like Breloom, becomes part fighting, and gains an absurd attack stat. Combined with Spore (one of the best sleep-inducing moves in the game) and Focus Punch (a really strong attack that requires the user not to get hit), and it's a nearly killer combo.
  • Flygon; its unique typing and design stood out amongst all other Dragon Poké least before the Gible line was created. This, however, did not diminish its popularity; a dedicated and strong fan following still prefers to use it over Garchomp. It's still useful as a scout that's immune to Earthquake (something Garchomp does not have) and entry hazards like Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and its design is still considered quite unique. It has been one of the most demanded Pokémon to receive a Mega Evolution, and it turned out that it was going to receive one until the artists couldn't think of a good design.
  • Milotic, the Distaff Counterpart to Gyarados, was also another favorite Pokémon from the Gen. It was also one of the most notoriously hard Pokémon to get.
  • Absol, the Dark Is Not Evil doom sensor Hero with Bad Publicity. Its Mega Evolution only made it more popular by expanding its competitive usage.
  • Skitty; due to its Moe appearance and Memetic Mutation voice it was given in the anime. "Nyah!". Even in fiction it and its Evolution Delcatty are popular as pets according to their Pokédex!
  • Although rarely used in competitive, Mawile is adorable and popular enough to be given a Mega Evolution. It helps that its Mega Evolution is a Killer Rabbit strong enough to get banned to Ubers.
  • Mawile's version counterpart, Sableye, is also similarly popular due to being strangely cute and, prior to the introduction of Fairy-types, having no type weaknesses (although low stats kept it from being a top tier threat). Gaining a Mega Evolution made it even more popular for having the very useful Magic Bounce ability and beefed up defensive stats.
  • Spoink, mostly for being an adorable pogo-pig, as well as having some surprisingly dark lore surrounding it (namely its Dex entries mentioning that it will die if it stops bouncing, a rare aversion of the series' Never Say "Die" policy).
  • Metagross, the only Pseudo-Legendary that's not reptillian and from the only generation to release more than one Pseudo-Legendary. Its dual Steel/Psychic typing is also quite a god-send in competitive play; rivaled only by the mythical Jirachi and Bronzong, which was introduced in the next generation. And then it got a Mega Evolution...
  • Salamence, Generation III's other Pseudo-Legendary, a Blood Knight of endless destruction. Competitively, it's most famous for the MixMence set, that would use its great mixed offensive stats and screw up your team. It waned in usefulness over the generations, though... until it got a ridiculously-powerful Mega Evolution.
  • Zigzagoon and Linoone, the Com Mons of this gen, were fairly popular for there unique Pickup ability of finding random items on the ground such as Rare Candies, Protein, PP Up or even a King's Rock if you were very lucky. Plus, Zigzagoon has such a cute smile. The raccoon family also has a following in competitive play for being one of the few Pokémon capable of combining Belly Drum with a STAB Extreme Speed; making for effective team sweepers.
    • With the arrival of Gen VIII, the entire line returns to the spotlight, partly because of having Galarian forms, and partly because of Galarian Linoone's final evolution, Obstagoon, which has a lot of fans thanks to its design mimicking KISS's Gene Simmons, especially when he said he likes Obstagoon.
  • Speaking of Com Mons from Gen III like Zigzagoon, Poochyena and Mightyena are also very popular in general, even in spite of them being bottom-tier competitively. This is certainly thanks to their awesome design, being an early Dark-type straight out of a previous generation that took its time to give you Dark-types, and - despite being biologically more related to cats - having very dog-like mannerisms, due to being a very clear hybrid of a hyena and wolfhound. Between that and Fanon's tendency to exaggerate the dog-like manners of Mightyena in fan works to actually endearing effect, one only has to take a single look at the plethora of Poochyena and Mightyena fanart and Anime Music Videos to see how loved the evolutionary line is - which is all the more impressive, especially given the line as a whole averts Tier-Induced Scrappy due to all the aforementioned qualities.
  • As soon as Pokémon Sun and Moon were leaked, Solrock and Lunatone got a sudden resurgence in popularity, many people expecting them to have some significance in the plot of the games, or at least receiving Mega Evolutions.
  • Wailord gets fan attention mainly for the inherent silliness of a forty-something-foot blimp whale doing regular Pokémon things.

    Pokémon - Generation IV 
  • Garchomp is considered one of the most popular non-Lucario Pokémon of its generation, for being extremely powerful in battle, for being the signature Pokémon of fellow Darkhorse Champion Cynthia, and being one of the premier examples of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot in the franchise — it's a flying, cave-dwelling Lightning Bruiser saurian landshark that classifies as a dragon. While it was a Base-Breaking Character for Tier-Induced Scrappy reasons upon its debut, fans warmed up to it as its power level became more reasonable with time. It was the highest-ranked pseudo-legendary in a Japanese popularity/event distribution poll spanning all 721 Pokémon at the time, and became playable in Pokkén Tournament.
  • Electivire, despite its questionable use in the metagame, has proven quite popular compared to other evolutions. Its design is quite appealing, and its movepool is still noticeably large compared to other Electric-types.
  • Starly, a Com Mon similar to Pidgey who quickly becomes a Disc-One Nuke. It learns great moves like Wing Attack early on, and eventually evolves into Staraptor, one of the rare Flying-Types capable of learning Close Combat. In fact, many have considered it one of the best Pokémon for completing the main story, period.
  • Shinx is a cute little cub available very early in the game who involves into the visually imposing Luxray. Many lament its poor competitive performance (mostly form its subpar Speed) relative to its popularity poll success.
  • Lopunny is notoriously popular with the Furry Fandom for being a cute anthropomorphic bunny. It also received a massive boost in competitive usage from gaining a Mega Evolution.
  • Cherubi has a cult following due to having the Pokédex number 420, being a Grass-type, and the ability to learn the move Magical Leaf.
  • Glaceon. It's like an Ice-type Espeon, except that it's a LITERAL Mighty Glacier.
  • Its counterpart, the long awaited Leafeon, isn't that far behind in popularity, and not just because it's a speedy physical Grass-type sweeper with access to Swords Dance.
  • Hippowdon use caught on post-Generation IV with the many additions made in Generation V; increasing the utility of using Sand teams to take advantage of Hippowdon's ability to summon instant Sandstorms. Unlike Tyranitar (who also gets Sand Stream), it has Slack Off, much more physical bulk, and FAR fewer weaknesses (3 as opposed to Tyranitar's 7), making it a very good wall.
  • Abomasnow is often overlooked, but has its own loyal fanbase following amongst competitive players; particularly for being the staple of Hail teams as the only Pokémon that can summon instant Hail. Its typing sure doesn't do it any favors; having seven weaknesses turns many players away at first glance. However, it turns out that the weaknesses consist primarily of the lesser-used offensive types in competitive play, such as Poison, Steel, and Bug, and that the resistances Abomasnow does have are actually quite useful in competitive play; Water, Electric, and Ground specifically. The fact Abomasnow was one of the few Generation IV Pokémon to receive a Mega Evolution is no coincidence. On a side note, it's also quite prone to Barack Obamasnow jokes.
  • Gallade, another evolutionary option for the popular Ralts family, has a sleek design and the seldom-used dual typing of Psychic/Fighting. It lost attention when Gardevoir received the Fairy-type and a Mega Evolution, but receiving its own Mega Evolution later and becoming Wally's ace Mon in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire has helped.
  • Weavile, for having a cool design and being very useful in battle. The fact that it debuted in the same generation as the Physical/Special split helps too, and is aided further by being a fighter in Pokkén Tournament.
  • Darkrai is immensely popular for its design, battle style, and two WIDELY different depictions (The Movie Darkrai and the Mystery Dungeon Darkrai have virtually no similarities).
  • Shaymin arose to fan favorite status, having a cute hedgehog or deer-like design with plant features like flowers, as well as the renowned Seed Flare move. It also received love for its role as a pollutant cleaner where it filtered toxins in the air.
  • Pachirisu was mostly considered a forgettable Pikachu-clone until the (real-life) 2014 Pokemon World Championship, where Se Jun Park used one to great effect on his winning team. His Pachirisu quickly became a crowd-favorite as he rose through the ranks, with great cheers erupting whenever Pachirisu was fielded. Se Jun acknowledged this by beginning to carry a Pachirisu plushie with him into his matches.

    Pokémon - Generation V 
  • Deerling gained quite a following over the years for changing colors, being cute, being a deer, being a grass type, holding its own in battle, and for having an awesome evolution.
  • A LOT of fans wish Joltik was the most well-known Electric-type, for being a tiny electric jumping spider that looks like a fluffy plush animal.
  • Excadrill, one of the most annoyingly powerful non-legendary Pokémon you'll ever fight against, especially in a sandstorm. Their existence (along with Garchomp) are the reason sand teams became such a threat in the Generation V meta-game.
  • Darumaka and Darmanitan are really well-liked due to their adorable and funny designs and skull-breakingly strong attacks. They're one of the better Fire types in the main campaign as well.
  • Scrafty is also a very well-liked Pokémon from Generation V. It looks cool, has an interesting theme, and is uniquely useful in competitive play; it and Scraggy (its previous form) are the only dark/fighting types, which means they're the only Fighting type Pokémon immune to Psychic attacks note , and they get STAB on two very useful types. Scrafty's possible abilities are also very good. Moxie increases its attack every time it defeats an enemy, making it a good sweeper. Shed Skin has a chance of removing a status effect, so it's great for a defensive set. The official Nintendo 2011 Black and White tournament gave out a fairly decent Scrafty as a nod to its popularity as a team fighter. It likely helps that Scrafty is really useful in-game as well, with its typing rendering it good against three of the Elite Four.
  • Yamask gained a lot of fans from the fact that it's an adorable little Ghost-type with a tragic backstory, not to mention an ability that's pretty helpful in battle. Its evolution, Cofagrigus also has a lot of fans, due to how delightfully terrifying it is.
  • Among the fossils of this gen, Archen and Archeops have proven to be incredibly popular. Crippling ability aside, the fans quickly fell in love with their designs (with Archen being a Ridiculously Cute Critter and Archeops being a suitably awesome Feathered Fiend) and were quite delighted to see a Pokemon based on Archaeopteryx and dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, a first for the series (unless one counts Scyther as a dromaeosaur). X and Y only furthered their popularity by giving Archeops an endearingly derpy looking sprite.
  • Mienshao has a fanbase of its own because of its elegant feminine design (which is strange for a Fighting-Type Pokémon) and its usability in combat, especially with its Regenerator ability and the two moves frequently used in competitive play: High Jump Kick and U-Turn.
  • Chandelure. Right up there with Gengar as one of the best Ghost types of the game thanks to its god-like special-attack and amazing type coverage. Which is ironic considering the status most other Pokémon based on inanimate objects get. Much to many fans' surprise, it is the only Generation V Pokémon to be playable in the Pokken Tournament.
  • Volcarona and its pre-evolution Larvesta. Thanks to it being an excellent Pokémon battle-wise, possessing a unique type combination (Bug/Fire)note , and for being a fluffy moth. Let's not even mention that, element-wise,Hydreigon is weak to it. And at least one fan is trying to present it as the bane of all vampires.
  • Golurk is a freaking Humongous Mecha! The moment people figure out it can learn Fly ups anyone's view of the giant robot. Also has the unique typing of Ghost/Groundnote . In addition, its Iron Fist ability makes punching attacks more powerful and it gets the never-miss Shadow Punch naturally. Golurk is basically the Pokémon equivalent of a Jaeger.
  • Haxorus, a Dragon dinosaur with axes for teeth?!?! Yes please!
  • Bisharp, a badass blade fighter with a cool Dark/Steel type. It helps that it is one of the few Steel-types to retain their resistance to Dark and Ghost from Generation VI onwards thanks to their Dark typing.
  • Braviary is A TRUE AMERICAN EAGLE.
  • Fans are also quite fond of Braviary's Distaff and Evil Counterpart, Mandibuzz. We were long overdue for a vulture Pokemon and gen 5 did not disappoint, as we got ourselves an all-female, Dark-type vulture whose babies (Vullaby) wear diapers made out of human skulls.
  • Hydreigon, Generation V's pseudo-legendary and the signature 'mon of the aforementioned Ghetsis. The Fairy-type completely nerfing it in Generation VI boosts its popularity even further.
  • Genesect, a prehistoric insect-turned-cyborg weapon of mass destruction. Its above-average Speed and high offensive stats make it a powerful force in battle, and an official Japanese poll ranked it at #6, higher than even Mewtwo (#11)!
  • Special shoutout to Stunfisk, who was so huge in Japan, Stunfisk merch would sell out almost instantly after release. It's also popular in the West, too, due to Memetic Mutation.
  • Surprisingly, Scolipede, and by extension the other members of its line; despite being menacing-looking and happening to be based on what is arguably one of the most frightening critters in the whole arthropod kingdom, there's quite a number of people in fan circles that consider it their favorite Bug-type line of Gen V.
    • Helps that they're also based on the much more docile woodlouse and pill millipede, are viable throughout the entirety of walkthroughs compared to the other early bugs, and happened to get a huge buff in the form of their Hidden abilities being changed from Quick Feet to Speed Boost in Gen VI.
  • Another Bug-Type Pokémon, Leavanny and its pre-evolutions, thanks to the former's Mama Bear status and being quite useful in-game (except against fire and flying).
  • Amoonguss of all Pokémon received a surprise surge in popularity (both ironic and unironic) in late 2020 and early 2021, mainly due to its name being very phonetically similar to that of the hit game Among Us. Prior to this, it had a cult following due to its charming, plump design and usefulness in competitive.

    Pokémon - Generation VI 
  • The Kalos bird, Talonflame, picked up a fanbase on the competitive side of things the moment people realized just how good its signature Hidden Ability, Gale Wings, was; giving it +1 priority to all Flying-Type attacks, including Brave Bird, Tailwind and Roost. Thanks to this, it was bestowed the nickname "Smogonbird." While Gale Wings has since been nerfed, it still has a following for its badass design and being the first regional bird to have a typing other than Normal/Flying.
  • Vivillon, a bug type whose region varying colors have created such high demand people will trade legendaries for them. They even created a special variation that can only be acquired through a Pokemon GTS event. Also, it didn't take long for fans to notice that Vivillon's Pokédex number is 666.
  • Skiddo and Gogoat. Both can be ridden on in game. Skiddo is a cute little goat kid, while Gogoat is cross between an adult goat and a motorcycle with good stats and a surprisingly large movepool when compared to other Grass-types.
  • Espurr and Meowstic, the Creepy Cute cats. Especially Espurr, whose Thousand-Yard Stare quickly achieved meme status that swept the internet and had a whole range of merchandise revolving around it released.
  • Despite a rough start regarding Honedge and Doublade's shallow designs, the possessed sword's final evolution, Aegislash, more than made up for it with an Awesome Mc Coolname in every language, a cool semi-humanoid design, and great viability in competitive play; giving the Pokémon swords as-a-whole a much better reception among the fans. It even got to appear in PokkenTournament DX as DLC.
  • Goomy, whom some internet users are jokingly worshiping as a God, might just be one of the most adorable Pokémon, period. Its final form, Goodra, is the first pseudo-legendary since Dragonite to be a happy-go-lucky friendly creature (that still kicks a lot of ass) rather than a vicious bloodthirsty beast.
  • Hawlucha, the Masked Luchador hawk whose Secret Art is the only dual-typed move in the series. While Hawlucha is quite prone to Mucha Lucha! jokes, it's also developed a massive fanbase with Pro Wrestling Fans.
  • Tyrunt and Tyrantrum, the first true Tyrannosaurus rex Mons in the series — not just by virtue of being clearly based on a popular dinosaur known for being supremely badass, but also by virtue of being Dragon-types! In fact, Tyrantrum was voted the second-best Pokémon of Gen VI by Dorkly users, ahead of Yveltal, the more popular version mascot, and only behind Greninja, the Breakout Character of the generation. And, for the hardcore paleonuts out there, the fact that Gamefreak wasn't afraid to give Tyrunt and Tyrantrum feathers.
  • The sauropod Ice fossils Amaura and Aurorus didn't go unappreciated, either. You'd be lucky to come across a Pokémon forum that hasn't made a The Land Before Time or Jurassic Park joke with the new Poké-dinos.
  • Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist, one of two new Ghost/Grass type families introduced this generation, clearly saw more popularity than the Phantump/Trevenant line for their adorable, unique, and creative design (Halloween and pumpkins) and for coming in four different and unique sizes ranging from small to super size which isn't simply a cosmetic difference, but also are separated from one another from how one uses them (small tends to be speedy sub-seeders whilst the Super-Size are very bulky).
  • Klefki is an interesting case as being an Animate Inanimate Object (a key ring in this case) it gets some flack for people who generally don't like Pokémon based on inanimate objects. However, it also has an absurd combination of being a Steel/Fairy type, the ability Prankster, and the best movepool that backs up Prankster. Its unorthodox battling prowess combined with its bizarre appearance has made it pretty popular among some circles. If for humorous reasons.
  • Noivern has also been very well-received for being a badass dragon-bat and for having Aerodactyl-like Speed. Its pre-evolution, Noibat, has also won many hearts due to being a Ridiculously Cute Critter.
  • Pancham and its evolution Pangoro also seem to be rather popular, for being bancho pandas.
  • The fandom responded very positively to Inkay and Malamar for their unique Dark/Psychic typing, as well as appearing like something out of an H. P. Lovecraft story. Malamar in particular is very popular with the Brazilian fandom due to its Japanese name, Karamanero, which sounds like the term "Cara maneiro", which when translated literally means "Cool guy", but due to how the context of the term in Brazilian Portuguese is, it would be more correctly translated as "Awesome dude".
  • Helioptile and Heliolisk are well liked for their designs and the fact that they make good speedy attackers in the game, especially since they have Parabolic Charge. And they learn Surf, making them good for taking down those pesky Ground-types and the ability to travel over water.
  • In general, Game Freak claims that one of the main factors behind who received Mega Evolutions was popularity. In particular, borderline-worthless Pokemon that gained Mega Evolutions (Beedrill, Audino, Kangaskhan, Mawile and Lopunny, just to name a few) became instantly popular. Some of them even went so far to become the metagame's gods of ruin.

    Pokémon - Generation VII 
  • First seen in a split second shot in one of the May trailers, the adorable rock puppy Rockruff gathered a lot of fans very quickly and people were keen to guess what it looked like before its official reveal in the July 2016 issue of Corocoro, which only gave it more fans.
    • Lycanroc is equally loved for its epic design and branching forms. The fact that they're essentially expies of Courage Wolf and Insanity Wolf doesn't hurt.
  • The Grubbin line is surprisingly popular for several reasons. Grubbin for being the first Pokémon based on a beetle grub as well as being adorable. Charjabug for its amusing design and its unique ability. Vikavolt for being a badass, menacing stag beetle. Grubbin evolution forms being Bug/Electric type also makes this line rather well-received. The fact that Vikavolt's design and name are references to the Vic-Viper helps, earning the affection of Gradius fans.
  • Immediately after its reveal, Salandit became a fan-favorite due to its bandit-like design, being Poison/Fire type, and its ability Corrosion that allows it to poison Poison-type and Steel-type. Its evolved form Salazzle has gained similar popularity for her high special attack and speed, as well as its sleek, elegant, somewhat fanservicey design and Pokedex entries. Especially her design and Pokedex entries.
  • Golisopod, the evolved form of Wimpod, has been very well received. In a case of Magikarp Power, Wimpod takes several levels in badass, and becomes a hulking bipedal giant isopod-samurai fusion with a very well-received design. Despite its ability being a hindrance, Golisopod's massive defenses and access to three different powerful priority moves to overcome its low speed (and its semi-unique typing) more than make up for it. Helped that it's the signature mon of another fan favorite, Guzma.
  • Mimikyu, the Pikachu Imposter, is ridiculously popular for wearing an old, poorly drawn Pikachu rag just to become as popular as Pikachu. Its popularity largely stems from its relatability with its desire to be loved, as well as being a Ghost/Fairy type and having a unique ability called Disguise that allows it to avoid damage once. Its popularity increased with the official song "Song of Mimikyu" where it sings about how it wants to protect you and be friends with you despite how it may look, and polls have shown Mimikyu is the most popular Pokémon of Sun and Moon.
  • Fans quickly fell in love with the adorable Pyukumuku even before anything else besides its design was revealed. Then the revelation of its "Innards Out" ability elevated its popularity even more.
  • The Alolan Ice type variants of Vulpix and Ninetales, already fan favorites now given another reason to be loved, due to their beautiful designs and Ninetales' unique Ice/Fairy typing.
  • The Mareanie/Toxapex line has grown quite a fanbase for being an incredible defensive wall with multiple forms of health recovery. As a result, it's one of the few non-legendary Alolan Pokémon to be bumped up all the way to the OU tier, and is even usable in Ubers.
  • Type: Null's odd design and backstory have captured a lot of speculation to its origins, and most people have flocked to it due to potential Woobie status. Its evolution, Silvally, became a near fan favorite overnight after its reveal for its badass design, all of The Woobie status of Type: Null with an extra dose of heartwarming due to evolving when it recognizes that it shares a mutual bond with its trainer, and a unique ability that can make it any type it wants depending on the special item it's holding, an ability very similar to Arceus itself. In fact, it even seems like a deliberate attempt to recreate Arceus both in-universe and out, as implied by the ability name, and this caused no small amount of Fanfic Fuel. Most art of Silvally also portrays it as a Friend to All Living Things, especially Gladion! Awww.
  • UB-02 Beauty, also known as Pheromosa, has garnered its fair share of love, for its elegant design, great competitive use as a Glass Cannon and Fragile Speedster. And in Pokemon Refresh, it's fairly cute as well, with an adorable little smile.
  • UB-03 Lighting, also known as Xurkitree, has been basking in quite a bit of popularity due to its Creepy Awesome design that also resembles Guzma, as well as its cute dancing animation in Pokémon Refresh. In competitive play, it is one of the best Ultra Beasts available, due to its sheer power and having Tail Glow as a move letting it steamroll most stall teams. It also helps that its defenses, while rather pale, aren't as paper-thin as fellow Ultra Beasts Pheromosa and Kartana.
  • UB-04 Blaster, known as Celesteela, is also quite popular due its almost "beautiful" and "cute" design. Its also popular in competitive play due to the fact that unlike most of the Ultra Beasts, most of its stats are balanced enough that Beast Boost can be tweaked to increase whichever stat the player would want. It also boasts the most powerful Heavy Slam in the whole series, due to being among the heaviest Pokémon and getting STAB on top of that.

    Pokémon - Generation VIII 
  • Galarian Farfetch'd was actually able to rescue the leek-toting bird from scrappyhood thanks to an awesome and hilarious Guts-esque design and a long-requested evolution in Sirfetch'd.
  • The Hattena line ended up becoming a fast favorite for many, with its adorable pre-evolutions, and pleasant pastel color palette coming together nicely. Even with its Pokedex entries stating them to actually be a very dangerous Killer Rabbit, they still have staunch supporters. Heck, many people like the line even more for the fact they're so hostile.
  • Toxtricity (especially its Amped form) has also proven very popular due to being one of the only two Electric/Poison-type Pokémon in the series and having an interesting design based on punk rock stars. On a special "Pokémon of the Year" poll done for the 2020 Pokémon Day, Toxtricity came in at an impressive #14.
  • Snom, an adorable jewel caterpillar that evolves via friendship and the very first Ice/Bug Pokemon in the series. Its cute looks, very weak stats before evolving, evolution method and interesting hidden ability had many fans wanting to protect the little bug. Its evolution Frosmoth is also fairly popular, especially since it's an Ice/Bug moth, a concept that fans have wanted for years. Surprisingly enough, Snom got enough votes to be the 30th most popular Pokémon in the "Pokémon of the Year" poll. Not bad for a little grub!
  • The entire Corviknight line is definitely this. Both Rookidee and Corvisquire are adorable birds with feather designs that make them look fierce and it helps that they're both pure Flying-types instead of the usual Normal/Flying typing. And then there is Corviknight itself who was loved by fans ever since it was first revealed. It's menacing design, very useful Steel/Flying typing, and being a great combatant in competitive battling makes it an extremely sought-out Pokémon. It helps that it's one of few Pokémon to have a Gigantamax form as well.
  • Ever since it was first discovered, Falinks became an immediate fan-favorite due to their Kirby-like, cute-yet-at-the-same-time-tough looks, their unique concept (Being based off of the Greek phalanx formation of all things alongside having a gladiator-esque design), said unique concept allowing a team of six as one Pokémon, and their unique move "No Retreat", which boosts all of their stats at the cost of no longer being allowed to switch out.
  • Dracovish has found a significant following due to its So Bad, It's Good Ugly Cute design and interesting origin, being based off of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, statues of incorrectly assembled fossils. It definitely helps that it's surprisingly great in competitive thanks to its excellent typing, good movepool, and overpowered signature movenote . It also served as many fans' introduction to the Dunkleosteus.
  • Dreepy and its evolutions are beloved by fans for being a family of Dragon/Ghost Diplocaulus with stealth bombers for heads. And as Galar's pseudo-legendary, it commands attention in the metagame with blistering speed and a spectacular movepool. On the aforementioned 2020 Pokémon Day poll, Dragapult was the highest ranking Gen 8 Pokémon on the list, falling just short of the top 10 at #11.
  • Wooloo. The small, sheep-based Pokemon has become immensely popular on the internet since the games were announced, due to its high levels of cuteness. Many often depict Wooloo together with a previous sheep-based Pokemon, Mareep.
  • Impidimp sold some people from his reveal thanks to his derpy looks, but his popularity skyrocketed when his two evolutions were revealed. Morgrem is well-liked for his edgelord-esque look, while Grimmsnarl's use of his Prehensile Hair in battle and Dark/Fairy typing have drawn comparisons to Bayonetta; the latter's Gigantamax form only made him even more popular with his striking, menacing design a la Gurren Lagann. It certainly helps that its the first Pokémon that's based on a demon in this case the imp further boosts the line's popularity.
  • Appletun, a Pokemon that evolves from Applin via Shield-exclusive item, quickly received adoration among fan artists for dorky yet ridiculously adorable design, funny walk/run cycle and bumbling demeanor - being essentially a chubby turtle with an apple pie for its body and a piece of apple worn as a helmet. Similarly to Snom, it gained a following of fans wanting to protect a clumsy apple-turtle.
  • Minutes after its discovery, Galarian Corsola sent ripples throughout every Pokemon fans for its absolutely tear-jerking Green Aesop backstory of representing coral bleaching by climate change. This is especially impressive considering Corsola was one of the least liked Pokémon by fans. The fact that it can perform really well in competitive doesn't hurt either. Its evolution Cursola is also well-liked for providing a new lease on life for Corsola, as well as its interesting design.
  • Gen 8 saved the somewhat disturbing Mr. Mime by giving it a new regional form based on tap dancers, making it look less creepy. But the real example comes from its evolution, Mr. Rime, whose Charlie Chaplin-inspired design and the silly way it walks in Pokémon Camp gave it plenty of fans that consider it a rare example of a humanoid Pokémon done right.


  • Ash, or rather evil Ashnote , who is popular enough to allow the writers to fool the fans in a trailer for a Pokémon movie.
  • Another Ash alter-ego, Ashley, is also extremely popular, probably due to just how absurd it is and just how well Ash passes as a girl. It also helps that this one joke was then used again, and then at a rate of about once per generation (with the strange exception of 6), becoming something of a generational Running Gag.
  • Three words: Gary Motherfucking Oak. Despite not actually appearing that often, especially after the Johto saga, his popularity has never waned among both the English and Japanese fanbases, by basically taking everything about his game counterpart and cranking him Up to Eleven; this kid is practically legendary for his Awesome Ego and flashy demeanor, driving a Porsche and having a legion of cheerleaders at the age of ten, somehow having 10 badges, a good chunk of which don't even exist and have never been mentioned again even to this day, and being a taunting Troll which is emphasized even more in the Japanese version with his smooth, deliberate voice, has spawned more than a few memes, and on the Japanese side of things even him briefly poking his head into a Nico Nico Douga video is enough to send a mass Bullet Hell curtain of comments flying across the screen. It should say something when he's still extremely popular even as his presence in the series diminishes by the year and even after he has mellowed out. This has also spilled into his game counterpart Blue, though it's indistinguishable how much of his popularity comes from Gary or Blue himself.
  • Some of the Characters of the Day get this as well.
    • Giselle, the Defrosting Ice Queen from an early season 1 episode, is rather popular as a One Episode Wonder among older Western fans. It also helps that she is remembered by fans for being the one girl that Ash was crushing on before the producers had officially decided that he would be a Chaste Hero for the rest of the series (with the possible exception of Serena).
    • Duplica and Todd were one-shot characters from the first season popular enough to make repeat appearances during Ash's travels in Johto. Duplica was a Ditto trainer and Master of Disguise; Todd Snap was a Pokemon photographer (and also the protagonist of Pokémon Snap). It's also not uncommon for these two to be shipped together (Copyshipping). Duplica's popularity only increased thanks to the Twitch anime marathon, with the scene where the trio immitates Team Rocket's motto with her being a common 'filler' clip when the stream is showing ads in between episodes.
    • Gulzar, the wannabe Grass-type master with flowers in his hair, is well liked due to being a charming and funny character.
    • Gligarman (an obvious Batman and superhero parody) of the Johto saga was popular enough to frequently get requested to return to the show, especially when Ash had a Gligar/Gliscor of his own.
      • His daughter Latoya is just as popular, especially considering she followed in her dad's footsteps and became Gligirl.
    • Harrison: he's pretty much the only one of Ash's league-only rivals who actually earned his victory over Ash by virtue of being a Worthy Opponent, and thus is pretty much the only one of Ash's league-only rivals who is near-unanimously liked by the fandom, instead of being a Base-Breaking Character or The Scrappy. He also gets coolness points for being the first-known trainer to use a Blaziken.
    • Katie from the Hoenn League gained many fans for being a relatively intelligent trainer who actually incorporated strategies from the games into her battle against Ash, such as using certain moves to weaken Ash's Pokemon before switching Pokemon mid-battle to utilize type advantages, and also forcing Ash to do the same. Some viewers actually hoped she would win in her battle against Ash simply due to favoring her battle style over Ash's. It helps that she's very popular with Twitch.
    • XY&Z provided the character Jimmy, a Rocker who desired to become the greatest Pikachu Trainer in the world with his Pikachu Spike. Funny and hilarious, his Pikachu also showed two different moves from his species in Dig and Thunderpunch, furthering his fandom popularity. He also gained further popularity by matching Ash's Pikachu in power and inspiring the fan favorite Serena crossdressing as Ash incident.
    • Astrid for XY and Z seemed to be pretty popular with fans due to her character design being lifted from the Ace Trainer Class. Many fans felt cheated when her league battle with Ash ended in under two minutes.
    • A number of the background Pokémon Showcase Performers are similarly popular, notable examples including Sara Lee, Concetta, Blanche and Swanna Girl.
  • Sidestory characters such as Jimmy, Marina, and Mairin all have rather sizable fanbases.
  • Conway, an intended one-shot who was added to two other story arcs (the Pokémon Summer Academy and the Sinnoh League) due to fan popularity.
  • Pokémon Hunter J, for really pushing the envelope in terms of how dark the anime can get. She is a No-Nonsense Nemesis and also one of the very few villains who actually tries to murder Ash as opposed to just getting rid of him. Unsurprisingly, she crosses into Draco in Leather Pants territory as well.
  • Zoey herself qualifies. She's a popular ship with Dawn, is the first main cast rival to win a major competition and was a refreshing take on female characters within the series.
  • Despite only showing up in two episodes, Byron stands out for being played as a ham of legendary proportions who's constantly yelling about how much he loves things, making his screentime utterly hilarious as a result. It helps that he's voiced by Dan Green with almost the exact same voice as Yami Yugi.
  • Maylene for good character development, though getting voiced by Misty's English Voice Actor probably doesn't hurt.
  • Amongst Ash's numerous rivals, Stephan has become one of these. Being less prominent than Trip or Bianca (among others), he nonetheless has a lively and likeable personality, as well as being a badass battler from what we get to see of his skills. It also helps that he gets what is, hands down, the best battle in the entire Unova League.
  • Burgundy only appeared in one episode originally. Immediately after her design was shown, fanart exploded, and she became a Launcher of a Thousand Ships. Then during the Club Battle arc, she had some Character Development, and later developed a hilarious Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Georgia.
  • Georgia, Iris' "Dragon Buster" rival, is well-liked for having a rounded character and Jerk with a Heart of Gold tendencies.
  • Miette, Serena’s rival from the Kalos arc, has a sizable fanbase, mostly from the two's entertaining competition for Ash's affections.
  • Lysandre of Team Flare. Although he is the Big Bad of XY&Z, he didn't get much focus until the end of the season. He is widely considered to be one of the best anime antagonists, in how uniquely he was handled with his status as a Visionary Villain, and how he let the series reach a whole new level of Darker and Edgier. There are a fair few who thought the anime version of Lysandre was even better than how the games utilized him.
  • The Club Tournament contestants - many don't even get any lines, but their character designs are regarded as among the best parts of those arcs (Antonio and Jimmy Ray/Watchog Guy especially). Some of these characters, like the aforementioned Antonio, return for the Unova League.
    • Edmund the "Rain Man", who's an (almost literal) One-Scene Wonder (he appears momentarily before battling Stephan, and disappears altogether afterwards).
  • Despite only appearing in one game and a single episode, Lucy the Frontier Brain is very popular for both her aforementioned role in the games and the fact she is one of few females to requite Brock's affections, making her common shipping material.
  • Similar to the above Lucy example, several girls are this for shippings with Ash despite not being one of his primary traveling companions.
    • Melody from Pokémon 2000 for cheek-kissing Ash, though this act also makes her very, very, very hated by Pokeshippers.
    • Bianca from Pokémon Heroes for, again, cheek kissing Ash at the end of the movie. (Though, if this was actually Latias has always been up for debate)
    • Frontier Brain, Anabel, maintains a fanbase for Abilityshipping
    • Angie, a tomboy from the Sinnoh Summer Academy arc for Morpheusshipping.
  • Lana's mother from Episode 967/SM24 has become popular immediately after her debut. For reasons. All after no more than ten seconds of screen time, no name known for her to date, and only two other equally brief appearances since. Seriously, there is more porn of her than some Gym Leaders.
  • Lillie's older brother Gladion, who is Ash's main rival in Alola. He has a cool, stoic demeanor, while at the same time being genuinely friendly towards Ash. Further cemented when he is revealed to have an intesene Big Brother Instinct towards Lillie.
  • Dia from the two-part Guzzlord arc is a fan favorite for his chemistry with Ash, for defying expectations of being a Tobias-expy, and the theory that he's an alternate version of Ash or Red.
  • Domino from Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns. She’s one of Team Rocket’s elites has a little over seven minutes of screentime, and around a quarter million words of fanfiction. How can she not be when she gets to wear opera gloves and thigh-high boots all day for a living, and has both a cute hairstyle and a Nice Hat?
  • Butch and Cassidy are generally well-received for their roles as Jessie and James' more competent rivals, and for Butch's continuously being misnamed.

  • Ash's team is filled with these: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Heracross, Sceptile, Swellow, Staraptor, Hawlucha, Rowlet and Lycanroc. Even Ash's unofficial Pokémon, Haunter and Larvitar, have a place in fans' hearts.
    • Ash's Charizard, largely due to the immense love for the species, but also because he was Ash's first powerhouse Pokémon aside from Pikachu. Ash typically uses Charizard as his trump card in the important battles.
    • Ash's Primeape is pretty popular with some folks, and being one of his most powerful teammates along with the surprising amount of development he had in his short time with Ash, it's not hard to see why. The fact that his debut was in one of the most hilariously entertaining episodes of the season, if not the series, probably helps.
    • Ash's Bayleef. She's loved for her immense crush on Ash which is adorable and hilarious, especially the Running Gag that she forgets her larger size and still tries to leap into Ash's arms, resulting in him getting bodyslammed.
    • Ash's Gliscor. What wins a lot of people over towards this Pokemon was how utterly cute the anime made the flying scorpion out to be despite its supposed god-awful design.note  If any Pokémon ended up getting a better reception compared to when they were introduced in the game beforehand, it's this one.
    • Ash's Gible. There's just something about its blank, wide-eyed personality that draws people to adore the tiny land-shark. Also helped by the fact that its capture was Ash's first legitimate pseudo-legendary Pokemon.
    • Ash's Snivy, beloved for being an Action Girl Team Mom with a Sugar-and-Ice Personality; Ash's Krookodile, a Dark Is Not Evil Cowardly Lion who's also a powerful Boisterous Bruiser; and Ash's Palpitoad, the underused but strange and powerful trump card...especially Palpitoad. Just read the comments of fans, disappointed by his lack of screentime, miniscule development, and rare victories.
    • Ash's Goodra. It's shown to easily be one of the strongest Pokemon Ash has ever owned, shrugging off most attacks as if they were nothing and defeating almost every Pokémon it faces quickly, while still being adorable and very friendly, and getting its own side arc with character development. Goodra was brought back as Ash's sixth Pokemon for his semi-final match against Sawyer.
    • Ash's Greninja. His species was already quite popular to begin with. But Ash's one gained further admiration. He has a die-hard attitude of being dedicated to his training, only choosing a trainer who could help him get stronger, the mysterious prophecy foretelling greatness for Greninja and Ash. He then went on to become the Breakout Character, where the XY&Z arc gave him the pseudo-Mega Evolution form as a result of synchronizing with Ash, and became Ash's most focused Pokémon for a while. That being said, his popularity took a critical hit following his infamous defeat at the hands of Alain's Charizard. Even so it is still one of the most often-requested Pokémon to make a comeback.
  • Ash as a Pikachu is near-universally loved, and has endless fanart and a whole community of fanfictions dedicated to him. His very minor appearance for a few minutes at the end and beginning of two episodes was very unsatisfying to fans. They have never give up hope of seeing Ashachu/Ashchu again ever since.
  • Misty's Psyduck and Jessie's Wobbuffet, two very similar, dopey Pokémon who just won't stay in their Poké Balls. When Wobbuffet was Put on a Bus in Best Wishes, the show later made a fan poll asking which Team Rocket Pokemon they'd like to return. Guess who came back in XY?
    • Psyduck gained even more popularity in the Sun and Moon episodes where Ash reunites with Misty and Brock, thanks to it having Took a Level in Badass.
  • James' various Pokemon that show affection to him by painfully embracing him, such as Victreebel, Carnivine, Cacnea and Mareanie.
  • The reoccurring Jigglypuff who follows Ash's gang around during Kanto and Johto, getting angry whenever its audience falls asleep or runs away, leading it to draw on people's faces with its marker. It's also likely the reason a member of its species got into Super Smash Bros.. It got to return for an episode in Sun and Moon. And then it hitched a plane to Alola...
  • As far as one-shot characters are concerned, the Crystal Onix of the Orange Islands Saga is very fondly remembered. When Sun and Moon introduced the concept of Alola Forms, many were disappointed it did not become a Canon Immigrant, especially considering they did release Ice-type Alolan forms of two other Pokémon and had a nod to another one-shot Pokémon, Puka the wave-sensing Pikachu, with Alolan Raichu.
  • Duplica's Ditto is an interesting example. In its debut episode, Duplica was trying to help it properly transform — despite getting other details perfectly, Ditto couldn't quite get a handle on transforming its face — and she succeeded by the episode's end. However, that same ditto-face has been adopted by the franchise itself as the iconic tell of all Ditto-transformations, from Pokemon Snap to the Trading Card Game.
  • Mew, for similar reasons to the game. Its playful, innocent nature, in conjecture with being one of the most powerful characters in existence, has earned it a lot of love. It's very popular in fanfictions as a result of this.
  • Brock's Croagunk. Ineffectual Loner, Evil Laugh, Ass Shove, Not So Stoic, Croagunk holds a lot of Diamond and Pearl's funnier moments. In addition, a majority of people find that its rendition of the Running Gag to keep Brock away from women he hits on to be the best version. It became so iconic that Croagunk got into Pokkén Tournament instead of its evolution Toxicroak, adopting a Fighting Clown style similar to its anime incarnation.
  • Brock's Crobat eventually became a fan-favorite. Particularly after the Johto episode, "Sick Daze," where it stayed at Brocks bedside to make sure that its sick master stays in bed to rest. When this episode played for the 2018 Pokémon Twitch Marathon, viewers officially coined Crobat as "Brobat" whenever it reappeared afterwards.
  • Serena's Braixen. Already quite popular as a Fennekin for her cuteness and her obsession with cleanliness and looking her best. However evolving into a Braixen was what cemented her popularity, when its species was already a fan favorite in the games.
  • Clemont's Chespin and Serena's Pancham. Both Pokémon being pranksters and Big Eaters, who switch from being rivals to best friends depending on the episode.
  • Serena's Sylveon. She tied very nicely into Serena's Character Development, going from a shy Eevee who had no confidence in itself, who gained courage due to the close relationship she had with her trainer, eventually leading to the heartwarming moment where she evolves. Many were disappointed when her screen time took a nose dive afterwards.
  • Squishy the Zygarde Core, for being... well, Zygarde. It also stands out as being the only Legendary to end up as a traveling companion. Its involvement in the XY&Z arc is one of the most intriguing plots in the anime, with a whole new level of Darker and Edgier.
  • The Ducklett trio from an early Best Wishes episode, who caused bizarre, yet adorable chaos and trolled the characters several times. Ask any Pokémon forum about them, and you'll see they're almost universally loved.
  • Pikachu's "Super Pikachu" outfit in the X-Y episode featuring the Cosplay Pikachu, is quite popular. Many are hoping this outfit becomes available to Cosplay Pikachu in the games as well.
  • The recurring evil Malamar, also known as the "Malamunati", are also very popular, in part because they are amongst the very few truly evil Pokémon to appear on the show and in part because they make for such convincing Knights of Cerebus.
  • Tying into that, James' Inkay quickly garnered popularity after displaying his Undying Loyalty to James to face the Evil Malamar, his cute design and semi competent battling in early points of XY helping.
  • Ironically, the Bewear from SM. Despite coming from a species that was disliked at debut, its role of taking over the blasting off gag for Team Rocket by grabbing them and taking them away is well received due to Bewear's uncanny ability to show up in the most bizarre and improbable locations.
  • Jessie's Mimikyu is well-liked by the fans, just as the species is in the game, although for different reasons.
  • Kiawe's Turtonator has garnered a fan base out of the Alola team's Pokemon despite appearing the least, being a less conventional signature for a main character that isn't either a starter or a standard cute "mascot" Pokemon, as well as proving itself a badass from the moment it appeared,note  while retaining a similar comical, affectionate personality as it's smaller classmates. This furthered after Kiawe caught Marowak, who formed a comedic Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Turtonator.
  • Guzma's Golisopod, much like the Pokémon itself, garnered a huge fanbase for how terrifyingly brutal it was, to the point it makes Jessie's Mimikyu look tame. The English dub made Golisopod even more popular, as its Pokémon Speak was changed from soft sounding voice in Japanese to a horrifying inaudible roar-like voice. For only appearing in four episodes, it left quite the First Impression.
  • Guzma's Scizor has only one real notable appearance in battling Illima's Mega Kangaskhan but earned sympathy from fans because it is on the receiving end of a 4x super effective STAB attack from Ash's Torracat because Golisopod retreated back to its Pokeball against Guzma's order.

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