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"I know I say this every so often, but… Ash, this is a new tier of ridiculous," Misty said. "It is literally raining Legendary Pokémon."

Legendarily Popular (also posted at Archive Of Our Own) is a Pokémon fanfic by Saphroneth, the author of Ashes of the Past, Vulpine, Harry is a Dragon, and That's Okay, and Saruman of Many Devices.

The fic can be summarized as;

Ash Ketchum's legendary Legendary luck is extended back in time to his childhood, and turned up. A bit.

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Past 11.

As such, he has a skewed perspective on what’s normal.

The story was developed and community-reviewed on Spacebattles, then assembled into completed chapters and published to FanFiction.Net. We're troping the latest version, so beware of spoilers!


Legendarily Popular provides examples of:

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    A - K 
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Mew attempts to teach Goldeen Levitate, which is an ability rather than a move. Heracross is puzzled, but Mew quickly silences him.
    Sssh, he sent, still telepathically. I've not told Goldeen it's not a move and I don't think she knows.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Ash and his team, to the point where he nearly defeats the entire Elite Four on his first try, only losing to Lance by one Pokémon after taking out his Mega Dragonite, and Lance even offers him a place on the Elite Four! During the Hoenn Grand Festival, Brock calls Lance Ash's Johto rival. Lance later decides that Ash's team (which includes a tiny Shiny Rayquaza capable of mega-evolution) may actually be too strong for the Elite Four.
      • He beat Steven, the Hoenn Grand Champion's team (though he turned the title down). The "he beat" is quite literal as well; he personally defeated Steven's iconic Shiny Mega Metagross, as Mega Ashbol.
    • Jessie, James and Meowth have become much more competent, too. Giovanni later admits (albeit indirectly) that they're his best agents, and that in a couple years they should be able to take on Lance.
      • The confrontation with Rico the poacher, where they canonically had to release Weezing and Arbok, turns into a Curb-Stomp Battle, with Wobbuffet Countering a terminal velocity impact with the ground and directing the energy into Rico's Tyranitar. Meowth then warns Jessie and James to be wary in case he has a tough Pokémon as a trump card.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Ash manages to meet a good portion of the Legendaries he would have met over the course of his travels before he even sets off on his journey. Mew plays with him throughout his childhood. Solgaleo takes him racing against Hoopa. Silver, the young Lugia, turns up to watch TV with him. He hand-feeds Zapdos through his bedroom window. Giratina takes him through the Reverse World to dodge some inclement weather at summer camp, giving him a mirror afterward to let him contact Giratina at will. And he literally trips over Shaymin when getting out of bed on the day he becomes a trainer.
    • During the events of the third movie, Entei uses Roar to force Zorua to return... and Arceus pops out of the GS ball, which is where he was in Saph's other fic, Ashes of the Past, but that little fact wouldn't normally be revealed for another few years.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Whitney is a lot nicer compared to her typical portrayal. She seems quite pleased to see Ash, and is effusive in complimenting his Pokémon (so long as they're cute).
  • Adaptational Relationship Overhaul:
    • Whitney and Ash get along quite well, unlike their antagonistic relationship in Ashes of the Past. Whitney even seems to be working on a way to be able to join Ash on his journey!
    • Drew is kinder and more respectful of May than he is in canon, if slightly weirded out by her personality, performing style and overall world view (courtesy of Ash). The Ship Tease between them is also a lot less belligerent.
  • Adapted Out: Several of Ash's Pokémon don't appear... since they turn out to actually be Mew pretending to be those Pokémon. This includes Butterfree, Primeape, and Lapras, for a very abridged list.
  • Almighty Janitor: On paper, Jesse, James, and Meowth are on a dead-end job of monitoring Ash and reporting intel about him to Giovanni, along with their futile attempts to try and steal his Pokémon. In reality, they're Giovanni's most important agents because they're actively distracting Ash from going after him directly, along giving their boss the intel to avoid Ash entirely. They're also his best agents, since they're some of the only Pokémon trainers in the world that are able to seriously challenge Ash at all.
  • Alternate Timeline: Several of these more or less collide with each other when Celebi gets controlled by the Iron Masked Marauder and told to eliminate Ash. There are repercussions when the situation stabilises, too, with Zacian retaining some memories of the alternate events.
  • Anti-Climax: Every single movie.
    • The closest we have to a dramatic climax so far is breaking the time lock in Movie 4, so Dialga can express his displeasure.
    • Ash deals with meta-Groudon by accidentally catching it.
    • The whole Delta episode is reduced to Big Rayquaza showing up afterward, having resolved everything and bringing a meteorite chunk for a picnic with Little Rayquaza, because "It is important for a growing Rayquaza to have plenty of space rock in their diet."
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Upon seeing Drake's powerful Dragonite, Misty speculates that the entire Orange League is doing this.
      Misty: ...you know, I think I just worked out why people don't usually beat the Orange League. It's all about technical skill and connecting with your Pokémon and ice sledding, and then suddenly you have to fight a team built around that.
    • Ash calls for Ninetales to use Solarbeam, but when her opponent charges forward to disrupt it, it turns out that she actually charged up Solar Blade. Once for each tail. Closing the range was the wrong move.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Rayquaza swoops down to interrupt the quarrel between Groudon and Kyogre.
    Rayquaza: I don't care who started it. I want you to do just one thing.

    Look at my tiny cousin. Isn't she adorable?
  • Berserk Button: When Taillow steal various items from their lunch, Zapdos is merely annoyed at the rudeness — but then one of them steals a dango ball.
    Zapdos: You did not just do that.
    Pikachu: Get down!
    Zapdos: THUNDER!
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Standard Operating Procedure of Ash's team, enough so that Squirtle would be impressed. Even his non-legendary Pokémon are able to match up against basically anything.
    • Suicune can walk on water, in a way that appears to make weight just not apply, rather than being based on surface tension. So, if she makes mid-air water 'shoes' using telekinesis, she should logically be able to stand on them and effectively fly, right?
    • Emphasized by May's Skitty, which has the Normalize ability, and learned how to turn off Normalize hard enough to make it work in reverse, changing any move to any type, which, alongside Me First and Copycat, allows her to change around the type of pretty much anything around her.
      • A Bug-type Water Pulse apparently looks like a glob of honey.
      • A Fairy-type volcanic eruption is a shower of sparkles.
      • She makes a new weather condition when at the Weather Institute, by transforming Rain Dance into a dragon-type move, behaving like St Elmo's Fire. She names the condition "Dracorocco".
    • Snorunt learns a similar technique to Skitty, albeit only with the Refrigerate ability, allowing her to freeze targets with Fire Beam and set them on fire with Icethrower. And she also knows Sheer Cold, which is meant to drop an area to zero degrees Kelvin...
      Snorunt: I wondered about trying to turn it into Sheer Hot but that's probably something to only try when we're not near something flammable.
      Pikachu: Yeah, like this island.
  • BFS: Zacian with Behemoth Blade.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Whitney attempts to start off her battle against Ash by having Regigigas use Mega Punch, but its Slow Start ability means it doesn't react, so she decides to just use her regular team. After Ash beats her three Pokémon in an epic dance battle, Regigigas suddenly punches Ash's current Pokémon through the ceiling.
      Whitney: Oh, what do you know. Twelve and a half minutes. Good to know!
    • Whitney stated that she got Regigigas from when it crashed into her Gym's Storeroom on an Icesled (which occurred during the Wacky Race in an earlier chapter).
    • Latias and Latios use "Hoopa Holidays" to visit Ash's bedroom and play video games. Much later, Latias uses her rudimentary fighting knowledge from those games to fend off Team Rocket's kidnapping attempt.
  • Closest Thing We Got: When Ash catches meta-Groudon but it's still dependent on draining energy from everything around it, Ho-Oh declares himself to be "the next step up from a doctor!" and proceeds to use Sacred Ash. To be fair, the result — while a bit surprising — is a definite improvement by any reasonable measure. Meta-Groudon turns into a tiny Shiny Rayquaza.
    Ho-Oh: Well, at least I've got them off being stuck on cat. You've got to admit that that's an achievement.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Downplayed with Ash. Observed from a distance, or meeting him for the first time, he and his team appear to be insane. Hang around long enough, and his personality begins to make sense in terms of his own life experiences, where Legendary Pokémon are a dime a dozen to the point where they've scared away the ComMons, and the rules and norms that other people take for granted (like limitations on which moves a Pokémon can learn) just don't apply. Still, when he's in a big fight, the best strategy is to just sit in the audience with popcorn, rather than trying to make sense of the things he does.
      Ash: Okay, Suicune, so you can walk on water, right?
      Suicune: Indeed I can. Which is why we're trying this in the first place.
      Ash: Right, but I was thinking. So when you stand on water, it's not like the water is supporting your weight in a real way, right? If it was surface tension, and stuff, then you'd make the water sink like a boat would. So the weight… doesn't exist when you're standing on water, in a way.
      Suicune: I think I follow that.
      Ash: So that means you don't have to take all that water with you. Not the whole thing, anyway. You just need your paws to be wet, and that's what you're doing… kind of carrying shoes with you, so there's water to go around? Then whenever you put your weight down you're stepping on water, and the weight doesn't exist.
      <Suicune proceeds to successfully stand on airborne water>
      Ash: There you go! Now, let's work on moving around!
    • Stick around Ash for too long, and you're in danger of being converted. May met him when she was just starting out on her journey, and doesn't realise how skewed her perspective is.
      May: I wonder... Perhaps if Beautifly learned Thunderbolt, and especially Flamethrower? We should ask Lokoko or Vulpix for help with Flamethrower...
    • Mew, hands down. From teaching moves that a Pokémon wouldn't normally learn, to jailbreaking the Pokéball system so that they can be caught multiple times (disguised as a different Pokémon each time), to demonstrating his/her/their utter lack of an attention span...
  • Confusion Fu: Ash positively weaponizes this, with a party full of Pokémon that can make themselves appear to be another Pokémon, Pokémon that can do things that they shouldn't (using moves they don't normally learn and/or straight-up ignoring the type chart), and Pokémon that do both.
  • Crack Fic: From Mew teaching Pokémon moves that should be impossible for them to learn, just because it's funny and he doesn't see why not, to Legendary Pokémon arguing over which one has the best resurrection powers, to Ho-Oh ordering takeout (delivered by Pidgeys) while waiting and waiting for Ash to work out that he's supposed to come to the Tin Tower and challenge him... As is typical of Saphroneth, though, the zany premises are then handled more or less logically.
    "Evening," Zapdos said, somewhat indistinctly, then flew in through the largest window. "Ash heard you like takeout, so he sent me."
    "...would you be able to explain?" Ho-Oh requested.
    "Well, this is ramen," Zapdos replied, pulling down the sides of the bag. "And this is some rice omelettes, those are nice. And there's pork buns, here… and some empty dango sticks you can use to make little sculptures with."
    "What I mean," Ho-Oh said, a little frostily, "is why Ash has sent you with takeout."
    He twitched his wings. "Admittedly very nice smelling takeout. Instead of coming himself to challenge me."
    "...honestly, I don't think any of us realized that he was meant to come to the Tin Tower to challenge you," Zapdos admitted. "I'm going back over what I remember, and… no, I don't think so."
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Ash sounds crazy to those who don't know him (as Reshiram can attest), but the things he says about legendary Pokémon are all reasonable from his perspective.
    Ash: Hey, uh… Have you seen a Ghost Pokémon around here called Marshadow? Ho-Oh can't remember where he left him, and Suicune says Marshadow can take care of himself, but Ho-Oh wants to do this whole thing with a feather and… it's important?
  • Cuddle Bug: The first of Ash's dragons to evolve into a Dragonite is "Hugtini", who loves hugs and weaponizing hugs (even as a Dratini). He also trains Chikorita in "large-scale use of special hugging techniques."
    Hugtini note : "I've just discovered a whole new dimension of hugs! Hello Golbat! Would you like to make friends with me?"
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • When Ash's next Pokémon at the Silver Conference turns out to be Dracozolt, Misty gives up on the current match and starts wondering what his opponent will use next.
      Dracozolt used Heat Crash, Sand Tomb, Ice Burn, Rock Wrecker, Earth Power and a second Freeze Shock in the space of about ten seconds. note 
      Lance: That was unusually versatile even for Ash's Pokémon.
      Misty: That's because that's actually Mew.
    • When Ash battles for the Rain Badge, he uses tiny Shiny Rayquaza, transformed into Groudon, and desiccates the pool.
      Wallace: You know… normally, when we say our gym is a Water Type gym, and that to win the badge you have to defeat the gym's challenge…
      Ash: Yes?
      Juan: Well, normally we don't mean you have to defeat the very concept of the Water type itself.
  • Curse Cut Short: Before Casey can actually battle Ash, they're interrupted by the arrival of a Galarian Articuno.
    "Whoa!" Ash yelped. "Come on out, Charizard! Let's see if we can help that Pokémon out!"
    "...I think I'm glad I didn't get a battle," Pidgey decided. "Also, what the everloving-"
  • Cuteness Overload: Having already been exposed to a young (and thus tiny) Lugia, Whitney then starts mumbling indistinctly when Ash's Latios uses Minimize and becomes pocket-sized.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Ash's Shiny Rayquaza inflicts this on the original Rayquaza, and later, Kyogre and Groudon, who stop fighting in order to argue over getting rights to be aunt and uncle to the Shoulder-Sized Dragon.
  • Death Is Cheap: At least, with enough Legendary Pokémon involved.
    • When Ash is killed by Mewtwo's Psystrike, there are Pokémon arguing over who gets to revive him. Ho-oh insists that his own reincarnation ability is superior to Xerneas' ability to restore life, since Xerneas can only fix someone who was killed with no other injuries. Xerneas ignores him and revives Ash anyway — but Ho-oh was already powering up, so he reincarnates someone else entirely.
    • Later in Movie 3, Ho-Oh revives a not-quite-dead Mrs. Hale as a Mew.
    • During Movie 5, Zygarde enables the Latios inside the Soul Dew to communicate with his children.
  • Descent into Addiction: Giovanni spirals into alcoholism after the TRio start chasing Ash around. Even more so when he meets Ash in person, and realizes that he's real.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat:
    • Darkrai takes on this role when a gathering of Legendary Pokémon come together for what is recognizably an episode of Wacky Races using ice sleds. The course gets filled with Darkrai cardboard cutouts, pit traps, and false tunnels that are actually solid walls. Reshiram and Zekrom follow a false arrow, and in the process, interrupt what could have been a Darkrai victory.
    • Happens again during a hot air balloon race.
  • Didn't See That Coming: When Team Rocket finds that Ash has (inadvertently) created a bunch of decoy Pikachu, they resort to capturing all of them in cages strong enough to restrain Pikachu. But they don't work on his Ghost-type Delta Purrloin.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: After Misty returns to Cerulean Gym, she doesn't understand why a 3-badge challenger is upset about her beating him with Gyarados. She didn't even mega-evolve it!
  • Dragon Hoard: Lampshaded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the Ryuunited Kingdom, who admits that they don't really need money, "But We're Still Dragons So We're Sad About The Small Hoard."
  • Dramatic Irony: Giovanni questions what game Ash is playing when he's still on the Orange Islands after being stranded there, even though he knows a bunch of legendaries capable of getting him out of there. Ash is actually just doing the Orange Islands League.
  • The Dreaded: Ash and Co. are this for good reason, even if they are eccentric people. As Matt notes, Team Aqua fears nothing... except them. Given this was right after Ash invented eight new weather types, he has good reason to say that.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Subverted and sometimes inverted for laughs. Pikachu is capable of defeating ground types that are supposed to be completely immune to electricity and he's been teaching Zapdos, Chikorita defeats a ghost-type by basically throwing herself (and the sun) at it, and all of Ash's Pokémon know an absurd variety of moves anyway.
    Giovanni: Have your Pokémon even heard of the Type Chart?
    Ash: Yeah? I thought the best way to make sure I was ready for the League would be to see if I could beat a Ground gym with an Electric team!
    Pikachu: Pi-kaaaaa!
    Ash: Though, yeah, Pikachu thinks the Type Chart needs a change anyway. Who do we speak to about that? Professor Oak doesn't seem to know.
  • Energy Absorption: Rebecca has a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that Pikachu actually wants her Metagross to Thunderpunch him.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Rico assumes that James' very high Pokéball throw was a dud — until Muk falls onto his Fearow and flattens it.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: A Natu makes the mistake of trying to predict Ash's future, and its fortune-telling machine explodes in a flood of papers, each reading "you may already be a winner".
  • Expy:
    • Whenever there's a race going on and Ash is nearby, you can bet that Darkrai... Sorry, Dastardly Darkrai, and his sidekick Victini, will be around to try and cause trouble.
    • Torkoal and Treecko seem to be expies of Guy and Kakashi respectively.
    • Shaymintwo is an expy of Shadow the Hedgehog - an angsty clone who uses Power Gem to attack, and knows Roar of Time to recreate Chaos Control.
  • Facepalm: Lance drops his head into his hands when Team Aqua starts spouting off about how Kyogre will destroy Groudon.
    Lance: I don't have time to tell you how stupid that statement is. I'm too busy trying to work out what I'm going to say to Ash.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Ash's mother regularly supplies dango for the bird Pokémon that visits Ash's window, and never realises that rather than a Pidgey, he's feeding Zapdos.
      Delia: Here you go, dear. And don't forget to let me know if your friend evolves, because then they might want more.
    • Max is excited and overwhelmed to learn that his sister has been traveling for the past two days with Ash Ketchum, who has so many Legendaries people lose count, but May hasn't seen him use any; just Pikachu, Cranidos, Croconaw, Zapdos and Zorua.
      Max: …how are you the one who's allowed Pokémon?
  • Flat "What":
    • This is Clair's first reaction to Ash himself, magically transformed into an Absol, participating in her Gym Challenge. After taking a moment to collect her thoughts, she repeats it, but with a question mark. And then again when Ash compliments her Dragonair on the Thunder attack that he just shrugged off.
    • Max (not Maple) sees the glittery aftermath of the Gang stopping the Eruption on Route 113.
      Max: ...everything's glittery. What.
    • Bruno has a similar reaction upon seeing Ash's shapeshifting Unown: "I'm sorry, but what."
      It wasn't precisely a question and it wasn't precisely a statement.
    • Lance has seen, and heard about, quite a bit of Ash's unusual circumstances. He was there when Ash caught Ho-Oh, he has fought Ash at the Silver Conference and seen the ridiculous things his team can do. But still, when he sees tiny Shiny Rayquaza learning to mega-evolve with some teaching from Big Rayquaza, his reaction is, "What is happening." Without a question mark.
  • Flight: Several of Ash's Pokémon find unconventional ways to fly, despite not having the Flying type nor the Levitate ability.
    • The Dratini learn Steel Wing with Mew's help.
    • Each of the Legendary Beasts learns to fly in a different manner.
      • Raikou learns how to use Steel Wing, and figures out how to fly with it.
      • Suicune uses her water-walking ability, with water telekinetically held in the air.
      • Entei makes helicopter blades out of lava.
    • When facing Winona, who requires all challenging Pokémon to be able to fly; Ash doesn't use any Flying types at all, just Suicune, Zacian, and Dratini, even though he has so many Flying types that Lance offered him an Elite Four position as a Flying-type trainer. Subverted when it turns out that Dratini was actually Zorua.
    • Ash himself lifts off the ground and flies through LaRousse city with the help of the tiny Rayquaza in his backpack.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: There's no swearing in English, but Clefairy does curse in French, e.g. when she knows she's about to be punched through the wall by Regigigas.
  • Fortune Teller: Ash consults a Natu that uses a ritual to turn its Future Sight into actual predictions, rather than just attacking. It doesn't go well.
    "He told me that if I stayed with Ash I'd break the laws of the universe," Pikachu told Zapdos. "Then I said that I already knew that, and he just gave me this really weird look and flew back to his trainer."
    "I think that's going to have to be a rule for the future," Misty considered. "Don't try working out what Ash's future looks like."
  • Friendly Fireproof: Lokoko is able to exclude Ash from the effect of her Hypnosis illusions, while including everyone else. Which still won't affect a Dark-type Pokémon, but will affect the Pokémon's trainer, hindering their ability to give good directions.
  • Grey Goo: The Mew of Mirage Mansion claims to have the potential, but is unlikely to use it for evil.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Master of Mirage obtains all of Ash's Pokédex data under false pretenses, in order to improve his Pokémon simulations. That data includes the fact that Ash's Mew has epic computer hacking skills. Which get added to M-001, the Mew-shaped mirage designed as the conscience of the system, which the Mirage Master had tried to imprison when it objected to his plans. It proceeds to take over the entire system.
  • Hope Spot: Morty is relieved to see Ash's Noctowl use Foresight, ie a move that Noctowl is actually expected to know, and that is a reasonable and normal way of fighting Haunter. Then Noctowl uses Freezing Glare (the signature move of Galarian Articuno), which Morty has never even heard of before. Then Aeroblast (the signature move of Lugia)...
  • Ignored Epiphany: Lampshaded by Meowth when he almost states that it's turned out to be easier to recruit Pokémon than steal them.
    For a moment, he felt like he was on the edge of some kind of epiphany… then shrugged it off. They had a plan to steal Pikachu to write out!
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Latias manages to defend herself by adapting her experience with playing Ash's fighting games.
  • I Need A Drink: Giovanni and Professor Oak have the exact same reaction when they learn about Ash's Shiny Rayquaza.
  • Incompatible Orientation: The Absol met during Jirachi: Wish Maker asks about Zacian's preference in partners, but is gently let down.
  • In Spite of a Nail: During the equivalent of the fourth movie, The Iron Masked Marauder orders Celebi to alter the timeline so that Ash is not nearby ready to stop him. As it turns out, this is impossible. While Ash's traveling companions and Pokémon are swapped out, he still came to Arborville, met Sammy, and agreed to help save Celebi in every variant timeline.
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: How Entei learns to fly — he makes helicopter blades out of lava. Sort of justified by the resulting updrafts of hot air, although it's still more of "he thinks this is logical, so it works."
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Winona sees that Suicune can fly by standing on levitated water, she tells her Altaria to go for height, since Suicune's method won't allow climbing as easily as a true bird. Then Suicune starts leaping upward — at ExtremeSpeed.
    It was like watching Suicune climb a series of rock shelves, but they weren't there in the first place.
  • Irony: It escapes the notice of none of the members of the Ryuunited Kingdom that the first nation they send an ambassador to is the Togepi Kingdom, one centered around Fairy-types. One sensibly notes that they don't have enough Dragonites to send as ambassadors to Rota, Alto Mare, or the Lucario Kingdom.
  • It Amused Me:
    • Hoopa is bored. This is probably a bad thing for the world. Hoopa disagrees! Hoopa will save the day, or at least will have fun watching what happens when Pokémon get voluntarily, or involuntarily, or unknowingly transported across the world.
    • Mew completely jailbreaks the Pokéball network, gets caught over and over again in different forms, and generally messes with everyone's heads, just because it's fun. Fortunately Mew doesn't seem to be malicious.
  • I Was Just Joking: Drew has a polite chat with May after their Contest battle, and asks if she has any Pokémon he hasn't seen yet, remarking that given who she travels with, he half expects her to have caught a Legendary Pokémon. She's actually Jirachi's official trainer, though she's mostly holding onto him for Max's benefit.
    Drew: Every time I try to exaggerate I just end up describing the literal situation with you…

    L - Z 
  • Laugh Themselves Sick:
    • After Professor Oak tells Ash that there's a pile of two dozen unconscious Dragonite on his lawn, from Ash's remaining Dratini and Dragonair all infiltrating his gym battle, Dunsparce falls out of its Pokéball, "started giggling, and didn't stop for several minutes."
    • Max nearly falls over laughing when Doctor Yung tells them that he can make his Mirage Pokémon use moves they wouldn't normally know.
      Max: Oh, just the idea of that being unusual. Sometimes I get a reminder like that and it always feels weird when it happens.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Ash successfully teaches Agility to Snorlax. Which weighs several tons, and normally spends most of its time sleeping. Force = mass * acceleration. No other offensive moves are needed — but nonetheless, he later teaches it ExtremeSpeed.
  • Master of Illusion:
    • Ash's team includes Zorua, Noctowl, Zacian, Ninetales, Latias/Latios, Delta Purrloin, and of course Mew, all of whom can disguise themselves in illusions of various kinds — enough for a full combat team where you never actually know which Pokémon you're fighting.
    • When he turns into a Pokémon himself, he's an Absol with Illusion as its ability.
  • Micro Monarchy: The Ryuunited Kingdom, made up of all the Dragon-type or otherwise dragonlike Pokémon Ash has back at Pallet Town, started by Ash's 29 Dratinis and Dragonairs, and turned into a monarchy once one evolved into a Dragonite. Lance is an honorary member.
    "Voting will now take place," the chairdragon said. "The proposition: that the new resident is either a large shiny Dragonair or in some other sense draconic, and therefore to be considered as a dragon for all intents and purposes. All in favour?"
    Tails went up, or stayed down.
    "All opposed?"
    Votes were tallied.
    "Very well," the chairdragon concluded. "It is the sense of the Parliament of the Ryuunited Kingdom that Mr. Red, Esq., is a dragon. This concludes the session."
    She turned to the slightly baffled Red Gyarados. "Would you like to participate in tonight's board game? It is a cooperative game where all teams are working towards the same goal."
  • Mighty Glacier: Ash captures an Unown that has become disconnected from the Hive Mind, but which is able to take on different letter shapes — and by spelling out moves, it can (somehow) use those moves. It's a relatively slow process, and the moves aren't necessarily as powerful as normal versions, but three to five letters are enough to ensure a super-effective move against pretty much any opponent.
  • Mirror Match: Ash and Noland decide to let their two Articuno battle, one from Kanto and the other from Galar. Galarticuno eventually wins by setting herself on fire and then transferring the fire with Psycho Shift.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • As the party is sailing through the Whirl Islands, a dark shadow appears under the water, and a haunting melody is heard. Then Silver the adolescent Lugia jumps into the water, shouting, "Hi Mom!"
    • Togetic faces the hard necessity of leaving Misty, since the Togepi Kingdom needs a Togetic to keep it safe. It's a heart-wrenching moment for both of them. Then, Ash being Ash, three nearby Togepi evolve, making it a moot point.
      Togetic: ...oh. Never mind then! Thanks Ash!
      Ash: You're welcome? Thanks for what?
  • More Dakka: This is pretty much Hoopa's philosophy regarding legendary Pokémon.
    Hoopa: Hoopa cannot think of a problem that enough Legendary Pokémon cannot solve. If your problem has not gone away you are just not using enough Legendary Pokémon.
  • Mundane Solution: When a volcano is erupting, Entei (who can make volcanos erupt by barking) tries to stop it by barking in reverse. When it starts back up again, Suicune tries to purify the magma into water. When it starts up again, Skitty pre-empts the eruption and converts it into a Fairy-type rain of sparkles. Despite all their efforts, though, the volcano continues. Then Marshadow breaks the machine Team Magma was using.
    Entei: In hindsight, we should have started with that.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • After discovering that the GS Ball is the former home of Arceus, Ash continues to use it the same way as before: as an indestructible training aid.
    • Lokoko is very pleased to have tiny Shiny Rayquaza travelling with them, because they always have good camping weather.
    • Zacian uses Hoopa's Hyperspace Holes to share Brock's cooking with her brother. Hoopa initially complains about being a food delivery service, but is interested when the possibility of getting a share of the barbecue is brought up.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Whitney's Miltank has a reputation from the game as invokedThat One Boss, with its Rollout attack putting an end to many inexperienced teams. Here, she tells Miltank to "roll it out" — and Miltank rolls a trolley out of the next room, bearing Regigigas.
    • Goh makes an appearance, and is stated to have rescued a Pidgey from under a truck, after which the Pidgey started hanging around regularly. For some reason, the Pidgey is very attentive whenever he talks about his desire to catch Mew as a starting Pokémon.
    • This isn't the first time Saphroneth has written an Absol being unable to tell whether or not they'll get turned down with their disaster sense.
    • When Lance sees tiny Shiny Rayquaza learning to Mega-Evolve, he speculates that Ash is actually too strong to join the Elite Four. This may be a reference to the Smogon competitive battling website banning Mega Rayquaza even in its most inclusive "Uber" tier.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Max mutters something about Harley that causes his mother to criticise him for his language.
    Vulpix: Probably my fault. Admittedly, the words were all just Vulpix Vulpix Vulpix when I said them.
  • No Biological Sex: Mew freely accepts male, female, or neuter pronouns, and the narrative swaps between them more or less at random.
  • No-Sell: The Taillow Ash catches in Hoenn is unaffected by Electric-type moves.note  Then Mew teaches it the move Electrify.
    Pikachu: Okay. Congratulations, random Taillow. You have interested me.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Giovanni, after meeting Ash for the first time, getting his Nidoking trounced by Raikou, and then seeing Ash send out Zapdos.
      Giovanni: Oh, no, he's real.
    • The Iron Masked Marauder is very justified for reacting this way when Dialga appears, instantly destroying his time bubble and using Roar of Time to take him down and undo all the changes made to the timeline.
    • Ash's shapeshifting Unown has spelled as far as "G-E-O-M-A-N-" when Gary realises what it's doing and his eyes widen.
      Gary: Stop that Unown! Megahorn!
  • One Steve Limit: Parodied with Ash, who can understand Pokémon Speak, and thus can hear "Bulbasaur" and know which of the two Bulbasaurs someone is talking about, while everyone else can't.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: You know Mew is really concerned about a situation when she drops her current Dunsparce disguise in order to help.
  • Paralysis by Analysis: A Ditto copies Ash's Lapras, and doesn't know what to do with its new moveset. Lapras was actually Mew; Ditto suddenly found itself with access to several hundred moves and no idea where to start.
    Drake: ..I don't know what moves that Lapras has.
    Ditto: Knowing them doesn't help!
  • Personal Hate Before Common Goals: In the Spell Of The Unown chapter, An Unknown Event, the Kyogre and Groudon — both the ones Hoopa dropped in from Hoenn and the ones the Unown created — square off against each other... not real to Unown, but Kyogre to Groudon. Real Rayquaza is so done with it.
    Rayquaza: You know what? You’re me now. Good luck with these idiots. I’m off for a drink.
  • Pokémon Speak: Ash knows how to understand it, and is shown to even be able to talk in the Mew dialect.note  Professor Elm groans at how he upturned scientific understanding of pokémon talk on a radio show when he points out how pokémon can understand each other, so it's not hundreds of different languages, but one language with different dialects.
  • Power at a Price: Exploited by Ash when he deliberately makes an opponent mega-evolve in order to change it to a type more vulnerable to fire.
  • Power Copying: Skitty has both Me First, to copy an opponent's move before they use it, and Copycat, to mirror it afterward. And then Normalize shenanigans to convert it into whatever type is wanted. This is particularly noted in her Contest battle against Harley, where she repeatedly counters his attacks with Dark or Bug or Fairy versions of them; the judges are impressed by the spectacle.
  • Power Incontinence: Ho-Oh suffers this when reviving people, noting that it seems to be "stuck on cat", after accidentally resurrecting Ambertwo as a second Mewtwo and then bringing back Mrs. Hale as a Mew. He gets it off cat when helping the Meta Groudon Ash just accidentally caught... and turns it into a tiny Shiny Rayquaza.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: Norman's opening move in Ash's gym battle is to have one of his Pokémon launch Gastro Acid at the other one — which is Slaking. Thus nullifying its Truant ability and dropping the "glacier" part from Mighty Glacier.
  • Ripple-Proof Memory: Zacian joins up with Ash's group after the Voice of the Forest incident, as she remembers the alternate timeline in which she was part of his entourage. Justified because Dialga's Roar of Time is a Dragon-type move, and so a fairy-type would have some resistance to its effects.
  • Rule of Funny: The fic usually works on this as a whole, but Jirachi's wish-granting powers are specifically stated to go for the easiest and/or funniest path first. For example, when Max wishes to be able to understand Pokémon without help, Ash turns into an Absol again.
  • Rules Lawyer: Ash teaches Suicune how to fly using Suicune's ability to walk on water, teaching her Extrasensory so that she can carry water to walk on around with her like a shoe.
  • Seen It All: Misty, Brock, and Team Rocket quickly become this after being regularly exposed to Ash. It's to the point where Misty sends a Gyarados against a challenger with only a few badges, and Team Rocket considers a Tyranitar to not be tough.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon:
    • Latios becomes pocket-sized when using Minimize, and sends Whitney into Cuteness Overload.
    • The Shiny Rayquaza that Ash has is 2 feet long. One can only imagine what Whitney's reaction will be, but the original Rayquaza is immediately wrapped around her little finger.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spider-Sense: Absols have this naturally, and one teaches Ash how to use his when transformed. It's not shown whether or not he still has it in his human form.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Ashes of the Past, by the same author. Though some things happen similarly in both stories, a lot of things have been swapped, such as Ash taking Brock's place as an illusion master. In general, Ashes of the Past tends to have things Played for Drama, while Legendarily Popular has everything Played for Laughs.
  • Squee!:
    • Whitney is all about cute Pokémon; she's in raptures when she sees Ash send out Silver.
      Whitney: Absolutely one hundred percent top marks! It's a tiny Lugia oh my word I'm going to die-
    • Mew lets out a definite squee upon learning that Ash can wield Aura, with all the potential move tutoring that implies.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Meowth points out that, without the Red and Blue Orbs there, Teams Rocket, Magma, and Aqua have no reason to fight. Jessie and James dislike this, since they were planning on throwing a bag full of Ekans who all knew Seed Bomb at the two other Teams.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Ash assumes that Pikachu decided to join him in the Tour de Altomare race. Actually, Pikachu just slipped and fell from where he was spectating as Ash was passing by.
  • Taking You with Me: Destiny Bond is one of the few strategies that will work to take out Ash's Legendaries. Steven and Phoebe observe, though, that it's not easy to teach, and Pokémon may resent learning it.
  • Third-Person Person: Hoopa always refers to Hoopa by name, never with pronouns.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Closer to too strong for the Elite Four, as Lance notes during the Scuffle Kerfuffle chapter... though he only decides that after Ash's Rayquaza learns to Mega Evolve.
  • Translator Microbes: Ash can understand Pokémon Speak, but for the benefit of everyone else, Vulpix devises an automatic area-effect translation using her Hypnosis. The people they encounter are regularly taken by surprise at hearing Pokémon talk to them, until it's explained.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Swellow, who is mysteriously immune to electricity, attempts to convert an incoming Destiny Bond to electric type, with the result that "Swellow's electrical immunity divided by zero, and the entire arena was filled with a mighty explosion of sparkling light."
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Ash has several Pokémon who know Transform, but there are also stranger examples.
    • Ash himself, after being repeatedly turned into a Pokémon by a magic potion, seems to have developed an affinity for the form, and Jirachi's wish-granting powers will transform him again any time it's a reasonable interpretation of a wish.
    • Tiny Shiny Rayquaza turns out to be able to transform by picking up the Red or Blue Orbs, which will change her into a tiny Shiny Groudon or Kyogre respectively and change back by putting them down.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Ash. When he gets turned into a Pokémon by magic, he turns into an Absol just so that everyone knows how crazy things will be around him. When he's in human form, the instinctive response of any Absol who sees him is to run away screaming.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Ash, and anyone who hangs around him long enough. To the point that he literally repels normality.
  • World's Strongest Man: Grand Champions are this for each region.
    • Lance proves that he deserves the title when he beats Ash, whose team includes Crowned Sword Zacian (which should be a hard counter to dragons), even if it was only by a single Pokémon.
    • Ash himself technically qualifies after he defeats the Hoenn Elite Four and Steven after winning the Ever Grande Conference. The only reason he's not officially this is because he turned the title down.
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