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

Legendarily Popular (also posted at Archive Of Our Own) is a Pokémon fanfic by Saphroneth.

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.

Past 11.

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

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


Legendarily Popular provides examples of:

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    A - B 
  • A Rare Sentence:
    Pikachu: Because Ash isn't a meanie buttface. [Beat] Wow. Sometimes you end up saying the strangest things, don't you.
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • During Rudy's target-shooting challenge during the Orange League, Ash mentions that he also destroyed the big Magikarp-shaped explosive bonus target. When a confused Rudy says that he doesn't have a big Magikarp-shaped bonus target, Ash realizes that he just beat Team Rocket. Again.
    • 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.
    • Grovyle learns Grass Shuriken while at a ninja training camp — even though they weren't trying to teach him that, and he wasn't trying to learn it, and no one even knew that a Grass-typed version of Water Shuriken could exist.
      It was, however, acceptably ninja.
    • Pretty much everyone takes Aten's attempts to be a homicidal monster as being anything from hilarious to ignoring them entirely, but Whitney takes the cake by finding his endless attempts to kill her even more adorable, which makes him try harder...
    • Ash repeatedly defeats Team Galactic by simply being in the right place at the wrong time (for them), but the most ridiculous moment comes when Team Galactic sets everything up for capturing Dialga and Palkia, only to evacuate when he arrives. He enters the still open portal, assuming that Arceus had just absent-mindedly left the Pillar unlocked after the Michina incident, cleans up their equipment, then effectively locks the door after setting the alarm, leaving the actual key inside. He never actually fights any of Team Galactic, and in fact has no idea they were there.
      Ash: Then we can leave a note and lock it behind us, and that way we've made it as easy as possible for Arceus to sort through and work out what they need to get rid of and what they need to keep.
      Rapidash: That does sound like the polite thing to do.
    • Ash has read a story before about a large diamond being found on the moon, so it's quite reasonable for his lunar-empowered Snivy to use Diamond Storm. Afterward, however, Arc informs him that the story has no known scientific basis, causing him to apologise.
      Ash: Sorry about that, Vanillish, it turns out that diamonds aren't associated with the moon. At least not yet.
      Vanillish didn't seem grateful for the correction.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Ash and his team.
      • At the Silver Conference, 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.
      • At the Ever Grande conference, he beat Steven, the Hoenn Grand Champion (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 Ashbsol.
    • 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 of 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.
      • They mention during a briefing to other Rocket agents that they consider Brandon to be an acceptable practice run for fighting Ash, with Brandon later confirming that they did challenge him.
    • All of Ash's travel companions end up being much stronger than they would be normally. Dawn, in particular, is offered a spot as a junior gym leader for Volkner at Sunyshore.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Some canon Pokémon have their team members switched around.
    • Ash's canon Bulbasaur and Squirtle are caught by Brock and Misty respectively.
    • Team Rocket is the one who obtains Ash's Muk.
    • Brock's Croagunk goes to Ash and his Happiny is hatched by Grovyle.
  • 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.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed with Paul, but when he releases Chimchar he tells him it's because he can't bring Chimchar's full potential out and warns him that if he chooses to come back to Paul the training will be the same. He also has no issue if Chimchar finds himself a trainer who can do what he failed at... At which point Chimchar joins Ash's team.
  • 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).
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Whitney and Ash get along quite well, unlike their antagonistic relationship in Ashes of the Past. She even joins him on his Sinnoh journey, since Brock stayed in Kanto after finally entering a relationship with Pike Queen Lucy, and May went to Johto to follow Drew.
    • 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.
    • Ash doesn't catch any Tauros in this fic. He catches a whole load of Dratini instead.
    • The TRio are effectively adapted out of Sinnoh by the simple expedient of being Whitney's replacement Gym Leaders.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Quoted by Team Rocket's Porygon after taking over Zero's Megarig and Mecha Giratina.
    Porygon: Cultural reference: All your flying base are belong to me.
  • 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 with 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 Ash and Mew breaking the time lock in Movie 4 with Genesis Supernova, 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."
    • The Jewel of Life issue is dealt with by Nickit using Spectral Thief to find it and give it to Arceus. Arceus does make them go back to fix it in the past as well, where they use the same solution.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Arceus gives one to Marcus for his belief that Michina would fall apart once the Jewel of Life was returned to him.
    Arceus: Do you think my power so inconstant? That a place I had decreed would flourish would wilt and fade just because it had only borne six of my Plates, and only for but a decade?
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Lokoko the Ninetales, a Pokémon of the Day, joins Ash and his team as yet another Master of Illusion.
    • In anime canon, Whitney is a gym leader whom Ash faces in two episodes and then never appears in person afterward (though she did make one or two cameos in flashbacks or imagination spots). Here, after her introduction, the story periodically cuts away from Ash and co. to show what she's doing at the time and ultimately has her become a full main character, joining Ash as a traveling companion in Sinnoh.
  • Attack Reflector: Croagunk dodges Snivy's Attract in a way that means it hit her instead — making her obsessed with herself. But, she doesn't notice any difference.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Latias and Latios are leading the ice sledding race, until Latias sees a sign advertising a snowman-making field, and veers off before Latios can react.
    Latias: Hey, I've never built a snow man before! Or even a snowmon! And I didn't know how much I wanted to until I knew it was an option, so let's go!
  • 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 spent the end of Kanto and the entire Orange League using a Clefairy who uses crazy moves via Metronome, and everyone suspects that it's actually Mew. Come the end of the journey, we find that Mew was actually disguised as Lapras the whole time, and Clefairy is a real Clefairy. Mew was Clefairy for the end of Kanto, but decided to find a real, interested Clefairy to keep up the ruse.
    • During his battle against Sidney, 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.
    • Ash is about to send out his last Pokemon to face Steven, when he abruptly hands Pikachu his Key Stone, with Steven wondering why. Ash was given some Absolite, and he is his final Pokémon and secret weapon in the Elite Four challenge...
    • The Pidgeotto Ash caught. She's different from all of his other Pokémon, being one of the Kanto Com Mons, and Ash is only teaching it moves that Pidgeotto could normally learn. Then Pidgeotto evolves... into Pidgey. Oak notes that that's probably the gift Celebi gave her. Later, she reveals the ability to "Pidgey-volve" from Pidgey to Mega Pidgeot and back again.
    • Zorua is revealed to have evolved into Zoroark in the Battle Tower, and then Ash Mega Evolves him into Mega Zoroark, with a design based on Pokemon Insurgence... then after the battle, it's revealed that Zorua was still Zorua, and it was all just an Illusion.
    • Delta Purrloin. It's assumed to be an extremely rare regional variant, by both the readers and Ash, with Mew appearing to confirm Not Me This Time. It was actually both Mew and Zorua taking turns.
  • 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?
  • Bathos: Ash's death at the hands of Mewtwo is immediately followed by Ho-Oh trying to revive him, Xerneas criticising his technique, and a cavalcade of other Legendaries investigating this unnatural storm.
  • 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.
    • Thanks to Mew's influence, Ash believes any Pokémon can learn any move, no matter what any "official" moveset says. It's just a matter of time and effort. And so far, he's never been proven wrong.
      • And later on, even Abilities can be taught.
    • 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.
    Zapdos: Normally you fly out of the way of a melee attack, but with Zacian that doesn't work because she's got a sword the length of a medium sized building and she can fly herself. Not much left you can do at that point, you are getting a headache whether you want to or not.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In-Universe when Eevee performs in her first Contest. Everyone can see how she creates attacks of different elements paired with illusions of the matching evolutionary forms, but only Ash can understand her accompanying song.
    • The Ryuunited Kingdom is a pun, if you are aware that "Ryu" means "dragon".
    • After encountering a trio of mean girls, Iris announces that she might be about to learn Imperial Rage. "I know it's normally just called Outrage, but I'm that angry." While Outrage is the English translation used in the games, the original Japanese name was 逆鱗, which translates more directly as "Imperial Wrath".
  • Blood Knight: Aten the Hisuian Zorua spends most of his screen time threatening violence on practically everyone around him, ally or enemy alike.
    Ash: Huh? I didn't know you wanted to take part in battles.
    Aten: I have been demanding violence for weeks!
    Ash: Yeah, but in a more sort of general way. You know, like trying to kill me, and stuff like that…
  • Body Double: Invoked by Ash when he finds the Riolu that Hunter J is searching for, before she does. A short time later, she finds the Riolu, snatches it away before Ash can get to it, and then, when she's back on her ship, the Riolu turns out to be Delta Purrloin. Who proceeds to float through the ship's walls and cut all the power cables.
    Zorua: I almost wish I'd gone along to see her reaction, now.note 
  • Brick Joke:
    • Ash tells Lieutenant Surge that Pikachu can learn moves that Raichu can't, and Pikachu proceeds to send Raichu through the ceiling with Sky Uppercut. Later, as Ash and his friends are on the road to Celadon City, Butterfree wanders off on her own — and catches a falling Raichu.
      Raichu: Did someone get the number of that tram?
    • 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 ice sled (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 Annie and Oakley's kidnapping attempt.
    • Ash, Dawn, and Whitney meet Paige, and her friend Yveltal. Yveltal requests that Ash inform him if he finds another Yveltal, musing that he's interested in seeing what he looks like shiny. Several chapters later, Ho-oh deals with a Spiritomb by reincarnating all 108 of its component souls, yielding three Legendaries — including a Shiny Yveltal.

    C - D 
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Ash initially copes fine with becoming an Absol until he thinks about what's involved in walking on all fours.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Harley's (canonical) attempts to sabotage May's contest preparations repeatedly fail at the first hurdle, such as falsely telling her that she can reuse her Hoenn Contest pass, after she's already obtained the required Kanto one. She doesn't even have to see through him, foiling his efforts unintentionally. Naturally, being who he is, this only makes him more upset at her.
  • Circling Birdies: Shiny Keldeo has several Pidove who follow him around, and apparently give life advice. When he's tossed around a subway car by a Kangaskhan, they take off in concern and fly around his head in circles.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Invoked; during Ash's Ever Grande Conference against Brendan, Phanpy throws Brendan's Aggron some Aggronite she found to make it Mega-Evolve... and make it more vulnerable to Fire-type attacks with its now pure Steel-typing. Steven, who's spectating, can't believe it.
  • 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 Com Mons, 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...
    • Brandon, who is basically just an adult version of Ash.
      Ho-Oh: How many of me do you think there are, exactly?
      Brandon: Well, I'm not sure, but I've met at least two trainers who'd caught a Rattata, so it must be possible.
      Max: Oh no there's two of them.
    • The traveling group for Sinnoh seems to be made up of these in its entirety - Ash is self-explanatory and Whitney just enables him, and without any more sensible-minded companions, Dawn is ending up just as bizarre as Ash himself.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Team Rocket's Meowth is too sensible to be a good sport.
    James: You forgot yourself.
    Meowth: Nah, I'm countin' Pokémon I'd send against one of them Legendaries. And I ain't one of 'em.
    Porygon: Observation. That is consistent with cowardice.
    Meowth: Yeah, yeah, but are you tellin' me it ain't also consistent with basic tactics?
  • Commonality Connection: When Sir Aaron's Lucario is released from the staff and is instantly on edge, Lokoko the Ninetales (whom Ash caught) brings him around for "a commiserating session about being left behind in malfunctioning Pokémon containment mechanisms by people who we thought we could trust".
  • 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Happens at several points, and is usually lampshaded.
    • When the gang comes across Damien in a Pokécenter right after rescuing his former Charmander.
    • One of the first Pokémon Ash encounters in Johto is a Galarian Articuno who just so happened to meet Keldeo.
  • 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."
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Misty's Psyduck in a nutshell. Thanks to Mew's meddling, it now has an enormous attack repertoire, but the only way for it to use them is via Sleep Talk. Put it this way: when Misty's sisters are using Psyduck in gym battles, after the steps to self-hypnotise it and get it to use Sleep Talk, the next step is to evacuate the building.
    Misty: He can't use any moves when he's awake, generally, except Hypnosis. On himself. Then when he's asleep he can use Sleep Talk, but this crazy Mew that Ash knows loaded him down with dozens of powerful moves… I don't think we've even found more than half of them, we stopped testing after the time he got some kind of weird purple laser beam that cut a hill in half.
  • 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."
    Hugtininote : 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 Primal 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-"
    • Celebi sees Croagunk choosing to get hit by a Future Sight attack after using Destiny Bond and gets as far as "Oh-" before it lands.
  • Cute and Psycho: Ash finds it "kind of cute" that Aten is hanging off his hand, unsuccessfully attempting to bite it off.
    That only made his attacker try harder.
  • 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.
    • She collapses upon meeting Keldeo, mumbling something about ponies.
    • And slightly hyperventilates when May introduces her to Manaphy.
  • 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.
    • Ash did explain how Pidgey's evolutions work, but Whitney wasn't really listening, because at the time, Pidgey was "hanging off his finger like a Zubat".
      Whitney: That took all of my attention.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Within moments of Ash entering Unova properly, an unusual Keldeo that attracts Pidoves walks up to him. It's N, who has used the potion, meaning that whole sub-plot has been averted by him literally seeing the world from a Pokemon's viewpoint.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • Nickit attempts to do this with the Jewel Of Life, stealing it twice, once in the present, and then in the past, when Arceus reminds them that they need to fix it then.
    • A Gothielle is trying to force people to see the past using a reality bubble that blocks summoning Pokémon from the present. Ash's Shiny Arceus simply erases the fact there ever was a reality bubble.
  • Dance Battler:
    • Ash's Totodile/Croconaw. He's good with every kind of dance: Swords Dance, Dragon Dance, Revelation Dance...
    • Iris later learns Dragon Dance. Not her Pokémon, Iris herself.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Galarian Articuno in canon is a cold and callous Evil Counterpart of the regular Articuno, said to be an arrogant and selfish Pokemon. Ash's Galarian Articuno is anything but this, being a rather pleasant Pokemon and a loyal ally.
  • David Versus Goliath: Ash's Clefairy faces Steven's Claydol, which is not only a giant version from Izabe, but is also spamming Hyper Beams. In a possible Shout-Out to the original, Clefairy hits Claydol with a pebble-sized Smack Down rock — while gravity is reversed, making Claydol fall into the sky for a Ring Out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As a result of Mew's interference, Jessie and James find themselves in possession of a very sarcastic Porygon, which nonetheless phrases everything in flat machine terms.
    Meowth: Hey! We kept dis ship in flyin' shape, didn't we?
    Porygon: Sarcastic comparison. Keeping the Hikokyu in shape the way you did is like keeping a sandwich in the shape of a taco.
  • 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, namely the clone of Amber Fuji.
    • 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.
  • Denser and Wackier: It's this in comparison to Saphroneth's other Pokémon fic, with most of Ashes' climactic events being replaced with hijinks instead.
  • 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, with them being interrupted this time by a carrier Pidgey.
  • 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Pikachu knows Sky Uppercut (thanks to Mew), which is all well and good, quite an effective move and very surprising to those who don't expect it, but he probably shouldn't have used it on a Mega Aggron who had just used Lock On, and who knew Heavy Slam.note 
  • 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 (Red) 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 and Co. invented eight new weather types, he has good reason to say that.
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    E - H 
  • Early-Bird Cameo: During a battle of Hoopa against Hoopa, they summon every single legendary possible... including Koraidon and Miraidon.
  • 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.
  • Epic Fail: Ash and Misty encounter some trainers in the Orange Islands who decided to get themselves a strong water-type Pokémon, and had heard that Cloyster like eating Slowpoke tails, so they had their Shellder battle a trainer with a Slowpoke. At the end of the battle, their opponent had a Slowbro.note  Misty just stares at them for several seconds.
    Misty: I've never seen anyone less suited to having a Water-type.
  • Evil Laugh: Parodied when Dracozolt first encounters Psyduck and is excited by the challenge, first giggling, then coughing to clear their throat and letting out an evil cackle.
  • 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.
  • Exploited Immunity: In a double battle, Ursula orders her Jigglypuff to grab its opponent while her Gabite uses Dragon Rage on them both; Jigglypuff, as a Fairy, is immune to Dragon-typed attacks, and will be able to hold the target still so it gets the full brunt. Unfortunately for Jigglypuff, the opponent in question is Nickit, who proceeds to steal the Fairy type with Spectral Thief.
  • 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. The latter uses Substitute with twig bundles, throws Bullet Seeds instead of spitting them, knows Mimic, and shapes his Electric attacks into dogs. The former adds to his propensity to cry a lot with an aptitude for Fighting moves and the ability to shape air into Pokémon by hitting really hard.
      • Torkoal later takes on a Turtwig as an apprentice. Complete with a scene of them embracing each other and calling out each other's names, with Ho-Oh in the background.note 
      • Grovyle wins the costume contest in Sinnoh and gets an egg, which hatches into Brock's absurdly strong Happiny, who he refers to as a "cute little student", showing that the Happiny is an expy of Sakura.
    • 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.
    • Brandon's Shaymin turns out to be Sonic, bouncing all over the arena faster than anyone can keep up. Until Pikachu covers the place in Electroweb and ricochets himself around even faster.
    • In Unova, Ash encounters a Sandile with fourth-wall awareness, capable of Fast Tunnelling that leaves Wormsign. Who then refers to the possibility of meeting a female Skuntank who will flutter her eyelashes at everyone.
  • Facepalm:
    • Professor Oak puts his head in his hands upon hearing that Ash Mega-Evolved with Pikachu's help while transformed into an Absol.
      Oak: He'll discover an entirely new kind of evolution next…
      Which he does, with Pidgeotto's ability to evolve and de-evolve.
    • 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?
    • Professor Juniper isn't convinced by Professor Oak's accounts of Ash's abnormal relationship with reality, and the fact that Ash is carrying a canine-looking Pokémonnote  doesn't change that.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • At the end of the Shamouti Island events, Lugia appears trying to be dramatic, only to find his normally recalcitrant Legendary Birds just bickering over dango, and when he tries to explain the Prophecy to Ash, his son Silver interrupts him to greet his childhood friend.
      Lugia: Oh sod this. Is there any of that dango left?
    • Ho-Oh sees Tracey Sketchitt looking at him, poses artistically... and gets clobbered out of the air by a high speed blimp.
    • Zacian formally greets Cameron's Hydreigon, stating her wish for a worthy battle, but all Hydreigon can concentrate on is asking how she can talk so clearly with a sword in her mouth.
      Zacian: And not a word about how I'm ignoring gravity. It is not the same thing as gravitas.
  • Fastball Special: When Brock instructed his Onix to use Rock Polish and Mudkip to use "Accelerated Rock Throw," several forum members had the impression that Mudkip was going to throw Onix. Yes, the giant rock snake Onix. The author later clarified that Mudkip was actually going to throw rocks while riding on Onix's back, "But hey. Mudkip can learn Strength." This later becomes a Running Gag, with Mudkip throwing large rocks such as a giant stone Pokéball from Pokéatlantis.
  • Flat "What": Very, very, VERY common in this fic, mostly in reaction to Ash's antics.
    • Jasmine knows Ash is a bit crazy, but when hyperspeed Snorlax whip-cracks her Steelix into the gym floor, she still blurts out, "I'm sorry but what?"
      Pikachu: Wow. I guess the Orange League really does have bad viewership.
    • 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.
    • And Gym Leader Byron seeing Ash respond to Skarmory with a shiny Yveltal.
      "...what," Byron said, not really phrasing it as a question.
    • 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.
    • Even Lucario has this reaction when Mew mentions teaching Ash moves.
      Lucario: What.
    • But perhaps the crowning achievement is when Mew gets a Flat What from Arceus. By making a tiny shiny Arceus, to serve Ash as a mobile phone.
      Arceus: That should be categorically impossible, and so should the headache it's giving me.
  • 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.
    • Torchic has wings, so even though he's not a Flying type and doesn't normally learn any flying moves, it's at least somewhat logical that Ash teaches him to fly. But then he evolves into Combusken, which doesn't have wings, and doesn't stop.
    • Larvitar rides on a flying carpet made out of Sandstorm.
    • 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.
    • Ash manages to get Croagunk to hover, by simply having him jump as high as possible, then avoid the act of hitting the planet.
  • 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:
    • When rescuing a group of Togepi cornered by a bunch of enemy Pokémon, Dragonite just blasts the area with dragon fire, throwing away the enemies while leaving the Fairy-type hostages completely untouched.
    • 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.
  • Gilligan Cut: When Latias has presented all her arguments for becoming one of Ash's Pokémon, her more paranoid brother folds his wings and replies, "I've heard enough. My decision is final." After a section break, Ash is discussing their move selection and training plans. May also count as a Bait-and-Switch, since it appears that Latios' "final decision" was in Ash's favor all along.
  • Gratuitous French: Ash's Metronome-using Clefairy says pretty much everything in French.
  • Grey Goo: The Mew of Mirage Mansion claims to have the potential, being able to construct power stations and Mirage projectors from hard light and thus replicate itself, but it is unlikely to use that power for evil.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Similarly to Ashes of the Past, Legendary Pokémon volunteer to join his team left and right, for the combination of security in numbers, personalized training, camaraderie, and Brock's cooking. And many of them just enjoy competitive battling.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Why doesn't Ash win the Indigo League? Because Ritchie's team in this timeline contains a bunch of unevolved pseudo-Legendaries, all powered up with Eviolite, and what do unevolved Pokémon usually do around Ash?
    • 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.
    • Harley attempts to use a small thread cast between him and May to poison her Pokemon so they are unable to battle effectively... only for one of May's moves to set fire to part of it, and reveal the deception to the judges, who ban him on the spot.
  • 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)...
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Ash sees Gary send out an Alolan Raichu during the Silver Conference, he warns Shaymintwo that it might know different moves than normal. Gary shouts back, "You're one to talk!" to everyone's laughter.

    I - L 
  • 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 from Annie and Oakley by adapting her experience with playing Ash's fighting games.
  • Impossible Thief: Nickit takes some lessons from Marshadow, learning to use Spectral Thief for more esoteric applications, like "borrowing" Dawn's ability to speak, or stealing her opponent's Contest points. No one is quite sure how she managed to pull the Jewel of Life out of a shadow, though.
    Nickit: Not sure where it was before, but it's here now!
  • 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, and later begins a relationship with Lokoko.
    • Juan's (male) Whiscash tries to use Attract on Lokoko, which appears to work at first, but then she reveals that "you're not the right sort for me" and ambushes him.
  • Indy Escape: Subverted when Eevee sets off a boulder trap, and Ash breaks the boulder with Secret Sword.
  • 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.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Or, at least, Ash's shenanigans make slightly less non-sense when fully explained.
    Iris: So… how many Dragon types do you have? I heard something about you having over two dozen Dragonite, but that can't be right… can it? How would you even do that?
    Ash: Well, I was trying to catch a Tauros. But Raikou got in the way, and I ended up running out of Pokéballs before I could try again.note 
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Any attempted explanation to how Ash and Co's Pokémon can do all their seemingly-impossible shenanigans (like learn any move they want) will most likely start with the fact that Ash knows Mew, pass through the idea of "it makes sense in this way, so it works", and end with the thought of "it's obviously not impossible if we're doing it right in front of your eyes".
    "Data suggests that Garchomp can fly at high speeds because it looks like a jet plane," Ibid told them.
    "Huh!" Ash said, thinking. "So, could Garchomp always fly, or was it only since people invented jet planes?"
    "I saw them flying a looong time ago," Mew told them all. "Before jet planes, certainly!"
    ...
    "And we don't need to prove that a plane will eventually be built that looks like a Gible, either!" Ash said. "Or, sort of like a Gible, because I haven't seen a jet plane that looks more than sort of like a Garchomp. But those Garchomp hadn't had it proved, so that means we can just assume and see if it works!"
    Gible floated into the air.
    • How can May's Skitty flip around Pokémon attack types to whatever type she wants? She can turn off her Normalize Ability so hard that it works backwards.
  • I Was Just Joking: Nicolette relaxes when she recognizes her visitors, because they're not likely to be thieves; "if Ash Ketchum was the sort to try to steal something then he wouldn't be bothering with our farm. He'd be aiming for something bigger, like… I don't know. Saffron City. Or the tides." Brock then makes the mistake of asking how someone would steal the tides.
    Brock: Ash, no.
    Ash: I was just thinking, you'd probably need Mirage Mew's help, but you could steal the moon, and the moon's something to do with the tides, right?
  • Jaw Drop:
    • Bulbasaur (Brock's Pokémon in this timeline and thus one of his minders in flirting) gets this expression when the group reaches the Battle Pike and Pike Queen Lucy actually responds to Brock's fawning.
    • A Riolu's jaw drops open upon seeing Ash use Sacred Sword — and then Riolu uses his own paw to push it closed.
  • Joke and Receive: 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…
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: Team Galactic finds themselves in this conundrum when Ash and his friends lock up the Spear Pillar with the Spear Key left inside. Since Arceus can still get in regardless, Ash isn't concerned.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • Lawrence apparently decided to call it quits and auction off his airship and Mew tablet after finding himself to have apparently snagged three Zapdos (the Shamouti one, Ash's, and Mew pretending to be Articuno), and then seeing them promptly escape.
    • In some of Ash's gym battles, there is a valid situation for a rematch, but in all cases, the leader decides to give Ash the badge rather than go through any more of his nonsense.
      • Erika's gym battle had the requirement that at least one member must not be fully-evolved. When Ash realizes that the unevolved member (Mankey) was actually Mew, he rides back on his new Entei to apologize. Erika declines to make him battle again.
      • When Ash matches Cissy of the Orange crew in a target shootout, Cissy decides to just give him her badge when she realizes the alternative would be a surfing match against Suicune.
      • Ash technically forfeits his match against Rudy by using a disguised Zorua when he was supposed to use a Dragon-type, but after the experience with an Illusioned Dynamaxed Ninetales, Rudy just wants a lie-down instead.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick:
    • When Ash's Zapdos meets up with her Trio's Moltres, she tells him what she's been up to, and he asks whether that isn't compromising the inherent dignity of Legendary Pokémon. Zapdos almost falls out of the sky laughing.
    • 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.
    • Iris is unimpressed by Ash and questions whether he knows anything about how to catch Pokémon, causing Pikachu to almost fall off his shoulder laughing.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A Sandile pops out of the ground, but decides the timing is wrong, and that, "I'll have to try again next plot beat."
    Pikachu: Next what?
    Sandile: Never you mind.
  • 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.
  • Lightswitch Surprise: There's a sudden blackout in Professor Yung's lab, and Brock's Lotad immediately uses Flash - revealing Yung midway through changing into his Mirage Master costume.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Flint tells his Houndoom to use Nasty Plot, upon which Houndoom explains his idea for a murder mystery written in second person, with the reader in the role of the murderer.
      Latios: That is a nasty plot. Well done.
      Houndoom: Thanks. I do my best.note 
    • Arc both plays this straight and subverts it when Ash asks whether there is any information available about when the Mistralon Gym is available.
      Arc: There is. And, as a further extrapolation, I assume you would like to know when the Mistralon Gym is available?
  • Lost Food Grievance: 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!

    M - P 
  • Master of Illusion:
    • Ash's team includes Noctowl, Zacian, Ninetales, Latias/Latios, Delta Purrloin, multiple Zorua (including a Hisuian variant), 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 and Iris are honorary members.
    "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.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: Apparently the news about Hunter J fleeing from Ash's presence spreads, causing an uptick in trainers pretending to be Ash for safety. So an illegal Pokémon hunter doesn't take Ash seriously at first.
    Hunter: Yeah, that's a cute disguise and everything, but you really need to work on your Ash Ketchum disguise.
  • 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 into more Togetic, 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:
    • The GS Ball is all but impregnable to all attacks and any attempts to make it open. Then the move Roar forces its inhabitant out via the switch-out rule.
    • Ash, Brock, and Misty struggle to come up with a Pokémon who can transport them all to Cinnabar Island. Suicune could take one of them, but only if it's her turn to come out the shared Safari Ball. Zapdos could carry someone, but Misty is "allergic to being electrocuted". Goldeen could tow her, but that would be exhausting for both of them. Geodude probably doesn't have the endurance to pull a surfboard that far.
      Misty: I guess we're down to the last resort… actually taking a ferry.
    • When a volcano is erupting, Entei (who can make volcanos erupt by barking) tries to stop it by barking in reverse (".foow"). 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.
    • Various Legendary Pokémon are discussing ways to drain an entire lake to retrieve a Pokéball from the bottom, when Charizard turns up with the ball, having simply used Dive.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • 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.
    • Brandon gives Ash a notice that he'll be ready to battle tomorrow. He sends it tomorrow, after getting ready, with a Celebi delivering it for him to the day before. (And he does it because Ash told him it had happened and he thought it sounded like a good idea.)
    • Cilan's phone was extremely cheap, because it doesn't even have a battery. Instead, his Stunfisk powers it directly when he needs to use it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While battling an Azumarill, Ash's Clefairy uses Taunt and calls her mother a "Pikablu".
    • Whitney presents two Marill and invites Marilyn to guess, if she can, which one hatched as a Marill, vs which one hatched as an Azurill and evolved (Marilyn can't tell). Marill was introduced in the generation 2 games, as was the breeding mechanic, but Azurill was introduced in generation 3, so it is indeed possible to either hatch Marill directly (generation 2) or hatch Azurill and evolve it (generation 3+).
    • 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.
    • The events of Pikachu's Rescue Adventure have a lot of shout-outs to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
    • There are a lot of gags relating to Saphroneth's other famous Pokémon fic Ashes of the Past:
      • Both fics have a Master of Illusion-focused trainer traveling with Ash and Co. In the other fic it was Brock; in this fic, it's Ash himself.
      • Pikachu starts off both fics knowing a Fighting move that highlights his status as a Pintsized Powerhouse. In AotP it was Force Palm; in this fic it's Sky Uppercut.
      • 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.
      • Team Rocket possessing an airship. In AotP, they had a large cargo plane. Here, they repossess Lawrence III's Hikokyu airship, which they plan to keep far away from Ash.
      • When asked about nicknames, Max says that he can't think of any good ones. The Max in AotP is The Nicknamer.
      • Arceus turning out to be in the GS Ball.
      • When one of them captures a fire-fighting Squirtle, its attacks are several times more powerful than they should be.
    • May and Max see Brendan battling in the LaRousse Battle Tower, and think that they ought to know him from somewhere. He makes a return appearance at the Ever Grande Conference and faces off against Ash.
    • Pikachu eventually learns the move Surf. As in, he learns to conjure a surfboard made of water. Later, Squirtle uses Surf in practically the same way.
    • 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.
    • Thanks to Mew and Celebi, a few Hisuian Pokémon show up: an Alternate Timeline shows Ash having a Wyrdeer, the aforementioned two give Professor Oak a Hisuian Growlithe to study, and Ho-Oh reincarnates the King of PokeAtlantis into a Hisuian Zorua named Aten.
    • Dawn has, in canon, a non-biological twin in Princess Salvia. When Dawn takes the potion, she becomes a Plusle, and later Salvia becomes a Minun.
    • Barry manages to defeat Cresselia by using a combination of Leech Seed and Toxic — which in generation 1 games, due to a bug, caused Leech Seed to drain health faster as the Toxic damage increased (effectively doubling the Toxic damage).
    • As in Canon, Ash gets involved with the Pokémon School in Alola. This time, however, he's a teacher, not a student.
  • 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.
    • Togetic can translate Pokemon speech, but during the Donut Spheal incident, she puts her hands on her cheeks and tells Misty, "I don't want to translate what Shaymintwo is saying. It's all really nasty words and you'd be upset I know 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 Iron-Masked Marauder tries to stop Ash and Co. by getting Celebi to shift to an alternate timeline where Ash isn't there to stop him. The problem is, in every timeline Celebi tries, Ash, although with different companions and Pokémon, is still there trying to stop him.
    • The Taillow Ash catches in Hoenn is unaffected by Electric-type moves.note  Then Mew teaches it the move Electrify, so it can convert any incoming attack to Electric-type (and thus be unaffected).
      Pikachu: Okay. Congratulations, random Taillow. You have interested me.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • Invoked by the judges after Dawn's Nickit essentially steals the opponent's score during a Contest Battle round, allowing it now, but banning it thereafter. They even gave her an unofficial Ribbon for it.
    • After Ash defeats the Cinnabar Gym, a local ordinance is passed that forbids breaking the volcano.
  • 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.
    • This is Falkner's introductory line:
      Falkner: Welcome, challenger, to Violet oh no it's you.
    • Mew gets this reaction when Brock catches her in the form of a Pineco. She has to spend the night getting blown up by more Pineco, trying to find one amenable to taking her place.
    • 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.note 
      Gary: Stop that Unown! Megahorn!
    • Trip is dismissive of Ash's homeland of Kanto, calling it "the boonies", and is then completely baffled by Ash's attempts to compare different regions (which involves calling Mirage Mew to check the skyscraper heights on the moon). But he challenges Ash to a battle anyway, and sends out his brand new starter, Snivy — and Ash, after checking with his Pokémon, decides to send out his Arc Phone.
      Snivy: Holy Arceus that's an Arceus!
  • 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.
    • Parodied when Ash introduces all (twenty-seven) of his Dragonite to Croagunk.
      Croagunk: I appreciate that you got their names right, it's quite a linguistic feat for a human. But I'm afraid they are blurring together a bit.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: You know Mew is really concerned about a situation (the sick Ralts) when she drops her current Dunsparce disguise in order to help.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Arceus is asked about preferred pronouns, and claims to be above the concept of gender.
    Arceus: Use whatever pronouns you wish; I care not.
  • 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 vs. Unown-created, but Kyogre vs. 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.
  • Pineapple Ruins Pizza: When "Newtwo" turns out to like Pinap berries on pizza, that's taken as proof that she's definitely not a clone of the original Mewtwo.
  • Playful Hacker: Mew can do things like register one Pokémon to multiple Poké-balls (allowing her to be caught in multiple forms), register multiple Pokémon to the same ball (such as all three Legendary Beasts being registered to the same Safari Ball), and teach new moves to a Porygon, all through jailbreaking the Poké-ball network. And as for "playful"... well, she's Mew, ie a cat.
  • 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's Aggron 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.
    • Exaggerated when dealing with a malevolent Spiritomb. He ends up reviving its component souls as twelve Exeggcute, six Dugtrio (three of them Alolan), five Magneton, a Cresselia, a shiny Galarian Moltres and a shiny Yveltal.
  • The Power of the Sun: The schtick of Ash's Chikorita/Bayleef, as she learns to apply her Leaf Guard ability to not only render herself immune to fire, but also to use moves like Sunsteel Strike.
  • Priceless Paperweight: 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.
  • Prophetic Fallacy: Grings sees himself in the future stealing the Time Ripple, and thinks that he therefore can't lose. It's actually an illusion created by a Zoroark. For bonus points, the illusory scene is created after he's arrested, and his protests that it can't end this way inform Zoroark of exactly what illusion to create.

    Q - S 
  • Rare Random Drop: Ash's Phanpy and her Pickup Ability. Normally, this ability just finds random items like potions and Heart Scales. Phanpy finds evolution stones and Mega Stones. Even Mega Stones that don't exist.
    "Hey, look!" Phanpy said. "I found a big chunk of wood!"
    Her trunk puffed up, and she used Fling to launch a tree trunk four times bigger than she was at Lucian's Gallade. The Psychic-type sliced it in half with a Psycho Cut, narrowly avoiding being hit by the cut ends, and had just enough time to sigh in relief before a flute beaned him in the head.
    "I'm… not sure how many Celestica Flutes there are in the world, but I hope that one's an extra one," Cynthia added.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: When Ash gets creative and tries channelling Bayleef's solar energy through Snivy's Lunar Blessing, the result is not just an eclipse but a Black Hole Eclipse. Arc files a bug report with Arceus.
    Arc: Priority... I will say Medium.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel:
    • By applying his experience with the move Drill Run, Charizard learns how to Dive, and thus swim.
    • 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.
    • Ash completes Skyla's Gym Challenge by teaching three of his team how to 'fly'.
  • Ring Out: Ash's Clefairy reverses gravity for Claydol, then uses Smack Down to make it lose its grip on the ground. It falls so far into the sky that it has to be retrieved by Hoopa.
    Steven: "Even Though This Pokemon Went Into Two Hoopa Rings, Hoopa Says It Was Ring Out." I think that's fair.
  • 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.
    • He later teaches Croagunk how to fly by telling him to simply dodge gravity.
  • The Scream: The Absol from Forina has this reaction every time she sees Ash. Even on a letter she sends him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • The third-or-so time Casey sees Ash, Misty is having her Gyarados practice Acrobatics, performing a double-backflip through the air to knock Raikou a hundred feet backwards. Casey does an about-face and walks right off.
    • When Ash returns to Kanto for the Battle Frontier, Giovanni makes immediate holiday plans in Alola.
    • Professor Birch is stuck in a tree, surrounded by Poochyena — and then Ash flies in on Zapdos. The pack takes one look upward and flees.
    • Ash and Whitney come across Dawn, besieged by a group of Ariados, and offer to take her back to Sandgem Town. One of the spiders becomes annoyed at being ignored, and tries to challenge them, but the other spiders recognise Pikachu, and know about Ash's Legendaries, and they are out of there.
      Angry Ariados: Come on, there's a Ninetales there too! Are you telling me you don't think illusions are involved here?
      Smart Ariados: I think there's a Ninetales involved here, thanks for reminding me.
    • Hunter J swoops toward a herd of Shieldon, sees that Ash is present, and immediately calls her buyer to demand double the agreed price. Apparently the buyer refuses, because she then announces "Deal's off" and leaves.
    • Saturn, of Team Galactic, becomes aware of Ash's presence at one of their operations, and orders an immediate cancellation and evacuation in the next minute, without changing his tone of voice, as if it was entirely routine.
    • Upon meeting Ash a second time, Trip claims to have suddenly remembered something he needs to do in a different city and quickly leaves.
  • Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear: Aten is an ancient malevolent king of Pokéatlantis. Who is currently in the form of a Hisuian Zorua, which Ash and his companions find extremely cute.
    Pikachu: It helps to have a wide interpretation of cute. Like, say, a Pokémon who has repeatedly said he wants you dead.
    Whitney: But he's so adorable when he does it! And his annoyance at being told that only makes it stronger!
  • 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.
  • Semantic Superpower:
    • One of Suicune's known powers is purifying dirty water. Anything like mud, dirt, or even magma counts as contaminants. So, if Suicune manages to dilute the terrain with enough water for it to count as a field of dirty water, with a single touch, she can purify (read: transmute) the whole battlefield into pure water.
    • Ash's Shiny Rayquaza has the ability to cancel out weather effects. This notably includes the weather itself.
    • There are traces of this when Unown is partway through spelling an attack and Clefairy uses Me First — resulting in Clefairy using every attack that starts with F-L-, simultaneously.
      • For the full list, that's Flail, Flame Burst, Flame Charge, Flame Wheel, Flamethrower, Flare Blitz, Flash, Flash Cannon, Flatter, Fleur Cannon, Fling, Flip Turn, Floaty Fall, Floral Healing, Flower Shield, Fly, and Flying Press.
    • The Spiky-Eared Pichu is so detached from linear time, she no longer actually obeys any of the laws of temporal physics, even stopping an electric move from connecting mid-attack, and casually suggests a small scale time loop to solve how Princess Salvia can stand in for Dawn as well as do her normal duties... and goof around as a Plusle and Minun with Dawn.
    • Scrafty decides, given how Ash travels around, that her territory is the whole universe, and that her Nature Power can therefore take on any element within her territory. Even Psychic and Dark Elements.
      Burgh: I'm fairly sure that for a move like that my gym would need to be a volcano. In mid-air. And it's not either of those things.
  • 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. Both Whitney and the original Rayquaza are immediately wrapped around her little finger.
  • Shout-Out:
  • So What Do We Do Now?:
    • When Lucy actually responds to Brock's flirting and asks to see him after her battle with Ash, a stunned Brock turns to his friends and admits that since he never thought he'd get this far, he has no idea what to do now.
    • Team Galactic are hit with this when Ash locks them out of the Spear Pillar, and they left everything, including the extremely rare and hard to find key, inside, effectively meaning the entire plan is impossible to implement. (Cyrus decides to pack up, ship out, and live on the Moon — but he finds Mirage Mew already there.)
  • 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.
  • Spirited Competitor: Ash and most of his Pokémon qualify.
    • After his loss to Lance, he bursts into laughter, rejoicing about what a great battle it was.
    • Part of the reason he rotates his Pokémon around is because they love battling and he doesn't want them to feel left out. Snorlax is one of the few exceptions, mostly because battling interferes with sleeping time.
  • 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 having few qualms about using his Legendary roster, Whitney being friendly to Ash, Eusine being more reasonable and willing to talk to Suicune instead of being obsessed with catching her, or Ash not becoming the Johto League Champion but becoming the Hoenn League Champion instead. Also, instead of an overarching, world-ending disaster that Ash and Co. are gearing up and preparing for, the friends are just spending their regular Pokémon journey broadening their horizons in move development. In general, Ashes of the Past tends to have things Played for Drama, while Legendarily Popular has everything Played for Laughs.
  • Spit Take: Professor Oak spits out his tea when Tobias sends out a Celebi against Ash.
  • Spot the Imposter: Hunter J freezes and captures Pikachu, and is feeling smug, when a duplicate of her appears with a frozen Heracross. Then a third appears with a frozen Silver. Then a fourth with a frozen Tiny Shiny Rayquaza. Then a fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth with Zapdos, Grovyle, Aten, and Galarian Articuno respectively. Then the goons realize that, since only one could really be her, there is (at most) only one pokemon that is actually frozen. At that point, Aten's patience expires and extreme violence ensues.
  • Squee:
    • Whitney is all about cute Pokémon; she's in rapture 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
    • She makes an ultrasonic noise upon learning that Giratina used to be small.
    • Mew lets out a definite squee upon learning that Ash can wield Aura, with all the potential move tutoring that implies.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Not that Celebi seems to be all that concerned about stability, but giving Pidgeymon to Ash impresses Mew so much that Mew later begs Celebi to go back and do it.
    • Also, there's when Celebi helps Ash's Zorua, disguised as a Zoroark, disguised as one of Koga's ninja, to go back in time and give Ash his own egg.
    • Also due to Celebi, Manaphy effectively ends up hatching several weeks before they encounter the point in Ash's journey where they first meet its original owner.
    • The Jewel Of Life incident is meant to be one... until Nickit just retrieves the Jewel in the present. Arceus forces the issue anyway, so Nickit just retrieves it again in the past.
    • Princess Salvia's desire to become a Coordinator is solved this way, as she spends a day as a Minun along with Dawn, then the same day pretending to be Dawn, then the same day actually doing what she was meant to be in the first place.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • Darkrai's cardboard cutout is surprisingly tough, able to survive several of Mewtwo's Psystrikes despite creating a twelve-foot crater around it, until a giggling Ambertwo asks why they don't just go around.
    • 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.
    • Hoopa is sure that the easiest way to simultaneously solve a flooded valley, and the scarcity of water in the desert city of Dahara, is to just run a portal from one to the other! Baraz of Dahara might have raised concerns about this plan, if he weren't busy dodging a high-pressure stream of water.
      Baraz didn't seem to understand just how much that solved many problems at once.
  • Stone Wall: Cresselia successfully wins a battle without attacking, by using so many barriers and healing moves that her opponent collapses and falls asleep half an hour later without achieving anything.
  • 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.
    • Ash's Arc Phone notifies him that they've entered a different time zone, and offers to adjust the clock. Ash assumes that it meant adjusting its internal phone clock to show the local time zone. But since it's actually a tiny Arceus, it may have meant something different.
      Arc phone: Yes. That is what I meant, and not the other way around.

    T - Z 
  • Tag Team Twins:
    • Taken up to eleven or more precisely, twenty-seven, by the entire Ryuunited Kingdom a.k.a. Ash's entire contingent of the Dragonite line (excluding King Dragonite a.k.a Hugtini and the Dratini traded to May). All of them eagerly wanting to evolve, they took part in Ash's gym battle against Tate and Liza, with the twins using Mega Gardevoir and Mega Gallade and Ash using a Dratini and Dragonair, and with a little help from Mew/Dunsparce, every time one of them evolved during the battle, they'd quickly use an attack to hide themselves from view and be teleported back to Oak Ranch, and an unevolved Dratini/Dragonair would take their place. By the time the last Dratini is teleported out at the wrong time and gives the game away, the other 26 have successfully evolved all the way to Dragonite. Ash puts them all in time-out for their antics.
    • While never actually battling, Dawn and Princess Salvia have this situation, right down to their Pokémon forms being Plusle and Minun, whose whole in-universe role is this trope.
  • 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. Notably, the one time it is used on one of Ash's Pokémon, the resulting attack effectively glitches out due to Swellow's abilities, and could have destroyed the arena and harmed the spectators if Zygarde didn't intervene... meaning that even that isn't a reliable strategy.
  • Teleporter Accident: Cynthia's Porygon-Z is developing an experimental matter translocator, and demonstrates it by teleporting a smoothie in front of Cynthia — but it was supposed to be a banana split.
    Cynthia: It is a nice smoothie.
  • Third-Person Person: Hoopa always refers to Hoopa by name, never with pronouns.
  • Throwing the Fight:
    • Zekrom is psyching himself up to beat Zygarde, when he remembers that he actually wants Ash to catch him, freezes in place, and collapses after being tapped.
      Zekrom: I've been defeated.
    • Dewott wants to participate in the Oshawott/Dewott tournament and test himself, but he doesn't want the prize of spending a year with Osharina. So he deliberately arranges to be disqualified at the very end.
    • Gym Leaders normally adjust the strength of their team to match the challenger; obtaining a badge isn't supposed to require being stronger than the Gym Leader, just proving yourself to them. However, when Ash comes to the Blackthorn Gym, Clair brings her A-game, such as Mega Gyarados. Ash still wins.
  • 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.
  • Training Montage: Lampshaded by Sandile, who tells Archen that what she needs in order to fly is a montage. Which then occurs, and sure enough, at the end of it, Archen is flying.
    Sandile: Told you. Montage always works.
  • Translator Microbes: Ash can understand Pokémon Speak, but for the benefit of everyone else, Vulpix devises an automatic area-effect translation using her Hypnosis; Lokoko and several other Pokemon later learn the skill, too. The people they encounter are regularly taken by surprise at hearing Pokémon talk to them, until it's explained.
  • Trash Talk: Rampardos is a little confused when Aten asks whether or not he's been directly reanimated from a fossil in the modern day.
    Aten: Just curious if you've had experience with being destroyed.
  • Tsundere: Aten hates everyone and everything in general, and initially expresses a desire to kill Ash in particular, but has also been seen to protect the party from a wild Mismagius attack. Without admitting to anything once everyone else was conscious again.
    Aten: You fell over. Then you got up. Don't ask me for more details because I don't have any.
  • Understatement: Iris is dumbfounded to discover that her school lecturers, when telling the class about Ash Ketchum, were not exaggerating but understating it. Most likely because Ash doesn't advertise all the ridiculousness he comes across, such as Meta-Groudon being reincarnated as Tiny Shiny Rayquaza, or teaching Gible to fly by reasoning that someday there might be a Gible-shaped aircraft.
    Ash: Understating what?
  • Unknown Rival: Team Galactic to Ash — and they'd like to stay that way. Not once do Ash and Co. ever come face to face with a single grunt before Cyrus eventually gives up on his plan and just moves to the moon.
  • 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."
  • Unstoppable Rage: Despite having accepted Ash as a worthy trainer, Aten remains very good at using Frustration, Bitter Malice, and Foul Play.
    Cynthia: I'm not entirely sure it's healthy for that Pokémon to be quite that angry.
    Suicune: Honestly, he's really mellowed out. He used to be much more angry, and it was much more generally meant. He doesn't really mean all the death threats any more, and when he does he specifies a time. Which is much better manners than not doing that.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight : Legendary Pokemon — part of the base premise for the story, the reaction anyone traveling alongside Ash develops.
    Whitney: There's a Zekrom here. Why is there a Zekrom here?
    Zekrom: Don't mind me, just getting some practice in.
  • Villain Respect: He's not so much a villain, but Aten does respect Ash's charisma and leadership skills, noting that if it had been possible, he'd want Ash as the general of his army.
  • 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.
      • Whitney later tries out the potion too. Appropriately for her passion about cuteness, she becomes a Snom.
      • Dawn, too, tries the shapeshifting potion and becomes a Plusle.
      • Princess Salvia does the same and becomes a Minun.
      • Iris becomes a Zoroark — meaning that she can then illusion herself as any other form.
        "This is great!" Iris declared, and turned into a Salamence. "I'm a dragon-type!"
        "But you're not," Keldeo protested.
        "Of course I am!" Iris replied. "Look! Hey, how natural is it to fly when you've taken on a form that flies?"
        "That's a violation, you're not a Dragon-type!"
        "I can't hear you over the sound of me being a dragon!" Iris shouted back.
    • 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 Primal Groudon or Kyogre respectively, and change back by putting them down.
    • Ash's Unown, after becoming disconnected from the Hive Mind, is able to transform into any letter shape — and even, as it turns out, symbols in other languages, although it takes more practice.
  • 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.
  • Who's on First?: When yet another Flat "What" is said in Wattson's Gym, Wattson's assistant Watt responds. Until he is the one saying the Flat "What".
  • Weirdness Magnet: Ash, and anyone who hangs around him long enough. To the point that he literally repels normality.
  • White Magic: Ash's giant Cresselia asks what healing and defensive moves exist — then explains that she's curious about whether you can beat an opponent using pacifism.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: Partway through one of Zacian's battles, Shiny Keldeo realises that it might not actually be appropriate for her to use the Rusty Sword in combat.
    Keldeo: It's technically an extremely important historical artefact, after all.
    Pansage: Suppose it is. Who's going to tell her? You?
  • Words Can Break My Bones: A lone Unown exposed to Mew's mindscape gets not only the ability to change shape into different Unown letters, but also the ability to perform any attack possible by spelling its name out with Unown shapes. For example, shifting into Unown-S, U, R and F in sequence will get it to perform the move Surf.
  • 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, and then later on the Unova Elite Four and Alder after winning the Vertess Conference. The only reason he's not officially this is because he turned the title down both times.
    • Cynthia proves herself worthy as well, also beating Ash by a single Pokémon. It shows — for example, her Togekiss manages to dodge moves by being very good at sensing kindness and telling other things from the shape of that kindness, and her Roserade went up against Galarian Moltres.
  • Worthy Opponent: Cuddle Bug King Dragonite feels this way about a Meganium that wraps him up in vines.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: Celebi is a master of time manipulation, capable of feats like making seeds grow into attack plants in linear seconds, or rewinding time so that a Pokemon who dodged an attack gets put back and hit by it anyway. He's still taken aback when Croagunk uses his Avoidance Kata.
    Celebi: How am I the one who can time travel and I'm the one who doesn't know what's going on?
  • Wrong Assumption: Marcus is established as believing he lives in a Terminally Dependent Society that will die without the Jewel of Life in a case of No Ontological Inertia.
  • Wronski Feint: Pidgey can't defeat Tobias' Victini directly, because Victini embodies victory. What Pidgey can do is de-evolve into a Tiny Bird and fly through small gaps, causing the pursuing Victini to crash and defeat itself.
    His ears hit the sides of the crack, then the attack he'd been preparing detonated, and most of what Pidgey had left behind was smashed to pieces by the explosion.
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I'm Ash Ketchum! And one day I'm going to be a troper!
Ooh. What's a troper?
...um. I… haven't thought that far yet. I guess it means launching lots of trope pages and adding stories to them!
That sounds like great fun!
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