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As one of, if not the, most successful multimedia franchises of all time, it goes without saying that the Pokémon series has been parodied, homaged, and referenced in other works quite a bit. Most of these parodies, however, bear little actual resemblance to the franchise they are based on, and they are quite prone to Cowboy BeBop at His Computer. They tend to instead be general parodies of the concept of "Merchandise-Driven Gotta Catch Them All To Be a Master" Mons franchises from Japan that Pokémon paved the way for, such as Digimon, Tamagotchi, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Beyblade, Bakugan, and who else knows what.

If a series — especially a Western series, as opposed to a Japanese one — includes a Pokémon parody, certain elements are almost guaranteed to pop up:

  • It may have a very nonsensical-sounding pseudo-Japanese name.
  • There might be a reference to the Strictly Formula nature of the anime, with a Terrible Trio appearing Once an Episode only to be "blasted off" by the heroes.
  • If a creature from the parody work is shown, it is quite likely to be an Expy of Pikachu, thanks to its massive popularity, and being the only Pokémon that people who aren't fans of the series can usually name. If not, it will often be one of either Charmander or Digimon's Agumon, usually a vaguely dinosaur/dragon-like creature with a fire motif.
  • If the work is a Black Comedy or otherwise aimed at older audiences, you might get a reference to the infamous "seizure episode" Electric Soldier Porygon.
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  • Newer parodies might contain a reference to Pokémon GO and its unexpectedly high popularity as a smartphone app.
  • How the fans are portrayed usually depends on when the work came out. If it was made in The '90s, when Pokémon first became popular, they'll be elementary school-aged children who obsess over the trading cards and TV show. If it was made later, especially in The New '10s, they'll either be somewhat creepy men in their 20s and 30s who hang around video game stores and comic conventions, or shallow, trend-hopping hipster millenials addicted to their smartphones after Pokémon Go became popular.
  • It's likely to be the basis for a Trend Aesop, with all the kiddies realizing how silly it was to get swept up in such a trite and silly thing, and moving on to more tried-and-true playtime activities. This was most common during Pokémon's initial wave of popularity in the late 1990s; most modern versions are likely to be made by people who are fans themselves and are therefore less likely to be done in a negative light.

As the last few points should indicate, this trope has evolved (pun unintended) ever since Pokémon proved to be far more enduring than it was initially thought to be. Most parodies nowadays come from its Popularity Polynomial-inducing Periphery Demographic, and are as such far more affectionate. The classic version of this trope, which typically dismissed Pokémon and others like it as a bizarre and ultimately insipid fad, is on its way out.

Contrast All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles, which is the other way anime is usually depicted in Western media, though some overlap is possible. Compare Sailor Senshi Send-Up.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Anohana The Flower We Saw That Day, Tetsudo suggests Menma might have wished for a rare "Nokemon" game. The game's versions are listed as Opal, Gold, and Emerald, the latter two of which are the names of actual Pokémon games. They're played on a Bland-Name Product version of the GBA SP and most resemble FireRed and LeafGreen.
  • Asobi Asobase features "Bacteri Go", a smartphone game based on Pokémon GO.
  • High School Dx D has Issei and Asia try to get their own familiars; while trying to catch one, Issei yells "Sprite Dragon, I choose you!". They are also guided by Zatouji, who wears a baseball cap and strives to become a Familiar Master.
  • Excel Saga has the Puchuu, a race of adorable yellow Pikachu-like creatures that can only say their own name—and, in typical Excel Saga fashion, turn out to be evil warlords.

    Comic Books 
  • The Brazilian comic Monica's Gang features Pokemão. The 98th issue of the teen imprint, which was released around the time where Pokémon GO was most popular, features a parody of that with Five Nights at Freddy's expies.
  • Impulse has the titular character playing "Poxy Monsters" on what is obviously a Game Boy. In the Young Justice Crisis Crossover Sins of Youth, one of Klarion's spells bring the Poxy Monsters to life, emerging from "Game Guys", trading cards, and movie theaters showing Poxy Monsters: The Next Wave. The most prominent is a blue Pikachu called "Peekaboo".
  • Disney comics had multiple parodies of Pokémon. A pair of interesting examples:
    • Donald Duck and the Cicciomon Craze features Donald Duck trying desperately to make his nephews concentrate on their studies instead of playing with the new trend of Cicciomon games and cards. At the end he succeeds in his target by overloading them with gadgets until they're tired of them, only to discover that a full collection of Cicciomon cards is worth thousands of dollars a few minutes after throwing everything in the garbage.
    • Battle Beasties is once again based around Huey, Dewey and Louie going after a new brand of collectible creatures, discovering that they're real and live in another dimension, and the franchise was created after a toymaker accidentally found a gate for their dimension. They open it and the Battle Beasties are soon spread around all Duckburg, starting a hunt to get all them back in their dimension. A sequel also exists, with a new batch of creatures coming out of the gate and being controlled by an evil scientist.
    • Mickey Mouse and the Dark Matter Blot is a story, with an explicit Pokémon GO parody called Mouseghost being vital to the main plot, as Goofy's obsession with it ends up being vital in foiling the Phantom Blot's latest ploy with a dark matter generator (which somehow makes creatures in the game run away from the place where it's located).
  • A Spongebob Squarepants comic features SpongeBob collecting "Battle Monster" trading cards that feature all sorts of bizarre-looking creatures. Patrick finds a bunch of real Battle Monsters and he and SpongeBob bring them to Bikini Bottom, where they cause a mess.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ever After High fic A Fairytale is a Metaphor, Maddie is fond of playing Polymon Go, even though it's not in style anymore. She mentions having a Leafasaur and looking for a Driporeon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond had Ray's daughter become obsessed with an anime franchise called "Hackidu". From what we are shown of it, it seems similar to Pokémon having a trading card game (which forms the plot of the episode), as well as a creature called "Scramisaur".
  • Good Luck Charlie: Teddy once dates a guy who is obsessed with the game "Pokeoh", which is both a Pokémon parody and a Yu-Gi-Oh! parody. Her brother Gabe teaches her the ropes of the card game, which includes knowing the standard Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors that Pokémon is known for — such as "Flame" types being strong against "Plant" types.
  • The short-lived Comedy Central SNL spinoff series TV Funhouse featured Jokamel, which was basically this trope meets a Joe Camel advertisement, and with all the private part-tastic designs and attacksnote  it's quite possibly the most demented of the bunch, in typical Robert Smigel fashion.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The roleplaying game Big Eyes, Small Mouth has a supplement specifically for simulating this specific genre titled "Cute and Fuzzy Seizure Monsters", referencing the infamous Porygon episode.
  • Pokéthulhu is pretty much this trope as a game, while simultaneously skewering the Cthulhu Mythos.

    Video Games 
  • This is essentially half of the premise of Pocket Mortys, while the other half is being a Spin-Off of Rick and Morty.
  • Hyper Dimension Neptunia Mk 2 has the villain Warechu (called Pirachu in the dub), essentially a demonic Pikachu knockoff. He represents the "evils" of video game piracy. Additionally, protagonists Rom and Ram at one point are seen discussing a game called "Pocketed Monstrosities", which includes a character named "Eebee" (presumably based on Eevee).
  • Hypnospace Outlaw has the Squisherz, which perfectly fit with the late 90's internet aesthetic the game was going for. There's even religious sites trying to claim it's Satanic, much like what happened with Pokemon.
  • The Simpsons Game features the Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game stage, where Lisa and Homer have to catch creatures called Sparklemon. Lisa even gets new clothes based on Ash's.
  • The Sims 4 has Voidcritters, a fictional collectible card game and cartoon that kids can play with. This page gives more detail.
  • Rakuen has, in the chapter where you play as a dog, an unnamed smartphone game played by two kids that is most likely based on Pokémon GO, having to collect creatures in the "real world" and all that.
  • Fate Series:
    • Capsule Servant is a spoof of Pokémon where Shirou and Rin collect and battle with chibi Servants.
    • Fate/Grand Order has the April Fools' Day prank Fate/Grand Order Gutentag Omen, a spoof of Pokémon GO where the aim is to collect as many Servants as possible in real life because you have unlimited Saint Quartz for the day.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: One series of trading cards that Strong Bad talks about in the Strong Bad Email "trading cards" is a Stinko Man card game that parodies both Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, with its point system and Cheatball speaking in Pokémon Speak. Strong Bad even describes the game as being "a cutesy Japanese-y game for little kids to play during recess, to make sure they don't get any real exercise."

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck has Fiduspawn, a card game that Tavros plays which seems to be a parody of Pokémon with some elements of Alien. After the player throws an Oogonibomb in a similar fashion to throwing a Pokéball, a Face Hugger-like creature hatches and grabs a host plush and impregnates it, before an actual monster hatches out of it. Interestingly, there were no references to the battling aspect of Pokémon, as the main goal of the game seems to be breeding and collecting various Fiduspawn monsters.
  • The Cartoon Chronicles Of Conroy Cat gives us Bagémall, which revolves around catching various "Thangs" with paper bags. It's more of an Affectionate Parody due to the creator being a fan. Said creator also shamelessly admits that the Thangs follow a Digimon naming convention so he could have one called "Sexythang".
  • Mortasheen is (or least began as) a parody of Pokémon with a Nightmare Fetishist Bio Punk twist. However, it quickly developed an identity of its own and is now seen as a unique work in its own right rather than a parody.
  • The El Goonish Shive NP non-canon storyline "Grace-a-Monsters" is a close parody of the franchise, except that all the Pokémon are Grace. The main trainers are Justin, Nanase and Ellen. Sarah and Diane appear as a Team Rocket parody, Team Bad Guys, except they're "basically licensed roleplayers pretending to be bad to help train, and make things more interesting for, new trainers".

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Arthur had Muffy showing off her new "DopeyMon" cards, Including, as Arthur and his friends point out, "Stinkachu".
  • Bob's Burgers has Burobu. Tina even lampshades this, "So Burobo's like Pokemon but just everybody's a slug?". The end credits for that episode were even a Suspiciously Similar Song version of the Pokemon theme with pastiches of scenes from the anime's opening.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy had "Hokey Monsters", a trading card game that Grim brought to life.
  • In Drawn Together, this is what Ling-Ling is. However, most of the jokes revolving around him aren't so much Pokémon references as general anime stereotypes.
  • South Park had the infamous Chinpokomon, which were meant to control the minds of American children so America would be vulnerable to a Japanese attack. There's also some Bilingual Bonus in the parody name, as "chinpoko" is a Japanese term for "penis."
  • There are two episodes of Johnny Test featuring "TinyMon", and they contain a number of surprisingly accurate references to the franchise, such as trading and evolution via happiness. One of the creatures shown even looks like Shadow Lugia!
  • The ReBoot episode "My Two Bobs" focuses on a game called "Pantsu Hebi X", which is a parody of not only Pokémon, but also anime in general. Frisket even makes himself look like Pikachu by rebooting himself.
    • Also, "Pantsu Hebi" can more or less be translated as "Trouser Snake"...
  • An episode of The Amazing World of Gumball has Gumball's little sister, Anais, attempt to use subliminal messaging in a cartoon to convince him to take her to a scary movie. Said cartoon is an homage to the Pokémon anime.
  • An episode of Angelo Rules haves Angelo's younger brother Peter going crazy for the "Wiznimals" franchise, a mixture of Pokémon and random Japanese culture tropes (clan wars with some characters changing factions multiple times and others fighting to protect their families are mentioned). The episode has Angelo trying desperately to kill Peter's obsession for them so that he will not be forced to take him to the Wiznimals convention the next day, but at the end, he surrenders and brings him to the con... only for Peter's best friend Cooper to come and tell him that Wiznimals are for dorks, convincing him instantly and making Angelo's tentatives worthless.
  • "The Game" episode of Recess is a downplayed example. It revolves around all the kids becoming obsessed with a collectable card game called "Ajimbo". The game itself doesn't particularly resemble Pokémon, but the episode aired at the same time as the Pokémon trading card game was becoming a massive fad with elementary-school-aged kids, making the parallels more obvious.
  • The Simpsons episode "Looking For Mr. Goodbart" had "Peekimon Go!" an obvious parody of Pokemon Go.
  • An episode of Johnny Bravo featured Clam League 9000, a bizarre Merchandise-Driven combination of Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z.


Video Example(s):



Eric Cartman sees a commercial for Chinpokomon toys. Note that "chinpoko" is actually Japanese slang for male genitalia.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / Phonymon

Media sources:

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