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Mythology Gag / Pokémon Detective Pikachu

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  • Every single frame of the film is full of Easter eggs for diehard fans to find — there's even a game on the official website to spot the Pokemon on the film poster! The minigame was originally set around finding the references to the games on the teaser poster.
  • Some of the more pointed examples in the film itself:
    • On the informational video about Ryme City on the train that Tim watches, Ryoma Takeuchi of Kamen Rider fame makes a cameo as Pokemon trainer that looks a lot like Red.
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    • Once again, police in this universe rely on dog-type Pokemon, as seen with the beat cops walking with Growlithes and of course, Yoshida and his Snubbull.
    • A Jigglypuff is shown holding the same sharpie/microphone that its anime counterpart is known to have, while also pouting next to some guy it seems to have made fall asleep with its singing, again just like its anime counterpart. This is hammered home by the fact that said Jigglypuff is voiced by Rachael Lillis, its original English VA. It also sings the same melody as in the anime.
    • Pikachu tries to hop on Tim's shoulder just like Ash Ketchum's in the Anime, but Tim refuses. He eventually warms up to it.
    • Detective Pikachu has white fur on his belly, which has not been seen in Pikachu's design since early artwork for Pokémon Red and Blue.
    • The Turtles' "Happy Together", which was heavily featured in the first trailer, was used for Pikachu's first ever live action appearance: this ad for Super Smash Bros. 64. It's also a musical influence of the game series's theme.
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    • The parade balloons are based on the game designs for the Pokémon.
    • In the food stalls scene, Detective Pikachu is standing in front of a bowl of leeks which look exactly like the variety held by Farfetch'd.
    • In the second trailer, some of the music is similar to the beginning of the anime's first dub opening.
    • The Greninja use swords made of water to attack, just like the Greninja in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U note .
    • A Snorlax can be seen sleeping in the bike lane. Some things never change.
    • Pikachu attempts to get on Tim's shoulder in the classic Parrot Pet Position media often puts the Pokémon in, but is lifted off and forced to walk instead.
    • A Genius Bonus example: Pikachu is a Deadpan Snarker who has an addiction to coffee, a bitter drink. In the games, the nature of a Pokémon determines what flavors it likes and dislikes, and what's the preferred flavor of a Sassy Pokémon? Bitter.
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    • When Tim refuses to carry Pikachu on his shoulder, Pikachu says he's trying to achieve his step count anyway. The old tamagotchi-type Pokémon Pikachu toy required you to accumulate steps in order to feed your Pikachu. Similarly, the Pokéwalker made for Pokemon Heart Gold And Soul Silver was a pedometer, which you could transfer Pokémon to, and encounter wild Pokémon and pick up items with.
    • Mewtwo is shown awakening in a tank, almost identical to the one where his anime counterpart was "born" in. In the movie, this is an Invoked Trope, since the villains recaptured the original Mewtwo since it "escaped" from Kanto 20 years prior. He even repeats his pre-breakout line of "they're outside".
    • Mewtwo is captured by drones that torture him with electricity and prevent him from moving, like the ones in Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.
    • Aipom are the first Pokémon to cause problems for Tim and Detective Pikachu, just like in the video game.
    • A Ditto unable to change its beady dot eyes despite its perfect imitations is reminiscent of Duplica's first Ditto. Although "Ms. Norman" is at least able to get the rest of the face right.
    • A big one for the main plot. People and Pokémon merging into a single entity? This has happened before. Bill's little accident with his teleporter resulted in a situation very similar to the Big Bad of this film's plan. Considering the direct callout to Mewtwo leaving Kanto 20 years ago, it might have directly inspired it.
      • And then there is the spinoff manga Pokémon RéBURST, which plot centers around characters with the ability to merge with their Pokémon to do battle.
    • The first half of the credits are filled with art of all the main characters looking like their art for the main series RPGs, including the humans, courtesy of Ken Sugimori, who did all the artwork for the Pokémon games. Also, during this sequence, an arrangement of the title theme from Pokémon Red and Blue is heard.
    • Detective Pikachu (mournfully) sings the opening lines of 'Gotta Catch 'Em All', better known as the very first opening theme of the anime. The instrumental also appears when Howard and Roger are filming a promo for the parade.
    • The name of Harry's hotel (according to the neon sign outside) is the "Oak".
    • Lucy tries to catch the attention of a blond news reporter who wears a black suit with two gold bands around her waist. Her name is Cynthia.
    • For some viewers, this may not be the only time they've seen a Pikachu and a Mewtwo fight on top of Pokemon-shaped parade floats.
    • One of the main plot points revolve around orange glowing headbands that allow a Pokemon and human to link minds, very similar to Pokkén Tournament.
    • Pikachu refuses to use Volt Tackle in the cage match, saying it'll knock him out - a reference to how Volt Tackle delivers recoil damage to the user. Later in the film, when he uses it to knock Mewtwo through a building, he's visibly dazed and winded afterwards.
    • Pikachu trying, then failing, to use a move in battle could be a reference to moves with less than 100% accuracy in the games.
    • When facing against the R-enraged Charizard, Pikachu tries kicking a Magikarp so it can evolve into Gyarados and wipe the floor with Charizard. This is similar to the anime episode "Pokémon Shipwreck", where James kicks a Magikarp, causing it to evolve into Gyarados.
    • A little before that, Tim attempts to stop the rampaging Charizard by attacking the flame on the tail. As established in the anime and game, the more the fire diminishes, the weaker the Charmander evolution line, and Charizard by extension, gets. Its difficult to impossible to snuff it out like this (the flame continues to burn even when swamped by water), but its still an effective way to get a Charizard's attention.
    • The first time we meet Lucy, she is wearing all pink with her hair up in a ponytail. Nurse Joy, a staple of the series, also is always in a pink uniform.
    • The drug is just named "R." The first evil organization was Team Rocket.
      • The R Drug seems to be based on an ingame item called the Berserk Gene, left behind by Mewtwo near the collapsed Cerulean Cave in Pokémon Gold and Silver. The effects of the item are even similar to the drug, boosting attack but causing confusion.
    • There are Dialga, Palkia, and Arceus statues in Howard's office, similar to the statues that would have been in Eterna City in Diamond & Pearl. It's a hint to which character is trying to play God.
      • But wait, what happened to Giratina? Compare the position of Palkia and Dalgia to where they are when Giratina appears at the Spear Pillar in Platinum. In the center between the two... where Howard's desk currently is. Can you guess who the villain is yet?
    • It's mentioned in the Pokédex entries for Torterra that people in ancient civilizations believed that there was a gargantuan Torterra under the Earth. This may likely be the inspiration for the lab deciding to use Torterra to experiment on increasing a Pokémon's size. And the fact that it worked implies that there might be some truth to those Pokédex entries.
  • The four Pokémon who officially take part in the underground Pokémon cage match arena are Blastoise, Gengar, Charizard, and Pikachu. All four Pokémon are playable in Pokkén Tournament, which has battles that function in the exact same way.
  • Pokéballs are outlawed in Ryme City and Pokémon live among humans, but it's still common for all humans to have a partner Pokémon they live and work with, forming an empathic bond with them. This is not all dissimilar to how Pokémon Conquest worked, with "catching" Pokémon happening by bonding with them instead of using a Pokéball. It's also a light shout-out to the intro speeches most of the professors in the main games give, namely the first part about pokemon being "Pets and friends".
  • At first it appears that Mewtwo was responsible for running Harry's car off the road. Later on it's revealed that it was actually the Greninjas from the lab that did it, under Howard's orders. This is not the first time there has been a fake out involving these two. The same deception was pulled in a character reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, initially setting up what appeared to be Mewtwo's silhouette, only to be revealed instead as Greninja.
  • The phones everyone uses are shown to have buttons in a similar arrangement to the original Game Boy, which the original Pokémon games were released on. The device itself appears to be an evolution of the Game Boy design, which reflects the in-universe trend of the series' Pokédexes being based on the consoles they're played on.
  • There's a news story in the movie about firemen working with Squirtles to put out fires. In the Pokémon anime, Ash's Squirtle and the Squirtle Squad also worked with firemen to put out fires on at least three different occasions, including the episode where it was Put on a Bus.
    • In addition, at the end of the movie, there is a shot of 4 Squirtles around a 5th one who wears a black robe that resembles the ones the Squirtle Squad wore.
  • Among the products advertised on signs throughout Ryme City are Berry Juice, Poképuffs and Snap Cameras.
  • The some of the first Pokémon we see are a group of Pidgey, Pidgeotto and Pidgeot flying over Leaventown, like in the opening scene of Pokemon Heart Gold And Soul Silver.
  • The Pokéball Tim uses to attempt to catch the Cubone works the same way it does in the anime— once the Pokemon is inside, it shakes and flashes yellow until either it fails, or the light turns green and the capture is confirmed.
    • The remark from Tim which upsets the Cubone is that it likes wearing the skull of its dead relative. Insensitive though this may be, it's also accurate to several Pokédex entries which state that Cubone wears the skull of its deceased mother (e.g. Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Silver and Crystal, or Pokémon Fire Red).
  • Pikachu loves when Lucy scratches him under his chin. Playing with a Pikachu in Pokémon-Amie or Pokémon Refresh shows that this is a favorite spot for all of his kind.
  • Tim follows his friend, Jack, to catch a pokémon, unaware that Jack is setting him up to catch it. Where do they find this wild pokémon? In the tall grass.
    • May be unintentional, but one of the default names for Red in the original was "Jack". He's even dressed up like a Pokémon Trainer, and is talking about leaving town.
  • Ever since breeding was introduced to the Pokemon games, the majority of players got into the habit using Ditto to breed with their other Pokemon by using its Transform ability to become a compatible mate. The Ditto that Tim has to fight transforms into Lucy and he admits that he's attracted to the real one.
  • There are nods to unofficial material too: the underground arena fight scene between Detective Pikachu and a Charizard looks like it was lifted from Pokémon Apokélypse, a Darker and Edgier reimagining of the Pokémon world that prominently featured a fight to the death between those two same Pokémon.
  • The end credits open with a recreation of the classic black-and-white battle screen from Pokémon Red and Blue. Naturally, Detective Pikachu is the player's Pokémon.
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