While there are plenty of nods towards other Pokemon titles, there are some other references to pop culture.
- Home Alone gets a nod when Tim first steps into his father's apartment, and the movie Angels with Filthy Souls is playing.
- When Psyduck starts to panic, Pikachu starts saying, "Serenity now, serenity now" which is a nod towards Seinfeld.
- When Ditto gets defeated, it rapidly transforms into different characters before melting back to a simple Ditto much like the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
- During Mr. Mime's interrogation, Mr. Mime sits down on an invisible chair, then very deliberately uncrosses and recrosses his legs, similar to Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. Fortunately Mr. Mime is not anatomically correct.
- The film's climax features a dangerous chemical stored in the floating balloons of a parade, much like what happens with the Joker's Smilex gas hidden in the Gotham City parade balloons in Batman (1989).
- The scene with the Greninja in the lab, where Tim and the others are aware of their presence by seeing their drool drop from the ceiling, looks like something out of Alien.
- The whole film is reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, what with being a noir film featuring a human paired with an animated character (only this time the cartoon is the detective) in a city full of fantastic creatures, but there are at least two direct nods to it. One scene features the human protagonist dangling from a skyscraper while an animated character is slowly and sadistically trying to make him lose the grip (Eddie Valiant and Tweety in Roger Rabbit, Tim and a Cubone in Detective Pikachu). Another one features the black-clad Ms. Norman removing her sunglasses and revealing her beady eyes that show she's actually a mutated Ditto, similar to the scene where the black-clad Judge Doom reveals his true cartoon eyes beneath the sunglasses and fake eyeballs.
- Gengar's design seems to be inspired by Slimer