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Video Game / Pokémon Channel

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What's on the tube today, Pikachu?

Pokémon Channel is a spinoff of the Pokémon video game series developed by Ambrella. It's the Spiritual Successor of Hey You, Pikachu!, and with its own Spiritual Successor in PokéPark Wii, it would appear the 'cute Pikachu' games - Pokémon spinoffs geared for younger players in which the main draw is Pikachu running around acting all cute - is officially a subseries.

It is a simulation/virtual pet game that is about watching TV with a wild Pikachu and unlocking new channels every real day you watch. You can also go outside the house and have the Pikachu talk with other wild Pokémon to get collectible cards.

In Europe, it was the only way to get a Jirachi, since you got one each time you beat the game. It also featured the Pichu Bros. short "The Pichu Brothers in Party Panic" that was exclusive to this game, and if you ever wondered where the game Meowth's Party from the Spaceworld 2000 tech demo that unveiled the GameCube went, it's here.

The game as a whole provides examples of:

  • Achievement System: The Poképad has this.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Cobalt Coast.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: The player can use the C-Stick to pet Pikachu on the head, even when he asks you to do so.
  • All There in the Manual: The manual gives out the location of where the Pokémon Mini emulator is. It's under the player's bed.
  • Alternate Monochrome Version: Several of the different TVs available will apply a filter to the shows. The first one you get that does this is the Retro TV, which applies a black-and-white filter. It's given to you as an emergency replacement after your Pikachu accidentally destroys the set you start with, but even after you get a new one, you can swap back to the Retro TV at any time.
  • Animal Talk: Less than last time. The Pokémon Speak is now subtitled.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Pikachu will fall asleep in front of the Snorlax doll if interacted with. He can also be found sleeping in the storage space in one of the Couch Gags.
  • Attract Mode: One appears on the title screen if you wait.
  • Audience Participation: Two In-Universe examples:
    • In Viridian Forest, there is a bell in a tree. The game then asks if the player wants to sign up for "The Concert of the Forest", then Pikachu and some Togepi or Cleffa will be holding bells, and they'll play the Pokémon Channel commercial music with them.
    • Before the Jigglypuff and Kecleon concert, a Charmander in the audience lights a campfire with its tail.
  • Balloonacy: Cleffa balloons can sometimes be found in crates, and then float up into the sky. This makes it the only item that can't be interacted with.
  • Banana Peel: Pikachu can slip on one in the backyard once he eats it.
  • Bottle Episode: Many of the models and animations are reused from either Hey You, Pikachu! and the Pokémon Stadium games up to this point. That and a majority of the OST is from Hey You, Pikachu! as well, given the music for both games were written by Miki Obata.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Pikachu will sometimes leap into the camera and get dizzy from the result.
    • The Flavor Text for the bookcase says it's chock full of game strategy guides.
    • In part 4 of Party Panic!, Meowth turns to the viewer and says that the three Squirtles he hired to help him set up the party are "scarier than Pikachu".
  • Catch and Return: A beach ball can be found in a hole in Springleaf Field (except on the fifth day). With it, the player and Pikachu can play catch.
  • Companion Cube:
    Pikachu is saying "hello" to the Lapras doll.
  • Console Cameo: Exaggerated. Not only is a Pokémon mini present, but it also acts as an emulator (in fact, this feature was used to test out actual Pokemon Mini emulators).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • If Togepi's nice card is collected, the next day it'll come by the player's house and bring the "Kasumi Channel", which is the Japanese version of Pichu Brothers: In Party Panic with Misty as the narrator. Togepi is most known for being one of Misty's Pokémon in the anime.
    • Viridian Forest is one of the locations you can visit.
    • Most of the Pokémon Quizzes are straight up from the PokéDex entries.
    • Cobalt Coast makes a return as a place you can visit. You can even see Cobalt Island in the distance.
  • Couch Gag: A little cutscene depicting Pikachu in the player's bedroom plays every time the player loads the save file. The couch gag? They're always different animations, from Pikachu doing a ballet to finding him sleeping in the storage closet.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The player gets a black-and-white TV on the second day after Pikachu accidentally Thundershocks the first one.
  • Disconnected Side Area: In Cobalt Coast there is an island in the background which is most likely Cobalt Island from Hey You, Pikachu!. Although there is no way to get to it, Pikachu will sometimes try to swim to it but almost drowns.
  • Easter Egg: After Slowpoke's weather report finishes, if you quickly head to where the report was aired as soon as possible, you can catch a glimpse of a few Magnemite packing up the set.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: A small rainbow appears when Pikachu waters the plants during the daytime.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Being from the wild, Pikachu will eat anything he finds, even flowers.
    Pikachu wants to eat the Charmander Doll.
    The Charmander Doll wasn't very tasty!
  • Fictional Constellations: The game has a camp the player can stargaze from, with multiple Pokémon constellations viewable. These constellations also showed up in the credits of Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker.
  • Fictional Currency: "Pokés". They're basically money from the main games, except everything's cheaper.
  • Fishing Minigame: ...and then the fish Pokémon ask you trivia questions about themselves.
  • Flavor Text: These appear when you press "B" on an object. It works exactly the same as the Pokéhelper from Hey You, Pikachu!.
  • Four-Leaf Clover: Pikachu can look for one in Springleaf Field. It can be seen in a pot on the player's window pane if he finds one.
  • From My Own Personal Garden: Pikachu and the player can plant berries in the garden. With proper watering, they will grow into berries and Pokémon will come to the garden to eat with Pikachu.
  • Genre-Busting: The game falls somewhere between the adventure, simulation, and virtual pet genres, not quite hitting any of them.
  • Gesundheit: Sometimes, Pikachu will go "ka-chu!" and move his head in a sneezing motion. The game will then reply with "Pikachu sneezed". The first time Pikachu sneezes, the player earns a quote-unquote "achievement" in the Poképad named "Bless you".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are 101 nice cards that can be found anywhere.
  • Grail in the Garbage:
    Pikachu is digging in the trash can.
    Pikachu found nothing worthwhile.
  • Guide Dang It!: You get the Pokémon cards by answering Pokémon trivia. The game can fall into this if you haven't kept up with the main games' Flavor Text.
  • Holler Button: You can pet Pikachu by using the C-Stick, which doesn't do anything other than giving him affection or calming him down.
  • Impossibly Mundane Explanation: According to Pokémon News Flash, the reason why nobody falls asleep during the Jigglypuff and Kecleon concert is because Jigglypuff trained herself to sing to the point where nobody falls asleep.
  • In-Game TV: While this trope is nothing new to the Pokémon series, it's the main focus of the game.
  • Interface Screw: Most of the TVs in the game have filters on them that fall under this trope.
    • The Hoppip TV has an Alpha Mask of the sky over everything, including clouds.
    • The Lanturn TV only shows part of the program in question in a constantly moving iris like a spotlight.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: It's no Animal Crossing, but it still counts.
  • Instant Home Delivery: Some of the early items and the roms for the Pokémon Mini emulator arrive as soon as you order them via Delibird.
  • Joke Weapon: A trumpet or harmonica can sometimes be found in crates. They serve no purpose other than to have Pikachu play them.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The description for the Voltorb TV states it looks like a Pokéball TV and vice versa. The two TVs are the exact same with the only difference being the design on the back (which you can only see in the Poképad anyway).
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: In the Ruins of Truth, Pikachu's Thunderbolt can make the plants in it light up.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Pikachu serves as the player's loyal companion.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The game loves using this trope. To wit:
    • All of the items showcased on Shopping With Squirtle are completely random. The only exceptions are the required bus passes and the binder.
    • The booster packs for nice cards are random as well. Not only that, but they can contain doubles too.
    • The Fishing Mini Game is completely random as well. First off, it's completely random whether or not Pikachu is going to successfully pull in the catch. And the Pokémon that are reeled in are random as well. And no, throwing the Pokémon food doesn't help you at all. If anything, it's just there to keep you entertained while you wait.
    • The type of plants that grow in the garden is completely random as well. Plus, the type of plant predetermines which Pokémon will come to eat with Pikachu.
    • There's an achievement called "bless you", which happens if Pikachu randomly sneezes while watching TV.
  • Military Salute: Pikachu sometimes does this before leaving a room.
  • Mythology Gag: Once you unlock the full Pichu Bros. short and watch it on a projector, the game's main story ends on the "End of Day" jingle from Hey You, Pikachu!.
  • Old Save Bonus: In the PAL version, beating the game lets the player transfer a Jirachi to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. It also acts as a patch for the infamous Berry Glitch.
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs: Various Pokémon eggs appear on the Eggzamination: Hatch Up! channel. Based on their designs, the player can guess what Pokémon is in them and win money if they're right when the egg hatches.
  • Point-and-Click Game: This replaces the voice controls from Hey You, Pikachu!.
  • Point of No Return: Once you enter the Ruins of Truth, you cannot leave until you light the plants in the area and answer a random trivia question about a Pokémon. Justified on Day 5, as the player needs to collect the final part of Party Panic! on this day, and answering the question wrong forces the player to re-enter and try again.
  • Product Placement: The Pokémon mini. Also, the game could entice you to buy a Pokémon stuffed animal.
  • Regional Bonus: Only Europeans could unlock a Jirachi mystery gift for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire by beating the main story. He still visits Pikachu and the player in the other versions, but it's only a cameo. (Americans got Jirachi through Pokémon Colosseum, so it kind of evens out. At least outside Japan.)
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pikachu, of course!
  • The Sandbag: There's a Wobbuffet punching bag in the bedroom. Pikachu punches it when it's interacted with.
  • Stylistic Suck: When Pikachu punches the Wobbuffet punching bag, it makes a sound similar to a low-quality sound card in a toy. The Flavor Text lampshades this by having the word "speaks" in quotation marks.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty:
    • Pikachu will sometimes try to jump into the TV.
    • If Azurill is on Meowth's on the Scene Interview, it'll say "My ears are long. Just don't try to tie them in a knot." This is a reference to a line in the song "Do your ears hang low?".
    • The bumpers used on the channels are similar to those used on The BBC.
  • Sizeshifter: The Wobbuffet spray (sometimes found in crates) will cause Pikachu to temporarily shrink in size, complete with Helium Speech.
  • Surfer Dude: The Surfing Pikachu doll.

The game also features several channels for the player and Pikachu to enjoy together.

    Professor Oak's Report 
  • Mission Control: This channel mainly serves as a way to save your progress and for Oak to provide directions for the game's storyline.

    "Pichu Bros. in Party Panic!" 
  • Art Shift: At the end of Part 4 and the beginning of Part 5, the art style switches to the 3D models used in the rest of the game. The last scene of Part 5 switches back to the anime style.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Kasumi (Misty) Channel is all Japanese, with no subtitles to help out anybody who doesn't speak Japanese. Depending on the version of the game, other dubs of the episode may be available.
  • Console Cameo: Meowth can be seen holding a GameCube controller at the end of part 4.
  • Continuity Nod: When comparing the Squirtle Squad's slowness at working, Meowth says "They're scarier than Pikachu!". Ash's Pikachu, of course.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: When the Pichu Bros. and friends are chasing an invitation, Smoochum gets distracted when she sees her own reflection in a window and notices her hair is slightly out of place.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Azumarill accidentally lets go of the balloon with the invitations, everyone is sad until the older Pichu brother sees a larger balloon in the distance, which gives him the idea to make a hot-air balloon to go after the one they lost.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Side By Side".
  • Half-Identical Twins: Just as in "Pikachu & Pichu" and "Camp Pikachu", the older Pichu has a cowlick to distinguish the two.
  • Multi-Part Episode: Subverted. It's split up into five parts, although a full version can be unlocked later.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: To hide from Houndour, the Pichu Bros. try to disguise themselves as a Piloswine out of a brown sheet and a few traffic cones in one scene. It works for a little bit, but Houndour eventually sees through the disguise.
  • Pet the Dog: Meowth is horrified when he makes Cubone sad, and his entire plan is to throw a legitimate party for all the Pokémon.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: During one scene, when the characters are chasing an invitation, Teddiursa notices an ice cream truck and runs for that instead of the invitation.
  • Squashed Flat: When Houndour runs into a fire hydrant and gets launched into the air, it ends up bouncing on the belly of a sleeping Snorlax, who then rolls on top of it.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: One part when the Pichu Bros. are on top of a building, they fall down from exhaustion. They then notice a cloud that look like them holding hands, and some clouds that look like fruit, making them hungry and reminding them to find an invitation for the party — which, conveniently, blows into their faces at that point. Too bad Houndour's waiting for them when they get down.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Rather than having Rachael Lillis dub the Hosted By Kasumi version as Misty, it was left entirely in Japanese, not even with subtitles.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: At the end, Meowth and his crew try to set off some fireworks, which initially fail to go off. Meowth gets annoyed and walks up to the fireworks, but just as he reaches them...
    (fireworks explode)

    Pokémon News Flash 

    Shop 'N Squirtle 
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Most of the products sold here are things to spiff up the room, including dolls, different TV sets, wallpaper...
  • Continuity Nod: The sunglasses Spencer Squirtle wears is the same pair worn by one of the Squirtle Squad members in the anime.
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: In-Universe. Spencer Squirtle hawking everything with such enthusiasm is actually pretty reserved off-camera.

    Smoochum Shape-up 
  • Same Face, Different Name: Averted, the exercises are real, but have different names. For example: The "Leg Kicking Exercise" is actually leg lifts. Most notably the "Stress Relief Exercise" is actually jumping jacks.

    Quiz Wobbuffet 

    Smeargle's Art Study 

    Slowpoke's Weather Report 
  • Overly Long Gag: It can take quite a long while before Slowpoke determines the weather.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Slowpoke will occasionally leave the frame on one side and walk back on from the other side.
  • Weather Manipulation: When Slowpoke points its tail at the weather symbol, the weather in that area automatically changes to that weather. This actually changes which Pokémon are found there.

    Chansey's Fortune Cookie 

    Eggzamination: Hatch Up! 
  • Captain Obvious: In some cases, it's pretty easy to know what Pokémon is in the egg. Just look at the egg's pattern. However, sometimes you get a generic white egg instead, making the game more difficult.
  • Overly Long Gag: It can take a very long time for the egg to hatch, ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours. Better make sure your GameCube or Wii's fan is working...

    Mareep Farm 
  • Counting Sheep: Electric sheep.
  • Relax-o-Vision: It can put Pikachu to sleep just by watching it. If the Snorlax doll is interacted with while this channel is on, Pikachu will sleep longer.

    Odd One Out 
  • Punny Name: The first Pokémon you see are Oddish. Get it? Oddish? Odd one out?

    Chum Chum Ranking 
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: The show's final segment only exists to make the player feel guilty for not playing the game enough.