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Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the first set of eighth generation games in the main Pokémon series. Released for the Nintendo Switch on November 15th, 2019, they are the first original mainline Pokémon RPGs created for home consoles. note  The games are set in the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom.

Mega Evolution and Z-Moves have been removed and replaced by a new battle mechanic known as "Dynamaxing", wherein a Pokémon temporarily grows to giant size, granting increased HP and more powerful variants of its usual moves; some Pokémon receive unique "Gigantamax" forms with unique moves. In addition, some wild Pokémon can be encountered in a permanent Dynamax state and fought in a Max Raid Battle with up to four players. Taking a cue from the Let's Go games, Sword and Shield feature an extensive "Wild Area" in conjunction with normal Routes, where players encounter wild Pokémon via "symbol encounters" in various sub-areas. These are also the first games in the series to have version exclusive Gyms, with Sword having Fighting- and Rock-type Gyms, and Shield having Ghost- and Ice-type Gyms.

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For the first time in the series, there was a strict restriction on the Pokémon available for use: over 450 Pokémon could not be caught or traded into Sword and Shield at the time of release, with the available creatures solely consisting of the 400 Pokémon within the Galar Regional Pokédex. Reactions to this were... mixed. Over eighty moves, not counting the aforementioned Z-Moves, were also made unusable.

The announcement trailer can be viewed here, the dedicated Nintendo Directs here and here, and the Dynamax trailer here. The official website is here. An animated web series based on the games titled Pokémon: Twilight Wings premiered on YouTube on January 15th, 2020.

On January 9, 2020, it was revealed that in place of a traditional third version or sequel, the games would receive the series' first instance of paid Downloadable Content in the form of the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass. The Expansion Pass consists of two new campaigns, Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, and include the return of over 200 Pokémon - including Legendaries - to the roster (100+ per campaign), plus new Galarian and Gigantamax forms. Players who don't own the Expansion Pass will be unable to capture these Pokémon, but will be able to obtain them through trading and Max Raid battles. New tutor moves, clothing, and the ability to make Apricorn Poké Balls will also be included in the Expansion Pass. The Isle of Armor was released on June 17, 2020, while The Crown Tundra was released on October 22, 2020, with new editions of both versions, each containing the base game and both campaigns coming on November 6, 2020.

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Tropes associated with Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are:

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  • 11th-Hour Superpower: You can capture Eternatus (and by "can", we mean must and will) right before you fight Leon. It has the stats you'd expect of a major legendary, resists Gigantamax Charizard's fire attacks due to being part Dragon-type, and has a powerful STAB move that deals double damage to Dynamax/Gigantamax Pokémon. Leon acknowledges this and tells you fighting against the strongest Pokémon makes him even more excited for the battle.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • In addition to the traditional Gym Badge and TM, you're also given a Gym uniform like the one worn by the Gym Leader you defeated. You also get a unique outfit for becoming Champion.
    • Completing the Isle of Armor Pokédex grants a Replica Gold Crown.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The Exp Candy, thus making leveling up to 100 much quicker than previous games and quicker path to use bottle caps. Commonly obtainable through raids.
    • Mints change the bonuses for Natures to what you want (though without changing the Nature itself, making this effectively Hyper Training for natures). While quite expensive at 50 BP apiece, they are great for cases where chaining catches/breeds for a specific Nature is not ideal (or even possible, such as Legendaries and Gigantamaxes). The Isle of Armor DLC now allows players to find Mints as collectibles in the island's Wild Area.
    • The Escape Rope is now an infinite-use Key Item, rather than the consumable, purchasable item of past games.
    • After years of fans asking for it, these games finally allow the player to skip the long-winded catching and Pokémon Center tutorials, though not the entire introductory section. This time around, you're given Poké Balls and allowed to encounter wild Pokémon before the tutorial, and if you've already caught at least one, Leon will acknowledge that you already know what to do and allow you to proceed. And when you reach the first Pokémon Center, Hop outright asks you if you've been to one before, and if you tell him you have, he won't tell you how it works.
    • The game allows cinematic scenes to be turned off, which is helpful to players who have been through the story previously. The "Would you like to give a nickname" popup can also be turned off in settings, saving a lot of time when mass-breeding.
    • The Nickname Rater, Move Reminder and Move Deleter are now a single NPC found in every Pokémon Center. There's also no charge for the Move Reminder so you don't have to stockpile payment items. No more waiting until near the end of the game to regain a move you accidentally got rid of or passed up. The free Reminder is almost a necessity, since in this game many wild Pokémon are at extremely high levels—especially in Max Raid battles, where they go all the way up to level 70—and have many of their best moves in their backlog.
    • While the Nickname Rater still refuses to change outsider Pokémon's existing nicknames, he'll now recognize when they don't have nicknames at all and allow you to give them one. The downside: since the game can't remember who assigned a nickname, you won't be able to change it later. The game is at least kind enough to remind you of this when attempting to nickname a traded Pokémon, with the Name Rater telling you in no uncertain terms that you will never be able to change that Pokémon's nickname again. The Name Rater may also have trouble recognizing Pokémon with foreign standard names, and instead interpret them as nicknames.
    • Raid battles can be done with NPC trainers if the player doesn’t have online access. However, most of them are really dumb and weak to encourage players to cooperate with each other.
    • Self Destruct and Explosion cannot be used in Raid Battles, likely to prevent Griefing. On a similar note, Dynamax and Gigantamax attacks can only target the enemy.
    • Pokémon in the Wild Area that are above the player’s current catch level cap will not have a chance of being shiny, thus preventing anyone losing a shiny that way.
    • Unlike previous games, where you could only change Rotom's form by visiting a specific location in the overworld, you can find an NPC who will give you a Key Item called the Rotom Catalog that can be used to change Rotom's form at any time outside of battle simply by using it from your Bag. Specifically, the NPC can be found in Wyndon, where the Galar region's Pokemon League is.
    • An NPC in Motostoke gives you an item that allows you to adjust the volume of the game. This lets you tone down or silence the music if you want to play your own tunes in the background, or dampen the cries of Pokemon, without tampering with your TV or Switch's volume settings and hushing the rest of the game.
    • In previous games, Eevee could only evolve to Leafeon and Glaceon by leveling up while in a specific area. However, games after Gen IV tended to make said areas inconvenient to access, and in some games completely inaccessible until far into the late gamenote . Here? Just feed Eevee a Leaf Stone or Ice Stone. Problem solved. Not to mention you can just flat out find wild Eeveelutions roaming a specific region in the Lake of Outrage. Charjabug received a similar update with it now being able to evolve into Vikavolt via a Thunder Stone instead of having to be in a specific area. Vikavolt can also be found roaming in parts of the Wild Area. As of the Isle of Armor DLC Magneton also uses a Thunder Stone to evolve into Magnezone.
    • Ice-Type Pokemon often ended up stuck later in the game, usually long after they would be useful. The Wild Area will always have at least one area where Ice-Types are found (indicated by hail falling), allowing the player access to Ice-Type Pokemon before the first Gym (which is weak to Ice).
    • Several Pokémon that normally evolve by trading can be found out in the Wild Area as rare overworld spawns under certain weather conditions, mitigating the need to trade to complete the Pokédex. Some can also be found in Dens, such as Gengar.note 
    • While Galarian Meowth and Galarian Yamask normally evolve into Perrserker and Runerigus, respectively, those Pokémon's original evolutions (Persian and Cofagrigus) are still obtainable. An NPC in Turffield's Gym will trade a Kantonian Meowth for a Galarian Meowth and an NPC in Ballonlea's Gym will trade a Unovan Yamask for a Galarian Yamask, eliminating the need to transfer Persian and Cofagrigus from previous games.
      • The Isle of Armor's DLC expands on that by giving access to more regular forms with the inclusion of an NPC named Regina which will trade you a regular form Pokémon if you give her its Galarian form in exchange (such as Weezing or Stunfisk). She even trades some Alolan forms in exchange for their regular forms note  Even better, those trades with Regina can be done an unlimited amount of times.
    • Galarian Farfetch'd evolves into Sirfetch'd by landing three critical hits in one battle, and those Pokémon's critical hit rate can be boosted with the Leek item (known as a Stick in previous generations), which is rare in most games. To compensate for this, the chance for wild Farfetch'd to hold a Leek has been increased from 5% to 50%.
    • Pokémon that can evolve via level up are no longer locked out of it forever if they reach Level 100 — a Rare Candy will trigger the evolution directly.
    • Several competitively relevant items which in previous games were usually exclusive to post-game battle arenas, such as the Life Orb, Focus Sash, and Choice Scarf, can now be found scattered throughout the game.
    • Any Pokémon you bring into a Max Raid battle will start with full health and full PP, preventing the embarassing accident of joining a co-op battle at low health with your good moves depleted. And the Pokémon that participates will come back out with full PP, though not with restored health if it lost HP (and only 1 HP if it is fainted when the battle ends).
    • In Stow-on-Side, a merchant in the open-air market sells one item per day, with his inventory changing daily and some items being difficult to get elsewhere. If the player misses a day, he'll still have the previous day's item for sale. He can also be asked what tomorrow's sale will be to see if it's worth visiting.
    • Pokemon that require happiness to evolve now have a lower requirement for it because of how the mechanic has been reworked.
    • Unlike in previous generations, evolved Pokémon will now always have all of their pre-evolution's level-up moves available in their learnset; if they can't get one of their previous form's moves by level-up, it will be accessible from the Move Relearner. This is especially notable for Pokémon that evolve from Stones, which tend to have extremely limited movepools of their own, with most of their moves needing to be carried over from their pre-evolution, meaning that you can now evolve your Pokémon freely without having to delay the evolution for dozens of levels just to wait for them to learn a single move you want.
    • Starting from this generation onwards, you can now breed egg moves onto your Pokémon without needing to do so as an egg: Just pop in another Pokémon of the same species that has the egg move you want and make sure the recipient has at least one empty moveslot for each move you intend to pass onto it. Even better, they just have to be of the same species, meaning you can pair both males and it will still work. This is extremely helpful for an all-Male species such as Tyrogue and its evolutions who have egg moves (admittedly most all male species have no egg moves), gift Pokémon (like Kantonian Mr. Mime and Unovan Yamask/Cofagrigus), Gigantamax Pokémon, who cannot pass the Gigantamax down via breeding but still want access to egg moves, or a Shiny you caught that would want to have an egg move. Them needing to be the same species means you still need to first obtain an individual that knows the move conventionally, but its a good option to have.
    • The Pokédex will randomly select a zone the player can currently access and list up to four uncaptured Pokémon for dex progression. Capturing all of the listed mon will cause the list to update and display a new zone. This is helpful for finding rare grass and wandering spawns, especially if they are only available in certain weather conditions.
    • The Battle Tower and BPs as a whole. See below:
      • Rewards are no longer tied to any win-streak, meaning you don't need to always have an excellent team, good understanding of the game mechanics, and tons of luck to earn them.
      • You can always borrow a rental team to save a lot of time. To make things easier, these rental teams are actually good to use if you feel like speeding up time to grind.
      • There are no restrictions on what kind of Pokemon are banned. Yes, you can use the Uber-Legendaries Zacian, Zamazenta, and Eternatus, likely due to being unable to Dynamax nor Gigantamax by the player. You can also use Type: Null, Silvally, and Mew. Having those properly set up means you can sweep through most of the opponent's Pokemon with ease. It is not known for any of the trainers to even use the above listed Pokemon either.
      • A.I. Difficulty has been toned down for most of the battles. The only known trainer to always Dynamax or Gigantamax is Leon with his Charizard, meaning you can Dynamax or Gigantamax in every battle while the opponent will likely not do so at all.
      • The highly prized Bottle Caps used to maximize IVs are now obtainable here without luck and much faster. You can get the regular for first-time only at Rank 4, 7, 10, and MAX. For infinite, you can use 25 BP or every 30 wins (100 after 230+ wins). For gold, you get them the first time in Rank MAX. For infinite, every 50 victories (100 after 275+ wins).
      • Items obtainable only through spending BP points have been lowered. The power items are cheaper to obtain (10 BP instead of 16 previously). The very expensive Ability Capsule is now 50 BP compared to 100/200 from previous Generations.
    • The Isle of Armor features a special mechanic called Max Soup that enables Gigantamaxing for a Pokémon that cannot do so (but has an available Gigantamax form)note , greatly streamlining the process of grinding for a Gigantamax-capable Pokémon with ideal stat spreads and/or Shiny.
    • The Alolan Diglett hunt in the Isle of Armor has a sign by their trainer indicating which sections have how many number of Diglett to find. All of the Pokemon he gives you will also have their Hidden Abilities if they have them, saving you the potential trouble of looking for one in a 7th gen game.
      • Said trainer will give you a Kantonian Slowpoke when you find 10 Diglett. It will have a King's Rock attached, hinting that you should find a trading partner and get a Kantonian Slowking for the Armor Dex instead of waiting a few extra months for its Galarian form in the Crowned Tundra.
    • People who missed out on the Own Tempo Rockruff event in Ultra Sun/Moon can now get their own in a specific Challenge Road den, as well as Dusk Lycanroc itself.
      • Speaking of Lycanroc, its standard alt-forms were version-exclusive in Gen VII. Here, it depends on whether you evolved it in the day or at night.
    • The Isle of Armor update added an NPC in the Battle Tower who is able to give a Pokémon that was not caught in Galar legal status for Ranked Matches; in prior games, Pokémon not caught or hatched in the game's region were simply unable to be used in Ranked in any capacity. However, this requires it to forget all of its moves, as non-native Pokémon cannot bring moves that it was capable of learning in other games but can't learn in Sword or Shield.
    • ''Isle of Armor'’ features the Cram-o-Matic, which can be fed 4 items to make one, as well as the Apricorn Balls. In terms of valuable items, hard-coded recipes exist to upgrade 3 of a lower tier to the next one. For example, if you put in a Nugget, a random item and 2 more Nuggets in that order, you get a Big Nugget. This can be useful for getting more Pokèdollars via selling expensive items and by selling them to the left merchant at Stow-on-Side.
    • Crown Tundra eliminates the final bit of RNG from building a competitive team by introducing Ability Patches, which allow you to swap between a normal ability and a hidden ability, provided the Pokémon species has the latter.
    • Crown Tundra also introduces Dynamax Adventures, where you and three others (either actual players or AI helpers) go through a gauntlet of Dynamax (potentially Gigantamax) battles to get to the Legendary at the end of the cave. Should you make it to the Legendary but wiff that fight, you'll be given the option to take note of where you found it. Next time you head out on an Adventure, you can choose to just head for that particular Legendary to try again.
  • Anti-Villain: Pretty much every single antagonist in the game. Team Yell aren't even villains at all, just loud and disruptive supporters of Marnie who are also the Gym Trainers for Piers's Gym. Rose awakened Eternatus for the sake of solving an impending energy crisis and wouldn't even be a villain if he wasn't impatient enough to not delay it by one day, risking a stadium full of lives in the process. Sordward and Shielbert are the closest thing to pure antagonists, but even they were acting on behalf of their family's legacy and are remorseful in the end.
  • Appeal to Worse Problems: The argument between Leon and Rose in the tower boils down to this. Rose criticizes Leon for focusing on the League Championship more than the impending energy crisis, which is definitely a bigger problem than a sporting event. Leon points out that as Champion, the League Championship is part of his job; also, the energy crisis is up to 1,000 years away and is not going to be solved in one day, while the Championship is tomorrow.
  • Arcadia: The town of Postwick, where the player and Hop live, is based on a small village in the UK, complete with windmills, rivers, and rolling fields of grass.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Bede considers the player character's continued participation in the league an absolute insult, and ambushes you several times to try and knock you and Hop out of the running. Even after getting kicked out, he rejoins just in time to challenge you for a chance to try and prove his strength against his nemesis, and even ignores a giant monster attack to duel you AGAIN.
    • After beating her in the semi-finals, Nessa becomes obsessed with the player. In her Champion re-matches, she bluntly says she's not here to talk - only to defeat you, admits to training again and again to try and defeat you, and also admits to being unable to stop thinking about the player.
  • The Artifact:
    • As a result of some Pokémon lines being absent in Galar, some items ended up (initially) just being carbon copies of others without any other benefit. For instance, the Sea Incense normally boosts Water type attacks and allows Azurill to be bred, but since that line of Pokémon hadn't been included, it became functionally just a copy of the Mystic Water item. That is until the DLC released the Azurill line.
    • The PC still serves the standard function of allowing you to access your Boxes. However, since these games carried over the ability to access your Boxes from almost anywhere on the field from Let's Go, there's no reason to use the PC for this function anymore after you get that portable access unlocked in the story early in the game.
    • Two Poké Balls, the Dream Ball and Beast Ball, are described as being "somewhat different" as their original intended uses don't apply in this game. Since the Dream World has been defunct for years, the Dream Ball has its reference to the Entree Forest removed, and its mechanics are changed to be more effective on sleeping Pokémon. Similarly, as there are no Ultra Beasts (at least in the base game), the Beast Ball is just described as simply having a low catch rate.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Dragapult's signature move Dragon Darts is designed to hit two targets in Double Battles. However, if one of the targets uses Protect (or a variation) or is otherwise immune to Dragon Darts, Dragon Darts will change to double-hit the Pokémon that will take damage from Dragon Darts instead of striking an immune Pokémon.
    • If you Dynamax against him in the post-game, Hop will deploy Zacian/Zamazenta (once he has it) and likely blow up your Pokémon with its Signature Move.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Ever since the success of the Rotom Pokédex, Rotom have now been commercialised as an assistant A.I. in all Rotom Phones and Pokémon Center computers. However Rotom's role as a Fairy Companion has been downplayed due to it now being more commonplace and no longer unique to the protagonist.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • To encourage socializing with other people, the AI raid members are hilariously terrible at their job, often showing up with weak and unevolved Pokémon wholly unsuited to the battle at hand - they're decent in three-star raids, but struggle at four-stars, and are utterly useless in five-star raids. It's really telling when one of the most competent ones mains a Togepi that just spams Life Dew, and the one with a Magikarp is somehow not considered the absolute worst helper to get. Special mention to that one trainer with a Wobbuffet, who clearly has no idea how to even use his highly gimmicky pick and just cycles through moves at random, the trainer with Eevee that prefers using Helping Hand at all times instead of attacking itself, the trainer with a Solrock that never seems to use any move other than Cosmic Power without even bothering to attack itself. Their often low Defenses and low HP stats also lets the Raid Boss quickly eliminate or even one-shot them, quickly exhausting the four lives the team has per raid. Thankfully, the AI raid members' Pokémon do increase in level depending on your own Pokémon's level (capping at around level 70 if your Pokémon is at level 100), meaning that if your Pokémon is at level 100 the AI raid members can at least serve as good enough meat shields to make even 5 star raids doable without needing other players.
    • Similar to the above, wild Pokémon will often use moves that don't work repeatedly, such as spamming a status buff when already maxed or using an attack that only hits on the first turn at any other point in the battle.
    • Pokémon Camp's pathfinding system is embarrassingly bad at times, with Pokémon you call frequently getting stuck behind another Pokémon you're talking to or playing with rather than trying to go around. It's also very common for Pokémon to get stuck on the invisible walls of the campsite trying to get a ball that you threw a long distance.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • In Hammerlocke, you can meet a Trainer named Mr. Focus who uses a variant of the infamous "FEAR" strategy: a Level 2 Cottonee with a Focus Sash who uses Endeavor on the first turn. Thankfully, he does not have Quick Attack, and defeating him grants the Focus Sash.
    • Likewise, enemies in the Battle Tower sometimes send out a Drapion which appears to run a watered-down/weaker version of the Citizen Snips set (namely, it uses Leech Life and two other STAB/coverage moves, as opposed to the original's Rest-Talk/Accupressure/Knock Off set.) There's also a Rhyperior variant of the "Solid Suggester" set, which runs Dragon Rush for coverage as opposed the original running Rock Wrecker for sheer power.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: With Dynamax, any Pokémon can grow to the size of a building. Bonus points for Gigantamax Duraludon, who turns into a mechanised Prism Tower. However, in the post-game, the player's mother will randomly tell that they heard from Professor Magnolia that Pokémon don't exactly truly grow gigantic (rather they are distorting space), but despite this are still able to affect the world around them as if they had increased in size. There is also a Trainer Tips sign on Route 10 that offhandedly describes Dynamax Pokémon as appearing massive, rather than actually being so.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!:
    • Falinks has its No Retreat move, which increases all its stats in return for locking itself into the battle, similar to Ingrain.
    • This tends to be the overall strategy in Raid battles—the 10-turn limit, the shields requiring several attacks to whittle through, and the boss's ability to neutralize all of your stat bonuses and its own negative status effects every two or three turns all make it impractical to do anything but attack in most cases. Even healing at low HP isn't necessarily worth it, since if you do end up getting KO'd, you may get to give your teammates a powerful buff or even break the boss's shield just by "cheering for your side," which you can only do while your mon is fainted.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: During the post-game quest, when travelling through the gyms to subdue the Dynamax Pokémon, you arrive in Ballonlea to find that Bede already has the situation pretty much under control, and you proceed to have a final rematch with him.
  • Balance Buff:
    • Rapid Spin now raises Speed by one stage and got a 30 base power boost, on top of already removing entry hazards.
    • Silvally's Multi-Attack increased from 90 to a whopping 120 (STAB 135 to STAB 180), ironically making it stronger than the move it's based on: Arceus's Judgement. Like previous, it has no drawbacks.
    • The majority of the 320+ returning Pokémon got big learnset enhancements going into Sword and Shield. Notable additions include Gengar, Mewtwo and Hydreigon getting Nasty Plot, Aegislash getting Close Combat, and Zekrom and Kyurem getting Dragon Dance.
    • Hilariously, Magikarp of all Pokémon got a buff: it can now learn Hydro Pump via TR. One of the AI Trainers in Max Raids exploits this to its advantage, and it's actually more competent than most of your other AI teammates!
    • Synchronize now always work on wild encounters, instead of being a coin flip.
    • Defog now removes Terrains as well as entry hazards.
    • Ironically, after getting neutered in the main game, Terrains themselves got an indirect buff after the Isle of Armor update introduced several new moves that gain bonuses when used in Terrain. These include Grassy Glide (gains priority in Grassy Terrain), Expanding Force (power boost and hits all enemies in Psychic Terrain), Misty Explosion (Explosion, but gains a power boost when used in Misty Terrain), Terrain Pulse (Weather Ball but for Terrains), Rising Voltage (double damage in Electric Terrain), and Steel Roller (only usable in Terrain but has a massive 130 BP and cancels Terrain).
  • Battlecry: In the Wild Area, certain aggressive wild Pokémon wandering around in the open, such as Gallade, will face the player and emit their cry before charging and starting a wild encounter.
  • Beef Gate: There's nothing stopping the player from traversing through the entire Wild Area other than the fact that some wild Pokémon will be at a much higher level than the player's typically would be at the start of the game. The game does give advance warning to run from these monsters should you get entangled though, and you also get some Poké Dolls at the start of the game as an emergency escape.
  • Big Eater: Some Pokémon eat massive portions of curry when cooking for them: they can easily scarf down five cups of instant-noodle curry! Doubly applicable with particularly small Pokémon that eat much larger portions than the trainer, like Snom and Toxel.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The dens scattered throughout the Wild Area that host Max Raid Battles are much, much larger on the inside than their tiny entrances and spacing in the area would suggest. There isn't even a visible ceiling, only a raging storm above the Dynamax opponent.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When the Dynamax Band activates, the swirl it emits is shaped like the kanji for "large" (大). This same kanji appears in the animation for Fire Blast; a reference to the Daimonji festival held in Kyoto, Daimonji being the namesake of the move in Japanese.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Glimwood Tangle is filled with mushrooms that glow this way. Tapping the larger mushrooms will increase the light they give off and may also summon an Impidimp. In Shield, the area is home to the Galarian Ponyta, whose mane and tail glow when making an attack.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Well, more like a Nickit in Wooloo's clothing, but Sonia uses this trope to describe her then-assistant when she double-crosses her in the post-game story.
    • The Rival on the Isle of Armor, Klara in Sword and Avery in Shield act pleasant when you meet them, but the camera zooms in on them when they talk to themselves revealing that both of them are complete dicks.
  • Black Bead Eyes: The "total black" contact option mixes with this with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness, as they look like the former from afar, but the latter from up close.
  • Blood Knight: There is a unique Lass in the Battle Tower that has a small chance of battling you. Her dialogue sounds like a cross between a typical anime villain and a dominatrix, talking about wanting to inflict the pain of losing on you for the thrill of winning, has a very evil laugh when you defeat her, and has a MUCH more aggressive AI. She's also one of the few Battle Tower competitors who can use Dynamax.
  • Blush Sticker: When you cook a good curry (Milcery Class or better), you blush pink circles after you taste your dish.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Hop, who, if encountered after the post-game story, has a full team of Level 70 Pokémon (the highest of any Trainer in the base game) as well as the Legendary you didn't get (Zamazenta in Sword, Zacian in Shield).
    • To celebrate Pokémon Day 2020, Max Raids featuring Mewtwo began appearing. The Mewtwo could not be caught and put up one hell of a fight, but instead dropped such rarities as Bottle Caps and Ability Capsules.
    • To commemorate the release of the Isle of Armor, Max Raids with Zeraora began to pop up (with a 5% chance of a tough shiny in 5 star raids). These Zeraora, again, could not be caught, but if a million players worldwide challenged the raids, then a Shiny Zeraora would be distributed to everyone via the Pokemon HOME app, along with some Armorite for milestones along the way. This ended up being surpassed and then some.
    • Shaking the Dyna Tree enough times in the Crown Tundra after the Legendary Birds fly away triggers a Max Raid Battle against a Level 100 Greedent.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The main story begins and concludes with the current champion of Galar being introduced to a packed stadium - Leon at the start, and you at the end.
    • The first and last dungeon in the main story is the Slumbering Weald. The postgame story begins and ends there as well.
    • The first and last times that you battle Hop have Leon as an observer, who gets so pumped up that he almost releases Charizard to join in the fun. Counting the post-game story (and within the post-game itself) Hop is also your opponent in your very first and very last battle.
    • The theme for Wyndon, the last city visited in the game, uses part of the melody from Wedgehurst's theme, the first town visited in the game.
  • Boring, but Practical: The only requirement to make a Curry of a specific flavor is that one flavor must be more dominant than the others (or all balanced, in the case of neutral Curry). Thus, it is possible to get through the Curry Dex faster by simply plopping in a single Berry of a specific flavor. Sure, it's not going to taste outstanding, but it gets the job done.
  • Boss Bonanza: The endgame is just a big Boss Rush of three of your Rivals (Hop and Marnie in the semifinals of the Champion Cup, then Bede interrupting the finals), Oleana (as the boss of the first Macro Cosmos plot), three past Gym Leaders (Nessa, Bea/Allister, and Raihan), Rose (as the boss of the second Macro Cosmos plot), the three phase Eternatus fight, and then finally, the Champion battle. In total, that's at least ten different bosses that herald the end of the game, all in mostly quick succession.
  • Boss Rush: Instead of a Pokémon League or Elite Four, you end up having refights with your rivals and a handful of past gym leaders before fighting against the Champion himself, Leon. When you choose to fight this again, you can actually choose which of the bosses you can fight.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Subverted with the Diglett sidequest in the Isle of Armor; the prize you get for finding all 150 Alolan Diglett is... an Alolan Diglett. It seems like a very underwhelming prize at first glance, but this Pokémon has a very special distinction: it comes with its Hidden Ability, a Jolly nature, and perfect IVs, making it extremely valuable for breeding.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: An early game appearance of Team Yell has you taking on one grunt who uses a Galarian Zigzagoon. This is followed by a fight against a second grunt who instead uses a Nickit. After that, Hop joins you for a Multi Battle against two more grunts, who use... a Galarian Zigzagoon and a Nickit.
  • Breaking Old Trends: This is the first generation since Generation 2 to not introduce an Electric-type Gym Leader or an equivalent to one.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A Poké Ball Plus can grant you a few advantages.
    • If did not transfer the Mew inside to Let's Go, you can opt to transfer the Mew to this game instead.
    • You can take a Pokémon on a walk, and once you return you get Poké Balls, Rare Candies, and Star Pieces depending on your actions. Using the Poké Ball Plus in conjunction with Pokémon Go can get you even more items.
  • Broken Bridge:
    • There are two ways through Route 1: a straight path directly from Postwick to Wedgehurst, and a side path with tall grass. On the first time in the zone, you have no Pokémon, and are advised to stay away from the grassy path; on the second time, a flock of Wooloo are taking a nap in the middle of the road, forcing you to take the detour.
    • Shortly after leaving Wedgehurst, when you take the train to Motostoke, the train is forced to divert to the Meetup Spot in the southern part of the Wild Area because of a flock of Wooloo on the tracks.
    • Team Yell attempts to invoke this to inconvenience challengers other than Marnie by standing in the way and not letting people pass. Sometimes, defeating them in battle will send them packing, and other times, they stand there, blowing their vuvuzelas, and you can't go down that road. When you reach the same area from the long way around or after progressing enough in the story, they disappear.
  • Broken Record: If you end up fighting a Max Raid Eldegoss with Cotton Down, be prepared for four instances of "[Pokémon]'s speed fell" and/or "[Pokémon]'s speed won't go any lower" every time anyone hits it with an attack.note  If everyone uses damaging moves, you'll see this message 16 times per round! And Arceus help you if someone is using a multi-strike move... in theory, you could get up to 80 speed-drop textboxes in one round.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • A Dream Ball is available for the first time since Gen V (albeit only one per save file). Since there is no Entree Forest, Dream Balls now have boosted effectiveness against Pokémon that are asleep.
    • In a similar vein, Safari Balls and Sport Balls are now available for the first time since Gen IV in the Isle of Armor DLC, and for the first time outside their respective minigames. Good luck getting them, though.
  • Button Mashing: In the first step of curry cooking, you must fan the fire under the pot until it's an appreciable size, which emits sparkles and gets a good reaction from nearby Pokémon if done correctly, and it should stay that size. The only way to do this with button controls is hammering the A button as fast as possible, and when cooking solo there's barely enough time to do so. Motion controls have an easier time with this (assuming you can swing your arm fast enough), but you will still have to swing pretty fast.
  • The Cameo: Not of a particular returning character, but the Bucket Hat (particularly the Red color) worn by the protagonist of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon appears as a purchasable hat for customization. In fact, mixing and matching clothes from different store outlets allows you to dress up as several previous protagonists.
    • Every day, you can find a different gym leader and their Signature Mon somewhere on the Isle of Armour.note  note 
  • Central Theme: Several of the main characters have a plot line of them dealing with the legacy of a very successful relative and learning to step out of said relative's shadows and carve their own legacy.
    • It's heavily implied your player character's mum has done a ton of her own adventures, starting with her Old Bag (given to you) having seen a lot of use. Naturally, you're following in her footsteps.
    • Hop's brother Leon is the League champion, and a major celebrity. Hop hopes to become Champion, but is basically doomed to have his aspirations crushed by the protagonist and Bede. Hop's too good-natured to really become resentful, so much of his arc involves him growing as a person and evolving to find something he wants that doesn't relate to his brother's legacy. He decides to become a Professor.
    • Sonia is Professor Magnolia's grand-daughter and assistant. Magnolia became famous for her discovery of Dynamax. Sonia spends most of the game doing her own research and discovery, to step out of her grandmother and mentor's shadow as a fully fledged professor.
    • Bede has no family, but most of his motivation comes from proving he is worthy of Chairman Rose's kindness, who took the orphan Bede and gave him his first Pokémon and a recommendation for the League. Unknown to Bede, Rose doesn't really care about Bede, and he and his assistant are just using the boy; they get rid of him when he becomes inconvenient. Bede finds his true calling when Opal decides to make him her successor. Bede finds more success and happiness as the Fairy-type gym leader than he did trying to be Champion.
    • Marnie herself wants to bring her town the success her brother, the Dark-Type Gym Leader Piers, has. Marnie doesn't want to take her brother's position, in a contrast with Hop. And further contrasting, she ends up doing it anyway in the post-game.
    • Sordward and Shielbert act on what they believe was the will of the Galarian kings they descended from, as well as attempt to prove the true history of Galar. When their plans for Zacian and Zamazenta go horribly awry, however, they consider, then realize, that they were the ones likely with the wrong historical account and willingly turn themselves in to the authorities.
  • Character Shilling:
    • Nobody will ever, ever, let you forget that the Champion Leon and his Charizard are completely undefeated. Unfortunately for Leon, the player character defeats him just the same as every other Champion in every other Pokémon title.
    • Around defeating Kabu (who himself is repeatedly stated to be the first major challenge of the league, and has knocked out a vast majority of your competition), you get this treatment, with random NPCs cheering for you by name.
    • Once you get to Raihan, several Trainers you speak to express doubt you can get past him, because he's Leon's Rival alone.
  • Chest Monster: Galar's version of the "Pokémon resembling an item that pulls you into an encounter" is Stunfisk, whose Galarian form has fins like a bear trap and a round red and white beak. The beak is the only thing visible when Stunfisk is hiding, and the Pokémon "snaps" when you get near enough.note  In a departure from previous games (and other JRPGs, for that matter), though, it doesn't appear exactly as an item ball; the beak is more of a marker indicating Stunfisk's presence.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: When you challenge major characters to league rematches in the postgame, Hop's Pincurchin and Leon's Haxorus vanish into the ether with no explanation, though his Haxorous pops up in the Battle Tower. Hop also goes through several other Pokémon, like Toxel, Silicobra, and Trevenant, which all disappear after a single battle.note 
  • Circle of Standing Stones:
    • Stonjourner is essentially a living segment of Stonehenge. Its Dex entries reference this, saying that it "watches the sun's descent" (a popular theory says that Stonehenge was built to align with the summer solstice) and that a group of them gathers once a year to form a big circle. True to the trope, it has a unique ability, Power Spot, that enhances allies' attacks.
    • A more straight (or round?) example appears in the Lake of Outrage section of the Wild Area, with a circle of stones surrounding one of the raid dens. This is the only den that can produce Gigantamax Charizard.
  • Climax Boss:
    • The long-awaited Dark-type Gym Leader Piers, whose fight features lots of cutscenes and an unique battle theme, which is perhaps a first for any Gym Leader.
    • Chairman Rose, following the tradition of villains that try to harness the power of Legendary Pokémon. He even gets Ominous Latin Chanting for his battle theme.
    • The fight with Eternatus counts, having three phases and being just before the fight with Leon.
  • Clueless Detective: Hawses, a so-called "great" detective hired to investigate the theft of a bowlful of berries in the Circhester hotel. He claims to have found the culprit based on the flimsiest of reasons, failing to realise the nearby Skwovent has cheeks covered in fruit juices and bits. One of the suspects outright labels him a "fraud".
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the Battle Tower, Leon can have the Galarian starters with Hidden Abilities, which were not available to players at the time of release.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Pokémon caught in the Max Lair can be Shiny, and in fact have a drastically increased chance of being Shiny (1/25 with the Shiny Charm, and 1/75 without it.) However, the game doesn't display them as being Shiny until you're about to leave the Lair with your spoils.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • The Isle of Armor has a Trainer ask you to find his multiple Alolan Diglett across the island. Good luck, because you're going to need it to find all 151 Diglett.note 
    • The Crown Tundra has Sonia ask you to find the footprints of the Swords of Justice so that you can track them, of which a total of 150 are scattered across the Tundra (50 tracks for each 'mon.) Thankfully, they're relatively easier to find; they glow and stand out from the terrain like a sore thumb, and the prints of each Legendary are mainly clustered about in the same place. note  And your grand prize for all this? Keldeo.
  • Conlang: Like previous titles, a fictional language in the game is shown to be a hybrid of sorts between the normal alphabet and Unown. Sometimes some characters are placed together and vaguely resemble a phrase in English such as the Macro Cosmos title in the intro.
  • Console Cameo:
    • Following the trend from past games, a Nintendo Switch can be seen in the protagonist's room. The Joy-Con controllers attached will even be the same colors as the ones you're currently using to play the game!
    • The Isle of Armour DLC takes it a step further by having a Nintendo Switch not only in Master Mustard's room, but he also sits down to play it at some point. A close look at the TV shows that he's playing Pokémon Quest.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Berry trees are noticeably brighter and less detailed than the rest of the landscaping.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • After you beat him, Leon will leave a free Charmander for you in the postgame just like how Steven left you a Beldum.
    • A late-game part of the Wild Area is the Lake of Outrage, a nod to Johto's Lake of Rage. Similar to how the Lake of Rage was the center of a forced Magikarp evolution, many of the Pokémon and items found there are related to evolutions, including several fully-evolved Pokémon as common spawns, wild Eeveelutions, and a regularly-replenishing supply of evolutionary stones as item pickups near the central rock formation.
    • Duraludon's Gigantimax form essentially transforms it into a living Lumiose Tower.
    • Kabu's League Card states that he's originally from Hoenn, and was invited to join Galar's Pokémon League.
    • The Trap Detector used in the Chirchester Gym Challenge has a very similar appearance to the Itemfinder/Dowsing Machine used in previous games. Unlike the old Dowsing Machine, however, the Trap Detector is vibration-based.
    • Pikachu (and by extension it entire evolutionary line) now learns Surf via Technical Record, another nod to Surfing Pikachu.
    • The concept of Technical Records entirely, since they function exactly like how Technical Machines used to, usable only once. The NPC in Motostoke who tells you about them describes them as 'old-school'.
    • The quiz show-style Gym challenge at Ballonlea Gym is reminiscent of Cinnabar Gym in Kanto, or Lumiose Gym in Kalos.
    • If you get an Apricorn Ball from the Cram-o-Matic, Hyde will mention how he learned how to refine Apricorns into Poké Balls from Kurt, but doesn't have anywhere near the same success rate as him.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: The Nature Synchronize trick doesn't work on scripted encounters like Max Raids and Legendary battles. For Max Raids this is because the nature/I Vs are generated along when the raid becomes available. For Legendaries... only the developers know why that was changed from previous games. Fortunately, Mints now exist to change a Pokémon's Nature stat bonus.
    • Certain moves work differently in Max Raid Battles.
      • Weight-based moves, like Low Kick and Heavy Slam, are unusable in these modes. The Pokémon will outright reconsider using these moves and skip its turn. It may have its uses in allowing a Pokémon to better proc an opening to strike down an imminent barrier.
      • Moves that have bonus effects based on the opponent's held item, like Pluck or Knock Off, are also unusable. No special message, however; they just fail.
      • Multi-hit moves will not destroy more than one barrier bar. Unless the first hit finished off the barrier, all subsequent hits are wasted.
      • One-hit KO moves like Horn Drill do no damage to Dynamax Pokémon. They have a direct use, however, in that they will blow out two barrier bars, which can be helpful if no party members are able to Dynamax.
      • Perish Song is outright jammed. The PP will be used, but the move will have no effect whatsoever — which is good, really, because it affects every Pokémon on the field, including your allies. Perish Body will also not trigger, even if the Max Raid Pokémon uses a normal contact move. For similar reasons, Destiny Bond does not work either.
      • Ditto will not be able to transform into the Max Raid Pokémon and inherit all its perks. It will transform into the base version of that Pokémon, but it can then be Dynamaxed separately. (Note that the Transform move is blocked if a Dynamax Barrier is up.)
      • Toxic poison damage will not scale up, instead behaving like the regular Poison ailment. Ghost-type Curse is similar, doing Poison-like damage instead of 1/4th of the victim's HP every turn.
      • Endeavor and Pain Split will not cause the Dynamax Pokémon's HP to match the user's (though Pain Split can still heal). Instead, the moves do fixed damage to a Dynamax Pokémon depending on how little HP the user has; while not as good, Endeavor or Pain Split from 1 HP will still produce quite a hefty hit.
      • It also works the other way around as some moves cannot be used by the Dynamax Pokémon. Pluck and Bug Bite fail, just like what happens when any of the players use these moves. Moves that would lead to the Max Raid boss to KO itself, such as Explosion or Self-Destruct, don't work either.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Max Raid Battles can be fought in a group of up to 4 players, connected either via local communication or online.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: One of the NPC campers you can interact is an elderly lady with a horde of Galarian Meowth.
  • Creator Provincialism: Invoked. Sword and Shield are the first mainline titles to not feature Ken Sugimori as art director. The role was instead handed off to UK native James Turner, who infused Galar with a distinct rural charm inspired by his hometown.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The music for the credits is shown being played by a band consisting of Obstagoon, both forms of Toxtricity, and Rillaboom.
  • Critical Hit Class: If Galarian Farfetch’d holds the Leek (increases its critical-hit ratio by 50%) and uses Focus Energy (boosting it by another 50%), every attack it lands will be a critical hit. It’s also the most efficient way of getting it to evolve into Sirfetch’d (see Guide Dang It!).
  • Crystal Landscape: Galar Mine No. 1 is a mineshaft Underground Level with gemstones scattered all around the walls.

    D-F 
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing will only increase the base HP stat, unlike Mega Evolutions from previous generations that increased all base stats except HP. That said, the super-powered Max Moves that come with Dynamaxing/Gigantamaxing make this more of a subversion. The exception is Eternamax Eternatus, which is a complete aversion, having by far the highest base stat total - not just in Sword and Shield, but also in the entire history of Pokémon. Of course, Eternamax Eternatus is a boss-only form and isn't playable in the regular game.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Play in the Wild Area with its adjustable camera long enough, and you'll probably find yourself trying to adjust the camera elsewhere on the map, even though everywhere else has the same static camera that's existed in the rest of the series.
    • Fast Travel is performed entirely through the Town Map for the first time in the series. If you’re a veteran, this means fast travel entails clicking on the Pokémon menu, remembering that Fly and Pokéride aren’t a thing anymore, backing out, ‘’then’’ clicking on the Town Map.
    • These games have a companion app, Pokemon HOME. The interface looks essentially identical to the standard box management interface, and anything you can do in there, you can do in HOME. The controls, however, are totally different. If you switch between the two a lot, you may try to change to the green 'multiselect' cursor with the shoulder buttons instead of the y button.
  • Darkest Hour: Galar's history has an event known as the "Darkest Day", a near-apocalyptic calamity that was averted by a legendary hero. The calamity was caused by Eternatus, an ancient Pokémon that was so powerful that it caused all surrounding Pokémon to suddenly Dynamax and run amok. The hero that stopped the Darkest Day was actually two Pokémon, Zacian and Zamazenta. Late in the game, Rose causes another Darkest Day to threaten Galar by attempting to use Eternatus as a power source for Galar, only for it to escape his control - in the post game, the descendants of the two kings who partnered with Zacian and Zamazenta attempt to unleash the Darkest Day again, in a misguided attempt to prove that Pokemon were the root cause.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the stories do not count as this, the Pokédex continues the Gen 7 trend of being particularly morbid compared to past gens in comparison, in some cases, even more so then Gen 7 - Dusknoir, for example, still consumes souls, and Lampent camouflages itself as a streetlamp to stalk human prey. Pokemon brutally eating each other still happens, as well.
  • The Day the Music Lied: When your rival gets their Dojo Uniform in the Isle of Armor, the game plays the normal Item Get! jingle until the item is stolen by a Slowpoke, resulting in the jingle slowing to a stop halfway through.
  • Dead All Along: Heavily implied with the ending of one sidequest, where Paula, the little girl at Hammerlocke who asked you to give a letter to someone in Ballonea, who turns out to be an elderly man. She may have been a ghost with unfinished business, given that there is secretly a Reaper Cloth where she was along with an eerie voice thanking you for delivering it, which confuses the player character.
  • Deadpan Snarker: You're given the choice to be a sarcastic smartass from time to time, such as claiming you're not actually showing up to the League to compete. Each time, the person you're speaking to will laugh it off and continue as if you had answered normally.
  • Defeat = Explosion: Dynamax Pokemon appear to blow up when they return to normal size from fainting rather than the 3-turn time limit.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After being defeated for the final time, Klara/Avery will occasionally show up with their Slowbro as an ally in Max Raid Battles.
  • Deflector Shields: When a Max Raid boss's HP is depleted to a certain level, they will become "enraged" and summon a barrier that nullifies statues/stat changes and greatly reduces damage taken. The HP of the barrier is reflected by notches that are removed when a Pokémon connects with an attack, with two notches removed when attacked by a Dynamaxed Pokémon. When all notches are removed, the barrier will vanish, inflicting heavy damage to the boss and sharply lowering its Defense and Sp. Defense.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Everything that comes out of Sordward and Shielbert's mouths, ranging from 'uncouth-like' to mashing up old timey-terms with base insults.
  • Demoted to Extra: While the Rotom Pokedex regularly held conversations with the player in Sun and Moon, in these games the Rotom Phone simply serves as an interface and doesn't communicate with words at all. That said, it can be communicated with and act on its own, as shown when Sonia greets it and it floats out of the protagonist's bag to acknowledge her. It sometimes will on its own come out when the trainer is receiving a phone call, or float about taking pictures in the case of Kabu's Rotom phone. Rotom do speak, however, and function as a group of NPCs at Pokémon Centers.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • There are various moves from previous games that have been rendered unusable in this game (a first in the mainline series), such as Return, Hidden Power, and Pursuit. Attempting to hack these moves in will succeed (they will display their name, category, power and accuracy), but they will be unusable in battle and have a unique description telling the player that the move in question cannot be used and is recommended to be forgotten, and that once-forgotten it cannot be remembered. (Legitimate players would eventually end up seeing these messages once transfers from previous games were introduced.)
    • Changing the system clock backwards, in addition to extending the reset timer for normal time-based events by 24 hours, also causes your Poké Job timers to reset to their maximum value.
    • During Dynamax raids, the boss can throw up a shield that takes multiple attacks to break through. Multiple-hit moves will only count as one attack, to avoid being able to break through the shield within seconds.
    • Late in the game, you are forced to defeat and capture Eternatus. Because capturing it is mandatory (and always successful), if by some chance you go into the battle with no available Poké Balls and/or storage space, upon entering the catching sequence you will be given one regular Poké Ball and/or have the Eternatus placed in a secret, 32nd PC box respectively.
    • When in the Wild Area, your character's idle animations will change depending on the weather; they'll wipe sweat off their brow if it's harshly sunny, shiver if it's lightly snowing, shield their eyes in a blizzard or sandstorm, etc.
    • Various moves have somewhat different appearances depending on what Pokémon is using them. For instance, Dragapult's signature move "Dragon Darts" normally depicts the firing out of the Dreepy that live in its horns. However, if the move is used by another Pokémon (such as via Metronome) then the attack will instead depict the shooting of two blasts of Dragon-type energy (instead of Dreepy appearing out of nowhere).
    • The Rusted Sword/Shield will not appear as a physical item in your backpack until you defeat the box legendary, preventing players from derailing the story by throwing the item away or giving it to a Pokémon and boxing/trading it.
    • As story events take place during a set amount of days, barring the Wild Area, the day and night cycle does not reflect the Switch's internal clock until the post game.
    • For the first time since Gen 1 (other than move tutors in Gen 3 that emulate Gen 1 TMs), Diglett can learn Body Slam, via TR. The catch is that Body Slam's animation has the user's model fly up and squish the target, and Diglett is permanently stuck halfway underground. So, when it uses Body Slam, it drags a huge chunk of dirt into the air to cover its hidden underground body.
    • If you start a battle in the Isle of Armor after Mustard lets you have your first party Pokémon follow you, the player character will simply send their following companion forward instead of throwing their Pokéball.
    • If Kubfu is holding an Everstone while you examine the Scroll of Water/Darkness, Mustard will notice it and prevent you from attempting the evolution until the Everstone is removed.
    • If you stand in front of the TV while Mustard is playing Pokémon Quest, he'll humorously complain about it.
    • Despite being extremely plot-relevant, Kubfu can be traded or released like any other Pokémon; doing so while in the middle of the Isle of Armor questline will prompt alternative dialogue from both Mustard and the generic NPCs acknowledging that you no longer have Kubfu but allows you to proceed with the story anyway and complete the Towers with regular Pokémon for the purposes of unlocking the second half of the Isle of Armor story.
    • The Split-Decision Ruins in the Crown Tundra DLC can only be opened if you have the original three Legendary Titans in your party. If you try to skip straight to it with ones you got through trades or transfers before doing the other ruins, it won't count.
    • Similarly, finishing the "It Came from the Ultra Beyond" quest in the Crown Tundra DLC requires that you do enough Dynamax Adventures in the Max Lair to find and catch Necrozma. If you transfer over a Necrozma from an older game and show it to Peony, he'll say it looks similar to the one in the clue, but he still urges you to go into the Max Lair to subdue the Necrozma lurking within.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: As is the norm for the series where catching Olympus Mons isn't a big deal for players, here the Pokémon Eternatus is most certainly dooming the entire region, and you end up catching it in a baseline Poké Ball in an unlosable scenario.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Averted - In previous games, when forgetting a move, it would say "One, two, and... poof!" However, Galar changes it to "Ta-da" (Even in the American English version) because "Poof" can be seen as a pejorative termnote  in Britain.
  • Disability Immunity: The Isle of Armor DLC introduced a powerful new ghost-type move called Poltergeist, which manipulates the target's held item to deal them damage. Pokémon with the Klutz ability, which neutralizes their held items, are unaffected. Very situational as well, because half of the ten Pokémon that can have Klutz are Normal types and thus already immune to the attack, while only four out of the other half are weak to Ghost type.
  • Disaster Dominoes: At the beginning of the game, Sobble spits water at Scorbunny, causing it to jump up and hit the branch that Grookey is sitting on, which then knocks the nut that Grookey is playing with into the pond, which then scares Sobble out of the pond and making it cry.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Raid battles are a good means of catching Pokémon you wouldn't be able to until the late game, such as Clobbopus or Dreepy. They can also be used to achieve huge spikes in power. Simply joining as many of them as possible can result in having enough candy to reach end game levels before ever stepping foot in the first gym.
    • A particular quirk of how the Move Relearner interacts with evolutions allows a Pokémon to use the Relearner to learn any move that could be learned by any of its prior evolutions, even moves that would normally be learned at a much later level. It is thus possible to exploit this with Pokémon with non-level-related evolutionsnote  to get Pokémon with moves that are considerably far more overpowered than the game expects them to have at the time.
    • Sometimes, you'll luck out with the Surprise Trades and get Pokémon that would otherwise be near-impossible to obtain, such as pseudo-Legendaries.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: The Slumbering Weald is a very ominous-looking forest shrouded in fog. People in Postwick avoid going in there, and the first time you and Hop to venture into the woods to rescue a Wooloo, you soon get lost in the fog.
  • Downloadable Content: Sword and Shield will be the first games to feature new content made available through paid-DLC. This is a switch from previous generations where an Updated Re-release in form of a third version would be made instead. Alongside the new DLC will be an additional 200 Pokémon from previous generations becoming available, which will be free to all players.
  • Dramatic Wind: During (re)matches with Gym Leaders, their hair and clothing ruffle in a breeze that blows against them. While the movement might be attributed to stadiums having no roofs, their and their opponent's Pokémon are not affected by this wind.
  • Duel Boss: Unlike most Max Raid battles, the hidden fight against the Lv. 100 Dynamax Greedent in the Crown Tundra is exclusively 1-on-1.
  • Dummied Out: Besides the usual load of unused items that are carried over to each game, there are some specific notable examples of such content:
    • Several Gigantamax forms are in the game's code, but many were unobtainable in any way upon release. The list includes Snorlax, Toxtricity, Eternatus, and Melmetal. Presumably, Gigantamaxable copies of these Pokémon will either be made available via Max Raid Battles or given out as mystery gifts at some point. Case in point, Gigantamax Snorlax was announced to be available in special Max Raid Battles through the month of December 2019, while Gigantamax Toxtricity was announced to be available in special Max Raid Battles through the month of February 2020.
    • Prior to an event in February 2020 which had both of them as drops from G-Max capable Milcery, the Ribbon and Star Sweets were unavailable to be obtained normally, locking out the respective Alcremie variants. As of the Isle of Armor expansion, the Star and Ribbon sweets can also be crafted via the Cram-o-Matic.
    • Ultra Necrozma is entirely absent from the data, but its cry remains present, possibly as an artifact of importing Necrozma's data.
  • Dying Town: Spikemuth is revealed to be this over the events of the story. Not only is it literally shuttered away in what appears to be an abandoned mine, but all of its buildings are locked and boarded up aside from its Pokémon Center. The streets are covered with filth and trash and it's almost exclusively populated by members of Team Yell. Even its gym leader, Piers, is depressed by the state of the town and blames himself for its lack of foot traffic. Marnie hopes that she'll be able to revive the town by becoming Champion. Not helping are Team Yell's misguided attempts to ensure Marnie wins by locking the town off to all challengers.
  • Edible Theme Naming: All or the majority of Gym leaders (depending on language) have names derived from edible plants. For example, Kabu is derived from turnip in Japanese, Melony derived from melon, and Gordie is derived from gourd.
  • Elite Tweak: Coalossal is your bog-standard Rock-typed Mighty Glacier. However, its ability, Steam Engine, acts like a Fire and Water triggered version of Water Compaction that raises Speed. Just one attack of these types from an ally in a Double Battle and you now have a Lightning Bruiser with *696* max Speed only held back by its double weakness to Water and Ground.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Rather than just simple images with descriptions, the three starters are instead introduced with a cutscene showing off their characterizations:
    • Scorbunny sprints onto the field first, skids to a halt complete with flaming streaks, poses for the camera boldly, and quickly springs off.
    • After that, Sobble sprays out the flames Scorbunny left behind, decloaks from its spot in the fountain, then hops out cautiously. It is then frightened off by...
    • Grookey, who strikes a rock with his stick a few times, causing the grass to regrow, then climbs a nearby chimney to survey the surrounding land from a high vantage point.
    • In the actual game, when Leon introduces us to them, Scorbunny flame-dashes around the battlefield, Sobble hops in a pond, and Grookey climbs a tree and starts tapping on a nut. Then Sobble spits water at Scorbunny, causing it to bound into the branch that Grookey is sitting on, which knocks the nut into the pond, scaring Sobble out of it and causing it to cry (thus demonstrating type effectiveness.)
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: After you and your Pokémon taste a Charizard Class curry, the background turns into a waving rainbow of hues as you gobble down the delicious food.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Sparkles feature prominently in curry making, assuming you're good at it. The flames and cooking pot sparkle if you're fanning them/stirring it enough, the finished curry sparkles more the tastier it is, and the background has rising sparkles as you and your lead Pokémon chow down.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy:
    • Chairman Rose's true goal is to harness Eternatus's power to provide infinite energy for Galar. Unfortunately, Eternatus proves too powerful to control and breaks free, starting The Darkest Day and requiring the player and Hop to intervene.
    • A variation occurs in the post-game, where Sordward and Shielbert infuse a massive amount of Galar Particles into Zamazenta/Zacian in a bid to get it to Dynamax and wreak havoc on Galar. The Legendary does not Dynamax, however, and immediately attacks the princes, forcing the player and Zacian/Zamazenta to step in and ward off the berserk Pokémon.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Initially, the title screen displays a stadium that is completely empty except for a single Poké Ball. This changes when you become the new Champion; the title screen now shows your character along with your Pokémon team at the time of becoming champion.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: When going back to the Slumbering Weald to find a way to summon the box legendaries to stop Eternatus, you and Hop find an altar with a rusty sword and shield. He thinks that you're literally meant to use them as weapons. You don't; they're for Zacian and Zamazenta, who use them to transform into their Crowned Formes.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Route 9 contains the most water in Galar you'll ever have to traverse and is snowy with ice floes, yet there are Swimmers there, clad in trunks and bikinis. Several of them state they're freezing their asses off... or wonder HOW other trainers can stay outside for long in that kind of clothing. They also brought umbrellas and lounge chairs, like it was a regular beach.
  • The Fair Folk: Unlike past generations, this game introduces some malevolent fairy Pokemon. For example, Impidimp is a Dark/Fairy goblin-like Pokémon who feeds on negative emotions and actively harasses people to cause it. Its second form, Morgrem, is known as the Devious Pokémon and it is known for feigning defeat in order to catch its opponent off-guard and stab it with its spear-like hair, and the third form, Grimmsnarl, is a troll/wendigo-like being that certainly looks threatening and villainous. On the other hand, we have Hatterene, a Psychic/Fairy witch-like Pokemon that, as established by the Shield pokédex entry, will tear people apart with its tentacle if they are too loud.
  • Fairy Companion: Similarly to Pokémon Sun and Moon, the player character is accompanied by Rotom living in their phone, which doubles as a Pokédex.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Unless she does it on purpose and hides it well, it never seems to occur to the “scientist” Cara Liss that she isn't so much reviving ancient creatures as she is stitching together barely functional abominations from mismatched parts and inventing their back stories as she goes. If the Pokédex is of any indication, nobody else seems to be the wiser.
    • In the post-game story, Sonia will call you after you finish visiting all of the gyms, asking you to come join her at the Hammerlocke Stadium. She does this even if you are just down the hall from her or even spoke to her just before then. Piers will make a snarky observation when this happens.
  • Famed in Story: Leon, the current Champion, has top-tier celebrity status because of it. After you beat him, many random NPCs will recognize you as the new Champion; Pokémon Center nurses will call you "Champ" and the first Pokémart clerk you visit will be shocked that the Champion came to visit his shop.
  • Fictional Sport: Unlike the personal, at-your-own-pace affairs of badge collection in other regions, the Gym Challenge in Galar is a spectator sport, held seasonally on a fixed schedule. Instead of self-contained buildings with some theming, each gym has its mission room, followed by a stadium big enough to accommodate Dynamax Pokémon. Gym Leader battles attract a packed audience, and as the battle nears its climax, they'll even start a crowd chant along with the music as the Leader brings in their ace to Dynamax/Gigantamax against the challenger.
  • Fishing Minigame: Certain spots in the overworld have bubbles with ripples, indicating fishing spots. Success depends on your reflexes (hitting A to reel in the catch quickly enough); otherwise, fishing is straightforward. You can catch certain species of Pokémon this way.
  • Floral Theme Naming: There are a lot of plant-based names in this game. While in past games this has been restricted to professors (in English) and Gym Leaders (in Japanese), here it applies to almost every named character, not just in English and Japanese but in several other localizations as well.
  • Food-Based Superpowers: Flapple and Appletun, as their names indicate, are themed around apples. Flapple has the signature move Grav Apple, which creates an apple and drops it on the opponent's head, dealing 50% more damage if gravity is in effect. Appletun has the signature move Apple Acid, which attacks the target with an acidic liquid created from tart apples, lowering its special defense by one stage.
  • Food Porn: The Curry Dex describes every single curry ever made. The images of the curry makes it seem even more delicious.
  • Forced Tutorial: A noticeable aversion in the series notorious for this. This time you're allowed an option to skip several tutorials such as catching Pokémon, Pokémon centers, and the new mechanics as well.
  • Foreshadowing: When you arrive at the Crown Tundra station, there is an NPC who will remark he is visiting home (Freezington) for the first time in quite a while and that it seems a lot has changed in the area. He states its colder than he remembered, and that there are lots of "rockish" Pokémon wandering around that he apparently doesn't reocgnize. This foreshadows both the worsening climate caused by Calyrex' dwindling strength, and the fairly recent introduction/spread of wild fossil Pokémon in the region (all of which are part Rock type).
  • Framing Device: The DLC for Isle of Armor is depicted as a special train ticket, which Klara and Avery use to head there during the Slowpoke event.
  • Funny Background Event: Mustard spends his free time in the dojo in its living room on his Nintendo Switch...playing Pokémon Quest.

    G-L 
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In the wild, some Pokémon will react to you as would be appropriate for their species — friendly Yamper and stubborn Scraggy will charge right at you with the latter attempting to start a battle, while shy Vulpix and cowardly Wimpod will run away if you're not quiet.
    • Indeedee’s Pokédex entries for both male and female variants state that they’re adept assistants and serve others to gather feelings of gratitude, the source of their power. You can spot Indeedee in every Pokémon Center next to the man that helps your Pokémon remember or forget moves, with the implication that they use their psychic power to make it possible.
    • The game's trademark chanting crowds are usually only heard in Stadiums, for obvious reasons. The exception is Marnie's theme, as Team Yell is always right around the corner to loudly cheer for her.
    • One for the Wild Area: after catching Eternatus, who is said to be overflowing with large amounts of energy from its core, the amount of Watts (the Wild Area's special currency) you can receive from checking the dens goes up by a large amount. Instead of 50 for inactive dens and 300 for active ones, it's now 200 and 2000 respectively. Also, all wild Pokemon become Level 60.
    • It's said that few Gym Challengers make it past Kabu. Sure enough, there are fewer and fewer Gym Challengers in the gym lobbies after his.
    • Chairman Rose has invested heavily into a mysterious power source that lights up all of Galar with (seemingly) few consequences. The lack of traditional pollution made the once commonplace Trubbish a rare encounter. Alternatively, the presence of Galarian Weezing and other types of pollution-based Pokemon and factors has displaced the Trubbish line immensely.
    • Being bombarded with Galar Particles by the post-game antagonists isn't enough to force the cover legendaries to Dynamax. Sure enough, once they're in your possession, they can't be Dynamaxed.
    • The uncharacteristically fast Galarian Slowpoke in Mustard's first trial are every bit as fast in an encounter as they are in the overworld.
    • Pokédex descriptions for Eiscue state that they're fond of drifting in the seas, the ice on their heads keeping them afloat. If you have Eiscue following you around the Isle of Armor, it'll waddle on land like you'd expect a penguin to, but once it enters the water, it will then drift in exactly the way the Pokédex indicates.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: An oversight with a Max Raid event featuring Gigantamax Copperajah, Rhydon, and Steelix held in late June 2020 could cause the game to crash due to the rewards for completing the raid attempting to include an item not yet legitimately available in the game at the time.
  • Game of the Year Edition: New editions of both versions, this time containing both DLC campaigns, are set for release on November 6, 2020.
  • Gendered Outfit: Gym uniforms for female trainers feature shorter shorts than gym uniforms for male trainers.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: When you approach the Dyna Tree in the Crown Tundra DLC for the first time, the Galarian Legendary bird trio will all take off in different directions, requiring you to go the Wild Area and the Isle of Armor in addtion to the Tundra itself in order to find them. Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are all overworld encounters and need to be physically chased and intercepted before you can battle them.
  • Glowing Flora: Glimwood Tangle is a mysterious, dark forest lit up by glowing mushrooms that glow brighter if touched. It leads to Ballonlea, a town similarly lit up by colorful glowing mushrooms.
  • Glowing Gem: Both Galar Mines' interiors are lit up by brightly colored crystalline minerals dotting the walls.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Calyrex suffers this during the main story of the Crown Tundra DLC. Since people nowadays only see it as a fairy tale, its powers waned, causing either Glastrier or Spectrier to abandon it.
  • Goroawase Number: All of the Gym Leaders' uniform numbers have Japanese wordplay related to their preferred Type.
    • Milo: 831 = "yasai" (vegetable)
    • Nessa: 049 = "oyogu" (swim)
    • Kabu: 187 = "hibana" (spark)
    • Bea: 193 = "ikusa" (war)
    • Allister: 291 = "nikui" (detest/hateful)
    • Opal: 910 = "kyuuto" (cute)
    • Gordie: 188 = "iwaba" (rocky area)
    • Melony: 361 = "samui" (cold)
    • Piers: 061 = "warui" (bad)
    • Raihan: 241 = "tsuyoi" (strong)
    • Klara: 881 = "yabai" (dangerous)
    • Avery: 026 = "otsumu" (brain)
    • The rivals also have uniform numbers that form puns based on their personality: Hop's is 189 = "hiyaku" (leaping), Bede's is 908 = "kureba" (clever), and Marnie's is 960 = "kurō" (hardship/black).
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All:
    • 400 Pokémon are available in Galar to obtain, though as usual, getting them all is optional. If you manage to do so, you can get a Shiny Charm from Morimoto.
    • The Curry Dex describes every curry you've made, including dry, sweet, spicy, sour, and bitter variants, totaling 151 unique curries. You get small rewards from an NPC in the Wild Area as you cook more varieties.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • Chairman Rose claps for the player's victory and even says he genuinely had a good time battling against them. After Eternatus is defeated/captured, Rose turns himself in.
    • After nearly being attacked by one of the game's Legendaries, Sordward and Shielbert realize the error of their ways and allow themselves to be turned in to the police after the player catches the cover Legendary.
  • Green Aesop:
    • The whole endgame conflict is caused by an impending energy crisis, which leads to the whole region being put at risk due to Chairman Rose's company trying to harness potential energy from an extremely dangerous source. Eternatus being part Poison-type drives the point further.
    • Both Galarian Corsola and Weezing's dex entries reference environmental strain as the main reason for their regional divergences. G-Corsolas only exist because regular Corsolas were driven to extinction by sudden climate change in the past, while G-Weezing needed to adapt to Galar's increasingly toxic air, implying that even the Koffing line has its limits for how much toxicity it can handle. Eiscue (penguin-like Pokémon that are said to be sensitive to heat) also similarly implies this with its "Noice Face" form having a worried expression.
  • Guide Dang It!: Several examples, many stemming from the new evolution methods of certain Pokémon:
    • Galarian Yamask can only evolve into Runerigus if it lost 49 or more hp in a single battle, then heading to a shaded spot by a large rock in the Dust Bowl zone of the Wild Area. The criteria are just so cryptic and hidden that many casual players wouldn't be able to figure them out on their own unless it was by accident.
    • Milcery has to hold onto a Sweet while you spin in place to evolve, representing how cream is turned into meringue by whipping and spinning it. The Sweet it holds determines the decorations in its "hair" and the direction, duration, and time of day that you spin determines the color (flavor) of the resulting Alcremie. Bonus points for having a secret rainbow variant of all of its Decoration formes, which is obtained for spinning for ten seconds at dusk (and the time for sunset changes depending on where you are, like in real life).
    • Galarian Farfetch'd has to get three Critical Hits in a single battle to evolve into Sirfetch'd (and no, you can't spam False Swipe until you crit three times because Galarian Farfetch'd can't learn the move, unlike regular Farfetch'd). Mitigated somewhat in that it oftentimes comes holding a Leek, which increases its crit rate, can learn Focus Energy to increase it even further, and can learn Leaf Blade by Technical Record or leveling to stack on top of the above two. Sirfetch'd can be caught in Max Raid Battles hosted by Sword players, but only in the late-game 4-star and 5-star raids, and its encounter rate is a measly 1%.
    • Evolving Sinistea is generally pretty easy—it's a haunted teacup, and there's a "Cracked Pot" item in a nearby town that evolves it. But you may train up a Sinistea only to find that, for some reason, the cracked pot does not work. If you happen to check its Pokédex entry, you may notice that it has two seemingly identical forms (but you'll only see this if you've caught both). Absurd though it may sound, this is not a glitch—there's a rare alternate "antique" form that requires a different, much more elusive "Chipped Pot" to evolve. The only visible difference is a tiny blue stamp on the underside of the cup, which is tricky to see even if you know where to look because of the locked camera position.
    • Certain attacks simply don't work in Max Raid battles. Some you'd expect, like OHKO moves. Others, like Knock Off, are apparently arbitrarynote  and the game doesn't explain what went wrong—either the move simply fails, or you get a weird message saying "[your Pokémon] shook its head. It seems it can't use that move..."
    • To get the Lucky Egg here, you need to do some food delivery sidequests in Hulbury at the seafood restaurant. You'd likely miss the chef tucked away in the bottom-right corner, and you need to perform 3 deliveries to get the Lucky Egg as thanks afterwards. The other deliveries net you two Big Nuggets each.
    • Getting good items out of the Cram-o-Matic. The game presents the machine as taking your items and shoving them together into one random new one. However, this is untrue, as the machine chooses items on a completely different system. Most individual items have a "weight" value and a "type" value. The "type" value of the first item determines what pool of items the machine will choose from, and the combined "weight" value determines what individual item you'll get; when weight is maxed out, the result is always a PP Up. A given "type" pool tends to contain TRs associated with its type. You can also buy more recipes from Hyde for 100 Watts.
    • Surprisingly averted with the Legendary Titan sidequest. Instead of needing to learn Braille to spawn the Titans, you need to whistle at the door, have your lead Pokémon hold an Everstone, put a Cryogonal at the front of your party, and have the original three Titans in your party.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Often occurs in the Wild Area, since each sector has its own randomly-generated weather pattern each day. It can be hailing or raining in one spot, and blisteringly sunny two steps away. Strangely, you can have bad visiblity in, for instance, a sandstorm, but can see straight through the area when just outside it.
  • Heavy Voice:
    • The cry of a Pokémon after Dynamaxing becomes distorted and very loud. It's serious enough to be a headphone hazard. The game might have allowed you to adjust the "Pokémon Cry" volume independently (with the right key item) for this very reason.
    • The three Gigantamax Pokémon with voice acting (Pikachu, Eevee, Meowth) have a more traditional example, as their voice is appropriately pitched down to match their size.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: In addition to getting to name your character, you also get to choose the number on their challenger uniform, up to three digits long. Unsurprisingly, three of the most commonly used numbers are 69, 420, and 666.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Parodied by the Digging brothers in the Wild Area and the Digging couple on Isle of Armor, who have a chance to dramatically resume their ended run and frantically dig up more things.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The very eccentric stylist that Honey hires for the Master Dojo hides in the spare room and requests that their patrons do not discuss anything that happens in that room when using their services.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Due to the setting not having ordinary animals, idioms use Pokémon instead. For example, Sonia uses "Nickit in Wooloo's clothing" during a postgame scene. An especially goofy one appears in the Battle Tower (while fighting the series of traitorous League employees) when one opponent says the tower is "as tall as one hundred Machoke." Obviously they could have just used humans for that metaphor, but that wouldn't be funny.
  • Homage: Each of the starter lines has a theme which ties into an element of modern British culture:
    • The Grookey line is the music homage. While design-wise they bring the image of taiko drummers, they also connect with the drummers of British rock and roll (think Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Phil Collins, or Roger Taylor).
    • The Scorbunny line is an homage to Association Football. Scorbunny has athletic elements (such as the patch above its nose). Raboot looks like it's wearing a trainer outfit. And Cinderace has looks, animations, and a Signature Move that make it look like an elite-level football/soccer player.
    • The Sobble line, especially the final evolution of Inteleon, brings up two words: James Bond. It has the looks, is said to be able to camoflauge itself in water to make itself invisible, and its Signature Move is reminiscent of a gun. If you need further proof, Sobble is Galar dex #007, and the dex classifies Inteleon as a "Secret Agent Pokémon."
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: At the start of the game, you fight the main legendary but all of your attacks get ignored and its level is unknown, after 3 turns the fight will end with you being knocked out. You also can't use items, switch Pokemon, or run. Subverted in the fight against Eternatus; for the first three turns, just like in your first legendary encounter, your attacks have no effect. But then Zacian and Zamazenta drop in, and you're able to fight to help them beat it.
  • Horny Vikings: Perrserker, the evolution of Galarian Meowth, has fur that's grown tangled and congealed into a functional horned helmet. It also has a Blood Knight personality.
  • Hour of Power: The Dynamax transformation available for players lasts only three turns and can be used just once per battle.
  • Hufflepuff House: Galar is implied to have a Gym Leader of every possible type, with those outside the top 8 on their internal ladder considered "Lower Division" leaders (a clear nod to Association Football, given the setting). The lower divison leaders don't participate in the Gym Challenge, and thus aren't seen or named in-game, but their uniforms can be purchased. note 
  • Hypocrite: When your character and Hop defeat Sordward and Shielbert in a double battle, the brothers claim you only won because you teamed up.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When you leave westward from Hammerlocke for the first time, Team Yell is on the road trying to protect a sleeping Silicobra by only letting people through if they promise to be quiet. When they see you and Hop, they refuse to let you cross because you're too noisy, while shouting and stomping.
    • In the Post-Game, Sordward calls Piers "just someone with strange taste in hairstyles." Sordward's hair is literally shaped like a sword.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: The Gym Leaders are actually far stronger than their initial battles imply. Nessa herself even states that the Gym battles were more of a test than an actual all-out battle.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • When picking your Y-Comm icon, you can select the Gym Leaders' various logos, including that of the Gym Leader not present at the opening ceremony. Seeing that Piers's icon is just Team Yell's logo turned sideways is a pretty early giveaway that he is involved with the group. One of the banners at Motostoke shows the same thing.
    • There's also the fact that Eternatus can show up in online players' camps or in online Max Raids, as well as Calyrex's steeds.
  • Internal Retcon: When the mural at Stow-on-Side is destroyed revealing the statues of Zacian and Zamazenta, it becomes clear that history was rewritten to focus on the two humans who stopped the Darkest Day, instead of the Pokémon. It takes another turn in the post game when descendants of the two heroes show up and try to upstage you for stopping the new Darkest Day, and for suggesting that Zacian and Zamazenta were the real heroes, while the two humans were glorified Pokémon Trainers.
  • Iris Out: When you commence cooking a curry and after the curry is prepared, the screen has an iris out in the form of a cooking pot and lid.
  • Irony: The Gigantamaxed forms of the three starters don't necessarily turn them as gigantic as other conventional Gigantamaxed Pokémon, but rather, their equipment is on the receiving end of the growth (Rillaboom's drumset, Cinderace's Pyro Ball, and Inteleon's finger). However, some of their body parts do get larger (Rillaboom's hair, Cinderace's ears, and Inteleon's tail).
  • Item Crafting: The Cram-O-Matic, featured in the Isle of Armor expansion, is a machine that takes four of your items and combines them into one new item or Technical Record. When four Apricorns of a given color are loaded into the machine, you have a 1 in 100 chance of receiving up to 5 Apricorn Balls corresponding to that color and a 1 in 1000 chance of receiving a Sport or Safari Ball.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Towards the end of the main story, Leon is missing after having promised to have dinner with you and Hop. You find out that he's with Rose at the top of Rose Tower, and you make your way to the top to find them, battling several Macro Cosmos employees on the way up. Although you don't so much climb the tower than simply take an elevator ride.
  • Jerkass:
    • Your introduction to Bede has him rudely shove you and Hop out of the way because he's the only one here who's important. It goes downhill from there, starting from constantly talking down your abilities and all the way to sending Hop into a deep depression by telling him he's unworthy of being related to the Champion. Even after being taken in by Opal, he continues to harbor a grudge, griping that he had the misfortune of being in the same time period as you and even fighting you to try and prove he's stronger in the middle of a giant monster attack.
    • Sordward and Shielbert aren't much better, being classic "more royal than you" Upper Class Twits unironically calling everyone around them peasants while being hilariously petty towards anyone who may have slightly wronged them, such as one-starring Sonia's groundbreaking book on Galarian history.
  • Joke Item:
    • You can get a Beast Ball from an NPC in the post-game. As of now, it's functionally just a Poké Ball with a severely handicapped catch rate—the Ultra Beasts were a no-show until the Crown Tundra, and when they did appear, they appeared as the last opponents you can face in Dynamax Adventures (meaning it's a 100% guarantee you can catch one should you defeat it, and they don't appear again afterwards).
    • You can also get Safari Balls and Sport Balls from the Cram-o-Matic by cramming in any Apricorn. However, they have a ridiculously low spawn rate of 0.1% and are functionally just reskinned Great Balls, so it combines this with Too Awesome to Use.
  • Jump Scare:
    • If you have a high level of friendship and affection with a Pokémon, when you set up camp, the screen may fade in to them being right in your face. Nothing bad happens, as they smile at you before running off to play, but it can still be very startling, especially with, say, a Gyarados.
    • When you ask one of the Digging Duo to dig for you, he will dig some number of items up until he's tired. Rarely, he says he's done, but after a short pause, he suddenly gets a second wind, consisting of a loud snap, dramatic motion lines on the screen, and the man getting a crazed look on his face.
    • When confronting Oleana in the Battle Tower, the music goes completely quiet as they calmly drone on about not interfering with their grand plan and how it's impressive the player has made it that far... at which point, they snap into a zoomed-in Nightmare Face with a loud, dramatic noise.
  • Kaiju: Many Gigantamax forms could fall into this trope, particularly Charizard and Drednaw, who look very reminiscent of Godzilla and Gamera, respectively. Butterfree, Centiskorch and Orbeetle could qualify as well.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Cara Liss, the scientist responsible for reviving the region’s fossil Pokémon, never gets punished for condemning her creations to a life of suffering.
    • Sordward and Shielbert ultimately escape justice for attempting to wreak havoc on Galar with their Dynamax Pokémon. The worst they get is having to go on an apology tour.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • You don't just happen to bumble through a Sorting Algorithm of Gym Difficulty, the order of challenge is laid out by the League officials, and Leaders themselves have show matches to move up and down the pecking order. Further, Leaders explicitly limit the power of their teams to fit their place in the curve. Some of the Leaders also differ between the two versions, being replaced by a completely different character with a different preferred Pokémon type in the counterpart game.
    • The Pokémon League isn't some inexplicably well-funded hobbyist organization, but a sporting event that draws huge crowds, turning a profit on ticket sales and sponsorships. Consequently, you can't just walk in off the street and fight while wearing your travelling clothes - challengers have to present in uniform and observe protocol on the pitch, and random kids don't just wander off to travel the region unsupervised. You need an endorsement to join the gym challenge, it's a seasonal event, and participants are on a schedule to beat each gym (though Take Your Time is in full effect).
    • There's no Elite Four in Galar. Instead, the finals are an anime-style single-elimination knockout tournament between the challengers who made it that far. The winner enters another tournament bracket along with the gym leaders, and the winner of that bracket gets to battle the Champion.
    • The fishing rod for the most part had to be obtained from an NPC before you could start fishing. Here you get it in your inventory from the start.
    • There's a Dark-type Gym, which is a first for the series. Unlike the other Gyms in these games, but similarly to previous games' Gyms, it lacks Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing (due to lacking a Power Spot), and the Gym Challenge simply involves defeating other Trainers.
    • Usually you are introduced to the world of Pokémon by one of the professors of the region. In Sword & Shield however, you are introduced by Chairman Rose, the host of the regional Pokémon League. You also receive your starter from Leon, the current champion, rather than the professor.
    • There are not one, but two types of Shiny Pokémon in this game. Diamond Shinies are a type of Shiny Pokémon that shoot out small, sparkling squares or crystals, as opposed to the usual stars upon entering battle. Pokémon that were shiny upon encountering them in the wild have a 15/16 chance of being a Diamond Shiny and 1/16 of being a Star Shiny, while Shiny Pokémon that came from an egg, static encounter, or Max Raid Battle will have a 15/16 chance of being a Star Shiny and 1/16 of being a Diamond Shiny.note 
    • There is a new concept called "Brilliant Pokémon", which appear in the overworld with a yellow aura. The more of a certain Pokémon you battle, the more likely you are to get one that is Brilliant. Brilliant Pokémon can have special moves, and have at least one perfect IV. If you battle 100 of a certain type of Pokémon, the likelihood of finding one that is Brilliant doubles.
      • The same method can be used to increase the odds of finding a Shiny. That caps at 500 battles with a certain Pokémon, capping Shiny Odds at 1:683 without the Shiny Charm, and 1:512 with the Shiny Charm. Both only count for each Pokémon, however.
      • There is also now a variant of Chain Fishing involving Brilliant Pokémon: chain 25 consecutive hooks (which includes fainting what you hook; catching ends the chain) at a fishing spot, and the odds of finding a Brilliant Pokémon increase, capping off at 16 times more likely upon 25 consecutive hooks. This is not known to affect Shiny odds, however.
    • Unlike previous games in the series, towns and cities do not have "Town" or "City" in their names in the English translation, though the Japanese version and some translations other than the English one keep this trait. For example, the first and last towns are simply called Postwick and Wyndon, respectively.
    • There are only three new Legendary Pokémon (the title two featured on the covers, Zacian and Zamazenta, and the third one, Eternatus), the fewest of any Generation with the exception of VI. The climatic finale involving the Legendaries is also focused on the third one rather than the title two for the first time in any game outside of the Updated Re-release, and the cover Legendaries actually fight alongside the player and are only caught in the post-game.
    • The obligatory "villainous" team this time around, Team Yell, are completely non-villainous (even more so than Team Skull) and actually turn out to be the Gym Trainers for the Dark-type Gym and were only pretending to be "evil" under the orders of the Gym Leader. Afterwards they're completely helpful towards the player.
    • These are the first games to omit the Ace Trainer class, who are usually skilled trainers that wield a variety of strong Pokémon. Their omission might be due to the fact that any trainer that would have been an Ace Trainer likely would have been another Gym Challenger.
    • In most games, Gyms usually employ trainer classes that would be fitting or appropriate to the Gym's theme or type, like Black Belts for a Fighting Gym, or Ace Trainers and Veterans for Dragon Gyms. In Galar however, all Gym Trainers share a generic Gym Trainer class, although they all do wear the appropriate uniform for the Gym and use the right type of Pokémon.
    • This is the first Generation since Gold and Silver where all three starter final evolutions remain a single Type as opposed to gaining a secondary typing, and this comes after two generations in a row where every starter's final stage was dual-typed.
    • Three Eeveelutions have had their evolution method altered:
      • Eevee now evolves into Sylveon with the Friendship stat as opposed to the Affection stat. If Eevee knows a Fairy-type move when leveling up, the Sylveon evolution overrides the Espeon and Umbreon evolutions if possible.
      • Leafeon and Glaceon are also now stone evolutions, preventing the latter from being afflicted with Late Character Syndrome as it usually is.
    • This is the first evenly-numbered generation in which no new Eeveelutions have been introduced.
    • There is no Victory Road in this game or any equivalent, which are usually a big, winding dungeon that preceded the endgame. note  The closest this game has would be Route 10, but it's just a straightforward stretch to Wyndon.
    • Previous games usually expanded their regions in Updated Re-release such as Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, & Alola, or opted for a sequel like Unova, and even opted to not expand at all in Kalos. Galar has an Expansion Pass that includes several Pokémon not in the original game, new areas to explore, and new legendaries.
    • Until the player becomes the champion, the day and night cycle in Galar is tailored specifically to the plot, moving forward the further the player goes on about beating gyms and progressing through routes. Only the Wild Area follows the console's clock before the post-game.
    • It introduces an important narrative device with your rival, Bede, the first fightable trainer and relevant character to change type specialization during the plot of a mainline Pokémon game.
    • Looker is nowhere to be seen in this game, after playing a postgame role in each generational debut game after his own debut in Platinum.
  • Lethal Chef: Cooking a Koffing Class curry makes you one such chef, since the food has to be pretty bad to be awarded a medal based on a Poison-type Pokémon. In the dining animation, the protagonist visibly struggles to eat the food. In-game, you have to actively try to mess up; taking reasonable guesses at what to do in each step should result in a Wobbuffet Class at least.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: On the Isle of Armor, this happens to the "item get" sound when Klara or Avery briefly obtain their Dojo uniform, only to have it snatched away by the fast Slowpoke.
  • Level Grinding: Since enemy Trainer Pokémon levels reach a maximum of 70, the vast majority of your post-game grinding will come from Max Raids, since the EXP Candy L and XL sizes provide copious amounts of EXP needed to breach the higher levels and access Hyper Training.
  • Level Scaling: The Pokémon levels in the Wild Area are based on how far the game expects the player to be in the main story by the time they're able to access it, bar the "powerful" Pokémon with inflated levels. After beating the game, every Pokémon in the Wild Area outside of Dens becomes at least Level 60.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Generations V, VI, and VII, which were heavily plot-driven and featured morally-complex characters and increasingly apocalyptic scenarios, Sword and Shield scale it back quite a bit. The adventure this time around is a much more straightforward affair reminiscent of earlier games, and for the most part the bulk of the plot happens offscreen right until the very end, when Cerebus Syndrome kicks in and you have to stop a dangerous Legendary from destroying Galar - and even then, the villain isn't planning on outright genocide or child murder.
  • Living Relic: Both the Galarian Corsola and Dreepy line have been rendered extinct due to environmental changes, but managed to live on by becoming ghost types.
  • The Load:
    • Computer allies in Max Raids are miserably outclassed in higher difficulty raids, to the point where having them on your team can neuter your chances of success. Unlike human Trainers, AI-controlled Trainers use standard enemy Trainer classes with all of the relevant Pokémon in their arsenal. This often leads to fights where you are clearly fighting a Dynamaxed Corviknight and all someone brought was their Magikarp.note  The faint limit also means that if the Dynamaxed Pokémon targets the AI players, you can kiss your wiggle room goodbye.
    • A Gym Trainer "ally" in Kabu's challenge is programmed to be as unhelpful as possible, as it directly targets you, forcing you to KO their Pokémon and deal with the wild Pokémon by yourself.
    • Downplayed with Hop during the ascent in Rose Tower. The Dubwool he brings out at the start of each fight isn't effective against the Steel types the Macro Cosmos employees use, leaving the player to sweep them alone. This can be rectified if said Dubwool faints and Hop goes for the next Pokemon in his arsenal. Outside the Macro Cosmos battles, the Dubwool holds its own well enough.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: In the Isle of Armor DLC, the reason that people there don't recognize you as Champion if you've beaten the vanilla game until after the story is completed, is because Mustard monopolizes the sole TV in the dojo so much to play videogames that they can't watch the news.
  • Lord British Postulate: The fight against "???" is meant to be completely impossible, with anything you attempt having no effect on it. However, due to an oversight, Hail or Sandstorm can damage it if generated by an ability instead of an attack.note  The fight is still impossible, though, since it only lasts for three turns; even if cheats are used to force it to faint, you only get a trivial amount of XP, and the plot-induced whiteout still happens.
  • The Lost Woods: Glimwood Tangle is a dark, wooded area where most of the light comes from bioluminescent Fungus Humongous. It's also inhabited mainly by Fairy-type Pokémon, such as the Impidimp, Hatenna, and Galarian Ponyta lines, as well as the occasional Sinistea.
  • Lost World: The Crown Tundra has a lot of fossil Pokémon from prior generations roaming its areas, which Omanyte's Sword Dex entry implies is the result of escapees from labs and releases by Trainers.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Winning a Max Raid battle is mostly down to strategy (and the beefiness of your mons), but catching the boss is another story, since you only get to throw a single ball before it vanishes. Knowledge of more obtuse balls like the Dusk, Net, and Repeat Balls can help a bit, but with many bosses, whether you snag it or not is ultimately up to chance. This is especially true for Gigantamax ones, which have a ludicrously low catch rate of about 5% if you're using a good Pokéballnote  The host player usually gets a higher catch rate, though this is sort of redundant since they can simply re-battle it until they catch it. You do, at least, still get the item drops if it flees.
      • Winning a Max Raid battle does become a luck-based mission if you play with the AI trainers, thanks to copious amounts of Artificial Stupidity, and especially with higher-difficulty bosses. There are a set number of trainers that can appear, each one has a specific Pokemon, and it's random which ones appear, so you could very well go up against a boss that has a type advantage over all three of the other Pokemon. That being said, sometimes you can strike gold with your AI trainers, like getting a Magikarp with Hydro Pump against a Charizard.
    • The "Digging Duo," a pair of NPCs near the Nursery in the Wild Area, can dig up some rare items for you for a 500-watt fee. The quantity and quality of the items they find are both completely random, although the one claiming to be "skilled" in his dialog tends to get more valuable items, while the one with "stamina" tends to gather more stuff before giving up. Save Scumming won't help here, since they force you to save with each attempt.

    M-Q 
  • Magic Meteor: Dynamaxing is powered by energy radiated from what's called Wishing Stars, which true to their name are meteors. One drops right in front of the player and Hop near the beginning of the story and the fragments are used to make their dynamax bands just like everyone else's.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Aside from the Trope Namer itself returning to frustrate fishers looking for rare Pokémon once again, there’s the new Impidimp family. Requiring a level of 32 for its first Evolution, being unable to naturally learn any Fairy-type moves until Level 40, and having a base stat total of a paltry 265, Impidimp will start having major trouble keeping up with the rest of your party during mid-game. Once it evolves into Morgrem, it begins to pull its own weight and perform adequately until Level 42, when it finally evolves into the mighty Grimmsnarl. Hattena is similar, sharing Impidimp’s low stats and long time before it evolves into the fearsome Hatterene.
    • Dreepy, the new Dragon-type, also fits. Besides having low stats, it only learns 4 attacks, the strongest of which is Bite. It doesn't evolve until level 50, reaching its final stage at level 60. That final stage, though, is Dragapult, one of the strongest mons in the game. Dragapult also gets a unique attack that hits both targets in double battles and intelligently redirects both attacks to one opponent if the other protects itself.
    • The new Fossil Pokémon in the games are a variant. They’re obtained at level 10 in an area with level 30 Pokémon, thus suffering from Late Character Syndrome, and they don’t learn their SecretArt, Bolt Beak and Fishious Rend, until level 63. Once they do, though, watch out; a Dracozolt or Dracovish with a Choice Band or Choice Scarf can rip apart an entire enemy team with their signature moves, and Arctozolt and Arctovish can do the same with Trick Room in effect.
  • The Magnificent: New to these games is the ability to attach one of your Pokémon's ribbons to it, giving it a special title that is displayed when it's sent out, such as "[Pokémon] the Galar Champion" if you use the Galar Champion Ribbon. Pokémon you catch also have a small chance of having marks, which are listed as ribbons and can also bestow titles like "the Mist Drifter", "the Sociable", and "the Sleepy".
  • Mainlining the Monster: The Wishing Stars that power Galar and fuel Dynamaxing are actually fragments of the body of Eternatus. Rose wants to use Eternatus as an infinite power source for Galar in the hopes of curtailing a future energy crisis. It doesn't work.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Trainers can Dynamax their Pokémon to make them appear to grow as large as a building (per the lore, they don't actually increase in mass but instead create a physical projection by warping space around them), boosting their HP and changing their moves to Max Moves for three turns. Gigantamaxing Pokémon confers unique transformations and exclusive attacks, but unlike regular Dynamaxing, can only be done with certain individuals of certain species.
  • Meaningful Name: "Galar" in Irish Gaelic can mean illness or misery. Eternatus, the cause of the original Darkest Day in Galar and the newest outbreak of Gigantamax Pokemon, is a poison-type - and Chairman Rose (and by extension, Sordward and Shielbert) certainly causes a lot of misery with their evil plots that nearly destroy Galar.
  • Medal of Dishonor: In the curry-making minigame, if you manage to mess up a Curry really badly, which requires either doing nothing at all or actively trying to mess everything up, you get the Koffing class medal.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Galar's Fossil Pokémon, Dracozolt, Arctozolt, Dracovish and Arctovish, are revived from two completely different fossils — one of two front halves (-zolt, -vish) and one of two back halves (Draco-, Arcto-). The resulting creature takes stats and typing from both halves. They have improper proportions and body part placements. Their Pokédex entries read like they're made up on the spot, describing Pokémon that shouldn't even be able to survive, such as Dracovish having legs for running at 40 mph but being unable to breathe air.
  • Modesty Shorts: All the skirts that the female trainer can wear come with shorts under them, which are longer than the skirts themselves.
  • Money Grinding:
    • Possible to an absurd degree with Gigantamax Meowth. Go to any endgame/post-game fight, give him an Amulet Coin, Dynamax, then use G-Max Gold Rush for three turns straight. This pays out up to 99,999 Poké per fight, and the Champion Cup rematch is infinitely spammable, making it the best place to farm for cash.
    • Max Raid Battles drop high-value Vendor Trash, from Rare Bones to Big Nuggets, plus Technical Records that you can sell off if you don't see yourself needing the move they teach.
    • There are two ways to launder Watts into Poké:
      • Many TR's can be bought for Watts from the Watt Traders in the Wild Area, then turned around and sold in Poké Marts.
      • The Digging Duo (a pair of miners near the Wild Area Nursery) can dig up lucrative stones and trinkets as long as you have Watts to pay them with.
  • Monumental Damage: Bede uses Chairman Rose's Copperajah to knock down the Stow-on-Side mural thinking there's a huge cache of Wishing Stars behind it. After he's caught making a hole in it, Chairman Rose disqualifies him. Then the mural falls down and reveals a hidden statue behind it.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Various Pokémon in Galar are shown being employed by humans, ranging from shop keepers to even flying taxis. You can do this too with the new Poké Jobs function and your monsters come back three to twenty-four hours later, a little stronger and possibly bearing gifts.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the idea of a Rotom-powered conventional device was a novel concept, and was only used for the Rotom Dex. Now, Rotoms are used in all manners of devices, including Rotom Phones, a Rotom PC, and a Rotom Bike.
    • A Gym Challenge helper at the Battle Tower wanted to use the gift Pokémon meant for you to downsize on her electricity bills, but figured you're better off with it since it's a Type: Null, which can't accept the Electric Memory yet.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The opening riff of the Battle Tower theme is very similar to a riff from the song "The Baby is 2", a Homestuck fan song also produced by Toby Fox.
    • For the regular trainer battle theme, part of the song resembles the theme that plays when a gym leader you're battling is on their last Pokémon from Pokémon Black and White, somewhat distinct from the main Pokémon theme.
  • My Brain Is Big: Orbeetle's proportionally humongous carapace gives off this effect. The Pokédex states it does actually have a big brain, though (presumably not contained within the aforementioned carapace.) Its Gigantamax form has the carapace grow so big that it resembles a UFO!
  • My Name Is ???:
    • Zacian and Zamazenta's names during their introduction Hopeless Boss Fight at the beginning.
    • The same thing happens with the first battle against Calyrex at the beginning of The Crown Tundra, though you are supposed to defeat it this time.
    • You can sometimes get a suspicious-looking Pokéjob request asking for help with something, with the company name and title being this. As mentioned:
      ??????: wE ARe searChing for somE HelP. THE wOrk MUst be kepT coMPletEly secreT. We wiLl PAY You HANdsomly.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Explicitly the case for Max Raid Battles, and you are warned of this the first time you participate in one. The boss Pokémon can, among other things: attack multiple times in a single turn (up to three in high-level raids), use both Max Moves and regular moves, use more than four different moves (such as a Pelipper using Stockpile, Spit Up, Hydro Pump, Hurricane, and Fling), and bypass the requirements of certain moves (Toxicroak, for example, can use Belch without consuming a Berry).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The reveal trailer shows the player character entering a stadium, wearing a jersey with the number 227 on the back. February 27th is the release date of both Pokémon Red and Blue (in Japan) and the reveal trailer itself.
    • Hop decides to give up competitive Pokémon battling to become a Pokémon Professor, much like Gary Oak in the anime and Bianca from Pokémon Black and White.
    • A female office worker in the "Game Freak Room" is trying (but failing) to play Pokémon GO.
    • When Leon's attempt to catch Eternatus fails, half of the Poké Ball he tried to capture it with rolls by, similar to the anime's depiction of a Poké Ball exploding if the capture was unsuccessful.
    • An NPC Mr. Mime in Wyndon is named Marcel, the same as the Mr. Mime the player can receive in an in-game trade in Pokémon Red and Blue.
    • The male Poké Kids being dressed as Pikachu and the females being dressed as Eevee is a reference to Chase and Elaine from Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! being most closely associated with Pikachu and Eevee respectively.
    • Oleana being calm, collected, but secretly really unbalanced, angry, and obsessed over a perfect world calls to mind Lusamine. They're also associated with a Poison-Type - Nihilego for Lusamine and Garbodor for Oleana. Their team loadout is similar, as well, with both teams being themed around "feminine" Pokémon and including a Ghost-Typenote , a Grass-Typenote  a Pokémon that originated from Alolanote , and a Milotic.
    • Piers's top-heavy hairdo, eyebags, Dark-type theming, and quiet, fatalistic demeanor recalls Grimsley.
    • Once again, a rich and wealthy philanthropist who just wants the best for the world turns out to be the villain, with albeit Chairman Rose's plan of using a Legendary is considerably less destructive (in intention at least) and selfish than Lysander and Lusamine's plans were.
    • Bede continues in a long tradition of douchebag rivals who exist largely to mock you and get their ass kicked, sometimes not in that order - such as Gary Oak, Arlo, and Lear. Played With though in that it's not long before you get access to information on Bede that is meant to help you sympathize with him.
    • Raihan's Gym Battle and the challenge leading up to it involve Double Battles, a mechanic that hasn't been utilized in Gym Battles since Gen III or its remakes.
    • Hop is your excitable minority sidekick and rival who you best at everything, just like Hau.
    • One of the potential NPC Trainers for Max Raid Battle has a Pikachu with Thunderbolt, Quick Attack, Iron Tail and Electroweb, which is the exact same moveset as Ash's Pikachu had during the release of the game.
    • The Isle of Armor Sword PokéDex entry for Tauros mentions how the ones found in Galar are too wild to be ridden, referencing how Tauros was used as a Ride Pokémon in Gen VII in the Alolan region. Meanwhile, the one for Kangaskhan in Shield refers to In-Universe records of a human child being raised by a childless Kangaskhan.
    • The entries for Dusk Lycanroc refer to it being a challenge to train due to its temperamental nature. Ash can definitely agree with that, as his normally calm Lycanroc's Berserk Button of getting dirty was an obstacle in passing his Ula'Ula trial during Sun and Moon.
    • The September 29th trailer for the Crown Tundra features a quick clip of the player character wearing a replica of Ghetsis' monocle while a Hydreigon follows behind him, and another clip of him wearing a replica of Lysandre's visor while a Gyarados follows behind him. Each Pokémon was the ace of the villain character's team in their respective games.
    • In the Crown Tundra, the method to access the lairs of Regirock, Regice and Registeel is reminiscent of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald (solve a riddle to open the door). Once inside, the chambers' names, appearances and method to summon the respective Golem Pokémon (step on floor tiles to recreate the Golem Pokémon's eye pattern) are lifted straight from Platinum.
    • Likewise, the method to encounter Spiritomb is nearly the same as the Sinnoh games: find a landmark on a burial site, then interact 32 times with other players using your console's connectivity functions.
  • Nerf:
    • Aegislash's forms have had a 10-point reduction to each of their main stats. Additionally, King's Shield only reduces the Attack of a Pokémon using a physical attack on it by one stage instead of two.
    • The Figy, Wiki, Mago, Aguav, and Ipapa Berries now heal a third of the holder's max HP if the holder likes its taste instead of half. (Probably to prevent Appletun from abusing Recycle and Ripen.)
    • Mimikyu's Disguise ability now costs 1/8th of its HP on activation, preventing any more trivial abuse with Focus Sash. It did gain Drain Punch, which can potentially recover that lost 1/8th and allow almost the same strategy, but now you have to work for it.
    • As mentioned below; Intimidate is now blocked by Own Tempo, Inner Focus, Scrappy, and Oblivious, and triggers Rattled's Speed boost.
    • Due to Z-Moves being deep-sixed, Kommo-o lost its Clangorous Soulblaze move. However, it got a weaker replacement option in Clangorous Soul, which does the same thing, only without the attack and cutting Kommo-o's health by 1/3rd.
    • Moody no longer modifies accuracy or evasion, which got it banned under Smogon's Evasion clause in the first place.
    • The removal of Return has significantly weakened the Normal type's offensive options, as it was the most powerful widely-available Normal-type move without a Necessary Drawback. note 
    • Electric Terrain, Grassy Terrain, and Psychic Terrain now boost the damage of respective Type moves by 30% instead of 50%. The move Defog also now removes Terrains in addition to entry hazards.
    • Toxic got its TM status repealed, and only a few Pokémon can learn Toxic Spikes by Technical Record note . This leaves a select few defensive Pokemon with the move by level up or breeding, more specifically Toxapex, Quagsire, Pyukumuku, Seismitoad, Ferrothorn, and Mandibuzz.
    • Vespiquen can no longer use Heal Order, a recovery move on a Pokémon with high defensive stats.
    • The removal of Hidden Power makes Pokemon heavily dependent on the move to be competitively less usable and have to depend on movesets they have now. On the bright side, this also means a lot of saved time on getting the right IVs for the specific type.
  • New Weapon Target Range: The games have two big fights near the end of the game; the first is against Eternatus which you end up capturing, followed shortly by a fight against Champion Leon. Eternatus, which you just caught, has a moveset which includes fire- and dragon-type moves that have a type advantage against 3-to-4 of Leon's pokemonnote , and its signature move does double damage against Dynamaxed Pokémon, encouraging you to use it against Leon's Gigantamax Charizard.
  • No Flow in CGI: A lot of the protagonists' clothes don't react to wind or movement. This is easiest to see in the beginning of a raid, where a close-up of the trainer is shown, and hanging or stringy portions of their clothes stick to them.
  • Noisy Nature: Wild areas have Pokémon hiding in the grass and moving around in the overworld. They tend to make a lot of noise, even the shy ones that flee from the player, so the sounds are a good indicator of what Pokémon can be found in the area without seeing them first.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Aside from the Wild Area, which is a big open-world-like zone, every Route in the game is extremely linear. Any optional path you encounter will either have a patch of tall grass and lead back to the main route anyways (sometimes bypassing a Trainer), or be a dead end with an item. Even caves are no longer mazes. The only reason you will ever have to backtrack is after obtaining the Rotom Bike upgrade, allowing you to bike on previously-impassable pools of water such as the lake next to Prof. Magnolia's house on Route 2.
  • Noodle Incident: According to a Dex entry for a returning Pokémon, it's stated that it's in Galar because someone stole files from Aether Paradise in the Alola region and a group of scientists in Galar made a fourth Type: Null after getting their hands on them. Whatever happened in the first place is never specified.
  • Not Completely Useless: Dynamax Pokémon are inevitably immune to one-hit knockout moves — which doesn't mean those moves are useless in Max Raid Battles, because they have the unique side effect of breaking through two bars of the mysterious barrier in one hit, something normally reserved to Max and G-Max moves.
  • NPC Roadblock: Used extensively, starting right in your hometown with a boy sitting on a wall who makes you turn around if you try to walk past before visiting Hop's house. Sometimes it's not entirely clear why you can't get through; part of Motostoke is temporarily blocked by a pair of townspeople with an invisible barrier between them.
  • Nitro Boost: The Rotom Bike comes with a built-in booster: when you ride a certain distance, it'll charge up, after which you can press B to get a burst of speed. During a Rotom Rally, hitting the white balloons gives a similar, much shorter boost.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • The Abilities Own Tempo, Inner Focus, Scrappy, and Oblivious now provide immunity to Intimidate (which was very common in competitive play).
    • The ability Rattled gets a speed boost whenever it's affected by Intimidate.
    • In a huge change, Moody no longer modifies evasiveness or accuracy.
    • Since you can access Boxes anywhere now, depositing a Pokémon into the PC no longer instantly heals it. You can still heal them when they're in the PC by getting a full party heal in or out of the Pokemon Center.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • Upon arriving in the Wild Area train station for the first time, you can meet a couple who are looking for people who have had a "Let's Go" experience. If you have save data for Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, they will give you a unique Pikachu/Eevee (depending on the game version of the save). The "Let's Go" Pikachu/Eevee cannot evolve, but they have perfect IVs and are the only way to obtain their Gigantamax forms outside of events or the Isle of Armor.
    • Having save data for Let's Go or Pokémon Quest also unlocks themed cosmetic options for your League Card.
  • Olympus Mons: As is tradition. Here, you get to capture an apocalyptic demonic dragon driven by humanity's thirst for power, and one of the mythical beasts sworn to defend the world from the former's wrath.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Chairman Rose's boss theme prominently features chanting of the phrase Rosa seda credo.. This translates to "the thorned rose's beliefs". However a lot of people instead mishear it as english and think it says "Go Rose! Save everyone!".
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Per the usual, there's a different set of Pokémon in each of the two games. Additionally, the gyms in Stow-on-Side and Circhester have different leaders and types between the two games. The DLC Expansion Passes are sold separately for each version, and also include a few differences besides available Pokémon, including which rival appears on the Isle of Armor.
  • One-Winged Angel: Towards the end of the game, Eternatus absorbs all the Dynamax energy in the Galar region and transcends past Dynamax and Gigantamax to Eternamax. It looks like a Gigantamaxed version of one of the Ultra Beasts and is fought like a Max Raid Boss alongside Hop. Just by merely existing, this thing keeps your Pokémon from even attacking, until Zacian and Zamazenta join the fray. It also has a massive base stat total, dwarfing not only Mega-evolved Legendaries, including Mega Rayquaza, but also Ultra Necrozma, having a base stat total of no less than 1125!
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In Max Raid Battles, Zacian can basically No-Sell the boss's barrier, slicing huge amounts of health off as if there wasn't one at all due to its huge Attack and Behemoth Blade. Eternatus can be equipped with a Life Orb or Choice Specs to deal smaller, but still significant amounts of damage. Zamazenta isn't as good at dealing damage as the other two, despite its 130 Attack, as it has no reliable way to buff it and can't hold items to make up for it.
  • Painting the Medium: As the mysterious Pokémon in the Slumbering Weald fills the area with fog, the battle music becomes increasingly muffled, as if the fog is affecting the game audio.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • When you get to the Fairy Gym, you discover that Opal is looking for someone to take over the Fairy Gym in her stead, hence why the Gym Challenge has a quiz element to it. Even if you beat her, she decides you're unfit for the role. Even if you answer all the quiz questions correctly, she still won't pick you as the successor (though she does admit that it's only because of "personal preference" on her part). She ultimately settles on Bede, fresh off of getting dumped from the league by Chairman Rose and having his Challenger status revoked... primarily because he's VERY pink. She carts him off to train to become the next Fairy Gym Leader, giving him some offscreen Character Development in the process.
    • Piers wants to hand off the Dark Gym to his little sister, Marnie, after the Champion Cup. Marnie initially declines, but agrees in the postgame.
    • Professor Magnolia passes on the role of Professor to her granddaughter, Sonia, complete with spiffy lab coat. By the post-game, Sonia is a full-fledged Professor, with a best-selling book on Galar's history to boot.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Wild Areas, introduced pretty early on, can have you fight Pokémon that are several levels above yours. You aren't allowed to catch them until you have enough Gym Badges, but if you're smart and/or lucky enough, you can use this to grind tremendously. For instance, bringing a Normal-type to the area where nothing but Ghost-types spawn.
  • Pictorial Speech Bubble: In the Pokémon Camp, Pokémon express their feelings through a handful of pictures. If hungry for curry, a picture of curry appears in a Pokémon's speech bubble.
  • Piñata Enemy:
    • Late in December 2019, special Max Raid Battles started to appear, featuring Delibird and dropping significantly more loot than normal. This makes a lot more sense when you remember that Delibird's design is based in part on Santa Claus.
    • For New Year's Eve 2019, Magikarp started appearing more frequently in Pokémon Dens. But not just any old Magikarp, though; these dropped a ton of Big Nuggets every time they're felled, and also had an extremely high chance of being Shiny, at a phenomenal one in twelve!
    • For the last few days of February 2020, Max Raid Battles were available for the basic and middle forms of the Kanto starters, as well as Mewtwo. The Kanto starter raids provided an easy source of the Toxic Orb, Flame Orb, and Life Orb, which are normally extremely rare. Mewtwo, meanwhile, cannot be caught and, as a Bonus Boss, will put up an enormous fight. Defeating Mewtwo, however, will award every participant with large quantities of EXP Candy L and EXP Candy XL, a PP Up, Dynamax Candy, several pieces of Vendor Trash, and a lot of Psychic-type Technical Records; and a high chance of an Ability Capsule, a second PP Up or PP Max, and a Bottle Cap.
    • As per the norm, Chansey and Blissey are both a lucrative source of EXP in the Isle of Armor. However, their Max Raid version isn't as hard to find and fell, with Chansey being comparatively common in most dens; the only problem being their massive health. In addition, Blissey herself drops five Armorite Ore a pop, in addition to all the EXP and Rare Candy expected of her.
  • Pixel Hunt: There are 151 Alolan Diglett hidden all over the Isle of Armor area, including the surrounding minor islands. They are also almost completely buried in the ground such that you can only see the tips of their heads and the three hairs sticking out, with no real patterns as to where they might be located. As a result, they're extremely easy to overlook even when deliberately searching for them. Your only choice is to scrutinize every little bit of ground in the entire place until the game tells you that you've found all of the Diglett in that section.
  • Place of Power: Dynamaxing can only be used in places where ambient Dynamax energy is high. In the wild, this is in den areas, while in cities, gym stadiums are built on these spots.
  • Pokémon Speak: Zig-zagged as usual in NPC Pokémon's speech bubbles, where some make squeaks/grunts/chirps and others say their names. When it comes to their cries, though, Pikachu, Eevee and Gigantamax Meowth say their names (and get voice credits) while all other species have electronic animal-like cries.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The raid on Rose Tower wouldn't have happened if Leon had just called his younger brother to let him know he was going to be late for dinner. Instead, Hop's worrying over Leon, Piers and the rest of Team Yell's anti-authoritarian attitude, and Oleana's stubbornness and potential insanity lead to things escalating far faster than they needed to, practically causing a small riot in Wyndon.
  • Power-Up Food:
    • The Applin line can do this to any Berry with its Ripen ability, which doubles the health gains or buffs of any Berry it eats. Status effect voiding Berries, however, are unaffected.
    • The Isle of Armor's specialty Max Soup gives any Pokémon that drinks it the Gigantamax factor, but only if they're part of a line that is known to Gigantamax, but cannot Gigantamax itself prior to drinking the Max Soup. However, while humans are perfectly able to drink it, they don’t get any kind of power aside from a minor placebo.
  • Power Up Letdown: Some Gigantamax forms fall under this, in addition to Awesome, but Impractical. While the idea of them having exclusive G-Max moves that have their own unique effects from the standard max moves sounds good on paper, it comes at cost of them losing access to the standard Max variation of their given Type - who have simple yet far more practical/power effects such as stat boosts, enemy stat drops, and weather/terrain summoning. An example is Gigantamax Charizard whose G-Max Wildfire does gradual damage to all opponents each turn, yet pales in comparison to a regular Dynamax Charizard who has Max Flare that summons harsh sunlight which in turn, powers its Fire-Type moves, makes any Solarbeams it may have after Dynamaxing a one-turn move, and activates its Solar Power hidden ability. There's also the fact that Fire-Types are immune to G-Max Wildfire's effect, whereas Gigantamax Centiskorch can do gradual damage to all types including Fire-Types with G-Max Centiferno.
  • Preexisting Encounters:
    • The game has a mix of Pokémon appearing in the overworld as well as Pokémon appearing in grass. In addition, certain areas have spots where certain Pokémon will spawn such as Carkol appearing in the minecart tracks in Galar Mine or multiple Grapploct swimming in specific parts of Route 9.
    • Your first foray into tall grass in the Slumbering Weald is a pair of preexisting encounters. There are two patches of grass with one Pokémon in each. After battling, running around the grass will not cause any more Pokémon to spawn.
  • Punny Name:
    • One of the minor NPC Trainers is Policeman Bobby, whose name is a British slang term for his profession.
    • Cara Liss takes a careless approach to reviving fossils — rather than reviving actual ancient creatures from a single fossil, as in previous games, she mashes two fossils together to create strange Mix-and-Match Critters.
    • Many of the Battle Tower NPCs are puns, such as a Black Belt telling you to fight well named "Goodwin".
    • The Isle of Armor DLC adds an NPC called Regina, whose main purpose is to help you acquire regional variants of Pokémon.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: The Digging Duo are a pair of NPCs who you can fund to go on item hunting expeditions. One of the brothers boasts about having high stamina, and being able to find more items before the expedition finishes, while the other boasts of having more skill and being able to find rarer and more valuable items.

    R-T 
  • Racing Minigame: The Rotom Rally is a cycling minigame wherein you travel from one location in the Wild Area to another within a given amount of time, with prizes and Watts given out for hitting certain times and milestones. You follow a path marked by white and red balloons, hitting all the red ones on the way while trying to hit as many of the white ones for a speed boost. Colliding with wild Pokémon causes you to spin out for a few seconds.
  • Railroading: Enforced and justified by the plot; there is only one way to do the Gym Challenge because the Pokémon League has an explicit order in which Gym Challengers must face the Gyms, in a Sorting Algorithm of Evil fashion.
  • Rare Candy: Trope Namer aside, this game introduces its cousin: the EXP Candy. Unlike Rare Candies, which always give your Pokémon enough EXP to reach the next level, EXP Candies give your Pokémon a set amount of EXP based on the size of the Candy. When you're first introduced to them, they're pretty weak, as XS and S sizes are all you can amass and you can only hoard them from Max Raids, which requires a lot of grinding to get any notable amount of Candy. However, once you progress enough to get stronger Max Raids and thus better EXP Candy, they become even more powerful than Rare Candy, as they're much easier to amass in large quantities than Rare Candy and the larger sizes grant ludicrous amounts of EXP (3000 for M, 10000 for L, and 30000 for XL). Their effectiveness wears out at high levels, which require ridiculous amounts of EXP, making Rare Candies the go-to solution once more for getting to level 100.
  • Rare Random Drop:
    • Max Raids have a very low chance of dropping a unique Curry Ingredient: Gigantamix. Using Gigantamix will produce the special Gigantamax Curry, which is unique in that it has no flavor variations like normal Curries.
    • The Cram-o-Matic will grant Poké Balls for stuffing a combination of Apricorns into it. However, the odds of actually getting an Apricorn Ball are ridiculously low; placing four of the same color Apricorn grants a 1% chance to get the Apricorn Ball corresponding to the color Apricorn you threw in, and a 98.8% chance to get a Ball that you can buy from a shop somewhere in the game. Even worse, this is also the first game where you can get Safari Balls and Sport Balls for regular use outside of the Safari Zone and Bug-Catching Contest in their respective games; however, the odds of getting either from the Cram-o-Matic are a whopping 0.1% each! For comparison's sake, you have better odds breeding a Shiny Pokémon with the Masuda Method compared to getting a Safari or Sport Ball.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • In contrast to the young protagonists of previous titles freely walking off to complete a region-wide challenge in the seven previous regions, participants have to have official endorsement before they can do that in Galar.
      • Likewise, it's also possible to get disqualified from the challenge or have your status revoked if you're too much of a problem. Bede finds this out the hard way when he causes damage to a historical landmark, and gets disqualified from the Gym Challenge for it.
    • Unlike previous games, where the protagonist is pretty much allowed to stumble into whatever plot is cooking up in the region, the adults in the story constantly keep the player and Hop Locked Out of the Loop. What, did you just expect them to let a bunch of pre-teens get involved just cause they happened to be in the area?
    • By donating Watts to the Dojo on the Isle of Armor, it's possible to upgrade it with certain services. After donating 10,000 Watts, they get a Rotom terminal installed. This trope kicks in immediately after it's installed, since that payment only covers the actual installation of the terminal; installation of the software needed to run it needs another 10,000.
  • Reality Warper: It's eventually explained that Pokémon use a limited version of this to Dynamax. Rather than actually increasing in mass, the space around the Pokémon is altered to both make the Pokémon appear larger and to enable it to interact with its surroundings as if it was actually that increased size. This is hinted at with how the body of a Pokémon during Dynamax constantly has a film of shifting energy flowing over it, as well as how Dynamaxed Pokémon have no defined weight and don't gain increased stats aside from HP. Eternatus, the originator of the Dynamax power, takes this a step further when at its true full strength in its Eternamax form. Not only does it warp space to appear larger, but it also warps space to such a degree that it can't be affected by the attacks of other Pokémon. It takes the power of both Zacian and Zamazenta to nullify this protection. Also unlike all other such "max" forms, its offensive stats rise in the Eternamax form, showing how it warps reality on a higher level.
  • Recurring Riff: The Hall of Fame theme that's been in the series ever since the beginning is mixed into several tracks, including the Gym lobby theme, Leon's battle theme, and the credits theme.
  • Refuge in Audacity: You're able to use the Pokémon Camp feature in nearly any open area...which means yes, you can set up camp in the center of a town and no one will bat an eye at it. Note that most indoors areas also count as open areas for Pokémon Camp, meaning that you can set up camp in someone's house and put a pot of curry on and they'll be surprisingly okay with it.
  • Regional Speciality: Curry-on-rice is the signature dish of Galar. There are dozens of different variations of curry, depending on the ingredients used and berries added for flavor, from sausage and apple to instant noodles and whip cream.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: One of the NPCs you can battle in the Battle Tower introduces herself as "A ROBOT IN HUMAN FORM" but otherwise looks indistinguishable from the other NPCs in the game.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: The start of the Isle of Armor has you meet another trainer who was there to join the neaby dojo, but got spooked when they saw Klara or Avery who was sent to greet them. Instead, they mistake you for the new student and reluctantly invite you to the dojo. If you talk to the other person, they have decided that they'd rather not join the dojo after all.
    • Turns into a Brick Joke when the same guy comes back in Honey's Watt sidequest, having joined another dojo and extremely cocky about battling. Honey reveals her Lady of War side and easily beats him senseless.
  • Save Scumming: Notably defied when using a wishing piece to activate a max raid den, hiring one of the digging NPCs to find items for you, or combining items with the Cram-O-Matic. All of these require you to save before doing them, locking you into the outcome.
  • Say It with Hearts: Similar to Affection in Gens. VI and VII, Friendship is expressed through hearts. While camping, you can speak to a Pokémon, who will emit a number of hearts (zero to five), indicating how close it is to you. During battle, if Friendship is high enough and it performs an action related to it (say, surviving an attack that would've knocked it out), it'll emit hearts.
  • Schrödinger's Question:
    • In the Isle of Armor DLC, Kubfu evolves based on whether you choose to climb the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters, becoming either the Fighting/Dark-Type Single Strike Style Urshifu or the Fighting/Water-Type Rapid Strike Style Urshifu respectively. Depending on which one the player chooses, the other will be locked to them indefinitely.
    • In the Crown Tundra DLC, Calyrex's steed is discovered to be fond of one of two varieties of carrots. Whichever variety the player chooses to grow determines which of two Pokémon is Calyrex's steed, with the other becoming unavailable to the player.
    • Also in the Crown Tundra DLC, the Split-Decision Ruins houses both Regieleki and Regidrago. Depending on what pattern the player inputs into the tiles based on the pattern on the titan's respective faces, the other will become unavailable to the player.
  • Secret A.I. Moves:
    • Eternamax Eternatus is not available to players and is exclusively used as a Max Raid Boss.
    • Max Raid Bosses have two abilities exclusive to them: first, they can remove all stat changes on the field and disable all Abilities for one turn, and second, when their health drops to certain amounts they will erect a barrier that greatly reduces damage taken and requires a certain number of hits to break, but when the barrier goes down, the boss takes damage and has its Defense and Special Defense lowered. No player-owned Dynamax Pokémon can do either of these.
  • Secret Character: Various Pokémon can be obtained in the game despite the fact that they don't have Pokédex entries
    • Mew can be brought into the game through Mystery Gift with a Pokéball Plus (if that particular Plus hasn't already sent a Mew to Let's Go), but it will not show up in the Pokédex.
    • In the original launch of the game, the Bulbasaur and Squirtle lines could be obtained through a Max Raid event. They've since been properly added in The Isle of Armor.
    • In The Isle of Armor, finding enough hidden Alolan Diglett rewards you with the Alolan starter of the same type as your original starter.
    • In The Crown Tundra:
      • After completing the Swords of Justice quest, you can catch Keldeo. Take Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion to the island in Ballimere Lake with the cooking pot, set up camp, and cook up some curry, and Keldeo will appear in the overworld for you to battle and catch.
      • If you have all five Regis (including the Mutually Exclusive Party Members Regieleki and Regidrago), you can take them to an otherwise useless Max Raid Den and take a swing at Regigigas.
      • You can go on Dynamax Adventures and catch various classic legendary Pokémon (not quite so secret, since they're the advertised main prize), as well as the Hoenn starters (actually pretty secret). In addition, catching 5 Ultra Beasts rewards you with a Poipole.
      • After completing the main DLC story, you can get a Cosmog as a gift from a lady in Freezington.
  • Self-Deprecation: In The Isle of Armor, one of the first things you can help Honey buy for the Dojo is a Rotomi terminal. Upon receiving it however, it turns out that you have to pay an additional fee for it to actually work. This sends her into a rant about they're gouging them for more Watts, which sounds very ironic considering that this happens as DLC.
    Honey: They’re simply trying to gouge us for more Watts! Of all the greedy, conniving business practices!
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Copperajah's Pokédex entry states it originates from a far-away region, based off India if its name is any indication.
    • In the Isle of Armor DLC, it's mentioned that Kubfu also came from a mysterious region outside of Galar, rather than being a native. Given that it's based on an Asian black bear and its name, combined with how its evolution Urshifu is classified as the Wushu Pokémon, it seems the region may have Chinese influences.
    • Also from Isle of Armor, there are moments where Mustard mentions preparing for something. What this mysterious something is is never explained in the DLC's story.
  • Serious Business: During the final stretch of the main story, the player and their friends cause a public disturbance, break into a megacoporation's tower, and fight every employee that tries to stop them, culminating in Oleana losing it and Gigantamaxing her Pokémon in an attempt to kick them out. The reason they cause all this chaos? Leon ran late for dinner because his meeting's taking too long. Of course, the meeting is about events that will impact all of Galar, but the player and their companions don't know that yet, and Hop is much more concerned that Leon stood them up.
  • Shield Bash: Zamazenta's entire motif as fast, offensive and defensive. Also, its signature attack, Behemoth Bash.
  • Shout-Out:
    • On November 8th 2019 (a full week before the release date), the official Pokémon channel on Youtube uploaded Toby Fox's contribution to the game, the Battle Tower's theme, and in its description they not only cited him as the creator of Undertale but also said that they "hope it fills you with determination", referencing Undertale's central element as well.
    • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from the trailer showing off the stadiums shows that they have several fictional advertisements strung along the border of them. One of them bears a striking resemblance to a fictional company from one of the most influential animes of the past several decades, Dragon Ball.
    • One of the poses available for your League Card takes inspiration from Kamen Rider.
    • Rolycoly's final evolution, Coalossal, seems to take design cues from Zorah Magdaros.
    • Cinderace's Secret Art, Pyro Ball, has a strong resemblance to Gouenji's Fire Tornado and Rin Natsuki/Cure Rouge's finisher, Pretty Cure Fire Strike.
    • Fans have noted that Obstagoon bears more than a passing resemblance to Gene Simmons.
    • Grimmsnarl's appearance changes from its earlier form Morgrem being mostly red to black and green, looking an awful lot like some versions of Green Goblin.
      • Additionally, Grimmsnarl being wrapped in a "suit" of black hair that it can unweave and use for attacks brings to mind Bayonetta, albeit gender swapped. In fact, Shiny Grimmsnarl having white hair and pink/red skin/accents is reminiscent of Jeanne and her Infernal Demon Summons.
    • Gigantamax Gengar's appearance — a massive mouth with a face and arms — bears an uncanny resemblence to Atomos.
    • Allister's mask closely resembles a Shy Guy, supported by his reason for wearing it being the same.
    • In one room of the Hotel Ionia in Circhester you can assist Detective Howses in working out which of three suspects ate some berries from the lobby.
    • The Spikemuth Gym Challenge is a whole reference to Streets of Rage - dark urban areas, groups of enemies, the way forward consisting of a single path to the right, and any attempt to leave being blocked by invisible walls (that are actually Mr. Mimes using their abilities to box you in), and a "GO!" sign that shows up when you defeat a group of trainers. Like Beat 'em Up enemies, all opponents are weak against Fighting-types.
    • When seeing the new Policeman, who else was reminded of Danny Butterman? This is even funnier when you find out Shigeki Morimoto chose this form for his Oval Charm Doubles battle in the post-game.
    • The final fight's climax involves fighting Eternamax Eternatus, a gigantic abomination resembling a giant hand with the heroes being aided by Zacian and Zamazenta: two wolf-like legendary Pokémon. Makes it highly likely this fight was inspired by the final boss fight from Ōkami.
    • The Postman trainers are pretty much a proportionately-sized Postman Pat with a beard.
    • Similarly, the Taxi Driver trainers strongly resemble Jeremy Clarkson. The Corviknight taxis that they manage also sound a lot like a crazy contraption made out of car parts that would be typically featured on the show.
    • Leon's defeat animation as Champion has him turn away from the camera, then throw his hat into the sky.
    • The Glimwood Tangle marks the halfway point on the Gym Challenge. And being a dark, spooky forest, it's a nod to the first line of The Divine Comedy.note 
    • Galarian Mr. Mime evolves into Mr. Rime, which is classified as the Comedian Pokémon. What does rhyming have to do with comedy, you might ask? Its design is based off of famous English comedy pioneer Charlie Chaplin. Its Hidden Ability, which basically activates a Defog onto the enemy team, is even called Screen Cleaner!
      • Similarly, the name of the Mr. Mime Marcel, not only references the Mr. Mime of the same name from Red and Blue: both most likely share their namesake in famous French mime Marcel Marceau.
    • Near the start of the game, you're wandering around in a foggy area running down a path, then at the end of it, you're thrown into a Hopeless Boss Fight against a very important character in the game with only your Starter Mon, whose attacks deal very little damage and makes the fog grow thicker until the battle ends and you then wake up. You then later return to the same area at the end of the game. Sound familiar?
    • One of the trainers that can challenge you at Wyndon Stadium in the postgame resembles — and shares a name with — English pop star Cher Lloyd.
    • A possible Pokè Job is with a company called "Cozy Fried Kitchen", whose name and logo are an obvious reference to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
    • One of the characters who pass by you in Hulbury talks about a Pokémon that's a great detective.
    • The way Calyrex tames its steed might bring to mind how Link tames wild horses in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Jumping onto its back, struggling to stay on its back as it tries to buck its rider off, then becoming as one once the horse has been tamed. It helps that Glastrier and Spectrier bear light similarities to the Royal White Stallion and the Giant Horse respectively and that Calyrex has what looks like the Triforce as part of its design.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The hill figure in Turffield is a take on the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, England. The scattered rune stones refer to Stonehenge and other similar sites.
    • A majority of locations in Wyndon are direct references to famous areas found in its inspiration, London. For example, the first area you see from the main entrance is based off Picadilly Circus with the famous giant signs, which is connected to an ornate street which looks like it was ripped from Oxford Circus. The city's train station has the "mushroom" ceiling and overall design from King's Cross Station. The ferris wheel seen in the background called the "Galar Hurricane" is an obvious reference to the London Eye and Rose Tower is a take on the Shard. The local monorail trains according to an ad in the station and in the overworld appear to be the same design as the modern Routemasters combined with the DLR.
    • Snom, Grubbin, and other Pokémon that evolve through a pupa phase will eat the huge curry portion despite their small actual size, just like real-world insects that eat ravenously before pupating.
    • Much of the POC in the game are coded to be of Indian descent - given India's status as a former British colony and long history of immigration, it makes sense. In addition, a curry dish is the United Kingdom's national dish, as is Galar's.
    • For as horrifying as Galar's Fossil Pokémon look, they're actually in reference to the Bone Wars, a time where fossil hunters were so competitive with one another, they'd even resort to making up dinosaur species on the spot just to one-up the other guy. No points for guessing how.
    • The "One Pokemon Left/Ace Pokemon" portion of each major battle theme (the gym leader battles, the tournament) feature parts where the crowd is singing a melody. It's actually based on the well-known Beşiktas chant (which now every Turkish team uses) "Üçlü", except without lyrics.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: In contrast to the previous generation, this generation actually does its best not to show every single Pokemon not appearing, skipping over several evolutionary families. Oddly enough, it introduces fully-evolved Pokemon such as Alcremie, Polteageist, and Dreadnaw but didn't even introduce their pre-evolutions in any subsequent trailers. However, two of those three Pokemon were used to promote the Giganatmax forms.
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: In a sharp contrast to the last few games, which balanced plot and characters (with a lean towards the "plot" side), Sword and Shield lean heavily towards the "More Characters than Plot" side. The actual story takes a backseat for the vast majority of the game, only fully culminating at the game's climax during the last hour. Instead, most of the game focuses on the human characters and how their journey across Galar alongside the protagonist shapes them.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The northernmost part of the region is shown to be dominated by a snowy mountain range, roughly the area between Hammerlocke and Wyndon. Circhester is located within this region, and appropriately, is perpetually cold. In Shield, Circhester Stadium is also where you take on Melony, the Ice-type Gym Leader.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: When fighting the second group of Team Yell in Spikemuth, a Mr. Mime, with its Your Mime Makes It Real powers, has made a forcefield:
    There's some kind of invisible wall!
    You can't get through no matter how you try!
  • Solve the Soup Cans: A hidden puzzle in Turffield gives you an Expert Belt if you visit the stones that have Grass, Water, and Fire written on them, in that order. The only hint is a girl near the petroglyph that gives you a riddle. Even if you know the location of where the Expert Belt is buried, you need to solve the puzzle first.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Postgame, you meet Sordward and Shielbert, who have odd names and odder hairstyles, even by the standards of this setting. They're descendants of Galarian royalty and call themselves celebrities. Everyone thinks they're weirdos, with Sonia even calling them such. They're so little-known that only a single NPC in the entire game alludes to their existence, and it's highly likely the player will never meet them. This nameless NPC is in Wydon's hair salon, and only mentions she saw "someone with sword and shield shaped hair."
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • The Pokémon League in the Galar region is run more like an organized sports league than in other games. In previous games you run into the Gym Leaders in order more-or-less by chance, but here, the League sets up a predefined order for the Gym Leaders.
    • Your first battle in the game against Hop also has this, to his detriment. He has two Pokémon to your one, and should have an advantage, but he sends out his weaker Wooloo instead of the one he got from Leon. Knocking out his Wooloo is enough to level up and learn your first STAB move, which lets you take down Hop's starter which has a type disadvantage. Had he started with his stronger Pokémon before yours gets a STAB move, he would've had a chance of beating you right away, and if not, it would've weakened your Pokémon enough for Wooloo to finish them off.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A minor, downplayed example. The theme that plays when you fight Chairman Rose is perhaps one of the scariest, most intense tracks in the series, complete with an ominous pipe organ and latin chanting. However, among the human antagonists so far, Rose is arguably the least evil and threatening, being a pleasant and well-meaning Mega-Corp and Pokemon League chairman who's intentions are good, but extreme. It can be argued that the theme isn't that of the character, but rather a preface for the events that the character ended up causing to come.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The map shows the region to be very straight and narrow. Given that the player's home is on the southern end, the protagonist is both figuratively and literally "working their way up" to become the Champion.
    • The Dreepy line is partially Ghost-type. It's based on the B-2 Spirit.
    • You and Hop battle Macro Cosmos employees on elevator ride up Rose Tower, some of whom have dialogue that advertises the technology of the elevator and their company's subsidiaries. In other words, they're giving you their elevator pitch.
  • Steampunk: The city of Motostoke has a steampunk aesthetic, with rotating gears that let out steam and a general mechanical feel, with rotating elevators being used to travel between the upper and lower levels of the city. In Japanese and German, the city's name is Engine City.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Stow-on-Side is home to a giant mural, which looks like some kid's fingerpainting.
    • All of Peony's Legendary Notes in "The Crown Tundra" are illustrated with childlike crayon drawings. Except the mysterious note hinting that the Ultra Beasts showed up in the Max Lair, which has a screenshot instead.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Gigantamax Meowth has voice acting by the way of saying "Meow meow meow!" upon transforming, unlike its base form. Its lines are provided by Inuko Inuyama, its Japanese voice actor from the Pokémon anime.
  • Super Mode: Trainers with the Dynamax Band possess the ability to have their Pokémon undergo "Dynamax" transformations when they're battling over a location with a Power Spot, which turn them into gigantic versions of themselves. Rarer are Pokémon able to undergo the "Gigantamax" transformations, which alters their appearance, too.
  • Supreme Chef: Implied with the highest classes of curry, Copperajah and Charizard, in which you use good-quality/rare berries and follow the three cooking steps without screwing up (or screwing up too badly). A Charizard Class curry is so delicious that you have stars in your eyes as you scarf down the food cartoonishly fast, while the background shows waving rainbow colors.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Apparently, Aether Paradise was hit with this offscreen, since Beast Balls were leaked to a rural town market and someone was able to steal files allowing Galar scientists to essentially create an Arceus knockoff along with how to produce Silvally's Memory Disks.
  • Sword/Shield Contrast: The two versions of the game are named Sword and Shield. The two box legendaries are Zacian and Zamazenta; the first one wields a sword, while the second one has a mane like a shield.
  • Talking Animal:
    • Downplayed, but a few Pokemon in the game overworld are depicted as being capable of speaking human words to a very limited degree. A good example being an Honedge in a Wyndon hotel which is able to greet guests with a rather drawn-out "welcome." In-universe no one treats this as unusual, and it isn't explained if the Pokémon are normally capable of this or if it requires special training and/or a special individual.
    • In the "Crown Tundra" DLC, Calyrex is apparently fully-fluent in human speech, but in a weakened state needs to temporarily possess an actual human to express their feelings. When it regains its strength it can speak telepathically, something noted in the ancient stone records found on the tundra as well.
  • Tempting Fate: After Bede is taken away for attacking a historical mural site, Sonia states: "I hope the mural survived all that." Said mural crumbles within seconds afterwards.
  • Too Awesome to Use: As in Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon, you get one of each Apricorn Ball (until the post-game) by talking to Ball Guy at each Stadium in the region. A Dream Ball is also among the Balls you can get from him, and you can get a Beast Ball from an NPC in Stow-on-Side after becoming Champion. Unlike Gen VII, however, it is possible to get duplicates of each Poké Ball aside from the Dream Ball, but only via Luck-Based Mission (you have to re-fight the whole final tournament for a small chance at a single randomly-selected special ball, and Save Scumming doesn't work), so many people just keep them in their inventory as souvenirs. However, the Isle of Armor has Apricorns which can be converted into Poké Balls, making the availability much higher and easier.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Avery and Klara's Rare League Cards state that they're getting over their egos after their adventure with the player and are working towards bettering themselves.
  • Tournament Arc: The game takes a page from the anime's notes and replaces the usual Elite Four with one, pitting together the four final Challengers (you, Hop, Marnie, and... whoever the fourth guy who gets destroyed by Hop offscreen is) as a qualifier for another tournament where the Gym Leaders compete for a chance to take on the Champion.
  • Transformation Trinket: Zacian's Rusted Sword and Zamazenta's Rusted Shield. When holding the appropriate item, they transform into their "Crowned" forms, gaining the Steel type and a stat boost; if they have Iron Head, it gets replaced by Behemoth Blade for Zacian or Behemoth Bash for Zamazenta (the two attacks are identical except for their animations).
  • Transforming Vehicle: You get an upgrade for your Rotom Bike that allows you to bike on water by sprouting flotation devices from the wheel hubs.
  • Travelling at the Speed of Plot: The time of day outside of the Wild Area runs off what time it is in the main story, rather than the console clock. In the postgame, the time of day throughout the region matches the console clock.

    U-Z 
  • Unblockable Attack:
    • In a Max Raid Battle, the Dynamax Pokémon occasionally puts up a shield that the game text says blocks all attacks. However, using a super effective attack against it that would normally do considerable damage does deplete the target's HP (as well as take out some of its shield).
    • Along with a handful of moves introduced in earlier installments, a Dynamax/Gigantamax attack are strong enough to hit through moves such as Protect while dealing reduced damage, with text saying the defender couldn't protect itself completely.
    • Urshifu's signature ability in Unseen Fist allows all its contact moves to bypass all protection moves with the exception of Max Guard. Both Single Strike and Rapid Strike forms have signature Gigantamax moves that bypass all protection moves including Max Guard.
  • Underground Monkey: As with the seventh generation, new "regional variants" of existing Pokémon, complete with type changes and new moves and abilities, are introduced. The games also take it a step further by adding completely new evolutions exclusive to these regional variants. They, and their new evolutions, consist of:
    • Galarian Meowth, which has gone from Normal-type to Steel-type. It evolves into Perrserker (replacing Persian), also a Steel-type.
    • Galarian Ponyta and Rapidash, which have gone from Fire-types to a Psychic-type and Psychic/Fairy type, respectively.
    • Galarian Farfetch'd, which has gone from a Normal/Flying-type to a Fighting-type. It evolves into Sirfetch'd, also a Fighting-type.
    • Galarian Weezing, which has gone from Poison-type to Poison/Fairy type. (Koffing, which it evolves from, has not changed.)
    • Galarian Mr. Mime, which has gone from Psychic/Fairy-type to Ice/Psychic-type. (Mime Jr., which it evolves from, has not changed.) It evolves into Mr. Rime, also an Ice/Psychic-type.
    • Galarian Corsola, which has gone from Water/Rock-type to Ghost-type. It evolves into Cursola, also a Ghost-type.
    • Galarian Zigzagoon and Linoone, which have gone from Normal-type to Dark/Normal-type. Linoone evolves further into Obstagoon, also a Dark/Normal-type.
    • Galarian Darumaka and Darmanitan, which have gone from Fire-type to Ice-type, and Darmanitan Zen Mode, which has gone from Fire/Psychic-type to Ice/Fire-type.
    • Galarian Yamask, which has gone from Ghost-type to Ground/Ghost-type. It evolves into Runerigus, also a Ground/Ghost-type (replacing Cofagrigus).
    • Galarian Stunfisk, which has gone from Ground/Electric-type to Ground/Steel-type. Its mouth looks similar to a Poké Ball and the rest of its body resembles a bear trap, luring in Trainers who might mistake it for an item.
    • Galarian Slowpoke is introduced in the version 1.1.0 update of the game, and has gone from Water/Psychic-type to pure Psychic-type. It was also announced that the Expansion Pass, which would add new content to the games at a later date, would include Galarian Slowbro (a Poison/Psychic-type introduced in the "The Isle of Armor" expansion) and Galarian Slowking (introduced in the "The Crown Tundra" expansion).
    • The "The Crown Tundra" expansion also adds Galarian Articuno (changed from Ice/Flying to Psychic/Flying), Galarian Zapdos (changed from Electric/Flying to Fighting/Flying), and Galarian Moltres (changed from Fire/Flying to Dark/Flying).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • The gyms all include a quirky minigame along with Pokémon battles. Allister/Bea's Gym Challenge, for example, involves piloting a vehicle as it slides down a tilted obstacle course. Said vehicle can only move by spinning, accomplished by rotating the analog stick in the direction you want to drive. That being said, you still need to battle at least one Gym-affiliated trainer on the way to the Gym leader.
    • Every gym has a Power Spot to enable Dynamaxing, and the leader always uses it when their last Pokémon comes out. Until you get to the Dark-type gym, which does not allow Dynamaxing, and doesn't even have a proper stadium. This is also the first gym with no minigame leading up to the boss, just a series of trainers to fight.
  • Unfinished Business: Paula, a little girl in Hammerlocke, asks you to deliver a love letter, which the item name and Flavour Text suggest is very old. The recipient, Frank, turns out to be an old man and recounts Paula as a girl he knew as a boy but the two separated when Paula fell ill. After returning to Hammerlocke, the "little girl" disappears and searching where she once was will yield a Reaper Cloth and a message thanking you for delivering the letter.
  • Unflinching Walk: Zacian's Behemoth Blade animation is partly based on this; after slicing the opponent, Zacian stares confidently at the camera as a giant explosion goes off in the background.
  • Uniqueness Decay:
    • Fluffy, the once-signature ability of the Stufful line, is now shared with Wooloo. As it is a pure Normal-type, Wooloo can play a mean game of Confusion Fu, being either weak to Fire or Fighting moves. This can still be circumvented with either physical Fire-type moves or the very rare special Fighting-type moves.
    • In a similar vein to the above, Stakeout was the signature ability of the Yungoos line. Now, it's possible for Nickit and Theivul to have it as their Hidden Ability.
    • Ever since Gen II, Magcargo was the only Rock/Fire-Type Pokémon to be found. Sword and Shield adds two more with Carkol and Coalossal.
    • Aroma Veil used to be the signature ability of the Spritzee line. Now, it's a Hidden Ability for the Milcery line.
    • Up until Corviknight's preevolutions, Rookidee and Corvisquire were introduced, the Noibat line were the only primary Flying-type Pokémon in the series. Rookidee and Corvisquire are also pure Flying-type. Sorry, Tornadus.
    • Someone in Galar got hold of Faba's notes in creating Type: Null. So instead of just a trio, we have a quartet.
    • A lesser example, but Nihilego and Naganadel were considered to be the closest we have to a Poison-type legendary due to being Ultra Beasts. Now there's a legitimate Poison legendary, Eternatus the Gigantic Pokémon, a Poison/Dragon type.
    • Similarly, Eternatus becomes the third Pokémon with the Poison/Dragon typing, originally only held by Naganadel and Dragalge. This makes Sword and Shield the third generation in a row to introduce a Poison/Dragon type Pokémon in the process.
    • With a total of 100 TMs and TR each, there are many moves whose distribution increased noticeably, including moves that formerly were learned only by specific Pokémon, such as Incineroar's Darkest Lariat.
    • Fire Lash, previously the Secret Art of Generation V's Heatmor, is now learned by Centiskorch and Salazzle.
    • Traditionally, only special Pikachu obtained through real-world events or challenges in specific games could learn Surf. Now any Pikachu line can learn the move via TR.
    • Similarly to the above, the only Togepi that could learn Tri Attack was the one received as a Shadow Pokemon in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Now any Togepi can learn the move via TR.
    • The newly introduced Dreepy line have the Dragon/Ghost type combination, which was previously exclusive to Giratina.
    • Before, Larvesta and Volcarona were the only Pokémon with a Bug/Fire type combination. Now, there's Sizzlipede and Centiskorch.
    • Upon its introduction, Dialga was the only Steel/Dragon-Type. Now it shares that type combo with Duraludon.
    • For the longest time, the Gen II starters were the only trio of starters to not start as nor evolve into Pokémon with a dual typing. Now, they share that quirk with the Gen VIII starters.
  • Unwanted Assistance: At higher levels, many of the AI trainers that join Max Raid Battles contribute less than nothing, getting easily KO'd without dealing much damage if any at all. Since the raid fails when any four Pokémon get KO'd, it would be much better to leave their slot empty than for an AI to join.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: After praising the player for completing their training on the Isle of Armor, Mustard says under his breath that maybe they'll be prepared for what's to come, possibly alluding to a follow-up in the Crown Tundra DLC.
  • Variable Mix: Gym Leader battles have at least two themes, both with two versions. The first theme's main melody does not play until you've knocked out at least one of the Gym Leader's Pokémon. When the Gym Leader has only one Pokémon left, the music changes into a series of bridges until the Gym Leader Dynamaxes or Gigantamaxes that Pokémon, upon which the full theme will play that includes the stadium's audience chanting. Notably, since Milo has only two Pokémon in his gym battle, the main melody for the first theme will not play during the match.
  • Version-Exclusive Content:
    • As a series staple several Pokémon are exclusive between the Sword and Shield versions respectively such as the box art Legendaries as well as some new Galarian Forms.
    • Each game has two gym leaders exclusive to it which can only be battled in a particular version. Bea (Fighting-type) and Gordie (Rock-type) for Sword, and Allister (Ghost-type) and Melony (Ice-type) for Shield.
    • In terms of the Curry Dex, Bob's Food Tin and Bach's Food Tin can only be bought via the Ingredients seller in Sword and Shield respectively. You can still cook with a friend who owns the other ingredient or find them as a gift from wild Pokémon who wander onto your campsite.
    • Pokémon encountered in Max Raids are technically version-exclusive, but in case of multiplayer Max Raids, the encountered Pokémon is determined by the copy that hosts the battle, allowing owners of one version to encounter and potentially catch their own copy of a Pokémon exclusive to the other version. Which means that, for instance if owners of both versions work together on catching all Legendaries in the Max Lair, every player can get their own specimen of each species, including the version-exclusive ones, if the players take turns hosting raids.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In some instances, Hop will step in with his party of Pokémon to assist you in a double battle. For those that don't like Hop, they can opt to knock out all of his Pokémon and go solo afterwards.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: One of the trainer card backgrounds is a picture of Leon doing his Charizard pose. Using the right position and pose, you can make it look like you're stroking his dick.
  • Visible Silence: While camping, a bored or unsure Pokémon will have a set of ellipses in its speech bubble when spoken to.
  • Visual Pun: The logos for both games visually look like how you would use the weapon they describe. While the "Sword" title obviously has a slash across it, the "Shield" title has a shockwave akin to a Shield Bash.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In the Wyndon Battle Cafe, you can interact with a Palpitoad and its trainer in front of a trash bin; the former's animation and the latter's dialogue (talking about how Palpitoad ate too much) imply that the Palpitoad is vomiting into the bin.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The third Gym Leader, Kabu, has three fully-evolved Pokémon, and is your introduction to G-Max moves. Even the Gym Leaders consider him a big hurdle, since a lot of Gym Challengers give up when they can't beat his gym.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first Gym Leader, Milo, only has a Gossifleur and a Dynamax Eldegoss, neither of which are really threats if you have type advantage — those who picked Scorbunny as their starter basically get a free win, and the Wild Area has plenty of options for everyone else to catch.
  • We Interrupt This Program: Right before the climactic final battle against Champion Leon, Chairman Rose suddenly appears on the jumbotron and announces to all of Galar that he's basically started the apocalypse. Whoops.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Big Bad is a genuinely amicable and kind person who cares about Galar’s future. The only problem is that Chairman Rose awakens Eternatus and brings about the Darkest Day in order to solve an energy crisis that’s a millennium away from becoming a problem, which Leon rightfully points out.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying:
    • Eternatus's Dynamax Cannon move is powered up to a whopping 200 base power (not accounting for STAB) when used against a Dynamaxed or Gigantamaxed Pokémon. In contrast to how most raids in Pokémon GO had a few different counters depending on the boss's stats and weaknesses, Eternatus is the solution to all raids due to this move alone, its gargantuan Special Attack and powerful STAB Poison-type attacks to take care of Dynamax Cannon-immune Fairies. And in case you run into a Mawile, it knows Flamethrower.
    • By holding the Rusted Sword (Zacian) or the Rusted Shield (Zamazenta) in tandem with knowing the Iron Head move, Zacian and Zamazenta can learn Behemoth Blade and Behemoth Bash, which do the same thing as Dynamax Cannon, albeit Steel-typed and physical. Zacian fits the role better due to having a staggering 170 Attack and a free Attack boost for the move to run off of, but Zamazenta's 130 attack can still hurt.
  • Wham Shot: After setting foot in the recently-opened Battle Tower, you can see a Gym Challenge helper nonchalantly standing next to a Type: Null, since that's a gift to you for completing the challenge and becoming Champion. The Pokédex then reveals why it's in Galar in the first place.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Refusing to battle Hop after Bede crushes his spirit and tells him he's a failure, sending him into a depressed funk to help him out of said issue has him explicitly call you out for not helping your depressed friend.
  • Where It All Began:
    • When Chairman Rose unleashes the Darkest Day at the end of the game, the player needs Zacian and Zamazenta to stop it, one of which was encountered in the Slumbering Weald at the beginning of the game.
    • Much of the post-game's "final" battles take place in the Slumbering Weald - your rematches with Hop and battles with Sordward and Shielbert.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Postgame, Sonia remarks that the names "Sordward" and "Shielbert" are ridiculous and refers to the two as "weirdos" onward.
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • In addition to a plethora of colors that weren't in the sixth or seventh generation, contacts now come in heart, star and fiery flavors.
    • When you cook up a Charizard Class curry (the highest rank possible), you find the food so delicious that you have stars in your eyes as you gobble up spoonfuls of curry.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: The symbol for Dynamax/Gigantamax is, of course, a great big stylized "X" hybridized with the kanji for "large" (大).

 
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Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Sword, Pokemon Shield

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Cool dogs don't look at explos

Zacian uses its signature move, Behemoth Blade, causing its target to explode behind it.

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