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Wild Mass Guesses pertaining to previous seasons and films of Pokémon: The Series.

  • Confirmed and Jossed guesses concerning the Best Wishes saga are located here.
  • Confirmed and Jossed guesses concerning the X and Y saga are located here.
  • Guesses for the Alola saga are located here.
  • WMGs for future movies and Anime episodes/seasons belong under Pokémon Future Films. (That means guesses for the Galar and Paldea regions go here.)
  • Guesses on the identity of Ash's father are go here.
  • Click here for WMGs on Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations.
  • For all other Pokemon Media, see Pokémon. There is also a page for crossovers

Please place entries within their respective folders.

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General, Anime-Meta, and Current Generation To-Date:

    Ash and Pikachu's "Powers" 
Ash himself
Ash somehow sweats the primary ingredient of Rare Candies.
Rare Candy are items in the game that instantly level a Pokemon. Ash has somehow leveled up and evolved Pokemon that he's never trained prior to that episode.
  • Likewise, Jessie's and James's tears are made of Rare Candy. That's why Koffing and Ekans evolved when they were crying.
    • Along with James' toe. Magikarp and Primeape for starters.
      • Wait a second... that must mean... Rare Candy is people!
      • Or that the main ingredient in Rare Candy is something akin to taurine, and Ash has a serious condition...
      • Supercondense it and fuse with a Pikanium Z, and you get Pikashunium Z.
    • If that's true, then why don't they just cry on Meowth so he'll learn Pay Day, and they won't have to work for Team Rocket anymore? Then they can get rich easy!
      • Because Pay Day uses the trainer's own money in the attack, which is picked up afterwards.
      • Erm, it doesn't work that way. You can have 0 Pokedollars, use Payday on a wild Pokemon, then pick up a small amount of Poke right after the battle.
      • Because Meowth can't learn payday. It's not a matter of levels, he's physically incapable of it since he learned to talk. It's been stated repeatedly throughout the years and forcing him to level up has already been tried.
      • Pay Day might use the attacking pokemon's own money, Meowths are said to find shiny objects. Team Rockets Meowth would not throw away money like that.

Ash always visits the eight weakest gyms in a region.
Any "Strongest Gym Leader is Kanto/Hoenn/Johto" guff is just townspeople or apprentices, or even the Gym Leader, bragging. That's why he never wins Pokemon League tournaments. Gary probably went after some of the stronger gyms first, and could barrel through the other gyms with ease, which is part of why he could get ten badges in the time it took Ash to get seven (aside from not stopping to help people as often). "Legendary" gym leaders cheat (Norman's underleveled Slaking) or are famous for other things, like being a hero or having a big fancy gym that attracts trainers who are impressed by a big construction budget (it's been shown in canon that stronger or better gym leaders are passed over or even kicked out of the league for budget/territory concerns, so why couldn't a really strong gym leader be unnoticed because their city is too small for the Town Map?).
  • Well, Gary got ten badges that fast because he had a CAR, while Ash was on foot. So I think being three badges behind someone with a car is actually a pretty good accomplishment.
  • I noted two problems in his arguments:
    1. Is funny you mention Gary, he not only lost both Pokemon League tournaments he participated, but in both with a worst position than Ash. Come on, the second time he was defeated by Ash himself!
    2. Yes, Ash lost all the Pokemon League tournaments he participated. In compensation, both his more recent defeats were by an inch- in Johto against a guy that lost only to the guy that ended turning champion, without use his best Pokemon because he was seriously injured during the fight against Ash. In Hoenn, against the guy that ended winning the tournament. In Sinnoh, against the guy that ended up winning the tournament again, since the jerk had A FREAKING DARKRAI AND A LATIOS.

Ash's Haunter is still with him
Shortly after Ash left Haunter with Sabrina it evolved into a Gengar and decided to catch up with Ash for some reason (perhaps it just got bored of playing with Sabrina) and hid in his shadow. Gengar has been stealthily helping Ash throughout his journey ever since.

Ash's near-death experiences have caused him to suffer brain damage.
This would go to explain why Ash seems to forget vital information about Pokemon, and generally being Too Dumb to Live. For the same reason, Team Rocket became incompetent because the hundreds of blasting offs have caused severe head injury. Ash and Team Rocket becoming more competent is due to their head-injuries healing.

Ash intentionally ensures that he always either leaves a loose end or fails to come in first in any meaningful championship
He has just enough fourth wall awareness to realize that, if he ever conclusively wins anything or solves all problems and goals he has at a given time, it means his adventures would end, he'd start aging, and need to get a real job.

Ash had a Skill Point Reset on himself between Diamond and Pearl and Best Wishes
This explains why he seemed to Restart at Level One in Best Wishes. It did have a positive effect, however:

During his early campaigns, Ash was an out and out Hypno Fool, going 0-4 in Will Saves versus compulsion; the only reason Cassidy and Braid's Drowzee didn't work on Ash was because it targeted Pokemon only. But in Decolora and Kalos, he is 2-0 in similar Will Saves.note 

The truth about Ash
Ash is actually an experimental android. Unfortunately, his memory banks can only hold so much, so they have to reset his strategical knowledge after each league. Thus explaining why he becomes a noob again at the start of each arc.

This also means he doesn't have a father.

Ash's hidden Aura power is slowly developing as time passes.
It was said that Ash has the same aura as Sir Aaron, an Aura Guardian, and he did used some aura power, deliberately. The theory is that he has subconsciously been using his aura powers from the get go and knowing about it gave him a bit of a boost in developing it. It, very slowly since he doesn't train it, then culminated in forming the Ash-Greninja through his bond with Greninja.

Pikachu - Experience-based

Ash's Pikachu has an EXP Limiter of some sort...
...similar to what the gym leaders would have to have in order to use their Pokemon for more than a few battles without it becoming unfair to trainers.

Ash's Pikachu from the first few episodes is the original Godchu. The current one is a fake.
Okay, we saw Pika take down a flock of spearow by itself with massive power. The Spearow disappeared. This was clue one. Next, Pika's ultimate power was unlocked by Ash supercharging it in Pewter. This gave it the power to effectively damage any Pokemon. Even Ground-types, as shown with Brock's Geodude. Poke Mart also knew, and decided that Capitalistnote  Team Rocket COULD NOT get their hands on it on the off chance they succeeded. So, the next Pokemon center Ash visits, BAM. Switcheroo. Who would guess? No one, that's who. So now Godchu is sitting alone in a special room, where its power is being hidden, just in case someone comes close to possibly bringing them down. Never mess with Pokemart.

Ash switches out his Pikachu with each new region.
After defeating everything important in Kanto, plus a ton of other crap, Pikachu should probably be level 60 or so. After he then defeats Johto (with Pikachu fainting against gym leaders) Pikachu should be in the high 80s to even 100. And then when they get to Sinnoh, Pikachu would be on the verge of breaking the level barrier (if electric hits ground, it's a possibility) and yet is defeated by a level 14 Rampardos, among other low level creatures. Despite Cranidos being a glass cannon. The only explanation for these losses? It's a new Pikachu that starts the new region off at level 5. Maybe the original one's kids.
  • Or maybe tomato ketchup is the opposite of Rare Candy, like how certain berries work as anti-vitamins.
    • Well, Tamato berries do reduce Speed EVs.

The reason Pikachu was beaten by Trip.
Pikachu has been used so often and leveled up so much, its levels looped back to their original. This is because what gives Pikachu its extra power will overload Pikachu's body over time, and experience is vented out to prevent it from being overwhelmed by its own power.
  • Presumably, this happens at the beginning of each new season of the anime, not just BW, since Pikachu gets depowered each time they hit a new region.

What is this "Light Ball"?

Ash's Pikachu had somehow ingested a Light Ball prior to being caught by Oak, thus doubling his Special Attack (and Attack starting in the DP arc).
This could be the reason Pikachu fries even Ground Pokemon and utterly pulverizes everything else. This is also the reason he's wanted by Jessie and James. Oak probably captured Pikachu in the first place because he wanted to study it, to know why it was more powerful than its brethren. This could also be why Pikachu refuses to evolve: it knows this at some level, and it knows it would become a normal Raichu after evolving.
  • Pokemon Yellow gives this idea some support - if the starter Pikachu is traded to Gold or Silver, it will be holding a Light Ball.
  • Also supported by HeartGold and SoulSilver; Red's Pikachu is holding a Light Ball, Red from Generation I having been the basis for Ash, and Red having had his party at least partially based on Ash's from the anime. (Spoiler tags added just to be safe.)
    • Then how do you explain the Espeon, which is from the manga?
      • It's switched out for a Lapras in HG/SS.
      • Nitpicking, but Espeon isn't based on the games. It's based on the event Eevee. A few other important trainers already had an Umbreon.

Anime Pikachu's "Volt Tail" is actually Thunderpunch.
Fact 1: The Pikachu line can learn Thunderpunch from an Ampharos as an Egg move. Fact 2: Pokemon can use different body parts for the same move (Slam, Cut, etc.). Pikachu had an Ampharos in his ancestry, and used his tail, since his arms are little.

Pikachu has always been holding a Light Ball!

Ash's Pikachu was bred from his father's Pikachu.
Ash's Pikachu knows Volt Tackle, a move that only a Pikachu that was the result from breeding can learn (and when the mother has a Light Ball to boot!) Given how what little we know about the elusive Mr Ketchum suggests he's a skilled trainer, he probably bred his Pikachu/Raichu at some point, and may have given it to Professor Oak in case he runs out of traditional starters. When hearing Ash was about to turn 10, his dad donated a Light Ball, expecting his son would probably not get there in time for another starter, so that Pikachu would be more competitively useful

How Pikachu is able to hurt ground type Pokémon with electric attacks
Pikachu has a very strong disposition for the Color of Armaments haki.
  • Alternatively, he just aims for the eye or other openings in the skin, getting past the immunity.

Ash's Pikachu is already partially evolved.
In Electric Shock Showdown, Ash procures a Thunderstone and considers using it, and Pikachu hits it away. That brief contact was enough exposure to start the changes that would have it evolve into Raichu, but not enough to do anything that would be externally visible. It therefore combines the power of a fully evolved Raichu (or at least, a partially evolved Raichu) with the smaller, more nimble body of a Pikachu, allowing it to do things that would normally be impossible, such as "Thunder Armor" and "Volt Tail". (It still doesn't explain how it managed to take down a Rhydon just by aiming for its horn—the only explanation for that is that the first season really didn't give a crap about game mechanics.)
  • Perhaps Pikachu managed to overload the Rhydon's lightning-rod horn...?
  • Later seasons don't care much for mechanics either. Meowth (Normal-type) gets hit by a Shadow Ball (Ghost-type attack), used by a Weavile.
    • We can safely say that this particular Meowth is not normal. (We can say the same thing about Ash, judging by the end of Mewtwo Strikes Back.)
    • Or we can speculate that there is a Dark-type attack that resembles the Ghost-type attack we call Shadow Ball so much that it's easy to confuse them, and the Pokemon experts have not yet realized they are two separate attacks. Weavile are Dark-type, so that particular Weavile happened to know the Dark-type version.
      • So, Dark Pulse?

Zekrom didn't restore all of Pikachu's power after the Level Drain in BW001.
That would explain why several trainers have easily beaten Pikachu.

Pikachu is not Left-Pawed.

Pikachu self-restricts in every new region.
See Proud Warrior Race Guy. It would be no fun if Pikachu just God Moded his way through every new region, nor would it be fair to Curb-Stomp Battle the low-levelled Pokemon at the starting area, so he restricts his performance to a level consistent with a starter / average level for the area. Not only is he working under a Self-Imposed Challenge, but his Willfully Weak performance allows the other Pokemon on Ash's team a chance to shine.

Ash suffers from Munchausen's Syndrome By Proxy
Think about it- when was the last time he won a league match to decide a championship? No, there was a time- He defeated Drake in the Orange Islands saga. Back in season two. Does anyone remember the Orange Islands? No, it was a filler arc over ten years ago. Shortly after, Ash has his run-in with Casey where Brock and Misty root for her instead of him. Why? He's not an underdog anymore. Ash decides then that he can't get attention and support unless he loses battles he should be capable of sweeping without blinking. Because of this, he intentionally de-levels Pikachu between seasons using the Bad Seeds from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Okay, sure, he won the Battle Frontier championship, but the point stands- no one cares about his two wins, everyone gripes about how he loses to Person We Don't Care About #7.
  • It's contentions as to whether that was an actual Tournament as opposed to a Frontier-style challenge. But the core point stands.
  • This came back to bite him in Unova. Not only was Pikachu actually burned by Zekrom's Lightning reducing the effectiveness of his electric attacks until he developed Electro Ball, but Ash didn't get any real respect from Iris.note  In addition he lost that league to Cameron, who's an even worse Idiot Hero than he was, and regressed in standing. In the following campaign,note  he effectively said, "Screw it, Pikachu, let's just be who we are!" The result earned him a great deal of respect from Clemont and Bonnie, effectively installing Ash as The Mentor of the team.note  Whether or not he's cured only future (game) generations will tell.

Pikachu is training Ash as much as the other way around.
Goes with the above. Pikachu wants Ash to be "the very best, like no one ever was" too, so the things he does are to help Ash get better. He's also acted like Big Brother Mentor to other Pokemon, who go on to become stellar examples of their kind.

Ash and Pikachu made a deal that wasn't shown to not go all out so as to give the rivals and gym leaders a chance and to avoid boring victories
Personally, this feels a bit more realistic then the way the anime does it. Also, Trip will get the shock of his life should Ash go all out.

Ash's Pikachu if it becomes a Raichu will become a real literal Godchu.
Hell, it's that strong has a Pikachu; if it were to become a Raichu, it would probably be the Pokemon version of Bleach's Kenpachi in terms of how damn crazy awesomely powerful it would be.
  • Team Rocket seem to think so; at one point, they stole Ash's Thunder Stone.

Ash has the same mutation as Shizuo from Durarara!!.
Some might remember that time Ash all but effortlessly tossed Mewtwo, a Pokémon that weighs over 250 pounds. Not to mention various other cases where he's carried Pokémon that would at least put a strain on a professional weightlifter. I believe this is the result of him having a rare mutation that increases his strength tremendously every time he's injured. I mean, he accumulated and subsequently shrugged off enough to leave the average man in traction over the course of the series. Perhaps the only reason he can't simply fist fight a Lucario is that he's completely unaware of his own strength (and doesn't have the fighting experience to land a blow anyway).

Ash and Pikachu have had something similar to the Bond Phenomenon since the very beginning.
But, unlike with Ash-Greninja, there's not any sort of visible change or effect - It only affects Pikachu's strength. While Pikachu's always a stronger than average, there's been times when he hasn't been able to get Team Rocket to blast off, only to be able to once again when Ash shows up. At other times, his strength takes a sudden nosedive when he and Ash are caught off-balance or get out of sync. When he and Ash work together perfectly, though, they can accomplish incredible feats, which has been seen time and time again.

    Ash Ketchum: Not Allowed To Grow Up (and other timeline issues) 
About the passage of time in the Anime universe...
Since it would be patently ridiculous for Ash to still be 10 years old in the Anime verse, and yet a 1:1 ratio leads to a whole other set of problems, this troper proposes that time passes as follows in the Anime:

Each official region (like Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn) equals one year. That means all the seasons that take place in a particular region up through the Pokemon League challenge equal one year of time.

Each unofficial region or filler arc (that is, the Battle Frontier and the Orange Islands) is equal to half a year.

That would mean as of the beginning of the Sinnoh region, Ash would be 14 years old, a number this troper can happily live with.

  • Prior to BW001, there was nothing saying Ash hadn't aged at all. According to Pokemon Anime Timeline Theory, Ash was at a minimum of ten years, ten months and ten days according to Takeshi Shudo's anime novelizations. Each Pokemon League and Grand Festival window is one year, confirmed by AG114. It is very possible that Kanto was not covered in a full year, but it is confirmed via EP009, EP020 and Holiday Hi-Jynx that the time passage was at least 2+3 months, and several months in EP031. Pichu and Pikachu, the Pikachu Short in which Ash celebrates the one-year anniversary of receiving Pikachu from Professor Oak, takes place circa EP150. Considering Johto began around EP110, and ended around EP272, this would be relatively soon in Johto. This means that Kanto and the Orange Islands took place in the same year, and even in the same four months. Johto took up the second year, Hoenn the third, the Battle Frontier is four, and Ash would be 15 or 16 by the end of Diamond and Pearl. It is also possible that Iris's "You're such a kid" line is an inside joke about the fact that although there has been a clear time passage, Ash has not aged.
  • IIRC, around the time he battled Koga, it was mentioned that he'd been on the road for about a year. So, 14 and a half, maybe?'
  • It's also possible that rather, with each region, Ash is gaining his badges quicker than the previous region. So if say in the Kanto region he took a year and a half, possible by Johto, he's only taken a year and two months, and by Hoenn, he's down to 11 months, etc. Also, each region hold their Leagues are different times of the year, so it's possible for the timing to work out. Except for Johto, which share a league with the Kanto region, however this could be explained with the league alternating its date each year, to allow trainers the chance to win the eight badges necessary. And, each town or village isn't too far away from each other; the forests are just small boundaries for Pokemon wildlife to thrive but otherwise will take between less a day or week tops to pass - it's quite possible that each episode is showing us every DAY that passes on in Ash's life (or multiple days for those episodes that show it changing from one day to the next). And we have seen Ash at least age up to 11 somewhere in his Johto journey, so the idea that he's 14 would still stand within reason.

You're all wrong. Word of God has already stated that Ash is still 10 years old. He doesn't age because the producers don't want him to... the same applies to every other character. Doesn't make sense, but this wouldn't be the first time this happens.

  • In the coming XY season of the show, Ash turns eleven. And the change is noticeable. Go here if you want proof. You'll have to scroll down a bit.
    Kunihiko Yayuma: Time has not passed since the start of the journey. Ash is eternally 10 years old.

Ash doesn't age because of his relationship with the legendaries.
I'm sure if you're able to make friends with Pokemon able to manipulate time and whatnot, looking a...few years younger isn't that hard.

Why Ash is forever 10, and the end of Pokémon
Pokéballs emit a field of radiation which mutates anyone exposed to it, eventually ceasing their aging and turning them immortal. Unfortunately for Ash, in-utero exposure to this radiation has a one in a million chance of causing this to happen before one reaches puberty, and his mother was exposed to a major radiation leak on a tour of Silph Co. when she was a traveling trainer; she's just finishing radiation therapy by the time Ash's journey starts, which is what Mr. Mime was for. However, Ash was also gifted with an aura that makes pretty much anyone and anything see him as a friend, allowing him to easily tame any 'mon. The series will end with a "There can be only one" Highlander scenario, where Ash eliminates the competition with his army of animal slaves, leaving only his closest friends (and female companions) alive. And Team Rocket for comic relief.
  • You forget that Mr. Mime was made part of the family after Ash got 8 Badges.

Ash has a congenital disease that runs in the family.
This is the most logical explanation I could think of for Ash. And this would also explain why his mother Delia looks so youthful.
  • Delia is only 29, so it makes sense that she's still youthful.

Ash suffers from a genetic disease that will make him look 11 years old until he dies from it.
Like Kanata, the missing parent died of the same thing. The only thing still keeping Ash from constant suffering is the Pokemon tears from the first movie.

Seeing the talking Meowth stops people from aging.
Team Rocket's Meowth has some sort of subconscious Fountain of Youth power. Both Jessie and James have been children at some point, so it can't be them, it has to be the Meowth. Anybody who's spent time in the anime has likely met Team Rocket at least once, and that's all it takes, they'll be stuck that age forever. This is notable, since in Dawn's first episode, Meowth tells Dawn, a ten year old girl, that they've been chasing Pikachu since before she was alive, referring to the fact that the show has been around for ten years. So canonically ten years really have passed, and everybody else seems to be aging normally. That is until they meet that magical, talking Meowth....

In the anime, all filler is non-canon
That's why Ash is still only ten, 90% of the episodes we see aren't really happening. Only episodes where something significant happen, new catch/new attack/badge/contest/relevant battle/released Pokémon, the rest are just irrelevant.

"Ash" is actually a group of clones, much like the Nurse Joy's and Officer Jenny's, designed to record data all over the Pokémon world in a relatively quick manner
Originally, Professor Oak simply employed the original Ash Ketchum to help record data in Kanto (and perhaps in Johto and the Orange Islands); Oak was involved in a project to document the entire Pokémon world. However, Ash was taking much too long for Oak's needs, so Ash pays Professor Oak a special visit. After Oak examines Ash's body (strictly for research; I know what some of you may be thinking), he fires up his cloning machine; soon after, Professor Oak creates several slightly-different copies of Ash to document different regions of the world.

This explains why Ash never seems to age: first of all, all of these region documentation missions take place around the same time. The clones are not engineered to age, either. The clones are engineered to place their utmost attention on their mission (explaining why none of them get caught up in love). In case anyone begins to suspect what is going on, Oak plants "memories" of what other Ash's have done into a particular clone.

Ash died when he was turned into a ghost during episode 23. And he STAYED dead.
Remember how Haunter turned Ash into a ghost, but Ash eventually came back to life? Well guess what? He didn't. Instead, his soul was merged with a ghost Pokemon who then possessed his body. This is both why he doesn't seem to change, why no one can vividly recall him until they see him (with the exception of people who knew him before he was alive). But it gets better.

See, his father is, in fact, a demon who was trying to kill Ash so that Ash could be reborn as the dark messiah (who would thus free the father from hell, which he can't escape, but he can briefly overpower to manipulate the world. The people of Pallet are ALL, in fact, worshipers of this demon. However, the plan was slightly foiled by various Pokémon, including the ghost Pokémon who prevented Ash from full awakening by joining his soul. Now, Ash is unknowingly a demon in training. The reason he seeks to make so many "friends" is because he is, in fact, marking their souls and enslaving them, but in exchange he grants their desires. For people who follow him an especially long time (such as Team Rocket and Brock), he gains special control, removing any will to resist. However, since he doesn't KNOW he's a demon, all of this works subconsciously, which just makes him seem like an odd but friendly boy. Eventually, however, Ash will mark enough souls to truly awaken. When this occurs, EVERY person and Pokémon he's "befriended" will become his slave, giving him enough power to open hell.

  • ......Whoever wrote this needs therapy

The anime is in Anachronic Order.
Hence why pikachu's power levels keep changing and why the movies that supposedly took place before Best Wishes are still set in places based off places outside of Japan. And nobody ages to hide this.

Ash doesn't age because he's not alive.
Specifically, he's a ghost. Remember the episode where we were introduced to Haunter? Contrary to popular belief, Ash and Pikachu didn't come back to life. Haunter simply made it seem like he was, removing their bodies. Ash and Pikachu are completely unaware that they're still dead, as they believe they are alive. The reason why Pikachu isn't a ghost type? The same as why Ghost Marowak is only Ground. Ash and Pikachu never age in personality or body because they still think they're alive, meaning they can never pass the 10-year mark. This may also explain his continued disintrest in women: ghosts aren't affected by hormones. Should Ash and Pikachu ever realise this, everyone will notice them as ghosts, and they could be under threat by Dusknoir trying to drag them to the afterlife. They may even know it subconsciously: being "turned to stone" in the movie is a disguise.

Ash is never going to age or stop journeying
First off, this isn't my theory. I saw it somewhere. Second, I'm surprised no one else has said this.

Remember back in the very 1st episode when Ash saw Ho-Oh? Ho-Oh's Pokedex entry in Gen IV states "It possesses seven-colored wings. It is said that those who see Ho-Oh are promised an eternal happiness." (its Gen V dex entries are pretty much the same). If this is true Ash was given eternal happiness, which, for him, is being a kid on a journey with Pokemon.

On Eternal Happiness
In Episode One of the First Season Ash sees Ho-oh, and it is said if you look at it, you are granted Eternal Happiness. People like to say that's why Ash is forever Ten. But what if that isn't Eternal Happiness to Ash? Think about it, when you think your about to die saving someone else, you feel good about yourself, you get Closure and Happiness (Or at least, with some people), Which was what he was about to do—Save Pikachu's life and maybe lose his. Eternal Happiness to him at that moment was making sure Pikachu lived, that's why Pikachu was able to last long enough to get to the Pokemon Center.

However, Pikachu also saw Ho-oh, and that rule doesn't mean you have to be Human to get eternal Happiness. Pikachu realized he was being a total Dick to Ash earlier, and when he realizes that Ash is still going to save his life, he decides he would be Happy if Ash would be able to start over—He thinks he's about to die, so he wants him to move on and get a new Starter, one who will actually work with him and not be a total Dick.

Pikachu, under normal circumstances, might have actually died, with Ash not being quick enough to get to the Pokecenter, but he was. And since Pikachu didn't die, Ash never had to get a new Starter—Which is something you get at Age 10. So Pikachu either has to Die, or stop being his Pokemon, and Ash has to get a new one, for Ash to start aging again.

Because making sure Pikachu safe is what made him Happy. -Raxal

  • Kind of Jossed when you consider that Ho-oh's 3rd appearance was seen by multiple people. Let's examine the record:
    • May: Probable in her case considering she leaves for Johto to compete in contests (and follow Drew).
    • Brandon: Possible: He later goes on to befriend RegiGigas.
    • Brock: Questionable: He has slightly better luck with the ladies in Sinnoh than he does in Hoenn, but also undergoes a career change at the end of Sinnoh.
    • Scott: Likely Jossed: He doesn't get Ash's services and possibly later loses Brandon's.
    • Max: Likely Jossed as well, when you consider him to be a big fan of Ash's. Depends, in part, on how his own journey progresses (if it even starts).
      - Donald the Potholer

The only real challenge with my idea is with Scott, we don't know about Max's Journey yet, but seeing as how he was with a group of people who have done multiple League Runs, and defeated the Battle Frontier, it's not unreasonable to assume he picked up some useful stuff from his time spent with the Party, and could have later on gone on to be a great Pokemon Trainer.

However, Getting someone to be the Frontier Brain wasn't happiness to Scott (I don't know what it is, but it most likely wasn't that) when he offered the Position to Ash, it was just a business opportunity, it's not like there aren't any other people who could take over the Position of Frontier Brain (For instance, Ritchie, Cynthia, Lance, etc.) -Raxal

The Pokemon tears in Movie 1 gave Ash eternal youth
Which is why he never ages.

Ash stays young by sucking the life out of virgins.
Hense the various female companions.
  • And the reason why they leave is because they catch on. Also, you could say the same for his male companions, isn't that right Brock?

Ash has finally aged beyond 10
This is probably on the list every time a new series rolls around, but, look at Ash in this Kalos trailer. He looks older now, at least 15. Has Ash FINALLY aged beyond the 10 year old he's been stuck as for nearly two decades?
  • Nope. He's still 10.
    • He's an older 10?

Each region is an Alternate Universe from the previous season.
Ash is still 10 because each season is a different version of him starting his Pokemon journey. Yes this leaves some plot holes, but far fewer than Ash being perpetually 10.
  • Then how did he recall the Johto summo match in Delocura, for example?
  • This theory is JOSSED highly. Due to continuity of All Ashes of every series IS the same guy.

Ash ten years old forever because he's holding an everstone.
Humans might have evolved from Pokemon, after all...

The reason Ash is still 10 years old is because.
A) Dialgia did something screwy to the timeline, or B) he's not, but he claims to be so his mom can avoid paying more in taxes.

The Pokemon world really does have 4 month years, Ash's age is just being given in "our" years
This explains how years can pass but Ash can still be 10.

Ash will finally age in the next anime series
Ken Sugimori talked about gen. VII in an interview. They might make Ash thirteen finally.
  • Whut? The only thing I heard him being interviewed about was on the designs for Gen VII's Pokemon. And that's all he's likely to be talking about- he's the head designer, not any sort of writer, and certainly not for the anime.

Arceus is constantly recreating the universe.
Every time a new generation comes into being, it's because Arceus decided to reboot the universe so that nobody notices its new creation coming into being. Ash is the Chosen One, so he gets to retain his memories and achievements. His friends and enemies remembering is just internal consistency on Arceus' part. It does a similar activity with the games, but doesn't keep them in a single year-maybe it's doing it For the Lulz with Ash and co.

Ash is a time traveller.
Whenever the year is over, Arceus and Dialga transports Ash back in time another year with all his possessions. Why is Arceus doing this? The world keeps getting into trouble in the same year, and The Chosen One can't be everywhere he needs to be in a single year. Whenever one of Ash's earlier Pokemon or friends appears it is because of a)Dialga sends them back in time as well to help out, b)it's on the ever shrinking sliver of a year when all his previous adventures took place or c)Dialga gives them False Memories so they're none the wiser. Jessie and James are stuck in the same constant time travelling because they followed Ash into the time portal he uses. Ash is still 10, from a linear perspective. In reality he's 16 minimum(possibly 26, and Dialga keeps him young to continue this farce as long as possible. Which will probably be a very long time, given the anime.

Ash will not aged until he has fulfill his destiny of defeating Giovanni and bringing down Team Rocket.
Team Rocket is destined to be defeated by young 10-year kids. As the anime counterpart of Red, Ash has the potential of bring down and disbanding the Team Rocket organization as whole. Giovanni realized this and deliberately scaled back most of his major operations so that Ash would not trace them back to him. He plans to wait and build up strength until Ash is too old to fit the criteria of the Team Rocket disbanding trainer. Dialga realize this, and thus deliberately slow down the aging progress of the world to a halt so that Ash won't lose his chance of defeating Team Rocket for good.

Ash is still ten because a year hasn't actually passed in the Pokeverse, and because he possibly wasn't QUITE ten when he started his journey.
While the English dub notes that years pass, I don't believe the Japanese version notes such a thing. I propose that years are three times as long as our years in the Pokeverse (and people age at a third the rate to match). When playing the games on which the anime is based, a season (about three months) lasts only one month (roughly three weeks with a few days extra) and each season repeats three times a year (Winter in April, August, and December; Spring in January, May, and September; Summer in February, June, and October, and Autumn in March, July, and November). Supposing the anime works the same way (and it's hard to tell what seasons they're in during the anime because the weather depends on the location they're in), Ash has the year off because he wants to become a Pokemon Master, and he's given a year off schooling to gain the real-world experience he needs to do so. If the years are three times as long, then that's about what, 1,095 days per year? As to him not being quite ten yet, kids will always boast their age (being six and a half, for instance instead of just six). Ash just exaggerated a little, ageing himself up by a few months for simplicity's sake (instead of saying he's nine-and-three-quarters, he just said ten). Ash is very boastful, at least initially, and prone to saying he's more powerful than he really is. Why not boast he's a little older than he really is, too? At least, at first anyway.
  • For the first, that's just barely over 50% of the count prior to X&Y. Furthermore, axial tilt doesn't work that way; the poles only move minutely per year, and it's the angle of the poles that determine the seasons; at least barring influence from Olympus Mons.
    For the second: So Ash was "over nine?" Wow! Max and Bonnie need to try that!

Although a year (and more) has passed in the Pokeverse, Ash is still "Ten" due to a Translation Convention
Namely, that humans live ten-times longer in the Poke-World than our Earth... or, more precisely, they age only one-tenth as fast. The ages given to us in the narration are told relative to a seventy-year lifespan, as opposed to a seven hundred year one.

Somehow, Ash and Pikachu passed through a Quantum Leap Accelerator right after he defeated the Battle Frontier
This explains his lapses of intelligence at the start of the Diamond-Pearl and Best Wishes sagas: he's leapt into the protagonists of the various series: Lucas, Nate,note  and Calem. It also explains why he doesn't age: he gains the "physical aura" of then-ten year olds.

It's worth noting that Ash and Brock's behaviors match The Hero and Mission Control on the original show respectively. Plus said Mission Control also suffered Parental Abandonment. Which means that Brock in Sinnoh was a Solid Hologram. Or perhaps he witnessed the original "leap" but was not privy to the others.

As for why the visiting girls recognized "Ash" in their reappearances, as well as why his mom doesn't suspect anything amiss, their memories are subject to the Ripple Effect. As for the start of Best Wishes... maybe Zekrom's Fusion Bolt was what caused that Leap, though in that case, how Nate would have been transfered cross-region I can't say. Maybe Lucas "jumped" from wherever he originally was to Acumula Town... As for how Ash maintained his intelligence in Kalos... maybe the host body determines how much mental capacity Ash is allowed to transfer into it.

Whatever Ash has, May suffers an intensified case of it; she's ageing down!
In her first episode, she was taller than Ash and almost mirrored Misty's debut. From the next episode, she is shorter than Ash and acts like a surrogate younger sister. By the time of her Diamond and Pearl cameo her build is even affected and she looks less matured. By the end of the series, Ash (still ten) will meet up with May, now downgraded into an infant.

Ash ages normally, 10 years old is just a title
Since that is the age trainers usually begin their journeys, 10 year became slang for pokemon trainer. Ash is currently 16 or some age close and the producers and show misinformed us through lack of translation

There was a Time Crash
  • The conflict between Dialga and Palkia in Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai did so much damage to the time-space continuum, that time itself crashed, putting an end to ageing and making it difficult for new life to be born. Hence why Ash will be 10 for centuries. Other side-affects include Growing Threat (double level and up to 62IV) being given to certain Pokémon, and levels and IV being cut in half for others. League opponents always get Growing Threat, and Ash always gets Level Cut.

Ash believes he has aged, but is still 10 physically

Never once is it addressed how Ash is still 10. The narrator says that Ash is 10, but the characters can't exactly hear him, can they? So while he and everyone think he aged, we get to know he's still 10 because we have reliable sources, while the characters wouldn't believe Ash hasn't aged because, even in a world of weird mystical creatures like Pokemons, how in the world would he still be at the same age at which he started his journey?

  • This. Additionally, his friends generally don't notice because they do not spend more than a year (a little more in Brock's case) traveling with him so they wouldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Delia, Prof. Oak and other adults wouldn't necessarily notice as they see him rather rarely after he starts his journey and Ash is still a kid in their eyes. Ash may only notice something is wrong with him not aging (generally, people don't really notice stuff about their appearance too much unless it's something others can easily point out for them) once one of his friends significantly outgrows him, at which point he might wonder if he doesn't just have stunted growth.

Ash will be older next time we see him following his departure at the end of the Aim To Be A Master specials.
It was his main character status all along that was stunting his growth and keeping him 10 indefinitely.

    Other Theories re: Ash and/or Pikachu 
Literary Agent Hypothesis... of a sort.
The Narrator for the entire series is...
An older Ash Ketchum. Explaining his entire life in every detail, although he does occasionally sugarcoat his facts, though usually when the situation calls for it or when it just sounds cool.

The theory is explained here.Also here.
  • Well, that's damn depressing.
  • It's pretty stupid. First, they assume Giovanni is Ash's father, but it only starts getting ludicrous after "The split between Ash's parents was likely over ash's homosexuality..."
  • Therefore, Pikachu is Gene Hunt.
  • Alternate idea: Not 99%, but everything since Ash got Taken for Granite in Pokémon: The First Movie. Everything from then on, including his revival, was All Just a Dream.
  • This troper actually saw a fanfic about this. I remember it being on Fan Fiction.
  • Given that we now have a character that has met him prior to the series, it likely means that Serena's "Real-Life" counterpart has finally broken through; she may be Ash's only hope.

The anime is just a weird dream Ash is having

It's all from an Insane Man's point of View
The Narrator in the Anime is actually an insane man who constructed an entire past life for himself in his head. Continuity Errors and things that only exist in the REAL world can support this.

For example, originally there were only 150 Pokemon, no more.

But that changed later, and when people construct Mental Stories about things that didn't actually happen, they forget or contradict past details, such as there only being 150 Pokemon, when now there is 649 Pokemon.

And then there are things like "The Lightning American", who is LT. Surge, It's elements from the Real World pouring into the story.

It also explains the Pokemon, he's seen creatures like Dogs and Horses from when the man was Lucid, but when he went back to being Insane? He started going crazy with them.

That's right, Ash might just be an Insane guy from our World.-Raxal

Ash writes fanfics.
Maybe Ash is just some fanfic writer, and the anime is basically his retelling of the games' plot, except with him (as a male Mary Sue) replacing Red and the other male protagonists. Traveling with female protagonists or gym leaders is wish fulfilment (they're the characters he has a crush on from each generation), while Brock is a close friend that asked to be written into the fanfic (when Brock leaves for a season, it's because they're arguing; he comes back after they make up). The characters that fill Brock's role when he's not there are just filler characters he put in to help him write the plot, and he completely made up the Orange Cup arc because he wanted some way to pass the time while waiting for Ruby & Sapphire. He doesn't win any of the official tournaments because he's able to realise that his character would just be boring if he won everything all the time, although he's gotten lazy and made his self-insert stupid during the latest seasons (or perhaps just gotten tired of writing it, but his friends force him to continue).

Ash and Romance

Ash is blowing up girls' bikes on purpose.
He likes to have someone to travel with him and after seeing how well it worked the first time, he goes out of his way to have Pikachu destroy girls' bikes. This not only breaks the ice but also hampers their mobility, forcing them to walk beside him instead of easily outpacing him as they would if their bikes remained intact.
  • Bear in mind Ash wasn't actually present when Dawn's bike was destroyed.
    • It would be a poor strategy if it required his personal presence, wouldn't it?
    • But since when has Ash ever shown that level of cunning?

Ash never shows interest in girls because he has ridiculously high standards.
The only girl he was ever interested in is Giselle, who is so hot, even Brock wanted her (and he's never interested in girls younger than him.)
  • Which is just as well, given that he's (supposedly) ten. He's also drooled over other girls occasionally.
    • Really? Who?
      • Misty. First season. Festival episode. Admittedly, she was really cute.
  • Obvious, since Giselle had a Cubone, one of the Pokemon able to be cute, creepy, and totally badass at the same time. Add that to her smoking good looks and schoolgirl outfit, and you have boys and some girls drooling. I can't blame Ash for being attracted.
  • His standards aren't just high. They're at the end of the fucking universe! Come on dude, May and Dawn, seriously, you're going to turn them down? You have no taste.

Ash has the ability Oblivious
This would also explain why he's an Idiot Hero (usually Oblivious is associated with derpy Pokemon, like Slowpoke.)

Ash is NOT Oblivious to Love.
He is fully aware of all of the girls and Pokemon that have fallen for him. The reason he never acknowledges any of it is to avoid breaking anyone's heart.
  • Or, he could have decided to deliberately ignore them. After all, he's seen how easily Brock gets distracted by a pretty girl. Maybe he was worried that he'd give up on his own dream if he fell in love, so he made the decision to ignore his hormones and act oblivious about it all so he'd be free to continue traveling.
    • And, if he starts having feelings for Serena, then it would show how much of a bad role model Brock was: Having seen Cilan's interactions with Iris and Burgundy, Ash could conclude that Brock is not indicative of males at large.

Ash is actually a Covert Pervert trying to build a harem.
At first glance, Ash seems to be a Chaste Hero oblivious to romance. In truth, Ash is anything but. Ash is actually a huge pervert who loves the attention of his female companions, possibly male companions and maybe even Pokemon. After witnessing Brock's continuous failures, Ash realised that hitting on girls would be doomed to failure. Instead, he realised that being seeming uninterested in romance made him more desirable, as girls with a crush on him would work harder for him(aka be more sexy). Why else would Dawn wear such a short skirt, and May have all those Fanservice moments? Ash is actually a Covert Pervert that's master of obfuscating obliviousness to romance.
  • (Another poster) It started with Giselle (who actually had the idea), and later went on including Misty (of course), Dawn, Zoey (courtesy of Dawn's presence), Melody and Bianca (from the fifth movie), and would have included May too if Drew didn't show up snatching her. The next member to enter the harem will be Iris.

Another possibility for why Ash is Oblivious to Love
He is in denial: Specifically, in denial that his mom and Professor Oak are in a relationship. He just doesn't want to think of them in that way, so for any similar relationship he puts on blinders. It is granted that he did see Samuel and Delia together in the beach episode prior to the Summer Festival and him letting go of Butterfree, but he may have thought that it was just a coincidence so he may have still thought Romance was okay back then. But all the vacations they took together added up. So in order for Ash to not put two and two together, he has to ignore it; and anything that reminds him of it. Which means that if he does reciprocate Serena's crush, it may mean that he's finally accepted what went on between Sam and Delia, regardless of whether or not it still is going on...
  • And perhaps what squicks him out isn't the relationship itself as much as the implication that Professor Oak might actually be his father. The possibility that he was the result of Professor Oak sleeping with the help or somesuch, as well as that his own father would keep such a secret and that his best friend/rival Gary is actually his nephew are things he doesn't want to think about.

Ash is already in a committed relationship...
...with one of the earlier female protagonists, most likely Misty or May. It's just never shown on-screen because relationships aren't the focus of Pokemon's story.
  • You could even say that he got together with Misty at the end of Johto, and it just wasn't shown in those final scenes, giving them a long distance relationship (though any communication they've had is cut out because of being unnecessary to the plot) because Ash still wants to continue his journey as well, whilst Misty needs to look after the Cerulean Gym.
  • This could also lead to a big reveal moment in the XY series where Ash rejects Serena as nicely as he can, admitting that there's already someone he cares about in that way (though obviously it wouldn't be revealed who, because of the aforementioned reason).

Ash, The Chosen One!

The Ho Oh Ash always sees is actually Mew, shapeshifted, and Ash's guardian.
Well, we've only seen Mew in the anime and movies a few times now, every time saving Ash from death or bringing him back from it. Also, we saw it in the beginning of the eighth movie - disguised as a Ho-Oh.Well, combined with the "Aaron is Ash's father/Ash's former life/A distant relative of Ash" theory, I think Mew has always been in contact with Sir Aaron, since he was the only one who actually knew how Mew could save the Tree of Beginning. Maybe he was chosen for something and Mew was his guardian. Mew just likes taking on the form of the majestic Ho-Oh and it has been stated to be immortal. Well, now, some hundred years later, Ash embarks on his journey and immediately comes into mortal danger. I guess that lightning that hit Pikachu and powered it up when it was frying the flock of Spearow was actually a move that multiplies the power of Electric attacks, sent by Mew to save Aaron's son/distant relative/reborn form. And so, a few moments later, they saw it flying away in its Ho-Oh form.

Ash became the chosen one because of the events of Pokémon: The First Movie
By getting between Mew and Mewtwo he proved himself to whoever was doing the choosing (probably Lugia).

Ash is Arceus's human avatar, come to announce the Messianic Age.
Think for a second. The immortal-tears thing couldn't have happened unless Ash was very special to the future. Considering Pokemon battle to the death in the wild (and the predators have to eat something), I think they've had their fair share of death. Why not just let it go? Answer: Mew's avatar note  is Pikachu, and she was in on the whole thing. I haven't seen the first movie in a while, so there is a high chance of this being Jossed, but hey, I can try. That's also how he got electrocuted several times in the first episode and still survived, Arceus was pulling the strings.
  • Then how come Ash died in the movie?
    • Don't forget that this is a mere distant projection of Arceus, and is made of matter. A few shocks can easily be survived by an avatar, but don't forget just what he was up against, and an ordinary body just can't survive it.

Ash can detect Shadow Pokémon, and conversely, Rui can use Aura.
Being an Aura user, as Riley, Ash and Lucario are, is said to grant a tele-empathic power to read minds. Shadow Pokémon are surrounded with a dark aura that Rui can see naturally, and the Aura Reader can let others see. It follows that they're talking about the same thing. Of course, since Ash has never seen a Shadow Pokémon, this is not verified.

Ash is the Black Hero who awakened Zekrom, via time travel
I mean, just look at how much the hero looks like Ash. Ash could just be a descendant, but consider that this arc has already introduced time travel, thanks to the Tirtouga two-parter. In that multiple-month gap after the probable end of the league and before the probable release of gen 6, a story arc will start that at some point leaves Ash and co in the past before the founding of Unova, and the climax will have Ash awakening Zekrom.

Of course, the hero looks like Sir Aaron too, so it might just be that the anime's character designers just like heroes with messy black hair.

Ash has awesomeness potential.
Red in the games is presumably Hot-Blooded, hardheaded, and a friendship fan; not to the extent of Ash, but still quite so. Plus, their teams are the same in HGSS.

Other Ash Theories

The Shamouti Lugia was the inspiration for the Counter Shield.
The specific way Lugia used Whirlpool is very reminiscent of the Counter Shield. Ash was probably subconsciously remembering it when coming up with the Counter Shield.

Ash stopped using Counter-Shield because...
  • He doesn't want people to steal it. So far, both Dawn and Paul have used it, and Paul even used this strategy against him. If Ash kept using it, people would just use this strategy against him again. He was probably saving it for the Unova League finals.
  • He found that the strategy is flawed and opted to try out different strategies. So far, he's had good results with String Shot+Energy Ball and Sandstorm.
  • Relying on the same strategy over and over would act as a crutch, like how using the same Pokemon every saga would get repetitive and prevent him from trying out new thing.

Ash somehow squeezes his Toxic Badge into the Legend Badge Slot.
It's a Noodle Incident.
  • Or he could have asked for a new badge case that could store it.

Ash is still the anime's protagonist because he hasn't become champion.
Think about it. In the games, Red becomes champion. End of his story until the Timeskip, really. The other Reds from other continuities also usually don't stay that long in the spotlight after becoming champion. Ash hasn't accomplished what Red has done; he has yet to defeat Team Rocket or make it to the big leagues.
  • Orange Islands. Enough said.
    • And the Battle Frontier.
      • The former may not be official,and the latter isn't technically part of the league
      • More like the former is an extranational version of the latter.
  • On a darker note, the people who suddenly appear to kick his ass are aware of this. If Ash becomes the champion, then the series will end and the fiction they inhabit with it. They make sure he can't possibly win so that the world doesn't disappear. Same reasoning as the WMG that Team Rocket aren't winning because it'll end the series.
  • Jossed. Ash finally won the Alola League and became Alola's first League Champion.
    • Or maybe confirmed in a sense? The Journeys series is more of a victory lap following the Alola League win, having Ash win a world series championship, and the series following it has already been shown to have retired Ash as the anime's protagonist to usher in two new ones.

Ash is actually training to become a Nurse Joy.
All this time training his Pokemon is actually him trying to learn how to properly take care of them. He pretends to want to be a Pokemon Master because, well, he's not exactly the right gender for the job. Notice that A: he's never won a Pokemon League tournament except during a short Filler Arc, and B: he has no problem with dressing in drag.
  • Ash has had plenty of problem dressing in drag. Why do you think he's only done it three times in eleven seasons, or however many it has been?
    • Eh, it's more than I have...

Ash receiving Pikachu is an Evil Plan by Giovanni.
He wants Ash succeed him as the boss of Team Rocket and Viridian City Gym Leader. The trainers who travel with Ash were ordered by Giovanni to travel with him to keep him from going astray while Jessie and James were ordered to follow him and report on his progress periodically so Giovanni can know when it's finally time to reveal his plan. All of the trainers who have defeated Ash in the various Pokemon Leagues were hired by Giovanni to defeat Ash in order to prolong his journey until Giovanni's plan can be put into action, which will not occur until Ash wins a Pokemon League. It's not just a coincidence that Ash has lost in the league to a trainer who uses the same Pokemon as him, a trainer who uses a Pokemon (Meowth) associated with Team Rocket, and a trainer with at least two legendaries. They were all hired (along with the trainer who defeated him in the Johto League) to defeat Ash. The reason Giovanni doesn't want Ash winning a Pokemon league right away is because he's not yet mature enough to take over as the boss of Team Rocket and the Viridian City Gym leader. As soon as Ash has won a league, Giovanni will reveal his plan and ask Ash to take over Team Rocket and the Viridian City Gym.
  • Jossed. When Ash won the Manalo League Conference. Ash wasn't confronted by Giovanni to join his cause of Team Rocket. And Ash is too much of an All-Loving Hero to join the side of evil.

Ash is transgender.
He seems to fool just about everyone when crossdressing...Perhaps he was assigned female at birth, but he identifies and presents as a boy.

Ash is Sir Aaron.
Ash was sent to the past and took the name Aaron. This explains the similar auras and why Aaron sealed Lucario in the staff if it needed aura to open it as well as leaving the gloves. Knowing Ash, he probably regretted having to essentially sacrifice Lucario but had to in order to make a stable time loop.

Pikachu is finally going to evolve in Alola
Into an Alolan Raichu no doubt.
  • Jossed. After the entirety of The Sun and Moon Anime series. Ash's Pikachu NEVER evolved into Alolan Raichu.

Pikachu doesn't evolve, but an Alolan Raichu joins the party
Doubt they would get rid of their Series Mascot, but it's not out of the question that an Alolan Raichu joins the Sun and Moon party, especially if the two develop a rivalry.
  • Jossed, but Pikachu does develop a rivalry with someone else's Alolan Raichu, albeit for one episode.

If Ash ever does grow up, he will become somewhat of a Manchild.
Because he just seems like the type of person whose childish habits die hard.

Other Pikachu-related theories

Why Pikachu is at first bad-tampered and hostile
Professor Oak lied, when he said, that Pikachu is not accustomed to humans. In fact, Pikachu already had a trainer, but he was an asshole, a coward, insulting and sometimes even hitting Pikachu and showing a lack of concern for its well-being. Because of that, his license was revoked, the trainer was placed in juvenile hall and the Pikachu was transferred back to the professor. When Ash proved himself to be courageous and concerned for Pikachu's well-being to the point of facing a flight of Spearrow all by himself, he saw that Ash resp. Satoshi was a worthy trainer and a true friend and warmed up to him.

    Jessie, James, and Meowth 
The TRio At Large
Ash and co. often see through Team Rocket's disguises; they just don't care.
At first, they fell for it. But when they cheered Pikachu on in Electric Shock Showdown, Misty saw through their disguise. Perhaps the twerps have come to see through their disguises (though occasionally falling for it) but want to keep them around:
  1. So they can pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  2. Because they find them lulzy.
  3. Because they need experience.
  4. Beating Team Rocket makes them look like Big Damn Heroes to the locals of the week, normally getting them shit.
  5. Because they aren't a threat, and aren't that evil. Considering that Ash recognizes them in Best Wishes when they've taken levels in badassery, this would explain a lot.

Team Rocket uses a hologram projector to disguise themselves that works on everyone except the audience
They're broken the fourth wall so many times that there is no way they don't know the audience exists. But they want the audience to recognize them at the same time, so they use the projector that the audience sees as a Paper-Thin Disguise.

ONLY the audience sees Team Rocket wearing Paper Thin Disguises...
...however, Ash and co. don't because Team Rocket actually puts on rather decent costumes. It's for Rule of Funny, or like a kid's show: they make it easier for the audience to understand things. If this didn't happen, then you would confuse Team Rocket for any character of the day.

The Boss fantasies are realistic
Because Team Rocket seems to be filled with silly but extremely competent people (aside for Jessie, James and Meowth, we have Butch and Cassidy riding segways in the headquarter just because they can, Nanba's bad temper, and Domino from Mewtwo Returns using tulips as weapons). It's not too strange to suppose that Giovanni, in his off-time, is the kind of person who would use Articuno for cooling himself in a hot day (that, and who else could brag of a similar air conditioning?).

If they weren't on team Rocket, Jessie, James and Meowth would not be antagonistic towards Ash and co., maybe they would even be friends.
Stay with me here, coz this is long. There have been many times in the anime where they have all worked together, or been nice to Ash and the gang. Like this list, from Bulbapediea:
Even though they usually only cause trouble for the main characters, they have sometimes helped them, mostly when dealing with a common enemy, as shown in The Power of One and later against Team Aqua and Team Magma. They also played a key part in the fight against Team Galactic, teaming up with Looker. They occasionally put their differences aside for personal reasons, only to later return to their thieving ways. One of the more common moments of truce is during Pokémon Contests, which Jessie had a fondness for participating in; however, Ash and his friends are unaware that it is her.
->On several occasions, Jessie, James and Meowth have shown that they are not that bad and even have affection for Ash and his friends. The trio heroically sacrificed themselves to certain death in The Power of One in order to allow Ash's escape on Lugia. They also saved him from a fall in the next movie, Spell of the Unown. Whilst their justification was that in the case of the world being destroyed or Ash's death, they'd be out of show business, it is implied that this is just bluster to cover the fact that they are not bad people. In Charizard's Burning Ambition, Team Rocket kept Ash's Charizard awake as it lay in the lake, and then built a huge mecha and attacked the Charicific Valley for the sole purpose of allowing Charizard to defeat them and gain acceptance in the Valley.
Other than all that, I like the idea of them all getting along, and being able to be friends. I have seen many fanfictions were for some reason, like the trio getting fired, etc where they become friends, and love the idea.

Team Rocket is incompetent because Pikachu fried their brains one too many times.
  • This makes sense when you think about it. In the beginning, the Team Rocket trio were sinister, ruthless, and fairly competent, if overconfident. But after having the living daylights shocked out of them by Pikachu in the second episode, they became obsessed with capturing it and steadily lost intelligence from repeated shocks, but as a result became a bit nicer.
    • That makes quite a bit of sense, considering that the brain is one of the most delicate organs we have and some of the bizarre real life things that have happened to people. Team Rocket's pretty lucky that they only ended up with altered behavior instead of paralysis, more severely impaired brain function, and heart attacks.
      • As of now, it seems they're regaining their original personalities
    • Brains are also quite good at recovering from damage after severe trauma... I'd say an entire season without blasting off once is enough time to catch up on some lost brain cells.
  • In AG, James is usually the last one to go for Meowth's increasingly deranged Boss Fantasies. This is because of increased exposure to Chimecho's Heal Bell, which enabled him to return some higher brain functions.

Jessie and James' bumbling is deliberate
Really speaks for itself, but think about it. Why else would, after so many seasons, the two, (Three if you count Meowth), still be held as members of Team Rocket if they're so woefully inept at capturing one certain version of a Pikachu? Simple. They're paid/ordered to act like buffoons, making the public picture Team Rocket as silly, wasteful, and the like, so, when actual news of what Team Rocket does reaches people, they aren't taken seriously, due to seeing the 'true' face of Team Rocket a day earlier. Giovanni might tear into them to keep the act up, but right as rain, there's bound to be a bonus for having to be publicly 'dressed down', in view of any non Rocket members.
  • Then how do you explain their behavior in Best Wishes!?
    • They got sick of being made jokes.
    • Alternatively shit got real for Giovanni and they needed to break cover.

Team Rocket keeps failing because if they succeeded, they'd be out of a job.
At least in the dub, Team Rocket has consistently demonstrated an awareness that they are characters in a television show. Thus, they realize that their role in the show (and thus popularity) hinges on them constantly failing to capture Pikachu. If they actually got Pikachu, their relationship with the main characters would be finished and they'd thus be out of a recurring role in the series, at best relegated to cameo roles. Also, they have shown that they are better at playing fair and being good guys as opposed to villains, so they are Punch Clock Villains along the lines of Ralph Wolf.
  • They save Ash in Pokemon: Legend of the Unown for this very reason.

Between episodes of the anime, Team Rocket actually have caught Pokémon and brought them to the boss.
This would explain why the trio has yet to be fired.
  • Then why were they worried about being fired during late Johto?

The reason for Team Rocket's efficiency in Unova...
Team Rocket stole all of Tobias's Pokemon at the end of Sinnoh. When they appear in Unova, they appear as being completely competent and take orders directly from Giovanni. What better reason than that they got him 6 legendaries (or at least 2, but considering Tobias...) Later, Tobias will arrive in Unova searching for revenge, and give the entire reasons why he has such legendaries. Hey, far fetched, but, this is WMG.
  • I always thought he finally realized how efficient they were at conning people out of money during the Pokemon league(s), and decided to reward them for their initiative.
  • I like that theory. Though I'm pretty sure Giovanni would have a heart attack from shock...

Giovanni plans to sacrifice Jessie, James, and Meowth, as planned casualties one day.
He never fires them despite their constantly failing. As he has plans to rule the world using military means (which is why he created Mewtwo), he figures the world will not surrender to him without a fight. For this reason, he has hired complete losers like Jessie, James, and Meowth to do jobs of no real importance just to keep them around. Sure, he has a combat squad that actually does capture rare pokemon for his army, but if capturing pikachu was that important to him, why wouldn't he fire them and send in people that can actually do the job. Because he needs to keep them around so that when the time comes, he can use them as pawns one day.

The trio don't go for more legitimate business because of their criminal records.
Despite their amazing capabilities, they can't make money normally for some reason. One would think being part of an organized crime ring is a pretty good reason why people won't hire them.

The trio goes after Pikachu because they care about him.
Yes, Ash's Pikachu has a habit of being better than your run of the mill Pikachu, but its still not nearly as valuable to Team Rocket as they think. However, deep down they know that. They know its highly impractical to obsess for 13+ seasons on Ash's Pikachu. However, deep down? They care about Pikachu. Multiple times when they aren't trying to steal him, they often root for Pikachu to succeed. In a weird way, seeing him as a valuable commodity to steal is showing their appreciation. They try to justify this intellectually, which would inevitably bite them in the ass if they manage to succeed. The same logic goes to why they try to steal the twerp's other Pokemon-they are fans of them, and as such see their other Pokemon as valuable. Pikachu is just the most important because he started their relationship. That being said, originally it was just to get a rare Pokemon, but over time they've come to like them.
  • Partially canon, one episode they finally caught Pikachu via amnesia, making him a willing member of their team. The results were pretty sugary to say the least, till they sic him on Ash of course.

Jessie and/or James

Jessie and James are related.
We don't know who Jessie's father is. Or if Miyamoto might have had a long-lost sister (Jessie does resemble James's mom).

Jessie and James are actually the male and female of a relatively rare Pokemon species.
  • Jessiebelle is another specimen of this species.
  • Their motto is either some sort of reflex triggered by the words "trouble" or "double" or an attack. Or their mating call.

Jessie and Jessiebelle are related.
  • We never see Jessiebelle's parents or other relatives.
  • That does not mean they are related, though.

Jessie and James are immortals.
They constantly get subjected to stresses that would kill a normal human, and no matter how long it's been since they had food, they don't look any the worse for wear, just miserably hungry. James's family appears to be not only upper-class, but from an earlier time period than the average town and citizen might suggest. Jessie and James are from two feuding immortal families, since James ran from an arranged marriage with Jessiebelle, Jessie's cousin/niece/half-sister, or even great-aunt for what a few generations matter to people who live forever. (That or the descendant of the original Jessiebelle, but there are no feuding immortal families in that guess.)

Jessie and James are also Pokemon who can talk.
Their 'ability', or whatever the appropriate word is, is to survive great impact.

Jessie and James are anti-fighting.
No, I mean as a type. What Pokemon have we seen them successfully capture and order around? A large number of poisons and psychics, a couple of bugs, a couple of flyings, and now a ghost. All of these are types that have a defensive advantage against fighters. Now, we've seen several grasses as well, but all of them are fully capable of harming James, though not in a dominant manner that suggests type advantage. Most significantly, the two are easily hurt and pushed around by a normal.
  • Dark type maybe?

Grass-types love the way James tastes.
This is why it's his grass-type Pokémon that always attack him. Maybe they think he's made of nectar or something.
  • It's his floral shampoo or cologne.

James'designated pokemon partner for the Alola arc will be a...


  • It would be about time that Team Rocket, after being fried by Pikachu for who knows how long, to get a ground-type into the team to nullify that threat once and for all. Also, a Sandygast might even get along with Mimikyu just fine, being naturally malicious by nature as well.

  • Jossed. It's a Mareanie, as of SM 012.

Jessie's Mimikyu's psychotic hatred of Pikachu is due to a tragic backstory.
  • So far, it has not yet been explained why Mimikyu hates Pikachu, but here's a possible theory or two:

  • Mimikyu once belonged to a trainer who abandoned it after it lost to a Pikachu in battle, and/or replaced it with a real Pikachu. These possible traumatic events left Mimikyu embittered and blaming Pikachu for its predicament, it developed a murderous hatred for all Pikachu.

Giovanni keeps Jessie around because of her mother.
According to The Birth of Mewtwo CD Drama, Jessie's mom Miyamoto was good friends with Madame Boss, Giovanni's mother and Team Rocket's original leader Madame Boss. She was also one of their best members. It also establishes that Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas. While he does want to fire the trio or worse, part of Giovanni feels that would disrespect both Miyamoto and Madame Boss' memories and thus keep her around. There's also the fact that since Jessie's mom died for Team Rocket and made her an orphan, he feels he owes her something. James and Meowth stick around because they refuse to part ways, and despite being very tempted to get rid of them can't go through with it due to thing with Miyamoto.

Jessie is Giovanni's illegitimate daughter.
Alternative to the above. It seems like too much of a stretch for Giovanni to continue tolerating Jessie and her friends because of what her mother did. Maybe Meowth because he's a rare talking Pokemon and James because he has a rich family, but James has cut off most of his ties with the family and Meowth doesn't exploit his unique talent. Miyamoto must have meant something important to him. The first part of the CD Drama seems to take place 20 years ago, and Giovanni was already in his twenties(he could pass for forties now). Meaning Jessie would be five at the time. Also, we don't know who Jessie's father is and he's clearly not in the picture as she grew up.

Giovanni and Miyamoto fell in love as teenagers, and conceived Jessie. Madame Boss was very upset at this, and refused to let the two see each other. That and Miyamoto's death turned him into a bitter man. Though he's very ashamed by Jessie failing to live up to the reputation of the woman he loved, since she's his daughter he feels he's obligated to keep both her and her friend's job. He may actually care about him, but acts indifferent so no-one can catches on to their relationship, much less Jessie. He'd be criticized with Nepotism, and his enemies would take advantage of it. Plus it's not like Jessie needs an ego boost.


Meowth's ability to walk and talk like a human is actually a tutored move any Pokemon can learn.
It gives a non-humanoid or non-Psychic Pokemon the ability to interact with other Pokemon and humans on an even keel, as well as grant them increased agility and strength (hence Meowth's occasional bouts of hyper-Fury Swipes), but also prevents new moves from being learned, during and after the battle it's used. Since Meowth has instinctively grown to rely on the move ever since he learned it, he's been unable to learn any other moves since then.
  • Jossed: It's canon that Meowth taught himself how to act like a human. You'll need the watch the original season.
    • Meowth looked in on dance classes to learn to walk, listened in on pronunciation classes to learn to talk, and used teaching materials to learn to talk better than a parrot. The first two could be construed as the shows way of having moves tutored. If you count these as three moves walk, talk, and listen and remember that Meowth is attached to these abilities there is no reason to assume these moves have any sort of special that prevents him from learning new moves he might just like fury swipes.

Meowth's ability is Technician.
Notice that he was able to stomp all comers with his "Fury Swipes of Love". Also, all his moves are 60-or-less power, exactly as you'd want with a Pokemon that has Technician. It just happens to be a Psychoactive Power, which is why it's not always on.
  • Has Fridge Brilliance to why his Fury Swipes has moments of being ridiculously effective since Diamond and Pearl (when the ability was established), in the games, Fury Swipes is boosted greatly from Technician due to each hit being separate (it can surpass Thunder in power), just, like with Team Rocket's Meowth, it is not perfectly reliable, and can sometimes miss the target altogether.
  • Even without the above explanation, this is almost certainly true. The only other ability a Meowth can have is Pickup, and, well... he isn't exactly raking in random items for Team Rocket, is he? If he was, maybe they could afford to, you know, feed themselves.
    • Or he simply has a low level, so they rarely get useful items.

Meowth is level 100.
In one episode, Meowth mentions that he can't learn or use Pay Day because he spent all of his time learning how to walk and talk to impress his female friend year ago. I posit that Meowth used all of his EVs and EXP learning how to walk and talk, putting him at level 100. However, since none of his EVs are in battle-relevant stats, he's the most laughably weak level 100 Pokemon ever. This also implies that if he had a Heart Scale he could probably learn Pay Day and forget how to talk or walk.

Meowth is from Unova
Unova is based on the State of New York and the New York City metropolitan area. Meowth (in the Dub) speaks with a New York accent. Probably Meowth comes from an area that used to have the only wild Meowths of Unova, that migrated in another region or in the nearest town (who happens to be called Hollywood and dedicated to cinema in honour of another Hollywood in another region) and remained the only inhabitants when the Pokemon Rangers or the League shut down the polluting factories and caused the area's economy to crash.
  • Do note that in the Virbank movie complex is featured in an Anime episode; perhaps another case of unstated Earth Drift?

The next time the gang run into Team Rocket, Pikachu will become intent on having Revenge on Meowth.
I think its safe to say that after Meowth being a Fake Defector, Pikachu now hates him more then ever. A good way for this kind of thing is if the two Pokemon have a one-on-one fight and Meowth actually puts up a good fight, despite the type disadvantage. Eventually, Pikachu manages to turn the tables and gives Meowth the beat down of a live time. Then, after Meowth is left bruised and defeated, Pikachu walks away, deciding that he's Not Worth Killing.
  • Or, Pikachu nearly does kill Meowth, but is stopped by Ash or Team Rocket.
  • Jossed: they've encountered each other several times and even have been alone a few times and, while Pikachu is more mistrustful of Meowth (as he should be), that's about it.

Meowth's father is a Meowstic.
Normal Meowth can't just learn to walk and talk, and Meowth acts somewhat smarter than most of his kind. He gets this from his father, the Psychic-type Meowstic. Meowth doesn't know this, and was abandoned because they saw him as some sort of hybrid freak.

On several occasions Meowth, despite his limited move set, has shown perfect capability in battle (he curb stomps several top Pokemon at once in "For The Love of Meowth" and "What Lies Beyond Truth and Ideals" while on a high). Several conversations with the other team members also imply his inability to learn Pay Day is bullshit, and he could easily learn it and his species' other moves such as Night Slash if he put any effort into training. Tying into the above claim of Psychoactive Powers, Meowth has all the potential to battle as well as a standard Meowth and maybe more, just due to usually being on the losing side, he very seldom feels the motivation or confidence to do so, using his claims of a power nerf from learning to be human as an excuse.
  • Partway supported in canon. In one episode Team Plasma use a device to tap into Meowth's potential full power (while brainwashing him to serve them of course). While his move set is never increased, his Fury Swipes are upgraded to the point they can generate shockwaves.

Meowth is gaining experience, but at a much slower rate than others
Since Diamond and Pearl, Meowth has been picking up very rare but astonishing Darkhorse Victories every era, and it seems to have mild effect on his usual competence. In D/P he was still pretty useless otherwise. In Best Wishes he was usually poor in battle but could dodge and pick himself up from attacks pretty well (as Jessie notes "Could've been worse"). In XY most of his odd participations actually show some small degree of battle skill, even if he still loses, eg. slashing up Fenekin's Hidden Attack and injuring Pikachu with Fury Swipes for the first time. It generally takes more than the usual Thundershock to finally take him out as well. As eras pass, Meowth may slowly get better and on more even ground with the heroes, until his randomly achieved top form becomes his usual.

Alternatively, Meowth can't fight well due to being a Heartbroken Badass
When Ash's Sceptile got rejected by a female, it found itself unable to perform attacks properly, only regaining it's former strength when it was brought out of it's Heroic BSoD. Meowth was rejected by Meowsie (and several other females afterwards) and it is made clear he never quite got over it. Whenever it seems his old flame is lit again, or he even just gets some boost in self esteem, he suddenly becomes unstoppable, but of course, being doomed to failure and contempt from others most of the time, it never lasts. This of course, makes Meowth's jaded character a lot more tragic, as well as giving heartbreaking new meaning to his claims learning to walk and talk cost him the ability to learn Pay Day.

Meowth had Acquired Situational Narcissism at the start of the show.
In the earliest episodes, Meowth is a lot more lofty and routinely bosses Jessie and James around. While this is seemingly just down to pomposity and Early Instalment Weirdness in the dub, in the Japanese edit he is often the one making Foreshadowing to Giovanni prior to his debut, his dialogue implying he is on preferenical terms. Meowth claiming he is "top cat" is referring to his believed status with their boss, a bubble that is expectedly popped when Giovanni finally appears with Persian.

It also explains Ekans and Koffing's excuse against helping Meowth in "The Island of Giant Pokemon". They were making a point they were sick of Meowth's ego, while in later episodes where he's relatively cooled down, they and other Team Rocket Pokemon have no problems following him.

    Other Non-Meta General Anime Theories 
The Inexplicably Identical Individuals
The Joys and Jennies are not the only human "clones" in the Pokemon world.
Jessiebelle bears a striking resemblance to Jessie, and in one of the Hoenn episodes, Max meets his doppelganger, albeit one who is older and has brown hair.
  • Conway, dammit. Freaking Conway.
  • In the final episode for Jessie's Dustox, the other Dustox's trainer very closely resembled the boy Jessie left behind years ago to pursue her career. Even worse, they were named Austin and Astin.
  • Not to mention all the Don Georges that run the Battle Clubs in Best Wishes.
  • How about the Champ In Making guy? HE'S IN EVERY GYM!
  • Maybe it's the same problem pokemon have where they can be divided into certain groups with differences unable to be represented in game

Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are actually Pokemon
That's why there are so many look-a-likes and why there are only subtle differences between each Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny. It also explains why Nurse Joys are so good with Pokemon and why every Pokemon seem to automatically trust them.

Long before the start of the series, Scientists discovered two species of humanoid Pokemon. The scientists realized that these Pokemon could be used to benefit mankind. They sent these Pokemon to school to learn about human culture and to blend them into society. Since this was an extremely long time ago, the data was lost forever and Joy and Jenny are simply considered "doppelgangers."

Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are both Dittos that have been mode locked into a random they saw on a swimsuit magazine.

The Jennies and Joys that happen to look different from the mold...
Well, they are around. They don't disappear, nor are they killed (despite what Soylent Green conspiracy theorists say). They receive different names, and try to excel at other areas. How to notice them? By their hair color, of course. Whitney and Maylene could be related to Joys, while Duplica and Suzie (the Vulpix girl) could be related to Jennies, and so on. A strange male variation of a Jenny would be Wallace. Although, not every aqua-haired person would be related to Jennies, or pink-haired ones to Joy, as it would make the family bonds way too much strict. Also, they don't even need to look different. Hell, look at Marble! It's a Jenny with a different name!

All the Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys are the same person, and she is spying on Ash
Yes, there are photos—but photos can be faked. Yes, one Officer Jenny is black—but that's a fairly easy makeup job. Obviously, some sort of government agency has taken a keen interest in the travels of Ash Kecthum, and as such they sent somebody to spy on him. And, really, what better cover for a spy than the staff at a place the subject visits practically ever day?

Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are dressed identical.
There were once a legendarily popular and helpful nurse and officer. Future nurses and officers, wanting to appeal to the original Joy and Jenny fangroup, decide to be like them. They put on a wig, exercise to get the same shape, and practice their vocal talents to sound exactly like them. There is a group of famous Unova Jennies and Joys who those ones take after. The one Joy with a Joy-like daughter is actually a real descendant of this famous Joy, possibly her daughter. As for why she still looks, maybe she had sex with a Ditto or something.

The Officers Jenny are all huge fans of Eiki Shiki.

Other Human-related theories

Airships are to the wealthy in the anime setting like private jets or yachts are in our world.
That is to say, snazzy, but not unheard of. No one seems to be too surprised to see airships the sizes of cities descending from the cloud layer.

All of the Glitch Pokemon/Trainers exist in the anime
Bouncing off the WMG with MissingNo being in the GS Ball, they are all real but in places where they can't do anything harmful to anyone. The pokemon in the GS Ball, however, is probably a glitch pokemon from gen two, since MissingNo no longer exists after Pokemon Yellow (although, people love to ignore that sort of thing). The more harmless glitches, however, are left alone where you can find them in-game. It's just that the people that know about them aren't stupid enough to go mess around with them.

Gym leaders usually hold back
A gym leader is a powerful and experienced trainer capable of teaching to other less experienced trainers, and there's even an authority that will make sure gym leaders qualify. Yet, many of the gym leaders faced by Ash in Kanto didn't give this impression: Brock's Geodude didn't really give a lot of trouble to a beginning Ash, Misty's sisters were annihilated by three beginners in a row (forcing Misty to substitute for them when Ash showed up), Surge did the truly idiotic move of evolving his Pikachu in Raichu before it could learn any fast move, and Koga had serious trouble against Team Rocket. The hype is rather strange... Unless they are holding back on purpose to see if the trainer is a capable one (they actually imply this more than once), and actually go for the win only if the trainer isn't qualified or is too cocky. It would explain every single incident of gym leaders not living to their hype:
  • Brock at first considered Ash an idiot for challenging him with a Pikachu and a Pidgeotto (both disadvantaged to his own), with Geodude having been captured recently and not being up to task (while Onix was The Juggernaut in the first series, at least when the situation allowed for his use);
  • Surge's idiotic error may have just been a lie declared after he noticed Ash's Pikachu was already fast, with the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he unleashed on Pikachu and the Pokemon of many other trainers being a rather hard lesson in humility (seriously, facing a master of Electric-type Pokemon with a Pikachu or a Pidgey?!);
  • Koga was holding back to see how Ash would deal with the intruders, and was about to blast them off when Psyduck got the headache he needed to use his Psychic Powers;
  • Giovanni's initial disadvantage against Gary was because of this, but when Gary asked him if he wanted to spare his Pokemon some pain and give out the Earth Badge immediately he decided he needed a lesson and unleashed Mewtwo. After all, he recently proved that his pet Persian can take down Ash's overpowered Pikachu and make it look easy...;
  • Misty's sisters... OK, they proved again and again they are just that irresponsible, and there's a good chance their 'vacation' in the anime was actually a cover imposed by the Pokemon Inspection Agency to recall the competent sister and see if Cerulean City could get a capable gym leader (suspiciously, their inspector was already there when Misty arrived).

Giovanni partially finances Team Rocket by having his Persian use Pay Day
Seriously. He probably has a few dozens of those just for that...
  • Considering game mechanics, he'd need Persian to be really strong to quickly rank up the cash. Which explains how he owned Pikachu.

Sabrina's child-like evil self is secretly manipulating Giovanni and the rest of Team Rocket
.Giovanni's outfit in Best Wishes looks kind of like Sabrina's outfit in the anime except that it's a different color. Also, his secretary looks a little like Sabrina except with glasses and shorter hair.
  • The ghost girl in the summer school arc in DP was Sabrina's evil child self trying to get revenge on Ash and his friends.
  • After looking at pictures of both Sabrina and Giovanni's secretary, I realize that they don't look alike. However they do wear similar outfits so it's still possible that they might be connected.

The anime Pokemon world has a frighteningly small gene pool...
Explains the weird resemblances and somewhat common act of mistaking total strangers for family members, without necessitating time travel or such. Also explains why they've died out in the not-too-distant future (see Pokémon Mystery Dungeon).

Professor Oak is a vegetarian.
To this troper's recollection, Professor Oak is never seen eating meat, even when there is meat on the table and other people are eating it, and there are only two references to him eating meat, both very early on in the series and probably not canon anymore.
  • The first reference is the anchovy-spinach-pineapple pizza in episode 2, which was dub-added (he was making ramen) and anchovies probably don't exist in the anime anymore (like the fish in the Cerulean City Gym).
  • The second reference is him stating that Gary's Krabby would make a better meal than Ash's Krabby. It's dialogue-only and a reference to eating Pokemon, which again isn't done in the anime anymore.
    • Maybe he become a vegetarian later on.
    • There's also the possibility that he was just teasing Ash as a joke. He didn't bring up the possibility of eating Krabby, Ash did, and he just played along with it.

Professor Oak is divorced and dating Ash's mom.
There's a lot of Ship Tease between the two, and we never see a Mrs Oak. It's doubtful he's Ash's father, considering Delia would've been 17, and he her 40-year old teacher. That said, they could've struck a more recent May–December Romance. One of the reasons why Gary became a Jerkass to Ash is because a few years ago Delia started dating his divorced grandpa. That, and he really doesn't want to imagine Ash becoming his uncle-in-law.

Bill's Giant Dragonite was a Glitch Pokemon.
It LOOKED like a dragonite, but everything else about it was vastly different. A lot of glitch pokemon in gen 1 have the sprites of normal Pokemon but will still have different stats, heights, weights, and such. That's why its behavior and cries were so different from a normal dragonite. The glowing eyes and dark coloration might actually be what it looked like and not just because it was shrouded in darkness.

Other Pokemon-related theories

Legendary Pokémon are much more powerful in the anime universe than in the games.
Sort of a counter to the "Myths are just Myths" theories in the main archives.
  • Or, alternatively, there are both Legendary Pokemon powerful enough to fit the legends (whether or not those legends are true), but they also created (either through breeding or through giant pulses of light) normal legendary Pokemon with more reasonable levels of power.
    • This explains the differences between Silver and his mother in the anime and the Lugia in the movie. It could be the same sort of thing as the difference between Ash's Pikachu and all the other Pikachu.

There are animals in this Pokemon World
Just as there had always been, say, Gen 15 Pokemon who had existed since the very first episode, but aren't shown yet.
  • What's to say that the "animals" won't be those Gen 15 Pokemon?

In the anime ONLY, a Celebi is "reborn" every time it travels through a time portal, maintaining its child-like innocence
This process resets its memories, hence why it did not recognize Sam immediately in the fourth movie when they met in the cave. Also explains why it is easily beaten every time it appears in the anime; Celebi that have recently time-travelled also go back to Level 1.

Every Celebi that appears is the same individual.
It's a time traveller, so who's to say it can't? This may go to explain the Deus ex Machina at the end of Pokemon 4Ever-all those Celebi were future versions of the movie Celebi, who ensured it would live long enough to become them.

The Ho-oh we see isn't a wild Pokemon.
It belongs to Ash's grandfather. According to manual sources, Ash's father is a great trainer, who is following the footsteps of his father. Ash's grandfather is one of the greatest trainers in the world, and actually managed to capture the legendary Ho-oh. Out of respect, the elder Ketchum allows Ho-oh to be free range(kind of like Charizard is to Ash). When learning that his grandson was about to have a journey, he had Ho-oh travel to Kanto and check up on him. Ho-oh follows Ash because he's its master's grandson, and is testing to see if he's ready to fight his grandfather. Depending on when Ho-oh was caught, the Rainbow Pokemon did the same with Mr Ketchum.

In the Anime, Charizard and Mewtwo's alternate Mega Evolutions depend on their genders.
Its been mentioned before that Mewtwo's X Mega Evolution looks masculine, while it's Y Mega Evolution looks feminine. The same can sort of be said for Charizard and it's Mega Evolutions. So the way I see it, to distinguish the gender differences for both Pokemon in the Anime, their X Mega Evolutions are exclusive to the males, while their Y Mega Evolutions are exclusive to the females.

    Anime Meta 
The Eternal External Conspiracy

a.k.a. Why the Writers seem to have it out for Ash.

Green writes for the anime.
That's why none of Ash's bird Pokemon get much character development or screentime - she still suffers a little bit from bird Pokemon. She related Ash's birds to the one that kidnapped her when she was a child. Plus, Ash saw Ho-Oh...

The anime's writers are on a George Lucas-style Trolling Creator ego trip
They bring Charizard back! But he hardly gets to do anything! They bring Mewtwo back too! But this one's female and has absolutely nothing to do with the original Mewtwo! One guesses that the writers were perfectly content with the same, repetitive kiddie series and formula that they've had for years, and that they simply got annoyed at the older fans' demands to bring in more nostalgia and better storylines and characterization. So, they might be doing these kinds of moves to deliberately piss off the older fans, as a way of saying "we know how to make money and get an audience, stop telling us that you know better".

(Separate Guess) It may also explain the huge amount of Ship Tease despite the No Hugging, No Kissing Rule, not to mention why Ash seems to keep failing.

Atsuhiro Tomioka eventually came to secretly hate the protagonists.
What else would explain the Character Derailment of May and the Contest judges in AG078, Dawn losing the Super Contest preliminaries in DP049, and of course, the genesis of Paul?
  • Since Bulbapedia says "from DP on" in his entry, we can't blame him for what happens in Hoenn. However, we can blame him for Ash's Unovan Lobotomy.

Yukiyoshi Ohashi has gone mad.
Ohashi once wrote some good episodes such as "The Evolution Solution" (EP066). But starting the Diamond and Pearl series, he would randomly screw the protagonists over, not in a slightly mean-spirited way like Tomioka would in some of his episodes, but it's still stupid. Then again, what do you expect when someone has been writing for the anime for that long?

Ash's eternal prepubescence is an attempt to continue Ship Teasing.
The writers seem to love Ship Teasing just about everyone with Ash, primarily all the young, female companions. Having Ash age realistically or even logically would make trying to ship him with young companions awkward at best, and pedophilic at worst. Thus they have to keep him ten to avoid this. Of course one has to wonder why bother with all the Ship Teasing with Ash of all people, but that's a mystery which the identity of Ash's dad is the only thing that trumps it.

Tobias is actually an Author Avatar of Masamitsu Hidaka, and a Reality Warper
The Pokemon anime world and the real world where the series is written are two different universes. So when Hidaka noticed that Ash was steadily progressing in the Sinnoh region's four-year run and decided to use each of his old Pokemon in the Sinnoh League, he takes matters into his own hands by jumping into Ash's world, conjuring Darkrai and Latios out of thin air, and disguising himself as a trainer. The rest is history.

Had the GS ball not been postponed, Pokemon would have ended up like Yu-Gi-Oh
Had the plot continued as was originally planned, the story of Ash would have ended in Johto and like Yu-Gi-Oh, a new rookie trainer will take up arms each generation. And that would have been neither better nor worse than what we have now.

Master WGS's Pokemon The Abridged Series is canon.
Just as Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is, Pokemon the Abridged Series is the actual show, while the "real" anime is just fake.

Ash's loss in Kalos was Executive Meddling...
...From the Executive Office. The Japanese government pressured TV Tokyo to postpone Ash's Championship win to coincide with the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo.
  • I mean, Abe just went out in front of the whole world dressed as Mario.
  • Possible. While most generations are three years, Generation VII could possibly last to 2020, and then release Generation VIII afterwards.
    • Jossed, Ash won in Alola.

Ash will make it to the Finals of the Alolan League and win...
...And then somehow, through some bullshit, Ash will have been considered to lose the Alolan League Finals, due to something, like having to rescue someone outside of the arena, and they will disqualify him regardless.Because TV Tokyo and OLM.
  • Jossed. Ash retains his win.

Other Meta

Ash is the embodiment of every hero.
Every hero in all fiction is the same person, and he's just this one. Think, all the heroes are winners, have tragic backstories, and will have an epic downfall. They go by a thousand names, but they are all the same person. All heroes follow the same patten, from Luke Skywalker to the Cyborg from Marathon. Tragic backstory, becomes the hero, is manipulated by the villain or someone, works with others, and sooner or later, has a tragic end. Ash hasn't hit that last part... yet.

Ash is an alias for all of the protagonists in the video games
All of Ash's exploits are similar to the exploits found in the video game proper, with some details being edited for the protection of the children who have undergone those adventures. After all, how could a child properly handle the fame or scorn of the citizens of the region knowing that they were response for defeating the regional villain's team? Due to their conquests, the protagonists of the video games want to be acknowledged for their hard work but they don't want complete public exposure. So they are the ones who create Ash's anime adventures. And while Ash may be handled an idiot ball every so often despite having learned his lessons in multiple regions over, those are the lessons learned by the main protagonist in the Pokemon games.

The whole Pokemon universe is actually a video game, but Ash doesn't know.
Ash is really in a video game world. This would explain why NPCs like Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are the same in each town. The programmers were either taking a short cut or they were trying to create popular characters that could act as mascots for their game. The fact that Ash does not consider their identical-ness odd implies that Ash does not realize that his world is a construct. This can also explain how Pokemon can be stored in balls and PCs. Pokemon are only bits of code that have no real physical form. Their digitalness is showed when they are placed into a ball and they become a red light. The lineal deign of the Pokemon world also shows how it is a game. Gym leaders tend to have stronger Pokemon as Ash's journey goes on. This is because the game Ash is playing is meant to be solved a certain way. This theory also explains how new Pokemon and new areas are discovered. Ash's world is simply receiving an expansion pack.
  • That means Gary, Paul, and Trip were using Game Genies/Game Sharks/Action Replays.
  • This also explains why Sabrina was so powerful, Ash was Sequence Breaking.
    • This also explains how Ash and friends always end up at places on the one day a year they have a special event. Look at "A Poke-BLOCK Party", "Aipom and Circumstance", "All Dressed Up And Somewhere To Go", etc. Annual events are waiting for them to show up similar to scripted events in the game not happening until you're in the right spot.
    • This also explains the Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy running gags.

Animating Charmander's flame is expensive
And that's why it is shown in the anime the least-that was enforced! Plus there are Ponyta, the Chimchar line etc that cause Charmander to be censored out of the show more.

Blast Burn's anime animation will have a nasty Does This Remind You of Anything? moment
Where it resembles a natural disaster, so it was the only hyper beam move not shown yet.

Team Rocket are actually the good guys.
Think about it - It's a world filled with dangerous animals that WILL attack in a heart-beat, some of them unprovoked, and are incredibly powerful. And this is a world where 10-year-olds are sent out with just one Pokemon to start with. We know from the games that the Pokemon near, say, Pallet Town are rather weak - Weak enough that a child can use that one Pokemon to protect them. But not so much the other towns. You can't send a 10-year-old out into the wilds around Blackthorn City with a level 5 Pokemon, they'd die very very fast.

What, you wonder, does this have to do with Team Rocket being the good guys? Simple - They're stealing Pokemon from children to PROTECT them. At 10, there's still a LOT of learning to do school-wise, something they can't do if they go out on a Pokemon adventure. The presence of the gyms means that there's LOTS of kids going out to take the gym challenge, and it doesn't strike me as something that will take place over the summer, given how far apart towns are in the anime. That has to take a year, at least, in which they're learning nothing except how to survive in the wild and fight their animals.

This is why it struck me as the reason Team Rocket steals Pokemon, especially from children. Children not having Pokemon means they're going to stay in their home towns and cities and finish their education. It also means that there's no risk of them dying - Something Ash nearly DID do in the FIRST EPISODE because of just how powerful Pikachu is, and he's done a couple times across the first season alone. He DID die at least twice in the anime, the second time because of two overly powerful Pokemon! And remember, he's 10. How many 10-year-olds, or even adults, would be able to withstand a direct hit from a Pokemon attack?

Yes, there's still risks at home, but not nearly as alarmingly powerful and dangerous as some of the wild Pokemon out there in the world. Their methods may be off, but my theory is that at first, Giovanni's goal was to protect the children of the world by keeping the Pokemon from them, at least until they're older. Would YOU let a 10-year-old walk around the country alone with nothing more than 6 animals to protect them?

The reference to Paris in The School of Hard Knocks (the ninth Kanto episode) will be retconned to Lumiose City.
Yes, it doesn't make perfect sense (like pretty much anything in the series), but it must.

Not only is the anime a parallel world to the games, but some anime-exclusive character actually exist there.
Warning: major-ish spoilers for Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Saphhire's Delta Episode

In the Delta Episode, it's revealed that The Multiverse is fact in the world of Pokemon, and all but outright stated that the games without Mega Evolution are parallel to the games with. Specifically, they diverged thanks to the Kalos War taking a different part. Who's to say that non-game adaptations aren't parallel universes, just ones that diverged at other points. For the anime, it diverged after the Kalos War but before Ash and an unclear number of living characters were born(or most filler characters are just off-screen in the game). However, there are characters who could have a counterpart in the game universe(s)

Those counterparts? Perhaps the references to anime events show that counterparts of those characters exist. For example, Steven refers to the Mega Evolution special if you have the special event Beldum...and surprisingly not as a parallel world. So Alain could exist in that game universe. Since we likely won't be getting a Red/Blue remake, so long as there's no Red Ash could exist in the Pokemon XY/ORAS universe. The event legendary beasts you can get, along with the Zoroa and Zoroark encounter could mean that an altered 13th movie happened in the Gen V universe...just with someone other than Ash and friends.

Pikachu's Goodbye was meant to be the Grand Finale.
Let's face it: the series was originally supposed to end with Ash realizing the folly of his dream to become the greatest Pokémon master of all time and with the trainers' Pokémon revolting. Is it any surprise, then, that there are no Pokémon depicted in the episode apart from Pikachu and Meowth? Perhaps Pikachu and Meowth were meant to be two of the last Pokémon still faithful to their masters after the mass revolt, and Ash's attempt to release Pikachu would've come from his aforementioned realization. Had the series ended as it was supposed to, the release would've succeeded. (Plus, it wasn't on any broadcast schedule before the Porygon incident.)

Ash hasn't actually lost a league battle since the first one
Every time Ash claims to have "lost", he's lying. He throws the final battle every time so he still has an excuse to keep traveling. He doesn't want to accomplish his goal of becoming a Pokémon master, because that would mean the adventure would end, and he'd have to come back to reality.

Mega Pidgeot was created specifically to bait the anime
Charizard's fine and all, but... Picture Ash going back for Pidgeot after all this time. Picture him sweeping his hat around in a nostalgic manner during a Kalos League match, his Keystone glistening as he does... And Mega Pidgeot gives a mighty screech. It works and you all know it.

Previous Generations

     Party Members 
Theories related to Brock
Brock's Mom is some sort of Nekomata-type Pokémon shapeshifting to look human.
She's way too hot after 11 kids to be aging on a human scale. Her mysterious disappearance must have been some ritual or problem relating to her Pokemon family she couldn't let on. That eternal Cat Smile is bit of a clue - she must be related to the Mews. Her affinity for water Pokemon is a combination of love of fish and an attempt to overcome a fear of water gone wrong.
  • A simpler explanation: She's the step-mom, but everyone's too polite to say so.
    • And yet they weren't too polite to say she was dead...?
      • Probably linked to the original language. The Japanese language doesn't usually differentiate between half-relations. If you're related, you're all the way related. So it's more than possible she's a stepmom in disguise.
  • She seems more like the Japanese, G-rated version of Eric Cartman's mother. Huge ditzy slut, but everyone is too polite to call her on it.
    • And parthenogenetic?
  • This could tie in with the theory that humans in this world evolve like Pokemon. She just hasn't had her "older woman" evolution yet.
  • Here's my theory: Brock's real mom is dead, and "Lola" is really a man.

Brock's "mom" really is dead.
Or at least the one that gave birth to him and his siblings. His actual mother looks a lot more like him and his siblings, complete with squinty eyes and coarse hair, like Flint and all their children. She died giving birth to Tilly and Billy. Flint, grief stricken, left Brock to take care of his younger siblings. When "Brock's mother" actually returned, it wasn't really her. Flint had hooked up with "Lola", who was actually a man, and the two decided to state that she was the children's mother, which the older children went along with and the younger children believed, until they were old enough for it to be explained to them. This explains why none of the children look like "Lola" and why "Brock's mom" reappeared very suddenly.
  • And why does Lola need to be a man? Other than the Shout-Out, I mean. Seems to me that Flint finding another woman after his first wife's death is more plausible than him suddenly and out of nowhere coming out as gay or bi, especially with American ideas about what is or isn't OK to show kids. No, I'm not reading American values into a Japanese show. The "Lola" question only exists in the dub, which was a 4kids product and as such will reflect what Americans, especially American Moral Guardians, think is OK for kids. Honestly, getting them to avert Never Say "Die" at all, even if it was through forcing the Sadistic Choice between that aversion and showing double Parental Abandonment, was probably a bigger step than we would have realized at the time. Expecting them to acknowledge homosexuality and/or bisexuality pushes that part way past the sanity limit even for a WMG.
    • Hey, it's wild mass guessing. I don't care if it's never gonna happen, the thought amuses me, and I basically based the whole theory off the Shout-Out, and it stuck in my mind. Look at the "Ash's father" section and tell me I'm pushing sanity limits.
  • Expecting the Pokémon Company to acknowledge homo/bisexuality in a children's cartoon in America is farther off than "Lugia is Ash's father" or even "Ash is Jesus, Delia is the Virgin Mary, and Ash's Father is Arceus". When your WMG would involve not only improbable occurences In-Universe (which is pretty much a common feature of everything in the WMG section) but Real Life Character Derailment (not to mention putting yourself in the crosshairs of Political Overcorrectness), it can firmly be considered Jossed. Same with the "Dawn is a Trans and Ash's father" guess up there, also commented (and not by me) to be at least pushing the bounds of WMG sanity.
    • Pokémon's not entirely terrified of the sexuality issue, just look at Tucker.
    • So you're saying there's something in the series that says Flint is 100% completely straight and not bisexual? I mean, it's not Character Derailment unless something says it's not possible at all. Unless Pokemon has suddenly become a No Bisexuals universe, it's possible within the universe. WMGs can be about being possible in universe, not about whether or not a TV channel will show it.
  • Yeah, you can thank 4Kids for the confusion. In reality, Brock's mom just left to train Pokémon after Flint left. I guess they thought saying the mother of young kids was dead, as opposed to away and alive, was better on kids. Values Dissonance anybody?
    • So what your saying is that 4Kids made the wrong call? I believe that saying Brock's mom died is a lot better than "Oh, yeah, she left her kids, which number in the double digits, to the care of her twelve year old son so she could go out and train demonic hellspawn for bloodsport." Somehow I think dying would leave a better impression (on the parents, I mean. Kids really wouldn't care either way)
      • Your reasoning is exactly why 4kids made that decision. Normally, people wouldn't care but the problem remains that Brock's mother actually does return, a whole lot later. The history change made by 4kids causes a Dub-Induced Plot Hole and we actually payed attention enough to remember that they said she was dead. They changed things to make the mother situation look nicer but in the end they screwed shit up. A la 30 Tauros.
      • Which makes Lola the antithesis of Sven

Brock’s mother did die- however, she was replaced by a Ditto
Part of an even more ridiculous theory: Dittos are like mail-order-spouses and are synthetically created for single men. One bad batch later, you have a bunch of Officer Jennies, Nurse Joys, and Brocklets running around, varying slightly in form when bred with humans. This also explains Brock’s natural urge to breed with every female he comes across as well as his obsession with Jennies and Joys- he’s just following his genetic programming to breed, breed, breed. He even wants to be a Pokémon Breeder - no doubt subconsciously doing everything he can to get females under his care. As for the female Brocklets- Brock’s dad overused his broken Ditto, and the more it bred, the more corrupted it became. What a scary family.

Lola isn't Brock's biological Mom...
She's Misty's. Let's take a look at the facts: Lola is smoking hot (like Misty and her sisters), is a good enough Water Pokemon Trainer to lead a Gym (putting her near, though not necessarily at, Misty's level of skill), and decorated her Gym with reckless abandon (a trait more befitting her sisters; Misty would've had the same reaction as Lola's (current) husband did.) Granted, Lola's Curtains Match the Window, a trait that neither Misty nor her sisters have, but that may just be a recessive trait.
So why didn't she try to take over the Cascade Gym? Well, she probably approved of how Daisy and her sisters "ran" it. Also, recall what happened in Saffron City in the games: One clan, with a clear type-advantage, trounced another clan and got its Gym License. Now, in this case, I'm not sure that the League would have let stand there being two Water-type gyms. Or maybe she just enjoyed her new catch a lot and just wanted to work at her man's place.
  • Why would the League care about there being two water gyms? There are a LOT of gyms in each area, so type duplications are only natural. Seems to be that all you have to do is prove your worth as a trainer to the inspector from the League, and then what you do with your gym is up to you (apparently whether OSHA likes it or not.)
  • Lola may be guilty of Parental Abandonment. She may not want to deal with the rigors of taking care of her daughters, and felt the older siblings could take care of Misty themselves. Much like Flint.

The real reason why Brock felt like he did when he left Professor Ivy is that nothing particularly happened between the two of them.
Think about it, for a while Brock got to live with one of the loveliest ladies in the show (the largest breasts in the show), but when Ash and friends were away at the Orange Islands, nothing ever happened between Brock and Professor Ivy. And when Ash and friends were coming back to Kanto and reuniting with Brock, Brock had a adverse reaction to Ivy's name due to how it reminded him over how he failed miserably to be more than "just friends" with Professor Ivy. (But he got over it over time, in which he was able to mention Professor Ivy's name and feel fine with it occasionally afterwards.)

Brock got laid with Professor Ivy.
Its not that Ivy violated him, or that he was rejected. He ended up dating her, and let his Onix meet her Cloyster. However, he was bad at it. And that's why he was traumatised. After all, it's fitting for a Lovable Sex Maniac like Brock, and besides, Rule of Funny. The reason it's a Noodle Incident is because the Moral Guardians won't let us know about it.

Brock impregnated Professor Ivy, and is unable to face the fact
Just think about it - they were doing all happy and fine. Ivy and Brock more or less saw each other as perfect for them. Now skip forward to when Ms Ketchum finds him - he's obviously been on the run. Furthermore, he seems intent on trying to get as far away from the lab as possible, doing things like bumming rides to new regions, etc. The conclusion? That their relationship went so well Ivy became pregnant, and Brock on an impulse of cowardice, left, but disgusted with himself, couldn't find it in himself to return. So he's been on the run ever since. When he leaves Ash for good is when he decides he has to man up and go back to his life there. Further as proof is that his dad did the EXACT same thing. Professor Ivy is okay with this because she is generally chilled out, and she knows Brock will inevitably come back. Furthermore, Lola probably talked with Ivy too, and said not to worry. Whatever it was, its likely just Brock who freaked out, as Ivy still views Brock in the same good light - Professor Oak for example delivers the message "By the way Brock - Ivy sends her best regards!" to Brock
  • But Brock doesn't seem like the kind of person who would run away from responsibility, and he also seems equally likely to desire a family of his own. Besides, settling down with a Pokemon Professor would be a great way to start his career as a breeder, and he already makes a perfect stay-at-home dad.
  • Also, it is already shown that he detests his dad for abandoning the family in the first place, so he would never do that.

Professor Ivy and her assistants are actually hermaphrodites.
It explains why they were so eager to have Brock as their personal maid, and why Brock broke up with them, and refuses to talk about them; he found out they were traps, and it squicked him for life.

Brock's "errands" in Cerulean City is his excuse for trying to find his mother.
Lola in her debut appearance in Pokemon Chronicles tries to turn the Gym into a Water Type Gym and she has a whole crew of Water Pokemon. Cerulean City is home to Kanto's Water Type Gym and is a hub for Water Type trainers. Brock was probably seeing if he could find any leads on his mother's location.

Ash's Other Companions

Misty's "mermaid costume" is actually her natural form
For some reason or another (shipping related, perhaps?), Misty has a desire to roam in the surface world. Using some form of magic (I was going to say a necklace she wears, but then I saw that she does not wear such a thing!), Misty's tail morphs into a pair of legs (and Misty gains the ability to breathe out of water). When Misty wears the "mermaid costume", it is simply she transforming into her native form.

Her sisters are either mermaids too, or simply human. If her sisters are simply human, then there are two possibilities for Mermaid Misty: either she was born a human, gaining her mermaid form later in life; or her "sisters" are not related to her at all.

Misty was either adopted or accidentally switched at birth with another baby in the hospital.
She doesn't seem to fit in with her family at all, aside from using water Pokemon, and doesn't look anything like her alleged sisters, or speak like them.

Misty's parents are neglectful
They're never in flashbacks, it's just Misty and her sisters. And those flashbacks go back to when Misty was pretty young.Also, in early episodes the other characters sometimes teased her for being scrawny. Maybe she really was scrawny e.g. slightly underfed and we don't see if because of Generic Cuteness.

Alternately, Misty's parents are dead
To be more specific, they were killed by Bug-types, hence her fear of them.

Misty and Tracey are seeing each other.
The two of them are the only ones of Ash's traveling companions that still live in close proximity to each other, and as both Pokémon Chronicles and The Dream Continues! shows, the two of them still frequently spend with each other. And eventually, their friendship blossomed into something more, helped by Misty's crush on Ash having faded after having spent so much time apart from him. Plus, since Ash & Serena is as canon a pairing as the Anime will probably ever portray, this provides Misty with a happy ending.

May stuffs her bra.
Because there's no other reason for a ten year old to have that kind of figure.
  • It's not common, but if a girl's development starts early and they're naturally inclined to being large chested, being in a c-cup as early as ten is perfectly possible.

Salvia and Dawn are twins, separated at birth.
Well, Lucas does have a sister in the games, and since we won't see him and his sister, why not do it with Dawn? They do look more alike than Jessie and Jessiebelle. Their only difference is their accents, which is something you obtain by how you're raised.

Iris and Cilan signify nature and technology
Iris is down to earth while Cilan is...A Pokémon sommelier.
  • It sounds more like a Harmony Versus Discipline thing, really. Iris lives in harmony with nature, Cilan is a disciplined employee.
  • Or Iris is down to earth while Cilan is a nerd. That could work.

Iris' mother died of a sickness and her father left her to explore a new region
Notice Iris wasn't with her parents but she was in a boarding school full of kids who made fun of her. No parental figures were there so she stayed in a boarding school.

Cilan and his brothers were really adopted
No wonder they never showed Cilan's parents. Maybe he and his brothers were adopted by some woman and loved and cared for them. Then she became depressed and was bedridden back at home so his brothers are left to make money in order to take care of her. That might have been too horrible to talk about.

Cilan and his brothers were neglected
All we get is them playing in a meadow and are possibly not getting any adult supervision. But there are things that imply that their not neglected, they look like their kept clean, they have nice clothes, and Chili had a band-aid on his injured nose. So maybe someone's taking care of them otherwise they won't look nice. But what parent let's their children play out in the wilderness with Pokemon? Either they just got Panpour, Pansear, and Pansage but they look like their six or seven in that flashback (almost Max's age) or maybe it's a wild panpour, pansear, and pansage that they befriended but caught by the time they were ten either way.

Pokemon of the Party

Ash's Butterfree is gay.
According to the markings on its wings, Ash's Butterfree was male. But so was the pink Butterfree he wanted to be with. Now they're off raising adopted baby Caterpies together.
  • Ash's Aipom has male fur yet she's female. Chu looks like a boy. The entire Pikachu pack in Pikachu's Goodbye has male markings. Let's just say that gender differences are a Sinnoh thing that has been branching out into other regions.
  • Um...Dude? Sexual differences between pokemon didn't exist back then. The butterfree he mated with was pink, so it's a girl. It's what they were aiming for.

Either Piplup is a Draco Meteor magnet, or Gible is targeting it
  • Gible really isn't trying to hit Piplup with his Draco Meteor attempts, the attack is simply attracted to Piplup because Piplup once ate a hold item that gives a pokemon a resistance to dragon type attacks but causes dragon type attacks to always hit the pokemon. Any time Piplup is close enough to Gible while he's practicing Draco Meteor, the effect of that item kicks in and so the attack has no other choice but to hit Piplup.
As for the resistance side-effect, since Piplup seems to recover from these Draco Meteors fairly quickly, it seems like while it does hurt it's not enough to KO him. At first one would assume that it's probably because they're not complete Draco Meteors that they're simply weaker, however damage from continual weak attacks do add up. During training, it's not very likely that Ash is having Gible only using the attack once. It's more likely that Gible is using it several times and we're only shown it hitting Piplup once because using that joke several times in one minute would be too much. A weaker variation of a powerful attack like that is still going to be enough to KO a pokemon in a few hits. The added resistance would explain how Piplup can keep shaking it off that easily every time.This item probably doesn't digest easily so it'll take years until the item is fully digested, but until then its effects still work on Piplup.

  • Ever since Gible started using Draco Meteor, it hasn't failed to land directly on Piplup with every single shot until mastering it. One hit is just chance, two hits is bad luck, but enough hits to make a literal episode concerning it in Piplup, Up, and Away? Yeah, there's something wrong with this picture. And it didn't exactly help Gible's case when Togekiss started taking personal responsibility to deflect the attacks from Piplup, and properly scold him for it. Even though Gible is most likely to be a Tyke Bomb of a pokemon, knowing an immature version of one of the strongest common Dragon-Type moves, the move itself almost seems to be targeting Piplup specifically; enough to identify where Dawn's Piplup is in any given situation. Either that, or Gible was lying when he said he's not trying to hurt Piplup with Draco Meteor on purpose, and is targeting him with the move consciously.

Cilan's pansage is bred from a Cinccino.
Think about it. In the games, Pansage is only able to learn bullet seed as an egg move with a Cinccino as a father. Cilan's pansage knows bullet seed in the anime. That brings some questions to where his pansage actually came from....

Ash's Palpitoad
  • going to pull a Krabby. OK, so Ash has caught a Palpitoad. Surely I can't be the only one to see the parallels- both Water-types caught while he has six in the party and sent straight to the regional professor. Now while it's a long shot, wouldn't it be awesome to see Palpitoad make a debut battling appearance in the league, evolving to Seismitoad and completely sweeping?
    • Well in BW041, Ash is going to use Palpitoad in the mini tournament in Nimbasa. It might pull off a Krabby though here.
    • Technically Palpitoad did pull a Krabby in the sense that it won all of its battles in the Nimbasa tournament. However it's implied that Ash will use Paplitoad in the battle against Elesa so Palpitoad while aiming toward the direction of Krabby is just another powerful Pokemon that Ash will use even in gym battles.

Ash's Scraggy will learn Low Kick
Scraggy knows only three moves as of this WMG, and according to it's bulbapedia entry,the event Scraggy knows all three moves plus Low Kick.

Charmeleon and Charizard's attitude problems
I know there is already a WMG about this in the Rivals and Villains folder, but I'm taking a different route. Given that Damian was Charmander's first trainer my theory is that the fire-type subconsciously associated being a strong Trainer with being a jerk to your Pokemon. Unevolvedignores Ash's "weakness", but as he became stronger he expected his new trainer to show his strength as well, but Ash treated Charmeleon the same.

Brock got his Steelix back because it's no longer a Rock-type.
The Pewter Gym specializes in Rock-type, but Steelix looses its Rock typing after it evolves. As the result, it's barely used in battle and Forrest decided to return it back to Brock.

Brock or the Forrest, in the Sun and Moon era, has an Alolan Golem.
The regular Geodude that belonged to Brock evolved, and it's traded for an Alolan Graveler.
  • Jossed.

If Tracey's Scyther were to evolve, its youth would be renewed once more as a Scizor.
Mainly because it would be more metallic than fleshy.

The Marill May's [supposed] Venusaur was battling in its sole cameo was also May's Pokemon.
She caught it during her Johto trip, the same one where Eevee and Squirtle evolved into Glaceon and Wartortle respectively. Also, May traded her heart-filled Bulbasaur for a Venusaur due to someone being attracted to its unique hearts.

    Rivals and Villains 
Gary "Memetic" Oak
Gary's starter was Eevee, not Squirtle.
Its been a while since I have seen the episode with Gary's Blastoise, but from what I remember, Brock says that the Blastoise was the one given to him by Professor Oak. They don't really say that is was his first Pokemon, and having Eevee would make a little more sense than Squirtle, because have you even wondered why in Pokemon Yellow that the rival has Eevee and not something else? Well, it's possible the anime writers told the game makers what Gary's starter was so they didn't have to guess.
  • That would explain why Blastoise didn't appear until the Johto Championships, yet Eevee appeared long before Blastoise-you'd think that if he chose Squirtle, we would've seen it much earlier.
    • We did. Episode 004, original series: as Samurai tells Ash how badly he had been trashed by trainers from Pallet, there are flashbacks of how exactly he got trashed, with his Pinsir being defeated by Bulbasaur and Charmander and his Metapod being apparently thrown away by a Squirtle that can only be Gary's (including Ash, there were only four trainers from Pallet, who got Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle).

Gary Oak's cheerleaders were all faking their mindless worshiping of him, and were secretly his bodyguards
Gary's a relative of a highly respected (perhaps THE most highly respected) authority in Pokémon. So it doesn't seem all that farfetched that he could have been seen as a potential target for ransom or worse, should he have gone on his journey alone. And since we haven't seen anything of the rest of his family, not even the sister that exists in every other media, maybe something happened to them, something that made the professor hesitant to send Gary out on his journey. And this troper remembers hearing somewhere that in Takeshi Shudo's original novelization, Gary's cheerleaders were hired by the mayor of Pallet Town (who happened to be the professor's brother) specifically to accompany him - maybe the reason for that was to put Professor Oak's mind at ease.
  • This could make for a better explanation for why Dawn would go to a battlers tournament in a far distant land, she wants to prove herself worthy of joining the squad:
    You think that a prissy-assed coordinator can keep up with our Master?! DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY!!!
  • It also could help explain why he doesn't have the Marsh Badge. The girls heard rumors of how dangerous Sabrina was and subsequently talked him out of challenging her.

Gary's mystery badges.
In the episode dealing with the Viridian Gym Badge, Gary is shown with ten badges, despite there being eight gyms in Kanto. Plus he didn't have the Marsh Badge from Sabrina. So what gives? Where did he(and other mysterious badges) get them?
  • Character of the Day AJ decided to start a career as a gym leader. They were impressed at his 100 win streak, so he got the job. He ended up being another Ground type gym leader, since the other Ground type Gym Leader kept pwning everyone with his psychic god and the league wanted to give them a chance at winning
  • In the games, the Fighting Dojo is a former gym which had its role replaced by Sabrina because she kicked their asses. Since Sabrina is a scary psycho the League decided to let them hold onto their official title
  • The Yaz and Taz Gyms successfully proved themselves worthy of the title of gym leader. Their gyms are Electric and Bug type.

There are plenty more than eight gyms per region.
Gameplay purpose isn't a concern, and there doesn't have to be a limit of the anime region-size. There are dozens of different gyms in each region, however the main eight we see in the games are the ones with the most publicity and importance. You can go to, say, the Yaz and Taz Gyms, but they're considered amateur gyms.
  • Makes sense. Also confirmed Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2 where there are confirmed to be more than 8 Gyms in the Unova Region, so it makes complete sense , in a realistic way, for each region to have more than 8 Gym Leaders (like around a dozen or so).

Gary will return at the end of Sun and Moon.
Its unlikely that there will be a Alola league in Sun and Moon and the if the kahuna trials are anything like in the games they will be the Orange islands all over again. So someone needs to keep alive the glorious tradition of screwing over Ash at the end. So why not the master?
  • Jossed. Not only was there an Alola League, but Ash actually won it. Gary remains on the bus.

The Other Trainers from Pallet

Red and Blue are the 'other two trainers from Pallet Town' (besides Ash and Gary)
Gary Oak has a twin brother, Blue, who has always been overshadowed by Gary's effortless high achievement, to the point that their own grandfather, Professor Oak, has difficulty remembering Blue's name. This sibling rivalry makes Blue desperate to do at least one thing better than his brother for once, so he shows up several hours early on the day that they're to pick out their starter Pokemon, so he can choose the best one. Unfortunately, Gary has another prospective rival in town, Red, who also shows up early, though Blue still beats him by a few minutes. Professor Oak's constant disappointment in Blue causes him to give the other boy, a complete stranger to him, the first choice instead. Red happens to choose the Pokemon that Blue wanted (though they've never been friendly with each other, and Blue knows he chose that one on purpose), adding insult to injury, and watering the seeds of a new rivalry. Gary who?

Meanwhile, across town, Gary Oak is just waking up. Like the titular leporid in 'The Tortoise and the Hare', the self-assured boy has overslept, and ends up arriving a bit late at the lab. (Plus, it takes a while to gather his fan club.) When he finally reaches his destination, Red and Blue are long gone, and there's only one Pokemon left, which he grudgingly takes. His brother had actually outdone him for once, not only getting his Pokemon first, but also getting a head start on his journey. Gary is so busy stewing over this, that he doesn't see the sleepy fourth Pallet kid hurtling towards him until it's too late. His anger at Blue projects onto the easy target as he begins to berate Ash for running into him, until he realizes something... here is at least someone he's managed to be better than today—Ash doesn't even get a Pokemon, let alone his first choice. Gary steels himself with this knowledge, and hides his disappointment and anger under a big show of bravado, even bragging about how his last-option Pokemon is 'the best'. He departs in a swirl of put-on self confidence, leaving Ash to receive Pikachu from Professor Oak. Another rivalry takes root.

Meanwhile, Blue and Red are already on their respective journeys. They reach each town ahead of Ash or Gary, and so never hear either of them mentioned, though everywhere Ash goes, he hears about the other trainers from Pallet Town who are doing so much better than him.

Note: This doesn't explain why Professor Oak said the other two Pallet Town trainers had 'quit' in EP065, or how the player in the games catching Mewtwo works out. But then, this is WMG.

  • Sorry, but no. The game continuity makes this completely impossible, as Red took down Team Rocket, causing Giovanni to go into hiding. If Red and Blue existed in the anime-verse, Team Rocket wouldn't have been running by the time Ash moved on to other regions. The fact that Team Rocket is powerful enough to expand to other regions (and that Giovanni is still the head of it) is proof enough that Red and Blue don't exist in the anime.

The other trainers from Pallet have appeared in the anime
Their identities? Assunta, who choose Bulbasaur, and Damian, who choose Charmander (who later realized what a Jerkass his trainer was and dropped him, joining Ash' party). After all, Ash seemed strangely familiar with them, at least given the looks he gave them. But why did Oak said they quit? Easy: after her fifth badge, Assunta passed the examination to enter the Pokemon League without getting all the badges and dropped off the radar to train, and Oak, not hearing anything from her nor receiving new Pokemon, assumed she had quit only to be surprised when she resurfaced and, her Bulbasaur by now being an Ivysaur, entered the League and reached second place, while Damian, after the events in his episode, was subjected to an investigation that led him being stripped of his licence right after he won his fifth badge.

Damian is one of the Pallet trainers that started with Ash and Gary
He has a Charmander about at the same level of Ash's Pokemon and is considered strong for his experience, signaling he's pretty new. His 'quitting' is actually a story to mask how he got his training licence revoked for abusing his Pokemon.On why Ash didn't recognize him (Pallet is quite the small town, he would have known who the other three were): he actually did, he just didn't mention it on-screen because he was ashamed of coming from the same town as him. Then he accidentally mentioned his address when the nurse Joy that healed Charmander inquired on Damian's whereabouts, starting the investigation that cost Damian his licence.

Damien's Charmander is the same one Ash couldn't get from Prof. Oak's lab.


Ash's Charmander had a traumatic memory problem.
After Charmander evolves, he turns nasty to Ash. Maybe after evolving, he mistakes Ash for Damien and feels he can stand up for himself now that he's a Charmeleon / Charizard. It seems odd otherwise that he suddenly had so much less respect for Ash, especially considering how many other Pokemon Ash has had evolve who didn't have a personality change.

The Bulbasaur from the hidden village (Ash's Bulbasaur) is the same one Ash couldn't get get from Prof. Oak's lab.


Johto Rivals

Casey will mega-evolve her Meganium which will have a yellow and black stripe somewhere on it.

Advanced Generation Rivals

Harley believes May is evil as well as Harley, and Harley has Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Basically put, Harley misheard May when she was talking. Well, more like feared her. Harley told his Pokemon that May was bad, in New Plot, Odd Lot! Harley has been abused in the past. During his flashback of the young girl stealing his snacky, he said "it was the time when all the pressures of school, and all those obnoxious kiddy-poos, woukd lay off my back ever so briefly". He was made fun of harshly by his classmates. In the first fww years he was made fun of for being mean and for being girly. In the later years he was treated more harshly and was likely called gay, due to his male classmates noticing his appreciation of some of them. Harley has Narcissistic Personality Disorder on top of this. I made a thread for this, but it's best if I just sum it up:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)He always expects to be revered for his achievements, even if he messes up or just flat out loses, as he often does in battles.

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal loveWell, he is a Pokemon Coordinator, and a pretty determined one at that, so you can't say he's not obsessed with power or beauty. As for love, I have no idea. He does however have a preoccupation with success however. As he said during the Kanto Grand Festival, Japanese Version (the English dub changed the script) "The Grand Festival Cup (or whatever the cup's name is) will be mine!" And let us not forget how he taunts Drew about beating him in battle afterwards.

3. Believes that he or she is “special”and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)He believes he is special; all around beautiful, talented, amazing, superb, etc.He likes to be with talented coordinators, like Drew and Jesse(bella) before Harley decided she wasn't a good coordinator. He also likes other talented people such as Norman and Nurse Joy.

4. Requires excessive admirationWell, there was that incident with the cookies (although in my opinion I think Harley thought May really WAS TRYING to insult him, but others might disagree). And let us not forget that we should shower Harley with complements, because he is great and supremely talented, and such.

5. Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectationsAgain, if you insult Harley, someone’s gonna get hurt real bad, and it’s gonna be you.

6. Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantageof others to achieve his or her own endsThose times he lied to May so she would either lose the contest or get disqualified from it entirely. Or when he used Team Rocket to defeat May in a contest and in return he promised he’d help them steal May’s Pokémon [although whether he actually meant that promise or not is up to fan interpretation, one could infer that because he stopped right when the twerps showed up and said that he’d rather have his Pokémon defeat May in battle instead (there’s that over-whelming, undeserved confidence again) that he was just bluffing].

7. Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of othersDepends on the situation. Of course he’d be empathetic to the feelings of both his Pokémon and others’ as well. He’s even shown slight empathy to May, giving her small pep-talks before a battle (“just stay calm and keep the powder dry”), if only to give her a false sense of security or mess with her mind. For the most part however, he’s absolutely apathetic, possibly sadistic, to May. To Drew, he has insulted him at least twice, the third episode he showed up in, and the Grand Festival, and he absolutely loved (he was smiling with a big grin and LAUGHING) when Drew told May that he wasn’t weak like her and broke May’s feelings. It’s not shown if he reacts this way to all people or just those he picks on.

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or herHe envies that May wins all the time. Does he just blow off a loss and wait for the next contest? NOOOOO!!!! He gets REVENGE!!! I’m not quite sure if he thinks others are envious of him, though it wouldn’t be much of a stretch. ...Wait, I remember he said something like: “Oh, you’re just jealous because I...” I forgot the rest. (It was from the first episode he was in, I think.)

9. Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

It’s time to break out the quotes.

“If you’re gonna be throwing the word adorable around, you better be talking about YOURS TRULY!!”

“So what? It’s a competition, right?”

  • bumps into May* “Move!”

“AUUGGGHHHH!!!! Stupid contest must have been RIGGED SOMEHOW!!!”

Harley has experienced some sort of sexual abuse.
I know this is a long shot, and maybe this is my inner fanfiction writer talking, but it seems to me Harley may have had some sexual experience prior to adult maturation. In Tezuki's book, the legal age to marry in the Pokemon world is 10 years old. Leaving theories of the age of consent being 10 years old aside, it appears that Clemont is able to marry at the age of 10. Excessive sexual behaviour is a symptom of sexual abuse. Harley exhibits excessive sexual behaviour. Harley is not the only character to act like this. Jesse, Brock, James, and even Meowth have acted in ways that would be considered excessive. My hypothesis is that Harley experienced some major form of sexual abuse, while the other main characters experienced some minor form of sexual abuse.

One of Harley's family members, possibly one of his parents, loved cooking and taught him how to cook.
This is why he gets so defensive and angry when people say his food is bad or even "not half bad". From his perspective, they're insulting the recipes of that family member who Harley loves so much. And yes, despite being a huge narcissist, Harley is capable of genuine love and affection — he adores his Pokémon and is on good terms with Solidad.

Diamond and Pearl Rivals

Paul is somehow connected to Team Galactic.
The evidence is minuscule at best, but it's there: he comes from Veilstone City (where TG's home base is located), and he displays an attitude toward Pokemon that's altogether not too different from that of Galactic's members (for example, he uses them as tools and discards them without a second thought).

Paul hit puberty.
Notice his deep voice and Emo Teen personality - he hit puberty early and is all hormonal. He's just displacing his anger on others.

Paul is Cyrus and Mars' son.
We never get mention of any father, plus he is the Expy of Silver, who was also the son of a villainous leader. Blue+Red=Purple and it would also explain his cruelty towards pokemon. Right now he is in the custody of his older brother, Reggie, yet resents him because he will never get to have a real father.

Paul was right all along.
Think about it: he was pretty much owning Ash every step of the way until the League, aside from the tie and the Pokeringer thing (and Staravia only won because it evolved.) He lost to Ash because Infernape got lucky and activated Blaze.

In the sinnoh league, Paul will...
...lose to barry before he gets the chance to battle ash, then barry battles ash who beats him. ash beats the elite four and does home to pallet, but paul tracks him down a challenges him to a battle...and gets pwned by charizard
  • Jossed. All of it.

Ursula is from a rich family.
Look at her dress. Look at her shoes. You think even a 10-year-old girl would walk through the forests for days on end wearing that. I don't think so. She probably has a chauffeur to drive her from contest to contest, and buys her Pokemon rather than catch them.
  • To drive this even further, most of her Pokémon could actually be caught in Mr.Backlot's mansion in the DPPt games. Jigglypuff, Plusle, Minun, Eevee...

Nando's harp has some magical properties.
It would explain why he has a flying, Sing-using, Perish-Song-surviving Kricketot...
  • And how Pokemon not native to Sinnoh appear. Maybe the Mew on his harp are a clue?
    • (original poster) It would also explain these:
      1. In Dawn's Early Night, he had Sunflora and Kricketune use GrassWhistle and Sing as part of their appeal. Nobody fell asleep.
      2. The infamous scene in Coming Full Festival Circle! where he's outside singing to all the wild Pokémon, at night, and there are two Cherrim out there in their Sunshine Forms. Yeah.
      • (other guy) Mew can learn any move, right? This explaining the Kricketot. And the harp must control the music. In a way, he's cheating!

The reason Tobias has a Darkrai…
is because Tobias is not actually a human. He's an avatar of Darkrai, created so the 'mon can enter the Sinnoh League without looking suspicious. This also extends to Tobias's other 'mons, legendary or otherwise. All are representatives of Darkrai's power, simply used in different ways. Maybe Darkrai's reasons for doing so are malevolent, maybe they're benign, but the point is, Tobias isn't controlling Darkrai, because he's just an illusion.
  • If that were the case, Tobias should have disappeared as soon as Sceptile knocked out Darkrai. I think we can consider this one Jossed.

How did Tobias get a Darkrai?
He had a Primeape with Vital Spirit. is probably the best Pokemon to go against Darkrai. Due to Vital Spirit, Darkrai cannot put it to sleep, shutting down its biggest strategy; the very thing that makes Darkrai OP. Not only does Primeape have the clear type advantage, but outside of Psychic(which it can only learn by TM and thus not naturally), Darkrai can't use anything super-effective on Primeape. Despite being a legendary, Darkrai was almost entirely taken out by Ash's Sceptile, which shows unlike most legendaries it's strength comes from its nightmare powers. If Tobias has a Vital Spirit Primeape, all he'd need to do is stock up on Pokeballs, find where Darkrai lives, and go nuts. Latios was just a matter of testing his new Darkrai out.

Best Wishes

Trip's bird and octoghosts are both male.
They're the only two lines in the Unova Pokedex that have gender differences. Ash will note the difference in looks between his bird and Trip's, remember that he has a girl, and has Snivy use Attract.
  • The octoghost is already confirmed to be a male since males of that species are blue and females are pink and Trip's is clearly a blue one.

Trip's hometown is Driftveil City
This comes from Trip's team. When Ash meets Trip a second time, he claims that he already has two badges as well as having six Pokemon. However, when you look at his team, it's impossible to get some Pokemon like his Frillish or Lampent at that point in the game. This makes this troper think that Trip originally lived in one of these two towns and already captured them before he got his starter. Frillish can easily be caught in Driftveil via surfing in that area. Tranquil can also be caught on Route 6. As for his Lampent, since the two cities is a route and a cave away with the tower past Mistralton City.

Then there's the fact that Trip's other two Pokemon are revealed to be Vanillite and Timburr. Those two Pokemon can be caught in the Cold Storage area. If that's the case then it could very well be his hometown.

Also, Driftveil City is known for it's ocean and market place and most of his Pokemon are ocean themednote . Finally, since you can apparently buy anything at the market place, this troper wouldn't be surprised if he bought his camera here.

And even though the anime says he's from Nuvema Town, if the theory of the bottom is used, then he might have been living there temporary so he could get his journey started.

  • Uh... since when do game locations have anything to do with the anime? Go look at how many of the main characters' Pokemon in the anime were caught in places they can't be found in the games.
    • It's a theory using game logic. The idea comes from the fact that most of Trip's Pokemon can be caught in Driftveil hence the idea that he originally lived here instead of Nuvema takes place.
      • Yeah, and as pointed out, game logic does not apply to the anime. That his Pokemon can be found in that area means jack.
      • And mind you, this place is WMG so anything goes. Besides, Iris gives the hint that Vanillite aren't found that early in the region by her reaction, although this might have to do with her phobia of ice Pokemon.

Trip's Vanillite is a girl.
Throwing this one out there. This is due to The Smurfette Principle. Ash's entire team is male and that left him at the mercy of Snivy until he found out that his Pidove was female. The same could apply to Trip too. If attract was more like it's game counterpart, it would be hitting all of Trip's Pokemon way too easily. However, looking at Trip's Pokemon and paying attention to the voice actors, while woman are capable of voicing male Pokemon, its to be noted that almost all of Trip's Pokemon are voiced by males EXCEPT Vanillite (and this applies to the English version as well). Frillish does not count because the color of its body is blue and therefore confirms that its a male. Besides, Vanillite gives the impression of being a female in comparison to Trip's other Pokemon with the way it acts.

Trip is racist against Kanto is because he was bullied by a kid from Kanto when he was in preschool
The "Goonies" might have came from a kid from Kanto bullying him and he will never forgive her of what did she did to him.
  • Alternatively, the Pokemon War that Lt Surge was part of was between America and Japan, which Unova and Kanto are part of respectively. Maybe Trip is racist because he had to deal with a family member dying in this war, or in a similar fashion to how some Americans are racist against Arabs.

Trip is an Unreliable Narrator.
Trip keeps insisting that Alder told him to get stronger so they would battle the next time they meet. When the group finally meets Alder in BW054, while Alder can remember Trip to a certain extent, he's almost positive that he didn't tell Trip that only strong Pokemon matter. However, Trip really seems insistent that Alder told him this. What can that mean? He misinterpreted their encounter and only some of the details are right while he blocked out other details (that might be related to trauma, that goes back to the theory above about Trip having Abusive (or neglectful parents).) By the end of the episode, the audience knows that Alder was telling the truth when he didn't say that power was the most important part of being a trainer with him constantly asking Ash and co about what their definition of strength means and about their goals. Only time will tell if the flashback comes to mind only to see something completely different.
  • Or it's plausible that he met Alder before his Pokemon partner died. In the games, Alder says that before the Pokemon's death, they "madly pursued strength" and that it's death changed the way he looks at things.

Bianca didn't have two Badges when she was at Nimbasa.
She was lying. When we first met her, she had only one Pokemon - Pignite. She also claimed to have two Badges, but we never saw them, and we still haven't seen them at this point. She's lost every match she's been in.
  • Alternatively, she does have the two badges but the same could be said with Trip who claims to have four badges but the audience has not seen them to have definite proof. And while the supported theory is that Cilan doesn't remember her challenging his gym (to be fair, there are other gym leaders in the anime), one can very easily beat two gyms with one Pokemon. And just because she loses every match because she uses Minccino instead of Pignite doesn't mean she won off screen...which doesn't mean much to the audience.

The group will encounter an Evil Counterpart of Iris
Like how the motifs of Black and White are shown, there will be a character who comes from Iris's home village. Unlike her, he/she will have mastered several dragon type Pokémon, but chose to abandon the Dragon Master goal in middle of their journey, becoming more focused on the more modern/technological aspects. To further this, they will sport a Hydreigon and/or a powerful ice type.

Georgia is not the only Dragon Buster.
Georgia refers to herself as "a" Dragon Buster, not "the" Dragon Buster. She also refers to other Dragon Busters. For all we know, there could be other Dragon Busters around, wanting to defeat every Dragon-type in existence.

There are Busters for the other 16 types.
A Dragon Buster works hard to defeat every Dragon-type they see. Who's to say there isn't such a thing as a Grass Buster, a Water Buster, or a Dark Buster?

Virgil's Eevee will evolve into Sylveon
He had a complete set prior to the announcement, plus Sylveon was the first Gen 6 Pokemon announced other than the Starters.

Counterparts not in the Anime

In the anime, Leaf's counterpart was given Bulbasaur.
Since Gary was given Squirtle, it follows that Gary is the rival of a Charmander trainer (which could be either Ritchie or Damian.) This leaves Bulbasaur for Leaf's counterpart.
  • And we're assuming the anime follows the game canon for what reason in hell again?
    • Quite often.
      • So... none, basically? Let's not forget that Gary's Blastoise is basically in opposition to Ash's Charizard. In the anime, Leaf just does not exist- we've seen versions of every protagonist except her, even if only in cameo form.
      • She probably exists, but hasn't been seen. She's never been the most popular protagonist when it comes to counterparts; she only has two

Leaf's counterpart will be the opposite of Ash, both personality and success-wise.
Everything he is not. She may not have (initially) succeeded as a trainer but that doesn't mean she isn't successful. Also, on top of these, I expect her personality will tick Ash off in a similar way to Gary or Paul.

The anime counterpart of Green/Leaf (Beta) is named Amanda
  • In Fire Red or Leaf Green, the first non-color/element name that comes up is "Amanda". This also applies for Red/Ash.

Anime Brendan is Birch's son.
Simple process of elimination: in the games, whoever you play as becomes Norman's son/daughter, while the opposite gender character becomes Birch's. Since anime-May is Norman's kid, that would leave Brendan (who exists in this continuity, albeit as a completely silent, never-seen-in-focus Easter Egg character) as Professor Birch's son. As for why he never mentions him, the Professor is said to be quite forgetful in the games; it's conceivable that it simply slipped his mind at the time. ... No, it's not a particularly interesting one, but it's a theory, nonetheless.
  • Another possibility, which includes both player choices, is that both of them are actually siblings, and Norman is only the main character's stepfather/Birch is only the rival's stepfather/they're half-siblings and the player's mom is a slut.
    • But in the Birch household in-game there is a woman and even a little boy downstairs. Perhaps she is your rival's step-mother, which would makes sense as she uses the awkward term of 'our daughter/son' when referring to them, as if she's trying t convince you that they really are her child.

Lucas won against Brendan in the anime.
At the beginning of Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Lucas's Pokemon just stood there, apparently unharmed, and Brendan wasn't shown. From the impact, we could believe that one of them had to have taken damage. This would also be a counterpart battle to Dawn Vs. May, where Dawn won. In the games, and apparently in the anime, Brendan is cocky and believes in his powers quite well. Lucas was the one to bring him down, since May never met him.


It's Butch and Cassidy's fault that James's first Victreebel always attacked him.
They were the ones who were "taking care" of it when it evolved. A few possibilities:
  • It really wanted to evolve but they wouldn't give it the Leaf Stone unless it promised to attack James at least periodically or to not be as loyal to him.
  • It's more attached to them because they helped it get stronger and all James did was lose when he had it.
Or maybe something else. The point is, it evolved under their "care" and since they don't like Jessie and James, it's likely that they might easily take the chance to turn one of J&J's Pokemon against them. Remember, Butch and Cassidy actually DID turn Meowth and the others against Jessie and James in that story where they were using a Drowzee to make Pokemon attack their trainers, so Victreebel may have been an earlier experiment along those lines.
  • It's ambiguous whether Victreebell's "eating" of James was out of malice or hunger, or another "over affectionate glomping plant Pokemon" Running Gag (notice Carvinine does the same despite blatantly loving James). If it's the latter, it was likely quite overjoyed when James freed it from Butch and Cassidy's prison.

Most people get Butch's name wrong on purpose
Because Cassidy and him are famous, and so are Jessie, James and Meowth. But the latter three are liked because they're funny and relatively nice, while Butch and Cassidy are two jerks, so everyone who meets them do their best to piss him off.

Cyrus will come back as a god-like entity
No one knows the exact nature of the world Cyrus went to or what effects it could've had on him. It could be possible that he attained a higher power far greater than any legendary Pokemon in existence. He could even be the final Big Bad of the entire series. And this could be his One-Winged Angel form.

The episode "Dig Those Diglett" is not canon
The Pokémon owned by everybody refuse to come out of their Pokeballs because they refuse to move the Diglett, because they know the Diglett need that area as their home. But other episodes have Pokemon being forced out their balls against their will and refusing to battle (see most of the time Ash had Charizard). "Dig Those Diglett" is the only time I can remember when the Pokemon can refuse to come out.

Same for "Island of the Giant Pokemon"
The episode establishes that there is no such as thing as bad Pokemon, merely ones that obey bad trainers. Despite the fact that later episodes progressively introduce evil or at least morally dubious Pokemon antagonists who act on their own free will (eg. Mewtwo, the evil Malamar) and unlike Ekans and Koffing, most later Team Rocket Pokemon seem to have no problem causing mischief without Jessie and James around.

Hunter J is Bashou's mother.
They look very much alike, have the same professional persona, and are in similar lines of work. Although YMMV if J would be old enough to have a son in his 20s, as her age seems to vary from episode to episode.

J isn't dead
Her shades floated up from her ship, or if she most likely had any water-type Pokemon, she might've gotten out. And she might return in Best Wishes if she escaped certain death.
  • That last bit has been Jossed at least, Ash has already left Unova.

J did indeed survive...
...But most of her body was permanently damaged in the wreck. After barely escaping the police, she was forced to go into hiding and replace the useless lower half of her body with a mechanical body based off one of her Pokemon, Drapion. With her whole criminal empire now gone, and her mind now decidedly twisted and hellbent for retribution, all she cares about now is hunting down one Ash Ketchum.

The evil Togepi was created by Team Rocket scientists.
In "Island of the Giant Pokémon", Ekans explained that no Pokémon are evil. They can only have evil masters. So the only possible explanation for the Togepi being evil is that it was made that way WITH SCIENCE.
  • Bill Nye The Pokemon Guy!
  • That was hyperbole. If Pokemon are intelligent, they can easily be just as wicked as humans. Meowth, for instance...

Dr. Zager is Charon in disguise
They do look kind of similar, don't they?As for why he's working for Giovanni: He escaped after Team Galactic collapsed, joined Team Rocket under a false identity, and is planning his own Take Over the World scheme under their noses. Ordering Jessie, James, and Meowth to capture the Weather Trio is part of this.

Giovanni wouldn't actually be impressed by Ash's Pikachu, and TR's obsession with catching it is fruitless.
Giovanni wasn't impressed by an uncommon Pokemon such as Togepi, after all, so why would he be interested in a common little Pikachu? Pikachu may be strong and able to write it's way around canon (such as beating Rhydon with Thunderbolt), but that's only when the plot demands it. Pikachu is also just as able of being totally defeated and is consistently able to be captured by the TRio, just like any other Pokemon, and often needs other Pokemon to help it escape (such as Vine Whip or Razor Leaf). The only thing that's really remarkable about Pikachu is its dedication to Ash.
  • Indeed when Giovanni finally confronted Ash in Best Wishes, he swatted away Pikachu with his Persian like it was nothing.
  • On the other hand, afterwards, Pikachu unleashed a super charged Electro Ball that tore apart his plans. This impressed Giovanni more than frustrating him. Might also give reason why Giovanni hasn't quite knocked Jessie and James back down to being disgraces despite going back to targeting the little rodent.

Giovanni used Mewtwo against Gary because of his badge count and to humble him.
It's stated in Pokémon Origins that Gym Battle difficulty is based on badge count. Gary had 10 badges when he challenged Giovanni and he didn't need the badge, he just wanted to one-up Ash and get the Earth Badge before him. So, Giovanni used a Pokémon well above the 8 badge threshold against someone who was strong enough to earn 10 badges and to humble a child who only challenged his Gym not to better himself but to get one over on another trainer.
  • If one subscribes to the "Giovanni is secretly Ash's father" theory, man is probably sick and tired of seeing the brat who bullied his son not get karma biting him in the ass and decides to handle it himself.

Attila and Hun are dead.
The last time we saw them, they were observing a captive Rayquaza with Dr. Sebastian during the prologue of the ninth movie. During the subsequent Diamond and Pearl series, Rayquaza is seen in space, suggesting that it somehow escaped. Then, in the Best Wishes arc, when the entire Team Rocket organization travels to Unova to capture the Kami Trio, Attila and Hun are conspicuously absent. Why would two high-ranking members with experience capturing Legendary Pokémon not be part of something like that? Presumably, Rayquaza was able to escape from Team Rocket's clutches, and destroyed the lab where it was being held. Attila and Hun would have been killed during Rayquaza's escape.

Rather than being a smoker himself, Butch grew up around them, and the second-hand smoke permanently damaged his vocal chords.
After, he felt insecure about his new voice, being put down and compared to "a dying Politoed" by some, but Cassidy is the only person who doesn't mind it.

    Other Guesses 
The Distortion World is the same dimension the Unown came from in the third movie.
If this is true, Giratina wouldn't be such a Woobie.

The Best Wishes anime takes place a few years before the events of the game.
And at least one of the things we will see in Best Wishes is how Iris became the eight gym leader of Unova. This would also explain why the female playable character isn't travelling with Ash; because she hadn't started her Pokemon journey yet!
  • Also, Team Plasma shows up only after a while.

Best Wishes takes place after Black and White's storyline.
I know it's a little early in the story to be calling this, but I figure that if Bianca is already working for Juniper (may be likely she's raising a new Pokemon or something), this must be happening after the main storyline. Why do you think they're focusing on Team Rocket? Because Touko (I'm going to assume) took care of them already. And they needed a main villain so...yeah. This is a wild guess, so I can (and likely will) be proven wrong.
  • Though before seems more likely since the anime tends to take place at the same time as the game, we haven't seen hide nor hair of N (padding) or Ghetsis. Those Plasma members could be what remains of the team- Team Rocket didn't vanish in the games after they were thwarted in RBY/FRLG. Also, since Iris is only the gym leader in the White version, whos to say that it isn't the Black version it's following, with Drayden as the gym leader?
  • Let's just say it takes place after Black, but before White, per se.
  • Alternately, it can take place whenever the hell it wants since the games and the anime are different universes.
  • Maybe the series takes place during Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 given that Bianca is officially Juniper's assistant in those games. Maybe she'll change her look to her new glasses-with-longer-hair look that she has in Black 2 and White 2 in the upcoming Best Wishes Season 2.
    • Highly Doubtful since Iris is the Champion in those games. Not outright Jossed, however, as we have seen a true champion abdicate his title in another adaptation.
      • Well, when Plasma did show up, it was in their B2/W2 incarnation. Sans the other 6 sages and the Shadow Triad.

Best Wishes takes place between Black & White and Black 2 & White 2
This is not merely as a supplement to the other 2 theories; I have correlating facts: Specifically, the facts that he battles Roxie for his 8th badge and that Striation isn't frozen over when he battled for his 1st one. This essentially puts it a few months before the Point of No Return between the two games. Which makes me fear that Ash will be following in the footsteps of Matthew from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, but that's a WMG all its own... EDIT: Which, fortunately would have been Jossed.

Best Wishes takes place in a parallel Alternate Universe.
Why else would Ash actually have pupils, Pikachu's iron tail move look different, and Team Rocket look like (and actually be) a significant threat? All of the past seasons had happened in that Alternate Universe almost exactly, which explains the Continuity Nods in the first BW episode.

The Decolore Islands are the Pokemon counterpart to the Thimble Islands in the Long Island Sound.
Just as Unova is the counterpart for New York/New Jersey, the Decolore Islands are based on the Thimble Islands. Many of the Islands share similar descriptions, having a road and a few houses.

Tobias and the Sinnoh Conference

The Pokemon League for Sinnoh, in the anime, was symbolic.
Ash is the kid who plays with his favorites and loves his Pokemon. Tobias (the Darkrai guy) was a cheap player with his ubers. Paul was an IV-EV like competitive battler.
  • Conway would be Paul turned up a notch, in that case. Barry would be the guy who enters even though he doesn't know much about Pokémon.

Tobias is a Possession Sue.
Face it, Nintendo isn't going to be so lazy that they'll have a God-Mode Sue due to the Hatedom it'll create. And if Tobias was a Parody Sue or Take That! to the hackers, they'd damn well show it. Somehow, a hacker managed to infiltrate the anime universe, but due to being an uber-user, he was stripped of any real personality and took over the intended plot point that always prevents Ash from becoming Champion. The only reason why Ash managed to beat two of his ubers or why he didn't use higher tiers was because the Pokemon anime universe was fighting back. The writers are trying to ignore it, and by now Tobias only remains in our memories (unfortunately).

(Alternate to the above) Tobias is YOU
Ok, stay with me here. Raise your hand if you ever took on the Elite Four with an uber note . The point is, how are you (and you, and you, and you, and you, and all the rest of you that are guilty of this) any different? Tobias is the anime version of all of us (yes, I've done it as well) who bust out the legendaries and sweep the Elite Four. We all hate Tobias because, secretly, we all hate ourselves.
  • Not all of us...
  • Support for this may come in the form of his original name: The best theory for his name so far is Takuto Itagaki, senior division champion for the Pokémon TCG. His name come from an actual player, and in the version of the game where legendaries are not frowned upon.
  • Hey, it's Game Freak's fault for all putting the legendary directly in the path of the plot (I'm looking at you, weather and creation trios!) before you get the eight badge.

Mysterial and Tobias are related.
Mysterial's team is almost entirely legendaries, including Dialga/Palkia. So why not have Tobias as his son? Somehow, Tobias fell through the dimensions and crashed into the anime universe. As the Poketopia and anime universes are so different (Poketopia has trainable Olympus Mons, while legendaries in the animeverse, are, well, LEGENDARY), he broke, becoming an Empty Shell. The Tobias we saw has been warped and broken due to the radical differences between the two universes, reducing him to an Empty Shell whose only surviving trait is "being an impressive trainer".

Tobias is a Take That! to hackers/legendary users.
It would make a lot of sense.

Tobias is Arceus in disguise
It got the idea from Dragonball, where Kami (God) disguises himself as a normal guy and participates in a tournament. Arceus, however, decided it'd rather curbstomp everyone with ubers rather than use common Pokémon.

Tobias is possessed by/an illusion of Darkrai.
"His" Darkrai decided to, for the lulz, fight in the Pokémon league and is using Tobias to do it. Latios (and the 3rd Poke he has to have due to the way he beat Ash) are either Darkrai's thrall as well, or other Pokes he convinced to do engage in these lulz.

Tobias used Primeape to catch Darkrai.
It's got a type advantage against Darkrai, and its ability prevents sleep-in essence, a perfect counter to the Pitch Black Pokemon. All Tobias had to do was stock up on Pokeballs and find where a Darkrai live-and once he has Darkrai on his team, he can No-Sell the Psychic Latios. Unfortunately this means that if Ash didn't give away his Primeape, he might've won.


Giselle is Giovanni's rebellious daughter, and became Viridian City's gym leader
Being a Pokemon Tech is a near guarantee of being filthy rich, and her known Pokemon are Ground type (Viridian Gym's type speciality in the games). She could be Giovanni's daughter... Only too honest to like her father's job, and ready to take it on his underlings.

After Giovanni was outed as leader of the Team Rocket after the destruction of the gym, Giselle lost her status as the star of the Pokemon Tech (she was not kicked out because her tuition was already paid in full and the faculty believed that kicking her out without a valid reason would have meant dealing with a Team Rocket assault), but she ignored it and worked her ass into becoming a strong trainer, and when Agatha's time as temporary gym leader expired she managed to succeed her father... And crushed the Team Rocket members sent to re-establish a base in the gym.

The GS Ball contains Missingno..
Because something has to be inside, since apparently Celebi is not in it. Not anymore.

Darkrai in Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai is the amnesiac Darkrai from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers.
What's more he wasn't revived in the end. The Darkrai seen at the top of the towers is Darkrai's past evil self watching and getting the idea from the recent battle to go back in time before his death and distort space in a manner that would send the world into darkness now that his freeze time plan had failed due to the actions of the player character of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers. What's more he also likely got the idea to use Palkia to kill the player character of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers to ensure that his plan succeeds.

Pallet Town will be populated with a lot Pidove.
It has to do with Ash sending Unfezant to Oak's lab.
  • Or worse: She was carrying an illness that has devastating effects on all the flying types. Or just spreads Pokerus.
  • Well, even per the fanon timeline, it's only been 52 days when Ash returned to Pallet, so... maybe they're all still in incubators?

The Fake Groudon from Jirachi Wishmaker looked the way it did due to complications regarding Primal Reversion.

The Crystal Onix has Dragon as its secondary type, not Ground.

In Clefairy Tales, Professor Oswald/Hirata's Scanner worked as intended...
...But it wasn't designed to discover aliens.

Remember the three things the scanner directly reacted to? Clefairy, then Jigglypuff, and finally Misty... who was holding Togepi at the time. Clearly, Oswald's Scanner actually reacts to Fairy Types!

Hawlucha and Incineroar are rivals
After all, they are supposed to represent face and heel type wrestlers.

Original Series Theory: Pokemopolis' destruction was the result of a Dynamax/Gigantamax experiment by the ancient Pokemopolans gone horribly wrong.
Kanto once might have had access to Dynamax/Gigantamax energy, allowing for Pokemon to reach massive sizes outside of Galar. However, the ancient civilization made the catastrophic mistake of trying to find a means to harness Dynamax energy to keep their Pokemon at incredible power and size, possibly to continue their civilization's reign. However, it ended up horribly backfiring, as they couldn't control that kind of power and lost control of the Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Gengar and Alakazam. Both giant Pokemon ravaged the ancient civilization, possibly only stopped by a desperation move of using a Dynamaxed Jigglypuff. Afterwards, Pokemopolis never recovered, and ultimately fell as a result of their hubristic decision.

Everyone at the Flower Garden Troupe assumed Pikachu was a trans girl.
His tail was clearly a heart shape taped onto it, but they weren't just going to jump to the conclusion of "boy Pikachu pretending to be a girl one". They may be snobs, but they're not transphobes.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Anime