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"A thousand monkeys with typewriters will, given infinite time, eventually produce the works of Shakespeare."
Émile Borel (paraphrased from French)

"Man. This isn't a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters. It's twenty thousand monkeys at a single typewriter, and half those monkeys are screaming and desperately trying to progress while the other half throw crap everywhere. It’s wonderful."

Twitch Plays Pokémon (TPP) is a series of social experiments that started in February 2014 in which commands representing buttons on the requisite Nintendo console are entered into a chat on Twitch, and then translated into a game of Pokémon via an IRC bot. In short, a horde of people fighting over a controller (at its peak, over 100,000). Throughout its life, Twitch Plays Pokémon has spawned hilarious characters, memorable moments, and even a few joke religions.

The very first and most well-known run began on February 12th, 2014, featuring the game Pokémon Red. It quickly and unexpectedly exploded in popularity, achieving an average viewership of 88,000 viewers and grabbing the attention of both numerous media outlets and the Twitch staff themselves. The game was completed after 16 days of continuous gameplay, and other Pokémon games thus followed; while the stream never reached anywhere close to its initial popularity, it is still running to this very day.

There are currently over seventy completed main runsnote , as well as numerous intermissions, the most prominent being betting matches set up using Pokémon Stadium 2 then later Pokémon Battle Revolution, and sidegames which are played alongside said betting matches at the pace of one input between each match.

Main runs are played mainly in Anarchy mode, meaning every input is read one after the other continuously, but sometimes allow for the activation of Democracy mode, in which users instead vote for the next input or string of input at regular intervals. In those instances, the specific commands "anarchy" and "democracy" allow users to decide on whether to stay on the current mode or switch to the other.

Additional modes include Commander mode, which automatically determines the next input towards a desired action ("move", "item", "switch", "run"), Military mode, an earlier and less functional version of Commander mode that performed the entire action at once, Congress modenote , which is used for sidegames and in which users vote for a single input every few minutes, and Turbo Anarchy, a much-derided mechanic that randomly picked from the last few inputs without break.

Of note is that the title of "Streamer" is usually employed to refer to the person in charge of the stream as a whole, but does not necessarily equate to the person actually hosting it. The runs were first hosted by the original Streamer ("TwitchPlaysPokemon" or "OG Streamer") until DekuNukem hosted them from the first Nintendo 3DS run to the third, after which the stream was hosted by s_SoNick, and finally by m4_used_rollout starting in mid-2017. The original Streamer stepped down altogether in late 2017, leaving the title of Streamer to Aissurtievos for the last run of Season 4, then to Chaos_Lord after said run ended, to ax6 between Season 7 and 8, and finally to m4_used_rollout in mid-2021.

TPP won the award for "Best Fan Creation" in the first-ever The Game Awards in 2014, and a Guinness World Record for the most participants on a single-player online video game. It has also spawned many, many snowclones, leading to the creation of a "Twitch Plays" category on Twitch, one of the most notable being Fish Plays Pokemon, in which a fish plays Pokémon Red.

The official stream can be found here. The stream's official subreddit can be visited here. There also is an official Twitter account, available here. For archived progress of the runs, go here.

For a list of all games played on-stream, see the Recap page.

Tropes found in Twitch Plays Pokémon as a whole:

  • Acronym Confusion: Occasionally lampshaded in chat, with players jokingly stating that "TPP" stands for " Trans-Pacific Partnership", as it is the first result brought up by most search engines when looking up the acronym.

  • Aerith and Bob: Pokémon with perfectly legible names (either accidental or named using Democracy) or no nickname at all, such as OMASTAR, Dru, or DADA, coexist with ones that were named through complete keyboard-smashing, and as such have names that range from One-Letter Name to The Unpronounceable with a healthy dose of Punctuation Shaker, such as A♀NIIIIc33, T, or M ---/’/’4.
    • This also applies to the main characters and, occasionally, their rivals. One run may feature a protagonist that gets assigned a default name or is named using Democracy, such as RED, EVAN, or Paula, while the next one stars AJDNNW, A, or !12rtyhaszs.

  • All There in the Manual: While all of Twitch Plays Pokémon lore is based on the events of the stream, it is impossible to have knowledge of the vast majority of it without paying close attention to the community and the works they produce.

  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Playing the game in Anarchy can get players pretty far, but during times such as complex maze puzzles or precise menu navigation, Democracy mode serves to keep them from being stuck for an overly long time. Downplayed, however, as the slow-paced gameplay it induces can still be considered fairly frustrating.
    • Navigating through Ultra-Space in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon initially requires using motion controls, which led to the Stream Host having to step in and do it in place of the chat in the Ultra Sun run. Starting with Randomized Ultra Moon, and for all subsequent USUM runs, this section of the game was hardcoded to always use the Circle Pad instead.

  • Anyone Can Die: Any Pokémon, no matter how useful or beloved, can be permanently released, whether by accident or as a result of malicious intent. This can be avoided through the use of Mail or Ball Capsules, but even those do not fully guarantee the long-term safety of their holder. There can, however, be exceptions, with some runs preventing key Pokémon from being released when they tie into a certain gimmick.

  • April Fools' Day: Over the years, the stream has featured a wide variety of pranks and/or special events for April Fools Day:
    • In 2016, the entire stream was flipped upside down and all text, both in-game and on the overlay, was written backwards. Later that day, the game switched to a modified version of Crystal Anniversary in which every important name and menu option was replaced with "OLDEN", in reference to an infamous game-breaking glitch from the original run.
      • Meanwhile, on the subreddit, an announcement was made that the stream would soon move to another website, becoming "Hitbox Plays Pokémon". The subreddit banner was changed accordingly, as did its color scheme from purple to green.
    • In 2017, PBR featured a "broken jukebox", switching song every minute to the tune of a record scratch, and allowing users to bid songs for free regardless of their intended category. Crate Crates were also introduced as random rewards for players to open; unlike regular Crates, which could contain various types of stream-related items, each Crate Crate contained either another Crate Crate or... nothing at all.
    • In 2018, the on-screen name of the stream was changed to "Twitch♥Katamari™", and the entire day was spent playing the game Me & My Katamari.
    • In 2019, the stream featured a hack of Pokémon Sapphire titled Metronome Sapphire, in which all Pokémon encountered were randomized, at level 100, and had a moveset solely consisting of the move Metronome. On top of that, it was played in Turbo Anarchy mode, and was prone to random events such as a DVD logo bouncing on the screen or the emulation speed suddenly increasing.
    • In 2020, the ongoing Gauntlet Platinum run was suddenly interrupted by a Metronome Ruby intermission, complete with an overly glitchy an inaccurate overlay. It was played in Turbo Anarchy until the obtention of the first badge, and ended after the obtention of the second.
    • In 2021, the first two days of April were spent playing AFD Roulette, an assortment of randomly alternating unofficial Pokémon games ranging from previously-featured hacks, to bootlegs, to joke hacks. This was followed by a week of a special April Fools season of PBR, with gimmicks that included unusual metagame combinations (such as "Little Cup" with "Ubers"), the ability for Pokémon to attack themselves, and Ice being super effective on Bug; on top of that, matches featured both the PBR and Stadium 2 announcers, with some modes having them speak in multiple languages at once, at different pitches, or even backwards.
    • In 2022, two very short hacks, the bizarrely outlandish Pokémon: Spheal Team Six and the laughably edgy Pokémon: A Grand Day Out, were played in a row, immediately followed by a revisit of DBZ: Team Training.
    • In 2023, the stream switched to an intermission titled "Twitch Tries TemTem", which featured the heavily Pokémon-inspired independent game Temtem and lasted for the entire week.

  • Ascended Glitch: Upon blacking out, one of the sentences that can be displayed on the DexNav section of the overlay is "OH NO!"; this is a reference to a point in the Chatty Yellow run during which the "chatty" dialogue that replaced the in-game dialogue with combinations of chat messages ceased to work, causing all of it to be replaced with the default line of "oh no!".

  • Ascended Meme:
    • Many of the channel emotes are based on memes derived from the stream:
      • "tppHelix", "tppPraise", "tppDome" and "tppCult" are references to the divine status attributed to the Helix and Dome Fossils due to their repeated accidental use during the original run, causing them to be referred to as "Lord Helix" and "Lord Dome" by players.
      • "tppPray" directly references "Bird Jesus", the Pidgeot from Twitch Plays Pokémon Red that was considered a "prophet" of Lord Helix.
      • "FogChamp" is a variation of the "PogChamp" emote used when the Courtyard Colosseum, infamous for being covered in thick accuracy-lowering fog, appears during Battle Revolution betting.
      • "tppTeiHard" is derived from the "TriHard" emote, which has been associated with Entei due the latter's disastrous performance during Stadium 2 and Battle Revolution matches.
      • "tppRoyal", which represents an Azumarill in royal clothing, alludes to the frequent joking accusations of "power abuse" directed towards m4_used_rollout, long-time host and developer for the stream, whose signature Pokémon is Azumarill.
      • "tppCursor" is a reference to the excessively enthusiastic reactions of the chat whenever the Streamer's cursor is visible on-screen.
    • Some of the lines that appear on the overlay's DexNav when players black out are also references to memes from the stream:
      • "BETTER CALL JOEY" was a recurring phrase thrown around during Crystal, due to the infamous tendency of said NPC to call the player at inopportune times to talk about his Rattata.
      • "BORN TO LOSE" refers to the song of the same name that is often played by the Streamer to mock players after particularly notable series of failures.
      • "PBR NEVER" is a phrase generally used by players who prefer PBR betting to regular runs, and as such lament any event that causes the end of the run, and thus the next PBR session, to be delayed further.
    • The "Dewfon" copypasta that became extremely popular during the Sirius run, based on the message of a confused user that other players had managed to convince they had achieved a softlocknote , became officially integrated into the stream via the "!dewfon" command.
    • "PBR when" is a question often asked by players who prefer PBR betting to regular runs whenever any other game is currently running; as a result, a "!pbrwhen" command was created, providing an answer usually along the lines of "After the run", "Sometime later this month", or even "Now".
    • During the Inverse White and Inverse White 2 runs, the "!goaIs" command responded with the joke objective "Respawn Victini", referencing how players throughout the Volt White 2 Redux'' run were constantly suggesting checking if Victini had respawned yet after accidentally failing to catch it.

  • Auto-Pilot Tutorial: Primo the Poké Dude, the host of the Poké Dude Show, takes over narrating how everything works in a Captain Obvious fashion that ultimately parodies the trope.

  • Balance Buff: Anniversary Red restricted votes to switch to Democracy to specific locations that absolutely required it, as had been the norm for several runs by then; however, it required a whopping 24 combined hours to be spent in said area before Democracy was made available, after which point it would be permanently active in said area. When this system returned in Prism, this was shortened to a mere 5 minutes instead, although with the counterbalance of allowing players to switch back to Anarchy at any time.

  • Breaking Old Trends: For the first few years of the stream, randomized runs followed a set pattern of going through each region in the order they debuted: first Kanto, then Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and finally Kalos. Season 6 was the first to deviate slightly from that formula by taking a detour to Orre first, but then did still feature Alola as its second randomized run. Season 7 then was the first season not to feature any randomized run whatsoever, and Season 8 finally broke the pattern for good by instead featuring two back-to-back randomized Unova runs instead. The next season deviated even further by featuring the first two randomized runs based on original hacks rather than official releases, and then skipped Galar to feature a randomized Paldea run instead.

  • Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock:
    • Having a whole bunch of players menuing at the same time means that there's often a chance of accidentally clicking on the wrong button, sometimes with extremely counter-productive results. It can take only a few misplaced directional inputs to toss an item instead of using it, lose progress by inadvertently using Dig or Teleport, or most damningly of all, permanently release a Pokémon whiole trying to withdraw or deposit it.
    • Players spamming A as a Pokémon gains a level runs the risk of accidentally replacing its first move with a potentially much less useful newly-learned one. It doesn't help that learning the move only requires to spam A, but skipping it precisely requires selecting "No" on a first dialogue box then "Yes" on a second.

  • Cargo Cult:
    • During the original run, the frequent tendency from the protagonist to constantly check the Helix Fossil from his bag due to the chaotic inputs resulted in the fandom regarding it as a benevolent deity to consult for guidance, while conversely pinning the Dome Fossil as a malevolent god responsible for all that went wrong during the run. Over time, all Fossils were perceived as part of a complete Pantheon, each with their own specific domains, and with more ambiguity regarding their respective moral alignment.
      • As a direct consequence of this, it is not rare for the chat to start "praising" other inanimate objects following repeated use of them in-game, such as the Nanab Berry in Emerald, the Town Map in Red Anniversary, the elevators in XG, or the ATM Card in EarthBound.
    • Certain players dedicated themselves to solely inputting the "Select" button, initially as a way to hinder progress, then later also as a "harmless" input to gain exp and badges. Said players have widely been referred to as the "Select Sect", a supposed cult devoted to the Select button; while the practice has died down over time, notably with the introduction of a "wait" input, the term "Select Sect" still achieved Ascended Meme status by being mentioned in a TriHard Emerald dialogue.

  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: From FireRed to Black 2, usernames in the input feed were colored depending on the run during which they first started participating: white for Red, purple for Crystal, green for Emerald, orange for FireRed, grey for Platinum, gold for HeartGold, and black with a white outline for Black and Black 2. However, this system was eventually judged too cumbersome due to the growing number of colors being added; it was abandoned starting with X with usernames instead being the same color as in the Twitch chat, and replaced with colored emblems displayed next to said usernames after Omega Ruby and feature both the number of the run in which the user first participated and how many they have participated in since.

  • Continuity Snarl: By its very nature as a community-based contributive story, the lore of TPP is pretty much composed of works that contradict each other, either on minor details or on their entire interpretation of events. While one or at worst a few broad consensus can be reached regarding the events of individual runs however, figuring out an actual timeline of all runs is where things get really complicated. It doesn't help in the first place that many of the games played on stream are hacks or remakes of previously-played games, meaning that their canon plot is literally the same, but then there's also the issue of taking into account characters from previous runs reappearing, making it even trickier to establish a cohesive order of events. Many tentative timelines also feature branching continuities, but where they split and how many times can vary greatly, and it only takes a single unfitting Host cameo to make them entirely moot. And then there's also the question of which intermission runs should be integrated into the timeline and how, or even how lost savesnote  fit into it all.

  • Crutch Character: A recurring occurrence, although usually unintentional. During times of high player activity, the difficulty of switching Pokémon order or teaching the right moves can lead to one or two single Pokémon consistently winning most battles by themselves and thus hogging all of the experience, while the rest of the team eventually Can't Catch Up. The most well-known examples include aaabaaajss the Pidgeot from Red, AAAAAtttta the Feraligatr from Crystal, or M ---/’/’4 the Azumarill from Emerald.
    • This tends to be more intentional with sidegames played in Congress mode. Because the inputting method allows for precise control at the cost of being extremely slow, it is much more time-efficient to rely on only one or two very strong Pokémon while relegating the rest of the party to Utility Party Member status, as seen for instance with BEST the Typhlosion from Vietnamese Crystal, BUTT the Swampert from Lightning Sapphire, or Dad??? the Buuhan from DBZ Team Training. Sidegames played in Anarchy, by contrast, tend to have much more balanced teams by the time the game ends.

  • Democracy Is Flawed: While Democracy allows players to perform more precise actions, it is not always a perfect solution. It has the downside of being much slower paced, is susceptible to being abused by large groups of people, and might even be less effective than Anarchy in situations where speed is preferable to precision. This includes situations that require continuous button-pressing (going up cycling roads, Burgh's honey walls in Black/White), constant and/or fast movement (boss battles in Legends: Arceus, Skyla's Gym in Black 2/White 2), or button-spamming (Tulip's ESP in Scarlet/Violet, Tera Raids).

  • Depending on the Writer: The entire lore of this series runs on this trope. The plot and characters of each run are left open to the interpretation of every watcher, writer or artist, and as such tend to differ from one work to another. As an example, the main protagoniste of Twitch Plays Pokémon Red has been interpreted over time and through different works as a tormented victim of the voices taking over his mind, a follower of the Helix Fossil trying best as he can to trust the guidance of his Lord, a sociopathic religious zealot with a penchant for ritual sacrifice, or a literal robot void of any proper will.

  • The Dreaded: While not a character, the PC would definitely qualify. A single mistimed or malicious input can cause a beloved party member to be permanently erased, while too much panicking can result in the entire party getting shuffled around. As a result, many players do not trust it and will try their hardest to keep away from it, and will dread any situation in which using it becomes absolutely necessary. This is exemplified by the tppPC emote, which depicts the PC as evilly smiling while surrounded in flames.
    • Even the mere sound of the PC is enough to fill part of the chat with fear, to the point where even activating the decorative computers of the Cinnabar Island laboratory can cause a slew of cancel inputs just out of instinct. Once again, this is has been semi-canonized by one of the sound options of the "Spooky Noisemaker" item being a PC boot-up beep.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Compared to all the runs that followed, Red and Crystal had a very basic stream layout, only having the screen, inputs, timer, and whatever input system was implemented at the time. Later runs would implement a lot more information to the overlay, notably a real-time party display.

  • Easter Egg: Including one or several of the fake "madio" Pokémon from Pokémon Snakewood when using a Badge Rain item will cause them to fuse into larger, different "madio" as they bump into each other, as a Shout-Out to the fruits of Suika Game.

  • Epic Fail: Has its own page.

  • Experience Points: Each user is awarded experience points from inputting and at the end of PBR seasons, with the "!exp" command showing how much they have in total and need to reach the next level. Whenever a player levels up, they receive either tokens or a crate as a reward.

  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: The player characters are notoriously bad at keeping their prize money; they will often lose it to an easily avoidable opponent, or accidentally spend it all on a bunch of useless items. Same goes for their items, which have a great chance of getting accidentally tossed away while they try to use another one entirely.

  • Gotta Catch 'Em All:
    • Starting with Prism, players have been able to collect "badges" each representing a different Pokémon. Badges are distributed to random inputers whenever a Pokémon is caught during a run or in the Pinball sidegame, and can also be obtained from reward crates, transmuted from other badges, or exchanged with other players. Furthermore, on top of all existing Pokémon, runs such as Sirius and Vega have introduced their own set of "fakemon" badges, which can only be obtained from in-game catches, making them even harder to collect.
    • By inputting during a main run, users receive an "emblem" of said run which they can chose to display next to their username on stream. While many players try to collect as many as possible, it is however worth noting that they are all Permanently Missable Content, and once a run is over, it is impossible to get its emblem anymore. As a result, the only way to own a complete set of emblems is to have started participating during the original Red and never missed a run since.

  • Halloween Episode: Starting in 2017, a Witch Plays Pokémon event is held every year around Halloweennote , featuring seasonal-themed PBR sets, Halloween Crates being awarded for participating or levelling up that contain "creepy" versions of existing stream items, and sometimes even spooky-themed games played as sidegames or intermissions. The latter include hacks such as Hypno's Lullaby, Pokémon Cursed, or most notably Trick or Treat House, a series of Halloween-themed hacks made specifically for the stream that involve solving puzzles and collecting candy.

  • Have a Nice Death: Starting with TriHard Emerald, the DexNav, a window in the lower right of the screen showing which Pokémon are available to catch in the current area, displays a random line of humorous and often mocking text if all of the Pokémon in the party faint, such as "SO SAD", "ARE YOU EVEN TRYING?", or "ERROR: SKILL NOT FOUND".

  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: Wattson was so ridiculously difficult to beat the TPP community has started to use "Wattsons" as a unit to how many tries it takes to beat a particular trainer. 1 Wattson is 23 attempts.
    • A second measure was made to take time into account. 1 WAHA (Wattson Hours Adjustment) is 1.55 days/Wattson. Anniversary Crystal left this measure's usefulness questionable after 6 trainers achieved WAHAs above 0.1 while taking 6 or fewer attempts to defeat (trainers are only considered noteworthy if they take at least 7 attempts).

  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Trees, which already hold this status in the games themselves, get exaggerated here, especially in the first generation where cutting them requires actually going through the menu to select the move Cut rather than just interact with the tree itself. In some cases, getting past a single tree has taken up to hours of struggling.

  • Killed Off for Real: Releasing a Pokémon means that it is permanently lost; aside from very rare occasions, no earlier savestate will be loaded nor will the Pokémon be hacked back in, no matter how important they were to the team or the players. For this reason, released Pokémon are often treated as having actually died within lore.
    • This has been subverted on occasion, notably with a feature introduced in The Gauntlet which, when enabled, gives previously-released Pokémon a chance to appear in the wild.

  • Leave the Camera Running: It can take up to several hours to get past obstacles which, for a single player, would be completely trivial, such as walking along ledges, cutting trees, getting through maze puzzles, or overcoming time-sensitive trials. Yet, none of it is ever skipped or sped up, meaning viewers get to witness each and every grueling minute of it.

  • Leeroy Jenkins: The chaotic side of the Mob prefers randomness or to downright sabotage attempts of moving forward. As such, they will often prefer stay in or even revert to Anarchy mode even when facing notably difficult puzzles or highly difficult battles.

  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Too many people inputting at once inevitably leads to this; better hope that the cursor will land on the right move when fighting an important Trainer, and that it won't hit "RUN" when trying to catch a Legendary Pokémon... This is less of an issue in later runs, which usually have quieter hours, a larger tendency for people to all be working towards the same goal, and Commander Mode making menu navigation easier, but it still occurs during peaks of viewership or time-sensitive sections.
    • Turbo Anarchy can cause this to happen, as it randomly selects any of the last few inputs at a constant, rapid pace, making it impossible for players to take their time, and even sometimes completely screwing them over by making a bad series of inputs all by itself.

  • Mind-Control Device: The chat can be seen as such, as a lot of lore interprets the protagonists as being forcefully compelled to follow the commands that the Voices send through it.

  • Mind Hive: The very concept of the stream involves a multitude of people controlling the same character at once, all of which are able to cooperate with each other just as well as they are likely to bicker and fight for control. This is also reflected by the lore, which frequently depicts the Voices as a myriad of individual Unown ordering the protagonist around all at once and arguing with both them and each other.

  • Missing Secret: The badges for Fambaco, Raiwato and Varaneous held this status for a very long time due to them not having been caught during the original Pokémon Prism run. This wouldn't be remedied until Prism Anniversary, during which the badges were finally distributed, six and a half years after their introduction.

  • Mundane Made Awesome: Whether due to the amount of people inputting at once or the timing-unfriendly method of playing, TPP is likely the only context in which you'll see Pokémon players erupt in cheers after accomplishing such mundane tasks as cutting down a tree, walking past a long ledge, or navigating a menu.

  • Mythology Gag: An infamous incident from the Burning Red involved a user using Noisemaker items to spam Meloetta's cry for twenty minutes straight. While this resulted in an Obvious Rule Patch preventing Noisemakers of a same species from being used consecutively, all Meloetta badge distributions from that point onwards were accompanied by five notifications per user receiving said badge rather than one, with the cry being played for each notification, as a nod to that event.

  • Necessarily Evil: Players who prefer to play in Anarchy will sometimes concede to switching to Democracy to get through particularly tricky areas, such as the Safari Zone or the Rocket Hideout from Pokémon Red. As soon as they made it past however, they will try to go back to Anarchy mode.

  • Nerf: Democracy started out in Red as a mode that would activate through a majority vote using "democracy" inputs, and would remain active as long as it didn't get outvoted by "anarchy" inputs. In following runs, it went through many different changes, partly to attenuate complaints about the mechanic, but also to prevent players from abusing it.
    • Crystal made it so Democracy mode would only activate at the start of each new hour, after which it could be cancelled by a majority vote for Anarchy. Emerald nerfed this mechanic further by having it lead into a tug-of-war vote between Anarchy and Democracy rather than Democracy automatically kicking in, then FireRed nerfed it again by randomizing when the vote would trigger rather than it being hourly.
    • HeartGold marked the debut of Democracy only being available in specific areas when absolutely required, which can be seen as either a nerf or a buff from the more random FireRed system. Anniversary Red, however, nerfed it hard by requiring a combined 24 hours spent on such an area before Democracy was made available, after which it would become permanently active in said area. This system was buffed to only require a mere 5 minutes when said it returned in Prism, although with the ability to switch back to Anarchy restored. Finally, starting with Dual Red & Blue, the ability to vote for Democracy would only be made available by requesting it to the Streamer, which is the system most runs onwards would use.
    • Crystal Anniversary and Brown reintroduced the tug-of-war vote available at any time, but changed it from simply requiring a majority vote to switch modes to requiring a 90% consensus to activate Democracy, while keeping a simple 50% requirement to switch back to Anarchy. Randomized Platinum buffed the former side slightly from 90% to 85%, but nerfed the switch back to Anarchy from requiring a 50% vote to a mere 30%.

  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite the stream being titled "Twitch Plays Pokémon", there have been many games other than Franchise/{{Pokémon}} played as intermissions between or before runs. In fact, later seasons have the word "Pokémon" in the title crossed out whenever a different game is featured.

  • No Sense of Direction: From an outsider's point of view, the protagonists might give that impression. Too many inputers, stream delay, or in-fighting between players might cause them to walk around in a completely erratic manner, going off-path, randomly backtracking, and even entering places they didn't mean to enter; players not actually knowing or remembering where they're supposed to go next, or miscommunications regarding the current objective, meanwhile, might result in them ending up completely in the wrong town or area altogether.

  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • Starting with Emerald, the number of inputs able to be chained together was limited to 3, in order to avoid players soft-resetting the system by using the L+R+START+SELECT combination.
    • After an incident during the early hours of Burning Red in which a user activated an enormous amount of Noisemaker items to make Meloetta's cry play for 20 minutes straight, a cooldown was added to prevent Noisemakers of the same species to be used within one minute of each other.

  • One-Letter Name: One the other side of protagonists and Pokémon being given gibberish names filled with entire strings of random characters, the "start" button will also often be pressed early enough that they will end up with a single letter (or even a single symbol) as their name. Unsurprisingly, "A" tends to be the most common.

  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, as many Pokémon and even main characters end up sharing names; one of the earliest and most notable examples was the Hosts of Emerald and FireRed sharing the name "A". Lore names attempt to avoid this, the previously-mentioned "A" being commonly referred to as "A-chan" and "Alice" respectively to differentiate them, but as the more and more characters kept being added, even those have had their share of unintentional repetitions.

  • Order Versus Chaos: The Anarchy/Democracy slider allows players to decide which mode should be active by voting for one or the other in the chat. This can lead to fierce struggles between those who prefer the entertainingly chaotic nature of Anarchy and those who would rather resort to the orderly efficiency of Democracy.

  • Pause Scumming: In areas where precise movement is vital, players will sometimes spam "start" or "select" in order to deliberately slow down the input stream, in order to lessen the delay between the chat and the video and ensuring that the flood of commands when the menus are exited will generally reflect the character's position rather than where he was before said delay. Of course, some people also like to constantly spam pause just to be jerks.

  • People Puppets: The very concept of TPP involves the main character of each game being controlled by a multitude of people at once ; this idea is often integrated into the lore surrounding said games, portraying players as "voices" dictating the character's actions, more or less against their will.

  • Permanently Missable Content: Run emblems are earned by placing at least one input during their respective main run. Therefore, they become permanently unobtainable once a run is over, and any player who either missed a run or started participating after it was already over can never obtain the emblem for it again.

  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The two Prism runs inverted this, with the female protagonist Cyan of Prism sporting a trademark light blue outfit befitting her name, while the male protagonist Adam of Prism Anniversary switched to a fully pale pink outfit a few days into the run.

  • Plot Armor:
    • Mail, a special kind of item available in games from Generation II to Generation V, prevents Pokémon that hold it from being deposited or released, and is as such often given to important party members before using the PC in order to make sure they cannot fall victim to any kind of unfortunate accident.
    • Ball Capsules in Generation IV games and their remakes have a similar purpose to Mail, as they also prevent any Pokémon whose Poké Ball has one from being deposited or released.

  • Post-End Game Content: This used to be defied, as it was customary for most runs to end as soon as the credits rolled, meaning post-game content would you get skipped over. In fact, the original revisits from Season 3 were precisely intended as a way to remedy this, allowing players to face Mewtwo in Red, defeat Steven Stone in Emerald, or explore the Sevii Islands in FireRed, and later revisits such as Black Revisit and Touhoumon Revisit also had similar purposes. Later runs would usually have more runs beyond rolling credits, often including Pokédex completion, thus actually allowing players to fully explore post-game content.

  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Red's team at the end of Crystal was identical to the one used by the protagonist of Red, with the levels increased to match those of the original battle. Ever since then, it has become a tradition for previous Host to appear during later runs, to the point where the stream has its own page listing them.

  • The Problem with Pen Island: Deliberately invoked as a joke. The "!goals" command serves to display the current objectives for the ongoing run, such as beating the Pokémon League or completing the Pokédex; during Season 9 a "!goaIs" command with a capital "i" instead of an "l" was introduced, which instead displayed either absurdly difficult or downright nonsensical objectives, the most common being to "beat the Trick House" for games that don't even feature the Trick House.

  • Pun: During the yearly Halloween event, the on-screen title of the stream is changed to "Witch Plays Pokémon".

  • Punctuation Shaker: The chaotic inputting leads to many Pokémon getting nicknames with random symbols in their names, such as ABB-??AAJ the Zubat in Red, M ---/'/'4 the Azumarill in Emerald, or !☂!!☀! !:1 the Roserade in Platinum. This is also true for some of the main characters, like ×ᴹɴ(? from Chatty Yellow or a;;;/]]]][% from Brilliant Diamond.

  • Put on a Bus: This will usually be the result of a Pokémon getting deposited into the PC, whether accidentally or intentionally, if there's too much of a chance that it might get realeased by attempting to retrieve it.

  • Random Drop:
    • Starting with Prism, any Pokémon caught on stream causes a "badge" representing said Pokémon to be distributed to a random person that has placed a recent input, which was later increased to five badges being randomly distributed for each Pokémon caught rather than one. Pokémon caught on the Pinball sidegame also cause a single to be distributed to a random viewer, regardless of whether they are active or not.
      • Badges for non-official Pokémon used to function the same way, but later averted the trope when the rule changed so that every person to have recently placed an input would receive the corresponding badge, in order to avoid said badges becoming overly scarce.
    • Gaining a level, ranking well during PBR season, or taking part in special events may lead players to receive "crates" that they can open at any time, and contain either stream items (such as Mail for displaying messages on stream or Noisemakers to play Pokémon cries) or stream badges.

  • Real Time: The stream is left constantly running, 24 hours a day, without any breaks; and, of course, none of the gameplay is sped up or skipped over. As such, the amount of time played always correspond to the amount of time that has passed in real life.

  • Released to Elsewhere: Canonically, a Pokémon that's released is just being let go back in the wild; when it comes to TPP however, because the loss of said Pokémon is both permanent and often accidental, fanart and fanon frequently interpret it as being a euphemism for death.

  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: This is a recurring problem that arises either when the Voices aren't sure what to do next, or simply disagree with each other. It is notably frequent to see it happen in front of the PC, with the main character frantically going back and forth as players who want to use it and those not willing to take that risk engage in an input tug-of-war.
  • Running Gag:
    • For a major part of the first season, it was pretty much expected that every Fire-type starter would eventually get released, with Charmeleon, Torchic, Chimchar and Tepig, all successively suffering that fate. The "curse" was finally broken with Emboar making it to the end of the Black 2 run, and while other Fire-type starters have been released since, this tendency gradually faded out over the years to the point where there is no expectation of it happening anymore.
    • The song "Born to Lose" was first played on stream during Dual Red & Blue, following numerous failed attempts at defeating the Pokémon League. Since then, it has become a running joke for the song to start playing after a particularly notable series of defeats or failures, to the point where a remix of the song was integrated into the TriHard Emerald hack.
  • Save Scumming: Actively defied. Unless the situation absolutely requires it (for instance, in the event of a Game-Breaking Bug occurring), the game is never reset and there is no way to go back to a previous save, meaning players are forced to make do with the consequences of their actions and/or their luck.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Frequently played with, as it is not rare for a rogue input to cause the protagonist to run away from battle even when it is completely against their best interests, resulting in them missing the opportunity to catch rare Pokémon or losing their victory streak in Battle Facilities.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: When a desirable Pokémon is stuck in the PC, players need to decide whether they'd rather renounce adding it to the party in order to keep it safe, or attempt to use the PC in order to retrieve it at the risk of it getting released. Of course, there is also the third option of using Democracy Mode, assuming that it is available.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: The Helix Fossil was interpreted by players as a guiding deity during the original run due to the protagonist's tendency to constantly check on it as a result of the chaotic inputting, and the moment of its resurrection was celebrated accordingly. Since then, Fossils have usually been seen by the community as the "sealed" forms of various corresponding deities.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The very concept of the stream involves beating a game while cooperating with a multitude of other people who also have control over the game, with some of them purposely trying to sabotage the run, with the added challenge of having to take input delay into account on top of it all. invoked

  • Shout-Out:

  • Split Screen:
    • When playing Nintendo DS or 3DS games, the stream gets split between both of the consoles screens, usually with the upper screen taking most of the space while the touchscreen is displayed either under the input feed or under the main screen.
    • Dual runs, by design, have the stream split between both games being played, either one above the other, or on each side of the input feed.
    • The bottom-left corner features a permanent self-playing game of Pokémon Pinball since Season 2, while the bottom-right corner occasionally features side-games during PBR betting, or more rarely during runs. On very rare occasions, some runs also featured extra betting games on the side, such as Pokémon Stadium 2 next to Platinum or Super Smash Bros. for Wii U below Alpha Sapphire.
  • Staging an Intervention: Semi-jokingly integrated with the "!gambling" command, which when typed into the chat provides a link to a guide for overcoming gambling addiction, as a response to players taking PBR betting too seriously.
  • Sticky Fingers: It's not rare for inputs to result in Poké Balls being used by accident even during Trainer battles, with the opponent properly admonishing them in return, "Don't be a thief!"
  • Story Arc: While all lore is up to the community's interpretation to some degree, there are a few multi-run story arcs that have gotten popular enough that they are widely known and accepted by most fans, making them as close to "canon" as lore can get:
    • The "Bill Arc" focused on the eponymous designer of the Pokémon Storage System, portraying him as an overarching behind-the-scenes villain. While considered a minor villain in Red and Crystal due to those runs focusing more on the Fossil Gods lore, he became more prominent starting with Emerald, primarily thanks to the popularity of the Bill-Sanctioned Shenanigans series that debuted around that time. FireRed cemented the arc with lore portraying Bill as responsible for the randomization and the protagonist's as his daughter, and HeartGold served as a conclusion by featuring a second randomization and a final battle against the aforementioned protagonist of FireRed on Mt. Silver.
    • The "OLDEN Arc" followed up on the portrayal of glitches as a major antagonist of the second season, beginning when the first run of the third season, Crystal Anniversary, suffered a crash that made the word "OLDEN" appear all over the screen, causing players to interpret "OLDEN" as the name of an Eldritch Abomination responsible for all of the technical issues and in-game tragedies they encountered. "OLDEN" would go on to be associated with the "Mysterious Bird" that appeared at the end of the run, and appeared once more at the end of Brown, as well as receive an entire April Fools intermission dedicated to it in the form of Crystal Anniversary 1.OLDEN. The arc would conclude in Prism, with the Mysterious Bird true identity turning out to be Phancero, a Pokémon fittingly based on MissingNo., with the protagonist unexpectedly befriending "OLDEN" rather than defeating it by catching Phancero with a Master Ball.
    • While not as popular as the previous two, the "Larry Arc" also received some level of attention, debuting with the introduction of Larry himself as the protagonist of the Bootleg Green sidegame, who due to exploiting many of the game's bugs in convoluted ways was interpreted in-lore to be a "glitchmancer". With the sidegame still going when Dual Red & Blue began, and Larry's signature green color providing a good foil to it, several pieces of lore portrayed him as responsible for the "split" between both game's events. Bronze also fit into the arc by virtue of its protagonist being herself seen as a "glitchmancer" due to owning a MissingNo. and venturing into a normally inaccessible part of the game, a connection enforced by a green character guarding said inaccessible area. The arc would come to a close when Larry turned out to be the final opponent of Fused Crystal, fought on top of Mt. Silver.
  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: Deliberately invoked by having a multitude of people input commands at once for a single game of Pokémon. This inevitably results in a chaotic mix of inputs leading to a lot of mistakes happening, such as important items being tossed out or valued parting members getting released.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Most incidents that aren't caused by deliberately malicious inputs tend to be a consequence of this. Directional inputs are placed without taking stream delay into account? The protagonist just jumped a ledge and has to go through an excruciatingly long maze all over again. Someone placed a random input without actually paying attention to what was going on on the screen? They disrupted a precise menuing sequence and caused a Pokémon to be accidentally released. Players are mindlessly spamming A to get through dialogue? A plan that involved obtaining a specific Pokémon just got derailed because the default option was picked instead.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Dual runs feature two games being played at the same time. Touhoumon & Moemon was the first of the kind, with inputs affecting both games at once, while later ones starting with Dual Red & Blue let players pick which side they wished to input for, or randomly assigned them one otherwise. Some of them also had Link Cable functionalities enabled, allowing for the occasional trade or battle between both games.
  • Uniqueness Decay: The Phancero badge was originally unique, with only a single one having been randomly distributed upon its capture in Prism. During the fifth season, the rule was changed from one badge being distributed per Pokémon caught to five badges instead, leading to five more Phancero badges being dropped when it was made available in Burning Red. Then, during the seventh season, a new rule was added specifically for "fakemon" badges, which would now be awarded to every player that placed an input shortly before one was caught; as a result, dozens of new Phancero badges were distributed when it returned in Chatty Crystal and Randomized Chatty Crystal, and what was once a one-of-a-kind badge now exists in larger quantities than many of the Com Mons from recent generations.
  • The Unpronounceable: As a result of chaotic inputing, many Pokémon end up with completely gibberish names; the community will usually instead refer to them by proper nicknames that are either interpretations of their in-game name (such as "ABBBBBBK{" being read as "Abby"), derived from their in-game behavior ("TTABCIJIJD" being referred to as "Shellock" due its repeated use of the move Foresight) or the lore surrounding them ("BBBBBD" becoming "Brian" in reference to Life of Brian, as not being a messiah was seen as an important part of its character), or even sometimes only vaguely related to the Pokémon at all ("AAAS RJ-I" being named "Burrito" simply because of a player comparing picking an Eeveelution to picking what burrito to order).
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As a result of stream delay, not knowing what the current objective is, or simply not paying attention, it's quite possible for a single rogue input to undo several minutes or even hours of work, or even cause actual irreversible damage, be it by going the wrong way while navigating a puzzle, pressing the release button while using the PC, or quitting a Battle Facility in the middle of a streak of battles.
  • Wallbonking: As a consequence of dozens to thousands of people controlling the movements of the protagonist at the same time, they tend to find themselves frequently and repeatedly bumping into walls.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Occasionally, a Pokémon will be deposited or even released right after being caught. The original record for fastest release was C3KO the Hitmonlee in Red, who lasted 37 minutes before being released. This was eventually beaten by an unnamed Meowth in Red Anniversary, who lasted 15 minutes, then a Porygon named XXYYYY in Crystal Anniversary who lasted just 9 minutes, and finally by SHUCKIE, the gift Shuckle from Chatty Crystal, who only survived for a mere 4 minutes.