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  • Author's Saving Throw: In the Western TCG, some cards that would otherwise fetch very high prices are sometimes released as easily-obtainable promos, especially if they depict popular Pokémon. This happened with three sought-after Pokémon-EX from the Black & White era: Mewtwo-EX, Darkrai-EX and Rayquaza-EX. The Full Art versions of Charizard-GX and Zoroark-GX were given their own promo boxes preemptively, since those two cards would otherwise boast inflated values on the secondary market (Charizard-GX for its collector value, Zoroark-GX for its playability).
  • Awesome Art: As a trading card game, this is a given. The Full Art cards from the Black & White series onward stand out in particular. BREAK Evolution cards also tend to have suitably epic designs.
  • Crack Is Cheaper:
    • Though not nearly as expensive as other mainstream TC Gs, making a competitively-viable deck will likely run into the multiple hundreds of dollars, especially for archetypes that mainline ultra-rare cards that don't have some kind of promotional print. In particular, 'consistency' cards that see play in virtually every deck of a format (Shaymin-EX, Tapu Lele-GX, full-art Trainer cards) are usually significantly more expensive than other cards of a set, often costing two-to-three times as much as the next most expensive cards of a set.
    • On the casual side of the TCG, in terms of collecting, going for 100% completion of all of the released sets will be a serious challenge in terms of price. While non-Base Set Wizards-era cards run for fairly reasonable amounts of money, other sets, especially those that are currently legal in competitive play and even first edition prints of the aforementioned older sets are hard to come by at a decent price. Certain sets, especially those from the E-Card and EX eranote 
  • Faux Symbolism: Neo Genesis and Neo Revelation
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • In the United States, the base set had several different versions, each of which having its own special peculiarities, such as an error Pikachu. Flash forward almost a decade and a half later: with the release of Black and White, you had no fewer than three different releases, as well as... an error Pikachu.
    • In the original Black and White expansion, Reshiram has a big attack that involves discarding energy while Zekrom has a big attack that requires self-damage. Fast forward to Next Destinies, when both receive powerful EX versions...Only this time the Reshiram does self-damage and the Zekrom discards! Yin-yang in card form!
    • Other than secret rares, the international release of Dark Rush (called "Dark Explorers") has 108 cards in it.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Base Set to Gym Challenge sets featured Trainer cards with extrodinarily powerful effects that often meant a game would be decided on the first turn of a game (In some extreme cases, the first turn was the only turn). This lead to a brief 'Prop-15/3' format which proved unpopular enough that it was only used at a single major event. Trainer cards from Neo Genesis onward were much less powerful; cards reprinting old effects often were limited to coinflip success or were simply less powerful; Expedition onward introduced Supporter cards, which you could only play one of a turn, and many of the old incredibly powerful Trainers became Supporters eventually.
      • The cards everyone remembers (Bill, Professor Oak, and Computer Search) allowed you to essentially draw through most of your deck in a single turn; successfully playing all twelve cards would let you draw 40 cards, four being free searches; including draw-for-turn, your opening hand of 7, and Prize cards, you could end your turn with only six cards left in your deck.
      • Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal meant that any attempt at actually setting up Pokémon with attack costs of more than one or two Energy was doomed to fail, and was one of the main contributors to the dominence of the Haymaker deck archetype in the early years.
      • Rocket's Sneak Attack, The Rocket's Trap, and Chaos Gym were all extremely powerful hand disruption that ultimately created the 'First turn victory' conditions- playing multiple successive Rocket's Sneak Attack cards to shuffle away all of the opponent's Trainer cards, then shuffling the rest of their hand back in with The Rocket's Trap, followed by laying a Chaos Gym card to disrupt any lucky Trainer card draws they might have, leaving them with only Pokémon and Energy cards to play without having to make a coin-flip.
    • Darkness and Metal types when first introduced in Neo Genesis, were often considered this early on. Before Diamond and Pearl introducing basic Energy cards for the types, all costs had to be paid via the Darkness and Metal Special Energy cards, which usually made the cards even more powerful than they might seem on initial readings.
    • Sneasel from Neo Genesis in particular was obscenely overpowered, capable of dealing a theoretical 140 damage a turn when charged up at a time when 40-50 a turn for that much Energy was considered extremely good. When the first Modified Format was created, Sneasel obtained the dubious honour of being the first Pokémon card specifically officially banned from a format.
    • The Neo Genesis Slowking in the English version, thanks to a mistranslation making its Pokémon Power much stronger than intended. "Mind Games" makes the opponent flip a coin to use any Trainer card, and if tails the effect fails and the card is placed on top of your opponent's deck. The Japanese text specified that the power only worked while Slowking was active, but this was left off the English card, which meant you could stack 4 Slowkings on your bench to reduce your opponent's chances of playing Trainers to 1/16, while also shutting down the opponent's draw 15/16ths of the time. The card was (eventually) banned like Sneasel until TPCI issued errata fixing the Power when they took over.
    • The 'SP Engine' focusing on Pokémon SP from the Platinum era of cards, was extremely powerful, with early-game setup options, additional search power and support tools such as Energy Gain that lead them to dominate the format until powercreep caught up to them.
    • Item-based Gusting effects have historically been very powerful, even when limited to either be a Comeback Mechanic (Ultra Prism's Counter Catcher) or a coinflip) (XY-era on Pokémon Catcher). However, non-limited Gusting effects (such as the original Gust of Wind, Double Gust, Black and White's Pokémon Catcher print, etc.) tend to be disgustingly powerful in comparison to other cards. (Reliable Gusting effects are usually extremely powerful even on Supporter cards; both Lysandre and Guzma saw incredibly extensive play while legal)
    • Mewtwo-EX was all but unstoppable for a year or two after its initial printing, being included in all four World Championships decks of 2012. X-Ball hit for 20 damage per energy attached to both active Pokemon, and could punish heavily-set-up opposing Pokémon with just a single Double Colorless Energy. Due to the colorless energy cost, it could be and frequently was splashed in every deck around right through until its final reprint in Legendary Treasures was rotated, even after power creep had mostly caught up to it.
    • Shaymin-EX allowed for lightning-fast setup, making fast offense decks much more powerful; when played to the bench ,you can draw cards until you have six in hand. Not only does this not take up your supporter card for the turn, you could play multiple Shaymin-EX to keep drawing cards, making exceptionally potent early-game attackers even more so. To top it off, for a single Double Colorless Energy, you could return it to your hand- and then, if you wished, play it down again the next turn!
    • Tapu Lele-GX's Wonder Tag ability allows it to search out a Supporter card from your deck when played to the bench, making it a fantastic card to get you out of pooer hands or to aid in setup. To top it off, it's main attack is a copy of Mewtwo-EX's X-Ball attack that can't hit for weakness; despite having been long since powercrept past, it's far from being a bad attack, and means that it can't just be ignored and can be a powerful tool in some situations.
    • Zoroark-GX is a true Jack-of-All-Stats; it has an incredibly powerful ability, Trade, which lets you discard a card to draw two more once a turn per Zoroark-GX, which is very powerful draw support especially when combined with cards like Mallow. Its first attack, and the one it most often uses is Riotous Beating, which hits the opponents Active Pokémon for 20 damage per each of the attacking player's Pokémon in play, is a strong attack that's easy to hit large numbers with (especially with cards like Brigette), and it's GX attack Trickster GX allows you to pick one of the opponent's moves to use, including other GX attacks. About the only weaknesses it has are that it can almost never OHKO opposing GX Pokémon in a format where not dealing a KO every turn is slow, and that it shares a format with Buzzwole-GX.
    • Buzzwole-GX is, as a standalone card, not overly powerful. However, in the 2018 BREA Kthrough-Celestial Storm format it proved ridiculously powerful; with Strong Energy and Beast Energy as boosting Energy cards, Diancie-Prism Star and Regirock-EX powering it up from the bench, Float Stone to dodge the cooldown on Knuckle Impact, Choice Band to boost to even more power, perfect partners in non-GX Buzzwole and Lycanroc-GX, and Max Elixers and Beast Rings to power up extra Buzzwole incredibly quickly, Buzzwole-GX decks racked up more wins than any other achetype in that season. Due to how simple it is to set up, (Brooklet Hill and Ultra Space stadiums are both capable of Buzzwole search) the only serious weakness Buzzwole decks had was the inherent unreliability of the Max Elixer card, with Buzzwole mirror matches freqently being decided by which player hit more Max Elixers.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Lv. X Pokémon Cards from the Diamond and Pearl sets are played by evolving your Active Pokémon that has the same name as the Lv.X card, thus evolving your already fully-evolved Pokémon to an even stronger form. Mega Evolutions don't seem like such a novelty concept for the franchise now.
    • A lot of attacks that debuted in the games in the later generations have been around the card game for ages, such as Feint, Psyshock (Which was actually Confusion in the Japanese cards) and Hurricane (Some Pidgeots have Gale, which is Hurricane's Japanese name).
    • The Japanese art for the Jungle expansion depicts Exeggutor with an elongated body. Almost twenty years later, such a concept made its way into the games.
    • Alternatively-typed Pokémon that appear in a far-off region? Alolan Formes might be the well-known version of this, Holon's Delta Pokémon first appeared in 2005.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Some of the criticism stems from this, while others consider it a viable strength.
    • Even more people would gladly point out that it's actually very challenging to play the Pokémon card game well - not just to simply play it.
  • Older Than They Think: Many concepts and even attacks that appear in the game originated in the cards first. Abilities appeared in the third generation, but the cards have had Pokémon Powers since they were first released. Mega Evolutions debuted in generation 6, but Level X Pokémon appeared in the cards during the fourth generation.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The PC simulator Pokémon Play It! has some absolutely horrifying CGI human characters trying too hard to mimic the anime's artstyle.
    • From the same PC simulator, each of the cards had a "cry" that's similar to the cries in the main series games. Only these cries are unique to this game and borrow heavily from the anime and stock sound effects. It could almost be an auditory version of the uncanny valley.
  • Woolseyism: Shining Legends Incineroar has an attack named "Goddamn Punch"[[note]]as spelled out by katakana in Japanese. For obvious reasons, such a name wouldn't slide in the English version, so it was translated as "Profane Punch"; not only does "Profane" convey the intended meaning much better than Obligatory Swearing in a children's game, but it serves as a Stealth Pun in that the Japanese name of the attack was literally profane.

YMMVs that apply to the franchise as a whole:

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Basically, anyone who talks about Poké Balls. In fact, in HeartGold and SoulSilver, when the player first meets Kurt, he says, "(Player), eh? You want me to make some balls for you?"
    • Anyone who talks about breeding Pokémon.
    • Yanmega's Japanese name, Megayanma, made plenty of censor filters jump, along with Cofagrigus.
    • Professor Oak came.
    • Magmar and especially Magby's Japanese names: Boober and Booby, respectively! Of course, it was MEANT to reference birds like the Blue-Footed Booby, but... well... And Magmortar is Booburn. Ouch.
    • The move Harden could make a few people with dirty minds giggle. Especially since the same Pokémon likely will know String Shot... Hydro Pump causes the same dirty thoughts sometimes. Particularly with Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action jokes.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Variation, played straight and subverted.
    • Ask anyone over the age of 40 about Pokémon. They'll most likely answer something like "Pokémon? Isn't it that cheap kids' cartoon from the '90s about cute little monsters?" And since Most Writers Are Adults, for a long time most mainstream parodies of Pokémon were either based fully or partially on the early anime, with particular emphasis on the Merchandise-Driven Snark Bait reputation that it had during its heyday. Over the years, however, the balance has shifted slightly as millennials have become a more dominant force in popular culture; while some elements of the anime (such as Ash, Team Rocket, Pokémon Speak and the theme song) are universally pervasive, elements from the games have become increasingly recognized and more commonly cited, and the overall tone of Pokémon parodies has shifted from derisive "kiddy" snark to nostalgic fondness (regarding both the games and anime).
    • Quick, what do you think of when you think "Pokémon's main theme"? For most people, it's the first theme of the anime (English or Japanese) rather then the game's title screen theme. A quick search on YouTube has the first English anime theme as the very first result. You need to dig further to find the game's title screen theme.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • A joke among some fans is that the highly implausible abilities ascribed to Pokémon in the Pokédex, which is cause for a lot of Gameplay and Story Segregation, is because the local Professors rely on children to fill them in and expand them: of course a ten-year old trainer is going to exaggerate and misunderstand their observations of their Pokémon and record faulty data.
    • NPC trainers and the player character can easily be twisted into Jerkasses with regards to their interactions:
      • You're wandering down a road miles away from home, your Pokémon are weak, possibly paralyzed or poisoned, several are knocked out, you're out of healing items and are desperately looking for a Pokémon center to heal your Pokémon but don't know your way around the area. As you struggle onward another trainer spots you and immediately challenges you to a battle, giving you no chance to back down and having no regard for the safety and well-being of your 'Mons.
      • But then, the reverse. You see a trainer looking down the road and talk to them to challenge them to a battle. They only have one or two Pokémon five levels lower than yours, and depending on their dialogue said Pokémon may be freshly caught, or the trainer is on a losing streak, or is just out for a stroll. They may also be a young child or an old man or lady. You proceed to crush their Pokémon, take their money as spoils of victory, and leave them alone in the middle of nowhere while you continue on to find another trainer to do the same to. Your main goal in doing this is to obtain the Gym Badges and become Pokémon Champion, something which in-universe, especially in Black and White, is seen by the in-game characters as the hollow, pointless goal of pursuing power and fame just for the sake of being powerful and famous. Congratulations, you're a Sociopathic Hero Villain Protagonist! Oh and that trainer you managed to avoid on one of the first few routes? Why not fight his level 5 Bug Pokémon with a team of level 100 legendaries, bonus points if you use Mew and/or Arceus.
    • Consider the real world equivalent of Pokémon battles, where human trainers force animals to fight for them? Bear-baiting, Cock-fighting and Dog-fighting! Yeah, it's suddenly become a lot harder to root for our heroes. The alternate to this comes when material for the series tries to characterize the Pokémon themselves beyond doing whatever their trainer tells them to, by saying all the fighting is just as much a game for them as it is for anyone playing the games. This is essentially a world which humanity shares with over eight hundred different species of super-powered Blood Knights. Considering how it's considered dangerously unsafe to walk in tall grass without a Pokémon of your own, and even a few generations later Professor Birch gets chased by a wild dog pretty easily. This seems to actually be the case.
    • Due to the sparse details provided by the games, the Pokémon themselves are subject to this in the games. They display little personality outside of Pokémon-Amie, natures and characteristics, and their 8-bit cries would be fairly implausible to produce in a "real" setting, with their text cries alternating between Pokémon Speak and onomatopoeia. As such, the Pokémon's cries and personalities (both individuals and the whole species) are largely left up to the viewer's imagination (and whichever Alternate Continuity they like best, be it the anime, the manga, Origins, Generations, etc.), which helps fuel the fandom's large roleplaying and fanwork community. An example of this is We Are All Pokémon Trainers, where Pokémon depiction bases are left up to the writer.
    • A lot of Pokémon species get this in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon's Pokédex entries, which are full of calling out undeserved reputations and inconsistencies. Just some examples:
      • Electabuzz is ostensibly responsible for nearly half of all known blackouts, but USUM claims it's being misblamed and scapegoated to cover for faults with the power companies.
      • Absol has classically been a walking Cassandra Truth and Chronic Hero Syndrome, but Ultra Sun sternly points out that one should be grateful for its altruism and popularity is rising in the younger generations.
      • Hypno which thanks to an old Pokédex entry has become a shorthand for Memetic Molester, is commonly used by doctors as therapy for patients who have trouble sleeping.
      • Porygon-Z claims that its erratic behaviour isn't due to Min-Maxing or an unexpected reaction to new code; according to Ultra Sun, the creator was just incompetent.
  • Animation Age Ghetto:
    • Despite the Periphery Demographic, Pokémon, thanks to the anime and its English dub, is widely viewed as being solely for children. As of Gen VI, Game Freak fortunately seems to have caught on to this status, and is trying to appease the older fans and establish that Pokémon is indeed for all ages. An entire article was written on the subject, and the mainstream success of Pokémon GO has alleviated this to some extent.
    • There is also the fact that many of the monsters, especially the most marketed ones, are usually simplistic enough to be easily drawn by children, which cannot be said for other franchises that have monsters as their main focus, like Monster Hunter or even Digimon.
    • A common criticism of later games in the series is that they are very overbearing in terms of handholding and in-game tutorials. This is often cited as an attempt to pander to young children and treat them in a patronizing manner, a common fallacy of Pokémon in general (most notably with the anime series pre-XY).
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Jynx. Looking like a parody of blackface acting will do that.
    • Pokémon games from Gen V onward appear to be universally-loved in Japan, but are met with a more mixed reception in the West; this is sometimes attributed to Japanese gamers' preference for more linear and story-driven games, as the linearity and overbearing plot of later games is a common criticism in the West. In particular, Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon sold better in Japan than in North America, with the former set of games getting a "perfect" review score of 40/40 from Famitsu.
    • As of The New '10s, Pokémon has engaged in the bizarre practice of eliminating some local language translations of the general franchise rather than creating new translations for new dialects, as many other franchises do. This is usually done in order to import that language's version of the games from a different country and to ensure that other media is consistent with that translation, but often provokes cries of They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
      • French-speaking Quebecers, who generally grew up with the English games and a Quebec French dub of the anime that used the English names, get a bit testy about French-translated material from HGSS onwardsnote  due to the fact that they use the French names and terms rather than the English ones that they grew up with, which adds another dimension to the whole "Genwunner" argument akin to Subbing vs. Dubbing. It has even been compared to (and possibly accused of being a part of) the local equivalent of Political Correctness Gone Mad, where the Quebec government regularly attempts to replace English loanwordsnote  with French neologisms,note  — in fact, in an age where more and more French Quebecers want to get along with their English-speaking neighbours, the sudden switch to French names is considered by many of them to be regressive and insular, and unnecessarily brings the divide caused by the province's already controversial language politics into the Pokémon fandom. Years after HGSS started the trend, the French translations have still not been fully accepted in Quebec,note  and use of the French names is more uncommon and divisive than it is in France or parts of Belgium, where it's rare to see people not use them.
      • Similarly, Latin Americans only had English games available for a while, and are critical of Spanish character and location names (used in Spain), with some Latin American users on the now-defunct Pokéteca (the Spanish Bulbapedia) causing an uproar over the use of said Spanish names on the wiki rather than the English ones. Poketeca's successor, the Spanish Pokémon Wikia, eventually reached a compromise, with anime characters' names being listed "Latin American forward slash European", while the video game characters will be referred to by their Castilian names.
      • A third case of this occurs with the Chinese version, which had different names and translations for different Chinese-speaking regions (Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China). When a unified Chinese translation was announced for Pokémon Sun and Moon based on the Mainland translation, fans of the "de-canonized" Hong Kong and Taiwanese translations outside of Mainland China took issue. While the Quebec version of the issue went by largely unnoticed worldwide due to the small-ish French Canadian market, and the Latin American version at least kept their own anime dub and Pokémon names, the Chinese equivalent was a large enough issue to spark actual protests in Hong Kong.
      • Dub Name Changes aside, another reason why the French and Spanish translations aren't fully accepted in the Americas is that they are overly specific to France and Spain respectively, with slang, vocabulary and expressions that are considered awkward and incomprehensible to people outside those countries. China, at least, gets separate Simplified and Traditional Chinese options for the games.
    • Currently, the anime is a more popular, widely-marketed, and integral part of the franchise in Japan than in the West.
    • An odd downplayed version of this and Germans Love David Hasselhoff occurs with how the actual Pokémon are regarded vs. the human characters in Japan and the West; see Just Here for Godzilla for details.
  • Archive Panic: Over twenty years of games, animes, movies, comic books, spin-offs and remakes with an ever-growing number of characters, none of which (as of 2015) show any sign of slowing down. If you wanna catch 'em all, you better get started!
  • Audience Shift: While Pokémon started out purely as a "kids-only" franchise (and is probably most well known as such), over time the Periphery Demographic grew enough so that Game Freak would acknowledge them as a part of its demographic just as much as the kids themselves. Come Gen VI, lots of Pandering to the Base could be found in the games, and the official international website was overhauled to look more like an Apple product and less like an early 2000s kids' website.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Pikachu, the Series Mascot, is a world-renowned icon and generally liked by the older fanbase; especially from Gen VI onwards, most fans consider it to be a Sacred Cow due to its adorable design and universal appeal, and for not having an annoyingly vocal fandom in the vein of other popular Pokémon like Charizard. However, depending on how heavily it's marketed at the time (particularly compared to other Pokémon), it occasionally goes through periods of resentment and even hatred by some older fans due to its "cute" Kid-Appeal Character nature, being one of the weakest Pokémon in a library of 700+ unique creatures, and association with the divisive anime, with the dawn of "Pokémania" and early parts of Generation Vnote  probably being the periods where its hate was most notable. It also gets backlash from fans of its evolved form since the franchise seems to go out of its way to ignore Raichu.
    • Charizard and Lucario are also extremely popular Pokémon, but suffer heavily from Hype Backlash for how popular they are and how extensively they're marketed. Some fans also bring up their association with specific sectors of the fanbase as points of contention ("Genwunners" and the Furry Fandom, respectively), and how fans in those sectors tend to be obnoxious in their worship of Charizard/Lucario. Especially Charizard, since genwunners are stereotyped as holding it up as the paragon of Pokémon design.
    • Dragonite is fairly divisive for a pseudo-legendary. Some people love it for being a mighty Badass Adorable and great in competitive play, while others find it to be too dopey and unthreatening, infamously likening it to Barney the Dinosaur. Possibly to address the latter camp, Dragonite has been increasingly depicted with angry facial expressions and in badass poses, which make it more similar to Charizard - though its cuddly/friendly depictions aren't completely gone. It's also contentious among fans of Dragonair since it's a drastic departure from its previous stage's sleek, feminine appearance, and some fans would have preferred something more like Milotic for its final stage.
    • The Generation IV evolutions of older generation Pokemon. Either they're hideous design departures from their pre-evolutions (not helped by many being evolutions of first generation mons) or creative evolutions of otherwise forgettable mons. The former opinion was widely held when they were first revealed, but over time, the evolutions grew on many fans.
      • Out of these evolutions, Rhyperior deserves special mention. While it's a very powerful Pokémon whose ability promotes much more survivability given the line's poor defensive typing, it's often lambasted for its overly bulky design (similar to Emboar and Conkeldurr), but even more so because it evolves from Rhydon, whose design was more popular and more rhinoceros-like.
      • In general, it seemed that the evolutions of the Gen 1 Pokémon (ex. Lickilicky and Tangrowth) sparked the most controversy, while the evolutions of Gen 2 Pokémon (ex. Weavile and Honchkrow) and Gen 3 Pokémon (ex. Gallade and Roserade) were more warmly received.
    • It's a hot topic to discuss whether or not Crobat's existence redeems the Zubat line, or is just as rotten as its predecessors.
    • Certain designs tend to get singled out as being "Uncreative" ("Uncreative" here being a code word for "I hate the design, this isn't a real Pokémon to me".) Of the Pokémon that get the most flack, ones based on fish (like Basculin or Lumineon) are regarded as "weak" (an impression left by Magikarp and codified by Goldeen), Pokémon based on people (like Mr. Mime or Jynx) being "too creepy" and ones based on inanimate objects (Like Vanillish or Klefki) for being "lazy". At the same time though, not all Pokémon with these designs receive nearly enough hate: Sharpedo, Lanturn, Alakazam, Machamp, Aegislash and Chandelure are all well regarded despite being based on fish, people or inanimate objects.
    • Several Mega-Evolutions have gained a divisive reception, the most divisive ones being those for single-stage Pokémon and those with relatively low stat totals, such as Sableye, Mawile, Audino, and Banette. A number of fans believe they should have been standard evolutions with adjusted stats, with some citing Mega Banette and Mega Audino's poor competitive standings and the cross-generation evolutions introduced in Gen IV as proof they would have fit in as such. Others maintain that they worked fine as Mega-Evolutions, citing the unpopular reception many Gen IV evolutions get, the introduction of Eviolite in Gen V puts fully-evolved Pokémon (especially newer ones) at risk of being Power Up Letdowns, their designs wouldn't have worked anywhere else and Mega Sableye and especially Mega Mawile's competitive successes.
  • Broken Base: The Pokémon fanbase is so large and diverse that it's difficult to find a real consensus on almost anything. Here are some of the more notable divides:
    • The fanbase is hugely divided over which generation is best, and with every new addition (or lack thereof) to the series, many people cry the entire franchise (or just a generation) ruined.
    • Even playing the games divides the fans. Either you play competitively and are "taking the game too seriously", or you play for fun and "can't understand the subtle mathematics of the game".
    • On places like DeviantArt and YouTube, the fanbase is extremely divided over whether the anime or the manga is the better series based off of the games.
    • Fans are also divided over whether the main series should go in a more story-driven direction like Generation V and Generation VII, or stick to an excuse plot like the older games and Generation VI, and make the game more about catching 'em all and exploration. There's also a divide between those who care more about what goes on during the main story campaign to those who care more about competitive battling note 
    • Are version-exclusive contents totally fair or blatantly one-sided? Groudon's and Yveltal's severe disadvantage against Kyogre and Xerneas respectively, the version-exclusive Mega Evolutions (especially Mega Charizard X), and White 2 players only getting Easy Mode are some of the examples. While such content can be traded between games, one really has to wonder if the trade-off is really fair to begin with if one version is clearly inferior to the other.
    • There is a notable Broken Base as to the Pokémon's cries, due to how they differ across incarnations. Fans argue over whether the synthesized animal noises of the games, the Pokémon Speak of the anime and numerous spinoffs, or the voiced animal noises of Pokémon Origins and the B2W2 animated trailer are the best and should be used in media. Pokémon Speak is usually the most widely-criticized, which may have led to the aforementioned voiced animal cries in Origins; however, some have noted that part of the fanbase's aversion to Pokémon Speak is due to its association with the main anime itself and all the divisive elements that come with it, as some fans find it slightly more tolerable in Super Smash Bros. and the Mega Evolution specials.
    • For your own sake, it's best you don't get into a debate regarding whether or not "Pokémon" and the species' names should be capitalized when referring to the creatures. For example, is it proper to say "My strongest Pokémon is a Pikachu", "My strongest pokémon is a pikachu", or something in-between? It's a very hot-button issue in the fanfic community.note 
      • Related to this the Pronoun Trouble that occurs when referring to certain Pokémon. Is it appropriate to use "It", or go with gender-indicating pronouns, especially in regards to Pokémon that are One Gender Races (especially since there's more then one individual).
    • A common argument among the fandom is whether dragon-like Pokémon that aren't Dragon-type, such as (non-Mega X) Charizard, Gyarados, and (non-Mega) Sceptile, count as dragons or not, and whether they were intended to be dragons in the first place. Arguments of this type usually escalate into both sides going at each other's throats. As far as canon is concerned, Charizard in particular has been stated to not be a dragon in the Japanese version of the anime (which was changed to "Dragon-type" in the dub), but is otherwise treated as a dragon in various games and has been indirectly labeled as one in Super Smash Bros.note , it's in the Dragon egg group, some of its foreign names are derived from the respective word for "dragon", and Mega Charizard X is very unambiguously a classic European dragon. This video has more on the issue, and concludes that the lack of Dragon typing was simply in order to prevent Charizard from being overpowered (similar arguments can apply to Gyarados and Sceptile). The issue isn't limited to dragonlike Pokémon, as there are other species with appearances, habits and movepools that defy their typing, such as the fairylike Celebi not being Fairy-type, the antlion-based Trapinch line not being Bug-type despite being in the Bug egg group, and quite a few aquatic Pokémon (such as Lugia, Stunfisk and Dragalge) not being Water-type.
    • Any time a mechanic or content featured in the tail-end game(s) of a generation (such as Move Tutors that teach a wider variety of moves or a greater/more readily-accessible amount of Mega Evolutions) is removed from the first two games of the next one, often only to be added back in when that gen's tail-end games are released. Some defend this practice as Game Freak has to convince people to buy the next games somehow, and it gives them the opportunity to improve on the first two. Others find it to be an egregious case of planned obsolesence (why bother buying the first two games when there'll always be an Updated Re-release or rough equivalent that'll have more things in it?), and point out that taking something out of a game only to add it back into a new game later on does not an improvement make.
    • There is a growing divide within the fanbase ever since Gen V and the perceived direction of the franchise, with several things being a point of contention. Major changes in creative direction were made twice — first in Gen V, then in Gen VI, the latter lasting through Gen VII — and both times evoked mixed reactions in the fanbase, with different demographics.
      • Generation V was the first generation to see significant change for the Pokémon franchise, mostly with a focus on deeper lore and more developed characters and stories, as well as a completely new, self-contained regional Pokédex with no older species. However, the games were met with glowing praise by some fans and apathy from others, resulting in lower sales than Gen IV; many of the changes and innovations Gen V introduced fell by the wayside in the subsequent (and differently polarizing) 3DS entries. Some fans (especially overzealous supporters of the generation) believe Gen V to be perfect and point to "genwunners" as the main or sole reason why its innovations fell by the wayside. Others believe that the games' novelty was undermined by some of their creative decisions being out of touch with the fanbase at large — such as with the extremely polarizing Unova Pokédex of Pokémon Black and White — and that Game Freak misattributed the blame to fans not liking Gen V in general, resulting in future games distancing themselves from Gen V as a whole. Others still believe Gen V to not have been as innovative or groundbreaking at many people claimed, and in fact that its weak attempts at being "different" were already signs of Pokémon being desperate for new ideas and continuing along its path of being a Franchise Zombie — and that, in fact, the games tried so hard to be different that they ended up alienating fans of the classic formula and Pokémon species.
      • Generations VI and VII marked a general shift towards streamlined, casualized and linear main plots, gimmicks such as Mega Evolution and Z-Moves, larger regional Pokédexes that rely heavily on past generations (especially Gen I), and more user-friendly competitive breeding and training in favor of fewer postgame features. Some fans highly enjoyed these changes, as shown by the greater sales and mainstream attention of games from Pokémon X and Y onwards; the increased focus on classic Pokémon helped win back many fans who were alienated by the Unova games, and many fans highly appreciated how Game Freak finally acknowledged and helped players deal with Guide Dang It! competitive mechanics like EV's and IV's. Other fans did not enjoy this new direction for the franchise, mostly for making the games less engaging for fans invested in single-player campaigns, sidequests/exploration, and postgame facilities. This divide wasn't at all helped by the many design and technical flubs in the Gen VI and VII games, such as highly inefficient programming (resulting in framerate drops) and oversights in Pokémon movesets and mechanics. Overall, fans in the latter category accused the games of transitioning from self-contained creative endeavors to an unpolished, Merchandise-Driven arm meant to advertise the rest of the franchise and establish Pokémon as marketing icons, much like the anime.note 
    • Datamining, the act of going through the game's code to suss out every secret and tidbit the game has on file. On one hand, people appreciate plumbing the depths of the game's coding because so many mechanics on how the game functions is largely unexplained by the game itselfnote . On the other hand, it also inadvertently reveals a great number of spoilers (story related or Pokémon related), who some people unscrupulously post everywhere upon revelation. Its nearly impossible to go into the newest generation of games completely blind unless you've actively avoided all social media or the internet in general (which is increasingly harder to do as time goes on). It also spoils when things such as a new mythical Pokémon is officially revealed by the company; the fanbase already found out about it months in advance, thus the shock factor of the reveal that the company wanted is completely lost. A portion of the fanbase feel the need to put on a Kayfabe of sorts (pretending that the information isn't known) while a portion does not and treat the news as common knowledge. It also puts fan websites, wikis (including this one) and gaming news sites or YouTube channels in a bind where their creators and maintainers want to enjoy the product spoiler-free but need to post something about the revealed information.
  • Character Tiers: A heavily present feature in the metagame, and kind of necessary, given that for all of Game Freak's tweaks and additions, some Pokémon still clearly have it better than others. Most communities make an effort to organize the tiers thoughtfully, at least. Smogon has one example.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Despite a fair number of them being crutch characters, it's not uncommon for players to keep their starters as permanent fixtures of their team (usually as the strongest Pokémon in their lineup). The reasons why vary from attachment to practicality (either as a legitimately good Pokémon or a HM Slave).
    • In an inversion, it's an unspoken rule among players, particularly Let's Players, that Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are completely off-limits due to being Purposely Overpowered (though some players may simply decide that their team works quite well without one). If you decide to add that sweet Lightning Bruiser mascot legendary to your team, be ready for the "Stop Having Fun" Guys to make themselves known.
    • The metagame has resulted in a lot of Pokémon being used by players a lot (Smogon appropriately dubs them "OU" for "overused"), simply due to being very powerful without being an outright (major) Legendary or Mythical Pokémon. VGC 2016 brought this to a head with the teams of the Top 5 — which were largely identical to each other, coining the derogatory term, "CHALK".
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Creepy Awesome: Many of the Poison-, Ghost-, and Dark-types count. Also some of the more malevolent Pokémon definitely get this treatment such as Mewtwo, Giratina, Kyurem, Yveltal, Genesect, and so on. The Ultra Beasts also have their fair share of fans thanks to their creepy, alien, and un-Pokémon-like designs.
  • Creepy Cute: While they're supposed to be creepy and unsettling in-universe, Ghost type Pokémon, especially the unevolved forms, are just as adorable as any other unevolved Pokémon. A few examples include Gastly, Misdreavus, Yamask, Litwick, Pumpkaboo, Phantump and Mimikyu.
  • Critical Dissonance: According to critics, Pokémon has remained strong since the beginning. According to fans, the series has had high and low points which are greatly dependent on who you ask and when and where you ask. As you can imagine, fans do not agree on much.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Nicknaming either Drifloon or Drifblim "Hindenburg" (and having either one of them with the Explosion attack) was already a pretty common joke, but then they got an exclusive Dream World Ability, Flare Boost, that increases their Special Attack while Burnedand right in step with the games that debut the series's equivalent of America, too. Oh, the Humanity!...
    • On a similar note, one could nickname their Golem "Kurt Cobain" and teach it Explosion as well. Works best with suicide leads in the metagame.
  • Demonic Spiders: Has its own page.
  • Die for Our Ship: Has its own page.
  • Ear Worm: Has its own page.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Enough to have a dedicated page.
  • Even Better Sequel: Each new generation of games adds many new features and otherwise fixes design flaws.
  • Evil Is Cool: Some of the most popular Pokémon are known in-universe as sinister, malevolent, and destructive entities, such as Gyarados, Hydreigon, and Gengar. Special mention goes to Mewtwo and Necrozma, both widely known for being vicious and powerful Blood Knights in a land where being a Blood Knight is a way of life, and while the latter is the first Pokémon to be the Big Bad of a main series game, the former is one of the most famous and iconic creatures of the franchise.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: There are many crimes that one can commit against the Pokémon fandom, which can be found here.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • The Pokémon fandom is infamous for its "generation wars", with fans often clawing each other's eyes out about which generation was the best. Roughly speaking, fans are divided into three broad groups: fans of the "classic" era (Gens I-II), fans of the "early modern" era (Gens III-V), and fans of the "renaissance" era (Gens VI-VII). Each of these groups constantly holds up why their preferred generation(s) is/are the best, often blaming the other two groups for overglorifying their own choices and (aside from "renaissance" fans) blaming Game Freak for not continuing in their preferred direction. One reason HeartGold and SoulSilver are considered a Sacred Cow is that they appeal to both "classic" fans and "early modern" fans (being Gen IV remakes of Gen II games), and "renaissance" fans have very few gripes against them.
    • Somewhat related to the above is the growing rivalry with the upcoming Pokémon-inspired game Temtem. Many fans dissatisfied with the current direction of the series have jumped ship over to Temtem due said game supposedly being everything Pokémon should have been and more, with attractive features such as the removal of many luck-based mechanics and an optional Hard mode. However, those who are sticking with Pokémon are saying the game has a good chance of being similar to Mighty No. 9 in that it turns out to be a flop that claims to be a Spiritual Successor to a nostalgic series.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Pokémon has such widespread appeal that its fandom overlaps with most other fandoms out there, from similar franchises such as Super Mario Bros. to completely different ones such as Game of Thrones. Given any fandom, there's a high chance that it'll have unironic crossover fanart and fanfiction with Pokémon, no matter how awkward the crossover may be. The most common kind of fanart you'll see being a fictional character having a team of six Pokémon that reflects that character's personality, appearance, abilities or occupation. The fictional character may even be dressed like a Pokémon trainer (mostly wearing sporty clothing and a Nice Hat).
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page.
  • Genius Bonus: Some of the inspirations for the Pokémon species designs are delightfully obscure.
    • Shuckle resembles a turtle and many viewers automatically assume that it must be based on a turtle, but it's actually based on an Endolith, a kind of fungus that lives inside porous rocks.
    • Avalugg is likely based on Project Habakkuk/Habbakuk, a proposed World War II project to make aircraft carriers made of Pykrete, a mixture of wood pulp and ice. The project was considered for the fact that it turned out to actually be bulletproof, but ultimately turned down based on its ridiculously low maximum speed of six knots, along with the fact that so many measures would have to be taken to keep the damn thing from melting. Sound like someone?
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Pokémon in general is a very good example of this trope, as it originated in Japan but is very popular internationally. As you may have figured out from this very wiki, it's extremely popular in English-speaking countries in particular (especially the United States, where it's translated), to the point that the English translation of the franchise is more widespread and popular worldwide than the original Japanese, and any foreign Western languages without their own Pokémon names use the English ones as opposed to the Japanese ones.note  Pokémon is just as much a part of American pop culture as it is of Japanese pop culture, though the different parts of the franchise and the Pokémon themselves have different levels of popularity depending on the region.
    • As mentioned under Americans Hate Tingle, the English translations of the games are well-liked in Quebec and Latin America due to fans' issues with the actual French and Spanish versions (imported from Europe).
    • Some foreign Pokémon names catch on in countries other than the ones they were intended for. Blastoise's French name of "Tortank" is popular with English-speaking fans, having earned special mention on a number of blogs and a Dorkly popularity poll. Since it's derived from "tortue" (which is similar to English "tortoise") and "tank", it can easily pass as a cooler English Pokémon name. There are other examples like this; for example, Houndoom's Japanese name of "Hellgar".
    • Charizard is pretty much an object of worship in the United States (and possibly other English-speaking countries), mostly due to the Periphery Demographic being a more "definitive" part of the fanbase in America than in Japan, and due to American Kirby Is Hardcore. Charizard merchandise regularly sells out and sells high in English-speaking stores, much more than the actual Series Mascot. At Smogon, he wasn't well-liked because of his very limited utility in battle, until Generation VI made him one of the OU greats. However, even with that disadvantage, Charizard ranked high in American polls for fifteen yearsnote , as well as being a driver of merchandise sales.
    • Pikachu seems to be the most popular Pokémon in France, like in Japan. Pikachu's Pokémon Speak is undubbed and its name is the same in every language, giving it a sort of universal appeal, and France (which loves Japanese culture anyway) tends to be subject to American Kirby Is Hardcore less than America.
    • Speaking of France, the Pokémon franchise is very popular there, possibly having the third-largest sphere of influence there behind Japan and the US. Nintendo games and Japanese culture in general are big in France, and the various French Dub Name Changes and dialogue Woolseyisms are very well-loved by their target audience.note  Pokémon returned the favor by setting Pokémon X and Y in a France-based region and by having Junichi Masuda as an occasional guest at Japan Expo, a French anime convention. It's not uncommon to find elaborate ROM hacks in French that have yet to be translated to other languages.
    • Many Pokémon fans outside of Japan cheered on Japan's Samurai Blue soccer team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to their choice of Pikachu and several other Pokémonnote  as their team mascots.
    • An odd downplayed version of this and Americans Hate Tingle occurs with how the actual Pokémon are regarded vs. the human characters in Japan and the West; see Just Here for Godzilla for details.
  • Goddamned Bats: Has its own page.
  • Goddamned Boss: Roaming Legendaries can become this easily. It takes ages to find them because they move all over the place (and will move to a new location if you use Fly) and when you do find them they run away on their first turn. The only way you can prevent this is to trap them with an ability or move, but even then you have to be lucky enough to make sure to lead with Pokémon with such moves/abilities when you encounter roaming Legendaries. For added insult, some of these legendaries have the forced switch-out move, Roar, which will provide the Pokémon a chance to end the battle even if you managed to trap it.
  • Growing the Beard: Each generation brought in numerous improvements to the game, either competitively or in-game speaking since Generation I.
    • Generation II pretty much is where the games hit their stride, with the introduction of genders, held items, and breeding, certain trainer rematches, the In-Universe Game Clock and the first implementation of the series' wide battle tower in Crystal. Also, though elementary, it introduced the series' first move tutor who would teach a Pokemon of your choice a powerful move. Generation II also split the special stat into special attack and special defense stats to make it easier to determine which mons were going to dish out/take special attacks better or worse. It also introduced swarming, letting you catch certain monsters at certain times. Interestingly, most of the features that debuted here were meant to be in the first game but were cut due to production limitations, so their inclusion in the second generation makes Gold, Silver, and Crystal literal examples of Pokémon as it was meant to be played.
    • Generation III saw a noticeable improvement in art and sound over the previous two generations. It also introduced natures, innate abilities (like Mudkip's Torrent, for example), farming for berries, and a slew of more competitive-worthy items and monsters. Gen III also refined the ability to rematch against certain trainers (with gym leaders added to the list for Emerald) just by expanding the lists. It expended the move tutors abilities to teach your Pokémon far more moves as well, if you had the BP for it. One thing that most people tend to overlook is the PC box system was completely revamped. In previous games, You had to save your game each time you moved to a new box and once you filled a box of 30, you could not catch any new Pokémon until you switched the box in the PC. Starting with Ruby and Sapphire, the system was given a radical interface change allowing one to switch boxes and select boxed Pokémon effortlessly and to see them all simultaneously.
    • Generation IV saw a massive overhaul of the standard battling system just by splitting up physical and special attacks by the individual move, as compared to what the type of the move was. Also, it introduced tons of moves that enabled broader strategies. Gen IV also introduced even better abilities to take mons From Nobody to Nightmare (Scizor, much?). It also introduced the Pokétech, which was like the Pokégear with more functions such as EV counting, happiness checking, etc. It also introduced transferring across generations and wireless communications, all of which improved the number of Pokémon one could catch in one version before referring to a friend/GTS/themselves with another cartridge. Probably the biggest change was bringing the series online via Wi-Fi, which meant trading and battling with people from all over the world.
    • Gen V incorporated smoother game-play note  and much stronger story-telling elements (though whether or not it succeeds is up to the viewer). Black and White also redesigned a lot of interfaces to speed up action (weather listed on sidebars, Repels being used by the menu asking you rather than manually using one through the menu). Finally, it also introduced a long awaited sigh of relief: Reusable TMs.
      • Black and White 2 also refined the mechanics of breeding, and such to make it even easier to perform without sinking in a lot of time. The tutors (a returning feature from Generations 3&4) also encouraged a lot of innovative move-sets. It also shortened the Pokémon tournaments in postgame (the PWT) in a way that it's no longer tedious (though still time-consuming admittedly) to earn BP in order to get the items one needs compared to Generations III and IV.
    • Generation VI introduced many new improvements, including full 3D, trainer customization, and wider options for Wi-Fi play. Many features were designed to quicken the pace of gameplay: easier EV training through the Super Training mini-games, even more streamlined breeding mechanics and greater accessibility to perfect IVs even for legendaries. Game Freak also seemingly made a conscious effort to balance competitive play with, among many other things, a revision of type matchups (including a new type, Fairy, designed specifically to check Dragons and Fighting-types, as well as giving Poison and Steel-type moves something they are super effective against), nerfs to weather abilities, and a more reliable way of removing entry hazards.
    • Gen VII brought about at least two changes that greatly improved the gameplay: HMs being removed in favor of the Poké Ride system (thus moveslots aren't wasted on sub-par moves to get around the overworld) and Hyper Training, which can increase the stats of a less then perfect Pokémon so that it can be useful in competitive battling, effectively salvaging Pokémon from earlier games who may have had bad stats.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A RPG game about a lone child protagonist fighting an evil organization to save the world with a battle system about having said kid throw a red and white colored capsule on the battlefield which explodes to free a being that the player then has fight for them. Are we talking about Pokémon or Robotrek? Made all the more amusing due to several Pokémon like Porygon that have a mechanized look and/or artificial origin.
    • Monster in My Pocket was an American franchise that started in 1989, seven years before Pokémon made its official debut in 1996.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Not just the anime, but the games have also gotten this for some due to the decidedly old-fangled mechanics at the core of the battle system, the similarity between installments, and their extremely high popularity despite being a largely stagnant, non-innovative series.
    • Any Pokémon that happens to be heavily marketed, since some fans argue that Game Freak goes overboard on the Wolverine Publicity whenever they decide to use it and makes them quickly get sick of the Pokémon in question. Pikachu, Charizard, Mewtwo, Blaziken, Lucario and Greninja have all suffered from thisnote , while Zoroark narrowly avoided such a treatment due to its average reception.
    • The Battle Frontier gets this reaction from some fans, along with its Spiritual Successor, the Pokémon World Tournament. While both facilities are highly beloved, a small sector of fans bashes any "sequel" or "third version" game that doesn't include either of the two or an equally expansive equivalent and disregards any other new additions or features that would make up for the content in other areas, making the Frontier and PWT appear overhyped and overglorified to other fans. It doesn't help that no such facilities have been introduced ever since X and Y greatly streamlined competitive breeding and training mechanics, causing people to associate such battle facilities with the unfun grind-fest that was breeding and training prior to Gen VI (or hacking).
  • Hypocritical Fandom:
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: The franchise has suffered from this all its life, first for the "Pokémania" fad among kids in the late '90s, and later for its massive and largely nostalgia-based Periphery Demographic. Additionally, some popular Pokémon species (such as Charizard) started suffering from this trope after their fandoms emerged in full force.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: All of the updated rereleases and remakes (and to a lesser extent, the first titles in any given generation) have run into a certain amount of these complaints. Generally the series as a whole has gotten this over remaining the same at its core.
  • It Was His Sled: For almost any game, you could make an argument that some kind of plot-twist is well-known outside the fandom.
    • The identity of the champion in all of the games. Averted with Alder in Pokémon Black and White, who is outright stated to be champion when he is first introduced instead of just before the player battles him.
    • Likewise, the identity of each game's (true) Big Bad, if the game makes an effort to hide it, tends to stop being a secret amongst fans a few months or years after a game's release.
    • Team Rocket's boss is the final Gym Leader of Pokémon Red and Blue.
    • Red is the final boss of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
    • Nebby the Cosmog from Pokémon Sun and Moon is the pre-evolved state of Solgaleo and Lunala.
  • Junk Rare: ZigZagged with Shiny Pokémon. They're extremely rare to come by, but they're just Palette Swaps and nothing else. While a Shiny may have a good IV spread occasionally, it's no different from any other Pokémon of the same species.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Two downplayed examples overlapping with also-downplayed versions of Americans Hate Tingle and Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • In the west, the human characters are (usually) hardly ignored, and many have large and dedicated fanbases, but most Western fans pay more attention to the Pokémon themselves to various degrees, a fact reflected in most Western fanart and almost all Western merchandising.
    • In Japan, however, this is outright reversed, at least where fanart is concerned, and the human characters get a good share of the merchandising, most of which stays in Japan.
    • As for the series in general, it suffers from the same problem as The Legend of Zelda in that it has too many Godzillas, a major factor behind its Broken Base. Some fans are attracted by the Pokémon themselves, some by the human characters and plot, some by the single-player campaign, some for competitive battling, some for in-game battle facilities, shiny hunting, Nuzlockes... The games have a very pronounced Fandom Rivalry because each generation emphasizes different aspects in different ways, and fans are often convinced that their Godzilla should be the primary Godzilla of the franchise.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Sylveon has become an unofficial icon for many transgender fans, as its color scheme coincidentally matches that of the trans flag; its evolution from the more masculine-looking Eevee only adds to the accidental symbolism. Primarina is also popular with trans fans, to something of a lesser extent, due to its extremely feminine design clashing with its 87.25% male gender ratio and the more boyish appearance of its pre-evolution, Popplio. In general, Pokémon with distinctively "masculine" or "feminine" designs but that are of the opposite gender (such as female Machamp, male Gardevoir and male Gothitelle) are popular with transsexual, transgender and non-binary fans due to the fact that the Pokémon themselves defy gender norms in a way that is just treated as natural rather than Played for Laughs or overemphasized.
  • Memetic Badass: RED. Pretty much agreed to be the ultimate Pokémon master, if not the only one deserving of the title.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • If there's a Pokémon who is absolutely terrible in combat and it doesn't benefit from virtually any sort of improvement, like evolution or a decent movepool, expect it to get this treatment. Spinda, Luvdisc, Unown, and Delibird are prime examples, and reviews on them spare no expense in tearing into these guys.
    • In a popularity contest held in Japan for every species of Pokémon (720 when the poll was conducted), sitting dead last at number 720... was Simisear.
  • Memetic Molester
    • Online interpretations of Drowzee/Hypno lean towards either pedophilia or murder. FireRed/LeafGreen and Explorers definitely doesn't help in that area.
    • Ambipom, with that creepy smile, udder-like things on its tails and those hands...
    • Mr. Mime is treated as this due to its unlikable, clown-like design. Taken Up to Eleven with its animation and newly-introduced Fairy typing in Pokémon X and Y.
  • Memetic Mutation: Got a whole page for 'em now.
  • Mis-blamed: Despite that a company called Game Freak has had their logo plastered over most (if not all) games with the Pokémon title on it, nobody seems to realize that they are the company that actually develops the games in the first place, especially the "mainstream" ones that sell the best. Any criticisms with the games get attributed to the publisher, Nintendo. Game Freak seems to have gone over a decade without much credit or blame for the series.
    • The removal of the Game Corners had nothing to do with Moral Guardians; it was actually because the EU tightened its gambling laws.
    • It became Common Knowledge for a while that Ghetsis ordered Kyurem to kill the player in the Japanese version Black 2/White 2 and the English version censored it to freezing them, largely thanks to how Kyurem's attack is animated. This isn't true, the freezing in the English version is a faithful translation of the Japanese original.
  • More Popular Spinoff: Not of Pokémon itself, but the concept of Genwunners is actually spun off from the "GEEWUNNERS" of the Transformers fandom, who blindly support and praise Generation 1 and bash all other incarnations (sound familiar?). Despite this, Transformers GEEWUNNERS aren't as infamous or widely debated as Pokémon Genwunners.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The critical HP bleeping alarm. However, in Black and White, it was changed by a new battle theme, with the alarm remixed into the tune, which is worse because it sounds like the opponent is dancing (read:taunting) on your impending doom. And most of the fights which reek of Awesome Music are fully replaced by that same irritating tune. X and Y returned to the beeps, but it only dings a few times, as opposed to the constant, grating DEE-DOO DEE-DOO.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The sound of a Poké Ball locking shut around a new Pokémon, especially when it's a legendary, as well as the Fanfare/ditty that immediately follows it.
      • Gen V introduced a new catching mechanic where on rare occasions, a thrown Poké Ball will make a jet-stream sound effect before making contact; telling you ahead of time that you had just thrown a badass ball that will require almost no effort to catch the Pokémon.
    • Landing a "super effective" hit on another Pokémon, especially when the target Pokémon has a double weakness to the move it is resisting and/or when a Critical Hit is factored into the damage as well.
    • The sound that plays at Pokémon Centers when Pokémon are being restored to full health by the nurse.
    • The "shing!" that plays when a shiny Pokémon appears.
    • Not as often mentioned as the others, but the fanfare that plays when you pick a TM from an item ball in the overworld. Later games made item balls containing Technical Machines yellow to distinguish them.
  • My Real Daddy: The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri, but there are many fans who consider Junichi Masuda, who took the reigns from Tajiri from Gen 3 and onward, as the Real Daddy of Pokemon, as he further fleshed out the world of the franchise and established many enduring elements of it, with increasingly greater emphasis on story and character development than there ever was in the Tajiri-helmed games.
  • Narm: The change from "[Trainer] wants to battle!" to "[Trainer] would like to battle!]" in the Gen. 3 games. Sure, it's more polite, but it sounds ridiculous when said trainer is someone from Team Rocket or Cipher.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Only one of Hypno's Pokédex entries mention it hypnotizing and kidnapping a child, and even then it was treated as an isolated incident. Yet the fandom Flanderizes Hypno into an entire race of pedophile kidnappers. There's even a song written about it!
    • The Jynx controversy arising from her suspicious original coloration has pretty much ruined any chance for her to be popular when she seemed to be a misguided attempt to represent a Japanese legend/fashion trend. Nowadays, any mention of Jynx will inevitably bring up the controversy, and her reputation has been spoiled.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • One Pokédex entry states that Drifloon tries to kidnap children, but that Drifloon are much too light and weak to actually carry the children away, which leads to them being dragged along like a normal balloon.
    • Several Pokémon that are based on deadly or phobia-inducing animals are goofy or downright adorable in design (eg. Galvantula is not what you'd expect from a dog-sized tarantula).
  • Older Than They Think: Since the West grouped event-exclusive Pokémon such as Darkrai and Celebi in with in-game Legendary Pokémon (sometimes even calling them such), many fans think the former being split off and called "Mythical Pokémon" was a later development in the franchise's history, not helped by some non-Mythicals like Ho-oh, Lugia and Zoroark being event-exclusive at some point. This distinction, however, existed in Japanese media since almost the very beginning.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • Pokémon has, quite possibly, one of the clearest examples of this in video gaming; there's a reason why The Other Wiki lists it as the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. Outside its obvious target demographic of young kids, the entire franchisenote  is also quite popular with young adults that were kids in the late 1990s when the series was introduced, as well as with Otaku and Nintendo and JRPG fans in general. The franchise also has been a massive influence on youth and Internet culture, considering its popularity on Image Boards and the number of memes, videos, and fan tributes that the franchise has spawned, and has a number of Big Name Fans such as Jordin Sparks, One Direction, Robert Downey, Jr., Robin Williams and Ronda Rousey.
    • The franchise's adult fanbase has grown so much that in Japan, many child fans of Yo-kai Watch claim that the Pokémon fanbase is full of "old fogeys" and prefer Yo-Kai Watch precisely because it hasn't caught on with adult fans yet.
    • The franchise is also a noticeable hit with the Furry Fandom, with high amounts of fan art from the fandom and it not being a rare sight for a furry to use a Pokémon species for their fursona.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Usually when a new Pokémon game comes around, you'll get this reaction towards certain Pokémon that supposedly replaced a previous favorite's role and failed/achieved to do the role better, or, in Zoroark's case, being purposefully advertised to be the next coming of the previous generation's Breakout Character, Lucario.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Has its own page.
  • Sacred Cow:
    • For all the base-breaking going on in the fandom, Pokémon as a wholenote  is treated as this because of the sheer number of people who grew up with it. It's become a cardinal sin to say anything bad about its world and characters or to claim that it's "strictly for children", and (aside from a few Vocal Minority circles) most complaints about the direction of the franchise are cast in a sympathetic light as opposed to bashing Pokémon as a lousy series.
    • Many Pokémon species in particular can also become this, with the strongest examples being popular Gen I and II(-related) species that do not suffer from Hype Backlash, such as Gengar, Scyther/Scizor, Gyarados, Eevee and the Eeveelutions, Mewtwo and Lugia, as well as a few from other generations such as Mimikyu. Such species are loved by older nostalgic fans, but are also tolerated and even equally loved by newer fans for not annoying them through excessive marketing and/or an overzealous fanbase, causing many people to consider them to be above criticism. Species that do attract Hype Backlash, such as Pikachu,note  Charizard,note  Lucario,note  Blaziken, and Greninjanote  become more divisive, with some fans treating them as Sacred Cows to an even greater degree and other fans expressing their annoyance towards such.
  • The Scrappy: Has its own page.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Has its own page.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Flash is widely hated for its unreliable accuracy for a HM move that lower target's accuracy. From Generation 4 and on, its accuracy was increased to 100% and it is now a TM move instead.
    • Cut's Power is sub-par with just 50, its accuracy means it has a slight chance to miss, and it's an HM move. Not only did Gen IV remove its ability to cut tall grass, but Gen V buffed Tackle's Power to 50 and its accuracy to 100%, while also reducing Cut's mandatory useage to just one segment.
    • While Rock Smash has a high chance to lower the target's defense, its Power is just 20. It did get its power increased to 40 from Gen IV onward. Gen VI then introduced Power-Up Punch, which always raise the user's Attack if it hits (which is more useful than lowering several opponents' Defense), making Rock Smash redundant. It didn't help that in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it regained its HM status.
    • Constrict has the lowest Power move of all moves, at just 10. Its secondary effect isn't that impressive either; it has a ridiculously low chance of reducing the target's Speed.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer
    • The Game Corners are minigame hubs which, in early generations, include slot machines, and in later generations contain randomized puzzle minigames. It is very easy to get distracted by them.
    • Pokémon Contests and the Pokéathlon have this effect as well. Since both pull different kinds of stats from the Pokémon and have different methods of gameplay than the usual battle, you can easily find yourself partaking in them for hours once you get the hang of it.
    • Pokéstar Studios is most definitely this. Here the player partakes in mock battles to create movies.
    • A lot of time can be squandered in Pokémon-Amie trying to get the highest ranks, and therefore, best Poké Puffs in the minigames.
    • Mantine Surfing in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is not only a fun minigame in itself, but also a nice and quick way of earning BP to teach moves to Pokémon and buy items.
  • Squick:
    • The spiral on Poliwag's stomach? That's meant to be Poliwag's innards as seen through the translucent skin on its belly. In fairness, this is true of tadpoles in general.
    • One of the eggs of each Exeggcute has a piece of their shell missing, exposing their "yolk". In other words, you can see their insides...
      • Despite resembling eggs, they are more characteristic of plant seeds or coconuts, but still.
    • Beautifly and Gorebyss' method of feeding is sucking out their prey's bodily fluids. Leaving them a dried, dead husk. Oh, and Gorebyss's pink colour becomes more vivid once it's finished.
    • Lick, the only standard Ghost type move from the first generation, can cause Paralysis. The anime deliberately interpreted the attack through this trope (Ash's Charmander does not like it, for certain). Later Pokédex data for Haunter actually reveals the attack is a form of Vampiric Draining, causing the opponent to shiver until it dies.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: Some competitive players mock people who play with their favorite monsters and insist that the series isn't for kids. Though this seems to be more a product of G.I.F.T. than anything, as most prominent members of the competitive community, such as most Pokétubers and contributing members of Smogon, actually applaud players who make use of lesser-seen Pokémon and often try to do so themselves (though they can be less receptive if they believe said players are using such Pokémon poorly). After all, the alternative is seeing the same dozen or so Pokémon over and over AND OVER again.
  • That One Attack: Has its own page.
  • That One Boss: It has its own page worth.
  • That One Level: Has its own page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • You won't be too hard pressed to find people who stubbornly claim that there are only 151 Pokémon, or that Gold/Silver/Crystal were the only good sequels, or that Generation III was absolute shite (FireRed and LeafGreen notwithstanding). In fact, the GBA generation has probably gotten the worst of it, due to the inability to trade and battle with games from the prior two generations.
    • At the time of each new generation, you would always hear Ruined Forever complaints about "something" that the newest generation brought to the Franchise. Examples being:
      • Generation II's introduction of the two new types, Dark and Steel, ruining the original type set-up.
      • Generation III's introduction of abilities being needless tweaks to people's favorite Pokémon. Starting the tradition of staying to one region instead of following the Gold and Silver example of being able to return to previous regions received a ton of backlash in particular.
      • Generation IV's Physical/Special split causing overused Pokémon to lose some of their offensive power in certain situations that they would win most of the time prior to the split. There was also the "kid-friendly" Voltorb Flip replacing the Game Corners in HeartGold and SoulSilver outside the Japanese versions of the games.
      • Generation V's larger focus on story and dismissal of or reduced emphasis on classic Pokémon has divided some players.
      • Generation VI's removal of experience dividing (meaning any Pokémon sent out in battle gets the full EXP) and full-party Exp. Share, which can remove a large chunk of difficulty from the game. Also, massive game changers such as the Fairy type and Mega Evolution.
      • Much like Generation V, Generation VII's focus on story and constant cutscenes have divided some players. There is also either the removal or downplaying of many of Generation VI's mechanics, which split many fans.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Gold and Silver's end-game, which allowed the player to return to the past generation's region and actually extending the previous generation's timeline. A lot of players believe that this was a great way to extend Pokémon's end-game, yet these were the only games to include such a feature (aside from the remakes, obviously).
    • Black 2 and White 2 have confirmed that shapeshifter Pokémon can take on human form and communicate with humans, in which a backpacker NPC says a few lines, gives you the TM Snarl, then transforms into a Zoroark and runs off. If this was a common thing, for Dittos, Zorua/Zoroark and even freaking Mew to be in human disguise, only giving off vague hints. That is a plot thread too awesome to not use. Many fans love to think that N is actually this, but unless Game Freak states it as canon, it doesn't count.
    • X and Y left a lot of fans curious about the mystery behind Zygarde, the apparent third counterpart to version mascots Xerneas and Yveltal. Then Generation VI ended abruptly before Kalos could get a traditional third version or paired sequels like Unova, and while Sun and Moon did give Zygarde some new forms, its sidequest was ultimately disconnected from everything else in the games and barely had any plot to speak of. It seems the green dragon has been left high and dry by Game Freak.
    • A lot of Mythical Pokémon, being Dummied Out for years before their official reveal and (usually) impossible to get in normal gameplay, wind up getting almost no focus in their debut games. The biggest examples of this may be Genesect, who only gets a minor event where it gets two Drives (of four) despite being the creation of Team Plasma, and Arceus, who despite being the Pokémon equivalent to God plays no role in the Sinnoh games' plot beyond vague allusions to it in backstory. The Azure Flute used to fight and capture it wasn't even officially released!
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Has its own page here.
  • Ugly Cute: Hydreigon arguably always has had some shades of this, but it's made more evident in Gates to Infinity, where it's a kind hero with a quirky personality and made completely undeniable with how adorably it behaves in Pokémon Amie in X/Y. It's hard to see it as a raging beast of mass destruction when it's beaming at you and doing happy dances, and also makes one question the accuracy of its Pokédex entries.
  • Uncanny Valley: Many Pokémon, such as Mr. Mime, Jynx, etc.
  • Unfortunate Character Design:
    • Quite a few Pokémon have a suggestive tuft of fur between their legs, like Blaziken, Reshiram and Beartic. White Kyurem gets a few of Reshiram's characteristics... but not that suspicious placing of fur.
    • Not to mention what the Internet has done with Cloyster.
    • Mew's backsprite from Black and White.
    • Palkia's phallic design from the shoulders up.
    • And the issue of Onix being a "rock snake".
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Magikarp: since it has horrible stats and can learn only four moves outside of events, it is systematically perceived by in-game trainers as useless, and even its Pokédex profile describes it as "virtually useless". In Real Life, on the other hand, everyone knows it evolves into the much more badass and useful Gyarados, so it ended up being the opposite of this trope for fans and the Trope Namer for Magikarp Power. This had the side effect of giving the impression that nearly any Pokémon based on a fish is bound to be awful, even when it isn't the case (most of the time anyway).
    • Absol is despised in-universe for being a Dark type that allegedly starts disasters, but has quite a hefty fanbase for its Panthera Awesome design.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Has its own page.
  • Vocal Minority:
    • Within the Pokémon fandom, the anime tends to attract a small, but extremely vocal faction that dismisses the show as "kiddy" and praises the games as being "mature" relative to the anime; in some cases, even the anime-based elements in Super Smash Bros. and Pokkén Tournament can be a Berserk Button for them. The same faction treats Pikachu in a similar way, since it's a Kid-Appeal Character and most of its prominence and its Spotlight-Stealing Squad tendencies come from the anime. While a decent chunk of the older fanbase still dislikes the anime, the proportion of fans who don't seem to mind it or its influence on the rest of the franchise seems to be a bit bigger and much more silent about it. These older fans might even regard the first few seasons with some degree of fondness.
    • Within the games themselves, you'll find plenty of complaints about the post games of Gens VI and VII being "too short" or lacking in extensive battle facilities that Generation III, IV and V had. What isn't mentioned is that Game Freak has noticed that most fans don't even participate in them since they're often far too difficult for most of the player base to even attempt, and to do well, you'll need to understand the ins-and-outs of game mechanics that the game doesn't mention at all. This all indicates that those who actively completes these areas are unfortunately a minority of players. Generations VI and VII, in fact, got more sales and mainstream recognition than the previous few generations, indicating that ultimately the changes made in them resulted in wider overall appeal and all but confirming said fans as a Vocal Minority.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Despite being primarily aimed at kids, the villains of the games can get very dark, the Pokédex entries are often quite disturbing, and many deaths, on-screen or implied, happen, which can be hidden under metaphor or otherwise. Additionally, the Periphery Demographic of older fans is a very vocal and prominent part of the fanbase that The Pokémon Company successfully caters and markets to, to the point that it's easy to forget that the franchise is for kids in the first place.
  • The Woobie:
    • Cubone, due to Team Rocket killing its mother in Lavender Town. It isn't called the Lonely Pokémon for nothing.
    • Pichu, because of its inability to handle its electricity like its evolved forms Pikachu and Raichu can.
    • The Pokédex entry for Ralts in the Emerald version states that it gets scared when it senses hostile emotions.
    • Feebas is this because of its shabby appearance. But when you either maximize its Beauty or trade it while it holds a Prism Scale...
    • Porygon, once you realize that it — and by extension, its evolutions Porygon2 and Porygon-Z — will never appear in the anime again due to something that wasn't even its fault.
    • Don't forget Latias in the fifth movie. First she lost her father when he sacrificed himself, and then her peace was suddenly interrupted by Team Rocket, who killed her brother, Latios, as well.
    • Absol. It just wants to help people, but they keep blaming it for the disasters it's warning them about.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Many Pokémon and NPC names are portmanteaus or puns, and the translators took time to create a portmanteau or pun when translating from one language to another.
    • Renaming the Evil type to Dark type may count as this, especially considering the black colour of nearly all the Dark Pokémon.
    • Team Rocket is based off of the Yakuza in the Japanese version. In the other versions, they are based off of the more locally recognizable Italian Mafia stereotype, even down to the boss being named "Giovanni".
    • The Champion Ribbon is known as Hoenn Champ Ribbon in Japanese games. Except it's awarded for either Hall of Fame existing then. Fixed with the description in Gen IV as it states "in another region". Sinnoh doesn't have that problem, as Johto has a separate ribbon for the True Final Boss.


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