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    Both Generations 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Professor Oak's infamous line: "I came when I heard you beat the Elite Four."
    • Juggler Shawn, who in the originals claims that he's "dropped his balls" once you defeat him. Another Juggler (Irwin) would have a ball-related quote of his own in the very next generation (saying "Behold my graceful BALL dexterity!" before the battle with him), and yes, both Jugglers got their dialogue replaced in their games' respective remakes.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Giovanni manages to be both this and a Climax Boss in the same game. After defeating him at Silph Co., the open-ended part of the game ends, and the last Gym can't be entered until the first seven are cleared. There, Giovanni is faced again, and he isn't plotting evil schemes or doing anything to call attention to himself, apparently needing to hire new minions from scratch. And then the player steamrolls his team with a single Water-type. For all his bluster about putting the player through a world of pain and not holding back, it's actually kind of pathetic. It's worse in the remakes, where instead of having a Rhydon for his trump card, he inexplicably has another Rhyhorn.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Breather Boss:
    • In all versions, Lt. Surge is easy, both compared to Misty, and simply getting to him. In addition to having plenty of Trainers to grind against before reaching him, the player has the Dig TM by this point, and can easily catch a Ground-type or two to render his team's Electric attacks useless. Said team is also made up of two Glass Cannons and a Fragile Speedster. Yellow amps up his Raichu's level and gives it Mega Punch and Mega Kick so it isn't completely helpless against Ground-types, but it also becomes the only Pokémon on his team.
    • Giovanni is rather easy for being the final Gym Leader, since most of his Pokémon are rather slow and all of them have common weaknesses, even double weaknesses. Even more so in FireRed and LeafGreen, where his strongest Pokémon in the original Red and Blue — a mighty Rhydon — was replaced by, of all things, its unevolved form, Rhyhorn.
    • Besides his Machamp, Bruno of the Elite Four has a very weak team, with the rest of his team consisting of Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, and two Onix. Even if you don't just stomp him with a Psychic type, about any Pokémon with strong Special would sweep his team with ease, and even his Machamp wasn't of much threat as in Red/Blue three of its moves were useless and in Yellow it just had two of its useless moves replaced with mediocre Normal moves. His team is still very weak in FRLG, but he is a bit less easy as all his Pokémon got substantially higher Special Defense after the Special split so a Special attacker can't tear through his team as easily and his team got considerably better movesets.
  • Default Setting Syndrome: The games have a number of game settings that your average fan has probably never used, and may not even know exist. These include options for speeding up the text speed, turning off battle effects (move animations, weather, status effect animations, etc.), and changing the "battle style" closer to how it is in PVP. All typically speed up the pace of the game, especially battles, but few players ever actually change them because it makes the games feel uncomfortably different.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Tentacruel, which can be encountered while surfing on any ocean route. Their unevolved form, Tentacool, are much more fitting as Goddamned Bats thanks to their ability to poison your Pokémon, as well as prevent you from fleeing or switching them out with the trapping move Wrap (in Gen I). The trouble is that Tentacruel can appear in the exact same places. It can be quite a shock to go from battling Tentacool with levels in the high-teens to suddenly staring down a level 40+ Tentacruel. They retain all of the same annoying abilities as their unevolved form, but pack a much larger punch and are more difficult to One-Hit KO (the only way to ensure that none of their detrimental moves are used).
    • Graveler. While they have plenty of weaknesses (including 2x weaknesses to Water and Grass-types) and are fairly slow, you need to be sure to take them out in one hit. If you do not, there is a good chance they'll use Self-Destruction/Explosion on the very next turn, almost certainly taking your Mon out with them. Made even worse in the remakes where their spawns are more common AND they're given the ability Sturdy, which always leaves them with one HP, making them impossible to One-Hit KO...
    • Weezing. Take the same Action Bomb tendencies of Graveler above, and add them to a high-Defense Pokémon without a 4x weakness. Also made worse in the remakes thanks to their Levitate ability, which renders them immune to Ground, one of their two weaknesses.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • After defeating Erika and obtaining the 4th badge, the next two Gym Leaders have a big spike in their levels. Erika's highest level Pokémon are at level 29, while those of Koga and Sabrina are both at level 43, a 14 level difference and one of the biggest level spikes in the entire franchise. However, there's a lot to do between Erika and Koga/Sabrina, and both Gym Leaders suffer from Artificial Stupidity (Koga for example will frequently use Selfdestruct with his last Pokémon Weezing) and have moveset issues (Sabrina's Alakazam for example has the Fixed Damage Attack Psywave instead of the more powerful Psychic). Koga additionally uses the very weak Poison type that is strongly countered by Psychic and Ground types, while being of low threat even without being directly countered.
    • Another big level jump occurs between the final Gym Leader and the Elite Four. Giovanni's strongest Pokémon in his gym battle is a level 50 Rhydon (with four others at level 45 or less) and the first Elite Four member, Lorelei, has a team of five all at level 53 or above, and eventually the level you'll have to fight caps out at 65 with Champion Blue's starter. Victory Road alone won't cover the spike in levels and you could very well end up at the Elite Four with an entire team under level 50 if you never actively grinded throughout the game, but because of the AI and moveset issues that are especially glaring in the Elite Four, plus trainer Pokémon having no EVs and your Pokémon having a 12.5% boost to all their stats from your badges, you can easily manage the Elite Four significantly underlevelled, especially if you got any of the Legendary Birds on your team.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Giovanni gets this from some people claiming he wanted to "stop" Mewtwo by using the Silph Scope to obtain a Ghost to fight him and (when that failed) use the Master Ball to capture it. There's no evidence to suggest Giovanni even knew Mewtwo existed outside of the anime and Pokémon Adventures (both of which are separate continuities from the games), and the games never explicitly mention why Team Rocket was at Silph in the first place, so this relies on a lot of Fanon. While Pokémon Origins confirms that they were there for the Master Ball, Giovanni's characterization makes it clear that he's Only in It for the Money, and Mewtwo isn't mentioned until after Giovanni's episode. Most damningly at all, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon seems to makes the idea of Mewtwo being a goal for Giovanni Ascended Fanon...except that he didn't want to "stop" Mewtwo at all, he wanted to capture it for his own selfish ends.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The first two Gym Leaders Brock and Misty were just there to provide boss fights like the other Gym Leaders. They ended up more popular after release due to the anime relegating them as Ash's companions and the anime was being used to promote the games outside of Japan rather than the other way around. Later generations would make them more prominent in merchandising and adaptations.
    • MissingNo. isn't even an actual Pokémon and merely exists due to a programming oversight, but has become an icon of Pokémon history and fanon.
    • Though her anime counterpart is more well-known thanks to being unusually terrifying, Sabrina remains one of the more popular Kanto Gym Leaders, thanks to her design and use of the game-breaking Psychic-type.
    • As far as the three starters are concerned, Blastoise has a cult status compared to the other two. While most will agree that Blastoise is not the best competitively, there is very little criticism regarding itself as many find an armor turtle with cannons to be badass unlike Venusaur's divisive look and being the rival to Charizard without the Wolverine Publicity criticism plaguing it. Some would find it very refreshing for the main protagonist to start with Squirtle since it's the only starter that was not picked as the first for any of Red's appearances.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • To the dismay of many players, there is no "yes" option when the Rocket grunt at the end of Cerulean Bridge wishes to recruit you into Team Rocket after seeing you battle.
    • Mewtwo is one of the few "evil" (or at the very least, "not nice") Pokémon in the entire series, which (alongside its Game-Breaker status) has helped it become a fan favourite.
  • First Installment Wins:
    • These games and the original 151 Pokémon are pretty much synonymous with the series. Starters from newer games are always compared to Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, the fan favourites of Gen I typically dominate popularity polls, and Red and Blue/Green Oak are the most well known protagonist and rival respectively. Despite all the glitches and bad balancing, there's little doubt that the originals are the most well-remembered (mostly due to the Pokémania fad). One of the many reasons why Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Sun and Moon are so well-received is because of their huge focus on elements and species from Gen I as well as buffing many fan-favorites from said generation with Mega Evolutions and Alolan Forms. That said, the generation and its fans (especially the "genwunners") frequently receive heavy resentment from fans of newer gens for this very reason; many feel that the post-Pokémania games had much better plotlines, characters, regional variety, in-game and competitive features, and Pokémon designs, and feel that the Gen 1 references in fact hamper the later games rather than boost them.
    • Out of all the glitch Pokémon that the first generation has (of which there are over 100), the first glitch Pokémon discovered, Missingno., is by far the most popular.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • A rare case among foreign Western Pokémon names, in that 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.
    • In an example of American Kirby Is Hardcore, Charizard is perhaps the most popular Pokémon in America, where it beats Pikachu in popularity polls by a huge margin. Charizard merchandise regularly sells out and sells high in English-speaking stores, much more than the actual Series Mascot.
  • Goddamned Bats: One thing that most have in common is that they appear in places (caves, open water) where you cannot avoid encounters by simply staying out of tall grass as they can appear at any time.
    • Zubat, along with their evolved form Golbat, appear in every cave in the game (you pass through no fewer than four different caves to complete the game). They're not particularly powerful on their own, but their encounter rate is annoyingly high, they're fast (which makes fleeing from them difficult), and they will gleefully confuse your Pokémon with Supersonic at lower levels and the more-accurate Confuse Ray at higher ones. Come the remakes, they're given the Ghost-type move "Astonish" at low levels, and the Dark-type move Bite at higher levels, meaning Psychics aren't as foolproof against them now, and both moves have a chance to cause flinching. Further, because they tend to share their cave habitats with part Ground-types like the Geodude line, leading with an Electric-type is also risky.
    • Tentacool are basically the Zubat of the sea. You'll run into them while Surfing everywhere. They have Supersonic to confuse you just like Zubat, and add in the ability to poison your Mons as well with various Poison-type attacks while trapping them in battle with Wrap. Another issue with them is that they appear at a wide-variety of levels randomly. Running into that level 40 Tentacruel after mostly battling Tentacool with levels in the high teens even becomes a Boss in Mook's Clothing encounter.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Trying to catch any of the legendary Pokémon. They have hideously low catch-rates, are some of the most powerful Mons in the game meaning they'll knock your Pokémon out left and right, and if you accidentally knock them them out, you'll need to reload a saved game and start the process all over again. (The remakes change it so that any uncaught legendaries will respawn if you beat the Elite Four.) Moltres in particular draws the ire as a "goddamned" boss due to one of its two damage-dealing moves being the trapping Fire Spin.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Check the main page.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: For fans of later generations, a common design criticism of the Gen I Pokémon is that many of them follow the same generic kaiju design archetype, such as Nidoqueen, Nidoking, Kangaskhan, Rhydon, and even all three starters to some extent (especially Blastoise).
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The fact that Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket, is also the Viridian City Gym Leader is all but common knowledge among fans of the series who have never played the game. Strangely enough, once you enter the Gym, and read the plaque on the statue, it says right there it's Giovanni. And, yet, the character who often greets you at the entrances of the Gyms claims he has no idea who the Gym Leader is!
    • Your rival beating you to the title of Champion and being the Final Boss after you beat Lance is common knowledge in video game circles.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Blue. Sure, he might be rather pompous and arrogant, but his grandpa doesn't remember his name, gives him a Pokémon as an afterthought (clearly preferring Red over his own grandson). Red may or may not have killed Blue's Raticate, and when Red finally defeats him and strips him of his "Champion" title, Professor Oak congratulates Red...and yells at Blue for (allegedly) not caring enough about his Pokémon. Like, it's hard not to feel sorry for this NPC whose ass you're about to kick and who isn't even very nice.
  • Junk Rare: There are a number of incredibly rare Mons who provide virtually nothing useful other than to fill up your Pokédex. A few particular examples:
    • There is only one Farfetch'd and Lickitung available in the game apiece, and both must be traded for with NPCs. Farfetch'd isn't that much stronger than the Spearow you have to trade for it, lacks an evolution to make it more useful and doesn't learn Drill Peck either unlike the Fearow line. It exists basically to show off the trading mechanic in-game and to give you a user for the Cut HM. Lickitung is just an overall painfully mediocre Pokémon that is outclassed by most other Normal types. They can, however, be found in the wild in Yellow.
    • Tangela can only be caught in one out-of-the-way place you'll never have a reason to go to (that small grass patch south of Pallet Town that can only be reached by Surf), has only a 10% rate of encounter there, has mediocre stats, and has a pathetic move set. The most noteworthy thing about it was that it was the only pure Grass-type at the time...which doesn't help it when it comes to weaknesses, and if you want a Grass type that resists Ground moves than Exeggutor is a much superior option.
    • If you manage to grind the slot machines at the Game Corner (or just buy a crap-ton of coins) to completely fill your Coin Case, you can buy Porygon...which has poor stats, especially Speed. In Gen 1 none of its evolutions existed yet while in FRLG the game prevents you from evolving it until you get the National Dex, which requires beating the game first. Blue players at least don't have to work so hard for it, but it still stings.
    • While Flareon has one of the highest Attack stats in the game, the move mechanics of the time mean that it has no means of actually exploitinging it outside of Normal-type moves (a problem that would plague Flareon until Gen IV). On top of that, it has low Speed, frail defenses, and a number of weaknesses as a pure Fire-type, making it difficult to use compared to other Fire-types. Even worse is that without trading, there is only one Eevee in the whole game, and its other evolutions outclass it. It got worse in FireRed/LeafGreen, where its STAB-using Special Attack is lower and its movepool is no better at using its high Attack, but at least more Eevee can be bred in their postgame.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Both Red and Leaf, actually. More so Red than Leaf, due to him being more well-known and for being the True Final Boss in Gen II and its remakes. Leaf gets her fair share though, when she's not on Red's level she's usually shown as being the best of the trio in both a playful manner and a battling manner because of her hypercompetence in Pokémon Adventures. Oddly enough, this is exaggerated and reversed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with Red regarded as a Memetic Loser due to his annoying voice and Leaf regarded as a lovable Little Miss Badass for her more charismatic voice and personality and using Charizard for the first time.
    • A prototypical example: Charizard was considered the worst starter in Red and Blue for reasons listed under Memetic Loser, but it was coveted by kids everywhere for being a ferocious fire-breathing dragon and was regarded as the "strongest" starter despite being anything but. The resulting Popularity Power caused Charizard to become more balanced in later games in terms of stats and movepool, culminating in it becoming one of the most powerful starters in the series via its Mega Evolutions.
  • Memetic Loser: Charizard is mocked for being fairly ineffectual in competitive play (especially with its Stealth Rock weakness) and for not being a Dragon-type despite looking like a dragon (with some people insisting that it's a mere "lizard" while un-dragon-like Pokémon such as Altaria and Alolan Exeggutor do get the Dragon-type, despite the consensus and official statements that it is indeed inspired by dragons). In Generations IV and V, this gave it the impression of being a Poor Man's Substitute for actual, stronger Dragon-types such as Salamence and Hydreigon, with only its popularity making it stand out. This died down once Generation VI gave Charizard two Mega Evolutions, both of which are very powerful and one of which is Fire/Dragon type.
    • Even in-game, Charizard is often mocked as the worst starter in the original Red and Blue, as it possesses poor to average match-ups against all of the gym leaders barring Erika. Also, its only STAB attack is the pathetically weak Ember until the level 46, and it can't even learn Fly until Yellow. Despite this, it's still capable of becoming solid just in time for the end of the game, being able to learn Fire Blast, Earthquake, Slashnote  and Hyper Beam. Additionally while still mediocre, with its moveset and speed it actually ends up the best of the starters compared to the other options of its type, mainly being held back by the poor type balancing screwing over the Fire type rather than any significant issues with Zard itself.
  • Memetic Mutation: Professor Oak's nature has made him the subject of many parodies. He's unable to tell whether you're a boy or a girl, cannot remember his own grandson's name, and doesn't put much value on a Master ball.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The murder of Marowak crossed it for the entire Team Rocket organization. Ironically, this is softened in the originals for Boss Giovanni, whose Heel–Face Turn is less ambiguous in those games.
  • Padding: Gen I starts the series trend of padding out the play time with significant Forced Level-Grinding. Improved but still extant in the remakes which expand the plot a bit.
  • Popularity Polynomial: Gen I has always been the most popular Pokémon generation, but as later games refined the core mechanics, general consensus was that it became more and more dated over time, even with the Broken Base over Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. However, starting in Gen V and even moreso in Gen VI onwards, Pokémon games caught more significant controversy over their creative decisions and gameplay, with the games becoming easier, more linear and story-based, and overcomplicating the Pokédex and game mechanics. With the release of Gen I on the Virtual Console, some fans newly appreciated how it was the least "hand-holdy" generation, and how it delivers the core Pokémon experience with very familiar Pokémon without causing controversy over the additon/removal of any new feature.
  • Sacred Cow: A few Pokémon species from this generation are considered to be above criticism.
    • The first stages of the Kanto starters — Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. Unlike their evolutions (which are more popular and beloved in their own right, but also more contentious), their initial stages are treated as Critic-Proof for their iconic status and unique, adorable designs, much like Pikachu. While it's considered acceptable in the fandom to criticize Venusaur for being a Gonk or Charizard for its Hype Backlash and overzealous fandom, criticizing Bulbasaur or Charmander is not.
    • Eevee and its evolutions are very popular Pokémon, all for their unique concept and Badass Adorable designs. While they are heavily marketed, most fans consider this to be fair and appropriate and take issue with any criticism of the line. Eevee is also notable for being considered one of the few acceptable theoretical replacements for Pikachu as the Series Mascot or serve as its rival, thanks to Yellow and the anime. It's nearly impossible to find someone who hates Eevee or its Eeveelution relatives.
    • Many Pokémon in this generation that have powerful final evolutions and are readily available in later generations are treated as this, as they are very well-known and considered to be very useful and iconic Pokémon, but lack the annoying ubiquity of Spotlight-Stealing Squad species such as Pikachu and Charizard. Examples include the Gengar line for being the first Ghost-types and for their Creepy Awesome yet adorable designs, and the Gyarados line for being the defining example of Magikarp Power in popular culture and evolving from a hilariously weak Joke Character to one of the coolest and most menacing Pokémon in the series. At the very least, saying anything bad about Pokémon such as these will get you strange looks.
    • Mewtwo. The original ultimate Legendary Pokémon, Mewtwo was revered by legions of kids and is widely considered one of the most important and infallible Pokémon. Some controversial moves involving the character, such as removing it from Super Smash Bros. Brawl and attempting to displace its iconic Pokémon: The First Movie depiction via Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened, have only increased this sentiment, with the first movie's Mewtwo (which also features in Smash) often considered to be above any form of criticism.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Flash is considered to be one of the worst moves by many players. In battle, Flash only has 70% accuracy, which is pretty bad (and ironic) for a move that just lowers the opponent's accuracy. In the overworld, Flash is only usable in one area. To make matters worse, HM moves cannot be forgotten and there's no Move Deleter (at least in the first generation).
    • Razor Wind. Despite its name, it is not supposed to be a Flying-type move, instead being a Normal-type. It is also underwhelming for a move that takes two turns due to neither exceeding 100 BP nor getting an invincibility phase like Dig or Fly to make up for it.
  • Self-Fanservice: In the Japanese fanart community, it's very common that the artists drew Erika with slightly larger chest, depicting her having a Hidden Buxom.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Choosing your starter Pokémon at Professor Oak's laboratory.
    • One of the most well-known towns in the game, Lavender Town (or, as it can be accurately nicknamed, the Pokémon graveyard).
    • Confronting Mewtwo deep within Cerulean Cave/the Unknown Dungeon.
  • Tear Jerker: The whole deal with the deceased Marowak in Pokémon Tower. Especially in Pokémon Origins.
  • That One Level:
    • Silph Co. to first-time players. An immense dungeon, not helped by the labyrinthine layout of the various warp pads. The Card Key is needed to fully explore the dungeon, and there's no clues as to its location - you just have to stumble onto it. Even then, figuring out which warp pad behind which locked door leads to the end of the dungeon is trial-and-error. A veteran who remembers the location of both the Card Key as well as the proper warp to take (and who doesn't care about the plentiful experience from the various Mooks around the place) can beat the whole thing in five minutes, but to a newcomer, it's a nightmare.
    • Rock Tunnel can be considered a harder, more annoying Mt. Moon. Besides having Zubat and Geodude as common encounters, it is pitch black on the inside, requiring the use of the Flash HM (a terrible move in all respects). Some form of handicap is thus imposed on you while travelling (be it sacrificing a team member's moveslot, having a HM slave in your party, or going through it in the dark). Many trainers are also present, both in Rock Tunnel itself and just outside Lavender Town, making it a fairly grueling gauntlet that leaves your team with low HP and PP by the end, and possibly a status ailment or two.
  • That One Puzzle: Lt. Surge's Gym is the bane of all speedrunners. To reach him, two switches hidden in trash cans need to be pressed. When the first switch (randomly placed) is pressed, the other needs to be pressed exactly afterwards; look in the wrong trash can, and the puzzle resets. The only hint you're given is that the second switch is right next to the first, but even then, that's anywhere from two to four cans to check, and process of elimination won't help since the second switch can appear even in cans that had nothing but trash a moment ago! Oh, and because the original Gen I games are bugged, the second switch often won't appear next to the first, and it can even not appear at all! Suffice to say, the luck of the Irish had better be on your side.
  • The Scrappy: Mr. Mime and Jynx are widely disliked by the fandom for their disturbing designs. Mr. Mime suffers from Everyone Hates Mimes and was given unnerving Marionette Motion in later games, while Jynx was heavily controversial for her Unfortunate Character Design making her look like a blackface performer.note 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The game has a rather interesting plot thread that it never really does anything with; that being the implication that Mr. Fuji was once a scientist on Cinnabar Island, the Pokémon Mansion's original resident, the one who discovered Mew...and ultimately Mewtwo's creator (whose Pokédex entries mention the horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments it experienced during its creation), giving one of the kindest characters in the game a dark and cruel past. Yet even in the remakes, all of this is relegated to the background, and nothing more is done to expand upon it.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Alakazam and Gengar are so powerful and iconic throughout the years that many non-Legendary, non-Mythical Psychic- and Ghost-types from the future gens tend to be compared to them respectively to the point that very few of them stand out. Machamp is this for pure Fighting-types that they basically serve as the stock Fighting-types, commonly appearing in most regional Dexes.
    • The starter Pokémon are seen as this, for being very cute and familiar in their initial stages and simplistic but very threatening in their final stages, especially Charizard for highly resembling a classic European dragon. Only the Johto and Hoenn starters have come close (along with Greninja as a singular case), and some people suspect one reason why Pokémon Black and White failed to catch on as a soft reboot is that the Unova starter Pokémon were widely seen as inferior to the first few sets and nowhere near as appealing as the originals.
  • Ugly Cute: As dopey cartoony hippo-like creatures, Slowpoke and Slowbro definitely qualify.
  • Unfortunate Character Design:
    • Cloyster heavily resembles female genitalia, with the spike above its head ball thing looking like an erect clitoris.
    • Jynx's original design also had to be changed because it looked like blackface.
    • Koffing bears an uncanny resemblance to a coronavirus, and it doesn't help that it's Poison type and has a skull and crossbones marking similar to those used to indicate health hazards.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Sure, Blue may have been a cocky jerk who got what he deserved by losing his title in mere minutes, but having his grandfather come over just to berate him for not caring for his Pokémon? That's cold.
  • What an Idiot!: The grunt in the Rocket Hideout who drops the Lift Key and says, "Oh no! I dropped the LIFT KEY!" For some reason, the dummy never thinks to pick it back up. Even worse, in Red/Blue, he doesn't drop it until you specifically talk to him.
  • The Woobie: Cubone. You would be too if your mother died after you were born, you couldn't look at the moon because you could see her face in it, and you had to wear her skull to hide your face. According to the Yellow Pokédex entry, Cubone's weeping echoes inside its skull-helmet. Imagine having to deal with that on top of your grief.
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    Gen I: Red, Blue, and Yellow 
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Nintendo's profit projections were grim when it came to Pokémon; with the Game Boy nearing the end of its perceived life cycle, no one expected it to be more than the handheld's last hurrah. Boy, were they ever glad they were wrong!
  • Anticlimax Boss: Lance and his rare "mythical" Dragon-types are built up as the final challenge before The Reveal, but in Red/Blue he's a letdown. While his Gyarados can hit you very hard if you don't OHKO it with an Electric move first, the rest of his team consists of two Dragonair (a weak Pokémon by this stage), an Aerodactyl, and a Dragonite, which the four of them only have damaging moves that are Normal-type moves and the Fixed Damage Attack Dragon Rage, and because of how Gen I's AI works, they're incapable of harming a Poison or Fighting type because they will spam the non-damaging, but Psychic-type Agility/Barrier on them. He's a lot harder in Yellow, where his Dragons have Dragon Rage, Agility, and Barrier replaced with a variety of coverage, while his Aerodactyl gains some Flying moves.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: When you first meet Bill, he's in the body of a Pokémon after a Teleporter Accident. Nothing like this is ever mentioned again in the series...until the ending of Pokémon Sun and Moon, anyways.
  • Casual/Competitive Conflict: In the remakes, actively, as the third generation is when Smogon was founded. In the originals, retroactively, as analyses of later games had sparked a renewed interest in the older games (though there was never much interest because of the Fake Balance).
  • Cheese Strategy: "Wrap-spam". In later generations, Wrap would deal damage per turn while allowing both the player and opponent to continue acting, but in generation I, Wrap would hit 2-5 times for little damage, but lock the enemy Pokémon from attacking, so it became a common tactic to stun-lock the opponent, especially if the opposing Mon was afflicted with paralysis to prevent it from ever attacking first.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The combination of glitches, Fake Balance, and the small pool of legitimately good Mons (read: fully evolved and didn't have bad stats) led to the competitive scene being dominated by about 10 of them and lacked any sort of playstyle variation like later generations would have.
  • Creepy Awesome: The infamous Lavender Town theme is absolutely chilling, and yet so cool at the same time.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Anything that had Wrap or Fire Spin and was faster than your Pokémon was this. All the opponent has to do is use Wrap over and over to prevent you from attacking (AI players have infinite power points, you don't). This was especially bad with Tentacool and Tentacruel, who could couple it with Poison Sting, doing more damage and potentially losing you a Pokémon.
    • Kadabra and especially its evolution Alakazam will be the most threatening opposing Pokémon to you in the game, and they'll show up quite a few times in trainer battles, particularly on Blue's team from the SS Anne forward. They're pure Psychic so they effectively have no type disadvantages, they have very high Speed that will also net them frequent critical hits, and have extremely high Special (Alakazam has the second highest after Mewtwo) that make them hit very hard and tank Special hits well. But most importantly, unlike other Pokémon, their natural learnset is pretty good, getting them all the Psychic moves they need (including Psychic at a rather low level compared to moves of equivalent power) and helpful status moves in Recover and Reflect. Since AI trainers always just use the last four moves their Pokémon learn at their level, this means Kadabra/Alakazam won't be left with trash movesets like most other trainer Pokémon will be, and because of their movesets and the fact nothing will resist their attacks other than your own Psychic types, it will be harder for the AI's random move selection to screw up with them. Their one exploitable weakness is their pitiful physical durability, which when combined with trainer Pokémon never having any EVs, means any decently strong physical attack from your own Pokémon will likely OHKO them or come close.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Do NOT call Red "Ash" on a Pokémon forum. It will not be pretty. Not helped by Nintendo materials calling the trainer and the rival with the same names from the anime, before they got the names of Red and Green/Blue in Generation II, because those were stock names in the original games.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Lavender Town is a frequent setting for Pokémon-centric creepypastas.
    • Missingno. features in quite a few.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Even by Uber standards, Mewtwo in Gen 1 is known as the most broken Pokémon to have ever existed. First, this was before the Special split, meaning Mewtwo's Special Attack and Special Defense was 154, meaning it hit far harder on the Special side and resisted Special moves better than everyone, and had an effective BST of 744 (which for reference is even higher than Arceus' 720 in later Gens). Second, it had Amnesia to raise its monstrous Special by two stages; after one use, a maxed EV+IV level 100 Mewtwo's Special Attack and Special Defense would be at 894, while any level 100 Mewtwo would hit the cap of 999 after two uses, at which point pretty much no Pokémon could take two hits from it, if they could take a hit at all, while special moves will be just scratching it if they don't crit. Third, he was a pure Psychic type, so nothing but weak Bug moves was super effective against it and nothing but other Psychic types could resist its monstrous STAB Psychic. Then, it had a vast movepool to learn most good TMs to counter anything, was tied for having the second fastest speed in the game (and with 130 Speed it would crit about a quarter of the time), and had Recover to keep its health up through battle. The only way to beat Mewtwo in Gen 1 without using another Mewtwo was to get lucky freezing it with Ice Beam/Blizzard (particualy with Light Screen Chansey, the only thing that can survive against a boosted Mewtwo), paralyze it before it could set up and then get lucky or after multiple sacrifices, or get lucky with a crit STAB Hyper Beam or Selfdestruct/Explosion before it sets up. While Mewtwo would remain a strong Uber in all future Gens and would even get two mega evolutions in Gen 6, it would never be close to this godly again, as besides plenty of other Uber Pokémon being introduced, its Special Defense was lowered drastically after the Special split, Amnesia was nerfed to only raise Special Defense and Mewtwo would never again get a move that raises its Special Attack by two stages, and the Psychic type itself was tremendously nerfed through the introduction of Dark and Steel types, Ghost type moves becoming super effective, and Dark, Ghost, and Bug types being gradually improved as the Pokémon games went on.
    • The Frozen status, as in Gen 1 it completely prevents a Pokémon from making any actions while it lasts permanently, with it only going away through the use of items (which isn't allowed in PVP) or if the frozen Pokémon is hit with a Fire move (which no sane opponent is going to use on a frozen Pokémon). As a result, any Ice move essentially always has a 10% chance to instantly eliminate any Pokémon from the battle, and so a player in what would be an unwinnable matchup can still win through luck if their Pokémon has an Ice move.
    • The Sleep status was also busted in Gen 1, due to the fact that a Pokémon can't act during the turn it wakes up. So if a Pokémon with a sleep-inducing move is faster, it can prevent the opponent from ever getting to make a move if their Sleep move doesn't miss. Additionally this means if a sleeping Pokémon is swapped out and sent back into battle later, it will have at least one turn it's guaranteed to be incapacitated for as it must spend a turn waking up. Also Sleep can last up to seven turns in this Gen, which it doesn't matter how bad the matchup was, a Pokémon sleeping that long is almost certainly dead against any opponent (and if your opponent had boosting moves, your whole team is then probably dead too if you tried waiting such a long Sleep out).
    • X Accuracy in the first games gave every move perfect accuracy. This includes the one-hit KO moves. The real dangers of this come about due to the eighth Gym Leader, Giovanni, giving you the TM for Fissure, which could be taught to a lot of final form Pokémon—like Dugtrio, who could outspeed most Pokémon easily. And, because OHKO moves could be used to defeat higher level opponents, it made defeating the Elite Fournote  a piece of cake. The combination of X Accuracy and OHKO moves was so powerful that the mechanics for OHKO moves had to be changed in future generations so that they could never connect against an opponent whose level was higher than the user's level, and X Accuracy was later nerfed to only give a single-stage accuracy boost that doesn't affect OHKO moves.
    • The Psychic-type was highest on the elemental tier, as Psychic-types only had a weakness to Bug moves, which were all very weak and none of the Pokémon that learned Bug moves had an Attack stat to do much with them (and due to a bug, Ghost type moves actually didn't affect Psychic-type at all, rather than do double damage like they were supposed to — not that it mattered, though, when the only move that affected was the increadibly weak Lick). The only type that resisted Psychic type moves was the Psychic type itself, so the only thing that could switch in against a strong Psychic Pokémon using Psychic moves was your own Psychic type. And also by the fact that in Generation I, the most common type was Poison (which is weak to Psychic-type), with 33 members, just narrowly beating out the ever-common Water type (32 of the Generation I Pokémon), so even though the Psychic type was only super effective against Poison and Fighting Pokémon, Psychics still hit a large proportion of the Pokémon roster for super effective damage. The Psychic-type advantage was made worse by the fact that the stat Special governed both Special Attack and Special Defense. This meant that Pokémon with high Special, such as Psychics, were much more useful than Pokémon with low Special, such as Fighting. The Psychic type would be nerfed hard in future gens; Gen 2 would split the Special stat so now Psychic types couldn't be strong in both Special Attack and Special Defense, and would introduce the Dark type as a strong counter that was immune to Psychic moves while dealing super effective damage against them back, and the Steel type as another type that could resist Psychic moves. Then Ghost type moves would be changed to be super effective against Psychic, and both the Ghost and Bug type would be buffed drastically in future gens in both available moves and available Pokémon. Also the Poison-type Pokémon count fell to the back so far, to where Psychic would become a rather weak offensive type. For those that play the newer Pokémon games it's tough to remember why Psychic was ever such a powerful type to begin with.
    • Tauros, in particular, is a behemoth due to having a high Attack of 100 and a Defense of 95, while having a high Speed of 110 to let him outspeed most Pokémon and give him a high critical hit rate. Giving him Body Slam and Earthquake made him a terrifying force on the field, and he got STAB with Hyper Beam, which gave him the third strongest Hyper Beam in the game after Snorlax and Dodrio, while having a higher critical hit rate to give him a decent chance at OHKOing any non-Rock/Ghost type with it. Plus, he also had some decent Special so he wouldn't be easily taken down by Special moves if the opponent somehow outsped him or survived his attacks, and with his Special plus learning Blizzard he can hit high Defense Rock and Ground types hard that could otherwise possibly wall him. Most of the substitutes only had half of Tauros' advantages; Persian and Dodrio had the Speed, while Kangaskhan, Snorlax, and Chansey had the bulk (in Chansey's case, Special as well). With all these advantages Tauros would be found to be the best Pokémon in competitive Gen 1 when Mewtwo and Mew are banned, but he would never be this absurdly powerful ever again, and would never recover any fraction of such power later on.
    • Chansey is an infamously broken Normal Pokémon in Gen 1, essentially unkillable by Special attacks like it's infamous for in later Gens, but here it also can actually hit back decently hard with its high Special, and it's hard to exploit its Defense with how crappy Fighting type moves are and strong physical attacks being uncommon in general.
  • Genius Bonus: The Magikarp line is a reference to a Chinese legend that states that if a carp can jump over the Dragon Gate (believed to be at the top of various waterfalls), it will be transformed into a dragon as a reward. This holds more ground when Pokémon Snap shows a Magikarp jumping into a waterfall and emerging as a Gyarados.
  • Genius Programming: No game of this size had ever been squeezed onto the Game Boy's cartridge before. The Good Bad Bugs in the game mostly came from all the shortcuts the programmers had to make to achieve this. note 
  • Goddamned Boss: In Red/Blue Agatha's Ghost/Poison team doesn't really have much in the way of offensive power, but all of her Pokémon possess status-inflicting moves and other moves to impede your Pokémon, particularly sleep and confusion-inducing moves. Her Ghost types additionally possess a bevy of resistances and immunities, and Agatha is programmed to randomly switch around her Pokémon at any time. In a normal playthrough all of this doesn't really matter, as you can just use a Psychic or Ground type and sweep her team easily, and otherwise you can just switch out your Pokémon to remove confusion and to avoid a sleeping Pokémon getting hit by Dream Eater, plus her weird movesets and random switching leaves her susceptible to Artificial Stupidity. In solo Pokémon challenges though Agatha can prove to be a really annoying wall for many Pokémon that can't knock her Pokémon out fast due to lacking access to Psychic and Ground moves or strong physical attacks that aren't Normal type, where then they are much more vulnerable to her status moves, and switching out isn't an option when you have just one Pokémon, making winning against her for such Pokémon quite luck-based without significant over-levelling, relying on her doing dumb moves and her status moves not working. Additionally the primary strategy for a lot of Pokémon in a solo challenge is to boost their stats with Status Buff moves, which her Pokémon confusing or putting your Pokémon to sleep and her Golbat using Haze to eliminate stat buffs makes boosting your stats against her difficult and adds more to her annoyance factor.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Hyper Beam does not require a recharge if it successfully KO's a target or destroys a Substitute. Fixed in Stadium.
    • Selfdestruct and Explosion will not knock the user out if they destroy a Substitute, though their sprite will disappear. Recoil from moves like Double-Edge is also negated when they destroy a Substitute.
    • If a Pokémon that had just used Hyper Beam is targeted by a Sleep-inducing move before it gets to move again (before it can activate the "has to recharge" message), the Sleep-inducing attack will always hit and even overrides any status the Hyper Beam user may have.
    • Psychic-types are actually immune to Ghost attacks when they are clearly supposed to be weak to them.
    • Leech Seed does extra damage if the target is also inflicted with Toxic Poison.
    • Haze will cure opponents of any status effects and Leech Seed, and resets Toxic Poison to regular Poison on the user.
    • HP recovery moves will fail if the user's HP value is 255 or 511 below their max.
    • Status Buff moves are horrifically glitched out. First, the stat that just got changed will be recalculated from its base level and its buff level. Then, if it was your Mon whose stat changed, and you're in a storyline battle, all badge boosts will be reapplied, including the ones that weren't just negated a moment ago. Then, if the Mon who didn't just move is Paralyzed or Burned, its Speed or Attack will be quartered, even if that stat wasn't recalculated and therefore has already been quartered. But if a Paralyzed Mon uses Agility, or a Burned Mon uses Swords Dance, the stat penalty won't be reapplied, even though it did just get negated.
    • Focus Energy and the Dire Hit item will actually reduce the chances to crit to a quarter of the previous value. Fixed in Stadium.
    • Substitute does not protect the user from being inflicted by opponent's Standard Status Effects except for Poison (fixed in Stadium).
    • If a Pokémon behind a Substitute is inflicted with Confusion and hits itself, the Substitute will take the damage.
    • Status Buffs can roll over to actually lower the stat after they reach a certain point.
    • If a Pokémon takes Confusion damage or is fully Paralyzed during the invulnerability turn of Dig/Fly, they will remain invulnerable (and be able to attack) until switching out or using Dig/Fly again.
    • The Mew glitch, specifically the fourth method of it known as the Ditto glitch (or the "fifth's method" glitch, as it's known in Japan), is performed by having a Ditto copy a Pokémon with a desired Special stat, and it enables the player to have any Pokémon that they want. The fact that one can capture a level 1 version of that Pokémon that will instantly jump to level 100 if the Pokémon gains less than 52 Experience points (done by growling at the Ditto until it no longer has an effect, usually 6 times) makes it useful for getting a high-level Pokémon in a small amount of time.
    • The Old Man Glitch is one of the many ways you can encounter Missingno., and easily the most well known. It's caused by talking to the Old Man in Viridian City to activate the catching tutorial, then immediately using Fly to go to Cinnibar Island and Surf on the east coast of the island. This will trigger an encounter with Missingno., one of several non-glitch Mons, or a glitch trainer depending on the player's name, since the water tiles on that coast of Cinnibar read the encounter data incorrectly due to a programming oversight.
    • Missingno. itself corrupts the Hall of Fame data, screws up battle sprites if a Trainer is using it, and don't even try to go for Yellow's Missingno....but it also thinks your 6th item's 7th quantity bit is its "seen in the Pokedex" flag, giving you an extra 128 of that item every time you encounter it when you're not already holding that many. That makes it insanely useful for getting large amounts of Rare Candies, Master Balls, Nuggets, PP Ups, and other one-use items that are extremely rare (or are just extremely expensive). And if you transport it in Pokémon Bank to Sun and Moon, while it will not successfully transfer, it will shift your Pokémon's nicknames over by one.
    • In the Virtual Console versions, through a long, arduous process that involves combining the aforementioned "Mew glitch" and the "8F" arbitrary code execution glitch, it's possible to fool Pokémon Bank into believing that the Mew obtained from the Mew glitch is a legitimate Mew, thus allowing transfer to Pokémon Sun and Moon.
    • Due to the primitive nature of Yellow's friendship mechanic with Pikachu, it's possible to max it out in mere minutes by repeatedly using a Potion on it; the item won't be consumed if Pikachu is at full health, but its happiness will still increase.
    • It is possible to obtain a level 100 other Pokémon as early as Viridian Forest. It requires a complicated setup and a lot of patience in Red and Blue (It's much easier to perform in Yellow), but it obliterates the difficulty of the game, since it will never disobey you.
    • Lightly tapping a direction other than the one currently facing will make Red turn that direction without taking a step. Reorienting like this will trigger the RNG's advancement when in tall grass, thus making it possible to trigger the appearance of a wild Pokémon without moving. While potentially problematic when trying to leave a route and head for a Pokémon Center, it's incredibly valuable in the Safari Zone, where the player is able to trigger infinite spawns without using up any of the limited number of steps. A player can merely head towards the section of the Safari Zone desired and spin around in place until they run out of Safari Balls.
    • The eastern coastline of Cinnabar Island is a veritable treasure trove of bugs. The coastline was programmed to have random encounters, but as it is technically a part of Cinnabar Island, which has no Pokémon data for such encounters, rather than the water route next to it, the Pokémon that generate are pulled from the last location you visited that does have such data. This mostly comes into play in relation to the Safari Zone, allowing you to find Safari Zone exclusives such as Kangaskhan and Tauros as regular wild encounters, making it easier to catch them. This bug is completely harmless too, unlike the Missingno. glitch that also employs this same coastline.
    • If you get stopped by the Youngster on the way out of Pewter City and then save and restart the game between the text box closing and him dragging you off (doable by moving the cursor over "Save" beforehand and closing his text box with B rather than A), he'll disappear temporarily and you can leave the city without having to beat Brock first. Furthermore, if you perform certain prerequisites and then speak to the Youngster from the right (something that's impossible without cheats or glitches), you get the ability to walk through walls.
    • Thanks to the way the Pokémon Bank assigns nature to Pokémon that are transferred from Virtual Console versions, the Experience Underflow Glitch becomes significantly more useful. The Pokémon affected by this glitch are all of the Slow experience group, and the Pokémon Bank assigns a Timid Nature (which increases Speed and reduces Attack) to a Level 100 Pokémon belonging to that experience group, and many of the Pokémon in that experience group happen to be Pokémon whose highest base stats are Speed and Special Attack, which benefit greatly from said Timid nature. Thus, with that glitch, it's possible to get a battle-ready Timid-nature Pokémon with great ease and speed.
    • Every even-numbered badge gives you a minor (12.5%) boost to a certain stat in single-player battles. However, this stat boost will be erroneously re-applied every single time your Pokémon's stats change in battle, stacking multiplicatively. This makes stat-boosting moves like Harden far more valuable than they would be otherwise, since using it six times basically boosts all of your Pokémon's stats by more than double on top of the stat boost the move itself gives.
  • Growing the Beard: Yellow is a much more polished game than Red and Blue. The majority of bugs and glitches are fixed while Pokémon sprites are significantly upgraded, setting their standard appearances headed forward. This paves for the full beard-growing of the franchise with Gold and Silver.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the Pewter City Museum, there is a model of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated in 2003. While it's still explicitly referred to as such in the Japanese version of the remakes (since the Japanese versions were released before the accident happened), in the English version, it's simply referred to as "Space Shuttle".
    • As soon as the player finishes his objective there, the S.S. Anne would be last seen leaving Vermilion Harbor. Now, think back to the anime episode that loosely adapted that plot...
    • Before the Rival battle in Pokémon Tower, he says: "Your Pokémon don't look dead! I can at least make them faint!" Flash forward to the popularization of Final Death runs, particularly the Nuzlocke challenge, and the line goes straight from general jerkassery to a Deadly Euphemism, with a possible side of Kick Them While They Are Down if you'd lost one of your Pokémon recently.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Check the main page.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: While people have memories of the original Red/Blue being more difficult than future installments (likely due to having first played them as inexperienced children, exacerbated by the games not informing players of various gameplay mechanics, leading to very suboptimal play by so many first time players), others have pointed out how they are possibly the easiest games when you know what you're doing, despite some Early Game Hell, due to a number of factors. Chief among them is the overpowered Psychic-type and other blatant inbalances, many exploitable beneficial glitches and other weird gameplay quirks, and blatant A.I. Roulette with terrible movesets and a habit of spamming "super-effective" moves...whether they actually do damage or not.
    • Another aspect that makes the Gen 1 games so much easier that many people aren't aware of is the Gen 1 EV system where you can maximize the EVs on all your Pokémon's stats (which equates up to 64 additional points to each stat at level 100, half that at level 50), whereas post Gen 2 it is much more restricted (at level 100 you only have an additional 129 points to distribute among the stats with no stat being able to go up by more than 64), so all of your Pokémon's stats can get significantly higher, while all of the trainers' Pokémon have no EVs at all. Additionally there's the Badge boost mechanic (which would be ditched from the series post Gen 3), where certain Gym Badges will grant a permanent 12.5% boost to a corresponding stat for your Pokémon, and so by the time you beat Blaine for your seventh Badge all of your Pokémon will have all their non-HP stats boosted by 12.5% in battle. Combine these two factors and your Pokémon will become so much ridiculously stronger than the opposing Pokémon, and by the end of the game your Pokémon can be over 10 levels lower than the Elite 4's Pokémon and still have better stats, making the big level jump from Giovanni to them moot.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The existence of Mew. At the time of the game's release, not even Nintendo was aware that Game Freak had programmed it into the game as a fully functional (but unobtainable) Mon.
    • Similarly, the existence of Mewtwo in the Cerulean Cave. The game briefly mentions Mewtwo in the Pokémon Mansion if you read the documents there, but nothing about where you would find Mewtwo, or that Mewtwo was the strongest Pokémon in the game. Today, Mewtwo is one of the most well-known Pokémon in the series, even among non-fans, and everyone knows you find it in the Cerulean Cave.
    • Lance of the Elite Four was supposed to derive his difficulty from using Dragon-types, which resist the primary types of all the starters (especially notable since starter-only runs with only Normal and STAB moves are very common among first-time players back then) and were so obscure that they were never encountered in actual battle prior to him. A player had to know the type chart really well in order to realize that Ice was their one practical weakness. Aside from moveset and AI issues ruining Lance's intended difficulty, anyone who has played any Pokémon game from Generation II onward is pretty likely to already know Ice moves are his weakness.
    • It's hard to remember now but Blue being the Champion and Giovanni being the last Gym Leader were originally spoilers. The idea of a Champion was itself supposed to be a big surprise; throughout the game the Elite Four is built up as the final challenge, and no mention is made of any Champion until immediately after you beat Lance. But since then, there being a Champion after the Elite Four became the series standard, and while a couple of the games deviated a bit with the formula, all of them had some additional battle or two occur after beating the Elite Four, so no one playing the Gen I games today for the first time would be expecting anything but another battle after beating Lance.
  • Junk Rare: In addition to the Junk Rare section that covered both Gens, there were several more rare Pokémon that are better in future games, but really sucked in Gen I:
    • Scyther and Pinsir were supposed to be the strongest Bug-type Pokémon in these games, and are only found in the Safari Zone (where they're rare and hard to catch), or bought at the Game Corner for a ton of coins (and they're version exclusives, to boot). Despite both having high Attack (and in Scyther's case, high Speed), their movepools mostly consist only of Normal-type moves; and of the few, laughably weak Bug-type moves that exist, not a single one is in their learnset, making them little better than the early-game Bug-types most players abandon by then. FireRed/LeafGreen improves their movesets somewhat, though they're still at a disadvantage.
    • Aerodactyl cannot be found anywhere in the wild, and each file has only one you can get, by getting the Old Amber from the Pewter Museum and then taking it to the Cinnabar Lab. Despite being tied for the second-fastest Pokémon in the game and having a high Attack stat, it suffers due to its movepool. Most of its physical moves are Normal, it lacks reliable Flying moves outside of Wing Attack, and knows no Rock moves at all. It also has a bad Special stat, further limiting its moveset and making it easier to knock out. It gets better in FireRed/LeafGreen, where it has a better movepool and higher Special Defense.
    • Ditto can only be found in a few routes as a rare encounter yet it's entirely useless in battle, snd there's no breeding in Gen 1, so it doesn't have its highly valuable breeding niche it would have in future Gens.
    • Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee can't be found anywhere in the wild, and you can only get one of either in the game as a prize from the Fighting Dojo Master, but being frail Fighting types with mediocre Speed and atrocious Special in Gen 1, they'll hardly be any useful. Hitmonchan is especially bad, being slower with less Attack than Hitmonlee for marginally more physical durability, while he doesn't get the Jump Kicks like Hitmonlee does (the only decent Fighting moves in the game), and Hitmonchan getting the elemental punches doesn't matter when its Special is so low they'll deal Scratch Damage even when Super Effective. The Fighting type being significantly improved come Gen 3 (by both Fighting moves being better and other types like Psychic being rebalanced), plus both of them getting a tremendous Special Defense boost after the Special split (going from 35 to 110!) makes them considerably more useful in FRLG, Hitmonchan less so but he is still usable.
    • Magmar can only be found in the Pokémon Mansion on specific floors as a rare encounter (either 4% or 10% depending on the floor), and only in Pokémon Blue. But being a pure Fire type in Gen I it's already at a big disadvantage, and statwise it is thoroughly mediocre, with no stat reaching 100 and its Special being an average 85, while being very frail. It can learn Psychic and Submission, but other Fire types just outclass it by hitting harder and faster, so the coverage doesn't help it much. Magmar is more useable in FireRed/LeafGreen, getting a higher Special Attack post-Special split (going from 85 to 100) and a significantly better movepool, alongside the Fire type itself being improved.
    • Cubone can only be found as a rare encounter in the Pokémon Tower, and its evolution Marowak can only be found as a rare encounter in Victory Road (and in the postgame Cerulean Cave), as well as in the Safari Zone in Yellow. However, Marowak's stats are awful for a fully evolved Pokémon; it's very slow, has low HP undermining its high Defense, mediocre Attack, and very poor Special that prevents it from doing much with its surprisingly good Special movepool, while also causing it to die very quickly to any Special moves. Every other Ground type is better in some way by comparison. By Gen III, Marowak got a good Special Defense buff after the Special split (going from 50 to 80), as well as an exclusive item in the Thick Club to double its Attack.
  • Narm: The Off-Model sprites with their goofy poses are a source of much horror and mockery from the fanbase. Standouts include Machop's creepy bulging eyes and rib cage, disco dancing Omastar, slobbering Golbat, and Mankey doing the M from the YMCA. The original Japanese Red and Green release had even worse sprites, with Dragonite and Mew having unnaturally elongated necks leaning forward.
  • Never Live It Down: Lickitung being unable to learn Lick and Charizard not being able to learn Fly is still made fun of a lot despite gaining the moves in the immediate following games (Gold and Silver and Yellow respectively).
  • Recurring Fanon Character: MissingNo. and ?????????? were a pair of glitches that occurred in Red and Blue when data was mixed or corrupted, causing a sprite of jumbled pixels and Normal attack moves. This gave rise to the popularity of the fan-nicknamed "Glitch Type" Pokémon, with MissingNo. and ?????????? becoming the most popular of these and appearing in several Pokémon fanfictions and Creepypasta.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: DUX, one of only two Farfetch'd in existence until Yellow. It was known for its horrible stats, its ridiculous name, and the fact that it was just a gimmick to show off trading. However, it began to gain fans when it appeared in Twitch Plays Pokémon Red, due to being one of the only members of the team who could learn Cut, along with showing that it could actually hold its own in battle, becoming known for a few Crowning Moments of Awesome against a Rocket grunt's Marowak and Giovanni's Onix. It was widely mourned along with its teammates when it was killed during the "Bloody Sunday" PC Crisis.
  • Retroactive Recognition: One commercial for Red and Blue starred a young Drake Bell.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The complete inability to make your Pokémon forget HMs. HMs and the games not letting you replace them with other moves normally has always been one of the most criticized aspects of the series until Gen 7 finally did away with them, but in Gen 2 onwards each game had a Move Deleter available that would let your Pokémon forget them after you no longer needed them. However in Gen 1 no such Move Deleter exists, so once a Pokémon is taught a HM move it is permanently stuck with the move (unless you go through the very roundabout way of trading it to a Gen 2 game, have it forget the HM through the Move Deleter there, and then trade it back). This means when it comes time to use a crappy HM move like Cut and Flash to progress, the player has to make the choice of either permanently weakening one of their Pokémon by using up one of their move slots for a crappy move, or weakening their team by carrying around an "HM Slave" to use the needed HM until they get through the HM-required area. Fortunately this is mitigated some by the Gen 1 games being less reliant on HMs than future games would be, with there being few times a HM is required to progress; Cut is only needed three times to reach mandatory destinations (two of which are just to access a Gym), Surf is only necessary to reach Cinnabar Island, Strength is only needed to get through the Seafoam Islands and Victory Road (and the Seafoam Islands are optional), Flash is only needed for the Rock Tunnel (while Rock Tunnel is manageable without Flash), and Fly is just for convenience.
    • The bag only has 20 slots, and Key Items count towards the total. While you can store excess items in the PC, it's pretty clunky and you'll be forced to do it often since items are everywhere.
    • Pikachu refusing to allow itself to be evolved into Raichu in Yellow, just because the Pikachu in the anime also refused to evolve. It means the player either needs to keep a significantly weaker member in their party, or box their Pikachu and neglect one of the key features of the Yellow version by having a companion. Pikachu's natural learnset is slightly buffed from Red and Blue to compensate, but it just makes Pikachu more useful in the early to mid game, by the late game it is still going to be far behind as it's just too weak and frail of a Pokémon to stand against evolved Pokémon without significant overlevelling.
    • Bulbasaur is the only starter in Yellow who has a particularly tricky prerequisite to fulfill before you can have it. While Squirtle only requires you to have the Thunder Badge (which you were going to acquire anyway) and Charmander literally just needs you to talk to its trainer, Bulbasaur will only be given away if Pikachu's happiness is high enough, which will be unlikely at this early point in the game. It's a shame given how Bulbasaur is in Cerulean and would be a particularly useful against Misty. However this is mitigated by the happiness glitch.
    • The Game Corner by itself would qualify for being a Luck-Based Mission, but the original games are noticeably worse for one reason. Think you can just circumvent the slots by simply buying the necessary coins? Be prepared for a long session of A button mashing, because every time you want to buy 50 coins, you have to sit through several dialogue boxes before the prompt shows up. Later games would remove the tedium by making it a repeated prompt and offering a 500 coin option.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • Genwunner views aside, Red and Blue are feature-barren, plotless, and unbalanced compared to later games in the franchise. That said, they (well, technically Red and Green in Japan) started an international phenomenon. Also, by the standards of a Game Boy game, it was huge and ambitious. The Genius Programming required to fit this game into a Game Boy cartridge, as mentioned above, is harder to appreciate nowadays.
    • If you're a Pokémon fan that got their start in a later generation and decided to go back and play the originals to see what all the buzz was about, you'll find that several features in the newer games that you've probably taken for granted are conspicuously absent here, such as:
      • Infinite bag space.
      • Checking what moves actually do.
      • The Poké Ball icon next to a wild Pokémon's name indicating that they've been caught already.
      • Being able to register Key Items (for instance, your Bike) to a button for instant use.
      • And Pokémon having Abilities and being able to hold items.
    • Blue's status as a challenging champion in the originals. Some people think he was difficult because they only remember fighting him as inexperienced kids (much of how why the Gen 1 games got propped up as difficult Pokémon games as covered in the It's Easy, So It Sucks! section), or people just remember his Pokémon's levels being really high (the highest any champion's would be until Cynthia in Diamond/Pearl three Gens later) and so assume higher levels = more difficulty. Then it became much more widely known that his team have terrible movesetsnote . His Alakazam and starter were the only geninune threats on his team, and even then the former is very vulnerable to Artificial Stupidity with doing things like using Recover at full health, and his starter will still have some useless moves that A.I. Roulette can cause him to use (such as his Charizard having the infamously bad Rage which will lock him into permanently using a 20 power Normal move until he goes down). While his Yellow team have better movesets a couple of his Pokémon were swapped out for weaker counterparts to his Red and Blue team, with his Rhydon being replaced with a Sandslash, and his Gyarados with a Cloyster. Then a lesser known but very significant aspect many don't realize are the stat experience (the EV system of this Gen) and Badge boosts system, where with the former by the time the player fights Blue all their Pokémon's stats will be about 15-30ish points higher, and with the Badge boosts all their non-HP stats will be boosted an additional 12.5% in battle, so as a result your Pokémon can be over 10 levels underlevelled and still have better stats than Blue's Pokémon. So players revisiting Red/Blue today with knowledge of how Pokémon works can walk into the Elite Four massively underlevelled and absolutely stomp Blue, and some drastic Self-Imposed Challenge will be required for any experienced player to have any sort of difficulty with him. With the existence of new, better moves and abilities in Gen III, the remakes are kind enough to buff up his entire team, and the revamped modern EV system Gen 3 introduced alongside slightly nerfed Badge boosts means the player's team won't have such a drastic statistical advantage, though the player can still get enough additional stats through the EVs and 10% Badge boosts to have better stats quite a bit underlevelled.
    • The entire twist during the reveal that Blue is the champion. Up until that point, the player had been led to believe that the only requirement to become considered champion is to defeat the Elite Four. The idea of their being a sitting Champion was not expected at the time. In every subsequent game, this is treated like it's common knowledge, with the champions being wildly renowned and introduced to the trainers fairy early into the game.
    • Playing Red or Blue on the 3DS Virtual Console is very likely to evoke this trope in modern players, as the games are in monochrome and can therefore become very boring to play after a while in conjunction with the lack of quality-of-life features from later games and high expectations from the games' huge impact on popular culture. Yellow is a bit better in this respect because the graphics are in color (and even change dynamically between areas), and the sprites are far more recognizable.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop:
    • Viridian Forest, the generation's Noob Cave, is easy to begin with, but the lack of Weedle in Yellow makes it even easier as there is no longer anything within that can poison your Pokémon.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • The last four Gym leaders had their levels buffed to be in the fifties in Yellow. This is especially jarring since the player will be coming off facing Erika, whose highest-leveled Pokémon was a level 32 Gloom. Koga's new team is limited though by being three Venonats and a Venomoth, which are pretty weak Pokémon and even if at a much higher level a Venomoth isn't of much threat.
    • In general, the NPCs took much more advantage of TMs after pretty much entirely relying on their Pokémon's natural learnsets in Red and Blue, so trainer Pokémon will have actual decent movesets now instead of just using the last four moves the Pokémon naturally learned at their level.
    • In the original games, none of the Elite Four's Pokémon knew TM moves, except for Bruno's Machamp, Agatha's second Gengar, and Blue's starter, who respectively knew Fissure, Toxic, and Fire Blast/Blizzard/Mega Drain (depending on which starter he has). In Yellow, most of their Pokémon know at least one TM or HM move, and have better moves in general. This is most notable with Lance's Dragonite, which knows Blizzard, Thunder, and Fire Blast, and with Champion Blue's entire team, where despite him swapping out a few of his Pokémon for objectively weaker ones (Rhydon for Sandslash, Gyarados for Cloyster, and Arcanine for Ninetales), his team has better movesets that provide more of a challenge (his Sandslash, for instance, knows Earthquake and an always-critical Slash as opposed to Rhydon's Normal-type moves).
  • That One Attack:
    • Blizzard, Ice Beam, and Ice Punch in the first generation games. Ice Beam and especially Blizzard are very powerful moves as is, and the latter two have 100% accuracy while Blizzard's is a still good 90% in this Gen. But the big thing that makes them so scary is their 10% chance to freeze your Pokémon which if it happens you have to use items to heal it or your Pokémon is essentially down for the count. Blizzard is even worse in the Japanese versions where it had a 30% chance to freeze there. Fortunately for the player they won't encounter the Ice moves until at the end of the game and they're rare at that, only being faced against Lorelei, Champion Blue if his starter is Blastoise (and in Yellow regardless), and Articuno if you choose to try catching it. If you try playing Pokémon Stadium though be prepared to face these moves a lot.
    • Any Trapping moves such as Wrap, Bind, Fire Spin, etc. All of these moves disallow your opponent from moving for the duration of the attack. Sadly, since many Pokémon that learn these moves are fast, your Pokémon are highly unlikely to make a move when faced against these foes. Thankfully, they were nerfed in future generations.
    • The move Psychic. It's already a very threatening move by being a very strong 90 power move with 100% accuracy and being obviously Psychic type so it can't be resisted by anything but by Psychic type Pokémon. But what pushes it over the edge in this Gen is it had a one-third chance of reducing a Pokémon's Special by one stage, which simultaneously weakens their offense if they're a Special attacker and softens them up considerably for subsequent Psychics. This move is considerably nerfed immediately in future Gens; besides the Psychic type itself being nerfed hard from significant type rebalancing, Psychic's effect was changed to only reduce Special Defense and the chance of its effect activating was nerfed to 10%
    • Selfdestruct and Explosion, for obviously being ridiculously strong moves that halve your Pokémon's Defense for damage calculation to make them hit twice as hard on top of their immense power, and them making the opponent automatically faint isn't of much comfort when it's wild Pokémon and random trainer's Pokémon blowing up on you. It could even be a detriment for you, as it deprives you of EXP if your Pokémon was fainted by it, and it makes it a lot harder to catch wild Pokémon with these moves. Plus if you're down to your last Pokémon and a trainer's last Pokémon or wild Pokémon knocks you out with Selfdestruct/Explosion, it will still make you black out (and not be recorded as a win against the trainer who blew up, even though the Stadium games and various Battle faculties in the future Gen games count it automatically as a win if your opponent's last Pokémon blows up).
  • That One Boss:
    • Misty's Starmie is far stronger and faster than anything you can reasonably obtain by that point, unless you intentionally over-level your team. Starmie's high Special is also an issue—it makes Bubblebeam a very serious threat and allows Starmie to easily defend against any super-effective moves on your part. Misty's poor AI can be exploited, however—she may waste turns using X Defend to protect Starmie from your Special attacker, and refuses to use Water moves against resistant opponents, leaving her with nothing but Tackle. Additionally, the requirement to enter the next area here is Bill's event, not the Misty battle, so you can skip her for a bit if you feel the need and come back with a better team.
    • Lance’s Dragonite in Yellow. In Red and Blue, it wasn’t threatening at all—its only damaging moves were Hyper Beam and Dragon Rage, which could be easily weathered with a Ghost- or Rock-type. The poor enemy AI can once again be exploited, as well—Dragonite can be tricked into spamming Agility or Barrier instead of damaging moves, since these stat-boosters should be "super-effective" against Pokémon weak to the Psychic type. This was famously demonstrated in Twitch Plays Pokémon Red, where it lost to a woefully underlevelled Venomoth who managed to poison Dragonite and simply waited until it fainted. In Yellow, it was massively improved—Agility, Barrier, and Dragon Rage were replaced with Thunder, Fire Blast, and Blizzard. Got a Water-type that knows an Ice move, the Dragon type’s only weakness? It knows Thunder. An actual Ice-type? It knows Fire Blast. A Rock- or Ground-type who knows a good Rock-type move, taking advantage of Dragonite's Flying type? It is physically tanky enough to shrug it off and knows Blizzard, while almost Rock Pokémon in Gen 1 has a second type weak to Ice. Thankfully, it's still slow, so as long as your Ice user is fast or can take a hit or two, Dragonite will still go down quickly if you're at a reasonable level.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Fighting and Poison overall, and not just for being weak to the game-breaking Psychic-type. While Fighting is super-effective against the common Normal-type, this can be easily be offset by having a Psychic or Ghost teammate to counter them, and then there are few Fighting-type moves available, with the only remotely good one, High Jump Kick, being exclusive to the awful Hitmonlee (which with an atrocious 35 Special and mediocre Speed on top of very low HP is essentially unusable in Gen 1), and the only widely-distributed Fighting move, Submission, only has 80 power while having 80% accuracy and dealing recoil damage to the user. The other types Fighting has an advantage against are Rock and Ice, which are few in number while being better countered by other much better types (and the Dark and Steel types didn't exist yet, removing two crucial type advantages Fighting would get after Gen 1). When it comes to Poison-types few have better than mediocre stats and Poison only has a type advantage against Grass and Bug while only resisting themselves, the aforementioned awful Fighting, and Grass. Even worse, most Grass and Bug Pokémon are part Poison, so few Pokémon in the game can actually be hit super effectively by Poison moves (just Tangela, the Exeggutor line, the Parasect line, the Butterfree line, Scyther, and Pinsir, all of which but Exeggutor are not threatening and all can be handled better by other types). Plus Poison-types lack any good moves; Sludge is the strongest Poison move in this Gen and only has a mediocre 65 base power, and the Poison status they can inflict is not meaningful or can even be counterproductive, as normal poison only drains 1/16th of a Pokémon's health in this Gen, while it blocks you from inflicting the other much more detrimental status effects.
    • Thanks to Fake Balance, Ghost and Bug are among the worst types. While both are intended to be strong against Psychic, a programming error resulted in Psychics being immune to Ghost, and even if they weren't, the only damaging Ghost moves are Lick and Night Shade. And the only Ghost-types in the game are also part-Poison, making them weak to Psychic. Bug suffers from similarly underpowered moves; the strongest consistent one is Twineedle (only learned by Beedrill, and only has an effective power of 50 anyway), and the Bugs with the highest stats, Scyther and Pinsir, don't even learn any Bug-type moves. Gengar, the only fully-evolved Ghost Pokémon, manages to be one of the best Pokémon in the game though in spite of getting no real STAB options from its Ghost and Poison typings while being weak to the omnipresent Psychic and Ground, thanks to its amazing Special, great Speed, good movepool, and having various unique utilities like being immune to Normal moves, being the fastest sleep-inducer in the game, and having the second fastest Explosion after Electrode.
    • Despite having some statistically solid Pokémon and even having a legendary Pokémon among their ranks, there's also the Fire type due to the very unbalanced type distribution. The Steel type didn't exist yet so they don't have one of their most crucial type advantages, there were only five fully-evolved Ice Pokémon in Gen 1 and three of them were part Water type (plus Fire types didn't resist Ice in Gen 1 either), and then there were only a handful of Grass types while Bugs were so weak as covered prior that an advantage against them was meaningless. On the other hand Water types were the second most common type in the game (comprising over a fifth of the Pokémon), and Pokémon that were either Rock or Ground were plentiful too. This means the Fire type's advantages would often not come into play beyond the early game, while they'll often have to deal with their weaknesses, and in competitive PVP you can just forget about using a Fire type if you're not playing Smogon UU. Plus besides Charizard the Fire types in Gen 1 tended to have very limited movepools, especially with learning any non-Normal moves, meaning they couldn't do much to get past unfavorable matchups other than be faster and getting lucky with Fire Spin stunlocking their opponent to death. And if their move coverage wasn't bad enough, the only Fire type TM was Fire Blast, which you don't get until beating the seventh gym leader, while there was no Fire move between Ember and Flamethrower (besides Fire Punch, which was exclusive to Magmar and Hitmonchan), so for most of the game Fire types will be left with just the weak Ember for their STAB while other types get significantly better STAB much sooner.
    • While the Dragon-type would one day become very overpowered, in Gen I, it's the total opposite. It's great defensively, resisting Water, Grass, Fire, and Electric while its only weakness is Ice, but the only Dragon move in the game is Dragon Rage, which always deals 40 damage no matter what. As a result, Dragonite (despite having the highest base Attack stat and high Special) isn't much of an offensive threat, as having no usable STAB (with no real Dragon moves and no Flying moves, not even being able to learn Fly in Gen 1) means its damage output is outdone by many other Pokémon. Dragonite's only value competitively came from having the strongest Wrap in the game and Agility to outspeed everything after one use, but if wrapping moves are banned, then Dragonite is just a Master of None Special attacker that gets OHKO'd by any decently strong Ice Beam or Blizzard. And if you're just playing through the game casually, then going through the effort of catching/buying Dratini and levelling it up all the way to level 55 is not remotely worth it.
    • Even in its debut, Pidgeot is infamous for being overshadowed by other fully-evolved Flying-types. Stat-wise it's a blatant Master of None (while the other two Normal/Flying Fearow and Dodrio are faster Glass Cannons) and the strongest Flying-type move it can learn that doesn't take two turns is Wing Attack, which only has a paltry power of 35 in Gen I while Fearow and Dodrio get Drill Peck, a Flying-type move with 80 power. Plus Pidgey doesn't evolve into Pidgeotto until level 18 and then into Pidgeot at level 36, while Spearow evolves into Fearow at just level 20, so you would have to go through much of the game before finally getting Pidgeot while you can get the better Fearow around or shortly after the second Gym (and you can get the even better Dodrio faster too, with Doduo evolving at level 31).
    • Despite the pedestal the Kanto starters are put on and how many players back in the day relied on their starter as their ace Pokémon, they are really not all that great in their debut Generation and are so horribly outclassed by so many other Pokémon you get even by just midgame, compared to later Generations whose starters are actually viable enough to keep till endgame and beyond. This is due to a combination of moveset issues and weirdly lacking stats; none of their base stats exceeded 100 and they only had one stat each at 100 while the others were in the 70s and 80s, and only Venusaur had that 100 in Special, making Charizard and Blastoise with their mediocre 85 Special rather weak with their STAB moves and with enduring Special moves. Then with their movesets, if you evolve them normally, Charmander and Squirtle only get their next strongest STAB moves after the 40 power Ember/Water Gun at VERY late levels (Charizard gets Flamethrower at 48, and Blastoise gets Hydro Pump at 52), meaning if you want any STAB moves stronger than 40 power as soon as possible, you should not evolve them at all until they do learn those moves. Then for its strongest move, Venusaur gets Solarbeam, which requires a charge up turn with each use and there was no way to skip it in this Gen, making it Awesome, but Impractical (plus it was learned even later than the others got their strongest moves, with Venusaur getting it at level 65). The Squirtle line do benefit from a powerful for early/mid-game Water TM gained early in Bubblebeam, and then the Surf HM a bit after the halfway point, which with its combination of power and accuracy will be often preferred over Hydro Pump, but as shown below, there are many better and more easily obtained options for Water Pokémon. Venusaur also benefits from high Critical Hit moves virtually always doing so in Gen I making Razor Leaf, which it learns at Level 30, an effectively base 110 power move, though this is mitigated by Venusaur's Grass/Poison typing giving it many more weaknesses that puts it at a disadvantage against many more Pokémon, including to the always prominent Psychic type.
      • Blastoise gets so outdone by so many other Water Pokémon it's not funny. First there's Gyarados who just outclasses Blastoise in everything but physical durability, and while it's a pain to level up Magikarp, you can get it to level 20 to evolve long before you can get Squirtle/Wartortle to level 36. Then there's Vaporeon who is a bit slower and has an even more limited movepool, but has much more durability and a much higher Special stat that will make its Water and Ice moves hit so much harder, while you can get it as soon as you reach Celadon, before the halfway point in the game and still well before you can get Blastoise without excessive grinding. Then when you reach Fuchsia with the Super Rod you can catch a Staryu to then evolve into Starmie, which not only has much higher Special and drastically higher Speed, but is also part Psychic and gets a much better movepool that includes Psychic and Electric moves. Lapras, Slowbro, and Cloyster are more Water Pokémon that are way better, and just really there's a ton of Water Pokémon in Gen 1 and few fully-evolved ones aren't better than Blastoise. Only reason to use Blastoise is if you're speedrunning where Blastoise is the most suitable starter to solo the game with, but even then the solo Nidoking strat ended up proving better there.
      • When Venusaur is compared to other Grass types, Exeggutor is a much better option, as while Exeggutor is much slower it way outclasses Venusaur in the other stats, while additionally being part Psychic instead of the much worse Poison and has a better movepool, however you won't be able to get Exeggcute until the Safari Zone while you would easily have a Venusaur by then. Then there's Victreebel who is a bit slower and is less physically durable but has equivalent Special with much better Attack alongside learning Swords Dance and Wrap that makes it a strong mixed-sweeper, but to have Razor Leaf it'll have to learn it before evolving as it's a stone evolution and Bellsprout doesn't learn it until level 33 and Weepinbell until level 38, so you can get Venusaur with Razor Leaf slightly faster. Venusaur outclasses Vileplume, Tangela, and Parasect, so overall Venusaur is ok among Grass types and isn't hilariously outclassed like Blastoise is but you can still get better options if you can wait a bit more.
      • Among Fire types Charizard is obviously outclassed by Moltres but you can't get Moltres until right before the end of the game. But besides Moltres Charizard compares rather decently. Flareon has significantly higher Special and Attack, but is even more physically frail and significantly slower, while having a worse movepool and learning Flamethrower even later. Ninetales matches Zard in Speed and has higher Special while having only marginally less durability and Attack, but has a worse movepool and Vulpix learns Flamethrower only a few levels before Charmander, while it must learn the move before being evolved or else Ninetales will be without it. Arcanine trades slightly less Speed and Special for more durability and significantly higher Attack, but also has a worse movepool and Growlithe doesn't learn Flamethrower until all the way at level 50, even higher than Charizard does, and like Vulpix/Ninetales has to learn it before evolution or Arcanine won't get it. Then Rapidash is slightly faster and has higher Attack but is worse on durability and Special while again also having a worse movepool, including not learning Flamethrower at all. Then there's Magmar who Zard just outclasses and doesn't even appear until near the end of the game. The Fire type being screwed over by other types' balancing in Gen 1 as covered prior means overall Zard isn't a good Pokémon and will struggle throughout with the midgame with its lack of strong STAB for so long, but if you want a Fire type on your team it does have its caveats and among the starters fares the best against the other options of its type.
  • Uncanny Valley: Many Pokémon in Red, Blue and Green due to how badly-drawn the sprites are. Crosses with Nightmare Fuel in some cases.
    • Golem's eyes are rather unnerving while looking like it's about to burst like a balloon.
    • Exeggutor's body is way shorter, its heads are much much bigger, and two of them are giving creepy blank stares.
    • Golbat's Red and Blue sprite is either this or outright ridiculous with its Overly Long Tongue. Or both.
    • Mew looks more like a fetus in the original Red and Green than in the future games.
    • Wigglytuff's eyes are drawn bigger and closer together in Red and Blue, making it outright terrifying in appearance.
    • Haunter has a much more menacing design with a sadistic grin, sharper claws, and insane eyes that are less kid friendly.
    • Seaking looks like a dead fish with disfigured lips.
    • Venonat's eyes are quite creepy looking as they're shaded very realistically.
    • Parasect is so horrifying that if you ever came across one in the wild, you'd be more likely to want to use an ACTUAL flamethrower on it instead of a Poké Ball.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: It's possible to strand yourself on Cinnabar Island by bankrupting yourself, discarding all of your Poké Balls, and releasing all of your Pokémon bar one. You need to be able to Fly or Surf to leave the island, which you can't do if you got rid of all Pokémon that can learn the moves, and you can't trade them from another game since the game won't allow it unless you have a minimum of 2 Pokémon on you. None of this is remotely possible to do by accident; you have to be actively trying to make yourself stuck.
    • In Red/Blue you can permanently trap yourself in Lorelei's room with no way to progress nor escape if you save in there while only having one Fighting or Poison Pokémon whose only usable move is Rage. Lorelei's first Pokémon is a Dewgong that knows Rest, a Psychic type move, and as covered prior her AI will just spam Rest against a Fighting or Poison Pokémon thinking it's "super effective", while Gen 1 AI have infinite power points for their moves and so she'll never run out of PP for Rest. Then in Gen 1 once the initial usage of Rage hits it'll permanently lock your Pokémon to only using it until you win the battle or it's knocked out, while ignoring PP in the process. So the result if you fight her with only a Fighting or Poison Pokémon that can only use Rage? Your Pokémon will be stuck using Rage over and over while her Dewgong just keeps fully healing itself every three turns without ever attacking back, thus unless your Pokémon is strong enough to KO her Dewgong in at least three critical Rages, it'll be impossible for either of the two Pokémon to be KO'd, trapping you in a battle that will never end. And once you enter her room, the only way out is to either beat the Elite Four + Champion or to get your team wiped out, which can't happen as you can't KO her Dewgong in this state while her Dewgong can't KO you back. Well there is technically a way out of this; if the initial usage of Rage misses, it won't lock your Pokémon into it and it'll deplete PP as normal, so if you miss enough times in a row you can run out of PP and have your Pokémon Struggle itself to death and get yourself sent back to the last Pokémon Center. The problem with that though? Rage has 100% accuracy, so it only has 1/256 chance of missing from the 1/256 glitch, and has 20 PP at base, thus you would have to miss the inital usage of Rage 20 times in a row on a 1/256 chance each as just one Rage hitting locks you into the never-ending move, which has such an infinitesimally small chance of happening that it'll realistically never happen in your lifetime no matter how many times you try, making this an unwinnable game state in any practical sense. Interestingly this issue was addressed in Yellow, where if Lorelei's Dewgong is fought with a Fighting or Poison Pokémon, she'll avoid using Rest and will just attack your Pokémon as normal if you attempt this softlock.

    Gen III: FireRed and LeafGreen 
  • Accidental Innuendo: Ever take a good look at the fountains at Silph Company first floor? Don't they look like breasts, complete with nipples?
    • Another subtle example. Professor Oak says, after beating the Elite Four, that the player has "come of age." This was innocuous in the original games, where you could only be male. However, this raises eyebrows when it is said to a female player, as in South Asia and the Middle East, to say that a girl has come of age means that she has gotten her first period.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The remakes were this to fans who has been put off by the many changes made by Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, specifically the lack of availability of older Pokémon and the radical departures in setting and characters.
  • Broken Base: Unlike with HeartGold and SoulSilver, which are near-universally considered an upgrade from Gold and Silver, debates rage on about whether FireRed and LeafGreen are Polished Ports of Red and Blue and better than the originals, or whether they added too many caveatsnote  to be considered a worthwhile update.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Despite being updated remakes, the games still cling onto arbitrary restrictions by going above and beyond to deny access to non-Gen I Pokémon until the main quest is over (no breeding, no next-gen evolutions, no trading with the Hoenn games), with the side-effect of Steel- and Dark-types becoming so rare as to be almost nonexistent. The Excuse Plot story and general map layout are also largely unchanged from the originals, despite Ruby and Sapphire having made considerable improvements in both areas. Other quality of life features, such as berry farming, a day/night cycle, and dedicated Bag spaces for TMs and berries, are also absent.
  • The Scrappy: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • FireRed and LeafGreen are adamant that you only use the original 150 Pokémon until the National Pokédex; trying to evolve Golbat or Blissey, who both evolve by happiness, inexplicably causes the evolution to stop with the message "...?", breeding is impossible until the end of the game (Pre-evolutions don't exist! Pick one Hitmon__ Pokémon and love it!), there's no day/night cycle (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald didn't have one either, but they tied day/night evolution to AM/PM times instead—in these games, those Pokémon simply will not evolve even post-National Dex), you can't trade in any Pokémon not in the Kanto Pokédex, and you have to slog through a whole post-game sidequest before you can trade with Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. Mercifully, these arbitrary restrictions were dropped in later games.
    • Speaking of said sidequest, you also have to do it before you're allowed to go after Mewtwo. But to even start it, you need the National Dex. How do you get it? You need to have owned — not seen, but owned — 60 Pokémon in the Pokédex. If you don't try to catch 'em all and just want to beat the game, get ready to hunt and/or grind a lot.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The games are far more streamlined than Red and Blue in terms of gameplay and mechanics, and the Early Game Hell is toned down significantly due to the Pokémon in general being more able than in the originals. Even Charmander, the starter weakest against Brock's Gym, learns Metal Claw to deal with his Rock-types.
    • The addition of the Vs. Seeker allows you to rematch any NPC trainers that don't reside in caves and buildings as much as you want, with some getting stronger as you progress through the game. This means once you reach Vermillion City and get the Vs. Seeker you'll have an easy way to grind experience and money, the latter being especially important as in the originals you had a hard limit on the amount of money available until you got to the Elite 4 or got a Pokémon with the rare move Payday.
    • In the Gym Leader battle against Giovanni, his Rhydon was inexplicably replaced by its pre-evolution Rhyhorn, despite being the final Gym Leader and Rhydon being an easily manageable Pokémon at this point. Strangely, this was the only change made to any of the boss trainers' teams.
    • The Elite Four and Champion had all their team's levels reduced by 2, making the level jump from Giovanni to them not quite as severe.
    • In the original games, Professor Oak gives you five free Poké Balls if you speak to him upon beating Blue at Route 22 after getting your Pokédex, but have not bought any Poké Balls of your own yet. The remakes streamlined this by just having Oak give you the free Poké Balls directly after giving you the Pokédex.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The trainers have actual AI now and won't just pick moves at pure random, and their Pokémon have better movesets, both from their improved natural learnsets and TMs being integrated into their moves. Plus with the change in gameplay mechanics between Gen I and Gen III, there's less you can abuse to trivialize the game. FireRed and LeafGreen are still easy games overall, but these changes allows them to provide more challenge beyond the early game (if you don't abuse the Vs. Seeker to overlevel).
    • As covered in the Nerf section, the overhaul of the game's EV system and the Badges giving you a slightly lower stat boost means your Pokémon have a considerably lesser statistical advantage over opponents at equivalent levels than you had in the original RBY, especially at the end of game.
  • Tear Jerker: Memorial Pillar is a place where a boy buried his Onix.
  • That One Boss: Misty is still this in FRLG as Starmie is still a great Pokémon that is significantly stronger or has a type advantage against anything you can reasonably have at such an early point. The differences here compared to the originals is her Starmie has switched Bubble Beam for Water Pulse, which is slightly weaker but confuses you about once every three turns it's used, and her Starmie has Recover to heal itself, while she also has actual decent AI now and thus you can no longer rely on getting lucky with her randomly using bad moves or wasting turns with X Defend, and she will use her stronger Water moves against Grass and Water Pokémon this time instead of spamming the pathetically weak Tackle. However with the Special split post-Gen 1 Starmie has substantially less Special Defense, so in FRLG her Starmie can't tank Grass/Electric moves as well and will require less levelling to 2/3HKO with them.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A common response to the Extended Gameplay and Sevii Islands. And there's also the case of the music being remade at a different pitch from the Game Boy original.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Sevii Islands could have made for a compelling post-game, had they not been required to be completed to open Cerulean Cave. While many like the setup for the Gold and Silver plot, they feel the islands could have been a bit bigger or more distinct or even feature its own version of a Pokémon League in some capacity, rather than being plain filler.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The Vs. Seeker that was introduced was a great, and simple, item to use that would allow players to re-battle any trainer they've already come across, and possibly battle against new high-level teams. It made leveling up the player team's Pokémon much easier, and feel like less of a chore. Yet after Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, this Key Item is dropped completely, and later games will be almost schizophrenic in their approach to adding/removing similar rematch features.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The Sevii Islands were initially criticized for serving as filler and blocking the player's access to Mewtwo and trading with the Hoenn games. Later on, when games in Generations VI and VII were released with increasingly shallow postgames, more fans came to appreciate the Sevii Islands as one of the more interesting postgame quests in the series for providing brand-new areas to explore outside of the main region, especially compared to the original Red, Blue and Yellow which featured no postgame apart from capturing Mewtwo.
    • While Leaf's exclusion from the Pokémon Sun and Moon games was disliked by fans (with some making their own designs for Leaf hypothetically appearing in Alola). They were delighted to see that she became the female counterpart of the Pokémon Trainer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and that she was included alongside Red and Blue in Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.

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