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YMMV examples for Pokémon Red and Blue.

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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 claims that he's "dropped his balls" once you defeat him in the original games. 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; in Shawn's case, his quote was replaced with "You're more skilled than I thought!".
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Are Saffron City's guards on Team Rocket's payroll or merely Obstructive Bureaucrats?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Americans dislike Jynx intensely because, while neither Game Freak nor the Pokémon Company has ever fully confirmed the true origins of her design (with it likely being styled after the youkai Yama-uba), to many, she looks like a Blackface-Style Caricature. Jynx's skin tone was changed to purple from Gen II onward and even in rereleases of Generation I games. Even after the redesign, Jynx never quite shook off the racist association, and beyond that, many people simply think her design is too strange to be appealing. The species has sometimes been compared to pop singers Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj in an insulting way.
  • Anti-Climax 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. It's pretty much impossible to lose this fight, since if you've gotten this far, then you already have a Pokemon that knows Surf, which you probably just used to sweep Blaine's team ten minutes ago. For all of Giovanni's 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. (Diglett's Cave is right next to his Gym, even.) 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.
    • Blaine suffers from Convenient Weakness Placement even harder than Lt. Surge does — he's a Fire-type user, but his gym is located on an island that you need Surf to even reach in the first place. Two of his four Pokémon are the unevolved Growlithe and Ponyta, at a point in the game when your entire team should be fully evolved. His Rapidash has Fire Spin as its only Fire move, and while his Arcanine does pack the powerful Fire Blast, it's still only one Pokémon against your six and has a number of exploitable weaknesses. Yellow swaps out his unevolved Pokémon for a Ninetales, gives his team much more powerful moves on the whole, and boosts their levels, but he still has Surf to deal with.
    • Bruno is probably the easiest and most straightforward Elite Four member, and he's smack dab in the middle of the final boss gauntlet. In Gen I, his team suffers from the games' poor balancing and odd trainer movesets, on top of specializing in the game's worst type, making him a complete non-threat. Even in Yellow, where most of the more underwhelming fights were buffed up to some degree, his terrible Pokémon choices make him a speed bump between Lorelei and Agatha. While far more competent in FireRed and LeafGreen due to generational differences, he's still held back by the fact that two of his five Pokémon are Onix, which is infamously weak and easily taken out by any Pokémon with a remotely passable Special Attack stat. This effectively leaves him with only three decently formidable (but still easily surmountable) Fighting-types, and they might not even be an issue if you have a single Flying- or Psychic-type move or Pokémon.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • Blue (The rival) is remembered as being the "Jerkass Rival" because he says "Smell ya later", takes satisfaction in being ahead of the player, and is of course cocky. Except his main purpose in the game? Act as a Player Nudge — virtually every time you encounter Blue, he's giving you a hint on something you either should be doing (Not going to the Pokémon league without any badges, getting the HM Cut, visiting Bill, catching Pokémon, going to the Pokémon league), or could be doing (Such as looking for a rare Pokémon in the Pokémon tower). The only times he challenges the player for no reason other than to test his strength was in the lab and Silph co. Much of his perception as a jerk came from his anime counterpart, Gary, who, pre-Characterization Marches On, actually is the kind of braggart that fans commonly characterize Blue as.
    • During The New '10s, a lot of people have commented that it's implied you killed Blue's Raticate because Blue swaps it out of his team, and that's why you encounter him in the Pokémon Tower; said claims additionally cite his bewilderment that the player is visiting the tower despite not having any dead Pokémon to bury. This has never actually been a thing at all — its origin was a Creepypasta. In the games themselves Blue mentions that he already has 40 kinds by the time you battle him on the S.S. Anne, meaning he is clearly using the PC — it's much more likely that he simply discarded Raticate for another, stronger Pokémon; his comment about the player having no Pokémon to bury is merely part of his pre-battle boast and during his post-battle dialogue he explains his business in the Pokémon Tower — he came to catch a Cubone and a Marowak, found the former and gave up on looking for the latter, and we're meeting him on his way out.
  • 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.
  • Demographically Inappropriate Humour: The games have a Dirty Old Man looking into the Celadon Gym, saying "This gym is great! It's full of women!" Between this and Ash being banned from the Celadon Gym, fans came up with the idea Erika Does Not Like Men.
  • 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 4x weaknesses to Water and Grass-type attacks) 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.
    • 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 & 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: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • 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. With many feeling that the post-Pokémania games had much better storylines, gameplay, regional variety, in-game and competitive content, 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. For some even, the name rolls off the tongue better that "Blastoise".
    • 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). 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: See the series' sub-page here.
  • Love to Hate: Blue, The Rival, is a snobby, arrogant brat who is always one step ahead of the player and repeatedly insults them, even when he's the one who loses. He is also a competent trainer who likes to brag about why he's so much better than the player and also likes to ambush them when they least expect it, forcing them into battles. Yet, these reasons are precisely why fans love him.
  • 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.
    • A mandatory Hiker trainer in Rock Tunnel is the bane of a lot of solo runners due to having two Geodude and a Graveler that all know Self-Destruct. It's to a point that he's treated as an extra boss encounter when runners make videos of their solo play-throughs.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Venusaur is perhaps the first example of one in the series, due to the general opinion that a frog-creature/plant hybrid isn't as cool as a fire-breathing dragon or a turtle with cannons on its back, though this reputation has died down in more recent years.
    • 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.
    • Amongst the four trade-evolution Pokémon, Golem tends to be treated as the Butt-Monkey that no one's able to take seriously and is forgotten about compared to the other three. This is because Alakazam and Gengar are considered to be two of the strongest Pokémon of Gen I, and still are with each passing generation. Meanwhile, Machamp starts off okay, but eventually gained a massive following over the years. Particularly after Machamp was given an ability in No Guard that paired perfectly with Dynamic Punch to make it perfectly accurate, which gave it a unique niche in competitive play. Meanwhile, Golem is mostly outclassed by Rhydon in its debut game and, other than having an Alola variant in Gen VII, it's been left to rot. While the other three were commonly seen in unique trainer teams to the point of being staples of their types, Golem was barely used by trainers, and nobody uses one in its debut.
    • Bruno has this reputation among challenge-runners of the first-generation games, due to him being generally regarded as the easiest major fight in the game. While many innocuous battles can turn into surprising roadblocks, it's rare to find a playthrough where Bruno's whole team doesn't go down in one hit each, much less one where he actually manages to knock the player out. Because of this, runs enjoy mocking his poor performance, often skimming over him entirely or referring to him as a generic Hiker rather than an Elite Four member.
  • 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.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Lt. Surge is designed to be a stereotypical American, being a Drill Sergeant Nasty who fought in a war, with his title of "The Lightning American" holding true in the Japanese version, and even gratuitously swearing in English in the Japanese script. Even with all that in mind, he's a fan-favorite Gym Leader amongst American players due to how much of a Boisterous Bruiser he is, on top of using Electric-types, which are practically the franchise's signature type.
  • 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.
  • Rainbow Lens: Because everyone in her Gym is a girl and Ash had to cross dress to be able to challenge her gym, many fans not only see Erika as a lesbian, but have her ban men altogether so her sexuality won't be exposed. Nevermind that Red had no problem challenging her Gym and the reason Ash was banned being him insulting Erika's perfume references. Even more pronounced in the remake, where her trainers' flirtatious dialogue doesn't change if you're playing as a girl.
  • 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). Ironically, it sees genuine competitive use in Ubers by Mewtwo, of all things, but this is less for its actual abilities and more to give Mewtwo something with high PP to use during Mewtwo-versus-Mewtwo fights.
    • 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. Even worse is that it was only 75% accurate in the first two Gens.
  • 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.
  • Squick:
    • The Chairman of the Pokémon Fan Club seems a little too excited by the fact that he cuddles with his Rapidash in bed every night, not helped by him immediately describing the Rapidash as "ravishing" immediately after the reveal.
    • The game's writer found in Game Freak's office is pretty upfront with how lecherous he is over Erika, Misty, and Sabrina. (Made worse by him also ogling over Jasmine and the Twins Trainer Class in the sequels)
  • Tear Jerker: The whole deal with the deceased Marowak in Pokémon Tower. Especially in Pokémon Origins.
  • That One Level:
    • Mt. Moon, because it's so early in the game that you can't buy Repels yet, meaning you'll have to put up with encountering swarms of Zubats no matter what. There's also a couple trainers in there that can be problematic if you haven't leveled that much yet.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Seafoam Islands, due to being a tedious, puzzle-based dungeon containing no items or trainers. Luckily, it can be (and often is) skipped by flying to Pallet Town and surfing south to Cinnabar Island.
  • That One Puzzle: Lt. Surge's Gym is the first to have an actual puzzle that locks you out of fighting the Leader until it's completed, but it's also the most annoying one. To reach Surge, two switches hidden in trash cans need to be pressed. When the first switch (randomly placed) is flipped, 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 in cans you had already checked. And because the original Gen I games are bugged, the second switch can either spawn in an incorrect spot or not at all. The entire thing boils down to a tedious Luck-Based Mission.
  • 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.
    • The Great Offscreen War that's implied to have happened before the events of the game, which had infamously inspired an entire grove's worth of Epileptic Trees, as all that is really known is that Lt. Surge fought in it. It's generally assumed that this was originally intended as a reference to The Gulf War, as this predates the franchise undergoing Earth Drift, but there are many who nonetheless wish that this event got some level of elaboration; especially since Lt. Surge still mentions the war in the various remakes.
  • 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 a 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.
  • 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.

    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!
  • Anti-Climax 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 poor Competitive Balance.
  • Cheese Strategy: See the series' sub-page here.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • The fastest and easiest way to beat the game is to use your starter Pokémon in every battle, letting them soak up all the experience and thereby gain a massive level advantage over most of their opponents. You don't even have to pay attention to type weaknesses with this strategy, because you can just overpower anything regardless. The only reason to use other Pokémon is for HM moves.
    • The combination of glitches, poor Competitive 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.
  • Critical Dissonance: Among professional critics, Pokémon Red and Blue are still hailed as the best games in the series, and are generally the only entries to regularly make it into lists of the greatest video games of all time. Among the fandom, they have become increasingly divisive over the years. While many still believe they hold up, others consider them to be very dated and archaic in comparison to later games.
  • Demonic Spiders: 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.
    • Do not say with a straight face that Lickitung evolves into Luigi when fed a Rare Candy while holding the Game Boy upside-down. This comes from an old article on Nintendo of America's website that was written as an April Fools' joke, so "Lickitung can evolve into Luigi" was never meant to be taken seriously. Similarly, there is no way to evolve Dragonite into Yoshi; that comes from an article in the unaffiliated Expert Gamer that was likewise written as an April Fools' joke.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Lavender Town is a frequent setting for Pokémon-centric creepypastas.
    • MissingNo. isn't even an actual Pokémon and merely exists due to a programming oversight, but has become an icon of Pokémon fanon.
  • 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 (particularly 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 incredibly 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 only weaknesses Psychics have are largely relative: many of them have limited coverage and low Defense, forcing them to give pause to powerful physical attackers or special walls that aren't troubled by Psychic, and most Psychic attacking moves outside of Psychic itself aren't particularly useful. 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.
    • On par with Psychic on the type charts, if not outright outclassing it, is Normal. Normal may look rather innocuous at first glance, hitting nothing super-effectively and having only an immunity to Ghost on the defensive, but then you realize that the only types to resist or ignore Normal defensively are Rock and Ghost, meaning that Normal has nigh-perfect neutral coverage—and what little resists Normal doesn't resist Ground, so the simple combo of a Normal move and Earthquake hits everything in the game at least neutrally. Its Fighting-type weakness is a joke when Fighting is considered an abysmal type, and it also has access to some of the best moves in the game, such as Slash, which essentially always crits, Self-Destruct/Explosion, which boasts phenomenal damage, Body Slam, which is a great Boring, but Practical option with a hefty side effect in the form of a paralysis chance, and of course, Hyper Beam, which doesn't need to recharge if it kills its target. And for the icing on the cake, in a generation where most Pokémon have shallow movepools, Normal-types tend to have a lot of variety to work with in terms of TMs, giving them unusual coverage or offbeat moves. Helping this is that Normal-types also benefit from the Special stat in a different manner from Psychics, as it means that many Pokémon that would normally be thought of as only somewhat specially bulky can actually pack a punch on the special attacking side as well—even moreso in a generation where Pokémon can max out all their stats. It can be a big shock for players from later generations, where Fighting-type moves are everywhere, Ghosts are far more common, and an entire new type resists Normal in Steel, causing Normal to fade into near-irrelevance, to discover that in Gen 1, every serious competitive team runs at least two of Tauros, Chansey, and Snorlax.
    • 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.
    • In regards to campaign playthroughs, Nidoran is usually considered to be the absolutely best Pokémon available. Being available for capture almost immediately after starting the game, solid and well-distributed stats, an immunity to being poisoned (an annoying status effect that opponents all over the game will try to inflict on you), an incredibly convenient leveling curve (it can easily snowball off the bugs in Viridian forest to hit level 16 to evolve into its second form, and then evolve immediately into its final form with one of the Moon stones you find under Mt. Moon, before you even fight the first members of Team Rocket) and the ability to use almost every relevant TM in the game (including a STAB on Earthquake in its final form) all ensure it will never be truly useless during any part of the game. It is not completely without shortcomings (it has trouble contributing in Brock's and Misty's gym fights and has a very shallow level-up movepool, among other things), but every other available Pokémon has at best half as many advantages as this one. It is slightly less useful due to its later arrival time in Yellow and the remakes, but still handily outperforms every other Pokémon except maybe Squirtle and Bulbasaur.
    • If you have access to trading, Alakazam falls right into this in-game. Abra is accessible as early as the fight with Misty, and its restriction of being only able use Teleport is circumvented by the fact that it can simply be taught a TM (preferably Seismic Toss, which lets it take down other Special-focused Pokémon pretty easily), not to mention evolving at a scant level 16. Kadabra by itself is already an excellent Pokémon and ranks highly without access to trading. With it, though, there is absolutely no downsides to evolving it into Alakazam right away—yielding you a Pokémon that is absurdly fast, boasts a Special stat only outmatched by Mewtwo, learns healing moves and strong Psychic moves through level-up, and has essentially no bad matchups for the rest of the game, being able to sweep some teams singlehandedly.
    • The Gastly line is a major A.I. Breaker. An immunity to Normal-type moves doesn't seem like that big of a deal—then you actually take a look at what trainer teams tend to be, and you see a lot of Normal-type moves, making it functionally invincible. And since the line has great Special, a lot of non-Normal-type moves also barely scratch it. There are quite a few battles, such as Lance, Giovanni, Bruno, Koga, Blaine, and Erika, where the opponent has at most one Pokémon that can actually do any real damage to a Haunter or Gengar. Even Psychic and Ground-types, its apparent weaknesses, still have precious few representatives that can threaten it in the hands of trainers: specifically, Hypno, Kadabra, and Alakazam, with everything else lacking the right moves. Yellow managed to plug this by retooling many trainer movesets (for instance, four out of five of Giovanni's team now have Earthquake rather than none), though Gastly remains an excellent choice.
  • 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. Plus switching out isn't an option when you have just one Pokémon, making winning against her for such Pokémon very 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 with 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. Agatha's battle is so infamously luck-based for so many Pokémon in solo Pokémon runs, that among solo-Pokémon players, her battle is referred to as the "Agatha Lottery".
  • Good Bad Bugs: The Gen I games are well-known for their huge amount of exploitable glitches. Many fans are attracted to Gen I specifically because of how hilariously broken the mechanics are, and find it amusing to exploit those mechanics in order to breeze through the game.
    • 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 and heals more if the target is also inflicted with Toxic Poison due to both moves applying the same damage formula, causing them to check each other's ramping damage erroneously.
    • 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:
      • It does not serve as Anti-Debuff for Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack-s for paralysis and sleep, and damaging Status Infliction Attack for confusion, and both types can be affected by Disable, Leech Seed, Super Fang, Transform, and binding moves. (fixed in Stadium).
      • The user's Bide, Counter, or Rage work like if there were no Substitute.
      • Haze still works no matter the user.
      • Western versions' draining moves can hit and drain HP, but will not drain any HP if they break the substitute. (fixed in Stadium, so they always miss).
    • 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.
    • Another bug caused by Missingno.'s item duplication allows you to underflow your bag items, which allows the player to access essentially whatever data they want in the game. This allows everything from walking through walls to warping around the map (including to the Hall of Fame) to turning items on the map into spinning wild Pokemon encounters and signposts into Pokemon dispensers.
    • 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. It also causes enemy stat-lowering moves to backfire, making your Pokémon stronger instead of weaker.
    • The aforementioned 8F - and its equivalents in other versions such as "ws m" in Pokemon Yellow - is an item that normally crashes the game if used as is but is extremely powerful if you know what you're doing. When you use it, it jumps to the player's party and tries to use their Pokémon as if they were code; a correctly set up party will, for example, allow it to jump to the bag and use its contents to perform certain actions. It can be used to do just about anything, from giving yourself any Pokémon you want (even glitch Pokémon) to hijacking the whole thing and inserting your own content. 8F is in fact so powerful that you can even jailbreak other games on the console with it.
  • 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. The game also makes many previously-laughable fights legitimately somewhat hard (half the gym leaders had their team revamped so they don’t fall to a stiff breeze, and Giovanni’s entire team got a massive moveset rework so it can actually deal damage). 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".
  • 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.
    • In Red and Blue, many opponents have rather underwhelming teams, despite usually having good-on-paper Pokémon with high levels. For instance, Blaine, despite being the seventh gym leader, has half his team at their first stage of evolution, and only his Arcanine has any stronger Fire-type moves than Ember or Fire Spin. Many of these fights were tweaked or rebalanced in Yellow, replacing unevolved Pokémon with stronger counterparts and buffing their movesets.
  • 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: See the series' sub-page here.
  • Low-Tier Letdown:
    • Among the various types, Fighting fares infamously poorly. Given that Normal is considered overpowered and Fighting counters it, you'd expect it to have a legitimate niche as a Normal-slayer, but you'd be very wrong; not only is Fighting countered extremely hard by Psychic, but there's a paltry eight Fighting-type moves, and the only one with wide distribution and even acceptable power is Submission, which has 80 power, 80% accuracy, and recoil damage. Fighting-types also boast consistently poor Special (Poliwrath's 70 is the highest), making them even less able to slug it out, and are consistently slow (Primeape's 95 is the highest), meaning they get revenge killed very easily. For some idea of how poorly it does, the highest-ranked Fighting-type on Smogon is Poliwrath, which is banned in NU—and Poliwrath happens to be a Water-type with the strongest boosting move in the game.
    • Bug is a Crutch Character type without shame. Though its type chart is pretty favorable on paper, doing super-effective damage to Psychic and resisting Ground, Bugs have almost no worthwhile representatives, consistently awful statlines, and a total of three damaging moves, all of which have risible power. It may be the only type in the game that hits Psychic super-effectively, but Bug-type moves are so weak and Bugs so underpowered that they still struggle to do anything to even the frailest Psychics, and them tending to be secondary Poison-type (making them weak to Psychic) just makes it even worse. Some Bugs, like Scyther and Pinsir, don't even learn Bug-type moves. Pinsir and Venomoth are the only Bug-types to be even slightly worthwhile, with the former having Swords Dance, Bind, and very high Attack, and the latter having Sleep Powder, Psychic, and tolerable Speed, and even then, they're only seen in NU on Smogon or as extreme niche picks in higher tiers, with everything else being unheard-of.
    • Poison's offensive niche (Bug and Grass) is so limited that a total of six fully-evolved Pokémon take super effective damage from it, its only relevant defensive resistance is Grass, and it trades off for a weakness to Psychic and Ground, both of which are nigh-ubiquitous on offense. Its strongest move, Sludge, has a pitiful 65 base power. Pretty much the only good quality it has is being immune to the Poison condition, and even that's situational. Unlike the above two, though, it has the good fortune of very wide distribution, meaning that a good number (Victreebel, Tentacruel, Venusaur, Gengar, the Nidos ingame) are still considered good, but they're generally seen as succeeding in spite of their typing rather than because of it.
    • For as iconic as it is, Fire is incredibly underpowered. It hits Bug (as mentioned, terrible), Grass (helpful, but Ice and Flying can do it too), and Ice (three of the five are secondary Water, and a fourth has 125 Special), while being weak to common attacking types like Ground and Water. Its signature condition of Burn does extremely poor damage (only dealing 1/16th of full HP per turn here instead of 1/8th like in later games), and its Attack-halving can be rather buggy, making it far less helpful compared to Paralysis, Sleep, or especially Freezing. Additionally, the Steel type doesn't exist yet, a crucial type advantage the Fire type would get in later games, and it doesn't even resist Ice yet, removing what would have been a valuable resistance. Much like Bug, no Fire-type has ever gone above NU on Smogon PVP, and it's commonly agreed that Ice does its job far better; it says quite a lot that even Moltres, a Legendary with a massive Special stat and access to a 120 power STAB move with reasonable accuracy in Fire Blast, ends up in NU despite being nigh-identical statistically to its comfortably-ranked sibling birds (though it does at least see some use in OU). In-game, Fire pokemon also suffer from a general paucity of Fire-type moves stronger than Ember, with them all getting no moves stronger than Ember until they learn Flamethrower (or Fire Punch in Magmar's case) in their late 30s to over level 50, and the only Fire-type TM to learn anything stronger was Fire Blast, which wasn't obtained until beating the seventh gym leader, so either way any Fire pokemon you use will be stuck with a crappy STAB move for most of the game while other types get better options than the first STAB move much sooner. The only real niche that Fire has is Fire Spin, a trapping move learned by most Fire-types that gives them a chance to chip an opponent down, though its low accuracy makes it somewhat less reliable than Wrap.
    • 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 its fellow Normal/Flying-types, 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).
    • While the generations to come would make the nigh-ubiquitous Zubat some kind of payoff in the form of Crobat, in Generation 1, they cap out at Golbat—and that's not a good thing. Golbat has an incredibly barren movepool (its only STAB move is Wing Attack, which it learns at Level 32), completely mediocre stats all-around, an awful typing, and status moves that almost universally stop working when the opponent switches out. Golbat would go on to receive a degree of vindication in later games with the introduction of Eviolite, but it's still formed a reputation for being a mild upgrade on complete uselessness.
    • Despite an intimidating design, an iconic role in the anime, and a reputation as a Wake-Up Call Boss for unprepared players in Brock's hands, Onix is notoriously underpowered to borderline Memetic Loser levels. It boasts the second highest Defense in the game, only outmatched by Cloyster, and above-average (if still mediocre) Speed by Rock-type standards, but all its other stats are horrible: for some perspective, its HP, Attack, and Special are either tied or outclassed by Pidgey. In fact, its HP is so bad that it cancels out its Defense, with both Rhyhorn and Graveler having comparable physical bulk despite having far lower Defense, and if it takes a special move, its awful Special and swathe of weaknesses ensure that it simply will not survive. Additionally, while it does have a great offensive typing and even some good attacking moves like Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Explosion, its abysmal Attack nullifies that as well; its Earthquake is so anemic that it struggles to two-shot Kadabra in competitive settings. Though it does learn Bind to try to trap the opponent, its nonexistent offensive presence means that this won't do much more than waste time before Onix is wiped out. Future generations gave it an evolution in the form of Steelix, which boosted its stats significantly and gave it a far more workable typing, but the inability to evolve it in the main campaign of the GBA games restricts it even there.
    • Hitmonchan is often regarded as one of the worst Pokémon in the game to not be a Joke Character (that is, not Ditto or Farfetch'd). The intention seems to have been to make it a somewhat slow tank with an assortment of versatile moves through its elemental punches. However, since it has terrible HP and Special and only average Defense, it's actually incredibly frail, and since its only STAB option is Submission, it doesn't hit too hard, either. And the elemental punches, its intended saving grace, are running off that same terrible Special; their use for coverage is pointless when it still can't do much damage off a x4 weakness. Even among the game's Fighting-types, all the others have at least something going for them: Poliwrath is a Water-type with Amnesia, Primeape has actual Speed to work with, Machamp hits incredibly hard, and Hitmonlee has access to actual good moves. The competitive site Pokémon Perfect considers Hitmonchan nonviable in even its lowest tier of 6U—and for some perspective, Machoke is considered a decent pick there.
    • Rivaling Hitmonchan, if not outright exceeding it, is Beedrill, the defining example of all the issues with Bug-types. Aside from learning the rather useful boosting moves Agility and Swords Dance, Beedrill is the only Bug-type in the game with anything resembling reliable STAB, being the only Bug that learns Pin Missile and the only Pokémon period to learn Twineedle, which, at two hits with a combined 50 base power, is the strongest Bug move to deal consistent damage. And that is all of the positives. Beedrill has a terrible statline, with only Attack and Speed approaching the level of mediocrity, along with no coverage outside of Bug and Normal moves and a very weak Mega Drain. You might think its Twineedle makes it a good counter to Psychic-types, but Beedrill is part Poison-type, making it weak to Psychic, which, when combined with its terrible Special, means that quite a few Psychics risk one-shotting it outright. Though it's intended as a Crutch Character, and it can put in some work ingame in some areas, Beedrill still stands out as inferior due to Butterfree holding up much better than it—Butterfree boasts utility moves and can use an albeit-weak Psychic, giving it far more of a niche.
    • The starter Pikachu in Yellow is often regarded as the worst starter of all time. While it does have better base stats than its fellow starters initially, a better level-up movepool than the wild Pikachu in the prior games, and a somewhat tolerable matchup against Misty, nearly everything else about it is awful. Its inability to evolve knocks it into Can't Catch Up territory very quickly, its offensive movepool is surprisingly barren (nothing but Normal and Electric moves for coverage, plus Submission through TM), and it has very few options for handling most of the game's challenges beyond outleveling them. Pikachu is so bad that it's often agreed to be the reason for why Yellow moves Mankey further into the early game and lets it and the Nidorans learn Fighting-type moves earlier; without those, the player would have almost no meaningful options for fighting Brock, because Pikachu simply can't do anything to Geodude or Onix. Ironically for a game that has whole systems designed to encourage you to keep Pikachu on your team as long as possible, by the midgame, you'll be struggling to think of good reasons to do so. Notably, when the Let's Go! games revisited the concept, they made the player's Pikachu far more powerful than a standard one, with buffed stats and Purposefully Overpowered moves.
    • In general, some Pokémon learnsets are so barren in this game that it's often not worth training them. For example, fans of Psyduck from the anime will be disappointed because it's obtained at Level 15, but doesn't learn any move other than Scratch until Level 28, and it takes until Level 36 (or 39 as Golduck) to learn another attacking move in Confusion (contrast Butterfree learning it at Level 12).
  • 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).
  • Older Than They Think: Fans outside Japan often mock the sprites in Red and Green, Japanese version of Blue and the worldwide releases of Red and Blue for being Off-Model with regards to the official artwork and the anime. The truth is, however, that Ken Sugimori based his promotional art for the game (which was drawn in 1996 right before release) off the in-game sprites, and some of these sprites date all the way back to 1990. Because all Pokémon were created by different artists, the designs often clashed together, so he added or removed design elements from the creatures as he saw fit in an effort to create artwork that had a more cohesive look. These redesigns would later go on to become the footprint for the 1997 anime, and Pokémon Yellow after it. In the west, the release of the anime came first, and almost a month later came Red and Blue, thus giving the impression to fans outside Japan that the sprites they saw in the games were poor representations of the artwork they saw prior.
  • Once Original, Now Common:
    • 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.
    • 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 there 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 fairly early into the game.
  • Recurring Fanon Character: MissingNo. and several other glitches occurred in Red and Blue when data was mixed or corrupted, causing a sprite of jumbled pixels and odd effects on the game. This gave rise to the popularity of the fan-nicknamed "Glitch Pokémon”, with MissingNo. 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. What's more, the lower level of power in the first generation means that it's generally not hard to find Pokémon that actually like learning Strength, Fly, or Surf, or can at least spare the moveslot for it.
    • 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.
    • The Bicycle music overrides almost all other music in the game whenever it's in use. Since you'll want to use it all the time as soon as you obtain it (your on-foot movement being slow), this becomes extremely annoying and will probably result in you muting the game.
    • The Exp. All displays the shared EXP for every individual Pokémon in your party after every single battle whenever it's activated. This makes otherwise-quick battles take an obnoxiously long time.
    • Due to memory limitations, stored Pokémon are divided into 12 separate boxes in the PC, each of which can store up to 20 Pokémon (240 altogether.) Once the currently-selected box is full, the game will not automatically switch to another box; the player must switch boxes manually by booting up the PC and selecting a new box. What really makes this system infuriating is that the game will not inform you that the current box is full until you try to use a Poké Ball in battle, at which point you'll prompt a message from Bill, blocking you from doing so. If you're going for a full Pokédex, this "feature" is pretty much guaranteed to piss you off at least once.
  • 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.
    • Obtaining the Thunder, Rainbow and Marsh badges are somewhat easier in Yellow. Lt. Surge now only has one Pokémon, and loses his good AI to the point that you could see him trying to use Thunderbolt on Ground-types. Meanwhile for Erika, her team does get buffed up a couple levels, but her Victreebel and Vileplume have been de-evolved to Weepinbell and Gloom. As for Sabrina, while her team gets a massive level increase, she ended up losing her good AI, and her first Pokémon is now an Abra that only knows Flash compared to a Kadabra in Red and Blue that knows Psybeam and Psychic. This makes for a Pokémon to freely set up on to sweep the rest of Sabrina's team, especially after using a Guard Spec. to block Flash's accuracy reduction effect. And even without the Guard Spec, there's a TM for Swift that can be picked up at the gate house below Lavender Town.
  • 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. The Giovanni battle for the Earth badge in particular got a massive upgrade thanks to his Pokémon now knowing powerful TM moves. The prime example being that all of Giovanni's Ground-type Pokémon now have Earthquake.
    • 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 unlike in later gens Blizzard has an accuracy of 90%, which combined with its 120 base power makes it incredibly effective. But the big thing that makes these Ice moves 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 as it'll never ever dethaw. Blizzard is even worse in the Japanese versions where it had a 30% chance to freeze there. Fortunately for the player, opponents having Ice moves is rare, and outside of a few optional trainers and rare wild Pokémon (particularly Articuno), they won't encounter the Ice moves in mandatory battles until the end of the game, only being used by Lorelei and Champion Blue if his starter is Blastoise (and in Yellow regardless). If you try playing Pokémon Stadium or competitive PVP though, be prepared to face these moves a lot, where matches will frequently be decided by who got a lucky freeze first.
    • Trapping moves such as Wrap, Bind, Fire Spin, etc. All of these moves disallow your opponent from moving for the duration of the attack. All the opponent has to do is use one 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 Wrap with Poison Sting, doing more damage and potentially losing you a Pokémon. Further, since many Pokémon that learn these moves are fast, they can get the attack in and prevent your Pokémon from attacking at all. 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 in this Gen. 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 significantly weakens their offense if they're a Special attacker and softens them up significantly for subsequent Psychics. Because of this, there are essentially no safe switch-ins to an opponent throwing out Psychics, as even another Psychic type and Chansey will be hesistant to switch into a move with such high odds of forcing them to switch back out or fight crippled. This move got considerably nerfed immediately in future Gens; besides the Psychic type itself being nerfed hard from the introduction of Dark and Steel types, Psychic's effect was changed to only reduce Special Defense and the chance of its effect activating was nerfed to a measely 10%, making the secondary effect mostly a non-factor.
    • 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. Both moves making the opponent automatically faint isn't of much comfort when it's a wild Pokémon and a 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).
    • Sleep-inducing moves, especially when used by faster Pokémon, given how much of a Game-Breaker the Sleep status is in this Gen as decribed prior. If the player has no qualms about using items in battle though, they do get the Poke Flute halfway through the game as an infinitely reusable item that wakes up Pokémon in battle, severely neutering the status' potency in the second half. But if the player refuses to use items in battle or plays competitive PVP, they'll have no way to counter such a powerful status.
  • 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.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The friendship mechanic with the starter Pikachu in Yellow is squarely this despite being the game's signature feature. As Pikachu's friendship with the player rises, it'll display happier emotions when interacted with. However the only time it has any gameplay consequences is obtaining Bulbasaur from Melanie, where your Pikachu needs to have reached a high enough friendship level for her to trust giving you Bulbasaur. Beyond that single instance, this mechanic has absolutely no gameplay impact and you'll not be benefitted in any way by continuing to keep Pikachu in your party as it invariably falls behind, so once you get the Bulbasaur from Melanie, which can happen before you even beat Misty, you can ditch the Pikachu in the PC Box forever and not miss out on anything.

    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.
  • Broken Base: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • 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.
  • Salvaged Gameplay Mechanic: The remakes revert many of the changes made by Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire that put off fans, specifically the lack of availability of older Pokémon and the radical departures in setting and characters.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • You can only use the original 150 Pokémon until the National Pokédex is obtained, which is a decision that's heavily criticized by a lot of players. Trying to evolve Golbat or Chansey, who both evolve by happiness, inexplicably causes the evolution to stop with the message "...?", breeding is impossible until the end of the game, 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 complete a whole post-game sidequest before you can trade with Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. To the relief of fans, these arbitrary restrictions were dropped in later games.
    • The inability to go after Mewtwo until you complete the lengthy Sevii Island sidequest in the post-game. To even start it, you need the National Dex, which you get by owning 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.
    • The Berry Crush minigame was supposedly a novel way to increase the value of berries by playing the game to make berry powder and then trading the powder to buy expensive vitamins. The big catch is that you needed friends to play the game and you needed a steady supply of ultra-rare berries to mass-produce berry powder at a sufficient speed that outpaces having to fight trainers to earn prize money.
  • 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.
    • Most of the Cooltrainers have been upgraded to having teams of 5 Pokémon compared to the smaller teams they had in the original games, which can make for tougher battles.
  • 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 BubbleBeam 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 around the time of release towards the Extended Gameplay and Sevii Islands, with it being viewed as an unneeded addition to the game. And there's also the case of the new music being remade at a different pitch than the original Game Boy tracks.
    • One minor criticism some players have pointed out is the length of the Diglett Cave tunnel. It's a lot longer in FireRed and LeafGreen, which can come off feeling rather pointless since it doesn't add anything to the game except to make traveling through a straight tunnel a bit more time consuming.
    • Hardly anyone understands why Giovanni's gym leader battle got a major downgrade with his ace Rhydon being just an unevolved Rhyhorn. Especially when he has two of them.
  • Vindicated by History: The Sevii Islands were initially criticized for serving as filler, as completing the plotline was required to access to Mewtwo and trading with the Hoenn games. When later games in the series began foregoing extensive post-game sections of their own, more fans came to appreciate that the Sevii Islands provided the player a lot to do in a brand-new area to explore outside of the main region; especially compared to the original Red, Blue, and Yellow which featured no post-game apart from capturing Mewtwo.

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