Pokémon (anime)

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All the groups over the course of the series. [1]

The anime series based on the Pokémon games. Given the success of the games, this series managed to make it to America as part of the marketing push, and, combined with the concurrent American airing of Dragon Ball, helped keep the new wave of Western anime adaptations (which started after Power Rangers) going.

It features the tale of Ash Ketchum and his pals (who change every saga), as well as the perennially ubiquitous Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth, who attempt to steal Pikachu or another rare Pokémon/item nearly every episode and are, with even greater frequency, sent flying sky-high with the Catch Phrase "Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again! *Ding!*" (at least until Team Rocket Took a Level In Badass in Black and White).

For more info on the many, many characters see the character sheet. Save all character tropes there, not here.

A list of the various movies can be found here.

Pokémon (anime) is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in Pokémon (anime) include:
  • Aborted Arc: The infamous GS Ball storyline in Johto.
    • The Meteonite plotline in Best Wishes is an example of an aborted conclusion to a near-finished arc, being postponed.
  • Abridged Series: Several, but fans seem to believe only a few are actually entertaining. Series that earned articles here include:
  • Acid Trip Dimension: In one of the episodes featuring Deoxys, it/she creates one of these to escape the pain of the meteorite that brought Deoxys there in the first place.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot
  • Alien Geometries: The Reverse World.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The series has numerous English theme songs, all of them different from the Japanese version.
  • Animal Chick Magnet: Used often enough--sometimes not just for how cute the Pokemon are but for the type of Pokemon too.
  • Animation Bump: Several battles are much better animated than others. If you see Masaaki Iwane listed in the credits as the animation director, expect a damn good looking episode.
  • And That's Terrible: This is quite prevalent throughout the entire series. Anytime anyone does something immoral or even illegal, expect one (or two, or more) people to point out how wrong it is. See: Pokémon the First Movie, where at one point all the good characters have an extended dialogue about just how terrible Mewtwo's plans are.
  • Anime First: Okay, Video Games First, but the anime did come before the manga it bears the most similarity to; not always the case in the other manga continuities, however.
    • Played straight in the US. The anime started 23 days before Red and Blue were released in the US.
    • And 22 days for Black and White.
  • The Anime of the Game: Probably the most successful adaptation of a game to another media.
  • Art Evolution: Kind of a given since the show has probably outlasted much of its original art staff.
  • Ash Face: Being set on fire appears to be just a minor inconvenience in the Pokémon world.
  • Attack Reflector: The Counter and Mirror Coat moves.
  • Bad Export for You: The first eight movies have yet to see a widescreen home video release Stateside.
    • And to an extent, the home video release of Movie 5, since it had a distracting bluish tint throughout that wasn't present in the theatrical version.
  • Banned In Sweden: Briefly so, under a law that banned television advertisements targeted at children.
  • Battle Couple: Oscar and Andi.
  • Beach Episode: Complete with swimsuit competition! And Banned In America!
  • Because Destiny Says So
  • Big Damn Movie: When legendary Pokémon get involved, the fate of the world is often at stake.
  • Blinding Bangs: The ghost-girl in "Ghoul Daze!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: A variation; the calls are commands by a trainer for the Pokémon to execute a specific technique/attack, as the Pokémon can use them without human intervention.
    • The Pokemon showboat episode implies that the Pokemon do this, but we can't tell because of Pokemon speak and the dubbing process.
  • Chain of People
  • Chaos Architecture: The Pokémon world has long been Earth with new names for places and slight changes to Japan based areas, filled with supernatural creatures (and in the anime, name-dropping real world places didn't stop in Gen I). The first episode of Black and White however, at last shows a map of the Pokémon world. The continents look nothing like Earth.
  • Christmas Episode: Though it was skipped in international releases due to Jynx, technically, "Holiday Hi-Jynx!" was a Christmas episode.
    • The Pikachu's Winter Vacation shorts.
  • Clip Show: Three of them (one in Hoenn, two in Sinnoh), all skipped in the dub.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Especially in some of the movies, but plenty of attacks in the Diamond and Pearl series of the anime also had a tendency to clash with the animation. The Gear Pokémon Klinklang was also CGI rather than traditional animation, which made its rotating parts look unusually smooth.
  • Continuity Cameo: Brendan, Isamu Akai, Lucas and Silver.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: This scene from the first episode of Black and White.
  • Cooking Duel: In "Hail to the Chef", Rhoda and Rhonda face off against each other with their Mr. Mime and Sneasel, respectively, to see who's the best.
  • Cooldown Hug: Several examples.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Marilyn is a girl that goes gaga over any Pokémon she says is cute, though not as bad as Gardenia with Grass Pokémon. So anybody watching the episode would've never guessed that she's good in Pokémon battles.
  • Cross Counter: Used in quite a few match-ups between Pokémon, but though the episode "Pasta La Vista" was set up for one, Team Rocket interrupted before the two fighting Pokémon could hit each other.
  • Cultural Translation: Infamously, riceballs as "donuts"; apparently caused enough fuss that later examples referred to them as riceballs. Then in Season 8, 4Kids would only get worse than ever before until PUSA took over and avoided making the same mistake.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Quite a few characters, be they lifted from the games or anime-original characters.
  • Cute Bruiser: Any cutesy Pokémon with fight in them may count.
  • Darker and Edgier: Black and White is looking to be even darker than Diamond & Pearl; one of the biggest flags is Team Rocket actually doing their job well which so far looks genuinely threatening and ominous, and if it does go into the game's plot...
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Pick any Dark or Ghost Pokémon. "Houndoom's Special Delivery" is one of the best examples.
  • Deadly Doctor: The one doctor from the Indigo saga who fought Team Rocket armed with nothing but a labcoat full of scalpels.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: The Elite Four, as well as several other characters.
  • Demoted to Extra: Most of the games' male playable characters, though notably subverted by Jimmy (who, along with Marina, had a special to himself) and Pokémon Rangers Solana, Kellyn, and Ben, who joined the group for two two-part episodes (one episode for Ben) and a special promoting the first game.
  • Disney Death/Near-Death Experience: Nearly every single movie has a Pokémon die and come back to life, or barely avoid dying in the first place.
  • Dueling Shows: With Digimon.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Plenty in the leadup to each new generation, both in the series and the movies.
    • Second: Ho-Oh (a literal example, appearing at the ending of the first episode two and a half years before appearing in the games), Togepi, Marill, Snubbull, Donphan, Elekid, Ledyba, Slowking, Hoothoot, Lugia.
    • Third: Azurill, Kecleon, Wailmer, Latias and Latios, Blaziken, Wynaut.
    • Fourth: Munchlax, Lucario, Weavile, Bonsly, Mime Jr., Chatot, Buizel, Mantyke, Manaphy, Electivire.
    • Fifth: Zoroark, Zorua.
      • Additionally, in an example concerning a human, Gym Leader Homika will be making her debut in the Pokémon anime nine days prior to the Japanese release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the games where she is introduced.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Compare the Kanto league saga, which only took around 80 episodes to complete, to later game-based league sagas. For one, the only Gym Leader of the Kanto League to dress like his game counterpart was Koga.
    • Other weirdness includes real-life animals being seen on several occasions early in the first season (such as real fish in the aquarium in the Cerulean Gym). A few early Gym Leaders gave Ash their badges for helping them out in different ways, even though he didn't officially defeat them (the Cerulean and Celadon Gym Battles were interrupted by Team Rocket and a fire respectively, and the Haunter that Ash led back to the Saffron Gym snapped Sabrina out of her Emotionless Girl/Creepy Child persona)— starting with Koga, not other leaders have made exceptions like these.
      • This was Lampshaded at the Cinnabar Gym, when Ash expects to receive his badged, but Blaine only intended to let him re-challenge him for it.
    • Emphasis on Rule of Funny also led to some bizarre situations, like a talking Gastly which godmoded by conjuring up illusions (rather than using typical moves) to counter any Pokémon attack.
    • There was also the Pokédex, who is usually just a computer spouting off information about Pokémon. In the first episode, it seemed to have a personality as a Deadpan Snarker, acting like a dick toward Ash when he found a Rattata going through his bag.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Toned down some from the games' Pokédex descriptions, but some of the Pokémon remain delightfully creepy.
  • Elemental Hair: the Eevee brothers (the yellow-haired one having a Jolteon, the redhead a Flareon, the blue-haired one a Vaporeon, and the one with brown hair has an unevolved Eevee).
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors
  • Enter Eponymous: "Enter Galactic" in the dub (though this title was meant to be a pun on the term 'intergalactic'), multiple examples in the Japanese version.
  • Everyone Chasing You
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: In a Contest battle, anything + everything = sparkles.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Teams Magma and Aqua as always, and, if the latest trailers are anything to go by, Teams Rocket and Plasma will be heading this way as well.
  • Evolving Credits: Done rather interestingly with the first Black and White opening, where, in the opening for the first episode, everything, including all the Pokémon, are in black and white, except for Pikachu who shows up fully colored. In the second episode's opening, as Pikachu passes the Pokémon, any that were seen in the previous episode start filling in with color to show who's been seen so far. This was thrown aside in the dub.
  • Executive Meddling: After the Seizure Incident, the animators were forced to make a new episode, "Pikachu's Goodbye", but fortunately, it ended up as one of the most memorable episodes of the series.
  • Exposition Diagram: Several examples.
  • Failure Is the Only Option
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: At various points we've had psychics, aura, ghosts, Humongous Mecha, Magic (albeit very little), Hard Light Holograms, at least one superhero (albeit an aged Batman parody), Toon Physics, Weird Science, Cloning, and a talking cat. And that's just the stuff that doesn't apply to the Pokémon themselves.
  • Fighting Series
  • Filler: Throughout every season, but more noticeable after Kanto. Possibly justified, as there's an obligation to introduce every single Pokémon at least once (except for the Porygon family). It IS a "-mon" show, after all. Since each new generation introduces at least a hundred new Pokémon, fillers are pretty much inevitable.
    • Johto, however, is infamous for how many it had.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: A few feather boas are worn, one by a Socialite on the St. Anne.
  • Free-Range Children: No one finds it disconcerting that ten-year olds run about the world by themselves, except Bianca's father, and he gets over it by episode's end. That's what they do in the world of Pokémon so it's usually never a problem.
  • Fun Size: Cute little Pokémon are even cuter in the anime...
  • Gag Boobs: While Ash did get some Marshmallow Hell moments in the series, the true case of this actually came in this fairly infamous Japanese made picture here.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page.
  • Gratuitous English: Oh so very much. And the Japanese opening themes amount to little more than this and boatloads of random Pokémon terms with a catchy tune. Case in point: Everyday is spelled evierdai Lyrics are here.
    • The season based off of Black/White is called Best Wishes in Japan.
  • Green Aesop: Almost unique for both the series and the trope in that it doesn't drop the proverbial anvil. Beyond the obvious demonizing of poachers and animal abusers, it really just provides an example of humanity gone right. Animal rights are rarely an issue (especially because The Dog Bites Back with a vengeance if you kick one too hard). It's rare that smog from vehicles is even seen despite the existence of personal automobiles and heavy air transport, the skies are perennially clear and blue even over the largest metropolises, and huge tracts of land go free of harm. Even when pollution is referenced (outside of the Koffing and Grimer families), it's never actually seen, or else is promptly cleaned up. And no one says a word. Because no one has to.
  • Hammerspace
  • Harmless Electrocution: Any character that has been in contact with electric Pokémon.
  • Harmless Freezing: Several examples.
  • Hexagonal Speech Balloon
  • Hurricane of Puns: The 4Kids dub did this frequently, especially in the early episodes of Season 1.
    • After TPCI took over, they seemed to be either doing it less or stopping altogether as of the Best Wishes series.
    • Puns are quite frequent in the original Japanese version too, particularly in Team Rocket's dialogue. The Diglett episode from the original series had an endless stream of bad puns in the original, far more so than its dubbed version. Blame the lack of knowledge of this on the lack of available fansubs.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: "The Ninja Poké-Showdown" and "From Cradle to Save".
  • Instant Costume Change
  • Interspecies Friendship: Friendship, trust, and understanding between trainers and their Pokemon are recurring themes on the show.
  • Interspecies Romance: Tropius/Meganium, Golduck/Azumarill, Bulbasaur/Gloom etc. Breeding group is also not important (Lombre/Mawile; Lombre is in the Water 1 and Plant groups, while Mawile is in the Ground and Fairy. Marill/Elekid: a Water 1 and Ground and a No Eggs who evolves into one in the Humanshape). There are also some Human/Pokémon examples (Ash/Pikachu, Ash/Bayleef, Ash/Aipom, Ash/Latias, Cassandra/Meowth, Harley's Cacturn/Jessie). Most of the love is one sided and on the human/Pokémon it's always on the Pokémon's side, except for Gardenia and her fetish.
  • Kaiju: Legendary Pokémon are anywhere from "extra-large" to "titanic" in size, especially if it's a more "beastly" Legendary (Groudon, Rayquaza, Giratina). Non-Legendary examples include the cliff-sized Dragonite in "Mystery at the Lighthouse" and the skyscraper-tall Tentacruel in "Tentacool and Tentacruel".
  • Kids Rock: 2 B A Master
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Don't these two look familiar?
  • Lemony Narrator: Not during the main anime so much, but he does during Pokémon Chronicles and such.
  • Lighthouse Point: Episode 13: "Mystery at the Lighthouse".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Although Ash & co. usually get new outfits for each new journey.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And that's just the human cast, excluding the hundreds of one-shots.
  • Long Runners: Has been running almost nonstop since April 1997 in Japan, with almost 700 episodes and 15 movies.
  • Lull Destruction: The more recent Pokémon episodes have very few moments of silence, the maximum being about three seconds of silence per episode. The old episodes were short on silent moments as well, but the silent moments were much easier to find back then.
  • MacGuffin: The infamous GS Ball; also badges and ribbons to some extent.
  • Made of Iron: Almost every named human character.
  • Magical Computer: Pokédexes. Pretty powerful ones, too, at least for the nineties.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: New captures, attacks, and evolutions are typically gained throughout a season rather than being localized near the beginning or the end. This is mostly because the ungodly amounts of Filler act as huge buffers between plot points and wind up distributing them fairly evenly.
  • Monster of the Week: They're usually kind or misunderstood, though.
  • The Movie: Fifteen of them, the last two are actually one for the price of two.
  • Mushroom Samba
  • Musical Episode: Though not really an episode of the show nor even canonical to it, the stage show Pokémon Live! would seem to fit in this trope.
    • "Gotta Dance!", the short before the sixth movie.
  • Mythology Gag: The Best Wishes series has one in the first episode!
    • Also in the first episode of Black and White: the plane Ash takes to Unova is flight number 151.
    • Black and White also has episode 6's classic "ding-ding-ding-a-ding!" chime when healing Pokémon in the games.
    • In DP094, "Doc Brock", a Zapdos makes a quick cameo. In Pokémon Platinum, Zapdos can be found roaming Sinnoh in the post-Elite Four storyline. Notably, this was the first episode to air in Japan after the release of Platinum.
      • Repeated in DP142, "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before", where the evil Killer Rabbit Togepi knows Extrasensory. In Japan, this was the last episocde to air before the release of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. In those games, guess which move Togepi can use for the first time?
    • In "Ya See we Want an Evolution!", the organization dedicated to showing the strength of Pokémon without evolving them is called the "B-Button League", referring to the actual game mechanic used for the very same purpose.
  • Never Say "Die": Dub only, naturally.
  • No Export for You: The UK has never got DVD releases of ANY of the main series and movies seven, eight, and nine were never released there either. However it DID get Pokémon Chronicles.
    • In the USA, Pokémon Chronicles still hasn't been released on DVD yet.
      • Neither have boxsets for the Johto seasons.
        • Except for Master Quest, but those are out of print for a few years now (they were last released in 2005).
    • In the UK, a deal HAD been struck up with Network DVD (A label that usually sells DVDs of old British shows) to release the series, but the only DVD they released for it was The Rise of Darkrai. Hell, the site even at one point HAD a Pokémon section, but that didn't last.
    • No Export for You might FINALLY be averted for the UK as Universal will be releasing Zoroark: Master of Illusions on DVD late April. If they'll distribute the anime DVD releases like they do in France is unknown at this point, but right now it's a start.
      • Now mostly averted, as Universal UK have released the Giratina and Arceus movies, with the Black and White movies not too far off, and if the inlay sheet with Poképark 2 suggests correctly, they will be re-releasing the Darkrai movie as well. Destiny Deoxys is also due for a release on Blu-Ray within the next week or two, as well as 4Ever and Heroes on Blu-Ray as well, just leaves the Lucario and Manaphy movies without a UK release. Seeing as the last two have recently had an airing on CITV, there may be hopes for a DVD release soon.
  • Non Dubbed Grunts: Some Pokémon, mostly the ones who kept their Japanese names.
  • Novelization: Certain anime episodes (some books even compile several episodes within its pages) and at least two of the movies (some of the later movies have been released in manga format).
  • Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The dub changes names every season except for between the first two, so whereas the original Japanese series has Pocket Monsters (seasons 1-5), Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation (seasons 6-9), Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl (seasons 10-13), Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! (seasons 14-15), andPocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 (seasons 15+) the dub has Pokémon (seasons 1-2), Pokémon: The Johto Journeys (season 3), Pokémon Johto League Champions (season 4), Pokémon Master Quest (season 5), Pokémon Advanced (season 6), Pokémon Advanced Challenge (season 7), Pokémon Advanced Battle (season 8), Pokémon Battle Frontier (season 9), Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (season 10), Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension (season 11), Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles (season 12), Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors (season 13), Pokémon Black and White (season 14), and Pokémon Black and White: Rival Destinies (season 15).
    • The DVD releases have remedied the problem for the first two seasons: season 1 is now "Indigo League" and season 2 is now "Adventures on the Orange Islands."
  • Off-Model: As often as we have the Animation Bump, there's plenty of instances of this too. Black and White seems to be cutting back on it however.
  • Old Hero, New Pals: Ash and Pikachu have been the only constants in the series. Brock was replaced by Tracey, Tracey was replaced by Brock, Misty was replaced by May and Max, May and Max were replaced by Dawn, Dawn and Brock were replaced by Iris and Cilan...
  • Old Shame: "Electric Soldier Porygon"
  • Ominous Fog: Results in a Ship Tease with holding hands.
  • Ondo: Do-do-dogaasu, Do-doga-do!
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Pokémon Anime is highly well known for having memorable appealing characters despite only being in one episode (if not barely more) regardless of whether if they are from the games or not. Many of these characters can be seen as far more appealing that the main cast (which in some cases is not hard to do) and while sometimes is justified why we never see them again, other times it's not.
  • The Other Darrin: The entire American voice cast (with a few exceptions among the recurring cast) is changed three-quarters of the way through Advance Generation.
  • Overly Long Gag: Professor Westwood V's (a colleague of Professor Oak in "The Evolution Solution") constant apologies to his ancestors, Westwood I-V before remembering that he's the fifth one.
  • Overtook The Games: The Indigo League conference had ended early in 1999, eight months before Gold and Silver's release. As a result, for the next few months there was an anime-exclusive region known as the Orange Islands.
  • Paper Fan of Doom
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Team Rocket's occasionally look rather solid, but most of the time fall into this.
    • Surprisingly averted in an episode where Serena pretends to be Ash to fill in while he's sick. The only people this fools are a character who has never actually met him and a Team Rocket that is only casually observing from a distance. Team Rocket instantly notices it's her when they get up close, as do her friends.
  • Party in My Pocket: They're called "Pocket Monsters" for a reason.
  • Pokédex Is a Free Action: No matter whether it's a friendly encounter with a Pidgey or they're being chased down by an angry wild Ursaring, no Pokémon ever attacks while a trainer is using their Pokédex. Ever. Well…except for that one filler which started off with a very random Giratina attack (caused by a Murkrow's illusion).
  • Powder Trail: "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon", coupled with Indy Escape...sort of.
  • The Power of Friendship: All Pokémon companions.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi as Khoury.
  • Pun-Based Title: The American episode titles, sometimes going to "gems" such as "Doin' What Comes Natu-rally" and "Smells Like Team Spirit". Japan sometimes fall to this ("Do Coil[2] Dream of Electric Mice!?")
    • Partially stopped as of Black and White.
  • Punch Clock Villain
  • Punny Name: Best Wishes is both initialized "BW" (Black and White), and in Japanese "Wishes" would be pronounced very similar to "Isshu", the Japanese name of Unova, the region the series is set.
  • Puppy Dog Eyes: Multiple examples
  • Recycled Script: For a long-running series like this one, certain storylines usually end up getting used over again over the years. One notable example is that all four main casts have gone through an episode where the majority of the cast and/or their Pokémon get poisoned with Stun Spore, and the unaffected cast must search for the only plant that can cure the ailment. This usually also leads to the focused Pokémon (always a Water-type) of that episode either joining the cast or learning a new skill and overcoming its own problems.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: One segment in "2.B.A. Master":

So you've reached the Plateau, but not yet a hero.
Are you ready to meet and defeat...the Elite?
Can I expect survival...against your rival?

  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Too many to list.
  • The Rival: Hey, the show wouldn't be fun without some conflict, right? And rivals are perfect for that! Ash has Gary, Paul, Trip, Barry, Stephan, and Bianca, May has Drew and Harley, and Dawn has Zoey and Kenny as well as Jessilina, Iris has Georgia, and Cilan has Burgundy...and those are just the rivals that would appear regularly at some point in the show's history.
  • Running Gag: Ash owes a bike to each of the first three female leads and Barry [3]. In Black and White, Iris didn't have a bike, so Pikachu shocked her instead! (because she was squeezing him too hard when fawning over how cute he was)
    • For Misty, it's a Running Gag in of itself for her to remind Ash of his "debt" regarding her bike, only for Ash to change the subject or run away from her altogether. One time, she was the one who forgot!
    • And of course, Brock flirting with the girl characters of the day, to be stopped by anyone in the travelling group.
    • Brock has a minor one, eclipsed by the gag above, wherein he has to perform his Takeshi's Paradise schtick in front of a large audience while Ash and co. try to foil Team Rocket's plans. It always starts off well, until it lasted too long and he had to be booed off the stage. On different occasions, he even asked his Lombre, Ash's Corphish and even Dawn to help out.
    • From the movies, Brock's "Guidebook to Girls".
    • Gible's Draco Meteor always hitting Piplup, and never the intended target. It's gotten to the point where Piplup flees in terror when Gible begins charging the attack up. Not that it helps much, as it's been seen to home in on Piplup's location. In some instances, it's even exploited just to find him.
      • Half-repeated in Black and White, where Axew's Dragon Rage always blows up in its face. Both eventually master their respective moves.
    • Another gag that goes Once a Series: Ash and crossdressing.
    • From the Sinnoh saga, Recurring Extra Rhonda always gets hit on the head with her crew's microphone.
    • Everybody getting Stephan's name wrong also counts.
      • As well as Butch.
    • In Black & White: Meowth joins the main cast and tags along with them for a while. Much to his annoyance, a running gag develops where someone attempts to capture him, and he just barely manages to escape out of the ball before it seals.
  • Run the Gauntlet: The Orange Crew and the Frontier Brains are non-villainous versions of this. While League tournaments involve hundreds of trainers, a participant in either of these special "leagues" only ever battles each of the Orange Gym Leaders or Frontier Brains one at a time.
  • Say My Name: In "The Needs of the Three": "Azelf!" "Mesprit!" "Uxie!"
  • Scenery Porn: Every single movie has at least one positively epic set piece in full Conspicuous CG. And they are gorgeous.
    • You're also likely to see that set piece get absolutely trashed at some point when the local Olympus Mons get pissed.
    • The movies also tend to open with gratuitous, sweeping shots of wild Pokémon. These are also typically gorgeous.
    • The entire three part mini arc with the resolution of Team Galactic, from Hunter J's ship getting sucked up with water to the Spear Pillar...whoa. Just whoa.
    • The regular series isn't too bad, either. The backgrounds have gotten a lot better: just compare the forests as seen in the Orange Islands arc to those in Black and White. The trees, riverbeds, and cliffsides are more meticulously painted, and so do some of the city areas.
  • Schizo-Tech: You have Poké Balls that transmute living beings to light and store them in containers, which are used and sold in rural forest and mountain towns with little transportation.
  • Second-Person Attack: Used frequently in the fight scenes.
  • Secret Test of Character: A few of the Gym Leaders do this, which makes sense as their job is to test trainers in a multitude of ways.
  • Serious Business: The fourth episode of the anime has a Bug Catcher type Pokémon trainer who dresses and acts like a samurai, treating his bug Pokémon catching profession as seriously as a samurai would treat his duties.
  • Setting-Off Song: "Viridian City".
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Happened quite a bit to Ash and Misty.
    • In the Hoenn saga, a couple starts shipping Ash and May, and Team Rocket.
    • And in D&P, Dawn is asked by Lyra if Ash is her boyfriend, and denies it.
  • Ship Tease: Of course, people tend to take them at face value.
  • Shipper on Deck: Harley supports May and Drew, a couple from a Hoenn episode believed May and Ash were together, and Lyra is absolutely determined to get Dawn and Ash to pair up. Your Mileage May Vary on that though since she also tried to hook up Dawn and Khoury too.
    • When a love-oriented episode crops up, you can pretty much expect Ash's female companion (and on a few occasions, Brock) to try to fix whatever problems the lovers have, making any of them fit squarely into this trope as well.
  • Shooting Superman: Every single one of Team Rocket's traps to capture Pikachu has been proofed against Pikachu's electric attacks. Despite this Pikachu only ever uses electric attacks when first captured just to confirm that, yes, Team Rocket's newest trap is immune. Only when the traps are intended to capture something other than Pikachu are electric attacks effective against them.
  • Shout-Out: Ash and his rival Gary's Japanese names, Satoshi and Shigeru, are taken from Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, and Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's famed game designer who mentored Tajiri during Pokémon's creation. There is also Hiroshi (Ritchie), who is named after then-current Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi.
    • Musical shout outs can be found from time to time, usually in episode titles such as "Smells Like Team Spirit" or "Tears for Fears". The stealth shout-out award goes to Casey, however, when watching a (losing) baseball game, she says, "Where have you gone, Cory DiMario?"
    • Ash's Infernape is largely one big shout-out to Gohan of Dragon Ball Z.
    • Anyone else see simulairities between Ash's Snivy and another love inducing snake?
    • Oscar and Andi in "The Bicker the Better" to Rose of Versailles.
    • BW57 is a Kamen Rider Homage so obvious it hurts.
    • In "Showdown at the Oak Corral", Butch calls Jessie and James "Messy and Lames", which are the Parody Names used in a Mad Magazine parody. This even gets used in a much later episode.
  • Sigil Spam: The stylized Poké Ball emblem appears everywhere.
  • Skeleton Government: Besides Officer Jennys, there seem to be no form of government at all.
    • In one Orange Islands episode there's the mayor of the city running for re-election, but he turns out to be paranoid about hiding the fact that he abandoned his Bulbasaur in the sewer.
  • Slasher Smile: If a Pokémon has sharp teeth and isn't Ugly Cute, expect its grin to look like this.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Whether it be Misty, May, Dawn, or Iris, only one girl is allowed in the group at a time. Word of God has admitted it's mainly done for Fan Service purposes.
  • Something Completely Different: The Pokémon Chronicles side series.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Gen IV saga did this a few times, playing absurdly epic and dramatic music as the backdrop for chasing Pachirisu around for several minutes, or Team Rocket's evolution machine sputtering out repeatedly.
  • Spin-Off: The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon specials, and Pokémon Chronicles.
  • Spoiler Opening: The openings are pretty notorious for this. It only got worse when they started making one per year, which means most of the plot points of the next year are spoiled in one go.
    • Generally they're pretty good at avoiding this, at least in Japan. When a Pokémon evolves or is captured, it's added to the opening where empty space was before. The dub, however, tends to use visuals form the final version of the Japanese openings, so played straight there.
    • Played straight in The Greatest - Everyday!, however. We see Ash with Infernape and Torterra, and Dawn with Togekiss. We also saw all of Ash's old Pokemon that eventually returned for the league (even though not all of them ended up actually being used). Gliscor's return was still a surprise though.
    • The Black and White opening soundly averts this. Only Pokémon which have appeared in previous episodes are revealed, and there is no way to tell which Pokémon the main characters will catch.
    • Averted with Spurt!-- TONS of Ash's old Pokemon appear in this opening (including Butterfree), but, with the exception of Charizard, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur (who don't appear until near the very end), NONE of them actually appear in the show itself. Still, this isn't the first time we've been teased with possibilities of old characters showing up again, only to have the rug pulled out from under us...
    • Third Best Wishes ending Seven-colored Arch brings this back with a vengeance, spoiling four future evolutions (Unfezant, Pignite, Leavanny, and Crustle) and a capture (the Sunglasses Krokorok!).
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The male and female Nidoran from the Orange Islands episode "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?", an obvious Shout-Out to Romeo and Juliet. As a bonus, they are named Tony and Maria after the protagonists of West Side Story, a modern take on the original play.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The last few movies keep using sounds from Godzilla monsters: Dialga and Palkia use the roars of Rodan, Ghidorah and Godzilla, Giratana has Mothra sounds and the ship of the 11th movie's villain sounds like Megaguirus.
    • When one considers that it's Toho Studios (the same company that makes the Godzilla films) that distributes the films...the rest speaks for itself.
    • Palkia also has the roar of Boga, Obi-Wan Kenobi's varactyl mount, in the films and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Boga is the first part of the roar, with either Heisei King Ghidorah (films) or Godzilla 1954 (Brawl) at the end.
  • Strictly Formula: Every episode of Pokémon that isn't a Gym battle or other plot point from the game follows the formula: Meet person of the week or Pokémon of the week, this person/Pokémon will either have a problem or cause someone in Ash's group to see a problem in themselves, Team Rocket will sometimes[4] plot to steal Pikachu and/or Pokémon of the week, Team Rocket unleashes their plan and is defeated in short order, the problem of the week is solved either by Team Rocket's defeat or some unrelated event.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: The actual competence and strength of characters and Pokemon is highly dependant on the plot.
  • Super Empowering
  • Theme Tune Extended: Occurs with several of the English theme songs. Some of the extended versions can be heard in select episodes, but such extended songs are typically heard in the Pokémon movies. Usually, the movie in question will feature the theme song of the season that is airing at the time of the movie's release. The first original series' theme song is probably the most notable example, though - it received an extended version of the regular show theme and, for Pokémon the First Movie, a remix of said extended edition.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Although no one has actually died from a stupid mistake in the main show...
  • Too Soon: After the recent earthquake in Japan, the Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma episodes were postponed, presumably due to a scene where James destroys a lot of Castelia City with an energy blast. A similar earthquake caused a filler episode of AG to be completely cancelled. According to Bulbapedia, the move Earthquake was never used after the Earthquake corresponding to the AG episode; the more recent disaster not helping matters...
  • Totally Radical: Several characters and instances in the dub, including Brawly and a one-shot DP character named Sho, who the dub made into a Jive Turkey turned Up to Eleven.
  • Traitor Shot: The Teddiursa in episode "UnBEARable" has five of them.
    • Cyrus gets several during DP096 and DP097.
  • Transformation Sequence: Pokémon evolution.
  • Tournament Arc: The point of every region, both the League (called Conference for some reason) and the Grand Festival.
  • Under the Mistletoe: The Christmas Bash CD has a song with the same name as this trope. Misty sings about how she wants it to happen, Ash sings about how he doesn't want to be caught under it. You know the rest....
  • The Unintelligible: Most Pokémon, although many of the human characters understand them just fine; actions speak louder than words, after all.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: During the Sinnoh League, a Heatran is seen in the background several times as a trainer's Pokémon. Nobody even mentions it. One would think that it would be a big deal, considering Tobias has at least two legendaries.
  • Video Phone: These showed up almost everywhere in the early seasons.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Pretty much every Pokémon movie. Characters arrive at destination, all happy and sunshine for a good 10 minutes, figures out the treat or central plot, danger happens, barely survives the threat, then, live happily ever after for another year.
  • What Could Have Been: Takeshi Shudo had story plans for Johto including Celebi being inside the GS Ball and finding out more about Ash's father. These ideas were scrapped and we ended up with the show we have now because of it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: All remotely sinister-looking Pokémon, like Arbok and Murkrow, play antagonistic roles in the series, whereas all the "cute" ones are usually on the good side.
  • Women Are Wiser: To a subtle extent with most female companions. While they still have profound moments of humility or hypocrisy, they usually have at least a small cut of competance over Ash. Brock initially balanced this until, well...
  • Worst Whatever Ever: The Japanese title for one episode translates to "The Worst Togepi Ever!" Sadly, the English dub changed it to "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before".
  • The X of Y: There have been at least 16 instances of this: Challenge of the Samurai, Island of the Giant Pokémon, Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, The Case of the K-9 Caper, The Battle of the Badge, Tricks of the Trade...
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: There are a lot of examples for this.

Minna no Pokémon, getto da ze! Gotta Catch 'Em All! Pokémon!

Notes

  1. Except for Tracey.
  2. Magnemite
  3. the last one was caused by Gible, not Pikachu
  4. Always prior to Best Wishes