The Pokemon franchise introduced us to many unforgettable adventures with incredible Pokemon throughout the past 20 years, but it sure did make a few goofs along the way.
Whether it’s glitches in the original Red and Blue video games that can cause an encounter with the legendary Mew, or it’s the episode of the Pokemon anime that actually triggered epileptic seizures and was banned from being re-aired, this is one series that teaches fans to expect the unexpected. That said, not all Pokemon goofs are necessarily bad; in fact, some of them are just plain funny! Below are 5 bloopers and oddities that have become iconic within the Pokemon community.
5: Officer Jenny doesn’t know she has a Growlithe
The localization of the Pokemon anime is rife with changes from the original, including one particularly amusing scene where Brock refers to a rice ball as a “jelly donut.” That said, it seems the people translating the anime hadn’t quite yet learned the names of all 151 Pokemon, as the English version includes a few hilarious goofs.
The earliest and silliest example of this fact is during a scene in episode 77, called The Fourth Round Rumble. Spotting Team Rocket escaping in a balloon, Officer Jenny orders her “Arcanine” to use Flamethrower on the criminals. This seems innocent enough until you realize her Pokemon is actually Growlithe, the pre-evolved form of Arcanine. Adding insult to injury, they even add in Arcanine’s cry when Growlithe uses the move!
Another similar localization goof is found in episode 351. During one of the famous “Who’s that Pokemon?” segments, the show claims that the Pokemon Arbok evolves into Seviper. Not only is Arbok already the evolved form of Ekans, but Seviper isn’t a part of any Pokemon evolutions to begin with!
4: “That Raichu you traded to me went and evolved!”
Rumors of fake Pokemon in Pokemon Red and Blue were rampant in the late 90s, with stories of hidden “Pokegods” and monsters like Pikablu spreading across playgrounds all over North America. Adding fuel to the fire was one enigmatic line in Pokemon Red that involves an old man saying a Raichu he was traded “went and evolved,” despite Raichu not having an evolved form!
As it turns out, the explanation for this goof is a bit complicated. Though the content of our Pokemon Red is similar to the Japanese version of Pokemon Red, the script for our Red Version was based on the Japanese version of Pokemon Blue. The Japanese Pokemon Blue had the player trade a Kadabra to the old man – which evolves into Alakazam when traded – but the English Red Version‘s dialogue was not altered to account for trading the man a Raichu instead. As a result, the man erroneously says his Raichu went and evolved, and players would spend years speculating about the evolved form of Raichu before realizing it was just a translation error.
3: James really does not like 4Kids
Team Rocket’s Jesse and James are known for their nefarious deeds in the Pokemon universe, but did you know they had some strong opinions about the studio behind the English version of the anime as well?
Seriously, we’re not making this up. In episode 128, James gets caught inside a Victreebel’s mouth and can be heard making muffed noises before being pulled out. However, if you play James’ audio during this scene in reverse, you can very clearly hear him say “Leo Burnett and 4Kids are the devil!” With Leo Burnett being the man behind the push of animated commercialism and 4Kids being the stdio responsible for the English Pokemon anime, fans never had any question in their minds that this was an intentional Easter Egg left by James’ voice actor. How this managed to slip by the studio and make it into the show is just as uncertain as it is comical.
Anyone who grew up with the first generation Pokemon games likely needs no introduction to MissingNo, arguably one of the most famous glitches ever in a video game.
For those don’t know of this notable programming bug, MissingNo is a glitched out Pokemon that can be encountered in Pokemon Red and Blue by abusing the game’s faulty coding along the edge of Cinnabar Island. Because MissingNo is treated as if it was any other Pokemon, players had no idea at the time that “MissingNo” is just an error message to indicate that the game doesn’t know what Pokemon the player is actually encountering. Encounters with MissingNo caused items in the player’s inventory to be duplicated in mass quantities, which allowed trainers to amass infinite amounts of otherwise rare items such as Rare Candies and Masterballs. This naturally propelled MissingNo into superstar status among Pokemon fans, as it was perceived not as a mere glitch, but the gatekeeper to unfathomable riches.
To this day, MissingNo has garnered tons of fanart from artists who have imagined what a “real” MissingNo Pokemon would look like, and the infamous glitch was even referenced in Pokemon X and Y!
1: The legend of the Prerelease Raichu
Pokemon cards marked with the “Prerelease” stamp are among some of the rarest cards out there, as these cards were generally distributed at events and printed in limited quantities. Having said that, would you believe there’s actually a card that’s even rare by Prerelease standards?
Enter Prerelease Raichu, a card considered by many to be the second rarest Pokemon card ever made (with the Pokemon Illustrator card being the rarest). Legend has it that Raichu cards printed with the Prerelease stamp were accidentally created during production of the Prerelease Clefairy card, and most of these Raichu cards were destroyed afterwards. However, a few employees of Wizards of the Coast were able to get their hands on the elusive card, and from there the card’s legacy became history. To this day, a Prerelease Raichu card in good condition is worth $10,000 or more!
The most ironic part of this goof is the fact that, in spite of the card’s rarity and notoriety, Wizards of the Coast still denies that Prerelease Raichu even exists. While we’d understand why they’d try to swipe an embarrassing mistake under the rug, you’d think they could at least give some credit to such a legendary Pokemon card. Perhaps it is the card creator’s silence on the subject that is truly the biggest goof of them all, unless this is what the old man meant when he said his Raichu went and evolved.