Community Pokémon Archive: The Top 10 Dumbest Moments of the Pokémon Anime

Welcome back to the third edition of the Community Pokémon Archive, a series of articles written by the TSG Community to build up the hype for the upcoming Pokémon Marathon in March and the release of Black and White in the US on March 6th.

Today’s article was written by yours truly, and I chose to explore ten of the dumbest moments in the history of the Pokémon anime. I promise we’ll go back to community articles next time, but for now, enjoy this article.

You can read it after the jump.


The Top 10 Dumbest Moments of the Pokémon Anime

Many players in the Pokémon community commonly criticize the Pokémon anime. It has been called stupid, childish, and unrealistic, even by Pokémon standards. And while I still enjoy watching the show, I have to agree that the show does tend to favor a younger audience, which is understandable, but still feels like a misrepresentation of the awesome franchise at times.

But today, I want to focus on the other two negative aspects of the show: The stupid and unrealistic moments. I’ll be counting down the Top 10 Dumbest Moments in the Pokémon Anime. Some of these are commonly known and have spawned many jokes all over the Internet. However, some of these aren’t as memorable, simply because they aren’t outright obvious at first glance. Some just made the list because they’re just really funny. So let’s begin, starting with number 10. Remember, this list is based on my OPINION, so don’t take it too seriously.

10. My name is BUTCH!

This is sort of a running joke throughout the series. No matter what, everybody always seems to get this guy’s name wrong. It’s not really even a hard name to remember.

Also, I think the line where he says “Didn’t your mother tell you to remember people’s names?” is just really stupid and funny at the same time. Oh well, at least I’ll never forget your name, Hutch.

9. “Arcanine, Use Flamethrower!”

This one is a bit lesser known, and while it’s probably just a small mistake on the writer’s part, I remember cracking up so hard the first time I heard it.

I can just hear the Growlithe going “FOR THE FIFTH TIME, JENNY, I’M NOT AN ARCANINE!”

8. Water Type’s New Weakness

If you listen closely, you’ll hear Brock boldly exclaim his seemingly brand new discovery: WATER TYPES ARE WEAK AGAINST FIRE TYPES! Who knew?

While I’m obviously kidding, this blunder is still pretty hilarious. My guess is that the writers meant to write “Water types are weak to ELECTRIC attacks, considering Ash’s opponent had just sent in an Electabuzz. Regardless, the fact that even the most casual player would suspect that Brock’s statement was untrue (as fire’s weakness to water is one of, if not the most, obvious weaknesses in the game) makes it even worse.

How’d he become a gym leader?

7. They Mostly Live in Minnesota!


I think you get the obvious bad joke. But the real victims here are the many vikings who do not, in fact, live in Minnesota. Our hearts are with you.

“Aim for the Horn!”

This one’s a classic. When I watched this for the first time, I briefly believed that the show was beginning to redeem itself a little when Pikachu’s thunderbolt didn’t do squat to Rhydon, which is what should happen in that situation. But then, Ash says one of the most famous (or in this case, infamous) lines of the entire show, telling Pikachu to aim for Rhydon’s horn. Rhydon has an ability called Lightningrod which allows it to draw in all electric attacks, even if the attack wasn’t aimed for it . Even though Rhydon didn’t get Lightningrod until Gen III, it didn’t really matter since it was only good for Double Battles, which came into the picture at the same time. Regardless, Rhydon still shouldn’t have taken any damage whatsoever from the attack, with or without lightningrod. Of course, in Gen V, Lightningrod grants an immunity to all electric types anyway, but I digress.

5. “Finish it off with False Swipe!”

To a casual Pokémon player, this one may not be so obvious, but the line of stupidity comes from the boy with the Scizor, who tells Scizor to finish off Ash’s Heracross with False Swipe. The way False Swipe works is that it is guaranteed to leave the target with at least 1 HP, which is helpful for catching Pokémon. This means that False Swipe is actually one of the only damaging moves in the game that is guaranteed NOT to “finish it off.”

And I love how the kid automatically thinks he’s won because his Pokémon landed a False Swipe. What kind of damage was he expecting a non STAB, not very effective FALSE SWIPE to do, anyway?

4. Magnemite the “Streaker”

This one just made the list because it is pretty hilarious. It caught me off guard, as it isn’t something you would expect to hear in this show. This kind of humor would be much appreciated in the newer adaptations of the anime, whereas others, such as Ash saying that most vikings live in Minnesota, could be done without.

3. Brock Gets Physical

Yeah, I know what this looks like. It’s obvious that this wasn’t the intention of the writers, and is really only funny when taken out of context like it is now. But most dirty jokes are taken out of context anyway.

I remember laughing at this and replaying it so many times when I first saw it (I didn’t actually watch the earlier series until a while past when they aired), that it had to make the Top 3.

Warning: Stupidity Alert!!

Now we’ve reached the Top 2, or perhaps, the Bottom 2 in this case. These next two clips are two of the biggest screw ups in the history of the anime and live in infamy to this day.

Arbok’s New Evolutuion

WOW….just wow. Some of the other aforementioned clips made the list because they weren’t plausible. However, this clip is just an outright lie! As you may know, Ekans and Arbok were introduced in Generation I. Seviper was later introduced in Generation III. There have been several instances where a pre-existing pokémon gets an evolution or pre-evolution in a later generation. A good example would be Magmar, who gained a pre-evolution in Generation II, and later gained an evolution in Generation IV. Heck, Roselia got a pre-evolution AND an evolution in Generation IV, but i digress.

The point is that while Arbok could have evolved into Seviper had Gamefreak chose it to, the fact still stands that these two Pokémon have NOTHING to do with each other as far as evolution lines go. There are actually several theories as to why the writers made this mistake:

1. Arbok and Seviper are both snakes of the same type, so it could have been an honest mistake. However, I highly doubt this, as it is likely that SOMEONE over there has actually played a Pokémon game. Seviper and Arbok don’t really look that much alike either. I’m sure that it would have been easier to swallow that it was a mistake if it were Luvdisc and Mamanbou, but they got rid of “Trainer’s Choice” long before Generation V when Mamanbou was introduced. Although if that did happen, it would be quite a slap in the face, seeing as we were led to believe for a very long time that Luvdisc DID evolve into Mamanbou, but that’s another story entirely.

2. The “Trainer’s Choice” may have actaully asked “Which Pokémon is the same type as Seviper?” in the original Japenese version. Seeing as they are both mono-poison type, this would have been correct. In this case, the blame would go the translation team.

3. It doesn’t really matter why it happened, because at least they didn’t say Suicune…

1. The Dumbest Moment Ever in the Pokémon Anime

Now to be honest, I didn’t really think much of this scene when I saw it as a kid (probably because I lost faith in this show having any sense of “pokémon realism”). But looking back on it, there really are A LOT of things wrong with scene, hence why it took the number one spot.

While the actual “thunder armor” itself is obviously very stupid, I’ll get back to that in a second. The first thing that always bothered me was how Ash even pulled off the attack in the first place. I’m no scientist but I don’t believe that shooting electricity into the sky will cause it to come back down in a giant “laser” of sorts.

Now back to the armor. Max had the right idea when he talked about Swellow being a flying type. If you don’t know, electric attacks like Thunder hit flying types for super effective damage. However, they did next to nothing to Swellow at all. Let’s get this straight: Pikachu can kill a Rhydon with an electric attack, and yet it has no effect on Swellow whatsoever. Well that isn’t entirely true, since it actually creates ARMOR for Swellow. I would think that it would cause it to have enormous amounts of static, but I doubt it would actually form armor. At this point, there’s just so many things that simply aren’t plausible, but I’ll continue ranting anyway.

When Pikachu and Swellow go on the offensive, Solrock uses Solar Beam, which somehow seems to fire before Swellow’s Quick Attack hits. Not only does Quick Attack have a priority, but Solar Beam takes a while to charge up! Next, Liza orders Lunatone to use a Light Screen. Ash responds by having Swellow break right through it with Quick Attack, which cause May and Max to stare in awe. If you think about it, it really isn’t such an amazing feat at all, because Light Screen would only reduce the damge taken from a special attack, like Bubblebeam or Flamethrower. Therefore, Light Screen would have no effect against Quick Attack at all.

I know it’s show made for children and it obviously doesn’t follow the in-game rules, so, once again, don’t take my rant too seriously But still, there’s no denying that this is just stupid.

Anyway, that wraps up this list. And for you fans of the anime, I’m not trying to bash the show in any way. In fact, I’m a fan of it myself. But in 14+ seasons, there were bound to be some mistakes, and I wanted to shine the spotlight on them.

That just about does it, so come back next time for another article written by a member of the community.
Interested in writing an article for the the Community Pokémon Archive? Check out this forum thread!

35 thoughts on “Community Pokémon Archive: The Top 10 Dumbest Moments of the Pokémon Anime”

  1. The dumbest moment i have ever seen has been in D/P. Where dawn gave up ambipom to let him play ping pong. PING PONG! I understand they needed to make room for a new pokemon but cmon. couldn’t they have come up with a better idea. Worst plot device ever.

  2. Haha, this was a fun article. Don’t be hatin’ on Thunder Armor though, Swellow’s just that awesome (even as a Taillow it took Pikachu’s Thunderbolt like a champ xD).
    My dumbest moments would have to be whenever 4kids dubbed rice balls out of the anime. Like when they put an awkwardly rolling footlong sandwich rolling down a hill in place of a rice ball. And then there’s the infamous “jelly filled donut” scene from the first season (“nothing beats a jelly filled donut!”) Just search “4kids hates rice balls” on youtube and you’ll see what I mean. 😛

  3. I actually like the Thunder Armor. You gotta remember, it’s an anime. If it followed the games explicitly, it wouldn’t be very entertaining. These little twists add to the show and give it some epic moments that you really don’t expect.

    Dubbing errors are dumb, however. And I’m just a little disappointed in the lack of Jelly Donuts in this list. 😛

    1. Well this whole list is my opinion, and some of them weren’t really that dumb, just sort of funny. I thought about putting the rice balls and also Pikachu vs Brock’s Onix, so it might have been better to do a Top 15 in retrospect

  4. (At #8) How did Brock become a Gym Leader if he happens to own the only Onix that can lose to an Electric type despite 1 of it’s types being the type that’s immune to Electric?

    1. Yeah, I might agree with you on the Thunder Armor thing, but there was just so much wrong with that scene and I had so much to say about it that I put it as Number 1

  5. “Today’s article was written by yours truly, and I chose to explore ten of the dumbest moments in the history of the Pokémon anime. I promise we’ll go back to community articles next time, but for now, enjoy this article.”

    Hey Phanto, don’t forget you’re part of the community too 😛

  6. My favorite one BY FAR is definitely Magnemite the Streaker. (I keep typing “streamer,” and that ain’t it) As soon as I heard about this article, that was the first thing that popped into my head. Major kudos!

Leave a Reply