Skip to main content

Top 15 "Pokemon" Misconceptions

In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

Pokemon Legends

Since the early days of Pokemon, several urban legends and myths have sprung into existence from rabid fans desperate to catch 'em all. Back then, we didn't have the internet to fact check, making it much harder to tell if Pikablu really was a thing.

Besides rumors, several misconceptions exist regarding Pokemon that may astonish even the most seasoned Trainers. Let's discover them by examining fifteen outlandish Pokemon myths!



15. Starter Pokemon Have One Type

Myth: All starter Pokemon have exactly one type.

Fact: Bulbasaur and its evolutions are all Grass/Poison. Besides that, as of this writing, no other starter begins with two elements, but many gain a second Type upon evolution.

Focus Energy

Focus Energy

14. Focus Energy Raises Critical Hit Ratio

Myth: Focus Energy increases its user's chances of landing a critical hit.

Fact: Okay okay, this is more a mistake than a myth, but in Gen. 1 Focus Energy actually does the exact opposite, lowering your Critical Hit chance. This was an oversight and subsequently corrected to its intended effect in later games.

13. The Pokemon World Is a Peaceful Place

Myth: Pokemon may battle, but are good-natured and pacifistic creatures at heart.

Fact: Sure, the series is geared towards children, but several Pokemon kill each other and even humans. Here are just a few creepy Pokedex entries:

  • Yamask: Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry. (Pokemon Black)
  • Gorebyss: Although Gorebyss is the very picture of elegance and beauty while swimming, it is also cruel. When it spots prey, this Pokemon inserts its thin mouth into the prey's body and drains the prey of body fluids (Pokemon Sapphire)
  • Haunter: Its tongue is made of gas. If licked, its victim starts shaking constantly until death eventually comes. (Pokemon Silver)
Pikachu Vs. Onix

Pikachu Vs. Onix

12. Rock Pokemon Trump Electric Types

Myth: Rock Pokemon are strong against Electric ones.

Fact: Rock and Electric are neutral against each other. This myth spread through the anime, and because many initial Rock types were also Ground, which negates Electric attacks.

There were a few initial Rock Pokemon who weren't part Ground (like Rock/Flying Aerodactyl) but without any pure Rock monsters to clear the confusion, only dedicated players realized the truth.

The supposed Mew truck

The supposed Mew truck

11. Catching Mew

Myth: Mew can be obtained in the original games by checking under a hidden truck.

Fact: Lots of rumors about how to collect Mew spread back in the day, and this was the biggest. The truck exists in a semi-hidden location, but this rumor simply isn't true.

There's only one way to legitimately catch Mew in the original games, and it's a convoluted and unintended method that not even hardcore players would likely ever discover.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go

10. Pokemon Go Was the First Augmented Reality Game

Myth: Smash hit Pokemon Go was the first augmented reality game.

Fact: While it was certainly what popularized the genre, numerous games like Ingress predate it. While we're at it, most of the stories you've likely heard about the dangers of Pokemon Go are myths too—players falling off cliffs and the like. Nevertheless, always be mindful of your surroundings when exploring.

Mewtwo Vs. Gengar

Mewtwo Vs. Gengar

9. Ghost Pokemon Trump Psychic Types

Myth: Ghost attacks are super effective on Psychic foes.

Fact: This is true now, but in the original games, Ghost attacks wouldn't affect Psychic types at all! Like many, this myth circulated due to the anime, which cited Ghost's strength against Psychic.

To make matters worse, all Ghost Pokemon from Gen. 1 are dual Poison, meaning back then they were actually terrible choices against Mewtwo and Alakazam.

Surfing Pikachu

Surfing Pikachu

8. Pikachu Can Learn Surf

Myth: Pikachu are capable of learning the move Surf.

Fact: Only special versions of Pikachu (unobtainable to the average player) know the move. Normal ones cannot learn it. That said, there exists a trading card for a Surfing Pikachu.

A similar rumor spread that Magikarp can learn Surf at level 100, which is also false.

Flareon uses Swift

Flareon uses Swift

7. Swift Never Misses

Myth: The move Swift hits without fail.

Fact: Savvy players know Swift misses if an opponent is in a semi-invincible state like Fly or Dig. However, they may be surprised to learn in the original Japanese games, Swift can actually miss under certain normal conditions, like if an opponent raises their Evasion with Double Team.

Ash and Pikachu

Ash and Pikachu

6. Ash Hasn't Won a League

Myth: Anime protagonist Ash Ketchum has never won a tournament and always resets his team except for Pikachu when entering a new region.

Fact: Ash defeated Drake in the Orange Islands championship. Admittedly, that's a bit different than the normal leagues, but still a huge accomplishment. He also conquered the Battle Frontier and was even asked to join it.

Usually, Ash resets his team when entering a new region, but he didn't for the Orange Islands or Johto.


5. Pokemon Sizes

Myth: Bigger Pokemon, like Charizard, are easily taller than most people.

Fact: It's true that some colossal Pokemon like Onix are much larger than us, but the anime often ups the scale of many creatures. Heck, Charizard is only 5'7''; I'm taller than it.

Regular fish in Pokemon

Regular fish in Pokemon

4. Pokemon Doesn't Have Real Animals

Myth: The Pokemon world doesn't have "normal" animals like simple fish or birds.

Fact: We see them several times throughout the anime, so if you count that as canon.

We've also seen characters eat meat, so I ask you, what would be more disturbing: if normal animals exist and are treated separately (and more cruelly) than Pokemon, or they don't and that meat was Pokemon meat? Yea, Squirtle burgers probably aren't the best marketing idea; I think Nintendo wised up and largely tries to pretend there aren't animals now.

3. Lavender Town Theme Causes Suicide

Myth: The original Lavender Town theme made young gamers commit suicide.

Fact: While it's a pretty spooky tune for a children's video game, no documented cases of death by lavender exist. And really, is one semi-creepy song gonna compel dozens of children to kill themselves? I don't think so, yet this rumor has traveled far and wide.

2. Catching Pokemon by Pressing Buttons

Myth: In the games, pressing "A" or "B" at the right time will help you catch Pokemon.

Fact: I wish. Believe me, I tried all variants of the "press the right button when the Pokeball wiggles to catch it." While sometimes you'll catch them with this "trick", it's purely coincidental - you were going to succeed anyway.

Scyther and Scizor

Scyther and Scizor

1. Evolution Strengthens Pokemon

Myth: Pokemon always get stronger (meaning higher base stats) when they evolve.

Fact: Here's one I myself didn't learn until recently. Scyther and its evolution, Scizor, shares the exact same base stat total; the points are just allocated differently. And Shedninja actually loses points when evolving from Nincada, though this is to balance its incredibly potent ability, Wonder Guard.

More Pokemon Legends

Today we covered just a sampling of the bountiful falsehoods surrounding Pokemon. True or not, they add depth and intrigue to the series, and it's always fun to find one that's actually real (the famous MissingNo, for example).

I hope you learned some interesting misconceptions, and I'll see you for more Pokemon countdowns!


Flash on June 02, 2017:

dude pokemon are brutal. pidgey and rattata can't have much longer than a few months to live in the wild