In-Game Humour

The Pokémon games have never taken themselves too seriously, and one of the things I love about them is talking to the people in the game and see them deliver some unforgettable lines of in-game humour and references. This section is dedicated to pointing them out to other people so that they may laugh as well.

Some of them may be in many games, but I just put them under whichever one I first encountered it in.

PG-13 alert! Some of the humour is surprisingly adult-oriented. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

Red, Blue and Yellow (+ FR/LG)

"I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear!"

This classic Youngster quote has become a meme, with the subsequent references back to this quote perhaps funnier than the quote itself. Regardless, the Youngster trainer class's amusing obsession with shorts has been there since the beginning: there is also another one on the same route who tells you, "Hey! You're not wearing shorts!" as he challenges you, apparently mortified by the idea.


The old man who lies in the middle of the street blocking your way until he's gotten his coffee seems a bit extreme, doesn't he... until you realize that in the Japanese versions, he had passed out from drinking. In the translation, the situation is amusingly absurd: why would he lie in the middle of the street waiting for coffee to come to him there?

Pikapika (Yellow only)

Most of the things Pikachu does in Yellow are mildly humourous:

  • If you talk to Pikachu just after it's learned Thunderbolt or Thunder, it will test the attack on you. Ash much?
  • If you talk to Pikachu just after catching a Pokémon, it will say "Pi Pikachu!" and attempt to give you a V sign with its paw.
  • If you talk to the Jigglypuff in the Pewter city Pokémon Center, Pikachu will fall asleep and you'll have to wake it up.
  • The first time you step into the Pokémon Fan Club in Vermilion City, Pikachu will experience love at first sight when it eyes the Clefairy that one of the people has and will give you a brief sneak peek at how much Pikachu will love you after a while of playing.
  • If Pikachu is particularly mad at you, it may turn its back to you.
  • If you talk to Pikachu just after healing it when it has fainted, it will give you a scolding "Pikaaa..." and look at you like it's all your fault.

The Infamous Truck

The developers inserted a truck on a pier near the S.S. Anne in R/B/Y, only accessible if you get Cut without leaving the S.S. Anne and then return when you have the Surf HM and the Fuchsia City Gym badge, and this little easter egg subsequently fueled massive rumours about having Mew hiding under it, which could somehow be uncovered if you used Strength. Of course there was nothing to these rumours and the truck couldn't be moved - but in FireRed and LeafGreen, the pier with the truck also has a hidden Lava Cookie, likely a subtle reference to the rumours of secrets hiding on this normally inaccessible pier.

Chansey Dance! (FR/LG only)

On Seven Island, there is this wonderful little house with a guy who wants you to "Do the Chansey Dance!", which consists of taking a couple of steps in place and turning in a circle while some silly music plays. It is delightfully ridiculous, especially since doing this dance magically heals your Pokémon to full health. One has to wonder why there isn't just an option called "CHANSEY DANCE" on the menu instead of all those pesky Pokémon Centers.

Big Heracross! (FR/LG only)

On Six Island, after you Surf up from the right side of the island and get on the next island, there is a house in which there is a woman who likes Heracross disturbingly much. Her dialogue, exact quote: "Hera, hera, HERACROSS! Big and shiny, it's the bug boss! Love it, need it, HERACROSS!" And, guess what, she wants to see big ones. With big horns that are *cough* not phallic in any way.

When you actually bring her a Heracross... exact quote: "Eeeeek! That's a HERACROSS! Please, please, may I measure how big it is?" And then she measures it: "Eeeek, it's 61.6 inches! I've never seen anything like this! You deserve a reward!" Then she will give you your reward (I got a Nest Ball; I'm not sure if that's what you always get) and then, just to make things even more disturbing, she says, "I want to see a much, much bigger HERACROSS than that one. Oh, how I adore them, big HERACROSS!"

Freud would have a field day with this woman.

I've never lost! (FR/LG only)

There is a Gamer on Route 11, east of Vermilion City (Gamer Dirk, to be precise; he's in the bottom right corner of the route), who, when you challenge him for the first time, tells you, "Fwahaha! I've never lost!" Naturally, you then defeat him. If you use the VS Seeker to rebattle him, however, his introduction will be "Fwahaha! I've never lost! ...And if I did, I've forgotten all about it!" Got a snicker out of me.

Still More Shorts (FR/LG only)

If you go to the Pokémon Trainer Fan Club in Saffron City after beating the Elite Four, there is a Youngster there who will be your fan and asks you for an autograph when you talk to him, suggesting you autograph his shorts.

Also there, in the back room, is a woman who says, "Master KOGA is so dignified... He is so my type. Why can't the others see the dignity he simply oozes?" Oozing dignity. Hmm. Interesting image...

Goldeen need log? (FR/LG only)

The passwords to the Rocket Headquarters on Five Island are "GOLDEEN need log" and "Yes, nah, CHANSEY". Obviously, those are some of the most utterly random-looking passwords in the world... until you realize that they're Pokémon palindromes. I didn't notice that until someone pointed it out to me. o_O Either way they're amusingly ridiculous.

Don't try anything funny in the dark!

A Picnicker in Rock Tunnel tells you, "Ew! Don't try anything funny in the dark!" One could interpret "trying anything funny" to be reasonably innocent, if not for that "Ew"...

Full of women...

Outside the Celadon City Gym, there is an old man peeking in through the window, who says, "Heheh! This GYM is great! It's full of women!" They aren't always so subtle with the pervy references!

Even more amusingly, in HG/SS this guy says the Gym is "full of strong trainers" instead. Apparently that kind of thing isn't allowed anymore.

Missingno. Reference (FR/LG only?)

In the Vermilion City Gym, the aide will tell you before you battle that Electric-types are strong against "BIRD/WATER type POKéMON". Now, there is no Bird type... except in Red and Blue, where it was a glitch type only used for Missingno. and probably a predecessor of the Flying type that we have now.

Gundam Reference

I wouldn't know, but I'm told that there is a Pokémaniac in Rock Tunnel who says, "Pokémon Fight! Ready... Go!" Which is apparently a Gundam reference.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

A Hiker in Rock Tunnel tells you "Hit me with your best shot!" when you battle him, and when you beat him, he says "Fired away!" This is apparently a reference to a Pat Benatar song.

Ramblin', Gamblin' Man (R/B/Y only)

A Gambler on Route 8 will tell you, "I'm a ramblin', gamblin' dude!", which is probably a reference to Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man".

Dropped my balls...

There's a Juggler in Koga's Gym who tells you upon defeat, "Oops! Dropped my balls!" This should not need explaining.

Le strong silent type!

On the S.S. Anne, a waiter offers to serve you anything you please. This is followed by a series of ellipses, and then he says, "Ah! Le strong silent type!", referencing your status as a (mostly) silent protagonist.

Also on the S.S. Anne, there is a guy by one of the trash cans who is crying and sniveling... because he always has to peel the onions.

Gold, Silver and Crystal (+ HG/SS)

More Shorts

The "comfy and easy to wear" Youngster is still standing in the same place he was three years ago. This time, he will tell you, "I wear shorts the whole year round." Yes, we gathered.

Call Me Shorts Boy (HG/SS only)

Another Youngster standing near him, Youngster Regis, will tell you as he challenges you, "Youngster? How rude! Call me Shorts Boy!"

Smilie Elm

If you look at Professor Oak's PC in his lab in Pallet Town in G/S/C, you will see an e-mail message from Professor Elm, signed with "ELM in NEW BARK TOWN 8-)". Yes, including the smilie. It's oddly cute.

A Winner Is You!

Earl the teacher speaks pretty broken English generally, but the highlight would have to be when he asks "Want to be a winner is you?" A bit later he also says "Teach you, I will!", which sounds amusingly Yoda-esque, but may not necessarily be a Star Wars reference.

Just a Souvenir Shop (HG/SS only)

The sign outside the souvenir shop that hides the Mahogany Rocket hideout will tell you, "Just a Souvenir Shop, Nothing Suspicious about It, No Need to Be Alarmed." Apparently Team Rocket aren't very good at being inconspicuous. In the originals, the sign was just advertising Ragecandybars.

Why So Serious? (HG/SS only)

In the basement where Team Rocket is hiding the Radio Tower director, you battle your rival. When he sends out his final Pokémon, he will say, "Hey, hey! Why so serious?" This could just be a coincidence, or it could be a Dark Knight reference. Your choice. You've got to admit it works pretty well when that last Pokémon is his Haunter.

The World is Small! (HG/SS only)

In the Global Terminal in Goldenrod, there is a fat man standing on the left side of the room near the giant globe who says, "Such a small world it is, eh? Eh? Wait, this is a miniature? The real Earth is millions of times bigger than this? Whoaaaaaaaa!" Got a snorfle out of me, in any case.

No Ladies? (HG/SS only)

In the Global Terminal's second floor, Box Data and Dress-Up Data, there is a guy standing near the top left who will say, "Why? It's not fair! Why are there only shots of Pokémon? Why aren't there any shots of ladies? I call discrimination!" Note that this is the dress-up floor.

You All Look the Same to Me (HG/SS only)

When you meet with Steven Stone in Vermilion City, he will tell you about the people who have challenged him, saying that "they all looked the same, especially the ones who gave me really tough battles". He is obviously referencing the fact that he was beaten by millions of kids who all looked like Brendan or May. Classic.

Quite Agreeable for a Kid

When Fisherman Ralph calls you for a battle, he'll go right from the offer to "You'll do it! You know, for a kid, you're quite agreeable," probably lampshading the fact you're normally not given the option to simply refuse things like rematch offers.

I Look Like a Slowpoke! (HG/SS only)

Outside the Safari Zone in HG/SS, at the lower right, there's a woman with a Slowpoke. If you talk to her, she will gush about the cuteness of Slowpoke and then add, "People often say that I look like one!" Somehow I don't think they meant it as a compliment.

But I Thought You Were Mute! (HG/SS only)

If you're walking on Routes 26 or 27, talking to your Pokémon may bring up the message, "[name] seems to be a bit nervous... Would you like to say something?" If you say yes, the Pokémon will jump, startled, and it will say, "Waah! Your Pokémon is acting very surprised!" - probably because, well, as a mostly-mute protagonist, you never say anything (other than yes or no).

The Slow Train

Before the Magnet Train gets up and running, if you talk to the conductor inside the building in Goldenrod, he will say, "The train hasn't come in...I know! I'll carry the passengers on my back! ...That won't work." Why, no, it won't.

Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald

Barboach... and Shroomish?

Remember the two guys in Sootopolis who want to see big Barboach and Shroomish? I mean, my reaction when I talked to them was, "Well, okay, Barboach, keeping to the whole 'measuring big fish' thing... but why the heck Shroomish of all things?"

Now look carefully at the shape of Barboach and the shape of Shroomish, and figure out why somebody would want big ones.


I can just picture this conversation happening in the Game Freak staff's group chat:

GameFreak: Okay, let's make somebody like the Magikarp dude who will measure your big fish Pokémon.
GameFreak: Something like Barboach.
StaffMember: ...
SomeGuy: ...
StaffMember: A guy who wants to see big Barboach.
SomeGuy: You dirty bastard.
GameFreak: Wh-
GameFreak: DAMN.
StaffMember: What would Freud say about that?
GameFreak: That was so not intentional.
SomeGuy: Then he also has a straight brother who wants to see big Shroomish.
GameFreak: Oh, dear.
StaffMember: Guys. Let's do it.
GameFreak: ...are you insane?
GameFreak: The parents would murder us.
StaffMember: Come on. Nobody will notice.
SomeGuy: Heh, that actually would be fun...
GameFreak: No way, dude.
SomeGuy: Honestly, it would be hilarious.
StaffMember: And if somebody notices we can just say it was a coincidence. *whistle*
GameFreak: When you get sued, tell them I told you not to.
SomeGuy: We will.

...okay, maybe it was just a coincidence, but if it was it's a pretty damn hilarious one. Shroomish is just so very random if this is not intentional that I can't quite buy it.

"I collect official POKÉMON EMERALD licensed merchandise."

The trendy phrases you can set in Dewford Town are nothing but one humongous piece of self-satire. You talk to some guy and tell him a random thing (a possible selection is the name of the game you're playing; if you're feeling a little more dirty-minded, you can always try the popular ADULT TOYS) is "in", and the moment you do so everybody in town is harping on about it - all the way until you tell them something else is "in", at which time they will immediately ditch everything having to do with the previous thing. This serves no purpose in the game or storyline (after all, the trendy phrases themselves don't define the Feebas tiles, and they could have made any event they felt like reset them), but draws a clear parallel with Pokémon itself, which after all is a prime example of something that suddenly became "in" and gained ridiculous popularity ("From this day on, our lives will revolve around POKÉMON EMERALD!") before it was (partly) replaced by whatever "in" thing came next ("POKÉMON EMERALD" is, like, so last week!")

Yes Town?

In the Pokémon games, it is never possible to answer questions with anything but YES or NO, and R/S/E parodied this by putting a guy in Pacifidlog Town (the house on the left of the Pokémon Center) who asks you "Where did you come from?" And lo and behold, your answer possibilities are still the perfectly nonsensical YES and NO. If you answer YES, he will reply "Yes? YES TOWN? I've never heard of a place like that." If you answer NO, he will say, rightly, "No? That doesn't make any sense. You have to come from somewhere. Oh! Wait! You're not going to say you were born at the bottom of the sea?" The poor guy will never find out where you really came from, since you are forever doomed to be unable to answer his question.

"You should rest again..."

Both R/S/E (near the desert) and D/P (near Stark Mountain) have contained a creepy old lady in whose house you can rest to heal your Pokémon. However, the moment you wake up, she will not just say, "Good luck," or, "Go on now, child," or whatever other sensible thing she might say to send you off: she will tell you that you still look tired and should rest your Pokémon again. If you are just mashing the A button, you will be stuck in an infinite loop of healing from here on, because to escape from this lady it is necessary to actually select NO (and she will still try to convince you to stay). (Elsewhere in the game it is possible to get into an infinite loop if you keep selecting NO, but this is the only place where this happens with YES.) I think everybody who has played Pokémon has managed to accidentally heal their Pokémon at least three times in a row the first time they came across this lady. Obviously, the idea here is to gently mock the hospitality of kindly old ladies and the general concept of the random person in a house who insists you take a rest there.

The Name Rater

The Name Rater is generally pretty tongue-in-cheek - no matter what you name your Pokémon, he will say it's a better name than before, and even the silliest of your friends' nicknames he will praise like there's no tomorrow - but the most hilarious part is that when you go to him with a Pokémon, ask him to change its name and then nickname it the exact same thing it was called before, he will say that "It looks just the same as before, but yet it is vastly superior!" I don't know which games he does this in, but at least he does in R/S/E.

Battle Tower Phrases

The trainers in the Battle Tower all say phrases made up from the same vocabulary of words that you can choose for trendy phrases and so on, and they get pretty ridiculous, such as "I AM HUNGRY POUND MY BELLY DRUM".

Empathic Shorts (Emerald only)

Emerald references the infamous shorts youngster with this hilarious Match Call phonecall from Youngster Calvin (courtesy of Larissa, who unlike me had the sense to copy this down):

Yay! This is Calvin!
What's up?
I might be imagining this, but when I win battles, my shorts seem to feel, like, better. Materially.
What do I mean by that?
It's kind of hard to explain, but...
How would I say this now...
My shorts feel silkier!
And when I battled you, [trainer name], my shorts felt icky and coarse.
... ... ... ... ... ...
You didn't really believe that?
Ehehehe, that's all! Bye now!

There are no words.

Rare Footprints

In the beginning of R/S/E, when you get to Oldale Town, the route west to Petalburg City is blocked by a man who claims to be sketching the footprints of a rare Pokémon. When you've battled your rival in the north, you'll be able to get past him, but if you talk to him then, he will tell you that... it turns out they were only his own footprints. Maybe he thought it was a Tangela, given how they appear to wear sneakers.

What a Trainer Needs (Emerald only)

In the Battle Frontier in Emerald, there is a guy who says the following when talked to: "What a TRAINER needs... Knowledge... Strategy... Luck... Guts... Spirit... Bravery... And ability... Well, I'm all set in every way! I'll be unstoppable in every building! Huh? POKéMON? What's that?"

Sweet Kiss... or Doubleslap? (Emerald only)

In the Battle Frontier in Emerald, there is a woman who says when you start the battle that you will get a prize if you win. If you lose, she will say "HERE IT IS A SWEET KISS FROM MY JYNX". If you win, she will give you a DOUBLESLAP instead. Fun.

Hot trainers, oh, yeah! (Emerald only)

On Mt. Chimney, there is a Hiker who says (before you battle him), "This is one fine mountain, there are many hot trainers for company!" No need to misunderstand this, right? ...except that he is on a double battle team with a Beauty. Hmm.

This "Scott" person (Emerald only)

Normally when you register a trainer in the PokéNav, the message just says, "Registered [name] in the POKéNAV." However, when you first register Scott in your PokéNav in Emerald, you hardly know him, and accordingly, the message is more hesitant: "Registered this SCOTT person in the POKéNAV."

Illiterate Aqua

At least in Emerald, outside the Oceanic Museum when Team Aqua are blocking your entrance, the grunt in front of the sign will offer to read it to you, but he is apparently only barely literate, because he can only manage one line of it.

Another Aqua member likens it to standing in line for a "smash-hit game", and yet another says he "should have brought [his] Game Boy Advance". Apparently they're gamers too.

Pedo Black Belt? (Emerald only)

Inside the Battle Palace, there is a Black Belt in the middle of the floor. When you talk to him, after he talks about his battling strategy, he will say, "Every so often a cute lady swings by here. She says that she can tell what POKéMON are thinking. I don't know about that part, but she is really cute. Huh? Why are you looking at me like that?"

Why indeed? Well, the "lady" he's referring to is the little girl inside the rightmost house in the main Battle Frontier area. We don't know precisely how old she is, but she is very tiny, and she likes to use the word "ouchies". I can't say I blame the player character for giving him a bit of a look.

Diamond, Pearl and Platinum

My Pokémon Is Fight!

There is a hilarious painter west of Hearthome City who, after you battle him, tells you that the battle will become a "masterpiece painting" titled... wait for it... "My Pokémon Is Fight"! The initial reaction one would have is probably "What the hell?", but it is in fact referencing the book "My Tank Is Fight!" by Zack Parsons of SomethingAwful fame. The main translator of the Pokémon games up to HG/SS, Nob Ogasawara, was a SomethingAwful member, which likely explains that and other instances of Internet slang in the game.

Even the Gym guide becomes tired of his job sometimes...

If you talk to the Gym guide (the guy standing by the statue near the entrance to the Gym) in Hearthome City after beating Fantina, he will congratulate you as they always do - but finishes it off with a grudging " do realize I say that to everyone, right?", implying that in reality he's not all that impressed. A fresh breath from all the other Gym guides who do nothing but tell you how wonderful you are.

Hardcore cosplaying, eh?

One of the junior trainers in Volkner's Gym is wearing a Pikachu suit so that he looks like a Pikachu when you talk to him. When you do so, he will, hilariously, say, "Look at the way I'm dressed. Can't you see that I'm hardcore?"

Yes. He is very hardcore.

A guard you can't bribe

We all remember those thirsty Saffron City guards who needed to be bribed with a drink. Diamond and Pearl inserted a reference to this in the gatehouse east of Canalave City, where there is a guard standing who will say, when you talk to him, "Boy... I sure am thirsty..." However, bringing a drink with you when you talk to him will not make him spontaneously smell it in your bag and demand to have some, and he does not stop you on the way in or out at any point. It's just a reference.

Sleep Alone

In the Team Galactic headquarters in Veilstone, there is a room in which there are two beds and a sign on the wall between them that says, hilariously, "Team Galactic Nap Room: Ensure the bed is unoccupied before getting into it!" It appears they've been having a problem with Galactic members sleeping together.

Galactic Nerds?

Team Galactic's members occasionally use internet slang - the receptionist in the Galactic Headquarters in Veilstone, for example, will say, "Cosmic energy for the win!", and I'm fairly sure some Grunt said he had been "pwned" (or "owned") sometime after being beaten. This almost exclusively happens in Team Galactic; however...

The Other Nerd

In Diamond and Pearl, the Youngster at the west entrance of Oreburgh City stops you when you first come there and shows you the Gym, apparently because otherwise everyone will think you're a "noob". Team Galactic member in the making, apparently.

The Other Other Nerd

Ace Trainer Caesar in Byron's Gym will also call you a "noob".

The Other Other Other Nerd

Fisherman Miguel will say "Fishing for the win!"

Shady Massages

The woman in Veilstone who massages your Pokémon will ask, "Which one needs a little love?" when asking which Pokémon she should massage, and when you pick one, she says, "Giggle... OK, let's get started. OK, sweetie, just relax..." As if giggling like that when you give her your Pokémon and calling it "sweetie" weren't enough, if you actually refuse to let her massage your Pokémon, she will say, "Oh! Hey, I'm not doing anything shady..." which, of course, can only rouse suspicions.

And what's more, if you talk to her after she's already massaged your Pokémon and ask her how you massage Pokémon, she will get all awkward about it: "Tehehe... It's a secret, of course!" Just what is this woman doing to your Pokémon?

Obligatory Shorts Reference

Youngster Ezekiel in the Battle Tower introduces himself with, "I gotta say it, shorts are the best! They remain comfy and easy to wear!" On defeat, he says, "I'll never stop wearing shorts. Not for anybody!"

He even recites the "comfy and easy to wear" phrase. Mweeheehee.


In addition to that, there are two Lasses in the unlinked Mix Battle and Double Battle in the Battle Tower who say "I make it my policy to always wear miniskirts!" and "I love my miniskirt!" So the shorts Youngsters do have female equivalents...

(In Japanese, the name of the Lass trainer class actually is "Miniskirt". Subtle.)

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

In the Veilstone City Department Store, on the top floor, there are two men standing side by side. If you talk to the one on the left, he will say, "Two buff guys standing side by side. That's all. What? What's the problem?" He seems awfully afraid you're going to read something into this.

Uh, there so are rare Pokémon in my trophy garden!

The rich guy who owns the trophy garden below Hearthome City parodizes eccentric rich people. When he is bragging about the elusive Pokémon prancing around his garden and somebody points out that he's lying, he doesn't pretend he misspoke or otherwise try to correct his mistake: instead he just sends his servant out to import some of those rare Pokémon (probably wasting inordinate sums of money in the process) and put them in the garden to essentially retcon his statement to be true. I always found it amusing.

Evil Assistant?

When Professor Rowan has told you to keep your starter Pokémon, Dawn or Lucas will tell you that if you weren't kind to Pokémon, they'd "have" to do something they apparently can't even say. That's amusingly ominous.

Spa Treatments!

The Ribbon Syndicate in Resort Area is a joke in its entirety. In case you didn't know, you're not considered classy enough to come into the building unless you have a Pokémon that has ten Ribbons (something that's rather time- and effort-consuming to do but has no other point). After that, you can go in and... buy more ribbons for your Pokémon. That do absolutely nothing. Really.

Well, okay, there is a point to the building, which is the spa treatment on the top floor, but I'm not done yet. There is no staircase to the top floor, only an elevator. And note that there are only two floors; having a staircase would be dramatically less time-consuming, but the classy Ribbon Syndicate members aren't walking up or down any bloody stairs, are they? No. Instead, they employ a special woman who stands inside the elevator all day and asks you which floor you'd like to go to (even though she is well aware that you want to go to the floor you're not already on, as shown by her puzzled response if you actually select your current floor).

Seriously. That elevator woman is one of the most hilarious people in Pokémon after the shorts-loving Youngster.

And now that we get to the second floor, there are these four creepy women who give you a "spa treatment" that makes the Pokémon at the front of your party like you more. When you agree to this, they will all close in on you in a "MWAHAHAHA THERE IS NO ESCAPE" manner and tell you one of several random baseless claims about the ingredients in whatever they use in the spa treatment just to underline how fancy it is. One has something to do with diamonds, another with pearls, and the others seem just to be something random. Then they're simply... done. And one of them walks away to allow you to leave. It does not actually involve a spa, walking into a mysterious room that could be a spa, or a screen-fade-to-white which could imply time passing during which you could be taken to some sort of a spa. It's just... four women surrounding you and then being done. Uh.

Galactically Genre-Savvy?

A Galactic Grunt at the Veilstone HQ says, "The locked doors only open with a special key. Now, if I was a comedy relief sort of bad guy, I'd tell you... But I really don't know!" Clearly he knows his fair share about bad guys and the fact he is one.

Galactic Dolls

In Platinum (I don't think it's there in D/P), there is a Poké Doll in the bed on the right in the nap room in the Galactic Headquarters. Apparently one of the grunts must have forgotten a toy there.

Sinking the Hook Into 'Em, Eh?

A Fisherman on Route 212 in Diamond and Pearl says after defeat, "If you know any ladies who like fishing, help me sink the hook into 'em!" Is it just me or does the "hook" sound like a euphemism?

A very patient man...

At the beginning of the game, when Professor Rowan is giving you the Pokédex, he will give you one of those But Thou Must questions we all know and love: "Will you use it to record data on all the Pokémon in Sinnoh for me?" If you answer "No", his hilarious response is this:

... ...
... ...
I can stand here without speaking for hours. I'm a very patient man. Let me ask you again, [name].

Tough Guy

In the Lost Tower, there is one of those huge muscly tough guy trainers - a "Roughneck" - and his name is Kirby and he has a Cleffa. Don't tell me you didn't crack up when you battled him.

Tetris Bushes

This is a bit questionable, but the arrangement of the bushes outside the Battle Tower in D/P is suspiciously reminiscent of Tetris blocks.

An artery with its shoes on backwards?

The "stories" you tell the woman in Sunyshore who gives you ribbons if you tell her a different thing each day of the week are clearly designed to offer opportunities for hilarity depending on what word you give her. Just look at the quotes:

  • "You went [X] shopping and paid $777 including tax?"
  • "The [X] had its shoes on backwards?"
  • "One tearful [X]..."
  • "[X] snuggle pillow..."
  • "[X] makes you happy?"
  • "One mean [X] jumps out of a closet."

With the wide variety of words available, a lot of them get priceless results. Gaia, who sent this to me, suggested the word "artery".

Dodgy Maids (Platinum only)

In Platinum, the left corridor of the mansion has the 5-Maid Knockout Exact-Turn Attack Challenge, where you battle five maids with Clefairy and try to do it in an exact number of turns given before you begin. If you complete the challenge successfully, you will get to battle Lady Celeste or Rich Boy Liam. Lady Celeste is not remarkable, but after you beat Rich Boy Liam, he will tell you this gem: "Oh, I'll ask you not to pry into what I'm doing in the back of the mansion. This knowing wink is all you'll get out of me."

Add in the fact that the maids call him "Master Liam" and that maid uniforms are a major fetish in Japan...

Mathematically Challenged

The president of the Pokétch company needs to use the Counter Pokétch app to count your three Pokétch coupons. Yeeeah.

The Hidden Ruler (Platinum only)

In Resort Area in Platinum, there is a pool of water where you can find wild Magikarp of absolutely any level while fishing, from 1 to 100. Yup, a wild level 100 Magikarp. A swimmer in the pool beside the Ribbon Syndicate will babble on about how the hidden ruler of Resort Area lives there, clearly intimidated: "Nobody believes me, but something lurks in the Resort Area..." He is probably talking about the fabled level 100 Magikarp.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

When Fantina's final Pokémon is low on health, she says, "Never give up, never surrender!" This is a catchphrase from the science fiction parody film Galaxy Quest.

Everything is Dreamy

A guy at the TV Station in Jubilife where you can have your picture taken will tell you, "The room at the back is our dreamy fitting room. Once you're done in there, get our dreamy Hiker to take a dreamy photo!" Hikers are dreamy? If you say so...

Roxy and Oli

Roxy and Oli are interviewers who use a Wooper and a Marill respectively in Diamond and Pearl. Roxy's English name comes from the main character in a SomethingAwful Let's Play of Pokémon Crystal, who also used a Wooper as her main Pokémon. In Platinum, the names remain, although by then they use different Pokémon.

Black and White

Yeah, That Sounds Pretty Stupid

In the Battle Subway, one of the trainers you may encounter is a Waitress whose introductory phrase is the hilariously self-aware "Meow, meow, it's a battle, meow! (That sounds stupid, doesn't it?)"

Another trainer tells you his shiny bald head is a secret, and that you should have one too. Yeeah.

Not Shorts

A Youngster Kevin in the Nimbasa Court, going against the normal trend of Youngsters, opens battle with "These are not shorts! These are half-pants!" and closes it with "You were so strong that my half-pants almost fell down!"

You're Just Jealous

One Team Plasma Grunt in Black and White insists upon defeat that you're just jealous of their cool uniforms. Yeah, right.

Black 2 and White 2

Comfy and Easy to Wear Yet Again

On the northernmost pier in Humilau City, there is a woman who says, "This dress is comfy and easy to wear..." I love how the official translations keep on referencing the meme.

And Don't Call Me Shirley!

During the Memory Link flashback "Taking it to The Next Level", Elesa discusses her image with Skyla, worrying that people think she's no fun and suggesting she start telling more jokes. She makes a few terrible sample puns (like "Cofagrigus is so cool! Don't you *cough* agree, Gus?" and "You bought those fossils from Clay? Did you buy them on Clay-away?"), insisting that by virtue of their badness, it will be more likely to lighten the mood. But the crowner is when Skyla asks, "Hey, as long as we're hanging out, surely you wouldn't mind having a Pokémon battle with me, right?" and Elesa responds, "You bet! And don't call me Shirley!" This is a reference to the 1980 disaster movie parody Airplane!, which not even people who were college-age when Pokémon first came out would have been old enough to see in theaters on its release. And note that this is Skyla's flashback, and that the movie is about an emergency on an airplane. The translation team had a lot of fun with this one.

Self-Aware Blockades

The Pokémon games, like most RPGs, feature temporary obstacles blocking the player's path to areas they haven't visited yet that then disappear when the player has completed certain parts of the storyline. Black and White 2, however, took this to a new level of self-parody when one such blockade consists of a group of men who line up in the middle of a gatehouse and, when you talk to them, will singsong "Today, we're dancing for no reason. Someday we'll disappear for no reason."

X and Y

Return of the Youngster

Early in X and Y, a Youngster asks you before battle, "Hi! Wanna know why I always wear shorts when I walk through the tall grass?" When you beat him, he will triumphantly announce, "Because they're comfy and easy to wear!" The localizers had fun.

Over 9000

In another spot, a Psychic will, upon defeat, say that your Pokémon's power level was over 9000.

Colosseum and XD

Exposing Fake Cheats

If you set up an instant battle in Pokémon XD, you might get Beauty Ogoin, who will say, "'There's no Pokémon under a truck; maybe you'll only find a Muk!' I'm writing a song! What do you think?" This is an obvious reference to the infamous "Get the S.S. Anne to stay so you can Surf to an island with a truck, and push the truck with Strength to find Mew!" cheat from the R/B/Y days.

Crossdressing Silva

In Pokémon XD, Silva likes to let slip some rather interesting information about himself:

I get this feeling that the Orre Region's becoming more tense and fearful. It'd be great if my gut impression is wrong, but... If my impression is right, it's no time for silliness like dressing up in costumes...

Whoops! That's off the record! Pretend you never heard that, okay? It's not like I said anything like, "I want to wear ladies' dresses."

Some things in life are unbelievable, I guess. If I had to give an example, it'd be as incredible as my hobby of sleeping while wearing my Plusle costume.

Whoops! That's off the record! Pretend you never heard that, okay? It's not like I said anything like, "Plusle is sweetly adorable!"

I love strong guys!

In Colosseum, there is a guy outside Miror B.'s hideout who, when you talk to him, will tell you, "Oh, yeah, I love strong guys. ... Um, when I say 'love', don't get the wrong idea..." Yeeeah.

Daddy Jovi

In Pokémon XD, you can at some point talk to Adon upstairs in the Pokémon HQ Lab and he will tell you, "Jovi and I played house the other day. It was fun! Jovi was the daddy, and I was the mommy. Why don’t you join us next time as the baby?" What is amusing is of course the male/female role reversal and the suggestion that you, "Daddy's" older brother, play the baby.

Kaminko's Inventions

Dr. Kaminko's inventions in Pokémon XD are all humorously designed to be harmful, save for Robo Groudon and Robo Kyogre:

  • a refrigerator that only turns on when somebody is standing in front of it, such that all the food will go bad and yet the owner will always think it's on and working
  • ink that fades away and disappears with time, rendering whatever you wrote with it lost
  • sandals that are designed to be unhealthy and uncomfortable to wear
  • a lightbulb that uses up ten times as much energy as a regular one in the same amount of time
  • a vacuum cleaner that actually just grinds the dust into a finer powder and sprays it back out
  • Pokémon translators that actually mute the Pokémon
  • a TV recorder that cuts off the last ten minutes of the program

I Suppose So, Matey

In Pokémon XD, Gateon Port has two sailors sitting around having a conversation. One of them responds to everything the other says with "I suppose so, matey." Eventually the other gets fed up and asks, "When somebody is talking to you, you should listen to them, right, Matey?", and of course, his friend just responds with "I suppose so, matey."


Female Student

In Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, at the Ranger School, the students are identified only as "Male Student" or "Female Students" when you talk to them. One student in the class next door will actually comment on this, saying, "My name is Female Student... I think not!"


Again in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, there is a guy in Vientown who will tell you the town gets its name from the Spanish word "viento". His name? Webster, as in the dictionary. Fitting.

Professor Hastings' Reckless Youth

Professor Hastings of Shadows of Almia is hilariously shown to have not been very articulate when he was younger: not only was his original name for the Capture Styler the "Capture Loopy-Looper" (he has wisened up by the time the game happens: "Loopy-Looper? What was I thinking?"), but he also misspelled his own name as "Hatsting" and "Hatagnits" when excited.

Remember something not here?

I'm certain I forgot a bunch of things. By all means contact me with your favorite moments of Pokémon in-game humour. Remember, I am looking for things that are generally somewhat subtle and sufficiently amusing to be noteworthy, so I might not find your submission warrants being put here. Also note that to count as in-game humour, it needs to be something that can plausibly be argued to be a deliberate joke, not just something that happened on your game that you found funny (it is not in-game humour if your Magikarp beat your friend's Mewtwo in a link battle), something that is clearly just a result of laziness or the limitations of the system (it is not in-game humour that every TV in Pokémon Colosseum is showing the same news that always say the same thing until you've completed the next bit of storyline) or something that gets its humour value simply from the player's input (it is not in-game humour if you name your character "Idiot" and think the resulting dialogue is amusing, when if you'd entered a regular name there wouldn't be anything funny about it).

Page last modified November 22 2020 at 02:41 UTC