Pokémon is a long-running video game franchise and anime that's become a source of nostalgia and comfort for millions of people across the world. The Pokémon property was created in 1995 by Satoshi Tajiri and was heavily inspired by his childhood adventures and imagination.
The initial releases of Pokémon Red and Green version, not only sold millions of copies, but helped fuel the creation of the anime, movies, trading cards, and more. Pikachu has not only become the face of Pokémon but is a cultural icon as recognizable as Disney's Mickey Mouse. When a franchise or property grows to be the size of what Pokémon has become it's bound to create communities of theory crafters and fan fiction creators. Considering there's such a wide pool of media to choose from it's no surprise that countless numbers of theories and threads pop-up on a frequent basis. Pokémon was initially created to spark wonder and adventure in children, but as those children grow up they tend to look for deeper meaning in many aspects of Pokémon. Sifting through these theories it's easy to see that some of them are rooted in a ton of fact and correlation as well as there being a couple of theories or two that are nothing more than a dreamer's dream.
We're going to be covering only fifteen of the hundreds of theories related to the vast world of Pokémon. Some of them will be old favorites that you've probably heard before, but hopefully, there's more than a couple that will leave you scratching your head.
15 Quite Shocking!
Speaking of ghostly possession, let's talk about the earliest and most popular theory surrounding the ability for ghost-type Pokémon to create brand new species and a whole new life via possession. Ever since its first appearance, Voltorb has drawn countless comparisons to a pokéball. They're the same colors and, if we're being honest, Voltorb is obviously a pokéball with Haunter eyes drawn on it. The Voltorb theory simply suggests that: since Haunter is known for being a bit of a trickster that it often tries to scare people by possessing their pokéballs. It seems that they manage to do frighten trainers but at the cost of becoming a living pokéball. It also explains Voltorb's angry nature and likelihood to self-destruct. It's simply Haunter trying to escape the result of a poorly thought out prank.
14 Mt. Moon Theories
When it comes to Mt. Moon, there's a new theory crafted and posted to the internet every single day. I'm going to discuss the 3 most popular and equally plausible theories and you can make your own judgments. The first Mt. Moon theory suggests that Mt. Moon is actually an inactive volcano that erupted a long time ago and the results of the eruption were magma covering certain areas of the volcano and surrounding area and the name of the city closest to Mt. Moon, Pewter City. The second theory is that a meteor hit Mt. Moon and not only deposited moonstones, but killed all of the Pokémon living in the mountain, turning them into fossils. The last theory is that Clefairy and Clefable are aliens that colonized Mt. Moon and brought moonstones with them.
13 It's All In The Mind
People tend to section this under theories, but I would personally consider this a simple correlation. Pokémon has done a fantastic job of creating strengths and weaknesses between Pokémon that are mostly based on scientific fact and/or theory. We all know that fire's weak to water, water is weak to electricity, and bugs are weak to birds. When it comes to psychic-type Pokémon, it seems that their weaknesses are also rooted in plausibility. A psychic Pokémon is weak to bug, dark, and ghost-type Pokémon. Many people feel that because the psychic class has a lot to do with the brain and mental based moves, that their weakness is rooted in fear. Bugs, ghosts, and the dark are some of the most common fears amongst humans, so it's not surprising to draw that correlation during design/development.
12 Same Body, Different Name
As the years go on and newer generations of Pokémon are thrust upon the world, it's not surprising to come across a new Pokémon that shares a relationship with an old favorite. The Pokémon Company tends to do a great job of drawing those connections for you so as to not keep their audience guessing. Genesect, a 5th generation bug-steel type Pokémon, hasn't been a beneficiary of this treatment. Genesect seems to have a direct connection to a generation 1 Pokémon named Kabutops. Their body shapes and physical features are eerily familiar to one another, almost uncanny.
The running theory is that Genesect is a Kabutops that was modified by Team Plasma and turned into a cyborg Pokémon. Here's hoping The Pokémon Company eventually draws the line between the two with a proper evolution line.
11 Hiding In Plain Sight
Here on Earth, we have plenty of examples of animals hiding in plain sight. Animals that have evolved to trick or manipulate their prey and predators in hopes of creating a survival advantage. Now, considering that Pokémon bases a lot of its design on real-life animals, it wouldn't be a shock to see a Pokémon designed with this type of manipulation in mind. This theory states that everyone's favorite Team Rocket comedy relief punching bag Wobbuffet isn't necessarily what he pretends to be. Wobbuffet is comprised of a large bulbous body and a sleek flat body. The theory suggests that the tail with eyes is actually Wobbuffet and the blue body is simply a distraction. It makes a lot of sense considering the eyes and arms never move.
10 Ghostly Possession
Ghost-type Pokémon are easily one of the franchise's biggest question marks in terms of their living state and where they fall exactly. Considering they can reproduce it seems that the ghost in ghost-type is merely a classification due to their spiritual look and apparent ability to possess non-living objects. Reddit user Pandajedi first brought up the theory that these ghost-type Pokémon may be able to possess objects and thus can create entirely new Pokémon. It seems that Litwick, Klefki, and Honedge could fall into this category quite well. There are examples of this possibly being a legitimate theory dating all the way back to the first generation of Pokémon. It will be interesting to see if any other Pokémon pop-up in the next generation to further cement this theory.
9 You Look Familiar
If you're not familiar with N, he is a character introduced in the Pokémon Black & White series and is the leader of Team Plasma. He believes that Pokémon should exist on different worlds as to not disturb the other and let each group live freely. The theory surrounding N is that he is actually a Zoroark, a Pokémon known for portraying themselves as humans. During the Pokémon Black/White 2 games, there's a specific section where a Zoroark helps lead you through a set of complicated ruins. Upon reaching the end the player finds N strangely at the same time in which the Zoroark that helped them randomly disappeared. It makes sense that a Pokémon would fight for two separate worlds. He's witnessed first-hand that it's not always a symbiotic relationship between humans and Pokémon.
8 Ancestral Ties
This is easily one of the most well-known Pokémon theories, and one of the most often discussed amongst fans. Cubone, his evolution, and his somber choice of headwear have been a mystery ever since players took their first steps into Lavender Town. The theory you've probably heard before is that Cubone are the children of Kangaskhan and the ones who lose their parents become Cubone upon wearing their deceased parent's skull. That's an interesting theory but I feel it's been covered quite a bit. Another theory suggests that Marowak/Cubone used to hunt Kangaskhan and the skulls were a tribal marking or symbol of a successful hunt. So it comes down to whether you think Cubone are wearing ancestral headwear or the skulls of their fallen parents.
Speaking of popular theories fans love to discuss. What is Ditto? This is a question that many people have been asking ever since the original Pokémon Red/Green debuted in 1995. Many people felt he was simply a Pokémon that was strongly inspired by Nintendo's Kirby. He's pink, he can transform, and he's oddly cute. There's a trifecta of similar characteristics that can easily support the theory of inspiration. Upon further inspection, however, it seems that his origins are a little more interesting. It turns out that Ditto may actually be a failed clone of Mew. There were only two Pokémon that could use the move transform successfully, Ditto and Mew. The lab in which Ditto is found on Cinnabar Island is also the origin of Mewtwo, Mew's successful clone. It seems that this theory has a very strong case for itself.
Now, this theory holds a special place in my heart considering it involves one of my favorite Pokémon, Gengar. Gengar is a ghost-type Pokémon that shares a lot of physical traits with the fairy-type Pokémon Clefairy. By simply lining each of them next to each other it's obvious that they directly inspired each other in terms of design at some point. Another strange fact supporting this theory is that Gengar is listed in the pokédex as the Shadow Pokémon. People also believe that the name Gengar was likely derived from the term "doppelganger," meaning clone. This theory originated on CreepyPasta and has steadily become a Pokémon theory likely to spark up an interesting conversation at the very least amongst a group of friends or Pokémon enthusiasts.
5 Not My Pikachu!
If there's one thing synonymous with the animated Pokémon show, it's the relationship between Ash and his Pikachu. From the very beginning of the show, viewers are introduced to the dynamic between the two. Ash wants to be the greatest trainer of all-time and hopes to grow Pikachu into a partner that can help him accomplish said feat, whereas Pikachu is a bit annoyed by Ash and goes out of its way to ignore and defy all of Ash's orders and advice. During the second episode of the show Ash, along with an army of Pikachus, helps restore power with the use of each Pikachu's electrical power. Some fans speculate that Ash's original Pikachu gets swapped for another by accident and is the explanation as to why Pikachu quickly comes around to Ash.
4 Is This Purgatory?
Many Pokémon theorists love to take the kid friendly property to a very dark and sometimes terrifying place. There's a common reoccurring event that happens throughout the animated show which involves Team Rocket's repeated failed attempts at capturing Pikachu and defeating Ash Ketchum. One theory suggests that Jesse, James, and Meowth are serving a never-ending sentence as punishment for a heinous crime they committed. What is the crime in question you may ask? According to the theorist, they killed a Pikachu while trying to rob it from its trainer, who committed suicide due to the loss. This explains their repeated failed attempts as a way to correct their wrong, and would also provide an excellent explanation as to why Ash never ages and Pikachu never evolves.
3 Blue's Raticate
With the top 3 theories, we're probably entering the realm of theories you've more than likely heard by now. The story of how Blue's Raticate mysteriously disappeared somewhere along the journey of Pokemon Red/Green seemed like a mystery that would never be solved. That was until people started piecing together Blue's choice of dialogue when you encounter your childhood rival upon your arrival in Lavender Town near Pokémon Tower. According to some Blue asks Red before their fight "what is it like for Pokémon to die before they battle each other" and it seems like a big clue. Despite the odd wording, it seems that Red's battle with Blue on the S.S. Anne might have left Blue without a timely way to heal his injured Pokémon and resulted in the death of his Raticate.
2 The Great Pokemon War
People often wonder why the world of Pokémon's human population is so oddly proportioned. It seems to be the world in which many kids only have one parent at best, and the number of middle-aged men is disturbingly low. Many Pokémon fans believe that there was a large war, sometimes titled The Great Pokémon War, that happened before the events of Pokémon Red/Green, and Ash's generation is the first to grow up in the post-war era. After talking to Lt. Surge, the electric gym leader, he tells you how electric Pokémon saved his life during the war. Other clues that support this theory are the lack of mid-20's to middle-aged adults as well as the lack of entertainment focused establishments for people. During a war, the only things funded tend to be necessities for survival.
1 Asleep At The Wheel
We've finally arrived at the most popular, heartbreaking, and dark Pokémon theory of them all. Ash is actually in a coma for the entirety of the animated show, well maybe not the entirety. The theory suggests that in the second episode where Ash is electrocuted he actually falls into a coma. Then from that point on everything Ash experiences are repressed parts of his mind and psyche he must overcome to wake up. People believe the reason why Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are recurring characters that look alike are that they are the last people Ash interacted with before falling under. They represent familiarity with who he was. Team Rocket apparently represents the evil in Ash, Brock represents his sexual repression, Misty represents his anger, and Pikachu his humility. What a fascinating theory.