The Pokémon series, primarily being aimed at children, is usually full of lighthearted tales about trainers making the most out of their partnerships with Pokémon. However, this isn't always the case, and Game Freak can actually turn on the feels at times.
While these moments are few and far between, the Pokémon franchise has dealt with the idea of death and loss in the past. Whether you believe it or not, it's there. Because this theme is used so sparingly, the times where the franchise addresses it are extremely shocking and painful at times. It's never easy to see one of these adorable creatures bite the dust.
There are several moments in the anime and games that deal with this concept. If you're extremely emotional, you may want to skip this list. Many cute Pokémon lose their lives. If you're still on board, let's take a look at 15 shocking times where Pokémon actually died.
15 Marowak: Pokémon Red And Blue
Team Rocket is a pretty big joke in the anime, but the games show a different side of them. They've been seen using stolen Pokémon, cutting off Slowpoke tails, and even killing a creature that got in their way.
In Pokémon Red and Blue, you'll eventually make it to Lavender Town. All of the citizens typically travel to the Pokémon Tower there in order to pay their respects to their fallen partners, but something strange is going on and they're being haunted by a ghost. After battling it, you quickly realize that this ghost is the disturbed spirit of a Marowak that was killed by Team Rocket. The only reason it was in the Pokémon Tower to begin with was to warn people that the evil organization was there.
14 Latios: Pokémon Heroes
Near the end of a series of the Pokémon anime, there's always a tease of the generation to come. When the Johto saga was on its last legs, we got one final movie in the form of Pokémon Heroes. The legendary Pokémon featured in this film were the duo of Latios and Latias.
After Ash and his friends become familiar with these two Pokémon, some bounty hunters enter the scene and try to capture them. The result is a massive tsunami headed toward the town. It's then that the older Latios knows that it can save everyone, at the cost of its own life. In one of the bravest and most touching moments of the anime, Latios rushes out and sacrifices itself for the good of the town.
13 Celebi: Pokémon 4Ever
The movie that took place before Pokémon Heroes was Pokémon 4Ever. In it, Ash and co. discover the time traveling fairy Pokémon (not fairy type) known as Celebi. Proving to be an adorable and fun-loving critter, Celebi quickly bonds with the crew.
However, Celebi has a lot of power, and a villain known as the Masked Marauder decides to manipulate that power to destroy the forest. It's only with the help of Suicune that Ash is able to stop it. Unfortunately, the fight took its toll on Celebi, and its little heart couldn't take it anymore. After dying in Ash's arms, it was only by the grace of Celebi from different time periods that it was able to live.
12 Lucario: Lucario And The Mystery Of Mew
One of the better Pokémon movies of the bunch, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew took an ancient tale and combined it with a modern setting to make for an interesting story. In it, an ancient Lucario wakes from his slumber to find that things have changed in the years he had been asleep in a scepter.
It isn't long before the land begins to struggle due to the Tree of Beginning starting to die. It's up to Lucario, Ash, and their friends to save the tree. When they get to its heart, they realize that it can only be saved through the power of aura, which Lucario and Ash both have. They both work to save the tree, but Lucario pushes Ash out of the way at the last second and uses his last moments to rescue everyone. He turns into a crystal, just as his old master did years ago.
11 Stoutland: Sun And Moon Anime
After more details came out regarding the Sun and Moon anime, many people were skeptical that it would be any good. While that remains to be seen, there's no denying that there are some phenomenal episodes so far. One of them involves a heartwarming friendship between a Litten and a Stoutland.
However, things take a turn for the worst when Stoutland becomes very sick. Ash finds and carries it to a nearby Pokémon Center, but even Nurse Joy isn't able to save it. Then, the Litten has to deal with the grief of losing its best friend and discover how to move on in its time of loss. If you love dogs, I strongly recommend you do not watch this episode. It's a difficult one to get through.
10 Looker's Croagunk: Pokémon Platinum
Looker was a quirky detective introduced in Pokémon Platinum. While he seemed to be good at his job in small doses, there is no doubt that he and his Croagunk were an effective team, always watching each other's backs. That having been said, it wouldn't always be that way for Looker.
It's revealed later on that he lost his Croagunk some time ago. What the cause of the little frog's death was, we'll never know. What we do know is that Looker doesn't have the heart to find a new Pokémon partner to replace Croagunk. It's even sadder when you realize he needs a Pokémon in order to do his job properly.
9 Entei: Pokémon 3: The Movie
Another one of the better movies was Pokémon 3: The Movie. In it, a young girl's father goes searching for the Pokémon known as Unown. When they open a portal and cause him to disappear, the young girl becomes severely traumatized. When the Unown visit her, they create a dream world for her where she can be a trainer, live wherever she wants, and her "father" is Entei.
As the Unown grow in strength, it becomes clear that they could destroy the entire region. However, it's Entei who comes to the rescue. Through his strength, he is able to stop the reality that they created. Because he was part of that reality, though, he disappears along with everything else. It's not technically a death, but it's equally sad.
8 Darkrai: Rise of Darkrai
Rise of Darkrai was the first Pokémon movie that took place during the Sinnoh era, and as they were telling a full story arc through this film's series, it had to open with a bang. The town of Alamos is plagued by the eternal war between Dialga and Palkia. The only Pokémon strong enough to deal with it a Dark type known as Darkrai.
As the two massive entities lay waste to the town, Darkrai tries to get in the middle and stop the fighting. Unfortunately, as the fighting intensifies, Palkia fires a Spacial Rend and Dialga shoots a Roar of Time. Darkrai takes them both at full force and loses its life as a result. Thankfully, when the two deities reset the world, Darkrai returns to form.
7 Jessie, James, And Meowth: Diancie And The Cocoon Of Destruction
While we are focusing on the deaths of Pokémon primarily, Meowth is one of those who dies in this event, so I'm counting it here. In Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, one of the legendary Pokémon is known as Yveltal. What's so important about Yveltal? Well, it's the fact that it brings all sorts of destruction just because it wants to.
As Yveltal unleashes its energy on the world, its Oblivion Wing attack is so powerful that it can instantly petrify any poor soul that gets caught in it. Unfortunately, Jessie, James, and Meowth are all victims of this blast. They are instantly killed because of this, but are later brought back to life by Yveltal's counterpart, Xerneas, who is the herald of life.
6 Weavile And Drapion: X And Y Anime
Team Flare has no shortage of operatives, and that's part of what made them a force to be reckoned with in the X and Y anime. Lysandre and his followers worked tirelessly to put together a way to control multiple Zygardes and destroy the Kalos Region.
However, many things went wrong with this plan and many casualties came about as a result. Ash, Alain, Clemont, Serena, and all the gym leaders of Kalos worked together to prevent this disaster, which made for many impressive moments during the series. Among the casualties were a Weavile and Drapion who belonged to some important Team Flare members. After the Megalith formed itself, they were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, leaving them with no way to save themselves. Sad.
5 Meowth: Sun And Moon Anime
It's a shame that Meowth has to be on this list more than once, but his death in the Sun and Moon anime was much darker and more disturbing than the one in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction.
In the show, Jessie catches herself a Mimikyu, which Meowth is a little unsure of. One episode sees Mimikyu swimming in the water without its trademark Pikachu costume. When Meowth catches a glimpse of it, he dies on the spot, and we are then shown a shot of his limp body floating in the water. As if that weren't proof enough, there is later a scene where his spirit re-enters his body and he comes back to life. Yeah, he really only died for a hot minute.
4 Volcarona: Black And White Anime
Becoming the Champion of an entire region can't be an easy task, but it was one that Alder of the Unova Region was determined to accomplish. However, this wasn't due to some desire he had as a child. There is a backstory behind the way he does things in the present day.
When he was younger, his Pokémon partner was a Larvesta, which eventually evolved into a Volcarona. However, Volcarona became sick after a while and passed away. Alder, somewhat blaming himself for the tragedy, vowed that he would become a better trainer to prevent something like that from ever happening again. He felt the best way to do this was to become the champion. If only we could get Ash motivated like that...
3 Magikarp: Magikarp Jump
The Pokémon Company is all about releasing new apps for smartphones and other devices, and the newest one to hit digital stores is Magikarp Jump. As its name suggests, the game has you taking care of a Magikarp to make it jump higher than all of the other Magikarp.
One of the ways you can improve your Magikarp's Jump Power is by training it. However, the training may sometimes trigger an event where you can have your little critter jump for berries and encounter other Pokémon. You may find it shocking that sometimes, this can lead to a Pidgeotto snatching your Magikarp away for dinner or a Voltorb using Self-Destruct to kill your little fish on the spot. It's heavy stuff for a kids' game!
2 Entei, Raikou, And Suicune: Pokémon Gold And Silver
When it comes to the lore of the Pokémon world, you may find some dark secrets. In Pokémon Gold and Silver, you might have noticed a location known as the Burned Tower. Apparently, it was long ago that this building was engulfed in fire and burned to the ground (shocking, I know).
However, it goes a little bit further than that. There were three Pokémon who were caught in the fire at the time and died as a result. Thankfully, the legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh came down and noticed what had happened. Instead of leaving them, Ho-Oh revived them to become the legendary trio known as Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. When you play the games, you will find these three at the Burned Tower. Who says Pokémon doesn't have an interesting continuity?
1 AZ's Floette: Pokémon X And Y
In regard to the story, there's one thing I'll give Pokémon X and Y credit for: they tried and succeeded at tugginf on my heartstrings. While the backstory is convoluted and doesn't make a lot of sense, there is a standout moment that many still remember.
There was a giant man known as AZ who lived during the time of a Pokémon war. Sadly, his lovely little Floette knew that it could stop the fighting, but it died in the process. AZ was torn with grief and decided to build a machine that could revive his beautiful Fairy type, but at the cost of many more lives. When the Floette returned, it knew what AZ had done and left him for years as a result. It wasn't until the final scene of Pokémon X and Y that Floette actually returned to the man.