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15 Things That Make No Sense About The Pokémon Universe (And 10 Fan Theories That Do)

Pokémon are great, but I don't know what I would do with them in the real world. I mean sure, life could theoretically be easier with a giant bird like Zapdos you could take to work, or I guess anywhere. But if I had a Pokémon then that means they are real and that then means the world could turn into a disaster at any minute. How does this fictional universe not have wars going on at all times? These creatures are basically magical bombs you can capture easily, and cheaply too. Of course, there are nefarious organizations like Team Rocket around, but they're not really a threat. These syndicates constantly get beaten by ten-year-olds, so I would call that not a problem.

Basically, what I'm trying to get at is that while Pokémon is a cool franchise, be it the games or anime, there's a lot of things that don't make sense. That said, you can't exist for over two decades without fans coming up with some theories to answer burning questions like: how does Ash Ketchum not age, what exactly are ghost Pokémon, and what's in a Pokéball? I touch on some of these dilemmas and more for the purposes of this article. Unlike most, I structured this as sort of a question and answer segment. Hopefully, it will flow as well as it does in my mind. There are, of course, some questions that can't be answered too. Do you have a theory about those? Let us know in the comments and enjoy!

25 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Doesn’t Ash Age?

Polygon

The Pokémon anime has been going for well over a thousand episodes by now. It even changed animation studios so the quality has gone up with no end in sight. On that fact alone, Ash actually looks younger. How? How can time pass without him aging? The simple answer is, don't think about it, nerd, this is a cartoon for kids. While that may be true, there are some theories that could explain how Ash has stayed so young.

24 Theory: Ash Is In A Coma

Satoshipedia

I could get into the clone theory, but everyone knows clones ruin everything. Do you hear me Attack of the Clones? Anyway, a more popular theory thinks Ash has been in a coma since episode one. He did suffer a massive shock, literally, from Pikachu. This could all be a dream. That's pretty elaborate. I mean, shouldn't a dream be good? Why does he lose so often in his dreams? I guess this must be a nightmare. When in doubt, make up a dream, or coma theory.

23 Doesn’t Make Sense: How Can Pokémon Like Klefki Exist?

Fandom

There's a lot of dumb Pokémon out there and I'm not talking about useless ones like Bidoof, or Magikarp either. I'm more referring to inanimate objects like Klefki who, if you've been hiding under a boulder, is literally a keychain. Wow. So cool. Hold me back.

I know there is over 800 Pokémon by now so when the creators hit a stump and created Pokémon like Klefki, they should have called it quits. Is there a reason why inanimate objects could be Pokémon?

22 Theory: Pokémon Are The Result Of War

Fandom

Yes, there actually is a reason why Klefki can exist. There's a theory that posits the possibility of the Pokémon universe being the result of a nuclear war. Shouldn't that have made the terrain into a desolate, wasteland? At first, yes, but who knows how long ago this could have happened. In a thousand years, everything would be pretty peachy. Everyone might have even forgotten Pokémon are just mutated beasts. How else could you explain Klefki? Go on. I dare you to try.

21 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Can’t You Catch Starters?

Game Rant

It seems that the bulk of the work for new Pokémon, with each new generation, goes into creating cool starters. After that, the artists can get pretty lazy. That's another topic, but for now, let's explore an important question. Why is it so hard to get starters? Why do Pokémon Professors only have them? It seems kind of weird to hog these rarities to themselves only to hand them off to ten-year-olds. Shouldn't they be kept safe, or in pens? Well, there's more to it.

20 Theory: Starter Pokémon Are Extinct Species

Fandom

What if starter Pokémon were all extinct species? I know that seems weird. After all, it's very coincidental if this were true that they were always fire, water, or grass types. What's the deal? Well, I don't have an answer for that, but I do have this. Each Pokémon Professor, around the world, is given the DNA of three starter Pokémon.

With each new batch of trainers, they cook up some clones. Why not clone more to release into the wild? Maybe nature needed them to become extinct. Maybe they were invasive species. Dark, huh?

19 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Do Wild Pokémon Obey Trainers?

Wired UK

Here's a concept I never questioned before. Wild Pokémon are insanely tough. Why would they ever want to follow a trainer after one battle? Do all Pokémon really have some sort of Samurai level code of honor? It gets more ridiculous when you bring in the god-level Pokémon. Why are they letting a ten-year-old catch them? Are we, the player, some sort of chosen one? I don't buy that for a minute. In the show, catching them doesn't always create loyalty, so this one is more on the games.

18 Theory: Pokéballs Hypnotize Pokémon?

Screen Rant

Well here's a quick thought. What if Pokéballs use hypnosis on Pokémon to make them obey? You know when that red light comes on? That means the brainwashing is in progress. If a Pokémon's will is strong enough, they can break free. Of all these theories so far, and onward, I think this makes the most sense. As for the god Pokémon, well, they should be resistant to those hypo rays, which begs the question. What exactly is a Master Ball? That's a theory for another day.

17 Doesn’t Make Sense: Where Are The Dads?

Kotaku

This question is more for the original two games as this has been more, or less addressed later on in the series. First of all, where is your dad? In most of the games, you only have a mother, which is weird.

The only exception is Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire as your dad is a gym leader. Also, other people have dads that aren't old grandpas. To get into why people think the first games lacked young and middle-aged males, we have to get to the theory.

16 Theory: The Men Perished In War

Fandom

This makes the most sense in the context of the first two games. That's because there is evidence to prove this theory of where the dads disappeared. They went to war. How do we know? Lt. Surge, the Vermilion City gym leader, is a veteran. He has to be a veteran of something, right? He and the other smattering of men his age are all that's left of the male population in Kanto. Maybe Nintendo just wanted to do a reverse Disney so they offed the dad instead of the mom, but that's less fun to think about.

15 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Does Ash Lose So Much?

Bulbagarden

Okay, let's put aside Ash's age. Is he in a coma? Is he immortal? It doesn't matter how he's stayed so young. What really matters is experience. That is to say, how can someone be so bad at training Pokémon when they've been doing it for twenty years? Ash is the worst trainer of all time! He freaking lets his strong Pokémon go in multiple episodes all except for Pikachu who should be like over 9,000 by now. What gives?

14 Theory: Pikachu Is Holding Back

Destructoid

Pikachu alone should be enough to wipe the floor with any Pokémon thrown Ash's way. Like I said before, his level has to be astronomical by now. Here's a theory. What if Pikachu was holding back? What if he knows he's too powerful and cannot control it yet? Unleashing maximum power could destroy the world!

Okay, maybe not the world, but Ash's Pikachu doesn't want to be responsible for destroying other Pokémon by accident. He just wants to live life peacefully with ketchup in hand.

13 Doesn’t Make Sense: Free Health Care, But Potions Cost Money?

Bulbagarden

This is not really a complaint because I wouldn’t want it any other way mechanically. If I had to ask though, why are Pokémon Centers free? Does the Pokémon universe operate on a global free health care economy? If so, that's pretty nice. It must effect humans too because if you lose and pass out in the games, you're brought to a Pokémon Center. So why then do Pokemarts charge money for potions? It seems like a weird mishmash.

12 Theory: Pokemarts Pay For Pokémon Centers

Screenshot

I have an answer for that. Every cent earned at Pokemarts is then put into health care. Think of it like this. In our society, let's say you can go to a doctor and get cured free of charge. That doesn't mean a doctor can come to you at any minute and heal you. That's why we have pain medicine and other pills. So in this universe, potions are a way to treat Pokémon on the go, which also helps out Pokémon Centers. Yeah, that one’s a little rough, but hey, I'm trying.

11 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Can’t Water Pokémon Replenish Deserts?

Fandom

There have been moments in the anime where Ash and his pals are trapped in deserts, begging for water. Uh, why? Don't you have any water Pokémon on hand? The answer is always yes.

There have been other situations where a Pokémon's ability could make episodes end much quicker, but I understand why and how these scripts get structured. I mean, again, there's been over a thousand episodes! Surely we can forgive a few continuity errors, right? Well, there's another answer.

10 Theory: Pokémon Get Their Powers From Nature

Fandom

What if elemental Pokémon gather energy from nature? So if, for example, Ash did bring out his Squirtle in the desert, it wouldn't be able to produce water because the air would be too dry. No water particles in the air, you see. That's an anime theory because it really doesn't seem to matter in the games. There is some proof to this theory. Grass-type Pokémon like Bulbasaur can absorb sunlight in order to use attacks like Solar Beam. It’s not overwhelming evidence, but it’s something.

9 Doesn’t Make Sense: How Can Pokémon Only Learn Four Moves?

Fandom

This question only applies to the games because, well, in the anime I'm pretty sure Pokémon have an infinite amount of moves they can learn. So what gives? Why are the games so far behind in this regard? It's annoying to have HM slaves in your party just so you don't have to waste a bad move on your best Pokémon. That has been fixed with the most recent entries, but HM problems aside, only getting four moves still stinks.

8 Theory: Pokéballs Damage Their Memory

Reddit

In order to answer this query, I'm going to go back to what I said about the Pokéballs. Catching Pokémon with Pokéballs, hypnotizes them, right? Well, what if these rays damage their brain?

That is to say, what if it makes them forgetful as in four moves is the tradeoff you get to owning a creature of power. In that regard, I guess it's a fair trade, but gameplay wise it's still a hassle. I hope that changes soon.

7 Doesn’t Make Sense: How Does A Bike Fit In Your Backpack?

Valleybikes

Ah, the age-old question. Where does all your stuff go in your backpack? This can be applied to so many games where inventory is a problem. Here's the big kicker though. How does something like a bike fit inside your backpack? I guess in the grand scheme of things, having 99 potions in a tiny bag is just as ridiculous as a bike, but it still begs the question. For most games, you just gotta shrug your shoulders, but in this universe, there is framework for an answer.

6 Theory: Backpacks Are Like Pokéballs

NintendoSoup

That is to say, Pokéballs exist. Inside them is some sort of weird vortex, other dimensional portal. How else could Pokémon fit inside them? So why shouldn't this technology be used on other stuff? It's never said that backpacks don't have vortex holes. Maybe bikes work like the capsules in Dragon Ball Z. Maybe everything, even medicine, can be stored in capsule-like pills. Hey, again, they have Pokéballs so the tech is there. Open your eyes to the possibilities.

5 Doesn’t Make Sense: How Are The Pokédex Units Empty?

Fandom

Okay so Professor Oak is supposed to be the greatest mind on the planet, right? Even other professors look up to him. So if he's all that great why does he pass off his research to a child? This research being a blank Pokédex.

Let me retool this question for the real world. What if, at age ten, you're given a smartphone? Cool, right? Here's the catch. There's no information on it. You have to literally scan everything to get data. Boy, what useful fun. Thanks "genius" professor.

4 Doesn’t Make Sense: Whatever Happened To The GS Ball?

Gameplay

Remember the GS Ball arc in the anime? Ash gets it pretty much at the end of the Kanto journey. In order to solve its riddle, Professor Oak says Ash needs to visit Kurt in Johto. He's a famous Pokéball maker. When he gets there even he can't open it. There are a few more instances of Ash trying, but then it goes away. What gives? Well, it was supposed to contain Celebi, which was then retooled for the fourth movie. That's odd considering the films are not canon.

3 Doesn’t Make Sense: How Does Pokémon Mating Work?

iMore

The act of Pokémon mating. Let's talk. There are many factors that just don't add up. How can a Skitty and a Wailord mate? Wouldn't Wailord crush it? Then there are the eggs. Okay, so even the mammal-related Pokémon lay eggs? That's pretty weird. Here's another one. Let's say I mated two Charizards together. You know what I'd get? A Charmander. Wait a minute. I thought my Pokémon evolved? Does mating cause the egg to de-evolve? That doesn't make sense. None of this does!

2 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Does A Bird Need To Be Taught Fly?

Fandom

This can be applied to the whole move set and HM debacle I brought up earlier. This is even more excruciating though. Okay, so bird Pokémon can fly, right? They have attacks that basically cause them to move by flying.

Why then must they be taught the HM to use Fly? While we're at it, how can a tiny bird Pokémon like Pidgey carry me? A ten-year-old is small, but not that small! Maybe Fly makes them go through intense weight training.

1 Doesn’t Make Sense: Why Are Kids Sent Off At 10?

Polygon

And finally, the question most on everyone's minds without many theories bound to it. Why are children, at age ten, entrusted with journeying by themselves in a world filled with monsters? Do parents just hate the idea of kids? Ooo, I wasn't going to hypothesize anything here, but this just came to me. Is the Pokémon universe in some sort of Hunger Games situation where children are forced to become trainers in order to thin out the herd? Well, there you have it. Another dark ending for a Pokémon article.

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