The first generation of Pokémon games were, for many 90s children, the start of a lifelong obsession with digital monsters. They were the perfect kids games. The protagonist was a 10-year-old who didn’t have to go to school and was allowed to go on fantastic adventures without parental supervision. Kids got to raise and train their own ferocious monsters so they could battle against friends and rivals. However, for as kid-friendly as the games were, there was always this sinister undercurrent.
Even back then, there was something off about the Pokémon games. Lavender Town was really creepy, and attentive kids found some strange Pokédex entries that were less than savory. We didn’t dwell on it too much back then. However, many fans are now full-grown adults and can really appreciate just how warped Pokémon really is. Needless to say, there are a whole host of creepy and horrifying fan theories. Some of them are so convincing, that they might just be true.
Now, for the sake of not starting a flame war because of semantics, here's a really quick Pokémon history lesson. The very first Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green, initially launched back in 1996. However, they were horribly buggy messes. Eight months later, Nintendo released Pokémon Blue. It was an updated version of the first two games and contained all 151 Pokémon. Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue launched in America two years later and used the revamped code of the Japanese Pokémon Blue but kept the separation of the initial games. So the rival in the games is both Blue and Green.
20 The Great Pokémon War
The Pokémon War/Kanto War Theory says that most of the adults died in a war that took place shortly before the start of the first games. Your character is among the first generation to live in peace after the war. It is why there is so much focus on training and battling. There are hospitals, homes, and gyms all over the place, but not much else. It is also why there isn’t much communication between the various regions.
Like most of the good theories, there is plenty of evidence within the game to support this idea. Your character has no father. Your mother calls you the man of the house. The real piece of evidence that solidifies this whole theory is when the gym leader Lt. Surge says: “Hey kid! What do you think you’re doing here? You won’t live long in combat! That’s for sure! I’ll tell you what kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war!”
19 Leftover Items Are From Dead Trainers
Hidden items and buried treasure are just a fact of video games. Sometimes, they are just cosmetic while other times they are insanely useful. Most hidden items in Pokémon fall under the latter category. But, did you ever stop to think how they got there?
It’s hard to believe that someone is simply hiding these mysterious objects. Kuiper on reddit suggests that the items you find are the last remains of trainers who have met unfortunate ends. Except, that’s got to be ridiculous right? I mean, it’s not like there are wild, aggressive, monsters running around and jumping random strangers as they pass. All sarcasm aside, it’s really not hard to imagine wild Pokémon taking out unprepared trainers. A lot of Pokémon are basically murder machines with their ability to breathe fire, create deadly beams of light, or spread literal poison into the air.
18 Ghastly Is A Dead Cloyster
If there is one Pokémon theory that is hotly contested, it is the idea that ghost type Pokémon are the spirits of dead Pokémon. We do know that some ghost type Pokémon are absolutely the spirits of dead humans. However, it’s not really clear if a dead Pokémon becomes one of the ghost-types. Well, that never stopped me!
This particular theory made a few rounds on Tumblr and states that when a Cloyster dies it becomes a Ghastly. Its smiling mouth is nearly identical to a Gengar’s smile. Shellder likes to stick its tongue out, and the Ghastly line is known for their paralyzing tongues. In fact, the Shellder line is right before the Ghastly line in the Pokédex. Cloyster is number 92 and Ghastly is number 93. Because some Pokémon are confirmed to be dead spirits, it’s not exactly an unreasonable theory.
17 Your Dad Is Stalking You
Admittedly, the parents in Pokémon aren’t exactly role models. You already know your mom is scraping a little off the top every time you send her money for “safekeeping.” However, as bad as the mother is in the first games, your dad might be so much worse.
In Pokémon Red and Green/Blue it’s unclear what happened to your dad. However, there is a strange man who likes to lurk inside gyms. This gym guide offers you advice and encouragement before you challenge the Pokémon Gyms. Except, he’s a little too friendly to just be some random stranger.
One theory states that the Gym Guy is actually your dad. Your mom left him when she was pregnant and raised you on her own. However, your dad is trying to make up for lost time and is secretly following you to try and connect to you. He uses the gyms as an excuse to talk to you without revealing who he is.
16 The Other Pokémon War (Pokémon Go)
This particular theory is actually an extension of the original Pokémon War theory. Under this theory, Pokémon Go is the first game in the timeline. However, not only is it the first game, it also takes place before the Great Pokémon War. The three factions (Valor, Mystic, and Instinct) are simply friendly rivals in the game.
Of course, there is plenty of in-game evidence. Pokémon Go originally only featured the generation. Interestingly enough, you can catch fossil Pokémon like Kabuto and Omanyte as they wander around the world. By the time Pokémon Red and Blue/Green occur, the fossil Pokémon are extinct and can only be revived through fossils. What’s more, catching Pokémon in Pokémon Go doesn’t involve battling. Instead, like the Safari zones, you can only throw berries and Poké Balls. The Safari Zones were created as nature preserves to help protect the Pokémon and the practices from the early days of catching Pokémon. What’s more, candies in Pokémon Go are everywhere, but are rare in every other game. This is because the practice was inhumane and outlawed after the events of Pokémon Go.
15 Parasect's Mind Controlling Parasite
Let’s talk zombies. Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi (aka sac fungus) that is parasitic. However, what makes some Cordyceps really special is that they are capable of mind control. They can control their host and force helpless ants to infect their entire colony.
According to the Pokédex, Paras are Pokémon that get doused with fungus spores when they are born. These spores feed on the bodies of the Paras and grow as they do. Although some of the Pokédex entries attempt to make this seem like a partnership, one look at Parasect makes the deceit abundantly clear. Parasect’s eyes are pure white and completely lifeless. A few of its Pokédex entries state that the mushroom on its back is what does all the thinking. The fungus extracts everything from the host, and when there is nothing left, they leave spores on the host's eggs. Like the Cordyceps, these fungi infiltrate the host’s body and hijack their minds.
14 You Killed Raticate
The presence of rivals in Pokémon games is a staple of the series. Your rival, like you, starts off with weaker Pokémon and gradually grows stronger over the course of the game. However, it’s entirely possible that the rivalry between Red and Green/Blue in the first games went a little too far.
By your third encounter with your rival, they have expanded their initial team to include a Rattata. The next time you see them is on a ship and that Rattata has evolved into a Raticate. Your fifth encounter with your rival occurs in Lavender Town; the town where Pokémon trainers and lovers alike go to bury their beloved Pokémon. Your rival, who has never exchanged their Pokémon before, no longer carries Raticate with them. That’s because it succumbed to its injuries aboard the S.S. Anne before your rival could get it to a Pokémon Center.
13 Cubone Wears Kangaskhan's Skull
Cubone’s Pokédex entry in Pokémon Yellow says: “It wears the skull of its deceased mother.” Although there is no official explanation offered in the games, fans think they might have found the answer.
The baby Kangaskhan always carries with it shares several striking and hard to ignore similarities with cubone. The theory says that Cubone is a divergent evolutionary path for young Kangaskans who have lost their mother. This theory traces back to the very first Pokémon games, but new evidence in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have helped to strengthen the theory. The call for help mechanic in Sun and Moon typically spawns Pokémon who are in the same evolutionary line as the one you are battling. There are a few exceptions, but most of those have lore that explains the connection. Cubone’s call for help will sometimes spawn a Kangaskan; demonstrating that there is a link.
12 Humans Are Pokemon
The theory starts in Pokémon Platinum, Diamond, and Pearl. There are several books in the Canalave Library that depict various legends. A few of them mention that the difference between Pokémon and people was non-existent at one point. The Pokédex entry for Yamask reads: “These Pokémon arose from the spirits of people interred in graves.” Yamask isn’t the only Pokémon that used to be a human. Phantump’s are stumps possessed by dead children. The Pokédex entry for Kadabra in Fire Red talks about how a boy with psychic power woke up as a Kadabra one morning.
11 Ditto Is A Mew Clone
Everyone knows that Mewtwo is a genetically enhanced clone of Mew. However, it might not be the only clone running around in the world of Pokémon. Mewtwo’s Pokédex entry states it is the only successful clone. Some fans believe that Ditto is a failed Mew clone, and a very useful one at that. Mew is the ancestor of all Pokémon, and it is able to transform into any other Pokémon. Ditto is the only other Pokémon that can naturally learn Transform. Ditto, like Mew, is genderless. Mew and Ditto both have the same colors in their regular forms and in their shiny variants. Ditto can be found on Cinnabar Island where Team Rocket’s cloning lab used to be. With all of this in mind, it’s not hard to see why Ditto could be a failed a Mew clone.
10 Wobbuffet’s Body Is A Decoy
Is it just me, or does Wobbuffet look like a giant punching bag? One fan theory suggests that may very well be the case. According to this theory, Wobbuffet’s real body is actually the tail and the giant blue mass that we normally think of as Wobbuffet is simply a decoy. The design on its tail even has a black and white pattern that looks likes eyes! It’s body never moves, but the tail is always peeking out from around the body. Additionally, many of Wobbuffet’s Pokédex entries talk about how it is always trying to hide or protect its tail. In fact, according to the Pokédex, Wobbuffet will only attack if its tail is attacked. That would make sense if the tail was the real Pokémon. So next time you encounter one, just aim for the tail.
9 Aliens In Mt. Moon
Pokémon can be really strange at times. There are ancient creatures wandering around and ghosts that drag kids off to eat them. Heck, there are even aliens in Pokémon! No, this isn’t the theory, this is fact. Deoxys’ Pokédex entry states that it is a mutated alien space virus. Yes, the Pokédex actually says alien. However, it might not be the only alien in the Pokémon games.
One theory suggests that the Clefairies from Mt. Moon are also extraterrestrials. They colonized the mountain, kicking out locals in order to make their new home. The reason why they collect Moon Stones and dance under the light of the full moon is so that they can feel more at home. What’s more, any Pokémon that refused to leave was instantly killed by the invading Clefairies and Clefables. Those dead Pokémon eventually turned into fossils.
8 The Truth Behind MissingNo.
The MissingNo. glitch is one of the most famous glitches in all of Pokémon history. It’s a small bug in the system that occurs because of game exploits and how coding worked back in the old days. Although there are only 151 Pokémon in the first game, there were 200 spots programmed into the game. Missing No. pops up when the game accidentally tries to spawn one of those extra 49 spaces.
Although we know why MissingNo. exists, it’s hard not to try and come up for an origin that makes sense within the Pokémon universe. One fan theory suggests that MissingNo. is what happens when you leave a Pokémon in their Poké Ball for too long. Poké Balls store Pokémon in a digital format so that they can be safe and happy when they inside. If a Pokémon remains inside a ball for too long the data becomes corrupted, and the Pokémon becomes the warped abomination that is MissingNo.
7 Koffing And Wheezing Are Failed Clones
Thanks to Mewtwo, we know that Pokémon cloning did happen in the first Pokémon games. What's to stop an out of control scientists from trying to artificially replicate all kinds of different Pokémon? This theory suggests that Mewtwo was their foray into psychic types, while Koffing and Wheezing were the results of Team Rocket attempting to clone ghost type Pokémon. Supposedly, Team Rocket took Ghastly’s gaseous abilities and inserted them into a Pokémon with a ballooned body. However, instead of getting a cloned ghost Pokémon, they accidentally created Koffing. In an attempt to fix their mistake and get a stronger ghost Pokémon, Team Rocket fused Koffing with another Pokémon and ended up with Wheezing instead. Eventually, they decided to abandon the project completely. That is why Koffing and Wheezing always look miserable and why they both have the unnatural skull and crossbone pattern on their bodies.
6 Gengar Is A Dead Clefable
Ghost Pokémon aren’t just called ghosts because Nintendo was trying to be cute. There is plenty of evidence to show that many ghost types were once a part of the corporeal world before they became living impaired. The question is, what were they before they died?
Many keen-eyed fans spotted the noticeable similarities between the bright and sunny Clefable and the gloom and doom Gengar. These fans speculate that Gengar is actually Clefable’s shadow. Both Pokémon have large, egg-shaped bodies with stout limbs. Clefable's tail is rounded, but if it casts a shadow it could easily look like a Gengar’s spiked tail. Additionally, up until Pokemon X and Y, Clefable was a normal type. Thus, Gengar and Clefable were immune to each other’s stab attacks. However, some fans have taken this theory one step further and suggested that Gengar is a dead Clefable.
5 Lavender Town Suicides
Pokémon was the center of a lot of controversies back in the 90s and early 2000s. Some of it, like the hundreds of kids in Japan who went into epileptic fits thanks to the infamous Porygon episode, was warranted. Others, not so much. However, one particular story put the entire Pokémon community on edge.
Supposedly, there was a sudden spike in sick kids and children who committed suicide shortly after Pokémon Red and Green released in Japan. The unusual occurrence was linked to the original Lavender Town theme. The Japanese version of the tune is much higher in pitch and allegedly contained frequencies that only children and young teens could hear. At least 200 suicides were attributed to the tune and many more were said to have grown ill after hearing it. People began referring to this as the Lavender Town Syndrome or Lavender Town Suicides. Developers rushed to fix the issue, which is why the theme is slightly different in the international releases. It is important to note that this theory is unconfirmed, but that didn’t stop it from sending chills down my spine as a child.
4 Mimikyu Is The Ghost Of Dedenne
Pikachu is the most popular Pokémon. That’s not even something you can argue. Even people who don’t know Pokémon can probably recognize Pikachu. So, it’s not surprising that Nintendo attempted to recreate Pikachu’s immense popularity. Every generation has its Pikachu clone. We got the baby Pikachu, Pichu in the second generation. The third generation brought us the Pikachu twins Plusle and Minun. And so on. Still, none of them ever came close to Pikachu in terms of popularity.
Generation seven was somewhat unique. We got the usual Pikachu clone in the form of Togedemaru. However, we also got the strange ghost/fairy knock-off, Mimikyu. Unlike the other clone, Mimikyu actually managed to challenge Pikachu’s popularity thanks to its rather tragic story. Mimikyu is a Pokémon that made its own Pikachu costume because it wanted to be loved. However, no one really knows what it looks like. Some fans believe that Mimikyu is the ghost of one of the failed Pikachu clones, Dedenne. Dedenne is the only Pikaclone that is part fairy, so it makes sense that its lonely ghost would become a ghost/fairy type. Well, at least it has finally found love in death.
3 Professor Oak Is Exploiting Children (And Pokémon)
This theory suggests that you are just one of the dozens of kids who Oak has sent on a fruitless quest to achieve his own ends. The Pokédex that he gives you is supposed to collect information as you go, but once you catch a Pokémon you’ll see it already has a lot of information that it couldn’t get from a single sample or quick analysis. The Pokédex is just smoke and mirrors. What Oak really wants are the Pokémon you can’t carry with you. He is working with Silph Co. to collect a lot of Pokémon so that they can be harvested for cheap and easy energy. We see this happen in several Pokémon games, just on a smaller scale. This means that every Pokémon you’ve sent to the good Professor was forced into horrifying labor and endured cruel, unrelenting agony.
2 Pokemon Go Candy Theory
Candy in Pokémon Go is absolutely necessary in order to achieve any kind of success. These candies are used to help level up your Pokémon to make them stronger. However, each Pokémon evolution line has its own specific kind of candy. You can’t give a Pidgey an Eevee candy.
Just where are all these candies coming from? A few deviously minded fans suggested that you get all of your candies from Professor Willow. So where does he get them? Well, he makes them. Unfortunately, the main ingredient for a candy are the very Pokémon you’re supposed to feed them too. It’s an absolutely horrifying thought. Every Pokémon you’ve sent to Willow becomes the foundation you build your team's strength on as you force them to become cannibals.
1 Poké Balls, Teleporters, And The No-Cloning Theorem
Let’s talk quantum mechanics and Poké Balls!
Basically, if you take two particles and have them interact is the right way, they become quantum entangled. So, if you were to (somehow teleport yourself), you are basically breaking yourself down and rebuilding yourself instantly somewhere else. The newly rebuilt person is a perfect copy who remembers and believes they are you. While your consciousness would theoretically continue in the new version of you, that doesn’t make them you. They are a completely new organism. So what happens to the old you? Well… you basically disintegrated yourself. Good job. You are officially living impaired.
This theory states that Poké Balls work the same way as teleporters. They scan the Pokémon and then break it down into tiny particles before instantly rebuilding the Pokémon when it opens. This means that every time you catch a Pokémon you are murdering it.