Anime move errors
In the Pokémon anime, there will often come up a Pokémon that knows a move it cannot learn legally in any of the games. It is unknown whether these are actual mistakes, a writing policy of not having to stick to the games too closely, or merely the Pokémon using an attribute that shares the name of a move in the games. In Bulbasaur... the Ambassador!, Professor Oak states that in times of need Pokémon can call upon power never known to it previously, such as Ash's Bulbasaur learning Dig.
Occasionally, in-game event Pokémon that can be transferred onto the main series games have a move that is not normally included in that Pokémon's moveset (a prime example being Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire, which gave away four separate Pokémon with moves that were not normally available to that specific Pokémon).
List of anime Pokémon with moves they cannot learn in the games
Japanese version only
|Ash's Starly||Gust||Two Degrees of Separation!||Changed to Whirlwind in the dub, a move that Starly can learn. However, after it evolved into Staravia, it began using Gust in the dub as well.|
|Ash's Tranquill||Wing Attack||An Amazing Aerial Battle!||In the dub, Ash merely commanded Tranquill to "attack now", without specifying a move.|
|Ash's Bulbasaur||Whirlwind||The Ninja Poké-Showdown||This was a dubbing error, as Whirlwind's Japanese name is ふきとばし Blow Away. Ash was telling Bulbasaur to simply "blow it away" in the Japanese version rather than commanding the actual move.|
|Brock's Vulpix||Agility||The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis||Quick Attack in the Japanese version, a move that Vulpix can learn.|
|Morty's Gastly||Confusion||From Ghost to Ghost||No command given in the Japanese version, most likely a dubbing error.|
|Ash's Totodile||Skull Bash||Dueling Heroes||Headbutt in the Japanese version, a move that Totodile can learn.|
|Ash's Heracross||Fury Swipes||The Ties That Bind!||Fury Attack in the Japanese version, a move that Heracross can learn.|
|Harrison's Steelix||Wrap||Playing with Fire!||Bind in the Japanese version, a move that Steelix can learn.|
|A.J.'s Sandshrew||Defense Curl||The Path to the Pokémon League||A.J.'s Sandshrew used Defense Curl. However, Sandshrew was unable to learn Defense Curl until Generation II.|
|James's Koffing||Poison Gas||The Ghost of Maiden's Peak||James ordered his Koffing to use Poison Gas. However, Koffing was unable to learn Poison Gas until Generation II.|
|James's Weezing||Poison Gas||The Song of Jigglypuff||James ordered his Weezing to use Poison Gas. However, Weezing was unable to learn Poison Gas until Generation II.|
|Jessie's Lickitung||Lick||Princess vs. Princess||Jessie's Lickitung uses Lick multiple times in the original series. However, Lickitung was unable to learn Lick until Generation II.|
|Ponyta||Flamethrower||Pikachu Re-Volts||A Ponyta used Flamethrower in the episode. However, Ponyta was unable to learn Flamethrower until Pokémon Crystal.|
|Teddiursa||Charm||UnBEARable||A Teddiursa used Charm in the episode. However, Teddiursa was unable to learn Charm until Generation IV.|
|Ursaring||Charm||UnBEARable||An Ursaring used Charm in the episode. However, Ursaring was unable to learn Charm until Generation IV.|
Similar examples that are not anime move errors
Pokémon which can learn a move in a previous generation
|Mr. Moore's Typhlosion||Headbutt||Poetry Commotion!|| Mr. Moore's Typhlosion uses Headbutt, which, though impossible to have in Generation III, was available to teach to Typhlosion by TM02 in Generation II and via Move Tutor in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
In the dub the move was referred to as Tackle instead, a move Typhlosion could learn in Generation III.
||Andi's Nidoqueen and Oscar's Nidoking||Submission||The Bicker the Better||Andi's Nidoqueen and Oscar's Nidoking use Submission, which, though impossible to have in Generation III onwards, was available to teach to Nidoqueen and Nidoking by TM17 in Generation I.|
|Ash's Charizard||DragonBreath||The Symbol Life||Ash's Charizard uses DragonBreath, which, though impossible to have in Generation III onwards, was available to teach to Charizard by TM24 in Generation II.|
|Ash's Snorlax||Harden||Wheel of Frontier||Ash's Snorlax uses Harden, which, though impossible to have in Generation III onwards, was learnable by Snorlax by level-up in Generation I.||200px|
|Anabel's Espeon||Zap Cannon||Second Time's the Charm||Anabel's Espeon uses Zap Cannon, which, though impossible to have in Generation III onwards, was available to teach to Espeon by TM07 in Generation II.|
|Virgil's Vaporeon||BubbleBeam||Team Eevee and the Pokémon Rescue Squad!||Virgil's Vaporeon uses BubbleBeam, which, though impossible to have in Generation III onwards, was available to teach to Vaporeon by TM11 in Generation I.|
|Move errors in various Pokémon canons|
|Anime • Manga • Game • TCG|
|This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|