Gotta catch 'em all!
- If you were looking for the Italian anime opening, see Gotta Catch 'em All! (song).
- If you were looking for the Gotta Catch 'Em All events, see List of Japanese Gotta Catch 'Em All event Pokémon.
Gotta catch 'em all! is the English slogan of the Pokémon franchise, with references to it abound in Pokémon canon and was the English slogan of the Pokémon video games. The Japanese equivalent is ポケモンゲットだぜー！ (Pokémon get da ze~!, also spelt ポケモンＧＥＴだぜー！)
The first pair of Pokémon games released in North America, Pokémon Red and Blue, were labeled with the catchphrase below the Pokémon logo. Their sequels, Pokémon Gold and Silver, and later, Pokémon Crystal, had the catchphrase in the same position. Pokémon Yellow was the only exception, instead advertising that it was the "Special Pikachu Edition" of the game below the logo.
In the anime
The most obvious reference to the catchphrase in the anime was introduced in the first episode by Ash Ketchum himself. Promising that he would catch all of the Pokémon in the world, Ash set off on his journey. However, up to the current point in the anime, Ash has only progressed to 66 captures of Pokémon, just over 10% of the total number of Pokémon known as of Generation V. Moreover Ash does not at all focus on catching as many species as he can; he even expresses distaste for Gary's training method of "catching them all". The motto also seems to be a pun for Pokémon photographers, as Robert's grandfather "caught them all" and Todd "catches" Pokémon.
Another anime reference comes in the lyrics of different songs. It is featured in the original opening theme, as well as in the chorus of the Pokérap. It is also found in the theme for The Johto Journeys, the anime's third season. The lyrics include, in reference to the Pokémon introduced in Gold and Silver, that "you still gotta catch 'em all!".
The reference was used the title of the second-to-last episode of the original series, Gotta Catch Ya Later!. In this episode, both Brock and Misty return to Kanto, leaving Ash to head to the Hoenn region alone.
Another reference was during Destiny Deoxys when hot dogs were flying out of a vending machine.
The Pokérap GS used the catchphrase quite prominently.
The line is also referenced in the song Can't Stop Catchin' 'Em All several times.
The slogan was retired around 2003, with the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Instead of the now-familiar phrase appearing below the Pokémon logo, the game's version name appeared there. This held true for the remaining games of Generation III, and would later prove to be the standard with the release of the Generation IV games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
The retirement was possibly due to the large amount of Pokémon now required to capture to complete the National Pokédex, 649 as of Generation V. It may as well have been due to the incompatibility between the Generation II and Generation III games, as all of the Pokémon known as of the third generation were not available between Ruby and Sapphire, unlike what had been the case with Red and Blue and Gold and Silver.
The slogan may also have been taken out of use since it was a target of critics of the game and franchise (with some saying the phrase was an equivalent to, "Gotta buy 'em all").
An English-language commercial was released that features the phrase in the United States. It is also used as the slogan for the Catch That Pokémon Show in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. This does not, however, mean that the slogan will make a permanent return, rather it's just a reference to the now defunct slogan.
The slogan was referenced in the English-language version of Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys when Brock says the phrase when collecting food from a haywire robotic vending machine during a power outage (with "them all", in this instance, being hot dogs).
The phrase was heard in the end of the American Diamond and Pearl Versions commercial.
It is also often used on some newer Pokémon merchandise, particularly toys.
On the Pokémon Pokémon Black and White official website, the slogan is referenced in the "Pokémon" section of the site. A link to the new Pokémon is labeled with the phrase "See 'Em All."
In most of the games, the reward for catching all the Pokémon available in the game was a diploma, proof of the feat. However, from the beginning, rumors appeared about a greater reward for attaining the ultimate goal of catching them all. Specifically, in Red and Blue, rumors circulated that after the player had caught the 150 Generation I Pokémon, if they showed their full Pokédex to the Game Freak employees in Celadon Condominiums, they would be rewarded with the elusive 151st Pokémon, Mew. These rumors, however, were false, as the only reward offered for capture of 150 Pokémon was the Diploma; Mew was only officially available through Nintendo-sponsored events, though otherwise available through the Mew glitch.
The same was true of the Generation II games, where showing a 249-Pokémon Pokédex (minus Celebi and Mew) would have the same developers give the player another diploma. With the retirement of the slogan, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire only required the player to complete the 200-Pokémon Hoenn Pokédex (lacking Jirachi and Deoxys) to receive a diploma, though the 386-Pokémon National Pokédex still remained as a goal for players who wanted bragging rights.
In the Generation IV games, by the time the Elite Four and Champion are defeated, the player will have seen almost all of the Pokémon in the Sinnoh Pokédex, if not all 150; it is possible to do this even before entering the Hall of Fame. The reward for this is the National Pokédex, allowing the player to go on a true quest to actually catch them all once more, though this feat requires catching more than three times as many Pokémon as it would take to complete the Sinnoh Pokédex. Catching 482 (or 484 in HeartGold and SoulSilver) of the 493 Pokémon—Mew, Lugia*, Ho-Oh*, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Manaphy, Phione, Darkrai, Shaymin, and Arceus are not required—results in the awarding of another diploma
The first Generation V games, Black and White, continue the tradition, with 156 Pokémon in new listing (though only 152 are required for diploma - Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect). The National diploma requires 636 Pokémon (Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Manaphy, Phione, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect aren't required).
The sequels to the original games are different, however, giving an actual reward for catching them all. The License is awarded for seeing 297 out of 301 Pokémon (as before, Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect aren't required), which gives player the access to the Nature Preserve. After catching them all, Professor Juniper will give the player the Oval Charm, which increases the chances of Pokémon producing Eggs in the Daycare. Finally after completing the National Pokédex (barring Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Manaphy, Phione, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect) she will also give the player the Shiny Charm, after the player talks to Cedric, which makes Shiny Pokémon more likely to appear.
- The slogan for the 1999 Burger King promotional Pokémon toys was "Gotta catch 'em here!", an obvious reference to the franchise's slogan.
- The slogan's appearance on pre-release boxart for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire indicates that it was initially intended to be kept, but was dropped sometime between January and March 2003.
- In the VIZ Media edition of Pokémon Adventures volume 14, Professor Oak makes a reference to the slogan, saying about Crys, that, "she truly catches them all".
In other languages
|Japanese||ポケモンゲットだぜー！ Pokémon getto da ze!|
|Arabic||!ساْ جمعها الْان Sa jmʿha alan!|
|Czech||Chyťte je všechny!|
|Danish||Du skal fange dem!|
|German||Schnapp' sie dir alle!|
|Greek||Τα θέλω όλα εγώ! Ta thélo̱ óla egó̱!|
|Hebrew||!חייב לתפוס את כולם Ħyiv litfws ʼt khulam!|
|Hungarian||Szerezd meg hát mind!|
|Italian||Gotta catch 'em all!|
|Norwegian||Du må fange dem alle!|
|Polish||Złap je wszystkie!|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Temos que pegar!|
|Portugal||Vou apanhá-los todos!|
|Romanian||Să ii prind pe toți!|
|Russian||Всех их соберём! Vsekh ikh soberëm!|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Atrápalos ya!|
|Spain||¡Hazte con todos!|
|Swedish||Måste fånga fler!|