Gotta catch 'em all!
- If you were looking for the manga created by Miho Asada, see Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All.
- If you were looking for the the 50.Grind song, see Gotta Catch 'Em All (song).
- If you were looking for the Gotta Catch 'Em All events, see List of Gotta Catch 'Em All event Pokémon.
Gotta catch 'em all! is the English slogan of the Pokémon franchise, including the English language Pokémon video games. The Japanese equivalent is Get Pokémon! (Japanese: 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. The slogan was then retired for all subsequent games. Despite the slogan being brought back after the release of Pokémon X and Y, the phrase has not reappeared on the box art akin to the earlier generations.
In the anime
The most noticeable 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 9% of the total number of Pokémon known as of Generation VI. 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!". A new, remixed version of the original theme was used as the opening for the first season of the XY series.
The reference was used as the title of the penultimate 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.
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 Pokérap GS used the catchphrase quite prominently.
The line is also referenced in the song Can't Stop (Catchin' 'Em All) several times.
The "Gotta catch 'em all!" phrase is also seen in the Who's That Pokémon? segment in the XY series. However, in certain international versions the line is replaced with respective Pokémon the Series: XY localized logos.
Retirement and return
The slogan was temporarily retired from the Pokémon games 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, 386 at the time the slogan was retired. 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 Diamond and Pearl 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 did not, however, mean that the slogan made a permanent return, rather it was just a reference to the then defunct slogan.
On the 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."
On September 14, 2013, the phrase was once again used in a trailer that was accidentally leaked on the Pokémon YouTube channel and advertised a new website called "www.gottacatchemall.com" - a website offering people in the United States a chance to win Pokémon X and Y related prizes in the sweepstakes from September 16 until October 12, 2013. The site required the first name of the user, their respective e-mail address, a username and the code "XY1012" to open. The site scattered various codes around various sites on the internet as "Easter eggs" to unlock Poké Balls on the website, and thus, a "Pokémon, a digital gift, and a chance to win". The site now has a new logo for the phrase "Gotta catch 'em all!". The new logo is now used for all videos on The Pokémon Company International's YouTube channel, along with a Pikachu saying "Pika!". The logo also began to make appearances in the Pokémon anime's Who's That Pokémon? segment starting with Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!
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Reason: Generation VI rewards.
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 are not). 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 Generation V games are different, however, giving an actual reward for catching them all. The Permit is awarded for seeing 297 out of 301 Pokémon (as before, Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta, and Genesect are not 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.
In Generation VI, the player once again receives the diploma from the Game Director, and receives the diploma from Professor Sycamore, who also rewards them with the Shiny Charm, like Aurea Juniper before him. Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta, Genesect, and Diancie are not required to complete the Pokédex. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Professor Birch will reward the player in the same way, but because Deoxys can be captured in the game during or after the Delta Episode, its capture is required to receive the diploma and Shiny Charm.
- The slogan for the 1999 Burger King promotional Pokémon toys was "Gotta catch 'em here!", a reference to the franchise's slogan.
- The slogan's appearance on pre-release box art for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire indicates that the slogan was initially intended to be kept, but was dropped sometime between January 2003 and March 2003.
- In the VIZ Media edition of Pokémon Adventures volume 14, Professor Oak makes a reference to the slogan, saying that Crystal "truly catches them all".
In other languages