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Anime move errors

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In the Pokémon anime, there will often come up a Pokémon that knows a move it cannot learn legitimately 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

Artwork Name Move First use Picture
127Pinsir.png Samurai's Pinsir Tackle Challenge of the Samurai Samurai Pinsir Tackle.png
020Raticate.png Gentleman's Raticate Jump Kick Battle Aboard the St. Anne Ash Raticate Jump Kick.png
015Beedrill.png Jeanette's Beedrill Tackle The Fourth Round Rumble Jeanette Beedrill Tackle.png
004Charmander.png Ritchie's Zippo Tackle Friend and Foe Alike Zippo Tackle.png
071Victreebel.png James's Victreebel Tackle Pikachu Re-Volts James Victreebel Jessie Arbok Tackle.png
108Lickitung.png Jessie's Lickitung Tackle Pikachu Re-Volts James Victreebel Weezing Jessie Lickitung Tackle.png
024Arbok.png Jessie's Arbok Tackle A Shipful of Shivers Jessie Arbok Tackle.png
032Nidoran.png Ralph's Tony Fury Swipes Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon? Tony Fury Swipes.png
006Charizard.png Ash's Charizard Tackle Pokémon Double Trouble Ash Charizard Tackle.png
025Pikachu.png Ash's Pikachu Tackle The Double Trouble Header Ash Pikachu Tackle.png
194Wooper.png Olesia's Wooper Tackle No Big Woop! Olesia Wooper Tackle.png
025Pikachu.png Ash's Pikachu Leer Hour of the Houndour Ash Pikachu Leer.png
155Cyndaquil.png Ash's Cyndaquil Agility Hot Matches! Ash Cyndaquil Agility.png
202Wobbuffet.png Jessie's Wobbuffet Bide A Hot Water Battle Jessie Wobbuffet Bide.png
158Totodile.png Duplica's Mini-Dit Tackle* Imitation Confrontation Duplica Mini-Dit Tackle.png
061Poliwhirl.png Misty's Poliwhirl Tackle Wings 'N' Things Misty Poliwhirl Tackle.png
197Umbreon.png Tamao's Umbreon Agility Trouble's Brewing Tamao Umbreon Agility.png
095Onix.png Janina's Onix Wrap Fight for the Light! Janina Onix Wrap.png
247Pupitar.png Ritchie's Cruise Take Down The Mystery is History Cruise Take Down.png
001Bulbasaur.png Ash's Bulbasaur Dig Bulbasaur... the Ambassador! Ash Bulbasaur Dig.png
047Parasect.png Parasect Sleep Powder For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll! Parasect Sleep Powder.png
149Dragonite.png Lance's Dragonite Whirlwind Talkin' 'Bout an Evolution Lance Dragonite Whirlwind.png
047Parasect.png Parasect Sleep Powder Hocus Pokémon Parasect Sleep Powder EP241.png
148Dragonair.png Clair's Dragonair Flash Fangs for Nothin' Clair Dragonair Flash.png
149Dragonite.png Dragonite Whirlwind Great Bowls of Fire! Dragonite Whirlwind.png
169Crobat.png Brock's Crobat SonicBoom Lapras of Luxury Brock Crobat SonicBoom.png
246Larvitar.png Ash's Larvitar Harden Hatch Me If You Can Ash Larvitar Harden.png
276Taillow.png Ritchie's Rose Gust Oaknapped Rose Gust.png
302Sableye.png Sableye Lick Ready, Willing, and Sableye Sableye Lick.png
300Skitty.png Skitty Fury Swipes Big Meowth, Little Dreams (Part 2) Skitty Fury Swipes.png
385Jirachi.png Jirachi Teleport Jirachi: Wish Maker Jirachi Teleport.png
168Ariados.png Harley's Ariados Shadow Ball New Plot, Odd Lot! Harley Ariados Shadow Ball.png
269Dustox.png Jessie's Dustox Stun Spore Gymbaliar Jessie Dustox Stun Spore.png
094Gengar.png Gengar of Team Meanies Confusion Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:
Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate
Team Meanies Gengar Confusion.png
397Staravia.png Ash's Staravia Gust Getting the Pre-Contest Titters! Ash Staravia Gust.png
414Mothim.png Cheryl's Mothim Supersonic An Angry Combeenation! Cheryl Mothim Supersonic.png
021Spearow.png Spearow Gust Riding the Winds of Change! Spearow Gust.png
446Munchlax.png Kylie's Munchlax Giga Impact A Full Course Tag Battle! Kylie Munchlax Giga Impact.png
203Girafarig.png Roman's Girafarig Bite A Full Course Tag Battle! Roman Girafarig Bite.png
032Nidoran.png Nidoran♂ Bite Leading a Stray! Nidoran m Bite.png
478Froslass.png Froslass Slash The Drifting Snorunt! Froslass Slash.png
477Dusknoir.png Dusknoir Rapid Spin Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:
Explorers of Sky - Beyond Time & Darkness
Dusknoir Rapid Spin.png
486Regigigas.png Regigigas Hammer Arm Pillars of Friendship! Regigigas Hammer Arm.png
069Bellsprout.png Bellsprout Absorb Promoting Healthy Tangrowth! Bellsprout Absorb.png
343Baltoy.png Damos's Baltoy Shock Wave Arceus and the Jewel of Life Damos Baltoy Claydol Shock Wave.png
344Claydol.png Damos's Claydol Shock Wave Arceus and the Jewel of Life Damos Baltoy Claydol Shock Wave.png
480Uxie.png Uxie Teleport The Needs of the Three! Uxie Mesprit Teleport.png
481Mesprit.png Mesprit Teleport The Needs of the Three! Uxie Mesprit Teleport.png
433Chingling.png Chingling Sing Yes in Dee Dee, It's Dawn! Chingling Chimecho Sing.png
358Chimecho.png Chimecho Sing Yes in Dee Dee, It's Dawn! Chingling Chimecho Sing.png
401Kricketot.png Nando's Kricketot Sing Last Call — First Round! Nando Kricketot Sing.png
402Kricketune.png Kricketune Bullet Seed Zoroark: Master of Illusions Kricketune Bullet Seed.png
201Unown C Dream.png
201Unown B Dream.png
Unown Psychic PK21 Unown Psychic.png
216Teddiursa.png Normajean's Teddiursa Pound The Brockster Is In! Normajean Teddiursa Pound.png
581Swanna.png Officer Jenny's Swanna Blizzard Crisis at Ferroseed Research! Officer Jenny Swanna Blizzard.png
393Piplup.png Piplup Water Gun Meloetta's Moonlight Serenade Piplup Water Gun.png
661Fletchling.png Chester's Fletchling Feather Dance Breaking Titles at the Chateau! Chester Fletchling Feather Dance.png
222Corsola.png Corsola Water Gun Going for the Gold! Corsola Water Gun.png

Japanese version only

Artwork Name Move First use Notes Picture
396Starly.png 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 Starly Gust.png
520Tranquill.png Ash's Tranquill Wing Attack An Amazing Aerial Battle! In the dub, Ash merely commanded Tranquill to "attack now", without specifying a move. Ash Tranquill Wing Attack.png

Dub only

Artwork Name Move First use Notes Picture
001Bulbasaur.png 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. Ash Bulbasaur Whirlwind.png
037Vulpix.png Brock's Vulpix Agility The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis Quick Attack in the Japanese version, a move that Vulpix can learn. Brock Vulpix Agility.png
092Gastly.png Morty's Gastly Confusion From Ghost to Ghost No command given in the Japanese version, most likely a dubbing error. Morty Gastly Confusion.png
158Totodile.png Ash's Totodile Skull Bash Dueling Heroes Headbutt in the Japanese version, a move that Totodile can learn. Ash Totodile Skull Bash.png
214Heracross.png Ash's Heracross Fury Swipes The Ties That Bind! Fury Attack in the Japanese version, a move that Heracross can learn. Ash Heracross Fury Swipes.png
208Steelix.png Harrison's Steelix Wrap Playing with Fire! Bind in the Japanese version, a move that Steelix can learn. Harrison Steelix Bind.png

Former errors

Artwork Name Move First use Notes Picture
027Sandshrew.png 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. AJ Sandshrew Defense Curl.png
109Koffing.png 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 Koffing Poison Gas.png
110Weezing.png 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. James Weezing Poison Gas.png
059Arcanine.png Gary's Arcanine Fire Spin The Battle of the Badge Gary's Arcanine uses Fire Spin in this episode. However, Arcanine was unable to learn Fire Spin until Generation II. Gary Arcanine Fire Spin EP063.png
072Tentacool.png Ritchie's or Assunta's Tentacool Bubble Friends to the End A Tentacool belonging to either Ritchie or Assunta uses Bubble in this episode. However, Tentacool was unable to learn Bubble until Generation V. Ritchie Assunta Tentacool Bubble.png
077Ponyta.png Ponyta Flamethrower Pikachu Re-Volts A Ponyta used Flamethrower in the episode. However, Ponyta was unable to learn Flamethrower until Pokémon Crystal. Ponyta Flamethrower.png
216Teddiursa.png Teddiursa Charm UnBEARable A Teddiursa used Charm in the episode. However, Teddiursa was unable to learn Charm until Generation IV. Teddiursa Charm.png
217Ursaring.png Ursaring Charm UnBEARable An Ursaring used Charm in the episode. However, Ursaring was unable to learn Charm until Generation IV. Ursaring Charm.png

Similar examples that are not anime move errors

Pokémon which can know a move in a previous game

Artwork Name Move First use Notes Picture
031Nidoqueen.png
034Nidoking.png
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. Oscar Nidoking Andi Nidoqueen Submission.png
227Skarmory.png Skarmory Whirlwind Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate! Skarmory uses Whirlwind, which though impossible for Skarmory to have in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, is available to teach to Skarmory as an Egg move in the core series games.
006Charizard.png 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 Charizard DragonBreath.png
196Espeon.png 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. Anabel Espeon Zap Cannon.png
134Vaporeon.png 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. Virgil Vaporeon BubbleBeam.png

Japanese version only

Artwork Name Move First use Notes Picture
157Typhlosion.png 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.

Mr Moore Typhlosion Headbutt.png

See also

Move errors in various Pokémon canons
AnimeMangaGameTCG


Project Anime logo.png This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.