List of references to popular culture in Pokémon
From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
References to other franchises in the Pokémon franchise are occasionally made.
In the games
- In the Generation I games and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, in the Copycat's room there is a television connected to a Super Nintendo Entertainment System running "A game with Mario wearing a bucket on his head!", referring to the Japan-exclusive game Mario & Wario, also developed by Game Freak.
- In the Generation I games and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Hiker Eric in the Rock Tunnel makes a reference to the song Hit Me with Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar, saying "Hit me with your best shot!" prior to battle, and "Fired away!" after being defeated.
- In the Generation I games and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, PokéManiac Ashton in the Rock Tunnel makes a reference to Mobile Fighter G Gundam, saying "Pokémon Fight! Ready, Go!" prior to battle. Official Gundam Fights in the series began with both participants declaring "Gundam Fight! Ready, Go!"
- In the French localization of Pokémon Crystal, the Wise Trio are named Ken, Shuu and Raoh, referencing the manga Fist of the North Star.
- In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire on the Abandoned Ship (and in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire at Sea Mauville), there is a Young Couple named Lois and Hal. This is likely a reference to the parents of the same name from Malcolm in the Middle, who would often find themselves in unfortunate situations.
- In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the television has two references depending on which gender the player chose. If the player chose male, the TV says, "There's a movie on TV. Four boys are walking on railroad tracks. …I'd better go, too." a reference to the film, Stand by Me. If the player chose female, the TV says, "There's a movie on TV. A girl in pigtails is walking down a yellow brick road. …I'd better go, too.", a reference to the Wizard of Oz film.
- In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, three Trainers in Route 20 have names of characters from Sesame Street: Elmo, Bert, and Ernie.
- In Pokémon White, when the player reaches 6F of Dragonspiral Tower for the first time, Reshiram's cry is heard followed by an unknown person yelling "Burn, baby, burn!", which are key lyrics in the song Disco Inferno by The Trammps.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2's flashback Taking it to The Next Level, Elesa says, "You bet! And don't call me Shirley." This is a possible reference to a line in the movie Airplane!.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the Giant Monster Series movies of the Pokéstar Studios are likely a reference to the Godzilla movies. Also, the Mecha Tyranitar, MT for short, is likely a reference to Godzilla's mechanical counterpart, Mecha Godzilla.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the Full Metal Cop Series movies in Pokéstar Studios are a reference to the RoboCop films. The premise of several of them, in which the titular character battles a villainous ninja, is likely a reference to RoboCop 3.
- In Pokémon X and Y, after being defeated by the player, Preschooler Mia on Route 4 says "Hey! Hey! Listen!" before battle, referencing Navi from The Legend of Zelda series.
- In Pokémon X and Y, an NPC in Lumiose City mentions the play Beauty and the Beast, with the titular Beast as a Pokémon.
- In Pokémon X and Y, after being defeated by the player, Psychic Robert on Route 10 references the famous "over 9000" meme spawned from Dragon Ball Z, commenting "Wow. You and your Pokémon's power levels are amazing! They're over 9000 for sure!"
- In Pokémon X and Y, after being defeated by the player, a Psychic near Psychic Robert says "You and your Pokémon were far more powerful than I could have imagined..." which is a reference to Obi Wan Kenobi's line just before Vader kills him in Star Wars Episode IV.
- In Pokémon X and Y, a Team Flare Grunt found at the Poké Ball Factory says "Don't worry, be happy!", referring to Bobby McFerrin's song Don't Worry, Be Happy.
- In Pokémon X and Y, while the ultimate weapon is present in Geosenge Town, a Team Flare Grunt in front of a house in the west of the town comments "Only Team Flare's stayin' alive, stayin' alive.", referencing the Bee Gees song Stayin' Alive.
- In Pokémon X and Y, Veteran Timeo in Victory Road will say "my body is ready" before battling the player, a reference to the meme spawned from a statement made by Nintendo of America's President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime at the unveiling of the Wii Balance Board at E3 2007, "My body… my body is ready!"
- In Pokémon X and Y, after being defeated by the player, Wikstrom will say "My will, which even shakes spears, trembles at so fine a battle as this!", referencing William Shakespeare.
- In Pokémon X and Y, when playing the game in French, Swimmer Romy in Azure Bay sings a variation to R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" before the player battles her.
- In Pokémon X and Y, in the Battle Maison, Waitress Catla makes reference to the lolcatz brand of memes with "Meow, meow, I can haz battle, meow? (Ugh, I really sound like a fool, don't I?)" before battle and "Meowww... I haz lost, meowww. (This job is sooo embarrassing.)" after being defeated.
- In Pokémon X and Y, in the Battle Maison, Roller Skater Clio makes reference to So You Think You Can Dance?, saying "Man, I'm so speedy and smooth! I should be on So You Think You Can Skate!" after being defeated.
- In Pokémon X and Y, the final chapter of The Looker Detective Agency is named "Here's lookin' at you, kid", a reference to Humphrey Bogart's quote in Casablanca.
- In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the fictional franchise Hoenn Rangers is a reference to Power Rangers.
- In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire when the language is set to French, before battle Brawly says, "J'ai découvert le secret de la vraie puissance en fixant un Nautile pendant des jours et des jours…", a reference to Twitch Plays Pokémon.
- In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, an old man in Pacifidlog Town says "One does not simply walk into a Mirage spot.", referencing the famous quote from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "One does not simply walk into Mordor."
- In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, an Ace Trainer on Sea Mauville mentions that she found a "Hi Skitty" doll on the facility, a reference to Hello Kitty.
- In Pokémon Stadium 2, when the player views the entire room, if a game system other than the Virtual Boy is set up, screenshots from several games for that system (such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64) will appear on the player's TV.
- In Pokémon Colosseum, before he is battled Fein will say "I am you and you are me and we are all together", referencing a line from The Beatles song "I Am the Walrus."
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, after the player's first meeting with Swanna, she says "You can call me Swanna if you want. Just don't call me maybe.", referencing the Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe."
- In Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, the Hawlucha that operates Hawlucha's Slam School calls his followers "Hawlucha maniacs", a reference to Hulk Hogan.
In the anime
- The dub title of Beauty and the Beach is a reference to the fairytale Beauty and the Beast.
- In EP035, Kaiser's appearance, demeanor and handgun bear a resemblance to a character portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the Spaghetti Western Man with No Name.
- The plot of Showdown at Dark City is based on the events of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo
- The Indiana Jones franchise is referred in several episodes, Gary's outfit in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon is very similar to the titular's and the giant boulder scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark is reenacted in Battling the Enemy Within! and Explorers of the Hero's Ruin!.
- In Lights, Camera, Quack-tion, Brock mentions that Cleavon Schpielbunk directed I Saw What You Ate Last Tuesday, a reference to I Know What You Did Last Summer.
- The plot of Pokémon in Love, which was first mentioned in Lights, Camera, Quack-tion, is based on Romeo and Juliet.
- In Go West Young Meowth, the movie That Darn Meowth! is shown at Camp Pokéhearst, a reference to That Darn Cat!.
- The dub title of Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon? is a reference to the line "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" from Romeo and Juliet. The names of the two Nidoran in love, Tony and Maria, are references to West Side Story, which was based on Romeo and Juliet. In the dub, at the end of the episode the narrator makes reference to All's Well That Ends Well, another Shakespeare play.
- In The Superhero Secret, Gligarman is based on Batman. His civilian name, Mr. Parker, is likely based on Peter Parker, the alter ego of the superhero Spider-Man. When the video of Gligarman is shown, "Look up in the sky, is it a Pidgeotto, a Charizard, a Dragonite? No, it's the crime fighting superhero Gligarman!" is heard, a reference to the famous Superman line "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman!"
- The dub title of Machoke, Machoke Man! is a reference to the Village People song Macho Man.
- In Lights, Camerupt, Action!, May describes a movie about a luxurious spaceship with a Natu and Xatu in love who are separated because of an ice asteroid, which is a parody of the movie Titanic, while the ship displayed in the film is similar in design to the titular spaceship from Space Battleship Yamato.
- Tyson's Meowth that debuted in Like a Meowth to a Flame is loosely based on the fairytale character Puss in Boots.
- Hamilton, a character of the day in Cream of the Croagunk Crop! is based on a character named Hiroshi from the anime and manga Dokonjō Gaeru. His Croagunk, Craig, is a reference to the frog known as Pyonkichi, as it spent a lot of time on the front of his shirt.
- Hamilton's appearance and even the Japanese names of both himself and Craig were changed shortly after the episode's initial airing in Japan, possibly to avoid a lawsuit from the producers of Dokonjō Gaeru.
- In Staging a Heroes' Welcome!, two girls near the beginning look like Sakura Kinomoto and Tomoyo Daidōji from Cardcaptor Sakura. This is most likely a joke on how their hats resemble the one Wallace wears.
- In Uncrushing Defeat!, before the group attack, the way Ash and his Sinnoh team (Pikachu, Staraptor, Grotle, Monferno, Buizel and Gliscor) pose, strongly resembles the Super Sentai pose.
- The plot of A Venipede Stampede! references the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin when Burgh uses his bug flute to lead the Venipede out the city at the request of the mayor.
- In Movie Time! Zorua in "The Legend of the Pokémon Knight"!, Cilan mentioned Yamask of the Opera, a reference to The Phantom of the Opera.
- In Purrloin: Sweet or Sneaky?, when Meowth tries to ask Purrloin out for a date, he says "Come on baby, don't say maybe!", referring to Jackson Browne's song Take It Easy.
- In The Mighty Accelguard to the Rescue!, Charles has the alter ego of The Mighty Accelguard (Japanese: 快傑ア☆ギルダー Kaiketsu A☆Gilder), which most likely draws inspiration from Kaiketsu Zubat. Certain other aspects of his alter ego, like his A☆Gilder Kick attack, draw inspiration from the titular characters of the Kamen Rider Series.
- In A Call for Brotherly Love, during Pansear's training montage, it is seen running up a flight of stairs and throwing its arms into the air in victory. This is a reference to the film Rocky where Sylvester Stallone's character does the exact same thing.
- The plot of Battling the Bully! is a tribute to Doraemon, with Mick, Glenn and Sean having similar roles to that of Nobita, Gian and Suneo.
- In A Restoration Confrontation! Part 2, when Team Rocket attacks Ash and the group under a tree, Jessie has a communication device over her eye. After Ash and Ferris refuse to give up Tirtouga, Jessie says "Resistance is futile." This line is the catchphrase of the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, who commonly wore similar devices.
- In An Epic Defense Force, there is a parody of the MGM logo, with Zorua in place of Leo the Lion.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
- Jet, a competitor in the Pokéathlon, is based on Jet Link (or Cyborg 002) from Cyborg 009, having a near identical resemblance and his reputation for being fast.
In the TCG
In the books
- List of references to Pokémon in popular culture
- List of references to Pulseman
- Pokémon world in relation to the real world
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