From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- For the Ribbons in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, see Sun Ribbon and Lunar Ribbon.
A Ribbon (Japanese: リボン Ribbon) is a special item that can be awarded to a Pokémon for a variety of reasons. Ribbons stay on a Pokémon permanently even across generations and can be checked in different ways depending on the game version.
In the games
Ribbons were first introduced in Generation III. In Generation III, the large majority were obtained by competing in and winning Pokémon Contests, but in later generations, a larger variety of Ribbons have been added. Besides competing in Contests, some Ribbons are awarded for conquering special battle areas like the Battle Tower, others are obtainable from various NPCs in-game, and some are only distributed on event Pokémon. In Generation III, Ribbons also had no names, they only had unique icons and descriptions.
In the Generation V games, there are no ways to earn any Ribbons in-game, but Pokémon distributed through events could have Ribbons, and Pokémon transferred from a previous generation also retained their Ribbons.
Prior to Generation VI, Ribbons were only added (and a few changed), and if a Pokémon had Ribbons and was transferred to a later generation, all of its Ribbons would be retained and could be viewed on its status screen. Generation VI, however, reduced the total number of Ribbons from 80 to 46 (48 counting different versions of the Contest/Battle Memory Ribbons) by consolidating the Contest and Tower Ribbons from previous generations. If a Pokémon with Contest or Tower Ribbons is transferred from Generation V to VI through Poké Transporter, all of its Contest and Tower Ribbons are replaced by a Contest Memory Ribbon or a Battle Memory Ribbon.
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Reason: Generation V image.
Since Generation IV, a Pokémon's Ribbons can be viewed on its summary screen, but in Generation III, Ribbons could only be viewed on the PokéNav in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald and could not be viewed at all in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (though the data would still be safely retained if a Pokémon had any Ribbons).
The Generation V games introduced categories for the Ribbons, dividing them into League, Contest, Tower, Memorial, and Gift Ribbons.
- See also: List of League Ribbons
League Ribbons (Japanese: リーグリボン League Ribbons) are awarded to every Pokémon in the player's current party when they defeat the Elite Four and enter the Hall of Fame in most games. Different Ribbons are awarded for this in Generation III, in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, in Pokémon X and Y, and in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. All of these Ribbons are retained if a Pokémon that has them is transferred to a later generation.
- See also: List of Contest Ribbons
Contest Ribbons (Japanese: コンテストリボン Contest Ribbons) are awarded to the winning Pokémon in Pokémon Contests or Pokémon Super Contests. Different Ribbons are awarded for each of the five different Contest categories. In Generations III and IV, different Ribbons are also awarded for each of the four different ranks therein, but in Generation VI, a Ribbon is only earned after winning a Master Rank Contest. A Ribbon for winning all Master Rank Contests is also granted in Generation VI.
Any Contest Ribbons obtained in Generation III are retained if a Pokémon that has them is transferred to Generation IV or Generation V, and any Contest Ribbons earned in Generation IV are retained into Generation V, but if a Pokémon with any Contest Ribbons is transferred from Generation V to Generation VI through Poké Transporter, the Ribbons will be consolidated into a Contest Memory Ribbon.
Contest Ribbons are the only type of Ribbons found in the games to be featured in the anime.
- See also: List of Tower Ribbons
Tower Ribbons (Japanese: タワーリボン Tower Ribbons) are awarded to Pokémon that have been used to conquer various challenges in certain battle facilities. In Generations III and IV, the facility is the Hoenn, Sinnoh, or Johto Battle Tower, while in Generation VI it is the Kalos or Hoenn Battle Maison.
In the Generation III Battle Tower in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, two Ribbons are awarded for clearing the Level 50 Battle Tower and the Level 100RS/Open LevelE Battle Tower. Ribbons are awarded to party Pokémon upon completion of the eighth consecutive Battle Tower challenge (defeating 56 Trainers in a row) and for completion of any challenge thereafter if a Pokémon does not already have a Ribbon.
In the Generation IV Battle Tower, one Ribbon is awarded for defeating Tower Tycoon Palmer the first time in a challenge, and one for defeating him the second time. Three additional Ribbons are rewarded for winning 50 times in a row in Double Battles, Multi Battles against the CPU, or Multi Battles with someone, and another Ribbon is awarded for reaching Rank 5 in the Wi-Fi mode.
In Generation VI, two Ribbons are rewarded for defeating a Battle Chatelaine in either a normal battle or a Super battle at the Battle Maison.
Any Tower Ribbons obtained in Generation III are retained if a Pokémon that has them is transferred to Generation IV or Generation V, and any Tower Ribbons earned in Generation IV are retained into Generation V, but if a Pokémon with any Tower Ribbons is transferred from Generation V to Generation VI through Poké Transporter, the Ribbons will be consolidated into a Battle Memory Ribbon.
- See also: List of Memorial Ribbons
Memorial Ribbons (Japanese: メモリーリボン Memory Ribbons) are usually awarded for an in-game achievement, but some require nothing more than talking to the correct NPC at the correct time. They are often awarded only to the first Pokémon in the player's party, but some are awarded to all members of the player's party.
- See also: List of Gift Ribbons
Gift Ribbons (Japanese: プレゼントリボン Present Ribbons), in contrast to all other types, cannot be obtained in-game in core series Pokémon games. Most are found on event Pokémon. The National Ribbon and the Earth Ribbon can be earned in Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
Some Gift Ribbons prohibit Pokémon with them from being traded over the GTS or through Wonder Trade.
Gift Ribbon descriptions
- See also: List of Gift Ribbon descriptions
By participating in certain Pokémon activities, (such as the Regional, National, and Global tournaments for 2003, 2004, and 2005) Ribbon descriptions would be associated with certain Gift Ribbons distributed, based on the event itself.
These variable descriptions were removed in the Generation V games.
In the anime
being awarded a Ribbon
In the Pokémon anime, Ribbons are not attached to individual Pokémon like in the games. Instead, they can be compared to Gym Badges in that they are considered proof that a Pokémon Coordinator has won a particular Pokémon Contest. In contrast with Badges, Coordinators only get one chance of earning a particular Ribbon in a certain Pokémon Contest within a specific time period. They also must compete with other Coordinators to earn it.
Once a Coordinator earns five Ribbons, they are able to enter and compete in the Grand Festival. Ribbons also do not expire, and multiple years can be used to collect the five needed for the Grand Festival. However, after being used to enter the competition, the five Ribbons cannot be used again. In addition, Ribbons can only be used in the Grand Festival of the region where they were earned, with the exception of some.
For a collection of images depicting Ribbons in the anime, please see Ribbons on the Bulbagarden Archives. The following is a list of all known Ribbons from the regions of Kanto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. There are also Ribbons for the Johto region, although the locations where they are obtained are unknown.
The Aqua Ribbon (Japanese: アクアリボン Aqua Ribbon) is the prize given to the winner of the Wallace Cup. It can be used for entering the Grand Festival in any region, not merely that of the region it is won in.
The Terracotta Medal (Japanese: トネリコメダル Toneriko Medal) is a commemorative Ribbon awarded to the winner of the unofficial Pokémon Contest held annually in Terracotta Town. It cannot be used to enter the Grand Festival.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, two Pokédex holders, Ruby and Platinum, have obtained Ribbons.
Ruby obtained 20 Hoenn Pokémon Contest Ribbons during the fourth chapter as a part of a bet with Sapphire. He also had obtained eleven unknown Ribbons prior to the events of the chapter.
Platinum obtained a Normal Rank Cool Contest Ribbon during the seventh chapter. Later Dr. Footstep gave her, as well as Diamond and Pearl, a Footprint Ribbon as a sign of the bond between them and their Pokémon.
In addition to main characters, some other characters have been seen with Ribbons in their possession. Notably, Courtney is seen burning one in Going to Eleven with Loudred & Exploud I.
In other languages