From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
In the Pokémon anime, there will often come up a Pokémon that knows a move it cannot learn legally 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.
It should also be noted that occasionally Nintendo will make available Pokémon that can be transferred onto the games with 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 can't learn in the games
Less blatant examples
- During Caterpie's battle with Pidgeotto in Ash Catches a Pokémon!, Ash tells Caterpie to use Counter; however, Caterpie cannot learn Counter, yet this doesn't stop it from attempting (and failing) to use it anyway.
- In The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, James ordered his Koffing to use Poison Gas. At the time of the episode airing, Koffing was unable to learn Poison Gas by any means. However, in Generation II and onwards, Koffing became able to use the move.
- In Ditto's Mysterious Mansion, Duplica tells her Ditto to use Constrict on Ash's Bulbasaur after Transforming into said Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur cannot learn Constrict by any means. However, Ditto obeyed, implying that Ash's Bulbasaur may know Constrict.
- In Who Gets to Keep Togepi?, Misty gets stuck with Psyduck in her battle with Ash. Ash doesn't battle seriously and has Bulbasaur simply lick Psyduck's head and tickle it with its vines. This is not to be confused with the actual moves Lick and Tickle, the latter of which was later introduced in Generation III. Bulbasaur still cannot learn Lick or Tickle. It is worth noting, however, that Ash's specific words were "Use Tickle!".
- In Bound for Trouble, Pikachu and Meowth fight against the giant Rhydon. When Meowth jumps on Rhydon's back, he states that he should try a Tickle attack, and then acts like he would. However, Meowth cannot learn Tickle in any generation yet, and as mentioned with Bulbasaur, Tickle was not introduced until Generation III.
- In Playing with Fire!, a Steelix uses Wrap. Steelix cannot learn Wrap, but it can learn Bind (a slightly less accurate version of Wrap with the same effect).
- In Winner By a Nosepass!, Roxanne commands her Nosepass to use Hyper Beam which it cannot in the game. These errors were picked up on in the dub, and the references to Hyper Beam were replaced with Thunder Wave and Zap Cannon (which can be learned by Nosepass).
- However, there is evidence that the original version script made a mistake and called it Hyper Beam when it was supposed to be an electric attack. This is seen in Pikachu being able to absorb Hyper Beam as if it were an electric attack. It also had physical similarities to an electric attack and did not look like a typical Hyper Beam.
- In Turning Over a Nuzleaf, a wild Nuzleaf blew on a leaf to make Ash and his friends' Pokémon drowsy. This attack is strikingly similar to GrassWhistle; a move that Nuzleaf can't learn in the games. However, some of Nuzleaf's Pokédex entries do state that it uses the leaf on its head as a flute.
- Brock's Ludicolo knows Water Gun and Razor Leaf, and while it can learn both of those through breeding, it cannot know both of them at once.
- In Second Time's the Charm, Anabel's Espeon uses Zap Cannon, which, though impossible to have in Generation III or IV, was available to teach to Espeon by TM07 in Generation II.