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 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.

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

Sprite Name Move First use Picture
127.png Samurai's Pinsir Tackle 1004Challenge of the Samurai Samurai Pinsir Tackle.png
020.png Ash's Raticate Jump Kick 1015Battle Aboard the St. Anne Ash Raticate Jump Kick.png
001.png Ash's Bulbasaur Whirlwind 1032The Ninja Poké-Showdown Ash Bulbasaur Whirlwind.png
108.png Jessie's Lickitung Tackle 1052Princess vs. Princess 200px
015.png Jeanette's Beedrill Tackle 1077The Fourth Round Rumble Jeanette Beedrill Tackle.png
004.png Ritchie's Zippo Tackle 1079Friend and Foe Alike Zippo Tackle.png
071.png James's Victreebel Tackle 1086Pikachu Re-Volts 200px
024.png Jessie's Arbok Tackle 1095A Shipful of Shivers Jessie Arbok Tackle.png
032.png Ralph's Tony Fury Swipes 1100Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon? Tony Fury Swipes.png
006.png Ash's Charizard Tackle 1108Pokémon Double Trouble Ash Charizard Tackle.png
025.png Ash's Pikachu Leer 1150Hour of the Houndour Ash Pikachu Leer.png
155.png Ash's Cyndaquil Agility 1152Hot Matches! Ash Cyndaquil Agility.png
202.png Jessie's Wobbuffet Bide 1167A Hot Water Battle Jessie Wobbuffet Bide.png
158.png Duplica's Mini-Dit Tackle* 1174Imitation Confrontation Duplica Mini-Dit Tackle.png
197.png Tamao's Umbreon Agility 1171Trouble's Brewing Tamao Umbreon Agility.png
061.png Misty's Poliwhirl Tackle 1183Trouble's Brewing Misty Poliwhirl Tackle.png
025.png Ash's Pikachu Tackle 1183Trouble's Brewing Ash Pikachu Tackle.png
095.png Janina's Onix Wrap 1208Fight for the Light! Janina Onix Wrap.png
001.png Ash's Bulbasaur Dig 1225Bulbasaur... the Ambassador! Ash Bulbasaur Dig.png
047.png Parasect Sleep Powder 1227For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll! Parasect Sleep Powder.png
149.png Lance's Dragonite Whirlwind 1235Talkin' 'Bout an Evolution Lance Dragonite Whirlwind.png
047.png Parasect Sleep Powder 1241Hocus Pokémon Parasect Sleep Powder EP241.png
149.png Dragonite Whirlwind 1253Great Bowls of Fire! Dragonite Whirlwind.png
169.png Brock's Crobat SonicBoom 1257Lapras of Luxury Brock Crobat SonicBoom.png
246.png Ash's Larvitar Harden 1258Hatch Me If You Can Ash Larvitar Harden.png
276.png Ritchie's Rose Gust 2019.5Oaknapped Rose Gust.png
302.png Sableye Lick 2029Ready, Willing, and Sableye Sableye Lick.png
300.png Skitty Fury Swipes 2029.5Big Meowth, Little Dreams (Part 2)
385.png Jirachi Teleport 2034.5Jirachi: Wish Maker Jirachi Teleport.png
384.png Rayquaza Seismic Toss 2085.5Destiny Deoxys 200px
269.png Jessie's Dustox Stun Spore 3008Gymbaliar Jessie Dustox Stun Spore.png
094.png Gengar of Team Meanies Confusion 3023.5Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:
Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate
Team Meanies Gengar Confusion.png
397.png Ash's Staravia Gust 3026Getting the Pre-Contest Titters! Ash Staravia Gust.png
414.png Cheryl's Mothim Supersonic 3032An Angry Combeenation! Cheryl Mothim Supersonic.png
021.png Spearow Gust 3064Riding the Winds of Change! Spearow Gust.png
446.png Kylie's Munchlax Giga Impact 3076A Full Course Tag Battle! Kylie Munchlax Giga Impact.png
203.png Roman's Girafarig Bite 3076A Full Course Tag Battle! Roman Girafarig Bite.png
032.png Nidoran♂ Bite 3109Leading a Stray! Nidoran m Bite.png
478.png Froslass Slash 3116The Drifting Snorunt! Froslass Slash.png
477.png Dusknoir Rapid Spin 3122.5Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:
Explorers of Sky - Beyond Time & Darkness
Dusknoir Rapid Spin.png
486.png Regigigas Hammer Arm 3129Pillars of Friendship! Regigigas Hammer Arm.png
069.png Bellsprout Absorb 3134Promoting Healthy Tangrowth! Bellsprout Absorb.png
343.png Damos's Baltoy Shock Wave 3135.5Arceus and the Jewel of Life Damos Baltoy Claydol Shock Wave.png
344.png Damos's Claydol Shock Wave 3135.5Arceus and the Jewel of Life Damos Baltoy Claydol Shock Wave.png
480.png Uxie Teleport 3151The Needs of the Three! Uxie Mesprit Teleport.png
481.png Mesprit Teleport 3151The Needs of the Three! Uxie Mesprit Teleport.png
433.png Chingling Sing 3161Yes in Dee Dee, It's Dawn! Chingling Chimecho Sing.png
358.png Chimecho Sing 3161Yes in Dee Dee, It's Dawn! Chingling Chimecho Sing.png
401.png Nando's Kricketot Sing 3174Last Call — First Round! Nando Kricketot Sing.png
402.png Kricketune Bullet Seed 3183.5Zoroark: Master of Illusions Kricketune Bullet Seed.png
216.png Normajean's Teddiursa Pound 3190The Brockster Is In! Normajean Teddiursa Pound.png
520.png Ash's Tranquill Wing Attack 4068BW068 Ash Tranquill Wing Attack.png

Japanese version only

Sprite Name Move First use Notes Picture
299.png Roxanne's Nosepass Hyper Beam 2016Winner By a Nosepass! Roxanne commands her Nosepass to use Hyper Beam, which it cannot learn. These errors were picked up on in the dub, and the references to Hyper Beam were replaced with Thunder Wave and Zap Cannon. However, there is evidence that there was an error in the original script, and it was meant to be an Electric attack. This is seen in Pikachu being able to absorb "Hyper Beam" as if it were an Electric attack, and it had physical similarities to Electric attacks. Roxanne Nosepass Hyper Beam.png
396.png Ash's Starly Gust 3002Two 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
438.png Brock's Bonsly Take Down 3014Leave It To Brocko! Changed to Double-Edge in the dub, a move that Bonsly can learn. Brock Bonsly Take Down.png

Dub only

Sprite Name Move First use Notes Picture
037.png Brock's Vulpix Agility 1072The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis Quick Attack in the Japanese version, a move that Vulpix can learn. Brock Vulpix Agility.png
092.png Morty's Gastly Confusion 1182From Ghost to Ghost Morty Gastly Confusion.png
158.png Ash's Totodile Skull Bash 1216Dueling Heroes Headbutt in the Japanese version, a move that Totodile can learn. Ash Totodile Skull Bash.png
214.png Ash's Heracross Fury Swipes 1269The Ties That Bind! Fury Attack in the Japanese version, a move that Heracross can learn. Ash Heracross Fury Swipes.png
208.png Harrison's Steelix Wrap 1271Playing with Fire! Bind in the Japanese version, a move that Steelix can learn. 200px

Former errors

Sprite Name Move First use Notes Picture
109.png James's Koffing Poison Gas 1020The 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
110.png James's Weezing Poison Gas 1045The 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
108.png Jessie's Lickitung Lick 1052Princess vs. Princess Jessie's Lickitung uses Lick multiple times in the original series. However, Lickitung was unable to learn Lick until Generation II. Jessie Lickitung Lick.png

Similar examples that are not anime move errors

Pokémon which can learn a move in a previous generation

Sprite Name Move First use Notes Picture
Andi's Nidoqueen and Oscar's Nidoking Submission 2072The 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. 200px
006.png Ash's Charizard DragonBreath 2136The 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
196.png Anabel's Espeon Zap Cannon 2170Second 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

Pokémon performing an action which resembles a move

Sprite Name Resembled move First use Notes Picture
072.png Tentacool 1019Tentacool & Tentacruel Multiple Tentacool are seen using an unidentified red beam attack. Tentacool's Pokédex entries state that it absorbs sunlight and converts it into beam energy, similar to SolarBeam. However, not only does this attack bear no resemblance to SolarBeam, Tentacool has never been able to learn this move. In fact, the only Beam moves Tentacool can learn are BubbleBeam, Ice Beam and Aurora Beam*, none of which resemble this attack. 200px
093.png Haunter Leer 1023The Tower of Terror When Ash has his Charmander use Leer against a Haunter, it appears to use the same move back at Charmander. However, Haunter has not been able to learn Leer in any Generation. It is possible that Haunter was simply countering Charmander's Leer. Ash Charmander Leer.png
001.png Ash's Bulbasaur Lick and Tickle 1050Who Gets to Keep Togepi? Ash has Bulbasaur "lick" Psyduck's head and use its "tickle attack" with its vines. This is not to be confused with the actual moves Lick and Tickle, the latter of which was introduced in Generation III. Bulbasaur cannot learn either move. 200px


032.png Ralph's Tony Bite 1100Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon? Tony bites down on Jessie's Arbok, who is constricting it. However, Ralph does not order an attack, he simply uses its sharp teeth to free himself and Maria from Arbok's grip. This move resembles Bite but Nidoran♂ cannot learn this move. 200px
052.png Meowth of Team Rocket Tickle 1104Bound for Trouble Pikachu and Meowth fight against a giant Rhydon. When Meowth jumps on Rhydon's back, he states that he should try a Tickle attack. However, Meowth cannot learn Tickle in any generation yet, and Tickle was not introduced until Generation III. 200px
244.png Entei Hypnosis 1155.5Spell of the Unown Entei hypnotises Delia in Spell of the Unown. However, Entei is unable to learn Hypnosis. This could be due to the fact that this Entei was merely an illusion, not a real Pokémon. 200px
038.png Ninetales Confusion/Psychic 1232Just Waiting On a Friend After living for 150 years, Ninetales found that it was able to use mysterious powers. One of these was the ability to lift objects with its mind, similar to Confusion or Psychic. Ninetales is unable to learn either move. 200px
186.png Politoed Lick 1249I Politoed Ya So! Bean uses its tongue to attack. However, it did not use Lick. Bean tongue attack.png
274.png Nuzleaf GrassWhistle 2026Turning Over a Nuzleaf A wild Nuzleaf blew on a leaf to make Ash and his friends' Pokémon drowsy, though Nuzleaf cannot learn GrassWhistle. However, some of Nuzleaf's Pokédex entries do state that it uses the leaf on its head as a flute. 200px
337.png Lunatone Moonlight 2087Crazy as a Lunatone! A Lunatone is seen using the moonlight to restore itself, though it cannot learn Moonlight. However, Lunatone's Pokédex entries do state that it gains its power from the moon. 200px
425.png Drifloon Fly 3028Drifloon on the Wind! Some Drifloon were used to fly around the area. The Pokédex states that a Drifloon cannot carry the weight of children. However, three are used at any given time. Similarly, it is also possible for Drifloon to carry players across short distances in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. 200px
376 s.png Metagross Lock-On 3117Noodles! Roamin' Off! Metagross calculated where Team Rocket were, likely using its supercomputer-like abilities rather than Lock-On. 200px

See also

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