Animals in the Pokémon world
Real-world animals have been mentioned a number of times to exist in the world of Pokémon. Most often, they are mentioned in relation to a Pokémon category. For example, Pikachu is known as the "Mouse Pokémon" and was directly referred to in the anime as an "electric mouse", hinting that real-world mice exist in the Pokémon world. Other than this, all other mentions of animals are rare.
Some Pokémon category names are animals, such as the Poodle Pokémon (Furfrou's category), which implies that there are not only dogs, but different breeds of dogs. The Pokédex routinely mentions the category of each Pokémon in various media. For example, in the anime episode Here Comes the Squirtle Squad, Ash's Pokédex tells him the category of Squirtle, a Tiny Turtle Pokémon, and in the Pokémon Adventures manga round Boogying with Buneary, Diamond's Pokédex displays the category of Buneary, a Rabbit Pokémon. Additionally, Pokémon categories can be found on TCG cards.
In the games
In the core series games
- In the Generation I games, the Bird Keeper class has a sprite that depicts them holding a generic bird on their arm.
- In Generation I artwork of Old Amber, there is a mosquito or similar insect visible within the item.
- In the Generation I games and their remakes:
- A Sailor mentions that jellyfish sometimes drift aboard the S.S. Anne.
- A chef aboard the S.S. Anne mentions several meat dishes: "Eels au Barbecue", "Salmon du Salad", and "Prime Beefsteak".
- A Team Rocket Grunt in the Rocket Hideout insults the player by calling them a little rat.
- A Tamer in the Fuchsia Gym mentions having joined the Gym due to "ninjas' long history with animals".
- In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Bird Keeper Katherine on Sinnoh Route 211 says "I go everywhere with my NOCTOWL. We’re gonna show you owl best! Ha!" This is a pun between "owl" and "our".
- In Pokémon Black and White, a Trainer in the Battle Subway says he is so obsessed with Pokémon that his wife is as mad as a hornet.
- In the Generation V games, Burgh's Insect Badge is named Beetle Badge (ビートルバッジ) in Japanese.
- In Pokémon X and Y:
- In Pokémon Legends: Arceus:
- The Insect Plate is described as being imbued with the essence of bugs.
- The English name of Horseshoe Plains implies the existence of horseshoes, and by extension, real horses. However, the Japanese name for Horseshoe Plains, 蹄鉄ヶ原 Horseshoe Meadow, includes the Japanese word for horseshoe, 蹄鉄, which contains the Japanese words for hoof and iron, not horse.
- The names of Deertrack Heights and Deertrack Path imply the existence of real deer.
- In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet:
- The restaurant food item, Paella de Paldea, has what appears to be mussels in the dish.
- Katy, when defeated, exclaims that all of her Pokémon dropped like flies.
- Ortega refers to the current state of the Naranja AcademyS/Uva AcademyV as "all rainbows and butterflies".
- In Pokémon Scarlet, according to an article from a September issue of Occulture magazine, leading theories hold that Great Tusk is "a living relic of the dinosaur era".
Some in-battle animations depict real-world animals.
- In several games, yellow birds can be seen circling around a confused Pokémon. Yellow birds also appear in Dizzy Punch's battle animations.
- Bees appear in the battle animations for Vespiquen's signature moves Attack Order, Defend Order, and Heal Order.
Several Pokédex entries imply the existence of real-world animals.
- Indian elephants are mentioned in entries for Raichu and Gastly. However, in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Raichu's entry instead mentions Copperajah.
- Bellsprout preys on insects.
- Victreebel uses the sweet aroma of its honey to lure prey such as bugs, as well as large animals.
- Horsea preys on bugs. It also uses coral as an anchor to avoid being washed away, as well as for shade to build its nest in.
- Lickitung can extend its tongue like a chameleon.
- Coral branches grow from Corsola's head, and are a food source for Mareanie.
- Shellos and Gastrodon eat microscopic plankton.
- Aerodactyl lived in the "age of dinosaurs", also referred to as the "dinosaur era", and was resurrected from a dinosaur’s genes.
- Flutter Mane has similar features to a ghostly pterosaur that was covered in a paranormal magazine, but the two have little else in common.
- Brute Bonnet is said to be a cross between a dinosaur and a mushroom.
In the side series games
- In Pokémon Colosseum, when Nascour asks Venus about the progress of her takeover of The Under, she comments that "a couple mice appear to be running loose".
In the spin-off games
- In Pokémon Snap, coral reefs can be seen.
- In Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, barnacles can be seen in underwater areas.
- In Detective Pikachu, a boat is described as having 400 horsepower.
- In Pokémon Masters EX, during a morning log-in conversation, Adaman says that "[...]the early bird catches the worm!"
In the anime
Real-life animals have been seen and mentioned in the anime. They were more common in the original series as there weren't as many species of Pokémon introduced at the time. A picture book based on the anime once featured a dog walking past Ash and his friends, and a piece of concept art of the residents of Pallet Town featured a cat. Birds can also occasionally be heard in the background. Foods that contain meat products, such as hamburgers and chicken, are often seen. In addition, the guidebook Pocket Monsters: The Animation confirmed that there were indeed animals in the world, and also revealed that Pokémon weren't related to animals at all.
Despite Pokémon themselves being unrelated to animals, it appears that behavioral and predator-prey dynamics still apply to Pokémon based on the animals they resemble. Meowth still considers himself a cat and displays cat-like behaviour frequently while in the episode The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, Jessie's Ekans was afraid of a real-life mongoose, a predator of snakes and cobras. Pokémon occasionally display traits of other animals, Ash’s Charizard being seen scratching its neck with its leg like a dog would.
However, animal appearances in the anime have become less frequent as more Pokémon have been added to take their places.
- When Ash overslept and didn't get a Pokémon, Professor Oak says, "The early bird catches a worm, or... in this case... A Pokémon...".
- A wild Pidgey can be seen eating a worm right before Ash tries to catch it.
- Various animals were mentioned by Team Rocket. Mostly, they referred to Meowth as a cat, and Pikachu as a mouse.
- Misty is scared when she sees a Caterpie, and Ash tries to calm her down by reminding her that it's a Bug-type Pokémon rather than a "real" bug.
- Pidgeotto is seen eating a regular worm before being captured by Ash.
- As a pun on 虫 (mushi, "insect") and 牛 (ushi, "cow"), Ash is seen in a cow costume because Misty is scared of bugs. In the dub, he makes a pun saying, "Cowterpie".
- Fish can be seen in the fish tanks inside the Gym. They have made later appearances featuring the Cerulean Gym.
- After Ash, Misty, and Brock fall into the Squirtle Squad's pitfall trap, a dinosaur fossil can be seen.
- A cooked lobster can be seen as food served on the ship.
- A fish is seen on the counter while James is running after his Poké Ball in the sinking ship.
- In the Japanese version, the Magikarp salesman tells James that Magikarp is the king of koi. This is a reference to "Koiking", the Japanese name of Magikarp. In the dub, he says, "The king of all carp! A Magikarp!"
- More fish can be seen swimming in the ocean near the sunken St. Anne.
- Brock attempts to attract customers to a restaurant by advertising unusual animal-themed dishes, including french-fried flounder, seven-layered crab cakes, squid on a stick, and clam juice snowcones.
- Team Rocket sends a missile that is shaped like a shark's head to ruin the Beach Beauty and Pokémon Costume Contest.
- Fish can be seen in the aquarium in Nastina's vision of her completed luxury hotel.
- The Tentacool are referred to as jellyfish in the episode.
- There is a drawing of an octopus on the front board of a takoyaki stand (this drawing is airbrushed out in the dub).
- A Gastly created an illusion of a mongoose in order to scare Jessie's Ekans. It later defeated James's Koffing by stomping on it.
- When Charmander lights up the room, a mounted deer head can be seen on the wall.
- Some of the toys in the Ghost Pokémon's playroom appear to resemble giraffes and ducks, and there is a merry-go-round with horses.
- Two different species of real world fish are seen in Meowth's fantasy.
- Fish tails are seen in one plate when James and Meowth were dreaming about food. Meowth also mentions roast leg of lamb.
- After witnessing a wild Magnemite "falling in love" with Pikachu, Brock comments that he can understand a romantic based relationship between animal-based Pokémon, but not an inorganic-based Pokémon like Magnemite.
- Some real world animal plushes are seen on some of the shelves of the festival.
- At the end of the episode, when Team Rocket comes out of the water, Jessie can be seen with a starfish, an urchin and a seashell on her head.
- Santa Claus tells Ash and his friends that he has "no reindeer" to pull his sleigh, and uses a Ponyta instead.
- In one scene, James is seen holding a lobster.
- In the last scene, Team Rocket are eating canned squid, salmon and brown fish.
- Lots of real world animal plushes are seen in the stores in the Princess Festival.
- There are banners depicting multiple random fish on some houses.
- Drawn bunnies and bears appear on some of the walls of the school.
- Rabbit ears are seen in the top hat drawn on Team Rocket's van.
- Meowth compares his voice to one of the chipmunks after inhaling gas coming from a tank with a Psyduck on it.
- While Ash and his friends are looking for a hotel to stay in, a picture of a tiger can be seen in one of the hotels.
- During Gary's banquet, some fish are seen sliced up.
- Butterflies are seen on a painting when Ash and his friends are at Blaine's hotel.
- A green mouse is seen on a cup in one of the many tourist stands of Cinnabar Island.
- Real world fish are seen in an aquarium inside the Cerulean Gym.
- James and Meowth wear Swan Lake-inspired costumes.
- In addition, Seel and Dewgong are compared to seals.
- Various coral is visible underwater.
- A starfish is seen underwater.
- Misty goes inside a giant clam underwater.
- While Ash and his friends are falling down the sewer pipes, several skeletons of unidentified prehistoric animals are seen. Also, when a chef gets his kettle back, he talks about cooking chicken.
- Miranda talks to seagulls to learn the conditions of the sea.
- When Meowth despises the idea of going into a sewer, in the dub, Jessie tells him, "Pretend you're a catfish!" In the Japanese version, Meowth says, "I'm not a brown rat!" (Japanese: ドブネズミじゃにゃ!)
- There is a swordfish on Victor's wall.
- Some kind of yellow shark/seal is seen in a picture frame when she talks.
- When Ash's Bulbasaur smells Poké-nip and becomes dazed, Misty reads a sign that says Poké-nip's scent affects Pokémon like catnip affects cats.
- While Meowth was looking for food, he came across some fish bones. Meowth is also seen eating fried chicken.
- While Ash and his friends are resting, their elderly female host mentions the disappearance of her "muskrat meatballs." However, this was only in the English dub of the episode, and is actually an example of a dub edit very similar to Brock's "donuts" in another episode. The so-called meatballs are actually dango, a sweet Japanese dumpling made from rice flour.
- The host also refers to Team Rocket as "polecats", another name for wild ferrets.
- One of the foods the characters eat is shrimp tempura.
- In one scene, Meowth mentions insects.
- A starfish is seen on the sandbar.
- Real fish can be seen in the moment before a young Nurse Joy falls into the water.
- Meowth is seen holding and talking about eating clams.
- When Meowth mentions his "top of the line" food, it cuts to an image of a can of cat-food with a real-world cat on the label.
- A fried chicken stand can be seen along with a chicken thigh in the Sunflora Festival.
- Meowth mentions chicken feed.
- A horse statue can be seen in the background.
- At one point in development, this movie was going to feature a Tyrannosaurus Rex. This idea was scrapped as more Generation II Pokémon designs were revealed.
- Jessie is seen holding a goldfish.
- A fish can be seen in statue form, being attacked by Kabutops.
- When one of Misty's catches escapes from her fishing line, Ash says that it was probably a catfish.
- Meowth's food illusion created by the Gastly includes a fish.
- Various corals are visible underwater.
- Various corals are visible underwater.
- In the Norwegian dub, after Brock comments on the Team Rocket trio's endurance, James replies that they "are stubborn like mountain goats[.]"
- Various corals are visible underwater.
- Various corals are visible underwater.
- In the video of Team Charmander on the Wailord, real mollusk shells are seen.
- One of Mimikyu's disguises shows a starfish and a shell that appear on a beach bucket.
- The shape of Ida's clasp is a real shell.
In the manga
Animals have also been seen in the manga.
- A Hollow Victreebel
- You Know...Articuno!
- Gyara is seen smiling at a butterfly.
- With a Spoink in Your Step I
- The Final Showdown VII
- The Final Showdown VIII
- Boogying with Buneary
- In the Chuang Yi version, Keira calls her Buneary a "snugglebunny".
- Vexing Vespiquen & Unmanageable Mothim I
- Legendary Tornadus
- On page 11, after Whitney wakes up screaming, her schoolmates ask if a spider was bothering her.
How I Became a Pokémon Card
In How I Became a Pokémon Card, a cat appears in one chapter.
Pokémon Pocket Monsters
In Pokémon Pocket Monsters, regular animals appear alongside Pokémon.
Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All
The Electric Tale of Pikachu
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu, the Cerulean Gym Aquarium has real-life fish and whales.
Magical Pokémon Journey
In Magical Pokémon Journey, real-life animals such as fish, butterflies, and horses have occasionally been seen.
Pokémon Newspaper Strip
- In Strip 16, there is a short narration: "...not a creature was stirring... not even an electric mouse..." (a reference to the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas").
- In Strip 22, Misty also called Pikachu an "electric mouse".
- In Strip 23, Delia says that Ash's Snorlax ate a frozen turkey.
In the TCG
Numerous early Pokémon cards featured animals.
- A bird perched on Weepinbell.
- A bug near Bulbasaur.
- A frog next to Oddish.
- A wasp flying near Venonat.
- A butterfly flying near Squirtle and Eevee.
- A worm for Magikarp, Spearow, and Wobbuffet.
- A crab next to Exeggutor.
- A fish near Psyduck.
- Fish, or perhaps porpoises, near Magikarp.
- Multiple fishes next to Lotad.
- Butterflies and fish near Slowpoke.
- Sea anemones near Wooper.
- Coral near Horsea, Quagsire, Luvdisc, Seaking, Corsola, Mantine, Golduck, Gorebyss, and Chinchou.
- The shadow of what appears to be a shark is on the original Super Rod card.
- Shadows of what appear to be a school of fish next to Squirtle.
|Cat Fleas||Giovanni's Meowth (Gym Challenge 74)|
|Cat Kick||Meowth (EX FireRed & LeafGreen 69)|
Meowth (Next Destinies 80)
Giovanni's Meowth (Gym Challenge 74)
Glameow (Battle Styles 115)
|Cat Punch||Meowth (Wizards Promo 10)|
|Caturday||Glameow (Unbroken Bonds 159)|
|Dogpile||Chansey (Expedition 72)|
|Jellyfish Pod||Misty's Tentacool (Gym Heroes 32)|
|Jellyfish Poison||Misty's Tentacruel (Gym Heroes 10)|
|Jellyfish Sting||Tentacruel (Fossil 44)|
|Tiger Swing||Incineroar-GX (Sun & Moon 27)|
- At least three animals can be spotted in the Let's Find Pokémon! series.
- The Pokémon Tales book Bulbasaur's Trouble revolves around a Bulbasaur who must find a frog in order to settle an argument between two children, making this one of the only Pokémon stories where a real animal is directly relevant to the plot.
- Takeshi Shudō's original idea for the third Pokémon movie was about a real-world Tyrannosaurus rex fossil being discovered. It would have come to life and gone on a rampage through the Kanto region.
- Also according to Shudō, real animals went extinct in the Pokémon world years ago and no longer exist. He claimed that instances of real-world animals appearing in earlier episodes of the anime were due to the animation staff not paying enough attention.
- https://www.kinokuniya.co.jp/f/dsg-01-9784091145772 - Shogakukan's TV Picture Book "Pocket Monsters (7) Ghost Pokémon and the Summer Festival"