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A real-world dog featured in a picture book
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 Pokédex entries mention the existence of real-world animals.
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. Examples include:
In the games
In the core series
In the side series
In spin-off games
In the anime
A real-world cat in anime concept art
Real-life animals have been seen 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 Pokémon world, and also revealed that Pokémon weren't related to animals at all.
In Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands, the four Gym Badges are made up of seashells with a gem on the center of the shell. This implies that molluscs exist within the Pokémon world.
However, animal appearances in the anime have become less frequent as more Pokémon have been added to take their places.
A wild Pidgey eating a regular worm in Route 1
- 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.
- Misty mentions that A.J.'s ability to control Pokémon with a whip was similar to a lion tamer.
- 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.
- More fish can be seen swimming in the ocean near the sunken St. Anne.
A fish biting Slowpoke's tail
- In the episode's Dare da?, a fish is biting Slowpoke's tail.
- 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 Pokémon beauty 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.
- A Gastly created an illusion of a mongoose in order to scare Jessie's Ekans.
- When Charmander lights up the room, a mounted deer head can be seen on the wall.
- Also, 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.
- One of the signs on Scissor Street features a crab.
- Fish tail is seen in one plate when James and Meowth were dreaming about food. Meowth also mentions roast leg of lamb.
- 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 holding a lobster.
- In the last scene, Team Rocket are eating some canned squid, salmon and some brown fish.
- Lots of real world animal plushes are seen in the stores during 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 a 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 geese costumes.
- In addition, they are compared to Seel and Dewgong with seals.
- Various coral are visible underwater.
- A starfish is seen underwater.
- Misty goes inside a giant clam as part of her 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 skunks.
- The characters are eating shrimp tempura.
- Meowth mentions insects.
- A starfish is seen on the sandbar.
- Real fish can be seen in the moment before a young 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 at the Sunflora festival.
- Meowth mentions chicken feed.
- A horse statue is 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 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.
- During the Team Rocket motto, James mentions he's wearing Mink.
- Various corals are visible underwater.
- Various corals are visible underwater.
- In the video of Team Charmander, you can see on the Wailord, some real mollusk shells.
- During the Poké TV segment, barnacles can be seen on rocks above the sea.
- Snail-like Sliggoo toy can be seen in the Gadget Festival.
A Starfish and Shell seen on a bucket
- One of Mimikyu's disguises show a starfish and a shell appears in a beach bucket.
- The shape of the clasp of Ida is a real shell.
In the manga
Animals have also been seen in the manga.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In other manga
In the TCG
Numerous early Pokémon cards featured animals.
At least three animals can be spotted in the Let's Find Pokémon! series.
- In Let's Find Pokémon!, a dragonfly can be seen near a pond, and a worm can be seen in the beak of a Pidgey.
- In Let's Find Pokémon! 3, a Kangaskhan is eating a fish with rice.
- Takeshi Shudou's original idea for the third Pokémon movie was about a real-world tyrannosaurus rex fossil being discovered. It would've come to life and gone on a rampage through the Kanto region.