From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Flinch (Japanese: ひるむ Flinch) is a volatile status condition in which a Pokémon becomes unable to attack for one turn.
The flinch status is a one-turn status that prevents a Pokémon from attacking. A Pokémon can only flinch if it is hit by another Pokémon's move before using its move. Most moves that cause flinching are physical moves.
Pokémon with Steadfast gain Speed each time they flinch.
A Pokémon holding a King's Rock has a 12% chance of causing a target to flinch when using certain moves.
If the Pokémon uses a multi-strike move, only the final strike has a chance of causing the target to flinch from King's Rock.
In this generation only, sleeping and frozen Pokémon cannot flinch when hit by moves that cause flinching (but can flinch via King's Rock), and are thus able to successfully execute Sleep Talk or Snore regardless.
Generations III and IV
A Pokémon holding a King's Rock or Razor Fang has a 10% chance of causing a target to flinch when using the moves affected by these items.
Generation V onward
A Pokémon holding a King's Rock or Razor Fang has a 10% chance of causing a target to flinch when using any move that deals damage and does not already have a chance to flinch. Moves that can flinch their targets are not affected by King's Rock or Razor Fang.
The chance of flinching from Razor Fang is affected by Serene Grace and the rainbow created by Fire Pledge and Water Pledge.
The following moves may cause their targets to flinch, but only if the user of the moves hits first.
Inner Focus prevents the Pokémon from flinching. However, Pokémon with this Ability can still flinch to a Pokémon with Mold Breaker, Teravolt, or Turboblaze. While some descriptions state that the user flinches, Focus Punch failing due to taking damage is not flinching, so the move is unaffected by Inner Focus. If the Pokémon is hit by a move that always causes flinching, the message "<Pokémon>'s Inner Focus prevents flinching!" (Generation III) or "<Pokémon> won't flinch because of its Inner Focus!" (Generation IV) will appear.
Dynamax Pokémon are immune to flinching.
In the spin-off games
Mystery Dungeon series
In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, the Pokémon cannot use any regular attacks, special attacks, or orbs, but may throw items. If in the middle of a linked move, the rest of the linked move is skipped. Before Super Mystery Dungeon, it was called Cringe (Japanese: ひるみ).
Quash inflicts the Flinch status on the target as its sole effect in Mystery Dungeon.
In the anime
In Chim - Charred!, Ash's Chimchar flinched when Paul's Ursaring used Secret Power on it on a rocky terrain.
In A Pyramiding Rage!, Paul's Magmar flinched when Brandon's Registeel hit it with Iron Head, preventing it from carrying out Paul's order to use Will-O-Wisp.
In the manga
In the Pocket Monsters Platinum: Aim to Be Battle King!! manga
In PBK7, Shin's Tyrogue used Fake Out on Yū's Heatran, causing it to flinch.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In The Beginning of the End with Kyogre & Groudon IX, Brawly's Hariyama used Fake Out to make Blaise's two Slugma flinch.
In Rayquaza Redemption I, Wally's Kecleon caused Norman's Slaking to flinch with Astonish.
In PASS11, a wild Cramorant flinched after Hop had his Pincurchin use Zing Zap on it.
In other languages