Team Skull

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If you were looking for the exploration team in the Mystery Dungeon series, see Team Skull (Mystery Dungeon).

Team Skull
スカル団 Skull Gang
Skull-Logo.png
Sun Moon Team Skull Grunt.png
Artwork of Team Skull Grunts from Sun and Moon
Leader Guzma
Region Alola
Admins Plumeria
Major targets Berry fields, Big Wave Beach, Verdant Cavern, Diglett's Tunnel, Aether House, Manalo Stadium*
Base locations Po Town
Anime debut Alola to New Adventure!
Adventures debut The Grand Entrance and Delivery Boy Sun

Team Skull (Japanese: スカル Skull-dan, literally Skull Gang) is a villainous team living in the Alola region.

In the games

In Pokémon Sun and Moon

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

Team Skull appears in Sun and Moon. As revealed by some of their members, Team Skull is composed of misfits who failed the island challenge. They steal Pokémon from people, but unlike previous villainous teams, they do not have a specific goal other than to cause trouble and acquire enough money to support themselves. In a stark contrast to other villainous teams, they do not pose a serious threat to the wellbeing of Alola and its residents, the majority of whom consider them thuggish nuisances at worst.

Team Skull originated from a group that coalesced around one of Alola's kahunas. This group provoked the wrath of the four island deities and was struck down. The survivors became the first members of Team Skull. At some point, Team Skull took over Po Town on Ula'ula Island, driving away the original residents, vandalising the buildings with graffiti and structural damage along with generally preventing others from entering the town and hindering the flow of electricity.

The group is known to highly value kinship - many of the grunts are close friends with each other, the team's admin Plumeria treats her underlings like a caring older sibling and in return is respected by them for it, and several grunts mock Gladion for lacking friends in the team and technically not being a true member of Team Skull as hired work.

At some point, Lusamine became the secret benefactor of Team Skull, and they, in turn, started to carry out her orders. Not all of the members were aware of her influence - while Plumeria knew that Guzma respected Lusamine as she was the only older figure to acknowledge his strength, Lusamine's estranged son Gladion was only aware that Team Skull was after Cosmog without knowing of their ties to the Aether Foundation president. Following Team Skull's kidnapping of Lillie and Nebby, Gladion immediately severed his ties with them and joined with Hau and the player to infiltrate and rescue them from Aether Paradise.

After Guzma is rescued from Ultra Space by the player, he disbands Team Skull and its members go their separate ways. Guzma returns to his parents' house on Melemele Island, while Plumeria takes up residence in a camper on Route 13 and later challenges the Alola Pokémon League. One Grunt becomes an apprentice chef under Mallow in Konikoni City, while two others in the Po Town Pokémon Center offer a Skull Tank for sale in order for them to make enough money to leave. Others are taken by Hala to train in Iki Town, deciding to become a rescue team and dubbing themselves "Team Reskull" (Japanese: タスカル団 Tasukaru-dan, literally Rescue Gang). Guzma is one of the former members taken under Hala's wing, but rather to help hone his potential and help him overcome his anger issues.

In the anime

Team Skull in the anime

Team Skull debuted in Alola to New Adventure!, where three Team Skull Grunts, Tupp, Rapp, and Zipp, were seen harassing Kiawe in front of the Pokémon School. Though the three Grunts outnumbered Kiawe and Ash, the two Trainers emerged victorious through the combined efforts of Ash's Pikachu and Kiawe's Turtonator. This particular trio have become recurring characters, often appearing to cause trouble only to be stopped by Ash and Pikachu's Gigavolt Havoc. These three Grunts would go on to become recurring characters throughout the Sun & Moon series.

More Grunts appeared in a flashback in Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio!, where they were harassing a Popplio on the beach until Lana intervened by freezing them solid with her Ride Lapras.

Team Skull fought Team Rocket in A Team-on-Team Tussle! over possession of a Darkinium Z, which multiple Alolan Rattata, Raticate, and a Totem Raticate were protecting. They lost after a wild Bewear showed up, scaring the Totem and Ally Pokémon away while Team Rocket unearthed the Darkinium Z from the hill it was embedded in.

Gladion made his physical debut in A Glaring Rivalry!. Unlike the games, however, he is not associated with Team Skull in the anime; and is even shown defeating Tupp, Rapp, and Zipp in a battle.

Multiple Team Skull Grunts appeared in Turning Heads and Training Hard!, where Tupp, Rapp, and Zipp led them to the Pokémon School to battle Ilima. However, all the Grunts were eventually defeated by Ilima's Eevee.

Plumeria debuted in That's Some Spicy Island Research!.

Guzma debuted in The Dealer of Destruction!. After hearing the announcement of the upcoming Alola League, he decided to ruin the tournament.

In Battle Royal 151!, all the members of Team Skull entered the Manalo Conference, although only Guzma managed to get past the preliminary round. While Guzma competed, the Grunts created havoc and mischief around Manalo Stadium. In The Wisdom Not to Run!, after Guzma had been defeated by Ash in the semifinals, he attempted to dissolve the team, but the Grunts wanted to stay with Guzma, as they wanted him to teach them how to battle as well as he does.

In the manga

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

Team Skull debuted The Grand Entrance and Delivery Boy Sun, where a couple of Team Skull Grunts tried to scam Sun out of money they were supposed to give him from a hired job. Later, Guzma replaced a Grunt as a participant in the Iki Town festival, but was defeated by Sun.

Later, Guzma hired Gladion to work as an enforcer for Team Skull, leading him to Po Town, where Plumeria also made her first appearance. As a part of the Aether Foundation's plot to keep Team Skull active, Guzma was later given a Cosmog to summon Ultra Beasts against the Trial Captains who had come to negotiate with them. This act inadvertently led to Guzma getting sucked into Ultra Space for multiple months, before he was returned to Alola.

At the end of the Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon chapter, Guzma planned to start a Malasada and Tapu Cocoa shop with Hau.

In the movie adaptations

A group of Team Skull members appears in ICYR2.

In the TCG

This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Team Skull in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Team Skull's Pokémon
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
Card Type English
Expansion
Rarity # Japanese
Expansion
Rarity #
Pretend Team Skull Pikachu Lightning       SM-P Promotional cards   013/SM-P
Pretend Grunt Pikachu Lightning       SM-P Promotional cards   014/SM-P
Pretend Boss Pikachu Lightning       SM-P Promotional cards   197/SM-P
Other related cards
Card Type English
Expansion
Rarity # Japanese
Expansion
Rarity #
Team Skull Grunt Su Sun & Moon Uncommon 133/149 Collection Moon U 058/060
Sun & Moon Rare Ultra 149/149 Collection Moon SR 065/060
      Sun & Moon Starter Set   055/059
Guzma Su Burning Shadows Uncommon 115/147 Darkness that Consumes Light U 049/051
Burning Shadows Rare Ultra 143/147 Darkness that Consumes Light SR 056/051
      GX Battle Boost   105/114
      SM-P Promotional cards   180/SM-P
      Ultra Sun Deck Build Box   009/041
      Ultra Moon Deck Build Box   009/041
      GX Ultra Shiny   130/150
      Flareon-GX Starter Set Fire   031/038
      Vaporeon-GX Starter Set Water   031/038
      Jolteon-GX Starter Set Lightning   031/038
      Tag Team GX Premium Trainer Box   027/035
Yellow A Alternate cards   115a/147 Night Unison TR 055/055
      Tag Team GX Deck Build Box   022/029
      Espeon & Deoxys-GX Tag Team GX Starter Set   024/031
      Umbreon & Darkrai-GX Tag Team GX Starter Set   024/031
Hidden Fates Rare Ultra SV84/SV94 GX Ultra Shiny SR 152/150
      SM-P Promotional cards   396/SM-P
Plumeria Su Burning Shadows Uncommon 120/147 To Have Seen the Battle Rainbow U 050/051
Burning Shadows Rare Ultra 145/147 To Have Seen the Battle Rainbow SR 057/051
Tormenting Spray I Burning Shadows Uncommon 125/147 Darkness that Consumes Light U  
Gladion Su Crimson Invasion Uncommon 95/111 Awakened Heroes U 050/050
Crimson Invasion Rare Ultra 109/111 Awakened Heroes SR 055/050
      GX Ultra Shiny   131/150
      Sky Legend TR 052/054
 

Trivia

  • Team Skull is the first villainous team to make their debut in the first episode of an anime series.
  • The lyrics to the Team Skull encounter theme contain the word "dokuro" (ドクロ), meaning "skull" in Japanese.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pichu can wear the Team Skull cap as one of its palette swaps.

Names

Language Name Origin
Japanese スカル団 Skull-dan From skull
English, French, German, Italian,
Spanish, Dutch, European Portuguese
Team Skull Same as Japanese name
Korean 스컬단 Skull-dan Same as Japanese name
Chinese (Mandarin) 骷髏隊 / 骷髅队 Kūlóu Duì From 骷髏 / 骷髅 kūlóu, skull
Chinese (Cantonese) 骷髏隊 Fūlòuh Déui From 骷髏 fūlòuh, skull
Czech Tým Skull Same as Japanese name
Finnish Kalloryhmä From kallo (skull)
Hungarian Koponya Csapat From koponya (skull)
Polish Zespół Czacha From augmentative form of "czaszka" (skull)
Brazilian Portuguese Equipe Skull From English name
Russian Команда Череп Komanda Cherep From череп cherep (skull)
Vietnamese Nhóm Đầu lâu From "Đầu lâu" (skull)

Team Reskull

Language Name Origin
Japanese タスカル団 Tasukaru-dan From 助ける tasukeru (rescue), たくましい takumashi (bold), and スカル skull
English Team Reskull From skull and rescue
German Rettungsteam Skull From Rettungsteam (rescue team) and Team Skull
Italian Team Muskull From skull and muscoli (muscles)
Korean 헬스컬단 Healthkull-dan From 헬시 healthy and 스컬 skull
Chinese (Mandarin) 築樓隊 / 筑楼队 Zhúlóu Duì / Zhùlóu Duì From 建築工 / 建筑工 jiànzhú-gōng (construction work) and 骷髏 / 骷髅 kūlóu (skull)
Chinese (Cantonese) 築樓隊 Jūklàuh Déui From 建築工 ginjūk-gūng (construction work) and 骷髏 fūlòuh (skull)


Related articles

Boss: Guzma
Administrator: Plumeria
Notable members: Gladion
Lower members: Team Skull Grunts
Tupp*Zipp*Rapp*Okazaki*Borosue*
Former members: Punk GuyPunk Girl
Locations: Po TownShady House

Villainous teams
Team RocketTeam AquaTeam MagmaTeam GalacticTeam PlasmaTeam FlareTeam SkullTeam Rainbow RocketTeam Yell
Team Great RocketTeam SnagemCipherPhobos BattalionGo-Rock SquadTeam Dim Sun
Team DebonairsPokémon PinchersTeam GO RocketTeam Break