Our favorite childhood (and also adulthood) franchise of films, shows, and games is known for its cute pocket monsters and relatively innocent storylines. However, that doesn't stop a lot of fans from coming up with some seriously disturbing fan theories that involve the Pokemon universe.
Could Digimon really be corrupted Pokemon? Could Lavender Town actually be a real phenomenon? Has the whole world of Pokemon as we know it just been some kind of ultra creative fever dream? Who knows. Some of these dark and unsettling Pokemon theories are pretty unbelievable, while others will make you stop and reconsider everything you know about Pokemon. Nevertheless, these creepy theories developed by fans are at the very least good nightmare fuel.
Most of these dark fan theories only cover instances in the Pokemon games, while a few others cover the Pokemon universe as a whole.
Check out the 15 Darkest Pokemon Fan Theories!
15 Cubone is a Kangaskhan baby
Okay, so this one isn't that disturbing, right? At least not until you consider that Cubone is actually wearing the skull of its dead Kangaskhan mother in an act of disturbing, childlike grief.
The theory states that originally Cubone would evolve into Marowak and then into Kangaskhan to start the whole dark and depressing cycle over again.
This dark fan theory could actually be true. Many fans believe that this was the original intent with Cubone, but instead of deleting the appropriate Marowak-Kangaskhan code, it was moved to an empty slot because of a time crunch on the programmers' end. This really does seem possible, as that empty glitch name (known as 'M) shares the same palette as Marowak and Marowak doesn't evolve into Kangaskhan to avoid complications with the evolutionary path.
If all that doesn't convince you of this dark Pokemon theory's legitimacy... Cubone was originally going to be named "Orphan".
14 The Ghost Girl mystery
Like most Pokemon games, Pokemon X & Y is fairly positive and light-hearted. However, there's still one mysterious and unsettling figure that stands out from the game-- the Ghost Girl.
In Pokemon X & Y, if you enter a particular building in Lumiose City, you'll notice the music has stopped. The screen will blink and a ghostly girl with an unnatural walking animation will appear behind you. She will tell you "No, you're not the one." In Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, there's also another instance with a creepy ghostly girl, though its unclear if there's a relation.
So what's the dark theory? There are several. Some fans think that Ghost Girl is looking for a specific trainer ID when she tells you that you aren't the one, and others think that she's the source where some players could get unreleased legendary Pokemon. Unfortunately, neither have been proven true, but one thing is certain-- Ghost Girl was very much intentional. The Japanese Pokemon website has a whole page dedicated to her and features what we can only assume are clues to her origin.
13 The legitimacy of Lavender Town Syndrome
There's no doubt that the Lavender Town story was a creepypasta, not a fan theory. If you haven't read the story, it goes like this: After Pokemon Red and Green was released, there was an increase in child suicides in Japan. The suicides were linked to a game location called Lavender Town, where an unsettling song plays in the background. Most versions of the story say that programmers created the song with deadly frequencies. Of course, there is no proof of an increase in adolescent Japanese suicides in 1996, and the Lavender Town creepypasta remains fictional.
However, this theory could have some truth to it. Many people state that the Lavender Town song does make them feel incredibly uncomfortable and experience a seemingly sourceless sense of dread. When you take binaural beats into consideration, it is possible that there are certain sounds in the Lavender Town song that affect our brainwaves in negative ways. And the Pokemon franchise is far from holy when it comes to endangering children.
Is Lavender Town Syndrome in some small way legitimate? You'll just have to listen to the song for yourself.
12 The Great War killed most of the world's adults
There are very few adults seen in the Pokemon games. If there were more of them, maybe they would stop children from running around on extremely dangerous adventures.
Some fans think that this has to do with a great war that killed most of the Pokemon world's adult men and women before the games began. The intense focus on being ready to battle at all times may have less to do with success as a Pokemon trainer and more to do with a post-war society filled with terrified, defensive people. Most of the young characters you meet in the Pokemon world have no parents or are ambiguous about them.
Lt. Surge in Pokemon Red/Blue reveals to you that Electric Pokemon saved his life during the "war." What war is he talking about? Could there have really been some huge nearly apocalyptic war?
This could also explain the pressure to "catch 'em all" and have a complete Pokedex-- perhaps the professors want to catalog which Pokemon survived the war.
11 The dark origins of Pokemon
There are more Pokemon origin stories out there than you can shake a Sudowoodo at, and many of them are downright unsettling.
Some fans think that Pokemon were the result of a massive nuclear war (maybe the Great War that we know so little about?) in which Earth's animals acquired strange transformative powers. Others believe in the Sinnoh legends, which state within the games that the Pokemon Arceus created the universe out of nothingness. These legends also state that Pokemon and human beings were at first the same species before evolution split Pokemon and people apart, only for humans to dominate Pokemon. Pokemon are actually one species with many different subspecies under this legend. However, this is considered more of a religious myth than a canon origin.
Perhaps one of the most interesting origin theories of Pokemon is very alien. Some fans believe that Pokemon are actually an extraterrestrial invasive species that destroyed all of the planet's animals, with the exception of humans, and imitated our wildlife. However, Pokemon aliens are less intelligent than you'd think, and they slowly became subjugated and domesticated by humans and also became the subjects of experiments by professors.
10 Ash is in a coma
The theory goes like this: in the early episodes, Ash is hit by lightning while riding his bike. While the show depicts his adventures exploring the world and catching Pokemon after that seemingly innocent incident, that lightning strike actually landed the kid in a coma. What we view in the Pokemon series is actually an idyllic comatose dreamscape created by Ash so that he could navigate through his subconscious, taking on arbitrary challenges and battles to break down his own mental barriers and escape from his comatose state.
Some sub-theories explain that Brock is Ash's repressed sexuality (he stays the same age in his dream world but outside of the coma, he's aging and maturing) and that Gary Oak is a personification of Ash's ego.
This is, of course, a total garbage theory. And a sad one, too. You could apply the "it was a dream the whole time" theory to almost any fantasy adventure story and it could work. We're glad this one doesn't.
9 Digimon are really corrupted Pokemon
This fan theory is less dark and more hilarious when you think about the desperate rivalry between the Digimon and Pokemon franchises. However, it almost seems like it could be probable.
In the Pokemon game series, caught Pokemon can be released from your PC. However, there's not a lot of information on where they go. Clearly, Pokemon are being transferred somewhere, so where could they be? Where do the corrupted .mon files go, even?
The theory suggests that the Digimon universe and the Pokemon universe (or rather our universe in which Pokemon is a video game) are either in the same dimension in different worlds or are in overlapping dimensions. The Digimon universe is filled with creatures that are actually the quarantined Pokemon PC directory's population of corrupted Pokemon files. Digimon and Pokemon are very similar, especially when it comes to how they evolve, their relation to elemental symbols, etc.
8 Pokemon Black And White takes place in post-9/11 NYC
This theory has been proven bogus, but it's interesting nonetheless.
In Pokemon Black and White, the region of Unova is clearly heavily inspired by New York City. A Cracked editorial boasted a fan theory that certain regions of the game reference the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In route 4 of the game, between Castelia City and Nimbasa City, it is believed the barren wasteland that lies there is an imitation of Ground Zero of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. In the route, there are destroyed buildings and the game states that a meteor caused the damage. The meteor, we find out, is the Pokemon Kyurem. This Pokemon is 9 feet and 11 inches tall, which makes one wonder if Pokemon programmers were out to make an offensive joke.
But when you play the game yourself, your experience will be totally different. Route 4 in Black and White is a desert, not a wasteland of destruction. The buildings in ruin are actually thousands of years old and fell apart because of age. There's no mention of a meteor in Route 4 and Kyurem isn't even 9'11". Get your facts together, fan theorizers!
7 Koffing and Weezing are genetic experiments
Ghost Pokemon, with their ability to disappear, reappear, strike fear into the heart of their opponents, and fight against psychic types, would be very difficult for the clumsy Team Rocket to catch.
This theory suggests that, after many failed attempts to catch Haunter, Gengar, and Gastly, Team Rocket decided to experiment and genetically engineer gas particles from other Poison Pokemon. The intention was to create a combination of Ghost and Poison Pokemon.
Of course, they failed, creating the Pokemon Koffing and Weezing instead. They went on to try and experiment with perfecting their experiments, but being Team Rocket, they failed. Instead, they use their failed experiments as not so effective weaponry. The skull and crossbones on Weezing and Koffing's bodies can't possibly be natural either. Rather, they are handwritten warnings of the two Pokemon's toxic danger.
Ultimately, the only evidence of this theory's legitimacy could be the skull and crossbones, but it is still interesting to think about.
6 Brock is under a Medusa-like curse
This Pokemon fan theory suggests that Brock doesn't open his eyes because he is cursed. The offending curse is the Mystic Eyes of the Gorgon, the curse that would befall victims of the mythological Greek monster Medusa. Anyone who looks at her face and into her eyes would turn to stone. The cursed Brock doesn't open his eyes for fear of cursing others. This is also why he became a rock type Pokemon trainer-- his Pokemon are already made of stone.
This theory is kind of sad, but of course, it is totally unfounded. As seen above, Brock has opened his eyes before without turning anybody to stone.
Brock's character stirred a lot of controversy within the Pokemon franchise, and he was temporarily removed from the anime due to fears that he would perpetuate a racist stereotype of Japanese people. There's no clear reason why he was designed with closed eyes-- one theory suggests that many Asian cultures see closed eyes as a sign of wisdom, and Brock is the oldest of the three Pokemon trainers.
5 Jesse and James are actually in purgatory
Or hell, depending on what variation of this theory you find.
This theory suggests that Team Rocket's presence in almost every episode is much more intentional than you'd think. In fact, the entire Pokemon series is actually about them. In every episode they are in, Jesse and James fail to capture Pikachu. Their attempts aren't so insidious, either. The duo is very cheesy, clumsy, and not very intimidating in their attempts to kidnap Ash's Pokemon. They also don't seem to mind failing sometimes.
Team Rocket is actually in purgatory, or possibly hell, and are punishing themselves over and over for a crime they committed while they were alive: they succeeded in capturing Pikachu but accidentally killed her in the process. Ash couldn't handle the death of his best friend and committed suicide. Team Rocket lived with the guilt until their deaths, and now they live in a world where they constantly fail in their attempts to catch Pikachu. This would explain why Ash is always the same age and Pikachu never evolves.
This very dark theory could be possible, but the Pokemon writers probably didn't have dark child suicides in mind when they wrote episode plots for the children's show.
4 Remains of dead trainers in the wild
Players of any Pokemon game are definitely happy to find useful items on the ground. However, it gets a little awkward and dark when you consider that items hanging out on the ground in the games are the remains of trainers who had been eaten by wild Pokemon. All that's left of them is the items they dropped, with little evidence that they were ever there.
You could leave that theory as a standalone idea, or you can consider the all-encompassing Gym Leader theory that includes it. This ultimate Pokemon conspiracy theory states that the characters Red and Blue are genetically engineered human beings created by Oak; leveling up and Pokemon evolutions are caused by nuclear radiation; Pokeballs leak radiation; the Mewtwo project was an attempt to make a weapon of mass destruction; and of course, items you find are the telltale remains of devoured unlucky trainer in the wild.
3 Voltorb is a Pokeball possessed by Haunter
Voltorb is one of the stranger-looking Pokemon in the Pokemon universe. This electric type Pokemon appears to be a Pokeball with angry eyes and has its own unique types of attacks. Some fans theorized that Voltorb's appearance is much darker than just lazy design.
The theory concludes that Voltorb actually is a Pokeball. A Haunter somehow managed to possess the Pokeball and make it into some sort of strange Pokemon-Pokeball hybrid. If you compare an image of Voltorb and Haunter side by side, the similarities are hard to ignore. The two Pokemon have almost the exact same eyes.
The theory goes further to explain that when Haunter possessed the Pokeball, it became trapped and exploded when it tried to escape. This would explain why the button on the Pokeball is gone, and Voltorb became its own subspecies of Pokemon. Even when Voltorb evolves into Electrode, the visual appearance doesn't change much.
2 Gengar is Clefable's shadow
Or Clefable's evil twin, depending on which creepypasta you read.
This spooky fan theory is actually very possible when you consider the facts. Both Gengar and Clefable are some of the first Pokemon to be created, and Gengar appears in the Pokedex not far after Clefable. Clefairy, Clefable's evolutionary precursor, was also supposed to be the franchise's mascot instead of Pikachu.
This information is important when you consider the significance of this Pokemon. Gengar is considered the Shadow Pokemon, but there's not much clarity pointing to what Gengar is a shadow of. When you compare images of the two, the resemblance is pretty obvious-- the ears, face, feet, and overall body shape of Clefable is very similar to Gengar. Clefable is a normal type, and Gengar is a Ghost type. Both Pokemon have immunities that could prevent a Stab attack between them in battle-- after all, can you touch or hit your own shadow?
1 Ditto is a failed Mew clone
This fan theory has been floating around the internet for quite a while, and it is definitely haunting us.
Mew, the ancestor to all Pokemon, contains cell structures of all other Pokemon in its body. This dark fan theory suggests that scientists once attempted to create the world's most powerful Pokemon and planned to clone Mew and increase the Pokemon's powers to do so. This resulted in Mewtwo.
However, Mewtwo isn't the only creation that resulted from these mad experiments. You have to fail quite a bit before you succeed, and one of the scientists' failures was Ditto. Mew is able to reproduce asexually, and Ditto is the only other Pokemon that can do the same. They are similar in color, both have origins on Cinnabar Island, have the same weight, have similar stats, and both are the only Pokemon that can learn Transform naturally and can learn any attack.
Which of these dark Pokemon fan theories do you find most believable? Let us know in the comments!
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