The Pokemon franchise began as a popular trading card game and animated television series of the ‘90s, and has since blossomed into several video game titles and the addictive Pokemon Go app. Detective Pikachu is based on a Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, and follows Pikachu as a private investigator solving a case with his missing partner’s son, Tim.
When the Detective Pikachu trailer dropped, it took the internet by storm. Faster than you can say, “Pika pika!”, memes involving the world’s most recognizable Pokemon flooded the digital landscape. Now that the movie has hit theaters, fans of the lovable yellow character have a whole new trove of inspiration. Here are the best Detective Pikachu memes based on the highly entertaining film.
9 THE BEST COMBO EVER
Ryan Reynolds has made a career out of playing snarky characters. From Waiting to Just Friends and of course, Deadpool, his patented flair for the sarcastic has become a trademark aspect of his personality, both on and off screen. With social media accounts that have become treasure troves of highly quotable jokes, he’s known for having an adult sense of humor.
Though the concept of having someone like Ryan Reynolds voice the titular character of a kids movie is amusing, no one thought studios would include him in something rated PG utilizing his particular brand of humor. The Surprised Pikachu meme reached new heights of circulation the day the casting was announced.
8 DETECTIVE PIKACHU UPGRADE
When the trailer hit for Detective Pikachu, longtime Pokemon fans were treated to Pokemon more realistic than any previous incarnations. Unlike the versions from the ‘90s animated television series, as well as the video game itself, Detective Pikachu - Birth of a New Duo for the Nintendo 3DS, these Pokemon actually had fur that looked soft enough to touch.
Pikachu has been a beloved character for over two decades, and the film’s creative team worked extensively with The Pokemon Company in Tokyo’s concept notes to make a new look for Pikachu that would be both iconic and in keeping with the character.
7 THE NCU
With the massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, composed of 22 films (and counting) that are all interconnected with stories and characters, other studios are looking to mine their vast collections of IP’s to create the next juggernaut franchise that will dominate the cinemascape.
With the release of Detective Pikachu, and the upcoming release of the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie, fans have been suspecting that something similar could be happening with Nintendo characters to form the NCU, Nintendo Cinematic Universe. Perhaps Nick Fury has something with the “Smash Initiative”, that may also include other popular Nintendo titles (like another rebooted Mario Brothers film?).
6 PIKAPOOL OR DEADICHU?
With his snarky sense of humor and infinite charisma, Ryan Reynolds was a perfect choice to play Pikachu. Based on the popular Nintendo 3DS video game of the same name, Detective Pikachu features a Pikachu much gruffer than his animated version from the ‘90s television series. With that sort of hard-boiled detective trope, The Pokemon Company wanted a voice actor that could convey grit as well as heroism.
If that sounds like another character Ryan Reynolds has played, then this meme should make a lot of sense! His performance as Deadpool in the Deadpool film franchise garnered him a whole new legion of fans who might see Detective Pikachu just because he’s in it.
5 DON'T FEED THE TROLLS
In all other versions of Pikachu, the adorable yellow cat-loaf-shaped critter is perpetually positive. He generally has a sunny disposition and likes to look on the brighter side of things. His cuteness and likable personality ingratiate him to fans, who looked forward to Detective Pikachu because of his starring role, regardless of some arguing Pokemon as a franchise wasn’t as popular as it once was.
The presence of trolls on the internet makes it almost impossible for a group of people with a common interest to get enjoyment out of it without experiencing backlash. Defending their love of a franchise associated with their childhood, fans of Detective Pikachu value nostalgia more than they value the opinions of strangers.
4 SELFIES VS CANDID
The digital landscape of social media communities on the internet presents a carefully curated version of people’s lives, with events, milestones, and images made to represent people’s lives the way they want them to be, not necessarily how they are. Nothing captures this concept better than the Selfie vs Candid meme, represented here by Detective Pikachu and a defective Pikachu toy.
With a selfie, a person can take a picture of themselves and apply filters and other editing components to manipulate themselves into a hyper-idealized version. This is sometimes a far cry from what they look like in real life, as captured with their“candid” photographs devoid of tinkering.
3 FANDOMS, ASSEMBLE!
Looking at the showtimes for any theater these days, flipping through the channels on your television, or browsing the titles of your favorite streaming service, it seems like half of the listings are for some sort of franchise or fandom.
Fans that show enthusiasm for certain intellectual properties are being rewarded with a rise of production for titles in the MCU, the Star Wars Universe, and a variety of others. They can now unite under one umbrella of nerddom, leaving everyone else to complain that Hollywood is incapable of making anything other than films that fall under a fantasy/sci-fi categorization.
2 THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS
The internet can be a savage, polarizing place. Like the frontier of the Wild West, the digital landscape of the internet often seems like a frenzied free-for-all where statements are made by people who, if they were face-to-face, would never be nearly as aggressive or spiteful.
It’s easy to get carried away with discussions on the internet when the protection of anonymity facilitates sweeping generalizations free from repercussions. Often, anyone with an opposing view that’s contrary to the echo chamber of their hive-mind on Facebook will get brutally attacked for speaking their mind. Not unlike Pikachu getting into an unanticipated battle with a Charizard.
1 SONIC THE PIKACHU
Recently, the trailer for the live action Sonic the Hedgehog was released, causing an uproar from fans over the quality of Sonic himself. They weren’t pleased with his overall look, from the oddly anthropomorphic placement of his anatomy to the fact that he didn’t move the way they felt Sonic should.
Fans started declaring they’d found the solution to the problem; just swap Sonic’s face with Pikachu’s from Detective Pikachu, and problem solved! While Sonic looked considerably cuter, Pikachu looked like he needed to be put out of his misery. Like a horrible piece of roadkill, you both couldn’t look away and also couldn’t stare directly at it for too long.