The Pokémon craze might have started as something that only nerds knew about way back in 1995, but that craze never went away, and in fact, became even more popular, especially recently after the release of the Pokémon Go mobile game in 2016.
The juggernaut franchise of Pokémon includes trading card games, video games, cartoons, movies, and toys that encompasses the whole of planet Earth. Go anywhere and ask: almost everyone all over the world at least has a general knowledge of what Pokémon is.
The concept of Pokémon found its inspiration from insect collecting.A trainer goes into the wild to hunt for these cute little magical pocket monsters and captures them by throwing a ball at them. Once the creatures are captured, the trainer begins teaching them how to fight so that they become an elite fighting team and can go up against other teams held by other trainers. The goal is to eventually become "the best there ever was" (or so the song tells us).
The Pokémon phenomenon refuses to go away, which means that there are countless memes that find inspiration in the franchise.
Here are 15 Savage Pokémon Memes That Make Us Feel Bad For Laughing.
15 Ash in the Trash
One of the most popular memes to come out of 2017 was the "You've heard of Elf on the Shelf... (fill in some rhyming mechanism here)" that pretty much included everything imaginable. Social media got inundated with those memes during the holiday season. Some of those memes were just downright stupid, but others were pretty funny.
For Pokémon fans, this meme is pretty funny, but also a little mean. This is a figure of Ash, one of the main characters of the Pokémon franchise - and he's in the trash. It's kind of sad that someone felt the need to put Ash in the trash, but it works for this meme, although the meme is somewhat dated now. It's still funny, though, and still savage.
14 When she asks if you go to the gym
The word "gym" has a completely different meaning to Pokémon players than it does to people who have never picked up or played a Pokémon game. In Pokémon, the gym is not a place where people go to get fit, lift some weights, and get their bodies into peak physical condition. In Pokémon, a gym is where trainers take their cute little pocket creatures to train and prepare them to fight other cute little pocket creatures.
In a Pokémon gym, trainers can have their team battle other teams in a quest for world dominance and to become the best there ever was. When someone asks a Pokémon player if they go to the gym, this is the likely answer: check out all the medals they won in a Pokémon game.
13 We all float with Pikachu down here
When Pokémon Go came out in 2016, there were a lot of news stories about players wandering into places they probably shouldn't have wandered into, all in search of those more rare Pokémon that they couldn't find in their neighborhood parks or own back yards.
That was kind of the point of the game: to get nerds out of their houses and interacting with the real world (albeit through the screen of a smartphone). And we took that seriously - maybe a little too seriously. Because players would go pretty much anywhere if they knew there was a Pokémon hiding somewhere in the near vicinity.
That's why this meme is funny: because a Pokémon Go player would go into the sewers if Pennywise promised them they would find a rare creature. Pikachu floats down here, kid.
12 Angry trees
This is, obviously, a screenshot of an older Pokémon game, something true Pokémon fans will recognize. Like most older video games, it looks pretty dated, with pixelated graphics that barely look like much of anything - though, at the time, this was top-notch stuff. This particular screenshot is funny because the meme points out something players might have missed.
We've all seen these trees, but have you ever paid attention to them?
They look like giant, angry men flexing their muscles. Once a player sees that, they will never be able to look at that game the same way again. Those trees have nothing to do with actual gameplay, but now they have become something that stands out, something that can never be unseen.
11 Stay out of my territory
One of the biggest games to ever arrive on smartphones was Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game that got players off of their sofas and out onto their streets. That game became such a sensation that for several months after its release, it was a common sight to see people wandering aimlessly around cities staring at their phones and then stopping in excitement after spotting a Pokémon in the wild.
It also created a situation where players created their territories, and this meme is exactly about that.
When a stranger player wanders into another player's territory, it's suddenly like Breaking Bad.
Players took the idea seriously, even as they battled each other in gyms for the right to own a virtual space in the real world.
10 Being mean to Pikachu
Pokémon Go is not the only video game in the Pokémon franchise, although it's certainly the one most of modern society knows about. Before that, there were many other Pokémon games, including those made for the Game Boy, the Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Advanced, the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo 3DS.
Some of those games even featured RPG elements, where players could decide to interact with the pocket monsters, as seen here with Pikachu.
These interactions were cruel, as pointed out by this meme.
Pikachu has something the player needs, so the player takes it. This makes Pikachu sad, but did the player ever really think about that? No, because the player took that berry and used it for something else.
The goal of the Pokémon plot is to become the best trainer, collect the most creatures and become the greatest Pokémon trainer of the entire world (or maybe even the entire universe). The theme song to the Pokémon cartoon pretty much lays that out pretty clearly: "I wanna be the very best, Like no one ever was. To catch them is my real test. To train them is my cause." That's some serious business.
When it comes to what Pokémon fans and players want, it's not the same as what someone who doesn't know about the franchise wants. In this case, forget about being loved. The most important thing to a Pokémon fan is to become the very best, like no one ever was.
8 Expectation vs. reality
Here is yet another Pokémon Go meme, mostly because the game remains popular, although it's not as popular as it was when it came out in the summer of 2016. When the game came out, everyone (along with their brother, sister, cousins, and extended family) played the game.
There was an expectation from it that had everyone thinking that the game would lead them to adventures in the outside world, taking them on a tour of exploration around their cities and neighborhoods. In reality, though, the game led many players into places they probably should not have been.
When it comes to capturing a rare creature (or even one not seen before), a Pokémon Go player will go wherever needed to get that creature.
7 Catching Professor Willow
Pokémon Go introduced the world to a few new characters in the franchise. One of those characters was Professor Willow, an expert Pokémon professor who specializes in Pokémon habitats and distribution. In the game, he gives trainers their first Poké Balls, so that they can go out into the world and start capturing Pokémon. He also offers a few tips throughout the game and teaches players how to capture Pokémon, as well as shows them how to use items and how to make creatures evolve
. This meme, though, points out something kind of obvious: Professor Willow is an attractive man. And there are some Pokémon Go players who might prefer to capture him instead.
Forget choosing Pikachu, some players would rather choose the good Professor.
6 In Soviet Russia...
The idea of any Pokémon game is that players must find and capture Pokémon by hurling a big red ball at them. It sounds violent, but in the games, the ball doesn't hurt the creatures - although some still don't seem to want to get captured.
In fact, maybe they don't want to work for a trainer at all, and maybe they would prefer to just get left alone while they're out there in the wild enjoying their lives. But that's the basis of Pokémon, so that's just how cruel the world is.
In Soviet Russia, though, it's the other way around: players don't catch Pikachu, Pikachu catches them. This meme is hilarious because it does sort of inspire a "what if" situation if the roles were reversed.
5 Ash was useless
Meet Ash Ketchum, the main protagonist of the Pokémon anime and manga series. Ash is a Pokémon trainer, who wishes to become the master, the best that there ever was.
He claims that he will become this, by capturing all 51 Pokémon. That's a pretty big boast, right?
Well, it turns out that Ash was a lot more useless than he thought: in his 60 episodes, he only managed to capture 15 Pokémon. For someone who was all about catching them all, he really didn't do much. And yet, Ash is the hero of the Pokémon franchise, even though there are real world players of Pokémon Go who could wipe the floor with him.
He did eventually go on to become better, but in the original series, he was kind of pathetic.
Players who played the Pokémon games that came before Pokémon Go will relate to this meme. Those are the hardcore and old school players, those who captured Pikachu with 8-bit graphics and a prayer.
These players are like Bane: they were born into it, molded by its fire (and pixelated graphics).
They eat, sleep, and breathe Pokémon in a way that the newer players will never understand - those who merely adopted it because it became popular. They also understand that fairy types of Pokémon, one of the best defensive types, weren't so easily grabbed as they are now. They didn't even see fairy types until they were much older and wiser. Those players think that kids have it so easy these days, what with fairy types turning up everywhere.
3 What kind of Pokémon is that?
There are a lot of jokes and memes about the typical Pokémon Go player. Those often count on the fact that most Pokémon Go players and Pokémon fans aren't the kinds of people who normally get out of their houses and interact with their environments.
There's the stereotype of Pokémon fans who live in their parent's basements but only ever ventured outside because Pokémon Go came out and forced them to. This meme taps into that: here's a Pokémon Go player going outside for the first time and seeing a creature flying around. They would automatically assume that said creature was a Pokémon they needed to capture, but what type is it? What is this strange thing that others call a butterfly?
2 Life motto
For some fans, the Pokémon anime was what turned them into huge fans of the franchise, even over the games. In the anime, Ash Ketchum traveled the world in search of creatures that he could capture and use to later do battle with other Pokémon trainers. One of Ash's favorite Pokémon was Pikachu, who is also a fan favorite creature, and the two often taught fans valuable lessons together.
This meme is pretty much the most valuable lesson of all: "let's eat fast so we can eat again!"
Who can't get behind that? Sure, it's probably going to lead to an upset stomach, but for those who like to eat and who eat often, it just makes a kind of abstract sense that one can really get behind.
1 What's really on his mind
This is one of those memes that has circulated all over the Internet. The caption is always different, but as is in this case, also always relevant. It's about a couple laying in bed at night, with a woman looking at her partner, concerned as if she has doubts about what he actually thinks about before he goes to bed.
Of course, the woman believes he could have thoughts of other women, but this meme touches upon the reality of what he probably really thinks about as he goes to sleep. There's that legendary Pokémon that just seems to tease him every time he tries to catch it, although he has thrown eight Poké Balls at it and even used a golden razz to entice it.
What's your favorite Pokémon meme? Share it in the comments!