15 Heartbreaking Pokémon Backstories

10 Heartbreaking Pokémon Backstories

Every Pokémon has a story to tell, and some of them are more poignant than others. There are those that only want to help but end up being shunned, those that didn’t do anything wrong but were treated horribly, and others still that are in a constant state of mourning, whether for themselves or someone else.

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For all the joy, fun, and happiness that Pokémon brings to the world, Pokédex entries over the years feature a number of heart-wrenching tales of broken-hearted, abused, and rejected Pokémon that can bring tears to the eyes. That they continue to battle on and do their best is a testament to their spirit and resolve.

Updated on January 16th, 2023 by Chelsea Steele: By now, it’s no secret that Pokémon has a darker side, and not all Pokémon live the happy and cheerful lives most would expect. Over the years, the Pokédex has revealed some shockingly sad Pokémon backstories, filled with heartbreaking tales of loneliness, neglect, and even death. With the inclusion of the new Scarlet and Violet games, fans have discovered even more Pokémon with depressing origins. As a result, this list has been updated with some of the most notable new additions.

15 Toedscool Is Implied To Be A Source Of Food For Humans

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Toedscool is a new Pokémon introduced into the franchise with a slight resemblance to the better-known Tentacool species, though there’s no relation, apparently. At first glance, there’s nothing, particularly off about this Pokémon. That is, until someone takes a look at its Pokédex.

In the description from Pokémon Scarlet, Toedscool’s flaps are described as “chewy and delicious”, implying that this Pokémon is hunted and eaten by humans. While this isn’t the first instance of humans using Pokémon as a source of food, it’s still a disturbing and rather sad concept to think about.

14 Ceruledge Was Born From A Dead Soldier With Unfinished Business

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ceruledge gets ready for battle in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

Without a doubt, Ceruledge is one of the coolest Pokémon to come out of Generation IX. A fire and ghost type, this unique species is the very picture of power and intimidation. But despite its power, Ceruledge has a very sad past.

In its Scarlet description, Ceruledge is said to be wielding arm blades that carry the resentment of a fallen soldier who died before accomplishing their goals. Similarly, the Violet Pokédex says that it was born from an old set of armor steeped in grudges. Either way, Ceruledge is the embodiment of resentment and the pain of leaving unfinished business behind.

13 Sinistea Is A Lonely Soul Possessing A Teacup

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A Sinistea floats in the air in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

It’s hard to imagine that a Pokémon as cute as Sinistea would have a tragic backstory, but there’s more to this little guy than meets the eye. In Sinistea’s Scarlet Pokédex, the Pokémon is described as an old teacup possessed by the soul of someone who died alone.

This is probably one of the saddest and loneliest ways a Pokémon has ever come into existence. Lucky for Sinistea, the Scarlet Pokédex also mentions Sinistea fanatics who go to great lengths to try and catch one, so at least it won’t be lonely any longer.

12 Bramblin Is A Lost Soul Unable To Move On To The Afterlife

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A wild Bramblin in the desert in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Like many Pokémon before it, Bramblin is born from the death of a poor, unfortunate human. According to the Scarlet Pokédex, Bramblin came into existence after a soul was unable to move on to the afterlife. This soul was then blown around aimlessly by the wind until it became tangled up with all sorts of dried grass and debris.

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Thus, this tumbleweed-like Pokémon was born, continuing to tumble along with no direction in life as the soul remained lost forever. Out of the many death-related Pokémon origins, this one has got to be one of the saddest.

11 Greavard Was Once A Dog Pokémon That Never Knew Love From Humans

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ghost-Type Pokémon Greavard sticks his tongue out in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

There have been many great new Pokémon this generation, but few are as lovable as Greavard. This ghost-type Pokémon has captured the hearts of fans everywhere with its endearing dog-like features. However, Greavard has one of the most heartbreaking origins of any Pokémon out there.

In the Scarlet Pokédex, Greavard is revealed to be the ghost of a dog Pokémon that died without ever interacting with a human, thus never receiving the love and affection from a trainer. Now reborn as a ghost, this poor Pokémon longs for love and attention and will latch onto anyone willing to give it any.

10 Meowth’s Heart Was Broken After He Tried To Impress His First Crush

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Meowth finds Meowzie again in the Pokemon anime

It’s hard to imagine a comical character like Meowth with a sad backstory, but his origins are surprisingly depressing. Meowth’s ability to walk and talk like a human stems from his attempt to woo his first crush, a female Meowth named Meowzie, who rebuked him.

The Scratch Cat Pokémon learned to stand on his hind legs and taught himself human speech by watching speech classes, all to impress his beloved. Unfortunately, when he went back to Meowzie to show how he’d changed for her, she told him he was a freak and worse than a street Meowth, utterly crushing the Pokémon that would go on to join Team Rocket.

9 Yamask Is A Spirit That Cries Over Its Former Life

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Yamask floating in the air in the Pokemon anime

Though it may not look it, Yamask has one of the saddest backstories of any Pokémon. According to its Pokédex, Yamask arose from the spirits of people interred in graves. It holds a golden mask that used to be its face, and it has been known to cry in longing when looking at it.

The Spirit Pokémon retains memories of its past life, and it rambles through ancient ruins looking for someone that knows its face. The disturbing nature of the mask is made even more prominent by Yamask’s cute appearance.

8 A Boy Who Couldn’t Control His Psychic Powers Transformed Into Kadabra

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kadabra looking at Pikachu in the Pokemon anime

The Pokémon Sun Pokédex entry states that a boy who couldn’t control his psychic powers transformed into Kadabra. Not only is this origin sad, but it’s also probably one of the most horrific ways a Pokémon has ever come into existence.

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Though the Pokédex goes on to state that this is only a theory, even the mere idea of it is very terrifying. Imagining how that child must have felt after losing control is nothing short of heartbreaking, and it makes it hard to ever look at Kadabra the same way again.

7 Absol Only Wanted To Help But Ended Up Being Ostracized

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Astrid and Absol from Pokemon

The majority of Absol’s Pokédex entries state that it can sense coming disasters and appears in front of people to warn them. Unfortunately, due to it always being present when disasters occurred, people came to associate it with these disasters instead.

This misunderstanding was so great that it even became known as the Disaster Pokémon among trainers. No one likes being informed of incoming disasters, so the sight of Absol became unappealing. As a result, it fled deep into the mountains becoming an aloof and reclusive Pokémon over the years.

6 Mewtwo’s Existence Is The Result Of Horrific Gene Splicing

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mewtwo getting ready to attack in Pokemon: the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back

The Pokédex entries in Pokémon Red and Blue state that Mewtwo “was created by a scientist after years of horrific gene splicing” and DNA engineering experiments. Though fans have an idea of what may have occurred during these experiments, they can only imagine the suffering Mewtwo must have gone through at the hands of its captors.

In Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, the DNA Pokémon is understandably so upset with this crime against nature that it destroys the lab with its powerful psychic abilities. Though early on Mewtwo is painted as a villain, it’s clear that it’s simply a victim of the cruelty of humanity and has lived a very sad life.

5 Frosslass Is The Spirit Of A Woman Who Died On A Snowy Mountain

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Frosslass Freezing Piplup in the Pokemon anime

Legend has it that Frosslass is the spirit of a woman who became lost and died on a snowy mountain. The regrets she had in life lingered on, which is perhaps why it freezes humans or Pokémon it likes and takes them to its chilly den, lining them up neatly as decorations.

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Frosslass is based on Yuki-onna, a yokai in Japanese folklore. In one region of Japan, the story goes that a woman who was made to go into a bath when she didn’t want to. Soon after, she disappeared, leaving only fragmented icicles behind. This Pokémon represents the terror and sorrow of such a cold and lonely death.

4 Mimikyu Is Lonely But Can’t Help Keeping Others Away

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mimikyu staring up at the audience in Pokemon

Mimikyu may look like some kind of strange Pikachu, but in reality, it has a terrifying form that has frightened humans and Pokémon for generations. In an effort to look less creepy, this lonely Pokémon wears a rag fashioned after Pikachu, hoping that others will come to love it just as much as they love the popular electric-type Pokémon.

Unfortunately, Mimikyu’s disguise is seen as creepy and unsettling to most, only further isolating it from the rest of the world. Mimikyu always hides under its rag disguise, and if anyone tries to see its true form, it quickly becomes agitated.

3 Tepig Was Tied To A Post & Had His Mouth Bound By His Former Trainer

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ash Frees Tepig in Pokemon

During a flashback in “The Battle Club and Tepig’s Choice!,” it was revealed that Tepig was treated horribly by his former Trainer, Shamus. After losing to a Deerling in battle, it was tied to a post. The Fire Pig Pokémon eventually broke free and went looking for his Trainer.

He was homeless and malnourished when Ash found him and had some rope around his mouth that Ash removed. Tepig later helped Ash get Pikachu back from Team Rocket and went on to join his team.

2 Phantump Is The Spirit Of A Dead Child

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A Phantump sneaks away with a Poke Ball in Pokemon

Most ghost-type Pokémon have a tragic past involving death, so it’s no surprise that Phantump has such a sad backstory. “According to old tales, these Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died while lost in the forest,” so states the Pokédex entry for Pokémon Y.

The Ultra Sun entry only makes its origins sadder, going on to say that they imitate the voice of a child in an attempt to make friends with people, but all it does is cause them to get hopelessly lost. The idea of a Pokémon born from a child’s death is bad enough. The inclusion of Phantump’s lonely cries as it longs for friendship only makes this Pokémon’s existence more heartbreaking.

1 Cubone Is A Lonely Pokémon Who Mourns Its Mother By Wearing Her Skull

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A Cubone considers its competition in Pokemon

Of all the many heartbreaking backstories in Pokémon, none can compare to the devastating origins of Cubone. One of the most well-known backstories for how unbearably sad it is, numerous Pokédex entries reference the fact that the skull Cubone wears on its head is actually that of its deceased mother.

Others state that the lonely Pokémon’s cries echo inside the skull and come out as a sad melody that it cries when seeing a likeness of its mother in the moon, and that the stains on the skull are made by the tears it sheds. With a description like that, there’s no way any other sad backstory could ever top Cubone’s plight. It’s just a poor baby Pokémon that misses its mother.

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