It Turns Out Most People Don't Name Their Pokemon

How about you?

News by Nadia Oxford, .

I've been a Pokémon fan since day one and I'm still learning new things about the series all the time, e.g. Venusaur is a big ol' frog. Here's the latest tidbit that's knocked me flat: According to an informal Twitter poll, a lot of fans don't rename their Pokémon.

Earlier this week Dorkly's managing editor, Tristan Cooper, asked his 26.4k Twitter followers if they rename their Pokémon. 6,052 votes were cast with 45% of respondents saying "Yes, they are my children," and 55% of respondents claiming only degenerates rename their Pokémon.

There are some more nuanced responses to the poll in Cooper's Twitter thread. Some Pokémon trainers say they only rename members of their main team. One responder said they never change any names during a maiden playthrough of a Pokémon title, but go to town with subsequent playthroughs.

A Twitter poll is a quick-and-dirty way of taking stock of a group's opinions, and the results might only be a loose interpretation of popular opinion. That said, Pokémon Go's new Friend system already clued me in about people's hesitance to name their Poké-Pals. When you pick up a gift from one of your friends in Pokémon Go, you can see what they've named the buddy Pokémon they walk with. A disappointing percentage of my friends haven't bestowed a creative moniker on their buddy.

I'm not going to mince words. If you don't name your Pokémon, I'm very disappointed in you. You're blowing our generation's best chance at being a creative smartass. I've named every single one of my Pokémon since I played Pokémon Red in 1998. I've commanded Pokémon named after rock stars, anime characters, literary heroes, Biblical figures—name it, and I've tried it. Getting to name things is just one of those neat things that come with sentience, so you may as well go nuts, right? I'm the reason the names of my parents' pets regressed to human names as soon as I left home. No boring names are allowed in any instance where I get a say. That goes for human babies, dogs, cats, and Pokémon.

If I can't name my Eevees after '80s female vocalists, what is even the point of life?

OK, Pokémon Red and Blue's text-based menus admittedly made retrieving and trading your Pokémon a nightmare because you'd promptly forget which lucky critter was buried under the name "BIG ASS," but there's no great gain without some small loss (oh, speaking of big gains, don't forget to pore over our guide for Pokemon Let's Go on the Switch).

How about you? Do you name your Pokémon? And if not, what's your excuse?

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Comments 14

  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #1 NiceGuyNeon 14 days ago
    What kind of ignorant savage renames their Pokemon? How far has USG fallen that they would advocate falling on the wrong side of history? They may have taken Venusaur away from me, but they can never take away the fact that renaming your Pokemon is rude, ignorant, and bad for the environment.

    If John Wick can call his dog "dog" then I can call my damn Growlithe "Growlithe"

    My reasoning is without fault.
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  • Avatar for nimzy #2 nimzy 14 days ago
    I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, not naming your pokemon makes it easy at a glance to tell what is in your PC boxes since they insist on using generic icons for each pokemon you have stored.

    On the other hand, your team are your best buds, and not having names to call them just seems wrong.

    So I usually end up with a compromise: the starter always gets a name, any pokemon I bring with me to a gym battle gets a name, and any shinies also get a name.
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  • Avatar for camchow #3 camchow 14 days ago
    I never name them. I blame the cartoon.
    Well that and it's just easier that way and it's easier to replace them when you don't get too attached. Sorry Beedrill.

    Only exception being a nuzlocke run, but I've only done that once.
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  • Avatar for Macuelos #4 Macuelos 14 days ago
    At this point, it really depends. I like giving meaningful names to the little critters, and have been naming them since... I guess around Gen V? Before that I wasn't really into the whole naming thing, but now it's cool.

    My Pokémon naming really got its start with Mystery Dungeon title Explorers of Time / Darkness / Sky, though. Since Pokémon hatched from eggs have slightly better stats than other Pokémon you can recruit, they are worthy of names. Plus, they're my babies! How can I not give them names. That really made me want to give them meaningful names, so here's some examples from my Wii U VC run of Explorers of Sky:

    ♦ Elanor the Sunflora, whose name apparently comes from a reference to Lord of the Rings and means 'Star Sun'.
    ♦ Nepenthes the Weepinbell, a genus of carnivorous plants.
    ♦ Melissa the Vespiquen, whose name literally means 'bee' in Greek.
    ♦ Starfy the Staraptor. I should play a Starfy game sometime.
    ♦ Claude the Altaria.

    It sounds like cloud.

    ...I'll show myself out.
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  • Avatar for CipherStone #5 CipherStone 14 days ago
    I like the IDEA of naming my Pokemon, but renaming things and characters in video games is a weakness of mine, since I have trouble coming up with good names, so I'm not going to be bothered to come up with 100+ names for the Pokemon I catch in a typical playthrough. Sometimes I may go to the name rater to rename only the Pokemon in my active party though.
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #6 SIGGYZtar 14 days ago
    Let's give them something to talk about... I named my Marshtomp "Mossw-ker."
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  • Avatar for LunarFlame17 #7 LunarFlame17 14 days ago
    When I first played a Pokémon game (it was X) (I’m not young, I just came to the Pokémon party late), I renamed my starter, but quickly realized that renaming your Pokémon meant that it was not easy to see what the “species name” or whatever for that Pokémon was. Seeing as how I was playing as a grown-ass man who did not have a childhood knowledge of these games, this was unacceptable to me. If I could name my Bulbasaur “Assfart” while still being able to easily see that it was a Bulbasaur, I probably would.
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  • Avatar for benjaminlu86 #8 benjaminlu86 14 days ago
    I never rename on the first playthrough of a new generation so I can learn the names of new Pokemon. After that, it's fair game.
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  • Avatar for SkywardShadow #9 SkywardShadow 14 days ago
    I may rename a favorite or two, but mostly no.
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  • Avatar for hdthroh #10 hdthroh 14 days ago
    I name every Pokémon I catch in the main series games and my main attackers and defenders in Go. I think it helps me feel more attached to them, so I pick names that resonate with me personally (either as a reference to something in my past or some conceptual concern that intrigues me). I actually spend a lot of time trying to get it right and can make return visits to the name rater multiple times with the same monster. I have about sixty or so Pokémon I’ve raised over the course of 5 games that I think of as unique fictional characters. Naming them is a significant part of the suspension of disbelief.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #11 LBD_Nytetrayn 14 days ago
  • Avatar for Banandango #12 Banandango 14 days ago
    My personal rules for playing any Pokemon game:

    1) If I find a not-yet-owned Pokemon in the wild, I must attempt to get one.
    2) Every Pokemon must have a unique name, including duplicates from breeding. Even the ones that just sit in the PC box must have a name.
    3) Every name must have something to do with the type of Pokemon, whether it's a pun or pop culture reference based on the animal or whatever it happens to remind me of. No just naming a Bulbasaur "George" or something easy like that.
    4) If this means I spend 15+ minutes staring at the naming screen, so be it.Edited 2 weeks ago by Banandango
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  • Avatar for Frosty840 #13 Frosty840 14 days ago
    Pokemon, like Yoshis, are tools to be used and then discarded.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #14 The-Challenger 13 days ago
    I tried naming the damn monsters in the first game, but that became too unwieldy. Now I just say, fuck it, and use the default names. The default names are often stupid enough to count as efficient nicknames.
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