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The Cuddliest Pokemon Actually Hates Your Stinking Guts

Who...who's that Pokemon...?

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

Pokémon are an incredibly varied species. They can be cute and cuddly, or they can steal your soul if you look at them wrong.

But even if a Pokémon has horrible secrets that are kept in check by a mere scrap of cloth, you can still count on its friendship if you manage to snag it in a PokéBall.

In fact, each Pokémon has a base "Friendship" stat that determines everything from which moves it can learn to (in the case of some Pokémon) when it will evolve. Most generic Pokémon start with a Friendship stat of 70. Some Ghost-type Pokémon are a little mistrustful of you (I suppose being a restless wandering Pokémon soul makes you cranky) and start with a Friendship stat of 35.

But there is one bog-standard Gen IV Pokémon who hates you when you first catch it. Like, it simply can't stand you.

As Pokémon fan "SleepyJirachi" reminded us on Twitter yesterday, Buneary—a bipedal rabbit Pokémon who's as adorable as its name suggests—starts with a Friendship stat of zero. Nothing. Nada. If your mother dies shortly after you catch Buneary, you can expect more sympathy from the soul-eating Gengar than the Pokémon that seems perfectly suited for crying into.

The only other Pokémon that start with a goose egg for a Friendship stat are Legendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts, and they're all demi-gods who are understandably resentful about being pushed around by a ten-year-old. By contrast, Buneary looks like a discarded child's toy. Given the Pokémon series' tendency to cheerfully wade into dark lore, I'm surprised Buneary isn't a Ghost-type with a backstory like the Velveteen Rabbit's. But in the Pokémon universe, the stuffed, germ-ridden Buneary would just burn on a rubbish pile instead of becoming a "real" rabbit, so now it's pissed off and mistrustful of children.

As people point out in SleepyJirachi's Twitter thread, Buneary's hate-filled heart means it's the only Pokémon capable of naturally learning the move Frustration. "Frustration" lets a Pokémon thrash out against its opponent, and the lower the Pokémon's Friendship stat, the more damage Frustration does. Buneary also needs a high Friendship stat to evolve into Lopunny, which means you must nurture the fragile little bun until it trusts you enough to grow. That's all true. It's just amusing that Pokémon is a series full of vengeful ghosts and fierce beasts, but it's the friendly-looking fuzzy bunny who wants to take your skin.

Incidentally, Buneary arrived in Pokémon Go with the recent Gen IV update. Check out our Pokémon Go guides for tips on how to catch one. We can't tell you how to make it love you, though. That's your job.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar for MetManMas #1 MetManMas 3 days ago
    On the subject of Buneary, it should also be noted that its standard abilities are Run Away and Klutz. The former allowing it to escape from near anything (like a would-be bunnynapper) and the latter prevents from using most items with beneficial effects (Stuff like Soothe Bell still works though).

    Lopunny grows out the Buneary's Run Away phase, replacing it with Cute Charm. But once a Klutz, always a Klutz.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #2 NiceGuyNeon 3 days ago
    I love this
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  • Avatar for TernBird #3 TernBird 3 days ago
    Something I've always found interesting about the Pokémon games is that even if you can teach a Pokémon Frustration (or, in Buneary's case, it learns it naturally), there's no point to it because simply having a Pokémon with you increases its mood.

    Simply being a trainer towards a Pokémon is enough for it to become friends with you, it's just a matter of time. That, or all the Trainers we play as are special in that they've got sweet sociable vibes for all Pokémon and it's just a matter until they learn to get along.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #4 MetManMas 2 days ago
    @TernBird There are ways to keep your Pokémon's friendship low if you want to. The most effective is using nothing but herbal medicines for healing, which are very effective cheap healing items but your Pokémon will hate you for making them eat that nasty crap.

    The far less practical alternative is having them faint all the time; it's far less effective than even the least awful medicine. Though a fainting does give you an opportunity to feed them the nastiest medicine (a revival herb) when it happens.

    The tl;dr is that if you want to build a moveset around your Pokémon hating you, there are ways to keep it hating you.
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