Let me be frank: No. Joey’s Ratatta is nothing special. Deep down, you already knew that.
Still, you clicked in here to have a good time, so grab a seat. Stay awhile. Let’s chat about Pokémon memes and themes. Heck, I’ll teach you how to build some top 1% Rattatas of your own by the time we finish!
I’d like to show Joey and his Ratatta some much needed respect before diving into the territory of memes.
No doubt about it, the theme of Pokémon R/B/Y was perseverance. Game Freak cut generation 1 from a pretty straightforward cloth.
GSC-era Pokémon introduced bucket-loads of random new features to the series. Random fleeing, the international bank of mom, shinies, an additional region, and the subject of today’s topic: Pokegear.
Second-generation Pokémon brought out a warmer theme: friendship. Game Freak included a handful of these new features to give the impression that success was built from the fruitful soil of teamwork, building relationships, and growing from social exposure.
Everything we experienced – between Lance’s tireless monologues about the treatment of Pokémon, and defeating our snot-nosed rival countless times – was a gentle stride down a path of building triumphant connections with others.
In GSC’s final moments, the contrast between the two themes came to its climax. Friendship and dedication fought tooth and nail when we faced trainer Red in the deepest depths of Mt. Silver. In the end, we witnessed the glory of a motivated hermit falling to his knees in defeat.
Cool. Pokémon taught us flowery concepts about the value of friendship. End of story. Right?
Maybe on the surface… But we all have that one friend…
You guessed it. Youngster Joey. The internet meme sensation and Rattata taming extraordinaire. He’s sheltered, inexperienced, abundantly boastful, and painfully predictable.
Forever burned into our brains are the quotes:
“Yo, [Random Dirty Name You Probably Picked]! How’s it going? This is Joey. Got a minute?”
“How are your Pokémon doing? My Rattata is looking sharper than before! I doubt there’s a Pokémon as cool as this guy in your party!”
“Oh yeah, I saw a wild [Terrible Pokémon]! I thought about going for it, but I decided to work with my one-and-only right to the extreme end.”
“How are your Pokémon doing? My Rattata is raring to go, just like always. It’s the only one I have. I’m going to become a great trainer with it!”
“My Rattata’s looking awesome! I wish I could show you. Hey, listen! I almost caught Pokémon the other day. Oh, it was soooo close too! See you later!”
“Hi, Joey here! Oh, [Random Dirty Name You Probably Picked]? You doing well? I’m checking out Rattata’s moves and devising some strategies. When I come up with a good one, let’s battle! All right. Later!”
“What’s keeping you, [Random Dirty Name You Probably Picked]! Let’s get down and battle already! I’m waiting on Route 30! All right. Later!”
“Oh yeah, I took down a [Terrible Pokémon] in the wild the other day. It was a cakewalk. Well, I guess it can’t be helped, us being so tough.”
“Let’s get together and battle! I promise things will be different! Route 30’s where I’ll be. Give me a shout when you come. All right. Later!”
In all fairness, youngster Joey was the first NPC we encountered… aside from our overtly edgy rival. Ol’ Joey got his shorts-wearing butt kicked by another NPC, too. We knew what we were signing up for when we accepted his phone number.
Our boy Joey, whose sole purpose was to showcase a new friendship feature, lived on as one of the biggest memes in the Pokémon universe.
Then, Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver added a quote that completely dwarfed the others.
“Remember my super cool Rattata? My Rattata is different from regular Rattata. It’s like my Rattata is in the top percentage of all Rattata.”
Youngster Joey’s fate was sealed. He would forever be boosted into the ranks of internet stardom. So, let’s hop to the burning question:
No, I already told you that. Quit asking. Believe me. My heart yearns for it, too.
More importantly, in HG/SS, where he was programmed the “top percentage” line, his Rattata has laughable stats. There’s proof!
Before I dive into that, I’ll do a quick rundown of how Pokémon statistics work behind the scenes:
The developers at Game Freak wanted to make each captured Pokémon unique. They created Pokémon DNA, which is fancy-speak for varying stat totals in each category.
Since we’re specifically calling out Joey’s statement in HG/SS, I’ll focus on how stats have worked from generation 3 onward. I’ll include a drop-down of legacy stats for anyone interested in undercover programming… or making an elite Pokémon team on their old GameBoy.
IV is shorthand for individual value. It’s a stat variable that each Pokémon is born with, ranging from 0-31. A Pokémon can have 0 IV’s in one stat and any assortment of different numbers in other stats. A Pokémon can have max IV’s in every stat, as well. Think of IV’s like Pokémon genes.
EV is shorthand for effort value. From generation 3 onward, we can allocate a maximum of 510 additional points to stats. Where they’re placed depends on what vitamins you fed your Pokémon and/or who they’ve defeated in battle. Every 4 EV’s in a particular stat equals a full point at level 100. There’s also a cap of 255 EV’s that Pokémon can have in a single stat area. Think of EV’s like personal development.
In generations 1 and 2, IV’s maxed out at 15 and were often called DV’s (Determinant Values) and EV’s could be maxed in every stat (at the time, they were called Diversification Values)
Remember the old cheat code that let you catch an opponent’s Pokémon? Now we can couple that with a bit of PC uploading magic and special programs dedicated to extracting hidden Pokémon stats.
We now have countless case studies of Joey’s Rattata floating around on the internet. In the name of science, I’d like to welcome you to the world of white hat hacking!
So, drum roll, please!
First, we’ll take a look at Ratatta’s IV’s:
In HG/SS Joey’s Rattata was in the bottom 1%!
- Attack – 0
- Defense – 0
- Special Attack – 0
- Special Defense – 0
- Speed – 0
- Hitpoints – 0
In GSC, Joey had a strictly mediocre Rattata.
- Attack – 9
- Defense – 8
- Special – 8
- Speed – 8
- Hitpoints – 8
Joey’s Rattata didn’t win the genetic lottery.
Okay, but we can remedy this a bit with EV’s, right? Couldn’t Joey feed his Rattata a bunch of protein shakes and carbos to buff the little mouse up a little?
Sure! Although NPC Pokémon have always had 0 EV’s in every category. Before you go grasping for straws like Pokémon nature, I’d better let you know that NPC Pokémon natures are randomized.
Sorry. I know this news can feel deafening. Take a deep breath.
In Joey’s defense, Game Freak programmed all Youngsters and Lass NPC’s to have Pokémon with 0 IV’s. It wasn’t necessarily a cruel joke made by Game Freak staff. IV’s were determined by trainer class. Team Rocket grunts had 3 IV’s in each stat. Ace trainers were programmed to have 6-7 IV’s per stat. Elite Four trainers had 30 in each category.
Here’s something that might blow your mind.
A level 1 Rattata is among the strongest Anime characters in existence. A pretty bold claim, right? He’s not a rare Pokémon. The dang thing pops up in every field imaginable.
Rattata could defeat Goku, Izuku Midoriya, Eren Yeager. You name it!
How? It’s a similar idea to the 1 HP Dodrio sweep from the days of the GSC meta. Just add a few extra tablespoons of salt and a jar containing the laughter of a bridge troll!
Let me introduce you to an unorthodox little strategy we call F.E.A.R. in the competitive Pokémon community:
So, let’s say Goku (or Hydreigon) wants to blast a newborn Rattata with his strongest Kamehameha wave. Rattata is slower, so he endures the hit and his focus sash breaks.
Endeavor drops Goku to 1 HP. Rattata follows with quick attack. I’m 99% sure Goku isn’t packing a priority move of his own. It sounds like Goku’s buddies need to go hunting for Dragon Balls to wish him back to life again.
Disclaimer: Before gearing your Rattata up for the hardships of war, we need to set one thing straight. One Punch Man can probably break through Focus Sashes. You have been warned.
But, speaking more practically, a level 1 Ratatta can absolutely massacre a Landorus.
Joey’s Rattata may not be in the top 1% of his species, but he’s in the top 1% of anime characters. That’s a much bolder claim. A claim that we probably shouldn’t ever speak of within Joey’s presence.
Lord knows we would never hear the end of it…
But let it be known: Joey and his Rattata were the heroes Johto needed, not the ones we deserved.
It’s a whole lot more fun to be that obnoxious friend than it is to listen to him. Let me help make the world a more chaotic place by planting some merciless Rattata battle strategies into your brain.
Besides Endeavor and Quick Attack, Rattata can learn:
Final Gambit – A self-destruct type move that deals damage equal to the user’s remaining HP. This can make for an excellent suicide lead for your “Oops! All Rattatas!” team.
Me First – A move that steals the opponent’s attack and gains an additional 50% base power. You’ll need a choice scarf to move first. The move fails if it goes second. It’s perfect for Dragons spamming Outrage.
Thunder Wave/ Double Team/ Mud-Slap/ Substitute – Your opponent can’t win if they can’t hit you.
Toxic – Just like most other Pokémon (and my teammates in Rocket League), Rattata can learn toxic.
U-turn – A perfect pivot for another Rattata to safely switch in.
Last Resort – Because… why not? 140 Base Power might be enough to make your Rattata look like the reincarnation of Rambo.
Taunt/ Protect/ Thief/ Pursuit – Some extra utility if you need to fill a slot or two.
There you go. Now you’re ready to watch the competitive Pokémon battle spotlight burn in a fiery inferno of utter dismay. You’ll make Joey and his Ratatta proud as you shower your opponents in a rain of molten plasma meteorites! Take this meta guide with you, if you’d like.
As always, thank you for reading!