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Starters that would fit Team Rocket?


Jun 19, 2020
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We all know giving Team Rocket a Starter is a taboo by the Anime (with a brief exception of them having Grookey for a few minutes)

But let's just pretend like Team Rocket were allowed to have permanent Starter Pokemon on their team.

I want to know who you guys think would be a great fit for Jessie and James?

Here's what I personally think:

For Jessie I have 4 options:

1.) Serperior - Jessie is mostly known for having Snake like Pokemon and Serperior are also known for their prideful and sassy natures much like Jessie

2.) Primarina - Primarina is a beautiful Pokemon and Jessie values Beauty. Also Jessie is a performer who loves to participate in Contests and Showcases and Primarina would be pretty much perfect for helping her

3.) Empoleon - Another Starter known for having a lot of Pride and a large Ego. I can actually see Jessie getting along quite well with a Piplup

4.) Delphox - I have absolutely no justification for this, I just think Jessie and Delphox would look quite good together.
Also similar to Primarina it works as a Performer

Now moving onto James:

1.) Inteleon - This is honestly the most perfect choice out of any Starter for James in my opinion. And no, it's not even my bias speaking as I honestly cannot think of a more perfect match. James is canonically a big fan of watching Inteleon in movies and the Rogue Gentleman personality Inteleon is portrayed with fits James Aesthetic to a T. And of course physically they'd look pretty great together.

2.) Decidueye - After Inteleon, I think this would be the next best choice. Decidueye looks quite intimidating at first glance, but it's actually quite cowardly and silly which I think fits James when you remember TR's first appearance in this series
Also Dartrix looks like a Fancy rich boy and that fits James quite well lol!

3.) Rillaboom - To be honest I have no real justification for this, I just think Team Rocket got robbed out of having Grookey as their first Starter.

So with my opinions out of the way, What do YOU guys think are good Starters for Team Rocket?
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Tbh, I don't think that any of the currently existing starters fit Team Rocket that well, but if I were to pick the ones that get closest to being (in my opinion) good fits, these would be the ones:

Charizard. If only because Jessie managed to have two of these under her command in the Johto and Advanced sagas. Charizard is probably the least likely starter to ever join Team Rocket these days, though, since Team Rocket are the quintessential loser villains whereas Charizard isn't allowed to be portrayed in an even mildly unflattering light anymore, especially if it results in Zard losing fights.

Litten. Mainly because it has this "mean kitty" vibe going on, so I could see one of these play a similar role to Meowth except it can actually fight, perhaps even having a bit of a frenemy dynamic with the talking cat.

Grookey. Well, this one technically already was a Team Rocket mon, so already it's the closest to an actual Team Rocket starter we've gotten. And most likely the closest we'll ever get.
Grookey should have stayed with TR and become the new Mime Jr.

Superior - For obvrious reasons. It's an emperor and a snake.
Espeon - Decided to add an Eeveelution. Maybe Flareon instead, but I feel like skinny, hairless Pokémon fit Jessie more.

Grookey - Prepare for trouble and make it double... this monkey was made for Team Rocket.
Chesnaught - Its spikey shield could constantly get in the way of showing affection to James.
Thank you @Rainbow-Rain for the platform to discuss my specialist subject lol.

I suppose the crux of this for me is that not all individuals from the same species are the same. For example, whilst it’s more difficult to imagine Satoshi’s Geckouga with Musashi or Kojiro, one with a different personality might be a very good fit. That being said, the same team has accommodated the angelic Chirean and devil-incarnate Mimikyu, playful Maaiika and the more serious Matadogas so really, the sky’s the limit and they could I think work with essentially anything.

There are some obvious shoe-ins which have mostly been mentioned already. (The Tsutarja/Snivy line is a particular sore spot for me because I felt the only reason Habunake hadn’t had a proper send-off was because there was no replacement snake to fill its spot and then lo and behold a snake starter who was almost a perfect fit for Musashi shows up…) Kojiro’s affinity for grass types and Musashi’s obvious alignment with fire makes it easy to picture many of those respectively with them.

Some specifics that haven’t yet been mentioned however:
  • Zenigame/Squirtle - remember how Satoshi’s Zenigame was a literal gangster before it joined his team?! I think the charming rogue would have done equally well with Musashi and Kojiro.
  • Waninoko/Totodile - anyone remember it latching onto Musashi’s hair? I can deffo imagine a cheeky chappy, happy Waninoko on their team.
  • I really think Kojiro would have done a better job with Dodaitose than Satoshi did…
Kanto: One of the Squirtle Squad Squirtles would work pretty well with James.
Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh (none really, because either they don’t "fit" or they do really well with the existing trainer pairings)
Unova: Snivy could work pretty well with Jessie, continuing the trend of her getting snakes, and they could make the "Smugleaf" meme a reality with the personality. A Pokémon that looks down on the TRio.
Kalos: Chespin… maybe? Not sure
Alola: I can’t really see the TRio outright owning any of the starters, but Jessie and Incineroar feel like they’d be a really good match if Jessie came across one in a rental, like she often used a Charizard as brought up before. Incineroar fits with her very much, but it’s pretty strong so cannot work as a daily conflict Pokémon.
Galar: Grookey should've stayed with them, honestly.
  • Ivysaur: Looks kinda mean, it could go to Jessie due to the poison type or to James because it looks like a rose.
  • Charmeleon: Looks rude and prideful, could go to James.
  • Blastoise: Could be a Bowser expy, and his pumping powers would help on the evil schemes. Goes to James.
  • Totodile: Do I need to say it?
  • Feraligatr: A fierce-looking mon, that could subvert expectations by being kind or by being female. Bonus points if it evolves from Totodile so it goes to Jessie.
  • Snivy/Servine: Snakes are usually presented as evil and their smug attitude would sell it. Goes to Jessie. Ironically I don't see her with Serperior, I feel it's too pure and majestic.
  • Pignite: Kinda looks like a bully, goes to James.
  • Delphox: Has some weird chemistry with Jessie, maybe due to the red hair, and could help her on Contests or Showcases.
  • Frogadier/Greninja: Its design leads itself to villainy (as Detective Pikachu writers knew) so let's give it to James. Could be a professional pickpocketer.
  • Decidueye: Looks rather sinister, let's give it to James.
  • Incineroar: A big bully, could go to either (though maybe James is better since he's a Royal Mask fan). They could catch it on a previous stage but...Meowth exists.
  • Drizzile/Inteleon: A rebellious teenager like Drizzile would join Team Rocket willingly, and it would evolve into a dangerous agent that operates in the shadows. It feels like James would have more patience with it.
Please note: The thread is from 2 years ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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