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Your "too old for Pokemon" phase

Fairy Type Arceus

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In the early 2000s many kids having grown up on RBY and GSC were saying they were too old for the games, and that Pokemon was a fad soon to die out. Gen 3 rolled around and while not as succesful it survived and over time many did eventually come back for nostalgia or maybe just downloaded Go when it came out. in fact I did not know Ruby and Sapphire existed until after emerald was released because my siblings last played crystal and I knew of the games from them most of the time. Which actually lead me to think sapphire was a new game when I saw it in Walmart and I was disappointed to find out it was emerald but worse xD

So I thought I'd ask if anyone had that phase here and what it was like? Did you sell your games and cards (some of which might not be worth a lot of money?) Did you actually feel like you had outgrown the series or was it out of some feeling of obligation that since you were getting older that you had to drop anything 'kid' lile that you enjoyed when you were little? If so when and why did you come back?

For me my gen 1 and 2 was 3 and 4, by platinums release I was 12-13 and the friend I had been playing Pokemon with all those elementary school years suddenly stopped liking it. It was a shock because I thought it would be more gradual, some talk about getting less and less interested. But no one day a pokemon card I had been using as a bookmark feel out of my bag and he was like "you still like that?"

So yeah 13 year old became self conscious about still liking pokemon, I sold all my games bar Emerald and Platinum (which I was gonna keep for nostalgia sake, platinum did get chewed up by my dog but I got a new one while gamestop was still selling them years later) and I stopped watching the anime at the exact episode where piplup refused to evolve (part of it was also me not liking thay decision to bot evolve the pokemon) and I even starting forcing myself to hate the new games to keep myself from falling back into them.

Yes I was part of the problem in gen 5 of people hating on the new designs, I just wanted to force myself to hate them since I had resigned myself to that being too old phase. What made me come back was watching super Skarmory play black and then playing black 2 he said you could get riolu early game. Which at the time was my favorite Pokemon. So I went and picked up black 2 and fell back in love with the games, went back and got black and hgss, and then X and Y got announced and it was such a hype trailer that I of course needed to get my first job to buy a 3ds.

So yeah I now say **** the boomer mentality that when you grow up you can only like "adult" things, like sports, and the weather channel. What a boring way to live your life abiding by some arbitrary rules about what you should be allowed to like. Nearly cost me the master piece that is black 2, and the designs I hated so much from gen 5 I love now.
 

Esserise

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In retrospect, my too-old phase really wasn't as long as I feel like it was. I drifted away from the series in 2003/2004 - I definitely remember playing Ruby, and I remember seeing ad spots in toy store newspapers for FireRed & LeafGreen. I have only the faintest memory of seeing Teams Aqua and Magma start to appear in the anime. In my head, it was a long time before my interest was reignited, but in reality, it was only a span of 4 or 5 years. In eighth grade, I recall seeing other kids in the library playing Diamond & Pearl on their DSes. I have memories of looking online and getting familiar with the new Pokémon, although I wouldn't end up getting a DS of my own until 2011, as a Christmas present. In the meantime, I had a friend who gave me his Game Boy Advance and his copy of Sapphire (because yes, I did unfortunately toss all of my own stuff), and that plus my eventual discovery of emulators was enough to tide me over until I was able to fully catch up.

I think I might've slipped in and out of focus in that 2008-2011 gap, but at that point, it wasn't out of any self-perceived supermaturity. My interest in specific hobbies has always worked on a rotating cycle. At any rate, I distinctly remember "coming back again" around the time of Gen 5, as if it'd been a bit since I last played a game on an emulator or seen news about HGSS being announced. I actually loved most of the new designs right off the bat, so once I did receive my DS, White was the first game I played out of the three I'd picked up (White, Platinum, and HeartGold), and that was like some kind of revelatory experience or something given how much I still love Gen 5, lol. Honestly, on a personal level, I would consider that my "true" introduction to the series, far more so than playing Red or Gold or Crystal back in 1999-2001 or Sapphire in 2008.

Also, while I can't say I remember it all with perfect accuracy, I don't think my drift was stimulated by peer pressure or that kind of thing - I don't think I felt like I had to meet anyone's expectations; I think it was more a result of self-evaluation, an internal sense that I was getting older and therefore should like more mature things because that's just, like, what you're supposed to do, right? I think there's an interesting paradigm there. Recalling that one C. S. Lewis quote:

“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

It's like he says, it's normal and healthy for children to feel like they're evolving, and to want to be acknowledged as mature and taken seriously by others. So feeling like you've outgrown an interest or a hobby isn't necessarily a bad thing - certainly I don't still enjoy everything that I liked when I was younger. But I don't think the tendency to mock kids for "still liking" whatever subject is helpful. Shame is a valuable emotion, but only in the right context and proportionality. I don't think it has much business being in the neighborhood of innocent childhood hobbies.
 

takoyaki

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never! although i did get ashamed of watching the anime from when i was like 8-9 for some reason.
but then i picked it back up, and watch XY from time to time.
but i just keep kinda quiet about it like at school and such. but at home i like it freely, if that makes sense.
 

MizuTaipu

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I don't think I had that kind of phase. I had a pretty good friend group in middle school and high school where every one of us was a big fan of a property that had a "it's just for kids" air to it. Pokémon was mine. Even if my other friends weren't a fan of Pokémon they didn't judge or mock me for it and I didn't do the same for their childish interests.
 

Juliko

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Personally, I never had that phase myself. Pokemon was always my rock, my safe place during tough times, when I was lonely or sad. No matter how flawed it could be at times, I could never bring myself to hate Pokemon even as others did.
 

Daenerys

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I think you mean 'too old for Pokemon'. And I guess I'm going through that phase right now? I haven't bought any of the recent games, got bored of the last one that I did buy pretty quickly, and I haven't watched the show, read the manga or bought the trading cards in years. I rarely replay the old games although that's partially because my DS is broken. :p
 

YumeTsuki

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My "too old for pokémon" phase kinda started around halfway through primary school... At least, I could never let go of Pokémon. And became more of a closeted fan to avoid becoming a target for bullying. Which happened anyway so whatever I guess... I still freeze up in fear when someone I don't know catches me doing anything Pokémon related in public, though... Unless its kids. Kids are ok.
 

Neyo

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Not a specific time period, there's this weird pattern I'll go a year without Pokemon without realizing it, go back to it, drift away, and so on and so forth.
 

Tood

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There have been times where I've kind of put the series aside for a bit, but none of those times have been because I think the series is too childish. If I take a break from the series, it's probably because of school/work more than anything.

A lot of my fellow classmates and coworkers have interests in other "childish" cartoons or games, so I've never really been teased about it by them.
 

A Wild Luxray

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I probably had that phase from 2004 to 2009. I was around maybe 6th grade when I started going through that phase? It was around Gen 3 when I started to go through the "I'm too old for Pokemon" phase. I think I was so keen on playing much more "mature" games like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, or Call of Duty at that time, just trying to fit in at school. Back then, it was almost as if being a fan of Pokemon when you were like 13-18 was viewed as being more childish, and I was desperate to fit in so I just kinda stopped playing. Around 2009, I started getting back into it secretly, hiding the fact that I was starting to get into drawing Pokemon and joining Pokemon themed roleplays. I started playing ROM's of the games, though it wasn't until 2012 with X and Y when I finally started purchasing Pokemon games again without a care of what others thought. It was more popular when I was in college, so I just kinda fell back in, playing the games and keeping up with the anime again. I'll never forget the day Sun and Moon came out. Me and a handful of other people in a college club bought the game and our Friday night was a handful of us playing Sun and Moon. It was a great time.
 

Pyrax

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I'm in that phase right now actually. After USM I wasn't particularly interested in SwSh so my love of the franchise dropped quite a bit. BDSP and Legends revived it to some extent, but honestly I'm not as invested in Pokémon as I was a decade ago. Still interested in the universe and lore though.
 
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techitisJ

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It's kind of hard to say when my "too old" for Pokemon phase was. My relationship with Pokemon was complicated. I never played the games as a kid, I only collected some cards and watched the anime. I remember being around 6 or so when my older brother started hitting this phase though, and when I was a kid I wanted to be just like him so I pretended I didn't enjoy Pokemon anymore. Meanwhile, I still loved the franchise dearly and continued to watch the movies we had on VHS when he wasn't home. This is how my relationship with Pokemon would continue for several years. I think the last movie I watched before I officially got back into Pokemon was the Darkrai movie in 2007 or 2008. By this point though, it was more like I would see the movie on T.V. and decide to watch it. I was about 12 or so. My exposure to Pokemon in between that time was pretty minimal. I think I had a friend group around the age of 8 who liked to pretend play Pokemon, which I really enjoyed because I still loved Pokemon at the time, I just thought I didn't know anyone who did. Unfortunately after only a few recesses, I found myself becoming friends with this girl who I really liked to hang out with, who thought Pokemon was too weird, so once again I had no one I could express my hidden interest to.

By the time I reached 12, I had basically forgotten my love for the franchise, which is odd because the summer I turned 13 I started getting back into video games. It was no longer, "I'm too old for Pokemon" it was "I just don't think about Pokemon". Then, somehow when I was 16 in my sophomore year of high school, with no prompting at all from anyone, I rediscovered Pokemon and my love for it. I watched through the DP anime and caught up on all the movies I missed (I was not a fan of the Unova anime which was just reaching its' end at the time, so I only watched the movies). This new love for the franchise inspired me to look up an emulated version of Pokemon Yellow (I found Pokemon Crystal first so I played that). Actually playing through the games for the first time fully reinvigorated my love for the franchise, and it hasn't cooled down since.
 

Like_Fahrenheit

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For me I don't know if I was "too old", but I did fall out a bit late gen 3/early gen 4 when I was 14/15. I never played Emerald during that time, and didn't get a DS when DP released because I didn't have the money and didn't realize they were for the DS after getting a gameboy micro the year prior. Then I started watching the anime again in September 2008 and started using Serebii and Bulbapedia. The following March I bought a DS Lite and Platinum.
 

Aulos

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Ah, yes, I do remember: Pokemon was very uncool to like in the early 2000s. You'd get bullied for it.

In my preteen phase I did go through a "too old for Pokemon" phase a little. I think it was also factored by the fact that my parents hated Pokemon (visibly to me) and despised the idea of purchasing anything Pokemon for me anymore so I had to move on. However, I never completely separated myself from it. I got Ruby in 2003, and remember wanting FR/LG in 2004. But I wouldn't get a new Pokemon game until mid-2008, Pokemon Diamond. It's hard to know which of the above factors (and to which degree) went into that delay.
 

Orchid

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I personally never went through that phase, at least not fully or for any long period of time. I did purposely stop keeping up with the anime sometime during BW, and didn't return at all until two years ago — but that was less me specifically thinking "I'm too old for this" and more like preteen me thinking "I'm gonna get made fun of if I'm still watching this" lol.

I guess if I had to pin it down it was mostly the ages of 12-15 for me. I still loved Pokémon, but I just wasn't really as fully invested in it as usual, due to a combination of being preoccupied with other interests and not really being into some of the games that were coming out either (in fact I think one of those was a gap year when there was nothing released at all). It was more of a background presence for me then, rather than front and center in my mind.

Pokémon has always been like my "default" state. It's what I go to when I'm happy, sad, frustrated — it's gotten me through a lot of hardship over the years because it's always been there. Because of that, I don't think I could ever hate it or leave it behind.
 

Charizard011

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I've had this phase before and it's normal to outgrow things especially children's games. I remember getting a lot of hate in middle school for still liking Pokemon which is weird because I bet most of those people who picked on me played Pokemon GO when it came out a few years back.
 

takoyaki

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I've had this phase before and it's normal to outgrow things especially children's games. I remember getting a lot of hate in middle school for still liking Pokemon which is weird because I bet most of those people who picked on me played Pokemon GO when it came out a few years back.
You know, you're probably right about that. "well, well, how the turntables..."
 

PikachuSmasher

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Where I live, Pokemon was for 8 year olds. Once I turned nine, if I even mentioned Pokemon, I got ridiculed. I gave up on Pokemon, loosely followed Pokemon stuff and all. I got Pokemon GO, but then was laughed at. During the pandemic, I got back into it and caught up on the anime and followed the games. I played GO when restrictions eased, but I never got back into TCG.
 
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