178: Not Really Into Pokemon

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Not Really Into Pokemon
As of this writing, Ubuntu 6.10 and Firefox 2.0 have left my computer a complete mess.
Title text: As of this writing, Ubuntu 6.10 and Firefox 2.0 have left my computer a complete mess.


Pokémon is a popular franchise that includes 5 children's animated television shows, a collectible card game, and a whole series of video games. The premise is that a young "trainer" goes out to explore the world and catch Pokémon: fanciful wild creatures that come in many varieties, ranging from armoured dinosaurs that have drills for horns to robotic bugs that change their type depending on the items they are holding. When the trainer comes across wild Pokémon or other trainers, they use their Pokémon to fight each other.

In this comic, Randall claims that "I'm not really into Pokémon" can serve as an all-purpose phrase of condescending dismissal. The implied insult to the thing being dismissed can include:

  • Childishness. Although it does have a significant adult following, the Pokémon franchise was and is mainly targeted at children.
  • Frivolousness. The essential goal of Pokémon games, summed up in the slogan "Gotta Catch 'Em All," is to catch Pokémon for the sake of having them.
  • Commercialism. Pokémon is a sprawling franchise that periodically releases new iterations, which (at least to a non-fan) can seem much like more of the same, only existing to make money. At present, the Pokémon universe contains over 1,000 different types of Pokémon.
  • Absurdity. As mentioned, the names and designs of individual Pokémon can be quite fanciful; "absurd" would be a more unkind way to put it.

The example in the comic is Black Hat dismissing Ubuntu, an open-source computer operating system. Ubuntu may have been particularly chosen as specifically suitable for the "Pokémon dismissal" for reasons such as:

  • The name "Ubuntu," which (like the names of Pokémon) can sound strange or silly. Individual Ubuntu releases also have animal-themed names (like "Hoary Hedgehog" and "Saucy Salamander").
  • The name "Ubuntu" sounds like a Pokemon region.
  • Its release schedule; new Ubuntu releases come out every six months, which might (like Pokémon) be unfavourably described as putting out more of the same in new packaging.
  • A notion that people try Ubuntu (and other Linux distributions) just for the sake of doing so, like catching all the Pokémon.

The title text refers to the complications that new software releases can have on computers, especially if either the release is an alpha or beta release, or if the computer is rather old. Randall specifically mentions Ubuntu 6.10 and Firefox 2.0, both of which were officially released around two weeks after this comic was posted, so the versions causing problems were certainly pre-release editions. While Randall does not detail any specific issues, the title text may paint a picture of two computer programs fighting each other inside the computer and making a mess in the process, as if they were Pokémon.

Other comics which advocate using catch-all phrases as standard responses for any comment:


I have found the perfect phrase for condescendingly dismissing anything:
Cueball: Have you seen the new Ubuntu release?
Black Hat: Nah, I'm not really into Pokémon.

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The title text is probably more specifically an allusion to Missingno and other glitch Pokemon in Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue. Capturing them would make the text in the Hall of Fame render improperly. 03:05, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

On the other hand, it could be entirely literal and based on events of the time. -Pennpenn 03:30, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

It should be noted that you can't catch them all, only most of them. NinjaWolf064 (talk) 20:26, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Ubuntu 6 with Firefox 2? Im feeling so old right now 14:36, 30 April 2023 (UTC)

Should the title have an accent?[edit]

The title of the page currently has "Pokemon" in it, without the accent. I seem to remember there might have been some reason that the accent couldn't be there (due to special character issues or whatnot), but we seem to have Category:Pokémon and 1705: Pokémon Go just fine, so is it worth considering again? 23:41, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

The reason why it should not be there is simple: on xkcd.com it doesn't have an accent either. By comparison 1705 HAS the accent on xkcd.com. Also the category should use the correct writing. However this comic does not use it in the original title. - It could be made a piece of Trivia, that the title is not reflecting the "official" (trademarked?) spelling. --Lupo (talk) 07:21, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Also, it seems that special characters in page titles mess things up. PoolloverNathan (talk) 15:22, 22 February 2021 (UTC)