Alternative Reality

An Alternative Reality is a story that takes place in the basic universe but with differences in the characters that inhabit it. An alternative reality might have an Ash who loves studying while Gary is more impulsive and less studious. This term should not be confused with alternative timeline or alternative universe.

Alternative Timeline

An Alternative Timeline is a story where a single canon event is changed, leading to events past that point being affected and the story going in a different direction. A true alternative timeline should only have one event. Although authors will sometimes have multiple change points, those stories are not considered proper examples of alternative timelines. This term should not be confused with alternative universe or alternative reality.

Alternative Universe

An Alternative Universe is a story that involves canon elements (usually characters) but taking place in a completely different world. Placing Ash and Misty in a real-world high school would be an alternative universe story. This term should not be confused with alternative timeline or alternative reality.


An antagonist is a character opposing the protagonist. In Pokémon fanfiction this is generally a rival character or a criminal team, but antagonist can be applied far more broadly and does not even have to be a character. The term antagonist should not be considered identical to the term villain, as an antagonist is not necessarily a villain.


Canon is the official termination for the official content of a series, be it a television show, a comic book, or a video game. In the concept of the Pokémon series, this means all the products officially approved by Nintendo and created by GAMEFREAK. A different 'canon' series is the 'Pokémon Special/Adventures' manga, which is designed to follow the plot of the games, with variations.

The opposite term, for non-official content, is fanon.

Common Abbreviations

Common fandom abbreviations.

  • OT - Original Trainer
  • POV - Point of View
  • OC - Original Character
  • OOC - Out of Character
  • AU - Alternative Universe
  • AT - Alternative Timeline
  • AR - Alternative Reality
  • MS - Mary Sue

Fake Sprites

Main Article: Fake Sprites


Fanon can refer to either information generally held to be true among many fans, or to individual fan-created information.


A hero is the good or virtuous character in a story or game. The hero should not always be considered by default the protagonist, however, they are virtually never the antagonist in normal fiction.

Heroes are typically reactionary characters, responding to events in their world. Although in theory heroes are capable of being proactive, in practice most of those characters are considered a subtype of anti-heroes.


Journeyfic is a Pokémon fanfiction term that refers to stories about a character going on a Pokémon journey, traveling around in a region (fictional or not) to collect Pokémon and badges or a similar goal. Almost all of these stories involve an original trainer but a small number have been written about canon characters such as Gary.

Mary Sue

Main Article: Mary Sue


A fanfiction term that denotes a story following the plot of one (or more, in the case of the Pokémon fandom) game(s). In Pokémon, these are stories that have the main character(s) of the original game(s) go on a journey through their region, fighting eight Gym Leaders, stopping the evil Team(s), reaching the Elite Four, and becoming the Champion.

The difference between these stories and regular Journeyfic/Original Trainer combo stories is that the former not only involve only game characters as the main ones, but the story is also very much like the original game(s)'(s). Stories that have the same storyline, but different characters, or the same characters, but different storyline are not novelizations, by default.

Original Character

An Original Character is a character created by a fan author. The most common type of original characters in pokemon fanfiction are original trainers.

Original Trainer

Main Article: Original Trainer

Out of Character

When characters act differently than their previous portrayal would suggest. A pacifist getting into a fistfight for fun would be an example.

This is most commonly a problem with existing characters but can also afflict original characters.


A work that uses imitation to mock another work, often to highlight its faults, although this is not true of all parodies. Parodies are usually meant to be comical stories, involving non-serious humor, cartoonesque gags, and a much more light-hearted tone. Note that, despite that, a parody may have a dark tone; sometimes, it may use dark humor, and even lack of it, as a factor in its storytelling.

Point of View

Point of View, often abbreviated to POV, can refer to which character's view the story is told from, or which style of view. There are three basic styles, first, second and third person. There is also limited, omniscient and limited omniscient. Additionally, there is a distinction between stories which alternate between different character views and those which restrict themselves to a single viewpoint character.

Stories can also alternative between styles of view, although this is generally strongly discouraged.


Main Article: Pokémorph


Main Article: Protagonist

Rival Character

Main Article: Rival character

Team or Criminal Team

Team or Criminal Team is an catch-all term to refer to an organization in pokemon fanfiction that has "team" in its name and/or is based off Team Rocket, Team Magma, or Team Aqua.

The original use of this term was limited to Team Rocket and similar "Team ____" organizations that were criminal and attempting to take over the world for personal gain. With the release of Ruby and Sapphire, which contained teams that had less purely selfish motives, the term broadened and now can refer to virtually any type of large organization operating in the Pokemon universe.

Teams can be purely criminal, as in the case of Team Rocket, holding specific goals like Aqua and Magma, or positive forces working for good. They virtually always employ pokemon to accomplish their goals and have a hierarchical structure with a single leader at the top.


A story which ends negatively, either for the main character or cast at large, often tied to drama.


The villain is the evil character in a fan story or fan game. More exactly, a villain is generally considered a character that does evil within the context of a story, although villains are always necessarily evil themselves and may see their actions as correct. Villains are typically the antagonist, although not many antagonists are not villains.

Villains often double as plot devices, and are typically instrumental in the plot. Villains are generally proactive, creating schemes and putting them into motion, unlike their hero counterparts. However, these things do not in any way determine the villain label, but are just features that happen to be common among villains.