This question is more about the lore in the Pokemon games world.

In every Pokemon game I have played, your character doesn't have a dad, only a mom. I can't remember much about a dad in the Pokemon Anime either. Are they all dead, or what?

Is there any explanation from Game Freak or other Pokemon developers about that?

  • Related: there are many manga series in which the protagonist also has an absent father, and just like in Pokemon games, the absent father is never explicitly said to be missing. He's just never shown, but not called dead or missing. There's also one Pokemon film where Ash's mom mentions his dad ("You just missed him!") so it seems to me a common trope in Japanese manga/anime/games that the father is often absent, but not dead nor missing.
    – Stef
    Nov 20, 2023 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


In Generation III's Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald; the player's father is Norman, the leader of the Petalburg City gym.

There does not appear to be any word from Game Freak or Nintendo (official or otherwise) that I can find regarding the lack of a father in all the other Pokemon games. So the answer to that is largely in the realm of speculation and various fan theories that range from single mother, off on his own adventure, working hard to support family (but is never seen), divorce, or death.


A dad is mentioned in Black/White, if you interact with the 1st TV you see, before it

gets destroyed (sort of).

"It's a new, flat-screen television that Dad bought!" However, Dad is never shown in the game, only obscurely referenced through this observation.


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