I've always wondered about why Game Freak makes HMs impossible to remove on a Pokemon without a move deleter (especially since TMs and HMs can be used infinitely now), but now I'm curious about a related question...

Can you legitimately get stuck, where it is absolutely impossible to progress further in the game?

For example, going to a late place in the game, buying stuff to get rid of all your money, getting rid of all your items, getting rid of all your pokemon except maybe a level 1 magikarp, etc. So that, any direction you go, you HAVE to fight a trainer, and you WILL DIE because either they have all attacking moves or you will struggle and die.

To be clear, I'm not as interested in a 1/10000000 chance to still be able to not be stuck anymore, for example, by going backwards and avoiding all encounters, but that might be interesting too.

I'm actually curious about this kinda thing for all RPGs, but I thought I'd just stick to an RPG that I know about.

Edit: oh yea, i forgot about trading... Not sure what would happen then... Although, that brings back some memories where I had no friends to trade with ;_;

  • I'm not sure why you'd bother trying to deliberately get stuck as that seems an exercise in futility. Nobody could really answer for all RPGs as every game is different. In general, this question is largely impossible to prove in the negative also. As far as the Pokémon series, for the same reasons it would not be reasonable to try to answer for all RPGs, it might be as unreasonable to try to answer for all Pokémon games so I have to ask for clarification here: Which specific pokémon game (or pair/trio/gen of games in this instance) are you referring to?
    – skovacs1
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 9:05
  • Well, I'm not asking for all rpgs, although I'm still curious if anyone knows any particular way in any particular Pokemon game. Also, I know that it's futile, but I'm always curious about the checking games do to make sure you can't be completely stuck (besides glitching). Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 9:07
  • I dont think its possible to trade pokemon in your party so you would have to go to a pokemon center and if you where there you could always just walk back to the first town, if you had to walk through some grass you could just run from any battles. since you already walked through that path you would have already battled the trainers. you might have a problem if your pokemon dident know any attack moves and you might be forced to restart
    – Qwertie
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 9:08
  • @ogreenworld I borrowed a link cable and an additional GBA from a cousin when I did that ^^; I didn't get the occasion to trade/battle otherwise with someone else either.
    – Jerry
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 9:21

9 Answers 9


Well, yes you can get 'stuck', but it depends on the version.

For instance, in the first Gen II versions Gold/Silver/Crystal, you can get stuck.

Here's a gif from Pokemon Gold I made some moment ago. (the gif is quite big)

The main way I see it is when you are 'stuck' on an island where you require at least Surf to get off it and you don't have any Pokemon to use Surf or can teach it to since you released all the Pokemon who could.

In Red/Blue/Yellow, you have Cinnabar Island and in Gold/Silver/Crystal, you have Cianwood City.

As for Generation III games and remakes of previous games, there's a feature which prevents you from releasing some of the Pokemon, especially those which have Surf, Dive of Fly.

Here's another gif of Pokemon Emerald I made some moment ago. (that one's quite big as well)

The Pokemon will even keep the move in some cases (the Lanturn in the second gif refused to forget Surf at the move deleter). That means that as from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, there's a way you can go back and train your Pokemon until it levels up and be able to fight the trainer, though that might be extremely tedious (you'll perhaps have to save at every step when walking through tall grass/surfing) and go to a place where the wild Pokemon is of a reasonable level to train your current Pokemon.

  • You're still not stuck, though; you can fish for another pokemon that can learn Surf. There are always options to ensure being permanently stuck is not possible.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 16:31
  • 3
    @Frank How do you plan to get EXP or get another pokemon if you don't have offense moves or pokeballs?
    – Jerry
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 16:32
  • 1
    @ninten Even then, if you take the calculations, you'd lose 25% of HP for 1 struggle to deal at most 18% HP to the opponent. Yes, Magikarp is that weak at level 5 (Pokemon hatched at level 5 in GSC). You can do the calculations. Magikarp dies before seeing EXP.
    – Jerry
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 16:41
  • 1
    It's possible to get stuck in Gen 4 due to the Meister trade if Finneon is the only pokemon who knows Surf and you don't have any rods or rare candies. Also, there's another way to get stuck in gen 1 - run out of money. This one is more likely to happen by accident.
    – Antimony
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 0:47
  • 1
    @Oak that would require 2 things: 1. That you have/picked up a rod, and 2. that you have enough Pokéballs/money. So remove them and you are stuck.
    – Jerry
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 20:09

You can get stuck in a battle with Lorelei in the Elite Four and not be able to Struggle your way out (all Generation 1 games)

To do this:

  1. Have just a pure Fighting-type Pokémon that knows Rage in your party (such as Primape)
  2. Deplete the PP of all moves aside from Rage
  3. Toss all items or deposit them into the PC
  4. Enter Lorelei's room in the Elite Four

You cannot leave Lorelei's room the way you came in, so you have to either defeat her in battle or black out. However, there is a problem with blacking out.

The only move that your Fighting-type Pokémon can use is Rage, which has a 100% accuracy and deals damage, then automatically is chosen on each subsequent turn. The only way to stop using Rage is to switch out Pokémon (which we can't do), have the Pokémon faint, or win the battle.

The AI in Generation 1 will always use moves that are super effective against your Pokémon's type. Lorelei's first Pokémon is a Dewgong that knows one Psychic-type move: Rest, which recovers HP. The HP recovered is greater than the amount of damage Rage can do. Thus Dewgong will never try to hurt your Pokémon and you will be stuck trying to attack it.

But what about Struggle? Well, it turns out your Pokémon will never do it. The first time you use Rage, 1 PP is deducted. But on subsequent turns, no PP is deducted when you automatically continue the attack. Thus you will never run out of PP and never use Struggle. Additionally, AI Pokémon in the first generation do not use PP, thus Lorelei's Dewgong will never run out of PP or resort to using Struggle.

There is technically a way out of this, but the odds are absolutely astronomical. There is a bug in Generation 1 where a 100% accuracy attack actually only hits 99.6% of the time. Therefore, there is 0.04% chance that your Rage attack will miss and you will have to spend another PP to attack with Rage again. However, this is only calculated on the first turn that Rage is used, not the subsequent turns. So if you ever successfully hit with Rage, no further PP will be deducted.

Because the base PP for Rage is 20 we need to miss the attack 20 times in a row in order to use Struggle (or if they have a PP up, more). According to the YouTube video "How to Escape Lorelei's Game Ending Softlock", the odds of missing Rage 20 times in a row are so infinitesimal that you have better odds of encountering 5 Shiny Pokémon in a row in Generations 2-5.

At any rate, if your Pokémon ever successfully lands a Rage attack against Lorelei's Dewgong, you will be stuck in an infinite loop and unable to end the battle.


I've legitimately gotten stuck on pokemon blue. I went squirtle at the start and had no pokemon to learn cut and spent all my money. There was no way to buy a pokeball to get a pokemon that could learn cut and I had no way to get to lavender town.

Then in the next major town you can't get back to that guy unless you have cut.

  • 6
    Actually one of the problems in 1st generation Pokemon was the lack of money-gain opportunities. Unless you reached the Elite 4, the amount of money you would get was limited. They fixed that in gen 2, with the PokeGear and the battle calls. Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 19:09
  • @DoktoroReichard - legitimately yes, although you could Farm & Sell items using the Old Man Glitch
    – Robotnik
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 13:59
  • This video discusses other situations in which you can get stuck if you run out of money, like not being able to buy a drink for the guards or enter the Safari Zone (Red & Blue only). You can gain money by battling wild Meowth, since you keep the money if they use Pay Day, but they are only available in Blue version, and of course you have to be able to get to an area where they exist. Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 20:41

I've always assumed that you could get stuck in the original games above Cerulean. If you didnt have cut, or couldn't use it, and then got that one trainer that protected that item ball to move as far forward as possible, then went behind him and then saved and turned off the game. He would move back to where he was once the game was reset.

  • 2
    Correction: He would move back once the character changes area. If you save, switch off and load the previous saved game, the NPC will remain where it was before you switched off.
    – Jerry
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 6:28

You can get in a never-ending loop with the Old Man (Japanese Red, Green, and Blue)

In the Japanese versions of Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue, you could get stuck in an infinite loop with the Old Man (Video):

  1. Have a full party and every box on the PC full
  2. Ask the Old Man to teach you how to catch Pokémon
  3. The Old Man goes to throw a Pokéball at the Weedle
  4. The game will say that you have a full box and can't catch any more Pokémon
  5. Steps 3 and 4 repeat forever and the only way to get out of it is to reset your game

The reason for this is described at Bulbapedia

This is because the game thinks that the player is catching a Pokémon, even though it's actually the Old Man. The game produces a "temporary" Pokémon to hold, and if the catching demonstration ends, that caught Pokémon is deleted.

This was fixed in the Japanese version of Pokémon Yellow and all non-Japanese versions of the game.


I found a place in Terminus Cave in X/Y that I'm pretty sure you could get stuck in. There is a ledge somewhere that'll dump you in a place where you need Rock Smash to get back out. If you don't have Rock Smash you can't break the rock in your way, and you can't walk back up the ledge, so unless you have a pokémon with Dig or a pokémon that you can teach Rock Smash in your party, you're gonna live there forever. I'm not even sure if you could trade with someone. I don't remember if party pokémon show up on the trading screen.

  • You can get out using an Escape Rope or failing that, run into wild Pokemon until you faint or struggle yourself to death. Not quite stuck, but definitely an arduous task getting out.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 2:58

Contrary to the accepted answer, it actually is possible to get stuck in Pokémon Emerald. See for example this YouTube video:

Game Freak do seem to have tried to think of everything, but they missed something.

It seems that the only way to get to Sootopolis City is to use Fly and you can't release a Pokémon that knows Fly there, or overwrite the move. However, you can also get to Sootopolis using Teleport. So go there using Fly, enter and exit the Pokémon Center, then Fly to Lilycove City, delete Fly, then Teleport back to Sootopolis.

There is another thing though. You must have a Pokémon in your party that can learn Fly, as it must know Fly to be able to get out of Sootopolis in the first place to reach the move deleter. And this Pokémon must still be in your party when you return, as to remove it would require visiting a PC, which would require visiting a Pokémon Center, which would set your Teleport location to that Pokémon Center rather than Sootopolis. So it seems they thought they had this covered. But, what you can do is use a specific Pokémon which can learn 5 different HM moves including Fly. Then after Fly is deleted, teach it a different HM move in that slot. Then you won't be able to teach it Fly, because doing so would overwrite an HM move.

You must also have less than 100 Pokémon in the pokedex, otherwise you could use Pokémon Box to import a Pokémon which can learn Fly.

You must also have only 2 Pokémon in your party and no Pokémon in boxes, as otherwise the game would allow you to trade with others.

TL;DR - it is technically possible to get stuck in Pokémon Emerald but only if you really are trying hard to do that.


I got stuck once. In gen II I was on the ghost type gym and I had my eevee out and it only knew normal moves and my team was fainted so i couldn't switch and his gengar couldn't hit me.I should of saved before the battle

  • 3
    Similar to the metapod battle below, eventually Gengar will run out of moves and use Struggle, or you will. Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 22:45

You can always find a Wild Metapod while having a pure Metapod in the team. They will only use Harden, until they can't anymore and boom, this is how you get stuck.

  • 6
    Until you run out of PP, and then you struggle to the death. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 19:48
  • Does not work. You can't "not finish a battle" in Pokemon.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 20:25
  • 1
    As @TrentHawkins has indicated, if all moves have 0 PP you will use Struggle. if this was not the case then Magikarp would be another pokemon you could get stuck with battles against Magikarp fishermen who have nothing but Magikarp (which is fair easier to archive as Hardden will only raise the defense to a certain level which can still be breached by an opposing pokemon)
    – Memor-X
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 0:07
  • 1
    @ChaseC Actually I think you can, Ditto vs Ditto can use only Transform, and you get 5PP for each transformation. You can't run out of PP, so no Struggle and endless battle.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 22:54
  • 2
    @ChaseC From Gen II onwards, but in Gen I it will be an endless battle.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 1:32

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