I just came across the term "HM Slave" in reference to a Pokemon character. A couple of questions such as this one reference the term but I haven't been able to find anything that defines it.

What is an HM Slave?

  • How did you not find a definition? There are dozens of results in a quick Google search. Although it includes this question now, so it doesn't matter ;) Jul 16, 2012 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


Though the necessity varies between generations and games, the general idea is that, especially late in the game, you cannot reach certain areas without some of the HM moves: i.e., strength, cut, surf, whirlpool, dive, etc. (Again, the actual requirements vary by game).

An HM slave, then, is a term for a pokemon that is not used for battle but knows one or more of these moves, such that the battle performance of your other 5 pokemon is not diminished by "wasting" one of your 4 attack moves with an HM move (which are generally subpar compared to other, similar, options).

  • 2
    Examples of ideal HM Slave pokemon species include Kingler, Linoone, Bibarel, and so on.
    – Lokathor
    Jul 1, 2012 at 14:04
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    And, of course, Mew. Jul 1, 2012 at 15:59
  • 2
    And in gen 2, Gyrados could learn Surf, Waterfall, Whirlpool, and I believe it could even learn Strength.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 11, 2014 at 20:26

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