In Pokémon, especially the games, the player defeats the current champ. After defeating him, the team is registered and the player start... at home. Then the player can roam the country and even defeat the old champ as often as he likes. And he still is in the same place, in the champ room.

So, is there a in-universe explanantion why the player is allowed to roam freely, while the old champ has to stay put?

  • Is this on-topic ?
    – Kalissar
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 8:18
  • 1
    @Kalissar why shouldn't it be on topic? It is a fantasy world... The Pokemon tag already existed.
    – Armin
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 8:31
  • 1
    @Kalissar - Is a mystical world with talking monsters, magic, scifi devices, time travel and telepathy on-topic? Yes, I think it might be,
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 8:35
  • 2
    @dawny33 - Video games (at least as relates to their plotlines) are very firmly on-topic here.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 10:26
  • 3
    The existence of a tag does not make a work on-topic. That said, this is absolutely on-topic.
    – phantom42
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:13

3 Answers 3


The player declines the status of champion

According to the Pokémon wiki:

Once you defeat the Champion, you are recognized as the champion, although in the games the player declines the position and allows the previous Champion to reclaim their spot.

This is unsupported by references, but it is clearly possible, since in Pokémon Black and White, N refuses to take the position after having defeated Alder.

In light of this fact, the most sensible explanation for the player being able to go back and defeat the old champion that that they refused to take the job.


I would say this is because the quest of the game is not to defeat the league, but rather to complete the Pokédex.

Such quest can't be done if the player is stuck battling for the league after he's defeated it once.

So he'd go "Nope, keep the old champion, I've got other things to do. I'm 10 years old I'm not old enough to work full time for you anyway"

  • 3
    I think it's analogous to playing against the 'club professional' at a golf course. You don't supplant him if you win.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 10:27
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    Hello and welcome to Scifi.SE. Please condiser taking the tour. The OP stated in this comment that he wanted an in-universe answer, maybe you could orient this answer more to fit his request ?
    – Kalissar
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 10:33
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    @Kalissar The player character's quest and age are true in-universe, no?
    – Rawling
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:03
  • The player's age doesn't matter: in RBY, the rival becomes champ. Not wanting to take the position might be a good reason though.
    – Pwassonne
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 14:01
  • @Pwassonne yeah, after reading my reply again that struck me, Red should be underage as well. So let's stick to the "I don't want it" part
    – Webster
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 14:23

Because it doesn't appear to be an actual rule of being a gym leader.

Both in-game, and in-anime, gym leaders are not absolutely required to sit and wait for challengers.

In most of the games, there is a fetch quest of some sort to get the gym leader to go back to their gym so you can challenge them.

In the anime, Brock and Misty are both gym leaders, who leave their gyms but retain their leadership for a time.

  • Gym leaders aren't the same as the champion though, are they?
    – Rawling
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:14
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    I'm not sure, but weren't Misty's sisters also the gym leader? And didn't Brock's father take the position as gym leader?
    – Armin
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:15
  • True, but I don't see why the rules would really be any different. They're still people who have to live lives beyond just sitting in a gym
    – phantom42
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:16
  • @Armin Yes, but they were both still technically leaders for a time. There have been plenty of other leaders that have left their gyms throughout the anime, if only just to go do random things. It's just early, and I'm blanking on names/specific instances at the moment.
    – phantom42
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:18
  • @phantom42 I'm not completely sure whether gym leaders are the same as the champ. Considering the games, nobody tells the player that he is the gym leader now, but when you defeat the champ, everyone tells you your the champ, so becoming champ is already different than becoming gym leader. Couldn't the stuff, a champ is allowed to do also be different?
    – Armin
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 12:23

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