It seems such a handy device: a small ball which you throw and somehow captures (or imprisons) a sentient being, almost always much larger than the ball, inside.

Has a Poké ball ever been used to (try to) capture anything other than a Pokémon?

Does it work? If not, why not?

  • 1
    This question from Anime & Manga SE might already have the answer to your question: Are there any other uses for a Pokéball besides capturing and storing Pokemon?
    – Scorch91
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:43
  • @Scorch91 Sort of, although the answer over there isn't that great.
    – SQB
    Nov 18, 2016 at 17:01
  • 2
    @SQB That answer does mention that Ash has caught a rice-ball (or "doughnut" in the dub) with a pokeball, which is an instance of someone capturing something other than a pokemon in a pokeball. Nov 18, 2016 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Ash tries to catch a Mankey in 'Primape goes bananas' but inadvertently snares a rice ball.

The Poké Ball appears to successfully digitise it, but then rejects it immediately afterwards.

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Mewtwo's special balls in 'Mewtwo Strikes Back' are capable of capturing Poké Balls, complete with their cargo of Pokémon.

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As can be seen in 'The Tower of Terror', you can't catch a human with a standard ball.

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However, the Pokéstar Studios movie Timegate Traveler is about a future where Bug-type Pokémon now rule the world and keep humans in specially designed Human Balls.

  • 7
    The Bug-type pokemon are sick of being early-game fodder. Nov 28, 2016 at 14:32
  • 1
    @Parrotmaster well, missingno is a bug found quite late in the first few games...
    – Marvel Boy
    Oct 27, 2020 at 13:28

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