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In EP056 - Pokémon Certification Test in the original Pokémon anime series, there's an infamous scene where the main characters are asked a trick question.

In the scene, the characters are taking a Pokémon test where they are challenged to recognize Pokémon by identifying silhouettes:

Please name the Pokémon by identifying its silhouette (or any part of its body) as it's displayed here

One of those silhouettes is of a ball. The characters come up with some reasonable guesses - a Voltorb, Pokéball, or Electrode - but it is revealed to be a Jigglypuff seen from above:

Before After
An exam instructor presenting a circular silhouette An exam instructor presenting a Jigglypuff seen from above
Voltorb Guess Pokéball Guess Electrode Guess
A Voltorb being chosen as a guess on a computer screen A Pokéball being chosen as a guess on a computer screen by James An Electrobuzz being chosen as a guess on a computer screen by Jesse

When this episode came out, there were only the original generation of Pokémon. Since then, many more have been released.

If the question was asked with every Pokémon in existence today, would there be any additional valid guesses to this question? That is to say, does there exist any other Pokémon whose silhouette could be a perfect circle from at least one angle?

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    Interestingly enough, the circle on screen isn't PERFECTLY round, if you look closely, although that might have been unintentional and/or an artefact from digitizing a TV tape. i.stack.imgur.com/fdzSx.png
    – Vilx-
    Aug 5 at 17:06
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    @Vilx- As a Stack Overflow user, I approve that unperfect hand drawn circle, even if it isn't red.
    – Clockwork
    Aug 6 at 12:52
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    As a comment; as with several countries, the Japanese Educational System has been repeatedly criticised over a great many years for "teaching to the test" — that is, training students to regurgitate an expected answer to known styles of questions, without actually understanding the subject matter. This episode was quite clearly lampooning exactly that teaching style, with Ash et al — who did know the subject matter quite well — failing because they gave correct* answers instead of **expected answers, and the school/pupils patting themselves on the back for being "better" by passing. Aug 7 at 13:03
36

Since there seem to be several, and the question is more or less asking for a (limited) list, let's make one! And let's make it a CW-answer to have everyone contribute.

If you find another one, make it a separate answer to get voted on, then add it to this list.


Jigglypuff

The answer given in the episode, Jigglypuff as seen from above.

an image taken from the Pokémon cartoon series, showing a man wearing a blue cardigan with a yellow 'P' in it, pointing to a screen showing a Jigglypuff seen from above, proving it to be perfectly round

Voltorb

One of the suggested answers in the episode.

a Voltorb, a Pokémon that looks like a Pokéball (a sphere with its top half red and its bottom half white) but with eyes, although it's not perfectly round from the angle it's shown

Foongus

Foongus would be a trick answer like the one in the episode, since it only works when seen from above.

a Foongus, a Pokémon that looks like a mushroom, with a pink button nose and two black eyes on its stem, as well as appendages protruding from that stem, as well as larger circular hood; the Foongus is creamy white except for its hood that looks like a Pokéball, half white, half red

Ditto

A Ditto is capable of transforming into any other Pokémon, so into any round one as well.

a Ditto next to a Voltorb (the Ditto on the left), two spherical Pokémon, both ; with the Ditto having retained its own face with small black eyes as opposed to Voltorb's expressive large eyes with eyebrows above it

Diglett

A Diglett looks as if it could be quite round when seen from above, although it does have a nose that may poke out.

a Diglett, a Pokémon that looks like a brown earthworm with black eyes and a pink nose; the Diglett looks as if it might very well be round when seen from above

Ghastly

A Ghastly is spherical as well, if we disregard its aura.

a Ghastly, a Pokémon that looks like a black sphere with big eyes and sharp teeth like a vampire, floating in a purplish cloud, its "aura"

Sandaconda

Sandaconda, when viewed head-on, would give a spherical silhouette. Sandaconda is a snake-like Pokemon with a big round "tube" surrounding its head.

Drifloon

Drifloon, a balloon-ghost pokemon that likes to carry children away, is also a round shape, and when you remove the strings (or view from above like Jigglypuff) it could certainly match the image from the show.

a Drifloon, a Pokémon that looks like a purple balloon with a small white cloud on its head, small black eyes, and a yellow cross for a nose or beak

Sandshrew

In the anime, a Sandshrew appears to be able to roll up into a uniform sphere, and might work as another trick answer.

AJ's Sandshrew rolled into a ball with three Ratata looking at it

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  • Do we actually know what Diglett looks like in its entirety?
    – Misha R
    Aug 5 at 21:31
  • I imagine castform, seedot, or chimecho could work, as seen from above. unknown o, although it has empty portions to its body. sunkurn from below. phione from above? hoothoot is a decent candidate because it's pretty rotund. perhaps bronzong with its arms retracted. donphan while in rollout. happiny. Aug 6 at 2:52
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    @MishaR Don't think so, but I've seen some disturbing fan art. (Don't google it at work, seriously...) Aug 6 at 15:25
  • @MishaR An interesting hypothesis: external-preview.redd.it/…
    – Clockwork
    Aug 6 at 15:49
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    @MishaR - I don't believe so, but their protruding noses would mean that they're not (im)perfectly round from any angle; i.stack.imgur.com/IMZi0.png
    – Valorum
    Aug 6 at 18:29
11

Foongus is one such Pokémon. Foongus would even work as another trick answer similar to Jigglypuff, as it would also need to be seen from above:

an illustration of Foongus

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Ditto could be as round as any spherical Pokemon, and certainly rounder than Jigglypuff. No less fair a game than Jigglypuff from above.

Ditto is on the left

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    Hah! I love this - it's very correct. It can apparently even transform into inanimate objects, achieving more perfect roundness than any other Pokémon could hope to achieve.
    – toroid
    Aug 5 at 5:22
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    @toroid Never forget about the Ditto - every parent's advice to their child in a world that has Dittos.
    – Misha R
    Aug 5 at 5:27
  • The problem with allowing Ditto is that you then need to include every single Pokémon that can learn Transform, Mimic, Mirror Move, Sketch, Skill Swap and Metronome, which is rather a large list.
    – Showsni
    Aug 5 at 17:08
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    @Showsni Eh, I dunno, I think Ditto is fine. I mean, some non-spherical pokemon could also be perfect spheres if you amputated their arms / legs / other parts, so I think we should just stick with basic out-of-the-box pokemon with their native abilities.
    – Misha R
    Aug 5 at 21:24
  • Fair enough; that means just Ditto and Mew in terms of using Transform, then.
    – Showsni
    Aug 6 at 17:40
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Rowlet is a Pokemon with a quite round body, especially if seen from above. This would be another trick answer though.

enter image description here

Here is a demonstration of the described angle

enter image description here

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    His beak would stick out.
    – Valorum
    Aug 5 at 14:03
  • @Valorum And I figured Spheal's legs would stick out when viewed from the front.
    – b_jonas
    Aug 5 at 14:07
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    @Valorum Not more than what Diglets nose or Gastlys eyes would do. Aug 5 at 14:31
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    Pointing out other people's bad answers doesn't make yours a good answer, it just means that it has company
    – Valorum
    Aug 6 at 7:48
  • @Valorum And that is why, as you can see, I did not add it. But if we are going to be that strict, then neither should those two be on the list. Aug 6 at 9:39
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How about an egg, also seen from above? Does that count?

Togepi and Elekid eggs touching

In the anime, a Sandshrew appears to be able to roll up into a uniform sphere: https://www.serebii.net/anime/characters/aj.shtml

AJ's Sandshrew rolled into a ball with three Ratata looking at it

Also mentioned in the episode is Electrode:

Electrode image from Pokémon Go!

Munna might look circular from the right angle:

Munna

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  • 1
    Is a Pokémon Egg considered a Pokémon?
    – fez
    Aug 5 at 15:48
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    @fez if the characters have already suggested a Pokéball as a potential answer, then I guess they have implicitly suggested the answer might not be a living Pokémon?
    – Ed HP
    Aug 5 at 15:56
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    Ah that's a fair point! Welcome to the site by the way, why not take the tour and check out the help center
    – fez
    Aug 5 at 16:02
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    On the line of the egg, Togepi is still mostly egg, and could possibly look circular from certain angles, especially if it chose to tuck in its arms... Aug 5 at 16:08
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Ekans

From above, if it tucks its tale in.

Ekans

Parasect

Again, if it tucks in.

Parasect

Ludicolo

From above.

Ludicolo

Seedot

From above.

Seedot

Castform (Normal form)

From above.

Castform (normal)

Shuppet

I think the skirt can be tucked in so it looks circular from above.

Shuppet

Snorunt

Again, I think the hands can be tucked in and it will be circular from above.

Snorunt

Drifblim

From above. It's the evolved form of Drifloon which was mentioned in another answer, but, well, they are different Pokémon and Drifblim wasn't explicitly mentioned yet, so...

Drifblim

Happiny

From above, of course.

Happiny

Solosis

It's... literally a sphere...

Solosis

Vanillite

The clouds in the picture are NOT a part of the Pokémon, so - from above.

Vanillite

Amoonguss

Another evolved form that wasn't mentioned before. Just needs to tuck its hands in before viewing from above.

Amoonguss

Beheeyem

While I'm not quite certain about it's previous evolution (Elgyem), Beehyem can DEFINITELY look round when viewed from above.

Beheeyem

Litwick

Is a silhouette a shadow and does a flame affect it then? I think not, so - round from above!

Litwick

And there were a bunch of others that I wasn't really sure about. To be honest, I wouldn't have included Jigglypuff myself because I think its hands or ears would distort the circle from any angle. It was for this exact reason I omitted a whole bunch of others like Igglybuff, Kabuto, Togepi, Sunkern, Swinub and others.

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  • Daaang, great work!
    – Ed HP
    Aug 9 at 7:52
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    Went through my Pokemon Go Pokedex. 😄
    – Vilx-
    Aug 9 at 8:02
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Eldegoss from behind

Eldegoss from behind would work. Unless you are super strict that it must be above.

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    Are there any angles that don't show bumps around the curve of the circle?
    – DavidW
    Aug 5 at 21:57
  • Any angle works! I'm personally not worried about the bumps - it's not like it's an entire limb sticking out, just a minor detail on the ball. Nice work!
    – toroid
    Aug 5 at 22:40
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Sandaconda

If viewed head-on, Sandaconda would certainly appear round like the silhouette in the show!

enter image description here

1

A Diglett would also look round when viewed from above, and is already featured in the Generation 1 video games. The body of a Ghastly might look like a circle too, if you ignore its dark aura.

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    I think it's literally gas, rather than an aura.
    – Stef
    Aug 5 at 12:16
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    Doesn't Diglett have a protruding nose though?
    – Gizmo3k
    Aug 5 at 13:19
  • @Gizmo3k Yes Aug 5 at 13:41

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