ByMichael Mitchell, writer at
Former Staff Writer for Now Loading. Currently tweeting things here:
Michael Mitchell

Okay, if you hadn't heard yet, we have even more Pokémon to look forward to after the latest Pokémon Sun & Moon reveal. Not only do we have Alola forms for Raichu, Marowak, and Meowth — two of which were on our predictions list for Alola forms — but we also learned who the Team Rocket of Alola will be: Team Skull.

Sun & Moon's Team Skull, like so many teams before it, has lots of grunts and a few Big Bads whose faces you'll want to remember. The grunts, you'll see them most often, are clad in skull-toothed bandannas that cover their mouths, black cross bone tanks, and on-the-nose skull caps. Oh, and apparently these grunts had to pay for their own uniforms! Team Skull is hardcore.

Meet Sun & Moon's stylish Team Skull Grunts
Meet Sun & Moon's stylish Team Skull Grunts
Meet Sun & Moon's Team Skull Leaders, Plumeria and Guzma
Meet Sun & Moon's Team Skull Leaders, Plumeria and Guzma

Even more hardcore are its leaders, Admin Plumeria, the "big sister" of Team Skull, and Boss Guzma, who holds this merry band of ruffians together and sports some seriously stylin' sun-and-moon glasses. Based on appearances alone, I'm sure we're in for some seriously classic hi-jinks.

But until we find out for sure just what sort of crazy shenanigans and grand plans Team Skull has in store for us, we figured it was a good time to look back at how Team Rocket has managed to set the bar over the years.

Below are some of our favorite Team Rocket moments from Pokémon's past.

Team Rocket's Very First Appearance Was Also Their Most Intimidating

Up until the end, there's not a whole lot of silliness to Team Rocket's first visit. Their voices are confident and intimidating, their Pokémon scare off Ash's before they can even battle, and they actually come close to pulling off their heist. Of course, they don't, but it's easy to forget that they started off with a totally different, very serious tone.

Oh, and can we talk about the fact that not only did Pikachu utilize tons of other power sources to electrify Team Rocket, the giant explosion was also caused by his attack mixing with Koffing's. In other words, none of it was his raw power alone.

Clearly not aware of these facts, Team Rocket decided he was a very rare Pokémon indeed and pursued him from that moment onward.

You Can't Beat Team Rocket's Iconic First In-game Appearance In Pokémon Yellow

While Team Rocket did appear in Pokémon Red and Blue, Jessie and James didn't appear until Mt. Moon in Pokémon Yellow. And even then, they weren't explicitly referred to as Jessie and James (but we totally know it was them).

Why was this great? Because it felt like you, the player, were finally taking on the show's most iconic villains, just like Ash. It was exciting, and waiting to see what Pokémon they would use and how they would evolve over the course of the game was just as exciting as beating them.

Or That Time They Borrowed Donald Trump's Makeup And Sent Ash on The St. Anne

Maybe I'm the only one, but I absolutely love the Pokémon series' take on the Titanic. Yeah, it's an easy target for storytelling, but I'm a sucker for show-boating. And you know who we have to thank for that? Jessie and James, who donned one of their many ridiculous costumes that Ash someone didn't see through and sent him on his way to the St. Anne, which would later become the iconic S.S. Anne in the games.

The best part? James just going, "Coooool!" non-stop. Oh, and the giggle. Cool indeed.

All Those Times We Learned That Team Rocket Actually Has a Soul

While Giovanni was downright bad, Jessie and James had a softer side that wasn't shown often, but was compelling when it was. Case in point: Meowth's backstory. When we learn what made Meowth the walking, talking Pokémon he is, it was a tragic tale (tail?). But it ends with Team Rocket fervently defending Meowth, and comforting him by telling him he may be a freak, but he's their freak.

Their occasional moments of emotion and pathos really managed to bring on the feels, especially if you were a kid used to them being purely comic relief.

And, Of Course, All 750+ Times They Blasted Off Again

Yes, that is a two-hour video of Team Rocket blasting off. Yes, the video has a counter for each time it happened (spoiler alert: it happens 764 times). But the fact that the show committed to the bit for so long shows how iconic it became. As they say, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and Team Rocket blasting off again."

And we loved every single blast off.

What is Your Favorite Team Rocket Moment?


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