|Pokémon series character|
|First game||Pokémon Red and Blue|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Gender||♂ Male / ♀ Female|
Meowth (// or //, known as Nyarth (ニャース, Nyāsu) in the original Japanese version) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Meowth first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent entries in the franchise. In addition, it was one of the Pokémon to get an Alolan Form variant of the Dark type. It now also has a Galarian Form, which is a Steel type, and is the only Pokémon to have both an Alolan form and a Galarian form. It later appeared in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. A male version of Meowth is considered by many fans as Team Rocket's mascot because a Meowth that is able to speak human language is a member of the Team Rocket Trio, together with two Team Rocket grunts called Jessie and James. Meowth is voiced by Inuko Inuyama in Japanese, and by Maddie Blaustein (dub episodes 33-419), and Jimmy Zoppi (dub episodes 420 – current) in English.
Known as the Scratch Cat Pokémon, it spends most of the daytime sleeping and prowls the city streets at night. Meowth evolves into Persian in Kanto and Alola and Perrserker in Galar. Meowth is considered as rival of the Pokémon mascot Pikachu and also has the opposite Pokédex number than that of Pikachu (its Pokédex number being 52 while Pikachu's is 25). Meowth is among the most recognizable Pokémon, largely because a member of the species is a central character in the Pokémon anime series. This particular Meowth, belonging to Team Rocket, the anime's main antagonists, is one of the few Pokémon that have the ability to speak human language. The episode "Go West Young Meowth" shows the character's backstory, in which Meowth attempted to impress a female Meowth called Meowzie (Madonna (マドンニャ, Madonnya) in Japanese version) by teaching himself how to walk on two legs and speak human language, but it ended up alienating Meowzie.
In the English version of the franchise, Team Rocket's Meowth speaks with a Brooklyn accent. The character has received a mixed reception, Game Daily describing him as "adorable" while GamesRadar described it as "not all that useful" and said that Meowth as a species would not have stood out if it did not have such a large role in the anime.
Design and characteristics
Meowth was one of 151 different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Called "Nyarth" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. Due to its appearance in the anime series as a speaking character, the species was renamed Meowth, a combination of the words "meow" and "mouth".
Meowth has a distinctly feline appearance, resembling a small housecat. It has cream-colored fur, which turns brown at its toes and tail tip. Its oval-shaped head features prominent whiskers, black-and-brown ears, and a koban, a gold, oval coin (also known as a "charm") embedded in its forehead. Meowth are valued for their ability to collect coins using their signature move, "Pay Day", as it is the only Pokémon that learns it. Meowth's coloration, its love of coins, and its charm indicate that Meowth is based on the Japanese Maneki Neko, a cat-shaped figurine that is said to bring good luck and money to its owner. Aspects of Meowth were drawn from a Japanese myth dealing with the true value of money, in which a cat has money on its head but does not realize it. When a Meowth receives enough experience from battles, it evolves into Persian at level 28. Meowth is an urban nocturnal Pokémon, spending most of the daytime sleeping and prowling the city streets at night. They retract their claws back into their paws, which grants them silent movement and protecting them from leaving distinctively incriminating pawprints that alert people to their actions. Meowth loves round objects, as well as shiny, glittering things. The item it adores collecting the most, however, are coins, since they are both round and shiny. Meowth collects the objects at every opportunity and hoards in its nest. Murkrow, a Pokémon similar to the bowerbird, exhibits similar behavior and members of the two species have been known to steal from the collections of the other.
In the video games
Meowth first appeared as a version exclusive Pokémon in Pokémon Blue. It later appeared in subsequent titles, including Pokémon Silver, Pokémon Crystal, the Red and Blue remakes Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Pokémon SoulSilver, Pokémon Black and White, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Pokémon X and Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon Sun and Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! and Pokémon Sword and Shield. Meowth is one of the playable characters in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Meowth also appears in the Nintendo 64 game Pokémon Snap, the Nintendo GameCube game Pokémon Channel, and many others. Meowth has appeared in every Super Smash Bros. game (including Melee, in which Team Rocket's Meowth appears as a trophy) as a Pokémon summoned via a Poké Ball item and uses its signature move, Pay Day, to throw a barrage of coins. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Meowth has a unique Alolan Form, which is a Dark-type. Alolan Meowth were owned by Alolan royalty in the past, resulting in them having selfish and prideful attitudes, which caused their form to change. Pokémon Sword and Shield introduces another form of Meowth, including a new regional evolution. The original Kantonian Meowth has a unique Gigantamax form and its cry is Meowth's Japanese voice from the anime. The species' third form is its Galar form, which is Steel-type and has an exclusive evolved form instead of Persian, known as Perrserker, in Japan as ニャイキング (Nyaiking). In the Generation VIII games, the Galar Meowth's evolution line are described to be wildly savage and feral, and has a black forehead coin that is distinct from the other Meowth forms’ evolution lines. It also appeared in Pokémon Go and New Pokémon Snap.
In the anime
A specific male Meowth has made an appearance in almost every episode in the anime as the constant companion of Team Rocket agents Jessie and James, the show's bungling main antagonists. In the English version, he speaks with a Brooklyn accent. He originally lived in the Kantonian city of Hollywood (based on Hollywood, California), and tried to impress a female Meowth named Meowzie by learning to walk on two legs and speak human language. Instead of being impressed, she regarded him as a freak, so Meowth joined Team Rocket. Meowth was cloned in Pokémon: The First Movie, but his clone could not talk or walk on two legs, likely because Meowth needed to learn how to perform these actions. The Meowth clone is encountered again in Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns. In the episode "Meowth’s Scrafty Tactics!" Meowth temporarily joined the protagonists Ash, Iris, and Cilan, stating that he was fired from Team Rocket for his part in a failed mission, but in reality he was lying in order to gain their trust as part of an elaborate attempt to steal Pokémon from the Nimbasa City Pokémon Center. Despite his frequent appearances, Meowth is a wild Pokémon, which makes him eligible for capture. Iris, Ash’s travel companion, and Cliff, a forest ranger, attempted to capture him because they desired the convenience of a Pokémon that could translate to human language. However, since he does not wish to be owned by anyone, he refutes these attempts at capture.
Because Meowth exerted so much effort into being able to talk, he doesn't know how to perform Pay Day (his species' trademark move), and is permanently unable to do so. Pokémon Journeys: The Series revealed that he is capable of Gigantamaxing, which allows him to use his signature G-Max Move, G-Max Gold Rush.
In other media
Team Rocket's Meowth appears in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga series along with his teammates Jessie and James. He first appears in the chapter Pikachu's Excellent Adventure. In Days of Gloom and Glory, an unnamed Meowth based on Meowzie appears. Like in the anime, Meowzie finds Meowth's ability to speak human language "creepy". In the manga, she has at least one kitten, which she captures into a stolen Poké Ball to protect it from an impending flood. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Meowth's first appearance is a cameo in the first chapter as one of the Pokémon that escapes from Professor Oak's Laboratory.
Meowth has appeared in the Pokémon Trading Card Game first in the Jungle series. A special Meowth card was available with purchase of Pokémon Trading Card Game, a video game for the Game Boy Advance. In an open forum interview with ABC News, Pokémon anime director Masakazu Kubo noted Meowth as his favorite Pokémon, citing that while not a major presence in the games, he was in the anime. Meowth's voice actress, Maddie Blaustein, provided her vocals for the character's appearance in Pokémon Live!
Meowth ranked fourth on Game Daily's top 10 list of Nintendo characters that deserve their own games, describing him (presumably Meowth of the Team Rocket trio, rather than the species as a whole) as "adorable" and explaining that his intelligence and ability to speak gave him more depth than other Pokémon. IGN stated that without the anime, the species would not have been as famous, further describing the character of Team Rocket's Meowth as "probably the funniest part of the show". San Francisco Gate editor Jesse Hamlin stated that the trio's Meowth provided a few laughs in Pokémon The Movie 2000. However, another editor stated it was popular amongst people who have never seen the anime due to being a feline. Author Harry Schlesinger wrote that Meowth was popular among girls. Dale Bishir of IGN described Meowth as the most important Pokémon that impacted the franchise’s history, and further stated that the mascot of Team Rocket, Meowth has endured as the comic-relief of the trio and being one of the few Pokemon that can speak like humans. Steven Bogos of The Escapist listed Meowth as ninth of their favorite Pokemon, describing it as the most charismatic Pokemon of all time.
IGN said that Meowth of Team Rocket would make a good choice as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl: "if Brawl's developers really wanted much more representation for Pokemon as a franchise" also stating "it would be fun to face him in battle as a real fighter, just to be able to send him 'blasting off again.'" GamesRadar described Meowth as "not all that useful", and questioned if the species would have stood out if it were not for its portrayal in the anime.
GamesRadar editor Carolyn Gudmundson described Meowth as being "no slouch" compared to Snorlax, who she described as the greatest Pokémon ever. Fellow GamesRadar editor Justin Towell listed Meowth as one of video games' eight greatest cats, describing it as one of the most memorable species in the series. Authors Tracey West and Katherine Noll called Meowth the number one Normal type Pokémon and the tenth best Pokémon overall. They called its anime representation the "heart and soul of Team Rocket", and praised him as "funny and clever". WhatCulture included Meowth on 10 best gen 1 Pokemon. Meowth was among eleven Pokémon chosen as Japan's mascots in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
A variety of merchandise depicting Meowth have been produced such as Funko Pops, Galarian Meowth plush toy, Plush toys, Build a bear workshop, Balloon and a five-foot-tall plush.
- "Ask Maddie Blaustein". Q&A with Meowth. Archived from the original on August 10, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Ambrella. Pokémon Channel. Nintendo. Scene: Ending credits, 7:13 in, Cast.
- "Jimmy Zoppi". CrystalAcids.com. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- McNally, Victoria (August 11, 2015). "21 Burning Questions About Civil Rights in the Pokémon World". MTV.com. Archived from the original on December 12, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Rougeau, Michael (November 22, 2014). "The Weirdest Mysteries in the Pokémon Universe". Gamespot. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Buffa, Chris. "Top 10 Nintendo Characters That Deserve Their Own Games". GameDaily. AOL. p. 7. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
- Brett Elston (August 24, 2007). "The complete Pokemon RBY pokedex, part 5". Gamesradar+. p. 8. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
- Staff. "#052 Meowth". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
- Staff. "2. 一新されたポケモンの世界". Nintendo.com (in Japanese). Nintendo. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 23, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Stuart Bishop (May 30, 2003). "Game Freak on Pokémon!". CVG. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
- Chua-Euan, Howard (November 22, 1999). "PokéMania". TIME. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
- Game Freak (September 30, 1998). Pokémon Red (Game Boy). Nintendo.
Adores circular objects. Wanders the street on a nightly basis to look for dropped loose change.
- Larimer, Tim (November 22, 1999). "The Ultimate Game Freak". Time. Vol. 154 no. 20. New York City: Time Inc. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 12, 2001. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- Game Freak (September 7, 2004). Pokémon FireRed (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
All it does is sleep during the daytime. At night, it patrols its territory with its eyes aglow.
- Game Freak (March 17, 2003). Pokémon Ruby (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
Meowth withdraws its sharp claws into its paws to slinkily sneak about without making any incriminating footsteps. For some reason, this Pokémon loves shiny coins that glitter with light.
- Game Freak (July 29, 2001). Pokémon Crystal (Game Boy Color). Nintendo.
It loves things that sparkle. When it sees a shiny object, the gold coin on its head shines too.
- Game Freak (July 29, 2001). Pokémon Crystal (Game Boy Color). Nintendo.
It hides any shiny object it finds in a secret location. Murkrow and Meowth loot one another's stashes.
- Scott Baird (August 30, 2016). "Pokemon: 15 Facts You Didn't Know About Meowth". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on July 14, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- Eric Henn (June 17, 2020). "All New Pokemon Snap Coming to Switch". SVG.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- "Pokémon". www.pokemon-sunmoon.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Daniel Kurland (November 14, 2020). "Pokemon Sword & Shield: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Perrserker". The Gamer. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- Daniel Chan (June 7, 2020). "Pokemon GO: Best Moveset for Perrserker". Game Rant. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- Lee, Julia (November 7, 2019). "Shiny Meowth is finally available in Pokémon Go". Polygon.
- "New Pokémon Snap: 10 Sleepiest Pokémon". May 19, 2021.
- Chris O'Neal (March 14, 2020). "Pokémon: How Meowth Can Talk, Why He Is Evil and Other Issues, Explained". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 15, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- Takeshi Shudō (writer) (November 6, 1999). "Pokémon: The First Movie". Pokémon. Various.
- Hideki Sonoda (writer) (December 4, 2001). "Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns". Pokémon. Various.
- Atsuhiro Tomioka (writer) (September 15, 2011). "Crisis from the Underground Up!". Pokémon. Season List of Pokémon: Black & White episodes. Episode 707. Various.
- Atsuhiro Tomioka (writer) (August 18, 2011). "Meowth's Scrafty Tactics!". Pokémon. Season List of Pokémon: Black & White episodes. Episode 703. Various.
- Atsuhiro Tomioka (writer) (September 8, 2011). "The Beartic Mountain Feud!". Pokémon. Season List of Pokémon: Black & White episodes. Episode 706. Various.
- Junkei Takigami(writer) (March 25, 2000). "Meowth Rules". Pokémon. Season Adventures in the Orange Islands. Episode 96. Various.
- Atsuhiro Tomioka (writer) (March 25, 2006). "At the End of the Fray". Pokémon. Season Advanced Battle. Episode 131. Various.
- Aya Matsui (writer) (March 4, 2006). "Like a Meowth to Flame!". Pokémon. Season Advanced Battle. Episode 125. Various.
- Kusaka, Hidenori (June 2, 2009). Pokémon adventures. 1. Mato,, Jones, Gerard, 1957-, Inoue, Kaori,, VIZ Media. (Perfect Square ed.). San Francisco, CA. ISBN 978-1-4215-3054-3. OCLC 286522701.
- Staff (February 9, 2000). "ABC News Pokémon Chat Transcript". IGN. Archived from the original on August 12, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
- "Meowth Biography". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Hamlin, Jesse (July 21, 2000). "Animated Monsters Haven't Evolved Much / 'Pokemon' sequel better, but it still plays like TV". Sfgate.com. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Pokemon Crystal Version Pok¿mon of the Day: Meowth (#52) - IGN FAQs". Faqs.ign.com. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- Schlesinger, Hank (December 15, 1999). Pokemon Fever: The Unauthorized Guide. Macmillan. ISBN 9780312975302.
- "The 25 Most Important Pokemon That Impacted the Franchise's History". March 4, 2021.
- "The Top 10 Pokemon of All Time". February 27, 2016.
- Lucas M. Thomas (March 9, 2008). "Smash It Up! - The Animal Kingdom - Wii feature - at IGN". IGN. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "The most overused Pokemon designs". GamesRadar. July 23, 2010. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- "The 8 most important cats in gaming". GamesRadar. July 16, 2010. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- Tracey West; Katherine Noll (2007). Pokémon top 10 handbook: Our top picks!. ISBN 9780545001618. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Foster, George (October 24, 2017). "10 Best Gen 1 Pokémon - Ranked". WhatCulture.com.
- "Pikachu is Japan's official mascot for the FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil". March 15, 2014.
- "New Pok émon Funko Pops Announced, Including Meowth, Psyduck And A Fresh Pikachu Variant". Nintendo Life. January 22, 2021.
- "Pokemon Applin and Galar Region Meowth Plush Toys Will Arrive in December". November 23, 2020.
- McWhertor, Michael (April 30, 2020). "Massive chonky Pikachu and longcat Meowth Pokémon plush toys coming to Japan's Pokémon Center". Polygon.
- Frank, Allegra (September 14, 2017). "Meowth blasts off to Build-A-Bear Workshop". Polygon.
- "Join Team Rocket in Their Gigantic Meowth Balloon over Saga! | Event News | Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM) Shop: Figures & Merch from Japan".
- Farokhmanesh, Megan (February 8, 2021). "This $300 Meowth turns a meme into a five-foot-tall plushie". The Verge.