Pokéology: Tropius

Today really creeped up on me! I had been so overwhelmed by projects and the weekend that I didn’t realize it was suddenly Tuesday. Hopefully, it’s Tuesday. Right? I’m not posting this on the wrong day, hopefully.

Either way, here’s a Pokémon most of you probably forgot about.. Or, maybe you absolutely love it, it seems there’s no middleground when it comes to obscure Pokémon.  I remember someone comment on it being one of their favorites, and it’s always been one of mine as well. So naturally, why not give this guy some spotlight?




So, this wasn’t unexpected.

Meet the Apatosaurus, one of the most well known dinosaurs. Generally speaking, I’m gonna talk about the Sauropods. Tropius doesn’t match any known sauropod, due to it lacking any form of a tail.

That’s pretty big in itself, but consider this, can you imagine a Pokémon like Tropius with a tail? I think it would just distract, and it would be hard to give Tropius its pudgy look with a tail. So, to be fair, this is an acceptable change. However, in reality, no known sauropod lacks a tail, as they were typically used to balance with such a massive, powerful neck.

Still, Tropius is no doubt a sauropod, and that leads me into my next point.

Naturally, and this is clearly based on years of detective work, but Tropius has bananas hanging on its neck.

Tropius itself is based on the Musa genera– the kind of plant we know to us as bananas. As you can see above, even the wing-leaves were based on this plant. Bananas are one of the most well known tropical fruits, and it matches the concept of a jungle dinosaur very well. Naturally, sauropods did not have access to bananas back in the day, but if they were still around, they would naturally probably feed off of the banana trees.

This also could help explain the lack of a tail– since Tropius, without a tail, mimics a tree. You see the plump base which fans out into the legs and its long neck, much like a banana plant.

By the way, just to criticize everyone involved, including myself, a banana is not a tree, it’s technically a herb plant. So a banana ‘tree’ is just a giant freaking herb. Not kidding.

This is just a quick note, but come on.

It’s a giant reptile, with a long neck, wings, and  a good sided body. You almost have to talk about dragons.

Sure, they’re vastly difference in most appearances, but you can’t help but notice when it comes to winged reptiles that this was probably a motivation. It’s not like it was based on a pterodactyl or velociraptor.

Mainly the wings though, even if they’re plants. It’s practically just a nature dragon if you want to look at it in specifics.




So here we have another astounding creature this week. Majestic, yet plump, with a certain power yet adorable look involved.

Let’s collect our thoughts though. Tropius has a lot to look at– from its six claws(uneven!), to its leafy down, to its massive wings, to the bananas hanging off its neck, to the helmet it has!

To start though, let me be a little too OCD. I just find it interesting that the back feet seem bigger than the front feet, and I think I have a valid explanation for this. Tropius flies– and when Tropius flies, the back end leaves the ground last. In this case, when Tropius lands or takes off, the wings take a majority of the pressure and force of landing. It’d take more muscle to cope with all the impact and pressure put on it, and thus I think this would perfectly explain why it has such big rear feet compared to the front feet.

Tropius appears to have plants growing out all over its body, though it seems to have some decision about how to handle these plants, as they’re very well thought out and used.

First of all with these plants, it has a fine leafy down covering the dorsal and anterior ends of its body as well as the ‘helmet’ on its head. This would help with warmth, and could also serve as protection for its vital organs, depending on how tough the leaves are.

Next, the four massive leaves it has for wings. These wings can clearly left its weight(220 pounds), although one might doubt that at first. Each wing clearly covers at least 13.5 square feet in my calculations based on the height of Tropius, and this is much bigger than it appears to be from the outside

As for the bananas on its chin, this is rather interesting. I can only assume that Tropius can eat them as a back up source of nourishment, but wouldn’t they come from its nutrients in the first place? Iit wouldn’t make sense for self-cannibalism. It’s possible it just comes with its symbiotic relationship with the plans that come with it– as they would need to get something out of this as well. Or it may relate to breeding, though that could go in many ways. The other, final option is that Tropius just uses it as a form of charity, and can easily give out food to others who need it more than itself. Tropius may get nothing out of that option, but it’s still possible.

On top of all of this, Tropius is very well camouflaged in the jungle, based off of the fact it has real plants covering it- the bananas could help conceal it as well.

However, a better question is about what it would have to be challenged by to require all these projection mechanisms? Having camouflage is great, but having wings as well is overkill. Either way, it would take a large predator to take down a Tropius, but large predators seem to be few and far between. Especially on the places you find Tropius, it seems as though it’s the most powerful Pokémon in the areas it can be found in.


 So there’s this week!

I find it sad that not as many people pay attention to Tropius as it deserves, but, ah well. What’s your opinion of Tropius? I personally really like it for its adorable design.

Questions? Criticisms? Did I make any mistakes while passing out on my keyboard? Did you like the article? I love talking to you guys, so..


  1. Great article as usual. I think people don’t pay attention to Tropius for 2 reasons: low stats and 4x weakness to ice. Every frickin’ pokemon in random matchup seems to know ice beam. But, despite this, on RSE, it is very useful due to being better than Swellow and easy to catch, so your fly hm slave isn’t as worthless as Pidgeot, Noctowl, Swellow, Staraptor, Unfezant… you get the idea. Please do Mew for pokeology!

    1. Thanks! I love seeing all these long paragraph replies. 😀

      Yeah, probably right. Still, I’ve always loved the fella aesthetically.

      Mew is a great choice. 😀

      1. If you write an article on Mew, you must include Mewtwo.

        If not, he will Teleport to your house, grab you by the face and Psystrike you at point-blank range, thus melting your brain.
        His telepathic words, not mine.
        . . .

  2. ive always been a fan of tropius for many reasons. first i love grass types, ad to that its a grass type that can learn hm fly which i love. i really enjoy its design, but sadly as was pointed out its stats arent great, and also its move pool could offer a few more options.

    now this is just my personal opinion, but i personally think tropius was left over from gen two when they where trying to decide what bayleaf should evolve into. and outside of what could have been simple polishing options makes far more sense. i mean really chicorita has a leaf on its head, bayleaf has it two and also what looks like multiple leafs emerging from its neck. then we get to meganium no leafs large flower around neck, and antenna on its head. now look at tropius leafs everywhere. similar species as the chicorita line too. honestly i think thats what happened, and then last minute they went with the meganium design, and then when it came time for r/s/e they retooled tropius’ design a bit to make it not look like the chicorita line.

    1. Yeah, it’s a great looking Pokemon and one of my favorites as well. 😀

      That’s an interesting idea. I never considered that before! Maybe they /were/ considering a flying/grass starter, but ended up with just plain typings. Genius!

  3. I remember back when I first played Sapphire, I found Tropius by chance on Route 119 without knowing the existence of that pokémon (back then, I didn’t have internet to see how the new pokémon looked like), I was impressed by it and thought it was really cool (although with a slight resemblance to Meganium). I immediately put it on my team (both as a grass-type for coverage and as the fly hm slave, which is really useful compared to the Normal/Flying pokémon).

    I just wished Tropius was a bit stronger.

    1. I know a similar feeling, instead it was from the Jirachi movie! I hadn’t seen it before in the game either, and when watching the movie suddenly I saw these big, fat looking dinosaurs fly away suddenly. I was so surprised that I kept trying to figure out how to find it on Sapphire.

      I wish it was stronger too.. Maybe an evolution? 😀

  4. What about Finneon and Lumineon? I never understood what they were supposed to be. I know they’re fish and “butterfly fish” but I just don’t really understand what niche its supposed to fill.

  5. I have always loved Tropius!! Every time i start a game i want to use it, but i never seem to. Whether i end up using it in game or not though it’ll still be one of my favorite Pokemon!

  6. I love Tropius, very interesting design. I’m wondering how this idea came to their mind. Maybe from the famous scene where slaves use big leaves to create cool wind for the pharaoh.

    I don’t think they really pay attention to aerodynamical laws while creating a flying pokemon but I loved your calculation, althogh it seems aerodynamically impossible for Tropius to fly.

    1. Interesting idea! I’ve always thought it was a mix of a dinosaur, a tree, and a dragon in some form.

  7. Tropius is one of the first I think of when considering HM slaves.
    Guess that counts for something. ^_^;

  8. I hate Tropius design, always sounded a bit unoriginal and forced to me (meganium feelings). Also, he really doesn’t look like a flying-type, but I’ve always wanted a Grass/Flying pokémon, so I kinda accept it. I remember being surprised when I captured a Tropius and I’m pretty sure he had Fly. I didn’t know wild pokémon would know HMs.

    1. I see where you’re coming from!

      I didn’t know for a while either– don’t you love the small discoveries in Pokemon games? 😀

  9. And there we have an article on one of the best HM Slaves in the world. Speaking of HM Slaves why don’t you do one on a really unlikely one like patrat, bidoof or rattata.

  10. Tropius was a pretty good pokemon back in the 3rd Gen. When I first encountered it I thought it was a bit eccentric because of the banana beard. It was still a pretty cool pokemon and came in handy when i battled Tate& Liza. I never thought about it having draconic characteristics or a banana being a herb. Your article was nice to read. I think the next one should be about another 3rd Gen. Pokemon Poochyena and Mightyena.

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