Pikachu’s Tail Was Never Black! (Mandela Effect Explained)

does pikachu have a black tail mandella effect

There is a surprising number of people who think that Pokémon’s mascot, Pikachu, has a black-tipped tail. These people wonder when and why the producers removed the black tip from Pikachu’s tail. But is that true? Did Pikachu really have a black tail?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Pikachu doesn’t have a black-tipped tail because it never had a black-tipped tail.
  • People probably confused the black tips of its ears with its tail, thinking – wrongly – that he actually had a black-tipped tail, as well as the ears, but that never actually happened.

Pikachu doesn’t have a black tail

So, as far as we can see, every main iteration of Pikachu, despite all the variations between them, both in the games and in the anime, has a yellow tail with a brown patch at its base. There is no black patch or stripe on Pikachu’s tail. But what about this picture, then:


So, this is obviously a Pikachu. The one on the left looks like the one described everywhere. The one on the right, on the other hand, has a black-tipped tail, and it has no brown patch at the tail’s base. We know for certain that the picture on the left is real, but what about the one on the right? Is it also real, meaning that there exists such a variation, or is it fake?

We’re sorry to disappoint you, but the one on the right, as well as any other variation with a black-tipped tail (except Cosplay Pikachu, but more on that later), is fake. Pikachu does not have a black-tipped tail. In fact, its tail doesn’t have any black stripe or patch on it, save for the aforementioned exception.

So, why do people think that it does? This is a classic example of the so-called Mandela effect, a phenomenon where a lot of people share the same false memory; a false memory is described as a “phenomenon where a person recalls something that did not happen or recalls it differently from the way it actually happened.”


What Real-Life Animal Is Pikachu Based On?

So, when you have a false memory on a grander scale, it is sometimes dubbed the Mandela effect. This is what happened here. Someone, somewhere, at some point, falsely remembered that Pikachu had a black patch on its tail. This was shared and the false memory became a “fact”, despite being completely false.

This is why this false idea still persists despite there being more than enough evidence to prove otherwise. Pichu, Pikachu’s prior form, has a tail that is completely black, but as it evolves, the black fades into brown, which is what we see in Pikachu. So, no, Pikachu does not have a black tail.

Did Pikachu ever have a black tail?

The answer to this question is somewhat more complex than the answer to the latter question. Namely, the main version of Pikachu never had a black tail. Its tail was always yellow, regardless of whether you’re comparing the anime the video games, or both groups.

Also, there are no gender-related changes as well; both a male and a female Pikachu have the same colors on their tails. This is a game-based example, comparing different iterations of Pikachu in different versions of the Pokémon games:


As you can clearly see, every version of the character has a yellow-brown tail. Yes, even the Red/Green one, since the blackish color at the base is actually brown but seems black due to the coloring scheme of the original games. The only black element on Pikachu’s body are its ears, whose tips are black. And that’s it. Sort of. There is an exception:


Here, we have a group of five female Pikachu (they have heart-shaped tails) whose tails have a black tip. So, there is a black-tailed Pikachu, after all? Well, yes and no.

First of all, we’d like to stress that these versions of the character, called Cosplay Pikachu, are new to the franchise, as they appeared in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the Generation VI remakes of the original Generation III games. Basically, Cosplay Pikachu is a Generation VI character, while the black-tailed Pikachu false memory is much, much older than these games, which is why these versions of the character are definitely not the source of the false memory.

Cosplay Pikachu is actually a variant of the original Pikachu; it is always female, has a black heart-shaped spot at the end of its tail, and can be dressed in any of five outfits corresponding to the five Contest conditions. The player receives it as a gift in the video games, while the group later also appears in the anime series.

Why the tails have a black tip is not known, but in that way, this variation does confirm that there is a black-tailed Pikachu, but only as a variation that is certainly not the source of the false memory associated with Pikachu’s tail.

Does Pikachu have stripes on its back?

Well, this one is quite easy to answer, really. Pikachu does, indeed, have two brown stripes on its back and that is one of its trademarks, as confirmed in every material where the Pokémon made an appearance, regardless of the material or the Generation.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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