I joined Grindr and only used trainer quotes from Pokémon Red

When Pokémon first got big at the turn of the century, I was one of the bajillions of people around the world who got completely hooked, and I’m not ashamed to admit I dust it off every couple of years and go through it all over again.

But I was thinking recently of the sheer number of random Trainers dotted all over every game. There must be hundreds in each one, surely. And whenever they initiate battle, they always have some kind of weird one-liner to throw at you.

Hi i like shorts

They also have to say something unique when they’re defeated, and then again if you talk to them afterwards.

You looked cute and harmless Was I ever wrong

I wondered how far I’d get if I used them as battle come-ons in real life – only replace “battle” with “flirtatious”, and replace “in real life” with “on Grindr”.

Initially I had my profile picture as a bit of carpet (AS IN FLOOR CARPET), but nobody talked to me. I then changed it to an actual photo of myself, but I got scared of the one-in-a-billion chance that I might meet someone in real life who’d recognise me as that freak off Grindr who spoke like Pokémon trainers. So I settled on this fabulously hideous, specially-taken snap of me wearing sunglasses indoors. Like an UNDERCOVER AGENT. Eggplant emoji and a tick for a profile name. ‘Chat’, ‘dates’ and ‘right now’ ticked as my Looking For options because you’ve gotta have all bases covered, y’know? And we’re off.


I started a new game on FireRed (the GBA re-release of the original Pokémon Red) and kept a note of every Trainer quote that could feasibly make sense in real life or – even better – sound a bit flirty. Turns out there are a fair few.

I might be little but I wont like it if you go easy on me

Whew I better take a rest groan

Fine then show me your best

At first, I wasn’t sure if it was gonna work. Surprisingly enough, it’s hard to actually maintain a conversation using a random mish-mash of one-liners, and for a while I couldn’t keep many chats going.


(Whenever you see a Staryu, by the way, it’s covering up a face pic.)

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In fairness, a lot of the time I really wasn’t helping myself with my choice of quote.


Especially not with this guy, who pulled me up on my decision to wear sunglasses in a clearly bathroom-set profile picture.


Some people wanted to skip straight to the lovin’, and I had plenty of possible responses.


(Though this guy probably just wanted clarification on the word ‘little’.)



Grindr has a reputation for being overflowing with dick pics, and… well, Pokemon quotes kept ’em coming, so to speak.

(I’ve used Magikarp for modesty here.)

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I KNEW this one would come in handy:

Hey youre not wearing shorts whats wrong with you

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I did feel bad when guys were quite sweet and kept on talking when I was at my weirdest. Like, for example, when I tossed out some completely ridiculous quotes, some people didn’t abandon ship and walk away like they could well have done:

Hi My boyfriend is cool


And I had a lot of fun with the lines I got from tunnels and caves as well.



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Given this guy’s username, I was very disappointed that this didn’t get a reply.


But other than that, it goes without saying that the vast (vast, vast) array of shorts-based quotes came in handy.

I always wear shorts even in winter thats my policy



(This was the only time I cheated: I chucked in an emoji in the absence of anything better to say.)


But mostly it was all about the sex. And to confirm, literally every single word I’m saying is lifted straight from Pokémon FireRed.

I give youre too good at this




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Understandably, some people just thought I was weird.



This was the longest chat I got into. It escalated pretty quickly but I can’t say it was all his doing…


(It’s since been pointed out to me that this could well have been a bot… in which case THE FRAUDER HAS BECOME THE FRAUDEE!)

My favourite was this one, literally the very last chat I did before throwing in the towel, in which I got myself invited to and excused from a threesome. Well, nearly. I probably shouldn’t have given such mixed signals.

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And that, friends, is what they call journalism.

I will be happy to serve you anything you please

My intention wasn’t to prove anything in particular about Grindr or to shame anyone who uses it, I was really just killing time whilst unemployed. Before I got into my current relationship, I was chatting away on it like anyone else and was so attention-hungry I probably would have tried to keep a literal Pokémon talking to me, let alone someone sad enough to talk in Trainer quotes.

Anyway. Gotta catch ’em all, etc.

Whew Im all sweaty now

21 Replies to “I joined Grindr and only used trainer quotes from Pokémon Red”

  1. wow, this is hilarious. What will you quote next? The terminology from the original 21 Jump Street? I loved the “so, are we going steady now” lingo

  2. […] O jornalista inglês Shaun Kitchener cresceu jogando Pokémon Red. Em suas inúmeras passagens pelo clássico, ele desenvolveu uma obsessão pelas frases ditas antes e depois das batalhas com os treinadores pokémon, que você encontra ao longo do jogo. Por alguma razão, Kitchener pensou quão longe ele chegaria em conversas no mundo real usando apenas essas frases. Ele resolveu pôr em prova sua questão usando o famoso aplicativo de encontros gay Grindr para ver como as pessoas reagiriam às frases, e relatou o experimento em seu blog. […]

  3. qwertyrulz says:

    The one that had a link was a bot, your longest one. I might even have screenshots of a convo with a bot that said that.

  4. Kate says:

    This was incredible, I’m blown away. Thank you for making my hangover so much better!

  5. Greg says:

    I’ve used Magikarp for modesty here.

  6. Andrew Hicks says:

    Haha, this post made my night. Hilarious. :)

  7. Greg says:

    Very funny! Although what the hell is an ‘eggplant emoji’? Is it that thing which looks like an aubergine?

  8. Very funny! What the hell is an ‘eggplant emoji’ though? Is it that thing which looks like an aubergine?

  9. Not sure I understand the point in this. To harass the men who are simply, openly, looking for a good time?

    Why would any gay man make life any harder than it already is for our fellow brothers?

  10. Mike says:

    i dont like what you did at all, you are just wasting their time and making fun of guys on grindr, who are just looking for fun. someone like you gives wrong impression about gay guys to straight people. i found this very insulting. and you are in an exclusive relationship? yeah yeah, you are such a jerk.

    • Shaun Kitchener says:

      Sorry you took offense, Mike. As I say in the post, it was just a bit of fun and not intended to shame anybody but I understand what you mean.

    • SC says:

      Um surely the ones who are actually using grindr to find random hook ups are the ones giving the ‘wrong impression’ about gay guys?! Not that there’s anything wrong with using grindr, but if straight people have mistaken ideas about gay men, it’s usually that they’re all promiscuous (and again, not necessarily anything wrong with that). Can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone say ‘pah, those gays, all they do is joke around on the internet with Pokemon trainer quotes…’

  11. I honestly want to be your friend, this was absolutely hilarious

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