From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
If you were looking for either of the Pokémon Trading Card Game expansions sometimes abbreviated as TM, see EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua (TCG) or Triumphant (TCG).
A Technical Machine, or TM for short (Japanese: わざマシン Move Machine), is an item that, like an HM, is used to teach a Pokémon a move. A TM is a machine used by Pokémon Trainers to teach a Pokémon a new move that it might not learn otherwise. Prior to Generation V, TMs were single-use items, unlike Hidden Machines, which can be used over and over again on many different Pokémon. TMs can be found on the ground or bought at department stores. Some are also given away by Gym Leaders as prizes for defeating them in addition to a Badge. Silph Co. has distributed a pamphlet containing information on TMs and HMs, indicating they are, at least partially, developed or produced by the company.
Prior to Generation VI, TM moves will also be passed down through breeding if the baby Pokémon can learn that TM (such as passing Flamethrower from a father Typhlosion to a baby Torchic). Prior to Generation V, there were also several Pokémon that could not learn certain TM moves directly from a TM but could learn them via breeding, such as Vulpix with Energy Ball.
The depiction of TMs has changed over time. In the TCG, they are shown as small boxes that the Poké Ball would be inserted into, but from FireRed and LeafGreen onwards, they have been depicted as compact discs that are inserted into the TM Case and the case itself teaches the Pokémon the move. In Pokémon Origins, TMs and HMs resemble floppy disks, but how they work is never shown.
For the in-game locations of TMs, see List of TM and HM locations.
TM through generations
Generation I featured 50 TMs, with an additional five HMs. Move Tutors in FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald teach several of the moves that were removed from the TM list between Generation I and Generation III.
Generation II introduced several new TMs, a majority of which were new moves introduced in this generation. There remained 50 TMs, as some Generation I TMs were removed. Several moves that were contained in TMs in Generation II but were no longer contained within TMs during Generation III can be taught by a Move Tutor in Pokémon Emerald.
In Generation III, more moves were introduced, and the TM list was again adjusted. The 50-TM limit remained, and several older moves became TMs—including some that lost their TM status between Generations I and II.
Due to connectivity with the Generation III games, the 50-TM list was not redone in Generation IV. To include new moves and incorporate older moves as TMs, the TM list was expanded from 50 to 92, leaving the first 50 TMs intact. With the eight HMs, the number of machine-learnable moves in Generation IV was at an even 100.
In Generation V, TMs have changed from being single-use items to having unlimited uses, making them akin to HMs. In this generation only, when a Pokémon learns a move from a TM or HM by overwriting an old one, the new move takes on the current PP of the forgotten move. This prevents repeated usage of machines for the purpose of PP restoration. The prices of the purchasable TMs are also much higher to reflect the fact they can be reused, and they can no longer be held or sold. (However, they can be sold in Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.) In Pokémon Black and White, there are 94 TMs available normally; among the ones numbered 92 and lower, many of them teach different moves from their Generation IV counterparts. With the number of HMs reduced to six, there are once again an even 100 machine-learnable moves. In Black 2 and White 2, the previously event-only TM95 was made normally available, bringing the number of machine-learnable moves in Generation V to 101.
In Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, TMs continued to be multiple-use items. Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, however, has both types of TMs, where regular ones can only be used once, and rainbow colored ones have infinite use, and all HMs are TMs instead. Most TMs contained the same moves that they did in Generation V, with the exceptions of TM19, TM51, TM83, and TM88. Five more TMs were added, bringing the number of TMs up to an even 100. As there are only five HM moves in Generation VI, there are now 105 machine-learnable moves. In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, two more HMs were added. Additionally, TM94 (Rock Smash) in X and Y was changed to Secret Power to reflect the fact that Rock Smash was an HM once again. This is the only time a TM has changed in the middle of a generation. As a result, there are now 107 machine-learnable moves.
List of TMs
Although most Pokémon are able to learn a wide range of TM moves, there are 15 Pokémon who cannot learn any. Typically, these Pokémon are low in their evolutionary line or rely on a set moveset.
Formerly incompatible Pokémon
In Generation VI, several Pokémon that were capable of learning TM moves only by leveling up now are able to learn those moves through TM as well.
With few exceptions, all Pokémon who are compatible with TMs can learn the following moves:
In all seven Generations, there have been moves exclusively taught by TMs:
Several moves taught by TM in an earlier generation returned as TMs later on after being absent, but assigned with a different TM number.
In the anime
In the main series
Although TMs have not appeared in the anime, they were mentioned once in the Japanese version of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate!. While talking with the Kecleon Brothers, Charmander of Team Go-Getters mentioned TMs among other things the Kecleon Shop was sold out on. This reference was not included in the dub.
In Pokémon Origins
TM34 (Bide) made an appearance in the Pokémon Origins episode File 1: Red. Much like in Pokémon Red and Blue, it was given to Red by Brock as a reward for defeating him in a Gym battle.
Another TM, TM28 (Dig), also made a brief appearance in File 2: Cubone, where Red retrieved it from a Team Rocket Grunt who had stolen it.
In the manga
Two early kinds of TMs in Pokémon Adventures
TM31 in The Electric Tale of Pikachu
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
In To Evolve or Not to Evolve, That Is the Question!, Ash used TM31 to teach Mikey's Eevee Mimic, allowing it to win a battle against Sparky's Jolteon and thus let Mikey join the Knights of the E Stone.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In Wartortle Wars, a fake TM was seen amongst the many fake items sold to Red by Green.
In PAORAS10, it was explained that TMs are machines that contain the essence of the move they teach to a Pokémon. Before this technology existed, other items served the same purpose. Such items are the rings Ultima carries on her staff, which contain the special moves Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon, and a scroll held by the Draconids, which contains the move Dragon Ascent.
In the TCG
In the TCG, Technical Machines are types of Trainer cards. Unlike the games, they do not follow any specific numbering.
- 170 different moves have been available as a TM, adding together the TMs from every generation.
- Gym Leaders who give out a TM on their defeat typically give out one containing a move of their specialty type. However, in their respective first generation of an appearance each, Brock and Falkner do not, giving out TM34 (Bide) (a Normal-type move) and TM31 (Mud-Slap) (a Ground-type move), respectively. This is rectified in the remakes of their debut games with Brock giving away TM39 (Rock Tomb) while Falkner's prize is TM51 (Roost). Likewise, Cilan, Chili, and Cress do not give out TMs matching their specialty type, instead giving out the Normal-type TM83 (Work Up), regardless of which of the three is battled.
- Prior to Generation III, TMs given out by the starting region's Gym Leaders teach moves that no Pokémon learns naturally. There is one exception: in Pokémon Yellow, Red's Pikachu learns Thunderbolt in place of Swift.
- Until Generation V, TM01 always taught a move that involved punching; it was Mega Punch in Generation I, Dynamic Punch in Generation II, and Focus Punch in Generations III and IV. The current TM01, Hone Claws, still involves the appendages.
- TMs 06, 14, 15, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, 38, and 44 have contained the same move in all six generations.
- Generation IV is the first generation in which there is at least one TM that teaches a move of each Pokémon type.
- Generation I had no TMs for Bug- or Ghost-type moves, Generation II had none for Flying, and Generation III had none for Bug.
- Generation VI and VII are tied for the most TMs, with 100, and Generation I, II, and III are tied for the fewest TMs, with 50.
In other languages