Flinch (Japanese: ひるみ Flinch) is a transient status condition in which a Pokémon becomes unable to execute a move for one turn.
The flinch status is a one-turn status that prevents a Pokémon from executing a move. A Pokémon can flinch only if it is hit by another Pokémon's attacking move before using its move. Most moves that cause flinching are physical moves.
Pokémon with Inner Focus cannot flinch. If a Pokémon with Inner Focus is hit by a move that always causes flinching, the message "<Pokémon>'s Inner Focus prevents flinching!" (Generation III) or "<Pokémon> won't flinch because of its Inner Focus!" (Generation IV) appears. Due to flinching always occurring as an additional effect, having Shield Dust or holding a Covert Cloak also prevents the user from flinching. However, moves and Abilities that ignore Abilities can bypass these Abilities.
A Pokémon holding a King's Rock has a 12% chance of causing a target to flinch when using certain moves.
If the Pokémon uses a multi-strike move, only the final strike has a chance of causing the target to flinch from King's Rock.
In this generation only, sleeping and frozen Pokémon cannot flinch when hit by moves that cause flinching (but can flinch via King's Rock), and are thus able to successfully execute Sleep Talk or Snore regardless.
Generations III and IV
A Pokémon holding a King's Rock or Razor Fang has a 10% chance of causing a target to flinch when using the moves affected by these items.
Each strike of a multi-strike move has an independent chance of causing the target to flinch from King's Rock or Razor Fang.
Generation V onward
A Pokémon with Stench has a 10% chance of making its target flinch when it uses an attacking move. This does not stack with King's Rock, Razor Fang, or moves that already have a chance to cause flinching.
Each strike of a multi-strike move has an independent chance of causing the target to flinch from Stench.
A Pokémon holding a King's Rock or Razor Fang has a 10% chance of causing a target to flinch when using any attacking move that does not already have a chance to cause flinching. The chance of flinching from King's Rock and Razor Fang is affected by Serene Grace and the rainbow created by Fire Pledge and Water Pledge.
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Reason: Items and Abilities
The following moves may cause their targets to flinch, but only if the user of the moves hits first.
In the spin-off games
Mystery Dungeon series
In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, the Pokémon cannot use any regular attacks, special attacks, or orbs, but may throw items. If in the middle of a linked move, the rest of the linked move is skipped. Before Super Mystery Dungeon, it was referred to as Cringe.
Quash inflicts the Flinch status on the target as its sole effect in Mystery Dungeon.
In the anime
In A Pyramiding Rage!, Paul's Magmar flinched when Brandon's Registeel hit it with Iron Head, preventing it from carrying out Paul's order to use Will-O-Wisp. This forced him to recall Magmar and send Nidoking out in its place.
In A Grand Fight for Winning!, during the finals of the Sinnoh Grand Festival, Dawn's Piplup was made to flinch when Zoey's Glameow hit him with Fake Out, preventing him from being able to use Hydro Pump.
In Bewitch, Battle, and Bewilder!, Ash's Pikachu flinched when Cynthia's Togekiss hit him with Air Slash, the flinch chance getting boosted by Togekiss's Serene Grace. This prevented Pikachu from being able to use Electroweb and left him open to get hit by a Zen Headbutt.
In the manga
Pocket Monsters Platinum: Aim to Be Battle King!!
In the TCG
Flinching does not exist in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. However, the recurring attack Fake Out inflicts the Special Condition Paralyzed on a successful coin flip. This suggests that Flinching is replaced by Paralyzed in the TCG.
In other languages
|This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|