Mew is a pink, bipedal Pokémon with mammalian features. It has a rounded, wide snout; triangular ears; and large, blue eyes. It has short arms with three-fingered paws and large hind paws with oval markings on the soles. Its tail is long and thin with an ovoid tip. Its fur is so fine and thin, it can only be seen under a microscope. Mew is said to have the DNA of every single Pokémon contained within its body, allowing Mew to learn and use any attack.
As demonstrated by its behavior in the first and eighth Pokémon movies, it shows signs of intelligence, curiosity, shyness, playfulness, and even selflessness. Mew is incredibly adaptable, able to travel freely in the air or underwater. As seen in Pokémon Snap, New Pokémon Snap, and the Super Smash Bros. series, it can create a green, yellow, or pink orb of energy around itself for protection. Mew is known to be rivals with its clone, Mewtwo.
According to the radio drama, The Birth of Mewtwo, Mew was discovered by Jessie's mother, Miyamoto, who registered its cry in Guyana Forest 20 years before the events of Generation I. It was worshiped for its protection by indigenous people who created a folk song in its honor and believed it appeared once a year with the rising sun. It wasn't rediscovered until 18 years after Miyamoto met Mew by sunrise on the peak of the highest mountain in a South American mountain range and fell.
Reports found in Cinnabar Island's Pokémon Mansion note scientific expeditions that have sighted Mew in Guyana, South America, the place where it was first discovered. Since Mew can make itself invisible at will, very few people have knowingly seen it, leading some scientists to declare it extinct and most to assume it to be a mirage. It will only show itself to a person who is pure of heart and has a strong desire to see it for themselves. Mew is shown in the anime to be capable of splitting to transform into two Pokémon at the same time.
Mew made its main series physical debut in Alola, Kanto!, flying around near Professor Oak's Laboratory. As of this episode, every Generation I Pokémon physically appeared in at least one episode of the anime.
In Super Smash Bros., Mew will sometimes appear out of a Poké Ball. When summoned, it will use Fly to leave the arena. In single-player, the summoner is awarded the "Mew Catcher" bonus, worth 15,000 points.
After unlocking every character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, there is a 1 in 251 chance of Mew appearing from a Poké Ball. The thrower of the Poké Ball receives the same "Mew Catcher" bonus.
Mew returns again as a rare Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the chance of it appearing is 1 in 493 this time. Like the other "secret" Pokémon, it drops rare items instead of just flying away. In Mew's case, the items are CDs. However, once all the pick-up CDs are obtained, it will drop Stickers instead.
Throughout the series, Mew, much like Mewtwo, is roughly akin to its portrayal in the first movie, especially having Kōichi Yamadera reprise his role.
Melee trophy information
Mew is an extremely rare Pokémon that has been seen by only a few people. Information on every Pokémon in the world is contained in Mew's cell structure, so it has the ability to use any and all TMs and HMs. Some Pokémon scholars believe Mew to be the ancestor of all existing Pokémon, but the idea is debatable.
Brawl trophy information
"A New Species Pokémon. An extremely rare Pokémon that contains the DNA of all other Pokémon, it is thought by many scholars to be a Pokémon ancestor, considering the wide range of moves it can use. On top of being able to make itself invisible, Mew can also transform into any opponent Pokémon and use characteristics and moves in exactly the same way."
Mew trophy in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
3DS/Wii U trophy information
Mew appears as a trophy in both versions of the game.
NA: Mew is a Pokémon previously thought to be extinct but rediscovered by Dr. Fuji. This Legendary Pokémon doesn't often show itself to humans, so it is considered quite lucky to see one. In Smash Bros., Mew will appear and then use Fly to sail away, leaving behind a gift. Thanks, Mew!
PAL: Mew was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered by Dr. Fuji in Guyana. This Mythical Pokémon doesn't often show itself to humans, so it's considered very lucky to see one. In this game, it will float upwards and leave a present behind. If only Mew would turn up more often, eh?
Mew appears in the seventh course, Rainbow Cloud. Although the game is not combat-oriented, the difficulty of photographing Mew effectively makes it the game's boss. Mew floats in a bubble that turns opaque when the zoom is activated, so players must throw a series of Pester Balls or Food at it to break the bubble so Mew will come out for a clear shot. Photographing Mew gets an automatic bonus of 2500 points, making it the highest-ranking Pokémon in the game with the highest possible score of 10,000 points with perfect positioning, size, and pose.
Mew was designed by Shigeki Morimoto, which he states at the Heahea CityGAME FREAK office. This included its pixel art, cry and Pokédex entry (the one reused in Pokémon FireRed). He also says it was right at the very end of game development.
Despite being a clone of Mew, Mewtwo appears before Mew in the Pokédex.
Mew is the only Pokémon out of the first 151 to be left out of the original version of the Pokérap. This may be because Mew still wasn't announced outside of Japan at that time.
In Generations I and II, due to technical limitations, Mew's category name, New Species, is labeled in game as NEW SPECIE (and in early versions, labeled as NEWSPECIES).
According to Shigeki Morimoto, the cartridges for Pokémon Red and Green had about 300 bytes of free space left after the debugging process was complete, and he thought of slotting Mew in as a last-minute addition, even after he was told not to tamper with the games post-debugging. However, Pokémon Red and Green are 373 kilobytes in size and are housed in 512 kilobyte cartridges.
Mew has the most anime opening appearances of any Mythical Pokémon, with seven in Japan.
Because Mew can learn any TM:
It is the only gender-unknown Pokémon species that is legitimately able to learn Captivate, and one of the few that can learn Attract. Both moves fail when used by any Pokémon with unknown gender, including Mew.
At 981 episodes (and over two decades), Mew is the Pokémon species that has taken the longest to physically debut in the main anime series from the start of their generation out of any Pokémon thus far.
The only ways to legitimately obtain a Shiny Mew are via the Generation II Gotta Catch Em All Event in Thanksgiving 2002, the Old Sea Map on a Japanese copy of Pokémon Emerald, or through the Pokémon Go Mew Masterwork Research quest, which was available for a limited time in Pokémon GO during the Pokémon Go Tour: Kanto event and then became available again for players who missed purchasing it the first time for a few days in early July 2023.
Only the latter two can exist in modern games, as Gen II's "Gotta Catch Em All" Shiny Mew cannot legitimately be transferred to Generation III or later.
Mew is tied with Muk for the shortest English name of all Pokémon.
Mew has the shortest Korean name of all Pokémon, only consisting of one hangul character.
Designer Shigeki Morimoto stated that Mew's design was based on Mewtwo. Its design was made simpler than Mewtwo in order to take up less space on the cartridge.
Appearance wise, Mew's overall physical appearance appears to be based on domestic cats. Several of Mew's features, such as a short muzzle and large hind feet, are commonly found in cats. Its morphology is also vaguely similar to a jerboa, having large hind legs and a long skinny tail. Mew's earliest design in Japan's Red and Green resembled a vertebrate embryo, featuring a large head and small body. It is believed by scientists to be the last universal common ancestor of all other Pokémon, which, along with its resemblance to an embryo, may be a reference to the recapitulation theory. Mew was soon revised and became mostly mammalian with cat-like traits, while still retaining several embryonic features such as having short fine hair and small forearms.
Mew may be a combination of mutant or mutation and new It may also involve 妙 myō (wonderful, exquisite).
According to Julien Bardakoff, the French localizer for Pokémon Red and Blue, he asked if Mew's name was based on the English onomatopoeia for a cat's meow, and was explicitly told it was not.