Paul's Chimchar flinching

Flinch (Japanese: ひるみ Flinch) is a volatile status condition in which a Pokémon becomes unable to attack for one turn.


The flinch status is a one-turn status that prevents a Pokémon from attacking. A Pokémon can only flinch if it is hit by another Pokémon's move before using its move. Most moves that cause flinching are physical moves.

Pokémon with Steadfast gain Speed each time they flinch.

Generation II

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.

Generation V onward

A Pokémon holding a King's Rock or Razor Fang has a 10% chance of causing a target to flinch when using any move that deals damage and does not already have a chance to flinch. Moves that can flinch their targets are not affected by King's Rock or Razor Fang.

The chance of flinching from Razor Fang is affected by Serene Grace and the rainbow created by Fire Pledge and Water Pledge.



The following moves may cause their targets to flinch, but only if the user of the moves hits first.

Move Type Category Probability Power Accuracy Notes
Air Slash Flying Special 30% 75 95%
Astonish Ghost Physical 30% 30 100%
Bite Dark Physical 30% 60 100%
Bone Club Ground Physical 10% 65 85%
Dark Pulse Dark Special 20% 80 100%
Double Iron Bash Steel Physical 30% 60 100% Each hit has a separate chance of flinching
Dragon Rush Dragon Physical 20% 100 75%
Extrasensory Psychic Special 10% 80 100%
Fake Out Normal Physical 100% 40 100% Always goes first; only works if it is the user's first turn
Fiery Wrath Dark Special 20% 90 100%
Fire Fang Fire Physical 10% 65 95% May also cause burn (10% chance)
Fling Dark Physical 100% 30 100% Only if King's Rock or Razor Fang is held by user
Floaty Fall Flying Physical 30% 90 95%
Headbutt Normal Physical 30% 70 100%
Heart Stamp Psychic Physical 30% 60 100%
Hyper Fang Normal Physical 10% 80 90%
Ice Fang Ice Physical 10% 65 95% May also cause freeze (10% chance)
Icicle Crash Ice Physical 30% 85 90%
Iron Head Steel Physical 30% 80 100%
Low Kick Fighting Physical 30% 50 90% Generations I and II only
Needle Arm Grass Physical 30% 60 100%
Rock Slide Rock Physical 30% 75 90% Generation II onward
Rolling Kick Fighting Physical 30% 60 85%
Secret Power Normal Physical 30% 70 100% May cause flinching only when used in caves, on rocky terrain (Generation IV and V), in burial grounds (Generation VI), or in space
Sky Attack Flying Physical 30% 140 90% Generation III onward
Snore Normal Special 30% 50 100% Fails if the user is not asleep
Steamroller Bug Physical 30% 65 100%
Stomp Normal Physical 30% 65 100%
Thunder Fang Electric Physical 10% 65 95% May also cause paralysis (10% chance)
Twister Dragon Special 20% 40 100% Can hit targets using Fly, Bounce, or Sky Drop
Waterfall Water Physical 20% 80 100% Generation IV onward
Zen Headbutt Psychic Physical 20% 80 90%
Zing Zap Electric Physical 30% 80 100%


The Abilities Shield Dust (due to flinching always occurring as an additional effect) and Inner Focus prevent the Pokémon with that Ability from flinching. However, moves and Abilities that ignore Abilities can bypass these Abilities. 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.

Dynamax Pokémon are immune to flinching.

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

Magmar flinching in the anime

In I Politoed Ya So!, Misty's Politoed made Jessie's Arbok flinch with Headbutt.

In Shapes of Things to Come!, Paul's Chimchar flinched when Roark's Cranidos used Zen Headbutt on him, preventing him from carrying out Paul's order to use Dig.

In Chim - Charred!, Ash's Chimchar flinched when Paul's Ursaring used Secret Power on him on a rocky terrain.

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 Caution: Icy Battle Conditions!, Ash's Krokorok flinched when Brycen's Vanillish hit him with Astonish.

In the manga

Pocket Monsters Platinum: Aim to Be Battle King!!

In PBK7, Shin's Tyrogue used Fake Out on 's Heatran, causing it to flinch.

Pokémon Adventures

Ruby & Sapphire chapter

In The Beginning of the End with Kyogre & Groudon IX, Brawly's Hariyama used Fake Out to make Blaise's two Slugma flinch.

In Rayquaza Redemption I, Wally's Kecleon caused Norman's Slaking to flinch with Astonish.

Sword & Shield chapter

In PASS11, a wild Cramorant flinched after Hop had his Pincurchin use Zing Zap on it.

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 畏縮 Waisūk
Mandarin 畏縮 / 畏缩 Wèisuō
  Finnish Pelko
  French Peur
  German Zurückschrecken
  Italian Tentennamento
  Korean 풀죽음 Puljugeum
  Spanish AmedrentadoGen. VIII
RetrocederGen. I-VII

Status conditions

  This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.