Pokemon Scarlet and PurpleEnglish localizers are clearly plugged into a bunch of online terminology, and some players who aren’t terminally online are confused. One example in particular is causing amusement and confusion among Pokémon fans: Headmaster Clavell, who runs the Paldean region academy, asks, “What does ‘cheugy’ mean?”
Well, Director Clavell and all other confused Pokemon players, I can answer you. For one thing, director Clavell isn’t cheugy. In fact, I don’t think any NPC I’ve met in the game are cheugy. It’s easier to show than tell what cheugy is – it’s “Live Laugh Love” signs, Uggs and a quilted vest, and even Herbal Essence shampoo, according to The Cut. It’s basically a word to describe things that are basic and slightly off. The Cut describes it as “part 2010 aesthetic, part girlboss energy”. Too much effort, I guess. As The New York Times saidyou just know it when you see it.
The word itself is probably cheugy now. It’s definitely cheugy for the word to be in this game. Its origins date back to 2013 and people started streaming it widely on TikTok last year. The word spread massively when the New York Times reported on it, and it started to gain traction online. And now it’s immortalized in a Pokémon game, and many people online are confused when they first learn the word.
How did it come to this? Well, Headmaster Clavell – again, the old academy official – lures the player into his office for a chat, and he has a question. “Tell me, what does ‘cheugy’ mean?” The player himself can answer, among three choices: “Something super cool”, “Being obsolete and not cool” or “It’s a really chewy chewing gum”.
Of course, you can tell Clavell the correct answer, that it’s something “outdated and uncool”. But why do that when you can make him an absolute jerk?
Clavell’s question has forced many Pokémon players to google – asking “What does cheugy mean?” or simply, “Cheugy Pokémon” – which is why the word is starting to trend. On Twitter, many people ask the same question or lament that they learned new words through the game.
There are also a large number of people extremely online, like me, amused to see him in the new Pokemon game.
If Pokémon taught me anything, it’s this: no one knew what “cheugy” meant before Scarlet and Violet came out, but now we all know.
— Dusty (@Kimmihiro) November 23, 2022
I actually had to go to Urban Dictionary to search for “cheugy” to answer in a GOD DAMN POKEMON GAME. I… I… get old. pic.twitter.com/NkZBqAsQ5T
— Aya Shameimaru 射命丸文 (@asyameimaru) November 18, 2022
PSA: Don’t skip the optional school social scenes in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, or you’ll miss high-level moments like this. pic.twitter.com/vu1e7eOeLl
— Giovanni Colantonio (@MarioPrime) November 18, 2022
If we’ve learned anything here, it’s that Pokemon Scarlet and Purple players are also very online. For example, another Pokémon character talks about a Fleek selfie spot. The game just has a vibe that it understands internet culture – you can also see that in a few other instances of the game, like some of its gym leaders. There is in particular Iono, the leader of Levincia Gym and electric-type gyms, who is both an influencer and a streamer. Prior to the game, The Pokémon Company distributed news via its livestream around the world. In the game, she calls her battles “collabs” and has her opponents participate in live games.
But is she weak? Absolutely not – she is the opposite.