How do you think Pokemon breed?

…hoooooo boy.

So I wrote this thing about it once upon a time, and I think the big takeaway from it should be not so much anything I actually said, but that we know so little, and what we do know makes such little sense, that you can pretty much say just about anything and have it be on some level justifiable.  Game Freak has always been quite insistent in telling us that there’s an awful lot about Pokémon reproduction that no-one knows at all.  Back in the original Gold and Silver, a Pokémon egg was supposedly a major discovery because before then, no-one actually knew for sure that Pokémon hatched from eggs, which sort of makes you wonder how Pokémon ranchers and the like ever managed to do their jobs.  Then in X and Y, sensing that we foolishly thought we knew what we were talking about, Game Freak decided to remind us that we don’t know a damn thing by telling us that Pokémon eggs aren’t really eggs.  At this point you could tell me that Pokémon come from spontaneous generation and I wouldn’t quite be willing to rule it out (I mean, I’m also on the record as suggesting – only half-jokingly – that Pokémon originally evolved from rocks, so it’s not like I’ve got a whole lot of credibility to protect here).

VikingBoyBilly asks:

In the episode Extreme Pokémon, the day care man gave ash a (teal? blue?) egg in a glass case and he said “when the pokémon hatches, use the pokéball on top of the case to hatch it with.” So… is that what’s happening when you receive eggs that already have a pokéball from the day care man? (incidentally, was that the larvitar egg, or is it another pokémon?)

(I don’t know the dialogue from that episode offhand, but I think you mean to say “use the Pokéball to catch it with,” not “hatch it with,” because if Pokémon actually cannot hatch without a Pokéball then we have some serious problems here)

I suppose it must work something like that?  I mean, we can hatch eggs even if we have no Pokéballs in our inventory, and the baby Pokémon have Pokéballs automatically, so unless we envision Pokémon somehow hatching with Pokéballs, someone must be supplying free ones with every egg.  You can probably read into this, if you choose, all kinds of sinister things about being born into slavery (which could certainly be a very interesting way to take it), but I don’t think you have to for it to make sense.  If you think of the main functions of Pokéballs being protection and transport… well, no one wants the most vulnerable Pokémon on their team to be forced to walk everywhere and have nowhere to retreat to in case of danger or injury.  And the alternative – just releasing an infant Pokémon into a potentially hostile environment with no caregiver because you happened not to have any Pokéballs at the time – is clearly lunacy.  I mean, in practice we do that in the games all the time and in astonishing numbers, but you sort of have to give them points for trying…

(also I believe the egg you’re referring to is the one that eventually hatches into Ash’s Phanpy)