Why is Meowth the only Pokémon who can talk?

Since the release of Pokémon, there has been one trio that captured the hearts of fans more than any other. Team Rocket won over many kids from their debut in the second episode of Pokémon. The Pokémon’s anime interpretation is so beloved it even influenced the developers of the video games to have Meowth stand on two legs by default instead of the four legged original approach. Since then, Meowth the talking cat has roused the curiosity of those wondering how and why this Pokémon can speak. 

Meowth has been voiced by Inuko Inuyama since day one in the Japanese version of the anime, creating a consistent sound for the beloved Pokémon. In the English series during the first 31 episodes, the Pokémon was voiced by Nathan Price, and later, by iconic trans voice actress Maddie Blaus, until July 8th, 2006 when 4kids lost the rights to the anime. Finally, Meowth ending up with the current voice of cool cat Carter Cathcart. 

In the 70th episode of the anime, Go West Young Meowth, the cat’s origins are revealed explaining the series of events that lead to Meowth to learn to speak. Mewoth fell in love with another Pokémon named Meowzie, and to impress her, he learned to walk, talk, and act like a human. It was later said, although likely as a goof not intended to be taken, that Mewoth was using three of its four move slots on talking, walking, and performing like a human, making it unable to learn new moves outside of his fury swipes.  

Contrary to popular belief, Mewoth is not the only Pokémon able to communicate. Several Pokémon are capable of telepathic speech or speech via mind control of a targeted vessel. Plus, particular Pokémon such as Hoopa, Manaphy, Gastly, Slowking, Darkrai, Entei and Arceus all seem to be perfectly capable of speaking human languages.

Talking Pokémon isn’t exclusive to the anime either. Most recently we’ve seen Calyrex in the Pokemon Sword and Shield games able to communicate with players by using their psychic powers to possess a human and have them speak for it. There are other examples in the series, but none will ever be more iconic than Meowth. You can watch lots of that feisty little crime cat everywhere that Pokémon is streaming, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Watch.pokemon.com and Hulu.