This theory got some attention on the internet a few years back, but I haven't found a definitive source on it.

Both Ditto and Mew are genderless pokemon, with similar color schemes for both their normal and shiny sprites (images from Serebii.net):

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The ditto normal sprites are somewhat more purple than the Mew sprites, but earlier generation Ditto sprites were a bit pinker, and the shiny sprites are almost exactly the same color.

In addition, both Ditto and Mew weigh 8.8 lbs (4 kg). They both learn Transform naturally at level 0. There are a bunch of places where Ditto can be caught in the original generation I games, but in Yellow the only two places are the Pokemon mansion (where Mewtwo was cloned from Mew) and Cerulean Cave (where Mewtwo lives). Mewtwo is also called the only "successful" clone of Mew, so there's reason to believe that there were failed attempts, which could be Ditto.

Of course, everything above is just fan speculation, but it's gotten a fair bit of attention and I'd imagine someone from the Pokemon Company has commented on it. What's the official word on this theory?

  • I doubt it's a clone, but perhaps a Mew that has lost its form. I mean, why would they make so many clones that failed in exactly the same manner? It would make more sense, to me, that the Dittos are failed Mews, rather than failed Mew clones.
    – Cattua
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 22:57
  • @Eric The theory is that Ditto can reproduce asexually in the wild, though there are variations like what you've said. Anyway I don't find it terribly convincing myself—the evidence is pretty circumstantial—but it seemed like a good thing to pose as a question here.
    – Logan M
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 23:02
  • Most of this question seems to be based off of the Pokemon games rather than the anime or manga, so I think it is better suited for gaming.stackexchange.com
    – atlantiza
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 1:52
  • 1
    @atlantiza We decided at one of the chat events that non-gameplay questions from anime-style games are allowed. I thought there was a meta post about this, but it seems I was mistaken.
    – Logan M
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 1:56
  • 1
    @atlantiza I should probably clarify that anime-style refers to the artwork in the game, if I'm understanding correctly. IMO pokemon has anime-style artwork. Anyway this was Madara's idea, so I'm going to ask him to make a meta post about the change next time I see him on chat. If you disagree with it, feel free to post an answer at that time and we can continue the discussion on Meta.
    – Logan M
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 4:24

3 Answers 3


According to an GameInformer interview with the art director and the producer (Junichi Masuda) from Gamefreak:

There is a rumor that in the original Pokémon games, versions Red and Blue, that the Pokémon Ditto was a failed attempt at cloning a Mew. I was wondering if you could speak to this, to whether or not it’s true.

Masuda: That’s the first time I have ever hear that rumor actually.

Is that your only answer?

Masuda: In terms of how Pokémon are designed, they are each their own unique living being. The unique thing about Ditto is that it’s a Pokémon that can change forms, but each Pokémon we create with its own unique element, so we just make sure that they are all individual life forms of their own.

Though it seems that his response denies this theory (or rather skirts around it), but since he was probably not directly involved in the development of the game, it's still possible that Ditto was originally meant to be a failed Mew, but scraped somewhere during in the development cycle.

  • 3
    The word "ditto" just means "the same." I think it is just coincidental that people think Dittos are failed Mew clones.
    – BryceH
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 22:13

Krazers answer is correct, but I want to add something:
In the first movie, the process of cloning Mew can be seen, from start (where they find the DNA) to end (where Mewtwo flees). Nowhere a Ditto is seen, but Mewtwo is the only successful clone.

I think that the reason why Mew learns Transform, is because Mew holds all the genes of all Pokémon.

  • It's true that there isn't any Ditto in the movie, but the anime has been wrong about things before. Still it's a good point you make.
    – Logan M
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 9:10
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    @LoganM: Sure, the anime makes a lot of mistakes, but because it's anime.SE ... ;).
    – looper
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 9:13

In Pokémon Yellow Version, there is one more note (in relation to Red Version) on Pokémon Mansion (where Mewtwo was created and Mew was studied), saying Ditto was created there too. So, probably it was a failed cloning attempt.

Also, it only can be caught there and in Mewtwo's cave (again, Yellow Version).

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