At times, when making a game, development members may commit a mistake. Most of the time, these errors are detected by the quality assurance team, whose job is to play-test the game in search for such mistakes, so that they can be corrected. However, it's possible for some errors to go by undetected, or to not get fixed in time, meaning the final game is released with them still in it. For the most part, these aren't enough to affect gameplay or the game's story. In popular culture, they are also known as goofs. In the Pikmin series, there are cases of typos, grammatical errors, glitches, ways to go out of bounds, and inconsistencies.
For the sake of completion, debatable mistakes will be included on the article as well. Unless otherwise confirmed, every mistake listed here is speculative, and could in fact be purposefully made by the developers.
Carrying path oversights
At points, leftovers from previous versions of a game may make their way into the final product in some form. This generates a minor inconsistency in the game mechanics, locations or objects, given that what's presented is different from what happens in the actual game.
Early enemy reel information
Some of the enemy reel's footage was recorded in an earlier – or at least different – version of Pikmin, and one can tell because several of the objects cannot be found in those locations in the final game. One of the most noteworthy examples would be the Goolix appearing on The Forest Navel, despite never being encountered there during gameplay. In addition, the fact that all names are sorted alphabetically, besides the Swooping Snitchbug's, gives a hint on what the creature's name was intended to be initially – possibly something beginning with "Flying".
S.S. Dolphin credits mistake
An early model of the S.S. Dolphin (which can be found unused in the game files) can be seen projected on PNF-404 during the ending credits, as one of the Ionium Jets can be seen with a circular top instead of an hexagonal one, and the retracted egg-whisk-like propeller can be seen as a sphere. Both of these traits are found in the unused model, but not in the final game's ship.
Pellet carrying in the instruction manual
In the instruction manual, the page that describes the Onions and pellets contains an image of three Pikmin carrying a 1 pellet. In the actual game, this is not possible – only up to two Pikmin may carry a 1 pellet at the same time.
Bomb rock warning in the New Play Control! instruction manual
In the US instruction manual for New Play Control! Pikmin, the page that explain each Pikmin type's skills has two warnings about Yellow Pikmin and bomb rocks. One of them states “Don't stand too close! If it stands idly when thrown, call back a bomb-carrying Pikmin to have it drop the bomb.” This is a leftover from the instruction manual of the original GameCube Pikmin game, and is no longer true in the New Play Control! remake – the Pikmin keep their bomb rocks when called.
The Forest Navel geyser
At the south of The Forest Navel, there is a geyser on the platform where the Gravity Jumper can be found. This geyser merely shoots Olimar upward considerably high, and makes him land on the pond at the southwest. Because this does not aid the player in any way, and because there is a detailed path leading up specifically to the geyser, it is possible that this is the leftover of a previous version of the area, where that geyser actually had a purpose.
For unknown reasons, Olimar walks slower if the player tilts the analog stick in a diagonal direction. As such, it's faster to angle the camera such that the player has to tilt the analog stick in a cardinal direction in order to get Olimar where he needs. This oddity is not present in the New Play Control! version.
Ship part function inconsistencies
Some ship parts are optional and mentioned to have no relation to the flight capablities of the S.S. Dolphin, and therefore are not needed to complete the game. However, there are multiple parts that evidently have no relation to the S.S. Dolphin's flight capablities or unclear purpose as inferable from Olimar's descriptions for these parts, yet are mandatory, such as the Pilot's Seat, the Libra and the Sagittarius, and the Positron Generator. To confuse things even further, Olimar hints in his second monolog for the Interstellar Radio that not all parts are needed to fly the ship, hinting that the Interstellar Radio is not mandatory, even though it is.
Carrying path oversights
Missing sublevel objects
Due to the way sublevel generation works, it is possible for some important objects that are usually meant to appear to not show up at all. The following cases are known, along with the probabilities of that happening.
For cases where the treasure is inside of an enemy, what happens is that that enemy does not appear.
Note that some Candypop Buds will not appear on purpose if the player does not meet the maximum Pikmin requirement. This table only lists Candypop Buds that can accidentally not appear due to sublevel generation limitations.
It is possible for Bully Den to fail to spawn the exit geyser. There is a ≈0.02% chance that when sublevel 1 generates, there is no place for the geyser to go. In this layout, nothing happens when The Key is collected.
Biological classification inconsistencies
Biological classification in the Pikmin games matches that of the real world, with the following exceptions:
The Infernal Vegetable is a treasure in Pikmin 2, and is actually a real world bell pepper. Bell peppers are not vegetables, contrary to what is stated by both Olimar and the ship, but are in fact fruits. They can be considered vegetables for culinary purposes, but are botanically a fruit; this is actually a common misconception.
All of the e-Reader cards are numbered, but there are two cards labeled with #46 (Shearwig and Wogpole), no card #57, and the numbered order makes it so some entries are not sitting next to similar creatures.
From analysis, one can conclude that the Shearwig is the real #46, since it would place it next to the Male and Female Sheargrubs. The Wogpole is meant to be card #49, so it ends up next to the Wollywog and Yellow Wollywog. The card numbered #49 is the Queen Candypop Bud, which is also in the wrong place – but if one moves that card to the missing #57 spot, it would correctly land next to the other Candypop Bud cards.
Carrying and Go Here! path oversights
Check in oversights
In the US version of the game, some conversation scripts attempt to switch the character's icon on the text box, but use an invalid ID, resulting in a different (and wrong) icon being used altogether.
Hocotate culture inconsistencies
There are some inconsistencies regarding the kind of materials and objects Hocotatians have and do not have on their home planet. At the very least, these constitute as mysteries, given that it is not known how comparable the objects and elements in Hocotate are to their real world counterparts.
Enemy note inconsistencies
Biological classification inconsistencies
In Pikmin 2, all mandiblards in that game are told to be in the Himeagea genus. However, the Shearblug, Speargrub, and Queen Shearwig introduced in Hey! Pikmin are in a species with the same name as the genus. This does not make sense for various reasons. One, since the same level of classification can't change depending on creature, so a genus can't also be labeled as a species. Second, enemies can't have different genuses but the same species; In real life taxidermy, classifications only branch outward, since it just makes sense logically when specifying characteristics of creatures. Because of these reasons, it can be argued that those enemies's species and genus names were swapped accidentally, and all mandiblards should be under the Himeagea genus.
Following some of the explained taxedermic rules broken above, there are also many minor mistakes between individual species and small families.
Oxygen is known to be poisonous to Hocotatians. There are times, however, where Hocotatians are known to interact with oxygen gas with no adverse effects.
Hocotate Ship inconsistency
After the debt is repayed in Pikmin 2, the Hocotate Ship changes from a rusty red color to gold. Despite this, when the ship is seen in Pikmin 3, it is instead its original red color.
The following mistakes are directly related to the Pikmin franchise, but happen outside of the main Pikmin canon games. In addition to these mistakes, some of the Pikmin series' trophies in the Super Smash Bros. games also have other flaws that are not related to the Pikmin canon. A list of such mistakes can be found here for Brawl and here for Smash 4.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophies
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U trophies