Team Rocket Grunts are members of Team Rocket. They act as fodder, enforcers, workmen, crooks, and backup for various leaders in the criminal organization.
Male Rocket grunts are depicted as men wearing black uniforms with a big red R on them, as well as gray gloves and boots (white in Generations I and II). They also wear a black cap, which in the first three Generations completely hides their short hair, though it is shown as pink in Generation IV. In Generation I, they each hold a whip, though, in a similar change to the Cooltrainers, it is omitted in all further depictions. They also seem to be adults in Generation I, though they seem a bit younger, perhaps even teens, in further games.
In Generation II, female Rocket grunts started to appear. In their introductory games, these female grunts are depicted as red haired women in white Team Rocket uniforms without caps, with their design being very similar to Cassidy and their outfit similar to Jessie's. In Generations III and IV, their design is drastically changed, and they are shown more similar to their male counterparts, wearing a black uniform with a red R, a black cap, and gray gloves and boots, though they wear black shorts or a skirt instead of pants. They are shown to have short, orange-pinkish hair in the games, though their artwork from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen shows their hair as green.
In The Games
Being the underlings of Team Rocket, the grunts have appeared in all of the games this villainous team has appeared in; namely, in Generation I and Generation II, as well as their remakes, FireRed and LeafGreen and HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively.
In Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the grunts are found throughout Kanto creating general disruption. They first appear in Mt. Moon, going after fossils. One grunt is found at the end of the Nugget Bridge recruiting for Team Rocket, and another had stolen a TM from an elderly couple in Cerulean City. In Celadon City, the grunts operate a base under the Game Corner trafficking Pokémon all over the world, and they are also responsible for the murder of the mother Marowak in Pokémon Tower as part of a plan to steal Cubone and sell their skulls. They also appear when they take over the Silph Co. headquarters. After the player defeats them there, Giovanni disappears, later reappearing at his own Gym, and the grunts are not seen after this in the original games. However, in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, two grunts remain in an old man's house next to the restaurant in Celadon City; they will never leave, nor will they battle the player. Additionally, in Pokémon Yellow, both Jessie and James are from the Rocket Trainer class, and appear next to the regular grunts in Mt. Moon, the Game Corner and Silph Co.
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, grunts are also found on several of the Sevii Islands, even after Giovanni's defeat. On Knot Island, the player faces two in front of a cave which leads to the Ruby for the Net Center. On Floe Island, the player helps Lorelei, who nearly defeated a grunt with her Lapras's Ice Beam while interrogating Team Rocket at Icefall Cave. On Fortune Island, there is a Grunt in front of Altering Cave. On Chrono Island, the player finds a group of male and female Grunts operating from a warehouse obtaining a large number of Pokémon, most of them rare, and trying to make a working prototype of the high-frequency sound wave machine which would influence evolution. After the player defeats the Grunts and the two Admins, they will pull out, but not before telling the player that they will find Giovanni and restore Team Rocket. They have not been seen in the Sevii Islands since.
In the Generation II games and their remakes, three years after the events of the original games, Team Rocket, under the administration of the Executives, create havoc throughout Johto gaining profit and trying to communicate with their old leader, Giovanni. The Grunts are first seen operating in Slowpoke Well, led by Proton, cutting off Slowpoke's tails to sell. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Grunt is seen bothering a Kimono Girl at the Ecruteak City Dance Theater. In Mahogany Town, the player finds Team Rocket HQ underneath a souvenir shop, in which Team Rocket have been using a fully-working high-frequency sound wave machine that influences Pokémon evolution, transmitting it from an antenna in a tree. They also help their Executives take over the Goldenrod Radio Tower, as well as guard the Radio Director, who is hidden in the Goldenrod Tunnel. After defeating Archer, most Grunts are gone for good. However, a lone grunt appears in Cerulean City later on, unaware of the disbanding of Team Rocket, who has stolen the Machine Part from the Power Plant in Kanto. After he is defeated, he states that he will return to his home country and revive Team Rocket there. It is later revealed that when he returned home to Icirrus City, he fell in love and started a family, effectively abandoning the idea for a quiet and peaceful life with his wife and child. Team Rocket has not been seen since.
Team Rocket Grunts use Pokémon from a variety of types, but often employ Poison-type Pokémon more than others. Also, the large majority of their Pokémon were introduced in Generation I, though several they use in the Sevii Islands and Johto were introduced in Generation II.