PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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Title says it all. So I was playing Pokémon ruby and I realized something odd. When a native Pokemon (caught in game) holds an item, it shows the default held item icon but when a traded Pokemon (charmander from fire red to be exact) holds the item, it becomes a "mail/letter" icon. What gives?

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What happens when you try giving mail to the caught-in-game Pokemon and a non-mail item to the traded Pokemon?
The answer to the latter is basically my question. I made the traded Pokemon hold literally any item and it's icon becomes a mail icon for some reason
That game is old. It's probably just a glitch where the held item icon swaps with the mail icon. Try taking the item and giving it back.
Huh

I'll see if I can get that to happen also... I've never noticed it, although the in-game trades with npcs almost always have mail...

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