Ambiguous Gender: Averted with most of the Unova team: Snivy, which Ash eventually catches, uses Attract on Pikachu successfully, and since Pikachu is a boy...it also Attracts Oshawott and Tepig, confirming them as male, too. Ash counters this strategy with Pidove, confirming it as female. This is also unique for being the first time Ash has had two confirmed female team members on the party at once. His Scraggy, Leavanny, Palpitoad and Krookodile were later confirmed male, leaving only Boldore playing this straight (and it is hinted to also be male).
Jack of All Stats: Most of them are not particularly powerful, but the sheer variety of Ash's Unova team gives him a lot more to work with.
Out of Focus: The writers tend to favor the Unova Starters and Scraggy, meaning that the other Pokémon can sometimes go for a while without any major role (Palpitoad getting hit the worst so far). Nonetheless the writers do strive hard to give them all something to do in the story (whilst retaining the arc-based Character Development intended), and all of them did get to participate in at least one Gym Battle and put in good performances.
The unevolved Pokémon lose focus towards the League, giving the neglected, but fully-evolved Pokémon more focus.
Put on a Bus: Finally averted, as Ash rotates his team during Unova (though he usually keeps the Starters on). This is majorly helpful in avoiding Spotlight-Stealing Squad. They are, of course, promptly left at Oak's as usual once Ash decides to travel to Kalos.
Reset Button: Worth noting that this time, he's leaving his excess team members with Professor Juniper, rather than Professor Oak - probably because she's easier to reach and because he's actually rotating them this time. When the Decolore Archipelago arc begins, she sends the Unova Pokémon she stores for him straight to Oak.
Out of Focus: The main purpose of Ash's bird Pokémon in previous regions was to pop Team Rocket's signature Meowth balloons. With that aspect of the show phased out, Ash's Unova bird didn't get a whole lot of screen time.
She gets more use later on, playing a role in the resolution in Operation Tempest and being used a fair bit at the start of the final arc.
She's been Put on a Bus in exchange for Ash's Charizard. No one's gonna remember Unfezant pretty soon. And people say Pidgeot had it rough...
The Smurfette Principle: Exploited in the episode where Ash tries to catch Snivy. Up to then, out of his four Unova Pokémon, Pidove was the only girl. Until Pidove comes to play, Snivy only needed to keep using Attract to win.
Samus Is a Girl: In fact, no one even knew Pidove was a girl until Snivy's Attract failed on her.
Team Mom: Comes off as one as she is shown to be rather caring - as mentioned above, she chose not to fight back against Scraggy compared to the other Pokémon. Also, in BW036, she went the extra mile to teach Archen how to fly.
Take note of the "trial" scene in BW077 - while Iris and the other Pokémon on the "jury" are decrying Shamus for what he did to Tepig, Oshawott...is snoozing on the bench. Though the scene was partially an Imagine Spot, it was pretty selfish for him to not be paying attention to his teammate's distress.
Leeroy Jenkins: When Ash is about to send out one of his Pokémon for battle, Oshawott often goes out of his Pokéball and wants Ash to leave it to him. If the foe turns out to be its evolved form, however, he will back down.
Subverted — he later shows he will back down if he does not think he can handle his opponent and will need to be motivated to fight. He only appears to steal fights if it's Pikachu that goes out in order to steal its thunder (not literally) and take that spot on Ash's shoulder.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Played straight at first, but subverted later. In the earlier episodes, Oshawott almost completely eclipses most of Ash's Unova Pokémon - it's more intentional than most examples, though, as Oshawott clearly loves being in the spotlight and intentionally steals it, though it often backfires on him. As he matures during the series, less and less episodes are featuring him, though he's still one of the more prominent members Ash's Unova team.
He also gets a lot of attention in the ending themes. He's the only Unova starter to be in the fourth ending.
However, while early episodes showed him as strong, he's become the "Worf" of Ash's team more and more as the series went on. Since he never Took a Level in Badass since learning Aqua Jet, though, nobody's really shocked by this "development".
Bash Brothers: Starts becoming this with Ash's Charizard. Even N comments that the two are already becoming good friends. Pignite even imitates Charizard when he comes out of his Poke Ball by shooting out a flamethrower like him.
Berserk Button: He gets very angry and willing to attack if you steal his food, especially if you're Oshawott!
Beware the Nice Ones: Tepig, easily the most mild-mannered of Ash's Unova team, didn't take too kindly to a Connoisseur's evaluation on him. In fact, that same Connoisseur managed to tick off the entire team. He'll also get mad and possibly attack if you tease him, as he has done to Oshawott a few times
Call Back: His former trainer wants Tepig (now a Pignite) to come back to his team after seeing his strength, only for Pignite to rebuke the proposal with a Flamethrower. That sounds awfully familiar...
The Dog Bites Back: After he defeats his former trainer in a battle, said Jerkass asks him to rejoin his team to become stronger. Pignite looks to be seriously considering it, but having seen what sort of person Shamus really is he responds by scorching his head with Flamethrower before standing proudly by Ash's side.
Love Martyr: Tepig's past trainer abused and abandoned him, and yet Tepig runs to him like he wasn't tied to a pole and starved because of the Trainer and like Ash is not even there, typical of a girl that sees the abusive ex that she still has feelings for. When Tepig realizes his trainer doesn't want him, he is noticeably depressed to the point where he cannot battle. He gets better.
Again during the double-battle with his former trainer - after Snivy is knocked out, he gathers the courage to fight back, evolves, and uses his newly-learned Fire Pledge to destroy Emboar and Heatmor. Epic.
He's also the only Pokémon (besides Pikachu) to beat any of Cameron's Pokémon in their match, taking out Hydreigon and Ferrothorn.
It's so bad he was unhappy about tying with Trip's Vanillite
When you learn why this is so, it's worse — Shamus abandoned him under the pretence of it being for his own good, when in reality he does this repeatedly to the Pokémon he ditches just so they don't follow him. Until he overcomes this, Tepig is so scared that Ash might abandon him "for his own good" that he couldn't bear the thought of losing, especially if he had a type advantage.
This is somewhat more complex in the original Japanese version: Snivy's abandonment actually came from the trainer him/herself, due to her defiance of his/her orders. Cilan notes that Snivy as a whole don't obey unworthy trainers, but the trainer's lack of patience and care (qualities Snivy found in Ash) led to what we see on-screen.
It's brought up again in BW129, when a group of abandoned Pokémon are causing mischief as pirates, with Meowth translating, Pignite tries to convince them that they can find happy encounters in new trainers, and then Snivy said that they could always abandon their trainer if they're useless. Iris points out that something did in fact happen in Snivy's past that involves her previous trainer which heavily implies that she did abandon her trainer.
It Only Works Once: In Ash's third rival battle with Trip, the latter manages to find a way to counter Snivy's Attract that trounced Trip's Servine before.
Team Mom: Certainly serves as one of these to the Pokémon on the team. This reaches its apex in BW055, where Snivy spends her time wearily rescuing the baby Pokémon of the group. Crosses over into full on Mama Bear mode when Gothita threatens to put the rest of the Pokémon in danger; a swift sharp Vine Whip to the backside puts Gothita down immediately.
Goo Goo Godlike: Averted; unlike his predecessors (the other Pokémon hatched from eggs), his strength really is comparable to that of a newborn baby. He's getting better, but it's still at a much more moderate pace.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In spite of his innate aggression, he really does care about his friends, as shown in the episode where he befriends a wild Cottonee.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Kind of. He gets the lion's share of focus episodes in Best Wishes, but they're handled tastefully and contribute to his Character Development in a meaningful manner. It helps that Scraggy's a popular character both in spite and because of this.
Took a Level in Badass: After learning Hi Jump Kick from a wild Scrafty. He even manages to KO a Mandibuzz that beat that very same Scrafty. Toyed with when he learns Focus Blast — it's a powerful move, but his aim sucks so much it sometimes causes more harm than good.
By the time he battles against Brycen, it's clear that he's as battle-ready as the rest of the team.
Badass: Though understated, he's quite powerful despite his appearance. He defeated Burgh's Dwebble (who had taken out Tepig earlier), and pulled off an evolution to take down his Whirlipede. He handily dispatched Roxie's tough Koffing. And in the Unova League, even though he lost, he still managed to wear down and weaken Stephan's mighty Sawk enough to enable Krookodile to finish him off.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: At first it seems like Palpitoad is having trouble with Burgundy's Stoutland's electric attacks (which, of course, he was actually immune to), but he was just acting and proceeded to kick Stoutland's ass.
Averted in his debut though, where he was shown to be a powerful battler.
He beat Elesa's Zebstrika, a Pokémon that had swept Bianca's ENTIRE TEAM in the previous episode. Not bad.
Out of Focus: Had this much worse than any of Ash's other Pokémon he regularly used throughout Unova...or any region, for that matter. In short, while it was still considered to be in rotation on Ash's team, it was absent for 36 episodes straight (from after BW106 to before BW142, which is the last episode of Best Wishes.)
Dark Horse Victory: In BW035, two kids are competing with their Pokémon on who gets to solve the mystery of the missing Audino. In the end, Officer Jenny points out that all the credit goes to Roggenrola.
Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Despite his pride (and genuine strength), he's more likely to lose than not in earlier episodes. When he does finally win in BW079, he used wits instead of raw strength to defeat Brycen's Beartic.
Badass: Especially after evolving into Krookodile.
Been There, Shaped History: Followed the group around Unova for most of Best Wishes prior to being captured, causing the problems with the Klinklang in Chargestone Cave and appearing at the Club Battle tournament, in the Battle Subway and outside the Driftveil Gym. His reason? So he could fight Pikachu.
I Am Not Left-Handed: When battling Stephan's Sawk in the Unova League. Both were worn out from previous matches, but Krookodile was also at a type disadvantage. Ash's friends in the audience were getting worried, and all seemed lost for Ash...and then he revealed Krookodile's brand-new Secret Weapon - the super-effective Aerial Ace, which finishes off Sawk in a single hit.
Poor Communication Kills/Cassandra Truth: In his first appearance he was and the other Sandile were trying to get everyone away from the sand baths due to the upcoming geysers that would destroy them, but because the humans couldn't understand his warnings he had to resort to force to keep everyone safe.
The Worf Effect: Suffered from this a bit in his early appearances, but he steadily gets better. After evolving, he handily defeats Iris's Dragonite, a beast who can shrug off STAB Ice attacks like nothing (though granted, Dragonite's performance fell when he entered an Unstoppable Rage).
New girl for Best Wishes/Black and White. She is basically described as an outgoing Jungle Girl. She has a Dragon Type Pokémon with her named Axew, which tends to camp in her hair. She is apparently skilled at being in the outdoors.
Actor Allusion: During BW059 and BW060, she was forced to play the role of a Miko who prayed for Landorus to come and save everyone on the island from Tornadus and Thunderus. The scene plays out like a certain girl from a certain anime.
Break the Haughty/Cutie: Having developed an ego after winning 99 consecutive battles, challenging Drayden knocked Iris down a peg or two.
Catchphrase: Said to Ash and Georgia, "You're such a kid." To Ash, it's like a sister teasing a brother. To Georgia, it's part of their rivalry, though it doesn't really phase Georgia.
Character Development: When we first see her she acts like she's some hotshot trainer who could beat Ash handily, but refuses to actually battle him, and she doesn't open up to anyone. Then we steadily learn more about her past, including that one of her Pokémon refuses to obey her and the other can hardly battle (one ineffectual attack and another unperfected). As she travels with Ash and Cilan she steadily grows out of her insecurities, rebuilds her bond with Excadrill, bonds with the unruly Dragonite and Emolga, helps Axew begin to grow up, and overall develops into a talented and strong trainer as well as a confident young woman. As of this writing, her arc is not yet finished either. Especially since Drayden hopes to make her his successor as Opelucid Gym Leader one day.
Child Prodigy: She didn't have anyone teach her how to battle. As a result, she learned with her Drilbur on how to fight on her own as well as learn enough battle skills to defeat 99 trainers before losing to Drayden and causing her Excadrill to ignore her shortly afterward. This might be the reason for her Small Name, Big Ego at the start of the series.
Cuteness Proximity: From her first meeting with Ash: *sees Pikachu* "Oh, Pikachu? *glomps* AAAHH!! KAWAIIIIIII!!!" *hugs Pikachu half to death*
It pops up again when she meets Dawn's Piplup though.
Ironically, she's terrified of Trip's Vanillite who in itself is the type of Pokémon you would expect Iris to cuddle with...but it IS an Ice-Type...
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Double Subverted! She seems at first to be a poor battler, but that's only because at the point her Pokémon were either too weak, too lazy, or (apparently) disobedient. It turns out that she once got 99 wins in a row using only Drilbur. Now that Axew has become stronger and she has made up with Excadrill, she's showing signs of her former competency.
Fanservice: Averted for the most part, unlike Dawn and May she actually looks like she is around 10. Her outfit is less revealing too. However, her bathing suit debuted in episode 3, earlier than any of the other three girls'.
Friendless Background: She didn't adapt well to a school-based environment, and her uncivilized but good-natured attempts at befriending the other students scared other kids away. Thus, she spent a lot of her time in Opelucid City alone and depressed.
Hypocritical Humor: Gets on Ash for acting inexperienced at battling, but it's later revealed she's not so hot herself.
A later example is when they were trying out very spicy foods made by Cilan. Iris calls Ash out on his complaining about the food, when she herself was having much more trouble eating it (evidenced by Ocular Gushers and sweating).
A recent episode has Iris scoffing at Ash for getting too eager to practice battle. But Cilan calls her bluff, saying that she thought of the same thing too.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can be condescending, hypocritical and inconsiderate (especially with Cuteness Proximity in play), not to mention her snarkiness. She's also sweet-natured (much of the time), compassionate and caring to her friends (whether she admits it or not), and has a strong sense of fair play and justice (even as a child, her meeting with Drilbur was due to her wanting to punish him for stealing another Pokémon's food, yet she ended up saving his life and bonding with him very firmly).
Little Miss Badass: She leaps up trees like she's been training in Konoha, and has no problems jumping down a long distance and swinging on vines. There's also a running joke that when something bad is coming at the group, it'll happen to Ash and Cilan, but Iris will jump or move out of the way with agility, such as when children were throwing mud balls at them or when Bianca tripped and ran over the group.
Parental Abandonment: She never mentions anything about parents and is obviously an orphan. Martha is probably enough as a parent.
Noble Savage: Between her aforementioned Granola Girl tendencies, her preference towards swinging from vines, her childhood, and her using drums and face paint in Ash's battle against Roxie to counter the latter's (punk) band, it seems like the Anime favors the "Native American" interpretation of "brown".
Especially when we finally see the Village of Dragons.
Plucky Girl: As a child, she never gave up on her goal especially when it came to defeating and later befriending Drilbur. However, she loses it almost instantly when she loses to Drayden and her Excadrill no longer listened to her. This clearly shows in her first appearance in the series.
Raised by Pokémon: In the flashback, she is shown to be playing with Pokémon and doesn't seem to have a family as she sees the Pokémon as family, friends and teachers for how to battle.
However, this can be subverted if you look at Taught by Experience and Raised by Pokémon where this ego can come from not learning any manners for those that are stronger than her as well as living with Pokémon and winning her first 99 battles in a row.
Turns up a lot in her arguments against Georgia, further solidifying that they are Not So Different.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Though their personalities are distinct, her role is quite similar to Misty's - even moreso than the comparison between Cilan and Brock. To wit: both are - or otherwise connected to, a Gym Leader; both want to master a specific Pokémon type; both often function as the Only Sane Woman of their group, claiming to be more mature than Ash (if somewhat flawed about it); and finally, both have a crippling fear of an entire Pokémon 'Type'.
Taught by Experience: Iris clearly states to Drayden that her training experience comes from training in the forests all of her life. As a result, she has been able to win 99 battles in a row.
Up to Eleven: Seems to be her operating mode. She thinks Pikachu's cute, so she nearly strangles him with huggles; Ash picks an apple, she "helps" by dropping a couple of bushels on him. She mellows out with time.
Vitriolic Best Buds: A mild Type 1 with Ash and Cilan. While it's clear they're all friends, she often calls their Idiot Hero/Large Ham tendencies out for silly, while they have no problem arguing back.
Weaksauce Weakness: Is absolutely terrified of Ice types. This first showed up with one of the sweetest and least threatening of them all, proving what a wimp she can really be at times.
Why Did It Have To Be Ice Type Pokémon: Since Ice beats Dragons, and Iris has brought herself up to BE like a Dragon Pokémon, not just a trainer of them. Which brings to question how will she react to Kyurem.
After a bonding experience with Georgia's Vanilluxe, however, she's at least started to overcome this fear.
Poor, Predictable Rock: Averted, most likely because Dragon-types are one of the rarest (second only to Ghost and that's only when counting Legendary Pokémon). Excadrill was also her first Pokémon, though Axew really kind of qualifies as her 'Starter'. With Dragonite's capture, she finally has a second Dragon-type on her team.
Voiced in Japanese by: Minami Tsuda
Voiced in English by: Kayzie Rodgers
Attack Backfire: Before it was mastered, his Dragon Rage often recoiled and caused huge craters where he was.
Head Pet: He likes to hide in Iris's ginormous hair.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Increasingly so with Ash's Scraggy. The two are friendly enough and equal enough that they clearly have a very close relationship, to the extent that Axew has nightmares about Scraggy leaving the group. During Scraggy's Clubsplosion battle in BW070, he watches Scraggy use Focus Blast with glistening eyes.
I Just Want to Be Badass: His dream was revealed to be to evolve to its final stage, Haxorus. However, considering he couldn't even defeat a newborn Pokémon, he evidently has a-ways to go. Subverted as of BW029 where Axew is able to dodge Scraggy's attack and defeat it with Dragon Rage. Strangely enough, unlike Piplup (who was adamant about not wanting to evolve), Axew never showed signs of evolving even once.
Nice Guy: Very mellow compared to Iris's other Pokémon. Of course, there was that one time he fought with Pikachu because a Darumaka had stolen his food; and that other time where he accidentally beans both Oshawott and Pansage in the head with maracas, causing a fight between them and Pikachu. In fairness, he's still just a kid.
Not Allowed To Evolve: Like Piplup before it, though it defeats the premise of Iris's reason for training him, especially considering it was established early on that Axew wanted to become a Haxorus one day. Also, like Pikachu, it never goes inside a Poke Ball and always rests inside Iris's hair, to the point where its scene where it's given to Iris shows it hatching out of its egg.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Worse than Emolga at this; he wouldn't take any of Iris's attitude and outright refused to fight at first. That said, when Scolipede knocked it aside, he wrecked that shit and went right back to sleep afterwards. Now if Iris can actually command that.
Averted as of "Iris and Excadrill Against the Dragon Buster!". Excadrill's reasons for not listening to Iris were due to his thoughts of being a failure to her.
My Greatest Failure: In a flashback during "Iris and Excadrill Against the Dragon Buster!", it's revealed that after losing a battle against Drayden, Excadrill feels that he has failed Iris as a Pokémon. This is also the reason his refused to listen to her in fear that he'll fail her again.
Out of Focus: Next to Axew being a mascot and Excadrill and Dragonite having roles as Charizard analogues, Emolga's been getting next to no screentime to compensate. Even her stated rivalry with Ash's Snivy ends up as little more than a cliffnote due to how few times they interact. It's especially strange when you remember that Emolga is supposed to be another Pikaclone.
Honor Before Reason: During his battle with Drayden's Druddigon, he initially chose not to fly so it would be a fair fight (despite having wings itself, Druddigon can't fly).
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Very subtly implied in his introduction episode, where he shields a flock of Pidove from an attack by a Hydreigon it was battling at the time. Over time, he shows a bit more kindness in spite of himself.
The Juggernaut: He bats aside Hidden Power spheres like they're nothing and breaks out of an ice coffin made from two Ice Beams in a second. A direct Blizzard attack barely slows him down. Averted when he battles Ash's Charizard and even Dragon Rush doesn't leave a scratch on him.
The Rival: Becomes this with Ash's Charizard immediately upon meeting him.
Unskilled, but Strong: Especially when he first appeared, Dragonite refused to do anything other than just overpower whoever he fought. Learned some humility when he lost to Krookodile and when Iris defended him in the fight with the Kami Trio.
Actor Allusion: In BW042, Cilan performs a "Tasting Time" duet with Burgundy. He is shown with a rose and acting very fabulous...sounds like he went Tamaki on us.
Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted — the anime simplified his design and made him look a little childish and/or like Brock for the same of being easier to adjust to. Most fans think he still looks pretty good though.
Berserk Button: Despite being the eldest (and mostlogical) of the trio in Best Wishes, he's also the one most easily set off, to the point of completely losing emotional control - particularly in battle or when his cooking is ruined. Also, see Unstoppable Rage below.
Beware the Nice Ones: He has shown shades of a darker personality in a few episodes. Just ask Burgundy, who suffered a Humble Pie from him. Most of the time, it's played for laughs.
Curb-Stomp Battle: After he loses to Ash, almost all of Cilan's battle after that are one sided on his side. He easily destroyed Burgundy and her team without taking any damage and demolished Trip's Gurdurr during the Don Battle tournament. He then had his record broken by Luke, due to his own fault of giving the up-and-comer too much advice and trying to troll him with a Stunfisk in a one vs. one Pokémon match instead of using his other more experienced Pokémon. He and Ash were later victims of one at the hands of the Subway Masters. It got worse when he went up against Skyla.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It's hidden beneath the layers of Ambiguously Gay and Bishōnen, but this guy is a very competent battler indeed; ask Burgundy, who got destroyed by Dwebble and Pansage, with no meaningful damage done to either of them. He was downright toying with her Sawsbuck before the finishing blow. He's not a Gym Leader for nothing.
And to add to that, he caught Stunfisk using only his fishing rod. He's just that Badass.
It just keeps piling up, what with Dwebble demolishing Trip's Gurdurr.
Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: He spends a lot of time during battles flamboyantly explaining his strategies (as well as simply talking about how good his Pokémon are). Sometimes this backfires on him, as quite a few of the individual battles he has lost he could have potentially won had he not spent so much time talking and allowed his opponent to come up with a counterattack.
Flat Earth Atheist: When a Yamask was haunting the Nacrene Museum, Cilan refused to believe so, coming up with scientific explanations for metal to be floating through glass. Considering his partner is a monkey that can use the power of the sun, it makes little sense he wouldn't be more open-minded.
He's very dismissive about N being able to talk to Pokemon, despite Meowth being a Pokemon that can talk to humans.
Heroic BSOD: A minor one at the end of BW067 when he loses to Skyla. He was fully expecting to kick her ass and teach her a lesson about giving gym badges to trainers when they didn't even battle her, but he didn't because he let his own rage and overconfidence get the better of him, making the loss that much more devastating.
The Unreveal: Ash and Iris eventually learn of why Cilan fears Purrloin early on in the Decolore Island saga. Unfortunately, the audience doesn't.
Parental Abandonment: His past was barely revealed. Even in BW140, a flashback was shown of Cilan and his brothers as children, still there are no parents present just them playing with their Pokémon alone in a meadow.
Rail Enthusiast: Trains are one of the many big things he's enthusiastic about.
Unstoppable Rage: If Cilan doesn't agree with your methods as a Gym Leader, he is damn well going to let you know about it. When he finds out Skyla gives out badges without battling, he gets very angry indeed; getting right up in her face, challenging her to a full gym battle and nearly crushing one of his Pokéballs in rage. Unfortunately, this rage means he doesn't use his head like he usually does, and he ends up losing pretty badly.
What the Hell, Hero?: Ash is horrified when he actually agrees to Burgundy's bet that if he loses against her, all of Ash's Pokémon will be replaced.
Wholesome Crossdresser: He has to cosplay as Elesa in an episode (though it was incredibly creepy how over-the-top his acting was) and dress as a pretty girl in another.
Why Did It Have To Be Ghosts: Zigzagged. He'll try to explain supernatural activities with logic, but once this fails he's usually the first to freak out. However, he only seems to be afraid of poltergeists, and will calm down if he realises that the happenings are caused by Ghost Pokémon.
Played straight though with Purrloin. Even meeting the one on the cruise ship didn't cure him.
Beware the Nice Ones: Well-mannered and kind most of the time, but when he was sent out in the middle of his nap by Volt Switch during a battle between Iris's Emolga and Bianca's Minccino, he got so pissed off he immediately powered up Solarbeam and destroyed Minccino in one hit.
Out of Focus: In early promos of Best Wishes he was shown as a season mascot alongside Pikachu and Axew, but he doesn't get much more (and in some cases less) focus than any of the (supposedly) supporting Pokémon and has yet to show any distinct personality besides being a Pokémon version of his trainer. Despite being Cilan's first known Pokémon, it is almost completely overshadowed by Crustle.
He even gets overshadowed by Stunfisk in the first Japanese opening for Best Wishes Season 2.
Chekhov's Gun: The fluid it uses to make its rock home is shown briefly in its debut episode, then is used again in the Battle Subway two-parter to help break down a door and escape from Team Rocket.
Curbstomp Battle: Easily destroys his opponent after using Shell Smash. Opponents suffering this include Burgundy's Dewott, Trip's Gurdurr, Bianca and Juniper's Accelgor and Excavalier (after Ash's Boldore was KOed) and 2/3 of Skyla's team before he lost to her Swanna.
Jerkass: Electrocutes Ash and Oshawott, forcing them to go to the surface. He then appeared above the water, gives Ash and Cilan his troll face and then goes back into the water. Ash is shouting at it shortly afterward.
To add to that, when Archen pecked it, Stunfisk response was to electrocute Archen with a smile on his face.
Ash's main rival in Unova. He is also a Pokémon photographer.
Adorkable: Has shown signs of being one but most of this is suppressed by his aloof attitude, but once certain people (Alder) are around him though, that side of him is gone almost instantly, with his voice suddenly getting childishly high in the process.
Always Someone Better: Played straight at first, but ever since he tied with Ash during their third battle the writers have thankfully made his strength more evidently balanced.
Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: A classic case, what with his obsession with gaining greater strength than other challengers.
Ascended Fanboy: Wanted to be a trainer after watching the Champion Alder battle. While he promised himself that he would become a trainer so he could face Alder one day, it's to be noted that his overall cheerfulness as a child is gone by the time he starts as a trainer.
Berserk Button: Trip hates being called a "kid" or getting called out for being childish. Iris doing it gets to him twice.
Getting rejected also doesn't seem to faze well with him, especially when it's by his idol.
Break the Cutie/Break the Haughty: BW052 shows shades of this, especially when Trip leaves the group. It's not surprising though: the person you idolized not remembering you, demonstrating to you that the idol you love has apparently grown senile and unserious and then your idol not wanting to battle you after refusing to finish the battle with your rival will shatter your view of things even if you don't show it, and with the other tropesshown below, it might be more serious than we think.
In fact, in recent episodes, seeing Alder again doesn't bring up his Adorkable nature and he only gets irritated showing that the case might have taken a tole on his view of things as a whole given that he's become more distant than usual.
He gets another one when Bianca defeats him in the Clubsplosion tournament. He leaves afterward like he did in the Club Battle...only this time, he's doing it because he's depressed, not because he thinks he's too good to watch anyone else's matches.
He gets one more minor example after he loses to Alder. He doesn't flip out as one would expect but is extremely conflicted, but luckily, Alder manages to talk some sense into him.
Camera Fiend: A minor example as it's not to the extreme of Luke's obsession with filming. Trip is always seen with his camera though before he puts it away.
Canon Immigrant: Though he's been given the Ace Trainer's sprite and class, he and his team are available in a download for the World Tournament (along with the other three anime-origin rivals).
Catch Phrase: Trip seems to be really fond of "the basics of Pokémon training".
Character Development: Trip finally understands that strength isn't everything after his battle with Alder and finally gets it into his head that he should appreciate his Pokémon and his journey more. He even speaks to Ash on even terms (even if it's short) without throwing any insults at him and actually looks forward to battling Ash at the Unova League. He still keeps his distance though and doesn't join up with Ash and his rivals.
Glass Cannon: Trip's Serperior seems to be one as it can unleash the powerful grass attacks and one-hit KO almost all the Pokémon in the Junior Cup, but it only took one hit from Alder's Bouffalant to defeat it.
Graceful Loser: To Cilan in the Club Battle tournament. He is upset about losing, but claims that he'll use that disappointment to help make him stronger rather than dwell on it.
Slightly less so to Alder, at first, but after a talk with his old idol he takes it alright. And when he loses to Ash, he calmly accepts his defeat and they (kind of) start becoming friends.
Hoist by His Own Petard: How Trip ends up losing to Bianca. Not only underestimating her, but his Conkeldurr leaves himself wide open for attacks when Bianca's Emboar gets through his Rock Tomb. Bianca basically orders her Emboar to take those pillars that Conkeldurr uses in battle and throw back in his face.
Hypocritical Humor: He calls Ash immature but is shown to be equally immature when it comes to certain subjects like getting Alder's attention.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As of his third appearance, we learn that he's not actually that bad of a guy. It takes convincing but he does help Ash herd the Venipede to Castelia main square. And he also uses his Tranquill to save Ash's Pidove when one of the Venipede attacked.
Jerkass Façade: His fourth appearances shows that he isn't really a jerk. For some strange reason, he would rather be a jerk towards Ash than be nice to him. However, he fails to even be that, and he ends up helping Ash realize why Oshawott isn't hitting its mark with Aqua Jet (by pausing their battle and explaining it to him, not even trying to take advantage of it). He also volunteers to help Iris overcome her fear of Ice Pokémon (but she refused, because...well, she's afraid of Ice Pokémon!)
And after he loses to Alder, the facade is almost completely gone as he's able to speak to Ash without insulting him once and admits to wanting to battle Ash at the Unova League.
Letter Motif: Ash's first two main rivals are Shigeru (Gary) and Shinji (Paul).
And to an extent, Shuu (Drew) and Jun (Barry). note Shi and Ji share the same kana in Japanese, but the latter has a dakuten. Also, Shu is written as Shiyu in kana
Loners Are Freaks: He's well-noted for his anti-social behavior, as he apparently thinks interaction with others interferes with one's own personal growth.
Made of Iron: His Vanillite took two direct Flame Charges and an Ember from Ash's Tepig and still managed to get a tie with him.
Mood-Swinger: According to Alder and from what the audience sees, there are some hints that his personality does go 180 as shown in BW052 when he's quiet one moment and then ratherhyperactive the next only to swing right back to his serious self near the end, only this time with actual anger rather than sulleness.
In recent episodes he does smirk when he beats Burgundy and actually makes it past the first round but then at the end of the episode, he's glaring daggers.
Out of Focus: Most of his team despite his semi-frequent appearances. In fact, to date only Serperior, Tranquill, and Conkeldurr have appeared in more than one episode so far.
Trip himself gets the least amount of focus out of all the rivals introduced despite being the main rival, which is usually contributed by his leaving a tournament whenever he loses and thus feeling more like a background character.
Sugar and Ice Personality: It only takes mentioning Alder or for Alder to be in the area for him to start talking a lot with a high pitch voice. (In the English version, his voice while not as high started to sound like Barry given that they share the same voice actor). Conversely, his cynicism is taken to its max when directed toward Ash; following the incident in BW052, he appears to have become more withdrawn than before.
Taken up a notch (from its usual display) in BW039, where Ash is trying to get his attention. Trip obviously sees Ash but decides to turn the other way. Ash's expression is priceless.
The Strategist: What makes him a good battler, in general, isn't that he has powerful Pokémon (though this does help contribute to it). It's that he's a very good strategist, making very good use of basic techniques and common sense (his Tranquill and Frillish's abilities are the reason he pummelled Ash so badly in their 5-on-5 match). However, this is also his Achilles' Heel — he thinks things through so logically and by-the-book that unexpected results and outside-the-box strategies catch him by surprise, which tends to lead to his defeat. This is how Ash and Pikachu defeat him — by powering up Pikachu's Iron Tail with Electro Ball, they not only match but surpass Serperior's Dragon Tail and defeat it.
The Worf Effect: Poor Conkeldurr - every time it appears, in each stage of its evolutionary line, it's purpose is to look tough and imposing so that it's opponents come off impressive for defeating it.
When Trip finally loses to Ash, it's in the preliminaries of the Unova League. Ouch.
To sum it up, despite being the main rival of the Best Wishes series, he loses the first round in three of the four tournaments to Cilan, Bianca (who Took a Level in Badass) and Ash respectively. He only wins in the third one because of his strategy, which largely involves one hit KOing his competition.
Character Development: Starting with BW049, she's becoming a much more likeable character (her personality hasn't changed that much, but her attitude about things such as her journey and her Pokémon sure have). She also improves as a Pokémon trainer.
Guest Star Party Member: She's travelled with Ash and Co. a couple of times (BW024-BW025, and BW062-BW063).note An important note on the above, for casual viewers. "A Fishing Connoisseur in a Fishy Competition!" was originally meant to air as BW026, before the 2011 disasters led to it airing - officially - as BW037. Ostensibly a Filler episode, it was meant to end with Bianca temporarily joining the group for a couple more episodes - specifically, the official BW023 and BW024 (she officially joined off-screen). But if one discounts the edits made to the episode, then it: a) is technically BW023, not BW037; b) features Castelia City rather than a random town; and c) pushes up the official numbering by one numeral for every episode, until Luke's introduction (it finally aired directly before BW038). It's not a necessity to consider things this deeply, but adds a nice extra dimension of depth to what appears to be merely a fun Filler episode to most who watch it.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Coupled with the innocence, naivity and immaturity that this trope entails, and she's definitely pretty as well.
Hoist by His Own Petard: How Minccino was caught. When Bianca pulled out a dirty Poké Ball, Minccino (still wild at the time) was so desperate to clean it that he scuttled right up onto her shoulder and started dusting it with his tail...which caused the ball to open and suck him in!
I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Especially in her earlier episodes, especially especially in the Club Battle arc. She dials it back in her later appearances after her character development, though.
Jobber: The primary reason for poor Bianca's inclusion in the Unova League appears to be to show off how talented Cameron is.
Out of Focus: She appeared fairly prominently in Season 14, but after the midway point of Season 15 (the Clubsplosion), she didn't reappear until 30 episodes later in BW103, in early Season 16. Then she disappeared again. Then she reappeared in one of the ending themes...then got cut out of most of it in favor of live-action footage of the singers. Her fans were not pleased.
Overly-Long Gag: Searching for things (Ash's badge case, a Pokéball) in her bag. It took so long that Ash and Cilan's clothes have already dried up and they were changing into them by the time she found what she's looking for. Even in a meta sense, it lasted 22 seconds.
Overprotective Dad: Just like in the games. She mentions that it took forever to get her dad to let her start a journey on her own. Said dad tries to take her back home in BW049 and almost succeeds, fortunately Ash and the group interferes.
Running Gag: Is usually a part of or facilitator of a different one per arc of appearances, but the one constant recurring gag is knocking Ash into a body of water (plus Cilan the first time it happened). Perhaps you could call it a gag about running?
Ship Tease: The Clubsplosion tournament features her fangirling over Sawk and clinging to Stephan.
The Unova League has her giving ice cream to Virgil and his Eevee, watching fireworks with him, cheering him on during his part of the finals and after he wins, tries to give him a "special present" to him and his team for winning the tournament.
Took a Level in Badass: Her Pignite has evolved into Emboar by the time of the Clubsplosion, and they defeat Trip and Georgia in the respective first and second rounds.
Took a Level in Jerkass: She's far from mean, don't get it wrong, but compared to the super-nice and humble Bianca from the games, her selfish, clingy streak in the early anime was jarring. In particular, a lot of fans did not take kindly to her obsessing over Zorua so badly, especially not when she even tried to trade her starter away for it.
Took a Level in Kindness: After Ash risked his journey in a battle with her father in BW049, she's become less clingy and selfish in all subsequent appearances - notably, she's taken to apologizing profusely whenever she knocks him into a body of water these days, and is less obsessive over obtaining "cute" Pokémon than she used to be.
The Worf Effect: For a while, she had never won a battle on-screen, even though both her Pignite and Minccino have either been shown or implied to be decent battlers.
Though not quite victory, in BW063 she and Professor Juniper face Ash and Cilan in a tag battle — using their newly traded and evolved Escavalier and Accelgor - and manage to co-ordinate well enough to defeat Boldore before Crustle seals a victory with Rock Wrecker.
She finally breaks through in BW072 where she beats Trip and Georgia with her Emboar.
Played straight as an arrow when she faces Cameron in the Unova League, especially considering her improvement and the circumstances that lead to her ultimate defeat (Emboar can't hit Riolu because he's too small and fast.).
Yank the Dog's Chain: She shows major signs of improvement during the Clubsplosion, and even makes it into the Vertress Conference. Right as it looks like she's going to give a repeat performance...she loses (barely) to new rival Cameron in round 2. In the Top 64. The saddest thing is that the writers didn't at least let her get further before pulling the rug out from under her feet.
Voiced in Japanese by: Ikumi Hayama
Voiced in English by: Suzy Myers
A Pokémon connoisseuse and self-proclaimed rival to Cilan.
One could also make the notion she has a second catch phrase in "I HOPE YOU ALL LOSE!!!"
Character Development: Her's is, like her character, all over the place. Throughout the Club Battle, culminating in actually coming to respectful terms with Cilan. When she returns in the Clubsplosion arc, she's shown to still find his attitude annoying — as a bonafide Tsundere, she's quick to return to antagonism when he asks her if she's advanced her Connosseuse ranking (she's still only C-Rank). Listening to her dialogue indicates that the respect has stuck somewhat, but that she: A) still has a ways to go before being fully civil with the guy; and B) seems unwilling to admit yet that she looks up to him. In the Junior Cup, however, she has a moment where she's almost blatantly crushing on him while wishing for him to beat Trip (though she reverts back to her normal behavior when Trip beats him.)
She's also not really French - in the dub, at least, where she gives the impression of trying to put on a French accent to make herself look more impressive and glamourous (explaining away her atrocious accent).
Gratuitous French: Has more of this in the English dub (presumably because the Japanese voice actress is less skilled at speaking French).
Obfuscating Stupidity: In her battle with Ash, she has Stoutland use Thunder Fang on the ground-type Palpitoad. This turns out to be a ruse to make Ash drop his guard, and she immediately swaps for Ice Fang.
Too Dumb to Live: She continues to negatively criticize all of Ash's Pokémon even after they attack her.
Granted, during their "Connoisseur duel" in the Club Battle arc, she conceded defeat to Cilan early on, realizing that her skills hardly even compare to his. This appears to have helped her mature a little more.
Tsundere: Type A to a ridiculous extreme at first, but mellows out into a Type B, albeit a fiery Type B (Example: In the Clubsplosion, she yells at Cilan to WIN his match against a one-shot character...but when he does win and celebrates it, she gets annoyed by his attitude and says she was wrong, he should have lost!)
Badass: While he loses his first battle with Ash, subsequent episodes have shown he's actually a pretty competant trainer overall, and he's defeated strong opponents before.
Sawk himself qualifies — he defeats a powerful Throh during the Clubsplosion, and gives Ash a hard time at the Vertress Conference — Leavanny lost despite activating Swarm, and Krookodile's new secret weapon Aerial Ace was required to eventually win. Neither trainer nor Mon can be considered pushovers.
Bare-Fisted Monk: The new Best Wishes opening implies that Stephan is a martial artist. Fitting given that he's always seen with Sawk now.
His attire lends credence to this as well.
Berserk Button: Whenever someone mispronounces his Japanese name as "Keniyan", which is often to his dismay. Semi-subverted in that he's (usually) more exasperated with it than "berserk" about it.
Character Development: Through the Clubsplosion and Unova League (lampshaded by Iris in the latter, who says he's really matured.)
Charles Atlas Superpower: How does he get around the fact that his Sawk (part of an all-male species) would be targeted by moves like Attract? Train him really hard to develop defensive techniques, of course! There's a Hard Work Montage/Training Montage superimposed over his explanation, too!
Fauxshadowing: His Japanese name (Kenyan) and early use of Blitzle (later Zebstrika) would have you believe it's his main Mon. It later turns out that his key battler and closest partner is really Sawk.
Sugar and Ice Personality: His Sawk is this — during the Clubsplosion, after defeating Throh he bows respectfully to his opponent before Throh faints...then he does a one-eighty, and he and his trainer begin hugging the life out of each other in glee.
Took a Level in Badass: His Sawk. Though it never seemed weak, the only time we saw it in battle before the Clubsplosion was when it lost to Iris's Emolga. Come the Clubsplosion, it takes down a Seismitoad, Cilan's Pansage, Bianca's Emboar and Montgomery's Throh, a Pokémon that was built up throughout the tournament as an enormously powerful opponent. This is lampshaded with a montage showing his and Stephan's intense training regime, as well as regular practice sessions in the Pokémon Center. This is proven even more in the Vertress Conference; despite being immensely weakend by Ash's Leavanny, Sawk still manages to win.
Antagonist in Mourning: Not a death example, but in the Japanese Decolore Adventures ending, Georgia is shown looking up a the sky wistfully after learning that Iris has left Unova to visit Kanto. She clearly misses her rival.
Badass: Georgia's own credentials are debatable, but her Beartic definitely counts - he fought Iris' Excadrill to a standstill twice, and though the second was called as a draw he was the last to collapse.
Crippling Overspecialization: She devotes her life to to craft a battle style designed specifically to take down Dragon type Pokémon. Unfortunately, she ends up losing quite a fair bit in battles that aren't against Dragon Pokémon or share similar weaknesses to them (the only exception is a Joltik, which she still struggled). Unlike most cases of this trope, she still manages to put up a very good fight.
Curbstomp Battle: Received one from Iris's new Dragonite, who took everything Beartic hurled at before utterly demolishing the bear. She was more disappointed, however, by the fact that she hadn't lost to Iris since Dragonite was disobeying her at the time.
David Versus Goliath: Her Beartic versus Sylvester's four inches high Joltik. "Goliath" wins, crushing "David" under his weight when he collapsed from Thunderbolt.
Disproportionate Retribution: She once lost to a Dragon trainer and has now made it a goal to go around defeating all Dragon trainers she comes across. One would think that this is just an overreaction, but her reaction to watching Axew using Outrage might indicate the loss was more serious than initially thought.
Jerkass Has a Point: When she lost to Iris in the Junior World Cup, she argued that she lost to Dragonite, not Iris. Given that Dragonite was disobeying Iris's orders, she's completely right. Iris acknowledges this at the end of the tournament and promises Georgia that she'll have Dragonite under control by the next time they meet, so that Georgia can have the battle she wants.
Also the case when she blames her loss against Ash on the battlefield. While she's clearly a Sore Loser, Ash didn't win by some miraculous turn-around strategy, but because of sheer dumb luck that had to do with the battlefield (Pawniard getting a rock stuck on her head, as well as her getting stuck in the ground were both lucky breaks that Ash did in no way plan, and they very much decided the battle).
Man of Kryptonite: the team she's training is tailored to take down Dragon-types in general, hence christening herself with the "Dragon Buster" monicker.
Meaningful Name: Her dub name "Georgia" is derived from St. George and the Dragon, a famous English tale of a crusader who...well, slayed a dragon. Her Japanese name refers to Asuka LANGLEY Soryu, another female red-haired Jerkass who is implied to have deep insecurities and an inferiority complex (along with Hidden Depths).
Mighty Glacier: Beartic is slower than all his opponents so far, and so relies on big, heavy blows. It caused him some trouble when facing Joltik, the smallest Pokémon there is...and a fast one to boot.
Pet the Dog: Shows some actual respect toward Iris after Iris wins the Club Battle tournament, and flat out encourages her to become a Dragon Master. She also shows a notably softer, more reasonable side around Bianca.
She actually doesn't get angry when she loses to Bianca in the Clubsplosion, and thanks her Bisharp for its effort when recalling it.
Red Baron: Self proclaimed "Dragon Buster," and she backs it up. She defeats most Dragon-type Pokémon she faces with ridiculous ease.
Slapstick Knows no Gender: Similar to Burgundy, she's the main victim of abuse during the Club Battle arc with Zorua constantly turning into her and then running away from Bianca who often causes her problems as a result.
Sore Loser: Said a tie didn't count since it wasn't a dragon she tied against, and blamed her loss against Ash on the battlefield.
Says her loss to Bianca in the Clubsplosion doesn't count either as it wasn't against a dragon, but this time she's saying it directly to her Bisharp as a comfort, so she doesn't come across as badly.
Says that her loss to Iris in the Junior Cup wasn't to Iris, but rather Dragonite. See Jerkass Has a Point above.
Tsundere: Like her buddy Burgundy, she started out Type A, but become more of a Type B once she started reserving her tsun side exclusively for her rival (in this case, Iris.)
Worthy Opponent: In the Club Battle, she says that she's actually pleased that Iris is getting stronger, since as a Dragon Buster, she'd rather defeat strong Pokémon than weak ones.
She was also disappointed when Iris used Excadrill in the last stage of the Club Battle, and outright pissed when it continues into the Clubsplosion tournament — since she wants Iris to be a real Dragon Master and a worthy foe for a Dragon Buster such as herself, she expects her to continue strengthening Axew and any other Dragon-types she might obtain.
Likewise, she's ecstatic when Iris gets a Dragonite, but only gets upset when Iris can't control it properly. And yet even after losing, she's still happy that Iris continues to use Dragonite in the tournament. The implication is that she would've been fine with losing to Dragonite if it was Iris calling the shots in the battle like a proper Dragon Master rival should do.
His team — or what we see of it, anyway — is pretty impressive. He's trained a Lucario, Ferrothorn, Samurott, Hydreigon, and Swanna (plus a Watchog, shown in silhouette on the board during his match with Virgil).
Curbstomp Battle: Not excessively so, but the battlescreen shows that Virgil still defeated him 6-on-3 - meaning Virgil had half his team still active when he won. Not totally invincible after all.
David Versus Goliath: His somewhat small Riolu vs. Bianca's bulky Emboar. Riolu wins by using its own speed and size to its advantage.
The Ditz: Didn't realize that he needed eight badges to enter the Pokémon League when he only had seven, and took out a remote control instead of a Pokedex to scan Pikachu.
He also thought the league was going to be in Ecruteak City, which is in an entirely different region. Put bluntly, Ash looks smart when he's placed next to this kid! Even he finds himself frustrated at Cameron's dimness.
He also thought that the quarter-final match was 5-on-5 rather than 6-on-6 — Ash had to inform him that he'd accidentally handicapped himself, much to his chagrin.
Foil: He and Ash get along so well because they're so similar. Like Morrison from the Hoenn League, he rather resembles a less experienced and more juvenile Ash, albeit with a more evolved team line-up. On the flip-side, he's even more of a ditz than Ash is!
If Richie represented all of Ash's positive traits if he took training more seriously, Cameron is the flipside a pure Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. The way Cameron bulldozes through the league, even sweeping half of Ash's team, mirrors the way Ash himself progressed through the Indigo League.
Genius Ditz: Despite being even dimmer than Indigo-League Ash, he's demonstrated that not only can he train a powerful and well-balanced team, but he's a fairly solid and strategic battler as well.
Underdogs Always Win: He really had to pull that victory away from Ash - both Riolu/Lucario's need to defeat half Ash's team, as well as Lucario's struggling towards the end against Pikachu, strongly indicate this.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Sorta. His Riolu is clearly annoyed at his sheer ditziness, but still considers him his best friend. It's made much more apparent given Riolu evolves into Lucario (which it does) because of said bond.
Yet another Unova rival for Ash. The final one introduced, Virgil debuts shortly before the start of the Vertress Conference. He is a Rescue Worker, along with his older brother Davy. His team consists of a female Eevee and one of each of the "Eeveelutions", whom he regularly rotates similar to Ash and his Unova team. He ultimately ends up the victor of the Vertress Conference.
Action Girl: His Eevee is female — this is revealed by Virgil when he uses a female pronoun talking to her.
Living Prop: Leafeon — comparatively, the rest of his team has either participated in said episode's conflict and/or were seen battling in the Vertress Conference. It does, however, appear as a silhouette on the display screen showing the teams he used in the 6-on-6 battles, so at least we know he used it. It also appears by his side in the Mewtwo special, and even then, it only uses one attack.
Red Herring: Played with in that many expected him to be the one to face Ash and beat him, then go on to win the whole league. He never battled Ash, but he did battle and defeat Cameron (who did beat Ash), and Virgil did go on to win the entire league.
Signature Mon: Eevee and the "Eeveelutions", all seven of them. They appear to comprise the entirety of his team.
The Smurfette Principle: Eevee's his only female Mon on a team of eight. This is a Justified Trope - only 1/8th of all Eevee are female in the games, so proportionately this is accurate. More importantly, she's the most powerful member of his team to begin with.
Small Name, Big Ego: Each one is certainly a nice guy, but they're also often egotistical - entire tournaments with "Don" in the name and giant statues of Don George at the stadium(s), anyone? Downplayed in the dub with the "Club" tournaments.
Berserk Button: Not really "berserk" for say but he gets irritated when a good battle isn't filmed or when he's told that he can't be a good film director. Bianca pushes both of these buttons.
In the dub however, it's more of a berserk button due to his tone of voice and how he calls her out on the first one.
Interestingly, for the latter Bianca deliberately pushed it, and for the purpose of helping him (essentially, convincing him to come closer so he can get a clearer shot of the battle taking place). It works...surprisingly well, despite the inherent risk from being inside the battle zone.
The Trickster: His Zorua, who often turns into Georgia or someone else altogether to have Bianca continue to search for her tirelessly.
Screwy Squirrel: Zorua really has no motive for her tricks other than to have fun at anyone's expense (sometimes even Luke's!).
Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: In the dub, Luke almost says this word per word to Bianca when she says that he only told him to film but not who to film.
Freddy O'Martian a.k.a. "The Scoop" (Takemitsu)
Voiced in Japanese by: Mitsuaki Madono
Voiced in English by: Tom Wayland
An announcer from Unova who features as a major host for various tournaments from Unova. He has been, so far: the co-announcer for the Club Battle and Clubsplosion Tournaments with each local Don George; the co-host of the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup alongside Alder; and the host of the Unova League itself. At the Decolore Archipelago, he hosted the Scalchop King Playoffs at Scalchop Island, in BW126.
Dynamic Entry: In the Unova League opening ceremony, where he made his appearance by parachuting from a helicopter into the stadium.
Large Ham: At times, such as his exclamation of shock when it was discovered Cameron had unwittingly handicapped himself. It kind of comes with the job, mind you.
Professor Aurea Juniper's father, whose footsteps she followed in becoming a researcher. In his case, he studies the origins of legendary Pokémon. When Ash, his friends and his daughter first ran into him, he'd collapsed from exhaustion in Chargestone Cave. After recovering, he agreed to lead the youngsters on a trip through the Black Hero's Ruins, after which they parted ways.At the start of the Episode N arc in BW109, he reappeared - calling his daughter, Cedric revealed that he'd made interesting discoveries about the White Ruins, located not far from Icirrus City. Ash and friends decide to travel there and visit him.
Anime Hair: Has what looks like a massive cowlick just above his forehead.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Just watch some of his bizarre antics in BW064. The man's a borderline Troll with how much he screws with the party on purpose. It's worse for his co-workers since he does it every second he gets.
Casting Gag: Professor Oak's original actor voices him in the dub.
Cue Card Pause: He has a habit of leaving his sentences hanging midway, which leads to mis-communication whenever someone thinks he's done speaking. Even if the subject in question is about trying to convince N not to steal the Light Stone.
Voiced in English by:Megumi Nakajima (speaking voice), Bella Hudson (as Erica Schroeder, singing voice)
A legendary Pokémon whose singing voice is said to have a mysterious power, making its debut in the last three episodes of Best Wishes and playing a major role in Best Wishes 2. It is currently being chased and tracked by Team Rocket, who plan to use the power of its voice for some nefarious purpose. Is an unofficial traveling companion of Ash's during Best Wishes Season 2.In BW096, it is revealed that Team Rocket originally kidnapped it from its home village sometime prior, after which it escaped and met Ash. It is briefly reunited with a Ridley, a resident of the village, before being kidnapped by Team Rocket to execute their "Operation Tempest". After Team Rocket's scheme is foiled in the next episode, it gives the group a heartfelt farewell and returns home with Ridley.
Ambiguous Gender: Although it's meant to be genderless in the games, it has always had a very feminine appearance; plus it appears to have a crush on Ash, and the very male Oshawott and Piplup have both developed crushes on it, so it's likely meant to be female in the anime.
MacGuffin Girl: Its song is required by Team Rocket to fulfill their latest scheme — "Operation Tempest".
Magic Music: Its song and voice has the power to soothe the souls and minds of Pokémon listening in. It is also the key to unlocking the Abyssal Ruins and the Reveal Glass, which can be used to control the Kami Trio.
The Leader of Team Plasma in the Pokémon Black and White games. He debuts in the first episode of Best Wishes Season 2: Episode N, featured as a major character. First meeting Ash and his friends in BW110, N joins them on their journey later on. In BW118, he reveals to his new friends his past as a former Team Plasma member, including his encounter with Reshiram.
Adaptational Heroism: He's never evil (no, not even in Pokémon Special), but the anime's version of N is nonetheless the nicest and most moral version of the character seen in any canonical media.
Anti-Hero: This version of N is, when we first meet him, a former Team Plasma member and disillusioned by their actions. However, at this time he's still strongly-spoken about his opposition to Pokémon trainers and battles. He also opted to snatch the Light Stone from Cedric Juniper in order to try and keep it out of Team Plasma's hands.
Foil: To Ash, by all indicators. He's even hinted, in their first appearance, to be the Hero of Truth in parallel to Ash being the Hero of Ideals.
Friend or Idol Decision: Twice, involving the same friend (Ash) and the same idol (the Light Stone). In BW120, when the floor of the White Ruins has collapsed below them, N has a grip on the ledge with his right hand but the Light Stone in the other, while Ash and Pikachu are about to fall; he only hesitates a moment before dropping the contained with the Stone inside to grab Ash's hand (they both fall afterwards though, and the Light Stone is nearby when they come to). Then in BW121, Pikachu falls under the control of Colress' controlling-machine again and this time Ash's attempt to get through to himfails, the machine being too powerful now for willpower alone; N surrenders the Light Stone to Team Plasma in exchange for Colress freeing Pikachu from the machine.
Not so much anymore as of BW114, where he recieves several injuries over the course of the episode while trying to rescue a Pokémon from Team Plasma. However, he never seems to notice them until somebody points it out.
Completely subverted when he's hit by Dragonite's Flamethrower and Haxorus's Hyper Beam in BW117, while trying to talk them both down from their Brainwashed and Crazy states. This would've gotten him killed had Anthea and Concordia not appeared and taken him to get healed.
Motor Mouth: When N gets worked up about something important to him, he starts to monologue at a breathless pace. Still, it's not as frequent (or his voice as incomprehensibly fast-paced) as in the games.
Nice Guy: While he obviously likes Pokémon best, this incarnation of N is reasonably good with people and remains polite and friendly towards Ash and co. at all times. Even in spite of his discomfort at learning Ash's dream to be a Pokémon Master, he states he doesn't hate Ash for the worlds they seek being different.
Voiced in English by: Lianne Marie Dobbs (Anthea) & Haven Paschall (Concordia)
N's foster sisters, these young women are also his closest human companions and were similarly associated with Team Plasma, having been taken it by Ghetsis as children. They first appeared in the Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N opening and ending animations, debuting proper in BW117.
Adaptation Name Change/Named by the Adaptation: It's been revealed that, instead of being called "Goddess of Love" and "Goddess of Peace" (as in the games), the Japanese version of the anime is giving them actual names. Besides avoiding the obvious silliness of addressing them by their long-winded "titles", this was likely done also so that lip-flaps wouldn't cause problems in various dubs.
A Wizard Did It: Actually subverted by their teleportation ability, but it's All There in the Manual - specifically, the mist is created by Gothitelle's illusory powers, while Gardevoir's ability to warp between space is used to enable them to travel long distances (and into other spatial dimensions, as seen in BW118). In tandem, this enables them a degree of strategy (such as getting Team Rocket lost in the woods when they try to follow), but it doesn't defend the girls' Pokémon from Colress' machine one he's pinpointed them.
Big Damn Heroes: Show up in time to take the grieviously injured N to safety and heal his injuries.
They try to do similar in BW122 when Reshiram is summoned, but their Pokémon are quickly controlled by Colress' machine.
Composite Character: They keep their core personality traits from the games (what they have, anyway), but have inherited some of N's inherent distrust of humanity.
Masters of Illusion: Both their Gardevoir and Gothitelle do this to protect themselves and the Pokémon they aid.
Meaningful Name: Along with their dub names, their new Japanese names are quite apt:
Anthea's name in the Japanese version, "Verbena", comes from the flower genus of the same name; in the language of flowers, it symbolises "tender love". In the games, Anthea's name is "Goddess of Love".
Condordia's name in the Japanese version, "Helena", refers to a species of olive; in the language of flowers, it symbolises "peace and wisdom". In the games, Concordia's name is "Goddess of Peace".
The Medic: Both are skilled in treating Pokémon, albeit without any powers - they simply tend to them and help their recovery. They even have a secret refuge in the woods where they protect injured Pokémon.
Psychic Powers: Anthea owns a Gothitelle, and Concordia owns a Gardevoir.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Expressed somewhat in the way they speak. Anthea speaks much more formally and calmly than Concordia, who is much more direct.
Voiced in Japanese by: Masayuki Kato
Voiced in English by: Francis Kelly
A group of men who work on the cruise line throughout the Decolore Archipelago.
Mr. Exposition: They are usually nearby to give information on the island that the gang is visiting that episode. Justified in that it is likely part of their job in the first place.
Tropes that apply to multiple members:
Adapted Out: The Shadow Triad. A Suspiciously Similar Substitute for them was to appear in the skipped two-parter that introduced Team Plasma, though. The Sages also had their distinct, individualistic appearances and personalities removed.
Arc Villain: Thanks to the 2011 Japanese disasters causing their planned debut to be skipped, the organization has only been featured as the villains of the Episode N arc.
Casting a Shadow: Multiple members have Liepard, and at least one is shown commanding a Bisharp.
Cats Are Mean: As indicated above, Liepard seems to be the Mon of choice for most Plasma grunts, with even Aldith having one. At least three or four Zangoose have been separately shown under their command as well, including Weiss'.
Extra Ore Dinary: Multiple Magnemite (along with Barret's Magnezone), and a Bisharp.
Laser-Guided Karma: At the end of Episode N, Looker successfully arrests Ghetsis and Colress, as well as Aldith, Barret and all the Grunts at the White Ruins. No word on whether any agents are actually active anymore under Team Plasma's banner, although the TRio at least seem to believe the organization is now defunct.
Poisonous Pokémon: Multiple Golbat and at least one Muk. Not to mention Schwarz's Seviper.
Shout-Out: All the Pokémon they use are from families which Team Plasma uses in the games.
Voiced in Japanese by: Masaki Aizawa
Voiced in English by: Bill Rogers
The shadowy leader of Team Plasma, foster father to N, Anthea and Concordia. In BW112, Ghetsis is initially seen projecting his image in a hologram, through which he communicates with Colress. He subsequently appears in person for the first time in BW117.
Archnemesis Dad: BW118 reveals that: a) he is N, Anthea and Concordia's stepfather, like in the games; and b) they all oppose his goals and actions.
Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Two grunts had to stop him from pissing off Reshiram any further after it was freed from the device. Ghetsis still insisted on informing the dragon he can still order it around.
Japanese Honorifics: In the Japanese, he refers to Colress/Achroma as "Achroma-kun". He is in turn called "Ghetsis-sama", as a sign of his superiority.
The Man Behind the Man: To Colress. In his first episode, he contacts him briefly through a hologram at Colress's current base of operations. Ash's group initially mistakes Colress for Ghetsis on their first meeting (having briefly heard the latter's name from Aldith) before being corrected.
Orcus on His Throne: Ghetsis hides away in secret while his agents do his dirty work across Unova. BW117 even shows him literally sitting on a throne-like chair (the coloring of the room strangely resembles the Relic Castle from the postponed two-parter). He finally takes the scene in the three-part finale.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Both his visible left eye and the red visor covering his right eye, or possible lack of one.
Too Dumb to Live: Insisting on giving orders to a severely pissed off Reshiram after it broke free of Colress's machine.
Villainous Breakdown: Starts losing it once the control device is destroyed and Reshiram freeing itself.
Team Plasma's chief scientist, who experiments with technology in order to control Pokémon and strengthen the organisation's plans; his own desires and priorities, however, appear to differ somewhat from those of his colleagues.
Adaptational Villainy: While his goals and allegiance are unchanged, anime-Colress is more psychotic and openly antagonistic than his game counterpart (who only revealed his allegiance to Team Plasma at the end, and was technically more neutral towards the player). He also reformed in the game, whereas in the anime he's arrested along with Ghetsis and the on-scene grunts., though he is considering changing his approach towards Pokémon...somewhat.
Affably Evil: He addresses the heroes with laid-back cordiality, and speaks to them pleasantly (in contrast to Aldith and the other grunts' professionalism).
Combat Pragmatist: Once his machine is advanced enough, he can simply use it to take control of any opposing Pokémon and turn them against his enemies (with alarming swiftness, too). He doesn't need any Pokémon of his own...until it backfires when Pikachu fights back, again, and together with Reshiram destroys the machine, leaving him powerless.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: After the initial encounter, he tweaked his EM-wave machine so it would not be blocked by the cubes Looker used, strengthened it so Pikachu couldn't will himself out, and generally made sure the device was either attended to by Plasma or kept safely away. As for calling out Pokémon to aid in a battle, he is very likely to take the initiative and control them before anything can be done for both pragmatic and scientific reasons.
Manipulative Bastard: In BW119, he convinces Meowth to let him try out his machine on him to increase his strength, all in the purposes of testing its increasing power. Even though Meowth had trained his mind to resist its mind-controlling powers, he fell under Colress' control and had to be snapped out of it by Jessie and James - leaving them with nothing (they'd hoped to convince him to join them), and him with the satisfaction of knowing that his machine is getting more powerful. (Though Jessie and James do manage to plant a tracking device on Colress' machine which they make use of in the following episode.)
Psychotic Smirk: Whenever good fortune or results occur during his experiments, such as Iris calling out Dragonite and his response is glee at having a new subject.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Aldith's Blue - while it's not hyperactive, he shows delight at seeing Pikachu's willpower overwhelm his own technology. Aldith needs to remind him that this is a setback to Team Plasma's plans.
A female Team Plasma member, first appearing in BW112. Holding rank and file over her fellow grunts, she answers directly to Colress and appears to be his own subordinate specifically - as well as being a leash on his more excitable personality.
Ascended Extra: The Episode N opening depicts her, in one shot, as the only coloured Team Plasma grunt, making her stand out above the rest. True to that, she so far appears to have a more distinct role than the others.
Canon Foreigner: Her design already existed in "Black 2 & White 2", but only as that of the generic female grunts. Aldith appears to have her own distinct personality and rank within Team Plasma, similar to the Team Rocket trio.
Hypercompetent Sidekick /Only Sane Man: Whenever she has to remind him not to get to into the data of his experiments over the mission and gets annoyed when he is happy about the results in spite of failure.
Mook Lieutenant: Though she wears the same uniform as the rest, she's also the only female Plasma grunt seen and the others seem to defer to her, even Barret.
Name's the Same: Her Japanese name is the same as the English dub name of a "Diamond and Pearl" supporting character.
Number Two: She's rarely seen away from Colress and seems to be his direct subordinate.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Colress' Red, being more straight-laced and serious and scolding him when he gets too excited (specifically, when he was pleased at Pikachu's willpower breaking his control over it, as they had no time to study it and needed to focus on perfecting the machine).
The Smurfette Principle: The only female Team Plasma agent seen in the anime - but as stated, she holds rank over the other Grunts, so it all events out.
Voiced in Japanese by: Kensuke Sato
Voiced in English by: Darren Dunstan
A male Team Plasma member, first appearing in BW118. Like Aldith, he seems higher-ranked than his colleagues (though not on her level), as he is first seen leading a mission to apprehend N for Ghetsis.
Ascended Extra: Depicted in the Episode N opening (on the Plasma helicopter with Aldith and her Liepard), he's given a distinct role and persona in the series proper.
Canon Foreigner: His design already existed in "Black 2 & White 2", but only as that of the generic male grunts. Barret appears to have his own distinct personality and rank within Team Plasma, similar to the Team Rocket trio.
Japanese Honorifics: In the original Japanese, he refers to Aldith as "Angie-sama", indicating that he defers to her despite otherwise ranking above the other grunts.
King Mook: His Magnezone is more powerful than either the Liepard or Muk his underlings in BW118 use - it takes on Pignite and Oshawott, defeats the former (which has a type-advantage), and finally needs to be taken down by Pikachu himself.
Large Ham: In contrast to Alidth's usual composure.
Voiced in Japanese by: Yukito Sōma (Schwarz) & Naoki Koshida (Weiss)
Voiced in English by: Ryan Stadler (Schwarz) & Benjamin Becker (Weiss)
A pair of partnered Team Plasma grunts, appearing in BW114. Having kidnapped a Braviary, they thus attempt to apprehend N when he attempts to rescue it. In battle, Schwarz uses a Seviper and Weiss uses a Zangoose.
Meaningful Name: Schwarz and Weiss mean, respectively, "black" and "white" in German while their Japanese names have the Italian names for the colors. Their Mons also sort of match them based on color (Schwarz has the dark Seviper, Weiss the mostly-white Zangoose).
Nominal Importance: Having their names revealed gives them a competence level most grunts don't have, making them fairly capable adversaries - additionally, having trained two Pokémon who are normally mortal enemies into being capable battle-partners (Zangoose and Seviper) indicates some level of distinctive personality.
Odd Friendship: These are the first Seviper and Zangoose seen in the anime to fight together, let alone so well.
Badass: From his introduction, Cress has never had any of his defeats in battle mentioned or shown in contrast to his brothers (until BW140, which shows in a flashback his defeat by Ice-trainer Drago), and is implied to have been the strongest of the triplets as far as battlers go. He even beat Pikachu without taking a single hit in return, though to be fair he had a rather solid strategy in place for Electric-type opponents, and Ash being overconfident about his type-advantage partially contributed to his defeat.
Big Eater: Chili, whose solution for resolving stress is to stuff his face. His Pansear also has the ability "Gluttony".
Birds of a Feather: Non-romantic, but Cilan determines that Chili and Pansear are perfect partners due to the many traits they share.
Can't Catch Up: This is acknowledged in BW058, when Chili is revealed to be suffering an inferiority complex, percieving himself as the weakest of the brothers due to having suffered a losing streak, expecially when Pansage circumvents his type disadvantage against Pansear with more balanced attacks. The gang helps him out by training Pansear to learn Solarbeam.
Hot-Blooded: Chili to the extreme. Shared by his Pansear.
Large Ham: Chili, at times. Ironically, his brother Cilan can sometimes be even hammier.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cress' advice to Chili about his battle style, while necessary to help him improve, probably could have been delivered a little more delicately, something Cress guiltily admits to. Thankfully, Cilan manages to deliver the advice better and rectify the situation.
Sibling Team: Along with Cilan (until he elects to travel awhile), the three of them share their duties at the Gym (which also doubles as a restaurant), allowing the challenger to select his or her opponent in a one-on-one Gym Battle.
Take a Third Option: Ash requests the opportunity to battle all three Gym Leaders. Cress suggests a series of 3 one-on-one matches to determine whether Ash earns a badge (he beats Chili, loses to Cress, and then beats Cilan).
Third-Person Person: Cress in the original Japanese version - culturally and grammatically, doing so is regarded as a mannerism of femininity.
The Worf Effect: Of the triplets, Chili appears to lose the most battles - he was beaten by Trip using a disadvantaged Servine, for goodness sake, not to mention being (incidentally) the only person on record to have been defeated by Burgundy. Deconstructed when he develops an inferiority complex and runs away from the Gym, and it got even worse when Cilan and Pansage defeat his Pansear in BW058. However, it's subverted at the end of the episode when he finally defeats Ash's Oshawott.
Inverted with Cress, who hasn't lost a single battle. Then played straight when he loses to Drago, who beat him using an OHKO attack despite his type advantage.
Soul Power: Watchog's Confuse Ray, and Lillipup and Herdier's Shadow Ball.
Stealth Mentor: She takes this approach when battling Ash, treating her battle with him like a test he needs to pass.
Token Minority: The only "black" Gym Leader, and fits the mammy stereotype pretty well - much of her artwork even features a matronly apron.
The apron is meant to (at least in part) represent her occupation as an archaeologist - it has pockets for tools and everything. Unfortunately, Political Correctness Gone Mad required it to be retconned out; when originally aired in Japan, the Nacrene City episodes featured Lenora's original design. These episodes were re-animated so that she no longer wore an apron, and this revised version ended up being the one that was used for the English dub. By BW036, Lenora's revised design took effect on the original Japanese version as well.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Just like in the games, Lenora is a very difficult fight for Ash. She curbstomps him without breaking a sweat, it takes an episode-long Training Montage just to get up to her level, and even then she's a tough battle.
True Beauty Is on the Inside: After Ash beats her, Elesa admits that she'd gotten so caught up in showing off and dazzling with her Pokémon that she forgot about the importance of trainer and Pokémon being in sync with each other's feelings.
Cynical Mentor: Towards Ash - among other things, he didn't take the usual route of criticising Ash's usage of a type-disadvantaged Pokémon, and was ultimately impressed when Boldore defeated his Excadrill. Also see Self-Made Man.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He brushes off Ash's challenge the first time, and the second time he criticises Ash for not knowing about Revival Herbs. Yet despite his doubts about Ash's worth, he keeps his word to battle him, acts as a Cynical Mentor with good intentions, and encourages him in the end to keep climbing upwards to reach his dream.
Let's Get Dangerous: To really test Ash's resolve, he sends out his strongest Pokémon, Excadrill, in the final stage of the match.
One-Hit KO: Excadrill's Horn Drill. Less than useful against Roggenrola's "Sturdy" ability, however.
Reasonable Authority Figure: He really did need those Revival Herbs, and so when Ash brought them from Milos Island he kept his word that he'd battle him. This is despite seeming grouchy and not believing Ash would be worth battling.
Self-Made Man: Clay reflects that when he was a child, he worked really hard to get where he is, but most contemporary youngsters expect to attain everything with shortcuts and cheap tricks. This is precisely why he considers Ash's Snivy using Attract to be unfair rather than strategic.
Arrogant Kung Fu Girl: While not an outright Jerkass, she's very arrogant about the accuracy of her Air Battles, gettingnasty if someone challenges her convictions. Even when Cilan gives her a hard time in battle, she declares she "was bored" and predicted everything (though she hadn't exactly).
Defeat Means Friendship: After Ash defeats her, she humbly admits she was wrong and vows to be a proper Gym Leader from then on. Tranquill's evolution in particular helped her realise that her belief in predictable outcomes is skewed.
Early-Bird Cameo: A rather unusual one, in that she made her first anime appearance in the English opening of Season 15, the weekend before her first episode even aired in Japan.
It allows Swanna to take Pikachu's electric attack so it seems to have been upgraded A LOT compared to the games.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: BW068 shows that she's not a bad person, but needed to realize that what was best for her wasn't necessarily best for everyone else. Even before then she was mostly a Nice Girl, being consistently polite and expressing delight at getting to battle another Gym Leader.
Establishing Character Moment: He and Beartic leap down from a higher altitude, destroying a pair of boulders endangering Ash and his friends, and land in perfect martial arts poses. Then he simply expresses relief that nobody is hurt, showing his sense of humility.
Adaptational Badass: She's only the second Gym Leader in the games, whereas in the anime Ash earned his final badge from her (though this is mainly because she was introduced after the other Gym Leaders). In addition, she allows Ash to use six Pokémon against three of hers, and she justifies her confidence by defeating five of his team during the battle.
Badass Adorable: Apparently, she puts herself on a 6-on-3 disadvantage regularly...Yikes! Plus, she's pretty cute
Even before Ash is headed towards the Gym for his match, a lot of Pokémon were being admitted to the Center in Virbank City specifically because she was kicking their asses. Notably, the scene is similar to something we saw way back on the first season, before Ash went to face Lt. Surge in the Vermilion City Gymnote if you remember well, the anime version of Surge was pretty ruthless, with a tough Raichu and all.
Combat Pragmatist: She utilizes attacks with a good chance of poisoning the opposition, making up for her lesser numbers in the battle. In fact, a lot of the poisoning attacks are aimed at the face to assure poisoning with the added bonus of throwing them off.
Hair Decorations: Has a fringe combed up in a topknot and kept in place by a double-bead hairband.
Honor Before Reason: She doesn't take advantage of Pignite's poisoning by Scolipede, giving it a Pecha Berry before sending out her strongest Pokémon, Garbodor. It just shows how she's both a good sport and a tough opponent.
Badass: He handed Iris and Excadrill their first ever defeat, breaking their 99-battle winning streak. In their 2-on-2 rematch in BW101, he wins again — despite Excadrill tying with Haxorus, Druddigon was still standing despite Dragonite's best efforts.
Fauxshadowing: The final slot in Ash's Badge case is at one point seen to be shaped to hold the Legend Badge, the badge which Drayden gives out. But Opelucid Gym turns out to be closed on short notice, and Ash battles Roxie for his final Unova Badge instead. Then the 2nd Japanese opening featured Drayden, and he made a two-episode appearance.
What's amusing about this is how Ash's Badge Cases (both Sinnoh and Unova) have slots shaped specifically for certain badges - despite the fact that in the anime, there are more than 8 Gyms and therefore no specific selection of badges to be earned for League participation.
Token Motivational Nemesis: Non-villainous variant — his presence played an important role in defining who Iris and Excadrill became. He and Iris have a rematch at the Opelucid Gym, and he wins a 2nd time (although this time, Excadrill pulls a tie against the Haxorus which originally defeated it.
The Unfought: Ash has not fought him and has no reason to, because he obtained his 8th Badge from Roxie instead.
"Unfought" to Ash; to Iris it's a completely different story.
A Day in the Limelight: Which mostly makes up for his lack of a presence beyond the Gym Leader role in the anime.
Demoted to Extra: Considering his noteworthy role in the games. Also, when Ash meets him, he's already in his Gym Leader position of Black 2/White 2, rather than a friendly rival in the same capacity as Bianca - as such, when Ash and Cheren battle, it's just a friendly battle rather than a full-fledged Gym Badge battle as Ash had already gotten the Basic Badge (along with the other seven needed to enter the Unova League) from Lenora.
And Then What?: He tells Ash and his friends that once they fulfill all their dreams, they must then find meaning in life beyond them, too.
Anime Hair: Spiked upwards with a large wolf's tail.
Badass Grandpa: A bit old, yes. Don't underestimate him when he can kick your ass in a battle if he focuses.
Brilliant, but Lazy: In his older age, he's less focused — he falls asleep during his battle with Ash! Then comes the Junior World Cup where he shows why he is still the Champion by curbstomping Trip's Serperior with his Bouffalant.
Expy: Of Jiraiya from Naruto. He's a wandering sage, and a bit of a lech, but truly fearsome in battle.
Friend to All Living Things: He has a deep understanding of Pokémon — he helped the aforementioned Gigalith by removing the nail in its foot which had caused it pain, and then fed it minerals. This is also a Call Back to when Bruno of the Kanto Elite Four calmed a rampaging Onix by pulling out a Sandslash firmly lodged between its joints - Pokémon champions require the in-depth foresight, compassion and understanding of life (and living) that must be largely self-taught only with experience.
The Mentor: Tries with Trip, is more successful with Ash's group. He does manage to talk some sense into Trip the next time he gets to talk to him.
Multicoloured Hair: His hair similarly colour-coded in a style similar to Yugi Motou - red at the front and centre towards the scalp, with light-brown colouring along the outer spikes and towards the wolf-tail at the back.
No Sell: Bouffalant's Sap Sipper ability, much to Trip's surprise.
Running Gag: Not remembering either Ash or Trip's names — he calls the former "Ashton" (Santaro) and the latter "Tristan" (Shootaro).
Badass Adorable: Despite being insecure about her skills, she still manages to hold up against Cynthia until the timer runs out. Keep in mind she was fighting Cynthia's Garchomp for ten whole minutes while most other trainers' mons outside of the Elite Four could barely handle the same dragon for more than ten seconds.