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    Ash 
Admit it; at his best, Ash can be pretty awesome.
  • What better way to start Ash's moments of awesome than with his first moment of awesome? Episode 1 has him protecting Pikachu, who at the time didn't like him very much, from a flock of angry Spearow, standing them down and awaiting a Peck-filled death. Not only was this probably one of the most iconic scenes from the anime, but it also went on to cement Ash's Brass Balls that we'll be seeing more of on this page. It also led to Pikachu's first moment of awesome below. And of course, the speech Ash gives before the above moment:
    Ash: "Spearows! Do you know who I am!? I am Ash, from the town of Pallet! I'm destined to become the world's number one Pokémon master! I can't be defeated by the likes of you. I'm going to capture and defeat you all! You hear me!? Pikachu, go inside the Poké Ball, it's the only way!"
    * Lightning strikes, the Spearows all charge at Ash*
    Ash: "Come and get me!"
  • One of Ash's more interesting and subtle moments of awesome is a dialogue in "Showdown at the Po-ké Corral", which is late in the Indigo arc after Ash has earned his eighth badge. In the series' beginning, it was a repeated plot point that Ash got off to a bad start on his journey and for the longest time was behind his Pallet Town peers (of which there were at least three, including Gary). In this episode we find out that Ash and Gary are the only Pallet Town trainers still continuing their journey, as all the other trainers got off to good starts but couldn't keep up. Despite Ash's bad start and rather small Pokémon pool, it speaks volumes that he got this far with sheer determination that the other Pallet Town trainers didn't have.
  • The climax of "Pokemon Emergency!" where Ash and Pikachu blast Team Rocket off for the first time. Especially his line in the original Japanese version:
    Ash: Don't look down on Pikachu for being a mouse. I'll show you me and Pikachu's true power!
  • His battle in the Johto League Conference, where he finally defeated his long time rival, Gary Oak. After the battle, the two actually rekindled their old friendship as well!
    • This moment of AWESOME would arguably go both ways. This is obvious to Ash, yes, but Gary actually putting up a really good fight against Ash is awesome on its own. Furthermore, this is also a case of being awesome in hindsight due to how much they grew in skill and emotional/mental maturity.
  • He was at his ballsiest when Primeape caught up with him. After being beat up several times by it when it was a Mankey, and running for his life after it thrashed Team Rocket and smashed through everything in its path, he ends up making eye contact by accident (the very thing that had sent it into a berserker rage before.) He finally decides to stop running and face it head-on, as a true trainer would, and with the help of Charmander, manages to catch it.
  • Ash's "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight to Larvitar in late Johto? That's the best way to make things better after the revelation of Larvitar's heart-wrenching past.
  • Selflessly performing a Cooldown Hug when Chimchar goes out of control with Blaze. He also does this with Monferno, this time while engulfed in fire.
  • The moment that Ash strives to prepare to rematch Sabrina after his defeat by her on his first journey. He tries to get the psychic who saved him to tell him how to beat her, but the guy insists that he doesn't have a chance against psychic powers no matter what. To make his point, he keeps telekinetically sending Ash flying back off his feet and crashing into the ground. Each time, the kid gets right back up and keeps marching forward, keeps getting knocked down, and keeps getting back up and trying again, ignoring Brock desperately telling him to give up. Ash shocks the man when he eventually does resist his efforts to psychically push him back and is able to keep going forward. It may not be a battle, but it's such a perfect demonstration of how strong this kid's will and resolve really is, to say it's Awesome is an understatement.
  • Ash taking up the role of a mentor toward his new travelling companion, May, in the Advanced series. Him taking such a position proves that he is not a rookie anymore.
  • In "A Scare to Remember" when Pikachu has lost its memory and joined Team Rocket, Ash does a running jump onto Team Rocket's balloon as it's taking off, then climbs all the way up into the basket to get Pikachu back. Despite Pikachu being on their side, this causes a major Oh, Crap! reaction from Team Rocket, just from the ticked-off look on his face. He then manages to catch Pikachu in mid-air after its attack destroys the balloon. Even better, it's implied this show of determination (and his subsequent words to Pikachu) are what revives its memory.
    Ash: Nobody's going to take... my best buddy!
  • In "Less Is Morrison", Team Rocket trap Ash and Morrison and make off with their Pokemon. The two resort to stopping Team Rocket with their own brute strength, improvising a "Take Down" to escape their cage and even battling Seviper and Cacnea by themselves.
  • One of the Battle Frontier episodes has Ash coming to battle Tucker. This is actually the first episode where we see that the world does recognize Ash as a great trainer. As he approaches it, he's spoken to by the press, and all of his accomplishments are announced when he finally makes it in.
    • This is touched on again before Ash's second battle against Pyramid King Brandon. Both he and May are approached by Nurse Joy, who has photo albums detailing both of their respective accomplishments, and who asks for both of their autographs.
  • On his return to Petalburg in "A Double Dilemma", Ash gets mobbed by Norman's slavering fans. He wallops the whole town, and nearly curb-stomps May as well (the fans are quick to call it her win when Torchic misses and KO's Ash himself, despite Taillow having barely been touched).
    • While the episode infuriatingly ends with Ash basically becoming a pariah to these people, Ash's response; "At least they like one of us," (the crowd was impressed by Pikachu's defeat of Team Rocket) was remarkably mature.
  • Ash's battle with Tucker in Tactics Theatrics. After spending most of it being curb-stomped by Tucker's superior strategy, Ash manages to put a move together where Corphish rides on Swellow's back, then jumps off when they get close. Swellow hits Tucker's Swampert with Aerial Ace while Corphish slams Arcanine right in the face with a Crabhammer, knocking them both out at once.
  • A minor one during Ash's four-on-four match against Brandon. Ash's Squirtle is blinded by Ninjask's Sand-Attack. His solution? Have Squirtle fire a Hydro Pump wildly into the air, allowing the water to crash back down on it and clean the sand out of its eyes. Very clever and resourceful. Nurse Joy even wrote it down, apparently seeing some kind of medical benefit to it.
  • Ash becoming an expert in creating new spectacular battling techniques and strategies, as well as furthering his knack of using the battlefield in his favor in the Diamond and Pearl saga. All of the instances he showcases these are not just mere display of him being an awesome Trainer, but also a milestone of just how far he has come in his journey and all of the experiences he had garnered up until that point. Case in point: Counter Shield.
  • The final battle between Ash and Paul in the Sinnoh League. All three parts of it. Arguably overthrowing Ash vs Gary as the greatest league match ever.
  • Ash turning his hat backwards for the first time since THE INDIGO LEAGUE during the battle with Tobias.
    • That moment is just the warmup for his second piece of awesome in that battle. Complain about Tobias being overpowered if you want, just consider this. Not only was Ash was the only one in the tournament who managed to KO Darkrai, he then followed it up with a KO against a second legendary Pokémon. Tobias needed Legendaries to beat Ash's team; Ash didn't need Legendaries to beat Tobias' team.
      • Not just the tournament: It's stated outright that Tobias solo-ed ALL EIGHT GYMS with just Darkrai. On top of that, he solo-ed the finals with Darkrai, meaning Ash was the ONLY trainer to beat the legendary Pokemon.
    • It's what happens immediately after Ash turns his hat around that makes it his greatest moment: Ash has only one Pokémon left. Tobias has five, one of which is a Latios. Despite all this, Ash loudly declares that he still intends to win the battle. Despite his Character Development throughout Sinnoh making him a bit more level-headed, he's still got balls of steel.
  • If there was ever any doubt Ash was a better trainer than Paul, it right proper evaporated when he won the infamous match in the Tag Tournament. He had a scorched Turtwig under his command. Paul (who abdicated his role in the match) had his brutally wounded Chimchar. The opposition had a Metagross and a Zangoose (the latter of which Chimchar was rightly scared of). Ash turned the entire match around and won despite this handicap.
  • Ash's second battle with Lenora in Black and White. Anyone who battled Lenora in the games can testify to how difficult she can be. Ash's training combined with the way his strategies played off of hers showed character development. Over the course of 2 episodes he became a hard worker and showed his trademark spirit.
  • Ash's third battle with Trip, after losing to him twice, Ash shows Trip what he's really made of, after a rough start where Snivy is defeated by Servine, Ash's Oshawott battles aginst Trip's Timburr and after taking some hits cleverly uses Timburr's own strength against it sending it into its own timber via Water Gun. Then Ash's Tepig and Trip's Vanillite battle it out and it's pretty amazing, with Pokemon hitting each with attack after attack and being evenly matched, culminating in Tepig using Flame Charge to interrupt Vanillite's Icicle Spear and then Vanillite using Blizzard and both Pokemon collide and end up fainting, resulting in the match ending in a draw and Ash finally getting some respect from Trip.
  • Not even a day upon entering Kalos and he still manages to show how much balls he has. In the span of a day, he works with new companions Clemont and Bonnie along with Froakie to access the Prism Tower to help quell a rampaging Garchomp. Even when he is left with Pikachu and Froakie, he still makes use of resources and manages to get a hold of the dragon to destroy the device causing it pain while on top of the tower. Then, when his Pikachu falls off, he doesn't think twice and leaps off to get him without hesitation. In short order, he was willing to climb to the top of Prism Tower, calm down and help a pseudo-legendary dragon that was in agony, and was more than willing to possibly die to save his best friend, all while being filmed for all of Kalos to witness. Badass and heartwarming.
    • This is also an awesome moment for the writers! As the episode shows, the above events happened without any development reset on Ash and Pikachu's part, unlike all other new seasons! At last, it looks like the writers nicely managed to keep Ash consistently badass!
  • Serena's Rescue Romance backstory establishes Ash's heroism from nearly half his current age, helping a lost young Serena out of the forest after she injured her leg. Naturally to maintain the Ship Tease, Ash has saved her a few extra times throughout the series as well.
    • In "Day Three Blockbusters" after Serena nearly falls off a cliff, Ash quickly grabs her hand. Though he fails to hold them both up, he manages to keep grip and skid all the way down the crevice to slow their fall. He injures his foot in the process, but Serena comes out unharmed.
  • Cooperating with Pikachu in perfect sync when the latter is blinded by Inkay's ink, even taking advantage of Wobbuffet's Mirror Coat to hit Inkay with a high-powered Thunderbolt.
  • Ash's fight with Hawlucha to catch it was pretty good (see Ash's Pokémon for more). Ash didn't catch Hawlucha when it's fainted, but rather waited for it to be conscious. He then offers Hawlucha to join him, to which it agreed. The awesome part? Ash didn't throw a ball to it or anything. Nope - instead they did a fistbump with Ash holding a Pokéball. That's how Hawlucha accepted Ash as a trainer.
  • Ash's efforts to improve Froakie and Hawlucha's teamwork in the Trevenant episode. He saw that two of his Pokémon were not getting along, so his solution is to construct a training regimen to fix that, not to mention he takes none of their nonsense whenever they seem like they are about to start fighting again. His efforts come to fruition during the battle against Team Rocket when Froakie and Hawlucha finally perfect Super Flying Cut. There's also a minor moment right before that where Ash has Hawlucha use Flying Press against Jessie's Pumpkaboo. Naturally, it fails, but Ash reveals that he did this purpose to get Jessie and Pumpkaboo to let their guard down and immediately has Froakie launch a surprise attack.
  • During Ash's Coumarine Gym battle with Ramos, Frogadier is having trouble against Gogoat. Ash is starting to get frustrated, but then he remembers what Ramos told him about how not rushing his task will help him see things more clearly when he had to help Ramos with his gardening. Ash realizes how useful this gardening advice is for his current situation and he calms down, which allows him to start turning the tables in his battle.
  • His Lumiose Gym Battle against Clemont was basically one big Moment of Awesome. Aside from the fact that this was one of if not the most hyped gym battles of the series, Ash was pretty much in control for most of the battle. First, he had Pikachu defeat Bunnelby, effectively finishing what they started in XY 001, despite being caught off-guard by its newly-learned Wild Charge. Of course, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Clemont then sent out Heliolisk, which threw everyone off with its incredible speed. Goodra had trouble keeping up, so Ash substituted with Hawlucha to better match Heliolisk's speed. The awesome moment of this round came when Ash realized that despite its blinding speed, Heliolisk had to stop for a split second to use certain attacks. Ash was then able to get the jump on Heliolisk by having Hawlucha quickly use Hi Jump Kick at the exact moment Heliolisk stopped, no easy feat! And the final Moment of Awesome was the final round, Goodra vs. Luxray. Goodra is Ash's last Pokémon, and not only is it still paralyzed from Heliolisk's Thunder Wave, but Electric Terrain is still giving Luxray a big advantage. Ash quickly remembers Goodra's basic physiology and that its ability is Hydration, so he quickly resolves both obstacles by having Goodra use Rain Dance. The epic rest of the battle that ensues only adds to the awesomeness!
  • His 3-0 victory over Sawyer the episode after his victory at the Laverre Gym. In fact, not only did Ash wipe the floor with him, he gave him good advice while doing it!
  • Ash really shows how he can think on the fly in his gym battle against Olympia, changing his strategy multiple times on the spot. Talonflame and Frogadier go from not being able to land a single hit on the Meowstic to turning their own attacks against them.
  • During the group's encounter with Team Flare in Terminus Cave, at one point Bonnie is about to be hit by Drapion's Pin Missile, but Ash swoops in, grabs her, and runs to safety. He looks like a soldier rescuing a civilian.
  • Even if he and Greninja passed out at the end of it, Ash's battle against Diantha is perhaps his crowning achievement as a trainer, and one of the few times the writers actually allow him to show how skilled he should be by this point.
  • Just whenever Ash mimics his Greninja's movements when it's in its Ash-Greninja forme. It's among the rarest times where him being a badass is displayed even for a 10-year old kid.
  • Ash's entrance in the Kalos League is nothing short of awe-inspiring. He gets stopped in the hallway on the way to his first match by a trainer who was unable to gather eight badges and who wants to prove badges mean nothing and he's just as capable as league participants. Ash accepts his challenge and swiftly defeats his Furfrou with Pikachu while telling him that badges do have meaning and are proof of his growth as a trainer and as a person. As he resumes going towards the stadium, the other trainer tells him in tears that there are many like him who couldn't make it this far and asks Ash to win for all of them, which Ash promises. As he narrowly makes it to the battlefield right before being disqualified for forfeiting, Ash makes a big claim in front of the whole league about how he's going to win it all, making the crowd go wild. Then as the first match begins, Ash and Greninja go through their transformation, Ash Greninja dodges the opponent's Altaria's Draco Meteor and one-shots it with a single Water Shuriken, leaving the crowd and the announcer in disbelief. It is implied Ash Greninja swept the remaining two Pokémon with one attack each as the scene cuts to the scoreboard at the end of the day with the Furfrou trainer looking satisfied at Ash's victory. For reference, in the Sinnoh League, Tobias' Darkrai dodged Ash's Gible's Draco Meteor and proceeded to one-shot it. Ash is essentially becoming the Tobias of the Kalos League.
  • He pulls off a brilliant tactic in battle between his Pikachu and Sawyer's Aegislash in Kalos League semifinals. Noticing that Aegislash needs to return to its sheath to use King's Shield, he orders Pikachu to slam the ground with Iron Tail, sending all pieces of wood that were earlier cut by Aegislash flying. Then, Pikachu starts jumping on them at insanely high speed, dodging all attacks and moving into position to launch his own. Sawyer calls for King's Shield, but Pikachu reacts faster and knocks one of wood pieces into Aegislash's sheath, making it unable to return to Shield Forme and leaving it wide open for round-ending Thunderbolt.
  • The mere fact that Ash has managed to finally make it to the Kalos league final is nothing short of awesome. It shows that all of his experience and strategies have finally paid off.
    • And by the time the first of the two parter final ends, Ash is winning the battle, having a worn down, yet battle hardened Pikachu as well as a fresh Goodra and Greninja to face Alain's Bisharp and Charizard.
    • Unfortunately, Pikachu is defeated rather quickly by Charizard, before he recalls it for Bisharp to face Goodra. Goodra puts up a good fight and Bisharp suffers major damage, but defeats Goodra with another Guillotine. Finally, Greninja comes and wipes the floor with Bisharp, leaving him to face Charizard. Greninja seems to have Charizard on the back foot, the pair powering up for the final battle, yet despite the type advantage, Greninja is defeated by Charizard's Blast Burn, while Water Shuriken fails to KO Charizard.
    • Say what you will about the controversy about the conclusion of the Kalos League, but Ash was still the runner up (furthest he had ever gotten in a league before) and he gave Alain a run for his money from start to finish. Alain's Charizard was said to be the Pokemon that swept through every Pokemon it fought against in all of the league's run. The fact that Pikachu and Ash-Greninja held their own and scored some good hits, and defeated all of Alain's other Pokemon on top of that, showed how close the fight was.
    • Take a good look at Charizard before Greninja faints: it staggers for a bit, meaning it had to steel itself to keep from fainting on the spot. That giant Water Shuriken clearly hurt more than it initially seemed.
  • Ash using the Bond Phenomenon to break free from Team Flare's shackles and facing down Lysandre. To elaborate, Ash and Greninja are restrained by their shackles and being tortured by Lysandre's drone-like devices, but Ash, despite the excruciating pain, gives a moving speech that snaps Alain out of his Heroic BSoD, then activates the transformation. This particular transformation generates a water column that envelops the entire Lumiose Tower, after which Ash and Greninja shatter their bonds and knock away the torture devices with the column of water. Alain is outright shocked, and Lysandre is visibly impressed. And he's basically telling Lysandre to shove it all the way.
    Lysandre: Ash. I'm going to use your Bond Phenomenon for the sake of my world. I'll obtain the ability to become so strong even without a stone... I was so happy when I first saw it! It made me realize that Pokémon indeed have infinitely more potential. I desire that power too. This light is energy that is strong enough to control even Zygarde! Ash, and Greninja! Your power shall be under my control. Once this is over, you shall be mine!
    Lysandre: You still fail to understand? Once this world is destroyed... You shall be the guide of the chosen people!
    Ash: We're never gonna become any of that! We're not ever going to change! Alain! I don't know what happened to you, but you go to stop all of this now! I don't care about you have done. I believe in the Alain that I know! I really care about this world! I care about the people and Pokémon who call this world home! And you won't destroy it, no way! (activates the transformation) Battle me, Lysandre!
  • In the following episodes, Ash and Alain battle against Lysandre's Mega Gyarados, and while they have seven Pokemon in total, Gyarados doesn't even flinch, taking out over half in one or two hits. Only Ash-Greninja, Charizard X and Pikachu are left standing, but that doesn't stop Ash from pointing out how nobody will stop fighting; not one of them will give in to what Team Flare wants.
    Ash: Lysandre, I don't care about how you hate this world! It belongs to everyone, people and Pokémon. Don't you talk about destroying it, changing it, saying tomorrow won't come! Tomorrow someone will meet someone important to them. Tomorrow someone will realize their dreams! Tomorrow someone will start their journey as a trainer. Tomorrow someone will heal their wounds. Everyone has their own tomorrow! What is the reason you get to take it from them? For all those people and Pokémon...I will fight at my absolute best!
  • Sun and Moon Ash actually learns how to use Z-Moves. Unlike in XY, he won't be without the new mechanic.
    • Just the fact that Ash was chosen by Tapu Koko himself. A very high praise in Alolan culture.
    • It takes only two episodes for Ash and Pikachu learn how to do Gigavolt Havoc from Tapu Koko. Their first use of the move leaves a sizable crater, and proves to be too much for the Z-Crystal to handle, as it shatters after only one use. That just inspires Ash to do the island challenge properly and get a crystal that won't break.
  • Ash's reasons for even attending the Pokémon School: he isn't going back to basics, rather he's learning new things that he wants to understand further to become a Pokémon Master. And as for any signs of Badass Decay? Well go on and ask all of Team Skull's Salandit, and Tapu Koko, and then try and say he's gotten weaker.
  • In SM005, Team Rocket are drifting well out of reach in the air and Pikachu cannot use his electric attacks on them or else he will risk also shocking the Water-type Pokémon that have been kidnapped. So what does Ash do? He has Pikachu use the hovering RotomDex as a stepping stone and cut the net open with Iron Tail!
  • SM007 has Ash taking a lot of scratches from Litten while getting it to the Pokémon Center, but that pales in comparison to taking Persian's attack to protect Stoutland. If that doesn't cement Ash's balls of steel, then the previous episode already did.
  • SM009: Ash participates in his first trial and has Pikachu and Rowlet outright mop the floor with the preceding Yungoos and Gumshoos. Then the Totem Gumshoos shows up and gives a bit of a bigger challenge, raising its stats so hardly anything can affect it, using Sand Attack to avoid their strikes, and eventually leaving Ash with just Pikachu standing. So what does Ash do in this situation? In typical Ash fashion, he does something that no one in the games would even think of doing and uses Gumshoos' Sand Attack against him by having Pikachu use the sand to hide its own figure and give Gumshoos a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with Quick Attack, before finishing it off with a Thunderbolt! And after that whole ordeal, Gumshoos itself gives Ash the well-earned Normalium Z!
  • And then in SM010, he somehow manages to top this; Ash goes through his first Grand Trial with Hala and, even though it's implied that the Kahunas are on a whole other level from Gym Leaders, manages to win without a single Pokémon fainting! And no, Rowlet falling asleep after its match doesn't count:
    • To start, Ash sends his Rowlet against Hala's Crabrawler, normally his strongest Pokémon in the games. Crabrawler constantly tosses it around with Power-Up Punch and Brutal Swing, and even blocks Leafage with its own Bubble Beam despite not even being a water type. However, Rowlet still has its ability mentioned further below that allows it to sneak around about the Leafage and surprise people. When Ash remembers this, Rowlet quickly picks up the slack and lays an epic beatdown on Crabrawler, managing the win.
    • Square up next is Pikachu vs. Hariyama. The Arm Thrust Pokémon manages to be more than a match for Pikachu, blocking its fast movements with its own powerful Fake Out, Knock Off, and Arm Thrust. Despite this, Pikachu's nimble movements allow it to keep in the fight and outmaneuver Hariyama at several key points. Pikachu even manages to survive a hit from Hariyama's Belly Drum boosted All-Out Pummeling and is still as spry as ever! Pikachu finishes the fight by running circles around Hariyama with Quick Attack before knocking it down with Iron Tail, then they finish the job by performing the Breakneck Blitz, knocking Hariyama clear out of the ring! Tapu Koko is so impressed that, when Hala is about to give Ash the normal Fightinium Z, he swoops in and replaces it with an Electrium Z, thus Ash has fully earned his Z-Crystal from the first episode of the season.
  • We see the results of Ash obtaining Electrium Z with Ash's second use of Gigavolt Havoc in SM011. Poor, poor Team Skull.
  • In SM029 The group has a Morulull problem. His solution: stick the energy sucker on his head while eating to give it so much energy it won't go after them anymore. It works. Or to put it another way, Ash met a parasitic fungus and let it feed on him so they could be friends.
  • In SM043, during his battle against Misty, while Pikachu is trapped within Mega Gyarados' combination of Hurricane and Rain Dance which has nullified Pikachu's Electric-type attacks, even rendering Thunderbolt moot from piercing through the column of water surrounding Pikachu. What does Ash do? He commands Pikachu to use Quick Attack to... climb through the hurricane by using the electricity as footing. This leaves Misty and the Alola cast shocked and Ash follows it by ending the match by having Pikachu use Gigavolt Havoc, defeating Misty's Mega Gyarados. The only one not surprised by it at all is Brock, who simply has an expression on his face that says "Yep, that's Ash for you all right."
    • There is also something awesome before that: when the battle is about to begin Sophocles looks at the battlefield with little land and questions how anyone could fight on it. Ash grins and declares he will, and Pikachu immediately gets into the thick of it with enthusiasm and not a hint of hesitation. For those who miss Gym Battles, it's a nice reminder of how many they'd fought, and in how many different fields.
    • For extra points, Misty earlier mocked Ash over not defeating her and only getting his Cerulean Water Badge out of pity. It seemed to be Tempting Fate as straight after Ash outdoes Misty fair and square. Misty finally gave him his rematch and not only was it much more difficult than before, but he won despite the massive power disadvantage between Mega Gyarados and Pikachu.
  • During SM050, Ash foregoes Pokémon battling and just straight up body slams Faba himself to try and save Nebby from him. Considering how much of a jerk Faba is, no one's complaining.
    • Even better, think about how many bad guys Ash has faced. Giovanni, Cyrus, Ghetsis, Lysandre. He faced them all despite them either wanting to control all Pokemon, create a new world, rule the world, or destroy everything respectively. All were grade A nutcases. But Faba? He allowed Lillie to be attacked by Nihilego and then tries to (for lack of a better phrase) Mind Rape her into forgetting the entire ordeal using Hypno. In other words, try to doom the world, he will stop you. Try to hurt his friends, he will straight up KICK YOUR ASS!!
  • In SM051, after Gladion and Lillie run off to Poni Island to find the key to opening Ultra Space, Ash, despite their insistence he not get involved, shortly makes a beeline to find them, and advances through the same trials they did offscreen quick enough to pull a Big Damn Heroes Electric Ball with Pikachu when the Totem Kommo-o's lair almost falls onto them.
  • In SM053, he performs a Diving Save at Lillie to protect her from Mother Beast Lusamine's attack.
  • As of SM067, Ash is the first character to have caught an Ultra Beast. Not accompanying or taking care of one, officially caught one.
    • And the first Mythical catch as of SM112.
  • Ash has another strong showing against an Island Kahuna when he battles Olivia. Despite an experience disadvantage, Rowlet & Rockruff are able to defeat her Probopass & Lycanroc. He might have gone 2-0 if Rockruff hadn't K Oed its own partner Rowlet by mistake.
  • While Ash fell short in his first battle with Nanu (thanks to his newly-evolved Lycanroc losing control vs. Krookodile), he more than made up for it in the rematch. Nanu made it a three-on-one gauntlet and Ash put his faith in Lycanroc. Ash learned from the previous battle and Lycanroc was able to defeat Krookodile this time around, then used its newly-learned Stone Edge to take out Sableye. Despite Nanu's inflammatory comments, Ash managed to compose himself...aided by another new move(Counter), Lycanroc went toe-to-toe with Alolan Persian. Z-Moves clashed and Lycanroc completed the sweep, earning Ash the Lycanium-Z.
  • Although Ash loses his first battles against both Hapu and Nanu, neither of these cases were official Grand Trials: Nanu's was a test to see if Ash was ready (and for Nanu to try and get out of it), and Hapu wasn't a Kahuna at the time. In his actual Grand Trials, the only instance of any of Ash's Pokemon fainting is Rowlet... who was taken out its own teammate, Rockruff, rather than by either of Olivia's Pokémon. This means that none of the Kahunas were able to knock out a single Pokémon during their Grand Trial against Ash.

     Ash's Pokémon 
Let's just say that any Pokemon that hangs around Ash long enough is bound to take a few levels in badass.

Pikachu

  • How about the pilot episode? Pikachu crawls to its feet after being badly injured and rushes - illuminated only by periodic lightning flashes - to the defense of his (suicidal) trainer. After which he annihilates an entire flock of Spearow. With one attack.
    • And how he does is even awesone. Pikachu is too tired to move on his own, and doesn't have the energy to stop one, let alone the entire flock coming at him and Ash. So what does he do?Jump into the path of a lightning bolt and use that energy to annihilate the flick in one AOE attack
  • For those who are new or still wondering why Ash hasn't gotten a Thunderstone, the Vermillion Gym showdown should explain why (besides the fact that it's the most familiar critter...). What sealed it was Brock's suggestion that Pikachu learn the speed moves that Raichu missed out on. It was a way of saying "I don't have to be just like you to succeed." Without that experience, Pikachu would have stayed a one trick Pokemon.
    • Also counts for Fridge Brilliance; Raichu is undoubtedly stronger than Pikachu in terms of pure speed and strength, but Pikachu has more battle capabilities if kept in its earlier stage first, being able to learn more moves than Raichu and actually having more uses in battle come Gen 3 with the introduction of the Light Ball. This comes to a head in B/W where it learns yet another brand new move: Electro Ball.
    • Then there's the rematch, of sorts, mid-way through D/P...
  • Another one early on: when faced with Giselle's Cubone, that is immune to his electric attacks (at the time Pikachu didn't have non-electric attacks yet) and has no qualms Bone Clubbing him while distracted, Pikachu overpowers him with his bare paws. Even better: Cubone are known for their high defense stat, while Pikachu's attack stat is below average. Pikachu overpowered a Pokémon that would normally have the edge against it in all areas anyway!
  • Another good moment for Pikachu: When the twerps found Team Rocket, seemingly drowned, after the St. Anne sank, they all seem genuinely sorry, and do their best to give the trio a proper burial at sea...until they scramble back on the raft, claiming they're not dead. Pikachu snaps its fingers and gives a very clear "Chu!" of disappointment.
  • Topped by the episode that first featured Delibird. After getting blasted by its "presents" so many times, Pikachu lucks out when one of them ends up healing it instead. It turns to Team Rocket with a look on its face that says: "I'm gonna light you up like a Christmas tree." Then it proceeds to do just that.
    Jessie: You just don't know when to give up, do you?
    James: I wouldn't be so sure...
    Pikachu: Pika... *gives the look with sparks flowing from its cheeks*
  • In Haunter Vs Kadabra stepping up to the Plate to Battle Sabrina's Kadabra which last time badly beat him. When he sees Ash seemingly given up and terrified after Haunter has disappeared he stands in between Kadabra and him and manages to hurt the Psychic Pokemon with a Thunderbolt.
  • In "Bye Bye Butterfree", Pikachu jumps onto the windshield of Team Rocket's helicopter that they were using in their plot to snag the Butterfree. Pikachu (complete with an adorable smile and "Ka!") begins to charge up his Thundershock. Cue Team Rocket shouting "IT'S GONNA SHOCK US!" in an high-pitched panicky tone of voice, which gradually gets faster before dissolving into hysterical screaming as Pikachu blows up the helicopter!
  • In "The Problem With Paras", after an uppity Charmeleon disobeys Ash's orders and starts attacking him, Pikachu gets ticked off and incapacitates it with one attack. Even after gaining an evolutionary level, Charmeleon's clearly no match for the little electric mouse's powers.
  • Then there's the Orange League battle between Ash and Drake. Both are down to the last Pokémon, Drake with his colossal Dragonite, and Ash with Pikachu. Keep in mind that the Dragonite's already beaten Charizard, Squirtle, and Tauros before now. The dude who wrote the episode even gave Dragonite eight attacks (ten in the original Japanese) to make it seem unstoppable. After a fight, throughout which Dragonite is clearly dominant, Pikachu manages to dodge Dragonite's Hyper Beam, perch itself on the giant's head, and call down Thunder to take it down, winning Ash his first championship. The mouse who KOs the dragon.
  • That time when Pikachu BLOWS UP A POKEMON CENTER? He might've been empowered by generated electricity (and it was Koffing releasing gas that caused the explosion itself) but it still counts.
  • Pikachu defeating all of Wattson's Pokemon with just one blow.
  • The Battle Frontier episode where Ash and friends visit an egg farm, specifically the scene where Pikachu learns Volt Tackle. Team Rocket has stolen a bunch of eggs in their giant egg-shaped mecha. Pikachu can't use Thunderbolt for fear of destroying the eggs, so Ash has Pikachu use Quick-Attack instead. That Quick-Attack unexpectedly morphs into Volt Tackle and Pikachu rips right through Team Rocket's mecha and wrecks them!
  • In Ash's four-on-four battle against Brandon, Pikachu defeats Regice!
  • In his rematch with Roark, Pikachu takes a nasty hit from an Onix and gets buried under a pile of rocks. The Onix proceeds to set up Stealth Rock while it has a second. Pikachu then proceeds to, over the course of about five seconds, blast the rocks off himself and destroy the Stealth Rock and then charge right through its counterattack to Iron Tail it in the throat and land on the other side while it topples behind him.
  • Managing to tie with Tobias's Latios in the Sinnoh League. Latios is a legendary with a type advantage over Pikachu, who had just taken out Swellow and Sceptile without either getting a hit in. Even with a type disadvantage, Pikachu's tough enough to match legends.
  • The Electabuzz line has served as The Rival for Pikachu throughout the series. He had not beaten any member of its line without teaming up on it. Against Volkner's Electivire, it wins, despite not being able to use any of its Electric moves (due to Motor Drive). It does so by beating Electivire down with Iron Tail.
  • Pikachu in BW050. He's trapped, far from his Trainer, and Axew (who's essentially a kid) is panicking. Pikachu keeps his cool, starts letting out other Pokémon from all three teams, and rallies them like a general to escape. Little guy could probably make a decent trainer in his own right.
  • Also, for anyone who thought Pikachu had suffered Badass Decay in early Best Wishes (thanks to several unfortunate losses), you need only see the Gym Battles against Burgh, Elesa, Skyla, and Roxie (especially Elesa) to realise that this isn't the case. At all.
  • Breaking out of a cage (previously shown to withstand the attacks of even strong legendary Pokemon) just by hitting it repeatedly with Iron Tail.
    • In the same episode, the ungodly huge Electro Ball it produces from absorbing Thundurus's electricity, which completely pulverizes the platform Meloetta is imprisoned on. Here's the scene in its all glory.
    • Saving Dragonite from Therian Forme Thundurus.
  • Resisting the effects Colress's machine in the climax of the Team Plasma arc, and shocking Rehsiram into doing the same, leading to the eventual destruction of the machine.
  • Pikachu vs. Grant's Tyrunt. Tyrunt is much more powerful than Pikachu, but Pikachu managed to play Tennis Boss with it, reflecting all of the Rock Tomb back at it and making it "bite" out of one of the rocks, trapping it for Pikachu's Iron Tail to hit.
  • Pikachu Vs. Mega Lucario, which took up more than a third of the episode and definitely did not disappoint. Pikachu starts out the battle with a column of rage/determination fueled electricity, not even as an attack, but to show how Badass it was. Then it counters every hit of Lucario's with an equal one of its own, the highlight of which was Iron Tail Vs. Bone Rush where Pikachu (while in the air) pushes Lucario down with his Iron tail while Lucario blocks with his Bone Rush. And to cap it off we have Pikachu's final attack, which is basically Megavolt. Just look at Lucario's face right before he gets hit. And this is a MEGA Lucario belonging to a GYM LEADER.
  • Pikachu trying to rescue Ash and company's Pokemon in A Frenzied Factory Fiasco! is a moment at its best. The episode involves him:
    • Freeing himself from the glass cage, finally getting round the electric resistant trick by just knocking the cage to the ground with his weight.
    • Avoiding being returned to his Pokeball (and at one point tricking Team Rocket into thinking they caught him by hiding in an air duct).
    • Kicking Meowth in the face.
    • Using a Luxury Ball on Meowth to escape.
    • Dodging Meowth's sneak attack with his Pokeball mid air and defeating him with Iron Tail to get back the briefcase of stolen Pokemon. This one gets special mention, since it resembles a Single-Stroke Battle.
    • On a side note, Ash called zero attacks in any of these. Pikachu worked on his own initiative to evade and take down Team Rocket, especially since Wobuffet, Inkay and even Meowth were putting up a much better fight against him than usual.
  • Tied into the previous example, all but one attempt to force Pikachu into a Pokeball have failed (the one exception being Mewtwo via his cloning device). Even Meowth, a wild Pokemon was successfully warped into a Pokeball more times than Pikachu.
  • In the infamous Electric Soldier Porygon episode, Pikachu manages to save both Ash, Brock, Misty, and the entire Team Rocket trio by blowing up vaccine missiles aimed directly at them. (And causing seizures in Japanese school children as a result.)
  • He caught a potato in midair.
  • Defeating Sawyer's Clauncher was expected. Defeating his Aegisslash on the other hand....and Pikachu did so brilliantly by blocking up the sheath so it couldn't defend.
  • In the Kalos League finals, Pikachu pulled a great feat in defeating both Alain's Metagross and Tyranitar (both are fully evolved pseudo-legendaries by the way) BY ITSELF! Such is the power of Ash's first pokemon we've been doubting all these years.
    • What makes it even better is that Alain's reaction to seeing Pikachu beat Metagross is to immediately send out his Charizard next instead of Bisharp, with the implications that he's trying to take down Pikachu as soon as possible before it does any more long-term damage to his team, while at the same time honoring his strength with the chance to face his ace. And despite the fight with Metagross clearly having taken its toll on Pikachu, he still has enough power to zap Charizard and bring it down to its knees.
    • More about its victory against Tyranitar: Pikachu completely curb-stomped it, in the whole fight Pikachu dominated and Tyranitar didn't get one single good hit in.
  • Sending Hala's Hariyama flying using Breakneck Blitz.
  • In the rematch against Tapu Koko, he actually manages to land a hit on Tapu Koko with Iron Tail, and briefly send it flying with Gigavolt Havoc. Sure Tapu Koko still technically wins, but give the mouse a massive A for effort.
    • Note that it was Tapu Koko who called for the battle, having taken interest in Pikachu's power after he and Ash create an enormous Z-powered energy blast. It even dismisses Rowlet and Rockruff to select a one on one with Pikachu. A legendary considers Ash's Pikachu it's Worthy Opponent.
  • During Ash's foray into Ultra Space, his Electrium Z gets a power boost. To what level? Oh, nothing special, it just transforms into a Pikashunium Z. And the resulting attack is a true thing of beauty, with Pikachu letting out a massive Battlecry and having thunderbolts in blue, green, purple and red.
    Ash: Much bigger than a Thunderbolt, 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt! Yeah! This is much, much bigger! At Super-Full Power! 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt, now!
  • In SM067, after suffering several beatdowns from Team Rocket's Mimikyu in the past, Pikachu in this instance very handily dodges all its offense and is only robbed a proper defeat by Bewear.
  • Anytime Pikachu gets distracted or incensed enough to fry the entire vicinity around him. Both the "Pikachu and the Music Squad" short and "Alola, Kanto!", while Played for Laughs, have him let out a fully charged Thunderbolt that takes down pretty much every single Pokemon in the main cast (along with the trainers in the latter).
  • In SM076, Pikachu once again battles Mimikyu and while he's originally at a disadvantage. Pikachu manages to turn the tide by unintentionally using a newly-learned Electroweb to block a Z-Move and then using Electroweb again to trap Mimikyu as Ash's Electrium Z once again becomes a Pikashunium Z, allowing Pikachu to use 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt to beat Mimikyu.

Butterfree

  • Butterfree breaking a net full of other Butterfree by himself, finally winning the heart of the female pink Butterfree he had his eye on for the entire episode.
  • As a Caterpie it's the only Pokemon Ash has left in his first battle with Team Rocket. Still wounded from his earlier fight with Pidgeotto and Team Rocket mocking it and siccing Ekans and Koffing on him it unleashes String Shot and immobilizes both of them and then Caterpie which is among the smallest Pokemon listed rushes forward with a Tackle that sends both of them flying! And then when Meowth steps up to fight Caterie mummifies him as well.
  • Defeating a Pinsir as a Metapod...using only Harden.

Pidgeot

  • Pidgeotto evolving into Pidgeot and confronting the Spearow from the first episode (now a Fearow), with Ash and Pikachu riding along for the fight.
    • Beforehand Pidgeotto had been beaten down badly by Fearow. Ash, horrified, insists getting out another Pokemon so Pidgeotto can call it quits. Pidgeotto however, staggers back up and cries out fiercely in defiance of its injuries, sparking its evolution. It helps the episode had previously established that Pidgeotto would take any punishment for Ash.
    • Even better when it uses its newly-empowered Wing Attack - the move more resembles Air Slash than anything else, sending blades of wind through the sky to strike at Fearow. Then, Ash caps off the fight with a super-speed Quick Attack, sending Fearow packing in abject terror. It was so awesome they showed these clips in flashback form at one point (specifically, in the episode with Falkner, when Ash is reminiscing about his old friend).
  • Pidgeotto nearly beating Misty's Starmie in the Cerulean Gym battle before Team Rocket's interruption. If the battle had continued, Ash had a good shot at winning.
  • Also, turning the tables against Giovanni's gym Pokemon (on loan to Jessie) in Ash's Viridian Gym battle. Incidentally, Giovanni's Pokemon was a Rhydon, who has a type advantage.
  • A small but amusing foreshadowing when Ash tried to capture it. After throwing a Pokeball at it from behind, it nonchalantly swats it away with its wing without even turning its head.
  • It's first battle is essentially a two-on-one mugging by Team Rocket. It still proves it's badassery since it takes a great deal of persistence for Ekans and Koffing to get the upper hand. Doubles as an awesome moment for Ash, given this was his first full battle (and a handicapped one at that), he proved surprisingly fluent with Pidgeotto's abilities and using them to counter the two Pokémon.

Bulbasaur

  • Learning SolarBeam after refusing to evolve. (Actually somewhat realistic, considering that Pokémon do learn moves earlier if they don't evolve.)
  • Bulbasaur's battle in the Kanto League against Jeanette. Truly one of Bulbasaur's finest hours as it took down not one but TWO strong bug Pokemon in a row despite the type disadvantage.
  • He wasn't too shabby in the match against Jackson/Vincent during the Silver Conference, either. First he defeated a Shiny Magneton - which had previously taken down Cyndaquil and Pikachu using a Thunder-Wave/Tri/Attack combo - by grabbing it with his Vine Whip and sending it spinning. Then he faces off against Vincent's Starter, Meganium, in what's essentially a grudge-match from earlier in the episode. During said match, they pull a tie...after having used the exact same attacks on each other - meaning Bulbasaur's strength as a first-stage matches that of a different final stage Grass Starter (while Vincent is clearly a bit of a ditz, he's not a pushover). Then they respectfully "shake hands" using their Vine Whip. Considering this battle was essentially Bulbasaur's last big hurrah (being near the end of the Original Series), it was a great way to cap off his entire character arc and development!
  • In Pace-The Final Frontier, Bulbasaur manages to snap out of confusion and defeat Brandon's Dusclops, the same Pokémon that defeated Charizard.

Charizard

  • The Cinnabar Gym rematch got a ton of fans onto the Charizard bandwagon...not as if Charizard wasn't already a very popular Pokémon before it rose up out of a pool of lava and delivered an epic Seismic Toss from the sky.
  • As a Charmander, getting back at his abusive original owner, Damian, by deflecting one of his Poké Balls when he tried to catch him and then breathing fire in his face. Sweet revenge.
  • In "The Bridge Bike Gang" he made relatively quick work of a Golem that already effortlessly beat Bulbasaur. Keep in mind that Golem is a fully evolved Pokemon that has a type advantage against Charmander.
  • He had one of the most surprising evolutions in the series — a mere three episodes after becoming Charmeleon.
  • Charizard's role in the Ash vs. Gary battle is another very huge Moment of Awesome, if not overkill. Charizard is Ash's last Pokémon standing, and Gary still had three Pokémon left—one of which is Scizor, easily defeated thanks to type advantage, but the last two are Golem and Blastoise, both of which have an advantage over Charizard. It took much effort on Charizard's part, but yes, he did manage to beat them.
  • In "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon", Charmeleon evolving into Charizard to take on Aerodactyl and rescue Ash. Even though Aerodactyl is bigger and has a type advantage, it flies away as soon as it sees the Charmeleon it bullied earlier has evolved and severely ticked off. Bonus points for being smart enough to plug his ears during Jigglypuff's song long enough to stay awake and rescue Ash.
  • What about its fight against Harrison's Blaziken in the Silver Conference? That was hands-down one of the most nail-bitingly close fights in the ENTIRE SERIES. By the end, it basically came down to who could still stay standing for longer. Even though Charizard lost, Blaziken was in no shape to fight during Harrison's next battle because Charizard tired it out too much.
  • Another one: Charizard is the first to fight Legendary Pokémon...twice. Okay, the first one, Entei, was not real, created from the figments of a movie character's imagination, but still very powerful, but the second, Articuno, most certainly was real. Charizard put up a very, very good fight against both; he was only almost defeated by the former (see Pokémon 3 for more on that), and he managed to defeat the latter. The fandom really made a big deal out of this one...
  • His return in Episode N is a Moment of Awesome in itself, but also seeing him in the Opening popping up from nowhere, COMPLETELY NEUTRALIZING Reshiram's Blue Flare in the air, delivering his trademark Slasher Smile at Ash and going brawling with another Legendary.
  • Small moment (but still awesome) in the Johto episode "Fangs for Nothing". Team Rocket has managed to convince a wild (and powerful) Dragonite to help them in their scheme, and the Pokémon proceeds to curb-stomp the heroes. At the end of the episode, try to guess who makes an appropriate return? Basically, when Ash's Charizard comes back, you know something bad's about to go down. They don't call him GA Rizard for nothing!
  • In BW116, he effortlessly takes Iris's Dragonite to school. Special mention to the Death Glare followed by the roar he lets out after taking a Dragon Rush for absolutely no damage whatsoever. Ash isn't much of a kid now, is he Iris?
  • "Charizard Chills". Ash regaining Charizard's trust was heartwarming, but what the dragon does when it happens: he rescues Pikachu from Team Rocket's drill, and after Team Rocket hurt Ash, he obliterates them with Dragon Rage.
  • Even though Drake's powerful Dragonite beat it in the end, Charizard arguably did more damage to it than any of Ash's other Pokemon. Charizard's prior victory over Electabuzz also deserves a mention.

Snorlax

  • If it's in the mood, it'll Hyper Beam/Body Slam/Ice Punch the hell out of almost any opponent, often taking down two Pokémon in the same match. First observed when it defeated Claire's Kingdra, way back in Johto.
  • It dodges Gary's Nidoqueen's Hyper Beam Matrix-style and then KO's her!
  • Single handily taking down Greta's Hariyama and Medicham after Grovyle was overpowered, despite type disadvantages.
  • In its very first battle it was able to match a giant Rhydon in strength and sent it flying with a powerful Mega Punch.

Quilava

  • Cyndaquil's shining moment used to be its rematch with Skarmory in "Hot Matches", but right before the Sinnoh League, it evolves into Quilava in a battle with TR. It then runs right under their machine with a roar and learns Eruption to destroy it!
  • Ash's Cyndaquil pwning Pryce's Dewgong. Underwater.
  • The battle with Jasmine's Steelix. Cyndaquil's flamethrower turns Steelix's sandstorm into a fiery vortex.
  • Right after being caught it was able to beat a fast and powerful Sandslash. It didn't even need to use any fire attacks!

Swellow

  • Swellow defeating Tyson's Donphan (stopping its Rollout completely, then tossing it through the air).
    • Swellow in the Hoenn League was basically Ash's best Pokemon bar possibly Glalie, taking multiple victories against both Katie and Tyson and tieing one of Morrison's best Pokemon.
  • Swellow's debut as a Taillow. It withstood multiple electric attacks from Pikachu and was barely weakened. Ash was forced to catch it to stop the fight.
  • He singlehandedly takes down one of Team Rocket's largest mechas, a Robo-Slaking, in a possible Shout-Out to King Kong!
  • Pulling off Thunder Armor against Tate and Liza.
  • Swellow's battle against Winona's shiny Swellow. It was able to counter Winona's Swellow's Aerial Ace in quite a unique way.

Sceptile

  • Try the episode when the Frontier Brain Spencer is introduced, it's one CMoA after another for Sceptile. Ash and Sceptile (still in his attack-blocking Heroic BSoD) are attempting to survive the night in a forest full of Beedrill. The next day, Team Rocket captures Pikachu and Sceptile, and Ash jumps after them (while TR is on a balloon) and grabs onto the mechanical arm that was holding his Pokémon. The Rockets shake him off and he falls. Sceptile, seeing his trainer in danger, finally snaps out of his Heroic BSoD, cuts Pikachu and himself free from Team Rocket, and uses Quick Attack to catch Ash before they all fall to the ground, and then uses Bullet Seed to guarantee a safe landing. The injuries Sceptile received from fending off the Beedrill earlier finally took their toll, but Spencer has his Chansey heal him. While being healed, Sceptile reaches into the bushes nearby, and plucks out a new twig to use. Team Rocket doesn't stand a chance NOW...
  • Being the one responsible for the likely first defeat of Tobias's Darkrai. In an incredibly awesome moment, Ash has lost two mons to Darkrai. It's clear he is going to lose; Darkrai is too powerful and just wallops Heracross, Torkoal, and Gible with ease. Even after trying to outmatch Tobias by having Heracross use (the admittedly clever) tactic of turning sleep against Darkrai, he just can't get ahead. Then Sceptile comes in. The fight is much the same, with Darkrai walloping Scepitle before putting it to sleep. At this point, everyone's basically decided Ash was going to lose...then Scepitle hears Ash's voice, wakes up almost immediately, and in a desperate bid to beat down Darkrai and give Ash an edge, beats the heck out of Darkrai with Leaf Blade. This is badass for two reasons: first, Sceptile has just been given the honor of being the third Pokemon Ash has used to beat a Legendary/Mythical (The first being Charizard, who defeated Noland's Articuno, and the second being Pikachu, who defeated Brandon's Regice) cementing Scepitle as one of his best mons. Second...this is the first time Tobias has had a loss on his side. All through Sinnoh, up to and after his battle with Ash, Darkrai has destroyed the competition. Sceptile just beat IT.
  • When Sceptile was just a Grovyle, it had a Moment of Awesome against Norman's very powerful Slaking. Arguably, the best gym battle in the Advanced series, Grovyle seemed doomed until activating Overgrow and becoming able to defeat Slaking.
  • Battling Katie's Ace Pokemon Walrein in the Hoenn Top 32: defeating it despite Ice Beam and its own speed being taken via Mimic, on top of a bulk and power from Walrein capable of no selling Swellow and Corphish back to back.

Torterra

  • Turtwig, immediately after evolving into Grotle (and getting curbstomped, as it can no longer utilize the speed it had in its earlier state), leaving the Pokémon Center in the middle of the night to train. Quickly turns into a Heartwarming Moment as Paul's Torterra (the final form of Turtwig) shows up to tutor Grotle (independently of Paul, of course.)
  • By learning Rock Climb he freaking runs through a canyon's wall towards Team Rocket, growling at them menacingly; they just go way above the canyon, and Grotle jumps to the top of the canyon, then proceeds to jump once more god-knows how many feet above the air and goes through the balloon, making a huge explosion as he falls down to the ground without a scratch.
  • While still a Turtwig, it grabs the tail of Roark's Rampardos while in midair, and somehow throws that rock dinosaur many times its size into a wall!
    • And how he actually defeats Rampardos is also pretty awesome. First, he runs forward while constantly using Razor Leaf, which Rampardos keeps burning. Then, the leaves produced create a veil which covers him, followed by Ash ordering him to jump and spin. When Roark orders a countering jump, Rampardos does so...and then we see Turtwig spinning sideways and under Rampardos, whose upward momentum leaves its torso completely exposed to a single, high-powered Razor Leaf and it falls to the Gym field's floor with a slam, knocked out. Bad. ASS.
  • Despite becoming a victim of The Worf Effect after completing its evolution, Torterra still gets a decent showing against Bertha's Hippowdown.

Buizel

  • Buizel vs. Maylene's Lucario.
  • It gets one before it was even caught, singlehandedly defeating Piplup, Glameow, and Pikachu on the first encounter.
  • Its very first Contest Appeal in the Wallace Cup.
  • Buizel gets another in "Short and To The Punch". In the course of one day, he manages to master Ice Punch and defeat a Mr. Mime that had completely overpowered him previously with one hit. Keep in mind that training to learn new attacks (like when Pikachu was learning Iron Tail) usually took several episodes.
  • It didn't do much in the long run, but freeing himself from the grip of Paul's Drapion by inflating his flotation sac and launching himself into the air with Water Gun. (Too bad he never learned that "hover in the air with his tail" trick used by another Buizel during a contest...)
  • Defeating Crasher Wake's Floatzel with a close range Water Pulse.

Infernape

  • Chimchar finally shaking off its phobia of Zangoose to beat three of them at once!
  • Fire Counter Shield against Fantina, beating not one but two of her three Pokémon.
  • This goes from Heartwarming right into Awesome: At the end of Ash's 6 on 6 full battle with Paul, Chimchar is the last one remaining on Ash's side. After it manages to defeat Ursaring, Ash gives it some encouragement...and to confirm the trust that the two now have in each other, Chimchar evolves. The awesome part comes when Monferno shows off Mach Punch and the shockwave blows right past its old trainer. Hell yeah.
    • Not to mention the WAY it evolves. It poses while evolving to epic music playing in the background.
    • Not to mention two moments during its fight against Paul's Electabuzz. The first, using its Mach Punch to speed up to Electabuzz faster than it can react, then slugging it in the gut and throwing it into a rock. Then another where it uses Dig to get away from Electabuzz, then pops up out of the ground right below it, slamming its fist into Electabuzz's chin in an uppercut so epic that it causes an explosion.
  • Then there's the Snowpoint Gym right before that fight, when it burns the crud out of Abomasnow, who easily wiped out two out of four of Ash's Pokémon...while riding on a slab of ice like it's snowboarding.
    • More Snowpoint: Perfectly sensing Snover in the steam and hitting it square in the gut with fire. Turns to heartwarming when it's implied that it worked simply because of the bond Chimchar and Ash have.
  • Snapping out of its second Blaze-induced Unstoppable Rage and evolving into Infernape to save Pikachu, Piplup, and Barry's Empoleon (with an impressive Flame Wheel from its new fire crown). He doesn't fully snap out of it immediately, though. Moments before evolving, while in the middle of his rescue attempt, Monferno is controlling Blaze.
  • "The Eighth Wonder Of The Sinnoh World", when Ash battles Volkner. Each is down to their last Pokémon, Infernape and Luxray. Infernape reaches critical status and is lying on the ground. Due to Team Rocket fooling with the system, the lights are out. Ash is calling desperately for Infernape to get up. He does, and Blaze activates, Power Glows, Power Echoes, Glowing Eyes of Doom, Red Eyes, Take Warning, the whole bit. As Brock explains, Blaze has been an unpredictable and dangerous factor since the days of Chimchar. Instead of attacking Luxray, Infernape turns and stomps toward Ash. Seeing this stalking toward you would be enough to freak out anyone. Pikachu moves to defend Ash, even knowing he's probably screwed if this breaks bad, since he was fainted by Luxray a few minutes ago. Ash calls him off and, completely devoid of doubt, just talks to Infernape, who nods his assent. The Heartwarming Moment turns quickly into a Moment of Awesome as Infernape, totally in control of Blaze, takes Luxray to school, handing Ash the win.
  • The end of the tournament battle between Ash and Paul — it's just Infernape vs Electivire; just as it seems Ash is beaten and Paul is insulting Infernape for losing after getting poisoned and battling other mons while Electivire was mostly fresh, Blaze activates in its most glorious instant yet. The resulting Flamethrower was more a Flarethrower than anything, to say nothing of Flare Blitz. The column of blue fire it created likely covered the arena and blew up Electivire one extra time just for emphasis. All this was set to the wonderful Type:Wild.
  • Chimchar gets one in Losing its Lustrous, though it's more of a Taking the Bullet moment. As Pikachu closes in on Toxicroak with a Volt Tackle, Saturn orders Toxicroak to use Poison Jab. It would have hit Pikachu had Chimchar not shoved it out of the way, causing Toxicroak to unintentionally unload Poison Jab directly into Chimchar's face. It may have been painful, but did Paul ever inspire such loyalty? NO.

Gliscor

  • Gliscor saving Ash from being crushed to death, winning the Single-Stroke Battle with Team Rocket's Gliscor-Bot after evolving... and glomping Ash as it lands. Same old Gligar!
  • Its first battle against Barry's Roserade. Close-combat ass kicking FTW. And the fact that it draws doesn't diminish the fact.
  • Also its first gym battle in Canalave, beating Byron's Bastiodon then doing its routine cuteness at the end of the episode.
  • Defeating Paul's Drapion, which had already beaten Buizel, Staraptor, and Torterra earlier.

Oshawott

  • Oshawott finally learning to open his eyes underwater, mastering Aqua Jet in time to give Palpitoad a curbstomping. Made even more impressive by Palpitoad's EPIC Oh, Crap! right before getting hit.
  • His battle against Cilan's Pansage was pretty cool too, once he got his act together. Blocking a Solar Beam attack with his scalchop is no mean feat.
  • Singlehandedly saving Pikachu and Axew from Team Rocket in his second appearance.
  • While he was ultimately defeated, he did better against Cameron's Hydregion than Boldore did. A note if nothing else that the 'watt is capable when the author lets him be.

Pignite

  • Tepig evolving into Pignite and proceeding to kick the crap out of his jerkass former trainer's two Pokémon by himself. Then when Shamus asked him to come back to his team, Pignite sees through his deception and blasts him with Flamethrower.
  • Back as a Tepig, his first battle against Chili's Pansear was this for him. He managed to defeat the more experienced monkey with lots of gusto, and began the first steps of proving Shamus wrong.
  • Managing to finally take down Cameron's Hydregion and allowing Ash to take control of the battle with Cameron until the Deus ex Machina started up.

Snivy

  • Snivy is made of this trope, especially in BW057. After her loss at Elesa's Gym, seeing her calling out the Gothita in this episode for her self-centredness - followed by Pwning her the next day in battle — was particularly satisfying. How her concern and care drives her to watch out for the younger Pokémon — also seen when she started her rivalry with Emolga — is heartwarming as well.
  • In the double battle against Tepig's former trainer, she takes a full Heat Crash from an Emboar and is still able to keep battling. And later she takes a Fire Spin-powered Flare Blitz meant for Tepig (who was in a Heroic BSoD).
  • Managing to completely take Clay's Palpitoad to town with a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Holding her own, and slowly taking control, of the battle with Cameron's Riolu....at least until it evolved. It isn't hard to imagine that without that, she'd have won the battle for Ash right there and then.

Leavanny

  • Sewaddle (later Swadloon) regarding his effort against Burgh and his Bug types. After Burgh's Dwebble defeats Tepig (who has a type advantage), Sewaddle not only defeats Dwebble, he evolves mid-fight and kicks Whirlipede's ass, too (take note — this is the first time one of Ash's Pokémon has evolved in a Gym Match, ever.) He did get beaten in the next round, but he was facing his evolved form (who had fricking Hyper Beam!) and still put up a decent fight nonetheless after battling two other opponents in a row.
  • As Leavanny, his mad dodging skills and No-Holds-Barred Beatdown against Stephan's Sawk. He eventually lost that one, but he still put up an impressive fight.
  • Managing to defeat Roxie's Koffing, despite the type disadvantage.

Krookodile

  • Krokorok evolving into Krookodile and using his new Dragon Claw attack to send Iris's Dragonite flying across the arena. He then proceeds to put a stop to Dragonite's resulting tantrum.
  • Pushed to his limit in the Unova League and at a type disadvantage against Stephan's Sawk, all seems lost until he unleashes his newly-learned Aerial Ace. Stephan's Oh, Crap! reaction really sells it.
  • Defeating Brycen's Beartic via a Single-Stroke Battle while dual wielding his own Stone Edge!

Greninja

  • Froakie is essentially a ninja frog, one that was already Badass. But the second Ash starts giving him a strategy, he's essentially untouchable for the rest of the fight.
  • Froakie is one of the few protagonists to ever recognize Team Rocket in one of their disguises, even though he had only run into them once.
  • Froakie vs. Grant's Onix. The Onix was already difficult due to its attacks and surprisingly swift moves, but Froakie, using the training he had with Ash, manages to defeat it through scaling and evading, even doing a Matrix-style dodge at the end.
  • Froakie breaking The Water Starter curse and evolving into Frogadier and learning Aerial Ace upon evolving. The way Frogadier executes Aerial Ace itself is really awesome, too.
  • Overcoming type advantage in defeating both Ramos's Weepinbell (which defeated both Hawlucha and Fletchinder earlier) and Gogoat.
  • Defeating Shoota/Scottie's Treecko, slicing with Cut and 'sheathing' it moments before Treecko fell. Clearly the most badass use of Cut in Pokemon history.
    • Repeated with the rematch against Treecko, who evolved into Grovyle. Cut vs Leaf Blade blade duel to the knock out!
  • Evolving into Greninja, the first time a main character has a fully evolved water starter Pokemon.
  • His rematch with Alain's Charizard in XY115. He tanks Dragon Claw like it was nothing and counters with powerful Cut, forcing Alain to instantly Mega Evolve Charizard, and even then he's able to fight him on equal footing. Then he transforms into Ash-Greninja - complete with Theme Music Power-Up - and easily blocks Charizard's Flamethrower, dodges his Thunder Punch, and hits him with dual-wielded Cut strong enough to send him flying. If it wasn't for Ash fainting, he'd have handed Alain his first clean loss in the main series.
  • His battle with Diantha's Gardevoir marks the first time where Ash is battling a Champion/Elite Four member and it doesn't qualify as either a Curb-Stomp Battle or a Curb Stomp Cushion, except maybe the battle against Agatha. You can actually see Diantha put effort into the fight and Greninja even gets the upper hand after completing its transformation. Too bad about the Power-Strain Blackout though.
  • The rematch with Wulfric is a clear case of Ash learning from his errors the first time, against the physical walls Bergmite and Avalugg he uses Pikachu (special attacks and Super Effective Iron Tail) and Talonflame (Super Effective fire moves) and defeats them, albeit struggling to adapt to the effects of Wulfric's ice attacks. Then comes Abomasnow, who soundly defeats Talonflame, despite the immense type disadvantage. Enter Greninja, who is able to take Abomasnow's attacks like a boss, deal heavy damage with Aerial Ace (Super Effective against Abomasnow's Grass typing) and set things up for the win before it encases him in ice. Cue Ash-Greninja emerging out of the ice. Even with Wulfric resorting to his own Mega Evolution, it isn't enough to stop Ash-Greninja, who pummels Mega Abomasnow with a combination of Cut (and ice skates), Double Team, Aerial Ace (which now may as well be Close Combat) and a GIANT Water Shuriken. And this time, Ash and Greninja don't collapse, they don't suffer Power-Strain Blackout, they don't even seem winded by the battle. This is why Ash-Greninja is now Ash's strongest Pokemon EVER.
  • Ash's first Kalos League battle in Episode 32 sees Greninja up against an Altaria. After expertly dodging through an entire Draco Meteor, they fully activate Ash-Greninja form and defeat the Altaria with a SINGLE WATER SHURIKEN! And it is implied he took out the other 2 pokémon in one hit.
  • The fight between Ash/Greninja and Mega Sceptile might go down as one of the best designed fights in the history of the pokemon anime. Ash-Greninja manages probably the most insane combo to win by using Double Team to make a bunch of clones and then immediately having all the clones Water Shurikens combine with the original's to make just one massive shuriken. Mega Sceptile attempts to counter with Leaf Storm but this backfires as the shuriken not only stops the move and keeps going but it also sends the Leaf Storm right back to Mega Sceptile, KOing him.
  • Final battle between itself and Mega Charizard was quite epic.

Talonflame

  • Fletchling proves itself in its first Sky Battle, taking on its fully-evolved counterpart Talonflame. Then in one of the most awesome sequences ever in the anime, it evolves into Fletchinder after tanking a FIRE BLAST and learns Flame Charge in the process, going on to win a hard-fought battle.
  • Its battle with Machoke is pretty impressive too, especially since it (briefly) took on Mega Lucario afterwards.
  • Slamming and defeating Ramos's Jumpluff via Flame Charging it into the sun, overpowering its Cotton Guard enhanced defense.
  • Taking down Valerie's Sylveon. Steel Wing vs Giga Impact Single-Stroke Battle at its finest.
  • Evolving into Talonflame by blocking a wild Moltres' Flamethrower that was aimed for the group and then learning Brave Bird in the process.
  • Of all the matchups against Alain in the finals, there is one thing fans seem to agree on: Talonflame vs. Unfezant is one of the best aerial battles in the entire series.

Hawlucha

  • Hawlucha vs. Mienfoo is pretty impressive, especially since we finally get to see Flying Press take down a Pokemon (before it's either failed or been countered by another Pokemon).
  • Taking down Clemont's Heliolisk after Goodra was unable to keep up with its speed. Hawlucha's own impressive speed not only allowed it to keep up, it enabled it to score a point-blank Hi Jump Kick for the win right at the moment when Heliolisk had to open its frills to attack.
  • Hawlucha's defeat of Valerie's Spritzee. Between grabbing its Gyro Ball, using it to create a Giga-Drill-Breaker/Drill Run with its X-Scissor attack to destroy Trick Room and the final High Jump Kick, Hawlucha had a brilliant win.
  • While mostly offscreen, Hawlucha became Ash's second Pokemon (without a super mode) to defeat a Mega-Pokemon in Astrid's Mega Absol, a Pokemon Hawlucha had lost previously to.
  • His revenge for Noivern's defeat in the league by Alain's Weavile is a sight to behold: defeating Weaile while glowing red. Some fans dubbed it Hawlucha's BURNING JUSTICE!

Goodra

  • In its debut episode, Ash's Goomy witnesses Ash trying to protect it and his other Pokémon from Team Rocket. Pikachu and Fletchinder have become confused by Inkay's Psybeam and Ash is trying desperately to keep them from hurting each other. Goomy is moved almost to tears and jumps in the way of Inkay and Pumpkaboo's next couple of attacks. Not only does it take the attacks without backing down, it uses the damage to then unleash an insanely awesome Bide attack! Inkay and Pumpkaboo almost look like they're being vaporized!
  • During a run-in with a Grumpig, Goomy decides he has had enough of Grumpig's attitude. He keeps tanking the Grumpig's attacks, until he can't go on, leaving his foe to easily finish him with Iron Tail. Ash jumps in and takes the attack. As Goomy looks on his trainer, he looks up, and decides, right then and there, that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Grumpig just crossed a line, and now the porcine punk is going to pay dearly. Goomy glows, and before you know it, Sliggoo is standing there, ready to kick ass. And he does: one Dragon Breath is enough to send the Grumpig flying out of sight.
  • And just when you though he couldn't get any more badass, he evolves again. Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce Ash's first fully-evolved pseudo-legendary. And the way he evolves screams awesome. A huge fire has consumed the area that Ash and his friends are in and Sliggoo is not having it. He performs the mother-of-all Rain Dance that puts out the fire and evolves into Goodra and learns Dragon Pulse in the process.
  • Its participation in Ash's double battle alongside Pikachu against Tierno's Wartortle and Raichu. It tanked virtually everything its opponents could hit it with and ended the battle by hitting Raichu with its newly learned Dragon Pulse.
  • Taking down Clemont's Luxray in a long, drawn-out fight with Bide, after taking its best attacks head-on.
  • Overcoming its past fear of Florges and refusing to back down and learning Ice Beam in the process, allowing it to drive Florges away (if temporarily). Its courage even motivates its old friends to fight back against the rest of the army.
  • Later after realizing Florges was an Unwitting Pawn to Team Rocket, it double teams with her to board their ship and stop them making off with their homeland's water and Pikachu. Extra points for being one of Team Rocket's most Not So Harmless face off.
  • As of XY126, Goodra is back in Ash's team for his Full Battles!

Noivern

  • When the group battles Team Flare at Terminus Cave, Noibat gains the upper hand against a Drapion, confusing it with Supersonic and knocking it back with Tackle.
  • Later on, he puts up a prolonged fight against a Breloom, and then learns Acrobatics, allowing him to destroy a metal cage as well as defeat Team Rocket (using the newly learned move against Inkay and taking it down in a single hit) to save a Floette.
  • One legendary feat that managed to surpass even Talonflame's performance against Moltres, is that after evolving to help Hawlucha, through his increased speed, power and Ash's admittedly clever tactic of using the many plateaus to confuse it, he managed to gain the upper hand against a wild Zapdos, a legendary electric-type Bird Pokemon.
  • While it was not helpful in the long run, Noivern manage to use his sonic waves to find the real Weavile hidden in the Double Team is impressive in of itself.

Rowlet

  • In its debut episode, Rowlet saving the Pikipek, Trumbeak, and leading Toucannon that are its family and using Leafage to stop Team Rocket.
  • Against the Yungoos and Gumshoos in SM009, it uses its Leafage to hide and stealthily move around without being detected. Ash didn't even order it to do that, either; it just figured it out on its own!
  • In the Grand Trial, Rowlet has a rough start against Hala's Crabrawler, but turns it around by using the smoke from the Leafage/Bubble clash to hide its movements and hit Crabrawler with a Peck barrage, finishing it off with a Diving Kick Tackle.
  • Pulling a Big Damn Heroes in SM014, after Lillie and Shiron fall off a tall ledge in a fight with Team Rocket, Rowlet uses Leafage to stop their fall just short of Lillie smashing head first onto the concrete path below.
  • During the below-mentioned group CMoA between Rowlet, Lana's Popplio, and the wild Litten, Rowlet speeds on by and knocks Team Rocket into the air with one attack. While still restrained with the machine part from earlier.
  • During the Grand Trial against Olivia, Rowlet outflew and outwitted her Z-Move. While carrying Rockruff. It then returns likewise by using its own Z-Move, Bloom Doom, for the first time, knocking out Probopass.
  • Withstanding many Fury Swipes from Meowth in SM112, all to protect Meltan.

Lycanroc

  • After receiving Ash's training, Rockruff is finally able to defeat the powerful Magmar at Clawed Hill. How he lands the final blow is nothing short of a spectacle: he charges Rock Throw, then dodges a Fire Punch midair, jumps off of Magmar, fires a point-blank Rock Throw from behind, sending it to the ground, then finishes it off with a powerful headbutt straight to the stomach! It's super effective.
    • Bonus points for Magmar attempting to get back up and failing as a Call-Back to Charizard's fight with one of these Pokémon back in Kanto.
  • Rockruff taking down a trainer's Mudbray despite the type disadvantage, finishing the fight with Breakneck Blitz.
  • Rockruff finishing off Olivia's Midday Lycanroc to win the Grand Trial for Ash, redeeming it's earlier out-of-control antics that knocked Rowlet out of the game.
  • Rockruff evolves into Dusk form Lycanroc, which has no recorded instance In-Universe.
  • Lycanroc single handily defeated all of Nanu's Pokemon. In a row. With only a single Sitrus Berry in between matches. For the record the only Pokemon Ash had who had ever defeated the entirety of a (Gym Leader or the like) opponents team outside of one for one matches before this, are Pikachu and Bayleef, and in both cases they were just picking up the slack in a two-on-two match when the other Pokemon was defeated yet scored some hits. Lycanroc had to fight three Pokemon, none of whom had damage from a previous fight on their persons.

Torracat

  • Litten perfecting its Ember attack and using it to drive off Persian.
  • Its Single-Stroke Battle with Meowth early on in SM016 definitely qualifies. It's expectant Meowth would lose, but unlike even Pikachu, Litten didn't so much as flinch.
  • After Litten joined Ash, he actually kicked Rockruff out of the way of a Palossand, and got "eaten" by it in the process. This saved Rockruff from being afflicted by Giga Drain, which would have suffered from a much harsher type weakness.
  • Torracat's debut evolution battle was managing to outspeed Battle Royal's Incineroar and actually damaging it, a feat no other Pokemon managed in the episode. Torracat still lost though.
  • Torracat teaming up with Masked Royal's Incineroar to battle an Electivire and Magmortar, learning Revenge in the process.

Others

  • Any time Ash's Squirtle whips out his Squirtle Squad shades. It's gotten to the point that the main characters have to mention the glasses. That's right, folks, the main cast have to announce their arrival. These glasses are the embodiment of a Moment of Awesome. Incidentally, those shades look like Kamina's... But Squirtle had them first.
  • Krabby sweeping the first round of the Indigo League in its first battle, evolving into Kingler in the process. The best part is that all of his opponents have some sort of advantage over him (Exeggutor with type, obviously, Seadra with speed, and Golbat's ability to fly).
    • This culminates in the 3rd Round match, with Kingler KO'ing a Cloyster - that has closed its shell - with a tireless barrage of Crabhammer attacks. Brock actually announces this by declaring that Cloyster has run out of Hit Points, in a rare moment of the anime actually using the game's mechanics for once.
    • Kingler's Curb-Stomp Battle of Misty's Poliwhirl. His Crabhammer created legit whirlpools! He'd probably have beat her if Psyduck had not been sent out on his own accord and got squeezed into a headache of doom.
  • Snorunt jumping in the way of a TR attack on Pikachu...and evolving into Glalie when the smoke clears. The best part: It finally mastered the Ice Beam that it had trouble with using for several episodes.
    • Also, Glalie's wins against Morrison's Metang and Clark's Charizard in the Hoenn League. Both wins truly solidified Glalie's status as one of Ash's hidden aces.
  • Staravia's evolution into Staraptor during a battle with Paul in the DP Pokéringer episode. After showing off some very impressive agility and aerial maneuvers, it proceeds to use its newly learned Close Combat right to Paul's Honchkrow's face! Considering the episode this was a callback to (in which Taillow evolved), Swellow is officially now the runner-up in terms of "most badass Flying type".
    • Staraptor using Close Combat was awesome enough on its own.
    • It was also (barring Chimchar) the only Pokémon on Ash's team to defeat one of Paul's team in their (in)famous 6-on-6 match (and the first to deal a knock-out blow at all). Even if Paul was testing the water (so to speak) early in the battle, he didn't specifically plan for Weavile's defeat, and by the way, Staraptor pulls it off you can say with confidence that he earned that win.
  • Heracross's close combat battles with Shingo's Scizor and Nando's Kricketune.
    • Heracross proved itself a badass for the ages when Ash fought Gary in the Silver Conference. Despite a type disadvantage and being set on fire- it even took some point-blank Fire-type moves!- it defeated Gary's Magmar. Given who Heracross' voice actor is, this shouldn't come as much surprise. Regardless, awesome.
  • Gible finally mastering Draco Meteor and taking down two of Conway's Pokémon with the move! With Mezase Pokémon Master playing in the background, no less.
  • Corphish beating Katie's Golduck in "A Judgment Brawl" by spinning the hell out of it and hitting it with a Crabhammer in the chin. Oh, and it did this WHILE CONFUSED. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
  • Ash's Torkoal fighting Brandon's Registeel (a legendary) and almost defeating it! It should be known that this is the same Torkoal that was defeated by a single Scratch from Norman's Vigoroth and was easily defeated in almost every battle it was used in. Took a Level in Badass, indeed!
  • Totodile defeating a Kingdra by biting it in the snout until it swelled up from its own water attacks and went flying like a balloon! Doubles as a Funny Moment.
  • Bayleef wrapping its vines around the mouth of Harrison's Houndoom to prevent it from using fire attacks and then defeating it.
    • Before that, she single-handily overpowered all of Chuck's Pokemon. She out-fought a Machoke in physical combat!
  • Muk curbstomping the superpowered Bellsprout that destroyed Bulbasaur and Pikachu!
  • Noctowl's redemption in the Sinnoh League. Firing an Air Slash straight into the face of Conway's Lickilicky, effortlessly dodging its Thunderbolt, and then smashing it into the ground with Extrasensory, all without skipping a beat!
  • Tauros tying with a Metagross, a pseudo-legendary. Pikachu may have defeated a pseudo-legendary before him (two, in fact), but only with the help of other Pokémon. Tauros tied with Metagross, yes, but he did it on his own.
    • And then there's Tauros's participating in the fight against Drake. First, he takes down Drake's Venusaur all by himself, despite being a total rookie. When Ash sends him out against Dragonite, he uses the sandy arena floor as a cushion to catch a charging Dragonite in his horns, and then sends the mammoth dragon flying to land flat on its back. (Considering that Dragonite weighs approximately 210 kg (463lbs), Tauros must have incredibly strong neck muscles.) Tauros gets KOed by Thunder for his trouble, but along with Charizard and Squirtle he plays a major role in weakening the Dragonite enough for Pikachu to finish it off.
  • Primeape may have only been around for like four episodes, but definitely cemented his badass status upon winning the Fighting Pokemon Championship.
  • Donphan taking down Lucy's Seviper while on fire.
  • Scraggy one-shotting a Mandibuzz with his newly learned Hi Jump Kick.
  • Roggenrola evolving into Boldore, and then having a Rock Smash to Rock Smash battle to finish off Clay's Excadrill. This moment is made even more awesome by the BGM. Excadrill is the last Pokémon Clay has, and Roggenrola is Ash's last Mon standing as well and is, frankly, getting its ass kicked — only not getting OHKO'd because of its Sturdy ability. Then suddenly, in an awesome sequence, it begins to evolve with the sound of one lone timpani drum as the underscore until it completes its evolution and the full score kicks in — which is a full orchestral remix of the Gym Leader's Last Pokémon theme. And you just know that Boldore is about to kick some serious ass.
    • Roggenrola gets one in his debut episode as well. When Team Rocket is about to fire their Roggenrola-powered BFG at the twerps and Garrison Roggenrola blocks the blast with its own Flash Cannon attack. Team Rocket's machine was drawing power from the several Roggenrola they had managed to capture beforehand, but he countered the blast all by himself!
  • The last stretch of Ash's match with Skyla — Tranquill evolves into Unfezant and wins an Animation Bumped aerial battle against Swanna.
  • While most of it was an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, the RotomDex managing to collect data on almost every single Pokemon in the Kanto PokéDex in the just mere hours, the only one missing being Mew. And with him outright saying that he's only missing a single Pokémon, that means he was able to get data on even Mewtwo, who can be almost as elusive as his progenitor.

Group Moment of Awesome

  • In Hoenn, when Thunder Armor was used. In the Mossdeep Gym battle, Ash comes up with the idea of making Pikachu ride Swellow and constantly shock it with a Thunderbolt. This somehow makes Swellow invincible and boosts its physical attacks. Considering that Ash had one of his Pokémon perform an electrical attack strong enough to take out anything on his own flying type, this should be insane. Somehow, it works.
  • Ash's entire Sinnoh team (excluding Gible) gets one in "Uncrushing Defeat!". After suffering from a crushing defeat from Paul in a 6-on-6 battle, which left his entire team wiped out and injured, Ash is, quite understandably, depressed. Team Rocket seeks to take advantage of this. However, by the time they put their plan into action, Ash's Pokémon had, despite their injuries, managed to snap him out of his depression. Needless to say, they're very surprised to see both him and his Pokémon standing proudly, their confidence renewed and their bond stronger than ever. Cue his entire team attacking Team Rocket with their best attacks at once.
  • In "Scraggy — Hatched to Be Wild!", Scraggy goes to try and defeat a pack of Galvantula in a fit of pique. This isn't going well, and Scraggy is surrounded by hostile, powerful Pokémon. It looks like the newborn is about to be on the receiving end of a tremendous beating; that is, until the rest of Ash's Unova Pokémon arrive on the scene and unleash one of the finest tag team beatdowns yet seen upon the Galvantula, forcing them into a hasty retreat. Scraggy, which up to this point had been a violent, loudmouthed asshole, is shocked into a strangled silence.
  • Ash's (on-hand) Unova team working together to dig out of the White Ruins.
  • The joint blast-off of Team Rocket in the Unova arc finale, especially seeing as the size of Ash's Unova team means there hadn't been many opportunities for the entire group to work together prior to this.
  • Froakie vs. Hawlucha. It uses the skills of both Pokémon to their fullest, and Hawlucha managed to knock Froakie down. Ash sees Hawlucha finally mastering the Flying Press due to his teaching while Froakie pulls a fast one and counters the Death from Above with a last minute Water Pulse from his hand. It ends in a draw, with both fainted.
  • Goodra and Pikachu team up for a tag-battle against Tierno's Wartortle and Raichu and I don't think either of them even broke a sweat.
  • The gym battle against Olympia is a big one for Frogadier and Talonflame. They display superb teamwork throughout, especially when they throw the Meowstic into their own Future Sight Attack! Talonflame providing mobility for the paralyzed Frogadier and Frogadier holding off a Psyshock with Water Pulse also deserve special mention. Pikachu gets credit too for being pivotal in overcoming Future Sight, using his tail as a metronome to time how long it takes for the move to strike.
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    Misty and her Pokémon 
  • During the Mirage Kingdom two-parter, Misty (mostly) gets over her fear of Bug Pokémon by unleashing her Gyarados on them, one-shotting the villain's strongest Bug-type (Shedinja, a Pokémon notorious for its "Wonder Guard" ability, which negates damage from any move that it isn't weak against) with one Flamethrower attack. "I don't think. I know." indeed.
    • Right before that, Ash and co. (including her) are all looking a bit scared by what's happening. Then we get this close-up on Misty, as the look on her face instantly goes from scared to angry and determined. And then she raises her Pokeball and says, "Togetic, leave the rest to me." You know, right there, that some major ass-kicking is about to go down.
    • Also, that Gyarados caused a magnificent Oh, Crap! to the previously smug villain just from him hearing Flamethrower ordered, and then ridiculed him by burning away one of his moustaches.
  • Aside from getting over her fear of Gyarados in a Chronicles episode, she takes three Poison Sting attacks for hers when it is unable to defend itself, finally gaining its respect and trust.
  • She holds Team Rocket off from Ash and Pikachu in "Pokemon Emergency!" despite having Pokemon that can't fight them. The sheer confidence in her attitude really sells it.
  • Misty's original CMOA was the whole 'trapped aboard the St. Anne' debacle. She both planned and implemented their escape, and was the one who told Ash and Brock to shut up and deal with it when they didn't want to work with Team Rocket.
    Misty: Call your Pokémon back!
    Ash: But Team Rocket will-
    Misty: Just do it! We've got bigger problems here!
    Ash: Yeah...*recalls Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur while Brock recalls Geodude*
    Misty: Team Rocket, call yours back too! What's more important, a Pokémon battle or your life?!
    Jessie: She's right. Good point! *recalls Ekans while James recalls Koffing*
    • Also, her ordering Team Rocket to "move it or lose it!" and them (without a trace of irony) automatically replying "yes, Ma'am!"
  • Her Psyduck has a continuing series of them, happening virtually any time his headache gets bad enough to use Confusion. One of his most impressive moments was in "Lights, Camera, Quacktion", freeing about 24 trapped Pokémon from a net attached to a large crane, then hurling said crane over the horizon with one Confusion attack. In series, though, any instance of Psyduck using his powers is treated by the other characters as a CMoA...one can only imagine what it would be capable of if it could be trained, but as we know she's tried...Oh, she's tried.
    • A more subtle form of awesome for Misty is how over time she's stopped trying to force her Psyduck to perform like a normal pokemon and instead adapted her battling strategy to suit Psyduck's style. Psyduck popping out unexpected is no longer the automatic loss it used to be in the earlier episodes.
    • However, her guest appearance in Sun and Moon indicates that she's managed to get quite a bit of training in, and Psyduck becomes a surprisingly competent battler in an exhibition Gym battle against both Steenee and Popplio.
  • Talking down a giant, rampaging Tentacruel. That took guts.
    • From the same episode, yelling at Nastina.
  • Her tug-o'-war against Team Rocket, with a net full of Pokémon at stake, in one of the Indigo episodes.
  • In "The Tower of Terror", her holding a cross in front of a Ghost Pokémon, not just because she stood up to one of the most powerful Pokémon types, but because in the 4Kids dub, this was one of the first moments where 4Kids broke one of their own rules concerning censorship, and not just by showing the cross, but with what the heck she said:
    Gastly: What is THAT?
    Misty: IT'S A CROSS.
  • The way she was able to use a wild Golduck without even capturing it in "Bye Bye Psyduck".
  • In "Just Add Water," Misty is captured when she pushes Psyduck out of the way of Team Rocket's machine. This infuriates Psyduck so much that he battles Team Rocket by himself to free her, and sends them blasting off with Psychic.
  • During the Orange Islands arc, Misty takes James on in a fair battle to get the medicine Ash and Tracy needed. Despite James putting up a decent fight ( Victreebel did have a the advantage) she wins without any help.
  • In "The Totodile Duel". She has a Pokemon battle to determine who gets the Totodile. Ash sends Pikachu, which could easily wipe the floor with her water Pokemon, so she sends Togepi to use Charm. Knowing Pikachu would forfeit a match instead of hurting what he considers to be a younger sibling takes some serious planning. Sneaky tactic? Yes. Brilliant regardless? Definitely.
  • Her Poliwag was one of the first Pokemon besides Pikachu to overpower Jessie's Wobbuffet when used in battle, managing to knock him down despite using Counter. To punctuate within the same battle Wobbuffet had very easily countered Chikorita.

     Brock and his Pokémon 
  • Battling Team Rocket solo in "Leave It To Brocko". Yes, he gets minimal character development throughout the series, but he's still a Gym Leader. Not only that, the Pokémon he had at the time either had no effective attacks on Team Rocket's or were outright disadvantaged. Also, after Ash shows up to help him out, Brock actually refuses to let Ash steal his show.
    • Earlier in that episode, escaping from Team Rocket by distracting them with his cooking.
  • Not to mention his first episode debut, where he gives Pikachu, who was practically a Deus ex Machina up until this point, a Curb-Stomp Battle with his Onix. It doesn't matter that Onix not only has type advantages (or, by the game's rules, should not even be affected by electricity), it's still awesome to see for those kinda sick of Pikachu being a God-Mode Sue.
  • His Dynamic Entry / Big Damn Heroes moment when he joined the others in Advanced Generation.
  • Brock's Onix saving everyone from a sinking ship by simply biting down on a balcony to allow the others to use its body as a staircase. So simple, yet so effective.
  • Brock's Croagunk is a solitary loner of a Pokémon...until Brock goes gaga over whatever pretty girl comes into his squinty-eyed vision. So now he's the one who has to restrain Brock; how does he do it? By tapping him in the ass with a Poison Jab and hauling him away. It just never gets old. It's also surprisingly powerful, even for a main Pokémon.
    • It gets yet another CMoA in the Tag Battle Arc, this time by sliding under Paul's Torterra to dodge Ash's Staravia's attack, emerging from behind, and proceeding to use Brick Break to crack its head against the stadium floor! Granted, Torterra quickly beats Croagunk afterwards, but still...
    • It gets another one still at the end of the Team Galactic arc, where it finally settles its rivalry with Saturn's Toxicroak by smacking it in the head with a Brick Break just as Toxicroak comes out of its Poké Ball, one-shotting it. Especially considering that Toxicroak took out Gary's Electivire and Umbreon earlier. With like, what? Two or three hits?
  • Brock's Happiny also gets one in its debut episode after plowing through Team Rocket's Meowth and Carnivine, grabbing Seviper by the tail (which, by the way, is practically a sword), and flinging it at Team Rocket to blast them off and save Brock's life.
  • In Charmander the Stray Pokemon, Brock has a few moments of these:
    • Grabbing Damian by the collar of his shirt and demanding the punk to go get his Charmander out of the rain. One of few cases enhanced by the dub, since his actor's deadpan delivery turns it into a rather intimidating case of Tranquil Fury.
    • Later, when Charmander is in the emergency room, Brock doesn't move an inch until Nurse Joy comes out letting everyone know Charmander is okay.
  • As a Steelix, Brock's first Pokemon not only Mega Evolves, but it goes beyond. It becomes the second Pokemon in the anime to No-Sell a Z-Move. Not dodge, not have the Z-Move fail, just No Sell. The only other Pokemon to have done so is Tapu Koko, who had the benefit of being an Electric type being hit with an Electric Z-Move. Mega Steelix took an Inferno Overdrive to the face, which should do double damage, and didn't even act winded.
  • In the same episode, Brock's Geodude No Sells a Zing Zap from Sophocles' Togedemaru, and then simply flexes and smiles afterwards while Togedemaru is gaping in surprise. Fair enough this is standard type advantage, but then Lillie commands Snowy to use Power Snow, which should be way more effective. Brock however, gets Geodude to use a Gyro Ball to deflect the entire thing, as a Call-Back to a strategy Ash had previously utilised. It seems Ash isn't the only one whose learned a few good tricks from his journeys.
  • In "Showdown in Dark City", he manages to drive Team Rocket out of a restaurant with just his Vulpix before Ash and Misty could have their Pokémon do anything. It actually gets the attention of the Yas gym, since the TRio was serving the Kas gym at the time.

    May and her Pokémon 
  • Torchic evolving into Combusken to defend Corphish from a pack of Breloom, doing a complete 180 in personality as it went into a physical battle with the Breloom leader.
    • Topped in the Hoenn Grand Festival. Drew's Flygon blasts it with a Flamethrower in mid-air, but instead of plummeting to the ground like a toasty piece of chicken, it flings itself towards Flygon and proceeds to bash it the face with a Sky Uppercut...while on fire.
    • The Grand Festival battle in Kanto easily surpassed it, with May using Tucker's Fire-Water Fusion and Combusken learning Overheat.
  • What about the May VS Grace battle in the Fallabor Town contest? May's Beautifly has to face a Medicham who smashed Drew's Roselia before. Beautifly managed to defeat it using some utterly amazing combos. The best part was when Beautifly got WRAPPED UP WITH STRING SHOT, THEN FROZEN SOLID WITH ICE PUNCH (which Beautifly is 2x weak against), and Beautifly breaks out of the ice as if it were paper. AWESOME.
  • When rescuing her brother, Professor Oak and some stolen starters, she casually offers her Skitty's Blizzard as an option for chasing off the bad guys and Skitty performs flawlessly.

    Max 
  • Max may not have had any Pokémon, but that didn't stop him from sneaking around behind Team Rocket and busting their cage open a few times during their motto.
  • Landing a space shuttle.
  • Do I Hear A Ralts?: A fan favorite episode even among those who dislike Max. He finds his future Starter Pokémon and he earns it. Topping that off, Team Rocket—who earlier in the episode disguised themselves as an old man, Gardevoir and Kirlia—get hit with Psychic after Max has been thoroughly ticked off with them trying to take Ralts away from him again. He pretty much explains that Team Rocket is in trouble with this simple line:
    Max: (with a combination of Scary Shiny Glasses and Cross-Popping Veins) Gardevoir...Kirlia...I know you ''dearly'' love your Ralts...then I'm sure you never want to let him fall into the hands of Team Rocket!
    • Bonus points since it's one of the rare occasions none of the heroes buy into a Paper-Thin Disguise by the trio, even Lampshading they're not that gullible when they try it a second time.
  • In the episode where Professor Oak is visiting along with a set of Kanto starters and all 4 of them end up getting kidnapped along with Max and some Hoenn starters, Max demonstrates that he has the move sets of all 6 Pokemon memorized. Let me repeat that; not only does he have the move sets for the starters of his home region memorized when he isn't old enough to be a Trainer but he also has the move sets for the starters of a completely different region memorized.

    Dawn and her Pokémon 
  • The Contest battle between Dawn's Ambipom and Lila's Delcatty. To put it mildly, Thunderbolt + Swift equals small galaxy.
  • Despite nervous from losing the appeal rounds in two previous contests, Dawn is able to use Ambipom's abilities to score a ticket to the path to the battle rounds in the Wallace Cup — bonus points for dumping water on James and Meowth of Team Rocket. (Jessie wasn't there, she was in disguise as Jessilinda.)
    • The fact that she ultimately wins over May of all people in the end is truly remarkable. For several episodes prior, Dawn was so broken and disappointed with her back-to-back appeals losses that she even considered quitting contests. The fact that she won over May, a highly experienced trainer who managed to make it very deep into the Hoenn AND Kanto Grand Festivals during the point the viewers watched her own journey back in the Advanced Generation series makes the win even more significant.
  • Piplup's rematch with Buizel, resulting in a hard earned catch for Dawn.
  • The comeback against Ursula — despite suffering brutal public humiliation — to win her fifth ribbon. This includes finally mastering Cyndaquil and Mamoswine's Flame Ice combination.
  • Togekiss vs. Jessie's Yanmega. Dawn manages to turn the troublesome trait of her new Pokémon to her advantage in this great aerial fight.
  • The Grand Festival Finals. We have Piplup's charged Peck and Togekiss' Sky Attack combine to create a literal God Bird, with Dawn's Image Song playing in the background. Dawn may not have won, but she made it all the way to the finals and gave Zoey as good a battle as Nando did, and she's rightfully proud of that.
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    Iris and her Pokémon 
  • You have to admit, Excadrill taking down a Scolipede, even though it was for its own personal reasons, was pretty awesome.
    • Once Excadrill regains his loyalty to Iris in BW036, the drill mole pierces the heavens and fights Georgia's Beartic to a draw in the rematch.
    • His battle with Pikachu in BW044 was absolutely brimming with epic. Excadrill might have a type advantage, but this is the God Mode Chu we're talking about. Pikachu didn't perform too badly either, despite losing.
  • Axew finally mastering Dragon Rage in "The Dragon Master's Path".
    • Learning Outrage during the Club Battle tourney. He proceeds to literally beat up Luke's Golett across the field.
    • Iris's Axew vs. Cynthia's Garchomp. Axew manages to use Giga Impact to knock Garchomp off her feet. Granted, Garchomp immediately gets right back up and doesn't seem fazed at all, but it's not bad considering Axew's pratically a newborn.
  • Iris herself. As a child, she was fighting Pokémon bare-handed and this — coupled with saving his life - is how she befriended Excadrill (then a Drilbur). Iris must've been, what? 8 years old? On top of that, the duo won 99 battles in a row after that, with the first person to defeat them being Drayden himself.
  • How Iris defeats Stephan in the Club Battles, during BW043. Emolga has no Flying type attacks (which would be super effective against Sawk), and Sawk knows how to use Close Combat to repel Attract. So when Sawk is affected by Emolga's static, Iris simply uses Emolga's strengths and a genius tactic to win - an Attract barrage until Static paralyses Sawk, and then a powerful Volt Switch which outright faints Sawk (who had also been greatly weakened by the constant use of Close Combat). What makes it better is that Iris and Emolga agreed not to use Volt Switch early because Iris wanted to enjoy the battle rather than have an easy victory - and they still won!
  • One for Dragonite against Dawn's Mamoswine in round 2 of the Junior Cup. It takes the thing head-on and throws it aside several times, gets hit with a point blank Ice Shard in the face, and then decides to finish with a Dragon Rush. The really nice bit is that the Dragon Rush takes the form of a dragon instead of a simple blue aura just as it swoops down and ruins Mamoswine.

    Cilan and his Pokémon 
  • The first time the newly infamous Shell Break is seen in the anime, as used by Cilan's (soon-to-be) Dwebble.
    • Defeating Trip's Gurdurr by summoning a Rock Slide. Note that this is the first time one of Ash's traveling companions has defeated one of Ash's main rivals in a battle.
    • In Cilan and Ash's tag battle against Bianca and Prof. Juniper, the girls gain the lead by taking out Boldore. Crustle defeats both Escavalier and Accelgor using his Rock Wrecker attack, proving that despite their excellent teamwork, they were still out-matched.
  • Catching Stunfisk using only a FISHING ROD in "Facing Fear With Eyes Wide Open!".
  • Stunfisk can fly!
  • Pansage fighting Tornadus, a legendary with a type advantage over him, solo. He actually manages to hold it off until Thundurus arrives and the rest of the group returns from their mission.
    • Pansage again, this time from episode 66. Cilan sends Pansage out against a Cofagrigus after it 'abducted' Iris, and it manages to hold out on its own against an evidently stronger Pokémon, enough to get Iris out from the Cofagrigus. It's not a Gym Leader's main Pokémon for nothing.

    Clemont and his Pokemon 
  • Clemont shows why he's the Lumiose gym leader by defeating the gym's ace Pokemon Heliolisk with a Bunnelby he just caught a few episodes prior.
  • An overlooked battle from the original XY season had Chespin running away after gaining overweight, leading to a battle between Clemont and Wyile’s Delphox. Once Clemont and Chespin makeup, Clemont uses Chespin’s rolling ability to escape all of Delphox’s attacks to reduce weight and regain speed. When Chespin gets hit with a super effective Flamethrower, not only does it get back up, Chespin activates Overgrow and severely damages Delphox. The battle ends in a tie due to Wiley’s old age, but nonetheless Chespin came close to defeating a Pokemon two evolutionary levels higher than his own.
  • Heliolisk may not have gotten many chances to shine, but seeing its speed as it zipped around the field during Ash's gym battle was stunning. It completely ran circles around Goodra (which is saying something considering that Goodra would go on to win the gym battle for Ash) and kept Hawlucha on the ropes until Ash figured out its Achilles' Heel. While it didn't take down any of Ash's Pokémon, one can see why it's considered to be the gym's ace.
  • Bunnelby taking on a bullying Diggersby prior to joining Clemont. The first round doesn't go so well, but even then he lasts surprisingly long despite being clearly outmatched in strength. Then after Clemont suggests a strategy, he challenges Diggersby again. This time, he tears a chunk out of the floor and slams it into Diggersby's head, then ends the fight by sending Diggersby flying into a brick wall.
  • Clemont vs. Xerosic. Never has cleaning one's glasses been so awesome. To elaborate, Clemont uses the gesture of cleaning his glasses to distract Xerosic from the fact that he had planted an anti-mind-control device on himself, preventing Xerosic from taking control of him. Clemont doesn't give away the game until after he reunites with his friends, upon which he has Chespin take down Xerosic's Crobat alongside Ash's Greninja and prevents Xerosic from escaping using his Aipom Arm. That's not to mention that he was able to beat down Xerosic's entire team by himself during their earlier confrontation.

    Serena and her Pokemon 
  • Serena takes the initiative in the Sky Battle episode. She flies after Team Rocket in her gliding suit and calls out Fennekin in MID-AIR, having it launch Flamethrower while standing on her back to take out the Meowth balloon. For a beginner, that's amazing. Seems like Ash's knack for daring rescues is rubbing off on her.
  • In XY47, Fennekin is captured by Team Rocket, leaving Serena without any Pokémon - and in the middle of trying to free Fennekin, Pikachu, Dedenne, and the new Pancham are at the mercy of Jessie's Pumpkaboo. But instead of letting Ash and Clemont deal with the situation, she rushes in and flying tackles Jessie's Pumpkaboo herself. Pumpakaboo starts to retaliate, at which point Pancham makes a save.
  • In XY53, Team Rocket drives off with a truck full of stolen cheese. Ash and Bonnie chase after them while riding Skiddos. Serena instead rides a Ryhorn and uses it to ram into Team Rocket's truck. Later, she works up the courage to tell her mom that she doesn't want to be a Ryhorn racer and wants to be a performer instead.
  • In XY88, Serena and her Pokemon pulling a Go Through Me against Jessie's Gourgeist to protect a wild Eevee. They willingly await the full force of a Seed Bomb, only for Eevee to use a powerful Protect and Swift, displaying its future loyalty to Serena.
  • In "Performing A Pathway To The Future!" (XYZ20), Serena's semifinal performance ends with her team landing in single handstands, but Serena can't hold hers (we see afterward that she sprained her wrist badly). Sylveon reacts with exquisite timing and grabs Serena in her feelers, turning what would have been a disastrous tumble into a somersault-and-slide that looks like a natural conclusion to the show. Also shows Sylveon to be a Pintsized Powerhouse, given that she is certainly lighter than Serena.
  • The antepenultimate episode of XY has Serena finally battle Ash for the first time. While Pikachu obviously has battle prowess over Braixen, she uses her branch to resist a great deal of offence from him, with Serena using a developed strategy and battle style to end the battle with the upper hand (as opposed to her previous tactic of spamming her Pokemon's signature attack and "Dodge!" to varying effect).
  • In the XYZ finale, it looks like the "ship" will end like the others before them...but then Serena asks for "one last moment" with Ash and it's heavily implied that she kisses him! (Though done off-screen as only their feet are shown.) The reaction shots are priceless as everyone is red-faced and freaking out except for Ash, who is simply struck with glittering eyes and speechless.

    Bonnie and Dedenne 
  • Bonnie proves she's very mature for her age once she learns that a Flabébé already has a Trainer. She goes out of her way to find a Fairy Flower, climbs all the way up, and says farewell, finally accepting that Flabébé belongs to someone else.
  • Even earlier in the season, Bonnie gets a small moment- she takes initiative and bravely commands Dedenne to attack Team Rocket in one episode (Ash was gone and Serena's Fennekin had been stolen), but he's asleep. She might not be a trainer yet, but she is the little sister of a gym leader.
  • Dedenne defending Goomy from Team Rocket singlehandedly, Taking the Bullet several times without fainting outright.
  • She's able to take care of a lab-raised Tyrunt and easily outsmarts Team Rocket when the team kidnaps her, Dedenne, and Bunnelby along with Tyrunt.
  • She managed to get through to and free a mind-controlled Zygarde simply by singing.
  • Despite not actually being in command of Zygarde Complete Form, just before it unleashes Core Enforcer, Bonnie yells out 'Puni-chan, ike!' (Squishy, go!). She's going to make a great trainer one day.
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    Kiawe and his Pokémon 
  • Kiawe's first actual appearance has his Turtonator use Inferno Overdrive to beat back all of Team Skull's Pokémon. Turns out he didn't need Ash's help, after all.
    • This act also gave Kiawe and Turtonator the honour of being the first characters to demonstrate a Z-Move in the anime.
  • Kiawe is confirmed to have gotten his Z-Crystal from Olivia, the Kahuna of Akala Island. Olivia uses rock types, in a generation where all the new rock Pokémon are considered some of the best the series has given us. Kiawe's only Pokémon for fighting purposes is Turtonator. You do the math.
  • Kiawe and Turtonator's battle against a wild Alolan Marowak that had stolen the Wela Crown. The tide of the battle is set when Turtonator tries to use Shell Smash, and succeeds, increasing both Attack stats and Speed at the cost of its Defense stats. While Marowak tries to take advantage of the Defense nerf initially, it is overpowered when it triggers Turtonator's already-established Shell Trap attack, getting blown back after an attack. From there, Kiawe and Turtonator use the Inferno Overdrive Z-Move and end up nuking Marowak for the win. After surrendering the Wela Crown, Marowak offers to be captured by Kiawe.
  • Kiawe's team are left holding off Lusamine's Salazzle when the group tries to recover her from Ultra Space. While the rest of the students needed support from Ash's team and were on the ropes by the time Lusamine was freed, Turtonator and Marowak were implied to still be holding ground on their own by the time Salazzle broke from her mind control (and was promptly terrified of them).
  • Marowak mastering Inferno Overdrive to defeat Viren's Electivire in their rematch. Also, note that Electivire's Rain Dance (which depowers Fire-type attacks) was in effect when the move was used.
  • After putting on a battle to attract Tapu Fini into facing Ash, Tapu Fini instead takes interest in Kiawe, pretending to capture Ash and his team in a force field and putting Kiawe in a Race Against the Clock to gain healing scales from its Ax-Crazy brethren Tapu Lele all the way in Akala. Kiawe not only puts up enough of a fight with Charizard to impress Tapu Lele into willingly handing some over, but returns to Poni Island's ruins Just in Time. The reward for this feat is Flyium Z for which Charizard can learn Supersonic Skystrike, officially un-retiring Kiawe's Ride Pokemon. While the series marked Ash's first true rivalry against a legendary through Tapu Koko, it also marks the first with a companion against two of them.

    Lillie and her Pokémon 
  • She's willing to make an attempt to overcome her Poképhobia with help from Ash. She doesn't pull it off, but the fact she's willing to make an effort is commendable.
  • Defending the egg from a Salandit, despite being scared of it.
  • Despite being new to training Pokémon and visibly frightened when Team Rocket attack while she is alone with Snowy, Lillie shows that she definitely has potential when she strategically commands Snowy to defend themselves from the trio, slowing them down by covering the ground with ice and even countering a Sludge Bomb from Mareanie. Though she still needs Ash's Rowlet to save her from a nasty fall, she immediately puts a stop to Team Rocket once she recovers by having Snowy freeze them with Powder Snow. Of note is that the last attack even stopped a battle-ready Mimikyu, who was previously shown to be extremely powerful when motivated.
  • Snowy being integral to rescuing Ash and Litten from Palossand. Powder Snow manages to freeze the Sand Castle Pokémon and give Ash and Litten the opportunity to get out of its mouth.
  • The catharsis of seeing Lillie finally give Lusamine a piece of her mind after being neglected for years.
  • Lillie and Snowy battling alongside a wild Alolan Sandshrew against a Tyranitar in SM080. First, Lillie has Snowy use Hail to replace the sandstorm with hail, followed by Aurora Veil to block Tyranitar's attack and Powder Snow. Then, Sandshrew attacks Tyranitar with a barrage of Rapid Spin before finishing it off with Metal Claw, sending Tyranitar running away.
    • In the end, after the Sandshrew evolves into Sandslash thanks to an Ice Stone, it proceeds to give Lillie an Icium Z. Lillie might not have a Z-Ring at the moment, but when she gets one, Lillie and Snowy will be able to use the Ice-type Z-Move, Subzero Slammer.
  • After Ash and Masked Royal's battle against the Revengers, Lillie was apparently motivated by their battle and she declares that she will participate in a Battle Royal next time, complete with fiery eyes. Looks like Lillie's taken another step from The Chick to Little Miss Badass.
  • Lillie and Snowy successfully pulling off Subzero Slammer.

    Mallow and her Pokémon 
  • How does Bounsweet react when she sees Mallow, Ash, Pikachu, and Rowlet get snared by Team Rocket? She evolves into Steenee, and single-handedly beats Meowth into a bloody pulp. Then she does the same to Jessie, James, and Wobbuffet.
  • In SM080, as Lillie and Snowy are trapped behind ice, Mallow, Sophocles, and their Pokémon try to break through the ice to get to Lillie. Mallow is not the one to sit on the sidelines and kicks the ice with a move she dubbed "Mallow Kick", no less, alongside her partner Pokemon, with over the top animation to boot!
  • In SM082, Steenee learns Stomp, which triggers her Evolution into Tsareena, then she defeats Meowth with a single Trop Kick.
  • SM121 has a double for Mallow. She not only impresses Oranguru enough to give her a battered Z-Ring, but her cooking skills are enough to impress Tapu Koko into giving her a Grassium-Z as a reward for her efforts.

    Lana and her Pokémon 
  • In a flashback, Lana sees Team Skull bullying a Popplio. She immediately turns her Ride Lapras around, has it freeze them all with Ice Beam, then fishes Popplio away from them. She got it taken care of and they've been friends ever since.
  • When Team Rocket tries and fails to steal the class' Ride Pokémon, Lana gives them a Death Glare and has Popplio bounce back Mimikyu's Shadow Ball with a water balloon. And before that, Popplio creates a balloon ten times larger than usual to cushion the Ride Pokémon's fall when Pikachu cuts them free of Team Rocket's net.
  • In SM033, Lana manages to hook Totem Wishiwashi. She holds out long enough for Popplio to have an awesome moment of its own, as it puts aside its fear of it and learns Aqua Jet to defeat the demon of the sea.
  • In SM040, Lana and Popplio finally master using Waterium-Z and pull off Hydro Vortex, sending the rampaging Dhelmise blasting off, and making Lana the third of the Alolan group to master a Z-Move.
  • Popplio learning Surf to fend off Team Skull's attempt to nab its new Eevee friend.
  • When Lana nearly drowns trying to calm down a Kyogre in SM120, Brionne evolves into Primarina to save her. The two then work together to do what Lana's normally known for lying about — reel in the Legendary Sea Basin Pokemon.

    Sophocles and his Pokémon 
  • Sophocles shows his Badass Bookworm tendencies by using Togedemaru's spikes to pop the balloons faster than Ash, then uses its Lightning Rod ability to absorb Pikachu's lightning to finish the job.
  • During Ash's rematch against Tapu Koko, a stray lightning bolt from the island guardian comes speeding towards the group. Togedemaru jumps in front of the bolt and uses Lightningrod to absorb it.
  • Sophocles may not be as much of a battler as Ash or Kiawe, but his defeat of Lusamine's Milotic with Togedemaru and Charjabug launching a combined attack proves that he's very capable of holding his own in danger.
  • Also Togedemaru and Charjabug improvising an Electro Web out of a combined Zing Zag and Discharge to distract the Ultra Beasts Blacephalon and Xurkitree.
  • In SM080, after the Tyranitar is driven away and the Alolan Sandshrew are able to return to their home, Charjabug finds an Ice Stone which is used by the leader Sandshrew to evolve into a Sandslash, who in turn gives Lillie an Icium Z as thanks for both this and her earlier kindness. Later, after getting out of the cave, it’s revealed that Charjabug found another Ice Stone, which is given to Lillie. What’s awesome is the fact that it managed to find two genuine Evolutionary Stones in just one day, granted the place was an Ice Stone mine, but still.
  • In SM119, Sophocles finally gets over his fear of the dark and not only rescues the other racers from Team Rocket, but goes on to win the race, earning a Bugium-Z and the respect of his rival.
  • In SM123 Sophocles masters his Z-Move, Savage Spin-Out, while fighting against a Crawdaunt, defeating it.

    Team Rocket 

For the group as a whole

  • In "Charmander, The Stray Pokemon", the trio displays a surprisingly good plan based around rubber and the fact it can't be electrocuted and manage to capture Pikachu, leaving the three heroes in a pit. This is only awesome, of course, if you overlook the fact that they got burned by Charmander moments later.
  • "Ignorance Is Blissy" is a mix of this and Heartwarming and Funny. After a Blissey nurse kindly gives them her center's entire stash of berries, the team, realizing it's taken the fall for them from its boss, put on an extremely hammy Evil Gloating performance about stealing the berries to clear its name, knowing they are setting themselves up for another beating. A defining Pet the Dog moment where they still get to mercilessly troll the heroes.
  • In "The Stolen Stones!" Team Rocket steals a bunch of Fire Stones, then Pikachu. They keep Ash and his friends busy for the entire episode, dividing the group and digging pit traps to stop Keegan's superfast Arcanine. And they do this while riding bicycles and unicycles. Jessie even fakes a surrender to trick Ash into falling in a pit; Misty comments that they were the deepest holes Team Rocket's ever dug. And when the Arcanine catch up to them, Jessie uses Wobbuffet to repel them and buy time to escape. They even had a celebratory dinner.
  • Jessie and James defeated Butch and Cassidy in the third part of the Lugia episodes, freeing said Lugia in the process.
  • Throwing themselves (literally, and bare-handed) at a Tyranitar to buy Arbok and Weezing the time to escape from a vicious poacher.
  • Their first battle with Ash and co. in "Do I Hear A Ralts." Sure the episode is them at their most vile (trying to steal an extremely sick Ralts from Max), but this is one of the few times they hold their own in a battle, simply because they use their Pokemon to their full potential. Jessie even uses Wobuffett to deflect an ice attack.
  • "A Scare To Remember" while similarly has the three at their most underhanded, has a great Manipulative Bastard moment for the trio. When Meowth finds an amnesiac Pikachu, he convinces him he is an ally of Team Rocket. There is something darkly awesome about Pikachu being a willing member of Team Rocket, even joining in on the motto. Topped with the most cathartic Who's Laughing Now? moment the trio can achieve; ordering Pikachu to Thundershock Ash.
  • "The Ole' Berate and Switch" has Jessie and James digging pit traps to stop Butch and Cassidy from escaping, leading them to get captured by Ash and friends while they (almost) escape. One pit was so huge it crashed Cassidy's helicopter. For once it was the trio that were Eviler Than Thou.
  • In "The Thief That Keeps On Thieving" they finally beat the twerps to a Pokemon capture, and rather handily escape with the Yanma they had just battled. Giovanni wasn't impressed with it, but it stands as proof the trio can steal Pokemon.
    • And after it is returned to them, it promptly beats down Ash's Chimchar and evolves into a Yanmega, even giving the twerps a mini "blasting off" of their own with Sonic Boom. The dumbfounded reaction from Dawn sells it:
    Dawn: *dazed* So since when did Team Rocket get...good?
  • The first steps of their their badassidy occurs in "Lean Mean Team Rocket Machine", where they steal all the PokéBalls from a Pokémon Centre and then, using their latest Mecha, ransack the place purely out of the joy this rare victory had granted them, whilst "Double Trouble" plays at full volume in the background.
  • Their Sinnoh schemes are mostly unremarkable, except for that one time when they stole the Sunyshore Tower and turned it into a rocket. Turned a skyscraper into a functioning, flying, rocket. Thank god they're so incompetent, or they'd be masters of the cosmos by now.
  • The B/W episodes give Team Rocket new uniforms. The reason? THEY GOT PROMOTED.
    • Team Rocket getting promoted was one thing. But in their first BW appearance, Jessie is revealed to have captured a Woobat off-screen. Ash sends out his newly captured Pidove, and Woobat one-shots it with a not-very-effective attack. Ok, that's justified (Pidove was freshly-caught), but when their plan inevitably backfires, Pikachu revs up a Volt Tackle at them... and James throws a smoke bomb, escaping. Pikachu is left just standing there, looking from side to side in obvious shock. Two episodes later, they escape on a glider. Later, they start using jetpacks... are you getting the picture here? Let me just emphasize this: we are past 30 episodes in, and Team Rocket has not blasted off a single time. This, friends, is perhaps the single biggest Took a Level in Badass in history.
    • For a good epitome of how much more dangerous Team Rocket has become, check out the episode with Roggenrola. They spend basically the whole episode piloting a giant mega deathray that looks like it came straight out of Metal Gear. Ash and co. understandably have a really difficult time overcoming it. That Team Rocket could go from how they were to this is nothing short of amazing.
    • Their hacking of a research lab, breaking into a museum to steal a rock and swap it with a decoy in less than 10 seconds, holding their own against Team Plasma, teaming up with the twerps to save everyone from the Ghost World, the entire Nimbasa City subway mission, their relentless and efficient pursuit of Caracosta at Twist Mountain, and now their actions in Best Wishes 2...need I go on?
    • And then they save Unova by breaking a possessed Giovanni from the power of the Reflection Mirror. Especially gratifying if you remember this is the same guy they've been sucking up to and failing to impress for four regions, and they finally get to demonstrate their Undying Loyalty by saving his life and guarding him from the twerps as they escort him to his escape vehicle.
  • The group returns back to their old motto. Come on, you knew you said it along with them.
    Jessie: Prepare for trouble, like never before!
    James: And make it double, with words from yore!
  • In Team Plasma's debut episode (BW 112), Team Rocket hacks their computers and steals their data on mind-controlling Pokemon. The best part about this is that they actually planned this out, and waited until Team Plasma was distracted with Ash and company. Then, they recite their motto, and don't wait around to get blasted off. Team Plasma still manages to blast them off after chasing them down in a jet, but it still really shows that Team Rocket hasn't lost everything with going back to their old selves.
  • Opening a can of whoopass on Team Plasma in "What Lies Beyond Truth And Ideals". Special mention goes to Meowth, who takes out an entire gang of Liepard all by himself. Extra points for his cocky Smoking Fury Swipe Blowout afterwards.
    Ash: Meowth?
    Meowth: *backflips triumphantly* THAAAAT'S RIGHT!!!
  • They may have dropped the serious demeanor they gained in BW, but it's clear that XY hasn't completely stripped them of competence. Not only do they almost always put up a good fight when cornered, they show much more foresight in their schemes (like providing an auxiliary power source for their mecha in case it was unplugged).
  • Inkay and Pumpkaboo managing to get the upper hand against Korrina's Lucario in Mega Evolution form, knocking it out of control with its power once again.
  • The two parter in Goodra's homeland brings them back to near BW levels of cunning and depravity, playing Florges and her people into attacking Ash's team while they suck the land dry of its healing water, even framing Pikachu so they'll capture him for them. Once the plan is in full fruition and they take off in their enormous hovercraft, they then gloat the whole thing to Ash and Florges, and put up a palpable resistance before they manage to stop them, reminding the former how completely ruthless they can still be.
  • In "A Frenzied Factory Fiasco" they make complete chumps of the twerps; using tour guide aliases to dupe them into willingly handing over every last one of their Pokemon (even getting Ash to obliviously place Pikachu into one of their electric proof cases for an extra insult) before getting them obliviously locked in a storage closet. Only Pikachu manages to escape and stop them, though even against him, Meowth and the team's other Pokemon act as Super Persistent Predators the whole episode rather than the usual one minute Curbstomp Battle.
  • In "A Fiery Rite Of Passage" the trio make some ineffectual attempts to capture a Liteo, leading them to get torched by a Papa Wolf Pyroar. They come back with a vengeance however, handily trapping Pyroar in their mech and using its fire power to then shoot a massive flamethrower at the twerps! While XYZ had mostly finalised their Villain Decay, this episode Ash's team were frantically on the ropes against the trio.
  • In "An Explosive Operation", after claiming Z2, Team Rocket finally do battle with Team Flare, who have since their debut been completely unimpressed by the trio. To elaborate it isn't a Curbstomp Battle.
  • When all hell breaks loose in the Team Flare saga following the League, Malva (of Team Flare) heads to confront Lysandre, abandoning her post as a reporter. It is Jessie of all people who bravely stands in front of the stadium giving a rousing report on the chaos surrounding her.
    • Even better, when Serena, Mairin and Sycamore need to head to Lysandre Labs to rescue Chespie, the team, still in disguise, offer to fly them there in their news helicopter. For added bonus points, when one of the Executives stand in their way, it is Team Rocket who reveal themselves and combat them, Jessie even telling a bewildered Serena that this sort of chaos is wrong and to keep going.
    • They then fight two of Flare's Executives, and winnote , after which they catch up with the others and help Ash take out the Megalith. For extra points they get the whole thing recorded on tape, and manipulate the footage later on to convince Giovanni they put Team Flare out of action single-handedly for their report on their Kalos mission.
  • They get one in Pokemon Puzzle League's Spa Service mode, where they successfully steal every Trainer's Pokemon.
    • They also get one during the final stage, where they make a Badass Boast.
    Jessie and James: That's it! No more games: Now we finish this here. No costumes, no tricks, just the real Team Rocket!
  • "Dressed For Jess Success" and "A Dancing Debut" are a rarity in that they stand as the only instances Team Rocket won the actual episode instead of Ash's team (in both cases, the female companion in a performance contest). While the heroine in both cases is a Graceful Loser, the trio still ended the episode smelling like roses. See their entries below for more details.
  • Even though it's not the old motto like in XY, Team Rocket's new motto in Sun and Moon is definitely welcome. It even uses the new animation style to its advantage, giving us some gorgeous visuals before the inevitable battle against the twerps.
  • In Sun and Moon, a Mareanie winds up on James' team and, alongside Jessie's recently caught Mimikyu, ends up beating Ash's current team in a straight-up Pokemon battle. The only reason Ash didn't have his Pokemon taken from him was because Bewear stepped in to retrieve Team Rocket at the last second, but the fact still stands: for the first time in the anime's long run, Team Rocket. Defeated. ASH.
    • As a bonus, as described above, Ash had only recently defeated Kahuna Hala a couple episodes prior, without any Pokémon fainting, on the first try. So one of the biggest CMoAs from Ash thus far is then topped off by a victory from Team Rocket. This is also fitting: both parties were around since the show's beginning, so it's nice to finally see Team Rocket on equal footing with Ash for once, let alone actually beating him.
  • SM049 gives the trio a very good case to know Even Evil Has Standards when Faba enlists them in his plan to erase Lillie's memories. They proceed to chew him out on how wrong it is, pointing out the memories and experiences between trainers and Pokemon is vital to who they are, and then quit the Aether Foundation on the spot.
    Meowth: We may be the bad guys, but we're not bad bad! We put the "good" in "bad"!
  • In the Sun and Moon they, at last, avert Villain Forgot to Level Grind by actually obtaining the series power-up mechanic. They get hold of a Z-Power Ring, two Z Crystals, and their Pokemon learn the attacks to correspond to it. Their first attempt at a Z-Move is even performed flawlessly, knocking out a rampaging Gengar. They even mimic Ash's victory pose after collecting their new spoils.
  • Z-Moves in fact seem to be the one element Team Rocket do their research on in Sun and Moon. Not only do they get their hands on the gimmick before half the twerps, but by Brock and Misty's second re-appearance they manage to equip their Humongous Mecha to withstand multiple Z-Moves.

Jessie and her Pokémon

  • Jessie's first Contest win (bonus points for beating Dawn, who didn't even get past the appeal)... too bad that shortly afterward there was a huge Tear Jerker for her Dustox.
    • The very fact that she manages to get all five Ribbons (though she technically only won three of them) for the Grand Festival — let alone place in the top four — really says something about how relentless she has become as a coordinator.
  • Similarly her first showcase win in the Kalos showcases in "A Dancing Debut". While Serena's Eevee slipping mid-performance may have helped, Jessie's Pokemon and Meowth really pulled out all the shots. A rare victory against one of the twerps.
    • Again, like the Sinnoh contests, she manages to get all three necessary Princess Keys, which are implied to have all been earned legitimately, and reach the Kalos Master Class. It is left ambiguous whether she came in fourth or third, but at the very least she reached the semi-finals, and her final performance got raptures of applause.
    • When Serena holds a public performance to help with the public's spirits after Team Flare's invasion, Team Rocket spies on the act and consider whether to use the opportunity to steal Pikachu. A starstruck Jessie and Gourgeist, however, transform into costume and jump in to perform themselves. Compared to her Epic Fail first showcase, the audience goes completely gaga at seeing Jessie.
  • The "reason" she saves James by blasting the titular Ghost Of Maiden's Peak with A FLAMETHROWER.
    Jessie: It's not 'cause of you. Girls like her disgust me. Always waiting around for her man as if she were his faithful pet. She can't stand the thought of losing him. She cries, but I say "See you later!".
  • In "One Trick Phony", Jessie gets the chance to battle using a Charizard. After making a fool of herself ordering a Poison Sting attack which Charizard, of course, doesn't know, she goes on to order a Dig attack, another move Charizard can't use (outside of teaching it to a pre-evolution). Only it uses it anyway. When Misty questions Brock about this, his response amounts to, "Man, I don't even know."
  • Jessie catching Seviper... by beating the crap out of it herself!
    • That was actually one of her more difficult catches. She caught Likitung and Pumpkaboo just by idly flicking a Pokeball at them. Why does she bother stealing?
  • Jessie getting second place in the Princess Festival. Think about all the other trainers she defeated using only Arbok and Wheezing without cheating (it's unlikely she used Meowth after his poor performance during her first battle).
    • Lickitung also makes its mark by defeating all of Misty's candidates (bar Psyduck) with a single lick attack. Even Pikachu.
  • Arbok once made quick work out of a giant Pidgeot in order to protect Meowth and Pikachu.
  • Her Big Damn Motto at the end of XY063, shouted from atop a giant pile of rocks before the setting sun, is badass on its own. Now for context: The team's split up (again) and a poacher and his Rhyperion have James and Meowth cornered. Then a familiar voice rings out... James and Meowth shout at her to go back, to live a happy life, but Jessie's only response is to keep yelling out the motto.
  • A rare last laugh for Seviper in "Do I Hear A Ralts?". Not only does it fight Pikachu to a standstill, but when the heroes reveal the battle was a diversion for Max to escape with Ralts and begin mocking the villains, a livid Jessie responds by choking them all with Seviper's Haze while they get a headstart.
  • Gourgeist curb-stomping Clemont's Bunnelby with a single Leech Seed and Seed Bomb combo in "The Tiny Caretaker".
  • Mimikyu, in its first appearance, was able to hold off Pikachu. No, this isn't a case of Power Creep, Power Seep on Pikachu's part; Mimikyu is able to use its Disguise ability to shrug off Iron Tail (which would normally be Super Effective) and even protected Meowth from Electro Ball (Pikachu's potentially strongest move). And in close quarters combat, it pretty much has Pikachu outright beat!
  • Wobbuffet's first battle after (accidentally) getting traded to Team Rocket in "Tricks Of The Trade", delivering a Curbstomp Battle to Ash's Chikorita with just two Counters.
    • The Terrible Trio are also Crazy-Prepared for most of their scheme beforehand. When angry customers realize they've traded their Pokemon for empty Pokeballs, they handily net them all and try to escape, and, knowing Ash will likely break free prematurely, dangle a net of fake Pokeballs under their balloon in anticipation of him attacking it, leading them to blast off with the real ones.
  • In "Freeze Frame" Wobbuffet uses Mirror Coat to tank two Ice Beams from an Articuno. The pressure knocks Wobbuffet back a little but it still deflects them both.
  • In "The Stolen Stones", the twerps have finally closed in on Team Rocket and have Arcanine use Extreme Speed. Jessie sends Wobbuffet to charge at it with Mirror Coat. Wobbuffet wins. The twerps can't believe it.
  • Wobbuffet sets up Team Rocket's debut in XY, not only can he now skilfully dodge attacks, but his Mirror Coat is powerful enough to repel and almost knock out Pikachu. Clemont is so taken aback he suggests a tactical retreat. Froakie makes a save, but severely injures himself in the process.
  • Team Rocket is trying to earn a Z-Crystal from Totem Raticate. Meowth, Mareanie, Mimikyu all get smacked aside. Then Mimikyu gets back up thanks to its Disguise ability and beats Raticate down using Play Rough.
  • In SM073, Jessie ends up obtaining a Mimikium Z. It comes into play in SM076 after they are placed against Ash in a "trial" devised by Nanu. Mimikyu spends the majority of the battle in control and masters "Let's Snuggle Forever", only losing due to Pikachu suddenly learning Electroweb and using it to shielded himself from harm and allowed Pikachu to use it to trap Mimikyu.
    • Midway through the battle, Bewear had caught up with Team Rocket and was all set to haul them back. Mimikyu however, wanting to settle it's score with Pikachu, glares it down. The usually unstoppable Bewear actually relents and sits quietly until the battle is over.
  • In SM091, Mimikyu goes berserk from overseeing Alola's Pikachu Valley. Jessie makes use of the situation by having it perform "Let's Snuggle Forever!" on the entire herd of Pikachu. Taking it even further, she keeps the Z-Move going by holding the pose, basically turning Mimikyu into a formidable net that Team Rocket try to lug away. No other trainer and Pokemon have been shown performing this feat with a Z-Move thus far.

James and his Pokémon

  • James directing the landing of the rocket in "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before!". He even throws in an Neon Genesis Evangelion Shout-Out by doing the Gendo pose!
  • It may have been mostly his definitive Funny Moment, but the Flaming Moltres ignited a spark in James that you don't see very often.
  • James spent 25 episodes of Best Wishes without any Pokémon, and yet still managed to use other skills to be formidable. Most notably throwing a smoke pellet in order for him and his teammates to make their escape in episode 2 (the first time the "Pikachu's thunder attack sends Team Rocket blasting off again" cliche was broken!), hacking the security of the Anatomy Research Lab in episode 11, momentarily taking out the security system of Nacrene Museum in episode 15, and getting his turn to handle a destructive energy powered weapon in (the as of yet unaired) episode 24.
    • He then DOES get a Pokémon, a Yamask. In episode 33, Team Rocket are forced to retreat on jet-packs, but James decides "Heck with this, I'm taking them with us!" and uses Yamask to crash the heroes' flying machine.
    • A small but very awesome moment is towards the end of the Nimbasa City Subway two-parter. As Pikachu is getting angry enough to zap Team Rocket, James calmly and without a word presses a detonator and the train they're standing ontop of blows up. Team Rocket rises out of the smoke on their jetpacks and into Dr. Zager's helicopter to make their escape. Team Rocket's current motto theme playing at this moment helps to really sell it.
  • In "Holy Matrimony," James is being tortured by his fiancee (long story) Jessiebelle. Cue Growlie, the Growlithe that James owned as a child, instinctively coming to his rescue. He busts out of his heavily locked "doghouse" (a two-story mansion in its own right) with some help from Ash, Misty, Brock, Jessie, Meowth, and Pikachu, runs into the house, and springs in front of James to defend him. Jessiebelle orders her Vileplume to launch another Stun Spore attack, and James, (who's already paralyzed from the first time), tells Growlie to get out of the way. Growlie does, but first, he grabs James, carrying him on its back, jumps out the window, and runs back to the relative safety of the doghouse.
    • Very minor example from the same episode: After episode upon episode of taking Jessie and Meowth's abuse, and their taking advantage of his fortune in this episode, it is somewhat cathartic to see him insult them back, calling both of them imbeciles.
  • James's Amoonguss managing to KO Pikachu with a single Body Slam.
  • In XY, James catches an Inkay using sandwiches.
  • Inkay himself being incensed enough to try and attack the Evil Malamar single handed in "Facing The Grand Design!". It later manages to resist mind control from them and leads a herd of its species to stop them.
  • One of Inkay's first power displays in "Grooming Furfrou!" Officer Jenny attempts to attack the trio with Manectric, which Inkay quickly deals with using Psybeam. The attack even confuses Manectric into attacking the heroes.
  • In "Party Dancecapades!" a disguised James is put into a team battle with Miette against Ash and Serena. Inkay and Slurpuff proceed to turn Pikachu and Eevee into roadkill until Eevee evolves into Sylveon.
  • In "Dressed For Jess Success", James is forced to pose as Jessilina in Jessie's place and face Dawn in a contest. Not only do people buy the disguise, but James wins the ribbon. Jessie even feels a bit put out that people may have preferred his take on her.
  • Before James' Koffing evolved, it managed to take down Brock's Onix (giant rock snake) in one hit with a simple tackle back in "Clefairy And the Moon Stone". Impossible in the games? Yes. But that's a lot of power for such a little guy.
  • James's weird confidence in "A Gaggle of Gadget Greatness" is nice to watch. The same thing applies to any time he shows off his skill with technology, as he's usually such an idiot that the audience really doesn't expect it.
  • James goes full-on Badass Normal throughout SM058, saving his Mareanie from a Tentacruel with a jump kick, and then fighting her Toxapex "Sempai" to a stalemate to prove his loyalty to her. When the Tentacruel strikes a second time, he this times grabs it by the tentacles and swings it into the horizon. This act was so astounding that the Toxapex fell in love with him too, doubling it as a Funny Moment.
  • Mareanie learns Knock Off in SM073 and later performs Black Hole Eclipse to deal with a Gengar that had been causing trouble in the episode. It managed to master the Z-Move with no hang-ups.

Meowth

  • Meowth defending his teammates in "Jumping Rocket Ship" by attacking Ash, and then defeating Barry's Empoleon (a Steel-type!) with a Slash. There was a bit of a Moment Killer afterward, but he made his mark concerning which side he was on.
    • Said Moment Killer involves him daring the heroes to blast him off, and then laughing it off all the way he is jettisoned into the air.
  • He defeated a Persian for the sake of his love Meowzie in "Go West, Young Meowth". Sure, he didn't get her in the end, but he had been awesome all episode.
  • "For The Love Of Meowth!": When Meowth falls in love with a Glameow, through his feelings for her, allowed him to take on Ash's Infernape and Jessie's Seviper at the same time, and WIN. Then he faced Ash's Staraptor, Dawn's Togekiss, and Jessie's Yanmega...and took out the trio with one Scratch attack. The background and everything only added to the awesomeness of the scene. Yet again there was a Moment Killer following it, but it was still cool.
  • His defeat of the Dream Thief in Best Wishes. The whole episode, poor Meowth just wanted to sleep but the thief's antics made it impossible for him. Finally, he's had enough, so when the thief offers him a chance to join him, Meowth slashes the guy to the point where his pants are torn off and he falls over. It's a comical moment, but Meowth makes it look badass.
    Meowth: AFTER EVERYTHING YOU DID TO ME, I WOULDN'T SIGN YOUR REPORT CARD!
  • Also from BW, the fact that he was able to trick the gang that he had been fired from TR in order to begin executing the Pokémon-stealing plan at Nimbasa four episodes later, mainly by sweet talking and flattering them, and showing off his skills as a Pokemon negotiator. The plan was so swiftly handled and a hair away from succeeding that it not only left Pikachu enraged how easily he got played, but actually left Ash and the other twerps, usually dismissive or complacent towards the trio's antics, openly admitting they had become their Worthy Opponent for a change.
  • Meowth in general: he is a very common, normal type Pokemon that, through The Power of Love, taught himself how to talk and walk on his hindlegs like a human. The only other two Pokemon in the series that can truly talk is Slowking from the second movie and Gastly from the Maiden's Peak episode, with the Legendary Pokemon only being able to talk through psychic powers and puppets. As he even explains to Iris, who is genuinely freaked out that a Meowth can do all that:
  • Meowth battling Brock's Onix...and winning via a bucket of water and Fury Swipes.
  • In "A Conspiracy To Conquer" there's a Malamar that is controlling the minds of both pokemon and humans alike. When Team Rocket are cornered by it, Meowth stops himself from being controlled by scratching up his own face. He uses the same method to keep him and Ash in control during an Enemy Mine later.
  • In "A Frenzied Factory Fiasco!", Meowth No Sells a Thunderbolt from Pikachu and demands a battle for possession of all the heroes' Pokeballs he stole. After a crafty sneak attack by calling Pikachu's unused Pokeball fails, he quickly improvises a Fury Swipes for a Single-Stroke Battle. Though Meowth goes down with a thud to Iron Tail, this is the first time he so much as successfully landed an attack on Pikachu with his own raw skills. Pikachu even recoils in pain.
  • Meowth despite his weak skills is fluent with gadgets so tends to be a formidable battler when given a machine to work with:
    • In "Pokemon Food Fight" Meowth battles Pikachu in his mini mech, the Mecha-Meowthinator, keeping the upper hand until a hungry Snorlax interrupts.
    • The title mech of "Mega-Mega Meowth Madness". Not only does Meowth use it to curb stomp Pikachu, with him and Chespin unable to make a dent on it, but the trio prove savvy by adding an back up power supply. It takes Mega Blaziken to defeat it.
    • In "Calling From Beyond The Aura" he and Wobuffet don "Mecha Evolution" power armour to enhance their battle power and curb stomp the heroes' Pokemon. It takes Korrina's Lucario again in its Mega Evolution to defeat them.
  • Meta-example. Meowth utilised Tickle attack on a Rhydon, before it was even an official move in "Bound for Trouble" in an Enemy Mine with Pikachu, giving the latter an opening to Thundershock the electric resistant Pokemon.
  • In "Coming Back Into The Cold" he attempts a You Shall Not Pass! against Serena for an Amaura they captured. Unimpressed, she sends Fennekin to swat him away. Meowth however improvises Fury Swipes as a block attack against Fennekin's Hidden Power, handily slashing its energy into pieces like a ball of paper and snarls at them to back off. This actually intimidates them...until Aurorus steps in...
  • Despite his poor track record in Pokemon battles, Meowth sometimes proves talented in Pokemon performance contests. He creates an intricate heart display from just berries using Fury Swipes in the Dendemille Town Showcase ("Performing With A Fiery Charm"), makes an ice sculpture of Giovanni and Persian, and outdoes a Sneasel in a rock climbing contest in the Anistar City Showcase ("A Performance Pop Quiz"). Both cases help Jessie get into the finals. His recurring talents as chef also help Jessie win her first Kalos contest. As a bonus, he does most of these without a disguise, and still goes around unnoticed by the heroes (they even obliviously compliment him).
  • In one case Ash orders Pikachu to Thundershock the trio. Cue the usual charging animation with the stock zooming background; "Pi...ka...*CLUNK* Meowth placed him in an electric proof cage midway through. Probably the nearest Meowth has got to pwning his Arch-Enemy for once.
  • In "Meowth's Scrafty Tactics" he performs three separate heroics in one episode, just by acting as negotiator. He helps save Iris' Axew by distracting the Scrafty that captured it, he then helps out the Scrafty by wringing out its own dilemma with a Mandibuzz stealing its home, and then helps out the Mandibuzz by playing peace talker with its mate that dumped it. Sure it was all just so he could lure the heroes' into a trap later, but it was still a swift process to give three separate parties a Happy Ending.
  • A brief comical one, but Meowth doing a berserk Fury Swipes on Ash's Chimchar for attacking Jessie's Yanmega in "The Thief That Keeps On Thieving".
  • In the Johto episode, "The Grass Route" Jessie enlists Meowth in a Grass-type themed tournament disguised as a Sunflora (again). When it's time to battle a rather cocky Ash, Meowth actually dominates Bulbasaur for most of the battle until Bulbsaur obliviously tears his disguise with Razor Leaf. For extra hilarity, Jessie even commands Meowth to perform a "Fake Out" pre-Gen 3. He does an accurate rendition of how the move would work.

    Group Moment of Awesome 

General

  • At least twice the heroes are savvy enough to foil Team Rocket's plot while they are busy reciting their motto. In "Off The Unbeaten Path", May and Max use it to steal back the stolen prize of berries, while in "Mega-Mega Meowth Madness" Ash and Clemont use it to untie Serena and Bonnie. In both cases, the trio have a plan B, but only after throwing a lengthy hissy fit about the heroes so impolitely manipulating their beloved motto.

Original Series

  • In "Battle Aboard The St. Anne!" Team Rocket undergoes a massive operation to steal all of the Pokémon aboard. Ash and the others fighting back instead of just panicking inspires the rest of the trainers, causing them all to bring out their Pokémon and all work together to take down Team Rocket.

Advanced Generation

  • Blaziken vs. Sceptile. Great way to end Advanced Generation and send off May.

Diamond and Pearl

  • One from "Memories Are Made of Bliss", which is mostly a Tear Jerker. After Team Rocket decides to be a Moment Killer and captures Togekiss, Piplup, and Pikachu, Ash, Dawn, and Brock come on the scene. While Team Rocket are in the middle of taunting them, Ash gives them a Shut Up, Hannibal! moment via destroying their balloon with Staraptor's Brave Bird. What follows can only be described as a complete beatdown, as Team Rocket doesn't land a single successful hit. The battle ends with Pikachu using Volt Tackle combined with Piplup's Hydro Pump, sending Team Rocket flying into the air.
    • Due to their upcoming promotion however, Team Rocket are too happy to care and tell Ash mid flight they'll see him in Unova.
  • The 3 part final showdown with Team Galactic has several, including J's defeat at the hands of Mesprit and Uxie, Croagunk getting revenge on Saturn's Toxicroak, and the heroes taking advantage of the qualities they share with the Lake Trio to calm Dialga and Palkia.
  • Ash's Monferno gets a joint Moment of Awesome with Dawn's Cyndaquil in "Bagged then Tagged" with their finishing moves against Lyra's Chikorita and Khoury's Croconaw. Firstly, Cyndaquill launches a Flame Wheel which is then propelled by Monferno's Flamethrower against Chikorita, then Monferno smashes Croconaw in the face with a brutal Mach Punch that sends him flying across the arena. Both feature perhaps the best animation seen in the anime outside of the movies.

Black and White

  • In "Movie Time! Zorua in The Legend of the Pokémon Knight!" the main characters are trying to film a movie. Just as they're acting out the climax, Team Rocket interrupts. Cilan immediately ad libs (by "magically" casting off his previous role as an evil pirate and turning into a superhero-like character) and leads everyone else on a climatic showdown with Team Rocket, adding several plot twists and an awesome climax to the originally standard and cliched plot that was first planned for the film. Even with their new competence that in past episodes have made fights with them rather difficult, Team Rocket didn't stand a chance, their only saving grace being that they were able to retreat using their jetpacks before they got thoroughly thrashed.
  • BW050 has several highlights for the stolen Pokémon, especially Pikachu, who was masterminding the breakout and the subsequent disruption of Team Rocket's latest attempt at grand theft Pokémon.
    • Aiming an Electro Ball at Snivy's ball was the start, as it allowed for Snivy to covertly release any Pokémon Pikachu needed to conduct the breakout.
    • Excadrill destroying Pikachu and Axew's cages was next, allowing for full movement.
    • Pikachu remembered that Dwebble's corrosive acid (usually used for molding and repairing its rock shell) could eat through the metal of the train door, and let Dwebble go to town.
    • The captive Pokémon severing the train and shifting their car down a different track, forcing Team Rocket to back up and give chase.
    • Their subsequent staving off of Dr. Zager's crane arm, stalling for time so Ash and co. could board.
    • When the twerps finally board, they use several attacks as a makeshift booster to further throw off Zager's aim. Tepig gets bonus points for upgrading from Ember to Flamethrower in the process.
    • Finally, a Leaf Storm to the chopper blades and an Electro Ball to the crane arm, demolishing the entire plot. The only way the twerps could have scored a more thorough victory was to ground the chopper and force Zager onto the Party Train.
  • Dragonite, Pansage, Cynthia's Garchomp, and Larry's Golurk holding off the Kami trio. Despite being visibly battered they hang on for about half the episode and remain standing through it all.
  • Ash & the gang stopping Team Plasma from escaping in "What Lies Beyond Truth And Ideals" First Reshiram destroys their plane so they can't use it to escape by air. Then, after a Kirk Summation from N, Ash & Cilan use Krookodile & Crustle to trap them in a ring of rocks. Then finally Iris uses Dragonite to freeze the rocks, so they can't climb over the rocks.

XY

  • The first two episodes of the XY saga has something for everybody. Let's just say that all in all, Ash and Pikachu are actually Badass from the very start of this season, and does not undergo Badass Decay at all, unlike all previous arc introductions!
    • First of all, there's the battle between Pikachu and Clemont's Bunnelby. Most battles at the beginning of various sagas tend to "reset" Pikachu's power level so to speak, but this makes up for it by making it clear that Ash and Clemont are both experienced trainers and having Bunnelby be powerful in his own right. The battle receives a notable Animation Bump and hits its climax when Bunnelby catches Pikachu's Iron Tail with its ears...only for Ash and Pikachu to reveal they were ready for that and use Electro Ball.
    • Then Team Rocket shows up, and we get the return of Wobbuffet. Though usually played up as Plucky Comic Relief, Wobbuffet marks his return in spectacular fashion by handily tanking Pikachu's Thunderbolt and reflecting it back with Mirror Coat. However, this is zig-zagged when Ash and Pikachu get right back in the game despite the latter's serious wounds.
    • Finally, we get the end of the battle, after Froakie makes his appearance and, despite Taking the Bullet from a second Mirror Coat reflection, turns the tide by using the foam from his cape to disable Wobbuffet and helps Bunnelby and Pikachu to give Team Rocket one of their most spectacular blast offs yet.
    • Froakie being one of the few protagonists to ever recognize Team Rocket in one of their disguises, even though he had only run into them once.
    • Ash, Pikachu, and Froakie breaking Garchomp free from the malfunctioning control device around its neck. And keep in mind, we're talking about a pseudo/semi-legendary which created headaches for game players since Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
    • A Mega Blaziken showing up out of nowhere to save Ash and Pikachu from a devastating fall.
  • XY007 unexpectedly subverts the usual formula - instead of Ash doing most of the heroics and his friends being in more of a supporting role, his traveling companions are the ones to save the day. That includes Clemont (normally shown to be physically inept) being the first to arrive on the scene and smashing Team Rocket's remote with a rock, Bunnelby singlehandedly stopping Team Rocket in their tracks, and Serena commanding Fennekin in battle for the first time. Even Bonnie gets to help out by untying Ash, who had been rendered helpless prior.
  • XY is pretty good about giving the supporting characters moments of heroism - see, for example, XY044, when Froakie, Clemont (with Chespin), and Serena (with Fenekin) take out team Rocket in a matter of seconds so they don't interrupt Ash's battle with Korrina.
  • In "Pathways to Performance Partnering!", Chespin and Pancham perform a flawless tag battle entirely of their own accord after spending most of the episode quarreling with one another.
  • Serena and Bonnie defeating Team Rocket on their own when they are separated from Ash and Clemont.
  • XY063 has both groups getting together to defeat the Pokemon hunter. After the hunter's Rhyperior is stunned by Wobbuffet's Counter, Jessie's Pumpkaboo, James' Inkay, Ash's Pikachu, and Serena's Fennekin, all combine for a quadruple combo attack that faints the Rhyperior and the hunter.

Sun and Moon

  • When Litten, Popplio, and Rowlet are captured by Team Rocket, Litten tricks the trio into releasing them, upon which Popplio traps them inside bubbles and Rowlet (while still restrained!) sends them flying into the air. Popplio and Litten follow up with additional attacks that give Team Rocket their first blast off in the Alola region, without any trainer input whatsoever!
  • Brock and Misty coming back. And to top it off, they now have Mega Evolution! It gets even better: at one point in the second half of their arc, they strike poses similar to those from their first game appearances, and Brock even goes one step further by taking his shirt off for the first time in 20 years!
  • In SM054, Rowlet tag teams with Steenee to perform a move which involves Steenee kicking Rowlet to give it a speed boost as Rowlet flies toward the target with full power. Lana dubs this move "Rowlaunch".
  • The first time the Ultra Guardians set out for an Ultra Beast mission in SM061.

    Supporting Characters/Miscellaneous 

General

  • Meta: The fact that the original dubs were so close to the original Japanese scripts (you can see this by comparing the dubbed episodes to their subbed counterparts). After seeing a lot of anime dubs that have changed huge sections of the scripts, often to detrimental effect, it's awesome that the dubbers on this show put so much effort into making faithful translations.
    • Another meta: The fact that the popularity of the first few seasons is probably why anime is so popular beyond Japan nowadays. Kids who watched it when they were little are now fans of other shows as adults (In fact, this troper has often heard the show referred to as “Baby’s first anime”, along side the likes of Teen Titans, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Studio Ghibli movies)

  • Anytime a Champion or an Elite Four member is in a Pokemon Battle on-screen against anyone who isn't a fellow Champion or Elite Four member. Expect the person they are battling to be most likely creamed by their skillful and powerful Pokemon with their opponent to be even lucky to knock out one of their pokemon with any of their pokemon they have let alone landing a scratch. As mentioned before, Alain is the only non-Elite Four and non-Champion on-screen to defeat an Elite Four member and that wasn't easy.

  • Any time a Pokémon evolves can count.

Original Series

  • One-shot character Giselle from the first season earned herself a status as Ensemble Dark Horse for the following reasons: all of her advice, in spite of the harsh and back-handed way she gives it, is spot-on and useful; her Graveler annihilated Misty's Starmie with one hit in spite of the type disadvatage, and that was after pointing out said Pokemon was stronger than average; and she's the only female character about whom Ash ever showed attraction (Although this may be an example of Early Installment Weirdness on Ash's part as his Oblivious to Love character trait hadn't caught on at that point).
    • One for her back-handed advice: it netted Ash a badge. You see, in Giselle's episode Pikachu didn't have non-electric attacks yet, something Giselle both criticized immediately before taking shamelessly advantage of, but five episodes later Pikachu would use Quick Attack against Surge's Raichu to win.
  • The Gastly from The Ghost Of Maiden's Peak. It fools everybody with its illusions, spellbinds Brock and James, and in its debut battle, after shrugging off a blast from a bazooka, he owns everyone at the same time - defeating Pikachu by creating a giant, living, mouse trap; defeating Meowth by giving him a ball to play with; defeating Ekans by creating a giant (real world) mongoose; defeating Koffing by having a gas-mask wearing anteater stomping on him; defeating Charmander by turning into a fire extinguisher, and the cherry on top of the cake? Gastly defeated Bulbasaur and Squirtle simultaneously by creating a Blastoise and a Venusaur, and then, just for kicks, combining them together, creating "Venustoise". Epic. And do you know why he did it? Because he wanted to make sure people remember a 2000 year old legend. Badass all the way.
  • One that always stood out among the Indigo League was Ash vs. Blaine. Pikachu has just defeated Rhydon with the "Aim for the Horn" nonsense, and Ash is confident Pikachu can beat whatever Blaine sends out. Cue Magmar rising out a pool of lava beneath the gym with some of the most epic music in the entire series playing. Then cue Curb-Stomp Battle that nearly ends with Pikachu falling into the same lava pit.
  • Hey, there's a HUMAN CMOA in "A Chansey Operation". The ER Doc (Dr. Proctor) awakens after being drugged and he proceeds to scold Team Rocket. The CMOA comes when Jesse throws a glass bottle at him and he knocks the bottle aside with a surgical tool without skipping a beat and opens his labcoat to reveal a load of other tools, prompting this response...
    James: That's quite an arsenal.
  • In the episode Clefairy Tales, a bunch of Clefairy angered Jigglypuff by stealing its marker microphone. Later, when Jigglypuff caught up with the band of Clefairy, it single-handedly Doubleslapped all of them down with righteous fury.
  • In "The Kangaskhan Kid", when Team Rocket's Kangaskhan mecha (which is now on fire) starts chasing Ash and his friends, the parents of Tommy (the eponymous Kangaskhan Kid) crash their helicopter into the mecha, destroying both vehicles in a big explosion. It seems like they pulled off a Heroic Sacrifice, but his parents survive and join their son.
  • Gary's Umbreon gets one in its first post-evolution appearance. Ash and friends arrive just in time to watch its battle with an Alakazam - or, rather, said Alakazam gets its ass kicked. Keep in mind that at this point in the anime, Psychic-types were still depicted to be nigh-unstoppable to the point of near-omnipotence — but then Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors kicks in, making Umbreon completely immune to Psychic.
    • Most people use the Johto League Silver Conference fight as a Moment of Awesome for Ash, but Gary earned a ton of credit too. Starting the match by having Nidoqueen catch Tauros by the horns mid-charge and then beating him with a point blank hyper beam is a very good example. There's a reason that Gary still had half his team left when Ash was down to one (though it was unfortunate that that one was Charizard.
  • Surge's Raichu utterly destroying Pikachu, who up until that point had won nearly every battle it was in. Five words: "Give 'em the big finale!"
  • In the early episodes in Kanto, there was a gym leader named Sabrina. Ash fought her, and he was beaten without a thought by a Kadabra who had evolved at the start of the match. Then, Ash and co were shrunken and left at the mercy of said gym leader. So Ash tries getting a Ghost Pokémon, but that didn't keep Sabrina from turning Misty and Brock into dolls, and terrifying Ash and all his Pokémon so horribly that only Pikachu was crazy enough to fight her. And, naturally, not only did Pikachu lose, but literally nothing Ash or Pikachu did left even a small scratch on Kadabra. Ash only won because Sabrina started laughing, and so only bringing Haunter to Saffron City prevented the entire ordeal from being a "Shaggy Dog" Story (ending the anime itself on a Downer Ending). Say what you will about her, but Sabrina IS a crowning moment of awesome.
  • The Ash vs. Drake battle is a Moment of Awesome for Dragonite. It had ten attacks just to make it seem unstoppable, and defeated three of Ash's Pokemon (including Charizard) before going down.
  • While it wasn't Misty's Psyduck (much to everyone's disappointment), a wild Golduck shows its value during "Bye Bye Psyduck", using Psychic on Team Rocket with a single claw, and then letting off with one hell of a Hyper Beam...
  • Character of the day Pietra manages her own in "Right on Rhydon". After spending an entire episode chasing a surfing Rhydon around the countryside, having it divert the attacks of four water types at once, and saving it from Team Rocket, Pietra continues to demand it let her battle it. When it goes to swim off again, Pietra grabs on to the giant pokemon and doesn't let go even after it dives into the lake, only giving up when it reaches shore after attempting to buck her out of the water a few times. After that, it relents and gives her a battle.
  • Absolutely everything about one-time character Orville the Pidgey. The episode is all about Orville achieving his lifelong dream, which just so happens to involve flying into space. The premise is every bit as ridiculous and scientifically impossible as it sounds, but its so Crazy Awesome that it's hard to hold a grudge.
  • Butch and Cassidy's second scheme involved using a Drowzee to mind control Pokémon. When amplified via a machine, it gave them complete control of every Pokémon on the island, and they used all of them against Jessie, James, and Ash and friends. Ash destroyed the machine powering Drowzee, but Butch ordered it to bounce its Hypnosis off of a satellite dish and control everyone again. Only Togepi's Metronome saved the day.
  • Harrison gets one for being the first league trainer to beat Ash in a tournament without inconvenient rules. And even then, he still had to work for that victory, especially against Charizard.
  • In the video games, Gym Leader Falkner is a pushover Starter Villain. His anime equivalent had a much stronger team and pushed Ash to the very limit in their match. Notably, Falkner forced Ash to use his most powerful pokemon in Pikachu and Charizard to even stand a chance. If Ash hadn't pulled an Indy Ploy at the last moment to turn Falkner's tactics back against him, Falkner would have won the battle.

Advanced Generation

  • The Breloom leader in "A Shroomish Skirmish" gets a moment. After seeing what Combusken can do (being sent into the wall of the canyon they're in by a Peck attack, then being smashed in the face with a Sky Uppercut), it proposes that they settle it hand-to-hand. One of the few instances on the show where an evolution doesn't mean a Curb-Stomp Battle. This Breloom is faced with an evolved Pokémon and it doesn't back down or suddenly undergo Badass Decay, it fights and fights well, managing to Cross Counter with Combusken to draw their fight.
  • Professor Cozmo helping Ash foil Team Magma's plans at Mt. Chimney. Considering how utterly helpless he is in the games, this was a nice change. Sadly, it also comes with a minor tear jerker since the only way he could foil Team Magma was to throw their laser into the volcano, also getting rid of the meteorite with it, deciding the meteor was better off in no hands than the wrong hands.
  • Ash vs. Tyson could be considered this. As far as Diabolus ex Machina trainers go in leagues, most of them tend to have at least one thing holding them back (sleeping equals KO for Ritchie, Tobias had legendaries, and Cameron speaks for himself). Tyson, however, had a perfectly balanced team and felt like more of an equal to Ash in terms of skill as a trainer. Both of them had to use their wits and their Pokémons' strengths to their advantage, outdoing each other at every turn. Heck, Ash even manages to take down a Metagross, a feat later replicated in Kalos. The kicker, however, is the climactic fight between Pikachu and Meowth; if Ash and Tyson weren't equals already, then this fight more than proved it. The two kept going at it, with both of them eventually bring one another near defeat and the rest of the battle playing out like the end to Goku vs. Master Roshi, with the first to get up being the winner and Meowth being the one to do it. Tyson earned his championship that day.

Diamond and Pearl

  • Saturn's (a member of Team Galactic) Toxicroak got its Moment of Awesome in "Losing Its Lustrous". Sending Brock's Croagunk crashing through a glass ceiling straight to the floor is awesome enough...but then (in one of the most spectacularly animated parts of the entire anime), it dives down through the aformentioned ceiling and delivers a forceful and extremely painful-looking Poison Jab straight to Croagunk's gut...awesome. Hell, Croagunk's even out cold for most of the following episode!
    • Toxicroak's introduction was a moment of awesome for both him and Saturn. Saturn calls it out to attack Team Rocket WHILE THEY'RE RECITING THEIR MOTTO!
  • Much of Saikou Everyday counts, especially the parts with the legendary Pokémon.
  • Early in the Sinnoh arc, Ash and Dawn challenge the B-Button League, who refuse to evolve their Joke Character Magikarp and Feebas. The most glorious moment a Magikarp ever experienced.
  • Brandon's battle with Paul in "A Pyramiding Rage" is very cathartic for those of us who got really tired of the purple-haired jerk. Said jerk challenges Brandon (without defeating the rest of the Frontier Brains like Ash did). Brandons accepts a six-on-six full battle and proceeds to decimate Paul's team with just his Regis, not losing a single one (even with repeated type disadvantages) and one-shoting several of them. And he spends the entire time mocking Paul and his "might equals right" philosophy. And this also spells out how awesome Ash is since he beat Brandon.
  • The end of the Zoey vs. Nando match in the Sinnoh Grand Festival. Mismagius' Psywave created HUGE BATTLE WINGS for Leafeon to assist the battle with a winning Aerial Ace. That episode alone defined Zoey and Nando as two of the best Coordinators the anime has ever seen. Even if Zoey won, this is one of the only battles where it's a CMoA for both Trainers, not just the winner. Even Fantina acknowledged it.
  • As far as rivals are concerned, Zoey winning the Grand Festival is an awesome moment, as she's as of now the only major rival to ever win a major competition.
  • At the end of Barry's losing battle with Paul, his Empoleon takes Electivire's Thunder directly and faints standing up. Indeed, the fact that he was able to actually give Paul a challenge (Curb-Stomp Battle or not) counts, and he even gets Paul to compliment him on a good battle. Considering that until then, Paul has had nothing but contempt for people that lost to him, that's BIG.
  • A Bibarel gets one in Bibarel Gnaws Best by breaking free from a cage made out of material shown capable of withstanding the combined attacks of Chimchar, Buizel, Turtwig, and Sudowoodo (a combination that previously broke and carved up rock) with ONLY ITS TEETH. It also attacks a Rhydon, standing up to it as well as a Magmar, Aggron, and Metang all at once. Considering the situation, it didn't do too badly, either. Granted, it still needed Ash and co's Pokémon to help it out of that jam, but that beaver's got guts.
  • Let's give Paul's Pokémon some credit. They thoroughly destroyed Ash in their first full battle, with his Ursaring taking out three of his Pokémon single-handedly. Also, despite Paul's brutal training methods, they were visibly upset when he lost to Ash.
  • The battle on TV between Cynthia and Flint in "Memories Are Made of Bliss". Flint actually puts up an impressive fight, hitting Cynthia's Garchomp multiple times with Close Combat and Mach Punch.
  • Despite his extremely limited screentime, Nando managed two moments that were pretty awesome in their own right: getting eight badges and five ribbons in time to qualify for both the Grand Festival AND the Sinnoh League, and staying completely calm under false arrest and interrogation in "A Secret Sphere of Influence". When Ash and friends expressed shock at seeing him as a suspect in the theft of the Adamant Orb, he cheerfully greeted them like it was nothing, even expressing that he was innocent in his typical sing song voice.
  • The DP: Galactic Battles episode "Stealing The Conversation" had an Officer Jenny take down criminals using only her Chatot and bowling balls.
  • Everything about Hunter J herself was class-5 badass. In her first episode, she wipes out Ash and co., steals Pikachu successfully, annihilates Team Rocket to the point that she won’t even let them do their motto and then takes off in her helicarrier. Ash and co. sneak on board, helped by Team Rocket, because there’s utterly no question of who the real villain is here, and when Hunter J notices, she jettisons the entire room while they are hundreds of feet in the air, not even caring about the lives of her own men still in it.

Black and White

  • Club Battle arc character Luke gets one when he uses a Larvesta to handily beat Cilan's Stunfisk.
  • In "Ash versus The Champion", Alder stops a charging Gigalith, then picks it up and throws it. Keep in mind Gigalith weigh roughly 600 pounds.
    • In the World Tournament Junior Cup, Trip makes it to the finals, where he can battle his former hero, the Unova League Champion Alder. Confident he can win due to Alder's apparent lack of focus, he uses his Serperior, who had swept the competition beforehand. Serperior blasts Alder's Bouffalant with everything it has...to nearly no effect. Alder tells Trip that his strategy is impressive, but not enough to defeat a Champion. His Bouffalant then KOs Serperior in a single hit.
  • The Clubsplosion arc has two — Trip being Hoist by His Own Petard by Bianca of all trainers, and Stephan winning the whole tournament by beating Montgomery's Throh with his Sawk.
  • We finally see Giovanni's Persian fight. It overpowers Pikachu with ease.
    • Giovanni taking a oversized Electro Ball by Pikachu at close distance and not having a scratch on him despite said attack disintegrating the spot he was standing on.
  • Ash may have won his gym battle with Roxie, but Roxie earned a few of these in that match, nearly winning in spite of her team being outnumbered two to one. In particular, showing how a competent Koffing fights, Garbodor defeating Pignite (who had been freshly cured of being poisoned moments ago) using only non-poison moves, and dealing a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Pikachu, only being defeated after the activation of Static.
  • After suffering a Curb-Stomp Battle against Iris' Dragonite, Georgia does the sensible thing and calls her out on her cheap win, saying she didn't lose to Iris, but only to Dragonite.

XY

  • The English opening to the X and Y season is a love letter to the fans from the very beginning.
  • Pretty much every battle in the Mega Evolution specials. Considering that it's Mega Charizard X vs other Mega Evolutions like Mega Absol, Mega Garchomp, Mega Blastoise and Mega Metagross in high speed, high power battles it's pretty much a given. The battle with Mega Metagross is especially awesome since Charizard shrugs off getting literally punched through a cliff and Metagross itself tanks Charizard's Blast Burn which should be weak against.
    • Act 3 has Steven and Alain face against Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon.
    • Then comes Act 4, where Alain becomes the first character whose name isn't Cynthia to defeat a member of the ELITE FOUR!
  • In "Facing The Grand Design" we come across a group of benevolent Malamar watching over a forest just next to the recurring evil Malamars' current scheme. When the latter discover them interacting with the heroes, they decide it would be a fun idea to blast the forest and all the innocent Pokemon they watch over. This wasn't their wisest strategy....
  • Despite their limited screen time in the series, Sawyer, Tierno, Trevor, and Shauna saving civilians when Team Flare attacks is definitely awesome.
  • Steven's portion of the counterattack on Team Flare. He rides in on Mega Metagross, saving Serena, Marin, and Team Rocket from Team Flare's attempt to shoot them down. He effortlessly defeats every single Flare agent trying to oppose him, researchers and grunts alike. He casually forces the grunts fighting Serena to recall their team by having Metagross pull them into the air. Steven is NOT happy about Team Flare conning him, and he's showing them just what a Champion's Mega Evolved Pokemon can do.
  • Clembot gets a few during the Team Flare arc: evicting Xerosic from the Lumiose Gym by opening a trapdoor beneath him and willingly performing a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the machine controlling Zygarde.
  • In Pokemon XY and Z episodes 42 - 43 "The Megalith Advances! Kalos' Defense Line!!" and "Zygarde Fights Back! The Final Battle for Kalos!!" which concludes the Team Flare arc and premieres in Japan as a 1-hour special, we are treated to awesome things happening at once:
    • The Kalos Gym Leaders, Diantha, Professor Sycamore, Blaziken Mask, Steven, Malva, and even Team Rocket join forces with Ash and the gang to battle against the Megalith Zygarde.
    • Squishy and Z2 combine into Zygarde Complete to finish the fight and save the Kalos region.

Sun and Moon

  • Bewear. Seriously, It just nonchalantly picks up and carries Team Rocket in every episode they appear in, can run on water as of SM005, and makes a very shonen-esque entrance in SM006. It's official: Bewear is now this show's resident Memetic Badass.
  • More of a Meta- moment of awesome, but Episode 21 is already receiving praise for its excellent handling of the subjects of death and mourning in a kids' show, all without ever explicitly stating Stoutland died.
    • Another one is in episode 108. The combined gratitude from Mallow and her late mother's reconciliation is great enough and makes so many Gracidea flowers bloom it attracts the Gratitude Pokemon itself, Shaymin.
  • In Gladion's debut episode, his Lycanroc takes down a sailor's Blastoise effortlessly, and he even comes with a Z-Move: specifically, Continental Crush.
    • Silvally finally breaking its mask and saving Lillie from Faba. Not the first time either — it had also saved her when she was attacked by Nihilego.
      • And what makes the above moment extra special is that it takes place during the 1000th episode!
  • Gladion gets another awesome moment in SM050 when he stands in front of Lillie and Lusamine as Nihilego, who's been summoned a second time by Faba, closes in on him. His devotion to his family is so strong that he's willing to let himself be abducted if it means his sister and mother are safe.
  • The long-awaited anime debut of Nebby. In-series, the others also think Nebby's birth was pretty awesome when they finally see what Ash dreamt about several episodes later.
    • Nebby evolving into Solgaleo, and Ash using his new Z Power Ring to use Searing Sunraze Smash in SM052.
  • Professor Kukui has a moment in SM052 when he and his Braviary save Professor Burnet and her Munchlax from the pack of Jangmo-o and Hakamo-o that were part of the previous episode's trial.
  • Samson Oak most of the time comes across as a pun-spouting loon. In SM056 however, we see his wit in action. Not only is his Komala a demon in battle, curb stomping both Ash's Litten and Kiawe's Turtonator, but Samson later figures out a plan how to deal with the rampaging Jigglypuff...by teaching it Sing as well. For an extra bonus, Komala even lulls Jigglypuff to sleep and draws on its face. Even Jigglypuff is impressed.
  • Guzma's debut fight in SM115, his Golisopod vs Ash and Pikachu. It's an absolute Curb-Stomp Battle in Guzma's favor. What's especially impressive is that Golisopod gets hit with Thunderbolt, essentially Pikachu's Signature Move in the anime, and tanks it. Tanking Thunderbolt is doubly impressive considering Thunderbolt is Super Effective against it. Not even Ash and Pikachu busting out a Z-Move gets through Golisopod's defense, in the end only managing to get one hit in with Quick Attack. They technically win the fight due to Golisopod backing out with its Emergency Exit ability; however, as Guzma explains, it's not because Golisopod was afraid of losing. It's because in its eyes Ash and Pikachu were so weak it lost interest.

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