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    Ash Ketchum (Satoshi) 
Voiced in Japanese by: Rica Matsumoto
Voiced in English by: Veronica Taylor (4Kids), Kayzie Rogers (10 year anniversary pilot, PUSA, credited as "Jamie Peacock"), Sarah Natochenny (current)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Gabriel Ramos (Seasons 1-12), Irwin Daayán (last episodes of season 11), Miguel Ángel Leal (Season 13-current), Pablo Gandolfo (Movies Jirachi: Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys), Alan Fernando Velásquez (Movie Arceus and the Jewel of Life), Rommy Mendoza (younger, flashback in Season 12)
Voiced in European French by: Aurélien Ringelheim, Charles Pestel (Movies Pokémon 4Ever and Destiny Deoxys)
Voiced in Brazilian Portuguese by: Fábio Lucindo (Seasons 1-18), Charles Emmanuel (current)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alolaash.png

Click here to see Ash's XY outfit 

Click here to see Ash's BW outfit 

Click here to see Ash's DP outfit 

Click here to see Ash's AG outfit 

Click here to see Ash's Original outfit 

The hero of the series. Hailing from Kanto region's Pallet Town, Ash is a brave young boy full of energy and passion who lets nothing stand in the way of his dream To Be A Pokémon Master. On his journey, Ash is joined by several Pokémon and human companions whose friendships help him grow and mature as a trainer. Ash is nevertheless quite naïve and immature in many regards, but that won't stop him from being the best. Yes, like no one ever was.


All Series

  • The Ace: Ash is this during the XY series, at least in relation to his traveling companions. He is a much more powerful trainer than they are, is by far the one who handles things best in a crisis, large or small, and is in much better shape than them. Not to mention they all look up to him. It's downplayed in that he is still Book Dumb and doesn't master everything right away, but this series is still by far the smartest and most mature he's ever been. Sun and Moon tones down this characteristic a fair deal, though he's still often this in regards to his expertise in battling and bonding with Pokémon.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Contrary to fan belief, Ash is the anime incarnation of the trainer protagonist from Pokémon Red and Blue. That trainer would later be known as Red, although he was originally going to be called "Satoshi" early onnote . Since the beginning of the Advanced series however, two incarnations began to diverge more in appearance and personality.
  • Adorkable: While the level varies from series to series, Ash is often depicted as clumsy and absent minded in spite of his competence.
  • Aesop Amnesia: How many times did Ash learn not to underestimate any trainer or Pokémon or be overconfident only to make the same mistake the next episode?
  • All-Loving Hero:
    • He has befriended almost every Pokémon, even those that had antagonistic ambition beforehand. Since so many trust and look up to him, and he can often empathise and understand their feelings, he can be considered a successful Pokémon Master in at least one regard.
    • Frequently has sympathetic moments with Team Rocket, despite them constantly trying to snatch his best friend. Even after Meowth betrays him, Ash says he'll always treasure their time together, and despite constantly delivering whoop ass to his team afterwards, he tends to keep giving them the benefit of doubt.
    • Faba tried to abduct Lillie and erase her memories and kidnapped, but he and Lillie forgive him when he apologizes.
  • Almighty Janitor: After finishing the Battle Frontier, Ash was offered the position of a Frontier Brain, but declined it in favor of his journey, although he can still take up Scott's offer later.
    • His current treatment as a "rookie" trainer also counts; as detailed below, in his young age he has already competed in so many competitions already, and had the experience for it as well.
    • Deconstructed in Kalos, where very few sell his abilities short. Most seem completely dumbstruck by all the heroics he and Pikachu perform in just the first few days they've arrived there.
  • Always Second Best: When the regional conference comes around, you can expect him to do well - perhaps make the quarter finals, or the semi finals if he is lucky - but never actually win. Then again, it could just be the writers deliberately parodying the trope, with Tobias and his team of Legendaries in the Sinnoh League and Cameron's Riolu, not only beating Unfezant, but evolving into a Lucario to beat Snivy and Pikachu in Unova.
    • Ash did win a league in Season 2, where he did manage to defeat the Orange League Champion. He also managed to conquer the Kanto Battle Frontier, but that is generally regarded as a separate venue from a Pokémon league.
    • In the Alola league, this is averted. Ash wins the Pokémon League in the Sun and Moon series, becoming the first ever Alola League Champion in the process.
  • Always Someone Better: Ash is the one on the pedestal during the XY series, setting the bar that most of his rivals try to measure up to. Even the one who Ash eventually loses to in the Kalos League Finals realizes in the end that, between the two of them, Ash is the better trainer, especially after the Team Flare crisis.
  • Amusing Injuries: Ash is a frequent victim of this, especially in the original series, Unova, and Alola. He had them downplayed in Hoenn, and in Sinnoh and Kalos they're a fairly minor part of his role.
    • Thus far, this trope has been one of Ash's defining traits in Alola—just how many times he gets beat up, electrocuted, burnt, trampled, etc.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Ash has changed his clothes and appearance a few times in the past, but his Unova outfit seems to change his very character design, such as his eyes.
    • XY makes a few more changes in Ash's character design. His hair is much longer, with sideburns overlapping his ears in the same vein as Red's, his teeth are now more visible, his body frame is thinner and slightly taller note , and his fingers have actual fingernails.
  • Artistic Age: Although officially confirmed to be always 10 years old since the start of the anime, some of Ash's character designs have a tendency to make him look much older, much like the direction Sugimori was taking in the games' art style starting in Generation III. The most notable is his design from the XY series, note  which gives him a thinner frame, extra hair tuffs overlapping his ears, and sharper edges. Consequently, Ash looks like he's between 12-16 years old rather than 10. Defied in Sun and Moon, which intentionally redesigns Ash to look like an actual 10 year old.
  • Ash Face: Ash's recalcitrant Charizard always fries him with Flamethrower several times; every time Charizard returns to the main group, this is his way of saying hello to his trainer. This used to be how Charizard showed his disrespect, but now it is his way of showing affection. Torkoal and Pignite are known for invoking this trope as well, again out of affection.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Ash is somehow convinced by May to dress up as a girl during one Hoenn episode, and does it so well, Brock forgets what's going on! Hilarity Ensues.
    • This is a Running Gag where Ash will dress as a girl at least once per saga (except for XY), each time against his wishes - EP026, AG042, DP062, BW098, and SM068.
    • Ironically, during the Bell of Wishes Festival in BW071, Ash was the only participant to pick out a male to cosplay (Alder), while both Cilan and Stephan needed to crossdress (as Elesa and Nurse Joy, respectively!)
  • Aura Vision: He inexplicably has the ability to see Aura, hinting some sort of connection between him and Sir Aaron and Lucario, heroes of Cameron Palace. He doesn't really have any idea how to USE it, though. Not that it matters, because it never shows up.
  • Back from the Dead: If anyone is counting, Ash has died at least five times and has been resurrected by Pokémon each time.
  • Badass Adorable: He's capable of using Aura, he shows superhuman reflexes, he's punched a legendary Pokémon in the face...and he's only 10 years old! so cute!
  • Badass Normal: When using his Pokémon fails, Ash will resort to using his own athleticism and persistence to save the day.
  • Badass Unintentional: While Ash isn't exactly reluctant to saving the day, his main priority in life has always to become a Pokémon Master and win the leagues. His repeated attempts to do so have left him and Pikachu with tons of experience and prowess, meaning more often than not they end up being called upon to stop whatever dilemma occurs their direction. Often those witnessing it find this far more remarkable than he ever does.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Briefly turns into a Pikachu in "Hocus Pokémon".
  • The Battle Didn't Count: He actually tells this to Trip when he refuses to battle him a second time and says that Pikachu wasn't up to the task when they first battled. Regardless, no one but the audience believes him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • His hat the first time it was stolen. Ironically, the thief also turned out to be The Berserker.
      • Don't take his hat, even if you are just joking (his Aipom did this, and Ash was less than pleased).
    • Don't insult his relationship with Pikachu either - ESPECIALLY don't tell him that Pikachu abandoned him or vice versa. Just look at Movie 8.
    • Don't call him a coward.
    • In laters seasons, insulting his training skills or his maturity level gets him heated.
    • Similarly to May, he won't take it well if food is taken from him. The Deino in "The Lonely Deino" learned this the hard way.
      Ash: ('sporting a furious look with Pikachu on his shoulders with sharp fangs) Nothing ticks me off more than stealing my food!
  • Betty and Veronica: In the Orange Islands episode where the trio meet Rudy, Misty is Archie, Ash is Betty and Rudy is Veronica when Rudy tries to flirt with Misty and Ash gets jealous.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ash is a usually pleasant guy, but pissing him off usually yields ugly results.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Sometimes to a Character of the Day, but most notably towards both May and Max - Not Allowed to Grow Up aside, he was always ready to dispense some personal advice and assistance to the Petalburg siblings, and it's clear that both of them look up to him as a veteran trainer. Ash also seemed to take responsibility for their well-being: the first time May lost a Contest, he lamented that he should've spent more time teaching her, and during the time she pushed her Bulbasaur too hard (and lost for a second time), he was patient and forgiving even while she was acting like a brat. With Max, he seems to be an honorary big brother, since the boy is quick to point out Ash's lack of 'book smarts' (so to speak), yet whenever the party splits up, he and Max (more often than not) are teamed up.
    • He fills the role to Bonnie in XY. Although he travels with both her and her older brother Clemont, he bonds with her over her love of Pokémon and lets her take care of his Pokémon to help her prepare for being a trainer someday.
    • His Big Brother Instinct is especially prominent with Lillie in Sun and Moon. He becomes quite active in helping her become a trainer and overcome her phobia of touching Pokémon (even becoming uncharacteristically morose when he almost regressed it), and when she runs away with Gladion in an attempt to rescue her mother from Ultra Space, Ash makes a beeline to assist her, ignoring Gladion's insistence that he stay out of it.
  • Big Brother Worship: Ash is like this to Clemont, always squeeing over whatever invention he has created using science, despite his track record of them exploding. Ironically it's two way since Clemont, due to his geeky disposition, is in awe over many of Ash's physical feats.
    • Clemont even began traveling with Ash because of how much he admires him and wanted to emulate him feeling like it'd make him a stronger gym leader, Clemont even shortly separated from the team to go to Lumiose City alone because he wanted to train for their upcoming gym battle so he could give Ash the battle he deserved.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Pulls this off twice in Sun and Moon, both times to rescue Lillie; the first was when she jumped to save Snowy, and he used Rowlet's Leafage to stop her from hitting the ground. The second was when he had Pikachu use Electro Ball to stop the ceiling from falling on top of Lillie and Gladion in Totem Kommo-o's lair.
  • Big Eater: Oh, boy. If there's one thing he loves as much as Pokémon and battling, it's food. This was also somewhat lampshaded in the mid-Advanced Generation episodes, where after a bunch of episodes where he's shown pigging out, he started to get a little chubby.
    • In an early Kanto episode, when a gang of kleptomaniac Clefairy stole everyone's stuff, he was more upset about losing his ice cream than his backpack.
    • In XY, Ash asks Serena what he should gift his Pokémon. She responds they would like whatever he would. Ash gets them a mountain of berries to eat.
    • In Sun and Moon, Snowy actually picks up his eating habits after staying with him for a weekend.
  • Big Word Shout: "PIKACHU!!!!!!!!"
  • Blood Knight: Ash is almost always eager for battles, especially gym battles. A good example of this was when he challenged Cilan, Chili, and Cress when he was not required to do so.
  • Blue Is Heroic: He is The Hero and all of his main outfits have something blue on them. Despite being based on Trainer Red from the games, he is associated with the color blue among his teammates in each arc.
  • Book Dumb: Give him a written test on Pokémon or ask him what moves a given Pokémon learns, etc. and he'll fail every time. Battle him, on the other hand, and the opponent will find themselves going up against a skilled trainer. The Sun & Moon series shows him being fully aware of this; when struggling with an assignment he was given, he tells Professor Kukui that he thinks it would be better if Lillie or Sophocles did it instead.
  • Book-Ends: The sighting of Ho-Oh during the original series; he and Pikachu first saw it after fending off a Spearow flock in the first episode, and they see Ho-oh again in the final episodes, right before he makes his decision to go to Hoenn.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase:
    • In late Sinnoh and early Unova, Ash used Dawn's catchphrase, "No need to worry."
    • In a few occasions, he calls Iris a kid when the latter teases him.
  • Brains and Brawn: Almost always Brawn. While Ash isn't stupid per se and can often think up good strategies on his own, often his main strength is the power and agility of his Pokemon (and sometimes even himself). Very often one of the companions will be more educated in the situation at hand, with Ash providing raw power for them to direct. Brock, Clemont and Sophocles in particular effectively play Brains to Ash on occasion.
  • Break the Haughty: Whenever Ash begins to feel too overconfident about his skills, this is what tends to happen. Most notable example is the Indigo League where Ash, despite doing little to no training or even heeding his friends' advice, had a surprising winning streak that easily allowed him to reach into the Top 16, and Ash continuously boasts of how he's going to win it. Then he is forced into a situation where he had to use his disobedient Charizard in front of the whole audience. The results had him tearfully reflect upon his own failures alone, setting up his eventual recovery as a true Pokémon Trainer.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Particularly in the Sun & Moon series. Despite his hyperactive and childish demeanor, he's far and away the most experienced trainer among his friends, with only Kiawe coming close.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Serena is just one of many (perhaps the first, maybe) people that Ash gave a helping hand to, in spite of Serena holding that memory fondly. That, and Serena never actually got to tell him her name.
  • Butt-Monkey: Especially in the Kanto, Unova, and Alola sagas.
    • Expanding on Kanto, hardly anything went Ash's way. Even though he could be overconfident, there are times he is given a very hard time for minor infractions, such as Misty's burned bike and his comment on Erika's perfume. Speaking of Misty, he gained a rather critical travelling companion who barely had any respect for him at the beginning, with another somewhat more supportive travel mate (Brock) only making things slightly better, both only being supportive around half the time. People commented on what a bad trainer he was despite the fact he was just starting out. Even his own Pokémon only had respect for him around half the time and when they didn't, it cost him dearly, such as with his Charizard. It was only when Ash headed for the Orange Islands that things started to look up for Ash.
    • This seems to be a defining trait for him in the Alola Region. Whether it's being burned, frozen, electrocuted, or whacked by blunt force, it's rare for Ash to escape any physical slapstick abuse.
  • Catchphrase:
    • He'll usually call out a Pokémon's name and say "I choose you!" ("kimi ni kimeta") or "Go, (Pokémon's name)" before sending it into battle.
    • His other frequently used, but rather underrated catchphrase is "I'm Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town" ("Ore, Masara Town no Satoshi"). He'll almost always follow that up with "And this is my partner, Pikachu" ("Koitsu wa aibou, Pikachu"). It's used most often when Ash introduces himself to somebody new.
    • He would say "it's Paul/Trip" when he encounters his rivals.
    • In XY, he'll say "Wow, science is so amazing!" every time Clemont brings out one of his inventions.
  • Character Development:
    • Ash is initially brash and naïvely overconfident, but by the time of the Johto League he has grown into The Hero, valuing teamwork and loyalty above all else. Also, in some of the earlier episodes, mostly Kanto, he blows off training on a few occasions. However, starting in Johto, and especially noticeable from Hoenn onward, he is much more focused and more willing to blow off doing something fun in order to train. Several episodes show him training his Pokémon, whether preparing for Gym Battles, teaching them new moves, or exercising the ones they already know.
    • When Ash and Gary finally returned to Pallet Town after acquiring enough Badges to qualify for the Indigo League, Gary mockingly gave Ash some advice to show how superior he was over Ash. That advice was team rotations and analyzing the opponent's moves before choosing your Pokémon. Later seasons would show that Ash had taken that advice to heart (if so maybe subconsciously). In Unova, Ash caught too many Pokémon again, but this time he actually rotate his team members, which is a huge improvement of what he did in Kanto. In some Gym Battles, especially apparent in the Kalos ones, Ash would analyze the Gym Leader's strategy beforehand or during the battle and then develop a countermeasure to deal with them, choosing the right Pokémon to do the job. His improved relationship with Gary is also shown as Ash doesn't hesitate to take Gary's (honest) advices, such as evolving his Gligar to Gliscor to give it a boost in confidence.
    • While other characteristics come and go depending on the series, Ash's temperament has consistently became more good natured as the anime has progressed. In early episodes of the original series, Ash was often tantrum prone and vindictive concerning his hubris, by the time of Sun & Moon, while still Hot-Blooded and something of a Butt-Monkey, he is much more upbeat and patient, and very difficult to seriously anger.
  • Character Shilling: In the XY series. ALL of his travelling companions (plus one of his two main rivals) have a degree of Hero Worship towards him, becomes good friends with the other one (and not in the Defeat Means Friendship way; they hit it off almost instantly), earns respect from the gym leaders and even the Champion. After the Black and White era's treatment of his character, this might be a case of Tropes Are Not Bad.
  • Character Tics:
    • Flipping his hat from front to back, whenever he gets serious. Disappears in the transition to the AG saga, until the ninth movie. He finally does it again in the series in DP189. As of Best Wishes, Ash now flips his hat anytime he is making a capture.
    • While rare, he's also prone to a pose that is seemingly inspired by Kamen Rider.
  • Chaste Hero: Always, with the strange, early exception of Giselle.
    • He's been having trouble recognizing love between Pokémon too. He assumed Grovyle had a fever when Grovyle was clearly crushing on a Meganium and, throughout Sinnoh and Unova, he's been clueless to it all, to the point that his then-newborn Pokémon Scraggy understood more about love than he does. He does employ his female Snivy's Attract against opponents, though it's most likely because he recognizes it as an effective move when it hits without understanding how it works.note 
    • His response to Dawn's Piplup crushing on another trainer's Marill says it all:
    But Pokémon like each other all the time. I don't get it. What's the big deal?
    • In Unova, he doesn't understand that two Cottonees wish to mate, thinking that the male one just "wants a best buddy". This might just be the definitive showcasing of how his Characterization Marches On as, back in the first ever season of the show, Ash's Butterfree fell in love and wished to mate and Ash was well aware of this fact. This can be supported by the fact that in the Decolore Islands, Ash was aware that his Oshawott was in love with Osharina.
  • Chick Magnet: The list of girls to have shown canon feelings for him include Misty, Melody, Macey, Anabel, Angie, and Serena. To say nothing of the Pokémon (like Chikorita, Latias, Smoochum, Aipom, Oshawott and maybe Meloetta) who have developed crushes on him. Ash, however, remains totally oblivious with the exception mentioned above.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • Gary has been a neighbor of Ash since they were young. At one time they seemed to be friends and went to see movies as seen in Lights, Camerupt, Action. Shortly after the both of them started, Gary and Ash found an old Poké Ball while fishing. They began fighting over it but ended up breaking it in half. Since then, they kept the two separate pieces for themselves.
    • Serena had gotten lost while attending Professor Oak's summer camp in Pallet Town. She ended up scraping her knee after being startled by a Poliwag. Shortly after that, Ash found her, bandaged her knee and helped her back to camp. She had feelings for him ever since. Serena started traveling with Ash soon after the beginning of the XY series, and her crush on him would only grow from there. Come the end of the XY series, she gave him a kiss and was the only female traveling companion to do so.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He always helps somebody in need, even strangers or wild Pokémon. Even back when he was a little kid, he helped Serena when she was injured and lost in a forest.
  • The Chosen One: Ash seems to be the go-to guy for any Legendary which needs a hero to help them. In addition, he's officially been this for the Lugia in Pokémon 2000 (though this is dub-only), might be it for Ho-Oh given how many times he sees the damned phoenix, Azelf of the Lake Trio in the Diamond and Pearl Saga (Mespirit and Uxie also chose his companions Dawn and Brock) and Melemele Island's Guardian Tapu Koko sees something in him as he gave Ash a Z-ring and a Z-Crystal in the Sun and Moon Saga.
    • He was hinted (though unconfirmed) to be the Hero of Ideals chosen by Zekrom (the Foreshadowing in the first Best Wishes episode is rather blatant). N, meanwhile is hinted to be the Hero of Truth chosen by Reshiram.
    • May be in play again in Sun and Moon, where it seems he was chosen by Solgaleo and Lunala to receive their offspring, Cosmog.
  • Clothing Damage: Ash's first wardrobe change was basically done for no particular storyline reason (besides the series-change from Original to Advanced Generation). His second one was because he pulled a Colossus Climb on Team Rocket's mecha at the beginning of the season and it exploded underneath him, leaving him rather unkempt (though his mother had sent him the new clothes before this anyway).
    • In Pokémon: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel Ash has to wear an impact suit so he won't be harmed by constantly crashing into Volcanion. Unfortunately, it isn't waterproof. It inflates like a balloon and explodes which leads to the following trope.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: In Sun and Moon especially, Ash is very upbeat and animated, and acts significantly more clownish than before. However he fails to quite fall into Idiot Hero territory, since his battle competence remains and his eccentricities tend to come in handy for unique methods of training and cunning in the field.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Despite having attracted a fair number of girls note , he remains completely Oblivious to Love.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • After losing to Sabrina for the first time, Sabrina's father showed him that guts aren't enough to beat someone with psychic powers - by telekinetically pulling his pants down, exposing his white boxers.
    • A Corphish knocked Ash and his friends into the sea, and he got reduced to wearing his shirt, his hat, and his black and blue striped boxers. (crosses over with Hanging Our Clothes to Dry).
    • And whenever Bianca knocks him into some body of water. This also crosses over with Hanging Our Clothes to Dry.
    • Ash's impact suit explodes, leaving him in his red and white tank top and blue and baby blue boxers and soaking wet.
    • A Stoutland pulls his pants to his ankles, leaving him in his boxers in front of Mallow.
    • Often played with as Ash's mother's words of advice before leaving were to "change his you-know-whats every day".
  • Compressed Vice: Ash's more obvious character flaws tend only to show up in episodes designed to lecture him about it. More than once has he spontaneously developed an oversized ego and had it punctured all in the space of a single episode.
  • Composite Character:
    • Of the male protagonists from the games, although they do exist in the animenote . Highlighted by the fact that his outfits in each region are based on the male protagonists'. In general, he mostly represents Red, but he shares some traits with the other male protagonists, especially when it comes to the respective Badge/League quests and facing the respective villain teams. Another special trait Ash got from a specific protagonist is Hilbert's Chosen One status, even though it is never played out in the actual series beyond the "help N understand a different view about people and Pokémon" aspect.
    • In Sun & Moon, Ash is composite of the male protagonist from the Sun/Moon games and Lillie, despite the latter being an existing main character in the anime's cast. Like "Sun", Ash moves from Kanto to Alola, is acknowledged by Tapu-Koko, becomes a student in the Pokémon School, and he does the Island Pilgrimage. He also becomes Alola's first ever Champion. Due to Lillie's Adaptation Personality Change, Ash got some of her game counterpart's elements. Like Lillie, Ash lives in Professor Kukui's house and uses its loft, and he travels with the wild Pokémon Nebby, even carrying it in his bag.
  • Confusion Fu: When he isn't being an Idiot Hero, one of his greatest strengths in Pokémon battling is coming up with off-the-wall strategies on the fly that surprise his opponents.
    • It can backfire though, such as his first battle against Sabrina for her badge: Ash orders Pikachu to fill the entire battlefield with electricity to beat her Abra, who was teleporting all around the field to dodge Pikachu's attacks. Abra promptly gathered all the electricity and one-shotted Pikachu with it.
  • Cool Big Bro: To many younger comrades such as Max and Bonnie. While the age difference is debatable he also acted a lot like one to May at times as well.
  • Cooldown Hug: Ash was subject to this in the movies when his temper get the best of him (7 and 8 come to mind), and the one to cool him down was May.
  • Crossdressing Voices: In-Universe, Ash voices a female Pikachu in The Lightning-fast Hero! Super Pikachu!!, a movie that he and his friends help make in a special between XY078 and XY079. It's just one line, though.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ash is often thought of as a ditz, but when the chips are down he can really prove his worth. Some of his battle strategies are flat-out crazy. And the lack of fear he possesses is borderline insanity. There are countless examples, but Pokémon: The First Movie has him stare down Mewtwo, after taking out a Gyarados, and calls him out. A Pokémon that could literally flood the world while sitting on his throne and he shows zero fear.
  • Culture Blind: It's surprising how a guy who is so obsessed with Pokémon could be so uninformed of others in the other areas.
  • Darker and Edgier: Regarding his personality, downplayed in Diamond and Pearl, a region where he was not only very serious, but had a lot of angst caused by his dark rivalry with Paul. This also applied in XY, especially during the XY&Z season regarding his bond with Greninja that brought out the Ash-Greninja form and the trials that came with it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments, especially in the older episodes.
    Misty: "Bugs are one of the three most disgusting things in the world!"
    Ash: "Aside from you, what are the others?"
  • Determinator: Ash does not easily give up. He will keep trying until he succeeds. Ultimate proof of this? During the Diamond and Pearl saga Azelf, the being of Willpower, chose to connect with him.
  • Demonic Possession: One episode of Battle Frontier had him possessed by the ancient King of Pokélantis.
  • Denser and Wackier: Played straight in Best Wishes where he gained a more bumbling personality and randomly lost most of his battle experience. Zigzagged for Sun and Moon thus far. While he's more hyperactive and comical personality wise, he retains a lot of his competence and knowledge from the previous regions and even shows a similar degree of insight as his more serious XY incarnation.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the Gym Battle against Elesa he sent out Snivy after waiting a few moments to get her (he thought he only needed one Pokémon to defeat Elesa). He tried to use Attract against Emolga despite attract having no effect on females and Snivy was in a major disadvantage because Emolga was also a Flying-type. Granted, Ash still defeated Elesa but he had to make several breaks during the battle to think of a strategy (given that Ash has travelled over a couple of regions and defeated multiple Gym Leaders, he should known by now that the Gym Leaders have their ranks and roles as Gym Leaders for a reason).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the Battle Frontier and later in the Sinnoh League. He was the only trainer shown who actually defeated Tobias's Darkrai in the Sinnoh semi-finals, and was able to take out his Latios, but lost since Pikachu fainted at the same time. Even though Ash lost 6 to 2 in the end, it's still much closer than anyone else got to beating Tobias in the tournament.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ash's father was mentioned once in the second episode, with Delia stating that he left on his own Pokémon journey, but that aside, nothing is known of the guy. Masamitsu Hidaka (head writer for the anime) has commented that he may or may not be introduced depending on whether it is necessary to further Ash's maturity and development as a Trainer.
  • Diving Save: Ash repeatedly shields his Pokémon from falls in this fashion, even the ones that are so big they end up crushing him! He also does this to Lillie in SM053, to protect her from Mother Beast Lusamine's attack.
  • Dork Knight: He's usually this to varying degrees per series, though in Sun and Moon in particular, his solid heroics mixed with his boundlessly sweet natured but oafish personality make him a clear cut case of this, especially from Lillie's point of view.
  • Dragon Rider: Several times with Charizard, although there are instances when he rides other, actual Dragon-Type Pokémon. In Sun & Moon, he gets a Garchomp as his personal Ultra Guardian Ride Pokémon
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Ash collecting a new team in each region not only serves to show off that region's Pokémon, but to keep Ash from having a team that would sweep through the gyms with no effort.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite having pretty impressive stats when it comes to accomplishments, it's very rare for other characters to actually acknowledge this.
    • Case in point: Trip. Granted, he probably doesn't watch the other regions' Leagues, but still.
    • For one battle, this is actually averted. When he goes to the Battle Frontier and does battle with Tucker, he gets swarmed by press and/or paparazzi, and his numerous achievements are actively talked about.
    • In the second episode of the XY series, he climbs all the way to the top of Lumiose City's tower and risks his life saving a Garchomp, and it was being filmed on national television for all of Kalos to witness. Serena seemed to be the only one to even notice the act of bravery.
    • Most rare occasions Ash's previous endeavours are brought up it is to shoot him down mercilessly. Max doesn't leave him alone about the fact he lost the Johto league, and when Kiawe asks about his Kanto badges, Misty and Brock teasingly point out he was given theirs' out of pity.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: His quest for gym badges would likely run much quicker if not for his neverending urge to help with whatever problems are occurrent with people along the way. He has also gradually put his companions' missions as first priority over his, even when they detour from his journey. His altruism is played off as detrimental in XY, where he starts to fall behind a few late runners to the league that he helped out earlier because of this.
  • Dumb Is Good: His strong suit has always been guts, not intelligence. Especially in the Unova series where his recklessness and naivety are played up. A group of Beheeyem actually fail to brainwash him because it doesn't work well on stupid people.
    • Subverted in the Johto series. He uses some pretty unconventional tactics.
    • Averted in the XY series as shown on several occasions, where he has been shown to come up with effective plans to deal with obstacles both in and out of battle.
    • Similarly downplayed in Sun and Moon. While he's outwardly buffoonish, he can still come up with elaborate tactics and training methods, and even in non-battle situations he can think up unconventional ways to solve a problem.
  • Dumbass No More: He was, to put it bluntly, an immature Idiot Hero in the first season. Beginning with Orange Islands, he began to show more maturity and skill, and from Advanced Generation onward note , he's merely been reckless and occasionally naive, to the point that by XY it's inaccurate to call him an idiot at all. Sun and Moon zigzags this, since while he is more outwardly buffoonish again, a lot of his insight and competence remains during serious situations, making him more a Cloud Cuckoo Lander than an Idiot Hero.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • His Chaste Hero status didn't show up much in the Indigo League saga—he himself briefly gets a crush in EP009, and he understands Butterfree's mating season in EP021.
    • When it came time to prepare for the Indigo Plateau, Ash looked for every excuse under the sun to avoid training. He'd even use Pokémon who he'd never used in a battle before like Krabby and Muk. This is far cry from the later seasons, where both he and his Pokémon have a passion for training and coming up with new strategies.
    • Overall, Ash was much more of a short-tempered brat in the original series, and could be extremely arrogant and self-serving towards those who questioned his skills. In later episodes, Ash is almost compulsively altruistic and good tempered, to the point that the times he does act like a brat are treated as a red alert for the others.
  • Easily Forgiven: Has given Team Rocket who-knows-how-many second chances, sometimes crossing outright into trying to be their friend, despite them always ultimately stabbing him the back to try and steal his beloved Pikachu (and often all his and his friends' other Pokémon). His response to Meowth's Heel–Face Mole stint was practically to nonchalantly tell him the offer's still there.
  • Easily Impressed:
    • Even though he's been on his Pokémon journey for who knows how long, he still gets blown away by even the littlest things in the Pokémon world. For example, when he first arrives in Unova he gets excited out of his mind upon seeing the Unova starters.
    • Not being the most educated about science, he tends to find Clemont's bungled inventions amazing.
  • Eccentric Mentor: In Sun & Moon, he helps Rockruff learn Rock Throw and Litten learn Flame Charge by shaking his butt along with them. It works.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • He involuntarily teams up with his hated rival Paul for the Hearthome Tag Battle tournament. They ended up winning, but certainly not because they were working together!
    • Frequently happens in movies and several times per season with Team Rocket; most of the time anyway...
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though he can't stand Team Rocket, he does NOT approve of other villains doing horribly cruel things to them.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Starting from Hoenn, he is this at the start of every series, demonstrating his battle competence from the start while the Deuteragonist companions take the role of the rookie. Downplayed in Best Wishes due to a Snap Back.
  • Facial Markings: Those little zig-zags under his eyes.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Ash will never win a major tournament. How badly he loses tends to vary, as his showings tend to improve with each arc. The fact that he manages to get in at high ranks is a feat by itself, especially if the participants are taken into account. The Kalos League is his best performance, managing a very close second which came down to one Pokémon on each side. He did win both the Orange Islands league and Battle Frontier, although the Orange League was made up for the anime universe. And neither of them were tournaments anyway. This trend finally came to an end with the Alola Pokemon League.
    • Ash very rarely catches more than the bare minimum of six Pokémon for a given region. This is downplayed as the anime tends to put more focus on the bond between trainer and Pokémon, as opposed in the games where catching all of them is part of the challenge. When Gary insulted the low number of Pokémon Ash had caught in "Showdown at the Poké-Corral", Ash retorted that his stronger bond with each of them individually is more important. Trainers that capture dozens of Pokémon are the exception rather than the rule, and Ash himself hasn't actually cited that goal since the early days of the show. Regardless, even if Ash's overall captures are low, he's certainly explored more of his world and seen more Pokémon in a few years of travelling than most people would in a lifetime.
  • A Father to His Men: Gradually strengthened over the course of the series is Ash's undying love for his Pokémon. He treats them as equals; as family. His Noibat in particular seems to view him as its father, since Ash was the first thing it saw upon hatching.
  • The Fettered: Believes in determination and hard work to succeed? Yes. Protective of his friends and Pokémon? Yes. Refuses to win by cheating? Yes. Goes out of his way to help people he just met? Gloriously yes!
  • Fauxshadowing: Throughout the DP series, Ash encountered every member of the Sinnoh Elite Four including the Champion Cynthia, who especially took a keen interest in Ash's potential. The series also elaborated upon how challenging the Elite Four is done for the first time in the anime's existence, and clearly made winning the Champion League one of Ash's goals. All of this seemed to suggest that Ash would actually win the Sinnoh League for a change and move on to face the Elite Four. Instead, he was shut out by a trainer using a team of Legendary Pokémon.
    • The Team Plasma arc in Best Wishes hints Ash to be the Hero of Ideals for Zekrom in contrast to N, who is hinted to be Reshiram's Hero of Truths...but nothing came out of that other than Ash helping N see a different viewpoint, and N subsequently proving himself to Reshiram with that viewpoint.
  • Fingore: Family-friendly version: how he first met his Krabby, after the latter didn't take kindly to Ash's "shrimp" comment.
  • Fist Pump: Loves making this gesture when he's getting fired up about something.
  • Friend to All Children: "Here Comes the Trubbish Squad!" proved this.
    • With yet another kindergarten class in "Kindergarten Chaos" in the XY series, where he's very understanding and reassuring to a kid who has developed a phobia of pokémon.
  • Geeky Turn-On: A very mild one, but starting in XY, he (and Pikachu) is very interested and fond of Clemont's inventions. While Serena and Bonnie would make awkward or even embarrassed faces, Ash would instead have big, sparkly eyes. Even if they fail, he never becomes embarrassed for Clemont and sometimes gets inspired from them.
  • Genius Ditz: He's really quite talented in Pokémon battling, but hopelessly naive and gullible at other times (such as constantly falling for Team Rocket's Paper-Thin Disguise). However, the Ditz part is seriously downplayed in the XY series, where moments of ditziness are few and far between.
  • Genre Blind: While he's rarely the only one in his team as such, he falls to easy shortcomings, and against Team Rocket, he sparsely predicts them using the same tricks over and over.
  • Goal in Life: Why, to be the very best, of course!
  • Good Is Dumb: Ash frequently engages in dangerous, reckless heroics, all because he believes it's the right thing to do.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Ash is altruistic and fond of giving second chances. If you try to screw him or those close to him, however, he will sic his Pokémon at you to do their worst.
  • Graceful Loser: Most of the time Ash takes defeat, if not gracefully, then by congratulating his own Pokémon for giving a good fight.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Ash is occasionally identified by characters of the day who saw him eat dirt during a televised tournament, but not often — even May and Dawn get recognized more often for winning random contests. Nobody ever seems to recognize Ash as the guy who smacked down two Legendaries in official Frontier matches and two more in the Sinnoh League semifinals on live television, or who saved the world every summer since 1998.
    • Averted at the start of the XY series, where his appearance on live television calming down the Garchomp that escaped from Professor Sycamore's lab is watched by Serena, who recognizes him as the childhood friend she has known in years gone by. It also allows her to know that he is in Kalos and that she now has a good chance of meeting up with him.
    • This also applies with Mairin from the Strongest Mega Evolution special where she tells Alain about Ash's exploits at Prism Tower, meaning she watched the broadcast as well.
  • Groin Attack: Ash gets on the receiving end of this in Alola, courtesy of a wild Milotic that Lillie was hooking at the time in SM005.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Under certain lighting, his hair is sometimes depicted as dark green.
  • Held Gaze: Has done this multiple times with Serena over the course of the XY Series, whether they're encouraging each other or just having a heart to heart talking about their dreams and bond with their Pokémon. This is taken Up to Eleven in the final episode of XY, where after being kissed by Serena the two stare at each with their eyes lit up before happily exchanging warm smiles.
  • Here We Go Again!: Ash really cannot go a single region without having to be treated like a rookie again. Unova is the most apparent, and having Iris berate him for it at every opportunity didn't help any.
    • It got better after a few episodes though, when he steadied down on the initial excitement and hyperactivity - case in point, when first trying to catch Snivy he threw the ball immediately, but not out of idiocy; rather, he'd tried to get her while she was distracted and after that failed, he subsequently fought her. His excitable nature in the series is pretty consistent, really, no matter how much he learns.
    • Averted in the XY series. While he still is excited at the prospect of meeting Pokémon he's never seen before again, he does cool down once he visits - and subsequently gets kicked out of - Lumiose City Gym. Plus, he doesn't have the same rash battle style this time around, using proper strategy in his first battle in the Kalos region. Which was against a gym leader of all things.
  • The Hero: As the protagonist, this is a given. Ash is always portrayed as an altruistic good guy who helps people, fights evil and overall struggles to make the world a better place.
  • Hero Ball: Team Rocket is supposedly "evil" to his eyes, yet he helps them when they're in trouble.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: As of "Rocking Clawmark Hill", Ash now has a Rockruff (a canine Rock-type Pokémon), who has since evolved into Lycanroc. Even before then, the two got along very well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Several throughout the series, the most notable was when he lost to Ritchie in the Indigo League.
    • Ash has a pretty huge BSOD moment again after a crushing 6-2 loss against Paul.
    • After losing to Wulfric and seeing how badly hurt Greninja got, Ash really hits a low point. The episode actually ends as a Downer Ending, and the next episode preview is also mostly silent. It's also implied Ash has struggles with the idea he may not be the right trainer to bring out Greninja's true potential, which is a new for Ash as no matter what has happened previously, he never questioned his bonds with his Pokémon before.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Pikachu, Brock, and Clemont.
  • Hey, You!: Team Rocket always refers to him as "twerp".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: While Team Rocket's interference certainly played a role (tiring out Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Pidgeotto), Ash's loss in the Indigo League can also be attributed to his own laziness. Leading up to the league, Ash repeatedly looked for every opportunity to avoid actually training his Pokémon. He was even warned before his Charmeleon evolved that he also needed to work on making it obedient again (something he also slacked off on). His loss came as a result of his Charizard not listening to his orders. It clearly had an effect on him, since he now works much harder training, and several episodes showcase it. Arrogance also played a role since he kept Charizard around as his go-to for the big guns despite how it wasn't trained. Had he used ANY of his other Pokémon as his 6th, he would have fared much better, even with Bulbasaur.
    • Then there is suggesting the league to Alain which blew up in his face real easily.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Ash is often prevented from having a team that is too strong, which often leads to his ultimate defeat at the end of the respective Pokémon League. It also makes his Gym Battles more difficult, so suspense can be held whenever he challenges a Gym or participates in a league. Most of the time, Ash's team is held back by not having members that are too strong in the first place — he never catches a Legendary Pokémon, mostly out of respect for them, or some of his Pokémon never evolve or only evolve once, keeping them from unleashing their true potential (although, there are a few examples that are fine as they are, and one evolved Pokémon basically received a Power-Up Letdown from evolving in the first place). Those who do evolve tend to evolve very late. And if he does have Pokémon that are too strong, they tend to leave his party for some reason.
    • The original series, most specifically the Kanto journey, is very guilty of this. Pikachu and Bulbasaur don't want to evolve at all, keeping them from potentially becoming stronger, but Squirtle takes the cake, since he is never shown to have an issue of evolving, but he never shows any signs of it. After Ash releases his first fully evolved Pokémon (Butterfree), he's left with a team of five members for the majority of the journey, and strong Pokémon who could fill this spot (Krabby/Kingler, Muk, Tauros) are left at the lab and only ever come back for some occasional battles. The powerful Primeape starts out as very disobedient, but he becomes loyal to Ash when it gets its Day in the Limelight, but is then Put on a Bus in the same episode, which effectively prevents Ash from having a strong member in his team. Chameleon/Charmander suddenly becomes disobedient after evolving, which makes it very difficult for Ash to use him at all, and it ultimately costs him the Pokémon League. The loyal Pidgeotto is often Out of Focus and tends to be forgotten in battles where Ash could have need it (most notably against Sabrina), and it doesn't evolve until the beginning of the Orange League journey, where it is released in the same episode, which not only prevents Ash from having a loyal and strong party member that is fully evolved, but it prevents him from flying from island to island, a job that is occupied by the swimming Lapras who is large enough to carry multiple people at once.
    • The Orange League does a good job of making Ash more competent, but still gives him some struggles when it comes to half of his party. The two new additions, Lapras and Snorlax, two Pokémon whose species are known for being very strong, come with their own issues that prevents Ash from having an even stronger team. Lapras is still very young and unexperienced, making it a rather ineffective battler, and Snorlax sleeps most of the time and is Brilliant, but Lazy and is even absent in the League match because of this (although Ash does win that one). Charizard doesn't start to obey Ash until about 2/3 of the journey.
    • The Johto journey is another fine case of why Loads and Loads of Characters is bad for the series. Similar like in the Orange Archipelago journey, Ash starts out with four Pokémon, but since the series requires him to catch and raise new Pokémon native to the region (you know, to promote stuff), two of Ash's Pokémon are Put on a Bus to give space for two unexperienced newcomers. Ash's first Johto Pokémon and powerful Bug/Fighting-type, Heracross, leaves the party once it is given the opportunity to get send to the lab, whereas Bulbasaur is Out of Focus and is never used in any Gym Battle. He finally leaves for good and gives the space for the newly hatched Phanpy, who is not given enough time to be properly raised before the League begins. The only starter who evolves is Chikorita, albeit only once. It becomes obvious that Ash's final Johto roster is inferior to his Kanto Pokémon when the League happens, causing the Johto team to be Out of Focus; to clarify further, the only Johtos in the last two matches of the League were Bayleef, Totodile, Noctowl, and Heracross.
    • The Hoenn League shows again that having a team of with half of its members being not fully evolved (specifically Grovyle and Corphish, who did a good job in the previous matches) is a factor of his loss against a trainer who is equally as good as Ash, but has five fully evolved Pokémon.
    • The Sinnoh series is much better in handling a strong team for him, as four of his six Sinnoh Pokémon fully evolve (though, one of them gets Power Up Let Down), there are some cases that do hold him back. Buizel is soon Overshadowed by Awesome when his teammates start to evolve, Torterra suffers from the Power Up Let Down trope after going through two evolutions, and while Gible has great potential, he is caught too late to evolve. Charizard doesn't come back for the Sinnoh League unlike most of Ash's Pokémon, and instead he uses Torkoal in his semi-final match against Tobias, his weakest Fire-type Pokémon. Speaking of Tobias, his presence as a Diabolus ex Machina is another factor that prevents Ash from winning the Sinnoh League.
    • The Unova series shows again why Loads and Loads of Characters don't work well in the anime series. Ash's rotating members don't become as quite as strong as his previous team, and while three of nine Pokémon fully evolve, three others aren't evolved at all. Since Ash uses all nine of them (plus Pikachu) throughout the Unova League, most of his weaker members are used in his match where he loses, and his arguably strongest Unova Pokémon, Krookodile, is used in a previous match.
    • Aside from some late evolutions, the Kalos series does have notable cases that hold Ash's team back. First of is Goodra, who has become Ash's strongest team member in a short amount of time, but is released soon later despite the fact that two of his three next Gyms would put the Dragon-type Pokémon in a disadvantage. When it comes back to his team, it hasn't been trained by Ash for quite some time, thus it suffers from The Worf Effect. Next is Noivern, a Pokémon who starts out very strong after his evolution, his young age and inexperience in battle prevents him from being too good. And then finally is Greninja, who has an exclusive Super Mode that is on par with Mega Evolution. Greninja is released at the end of the XY&Z, causing Ash to lose his strongest Pokémon for the next series.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • In the earliest episodes, he resisted using more than one Pokémon at a time to fight Team Rocket because it was against the rules of the Pokémon League.
    • Defied but begrudgingly. When Goodra goes to war with its wetland allies against invading Pokémon, Ash is dissuaded from assisting by the others, since it is a business between Pokémon alone. Ash complies, but visibly seethes from being unable to help his companion.
    • Played full on in Sun and Moon, where he follows Lillie and Gladion to Poni Canyon to help them in their mission to retrieve their mother, despite Gladion's insistence that he keep out of the matter.
  • Hot-Blooded: His passion for Pokémon and battles (or anything else that catches his interest for that matter) is quite staggering.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: By all means Ash is a good suitor for any girl who develops a crush on him. It's just that Ash is at an age where romance isn't his highest priority, he does appreciate beauty as shown with Giselle and he eventually starts recognizing romance between other people. He's just more focused on his goals and his personality will give him some attention from girls that will remain on a friendship level rather than advance to a love level.
  • Idiot Ball: Okay, Ash. For the 267th time, the man with blue hair, the woman with long red hair and the talking Meowth are not to be trusted. No matter what they are offering, they are not to be trusted. Understand? Probably not. To be fair though, everyone falls for Team Rocket's disguises.
    • The only times he drops it in regards to Team Rocket are when Team Rocket isn't actually at fault for what's going on, such as in 'Viva Las Lapras' where he assumes they're the poachers Nurse Joy is telling them about, only for Team Rocket to show up beaten and broken thanks to said poachers.
  • Idiot Hero: Gets smarter in regards to Pokémon training, but he stays an idiot in other areas.
    • To further emphasize this point, "Capacia Island UFO!" involved a bunch of Beheeyem hypnotizing the whole town in order to help them find a device needed to get their UFO running again. They say that they were able to get everyone but a small group of people. Those people being Ash, Jessie, and James. They started to get Pikachu, but Ash snapped him out of it. Using Meowth as a translator, when asked why they weren't hypnotized, Beheeyem said that it's hard to hypnotize idiots. Ash, Pikachu, Jessie, and James all have a blank expression of disbelief on their faces from the reaction.
    • Thoroughly averted in XY, where he comes off as rational and inquisitive. He has a typical knowledge on his surroundings, and when he has no idea about something, he makes it a point to learn about it. He retains some comical naiveté and obliviousness, though it's more a case of Book Dumb.
  • Image Song: Mezase Pokémon Master, Rivals, OK!, Challenger!, Spurt!, XY&Z, "Alola!", Type: Wild!. High Touch counts for both him and Dawn.
  • In a Single Bound: Inexplicably, Ash can leap many times his own height.
  • Indy Ploy: Whenever Ash is facing an especially challenging opponent, his go to strategy is to just wing-it and make it up as he goes along. This makes it hard to predict what Ash has up his sleeve.
  • Interpretative Character: Ash's personality varies between region, with the only constants being his enthusiasm, heroism and politeness to others.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Mostly with Pikachu, but he considers all of his Pokémon to be his friends.
  • Interspecies Romance: Or Interspecies Ship Tease at any rate. Ash's rather touchy-feely relationship with Pikachu aside, he's been crushed on by Chikorita (who later evolved into Bayleef) and Aipom. Latias in one of the movies actually might have kissed him on the cheek in the end, making her tied with Melody and Serena for the furthest anyone's ever gotten with him throughout the entire series.note 
    • Chikorita also kissed Ash on the cheek in her début episode.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Most of them are Played for Laughs, especially when it comes to his own Pokémon being responsible for his misfortunes. This is at its finest at the beginning of the Lily of the Valley Conference, where all the Pokémon that he called up from Oak's lab greet him by...attacking him, one after another.
    • If the movies are taken into account, then to date he's been: Beaten up, electrocuted and burned countless times, hit by a chandelier, petrified at least once, half drowned twice (First in an episode of the original series, second in the Manaphy movie), eaten by a sentient tree (no really), dropped from a great height numerous times, and much, much more.
    • Alola takes this up to eleven. Just about Once an Episode, he'll end up in one painful situation or another. And yet he almost never loses his sunny disposition.
  • Jerkass Ball: Ash is a nice guy, but he does have moments that he can be an asshole. For example, he was too harsh to Bayleef in the episode "Turning Over a New Bayleef."
  • Jerkass to One: At times, he, an otherwise All-Loving Hero and Nice Guy, can be this to the Team Rocket trio. In "Wake Up Snorlax", Ash blasts off the trio in a Pokémon battle simply over the right to capture a wild Pokémon. While Team Rocket are thieves, notably in "So Near, Yet So Farfetch'd", Ash and company easily forgive a far more competent Pokémon thief.
  • Karmic Jackpot: In the first season, half of Ash's badges were earned, not because he was a skilled trainer, but because he performed a good deed that the Gym Leader acknowledged.note 
  • Keet: He's always had shades of this, but Sun & Moon cranks it up to eleven with him being very hyperactive and excitable.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: As of "One Journey Ends, Another Begins...", Ash has a feline Fire-type Pokémon called Litten.
  • Knight Errant: Ash has all but become this due to the show's formula of him travelling from region to region to discover and befriend all Pokemon there and usually get caught in ceaseless good errands and world saving missions due to his compulsive altruism.
  • The Leader: He is essentially the leader of his group of friends in every installment of the series, since they are accompanying him on his journey, and from Hoenn onward, he sometimes provides guidance and mentorship to his female companions who are just starting their journeys. His male traveling companions, though usually older and wiser, have more of a Team Dad role in the group. Ash's leadership skills develop over the course of the series, to the point where it's more obvious than ever in the XY series that he's the one calling the shots. Sun and Moon downplays this due to the standstill format and Ash's more pronounced Fish out of Water status, with him often willing to follow the direction of peers, though when situations become more serious he is still often the most fluent leading the others.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Ash and Team Rocket's rivalry has slowly become this, due to the trio's constant quest to one up the twerps and Ash's team gaining ceaseless abilities and pointers from thwarting them. By the time the two sides enter the Kalos region, their rivalry earns an In-Universe "Holy Shit!" Quotient from the locales, just from the ridiculous skill and power displayed from an unfanfared rookie and a bunch of small time criminals.
  • Lethal Chef: Even he can't stomach his own cooking in the Sun and Moon series. If Ash is expected to cook, he really needs proper instructions - He almost always does too much or too little of everything otherwise. He actually does a good job of making salad and sandwiches later in the Sun and Moon series, but Professor Burnet's Munchlax is the only one who gets to enjoy them.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In Kanto and Alola especially, Ash spends a lot of screen time goofing around and acting like an overexcited Fish out of Water. Whenever a battle is called or a villain causes trouble however, expect him to be the first to turn serious and skilfully unleash his powerhouse team, especially in Alola. And woe betide when he turns his cap backwards...
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Regularly zigzags with this in the Sun and Moon series. While he often acts like an accident prone Fish out of Water adapting to Alola's different Pokemon and conventions, his experience built up across other regions makes him the most battle competent of his companions, and he adapts to the Z Ring mechanic even quicker than the native trainers do.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Plays a lot into other characters' confidence and development, even if most eventually become independent. Serena's entire life was revamped by Ash's kindness for example, she initially only sought to travel because of him and she spent most early points meek and emotionally dependent on his encouragement. One episode also revealed Pikachu would be powerless without Ash.
  • Loon with a Heart of Gold: Due to his exaggerated Cloud Cuckoo Lander Keet tendencies in the Sun and Moon series, Ash is often seen as rather strange and buffoonish by the other characters. His unflappably sweet and altruistic nature shines through however, especially in his patience with his sometimes dysfunctional Pokemon and his Big Brother Instinct towards the likes of Lillie and Sophocles.
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission:
    • Tasked with delivering the GS Ball from Professor Ivy to Professor Oak, and then to Kurt, who viewers never saw him do anything with it.
    • He is later tasked by Professor Oak to deliver a Pokémon egg to his cousin, Samson. Though he gets distracted by a wild Grubbin, Delia ensures that the delivery is successfully completed.
  • Made of Iron: He's survived stuff no normal 10-year-old boy should be able to. It's a Running Gag of the series for Pikachu to electrify him and leave him somewhat charred. Some of his other Pokémon barrage Ash with attacks as a display of affection. He accepts it.
  • Magnetic Hero: Naturally, Ash draws a lot of attention from Pokémon who end up joining his team. He also has a talent of drawing people's interests, which is further exploit in XY, where at least three different characters are inspired by his personality.
    • The more interesting extension is that the Pokémon he trains end up turning into natural leaders as well. Pidgeot is now head of a massive flock on Route 1. Bulbasaur is the lead peacekeeper at Oak's ranch. Squirtle started as the leader of a gang, and went back to that. Then there are the several times one of the team is caught by Team Rocket and isolated from the trainers, and proceeds to coordinate fellow detainees into a revolt. (Pikachu, Starly, etc.)
  • Meaningful Name: Doubles as a Punny Name. "Ketchum", anybody?
  • Memento MacGuffin: Cutlery, a handkerchief and a fishing lure, one half of the Terracotta Ribbon and a Teddiursa carving, from Brock, Misty and May (two each from the girls), respectively. The latter four appear later in the series, while Brock's gift was important...for only one episode.
  • Messiah Creep: When the series started, Ash was far more flawed and bull headed, and often fell into standard childish impulses like being arrogant or throwing tantrums. As the show progressed, he slowly matured into a Nice Guy with a more serious and insightful attitude, to the point that by XY he is nothing short of The Ace, idolised by most of the cast, with barely any of his former flaws still coming back to bite him. Sun and Moon dialled him back into a far more comedic and childlike character, though still keeps the majority of his Nice Guy characterisation to maintain Character Development.
  • Momma's Boy: Don't screw with his mother around him. Just...don't.
  • Motive Decay: Originally, he wanted to catch every Pokémon there is. Now he is just bent on being a great trainer and having adventures with his friends. A case of Tropes Are Not Bad, since catching too many Pokémon brings a lot of problems to a show that focuses on the character development of the human cast and their Pokémon they carry with them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • When after getting hit in the face with snowballs by Serena for yelling at her when she was trying to cheer him up, he has this.
    • After Nebby's teleport antics caused trauma for Lillie and temporarily set her healing phobia with Pokémon back a good deal, Ash feels guilty, especially after he gets a good chewing out from her brother, Gladion, over it.
  • Necessary Fail: He continuously travels through each region of the world to progress into their league, only to fail each time and start anew in another. Of course along the way, he also solves a thousand other people's problems, helps his travelling companions with their life goals, and usually saves the entire planet from destruction at least once or twice.
  • Nice Guy: Well, his heart is bigger than all the regions AND the Orange Islands combined, so to speak. He was more abrasive in early arcs, though his good qualities still prevailed.
  • Nice Hats: He never goes anywhere without a cap, changing it between seasons. His original hat (from which only 100 copies exist) is actually an official prize from the Pokémon League which he won by sending 1000 postcards.
  • No Indoor Voice: Is very loud when excited, when cheering on his friends for whatever reason he yells so loud he could break glass. He even becomes louder in Sun & Moon, the series where his Keet personality is pronounced the most.
  • No Sense of Direction: Zigzags, but Ash tends to get lost if he's left to lead the way rather than someone else.
  • Not So Different: To Gary. While Ash was a lot nicer than Gary in the Kanto region, they were both snarky and immature. They did both grow out of their immaturity later.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Ash Ketchum will forever be 10 years old, as well as the other main characters remaining at their own ages. However, as far as the Dub goes, the Pokémon series documented the passing of at least three years. Ash has noted a year's time passing between his first two visits to Viridian City (dub-only), celebrated the anniversary (when Ash and Pikachu first started their journey) during his time in Johto (which would presumably be on the same day as Viridian City), and that another year passed since he first met May.
    • Until Best Wishes came, where even the dub Narrator outright states that Ash is still ten.
  • Obligatory Swearing: In some infamous fansubs. Keep in mind that he doesn't curse nearly as often in the Japanese original, and even then, it's nowhere near as intense as what some fansubbers have been known to put in his mouth.
  • Oblivious to Love: In later seasons. For example, in the first season, he knows damn well that Butterfree is trying to court a mate in "Bye Bye Butterfree". In the most recent season, he is completely clueless that a Cottonee wants to do the same and thinks that it just "wants to make a best buddy". Though he later shows a bit less of this trope as he could tell that Oshawott was in love, while in in XY, while he did not notice Serena's crush on him, he is able to recognize love between others when it is obvious or pointed out to him, and in Sun & Moon he gets dragged to a jewelry store by Mallow, Lana, and Lillie. When one of the workers says that he must have a close relationship with the three, he grins and blushes. He's also quite happy and excited for Professor Kukui and Burnet's wedding.
  • Only One Name: Averted in the dub, played completely straight in the Japanese version, where he and his mother are only known as "Satoshi" and "Hanako", respectively.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Often applies when he tries to get Pikachu into his Pokéball. For example, in "Snow Way Out", it's freezing outside, and Ash is not interested in letting his Pikachu freeze to death. Think about it.
    • After Ash-Greninja's first complete transformation, Ash is in such an almost crazed frenzy that he orders Ash-Greninja to keep attacking Diantha's Mega Gardevoir, even though the latter is clearly down for the count. This showcases that the transformation is taking its toll on Ash, and he and Greninja soon fall to the Power-Strain Blackout.
    • After Fabah kidnaps Nebby, which is a young infant that Ash basically cares for as if it is his own kid, Ash eshews Pokémon battling and just straight up body slams the man himself.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • In "Turning Over a New Bayleef," Ash angrily yells at his Bayleef because he got tired of it tackling him, which results in the poor thing running away feeling unwanted.
    • In "Brave The Wave," Ash acts like a Sore Loser after losing to Brawly and angrily tells Brock to shut up when the latter tries to give him advice.
  • Pals with Jesus: How many legendary Pokémon has he (and even his close friends) befriended? The most notable include the Creation Trio in Movies 10-12 (as well as Arceus), Lugia in the Orange Islands, and the Lake Trio especially Azelf, for whom he is The Chosen One, as well as possibly as the Hero of Ideals for Zekrom.
  • Papa Wolf: Never hurt his friends, human or Pokémon, especially his Pikachu. He even tends to go to more reckless lengths in order to save them when they're in danger.
  • Parental Substitute: Along with Hawlucha, Noibat has imprinted on both of them and considers them its parents.
  • Pink Boy, Blue Girl: With several of his female companions; Misty, May, Dawn, Iris, Serena, and Lillie (her backpack and Ultra Guardian uniform) all wear red or pink in contrast with his blue.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's absurdly strong for a kid who's around five feet tall, effortlessly picking up Pignite (who weighs 122 pounds) and Larvitar (who weighs 158 pounds), carrying a Hippopotas (who weighs 109 pounds) on his head, and grabbing and throwing an entire log. For reference, logs can weigh an excess of 1,000 pounds.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With May and Dawn, especially pronounced since Ash served as a Big Brother Mentor to both of them.
  • Power Copying: Starting with the beginning of the Advance Generation series, whenever Ash sees someone use a move that's worth using, he decides to teach his Pokémon that move (starting with Iron Tail).
  • The Power of Friendship: He caught several Pokémon without having to fight. Saving their lives was enough for them.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: His synchronization with his Greninja in its Ash-Greninja form causes its power to spike to insane levels, on par with the power-ups of Mega Evolution. However, Ash feels all the damage that Greninja takes and prolonged time in this state currently causes Ash to black out and collapse from exhaustion.
  • Primary-Color Champion: All of his wardrobes feature blue and red prominently, and with the yellow Pikachu ever at his side, Ash is undoubtedly marked as The Hero.
  • Protectorate: Practically any distressed character within Ash's viewing range will compulsively get his help (even bad guys like Team Rocket at times), but he will at all costs stick up for his Pokéemon in nearly every manner possible.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: In the final episode of the XY Series, before Serena leaves to go to Hoenn she essentially gives Ash her much anticipated Love Confession than she musters up enough courage to run up to him and kiss him. Ash is initially very shocked and speechless where all he can do is stare at her in awe with his eyes lit up, but immediately gives her a happy warm smile before telling her he'll see her again.
  • Psychic Powers: Has the power of Aura. (Powers that he has not used since DP 70 and DP 71.) He's decided not to get any training in Aura in order to continue his journey.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Aside from his crossdressing episodes (which he did unwillingly each time), there was one episode in the Johto arc where he, along with Misty and Brock, wore identical Slowpoke costumes (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to all of his main series rival's blue. This is especially true with Paul, who is as cold and calculating as Ash is passionate and impulsive.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • One-sided canon: Girl of the Week Macy, Ash's first quasi-important opponent in the Johto League, fell for him hard when he saved her from a fall. On a platonic sense, this applies to some of his Pokémon as well.
    • Another one-sided example is Angie, whom Ash saved twice at a Sinnohan summer camp. Naturally, he doesn't notice how blushy she gets near him.
    • Another Starboarding example would have to be Serena. He helped her out when she was lost in a forest as a young child, and only adds onto this when they start travelling together in the present. She is blatantly smitten by him as a result.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Back in season 1, which proved a major factor in his Indigo League loss. Fortunately, his Character Development means that he now takes his Pokémon training more seriously.
  • Rule of Cool: The reason why Ash's Pokémon are capable of pulling so many cool maneuvers.
  • Rule of Empathy: If there's one virtue Ash has, it's his empathy towards others. He truly cares about the happiness and well-being of Pokémon, whom he regards as his closest friends. Ash's journey has had him encounter countless people and Pokémon with troubles and problems he's worked to resolve.
  • Running Gag: In the movies, his tendency to ram into things, mostly barriers.
    • If you're a girl that has a bike (except Iris or Serena), never let it near him or Pikachu.
    • His badges (and hat) seem to get stolen one way or the other every region..
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Though Ash ultimately lost at the finals during the Lumoise Conference, he fares better than the actual victor, Alain. During the League ceremony, Team Flare launch their attack upon Lumoise City. Alain, being involved with Team Flare, suffers the worst kind of loss when he realizes that his entire goal was a lie and his boss Lysandre only cares about power, ignoring Mega Evolution in favor for a potentially more powerful Bond Phenomenon that Ash possess. In the aftermath the Flare crisis, Ash is constantly recognized and praised by young trainers as the Conference League finalist while Alain quietly rebuilds his life with Prof. Sycamore and privately admits Ash to be the superior trainer. Since the League ceremony wasn't finished when Team Flare attacked, it is heavily modified and officially makes everyone who stood against Lysandre champions of the Kalos League, rendering the League results a moot.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's the Manly Man to his male companions Brock, Tracey, Cilan, and Clemont (all definitely Sensitive Guys). With each of his 'primary' rivals (Gary, Paul, Trip and Alain) though, he's the Sensitive Guy.
  • Series Mascot: The most iconic human character of the Pokémon franchise.
  • Sick Episode: Ash has only gotten sick twice in the entire series. The first time was when he and Tracey inhaled Stun Spore in "The Stun Spore Detour" back in the Orange Islands. More recently in "Battling at Full Volume," he catches a serious cold and runs a fever and is incapacitated for nearly the entire episode, forcing Serena to disguise herself as him when a challenger comes around.
  • Signature Move:
    • Out of all of his improvised techniques, the Counter-Shield is the only one used with enough regularity to become a signature technique (Diamond & Pearl only).
    • It's also worth mentioning that, even though Seismic Toss is frequently referred to as Charizard's signature finisher, he only uses it while Ash is in command (even in "Volcanic Panic").
    • The same thing applies to Pikachu's Thunderbolt. Ash even explicitly states during his Cyllage Gym match that it is (unsurprisingly) his favorite move.
    • Ash is very fond of speed attacks, ranging from Quick Attack and variants like Aqua Jet and Accelrock to speed boosting moves like Flame Charge. They become a staple move of any Pokemon he has that possesses them, and a lot of Ash's Pokemon know these moves. note 
  • The Sixth Ranger: He is literally this from the perspective of the Sun and Moon cast, joining the five student class a while after they had all already met.
  • Ship Tease: Despite his Chaste Hero nature, he tends to get at least few of these with each of his female traveling companions. Misty and Serena are the only ones where it's explicit though.
    • He has had a lot of moments of this with Lana during his time in Alola.
  • Shooting Superman: Throughout all of his encounters with Team Rocket, he repeatedly orders Pikachu to use electric attacks on them and/or their current Humongous Mecha or gadget. He always forgets that Team Rocket usually shockproofs their gadgets.
  • Skewed Priorities: After experiencing first-hand what Sabrina can do to him and then suffering a Humiliation Conga from her dad, the only thing on Ash's mind is: "If I don't defeat her, I can't get into the Pokémon League!".
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Downplayed. He can understand the meaning of what Pokémon say, especially those he knows well, but can't understand or translate their exact words.
  • Stunned Silence: Ash is completely dumbfounded by his victory at the Alola League, and just stares in disbelief for a full minute after it happens. When Gladion points out to Ash that he's spacing out, the only thing Ash can ask is if he actually won. Ash then has to be told that yes, he actually did win the tournament.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: He starts out as an Idiot Hero Big Eater and is a Friend to All Living Things on a quest To Be a Master. In the early seasons he was always put down for acting before he thinks, but after going through about 4 regions he's the more experienced mentor to whatever newbie starts traveling with him. He only displays The Gift in the films, but season to season he averts it, having only come home a success twice in over 900 episodes, from the tournament of the Orange Islands season and the Battle Frontier.
  • The Strategist: Often uses unconventional strategies in battle, but is more than capable of planning ahead for a battle. One of the earliest examples was when he taught Pikachu to use Iron Tail for the Rock-type Rustboro Gym in Hoenn. In Sinnoh, the most prominent example was his development of the counter shield technique. Shows that he still has it in Unova during his league battle with Stefan. Is quickly becoming this to a much greater extent in XY, spending time training to counter Viola's techniques for their rematch, and spending several episodes training to counter Grant's Onix and its Rock Tomb at the Cyllage Gym. His attempt to copy Tierno's Rhythm strategy didn't work, though. And at the Alola League finals, Ash uses Dusk Lycanrock's Counter, the exact attack Gladion was spamming against them and the only move he didn't know Ash's Lycanrock had, to counter Midnight's own Counter and finish the fight.
  • Straw Loser: He gains conditional shades of this in the Sun and Moon series. While he is still very much the All-Loving Hero Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass in his areas of interest like battling and general world saving, he is a total Fish out of Water in standard sports and class activities, meaning an ideal way to emphasise another protagonist's talent in one area is to have Ash act like a complete Butt-Monkey in the same thing.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: When calling upon his entire party of Pokémon to do something especially important or fun, Ash usually yells "I choose everybody!"
  • Sudden Eye Colour: Ash has always had brown eyes however they were on default Black Bead Eyes. They only became brown during close-ups or emotional scenes. Starting with Best Wishes, Ash was redesigned to have brown eyes all the time in order to fit the art-style that the games had used since Gen 3.
  • Supernatural Aid: At the start of the Sun & Moon series, he receives a Z-Ring and Z-Crystal from Tapu Koko, Melemele Island's guardian deity. It's Downplayed since the crystal breaks after one use, making the bracelet worthless on its own. The intent of the gesture seems to have been to encourage Ash to earn one himself through the island challenges. When he wins Hala's trial, Tapu Koko swaps out the Fightinium Z he would have received for another Electrium Z.
  • Taking the Bullet: Most prominently in the original series, this was occasionally Played for Laughs in that someone would start handling Pikachu too personally or roughly and Pikachu would get ready to shock them. Ash would notice this and pull Pikachu away just in time to keep them from getting shocked, only to get shocked himself.
  • A Taste of Defeat: As Ash's experience and competence as a trainer has excelled, his odd follies or losses have become more exceptional and a case of this trope.
    • This became the pivot of a Heroic BSoD in the Kalos arc, suffering a Curbstomp Battle to Wulfric after a rather thorough winning streak beforehand.
    • On a side note, "Holy Matrimony" is the only episode to date where Ash and his team ended up suffering the End-of-Episode Silliness, while Team Rocket got the Happy Ending.
  • This Loser Is You: Ash pretty much acts the way any little kid playing the games for the first time would act, but within the show's universe. Admittedly, Ash actually has achieved quite a lot over the course of the show, it's just he's unfortunately The Hero of a series that runs on both Not Allowed to Grow Up and Always Someone Better.
  • To Be a Master: A Pokémon master!
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While he is prone to Snap Backs in competence and maturity, Ash's personality has, for the most part at least, became consistently more gentle and selfless as series have passed. The one time his ornery temper from earlier episodes arose in XY, it was treated as out of character by his current teammates, who were used to him being near infallibly good natured.
  • Translator Buddy: Ash is this for Pikachu's Pokémon Speak, always having a perfect understanding of what his buddy is saying.
    • It actually gets pointed out in a Kalos episode - Valerie, who speaks her Pokémon's language, notices that Ash seems to understand his Pokémon perfectly, and assumes he talks to them as well. He says that's not exactly it - He can't directly translate what they're saying, but he can easily tell what they mean.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Ash releasing his Pokémon, leaving his long time friends, and getting defeated by Gary in EP116 and Paul in DP132.
  • Tuckerization: Satoshi is the name of the head of Game Freak and creator of the games: Satoshi Tajiri.
  • Victory Pose: Whether it's winning an important battle or just capturing a new Pokémon. Lampshaded in his capture of Starly, when he feels inadequate pulling the Victory Pose off in Pikachu's absence.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • With Veronica Taylor, Ash's voice was a little deeper in the earliest Indigo episodes. When Sarah Natochenny replaced Taylor, his voice started out much rougher than later.
    • Also noticeable in the Latin American dub. Gabriel Ramos started to voice Ash when he was around the same age, but in the late Johto seasons, it's clear that his voice is beginning to sound more mature.
  • Warrior Therapist: Close to the tail end of XY while essentially taking Serena out on their second date he immediately notices she's sad and silently contemplating her future and decides to battle her with the reasoning whenever he's sad about something or is stuck on his journey he uses battling as means of cheering himself up and that it helps him figure things out. Sure enough, a battle with Ash was just what Serena needed to cheer up and decide on what path to take next for her journey.
  • Willfully Weak: Ash very rarely ever uses his best possible team, normally preferring to go solely with Pikachu and get a new team for the next region. Notably, when he doesn't do this, he typically fairs much better. This is a plot point in his rivalry with Paul: Ash beat Brandon, who curbstomped Paul, but refuses to change his team against Paul to prove his point to him.
  • The Worf Effect: Ash has a tendency to get hit with this in the beginning and end of each of the regional sagas, most infamously against Unova’s Trip.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The reason Ash loses his first major league tournament is that Team Rocket (displaying much more persistence than usual) keeps running him and his team ragged, and Ash barely makes it to the stadium in time for his match, with most of his team completely exhausted (and Charizard).
  • Worthy Opponent: A mutual case with Alain, who never even thought of competing in the Kalos League until he realized Ash and Greninja are the challenge he's been looking for, and entered the competition solely for a chance to face Ash again.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Well, congratulations Ash! you managed to make it to the Final Four in the Sinnoh League, scored a decisive victory against your arc-long rival, and even managed to KO Tobias' Darkrai...oh wait, he has a Latios too. Sucks for you.
  • You Just Ruined the Shot: He sees a Shiny Hawlucha bullying a Snubbull and thinks that it's for real, attacking just as a Gallade jumps in to save the Snubbull, causing the Gallade to injure his leg. When he's forced to use his Hawlucha in the show, of course it goes wrong, as the two Hawluchas have their own view on how to perform in the show. Pictures here.
  • You Shall Not Evade Me: Ash is usually Beware the Nice Ones at best, though the times Team Rocket have well and truly pushed him past breaking point, he'll damn well make sure the only way they leave is through a blasting off. "A Seasoned Search" was probably his most brutal, he ordered Pikachu to unleash Thunderbolt on them as they were crawling away in agony.
    Ash: I'm not done with you yet.....

    Ash's Pikachu 
Voiced by: Ikue Otaninote 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PikachuAnime.png

Ash's first and ever-faithful Pokémon partner. Despite their first meeting being anything but friendly, Pikachu would go on to be Ash's longest-standing companion who has been with him every step of his journey. Unlike most of its species, Ash's Pikachu refuses to stay cooped up inside its Poké Ball for any period of time. Tropes involving Ash's Pikachu include:


All Series

  • The Ace: Similar to Ash with his human companions in the XY series, Pikachu often appears as such to the team's Pokémon, being a highly competent battler, good natured and usually more level-headed than the others. Like any Pokémon, he can be playful and childlike, but when conflicts or dilemmas occur, he's usually The Reliable One (where he's not being captured by Team Rocket anyway).
  • Achilles in His Tent: Mostly from the first season, the most blatant example being Ash's Gym battle with Misty; Pikachu's excuse was allegedly because he doesn't want to fight a friend, though Misty's sisters point out that there's no way she could have beaten him, and even Misty (reluctantly) admits to it.
    • Played for laughs in "The Flame Pokémon-Athon!" when Ash decided to sic him against a stampede of Tauros; Pikachu pretended to go to sleep instead.
  • Adorkable: Pikachu often picks up some of Ash's silly or clumsy habits.
  • All Webbed Up: He learns Electroweb in SM076.
  • And Call Him "George"!: Many human girls can't resist his cuteness and squeeze him too hard as a result. They usually get a bad shock for their troubles.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: In one XY&Z episode, as a result of temporarily losing his powers, Team Rocket decide to abort stealing him until the crisis is solved and walk off nonchalantly. An offended Pikachu shouts for them to come back.
  • Art Evolution: Compare his character pic above with his first appearance. Maybe all the battling and traveling caused him to lose weight?
  • Artistic License – Physics: In Sun and Moon, he jumps out of a Gyarado's Hurricane attack by rebounding electricity off the walls of the cyclone and using them as footholds. Electricity is a stream of electrons that can't possibly support any kind of weight. Then again, it's Pokémon, and in fairness this was Foreshadowing for eventually learning Electroweb.
  • Audience Participation: Pikachu manages this in XY092 while it wasn't chosen for Ash's double battle with Olympia, Pikachu did help Ash keep track of when the Future Sight from Olympia's two Meowstic would strike by using its tail as a makeshift timer, thus eventually allowing Frogadier and Talonflame to turn the attack against them, and ultimately win the battle.
  • Badass Adorable: Much more powerful than the average Pikachu, with power to rival legendaries, but has the same level of cuteness. He was the first to defeat a pseudo-legendary Pokémon (a Dragonite) and the second one to defeat a Legendary Pokémon (a Regice)note .
    • He's normally Badass, winning major battles quite often. He won Ash's battles against Lt. Surge, Whitney (against THAT Miltank, though not at first) Roxanne, Wattson (that was a Curb-Stomp Battle), Tate and Liza, Juan, Burgh, Elesa, Roxie, Trip, Viola, Grant, Korrina, Totem Gumshoos, Hala, Hapu, and Guzma let alone the fact he contributed to the wins against many other Gym Leaders, Totem matches, and League Matches with knock-outs. He notably took down two of the three Pokemon in Ash's league victory in Alola.
      • For particular cuteness, see Pikachu in Ash's hat in the opening to Battle Frontier. Never has a Pokemon looked more huggable or squishable or kissable or just plain freaking adorable!
      • Or see him during Contests, when he wears a Kimono (blue under May, Pink under Dawn!) and has two fans and starts dancing with them!
  • Badass in Distress: He's a powerhouse, but still the most frequently kidnapped character in the show as a result of Team Rocket's obsession with claiming him. He does very often get himself out of it however, especially since the trio's plans aren't always air tight.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Mostly regarding the Straying Baby Togepi, but woe betide Pikachu whenever he's trying to keep younger Pokémon out of harm's way.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Sure, there's the thing about protecting his friends, but BW048 showed that if you betray his trust, HE. WILL. BE. PISSED.
    • Also, don't tell him to his face that he isn't cute. Burgundy found that out the hard way!
    • Pikachu doesn't take kindly to getting squeezed, as Casey, Iris, Bonnie, and Lana's two sisters learned this the hard way.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Pikachu is small, cute, fairly docile and one of Ash's more patient Mons who is more than content to just sit on his friend's shoulder while they travel around - basically, he's just something you want to smush in a hugnote . However, there's a limit to that patience. If you dare attack him, particularly while its back is turned, all bets are officially off as you have finally pushed Pikachu's buttons and he'll blow!
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: This happens at least once per series, where Pikachu gets brainwashed by some villainous source and make him attack his friends. His behaviour differs the depending on the brainwashing, e.g. he can be rather quite monotone (Malamar's brainwashing), very aggressive (several brainwashings done by Team Rocket or Team Plasma) or even utterly Ax-Crazy (Blue Orb). Most of the time, his bond with Ash will help him breaking out of the mind control, but there are a few times where it doesn't work.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Acts like this in the first episode. He was disobedient, lazy, and openly mocked Ash whenever Ash made a mistake as a trainer. After Ash attempted to save it from a flock of Spearow, Pikachu came to Ash's rescue and mellowed out since then.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When it comes to younger and inexperienced Pokémon, Pikachu has taken on this role.
  • Blue with Shock: See this picture.
  • Breakout Character: Pokémon's original mascot was meant to be Clefairy, but it ended up being upstaged due to the popularity of Ash's Pikachu.
  • Break the Haughty: After Ash saved him from a flock of Spearow he'd earned the ire of, his arrogance towards him faded and he became a loyal follower.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In one episode, Pikachu (with Piplup, no less) make fun of Dawn’s Mamoswine. Bare in mind that Mamoswine is not only bigger than Pikachu, but it’s also a ground type (Pikachu is weak to ground types).
  • Canon Immigrant: Having practically solidified his species as the Series Mascot, the mainstream games make ceaseless nods to Ash's particular Pikachu, what with Yellow and games based on the anime. Red's Pikachu was almost certainly a Mythology Gag to him as well. Ash's Pikachu was also specifically distributable during certain special download events for several installments of the series. It mirrored most of the anime counterpart's current move set as well as having a characteristically high level.
  • Celibate Hero: Seems to feel little but embarrassment about Buneary's and Togedemaru's attraction to him.
  • Character Development: At the start of the series, Pikachu is a very disobedient and lazy Pokémon, until he witnesses Ash risking his own life to protect him from the Spearow flock. Even after gaining respect for his trainer, Pikachu is easily terrified going into tough battles and would try to avoid them as much as he can. As the series continue however, Pikachu gradually musters up enough courage to help Ash at his Darkest Hour, even when facing against the likes of Lt. Surge's Raichu and Sabrina's Kadabra. Now, Pikachu is an eager battler by his own right and is one of Ash's best fighters on the team, able to face off Legendaries on his own.
  • Characterization Marches On: His enmity towards his evolved form Raichu. Aside from an early DP episode, this kind of behavior was never adhered to again when they meet other Raichu.
    • It seems Pikachu doesn't hate all Raichu in general - unlike Tyson's Meowth in Advanced Generation, who was positively murderous towards any Persian he saw - but rather that he gets pissed when they think they're stronger than him just because they're his evolved form. He was quite kind to the Raichu that Ash was trying to bond with during the Pokémon Summer Academy arc and ballroom danced with a Raichu in "Lights, Camera, Quack-tion". Not all Pokémon refuse evolution out of spite for their evolved forms after all.
    • In his first appearance (and to some degree a few following) Pikachu was more arrogant and anti-social, disliking having a trainer and thundershocking anyone who got too affectionate. Nowadays, he's pretty much The Hero of the Pokémon cast, being altruistic and incredibly loyal, and often something of a Straight Man to the other Pokémon.
    • Also early episodes depicted Pikachu as a bit of a Lovable Coward due to his inexperience, shirking from some daunting challenges Ash would recklessly volunteer him for. In later seasons, Pikachu jumps to the call just as often as Ash does.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Volt Tail, first seen in "Pika and Goliath", later reused as the finishing blow against Tobias' Latios. A funny example is his talent for mimicking other Pokémon whenever he needs to communicate something about them. He even used it in a Pokémon impersonation contest in Sinnoh.
    • Throughout Sun and Moon, Pikachu's habit of using its electricity as a solid object is given a subtle yet strong focus. This eventually manifests as Electro Ball morphing into Electroweb, which upon learning how to control it gave Pikachu a very versatile support move that can pin down enemies, be a defensive barrier, or even be used as a springboard. This becomes a key factor against Silvally and Tapu Koko.
  • Comically Lop Sided Rivalry: On the blatant winning end against Meowth toe-to-toe. It took until "A Frenzied Factory Fiasco" all the way in XY for Meowth to so much as land an attack on Pikachu. Give Meowth a Humongous Mecha and he can make it interesting, but even then, ultimately, The Good Guys Always Win.
  • Cool Big Bro: Whenever the team gain a younger or more inexperienced capture, Pikachu is almost always the most proactive Pokémon in looking out for them and keeping them safe from the likes of Team Rocket.
  • Crash-Into Hello: In BW065, Pikachu gets blasted off and lands in the arms of a kid and then accidentally zaps him. Said kid, who doesn't know much about Pokémon, initially believes that Pikachu (whose species doesn't exist in the Unova region) is the pre-evolved form of Zekrom.
  • David vs. Goliath: A recurring theme with his battles, since Pikachu is one of the smallest Pokémon. Most of his opponent's are much larger than him, and more often than not, they even might have a type advantage over him. If he wins, it is often because of his speed or the sheer power he has in his small body, often combined with Ash's brilliant and improvised tactics. However, in other cases, Pikachu simply loses.
    • Early in the series, Pikachu would refuse to fight Pokémon who were either too strong or too scary or tougher than the weaklings he would have taken on. He later grew out of it and accepts every challenge now.
  • Death Glare: Knew Leer.
    • He's also capable of pretty powerful regular ones. Special note goes to the one Meowth receives in BW047.
  • Defiant to the End: Pikachu refuses to get in his Poké Ball even if he is critically injured after a defeat. Nurse Joy has had to use the Magical Defibrillator on him at least twice (EP014 and DP074).
  • Demoted to Extra: During the battle against Gary in the Johto League, Pikachu is not part of Ash's full team (Tauros, Heracross, Muk, Bayleef, Snorlax and Charizard) and is just a spectator in the stadium. The same thing is implied when Ash battles Conway in the Sinnoh League, since besides having Noctowl, Donphan and Gible in his team, he also had Infernape, Torterra and Glalie at the beginning of the episode, which were the original line-up against Conway, and Pikachu is seen being with the other spectators rather than with Ash.
    • While still a main character, he received less attention in the XY series in comparrison to the Froakie family.
  • Determinator: Far more so in the early seasons, when he had to work to get all-powerful.
  • Deuteragonist: For all intents and purposes, considering he and Ash have been together since the beginning.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In addition to the Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment mentioned below, he once tried to eat an entire apple whole, resulting in him choking and requiring Ash and co. to take him to a hospital.note 
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It's defeated several Legendary Pokémon in its time, not to mention a Dragonite.
  • Discard and Draw: He forgot how to use Volt Tackle when he learned Electro Ball, and Electro Ball when he learned Electroweb. This is acknowledged in SM091, as he is unable to use Castropika due to no longer having Volt Tackle.
  • Distressed Dude: Team Rocket often succeed in capturing him. Then again, he really is the target of their schemes for most of the series' run.
  • Easily Forgiven: Similar to Ash considering Team Rocket's obsession with capturing him. It was almost subverted after Meowth's Heel–Face Mole scheme, which infuriated Pikachu. Still, by XY, it is clear that, despite knowing the inevitable, he will always submit to his conscience and give Meowth a second chance.
  • Easy Amnesia: In the episode "A Scare to Remember" he was hit on the head by an object and forgot all about Ash, instead joining Team Rocket. Another tussle brought his memories back.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: In the Banned Episode "Electric Soldier Porygon", when his electric attacks collided with missiles, the resulting explosion caused this effect, and had dire real-life consequences in the process.
  • Empathy Pet:
    • He's not always on the same boat as Ash, but generally in the face of stopping unfair antics and sheer gung-ho attitude to competition, Pikachu will often mimic his hammy passion.
    • Reversed in some regards. Both Ash and Pikachu have a Cool Big Bro attitude towards their team mates, however, since younger less experienced Pokemon were inducted to the main cast much earlier on in the anime than human ones, it was Ash who adopted this trait after Pikachu.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Knows Iron Tail, a Steel-Type attack that was originally taught to counter Rock-Type Pokémon, notably Roxanne's, and has since become Pikachu's go-to move for when his electric attacks are ineffective or compromised.
  • Fat Bastard: Was fat in the earliest episodes of the original series, this has now become Averted after his Character Development and Art Evolution.
  • Fauxshadow: The aforementioned "electric fever" fiasco made fans believe that the Magnemite would soon become a member of Ash's team. Of course, Ash does make a capture during that episode, but it's another mon entirely: Muk.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: If there's a Pokémon that he doesn't get along with that joins the group, chances are they'll become friends by the end of a battle.
  • Foil:
    • To Ash, of course. It's a lot more prominent in the earlier seasons, when Pikachu would frequently need to step in to prevent Ash from going clear off the deep end (it's perhaps because Ash has matured somewhat over the course of the series that the contrast is less obvious in more recent episodes), but even to this day it's clear that Pikachu is much more reasonable and level-headed than his Trainer, and he's not above reproachful glares and exasperated sighs (or, y'know, electrocution) when the humans around him get a little too stupid for their own good.
    • Also with Dawn's Piplup during the Diamond & Pearl saga. Pikachu being the mature veteran to contrast the rash newbie, Piplup.
  • Flash Step: Quick Attack makes him look like he's instantaneously moving from one spot to another.
  • Fragile Speedster: Pikachu is very fast and agile, but can't take too many hits. Unless you make him really angry - in which case it goes out the window and he'll smash the ever loving crud out of you, no matter what you throw back at him.
  • Friendly Enemy: While most of the heroes dabble in this with Team Rocket, Pikachu gets the most developed and obvious moments against Meowth. For all the latter tries to capture him and his allies, he shows recognition and forgiveness whenever Meowth displays his sympathetic side, and when the two frequently get separated from their owners, they often decide cooperating is a better strategy. In some of the Pikachu shorts, he and Meowth are outright pals. The other Team Rocket Pokémon usually have similar relationships.
  • Funny Background Event: Usually the source of it in the early series (with the most famous being his association with ketchup), but can still pop up from time to time.
  • Gender Reveal: Like most Pokémon, Pikachu's gender was ambiguous originally. While hinted at a few times throughout the series, "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before" (and female Pikachu gaining Secondary Sexual Characteristics through gaining that heart-shaped tail notch) finally confirms that Pikachu is male.
  • Genius Bruiser: As well as being one of the strongest of Ash's Pokémon, Pikachu is occasionally clever at evading capture from Team Rocket.
  • Glass Cannon: Pikachu can dish out enough electrical power to stun and even take down Legendaries, but can't take much physical damage himself, and can easily get taken out by a mere human. Of course, this is Depending on the Writer. Or how angry he is.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Done a lot with Meowth and the other Team Rocket Pokémon. The Pikachu shorts are often all about this, along with a lot of Japanese credit sequences.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Same as Ash. While he's slightly more skeptical to the likes of Team Rocket, he will give the benefit of doubt. As soon as you cross him however, it's a full throttle Thunderbolt.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: A running gag in the earliest episodes is Pikachu getting pissed off and electrocuting people, usually Ash, for the slightest indiscretion.
  • He Really Can Act: In-universe. As mentioned, Pikachu has an amazing talent of mimicking characteristics of many other Pokémon, usually for communication purposes for both in-universe and out. Ash and other humans can easily tell who he's mimicking, highlighting how convincing his impressions are.
  • Head Pet: Early on he liked to ride on Ash's head, but later is seen more on his shoulder.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ash and he are inseparable.
    • He also has this kind of dynamic with Piplup in the DP saga.
    • He was also close with Butterfree in the Indigo League. It's worth noting that Pikachu actually cried when Butterfree had to leave.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Similar to Ash when it comes to helping others who don't want it. He similarly has to be forced not help to Goodra in his war with Florges, while Hawalucha has to dissuade him from helping Noibat in it's fight with a Breloom.
    • He also seems to have this attitude towards helping Team Rocket, especially Meowth. He's one of few savvy that they'll inevitably double cross the team, but even when others think nothing of letting them rot, he doesn't quite have the heart.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's more rational than Ash (or any other character for that matter), but still loves the head-on approach and the battling all the same.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Quite literally. Throughout SM076, Pikachu's Electro Ball starts malfunctioning and splitting into particles. It is only after Team Rocket's Mimikyu rebounds and encases one with its Z Move "Let's Snuggle Forever" that it forms a net, having fully evolved into an Electro Web.
  • Image Song: "Pikachu's Song", the sixth XY ending theme. Thankfully, there is a translation for what he's singing below all the Pika-speak.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: His tendency to keep giving Meowth second chances despite knowing better plays into this. One Easy Amnesia plot also has him being convinced by Meowth he in fact serves Team Rocket. Despite this he never quite catches on that the team is evil, and spends the rest of the episode being nice and altruistic by reflex until his memories return. Meowth even laments to himself that he makes it very hard for him to pull off the dupe.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Well, to Ash anyway. Other characters that have spent significant time with him have also gained a bit of understanding.
  • Interspecies Romance: Not all the way to Bayleef's level, but every so often he starts making eyes at human females - which amusingly makes him far more aware than his own trainer!
    • Not to mention that he was the target of affection of three other mons; while one (Magnemite) was only attracted simply because of Pikachu's "electric fever", the second and third one (Buneary and Togedemaru) were/are overly blatant.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Seems to suffer his fair share of Amusing Injuries with Ash at times, especially in Alola.
  • Keet: Very energetic and high spirited. And in any series Ash is especially hyperactive, Pikachu will often replicate.
  • Killer Rabbit: Ash has warned a few people that this is a Pokémon that can shock in a moment's notice, though Pikachu liked Misty and Ritchie owns a Pikachu himself nicknamed Sparky.
  • The Kirk: Between Chespin and Froakie in the XY era, Pikachu serves as the balancing leader.
  • The Lancer: Ash's ever-present companion and ally, though he also offsets Ash's brashness by being the more mature and level-headed of the two.
  • The Leader: Default leader if the group is currently devoid of humans. Generally this to each team of Ash's Pokémon in whichever region.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In Alola, like Ash, he seems to have relaxed into a more playful overenthusiastic mood and spends a lot of the new competitions and situations acting like a Fish out of Water. When a threat or battle occurs however, we are reminded that Pikachu is by far the strongest and most experienced Pokemon of the entire classnote .
  • Lightning Bruiser: Depending on the Writer, Pikachu may become much tougher than he usually is, turning from a Fragile Speedster to a Lightning Bruiser who is not only strong and fast, but also tough enough to throw down with powerful Pokémon like Dragonite and even Legendary Pokémon like Latios. This tends to happen near the end of the respective sagas, when Pikachu is at the peak of his strength.
  • Limit Break: In the Sun & Moon series, Pikachu can use Gigavolt Havoc. When he first does, the result is extreme, even compared to Kiawe and his Turtonator's Z-move from the previous episode. The crystal breaks after the first use, but Ash is able to earn another through the island challenges. Before long, he's also able to use Breakneck Blitz as well, although Gigavolt Havoc is still preferred.
    • Starting in SM054, Pikachu is able to use 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt. When he and Ash try to use Gigavolt Havoc, Ash's Electrium Z suddenly transforms into a Pikashunium Z, and goes back to normal once the move ends. How this happened hasn't been explained as of yet.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: In SM076, he learns Electroweb, and encases himself in it to block Mimikyu's Let's Snuggle Forever.
  • Magical Defibrillator: A living one, and he's revived Ash from unconsciousness on multiple occasions. Does not work on petrification.
  • Mirror Boss:
    • His final battle in the Hoenn League has him fighting a Meowth that knows half of the same moves that he has.
    • In Ash's battle with the Orange League Champion, Pikachu was the one who fought Drake's first Pokémon, Ditto.
  • Mundane Utility: Pikachu has used his moves for mundane reasons:
    • Mallow had Pikachu use Thunderbolt on her Alolan Stew to give it extra flavor.
    • Pikachu himself used Iron Tail to cut an apple in half to share with Poipole.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: He has a knack for imitating other Pokémon and even humans, which he sometimes uses to communicate with trainers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon", Team Rocket's dynamite was seconds from going off with him, Ash, and Team Rocket a few feet away. In a moment of panic, Pikachu attempted to stop the fuse by blasting the dynamite with a Thunderbolt. The look on his face immediately afterward shows that he had forgotten that electricity and explosives are a bad mix.
  • Nice Mice: He's a Pokémon based off of a mouse, and he's a sweetie through and through.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Part and parcel of being franchise marketing representative the world over. Sort of justified as Pikachu doesn't want to evolve. Ash had kept the Thunderstone from Electric Shock Showdown until Sinnoh where Team Rocket stole it from his hands. Not that either of them cared - that's pretty much resolved the debate of Pikachu's evolution, permanently.
  • Not So Above It All: Many an occasion shows he can be just as hot-blooded, if not moreso, than his trainer. It must also say something that he also never sees through Team Rocket's disguises as they capture him.
  • Not So Different: Meowth is often on the different end of the spectrum to Pikachu, being a blatant Brains Evil, Brawn Good rivalry. However all their efforts and confrontations are done for the sake of their loyalty to their team, and it is often shown that, when forced to work together, they can have a very unified mentality. If they weren't on opposing sides, they could have easily been friends. They also both have some kind of aversion to evolving, albeit for different reasons (Pikachu wants to prove its strength as a Pikachu, Meowth simply hates other Persian).
  • Only Sane Man: Not so much at first, but as time draws on it becomes rather obvious he's more level-headed than the other Pokémon, and even trainers.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: At first he was Ash's go-to Pokémon for everything, but in XY he falls victim to it himself and gets overshadowed by Greninja. Keeping in mind Pikachu is no less competent than before, and played as large (if not as flashy) a part in the league and gym battles.
  • Papa Wolf: Hurt Togepi? BAD idea.
  • Parrot Pet Position: Spends most of his time on Ash's shoulder.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Keep in mind he's an oversized mouse creature with enough power to take down legendaries and pseudo-legedaries.
  • Pokémon Speak: Has a more variety in speech patterns than most Pokémon, but is still limited to only saying syllables from his name. If you listen close enough, you can tell when he's calling for someone. "Pika-pi" is what he called Ash. "Pi-pi-pi" is what he called Togepi.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Not him, but for Ash whose he's seen be kissed a couple of times before, however after seeing Ash get his first main series kiss (On the lips rather than cheek like in the past) from Serena, Pikachu's shock/blushing Reaction Shot qualifies as this.
  • Properly Paranoid: While the other heroes and their Pokémon tend to always fall for Meowth's manipulative antics, Pikachu tends to usually be suspicious. Despite knowing his track record however, he usually submits to giving Meowth a chance, with the expected results.
  • Psychoactive Powers: In one episode, after being separated from Ash and worrisome, Pikachu's power and fighting spirit becomes nerfed, unable to blast off or even hurt Team Rocket with his electric attacks. The trio aren't taken to capturing their Worthy Opponent in such a weakened state, and remain dormant until he finds Ash and his full strength is recovered.
  • Psycho Electro: When possessed by the Blue Orb during the Magma/Aqua arc's finale, he's lost to the world, unable to tell friend from foe, and becomes a bit crazy, shocking them with his Thunderbolt. He's also covered in Tron Lines which make him visually look like a real monster.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Pikachu is perfectly comfortable wearing things an American audience might consider "girly". In XY021, he wears the same pink frilly apron that Fennekin is wearing.
  • Reflexive Response: Being manhandled or tussled the wrong way can cause Pikachu to electric shock people as a defence mechanism. Judging by his often embarrassed or apologetic look afterwards, he can't quite help it. The amount of times he's shocked Ash has reduced too, usually only being when he can't help himself.
    • It's telling that Pikachu has never purposefully shocked Ash when Ash shows him affection - Ash even tickles and strokes Pikachu's stomach and head affectionately at one point when they're in Sinnoh and Pikachu doesn't shock him. Seems that "giving affection" is reserved specifically for Ash.
      • Also for Misty - in Alola, Kanto, he jumps straight into her arms and nuzzles her affectionately without sparking.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: As the franchise mascot, Pikachu was designed to be as marketable and cute as possible.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: It's a good thing Pikachu is so damn adorable; a 1'4" (0,41 meters) mouse would be pretty freaky otherwise.
  • Rubber Man: Not an actual power of his, but often shows stretching his own face elastically, for either funny faces or mimicking other Pokémon. For the latter, he can also puff his body for impressions, such as fluffing his lower body fur (Buneary), inflating himself (Cacnea and Jigglypuff), manipulating his ears (Budew and Lotad), or curl his zigzag-shaped tail (Meowth).
  • Running Gag:
    • In almost every region until the Best Wishes series, he has unwittingly and accidentally fried a female companion's bike with his Thunderbolt. This is "replaced" by Pikachu shocking a prospective female companion instead after she got too close to him for comfort.
    • His love for ketchup is a subtle case. It started in "Showdown at Dark City", brought up early in AG when Ash and May are eating supper, and again when the XY group first meets Korrina. There's even a Pikachu-centric ending theme dedicated to the stuff!
    • Pikachu also has a... thing... for Orange juice too.
  • Running on All Fours: Like many real rodents, he regularly stands on two legs but runs on all fours.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: He's able to harm Ground-type Pokémon with electric attacks due to sheer training. Most notably, he managed to defeat Blaine's Rhydon by shocking its horn, which acted as a lightning rod.
  • Secondary Sexual Characteristics: Retroactively, after female Pikachu started being depicted as having heart-shaped notches in their tails.
  • Series Mascot: The anime incarnation of Pikachu in particular became the mascot of the entire franchise since he's marketable than the originally intended Clefairy, and many other Pikachu would take cue from him. His species became a Breakout Character and they are prominently featured in many different media of the franchise.
  • Shock and Awe: The only Electric-Type in the main team until Dawn captured a Pachirisu. He still remains Ash's only Electric-Type Pokémon.
  • Signature Move: Originally, it was simply the Thunder-based variants, but as the series went on, Volt Tackle (which was later replaced by Electro Ball) and Iron Tail have become his game clincher moves. In Alola, he can now use the Z-move Gigavolt Havoc as his Finishing Move. Later on, Pikachu has access to the Z-move 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt - which is a unique move that only he can use.
  • Silent Snarker: Okay, not quite silent, but in the earlier episodes Pikachu seemed to be quite aware of Ash's Idiot Hero tendencies.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: In the episode "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokemon", while searchng for a female Nidoran, he catches sight of a tree full of delicious looking fruit. He then pretends to keep calling out for the Nidoran while conspiciously inching towards the tree.
  • Status Quo Is God: Pikachu is adamant that he will never evolve into a Raichu. He also hates traveling in his Poké Ball, and insists on staying out of it at all times.
  • Stealth Pun: Pikachu's love of ketchup is pretty appropriate considering his Undying Loyalty to his trainer, Ash Ketchum.
  • Strong and Skilled: Despite being a Glass Cannon, Pikachu more than makes up for the amount of raw power he dishes out, which has been capable of beating Legendaries. Being with Ash for the entire series, he is also Ash's most experienced Pokemon who had received extensive training to hone his skills.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Despite Pikachu originally being hailed as uncommonly powerful, his actual strength is wildly inconsistent, with the single most infamous example of this being Pikachu losing to Trip's starter Pokémon Snivy who hadn't fought a single battle in its life at the beginning of the BW arc after tying with a Latios at the end of the DP arc. That's also failing to mention his many other feats, like grabbing Lance's Dragonite by its antennae and tossing it to the ground.
    • Only the XY Saga averts this, as Pikachu rarely loses battles, and if he does, it's either against Gym Leaders or against Kalos League rivals. In said league, Pikachu wins two battles in the semi-final and final match, respectively, before being taken out by the rival's strongest Pokémon. Even better, in the final match, Pikachu defeats two pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, Alain's Tyranitar and Metagross.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: His Thunderbolt tends to cause explosions when it hits something. This is usually used to blast off Team Rocket, but occasionally he and Ash find other uses for it, such as re-shaping a battlefield to their advantage.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Iron Tail can either work as a blunt weapon or as an improvised blade.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When possessed by Groudon; Pikachu's never been scarier.
  • Support Party Member: During the Double Battle against Kalos' Psychic-Type Gym Leader Olympia, Ash chooses Frogadier and Talonflame instead of Pikachu. However, after the first Future Sight of Olympia's female Meowstic, Ash orders Pikachu to determine the time of how long Future Sight takes to be executed, giving Ash the chance to use Future Sight against the two Meowstics.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Almost all of the Pokémon have some sort of quirk that makes Pikachu look like the Only Sane Man by comparison. Not to say he doesn't do some dumb stuff himself...
  • Tail Slap: His Iron Tail. Even when not using the move, Pikachu's tail is pretty strong by itself.
  • Taken for Granite: Twice — by Hunter J's petrifying gun, and by Yveltal in the Diancie movie.
  • Team Dad: Pikachu is often trying real hard to guide & care for all the younger (or just less experienced) Pokémon, and is highly protective of them - from babies like Togepi, to rookies like Axew, to even his buddy Piplup. In fact, it's likely part of the reason he was so infuriated by Meowth's reveal as a Heel–Face Mole in BW047.
  • Third-Option Adaptation: Former Trope Namer. Instead of Ash choosing a starter like in the games, he was given Pikachu, and was able to obtain the starters later.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Was livid when Meowth turned out to be Heel–Face Mole in Best Wishes, to the point Ash had to calm him down. Granted this didn't stop them from reverting to their Friendly Enemy dynamic in many later episodes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Learning Agility and Quick Attack in "Electric Shock Showdown", for starters.
    • He has Iron Tail, for times when that doesn't work, as well as Volt Tackle and Electro Ball.
    • In SM076, he learns Electroweb, replacing Electro Ball, and uses it as a shield to block Mimikyu's Z-Move, Let's Snuggle Forever.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Ketchup. It occasionally pops up from now and then. There is an entire ending dedicated to his love for ketchup.
    • He also has a love of apples and berries.
  • Vague Age: The distinction is unclear for Pokémon in general, but it's especially unclear whether Pikachu is considered an adult or child. He's intelligent and frequently act as a mediator between other Pokémon. He's also quite excitable, playful, and gets caught up in Ash's enthusiasm very easily. In Pokémon: I Choose You!, his speaking voice implies that he's a child, but there's never been a real answer. [SM126] also hints that Pikachu is a child, or at least young; In the narrator's translation, he refers to himself using "boku", a pronoun typically used by young boys. Rowlet also the uses the same pronoun, lending further credence to Pikachu being a young Pokémon.
  • Vocal Evolution: Ikue Otani's voice for Pikachu has gotten higher in the newer episodes starting in 2003. Dubs for English and some other languages also sound inconsistent due to making attempts to redub some of Pikachu's lines, though that idea was abandoned fairly quickly.
  • The Worf Effect: Pikachu frequently falls victim to this, due to being established as one of Ash's most dependable Pokémon.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Team Rocket frequently use lightning resistant traps against Pikachu for example. There was one occasion where it was actually used to his advantage: Applied Phlebotinum caused Pikachu to strike a fever, which also gave him an insane power-up, leading to Ash's easy yet unintentional victory over Wattson.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Played straight in the earliest episodes. He has always been a mouse-based Pokémon, and back then he was an utter jerk to Ash. Averted later on, as now he's more of the Nice Mice variety.


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