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Ash Ketchum (Satoshi)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ash_ss.png
Click here to see Ash's Original outfit 
Voiced in Japanese by: Rica Matsumoto, Hana Takeda (younger, 2019 series)
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), Nicolás Toledo (younger, Season 23)
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 (Seasons 19-22), Matheus Perissé (Season 23-current)
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Voiced in Italian by: Davide Garbolino
Voiced in Dutch by: Christa Lips
Voiced in Hungarian by: Balazs Szvetlov (Original Series), Gergely Ungvari (Advanced), Csongor Szalay (Diamond and Pearl-present)

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.


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    A-C 
  • The Ace:
    • Ash is this during the XY series, at least in relation to his traveling companions (one of which happens to be a Gym Leader). 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. Winning the Manalo Conference, becoming Alola's first League Champion, and beating both Professor Kukui and Tapu Koko in a well-fought 6-on-6 battle cements his status as an ace, crowning himself Alola's most powerful trainer.
    • He returns to this in full force during Journeys, which makes sense, given that he is coming off of his win in the Manalo Conference. Alolan residents actually recognise and respect him as their Champion, while the PWT news circuit dubs him "Kanto's rising star" after he makes it to the top 15.
    • At the end of JN109, he becomes part of the Masters Eight. While he currently sits in 8th place due to his late entrance, he is otherwise now officially on the same the level of Champions such as Leon, Cynthia, Steven, and Lance, which firmly places him as one of the world's strongest and most skilled trainers. He even goes as far as to finally defeat Cynthia in JN125 which is telling since Cynthia was never defeated on screen prior to this episode.
  • Adaptation Name Change: While he's the anime's counterpart of the trainer protagonist from Pokémon Red and Blue, this one goes by Red in the games (and adaptations unrelated to the anime).note  Since the beginning of the series, however, the two incarnations began to diverge more in appearance and personality.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Unlike his game counterpart who became the Champion at the end of his Kanto journey and was recognized as a Pokémon Master by Lance, Ash was kept by the writers as a skilled but not Champion-level trainer for most of the series' duration in order to prevent him from becoming overpowered against most opponents, and to justify him visiting the many regions of the Pokémon world, always challenging the next Pokémon League after losing in the last one. He's slowly closing the gap, though, having finally become the winner of a major League at the end of the Alola series, after which he moved on to the loftier goal of entering the World Coronation Series as his next step in his quest toward becoming a Pokémon Master. By JN109 he's even joined the Top 8 trainers in the world in the Masters Eight Class participating in the World Coronation Series, dialing back on this even more.
  • 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? In later arcs of the show, any traces of the overconfidence that Ash had have finally vanished.
  • 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 Lumiose Conference finals realizes in the end that, between the two of them, Ash is the better trainer, especially after the Team Flare crisis.
    • He serves this role for Iris, especially after finally gaining his footing in Best Wishes. While Iris manages to defeat Ash in their first proper battle during the Club Battle finals, Ash ends up defeating her later on in the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup. When they battle again in BW116, his Charizard clearly has the upper hand over her Dragonite; N calling the battle off is the only thing that spares Iris from near-certain defeat. This ultimately carries over to Journeys as well; while Iris was able to become the Unova Champion, she would ultimately still end up losing to Ash when they battled in the Great Class of the World Coronation Series. Ash would additionally go on to defeat Cynthia in the Masters Tournament, something that Iris fell just short of achieving.
  • 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.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ash has had several rivalries over the course of the show, but the first and only one so far to ever reach this status was the one he had with Paul. As it was a battle of ideologies on what truly makes Pokemon stronger. Ash hated how incessantly cruel Paul was to his Pokemon, while Paul hated Ash's adherence to blind faith in his Pokemon over actual sound strategy.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Journeys episode 22, when he learns about Go's intention to leave Raboot behind he coldly asks if he told Raboot about it. Go has a change of heart hearing this and tearfully tries to get off the train to find his partner (who made it on the train just in time).
  • 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.
    • The alterations to the art style in Sun and Moon and Journeys makes him come off closer to his intended age (10) than previous art styles.
  • 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: No pun intended. 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. And it just became relevant after more than three and a half series with his new Riolu.
  • 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 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.
  • 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:
    • Don't take his hat, even if you are just joking, a wild Mankey and his Aipom did this, and Ash was less than pleased.
    • Never insult his relationship with Pikachu either - ESPECIALLY never, EVER tell him that Pikachu abandoned him or vice versa, or you're going out of line, and this was shown in Movie 8, where Ash gets into a fight with Lucario because he said that Pikachu didn't want to be his Pokémon anymore, in his face. This causes his anger at him for his prejudiced attitude towards humans to reach the breaking point.
    • Don't call him a coward.
    • In later 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. This also happened in "Ignorance is Blissey", where Team Rocket stole the Pokémon Center's food. And after Ash fasted the day before.
      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 Instinct: Ash has shown to have this when he would protect younger children, especially Max and Bonnie, from harm. Also, Ash does this for Lillie and Sophocles as he tries to keep them safe from danger.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • He most notably mentors 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 seen hanging out together.
    • He helps Dawn in this way as well, with her often looking to him for guidance and having a sibling-like relationship with each other.
    • He fills the role for Bonnie, although he travels with both her and her older brother Clemont, as they bonded through their love for Pokémon and lets her take care of his own in order to help her prepare for being a Trainer someday.
    • He helped Serena in becoming a Trainer and supported her goal in becoming a Pokémon Performer, in addition to giving her important advice.
    • His mentoring 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 she almost regressed it. However, Ash inspired Lillie to find answers to her past in hopes of ending her fear once and for all, which they were able to do.
      • 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. Ash explains to the two siblings that sometimes you can’t do everything alone, which got Lillie to stand up to Gladion as she realized that he was right and sees that they have a better chance in getting their mother back if they all go together.
      • He even mentors Lillie in her Z-Move training, with his advice and encouragement coupled with her desire to see her long lost father again allowed her to become in sync with her partner.
    • He also becomes this to Goh in Journeys, dispensing key information about knowing to honor his Pokemon's feelings and working as a true team.
  • 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 even though he was only required battle one of them.
  • 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 but he told that his experience with this assignment is something only he can do.
  • 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.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Ash is completely crushed after he loses the Indigo League to Ritchie, and has been lying despondent in bed all day since that loss. Misty, Brock, and Professor Oak come in and chastise him for this attitude, noting that the only reason he lost was because he failed to reign in his extremely stubborn and disobedient Charizard, not to mention that he practically relied on luck and not actually trained. They are right of course, as Ash never bothered to try and resolve whatever issues the big lug had with him, and he really never bothered to train with his team whatsoever. Heck, the only reason he got as far as he did was that four of his badges were given to him out of gratitude for his actions, and a lot of his early gym matches went poorly for him due to his arrogance and not using stronger Pokemon, or ones that had a type advantage over said gyms. All Ash had been doing since then is getting sidetracked on a lot of adventures that had nothing to do with his training, and only getting combat in the form of a incompetent team of criminals. In fact, he was lucky just to even make it to the Top 16, considering all of this. However, Ash has every right to be upset about his loss, since he was forced to fight under a severe handicap thanks to Team Rocket kidnapping him and forcing him to exhaust his team just getting to a match that he was nearly disqualified from. Plus, lazy or not, Ash had worked pretty hard to even get as far as he did, so naturally it was pretty heartbreaking for all that work to end up amounting to nothing. Charizard being disobedient or not, it was evident that nothing short of almost dying again would have gotten him to cooperate with Ash, which is what ended up happening anyway, and no amount of training would have kept Team Rocket off his back. Nevertheless, while Ash is right to be upset considering the circumstances, he does realize that he can't scoot by on luck anymore and has to train to be the best.
    • During Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Ash and his rival Paul end up coming to blows multiple times over their methodology of training Pokemon; the former values a strong bond with his team to bring out their true strength, while the latter prefers higher-stat based Pokémon and uses cold, calculated strategy with no regard for their emotions. Both of their methods do have valid points, but also their drawbacks. In Ash's case, having a strong bond with his Pokemon has given him valuable friendships and an unquestionable sense of loyalty from them, to the point where many have far surpassed their own limits out of sheer willpower. However, Ash's beliefs have also made him very impulsive and irrational in the heat of battle, and he is left highly vulnerable in situations where The Power of Friendship simply isn't enough. Paul's methods are overall considerably more consistent than Ash's, and he is right to believe that strength and strategy are needed to be a proper competitive trainer. However, his Lack of Empathy risks outright abusing his Pokemon as he did to Chimchar, and in their final battle at the Sinnoh League, his exceptional planning skills fail to account for Infernape's unbreakable will and Blaze ability. Both eventually come to acknowledge and respect each other's way of thinking; Ash realizes and accepts the value of genuine hard work and gets better at thinking things through, at least until Unova rolls around, and Paul becomes calmer and more compassionate, even thanking his Electivire after its loss for a job well done.
      • A crucial point of debate in their rivalry is Infernape, with Ash believing that Chimchar was strong on his own merits, and Paul believing his only worth was his exceptionally powerful Blaze. When Ash first receives Chimchar, he explicitly refuses to train Blaze, focusing instead on rebuilding his self-esteem through positive reinforcement. Even without it, Chimchar serves as one of Ash's most reliable Pokemon all throughout Sinnoh, even moreso after his evolutions. However, Paul's belief is validated when Blaze is finally activated in an intense battle, sending Chimchar into an Unstoppable Rage that Ash could just barely contain with a Cooldown Hug. Whether they like it or not, Ash and Chimchar would have to learn to control Blaze one day; however, rather than through Training from Hell like Paul tried so hard to do, Ash controls it through The Power of Friendship, adding several more layers of nuance to the ultimate result.
  • A Boy and His X:
    • Ash's unbreakable bond and friendship with Pikachu has been explored many times throughout the series as they have each others back. Also, Ash understands Pikachu hatred for not wanting to be inside his PokéBall as he lets him travel on his shoulder or head during their journey.
    • During the Sun and Moon series, Ash forged a similar bond with his Rowlet as it stays out with him like Pikachu does, although it doesn't have a problem in being in its PokéBall, because it enjoys sleeping inside his backpack. In addition, Ash lets Rowlet sit or sleep on his head or shoulder, which shows how close their bond is to each other.
    • In Journeys, Ash easily formed a strong relationship with his Riolu because of their similarities with Aura as he lets it spend time with him and Pikachu. However, Ash's closeness to Riolu nearly cost his friendship with Pikachu when he spend more time training with it. After Riolu evolved into Lucario, Ash maintain his relationship with it.
  • Brains and Brawn: Almost always Brawn. While Ash isn't stupid in smarts 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, Sophocles and Goh in particular effectively play Brains to Ash on occasion.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • In the Indigo League Championships, the day of his match with Ritchie, he was kidnapped by Team Rocket. After spending the entire episode using all of his Pokemon to escape (almost missing the match, and only not missing it because Ritchie kept stalling for time), he finally makes it back. Most of his Pokemon are too exhausted to battle by this point, meaning that he's handicapped. On top of that, he lost solely because Charizard refused to listen to him, thinking Ritchie's Pikachu was too weak to battle. Ash, feeling that his dreams were now over, was understandably depressed the next day, only everyone treated him like he had no right to mope. He bounces back afterward.
    • After being beaten in a Curb-Stomp Battle against Paul, where he got beaten 6-2. He spent an episode moping until he finally pulled himself together, but though his attitude improved, he didn't battle for quite a while until the Twinleaf festival.
  • 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.
  • The Cameo: Ash and Pikachu, or look alikes, have cameod in the main games during the Abandoned Megamart Trial and and the first episode of Twilight Wings.
  • Canon Immigrant: He appears in the Pokemon Masters event having been transported to Pasio while training for the Masters 8 tournament.
  • 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.
    • Whenever he captures a new Pokémon or receives a Gym Badge, he'll say "I got (Pokémon's Name/Gym Badge)" ("Getto da ze!"), which is almost always followed up by Pikachu repeating him by saying "Pi-Pikachu!"
    • 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.
  • Challenge Seeker: Part of the reason why he sees winning Leagues and defeating Champions as just the first step to becoming a Pokémon Master rather than the endgame is because he wants to always find greater challenges to take on. This is why he challenges all three Striaton City Gym Leaders instead of one, and he never regrets inviting Alain to the Lumiose Conference League despite knowing that he is a very powerful trainer who could crush his chance to win a League.
  • 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.
    • In the earliest seasons, Ash had a habit of letting any winning streak go to his head, and become smug and overconfident. In Journeys, Ash enjoys an early winning streak in his World Coronation Series battles (until he faces Bea, that is), but he doesn't let it make him overly boastful or arrogant.
  • Character Shilling: In the XY series. ALL of his traveling 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.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • 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 a 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.
  • 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, Macy, 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 (and how many characters he tells this to respond that he was only seeing things), Azelf of the Lake Trio in the Diamond and Pearl Saga (Mesprit 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).
  • 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 some 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 combines traits from both the male protagonist (Elio) and Lillie from the Sun/Moon games, despite the latter being an existing main character in the anime's cast. Like Elio, Ash moves from Kanto to Alola, is acknowledged by Tapu-Koko, and participates in the Island Challenge. Ash also becomes Alola League's first ever Champion. Due to Lillie's Adaptation Personality Change, Ash also received some of her game counterpart's elements. Like Lillie from the games, Ash lives in Professor Kukui's house (while also using its loft) and 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.

    D-J 
  • 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: Especially in the older episodes, before going away in more recent episodes.
    Misty: "Bugs are one of the three most disgusting things in the world!"
    Ash: "Aside from you, what are the others?"
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • Ash manages to defeat Drake (the Head Leader of the Orange Crew) in their Orange League Full Battle, becoming the first trainer to take down the previously undefeated Drake and his Dragonite.
    • In Ash's first Frontier Brain challenge, he and Charizard are able to take out Noland and his unofficial Articuno, becoming the first trainer to defeat a Legendary Pokémon on-screen.
    • Ash defeats Brandon (the strongest of the Frontier Brains in Kanto) in their third battle, becoming the only known trainer to have fully conquered the Kanto Battle Frontier.
    • During the Lily of the Valley Conference, Ash becomes the first trainer to ever defeat Tobias's Darkrai, with Tobias having previously dominated the entire Sinnoh region using only Darkrai. While Ash ultimately still loses the battle, he would go on to take out Tobias's Latios as well, putting up a much better performance against Tobias than the actual finalist (who was swept by Darkrai).
    • While the battle never reaches a proper conclusion, Ash becomes the first trainer to match and actually overpower a Champion, managing to bring Diantha, the Kalos Champion, to the brink of defeat in their second battle. However, Ash passes out from the strain of Bond Phenomenon with his Greninja before the final blow is struck.
    • After winning the Manalo Conference and becoming the Alola Champion, he faces off against Professor Kukui (the implicit strongest trainer in the region, who also ends up having Tapu Koko, one of the guardian deities, battling for him) in a Full Battle and wins, solidifying himself as the new strongest trainer in Alola.
    • In Journeys, Ash becomes the first trainer to defeat both Steven and Cynthia on-screen, notably defeating the latter in a very difficult Full Battle.
  • Determinator: Ash will not give up on his goals regardless of setbacks he encounters.
    • Azelf, the Willpower Pokémon, ends up connecting with him.
    • He uses the same team he had during his first Full Battle with Paul in their rematch at the Lily of the Valley Conference for essentially this reason alone.
    • He finally accomplishes one of his major goals in winning a Pokémon League Conference and becoming a League Champion after going through seven main regions.
  • 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. Journeys mostly goes back to his more serious personality from XY, but he still retains some of his silliness from the previous series.
  • 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. In Journeys, he has a Dragonite he sometimes flies around on.
  • 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.
    • Subverted a great deal in Journeys in a number of ways. His first two captures (Dragonite and Gengar) were already fully evolved by the time Ash caught them (with the former in particular being a pseudo legendary, of all things), and his final capture so far (Dracovish) is an absurdly powerful fossil Pokemon with no evolution to speak of. The only two new captures he had to spend the most time training were Riolu and Galarian Farfetch'd, but by episode 60, both have fully evolved as well. Lastly, all of the new captures, save for the aforementioned fossil Pokemon, are all Pokemon introduced in earlier Gens (Farfetch'd is a regional form). Justified, as Ash is competing in the World Coronation Series this time around, meaning he's going to be competing against countless experienced veterans who are far above the average gym leader (even most Champions are competing) once he reaches the higher tiers. Understandably, making him raise a new team entirely from scratch would really do him more harm than good this time around if he really wants to boost his rank.
  • 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 given his tendency to talk down Kanto, 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.
    • Journeys both plays this straight and subverts it. When Ash runs into anyone who he's met before people will often bring up his past achievements, such as defeating Lt. Surge, saving Erika's Gloom, etc, and several Alolans note his status of champion. In the Ultra Class and later battles of the World Coronation Series, his achievements in the World Coronation Series, and in the Masters Eight Alola, come up. However no one on just recognizes him for his statuses outside of this.
  • 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.
    • From Johto to XY (with the aforementioned exception of Unova), this is played with. Ash is pretty consistently Book Dumb, but he slowly improves as a battler and becomes more insightful in terms of raising Pokemon, as well as mentoring the new Trainers that he travels with.
    • 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.
    • This continues to be downplayed in Journeys, still showing the tactics and strategy he had from the two previous series.
  • 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. Journeys mostly reverts him to how he was in XY, though he occasionally still shows his more buffoonish personality from Sun and Moon, mainly in more comical episodes.
  • 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.
    • In Journeys, he helps a Dragonair who can't fly to learn the necessary move by using Pikachu's Electroweb as a trampoline. He predictably shocks himself and Drgonair, but in the end it does the trick and the Dragonair learns Dragon Dance to fly.
  • The Empath: Ash has shown numerous times to understand the feelings of Pokémon as he feels or senses it sometimes.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Ash may have started his journey as a Badass Normal ten-year-old, but his dealings with Sir Aaron's Lucario and then his own Lucario have unlocked his latent Aura powers.
  • 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...
  • Era-Specific Personality: With a small handful of exceptions (see Characterization Marches On above), Ash's personality and development were relatively consistent from the original series to Diamond and Pearl. Starting from Unova, he's been subject to numerous reinterpretations based on the direction and tone of the current series.
    • Unova largely reset his competence back to that of a novice trainer, but without the bratty or snarky qualities he used to have in the original series, making his portrayal more that of a Kindhearted Simpleton.
    • Kalos played up his Action Hero qualities and portrayed him as The Ace and The Leader of the group, while heavily downplaying most if not all of his negative ones (the Team Flare climax at the end of the series pretty much treats him like a Messianic Archetype). This is mainly done to suit the very action-heavy XY series, as well as justify the Hero Worship he receives from nearly all of his Kalos companions and rivals.
    • Alola changes him yet again, playing up his childlike energy and naivete in accordance to the Denser and Wackier tone of the series. Unlike Unova, however, he still retains his battle competence.
    • Journeys retains most of his Denser and Wackier qualities from Sun and Moon, though a bit more toned down. His emotional openness and hands-on nature is particularly highlighted to contrast him with the reserved, by-the-books Goh.
  • Every Device Is a Swiss-Army Knife: The way Ash generally uses his Pokémon's moves: while many of his rivals will frequently teach their Pokémon a variety of moves to react to different situations, Ash uses what moves they know or learn on their own but applies them in a wide array of uses. Probably his most famous example is Counter-Shield, which takes a move like Water Gun or Thunderbolt to use a defensive shield, but it is far from the only time it has happened.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though he can't stand Team Rocket, he does NOT approve of other villains doing horribly cruel things to them.
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: He's certainly in an upper eschelon of trainers given only the select few with all (usually eight) badges compete in the league finals. Plus, he managed to win two side tournaments (Orange Islands and Battle Frontier) that didn't involve an elimination bracket. Yet only in Sinnoh, his fourth championship, Ash managed to go beyond the quarterfinals. And two more until he got to the final in Kalos, and even then it was a defeat in a Down to the Last Play bout. Ash is downright shocked when he finally wins it all in Alola!
  • 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. While he did win both the Orange Islands league and Battle Frontier, 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 his father, since Ash was the first thing he 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/Pokémon 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.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Almost towards the end of the Sun & Moon series, Ash was stuck on what's next for him, due to finishing his Island Challenge and the Pokémon League was over. Although he did think about catching some more Pokémon, Ash asked Professor Kukui for an idea but he told him that he should figure it out for himself, much to his frustration. When asked by Olivia about his plans, Ash answers her by telling that he should figure it out on his own but did listen to her words about seeing the world. After thinking about what Olivia said and realizing his Alola journey was coming to an end, Ash not only decided to continue his journey to become a Pokémon Master but also fingered out his next step in order to make that happen by going back out and seeing the world.
  • First Friend: Ash is this to Pikachu, and vice versa. They have inseparable ever since their first episode together.
  • Fist Pump: Loves making this gesture when he's getting fired up about something.
  • Forced Transformation: Briefly turns into a Pikachu in "Hocus Pokémon".
  • 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.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Ash in Capacia Island UFO! told this to his hypnotized Pikachu when he saw him wearing a Beeheyem face as he tells him that he wanted him to be back to way he is, which got him to snap out of the trance.
  • 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.
  • Go Through Me: In the very first episode, Ash does this to defend Pikachu from a flock of rampaging Spearow, when the two just met and Pikachu hates his guts. This ultimately earns him Pikachu's respect, and Pikachu jumps into the air and launches a massive Thunder Shock that knocks out the entire flock in one shot.
  • 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 “Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio!”.
  • Gut Feeling: Ash will often make his choices in battle bsaed on his gut, with mixed results. For example in the first two Gyms in Johto, he had a gut feeling to use Chikorita against the Flying-type user Falkner and Bug-type user Bugsy: his choice got Chikorita taken out without a knockout against Falkner while his gut was more on point with Bugsy where she won him a round.
  • 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. In the final episode of XY, 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.
    • Averted hard in Journeys, where he retains his strategic battle style from the previous two series. This is mainly thanks to this series rotating between different regions instead of staying put like before. This trope stays averted, even when he does eventually go on a trip to Galar.
  • 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 Ash 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 new for Ash as no matter what has happened previously, he never questioned his bonds with his Pokémon before.
    • Ash goes through another one during Making Battles in the Sand! when he has a little bit of a losing streak in the World Coronation Series after losing to Bea, which put him back in the Normal Class. However, Ash regains his confidences when he sees Goh use a strategy that he developed after watching his battles and reaffirms his desire to battle Leon again.
  • Heroic Rematch: This is the general theme for whenever he faces his main rival in a region. Ash never wins a traditional Pokémon battle against them before they battle in the League of that region (the best he can hope for is a draw, though he can win against them in competitions that aren't battle based). This is done to slowly build up their rivalry and Ash's desire to win, until they finally clash one final time in the League and Ash claims victory. The only exception to this was against Alain, who Ash never managed to beat, even in the League.
  • Heroic Spirit: Ash has used his fighting spirit to resist Lysandre's control, even breaking free from Team Flare's restraints.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: He may be "the pride of Pallet Town", but when he goes to a region outside his native Kanto, it's rare for him to meet someone who already knows who he is. This means that he has to prove himself all over again, which he's only too happy to do.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Pikachu, Brock, Cilan, Clemont and Goh.
  • Hey, You!: Team Rocket always refers to him as "twerp".
  • Hidden Depths: Ash's Book Dumb and Pokémon-obsessed personality bely the fact that he does actually have a surprising number of talents on the rare occasions he deigns to show it, such as drawing sketches and being an excellent baker. By the time of Journeys, the writers also don't bother to hide the fact Ash's travels have actually endowed him with a wide array of expertise in regards to the lore and biology of various Pokémon-every now an then, he'll explain things even Go doesn't know anything about.
  • 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 exceptionally 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. He also rarely swaps out his Pokémon for ones he's caught previously, even if it might benefit him to do so.
    • 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. Charmander suddenly becomes disobedient after evolving (twice even!), 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 inexperienced, 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 multiple characters can often lead to Pokémon not pulling their weight as much as they otherwise could. 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 inexperienced 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 many 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 became Ash's strongest team member in a short amount of time, but is temporarily released to care for some Pokémon. 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 and only gets as far as a tie against Sawyer's Slurpuff. 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 thus doesn't really gets much glory in the league often acting as the fall guy. 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 XY&Z in order to deal with the remnants of the Zygarde Megalith along with Z2, causing Ash to lose one of his strongest Pokémon for the rest of the series, barring a possible return in the future.
  • 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. He dropped this later on, and by the time double battles are introduced he will rarely hesitate to match numbers when necessary .
    • Ash will frequently use Pokémon in battles against their personal rivals and let their personal rivalries influence his decision over strategies. This, alongside his tendency to follow his gut in team picks, has backfired as often as it has succeeded for him, particularly tending to backfire on him in Sinnoh (see below)
    • Becomes a recurring plot point in Diamond and Pearl; whenever Ash battles Paul, he doesn't just aim to win but to win in a way that makes his Pokemon the most happy. He continuously puts his pride on the line by using Pokemon that are clearly outmatched note , something that bites him in the ass time and again because Paul is easily able to predict his strategies and bait Ash into leaving openings for him to exploit in order to turn their battles into one-sided beatdowns, especially prominent in the League where Paul uses 3 new Pokemon (Drapion, Frosslass, Gastrodon) to throw off Ash who brought his Sinnoh team for payback and almost wins with Drapion alone after using Aggron and Gastrodon as fall guys.
    • Defied but begrudgingly in XY. 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. It turns out to be for the best, however, as Ash eventually proves very helpful in helping them save Lusamine and survive the hostile Ultra Space.
    • Ash is more than willing to let a Pokémon go or let someone else capture it, either because they are more happy where they are now, and/or because the trainer/friend is most active for it. Case in point, his Charizard was abandon by his trainer as a Charmander, and Brock was the most active in trying to save it, it's why he was insistent in having Brock look after him rather than catch it himself, and only did so when Brock trusted Ash to take care of him instead. Another example comes from his capture of Noctowl, because of it's smaller size and shiny form, another person, Dr. Wiseman, spent a long time trying to capture said Noctowl through man-made traps, but never could. Ash never made an attempt to capture it seeing as Wiseman wanted it more, but when Wiseman respectfully stepped aside saying Ash is more deserving to try, Ash complies. As for letting Pokémon go, Rowlett was with his adoptive family ran by a Toucannon, so Ash decides to forego catching it, as he did not want to separate them. When Rowlett got permission by Toucannon to go, and made it clear to Ash he'd rather be with him.
  • Hot-Blooded: His passion for Pokémon and battles (or anything else that catches his interest for that matter) is quite staggering and he is extremely energetic.
  • Humble Hero: While he intially started off more brash and arrogant, Ash has become this thanks to Character Development. He's always proud of his Pokémon for their hard work, respects his opponents, and always willing to help anyone with their problems out of his own selfless nature. Perhaps best shown in JN076, where it just casually happens to come up in conversation that he is the Alola League Champion (one of the biggest titles one can have in the Pokémon world) and never mentioned (let alone boasted) for 76 episodes even in scenarios where he could have brought it up.
  • I Didnt 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.
  • I Hate Past Me: Ash isn't thrilled when Misty and Brock bring up the bad parts of their first journey together as he gets defensives and tries to hide his past, even from his past and current friends, but it shows that he isn't entirely proud of who he use to be.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Ash has pulled this off many times with his Pokémon (such as Pikachu, Infernape, and Lycanroc), whenever they were mind controlled or in a berserk state. While he is generally successful at getting through to them, there have been a few occasions where it didn't work.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Ash was like this in the Kanto arc. He had his bratty and asshole moments due to his own insecurities about the mistakes he made as a rookie trainer. It didn’t help that people would always put him down for it. He grows out of this once he improves as a trainer.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • After losing his full battle against Paul, Ash felt at fault for both his Pokémon's injuries and the loss itself.
    • Ash felt ashamed for not only letting his fear of losing his Pokémon family get the better of him but also for his Gym Battle loss against Wulfric when he saw how badly hurt his Greninja was.
  • 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 (even adults that should know better) 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 and Journeys, 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.
    • In a promo video for the Top 4 of the Masters Eight, Ash along with several other high ranking trainers are given stats, and Ash is the only one of them to have a maxed out unpredictability stat.
  • 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 where he loses it.
    • 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.
    • He holds the ball a lot during Advanced Generation in general. He constantly rushes the group to his next gym battle with little regard for anything else, and got pissed at May in one episode for simply looking at a mirror. He also became a lot more arrogant and brash when challengeing gyms, the biggest example being in "Brave The Wave", where he acts like a Sore Loser after losing to Brawly, harshly critcizes the aforementioned gym leader's lifestyle, and angrily tells Brock to shut up after he tells him to calm down. He eventually mellows out by the time of the Battle Frontier.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • In "Friends to the End", Ash was very upset when he lost the Indigo League and accused Misty of calling him lazy, although she wasn't entirely wrong on that one. However, seeing and listening to Richie deal with his loses, Ash realized his bad behavior.
    • In "Turning Over A New Bayleef", after getting consistently tackled, Ash snapped at his Bayleef to get away and stay away from him when she tried to approach him slowly. However, after a while, Ash noticed his Bayleef absences and went looking for her. Through the help of his friends, Ash realized that his harsh words were the reason that Bayleef left and felt awful for snapping at her. After finding her, Ash attempts to apologizes to Bayleef for his behavior but kept getting the silent treatment from her, until he earned her forgiveness when she saw his attempts to save her from Team Rocket.
    • In "Brave the Wave!", Ash was upset that he lost his Gym Battle against Brawly as he thought he wasn't taking battling seriously because of his carefree nature. After getting scolded for pushing his Treecko too hard and tried to help see through his mistake, Ash's frustration got worse as he snaps at his friends then he ran off with Pikachu not far behind him. However, while walking with Pikachu, Ash not only realized that he really did push Treecko too hard during the Gym Battle and felt guilty for losing his temper towards his friends but also sees that Brawly is a serious Gym Leader when he sees him train his newly evolved Pokémon.
    • In "Seeing the Forest for the Trees!", after losing his Gym battle against Wulfric and went to the Winding Woods alone, Ash was depressed about how he let fear get better off him as both his confidences have been shatter and questions himself. However, Ash was visited by a very concerned Serena as she attempted to help him up but gets frustrated with her. Although, after seeing Serena's angry and hurt face when she called him out for his behavior along with telling him that he wanted the real him back, Ash not only realized that he really hurt her feelings but also was right about how he's been acting.
  • 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.

    K-Z 
  • 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 
    • Throughout the series there have been many strong Pokémon in his roster that simply joined his team free of choice because of his kindness toward them.
  • 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.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: There have been a few times where Ash, despite being known to never give up, had to do exactly that when there's no option.
    • During his first try against Blaine, Ash couldn't defeat his Magmar and Pikachu was his only Pokemon left, not to mention Blaine also had a Ninetales in peak condition too. Ash realize that it was simply not worth it and forfeited. Blaine congratulated his decision for putting his Pokemon's safety above all else.
    • In Diamond and Pearl He faces Fantina and fell victim to her Pokemon's hypnosis, putting all available Pokemon he had to use to sleep. Ash concedes, simply because he realize that they were all sitting ducks.
  • 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. Journeys further downplays this, as the only person he's traveling with this time is Goh.
  • 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.
    • It gets to the point that when he was training Rockruff, he willingly used himself as a target for its new move, Rock Throw. His classmates are left surprised by how he seems to shrug it off.
  • Magnetic Hero: Naturally, Ash draws a lot of attention from Pokémon who end up joining his team. He also has a talent for 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.)
    • Also during the Alola League, Professor Oak and Delia note that Ash tends to partner up with a lot of highly competitive Pokémon, and that they seem to flock to him. (Incineroar, Hawlucha, Buizel, Sceptile...) are they wrong?
  • Master of All: The second character, after Ilima to use both Z-Moves and Mega Evolution in the anime and the first character seen to use Z-Moves, Mega Evolution, and Dynamax.
  • 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, idolized by most of the cast, with barely any of his former flaws still coming back to bite him. Sun and Moon dialed him back into a far more comedic and childlike character, though still keeps the majority of his Nice Guy characterization to maintain Character Development. Journeys reverts him back to this trope.
  • Mirror Character: Ash's Friendly Rival Ritchie is pretty much who Ash would be if he were a little bit more competent. Their Pokemon rosters are very similar (both using a Pikachu, a member of the Charizard line, a Butterfree, and a member of the Pidgey line), they have similar appearances aside from wearing contrasting colors, and they managed to have a very close championship battle.
  • 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?:
    • In Pokémon Scent-sation!, Ash becomes grief-stricken upon discovering that he was forced to become Team Rocket's Unwitting Pawn in their plans to steal Erika's perfume and blow up Celadon Gym.
    • In "Brave the Wave!", After snapping at his friends for scolding him, Ash had this reaction when he realized how hard he pushed his Treecko, during his Gym Battle against Brawly.
    • In Seeing the Forest for the Tress!, Ash had this when he realize how hard he was on Serena, after he yelled at her for trying to help him and this caused him to get thrown a couple of snowballs in the face. After meeting up with her and noticing her attempts to apologize to him, Ash stopped Serena from saying anything as he assured her that he understands her intentions were to help him then thanked her for that as she truly did help him get out of his depression, which was also an apology to her.
    • In Betrayed, Bothered and Beleaguered!, Ash is implied to have experienced this off-screen when Chloe told him how Pikachu was feeling neglected in favor of Riolu. After deducing where his partner and best friend would most likely be going, Ash rushed to Pallet Town in order to fix things with Pikachu.
  • 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. Finally averted in Alola, where even after he finally wins the league and becomes champion, he's still allowed to leave and continue his journey in other regions.
  • 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.
  • 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: Zigzagged, but Ash tends to get lost if he's left to lead the way rather than someone else.
  • 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.
    • With Journeys, it's getting worse. In episode JN002, his room has a shelf with many of his badges from previous series, including the trophies for winning the Orange League (Orange Islands) and the Manalo Conference (Alola), and badges from every region plus the Kanto Battle Frontier. That's an awful lot of stuff having been done all allegedly at the age of ten. The Japanese narrator even outright states in JN001 that he and Pikachu have had "many aventures" together to that point.
      • Not to mention that the child of Professors Kukui and Burnet, Lei, is several months old when Ash meets him. Even though they got married while Ash was on Alola, and Lei's conception occurred at some point close to Ash's departure from Alola. And yet, 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.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • At the start of Octo-Gridlock at the Gym!, he has managed to climb back up to Great Class in the Coronation Series.
    • In A Crackling Raid Battle!, he is able to send Team Rocket blasting off out of the factory. However, you only see the blast off, and not the attack Ash did that made it happen.
    • In JN105, he manages to defeat former Champion Wallace in a mostly offscreen battle, with only very small and non-crucial portions of the match being shown.
  • 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 had been knocked down. 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 and then dares endanger Lillie and tries to have her memories erased to cover up his tracks, Ash eschews Pokémon battling and just straight up body slams the man himself.
    • In Goodbye, Friend!, after Goh decides that he'll leave Raboot behind in the Hoenn region. Ash states, in a very cold tone of voice that while he will accept Goh's decision if he's serious, he then asks if Goh asked Raboot about it.
  • 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, Nebby the Solgaleo who he raised from birth, as well as being implied to be 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 his parents.
  • Pet Positive Identification: In "Pokemon Scent-sation!", Ash, after being banned from the Celadon Gym, is forced to disguise himself as a girl to get in. Ash's disguise is able to fool even his travelling companions, but Pikachu recognises him all too quickly.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: 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 all his female companions (even those who show an interest on him) notable examples are both May and Dawn since Ash served as a Big Brother Mentor to both of them. May also count as a life partner with Lillie, who considers Ash to be one of her closest friends and was very thankful for helping her family in their time of need.
  • 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 causes Ash to black out and collapse from exhaustion. This becomes less pronounced after they master it, though some of it is still there.
  • 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:
    • When Latias (disguised as Bianca) gives him a goodbye kiss as he leaves Alto Mare, Ash is speechless and shocked after the fact. Even as both of his friends are outright bewildered by what happened.
    • 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 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 used in both DP070 and DP071 and recently in Journeys) He's decided not to get any training in Aura in order to continue his journey. The new series implies Ash's Aura manifests during battles, empowering his Pokemon, as seen with his Riolu who used Ash's aura to identify him as the trainer who cared for it as an egg.
  • 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.
    • Also another one-sided Latias in Pokémon Heroes develops a crush on him thanks to Ash saving her and her brother, Latios multiple times. In spite of Ash being a human
    • 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 one-sided 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.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: During an argument with Serena, Ash was right that not everything is gonna be anyone's business but was wrong to be harsh with her. Although he knows that some of the things he said during their argument were true, Ash realized that Serena was more right than he was as he decided to apologizes to her by thanking her for her words and knocking some sense into him.
  • 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 Lumiose 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 possesses. In the aftermath of 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.
  • Seen It All: It usually isn't too explicit, as Ash is the sort of guy to just enjoy adventure in general, but he'll often remain calm compared to a friend or companion when something unusual happens. A notable occurence happens when Ash, Dawn, and Goh first see Arceus and the lake guardians in Arceus Chronicles: Goh is visibly shocked while both Ash and Dawn calmly discuss the situation afterward.
  • 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 Headgear: He never goes anywhere without a baseball cap, changing it between seasons. His original hat (of which only 100 copies exist) is actually an official prize from the Pokémon League which he won by sending 1000 postcards.
  • 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, though almost always on their side rather than his'. Though that hasn't stopped a few hints on his side.
    • One of the more notable ones is Misty who at times was all but said to have a crush on Ash herself. Notably Ash had a similar sentiment when, in the Orange Isles, Rudy all but asked Misty to come with him, with Ash getting jealous of this.
    • Ash was notably very kind and concerned about May (when they weren't bickering that is).
    • He was always notably gloomy whenever Dawn was in a funk following a loss, and did his best to cheer her up. In "Cream of the Croagunk Crop" he also asks her out on a dance at the festival. Later series imply that she is the only female companion Ash has ever talked to any of his later companions about without said companions meeting an older one first or having to learn about them from outside sources.
    • After a fight with Iris that ends with them almost swearing off their friendship in "The Path that Leads to Goodbye!" Cilan makes them both reconcile and Ash does so by giving her a flower gift.
    • He is notably stunned when Serena kisses him on the lips and smiles back at her after she is done and is ready to leave.
    • He has had a lot of moments of this with Lana during his time in Alola. Including smiling awkwardly when first meeting her.
    • The Alolan girls (Lillie, Mallow and Lana) take out Ash for a shopping spree at a jewelry in SM20, when a woman there tells Ash that he must have a good relationship with all three of the girls he notably blushes at her comment.
  • 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!".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In the Kanto arc of the original series, Ash was arrogant and cocky despite being a rookie who had no idea about the basics of Pokémon battling, such as type advantages. Misty calls him out on it big-time after he captures Pidgeotto and gloats about it... after sending his Caterpie against it and watching it get curb-stomped.
    Ash: I am the greatest!
    Misty: [slaps him] You're the worst! You have no idea what you're doing! It'll be a long time before you're a Pokémon Master, like a million years!
  • 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: On rare occasions after an especially meaningful victory, Ash will stand completely still for a moment with a dumbfounded expression. This has happened after defeating longtime rival Gary for the first time in the Silver Conference (where Ash had to make a 1 vs. 3 comeback with only his Charizard), winning the Manalo Conference against Gladion (to the point where he asks his opponent if he actually won), and defeating Sinnoh Champion Cynthia in the Masters Tournament (who had previously been undefeated on-screen).
  • 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. Though as he gets better as a trainer he starts coming closer and closer to the top of a League, culminating in his victory in the Alola League, followed by a successful title defense exhibition match even when the mighty Tapu Koko stands in his way as Kukui's 6th Pokémon.
  • 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 and especially the out-of-the-box tactics he had to use to stand up to his toughest rival yet, Paul, which included burrowing underground with Infernape to vaporize Toxic Spikes with the fire for example. Shows that he still has it in Unova during his league battle with Stefan. He fully regains this status in XY, first by spending time training to counter Viola's techniques for their rematch after a crushing first battle, 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 at all, 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 emphasize 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.
  • Super Strength: Don't be fooled by him being 10 years old he has among many things: thrown a giant log to help a Bagon (logs are calculated to be half a ton at least), able to carry a Flechinder with one arm (which weighs 35 pounds), and able to use both to lift a Pignite (122 pounds), a Larvitar (158 pounds), and a Cosmoem (2204.4 pounds). Furthermore he is strong enough to throw full-grown adults off their feet by tackling them as Dr. Namba and Faba learned the hard way.
  • Super Toughness: He's been electrocuted by Pikachu multiple times, he's been incinerated by Charizard multiples times (who, if the Pokédex is to be taken literally, can melt anything), and a wide bunch of other things, and he's barely phased. Notably when training Infernape's Blaze Ash would often be hurt by his own Pokémon's Unstoppable Rage yet Ash still pulled on.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: After becoming Champion of the Alola League, he wins a hard-fought full battle against Professor Kukui. What's more, during the battle he also defeats Tapu Koko, who'd served as a Trickster Mentor to him and Pikachu throughout their time in Alola.
  • 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 Tale Told by an Idiot: Ash has a lot of first hand experiences, but when he tries to explain to younger people about things like evolution and Z-moves he often can describe them more in a manner that is very undescriptive despite his enthusiasm.
  • 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.
    • As Ash was seemingly unstoppable with his Charizard in Johto following his victory against Falkner, he's humbled by having his Charizard be curb-stomped by the Charizards of the Charrific Valley and subsequently leaves Charizard behind to train with them.
    • After his decisive victories in the Battle Frontier, he would end up losing to his former rival Gary and his Electivire at the end of the saga, as well as meeting a formidable new rival in the Diamond and Pearl series, with Paul managing to tie with him in their first battle and defeat him outright in their second battle. These battles helped to show just how tough he's going to have it in Sinnoh.
    • 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.
    • His loss to Bea in JN034 marked his first loss to someone outside of Leon ever since winning the Manalo Conferencenote .
    • 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.
  • Tears of Joy: Sheds them briefly in the Sun and Moon finale when the rest of his True Companions fly by to see him off properly.
  • This Loser Is You: Ash at first pretty much acts the way any little kid playing the games for the first time would act forgetting key factors, being arrogant the second he got a strong Pokémon and not bothering to check a lot of facts needed to get through the Pokémon World. He drops this aspect after the Original Series, with him gradually turning into a smarter and more capable trainer who accomplishes many major victories.
  • To Be a Master: A Pokémon master! Even if only Ash seems to know what that exactly is supposed to mean, as Ash does not consider himself one after winning the Alola League.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • When Ash started as a trainer, the guy was not a particularly talented trainer, struggling with his Pokémon's obedience and winning battles often through dumb luck while not putting in enough effort to truly maximize his potential. After the Indigo Plateau Conference, Ash began taking the steps to rectify this with more work at training his team and began winning more battles through skill. This began to bear fruit in the Orange Islands and Johto, and by the time Ash was battling his way through Hoenn he was reaching levels of competence in battle, training, and tactics that would define him in all following sagas (with the exception of Unova, which even then did not regress him to a point that matched his starting levels).
    • Ash is no match for Elite Four members or Champions prior to his adventures in Kalos. However, starting with XY&Z, he becomes strong enough to be able to match or even potentially overpower them (as shown with his battle against Diantha). He earns his first victories over both a Champion (Iris) and an Elite Four member (Drasna) in Journeys, along with defeating former Champion Wallace. At the end of JN109, he finally joins the Masters Eight, officially being recognized as one of the eight strongest trainers in the world and culminates in decisive victories against Steven and Cynthia.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While he is prone to Snap Backs in competence and maturity from time to time, 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.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: At first in the English dub, he was excited to get a burger when in a new town. In Black & White, Cilan revealed Ash's favorite food to be a croquette sandwich (this time in all versions). This would continue to be proven in Sun & Moon and Journeys, the former of which even shows the sandwich is one of few things he can cook successfully.
  • 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. When this came up with Allister in Journeys, Ash elaborates that sort of connection is formed in battles when they are in synch versus someone like Allister or Iris who do not need battle and personal connection to achieve it.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Ash releasing his Pokémon, leaving his long time friends, and getting defeated by Gary in EP116 and Paul in DP132 led to this.
  • Tuckerization: Satoshi, his name in the original version, 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:
    • Battling Ash was what finally helped Volkner regain his love for battle.
    • 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.
    • He even ends up being this to Cynthia of all people. As it's revealed that Cynthia was planning to retire from Pokemon battling altogether once the Masters 8 Tournament was over so she could focus on her research. But after having a long tough battle with Ash (where Ash won), Cynthia changed her mind as she realized, battling was too much fun, resolved to master both researching and battling. The kicker? Ash himself never even finds out what he truly did. Because Cynthia only ever shared these secrets with Diantha. Meaning he just prevented one of the most famous champions in the world from retiring by complete accident.
  • Was Too Hard on Her: Ash in Turning Over A New Bayleef kept getting tackled by his newly evolved Pokémon, Bayleef, then told her to leave him alone. After Bayleef runs away, Ash realizes that his Pokemon went missing and decided to look for her. While looking for Bayleef, Ash wonders why she ran away but Misty helped him realize that he was the one who told her to "go away and stay away" from him. Hearing this, Ash regrets for the things he said to Bayleef. He later finds Bayleef and tries to apologize, but she refuses to go back to him. However, Ash got Bayleef to realize that he truly was sorry for hurting her feelings and forgave him.
  • 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 fares 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. It gets downplayed every saga however, as his teams tend to exponentially grow in strength and by the end of the sagas reach a great amount of power after arduous training.
  • 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, who was still refusing to listen to him at that point.
  • 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.
    • He also shows respect toward Paul, praising his unorthodox counter-strategies and claiming there's nobody like him during their battle in the Sinnoh League. Paul (even though he wouldn't admit it for most of the Saga) saw Ash the same way. He finally drops his animosity with Ash when Ash finally beats him in the league.
    • As a whole, he grows to become this to nearly everyone he's faced over the years (from Gary to Team Rocket, Harrison, Tyson, Brandon, Paul, Tobias, Cameron, Sawyer, Kiawe, Gladion, and even Kukui), but two of the biggest examples so far aside from Alain himself are Volkner (who had gotten bored from facing so many weak challengers) and Cynthia (who was even planning to retire). After Ash beat both of them after a hard-fought battle, they both regained their passion for battling in full.
  • Working-Class Hero: A minor aspect of Ash's character occasionally highlighted, but Ash comes from a rather humble rural background that is occasionally contrasted with richer, higher class characters, ranging from characters of the days living in mansions to longer term castmembers such as James (who grew up ludicriously rich but left it behind), Lillie (who lives in a mansion), and Goh (whose a city kid whose parents live in a high class apartment and are high up workers in a tech company)
  • Would Hit a Girl: He has no reservations about siccing his Pokémon on Jessie (along with the rest of the Rocket Trio), and even threw a punch at Misty's face in one occasion after being insulted by this one in the original series. In later series, he's gentler toward his female companions (and people in general), but female baddies like Jessie still get no special treatment from him.
  • 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, at least you did get to take down that Latios too which is far more than anyone else in Sinnoh did who all never got past Darkrai.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • In Tears for Fears!, Ash assured his Infernape, while he was a Chimchar, that he didn't need Blaze to be strong and can show his strength without it.
    • In Coming Apart at the Dreams!, Ash tells Alain this when he is kicking himself for being tricked by Team Flare, saying that he's stronger than this and doesn't care about what he did in the past as he believes in the friend he got to know.
  • 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.....
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