Ash's Butterfree

Ash's Butterfree
サトシのバタフリー Satoshi's Butterfree
Ash Butterfree.png
Ash's Butterfree
Debuts in Pokémon Emergency!
Caught in Ash Catches a Pokémon
Caught at Viridian Forest
Evolves in Ash Catches a Pokémon
Challenge of the Samurai
Gender Male
Ability Unknown
Traded in Battle Aboard the St. Anne
Original Trainer Ash
Traded for Gentleman's Raticate*
Released in Bye-Bye Butterfree
Current location With the Pink Butterfree
Caterpie Metapod Butterfree
This Pokémon spent 1 episode as Caterpie and 1 episode as Metapod.
Voice actor Japanese English
As Caterpie Rikako Aikawa
As Metapod Rikako Aikawa Eric Stuart
As Butterfree Rikako Aikawa

Ash's Butterfree (Japanese: サトシのバタフリー Satoshi's Butterfree) was the first wild Pokémon caught by Ash in the Kanto region, although he was the second obtained.


Original series

As a Caterpie, with Ash

Caterpie first appeared at the end of Pokémon Emergency, staring at the group as they passed by. When Misty freaked out about its type and told Ash to do something, Ash pulled out a Poké Ball and threw it at Caterpie, hoping to catch it. In the next episode, Ash managed to catch the Worm Pokémon, being the first wild Pokémon Ash ever caught. Ash remarkably caught him without a Pokémon battle, which Misty attributed to Caterpie's weakness. Caterpie was quite fond of Misty, but, much to Caterpie's misfortune, she wanted nothing to do with him because he was a Bug-type Pokémon, which she feared. At night, Caterpie and Ash's Pikachu talked to each other, and Caterpie revealed his desire to evolve into a Butterfree. He became very sad, as if he was not sure he could do it, but Pikachu encouraged him.

The next day, Caterpie was the first Pokémon Ash sent out against the next Pokémon he tried to capture, Pidgeotto. With a large disadvantage against the Flying-type Pokémon, he was beaten severely and was quickly substituted for Pikachu. Later, when Jessie, James, and Meowth appeared to attempt to steal Pikachu, Ash sent out his weakened Caterpie against them, after they had blinded Pikachu and defeated Pidgeotto. Despite being made fun of by Team Rocket, he managed to take down both James's Koffing and Jessie's Ekans by using String Shot and Tackle, causing Team Rocket to run away. Just as Misty was about to get over her fear and congratulate Caterpie on his victory, he suddenly evolved into Metapod, which bothered her even more.

As a Metapod

In Challenge of the Samurai, Metapod was sent out in a battle against Samurai. Despite only being able to use Harden, he managed to defeat his Pinsir by solidifying so much that the Stag Beetle Pokémon's pincers broke. Samurai then decided to send his own Metapod out against Ash's. Neither, however, could attack, and both had to sit stationary and keep hardening. The battle was then interrupted by a swarm of Beedrill that snatched Ash's Metapod away when he forgot to pick him up before running off. Ash felt guilty about this and became determined to get his Metapod back, finding him with a hive of Kakuna. Team Rocket showed up and woke up the whole hive of Beedrill with their motto, giving Ash a chance to rescue his Metapod. Metapod, however, was unhappy with Ash, but the Trainer tried to make an excuse and claim he didn't abandon Metapod. When Ash tripped on a rock and dropped Metapod, he owned up to his mistake and swore to never leave his Pokémon behind again. Metapod was moved by this and, seeing a Beedrill about to attack Ash, leapt up and took the blow, breaking the Beedrill's stinger and getting a large gash in his shell. Metapod then evolved into Butterfree and stopped all the Beedrill with his Sleep Powder attack.

In The Water Flowers of Cerulean City, Butterfree was used in Ash's Cerulean Gym Battle against Misty, where he faced her Staryu. Butterfree managed hit Staryu with Tackle and then dodged Staryu's. As Staryu landed, it lost its balance, giving Butterfree the chance to hit it with two more Tackles. Staryu then scored a hit with Water Gun and kept firing off the attack. Butterfree, however, dodged them all and crippled Staryu with Stun Spore. Misty then had Staryu jump into the water to wash the spores off. When Butterfree went for Sleep Powder, Staryu dodged it by jumping into the water and kept using Tackle from underwater. Butterfree was then hit by another Tackle, knocking him into the water. As Butterfree was unable to swim, Ash was forced to concede the round and recall Butterfree to the safety of his Poké Ball.

He also battled A.J.'s powerful Sandshrew in The Path to the Pokémon League. Butterfree went for Stun Spore, but Sandshrew avoided it using Dig and then knocked Butterfree out.

Butterfree being traded for Raticate

In Battle Aboard the St. Anne, Ash used him in a battle against a Gentleman with a Raticate. He countered Raticate's Jump Kick with Tackle. After dodging a Hyper Fang, Butterfree crippled it with Stun Spore. As Ash was about to finish the battle, the Gentleman called the battle off and declared it a draw, despite Butterfree's almost certain victory. The Gentleman then approached Ash and asked to trade the Pokémon. Ash accepted, but soon found that Butterfree meant too much to him to keep the Raticate, and was so set on trading them back that he did it while the St. Anne was sinking, causing him and his friends to be trapped inside.

In Tentacool & Tentacruel, Butterfree bore Bulbasaur into battle with a giant Tentacruel, but was knocked out by Tentacruel's attack.

Ash's Butterfree with his mate
Ash bidding farewell to Butterfree

The last time Butterfree was seen with Ash was in Bye-Bye Butterfree. At the start of this episode, Ash saw a large number of Butterfree flying around in the sky, and Brock told him that it was the Butterfree mating season. Ash realized that his Butterfree would probably want to have babies like the other Butterfree, so he and his friends rented a hot air balloon and watched Butterfree mingle with the others. Despite Brock's encouragement for Butterfree to choose one belonging to a cute female Trainer, Butterfree found his heart set on a pink Butterfree. He tried to impress the pink Butterfree with some fancy flying, only to be rejected with a slap in the face. Heartbroken, he flew into the woods below, followed by Ash and his friends who tried to encourage Butterfree, telling him to be assertive and tying a yellow ribbon around his neck to help him catch the pink Butterfree's eye. Butterfree tried a second time to impress the pink Butterfree with his Whirlwind and Tackle attacks, but this failed as well. Then, Team Rocket showed up in a helicopter and captured all the Butterfree but Ash's in a giant net. Butterfree pursued them, followed by Ash and friends in their hot air balloon, and they headed into a canyon where the Butterfree were stashed. They broke in and Ash battled Team Rocket while Butterfree used his Tackle against the cage the Butterfree were in, finally getting the attention of the pink Butterfree. He broke open the cage, and the Butterfree all flew free. Team Rocket tried a second time to capture all the Butterfree, only to be stopped by both Butterfree and Pikachu. Afterwards, the pink Butterfree approached Ash's Butterfree and the two paired up. The two departed as Ash watched in tears, remembering what the two had been through together and wishing his dear friend a fond farewell.

Other appearances

Ash's Butterfree has since appeared in the tenth opening for the anime, Spurt!, along with his mate, the pink Butterfree. However, he has not returned in any episodes since his last appearance. Ash has, however, flashed back to having him several times, such as in The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!, A Trainer and Child Reunion!, and Butterfree and Me!.

Personality and characteristics

As a Caterpie, he had a very happy but shy attitude, shown to suffer from low self-esteem if he didn't make a good first impression. He was very hurt when Misty didn't take to him. He was also very brave, squaring up against a Pidgeotto and then both of Team Rocket's Pokémon single handedly. His personality mellowed as a Metapod, becoming very laidback, but remained extremely loyal to his Trainer, jumping in front of a Beedrill to save him. As Butterfree, his personality was similar to that of Caterpie, retaining his bravery and positive attitude, but as was seen in Bye-Bye Butterfree, his self esteem still suffered when he didn't make a good first impression.

Moves used

Ash Metapod Harden.png
Using Harden as
a Metapod
Ash Butterfree Tackle.png
Using Tackle
Move First Used In
String Shot Ash Catches a Pokémon
Tackle  Ash Catches a Pokémon
Harden Challenge of the Samurai
Sleep Powder  Challenge of the Samurai
Whirlwind  Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Stun Spore  The Water Flowers of Cerulean City
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.

In the manga

Ash's Butterfree in The Electric Tale of Pikachu

In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

Ash's Butterfree appears in the manga series The Electric Tale of Pikachu. Like in the anime, he is one of Ash's first Pokémon, however, he is the second wild Pokémon that Ash captures in the manga, the first is Fearow.

As a Caterpie

Ash's Butterfree first appears and is captured as a Caterpie in Pikachu, I See You!. He evolves into Metapod at the beginning of Play Misty For Me when Ash is showing off all of his Pokémon to Misty. Later in the same chapter, during Ash's Gym battle against Misty, Metapod evolves into Butterfree.

Ash's Butterfree is seen again in Clefairy Tale battling a wild Onix and in Haunting My Dreams battling the Black Fog, but he is not used again after that. He may have been released like he was in the anime, however, no scenes implying this are shown in the manga. Butterfree is not shown when Ash brings his entire party out of their Poké Balls in You Gotta Have Friends.

As a Metapod

Ash's Caterpie was given the nickname "Felix" (Japanese ランドルフ Randolph) in Play Misty For Me, however, like the other nicknames that appear in that chapter, it seems to have been a one-off gag nickname.

Moves used

Ash Metapod Harden EToP.png
Using Harden as a Metapod
Move First Used In
Harden Play Misty For Me
Sleep Powder Play Misty For Me
Psychic Clefairy Tale
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.


  • Caterpie is the first of a main character's Pokémon who had his artwork changed to match the recent Sugimori art despite being introduced before the change (in a flashback of The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!, Caterpie's mouth was green, as in the Generation III Sugimori art, when at the time of his introduction it was yellow).
  • Butterfree was the first of Ash's Pokémon to debut before his capture episode, the first one caught, the first he evolved, the first one to reach his final form, the first he traded (although he was traded back), and the first he released.
  • In the English monthly issue publication of The Electric Tale of Pikachu, the order of Play Misty For Me and Clefairy Tale is reversed. This creates a continuity error, as Butterfree appears in Clefairy Tale, even though he supposedly doesn't evolve until one chapter later.
  • Butterfree was Ash's fastest evolving Pokémon, reaching his final evolution two episodes after his debut.
    • He is also Ash's only Pokémon to evolve in the same episode he was caught (not counting Ash's Primeape, who evolved prior to its capture).
  • Butterfree was the first Pokémon owned by a main character to have his gender confirmed.
  • When Metapod evolved into Butterfree, it became Ash's first Pokémon to share a type with another Pokémon already in his team; sharing its Flying-type with Pidgeotto.
  • It is a common misconception that Butterfree die after mating. This comes from a mistranslation and there is nothing to stop Butterfree returning in the future.

Related articles

For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Caterpie, Metapod, and Butterfree.

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