In the anime
In The Stun Spore Detour, Ash and Tracey were paralyzed by a Vileplume's Stun Spore attack. Misty was left to fetch the cure, Salveyo weed, a special type of aquatic plant found at the bottom of lakes on which Poliwag feed. A friendly wild Poliwag helped her gather the special plant. Poliwag obviously liked Misty because it insisted on coming along with her, and Misty added it to her team. As a Poliwag, it was rarely used because of how clumsy it was on land.
In The Totodile Duel, Ash and Misty both used Lure Balls on a wild Totodile. The Balls captured the Pokémon out of sight, so Ash and Misty had a tournament to see who got the toothy Water-type. During a battle against Bulbasaur, Misty's Poliwag evolved into Poliwhirl. Although Misty still lost, she concluded that she preferred the Poliwhirl who was willing to evolve to help her rather than the Totodile that essentially did whatever it wanted.
In Hook, Line, and Stinker, Misty used Poliwhirl in the Seaking Catching Day competition. During the competition, Misty and Poliwhirl formed a rivalry with Andreas and his Poliwrath. Poliwhirl and Misty managed to hook a Seaking just as time ran out for the competition. Both Andreas and Misty had a 55 kilometer Seaking, meaning they had to battle each other to decide the winner. The battle started with Poliwhirl getting overwhelmed due to battling its evolved form. It lost its confidence and hid behind Misty. Misty's Psyduck, Staryu, and Goldeen then popped out of their balls to encourage Poliwhirl and it decided to resume the battle. Poliwhirl then beat Poliwrath, winning the competition for Misty.
Misty used Poliwhirl in the second and third rounds of the Whirl Cup in The Perfect Match!. In the second round Poliwhirl started against Ash's Totodile. Ash starts it off by having Totodile use Water Gun, but Poliwhirl dives underwater to evade it. Poliwhirl makes some swift movements and Misty commands it to use Bubble. Poliwhirl jumps out and fires the Bubble, dazing Totodile for a while. Poliwhirl attempts to come back with a DoubleSlap but Totodile dodges and Headbutts it back to a pillar. Poliwhirl isn't finished yet as it kicks off the pillar and then does a high speed dive towards Totodile and goes for a DoubleSlap again, knocking Totodile out. Ash recalls Totodile and sends out Kingler. Misty again commands Poliwhirl to unleash another Bubble but Kingler dishes out a Crabhammer attack. An energy sphere is sent across the arena causing whirlpools to form. The energy hits Poliwhirl sending it tossing with the whirlpools and Kingler uses another Crabhammer attack, knocking Poliwhirl out.
Misty again starts with Poliwhirl in the third round against Trinity and her Gyarados. Misty tells Poliwhirl to use Bubble, but Trinity tells Gyarados to use Hyper Beam. Gyarados quickly charges up and fires the Hyper Beam, knocking the Bubble away and knocking Poliwhirl out.
In Outrageous Fortunes, on the way to Blackthorn City, Misty fought a Trainer with a Poliwrath and lost. Misty started to consider evolving her own Poliwhirl. Misty took her Poliwhirl to the local Pokémon Center to be healed. On the way, Poliwhirl picked up the King's Rock that Ash had won in a tournament. Misty did not notice this, and simply gave Poliwhirl to Nurse Joy for treatment.
Shortly afterward, in a battle against Team Rocket, Misty recovered her Poliwhirl and let it out, surprised to see it evolve into Politoed before her eyes. Misty was thrilled with her newly-evolved Pokémon.
Personality and characteristics
As a Poliwag it was very friendly, cheerful, and liked to help people. This is demonstrated in the episode Misty catches it in, The Stun Spore Detour. After it evolved Misty began to use it in many battles, as it became a very strong Pokémon. Poliwhirl also had a bit of a confidence problem, shown in Hook, Line, and Stinker when Poliwhirl would hide behind Misty when overwhelmed.
After evolving into Politoed it is always very happy and loves to clap, and also encouraged Ash in the Silver Conference. Misty's Politoed is very cheerful, enthusiastic, and eager to please. For a while, in I Politoed Ya So! it took up cheerleading. Even when Misty screams at it, Politoed is always happy and if someone is sad it can cheer them up with applause.
| Using Water Gun|
as a Poliwhirl
| Using Bubble
| An × shows that the move cannot be legitimately learned by this Pokémon in the games.
| A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the games
Misty uses a Poliwhirl in Round 1 of Pokémon Stadium 2. In Round 2, it has evolved into a Politoed.
In the manga
In the TCG
Politoed was featured in the TCG as one of Misty's Pokémon. The following is a list of cards named Misty's Poliwag, Poliwhirl, and Politoed.
- Poliwag was the first of Misty's Pokémon to be seen evolving in the anime.
- Politoed is the only Pokémon owned by Misty in the anime that has evolved twice.
- Poliwag was the last Generation I Pokémon that a main character captured in the original series, excluding those caught and released in the same episode (Ash's Beedrill and James's second Victreebel).