and Pikachu meeting for the first time
In the first episode of the Pokémon anime, Pokémon - I Choose You!, Ash woke up late the day he was supposed to go to Professor Oak's Laboratory to obtain his first Pokémon. When he arrived at the lab, the three available starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, had already been taken by other Trainers who arrived earlier. Seeing that Ash was disappointed, Professor Oak gave him Pikachu, who, at first, did not care at all for his new Trainer, constantly zapping him and anyone else nearby. He refused to go into his Poké Ball, and when Ash failed to catch a Pidgey, he laughed at him. However, by the end of the episode, Ash gained Pikachu's trust by protecting him from an attack by a flock of Spearow. After defeating the flock, Pikachu and Ash soon became inseparable, a moment that was capitalized on by catching a glimpse of an unknown Pokémon flying by. Ash then rushed to the next town in order to get Pikachu hospitalized quickly, as he had received multiple life-threatening wounds in the fight.
In Pokémon Emergency!, Ash managed to get to the Viridian City Pokémon Center just in time with the help of Officer Jenny, who chewed Ash out for "mistreating" Pikachu. Nurse Joy agreed to heal Pikachu, and thanks to her, Pikachu managed to regain his health. At the end of the episode, Pikachu managed to gain enough of his strength back to send Team Rocket blasting off for the very first time.
Pikachu participated in Ash's first gym battle with Brock in Showdown in Pewter City. It faced Onix, but since his Electric moves were ineffective, Ash forfeited. Ash and Pikachu later trained with Flint in order to increase the strength of Pikachu's Electric moves. Ash later challenged Brock to a rematch, where Pikachu's Thunderbolt attack managed to turn on the gym's sprinkler system, severely harming Onix. Despite Ash forfeiting the match, Brock still gave him the Boulder Badge.
Pikachu's next major battle was against Lt. Surge's Raichu in Electric Shock Showdown. Lt. Surge laughed at Ash for attempting to defeat his Raichu with its pre-evolved form. Raichu's Electric moves did prove to be overwhelming for Pikachu, and he had to be hospitalized. Later in the episode, Ash offered to let Pikachu evolve into a Raichu with the Thunder Stone that Nurse Joy had given him. However, Pikachu refused, wanting to defeat Raichu on his own terms. In Ash's rematch with Lt. Surge, Pikachu once again struggled. However, Ash soon found out that since Raichu was evolved so early, it did not learn any of the moves that it could only learn in the Pikachu stage, such as Agility and Quick Attack. Through Pikachu's use of these moves, it managed to gain the upper hand. Raichu responded with an extremely powerful Thunderbolt attack that Lt. Surge was sure could defeat Pikachu. Luckily, Pikachu used his tail as an anchor to absorb the shock, and used its tail to slam Raichu and defeat it, earning Ash the Thunder Badge.
In Abra and the Psychic Showdown Pikachu was sent out to battle against Sabrina's Abra. It proved to be a tough foe, using Teleport to avoid Pikachu's move. After a period of intense battling, Abra evolved into Kadabra, making it much stronger. In the end Pikachu was defeated. In Ash's rematch with Sabrina in Haunter versus Kadabra, before Haunter showed up, Pikachu selflessly fought Kadabra, only to struggle again. Pikachu learned how to punch, taught by Ash in The Punchy Pokémon.
Pikachu's Poké Ball, with a lightning bolt mark, at Professor Oak's Laboratory
In Pikachu's Goodbye, Ash and the gang ran into another group of Pikachu, which was a very rare find. Pikachu tried to make friends with the other Pikachu, but received at lukewarm response. After saving a baby Pikachu from falling down a waterfall, Ash's Pikachu was accepted by the group. Ash was overjoyed by this at first, but soon began to feel sad because he thought that Pikachu would be better off with the rest of his kind. After stopping Team Rocket from stealing the Pikachu tribe, Ash decided it was best to leave Pikachu behind with the others. Pikachu refused to leave Ash, however, and quickly ran to catch up with him, followed by the Pikachu tribe, who supported Ash and Pikachu being together.
In Riddle Me This, Pikachu faced off against Blaine's Rhydon for his seventh gym badge. Despite being immune to Electric moves, Rhydon was defeated when Pikachu aimed his Thunderbolt attack at the horn on Rhydon's head. Pikachu briefly faced Blaine's Magmar, but was recalled when Magmar almost pushed Pikachu in the lava below.
Pikachu made friends with another Pikachu, nicknamed Puka in The Pi-Kahuna. This particular Pikachu had blue eyes and was an excellent surfer. Ash and the gang had to save both Pikachu when Team Rocket tried to steal them both.
Ash used Pikachu many times during the Indigo League. In Fire and Ice Pikachu managed to defeat Pete Pebbleman's powerful Arcanine by taking advantage of the icy field. In The Fourth Round Rumble he fought against Jeanette Fisher's Bellsprout, who already had defeated Ash's Bulbasaur, and despite trying his best, he was easily defeated by the skilled Pokémon.
Pikachu later faced off against Richie's Butterfree in Friend and Foe Alike where it managed to defeat it with a Thunderbolt attack. It then faced off against Zippo. Richie's Charmander, but due to being exhausted by battling Team Rocket earlier Pikachu was quickly overwhelmed by Charmander's Flamethrower and was knocked out.
Ash decided to take Pikachu, along with many of his other Pokémon, to the Orange Archipelago with him.
In Pikachu Re-Volts, Butch and Cassidy used a Drowzee to take over the minds of many Pokémon on Mandarin Island North, including Pikachu. In order to rescue the Pokémon, Ash taunts Pikachu into using Thunderbolt on him, which then hits the machine that Drowzee is wired to, freeing all of the Pokémon from its grasp.
In Navel Maneuvers, Ash called on Pikachu to help mold a block of ice into a sled, as part of his competition against Danny. It later rode in the sled along with Bulbasaur and Squirtle in a race against Danny and his team. In the end, Ash managed to win the coveted Sea Ruby Badge.
In Misty Meets Her Match, Pikachu participated in the first part of Ash's battle with Rudy, using his Thunderbolt to blast targets. He then faced off against Rudy's Electabuzz. Pikachu fought well, but was defeated after being hit with a powerful Thunder Punch.
In the following episode, Team Rocket hatches a plan to capture Pikachu that involves tying him up with Meowth. This succeeds at first, but Meowth and Pikachu get sepreated from Jessie and James. In the end, the two Pokémon have to work together to defeat powerful Pokémon on the island and get to safety. Ash, Misty and Tracey manage to find the duo first, and separate them.
In Pokémon Double Trouble, Pikachu was used in Ash's gym battle against Luana, where it had to fight alongside Charizard. Although Pikachu and Charizard didn't work well together at first, they eventually worked together and managed to defeat Luana's Alakazam and Marowak, winning Ash the Jade Star Badge.
In Hello, Pummelo!, Pikachu was Ash's first Pokémon used in his battle against Drake, where it faced off against Drake's Ditto. Despite Ditto being able to copy Pikachu's attacks, it wasn't in good shape as Pikachu and so Pikachu managed to defeat it. Later Pikachu faced off against Drake's powerful Dragonite, who already had defeated three of Ash's Pokémon. After getting hit by Dragonite's tail, he was attacked by a Hyper Beam. Pikachu however managed to jump on Dragonite's head by using his tail as a spring board to dodge the attack and finally defeat it with a powerful Thunder, earning Ash the Orange League Trophy and a spot in the Orange League Hall of Fame.
In The Rivalry Revival, Pikachu was used against Gary's Eevee, but was easily defeated by the Evolution Pokémon without landing a single hit.
Later in the episode Ash decided to take Pikachu, along with many of his other Pokémon, to Johto with him
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In The Double Trouble header, Ash used Pikachu in his second battle against Casey, where he faced her Chikorita. Despite Casey having only recently obtained Chikorita, it quickly gained the upper hand. The battle got interrupted by Team Rocket however.
In Fighting Flyer with Fire, Pikachu was used in Ash's gym battle against Falkner, where it quickly defeated Falkner's Hoothoot. Pikachu then faced Falkner's Dodrio. Dodrio showed to be as fast as Pikachu and having good jumping abilities. Pikachu eventually managed to defeat it with a super-effective Thunder. Pikachu briefly faced Falkner's Pidgeot, but as he was already tired from his previous matches he was quickly defeated.
In Gettin' The Bugs Out, Pikachu battled against Bugsy's Metapod in Ash's second Johto gym battle. Pikachu defeated Metapod with a powerful Thunderbolt, but was later knocked out by Bugsy's Scyther.
In A Goldenrod Opportunity, Pikachu faced off against Whitney's powerful Miltank, but he was unable to stand up against Miltank's Rollout and was quickly defeated, causing Ash to lose the battle. In the following episode, Pikachu battled Miltank again in Ash's rematch against Whitney. Thanks to Ash's strategy, Pikachu managed to defeat Miltank by throwing her in the air and finished it off with a Thunder Shock.
Pikachu befriended a bunch of Pichu in The Apple Corp!. At first they framed Pikachu into eating apples, while they actually ate them. When the Pichu were attacked by a Fearow, Pikachu scared the Fearow off with a Thunderbolt. Later Pikachu's electricity was sucked away by Team Rocket and got kidnapped. The Pichu eventually managed to restore Pikachu's electricity and together they blasted Team Rocket off.
In From Ghost to Ghost, Pikachu was used in Ash's battle against Morty and despite trying his best he was defeated by Morty's Gastly.
In Machoke, Machoke Man!, Ash chose Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his gym battle against Chuck. Pikachu battled Chuck's Poliwrath and was easily defeated, despite the type-advantage.
After the Silver Conference, Ash took Pikachu with him to Hoenn where he suffered severe illness from Team Rocket's electromagnet.
Advanced Generation series
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In Get the Show on the Road!, Ash was willing to take Pikachu for some help in taking care of the illness. Professor Birch takes Pikachu in to the lab. Even though they were able to strap him to the machine to drain out the overload electricity it received, the machine exploded as the electricity levels were too high. Eventually, when Team Rocket arrived for Pikachu, the mecha they used accidentally cured him of his illness and Pikachu was able to blast them off, destroying May's bike in the process.
In The Winner by a Nosepass, Pikachu battled Roxanne's Geodude and Nosepass.
Diamond & Pearl series
In Sinnoh, he defeated Roark's Onix in the Oreburgh Gym rematch. Pikachu battled again in the Pastoria Gym battle, where he battled Crasher Wake's Gyarados and defeated it with a Volt Tackle to the face. He also battled Crasher Wake's Floatzel for a moment, allowing Buizel time to recover. In Shield with a Twist!, Pikachu lost to Fantina's Drifblim after a fierce battle.
Pikachu activating his Static
Pikachu's next major battle after Fantina, was when he was used against Paul in Evolving Strategies!. First he went up against Magmortar; however, when he attacked with Quick Attack, he was burned by Magmortar's Flame Body and Pikachu was recalled. Later, he went up against Paul's very powerful Ursaring and paralyzed it with Static. This actually made things worse for Pikachu as being paralyzed activated Ursaring's Guts Ability, and Pikachu found himself completely outmatched by Ursaring's massive power and was defeated and thrown into Lake Acuity, taking him out of the match as well as injuring him. This defeat meant that Ash had to defeat Paul's remaining five Pokémon with only Chimchar.
Ash used him during the Pokémon Ping Pong Tournament.
Later, in Flint Sparks the Fire!, Pikachu battled Flint's Infernape, but he was defeated after a long fight.
In The Eighth Wonder of the Sinnoh World!, Pikachu battled against Volkner's Electivire and won, giving him his first victory over a Pokémon in the Electabuzz evolutionary line. However, he was defeated by Volkner's Luxray.
Pikachu performing in a Pokémon Contest
In the Lily of the Valley Conference, Ash used Pikachu in his battle against Paul in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!. He was used against Paul's Aggron, where he put up a good fight and weakened Aggron before he was recalled in place of Infernape. Pikachu was also used in the continuation of Ash's battle against Paul in A Real Rival Rouser!. He went against Paul's Froslass where he was seen having some trouble at first, but by the end, he was able to pull through and defeat Froslass with a powerful Volt Tackle attack. This gave Pikachu his first win against one of Paul's Pokémon and also gave Ash the lead in the battle. In Battling a Thaw in Relations!, he battled Paul's Electivire, but had trouble due to Electivire's Motor Drive Ability, and was soon defeated by a Brick Break. In The Semi-Final Frontier!, Pikachu was the last Pokémon chosen by Ash to battle Tobias in the semi-finals. Despite Ash losing five of his Pokémon, Pikachu tried his best to defeat Tobias's Latios. Almost none of the attacks hit or did any damage to Latios in the beginning, however, Pikachu finally managed to jump on top of Latios and used Thunderbolt several times before he was shaken off. As Pikachu was about to land, Latios used Luster Purge. Pikachu used Volt Tackle and Iron Tail, taking against the force of the Luster Purge. However, he was tied with Latios as both fainted. As Ash's last Pokémon also fainted, Tobias was crowned the winner of their battle.
Best Wishes series
Ash decided to just bring Pikachu to Unova with him, just like he did in Hoenn. In In The Shadow of Zekrom!, Pikachu had an encounter with Zekrom, which unaware by Ash, caused Pikachu to lose his ability to use Electric-type moves. Ash finally noticed during his battle against Trip and his Snivy, causing Ash to forfeit. Pikachu soon recovered his electric-type moves, however this incident appeared to cause Pikachu to suffer a loss in his overall power, as he was seen struggling in battles which, given his past experience, he should have had little trouble with (although this was never explicitly stated to be the case).
In Triple Leaders, Team Threats!, Ash used Pikachu in his Gym battle at the Striaton Gym, where he faced Cress and his Panpour. Even though he tried his best, Pikachu was just not as fast as Panpour and was defeated without landing a single hit despite the type-advantage.
In A Battle for Club Champ!, he battled Trip's Tranquill, who had already taken out Ash's Oshawott and Tepig. He took a beating from multiple Aerial Aces, but showed Trip the power of his electrical attacks by defeating Tranquill with Volt Tackle. He then battled Snivy again, who by then had evolved into Servine. However, despite not being incapacitated, he was once again defeated.
In Minccino-Neat and Tidy!, Ash used Pikachu in a battle against Bianca and her Pignite. Even though he had some trouble at first, Pikachu was able to pull through in the end and defeat Pignite with a powerful Volt Tackle.
In Dancing With the Ducklett Trio!, a trio of Ducklett stole Ash's hat and Sandile's sunglasses. Pikachu assisted Sandile in defeating them, and during the incident learned how to use Electro Ball. He learned electro ball because he was stuck in a beach umbrella. his suffering made him angry and suddenly the power started to rise in his tail and he learned electro ball. Later on, he battled against the Sunglasses Sandile. Even though Sandile evolved into Krokorok, Pikachu used Electro Ball and sent Stone Edge right back at Krokorok to defeat him.
Ash used Pikachu in his third Gym battle against Burgh at the Castelia Gym in Battling For The Love of Bug-Types!. Pikachu went up against Burgh's Leavanny and after a tough battle, Pikachu was able to win it with a powerful Iron Tail and Electro Ball combo.
In Movie Time! Zorua and the Pokémon Knight! Pikachu played a movie role as Ash's assistant. He battled Iris's Axew in order to gain the power to defeat the villain and his assistant. He succeeded with a Thunderbolt-Electro Ball combo. He later defeated the villain and rescued the princess.
Ash used Pikachu in the final round in the Club Battle in Club Battle Finale: A Hero's Outcome! against Iris. Pikachu went up against Iris's Excadrill. Pikachu did surprisingly well, but unfortunately, Pikachu fainted first, and Iris won the tournament.
In Dazzling the Nimbasa Gym!, Ash chose to use Pikachu in his Gym Battle against Elesa. He went up against her powerful Emolga, who Pikachu defeated with a single Quick Attack. Later, Pikachu battled Elesa's Tynamo, defeating him with a powerful Iron Tail attack, winning Ash the Bolt Badge.
In Stopping the Rage of Legends! Part 1, Pikachu teamed up with Cilan's Stunfisk to battle Tornadus and Thundurus. Stunfisk used his amazing jumping ability to get them both into the air so that they could launch a Thunderbolt—Thunder Shock combination at the two legendary Pokémon. Later, in Stopping the Rage of Legends! Part 2, Pikachu helped rescue the Forces of Nature from Team Rocket.
In An Amazing Aerial Battle!, Ash used Pikachu against Skyla's Unfezant, and Pikachu defeated him with an Electro Ball. Pikachu stayed in the battle to fight Skyla's last Pokémon, Swanna, but was defeated with a powerful Hurricane and a brutal Brave Bird.
In Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 2, Ash chose Pikachu as his final Pokémon in his Gym battle with Roxie and her strongest Pokémon, Garbodor. It was a very hard fought battle, but to Ash's luck, all the physical contact Pikachu made with Garbodor, had caused Pikachu's Static Ability to activate and paralyze Garbodor. Despite still being able to withstand a Thunderbolt, the Trash Heap Pokémon was unable to take a hit from the following Electro Ball, and was knocked out, making Ash victorious and earning him his eighth and final Unova Badge, the Toxic Badge, thus allowing him to enter the Unova League.
In Meloetta and the Undersea Temple!, Ash battled Giovanni with Pikachu trying to protect Meloetta, but was defeated by his Persian and Giovanni successfully captured Meloetta, and took it, along with the imprisoned Ash and Pikachu, to the Abyssal Ruins. In the next episode, Pikachu managed to break Team Rocket's force field prison by striking it repeatedly with Iron Tail, freeing both Ash and himself. Later, during the battle against the mind-controlled Therian Forme Forces of Nature, as Thundurus aimed a Thunder attack at Iris's Dragonite and Iris stepped in its way to protect her Pokémon, Pikachu jumped in, and absorbed the massive blast of electricity himself. This gave Pikachu a tremendous power boost, as seen later, when Ash told Pikachu to use Electro Ball on Team Rocket. The supercharged attack grew into amazingly massive proportions, inflicting notable damage on the Abyssal Ruins, sending Team Rocket flying, and freeing Meloetta.
In Curtain Up, Unova League!, Ash used Pikachu in the preliminary round of the Vertress Conference against Trip's Serperior, and Pikachu defeated him after a very hard fought battle with an Electro Ball-Iron Tail combo.
In Cameron's Secret Weapon!, Ash used Pikachu against Cameron's Samurott. Samurott blocked many attacks with his Razor Shell, but Pikachu eventually defeated him with an Iron Tail. Cameron then sent out his next Pokémon, Swanna, attempting to keep distance to Pikachu, but Pikachu ended it with an Electro Ball. Later during the battle, Ash sent Pikachu out to face Cameron's newly-evolved Lucario, which had just defeated Snivy, leaving Pikachu as Ash's last Pokémon. At the end of the climactic fight, Pikachu and Lucario fired blasts of Electro Ball and Aura Sphere, and Aura Sphere overpowered Electro Ball, knocking Pikachu out, and thus eliminating Ash from the Vertress Conference, placing him in Top 8.
Pikachu was reunited with the entire Unova team at Professor Oak's Laboratory in The Dream Continues!. He joined the others in a group attack on Team Rocket with his Thunderbolt to send them blasting off for the last time in the Best Wishes series. Pikachu rejoined Ash when he sets off for the Kalos region.
In Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!, Ash and Pikachu arrived in Kalos by plane along with Alexa. After being thrown out of the Lumiose Gym for not having enough Gym Badges, Ash was saved by Clemont while Pikachu was saved by Bonnie. Bonnie was excited to be holding Pikachu, leading to him shocking her because she was holding him too tightly. After becoming acquainted with their rescuers, Ash challenged Clemont to a battle, which Clemont reluctantly agreed to.
In the battle, Pikachu faced Clemont's Bunnelby. Despite Clemont admitting that he only recently caught Bunnelby, they proved to be a match for Pikachu. The battle was interuppted by Team Rocket, who once again attempted to steal Pikachu for their plans. Ash attempted to stop them, but Jessie had her Wobbuffet reflect Pikachu's attacks with Mirror Coat. Pikachu was saved by a Froakie, who shielded Pikachu with his body at the cost of being injured. With Bunnelby and Froakie's help, Pikachu was used to blast off the villains. Froakie soon collapsed from his injuries, so Ash, Pikachu, and their new friends went to Professor Sycamore to heal Froakie back to health.
In Lumiose City Pursuit!, Ash and Pikachu managed to get Froakie to Professor Sycamore so that he could be healed. When a Garchomp went crazy from one of Team Rocket's devices, Pikachu and Ash pursued her to get the device off and free her. After chasing her to the top of Prism Tower, Pikachu removed the device from Garchomp's neck with Iron Tail. However, due to the fight damaging the tower, the ground Pikachu was standing on broke off, causing him to fall off with Ash immediately leaping in to save his best friend. They were both saved by a Mega Blaziken, who intercepted them in the air and put the two safely back onto the ground.
In A Blustery Santalune Gym Battle!, Pikachu was used in Ash's battle against Viola, but lost after fighting her Surskit, who won after distracting Pikachu by using Ice Beam to create an ice field around the battlefield that caused him to slip repeatedly. Later, he trained with Alexa alongside with Fletchling to prepare for a rematch against Viola.
In Battling on Thin Ice!, Pikachu was used in the rematch against Viola. After a while, he managed to counter Surskit's ice field tactic by sticking into the ground with Iron Tail, and finally evening the score and defeating it. However, Pikachu's work was not done; he was substituted for Fletchling after it lost to Vivillon again. After a hard battle, Pikachu finally beat Vivillon, winning Ash the Bug Badge.
In Climbing the Walls!, Pikachu was Ash's last choice in a Gym battle against Grant. He was up against Tyrunt who had just defeated both Froakie and Fletchling. Pikachu was able to dodge Tyrunt's attacks and used the projectiles from Draco Meteor for momentum. He also used Iron Tail to deflect Rock Tomb. After one of the rocks got stuck in Tyrunt's mouth, Pikachu was able to knock it out with Thunderbolt, earning Ash the Cliff Badge.
In The Bonds of Evolution!, Pikachu was used in the Ash's battle against Diantha, the Kalos League Champion, where he faced her Gardevoir. Gardevoir managed to dodge all of Pikachu's attacks and hit him hard with a Shadow Ball. The battle was interrupted by Team Rocket.
In Mega Revelations!, Pikachu battled against Korrina's Lucario. Pikachu was quickly overwhelmed by Lucario's fast attacks and was easily defeated. Pikachu battled Lucario again in The Aura Storm!, but this time against Lucario's Mega Evolved form. Pikachu battled well, but got attacked aggressively when Mega Lucario started to go out of control, forcing Ash to protect Pikachu. When Mega Lucario was stopped by Gurkinn's Lucario the battle was called off.
Personality and characteristics
Pikachu is extremely loyal to Ash, and while he is not always immediately trusting of strangers, he is generally friendly to humans and Pokémon alike. He acted as a guardian and big brother to Misty's Togepi, and has been seen mediating and even breaking up fights among other Pokémon, such as in Pikachu's Vacation. In Mewtwo Strikes Back, Pikachu, Meowth, and Meowth's clone were the only Pokémon not to participate in the giant battle; Pikachu stood motionless as his clone repeatedly slapped his face. Contrary to his distrusting nature, Pikachu took a liking to Misty very early in the series, and he has retained this liking of Misty throughout the series, such as when he was very happy to see her in The Scheme Team.
Pikachu and his love of ketchup
During the Hoenn saga, Pikachu temporarily developed amnesia and sided with Team Rocket for a while. On several occasions, Pikachu has developed an "electric flu" causing him to become overcharged, and extremely powerful. During these instances, Pikachu will sometimes accidentally let off electric outbursts which can be set off on anyone, including Ash. In all of these cases, Pikachu did not intentionally mean harm upon anyone.
As shown in a handful of episodes, the first being Showdown at Dark City, Pikachu has a special fondness for ketchup, but he will eat and enjoy almost any other human or Pokémon food. A running joke in the anime also seems to be Pikachu using Thunderbolt at the beginning of each series to destroy a female companion's bike or shock the companion herself. This has happened to Misty, May, Dawn, Iris, and Bonnie.
Pikachu, like his Trainer, is always happy to battle. He often tries his very best, but when he loses, he doesn't complain or feel bad about himself, especially when Ash reassures him. Ash and Pikachu are almost identical personality-wise, and thus are the perfect match for one another, and most others agree, with the exception of Burgundy, who in A Connoisseur's Revenge! said that Ash had a terrible relationship with all of his Pokémon, though this is more due to her inexperience in determining relationship.
In general, Pikachu as a species is not particularly powerful, but Ash's Pikachu is an anomaly, overcoming odds in battle numerous times. In Pokémon Emergency!, Meowth remarked that Pikachu's power "far exceeds its evolutionary level". In Showdown in Pewter City, he defeated Brock's Onix with an Electric-type attack that triggered the sprinkler system causing Onix to be drenched in water, one of its weaknesses. Ash's Pikachu has also defeated very powerful Pokémon that Ash's other Pokémon were unable to, such as Dragonite and Metagross. He was also the second of Ash's Pokémon to defeat a legendary Pokémon in battle, defeating Brandon's Regice to win the Brave Symbol. He later fought Tobias' Latios to a draw in the the semi-finals of the Lily of the Valley Conference. He has helped Ash win innumerable battles and Gym and League matches.
The possibility of evolving into Raichu was first raised in the episode Electric Shock Showdown. After suffering a crushing defeat by Lt. Surge's Raichu, Nurse Joy presented Ash with a Thunder Stone. Ash allowed Pikachu to decide, but smacked it away with his tail, choosing to become stronger as he is, and defeated Raichu using its superior speed. In the Sinnoh region, Pikachu battled a Raichu belonging to a trainer named Sho. The two were evenly matched, until Raichu used Hyper Beam to secure victory, a move Pikachu could not learn. At a Pokémon Center, Ash revealed that he kept the Thunder Stone he acquired in Vermilion City in case Pikachu changed his mind about evolving. Once again, Pikachu chose not to evolve, and defeated Sho's Raichu in a rematch with a combination of speed and spinning techniques learned from Dawn. In the interim, Team Rocket stole the Thunder Stone, as they also liked Pikachu to stay as he is.
However, at times, Pikachu has lived up to his species' frail and brittle strengths, particularly in Gym battles where he was defeated with relative ease by his opponent; for example, he was overpowered very easily by Lt. Surge's Raichu, Sabrina's Kadabra, Blaine's Magmar, Bugsy's Scyther, Whitney's Miltank, Chuck's Poliwrath, Roark's Rampardos, Fantina's Drifblim, Cress's Panpour, and Viola's Surskit. He also drew against Winona's Pelipper and Norman's Vigoroth, and struggled against Crasher Wake's Floatzel. Furthermore, he has lost twice to Trip's Serperior, as a Snivy in In the Shadow of Zekrom! and a Servine in A Rival Battle for Club Champ!, despite Trip being a starting Trainer and recently having obtained Serperior.
Pikachu became the second non-legendary Pokémon to defeat a legendary Pokémon in the anime after Charizard, beating Brandon's Regice in Pace - The Final Frontier!, giving Ash his final Frontier Symbol.
Pikachu is also the only one of Ash's Pokémon to accompany him to the Hoenn, Unova, and Kalos regions, and was intended to be the only Pokémon to accompany him to Sinnoh before Aipom was discovered to have stowed away on the ship Ash was taking. Up until the capture of Dawn's Pachirisu, Pikachu was the only Electric-type Pokémon in the anime owned by a main character.
Even with his high level of electrical power, Pikachu has not stopped learning new attacks. Upon learning that Roxanne, the Rustboro Gym Leader used Rock types, Ash had Pikachu begin learning Iron Tail in All Things Bright and Beautifly!. After training hard, Pikachu finally perfected it in The Winner by a Nosepass, where he used it to defeat Roxanne's Nosepass and earn Ash his first Hoenn Badge. In addition to giving Pikachu an advantage over Rock types, Iron Tail has allowed Pikachu to defeat many powerful opponents. In May's Egg-Cellent Adventure, during a battle with Team Rocket, Ash ordered Pikachu to do a Quick Attack. Much to the surprise of Ash and his friends, the Quick Attack morphed into Volt Tackle which sent Team Rocket blasting off. Until Dancing With the Ducklett Trio!, it has been one of Pikachu's signature moves, in which Pikachu replaced it with Electro Ball, which it learned while battling a trio of annoying Ducklett. Not only that, Pikachu has used his Ability, Static, a few times in the anime.
Pikachu learned how to surf.
| Using Quick Attack
| Using Double-Edge
| 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.
- Leer was first seen in The School of Hard Knocks. When Giselle called for Cubone to use Leer, Ash told Pikachu to "Leer right back" by making funny faces. He later used Leer in Hour of the Houndour; however, this was the actual move, albeit, an anime move error still.
- An attack where Pikachu stored electricity in his tail similar to Slam was used to defeat Lt. Surge's Raichu in Electric Shock Showdown. A similar move, referred to as "Shocking Tail" by the MC, was used to defeat Drake's Ditto in Hello, Pummelo!.
- Rocket Punch was a move that Pikachu used while "boxing" Anthony's Hitmonchan in The Punchy Pokémon. Pikachu glowed red and shot off his boxing gloves, leaving off a trail of smoke. Once the smoke disappears, Pikachu still has his boxing gloves on and flies towards Hitmonchan at high speed.
- Thunder Armor was a one-time technique in the episode Solid as a Solrock, Pikachu is seen using Thunder on himself while riding Ash's Swellow. This increased their attack power greatly, and they easily overpowered their opponents.
- Spin, originally made by Dawn and first used by her Piplup and Buneary, was also used by Turtwig and Aipom to avoid attacks in the episode O'er the Rampardos We Watched!, where he was able beat Roark and obtain the Coal Badge.
- Thunder-Volt Tackle is a move combination between Ash's Pikachu and Paul's Electabuzz. Pikachu starts by using Volt Tackle towards Paul's Electabuzz, who grabs him and uses Thunder on him to supercharge the Volt Tackle. This was used in Enter Galactic! to sever the cables with which Team Galactic's helicopters were carrying Veilstone City's meteorites.
- Swift-Quick Attack was a combination of Aipom's twirling Swift and Pikachu's Quick Attack that was used in A Stand-Up Sit-Down!. Aipom would use a twirling Swift that spins in the air and then Pikachu would jump in the Swift with Quick Attack and as he runs, the Swift stars would be surrounding the white light from the Quick Attack.
Pikachu using Counter Shield
- Volt Tail, a combination of Volt Tackle and Iron Tail, was used in Pika and Goliath! against Sho's Raichu and once again in The Semi-Final Frontier! against Tobias's Latios.
- Counter Shield can be used by Pikachu by utilizing Thunderbolt, similar to Ash's Buizel and Infernape who can do the technique with their own moves.
- Thunder Whirlpool was used in Arceus and the Jewel of Life where it was used by Pikachu and Dawn's Piplup in order to win a tag battle against Kato and Kiko's Heracross and Beautifly. First Piplup used Whirlpool which trapped Heracross and Beautifly inside at which point Pikachu used Thunderbolt to electrify it, knocking out both opponents at the same time.
- Hydro Volt Tackle is used as a finishing blow against Team Rocket in Memories are Made of Bliss!. It is a combination of Pikachu's Volt Tackle and Dawn's Piplup's Hydro Pump creating a massive Electric-Water shot that sent Team Rocket blasting off.
- Thunderbolt-Electro Ball is a combination used to power up Electro Ball, first seen in Movie Time! Zorua in "The Legend of the Pokémon Knight"!. Ash has Pikachu use Electro Ball, then tells him to use Thunderbolt on it to significantly increase the size and power of Electro Ball.
- Massive Electro Ball was a stronger variation of Electro Ball that Pikachu used in Unova's Survival Crisis!. While blocking Thundurus's Thunder attack to protect Iris, Pikachu absorbed some of its opponent's electricity. Later, when Ash told Pikachu use Electro Ball, it transferred Thundurus's excess energy into its attack, causing the Electro Ball to crackle with blue lightning and swell to incredibly massive proportions. This supercharged Electro Ball dealt great damage to the Abyssal Ruins after it was launched.
- Electro Iron Tail was a move combination Pikachu used to defeat Trip's Serperior in Mission: Defeat Your Rival!. First Pikachu forms an Electro Ball on his tail, and then uses Iron Tail, slamming both the Electro Ball and Iron Tail into the opponent at the same time, dealing a notable amount of damage.
- Draco Meteor Climb was a countering method Ash improvised during his Gym battle with Grant in Climbing the Walls!. By using Iron Tail, Pikachu was able to jump on and avoid being hit by Grant's Tyrunt's Draco Meteor. This was based on Ash's counter method to Rock Tomb, called "Rock Tomb Climb".