Dragonite first appeared in Iris and the Rogue Dragonite! in which he was chasing down a Hydreigon. The Hydreigon wounded his wing which sent him crashing down into a lake. Dragonite became airborne again but due to his injury, he could not maintain flight properly. Eventually he hit a terminal of a power plant causing a blackout in Undella Town. Although this was an accident, the workers at the power plant believed it to be intentional. Wanting to escape the workers, Dragonite entered the power plant and barricaded himself in a room using Ice Beam to seal himself in the room. He curled up on the floor to rest in order to recuperate.
Hearing about the story of Dragonite from Officer Jenny, Iris refused to believe that he caused the blackout purposefully. Later she, Ash, and Dawn infiltrated the power plant and found Dragonite, who struck out at them. Piplup and Oshawott were used to keep him at bay until Meloetta came in and soothed him with its voice. Afterwards he collapsed again because of his injuries. While Ash and Dawn went to inform Officer Jenny, Iris was able to read his heart and saw that the injury caused by Hydreigon caused his flying to be hindered, thus accidentally crashing into the terminal.
Despite this, Officer Jenny rallied a group of Trainers to take down Dragonite. Iris threw herself in front of Dragonite in order to protect him from them just long enough for Ash and his friends to return with surveillance footage to prove Dragonite's innocence. At the end of the day, just before Dragonite was about to leave, he looked back at Iris. Cilan suggested that perhaps Dragonite wished to be Iris's Pokémon and allowed himself to be captured by her.
In Jostling for the Junior Cup!, Iris used him in the first round of the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup against Georgia's Beartic. Despite being ordered by Iris to dodge Beartic's Hidden Power, Dragonite stood in place and knocked it back swiftly. He ignored Iris again and chose to shield himself from Beartic's Focus Blast head on with his hands. Surprisingly, he even stood there and took an Ice Beam attack and refused to defend against a second with Flamethrower. In reaction to Iris's calls, Dragonite broke out of the ice he had been encased in and began charging towards Beartic. Though he ran straight into his opponent's Blizzard, Dragonite hit Beartic with Thunder Punch. The single hit won the match, though Iris nor Georgia were happy with it. In the next episode, Iris attempted to scold Dragonite for his disobedience, but to no avail. Cynthia then came to talk to him, becoming very interested in his relationship with Iris. Dragonite was then used against Dawn's Mamoswine in the second round. Dragonite began the match by listening to Iris and dodging Hidden Power, but began standing and taking Mamoswine's Ice Shard attacks against her wishes. Dragonite also began charging towards Mamoswine and meeting its Take Down, and although Dragonite was able to throw his opponent over head the first time, Mamoswine's second Take Down knocked Dragonite back. Dragonite finally grabbed Mamoswine's frozen tusks as it was using Ice Fang. His arms began to freeze before Dragonite broke free and flew into the air and sun's heat. Dragonite then swooped down and defeated Mamoswine with Dragon Rush. However, Iris was still displeased with the win and yelled at Dragonite. Furthermore, Georgia stated that Dawn lost to Dragonite, rather than Iris.
Dragonite was next used in Ash, Iris and Trip: Then There Were Three! to battle Ash's Krokorok in the semi-final match. He began the match; following Iris's commands, dodging Crunch and Stone Edge and then attacking with Flamethrower. Dragonite then launched an Ice Beam attack, though it was dodged with Dig, Dragonite avoided Krokorok's attack with ease. He eventually hit Krokorok with another Flamethrower before Krokorok burrowed underground once more and emerged behind him, clamping down on his tail with Crunch. Dragonite was able to shake his opponent off, but was still unable to land an Ice Beam. After getting hit by Stone Edge, Dragonite managed to dodge Krokorok's Crunch and land another Flamethrower. Dragonite finally managed to hit his opponent with back to back Flamethrower and Ice Beam attacks, but was astonished to watch Krokorok evolve into Krookodile, run towards him and strike with Dragon Claw. Faced with the powerful opponent, Dragonite began launching his moves in all directions and in the midst of his tantrum was hit by Crunch. Dragonite then recklessly tried a Dragon Rush that was easily avoided by Dig. When Krookodile emerged from the ground, Dragonite was hit and defeated by Stone Edge. After the match, Georgia and Burgundy poked fun at Iris and Dragonite before Cynthia revealed Dragonite did not have complete confidence in Iris.
In Unova's Survival Crisis!, Dragonite was sent out to battle the Forces of Nature. As usual he just took off without even waiting for Iris to say anything and ended up getting hurt in the process. When Iris tried to comfort Dragonite, he was still hesitant towards his new Trainer. However, once Iris stepped in front of Dragonite to block Thundurus's attack, he started to see that Iris really did care for him. After Iris gained his trust, she commanded Dragonite to go help the other Pokémon fight the trio and was able to hold them off so that Ash could stop Giovanni.
In A Village Homecoming!, Iris sent Dragonite out to meet the Elder at the Village of Dragons. Straight away, Dragonite picked a fight with a wild Haxorus that was resting near by. In the midst of their close combat, the Elder came between them. After she had calmed Haxorus, she did the same to Dragonite by massaging his stomach. Later, when Shannon's newly evolved Hydreigon lost control of himself, Dragonite teamed up with Emolga to chase the Brutal Pokémon across the lake and corner him on shore.
In Drayden Versus Iris: Past, Present, and Future!, Iris used Dragonite during her battle against Drayden and his Druddigon. Dragonite's starting move, Thunder Punch, was easily blocked the Cave Pokémon, which then hit back with a fierce Dragon Claw, hurting Dragonite. Despite of this, he was still strong enough to counter Druddigon's following Flash Cannon attack with Flamethrower. When he attempted to use Thunder Punch again, Druddigon used Double Team to hide itself. However, with Iris's loyal support, the Dragon Pokémon was able to identify the real Druddigon in the middle of the copies, and land a successful hit on it with Thunder Punch. Iris followed right away with an Ice Beam attack, which made a direct hit, but, much to everyone's surprise, Druddigon merely repelled the ice from its body, even though the move was supposed to be super effective. Iris then told Dragonite to attack with Dragon Rush, but Druddigon was easily able to intercept the attack, throw Dragonite away, and then serve the finishing blow with a strong Dragon Tail, causing Iris to lose the match.
Dragonite's rivalry with Ash's Charizard
In The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!, Dragonite along with Iris's other Pokémon were introduced to Ash's Charizard where he immediately struck a rivalry with the Flame Pokémon. As a result, Ash proposed a battle between the two, which they agreed to. The match started with a collision of Flamethrowers, after which the two continued their battle in the sky. Dragonite then cancelled Charizard's newly learned Wing Attack with a Thunder Punch and grounded it by using a powerful Dragon Rush to overcome Charizard's Slash. However, Dragonite was surprised and frustrated to see that Charizard had emerged unscathed from the attack, and was lured by Charizard into its powerful newly-learned Dragon Tail. The battle was stopped by N because he knew that both Dragonite and Charizard battled long enough to understand each other and their strengths.
Dragonite was sent out to battle a rampaging Haxorus in Team Plasma's Pokémon Manipulation!. Dragonite soon went on his own rampage after Colress used his Pokémon control machine on him and ordered him to do so. While under Team Plasma's control, Dragonite's attacks were blocked by Charizard until Aldith's Liepard's Shadow Ball veared and hit Colress's machine.
Dragonite was sent out in Ash and N: A Clash of Ideals! alongside Cilan's Crustle to fight two Golurk that were being controlled by Colress. When a barrage of Charge Beam attacks became too intense for Crustle to dodge, Dragonite carried it into the air to avoid the attacks. However, they were eventually hit and plummeted down to the ground. In the next episode, they managed to keep on fighting and stalled Team Plasma's Pokémon with a combination of Ice Beam and Rock Slide. Team Plasma eventually broke through the barrier with some Timburr and Conkeldurr they had also taken control of. When Colress decided to turn his mind control machine on Dragonite again, Iris quickly recalled him to his Poké Ball. In What Lies Beyond Truth and Ideals!, Dragonite helped trap Ghetsis, Colress, Aldith and Barret by freezing Krookodile's Stone Edge and Crustle's Rock Slide with Ice Beam so they wouldn't be able to escape and could be arrested by Looker.
In A Pokémon of a Different Color!, Dragonite and Charizard set off to search for Clair's Dragonite who had been separated from Clair on an island in the Decolore Islands. After Iris's Dragonite found Clair's, he landed to meet her; however, Clair's Dragonite attacked him for having trampled some flowers. When their respective Trainers arrived led by Charizard, Charizard attempted to end the squabble. The two Dragonite knocked it back before Iris and Clair began to settle them. Cilan then suggested the two Dragonite shared some romantic tension. Dragonite later bickered further with his fellow Dragonite before they both channeled their anger at each other into tearing a steel door from a cave entrance. He was then returned to his Poké Ball, along with his fellow Dragonite, when sound waves that caused him and the other Pokémon pain started emanating from where the steel door once was.
Iris used Dragonite in SS028 in her battle against Clair and her Shiny Druddigon at Blackthorn Gym. The battle started with Dragonite's Dragon Rush and Druddigon's Dragon Tail colliding, proving to be equal in power. Dragonite then went for a Thunder Punch, but was overcome by Druddigon's Slash. Both Pokémon then fired their Flamethrowers, and Dragonite's attack was overpowered. Dragonite, becoming frustrated, fired an Ice Beam without Iris's command, but was once again overpowered by Druddigon's Flamethrower. He was then hit by Druddigon's Dragon Tail and attempted another Thunder Punch, only to be dodged and thrown back. Iris then paused to think about Clair's strategy, and ordered Dragonite to attack with Thunder Punch, which made direct contact. He then followed up with a super effective Dragon Rush and Ice Beam, which froze Druddigon. Just when it seemed Dragonite had won, Druddigon broke out of the ice with Slash and used Dragon Rage. Dragonite countered with Ice Beam, but Dragon Rage proved to be too strong and knocked Dragonite out, leaving Clair the victor.