As a Charmander, with Damian
Charmander originally belonged to a braggart Trainer named Damian. However, in Charmander - The Stray Pokémon, Damian grew tired of Charmander being weak and abandoned it, leaving it on a rocky outcrop and telling it that he would come back later. Charmander's health deteriorated, but it was able to resist capture by Ash twice before explaining to Pikachu that it was waiting for Damian. Later, Ash met Damian and learned of his plans that he would never return for it. Outraged but mostly concerned for Charmander, who was now stuck out in the rain loyally awaiting Damian, Brock, Ash and Misty rushed to its rescue, with Brock carrying it to the Pokémon Center whilst Ash sheltered the little remaining tail flame with his coat.
Charmander recovered in ER and promptly left the Pokémon Center to resume its wait for Damian. However, it came across Team Rocket, who had stolen Pikachu. Charmander ordered them to return Pikachu, and when they ignored it, it blasted them with Flamethrower to send them running away, leaving behind Pikachu. Ash invited Charmander to join them, but Damian turned up with a bunch of Poké Balls and said that he had abandoned Charmander on purpose in order to allow it to toughen up. Damian throws a Poké Ball at it but the lizard Pokémon deflected the Ball. Charmander, having seen Damian's character, staunchly refused and when Damian threatened to crush it with all of his other Pokémon, it attacked Damian with a Flamethrower attack alongside Pikachu. Damian fled and Charmander happily joined Ash's team.
Charmander immediately became one of Ash's main Pokémon, being used in the very next episode as a torch to help Ash through the caves. Also, it ganged up with a group of other Charmander on the St. Anne in Battle Aboard the St. Anne to repel Team Rocket Grunts. In The Tower of Terror, Ash sent it out to lead the way through the haunted tower, but was terrified of the Ghost-type and Ash recalled it after it became paralyzed by Haunter's Lick.
In Primeape Goes Bananas, Charmander battled a berserk Primeape which it finally subdued after learning Rage, which vastly increased its firepower and allowed it to knock Primeape out with a devastating Flamethrower. Charmander made its Gym Battle debut in the next episode, where it defeated Erika's Weepinbell after burning Razor Leaf and then striking a powerful Skull Bash. However, the pure stench emitting from her Gloom caused Charmander to choke and faint.
In The Ninja Poké-Showdown, Charmander battled Koga's Venomoth briefly before their match was interrupted by Team Rocket. For the official Gym battle, Charmander went up against Koga's Golbat and defeated it with Ember and Fire Spin. Charmander's power continued to grow, easily defeating a Golem owned by a biker named Chopper, despite the type disadvantage in The Bike Bridge Gang. The flames from Charmander's attack were so powerful that Golem continued to burn and the heat went through the Poké Ball.
The rise in battle experience reached its peak in March of the Exeggutor Squad, where it single-handedly stopped a large number of rampaging Exeggutor. Subsequently, Charmander evolved into Charmeleon.
In The Problem with Paras, it was revealed that Charmeleon had lost its obedience to Ash, attacking a Paras when Ash was trying to deliberately lose in order to help Paras evolve. Cassandra's grandmother explained that Charmeleon's skill level had exceeded Ash's, and therefore it didn't respect him. Ironically a rampaging Charmeleon was stopped when Paras, desperately trying to avoid punishment, jabbed at it with a claw. After evolving into Parasect, it put Charmeleon to sleep with Spore and allowed Ash to recall it. Cassandra's grandmother warned Ash that he needed to learn to control Charmeleon.
Ash stopped using his disobedient Charmeleon, but tried again in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon to repel wild Fossil Pokémon, which it ignored to do. When an Aerodactyl swooped past knocking Charmeleon over, Charmeleon proudly fought back but was unable to do anything. It then jumped up and grabbed the escaping Aerodactyl's tail and followed it into the open air, but was shaken off. Upset, Charmeleon evolved into Charizard and flew after Aerodactyl to avenge its injured pride. It managed to catch Ash and put him on the ground, but unfortunately, retained its disobedience.
Charizard's disloyalty began to cost Ash in the business end of his journey, throwing away a round with Blaine in Riddle Me This, as Charizard simply loafed off and allowed Rhydon an easy win with Horn Drill. In the next episode, Charizard refused to help dam the volcano, but changed its mind after seeing Blaine's powerful Magmar contributing. After working together, the duo were left with a burning desire to test each others strength. Blaine permitted a battle at the peak of the volcano, and the two seem evenly matched. Magmar drops Charizard into the lava, but Charizard regains the upper hand by dazing Magmar with an aerial submission and then knocking it out with its powerful Seismic Toss.
In Mewtwo Strikes Back, Charizard played a significant role. It blatantly refused to listen to Ash, but took up the battle against Mewtwo's cloned Charizard. It lasted longer than Bruteroot or Shellshocker had, but was ultimately defeated by being slammed into the ground. It was captured in a Clone Ball, much to Ash's anguish. Ash then helped to release Charizard and the others, and it ran back to continue fighting its clone. When Ash was petrified by Mewtwo and Mew, Charizard wept for its fallen master's sacrifice, its tears helping to regenerate him. Once things were back to normal, Charizard's memory was erased and it went back to its blatant disobedience.
Charizard's disloyalty cost Ash greatly in the battle against Ritchie in Friend and Foe Alike. Down to one Pokémon, Ash called Charizard into battle against Zippo, and surprisingly decided to battle and force Zippo to flee from a far superior Flamethrower, causing Ritchie to concede the round. However, when Sparky came out, Charizard condescendingly stomped the ground and flapped his wings against the little Pikachu, before going to sleep, refusing to battle. Ash lost the round and Ritchie advanced onto the next round.
Ash took Charizard with him to the Orange Islands, despite its refusal to obey him. Noticeably Ash had stopped trying to use it in battles, although in the episode Navel Maneuvers, Charizard, Pikachu and Bulbasaur were used in the second round of the match between Ash and Danny. Charizard was initially unwilling to participate, and Danny nearly won. However, Charizard unwillingly helped when it tried to use Flamethrower on Ash but missed and carved an ice pillar into a sled. This meant Ash won the round and was able to continue the match.
In A Way Off Day Off, although refusing to listen to Ash, it recognized the wisdom and formidable experience that Tracey's Scyther had, and the two teamed up to defeat Team Rocket. Scyther was the only one of any of the group whom Charizard respected.
Charizard continued to go off on its own agenda during battles, such as in The Mandarin Island Miss Match. Charizard took down a boy's Tauros with a single attack, before flying away and attempting to burn everything. Ash was unable to recall him and only the intervention of Prima and her Slowbro using Disable allowed Ash to recall it.
Being taken care of by Ash
In Charizard Chills, Charizard battled Tad's Poliwrath. It blatantly refused to listen to Ash's commands, continuing to try Flamethrowers despite them having no effect on Poliwrath. Tad and Poliwrath shrugged all of them off until Poliwrath responded with a Water Gun that nearly doused the flame on Charizard's tail. It was then encased in ice by Poliwrath's Ice Beam, much to Ash's horror. Ash managed to smash the ice encasing Charizard's head, and Tad walked away scornfully, telling Ash that they would have a rematch when he could control Charizard.
Ash lit a fire and thawed Charizard out, before rubbing Charizard all over to help it regain its body heat. Pikachu pointed out that Ash's hands were rubbed raw, but Ash replied that he didn't mind, Charizard's flame was so small that Ash redoubled his efforts. Charizard woke up in a panic and tried to attack, but it was so cold that it couldn't produce a flame and passed out again. Misty provided a blanket and Tracey kept the fires up whilst Pikachu watched the flame, but Ash himself worked throughout the entire night to help Charizard recover.
The selfless act reminded Charizard of everything Ash had done for it since it was a Charmander. By morning, Charizard's respect for and loyalty to Ash had returned, and it helped Ash rescue Pikachu from Team Rocket. Ash and Pikachu were knocked senseless during the rescue, and Charizard became so incensed it learned Dragon Rage. In a rematch with Tad and Poliwrath, Charizard learned to dodge Ice Beam and knocked Poliwrath into the air, before defeating it with Seismic Toss.
It participated in Ash's Gym battle against Luana in Double Trouble. It fought Luana's Alakazam and Marowak alongside Ash's Pikachu in the series' first Double Battle. The two Pokémon initially had trouble collaborating, but eventually managed to work together: Pikachu helped to free Charizard from Alakazam's Psychic attack and Charizard caught Pikachu after it was hit by Marowak's Body Slam attack. Charizard's skillful flying caused Marowak and Alakazam to knock each other out, giving Ash the Jade Star Badge.
In The Power of One, Charizard helped Ash complete his dangerous journey to Ice Island. It used its powerful Flamethrower to repel an attack from Moltres, but Ash recalled it when his sleigh was destroyed and a tidal wave came crashing down.
Charizard was also used in Ash's Orange League battle against Drake in Enter the Dragonite. Charizard defeated Drake's Electabuzz by blocking its electricity with Fire Spin and the knocking it out with Seismic Toss. It also fought Dragonite, but was hit by a powerful Water Gun and then slammed into the ground. After a clash of Dragon Rages, Charizard fainted, but its attacks had begun to wear Dragonite down, paving the way for Pikachu to finish it off and give Ash victory. Charizard was inducted into the Orange Islands Hall of Fame with Ash's other Pokémon.
Charizard also accompanied Ash on his journey to the Johto region, although it became apparent that it was unfairly superior to most of Ash's early competition. This was shown especially in The Double Trouble Header, where Casey's Pidgey was beaten by Charizard exhaling and Rattata was defeated merely by bouncing of Charizard's stomach. A single Flamethrower beat Chikorita and allowed Charizard to win in the sweep, despite the disapproval of Misty and Brock. Team Rocket later capitulated on Casey's frustration, calling Charizard an illegal choice by Ash.
Charizard was used to weaken and help Ash capture a Chikorita in The Chikorita Rescue. His massive size compared to it came into effect when Chikorita ran toward him and tried to attack, Charizard responding by placing his foot out and blowing a small puff of fire after being instructed by Ash to only weaken it. Charizard's puff of fire ended up on Chikorita's single leaf and caused it to run around for a short amount of time before using Vine Whip to attack Charizard. Charizard was recalled by Ash after he and Chikorita fell into a large canvas of rocks.
It participated in Ash's first Johto Gym battle against Falkner, where it battled Falkner's Pidgeot. Due to the latter's impressive Speed, Charizard was put on the back foot, with Pidgeot's Whirlwind reflecting its Flamethrower back onto it. It was then knocked back down by a combination of Wing Attack and Quick Attack. Falkner tells Ash to surrender but Ash refuses and Charizard gains the strength to fight back and fly above Quick Attack. Charizard then baited Pidgeot, spinning around in midair when Pidgeot flew behind it and hitting it with Fire Spin, before seizing it and hurling it into the ground with Seismic Toss. Pidgeot was knocked out and Ash won the Zephyr Badge.
In Charizard's Burning Ambitions, Misty criticized Ash for using Charizard too often against fresh young Trainers, making him unbeatable but in an unfair way. Ash then met Liza, who taught Ash and Charizard how to fly together. After arriving in the Charicific Valley, Charizard was humiliated by Liza's insult and proudly tried to show off its power, but was shown to be smaller and weaker than the wild Charizard who lived there. Charizard continued to pick fights and got beaten until Liza locked them out of the Valley, having Charla throw Charizard into the lake and telling it and Ash to stay away until they had trained and reflected. Team Rocket sympathized with Charizard and helped it to stay awake in the lake, as well as making a false attempt to break into the Valley, allowing Charizard to defeat them and win acclaim from Liza, Charla and the wild Charizard.
Facing an emotional battle, Ash told Charizard that he didn't want a weakling on his team and he would be fine without it, forcing Charizard to stay at the Valley to train and become more powerful. He then ran away from the Valley, knowing that if he stopped he would not be able to say goodbye. Pikachu wished Charizard well and followed Ash, leaving its long lasting teammate behind.
In Spell of the Unown, Charizard witnessed the plight of Greenfield on Liza's TV and immediately left Charicific Valley to come to Ash's aid. It arrived just in time to catch Ash as he was blasted off the cliff by Entei. Charizard put up a fight against Entei and was nearly killed, but seeing the bond between Ash and Charizard changed Molly Hale's heart and she ordered Entei to stop fighting. Charizard then helped Pikachu and Entei to break through the Unown's forcefield and to break the spell. At the end of the movie, Charizard returned to the Valley.
While there, it took the role of bodyguard for Liza's Charizard, Charla, and the two seem to have struck up a romantic relationship. Liza occasionally visits the Dragon's Valley in Blackthorn City alongside the two Charizard. One such visit was in Great Bowls of Fire!, which coincidentally occurred when Ash was there for his final Johto Gym battle. Charizard helped Ash, Clair, Pikachu and Dragonair calm the wild Dragonite that was rampaging in the Dragon Holy Land.
In Better Eight Than Never, Charizard battled against Clair's Dragonair in his rematch with her by causing the water in the Gym's pool to evaporate with its Flamethrower and Fire Spin, thus depriving Dragonair of its protection. It then caught Dragonair with Seismic Toss and used Fire Spin to create a flaming twister to wear down Dragonair's defenses before it hit the ground and was knocked out. Ash surprised Liza by sending it back for training, knowing that Charizard still has a lot to learn.
Ash later used Charizard in the Silver Conference during his fight against Gary Oak in Can't Beat the Heat!, as Brock had made a late night call to Liza requesting Charizard for the battle. Gary's Blastoise and Scizor cut Ash's team down to only Charizard who had to fight three opponents single-handedly. It managed to match Scizor's speed and took advantage of its significant type advantage, blasting Scizor with Flamethrower. Despite Gary's Golem's weight preventing Charizard from using its Seismic Toss, Charizard overcame it with a powerful Dragon Rage. Charizard struggled against Blastoise, as it had supreme defensive capabilities and could keep Charizard at bay with Hydro Pump. Thinking outside the square, Charizard superheated the field and forced Blastoise to cool the molten rock. This created a huge steam cloud and allowed Charizard to seize Blastoise at close range. Blastoise could still use Withdraw to dodge Dragon Rage, so Charizard hurled Blastoise into the ground with Seismic Toss, taking Blastoise out and leaving Ash as the winner.
Charizard was then used in Ash's fight against Harrison, where it came out against Harrison's Blaziken. Charizard's aerial advantage was negated by Blaziken's powerful legs and ability to maneuver in midair. Each Pokémon hit hard blows on the other, and their Flamethrowers were shown to be equal in power. Blaziken even managed to get up after a devastating Seismic Toss, whilst Charizard took a Blaze Kick to the neck and continued on. A fiery clash between Flamethrower and Dragon Rage knocked both Pokémon down, but only Blaziken could get up, eliminating Ash from the tournament.
Charizard once again returned to Charicific Valley, and it was revealed that it had injured Blaziken so badly that Harrison had to rest it in the next round, contributing to his loss.
Kanto Battle Frontier
In The Symbol Life, it returned for Ash's first Battle Frontier battle, where it took on Noland's Articuno at the Battle Factory. Ash and Charizard flew together, where Charizard demonstrated a far improved Flamethrower and that it had learned DragonBreath. In battle it showed that it was a match even for the legendary Pokémon, using Flamethrower to burn through Ice Beam and strike Articuno. However, Articuno did not take damage from Flamethrower or DragonBreath, flattening Charizard by blinding it with Mist and then knocking it to the ground with Steel Wing. Articuno then inflicted serious damage with Water Pulse and froze Charizard's wing tip, crippling its movements. Finally, Charizard used Overheat, which it had just learned, to melt the ice, then it caught Articuno as it tried to use Steel Wing; before striking with a Seismic Toss. Charizard collapsed, but managed to get up just as Articuno passed out, giving Ash and Charizard the victory.
Charizard also battled alongside Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Pikachu in a four-on-four battle against Brandon's Pokémon in Gathering the Gang of Four!. It went up against Dusclops. Charizard had been training since its battle with Articuno and learned Steel Wing, but was put on the back foot when Dusclops uses Confuse Ray and Mean Look, forcing Charizard to keep battling in its baffled state, all the while taking damage from Will-O-Wisp. Finally Charizard snapped out of confusion and attacked with DragonBreath, wearing both Pokémon down. However, an attempt to use Seismic Toss to finish the match costs Ash dearly, as the Ghost-type simply dissipated and re-emerged safely at a distance, where a single Shadow Punch took Charizard out and put Ash at a supreme disadvantage. However, Squirtle, Pikachu and Bulbasaur managed to win the battle and the Symbol. After that, Charizard returned to Charicific Valley.
Charizard reuniting with Pikachu
In The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!, Ash and his friends visited a Kanto-based festival, where one of the presentations featured the local starter Pokémon, involving a live action show with a Charmander. This made Ash remember his own Charmander, prompting him to tell the story how he got his Charmander, and how it eventually became Charizard and won many battles with him, eventually leaving for training. Interested by the idea of seeing his old friend again, Ash called Professor Oak, who, in exchange for Ash's Unfezant, sent Charizard over to him. While being introduced to all of the gang's new Pokémon, Charizard almost immediately started a fiery rivalry with Iris's Dragonite, encouraging Ash and Iris to have a battle with their Pokémon. During the battle, Charizard was shown to have learned Wing Attack, Slash, and Dragon Tail. After a while, the battle was called off by N. Ash then also corrected Iris's misconception that Charizard would be a Dragon-type, saying that it is actually Fire/Flying, much to Iris's shocking surprise.
In Team Plasma's Pokémon Manipulation!, it was called out by Ash in order to once again fight Iris's Dragonite, who was this time being controlled by Colress.
In Meowth, Colress and Team Rivalry!, it was called out to help Ash's Pignite, which had difficulty breathing through his nostrils because something was blocking it. Charizard lifted him up into the air and tossed him to help, but it did not work. Eventually the blockage was removed, much to everyone's delight.
Later, in Team Plasma and the Awakening Ceremony!, Charizard was sent out alongside the rest of Ash's team to help Ash and N dig up to the surface of the White Ruins after they had fallen into a pit. Charizard cleverly improvised a spinning Dragon Tail to help Krookodile Dig through the earth that Oshawott had softened with Hydro Pump. While battling Team Plasma again, Charizard withstood many of Team Plasma's attacks before Pignite came to its aid. The two then launched an incredibly powerful double Flamethrower at Team Plasma's Pokémon. However, when Colress turned his mind control machine on them, Charizard was quickly recalled to its Poké Ball along with Ash's other Pokémon.