As a wild Pokémon
Rowlet debuted in First Catch in Alola, Ketchum-Style!. A flashback revealed that Rowlet had been born into a flock of Pikipek, led by a Toucannon and Trumbeak. Later, it joined its flock to gather fruit from a town on Melemele Island. Rowlet mistook a wind chime for food, and brought its bounty to its nest, only to be scolded by Trumbeak that evening and being sent back to gather more.
The next day, a tired Rowlet noticed a sweet smell being produced by Mallow's Bounsweet. Believing it to be fruit, Rowlet tried to take Bounsweet, only to be deflected each time it tried. Eventually, the exhausted Rowlet fell out of the sky, but was caught in time by Ash. It was then given a bunch of fruit to eat and after finishing its meal, it took a watermelon and returned to its nest, prompting Ash and Mallow to follow it.
Ash and Mallow soon found Rowlet's nest, but their reunion was cut short by Team Rocket, who arrived to take back the Berries the flock had taken from Bewear. After trapping the flock in nets, Team Rocket set their sights on Pikachu. While Pikachu battled Jessie's Mimikyu, Rowlet freed its friends and then used Leafage to save Pikachu from Mimikyu's attack. Before the battle could go on any longer, Bewear returned and carried Team Rocket back to its den. Ash thanked Rowlet for saving the day before saying goodbye, not wanting to separate it from its family in its nest. Seeing how it wanted to join Ash, Toucannon gave Rowlet its permission to leave the nest. Rowlet happily dove into Ash's backpack and waved goodbye to its family. Delighted, Ash threw a Poké Ball at Rowlet and caught it.
Rowlet participated in its first official battle in Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!, where it battled Hobbes and his Pom-Pom Style Oricorio. Hobbes showed off his great battling skills by having Oricorio gracefully dodge Rowlet's Leafage and shock it afterwards using Revelation Dance. Furthermore, Oricorio was able to counter Rowlet's Tackle with Mirror Move. Rowlet, however, was able to overpower Oricorio and knock it back using its sheer leg strength. Eventually, Oricorio used Teeter Dance which confused Rowlet, allowing the Dancing Pokémon to knock it out with Double Slap.
In To Top a Totem!, Rowlet was used in Ash's first island challenge trial in Verdant Cavern. Alongside Pikachu, it first fought a Yungoos and Gumshoos. The two Normal-types showed to be tough opponents, as they were able to use Sand Attack to obstruct Rowlet and Pikachu's sight and movements before hitting them with their attacks. Ash then came up a similar tactic using its Leafage, allowing it to knock Yungoos out with Tackle, while Pikachu defeated Gumshoos. Afterwards, Rowlet and Pikachu had to face a Totem Gumshoos. Rowlet attempted to assist Pikachu in battle, but was defeated by a single hit from Gumshoos's Fling.
In Trial and Tribulation!, Ash used Rowlet as his first Pokémon in the Melemele Island grand trial, where it battled against Hala's Crabrawler. It managed to hit Crabrawler with a super effective Peck after dodging a Bubble Beam. Rowlet's attempt to hit a second Peck was stopped however, allowing Crabrawler to hurl it in the air using Brutal Swing followed by a hit from Power-Up Punch. Using a collision between Leafage and Bubble Beam, Rowlet turned the tables by sneaking up on Crabrawler and hit it with a series of Pecks. After barely dodging another Power-Up Punch, it managed to outmaneuver Crabrawler and defeat it with Tackle. Afterwards, Rowlet fell asleep, preventing Ash from using it for the next battle.
In They Might Not Be Giants!, Rowlet was asleep on the beach while Ash, Lana, Mallow, Pikachu, and Rockruff watched Lana's Popplio practice making balloons. However, as Popplio was making a balloon, Mallow's Bounsweet sneezed, and blasted out its sweet scent by accident. The scent promptly awoke Rowlet and it flew towards Bounsweet, who instinctively deflected it. Rowlet was sent flying at a high speed into Popplio, and the two eventually floated away in Popplio's balloon. While the others looked for the duo, Rowlet accidentally popped the balloon, causing the duo to fall straight onto a radar that Team Rocket was constructing, with Rowlet getting caught in a ring that was part of the machinery. With this ring, Rowlet was unable to fly. Popplio distracted Team Rocket by using Bubble Beam, then bounced Rowlet on its nose so the two could escape. The two were then confronted by Meowth and James's Mareanie, but were saved by a Litten. Litten took the duo to its home, where Stoutland advised it to take the two back to their Trainers. During their long search, the trio got caught by Team Rocket. However, they managed to escape thanks to Litten and blasted Team Rocket off with their combined attacks. Afterwards, Rowlet and Popplio were reunited with their Trainers, with Ash removing Rowlet's ring.
In Currying Favor and Flavor!, Rowlet was sent out to assist Litten in battling a Totem Lurantis and its ally Castform in the Lush Jungle trial. When Litten was tired and about to be hit by a super effective Water Gun from Castform, Rowlet jumped in and took the attack, easily shaking it off. It then knocked out the Castform with a single Tackle, getting rid of the Sunny Day it had set up in the process. This allowed Litten to defeat Lurantis, meaning Ash cleared the trial and earning him a Grassium Z.
In Trials and Determinations!, Rowlet was used in the Akala Island grand trial alongside Rockruff, battling Olivia's Lycanroc and Probopass. Despite their opponents giving them tough times with their combination tactics, Rowlet eventually managed to defeat Probopass with Bloom Doom. Unfortunately for Ash, Rockruff impulsively attacked Rowlet in a fit of aggression, accidentally knocking it out and leaving the Puppy Pokémon to face Lycanroc alone.
In Rescuing the Unwilling!, Rowlet and Litten joined Lana, Sophocles, and Mallow in the fight against Lusamine's Mismagius, Milotic, and Lilligant, which were being controlled by Nihilego. Rowlet used Tackle to free Ash's friends and their Pokémon from Lilligant's Teeter Dance, but Lilligant drew Rowlet towards it with its Sweet Scent move. In the next episode, Mallow's Steenee emitted its own Sweet Scent to bring Rowlet back to her. Rowlet was then launched into the air by Steenee's Double Slap and afterwards kicked back towards the ground, allowing Rowlet to perform a high-speed Peck attack, dubbed "Rowlaunch" by Lana, on Lilligant. The attack angered Lilligant, causing it to charge up its Solar Beam attack, but Litten interrupted the move with Fire Fang. Although Lilligant appeared to have been defeated by this move, Nihilego made it get back up and continue battling. The battle ended when Ash and Pikachu performed 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt to defeat Nihilego.
In Some Kind of Laziness!, Ash went to see Tapu Bulu so it could help train for a rematch with Nanu. After agreeing to help, Tapu Bulu used its powers to make several large trees grow instantly before resting on them to absorb their energy. When Rowlet decided to roost on the trees, it absorbed some of the trees' energy as well, causing it to learn Razor Leaf.
In Securing the Future!, Rowlet joined the rest of Alola in showering Necrozma with light so it could return to its normal form.
In No Stone Unturned!, Rowlet was used in Ash's battle against Hau, where it went up against its evolved form Dartrix. Rowlet's tendency to fall asleep caused trouble for it, and it was eventually defeated when Ash ended up dropping his Grassium Z while trying to use it. That night, Rowlet became serious, attacking the Substitute doll in Professor Kukui's house. The next day, Ash and Rowlet visited Rowlet's old foster family, who demonstrated how to use Bullet Seed, despite Rotom telling Ash that Rowlet can't learn the move. While searching for small rocks suitable for its Bullet Seed training, Rowlet found an Everstone and swallowed it, much to Ash's horror. Even though Rowlet was able to spit out the stone, it immediately swallowed it again, having taken a liking to it. Using the example of its foster parents, it subsequently learned to use Seed Bomb with the Everstone. The next day, Rowlet and Ash had a rematch against Hau, managing to pull off a win this time around with Bloom Doom.
In Show Me the Metal!, a Meltan approached Rowlet as it slept at the Pokémon School. When Rowlet woke up, Meltan was startled and dropped the hex nut on its head to the school roof, from which it was almost taken by a wild Murkrow, but Rowlet managed to get the hex nut first and returned it to its proper owner, making Meltan like Rowlet. As Rowlet subsequently flew into Ash's backpack to sleep, Meltan followed it, and was thus unknowingly taken to Professor Kukui's house by Ash later.
In Got Meltan?, Rowlet helped Meltan when it lost its nut head. Later, when Team Rocket attempted to capture Meltan, Rowlet stepped in, protecting it from multiple Fury Swipes until Meltan stepped up and defeated Team Rocket with Flash Cannon. Meltan was later caught by Ash.
In Aiming for the Top Floor!, Ash decided to use Rowlet during his battle against Ryuki at the Kantonian Gym, intending to use Rowlet's laid-back nature to prevent it from getting distracted by Ryuki's music, which had gotten Kiawe's Marowak defeated shortly earlier. Although the strategy worked, Rowlet was soon caught by Ryuki's Zweilous's Bite. Seeing its friend in trouble, Meltan angrily retaliated by eating away some of the decorations on Ryuki's suit. Ryuki then changed the battle into a Double Battle, with Ash using Rowlet and Meltan against Ryuki's Zweilous and Druddigon. Due to its slow movements, Meltan was unable to dodge Druddigon's Dragon Claws and was forced to try to protect itself with Harden. As Meltan's endurance was running low, Rowlet's Peck suddenly evolved into Brave Bird, allowing it to save Meltan from being defeated. Rowlet and Meltan then launched a combination attack at Zweilous and Druddigon, defeating them and winning the battle for Ash.
Personality and characteristics
Rowlet is somewhat naive and inexperienced. In its debut episode, Rowlet brought a wind chime from a market on Melemele Island to its nest, thinking it was food. When Ash asked it to find Lillie in Getting to Know You!, it returned with a watermelon instead. Similarly, when Ash asked it to try and find Pikachu in Love at First Twirl!, it got distracted by the scent of Team Rocket's honey donuts. It is drawn to the aroma of Sweet Scent, such as when used by Mallow's Bounsweet in First Catch in Alola, Ketchum-Style! or by Lusamine's Lilligant in Rescuing the Unwilling!.
Rowlet also seems to be a very relaxed Pokémon, as shown in Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio!, when it spent most of the episode not being bothered by what was going on around it, whether that included being splashed by water or being kidnapped by Team Rocket. Rowlet is often seen sleeping during the day, only waking up when it is needed by someone else, such as its Trainer. This character trait was shown in To Top a Totem! and Currying Favor and Flavor!, when Ash called Rowlet out to battle against a Totem Pokémon and its ally, only to find it sleeping, in need of awakening. In its time as a wild Pokémon, it was even seen nodding off while being lectured by its caretaker, Trumbeak. However, in Lulled to La-La Land!, Rotom noted that Rowlet shouldn't be sleeping so much. Rowlet has been show to sleep through almost anything, such as during battles and whilst being buried under sand, as shown in A Grand Debut!. Despite this, it is loyal towards its friends, and would do anything to protect them. Due to its naivety and inexperience, Rowlet tends to panic when it is separated from Ash; however, this shows its closeness to Ash. Its closeness to its Trainer was also shown when it would sit or sleep on Ash's head, although it would also sometimes sit on Ash's shoulders.
Ash and Rowlet quickly bonded after meeting each other. Rowlet likes roosting and sleeping in his backpack, and even doesn't mind having company inside the bag as well, which was mainly shown with Nebby and Meltan. Like other members of its species, Rowlet is capable of flying silently, as first shown in To Top a Totem!. In the same episode, it took a chance by fighting against the Yungoos without being commanded. Additionally, in Currying Favor and Flavor!, it was shown instinctively protecting Litten from getting hit by a Water Gun. These situations have shown that it is an independent and quick thinking Pokémon. In Trial and Tribulation!, Ash noticed this and used its ability to get the upper hand over Hala and his Crabrawler. Rowlet is also seen as a fast flyer as shown in Trials and Determinations! when it was able to dodge a Z-Move with Rockruff in tow. Rowlet has been shown to be easily startled, as shown in They Might Not Be Giants!, where it was cowering in fear from the presence of a Stoutland, despite the fact that Stoutland was only licking it out of affection. It was also shown to be happy at the thought that Ash would be brought to tears of joy after it reunites with its Trainer and at the thought of Popplio being scolded by its Trainer.
Rowlet started to take a more serious approach to battling after its loss to Hau's Dartrix in No Stone Unturned!. This can be seen when it kept attacking the Substitute Doll, and when it even visited its old foster family for some training. Unlike other Pokémon in the anime who have prevented themselves from evolving, like Ash's Pikachu or Dawn's Piplup, Rowlet doesn't seem disinterested or afraid of evolution, but decided it liked the Everstone it picked up after it allowed it to perform Seed Bomb.
Starting in Show Me the Metal!, Rowlet formed a close friendship with a Meltan. When Meltan's nut head fell off of its body, Rowlet flew to catch it, saving it from a Murkrow. This was seen again in the next episode, where it tried to substitute its lost nut head for many objects. Rowlet's protectiveness of Meltan saw it take Meowth's Fury Swipes in the place of the Hex Nut Pokémon, causing Rowlet's back to become badly damaged. However, Rowlet often has to prevent Meltan from causing damage, such as in The Secret Princess!, where it prevented Meltan from eating a frying pan.
| Using Peck
| Using Brave Bird
| A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
|| First Used in
|| Base Move
|| Breakneck Blitz
|| Young Kiawe Had a Farm!
|Description: Rowlet strikes a series of synchronized poses with its Trainer to build Z-Power. It then charges at the target with a full-speed tackle.
|| Bloom Doom
|| Trials and Determinations!
|| Leafage, Razor Leaf, or Seed Bomb
|Description: Rowlet strikes a series of synchronized poses with its Trainer to build Z-Power. It then becomes surrounded in a light green aura, causing the battlefield to become covered in flowers. The energy surrounding Rowlet then rapidly expands, creating a giant explosion.