This page contains personal opinions.
as much of a shipper i am, i don't consider many of hints listed on the shipping articles on bulbapedia valid hints. so i'm aking a list of what i consider shippy. first i'll start off with the popular pairings such as PokéShipping, ContestShipping, AdvanceShipping etc.
first of all, i personally think that all straight ash pairings except for GoggleShipping are one-sided canon on the girls side. no offence to anyone but i don't think that Ash is gay, but there's other characters in pokemon that i do think are gay/bisexual. i'm not gonna talk about that right now since it's a bit off topic.
i'm going to start listing popular straight shippings, then popular slash, then less popular shippings
- After Ash destroys May's bicycle accidentally, she angrily goes to tell him off while he is resting in the Pokémon Center. As she quietly opens the door, she sees Ash and Pikachu resting contently together, and she forgives him without telling him. Later on, May guilts Ash into letting her travel with him. Once he says that she could come along, May strikes a triumphant pose by the camera and yells, "YES!" to show her enthusiasm to the audience.
- During the middle of the episode, May grabs Ash's hand and asks him if they could go eat at some nearby restaurant. Ash agrees and they eat. While at the restaurant, Ash and May talk as if they were on a date.
- On Dewford Island, May decides to strip into a bikini right on the beach. However, instead of just running down to the shore to take a swim, she purposely poses in her bikini in front of Ash and her brother and asks what they think. Ash appears to be embarrassed by the situation, but so is Max, for understandable reasons.
- When May is lost in the forbidden land of the Grass Pokémon, Ash once again steps in to save her. After his Tarzan-esque entrance to save May from the fierce and threatening Grass Pokémon that were about to attack her, he grabs her by the hand and runs with her to clear a path to safety. Ash and May continue to hold hands as they are running away from the menacing Pokémon, a rare sight between them, despite its possibility of being for safety reasons.
- In another love-themed episode, Ash is confused about the concept of love. May teases him and says, "Spoken like a maaaaaan," in the dub while she says, "And he doesn't get it," in the original Japanese. As the episode continues, Ash says, "No sense in going out of your way just to make somebody like you," to which May responds, "And he still acts like a man," in the dub while in the raw, "And he reeeaaaally doesn't get it." This is the second episode in which May teases Ash about love.
- May decides that she wants to continue traveling with Ash after Hoenn ends, which compels her to travel from the Hoenn region on her own to meet up with Ash in Pallet Town. This was before she found out there were Contests in Kanto, so she decided that she wanted to be by Ash's side even if it meant not continuing her Coordinator dream for the time being.
- Before May leaves to return to Johto, she and the rest of the group share goodbyes. It is only when May is speaking with Ash (despite the fact she was exchanging farewells with everyone) that she holds her heart. Further indication is that when both May and Ash say their goodbyes, each of their eyes glimmer. In the anime, when a character's eyes glimmer it represents a type of passion.
- As Ash and May go swimming with Manaphy, they swim right into a school of Luvdisc, the Pokémon thought to symbolize love. This is accompanied by shots of Ash and May looking at each other and smiling, while still surrounded by the Luvdisc.
- While Samiya is being flooded with water, Ash puts May, Pikachu, and Manaphy in a capsule left behind by The Phantom, allowing them to survive in the event that his plan to replace the crystal fails. May continues to pray for Ash's safety and is nearly driven to tears by the thought that he may not return. Manaphy sends May's prayers to Ash, and with these thoughts spurring him on, Ash recoveres from his near-drowned state and replaces the crystal, saving Samiya.
- After Samiya is raised, May leaves the capsule, initially thrilled that the temple has been saved. (In the Japanese language version of the movie, she acknowledges that Satoshi is the one who saved the Temple by saying "This is Satoshi's doing, isn't it?") Her happiness, however, is quickly replaced by sadness and the fear that Ash will not return. "It can't be..." she says. "No way..." Her joy returns as soon as Ash flies up out of the water, chases down Captain Phantom, and saves the abducted Manaphy. In the manga adaption of the movie, when May and Pikachu are unsure of whether or not Ash survived trying to save the Sea Temple, she clutches Pikachu and is tearing up, but still retains hope in Ash by saying, "Ash wouldn't leave us like this..."
- Additionally, at multiple points during the movie, Manaphy seems very happy around Ash, best exemplified by the fact that it seemed content and happy in Ash's arms, when it's seen to only to accept May's company, even using Heart Swap to switch between Ash and Jack Walker when the latter held it, immediately regaining its happiness after doing so. Many AdvanceShippers suggest that Manaphy has chosen Ash to be his 'father'.
i think that contestshipping is one-sided canon on drew's side.
- Drew's second appearance on the television series introduces the recurring theme of Drew giving May roses. Drew hands his rose to May who stares at it in surprise. She blushes and thanks him for the rose to which Drew responds with, "It's not for you, it's for your Beautifly! It looks like the coordinator still has a lot of training to do."
- After May's Beautifly performs its failed Gust and String Shot combination, Drew appears and makes a negative comment about May's ability as a coordinator. He openly flirts with May this time, claiming that he's flattered that she remembered his name and subsequently hands her a second rose. Before he leaves, he warns May to not "get her hopes up." His excuse for coming to talk to her was to see Beautifly, a common excuse at the beginning of the series.
- Upon receiving her first ribbon from the Fallarbor Contest, May is congratulated by Drew, who delivers his third rose. Upon receiving it, May asks Drew rather coyly if the rose is for Beautifly again, indicating that she has suspicions as to the true nature of his roses. Drew slightly admits that the roses aren't really for Beautifly as he responds to her question with a dubious, "Yeah... Something like that..." This shows that the rose is obviously for May. Since a red rose means love, this can mean Drew has very special feelings for May.
- Amidst May and Drew's conversation, Harley interrupts and notices that May has received her fourth rose from Drew. He immediately suspects that May and Drew are in love which causes May to blush and protest at Harley's remark. She quickly responds that Drew mostly made fun of her and they were just rivals. After Harley left, Drew quickly walked away in a huff, suspecting that he was disappointed in May's description of him.
- While Harley is talking to May in the background, Drew is seen in the foreground sulking, indicating that he's jealous of Harley. Although his behavior may be passed off as suspicion.
- May meets Solidad, one of Drew's old friends, and talk for a bit. Solidad tells her that she and Drew are close, and talk to each other often. When May asks her what they talk about, Solidad smiles and tells her, "He's the type who never listens to anyone else's advice. So, we end up talking about other coordinators we might've seen in performance, and at some point, he started in on you. You and only you." Later, Solidad tells May, "He's gotten feelings for you." This left May confused.
- In this episode, Brock asks Misty to dance, and she accepts. They waltz against the music made a by a large and mysterious Pokémon.
- Brock becomes infatuated with a maiden he sees, and when an old lady explains that the Maiden is a ghost who harms men who cross her path, Misty misinterprets, exclaiming, "I must be the beautiful girl, but I'd never hurt Brock!"
- Brock blushes at the image of a girl in a mermaid costume. As the title suggests, the role was filled by Misty. Brock didn't seem disappointed when he found this out.
- After the snow storm, Ash finds out that Brock and Misty found a hot spring, with Misty saying (while blushing), "You can't believe how comfy we were!"
there's only one hint for this shipping in my opinion on dawn's side
- Later when Ash and the others appear, Dawn stands quietly beside Paul, but then quickly runs over to Ash's side and gives Paul a smile and slightly blushes. It seems like she understands Paul now, and later she says she doesn't know who to cheer for.
- Iris blushes slightly upon meeting Ash and throughout most of the episode.
- During Ash's gym battle with Dent, Pod, and Corn, while the brothers' fans stayed on one side of the arena to cheer on the Gym Leaders, Iris stays on the opposing side and quite blatantly gazes at Ash with a look that could easily be interpreted as attraction or cool admiration.
- After Ash beats Dent, Iris is impressed with Ash's performance and whispers his name while watching him celebrate. After Ash receives his badge from Dent, Dent asks Ash if he and Iris are traveling together. Iris yells that they aren't and runs off. Later, once Dent has formally joined Ash's travel party, Ash and Dent are on their way to leave Sanyou City. As Ash wonders where Iris is, she appears from a tree, surprising him. After being asked by Ash to join him and Dent on their journey, she is overjoyed and excitedly accepts his invitation.
- Iris blatantly gazes at Ash with a look that could easily be interpreted as attraction or cool admiration for the second time, during his battle with Shooti. Also, Iris seems to be genuinely concerned when Ash is losing the battle to Shooti.
- Dawn dons a cheerleading outfit while she and her Pokémon cheer for Ash. Ash is thus able to find find the confidence necessary to winning his first gym badge in Sinnoh. Neither Misty, May, nor Iris ever went to such lengths in any of Ash's battles, instead choosing to more passively sit on the sidelines when cheering. Dawn reprises her role as Ash's cheerleader twice over series' run.
- Dawn witnesses Ash leave to train with his Pokémon and follows out of curiosity. Later, Dawn finds herself inspired by Ash's training, but, reflecting upon her recent Contest failure, suddenly begins crying. Ash, upon noticing Dawn's tears, asks whether she is okay and whether she has something in her eyes, the later inquiry an (albeit faulty) assumption to which Dawn quickly agrees. Eager to avoid the possibility of having him worry over her, Dawn immediately follows this exchange with an invitation to snack on ice cream. A hungry and clueless Ash eagerly accepts.
- When Kenny sees Dawn in her Contest dress, he is momentarily speechless. She starts flirting with Kenny and asks him if he thinks she's pretty. He blushes and quickly tries to change the subject.
- Kenny, after making his appeal, talks alone with Dawn about watching her at the Wallace Cup and how he's going to follow, win, and get ahead of Dawn. In response, she blushes, holding her heart, and says, "Please, you're embarrassing me!" Also while waiting for the results of the appeal rounds, Dawn is nervous and tells Ash about her worries about Kenny. She blushes while doing this.
- Kenny wanted Dawn to travel back to Twinleaf Town with him so that they could start training for the next Grand Festival together. But Dawn's not sure about going with him because she wants to root for Ash in the Sinnoh League. Kenny then tells her that he would battle Ash and if he won, she would have to travel back home with him. He also says "I just had to tell you how I feel." Even though Kenny won, he lets Dawn go with Ash thinking that she would be happier that way.
- Why she is following him is made apparent near the end of the episode where she says, "I've never known anyone like him. He really does love Pokémon." She does so in body language befitting that of an infatuated girl. Also, in her statement, it is pretty much implied that she has some sort of interest in knowing Ash, who, at this point, is someone she barely knows. Furthermore, in this and the next episode, Misty seems very eager to make physical (if not courtly) contact with Ash.
- Misty tells Daisy that she's back home because of Ash. The remark makes Daisy think Ash and Misty are a couple, which causes Misty to blush an intense shade of red. Also the episodes before this, while trying to get Ash to avoid coming to this city would suggest other locations, often stating because they are "so romantic".
- When the ghost skulls attack them, Misty grabs Ash's arm and holds on to him tightly. Ash never seems to have any problem with this, if anything looking like he wanted to be comforted, suggesting that they both look to each other when they are scared and are not embarrassed by this.
- At the end of the episode, Misty invites Ash to dance. When Ash accepts, she takes his hand and they are then seen dancing together as the episode ends.
- One of the clearest examples to fans of Misty's growing feelings towards Ash in the Indigo League, would be at the fact that she completely forgot about her bike being destroyed by Ash, being the supposed only reason for her traveling with him.
- While giving a pep talk to Brock about pursuing a possible relationship with Temacu, Misty says, "Take it from me, it's a lot easier to like someone who likes you than to like someone who doesn't." Brock then asks her, "How do you know?", after which Misty gasps, blushes, then coyly replies, "Well that's...what I've heard..."
- When Macy first invites Ash out to lunch, Misty quickly cuts in between the two and comments that Ash is "booked". Later in the same scene, Macy questions Misty's right to interrupt in Ash's personal affairs when she's not his girlfriend. Misty looks quite unimpressed as Macy continues to flirt with Ash.
- The departure of Misty from the group is a very emotional affair. After all is said and done, Misty says to herself, "Well, Ash Ketchum, finally, I know how you feel about me."
- In this episode, Misty gives Ash her handkerchief. In Japanese, as well as many other eastern Asian cultures, giving a handkerchief is done to, "wipe away tears" when someone leaves your life (eg. a death, a breakup, or saying goodbye to a good friend).
one-sided on dawn's side
- Dawn is surprised to see Barry again. Dawn also remembers a previous Town Festival in which Barry did a duet with an Exploud. She then becomes angry because Barry didn't remember her from when they were little kids in Twinleaf Town. When she noticed Barry's new Pokétch, she jumped up and grabbed his hand.
- Dawn convinced Barry to take a group picture with them.
- Dawn was trying to cheer Barry up when Jessie was yelling at him.
- Dawn was still trying to see if Barry remembered her from their childhood, but he didn't and she started to become depressed.
- After Meowth attacks Ash, Barry and Empoleon, Dawn is seen kneeling beside Barry with her hands on his shoulder.
- When Ash asked Dawn if she needed help getting Barry out of the hole, she insisted she do it herself.