In Gettin' Twiggy With It!, Ash originally caught Torterra as a Turtwig. It had been living in the forest near Clara's home, and it broke up fights among wild Pokémon in the area. After Team Rocket stole Ash's Pikachu, their balloon crashed, and Turtwig defended Pikachu against them. When Ash and his friends appeared, Turtwig assumed they were trying to wrongfully steal Pikachu too, so it attacked them and ran off with an exhausted Pikachu in tow. The next time they confronted Turtwig, the misunderstanding was explained, and Turtwig apologetically befriended Ash. At the end of the episode, Ash and his friends began to leave, and the old woman encouraged Turtwig to go with Ash, so it ran to challenge him to a battle. Ash accepted his challenge, and Turtwig and Pikachu battled. Ash then caught Turtwig.
As Turtwig, it was a brave yet kind Pokémon that has high confidence for its small size. It apparently had a strong jaw, as it was often seen latching itself onto people and Pokémon's heads, tails, hats, and appendages to attack or show affection. It has done this to Ash as well, the behavior somewhat resembling that of James's Victreebel, Carnivine and Cacnea. It has also been shown to be both incredibly fast and quite strong, such as the time when it used Bite on Roark's Rampardos's tail and threw it into a rock, after which Brock said, "Big things come in small packages!"
In Different Strokes for Different Blokes, Turtwig battled Paul's Chimchar and lost. Although it held its own in battle, it appeared to hesitate upon receiving Ash's command to dodge attacks.
Overall, it has taken part in five of Ash's Gym battles. As a Turtwig, it defeated Roark's Cranidos in their first battle, and in the rematch, defeated the newly evolved Rampardos, giving Ash his first Sinnoh Badge.
In The Grass-Type Is Always Greener!, Turtwig was first sent out to rescue Cheryl from vines with its Razor Leaf. It stayed out of its Poké Ball and was later found by Gardenia, who found it cute. It later battled as Ash's first Pokémon against Gardenia's Cherubi in their unofficial two vs two battle. Turtwig used Tackle, hitting Cherubi, and then used multiple Razor Leaf attacks, hitting Cherubi the first time, but Cherubi dodged without receiving any commands. Impressed with Turtwig, Gardenia recalled Cherubi, with Brock speculating that Gardenia used Cherubi to check out Ash's Turtwig. Gardenia then used her Turtwig. Ash's Turtwig used a fast Tackle but Gardenia's was faster and it easily dodged, eventually causing Ash's Turtwig to crash into a tree. Gardenia's Turtwig used Leech Seed, draining Ash's Turtwig's health. Gardenia's Turtwig then used an extremely fast Tackle, knocking Ash's Turtwig out.
In The Grass Menagerie!, Turtwig was Ash's first Pokémon in his Eterna Gym Battle against Gardenia, going up against her Cherubi again. Turtwig started off with Tackle, which was dodged. Its Razor Leaf was dodged as well, showing Cherubi's speed, which was boosted due to is Ability Chlorophyll. Cherubi then used Solar Beam, but Turtwig was able to dodge. Ash thought that Solar Beam couldn't be activated straight away and had Turtwig use Razor Leaf, but Cherubi countered with an instant Solar Beam, activated faster due to the harsh sunlight, destroying Razor Leaf and hitting Turtwig. Cherubi then used Magical Leaf and Ash recalled Turtwig before the attack could hit. Later it was called out to face Gardenia's Turtwig again. Ash's Turtwig used Tackle which Gardenia's Turtwig dodged and used Leaf Storm. However, Ash's Turtwig was able to dodge by jumping off a tree. Ash's Turtwig used Bite but Gardenia's Turtwig used Leech Seed, stopping Bite and draining Ash's Turtwig of energy. Turtwig was able to withstand it and used Synthesis, however Gardenia's Turtwig used Leaf Storm, which Ash's Turtwig was able to dodge by jumping, allowing the Synthesis to finish. After Ash's Turtwig hit Gardenia's Turtwig with Razor Leaf, both Turtwig used Tackle at each other, but only Ash's Turtwig was able to remain standing, finally defeating Gardenia's Turtwig. Ash kept Turtwig in, but the Leech Seed was still in effect. It then went up against Gardenia's final Pokémon, Roserade. Turtwig used Tackle but the Bouquet Pokémon tripped up Turtwig with Grass Knot. Roserade then used Weather Ball, which was a Fire-type attack due to the harsh sunlight, defeating Turtwig.
In Smells Like Team Spirit!, Turtwig was used in the semi-finals of the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition. It was paired off with Paul's Chimchar, who was still weak from earlier training, and was up against a Zangoose and a Metagross. The two quickly become overwhelmed due to Chimchar being too weak and afraid of Zangoose to make any attack and soon got caught in Zangoose's claws and had to be saved by Turtwig, who was seriously injured as a result. Chimchar made up for this by protecting Turtwig from a Fire Blast attack. Realizing that not even reliving the traumatic event of being attacked by Zangoose could motivate Chimchar to do Blaze, Paul gave up on Chimchar. For the remainder of the battle Paul refused to give Chimchar any orders. Consequently, Ash gave Chimchar commands from then on, and the three soon won the battle.
After learning Energy Ball from Kenny's Breloom in Tanks for the Memories!, Turtwig didn't battle again until the Pastoria Gym Battle in A Crasher Course in Power!, where it battled Crasher Wake's Quagsire, but was called back before being defeated.
Like many of Ash's Pokémon, Turtwig's battle style was based on its speed, a factor that Ash focused on even more after seeing Gardenia's Turtwig in action. However, in Aiding the Enemy!, Turtwig evolved into Grotle during a battle against Paul's Honchkrow. It quickly became apparent that, due to its new body being larger and heavier, Grotle's speed had diminished, and Grotle fumbled and fell down a lot in the battle. The newly evolved Grotle had high expectations of itself, well exemplified in the same episode. During the night, it went out to try to improve its speed. However, it failed to regain its speed and stumbled over from time to time. This was initially upsetting but Paul's Torterra provided some unexpected help by showing Grotle that it could rely on defense instead.
In Jumping Rocket Ship!, it was shown that Grotle became fatigued from walking a lot and from its increased weight. It had to be carried by Brock's Happiny for a portion of the journey.
In A Breed Stampede!, Ash used his Grotle to help train Dawn's Piloswine, where it used the defense method shown by Paul's Torterra. By Leading A Stray!, the defense method has begun to pay off in battle as Grotle took Swampert's Focus Punch on the head and replied accordingly with Razor Leaf, knocking its opponent out.
In The Lonely Snover, in order to save a Snover, Grotle surpassed its own limits and learned Rock Climb through its willpower alone, which allowed it to regain some of its speed.
In Sliding Into Seventh!, it was Ash's first Pokémon in his Gym Battle against Candice, going up against her Sneasel. Using her skating skills, she dodged its Energy Ball and used Icy Wind, however Grotle used the training it got from Paul's Torterra to endure these attacks despite being super effective. It then used a close range Razor Leaf against her Fury Swipes and used Rock Climb against Sneasel's Icy Wind, knocking her out. Grotle was then recalled. It later went up against her Abomasnow, using Rock Climb, but this was countered by Wood Hammer, knocking Grotle out.
In Pedal to the Mettle!, Grotle was used in the match between Ash and Paul. It initially faced his Electabuzz, but had an Energy Ball blocked by Light Screen before Paul switched it for Honchkrow, pitting the two against each other once more. Ash decided to keep Grotle in, however Honchkrow proved to be far too powerful with its type advantage on top of Electabuzz's Light Screen still being active. A badly timed Synthesis then gave Honchkrow time to ready Sky Attack and as a result Grotle was defeated, becoming the first of Ash's Pokémon to fall in the battle.
In Challenging a Towering Figure!, it was used to battle Palmer's Rhyperior in the Festival Battle Challenge. During the battle it accidentally swallowed its own Energy Ball, causing the bushes on its back to radiate a green aura and gaining a huge amount of power. After this boost, it was strong enough so that Rhyperior could not stop Grotle's Rock Climb continuously pushing it backwards without slamming its tail into the ground. Despite putting up a close fight, it lost the match.
In Gone with the Windworks!, it battled Dawn's Cyndaquil where the newly hatched Pokémon proved to be a strong battler.
In Dressed for Jess Success!, Grotle helped Dawn's Mamoswine train for the Lilypad Town Pokémon Contest. During the training, Grotle demonstrated swallowing its own Energy Ball to gain power. Mamoswine mirrored the motion by swallowing its Ice Shard, which in turn caused ice to form on its back as an appeal.
In The Fleeing Tower of Sunyshore!, Grotle was used in Ash's first Gym battle against Volkner's Luxray where, despite the type-advantage, it started to get overwhelmed before the battle was canceled, due to the Gym losing power. Later, Grotle was called on to battle Team Rocket inside the Sunyshore Tower, and quickly evolved into a Torterra. Along with its new and more powerful form, Torterra immediately learned Leaf Storm and sent Team Rocket blasting off.
In An Elite Coverup!, Torterra battled Bertha's Hippowdon, and thought it put up a good fight, it ultimately lost.
In The Eighth Wonder of the Sinnoh World!, Ash used Torterra as his first Pokémon during his rematch with Volkner, sending it against Volkner's Electivire. Torterra's Leaf Storm was blocked by Electivire's Fire Punch, this was blocked again in the same way but Torterra broke through Fire Punch by launching an successful Energy Ball, it then used Rock Climb which was countered by Electivire's super-effective Ice Punch which knocked Torterra out.
Ash used it as his fifth Pokémon in his battle against Paul in A Real Rival Rouser!. Torterra was sent out against Paul's Drapion, after both Buizel and Staraptor fell in battle against the powerful Pokémon. It battled well and was able to do some damage to Drapion with its Leaf Storm, Rock Climb and Energy Ball attacks. However, in the end, Drapion proved to be too much for Torterra, and it was defeated by Drapion's powerful Pin Missile attack immediately after the use of Synthesis.
Ash left Torterra at Professor Oak's Laboratory when he decided to go to Unova.
Torterra was reunited with Ash in The Dream Continues!, where it and the rest of Ash's Pokémon posed in a group photo with him.
Personality and characteristics
As a Turtwig, Torterra was very brave. Similarly to Ash's Bulbasaur, it helped take care of sick or injured Pokémon and kept the peace between them. If there was feud between other Pokémon, Turtwig would be the mannered one to break it up. It was shown to be a little reckless at times, ignoring Ash's commands to dodge in Different Strokes for Different Blokes. It was quite stubborn and would not give up, no matter how hard the challenge, another trait it shared with Bulbasaur. It was also quite affectionate, latching on to Ash's head as a Turtwig. After evolving into Grotle, it became a lot less active with its weight gain, still battling well but taking things slowly. As it grew and evolved, Torterra became quite serious in everything it did and had no issues listening to Ash's commands, unlike when it was still Turtwig and Grotle.
| Using Energy Ball as a Grotle
| Using Tackle as a Turtwig
| A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.