Ash first met Lapras in The Lost Lapras. It had become separated from its family and washed onto the shores of Tangelo Island, where it was being abused by three boys. Pikachu's Thunder Shock quickly sent the trio running. Tracey examined Lapras and realized it needed help. He gave Ash some medicine for it, but Lapras refused to take it. Afterwards, they took Lapras to the local Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy explained that Lapras was afraid of humans. Soon, Ash gained Lapras's trust after he saved it from Team Rocket. Lapras later decided to become a part of Ash's team after Ash promised to reunite it with its family.
Lapras was used extensively as a means of transportation. Ash, Misty, and Tracey rode on its back as it carried them through the seas from one island to another.
He later used it against Danny in Navel Maneuvers when competing for his second Badge. Lapras had to use Ice Beam to freeze a geyser, but it lost to Danny's Nidoqueen.
Lapras was also used against a Gengar in the final battle against Drake in the Orange League. The cliffhanger of Hello, Pummelo! was the collision of attacks between the two. Enter the Dragonite began with the revelation that the collision had knocked out both Pokémon.
Comparison between Ash's Lapras's younger and older appearances
In Viva Las Lapras, Ash and his friends found the herd that Lapras had become separated from. However, its school wanted nothing to do with Lapras, as it was accompanied by humans. They gained a hatred towards humans because of Captain Crook, who hunted the Lapras. After Ash and his Lapras defeated the Captain's Tentacruel, the Lapras began to trust humans, and Ash's Lapras was able to rejoin the school, as well as its mother. Ash and Lapras went their separate ways from that point on.
Ash was briefly reunited with Lapras in Lapras of Luxury, during which it was revealed to have matured into an adult. It eventually became the leader of its herd when the original leader stepped down in favor of Ash's Lapras, after witnessing it rescuing the herd from Team Rocket. Lapras led it herd away from the Johto coast to continue their migration.
Lapras was particularly afraid of all humans, namely because of the actions of three boys who quickly attacked it after it washed up on Tangelo Island. Ash and Lapras quickly formed a strong bond after Ash saved it from Team Rocket in The Lost Lapras. Lapras's speed was critical to Ash's success during his Orange League campaign, as it was used in many of his Gym Leader matches.
It is an empathetic and reliable Pokémon who gained confidence during its time with Ash. Its more playful personality outshone its initial shyness. Lapras was hesitant to rejoin its family in Viva Las Lapras, though Ash convinced it to do so. When Lapras later appeared in Johto, it was shown to have grown more mature, eventually even taking the leadership of its herd after helping to defeat Team Rocket and save the other Lapras they had stolen.
A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the manga
Lapras in The Electric Tale of Pikachu
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
Ash caught a Lapras in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga's chapter The Orange Islands. Pikachu found Lapras being attacked by a group of Krabby. After Ash had managed to get rid of the Krabby with his Squirtle, he captured Lapras after Pikachu had convinced it that Ash was harmless. Since then, Ash used Lapras to transport himself from Orange Island to another.
Lapras is the first Ice-type Pokémon owned by Ash.
Lapras is the only character that has been shown to indisputably age during the show's time frame: When Ash met up with it in Johto, he initially did not recognize it, and an image of it maturing from when it was with Ash in the Orange Islands was shown.
Lapras is the only Pokémon released by Ash not to be part of an evolutionary line.
Lapras appeared in the tenth Japanese opening theme, Spurt!. However, it did not return in any episodes aired with the opening.
For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Lapras.