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Pikachu's debut appearance
In the first episode of the Pokémon anime, Pokémon - I Choose You!, Ash woke up late the day he was supposed to go to Professor Oak's Laboratory to obtain his first Pokémon. When he arrived at the lab, the three available starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, had already been taken by other Trainers who had arrived on time. Seeing Ash's disappointment, Professor Oak gave him Pikachu, who, at first, did not care at all for his new Trainer, constantly zapping him and anyone else nearby. He refused to go into his Poké Ball, and when Ash failed to catch a Pidgey, he laughed at him. However, by the end of the episode, Ash gained Pikachu's trust by protecting him from an attack by a flock of angry Spearow. Seeing this act of selflessness, Pikachu defended Ash from the Spearow as well, and the two of them became inseparable friends, a moment that was capitalized on by catching a glimpse of an unknown Pokémon flying by. Ash then rushed to Viridian City in order to get Pikachu hospitalized quickly, as he had been badly injured during the fight.
Pikachu and Ash meeting for the first time
In Pokémon Emergency!, Ash managed to get to the Viridian City Pokémon Center just in time with the help of Officer Jenny, who scolded Ash for "mistreating" Pikachu. Nurse Joy agreed to heal Pikachu, and thanks to her, Pikachu managed to regain his health. At the end of the episode, Pikachu had regained enough of his strength to send Team Rocket blasting off for the very first time.
Pikachu participated in Ash's first Gym battle with Brock in Showdown in Pewter City. He faced Onix, but his Electric-type attacks were ineffective. Onix then started binding Pikachu. Seeing no other option, Ash forfeited. Ash and Pikachu later trained with Flint in order to increase the strength of Pikachu's Electric-type moves. Ash later challenged Brock to a rematch, where Pikachu managed to defeat Brock's Geodude with his training. Pikachu then faced Onix again, but despite their training, he was still unable to defeat it. As Ash was about to forfeit again, Pikachu's Thunderbolt managed to turn on the Gym's sprinkler system, severely harming Onix. As Ash was about let Pikachu finish Onix off, he was stopped by Brock's siblings and he decided to forfeit again. Despite this, Brock still gave him the Boulder Badge.
Ash rushing Pikachu to the Pokémon Center
Pikachu's next major battle was in Ash's Vermilion Gym battle against Lt. Surge's Raichu in Electric Shock Showdown. Lt. Surge laughed at Ash for attempting to defeat his Raichu with its pre-evolved form, angering Ash and Pikachu. Indeed, Raichu turned out to be more powerful than Pikachu, and a combination of attacks from it resulted in so much damage to Pikachu that he had to be hospitalized. Later, Ash offered to let Pikachu evolve into a Raichu with a Thunder Stone that Nurse Joy had given him. However, Pikachu refused, wanting to defeat Raichu on his own terms. During the subsequent rematch with Lt. Surge, Pikachu once again faced Raichu. Using moves like Agility and Quick Attack, which Raichu didn't know, Pikachu managed to gain the upper hand, dodge Raichu's attacks, and ultimately defeat it, thus earning Ash the Thunder Badge.
In Abra and the Psychic Showdown, Pikachu was sent out to battle Sabrina's Abra during Ash's Saffron Gym battle. It proved to be a tough foe, using Teleport to avoid Pikachu's attacks. Abra then suddenly evolved into Kadabra, making it much stronger. Eventually, Kadabra used Psychic to control Pikachu's body and repeatedly smash him into the ceiling. Unwilling to see his friend suffer, Ash forfeited the match. In Ash's subsequent rematch with Sabrina in Haunter versus Kadabra, Pikachu fought Kadabra again, since Haunter didn't show up and his other Pokémon were too terrified. Eventually, Haunter appeared and made Sabrina and Kadabra laugh, leaving them incapacitated. As a result, Ash was declared the winner by Sabrina's father, which earned him the Marsh Badge.
In The Flame Pokémon-athon!, Pikachu entered the Big P Pokémon Race with Squirtle. The two were at a significant disadvantage due to Squirtle's short legs, and Pikachu's comparative weight, but in a way, this helped as they managed to escape an Electrode self-destructing. They made ground when they reached the water stage, putting them in the top four with Ash, Misty, and Dario. However, intervention from Team Rocket forced a battle, and the two were put out of the running by a Glare attack from Arbok.
In Pikachu's Goodbye, Ash and his friends ran into a group of wild Pikachu, which was a very rare encounter. Pikachu tried to make friends with the other Pikachu but received a lukewarm response. After saving a baby Pikachu from falling down a waterfall, Ash's Pikachu was accepted by the group. Ash was overjoyed by this at first, but soon began to feel sad, because he thought that Pikachu would be better off with the rest of his kind. After stopping Team Rocket from poaching his Pikachu and the wild Pikachu, Ash decided it was best to leave Pikachu behind with the others. However, Pikachu refused to leave Ash, and quickly ran to catch up with him, followed by the wild Pikachu, who supported Ash and Pikachu being together.
In Princess vs. Princess, Pikachu was borrowed by Misty, so she could use him in the Queen of the Princess Festival, the main event in the annual Princess Festival. During the competition, he was seen defeating a Fearow. In the finals, Pikachu was Misty's first Pokémon used against Jessie. Pikachu easily managed to defeat Arbok, Weezing and Meowth in succession with a single Thunder Shock. Pikachu then faced Jessie's Lickitung. He tried attacking with Thunderbolt, but was then licked by Lickitung and knocking him out.
In Riddle Me This, Pikachu was Ash's last Pokémon used in his seventh Gym battle at the Cinnabar Gym, where he faced off against Blaine's Rhydon. Despite being immune to Electric moves, Rhydon was defeated when Pikachu aimed his Thunderbolt attack at the horn on Rhydon's head. Pikachu then faced Blaine's Magmar, whose attacks eventually almost caused Pikachu to fall off the battlefield and into the lava below. Seeing that, Ash then decided to forfeit the match.
Pikachu's Poké Ball, with a lightning bolt mark, at Professor Oak's Laboratory
In The Battle of the Badge, Ash had Pikachu attack Team Rocket and their Pokémon after they sent out Arbok and Weezing to attack during their Gym battle. Using Thunderbolt, Pikachu hit all of the opposing Pokémon at once, causing Machamp, Rhydon and Kingler to run away in fear, and defeating Arbok and Weezing. After Team Rocket got blasted off, Ash got his eighth Gym Badge, the Earth Badge.
Ash used Pikachu many times during the Indigo Plateau Conference. In Fire and Ice, Pikachu defeated Pete Pebbleman's powerful Arcanine, but in The Fourth Round Rumble, he was defeated Jeanette Fisher's Bellsprout. Pikachu then faced off against Happy, Ritchie's Butterfree, in Friend and Foe Alike. Despite being exhausted from battling Team Rocket earlier, he still wanted to fight. After defeating Happy, he faced off against Zippo, Ritchie's Charmander, but due to being exhausted by all his battles, Pikachu was defeated.
In Pallet Party Panic, Ash decided to take Pikachu, along with some of his other Pokémon, to the Orange Archipelago with him.
In Pikachu Re-Volts, Butch and Cassidy used a Drowzee to take over the minds of many Pokémon on Mandarin Island North, including Pikachu. In order to rescue the Pokémon, Ash taunted Pikachu into using Thunderbolt on him, which also hit the machine that Drowzee was wired to, freeing all of the Pokémon from its control.
In Navel Maneuvers, Ash called Pikachu to help mold a block of ice into a sled, as part of his competition against Danny. He later rode in the sled along with his Bulbasaur and Squirtle in a race against Danny and his team. In the end, Ash managed to win the coveted Sea Ruby Badge.
In The Mandarin Island Miss Match, Ash used Pikachu in a battle against Lorelei* of the Elite Four, where he faced her Cloyster. Eventually, Pikachu lost.
In Misty Meets Her Match, Pikachu participated in the first part of Ash's battle with Rudy, using his Thunderbolt to blast targets. He then faced off against Rudy's Electabuzz, which kept shrugging off Pikachu's attacks. He was eventually defeated by a powerful Thunder Punch.
Pikachu offering Meowth
In the following episode, Team Rocket had a plan to capture Pikachu that involved tying him up with Meowth. This succeeded at first, but Meowth and Pikachu got separated from Jessie and James. Being lost on the island, the two Pokémon had to work together to defeat powerful Pokémon, and get to safety. In the end, Ash, Misty and Tracey managed to find the duo first and separated them from each other.
In Pokémon Double Trouble, Pikachu was used in Ash's Gym battle against Luana, where he had to fight alongside Charizard. Despite both Pokémon being eager to battle, they started getting angry at each other right before the battle, affecting their teamwork negatively. However, after seeing Charizard being repeatedly attacked by Luana's Alakazam and Marowak, Pikachu decided to help his partner, cementing their cooperation. Both of their opponents ultimately knocked each other out accidentally, thus earning Ash the Jade Star Badge and allowing him to enter the Orange League.
In Hello, Pummelo!, Pikachu was Ash's first Pokémon used in his battle against Drake, where he faced off against Drake's Ditto. Despite Ditto being able to copy Pikachu's attacks, it wasn't in good shape as Pikachu was. After continuously exchanging attacks, Pikachu managed to defeat it. Pikachu was then recalled when Drake sent out his Onix. Later, Pikachu faced off against Drake's powerful Dragonite, who had already defeated three of Ash's Pokémon. After an exchange of attacks, Pikachu defeated Dragonite, earning Ash the Winner's Trophy and a spot in the Orange League Hall of Fame.
In The Rivalry Revival, Pikachu battled Gary's Eevee and was eventually defeated after Eevee used a powerful Skull Bash. Later on in the episode, Ash decided to take Pikachu, along with his other Pokémon, to Johto with him.
In The Double Trouble Header, Ash used Pikachu in his second battle against Casey, where he faced her Chikorita. Despite Casey having only recently obtained Chikorita, it quickly gained the upper hand. Just then, the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket, who tried to steal their Pokémon. Their plan failed, however, when Pikachu and Chikorita were reunited with their Trainers, and teamed up to defeat Team Rocket.
In Fighting Flyer with Fire, Pikachu was used in Ash's Violet Gym battle against Falkner, where he battled and defeated Falkner's Hoothoot and Dodrio. Pikachu then briefly faced Falkner's Pidgeot, but since he was already tired from his previous matches, he was quickly defeated by a Whirlwind.
In Gettin' The Bugs Out, Ash used Pikachu as his third Pokémon in his Azalea Gym battle, where he went up against Bugsy's Metapod and defeated it. He then went up against Bugsy's last, and most powerful Pokémon, Scyther. Despite having the type advantage, Pikachu's Thunderbolt attacks constantly missed because of Scyther's Double Team. The real Scyther then appeared behind Pikachu and hit him with a series of Fury Cutter, knocking him out.
In A Goldenrod Opportunity, Pikachu faced off against Whitney's powerful Miltank, who had already easily defeated Ash's Cyndaquil and Totodile using Rollout. Ash had Pikachu use Thunderbolt on Miltank since she got wet by Totodile's earlier Water Gun. However, due to Miltank spinning at great speed, she had already dried up, making Thunderbolt useless. Afterwards, Pikachu was defeated by two Rollout attacks, causing Ash to lose the battle. In the following episode, Pikachu battled Miltank again in Ash's rematch. Due to Ash's strategy with Cyndaquil and Totodile, Miltank lost her balance. This gave Pikachu the opportunity to throw Miltank in the air by hiding in one of the ditches and then finish her off with a Thunderbolt, earning Ash the Plain Badge.
In The Bug Stops Here, Pikachu and Ash entered the Bug-Catching Contest. The two encountered a Weedle, but before Pikachu could attack it, Casey's Chikorita intervened, and Casey caught the Hairy Bug Pokémon. Later, Ash and Pikachu chased after a Scyther, but accidentally disturbed a swarm of Beedrill in the process. Pikachu managed to shock one of the Beedrill with Thunderbolt, giving Ash the chance to catch it. With this capture, Ash managed to win the contest, winning him a Sun Stone.
Pikachu befriended a group of Pichu in The Apple Corp!. At first, they framed Pikachu for eating some apples, but when the Pichu were attacked by a Fearow, Pikachu warded it off with Thunderbolt. Later, Pikachu was kidnapped by Team Rocket after they sucked away its electricity. However, the Pichu eventually managed to restore Pikachu's electricity, and together, they blasted Team Rocket off.
In From Ghost to Ghost, Pikachu was used in Ash's Gym battle against Morty. He faced off against Morty's Gastly, but was defeated by a single Night Shade.
In Machoke, Machoke Man!, Ash chose Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his Gym battle against Chuck. Pikachu battled Chuck's Poliwrath, but his Thunderbolt and Quick Attack did not defeat it. Afterwards, it hit Pikachu with a series of powerful Double Slap attacks, knocking him out.
In Nerves of Steelix!, Ash sent out Pikachu to battle Jasmine's Magnemite. Both Pokémon proved to be equal in speed, but finally, Ash decided to let Pikachu take a Thunder Wave from Magnemite so it could get hit by a Thunderbolt, causing a lot of damage. Pikachu then finished it off with a Quick Attack, crashing it into a wall. Next, Pikachu faced off against Jasmine's strongest Pokémon, Steelix. Due to his previous battle against Magnemite, Pikachu was tired and subsequently defeated by a powerful Iron Tail.
In As Cold as Pryce, Pikachu was seen aiding Cyndaquil in reviving Pryce's Piloswine. In the following episode, Pikachu was sent out to battle Piloswine, who had already defeated Cyndaquil. Though the battle was well-fought, Pikachu wound up receiving more damage. Despite this, he refused to give up and was about to attack again when Pryce forfeited, giving Ash the win and earning him the Glacier Badge.
In Fangs for Nothin', Ash chose Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his Gym battle against Clair, pitting him against her Kingdra. Since Ash was unaware of Kingdra's secondary type, Pikachu's Electric attacks and physical moves didn't affect the Dragon Pokémon, forcing him to follow Misty and Brock's advice and recall Pikachu. Their battle was later stopped due to Team Rocket's theft of the Dragon Fang. In the following episode, Pikachu helped stop the rampage of a Dragonite that belonged to the old Blackthorn Gym Leader.
In the next episode, Pikachu was used in Ash's rematch against Clair, where he faced her Gyarados. Despite Pikachu having the double type-advantage, Gyarados proved to be powerful and initially gained the upper hand. Eventually, Pikachu got close enough to defeat the Atrocious Pokémon with a powerful Thunderbolt. Clair then sent out her Dragonair to battle Pikachu. It managed to dodge Pikachu's attacks and knock him out with a point-blank Hyper Beam.
Pikachu was used many times during the Silver Conference. In A Claim to Flame!, he defeated Salvador's Furret. In Tie One On!, this good showing was followed by Jackson's Azumarill, but Pikachu was then defeated by Jackson's Shiny Magneton. In Playing with Fire!, Pikachu was Ash's first Pokémon used in his battle against Harrison, defeating his Kecleon before being defeated in turn by Harrison's Sneasel.
After saying farewell to Misty and Brock in Gotta Catch Ya Later!, Ash decided to only take Pikachu with him to Hoenn, and left Pallet Town with him at the end of the episode. In the following episode, while getting ready to depart for Hoenn by ship, Ash and Pikachu were attacked by Team Rocket, who used an electromagnet to stick Pikachu to it and drain his electricity. Eventually, thanks to some wild Pokémon and Officer Jenny, Pikachu was saved. The next day, Ash tried to wake Pikachu up, but he soon noticed that he was suffering from a severe illness caused by the electromagnet.
In Get the Show on the Road!, Pikachu was treated by Professor Birch, who strapped him to a machine to drain out the overload electricity he received. However, the machine exploded when the electricity levels became too high. Pikachu then ran off, with Ash and Professor Birch chasing after him. Eventually, Ash found Pikachu, but in his confused state, Pikachu attacked him and fled off a cliff. Ash jumped after him and caught him before grabbing onto a branch. Pikachu tried resisting, but Ash was able to get through to him and calm him down. When Ash and Pikachu were pulled up to safety, Team Rocket arrived and captured Pikachu. However, their mecha accidentally cured Pikachu of his illness, and he was able to blast them off, destroying May's bike in the process.
In There's no Place like Hoenn, Ash used Pikachu in an unofficial battle against Norman, since Ash only had one Pokémon at the time instead of the three required. In the end, Norman's Vigoroth defeated Pikachu with a series of Scratch attacks. After their match, Team Rocket tried to steal Pikachu and Vigoroth, but accidentally stole May's Torchic instead. Later, Pikachu was used alongside Vigoroth to battle Team Rocket, and blasted them off in addition to rescuing Torchic.
In All Things Bright and Beautifly!, Ash began teaching Pikachu Iron Tail in preparation for his Rustboro Gym battle, a Rock-type Gym, and got help from a Coordinator named Chaz and his Sentret. Despite their effort and training, Pikachu was still unable to fully master Iron Tail.
In The Winner by a Nosepass, Pikachu was Ash's last Pokémon used in his Gym battle against Roxanne, where he went up against her Geodude and eventually defeated it. Pikachu then faced Roxanne's Nosepass, who took advantage of his difficulties in mastering Iron Tail. Despite this, Pikachu defeated Nosepass and mastered Iron Tail in the process, as well as earning Ash the Stone Badge.
In Watt's with Wattson?, after entering the Mauville Gym, Ash and his friends encountered a robot Raikou. Thinking it would attack, Ash ordered Pikachu to attack the robot with Iron Tail, causing an explosion. This destroyed the robot but also overcharged Pikachu with electricity, unbeknownst to the rest. Later, Pikachu was Ash's first Pokémon used in his Gym battle against Wattson. Due to being overcharged, Pikachu defeated Wattson's Magnemite, Voltorb, and Magneton with one attack each, earning Ash the Dynamo Badge.
In Going, Going, Yawn, Ash used Pikachu as his third Pokémon in his Lavaridge Gym battle. He was sent out against Flannery's Slugma after it burned Treecko and put Corphish to sleep. During the battle, he finally broke Magcargo's Reflect that was affecting previous battles. Then, Pikachu defeated Slugma and proceeded to battle Flannery's last Pokémon, Torkoal. Despite Pikachu's efforts, Torkoal used Overheat to defeat him.
In Balance of Power, Ash used Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his official Petalburg Gym battle against Norman, and he went up against Slakoth but was recalled after Slakoth's Blizzard temporary disabled him. Later, Pikachu faced off against Norman's Vigoroth. Through strategy, Ash had Pikachu let himself get hit by Vigoroth, which activated Pikachu's Static Ability and paralyzed Vigoroth. This allowed Pikachu to defeat Vigoroth, but he fainted right afterwards due to extensive fatigue from the battle, thus ending it in a draw.
In Sky High Gym Battle!, Pikachu was Ash's second Pokémon in his Fortree Gym battle against Winona. Pikachu battled Winona's Pelipper, and despite having major type advantage, Pelipper proved to be a formidable opponent. As a result, Ash decided Pikachu should fight at close range and told him to use Quick Attack to get closer before using Thunder on Pelipper. With both Pokémon being hit by powerful attacks, Pikachu and Pelipper both fainted.
In A Scare to Remember!, Pikachu developed amnesia after an attack by Team Rocket and their machine. Team Rocket took advantage of this and tricked Pikachu into joining them. He was then ordered to attack the group. Trying to get Pikachu back, Ash jumped on their balloon. Team Rocket ordered Pikachu to hit Ash with Thunderbolt, but this caused them to get blasted off while Ash and Pikachu fell in a river. As Ash protected him, Pikachu managed to regain his memory and got rid of Team Rocket once again.
In Gaining Groudon, Ash and the group got on a submarine owned by Team Magma, where they met Team Magma's leader Maxie. An explosion triggered by Kyogre caused the Blue Orb to fly off Maxie's desk. Pikachu managed to catch the orb before Team Magma could regain it, but the orb then melted into Pikachu's body, greatly increasing his power but also making him lose control over himself. In the next episode, Pikachu awakened Groudon and aided it in its battle with Kyogre. Due to everyone's teamwork, Groudon was able to defeat Kyogre, causing the Blue Orb to emerge from Pikachu's body. Pikachu was then saved by Kyogre and later bade it and Groudon farewell.
In Solid as a Solrock, Ash used Pikachu and Swellow in the Double Battle against Tate and Liza with their respective Solrock and Lunatone. Eventually, the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket, who destroyed the Gym using their machine. Following Team Rocket's defeat, they agreed to resume their battle outdoors. With Solrock and Lunatone gaining the upper hand, Ash thought about how to negate their dual attacks, and then had Pikachu use Thunder on the clouds. Lightning struck Pikachu and Swellow, which the two managed to endure, thus creating a "Thunder Armor". Using this technique, Pikachu and Swellow managed to pierce through Solrock's Solar Beam and Lunatone's Light Screen, and defeated them with Iron Tail and Aerial Ace, earning Ash the Mind Badge.
In Vanity Affair, Ash used Pikachu against Hoenn Elite Four member Drake and his Shelgon. However, Pikachu quickly lost, which dealt a serious blow to the massive ego Ash had developed at the time.
In The Great Eight Fate!, Ash chose Pikachu and Snorunt as his first two Pokémon in a Double Battle in the first round of his Sootopolis Gym battle. They went up against Juan's Sealeo and Seaking. Eventually, Snorunt was knocked out by Seaking's Hyper Beam, and Ash sent out Corphish. Soon after, Pikachu defeated Seaking and rode on Corphish's back as it headed towards Sealeo and defeated it, thus ending the first round of the Gym battle in Ash's favor. Both Pokémon were then recalled. In the next episode, Pikachu was used as Ash's last Pokémon in the second round of the battle, going up against Juan's last and strongest Pokémon, his Milotic. Eventually, Milotic tried hitting Pikachu with Iron Tail in an ambush, but he dodged it, climbed onto Milotic's body, and flipped the Tender Pokémon into the water. While underwater, Pikachu used Thunder, knocking out Milotic, winning Ash the battle, and earning him the Rain Badge.
In Less is Morrison, Ash used Pikachu in a battle against his new rival Morrison, and he faced off against Morrison's Beldum. At first, Pikachu had the upper hand as the only move Beldum knew was Take Down, but Beldum eventually managed to land some hits. Soon, Pikachu used Iron Tail to counter another Take Down, causing a big explosion that knocked both Pokémon out.
Pikachu was used many times by Ash in the Ever Grande Conference. In Saved by the Beldum, he defeated Gilbert's Hitmonlee after a hard-fought battle. In Shocks and Bonds, Pikachu initially went up against Katie's Golduck. However, Katie immediately switched to her Dugtrio, who had a type advantage over Pikachu, and the Mole Pokémon defeated him easily. In Choose It or Lose It!, Pikachu went up against Morrison's Steelix and was knocked out as well. In At the End of the Fray, Pikachu defeated Tyson's Metagross before being defeated himself by Tyson's Meowth despite all of his efforts. His defeat caused Ash to end up in the Top 8 of the Ever Grande Conference.
Kanto Battle Frontier
In The Scheme Team, Ash used Pikachu in his battle against Elite Four Agatha and her Gengar at the Viridian Gym. Eventually, when Pikachu was about to finish Gengar off with Thunder, Gengar used Hypnosis, putting him to sleep, then defeated him with Dream Eater. Afterwards, he helped defeat Team Rocket along with Agatha's Golbat. Later on, Ash decided to enter the Kanto Battle Frontier along with Pikachu and his other Pokémon. He was later reunited with Misty when he and Ash returned to Pallet Town.
In May's Egg-Cellent Adventure, while battling Team Rocket's mecha, he used Quick Attack, which morphed into Volt Tackle, easily destroying the mecha and blasting Team Rocket off. Despite this, Pikachu couldn't master the move. After lots of training, Pikachu was finally able to master Volt Tackle in The Green Guardian, using the move to blast Team Rocket off, and saving a wild Celebi.
In Queen of the Serpentine!, while going to the Battle Pike, Pikachu was captured by Team Rocket using their fake Battle Pike until he was rescued by Lucy and her Seviper from the real Battle Pike. Later, Ash used Pikachu as his second and last Pokémon in his Battle Pike challenge against Lucy and her Milotic. When Pikachu suffered major damage, Ash had him use Thunderbolt on himself. This allowed him to use a supercharged Volt Tackle and defeat Milotic, earning him the Luck Symbol.
In Talking a Good Game!, Pikachu was the third Pokémon to battle Anabel. He went up against her Alakazam, who had already defeated Ash's previous two Pokémon. Pikachu eventually managed to defeat Alakazam. He went up against Metagross next but was defeated, losing Ash the battle. In the next episode, Pikachu was used in Ash's rematch against Anabel, this time facing her Espeon. Though Espeon had great speed and power, Pikachu used Thunderbolt to disable the ceiling lights, temporarily blinding Espeon. Once the lights turned on again, Pikachu was able to overwhelm and defeat Espeon, earning Ash the Ability Symbol.
In Gathering the Gang of Four!, in preparation for Ash's rematch against Brandon for his final Frontier Symbol, Pikachu reunited with Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charizard for training. Using Quick Attack to round up leaves created by Squirtle's Rapid Spin and Bulbasaur's Vine Whip, they were able to make a den to sleep in. Pikachu was later captured by Team Rocket, but was rescued by Ash and the other Pokémon. They then combined their attacks to send Team Rocket blasting off. Afterwards, they met up with Brandon again, and he agreed to have a four-on-four rematch with Pikachu and the other Pokémon at the Battle Pyramid.
Pikachu was the fourth and final Pokémon used in Ash's Battle Pyramid challenge against Pyramid King Brandon in Pace - The Final Frontier!, going up against Brandon's Regice. Pikachu initially had trouble dealing with Regice's combination of Ice-type attacks, ice-based strategies, and Rest; and he was almost declared unable to battle. However, Pikachu overcame Regice's strategies and ultimately knocked the Iceberg Pokémon out. This gave Ash the win, earning him his last Symbol, the Brave Symbol.
Pikachu performing in a Pokémon Contest
In Once More With Reeling, Ash used Pikachu in the Performance Stage of the Terracotta Town Pokémon Contest, an informal event not sanctioned by the Pokémon Activities Committee. He used Quick Attack and Thunderbolt at the same time to create electrical rings, then used Iron Tail to combine them and trigger a firework-like effect. This performance allowed Ash to proceed to the Battle Stage.
In Home is Where the Start Is!, Ash used Pikachu in a friendly battle against Gary, who used his powerful Electivire, a Pokémon from the Sinnoh region. After a hard-fought battle, Pikachu was eventually defeated. Later, Pikachu went with Ash to Sinnoh, and he was meant to be the only Pokémon to go with him, as he left his other Pokémon at Professor Oak's laboratory. However, Aipom sneaked aboard their ship, and Ash eventually allowed her to accompany them to Sinnoh.
In Following a Maiden's Voyage!, Pikachu was temporarily separated from Ash thanks to yet another plot by Team Rocket. Eventually, in Two Degrees of Separation!, Dawn found Pikachu and tried to catch him, but failed since he already had a Trainer. She also protected him from Team Rocket and managed to blast Team Rocket off alongside with him. Pikachu was eventually reunited with Ash in When Pokémon Worlds Collide!. Later, he was used as Ash's final Pokémon in a battle against Ash's new rival, Paul, and his Elekid. The heated battle proved to be a surprisingly even match, as both Pokémon were eventually left so exhausted that they collapsed, resulting in the battle being declared a tie.
In Dawn of a New Era!, Ash used Pikachu to battle Nando's Budew. During the battle, Budew evolved into Roselia, whereupon it used Sunny Day and followed up with Solar Beam. Pikachu, however, managed to dodge the attack and defeat Roselia with a powerful Iron Tail.
In A Gruff Act to Follow, Ash used Pikachu as his second Pokémon in his first Sinnoh Gym battle against Roark and his Cranidos, while Paul observed from the sidelines. Initially, Pikachu was overwhelmed by Cranidos's attacks and speed. When Paul got up to leave, believing Ash had already lost, Pikachu suddenly showed his strength by letting off a powerful electric attack in the air, causing Paul to stay. As the battle continued, Pikachu used Volt Tackle, while Cranidos used Head Smash; the collision of these attacks caused severe damage to both Pokémon, forcing Ash to recall Pikachu. He later sent Pikachu out again to battle Roark's Onix. Ash had Pikachu use Thunderbolt on the battlefield, causing rocks to be launched in the air. Onix tried heading forwards using Double-Edge, but couldn't due to the rocks. Pikachu then headed towards Onix using Quick Attack, but Onix quickly countered with Screech. Despite trying to still move forwards, Pikachu was overwhelmed by the attack and blasted away, knocking him out and losing Ash the battle.
In O'er the Rampardos We Watched!, Pikachu was Ash's first Pokémon used in his rematch against Roark, where he faced Roark's Onix again. Pikachu used Quick Attack to climb onto Onix's body and eventually managed to reach Onix's head. Despite trying to shake Pikachu off, Onix was hit by a super-effective Iron Tail. Pikachu then used his newly learned spin technique to dodge a retaliatory attack and eventually defeated it. Pikachu was recalled when Roark sent out his Geodude, only to be sent out to battle Roark's Rampardos. Despite the activation of Pikachu's Static Ability during the battle, Rampardos was able to hit him hard with Zen Headbutt, knocking him out.
In Getting the Pre-Contest Titters!, Ash used Pikachu in a battle against Kenny and his Prinplup. Though the battle was evenly matched, it ended inconclusively after it was interrupted by Team Rocket. In All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go!, Ash entered Pikachu in the Pokémon Dress-Up Contest. Pikachu was able to imitate several Pokémon and, as a result, advanced to the finals. However, he ended up losing to Brock's Croagunk.
In Tag! We're It...!, Pikachu was used in the first round of the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition, where he battled alongside Paul's Chimchar. Pikachu and Chimchar faced a Rhydon and a Magmar. Eventually, Pikachu managed to break through Rhydon's Surf and defeat it using Iron Tail. Pikachu then used Volt Tackle, while Magmar countered with Fire Punch. This gave Chimchar the opportunity to hit Magmar with a super-effective Dig, knocking it out and causing Ash and Paul to proceed to the next round of the tournament.
In The Keystone Pops!, Ash and Pikachu tried stopping a wild Spiritomb, which had gone on a rampage after the group accidentally destroyed the Hallowed Tower, freeing Spiritomb from the Odd Keystone. Eventually, Pikachu managed to defeat Spiritomb with Volt Tackle and Thunderbolt after a hard-fought battle and the group managed to seal Spiritomb in the Keystone again.
In Lost Leader Strategy!, Pikachu encountered Paul's Electabuzz again at Reggie's home, where the two started fighting, but the Pokémon got separated by Maylene's Lucario. Later, Pikachu was Ash's last Pokémon used in a battle against Reggie. Pikachu faced off against Reggie's Staraptor and ultimately won.
In Pika and Goliath!, an arrogant Electric-type Trainer named Sho wished Ash to trade Pikachu to him, as he already had a Pichu and Raichu and wanted to have the full evolutionary line in his team. Ash refused, so Sho challenged him to a battle against Raichu. Unlike Lt. Surge's Raichu, this particular Raichu was fast in addition to knowing powerful attacks. The battle soon ended with Pikachu's defeat. During his recovery, Pikachu began to reconsider his earlier decision to not evolve. When Ash went to check on Pikachu he found both Pikachu and his Thunder Stone missing, causing him to think Pikachu may have decided to evolve into Raichu. However, he soon found Pikachu training in the forest, trying to get stronger without evolving. After some hard training, Ash and Pikachu re-challenged Sho and Raichu and ultimately won after a test of strength for Pikachu.
In A Crasher Course in Power!, Pikachu and Buizel got into a fight after Buizel got accidentally hit by Pikachu's Thunderbolt while training. Later, Pikachu was the first Pokémon used in Ash's Pastoria Gym battle. He went up against Crasher Wake's Gyarados and eventually won after hitting Gyarados in the face with Volt Tackle. He was recalled after Crasher Wake sent out Quagsire. Later, after Buizel was recalled, Pikachu went up again against Floatzel. Floatzel soon overpowered his Volt Tackle and damaged him with a combination of Razor Wind and Ice Fang, which left a part of his back frozen. Pikachu was then recalled after Buizel wanted to fight again. As they passed each other, they exchanged high-fives and Buizel broke the ice on Pikachu's back with Water Gun.
Pikachu in the Hearthome Collection
In Arriving in Style!, Pikachu was used in the Hearthome Collection, a fashion show for Stylists and their Pokémon whose winner would get the chance to work on a photo shoot for the Poké Chic magazine. At first, Pikachu was shy to go onstage wearing the outfit Ash had designed for him, but after hearing some encouraging words from Ash, he overcame his shyness and went onstage to perform. He used his Thunderbolt attack to light up the hall, captivating the judges' attention. Hermione commented that, although Ash didn't quite get it what it means to be a Pokémon Stylist, he was at least making an effort to show off his Pokémon, instead of focusing solely on the clothing aspect. For this reason, Pikachu was among the three finalists, along with Dawn's Buneary and Cocoa's Mismagius. When the results were announced, it was revealed that Ash and Pikachu had ended up in third place, receiving the Unique Award for their original costumes and performance.
In Playing The Leveling Field!, Pikachu was used in an unofficial battle against the Hearthome City Gym Leader Fantina. Pikachu faced her Drifloon, who had already defeated Buizel and put Chimchar to sleep. Eventually, Pikachu's Thunderbolt triggered Drifloon to evolve into Drifblim. Drifblim managed to dodge Pikachu's Thunderbolt and followed up with Hypnosis, putting him to sleep. With two of his Pokémon sleeping, Ash decided to forfeit the match.
In Barry's Busting Out All Over!, Ash used Pikachu as his final Pokémon in a three-on-three battle against Barry, where he faced Barry's Empoleon. During an exchange of Steel Wings and Iron Tails, Pikachu got hit, knocking him back. While struggling to get back up, Empoleon fired a Hyper Beam at Pikachu, launching him in the air. When it seemed to be over, Ash's words of encouragement managed to get through and Pikachu was able to hit Empoleon with a super-effective Thunderbolt. He then hit Empoleon with a powerful Volt Tackle, knocking it out.
In Shield with a Twist!, Pikachu was Ash's third Pokémon in his Hearthome Gym battle. He went up against Fantina's Drifblim. Eventually, Drifblim hit Pikachu with Hypnosis, putting him to sleep, and finished him off with Ominous Wind.
In To Thine Own Pokémon Be True!, Pikachu was Ash's partner in a Pokémon Ping Pong Tournament. In the first round they faced Wilkinson and his Farfetch'd. Despite putting up a good match, Ash and Pikachu got eliminated.
In Evolving Strategies!, Pikachu was Ash's fifth Pokémon used in his Full Battle against Paul. First, he went up against Magmortar. During the battle, Pikachu received multiple serious burns from Magmortar's Flame Body Ability as well as Flamethrower. Though he finally struck Magmortar with an Iron Tail, he took burn damage again after, forcing him to be recalled. Later, he went up against Paul's very powerful Ursaring. Pikachu was soon hit with Hammer Arm, but the physical contact activated his Static, paralyzing Ursaring and giving Pikachu the opportunity to hit it with Iron Tail. The paralysis, however, activated Ursaring's Guts Ability, greatly increasing Ursaring's Attack. Pikachu tried stopping Ursaring with Thunderbolt, but it managed to push through and slammed him into Lake Acuity with an extremely powerful Hammer Arm, taking him out of the match as well as injuring him.
In Historical Mystery Tour!, Pikachu was used in a battle against Barry's Heracross, but the battle ended prematurely when Barry saw a Xatu flying and decided to follow it. In the following episode, Pikachu was used in the Festival Battle Challenge, a tournament marking the end of the Twinleaf Festival, whose winner gets the opportunity to battle Tower Tycoon Palmer. Pikachu faced off against Barry's Empoleon in the final round and managed to win, earning Ash a battle against the Frontier Brain.
In A Marathon Rivalry!, Ash used Pikachu in the Hurdle Dash event of a Pokéathlon held in Camellia Town. Pikachu and Daniel's Snorlax quickly managed to take the lead, and after racing neck-to-neck with Snorlax, Snorlax's large belly passed the finish line first, giving Daniel the win.
In Flint Sparks the Fire!, Pikachu was used in a battle against Flint. He faced Flint's Infernape, who had already defeated Ash's Buizel and his own Infernape. The two Pokémon were evenly matched in terms of strength and determination. After a hard-fought match in which both Pokémon took a number of hits, Pikachu was ultimately defeated, giving Flint the win.
In The Eighth Wonder of the Sinnoh World!, Pikachu battled Volkner's Electivire. Pikachu's Electric attacks were rendered ineffective due to Electivire's Motor Drive Ability, which increased its speed. However, subsequent attacks from Electivire activated Pikachu's Static, slowing Electivire down and allowing Pikachu to dodge its retaliatory attacks. As Electivire went for an Ice Punch, Pikachu managed to outrun the Thunderbolt Pokémon and defeat it with Iron Tail. Pikachu was then recalled. He later went up against Volkern's Luxray. His Quick Attack was stopped by Shock Wave, knocking him back. Pikachu then launched three successful Iron Tails, but the fourth was countered by Thunder Fang, which overpowered Pikachu. He was then knocked out by Luxray's Shock Wave.
In the Lily of the Valley Conference, Ash used Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his battle against Paul in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!. He was used against Paul's Aggron, but was eventually recalled in place of Infernape. Later, Pikachu was used again, this time facing Paul's Froslass. Froslass started off using Hail, which activated her Snow Cloak Ability, thus making it hard for Pikachu to keep track of Froslass's movements. Despite this, Pikachu managed to hit Froslass with a super-effective Iron Tail, which caused the hail to disappear. Froslass then used Ice Beam, freezing Pikachu, but he managed to thaw the ice with Volt Tackle and knocked the Snow Land Pokémon out. He was then once again recalled. During the continuation of their battle, Ash sent Pikachu out to battle Paul's Electivire. Eventually, Pikachu then went for Volt Tackle, but Electivire blocked the attack, activating its Motor Drive Ability in the process. It then went for a speedy Thunder Punch, but this was countered by Pikachu's Iron Tail. Both attacks proved to be equal in power, making Pikachu unable to move. This gave Electivire the opportunity to use Brick Break with its other arm, knocking Pikachu out.
In The Semi-Final Frontier!, Pikachu was the last Pokémon chosen by Ash to battle Tobias in the semifinals of the Lily of the Valley Conference. Despite Ash losing five of his Pokémon, Pikachu tried his best to defeat Tobias's Latios. In the end, however, both he and Latios fainted. As Ash's last Pokémon had fainted, Tobias was crowned the winner of their battle, placing Ash in the Top 4 of the Lily of the Valley Conference.
In Memories are Made of Bliss!, Pikachu helped search for Piplup when he ran away. Upon finding Piplup, both Pokémon broke down in tears since they had to say goodbye to each other soon. Team Rocket appeared, but Pikachu and Piplup managed to blast them off with a Volt Tackle and Hydro Pump combination. Later, Pikachu said goodbye to Dawn and Piplup before he, Ash, and Brock boarded a ship headed for Kanto. Upon arriving in Kanto, Pikachu and Ash bade farewell to Brock as well and the two continued on towards Pallet Town.
Ash decided to bring Pikachu to Unova with him, just as he did in Hoenn. In In The Shadow of Zekrom!, upon arriving in Unova, Pikachu had an encounter with Zekrom, which, unbeknownst to Ash, caused him to lose his ability to use Electric moves. Ash finally noticed this during his battle against Trip and his Snivy, when Pikachu and Volt Tackle. Despite Ash realizing Pikachu can use other moves like Quick Attack and Iron Tail, Snivy defeated the exhausted Pikachu with Leaf Tornado. In the next episode, Pikachu recovered his Electric moves.
In Triple Leaders, Team Threats!, Ash used Pikachu in his second battle at the Striaton Gym. He faced Cress and his Panpour, and despite having the type advantage, Pikachu was overwhelmed by their water-based strategies and eventually defeated.
In A Rival Battle for Club Champ!, he battled Trip's Tranquill, who had already taken out Ash's Oshawott and Tepig. After his Thunderbolt was dodged, Pikachu took a beating from multiple Work Up-boosted Aerial Aces. As Pikachu was about to be finished off, he managed to grab Tranquill's foot. He then threw Tranquill in the air and defeated it with Volt Tackle. He then battled Snivy again, who had evolved into Servine. As Pikachu tried to use Volt Tackle, Servine managed to strike him with Cut in mid-sprint, knocking him out.
In Minccino—Neat and Tidy!, Pikachu was used in a battle against Bianca and her Pignite. Eventually, Pikachu's Volt Tackle and Pignite's Flame Charge collided, knocking both Pokémon back. Ultimately, only Pikachu remained standing, giving Ash the win.
In Dancing With the Ducklett Trio!, a trio of trouble-making Ducklett stole Ash's hat and Sandile's sunglasses. Pikachu promptly assisted Sandile in defeating them, but after unintentionally shocking himself with Thunderbolt, because he was stuck in a beach umbrella, he couldn't use Electric attacks. Eventually, his anger caused him to learn Electro Ball and blast the Ducklett off with his new move as well as recovering his ability to use Electric moves. Later on, he battled Sandile and ultimately used Electro Ball to deflect its Stone Edge back at it, defeating it and blasting it off.
In Battling For The Love of Bug-Types!, Ash used Pikachu as his last Pokémon in his Castelia Gym battle. He went up against Burgh's Leavanny, who initially had the upper hand with its Leaf Storm and String Shot attacks. However, he turned both attacks against Leavanny, and ultimately defeated it with an Iron Tail-Electro Ball combination, earning Ash the Insect Badge.
In Club Battle Finale: A Hero's Outcome!, Ash used Pikachu in the final round of the Club Battle, where they went up against Iris and Excadrill. Though it was a hard-fought battle, Pikachu was ultimately unable to dodge Excadrill's Focus Blast, which knocked him out, making Iris the winner of the tournament.
In Dazzling the Nimbasa Gym!, Pikachu was used as the final Pokémon in Ash's Gym battle against Elesa, after his two other Pokémon were defeated. He went up against Elesa's powerful Emolga and quickly defeated it. Pikachu then faced Elesa's Tynamo, which proved to be a tough opponent despite her not looking very strong, using speedy and strong Tackles to hit Pikachu hard. Despite this, Pikachu gained the upper hand and defeated Tynamo, thus winning Ash the Bolt Badge.
In Ash Versus the Champion!, Pikachu was used in a battle against Alder, where he faced his Bouffalant. Pikachu hit Bouffalant with all of his attacks, but it absorbed the hits with its afro. Alder, however, didn't give any orders, causing Bouffalant to get angry. It was then revealed that Alder had been sleeping throughout the battle. After he was woken up, Alder ordered Bouffalant to use Head Charge, but Bouffalant, still angry at him, used the attack on him instead. The battle was then called off.
In An Amazing Aerial Battle!, Ash used Pikachu against Skyla's Unfezant in his Mistralton Gym battle, and Pikachu was able to defeat it with a combination of Iron Tail and Electro Ball. Pikachu stayed in the battle to fight Skyla's last Pokémon, Swanna. Despite having a type advantage, Pikachu's Electric moves proved to be useless when Swanna used Aqua Ring to protect itself against them. When Swanna ascended, Ash had the idea to have Pikachu jump on the rings above the battle field, while using Quick Attack, to get close to Swanna. Though this worked, Swanna quickly recovered and hit Pikachu with Bubble Beam, knocking him to the ground. Pikachu was then defeated by a powerful combination of Hurricane and Brave Bird.
In Climbing the Tower of Success!, Ash and Pikachu entered the Wishing Bell Festival. By working together, they managed to reach the final round, where they had to climb Mistralton Tower while protecting the flame of their Litwick candle. Despite Pikachu doing his best to protect the candle from a bunch of Pidove's attacks, Stephan's Litwick candle, which turned out to have been a real Litwick all along, blew out Ash's, causing Ash to end up in second place.
In Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 2, Ash chose Pikachu as his final Pokémon in his Gym battle with Roxie. He faced Roxie's strongest Pokémon, Garbodor, who had already defeated Ash's Pignite and Palpitoad. Eventually, all of the physical contact Pikachu made with Garbodor activated its Static Ability, paralyzing Garbodor. Pikachu used this opportunity to hit Garbodor with Thunderbolt, but it was able to withstand it and used Venoshock. Pikachu, however, overpowered the attack with Electro Ball and defeated Garbodor, earning Ash his eighth and final Unova Badge, the Toxic Badge, thus allowing him to enter the Unova League.
In Goodbye, Junior Cup - Hello Adventure!, Pikachu was used in one final battle against Dawn before she headed to Johto. He faced her Quilava, who turned out to be evenly matched against him. Both Pokémon kept exchanging attacks, but finally, Pikachu and Quilava collided with Quick Attack and Flame Wheel, respectively, knocking both Pokémon back. The battle was then called off by Cynthia.
In Meloetta and the Undersea Temple!, Ash and Pikachu battled Giovanni and his Persian while trying to protect Meloetta, but Persian immediately defeated Pikachu with Power Gem. Giovanni then captured Meloetta and took it, along with the imprisoned Ash and Pikachu, to the Abyssal Ruins. In the next episode, Pikachu managed to break Team Rocket's force-field prison open by striking it repeatedly with Iron Tail, freeing both Ash and himself. Later, during the battle against the mind-controlled Therian Forme Forces of Nature, Thundurus aimed a Thunder attack at Iris's Dragonite and Iris stepped in its way to protect her Pokémon. However, Pikachu jumped in and absorbed the massive blast of electricity himself. This gave Pikachu a tremendous power boost; when he used Electro Ball, it inflicted exceptionally massive damage on the Abyssal Ruins, sending Team Rocket flying and freeing Meloetta.
In Curtain Up, Unova League!, Ash used Pikachu in the preliminary round of the Vertress Conference, where he went up against Trip's Serperior. The battle properly began in the next episode. Serperior initially had the upper hand and was almost able to constrict Pikachu into unconsciousness. Pikachu, however, didn't give in and used an Electro Ball-Iron Tail combination, which caused a huge explosion. After the smoke cleared, only Pikachu remained standing, leaving Ash victorious and giving him his first win against Trip.
In Cameron's Secret Weapon!, Ash used Pikachu against Cameron's Samurott. After an exchange of attacks, Pikachu used Iron Tail to defeat the Formidable Pokémon. He then battled Cameron's Swanna and was able to defeat the White Bird Pokémon with a super-effective Electro Ball. Pikachu was then recalled. Later, Ash sent Pikachu out to battle Cameron's newly-evolved Lucario, which had just defeated Snivy, leaving him as Ash's last Pokémon. Despite the large amount of damage both Pokémon had taken, they still managed to continue battling. At the end of the climactic fight, Pikachu and Lucario fired Electro Ball and Aura Sphere. Aura Sphere ultimately overpowered Electro Ball and knocked Pikachu out, thus eliminating Ash from the Vertress Conference and placing him in Top 8.
In Team Plasma's Pokémon Power Plot, Pikachu battled wild Pokémon controlled by Colress in an effort to free them and stop Team Plasma. Impressed by Pikachu's power, Colress managed to gain control of Pikachu by attaching a receiver to his head, and ordered him to attack Ash and the group. As Colress was increasing the power of the EM waves responsible for the mind control, Ash begged Pikachu to fight it off. During Pikachu's strenuous attempts to do so, the receiver overloaded and got destroyed, freeing Pikachu from Team Plasma's control.
In Team Plasma and the Awakening Ceremony!, Pikachu and Ash's other Pokémon fought Team Plasma's Pokémon in order to prevent them from awakening Reshiram. Colress, however, activated his improved mind-control machine and managed to hit Pikachu with the machine's laser, controlling him again. This time, however, Ash's voice didn't get through to Pikachu's control and he was knocked unconscious by Pikachu's Thunderbolt. N then offered to give Team Plasma the Light Stone in exchange for them freeing Pikachu from their control, and they agreed.
In the next episode, Pikachu tried to destroy Colress's machine to free Reshiram and all of the other Pokémon from Ghetsis's control. However, he was ultimately hit by the laser, which put him under control once again. To everyone's surprise, Pikachu managed to resist the machine's influence, using his own electricity to fight off Ghetsis's control, and used Thunderbolt on Reshiram to help it escape from Ghetsis's control as well. Despite Colress increasing the machine's power, Pikachu kept resisting, and together with Reshiram, they destroyed the machine with Electro Ball and Fusion Flare, freeing all of the Pokémon from Team Plasma's control and defeating the villainous team.
Pikachu reuniting with Bulbasaur
In Cilan and the Case of the Purrloin Witness!, Pikachu participated in the Marine Cup Tournament. He managed to beat other Trainers with a Gurdurr and an Eelektrik and make it to the finals. He then battled Teaque's Galvantula and was able to knock it out with Iron Tail, winning the tournament for Ash.
In Best Wishes Until We Meet Again!, Pikachu and Axew were captured by Team Rocket while Ash, Iris, and Cilan were trapped inside the ship's cargo space. He was eventually freed from the net and, with the help of Axew, Charizard, and Pansage, Pikachu blasted Team Rocket off. Later, Pikachu said farewell to Axew, Iris, and Cilan as he, Ash, and Alexa continued on to Pallet Town.
Pikachu was reunited with Bulbasaur and the entire Unova team at Professor Oak's Laboratory in The Dream Continues!. He joined the others in a group attack on Team Rocket with his Thunderbolt to send them blasting off for the last time in the Best Wishes series. Pikachu then continued to travel with Ash when he set off for the Kalos region.
In Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!, Ash and Pikachu arrived at Kalos by plane along with Alexa. After being thrown out of the Lumiose Gym for not having enough Badges, Ash was saved by Clemont while Pikachu was saved by Bonnie. Bonnie was excited to be holding Pikachu, leading to him shocking her because she was holding him too tightly. After becoming acquainted with their rescuers, Ash challenged Clemont to a battle, which Clemont reluctantly agreed to. In the battle, Pikachu faced Clemont's Bunnelby. Despite Clemont admitting that he only recently caught Bunnelby, he proved to be quite a challenge for Pikachu. After a couple of attacks, Pikachu used Iron Tail, but Bunnelby easily caught it with his ears. However, Bunnelby was unable to use his ears, giving Pikachu the opportunity to hit the Digging Pokémon with Electro Ball. The battle was then interrupted by Team Rocket, who once again attempted to steal Pikachu. Ash attempted to stop them, but Jessie had her Wobbuffet reflect Pikachu's attacks with Mirror Coat. Pikachu was saved by a Froakie, who shielded him with its body at the cost of being injured. With Bunnelby and Froakie's help, Pikachu blasted the trio off. Froakie soon collapsed from its injuries, so Ash, Pikachu, and their new friends went to Professor Sycamore to heal Froakie.
In Lumiose City Pursuit!, Ash and Pikachu managed to get Froakie to Professor Sycamore. Later, when Professor Sycamore's Garchomp went crazy from one of Team Rocket's devices, Pikachu and Ash pursued her to get the device off and free her. After chasing her to the top of Prism Tower, Pikachu removed the device from Garchomp's neck with Iron Tail. However, due to the fight damaging the tower, the ground Pikachu was standing on broke off, causing him to fall off. Ash immediately leaped in to save his friend, to the shock of many, including Serena. They were both saved by a Mega Blaziken, who intercepted them in the air and put the two safely back onto the ground.
In A Blustery Santalune Gym Battle!, Pikachu was the first Pokémon Ash used during his Santalune Gym battle with Viola, sending him out to face her Surskit. Despite the type advantage, Surskit proved to be a tough opponent, using its speedy movements to dodge Pikachu's attacks. Eventually, although Pikachu got a successful hit with Iron Tail, his Thunderbolt was overpowered by Ice Beam and he was then knocked out by Signal Beam. After he was healed at the Pokémon Center, he trained with Fletchling for their rematch, using Alexa's Noivern's Gust to help them withstand Vivillon's own Gust, which beat Fletchling in the first battle.
In Battling on Thin Ice!, they were finally able to withstand Noivern's Gust. Later, using one of Clemont's inventions, they practiced avoiding Surskit's Sticky Web. After it broke, they used Froakie and its Frubbles instead to practice. The next day, Pikachu was Ash's first Pokémon for his rematch against Viola, where he again went up against her Surskit. Using his training, Pikachu was able to dodge Sticky Web and ultimately defeat the Pond Skater Pokémon. Ash recalled Pikachu and substituted him for Fletchling. He was later called out again to battle Vivillon, who had beaten Fletchling. During the battle, Pikachu was hit by Vivillon's Sleep Powder. Thinking back to their training, Ash had Pikachu use Electro Ball on himself to keep himself awake, allowing him to overpower Vivillon's Solar Beam with Electro Ball. This caused Vivillon to crash into the lamps, which had been frozen by Surskit's Ice Beam; its wing was subsequently frozen. This allowed Pikachu to defeat the Scale Pokémon with Thunderbolt, earning Ash the Bug Badge.
In A Conspiracy to Conquer!, after overhearing one of Team Rocket's conversations, Madame X and her Malamar captured Pikachu. After Clemont attempted to use his "Automatic Pikachu Retrieving Device" to find Pikachu, it was revealed that Malamar had hypnotized Pikachu, making him one of Madame X's subordinates. While searching for Pikachu, Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena were also hypnotized by Malamar. Once Ash and Meowth finally found Pikachu, Team Rocket, and Madame X, Madame X forced Pikachu to attack Ash. Ash got through to Pikachu, who started fighting Malamar's control. Afterwards, the Automatic Pikachu Retrieving Device burst in and rammed into Malamar, causing it to lose its control over everyone. After Malamar revealed its plans through Meowth, Pikachu attempted to attack it, but Malamar managed to escape.
In Climbing the Walls!, Ash used Pikachu as his third and final Pokémon in his Cyllage Gym battle against Grant. Eventually, Grant then had Tyrunt use Rock Tomb, but Pikachu deflected the projectiles with Iron Tail, knocking one into Tyrunt's mouth and rendering it unable to use Crunch. This allowed Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, defeating Tyrunt, winning the battle, and earning Ash the Cliff Badge.
In The Bonds of Evolution!, Pikachu was used in Ash's battle against Diantha, where he faced her Gardevoir. Gardevoir managed to dodge all of Pikachu's attacks and hit him hard with a Shadow Ball. The battle was then interrupted by Team Rocket.
In Mega Revelations!, Pikachu battled Korrina's Lucario. During the battle, Lucario used its great speed to dodge attacks and then raised its Attack using Swords Dance. Pikachu was then unable to dodge Lucario's speedy attacks and got hit by several Bone Rushes before being finished off with a powerful Power-Up Punch. Later, he battled Lucario in its Mega Evolved form. However, during the battle, Lucario started to go out of control and became unusually aggressive in its attacks, forcing Ash to protect Pikachu. In response, Gurkinn sent out his Lucario to block the attack. Lucario then lost consciousness and the battle was called off.
In Battling Into the Hall of Fame!, Pikachu was used in a Team Battle alongside with Serena's Fennekin and Clemont's Chespin against Tierno's Squirtle, Shauna's Bulbasaur, and Trevor's Charmander. Pikachu and the others were having a hard time due to their opponents great teamwork, which led to Fennekin being defeated by Squirtle. After taking some hits, Pikachu jumped to dodge a Flamethrower, but was then targeted by Bulbasaur's Solar Beam. Much to Shauna and her friends' surprise, however, Chespin used Vine Whip to pull Pikachu up, giving him the opportunity to defeat Charmander with Thunderbolt. Pikachu then defeated Bulbasaur with Electro Ball and Squirtle with Thunderbolt, giving Ash, Serena and Clemont the win and the spot on the Hall of Fame.
In Showdown at the Shalour Gym!, Pikachu was the last Pokémon Ash used during his Shalour Gym battle with Korrina, sending him out to face Korrina's Mega Lucario. Eventually, Lucario's Aura Sphere collided with Pikachu's Electro Ball. Pikachu was able to recover first from the collision and defeated Lucario with Thunderbolt, thus giving Ash the victory and earning him the Rumble Badge. As the group prepared to depart for Coumarine City, Pikachu and Lucario bumped fists as a promise to battle again someday.
In A Slippery Encounter!, Pikachu helped out a Goomy after they were stolen by Team Rocket. Knowing that his Thunderbolt wouldn't break their cage, Pikachu kept ramming it and managed to bend the bars. While Goomy managed to escape, Pikachu couldn't fit through until Goomy used the slime on its body to let him slip through the bars. They then fled but were noticed by Team Rocket, who gave chase. When Pikachu and Goomy were about to be hit by Jessie's Pumpkaboo's Shadow Ball, Ash arrived with Fletchinder to protect them. When Team Rocket was about to capture Pikachu again, Ash told him to use Iron Tail, destroying the cage. During the ensuing battle, Goomy shielded Ash and Pikachu with its body and used Bide to attack Team Rocket's Pokémon. Ash then had Pikachu blast Team Rocket off with Thunderbolt. Later, Pikachu informed Ash that Goomy wanted to go with them, allowing him to catch it.
In Good Friends, Great Training!, Pikachu and Sliggoo were used in a Double Battle against Tierno's Wartortle and Raichu. Before the battle could start, he was grabbed by a mecha created by Team Rocket, but Sliggoo was able to save Pikachu. After the mecha took Sliggoo, Wartortle, and Raichu, Pikachu split up with Ash and Serena to look for them. After Sliggoo evolved into Goodra to save Ash and Pikachu, and the crisis was resolved, they restarted their battle with Tierno and ultimately won.
In The Moment of Lumiose Truth!, Ash used Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his Lumiose Gym battle against Clemont. He went up against his Bunnelby, and during the battle, the two wound up using the same moves and strategies as they did during their first battle. Just then, Bunnelby used his new move, Wild Charge, dealing major damage to Pikachu, before using multiple Dig attacks. However, Ash had Pikachu use Iron Tail on the ground, forcing Bunnelby to emerge and dealing major damage. Pikachu then used another Iron Tail, defeating Bunnelby. Ash then recalled Pikachu, but later sent him out to battle Clemont's last Pokémon, Luxray. Ultimately, the Gleam Eyes Pokémon countered with Wild Charge, defeating Pikachu.
In Rivals: Today and Tomorrow!, Ash used Pikachu as his first Pokémon in his three-round battle against Sawyer. He went up against Bagon, although he had a type disadvantage. Despite this, Pikachu used Iron Tail to knock the Rock Head Pokémon out.
In A Frenzied Factory Fiasco!, Pikachu, along with Ash and his friends, visited the Poké Ball Factory. There, they were tricked by Team Rocket, who separated the group from their Poké Balls, with only Pikachu managing to escape. During a battle, Pikachu avoided being recalled into his Poké Ball and hid in one of the vent shafts without them knowing. He then tried to free Ash and his friends with Iron Tail, but when that failed and Team Rocket discovered him, Pikachu attempted to get the briefcase that held the group's Poké Balls. Meowth then chased Pikachu, being the only one small enough to squeeze through the factory equipment and ventilation shafts that Pikachu escaped through, and continuously attempted to recall Pikachu into his Poké Ball. In the end, Team Rocket attempted to escape with all of the Poké Balls they stole, though by that point, Pikachu freed Ash and they pursued them. Pikachu managed to stop their van with his Thunderbolt and Meowth challenged Pikachu to a one-on-one battle, which he accepted. Pikachu managed to defeat his foe despite the Scratch Cat Pokémon attempting to use Pikachu's Poké Ball on him. After Team Rocket got blasted off again, the group was invited by the grateful factory staff to a genuine tour of the factory.
In Tag Team Battle Inspiration!, Pikachu was used in a Tag Battle against Serena's Eevee and Shauna's Ivysaur with Tierno's Blastoise as his partner. When Serena called off the battle, Ash and Tierno decided to battle each other and Pikachu faced Blastoise. A collision between Thunderbolt and Hydro Pump took place, but the outcome of the battle was left unknown.
In All Eyes on the Future!, Pikachu wasn't chosen for Ash's Double Battle with Olympia, but he did help Ash keep track of when the Future Sight from Olympia's two Meowstic would strike, by using his tail as a makeshift timer. This eventually allowed Frogadier and Talonflame to turn the attack against them and ultimately win the battle.
In Dream a Little Dream from Me!, after the group viewed the Litleonid meteor shower, Pikachu was pulled into Squishy's dream by a Darkrai. In the dream, the group's Pokémon were either in their evolved or pre-evolved forms and could speak human language, while humans spoke like Pokémon. Freaked out by this, Pikachu fled and ran into Meowth, who had also been pulled into the dream. Pikachu and Meowth then encountered a talking Squishy. Suddenly, a flaming ghost appeared and attacked them. They eventually managed to escape, after which Squishy revealed a glimpse of its true strength to Pikachu and Meowth. Pikachu and Meowth tried to help Squishy get to its home so it could gain this strength. On their way, they were attacked by the flaming ghost again and Pikachu decided to battle it. Pikachu's attacks, however, couldn't land, but he was soon aided by the group's Pokémon, and together, they managed to defeat the creature. In the end, Pikachu, Meowth, and Squishy were awakened by Clemont's invention.
In Party Dancecapades!, Pikachu partnered up with Miette's Slurpuff in a dance party hosted by Monsieur Pierre. Later, Pikachu was used in a Tag Battle along with Serena's Eevee, where he faced James's Inkay and Miette's Slurpuff. Eventually, they were trapped after landing in Slurpuff's Cotton Spore, which left them vulnerable to Inkay's Psybeam. With Eevee badly injured, Pikachu tried to battle alone, without much success. However, Eevee evolved into Sylveon and defeated both Inkay and Slurpuff with Fairy Wind, giving Ash and Serena the win.
In A Meeting of Two Journeys!, Pikachu was Ash's second Pokémon in another three-round battle against Sawyer, where he faced Honedge. Pikachu used Iron Tail to counter Honedge's Fury Cutter and then defeated it with Thunderbolt.
In Seeing the Forest for the Trees!, Pikachu was very worried after Ash left into the Winding Woods alone, following his loss to Wulfric, and spent most of the episode trying to find Ash. Eventually, Team Rocket tried to catch Pikachu, but when Pikachu tried to fend them off, they were actually underwhelmed by his power, implying that without Ash's friendship motivating him, Pikachu was not able to perform as strong as usual. After Ash returned at the end of the episode, an overjoyed Pikachu was able to quickly send Team Rocket blasting off.
In the next episode, he participated in Ash's rematch against Wulfric and faced his Bergmite. Almost immediately, Pikachu was hit by its Icy Wind, numbing his legs, slowing him down. Ash then had Pikachu run around to get rid of the numbness in his legs. Now having regained his Speed, Pikachu was able to defeat Bergmite. Next, Pikachu faced off against Wulfric's Avalugg. Eventually, Pikachu created a hole in the battlefield with Iron Tail, causing Avalugg to get caught in it, thus stopping its movements. Avalugg, however, was able to use Stone Edge while spinning, and despite Pikachu's attempt to destroy the rocks with Thunderbolt, he was knocked out.
In Analysis Versus Passion!, Ash chose Pikachu as his third Pokémon in his battle against Sawyer during the semifinals of the Lumiose Conference. He was sent out against Sawyer's powerful Clawitzer. Pikachu used the forest-themed battlefield to his advantage by climbing into the trees and jump from branch to branch in order to confuse Clawitzer and evade its attacks. Eventually, Pikachu used Iron Tail, but Clawitzer grabbed his tail with its pincer and prepared to use Water Pulse. Reacting quickly, Ash had Pikachu use Electro Ball to break free from Clawitzer's grip and finish the Howitzer Pokémon off with Thunderbolt. Pikachu then faced Sawyer's next Pokémon, his Aegislash. Pikachu tried to use the forest again, but Aegislash prevented him from doing so by chopping down the trees using Sacred Sword.
Continuing their battle, Pikachu was initially overwhelmed by Aegislash's alternating use of Sacred Sword and King's Shield. Just then, Ash noticed that Aegislash had to attach itself to its shield in order to use King's Shield. Using this knowledge, he had Pikachu use Iron Tail on the ground, which caused the chopped-down logs to fly up in the air. Pikachu then jumped from log to log, confusing Aegislash and avoiding its attacks. As Aegislash tried going for King's Shield again, Pikachu knocked one of the wooden chunks between Aegislash's shield, making it unable to defend itself properly. With his opponent left vulnerable, Pikachu used Thunderbolt to defeat Aegislash. As Sawyer lost three of his Pokémon, the battlefield was changed and Ash decided to recall Pikachu. He was later used again to face off against Sawyer's Sceptile, who eventually knocked him out with Frenzy Plant.
In Finals Not for the Faint-Hearted!, Pikachu was used as Ash's first Pokémon in his battle against Alain during the Lumiose Conference finals. He went up against Alain's Tyranitar, who summoned a sandstorm upon entering the battlefield due to its Sand Stream Ability, which deteriorated Pikachu's sight. Despite this, Pikachu was able to use strategy to land hits on Tyranitar and eventually defeat it. Pikachu was then recalled. He was later used again to battle Alain's Metagross. After jumping on top of Metagross, Pikachu repeatedly used Thunderbolt, dealing serious damage to the Iron Leg Pokémon. Metagross was eventually able to shake Pikachu off, throwing him in the air, but he used Iron Tail on it while falling, knocking Metagross out. Pikachu then battled Alain's strongest Pokémon, Charizard. The battle continued in Down to the Fiery Finish!, where Pikachu was too exhausted to outmaneuver Charizard by that point. Eventually, he was overpowered and knocked out.
In A Towering Takeover!, Pikachu and Ash went with Alain to go look for Mairin, but once they found her, they were obstructed by the giant roots. They were then ambushed by Celosia before her Drapion's Confuse Ray hit them and knocked Ash unconscious. Pikachu attempted to protect his Trainer but eventually fell to the Confuse Ray's effects as well and passed out. Pikachu, along with Ash and his other Pokémon, was then taken captive by Lysandre on the top of Prism Tower. He could only watch while Ash and Greninja were hit by Team Flare's miniature version of the Mega Evolution energy weapon, until Ash and Greninja freed themselves using Bond Phenomenon, in the following episode. They and the others were then freed, after which they teamed up with Alain's Charizard and Malva's Mega Houndoom to battle and defeat Lysandre's Pyroar and Shiny Mega Gyarados in The Right Hero for the Right Job! and Rocking Kalos Defenses!.
Afterwards, Pikachu helped Serena's Braixen, Steven's Metagross and Professor Sycamore's Garchomp fight the Giant Rock. He and the other Pokémon were eventually subdued by the creature's roots, but was freed by a combined attack from the Pokémon of all the Gym Leaders of Kalos and Diantha. After coming up with a strategy, in Forming a More Perfect Union!, everyone combined their powers to fend off the Giant Rock's roots, allowing Ash and Alain to reach its center and save Chespie, bringing the creature down. After the resurrection of the Giant Rock, which was now controlled by Lysandre, Pikachu, Greninja, and Alain's Charizard managed to destroy its control device, allowing Squishy and Z2 to destroy the Giant Rock.
In The First Day of the Rest of Your Life!, Ash used Pikachu in a battle against Serena and her Braixen. Both Pokémon took substantial hits before the battle was called off by Ash. In Till We Compete Again!, Pikachu bade farewell to Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, and their Pokémon, since he and Ash had to return to Kanto. During this, Dedenne ran off since he didn't want the group to split apart. Using his electricity, Pikachu and the group was able to find Dedenne and calm it down. After Serena departed, Pikachu participated in one final battle between Ash and Clemont, in which he faced Clemont's Bunnelby, just like their first battle, but the outcome was left unknown. Ash and Pikachu then separated from Clemont and Bonnie and returned to Pallet Town.
Pikachu joined Ash, Delia, and Mimey on a vacation to the Alola region in Alola to New Adventure!. On their way to the Pokémon School on Melemele Island, Pikachu and Ash followed a wild Grubbin into a forest, where the two noticed a Trainer riding a Charizard. They followed him and arrived at the Pokémon School, where they met some of the school's students as well as Professor Kukui and Professor Oak's cousin, Samson Oak. Ash later used Pikachu to battle a trio of Team Skull Grunts, who were harassing Kiawe, and their trio of Zubat, Salandit, and Yungoos. After a while, Kiawe had his Turtonator use the Z-Move Inferno Overdrive, which knocked Team Skull's Pokémon out in one shot. That evening, Pikachu and Ash followed Tapu Koko, the guardian deity of Melemele Island, who handed Ash a Z-Ring and an Electrium Z. Pikachu later remained in Alola with Ash when he decided to study at the Pokémon School.
In the next episode, Ash's classmates held a surprise welcome party for him, where he and Pikachu participated in several challenges. During their lunch break, Tapu Koko appeared again and stole Ash's hat, prompting Ash and his classmates to follow it. Arriving in a forest, Tapu Koko challenged Ash to a battle, which he accepted. Tapu Koko eventually tapped Ash's Z-Ring, activating it and allowing Pikachu to perform Gigavolt Havoc, which destroyed a large part of the area but also caused Ash's Electrium Z to shatter. Afterwards, Tapu Koko flew off again.
In To Top a Totem!, Pikachu was used in Ash's first island challenge trial in Verdant Cavern. Alongside Rowlet, he first fought a Yungoos and Gumshoos. After Pikachu knocked Gumshoos out while Rowlet defeated Yungoos, they faced a Totem Gumshoos. Despite its extreme strength, Pikachu outwitted Gumshoos with pure strategy and finished it off with Thunderbolt. This win earned Ash a Normalium Z.
Pikachu was used as Ash's final Pokémon in his battle against Hala during the Melemele Island grand trial in Trial and Tribulation!. He faced Hala's Hariyama, who was able to block his attacks using its big hands and hit him afterwards. Despite sustaining several hits, Pikachu was able to knock Hariyama off its feet using Iron Tail. Ash used this opportunity to have Pikachu perform Breakneck Blitz, which sent Hariyama flying and knocked it out. Having cleared the Melemele Island grand trial, Ash was rewarded a new Electrium Z.
In A Guardian Rematch!, Ash and Pikachu trained for a rematch against Tapu Koko. The next day, the two were greeted by Tapu Koko again and were challenged to another battle. Unlike their last battle, Pikachu managed get a few hits on the guardian deity, but was eventually struck by its powerful attacks. Ash and Pikachu showed their improvements by performing Gigavolt Havoc, which was this time powerful enough to sent Tapu Koko flying. A clash between Pikachu and Tapu Koko, however, blasted the former off a cliff, prompting Ash to jump after him. The two were saved in time by Tapu Koko, who flew off afterwards.
In The Ol' Raise and Switch!, Professor Kukui tasked everyone with switching their partner Pokémon with somebody else. As a result, Pikachu was given to Lillie, whilst Snowy went to Ash. Because of her fear of Pokémon, Lillie decided to have a battle with Hobbes and his Oricorio to help conquer her fear. Despite her lack of battle experience, Lillie was able to defeat Oricorio and touch Pikachu. Ash then proposed a battle against Lillie and Pikachu, to show them how strong he and Snowy had gotten together.
In When Regions Collide!, Ash used Pikachu in his battle against Misty, where he battled her Gyarados. At one point, Misty revealed her Key Stone and Mega Evolved her Gyarados. Gyarados then used Hurricane, creating a cyclone of water that trapped Pikachu. However, Ash came up with the idea to have Pikachu run on Thunderbolt's electricity with Quick Attack, allowing Pikachu to escape from the cyclone. The two then preformed their Z-Move, Gigavolt Havoc, which hit Gyarados head-on, defeating it and giving Ash the win.
During Ash and his classmates' travels in Ultra Deep Sea to rescue Lusamine in 10,000,000 Reasons to Fight!, Pikachu fought Lusamine, who had been fused with a Nihilego. Eventually, Pikachu and Ash prepared to perform Gigavolt Havoc, until Ash's Electrium Z mysteriously turned into a Pikashunium Z. This allowed the two to perform 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt for the first time; the Z-Move defeated Nihilego, weakening it enough for Lillie and Gladion to pull Lusamine free from its hold.
In A Battle Hand-Off!, Ash used Pikachu in his trial battle at the Thrifty Megamart, where he battled Team Rocket and Mimikyu. Pikachu was quickly overwhelmed by Mimikyu's barrage of attacks, eventually leaving him open for Mimikyu's Z-Move, Let's Snuggle Forever. However, Pikachu was able to endure the attack by protecting itself with his newly learned Electroweb. Using his new move, Pikachu was able to trap Mimikyu, which allowed him and Ash to perform a Z-Move of their own. Ash's Electrium Z then turned into a Pikashunium Z again, allowing Pikachu to use 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt once more and defeat Mimikyu. This allowed Ash to qualify for a chance to challenge Nanu's grand trial.
In Battling the Beast Within!, Ash and Pikachu encountered Tapu Koko again and had another rematch against it. Just then, a Shiny Tapu Koko from another dimension unleashed its own attack, creating a rift that transported Ash and Pikachu to the dimension's Ultra Ruin. They soon encountered a wild Guzzlord, which started chasing after the duo. However, they were saved by Dia and Zeraora. After learning about Guzzlord and the Ultra Ruin, Ash challenged Dia to a battle to prove his ability to help Dia. Pikachu faced off against Zeraora, but found himself overwhelmed by Zeraora's fast moves and was quickly defeated.
Later, at Dia's base, Pikachu and Ash trained and soon convinced Dia and Zeraora to join them. Pikachu and Zeraora engaged in another battle, which attracted the attention of Guzzlord. After the Ultra Beast's arrival, the group lured it to the Ultra Wormhole that it had emerged from in the past. After trapping Guzzlord with Electroweb, Pikachu and Zeraora attacked the immobilized Ultra Beast in an attempt to send it back through the Ultra Wormhole, but failed. However, after the Shiny Tapu Koko intervened, Ash and Dia were able to activate their Z-Rings and had Pikachu and Zeraora perform a double Gigavolt Havoc to successfully push Guzzlord into the wormhole. Afterwards, Pikachu and Zeraora had one more battle in order to create another dimensional rift, which took Pikachu and Ash back home.
In A Grand Debut!, Ash used Pikachu in his Poni Island grand trial against Hapu, where he went up against her Mudsdale. Due to the type disadvantage and Mudsdale's Stamina Ability, Pikachu initially struggled to inflict damage on his opponent. Soon, the battle turned to Pikachu's favor when one of the battlefield's pillars crashed into the ocean, splashing Musdale with seawater and inducing the effects of Soak. This allowed Pikachu to knock the Draft Horse Pokémon out with Gigavolt Havoc. Afterwards, Hapu offered Ash a choice of type-specific Z-Crystals; Pikachu opted for a Steelium Z, which Hapu awarded to Ash for his victory.
In The Dealer of Destruction!, Pikachu battled Team Skull's leader Guzma and his Golisopod. Despite the type advantage, Pikachu was quickly overwhelmed by Golisopod, as he was unable to penetrate the Hard Scale Pokémon's armor even when using his Z-Move Corkscrew Crash. The match ended prematurely when Golisopod returned to its Poké Ball due to its Emergency Exit Ability.
In Battle Royal 151, Ash used Pikachu in the Battle Royal preliminary round of the Manalo Conference, where he was able to defeat various Trainers' Pokémon. Pikachu briefly faced Jessie's Mimikyu before the round concluded, allowing Ash to proceed to the next round. In SM137, Ash used Pikachu in his Manalo Conference semifinals battle against Guzma, where he went up against Golisopod after Torracat was defeated. The two Pokémon were evenly matched, but eventually, Pikachu was the one to remain standing at the end, allowing Ash to advance to the finals.
In SM138, Ash used Pikachu to finish off Gladion's Silvally, who had been worn down by Melmetal, in the Manalo Conference finals. He then went up against what seemed to be Gladion's Lycanroc, but turned out to be Zoroark in disguise. In the next episode, the two Pokémon clashed and proved to be pretty much equal in strength. When Gladion had Zoroark use Never-Ending Nightmare, Ash countered by having Pikachu use Breakneck Blitz. Both Z-Moves succeeded in connecting with their targets, causing both Pokémon to be knocked out.
In SM142, Ash chose to use Pikachu to battle Professor Kukui's Empoleon during Ash's exhibition match against him. While the two Pokémon seemed to be on equal footing for a while, Pikachu was eventually caught up in Empoleon's Whirlpool, causing him to get dizzy. To save Pikachu from being defeated, Ash then withdrew him from the battle and sent out Melmetal to replace him.