Ash's hat (Japanese: サトシのぼうし Satoshi's hat) is an item of clothing that Ash Ketchum is seldom seen without. Throughout the Pokémon anime, Ash has worn six different hats so far, one for each of the six different series.
All of Ash's hats have been produced for people to wear. Ash's Advanced Generation hat was available to purchase at PokémonCenter.com before it shut down. His hats can be found at numerous stores (including the Pokémon Centers in Japan) and on online auction sites such as eBay.
In the anime
Pokémon League Expo hat
Ash's first hat, worn during the original series, is easily the most well-known: an official Pokémon League Expo hat that was red and white with a green, stylized "L" on the front. There were only 100 of these hats which were given away by the Pokémon League, and Ash claims to have "sent in about a million postcards" in order to obtain it. Misty also tried to win it but stated she only sent in one postcard. Ash wore this hat during his journey through Kanto, the Orange Archipelago, and Johto, and was very attached to it, becoming enraged when a Mankey stole it and played keep-away with it in Primeape Goes Bananas. The design may be loosely based on Red's Generation I hat, and in early concept sketches for the anime, Ash's hat matched Red's exactly.
Commonly, Ash would turn the cap backwards, particularly when he was concentrating heavily, such as when he would face a Trainer or capture a Pokémon. This was seen most often early in his journey in Kanto, gradually becoming less frequent until his journey in Johto ended, by which time he hardly ever turned his cap. The sequence was actually a common animation practice used frequently to cut costs at the time.
After returning from Johto, Ash was given a change of clothes by his mother, and he immediately changed into them, including switching his old hat for a new black-and-red one which had a green Poké Ball symbol on it. He seemed to have no hesitation in changing hats, despite the attachment shown in Primeape Goes Bananas.
Like the first one, his second hat was also stolen by a monkey-like Pokémon which Ash later captured, this time an Aipom in Slaking Kong!. Unlike previous occasions, Ash actually accepted that it was gone (or so he assumed), saying that he would "feel strange" without it. At the end of the episode, Aipom returned Ash's hat to him. However, Aipom followed Ash and his friends to the Kanto Grand Festival where it stole his hat again. After Ash captured her, Aipom stole Ash's hat multiple more times as the Advanced Generation series ended and the Diamond & Pearl series began.
Ash rarely flipped his hat during the series. Occasions on which he flipped his hat include when he was dressed as an eggplant in Claydol Big and Tall, when he was cleaning the dojo in Pasta La Vista!, while sleeping with his Pokémon in Gathering the Gang of Four!, and during the climax of the ninth Pokémon movie.
Diamond & Pearl hat
Ash had received his third hat in a package from his mother while in the Sinnoh region. Though his clothes changed quite a bit between their Advanced Generation and Diamond & Pearl iterations, his hat remained similar; though while his second hat had a green Poké Ball symbol, his third one was blue. This hat also had a larger and square black area around the Poké Ball, while the black area in the Advanced Generation series was round.
Best Wishes hat
In the Best Wishes series, Ash wore a red and off-white hat. Unlike the hats seen during the Advanced Generation and Diamond & Pearl series, this hat bore a slight resemblance to the one seen in the original series, but with a blue Poké Ball design for a logo and no line running down the middle. The hat resembles the hat worn by Hilbert from Pokémon Black and White.
During the early episodes of the Best Wishes series, Ash flipped his hat somewhat often, with decreasing frequency as the series went on. This is the same pattern seen in the original series with the Pokémon League Expo hat.
In Team Plasma and the Awakening Ceremony!, Ash flipped his hat before moving forward to help his Pokémon dig through the cave wall.
In the XY series, Ash wears a red hat with a white brim and a white semicircle across the front. This hat resembles the hat worn by Red in the games from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen to Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
Once again, his hat was stolen in Dreaming a Performer's Dream where a mischievous Pancham stole it, along with Clemont's glasses, to use for practicing for performances. Serena eventually got the two items back by trading for a pair of sunglasses.
Ash flipped his hat somewhat often early in the XY series, but only did so twice in the second half of the series: during the eighteenth Pokémon movie and in The Synchronicity Test!. Ash has also had the tendency of adjusting his hat often in this series; this was seen more commonly than seeing him flipping his hat backwards. This tendency echoes Red's sprite animations from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver onwards.
Sun & Moon hat
In the Sun & Moon series, Ash wears a red hat with a white Poké Ball symbol on it. The hat resembles Elio's hat from Pokémon Sun and Moon, but is red instead of black while the brim is recolored from black to white.
The hat continued the tradition of being stolen, this time by Tapu Koko in The Guardian's Challenge, where it stole the hat to lure Ash and Pikachu to a forest to battle against them, returning the hat when they arrived.
Ash has flipped his hat more often so far in the Sun & Moon series than in the early episodes of most other series.
I Choose You! and The Power of Us hat
In I Choose You!, the Ash of the alternate continuity is shown wearing a different hat. It looks almost the same as the other Ash’s original Pokémon League Expo hat, except that the Pokémon League logo is changed to resemble the Poké Ball symbol from his Sun & Moon hat. Ash continued wearing this hat in The Power of Us, despite the rest of his outfit changing. This makes it the only one of Ash's hats that was worn with multiple outfits.
In I Choose You!, Ash wore this hat backwards twice, both times while protecting Pikachu.
Due to its shorter screen time, this is Ash’s first hat that has never been stolen by a Pokémon in any of its appearances.
In the games
- Main article: List of Pokémon with form differences → Pikachu in a cap
Six forms of Pikachu, each wearing one of Ash's six hats between the original series and the Sun & Moon series, were introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. They were distributed to moviegoers who pre-ordered tickets to I Choose You! in Japan, and via a series of internet downloads in the West. A seventh form, the Partner Cap Pikachu, wearing Ash's hat from I Choose You!, was introduced in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. It was available via a special Pokémon Ga-Olé disc in Japan, and via a QR code distributed at screenings of the movie in the West.
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In Hey You, Pikachu!, the original hat, along with the rest of the outfit, can be seen hanging on a coat rack in the player's bedroom. Pikachu uses the hat in "The Piñata Game" to cover his eyes.
- Early concept art of the Pokémon League Expo hat shows similarities with Red's hat in his original design from Pokémon Red and Green.
- In Ditto's Mysterious Mansion, Duplica is shown to own a hat that appears to be identical to Ash's Pokémon League Expo hat.
- According to the Pokémon Visual Guide and its sequels, Ash obtained the Pokémon League Expo hat by mailing in cereal box tops. In Primeape Goes Bananas, Ash says he had to send in a million "postcards" in order to obtain it.
In other languages
Pokémon League Expo hat