Clefairy is a bipedal, pink Pokémon with a chubby, vaguely star-shaped body. A small, pointed tooth protrudes from the upper left corner of its mouth. It has wrinkles beside its black, oval eyes, a single dark pink oval marking on each cheek, and large, pointed ears with brown tips. A tuft of fur curls over its forehead, much like its large, upward-curling tail. Each stocky arm has two small claws and a thumb on each hand and both feet have a single toenail. There is a pair of tiny, butterfly-shaped wings on its back. Though incapable of flight, Clefairy's wings can store moonlight and allow it to float.
Clefairy is very shy and rarely shows itself to humans. On the rare occasions it does come down from its mountain home, it can be seen dancing under the light of the full moon. The area surrounding their dance in enveloped in a magnetic field. Once the sun starts to rise, it returns home where it sleeps nestled with other Clefairy. The anime has shown that Clefairy is actually an extraterrestrial Pokémon.
In the anime
The recurring Clefairy in the anime
A peculiar group of Clefairy debuted in Clefairy Tales. Ash and his friends first encountered them after their spacecraft crash-landed near Viridian City. The Clefairy resorted to stealing items, including Jigglypuff's signature microphone marker and even Pikachu, from a nearby town to rebuild their spaceship.
The group, accompanied by Oswald and Jigglypuff, tracked the Clefairy to an underground cave and stormed the spaceship to recover Jigglypuff's microphone and Pikachu. Though Jigglypuff ended up defeating all of the Clefairy with Pound, the spacecraft still took off because of its preset launch, though Ash, his friends, and Jigglypuff escaped in time. Oswald remained on board until the spaceship crashed again in another village. As a result, the Clefairy once again began stealing the locals' items to return to orbit.
The Clefairy reappeared in Wish Upon a Star Shape, where the group re-encountered them after their spacecraft crashed into a Johto mountainside. Prior to the crash-landing, the Clefairy beamed a Cleffa to safety, and it landed on Ash's Phanpy. Cleffa quickly struck up a friendship with Phanpy. It later led everyone to the crash site while also trying to escape Team Rocket and the Pokémon Mystery Club (PMC).
The Clefairy went on to use the parts from Team Rocket's mecha and the PMC's machine to repair their spacecraft. Pikachu's Thunderbolt ultimately helped the craft lift off. In the process, Cleffa evolved into a Clefairy and reunited with its family.
In Clefairy in Space, a herd of wild Clefairy are causing trouble in Apple City, where rumors are circulating that Clefairy come from outer space. It is also learned that Clefairy have a secretion from the back of their throat that can harden into a crystal-like form.
Magical Pokémon Journey and Pokémon Chamo-Chamo ☆ Pretty ♪
One of Hazel's main traveling companions in Magical Pokémon Journey is a timid, shy Clefairy. Clefairy tends to be very cowardly, but when he actually does battle, he can use his powerful Metronome attack.
Clefairy also uses Metronome but uses its own series of attacks such as Blizzard, Explosion, or Fire Spin; which will hurt any opponents close to Clefairy.
Clefairy are very cute Pokémon, which makes them popular pets. However, as they're only found in a few areas, it takes a lot of work to find one. Strangely enough, legend has it that Clefairy are more active during the full moon. These Pokémon are known to use Metronome, a move that unleashes a randomly selected technique.
Pokémon Stadium: Clefairy stars in the mini-game "Clefairy Says." Players are given a pattern of arrows to repeat back. Each time the player messes up, they will receive a strike. After five strikes, the player is out. The last Clefairy standing wins.
Clefairy was originally going to be the official mascot of Pokémon, but Pikachu was used instead due to the popularity of the anime and Pikachu's familiarity with fans.
In the original pilot episode of the anime, Clefairy was intended to be Ash's starting Pokémon. Due to a last minute change, the role went to Pikachu. This would have made the anime closer to the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga, which would later be referenced in Lights, Camerupt, Action!, where its main character, Red, along with his Clefairy starred in a film that Ash and Gary were watching when they were younger.
Clefairy seems to be based on fairies and pixies since it is a playful, magical, humanoid creature with wings. It may also be inspired by the concept of extraterrestrial life due to its rumored celestial origins and vaguely star-shaped body. It may also reference the mythical Moon rabbit due to its large ears, various Moon related powers, and the fact that it evolves into Clefable using a Moon Stone.
Clefairy may be a combination of clef (musical symbol) and fairy.
Pippi may be derived from the repetition of the first syllable of pixie.