| Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Charmander – The Stray Pokémon (Japanese: はぐれポケモン・ヒトカゲ Stray Pokémon - Hitokage) is the 11th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 10, 1997 and in the United States on September 22, 1998.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Our friends, lost, discover an injured Charmander. Pikachu talks to it and learns that it's been waiting a long time for its trainer to return.
Later, at a Pokémon Center, we overhear a Trainer bragging about abandoning his Charmander. Brock and Ash confront the trainer, named Damien, who challenges them to a battle. Nurse Joy breaks things up and reminds everyone that Pokémon are not to be used for settle personal disputes.
Ash, Misty, and Brock rush to retrieve the Charmander. It's not only threatened by a driving rain that could extinguish its flame, it's also under attack by a flock of Pidgeotto! Fortunately, Pikachu is able to make the Pidgeotto scatter so the Charmander could be saved.
They return to the Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy says the Charmander requires an overnight stay.
When our friends wake up the next morning, however, the Charmander is gone!
Is the Charmander still loyal to the neglectful Damien? Will Damien ever learn that a Trainer must be responsible for his Pokémon? And will Team Rocket's latest trap finally succeed?
Ash and his friends seem to have lost their way en route to Vermilion City, frustrating Misty. The group stops to consult Brock's map, and Ash determines that the trail they are following intersects Route 24, which in turn leads straight to Vermilion City. Brock is satisfied and puts the map away. But, as they move, a large shadow suddenly falls across their path. Soon, the sunlight's intensity dims, revealing a Charmander sitting upon a rock. After checking his Pokédex, Ash is happy that he has a chance to catch a Charmander. Brock points out how weak its tail flame is, and that it probably needs help. However, Charmander resists Ash's attempt to catch it. Brock suggests that Ash try again, but Ash's second attempt also fails. Pikachu then climbs up onto the rock and talks to the Charmander. He then comes back down and manages to communicate to Ash that Charmander is waiting for someone to come by and pick it up. Brock decides that if it belongs to someone else, it is best to leave it, and they leave.
Farther down the trail, Ash and his friends discover the Pokémon Center that is on their map, and they enter just as it begins to rain. Despite Brock's concerns, Ash reassures him and points out that there is no way the Charmander would have waited around that long. However, they overhear laughter nearby, and look over to see a Trainer named Damian surrounded by a group of friends. They listen in on his conversation, Damian reveals that he had a Charmander, but since it was so weak, he left it on a rock out in the middle of the woods promising to return for it, though he admits he has no intention of doing so. Ash and his friends conclude that the Charmander they saw and that based on Damian's description are one and the same. This pushes the normally calm Brock over the edge, and he confronts Damian, demanding he retrieve his Charmander. Damian pushes him off, but Ash and Misty soon arrive to back up Brock. After Damian and his crew leave, Ash, Misty, and Brock hurry back to find Charmander.
The three race back through the pouring rain towards the rock where the Charmander is, and find it under attack from a gang of Spearow. Ash tries to drive them off by throwing a rock at them, but the Spearow turn their attention to him and his friends. Ash orders a Thunder Shock from Pikachu, and he obeys, scaring off the Spearow. The group quickly wrap Charmander up in their raincoats and race back to the Pokémon Center, begging Nurse Joy to help. Initially, Nurse Joy is angry at Ash and his friends, but Ash explains that it was Damian that left the Charmander there, taking advantage of Charmander's loyalty. Brock pleads with Nurse Joy to save the Charmander, and she promises to do whatever she can. After an intense and distressing wait, Nurse Joy finally comes out of the operating room and reports that Charmander has pulled through, and it will be fine by morning.
Morning arrives, and Brock's shout causes Ash to fall off the couch. It turns out Charmander has disappeared from the emergency room. Ash is certain that the Charmander has simply gone back to the rock. Brock wants to go after it again, but Misty points out that it is no use. Even though Damian does not care about it, the Charmander is still stubbornly loyal to him. Although Brock is still disappointed, Ash and his friends leave the Pokémon Center. Meanwhile, up ahead, Team Rocket has just finished digging another pitfall trap for the twerps. However, Pikachu's light weight does not activate the trap. Jessie and James argue over who is responsible for this failure, until Meowth silences them with scratches to the face. Ash, Brock, and Misty, being a lot heavier, end up triggering the trap and fall into the hole. Team Rocket then appears, laughing at the fact that their trap worked. Pikachu tries to shock them, but Team Rocket's rubber uniforms insulate them against electricity. Pikachu tries to run, but they release a special ball that swallows Pikachu and also insulates his electricity.
Team Rocket prepare to leave with Pikachu in tow, though Charmander confronts them. Charmander, as translated by Meowth, orders them to give Pikachu back to Ash and the others. Team Rocket refuses, and warn Charmander to beat it or else. Charmander responds by closing its eyes, focusing hard, and unleashing a massive Flamethrower, which roasts Team Rocket. They drop the Pikachu and flee. Ash, Misty, and Brock, having gotten out of the pit, thank Charmander for its help, and Ash asks Charmander if it wants to come along with them. However, Damian, who witnessed Charmander's impressive Flamethrower, claims that he has come back for Charmander, just as he promised. Damian goes on to say that abandoning Charmander had made it stronger. Despite retorts from Ash and his friends, Damian brags about his methods of treating and training Pokémon. When he tries to recall Charmander by throwing his Poké Ball, it rejects him as its trainer by throwing the ball back at him with its tail. Enraged, Damian attempts to attack Charmander with all his Poké Balls. Charmander responds with a Flamethrower, followed by Pikachu's Thunderbolt, which are aimed at Damian and prompt him to flee. After some negotiation, Brock insists Ash should have Charmander, and the Fire-type Pokémon happily jumps into Ash's Poke Ball.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Charmander (Ash's; formerly Damian's; new; debut)
- Spearow (multiple)
- This is the first episode that credits Izumi Shimura as an animation director.
- This is the second episode of a three-episode arc where Ash catches each of Kanto's starter Pokémon.
- Misty states that the group has been searching ten days for Vermilion City since they left Cerulean City at the end of The Water Flowers of Cerulean City.
- Damian is shown to be carrying around twenty Poké Balls, all allegedly containing Pokémon; however, it is later established that a Trainer can only carry six Pokémon at a time in their party, just like in the games. This may be because he wasn't shown to have a Pokédex; therefore, he is not forced to use the storage system. Alternatively, he may have had a maximum of six Pokémon on his team already, while the rest of the Poké Balls were meant for recapturing Charmander.
- This is the first episode mentioning that Pokémon could die.
- It is revealed in this episode that using a battle to settle a personal argument is frowned upon, and that Pokémon battles are not supposed to occur in Pokémon Centers. Ironically, Generation IV's Platinum Version introduces the concept of battling Trainers in Pokémon Centers.
- This is the first episode where Meowth translates a Pokémon's speech.
- This episode is featured on Volume 9: Charmander from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
- Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion.
- When Ash and his friends rush up to the rock to get a closer look at the shady Pokémon, the "Zs" underneath Ash's eyes disappear.
- Charmander's eye shape changes to resemble that of a Charizard whenever zoomed in upon.
- After Nurse Joy stops running, two extra footsteps are heard.
- When Pikachu is running from Team Rocket's balloon, his feet have pads.
- The blurb mistakenly refers to Spearow as Pidgeotto.
- In the Brazilian Portuguese Pokémon TV, this episode uses the English version of the PokéRAP and an instrumental version of the ending theme, instead of the dubbed versions.
- Ash's Pokédex sounds different than how it did before it was upgraded with a new voice in Who Gets to Keep Togepi?.
- PokéRap: Day 1 (Poliwrath error)
- In the original Japanese version, Damian mentions to his friends that Charmander was so weak that it couldn't defeat a Poliwag. The English version changes it into the weakest opponents, which created a dialog error when Brock immediately remarks Charmander is naturally weak against Water-type Pokémon.
In other languages
|Arabic||شارماندر, البوكيمون التائه|
|Valencian||Charmander, el Pokémon perdut|
|Mandarin Chinese||走失的小火龍 / 消失的小火龙|
|Czech||Charmander, zatoulaný pokémon|
|Danish||Charmander Den Herreløse Pokémon|
|Dutch||Charmander, de verlaten Pokémon|
|Finnish||Charmander, petetty Pokémon|
|French||Canada||Charmander, le Pokémon vagabond|
|Europe||Le Pokémon abandonné|
|German||Glumanda - Ein Pokémon in Nöten|
|Hebrew||הפוקימון הנטוש Ha'Pokémon Ha'natush|
|Hindi|| Charmander - द स्ट्रे पोकेमोन Charmander, the Stray Pokémon * |
Charmander - एक पोकेमोन जो है अकेला! Charmander - Ek Pokémon joh hai Akela *
|Hungarian||Charmander, az elkóborolt Pokémon|
|Italian|| Un nuovo Pokémon* |
La fiamma di Charmander*
|Korean||파이리, 마음이 통했어! paili, ma-eum-i tonghaess-eo!|
|Norwegian||Charmander - den herreløse Pokémon|
|Polish||Charmander - zabłąkany Pokémon|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Charmander, o Pokémon Perdido|
|Portugal||Charmander, o Pokémon Perdido|
|Romanian||Charmander - Pokémonul Rătăcit|
|Russian||Чармандер — брошенный покемон|
|Serbian||Чармандер, покемон луталица|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Charmander, el Pokémon Abandonado!|
|Spain||Charmander, el Pokémon perdido|
|Swedish|| En övergiven Charmander*|
Charmander - Den herrelösa Pokémon*
|Turkish||Kayıp Pokémon Charmander|
|Ukrainian||Чармандер - Безпритульний Покемон|
|Vietnamese||Khủng long đi lạc|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|