Exbo fist appeared as a Cyndaquil in Murkrow Row in Professor Elm's lab, alongside Totodile and Chikorita. Later, when Gold and Silver snuck into Elm's Lab, Gold choose Cyndaquil to fight against Silver due to how upset he was at seeing Totodile being stolen. Exbo surrounds Silver with a ring of fire while Gold demands his backpack and Totodile back. Before Silver can respond, however, a Team Rocket grunt interrupts and knocks Gold out of the way.
In Totodile Rock, Exbo fought against Totodile in the Sprout Tower. The two start out with Tackle and Scratch and follow up with Ember and Water Gun, giving Totodile the lead. Due to this Exbo counters with Smokescreen and gives Gold a chance to take Totodile back, but he refuses and bites him. The smoke soon sets off an alarm in the tower and activates its traps, forcing the two Pokémon to team up and stop them. In the confusion Silver escapes and Totodile evolves into Croconaw.
In You Ain't Nothin' but a Houndour, Exbo battled alongside Gold's other Pokémon against the Masked Man. Exbo fought against his Houndour and lost due to Gold not knowing how to handle battling with multiple Pokémon.
In Quilava Quandary, Exbo is trained at the Pokémon Day Care. Exbo starts by using Smokescreen and follows up with Ember, but a Donphan deflects it. Later in the day he battles against a Primeape and defeats it with Ember thanks to a Sunny Day from Sunbo. After the defeat he evolves into Quilava. In Piloswine Whine, Exbo is used alongside the rest of Gold's team to defeat Team Rocket's horde of Pokémon.
In Tyranitar War, Exbo was Gold's first choice in his battle against Silver and fought against Croconaw again. Croconaw starts by drenching Exbo with Water Gun and biting down on him with Bite. Exbo manages to dodge the attack with Double Team, breaking Croconaw's teeth. Croconaw recovers and throws Exbo away, and Gold sends out Sunbo to support him with Sunny Day. Silver counters this by having Sneasel use Blizzard, freezing her. Exbo attempts to help with Ember, but Gold decides Exbo cannot handle it and switches him out.
In Delibird Delivery - 1, Exbo fought against the Masked Man again. He and Sneasel attack his Delibird and manage to put some distance between the Masked Man and their Trainers. The Masked Man then sends out Ariados and Houndour and Exbo and Sneasel attack with Flame Wheel and Icy Wind. The two Pokémon of the villain's suddenly disappear, and Gold, Exbo, and Sneasel are hit by a minor surprise attacks afterwards.
In Lively Lugia II, Exbo meets back up with Croconaw and Megaree and fought against a wild Lugia at the Whirl Islands. When Lugia attempts to crush them under its weight, Exbo, Croconaw, and Megaree work together to hold Lugia up. The strain of this causes Exbo, Croconaw, and Megaree to evolve into Typhlosion, Feraligatr, and Meganium, respectively. Though they succeed in saving their Trainers, Lugia eventually escapes.
In The Last Battle VI, Exbo fought in Gold's last battle against the Masked Man. Exbo used his powered up fire power from Sunny Day to melt the Masked Man's ice and prevent him from regenerating his ice body. In The Last Battle XIV, he fought alongside the other starters to try and stop Pryce from capturing Celebi.
Prior to The Final Battle I, Exbo was revealed to have mastered Blast Burn from Ultima. Exbo is first seen alongside Aibo to fight Guile Hideout. Exbo lets up a powerful flame, which Aibo increases by spinning Gold's pool cue to fan the flames in Guile's direction. In The Final Battle VIII, Exbo teamed up with Blue's Charizard and Chic to attack with Blast Burn to help destroy Guile Hideout's fake Kyogre.
In Out-Odding Oddish, Exbo participated in the Pokéathlon alongside Aibo and Polibo. They start with the Skill Course, which ends with the round Snow Throw. The team throws snowballs at their opponents, but Gold commands Aibo to create a gigantic one. Aibo throws it, giving Gold enough points to win the Skill Course. The same three are later entered into the Stamina Course and manage to win that one as well. In the next chapter the three enter the Power Course and go up against Koga, Bruno, and Will, members of the Elite Four. When the match starts Gold is shocked to see his team being defeated by his opponents. At Circle Push, Koga's Muk easily pushes Exbo, Aibo, and Polibo away from it. In Goal Roll, Will's Exeggutor kicks several balls into a goal while Exbo, Aibo, and Polibo fail to block them. In Block Smash, Gold faces Bruno and his Machamp as his final opponents. Machamp does a powerful blow that destroys a whole row of blocks instantly while on Gold's side, Aibo attacks the cracked area in the center, but doesn't do much to the block. He switches to Polibo, but he only manages to destroy one. Gold switches to Exbo next, who manages to break more blocks and is the closest to matching Machamp, but not by much. Gold soon reveals that Aibo is attacking for critical hits on the blocks. By doing so, it sends Gold's team into High Tension mode, allowing him to quickly catch up with Bruno. Bruno tries to fight back, but Machamp's arms have become too injured to be used again. Gold has Aibo leap into the air and send a powerful strike in the dead center of the block, destroying them all and giving Gold the win.
In One Tough Togepi, Gold sends out Exbo alongside his other Pokémon, save Togebo, to fight and distract Lance's Dragonite, who was going on a rampage. With Aibo and the others distracting the Dragon Pokémon, Togebo was able to finish the battle with a powerful Double-Edge.
In All About Arceus II, Exbo fought Arceus. He attacks with a powerful Blast Burn, but fails to do any real damage.
In All About Arceus V, Exbo, Silver's Feraligatr, and Megaree attacks the incomplete forms of Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina created by Arceus. Through a combination of the ultimate attacks, the three Legendary Pokémon are stopped, though this only delays their completion.
Exbo appeared in a flashback in Omega Alpha Adventure 2, where Ultima recalls how Gold and Exbo had trouble learing Blast Burn.