Misty uses Staryu often as one of her main battling Pokémon throughout most of the series. It often shimmers when called into battles, and its core glows pink accompanied by a siren-like noise when tired or weakened.
Staryu was first used to defend Mt. Moon against an attack by Team Rocket in Clefairy and the Moon Stone. Staryu was sent out against Meowth, who was trying to abduct a Clefairy. Misty next used Staryu in her Gym battle against Ash in the next episode. When Ash did not recognize Staryu, he used his Pokédex on it; he later commented "Leave it to a girl to show off her jewelry!". Staryu demonstrated an Ability similar to Natural Cure, despite Abilities not having been introduced at the time, by diving into the water to negate Stun Spore and Sleep Powder. It also seemed to be rather clumsy, as it missed Butterfree and nearly slipped, almost falling into the water. Despite this Staryu was able to beat Butterfree by tackling it into the water.
Staryu was also used for its strong swimming abilities, helping Ash and his friends escape the sunken St. Anne in Pokémon Shipwreck, and also later helped the team escape James's Gyarados along with Goldeen and Starmie. It also tried to help the gang get to the North Pole along with Goldeen, Starmie and Squirtle in Holiday Hi-Jynx, however it, along with its fellow swimmers, tired out before they made it. Misty also used Staryu during the Queen of the Princess Festival contest in Princess vs. Princess.
Misty auditioned Staryu for a part in a movie in Lights, Camera, Quack-tion. However, as is often the case with Misty calling out Staryu, Psyduck came out instead. Staryu did get a part, however, by helping provide the rain effects for the final scene.
Staryu would again be called to help tow a raft to escape a crumbling island made up of Kabuto that were then reviving in Shell Shock!. It also danced on stage in Stage Fight! to help a traveling riverboat show that dubbed acting Pokémon with human voices backstage.
Staryu was often called into battle, even relied on when Misty had access to other Pokémon such as Poliwag and Corsola. Staryu's strength was called on in Bye Bye Psyduck, battling Marina's Tentacruel. Upon entering battle, Marina commented it was an excellent looking Staryu, and Misty responded that Staryu was one of her favorite Pokémon and that she polished it daily. The pampering appeared to pay off as it was able to take down Tentacruel with one Swift attack. It was, however, defeated by Marina's powerful Psyduck.
In The Stun Spore Detour, a wild Poliwag sought protection from James and Meowth by hiding behind Misty. Misty's Staryu defeated James's Weezing by using Tackle followed by Double-Edge, which not only cut through Weezing's Smog, but also sent Weezing flying.
In The Fire-ing Squad!, Staryu was entered into the Fire and Rescue Grand Prix with Ash alongside Ash's Pikachu, his Squirtle, and Psyduck. The group competed against a team of Muk to see who could put out a fire the fastest. Staryu and Squirtle used duel Water Guns while Pikachu kicked dirt at it. Things went well until Psyduck got in the way and ended up getting thrown into the fire. Squirtle rescued it, but the loss in time cost them the match.
Staryu was also used to fight Ash a second time to win a Totodile in The Totodile Duel. It battled against his Chikorita, showing high determination, digging in its heels against a Tackle and dodging through Razor Leaf and Vine Whip. It was also able to strike a powerful Water Gun that jetted Chikorita several feet up and across the battlefield. It was, however, beaten to the ground by a powerful Vine Whip. Misty later apologized to Staryu, saying she hoped she had not pushed it too hard and only did so because she had an immense amount of faith in the Pokémon, showing she had a very strong bond with Staryu and cared about it greatly.
In Spell of the Unown: Entei, Staryu was called up against Molly Hale. Being underwater, Staryu showed to be even more capable than on land. It went up against Mantine and scored a couple of Tackles before looping round for another run. Before it was able to hit, Staryu was hit by Mantine's Whirlpool, although the attack, even combined with a direct hit from Bubble Beam, was not able to even affect it slightly. It then easily dissipated the Whirlpool with Rapid Spin and went on the offensive with several high speed Tackles, chasing Mantine through the water in dogged pursuit. The rest of the battle was not shown.
Although Misty used Staryu quite often in Kanto and during the Orange Islands saga, after she caught her Poliwag, she started to use it less often. By the end of the Johto saga, Misty hardly ever used Staryu, preferring to use her Corsola and Politoed.
In Cerulean Blues, Staryu was used to defend the Cerulean Gym from a challenge by the Invincible Pokémon Brothers. Staryu battled very well, until Kim's Hitmonchan launched a sneak attack on it, knocking it out. Despite not being able to battle, Staryu won by default due to the Pokémon Brother's cheating by using the illegal sneak attack. Kim tried to justify himself but Nurse Joy's ruling stood.
Kanto Battle Frontier
In The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, Misty used Staryu to battle Dr. Yung's mirage Aggron. Staryu began with a direct hit with Bubble Beam, which failed to faze Aggron. It was then struck with a strong Sandstorm attack. Misty then ordered Water Gun to be used, this was countered with Thunder Wave, Staryu was then finished with a volley of Bullet Seed.
In Alola, Kanto!, Misty sent Staryu out to destroy Team Rocket's mecha with Bubble Beam.
Personality and characteristics
Staryu does not seem to have much of a personality due to its extremely un-anthropomorphic features. Most of its personality is seen in battle, where it is shown to be very powerful, being Misty's top choice through most of the early series. When it loses, it occasionally gets upset about the loss until Misty comforts it. Staryu is shown to have a very strong bond with its Trainer due to how she can tell what its emotions and feelings are and how much trust they have with each other.
| Using Water Gun
| Using Tackle
| A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.