Pancham is a mammalian, bipedal Pokémon that resembles a young panda. Its head and short, puffy tail are white. There are tufts of fur on top of its head and on its cheeks. There are black circles around its eyes, and the ears are also black. The upper body and hind feet are black, while the lower body is a dark gray. It has dark brown eyes with no visible irises. There are small, dark brown circular pads on the soles of its three-toed feet.
Pancham carries a small, green leaf in its mouth. There is no actual purpose behind this leaf, aside from an attempt to look cool. The leaf will be taken away by Pangoro if Pancham makes a big mistake around it. Pancham looks up to Pangoro as a leader, and tries to emulate its behavior. It tries to make itself look serious to its foes, but its glare isn't intimidating enough. If patted on the head, it can't help grinning.
Pancham is one of only two Pokémon whose ability to evolve depends on having another Pokémon in the party, the other being Mantyke, who can only evolve when a Remoraid is present in the party. Pancham can evolve if a non-Dark-type Pokémon evolves into a Dark-type Pokémon, such as Eevee to Umbreon, but only if it is in a party position before Pancham (i.e. Pancham evolves last). Pokémon that can become Dark-type only while in battle (due to Mega Evolution, or a type-changing move or Ability) cannot cause Pancham to evolve.
Pancham shares its category with Monferno. They are both known as the Playful Pokémon.
Pancham is based on a giant panda cub. Its Shiny coloration could be a reference to the Qinling panda, whose coloring tends to be more brown than black.
Pancham may be a combination of panda, punch and champion.
Yancham may come from やんちゃ yancha (naughty) and champion.