Pikachu (Yellow)

ピカチュウ Pikachu
Bag Poké Ball SV Sprite.png
025Pikachu Y 2.png
Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow
Debuts in Pokémon Yellow
Caught at Professor Oak's Laboratory
Gender Male or Female[1]
Ability Lightning Rod[2]
Current location With the player
This Pokémon has not evolved.
Voice actor Japanese English
As Pikachu Ikue Ootani

Pikachu is the first partner Pokémon given to the player by Professor Oak at the start of Pokémon Yellow. It is based on Ash's Pikachu from Pokémon the Series: The Beginning, which this game is loosely based on.

This Pikachu, due to its unique characteristics and mechanics, is sometimes referred to unofficially as the "partner Pikachu" to distinguish it from regular Pikachu originating from a game other than Pokémon Yellow.

In the core series games

Pokémon Yellow

Pikachu first appearing as a wild Pokémon

Pikachu first appears along the outskirts of Route 1, where Professor Oak will encounter and catch it. When the player visits Professor Oak's Laboratory, Oak had intended to give an Eevee to the player to start their Pokémon journey, but his impatient grandson Blue takes it instead. So that the player still has a Pokémon, Oak gives the player the Pikachu he just caught instead. The Kanto first partner Pokémon (Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle) are not received from Oak in Pokémon Yellow, but these three Pokémon can be received later in the game (which reflects how Ash Ketchum eventually obtains all three Kanto first partner Pokémon in Pokémon the Series). After battling against Blue for the first time, the Pikachu chooses to stay out of its Poké Ball and follow the player as long as it is in the party and not fainted.

In battle, Pikachu arrives from the side of the screen, instead of being sent from a Poké Ball. At the start of the game, Pikachu is kept in its Poké Ball prior to the first battle against Blue, but it is still sent from the side of the screen in this battle.

This Pikachu is the only Pikachu found in Pokémon Yellow, although other Pikachu can be traded in from other Generation I and II games. In the Virtual Console release of Pokémon Yellow, Pikachu can participate in the Pikachu's Beach minigame.

Starting moveset

Electric Unknown
Pikachu Lv.5


Pikachu and the player traveling together

Should the player speak to Pikachu, a small animation of his current emotion will pop up; this image can also be an indication of how much the Pikachu likes the player. (This makes Pokémon Yellow the first game to show Pokémon friendship, a mechanic that would become more prominent in Generation II.) Although the player's friendship with Pikachu does not have many uses in the game, it is vital if the player wishes to receive a Bulbasaur in Cerulean City. Besides showing Pikachu's emotions and friendliness, the game also shows animations of several other events:

  • If the player has been idle for at least 8 seconds, Pikachu starts randomly turning to look at one of the four directions.
  • If the player has been idle for at least 8 seconds and the player and Pikachu are separated by a ledge, Pikachu starts jumping or spinning around.
  • If talked to right after the player loses to Blue in the Pokémon Lab, Pikachu will turn its back to the player.
  • If talked to right after the player wins against Blue in the Pokémon Lab, it will appear uninterested in the player.
  • If Pikachu is affected by a status condition, it will appear weak or in pain. If it is asleep, it will appear asleep when talked to.
  • If Pikachu has just learned Thunder or Thunderbolt, it may shock the player if talked to.
  • When the player heals their Pokémon at the Pokémon Center, Pikachu jumps over the counter to be healed. Once the healing process ends, Pikachu remains on the counter until the player walks away with it.
  • In Pewter City's Pokémon Center, there is a Jigglypuff that will Sing a lullaby if talked to. After listening to the Jigglypuff, Pikachu will fall asleep and not move unless awakened by the player. The center's nurse will also comment on Pikachu's sleeping if talked to, instead of healing the party. The cable club will also be inaccessible. Until the player awakens Pikachu, it cannot be deposited into the PC, have items used on it (excluding the Poké Flute), or moved in the party.
  • When the player goes to Bill's house and discovers that he has turned into a Pokémon, Pikachu will approach him and look confused. When Bill reappears in human form, Pikachu will appear to be shocked.
  • If the player walks into the Pokémon Fan Club in Vermilion City, Pikachu will approach a Clefairy and fall in love with it.
  • If the player uses a fishing rod and then checks Pikachu, it will appear to have a bait bucket over its head.
  • If taken inside Pokémon Tower, Pikachu will appear to be scared.
  • If talked to right after the player catches a Pokémon, it will make a V with its fingers to represent victory, similarly to how Ash's Pikachu posed after Ash caught Caterpie.
  • If talked to after the player loses a battle, Pikachu will appear disappointed in and unsure of its Trainer.
  • Reflecting the actions of Ash's Pikachu, this Pikachu will refuse a Thunderstone given to it in Yellow, and, if talked to after the player tries to use the stone, will shake its head in refusal.
  • After the player stores Pikachu in Bill's computer, Pikachu complains and becomes less friendly toward the player.

Walking animation

In the game overworld, Pikachu's walking animation is faster if its friendship is equal to or higher than 80.

Entering battles

Pikachu appears quickly moving from left to right when entering a Pokémon battle, unlike other Pokémon who are sent from their Poké Balls.

This references the fact that Pikachu is not kept in a Poké Ball. However, in the first battle against the rival Blue, Pikachu also appears moving from left to right like in all battles, despite the fact that at this point, it was being kept in the Poké Ball instead.

A Pikachu traded from another game (with a different OT or Trainer ID number) is also sent from a Poké Ball in battle like any regular Pokémon.

In link battles, another player's Pikachu is always treated like a regular Pokémon, even if both players are playing Pokémon Yellow. When Pikachu is sent for battle, it is shown arriving from the side in its original game, but it is shown coming from a Poké Ball in the other player's game.


This Pikachu says its own name, voiced by Ikue Otani, as opposed to the electronic noise uttered by other Pokémon. When Pikachu is in the process of being sent or received in a trade, it utters an electronic noise like other Pokémon, instead of saying its own name. Another player's Pikachu in a link battle is always treated like a regular Pikachu, so it utters the standard electronic cry.


Pikachu has no identified gender in Pokémon Yellow, like all other Pokémon in Generation I games except for Nidoran♀ and Nidoran♂. Pikachu is shown to be male or female, like any other Pikachu, if it is traded to a Generation II game, used in Pokémon Stadium 2, or transferred from a Virtual Console game to Pokémon Bank via the Poké Transporter.

Held item

If the Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow is traded to Generation II or used in Pokémon Stadium 2, it is initially shown to be holding a Light Ball. The held item of any Pokémon (including Pikachu) may be changed in a Generation II game or by using the PC in Pokémon Stadium 2. The held item data remains even if a Pokémon is saved in a Generation I game (the item is stored where the Pokémon's catch rate would be), even though Generation I games are unable to identify held items.

If a Pokémon in the Virtual Console version of a Generation I or II game is transferred to Pokémon Bank via the Poké Transporter, it won't have a held item. The held item is lost in a Generation I game, or returns to the bag in a Generation II game.


Pikachu is unable to evolve in its original game. If the player tries to use a Thunderstone on it, Pikachu will shake its head in refusal and the game text will say "Pikachu is refusing!", but this does not affect their friendship. However, it can evolve into Raichu in another game (including another copy of Pokémon Yellow). There is no way to obtain Raichu in Pokémon Yellow except by either trading one in or using a Thunderstone on an outsider Pikachu. If Pikachu evolves into Raichu, it is treated like any other Pokémon, even if it returns to its original game: it is kept in the Poké Ball and doesn't follow the player, it doesn't have a friendship value, etc.


Pikachu is unable to be released in its original game. If the player attempts to release Pikachu, it will complain and the game text will say "Pikachu looks unhappy about it!", but this does not affect their friendship. Pikachu can be traded away and released in another game, or released normally in the Pokémon Stadium series, like any other Pokémon. If Pikachu evolves in another game and returns to its original game as Raichu, it can be released normally as well.

Multiple partner Pikachu

Any Pikachu that the player is the Original Trainer of (according to their Original Trainer name and Trainer ID number) is treated as the player's partner Pikachu. For instance, if a Pokémon Yellow player has the same name and ID as a player of any other Generation I or II game (including another copy of Pokémon Yellow), any Pikachu caught or hatched in the other game is treated as a partner Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow.

If the player has multiple Pikachu which qualify as their partner Pikachu in a single game, a single Pikachu will follow if the first partner Pikachu in the party is not fainted. All partner Pikachu share the same friendship value, so any friendship-modifying event applies to all of them. For instance, if any partner Pikachu levels up or if the player teaches a TM move to any partner Pikachu, the shared friendship value increases; if any partner Pikachu faints or if the player deposits any partner Pikachu in the Pokémon Storage System, the shared friendship value decreases.

Comparison with other Pikachu

Any outsider Pikachu (according to their Original Trainer name and Trainer ID number) behaves like any other regular Pokémon. An outsider Pikachu can be traded from other compatible games. Additionally, sometimes Pikachu were distributed as events, such as the Nintendo Power Pikachu (a Surfing Pikachu that was available from Nintendo Power in 1999).

Outsider Pikachu don't have a friendship value, and they don't follow or interact with the player like the partner Pikachu. In battle, outsider Pikachu are sent from a Poké Ball (as opposed to being sent from the side like the partner Pikachu). The outsider Pikachu don't say their name; their cry is a normal electronic noise like other Pokémon. The outsider Pikachu are able to evolve normally into Raichu, and are able to be released.


Sprite from
Menu and overworld
sprite from Yellow
Back sprite from
Mood sprite from

In the side series games

Pokémon Stadium series

Using the Transfer Pak, Pokémon Yellow can connect with the games in the Pokémon Stadium series.

In the Japanese Pokémon Stadium, Pikachu is treated like any other Pokémon. When either the English Pokémon Stadium or Pokémon Stadium 2 is connected with Pokémon Yellow, Pikachu has some unique animations, and it speaks by saying its own name, voiced by Ikue Otani (unlike the electronic noise cry of other Pikachu).

  • When idle in battle, Pikachu keeps swinging its head to the sides, with its ears slightly uneven.
    • This idle animation is seen in the Gallery screen as well. (This screen is used to take snapshots of the player's Pokémon, only in the North American version of Pokémon Stadium.)
    • Only in Pokémon Stadium 2, this idle animation is shown when Pikachu is checked in the PC or the trading machine in the Pokémon Lab.
  • When entering a battle, Pikachu waves happily to the player. In the Gallery screen, the partner Pikachu waves happily every few seconds.

When Pikachu is in battle, it does not matter whether the player or the computer is using it; in either case, Pikachu still has its unique animations and talks by saying its own name. (The computer is able to use the player's Pokémon in the Free Battle mode of all three Pokémon Stadium games.)

Pokémon Stadium 2 features genders and held items. When Pokémon Yellow (or any other Generation I or Generation II game) is connected to Pokémon Stadium 2, all Pokémon's genders and held items are displayed as usual, despite the fact that genders (except for Nidoran♀ and Nidoran♂) and held items are not featured in the Generation I games. Like any other Pikachu, the partner Pikachu is either male or female. Pikachu initially holds a Light Ball, but the player may take or replace that item by using the PC in the Pokémon Lab.

Pikachu can be released normally like any other Pokémon in any of the three games of the Pokémon Stadium series.


  • The Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow may have inspired the concept of any Pokémon following the player outside their Poké Ball in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • Although Pikachu initially resides inside of its Poké Ball until the player has battled with the rival for the first time in Pokémon Yellow, it still enters the first battle from outside of the Ball.
  • In the core series games, the Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow is the only Pokémon that:
    • Is the only following Pokémon available in a specific game.
    • Is the only Pokémon with a friendship value available in a specific game.
    • Loses some friendship if it is stored in the Pokémon Storage System.
    • Has a different cry to other Pokémon of the same species in the same game (in Pokémon Yellow, other Pikachu have a regular noise as their cry instead of being voiced by Ikue Otani).
  • In the core series games, the Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow is the only starting Pokémon that:
    • Is the player's first Pokémon in an upper version but not in the original versions.
    • Is the player's first Pokémon in the same generation but not in the same game as the introduction of its species.
    • Is seen being caught by a Pokémon Professor.
    • Is obtained by the player after a failed attempt to obtain another first Pokémon (in this case, after attempting to obtain Eevee).
    • Is able to gain a type advantage against the rival's first Pokémon only after the latter has evolved (in this case, into Vaporeon).
    • Is only able to evolve after it is traded to another game.
  • In the core series games, Pikachu (including both the Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow and the partner Pikachu from Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!) is the only starting Pokémon that:
  • In Pokémon Yellow, this Pikachu is caught on Route 1, but no other Pikachu can be encountered on this route.
  • The Japanese manuals of Generation I games refer to the player character Red by the name of the current game. Therefore, the player character and Pikachu's Trainer is named Yellow (Japanese: イエロー) according to the Japanese manual of Pokémon Yellow.

See also

For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Pikachu.


  1. Will be either male or female if traded or transferred from Generation I.
  2. If transferred from the 3DS Virtual Console version of Pokémon Yellow to Pokémon Bank.

  This game character article is part of Project CharacterDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each character found in the Pokémon games.