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James has collected an impressive amount of rare bottle caps since he was a young child. In the episode ''[[EP184|All That Glitters!]]'' it is revealed that he has "drunk enough soda pop to float an aircraft carrier".
At times, instead of a [[Pokédex]], he uses a deck of cards to identify Pokémon, such as in ''[[DP008|Gymbaliar!]]'' when he first learned of {{p|Croagunk}}'s {{m|Poison Jab}}, or in ''[[DP044|Mass Hip-Po-Sis!]]'' when he used it to look up {{p|Hippopotas}}. The cards, used in the [[Sinnoh]] region, shared similar details to an electronic [[Pokédex]], including statistics like height and weight.
James has an odd and rather submissive personality. He regularly complies with [[Jessie]] and {{MTR}}'s schemes, the results of which often do not fare in his favor, including the loss of his bottle caps and trading away his {{TP|James|Victreebel}}. He and Meowth also bear the brunt of Jessie's many tirades. However, James is sometimes shown to get angry himself, though not to the same extent as Jessie. Despite the arguments, James' self-doubt and lackluster confidence is bolstered by his fellow teammates. In ''[[AG022|A Hole Lotta Trouble]]'', Ash and Brock attempted to make James aware that he needed to assert himself without his teammates.