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Lugia first appeared in Around the Whirlpool as a silhouette swimming underwater. Ash and his friends who were clinging on their Pokémon, as they were being dragged into a whirlpool (after another mishap involving Team Rocket), when it suddenly disappeared, which was followed by Lugia's mysterious silhouette and its strange call.
In A Parent Trapped!, Lugia looked for the child after it was told that it was kidnapped by some members of Team Rocket. Lugia became enraged after finding out what happened until Ash mentioned that the group will find and rescue Silver. When Lugia found Silver in a cage, it went for the cage. Despite the group warning Lugia not to get closer, the parent Lugia was caught alongside its child.
In A Promise is a Promise, Lugia was taken captive to Team Rocket's base. Jessie, James, and Meowth attempt to free it until they got interrupted by Butch and Cassidy. Their battle accidentally freed the adult Lugia and it went on a rampage until it reunited with Silver. Although doing so, pieces of the ceiling were falling down and Lugia protected Silver and the group with Safeguard. After escaping from Team Rocket's base, Silver stayed with the adult Lugia with Oliver saying goodbye to them both.
Personality and characteristics
Lugia is very protective of its child, as shown when people it hasn't seen before were near it. Following Team Rocket's attack, Lugia and Silver left, with Silver having to separate from Oliver.