Difference between revisions of "Ash's Butterfree"

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Ash's Butterfree
サトシのバタフリー Satoshi's Butterfree
Ash Butterfree.png
Ash's Butterfree
Debuts in Pokémon Emergency!
Caught in Ash Catches a Pokémon
Caught at Viridian Forest
Evolves in Ash Catches a Pokémon
Challenge of the Samurai
Gender Unknown
Ability Unknown
Traded in Battle Aboard the St. Anne*
Original Trainer Ash
Traded for Gentleman's Raticate*
Released in Bye-Bye Butterfree
Current location With the Pink Butterfree
This Pokémon spent less than 1 episode as Caterpie and 1 episode as Metapod.
Voice actor Japanese English
As Caterpie Rikako Aikawa
As Metapod Rikako Aikawa Eric Stuart (EP003-EP004)
Sam Black (M20)
As Butterfree Rikako Aikawa

Ash's Butterfree (Japanese: サトシのバタフリー Satoshi's Butterfree) was the first wild Pokémon that Ash caught in the Kanto region, and his second Pokémon overall.


Original series

As a Caterpie, with Ash

Caterpie first appeared at the end of Pokémon Emergency, staring at the group as they passed by. When Misty freaked out about its type and told Ash to do something, Ash pulled out a Poké Ball and threw it at Caterpie, hoping to catch it. In the next episode, Ash managed to catch the Worm Pokémon, being the first wild Pokémon he ever caught. Ash remarkably caught him without a Pokémon battle, which Misty attributed to Caterpie's weakness. Caterpie was quite fond of Misty, but, much to Caterpie's misfortune, she wanted nothing to do with him because it was a Bug-type Pokémon, which she feared. At night, Caterpie and Ash's Pikachu talked to each other, and Caterpie revealed its desire to evolve into a Butterfree. It became very sad as if it was not sure it could do it, but Pikachu encouraged it.

The next day, Caterpie was the first Pokémon Ash sent out against the next Pokémon he tried to capture, Pidgeotto. With a large disadvantage against the Flying-type Pokémon, it was beaten severely and was quickly substituted for Pikachu. Later, when Jessie, James, and Meowth appeared to attempt to steal Pikachu, Ash sent out his weakened Caterpie against them after they had blinded Pikachu and defeated Pidgeotto. Despite being made fun of by Team Rocket, it managed to take down both James's Koffing and Jessie's Ekans by using String Shot and Tackle, causing Team Rocket to run away. Just as Misty was about to get over her fear and congratulate Caterpie on its victory, it suddenly evolved into Metapod, which bothered her even more.

As a Metapod

In Challenge of the Samurai, Metapod was sent out in a battle against Samurai. Despite only being able to use Harden, it managed to defeat his Pinsir by solidifying so much that the Stag Beetle Pokémon's pincers broke. Samurai then decided to send his own Metapod out against Ash's. Neither, however, could attack, and both had to sit stationary and keep hardening. The battle was then interrupted by a swarm of Beedrill that snatched Ash's Metapod away when he forgot to pick it up before running off. Ash felt guilty about this and became determined to get his Metapod back, finding it with a hive of Kakuna. Team Rocket showed up and woke up the whole hive of Beedrill with their motto, giving Ash a chance to rescue his Metapod. Metapod, however, was unhappy with Ash, but the Trainer tried to make an excuse and claim he didn't abandon Metapod. When Ash tripped on a rock and dropped Metapod, he owned up to his mistake and swore to never leave his Pokémon behind again. Metapod was moved by this and, seeing a Beedrill about to attack Ash, leaped up and took the blow, breaking the Beedrill's stinger and getting a large gash in its shell. Metapod then evolved into Butterfree and stopped all the Beedrill with its Sleep Powder attack.

In The Water Flowers of Cerulean City, Butterfree was used in Ash's Cerulean Gym battle against Misty, where it faced her Staryu. Butterfree managed to hit Staryu with Tackle and then dodged Staryu's. As Staryu landed, it lost its balance, giving Butterfree the chance to hit it with two more Tackles. Staryu then scored a hit with Water Gun and kept firing off the attack. Butterfree, however, dodged them all and crippled Staryu with Stun Spore. Misty had Staryu jump into the water to wash the spores off. When Butterfree went for Sleep Powder, Staryu dodged it by jumping into the water and kept using Tackle from underwater. Butterfree was then hit by another Tackle, knocking it into the water. As Butterfree was unable to swim, Ash was forced to concede the round and recall Butterfree to the safety of its Poké Ball.

Butterfree being traded for Raticate

Butterfree battled A.J.'s powerful Sandshrew in The Path to the Pokémon League. Butterfree went for Stun Spore, but Sandshrew avoided it using Dig and then knocked Butterfree out.

Ash's Butterfree with its mate

In Battle Aboard the St. Anne, Ash used it in a battle against a Gentleman with a Raticate. He countered Raticate's Jump Kick with Tackle. After dodging a Hyper Fang, Butterfree crippled it with Stun Spore. As Ash was about to finish the battle, the Gentleman called the battle off and declared it a draw, despite Butterfree's almost certain victory. The Gentleman then approached Ash and asked to trade the Pokémon. Ash accepted but soon found that Butterfree meant too much to him to keep the Raticate, and was so set on trading them back that he did it while the St. Anne was sinking, causing him and his friends to be trapped inside.

In Tentacool & Tentacruel, Butterfree bore Bulbasaur into battle with a giant Tentacruel, but was knocked out by Tentacruel's attack.

Ash bidding farewell to Butterfree

The last time Butterfree was seen with Ash was in Bye-Bye Butterfree. At the start of this episode, Ash saw a large number of Butterfree flying around in the sky, and Brock told him that it was the Butterfree mating season. Ash realized that his Butterfree would probably want to have babies like the other Butterfree, so he and his friends rented a hot air balloon and watched Butterfree mingle with the others. Despite Brock's encouragement for Butterfree to choose one belonging to a cute female Trainer, Butterfree found its heart set on a pink Butterfree. It tried to impress the pink Butterfree with some fancy flying, only to be rejected with a slap in the face. Heartbroken, it flew into the woods below, followed by Ash and his friends who tried to encourage Butterfree, telling it to be assertive and tying a yellow ribbon around his neck to help him catch the pink Butterfree's eye. Butterfree tried a second time to impress the pink Butterfree with its Whirlwind and Tackle attacks, but this failed as well. Then, Team Rocket showed up in a helicopter and captured all the Butterfree but Ash's in a giant net. Butterfree pursued them, followed by Ash and friends in their hot air balloon, and they headed into a canyon where the Butterfree were stashed. They broke in and Ash battled Team Rocket while Butterfree used its Tackle against the cage the Butterfree were in, finally getting the attention of the pink Butterfree. It broke open the cage, and the Butterfree all flew free. Team Rocket tried a second time to capture all the Butterfree, only to be stopped by both Butterfree and Pikachu. Afterwards, the pink Butterfree approached Ash's Butterfree and the two paired up. The two departed as Ash watched in tears, remembering what the two had been through together and wishing his dear friend a fond farewell.

Other appearances

Ash's Butterfree has since appeared in the tenth opening for the anime, Spurt!, along with its mate, the pink Butterfree. However, it has not returned in any episodes since its last appearance. Ash has, however, flashed back to having it several times, such as in The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!, A Trainer and Child Reunion!, Butterfree and Me!, and Alola, Kanto!.

Personality and characteristics

As a Caterpie, it had a very happy but shy attitude, shown to suffer from low self-esteem if it didn't make a good first impression. He was very hurt when Misty didn't take to it. It was also very brave, squaring up against a Pidgeotto and then both of Team Rocket's Pokémon single-handedly. Its personality mellowed as a Metapod, becoming very laidback, but remained extremely loyal to its Trainer, jumping in front of a Beedrill to save him. As Butterfree, its personality was similar to that of Caterpie, retaining its bravery and positive attitude, but as was seen in Bye-Bye Butterfree, its self-esteem still suffered when it didn't make a good first impression.

Moves used

Ash Metapod Harden.png
Using Harden as
a Metapod
Ash Butterfree Tackle.png
Using Tackle
Move First Used In
String Shot Ash Catches a Pokémon
Tackle  Ash Catches a Pokémon
Harden Challenge of the Samurai
Sleep Powder  Challenge of the Samurai
Whirlwind  Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Stun Spore  The Water Flowers of Cerulean City
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.

In I Choose You!

Ash's Butterfree in I Choose You!
As a Caterpie
As a Metapod

Butterfree appeared in I Choose You!, which is set in a different continuity from the main series. Like the main series, it was the first Pokémon Ash caught on his journey while it was still a Caterpie. In this continuity, it was confirmed to be male.

While exploring Viridian Forest early on in his journey, Ash encountered a Caterpie. He battled him with his Pikachu and managed to catch him. Caterpie accompanied Ash and Pikachu on their journey and became a trusted partner. While Ash was trying to catch a Pinsir by battling it with Caterpie, Caterpie evolved into Metapod.

Metapod would eventually fully evolve into Butterfree while battling a bunch of angry Primeape and subduing them with String Shot. After evolving into Butterfree, he put the Primeape to sleep with Sleep Powder. A short while after that, Ash and Butterfree encountered a pink Butterfree. Ash's Butterfree defended the pink Butterfree from a Fearow. The two Butterfree bonded but would later part ways. Not long after, the Butterfree reunited when Ash came across a herd of Butterfree, which included the pink Butterfree. Seeing how happy the two Butterfree were together, Ash decided to let his Butterfree go and said a tearful goodbye as he departed.

Moves used

Ash Butterfree Gust M20.png
Using Gust
Move First Used In
String Shot I Choose You!
Sleep Powder I Choose You!
Gust I Choose You!
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.

In the manga

Butterfree in The Electric Tale of Pikachu

In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

Ash's Butterfree appears in the manga series The Electric Tale of Pikachu. Like in the anime, he is one of Ash's first Pokémon, however, he is the second wild Pokémon that Ash captures in the manga, the first is Fearow.

As a Caterpie

Ash's Butterfree first appears and is captured as a Caterpie in Pikachu, I See You!. He evolves into Metapod at the beginning of Play Misty For Me when Ash is showing off all of his Pokémon to Misty. Later in the same chapter, during Ash's Gym battle against Misty, Metapod evolves into Butterfree.

Ash's Butterfree is seen again in Clefairy Tale battling a wild Onix and in Haunting My Dreams battling the Black Fog, but he is not used again after that. He may have been released like he was in the anime, however, no scenes implying this are shown in the manga. Butterfree is not shown when Ash brings his entire party out of their Poké Balls in You Gotta Have Friends.

As a Metapod

Ash's Caterpie was given the nickname "Felix" (Japanese: ランドルフ Randolph) in Play Misty For Me, however, like the other nicknames that appear in that chapter, it seems to have been a one-off gag nickname.

Moves used

Ash Metapod Harden EToP.png
Using Harden as a Metapod
Move First Used In
Harden Play Misty For Me
Sleep Powder Play Misty For Me
Psychic Clefairy Tale
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.

In the movie adaptations

Butterfree in I Choose You!
As a Caterpie
As a Metapod
Ash's Butterfree and the Pink Butterfree

Ash's Butterfree appeared in I Choose You!. It first appeared as a Caterpie. After Ash and Pikachu escaped from a flock of Spearow and their leader, Ash encountered a Caterpie and caught it.

Later, it was shown battling a Pinsir and during the battle, it evolved into a Metapod. Unfortunately, while Ash celebrated the evolution of Caterpie into Metapod, Pinsir ran away.

Metapod was sent sent out to deal with a bunch of angry Primeape. Ash had Metapod use String Shot on them to tie them up. This resulted in Metapod evolving into Butterfree. The String Shot didn't hold Primeape for long as they broke free from it. When the Primeape were chasing Ash and his friends, Ash had Butterfree use Sleep Powder on the Primeape, putting them to sleep. This gave the group a chance to escape before the Primeape had a chance to wake up.

Sometime after that, Butterfree was sent out to defend a Pink Butterfree from a wild Fearow attacking her. Ash's Butterfree was able to drive off Fearow with Gust. Since then, it took a liking to the Pink Butterfree. While Ash and his friends were about to go to Mount Tensei, they saw a flock of Butterfree and the Pink Butterfree from before was seen. Ash then sent out his Butterfree to interact with the flock. It did a courtship dance with the Pink Butterfree and she accepted. As such, Ash had no choice but to say goodbye to his Butterfree since they were migrating to the south. After some memories, Ash said a tearful goodbye to his Butterfree seeing as to how it was happy being with the Pink Butterfree.

Moves used

Ash Butterfree Gust M20 manga.png
Using Gust
Move First Used In
String Shot I Choose You!
Sleep Powder I Choose You!
Gust I Choose You!
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.


  • Caterpie is the first of a main character's Pokémon who had its design changed to match new official game art, despite being introduced before the change. In a flashback in The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!, Caterpie's mouth was green as per the official Generation III game art. However, when it was first introduced, Caterpie's mouth was yellow as per the official Generation I game art.
  • Butterfree was the first of Ash's Pokémon to debut before his capture episode, the first one caught, the first he evolved, the first one to reach his final form, the first he traded (although he was traded back), and the first he released.
  • In the English monthly issue publication of The Electric Tale of Pikachu, the order of Play Misty For Me and Clefairy Tale is reversed. This creates a continuity error, as Butterfree appears in Clefairy Tale, even though he supposedly doesn't evolve until one chapter later.
  • Butterfree was Ash's fastest evolving Pokémon, reaching his final evolution two episodes after his debut.
    • He is also Ash's only Pokémon to evolve in the same episode he was caught (not counting Ash's Primeape, who evolved prior to its capture).
  • When Metapod evolved into Butterfree, it became Ash's first Pokémon to share a type with another Pokémon already in his team; sharing its Flying-type with Pidgeotto.
  • There is a fan theory that states Butterfree die after mating, but it comes from a mistranslation, and there is nothing to stop Butterfree returning in the future.

Related articles

For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Caterpie, Metapod, and Butterfree.

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