Ash's Bulbasaur

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Ash's Bulbasaur
サトシのフシギダネ Satoshi's Fushigidane
Poké Ball
Ash Bulbasaur.png
Ash's Bulbasaur
Debuts in Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Caught at Hidden Village
Gender Unknown*
Ability Unknown
Current location At Professor Oak's Laboratory
This Pokémon has not evolved.
Voice actor Japanese English
As Bulbasaur Megumi Hayashibara Tara Jayne (4Kids)
Michele Knotz (TPCi)

Ash's Bulbasaur (Japanese: サトシのフシギダネ Satoshi's Fushigidane) was the fourth Pokémon caught by Ash during his travels through Kanto, and the first of the original starter Pokémon that Ash acquired.



Bulbasaur in its debut

Bulbasaur was a Pokémon Ash always wanted to catch, as explained in Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village. When Misty tried to capture a wild Oddish, Bulbasaur rushed to Oddish's aid, easily defeating both Starmie with Tackle and Butterfree by blowing his own Sleep Powder back onto it. Later, it was revealed that Bulbasaur was raised in the Hidden Village by Melanie, who cared for sick, injured, and abandoned Pokémon. It acted as the village's bodyguard, but after Ash helped defend the Hidden Village from an attack by Team Rocket, Melanie encouraged it to join Ash, explaining that its growth was being stunted by staying too long in the village. Although Bulbasaur initially appeared to distrust Ash, it agreed to join him once Ash defeated it in battle. Bulbasaur put up an excellent fight against Pikachu, using its vines to seize and smash Pikachu into the ground repeatedly. However, a powerful Thunderbolt fried Bulbasaur and stunned it long enough for Ash to capture it.

It was first used in battle to repel Team Rocket Grunts aboard the St. Anne, joining a group of other Bulbasaur to use Vine Whip on the Grunts. Its vines were also used to help the trio and Team Rocket escape from the ship. In Tentacool & Tentacruel, Butterfree carried Bulbasaur into battle with the giant Tentacruel, but it was easily swatted aside by a giant tentacle.

Its gym battle debut occurred in Pokémon Scent-sation!, where it fought Erika's Tangela. It attempted to use Vine Whip, but Tangela used Constrict to pull it in close and defeated it with Stun Spore. It then fought Koga's sister Aya in The Ninja Poké Showdown, defeating her Venonat by blowing away Stun Spore and then striking with a newly learned Leech Seed. In Who Gets To Keep Togepi?, it fought for Ash in the tournament to decide who got to keep Togepi, easily defeating Misty's unintentional entrant Psyduck by licking and tickling it. However, the win meant nothing as Togepi chose Misty anyway.

Ash's Bulbasaur resisting evolution

Bulbasaur had the opportunity to evolve after battling a powerful Rhyhorn with a very strong Take Down attack in Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden, but refused to do so despite facing a mass of Ivysaur as well as a Venusaur who were angry at it for ruining the Bulbasaur evolutionary festival. This allowed it to learn the powerful SolarBeam technique earlier than if it had evolved.

In Princess vs Princess, Bulbasaur, along with Pikachu and Brock's Vulpix, was briefly lent to Misty to allow her to compete in the Princess Day Festival with a more balanced team, Bulbasaur single-handedly winning her first match by defeating a Kingler, Pinsir, Cubone and Raticate on its own. It was called out in the final to battle Jessie on advice from Ash, but its ranged vines were bumped aside by the huge tongue of Lickitung and defeated with Lick.

In Battle for the Badge!, Bulbasaur was sent out to fight Team Rocket, who were fighting in Giovanni's stead in the Viridian Gym. Despite the type advantage, Bulbasaur was hit hard by Kingler, who blocked Vine Whip with Harden and then hit back with Bubble.

It had only one battle in the Indigo League, in The Fourth Round Rumble against Jeanette Fisher. After initial trouble with Beedrill's speed, Bulbasaur crippled the Poison Bee Pokémon with Leech Seed and then defeating it with Tackle. Scyther's speed and Double Team produces similar trouble for Ash, until Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip to hit every single clone until it knocks out the real Scyther. Looking set to sweep the match with just Bulbasaur, Ash then took on her Bellsprout. Bulbasaur used Tackle, but Bellsprout flexed its body and absorbed the blow, before seizing Bulbasaur and slamming it onto the ground until it fainted.

Its bond with Ash's Pikachu was shown for real in A Friend in Deed, where Pikachu was able to detect Bulbasaur's Poké Ball amongst hundreds of stolen balls.

Orange Islands

It accompanied Ash to the Orange Islands and was used in Ash's second gym challenge against Danny in Navel Maneuvers. It attempted to help Pikachu carve a frozen geyser into an ice sled, but was unable to keep up with Danny's team until Charizard completed it in a few short Flamethrowers. It then helped Ash, Pikachu and Squirtle in the race down the cliff, using its vines to steer.

Ash and Bulbasaur

In The Mystery Menace, Bulbasaur was kidnapped by a giant vined creature in the sewers of Trovitopolis. Ash was so upset by this that Misty and Tracey had to both physically restrain him from diving into the water after it and then tie him up so that Officer Jenny could rescue them. Ash kicked and screamed the entire time. With help from Muk, he rescued Bulbasaur and its captor, a mutated giant Bulbasaur that had been abandoned by the town's mayor.

In Misty Meets Her Match, Bulbasaur is used in the Grass-type round of the Gym battle for the Spike Shell Badge. It fought against Rudy's Exeggutor, who dodged Razor Leaf and knocked Bulbasaur down with Egg Bomb. Bulbasaur quickly saved the battle by putting Exeggutor to sleep with Sleep Powder. Bulbasaur was on Ash's team to fight Drake for the Orange League championship in Enter the Dragonite. It managed to land a few blows on Drake's Electabuzz, but was defeated by a ThunderPunch. Drake was eventually defeated and Bulbasaur joined the rest of the team in the Hall of Fame.


Bulbasaur joined Ash in Johto, where it first met Heracross in A Sappy Ending. This began the recurring joke of Heracross wanting to suck the pollen from Bulbasaur's bulb. Throughout the Johto journeys, Bulbasaur's oldest team members Charizard and Squirtle both went into training with others, leaving Bulbasaur as Ash's only remaining Kanto starter. It bid a solemn farewell to Squirtle in The Fire-ing Squad!

Bulbasaur fought for Ash against Misty for the second time in The Totodile Duel. It seemingly defeated Poliwag with a Razor Leaf, but Poliwag evolved into Poliwhirl and fought back with a powerful Body Slam. After taking damage from Bubble, Bulbasaur flattened Poliwhirl with SolarBeam, winning the match for Ash. It also had a rematch with Aya in Ariados, Amigos!, using Body Slam to defeat Venonat from above. In The Grass Route, Bulbasaur was entered in the 45th annual Grass Tournament, reaching the finals after Team Rocket was disqualified for dressing Meowth up as a Sunflora. Bulbasaur looked set to win the final, but Ephraim's Skiploom learned SolarBeam and won the tournament.

Bulbasaur remained with Ash until Bulbasaur...the Ambassador!, when it was sent back to Professor Oak's to keep the Pokémon there from quarreling with each other. It proved to be a natural leader, first solving the territorial disputes between the warring Bellossom and Jumpluff factions, and the Grass-type and Water-type Pokémon by ordering and leading the construction of a new lake. It came very close to peril when it saved an Oddish from an enormous falling boulder, but revealed that it had learned Dig just in time to save itself. Oak remarked to Tracey that Bulbasaur was a perfect example of a Pokémon being able to call on powers unheard of in extreme situations. After resolving this dispute, Ash and Oak agreed to allow Bulbasaur to reside at Oak's lab for an indefinite period, finally rotating it out of his team.

It was called on in Tie One On!, where it fought in the Silver Conference against Jackson's Shiny Magneton. It quickly learned from Pikachu and Cyndaquil's mistakes, instead using a spinning Vine Whip to mow through the afterimages from Double Team. It blocked Magneton's attacks with Razor Leaf and Vine Whip, before taking it down with Leech Seed and Vine Whip. It then took on his Meganium, with whom it had a bitter rivalry after the Herb Pokémon had mocked it earlier. Neither Pokémon attempted to dodge the other's attacks, both willing to be able to take as much at the other. It comes down to a battle of Vine Whips, finally ended by a double SolarBeam, which knocks out both Pokémon.


Bulbasaur later returned in Hokey Poké Balls! to meet May's Bulbasaur. The two struck up a good friendship, eventually resulting in May choosing to leave her Bulbasaur at Oak's lab in The Right Place and the Right Mime so it could learn from Ash's.

Kanto Battle Frontier

In Gathering the Gang of Four!, Ash brought it to his team alongside Charizard and Squirtle to battle Brandon at the Battle Pyramid. After Brandon's Dusclops took down Charizard, Ash's Bulbasaur was sent out to fight in the next episode. It took damage from the powerful Dusclops, including a Confuse Ray which sent the vines out of control and caused them to attack Bulbasaur and Ash. Bulbasaur responded to Ash's cries and broke out of confusion, leaping into the air and taking down Dusclops with SolarBeam. After Solrock took down Squirtle, Bulbasaur was sent back out. After taking damage from Psychic-type moves and responding with Razor Leaf and Vine Whip, a double SolarBeam knocked both Pokémon out. After Ash won, Bulbasaur returned to Oak's lab, where it still remains.

Bulbasaur made a cameo in An Old Family Blend! at Professor Oak's Laboratory, where Heracross is sucking sap from its bulb, much to Bulbasaur's annoyance. It used Vine Whip to shove Heracross away.

In Mewtwo Strikes Back, Bulbasaur and Squirtle attempted to resist capture by Mewtwo, using its vines to keep the balls at bay. Ash recalled both Pokémon to safety, but both were cloned when Bulbasaur's ball was captured itself. Bulbsasaur fought viciously against its clone, but was the underdog, its clone able to headbutt it over and over. It wept when Ash was petrified by Mewtwo and Mew, its tears helping in his restoration. In Spell of the Unown, he was defeated by Lisa's Butterfree's Sleep Powder, despite having been able to resist Ash's Butterfree using the same tactic in its debut. It helped Ash and his friends break into the mansion by using its vines as ropes for climbing.

In Kanga Games, Bulbasaur was seen chasing after Squirtle around the room as it had stolen its biscuit and was also seen using Squirtle as a sled. Bulbasaur was seen again in Showdown at the Oak Corral, and was one of the first Pokémon to realize there was something wrong. It later defeated Butch's Hitmontop and used a SolarBeam on the whole group.


Bulbasaur is one of Ash's most mature Pokémon, and is frequently viewed as the responsible leader of Ash's Pokémon, especially due to its actions at both Melanie's Hidden Village and Professor Oak's lab. In Sick Daze, it showed that it had learned from its experiences by recognising a trap that Ash's Johto starters could not.

Ash's Bulbasaur terrified of a giant illusionary Venusaur

Unlike its closest friend, the boisterous and immature Squirtle, Bulbasaur was cautious bordering on cynical of all Trainers when it joined Ash's team, going so far as to physically attack Misty when it thought she was trying to take an Oddish away. In Island of Giant Pokémon, it alone assumed that Ash had abandoned them. Its views on Trainers were presumably colored by all the abandoned Pokémon in the Hidden Village. Over time, Bulbasaur grew to trust its new Trainer, though it retained an extremely stubborn, surly, and eager to battle demeanour. This was shown especially in Bulbasaur's Secret Garden, where it dodged Ash's call to return and insisted on finishing the battle. This hard personality was briefly softened during a visit to a garden full of exotic plants run by Florinda Showers, where Bulbasaur developed a certain affection for her Gloom, but nothing apparently came of it.

Its biggest fear appears to be of its fully evolved form, Venusaur, demonstrated in Island of the Giant Pokémon and The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, both times where it was paralyzed in fear by fake Venusaur. Interestingly enough, it defied the wishes of the first real Venusaur it encountered, demonstrating that Bulbasaur is a courageous Pokémon when standing up for something it believes in.

Moves used

Using SolarBeam
Ash Bulbasaur Tackle.png
Using Tackle
Move First Used In
Tackle Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Vine Whip  Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Razor Leaf  Primeape Goes Bananas
Whirlwind × The Ninja Poké-Showdown
Leech Seed  The Ninja Poké-Showdown
SolarBeam  Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden
Take Down The Grass Route
Sleep Powder Misty Meets Her Match
Dig × Bulbasaur... the Ambassador!
An × shows that the move cannot be legitimately learned by this Pokémon in the games.
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.

In the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

Ash's Bulbasaur in The Electric Tale of Pikachu

Ash's Bulbasaur makes an appearance in the manga series The Electric Tale of Pikachu. It first appears in the eighth chapter, You Gotta Have Friends. Bulbasaur's capture is not depicted in the manga, it is simply stated when Bulbasaur appears out of its Poké Ball that "Ash has been busy since the last comic".

When on a walk with Pikachu in I'm Your Venusaur, Bulbasaur meets many other Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur. It learns of a local legend stating that a tree in the town was made from the guardian spirit of a 300-year-old Venusaur. Disbelieving the legend, Bulbasaur, Pikachu and a wild Ivysaur climb the tree and search for it.

In I'm Your Venusaur, when the Pokémon dialogue is translated for readers, Bulbasaur states that Ash "uses me in battle all the time".


Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:
  • Its gender was hinted at in the Japanese version of Island of the Giant Pokémon. In the subtitles, it refers to itself as おれ ore, which is a pronoun normally used by males, which is also used by characters such as Ash, Brock and James in the Japanese version.
    • In the dub of Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village, it was implied by Ash that Bulbasaur is male. When Melanie asked Ash if Bulbasaur would make a good addition to his team, Ash said "Would he ever," implying that it is male. However, this was not merely accurate.
  • Bulbasaur is Ash's only Pokémon who refused to evolve after the process began.
  • In Pikachu's Vacation, Bulbasaur sings a song called "Bulbasaur's Bulbabye" in order to keep Togepi happy. Dexter reports this as the first recording of the song.
  • Bulbasaur, after Pikachu, is the Pokémon Ash has owned for the longest time period. It is the only member of Ash's original team, again besides Pikachu, to remain in his care, and the only one to reside at Oak's lab.

Move-related trivia

Related articles

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

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