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 Male
Ability Unknown
Released in Bye-Bye Butterfree
Current location Unknown
Caterpie Metapod 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
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 caught by Ash in the Kanto region, although it was the second obtained. It was also the first Pokémon he released. He is also the first fully evolved Pokémon Ash ever obtained.


As a Caterpie

First appearing at the end of Pokémon Emergency! and being captured in Ash Catches a Pokémon, he was the first wild Pokémon Ash caught when he threw a Poké Ball at a Caterpie he encountered in the Viridian Forest. Remarkably, he 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 he was a Template:Type2 Pokémon, which she feared. The night after he was captured, Caterpie and Ash's Pikachu talked to each other, and Caterpie revealed his desire to evolve into a Butterfree. He then became very sad, as if he was not sure he could do it, but Pikachu encouraged him. He fell asleep next to Misty, who screamed at him the next morning for this and hurt his feelings.

Caterpie was the first Pokémon Ash sent out against the next Pokémon he tried to capture, Pidgeotto. With a large disadvantage against the Template:Type2 Pokémon, he was beaten severely. Despite this, when Jessie, James, and Meowth appeared to attempt to steal Pikachu, Ash sent out his weakened Caterpie against them. They laughed, but Caterpie had the last laugh, taking down both James's Koffing and Jessie's Ekans by himself using String Shot and Tackle. Just as Misty was about to get over her fear and congratulate Caterpie on his victory, he 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, and managed to defeat his Pinsir despite only being able to use Harden. Samurai decided to send his own Metapod out against Ash's; neither could attack, and both had to sit stationary and keep hardening. This was interrupted by a swarm of Beedrill that snatched Ash's Metapod away when he forgot to pick him up before running off. Ash felt guilty about this and became determined to get his Metapod back, finding him with a hive of Kakuna. The Team Rocket trio showed up and woke up the whole hive of Beedrill with their motto, giving Ash a chance to rescue his Metapod. He was unhappy with Ash, but the Trainer tried to make an excuse and claim he didn't abandon Metapod—however, when he tripped on a rock and dropped Metapod, Ash 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, leapt up and took the blow, breaking the Beedrill's stinger and getting a large gash in his shell. Metapod then evolved into Butterfree and stopped all the Beedrill with his Sleep Powder attack.

While he was with him, Butterfree was a close companion of Ash's who fought in many battles, including his battle against Misty at the Cerulean Gym during The Water Flowers of Cerulean City. He was notable for his courage, willingly taking on any foe and often proving himself to be much stronger than expected. In Battle Aboard the St. Anne, Ash used him in a battle against a Gentleman with a Raticate, who afterwards asked to trade the Pokémon. Ash accepted, but 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.

Ash's Butterfree and its mate

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, and 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 his heart set on a pink Butterfree. He tried to impress the pink Butterfree with some fancy flying, only to be rejected with a slap in the face. Heartbroken, he flew into the woods below, followed by Ash and his friends who tried to encourage Butterfree, telling him 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 his 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 his Tackle against the cage the Butterfree were in, finally getting the attention of the pink Butterfree. He 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.

It is a common misconception that Butterfree die after mating. However, this comes from a mistranslation and there is nothing to stop Butterfree returning in the future.

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

Moves used

Using Sleep Powder
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 the dub of EP003, he was commanded to use Counter, but in the original, he was just told to 'fight back'.

In the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

Ash's Butterfree in The Electric Tale of Pikachu

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.

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.

Ash's Caterpie was given the nickname "Felix" (a reference to the cartoon character Felix the Cat) 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

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.


  • Ash's Butterfree evolved third fastest of all Pokémon in the anime, after Xander's Caterpie who appeared in the episode Caterpie's Big Dilemma and Jessie's Yanma. It took altogether less than 2 episodes to evolve two stages whereas the other Caterpie evolved two stages within an episode and Jessie's Yanma evolved one stage within one episode.
  • Ash decided to catch another Caterpie in the episode Tracey Gets Bugged but was quickly dragged off by Misty, which was the only time where he wanted to catch a Pokémon from the same species that he had successfully caught before (though he did so without wanting to 29 times over with his Tauros).
  • As a Caterpie, it was the first Pokémon owned by a main character to make its debut in an episode prior to that of its capture (others include Aipom, Chimchar, Gible and Oshawott). One could say that Caterpie's appearance at the end of Pokémon Emergency! was a technicality, however, as the first few episodes tended to overlap their beginnings and endings with the previous and next episodes.
  • Caterpie is also the first of a main character's Pokémon who had his artwork changed to match the recent Sugimori art despite being introduced before the change (in a flashback of The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!, Caterpie's mouth was green, as in the Generation III Sugimori art, when at the time of its introduction it was yellow).
  • In Crossing Paths, Jessie released her Dustox in a similar fashion that Butterfree was released. Also, Dustox chose a mate of an alternate coloration, just like Butterfree did.
    • Also, both Pokémon were given yellow clothing articles shortly before their respective releases (Butterfree has a scarf, and Dustox has ribbons).
    • Also both were released in the twenty-first episode of a season.
  • Butterfree was the first Pokémon Ash caught, the first he evolved, the first to get its gender confirmed, the first one to reach its final form, the first he traded (although it was traded back), and the first he released.
  • In the English translation 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.
  • As a Caterpie, it was the only Pokémon that Ash captured first in a region that was unable to fly.
    • However, upon evolution to Butterfree it gained the ability to fly, so it could be said that the first Pokémon Ash has captured in all the regions he has traveled through has had the ability to fly.

Related articles

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

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