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Charmander the Stray Pokémon
Stray Pokémon - Hitokage
First broadcast
Japan June 10, 1997
United States September 22, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
No additional credits are available at this time.

Charmander the Stray Pokémon (Japanese: はぐれポケモン・ヒトカゲ Stray Pokémon - Hitokage) is episode 11 of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 10, 1997 and in the United States on September 22, 1998.

A loyal Charmander is abandoned by its trainer who only wants tough Pokémon. Weakened by sitting in the rain, it is taken to a nearby Pokémon Center by Ash. Can he convince the Charmander to see what its trainer is really like?

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


Ash and friends are on their way to Vermillion City...or at least they would be, if they weren't "a little lost." It seems they've gotten off track, just a bit, although Misty declares "we've been looking for Vermillion City for ten whole days!" Brock suddenly points out a bug, which makes Misty scream and leap on top of Ash. However, Brock realizes it's just a piece of grass, which nets him a kick in the face from Misty.

Ash takes a look at the map, which says they're in the middle of nowhere, but Route 24 leads straight to Vermillion City. And according to Ash's calculations, the trail they're currently on will take them right to it. Misty cheers up, grabs her bag, and is ready to get the show on the road, when she comes across a big shadow.

Ash thinks it looks like a giant Pokémon, and orders Pikachu to get ready. However, Pikachu bolts behind the bags, prompting Ash to yell at him. They go to take a closer look, but the "giant Pokémon" turns out to be a Charmander on a rock, which causes a group face-fault.

After checking Dexter, Ash is happy that he finally gets a chance to catch a Charmander. Brock points out how weak its tail flame is, and that it probably needs help. Ash chucks a Pokéball, but the Charmander whacks it back with its tail. Ash asks if Pikachu should weaken it first, but Misty suggests she try, because her water Pokémon would help. Brock still doesn't think it's that strong because of its small flame, and suggests Ash try again.

Ash throws the Pokéball again, and this time it pulls the Charmander in. However, it breaks out quickly, causing the Pokéball to conk off of Ash's head. They're surprised by how much spunk the Charmander is showing. "A little too much, if you ask me," is Ash's comment.

Pikachu climbs up onto the rock and talks to the Charmander. He then comes back down and puts on a charades display. Ash eventually figures out that what Pikachu is saying is that Charmander is waiting on the rock for someone else to come pick him up. Brock decides that if it belongs to someone else, it's best to leave it. Ash and Co. leave.

Farther down the trail, Ash and Co. discover the Pokémon center that was on the map. Ash declares that Route 24 can't be far now. And they couldn't have found it at a better time, as it soon starts raining, forcing Ash and Co. to quickly race down there.

A brief scene shows the Charmander still on the rock, vainly trying to protect its tail flame from the rain with a leaf. Back at the Pokémon Center, Misty is serving up some soup, but Brock is still worried about the Charmander. Ash points out that there's no way the Charmander would wait around this long. Brock agrees, saying the trainer surely must have gotten it by now.

They, however, hear laughter nearby, and look over to see a trainer named Damian surrounded by a group of hanger-ons. (In a similar vein to Gary) They're awing over his Pokémon collection, which is pretty sizable, when one of them asks if he had a Charmander too. Damian reveals he did, but since it was so weak, he left it on a rock out in the middle of the woods.

Ash and Co. realize that must have been his Charmander they saw. This pushes the normally calm Brock over the edge, and he stands up and makes his way over. While they continue to laugh about how the Charmander is probably still stupidly waiting, Brock confronts Damian, telling him to go get the Charmander.

Damien pushes him off, but Ash and Misty soon arrive to support Brock. It's about to go to a Pokémon Battle, but Nurse Joy breaks it up, saying Pokémon should never be used in personal battles. Damian and his crew leave, and Joy warns them about their bad reputation. Brock spaces out in his usual fashion, but Ash and Misty snap him out of it by reminding him about the Charmander.

They race back to the rock where the Charmander is, only to find it has worse problems than the rain. A gang of Spearow are attacking it as well. Ash tries to drive them off by throwing a rock, but this only makes the Spearow attack them. Ash orders a Thundershock, and Pikachu obeys, scaring off the Spearow. Unfortunately, his thundershock also inadvertantly zapped Ash, Misty, and Brock too.

They quickly wrap Charmander up in their rain coats, Ash volunteering to make sure its Tail Flame stays lit. They race their way back to the Pokémon Center, and ask Nurse Joy to help.

Nurse Joy is angry at Ash and Co., wondering how they could let the Charmander get into such bad shape. But Ash explains that it was Damian that left the Charmander out there, taking advantage of Charmander's loyalty. Brock pleads with Nurse Joy to save the Charmander, and she promises to do whatever she can.

From there, there's nothing they can do but wait. A montage of scenes shows the three waiting, while Brock silently pleads for Charmander to hang on. Nurse Joy soon comes out, though, and reports success. The Charmander pulled through, and should be fine by morning.

When morning comes, Ash and Misty are asleep on couches in the center, Pikachu asleep below. Ash rolls over, causing his blanket to drop onto Pikachu. Suddenly, Brock shouts, causing Ash to crash off the couch. It turns out Charmander has disappeared from the ER!

Ash is certain that the Charmander simply went back to the rock. Brock wants to go after it again, but Misty points out that it's no use. Even if Damian is a jerk, the Charmander is still loyal to him, and nothing will change that. They can't just force Charmander to go with them if he doesn't want to.

A scene shows Charmander on his way back, stopping long enough to look back at the Pokémon Center. Ash and co. are soon on their way as well, Brock still disappointed. Ash points out that Charmander knew they cared about it, but it couldn't forget about Damian. Misty then gives Brock a smack, saying that Route 24 is just ahead, and there will be plenty of Pokémon once they get to Vermillion City.

Up ahead, Team Rocket is grouped around their newest mecha. They go into a dancing version of their motto, but Meowth cuts in early. They declare they now have a foolproof plan to capture Pikachu, and they start up their "automatic super-duper high-speed whatchamacallit," which turns out to be an overglorified hole driller.

Meowth flips, saying they tried this already, but James assures them that this time they'll remember where the hole is! They go to work covering the hole, and when Meowth asks if they're sure, Jessie says "Don't you think we're smarter than that?" to which Meowth replies with a facefault. Suddenly, he sees Ash and Co. coming, and alerts the others. They quickly hide, Jessie ordering the ASDHSW to hide itself as well.

Pikachu comes up to the hole...and walks right over it! It seems Pikachu's too light to trigger the pitfall. Jessie and James argue over who blew it this time, until Meowth shuts them up with scratches to the face. Ash, Brock, and Misty, being a lot heavier, end up triggering the pitfall and falling into the hole.

Team Rocket then appears, laughing at the fact that their trap worked. Pikachu tries to shock them, but they're dressed in rubber uniforms that don't conduct electricity. Pikachu tries to make a break for it, but they fire the Anti Pikachu Rubber Balloon Bazooka, which eventually catches Pikachu and traps him inside.

Ash, realizing Pikachu's in trouble, quickly tries to climb out of the pit, but fails. He tries to get Misty and Brock to get up...but he's standing on them. Team Rocket gloats for a while, then turns to leave, but then Charmander steps in their way!

Charmander, as translated by Meowth, orders them to give Pikachu back to Ash and Co. Team Rocket naturally refuses, and warns the Charmander to beat it or else. The Charmander responds by closing his eyes, focusing hard...and unleashing a massive Flamethrower that utterly roasts Team Rocket.

They drop the Pikachu balloon and run like crazy, James screaming, "Didn't I tell you we needed fireproof uniforms?!" Jessie tells him to shut up and keep running. Team Rocket goes "blasting off again" by running off, much to Damian's surprise that Charmander beat them.

Ash, Misty, and Brock, having gotten out of the pit, thank Charmander for their help, and Ash asks Charmander if he wants to come along with them. However, Damian shows up, saying he's come back for Charmander, "just as he promised." Ash is angry, saying he was just bragging about how he abandoned Charmander, but Damian just laughs, saying it toughened him up. Besides, what's wrong with dumping off a weak Pokémon?

Charmander seems to be taking exception to these statements, but Damian goes on about not even having to make Charmander tough himself. Brock angrily replies that raising a Pokémon is the best part of being a trainer, but Damian calls it the most boring part. Finally, Damian, having had enough talk, flings a Pokéball at Charmander...but Charmander whacks it right back into his face!

Damian is now furious, and threatens to crush Charmander with every Pokéball he has (and he has a lot) but Charmander flamethrowers him. Pikachu adds injury to injury by adding a thundershock of his own. The utterly scorched Damian runs off crying, and the others cheer Charmander for his choice.

Brock tells Ash to go ahead and catch Charmander. Ash protests at first, but Brock convinces him that Ash will raise Charmander to be a great Pokémon. Ash relents, and throws a Pokéball, which Charmander hops into for an easy catch. With a new Pokémon, and a new friend, Ash and Co. continue on their way to Vermillion City. Maybe getting lost isn't such a bad thing after all...

Major events

  • Ash catches a Charmander.





Who’s That Pokémon?: Charmander



  • Misty says that Route 24 leads straight to Vermilion City. In reality, Route 24 is just north of Cerulean City, which the gang left from four episodes (and, according to Misty, ten days) prior. The quickest way to get to Vermilion in the games is through the underground path on Route 5--just south of Cerulean. This probably shouldn't be written off as a character flaw, either, given that the gang meets Bill two episodes later (presumedly on Route 25), and this actually does get them to Vermilion, which they reach the following episode.

Dub edits

In other languages

  • French: Le Pokémon abandonné
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Charmander, o Pokémon Perdido
  • Spanish: Charmander, el Pokémon abandonado

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