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[1]
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 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 overall.

In the anime

Main series


Original series
As a Caterpie, with Ash

Butterfree first appeared as a Caterpie at the end of Pokémon Emergency, where it was staring at the group as they passed by. Misty was freaked out because it was a Bug-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 kept her distance because of her fear. At night, Caterpie and Ash's Pikachu talked things over, and Caterpie revealed its desire to evolve into a Butterfree. It became very sad as it was not sure it could do it, but Pikachu offered his support.

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 Team Rocket appeared to attempt to steal Pikachu, Ash sent out his weakened Caterpie after Pikachu had been blinded and Pidgeotto was defeated. Despite Team Rocket's ridicule, 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 as both sides could only use the move Harden. The battle was then interrupted by a swarm of Beedrill, and Metapod was carried off after Ash forgot to recall it. 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 diving into the water and kept using Tackle from underwater. Butterfree was then struck by a Tackle and knocked into the water. With its wings wet, 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 before pinning Butterfree to the ground to win the round.

Ash's Butterfree with its mate

In Battle Aboard the St. Anne, Ash used it in a battle against a Gentleman and his Raticate. Butterfree 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 quickly regretted the decision after realizing his attachment to Butterfree. Later, Ash managed to exchange the Raticate for his Butterfree. While he was reunited with his friend, the decision led Ash and his friends to be left trapped aboard the sinking St. Anne.

In Tentacool & Tentacruel, Butterfree flew Bulbasaur into battle with a giant Tentacruel, but it was knocked out by Tentacruel's attack. 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 had 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 to 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 its neck to help it catch the pink Butterfree's eye. Butterfree tried a second time to impress the pink Butterfree with its Whirlwind and Tackle attacks, but this tactic also failed. Then, Team Rocket showed up in a helicopter and captured all the Butterfree, with exception of Ash's, in a giant net. Butterfree pursued them, followed by the group in their hot air balloon, and they headed into a canyon where the Butterfree were stashed. While Ash handled the Rocket trio, Butterfree freed the captured Butterfree from their cage. Team Rocket tried a second time to capture all the Butterfree, only to be stopped by both Butterfree and Pikachu. Afterward, 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 bidding farewell to Butterfree

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 since its last appearance. Ash has, however, remembered Butterfree on several occasions including 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. It 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. After evolving into a Butterfree, it retained 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 Butterfree Brock Zubat Whirlwind.png
Using Whirlwind
Ash Butterfree Stun Spore.png
Using Stun Spore
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.

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.

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 Sleep Powder M20.png
Using Sleep Powder
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

The Electric Tale of Pikachu

Ash's Butterfree appears in 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 as a Caterpie and 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 Butterfree Psychic EToP.png
Using Psychic
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.

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 was first seen 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 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 Sleep Powder M20 manga.png
Using Sleep Powder
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.

Pokémon Newspaper Strip

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.

Ash's Metapod debuted in Strip 7. In this strip, Gary commanded his Rapidash to attack it with fire, but Metapod used Harden, thus deflecting the attack back at Rapidash and defeating it.

Moves used

Newspaper Harden.png
Using Harden
Move First Used In
Harden Strip 7
Sleep Powder Strip 32*
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 its capture episode, the first one caught, the first one to be a Bug type, the first one to evolve, the first one to reach its final form, the first one Ash traded (although it was traded back), and the first one Ash 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 it supposedly doesn't evolve until one chapter later.
  • Butterfree was Ash's fastest evolving Pokémon, reaching its final evolution two episodes after his debut.
    • It is also Ash's only Pokémon to evolve in the same episode it was caught (not counting Primeape or Dragonite, who evolved prior to their respective captures).
  • 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.

Related articles

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


  1. Confirmed in Alola, Kanto! by gender differences

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