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This article is about Ash's main and temporary traveling companions. If you were looking for a general list of people Ash has met on his journey, see Character of the day.
Ash's friends are the traveling companions that Ash Ketchum has had with him on his journey on his quest to become a Pokémon Master. While he started his journey alone, many people have joined his party while touring the Pokémon world; usually at least one new companion joins—and another leaves—every time a new region is visited.
Johto is the only region where Ash did not acquire a new friend that would travel with him, excluding Brock, who came back after his absence.
In the Sun & Moon series, Ash's friends are not traveling companions, but rather classmates, since Ash is attending the Pokémon School instead of traveling around the Alola region. Later in the series, Ash and his Alolan friends form a team under the supervision of Aether Foundation, known as the Ultra Guardians.
- Main article: Misty (anime)
Misty joined Ash in Pokémon Emergency!, traveling with him because she wanted him to replace her bike, which was destroyed by his Pikachu. She would continuously travel with him until Gotta Catch Ya Later!, when she returned to Cerulean City nearly full-time to lead her family's Gym, though she briefly traveled to Hoenn and met up with Ash's Advanced Generation group in The Princess and the Togepi and A Togepi Mirage!, and again from The Scheme Team until A Real Cleffa-Hanger to "escort" her back home. She met up with her friends one more time. She and Brock also appeared in Alola, Kanto! and When Regions Collide!.
- Main article: Brock (anime)
Brock first joined Ash in Showdown in Pewter City after Ash battled him in the Pewter City Gym. After his father Flint offered to take over the duties of Gym Leader, Brock followed Ash through Kanto, leaving briefly from Poké Ball Peril to A Tent Situation to work for Professor Ivy. In The Rivalry Revival, Brock returned to be with Ash and Misty until Gotta Catch Ya Later!, though he, unlike Misty, would return shortly, in You Can Never Taillow, sticking with Ash until Home is Where the Start is!. He would again return in Two Degrees of Separation!, and so traveled through Sinnoh with Ash until Memories are Made of Bliss!. He and Misty also appeared in Alola, Kanto! and When Regions Collide!.
- Main article: Tracey Sketchit
After Brock left to work for Professor Ivy, Ash's traveling group was down to two, as it had been for the first five episodes of Kanto. However, this would not last very long, as in The Lost Lapras Ash met a Pokémon watcher named Tracey who essentially invited himself along for the rest of the Orange Islands saga. Traveling with Ash, he wished to attain his ultimate goal of meeting Professor Oak, which he did when Ash returned to Kanto in A Tent Situation. After this, he remained in Pallet Town to be Professor Oak's assistant in The Rivalry Revival.
- Main article: May (anime)
Ash may have traveled to Hoenn alone; however, shortly after his arrival, he met May, a young girl who desired to travel around the world and a fellow Trainer who was just starting her journey, and then ended up destroying her bike just like that of Misty. Though she initially did not care for Pokémon, she eventually found Pokémon Contests, in which she competed while in Hoenn and then later in Kanto. May traveled with Ash through the entire Advanced Generation saga, from Get the Show on the Road to Home is Where the Start Is!, after which she went off to Johto to compete in Contests there. She, like Misty, reappeared briefly during the Diamond & Pearl series to compete in the Wallace Cup from A Full Course Tag Battle! until Strategy with a Smile!.
- Main article: Max
Max is May's younger brother. He does not have any Pokémon of his own because he is too young, but he often befriends certain Pokémon. He traveled with the group from There's no Place Like Hoenn until Home is Where the Start Is, when he went home to Petalburg City. However, he made a promise to Ash that as soon as he got his own Pokémon, he would battle Ash.
- Main article: Dawn (anime)
Like his journey into Hoenn, Ash ventured to Sinnoh alone, where, in When Pokémon Worlds Collide!, he would meet Dawn, the daughter of a Top Coordinator wishing to follow in the footsteps of her mother. From that point, after saving Ash's Pikachu and having her bike fried in a similar way to May's and Misty's, Dawn would travel with Ash and Brock through Sinnoh, which she did until Memories are Made of Bliss! when all three friends split up.
Dawn rejoins Ash's group in the Best Wishes series in Piplup, Pansage, and a Meeting of the Times! to compete in the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup. Dawn would leave the group in Goodbye, Junior Cup - Hello Adventure! and travel to Johto to compete in the Wallace Cup.
- Main article: Iris (anime)
Iris is said to be a wild girl, as proven by the fact that she swings on vines. She decided to travel throughout Unova and the Decolore Islands with Ash from Enter Iris and Axew! until Best Wishes Until We Meet Again!
Her goal is to become a Dragon Master, she left the group in order to travel to Blackthorn City in the Johto region and challenge Clair, to gain more experience towards her goal.
- Main article: Cilan (anime)
Cilan, a Pokémon Connoisseur and one of the Gym Leaders of the Striaton City Gym, travels with Ash and Iris in their journey through Unova and the Decolore Islands from Dreams by the Yard Full! until Best Wishes Until We Meet Again!.
Cilan decided to depart from the group in order to further his skills as a Pokémon Connisseur, starting off by heading to Dewford Town to take part in a fishing tournament held by Mr. Briney.
- Main article: Clemont (anime)
Clemont is an inventor Ash met after being ejected out of the Lumiose City Gym. His backpack, called the "Clemontic Gear", carries a variety of inventions and gadgets. He traveled with Ash from A Battle of Aerial Mobility! until The Future Is Now, Thanks to Determination!, then rejoined the group in The Moment of Lumiose Truth!, he decided to stay in Lumiose City in Till We Compete Again! when Ash returned to Kanto.
- Main article: Bonnie (anime)
Bonnie is Clemont's little sister. She is a young and cheerful girl, who despite being too young to officially train Pokémon, holds a great interest in them. She is proud of her big brother's accomplishments, but is not above criticizing him. She started traveling with Ash in A Battle of Aerial Mobility! and stayed in Lumiose City with her brother when the group went their separate ways in Till We Compete Again!.
- Main article: Serena (anime)
Serena is a beginning Pokémon Trainer from Kalos who met Ash once before when they were younger. While the daughter of a famous Rhyhorn racer, Serena eventually sets her goal to become Kalos Queen. She started traveling with Ash in Giving Chase at the Rhyhorn Race! until Till We Compete Again! where she traveled to the Hoenn region to participate in Pokémon Contests in order to further her skills.
While traveling with Ash, she cut her hair short and changed into her new outfit in A Showcase Debut!.
- Main article: Lana (anime)
Lana is one of Ash's classmates. She enjoys many seafaring activities such as fishing while riding on Lapras. She was the first of Ash's classmates in the Sun & Moon series series to meet Ash when she accidentally fished him up while he was riding on a Sharpedo. They would later meet again at the Pokémon School and become classmates when Ash enrolled himself.
- Main article: Kiawe (anime)
Kiawe is one of Ash's classmates. He is very gruff compared to his classmates and makes deliveries between islands on his Charizard. Ash first spotted Kiawe flying on his Charizard when he was lost in a forest. They formally met while Kiawe was in a battle with Team Skull and Ash joined in, making Kiawe the last of Ash's classmates Ash would meet.
- Main article: Lillie (anime)
Lillie is one of Ash's classmates. She is terrified of physically interacting with Pokémon, and tends to freeze up whenever one Pokémon enters her personal space. She was the second of Ash's classmates he would meet. She was watching a Tauros race between Lana, Mallow and Sophocles as Ash accidentally stumbled upon the racing track and spotted Lillie on the other side. They became classmates when Ash enrolled himself at the Pokémon School shortly thereafter.
- Main article: Sophocles (anime)
Sophocles is one of Ash's classmates. He enjoys inventing helpful devices and machinery. He met Ash while he was having a Tauros race against Lana and Mallow and they ran him over when he accidentally stumbled upon the track. They became classmates when Ash enrolled himself at the Pokémon School shortly thereafter.
- Main article: Mallow (anime)
Mallow is one of Ash's classmates. She is talented cook for both people and Pokémon, and is a self-proclaimed poster girl at her family's restaurant, Aina's Kitchen. She met Ash while she was having a Tauros race against Lana and Sophocles and they ran him over when he accidentally stumbled upon the track. They became classmates when Ash enrolled himself at the Pokémon School shortly thereafter.
- Main article: Verity
Verity is one of Ash's traveling companions in I Choose You!, which is set in a continuity different from the main anime. She is a vibrant and tomboyish Pokémon Trainer who seems to enjoy adventures. Her mother is a famous Trainer back in her home region of Sinnoh. Because of that, she expects a lot from Verity, which puts a lot of pressure on her. She met Ash when they were both chasing after an Entei. She then joined him and Sorrel on a journey to the Raizen Mountains, where Ho-Oh was said to live. After meeting Ho-Oh, Verity left Ash and Sorrel to continue on her own journey.
- Main article: Sorrel
Sorrel is one of Ash's traveling companions in I Choose You!, which is set in a continuity different from the main anime. He is a young Trainer whose goal is to become a Pokémon Professor. He is interested in Legendary Pokémon. He met Ash and Verity when he chased after an Entei. Although he initially had no interest in interacting with them, he later met them again in a cave to shelter from a rain. The three Trainers became friends and decided to travel to the Raizen Mountains together, where Ho-Oh was said to reside. After meeting Ho-Oh, Sorrel left Ash and Verity to go on his journey and meet more Legendary Pokémon.
Temporary traveling companions
- Main article: Sabrina's Haunter
Haunter briefly accompanied Ash from The Tower of Terror to Haunter versus Kadabra, helping Ash in the Gym Battle against Sabrina before it was left with her.
- Main article: Todd Snap
Todd Snap accompanied Ash, Misty, and Brock from Pokémon Paparazzi to The Breeding Center Secret. He later meets up with Ash again in Moving Pictures during his journey through Johto, trying to take a photograph of the legendary Articuno. They meet an elderly couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and Todd has the honor of taking their anniversary photo for them. Later on, in Freeze Frame Todd finally finds Articuno and manages to get a photograph of it. He then departs from the group once more.
- Main article: Ritchie
Ritchie accompanied Ash, Misty, and Brock from The Mystery is History to A Promise is a Promise while he was searching for a mysterious Pokémon that can be found in the Whirl Islands, which turned out to be a Lugia.
- Main article: Mr. Briney
Mr. Briney accompanied Ash, Brock, May, and Max as they traveled to Dewford from On a Wingull and a Prayer! until Sharpedo Attack!.
- Main article: Professor Birch
Professor Birch accompanied Ash, Brock, May, and Max as they traveled through the forests of Dewford from A Three Team Scheme! until Seeing is Believing!.
- Main article: Cheryl
Cheryl accompanied Ash, Brock, and Dawn through the Eterna Forest from Some Enchanted Sweetening! until An Angry Combeenation!.
- Main article: Barry (anime)
Barry accompanied Ash, Brock, and Dawn from Barry's Busting Out All Over! until Jumping Rocket Ship! while Ash was trying to earn the Relic Badge. He then traveled with them to the Pokémon Ping Pong Tournament from Stopped in the Name of Love! until To Thine Own Pokémon Be True!.
- Main article: Lyra (anime)
Lyra met Ash, Dawn, and Brock during the Johto Festival in An Egg Scramble!. She and Khoury accompanied them to Lilypad Town and left the group in Bagged then Tagged! when she returned to Johto.
- Main article: Khoury
Khoury met Ash, Dawn, and Brock during the Johto Festival when Lyra introduced them in An Egg Scramble!. He and Lyra accompanied them to Lilypad Town and left the group in Bagged then Tagged! when he returned to Johto.
- Main article: Bianca (anime)
Bianca first met Ash in Minccino Neat And Tidy where she gave him his Badge case from Professor Juniper. She later accompanies him, Iris, and Cilan for a short time on their way to Nimbasa City. However, upon hearing that Ash had three Badges, she was inspired to catch up to him and left to collect Badges on her own. Since then, Bianca has temporarily joined the group numerous times during their journey from Emolga the Irresistible! until Emolga and the New Volt Switch!, then temporarily rejoined them from Crisis at Chargestone Cave! until Evolution Exchange Excitement!.
- Main article: Luke
Luke first met Ash, Iris, and Cilan in his hometown where they helped him produce a movie. At the end of Movie Time! Zorua in "The Legend of the Pokémon Knight"!, he accompanies them to Nimbasa Town, where he stays with them during the Club Battle tournament, before heading back home at the end of The Club Battle Finale: A Heroes Outcome!.
- Main article: Meowth (Team Rocket)
After reportedly being "disbanded" from Team Rocket in Meowth's Scrafty Tactics!, Meowth was found unconscious by Ash's Tepig and Iris's Axew. The group nursed him back to health and invited him to accompany them so as to protect him from Trainers wanting to capture the only talking Meowth in Unova. He used his ability to speak to humans and Pokémon many times during their travels together.
He later revealed their travels to be a facade to gain their trust for a mission, and reunited with Jessie and James in Crisis from the Underground Up!.
He would later team up with Ash and his friends for real in A Conspiracy to Conquer! after losing the rest of Team Rocket to the control of the mysterious Madame X and her Malamar, though the team was initially distrusting of him until seeing Madame X in action for themselves. Ash and Meowth were eventually the only ones not hypnotized by Malamar, thanks to Meowth using Fury Swipes on both their faces. After the Malamar was revealed to be the true mastermind and was soon after defeated, Meowth returned to the newly freed Team Rocket.
- Main article: Stephan
Stephan decided to travel with Ash and co. in Climbing the Tower of Success! after taking part in a competition with them. He left the group after winning the Clubsplosion tournament in Commanding the Clubsplosion Crown!.
- Main article: Meloetta (anime)
Meloetta decided to travel with Ash and his friends from Piplup, Pansage, and a Meeting of the Times! until Unova's Survival Crisis!.
- Main article: Cameron
After Dawn left the group after the Junior Tournament, Cameron decided to join Ash, Iris, and Cilan. He left the group after he won his eighth and final Badge against Marlon from Goodbye, Junior Cup - Hello Adventure! until The Road to Humilau!.
- Main article: N (anime)
After meeting with Ash and the others again in Saving Braviary!, he agreed to travel with them to Driftveil City. After an encounter with Team Plasma, N was forced to leave the group in Secrets From Out of the Fog!.
- Main article: Alexa
Alexa, a journalist from Kalos, met Ash and friends in The Journalist from Another Region! on Harvest Island. She traveled with the group through the Decolore Islands, and joined Ash on his journey to Kalos, but officially split with Ash in Kalos: Where Dreams and Adventures Begin! because her sister Viola was away from Santalune Gym.
- Main article: Korrina
Korrina, the Shalour City Gym Leader, met Ash, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie in Mega Revelations! on their way to her hometown. The group accompanied her as she traveled to Geosenge Town to understand and master the Mega Evolution of her trusted partner, Lucario. She left the group at Pomace Mountain in The Bonds of Mega Evolution!.
- Main article: Sawyer
Sawyer met Ash, Serena and Bonnie in A Fashionable Battle! in the Laverre Gym, where he was asking for a Gym Battle with Valerie. He recognized Clemont as the Lumiose City Gym Leader, as he had had a Gym Battle with him in Battling with Elegance and a Big Smile!. He left the group in Rivals: Today and Tomorrow!.
In A Full-Strength Battle Surprise!, after battling Ash and winning, Sawyer decided to accompany him and his friends to Snowbelle City. In the following episode, he watched Ash battle Wulfric before leaving to train for the Lumiose Conference.
- Main article: Squishy
Squishy first met Ash and the group in From A to Z!. After saving it from Team Flare, the group took it with them with Bonnie taking care of it. Later, it left the group in Forming a More Perfect Union! and disappeared along with Z2.
- Main article: Professor Kukui (anime)
Professor Kukui is the teacher of Ash's class in Pokémon School, and his caretaker while he stays in the Alola region. As the class's teacher, Kukui often travels with Ash and his classmates when they go to other islands.
Unbeknownst to Ash and his friends, Professor Kukui is also The Masked Royal, the famous masked Trainer who fights in Battle Royals in the Battle Royal Dome with his partner Incineroar.
- Main article: Olivia
Olivia is the Island Kahuna of Akala Island. She traveled with Ash, his classmates, and Professor Kukui during their first group trip to the island. In Currying Favor and Flavor!, she watched over Ash's trial in the Lush Forest. In the following episode, Ash battled Olivia in a grand trial Double Battle and won.
- Main article: Nebby
Nebby was a Cosmog that was briefly entrusted to Ash from A Dream Encounter! to 10,000,000 Reasons to Fight! by Lunala, Solgaleo and the Guardian deities. It was targeted by Faba due to its ability to open Ultra Wormholes. In Faba's Revenge!, it evolved into Cosmoem, and then in Revealing the Stuff of Legend!, with the help of the Guardian deities, it evolved once more into Solgaleo. After Ash and his friends' adventures in the Ultra Deep Sea it disappeared in 10,000,000 Reasons to Fight!, making a short reappearance in The Professors' New Adventure!.
Nebby would later appear in SM087, being pursued by Necrozma. In SM088, Nebby temporarily reunited with the Ultra Guardians, but after freeing Lunala from Necrozma's absorption, Nebby was absorbed instead. It was freed during the final confrontation in SM090, where it combined its power with Ash, Gladion, and Lunala to give enough Ultra Aura to Necrozma to return it to its Ultra form. After Ash and Pikachu said goodbye to Poipole, Nebby and Lunala traveled back to Alola with the Ultra Guardians.
- Main article: Gladion (anime)
Gladion is Lillie's older brother, and Ash's rival in the Sun & Moon series. In Revealing the Stuff of Legend!, Gladion and Lillie reunited with Ash and the rest of Lillie's friends, and joined forces to rescue Lusamine, who had been abducted by a Nihilego.
In SM087, it was revealed that Gladion had joined the Ultra Guardians as its seventh member. Together with Ash and his classmates, they traveled to Poipole's home world in Ultra Space, and were able to restore light to Necrozma.
- Main article: Acerola
In Tough Guy Trials!, Ash and his Pokémon arrived alone on Ula'ula Island to challenge its grand trial. There, he met Acerola and the Island Kahuna, Nanu. After being defeated by Nanu, Acerola joined Ash to help him train for his upcoming rematch, following Ash's defeat at Nanu's hands in the grand trial. Once Ash eventually won the rematch, she said goodbye to him and promised to visit Melemele Island sometime.
- Every starter Pokémon has been owned by either Ash or one of his friends.
- Alexa is the only human companion, main or temporary, to accompany Ash through the end of one series to the start of the next.
- In the Best Wishes series, Ash had the most temporary companions.
- Serena is the only one of Ash's friends that Ash has met prior to the beginning of the series.
- Clemont is the first of Ash's friends that has left the group in the middle of a journey.