Charmander is a small lizard-like Pokémon. It is a fire-type Pokémon, and is capable of breathing fire.

Charmander burning an Exeggutor

How do Charmander and its evolved forms do this? Is there any biological basis for it, and is it ever explained in canon?

  • 9
    he uses the fire on his tail as a pilot light Apr 26, 2013 at 20:19
  • bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/… might have some usefull information about that
    – Dimitri mx
    Apr 27, 2013 at 0:02
  • none of the real life laws apply to Pokemons :P Nov 5, 2013 at 10:30
  • 1
    I doubt you could answer that question with logic. It's like asking where Squirtle is stockpiling all that water he is shooting. It would physically be impossible to store all those gallons in that tiny body of his. Jun 30, 2014 at 22:08

5 Answers 5


I don't think our known biology can be applied to Pokemon. Blastoise has cannons, for instance, and Pikachu can shoot electricity (is not the same be able to create electricity to shock predators that attack you and actually shooting it).

I mean, we could make theories about how they can do all those things, but the designers just didn't think about it. It would be an interesting pastime, but pretty pointless, because they would be just that, theories.

  • 4
    Yeah, the physics/biology is waaaayyyy out there: Pokemon can travel through time, hypnotize large numbers of people, are less dense than styrofoam/helium, wear their mother's skull.... Apr 29, 2013 at 23:43
  • 10
    "We are right in the dessert. Snorlax, use Surf!" One of the things I'll never understand.
    – looper
    Apr 30, 2013 at 6:20
  • 2
    the mangaka from ranma 1/2 said: "I don't think about those things, neither should you" at one point in an interview when a fan asked if girl ranma can get pregnant.
    – anon
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:05
  • I would just like to coin the phrase, "Theory of Pokevolution". That is all.
    – Daz C
    Sep 17, 2013 at 19:05

It might hard to elaborate with a canonical explanation. The only things I can think of are:

  • Charmander might store methane gas in his stomach, like other living things do.
  • His stomach might be specialized for compressing gases numerous times (enough to breath fire )
  • His throat or digestive system might include something that can make sparks, which would bring the fire from his belly.
  • Methane is lighter than air, so it can be presumed to be one of the reasons that Charizard can fly.
  • 13
    I'm pretty sure Charizard can fly because he has wings and not because he is full of methane on the inside.
    – krikara
    Sep 15, 2013 at 6:51

Charmander might technically be a lizard Pokémon, but it eventually evolves into Charizard, a Pokémon that very closely resembles a dragon. Indeed, Mega Charizard (X) is partially dragon type.

charizard mega charizard x

Charmander can also learn Dragon-type moves, albeit only by Technical Machine (TM) - Moves such as "Dragon Tail" and "Dragon Claw".

Therefore, I would consider your question a similar question to "How do dragons breath fire" - In which there have been many theories in fantasy novels, mythology, etc.

One theory for how dragons can breath fire is that they contain flammable gas or liquid sacks in their bodies, which is then ignited when they wish to exhale it. Some theories imagine that dragon have small natural pieces of iron and flint in their mouths, which they would use to create sparks.

The Bombardier Beetle is an interesting example of a creature that has a similar mechanism, storing corrosive checmicals inside its body then spewing it out when threated (1)

There are a bunch of other theories, like hydrogen being emitted from the stomach during the dragon's digestion - or simply, Magic.


I read an article a while back which theorized that Pokemon were beings composed of energy rather than matter.

This also explains how they can be stored in computers and Pokeballs.

See this video it's not the original article that I read but it covers the basic idea.


Maybe he stores some kind of inflammable gas in his stomach. He can create a spark in his throat. The gas comes out and due to the spark appears like a flame pillar.

This concept is similar to that of a cigarette lighter.

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