I'm talking about Ash's Pikachu: obviously he already reached level 314159265kachu (Pun intended; that's not the exact number as I don't know what level he is).

I forget the reason for this - did he not want to evolve? If so, then why did he refuse to evolve? And does that mean that evolving is a choice? You can choose NOT to evolve your pokemon?

  • I remember an OLD episode back when Ash was traveling with Misty that Pikachu was beginning to evolve and he kept zapping himself not to evolve and he was given something to stop evolving Bulbasaur had something similar going on in that same series.. but in a later series when he went against Lt. Serge was the first time I had heard about needing the thunderstone to evolve.
    – user8006
    Aug 15, 2014 at 3:59
  • 1
    Pikachu does not want to evolve
    – PMZ
    Feb 18 at 18:51

2 Answers 2


I forget the reason about this, did he don't want to evolve?

It's pretty safe to guess that part of the selling point of the series is that Pikachu is "cute". If you let him evolve into Raichu, you've lost this appeal.

So from the author's standpoint, there is no reason to evolve Pikachu. In the Anime, it was expressed as Pikachu simply not wanting to evolve. (Somewhere in the episode where Ash takes on Lt. Surge.)

And is that mean evolve is an option? You can choose NOT to evolve your pokemon?

In the games, evolution is almost always optional. In the Anime, it's a bit unclear.
But in this case Pikachu evolves by a Thunder Stone - which is completely optional. If you don't want to evolve, just don't use the stone.

  • 5
    I explained the possible reason from the writer's standpoint. If you evolve Pikachu, you've lost the cuteness of arguably the most important Pokemon character in the series. It's like killing off the main character in a popular show. You can't just do that - especially for a kids show.
    – Mysticial
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:52
  • In pokemon yellow, you can't evolve your pikachu either, unless you trade him away and back again, so he becomes a traded pikachu, rather than your starter pikachu. Mar 1, 2014 at 10:15
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    Pikachu is shown not wanting to Evolve after being defeated by Lt. Serge's Raichu in the first series when Ash presents it with a Thunder Stone but Pikachu refuses to let Ash use it by knocking it out of his hand with it's tail
    – Memor-X
    Mar 2, 2014 at 21:23
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    How does "not wanting" surprise you? Pokemon have feelings too you know. With Pikachu it's a pride issue. "Ash attempted to evolve Pikachu with the Thunder Stone after he lost to Lt. Surge's Raichu, but Pikachu chose not to evolve because he wanted to prove that he can defeat stronger Pokémon without evolving." pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Ash's_Pikachu Jun 11, 2014 at 23:59

Pikachu's refusal to evolve was due to his determination to win and prove himself as a Pikachu, staying true to who he is. Pikachu's decision to not evolve also fit the narrative of being great without changing, teaching young viewers an important lesson.

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