Classic Pokemon anime scene of Ash being a bad Trainer goes viral

Brent Koepp
ash with pigeot pokemon

A classic moment from the Pokemon anime went viral online after fans re-discovered Ash Ketchum being a poor Trainer. The heartbreaking moment has left one monster stranded all alone for decades.

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The Pokemon anime first aired on television in 1997. The lovable series quickly exploded into a cultural phenomena, and became the highest-grossing media franchise in the entire world in 2020.

Decades later, a scene from season two has gone viral on Reddit as fans question protagonist Ash Ketchum’s decision to abandon one of his monsters. However, is there more to the story than meets the eye?

ash saying goodbye to pidgeot
Ash says goodbye to his Pidgeot in the classic anime episode.

Pokemon anime scene goes viral

The scene in particular is from season two episode one, Pallet Party Panic, which made its debut in North America on December 4, 1999. After Ash defeats a Fearow in battle, he leaves his Pidgeot behind to protect the Pidgey and Pidgeotto flocks.

However, the Trainer infamously tells his ‘mon “we’ll be back as soon as we get Professor Oak’s Pokeball. See you soon, Pidgeot!” Only, Ketchum never actually returned for the bird.

A post on the r/Pokemon subreddit went viral on October 11 when one user questioned the character’s actions. “I hate that Ash promised to come back and get Pidgeot after returning from the Orange Archipelago but he never did,” ‘eeeeeep‘ wrote.

The Pokemon fan further explained their gripes with the beloved Trainer. “Earlier in the same episode, Pidgeotto had taken a Poison Sting for Ash, with Misty commenting how loyal it was. After evolving, Pidgeot stays behind with Ash pledging to return. It sucks Ash never even went back. Come on, it was the second Pokemon you caught man, do better!”

It turns out there is more to the story. Several other users pointed out that in the Japanese version of the episode, Ash doesn’t actually say he will return to fetch his Pidgeot. 4kids, the company responsible for making the English dubs, actually added the extra lines in for the North American version.

The addition of dialogue drastically changes the tone and direction of the story. Hilariously, when fans asked why the company would make such a change, one person replied, “Because we need to teach western kids how to make empty promises.”

This isn’t the first time the anime scene has gone viral. In fact, Pokemon fans have been talking about it for years. The classic moment has even been made into a meme, such as a comical video in 2019 that depicted the bird waiting for his owner to return.

While it appears that Ash Ketchum has been vindicated from the accusations of being a bad Trainer, the moment is still pretty sad considering it’s the second monster he ever caught.

Despite airing over two decades ago, various scenes from the classic anime have continued to go viral years later. Such as a Team Rocket rant that is comically adult.