Pikachu was the breakout star of the Pokémon franchise. He established himself as the mascot of the series, which was helped by the fact that he was cute enough to appeal to girls while being badass enough for boys to love him.
Pikachu rose through the ranks of Nintendo's first-party characters, to the point where his fame eclipsed that of Link and Mario for a long time.
When you become as famous as Pikachu, you can get away with a lot more dubious behavior. Pikachu has done some truly bizarre things during his time in the limelight, which hasn't affected his fame one bit.
We are here today to look at the times when Pikachu took liberties with his status as the most popular Pokémon of all time. From his brief heel-turn as a member of Team Rocket, to the time he framed Porygon for his crimes.
Here are the 15 Most Disturbing Things Pikachu Has Ever Done!
15 Pikachu Joined Team Rocket
Team Rocket have been chasing Pikachu for twenty-years now. You would think that they would have gotten bored of the constant defeats and embarrassments by now, but they still keep on trucking.
There was a brief moment when it seemed as if Team Rocket had finally accomplished their mission. In the episode "A Scare to Remember!", Ash and the gang are all knocked out by one of Team Rocket's machines blowing up.
The resulting explosion caused Pikachu to temporarily lose his memories. Meowth managed to convince him that he belonged to Team Rocket, which led to Pikachu officially becoming a member of the group.
Ash and his friends manage to reach Pikachu and restore his memories before too much damage could be done, but it's apparent that Pikachu does have the potential to be wicked. All it took was a short lapse of his memory for Pikachu to become a villain.
14 He Beat Blaine's Rhydon By Cheating
There is a misconception that Rock-type Pokémon are immune to Electric-type moves. This is because all of the Rock-type Pokémon in Pokémon Red & Blue were also Ground-types, which meant that they were immune to Electric-types. A solo Rock-type wouldn't be immune to Electric-type moves.
The Pokémon anime went the other way by allowing Electric-type Pokémon to defeat Rock/Ground-types through cheating. The most notorious example of this happened in the episode "Riddle Me This", during the Gym battle between Ash and Blaine.
Pikachu defeated Blaine's Rhydon through cheating, as Ash ordered told Pikachu to attack Rhydon's horn. This move shouldn't have worked, as Rhydon is part Ground-type, which means that it is immune to Electric-type moves.
The anime would occasionally just change the rules on a whim, which meant that Ash cheated once again to win a Gym Badge.
Pikachu's defeat of Rhydon spawned an Internet meme called "Aim for the horn!", which is actually an incorrect quote, as Ash actually said "Pikachu, the horn!"
13 He Uses Illegal Moves In The Anime
The first few seasons of the Pokémon anime were by far the most interesting of the entire show's run. This was because the show hadn't become a hit yet, so the writers were more willing to experiment and tell different kinds of stories that didn't necessarily gel with the canon of the games.
When the Pokémon anime became a hit, the decision was made to make the show cyclical, so that it could appeal to new generations of kids as the older ones moved on to different things. This has meant that the show adheres to a strict status quo, where stories and plots are reused over the years.
One of the ways in which the Pokémon anime contradicts the video games is with the moves that Pokémon can use. Ash's Pikachu has used several different illegal moves in the anime, which have included the time he used Leer against a Houndour. Pikachu are unable to learn the Leer move at all in the games.
12 He Was Censored Out Of One Of The Most Offensive Games Ever Made
Nintendo once tried their best to be the most family-friendly company in the video game market. This would eventually cause them to lose influence in the industry, as the PlayStation started releasing games that would appeal to older gamers, which is what Nintendo's former audience had grown into.
In an attempt to win back the teenage and adult gamers, Nintendo started releasing more risque and violent games on the Nintendo 64. This included Conker's Bad Fur Day, which was a Rare-developed game that featured copious amounts of swearing and blood.
Conker's Bad Fur Day was originally going to feature a cameo by Pikachu, whose tail would be seen above a desk. Conker would run afoul of a mob boss, who would beat up a Pikachu during a meeting. This cinematic was removed at the request of Nintendo, though fans of the game have been able to recreate the scene using emulation tools.
11 He Blew Up Professor Oak's Lab (In Latin America)
The English translation of Pokémon Red & Blue was missing a subtle clue concerning the origins of Mewtwo. The Pokémon Mansion has several diaries scattered around it, which details how Mewtwo was created.
The English translation made it seem as if a team created Mewtwo, while the Japanese version states that only a single person was involved. This person is also highly suggested to be Mr. Fuji.
The Latin American version of Cartoon Network has created a similar story concerning the origins of Pikachu. The channel used to run brief biographical segments between shows that gave information concerning the most popular characters on their programs.
The segment that focused on Pikachu explained that he was created by Professor Oak in an experiment gone wrong, which resulted in the destruction of Oak's lab. This makes Pikachu sound like one of the psychic kids from Akira, rather than a cute and cuddly mascot character.
10 He Is Named After Captain Picard In The Manga
There have been many different Pokémon mangas released over the years, some of which actually predate the anime.
One of the most notorious Pokémon manga series was called The Electric Tale of Pikachu, due to the copious amounts of fan service that needed to be censored.
It seems that the creator of The Electric Tale of Pikachu was a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as he included a huge reference to the show.
The version of Ash Ketchum who appeared in The Electric Tale of Pikachu named his Pikachu after Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Ash introduces his Pokémon to Misty as Jean Luc Pikachu, who briefly wears a Starfleet badge on his chest.
It's a shame that this element of Pokémon lore never made it into the anime, as Patrick Stewart would have given an amazing performance as Pikachu. You really need to have spent most of your life on the stage in order to properly enunciate the word "Pikachu."
9 The Ash/Pikachu Fusion
The idea of humans and Pokémon fusing into one being has been a popular one with fans. Game Freak have mostly ignored this idea, which might be because the Digimon franchise has already used it and run it into the ground.
The closest we normally see to human/Pokémon fusion happens in the Mystery Dungeon series, as some of the games star humans who were transformed into Pokémon.
The Pokémon anime actually featured an episode where Ash was transformed into a Pikachu. In the episode "Hocus Pokémon", Ash and his friends encounter a witch named Lily who possesses the ability to use Pokémon Magic.
Lily needs magical ingredients in order to perform a spell, which Ash helps her find. The episode concludes with Lily transforming Ash into a Pikachu, which he thinks is awesome.
The questions raised by this episode have been a popular choice for fanfictions. What would have happened if Misty or Brock had caught Ash in a Pokéball? Would he still remain captured when he returned to his human form?
8 Bodybuilder Rapoz Uses An Illegal Pikachu
The people at Game Freak are all cheating assholes. They have no problem enforcing rules for the kinds of moves that each Pokémon can learn on the player, yet they love to break the rules for the NPC trainers that you battle in the game.
Lance of the Elite Four is the most notorious cheater in the series, with his illegally under-leveled Dragonites and his Aerodactyl that can use Rock Slide. He was also cheating back in Pokémon Red & Blue, as his Dragonite knew Barrier, which was also an illegal move at the time.
Pokémon Colosseum featured a cheating Pikachu who uses an illegal move. There is a trainer called Bodybuilder Rapoz who uses a Pikachu that knows Tackle.
A Pikachu cannot learn Tackle in any of the generations of Pokémon games, though it did gain its own unique move called Volt Tackle in the later generations. Pikachu has also used Tackle in the Pokémon anime.
7 Pikachu Gained Psychic Powers From Eating Pancakes
Evolution in the Pokémon world is extremely messed up. Charles Darwin would have ended up in a mental institution if he had tried to work it out for himself.
The Alola region from Pokémon Sun & Moon introduced new forms of old Pokémon that had evolved differently due to living in the tropical climate. The Vulpix line gained Ice-type powers, while Exeggutor turned into a giant dragon tree. This was the case for most Pokémon, with the exception of Pikachu.
According to the official Pokémon website, the reason why the Alolan version of Raichu became a Psychic-type Pokémon is due to the fact that the Pikachu's in the region ate so many pancakes that they became light and fluffy as a result.
This delicious breakfast treat is what allowed the Pikachu line to gain X-Men-style superpowers, which means that they must have eaten a ton of them.
6 His Face Forced A Lawsuit Against A PAX Party
There is a famous story involving Disney threatening legal action against a Daycare Center, due to the fact that it had pictures of Disney characters drawn on the walls. This made Disney look like jerks over something that was totally harmless.
As such, you rarely see legal claims over character ownership when there is no profit involved. This rule basically had to be created as the Internet grew bigger, as it was impossible to stem the tide of fanworks that were being created.
In 2015, the Pokémon Company issued a legal threat against the organizers of an unofficial pre-PAX party that was being held in Seattle. This was a Pokémon-themed party, where guests were encouraged to dress like their favorite Pokémon character while they got drunk and played Smash Bros.
The party had been happening every year since 2011, so it is curious that the Pokémon Company waited so long to shut it down. One of their complaints was due to the fact that Pikachu was featured prominently on the poster for the event. The sold-out event had to be canceled.
5 The Pikachu Mobile Phone Battery Can Set You On Fire
The popularity of Pikachu has ensured that he has appeared on more pieces of Pokémon merchandise than any other creature in the series. You won't be seeing Grimer or Pinsir on the front of a limited edition Nintendo 3DS anytime soon.
With so much Pokémon merchandise being released, it's only natural that one of them would eventually have a defect. Nintendo released a set of mobile phone batteries that featured a Pikachu design and a Pokéball design. These phone batteries eventually needed to be recalled, due to the fact that they were overheating to the point where they were set on fire.
The Pikachu mobile phone batteries had a tendency to overheat, due to a manufacturing issue. This caused them to start smoking and would set aflame if left on for long enough. These were quickly recalled, with Nintendo offering refunds to those who returned them to the store.
4 He Was Dragged Off Stage In Korea
The people who dress up like the Disney characters at Disneyland take their job incredibly seriously. They will do whatever it takes to make sure they aren't seen outside of costume. Those guys and girls in huge mascot costumes are dedicated to upholding kayfabe, even it means injuring themselves in the process.
A bizarre incident happened at the Pokémon World Festival in the city of Songdo in South Korea. A group of people in inflatable Pikachu costumes were dancing to songs for a crowd when one of the costumes burst and started to deflate.
Rather than allow the performer to excuse himself without disturbing the show, a group of black-suited men burst onto the stage and dragged the deflating Pikachu away, as if he was being arrested for committing a murder.
The rest of the Pikachus kept on dancing, while a scene from an Oliver Stone movie was playing out behind them.
3 One Of Pikachu's Cards Was Banned
It seems that all competitive card games have to eventually create a ban list, in order to stop certain cards from ruining tournaments. This happened fairly quickly with Magic: The Gathering, as cards like Black Lotus offered players an unfair advantage. Yu-Gi-Oh! had to wait a little longer, but the arrival of Yatagarasu forced Konami's hand and they had to create a ban list.
There are also some cards that are banned because they are too much of a pain to enforce in tournaments. One of the main examples of this in the Pokémon Trading Card Game happened with the card called "____'s Pikachu." The blank space is there so that the player can write their own name on the card.
The reason ____'s Pikachu was banned was that its power was increased if it was the player's birthday. This would require players to have to prove it was their birthday, otherwise, anyone could just claim that it was their birthday. It would have been a nuisance to regulate at tournaments, so the card was banned.
2 The Ending Theme
With the exception of Meowth of Team Rocket, all of the Pokémon in the world can only say their name. There are some Psychic and Ghost-type Pokémon that can communicate through telepathy, like Mewtwo and Gastly, but the vast majority of Pokémon are limited to their own name.
Pikachu's limited vocabulary didn't stop him from recording the ending theme to the XYZ series of the Pokémon anime. "Pikachu's Song" features Pikachu singing with others of his kind, while only saying his name.
We aren't quite sure what he is saying exactly: for all we know Pikachu could be singing "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails, "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground, or "Cop Killer" by Body Count.
It's a shame that Pikachu wasn't around in the UK in 1994, as a song that used a single word in its lyrics made it to #1 on the charts. Pikachu missed out on a gold record!
1 Pikachu Let Porygon Take The Fall
The Pokémon franchise exploded in popularity in a way that its creators could never have anticipated. There are entire generations of children to whom Pokémon was the most important thing in their lives.
In 1997, an incident happened that could have destroyed Pokémon. The infamous episode known as "Electric Soldier Porygon" aired on television for the first time. It featured a scene of flashing red and blue lights that were said to have caused an outbreak of epileptic seizures among the children of Japan.
The Pokémon franchise survived, but one character was forced into Limbo for his crimes -- Porygon. The focus of the infamous episode was Porygon, which meant that he took the fall for everything.
So what does Pikachu have to do with all of this? It was his attack that caused the red and blue flashes in the first place! Pikachu used one of his electric bolts to destroy some missiles that were fired at Ash and his friends, which caused them to explode and create the flashing effect which affected so many people.
Pikachu was the golden boy of the Pokémon franchise and the company wanted to protect him, so Porygon took all the blame and it has essentially been banished from the anime in order to protect Pikachu's reputation.
Can you think of any other messed things Pikachu has done in Pokémon? Let us know in the comment section!