23 Things I Betcha Ya Didn’t Know About Pikachu

Happy Birthday Pokémon (and Pikachu)! The multi-billion dollar franchise turned 20 on February 27. In honor of Pokémon’s 20th anniversary, I wrote an article “27 Things I Betcha Ya Didn’t Know About Pokémon” and while doing some research, I found a lot of interesting facts about Pikachu. Not surprising since the electric mouse is arguably the most popular and most recognizable Pokémon of them all. So without further ado, here’s 22 Things I Betcha Ya Didn’t Know About Pikachu:


  1. For the English version of the Pokémon anime, Pikachu’s voice actress Ikue Otani wanted Pikachu to be genderless. But the more she thought about, Otani later changed her stance, not wanting Pikachu to be referred to as an “it”. Pikachu was eventually confirmed to be male in the episode Where No Togepi Has Gone Before!.
  2. In 2001, the Niue government released one dollar coins featuring Pikachu and 4 other Pokémon to celebrate the franchise.
  3. Pikachu stands at 1 foot 4 inches and weighs 13.2 lbs.
  4. If a Pikachu discharges electricity from its cheeks, it is being wary.
  5. Pikachu has had three Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons. The first one, called the “Flying Pikachu” was flown from 2001 through 2005. A second balloon, where Pikachu had glowing cheeks and chased after a Poké Ball, debuted during the 2006 parade. The third balloon, which debuted during the 2014 parade, has Pikachu wearing a green and red scarf and holding a small Pikachu shaped snowman.
  6. Nintendo and Sega released a Pikachu special edition of the Sega Pico (an education system) in Japan in 2003.
  7. Although Pikachu can only speak his name, he has been shown to make other sounds, like a laughing sound, a yawning sound, and a weird “Dawwww!” sound when he feels intimidated.
  8. The main difference between a male Pikachu and a female Pikachu is that a female Pikachu has a dent on her tail, giving it a heart-shaped appearance.
  9. While Ash’s Charmander is famous for being disobedient towards him, Pikachu was actually the first of Ash’s Pokémon to disobey him.
  10. Pikachu was named second best person of 1999 by Time Magazine, behind Ricky Martin.
  11. Clefairy was supposed to be the mascot for the Pokémon anime and franchise, but was replaced with Pikachu in an attempt to appeal to female viewers and their mothers. Another reason was the belief that children would grow to think of Pikachu as a beloved pet.
  12. IGN ranked Pikachu #48 on their Top Pokémon poll. According to staff despite ”being the most recognized Pokémon in the world – and the only Pokémon some people recognize – Pikachu ranks surprisingly low on our Top 100“.
  13. Pikachu was named Japan’s official mascot for the 2014 World Cup.
  14. There is a Brazilian football/soccer player who goes by the name “Yago Pikachu”.
  15. The Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow is based off of Ash’s Pikachu from the anime. It’s the only starter Pokémon available, it refuses to go inside its Poké Ball and follows the main player around. You also can’t evolve it into a Raichu; you have to trade your Pikachu to another game, use a Thunder Stone on it, then trade it back.
  16. According to the episode Electric Shock Showdown, the reason Pikachu never evolves is because he wants to prove he can defeat stronger-type Pokémon as is.
  17. DJs Oliver Heldens, Mr. Belt & Wezol released a song titled “Pikachu” back in 2014.
  18. In 2003, Forbes ranked Pikachu as the eighth top-earning fictional character of the year, with an income of $825 million. Pikachu dropped two spots to tenth the next year, having made $825 million the second straight year in a row.
  19. Pikachu’s lines in the anime are actually scripted.
  20. When several Pikachu gather in one place, their electricity could build and create lighting storms.
  21. Black and White is the only game in the core series where Pikachu isn’t available in some way.
  22. In 1998, All Nippon Airways unveiled jets featuring Pikachu and other Pokémon to celebrate the release of Pokémon: The First Movie.
  23. In 2008, Japanese scientists discovered a new protein that helps carry electrical impulses from the eyes to the brain. Researchers named it “pikachurin” due to the Pokémon and the protein possessing “lightning-fast moves and shocking electric effects”.
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