10 Funniest Facts About Pikachu

Even with Pokemon Scarlet and pokemon violet takes the franchise in some bold directions when it comes out next year, there’s one iconic Pokémon it couldn’t possibly leave out. Pikachu’s enduring appeal as the cute, lovable franchise mascot has proved so strong that a special Flying Tera Type version is being offered as a bonus to those who pre-order the title.


However, Pikachu is more than just a cute mascot. There are tons of trivia about the iconic electric type that range from surprising to downright hilarious. From its food-based origins to its strange biology, these are the funniest Pikachu facts.

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Pikachu Lost Weight Early

These days, you can often see Pikachu moving quickly and with deadly agility in Pokémon battles, so it’s strange to imagine a time when it didn’t have a slender, mouse-like body. However, those who remember the marketing for Pokémon in 1996 or who have seen older photos of Pikachu floating around online may remember a time when this wasn’t the case.

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In fact, Pikachu was once a much rounder figure than now with a much rounder silhouette. NintendoLife reports that character designer Ken Sugimori’s explanation for the “Chubby Pikachu” move was that they were influenced by the anime, which wanted a smaller, more physically expressive design.

Pikachu was originally based on a snack

Many of the earliest Pokémon designs were for tough ones like Gyarados and Lapras, so it fell to designer Atsuko Nishida to come up with a few nicer ones. In an interview reported by Siliconera, she revealed that she was only told to come up with a cute electric type Pokémon and not a specific animal to base it on.

So she based the first prototype for Pikachu on daifuku, a Japanese confection consisting of a round rice cake with a sweet filling inside. Since this blobby creature wasn’t cute enough for what they ended up wanting, all that’s left of the original daifuku-esque design is Pikachu’s dark earbuds.

Pikachu has a long history of loving ketchup

There is no Pikachu more famous than Ash’s in the Pokémon anime and it has influenced a lot more than just the design of the Pokémon. Many of Pikachu’s most famous traits actually come from the anime and that includes his love of tomato ketchup. Not just a pun on Ash Ketchum’s name, Pikachu has actually been obsessed with the sauce for a long time.

The official pokemon Twitter account revealed how long this “love story” goes back to, tracing it back to the 1998 episode “Showdown at Dark City.” Pikachu may be one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon, but ketchup definitely brings out its crazy side, singing even a whole song about the tomato sauce.

Scientists named a protein after Pikachu

Pokémon is one of the biggest video game franchises in the world, so it’s no surprise that it has fans everywhere. So is the world of science, where in 2008 the discovery of a rather unique new protein led to it being named “Pikachurin,” after everyone’s favorite rodent Pokemon.

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Inventor Spot reported on the discovery, explaining that this protein was extremely energetic and that there was no better way to represent it than by naming it after the lightning-fast electric Pokémon. While the protein’s discovery had interesting implications for those who studied it, the name is a hilarious reminder that Pokémon fans are everywhere.

Pikachu is surprisingly scary

Pikachu may be cute, but it can almost make for incredible Pokémon battles. That’s because Pikachu packs a massive punch, which also makes it unexpectedly scary. Pokédex entries already point to the kind of power it brings, describing how dangerous they can be to be around due to the lightning strikes and storms they can cause.

However, the short video A taste of Pokemon went on to put a real number on Pikachu’s electric current, saying it was no less than 1000 amps. For perspective, OSHA warns in their electrical guidelines that a current as low as 10 amps is likely to be fatal to a human.

Pikachu almost had a big evolution with big canines

It’s hard to imagine a world where Pikachu goes through another evolution after Raichu, but it almost happened. In her interview in Siliconera, designer Atsuko Nishida revealed that they originally planned a new evolution for the first Pokémon title, which would be a horned creature with big fangs, a far cry from the more adorable Pikachu and Raichu.

Even more surprising, this idea wasn’t scrapped because it didn’t fit the theme of its predecessors, but simply because of issues in balancing the game. As a result, Gorochu, as the third evolution would be called, unfortunately never got a chance to show the tougher side of the Pikachu family.

Pikachu’s name has a funny origin

In the same interview where Nishida revealed Pikachu’s discarded next evolution, she also explained another funny part of Pikachu’s origins. Since the “chu” in Pikachu comes from the sound a mouse makes in Japanese, it would make sense that this was chosen because Pikachu resembles a mouse.

In reality it was exactly the other way around. Nishida didn’t know what Pikachu would look like yet, but once she thought of the name, the rodent-like appearance naturally followed. The “pika” part, meanwhile, comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia “pika-pika,” which means to sparkle.

Pikachu needs his beauty sleep

Like everyone else, Pikachu isn’t the same if he didn’t sleep well the night before, but he does a lot more than just make him grumpy. According to his Pokédex entry in pokemon ultra moonPikachu uses his sleep to generate electricity to store in the pouches in his cheeks, which he can discharge to deliver a powerful shock.

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It further explains that, if Pikachu doesn’t get enough sleep, he will only be able to use very weak electricity. Since electricity is crucial not only to their attacks but also to the way they communicate, a Pikachu with a weak electrical charge just isn’t the same, which is why it’s important for them to get enough sleep.

Pikachu defeated Clefairy to become the franchise’s mascot

While it’s now clear that Pikachu is the perfect representation of the Pokémon franchise as a whole, there was another extremely cuddly Pokémon that first filled the mascot role. Den Of Geek outlines how Clefairy was once central to the game’s marketing and played a similar role in the manga for Pokemon Red as Pikachu would later do in the anime.

Ultimately, it’s not entirely clear why Pikachu took over that mascot role from Clefairy, but it seems likely that it was only due to a more attractive design. It turned out to be the right decision, as Pikachu has become one of the most recognizable non-human characters in fiction.

Pikachu is a viable power source

Sure, since Pikachu is a Pokémon that literally produces a ton of electricity in its sleep, one would think to use it as a power source, but what’s hilarious is that this has been confirmed multiple times as a possibility. Perhaps the most famous example of this is when Nurse Joy Ash shows off their backup “Pika power source” in an early episode of the anime.

The hilarious image of a dozen Pikachus on a conveyor belt as they stare blankly ahead may have felt a little inadvertently dark, but it’s not even the only time someone has thought of using them this way. In Pikachu’s Pokedex entry in Pokemon Sunit mentions that there are plans to collect a lot of Pikachu and make an entire power plant.

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