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The Surprising Amount Of Gym Leaders That Ash Ketchum Defeated

It's the 25th anniversary of Pokemon, and what a great 25 years it's been. Pokemon is a fantastic RPG series that has become a juggernaut franchise for Nintendo. 

A lot of exciting things are in store for fans, including a commemorative card, a new Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Unite, and possibly even remakes for Diamond and Pearl. Considering that the series is having its quarter-century anniversary (a strange thought, indeed), now is a perfect time to not only play the games but revisit the cartoon.


Watching the cartoon again as an adult, there are some things you may notice that you possibly missed when you were a kid. Something you might recognize as an adult is that Ash Ketchum probably isn't the best role model. In fact, he's done some pretty terrible things. When you take a closer look at the number of gym leaders he's actually beat, you'll find that he obtained some of his badges through questionable means. Here's what happened.

Ash really only beat three gym leaders

Throughout his adventures in the first season, Ash obtained eight badges. Such a feat proves he's a capable trainer, right? Well, only if he actually earned them.

In a video breakdown of all eight season-one badges, YouTuber PIKA provided a closer look at how the young trainer secured these prized emblems. He successfully defeated Lt. Surge, Koga, and Blaine. As for the rest?


Ash's victory against Brock was a sham, but for some reason, the Pewter gym leader decided to give him the badge anyway. His battle against Misty was inconclusive, yet the other Cerulean gym leaders were happy to declare him the winner. Ash won the Marsh badge from Sabrina simply because his Haunter got her to break out in laughter. When facing Erika, Team Rocket prevented the battle from playing out, just like the one at Cerulean gym. Regardless, Ash was awarded the Rainbow badge for rescuing Erika's Gloom.

One can argue that some of his victories came from demonstrations of character and acts of bravery, but the fact remains that he technically only beat three leaders.