The skinny Pikachu theory

pika pika?

What’s up with Pikachu? Since 1995, the Pokemon universe has expanded and evolved, throughout the video games, cards and anime. 

Recently, one aspect that we can’t help but notice is the changing shape of Pikachu. Quite literally. From early days, the adorable mouse Pokemon has been the face of the series; when those who didn’t play the games thought “Pokemon” it was his little yellow self they thought of. But that self has transformed significantly since 1995. Examining the Pokemon timeline in retrospect, here are a few of the more plausible points in the Skinny Pikachu Theory.

Chubby Pikachu poses epically in defence of the Skinny Pikachu Theory

Was His Ketchup Taken Away?

All Pokemon fans know that Pikachu has a serious love of ketchup, and he gets rather upset when his treat is taken away. One suggestion is that Pikachu’s ketchup intake has been decreased or eliminated entirely – and without the sugary red condiment, he’s likely shed some extra weight. This theory is furthered by Misty’s remark to Ash in episode 273 of the anime, “don’t let Pikachu eat too much!”

the skinny pikachu theory maybe he had his ketchup taken away

Is It All The Walking?

From day one, we’ve known that Pikachu isn’t a big fan of being in his Pokeball. He prefers to walk alongside Ash and his other companions, occasionally catching a ride on a shoulder or head. It seems the most plausible to me that this has contributed to his slimming; all those miles through the Kanto region and beyond have toned him up.

has pikachu walking with ash contributed to the skinny pikachu theory

In the same vein, the Pokewalker could also be to blame. Part pedometer, part Tamagotchi, it was an add-on for the Pokemon games Heart Gold and Soul Silver, released to encourage children to be more active. Best of all, it enabled them to power up their Pokemon at the same time.

pokewalker contributor to pikachu theory

Is It A Wider Nintendo Conspiracy?

In the past, Pokemon marketing used to be extended to items like these; the high sugar, high fat “breakfast” treat, Pop Tarts. Targeted directly at sweets-craving young fans, they’re probably not part of a Pokemon Trainer’s nutritious start to the day. These days, Nintendo is going the healthier route with products like the Wii Fit and “active” games designed to get players moving. Perhaps Pikachu’s lean appearance is a subtle nod to this.

pokemon pop tarts

A Side By Side Comparison

Here we can see a side by side comparison of Pikachu from the “old days” alongside his modern appearance. There is no doubt that he’s become skinnier over the years.

Pikachu then and now a comparison in the skinny Pikachu theory

Even the Pikachu video game sprite has had a similar makeover. There is no doubt that the original roly-poly Pikachu possesses the epic cuteness factor; many fans have remarked that he’s not as cuddly as he used to be and too tough in gameplay. However, despite concerns over his slim-down, there’s no doubt that Pikachu fans will continue to love the sparky yellow character (even if we do long a bit for days gone by.)

pikachu sprites comparison chart in japanese


  1. Loving the Pikachu theories; maybe as he is more in the public eye, society prefers a skinny model so this preference has had some influence. Im agreeing with the marketing one of the lean towards fitness such as the Wii, however. No matter his size, he is still as cute though; there is no denying that!

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