Meowth is the main antagonist of the Pokemon franchise. He is a member of Team Rocket, more specifically part of a trio with Jessie and James, that follows Ash Ketchum and his friends around in the Pokémon anime, usually trying to steal Ash's Pikachu. He is Pikachu's arch-nemesis.
Meowth's earliest memory is being alone at Camp Pokéhearst. With no food, he was always starving, and tipped over a basket of baseballs believing it was food. As punishment for tipping the basket over, the baseball coach hung him from a tree; from this tree, he was able to see a movie called That Darn Meowth!, which depicted a Meowth in Hollywood being given delicious food by its family. Meowth instantly decided to go to Hollywood, which he believed would be a paradise.
However, when he arrived in Hollywood, he was merely perceived as a stray Pokémon, and was constantly being chased for stealing food. Soon, a Meowth gang, led by a Persian, took him in. Meowth lived on the streets as a member of the gang for a long time; the gang annoyed the humans in town, stealing food and causing trouble, in general, the town's local Butcher Shop Owner. One day, Meowth came across a female Meowth named Meowzie. She rejected him, saying that he was poor and that she preferred humans, so Meowth attempted to make himself more human-like to make her love him. Thus, he painstakingly taught himself to speak human language and walk upright like a human. When he approached her after this transformation, she once again rejected him, calling him a freak. Heartbroken, Meowth remembered the first human word he learned to speak—"rocket"—and was inspired to join Team Rocket.
There has been some debate as to whether or not Meowth was ever Giovanni's "Top Cat" (personal pet). He has stated himself as such in front of Giovanni with no objection (only to say that Persian was now in that position). Yet in Training Daze, he was shown to have been present at Team Rocket HQ for a short time, during which we see that Persian is already there. During this time, Meowth became a servant to Giovanni, bringing him food and drinks; however, he was unsuccessful at this task because he tripped over a wire, spilled Giovanni's coffee and got himself electrocuted. Giovanni didn't appear to be angry, but he assigned Meowth to Jessie and James's team. In light of this, it should be noted that Training Daze potentially contradicted other stated facts from previous episodes regarding Team Rocket's back story.
Meowth made his debut in the anime in Pokémon Emergency. Alongside Jessie and James, they set their sights on the injured Pokémon in the Viridian City Pokémon Center. As the two sent out their Ekans and Koffing from their Meowth balloon, they quickly overtook the Pokémon Center, which only had three people inside. Before they could steal any of the Pokémon, however, Ash's Pikachu, who teamed up with many other Pikachuin the Pokémon Center, used an electric attack, causing the entire Pokémon Center to explode. It was here that Team Rocket vowed to capture Pikachu, deeming him as an exceptionally powerful Pokémon, making it their lifelong goal to capture it.
Jessie also used him during the Queen of the Princess Festival contest in the episode Princess vs. Princess.
In Go West, Young Meowth, Meowth, Jessie, and James returned to Hollywood while following Ash, and Meowth was reunited with Meowzie, who had since been abandoned by her mistress and was forced to join the gang of street Meowth. Meowth fought his former Persian leader to win Meowzie's love, and won, but Meowzie demonstrated that her loyalty was with Persian since he took care of her when she needed it, and Meowth was, once again, heartbroken.
Because of the effort Meowth exerted while learning to speak and walk like a human, he has not learned the signature move of his species, Pay Day. In Meowth Rules!, Meowth was worshiped by an island of people who believed that he could bring them riches with Pay Day. When he was caught in a battle meant to induce Pay Day, Jessie and James had to secretly bail him out by throwing the last of their spare change and some of James's prized bottlecaps in order to appease the islanders. Upon learning of his species' love for gathering coins and shiny objects from Ash'sPokédex later in Do I Hear a Ralts?, Jessie criticized him for not doing so.
Several times, Meowth and Pikachu have had to team up, such as in the episodes Bound for Trouble and Hoenn Alone! when both were separated from their respective parties. His relationship with Jessie and James varies in quality; for example, in Go West, Young Meowth they stated that they regarded Meowth as a friend, but in Bound for Trouble, having discovered Meowth and Pikachu after the two had been stuck together, they both stated that they had really been looking for Pikachu and Meowth was just 'part of the package'. Meowth seems to have aspects of each of his teammates in him; in arguments, he can often be seen siding with either Jessie (usually denouncing James' incompetence) or James (usually complaining about Jessie's overdramatic and rash behavior). Despite these fights, the three remain very close and loyal friends, although at one point in Giovanni's Gym in Viridian City, they threatened to split up. However they realized they had over reacted, and became friends again, proving themselves very loyal to each other.
Meowth has also, since late Johto, had frequent fantasies about presenting Giovanni with various Pokémon. These fantasies often involve whatever creature it happens to be assisting Giovanni in his daily routine.
Jessie, disguised as "The Jester", used Meowth in the Pacifidlog Contest in Mean With Envy. In the Appeals Round, he created an ice sculpture of Giovanni, his Persian and himself. During his Contest Battle against Erica's Jynx, he used "Transform" by using the pouch attached to his belly. He transformed into a Sunflora first, using Razor Leaf against Jynx. Later, he transformed into a Kirlia and again into a Wailord. He popped the inflatable Wailord with his claws and Jessie was eventually disqualified.
In Jumping Rocket Ship!, however, Meowth fought extremely well, even knocking out Barry's Empoleon with Fury Swipes, which normally wouldn't do much damage. Yet just two episodes later, in Get Your Rotom Running!, Meowth was unable to break a display case using Scratch.
In Noodles! Roamin' Off!, Christopher, a former Team Rocket member and the owner of the ramen shop, saw Meowth use Fury Swipes to slice dough in order to make ramen and asked him to work in his restaurant as a noodle maker. After some thought, which included reflecting back on previous failures and the lack of appreciation and respect from Jessie and James, Meowth quit the Team Rocket Trio and accepted the offer. However, he eventually rejoined the group after hearing that James and Jessie were in danger.
Meowth has used his claws to pick locks on several occasions, such as when Jessie, James, and he wanted to get into the Old Chateau in Canalave City.
In To Thine Own Pokémon Be True!, Jessie and Meowth were competing against another Trainer and his Marowak. Although Jessie complained that Marowak's Thick Club would put her and Meowth at a huge disadvantage, the match continued. However, they were immediattely disqualified from thePokémon Ping Pong Tournament, because Meowth accidentally sliced the ball with his Fury Swipes, instead of hitting it.
In Dressed for Jess Success!, James disguised himself as Jessilina due to Jessie being sick. Meowth, following his promise in Old Rivals, New Tricks!, was used for the appeal, where he used his talent for slicing ramen noodles. The two then gave the judges the ramen to taste, which was declared to be of excellent quality. Upon seeing the appeal on TV, Christopher became very proud.
In Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Meowth first made an appearance in the opening song when he and Team Rocket were powering a blimp by peddling on a bike. However, they grew tired and crashed before they had a chance to do anything. Not too long after, Team Rocket appeared again when Kevin explained Sheena's ability to communicate with Pokémon. Meowth appeared later in the movie when Arceus was floating down to investigate the fake Jewel of Life. After Arceus found out the Jewel was fake, it attacked the group. Ash, Sheena, Kevin, Dawn and Brock escaped, but Team Rocket was caught in the explosion and ended up being washed into the lake. Meowth made minor appearances throughout the rest of the movie as the battle between the legendary Pokémon continued. Meowth also made an appearance in the credits, when an Electrode used Explosion on Team Rocket when they sneaked into the corn field.
Jessie, James, and Meowth were sent to the Unova region under orders from Giovanni after they were promoted in Memories are Made of Bliss!. To prevent them from getting too much attention, Giovanni did not allow Jessie's and James's other Pokémon to be sent to them, only making them use Pokémon native to Unova. This, however, made Meowth think of what would happen to him. Throughout most of the series, Meowth and his two friends were presented as horribly failing and erroneous criminals, always failing in their missions to capture Ash's Pikachu or other Pokémon. Recently, however, he, along with the rest of his team, developed a more serious attitude in their work, as he had when first introduced, being quicker-witted and much more resourceful than before and using ingenious methods of escape and thus proving much more difficult for Ash to defeat. He has also demonstrated much more battling skill than before, being agile enough to land on his feet when blown back by Ash's Pidove'sGust, and unlike before, does not horribly injure himself in battle.
In Club Battle Finale: A Hero's Outcome!, while in Nimbasa City, Team Rocket prepared to put their latest plan into action. Later, in the next episode, Meowth's Scrafty Tactics!, Meowth was found injured by Ash, Iris and Cilan. While recovering, Meowth explained that while in Nimbasa City, he had botched up Team Rocket's scheme badly and was fired by Giovanni, leading to Jessie and James turning their backs on him. Later, Iris's Axew was kidnapped by a Scrafty, who wanted Axew's help to get its home back from a Mandibuzz. Using his ability to speak to both Pokémon and humans, Meowth not only helped get Axew back but also helped Scrafty get its home back and helped Mandibuzz return to her original nest. Afterwards, Meowth decided to travel with Ash and his friends, only for Iris to attempt to capture him in a Poké Ball. The capture nearly succeeded but Meowth broke out and told her he was going to help her regardless. Ever since, it seems to have become a running gag that he ends up in a Poké Ball at one point in an episode, as Iris tried twice (one of which was because Meowth didn't want a Purrloin to get caught), and by Cliff. However, in Crisis from the Underground Up!, it was revealed that Meowth's being fired was fake and all just one of Team Rocket's schemes to steal all the Pokémon from Nimbasa City's Pokémon Center.
He along with Jessie and James later left Unova temporarily in Unova's Survival Crisis! and then reappeared starting in New Places... Familiar Faces!.
In The Pokémon Harbor Patrol!, he, along with Jessie and James demonstrated their agility by easily dodging Pikachu's Thunderbolt. In Meowth, Colress and Team Rivalry!, Team Rocket invaded Colress's newest laboratory and drew his security into a trap in the woods. Once Colress was alone, Meowth approached him and attempted to convince him to join Team Rocket. Colress refused, but offered to allow Meowth to participate in an experiment to increase his strength. Meowth agreed, having undergone training to resist the mind control device. However, Colress still managed to take control of Meowth, and ordered him to attack Jessie and James. Using Frillish and Amoonguss, they managed to snap him out of it before escaping. In What Lies Beyond Truth and Ideals!, the extension of his battling skill was shown again; he took on multiple opponents, including several of Team Plasma's Liepard.
Meowth continued to travel with Jessie and James through Kalos in the XY series.
In Coming Back Into the Cold!, Meowth tried to stop Serena, Bonnie, and Alexa from rescuing an Amaura that he stole alongside Jessie and James, even showing off his prehensile strategy of using Fury Swipes to block Serena's Fennekin's Hidden Power. However, the parent Aurorus appeared in front of Meowth and froze him with Blizzard, allowing the three heroes to save Amaura.
In Facing the Grand Design!, Team Rocket, Ash, his friends, and Officer Jenny faced the evil Malamar from before. Meowth was scared of Inkay again because Inkay evolves in Malamar. They followed Inkay and met the evil Malamar again. Clemont, Meowth and James managed to escape but the evil Malamar held Ash, Pikachu, Serena, Bonnie, Jessie, Wobbuffet, and Officer Jenny with Psychic. However, thanks to the combined forces of the good Malamar and Inkay from the forest below Grace Tower, they managed to stop the evil Malamar, rescue everyone and save the world from certain destruction. But the evil Malamar escaped into the future, swearing to fight again and their grand design will succeed someday once they return.
In A Frenzied Factory Fiasco!, Team Rocket staged an ambush for Ash and his friends, tricking the heroes into giving them their Pokémon in their Poké Balls before trapping them. However, after stealing some freshly made Poké Balls, the group discovered that Pikachu was still free. Meowth then chased Pikachu throughout the Poké Ball Factory, attempting to recall the Mouse Pokémon into his Poké Ball. Failing to do so, Team Rocket attempted to escape with their stash of stolen Poké Balls in their getaway van, but got stopped in their tracks by Pikachu's Thunderbolt. Meowth then challenges Pikachu to a duel, wagering Ash and his friends's Poké Balls, while at the same time trying to recall Pikachu again. However, the Scratch Cat Pokémon is still defeated by his enemy before blasting off again with the rest of his team.
In Performing with Fiery Charm!, he performed with Jessie and Wobbuffet in the Dendemille Town Pokémon Showcase. They lost but they made it to the performing round.
- Big Red Ball
- Insulated Gloves
- Old Rod
- People Balls
- Sitrus Berry
- Smoke Ball
- Sunflora Costume
- Thunder Stone
- In XY055 Meowth mentions writers in this episode, thus breaking the fourth wall.
- It is never revealed how Team Rocket ended up in the Mirror World, or how they later escaped as Mirror Clemont stated that people from another world cannot return to their own world after sunset.
- After Team Rocket captures Mirror Ash's Pikachu, Wobbuffet is heard before the sound of its Poké Ball opening.
- Meowth wore the same "invisible costume" in a later episode, which aired five years and a day from the date of this episode. The disguises worn by Jessie and Meowth were once again used in another episode, which aired exactly eleven years from the air date of this episode.