Minor Anime Appearances

The legendary birds appear in many episodes, movies, and specials but these appearances are minor and don't last long, unlike their main episode appearances on each of their profile pages. Moltres doesn't have many minor appearances but Zapdos and Articuno have a lot :O Being the legendary bird trio, all of them can sometimes appear in one type of media but this usually happens during the openings. Each appearance has a small image that links to a bigger version (but some will have more images than others) and also a small description. Episodes that are in other seasons than the first season will have the season number. Episodes 35 to 769 (Season 16) have the US number order since I only added the Japanese titles on each of the bird's pages. Appearances are in this order; Openings, Episodes, Specials (including a bonus), and Movies.

Edit: Openings are now available! Which includes the differences between the original openings and the English ones (if there are any but most will).

1st Opening

Songs; Rica Matsumoto - Aim to Be a Pokemon Master (JA), Jason Paige - Pokemon Theme (US). Titles: Pokemon (US), Pocket Monsters (JA). Only Articuno and Zapdos appear in the US version of this opening since the part with Moltres appearing is cut out D: The screenshot with Moltres is from the Japanese opening, while the other two birds are from the US opening.

4th Opening

Zapdos JA Opening - Moltres JA Opening - Articuno JA Opening

Songs; Whiteberry - Aim to Be a Pokemon Master 2001 (JA), David Rolfe - Born to Be a Winner (US). Titles; Pokémon: Johto League Champions (US), Pocket Monsters (JA). In the Japanese Version, Ash is running up white glowing stairs to get to the Indigo Plataeu as Zapdos and Moltres fly behind him, while Articuno flies in front of him. In the English version, the birds appear differently as it shows them using their attacks with them appearing in this order; Articuno (appearing on the left side), Zapdos (appearing on the right side), and Moltres (appearing in the middle). Their attacks are aimed at the same place which causes an explosion.

8th Opening

Legendary Birds US Opening

Songs; Jason Paige - Unbeatable (US), Hirokazu Tanaka & Kazumi Mitome - Pokemon Symphonic Medley (JA). Titles; Pokémon: Advanced Battle (US), Pocket Monsters: Advanced Generation (JA). In the Japanese version, the three Poke birds appear after a bunch of legendary and mythical Pokemon appear from Generation 1 - 3. They all fly in this order; Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. In the English version, only the bird's second appearance in this opening is shown, which shows them flying with Deoxys.

13th Opening

Songs; Adam Elk - We Will Cary On! (US), Fumie Akiyoshi - The Greatest - Everyday! (JA). Titles; Pokémon: DP Sinnoh League Victors (US), Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl (JA). The three birds fly above Ash and friend's after Latios and Latias do. Zapdos flies slower than the other birds.

Episode 2: Pokémon Emergency

The legendary birds along with Arcanine on a ancient slab in the Pokemon center in Viridian City. Ash thought Articuno was the golden flying Pokemon he saw at the end of the first episode but it was actually another legendary bird Pokemon, Ho-oh.

Episode 13: Mystery at the Lighthouse

In this episode, 24 Pokemon are seen on the door of Bill's lighthouse with Zapdos and Moltres included. There's 12 Pokemon on each side of the door, the two legendary birds are seen on the left side.

Episode 17: The Island of Giant Pokémon

A mechanical Moltres and Zapdos where part of a theme park called Pokemon Land. That is ironically located on the same tropical island where Ash, Misty, Brock and Team Rocket woke up after the multiple Gyarados attack. Ash and friends where attacked by the mechanical Zapdos and Team Rocket where attacked by the mechanical Moltres.

Episode 35: The Bridge Bike Gang

After Ash and friends agree to take some medicine to a sick Pokemon on the other side of the bridge for Nurse Joy, they're able to ride bicycles to get across the bridge. On the way, a bicycle gang appears and cause trouble. The leader of the gang has a Zapdos decoration attached to his bike that includes the head and the wings of the legendary bird.

Season 3 - Ep 157: The Fortune Hunters

Ash and friends run into a group of kids with a fortune telling book that tells which Pokemon relates to which person. Misty becomes interested and receives the book from two old people but ends up losing it after the group falls into a hole, the book flies out of their reach. Meowth sees the book under his foot and grabs it, when Jesse looks up which Pokemon James relates to she finds out that he's a Moltres. He doesn't believe in the book at first but when things come true, he gets interested and believes that he's the flaming bird. Even dressing up in a Moltres costume and having a winning streak with Butch and Cassidy but finds out that the book is fake.

Season 4 - Ep 187: Moving Pictures

Ash and friends reunite with Todd who soon tells them that he wants to take a shot of Articuno. Ash looks up the Pokemon on his Pokedex. While taking the old couple's picture Todd hears an icy sound and spots something that looks like Articuno flying near the mountains with a blue glow surrounding it's body. After Brock says maybe it was Articuno, Todd agrees and becomes excited to take a picture of the legendary bird in which Todd, Ash, Misty and Brock go on a journey to find it.

Season 4 - Ep 188: Spring Fever

Todd sees Articuno while chasing Team Rocket and tries to take a picture but crashes. Todd tells Ash and his friends that he saw Articuno so the group decides to keep looking for the legendary bird of ice. Note that this episode comes before Episode 189: Freeze Frame, which isn't a minor anime appearance for Articuno but a big one :D

Season 9 - Ep 461: Gathering The Gang of Four

During a camp out with four of Ash's first Pokemon; Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charizard. Ash remembers how he met them and talks about some of Charizard's greatest battles, one of them showing his battle with Noland's Articuno.

Season 11 - Ep 557: Doc Brock!

While looking for Ash and Pikachu, a Zapdos suddenly appears in front of Team Rocket's balloon. They try to capture the legendary bird but fail.

Season 12 - Ep 590: A Pyramiding Rage!

The Pyramid King, Brandon (the strongest of the frontier brains) comes to Snowpoint City where Ash and friends are. As Brock talks about how Ash challenged the Battle Frontier, frontier brains and their Pokemon are shown, including Noland and his Articuno.

Season 13 - Ep 635: Dealing with a Fierce Double Ditto Drama!

Ash and friends meet up with a trainer named Marina who owns two Ditto that can transform perfectly. During one of Marina's battles with another trainer. Her two Ditto transformed into Zapdos after seeing one flying. Which scares off the trainer.

Season 16 - Ep 769: Flames of a Red-Hot Reunion!

Ash talks about his Charmander and how it evolved into Charizard with Iris, Cilan, and N. Lots of memories are relived along with Charizard battling Noland's Articuno.

Pokémon Origins - Episode 4: Charizard

In this four episode special, a young trainer named Red, captures the three legendary birds in order to complete the Pokedex. Later he uses Articuno in his battle against Mewtwo.

Pokemon Generations Episode 1: The Adventure

Red's Pikachu is battling a Caterpie in the Viridian Forest as Zapdos flies above them, in the first episode of the special mini web series.

The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon

A Pokemon scientist named Dr. Yung, invented a machine that is able to create mirage Pokemon. Lots of these special Pokemon show up, including a mirage Articuno and Zapdos :D in this 10th anniversary special.

Bonus: 1st Generation Pokerap

Here's a bonus for Minor Anime Appearances! :D All of the legendary birds are shown in the first Pokerap that did not appear in Japan but only in the US. Other foreign languages may have their own versions though. Articuno and Moltres where only shown as pictures but Zapdos was shown as the mechanical legendary bird of lightning that appeared in episode 17.

Movie 8: Lucario and The Mystery of Mew

Mew (transformed as Aipom) takes Ash, May, and Brock's Pokemon to a hidden room in the mansion's basement where a lot of old toys can be found, including a toy mobile with the legendary birds on it which May's Combusken spins around afterwords.

Movie 9: Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea

During the end credits, Zapdos is seen flying through a mountainous area and is captured with the capture styler by Pokémon Ranger Jackie so he can ride on it.

Movie 12: Arceus and the Jewel of Life

At the beginning of the movie, legendary Pokemon are shown, including the three legendary birds.

Movie 13: Zoroark: Master of Illusions

During the intro of the movie, the legendary birds are shown, along with other legendary Pokemon.