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. Starting at episode 35 is when the US numbers are used with the episode before 35 being skipped. Only the Japanese titles are added to the pages of each bird. Appearances are in this order; Openings, Episodes, Specials (including a bonus), and Movies.
Edit 1/29/18: All Openings are now added! :D Note that there can be differences between the original openings and the English ones (if there are any but most will).
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.
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.
Legendary Birds JA Opening
Songs; Naomi Tamura - Ready Go! (JA), David Rolfe - Believe in Me (US). Titles: Pokémon: Master Quest (US), Pocket Monsters (JA). For this opening, the US version only cuts out the scene where a gate that features the birds plus many other legendary Pokemon appears during the beginning, before the title is shown. For both versions, Zapods is the first one to appear after Suicune, then Articuno appears, followed by Moltres as the three fly off shortly after Moltres appears, making room for Lugia, who is shown next. For the JA version, what is most likely their names appear next to them, I can't read Japanese so it's just a guess. This also goes for the 4th Opening (JA) but the text is different from the 5th.
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.
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
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 4 - Ep 191: The Dunsparce Deception
In order to steal all of the Dunsparces from the kids, Jesse hatches a plain to create a play showing Dunsparces vs Moltres. Thinking that it's going to be fun, the kids are happy for it until they notice that it's only Meowth in a Dunsparces costume and James in a Moltres one. The two use attacks but in a lousy and cheap way. James Moltres ends the battle by using Sky Attack by throwing Meowth Dunsparce into the air. Then James announces that the kids can trade in their Dunsparce for Moltres but it turns out to be a scam.
Season 5 - Ep 229: An EGG-sighting Adventure!
Finding out that Ash has a Pokemon egg, James wonders what's inside it. Jesse points out that it could be a legendary Pokemon. Meowth agrees and says that it could be an Articuno, a Moltres, or a Zapdos.
Season 6 - Ep 311: A Different Kind of Misty!
Wanting to steal the light stone and needing an electric Pokemon to light it up, Team Rocket comes out of the fog in a Zapdos robot. Without having any effect on the robot with Magnemite's Thunderbolt, the electric Pokemon and the light stone are taken away by the Zapdos robot's robotic hands. Ash appears on the scene with Thatcher and Pikachu uses Thunderbolt but being protected by electric attacks, it doesn't cause any damage. Pikachu gets captured and since they now have Pikachu, they toss Magnemite back to it's trainer.
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.
Season 19 - Ep 905: An Electrifying Rage!
After Cilan talks about the Zapdos festival, Bonnie asks what a Zapdos is. He tells her and the rest of the gang about Moltres, the Pokemon that they saw earlier and Articuno and how the three of them make up a legendary Pokemon trio. As he tells her, cameos of Moltres and Articuno appear, along with the main Pokemon of this episode, Zapdos. Another cameo of the fire and ice birdies appear with the electric birdy included.
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.
Hoopa's Surprise Ring Adventures Episode 4: Heated Battle
Ash wants to have a fiery battle, with him and Pikachu fired up in a boxing ring. Hoopa appears and wants to help out as it summons Blaziken. Hoopa makes trouble for Ash and Pikachu after it summons multiple fire type Pokemon, including Moltres. Moltres uses a fire type attack on the mischievous Pokemon before appearing, leaving it burnt. One of the six shorts that appeared on Pokemon.com for a limited time for the upcoming movie; Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.
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.