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Ash losing in the Pokémon League Championship (Pokémon)

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Sweet mother of Arceus, why does the anime do this to Ash?

Throughout the Pokémon anime, Ash's main goal is to become Pokémon Master since the beginning of the series. He tries his best by winning many battles, but sadly, when it comes to the Pokémon Leagues, Ash loses most of the time.

Why This Trope Sucks

  1. These moments are very cruel and bad staples in the Pokémon anime series.
  2. There are all very unfair and mean-spirited moments to Ash, or plain unnecessary.
  3. Sometimes Ash loses in the most asinine ways possible, the three worst examples are in both Kanto, Sinnoh and Unova:
    1. In the case with Kanto, Ash has been pestered by Team Rocket, which tired out half of his Pokémon, which causes Ash to lose against Ritchie.
    2. In the case with Sinnoh, Tobias beats Ash with one Legendary Pokémon and one Mythical Pokémon, which is just plain cruel and way too much. Tobias should have been disqualified or banned from the Pokémon League Championship due to him having Legendary Pokémon.
      • What's even worse is that, unlike previous rivals that beat Ash, who both appear in the first part of the Pokémon League Championship or earlier, have memorable personalities and (in the case with Alain) understandable motives for wanting to win, Tobias is randomly shoe-horned in at the last minute of the Sinnoh Pokémon League Championship and has absolutely no character other than the fact that he's a calm man who has a Darkrai, nothing else, nothing more. It feels like the writers just came up with this Cheapskate just for the sake of Ash losing once again.
    3. In the case with Unova, Ash loses to Cameron, who not only had a freaking Hydreigon, Samurott, and Lucario (within the latter being able to best two out of Ash's six Pokémon and the former unexpecting evolving which allowed him to gain the advantage), but keep in mind, he's a complete idiot who brought five Pokémon in a six-on-six Pokémon League Championship.
      • Although, Cameron has a Watchog, his sixth Pokemon, but it wasn't shown until the battle between him and Virgil.
  4. Because of the amount of times Ash loses, it feels like the writers treated these as funny gags due to all of the times Ash loses, which is not true, in all cases are they are very heart-breaking and downright infuriating.
  5. False advertising. In Pokémon XY&Z, the Japanese title of the episode that shows Ash losing the Kalos league is very misleading as it says “Kalos League Victory, Ash’s Ultimate Match”, which implied that Ash was finally going to win a Pokémon league in Kalos, but he does not, so you all can imagine how VERY ticked off fans are when they find out that Ash loses once again.
    1. This is not the first time such deceptive advertising was used as prior to this, the English dub had the last season of the Sinnoh arc called Sinnoh League Victors, but Ash does not claim victory in the Sinnoh League at all in that season since he was in the Top 4 thanks to Tobias using an illegal Pokemon.
  6. While Ash losing a Pokémon league was meant to show viewers that they cannot win every tournament in life, especially on their first try, and also while that lesson is understandable in the Kanto Pokémon League Championship, that lesson has been completely driven to the ground due to how after that, Ash loses in almost every single Pokémon League Championship, some of which are completely unfair (such as the Sinnoh Pokémon League Championship), it got to the point where fans were getting sick of seeing Ash losing the league.
  7. Seeing Ash lose a Pokémon league repeatedly gets really old really quickly. It has already gotten old since the infamous Sinnoh League arc and has become a cliché ever since.
  8. The Kalos Pokémon League (specifically its final episode) is without a doubt the most slap in the face in the entire Pokémon series, Ash is in the finals, there's was a three-part battle, and epic battle between Ash's Greninja and Alain's Mega Charizard X and..... Ash still loses the League due to, well...conspiracy!
    • Even worse, Alain remains the only rival who Ash has never beaten.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Ash wins in two Pokémon Leagues, those being the Orange Island and Alola Pokémon League Championship. He also did win the Battle Frontier.
  2. So far, the last time Ash lost in the Pokémon League Championship is in Kalos, so at least he's being better treated, or that he is at least improving his Pokémon training, or both.
    • This is likely due to the negative backlash the Kalos Pokémon League Championship had with Ash losing.
  3. The battles can still be entertaining to watch, even if Ash losing in the end is heartbreaking or stupid.
  4. As Ash is now a champion of a major region, this allows him to mature even more, learn a lesson, and take his next step of becoming Pokémon master further as shown in the ongoing Pokémon Journeys era. Because of this, he does not compete in the Galar league, that is fine because for once he is in a series arc that does not focus on him collecting gym badges and trying to beat a league due to the writers changing up the show for Ash before things could end up getting stale.
  5. Since Ash has chosen to not compete in the Galar League due to him taking on the World Coronation Series, the fans won’t have to endure him losing a regional league again for the time being.
  6. Not all the episodes that use this trope are bad. There is "Johto Photo Finish" as an example, and despite the downer part where Charizard loses to Blaziken despite the fact there could have been a way both lost anyway, it was not the main focus of the episode unlike "Friends to the End" from Season 1/Indigo League where Ash learns about dealing with loss in a gym the hard way after the ever so humiliating experience with his then stubborn and incompetent Charizard. After all, this episode has two plots in one:
    • The first plot is Ash still battling against Harrison.
    • The rest of the episode is set after the events of the battle with something else. Mainly with Gary coming back into the Silver Conference arc once again announcing he would be giving up battling to become a Pokémon Researcher.


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