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How can you tell Pikachu’s gender?

Here's how you can tell if you've caught yourself a little Pikachu lady or a little gentleman.

Image via The Pokémon Company

When Pokémon became an anime in 1997, it not only began stacking the building blocks of the insanely popular franchise we know today, but it generated a shining star that has begun to rival even Mickey Mouse for global ubiquity.

The popularity of Ash’s Pikachu influenced the release of Pokémon Yellow, and Pikachu quickly became the mascot for The Pokémon Company itself. But as omnipresent as Pikachu now seems, did you know there’s a trick to decipher the gender of the one which just popped up in Pokémon Go (or in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, or in Sword and Shield)?

At the risk of stating the obvious, in the real-world wild, male and female members of the same species often have different markings, or they grow something ostentatiously different from each other, like antlers. Pikachu actually follow a similar principle: you can tell a Pikachu’s gender by looking at its tail. The tails of male Pikachu have pointed ends connected by more-or-less straight lines; female Pikachu tails curve in at the end, with the two round shapes meeting in the center to form the top half of a heart.

This means that Ash’s Pikachu – as well as the Pikachu mascot, if they’re even different – is male. Most Pikachu merchandise depicts the male version, too, but the determined soul can hunt down a female Pikachu plush, especially if the plushies come in pairs. I wish you the best of luck sorting through the 141 results on the Pokémon Center website for “Pikachu plush.”

In any case, perhaps now you can have a themed gender reveal party which will greatly confuse all your in-laws and less-cool friends.

(image: The Pokémon Company)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.

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