Ash Ketchum has traveled with many colorful partners in his ongoing Pokémon journey. Every friend and fellow traveler has different personalities and goals that Ash connects with and learns from: Misty's fiery determination and never-give-up attitude, Brock's methodical approach to breeding and nurturing Pokémon, May's initial self-doubt as a trainer and even Clemont helping people and Pokémon with his innovative gadgets.
But there is only one person who has been by Ash's side for his entire journey, cheering and helping him toward his dreams even before he became a Pokémon trainer: his mother, Delia Ketchum. Although Delia often goes long periods without being seen on screen, she is in many ways Ash's best traveling companion of all. She provides consistent support and life lessons that only a parent can teach and, like many parents, her best moments often go unseen and unappreciated.
Delila Ketchum Is Ash's Biggest Supporter
As Ash leaves to travel the world and pursue his goal of becoming a Pokémon master, Delia wholeheartedly supports him from afar. Always just a phone call away, Delia goes about her daily life but also turns up at many of Ash's most important Pokémon League matches. When Ash felt down after his Round-16 loss to Ritchie at the Indigo Plateau, Delia hosted a giant party to celebrate her son's accomplishments in the episode "Pallet Party Panic." She's a beacon of positivity, even bringing a cheering section to see Ash off (in his pajamas) in the series premiere "I Choose You."
But Delia provides more than just encouragement. Great trainers care for their Pokémon like any good parent cares for their children -- with love, nurturing and patience while helping them prepare for life's challenges. Ash does all of this and more for his Pokémon. While the guidance largely develops from his life experiences over time, the love and passion he shows his Pokémon is influenced by the love and care he was raised with.
Delia Makes Sure Ash Can Always Come Home
Delia represents a significant cornerstone of Ash's journey: home. No matter how many new places they visit or how many Gym battles they win, Pokémon trainers still need a place to return to. When Ash needs a break, he goes back home. When he needs time to figure out where to travel next, he goes back home. And like any good son, sometimes he swings by just to visit and see his mom again.
Along with Ash, Delia is always open and welcoming to all of his friends and their Pokémon. She and Mr. Mime -- better known as Mimey -- keep the house in order and Ash's bedroom just as he remembers it. She reprimands her son when necessary and insists he help out around the house while he's at home. And, of course, she reminds Ash to stock up on clean underwear.
Delia also has her share of less appreciated contributions to Ash's journey. In "I Choose You" she gives him the rubber gloves -- intended for washing dishes -- that ultimately help Ash avoid getting shocked by Pikachu. And in "It's Mr. Mime Time," Delia even shows off battling skills of her own, having Mr. Mime help defeat Team Rocket after they accidentally kidnap Ash.
There's no length she won't go for her son, even if it means moving to a completely different region like Alola. For all of Ash's friends (and Pokémon) who come and go, his mom is the one who's always there -- sometimes in person, but always in spirit.