Ash Ketchum is the main character of the Pokémon anime, but he wouldn't be where he is today if it weren't for his mom, Delia Ketchum. She has been a supporting character since the very first episode, making sure that Ash had everything he needed to start his Pokémon journey and become a master.
She has since appeared in several Pokémon episodes, always offering some lodging and a quick meal to her son and his friends. However, this lovable mother has a lot more to her than meets the eye. Here are 10 facts you didn't know about Ash's mom, Delia Ketchum.
10 RUNS A RESTAURANT
While a lot of people in Pokémon get jobs as Gym Leaders or Elite Four members, most have to work regular jobs like us. The same goes for Ash's mom. After all, she didn't just happen upon a nice house in Pallet Town for her and her son.
There was a novelization of the anime released that said Delia ran a restaurant called the Pallet House. This is where she gets the resources to go shopping and keep her property in tip-top shape. No doubt the job was made a lot easier once she had Mimey to take care of the house while she was gone.
9 WANTED TO BE A MODEL
Everyone has dreams growing up, and the same is true for Delia Ketchum. As a young girl, she had the desire to be a famous model. She pursued this dream, but things changed after she met Ash's father. Once she gave birth to Ash, she gave up on her dream so she could raise him and so Ash's father could live out his own dream.
It was after giving up on this dream that she chose to run the Pallet House. After all, she has excellent skills as a cook, so the food industry seems like a much better fit for her anyway.
8 WANTED TO BE A POKÉMON TRAINER
Delia Ketchum didn't just dream of being a model, but she had dreams of being a Pokémon trainer as well. If you're wondering why she gave up on that dream too, it was once again because of Ash's father.
However, her unrelenting compassion and drive to become a Pokémon trainer as a young girl was passed down to Ash. It's likely that she sees herself in her son, which is why she encourages him to constantly go on journeys across the world. Despite having given up this dream, Delia does seem content in her current position. She even has her own Pokémon.
7 MARRIED QUICKLY
The story of Delia and Ash's father is brief and leads to more questions than answers. When he came around, the two of them fell in love right away. It wasn't long after that they were married.
However, Ash's father left on his Pokémon journey just as quickly as they were married, forcing Delia to raise Ash on her own. Despite him being on a journey, he never did return. The implication is that Ash's father never succeeded in the same way that his son has, so he was too ashamed to ever show his face again. Who knows where he could be now?
6 STUDENT OF PROFESSOR OAK
While Delia Ketchum is, most times, a supporting character in the Pokémon anime, only appearing in a handful of episodes each series, that was a bit different in Pokémon: Spell of the Unown. She became an important plot element, kidnapped by Entei at the request of a little girl.
It was revealed that, back in the day, Delia was a student of Professor Oak. She wasn't just any student, though—she was at the very top. She had a knack for learning about Pokémon that few other people did. At that point, it only makes sense that Ash would be so determined to do the same.
5 DATED GIOVANNI
In the "Pokémon Live!" musical, which was based around the anime, viewers got an unexpected surprise. It was revealed that Delia Ketchum once dated Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket. Even worse was that Delia took part in the organization during that time as well.
However, it was likely Delia's love of Pokémon and overall kind nature that caused the two to end their relationship. Some people have theorized that Giovanni could be Ash's father, which would be a fascinating twist, but "Pokémon Live!" went out of his way to refer to them as two different people. At this point, it's unlikely.
4 SAME VOICE ACTOR AS ASH
Ash had an iconic voice in the first few seasons of Pokémon from Veronica Taylor, but he wasn't the only character that she did the voice for. Taylor also did the voice work for Ash's mother.
As you all know, the actors for the English dub were replaced in the ninth season, which led to the original cast getting the boot. Sarah Natochenny has since provided the voice for Ash Ketchum, but she also provided the new voice for Ash's mother, permanently connecting the two characters. Imagine the voice actors recording lines between the two characters, essentially having conversations with themselves!
3 COMPETENT BATTLER
Delia is more good-natured and calm, but even she knows when it's time to battle. There have been a few times where she's had to partake in a Pokémon battle, revealing that she's actually quite good at it.
When Butch and Cassidy tried to take the Pokémon from Professor Oak's Lab, she got in on the battle with Mimey and fought alongside Tracey and Professor Oak. During the battle, she was quick to react, blocking attacks from Houndour and Hitmontop while dealing some damage as well. She even remarked that battle skills ran in her family. Ash had to get it from somewhere.
2 DOESN'T REMEMBER BUTCH'S NAME EITHER
One of the funnier recurring jokes in the Pokémon anime relates to Butch and Cassidy. When the two characters started causing problems, they had a rivalry with Team Rocket. After James called him "Botch," it started a joke where characters would constantly mispronounce his name, angering him even further. Butch would even mispronounce James' name on purpose a few times just to try and get back at him.
Delia Ketchum was no exception from this joke either, with both her and Tracey referring to him as "Bill" when he and Cassidy were stealing from Professor Oak's Lab. Naturally, it frustrated him greatly.
1 YOUNG WHEN ASH WAS BORN
Delia Ketchum has always looked fairly young, but the anime never tells us just how young. Apparently, she was just 19 years old when Ash was born, implying that she was married even younger than that. She was still young enough to have dreams, but that all changed when her son was born.
Her young age explains her friendly attitude toward her son rather than being a strictly authoritative figure. This would place her age at 29 when the Pokémon anime begins. Of course, she is probably the same age to this day, considering that the show refuses to age any of its characters.