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Can a Pikachu evolve into Raichu without the help of a Thunderstone?

My friend says it it can only evolve with the help of a Thunderstone - is he right or wrong?

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    It would help if you clarified this question. If you're asking whether this is possible for the player to accomplish in any of the Pokemon video games, then you should take your question to Arqade. If you want to know if it's possible to accomplish in the Pokemon collectible card game, try the board games SE If you're asking whether this has happened in the Pokemon anime, or other narrative media, then you're in the right place, but you need to edit your question to make that clear. – recognizer Aug 27 '16 at 17:34
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    If they asked on SFF, we can assume it's about the the tagged media: Pokémon whatever. There's no need to clarify, for goodness sake. If they specifically asked about game mechanics, then it'd be the time to redirect them. – user31178 Aug 27 '16 at 23:04
  • @recognizer What about anime.stackexchange.com ? – Ryan Nov 8 '16 at 21:25
  • @Ryan Sure, that's an option, but with something as well-known as Pokemon, I think anyone would have just as good luck here as on the anime SE. More pertinently, the purpose of my comment was to point out that this question is on-topic here, but only if it's about fictional events and not game mechanics. – recognizer Nov 8 '16 at 22:36
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According to the games, as well as the anime, Pikachu can only evolve by using the Thunderstone. However, there are cases where a Pikachu can refuse to evolve, such as the one you gain in Pokémon Yellow, as well as Ash's Pikachu.

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In the red/blue versions of the game, Growlithe has the same 'dex number as a thunderstone. So in the games it is possible for a player to level up their Pikachu in battle by having it in the first position, and then switch out for Growlithe (second position) to defeat the Pokemon. The leveling up in battle after sharing an experience with Growlithe glitches the game into evolving the Pikachu into a Raichu. I don't think this is possible in any later games as I haven't seen any demonstrations in versions other than red/blue and I'm sure Gamefreak would have fixed this glitch. If you search "pikachu growlith" within google then you can find articles and demonstrations.

In the animated series, a Pikachu by the nickname of "Sugar" runs away from home to train in the forest. They practice knocking down fruits from the trees with electrical charge and this apparently allows Sugar to evolve into a Raichu on their own. In the bulbapedia entry it says that Sugar evolved because of hard work and exposure to a thunderstone, but I don't remember this.

Other than this the general rule is that a Pikachu will only evolve by using a thundertone, as Pikachu will not evolve once reaching a certain level like some other Pokemon.

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