I don’t recall any instance of thought-speak use by Ax when in human morph or by Tobias (post The Change) as a human; if I’ve forgotten one and thus the premise is wrong please tell me.

Why is it that one wouldn’t be able to use thought-speak when morphed into a human? It can’t only have to do with speech capabilities of the form...or can it?

Is this addressed in canon anywhere?

  • 2
    I don't know that he can't, I just think that he didn't, although that's based purely on memory, not on anything concrete.
    – John Doe
    Feb 1, 2018 at 16:57
  • @JohnDoe could be. I guess the only definite evidence would be either using it, or being frustrated at the inability to. But there are several other instances of people/andalites morphing humans, and I don’t recall any of them using thought-speak.
    – Wildcard
    Feb 1, 2018 at 17:00
  • Now you've got me wondering whether Tobias used Thought-speak when he regained the ability to morph into a human...
    – Robotnik
    Feb 2, 2018 at 0:31
  • @Robotnik Or more generally: could a human morphing into another human then use thought-speak? Feb 2, 2018 at 0:33
  • @KevinWorkman, plenty of instances of that happening in the series—I believe the earliest is in The Reaction. But I don't think any of them ever used thought-speak. (Not to say they couldn't.)
    – Wildcard
    Feb 2, 2018 at 2:41

3 Answers 3


He can, he just prefers to use his mouth

When Ax is in human morph, why can't he use thought-speak? Or does he just want to appear like a normal human? (If that's possible, not offense Ax!)

He can use thought-speak, he just thinks it's fun to use his human mouth.
Scholastic.com - 'According to K.A.' - August 1998

Why can't Ax use thought-speak in Human morph? Shouldn't it just be another morph to him?

He could. He just enjoys making "mouth sounds."
Scholastic.com - 'According to K.A.' - September 1998

Why can't Ax use thought-speak in a human morph?

He can, he just prefers to make "mouth sounds."
Scholastic.com - 'According to K.A.' - October 1998

Note that in the later books Ax does at times use thought-speak while in human morph. The instances in the earlier books which say that he can't can be ascribed to KASUs. (K.A. Applegate Screw Ups)


He actually can! ...In later books. In book 46, The Deception (Ax's perspective):

It was decided I would morph the pilot again. A physically fit adult male was a convenient morph for our purposes. And my own technical knowledge would also be useful. The others would ride in my pocket as cockroaches. After I borrowed a uniform. The laundry room was obviously the perfect place for that.


Dressed and with the others in my pocket, I carefully opened the door and stepped back into the narrow corridor.

<Okay, Ax, you’ve got to find Chapman.>

<Yes, Prince Jake.>

Note that this conflicts with book 8, The Alien (also Ax's perspective):

Suddenly, I heard a thought-speak message.

It was Tobias, on patrol far overhead. Of course, no one could answer him. Humans can use thought-speech only when they're in a morph. And since I was in a human body, I too was restricted to spoken language.

Since the earlier books were written by K.A. Applegate herself, and the later ones were ghostwritten (and then edited by Applegate), it's up in the air as to which is more canon.

  • 1
    These are both great answers; I'm accepting this one because it includes actual book quotations. It's good to know (from the other answer) that it was a mistake that Ax couldn't use thought-speak originally.
    – Wildcard
    Feb 2, 2018 at 2:57

He does ... many, many times. Book 8 is the only time Ax says he can't while in human form, while he has thought-spoken in human morph in books such as #24, #31, #38, #46, etc. Tobias has done it as well, such as #47 and another book before that (I wanna say #43?) Oh, and in MM3 I believe as well.

Rachel morphed a human and used thought-speak in #46 as well.

In fact, in the reprint of book 8, they fixed the KASU about Ax not being able to use thought-speak while in human morph. It's kind of like how book 1 had the Animorphs thought-speak as humans, and then book 2 established that no, you must be in morph.

  • So many interesting facts in this answer.
    – Fiksdal
    May 7, 2018 at 8:34

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