In "Charizard Chills", an Ice Beam from Poliwrath instantly freezes Charizard into a big block of ice. However, in "The Symbol Life", when May worries about Charizard being directly hit with an Ice Beam from Articuno, Max says "It's ok. Against a Fire-type, that attack should have no effect."

So why did it take effect in the previous series then?

  • 1
    Ice is not very effective against fire in general, but this doesn't mean that it will have no effect at all. Throughout the series you see at various moments that strength/aptitude of a pokemon is at least as important as type effectiveness is.
    – paddotk
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 12:21

5 Answers 5


The weakness types have changed slightly over time.

This image of the Pokemon Red and Blue weaknesses show that a Fire defender is neutral (i.e. 1x) versus an Ice attack.

Red and Blue Weakness chart

While this more modern version of the chart for the current generation shows Ice attacks as less effective (.5x) against a fire creature.

Modern Chart

This page shows the old versions together and you can see there's a change between gen1 and gen2 to reduce the effectiveness of Ice vs Fire creatures.

Gen2 matches the Gold and Silver which comes out around the same time or slightly after the episode you've been watching.

So the answer appears to be that between the two episodes the weakness chart changed to make Ice attacks less effective on fire creatures. Which is why originally Charizard was encased in Ice, but later (Symbol life is 6 seasons or around 340 episodes later) he can shrug off such attacks.

  • 16
    Charizard is part flying, so this answer doesn't really make sense. Ice has always been super effective against flying, so at best you're explaining why the move went from super effective to normal effective. Fire type also does not protect you from the Frozen condition so it's still possible to encase a fire type pokémon in a block of ice.
    – Theik
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 9:32
  • @Theik to be honest, I'm not a Pokemon expert. I'd be very interested to see anything a real expert has to explain the difference. Without the stuff I've turned up so far I'd have to fall back on story based explanations.
    – Jontia
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 9:36
  • 3
    Weakness charts are only relevant to the games as part of their inherent mechanics. The show has no such chart available, or indeed formally logically determinable, so this doesn't answer the question in any useful way.
    – Nij
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 4:43
  • @Theik: In the series, Pokémon are known to use an attack to counter an incoming attack. That doesn't apply to the games, but it does to the anime. With that expectation in mind, it's reasonable to expect that a Charizard's fire attacks can effectively nullify (or dramatically reduce) the efficiency of an incoming ice attack.
    – Flater
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 15:58
  • 1
    This answer is somewhat silly, or at least implies the answerer hasn't watched much of the anime. In the anime, type matchups don't always match what's in the games, nor do attacks or their effects. It's essentially "whatever works best for the plot". Tons of stuff regarding Pokemon and moves in every series of the anime does not align with the games. They are separate canons entirely, and answering this question with a reference to the games makes no sense.
    – user91988
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 20:25

Freezing isn't affected by type...

The frozen status condition can be inflicted on any Pokémon who isn't an Ice-type themselves, whether or not they are resistant to Ice-type attacks While Fire-types in general take less damage from Ice-type attacks, and it doesn't really make sense that a creature with an ever-burning fire on its tail can freeze, Charizard can be frozen as readily as any other Pokémon.

...But, in any case, Pokémon the anime is not a direct translation of the games.

Such eccentricities with typing are abundant in the anime, particularly in the early seasons. In the Kanto-era episodes, Pikachu defeats no less than four Ground-type Pokémon with electric attacks, which shouldn't have any effect on them whatsoever.

Things happen in the anime for the purposes of narrative and dramatic importance. Levels are unimportant, Pokémon have moves they shouldn't know, and, yes, typing mechanics are occasionally ignored or minimized. When an ice-type move needed to be effective against Charizard, it was, and when it was more important to obey the fire v. ice dichotomy, it did.

  • 7
    All this talk about game mechanics, you're the only one who mentioned the real reason: Sloppy writing. The show had different writers for different episodes, and not everybody bothered to go back and check all the previous episodes for consistency. The show is written for a young audience and they never expected anyone to analyze it that closely, they just needed to crank out lots of episodes very quickly. Commented May 20, 2020 at 13:21
  • "Pikachu defeats [...] Ground-type Pokémon with electric attacks" --- Well yeah, because it aimed for the horn!!! lol Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:35
  • 2
    @CaptainMan Y'know, that joke's been mentioned on this page twice now, but according to Bulbapedia's article on the episode, Ash never said the word "aim" at all. It's a misquote, apparently. A modern-day "Elementary, my dear Watson," heh. bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/EP058
    – Exal
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 20:42

Because Max is wrong

Charizard is a fire type, but he's also a flying type.

Ice type moves are not very effective against fire types, but they are super effective against flying types. As such, an ice type move used against Charizard will have normal effectiveness, as shown in the earlier episode.

In addition, being a fire type does not prevent a Pokémon from getting frozen. So even though fire type gained a resistance to ice in later generations, as Jontia noted in his answer, the most likely explanation is that Max is simply wrong on this account and Charizard will not like getting hit by an icebeam.

  • 2
    Do they acknowledge Charizard's "Flying" typing in the show? I always heard that Charizard not being a pure fire was a regret the developers had.
    – Aww_Geez
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 13:44
  • 11
    @Aww_Geez No clue, but the show gives it plenty of flying moves that it doesn't even have in the game. The cartoon has always been rather loose with the rules.
    – Theik
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 15:33
  • 3
    Maybe they aimed for the horn the first time. Commented May 18, 2020 at 18:11
  • 3
    Man, this was so, so long ago for me, but I think this is it: Wasn't one of the running themes that season that Max being only book-smart often didn't match up with reality?
    – Izkata
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 16:12
  • 1
    Was Charizard in Red/Blue also Flying type? I don't think it could even learn Fly from HM02 until Yellow. Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:05

Being frozen is different from being dealt damage.

A pokemon can be frozen from a hit that deals 1 damage, which will render them unable to attack until they thaw out.


Well the answer is pretty obvious

Imagine this in your mind

A dedenne pokemon a stunfisk and a pikachu are all standing out in a field of grass but are not aloud to move for the sake of this test

They all are electric type pokemon with the ability to absorb electricity

But heres the important and differing strengths/weaknesses of each

Pikachu is a Steel/Electric type

Stunfisk is a ground/Electric type

Dedenne is a fairy/Electric type

They all are Electric types but they also all have different type moves therefore increasing or decreasing thier resistance to type moves of opponents in which are either super effective against or not very effective

Also theres weight difference and the fact that some pokemon train more then others and evolution, z moves, mega evolution and other factors in play in the Pokemon universe.

Its Confusing but basically its many factors that have to be taken into account in a pokemon battle all at once

  • Because dedenne is smaller certain moves are more powerful against that pokemon compared to a bigger pokemon Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 10:19
  • Similar to squashing a ant vs beating a yacht to death Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 10:19
  • Or a fist fight with a silverback gorilla vs a fist fight with a march fly Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 10:20
  • Or trying to catch a butterfly vs trying to catch a moth Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 10:20
  • 2
    It would be better to edit your answer to write additional information, rather that writing comments.
    – lfurini
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 10:23

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