Pokémon has been a beloved series for various generations; it’s been a staple in the children’s anime community, but it’s something everyone readily recognizes and enjoys. The idea of catching little creatures who want to be a part of your life and going on exciting adventures is just part of the charm that makes Pokémon what it is! There’re always endearing stories and light-hearted fun that makes both the shows and games a joy to engage with. If you don’t like Pokémon, you better have a good reason as to why.
Throughout each of the different series and regions, we’ve been introduced to a whole host of diverse characters that make the show what it is. Some of the most iconic characters aren’t even the heroes, but rather, the (sort of) villains. Jessie, James, and Meowth are the iconic Team Rocket trio that constantly rivals Ash and whoever his current team may be. While each of these villains has their own individual backstory, Jessie is a particularly interesting character all in her own right. With a tragic background tale and over 20 seasons worth of information to go through, including retconned material, it’s incredible to see what this character has been through.
Even though she’s wildly different from our main character, Ash, there are a lot of ways she could most definitely beat him in. You’d be surprised with how much she tends to lose to a kid, but there’s actually quite a few things Jessie is better than Ash at.
25 Pick A Fight
If there’s one thing we all remember from our childhood, it’s Jessie’s anger. Never before have we seen someone so angry for so long; she could go on for hours and hours if she wanted to. And with all the things that continue to go wrong with her plans? We don’t exactly blame her.
Seriously, don’t make that lady mad!
That being said, Ash can get frustrated and be in a bad mood, but we’ve never seen him get even remotely close to Jessie’s level.
24 She Definitely Has The Better Hair
Ash is known for having a mess of black hair, but he’s not exactly the most fashionable when it comes to his looks. After all, any kid his age should be a mess from running around and playing with wild creatures!
Jessie, on the other hand, takes very good care of her appearance. It’s clear that she takes a lot of pride in her hair specifically because, if anyone were to touch it, she might actually kill them. Trust us, we’ve seen her get mad about it before.
23 Her Costumes Are Usually On Point
Say what you want about Team Rocket, but they always had relatively good disguises; or at least, the idea behind those disguises were pretty good. Jessie was always ready to jump right into any kind of costume she got her hands on and made it work!
Remember when she dressed as a groom and looked fly as heck?
We haven’t really seen Ash in a lot of costumes, mostly because there isn’t a real need. If there were, he’d need to learn a thing or two from Jessie!
22 She Can Model; Ash Definitely Can't Do That
If you’ve been following the series for a while, you might know that Jessie has had a wide variety of jobs over her life; not everyone can just be a villain and expect to make massive dough. One of her past jobs was actually to be a model!
This isn’t totally surprising, considering she’s one of the most fashionable characters we’ve ever seen bless the Pokémon series. However, we don’t really know why she quit or if she was even that good to begin with.
21 She's Actually Very Good At Teaching Pokémon, In A Fashion Sense
Okay, we’ll admit, Ash is definitely better at actually catching Pokémon than Jessie could ever be; but that’s kind of the entire point of his character in the first place. However, Jessie has actually been in quite a few competitions with her Pokémon that she seemed to do really well with!
Maybe she should consider a life outside of crime and in the fashion industry.
While she didn’t do anything too major, she did get some of the Sinnoh Ribbons under the fake name Jessilina.
20 She Motivates Her Team And Stays With Them
Ash is known for being an inspiring character, but he’s not really the best at teamwork. After all, each time he travels to a new region, he tends to get together with a whole new team anyways.
At the very least, Jessie has been with the same crew since this Team Rocket trio got together! She also seems to be the one to kick them into gear whenever they seem to be doubting themselves. That’s not something Ash has been as successful with.
19 She Could Actually Be Good As A Villain... If She Had A Bike
Part of Jessie’s random past just so happens to include a bike gang. Before joining forces with the Team Rocket crew, both she and James were a part of a bike gang where she was called “Chainer Jessie” because she would swing around a chain as she rode.
James was known as “Little Jim” since he still needed training wheels.
The cool part about this is that both Jessie and James were actually very good when they were a bike gang! They were even considered legends! That is, until it was later retconned.
18 She Has A Real Life Namesake, Not A Pun, For Her Name
Ash’s last name, Ketchum, is clearly a pun on the Pokémon slogan, “Gotta Catch’em All!” Jessie, on the other hand, has actually history to her name from our world. Both she and James have a pairing name that goes along with the famous western cowboy Jessie James.
In Japan, however, their names still have meaning! James, known as Kohiro, and Jessie, Musashi, were famous swordsmen that were rivals with each other. Jessie’s mother’s name was also Miyamoto, which would make their combined names Miyamoto Musashi; this swordsman would win 60 duels.
17 She Understands What It Means To Live Rough, Ash Doesn't
No matter how we see Ash, he seems to have a fairly good life with his mother and decently sized home. Even by the Pokémon Universe’s standards, we know that his life is relatively comfy. While living on the road is hard, it can’t be nearly as hard as what Jessie grew up with.
Jessie’s past was harsh.
She grew up so poor that she would have to eat snow because they couldn’t really afford food. In fact, her real mother was revealed to have gone missing, and so she grew up with a foster family.
16 She Can Handle A Lot Of Damage For A Long Time
Knowing that Jessie’s mother worked for Team Rocket and would eventually go missing because of the nature of her job, it’s almost amazing that Jessie still has a desire to work there. Whether this comes from a need to be like her mother or not, that’s serious loyalty.
Regardless of why she’s there, despite how much her job puts her through, she’s always incredibly loyal to it. Ash is equally as determined when it comes to being a Pokémon trainer, but there’s no way he could go through what Jessie has.
15 She Almost Never Feels Discouraged
If you’re even remotely familiar with Team Rocket, you know right off the bat that they aren’t the kind of villains that win, or even come remotely close to it. Sure, we know that for most series the good guys will always win, but Team Rocket is almost always defeated in a comedic way.
And yet, they’re always right back at it again the next day.
Regardless of how many failures Jessie has been through, and there are many, she gets back up and keeps going. Ash has seen failure, but not to such an embarrassing degree; if it kept happening, he might not want to be a trainer anymore.
14 She Can Find Happiness, Even When She Loses
Jessie can get angry, and that we’re totally aware of, but that doesn’t mean she’s constantly upset. In fact, there are very few occasions where Jessie gets really sad because things aren’t working out.
If anything, when she gets angry about her losses, she seems to really just be pumping herself up for the next round. Ash seems to always find his motivation in the small wins, but Jessie rarely even has those; and yet somehow, she finds a way to enjoy herself, have fun and keep going no matter what.
13 She May, Or May Not, Be Able To Spit Fire, Literally
Jessie’s temper and rage is one of her most defining characterizations. In fact, there was rumors going around that the lead writer for the original series and first three movies, Takeshi Shudō, helped to create the villain’s personalities; Jessie seems to fit the profile of an ex-girlfriend if we really look at her.
The breathing fire part may have been what gave that away.
Every time she gets that angry, we typically see an image of her spitting fire. It could just be an analogy of how angry she is, but maybe she’s just part Charizard?
12 Her Work Seems To Be Known Across Regions
Every time Ash goes to a new region, it looks like he’s always just starting from square one; like the rest of his adventures meant very little in the grand scheme of things. However, Jessie always seems to be building, rather than starting over.
With each new region, we see very little changes for Team Rocket. And besides, the Team Rocket name still seems to always be recognizable no matter where they go, whereas Ash seems to usually be just your average kid despite all he’s gone through.
11 She Could Still Probably Fend For Herself If She Was Alone
What would the world be if the Team Rocket trio was no longer a trio? It would not only be devastating, but we’re pretty sure James and Meowth wouldn’t know what to do with themselves after a couple of days. Even Ash seems to need a team in order to travel place to place.
However, Jessie could probably do it alone.
Knowing that Jessie has been on her own for a very long time, we’re pretty sure she’d be the one who’d survive one her own.
10 She's Actually Romantic
Jessie has been through a lot of heartbreak, but it’s not for no reason. She’s very determined to find love and to be with someone for the rest of her life; things just don’t seem to be working out that way as of yet.
We know that Jessie was in love with her childhood crush Astin, but that he would end up with someone else, leaving Jessie behind. Despite her anger, she knew that she had no right to be mad in this situation and supported him. We know you’ll find him one day Jessie!
9 She Can Also Fall In Love Faster
When Jessie likes someone, she seems to go from “like” to “love” really fast. Not only does she seem to catch more feelings than Ash, but she also seems to have had a number of romantic interests in the past.
Of course, she would naturally have Ash beat in this area, since she is older.
Since Ash is forever a little boy, we can see why this wouldn’t really be the case with him. Jessie has almost always been considered older and at an age where love is a more appropriate thought.
8 She Got To Be In Pokemon Yellow
When creating Pokémon Yellow, Game Freak decided it would be fun to add elements from the anime into the game. A lot of things from Brock and Misty to the famous Pikachu himself would be included in the game, but Ash would be nowhere to be seen.
Both Jessie and James, and yes, even Meowth, would appear as fightable opponents however! It seems that when it comes to the gaming world, Jessie might have beat Ash just by being visible.
7 Ash's Age May Stay The Same, But Hers Doesn't!
One of the complaints that the growing Pokémon fandom has always brought up is the fact that Ash never seems to age. You would think by now Ash would retire and a new character would take over if they didn’t want to show an older main character.
Jessie, on the other hand, has never had a concrete age.
In the games it’s said that Jessie is the same age as the protagonist, but in some anime series she’s either 17 or somewhere in her mid-20s.
6 She Can Tell The Weather
In the long list of jobs that Jessie has had, being a weather girl was surprisingly one of them! We really don’t know anything about why she had this job, or if she was ever really good at it, but at least she’s had work!
We can’t really say the same for Ash since all he’s done is catch Pokémon and travel around the world. But we’re thinking at least Jessie can tell everyone if they need an umbrella or not, if she was decent at her past job.
5 She Could Probably Eat More Than Ash
This should be obvious is you really think about it. If you grew up in poverty to the point that you’re eating snow, it would only make sense if you appreciated food a lot more when you have it. Jessie loves to eat and this is partially because of her background.
Ash seems to always have food for the most part, even when he’s out in the woods.
If you were to sit these two down for an eating contest, we’d bet all our money on Jessie!
4 She Can Defeat His Pikachu
We’re always used to seeing the Team Rocket trio being ripped to shreds by Ash and his gang; or any of their opponents, really. But there was a time where Jessie did actually succeed in beating Pikachu in a battle!
Thanks to their new Pokémon, Mimikyu and Mareanie, they were able to finally beat Ash fair and square for the first time. Honestly, we’d never want to go against a creature like Mimikyu in the first place, especially if we were a Pikachu.
3 She Could Have Been An Idol
Another huge part of Jessie’s very loud personality is the want to be famous and rich. In almost every scene we’ve ever seen her in, she’s constantly drooling over the next big thing.
Could you imagine Ash as an idol?
It only makes sense that Jessie auditioned to be an idol once. We know Ash would never come even close to wanting to do this, but hey it is something Jessie would be good at! We’re not so sure Ash would be all that great with so much attention.
2 She Can Keep Her Job, No Matter Her Failures
It’s astounding that Team Rocket still keeps Jessie, James, and Meowth despite how much they’ve failed. There’s literally no reason to keep them hired, and yet they keep coming back each new season with a new mission in mind.
While Ash has never really had a job outside of being a Pokémon trainer, we doubt he’d be able to keep anything down if he continuously failed like this. In fact, almost anyone would lose their jobs after that many failures.
1 She Strives To Grow In Different Ways
Ash almost seems to be the same character each and every season. To a certain extent, that’s why we love him; he’s a constant we can depend on. But some character development is good every now and again.
Every once in a while, Jessie seems to grow.
Whether that’s by learning to accept when she loses or to confront her past, Jessie has enough complexity to actually grow as a character. That’s not something many of the Pokémon cast can say.