The user will shoot a small ball of electricity that will hit its opponent.
Upon use, the user drops a sphere of electricity diagonally downwards, which can deal with medium damage as it falls. If it lands on a surface, it turns into an arcing wave of electricity that hops along the terrain's surface and deals slightly less damage. However, Pichu's version deals consistent damage in Ultimate regardless of the circumstances. The projectile will wrap around corners and snake along walls and even ceilings if the corners are not too sharp and it lives long enough; it cannot wrap around the underside of soft platforms due to there being no ceiling to latch onto. When the move is used on the ground, it essentially turns into the waveform immediately.
Like its other specials and electrically charged attacks, Thunder Jolt damages Pichu upon use, inflicting 1% (0.7% in Ultimate) damage each time. However, it deals considerably more damage than Pikachu's to compensate. Kirby also gets the damage if using the move after having copied Pichu.
Thunder Jolt has a glitch relating to stale-move negation that began in Melee and has appeared in every game since. When the move is used in the air and then lands, the arcing wave created points its staleness slot to whatever the user is doing, rather than to match the staleness slot of the object that created it (the aerial ball). This means that if the user is doing another move when the projectile lands, the arcing wave's staleness will act as if it were that move when it connects. For example, if Pikachu is doing an up smash, the wave will use the current staleness of Pikachu's up smash, and if it hits it will stale the up smash. If the user is not doing an attack (e.g. simply standing), the projectile will not have any stale slot, dealing base damage (neither fresh nor stale) and not advancing the queue at all.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Unlike most other special moves that Pokémon use in the Super Smash Bros. games, there has never been an move named Thunder Jolt in any of the Pokémon RPGs. Thunder Jolt was, however, present on the original Pikachu card as one of the many moves invented for the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG); the English name on the card match the Smash move's name in the respective versions of Smash Bros.. The name of the move in the Smash Bros. games likely arose from the popularity of the trading cards at the time of Smash 64. The move's effect in the TCG, where it damages Pikachu under certain circumstances, is similar to how Thunder Jolt works when used by Pichu; however, all of Pichu's Electric-type moves damage itself.
Its custom versions, however, are actual moves in the Pokémon games and match their effects accurately. Thunder Wave does no damage in the Pokémon RPGs, but it inflicts the Paralysis status. Thunder Shock is a basic low-level Electric-type move.
Names in other languages