Thunder Jolt is the neutral special move of both Pikachu and Pichu in the Super Smash Bros. series. It notably has not made any appearances within the core series of games. Because of this, Thunder Jolt, while it involves the use of electricity, has not been classified as an Electric-type move. Thunder Jolt made its first in-game appearance in Super Smash Bros., although its first overall appearance was on the Pikachu Base Set trading card from the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Thunder Jolt is a Lightning-type move featured on the Base Set card for Pikachu. Using it involves flipping a coin; if it heads, the move works as functioned, which is by dealing 30 damage to the target, but if it is tails, the move backfires on Pikachu and deals 10 units of damage to him.
Super Smash Bros. series
In the Super Smash Bros. series, when using Thunder Jolt, Pikachu or Pichu launch a ball of electricity that rotates across the stage until it hits an opponent, dealing damage. The attack can travel off the sides of the stage, as well as along walls if they are not too steep, but not along the underside of fall-through platforms. When the attack is used in the air, it begins as a larger, more powerful ball of electricity until it hits the ground.
Like Pichu's other special moves, this move inflicts damage to Pichu whenever it is used, similar to the Pikachu trading card from the Pokémon Trading Card Game. This also occurs if Kirby has received the Pichu Copy Ability and uses Thunder Jolt.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, Thunder Jolt has been given two unlockable custom variants that are actual moves from the Pokémon franchise. One of the moves is Thunder Wave, an Electric-type move, which sends out a ball of electricity that deals less damage and does not travel as far but paralyzes opponents when it hits. The second move is Thunder Shock, another Electric-type move, which sends out a ball of electricity that travels directly ahead; although it does not travel as far and is weaker if it hits closer to Pikachu, but hits with a more powerful blast of electricity if it hits from farther away.