A Dodge is the act of avoiding taking damage through a special maneuver that grants the dodger temporary intangibility. It is distinct from guarding in that a guarding entity is still hit, even if the damage is mitigated or nullified. The ability for Kirby to dodge debuted in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and has persisted in every main series Kirby title since. It is performed by the player pressing a direction on the + Control Pad (or Circle Pad) while Kirby is guarding (or just activating a guard in mid-air). This will cause him to either roll in a certain direction, dodge in place, or dodge in mid-air depending on where he is and which direction was pressed. When rolling, Kirby will move a small amount in the specified direction. When air-dodging, Kirby will not fall until the dodge concludes. Dodging causes Kirby to be intangible for a short moment (less than a second), which will allow him to avoid attacks that even a Guard could not stop. He is left vulnerable for a short while after the dodge finishes however, so timing is essential.
When Kirby is performing a dodge, he will flash white on and off repeatedly to indicate when he has "invincibility frames" (i.e. when he cannot be hit by most enemy attacks). These frames start as soon as the dodge begins, but will end before the dodge animation finishes, which leaves Kirby open for a brief window to be hit by his opponent(s). It should be noted that dodging cannot be used to defend against everything. Examples of attacks that ignore dodge's invincibility frames include the Squeaky Hammer Machines in the Factory Tour Battle Stage, the Waddle Dee Train, and the final wave attack from Star Dream Soul OS prior to its defeat.
In its debut in Kirby: Triple Deluxe as well as in Kirby: Planet Robobot, Kirby's grounded dodge would only take him a short distance to the left or right when used. However, in the Kirby Fighters games, the Kirby Clash games, and starting in the main series with Kirby Star Allies, the distance moved increased, making it comparable to rolling in the Super Smash Bros. series.
There are certain copy abilities which inhibit or remove Kirby's ability to dodge on the ground while using them, due to their special means of guarding. These include Ice, Bell, Leaf, and Spider. Certain other playable characters, including Rick & Kine & Coo and Gooey, also cannot dodge on the ground for similar reasons.
In Super Smash Bros.
The act of dodging out of shield has been a crucial technique in every game in the Super Smash Bros. series, with side-stepping and air-dodging introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Much like in the Kirby series, fighters are intangible for a short period of time while they dodge, and vulnerable for a short time in-between dodges. The dodging techniques introduced in Kirby: Triple Deluxe were taken directly from the Super Smash Bros. series.