On their way to Saffron City, Ash and his friends encounter a Caterpie and its Trainer-in-training, Xander, who mistakes them for lab robbers. Fortunately, Dr. Gordon, the lab owner and Xander’s teacher, shows up and things are sorted out. The kids visit Dr. Gordon’s lab, where he makes all kinds of strange inventions. Of course, Team Rocket wants to steal them all!
Caterpie helps catch them in the act, but in the process, Dr. Gordon’s briefcase opens and blue candies roll out. Caterpie eats some and grows until it’s big enough to send Team Rocket blasting off. The Mystery Candy Complete keeps Caterpie growing until it’s bigger than a building! The giant Caterpie heads into town as people flee in a panic. Climbing the local radio tower, it then evolves into Metapod.
Elsewhere, Team Rocket discovers that Wobbuffet stole some Mystery Candy too, so they head back into town and kidnap Dr. Gordon. The Candy makes Dustox and Cacnea huge—Dustox is so big that Team Rocket hops on its back and flies away with Dr. Gordon! Metapod evolves into a giant Butterfree just in time for Ash and Xander to give chase.
After some aerial maneuvers, Dustox suddenly shrinks back to normal size. Butterfree catches it but Team Rocket plummets into a pond. No sooner do they emerge than Officer Jenny arrives with Ash’s friends, and when Team Rocket puts up a fight, Pikachu and Butterfree send them on their way once more. Eventually Butterfree returns to normal size too, and Ash says farewell to Xander and his newly-evolved friend—as well as Dr. Gordon, who’s now more enthusiastic about his inventions than ever!
Chasing after a hungry Munchlax, Ash and his friends end up at Rhonda’s, a restaurant run by a girl named Rhonda with Mr. Mime as its head chef. Team Rocket stumbles across another restaurant, Rhoda’s, run by a girl named Rhoda with Sneasel as its head chef. Meowth quickly takes a disliking to Sneasel, but Jessie and James want it for Team Rocket.
Back at Rhonda’s, Mr. Mime puts on a fantastic show for Ash and company, but the food is terrible. Over at Rhoda’s, Sneasel’s food looks terrible, but it tastes fantastic—except for Meowth’s, because Sneasel purposely made him a horrible meal. The two start to fight, breaking through the restaurant wall and right into Rhonda’s. Rhonda and Rhoda are actually twin sisters who split up the family restaurant; Rhoda accuses Rhonda, and they challenge each other to see who deserves to run the place.
Team Rocket coaches Sneasel while Brock advises Mr. Mime, and after a night’s practice it’s time to allez cuisine! Mr. Mime’s presentation is great, but now Sneasel also puts on a show. It looks like a close battle until Team Rocket steals the chefs and Pikachu too! Team Rocket hops in their balloon to make a getaway, but Rhonda tells Mr. Mime to use Trick and Psychic. This frees all three Pokémon, who head home and send Team Rocket packing along the way.
Impressed, Rhoda leaves the restaurant to Rhonda. But Rhonda makes Rhoda co-manager and Sneasel the head chef; with everyone working together, the restaurant is now better than ever! And after a wonderful meal, Ash and his friends can happily continue on their way.
A Psyduck is frantically running from a Machop, Machoke, and Machamp when it hurls headlong into Ash and friends, on their way to the Pokémon Contest in Saffron City. Ash sends out Phanpy, who drives off the three Superpower Pokémon. Brock feeds the Psyduck, who makes fast friends with Phanpy and Pikachu.
Meanwhile, the Superpower Pokémon trio returns to their Trainer, a rich girl named Emily who orders them not to return unless they have Psyduck in tow. They dutifully head out again.
The kids and Psyduck walk along until they reach a hill where a disguised Team Rocket coerces them into trying out “grass-sledding.” But as they’re coasting down the grassy hill, Jessie activates a trap that sends the kids barreling around like pinballs and then Meowth catches Psyduck and Phanpy in a net. Team Rocket begins to escape with the two Pokémon using their balloon, but Machop, Machoke, and Machamp show up just in time to pull them back down. Team Rocket is sent blasting off, and Emily arrives to take her Psyduck home.
Back at Emily’s mansion, everyone notices that despite the posh surroundings, Psyduck is not happy there. Ash and May have a practice battle on the grounds, and they find out that Emily never lets Psyduck battle. Brock speculates that it’s lonely. Team Rocket shows up again, and this time Psyduck eagerly steps up to the plate to drive them off. Emily doesn’t know how to battle, so Max gives her some advice. Psyduck holds its own against Cacnea, Seviper, and Meowth, just before Pikachu sends the thieves off with Thunderbolt.
Emily realizes that she needs to bond with her Pokémon more, and considers going on her own Pokémon journey as the kids resume their own travels.
May and Ash are waiting on line outside a popular bakery when an Arcanine runs past. May wants to catch it, but she sees that Drew is chasing it too! Thanks to Extremespeed, Arcanine easily escapes. May catches up to it while it’s eating and sends out Combusken, but Arcanine outruns her Pokémon. So Ash and his friends stop to ask a woodsman about Arcanine, and he points them to locations where it sometimes appears—but he also told Drew the same information about an hour ago.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has been fired from the bakery for eating the merchandise, and a combination of Wobbuffet and hunger leads them to a Pecha grove. Ash and his friends are waiting in the grove; when Arcanine shows up, they send it towards May and Squirtle. Arcanine uses Roar on Squirtle, and May sends out Munchlax to use Metronome. Metronome gives Munchlax Extremespeed, speed it uses to eat all the Pecha berries. By the time Team Rocket arrives, the trees have been picked clean! They do spot Arcanine, however, and decide to nab it for the boss.
May and Drew again run into each other on a high ledge and see Arcanine run off again. Irate, May challenges Drew to see who gets Arcanine, and Drew’s Flygon quickly defeats May’s Squirtle. Both Coordinators chase after Arcanine anyway, only to find it feeding Pecha berries to its young Growlithe.
Team Rocket kidnaps Arcanine and the Growlithe, but Drew and May team up to free them and defeat Team Rocket. May and Drew then decide not to break up Arcanine’s family, and they let it go on its way. Drew goes on his way too, but not before he tells May to try the Pokémon Contest in Saffron City. Excited, our heroes set their sights on their next destination!
On their way to the Battle Arena, Ash and his friends are snagged by a net trap. But for once, it’s not Team Rocket—it’s a fellow named Mitch and his Loudred, and they’re tyring to catch Jigglypuff! Mitch used to be a company executive until his daughter Lisa requested a Jigglypuff for her birthday, and for six months he’s been in the woods trying to get one. Every Jigglypuff comes to tease him, and every day Jigglypuff gets away scot free. Plus, Lisa’s birthday is tomorrow!
Ash decides to help Mitch out, but Jigglypuff puts everyone to sleep, even Team Rocket. What’s more, it’s tough, and it’s not impressed when they try to lure it with food! So they trick it into battling Loudred and using Rollout, which rolls it right into the cabin—now covered in sound-reflecting panels. Pikachu battles Jigglypuff until it uses Sing, and the echoes of its attack put it to sleep.
Now Mitch can catch Jigglypuff, but he realizes it belongs in the forest after all. He and the kids return to town, where Lisa is happy to have her dad home even if he didn’t bring a Jigglypuff. Just then, Jigglypuff comes flying in, angry at Mitch for leaving. It turns out that Jigglypuff liked playing with Mitch, and it decides to stick around. So now Lisa has two new Pokémon friends!
Ash’s Battle Factory victory has him eager to reach the next Battle Frontier stop right away, but even he has to stop for food and water. Munchlax takes care of the Pokémon food by eating it all, which sets off a squabble that disturbs the local Geodude. The Geodude chase Ash and May’s Pokémon, and some of them are separated in the commotion. Ash and May have to find their missing Pokémon!
An Onix leads the Rock-type Pokémon that live in the area, and they’re none too happy about the intruders. Team Rocket sees this and convinces Onix that Ash and his friends are up to no good. Phanpy and Squirtle reunite with Pikachu, Corphish, and then Munchlax, but they’re captured by Rock Pokémon working with Team Rocket. Elsewhere, Brock is captured as well!
Ash finds Onix and Team Rocket, but now all his friends and their Pokémon have been snagged! Ash tries to tell Onix that he’s not a villain, and Onix decides that they’ll battle. If Ash wins, his friends go free. If Ash loses… well, he’d better win! Ash choses Grovyle, who has a type advantage against Onix, and wins the round.
Team Rocket tries plan B: steal all the Pokémon outright. But Ash tells Grovyle to defend Onix against their attack, and it’s clear now who the good guys are. May and the others are freed, and together everyone protects the wild Pokémon from Team Rocket. Once the villains are sent flying, Onix makes amends by giving our heroes an escorted ride out of its valley.
Ash has opted to battle Articuno with Charizard in his Battle Factory match. Now he’s busy training with Charizard, who has gotten even stronger during its time in the Charicific Valley. Team Rocket, secretly watching from the roof of the Battle Factory, are hopeful they can snatch the impressive Pokémon for themselves. But when the battle gets underway, the roof of the Battle Factory opens and they fall into the main chamber where everyone can see them.
Articuno and Charizard waste no time in clearing out the intruders before Noland and Ash get down to business. This Articuno is tough and knows a Water-type attack, so Charizard is in for a rough time. The two Pokémon wage a fast-paced flying battle that looks like it might end in Noland’s favor as Articuno ices up Charizard’s wing. Good thing for Ash that Charizard has a new trick in store: Overheat!
Articuno also packs a powerful Steel Wing, but Charizard grabs it mid-attack and turns the move into a Seismic Toss. Articuno tries to get back up and battle, to no avail. Ash is awarded the Knowledge Symbol along with a Frontier Folio to hold his Battle Frontier Symbols, and Noland congratulates him on a battle well-fought. Next stop, the Battle Arena!
The Battle Factory is Ash’s next destination—if he can find it, that is. He and his friends have become lost, but they see snow and an Articuno flying overhead, followed by a plane in distress. The group winds up at a Pokémon Center, where Scott gives them a ride to the Battle Factory. There they meet Noland, who’s not just the Factory Head but also a bit of a mechanical mastermind, and the pilot of the plane they saw last night.
Ash can pick which of Noland’s Pokémon he wants to battle. Noland has befriended an Articuno whom he helped once, and he takes Max and Pikachu up in his plane to fly with the Legendary Pokémon. Team Rocket wants Articuno for themselves, and they show up in their own plane to steal it. It’s no match for Articuno, who quickly sends them on their way.
Impressed, Ash decides he wants to battle Articuno. What’s more, he wants to battle it with Charizard! It looks like this is shaping up to be quite a match…
Ash and his friends are on their way to the Battle Frontier, and Misty joins them for a while as she heads back to Cerulean City. But Daisy calls to ask if she can start giving away Gym Badges—Misty just can’t get a break! Brock has left his Ludicolo at home, May is delighted with her new Squirtle, and Max is eager to see Pokémon that live on nearby Mt. Moon, like Cleffa. Sure enough, a Cleffa appears.
So does Team Rocket and their Poké-Vac 5000, which manages to vacuum up all of the kids’ Pokémon except for Pikachu. Except Team Rocket accidentally ejects the Pokémon right back out, the Poké-Vac breaks, and in the confusion as Team Rocket blasts off, Cleffa, Misty, Max, Pikachu, and Azurill all fall in a river!
Misty and Max get back onto dry land and start to look for their friends. Easier said than done, as they run from Beedrill and take cover from a rainstorm. Meanwhile, a Clefairy and Clefable team up with Ash and May to find Cleffa. Just as they find Misty, Team Rocket shows up to spoil the reunion.
Clefairy, Clefable, and Cleffa call for backup, and Team Rocket is on the receiving end of a super-powerful Metronome—Solarbeam combo, with Munchlax on the assist. That’s it for Team Rocket until next time! That night, Ash and his friends watch a Pokémon moondance, and in the morning he and Misty go their separate ways once more.
Ash has returned to Pallet Town to find a reunion of friends! May stops by Ash’s house but Ash has left for Professor Oak’s lab, where Max, Misty, and Tracey are getting to know a trio of Kanto starter Pokémon. Max upsets the Squirtle, which goes running to May just as she arrives with Ash’s mother. May wants to know what Max is doing there when he should be at home—it seems he’s a guest of Professor Birch, who enters with Professor Oak and Ash in tow.
As everyone takes this opportunity to discuss their plans for the future and meet Ash’s other Pokémon, Team Rocket shows up to ruin the fun with their new Sucker for Punishment, a giant vacuuming robot! Ash calls on his old pal Snorlax to knock Team Rocket down a notch, and with the help of May, Misty, Tracey, Team Rocket’s plan to nab Pikachu is foiled once again.
With that excitement over, Ash prepares to depart for the Battle Factory. Glalie and Torkoal will stay behind, but Phanpy wants to tag along for the trip. As for May, her Beautifly and Skitty are living the good life at home, but her new friend Squirtle makes a perfect addition to her team. Misty will travel with her friends on her way home too, and they just can’t leave without Brock, who catches up to them as they’re leaving Pallet Town! Together again, our intrepid group of Trainers sets off in search of another adventure.
The Hoenn League has ended and our friends must go their separate ways. Tyson and Morrison are off to new adventures; May and Max return to Petalburg while Ash and Brock head back to Kanto. Even Team Rocket goes back to headquarters and reports to a thoroughly unimpressed Giovanni. Butch and Cassidy show off their cool new jetpacks, so Team Rocket demands they get something cool too—and end up with pogo sticks.
Ash is now alone, Brock having headed home to Pewter City. In Viridian City, Ash encounters Scott, a flashy fellow who wants to talk about the Battle Frontier. But first Ash ends up challenging the new Viridian Gym Leader, a woman named Agatha. With typical confidence, Ash sends Pikachu to battle Agatha’s Gengar and forgets that as a Ghost-type Pokémon, Pikachu won’t be able to hit it with normal attacks.
Although Ash quickly adjusts his strategy and Pikachu does its best, it just can’t beat Gengar. Still, Agatha is impressed that Ash at least showed some spirit. It’s now that Ash learns Agatha is also one of the Elite Four, so it’s great that Pikachu managed to last that long in the first place! Scott encourages Ash to try for the Battle Frontier, a series of seven challenges, but they’re briefly interrupted by Team Rocket’s latest short-lived Pikachu-snatching attempt.
Once Ash finally makes it back home, he finds Misty and her new Azurill waiting for him—and Professor Birch and Max show up as well! A memorable get-together is in the works…
It’s the battle between Ash and Tyson to decide who moves on to the final four of the Hoenn League, and Glalie and Sceptile are already out! Tyson’s Shiftry is ill-matched against Ash’s Torkoal and its fiery attacks, but Tyson sends in Hariyama to beat the heat and defeat Torkoal. Corphish is next, but Hariyama defeats it too!
At the halftime break, Morrison tries to give Ash a pep talk. When the match resumes, Swellow and Hariyama battle until Swellow is the victor. Swellow then goes on to beat Tyson’s Donphan, but Tyson has a powerful Metagross waiting! Despite Swellow’s determination, Metagross knocks it out—but Swellow did some damage, and Ash sends Grovyle out to hammer on that weak spot. Grovyle still can’t stop Metagross but Pikachu finishes the job, so Tyson sends out the ace up his sleeve: his Meowth!
Team Rocket’s Meowth cheers its fellow Pokémon on from the stands. Tyson’s Meowth can counter Pikachu’s Thunderbolt with one of its own, so the battle comes down to Iron Tail vs Iron Tail. Exhausted, both Pokémon finally fall to the ground, and though they get back up, Pikachu cannot continue. Team Rocket’s Meowth is delighted, but not for long—Jessie and James have been caught stealing Pokémon by their new boss, who sends all three flying! Tyson goes on to win the Hoenn League and Ash, happy that he battled his best, can now look forward to his next big adventure.
Morrison and Ash are battling each other in the Hoenn League, and Morrison is so upset he can’t bring himself to choose his next Pokémon after his Girafarig is knocked out! He’s almost disqualified before he decides to send Growlithe out against Ash’s Corphish. But Morrison doesn’t have Growlithe attack, and his Pokémon is quickly knocked out. Ash angrily demands to know why Morrison isn’t fighting, which makes Morrison realize his Pokémon are counting on him to give it his best, too.
He rallies and brings out Swampert—both it and Corphish unleash their strongest attacks, resulting in a double KO! It’s time for a battlefield change and Morrison apologizes to Ash. Then, Pikachu and Morrison’s Steelix take to the grass battlefield. Another head-to-head battle results in Pikachu out of the match, and Torkoal is defeated as well! It’s up to Grovyle to beat Steelix, but Morrison’s agile Gligar gets the better of their aerial battle. Gligar and Ash’s Swellow have another double KO, so this match will be decided by Glalie and Metang. Some clever strategy wins the day for Ash, who becomes one of only 8 semifinalists!
Elsewhere, Team Rocket’s work as snack sellers pays off when their boss takes them to the all-you-can-eat buffet as a reward. But is he making a big mistake in trusting them? And Ash and Tyson will face each other in the semifinals, in a match that begins with a real bang!
The first round of the Victory Tournament finds Ash in a tight spot. He has three Pokémon remaining; Katie, his opponent, has four. Katie’s Golduck faces Corphish on a water field and uses its attack to confuse Corphish. Luckily, even confused, Corphish is one tough Pokémon! Its haphazard attacks manage to defeat Golduck. Then it’s a tense series of battles as Ash rallies and knocks out all of Katie’s Pokémon until only her Walrein remains!
Walrein knocks out Swellow and Corphish with no problem, but Ash’s spur of the moment tactics and Groyvle’s fighting ability are still a force to be reckoned with. Walrein’s Ice Beam has the side effect of freezing over the water, which means it can no longer dive to avoid attacks, and Grovyle takes full advantage of the situation to strike fast and hard. Victory to Ash!
The next round draw is completed, and to their mutual shock, Ash and Morrison will be battling each other. Morrison runs off, stunned by the thought of battling his friend. And where has Team Rocket been all this time? Still working hard to sell snacks at the stadium! Their boss will even take them out for dinner if things keep going well. Will the promise of food actually keep Team Rocket out of trouble?
The next day, Morrison and Ash begin their match. Morrison doesn’t have the heart to battle, and his Girafarig is quickly beaten by Corphish. Will he recover in time to make it a good match, or will this experience affect his friendship with Ash?
Ash, Tyson, and Morrison are all aiming for the top of the Hoenn League, but first they have to qualify for the Victory Tournament stage of the competition. In the third and final double battle qualification round, Ash sends out Glalie and Groyle against Clark, a conductor with two strong Fire-type Pokémon—Charizard and Quilava. Grovyle and Quilava are knocked out first, and it’s an icy hot battle as Charizard and Glalie battle for victory! Thanks to Ash’s quick thinking, Glalie bounces back for the win.
Morrison and Tyson advance to the Victory Tournament, too. In fact, the only ones not getting anywhere are Team Rocket. It’s hard to steal Pikachu when they’re busy selling snacks at the stadium, but honest work has its rewards… a delicious dinner they didn’t even have to steal! Meanwhile, the Trainers have a day off to see the sights and do some extra training.
Now the Victory Tournament begins: 32 competitors, one winner! Ash’s first opponent is Katie, a strategic Trainer who takes full advantage of type weaknesses and strengths. She starts out with Venomoth, but switches in Golduck to put Ash’s Torkoal out of the match. Next up is Pikachu, but Katie counters with Dugtrio and sends Pikachu flying! Glalie knocks out Dugtrio, but is stopped by Misdreavus and its Destiny Bond attack. With Ash down three Pokémon and Katie only down two, will he be able to hang on to this match?
The preliminaries are over, and now the Hoenn League Championships begin in earnest! The qualifying round is all double battles, and Ash goes to watch Morrison’s match against muscleman Gavin. Morrison’s Growlithe and Gligar are up against Marowak and Machamp, and no punches are pulled in this all-out battle! It’s not looking good for Morrison until Gligar uses Guillotine to knock Machamp out. But Marowak defeats Growlithe, and Gligar finally wins.
Ash is jogging along after the match, minding his own business, when he falls into another Team Rocket pit trap. But just as they finish their motto, their new boss catches them in the act and shouts at them to get back to work. Team Rocket runs away and Ash wonders what’s going on, but not for long—he’s up next in the qualifying round!
Ash sends out Torkoal and Corphish. His opponent Dominic sends out Swalot and Tropius, which may grant him an aerial advantage. But Ash’s trusty Torkoal gives it all it’s got, and takes down Tropius in a double KO. As for Swalot, its resilient body resists Corphish’s attacks. Finally Corphish charges in, throws Swalot, and gets up close and personal to deliver a Bubble Beam that knocks its opponent out! Tyson has also won his first match, and now our Trainers move on to round 2!
Where’s Morrison? That’s the question on Ash’s mind as he trains his Pokémon in preparation for the big tournament in Ever Grande City. When Morrison finally makes his appearance, he and Ash immediately start up their friendly rivalry again, which leads to them falling into a Team Rocket pit trap! Tyson and his Meowth in boots show up just in time to help out—Tyson’s Meowth defeats Team Rocket’s Meowth once more, using Iron Tail to send the villains flying.
Once everyone is registered for the tournament, the one-on-one preliminary rounds get underway. Morrison and Beldum face a Trainer with an Electabuzz, and Morrison is relying solely on Beldum’s Take Down attack. This doesn’t work too well until Beldum evolves into Metang and wins the match. As for Tyson, his Meowth takes some hits from a Persian, then comes back to win its first round. But once Persian is knocked out, Meowth charges after it and Tyson must recall it to its Poké Ball.
Tyson later explains why his Meowth is so troubled. When he met Meowth, it was lying hurt in a forest after a Persian defeated it in a battle for leadership. Tyson took care of Meowth, which was how it got its boots—originally they were just to help protect its injured legs. But to this day it still has a grudge against Persian.
And now it’s Ash’s turn to battle! Pikachu handily wins its round, so all three Trainers can look forward to their next challenge in the Hoenn League.
Ash and his friends have finally arrived in Ever Grande city for the Hoenn League Championships, but they’re mobbed by a group of Murkrow as they’re looking for a place to eat. A snappily-dressed Meowth and its Trainer, Tyson, jump into save the day. After introductions and a friendly lunch together, it’s time to see the torch carried to the stadium. Tyson himself turns out to be the torch bearer!
While Tyson heads for the stadium, Ash makes his preparations for the Hoenn league and wonders where Morrison is. Team Rocket is also making their preparations—to steal the torch, which burns with a legendary flame! When Tyson brings the torch to a storage room before the ceremonies, a disguised Team Rocket grabs the torch and runs! Officer Jenny, Nurse Joy, and our heroes all give chase and finally corner Team Rocket.
Tyson’s Meowth seizes the torch and dares Team Rocket’s Meowth to try and take it back. Meowth, its pride wounded, takes up the challenge, but is quickly defeated by its new rival before Team Rocket is sent blasting off as usual. With the torch recovered, now the Hoenn League championships can get underway!
Ash is ready to board the ferry to Ever Grande City when May comes running up—she’s won four plane tickets to Ever Grande! Except once the kids are onboard, the flight crew turns out to be Team Rocket in disguise, and the plane is headed for Team Rocket headquarters! Now if only Team Rocket had thought to fill up the fuel tank first…
Out of fuel, the plane makes an emergency landing on an island in the middle of the ocean. As Ash and his friends exit the plane, they meet Robin, a traveling salesman who’s been stranded on the island for ages. Luckily, he also made a Wailmer friend to help him out! But Wailmer wasn’t strong enough to carry Robin past the whirlpools that surround Wailmer Island, as Robin now calls it. Team Rocket tries to swim for it themselves, and find out firsthand how dangerous the whirlpools are!
Brock realizes that with help from their Pokémon, the group can convert the airplane to a ship. Once the ship is finished, Team Rocket grabs Pikachu and steals the ship, but once again they’ve forgotten about the need for fuel. The ship ends up wrecked in a whirlpool, and Wailmer helps Ash save Pikachu just in time.
Together, Wailmer and Pikachu stop Team Rocket, and Wailmer evolves into a huge Wailord! Now Wailord is strong enough to carry Robin, Ash, and his friends through the whirlpools and safely back to the ferry. But Robin, who realizes he never truly enjoyed his job in the city, decides to return to Wailmer Island with Wailord and live life to the fullest. As he departs, Ash and company turn their sights towards Ever Grande and the Hoenn League competition two weeks away!
May and Harley face off in the main competition of the Grand Festival! It’s Harley’s Banette and Cacturne against May’s Beautifly and Bulbasaur. May’s team gets in the first hits, but Harley makes a comeback and it takes some quick thinking for May to beat Harley and move onto the semifinals.
Elsewhere, Jessie wants to impersonate a coordinator and sneak into the competition. Team Rocket decides to kidnap Robert, but Ash interrupts them as they make their move. Snorunt is hit by Team Rocket’s Pokémon and evolves into a Glalie! Jessie thinks it’s adorable, James thinks it’s creepy, but either way, Glalie easily sends them packing.
Back on the stage, May defeats Anthony’s Pinsir and Combusken, but her next opponent will be an even greater challenge: Drew! And Drew has brought a Flygon he trained especially for the competition. Flygon and Roselia are up against Combusken and Skitty. It’s a close fight but Roselia hits May’s Pokémon with Stun Spore, followed by a Steel Wing from Flygon, and takes the win.
Now it’s Drew and Robert in the finals. To May’s surprise, Robert earns the victory and wins the Festival. But Drew isn’t upset—that night, even though there’s a party, he goes right back to training. Impressed by his example, May sets her sights on next year’s Grand Festival!
The Grand Festival is underway in Slateport. Harley asks May if they can train together for the main competition, and May agrees. She’s not the only one training; Ash is also training Snorunt, but its Ice Beam hits a Pokémon coordinator named Anthony. Anthony was planning to compete in the Grand Festival with his Swalot… until three people stole his ribbons!
The first round of the main competition begins with single Pokémon performances. Harley shows off his scary Banette as Jessie prepares to take the stage—as Anthony! She took his ribbons and disguised herself as him, but Officer Jenny, Ash, and the real Anthony are all waiting for her. Before she can get in a fight, James and Meowth exercise the better part of valor and drag her away.
Now it’s May’s turn. Following Harley’s advice, she has Skitty use Assist over and over, until Skitty performs a Petal Dance and confuses itself! Harley is delighted; Drew, who overhears him, is not. May orders Skitty to Double Slap itself back to normal and finish off with an impressive Blizzard. She apologizes to Harley for going against his advice, but Drew reveals that Harley was only pretending to be her friend to sabotage her.
Drew and his Masquerain receive perfect scores for their performance, as does Robert and his Milotic. May just makes it into the second round, where she’ll face Harley in a double-battle!
May has arrived in Slateport City for the Grand Festival. Her mother, Caroline, has come to cheer her on, and her friends sent notes to wish her luck. With 247 competitors in the preliminary matches and only 64 slots in the main competition round, May will need more than just luck—especially when Drew and Harley are among the competitors, too!
Harley is friendly towards May, but her friends are suspicious of the advice he gives her. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has dressed James up as Norman and offers free counseling sessions. When Trainers show up, their Pokémon are stolen! Harley sees this and drags May off to see “Norman.” When she and her friends see the false Norman, Team Rocket’s number is up.
With Team Rocket’s plan foiled, it’s back to the competition. May uses Silver Wind just as Harley suggested, and it works great. She advances to the next round along with Harley and Drew. But Drew is still skeptical of Harley’s motives as they prepare for the main competition.
This is a clipshow Unaired outside of Japan of Satoshi’s (Ash’s) gym battles and Haruka’s (May’s) contest battles.
May is traveling to Slateport City in style: onboard a giant cruise ship that has the Grand Festival’s prize Ribbon Cup on display! Officer Jenny reveals that even though Team Magma and Team Aqua have disbanded, a former Team Magma member—Brodie the Phantom Thief—is onboard and intent on stealing valuables.
When May goes to see the Ribbon Cup, Munchlax bumps the display case, breaking the Cup and revealing that it’s a fake. And without the Cup, the Grand Festival will be called off! Brodie must have stolen it, so a “Golden Poké Ball” is put on display as a lure. Disguised as the Captain, Brodie distracts May and her friends and steals the Poké Ball, but Officer Jenny had a tracking device installed in it and they set off in hot pursuit.
They chase Brodie through the ship, finally cornering him on deck. Brodie has now disguised himself as Officer Jenny and the only way to distinguish between the two is with Brock’s keen eye for lovely ladies. Once his ruse is rumbled, he escapes and Team Rocket tries for the Ribbon Cup instead. But Officer Jenny and Ash are up to the job, and Team Rocket’s plans are thwarted.
Our friends have stopped to eat, but Munchlax won’t stop eating! Ash is training when he sees a sandwich come rolling down a hill, and Munchlax gulps down the sandwich. That’s how Ash ends up meeting Morrison, the sandwich’s owner, who decides to have a Pokémon battle with Ash: his Beldum against Ash’s Pikachu!
Pikachu’s Iron Tail and Beldum’s Take Down are evenly matched—it’s a tie! After the battle, Morrison, who plans to enter the Hoenn League tournament, shows off his seven badges. When Ash tells him he needs eight badges to enter, he runs off to find a Gym. But since there’s no Gym on the island, he ends up at the same Pokémon Center that Ash and his friends are staying at. The two Trainers constantly compete over everything, even which spot they’re going to train in!
Just as they reach a truce, however, Team Rocket kidnaps Pikachu and Beldum. Though they have no other Pokémon with them, Ash and Morrison chase the thieves down, then battle Team Rocket’s Seviper and Cacnea by themselves! Pikachu and Beldum are freed and with their help, Team Rocket is quickly sent blasting off again.
Now Ash is headed to Slateport with his friends, but as Morrison goes off to earn his eighth badge, the two rivals promise to meet each other again at Ever Grande!
The kids are now headed to Slateport City. But while eating berries, Ash bites into a Tamato Berry and burns his mouth!
They reach a Pokémon Center and Ash goes off to practice Ice Beam with Snorunt, while May goes off to make PokéBlock. In the garden, Team Rocket is trimming hedges to earn money, but they’re stepped on by an unrepentant Munchlax. They notice the Berry Blenders and get an idea.
Brock and Max watch people make PokéBlock. May comes in with her killer top-secret recipe for PokéBlock: May’s Purple Surprise! But it tastes terrible to Brock and Max. The Pokémon also hate it. But Munchlax wanders in and loves it!
Team Rocket shows up dressed as professional PokéBlock tasters who claim to know all the secrets. Meowth and Wobbuffet then steal the PokéBlock while everyone’s distracted. Oddly enough, Jessie also likes May’s PokéBlock. But then the kids notice all of the PokéBlocks are missing and they blame it on Munchlax. It goes out into the garden and eats all the berries, but May stands up for it to the other kids.
She tries to capture Munchlax but nothing works. James bites into a Tamato Berry and runs away in pain; the kids see him and realize he must be a fake. Backed into a corner, Team Rocket grabs Pikachu. Munchlax jumps into the Team Rocket balloon to eat all the PokéBlock. With Snorunt’s help, the kids defeat the thieves.
May tries to catch Munchlax; she throws the ball but Munchlax eats it. But it works, and she now has a new friend!
The second round of the Pacifidlog Contest begins! Erica and her Jynx face a suspiciously familiar team—the Jester and Meowth. Meowth is afraid of Jynx, so the Jester orders him to use Transform. Meowth disguises himself as a Sunflora, then a Kirlia, and finally a Wailord, but the scam is uncovered. The Jester reveals herself as Jessie and Team Rocket tries to snatch Jynx, but its Hyper Beam puts a stop to that!
Erica jealously watches Joshua and Houndoom battle May and Skitty. The winner depends on which attack is stronger: Houndoom’s Flamethrower or Skitty’s Blizzard! They’re well-matched, but Houndoom finally stumbles. With time up, May is ahead of Joshua in the points.
On the final contest stage, Erica realizes May and Joshua both gave it their best. That matters more than petty jealousy, so Erica apologizes and shakes May’s hand. Once their battle starts, Skitty has a hard time with Jynx’s attacks so May decides to use Assist again and again, with mixed results… and she’s running out of time! But Skitty’s Assist finally comes up with Fire Spin, an attack that Jynx is weak against, giving May the advantage she needs to win!
Afterward, Erica and Joshua promise to keep training separately so they can become great rivals as well as great partners. May and her friends say goodbye, then it’s off to the Grand Festival and the Hoenn League!
Pacifidlog at last! May is practicing for her contest, and Ash wants Snorunt to practice Ice Beam. But Snorunt’s wild aim hits Team Rocket instead and scares another Coordinator’s Aipom. Skitty chases it, and May chases Skitty. She finds Skitty playing with another Coordinator, Joshua, and the two talk about the upcoming contest. Erica, a Coordinator who really likes Joshua, loses her cool when she sees them together and gives May a piece of her mind.
Ash and the others show up, but so does Team Rocket! The villains grab Pikachu and Snorunt, so May and Joshua team up to stop them. Erica’s so mad that May and Joshua are working together, she has Jynx use Hyper Beam to send Team Rocket flying. Then it’s time to register for the contest, where Team Rocket also has a plan to enter the contest—with Meowth!
The first competitor in the Pacifidlog Contest is the Jester and her Meowth. Both of them look awfully familiar, as does the Giovanni ice sculpture Meowth carves using Fury Swipes! Joshua, Erica, and May all do well and move onto the second round along with the Jester. To May’s shock, she’ll be facing Joshua in the second round! Erica wants Joshua to win so they can win the ribbon together, but there’s no way May is going to give up!
May and her friends are headed to Pacifidlog Island for the last Pokémon Contest before the Grand Festival. But their boat has engine trouble and the pilot, Carlos, lands on a nearby island. To reach Pacifidlog in time, our heroes must cross the island to the port and take a ferry. But the island is full of Donphan, and it’s breeding season—all the male Donphan perform a Roll Out dance of love to impress the females, which can be dangerous for any Trainers who happen to be in the way!
Along the way, May and her friends cheer on a Donphan who wants to impress a brown female Donphan. Snorunt’s Ice Beam turns the ground into an ice skating rink, and Donphan trips. Ash chases Snorunt, who won’t go back into its Poké Ball, but just as he gets it back, the Donphan send everyone running! May and Ash make it to the port as the last ferry is about to leave… and May bravely decides to turn around and look for Max.
May’s Grand Festival debut will have to wait another year, but everyone is reunited, along with their Donphan friend and the brown Donphan. Donphan does a dance of love that wins her heart, but Team Rocket shows up and captures them both. May, fed up with Team Rocket’s constant schemes, calls on her Pokémon to free the Donphan and stop Team Rocket. Once the Donphan are freed, they Roll Out together and Team Rocket blasts off yet again.
Carlos finds May and her friends sadly standing at the port. His boat is fixed, and he takes them to Pacifidlog. Now it’s up to May to win her fifth ribbon!
When Ash and May see Drew training his Masquerain, May can’t resist the challenge of a practice match. Beautifly and Masquerain battle it out in a Silver Wind showdown that’s interrupted by who else but Team Rocket and their Magikarp submarine! They use a giant vacuum to snatch the Pokémon but accidentally snatch the Trainers as well, and in the confusion, Max bumps the sub’s engine switch. The submarine rockets off until it hits an island, sending everyone flying!
Now Jessie, James, and Meowth need to find Wobbuffet. Brock, Max, and Ash need to find Drew and May. And Drew and May are found by Roderick, a one-time coordinator who knows the ins and outs of Mirage Island. But when Drew and May try to get a closer look at Mirage Island’s famed Liechi Berries, they fall into a river!
Wynaut to the rescue! A herd of Wynaut rescue the pair and shelter them in their cave, where they’ve got plenty of Liechi Berries to eat. Elsewhere, Wobbuffet reunites with Team Rocket, and they’re inspired to steal the Liechi Berries from the Wynaut. May is kidnapped when she tries to stop them, but Drew and the Wynaut come running. Roderick and Ash’s group realize foul play is afoot and show up just in time to help Drew battle Team Rocket.
Team Rocket is no match for teamwork—once Drew and May have their Pokémon perform a perfect double Silver Wind, it’s all over! Team Rocket blasts off and Roderick helps everyone off the island. He also gives May a sweet souvenir that will help her in her upcoming contests: a basket of Liechi Berries to make great Pokéblock!
Ash is now three months away from Ever Grande City and the Hoenn League, while May is gearing up for her next contest in. But after they stop for a rest, two of May’s Poké Balls suddenly vanish! All evidence points to a Linoone as the culprit. Ash tracks it to a house and meets Kimmy and his family. Kimmy is a boy whose Linoone, Token, is obsessed with collecting round objects—even if they’re not his! Kimmy and his parents help search, but there’s no sign of May’s Poké Balls until Token appears with the Poké Balls still in his mouth.
Team Rocket, impressed by Token’s Pickup ability, capture Token and fly off in their balloon. Kimmy tries to stop them but falls and gets hurt, which startles Token into dropping the Poké Balls. Pikachu frees Token but Team Rocket simply grabs Pikachu instead and flees.
Token chases Team Rocket’s round balloon—it likes round objects because it used to play Fetch with Kimmy when it was still a Zigzagoon. James’ Cacnea tries to stop Token with Needle Arm, but this accidentally pops the balloon and lets Token rescue Pikachu. Team Rocket come back for more, so Token and Pikachu hit them with a double Thunderbolt and blast them off at last! Kimmy now understands that even though Token changed when it evolved, the two of them are still friends.
We rejoin the action in the middle of Ash’s match against Juan, the Sootopolis Gym Leader. Ash’s Grovyle has been confused by Luvdisc’s Sweet Kiss and before it can snap out of it, Luvdisc knocks it out with Water Gun! Corphish must step up to take Grovyle’s place.
Team Rocket has dressed James up as Juan to attract an audience for their Water Illusion show, but back at the Gym, it’s a tense back and forth as Corphish confronts Luvdisc. Luvdisc is fast, and when Corphish’s attack creates a rain-like shower of water, its Swift Swim makes it even faster! But once that effect dissipates, Corphish wins the round, only to be defeated by Juan’s next Pokémon, Whiscash.
With no Water Pokémon and no talent, Team Rocket’s Water Illusion is a very poor Water Pokémon talent show, but they’ve got a Plan B: sell merchandise and autographs! Naturally Team Rocket tries to swindle all their customers, but it turns out that Juan’s fans include some tough Water Pokémon Trainers—never mess with a lady and her Blastoise! Team Rocket’s plan is now officially all wet.
After Swellow defeats Whiscash, Juan sends out his secret weapon: Milotic! Milotic takes down Swellow and then faces off with Pikachu. Milotic’s Restore ability makes this a tough battle, but in the end Pikachu takes advantage of the water-filled battle stage to score a victory. Ash has earned his eighth badge and it’s time to prepare for the Hoenn League!