| Electric Shock Showdown
Electric Shock Showdown (Japanese: でんげきたいけつ！クチバジム Electric Shock Showdown! Kuchiba Gym) is the 14th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 1, 1997 and in the United States on September 25, 1998.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
After two weeks of traveling, Ash, Misty, and Brock have finally made it to Vermilion City. Brock and Misty can't wait to get cleaned up, but Ash is more concerned about finding the Vermilion Gym. However, Brock stops Ash, and points out that Pikachu is in no condition to battle. Pikachu and Ash are also very hungry, so first things first.
At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy says she'll take good care of Pikachu. Noticing Ash and his friends staring, she guesses that they're surprised because all the Nurse Joys look the same. She explains that her first cousin works at Pewter City, and her second cousin at Viridian City. She claims she believes she's the cutest one, though, and Brock agrees.
Suddenly, the doors open and a Chansey and a Trainer run in. On a roller table pushed by the Chansey is a badly beaten-up Rattata. Brock wonders what happened, and Nurse Joy mentions that this is the fifteenth one that month.
Ash and his friends are taken to a room where there are many badly injured Pokémon, including a Caterpie, an Oddish, a Sandshrew, and the previously seen Rattata. Nurse Joy explains that they have all lost to Lt. Surge, the Vermilion City Gym Leader. Ash is starting to get worried that this Lt. Surge must be a great Trainer, and Misty taunts him for getting scared.
Misty reminds him that he only got his first two Badges out of pity, but Ash retorts that a Badge is a Badge. Misty gives him a nose-flick, and says that if he's so strong, why doesn't he prove it at the Vermilion Gym? Misty also reminds Ash that she and Brock gave him Badges, so how would they look if Ash got crushed by Lt. Surge? At this point Ash is about ready to hit her, but Nurse Joy stops him, reminding him that they're in a hospital. She then jokingly suggests that if two people fight, they must really care about each other. Ash and Misty angrily and hastily deny this.
Just then, the Pokémon Center jingle is heard, which means Ash's Pokémon are fully recovered. Pikachu is happily eating an apple, and Ash tells it that it's time to go take on the Gym. Suddenly, another Trainer with an injured Pidgey comes in. Misty speculates they must have come from the Gym, too.
Hearing this frightens Pikachu, who refuses to go to the Gym. Ash grows angry at it for being a coward, but Pikachu retorts, asking if Ash really cares that it could end up like that Pidgey. Ash admits that Pikachu had a point, but tells Pikachu not to worry, because they are going to win. Pikachu still refuses to go, even going far enough to ThunderShock Ash. Misty mentions that with the way they fight, they must really care about each other, too.
Soon enough, though, they are outside the Gym. Misty tells Ash it's not too late to back out, but Ash is still set on going in there and winning. They end up getting into another argument, but Brock cuts this one off by asking if they're ever going to go inside.
They enter the Gym, Ash declaring his intent to battle for the Thunder Badge. The two subordinates in the room call that there's another victim for the Emergency Room. The rather large Lt. Surge then steps into view. Brock and Misty are amazed by his size.
Lt. Surge expresses pleasure in his next challenger being a cutie, and hugs Misty. Misty clarifies that she's not the challenger, and Ash reveals that he is. Lt. Surge laughs, calling him a baby; Ash takes offense to this. Lt. Surge then sees his Pikachu, and quips, "The little baby brought a little baby Pokémon." Now Pikachu is angry as well. Ash asks why he's making fun of Pikachu, and Lt. Surge answered the question by showing off his Raichu.
After Ash uses Dexter to scope out Raichu, Lt. Surge mentions that it's not too late to back out, his Raichu mirroring his poses. Ash refuses to back down, as does Pikachu. Lt. Surge laughs again, claiming that an Electric-type Pokémon is only useful if it is evolved quickly and taught all the Electric attacks. Ash counters, saying there's more to Pokémon than forcing evolution, and that he likes Pikachu the way it is.
Pikachu itself has had all it can take, and begins sparking, ready for battle. Brock is surprised by how ready Pikachu is to battle. Ash says he's counting on Pikachu for this. Lt. Surge accepts the challenge, saying he's going to show that fighting with the big boys can be a shocking experience.
Not long after, they are set up on the arena floor. Raichu and Pikachu charge each other, Pikachu using a ThunderShock. Raichu however, is unfazed, and counters with a ThunderShock of its own, knocking Pikachu for a loop. Brock tells Ash to recall Pikachu, saying that it can't match up to Raichu's electrical attacks. Ash orders Pikachu to return, but Pikachu gets up and refuses, charging in once more.
Outside, Team Rocket is looking in, seeing Pikachu getting knocked around. They begin to worry that if Pikachu is getting beat up like this, then maybe it isn't worth stealing after all, and all their efforts have been in vain. Meowth suggests that they could steal Raichu instead, but Jessie and James give him a whack to the head and start rooting for Pikachu.
However, Lt. Surge orders the big finale, and Raichu complies instantly, unleashing a powerful ThunderShock that gives Pikachu the shock of its life.
Later, at the Pokémon Center, Pikachu awakens, and Ash is glad to see that it is okay. Pikachu, however, is upset to have been beaten so badly by Raichu. Ash is convinced they can win if Pikachu tries harder, but Misty opines that Pikachu was already trying as hard as it could the last time.
Nurse Joy interrupts, saying there might be a way Pikachu can win. She walks in, revealing that she has come across a Thunderstone. With it, Ash could evolve his Pikachu into a Raichu as well. Brock warns him to think hard about this, because once he evolves Pikachu, there's no way to change it back.
Ash is torn. He knows that if he evolves Pikachu into Raichu, he might be able to defeat Lt. Surge. But he also realizes that if he were to evolve Pikachu just to battle, he would be no better than Lt. Surge. Finally, he decides to let Pikachu choose. Outside, Team Rocket watch intently to see what choice Pikachu will make.
Pikachu stands up and whacks away the Thunderstone with its tail. Pikachu then goes into a tirade, which moves even Meowth to tears. Meowth explains that Pikachu doesn't want to change; it wants to battle Lt. Surge again, but as a Pikachu; it wants to win in the name of all Pikachu everywhere. This moves James to tears, who says that it is beautiful.
Ash promises that, together, they will win. Brock suggests a strategy change, but Ash is convinced they can find a way. Pikachu says it will fight to defend both its honor and Ash's, which moves James to tears again. Pikachu is ready to go, but ends up flopping back into the bed. Nurse Joy suggested they let it rest a little while longer.
Out in the lobby, Misty is worried. Ash inquires when she started caring about him, but Misty immediately argues she's not worried about Ash, but Pikachu. Brock suddenly pipes up, saying that if Lt. Surge evolved his Pikachu into a Raichu as soon as he got it, then there might be a way for Ash to win.
Later, Ash and the fully recovered Pikachu step out of the Pokémon Center. Ash boldly claims that their lucky star is shining today. Pikachu looks at the sky in confusion, and so does Misty. Ash says he didn't mean it that way, and they head off for the Gym again.
However, they are soon blocked by the disguised Team Rocket. Jessie and James start to say their motto, but are quickly cut off by Meowth. They proceed into a very strange cheer for Pikachu and Ash, then run off. Brock finds this disturbing, but Misty cheerily waves Team Rocket off. They are surprised that she recognized them, but they keep running. Ash chuckles at the humorous scene, but soon gets back to business.
Momentarily, they arrive at the Gym for the rematch. Once again, it is to be Lt. Surge's Raichu against Ash's Pikachu. The battle begins, and Ash tells Pikachu to stick to the strategy. Lt. Surge just laughs, "They've come up with a new way to lose!", and sends Raichu out. Raichu starts things off with a move similar to Tail Whip.
Lt. Surge then orders a Body Slam, which Raichu does, dropping all its weight on Pikachu. Lt. Surge orders a finish with another Body Slam, but this time, Pikachu jumps out of the way, and Raichu hits the arena floor hard, damaging itself.
Ash orders Pikachu to use Agility, and Pikachu accelerates to full speed. Repeated Body Slam attempts from Raichu all miss completely; Pikachu is just too fast. Brock then reveals the strategy: because Lt. Surge evolved his Pikachu into a Raichu too fast, it never had a chance to learn the speed attacks it can only learn in Pikachu form.
Lt. Surge, growing aggravated, orders Raichu to unleash a Thunderbolt attack. Raichu rips up the arena floor and even blows out all the windows around the arena. Team Rocket, who are watching outside, are forced to duck so they don't get shocked. Lt. Surge declares the end of the match... but the smoke clears, revealing the unharmed Pikachu standing on its tail.
Brock explains that Pikachu used its tail as a ground to dodge the electric shocks. Lt. Surge orders another Thunderbolt, but Raichu can't muster up the electricity for it. Brock says that Raichu has run out of electricity.
Ash orders a Quick Attack, to which Lt. Surge responded by ordering a Take Down. The quicker Pikachu manages to strike first, slamming into the Raichu's stomach. It then adds to the punishment with what can be best described as an electric version of a Slam attack, sparking up its tail and hammering the Raichu with it. Raichu is down and out, and Pikachu wins the match.
Lt. Surge congratulates Ash and Pikachu on a job well done, and awards Ash the Thunder Badge. Ash gets a round of applause from everyone, and even the Raichu applauds Pikachu, which embarrasses it. Ash hugs Pikachu, saying this was its victory, and the happy Pikachu electrifies Ash, who claims now he can see lots of lucky stars.
The episode ends with Team Rocket walking off towards the sunset. James claims that that Pikachu really was special, which, Jessie adds, is why it's worth stealing. Meowth suggests that maybe once they capture the Pikachu, they can start earning their own Badges. Suddenly, it occurs to James that they wasted the whole episode cheering for the good guys; he points this out, breaking the fourth wall.
- Ash and his friends arrive at Vermillion City and meet the local Gym Leader, Lt. Surge.
- Lt. Surge defeats Ash on his first try.
- Ash receives a Thunderstone from Nurse Joy.
- Ash's Pikachu refuses to evolve into Raichu.
- Ash's Pikachu learns Quick Attack and Agility.
- Ash earns a Thunder Badge by defeating Lt. Surge on his second try.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Koffing (James's)
- Chansey (Nurse Joy's)
- Raichu (Lt. Surge's; debut)
- Caterpie (unnamed Trainer's)
- Pidgey (unnamed Trainer's)
- Rattata (unnamed Trainer's)
- Sandshrew (unnamed Trainer's)
- Oddish (unnamed Trainer's)
- This is one of the few episodes where Team Rocket do not attempt to steal Pikachu, or anything else for that matter. Instead they decide to support Pikachu in its aim to beat Raichu. In fact, this is the first time it happens.
- Pikachu's disliking of Raichu is revealed. However, it never appears to have this sort of animosity towards Raichu again until Pika and Goliath!.
- Pikachu won by hitting Raichu with its tail. This may or may not be related to the fact that there is a move that is performed like this introduced later, Iron Tail, learned by Pikachu.
- This was the first Gym Badge that Ash won for actually defeating the Gym Leader.
- This is one of the few times that at least one of the main characters were able to recognize Team Rocket in disguise completely. Misty even thanked Team Rocket for their support, much to Team Rocket's shock. Ironically, this is the first time they disguised themselves.
- In the original Japanese version, Lt. Surge uses English curse words such as "Goddamn".
- Ash keeps the Thunderstone until Pika and Goliath!, where it is stolen by Team Rocket.
- The book I Choose You! is partially based on this episode.
- James breaks the fourth wall in this episode at the end by saying "Drat, we wasted this episode cheering the good guys!"
- Perhaps in reference to Pikachu using its tail to ground Raichu's Thunderbolt, Pikachu gained the Hidden Ability Lightningrod in the Generation V games.
- In the previous episode, Dragonite was a mysterious and unknown Pokémon. But in this episode, the Pokédex mentions how many of Raichu's volts it takes to knock out a Dragonite.
- In one of the Pokémon Center shots, Misty's suspenders are shown as light blue instead of red.
- During the scene in which Nurse Joy gives Ash the Thunderstone, the symbol on her hat changes from orange to light blue, then back to orange.
- In this episode, it is mentioned that Pikachu is faster than Raichu. In fact, Raichu's base Speed is higher than Pikachu's. However, this may be due to the fact that Pikachu used multiple Agility attacks.
- When Nurse Joy is explaining that all Nurse Joys look alike, she says the one in Pewter City is her first cousin, and the one in Viridian City is her second cousin. In Pokémon Emergency!, the Nurse Joy in Viridian City called the one in Pewter City her sister. If they were sisters they would both share the same relationship with the one in Vermilion City, such as both being first cousins or second cousins.
- Misty asks "How can you see a star in the middle of the day?" The Sun, in fact, is a star, and its appearance in the sky traditionally defines the period as daytime.
- When Pikachu first battles Raichu, Meowth is seen polishing an extra coin. However, Meowth is later seen to not be able to use Pay Day.
- Raichu's Pokédex entry didn't actually state Dragonite in the Japanese version. Originally it mentioned an Indian elephant.
- Lt. Surge says that he doesn't need to use Electric attacks, and would do fine with Normal attacks in the Japanese version which explains why Raichu didn't use any Electric attacks while battling Pikachu.
- Originally Lt. Surge told Raichu to finish Pikachu with a Thunderbolt. In the dub, he just tells Raichu to "give us the big finale".
- Brock's stance on Pikachu evolving is more neutral in the original version than in the dubbed version. He also implied in the dub that Pokémon generally change completely upon evolution, while no such implication was present in the Japanese version.
- Rachael Lillis provided Pikachu's voice in the scene where it is shocking Ash.
- The shot of Raichu constantly trying to Body Slam but missing Pikachu is longer in the English dub than it is in the original Japanese version. Raichu tries to Body Slam Pikachu twice in the Japanese version, but in the English dub, Raichu tries three times.
- Pikachu and Raichu's voices are removed in the English dub from the scene where Pikachu confuses Raichu with Agility.
- The shot where Raichu launches its final Thunderbolt is slightly shorter in the English dubbed version than in the Japanese one.
- The scene where Team Rocket were commenting on how Pikachu grounded the attack was rewritten in the dub. In the original version, Jessie mentioned how Pikachu used its tail as an assu, meaning ground. James replaces it with Dogassu, explaining why he's holding his Koffing. Meowth then hits and scolds them for not taking them seriously. In the dub, Team Rocket recites one of the most infamous pun sequences of the early episodes. Jessie starts in with "What a shocking story!" James follows up with "That was quite a tale!" Meowth finishes the sequence by hitting them while saying "And now you have both been PUN-ished."
- During the original Japanese version of the scene where Pikachu was making its decision whether to evolve or not, there was no music playing in the background.
In other languages
|Arabic||مباراة التيار الصاعق|
|Mandarin Chinese||對擊電戰枯葉道館 / 电击对战枯叶道馆|
|Dutch||Een schokkende uitdaging|
|Hebrew||מכת ברק makat barak|
|Hungarian||Többet ésszel, mint erővel|
|Italian||Un incontro da Elettroshock|
|Korean||피카츄! 기본으로 돌아가라 pikachyu! gibon-eulo dol-agala|
|Polish||Elektrowstrząs, ostateczna rogrywka|
|Portuguese||Brazil||A Exibição do Choque Elétrico|
|Russian||Решительный удар молнии|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Duelo Eléctrico!|
|Spain||Competición de descarga eléctrica|
|Swedish||Den elektriska duellen|
|Vietnamese||Cuộc đối đầu giữa điện. Nhà thi đấu Kuchiba|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|