| 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. Misty and Brock couldn't wait to get cleaned up, but Ash was more concerned about finding the Vermilion Gym. However, Brock stopped Ash, and pointed out that Pikachu's in no condition to be battling. Pikachu and Ash were really hungry, so first thing's first.
At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy said she'll take good care of Pikachu. Having noticed Ash and his friends staring, she said that they're surprised because they all look the same. She explained that her first cousin works at Pewter City, and her second cousin at Viridian City. She claimed she believes she's the cutest one, though, and Brock agreed.
Suddenly, the doors opened and a Chansey and a Trainer ran in. On a roller table pushed by the Chansey is a badly beaten-up Rattata. Brock wondered what happened, but Nurse Joy pointed out that's the fifteenth one that month.
They're taken to a room with a bunch of badly injured Pokémon, including a Caterpie, an Oddish, a Sandshrew, and the previously seen Rattata. Nurse Joy explained that they all lost to Lt. Surge, the Vermilion City Gym Leader. Ash was starting to get worried that this Lt. Surge must be a great Trainer, and Misty taunted him for getting scared.
Misty reminded him that he only got his first two badges out of pity, but Ash retorted that a badge is a badge. Misty gave him a nose-flick, and said if he's so strong, why doesn't he prove it at the Vermilion Gym? Misty also reminded Ash that she and Brock gave him badges, so how would they look if Ash got crushed by Lt. Surge? Ash was about ready to hit her then, but Nurse Joy stopped him, reminding them they're in a hospital. She then jokingly suggested that if two people fight, they must really care about each other. Ash and Misty angrily and hastily denied this.
Just then, the Pokémon Center jingle was heard, which meant Ash's Pokémon were fully recovered. Pikachu was 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 ended up coming in. Misty claimed they must have come from the Gym, too.
Hearing that frightened Pikachu, who refused to go to the gym. Ash got angry at it for being a coward, but Pikachu retorted, asking if Ash really cared that Pikachu could end up like that Pidgey. Ash admitted that Pikachu had a point, but then told Pikachu not to worry because they were going to win. Pikachu still refused to go, even going far enough to ThunderShock Ash. Misty mentioned the way they fight, they must really care about each other, too.
Soon enough, though, they were outside the gym. Misty told Ash it's not too late to back out, but Ash was still set on going in there and winning. They ended up getting into another argument, but Brock cut this off by asking if they're ever going to go inside.
They entered the gym, Ash declaring his intent to battle for the Thunder Badge. The two subordinates in the room called that there's another victim for the Emergency Room. The rather large Lt. Surge then stepped into view. Brock and Misty were amazed by his size.
Lt. Surge expressed pleasure in his next challenger being a cutie, and hugs Misty. Misty pointed out she's not the challenger, and Ash revealed he was. Lt. Surge laughed, calling him a baby; Ash took offense to this. Lt. Surge then saw his Pikachu, and quipped, "The little baby brought a little baby Pokémon." Now Pikachu, as well, was angry. Ash asked why he's making fun of Pikachu, and Lt. Surge answered the question by showing off his Raichu.
After using Dexter to scope out Raichu, Lt. Surge explained that it's not too late to back out, his Raichu mirroring his poses. Ash refused to back down, as did Pikachu. Lt. Surge laughed again, claiming that an Template:Type2 Pokémon is only useful if it is evolved quickly and taught all the Electric attacks. Ash countered, 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 began sparking, ready to battle. Brock was surprised by how ready Pikachu was to battle. Ash said he's counting on Pikachu for this. Lt. Surge accepted the challenge, saying he's going to show that fighting with the big boys can be a shocking experience.
Not long after, they were set up on the arena floor. Raichu and Pikachu charged each other, Pikachu using a ThunderShock. Raichu however, was unfazed, and countered with a ThunderShock of its own, knocking Pikachu for a loop. Brock told Ash to recall Pikachu, saying that it can't match up to Raichu's electrical attacks. Ash ordered Pikachu to return, but Pikachu refused, charging in once more.
Outside, Team Rocket was looking in, seeing Pikachu getting knocked around. They thought if Pikachu was getting beat up like this, then maybe it wasn't worth stealing after all. Meowth suggested to steal Raichu. Jessie and James gave him a whack to the head for this and started rooting for Pikachu.
However, Lt. Surge has ordered the big finale, and Raichu complied instantly, unleashing a powerful Thunderbolt that gave Pikachu the shock of its life.
Later, at the Pokémon Center, Pikachu awakened, and Ash was glad to see it was okay. Pikachu, however, was upset that it got beat so badly by that Raichu. Ash was convinced they can win if Pikachu tried harder, but Misty pointed out that she thinks Pikachu was trying as hard as it could the last time.
Nurse Joy interrupted, saying there might be a way Pikachu can win. She walked in, revealing that she came across a Thunderstone. With it, Ash could evolve his Pikachu into a Raichu as well. Brock warned him to think hard about this, because once he evolves Pikachu, there's no way to change it back.
Ash found himself thinking. If he evolves his Pikachu into a Raichu, he might have been able to defeat Lt. Surge. But if he were to evolve Pikachu just to battle, he would be no better than Lt. Surge. Finally, he decided to let Pikachu choose. Outside, Team Rocket was watching to see what choice Pikachu would make.
Pikachu stood up and whacked away the Thunderstone with its tail. Pikachu then went into a tirade, which moved even Meowth to tears. Meowth explained that Pikachu didn't want to change, it wanted to battle Lt. Surge again, but as a Pikachu; it wanted to win in the name of all Pikachu everywhere. This moved James to tears, who said that it is beautiful.
Ash promised that, together, they would win. Brock suggested a strategy change, but Ash was convinced they can find a way. Pikachu said it will fight to defend both its honor and Ash's, which moved James to tears again. Pikachu was ready to go, but it ended up flopping back into the bed. Nurse Joy suggested they let it rest a little while longer.
Out in the lobby, Misty was worried. Ash wondered when she started caring about him, but Misty immediately argued she's not worried about Ash, but Pikachu. Brock suddenly piped 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 claimed that their lucky star was shining today. Pikachu looked at the sky in confusion, and so did Misty. Ash said he didn't mean it that way, and they headed off for the Gym again.
However, they were soon blocked by the disguised Team Rocket. Jessie and James started to say their motto, but were quickly cut off by Meowth. They then proceeded into a very disturbing cheer for Pikachu and Ash, then ran off. Brock said that was disturbing, but Misty cheerily waved Team Rocket off. They were surprised that she recognized them, but they kept running. Ash was chuckling at the humorous scene, but it was soon back to business.
Momentarily, they got back to the Gym for the rematch. Once again, it was Lt. Surge's Raichu battling Ash's Pikachu. The battle began, and Ash told Pikachu to stick to the strategy. Lt. Surge just laughed, "They've come up with a new way to lose!", and sent Raichu out. Raichu started things off with a Tail Whip.
Lt. Surge then ordered a Body Slam, which Raichu did, dropping all its weight on Pikachu. Lt. Surge ordered a finish with another Body Slam, but this time, Pikachu jumped out of the way, and Raichu hit the arena floor hard, damaging itself.
Ash ordered Pikachu to use Agility, and Pikachu went into full speed. Repeated Body Slam attempts from Raichu all missed completely. Pikachu was just too fast. Brock then revealed the strategy: 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, who got aggravated, ordered Raichu to unleash a Thunder attack. Raichu ripped up the arena floor and even blew out all the windows around the arena. Team Rocket, who were watching outside, were forced to duck so they didn't get shocked. Lt. Surge declared the end of the match...but the smoke cleared, revealing the unharmed Pikachu standing on its tail.
Brock explained that Pikachu used its tail as a ground to dodge the electric shocks. Lt. Surge ordered another Thunderbolt, but Raichu couldn't muster up the electricity for it. Brock says that Raichu ran out of electricity.
Ash ordered a Quick Attack, to which Lt. Surge responded by ordering a Take Down. The quicker Pikachu managed to strike first, slamming into the Raichu's stomach. It then added 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 was down and out, and Pikachu wins the match.
Lt. Surge congratulated Ash and Pikachu on a job well done, and awarded Ash the Thunder Badge. Ash got a round of applause from everyone, and even the Raichu applauded Pikachu, which embarrassed it. Ash hugged Pikachu, saying this was its victory, and the happy Pikachu electrifies Ash, who claims now he can see lots of lucky stars.
The episode ended with Team Rocket walking off towards the sunset. James claimed that that Pikachu really was special, which was why Jessie added that its worth stealing. Meowth suggested that maybe once they captured the Pikachu, they can start earning their own badges. Suddenly, it occurred to James that they wasted the whole episode cheering for the good guys.
- Lt. Surge defeats Ash on his first try.
- Ash receives a Thunderstone from Nurse Joy.
- 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.
- 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 liked this introduced later, Iron Tail, known 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 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".
- In the previous episode, Dragonite was a mysterious and unknown Pokémon. But only one episode later, the Pokédex knows how many volts it takes to knock out a Dragonite. However, in the Spanish dub it only says "a dragon".
- 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.
- Raichu's Pokédex entry didn't actually state Dragonite in the Japanese version. It originally said that it had enough power to cause massive blackouts to power grids.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 other languages
- Brazilian Portuguese: Exibição do Choque Elétrico
- Czech: Elektrický Zápas
- Dutch Een schokkende uitdaging
- European Portuguese: Confronto Eléctrico
- Finnish: Shokkihoitoa kerrakseen
- French: Confrontation électrique
- German: Vorsicht Hochspannung
- Italian: Un incontro da Elettroshock
- Latin American Spanish: ¡Duelo eléctrico!
- Iberian Spanish: Competición de descarga eléctrica
- Mandarin: 电击对战枯叶道馆
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|