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| The Bug Stops Here
Bug Catching Tournament! Capture a Pokémon at the Natural Park!!
|| August 24, 2000
| United States
|| August 25, 2001
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
The Bug Stops Here (Japanese: むしとりたいかい！しぜんこうえんでゲットだぜ！！ Bug Catching Tournament! Capture a Pokémon at the Natural Park!!) is the 161st episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 24, 2000 and in the United States on August 25, 2001.
On their way to Ecruteak City, Ash, Misty, and Brock come across Johto's National Park which is hosting a Pokémon Bug-Catching Contest. The rules state that each participant is given a special "Park Ball". They are to enter the forest, and using only one Pokémon, capture the strongest Template:Type2 Pokémon they can find. Whoever gets the strongest one wins the competition and, in addition to keeping the Pokémon they catch also wins a Sun Stone. Eager to get a new Pokémon, Ash decides to enter the contest. While registering he encounters a familiar face: Casey, the baseball-loving Trainer from a previous episode. She tells him that she's entering the contest as well, and announces that she intends to beat Ash no matter what the cost.
Meanwhile Jessie and James are also trying to enter the contest. Unfortunately they are unable to register, due to the contest's rule that forbids anybody over the age of 16 from entering. Not to be deterred from finding new Pokémon, Jessie, James and Meowth kidnap a contest employee and sneak into the contest grounds with his Venomoth costume.
Viewing from a screen in an amphitheater inside the park, Misty and Brock watch as Casey and Ash venture deeper into the forest. Ash quickly spots a Weedle. He orders Pikachu to attack it, but before he can engage it Casey appears and attacks it with her Chikorita. She easily captures it and continues on her way, ignoring Ash's protest that he saw it first.
In another part of the forest Team Rocket attempts to use their stolen costume to attract Pokémon. Jessie succeeds in luring a wild Venomoth towards her, but gets hit with Stun Spore when the bug Pokémon realizes she's a fake. As they recover from the attack James and Meowth decide to try a different plan.
Meanwhile, Casey orders Chikorita to start attacking trees, and manages to knock some wild Pineco out of their hiding spots. After a short battle Chikorita manages to defeat them and the two continue on their way. Watching from the amphitheater Misty and Brock comment on her momentum. However Misty's attention is taken away from the contest when several bug Pokémon appear nearby.
Back in the forest Casey notices Chikorita lagging behind, still tired from its previous battles. Still wanting to win she tells it not to give up, and the pair continue their hunt. They soon encounter a rare Scyther. Despite Chikorita's obvious exhaustion Casey orders it to attack and the tired Pokémon soon finds itself in a battle it can't win. At the last moment Ash appears with Pikachu and saves Chikorita. He yells at Casey for being an irresponsible Trainer then lures the Scyther away so that her and Chikorita can rest. Not wanting to listen to him Casey tries to encourage Chikorita, only to realize that it has run away.
Meanwhile Togepi has wandered into the forest. It finds Chikorita hiding in a bush, and tries to cheer it up. Misty and Brock soon appear looking for it and Casey stumbles upon them a moment later. She calls Chikorita over to her, but is surprised to find that it refuses to listen to her. Misty tells her its because she'd ignored Chikorita's feelings, and made it fight until it collapsed. Realizing her mistake Casey apologizes to Chikorita who joyfully jumps into her arms.
Elsewhere Ash and Pikachu continue their pursuit of the Scyther. Following it through a bush they accidentally disturb a small swarm of Beedrill who swoop down to attack them. Taking advantage of the opportunity Ash orders Pikachu to drive them off with Thunderbolt, and easily catches one of the shocked Beedrill. The two begin to celebrate but suddenly fall into one of Team Rocket's infamous pit traps. The pit drops them into an insulated cage, and the pair are quickly lifted off by Team Rocket's hot air balloon.
Misty, Brock and Casey come running to help Ash and Pikachu. Casey orders Chikorita to use Razor Leaf but finds that it's too weak to hurt the balloon or free Ash. Taunting the people on the ground Meowth pulls out a large rocket and prepares to fire it at them. In response to this new threat Casey's Chikorita suddenly evolves into a Bayleef and easily deflects Meowth's attack. Using Razor Leaf again, Bayleef is able to free Ash and Pikachu who quickly send Team Rocket blasting off with a Thunderbolt.
With the Beedrill he caught Ash is able to win the contest. Though he keeps the Sun Stone, he decides to give his Beedrill away to Casey, as thanks for her help against Team Rocket. She tearfully accepts his gift and happily sings the Electabuzz Fight song before parting ways with him again.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Cubone (U.S. and international), Musashi in a Morphon costume (Japan)
- Both Jessie and James are over 16 years old, at least in the dub. This is one of the few times the series has mentioned their ages.
- In the Japanese version, the Dare Da? (Who's this?) Pokémon is Jessie in the Venomoth suit. When the "Pokémon" is revealed, the narrator calls it a Venomoth, but the kids then shout "incorrect!"
- This episode's English title, much like a future episode, is a reference to the famous saying "the buck stops here".
- This episode marks the second time Ash tries (and fails) to capture a Weedle (the first was Challenge of the Samurai).
- Ash receiving a Sun Stone is a reference to the games, where the player gets a Sun Stone after he/she wins first place in the Bug-Catching Contest.
- The book Winner Takes All is based on this episode.
- In one scene Misty's shoes were all white.
- In the scene where Jessie puses Wobbuffet away, Jessie's lipstick was missing. In the next screenshot, Jessie had her lipstick back.
- In the original, the rules stated that people over eighteen were not allowed to enter, while the in the dub, it was sixteen.
In other languages
- Czech: Hmyzí zastávka
- Dutch: Een Feestje om een Beestje!
- Finnish: Hyönteiselämää
- French: Le concours
- German: Fang das Käfer-Pokémon!
- Hebrew: תחרות פוקימוני החרק tacharut Pokémonei hacherek
- Italian: Caccia ai Coleotteri
- Mandarin: 捕蟲大會，在自然公園收服他！
- Portuguese (Brazilian): O Bicho vai Pegar
- Iberian Spanish: Concurso de Pokémon bicho
- Latin American Spanish: ¡Atrapen un insecto!