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| Ash Catches a Pokémon
| ポケモン ゲットだぜ！|
I Caught a Pokémon!
|| April 15, 1997
| United States
|| September 10, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
Ash Catches a Pokémon (Japanese: ポケモンゲットだぜ！ I Caught a Pokémon!) is the third episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 15, 1997 and in United States on September 10, 1998.
Ash discovers and catches a Caterpie—his first Pokémon capture! Though Ash is excited, Misty is grossed out by Bug-type Pokémon, so she is repulsed by its attempts to be friends with her. At night, as Ash and Misty sleep, Caterpie shares with Pikachu its dream of evolving into a Butterfree.
The next day, Ash is able to capture a Pidgeotto after battling it with Pikachu. Before Ash can celebrate too wildly, Misty reminds him that his success is due more to luck than skill.
Team Rocket shows up to steal Pikachu—they realize that there's really something special about this Pokémon—and Ash vows to defend himself. Pikachu and Pidgeotto are weakened by Koffing and Ekans, so he reluctantly sends out Caterpie. To the surprise of Jessie and James—not to mention Ash—Caterpie's String Shot is able to defeat the Team Rocket Pokémon, including Meowth!
When Misty tries to make nice with Caterpie, it evolves into a Metapod. Could a Butterfree Evolution be far behind?
The episode picks up right where the previous one left off, as Ash prepares to capture a Caterpie in Viridian Forest. He immediately tosses a Poké Ball at Caterpie, who tries to break free but is unsuccessful. Ash's excitement takes control as he celebrates catching his first Pokémon, holding the Poké Ball and running in circles out of joy. When Ash holds the Poké Ball closer to Misty’s face, she reveals that she has a fear of bugs, even if they are contained in a Poké Ball. However, Pikachu is happy to have Caterpie along, and Ash decides to bring Caterpie out, scaring Misty away. Ironically, Caterpie wants to make friends with Misty, but the latter would much rather get to know Pikachu better.
Misty continues to complain about Caterpie and says to put “one of the three most disgusting things” back into the Poké Ball. When Ash asks about the others, Misty remarks “Carrots, peppers, and bugs.” Ash, however, is offended at how Misty’s discomfort is used to hurt Caterpie’s feelings. Ash reassures Caterpie and continues traveling without Misty. Misty, however, has other plans, as she is still upset about her ruined bicycle and wants Ash to replace it. Because of this, she continues following Ash.
Later that night, Ash sets up camp for the night. Misty, also getting ready to go to sleep, exchanges a few smart remarks with Ash, upsetting Pikachu and Caterpie. While Ash and Misty sleep, Pikachu and Caterpie get to know each other a little better. In the morning, Misty is still frightened of Caterpie, panicking so much that the Pokémon becomes subdued and returns himself to his Poké Ball. Although Ash is angry about this, his attention is diverted when he spots a wild Pidgeotto.
Wanting to catch Pidgeotto, Ash throws a Poké Ball, but Pidgeotto simply swats it away. Misty retorts that a Trainer needs to battle and weaken a wild Pokémon to capture it. However, when she mentions that he caught Caterpie only because it was weak, the remark irritates Ash to the point where he blindly summons Caterpie to battle. He does this without knowing that Caterpie is at a type disadvantage against Pidgeotto, though both Misty and Pikachu know. As a result, Caterpie is thoroughly beaten up by Pidgeotto, but Ash recalls Caterpie just in time, causing Pidgeotto to get its beak stuck in a tree.
Ash sends Pikachu after Pidgeotto just as it frees itself. Pikachu uses Thunder Shock to hit Pidgeotto, weakening it and allowing Ash to toss a Poké Ball. The Ball takes Pidgeotto in and drops to the ground, rocking. After a few moments, the Ball ceases movement; Ash has captured the Pidgeotto. Despite the success, Misty continues to berate him for his lack of knowledge about strategy.
Team Rocket intrudes on their argument, reciting their motto. They decide to target his Pikachu, mentioning its incredible power, which causes them to become distracted in a short internal argument before they decide to attack. They then send out Koffing and Ekans to battle, despite a double-team being unfair. Misty wants to jump in, but Ash does not want to break the rules. Koffing’s Sludge attack blinds Pikachu, taking it out of the battle. While he hands Pikachu off to Misty, he decides to send out his newly caught Pidgeotto.
Pidgeotto dodges both Koffing and Ekans’s attacks before going into a Quick Attack. Ekans avoids the attack by going underground, forcing Pidgeotto to come to a sudden stop. Koffing fires a Smog attack, which Pidgeotto splits with its wings before dodging multiple Sludge attacks and Ekans’s retaliation. Despite soaring high into the sky, both Ekans and Koffing are able to keep up with Pidgeotto. Pidgeotto tries to hit Koffing with Gust, but misses and is defeated. Ash recalls Pidgeotto and tries to fight Team Rocket with his fists, but James easily holds him back.
It looks bad for Ash, but he decides to send out Caterpie to battle. The sight of the bug simply amuses Team Rocket as they prepare to attack. Caterpie looks down, when Ash orders it to fire String Shot. The attack completely incapacitates Koffing before Caterpie muzzles Ekans. Caterpie rushes into a Tackle attack on Koffing, sending it into Ekans and thus taking them both out, shocking everyone. Meowth tries to step in, but he is also wrapped in String Shot. Taken by surprise, Team Rocket flees.
Ash congratulates Caterpie on coming through, and urges Misty to do the same. She agrees to pat Caterpie on the head, despite her initial discomfort. At that moment, Caterpie begins to sprays mist from its mouth, startling her. Ash puts Caterpie down as the mist covers Caterpie, signaling evolution. Caterpie evolves into Metapod, and Ash's Pokédex notes that it has reached this stage more quickly than any other Caterpie on record. In addition, Misty shows approval of Ash's strengthening bonds with his Pokémon. Despite having fewer reservations about Metapod, the sight of a Beedrill scares Misty as she looks forward to quickly leaving the forest. Ash is in no such hurry, however, as he seeks to capture more Pokémon.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Caterpie
- This is the first episode in which evolution is shown.
- This was the first time a main character catches a Pokémon that would later evolve in the same episode, the second being more than 500 episodes later in The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!.
- This is so far the only episode in which a main character catches two Pokémon of different species.
- According to a quote from this episode, Misty cannot stand carrots, peppers and Bug-type Pokémon.
- Also, in regards to another quote from this episode, Misty mentions that she is ten years old. This was only said in the original.
- Misty owns a red sleeping bag decorated with bubbles, while Ash owns a blue sleeping bag. "Satoshi" (Ash's Japanese name) appears on the name tag of his sleeping bag.
- This is the first episode where type advantages are mentioned: Flying-type moves are effective against Bug-type Pokémon.
- A real animal appears in this episode, as Pidgeotto is seen eating a regular worm.
- Despite the episode title saying "a Pokémon", Ash catches two Pokémon.
- Both Pokémon Ash catches in this episode are released by the time Ash travels to the Orange Islands.
- This is the first episode where Ash uses his signature catchphrase/pose when successfully catching a Pokémon.
- Each of Ash's traveling companions would attempt to copy this during the original series.
- In this episode when Caterpie evolves into Metapod, it shoots a shower of white silk string from its mouth onto itself and sheds its skin in the process, similar to a real caterpillar going into pupation. Later episodes show Caterpie evolving like the rest of the Pokémon do.
- Ash mentions that the Pokémon League has regulations stating that Trainers may only use one Pokémon at a time in battles. This rule may have changed years later in the Advanced Generation series, in which two-on-two battles are not considered unusual.
- This was for a long time the episode with the least amount of human characters ever, featuring only Ash, Misty, Jessie and James. 672 episodes later, Sewaddle and Burgh in Pinwheel Forest! matched this record.
- After Ash captures Caterpie in the beginning, his hat was backwards. When he was shown running to Caterpie's Poké Ball, it was forwards than in the next shot it was back to backwards.
- When Caterpie is about to attack Pidgeotto, his right 'paw' is green.
- When Ash throws the Poké Ball at Pidgeotto to catch it, both halves are red.
- When Ekans and Koffing were going in to attack Caterpie, Ekans's Japanese voice can be heard.
- Caterpie's fight with Pidgeotto, and Ash's capturing of the latter was shown on the VHS A Sneak Peek at Pokémon.
- In the English version, Misty reads the episode title instead of Ash, while in the Japanese version, Ash reads the title.
- This is justified in that, in the dub at least, Ash is busy gloating over his caught Caterpie, and thus is unable to read the episode title like he usually does.
- When Caterpie is looking sad due to Misty telling it to stay in its Poké Ball, the katakana for "Ga~n" (a Japanese sound effect) moves across the screen. This was painted out for the dub.
- How Misty and Ash commented on Caterpie is different between the versions (mostly due to religious censorship). In the English version, Ash was mentioning how he loves Caterpie, and Misty sarcastically responds how it takes a worm to love a worm; whereas in the original version, Ash comments that he and Caterpie are the same kind of Heaven, and Misty retorts that their Heaven is her Hell.
- When Misty is telling Ash that birds eat worms, there is a shot where she slaps him for putting his Pokémon in danger. This was cut from the dub.
- Oddly, the sound effect of the slap is kept in.
- While Ash tells Caterpie "Counter", some have taken this to mean the move, which Caterpie cannot learn. In the original, Ash told it merely to "fight back".
In other languages
|| آش يمسك ببوكيمون
| Mandarin Chinese
|| 收服神奇寶貝！/ 收服神奇宝贝!
|| První chycený pokémon
|| Ash vangt een Pokémon!
|| Ashin Pokémon-saalis|
Ash onnistuu vihdoin*
|| Ash capture un Pokémon
|| Capture du premier Pokémon
|| Ash im Jagdfieber
|| אש לוכד פוקימון Ash loched Pokémon
|| Ash ने एक पोकेमोन पकड़ लिया है! Ash ne ek Pokemon pakad liya * |
Ash का पहेला पोकेमोन शिकार! Ash ka pehla Pokemon shikar! *
|| Ash Pokémont fog
|| Il primo Pokémon catturato * |
Ash cattura un Pokémon *
|| 캐터피 넌 내꺼야 kaeteopi neon naekkeoya
|| Ash fanger en Pokémon
|| Ash złapał Pokémona
|| Ash Pega um Pokémon
|| Ash captura um Pokémon
|| Ash Prinde un Pokémon
|| Эш ловит покемона
|| Latin America
|| ¡Ash captura un Pokémon!
|| Ash atrapa un Pokémon
|| Ash fångar en Pokémon
|| Thu phục Pokémon / Thu phục bửu bối thần kỳ