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| The Chikorita Rescue
The Stubborn Chicorita!!
|| December 16, 1999
| United States
|| November 25, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Assistant director
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Animation director
|| 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
| Additional credits
The Chikorita Rescue (Japanese: いじっぱりのチコリータ！！ The Stubborn Chicorita!!) is the 126th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 16, 1999 and in the United States on November 25, 2000.
Ash encounters a wild Chikorita and engages it in battle, thinking to add it to his team, but as Team Rocket watches the battle from afar, they decide the Chikorita would be better suited to their own nefarious uses.
Ash and his friends are taking the high road to Violet City. Brock complains about the cold, then Misty notices that the higher mountains are covered with snow, and Ash suggests they see if they can ski. Brock starts fantasizing about his mornings on the slopes and his afternoons at the lodge surrounded by ladies. Ash interrupts, however, saying he found something even better than skiing...a wild Chikorita!
After a flashback to Casey and her Chikorita, Ash prepares to catch the Chikorita, but makes sure to call out to make sure no one owns the Chikorita. Misty warns Ash that doing that might scare the Chikorita away, but it doesn't look the least bit intimidated. With no one claiming the Chikorita, Ash has every intention of doing so, so he sends out Bulbasaur.
Chikorita charges, but Bulbasaur counters with Vine Whip. Chikorita then fires Razor Leaves, but Bulbasaur shoots them down with his own, then Tackles the Chikorita. Ash throws his Poké Ball, but the Chikorita simply swats it back, then catches Bulbasaur off-guard with a Vine Whip to the head.
Brock and Misty are impressed, and Ash recalls Bulbasaur. Ash then sends out Charizard, but even then, the Chikorita isn't intimidated. It charges at Charizard, who simply holds it off with his foot. Ash orders a Flamethrower, but Chikorita uses Vine Whip to trip Charizard, who ends up inadvertently burning Ash.
Chikorita then fires another Razor Leaf attack, but Charizard burns the leaves with Flamethrower, then flies in for a Tackle. Chikorita counters with another Vine Whip to the head, but this time, its vines get caught by Charizard's arms, and both Pokémon are pulled into a crash into a nearby mountain.
Everyone runs over, and Ash recalls Charizard. The Chikorita struggles to stand, but then drops again. They realize the Chikorita wore itself out, and they decide to take it to the nearest Pokémon Center.
Not far away, Team Rocket had watched the fight. Jessie was very impressed by how strong the Chikorita was, and believes that they need that kind of toughness on Team Rocket. She claims that if they can get that Chikorita, they'll finally have a worthwhile Pokémon on their side. Meowth is offended by this implication.
Later, Ash and his friends are approaching the Pokémon Center when Chikorita awakens. Ash reassures it, but it proceeds to bite his arm.
Later, Nurse Joy announces that the Chikorita will be fine. She then asks if Ash is okay, because he still has the bite on his arm. Ash claims he forgot all about it, then Brock cuts in with his usual flirting. Ash and Misty eventually cut him off.
In the medical room, Chikorita is asleep on a medical table. Nurse Joy explains that the Chikorita in this area are known for being stubborn, and they'll just keep battling until they can't battle anymore. Sounds like someone we know. Ash definitely admires their spirit.
Suddenly, an ambulance pulls up in front of the Pokémon Center, and two familiar-looking paramedics rush in. They quickly rush the Chikorita's table out to the ambulance, while Nurse Joy wonders who they are. They introduce themselves with the Team Rocket motto, with a medical twist. James ends it by ordering Weezing to use a Smog attack. Weezing does so, and Team Rocket drives off.
Ash isn't about to let Team Rocket get away with this, so he sprints off after them. Team Rocket thinks they're home free, and start celebrating. However, up above, Ash, ready to show Team Rocket that he is just as tough as Chikorita, jumps down on top of the ambulance as it drives.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy is worried about the Chikorita. Brock suggests that he should pursue them as well, and Misty assures Nurse Joy not to worry. With all of Ash's Pokémon...uh oh. Misty realizes that Ash ran off so fast he forgot all his Poké Balls!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has stopped at a cabin up in the mountains. Just outside, Ash and Pikachu are planning their strategy. Ash decides to use Charizard with a surprise attack, only to reach back and find nothing. Now Ash realizes he forgot his Pokémon, which leads Pikachu to sigh.
Inside the cabin, Team Rocket has begun quite a pitch to Chikorita. The pitch, however, only leaves the Chikorita confused. Jessie then holds up a standard Team Rocket contract, asking Chikorita to sign. James adds that if it can't write, a footprint is just as legally binding.
Ash interrupts with his own rendition of the motto, as quote:
- Ash: Team Rocket, prepare for trouble! On second thought, make that double!
- Jessie: To protect the world from devastation?
- James: To unite all peoples within our nation?
- Ash: Maybe you think I'm a little too brash, but the master is here, and my name is Ash!
- Pikachu: Pikachu!
- Ash: My Pokémon team is faster than light! Surrender now, or you're in for a fight!
- Meowth: Meowth! That's right!
Despite their chime-ins, Team Rocket gets angry at Ash for mangling "copyrighted material." Ash and Pikachu respond by nailing them with snowballs and trying to escape with Chikorita. But Meowth triggers a trap which catches them both. Ash runs out to help, but gets caught in it too. They attempt to make a run for it, but being tied together, this leads to trouble when Ash ends up going over a hill, with Chikorita and Pikachu pulled down with him.
They end up rolling down the hill in a snowball, bouncing off trees as they shoot down. Eventually, they ramp off a hill and crash into a tree, leaving them hanging by the rope holding them together. The rope breaks, sending them tumbling to the ground and getting buried by snow.
This actually turned out to be a break, as the snow burying hides them from Team Rocket as they ride past in pursuit. James says he needs sunglasses because everything's so bright, but Meowth corrects him, saying James is around. Team Rocket rides off, as Ash, Pikachu and Chikorita pop out of the snow. Ash comments that the ride was fun, and Pikachu agrees, Chikorita not so much so.
Ash, Pikachu, and Chikorita are trying to figure out where they need to go to get back down to the Pokémon Center. Chikorita suddenly runs off. Ash attempts to stop it, but ends up slipping and falling as Chikorita disappears. Ash sadly says goodbye, but then realizes it's starting to snow, so he and Pikachu make their way to a cave.
Ash and Pikachu are sitting around a small fire in the cave. Ash is still thinking about the Chikorita. Suddenly, he decides. Telling Pikachu to stay there in case Misty and Brock comes, he runs out to look for Chikorita.
Ash looks for Chikorita, when he spots something run past. Going to investigate, he finds a pair of lovestruck Nidoran. Suddenly, vibrations occur, and the snow collapses under Ash, sending him falling down a short ways. He's starting to think he'll never find Chikorita, but then realizes he just did.
Reunited with Chikorita, Ash makes his way back to the cave where Pikachu is waiting. They end up bundling together to wait out the storm. The next day, the snowstorm has stopped, and Ash, Pikachu, and Chikorita can make it back to the Pokémon Center now.
Team Rocket, however, has other plans. Meowth, armed with a snowball firing machine, is loaded up with snow by Jessie and James, and they start shooting. Chikorita, however, uses Razor Leaf on the snowballs, then, under Ash's order, Vine Whips the snowball shooters, causing it to go out of control.
While Team Rocket's distracted, Ash orders a Thunderbolt. Pikachu complies, frying Team Rocket. The Thunderbolt causes the Snowball Shooter to explode, sending Team Rocket blasting off again.
Ash congratulates Pikachu and Chikorita on a job well done. Just then, Brock, Misty, and Nurse Joy arrive. Everyone's safe and sound now.
Soon, they're back at the Pokémon Center, and Ash and Co. are getting ready to hit the road again. Brock tells Nurse Joy that if she ever needs a Pokémon Breeder, don't hesitate to call. Ash tells Chikorita not to be so stubborn from now on. Ash and Co. then head on their way, but Chikorita soon runs after.
Chikorita waves its scent in Ash's face. Nurse Joy explains that Chikorita wants to come along. Ash happily accepts his newest Pokémon. Misty points out that they're a perfect team, to which Brock adds, "Yeah! Team Stubborn!" And so, in the cold mountains, Ash and Chikorita form what promises to be a warm friendship.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Quagsire (U.S. and international); Chikorita (Japan)
- This is the third episode in which Ash has ripped off Team Rocket's motto.
- This is the second episode in which Ash's Charizard has used a move that is unavailable to any member of its evolution family in the games.
- This episode is featured on the Volume 18: Chikorita copy of Pokémon All-Stars.
- The book The Chikorita Challenge is based on this episode.
- When Ash finds Chikorita for the second time, the song Together Forever is played at the background.
- Ash left all his Poké Balls at the Pokémon Center, but holds up a Poké Ball when he is ripping off Team Rocket's motto. Although, this could be one of the empty Poké Balls he may have had.
- With Ash's capture of Chikorita, this marks the first time he had not only two Grass-type Pokémon, but two Grass-type regional starters on his team, along with his Bulbasaur.
- In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
- In one scene Chikorita has scratches, the next it doesn't, then it has again.
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