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EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Original series
EP013 : Mystery at the Lighthouse
Here Comes the Squirtle Squad
Enter the Zenigame Squad!
First broadcast
Japan June 17, 1997
United States September 23, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
Storyboard 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
Assistant director 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
Animation director 酒井啓史 Hiroshi Sakai
Additional credits

Here Comes the Squirtle Squad (Japanese: ゼニガメぐんだんとうじょう! Enter the Zenigame Squad!) is the 12th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 17, 1997 and in the United States on September 23, 1998.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


The episode opens with a recap of how Ash caught his Bulbasaur and his Charmander. It seems that his current successful streak is making Ash quite confident. Ash, Misty, and Brock are walking down the road, Ash happily humming the background music/the title screen music for Red and Blue.

Our heroes fall into a pit, and wonder if someone dug it as a prank, but it turns out it wasn't Team Rocket this time. A group of Squirtle wearing sunglasses peer into the hole, laughing. Ash angrily climbs out of the hole and uses his Pokédex on the Squirtle. He orders Pikachu to use a ThunderShock, but one of the Squirtle takes the hit for the one that seems to be the leader.

A battle ensues, with Pikachu facing off against the Squirtle that seems to be in charge. Suddenly, everyone hears sirens, and the Squirtle snatch up their stricken friend and made a break for it. Officer Jenny soon arrives and Ash greets her, thinking he has met her before. At this point it is revealed that all the Officer Jennys are related, all looking identical, and are all named Jenny (much like Nurse Joy).

At the police station, Jenny explains that the group of Squirtle that they met earlier are called the "Squirtle Squad". They are a group of Squirtle that have all been abandoned by their Trainers, and all they do is run wild and play pranks on everyone.

A short ways away, Team Rocket is scoping out the situation. Jessie sees Pikachu, but Meowth and James are more interested in getting food, which makes Jessie hit them. Eventually, though, her tummy rumbles, so she decides they could stop to eat and she pulls out a picnic basket. This cheers up Meowth and James.

They then realize that the Squirtle Squad is watching them. The lead Squirtle tells them to "hand over their food. Or else." Jessie and James aren't amused by the threat, and step forward to battle. Suddenly, they fall into another pit dug by the squad.

Later, the Squirtle Squad are seen happily eating all of Team Rocket's food, while Jessie, James, and Meowth are tied to a nearby tree. Jessie attempts to convince the Squirtle Squad to help them capture Pikachu, but they refuse, saying humans can't be trusted. Meowth then thinks up an idea, and explains to the squad that Jessie and James are owned by him. James takes offense at this, but Meowth assures him he should leave everything to him.

Meowth explains that the humans are his pets, and, to give color to his pretense, starts kicking James as punishment for raising his voice. The Squirtle buy this, and let Meowth go. Meowth joins them in eating, leaving Jessie and James still tied to the tree. Meowth tells them that this will take a while.

Elsewhere, Misty is fishing while Ash and Brock lie by the riverside. One of the Squirtle Squad members pops up and soaked them with a Water Gun. Pikachu angrily shakes itself off and retaliates with a ThunderShock, but only succeeds in electrifying Ash, Misty and Brock.

Ash, having had enough of this, confronts the Squirtle when it jumps out of the water. Pikachu charges to attack, but the Squirtle withdraws into its shell and spins at it, knocking Pikachu into the water--at the worst possible time, too, as there is a wild Goldeen in the water.

Ash yells for Pikachu to swim to shore, and it starts to, but it can't outswim the Goldeen. It is stabbed by Goldeen's horn and knocked back out of the water. Ash runs to help it, but a trio of lassos whip out, roping up Ash, Misty, and Brock. Quickly running around them, the Squirtle Squad turn the lassoing into a full-fledged binding. This is when Meowth reveals himself.

Later, Ash, Misty, and Brock are tied to a rock in a cave, with Pikachu in a cage nearby. Meowth says that he was the one in charge, and taunts Ash with his tail, but Ash retaliates by biting it. Ash tries to appeal to the Squirtle not to believe Meowth, but Meowth retaliates with a powerful scratch, and asks the Squirtle whom they are going to believe, a human or a fellow Pokémon?

Brock realizes that Pikachu in bad shape, and that they needed to get it a Potion!. Ash tries to appeal to the Squirtle to let him go into town to get the medicine, but the Squirtle refuse. Ash resorts to begging, even shedding a few tears, and the Squirtle relent, deciding in this one instance to show mercy.

Ash, and only Ash, is released. The Squirtle give him a warning, which is translated by Meowth: if he is not back by noon tomorrow, "the redhead" will have her hair dyed purple. Misty flips, but Ash tells her that he will be back, then leaves. Of course, Meowth is more than willing to let him go, because, by the time he get back, they will be long gone.

Ash is racing towards town when he trips over a rock. The image of the injured Pikachu in the cage, however, gets him up and moving again. He later comes to a dangerous bridge, and tried to make his way across. However, the bridge breaks when he is halfway across, sending him down into the river, where he too is nailed by a Goldeen.

Ash finally makes it into town, but by this point he has been reduced to relying on a walking stick. However, the store soon comes into view. Ash makes his way up to the door, but it suddenly flies open as Gary walks out, smacking Ash in the face. Ash is knocked for a loop.

Back at the cave, Pikachu is getting worse, and Brock and Misty are starting to get worried about it. Meowth is starting to get worried, too, wondering why Jessie and James hadn't returned yet.

Back in town, Ash is snapped out of his unconsciousness by the voices of Jessie and James. They are holding up the store with ice guns, demanding all their Flash Powder and Dental Floss. When given what they want, they fire a rocket that makes it snow inside the store, and made a break for it with their balloon.

Ash knows he needs to chase them down, but before he does, he rushes in to buy the Super Potion and finds himself staring at the barrels of four guns. However, Officer Jenny cuts in, saying he was not with Team Rocket.

Jenny is soon racing back for the cave, Ash riding with her. Unfortunately, they soon come to the bridge that broke when Ash tried to cross it. They are forced to ride off to find another way across the river. Meanwhile, the Team Rocket Balloon flies over, with Jessie and James busy making flash bombs inside.

Jenny and Ash find another way into the cave, but it is too narrow for an adult, so Ash has to go it alone. It soon becomes too dark to see, but Ash uses Charmander as a walking torch. He soon pushes his way back into the main cave where everyone was, but they are gone.

Ash quickly races out of the cave, where the Squirtle Squad is. He demands to know where Misty and Brock are, but it turns out they are right there. Apparently, the Squirtle were bluffing earlier; they may play tricks, but they would never change a girl's natural hair color. In any case, Pikachu is soon sprayed with the Super Potion.

Suddenly, a flash bomb explosion signifies the arrival of Team Rocket, complete with their motto. They throw down a few more flash bombs, and drop a ladder for Meowth to climb up with Pikachu, who he apparently nabbed while everyone else was distracted by the bombs. Ash tells everyone to run for cover, and they head for the cave.

Ash looks back, though, and finds the Boss Squirtle has been knocked over and is stuck on its back. Ash quickly races back and dives on top of the Squirtle, protecting it from the ensuing explosions. Another pair of bombs are dropped, and Ash tells the Squirtle to save itself. The Squirtle, however, hefts Ash up over its head and runs for the cave. Squirtle takes a massive leap so that another explosion bowls them over the others and into the cave.

Team Rocket is jubilant with their victory, but Ash interrupts them. Team Rocket is shocked, and Ash orders the Squirtle to use Water Gun. The Water Gun blows a hole in the balloon, and James drops Pikachu. Ash runs down the side of the cliff and makes a great leap to catch and save Pikachu. Meanwhile, Team Rocket and their balloon go blasting off again.

However, it turns out there are bigger problems. The Flash Bombs dropped by Team Rocket have started a fire that could burn down the whole town. Ash isn't worried, though. He tells the Squirtle Squad that, if they work together, they can stop the fire, and that is what they do.

With the fire stopped and the town saved, the Squirtle Squad are presented with a certificate thanking them for their bravery. They are also appointed the town's official firefighters.

Ash and his friends are on their way once more, Pikachu back to its perky self, when Misty realizes that the Squirtle Squad boss is following them. Ash offers the Squirtle the opportunity to join his team, and the Squirtle accepts. Squirtle removes its sunglasses and runs into a hug from Ash. Ash says that he guesses he has caught another Pokémon, but Misty maintains that this is hardly a catch. In any event, Squirtle is still on their side.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.


Pokémon debuts


Dare da?



Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Squirtle


  • This is the third and final episode of a three-episode arc where Ash gets each of Kanto's starter Pokémon.
  • At the start of the episode, Ash is heard singing the Pokémon Theme.
  • The English dub of this episode, in a different way than Challenge of the Samurai, implies Gary chose a Squirtle as his Starter Pokémon, by having Ash mention that with his very own Squirtle, he can beat Gary.
  • When the gang falls into the hole that the Squirtle dug, there is a skeleton of an unknown animal that may or may not be an unknown Pokémon.
  • This is the third straight episode where the main characters fall for a pitfall trap. These three episodes are the ones where Ash obtains a starter Pokémon, and that in each one the trap was set by a different character. In Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village, Melanie set the traps, though only Team Rocket fell into them. In Charmander - The Stray Pokémon, Team Rocket set the trap. In this episode, the Squirtle Squad set the trap.
  • In this episode, it is revealed that all Officer Jennys are related.
  • When Jenny tells the group about the Squirtle Squad, one of the activities the Squirtle are shown doing is stealing fruit from a fruit seller. This man closely resembles the Magikarp salesman, who appears three episodes later.
  • This is the first episode that shows a town not featured in the games.
  • This is the first time Ash has ever deliberately hurt a Pokémon, biting Meowth on the tail.
  • During the scene when an exhausted Ash enters town to get the Super Potion, there is a sign hanging from a store awning that says "BEER".
  • This is one of the few episodes where a gun is seen.
  • This is one of the few times that Brock uses a Super Potion, an important item in the games. It is depicted as a spray bottle, which later became its sprite in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, with even the same colors.
  • Squirtle was not actually captured in the episode. It chose to come with Ash but was captured off screen.
  • The book Return of the Squirtle Squad is partially based on this episode.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 4: Squirtle copy of Pokémon All-Stars.
  • This episode can be found on the third Pokémon edition of Game Boy Advance Video.


  • After escaping the hole, Brock says he landed on his head even though it is shown he is on his side.

Dub edits

  • Ash was humming an entirely different tune from the background music in the original version.
  • Ash mentioning that with his very own Squirtle, he can beat Gary was added to the dub.
  • The dub makes it seem as though the Squirtle Squad called themselves the Squirtle Squad, whereas the original implied that it was the townspeople who gave them the name. Also, Ash seemed surprised that they were abandoned, when in the original, he states "not again", because he already rescued a Pokémon just an episode prior.
  • The rice balls Team Rocket are eating are called doughnuts and éclairs in the dub.
  • Ash tells the Squirtle Squad that Pikachu will be in big trouble if he doesn't go to town to get the Super Potion, while in the original, he says that Pikachu would actually die if he doesn't.
  • In the dub, the Squirtle Squad threatens to dye Misty's hair purple, while in the original, they threaten to kill her.
    • In that same scene, Misty's reaction to the threat was changed to her threatening Meowth in regards to dying her hair purple. In the original she said that she would get the Super Potion for Pikachu herself.
  • The bazooka Team Rocket used had cherry blossom petals as ammunition, but in the dub, James said that it was filled with ice instead.
  • While Jessie states that they are like the supervillains in the comic books except "better looking", in the Latin American dub she explicitly says that they are much more sexy.

In other languages

EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Original series
EP013 : Mystery at the Lighthouse
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.