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| Electric Shock Showdown
Electric Shock Showdown! Kuchiba Gym
|| July 1, 1997
| United States
|| September 25, 1998
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.
After two weeks of traveling, Ash, Misty, and Brock have finally made it to Vermilion City. Misty and Brock can't wait to get cleaned up, but Ash is more concerned about finding the Vermilion Gym. However, Brock stops Ash, and points out that Pikachu's in no condition to be battling. It, as well as Ash, are really hungry, so first thing's first.
At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy says she'll take good care of Pikachu. Noticing Ash and his friends' staring, she says that they're surprised because they all look the same. She explains that her first cousin works as Pewter City, and her second cousin at Viridian City. She claims she believes she's the cutest one, though, and Brock agrees.
Suddenly, the doors open and a Chansey and a Trainer run in. On a roller table pushed by the Chansey is a badly beaten-up Rattata. Brock wonders what happened, but Nurse Joy points out that's the fifteenth one this 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 explains that they all lost to Lt. Surge, the Vermilion City Gym Leader. Ash is starting to get worried that this Lt. Surge must be a great Trainer, and Misty taunts him for getting scared.
Misty reminds him that he only got his first two badges out of pity, but Ash retorts that a badge is a badge. Misty gives him a nose-flick, and says if he's so strong, why doesn't he prove it at the Vermilion Gym? Misty also reminds Ash that she and Brock gave him badges, so how would they look if Ash got crushed by Lt. Surge? Ash is about ready to hit her now, but Nurse Joy stops him, reminding them they're in a hospital. She then jokingly suggests that if two people fight, they must really care about each other. Ash and Misty angrily deny this.
Just then, the Pokémon Center jingle is heard, which means Ash's Pokémon are fully recovered. Pikachu's happily eating an apple, and Ash tells it it's time to go take on that gym. Suddenly, another Trainer with an injured Pidgey ends up coming in. Misty says they must have come from the Gym, too.
Hearing that frightens Pikachu, who refuses to go to the gym. Ash gets angry at it for being a coward, but Pikachu retorts, asking if Ash really cares that Pikachu could end up like that Pidgey. Ash admits that Pikachu has a point, but then tells Pikachu not to worry because they're going to win. Pikachu still refuses to go, even going far enough to ThunderShock Ash. Misty mentions the way they fight, they must really care about each other, too.
Soon enough, though, they're outside the gym. Misty tells Ash it's not too late to back out, but Ash is still set on going in there and winning. They end up getting into another argument, but Brock cuts this off by asking if they're ever going to go inside.
They enter, Ash declaring his intent to battle for the Thunder Badge. The two subordinates in the room call that there's another victim for the Emergency Room. The rather large Lt. Surge then steps into view. Brock and Misty are amazed by his size.
Lt. Surge expresses pleasure in his next challenger being a cutie, and hugs Misty. Misty points out she's not the challenger, and Ash reveals he is. Lt. Surge laughs, calling him a baby; Ash takes offense to this. Lt. Surge then sees his Pikachu, and laughs that 'the little baby brought a little baby Pokémon'. Now Pikachu, as well, is angry. Ash asks why he's making fun of Pikachu, and Lt. Surge answers the question by showing off his Raichu.
After using Dexter to scope out Raichu, Lt. Surge explains that it's not too late to back out, his Raichu mirroring his poses. Ash refuses to back down, as does Pikachu. Lt. Surge laughs again, saying that an Template:Type2 Pokémon is only useful if it is evolved quickly and taught all the Electric attacks. Ash counters, 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 begins sparking, ready to battle. Brock is surprised by how ready Pikachu is to battle now. Ash says he's counting on Pikachu for this. Lt. Surge accepts the challenge, saying he's going to show that fighting with the big boys can be a shocking experience.
Not long after, they're set up on the arena floor. Raichu and Pikachu charge each other, Pikachu using a ThunderShock. Raichu however, is unfazed, and counters with a ThunderShock of its own, knocking Pikachu for a loop. Brock tells Ash to recall Pikachu, saying that it can't match up to Raichu's electrical attacks. Ash orders Pikachu to return, but Pikachu refuses, charging in once more.
Lt. Surge gives Pikachu credit for guts, and orders Raichu to use Mega Punch, immediately followed by Mega Kick. Pikachu gets hit hard.
Outside, Team Rocket is looking in, seeing Pikachu getting whacked around. If Pikachu is getting beat up like this, then maybe it's not worth stealing after all. Meowth, who is shining what seems to be a spare of the coin on its head, suggests that maybe they should steal Raichu. Jessie and James give him a whack to the head for this and start rooting for Pikachu.
However, Lt. Surge has ordered the big finale, and Raichu complies instantly, unleashing a powerful Thunderbolt that gives Pikachu the shock of its life.
Later, at the Pokémon Center, Pikachu awakens, and Ash is glad to see its okay. Pikachu, however, is upset that it got beat so badly by that Raichu. Ash is convinced they can win if Pikachu tries harder, but Misty points out that she thinks Pikachu was trying as hard as it could the last time.
Nurse Joy interrupts, saying there might be a way Pikachu can win. She walks in, revealing that she came across a Thunderstone. With it, Ash could evolve his Pikachu into a Raichu as well. Brock warns him to think hard about this, because once he evolves Pikachu, there's no way to change it back.
Ash finds himself thinking. If he evolves his Pikachu into a Raichu, he might be 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 decides to let Pikachu decide. Outside, Team Rocket is watching to see what Pikachu chooses.
Pikachu stands up and whacks away the Thunderstone with its tail. Pikachu then goes into a tirade, which moves even Meowth to tears. Meowth explains that Pikachu doesn't want to change, it wants to battle Lt. Surge again, but as a Pikachu; tt wants to win in the name of all Pikachu everywhere. This moves even James to tears, who says that it is beautiful.
Ash promises that, together, they'll win. Brock suggests a strategy change, but Ash is convinced they can find a way. Pikachu says it will fight to defend both its honor and Ash's, moving James to tears again. Pikachu's ready to go, but it ends up flopping back into the bed. Nurse Joy suggests they let it rest a little while longer.
Out in the lobby, Misty is worried. Ash wonders when she started caring about him, but Misty immediately says she's not worried about Ash, but Pikachu. Brock suddenly pipes 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 steps out of the Pokémon Center. Ash declares that their lucky star is shining today. Pikachu looks at the sky in confusion, and so does Misty. Ash says he doesn't mean it that way, and they head off for the Gym again.
However, they are soon blocked by the disguised Team Rocket. Jessie and James start to say their motto, but are quickly cut off by Meowth. They then proceed into what can best be described as a very disturbing cheer for Pikachu and Ash, then run off. Brock says that was disturbing, but Misty cheerily waves Team Rocket off. They're surprised that she recognized them, but they keep running. Ash is chuckling at the humorous scene, but it's soon back to business.
Momentarily, they get back to the Gym for the rematch. Once again, it's Lt. Surge's Raichu battling Ash's Pikachu. The battle begins, and Ash tells Pikachu to stick to the strategy. Lt. Surge just laughs, saying they've come up with a new way to lose, and sends Raichu out. Raichu starts things off with a very interesting take on a Tail Whip, literally whipping Pikachu with its tail repeatedly.
Lt. Surge then orders a Body Slam, which Raichu does, dropping all its weight on Pikachu. Lt. Surge orders a finish with another Body Slam, but this time, Pikachu leaps out of the way, and Raichu hits the arena floor hard, hurting itself.
Ash orders Pikachu to use Agility, and Pikachu goes into full speed. Repeated Body Slam attempts from Raichu all miss completely. Pikachu's just too fast. Brock then reveals 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, now aggravated, orders Raichu to unleash a Thunder attack. Raichu unleashes a massive Thunder, ripping up the arena floor and even blowing out all the windows around the arena. Team Rocket, who are watching outside, are forced to duck so they don't get shocked. Lt. Surge declares the end of the match...but the smoke clears, revealing the unharmed Pikachu standing on its tail.
Brock explains that Pikachu used its tail as a ground to dodge the electric shocks. Lt. Surge orders another Thunderbolt, but Raichu can't muster up the electricity for it. Brock says that Raichu ran out of electricity.
Ash orders a Quick Attack, to which Lt. Surge responds by ordering a Take Down. The quicker Pikachu manages to strike first, slamming into the Raichu's stomach. It then adds 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 is down and out, and Pikachu wins the match.
Lt. Surge congratulates Ash and Pikachu on a job well done, and awards Ash the Thunder Badge. Ash gets a round of applause from everyone, and even the Raichu applauds Pikachu, which embarrasses it. Ash hugs Pikachu, saying this was its victory, and the happy Pikachu electrifies Ash, who claims now he can see lots of lucky stars.
The episode ends with Team Rocket walking off towards the sunset. James claims that that Pikachu really is special, which is why Jessie adds that its worth stealing. Meowth suggests that maybe once they capture the Pikachu, they can start earning their own badges. Suddenly, it occurs to James that they wasted the whole episode cheering for the good guys.
- Ash earns a Thunder Badge by defeating Lt. Surge on his second try.
- Ash receives a Thunderstone from Nurse Joy.
- Pikachu refuses to evolve into Raichu.
- In the first battle, Raichu defeats Pikachu with a Thunderbolt.
- On the second try, Ash's Pikachu defeats Raichu with Quick Attack and Slam.
- Ash's Pikachu learns Quick Attack and Agility.
Who’s That Pokémon?: Raichu
- 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