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AG003 : There's no Place Like Hoenn
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG005 : In the Knicker of Time!
You Never Can Taillow
AG004   EP278
スバメがいっぱい 危険がいっぱい!トウカの森でゲットだぜ!!
A Lot of Subame! A Lot of Danger! Capture in Touka Woods!!
First broadcast
Japan December 12, 2002
United States November 22, 2003
English themes
Opening I Wanna Be a Hero
Japanese themes
Opening アドバンス・アドベンチャー
Ending そこに空があるから
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
Additional credits

You Never Can Taillow (Japanese: スバメがいっぱい 危険がいっぱい!トウカの森でゲットだぜ!! A Lot of Subame! A Lot of Danger! Capture in Touka Woods!!) is the fourth episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire and the 278th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 12, 2002, and in the United States on November 22, 2003.

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


Ash, May and May's little brother Max are now en route to Rustboro City—and they're hungry! No one remembered to pack lunch. As they fight over one remaining cookie, Ash remembers how nice it was to have Brock cooking for him and Misty. He's quickly brought back to reality when a Taillow takes off with the cookie. The gang follows Taillow to a grove filled with apple trees. Ash and May eagerly shake the trees, hoping to make the apples drop to the ground. Instead of apples, Ash and May shake loose an angry flock of territorial Taillow. There's too many for Ash, Max, and May to handle alone. Out of nowhere, Brock appears and saves the day with his Forretress—and his incredible soup! They manage to defeat and feed all of the Taillow except the one who took the cookie. Taillow are naturally resilient, but this particular one is especially tough. Ash can't seem to defeat it, so instead he decides to catch it.


While walking in the Petalburg Woods, May begins to feel hungry while Max complains that he hasn't seen a new Pokémon yet. The siblings start to bicker about what to do next, pulling Ash in two directions until he and Pikachu yell for them to stop. Ash settles the argument with a compromise, they'll take a quick lunch break and then decide which way to go. However, the trio realizes they haven’t brought lunch with them. May and Max are quick to criticize Ash, given he has plenty of travel experience. Pikachu is cheery as it opens a can of Pokémon food, but his supply has also run dry. Ash apologizes and wishes Brock was with them, telling May and Max about him, especially his delicious cooking. Team Rocket, on the other hand, are happily enjoying some sandwiches and plan to target the group while they're weak from hunger. Soon, Max gets his emergency stash, a pack of chocolate cookies, out of his backpack. However, it turns out Max only has one biscuit remaining. They all agree to share it, when suddenly a Taillow swoops in and snatches it. They chase after the thief, with May incensed over the food theft while Max is excited that he finally found a Pokémon. Ash also uses the pursuit to check his Pokédex, and he is quietly impressed by Taillow's reported stamina.

May yells out to Taillow, but Max urges her to calm down as Taillow usually live in large flocks. The Taillow soon perches in a tree and happily scoffs down the cookie. Max is thrilled that Taillow enjoyed the treat, but May collapses to the ground in hunger pain. Luckily Pikachu alerts them to the strewn apple cores, and they find themselves surrounded by a grove of fruit-filled trees. Ash tells Pikachu to shock down some fruit; however, numerous Taillow appear and snatch it up before it hits the ground. Suddenly, more Taillow appear and surround the group, looking angry. Ash wonders if it's because they're in the Taillow's territory. Ash orders Pikachu to Thunderbolt them; the Taillow are knocked down but recover quickly. A second Thunderbolt is also shaken off. Jessie, James and Meowth spy from the bushes, and they are impressed with the Taillow's resilience. They speculate that catching Pikachu would be easy if the fierce Taillow were on their side. Meanwhile, Pikachu continues to shock the Taillow, hitting one that May spots as the leader. Max notes that the chocolate on its beak marks it as the cookie thief. The Taillow shrugs off Pikachu's attack and leads the others in a mass attack on the group. They prepare to be hit hard when a figure appears, throwing a Fast Ball and commanding Forretress to use Explosion. It is Brock to the rescue.

Ash is surprised to see his old traveling companion again. Brock reveals that everything is now fine at the Pewter Gym, so he decided to travel to the Hoenn region. He explains that Professor Birch directed him towards Rustboro City. Ash asks whether Brock will join him again and Brock agrees to tag along. Introductions are made, and Brock offers everyone some rice balls only to discover they have been stolen from his backpack. He offers to cook up some stew instead. A little way off, the Rocket trio makes use of the Taillow, bribing them with the stolen rice balls to capture Pikachu. Meanwhile, the chocolate-beaked Taillow shows up to challenge Pikachu, and Ash enthusiastically agrees. They battle over a stream, but the Taillow, despite taking several Thunderbolts and a massive Thunder attack, refuses to back down. Brock tells Ash to stop the fight by catching it. Ash throws a Poké Ball and catches Taillow. Ash calls his new Taillow out, Brock spritzes it with a Super Potion to help replenish its energy. Ash wipes the chocolate off its beak with Misty's handkerchief. Taillow soon climbs onto Ash's shoulder, and together they perform a victory pose.

Team Rocket makes their appearance with their flock of Taillow behind them. Brock is not surprised to learn that Team Rocket is still pursuing Ash, but he becomes mad when he learns that they stole his rice balls. May calls on Torchic, however, it is too enthusiastic and walks straight into a boulder. She quickly recalls Torchic back to its Poké Ball. As the Rocket trio order the Taillow to attack, Brock's cooking alarm goes off, announcing the stew is ready. Brock offers to share with the hungry Taillow flock, who loses interest in fighting. Team Rocket mourns the failure of their plan, but goes on the attack anyway, figuring Pikachu will be weak with hunger. However, they get blasted off, as Ash informs them that Pikachu ate Brock's Pokémon food already. Later, the Taillow flock fly off after enjoying the stew, saying goodbye to their friend. Ash calls for the group to hit the road, but Brock reminds them that the dishes need washing first.

Major events

Ash after catching Taillow
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts




Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Misdreavus


  • The eyecatches are updated in this episode to include Brock.
  • After catching it, Ash lets out his new Taillow and cleans off its chocolate with the same handkerchief Misty gave him when they said goodbye.
    • Coincidentally, this episode also features Brock's return.
  • The title is a reference to the phrase "you never can tell".
    • The original English dub title was announced as You Can Never Taillow.
  • Ash, May, Brock, and Team Rocket break the fourth wall in this episode when they fight for a larger portion of the split-screen.
  • We're No Angels! takes place immediately following this episode.
  • Music from Pikachu's Vacation, Mewtwo Strikes Back, and The Power of One is used in this episode.
  • When Ash catches Taillow, instead of shaking like it usually does, the light on the Poké Ball blinks while making a noise, an effect exclusive to this episode.


  • Petalburg Woods is called "Petalburg Forest" throughout the episode.
  • When May pulls Ash's hat over his face for forgetting to pack any lunch, her right eye is with and without sclera between frames.
  • As May prepares to send out Torchic, her gloves disappear.
  • In the scene where Taillow dodges a Quick Attack from Pikachu, Taillow's eyes are colored green instead of black.
  • Ash's gloves momentarily disappear when he orders Pikachu to use his electricity to bring down the fruit from the trees.
  • When Brock orders Forretress to use Explosion, its Japanese voice is left in.
  • In the scene where Pikachu is battling Taillow, Taillow says, "Swellow" instead of Taillow.
  • Before the battle ends with Pikachu and Taillow, May's pack is missing.
  • As the Poké Ball wiggles with Taillow inside, it makes a beeping sound instead of a wiggling sound.
  • In the Finnish dub, before checking Taillow's Pokédex entry, Ash speaks with May's voice.
  • In the Russian dub, Ash incorrectly calls Brock the Leader of Petalburg Gym before saying that May and Max's father is the current Leader of Petalburg Gym.

Dub edits

  • The rice balls Brock and Team Rocket had were called sandwiches in the dub.
  • In the original Japanese version, the snacks are called chocolate. In the English dub, they are called chocolate cookies.

In other languages

AG003 : There's no Place Like Hoenn
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG005 : In the Knicker of Time!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.