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AG071 : A Six Pack Attack!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG073 : Grass Hysteria!
The Bicker the Better
AG072   EP346
Tag Battle! Satoshi VS Haruka!?
First broadcast
Japan April 15, 2004
United States April 2, 2005
English themes
Opening This Dream
Japanese themes
Opening チャレンジャー!!
Ending スマイル
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 松井亜弥 Aya Matsui
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 渡辺正彦 Masahiko Watanabe
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

The Bicker the Better (Japanese: タッグバトル!サトシVSハルカ!? Tag Battle! Satoshi VS Haruka!?) is the 72nd episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 346th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 15, 2004, and in the United States on April 2, 2005.

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


The kids are on their way to Fortree City, but May is delaying them. Ash starts to argue with her, and the two kids continue to bicker as they walk. They are interrupted by a couple named Andi and Oscar, who challenge May and Ash to a tag battle.

Ash uses Corphish and May uses Skitty, facing off against the lovebirds' Nidoking and Nidoqueen. Skitty's Assist move continually interferes with Corphish's attacks, so the two Trainers and their Pokémon begin to fight. Ash and May are defeated.

Andi and Oscar encounter Team Rocket next. Jessie and James agree to battle only so they can steal the couple's Pokémon, but are soundly beaten. Jessie and James blame each other for the loss.

The two groups overhear each other fighting, and Jessie decides to team up in a tag battle with May against James and Ash. The battle starts to go in favor of the boys, prompting Jessie to send out another Pokémon. The fight between Skitty, Seviper, Cacnea, Corphish, and Dustox quickly goes out of control, until Meowth realizes that Team Rocket could steal Pikachu.

They grab Pikachu and run, but Ash and May team up to stop the thieves. After using their Pokémon to soundly defeat Team Rocket, Ash and May reconcile.


Ash, Brock, and Max step outside the Pokémon Center, ready to leave for Fortree City. However, Pikachu warns the boys that May isn't ready yet. Ash goes back inside, finding her just finishing up packing. He resorts to pushing May out of the Center, but she stops in front of a mirror to fix her hair, further irritating Ash. May states that it's normal to do so, but Ash doesn't, shocking May. When Ash responds that he isn't a girl, May condescends to him, making Ash even angrier. As the group walks, Ash and May's rants about each other quickly escalate into an argument.

The group runs into the couple Oscar and Andi, who challenge Ash and May to a Tag Battle, proclaiming the two a couple. Although both deny being a couple, Ash and May accept the challenge. Oscar summons Nidoking while Andi calls out her Nidoqueen. Ash selects Corphish, but May takes more time considering her choice, much to Ash's annoyance. She eventually settles with Skitty. Ash and May make the first move, with Corphish using Bubble Beam and Skitty using Assist to unleash an Ember on Nidoking. However the two attacks collide, and as Corphish tries to alert Skitty to the situation, he ends up being attacked instead. As Ash and May start arguing, Andi and Oscar lash their opponents with a joint Dynamic Punch attack. Ash decides to retaliate, but Skitty's Blizzard accidentally freezes Corphish in ice. May tries to correct her mistake, but Skitty's Assist turns into a String Shot, wrapping Corphish in silky threads. Max cannot believe May would try to use Assist because of the move's unpredictable nature. May, however, tries to use Assist twice more, and on the second go, it melts the ice with Ember. Corphish is furious and begins chasing Skitty around, which leads to Ash and May arguing again. Oscar and Andi pull the win when Corphish and Skitty are both hit with Submission from both Nidoking and Nidoqueen. Ash and May are left bickering even more.

Andi and Oscar run off into the forest, where they soon find Team Rocket and challenge to a Tag Battle. Jessie spots the couple's hefty Pokémon, declaring that Nidoking and Nidoqueen would make great gifts for Giovanni. With that in mind, James uses Cacnea while Jessie choose Seviper. Seviper ends up attacking Cacnea, causing Jessie and James to argue, allowing Oscar and Andi to take the win with dual Hyper Beam attacks, sending the trio flying. The happy couple holds hands and declares that love really does conquer all.

Ash and May are still fighting about the loss, blaming each other, while Max and Brock watch. Jessie and James are also bickering. The two arguing groups cross paths, and another Tag Battle ensures. James teams up with Ash while Jessie takes May. Although Ash and May are hesitant to fight, they decide to accept. The teams use the same Pokémon used in the previous Tag Battles. Corphish and Cacnea work better together than Seviper and Skitty, shifting the battle to James and Ash. Jessie starts to get angry at the thought of losing, so she summons Dustox to blow her opponents away with a Whirlwind. The boys protest at her breaking the rules, but she doesn't care. The battle quickly grows out of control when attacks start to fly undirected. Brock declares the women disqualified, but it is meaningless as Jessie has Dustox whip up another Whirlwind to deal with him.

While the battle rages on, Meowth realizes that the chaos could allow them to snatch Pikachu, so he manages to stop Jessie and James from fighting long enough to realize it. They create a diversion with Seviper's Haze and Cacnea's Sandstorm, while Meowth nabs Pikachu in a net. Team Rocket tries to run, but May's Skitty uses an Assist-turned-String Shot to stop the Rocket trio. Corphish protects Skitty from Seviper's oncoming Poison Tail, rebuilding the trust between Ash and May. Skitty lashes Team Rocket with Double Slap, helping to free Pikachu. It follows up with Blizzard, leaving them frozen. May calls for a joint effort, so Corphish and Skitty use Crabhammer and Tackle, respectively to send Team Rocket blasting off. Afterward, Ash and May apologize to each other, officially ending their fight.

Major events

  • Ash learns about Tag Battles and has his first official battle of that kind, along with May.
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts




Pokémon Trainer's Choice

Pokémon Trainer's Choice: Onix



  • As May and Ash walk down the hallway in the Pokémon Center, there is a poster with an upside-down Poké Ball at the bottom of it. After May inspects herself in the mirror, this poster is missing.
  • Onix is misspelled as Onyx in the Pokémon Trainer's Choice segment.
  • When May checks her Pokédex on Andi's Nidoqueen, she is wearing Ash's gloves.
  • Jessie commands Dustox to use Pin Missile instead of Poison Sting.
  • During Ash and May's argument, May's left hand disappears.
  • Brock says that, according to the rules of Pokémon battles, no Trainer is allowed to use more than one Pokémon in any battle. This is, of course, not true. He may have meant "in any Single Battle", which was the norm back in Generations I and II.
  • When Nidoqueen uses Hyper Beam, her lower jaw is colored blue.
  • During the tag battle, Jessie tells Seviper to use Wrap on Cacnea, but instead, Seviper is seen using Poison Tail.
  • After Team Rocket says their motto, the sound of Wobbuffet's Poké Ball opening can be heard despite Wobbuffet already being outside.
  • When Cacnea, Seviper, Corphish, Dustox, and Skitty are all attacking each other, Skitty disappears for a few frames.
  • When Ash orders Corphish to dodge Nidoking and Nidoqueen's Submission, the z marks under his eyes are missing.
  • When Nidoqueen is called out of the Poké Ball for the first time, she cries, but her mouth doesn't move.

Dub edits

  • A two-second shot of Jessie performing an akanbe, which involves pulling her eyelid down and sticking out her tongue at the same time, is cut from the English dub. This is mainly because it isn't a common gesture outside of Japan. While the same happened for A Ruin with a View and Clefairy and the Moon Stone, there were other episodes featuring akanbe before and after and had no such edits, for reasons unknown.

Pokémon Trainer's Choice

  • Question: Trainers, which one of these Pokémon is the best choice to battle Ariados?
  • Choices: Raichu, Onix, Blaziken
  • Answer: Ok, Trainers! If you chose Onix, you were right!

In other languages

AG071 : A Six Pack Attack!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG073 : Grass Hysteria!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.