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AG077 : A Fan with a Plan
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG079 : Pearls are a Spoink's Best Friend
Cruisin' for a Losin'
AG078   EP352
Pokémon Contest! Ruibosu Tournament!!
First broadcast
Japan May 27, 2004
United States May 14, 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 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Assistant director 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Animation director 宍戸久美子 Kumiko Shishido
Additional credits

Cruisin' for a Losin' (Japanese: ポケモンコンテスト!ルイボス大会!! Pokémon Contest! Ruibosu Tournament!!) is the 78th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 352nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 27, 2004, and in the United States on May 14, 2005.

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


The Rubello Pokémon Contest begins! Savannah is still nervous, but May is overconfident. Both of them do well in the first round performances, and while waiting in the locker room, May brags that once you have at least one ribbon, all the rest come easily. Drew tells her off.

Jessie tries to enter the contest by making her own ribbon, but instead a woman offers to buy the ribbon, giving Jessie the idea to start selling them. She puts James and Meowth to work.

The finalists in the contest are announced: May, Savannah, Drew, and Sunny. Ash tries to offer some advice, but May snaps at him.

Drew's Masquerain takes down Sunny's Girafarig with a three-move combo. The next battle is May's Bulbasaur versus Savannah's Lairon. Bulbasaur gets nervous, and doesn't dodge Lairon's attacks. Bulbasaur takes a bad pounding but May refuses to accept defeat, and the judges yell at her.

May goes outside, and Ash talks with her. The two of them go back inside to watch Savannah face off against Drew. Drew beats Savannah by a lot of points, and wins his fourth ribbon.

Team Rocket is trying to sell the ribbons they made, but no one buys one, and even the woman who bought one before wants to return hers.

Back at the Pokémon Center, Savannah doesn't feel bad about losing, and even May realizes that she can't take her wins for granted.


It's Contest day in Rubello Town, except for Jessie. Despite her attempt to enter with a comically-large fake Ribbon, her dream of entering this Pokémon Contest is quashed. Inside the Contest Hall, May and Savannah watch Vivian kick off the festivities. May is as determined as ever to win, and with her victories in Fallarbor and Verdanturf Town she is particularly confident, while Savannah is still suffering from a bad case of nerves. Drew is also waiting backstage, and he smirks as May gives advice to Savannah. Meanwhile, outside, a stranger asks if she can purchase Jessie's fake Ribbon as a decoration for her Azurill. Jessie gains a steely glint in her eye and what's worse—an idea.

Back inside the competition center, May and Beautifly take the stage and open with a Morning Sun technique, followed by Silver Wind. The Mothers for Pokémon cheer May on, and Savannah later complements May for her good work, remarking that she hopes she can do as well herself. Savannah starts off a bit shaky, missing her cue, but she makes up for her mistake quickly. Savannah elects to start with her Flareon, which uses a Fire Spin attack to create flaming hoops which it Tackles through. Savannah follows those theatrics with a combination of Swift and Ember, turning the Swift stars red. Sandra informs the boys that the maneuver was her idea. After Savannah yields the stage, May compliments her but remarks that after winning a few Ribbons, winning becomes easy. Drew scoffs at her hubris, and advises her to forget what she's won and concentrate on the future—a remark that May doesn't understand. Before he can explain, Drew is called to take the stage. He starts with his Roselia, which bursts from its Poké Ball with a blizzard of Petal Dance. Drew snaps his fingers and Roselia appears, making the MFP go wild, and Savannah remarks backstage that Drew is amazing. May, however, is less impressed. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has started manufacturing bows like Jessie's earlier adornment, apparently having developed a temporary taste for legitimate business. However, Jessie is demanding perfection in the workmanship, which neither James, Meowth nor Wobbuffet seem able to meet.

Later, Vivian announces the contestants advancing to the next stage, the Contest Battle rounds, as Drew, May, Sonny and Savannah. May remarks that she was never very worried, and the MFP cheer for both Drew and Savannah. May is paired to face Savannah, while Drew is slated to fight Sonny. May will be using her Bulbasaur for the battle, while Savannah selects her Lairon. May starts giving Savannah advice for the upcoming match, but she is interrupted by the arrival of the boys and Sandra. Ash suggests that if Savannah needs any help, she should probably ask him, which causes May's temper to flare. Sandra recommends that Savannah needs no advice, and that she should just battle the way she always does. Meanwhile, Ash tries to give May some Bulbasaur-related advice, but May snaps at him. Drew watches the exchange and shrugs.

Drew and Sonny's battle is first. Sonny sends out his Girafarig while Drew chooses his new Masquerain. Girafarig swings for an Iron Tail, but Masquerain avoids the attack and responds with Bubble attack. Masquerain follows up with Ice Beam to freeze its own Bubbles, and then adds Hidden Power to the mix. The Hidden Power energy bounces between the spheres of ice before knocking Girafarig out. Drew thus gains a quick victory over Sonny and advances to the finals. That leaves May versus Savannah, and May determined to win. May's Bulbasaur and Savannah's Lairon take the stage, but each Coordinator has an immediate problem—Savannah continues to suffer from stage fright and nerves and May's Bulbasaur is unfamiliar with the big city, and is dazzled by the Contest stage and roaring crowd. Bulbasaur quickly retreats to behind May for cover. In the audience, Brock speculate that's May's angry outbursts backstage upset Bulbasaur. Unfortunately, May is also none too kind in telling Bulbasaur to take the stage, and Bulbasaur reluctantly steps forward to face Lairon.

With the battle joined in earnest, Savannah orders Lairon to use Take Down. May calls for Bulbasaur to dodge, but the bright lights and unfamiliar stage fills her with fear, which is compounded by May's anger. Bulbasaur therefore takes the attack head on. May orders a counterattack with Vine Whip, which Bulbasaur supplies, but Lairon counters with a surprise and Electric-type Shock Wave, which traces the Vine Whip and shocks Bulbasaur. Sandra reveals, at this point, that she was also the architect of the Shock Wave combo and that because of Vine Whip's direct contact, Lairon paralyzed Bulbasaur. Savannah orders a coup de grace with Metal Claw, which makes contact and causes the Contest Judges to call the battle against Bulbasaur. May declares that she's not done, but the judges rebuke her harshly, declaring that she has disregarded the well-being of her Bulbasaur. Savannah continues onto the finals, while May ventures outside to tend to Bulbasaur.

She apologizes to her Pokémon for losing sight of what was important, and Bulbasaur easily forgives her. Ash and Pikachu approach her, inviting May inside to watch the final round. Ash assures May that everyone gets carried away with wanting to win sometimes, and that the most important fact of battling, Contest or Gym, is that Trainer and Pokémon must be in sync to succeed. Meanwhile, Drew and Savannah are fighting fiercely. In the final seconds of the match, Drew scores an unavenged hit with Hidden Power, and time expires before Savannah can counter with a Shock Wave. The victory goes to Drew who courteously shakes hands with his opponent after the battle. The brief brush with Drew only makes the other MFP members jealous. Having now earned his fourth Ribbon, Drew is one Contest win away from qualifying for the Grand Festival. Elsewhere, Team Rocket is having trouble selling their carefully crafted Ribbons, and in the greatest irony, the stranger who purchase one earlier asks if she can return hers.

Overnight, Ash, his friends, Savannah, and Sandra return to the Pokémon Center cafeteria to enjoy a meal together. Savannah declares that though she wanted the Contest Ribbon today, she didn't want it so badly that she took her existing Ribbon for granted. May realizes that she did exactly that—take her other Ribbons for granted in her pursuit of yet another, and vows she never will do so again.

Major events

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: Camerupt


The Max look-a-like on the right


  • The Pokémon Trainer's Choice segment states that Camerupt would be the best choice to battle Ludicolo. It would actually be the worst choice because Ludicolo's Water-type attacks would be four times more effective on Camerupt as it is a Fire/Ground-type. Ground-type attacks are not very effective against Ludicolo and Fire-type attacks are normally effective. Both Duskull and Mightyena would be normally effective on Ludicolo.

Dub edits

  • In the English dub, Brock thinks that the contact made with Vine Whip and Lairon is why Shock Wave was able to paralyze Bulbasaur, with Savannah confirming the reason. In the original Japanese version, Brock thinks that it is like how Static works, with Savannah confirming it.

Pokémon Trainer's Choice

In other languages

AG077 : A Fan with a Plan
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG079 : Pearls are a Spoink's Best Friend
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.