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AG187 : The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG189 : Gathering the Gang of Four!
Pinch Healing!
AG188   EP462
The Pokémon Center is Very Busy!
First broadcast
Japan August 17, 2006
United States February 3, 2007
English themes
Opening Battle Frontier
Ending Pokémon Go!
Japanese themes
Opening スパート!
Ending 私、負けない! ~ハルカのテーマ~
Animation Team Iguchi
Screenplay 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
Storyboard 小山賢 Masaru Koyama
Assistant director 小山賢 Masaru Koyama
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Pinch Healing! (Japanese: ポケモンセンターはおおいそがし! The Pokémon Center is Very Busy!) is the 188th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 462nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 17, 2006 and in the United States on February 3, 2007.

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


At the Fennel Valley Pokémon Center, Ash is practicing attacks with his Pokémon while Brock is excited to be cooking with Nurse Joy. His excitement quickly disappears when he finds Nurse Joy unconscious on the floor. They put her in bed, and Professor Oak says she needs rest. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is incredibly lost from when Harley sent them blasting off, and to choose their path, Jessie throws a stick that hits several Pokémon and damages a small bus passing on the road below.

The bus belongs to a Pokésitter named Matt, who is looking after several Pokémon. Ash, Brock, Professor Oak, and Scott go to pick him and the Pokémon up. Scott tows the bus back while the kids take care of the Pokémon, but a Bagon runs off and Ash and Matt are unable to catch it. The rest of the Pokémon are brought to the Pokémon Center where May and Max look after them, including a Larvitar that likes to use Sandstorm.

Ash and Matt see the Bagon jump off a cliff and fall into a raging river where it is then attacked by Carvanha. Ash has Pikachu and Sceptile help, with the Bagon eventually falling into Matt's arms. Unfortunately, the adventure has made Bagon sick. They bring it back to the Pokémon Center where Professor Oak and Brock attempt to make it well. While the other kids wait, Team Rocket comes in disguised as "assistant Pokésitters" and steals all the other Pokémon. They take off in their balloon, but Larvitar brings them down with a Sandstorm.

Back at the Pokémon Center, Bagon has gotten worse, but Nurse Joy is better. She manages to heal Bagon, and Scott fixes the bus. As Matt prepares to leave with the Pokémon, the kids say goodbye, while Ash receives some good news—Brandon has returned, so Ash can have his rematch.


Outside the Pokémon Center, Ash is busy training for his rematch and trying to develop his unique battle style. Pikachu, Corphish, Sceptile, and Aipom practice attacking bowling pins. Meanwhile, Brock is excited to prepare breakfast with Nurse Joy. His thoughts are cut off when he hears a crash and Chansey’s cry. He rushes to the kitchen and finds Nurse Joy unconscious on the floor, her face red.

Nurse Joy is taken to a spare room, tucked into bed as Professor Oak announces to everyone that she has the flu. Max adds that it was probably induced by the added stress of Ash and May’s battles. The professor suggests for her to rest, even though they know she is devoted to her work. Nurse Joy wakes up and tries to get out of bed, but she is too weak. Professor Oak insists for her to rest as everyone volunteers to cover for her.

Team Rocket is hiking back after Harley's Cacturne sent them blasting off previously. They run into a fork in the road, and Jessie throws a stick, hitting a Diglett and a Gloom. Gloom fires Stun Spore up into a tree, paralyzing an Electrode on a branch. Paralyzed, it falls off the tree and rolls down a hill before plunging off a cliff, crashing into a bus, and exploding, stopping the bus. The driver, a Pokésitter named Matt, informs the Pokémon Center that Pokémon in his care got hurt and need attention. Ash receives the call and Max informs Professor Oak. The center has a car, so Oak gets Scott to drive everyone to the location.

Matt is busy trying to calm his Pokémon as Ash and his friends approach. They load all the Pokémon onto the car, relieved that no serious injuries occurred. Scott hooks the damaged bus to the car. Team Rocket watches from atop the cliff and decides to steal the Pokémon and evolve them. The last of Matt’s Pokémon, Bagon, runs off after watching Fearow and Butterfree fly around. Matt and Ash chase after Bagon while everyone else heads back to the Pokémon Center. Bagon jumps off a rock in its attempt to fly, but it crashes into the ground. When Ash tries to help it up, Bagon attacks with Headbutt before running off.

Back at the Pokémon Center, Max feeds Whismur and Makuhita. Whismur cries and Max pets it, calming it and getting it to eat. May plays with Swinub and Seedot, bouncing a ball with them, but notices Larvitar hiding from her. May pets it, scaring Larvitar into attacking with Sandstorm, pushing her back. Brock's Marshtomp uses Water Gun to heal Wooper. The Pokémon situation appears to be resolved, and Oak commends Brock's ability to comfort Pokémon. Scott is busy repairing the truck as Samuel comes by, informing Scott that Brandon hasn’t returned yet.

Matt and Ash are still looking for Bagon, finding it atop a high cliff, making another attempt to fly. It jumps and crashes into the river. The fast current takes it downstream as Ash and Matt follow. Bagon manages to climb onto an isolated rock, but wild Carvanha attack. Pikachu's Thunderbolt stops them from attacking, but more Carvanha are approaching. Ash throws a log, forming a bridge from the rock to the opposite shore. As Bagon begins to cross, the Carvanha start devouring the tree, forcing Bagon back. Ash sends out Sceptile to jump onto the log, sending Bagon flying high. Matt catches Bagon, but it suddenly develops a fever.

Nurse Joy is still bedridden, frustrated at the fact that she cannot help. She notices the Larvitar in the door and it attacks Professor Oak with Sandstorm. Max informs Oak about Bagon as Ash and Matt rush in with Bagon on a stretcher. Brock and Oak take Bagon into the Emergency Room to treat it. Outside, Team Rocket prepares a disguise to set their plan into motion.

Inside, Matt is upset about how the Pokémon got hurt, blaming himself for it. As Max and May feed the remaining Pokémon, Matt notices how Max comforts Whismur by petting it and how May does the same with Larvitar. The Emergency Room doors open and Brock announces that Bagon is doing better. A disguised Team Rocket comes in, proclaiming themselves as part of a Pokésitter Union, cramming all the Pokémon into a cart. Matt knows something is amiss as Team Rocket deploys smoke to make a getaway. As everyone pursues Team Rocket, Bagon's fever suddenly escalates, prompting Oak and Brock to treat it. Nurse Joy steps in, fully dressed and rested, to help Bagon. She quickly feeds Bagon medicine.

Meanwhile, everyone else catches up to Team Rocket as they take off in their balloon. Ash orders Pikachu to attack with Thunderbolt, but Team Rocket exposes the young Pokémon hanging off the bottom of the basket. Knowing that Pikachu’s attack would harm the Pokémon, Pikachu backs off. It appears Team Rocket will get away, but May quickly orders Larvitar to use Sandstorm. The attack goes upward and brings the balloon down. The young Pokémon land unscathed as Ash and friends secure them. Team Rocket is not willing to give up as Jessie and James send out Seviper and Cacnea. With the Pokémon safe, Ash orders Pikachu to use Volt Tackle, sending Team Rocket blasting off.

When Ash and his friends return to the Pokémon Center, Brock informs them that Bagon's fever has subsided. The next morning, Scott arrives with the bus fully repaired. Matt thanks the group as he and the Pokémon depart. Samuel arrives and informs that Brandon found the Pokémon he was looking for and that he is returning for the rematch.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts






  • During the battle with Team Rocket, when Ash tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt for the first time, Pikachu's voice plays before his mouth moves.
  • When Team Rocket blasts off, Seviper and Cacnea are nowhere to be seen despite having been called out earlier.

Dub edits

  • In the English dub, Samuel tells Scott that Brandon got the Pokémon he was after. In the original Japanese version, Samuel specifically mentions that it is an Ice-type Pokémon, foreshadowing its identity as Regice.

In other languages

AG187 : The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG189 : Gathering the Gang of Four!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.