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EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Original series
EP013 : Mystery at the Lighthouse
Here Comes the Squirtle Squad
Enter the Zenigame Squad!
First broadcast
Japan June 17, 1997
United States September 23, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
Storyboard 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
Assistant director 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
Animation director 酒井啓史 Hiroshi Sakai
Additional credits

Here Comes the Squirtle Squad (Japanese: ゼニガメぐんだんとうじょう! Enter the Zenigame Squad!) is the 12th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 17, 1997 and in the United States on September 23, 1998.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


Ash and his friends walk along a path and fall into a hole dug by a batch of mischievous Squirtle. Ash climbs out and tries to battle them, but they scatter when Officer Jenny arrives.

Team Rocket tries to enjoy a picnic, but the Squirtle Squad (as Officer Jenny calls them) shows up, traps them (then ties them to a tree), and eats their food. Meowth makes a deal with the Squirtle to secure its release.

With Meowth in charge, the Squirtle are able to capture Ash, Misty, Brock, and a wounded Pikachu. They tie up the humans in a cave while Pikachu, its health fading, lies in a cage. Ash convinces the Squirtle to let him go to town to get a Super Potion for Pikachu, while Meowth awaits Jessie and James to arrive so they can complete their plan.

Will Ash retrieve Pikachu's medicine in time? What is this sinister Team Rocket plot? And what's the real story behind the Squirtle Squad?


The episode opens with a recap of how Ash caught his Bulbasaur and his Charmander. It seems that his current successful streak is making Ash quite confident. Ash, Misty, and Brock are walking down the road, when they fall into a pit. A group of Squirtle wearing sunglasses peer into the hole, laughing. Ash angrily climbs out of the hole and uses his Pokédex on the Squirtle. He orders Pikachu to use a Thunder Shock, but one of the Squirtle takes the hit for the one that seems to be the leader. A battle ensues, but Officer Jenny soon arrives, scaring away the Squirtle.

At the police station, Jenny explains that the group of Squirtle that they met earlier are called the "Squirtle Squad". They are a group of Squirtle that have all been abandoned by their Trainers, and all they do is run wild and play pranks on everyone. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is accosted by the Squirtle Squad, tied to a tree, and all of their food is stolen and eaten. Taking advantage of the Squirtle's mistrust of humans, Meowth tricks them into helping him with Team Rocket's latest plan to finally steal Pikachu. Elsewhere, Misty is fishing while Ash and Brock lie by the riverside. One of the Squirtle Squad members pops up and soaks them with a Water Gun. Ash, having had enough of the Squirtle Squad's antics, confronts the Squirtle when it jumps out of the water. Pikachu charges to attack, but the Squirtle withdraws into its shell and spins at him, knocking Pikachu into the water - at the worst possible time, too, as there is a wild Goldeen in the water.

Ash yells for Pikachu to swim to shore, and he starts to, but he can't outswim the Goldeen. Pikachu gets stabbed by Goldeen's horn and knocked back out of the water. Ash runs to help his friend, but three of the Squirtle quickly tie him up, along with Misty and Brock. Later, the three of them are tied to a rock in a cave, with Pikachu in a cage nearby. Meowth taunts Ash about Team Rocket's plan; Ash tries to appeal to the Squirtle not to believe Meowth, but Meowth retaliates and refutes everything Ash says to keep the Squirtle on Team Rocket's side. Brock realizes that Pikachu in bad shape, and that they need to heal him. Ash begs the Squirtle to let him go into town to get the medicine, and the Squirtle acquiesce. They release Ash on threat of dyeing Misty's hair if he does not return in time, and he sprints to the nearest town. After being knocked out by Gary slamming a door into him, Ash wakes up to hear Team Rocket holding up the store. Before he can chase them down, however, he manages to obtain the medicine and gets a ride back to the cave with Officer Jenny.

With the bridge to town broken, Jenny and Ash find another way into the cave, but it is too narrow for an adult, so Ash has to go through it alone. However, he finds that everyone is gone, and he quickly races out of the cave to find Misty, Brock, and Pikachu completely unhurt. Apparently, the Squirtle were bluffing earlier; they may play tricks, but they would never do anything nasty. Pikachu is then promptly healed. Suddenly, however, a flash bomb explosion signifies the arrival of Team Rocket, complete with their motto. They throw down a few more flash bombs, and drop a ladder for Meowth to climb up with Pikachu, whom he apparently nabbed while everyone else was distracted by the bombs. As everyone runs for cover, Ash looks back and sees the leader of the Squirtle Squad fallen on its back and unable to move. Ash quickly races back and dives on top of the Squirtle, protecting it from the ensuing explosions. Another pair of bombs are dropped, and Ash tells the Squirtle to save itself. The Squirtle, however, hefts Ash up over its head and runs for the cave, saving them both.

Team Rocket is jubilant with their victory, but Ash interrupts them. Team Rocket is shocked, and Ash orders the Squirtle to use Water Gun. The Water Gun blows a hole in the balloon, sending them blasting off, and Pikachu is saved. However, it turns out there are bigger problems: the Flash Bombs dropped by Team Rocket have started a fire that could burn down the whole town. Fortunately, the Squirtle Squad steps in and puts out the fire with their Water-type attacks, and the town praises them as their new firefighters. Soon, Ash and his friends are on their way once more, Pikachu back to his perky self, when Misty realizes that the Squirtle Squad boss is following them. Ash offers the Squirtle the opportunity to join his team, and Squirtle happily accepts.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts


Dare da?



Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Squirtle


  • This is the third and final episode of a three-episode arc where Ash gets each of Kanto's starter Pokémon.
  • This episode establishes that there are multiple Officer Jennys who are all part of a large extended family.
  • At the start of the episode, Ash is heard singing the Pokémon Theme.
  • The English dub of this episode, in a different way than Challenge of the Samurai, implies Gary chose a Squirtle as his Starter Pokémon, by having Ash mention that with his very own Squirtle, he can beat Gary.
  • When the gang falls into the hole that the Squirtle dug, there is a skeleton of an unknown animal that may or may not be an unknown Pokémon.
  • This is the third straight episode where the main characters fall for a pitfall trap. These three episodes are the ones where Ash obtains a starter Pokémon, and that in each one the trap was set by a different character. In Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village, Melanie set the traps, though only Misty and Team Rocket fell into them. In Charmander - The Stray Pokémon, Team Rocket set the trap. In this episode, the Squirtle Squad set the trap.
  • When Jenny tells the group about the Squirtle Squad, one of the activities the Squirtle are shown doing is stealing fruit from a fruit seller. This man closely resembles the Magikarp salesman, who appears three episodes later.
  • This is the first episode that shows a town not featured in the games.
  • This is the first time Ash has ever deliberately hurt a Pokémon, biting Meowth on the tail.
  • During the scene when an exhausted Ash enters town to get the Super Potion, there is a sign hanging from a store awning that says "BEER".
  • This is one of the few episodes where a gun is seen.
  • This is the first episode where a Potion is used in the anime. In this case, the Potion in question is a Super Potion, which would end up being the most commonly used Potion in future episodes. It is also depicted as a spray bottle, which later became its sprite in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen since then, with even the same colors.
  • Squirtle was not actually caught in the episode. It chose to come with Ash but was caught off-screen.
  • This episode marks the earliest point in a series when Ash has had a full party of six Pokémon on hand.
  • The book Return of the Squirtle Squad is partially based on this episode.
  • This episode is featured on Volume 4: Squirtle from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • This episode can be found on the third Pokémon edition of Game Boy Advance Video.


  • After escaping the hole, Brock says he landed on his head even though it is shown he was the only one who didn't.
  • When Pikachu falls into the lake, Ash's shoes are completely white.
  • After Goldeen strikes Ash with Horn Attack, his hat is miscolored.
  • Meowth is seen carrying Pikachu up the ladder, however Ash and his friends were spraying a Super Potion on Pikachu at the time.

Dub edits

  • PokéRap: Day 2
  • Ash was humming an entirely different tune from the background music in the original version.
  • Ash mentioning that with his very own Squirtle, he can beat Gary was added to the dub.
  • The dub makes it seem as though the Squirtle Squad called themselves the Squirtle Squad, whereas the original implied that it was the townspeople who gave them the name. Also, Ash seemed surprised that they were abandoned, when in the original, he states "not again", because he already rescued a Pokémon just an episode prior.
  • The rice balls and sandwiches Team Rocket is eating are called doughnuts and éclairs in the dub.
  • Ash tells the Squirtle Squad that Pikachu will be in big trouble if he doesn't go to town to get the Super Potion, while in the original, he says that Pikachu would actually die if he doesn't.
  • In the dub, the Squirtle Squad threatens to dye Misty's hair purple, while in the original, they threaten to execute her.
    • In that same scene, Misty's reaction to the threat was changed to her threatening Meowth in regards to dying her hair purple. In the original she said that she would get the Super Potion for Pikachu herself.
  • The bazooka Team Rocket used had cherry blossom petals as ammunition, but in the dub, James said that it was filled with ice instead.
  • While Jessie states that they are like the supervillains in the comic books except "better looking", in the Spanish Latin American dub she explicitly says that they are much more sexy.

In other languages

EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Original series
EP013 : Mystery at the Lighthouse
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.