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EP042 : Showdown at Dark City
Original series
EP044 : The Problem with Paras
The March of the Exeggutor Squad
The Great Nassy Squad March!
First broadcast
Japan May 7, 1998
United States October 30, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ポケットにファンタジー
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Animation director 山本郷 Sato Yamamoto
Additional credits

The March of the Exeggutor Squad (Japanese: ナッシーぐんだんだいこうしん! The Great Nassy Squad March!) is the 43rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 7, 1998, and in the United States on October 30, 1998. It was initially intended to air in Japan on February 3, 1998, but was rescheduled following the EP038 incident.

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


Our heroes continue their Pokémon training without a break even over spring vacation, when what should appear before them but a carnival. Ash, Brock and Pikachu join in the fun, eventually discovering a rather dull magic show being performed in a small cabin. The magician begs Misty to become his assistant, but because of his poor magic skills, the magician is fired. Feeling sorry for him, Brock, Ash and Misty suggest working together to create a Pokémon magic show.


Ash and his friends find themselves in a town on the same day as a carnival. Excited to party, Brock and Ash change into funny outfits and start dancing. Misty and Pikachu, embarrassed, walk away, go on some rides, and eat some ice cream. Soon after, Misty notices a woman shouting at a man with an Exeggcute. The woman shouts something about a payment the man owes her, shoves him back into a box, and walks away. Misty asks the man if everything is alright and he asks her if she'll be his assistant for his magic show, since his previous assistant just quit. He introduces himself as Melvin and conjures some flowers and flags. Misty agrees to help him, but just for the day.

Misty is forced to wear a leotard adorned with Goldeen fins and is embarrassed, but, luckily, only four people showed up to the show. Unfortunately, Ash and Brock arrive and Ash laughs at her while she is on stage. Melvin then starts to juggle his Exeggcute and everyone, even Misty, thinks it's boring. Melvin then pulls out a wand and a tiny flame comes out; the crowd falls back and makes exclamations like "That was pathetic!" He tries again, and a huge jet of flame comes out. Misty tells him to be careful, but he's so thrilled the trick actually worked that he doesn't listen to her and the fire sprinkler system in the building activates, drenching the audience. The carnival manager fired Melvin because of the stunt and wants to give up all his dreams, but Ash and co. promise to give him some tips.

Ash performs his own trick involving a "magic" box with fire and water "magically" shooting out of the top, but it really just contains Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. The three Pokémon get into a fight inside the box and subsequently ruin Ash's trick. Ash says that Melvin's Exeggcute doesn't do much, so it uses Hypnosis on him. Brock and Misty wonder why Ash is acting so dopey, especially after he follows Melvin's command and spins in circles while acting like a Bulbasaur. After Melvin realizes how he can control Ash, he and Ash sneak away from Brock, Misty, and Pikachu.

Melvin then commands Ash to pull him into the Leaf Forest. Team Rocket sees Melvin and Ash and starts to follow them. Brock and Misty are out looking for Melvin and Ash when Misty then realizes that Ash is being hypnotized. The Leaf Forest is full of Exeggutor, which Melvin has Ash weaken; Melvin then catches the entire mob of Pokémon. Team Rocket makes an entry and says their motto, then ties Melvin up. His Exeggcute evolves into an Exeggutor without warning, and then uses Hypnosis on Team Rocket. The other Exeggutor copy this and end up hypnotizing each other, causing them to go on a rampage toward the town. Jessie, James, and Meowth are hypnotized into believing they are Exeggutor, and follow the heard. Brock and Misty show up and wake up Ash and Melvin, who were trampled by the marching Exeggutor. Ash is no longer hypnotized.

The four of them head for town, where they see that the carnival has been almost entirely destroyed, and discover the Exeggutor mob is turning around and coming back their way. The carnival owner tells them he's planted a time bomb so that when the Exeggutor come back, they'll be blown up. Ash, Brock, and Misty are of course opposed to this, so they decide to try to stop the Exeggutor before they reach the bomb. Ash sends out Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander in an attempt to stop the heard. Squirtle and Bulbasaur's attacks don't have much of an effect. Ash calls those two back into their Poké Balls, and orders Charmander to attack. The Lizard Pokémon's fire attacks successfully stop some of the Exeggutor. It quickly becomes exhausted, however, and the Exeggutor keep charging forward. Misty tries to convince Melvin to use his fire trick to stop the Exeggutor, and, although he's positive he'll fail, he tries anyway. The trick ends up working, and together with Charmander, they stop the Exeggutor. Melvin's Exeggutor returns to him, resulting in Melvin running up to it and giving it a hug. The time bomb then goes off just a distance away, destroying the carnival, and, to their relief, no one gets hurt from the blast. Suddenly, Charmander evolves into Charmeleon and shoots a flame at Ash's face, its loyalty to Ash now in question. Team Rocket gets carried away by the Exeggutor, and the gang continues on their journey.

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?: Exeggcute


  • After the hiatus caused by EP038, the show moved from Tuesday to Thursday. The original schedule was as follows:
Code English title Japanese title Planned broadcast Actual broadcast
* Holiday Hi-Jynx ルージュラのクリスマス December 23, 1997 October 5, 1998
* Snow Way Out! イワークでビバーク January 6, 1998 October 5, 1998
EP040 The Battling Eevee Brothers イーブイ4きょうだい January 13, 1998 April 16, 1998
EP041 Wake Up, Snorlax! おきろ!カビゴン! January 20, 1998 April 23, 1998
EP042 Showdown at Dark City たいけつ!ポケモンジム! January 27, 1998 April 30, 1998
EP043 March of the Exeggutor Squad ナッシーぐんだんだいこうしん! February 3, 1998 May 7, 1998
EP044 The Problem with Paras パラスとパラセクト February 10, 1998 May 14, 1998
EP052 Princess vs. Princess げきとう!ポケモンひなまつり March 3, 1998 July 9, 1998
EP053 The Purr-fect Hero こどものひだよ!ぜんいんしゅうごう! May 5, 1998 July 9, 1998
  • This is the last episode to air in syndication in the United States. Due to this, there was a near four-month gap between this episode and The Problem with Paras as a result of Pokémon being moved to the Kids' WB! lineup.
  • Early in the episode, Ash and Brock are wearing party outfits. Brock's outfit, which has pink frills for the sleeves and the cuffs of the pants, has large similarities to his future Takeshi's Paradise outfit, including the maracas he holds. The outfit from this episode thus may have served as inspiration for the later outfit.
  • This is the first episode in which there is a reference to a real life city, Melvin mentioning that his dream is to have his own magic show in Las Vegas.
  • This is the first episode in which one of Ash's Pokémon evolves in the same episode as another character's Pokémon.
  • This episode is featured on Volume 9: Charmander from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!.
  • Melvin keeps all of his Exeggutor on hand in this episode, even though there are far more than the maximum six allowed to all trainers.


  • When Exeggcute evolved into Exeggutor, the upper lip of the head on the far right wasn't fully colored in.
  • After Melvin shows the trick of the flower bouquet to Ash, Misty and Brock, Pikachu moves his mouth, but no voice can be heard.
  • After the sprinkler goes off, Pikachu's voice is heard, but his mouth doesn't move.
  • When Jessie is talking to the Exeggcute, her stomach is wider than usual.
  • When Ash commands Squirtle to use Water Gun on the Exeggutor, the "z" on his right cheek is gone.
  • When the herd of Exeggutor is seen entering the town, the right head of one's eyes is not colored in.
  • When Ash and co. are seen walking at the end of the episode, Ash's shoes are completely white.
  • As the early official image is not yet solid, all Exeggutor have five heads in this episode.
  • Melvin seems to know that Ash wants to become a Pokémon master despite Ash not telling him.
  • In the last scene with Team Rocket in it, Meowth's claws are the same color as his body.

Dub edits

  • Originally, Melvin stated he wanted to make it to Broadway, not Las Vegas.

In other languages

EP042 : Showdown at Dark City
Original series
EP044 : The Problem with Paras
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.