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EP056 : The Ultimate Test
Original series
EP058 : Riddle Me This
The Breeding Center Secret
The Secret of the Breeding Center!
First broadcast
Japan August 6, 1998
United States May 1, 1999
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ポケモン音頭
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

The Breeding Center Secret (Japanese: そだてやのひみつ! The Secret of the Breeding Center!) is the 57th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 6, 1998, and in the United States on May 1, 1999.

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


There's a new breeding center in town that promises to pamper and polish your Pokémon, and maybe even evolve them. But our heroes soon discover its terrible secret—it's no more than a cover for a wicked Pokémon-stealing operation. And the thieves, for once, aren't Jessie and James—they're Butch and Cassidy, a pair of Team Rocket members who are actually in good standing with the boss. They're a couple of fashionistas, like Jessie and James, only they're better at it, and better at crime. Needless to say, there's no love lost between the two Team Rocket groups. Butch and Cassidy frame our heroes for the attempted theft of the Pokémon at the breeding center. The kids are carted off to jail, and it looks like Butch and Cassidy will get away with their Poké-purloining plans. But some photos that Snap took at the breeding center put our heroes in the clear, and Butch and Cassidy behind bars. As our friends leave town for their next adventure, Snap parts ways with them to continue his Pokémon photography.


Ash and his friends, including their new friend Todd, are taking a break in the middle of a city when they see a commercial for a Pokémon breeding center. Thinking it might be an interesting place to visit, they head off to locate it. Misty decides to drop off her Psyduck at the breeding center in order to get its eyes fixed. Ash believes that Misty is planning on leaving the Pokémon at the center, but she tells him that no matter how annoying it is, she will keep it.

After leaving the breeding center, Todd notices a sign in a restaurant, advertising an all-you-can-eat meal for free. He believes that there is a catch, but the group heads in regardless. The owner tells the group that he will give them a free meal if they can guess and show him his favorite Pokémon. Everyone releases all of their Pokémon, except Ash's Charizard, but the owner says that none of them are his favorite. He pulls out a picture of a Psyduck. Shocked, Misty asks him if the restaurant will still be open later in the evening. The owner informs her that he will be, and the group heads back to the breeding center to retrieve Psyduck, only to find it closed. Todd tells her they could wait until tomorrow, but Misty angrily tells him she wants to get Psyduck then and there. Snooping around the rear, they find a backdoor. Misty furiously knocks, though she soon notices the door is unlocked, and the group walks inside.

They round a corner and enter a darkroom. Brock shines his spotlight, and he and the others are shocked to discover all the Pokémon in cages. Misty locates her Psyduck and is initially thrilled to see its eyes have been lifted to give it a more intelligent look. However, Brock points out that tape is holding Psyduck's eyes in position, and Misty quickly peels it off. The group also finds a conveyor belt leading into another room. Ash and his friends overhear Butch and Cassidy, who are in the other room, revealing their scheme and deciding which Pokémon to give to Giovanni. Todd takes pictures of the fake breeding center and the cages as evidence, but Butch sees the flash. Ash and the others hide as when Butch comes to investigate. Pikachu uses an electric attack from inside one of the cages, making Butch think that the flash they saw was from Pikachu's electric attack.

Then, Jessie, James, and Meowth arrive to steal the Pokémon, unaware that Giovanni did not inform them that the breeding center was being run by Butch and Cassidy, fearing they might screw it up. Ash confronts and scares Team Rocket as James attempts to pick one of the cage's locks. They request Team Rocket's assistance in freeing the Pokémon, but they mistakenly believe that they are also trying to steal the Pokémon. However, Butch and Cassidy catch them, and Jessie recognizes Cassidy, though James doesn't. Butch and Cassidy promptly recite their motto with Cassidy's Raticate. As the two Team Rocket teams engage in a heated argument, Ash attempts to leave, though he doesn't escape Cassidy's line of sight. James goes to pick up his Weepinbell, only to discover that it has evolved into a Victreebel. He is excited and his Pokémon latches on to his head as they try to make their escape. However, Butch and Cassidy trap Ash, Brock, Todd, Jessie, James, Meowth, and Victreebel in cages, leaving only Misty, Pikachu, and Togepi, who flee. They take Todd's camera and frame him, Ash, Brock, Jessie, James, Meowth, and Victreebel as burglars, persuading Officer Jenny to arrest them all.

The next day, Misty returns to the breeding center in disguise and asks Cassidy to retrieve her Psyduck for an emergency. Cassidy accepts the request and heads to the backroom, while Pikachu sneaks around and picks up the camera. While Misty waits, Cassidy returns and admits that Psyduck hasn't improved since it first entered the breeding center. Just then, Pikachu returns with the camera in hand and they quickly flee, leaving Cassidy confused. Misty confronts Officer Jenny and shows her Todd's pictures, exonerating him, Ash, and Brock. As for Team Rocket, Misty refuses to clear them of any wrongdoing and they remain in jail.

Ash, his friends, and Officer Jenny confront Butch and Cassidy. A battle ensues, during which Pikachu defeats Raticate with a Thunderbolt. Ash's Bulbasaur captures Butch and Cassidy with its Vine Whip, and they are quickly hauled off to jail. Brock thanks Todd for his pictures and Jenny states that she will help return the Pokémon to their rightful owners. As thanks for their assistance, she escorts the group to the buffet restaurant.

Later on, Ash and his friends reach a fork in the road. Ash, Misty, and Brock go onward to Cinnabar Island, while Todd decides to go the other way so he can take some more pictures at a mountain range. Team Rocket is revealed to have escaped their cell and are now digging a tunnel underneath the road that Ash, Misty, and Brock are traveling.

Major events

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



Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Psyduck (US and international), Victreebel (Japan)


  • This is the last episode to play the Kanto Pokérap at the end of the episode.
  • This episode is followed by different episodes between the original Japanese version and dubbed versions. The episode is followed by Riddle Me This in the original Japanese version and by Princess vs. Princess, the first episode with Pikachu's Jukebox, in the dub.
  • The Psyduck-loving chef later makes a cameo appearance in A Friend In Deed, where he mentions how a customer (who happened to be Delia) was never able to work in the chef's area before. He makes another cameo in Once in a Blue Moon, retrieving a ball stolen by the Quagsire.
  • James asks Jessie who Cassidy is and if she knows her. This would later contradict the events in Training Daze where James would have known who Cassidy was because they were in a competition against each other.
  • Cassidy and Butch's motto is recited for the first time.
  • Meowth addresses James as "James Bond" at one point, as a sarcastic remark on his lack of stealth.
  • This episode was partially adapted into the book Psyduck Ducks Out.
  • Brock falls in love with Cassidy at one point.
  • According to Pokémon.com, this is the season finale of Pokémon: Indigo League. This is also reflected on Netflix, where this episode is the last one available from the original series. However, on DVD releases of the season, Friends to the End is given that title.
  • On Hungama TV/Disney XD in India, this episode, along with the previous three, were aired only in Hindi, even on the Tamil and Telugu language feeds. Hence, Tamil and Telugu dubs for these episodes do not exist.


  • When Butch puts a Charmander on a conveyor belt, Cassidy speaks, but her mouth does not move.
  • When Misty says she has a Pokémon, her bag is missing. This also happens when Cassidy admires her Psyduck.
  • In several scenes, Todd's gloves are missing.
  • In three scenes, Jessie's earrings are colored turquoise instead of green.
  • In a couple of scenes, Todd has his bag with him, even though he is not supposed to be wearing it at the time.
  • When Butch takes Todd's camera, it is layered behind Todd's hands.
  • When Ash says that he, his friends, and Team Rocket are going to jail, the marks on his cheeks are missing.
  • When Pikachu finds Todd's camera, his left cheek pouch is missing.
  • After Misty says that Team Rocket broke into the breeding center to steal Pokémon, Team Rocket's hands duplicate.
  • In the Japanese version, Misty is seen eating the omurice from the restaurant, despite it being implied that the event would only last for that day and a day having already been passed.
  • The Breeding Center's sign misspells Pokémon without the "e" accented, resulting in "Pokemon".
  • At one point, in the Netflix subtitles, "dessert" is misspelled as "desert".

Dub edits

  • Kanto Pokérap: Day 2
  • The opening scene had Aim to Be a Pokémon Master playing in the background in the Japanese version, while the dub replaces it with generic music.
  • The weather report in the dub indicates the temperature, something that isn't stated in the Japanese version.
  • Cassidy and Butch's front business is left nameless in the dub. In the Japanese version, it was named Big Sis' Daycare.
    • Also, the dub frequently refers to the place as a breeding center, while in the Japanese version, it is a day care.
  • The Japanese version has subtext of Cassidy and Butch being a couple which is left toned down in the dub. Similarly, the same scene has Misty reacting with suspicion over the advert in the dub unlike in the Japanese version.
  • The omurice is referred to as ice cream in the dub.
  • The event in the Japanese version is mentioned to be for that restaurant's opening anniversary and only would last for a single day (thus explaining why Misty was eager to get Psyduck back immediately). This is omitted in the dub.
  • In the dub, Cassidy insults both Jessie and "her stupid partner James" when talking to Giovanni. In the original she only mentions Jessie.
  • The dub adds in a James Bond reference to Jessie, James, and Meowth's infiltration of the breeding center.
  • The Japanese version mentions that Jessie and Cassidy knew each other from during their training days for Team Rocket, something that is omitted in the dub.
  • In the dub, Cassidy tells Jessie and James to explain to Giovanni why they interfered with their operation, and Meowth nervously says "We're in trouble!" In the original, Cassidy doesn't say this, but explains her and Butch's "stealing" the trio's motto by noting that Team Rocket steals everything, and Meowth states that she has a point.
  • Meowth's concern about what happens if they make an unnecessary call to Giovanni has him claiming they'll get thrown out of the team in the dub, when originally, it was a pay cut.
  • Cassidy and Butch's "Love... Power...?" line when being arrested was instead a derived version of Team Rocket's "We're Blasting Off Again!" phrase in the Japanese version.

In other languages

EP056 : The Ultimate Test
Original series
EP058 : Riddle Me This
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.