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| The Double Trouble Header
The Rookie's Chicorita!
|| October 21, 1999
| United States
|| October 21, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 椎名ひさし Hisashi Shiina
| Assistant director
|| 福本潔 Kiyoshi Fukumoto
| Animation director
|| はしもとかつみ Katsumi Hashimoto
| Additional credits
The Double Trouble Header (Japanese: ルーキーのチコリータ！ The Rookie's Chicorita!) is the 118th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on October 21, 1999 and in the United States on October 21, 2000.
In a Pokémon battle, Ash soundly defeats an ambitious young Trainer, who runs away dejectedly. Before Ash can comfort the novice, though, Team Rocket steps in, convincing the girl that Ash won by foul play, and recruiting her to their cause.
Venturing from New Bark Town, Ash and his friends stumble across a girl and her Chikorita in the midst of training. As a wild Rattata hops out of a bush, Chikorita is sent into battle. Chikorita's first Tackle misses its target, but the next attack knocks Rattata out. The young Trainer sees her opportunity and immediately catches it with a Poké Ball. She celebrates her latest catch with a rendition of the Team Electabuzz Baseball theme. Afterward, she calls back her Chikorita and spots Pikachu. She pulls him off of Ash's shoulder and asks him to shock her since she has been wanting to know what it feels like. Despite Ash's protests against it, both of them get shocked by Pikachu.
The group takes the time to meet the Trainer, who introduces herself as Casey. She reveals that she has an affinity for yellow-striped Pokémon and wants to catch an Electabuzz. She also reveals that she is a huge Team Electabuzz fan, but Ash notes that the team tends to place last. To settle this, Casey challenges Ash to a three-on-three battle. Casey starts the battle with Pidgey and Ash sends out Charizard. Both Misty and Brock are surprised by his choice, given that Casey is a new Trainer. However, Casey calls out the first attack and Pidgey flies in for a Quick Attack, but it merely bounces off Charizard's chest and is soon defeated by a strong exhale by Charizard.
Casey recalls Pidgey and then sends out her new Rattata. Casey commands Rattata to use Tackle against Charizard, but the Pokémon just bounces off Charizard's stomach again. Becoming infuriated with how the battle is ending up, Casey sends out Chikorita and tells it to use Vine Whip on Charizard. Ash simply has Charizard use Flamethrower on Chikorita, causing the Grass-type's head leaf to catch fire, and it soon faints. Brock officially declares Ash the winner, leaving Casey distraught.
Though Ash and his friends commend her resolve, Casey runs away, her pride broken. In the middle of fleeing, she trips and falls to the ground. With this, Casey recalls her family's tradition of cheering on the Electabuzz, because even though they haven't won any of their games, they never gave up. With that in mind, she gets back up and tells herself that she will be just like Team Electabuzz. With this proclamation, Team Rocket applauds Casey and reveal themselves before her. Sporting Team Electabuzz baseball gear, they tell her that they also support Team Electabuzz, and Casey instantly opens up to them. After confiding their losses at Ash's hands to Casey, Team Rocket convinces her that he is a cheater for using a Charizard against her and that Charizard is forbidden from being used against new Trainers.
Finding Ash once again, Casey challenges Ash to another battle. The stage is set in a baseball diamond and Casey starts the battle with Chikorita, while Ash uses Pikachu. Both Brock and Misty root for Casey as she begins the battle by telling Chikorita to use Sweet Scent. The attack immediately leaves Ash and Pikachu a little dazed by the smell. Chikorita then lands a Tackle attack on Pikachu. Team Rocket watches the battle unfold from the scoreboard, waiting to implement their cheating tactic to assist Casey. After a small discussion, Meowth presses a button, which activates a group of robotic Electabuzz fans to cheer Casey on and boost her confidence.
Continuing the battle, Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt against Chikorita. However, Chikorita easily deflects the attack by spinning the leaf upon her head. Brock tells Ash that Grass-type Pokémon are strong against Electric-types, and therefore, he'd have to change his battle strategy. Chikorita then lands another Tackle on Pikachu. After this, Team Rocket then turns on a giant batting machine. Ash questions what it is, while Casey accuses him of being a cheater and that the machine simply proves it. However, Team Rocket seizes control of the machine and sends it after Chikorita, who cowers in fear of not knowing what to do. Just then, Pikachu jumps out in front of Chikorita to protect it against the contraption. Casey gasps, surprised that he would do this since she had been convinced that Ash was a cheater.
The machine soon captures Pikachu and Chikorita, after which Team Rocket reveals themselves to everyone and recites their motto. Ash tells Casey who Team Rocket really is, and Casey realizes that she had been tricked all along as Team Rocket tells them of their plans for both Pikachu and Chikorita. Meowth presses a button on his remote, and several pitching machines emerge and begin sending a flurry of baseballs towards Casey and Ash. As soon as a baseball hits Casey in the leg, she immediately gives up, but Ash declares that they can't just allow Team Rocket to defeat them. After he compares a Pokémon match to baseball, Ash is hit by a baseball but claims that it is not a Poké Ball.
Touched by what Ash had said, Casey gets back up on her feet, pulls out her baseball bat, and determinedly hits all of the baseballs back, leaving Team Rocket red-faced. Afterwards, Ash calls out Squirtle and Bulbasaur, while Casey calls out her Pidgey and Rattata to help hit away the rest of the baseballs. With Team Rocket now facing an onslaught of baseballs, Casey attacks James with Rattata and Pidgey, getting Chikorita and Pikachu back.
Casey then has Chikorita to use Razor Leaf on Team Rocket, and Pikachu shocks them with Thunderbolt. Next, Ash and Casey team up to have Chikorita and Pikachu to perform a double Tackle attack, which sends Team Rocket blasting off. With the battle won, Pikachu and Chikorita congratulate each other while Casey and Ash share a high-five. Casey apologizes to Ash for letting Team Rocket convince her that he was a cheater. She leaves Ash and his friends on her own journey, hoping to encounter them at the Johto League.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Heracross (US and international), Chikorita (Casey's) (Japan)
- The English dub of this episode first aired exactly one year after the original did in Japanese.
- This episode's dub title is a reference to the popular saying, "double trouble," and the baseball term, doubleheader.
- The baseball teams all seem to be representations of real-life Japanese baseball teams, with the Electabuzz based on the Osaka Hanshin Tigers team, and the teams with Magikarp and Starmie logos representing Hiroshima Toyo Carp and the Yokohama BayStars, respectively.
- In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
- The book The Chikorita Challenge is based on this episode.
- This episode is featured on Pokémon All-Stars: Chikorita from Magna Pacific's Pokémon All-Stars series.
- The shot in which Meowth is crying behind a tree is a reference to the series Star of the Giants, in which the main character's sister is also shown crying behind a tree, as she watches her son and father practice playing baseball.
- When Ash first sees Casey's Pidgey, he makes a reference to the first episode, where he also tried to catch a Pidgey himself.
- Pokémon Karaokémon: Pikachu (I Choose You)
- The shot of Ash getting hit by baseballs was covered by impact animations for the English dub. However, the shot of Meowth getting hit by a baseball in the face was not changed.
- The exchange between Ash and his friends was different between the two versions. Originally, Ash mentions that he wants to hurry up and capture a new Pokémon. Misty states that she thought Totodile was cute and how she wanted one, and Brock then mentions he wants a Cyndaquil.
- The robotic cheerleaders' cheers were originally "Ato hitori!" ("One person left!", as in, one more out until the end of a baseball game). This was changed to "Gotta catch 'em all!" in the dub.
- Ash's advice to Casey was originally supposed to be that she should keep her eyes on the ball, and that Pokémon matches are similar in the sense that the Trainer has to keep their eye on the opponent. This was rewritten in the dub.
- Ash's statement about a Pokémon not being a bean ball was originally an untranslatable pun relating to the words タマ tama and ボール ball, which are both used in Japanese in different contexts to refer to a ball.
- In the dub, Brock wonders if Casey has an older sister he could date, while in the original version, Brock expresses interest in Casey herself, stating that she would be a lot of fun in eight years.
- In the original version, Ash declares that Casey will be his new rival outright.
A frame from the deleted image
In other languages