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EP202 : The Big Balloon Blow-Up
Original series
EP204 : Right On, Rhydon!
The Screen Actor's Guilt
Muchul is Daydreaming!! Do Superstars Like Pokémon?
First broadcast
Japan June 21, 2001
United States June 1, 2002
English themes
Opening Born to Be a Winner
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター (Whiteberry)
Ending 前向きロケット団!
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
Additional credits

The Screen Actor's Guilt (Japanese: ムチュールにもうむちゅう!!スーパースターはポケモンがおすき? Muchul is Daydreaming!! Do Superstars Like Pokémon?) is the 203rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 21, 2001 and in the United States on June 1, 2002.

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


Strolling through downtown, our heroes notice a mob of girls chasing someone down. Suddenly, a man in a black cape and hat runs up to Ash and gives him a package to hold. He tells Ash to stay put because he'll be back for the package shortly. As the mob approaches, the mysterious man runs away with the girls in hot pursuit. Our heroes stand stunned by this interesting turn of events. As they do, the package in Ash's arms wiggles open to reveal a Smoochum! When our friends decide to try and track down Smoochum's trainer, they pass by a theater showing the opening to a brand new Brad Van Darn movie! Realizing this is the same person who gave Ash the Poké package, the gang decides to return Smoochum to Brad during his in-person appearance at a nearby theater. Believing Brad's Smoochum doesn't fit the macho image of the movie star, Brad's manager tells Ash to keep the Pokémon because Brad has no interest in Smoochum anymore. What will become of Smoochum now?


On their way to the next Johto League Gym in Olivine City, Ash and his friends pass through a town, where they see a herd of screaming girls running down the street. Brock chases after them, and Ash and Misty follow him. As the trio runs after the girls, a mysterious man gives them an odd yellow ball telling them to hold onto it for him, and Ash complies. The man runs away saying he'd be back later, and drops his hat on the way. Ash unwraps the yellow ball to find a Smoochum in it.

Smoochum kisses Ash and Misty, and tries to kiss Pikachu while Ash reads Smoochum's Pokédex entry. Smoochum retrieves the dropped hat, and runs to Brock, who puts it on his head. Then, the screaming girls re-appear and pummel the trio. Togepi, Smoochum, and Pikachu are thrown out of the chaos, and Togepi and Smoochum follow a Skiploom into an alley. Unable to get Ash's attention, Pikachu follows them. The ladies realize that Brock isn't who they were looking for and disband. The trio look at a screen in the streets and realize the man who gave them the Smoochum was a movie star named Brad. Misty then realizes Togepi, Pikachu, and Smoochum are missing.

Team Rocket is then shown watching the Pokémon from a screen, controlling the robotic Skiploom with a remote. Togepi and Smoochum follow the Skiploom into a small hole in a building, but Pikachu can't quite fit. James takes Togepi and Smoochum into his arms while Jessie gets Pikachu out with rubber gloves. Jessie puts Pikachu in a rubber sack, and begins cuddling Smoochum when Ash and the gang arrive. Ash sends out Bayleef and Totodile. Bayleef uses Razor Leaf to cut Pikachu out while Totodile uses Water Gun to release James' grip on Togepi and Smoochum. Meowth tries to attack with the Robo-Skiploom, but Totodile blasts it away with Water Gun. With Team Rocket wet, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, sending Team Rocket blasting off.

Brad is seen looking for Ash in the streets when the girls reappear. Before they can get to him, one of his managers pulls up and lets Brad get in the car, but he warns Brad about roaming the streets. Smoochum gets excited after seeming a limo, and Ash and his friends acknowledge that it must be Brad's, so they follow it. They come to a large dome arena that's blocked off by screaming girls, so they look for another way to get in.

Inside, Brad tells his manager that he cannot go on with the show until he gets his Smoochum back; but his manager refuses to let him do that, and suggests that Brad get rid of Smoochum in exchange for a tougher Pokémon to fit his image. Brad refuses and reveals that he was only a star because Smoochum believed in him and made him believe he could do it. His manager says he will look for Smoochum and leaves with Brad to go downstairs.

Outside, Ash tries to climb a tree to get into one of the upstairs windows, but seeing Brad leave the room, they give up with the idea and enter the front door when they open. Inside, they try and get through Brad's manager to go backstage and give back Smoochum, but Brad comes out and gets Smoochum before his manager can refuse them. They all go into the green room backstage until Brad has to leave to get ready.

Backstage, Team Rocket steal two backstage guard's uniforms, but Brad's manager comes and tells them both to throw Ash, Misty, Brock, and Smoochum out of the building. Team Rocket escort the group to the stage and then catch them with a net, but Smoochum falls out of the net.

Back in the green room, the manager tells Brad that the kids got thrown out of the building, and Brad accuses him of being behind it. Brad runs to find them.

Jessie tries to convince Smoochum to get into a cage, but Smoochum doesn't want to. Meowth, playing with the drop cords on the stage, accidentally draws the curtains open, revealing themselves to all the audience, which cries for Brad—who is still back stage being held up by his manager. Hearing his Smoochum's cry, Brad runs onstage to save Smoochum, but Team Rocket is ready to battle. Using Weezing, James orders it to Tackle Brad, who easily evades it. Jessie sends out Arbok who uses Poison Sting, but Brad evades it too. After evading another of Weezing's tackles, Weezing slams into Jessie who releases Smoochum on accident. Brad catches Smoochum, and the crowd goes wild, but then is confused by Brad's affection to Smoochum.

Arbok's Headbutt misses and it makes Meowth drop the cords and release the net, freeing Ash and the gang. Ash sends out Bayleef and defeats Arbok with Vine Whip, but Weezing uses Smokescreen and blocks everyone's view. Ash sends out Noctowl to clear the air, and once done, Brad commands Smoochum to use Sweet Kiss, sending Team Rocket into a daze. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, sending Team Rocket blasting off once again. The crowd applause, but then Brad reveals that it wasn't an act, exciting them all.

Later, Ash, Misty, and Brock watch as Brad and Smoochum costar in a new movie, while all of the girls own a Smoochum. The group then continues on their journey.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts

TV episode debuts



Pocket Monster TV


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Murkrow (US and international), Smoochum (Japan)


  • This episode's English title is a reference to the Screen Actors Guild.
  • This is the fourth episode in which Pikachu imitates other characters in the anime. Specifically, it imitates Noctowl, Wobbuffet, Cyndaquil, and Totodile in this episode.
    • The imitation of Wobbuffet makes this episode the first in which Pikachu mimics a Pokémon not belonging to Ash or Misty.
  • Brad's character may very well be based on real-life actor Brad Pitt. Though no explicit evidence is given that implies this, they both started with nothing and are loved by their female fans. Pitt is also shown to have worked as a dishwasher.
  • This episode uses music from The Power of One.
  • The line which Brad says at the end of the trailer that Ash and his friends view near the beginning, "Let me take my life", is the same line spoken by Lugia at the end of a Japanese trailer for The Power of One.
  • The Japanese title may come from the Japanese name for singer Rod Stewart's song, Blondes Have More Fun, "Superstars Like Blondes".


  • When Brock slouches over, after the girls leave, half of his right arm is missing; and it looks as if his right hand is on his chest in a weird position.

Dub edits

In other languages

EP202 : The Big Balloon Blow-Up
Original series
EP204 : Right On, Rhydon!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.