|Gotta Catch Ya Later!
Gotta Catch Ya Later! (Japanese: サヨナラ…そして、たびだち！ Goodbye...and Then, Setting Off!) is the 273rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 7, 2002, and in the United States on October 18, 2003.
With the Johto League Silver Conference behind them, Ash, Brock and Misty head back to Viridian City to relax. Their vacation is cut short when Misty receives an urgent call beckoning her back to Cerulean City to run the gym while her sisters cruise the world. Brock, too, realizes that has things he has to do. After a teary goodbye, Ash returns home to Pallet Town—but soon grows restless for adventure. When his former rival Gary takes off on a new journey, leaving behind all of his Pokémon except Blastoise, Ash starts thinking about his next journey. Maybe it's time to check out the Hoenn region after all.
With the Silver Conference and Johto behind them, Ash and his friends are heading towards Pallet Town when they decide to make a stop in Viridian City. There, Ash deposits his Poké Balls at the local Pokémon Center and asks Nurse Joy if she remembers him. She reveals that she is the new Nurse Joy, but that she has heard about him. She then tells Misty that she has received an urgent call from Cerulean City.
Getting to a phone, Misty finds out the call is from her sisters, who are going on a trip around the world. As a result, they need Misty to take over the Gym while they are away. Misty objects to this, but Ash assures her that it is only temporary. Nurse Joy then surprises Misty with her bike, which had been fixed by the previous Nurse Joy. Seeing the bike causes Misty to remember how her journey with Ash began when he took the bike and ended up destroying it. Ash comments on the good job Nurse Joy did with the restoration and says that Misty can get back to Cerulean City even quicker, but this upsets Misty and she runs out. Ash is confused by Misty's reaction, but Brock points out that Misty may have expected to continue traveling with them.
Misty wanders around the streets of Viridian City and comments on how Ash doesn't seem to understand or care that the trio will be splitting up. She is then confronted by three Trainers, who ask her if her friends abandoned her, angering Misty even further. When Misty asks who they are, the three introduce themselves as Viridian City's top Trainers: Kim, Kail, and Kai, the Invincible Pokémon Brothers. Undaunted, Misty wishes they were the "invisible brothers", essentially telling them to disappear. The leader Kim continues to irritate Misty, who then challenges them to a battle.
In a nearby field, Misty sends out her Politoed, while Kim sends out his Hitmonchan. Misty orders a Water Gun, which easily knocks Hitmonchan to the ground. Misty mocks the brothers, stating that they should change their title, as they appear to not be so "invincible" after all. This provokes Kail and Kai to send out their Pokémon, Hitmonlee and Hitmontop. The three Fighting-type Pokémon surround Politoed. Misty accuses the brothers of cheating, asserting that she cannot battle fairly when it is three against one. However, Ash and Brock arrive to even the fight. Pikachu hits Hitmontop with Thunderbolt, while Brock sends out Forretress, who hits Hitmonlee with Rapid Spin. Misty angrily tells them that she could have handled it; Ash and Brock reply that they knew she could, but they still wanted to have one last battle together as a group. Touched by their words, Misty orders Politoed to use Bubble, which devastates Hitmonchan. Pikachu and Forretress then continue their assault on the other two, much to the brothers' dismay.
Nearby, Jessie and James watch as the battle closes. Meowth cuts in and, on his command, Wobbuffet presses a button that causes two goals to appear on opposite ends of the field. The Trainers notice this, and much to their horror, the goals start to come together, trapping the Trainers and all of their Pokémon inside. The brothers become distraught and reveal that they were hired by Team Rocket to battle and tire Ash and the others out, with the expectation of being paid. Fortunately, Kim uses a handy pair of scissors to cut the net away, releasing everyone. The brothers and their Pokémon quickly surround Team Rocket and angrily ask about their money, much to Jessie's annoyance. This distraction and the brothers' destruction of the net allow Ash and his friends to escape. They order Pikachu, Politoed, and Forretress to attack Team Rocket, the brothers, and their Pokémon. As a result, they are all sent blasting off.
Afterwards, Ash tells Misty how great it was watching her battle, and she thanks him. Then, he informs her that he and Brock brought her bike, and Misty's excitement quickly diminishes. On the road to the cities of Pewter and Cerulean, Misty tells Ash not to forget to look after himself and Pikachu. She also tells Brock to try to not fall in love with all of the girls, which makes him laugh. She then says that she needs to tell Ash one more thing: "Just keep on doing your best." Ash asks what she means, and Misty sadly responds by saying that it is going to be different without her there.
Misty then reminisces about how she first met Ash, accidentally fishing him out of a lake and angrily pointing him in the direction of the Viridian City Pokémon Center. She also remembers all of the experiences she shared with Ash, Brock, and Tracey as they traveled through Kanto, the Orange Islands, and Johto. She then recalls how it was an accident that she met Togepi, but Ash tells her that he believes no matter what, they were always meant to meet and become friends. Brock agrees and tells them that after all of their adventures, they have even become best friends. Ash and Misty agree and continue down the path.
Eventually, the path splits into three smaller paths, with one route heading towards Pallet Town, another heading towards Cerulean City, and the third heading towards Pewter City. Ash and Misty start to say their goodbyes when Brock suddenly interrupts, telling them that he just received an email and needs to return to Pewter City. Ash asks Brock why he didn't tell them this sooner, but Misty quickly deduces that Brock didn't want to split up from them either, which Brock sheepishly confirms. The three bid each other farewell and, before leaving, Brock gives Ash a small picnic complete with cutlery, while Misty gives him a handkerchief to wrap it in. Ash is touched and begins to cry. With that, they all separate, and Ash, upset about his companions' departure, breaks down crying as he runs the rest of the way home.
The next morning, Ash and Pikachu are eating their breakfasts when Delia mentions that Gary returned a couple of days ago. As a result, Ash rushes to Professor Oak's Laboratory, but is dismayed to learn that Gary has already left. Tracey tells Ash that Gary didn't mention where he was going, only that he woke up saying he was feeling inspired and quickly left before being asked what he meant. Professor Oak mentions that Gary must have wanted to make a fresh start, as he left all of his Pokémon, except for his Blastoise, at the lab before leaving, and that they have no idea when they will see him again.
However, Ash catches up to Gary and asks what the hurry is. Gary responds that he needs to keep moving and that there is still a lot of traveling to do and a lot more to learn about Pokémon. Gary then asks Ash what he plans to do now, and Ash is forced to admit that he doesn't know. Gary advises him to wait for a while and think about it. When he starts to leave, Ash gives Gary his half of the broken Poké Ball from their childhood back. Gary thanks Ash, and sets off on his journey. Later, Ash sits by a tree and tells Pikachu that he doesn't like the feeling of being alone. Suddenly, they notice Ho-Oh, which is heading towards the Hoenn region. Knowing that Hoenn has a lot of Pokémon he has never seen before, Ash decides to do what Gary did and make a fresh start and head to Hoenn. He starts to run home but falls into a pitfall trap.
Immediately afterwards, Ash is confronted by Team Rocket. James calls out Weezing and orders it to send a Smokescreen down the pit. Ash tries to think of something to do, and he remembers Misty and Brock's final words and parting gifts. He gets an idea, and after fishing them out of his backpack, has Pikachu cover his mouth with the handkerchief given to him by Misty while he climbs out with the cutlery given to him by Brock. Ash confronts Team Rocket, informing them that his friends will always be with him. He orders Pikachu to hit them with Thunderbolt, blasting them off.
Back home, Ash tells Professor Oak and Tracey that he has decided to do what Gary did and leave all of his Pokémon besides Pikachu at the lab. Professor Oak guesses that Ash is heading to Hoenn, and Ash tells him that he plans to meet Professor Birch in Littleroot Town. Then, Delia arrives with new clothes and a new backpack for her son, having guessed that he would be leaving soon. She also has his ticket for the ferry that departs from Seafoam Island to Hoenn. Professor Oak also gives Ash a brand new Pokédex that contains all of the information on the Pokémon that reside there. In addition, Tracey tells Ash that he will take care of his Pokémon while he is away. With a renewed sense of determination, Ash gets ready to set off for Hoenn.
- Daisy, Violet, and Lily give their Cerulean Gym Leader status to Misty.
- Misty gets her bike back, now mended.
- Ash and his friends meet the Invincible Pokémon Brothers.
- Ash, Brock, and Misty go their separate ways.
- Ash returns to Pallet Town and briefly meets Gary as he leaves for a new journey.
- Ash sees Ho-Oh again.
- Ash leaves all of his Pokémon, except Pikachu, at Professor Oak's Laboratory.
- Ash receives new clothes from his mother and a new Pokédex from Professor Oak.
- Ash heads for Littleroot Town in Hoenn.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline.
- Nurse Joy
- Professor Oak
- Erika (flashback; Japanese version only)
- Invincible Pokémon Brothers
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Togepi (Misty's)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Squirtle (Ash's; flashback; dub only)
- Lapras (Ash's; flashback)
- Goldeen (Misty's; flashback; dub only)
- Staryu (Misty's; flashback)
- Politoed (Misty's)
- Vulpix (Brock's; flashback)
- Forretress (Brock's)
- Weezing (James's)
- Mr. Mime (Delia's; Mimey)
- Spinarak (Officer Jenny's; flashback; Japanese version only)
- Gloom (Erika's; flashback; Japanese version only)
- Hitmonchan (Kim's)
- Hitmonlee (Kail's)
- Hitmontop (Kai's)
- Marill (Wilhomena's; flashback; Japanese version only)
- Ho-Oh (anime)
- Sentret (×3; flashback)
- Stantler (flashback)
- Donphan (multiple; flashback)
- Mareep (multiple; flashback)
- The name of this episode refers to the original catchphrase of the Pokémon series, "Gotta Catch 'em All!", which would be dropped after the following episode.
- This episode features a three-on-three battle: Invincible Pokémon Brothers' Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, and Hitmontop against Misty's Politoed, Ash's Pikachu, and Brock's Forretress.
- This is the final episode of the main anime series to feature Misty as a main character. She will only make guest/recurring appearances following this episode.
- A Family That Battles Together Stays Together! and Cerulean Blues both take place immediately after this episode.
- A shot in this episode was reanimated and reused in a flashback in Alola, Kanto!.
- This episode marks the start of Ash's new tradition of leaving his previous Pokémon party behind before heading to a new region and starting fresh with just Pikachu.
- Misty's Politoed's jaw is colored green instead of yellow while the group is caught in Team Rocket's trap.
- Delia mispronounces the Seafoam Island as "The Seaform Islands" in reference to the tickets.
- Professor Oak's eyebrows are mistakenly colored gray when he gives Ash his new Hoenn Pokédex.
- Pikachu disappeared when Ash is looking for the Poké Ball he and Gary fought over in the beginning of their journey.
- During the beginning of the episode, Brock introduces himself to Nurse Joy, even though he thought he had met her before. However, it's possible that he realized before the others that the Joy in question wasn't the one they had met before, given his superior instinct regarding Joys and Jennys.
- When Misty says "Well, Ash Ketchum", the closed captioning refers to the dialogue as "Well, Ash Ketchem".
- The flashback about the good times Misty spent with her friends is different in both versions: the dubbed English flashback focuses on Ash and Misty while the original Japanese flashback focuses on Misty's accomplishments as a Pokémon Trainer and as a friend, and even ends with a group shot of Ash, Pikachu, Misty, Togepi, Brock, and Tracey (specifically created for this episode). The original flashback plays unreleased background music from The Power of One, while the dub flashback plays a brand new vocal song.
- Brock refers to a rice ball as an onion in this episode when he is eating one, claiming the "onion" was making his eyes water.
- In the original Japanese version, Daisy gets the tickets from the supermarket, while in the English dub, she wins them in a beauty competition.
- In the English dub, Delia tells Ash to remember to change his underwear, but it isn't mentioned in the original Japanese version.
In other languages
|Dutch||Ik zie je later!|
|European French||Les adieux|
|German||Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde!|
|Hebrew||אנחנו עוד נתראהanakhnu od nitra'é|
|Hindi||अलविदा Brock और Misty! Alvida Brock aur Misty! *|
|Italian||Addii e partenze|
|Norwegian||Vi sees senere!|
|Polish||Złapię cię później!|
|Portuguese||Brazil||A Gente se Vê Depois!|
|Portugal||Vemo-nos mais Tarde!|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Hasta pronto amigos!|
|Spain||¡Ya te cogeré más tarde!|
|Swedish||En ny resa|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|