The Dunsparce Deception (ノコッチはのこっちない！？ Not Even a Sparse Bit of Dunsparce Left!?) is the 34th episode of Pokémon: Johto League Champions.
While traveling to Olivine City, Ash and co. meet a kid named Bucky, who is looking all over the place for a Dunsparce. He explains that while visiting his grandfather, everyone in his hometown caught a Dunsparce, leaving him out of this trend. Can Ash and co. help Bucky catch a Dunsparce? And what do Team Rocket want with a bunch of Dunsparce anyway?
The heroes see someone with a net among grass. They greet the boy, who is looking for a bug, Dunsparce. Misty likes a bug that runs away, according to the PokéDex. The boy shows he will capture a Dunsparce using his Caterpie. Misty hides away from it. Ash tells the boy Misty gets excited when she sees a Bug Pokémon, though the boy responds (in a casual tone) he does as well. The heroes introduce themselves to this boy, Bucky. Some children pass by with many Dunsparce and tell Bucky to hurry to go to the playground. Ash sees many have Dunsparce, though Bucky tells he does not have one. Some children argue whose Dunsparce is bigger, some see whose is more beautiful, while others tell each other their Dunsparce eats and sleeps.
A boy has his Dunsparce fly, while the others copy him. He remembers that he had to visit grandpa in a hospital. Once he got better, Bucky returned and saw everyone got a Dunsparce but him. He tried to search, but did not find anyone. Brock sees the Dunsparce got sparse, but gets scolded by Misty, who states it is not a time for jokes. Still, the heroes see why Bucky wants a Dunsparce. The boy whose Dunsparce flew comes and takes Bucky to an obstacle course, where he can use his Caterpie to race against Dunsparce, even if they are not alike. The race starts and Caterpie tries its best, but lags behind Dunsparce. Team Rocket see the race and Jessie doesn't want the Dunsparce, so they focus on capturing Pikachu. Caterpie climbs up a staircase, but the boy's Dunsparce comes and flies over it. Caterpie fails to climb up and falls down. Seeing Caterpie exhausted, Bucky takes it home. A girl scolds Timothy, who invited Bucky to the race.
Bucky calls Caterpie back. The heroes decide to help Bucky find a Dunsparce. Ash sends Totodile, Noctowl and Chikorita, while Misty sends Poliwhirl and Brock his Golbat, who will help in the search. Bucky admires their Pokémon, while Misty advises him with luck and training he can catch a lot of Pokémon as well. Psyduck comes out and Misty thinks it wants to help finding Dunsparce, but it stands around. The heroes search, but do not find anything. Togepi and Pikachu notice something digging a tunnel and witness it is a Dunsparce. Bucky tries to catch it, but digs away. Suddenly, Totodile, Pikachu, Chikorita and Togepi got captured by Team Rocket, who are dressed as pirates. Misty asks why are they dressed like that, but Jessie and James do not know. Meowth thinks it was a mistake with the dry cleaners. Nevertheless, they pull the net.
Chikorita uses Razor Leaf, but the leaves get deflected, since it is made of steel. Ash sends Cyndaquil, who burns the net with Flamethrower, freeing the captured Pokémon. Meowth sees he should've made it fire-proof. Poliwhirl uses Water Gun to knock their balloon down, causing Meowth to detect a Dunsparce. Cyndaquil uses Flamethrower to blast them off. Upon flying, Meowth sees he got a Dunsparce, causing Team Rocket to be grateful for that, at least. Bucky is sad, since he should've caught that Dunsparce when he had a chance. The heroes tell everyone makes mistakes and will help him find a new one. Jessie is not amused by Dunsparce, while James believes the boss wouldn't care much for one Dunsparce. Jessie has an idea of capturing dozen of Dunsparce for the boss, so they go to the playground. James comes through the town, telling there is a show going on. The children go to the theater to watch it. James and Meowth are on stage, dressed as Moltres and Dunsparce, both who think they are being embarrassed.
The children are not pleased, as they did not thought Moltres and Dunsparce would be actors. They see it is like trick and treat, causing Wobbuffet to appear and be kicked away by Jessie. They believe school plays are better than this, causing Wobbuffet to be kicked by Jessie again, who wants him to stay behind the theater. Moltres (aka James) uses Wing Attack on Dunsparce (aka Meowth), pushing him down. Jessie says Dunsparce uses Defense Curl, but Meowth cannot move in the costume. Jessie declares Glare, but Meowth tells her he does not know that move, neither. Jessie tells him to fake it, pushing him to the stage, despite his protests. Meowth says Glare, causing James to ask "Glare what?". Jessie declares Moltres uses Fire Spin and reminds James how he does it. James brings out red streamers (stated by Jessie) on Meowth. The children see this is bad acting. She also declares Moltres uses Sky Attack, but James does not know what that is. Being told to fake it, "Moltres" throws "Dunsparce" away. The children know that is not how Sky Attack looks like, but Jessie replies this is how Moltres can be creative.
The children are offered to trade Dunsparce for Moltres. James tells they are ambassadors of Moltres' holy flame. Many children go to do that. The heroes are surprised, since they did not encounter a single Dunsparce. Bucky thinks he will continue his search. Suddenly, they see the children crying, all who believed to have a Moltres, but got tricked. After hearing the description of those whom they traded with, the heroes realize that it was Team Rocket. Timothy asks the heroes to get his friends' Dunsparce back, who agree to do it. Team Rocket try to find Dunsparce, as James let them out, wanting to see if they were inside. They try to find them, causing Dunsparce and Wobbuffet to play as Hide and Seek. The heroes come, so Team Rocket tell the Dunsparce are their property, so they need to have a battle. Ash sends Totodile, who uses Water Gun, but gets reflected by Wobbuffet's Counter. Misty sends Poliwhirl, who uses Water Gun. Wobbuffet reflects it back, but Poliwhirl dodges, causing Totodile to hit Wobbuffet with the same move. James sends Victreebel, who jumps and chews on him.
The children come, as their Dunsparce is returning. Jessie sends Arbok to stop them. However, Dunsparce use Screech and passes Arbok. Arbok tries to stop them, but gets affected by their Glare. Using Take Down, Team Rocket blast off. The children are glad to have their Dunsparce returned. The heroes see a lone Dunsparce, so Bucky sends Caterpie to battle it. Dunsparce Tackles it, so Caterpie stands up and retaliates with String Shot. Caterpie uses Tackle, pushing it down. Bucky throws his Poké Ball and catches Dunsparce. Later, the children, including Bucky, have the Dunsparce race. The heroes are glad Bucky is happy with Dunsparce. Bucky bids farewell to the heroes before they leave.
- Dunsparce was declared as a Bug Pokémon, even though it is a Normal-type Pokémon.
- When Jessie declares Wobbuffet to use Counter, she did not have her glove on.
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