The Ultimate Test (ポケモンけんていしけん！？ The Pokémon Certification Test!?) is the 56th episode of Pokémon: Indigo League.
The heroes encounter a Pokémon League exam, where the person who passes the tests with an excellent mark can compete in the League without requiring badges. Ash and Team Rocket take part, but the tests are much harder than they appear. Team Rocket, furious with the results they were given, plot to take revenge...
Whilst Ash and the others eat with Todd Snap from the previous episode, Misty asks Ash whether he'll be getting a new Gym Badge any time soon. This causes Ash to choke on his food. After he recovers, he proclaims that he uses skill to win his battles. Misty asks him how much skill is required to defeat Team Rocket, to which Ash challenges her to a battle. However Todd interrupts the argument, informing him about the Pokémon League Admission Exam.
At the admission building, the desk clerk informs Ash that all he needs to do is pass a written and practical exam in order to receive a badge qualifying them for the Pokémon League. After Ash receives his testing number "7", Jessie comments from afar that she wanted number 7. Jessie averts her eyes when Ash notices her watching him, but shrugs it off. The attendant informs Ash that he is not permitted to use his own Pokémon during the exam, and reluctantly hands them over. When Brock notices Nurse Joy's presence, she reveals she is attending the exam because she doesn't have the time to go around travelling to the Gyms.
When James enters the building, he quickly avoids Ash and heads to the counter. He encounters Jessie and gets into an argument with her. The two explain their various reasons for attending the examination, as Meowth appears before them. He states that he saw through their ruses to leave him behind, scratching them across the face. When the first part of the exam begins, Ash and Jessie complete it with no trouble at all, whilst James is awed at her prowess. However it is revealed that Jessie is guessing the questions by answering "True" for all of them.
During the first part of the exam, the participants are pitted to the true or false questions on the computers, Ash starts with Lickitung, then Vulpix, then Hitmonlee, and then Magikarp, as James is angry because of the time he had trouble with an unusual acting Magikarp, and Jessie answers the true or false question of the Magikarp, then Caterpie, then Koffing a "true" answer, hoping that she gets half of them right..
During the second part of the exam, the participants are pitted in a recognition test. Ash guesses the first silhouette to be a Voltorb, whereas James mistakenly puts it down as a Poké Ball and Jessie states it to be a Electrode. However, all three are wrong, as it turns out to be a Jigglypuff from above. After a series of misleading questions presented in a similar manner, Jessie speaks out against them. In an outburst, Jessie leaves the exam. Jessie wakes up the sleeping Meowth, telling him that he will assist in her taking revenge.
As the scoreboards are displayed, it is revealed that Nurse Joy got the highest score, whilst Ash got one of the lowest scores alongside James. During the final part of the exam, Nurse Joy faces off against her examiner. Meanwhile, Ash and James choose random sets of three Pokémon, which they are unable to find out beforehand. As both of them choose their belts, James faces off against his examiner. He releases a Pikachu, which is unable to combat the examiner's Graveler due to type differences.
After losing a point, James summons a Charizard and Ivysaur but is expelled after breaking the rules. When it is Ash's turn to face the examiner, he is cheered on by Brock, Snap and Misty. The examiner summons a Flareon, to which Ash releases his first Pokémon, which turns out to be a Weezing. Ash manages to defeat the Flareon by using Smokescreen in conjunction with Tackle. Whilst Team Rocket takes note of Ash's strategies, the examiner releases a Jolteon. Ash in turn releases an Arbok, but is unable to figure out its moveset.
In the nick of time Ash has it use Glare on the Jolteon, stopping it in its tracks. As Ash follows through with Wrap, Arbok is jabbed by the pointy spikes of Jolteon's fur. Before Ash can react Jolteon blasts Arbok with Thunder, incapacitating it. He releases his final Pokémon, which turns out to be a Meowth. The examiner follows suit, releasing a Vaporeon, which manages to freeze Meowth. Team Rocket's Meowth scratches Ash on the face, before freeing the frozen Meowth. As the examiner attempts to capture Team Rocket's Meowth, Jessie and James intervene with their rented Pokémon.
As Team Rocket recite their motto and remove their disguises, they order the rented Pokémon to attack the examiner. However, he tells them to face Team Rocket, which they comply. As Team Rocket are attacked by the rented Pokémon, Ash finishes them off by using the rented Weezing's Explosion. After they blast off, the examiner apologizes for the circumstances surrounding the exam and that they will have to start again. Ash refuses, stating that he prefers to get badges the proper way. After Ash and the others say goodbye to the examiner, Snap emerges with Team Rocket's Meowth, who was injured in the explosion.
The examiner then states that he has finally captured his talking Meowth, as Jessie and James find themselves stuck with the rented Meowth.
- "Hey, get lost, you old bat!" - James
- "OLD BAT?!" - Jessie
- " Hey what are you?! Unhand me, you! Please let me go! Come on!" - James
- "So, I'm an old bat, am I?" - Jessie
- "Hah! I can't sense it all! I'm through with it!" - Jessie
- "GET OUT!" - Pokémon examiner
- "I can't wait to go!" - Jessie
- "But Jessie!" - James
- "Dear! What a shame!" - Nurse Joy
- "That girl's attitude looked familiar to me." - Ash
- "Can't you ask me one question I know the answer to?" - Jessie
- "All right, shoot away. I want 8 x 10 glossies, and wallet sizes too." - Brock
- "I've been destroyed by Pikachu's attacks so many times, I know them all by heart!" - James
- "Don't think of it as failing. Think of it as not suceeding!" - Meowth
- "Who's That Pokémon?:" Jigglypuff (seen from above; JP), Vulpix (US)
- The Jigglypuff in the segment is seen from its head into a ball shape, and is shown in its true form after, named as 「上から見たプリン」 Ue kara mita Purin, meaning "Jigglypuff seen from above". This was also done in SM056: Let Sleeping Pokémon Lie!, although simply named "Jigglypuff" (プリン) on the name card.
- The concept of using two Pokémon at once during a battle was illegal until Generation III in the games and Pokémon Double Trouble.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Vulpix.
- This is the only time in the series that a Weezing other than the one belonging to James appears.
- In this episode, Charizard changes his voice. In this episode, he has a raspy voice like Charmeleon, but low pitched.
- When James' Pikachu used Thunder Shock on the Examiner's Graveler, causing no effect, Examiner said that "Rock Pokémon aren't affected by Electric-type moves", when it's actually Ground-type Pokémon that aren't affected by Electric-type moves. However, the animation was correct because Graveler is a part Ground-type.
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