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They Might Not Be Giants! (小さな三匹、大きな冒険!! The Tiny Trio, a Big Adventure!!) is the 16th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon.

Synopsis

While Team Rocket continues to make their secret base, Ash and his friends are playing with their Pokémon at the beach. But when Rowlet and Popplio enter a balloon together, it suddenly gets blown off somewhere with the two still inside. The Litten that Ash met appears before the lost duo. They somehow manage to make it back to where they came from, but...

Episode plot

After school, Ash and Mallow watch Lana's Popplio training to use her bubble. Popplio emits a balloon and enters it. Ash and Mallow are amazed, while Rotom takes a picture of it, stating Popplio has created a good balloon. Ash praises Popplio, seeing Lana is one step closer to her dream. He wants to enter it, but Lana explains when she entered it, the balloon popped. Instead, Ash thinks their Pokémon can enter instead and sends Rockruff and Rowlet, the latter being asleep. Pikachu goes first, as Popplio creates a balloon. However, Mallow's Bounsweet sneezes the pollen, causing Rowlet to be affected and attracted to Bounsweet. Bounsweet repels Rowlet, who accidentally bashes Popplio and they both enter the balloon. The wind and the waves blow away the balloon, terrifying Ash, Mallow and Lana. As the balloon flies off, Lana becomes frustrated and grabs Ash's hand as they go to save their Pokémon. Rotom notes it never saw Lana like this; Mallow, who is carrying Ash's bag, states Lana is concerned about Popplio.

Rowlet, inside the bubble, starts panicking, so Popplio grabs him to calm him down. Rowlet snoozes a bit, then exclaims they need to return to their trainers. He claims that Lana will be mad at Popplio, while Ash would comfort Rowlet. Rowlet jumps in happiness a bit and accidentally pierces the balloon with his beak, causing him and Popplio to fall down. Rowlet tries to grab Popplio with his talons, but she is too heavy, causing Rowlet to drop her. Rowlet makes another attempt and successfully grabs Popplio, but by his wings, sending them both falling down. Team Rocket is making a machine that would gather information from Alola. Just as James goes to place the final part, Popplio and Rowlet fall down on the machine, which falls down on Team Rocket. Popplio and Rowlet start apologizing, although the latter panics, as the part James was to place in the machine is attached to Rowlet. Thinking they could steal these Pokémon and exchange it for Pikachu, James has Mareanie use Spike Cannon, but is countered by Popplio's Bubble Beam. Jessie, James and Wobbuffet are blown away, so Meowth and Mareanie chase Popplio and Rowlet.

Ash, Mallow and Lana continue their search. Lana is confident they will find their Pokémon, so the trio splits up. Popplio bounces Rowlet with her nose as she continues on, leaving a water trail behind, which Meowth and Mareanie follow. James, Wobbuffet and Jessie stand up, ready to follow Meowth and Mareanie, but are grabbed by Bewear. Popplio continues bouncing Rowlet with her nose, but trips over a rock. Rowlet starts rolling down and bumps into Popplio, making them both slide down a slope. Meowth and Mareanie intercept them, the latter going to attack Popplio. However, Mareanie is hit by Ember as a Litten appears. Meowth charges to use Fury Swipes on Litten, who exchanges blows with Meowth. Meowth is impressed, as he falls down from Litten's Scratch. Popplio claps for the success, while Litten goes to remove Rowlet's "collar" but fails. Instead, Popplio emits a balloon and has Rowlet enter it. With Rowlet inside her bubble, Popplio follows Litten. The trio arrives at an area under a bridge. They meet up with Stoutland, whose appearance startles Popplio and Rowlet.

Litten pierces Rowlet's bubble, allowing Stoutland to examine him. Stoutland licks Rowlet and realizes he's Ash's, which Popplio confirms by clapping. Litten, however, climbs on top of a stack of boxes and licks himself. Popplio states Rowlet cannot fly due to the "collar", but is even more terrified that she doesn't know where they are. Angered with his laziness, Popplio slaps Rowlet. However, Stoutland thinks Litten could take Popplio and Rowlet to Ash's house. Litten hesitates but is persuaded by Popplio to do so. Ash, Lana and Mallow meet up, but neither has found the Pokémon. Rockruff starts smelling the ground; Rotom exclaims Rockruff has a strong sense of smell and can trace their Pokémon's traces. Since they need to find a source of the scent to find the Pokémon, Ash has Rockruff smell his backpack, an item where Rowlet usually sleeps in. Rockruff starts searching and wags his tail, as he found something. Ash, Lana and Mallow follow it. Meanwhile, as Bewear is sleeping, Jessie, Wobbuffet and James run off to find Meowth. As Litten and Popplio are walking, the latter has the balloon Rowlet is in land on the river. Rowlet promptly starts running to catch up to them.

Rockruff reaches a dead end, neither finding Popplio nor Rowlet. Ash inspires Rockruff, telling him that he is their only hope. Rockruff runs off to find the Pokémon. As Ash, Lana and Mallow continue on, Popplio, Rowlet and Litten stop for a bit. Suddenly, they are caught inside a net. Rockruff senses something and runs in the other direction, with Lana, Mallow and Ash following him. Popplio, Rowlet and Litten are pulled up by Team Rocket and placed into a cage. Team Rocket exclaims they are the reason their base is not finished. As they go to take the component, they notice Litten. Meowth states he got into his way, but hears Litten wants them to free Rowlet (who is asleep) and Popplio. After Popplio wakes Rowlet up, Meowth admires Litten for his fearlessness, thinking he could join Team Rocket. They go to approach them, but get burned by Litten. Meowth realizes Litten also stole their food once. Litten continues talking, making Wobbuffet and Mareanie touched. Meowth states he is fighting each day to help out the weak and seeks to become stronger.

Jessie and James see how heroic Litten is. Meowth proposes to Litten to use that bigheartedness to join Team Rocket to help the world even more. Litten accepts, terrifying Rowlet and Popplio. Team Rocket praises Litten, since he will only get stronger from now on. Meowth releases the bars, stating only Litten can come out. However, Litten slashes the net, which crushes Team Rocket for the betrayal. Popplio emits balloons, encasing Team Rocket in the bubbles. Next, Rowlet bashes the balloons away, letting Popplio use Bubble Beam and Litten to fire Ember. As they are flying, Meowth promises he will get Litten to join Team Rocket someday, and is happy he, Jessie and James are blasting off for the first time in Alola. Just then, Mallow, Ash and Mallow enter the rooftop, happy they have found their Pokémon. Lana holds Popplio, while Ash removes the "collar" from Rowlet, who starts flapping his wings. However, they also find Litten, who stares at Ash. Ash thanks him, asking about Stoutland's wellbeing.

However, Litten jumps away, with Ash certain he will encounter him one day. Team Rocket, before they fall down, are grabbed by Bewear, who takes them back to the base.

Debuts

Pokémon

Trivia

  • "Who's that Pokémon?:" Meowth (JA), Bewear (EN)
  • The Poké Problem segment hosted by Meowth asks which detestable Pokémon gets in Team Rocket's way in today's episode. The correct answer is red, Litten. The other answers are Turtonator (blue), Togedemaru (green), and Tapu Koko (yellow).
  • This is the first time in the Sun & Moon series where Team Rocket is successfully sent blasting off.
  • The episode's English dub title is a reference to the band, "They Might Be Giants".

Dub differences

  • When Team Rocket was talking about Litten's speech in the dub, "The School of Hard-Knocks" might be a reference to the episode of the same name.

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