Bye Bye Butterfree (バイバイバタフリー Bye Bye Butterfree) is the 21st episode of Pokémon: Indigo League.


Near Saffron City, Ash, Brock and Misty encounter a group of Butterfree that want to lay eggs with their mates. Upon encountering a pink Butterfree, Ash's Butterfree falls in love, but she does not want to be his mate. Butterfree attempts to display that he can be resilient and tough. While the pink Butterfree still does not want to be his mate, Team Rocket steal all the Butterfree. Now, it is up to Ash's Butterfree to save them all and prove his love to the pink Butterfree.

Episode plot

On their way to Saffron City, Ash, Misty, and Brock come to the top of a high cliff. Brock tells the others that the cliff should lead them to Saffron City. Ash sees a big group of Butterfree in the sky. Brock says that it is the time of the year when all of the Butterfrees mate.

They rent a hot air balloon and they follow the group of Butterfree. Ash sends out his Butterfree so it can find a mate but it struggles to get attention from the other Butterfree. Ash's Butterfree soon falls in love with a pink Butterfree, and attempts to get her attention. Sadly, the pink Butterfree rejects Ash's Butterfree, and slaps him with her wing. Ash's Butterfree flies away crying to a nearby forest.

Soon, Ash and his friends find Butterfree in the forest. Ash tells Butterfree to show his strength to the pink Butterfree to win her heart. To make him look better, Brock ties a yellow scarf around its neck.

They soon return to the sky with Butterfree, having gotten its confidence back. Ash's Butterfree fails to impress the pink Butterfree with a Whirlwind and a Tackle attack. It appears Butterfree has been shot down again. Suddenly, Team Rocket arrives in a helicopter. They say their motto and then they capture all of the Butterfree, except Ash's Butterfree, with a net. Ash's Butterfree tries to break the glass on the helicopter by using Tackle, but it doesn't work. It then tries to use Stun Spore to stop them, but it doesn't work either. Ash is about to recall Butterfree and use Pidgeotto instead, but Misty stops him by saying he might hurt Butterfree's feelings. Team Rocket flees and Ash, his Butterfree and friends follow them to a warehouse in a canyon.

They break in the warehouse through a window while Jessie, James, and Meowth count all the Butterfree they caught. They say their own little version of Team Rocket's motto, then Misty sends out Starmie and tells it to use Tackle to chase Team Rocket while Ash's Butterfree starts to Tackle the net holding all of the other Butterfree. After many tries, Butterfree finally breaks the net open. Jessie whacks Starmie with a sledgehammer, but Misty revives it by spraying it with water. Brock opens up the doors and the Butterfree fly above Team Rocket, who are desperately trying to use their nets to recapture them. Ash's Butterfree, worn out from breaking the net open, is still inside. The pink Butterfree approaches it, impressed by its determination. James tries to catch it, but Ash's Butterfree knocks him and the net away, making the pink Butterfree blush.

Team Rocket tries to catch the Butterfree by getting back into their helicopter. Ash and his friends follow them in their rented balloon and they quickly find them. The pink Butterfree watches as Ash's Butterfree flies to the helicopter with Pikachu riding it. Pikachu jumps on the helicopter and destroys it with an electric attack. Team Rocket falls into a canyon, disappearing into the darkness.

The pink Butterfree has now fallen in love with Ash's Butterfree and she does a courtship dance to Ash's Butterfree, who accepts it. Back at the cliff, Ash sadly says good bye to his Butterfree and its new mate. As they fly into the sunset, Ash remembers catching it as a Caterpie, it evolving into a Metapod and then a Butterfree. As his Butterfree is almost out of sight, Ash wishes it good luck.


"Prepare for trouble." - Ash
"And you can make it triple." - Misty
"To protect the world from devastation." - Brock
Ash and Misty: "To unite all peoples within our nation."
"This was just..." - Jessie
"...Too good..." - James
"...To last." - Meowth
"You got that right." - Ash
"Pika!" - Pikachu
"We're defending the beauty of truth and love!" - Misty
"Let's do it!" - Brock
"We gotta stop that!" - Meowth
"It's gonna shock us!" - Jessie, James, and Meowth


  • This is the first episode where Team Rocket's Motto gets ripped off.
  • This is the first episode where a main character releases a Pokémon.
  • This episode is the first one where Team Rocket have thoughts about boss' fantasies, where they think about stealing Pokémon and giving them to Giovanni.
  • The English Title is a play on the musical Bye Bye Birdie.
  • This episode introduces the concept of differently-colored Pokémon.
  • This episode contains a montage of Ash's Butterfree, from when he first caught it as a Caterpie, to its evolution into Metapod, to its final evolution of Butterfree and every battle they were in. The Pokémon theme was played in the background when Ash said goodbye to Butterfree.
  • The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Butterfree.
  • The song played in the beginning of the Butterfree Montage is called "Tears After Cloudy Weather."
  • When Team Rocket flies away in their helicopter with all the Butterfree they captured, a Jigglypuff hot-air balloon can be seen.
  • This is one of the episodes in which the title is the same in both English and Japanese.


  • In the scene with Team Rocket falling into the canyon, Jessie's nose and the capital "R" on her shirt are missing also, one of James' sleeves keeps getting miscolored every second it shows them falling.
  • When Team Rocket gets into their helicopter for the last time, Jessie's lipstick is missing.
  • In a shot with Pikachu talking to Butterfree, the white spot on Butterfree's eye is red.

Dub differences

  • The banner that had Team Rocket's motto had the text was edited out in the dub.
  • In the dub, Brock says that Ash raised Butterfree to be courageous and that he believes Ash has shown himself to be courageous too, to which Ash thanks him. In the original version, he says that people can take care of Pokémon but cannot reproduce them, to which Ash agrees.


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