The heroes come to a town, where the Princess Festival is held. Misty and Jessie have their eyes set on the doll collection and attempt to fight their opponents to win it. While Misty uses Ash's Pikachu and Bulbasaur, Brock's Vulpix and her Starmie, Jessie reveals she has recently caught another Pokémon, which turns the tide of the battle...
Misty and Jessie both declare the Princess Festival to be officially opened, and state that their companions must do as they say. The narrator explains that the Princess Festival is a prestigious event in which women are given exclusive discounts for various items. Misty collects a large variety of items, which Ash, Brock and Pikachu are forced to carry.
Misty is then seen enjoying an array of desserts, before bringing to Ash's attention a discount sale advertising 75-90% off their stock. Whilst Jessie is trying on different sets of clothing, James and Meowth shower her with confetti. After purchasing a variety of clothes from the store, James complains to Jessie that he is bored. Jessie then reveals that she is also buying gifts for Giovanni to make up for their failure to capture Pikachu.
Suddenly, a Lickitung crosses their path. It uses its tongue to lick up the gifts for Giovanni. Jessie isn't pleased and calls out Arbok to battle it, but one lick and Arbok gets licked (figuratively and literally). After the Lickitung slurps up more of Jessie's clothes, only to spit them back out due to the bad taste it gets from them, she captures the Pokémon as punishment, before leaving to go on a spending spree. Misty and Jessie then fight over a piece of clothing, only for it to be taken by another customer while they are distracted. Both Misty and Jessie ignore it when the Queen of the Princess Festival contest is announced over the store speakers.
Once the prize for winning the contest is revealed to be a collection of Pokémon Princess Dolls and a picture with Fiorello Cappuccino, Misty and Jessie sign up. At the start of the competition, Fiorello and the MC unveil the contestants to the audience, whom are all dressed in a vibrant variety of kimonos. The MC then reveals the prized Pokémon dolls, telling each contestant to release their Pokémon. This comes as a shock to Misty and Jessie, as the MC explains the rules behind the tournament and it turns out to be an actual tournament, not an actual beauty contest.
He states that each contestant can only use four Pokémon each, as Misty persuades Ash and Brock to lend her their Pokémon. Misty reveals her reason for entering the contest to Ash; in which she wants to own her own set of Pokémon dolls like her sisters. After the story Misty beans Ash for saying her reason is a "Misty thing". Ash gives her Pikachu and Bulbasaur and Brock gives her Vulpix, and with her Starmie she has an unbeatable team. Misty uses Bulbasaur in the first round and it easily trounces her opponent.
As Jessie's first round commences she wonders what Pokémon she will use. James points out that all she has is Arbok, but unknown to him she took Weezing. Meowth pointed out she can't win with just two Pokémon and Jessie makes him remember one important fact: Meowth is a Pokémon too. She brings out Meowth first and he gets clobbered so she uses Arbok, who helps win the first round for her.
As the tournament commences, Misty and Jessie progress through several rounds. When the tournament reaches the finals, Misty and Jessie face off against one another. Like Misty, Jessie is shown to have always wanted her own set of Pokémon dolls.
James and Meowth extend their support for Jessie, as the battle commences. Pikachu is able to easily defeat Arbok, Weezing and Meowth. She thinks it is all over for her until Meowth reminds her of the Lickitung she captured earlier. The tables soon turn as Lickitung is able to defeat Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix with Lick. Misty attempts to summon her Starmie, but Psyduck inexplicably emerges from its Poké Ball. With no other choice, Psyduck faces off against Lickitung, and its Lick gives Psyduck a headache.
This, in turn, results in Psyduck's Psychic abilities being enhanced, and Lickitung is defeated by Psyduck's Confusion. After Misty is presented with the set of Pokémon dolls, she gives them to her sisters in Cerulean City, in order to incite jealousy in them. Meanwhile, in an attempt to console Jessie for her defeat, James, Meowth and the other Pokémon dress up as Pokémon dolls to cheer her up.
- "I'll take that." - Shopper (after she grabs the dress Jessie and Misty wanted)
- "Huh? Hey, that's mine!" - Jessie and Misty to shopper (who turns and glares at them)
- "Maybe it isn't a girl thing, maybe it's just a Misty thing" - Ash (to Brock)
- "And the winner of this contest must be as poised as a Jynx, sit as serenely as a Jigglypuff, and possess the charm and grace of an Oddish!" - MC
- "I'm sure you'll win the contest, little girl... if they have a puny division." - Jessie
- "Sometimes I'm not cut out to be a woman." - James
- "Jessie, this is boring! I hate this silly Princess Festival!" - James (complaining to Jessie that he is bored)
- "It's not over! ... Not yet. You still got that Lickitung you caught, Jess." - Meowth
- "I forgot. Lickitung!" - Jessie
- "That's right, you can still win! It's not over as long as you have a Pokémon left." - James
- "I can almost taste victory." - Jessie
- "Oh no... you're all just a bunch of living dolls!" - Jessie
- "Who's That Pokémon?": Lickitung (JA), Butterfree (EN)
- This is the first time the featured Pokémon in the English dub's "Who's That Pokémon?" doesn't appear in the episode. Also, starting from this episode, the Pokémon in the segment is a completely random Pokémon that usually has no input in the actual episode.
- Where they show the doll collection, Jynx can be seen black instead of purple. The future episodes featuring its original coloring were banned in English for the said reason, with one episode in particular edited for the Netflix and Amazon Prime versions.
- As the real world date of the Hinamatsuri holiday is March 3, which in 1998 fell on a Tuesday (the previous day of the week Pokémon used to air on weekly prior to the Porygon controversy), it can be concluded that the episode was originally scheduled to air on March 3, 1998. The same applies for the following episode, which would have aired on May 5, 1998 (the real world date of Children's Day) had the Porygon incident which caused the rescheduling not occurred.
- Chronologically, this episode takes place between "A Chansey Operation" and "Holy Matrimony!" and was originally supposed to air as the 49th episode of the series (including "Holiday Hi-Jynx" and "Snow Way Out!" but excluding "Pikachu's Goodbye", which didn't exist until after the Porygon incident). This conclusion is derived from the Pocket Monsters Encore airings (which aired according to the originally intended production order, instead of the actual broadcast order) and a city document going over material related to Takeshi Shudō that lists production information related to the episodes of the anime.
- The episode's tentative title used in production according to the aforementioned document was 「乙女の決戦 ひな祭り」 (kana: 「まとめのけっせん ひなまつり」) The Girls' Showdown: Hinamatsuri.
- As the first episode of season 2, the Pokérap segment was replaced by Pikachu's Jukebox, which would later be used for the Orange Islands portion of season 3 to avoid spoilers.
- In the Japanese version, this episode is one of the few to assign its events a specific date (March 3).
- This is the first episode to mention that Ash is an only child with Misty stating so.
- Lickitung used Tackle, a move it legally cannot learn.
- Though there were many mentions of the star Fiorello, the advertisement misspells his name as "Fiorella".
- Due to this episode airing out of chronological order, a plot error is caused by this as Togepi is nowhere to be seen in this episode.
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