The Battle of the Badge (トキワジム！
Gary and Ash arrive to Viridian City. Gary taunts Ash and enters the Gym and faces a very powerful Pokémon. Meanwhile, due to an accident, Team Rocket receive the twerps' Togepi and present it to the boss. Despite his anger, Giovanni puts Jessie, James and Meowth in charge of the Gym. When Ash arrives, he faces Team Rocket as his opponent.
Ash and his friends arrive in Viridian City for the first time in a year, and they instantly make their way towards the Viridian City Gym. He resolves himself to defeat the Gym Leader and ascend to the prestigious Pokémon League. Suddenly, Gary arrives on the scene with his cheerleaders, mocking Ash. Gary reveals that he has already won 7 Gym Badges, and attempts to enter the Viridian Gym to fight its leader. Ash attempts to follow in after him, but the guards refuse, on the grounds that only one Trainer can enter the Gym at a time. After Misty's Togepi accidentally ends up inside a Fearow's mouth, Ash and his friends go search for it. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is similarly searching for them.
Fearow drops Togepi onto the ground next to Team Rocket, as Jessie attempts to capture it. It manages to elude her, walking across a slim beam. Jessie follows it, but falls to the ground as it cannot support her weight. However, her efforts are rewarded as Togepi lands in her hands. Giovanni accepts Gary's challenge for the Gym Badge, as Gary's Nidoking is pitted against his Golem. Nidoking manages to defeat Golem with a simple Tackle attack, as Giovanni sends out his Kingler. Gary follows suit, replacing Nidoking with his Arcanine. Similarly to how the previous battle went, his Arcanine use Fire Blast to defeat Kingler without much difficulty. When Gary tells Giovanni that he should give up, the latter summons his third and most powerful Pokémon: Mewtwo.
Mewtwo manages to defeat Arcanine with its Psychic, sending it sprawling to the ground. Gary checks his Pokédex, which explains that there is no available data on it. Giovanni explains that he wants to test the full capabilities of his Pokémon's power, offering to Gary the use of as many Pokémon as he likes. Gary sends out Nidoking and Arcanine, both of which are levitated into the air and defeated. Giovanni tells him to give up now, as there is no chance of victory. Meanwhile, Team Rocket approaches Giovanni, presenting him with Togepi as a gift. However, he decries their incompetence, but is forced to leave the Gym in their hands after he is notified of an accident occurring.
Giovanni grants them the use of his three Pokémon to defend the Gym, as Team Rocket are ecstatic that they are now Gym Leaders. Meanwhile, Giovanni approaches Mewtwo, announcing that he has a new assignment for it. As Misty and the others search for Togepi, they hear its cry emanating from within the Viridian Gym walls. They force the gym doors open and Togepi is standing there, safe from harm, to Misty's joy and relief. As Misty embraces with Togepi, Brock notices the unconscious bodies of Gary and his cheerleaders. Ash helps Gary up and the latter imparts information to him about the evil Pokémon that Giovanni possesses, and that no ordinary Pokémon Trainer can defeat it. Before Ash can ask Gary for more information, they are interrupted by Team Rocket, who recite their motto, and reveal their status as the newly appointed Gym Leaders.
Ash does not believe Jessie at first, until she shows him the Earth Badge. He proclaims that he will defeat them in a Pokémon battle to receive the Earth Badge from them. Jessie releases a Machamp, a Kingler and a Rhydon, prompting Ash to release his Squirtle. However, Squirtle is defeated easily by Machamp's barrage of Karate Chop attacks. In response, Ash is electrocuted from underneath, from which James explains that the Trainer will experience the same pain as the Pokémon if it is attacked. Ash releases his Bulbasaur, prompting Jessie to send out Kingler. After Bulbasaur's Vine Whip got blocked by Kingler's a Harden, the latter use Bubble to attack the former, and Ash is electrocuted once more.
A concerned Gary begs Ash to give up, stating Team Rocket's Pokémon are too powerful, but Ash refuses to back down, stating he's come too far. He regains his composure, using Pidgeotto's Quick Attack to attack Rhydon followed by Double-Edge. This causes Jessie to get a taste of her own medicine as she is electrocuted. Meowth attempts to end the competition by using an explosion device, but Gary knocks it out of his hands. Pushed into a corner, Jessie summons Weezing and Arbok, resulting in Ash using his Pikachu's Thunderbolt to defeat all of the Pokémon. In turn she gets shocked, as Ash assumes his victory over Team Rocket. Gary's cheerleaders support Ash, as Gary reluctantly acknowledges Ash's skills in battling. He grimly states that no-one, not even Ash, could possibly face the Pokémon he fought and win. Ash demands the Earth Badge in recognition of his achievements, but Jessie refuses to.
Meowth notices Togepi playing with the explosion device, but before he can stop it from doing anything, both sides of the stadium blow up to blast Team Rocket off, prompting them to give the Earth Badge to Ash, much to his happiness. As the Viridian Gym begins to collapse, Ash, Gary and the others escape the gym and run into safety. Brock ponders what was the Pokémon that Gary fought, but Ash is too preoccupied with his full set of Gym Badges to care. When asked as to the location of the Pokémon League, Ash replies that he doesn't know where it is. Brock suggests that they go to Professor Oak in Pallet Town to ask him about it. Ash agrees, and the three make their way back to Ash's hometown.
- Nidoking (Gary's)
- Arcanine (Gary's)
- Giovanni's Cloyster
- Giovanni's Golem
- Giovanni's Rhydon
- Giovanni's Kingler
- Giovanni's Machamp
- "If I cried like that every time Ash, lost I'd be waterlogged." - Misty
- "Maybe I could have just one more battle to test out my most powerful Pokémon. I'd like to test out this Pokémon of mine in battle. And go ahead, use more than one Pokémon if you're afraid of losing." - Giovanni
- This is the first time Giovanni finally steps out of the shadows.
- One of Gary's cheerleaders speaks out of unison with the others for the first time.
- The platforms Jessie and Ash battle on are exact replicas of the Pokémon League battle platforms.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Mr. Mime.
- In the beginning of the episode, Ash mentions it was a year before he and Misty came to Viridian City, meaning Ash should be eleven.
- Mewtwo's presence eventually foreshadows his major role in the movie event of Pokémon The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back, as a promotion of the first movie's release.
- This is the first episode where a character other than Ash is seen using a Pokédex or challenging a Gym Leader to a Gym battle.
- This English dub title of this episode is derived from the Battle of the Bulge World War II.
- Rhydon was hit by Pikachu's Thunderbolt, despite being a Ground-type Pokémon.
- Gary's Arcanine uses Fire Spin even though Arcanine could not use this move until Generation II.
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