Friend and Foe Alike (セキエイスタジアム！ＶＳヒロシ！ Indigo Stadium! VS Ritchie!) is the 81st episode of Pokémon: Indigo League.
The ultimate showdown of Ash and Ritchie is going to happen. Team Rocket delay this battle, hoping that they'll get Ash's Pikachu. However, Ash continually fights his enemies and tries to make it to the stadium and battle Ritchie. Will he make it time?
Due to pure coincidence, Ash and Ritchie are set to battle next in the League. Ash is sad about having to battle his friend. Brock and Misty research info about Ritchie and find out he has won without any of his Pokémon defeated. Ash tells Misty he won as well, but Misty replies he won by luck, not by skill. They find out he used his Pikachu, Butterfree and Charmander. Brock notices they are very similar to the Pokémon Ash uses, while Misty knows Ash is in trouble, as this depends on who is a better trainer. Ash knows he will win even if Ritchie is his friend.
Next day, Ritchie retrieves his Pokémon from Nurse Joy. Ash comes in and sees Ritchie. Ritchie greets him and asks of him for their next battle to be their best, which Ash promises to. Ash sees him walking away and goes to get his Pokémon from Nurse Joy. Nurse Joy knows Ash is lucky to battle a friend, as even if he loses, he can be happy to know his friend won. Team Rocket spy, so James and Meowth see their friendship. Jessie tells it is something that has kept her from having friends. James says it must be her personality and Jessie agrees, but suddenly realizes what he said and pounds him. However, she knows they can get something out of their friendship.
Misty answers on a phone call. Ritchie calls and asks of her (rudely) to get Ash on the phone and get lost. Misty calls Ash and knows this was too good to be true. Ritchie asks of Ash to come to him to discuss about Pikachu. Ash agrees and goes out. Brock tells Ash not to be late for match, but Ash replies he is never late for a match or a meal. However, this was Jessie, who used a stimulation voice to get the twerp to them, believing she should have her own show for these tricks. Ash arrives to the point and meets Ritchie. Ritchie (who is a puppet) tells he won't like this, as a net comes down, entangling Ash and Pikachu and Team Rocket appear. Jessie and James know that this trick caused a brainless twerp to come into the trap. Meowth asks how are they brainless if despite getting beat all every time, making James and Jessie shush him.
Ash tells them he has a battle, but gets captured and taken into a van. Brock comes into the room and tells Misty he is nowhere to be found. Misty thinks he went with Ritchie to the League. Brock hopes so, as he has only half an hour before the battle starts. Suddenly, Team Rocket see the van is flooding - Ash's Squirtle is filling the van using Water Gun. The van crashes and Ash and Pikachu get out. Ritchie came to the League, while Ash runs towards the stadium. Team Rocket still try to stop their foe, so Ash sends Bulbasaur, using Vine Whip to distract them and Pikachu's Thunderbolt electrocutes them. Though Ash continues to go, Team Rocket attempt to stop him again using bikes - James' Weezing uses Smog to distract them.
Ash remembers Ritchie's words and knows he made a promise and goes out of the smoke, using Team Rocket's bikes. Ritchie waits for Ash, while Delia is worried, but Oak knows in whatever trouble he is he can get out of it. Misty comes to Ritchie and stomps on his leg, demanding what he said to Ash. Misty tells that he is rude when talking on the phone. Ritchie tells he never called her or Ash on the phone, so Misty sees he is telling the truth. Team Rocket pull the bike up using a crane. Ash sends Pidgeotto. Pikachu leaps on it and on the balloon, electrocuting Team Rocket. They blast off, while Pidgeotto pulls the balloon to the stadium. Ritchie still waits and the referee goes to announce him as the winner, as Ash did not show up. However, Ritchie demands to wait a bit longer, knowing Ash will appear. The referee agrees to ten minutes. Brock sees Ritchie is a great trainer, but Misty worries where is Ash.
Later, the referee goes to announce Ritchie a winner (as time has passed), but Ash comes from the balloon down. Ash goes to tell Ritchie what happened, but Pidgeotto falls down, exhausted. So, without further ado, Ash and Ritchie start the battle. Ash's mom tells Ash he should apologize to everyone for the delay, but Oak calms her down. The battle starts, as Ritchie sends Happy, his Butterfree, and Ash his Squirtle. The Pokémon attack each other, then Happy uses Sleep Power. Squirtle fell asleep, so Happy wins. Pikachu goes to battle, using Double Edge to knock Butterfree down. Ash is glad to see Pikachu wants to fight with all the trouble that happened. Butterfree goes up, but gets electrocuted and defeated.
Ritchie sends Zippo, his Charmander. Charmander uses Flamethrower, making Pikachu dodge narrowly. Zippo tackles Pikachu and though it attempts to stand up, Pikachu falls down, defeated. Ash sees he cannot use Bulbasaur against Charmander, but has someone else... Charizard, although its disobedience cost him in the past. Knowing this is his only hope, Ash sends Charizard. Charizard uses Flamethrower, chasing Zippo, so Ritchie calls it back. Seeing it will be risky, Ritchie sends Sparky, his Pikachu. Ash warns Charizard that it is tougher than it looks. Charizard attempts to knock it off, then gusts it, which works. Sparky charges, but soon sees Charizard is lazily laying around. Misty and Brock see Charizard won't battle, the crowd is not pleased, Ash best Charizard to battle and Oak believes Pikachu is not a worthy opponent for Charizard.
The referee decides Ritchie is the winner, as Charizard still refuses to battle so Ash calls it back. Ritchie comes to Ash. Ash rubs his nose and congratulates Ritchie, who thanks him. Misty sees Ash is taking the loss well, Brock sees they are both winners of this match, while Oak knows Ash should be proud for this. Ash knows even if he lost, he still has the dream of the Pokémon Master to pursue.
- Despite having the Earth Badge, which (in the games) makes ALL Pokémon obey, Charizard still wouldn't obey Ash.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Aerodactyl.
- The referee deemed Squirtle unable to battle when it fought Butterfree even though it only fell asleep.
- Ritchie's Charmander, Zippo, used Tackle, a move it cannot legally learn.
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