Ash, his friends, and Team Rocket arrived at a costume festival and have fun. Team Rocket attempts to capture Pikachu, but got stopped by Count Pumpka and his steward when the Count's Pumpkaboo falls in love with Jessie's. They plan use Count Pumpka's steward's Pokémon to capture Pikachu when lied, but things get turned around.
Bonnie runs into the next town, while the heroes walk into the town. They notice it is some sort of a festival going on and see two girls running off. They enter the Pokémon Center and are shocked to see a talking Wigglytuff. However, it was just Nurse Joy hiding behind Wigglytuff, telling the heroes the Gourgeist Festival is going on, where people and Pokémon can dress as other Pokémon. The heroes would like to participate, so Serena gives everyone a costume. Ash becomes a Snorlax, Chespin is Pikachu, while his master a Watchog, Bonnie becomes a Ludicolo, her Dedenne is a Corphish, Serena becomes a Florges, Pikachu is a Psyduck. With their costumes on, the group goes to the Gourgeist Festival. The heroes run into the two girls again, dressed as Pumpkaboo, and give them sweets, since that is also a part of the Festival. Serena trades them some sweets as well and Ash gives some to Pikachu.
As the heroes go to make some more trades, Team Rocket watches them, with Jessie as Mismagius, Meowth as Banette, Wobbuffet as Sawk, Inkay as a floating Pikachu and James as Gourgeist, think this Festival is perfect for them to catch Pikachu. A man watches Jessie's Pumpkaboo, thinking it is well-raised and shows it to his "Prince" Pumpkaboo, who adores her. As Team Rocket goes after the twerps, they are approached by three Gourgeist and their owner, a butler of the town's castle. He gives them the invitation from the Count for a dinner. Team Rocket thinks they should prepare themselves to capture Pikachu by eating the dinner, so accept the invitation. While Team Rocket is eating, Count Pumpka comes and asks for Pumpkaboo. James scans and finds Jessie's Pumpkaboo is the biggest one in size. Count Pumpka tells them his Pumpkaboo fell in love with Jessie's Pumpkaboo. Jessie did not know her Pumpkaboo was a girl, but has an idea, thinking they can use this advantage here.
Jessie claims some bad people stealing Pokémon are after her Pumpkaboo and they have caught a Pikachu. Pumpka notices James' Pikachu, but James shows it is only Inkay, dressed as Pikachu. At any rate, she asks that the Count does something to strike at the villains, and he may get her Pumpkaboo. Team Rocket is pleased, for they may get Pikachu without doing anything. Elsewhere, the heroes collected a lot of candy. Suddenly, they are surrounded by three Gourgeist, as the Count's steward demands Pikachu, calling them villains. Gourgeist hits them with Shadow Ball, while another one uses Razor Leaf, but is countered by Pikachu's Iron Tail. Clemont sends Bunnelby, whose dig hits a Gourgeist, along with Mud Shot. Serena sends Pancham, hitting one of Gourgeist with Stone Edge. The Gourgeist attack with Shadow Ball, knocking Pikachu and Chespin away and hitting Bunnelby and Pancham. Gourgeist create smoke by releasing some seeds and the steward takes Pikachu away. After the smoke clears, Pikachu is present, but Chespin is gone instead.
Team Rocket is pleased Pikachu has been captured, though it is actually Chespin. James goes to get him, but the Count refuses, since Team Rocket has to do something as well. Fletchinder flies and finds Chespin inside the castle, then reports to the heroes. The Count asks Pumpkaboo to be given and to be raised as a Princess for his Pumpkaboo. Jessie hesitantely agrees, but the heroes appear, demanding Chespin back, whose parts of costume fall off. The butler is ashamed, so sends Gourgeist after the heroes, who send Bunnelby, Pikachu and Braixen. Gourgeist uses Shadow Ball, but is countered by Pikachu's Electro Ball. The second Gourgeist uses Shadow Ball, but Bunnelby dodges and retaliates with Mud Shot. Braixen dodges the third Gourgeist's Shadow Ball and hits it using Flamethrower. The Gourgeist stand up, but are defeated by Pikachu's Thunderbolt, Braixen's Hidden Power and Bunnelby's Wild Charge. However, the steward presses a plate, trapping the heroes in a cage.
Count Pumpka is pleased, but has the steward brings out the Trade Machine. The Count asks for a trade for one of his Pokémon for Jessie's Pumpkaboo. Jessie, recalling her memories with Pumpkaboo, decides it won't be easy trading her. Pumpkaboo is touched by her words. Clemont, however, uses the Aipom Arm, wanting to cut off the electricity powering the cage. The Count sends Mawile, thinking Jessie may want it, but Jessie refuses, for her bond with Pumpkaboo is stronger. Count Pumpka replies Mawile can Mega Evolve, making Jessie a lot more interested. Thinking of herself with Mega Mawile, Jessie agrees. Pumpkaboo is insulted and Meowth translates she wants to stay with the prince. Jessie is angered, for Pumpkaboo wants to be traded like this too easily. They place the Poké Balls and conduct the trade.
Count Pumpka sends his new Pumpkaboo, which evolves into a Gourgeist. Count Pumpka's prince Pumpkaboo is terrified of Gourgeist and preferred having her as Pumpkaboo, making Team Rocket terrified. Jessie is outraged, since she performed the trade because he wanted it and now does not want her Pokémon evolved. Meowth admits he shares feelings with the prince, since he had a similar experience. Jessie wonders if this prince Pumpkaboo will ever realize Gourgeist's value, for she was there when nobody else was when Jessie was sick or had her birthday. She hugs Gourgeist, apologizing that she said those harsh words. She demands Gourgeist back, since the prince Pumpkaboo does not want her anymore. After the trade is reversed, Jessie is glad to have Gourgeist back and hugs her, while James, Meowth, Inkay and Wobbuffet feel this is the happy ending of this crisis.
Team Rocket goes out of the castle, but are stopped by the heroes, who got out. They demand Chespin back, but Jessie claims it is their now. Bonnie notices "the flying Pikachu", so Meowth pulls it down. Bonnie comes to Meowth and takes his Banette costume off. With the truth out, Team Rocket takes off their costumes, so Count Pumpka and his steward realize they were the actual bad people. Pikachu uses Iron Tail, but misses. Jessie reminds them one has to deepen the bonds between the Pokémon and trainer to become stronger. James and Meowth know that is true, but she is in no position to say that. Gourgeist uses Shadow Ball, but misses. She uses Leech Seed, though Pikachu uses Iron Tail to deflect the attack. Inkay uses Psybeam, but Bunnelby avoids and uses Double Slap, causing Inkay to be thrown away onto the cage, freeing Chespin. Pikachu's Thunderbolt, along with Braixen's Flamethrower, blasts Team Rocket off.
The Count apologizes to the heroes, knowing he shouldn't have mistreated them. To make it up, the heroes have a stew dinner and watch the fireworks of the Festival.
- "Blasting off doesn't bother me this time because my Gourgeist is here with me." - Jessie
- "Gourgeist." - Gourgeist
- "Well, well, isn't that sweet." - James
- "And wholesome." - Meowth
- "Wobbu." - Wobbuffet
- "Out of here!" - Jessie and James
- "Pokémon Quiz": Gourgeist (JP)
- "Who's that Pokémon?:" Gourgeist (US)
- This episode aired in Canada earlier than the US.
- Similar to "Wobbu-Palooza!", Team Rocket comes into a town dedicated to a Pokémon Jessie has, Wobbuffet.
- Like "Tricks of the Trade", a trading event is being held, in which Jessie participates.
- Jessie trading her Pumpkaboo and trading it back mirrors Ash trading Butterfree for Raticate and reversing the trade in "Battle Aboard the St. Anne".
- Prince Pumpkaboo stopping loving Jessie's Pumpkaboo after evolution mirrors Meowth's love for Glameow, which broke after Glameow evolved into a Purugly in "For the Love of Meowth!"
- Escavalier and Accelgor in "Evolution Exchange Excitement!", like Gourgeist, were evolved as soon as they were traded.
- Some of the main characters costumes in this episode are homage to the Pokémon Ash, his friends and rivals had or owned:
- Ash dressing up as a Snorlax is homage to his Snorlax.
- Bonnie dressing up as a Ludicolo is homage to Brock's Ludicolo.
- Dedenne dressing up as a Corphish is homage to Ash's Corphish.
- Pikachu dressing up as a Psyduck is homage to Misty's Psyduck.
- Jessie dressing up as a Mismagius is homage to Zoey's Mismagius.
- Meowth dressing up as a Banette is homage to Harley's Banette.
- Wobbuffet dressing up as a Sawk is homage to Stephan's Sawk.
- The opening theme for this episode in the original Japanese version showed scenes from the Hoopa and the Clash of Ages movie event during the original TV airings of this episode.
- An edit was made to this episode's dub title card in some versions to add an exclamation mark (!) to the end of the title. Other sources, such as Netflix, have the version of this episode's title card with a question mark (?) at the end.
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