| Outrageous Fortunes
|| May 9, 2002
| United States
|| May 10, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
|| 中野頼道 Yorimichi Nakano
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| 小菅和久 Kazuhisa Kosuge
| Additional credits
Outrageous Fortunes (Japanese: ニョロゾのしんか！ Nyorozo's Evolution!) is the 247th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 9, 2002 and in the United States on May 10, 2003.
On meeting up with a proud Pokémon trainer who dares all comers to face his Poliwrath, Misty and Ash quickly rise to the challenge. Misty, in particular, encourages her Poliwhirl to watch closely as it may someday evolve into a Poliwrath. As is often the case, the battle isn't long over before this challenger and Ash and Misty have become fast friends. Meanwhile, Team Rocket, having furtively observed this battle and been convinced that the Poliwrath is a match even for Pikachu, decide to first capture it and then use it to capture Pikachu. Unfortunately, this logic does not hold as they find capturing a Pokémon stronger than Pikachu even more difficult than simply capturing Pikachu. A surprise is in store for Misty, as her Poliwhirl evolves not into a Poliwrath, but into another Pokémon altogether.
Ash and his friends are heading towards Blackthorn City. Brock is checking a guidebook when he notes that they are close. Then they see a Pokémon battle with a big crowd. They decide to check it out. When they get a closer look they see two Trainers battling with Hitmontop and Poliwrath. Poliwrath uses Submission and the match is over! Poliwrath's Trainer says the other Trainer's name which is Mason. Ash is confused because he thought only fighting Pokémon learn Submission, and Poliwrath is a Water type. Misty explains that Poliwrath learns Submission when it evolves. Poliwrath and its Trainer are cheered by the audience. Then Poliwrath's Trainer declares he'd like another battle. Ash gladly steps up. Then Misty declares she wants to battle. Then Ash and Misty start arguing over the battle. Poliwrath's Trainer then says that he'll battle both of them. The first battle is Misty's Poliwhirl vs the other Trainer's Poliwrath. The battle starts with a collision of Water Guns. Poliwhirl then uses Bubble. Poliwrath dodges and uses DoubleSlap. The match ends with Poliwrath's Submission.
The next battle is Poliwrath vs Bayleef. Bayleef starts off with Razor Leaf. Poliwrath dodges and uses DoubleSlap. In the meantime, Poliwhirl begins to recover to watch the battle. Misty wants Poliwhirl to watch as it might evolve into Poliwrath someday. The match soon appears to be a bad match up for Bayleef as Poliwrath has Bayleef on two feet not four. Soon it is revealed Team Rocket is watching. Jessie says she wants Poliwrath not Pikachu this time. James and Meowth agree, because if they had Poliwrath, Pikachu would be easier to catch. Meanwhile, both Bayleef and Poliwrath appear to be severely damaged. Bayleef uses a Tackle attack and Poliwrath uses DoubleSlap. Then all of a sudden, Brock stops the match. Both Ash and Poliwrath's Trainer ask what the big deal is. Brock points out that both Pokémon are too injured to go on. When seeing this, the other Trainer introduced himself as Delaney. Ash, Brock, and Misty introduce themselves too.
Later at the Pokémon Center, Ash and Misty are talking about healing their Pokémon when Ash slips on the floor and his belongings go flying out of his backpack. At the same time, Poliwhirl finds the King's Rock and is returned with it. Meanwhile, Delaney is saying sorry to Poliwrath when, he sees a fortune teller (Jessie in disguise). Then two orange farmers (James and Meowth) come up and tell him that she tells the truth and show him the crop they made out of it. They leave and Jessie tells him his Poliwrath is possessed by evil. Next she tells him she can remove the evil. Delaney believes her and gives her Poliwrath. She covers it with a cloth and tells Delaney to count to thirty slowly with his eyes closed. During this Team Rocket slowly make their escape but Delaney opens his eyes and sees them. Team Rocket runs away scared that he might catch up.
Meanwhile, Ash and his friends hear Delaney shout and come over to help with the chase. Ash realizes They are Team Rocket and soon Team Rocket and they recite the motto. Soon they are in the Meowth balloon making their escape by air. As the gang follows they slide down the hill into a truck carrying hay, as Team Rocket disappears behind a mountain. Ash wants to send out Noctowl, but all of his Pokémon are still at the Pokémon Center. As the truck stops, everybody jumps off the truck and continues the chase.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket celebrates and tries to train Poliwrath. Poliwrath defeats all of their Pokémon but won't listen to Team Rocket. Soon Ash and his friends find the Pokémon Center and get their Pokémon back. As they come out of the center a man runs up to them and says something about a Poliwrath and three other "folks". Meanwhile Team Rocket has geared up Poliwrath with the Mark Three Manner Minder, a machine that allows them to control anybody. As Poliwrath defeats an Ursaring, Ash and his friends catch up. When seeing Delaney, Poliwrath struggles a lot more than previously. Delaney realizes about the machine and is angry. Ash sends out Phanpy. Poliwrath uses Water Gun. After this, Ash commands Phanpy to use Take Down, but Delaney stops him so they cannot hurt Poliwrath. Misty sends out Corsola next, which uses Tackle and Spike Cannon on the Mark III Manner Minder making the machine fly onto Jessie. Soon Meowth is using the machine to control Jessie. Meanwhile, Poliwrath wakes up. Next James gets the controls for Jessie. Poliwrath uses DoubleSlap to get the machine off Jessie. James sends out Victreebel. As usual it jumps on his head. Jessie sends out Arbok. Then Misty sends out Poliwhirl-except it has the King's Rock. The rock activates evolving Poliwhirl into Politoed. Ash says "that's pretty weird" and looks it up in the Pokédex.
Misty says she loves it. Arbok attacks and Phanpy uses Take Down. Victreebel attacks except Politoed handshakes it. Misty commands it to use Water Gun. Victreebel counters with Razor Leaf and Politoed uses DoubleSlap. Soon Phanpy is in trouble from Arbok's Wrap. Brock suggests Politoed uses Swagger so it does. Soon Arbok and Victreebel are confused and start fighting with each other. Misty congratulates Politoed and it starts dancing. Then Arbok launches an attack on Politoed. Brock then notes that Swagger confuses and raises its opponents' attack power. Then Delaney commands Poliwrath to use DoubleSlap on Arbok. Politoed does the same thing on Victreebel. Then Phanpy finishes them with Take Down. As Delaney got Poliwrath's Poké Ball back, Pikachu blasts Team Rocket off with Thunderbolt. Everyone celebrates after finally defeating Team Rocket. Later at the Pokémon Center, Delaney and the gang part ways and their journey continues.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- This episode aired in the U.S. exactly one year and one day from its Japanese airing.
- Ash and his friends transfer their Pokémon between Pokémon Centers. This presumably has the same physical effect as trading, which is required for Poliwhirl to evolve into Politoed.
- The device used by Team Rocket for this episode bears a resemblance to the Strength Intensifiers A.J. used on his Pokémon. Its purpose is also similar to the device Dr. Namba used on Electabuzz and hoped to use on Lugia.
- Instead of the regular Team Rocket theme, during the motto it is instead a variation.
- This is the third time an overly-confident Trainer is well-known for his "unbeatable" Poliwrath. The other times were in Charizard Chills and Hook, Line, and Stinker.
- The English title is most likely a reference to "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" (Hamlet 3. 1. 68), part of Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy from the tragedy by William Shakespeare.
- It may also be based on either the game show or movie "Outrageous Fortune".
- Another possible source for the title could be the fortune teller act put on by Team Rocket during the episode.
- When Poliwhirl evolves, Team Rocket says, "Shazam!" This may be a reference to Captain Marvel, the comic book figure who transforms from a young man into an adult superhero at the mention of the name of the wizard who gave him his abilities, Shazam.
- When Poliwrath is fighting Ash's Bayleef, it is the ninth battle that day. Brock says it is Poliwrath's eighth battle.
- When Nurse Joy sends over the groups Pokémon, the Poké Balls are missing the outer white circle.
- When Misty calls on Corsola to battle Poliwrath, she sends it out of a regular Poké Ball instead of the Lure Ball it is contained in.
- When Team Rocket blasts off, even though Wobbuffet isn't out of its Poké Ball, it is seen blasting off with them.
- When Misty sends out her Poliwhirl (while facing Delaney), the Poké Ball is missing the button and the outer white circle.
- Delaney says to Ash in the final scene, "good luck and get that last badge Ash". Despite Ash never mentioning anything about his badges to Delaney.
- There are a lot of slapping shots in this episode, and two of those shots were deemed "too violent" for the English dub. There are two separate shots of Poliwrath violently slapping Jessie; in one of those shots, she has red spots on her cheeks from Poliwrath's intense slapping. Both of these shots were cut from the dub and replaced with an alternate animation. The same happened with the first and third episodes, where Misty slapped Ash for letting his Pokémon get hurt. The version streamed on Pokémon TV, however, leaves these shots intact.
In other languages