Hokey Poké Balls! (Japanese: フシギダネとフシギダネ！モンスターボールを取り返せ！！Fushigidane and Fushigidane! Regaining the Monster Balls!!) is the 74th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 348th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 29, 2004 and in the United States on April 16, 2005.
Ash and his friends arrive at a town. May decides to bring out Bulbasaur in order to check out the sights. Bulbasaur suddenly runs to a nearby store rack and wants to eat the displayed fruit, but May explains the concept of buying items. When Max calls to May, Bulbasaur slips away and climbs into the bed of a pickup truck full of flowers, smelling them. May runs to the truck, but the vehicle pulls away. They pursue the truck, and Ash and Brock speed up, getting the driver’s attention and making him stop the truck, allowing May to get Bulbasaur.
At the Pokémon Center, Team Rocket is in disguise and working on the Pokémon Transporter. Unbeknownst to Nurse Joy, they are really altering it in order to steal the imported Pokémon. Ash and friends arrive as Team Rocket finishes and leaves. Ash calls Professor Oak and Max mentions May's Bulbasaur. She brings Bulbasaur to the screen and earns the professor’s approval. Ash asks about his Bulbasaur, and the professor brings it to the screen. May’s Bulbasaur already shows friendliness to Ash’s. He asks the professor to send his Bulbasaur through the transporter in order to meet May’s Bulbasaur.
Professor Oak agrees and puts Bulbasaur into its Poké Ball before transporting it. The transport appears to be successful and Ash picks up the Poké Ball, but it won’t open. Other children also point out the same problem, as their Poké Balls are empty. Max immediately suspects that the repair guys were fakes. Nurse Joy does not believe so until the real repair guys arrive.
Team Rocket is outside the building snatching the Poké Balls as Nurse Joy leads Ash and friends to the back, encountering Team Rocket. They quickly escape in their balloon. Ash and May send out Taillow and Beautifly to stop them, but James fires rocket boosters to evade, even dodging Pikachu’s Thunderbolt. However, the engines fail, sending the balloon flying far away. A Poké Ball falls from the sky and May's Bulbasaur grabs it. The ball opens and releases the Pokémon inside, and it's Ash's Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur jumps into Ash’s arms and May’s Bulbasaur reaches out with a vine. Ash’s Bulbasaur matches the vine in a high-five style as May brings her Bulbasaur closer. They decide to allow the Bulbasaur to team up to search while Taillow and Beautifly cover from the air.
Team Rocket begins to gather all the stolen Poké Balls into wrapped sacks. James’s bag develops a hole and it drops Poké Balls, leaving a trail. Meanwhile, while Ash and the others are searching, May's Bulbasaur drifts to sniffing flowers. Ash's Bulbasaur explains to May’s Bulbasaur and gets it back on track. Taillow and Beautifly find the Poké Ball trail. A wild Shroomish and Nuzleaf lead Ash and friends to the balloon’s landing site, where they find one of the Poké Balls. Taillow brings another Poké Ball and leads them to the ball trail.
Team Rocket gets to their cabin and Meowth notices that James’s bag had a hole and he dropped the Poké Balls. They find Ash and friends outside, but they retreat back inside and James activates a switch, raising steel walls around the perimeter and rendering it impregnable. However, Ash notices an open window, allowing May and the others to go onto the roof and retrieve the stolen property. Meowth throws Poké Balls and James uses the skis as a makeshift baseball bat to send them outside, using the Pokémon inside, a Golbat and a Primeape, to attack Ash. May orders the two Bulbasaur to send their vines inside and attempt to grab the sack of Poké Balls. James tries to tie the vines together, but the Bulbasaur smack James back with the vines. Brock recalls the attacking Primeape and Golbat while Pikachu attacks the wall with Iron Tail, forcing Team Rocket out. Jessie and James send out Seviper and Cacnea. Seviper’s Poison Tail and Cacnea’s Pin Missile put down May’s Bulbasaur. Although May calls for a Razor Leaf attack, Cacnea’s Pin Missile is too strong for May’s Bulbasaur. Ash's Bulbasaur steps in and stops the attack with Vine Whip. Seviper and Cacnea attempt to attack with Poison Tail and Needle Arm, but both Bulbasaur use Vine Whip to push them back and seize the stolen Poké Balls. They try to attack again, but Pikachu stops them with Thunderbolt and sends them flying. The Bulbasaur give a Vine Whip high five. Ash and the others return the Poké Balls. Professor Oak calls back and asks for Ash’s Bulbasaur to return and stop the water and grass Pokémon from fighting. Ash sends his Bulbasaur back to Professor Oak's Laboratory as May’s Bulbasaur appears to have made a positive change. Ash and friends leave the Pokémon Center and hit the road.
The episode title is a pun on the dance name "hokey pokey".
This is the first time since beginning his travels in the Hoenn region that Ash has called up any Pokémon from Professor Oak's lab or used any Pokémon caught before arriving in Hoenn other than Pikachu.
Music from the first movie can be heard in this episode.
Answer: OK, trainers! If you chose Combusken, you were right!
Since Team Rocket finished corrupting the Poké Ball transporter only when Ash and others entered the Pokémon Center, not many people could have used it before Ash, if he was not the first. Obviously, Team Rocket could not have stolen three large bags of Poké Balls.
In the scene where Ash and his friends found Team Rocket's balloon, Poké Balls could be seen in the basket.
"Pokéball" written in one word appears in the anime not for the first time. This spelling seems to be canonical in the anime.
In the part where Ash's Bulbasaur and May's Bulbasaur "talk" to a Nuzleaf and a Shroomish, their voices were mixed up in Japanese version: Nuzleaf says "Kinoko" (from Kinococo) and Shroomish says "Kono" (from Konohana).
When Seviper uses Poison Tail for the first time, the outlines around the purple markings are a light purple instead of black.