Clefairy and the Moon Stone (Japanese: ピッピとつきのいしPippi and the Moon Stone) is the sixth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 6, 1997, and in the United States on September 15, 1998.
At Mount Moon, our friends rescue a scientist named Seymour from a batch of Zubat. (Along the way, Brock is able to catch one of the Zubat.) Seymour leads Ash and his friends into a cave to find the legendary Moon Stone, which is said to increase the power of Pokémon.
Deep in the cave, Ash spots a Clefairy carrying a Moon Stone. He considers capturing it, but Seymour tells him Clefairy prefer to live at Mount Moon. Ash decides to leave the Clefairy in peace, but Team Rocket shows up with plans of their own!
Will Team Rocket steal the Moon Stone? Are there other Clefairy lurking about, and do they carry Moon Stones, too? And is the legend of the Moon Stone true?
Ash, Misty, and Brock are hiking towards Mt. Moon, discussing the legend of a meteor made of Moon Stone crashing there in prehistoric times. At the base of Mt. Moon, the group encounters a man being attacked by a flock of Zubat. Misty prompts Ash to act, and he orders Pikachu to use Thunder Shock, causing the Zubat to flee. The lab-coat-wearing man introduces himself as Seymour, a scientist, who is upset because someone installed strong lights that are disturbing the wild Pokémon living throughout the caves, including Zubat, Paras, and Sandshrew.
Seymour explains that he believes that the attackers are after the Moon Stone. He says that it is a massive boulder, believed to be a million years old or more, and hidden deep under Mt. Moon. Fragments of the Stone are said to increase a Pokémon's power. Seymour theorizes that this is because the resident Pokémon came from outer space, and used the Moon Stone as their spacecraft. At that moment, a Clefairy bounces past, carrying something. Ash scans it on his Pokédex and decides to catch it, but Seymour intervenes. Instead, Meowth traps the Clefairy. Brock and Ash agree that they have to stop Team Rocket, before they make any more trouble.
Team Rocket freely admit to putting up the lights; Meowth also reveals their plan to steal the Moon Stone. Ash and Brock challenge Jessie and James, resulting in a battle pitting Jessie's Ekans and James's Koffing against Ash's Butterfree and Brock's new Zubat, caught at the entrance to the cave. James orders Koffing to generate a Smog attack. Ash counters with Butterfree's Whirlwind, and Brock asks Zubat to use Double Team; the two Pokémon turn the Smog back on Team Rocket, much to their surprise. The four Pokémon exchange attacks, culminating in a Supersonic attack from Zubat and a Whirlwind from Butterfree that send Team Rocket blasting off again without Meowth.
Misty and Seymour follow the Clefairy as it exits the cave and up a mountain. Meowth, waiting in anticipation, appears and demands the Moon Stone. Misty sends out Staryu by dropping its Poké Ball into the river. Without much trouble, Staryu sends Meowth blasting off as well. Brock feeds all the Pokémon with Pokémon food, made according to his own special recipe. Seymour tastes it and deems it not bad and Ash follows suit, but he finds it awful. Meanwhile, Clefairy and Pikachu are having a conversation on a nearby rock. They hop away, followed by the rest of the group. They arrive at another cave, where they find the huge core of the Moon Stone. Clefairy adds its stone to the ring at the base of the core, which completes the circuit. The large core surrounded by the smaller fragments begins to glow blue in the moonlight. Dozens of Clefairy approach and begin to dance around the Moon Stone, praying to it. Seymour states that humans are supposed to ride the Stone back out to the stars, but his epiphany is interrupted by Team Rocket's return.
Seymour attacks Team Rocket to keep them from the Stone, though he loses his glasses. Ash attacks with Pikachu, while Brock summons Onix against Jessie and James' Ekans and Koffing. Jessie orders Ekans to use Dig, and James orders a Smokescreen. Ash calls on Pidgeotto, and its Whirlwind blows the smoke away. When the smoke settles, Team Rocket is gone, and the Moon Stone gone with them. Brock orders Onix to Dig and follow Team Rocket underground, while the humans and other Pokémon run through the caves. One of the Clefairy retrieves Seymour's glasses for him.
Team Rocket uses the Stone to slide downhill. Onix appears suddenly, upsetting the sled. Onix attempts to Tackle Team Rocket, but Koffing counters, and both Pokémon fall to the ground. At that moment, Seymour and the Clefairy appear from Onix's tunnel. The Clefairy use a Metronome that cause an Explosion, which sends Team Rocket blasting off once more. Chips of the Moon Stone drift down from the sky and causes many of the Clefairy evolve into Clefable. Seymour stays with the Clefairy and Clefable, hoping to someday visit outer space with them.
Following the night's events, Ash, Misty, and Brock continue their journey to Cerulean City. Ash notices Gary has left some graffiti on a road sign, calling him a loser. The message infuriates Ash and he speeds down the road.
When they find the sign for the direction to Cerulean City, Misty briefly appears saddened, foreshadowing the events of the next episode.
When Ash commands Butterfree to Whirlwind away the Smog, Brock commands his Zubat to use Double Team, yet it uses Whirlwind as well. This is presumably an error in translating from Japanese where Brock ordered Zubat to "team up" with Butterfree.
When Jessie and James release Koffing and Ekans in Mt. Moon, the button on the Poké Ball is attached to the white half of the Ball instead of the red half.
In the dub, when Ekans dives underground, its Japanese voice can be heard.
While reading the sign pointing to Cerulean City, Ash is missing a glove.
In the very first scene Clefairy is shown in, Brock's belt is colored green.
In the first Italian dub, Paras and Clefable's names are altered into "Parasaur" and "Cleferian" for unknown reasons.
The recap scenes at the beginning edited Nibi Gym to Pewter Gym.
While the narrator's statement was mostly the same in the beginning scene, it skips over the fact that they are heading to Cerulean City in the dub.
Seymour states he was working for the Nibi Museum in the Japanese version. This was not mentioned in the dub.
Seymour talks about romance in the Japanese version, while he recites poetry in the English version.
Seymour's two main virtues are changed from Love and Courage (original) to Knowledge and Research (dub). When he announces the virtues, the Japanese version has them written in the background. The dub erased all of the kanji from the English version.
Ash makes a reference to the Macarena when Pikachu uses charades to speak to him. The original line references the Bon Dance.
In the original version, they stated that the Clefairy were protected by their god, referring to the large Moon Stone. Though the general gist of the dialog remained in the dub, the fact that the Moon Stone was seen by the Clefairy as a deity was not referenced.
"Cerulean City" is translated on the sign directing towards it. Gary's message changes from "Shigeru has arrived! Satoshi's a moron!" to "Gary was here! Ash is a loser!". Also, it had Gary's transparent image superimposed over the sign. It showed him pulling down his eyelid and sticking his tongue out at the same time, a childish Japanese taunting gesture (an akanbe), which was eliminated from the English dub, although the sound effect was still retained.
Differences between the episode and the comic adaptation
Most of the lines about Seymour going to space, specifically Ash and his friends' responses to him, were moved to when they are leaving Mt. Moon in the comic.
The scene where Ash reads Gary's message on the sign leading to Cerulean City retains Gary's faded bii-da facial expression, something that was cut in the English dub of the episode.
The ending narration for the comic (at least the one contained in Nintendo Power) was also changed, where the narrator adds in that to continue Ash's adventure, the reader might try to buy Pokémon Red and Blue. In addition, Misty exclaims "ASH!" offscreen as Ash is racing towards Cerulean City while leaving Brock and Misty in the dust, and Brock's line of "He'll never learn..." is moved to his racing down.