You Never Can Taillow (Japanese: スバメがいっぱい 危険がいっぱい！トウカの森でゲットだぜ！！A Lot of Subame! A Lot of Danger! Capture in Touka Woods!!) is the fourth episode of the Advanced Generation series and the 278th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 12, 2002 and in the United States on November 22, 2003.
Ash, May and May's little brother Max are now en route to Rustboro City—and they're hungry! No one remembered to pack lunch. As they fight over one remaining cookie, Ash remembers how nice it was to have Brock cooking for him and Misty. He's quickly brought back to reality when a Taillow takes off with the cookie. The gang follows Taillow to a grove filled with apple trees. Ash and May eagerly shake the trees, hoping to make the apples drop to the ground. Instead of apples, Ash and May shake loose an angry flock of territorial Taillow. There's too many for Ash, Max, and May to handle alone. Out of nowhere, Brock appears and saves the day with his Forretress—and his incredible soup! They manage to defeat and feed all of the Taillow except the one who took the cookie. Taillow are naturally resilient, but this particular one is especially tough. Ash can't seem to defeat it, so instead he decides to catch it.
While walking in the Petalburg Woods, May complains that she is hungry while Max complains that he hasn't seen a new Pokémon yet. The two start to bicker about what to do next, pulling Ash in two directions until he and Pikachu yell for them to stop. Ash decides they'll take a quick lunch break and then decide which way to go, but they find that none of them have brought lunch with them. Ash apologizes, then wishes Brock was there, telling May and Max about him, especially how good a cook he is. Max gets his emergency stash, a pack of chocolate cookies, out of his backpack. After a small argument, they agree to share one cookie, when suddenly a Taillow swoops in and snatches it. They chase the Taillow, with May incensed over the food theft and Max excited that he finally found a Pokémon. The Taillow soon eats the chocolate, and Max asks if he liked it.
Pikachu discovers that they are in a grove of fruit trees. Ash tells Pikachu to shock down some fruit; however, numerous Taillow appear and snatch it up before it hits the ground. Then more Taillow appear and surround the group, looking angry. Ash wonders if it's because they're in the Taillow's territory. Ash orders Pikachu to Thunderbolt them; the Taillow are knocked down, but recover quickly. A second Thunderbolt is also shaken off. Jessie, James and Meowth watching from the bushes, are impressed with the Taillow's resilience. They speculate that catching Pikachu would be easy if the fierce Taillow were on their side. Meanwhile, Pikachu continues to shock the Taillow, hitting one that May spots as the leader. Max notes that the chocolate on its beak marks it as the cookie thief. The Taillow shrugs off Pikachu's attack and leads the others in a mass attack on our heroes. They prepare to be hit hard when a figure appears, throwing a Poké Ball and commanding Forretress to use Explosion. It is Brock to the rescue.
Introductions are made, and then Brock offers the others rice balls only to discover they have been stolen from his backpack. He offers to cook up some stew instead. A little way off, Team Rocket makes use of the Taillow, bribing them with the stolen rice balls to capture Pikachu. Meanwhile, the chocolate-beaked Taillow shows up to challenge Pikachu, and Ash enthusiastically agrees. They battle over the stream, but the Taillow, despite taking several Thunderbolts and a massive Thunder attack, refuses to back down. Brock tells Ash to stop the fight by catching it. Ash throws a Poké Ball and catches Taillow. Ash calls his new Taillow out, Brock spritzes it with medicine and Ash wipes the chocolate off its beak with Misty's handkerchief while Ash, Pikachu and Taillow do a victory pose.
Team Rocket then makes their appearance, ordering the Taillow to attack, but Brock's cooking alarm goes off, announcing the stew is ready. Brock offers to share with the hungry Taillow flock, who loses interest in fighting. Team Rocket mourns the failure of their plan, but goes to attack anyway, figuring Pikachu will be weak with hunger. However, they get blasted off, as Ash informs them that Pikachu ate Brock's Pokémon food already. Taillow says goodbye to its flock, as our heroes continue their journey, now joined by Brock and Taillow.
Taillow being caught
Brock returns, with May and Max meeting him for the first time.