Ash and his friends continue toward Nimbasa City, site of Ash’s next Gym Battle. On the way, the gang comes across a confident Trainer named Stephan, who challenges Ash to battle his Blitzle. Ash intends to start the match with Pikachu, but Oshawott wants to lead the battle instead! Ash agrees, but as the battle gets under way, Oshawott’s scalchop gets knocked off its belly and flies into a dense part of the forest.
Ash calls off the battle until the next day so he and Oshawott can find the scalchop. After coming up empty-handed, they try to improvise a scalchop substitute...without much luck. Cilan even asks Dwebble to carve a shield out of rock, but it’s too heavy for Oshawott to handle. So it’s time for some special training!
Ash and Pikachu work with Oshawott all night long. The training pays off, as Oshawott’s speed and strength have greatly improved. When the battle resumes the next day, we find that Blitzle and Oshawott have both become much stronger! But at the end of the battle, it’s Oshawott who prevails, giving the victory to Ash! Then, Axew happens to find Oshawott’s lost scalchop, much to everyone’s delight.
It’s been a long day for Oshawott, and the exhausted Pokémon falls into a deep sleep. Our heroes marvel at how circumstances can turn difficulty into opportunity—especially with dedicated support from a Trainer like Ash!
Ash is introduced to a Trainer named Stephan, who states that despite starting his journey, he is motivated in his abilities as a Trainer and challenges Ash to a battle. Ash confidently accepts Stephan's challenge, pronouncing his name incorrectly. Stephan brushes off this error, and sends out his Blitzle. Ash scans Blitzle with his Pokédex and had decided to use Pikachu, but Oshawott lets himself out of his Poké Ball and begs Ash to let him battle instead. Ash is initially concerned at the type disadvantage, but Oshawott ensures him that he'll be alright with his scalchop to which Ash agrees and lets Oshawott battle.
Surprised at Ash's choice in Pokémon, Stephan thinks Ash isn't taking him seriously and orders Blitzle to use Shock Wave. Oshawott manages to deflect it with his scalchop, catching Blitzle and Stephan off guard but coming as no surprise to Cilan and Iris. Stephan then decides to use a direct attack and has Blitzle use Flame Charge, which Oshawott tries to counter with Aqua Jet, but still isn't able to aim properly. Blitzle stops and watches in awe as Oshawott flies straight into a boulder. Ash states his disappointment in Oshawott as Stephan and Blitzle stand by, clearly confused at Oshawott's strange Aqua Jet. Once recovered, Oshawott uses Razor Shell, which Blitzle counters with Double Kick, and ends up sending Oshawott's scalchop flying off into the distance. Horrified, Oshawott runs after it as fast as he could. Ash demands a time out while he goes to find Oshawott's scalchop, and Cilan claims that it's fair that Oshawott fled the battle considering the scalchop is theoretically part of its body. Frustrated, Stephan shouts that he doesn't have time to wait for Ash to find it, and Cilan suggests that Stephan go about his business and that he and Ash could pick up the battle the following day. Stephan takes Cilan's advice and informs them that he would be camping nearby awaiting a rematch.
Troubled, Oshawott searches the grassy fields at the foot of a mountain for his scalchop when he notices a twinkle in the corner of his eye. Joyfully, he runs over to the sparkle, but it turns out to be merely a bottle cap. He angrily throws it on the ground just as Ash and Pikachu catch up to him. He offers to help Oshawott search for his scalchop, which makes the Sea Otter Pokémon very happy. As the three of them search, Ash notices something sparkling in some tall grass and points it out to Oshawott, who goes off to fetch it. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a wild Joltik that isn't happy that Oshawott picked it up, and zaps him. Ash has Pikachu knock it off Oshawott with Iron Tail and then scans the Attaching Pokémon with his Pokédex before it retreats back into the grass. Oshawott becomes saddened that they have yet to find his scalchop, but Ash reassures him that they won't stop looking until they find his scalchop.
Cilan and Iris finally catch up to them, and Ash asks what the situation with Stephan is, which Iris responds that he would have a rematch the next day. Cilan becomes concerned on the condition of the battle if Oshawott isn't able to find his scalchop in time, so Iris vows to help Oshawott out and runs toward some trees. She then calls him over and offers an Iapapa Berry to him as a substitute scalchop. Cilan chuckles at the resemblance the Iapapa Berry had to a scalchop, and Oshawott agrees to test it out against Pikachu. Unfortunately it isn't strong enough and ends up being roasted by Thunderbolt. Despite being disappointed that her plan had failed, Iris, Cilan, and Axew take a bite of the cooked Iapapa Berry and are surprised that it is delicious once electrocuted. Ash tells them to be more serious in this time of crisis, so Cilan offers to let Oshawott use his food cloche as a substitute. This too fails as the cloche is metal and actually conducts the Thunderbolt. Cilan begins sobbing over his now scorched cloche, but copes with it quickly and calls out his Dwebble. He then asks Dwebble to carve Oshawott a scalchop out of stone for him, and Dwebble immediately gets to work, much to Oshawott's joy.
Dwebble makes quick work out of a boulder, but the new scalchop ends up being as tall as Oshawott himself. Oshawott is willing to give it a try, so they try it out against Pikachu's Thunderbolt. However, it turns out that Oshawott can barely even pick up the scalchop, but it does manage to defend him from Thunderbolt. But he quickly becomes worn out from holding it and falls over, causing the rock to crush him and knock him out. They decide to give Oshawott a break, and Ash states that nothing but his own scalchop will work with Oshawott despite all their efforts. Iris remarks that maybe Oshawott is too dependent on his scalchop, which hurts Oshawott's feelings. Ash sides with Oshawott, saying that his scalchop is his most precious possession. Cilan then suggests that Ash try to enhance Oshawott's offense rather than his defense, using the adage: The best defense is a good offense. Iris adds that in order to accomplish this, Ash should increase Oshawott's speed. Ash is concerned he won't have enough time to accomplish this task and decides to continue training using the rock scalchop. Oshawott still isn't sure in its abilities, and Iris and Cilan sympathize with him.
Ash and Oshawott then spend the day training together, carrying boulders up hills, performing push-ups, sit-ups, and practicing holding up the rock scalchop. Despite being knocked down multiple times, Oshawott continues to get back up and try his hardest. That evening, Oshawott is taking a break by a small pond, and envisions himself battling against Blitzle without his scalchop. Terrified of being shocked, he breaks out of this vision, and then mistakes the reflection of the moon against the water as his scalchop, and becomes depressed over its loss. He then remembers the inspiration Ash gave him, and he decides to do some private training. Ash and Pikachu are then seen looking for Oshawott, when Pikachu hears something. He leads Ash to a clearing where they see Oshawott training and they decide to join him. They train into the wee hours of the night, until Oshawott finally manages to carry his stone scalchop on his own.
The next day they anxiously wait for Stephan where they met him yesterday. However after waiting for a while, they decide to go look for him. They eventually find Stephan's camping spot where he is riding on what looks like an exercise bike with lightning rods on it. As Stephan pedals faster, the machine charges electricity which is then absorbed by his Blitzle. He stepped off the machine and tells Ash he was just finishing his and Blitzle's morning training and that he was about to go looking for them. He then explains that he uses the machine to make sure Blitzle is in perfect form before their day begins. With their morning schedule complete, he challenges Ash to another battle.
Blitzle starts off using Shock Wave which Oshawott manages to deflect with his stone scalchop. Stephan then orders Blitzle to use Shock Wave again, but this time with full power. A powerful bolt of lightning struck the scalchop, and causes it to crack. Blitzle then charges towards Oshawott and used Double Kick, shattering the stone scalchop into pieces. Blitzle then launches another Shock Wave, and Oshawott tries to defend itself with a piece of the broken scalchop, but his attempt is futile and he is still shocked. With some quick thinking, Ash remembers Cilan's advice from the day before about boosting Oshawott's offense, so he orders Oshawott to use Tackle. Blitzle counters with Shock Wave, but Oshawott quickly dashes towards the Electrified Pokémon, and manages to evade its attacks and land a hit on it. Oshawott takes a moment in astonishment at his new found speed, and Cilan discovers that by training with the heavy stone scalchop, Oshawott managed to increase his speed and power after all. Oshawott continues with numerous Tackle attacks, and Blitzle tries to counterattack with Double Kick, but Oshawott easily avoids it. Stephan then has Blitzle use Flame Charge repeatedly, which allows it to catch up to Oshawott. It then corners Oshawott against a tree, and Stephan orders it to finish off Oshawott with Flame Charge. Desperate, Ash commands Oshawott to use Aqua Jet, but he still flies off target. To make up for this, Blitzle followed close behind Oshawott and the two end up colliding and crash into a large boulder, sending both Pokémon flying and landing in front of their respective Trainers. Blitzle is instantly knocked out, but Oshawott manages to get back on his feet, winning Ash the battle.
Ash picks up Oshawott and congratulates him on overcoming his disability as Stephan recalls his Blitzle and thanks it for its effort. Stephan then approaches Ash and congratulates him on his victory and vows to battle him again some day, and the two shake on it, forming a new friendship. Axew suddenly appears from the forest holding Oshawott's scalchop. Oshawott jumps down from Ash's arms and receives his scalchop from Axew. Exhausted and relieved, Oshawott collapses into Ash's arms and falls asleep, holding on tightly to his scalchop, ending the episode.