Malice In Wonderland! (Japanese: ムウマージ！悪夢からの脱出！！Mumargi! Escape from a Nightmare!!) is the 43rd episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 509th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 16, 2007 and in the United States on December 29, 2007.
An old gate leads Ash and the gang to a Pokémon Center where all their dreams come true! Brock is surrounded by adoring Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys, Ash is invited to a tournament of the world's greatest Trainers, and Dawn is asked to compete in a Contest of the world's best Coordinators! Even Team Rocket, lost outside in the fog, manages to find a free all-you-can-eat restaurant! Everything's perfect until Croagunk uses Poison Jab on Brock, and Brock wakes up to discover it was all a dream.
It's no ordinary dream, either: everyone was hypnotized by Mismagius and fell asleep in a field. But before Brock can do anything, Mismagius appears and hypnotizes him once more. This time, he knows it's an illusion and reveals the truth to Ash and Dawn. Then Mismagius appears and blocks their way with a phantom Rayquaza to prevent them from escaping the dream!
Piplup, Croagunk, and Pikachu attempt to battle the Rayquaza. It's tough at first, but even Pokémon dreams can come true in this world, so our heroes' three Pokémon grow to giant size and defeat it. Ash and his friends explain to the puzzled Mismagius that they don't want its illusions, however pleasant those illusions may be. And once they pass through the old gate again, they're able to wake up back in reality. As for Team Rocket, still dreaming in the fields—well, they'll be sure to wake up by the next episode!
Ash and his friends continue to head to Hearthome City. As they walk through the night trying to find the Pokémon Center, Brock's map leads them to a gate. Suddenly, heavy rain begins to fall and the group runs under the gate. Ash wants to hold under the gate, but Brock points out that the Pokémon Center is behind the gate, where it is not raining at all. They cross through the high grass and fog sets in. Suddenly, Ash spots eyes in the distance as a flock of Crobat chases them. They feel like they are lost, but nearby rustling gets their attention as a bright purple aura flashes. The fog suddenly clears and Dawn spots the Pokémon Center.
Inside, Brock is attracted to Nurse Joy as usual. Shockingly, this Nurse Joy has wanted to meet him, revealing a mutual attraction, flattering Brock and completely shocking Ash, Dawn, and Pikachu. Officer Jenny is there as well attracted to Brock in the same magnitude. Brock does not believe it and asks Pikachu to hit him with Thunderbolt. Pikachu does and Brock knows it's real. Professor Oak and Johanna show up and invite Ash and Dawn to compete in the world's greatest Trainer and Coordinator playoffs, which both accept. Meanwhile, Team Rocket wander through the fog brush and encounter the same purple flash. The fog clears and they find a restaurant, where they get free food.
The next morning, Ash and Dawn head to the great stadium where they will compete. Inside, they find a huge crowd watching a Rayquaza and Groudonbattle. Rayquaza hits Groudon with Ice Beam and freezes it, but it breaks free. Dawn points out Rayquaza's Trainer, Cynthia. Rayquaza uses Twister, but Groudon's Hyper Beam negates it. Rayquaza fires its own Hyper Beam and knocks out Groudon. Professor Oak points out that she will be Ash's opponent due to his past victories. Johanna tells Dawn that she will be competing in the final round, handing her a Piplup costume. Meanwhile, Team Rocket continue to eat at the restaurant. A TV producer from Jubilife asks Jessie to star in his reality show, acknowledging her acting abilities, which she agrees. Meanwhile, James finds a very rare bottle cap. Giovanni shows up and tosses away his Persian, wanting Meowth on his lap. Meowth leaps into Giovanni's arms.
The playoff matches commence, as Dawn is shocked at finding out that she will be dueling against her mother. Ash prepares to face off against Cynthia's Rayquaza with his Pikachu. The Contest Battle starts with Dawn's Piplup and Johanna's Feebas. Feebas suddenly evolves into Milotic and cuts Dawn's points in half. Meanwhile, many Nurse Joys and Officer Jennies swarm Brock. Suddenly, their faces turn into Croagunk as they attack him with multiple Poison Jabs.
Brock suddenly wakes up, noticing that he and his friends are in a field, Croagunk standing over him. He finds Ash and Dawn dreaming and notices a Mismagius nearby, realizing that the purple light must have been Hypnosis. Mismagius casts another Hypnosis on Brock and Croagunk, sending them back. Brock finds himself back in the illusion as a stampede of Joys and Jennies rush him. Brock knows that it is an illusion and recalls Croagunk before rushing into the stadium. Meanwhile, Jessie performs her part in the show; James finds a bunch of priceless bottle caps while Meowth gets comfortable on Giovanni's lap.
Back at the stadium, Dawn's Piplup fires Whirlpool at Milotic, knocking it out and giving Dawn the title of world's greatest Coordinator. Ash's Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to knock out Rayquaza and claim the world's greatest Trainer title. Ash and Dawn congratulate each other as Oak and Johanna present Ash and Dawn their prizes: a complete set of GymBadges and ContestRibbons. Brock rushes in and breaks the news to Ash and Dawn that the world is an illusion. The announcer nearby turns into Mismagius as Dawn checks her Pokédex. Ash and his friends look around noticing that everyone has disappeared, the Badges and Ribbons rusting and disappearing into dust.
Mismagius laughs at the prank as Ash and his friends try to flee the stadium. The halls leading out of the stadium simply lead back into the stadium, preventing escape. Rayquaza comes out of the ground and Mismagius merges with it. It fires Hyper Beam and chases the group. Meanwhile, Jessie's acting piece turns sour when Wobbuffet takes the gentleman's place; James's bottlecaps turn into milk tabs and Giovanni strangles Meowth, ordering it to evolve. Team Rocket reunites as Ash and his friends continue to run. Rayquaza's Hyper Beam sends Team Rocket blasting off, but they land in front of Groudon, firing a Solar Beam to send them off. They land in front of Milotic, using Hydro Pump to send them off, before landing in front of several Persian, using Hyper Beam. Team Rocket continues to blast off while Ash and his friends find the gate that they entered before.
Rayquaza blocks their path and they prepare the battle. Piplup and Croagunk team up with Pikachu, firing Thunderbolt, Bubble Beam and Poison Sting. The attacks hit but Rayquaza resists and fires Twister. The trio attacks again with Iron Tail, Whirlpool and Brick Break, but the attacks do nothing. Pikachu, Croagunk and Piplup suddenly become giants, overpowering the Rayquaza with specialty Volt Tackle, Peck and Poison Jab attacks. Rayquaza fades away and leaves Mismagius knocked out. The Pokémon return to normal size as they prepare to go back to reality. Suddenly, Badges and Ribbons rain down, forming a huge pile as Ash and Dawn check them out. Brock also has a group of Joys and Jennies by him, as Mismagius wants them to have it. They pass it up, realizing that they need to make their goals become reality and wanting the thrill of adventure.
Ash and his friends run through the gate and wake up back in the real world, as sunrise occurs. They wind up in front of a Pokémon Center, a real Nurse Joy coming up to them. Joy points out that Mismagius lurk around and pull pranks on Trainers. Ash and Dawn look forward to their upcoming goals while Brock moves on Nurse Joy, with Croagunk stopping him as usual. Meanwhile, Team Rocket continues to suffer in the nightmare.
This episode holds the record for the most number of times Team Rocket has blasted off. It was shown eight times onscreen in quick succession, and they continued to blast off multiple times off-screen.
After receiving the case of Badges from Professor Oak in his fantasy, Ash says he has all of the Badges. However, all of the Badges that existed at the time of this episode are not all present in the case — the extra Badges seen in Bad to the Bone are missing.