Pokémon Emergency! (Japanese: たいけつ！ポケモンセンター！Showdown! Pokémon Center!) is the second episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 8, 1997 and in the United States on September 9, 1998.
Ash rushes into Viridian City with his gravely wounded Pikachu. The city's on high alert for Pokémon thieves-thieves like Jessie, James, and Meowth of Team Rocket, a group of bad guys dedicated to stealing valuable Pokémon.
While Ash waits at the Pokémon Center for news on Pikachu's condition, Misty arrives, angry about the bike Ash wrecked-but she softens when she sees Pikachu wheeled out on a stretcher.
Team Rocket crashes through the roof of the Pokémon Center. While Nurse Joy transports Poké Balls to Pewter City for safety, Ash tries to fight off Team Rocket's Pokémon, Koffing and Ekans. Ash is having no luck battling, so his Pikachu, still recovering, teams up with a bunch of other Pikachu at the Pokémon Center to blast Team Rocket out of the building!
Having discovered that Ash's Pikachu is not your ordinary Pikachu, Jessie, James, and Meowth make it their mission to capture it.
With the bad guys expelled, Misty joins Ash and Pikachu on their journey to Pewter City. While strolling through Viridian Forest, a Caterpie makes an appearance. Ash sees an opportunity for his first Pokémon capture. Will he be successful?
At that moment, an alarm in the Pokémon Center sounds and a villainous group named Team Rocket invade the building. Their Poké Balls break a skylight, and Koffing fills the air with smoke. Team Rocket recite their motto and destroy the Center's electrical system in a scheme to steal the Pokémon inside. Nurse Joy, Misty, and Ash retreat to a locked storage room with Pikachu, who is still in its stretcher. The power initially cuts out, though the backup system, Pika-Power, activates. Nurse Joy begins transporting as many Pokémon as she can to Pewter City's Pokémon Center. Suddenly, Koffing breaks through the doors. At Misty's insistence, Ash tries and fails to fend off Ekans and Koffing with a Pidgey, an empty Poké Ball, and Rattata. Misty calls on her Goldeen to help, though without water, it flails helplessly before being recalled.
In a hurry with Pikachu's stretcher, Ash hits Misty's bicycle, causing Pikachu to wake up. The other Pikachu at the Pokémon Center surround Ash's Pikachu, healing him as well as delivering a powerful electric shock to Team Rocket. Ash hops onto Misty's singed bike, and Pikachu absorbs the pedal-powered bicycle light's charge to hit Team Rocket with a powerful Thunder Shock. The attack mixes with Koffing's gas, resulting in a colossal explosion that destroys much of the Pokémon Center.
Team Rocket escapes and declares their mission to capture Ash's not-so-ordinary Pikachu for their boss. Flying debris then punctures their Meowth-shaped balloon, and the trio blasts off. The next day, Ash, Pikachu, and Misty venture into Viridian Forest, with Misty having decided to follow Ash until he replaces her destroyed bicycle. Then, Ash spots a Caterpie, much to Misty's disgust, and prepares to catch it.
This is currently the only episode in which any of Ash's male relatives are mentioned. Delia mentions that it took his father four days to reach Viridian City from Pallet Town and that Ash is the "apple" of his eye. She also mentions Ash's grandfather in the Japanese version.
The Pidgey in the clock is green, instead of its normal color. Though some may consider this to be alternate coloration, this is not how the "Shiny" Pidgey appears in the games. This could just be a coloring error, considering this, after all, was only the second episode of the series just like how there was a green Poké Ball in the very first episode.
This is the second appearance of a clock with a Pidgey Cuckoo. The first was inside a Voltorb clock Ash had in the previous episode. Both are also destroyed in some way (Ash's Voltorb clock is smashed when thrown in Ash's sleep, the Pokémon Center's clock is destroyed when the Center blows up). Another Pidgey cuckoo clock would also appear 18 episodes later.
This episode was modified after the EP038 seizure incident. Originally, the scene where Pikachu uses Thunder Shock on Team Rocket was a sequence of rapidly flashing images of each Team Rocket member. This was changed to a four-square grid to reduce the flashing effect. This change affected all home releases and re-broadcasts in Japan, and all international versions of the episode.
Several scenes from the episode, including Misty's attempt at distracting Team Rocket was shown on the VHS A Sneak Peek at Pokémon.
The Turkish dub of the episode doesn't translate the episode title, nor recite it in Turkish to the audience.
When the narrator is recapping the previous episode, he incorrectly says "Spearows." The plural of a Pokémon is the same as the singular.
On the wanted poster, James is shown holding a lilac rose, although normally he holds a red rose.
However, this could just be due to the show being in its very early stages and some things not yet set in stone.
When Nurse Joy is putting Pikachu on the bed in the Pokémon Center, Pikachu's tail is shown purely yellow, without the brown start.
Arcanine is not a legendary Pokémon; however, it was shown on the wall with the legendary birds. This is likely due to Arcanine's category, which classifies it as a "Legendary Pokémon" (like Pikachu is a "Mouse Pokémon").
When Professor Oak was about to call the Viridian City Pokémon Center, Ash is on the far side of the curved desk shown there. Then he goes around to it in order to answer it and has the desk directly to his left but when Professor Oak talks to Ash, the desk layout has changed entirely. And later when Officer Jenny announce that there is a balloon with thieves which they are trying to steal Pokémon, the desks have changed again.
When Ash sends out the Pidgey from its Poké Ball, its eyes are yellow instead of the normal black and white.
The first two times James is shown in the doorway of the Poké Ball room, his left hand is colored like his skin instead of black.
Misty says that a water Pokémon can't battle on land and although that is true for Goldeen, she owns two - Staryu and Starmie - that are water types and are perfectly capable of battling on land.
While the recap uses the same dialog in the Japanese version, for some reason the dub changes Ash's introductory line:
Original: "And I hereby declare to the Pokémon of the world...I will be a Pokémon master...Pokémon Master! That is what I'll..."
Flashback: "That's right. I declare to the Pokémon of the world...I will be the greatest Pokémon Trainer...the greatest Pokémon master...of all time."
In the Japanese version, Delia says that Ash's grandfather would be proud of him as well as his father.
In addition, Delia's attempting to discern whether Ash was wearing clean underwear was originally a request that he brush teeth every morning.
Ash's comment that had Oak realizing he had the wrong camera activated was changed between the two versions: In the original, Ash asked if there was Ramen cooking in the background. In the dub, he commented that he didn't recognize the back of Oak's head.
Professor Oak abruptly ending his telephone conversation with Ash is different in both versions: in the English version, Oak says that his pizza just arrived, while in the Japanese version, Oak realizes that his ramen is overcooking.
On that same note, the English version included a doorbell sound-effect that wasn't present in the original version.
Misty introduces herself to Ash, Team Rocket, and the audience during the Pokémon Center battle in the Japanese version, while Nurse Joy reveals Misty's name to the audience at the end of the English version. The name is also mentioned at narrator's conclusion.
In the Japanese version, Ash's mom says that a black hen lays white eggs and a Pidgey lays Spearow eggs. In the games, it would later become possible for a Pidgey to produce a Spearow Egg and vice versa, as both species are in the FlyingEgg Group.
When Cartoon Network would rerun the first dub season, most episodes would cut the "TO BE CONTINUED" screen. This was one of the few episodes in which Cartoon Network would leave the "TO BE CONTINUED" screen intact, most likely due to the narrator talking over it.
The exchange between Delia and Ash cut out their respective references to Ash "soaring like a Spearow" and "a fallen Pidgey", thus making it seem as though Delia's outburst was in reference to Ash's retort of being the apple in his eye being that of a "rotten apple."
The scene where Ash receives a call from Professor Oak and sees that Oak has the back camera on by mistake was cut.
Professor Oak's bet with Gary was changed: In the comic, he mentioned that he would have "eaten his own hat" if he discovered Ash didn't catch a single Pokémon, with Ash asking if it was a cowboy hat when implying Gary won the bet, with Oak privately and glumly admitting that it was indeed a ten-gallon cowboy hat. In the actual episode, he mentioned he would have given Gary a million dollars for the same bet. Ash then made a comment that implied that Gary won the bet, with Oak then glumly deciding he really shouldn't have bothered making the bet at all.