Pallet Party Panic (Japanese: マサラタウン！あらたなるたびだち！Masara Town! Setting Off on a New Journey!) is the 81st episode of the Pokémon anime and the first episode in the Orange Islands arc. It was first broadcast in Japan on January 28, 1999 and in the United States on December 4, 1999.
After battling in the Pokémon League Tournament, Ash and his friends return to Pallet Town for a hero's welcome. Team Rocket, as usual, ruins the party with another bumbling attempt to steal Pikachu. Professor Oak makes a request for Ash, Brock and Misty to go on another journey to bring back a mysterious looking Pokéball for him. On their way, Ash is in for another surprise when his Pidgeotto evolves into a Pidgeot just in time to save the day!
After Ash's Top 16 achievement in the Indigo Plateau Conference, Pallet Town holds a party celebrating his accomplishment at Professor Oak's Laboratory, hosted by Professor Oak himself. Meanwhile, a disguised Team Rocket operates a food stall for the party. When Ash places an order, they decide to sabotage it with extremely hot sauces. Ash takes the food back as Brock and Ash's Pokémon take the first bite, only to suffer from the extreme heat. Misty has Staryu cool them down with its Water Gun. Ash laughs at their sensitivity to the spice, but he takes it back when he experiences the spicy takoyaki.
During the confusion, Team Rocket takes Pikachu and runs back to their stand. As they recite their motto, the stand turns into a modified hot air balloon. Ash and his friends toss the food back at them before Team Rocket attempts to escape, with Pikachu hanging from the bottom. Jessie and Meowth promptly shell the area with bombs, causing panic. Ash has Pidgeotto use Quick Attack, which bursts the balloon. As they descend, Meowth triggers a secondary balloon to stop their fall. Jessie sends out Arbok to shoot down Pidgeotto with Poison Sting.
Furious, Ash decides to send out Charizard, the only Pokémon who is not out of its Poké Ball, to get Pikachu. It appears to disobey him, instead taking notice of the food table nearby. Before Charizard can get anything, Team Rocket continues to bomb the area, destroying the table. Angry, Charizard races after them, deflecting another group of bombs back at the balloon, destroying it, and sending Team Rocket blasting off. Charizard catches Pikachu from his free-fall and flies back before torching Ash and showing off its power to the guests. Meanwhile, Team Rocket lands in a tree. Something pecks at Jessie as Meowth points out a whole flock of Pidgey and Pidgeotto around them. Jessie tries to look beyond some trees, but a whole flock of Spearow led by a Fearow attack her.
Back at Professor Oak's Lab, Oak finishes treating Pidgeotto's wounds. Though Ash feels responsible for putting Pidgeotto at risk, his Pokémon doesn't hold it against him and nudges him. Misty points out how Charizard is the polar opposite of Pidgeotto, but Ash believes he will be able to control Charizard eventually. Oak then asks Ash and his friends to head to Valencia Island in the Orange Archipelago to visit his colleague, Professor Ivy, to pick up a mysterious Poké Ball for her. It cannot be transported and his grandson Gary is currently occupied by a new Pokémon journey. They all agree and depart from Ash's home.
As Ash and his friends head off into a forest, they become suspicious about its silence. Pikachu looks up and alerts the group to a flock of Spearow. They duck just in time, and a Fearow also swoops at them. Ash scans it with his Pokédex and wonders why they are attacking. He then suddenly remembers how he once hit a wild Spearow with a rock, and realizes that this Fearow must be the evolved form of that very same Spearow. The Fearow returns and grabs Ash and Pikachu with its clawed feet before taking off. Ash orders Pikachu to use Thunder Shock, causing the Fearow to drop them into the forest. The pair land in the same tree as Team Rocket. Jessie fills him in on the situation as he notices the Pidgey and Pidgeotto. Misty and Brock catch up to Ash as he plans to help the Pidgey family. Ash decides to get Team Rocket to safety first, and he jumps on the branches, which causes the trio to fall onto the ground. The Spearow and Fearow soon chase Team Rocket away.
Ash tries to get the Pidgey and Pidgeotto to fly away, but they are still hesitant. Ash brings out his own Pidgeotto and has it lead them away. The Flying Pokémon start to soar away when Fearow returns. Ash's Pidgeotto challenges the Fearow, but gets hit by its Tackle and plummets to the ground. Ash catches up it as the Fearow begins to harass the other Pidgey. Pidgeotto struggles to get up, letting out a cry as it evolves into Pidgeot. Ash scans it with his Pokédex as Pidgeot spreads its wings and insists that Ash and Pikachu get on its back. An aerial pursuit unfolds, and Pikachu and Pidgeot attack Fearow multiple times, wearing it down. Ash attempts to catch it, but Fearow swats the Poké Ball away and prepares to attack again, but the Pidgey and Pidgeotto team up with Pidgeot to assault Fearow with multiple attacks. Outnumbered, Fearow flies away.
Back on the ground, as the sun sets, Ash decides to leave Pidgeot with the Pidgey and Pidgeotto flock so it could keep safe. Pidgeot agrees and flies away with the other Pokémon. Ash and his friends then continue their journey to Valencia Island. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is still fleeing from the relentless Spearow.
During the original broadcast and subsequent television airings, Pokémon Theme is the theme song. However, on the DVD, Pokémon World is the theme song.
Although the Who's That Pokémon? segments used random Pokémon in the English dub at this point, Pidgeot plays a major role in this episode. This is one of the few original series episodes following Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden in which the Who's That Pokémon segment features a Pokémon that plays a significant role.
Hideki Sonada's notes for the episode in The Memorial Book of Orange Islands implied that the episode occurred a full year after the events of Pokémon, I Choose You!.
The subtitles for the scene above have Oak saying "she" in regards to Professor Ivy on some media, while the U.S. Netflix subtitles for the episode use Oak's original "he".
Misty then refers to her as a woman in the very next line.
Jessie's gloves disappear when she falls out of the tree.
When Brock and Misty release their Pokémon, stock footage from Volcanic Panic is used. As a result, Brock is seen throwing two Poké Balls and Misty is seen throwing one, when they should have been throwing four and three, respectively.
After the Spearow and Fearow attack Team Rocket, Ash is seen with his right arm over a tree branch. Given his position, his forearm should be visible below the tree branch, but it is missing.
After Ash, Misty, and Brock release their Pokémon, Pidgeotto's feet became the same color as Onix.
When Ash, Misty, and Brock leave, Oak is seen with gray eyebrows.
Right after Staryu sprays Brock and the other Pokémon with water, Brock's belt is colored green.