EP096 : Meowth Rules!
Original series
EP098 : A Way Off Day Off
Tracey Gets Bugged
The Strike Soldier's Pride
First broadcast
Japan May 20, 1999
United States April 1, 2000
English themes
Opening Pokémon World
Japanese themes
Opening ライバル!
Ending タイプ・ワイルド
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Assistant director 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Animation director 梶浦紳一郎 Shin'ichirō Kajiura
Additional credits

Tracey Gets Bugged (Japanese: ストライクせんしのほこり The Strike Soldier's Pride) is the 97th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 20, 1999, and in the United States on April 1, 2000.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Ash and Tracey are thrilled when they reach Murcott Island, an island famous for having tons of bug-type Pokémon. Misty must try and overcome her fear of bugs when the trio finds an injured Scyther in need of treatment. Meanwhile, Team Rocket gets into their own battle with a swarm of Scyther, and they come out of it with a whole new look!


Ash and his friends arrive on Murcott Island. After Ash recalls his Lapras, Tracey calls out his Venonat and Marill. He reveals that the island is famous for housing plenty of Bug types. Due to her fear of Bug Pokémon, Misty initially decides to stay on the beach, but when Ash tells Tracey of her fear and he taunts her by calling her a chicken, she stomps on his foot and changes her mind.

After walking for a short time, the group comes upon a small group of Caterpie. Ash is tempted to catch one, as he has not caught one in a while. However, not wanting him to catch a new one, Misty drags him away from them. Unfortunately, ignoring Tracey, Venonat, and Marill's warnings, Misty encounters a Pinsir just seconds later and, in fear, runs away from it, dragging a bemused Ash right behind her.

Later, the group walks some more, and Tracey's Pokémon eventually spot a badly injured Scyther, nearly passed out from exhaustion. Ash checks his Pokédex as Tracey steps forward to treat it. Scyther wakes up as Tracey tries to use a Potion, subsequently jumping back and assuming a battle position. However, it is too weak to fight, barely able to even stand. Ash throws a Poké Ball in an attempt to catch it, but Scyther swats it away, falling to its knees before struggling back up. Ash attempts to send out Pikachu, but Tracey steps in with his Venonat. Tracey orders a Sleep Powder attack, which puts Scyther to sleep despite its attempt to escape. Tracey tosses a Poké Ball, easily catching Scyther. The kids hurry off to find a Pokémon Center.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is flying over the island in their balloon, surveying the land. A Beedrill flies towards them and cuts through the balloon, bringing it down. Team Rocket gets out of the wreckage and notices all of the Bug Pokémon around before stumbling across a Scyther swarm. The leader, denoted by two cuts forming a cross on its forehead, leads an attack on Team Rocket.

At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy and Chansey work on Scyther. Ash, Misty, and Tracey watch through the window as Scyther glares at Tracey (which Misty points out to the group), furious at being caught. Chansey brings Scyther out of the room and takes it to recovery. Joy concludes that it lost its swarm leadership position from battling a younger Scyther challenger. The loss forced it to leave the swarm and live in exile unless it wins another leadership match. Ash calls Professor Oak, who congratulates Tracey on his capture. However, Tracey doesn't feel as happy about it since Scyther isn't happy, either. Oak points out that Scyther's self-esteem is probably low due to losing its leadership and being caught by Tracey soon after. He suggests that Tracey improve Scyther's mood and get it back in shape.

After outrunning the Scyther swarm, Meowth and James notify Jessie that her hair was crudely cut short. After checking it with her compact, she is outraged and declares her intent to confront the Scyther responsible. Meowth stops her and plans a method to capture the entire swarm. James also warns her if she gets exposed to their attacks, she could end up with a crew cut, much to Jessie's horror. Meanwhile, Tracey tries to help Scyther recover, but it is resistant. Ash remembers Scyther's love of battling and advises Tracey to help Scyther prepare for a rematch.

Team Rocket watches the Scyther swarm as they rest by a pond. Jessie fires a bazooka loaded with yellow glue into the air, which immobilizes the swarm, before Meowth nets them all. Scyther hears their cries and flies out of the Center, but it crashes back to the earth, still weak. Tracey tries to stop Scyther, but it resists and flies away again. Tracey and his friends follow.

Tracey's Scyther finds the trapped swarm and cuts them loose before confronting Team Rocket. Ash and the others arrive, noticing Jessie's hair and quickly making fun of her. Furious, Jessie brings out Arbok and Lickitung, while James brings out Weezing and Victreebel. Ash sends out Pikachu as Weezing uses Smokescreen to cover the field. Scyther blows it away with Swords Dance, but it is still exhausted. This makes Team Rocket deduce that Scyther is an older Pokémon, and they make fun of it due to its age. Scyther replies to their taunts, and Meowth translates that it came back not to challenge the leader but to protect its brethren. Team Rocket's Pokémon outnumber Scyther four to one and Pikachu tries to step in, but Scyther wards him away. Ash tries to order Pikachu in, but Tracey stops him, saying Scyther needs to prove itself.

Meowth even joins the Pokémon to attack, leading the charge, but Scyther easily swats him away. Lickitung and Victreebel try to hit Scyther, but it flies up, and Victreebel bites Lickitung. Arbok attacks from underneath Scyther, but Scyther uses Double Team to throw Arbok off, sending it back to the ground. Scyther lands and tries to rest as Victreebel starts to attack with Razor Leaf. However, Tracey alerts Scyther to Victreebel's manuever, and Scyther stops the attack with its scythes. Ash and Misty, impressed with Tracey's battling skills, ask him how he knew that Victreebel would use the move, to which Tracey replies that he noticed due to the way that Victreebel was moving, a skill that he had picked up from being a Pokémon Watcher. Arbok attacks with Poison Sting, but Scyther dodges. Low on stamina, Scyther collapses and is unable to dodge a second Poison Sting. The new leader steps forward and teams up with Tracey's Scyther. The leader launches Tracey's Scyther at Team Rocket's Pokémon, enabling it to attack them with Cut, defeating them all in one fell swoop. Angry and desperate, Jessie tries to fire a bazooka, but Pikachu stops her with Thunderbolt. Scyther attacks Team Rocket and leaves them with mohawks, causing them to retreat.

The Scyther swarm washes off the glue as the new leader and Tracey's Scyther give their respect to each other. The swarm departs as Scyther regains its confidence, finally joining Tracey, who recalls it to its Ball. As he officially announces his catch, Ash tries to correct his style so it could resemble how Ash celebrates his catches, much to Misty and Pikachu's annoyance and Togepi's amusement.

Major events

Tracey after catching Scyther
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Pinsir (US and international), Tracey's Scyther (Japan)


  • Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture: Ekans: Oak discusses Ekans's ability to sense temperature and swallow prey ten times its own size whole. Oak tries to feed an Ekans some Pokémon food, but gets swallowed whole.
    • Pokémon senryū summary: Swallowing something whole, its belly gets full: Ekans.
  • Tracey's catch of Scyther marks the first and only time that he is seen catching a Pokémon in the anime.
  • When Tracey caught Scyther, he grabbed the Poké Ball as soon as Scyther was inside. The Ball never shook as it did with nearly every other catch before and afterwards. This also happened with the captures of Ash's Charmander and Brock's Vulpix, and would later happen with the capture of Ash's Heracross.
  • Tracey's battle with Team Rocket marks the first time that he is seen battling onscreen.
  • Ash decided to catch a Caterpie in this episode but was quickly dragged off by Misty, which was the only time in which he wanted to catch a Pokémon from the same species that he had previously successfully caught.
    • Ash says, "I haven't caught a Caterpie in a long time." This marks the first time Ash's Butterfree was mentioned, albeit indirectly, since its release 76 episodes prior.
  • In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
  • This episode was partially adapted into the book Scyther, Heart of a Champion.


Scyther's wing error
  • The blurb for this episode formats Bug-type as bug-type.
  • When Tracey asks if Misty is coming with him and Ash, part of her arms turns the same color as her shirt.
  • When Misty steps on Tracey, Tracey's shoes are colored black instead of blue.
  • When Tracey explains how well Venonat and Marill work as a team, Misty comments, "At least they're not Bug types". This is untrue in the sense that Venonat is indeed a Bug type.
  • In the Pokédex picture of Scyther, it shows that it has a third wing on its right side when it should be just two on each side. This made Scyther have a total of five wings.
  • When Ash throws a Poké Ball to catch Scyther, his bag is missing.
  • When Ash is about to fight Scyther, he asks Pikachu. Pikachu seems as if he is going to attack without Ash telling him what attack to use, before Tracey interrupts.
  • When Ash orders Pikachu to help Scyther, his mouth is miscolored pink.
  • When Lickitung runs into Victreebel, its eyebrows are colored yellow instead of pink.
  • When Tracey recalls Scyther, the ring around the button on the Poké Ball is missing.
  • In the English dub, Jessie tells Arbok to use "Poison Needle" rather than Poison Sting. "Poison Needle" is actually the translation of どくばり, the Japanese name of Poison Sting.

Dub edits

  • Pikachu's Jukebox: Together Forever
  • In the Polish dub, when Victreebel is going to use Razor Leaf on Scyther, Tracey orders Scyther to use its sharp scythes to defend rather than informing about the incoming attack.
  • In the English dub, Tracey tells Scyther to use Slash against Team Rocket's Pokémon, while in the original Japanese version, he tells it to use Cut.

In other languages

EP096 : Meowth Rules!
Original series
EP098 : A Way Off Day Off
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.