Ash polishes his Badges as he and Misty wait for Brock to finish cooking. Pikachu sees what appears to feather dusters in the bushes, and this soon catches everyone's attention. Togepi goes towards the bushes and three Murkrow emerge. Ash looks them up on his Pokédex. The Murkrow distract the group by dancing and singing, and then steal Ash's Badges before flying up onto a branch. Ash sends out Noctowl, who knocks the Murkrow out of the tree. Ash runs towards the Murkrow, but the Murkrow fight back by kicking mud into Ash's face, and then fly off. Noctowl follows them, but the Murkrow all attack at once and knocks it out. Brock uses his Golbat's Supersonic to track the Murkrow, and it soon locates the thieving trio. Brock notices that the Murkrow are shining the Badges at the sun, and suggests they simply like them because of their shiny nature. In any case, Ash goes over asks them for the Badges, but they fly off. Golbat tries to follow, but it gets knocked out. Pikachu knocks out the Murkrow all at once with a Thunder Shock, causing them to fall to the ground. Ash and Pikachu move to get the Badges back, but Pikachu is snatched by Team Rocket's claw.
As Team Rocket begins to float away in their balloon, the Murkrow perch inside it. Unable to get Jessie's earring and Meowth's golden kobana, one of the Murkrow pops the balloon. Team Rocket plummets to the ground, and a caged Pikachu lands near Ash. Team Rocket emerge from the crash unscathed. James then reaches into his pockets and soon sees the Murkrow with several of his prized bottle caps. He is furious and demands that his bottle caps be returned. James rushes forward, only to trip on a tree root and be laughed at by the Murkrow. Ash releases Pikachu from his cage, and soon chases after the Murkrow, and James follows suit. The Murkrow land on a cliff ledge, thinking they are safe from being caught. James, however, rushes onto the scene with a bazooka and shoots a net at them. Unfortunately, when Team Rocket tug on the rope connected to the net, they pull a large boulder instead. The large weight difference flings Team Rocket away.
Ash remains set on getting back his Fog Badge because of the work he and his Pokémon put into obtaining them. He uses his Bulbasaur's Vine Whip to climb up to the Murkrow. He soon spots the Murkrow gazing at their glittering finds and decides a sneak attack will be the best approach. Ash manages to crawl over and grab back his Fog Badge. In his excitement he shouts, and the Murkrow immediately go on the attack and knock him down the hill. The group come up with another, Misty and Ash will distract the Murkrow with shiny objects while Brock and Pineco retrieve the stolen Badges. The plan is successful until Togepi accidentally blows their cover. Ash has another plan and sends in Noctowl. Noctowl flies in and plays dead, causing the Murkrow to let their guard down, and Noctowl snatches the Fog Badge.
Noctowl starts to fly away, with the Murkrow close behind, when a sudden gust blows all of the Pokémon to the ground. It turns out to be Team Rocket in their latest mecha, the Mega Murkrow Mark 5. They use their machine's vacuum to suck up all of the shiny objects that the Murkrow collected. As the Murkrow are about to be caught, Ash blocks the vacuum air and saves the trio. Team Rocket are about to strike the Murkrow with their mecha's beak, but Noctowl knocks the machine backwards. The Rocket trio decide to gran Pikachu, and snatch him with a giant claw from their mecha’s mouth. James finally locates his missing bottle caps, so Jessie and Meowth decide to change tact and whip up a strong wind to blow the twerps away. Noctowl flies into action, and it then teams up with the Murkrow trio and together they fly in different directs to confuse Team Rocket. The tactic leads the machine’s legs to short-circuit, allowing the Flying Pokémon to retrieve Pikachu. On Noctowl's back, Pikachu delivers a Thunderbolt which sends Team Rocket blasting off again. Ash gets back his missing Fog Badge and thanks the Murkrow for their help. With that, Ash and his friends are off for more adventures.