For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll! (Japanese: スイクンとミナキ！ホウオウのでんせつ！！Suicune and Minaki! The Legend of Houou!!) is the 227th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 6, 2001 and in the United States on September 25, 2002.
When Ash, Misty, and Brock run to investigate a mysterious chorus of bells that spontaneously ring out, they chance to meet their old friend Morty and a Pokémon researcher of his acquaintance. Morty and the researcher discover that the sacred Crystal bells, which are said to ring when a legendary Ho-oh returns, are missing. Since the bells were also used to heal the Bug Pokémon living in that area, these Pokémon lash out against their human neighbors, covering the town with their webs. Ash and friends decide to get to the heart of things and, in the forest, find Team Rocket restrained by webs and hanging from a tree. Ash, Misty, Brock, Morty, and the researcher begin to battle with the Bug Pokémon. Just when it seems as if there is no hope an unsuspected ally appears.
Ash and his friends rest a while in the Pokémon Center. All of a sudden, they hear a weird noise that's coming from the outside. They see Nurse Joy and Chansey run by. Nurse Joy says that there is something up with the Tin Tower. Morty notices this too, and is greeted by Eusine. Both go together to investigate the strange occurrence. When they get up inside, sets of gold bells are vibrating. They go up on the next floor and see that the next set of bells, which are supposed to be there, are gone. Meanwhile, Team Rocket celebrates their little steal in a forest, thinking that they will get some Legendary Pokémon now. James explains that when the bells ring, it was supposed to summon Ho-Oh. So, they start shaking the bells, but no sound is coming out. Jessie grabs them and swings them around, but one slips out and breaks on a rock. All of a sudden, an eerie wind begins to blow, and back at Ecruteak City, things are quiet.
When the gang gets there, Eusine stops them, saying they are not allowed in. Morty comes out and Ash asks him what is going on. Morty first says that Ho-Oh must be nearby, the bells only ring at that time. Later in the forest, Team Rocket is surrounded by Bug-type Pokémon, which seem angry over them. They all fire a String Shot at Team Rocket. Morty explains the situation later at his Gym. The bells were recovered after Ho-Oh burned the Burnt Tower. The bells are supposed to summon Ho-Oh. Morty goes on telling about how Entei, Raikou, and Suicune were also born from the flames, thunder and rain in the Burned Tower. Ash mentions seeing Suicune, but just to make sure, he points it out in a book. Eusine gets angry, claiming that Ash is a liar for claiming to have seen both Ho-Oh and Suicune and challenges Ash to a Pokémon battle.
Ash is a little lost here as to why Eusine wants to battle him, but he accepts anyway. Eusine sends out Alakazam. Ash is not sure now he can win this one, but he tells Pikachu to start off with a ThunderShock. Before Pikachu can even get a chance at releasing the electricity, someone comes in and tells Morty that something is wrong at the Tin Tower. They all go out and see that Tin Tower is covered with webs! They try to go check it out but a group of Tangela stops them, then an army of Parasect use Spore. They head back inside and check out the town from the windows. Ash tells everyone to look out from his window, seeing the whole town is covered by webs. They have no other choice now but to break through the Pokémon. Ash heads back out, but now the Parasect are much closer. Everyone else comes out, and Gengar pops in front and uses Confuse Ray on them, stopping them.
They go through the forest, a few walls of web stopping them. Ash has Cyndaquil burn them down and they continue. After a while, they see Team Rocket, tied up with a bunch of webs. Morty finds the bells, but Tangela block him. Spinarak and Ariados come down and shoot a String Shot at them. Eusine sends out Alakazam, who uses Reflect to protect them, but a Tangela whips Alakazam, nailing him in one hit. Ash tries to persuade the Pokémon, but a Tangela attempts to whip him as well. Just before the attack contacted, something runs by that stops the Pokémon. Soon all the Pokémon start to flee from the area, and a shiny wind begins to blow, making the webs in the forest disappear. The shadow appears and reveals itself as Suicune. Jessie, knowing that Suicune is a rare Pokémon, sends out Arbok in an attempt to catch it; however, Suicune just fires a beam at them, causing an explosion. Suicune later finds a cliff to stand on, and Ash runs to it. Now, Eusine finds this a good time to fulfill his dream of catching Suicune as he sends out Alakazam. The Alakazam starts off with Disable, but Suicune blocks it with a Mirror Coat, and just before Alakazam can use Confusion, Suicune uses Roar, sending Alakazam back into its Poké Ball. Afterwards, Suicune disappears, leaving behind a rainbow. Ecruteak City and the surrounding forest subsequently become clear of the webs.
Everything is back to normal as Morty and the gang are back outside his Gym. Ash wonders where Eusine went, Morty explains he's off searching for Suicune, and it will probably be some time before he finds it again.
After Eusine tells the story of the three Legendary beasts, Ash says that he has seen a Suicune. Ash could be referring to either the events of the fourth movie or the one that he saw in the first episode of the Johto series, Don't Touch That 'dile. However, since he didn't know what Pokémon he saw in the earlier episode, the Suicune he saw in the movie is more likely the one he refers to.
In one scene, Morty called the Tin Tower the Bell Tower even though back then, it was called the Tin Tower. The term Bell Tower wasn't official until Generation IV.
Oddly, the TV Episode Guide for this episode goes out of its way not to mention Eusine by name, instead referring to him as "the researcher". Perhaps this is to avoid confusion, as the TV Episode Guide for The Legend of Thunder refers to Eusine as "Eugene", as the special itself incorrectly did.
What Jessie sings while swinging one of the bells is a song dedicated to the Sanzu River.
As one of the Crystal Bells break, Jessie can be seen holding the other three bells, however, after it breaks, when it cuts to a shot of Jessie, James and Meowth, the bells are gone.
When Team Rocket gets blasted away by Suicune, Arbok disappears.
When Ash and co. are gathered around the table in Morty's gym, the orange stripe on Ash's backpack is white.
Originally, when Ash and Eusine were about to begin their battle, Ash told Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. In the dub, the command was changed into Thunder Shock.