|| This article is about an episode of the Pokémon anime that has not been dubbed into English. As such, its coverage may contain romanized Japanese names, rather than dub names.
|| May 30, 2002
| United States
|| Team Ota
|| 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
|| 誌村宏明 Hiroaki Shimura
| Assistant director
|| 誌村宏明 Hiroaki Shimura
| Animation director
|| 徳田夢之介 Yumenosuke Tokuda
| Additional credits
(Japanese: こおりのどうくつ！ The Ice Cave!) is the 250th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 30, 2002, but was not aired anywhere else outside of Asia. This episode is the fourth episode of the anime series to be banned, following EP018, EP035, and EP038, and the only Johto League episode to suffer that fate.
As they continue on their journey, Ash and his friends go through the Ice Cave, a shortcut to Blackthorn City. However, they suddenly slip and fall into a hole dug by Team Rocket. Team Rocket then starts putting water in the hole. Ash's Pikachu uses Thunderbolt and Misty's Politoed uses Water Gun, sending Team Rocket blasting off. When they finally get out of the hole, Brock catches a cold. As they walk along, they find a Pokémon Center with Jynx. As they check Brock's temperature, he becomes feverish because of Nurse Joy, who explains that she is the sister of the Nurse Joy who appeared in The Joy of Pokémon. Later, Joy explains that the ice cave remains stable due to a large building acting as a refrigerator.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket, overlooking the Pokémon Center from a nearby cliff, complains about the cold draft. They leave to find its source and soon come upon the large building Joy described. They set about their evil deeds as the scene cuts back to Brock in the Pokémon Center. Brock continues to dream of Nurse Joy, and mistakenly shares a kiss with Jynx as she cares for him. Nurse Joy notices a rapid rise in cavern temperature, and goes to the building with Ash and Misty to investigate. All three travel by sled driven by Piloswine. Upon their arrival, the trio sees that the structure has been reversed, heating the cave and cooling the jungle outside. This puts both sides in danger, so the group runs outside to find the cold air pipe, but immediately falls into a pitfall dug by Team Rocket.
Team Rocket tells Ash, Misty and Joy their plan to steal the Ice-type Pokémon before running off. The group climbs out of the hole with help from Bayleef. Knowing they have to get the pipe back in the cave, Ash commands Bayleef to use Vine Whip to grab the pipe. They then pull on Bayleef's vines as hard as they can, and the pipe is restored to its original place. The scene cuts to Brock lying in bed in his sickly state, and he gets up out of bed. He notices Team Rocket outside the Pokémon Center, and they have set up a bunch of heaters to weaken the Ice Pokémon there. They scoop up all the Swinub and Piloswine there, and then, Jynx appears. She attempts to stop them, but Team Rocket points a heater right at her, and Jynx collapses.
Brock, in his weakened state, appears to confront Team Rocket. Brock sends out his Geodude, while Jessie sends out her Arbok. Geodude uses Tackle, but this has no effect on Arbok, and the snake Pokémon retaliates using Headbutt. Geodude is sent flying into Brock, and Jessie commands Arbok to use Wrap on both of them. Arbok wraps them with its tail and slams them into the ground. Brock has been defeated, and Team Rocket proceeds to steal Geodude. Just then, Ash, Misty and Joy appear. Misty and Joy tend to Brock, while Ash takes care of Team Rocket. He sends out Totodile, and Jessie once again uses her Arbok, and James sends out Victreebel. Misty joins in too, and she sends out her Corsola. She commands it to use Tackle, and James, under attack from Victreebel, is sent flying. Meanwhile Totodile uses Bite on Arbok. Jessie then sends out Wobbuffet. Corsola uses Headbutt on Wobbuffet, but he uses Counter and sends Corsola flying. Totodile uses Water Gun on Wobbuffet, but he counters this too and Totodile and Corsola are defeated.
Meanwhile, the cold air enters the battleground. Pikachu then uses Thunderbolt on the heaters, and the Ice Pokémon are revitalized. Jynx and Piloswine use Blizzard on Team Rocket. Joy commands Jynx to use Lovely Kiss on Wobbuffet. For their final effort, Joy commands Jynx and all the Piloswine to use Blizzard at full power, instantly freezing Arbok, Victreebel, and Wobbuffet. Pikachu then delivers the final blow using Thunder, blasting off Team Rocket. Later, Nurse Joy thanks Ash and company for helping her to save the Ice Pokémon, and Brock's fever is now gone. Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu leave Joy and the Ice Cave Pokémon Center. They have now arrived at the end of the Ice Cave, and they come across Blackthorn Lake. Brock informs Ash and Misty that Blackthorn City is on the other side of the lake, and our heroes rush towards Blackthorn City and Ash's final Johto League Gym Badge.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Jynx in its original design
This episode was skipped in the dub because of the prominence of Jynx, whose design at the time was considered by some, most significantly in the United States to be an offensive racial stereotype. Jynx had appeared in previous episodes and another future episode in this design, but 4Kids were able to cut Jynx's appearance, as those deletions did not significantly affect the storyline of those particular episodes. That was not the case with this episode, as Jynx is one of the main characters in this episode, and 4Kids knew it would be impossible to remove Jynx entirely for this episode and still have the story make sense. As a result, 4Kids eventually decided to skip the episode in its entirety. Also, three previous episodes (Holiday Hi-Jynx, Stage Fight!, and The Mandarin Island Miss Match) that were originally dubbed and aired normally, were later removed from Pokémon TV and the re-release of the Orange Islands DVD box set because of this controversy. Jynx would not appear again in a dub episode until Mean With Envy, where it finally appeared in the redesign it was given due to the complaints leveled against it.
Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea are among the only areas outside of Japan to have aired the episode, as Asian dubs are based on the original Japanese version.
- The Ice Cave in this episode is not named こおりのぬけみち Ice Path, as it is in the games, though its location as the gateway to Blackthorn City indicates that it is indeed the Ice Path.
- In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
- This is the first episode to use music from Celebi: The Voice of the Forest, at the very end of the episode.
- An instrumental version of Face Forward Team Rocket! is used as background music.
- Music from Pikachu's Vacation can be heard in this episode.
- The Nurse Joy from The Joy of Pokémon is seen in a photograph in this episode, and is said to be the elder sister of the nurse in charge of the Pokémon Center in the Ice Cave.
- This was the last episode to be banned in the English dub until SM064, 753 episodes later.
In other languages