Ash and Goh are at the Wyndon Pokémon Center, enjoying various kinds of local curry with their Pokémon. As they eat, they are approached by the Sobble from the end of the previous episode, which turns invisible and starts eating their food. When it finally turns visible again and finds itself surrounded, it starts to cry. To their surprise, Ash, Goh, and their Pokémon also start to cry, despite none of them feeling sad. Sobble uses this distraction to disappear again, although Ash and Goh are determined to follow it.
As Ash and Goh try to find Sobble, Nurse Joy arrives and informs them of the Pokémon's identity upon hearing their descriptions of it. She mentions that Sobble can turn invisible upon coming into contact with water, so it could even be hiding in the fountain behind them. Goh starts talking to the fountain, telling Sobble that he likes its ability and asks if it wants to come with him. Unaware that Sobble really is hiding in the fountain and had overheard him, Goh takes the lack of response as a sign that Sobble isn't there. In a moment of frustration, he throws a Poké Ball at the fountain, and, to his and Ash's big surprise, it actually catches Sobble.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is floating overhead in their balloon, which had been blown all the way to the Galar region in the middle of an unsuccessful attempt to sneak up to Ash and snatch Pikachu with a net. To the trio's surprise, they notice Ash and Goh down below, and they try to sneak up on them again as the two are focused on Sobble's Pokédex entry, but the balloon is once again blown away by a gust of wind.
While Ash and Goh discuss about Sobble, Ash's Riolu accidentally digs up a Silicobra, which gets their attention. Goh attempts to catch it, but as a Poké Ball throw fails, he decides to battle it instead, sending his newly caught Sobble against the Ground type. As Sobble is intimidated by Silicobra, its own sweat turns it invisible, and Goh uses this to his advantage by having Sobble attack Silicobra with Water Gun and Pound. However, Silicobra then spews out some sand, revealing Sobble. When Silicobra attacks Sobble, it starts to cry, causing everyone else nearby to cry too. Goh's Rotom Phone informs him that Sobble's tears pack the chemical punch of 100 onions. As Sobble cries, Silicobra escapes, and the sand on Sobble is washed off as it runs away, with Goh being unable to recall it before it disappears completely.
Ash and Goh follow Sobble based on the trail of crying people, and split up to cover more ground. Goh eventually finds Sobble at a riverside. He tries to apologize for making it scared, but Sobble just cries some more before diving into the river and escaping again. As Goh tries to think of a way to counter the effect of Sobble's tear, he remembers something regarding Mr. Mime and gets an idea. When Ash shows up, Goh informs him of Sobble being headed downstream, so they start following it there.
Further along the riverside, Team Rocket's balloon is revealed to have crashed down near a bridge. They suddenly notice a Pokémon eating their food, and their Rotom Phone informs them that it's called Morpeko. As Morpeko finishes eating their rations, Jessie tries to throw a tin can at it, but misses and instead hits Sobble, who turns visible again as Morpeko runs away. Upon learning Sobble's name and hearing Ash and Goh calling for it, the trio concocts a scheme to get Pikachu.
Goh blames himself for Sobble running away, but Ash reassures him that he can't expect things to always go the right way the first time. Once the two reach the bridge, Team Rocket reveals themselves and shows Sobble in a cage, demanding Pikachu in exchange. Ash and Goh naturally refuse, so, after recovering from a flood of tears caused by Sobble, Team Rocket calls for the Rocket Prize Master, which grants them a Magnezone and an Armaldo. Ash and Goh prepare for battle, but Armaldo disrupts their offensive with Metal Claw, before Magnezone stuns everyone with Supersonic.
Team Rocket mocks Ash and Goh for trying to rescue such a weak crybaby, but Goh protests that Sobble is not weak, displaying his determination to rescue it. Seeing this, Sobble remembers what Goh had told it earlier at the fountain, and becomes determined enough to bend the bars of the cage and escape. Jessie and James, upon noticing this, berate each other on buying a cheap cage, and have Armaldo step on Sobble's tail to stop it from getting away. Sobble starts crying as usual, and although Team Rocket initially thinks their Pokémon are unaffected by its tears, it turns out they were merely observing their fake eyes, and they're both crying from their real eyes. Ash, Goh, and their Pokémon, however, are using goggles to protect their eyes from the tears. Goh explains that he got the idea from remembering how Mr. Mime had once used goggles to protect its eyes while cutting an onion. While Team Rocket's Pokémon are immobilized by crying, the duo's Pokémon launch a combination attack that sends Team Rocket blasting off. With the villains dealt with, Goh approaches Sobble and apologizes for sending it out to battle without asking first. He then reveals that Sobble has also taught him something new: being always alert allows one to always protect themselves and their friends if need be, meaning that its timidness is not a weakness, but a strength. Sobble almost starts crying tears of happiness, and Goh quickly tells it to not do it.
Later, while Team Rocket contemplates their lack of success, they're approached by the same Morpeko from before. Meowth translates that it wants more food from them, but as they don't have any and just tell it to scram, it suddenly changes into its Hangry Mode and uses Aura Wheel to send them blasting off once more.