During a lunch break on their way to Cyllage City, our heroes are being spied on as usual. But this time it’s not just Team Rocket lurking around…there are also two adorable Pancham nearby! Serena offers them some Pokémon food, but they’re not satisfied until they gobble up all of it—and our heroes’ lunch, as well! There’s no time to react, because Team Rocket takes advantage of the confusion to net Pikachu, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie and speed away in their Meowth balloon!
Jessie, James, and Meowth have grand visions of how the Boss will reward them for this impressive haul, but they quickly get into a fight about who should get the credit for the catch. It soon turns into a real fight between James’s Inkay and Jessie’s Wobbuffet, which causes an explosion in the balloon that frees our heroes’ captured Pokémon! Meowth is sent flying off alone and ends up hanging from a tree, where he spots the other Pokémon and convinces them to cut him down. Pikachu—who’s well aware of Meowth’s double-crossing ways from their long history together—is reluctant, and Froakie is suspicious, but Chespin and Fennekin welcome him with open paws.
Jessie and James go looking for their partner in crime and run into the two Pancham from earlier—and an angry Pangoro protecting them! After it runs the villains off, Jessie trips over a Pumpkaboo sleeping in the ground—and promptly catches it, much to James’s surprise.
Meanwhile, Pangoro and Pancham have run into our heroes’ Pokémon, and a frightened Chespin unleashes a Pin Missile that accidentally destroys the bamboo sprig Pangoro always carries in its mouth. Without its beloved bamboo, the Pokémon is left weak and ill. Ash, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie finally find the Pokémon and immediately set out to find a new bamboo sprig so Pangoro can get its strength back. They’re successful, but when they get back, Meowth has shown his true colors once again, and the Team Rocket trio has Pangoro and Pancham all tied up! But as they try to drive our heroes off with their attacks, Ash makes a risky dash for Pangoro and manages to get the bamboo sprig into its mouth. Fully restored, Pangoro bursts out of its bindings and sends the villains blasting off again!
All the harm has been repaired, and our heroes are ready to get going again...as soon as they finish their interrupted lunch!
The episode begins with Team Rocket spying down with binoculars from their hot air balloon on Ash and company's Pokémon, who are eating. They decide to begin their capture of the Pokemon. Down in the forest, Ash, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie are in the middle of having lunch. They are unaware that two Pancham are spying on the group from the surrounding bushes. Pikachu and the rest of the Pokemon notice the occurrence, except for Clemont's Chespin, who is focused on eating. Ash notices and asks what's wrong, to which the Pokémon turn to the bush where they heard the Pancham. Ash's Froakie fires its frubbles into the bushes, and the two Pancham roll out, covered in the frubbles. Team Rocket watches from above, and James uses his scanner to identify Pancham. Ash cleans up the Pancham and apologizes for surprising them, while Serena observes with her Pokédex. She notes that the Pancham looks different in the Pokédex, in the picture it is glaring, but the wild Pancham are smiling and looking innocent and "cute." The two Pancham run over to Chespin, who is eating its food, and begin to talk to it in Pokémon language. In response, Clemont whips out another one of his machines, this time a Pokémon Translator Device. He holds the microphone piece out to the Pancham, who look at each other, wink, and nod. They say that their stuff is everyone's stuff, and the machine translates, much to everyone's delight. However, when Clemont's back is turned, the pair exchange mischievous glances, which the Pokémon notice. Serena wonders if the machine translated correctly, and points out that she thinks the Pancham asked if they could share their food. Pikachu attempts to warn Ash, but Serena offers the two Pancham Pokémon food. When they finish the food, the Pancham continue until they've eaten all of both the travelers and the Pokémon's food. Clemont rejoices that his translation was indeed correct after all.
Pikachu, Froakie, and Fennekin comfort Chespin as a shadow appears over them. It is Team Rocket, who launches a net and captures the four Pokémon and starts to fly away, while the Pancham flee. Ash sends out Fletchling to stop them, and in return, James takes out his Inkay. Inkay spits out ink and Fletchling is hit, and falls into Ash's arms. Team Rocket escape, and Ash and his friends follow them. Team Rocket rejoices, and discuss informing Team Rocket HQ, and a quarrel ensues over who deserves the credit. A battle ensues, and James's Inkay's Psybeam is bounced off Jessie's Wobbuffet's Mirror Coat, which causes the balloon to explode, releasing the captive Pokémon. Ash's group observes from afar and are worried for the safety of their Pokémon. Clemont remembers Dedenne's communication powers, and tells it to notify them if it catches Pikachu's electricity. Meanwhile, Meowth falls from the balloon only to hit a walking Pangoro in a bamboo forest. Meowth quickly tries to apologize, but Pangoro throws him into the sky again.
Froakie has landed in a river, and when it reaches the shore, it is greeted by rustling in the bushes. It disguises itself with its frubbles, but it is only Pikachu who emerges, and motions Froakie to follow him through the bamboo forest, where they find Chespin. They are interrupted on their search for Fennekin by Meowth, who is stuck on a tree, pleading for help. Chespin uses Pin Missile to release Meowth, who thanks them and offers a truce, but really plans to use them as shields if Pangoro emerges again.
Jessie and James walk dejectedly with their Pokémon when the two Pancham reappear, this time with glares on their faces. Jessie and James decide to capture them. Inkay's Psybeam is effective, and James is about to throw out a Poké Ball when Pangoro appears behind them. Inkay, on its own accord, sprays ink on Pangoro, as Team Rocket tries to desperately warn it, but it is too late: Pangoro has grown infuriated. It punches Team Rocket into the sky yet again. The two Pancham and the Pangoro grin in their success. Elsewhere in the forest, Fennekin is alone by the stream, when Pikachu and his companions, including Meowth come rushing to it, overjoyed to have finally found it. Fennekin is worried about the state of its tail, and Froakie cleans it with its frubbles. Along another path, the rest of Team Rocket walks, sore from Pangoro's attack. Jessie trips and falls over something black and pointy sticking up from the ground. The thing bursts out from the ground and floats before them, flashing its lights; it is a Pumpkaboo. Jessie throws out a Poké Ball and captures her successfully on the first try, much to James's disbelief.
Nearby, Dedenne and Pikachu sense each other's electricity. Fennekin chomps on a stick, but Chespin is disgusted with its own stick, and throws it away, only to hit the Pangoro, who quickly loses its temper. Pikachu, Fennekin, Froakie, and Meowth start to run, but Chespin is left on the spot, and hits Pangoro with its Pin Missile. Seeing Pangoro accompanied by the two Pancham, Meowth realizes that the three were working together all along. Pangoro, reacting from Chespin's attack, drops the bamboo shoot from its mouth. It slumps to the forest floor, having lost all of its energy. Just then, Ash, Clemont, Serena, and Bonnie run into the scene. Meowth pretends to be pleased and explains that the problem is Pangoro, and that it is also Chespin's fault for destroying Pangoro's precious leaf. The Pancham are angry, and Meowth translates, saying that the Pancham demand that to make their leader well again, it needs its special bamboo leaf, only specifically one from a tree on a rock ahead. Clemont feels bad and resolves to go look for a new leaf, and the rest of his friends agree to accompany him, led by one of the Pancham. The other Pancham and Meowth stay behind, saying he is "concerned with the well-being of Pangoro" mush to Serena's disbelief. While the group is gone, Team Rocket whispers to Meowth from the bushes, and Meowth explains the situation.
The search group reaches the bottom of the rock, which is gigantic. Ash decides he will climb up, but the task proves difficult. Serena suggests an easier way: Chespin can use Vine Whip to grab the leaf, and the Pokémon gets it down in no time. The group returns to Pangoro, only to find Pangoro tied with ropes, along with the other Pancham and Team Rocket is waiting for them, reunited with Meowth. Ash protests and Jessie releases her newly-caught Pumpkaboo, who uses Leech Seed on the group, tying up all the Pokemon and drains their strength (expect Chespin's). Ash realizes they could be saved if Pangoro is reunited with its bamboo leaf, so he charges forward. To prevent Ash from going any further, James tells Inkay to use Psybeam, but Pikachu protects Ash with Thunderbolt. Jessie sends Pumpkaboo to attack Ash with Shadow Ball, but it is met with the combined Water Pulse and Mud Shot of Froakie and Bunnelby. Chespin and Fennekin also combine their Ember and Pin Missile attacks to take down Wobbuffet. Ash leaps through the smoke and places the leaf in Pangoro's mouth. Pangoro breaks through its ropes, strength restored, and sends Team Rocket blasting off again with a Hammer Arm. The other Pokemon's roots melt away and everyone rejoices. Ash and his friends thank and apologize to Pangoro for the commotion they caused, and Pangoro forgives them. The whole group celebrates as the Pancham dance around.
As the sun sets, the travelers wave goodbye to Pangoro and the Pancham, and continue on their journey. Just then, Ash remembers that they had been in the middle of lunch and didn't finish eating, and the group all groans with rumbling stomachs.