hanging around Vermilion City, Ash and the others find a huge harbor full
of cruise ships. As Ash, Brock and Misty imagine themselves on board a
cruise they could never afford, two school girls appear and offer them
free tickets aboard the St. Anne, which is holding a Pokémon convention.
Ash gladly takes the tickets and the girls run off. As the friends board
the ship, the valley girls watch from the bushes, but of course they are
Team Rocket! The whole free ticket scheme is just a scam thought up by
Rocket boss Giovanni to lure Pokémon trainers out to sea, then steal
their Pokémon. Meanwhile, on the St. Anne, Ash finds a Pokémon
battle going on, and decides to challenge the winner. The gentleman trainer
the fights uses a Raticate, but Ash's Butterfree is more than a match for
it. Just as Butterfree is about to win, the Gentleman pulls his Raticate
out of the fight and calls it a draw, leaving Ash bitter. As the ship sails,
Jessie and James are on board disguised as waiters, and James gets suckered
into buying a Magikarp, with its own gold Pokeball. Jessie is irritated
that James bought such a worthless Pokémon, but she gets really
mad when she finds out that James spend their entire paycheck to pay for
The Gentleman finds Ash in the dining hall and offers to trade his Raticate for Ash's Butterfree. Ash feels obligated to trade, since the Gentleman seems to enjoy Pokémon so much. Ash trades, but tells Misty he misses Butterfree. As the St. Anne sails further out to sea, Jessie, James and other members of Team Rocket attack the passengers and begin to steal all their Pokémon. Ash rallies the other passengers to fight back against Team Rocket, and they send all the Rocket members blasting off, except for Jessie, James and Meowth, who sneak away from the fight to try to return the Magikarp and get their money back. A storm begins to rock the boat, and everyone boards the lifeboats. Ash manages to get Butterfree back, but he accidentally drops the Pokeball and it rolls down the ship, with Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu in hot pursuit. The same fate happens to Team Rocket with Magikarp, and they are still aboard when the ship capsizes and sinks!
"Do you know anyone who says 'radical' anymore?" ~Ash to Misty, as the high school girls give them cruise tickets.
"Anyone who didn't leave the ship safely please say 'Aye'!" ~The Captain, taking a headcount after the ship sinks.
Brock's Burning Love
Woman: "Friendship is wonderful, isn't it?"
Brock: "Yeah, yeah! Why don't you and I start a friendship right now?"
Did You Notice?...
A scene from "Pokémon Emergency" is used when all the Pikachu gather together.
As Jessie yells at James for buy Magikarp, she is wearing her Team Rocket uniform, but in the next shot, she is dressed as an attendant.
This was actually the pilot episode for the Pokemon series in the US. It aired on Labor Day, September 1998, though some areas had pre-empted the morning and afternoon cartoons for special programming. The first episode, "Pokemon I Choose You", aired the next day.
In the video games, the cruise ship is called the S.S. Anne, not the St. Anne
Who's That Pokémon?: Raticate!