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Friend and Foe Alike
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Episode #224>
Ash has just found out that he must fight Ritchie in the fifth round, and he's not sure he can win, especially since Ritchie has won all his matches without losing a single Pokémon. Ritchie talks to Ash about the match and they both promise to make it their greatest battle ever. Later on, as Ash and the others relax in the village cabin, Richie calls Ash and asks to meet him. Unbeknowest to Ash, Ritchie isn't the one calling, it's Jessie! When Ash arrives at the metting spot, Team Rocket snatches Ash and Pikachu and throws them into the back of a truck. Ash uses Squirtle to flood the truck and break open the doors. They escape and hop on a bike and speed off toward the stadium. Meanwhile, back at the Stadium, Ash and Richie's battle is scheduled to begin, but Ash hasn't showed up. Misty confronts Ritchie and accuses him of tricking Ash, but Ritchie tells Misty he never made a phone call. Back with Ash, he is still racing towards the League Village, but Team Rocket appears once again in their balloon. With a Thundershock by Pikachu, Ash sends Team Rocket on their way and uses Pidgeotto and their balloon to get to Indigo Stadium, just in time! Ash arrives and the battle begins. Richie's Butterfree and Ash's Bulbasaur duke it out, then Charmander and Pikachu fight. Pikachu is knocked out by Richie's Charmander. Ash, desparate, calls upon Charizard to fight, while Ritchie calls back his Charmander and releases Sparky, his Pikachu! However, Charizard has no interest in fighting a puny Pikachu and refuses to battle! The referee declares Ritchie the winner. Ash loses his battle, but he congratulates Ritchie for the win.

Quotable Quotes
"So it all depends on who's the better trainer... you're in trouble." ~Misty, looking up Ritchie's battle stats.
"And that young lady might be the toughest battler we've seen in this entire competition!" ~the Announcer, as Misty roughs up Ritchie.
"Ash, you apologise to all these people for being late right this instant!" ~Delia, after Ash arrives at the stadium.

Did You Notice?...
Team Rocket's truck has a picture of Meowth on the side of it.

Noteworthy
Who's That Pokemon?: Aerodactyl!
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