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"Electric Shock Showdown"
Electric Shock Showdown! Kuchiba Gym
Episode Code
Pokémon: Indigo League
Air Date
United States
Air Date
JapanFlag.svg July 1, 1997 UnitedStatesFlag.svg September 25, 1998
Badge 1 Badge 2 Badge 3
IL013 IL014 IL015

Electric Shock Showdown (でんげきたいけつ!クチバジム Electric Shock Showdown! Kuchiba Gym) is the 14th episode of the Pokémon anime series, except in the United States, after Battle Aboard the St. Anne was broadcast as the first episode. The episode was first broadcast in Japan on July 1, 1997 and in the United States on September 25, 1998. The episode follows Ash Ketchum, Misty, Brock and Pikachu as they finally reach Vermilion City, where Ash hopes to defeat Lt. Surge and earn a Thunder Badge. However it soon becomes personal for Pikachu when it is mocked by Surge's Raichu.


After two weeks of traveling, Ash, Misty, and Brock have finally reached Vermilion City. Brock and Misty couldn't wait to eat but Ash wanted to go to the gym first. Brock told him to wait because Pikachu wasn't in good enough shape to battle. Ash agreed and they all head to the Pokémon Center.

At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy promised that she would take good care of Pikachu. Nurse Joy noticed that they looked surprised. She explained that all of the Nurse Joys were related and they all look alike. She claimed that she was the cutest one and Brock agreed.

Suddenly, the doors opened up and Chansey and a trainer ran in. On a rolling table was a very hurt Rattata. Brock wondered what had happened and Nurse Joy said that was the 15th one this month.

They are taken to a room with a lot of hurt Pokémon in it. The Pokémon are Caterpie, Oddish, Sandshrew, and the Rattata they saw before. Nurse Joy explains that they all lost to the Vermilion City Gym Leader, Lt. Surge. Ash started to get worried that Lt. Surge would be tough to beat and Misty made fun of him for getting scared.

Misty reminded him that he got his first two badges because the Gym Leaders had felt sorry for him. Ash said that a Badge is a Badge. Misty says that if he's so strong, why doesn't he prove it at Vermilion City's Gym? Misty also reminded him that she and Brock gave Ash his badges, so they would look bad if he got beaten by Lt.Surge. Ash was about to hit her when Nurse Joy stopped him, reminding him that he's in a hospital. Nurse Joy joked that since they were fighting, they must really care about each other. Ash and Misty angrily and quickly denied this.

They all heard the sound that meant Ash's Pokémon were fully healed. Pikachu happily ate an apple and Ash told him that it was time to go to the Gym. Just then, another trainer with a hurt Pidgey came in and Misty said that they must have come from the Gym.

Pikachu got scared and didn't want to go to the Gym. Ash got mad at him for being a coward and Pikachu asked if Ash cared whether Pikachu was going to end up like the Pidgey. Ash said that Pikachu had a point but told him not to worry because they were going to win. Pikachu still didn't want to go and protested so much that he ThunderShocked Ash. Misty says that Ash and Pikachu must care a lot about each other if they fight that much.

Outside the Gym, Misty tells Ash that it isn't too late to back out now, but Ash still wants to go in and win. They ended up fighting again and Brock stopped by asking if they were ever going to go inside.

They enter the Gym and Ash says he's ready to earn his 3rd badge. Lt.Surge's male assistant say there's another one for the ER room and Lt.Surge enters. Lt.Surge says he's happy his next challenger is a cutie and says he will go easy on Misty. Misty says that she's not the challenger, Ash is. Lt.Surge laughed when he saw that Ash had a Pikachu calling them little baby Pokémon making Pikachu mad. Ash asked why he was making fun of Pikachu and Lt.Surge responded by showing off his Raichu.

Lt.Surge said that it wasn't too late to back out now and Ash said he wouldn't. So did Pikachu. Lt.Surge laughed again and said that an Electric type Pokémon is only useful if it has been evolved and knows all the moves it can learn. Ash said there's more to Pokémon than forcing them to evolve and that he likes Pikachu the way it is.

Pikachu was really mad and was sparking and it wanted to battle Raichu. Brock was surprised when he saw how ready Pikachu was to battle. Lt. Surge said that they would soon learn that fighting the big boys would be a shocking experience. 

Pikachu and Raichu were soon battling in the arena and Ash told Pikachu to use ThunderShock. Raichu wasn't affected by it and used ThunderShock itself, knocking Pikachu backward. Brock said electric attacks wouldn't work and Ash should recall Pikachu. Ash called to Pikachu to return but Pikachu refused. Lt. Surge gave Pikachu credit for being gutsy and told Raichu to use Mega Kick, knocking Pikachu backwards again.

Outside, Team Rocket was watching. They thought that since Pikachu was getting beaten up, they shouldn't steal it after all. Meowth said that they should steal Raichu and James whacked him on the head and he and Jessie started cheering for Pikachu.

Lt. Surge told Raichu to use ThunderShock and it defeated Pikachu.

At the Pokémon Center, Pikachu woke up and Ash was happy that it was okay. Pikachu was still sad that it got beat up by Raichu. Nurse Joy came in and said there might be a way for Pikachu to win. She said she had found a Thunderstone and gave it to Ash to use on Pikachu. Pikachu whacked it away, refusing it.

Outside, Meowth started crying, explaining that Pikachu would never want to be Raichu's equal, it wanted to win as a Pikachu for the respect of Pikachu's everywhere and it will defend it's honor and that of its trainer.

Brock had an idea for a way Pikachu could beat Raichu and they all walked over to the Gym to try it out. However, they were blocked by Team Rocket, who said and victory cheer for Pikachu and ran off. Brock said it was disturbing and Misty cheerful waved them off.

They entered the Gym and once again Pikachu was battling Raichu. Lt.Surge laughed saying that they must have come up with a new way to lose. He sent out Raichu and told it to use Tail Whip. Raichu then did a Body Slam. Lt.Surge ordered another Body Slam to finish things off but Pikachu got up and used Agility. Raichu tried to use Body Slam on Pikachu but it was way too fast. Brock revealed the strategy: Lt. Surge evolved Raichu to soon and it never got a chance to learn Agility.

Lt.Surge got mad and said to use Thunderbolt. Raichu did and it blew out all the windows in the Gym. Lt. Surge saw that Pikachu had dodged the attack by standing on its tail. Lt. Surge told Raichu to use ThunderShock again but it had used up all its electricity. Ash told Pikachu to use Quick Attack and Lt. Surge told Raichu to use Take Down. Pikachu was quicker and defeated Raichu.

Everyone congratulated Ash and Pikachu, even Raichu, embarrassing Pikachu. Ash is given his Thunder Badge and gives Pikachu a victory hug, shocking Ash.

The episode ends with Team Rocket walking towards the sunset and James realizes that they never tried to catch Pikachu and they wasted the whole episode cheering for the good guys.

Characters and Items






"Congratulations, you finally made it." — Narrator
"Hip hip horray! Hip Hip Horray! HIP HIP HORRAY!" — Ash, Misty, and Brock

"We haven't eaten anything decent for three days now." — Brock

"I guess we're all a little hungry, eh Pikachu?" — Ash starving.

"I know why you're surprised. I look like all the other nurses don't I? My first cousin works in Pewter City, and my second cousin works in Viridian City. I think I'm the prettiest one, don't you?" — Nurse Joy
"Yeah." — Brock

"It's the fifteenth one brought in this month." — Nurse Joy's count of Pokémon losing to the Gym Leader

"A badge is a badge!" — Ash

"They say if two people fight, they really care about each other." — Nurse Joy

"The way they fight must mean they care a lot." — Misty about Ash and Pikachu

"Are we ever gonna go inside?" — Brock

"Hello, I've come for a Pokémon battle, to earn a Thunder Badge." — Ash
"Hey boss, another victim for the emergency ward." — Male Assistant
"Which one?" — Lt. Surge

"Whoa, he's huge." — Brock about Lt. Surge
"Is he the Gym Leader you have to beat?" Misty

"Welcome to *hugs Misty* Vermilion Gym! Oh, my next challenge is a cute one. Don't think I'll go easy on you." — Lt. Surge
"Excuse me, I'm not the challenger." — Misty
"Then who?" — Lt. Surge
"Me, that's who." — Ash
"Hm? Oh you. Ok baby." — Lt. Surge
"Gr, I'm no baby! My name is Ash Ketchum." — Ash
"Heh! I call everybody who loses to me baby." — Lt. Surge

"Huh? A Pikachu. Hey, look at this. Baby brought along a baby Pokémon." — Lt. Surge making fun of Pikachu

"Ok baby, if you wanna quit, now's your chance." — Lt. Surge warning Ash to give up.
"Raichu!" Surge's Raichu

"Ok baby, did-ums just come in just to show us your little pet?" — Lt. Surge continuing to insult Ash and his Pikachu

"Oh well. I guess you'll learn that playing with the big boys can be a shockin' experience." — Lt. Surge giving a final friendly warning

"Hehe, It's pretty gutsy for a toy." — Lt. Surge
"Pikachu!" — Ash
"I enjoy playing with toys, but playtimes over. Raichu, Mega Punch!" — Lt. Surge
"Now a Mega Kick." — Lt. Surge

"Now, give us the big finale Raichu." — Lt. Surge telling Raichu to finish off Pikachu
"Raiiiiiichuuuuuuuu!!!!!" -Raichu
Pikachu's eyes widen, then gets hit by the massive attack*
"Aaaaahhhh!!!! Pikachu!!" - Ash, watching in agony as Pikachu gets hurt by the attack

"Pikachu, our lucky star is shining today." — Ash
"Where? I don't see it. How can you see a star in the middle of the day?" — Misty
"I don't mean it's actually shining. Let's go Pikachu." — Ash

"To protect the world from devastation-" — Jessie and James
"Ix-nay!" — Meowth
"We forgot." — Jessie and James

"That was really disturbing." — Brock
"Thanks for your support! Bye Team Rocket!" — Misty
"How did they know it was us?" — Meowth
"Lucky guess." — Jessie

"A strategy? So they've been plannin' a new way to lose. Go Raichu!" — Lt. Surge

"It can't lose!" — Jessie
"Not after the cheer we did." — Mewoth
"Maybe we did the wrong kind of cheer." — James

"It's working, just like Brock said." — Misty
"Right, Raichu evolved too fast and it never learned the speed attacks it can only learn in the Pikachu stage." — Brock
"Ok, use all the agility you got." — Ash

"Your Raichu's way too slow Surge. That's it's weakness." — Ash about Lt. Surge's Raichu

"Ok Raichu, give it a Thunderbolt. Shut it down!" — Lt. Surge

"What a shocking story." — Jessie
"That was quite a tail." — James
"And now you've both been pun-ished. *laughs*" — Meowth
"Koffing!" - James's Koffing

"Raichu, give it another Thunderbolt." — Lt. Surge
"Do somethin'." Lt. Surge
"It's over. Raichu ran out of electricity." — Brock

"Nice victory Ash. You're no baby." — Lt. Surge congratulating Ash

"Thank you Pikachu, this was your victory." — Ash
"Wow. Now I can see lots of lucky stars." — Ash

"Drat, we wasted this episode cheering the good guys." — James
"Ahh!" — Jessie and Meowth
"Right James. Better luck next time." — Narrator


  • This is the first of few episodes where a main characters Pokémon battles its evolved form.
  • This is also the first episode where Team Rocket does not try to capture Pikachu.
  • Anime Physics at work: A Ground-type being beaten by an Electric-type, even though Ground-type Pokémon are strong against Electric Pokémon.
  • Misty's sister, Daisy, actually gave Ash the Cascade Badge.
  • The battle against Lt. Surge in Pokémon Yellow is based on this episode. Surge's Raichu has the same moves in Yellow as the Anime.
  • Though she was there, and except for laughter, Lt. Surge's female assistant didn't have any lines.
  • The "Who's that Pokémon?" of this episode is Raichu.
  • Misty asked Ash how could he see a star in the middle of the day, when The Sun is a star.