There's no Place Like Hoenn (Japanese: トウカジム！VSヤルキモノ！ Petalburg Gym! VS. Norman!) is the 3rd episode of Pokémon: Advanced.
Ash and May have made it all the way to Petalburg City—the first city with a gym. Ash is very excited to take on the Gym Leader. May seems a little uneasy—perhaps it's because she hasn't yet told Ash that her father, Norman, is the Gym Leader in Petalburg! Just as Ash has his unofficial battle with Norman (since he requires three Pokémon to battle Norman), Team Rocket appears and snatches Torchic, by accident. To get them back, Ash and May's family run off to save Torchic.
Ash and May have arrived to Petalburg City, where Ash hopes to fight the Gym Leader. May asks Ash to slow down, who is excited to battle the first Gym Leader. After arriving into town, Ash explains he needs eight Badges to enter the Hoenn League and asks May would she enter, but May nervously smiles. Ash wonders about this Gym Leader, so May replies she heard the Petalburg City's Gym Leader is kind, handsome and strong. Ash proposes to May they could both go to the Gym, but May runs off, "needing to take care of few things first", confusing Ash. When Ash arrives to the Gym, he yells out to get the Gym Leader's attention. He finds it empty, but a boy comes, recognizing Ash, as "the trainer who lost in second round", depressing Ash. The boy recognizes he is Alan, but Ash corrects him. The boy then recites what happened at Johto League - Blaziken and Charizard were fiercely battling one another, until Charizard had lost the energy to fight. The boy claims Ash simply should've made use of Charizard's power.
The boy states he'd won the battle, claiming Ash needs more skill. Ash argues with the boy as to how difficult the battle was. The boy reminds Ash he did lose at the finals. Ash is angered at the boy and yells out he wants to battle the Gym Leader, so the boy replies he is the one Ash is seeking, surprising Ash. Reciting the rules, the boy states it is a 3-on-3 battle (though Ash knows he has only Pikachu). Ash asks the boy to send his Pokémon first, but the boy refuses, causing both sides to argue with each other. Suddenly, May comes to the window with her parents, wondering what her brother, the boy, is doing. May introduces her family to Ash - the father Norman (who is the Gym Leader), her mother Caroline and her younger brother, Max. Ash sees now May is the daughter of the Gym Leader, while Max introduces Ash as the loser of second round of Johto League. May's mother then asks about May's bike, who remembers it got destroyed by Pikachu's attack. Ash apologizes, but Norman claims troubles and traveling go together. Her father wants to show which Pokémon she chose, and she brings her Torchic out.
Max is sorely disappointed, mentioning that he would've picked Treecko instead.Angered by that, Torchic attacks Max. Caroline and Norman approve of May's choice, thinking Torchic is cute. Max is envious, since he also wants a Pokémon to travel with, like Treecko, which upsets Torchic even more. Per Caroline's proposal, Ash joins for the lunch. Ash admits he has been traveling with friends around the regions, which Norman approves of. Ash asks Norman for a Gym Battle, who asks Ash how many Badges did he obtain. Ash replies this would be his first one and has only Pikachu with him. Norman specifies, per rules, the challenger must have three Pokémon. Max comments that is why Ash lost the Johto League. Ash replies he left all his Pokémon in Pallet Town, since he wants to seek new Pokémon and befriend them in Hoenn. Norman respects that and decides to battle Ash, but in unofficial fight. On the battlefield, Norman brings his Vigoroth out. Ash and Pikachu are startled by Virgoroth's cry and its claws. Ash sends Pikachu, who gets hit by Vigoroth's Scratch. Vigoroth repeats the attack and hits Pikachu, who retaliates with Quick Attack, but misses and gets hit by another Scratch attack. Team Rocket watch the battle and plan on taking both Vigoroth and Pikachu.
Pikachu attacks with Thunderbolt, but Vigoroth dodges. Pikachu strikes with Quick Attack, managing to hit Vigoroth. Max admires Ash's battling, knowing he did participate in the Johto League. Vigoroth scratches Pikachu again and defeats him. Ash rushes to Pikachu, commenting Vigoroth is a strong Pokémon. Team Rocket appears, but May's mother mistakes them to be May's friends. Jessie sends Arbok, while James his Weezing, who uses with Smokescreen. Arbok headbutts Pikachu, while Vigoroth uses Scratch on Weezing, but misses. May sends her Torchic out, but as she thinking which move to order, Arbok knocks Torchic out. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but with the smoke around, he accidentally attacks Max, who comments he got to see Pikachu's Thunderbolt in action. Team Rocket flies off, but May notices they took her Torchic. May is depressed, but Ash promises to get Torchic back. Elsewhere, Jessie puts her rubber gloves on, taking out Pikachu they stole. However, they are surprised to see it is a Torchic, who uses Ember on James. Meowth advises they could use Torchic as bait for Pikachu.
Norman and Caroline go away, while Ash, May and Max search on their own. Max tries to find Team Rocket's footprints, but is reminded by May they flew off in the balloon. Max claims they can use Ash to find Team Rocket, but May is annoyed and bashes her fist onto Max's head, causing him to whine. Just then, Norman and Caroline return, as they found the balloon. Max and May run off to rescue Torchic, but before Ash can warn them, they fall into a hole. Norman and Caroline run off rescue their children, but Ash also tries to warn them about the hole, but they fall down into another one. Ash tries to bring out Bayleef, but realizes he left her with other Pokémon in Oak's lab. Ash helps Max, Caroline, May, and Norman to get out of the hole, while Pikachu hits Arbok, canceling its attack. Norman brings Vigoroth out, who uses Scratch on Arbok and Weezing. Max sneaks by and takes the cage containing Torchic to May. May praises Max and hugs her Torchic.
Arbok wraps Vigoroth, but Pikachu tackles Arbok. May orders Torchic to attack with Amber, but Max corrects her. May orders to attack with "Amber", but Max reminds her the move is called Ember. May orders Ember, but Torchic uses the move on Max. May orders Torchic to use Peck, but (again) Torchic attacks Max. Arbok hits Pikachu, so Vigoroth crashes onto Arbok and Weezing, causing them to land on Team Rocket. Pikachu strikes them with Thunderbolt, blasting Team Rocket off. Seeing May hugging Torchic, Ash comments Torchic is growing on May, while Max sees this is how Pokémon's bond deepens with its trainer. Later, Ash and May are about to leave. Max decides to join them, since he knows a lot about Pokémon. Norman asks Ash to let May and Max travel with them. Ash agrees and is given, along with May, a Badge Case, while Max receives a Pokémon Navigator, known better as PokéNav. Norman advises Ash to go to Rustboro City, where the closest Gym is located. Ash, Max and May wave goodbye to Norman and Caroline, as the trio continues their journey.
- "Hey Pika...chu?" - Jessie
- "Torchic, Amber!
- You mean Ember..." May and Max
- The "Who's That Pokémon" is Cleffa.
- This episode's name is based on the popular phrase "There's No Place Like Home".
Ash's shoes had different designs between scenes after his Pikachu lost to Norman's Vigoroth.