A Poached Ego! (Japanese: ロケット団！みだれひっかきでサヨウナラ！！ Team Rocket! Goodbye to a Disturbed Scratch!!) is the 6th episode of Pokémon: Advanced.
Our heroes are headed for Rustboro City, where Ash hopes to have his first real Gym battle in Hoenn. Team Rocket is making their way along the same path when they stumble upon a cage full of Ekans. Jessie is delighted that their work has been done for them and orders Arbok to attack. Arbok can't manage to attack the helpless Ekans, however, because it remembers when it used to be an Ekans. Jessie is sympathetic. James soon makes a similar concession when they find a cage of Koffing that Weezing will not hurt. The cages belong to a poacher named Rico who uses his Fearow and Pupitar to chase off Team Rocket. Team Rocket returns to the scene, now hoping to free the Ekans and Koffing. Things turn dangerous when Rico's Pupitar evolves into a Tyranitar, and Team Rocket is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Pokémon that they love.
As Ash, Brock and Max travel to Rustboro City, May (as usual) lags behind. Ash knows they had a break, so sees they have to have another one. Max notices on his PokéNav in a Pokémon Center nearby, so Brock encourages May to go. May lets Brock's arm out and spots a strange object sticking in a tree. They all notice that the nearby trees have been scratched for some reason. At the Center, Brock goes to charm Nurse Joy, but May pushes him aside Nurse Joy, thinking this is the same Joy from Oldale Town. Joy explains that she is the younger sister of the Nurse Joy in Oldale Town. Max shows May a picture of all Nurse Joys in Hoenn, saying they all look the same. Brock disagrees, stating that this Nurse Joy has a millimeter longer bangs than other Nurse Joys. This impresses Max and Ash.
Officer Jenny appears and Brock goes to her to charm her, seeing Jenny's eyelashes are half a millimeter longer than other Officer Jennys. Max shows May a picture of all Officer Jennys in Hoenn region as well. Jenny asks Nurse Joy did any injured Pokémon come to the Pokémon Center. Joy replies none have arrived, though Jenny warns them all she received reports of poachers around. Joy shows a paper of the poacher, named Rico, who is brutal to Pokémon. Ash gives Jenny a part of a net they found in the forest, so they go to the site. Team Rocket spies again, planning to steal the Pokémon from the Center, by setting a hole. Meowth proposes to have an original plan, since they aim to receive a promotion. As Meowth is thinking, he accidentally slides down a hill. As he stands up, he sees a tent, revealing to be a cage full of injured Ekans. Meowth communicates with them, learning they were captured by a poacher. Meowth tries to free them, but gets electrocuted by the cage. Jessie and James come down on Arbok and Weezing. Jessie and James comment the poacher is foolish to leave the Pokémon he caught wounded, out here, alone.
They all agree it would be best to free them, for they can catch them. Jessie orders Arbok to use Acid, but Arbok cries because it was an Ekans before and does not want them to be hurt. Jessie promises she'll look after the Ekans, right after they are freed. James and Meowth count that would mean they'd have to gather more food, but Jessie was counting Meowth and James could skip some meals. Abok uses Acid, but nothing happens. James orders his Weezing to use Sludge, but a Fearow attacks it. The poacher appears, wondering what Team Rocket would do "to his prey". Weezing spots the poacher captured some Koffing. The poacher introduces himself as Rico, who captured these poison-type Pokémon, per a client's request. Rico promises he'll let them alone if they give their Weezing and Arbok to him. Jessie and James refuse to, since they are their partners, so Rico intends to take them by force. Rico's Fearow uses Agility, while Arbok uses Poison Sting and Weezing Sludge. Fearow dodges and uses Fury Attack, hitting both Weezing and Arbok. Fearow attacks with Drill Peck, though gets stopped by Arbok, who wrapped its beak. Rico calls his Fearow back and calls Pupitar. Using Sandstorm, Pupitar blasts them off, though Rico comments he missed his chance to catch those Pokémon.
Back at the forest, May shows where they found the net, when Max shows the tire tracks on the ground. Team Rocket are angered about Rico, with James commenting he'd also free the Koffing, regardless of how much extra food they'd have to buy. Suddenly, they notice a pack of Beedrill and Kakuna nearby. The Beedrill attack, while Team Rocket flees. A Pokémon passes by and Team Rocket warns it should hide. The Pokémon uses Pin Missile, dispersing the Beedrill. Meowth sees this is a Cacnea. James thinks the poacher must've moved on already, but Arbok lies on the ground, wanting to sense the location of the poacher. Before they leave, James gives Cacnea a bag of cookies, since it did save their lives. Ash's Taillow scouts, finding Rico driving his vehicle with the captured Pokémon. Taillow comes back to the heroes, leading them to the poacher. The poacher stops, finding Jessie's Arbok. While he prepares to capture it, Weezing uses Smokescreen on Rico. Fearow gusts away the smoke, revealing Meowth, enduring the electrical pain to open the cage. Fearow goes to attack Meowth with Drill Peck, but Arbok headbutts it, knocking the Fearow onto the cage and electrocuting it. Meowth opens the cage, freeing the Ekans and Koffing out. Rico is about to capture them, but Arbok and Weezing attack him with Poison Sting and Sludge, knocking away his weapon. Rico becomes really angry and sends his Pupitar, who evolves into a Tyranitar, frightening Team Rocket.
Weezing uses Smokescreen, allowing Ekans and Koffing to flee but Tyranitar uses Hyper Beam. The attack caused a trench, barring Ekans and Koffing's movement. Jessie brings her Wobbuffet, as it can reflect attacks. Unfortunately, the Hyper Beam was too quick for Wobbuffet to reflect the attack. Tyranitar uses Hyper Beam again, destroying everything nearby. The heroes hear this sound and decide to check it out. Rico promises he will crush them all, since they made him really angry. Jessie and James decide that Arbok and Weezing should lead the Ekans and Koffing out. Arbok and Weezing refuse, but Jessie and James point out they can only flee, since Ekans and Koffing need them. After Jessie and James urge them to, despite their own will to stay, Arbok and Weezing lead the groups away from the area. Tyranitar is about to use Hyper Beam, but Meowth cancels the attack with Fury Swipes. Arbok and Weezing turn around and see Jessie, James and Meowth attack Tyranitar, but end up getting even more hurt by its attacks. Weezing and Arbok witness everything, but, as they lead Ekans and Koffing away from the area, they start crying, seeing their friends are getting beaten up. Jessie, James and Meowth are defeated, but they still try to stop Rico from capturing Pokémon. However, Rico leaves them.
While Rico tries to find Arbok and Weezing, he encounters the heroes and Jenny, the latter marking it clear he is to be arrested. Rico sends Fearow, but Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, defeating it. Rico is about to bring Tyranitar, but Jenny's Growlithe seizes the Poké Balls, so Rico is arrested. Rico tells the Pokémon escaped, but Ash is glad there are some good people around, unlike Team Rocket. Jessie and James worry about Arbok and Weezing, but Meowth assures them they have been trained well, since they endured Pikachu's attacks. Team Rocket encounters Cacnea, who is still carrying the cookies. James opens the cookie bag and gives the cookie to Cacnea. Cacnea likes the cookie, so James offers it could travel with them. Cacnea agrees and James hugs Cacnea, only to wail in pain, due to its needles.
- "So not fair... I didn't even get a chance to talk to her this time!" - Brock
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" is Larvitar.
- This is the last episode Jessie's Arbok and James' Weezing are seen.
- At the end of this episode, James catches a Cacnea who has a similar comic effect as Victreebel.
- The song that plays during the scene involving Arbok and Weezing leaving and watching Rico and Team Rocket fighting is Tears of Life from Mewtwo Strikes Back.