Going for a Spinda (Japanese: パッチールがいっぱい！幸せさがして山の彼方に！？ Lots of Spinda! Beyond the Mountain in Search of Happiness!) is the 17th episode of Pokémon: Advanced Challenge.
Deciding to go back to Petalburg City, the heroes encounter a woman named Claire, who had lost her heart-marked Spinda. The heroes decide to help Claire and her butler, Royce, in finding Spinda. Team Rocket tries to intervene and both sides chase Spinda to a mountain top, a place which Claire recognizes.
Ash is excited to have his new badge, but is reminded he needs four more to enter the Hoenn League, though Ash claims it will be easy to obtain them. Max asks him where should he go next. Ash does not know, so Brock checks the map. Seeing there is a desert between Lavaridge Town and Fortree City, Brock proposes going back to Petalburg City though Mauville City. This makes May and Max happy, who can already taste their mom's cooking and May can even show her Pokémon she caught. Ash recalls he did battle Norman and Vigoroth in an unofficial battle, since he only had Pikachu back then, but claims he is ready now for a full battle. Max and May warn Ash their father is a tough opponent, but Ash points out he did get stronger as well and is excited to go to Petalburg City. While they are walking, the heroes encounter a group of Spinda. Max notes how all of them look different May spots another one with a heart on its face.
They hear a woman calling for Spinda, which makes Brock in love, but the Spinda runs off. The woman tells that Spinda brought her luck and she needs to bring it back. A man appears, promising to return Spinda. The woman is Claire and the man is Royce, her butler, who introduce themselves. Brock tries to impress Claire, but gets pushed away by Max and May. Royce gives them the photos of Spinda with a heart on its face. They promised its owner to get it back, but they haven't been successful. Brock holds Claire's hands, promising to return Spinda back, so Royce shakes Brock's hands in agreement. Team Rocket overhears the talk of Spinda being lucky, so they decide to steal it and use it to bring them money. The heroes search and May finds one, but Max points out it must have a heart mark on its face. Brock found a Spinda, but it has a broken heart mark, which upsets Brock.
Royce and Claire have found the Spinda, so Ash and Max jump to grab it, but Spinda runs off and evades them. The heart-marked Spinda went to the Spinda group, so everyone tries to identify the one they are looking for. Team Rocket appears, sucking the Spinda into the hose, including the heart-marked one. James gets the heart-marked Spinda, but it uses Dizzy Punch on Team Rocket, confusing them. Team Rocket comes to their senses and start yelling Spinda, but are soon asleep due to its Hypnosis. The balloon floats down and the heart-marked Spinda goes away. The heroes go to search after it and decide to split up to find it faster. Later, Team Rocket searches for the Spinda as well, and Jessie, upon seeing a Teddiursa, has a plan. She disguises a Teddiursa as a Spinda and when Spinda would go to help it, they'd take them one by one until finding the real one. However, Teddiursa does not act as a Spinda, so Jessie orders it to move to left, then right. However, a Ursaring arrives and uses Hyper Beam, blasting them off. Meanwhile, a man is going up to the mountain, claiming he "is nearly there".
The heroes continue the search and Max found some tracks, but Royce does not believe these are heart-marked Spinda's tracks. Ash sends Taillow to search from the air. Brock gets the Spinda, but gets the one with the broken heart mark, then gets hit by it. Claire hopes Spinda did not get hungry or hurt. She remembers the day when she met the Spinda on a flower field, while reading a book. May sees they are almost at the top, so Claire thinks of something. As the climb up, James and Meowth are in sour mood after being attacked by Ursaring. Jessie claims the appearance was fine, but the acting was wrong, so has Meowth disguised as Spinda and tied up. Meowth thinks no Spinda will come to it, but unexpectedly, the heart-marked one appears near him. Jessie and James try to catch it, but miss and capture Meowth. Spinda runs away and dances, using Teeter Dance to confuse Team Rocket, who goes near the edge of the cliff and falls down. May, Brock and Claire find the heart-marked Spinda and go after it.
When they arrive to the top, they see a plain of flowers with other Spinda. Claire knows the heart-marked Spinda wanted to return here, who gives Claire a flower. Taillow has found the Spinda, so Ash, Max and Royce come as well. Claire explains this is the place where she first met Spinda's actual owner. The Spinda with the broken heart comes to Brock, terrifying him. A man arrives, whom Claire identifies as Kain, who is the heart-marked Spinda's owner. Royce explains Kain is engaged to Claire, causing Brock a lot of pain. Royce explains Kain was traveling the regions to find unusual Pokémon and left Spinda to Claire. This causes Brock to be depressed, but claims he "only wants the best for Claire". Claire gives Spinda back to Kain, and sees the flower Kain gives to her, which is the same flower Kain gave her when they first met. Suddenly, everyone feels an earthquake.
A giant Spinda machine appears before them, as Team Rocket starts stealing the Spinda. Kain's Spinda uses Hypnosis, but it is reflected off a mirror, so Spinda falls asleep. Team Rocket tries to take Spinda, so Pikachu goes to use Thunderbolt, but is distracted when Team Rocket launches a robotic arm. Team Rocket takes Kain's Spinda, causing Claire to faint. Brock is furious, so he sends out Forretress, Lotad and Mudkip. Lotad uses Razor Leaf and Mudkip Water Gun, but with no effect. Team Rocket release the Spinda arm, hurting Mudkip and Lotad. Forretress uses Explosion, destroying the machine and releasing Spinda. The robotic arm damages the robot, causing it to explode Brock calls his Pokémon back and, along with Kain, he gets Spinda. While Kain obtains his own Spinda, Brock receives the broken-heart marked one, displeasing Brock. With the situation resolved, Pikachu uses Thunder, blasting Team Rocket off.
Brock watches as Claire and Kain spend time together and claims he and the broken-heart marked Spinda have each other, at least. Royce, Kain and Claire bid the heroes farewell, who leave the area. Brock, however, cries, but promises to find his happiness.
- "What are you doing, confusing us!? We are already confused!" - James
- Featured Pokémon: Seedot, Surskit, Delibird, Seel.
- The English dub is based on the phrase "going for a spin".
- One Spinda in particular looks very similar to a Pikachu, as the positions of its spots are at the tips of its ears and on its cheeks.
During the "Trainer's Choice" part, Surskit is mentioned to be the strongest Pokémon to battle Seedot. However, due to type advantage, Delibird would've been the better Pokémon to battle Seedot.