The kids arrive in a city where May lets her Bulbasaur to enjoy the scenery. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is at the Pokemon Center, making "repairs" to the transporter machine.
Upon arrival at the PC, Ash calls Professor Oak. They decide that Ash's and May's Bulbasaur should meet, so Oak transports Ash's over. Unfortunately, Team Rocket has rerouted the machine, so they get all the full Pokeballs, and only empty Pokeballs arrive at the PC.
The kids confront Team Rocket outside of PC. James has attached a new engine to their balloon which malfunctions, so the thieves go blasting off. The drop one Pokeball--Ash's Bulbasaur.
Team Rocket gathers up everything from the crash site and runs, but a hole in James' bag leaves a trail of Pokeballs along the way. The two Bulbasaur quickly pick up the trail to a cabin where the thieves are hiding.
Team Rocket seals up the cabin and begins fending off Ash and friends, using Pokeballs as projectiles. The two Bulbasaur try to sneak the rest of the Pokeballs out through a window with their vines.
Pikachu breaks down the wall with Iron Tail, and the Bulbasaur team up to battle Team Rocket. Pikachu sends the thieves blasting off.
Back at the PC, Ash talks to Professor Oak again, who begs Ash to send Bulbasaur back. Everyone says goodbye, and the little Grass-type is sent home.
- The episode title is a pun on the dance name "hokey pokey".
- This is the first time since beginning his travels in the Hoenn region that Ash has called up any Pokémon from Professor Oak's lab or used any Pokémon caught before arriving in Hoenn other than Pikachu.
- Music from the first movie can be heard in this episode.
- Since Team Rocket finished corrupting the Poké Ball transporter only when Ash and others entered the Pokémon Center, not many people could have used it before Ash, if he was not the first. Obviously, Team Rocket could not have stolen three large bags of Poké Balls.
- Beautifly is pictured where Nuzleaf's name appears in Trainer's Choice.
- Additionally, Combusken would be the worst choice of the three, as it is part Fighting-type, weak to Psychic-types. Beautifly would instead be the best choice, as it is Flying-type and Bug-type which are both effective against Meditite, a Fighting-type and Psychic-type.
- In the scene where Ash and his friends found Team Rocket's balloon, Poké Balls could be seen in the basket.
- "Poké Ball" written in one word appears in the anime not for the first time. This spelling seems to be canonical in the anime.
- In the part where Ash's Bulbasaur and May's Bulbasaur "talk" to a Nuzleaf and a Shroomish, their voices were mixed up in Japanese version: Nuzleaf says "Kinoko" (from Kinococo) and Shroomish says "Kono" (from Konohana).
- After Professor Oak returns Bulbasaur to its Poké Ball, he puts it on the transporter upside down but in the next shot it is right side up.
- When Seviper uses Poison Tail for the first time, the outlines around the purple markings are a light purple instead of black.