The gang is on a ship to Pacifidlog Town. May already plans to get there and take the final ribbon. They are near an island, but an error causes the ship to stop. May asks Carlos, the man who transported them, if they'll get to the island soon enough. Carlos tells them that he'll ship onto Donto Island. Carlos tells them it will take some hours before he can get the ship running again, so May is demotivated by those words. The only way to get to Pacifidlog Island soon is to get the ferry on the other side of Donto Island before the night. May has little choice but to get there.
As they are here, they might as well check the surrounding area for Pokémon. A Donphan rolls to them. Ash remembers Phanpy evolves into Donphan and remembers his own. Donphan charges and the gang moves aside, just in time before getting hit. They spot more and Brock believes they are performing their love dance, a sign of affection from a male to female. Another Donphan rolls and comes back, so Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to protect May. Since it is a Ground type, it has no effect, so Ash tackles May to protect her. They go away from the Donphan group to be safe. They spot another, much friendlier Donphan, but they run away as more Donphan come rolling to them. As they rest for a while, Ash sends Corphish, to use a Water attack to protect them. Brock sends Mudkip as well.
From a hill, Team Rocket spots the Donphan. Meowth thinks that their boss would use them for bowling, though it would smash the building. He thinks he would use it as massage or transportation, but James is skeptical. Jessie tells them they need to capture it, in either case. They spot a Donphan running away and soon are flattened by a group of them. To heal them, James sends Chimecho. Chimecho uses Astonish to scare Meowth and Jessie, so they begin to fight with James for "not training it well". The gang spots some Donphan and spot another one rolling to them, so Mudkip uses Water Gun and Corphish Bubble Beam on it. However, it bashes itself on a rock.
Brock gets the first aid kit and Donphan heals itself. The gang apologises themselves for the rudeness and see a shiny, brown Donphan. The male Donphan seems in crush and rolls to impress her. Team Rocket orders their Pokémon to stop Donphan so they may capture them. They spot some rolling, so Wobbuffet comes to use Protect, but is blasted off and the Donphan roll over Team Rocket. Jessie asks Chimecho to use Healing Bell, but they get Astonish instead. The gang walks to a valley and they spot the Donphan Brock healed and rolls to the shiny one. However, more Donphan roll to impress the shiny one. The Donphan gets attacked and loses, so the gang encourages him not to give up.
Snorunt comes out and freezes the ground with Ice Beam. Ash wants to see Snorunt attack with Ice Beam more, but seems to fail, so Ash will have to work on the attack. Snorunt proves that he's wrong and freezes the ground more and the Donphan fall down due to slippery ground. The shiny Donphan goes away, seeing other Donphan to the ground. Ash tries to get Snorunt back, but it goes away. Team Rocket has planned to dig a hole to capture Donphan. They spot the Snorunt, who freezes them with Ice Beam. The gang are surprised and move away, so the Donphan blast off Team Rocket. The gang runs away as more Donphan roll to them. However, they seem to have split up.
They begin to search for the others. They see the last boat to Pacifidlog Island, so Ash decides May should go alone, as Ash will find Brock and Max, as there won't be another chance for May to get the last ribbon for Grand Festival. May tells him she'd love to, but cannot. She remembers her promise to her mom, Caroline, that she'll protect Max. They spot the last boat going, so May begins to cry, but thanks Ash for supporting her and she tells him to find Max and Brock. Max and Brock search for Ash and May and see the Donphan with the bandage. The Donphan shakes its head when Brock asked if he found his love. Ash and May also search and find the shiny Donphan and give it food. They also tell her that they met another Donphan who loves her.
The Donphan with the bandage comes to the shiny one and the gang reunites. The Donphan with the bandage performs its Love Dance. He does crash a tree, but continues performing, but is tackled by another Donphan. However, Donphan tackles every other male Donphan around. The shiny Donphan is amazed and performs as well. However, both are captured by Team Rocket. May is quite furious, as she blames them for being the problem she is not in Pacifidlog Town. May sends all her Pokémon. Beautifly uses String Shot, pulling the Donphan to it. Bulbasaur uses Razor Leaf, setting the Donphan free. Skitty uses Double Slap, hitting Team Rocket. Combusken uses Fire Spin, burning Team Rocket. To blast them off, Donphan rolls to Team Rocket.
The gang thanks the Donphan and May wishes them to be happy. Everyone sees there is no other boat left. Ash tells Max and Brock she wouldn't leave without Max, as her promise bounded her. However, they do spot Carlos, who takes them to Pacifidlog Island. May vows to herself to get the 5th ribbon.
- The episode name is a pun on "Great Expectations", a novel written by Charles Dickens.
- Mime Jr., Weavile and Lucario have been inserted back into the intro, even though they are Generation IV Pokémon.