Aipom and Circumstance (Japanese: !エイパムと王様！ Aipom and the King!) is the 38th episode of Pokémon: Battle Frontier.
On the way to Fennel Valley and the Battle Pyramid, Ash and friends stop for lunch. After they are done eating, Aipom tries to show Ash the flowers it gathered, but when Pikachu jumps on Ash's shoulder, Aipom gets jealous, grabs Ash's hat and runs off. Ash, Pikachu and Brock run off after it and wind up in a village where people are stretching. A boy named Hank explains that they are about to compete in a contest to decide who will be the king of their village for the next year. As the contest begins, Aipom comes by, takes the crown, and runs off into the woods and everyone gives chase. In the woods, Aipom puts the crown on and it gets stuck to her head! Now Ash must catch up with Aipom and remove the crown before the people of the village or Team Rocket get a hold of it!
The heroes and their Pokémon are eating lunch. Ash is eating fast and sees Aipom's gone. The heroes spot Aipom made a crown of flowers and places on its head. After the lunch, Ash tells Pikachu they need to train and Pikachu, as always, hops on Ash's shoulder. Aipom gets jealous and it goes on Ash's second shoulder, making him fall. The Aipom snatches his hat and runs away. Ash goes to get it and Brock comes as well, telling May and Max to watch over the Pokémon. Suddenly, Ash and Brock see a temple. Inside, the people train and will pick the next candidate to become a king to rule the village. The person who told this is Hank and Brock and Ash introduce themselves.
Ash and Brock see a ceremony - a man tells that the one who wears the crown until the sunset will be the village's king. Hank tells them the king is adored by many, especially the girls, giving Brock a fantasy of his own. Hank tells them he wants to be a king as well, but thinks he does not qualify for it. The man tells everyone can participate, so Brock is very happy and interested. Team Rocket sees the crown and Meowth proposes to give it to the boss, thinking a lot of ways it can be used. Jessie and James are interested and will get that crown. The temple's doors open and the people rush to get the crown. Brock and Hank go to get it, but is stomped by the stampede. The people and Team Rocket go to reach for the crown, but alas, Aipom gets the crown and Team Rocket Ash's hat. Jessie throws the hat and Ash retrieves it. However, Aipom still has the crown and the man tells even the Aipom can become the king, as long as it has the crown.
The Aipom comes down and Brock and Ash try to convince it to give the crown. Seeing Pikachu on Ash's shoulder, Aipom runs away. Brock, Ash, Pikachu and the crowd go search for Aipom, but Aipom is hiding in bushes. Aipom places the crown, but is dropped, so Aipom sticks on its head really hard, but the crown got stuck on the head and Aipom can't see. Pikachu comes and tries to get it off its head, but he fails - the Aipom can see, but the crown is still on the head. Pikachu and the crowd go after the Aipom, who ran away. Ash, Brock and Hank hear the crowd telling Aipom went north. Hank sends Nosepass to determine the location. Nosepass points the direction, although Ash, Brock and Hank came where May and Max are. Brock tells May and Max the Aipom will be the king if something is not done yet.
Pikachu and Aipom came to the end of the cliff, being chased by the crowd. They go through a tunnel and lose the crowd. Pikachu and Aipom went through and see the heroes. Ash hugs them, but seeing the sundown, Ash tries to get the crown off Aipom's head. Ash tells he will stay with Aipom the entire year if Aipom becomes the king. Max tells him the Battle Pyramid awaits him, but Ash responds he cannot leave his family behind. A Fearow comes and grabs Aipom, but Ash grabs Aipom and Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, electrocuting the Fearow, Ash and Aipom. However, the Fearow is a machine made by Team Rocket. However, they designed more Fearows to take that crown. The Fearow attack Ash and Aipom, so Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but the Fearow fly high up in the sky Pikachu's Thunderbolt cannot reach them.
The Fearow attack, so Ash sends Swellow. Swellow attacks the Fearow, dismantling them one by one. Swellow is surrounded and still attacks, but gets hit. Swellow re-gains its balance and attacks once more, but gets surrounded once more. Ash calls Swellow back and Hank proposes Aipom should use Double Team to confuse Team Rocket. So, Aipom produces the illusions, but they all get destroyed when the Fearow attacked. Fearow gets Aipom, so Ash and Pikachu grab Aipom. Hank's Nosepass uses Thunder Wave, disrupting the Fearow's coordination. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt and Aipom Swift, blasting Team Rocket off.
As the sunset is near, the heroes see the crowd approaching and it seems Aipom will be the king. They all pull, but there is no effect. However, Hank gives Aipom a sour berry. Because of the disgusting face expression, Hank was able to pull the crown from Aipom's head. Ash asks Aipom not to do any crazy stuff like that, making her blush. Hank has the crown and sees the sundown. The crowd comes and now know that Hank is the king. Hank does not know about that idea, but the heroes remind him of his intelligent, creative ideas that got them out of trouble. Hank accepts the kingship and Ash the idea of a training before the Battle Pyramid.
- In the Japanese version of the episode, Ash's Aipom was identified as female by May.
- While the term "king" is usually only applied to males, the system shown in this episode applies to both genders as a woman says that she wanted to be king when the crown is stuck on Aipom's head.
- This was the last episode to air before the Japanese theatrical debut of Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea.
- This episode's dub title comes from the Pomp and Circumstance Marches by Sir Edward Elgar, which in turn came from Shakespeare's Othello.
- The crown in this episode bears a striking resemblance to the one in A Corsola Caper!; however, that crown was pink instead of yellow.
- Ash's Aipom remains outside of her Poké Ball throughout this episode.
- Meowth breaks the fourth wall in this episode.
- When Ash fell, his blue shirt was not seen.