Some episodes of Pokémon have been removed from rotation, or as commonly referred to, banned from the original lineup of episodes.
The never seen before episodes were withdrawn from airing due to natural disasters occurring in the real world that have similarities with content in the episode.
The 4Kids Entertainment episodes were withdrawn from syndication due to stereotypes that may offend a certain ethnicity religion or culture or to the extent where inappropriate content so prevalent that 4Kids most likely believed that no amount of selective editing could ever make these acceptable for distribution on TV or home video, while IL038 was withdrawn due to light effect problems.
Episodes withdrawn or undubbed in English
Most episodes were dubbed by 4Kids and TPCi, while others were not. Here is a basic list of episodes that were undubbed for controversial reasons:
- IL018: Beauty and the Beach (was later dubbed in 2000 and aired twice before disappearing from rotation)
- IL035: The Legend of Dratini
- IL038: Cyber Soldier Porygon
- IL065: Holiday Hi-Jynx (banned by TPCi as of 2014 due to the Jynx controversy)
- JE134: The Ice Cave! (due to Jynx controversy)
- OI010: Stage Fight! (banned by TPCi as of 2014 due to the Jynx controversy)
- OI019: The Mandarin Island Miss Match (banned by TPCi as of 2014 due to the Jynx controversy)
- SM064: Ash and Passimian! Friendly Touchdown!!
Cyber Soldier Porygon
|This episode is infamous for causing many seizures when first aired. In the part where the seizure comes, Pikachu, in order to stop some missiles, uses a Thunderbolt attack. This leads to a very large and quick sequence where lights flash at 12 cycles per second and vividly on screen. Some of these lights were strobe lights being flashed at speeds exceeding 12 cycles per second. Many viewers reported dizziness and nausea consequently of this part. 685 children were taken to be hospitalized, although only 150 were kept overnight for observation. Despite rumors, there is no evidence to suggest that any of the viewers suffered lasting injury. The episode has never been shown again and has set guidelines for flashing lights in anime. To remove the infamous episode from the public mind, the character Porygon and its evolutions never again had have roles in the series, but they have made a number of cameo appearances.
Veronica Taylor has denied that an unreleased English dub was ever made. However, Maddie Blaustein and Eric Stuart have said otherwise. If this dub exists, it remains unaired.
|December 16, 1997|
Battle of the Shaking Island! Barboach vs. Whiscash!!
|This episode revolves around a bunch of Whiscash causing an earthquake. It was removed and never aired anywhere, including Japan, due to its relation to the Chuetsu earthquakes of October 23, 2004.||Unaired|
Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma! Parts 1 and 2
|This episode was set to air in Japan but was delayed in because of an earthquake and tsunami. It may have also been delayed due to Castelia City being destroyed. By the time Team Plasma finally appeared almost two years later, the episodes had been retconned out of continuity. Despite this, TV Tokyo still says that it plans to air it from its website statement on March 15, 2011 but that has yet to come and this statement has not been updated or clarified since.||Unaired|
Banned in the United States
Beauty and the Beach
|This episode revolves around all the female characters entering a swimsuit competition, including James, who, in order to enter, buys a pair of inflatable breasts. The episode is notable for one scene where James is waving his fake breasts in other's faces for comedic effect in order to win the swimming contest. It was eventually dubbed into English with that scene removed during the season break between the broadcast schedules of seasons 2 and 3. It aired as a special that is not part of any of the 52-episode season packages Kids' WB! ordered and for licensees to buy, and therefore is not included on any DVD releases, nor was it shown on any other channel or in any other country.||July 29, 1997 (JP), June 24, 2000 (US)|
Tentacool & Tentacruel
|This episode was temporarily withdrawn by Kids' WB! specifically and temporarily in the United States due to the 9/11 attacks, and because the episode features destruction of buildings. However, it is still part of the 52-episode season 1 for licensees to purchase, and has been shown as a completely standard episode everywhere else, including on US home video releases, and later channels that would buy the series, such as Cartoon Network or Disney XD.||August 5, 1997 (JP), October 1, 1998 (US)|
The Tower of Terror
|This episode was temporarily withdrawn by Kids' WB! specifically and temporarily in the United States due to the 9/11 attacks, and because of what the episode's title implies. However, it is still part of the 52-episode season 1 for licensees to purchase, and has been shown as a completely standard episode everywhere else, including on US home video releases, and later channels that would buy the series, such as Cartoon Network or Disney XD.||September 2, 1997 (JP), October 7, 1998 (US)|
The Legend of Dratini
|This episode is banned due to Kaiser pointing a gun in Ash's face and threatening to shoot him and because of Jessie, James, and Meowth firing several missed shots at Kaiser to catch the Dratini. An English dub was never made because on-the-air networks have to inspect any TV series for anything inappropriate.||November 25, 1997|
The Ice Cave!
|The first banned episode in 4 years. This episode is banned because of Jynx's racial stereotype appearance which appears to have offended people in the United States who were African-Americans. Because of this, no English dub ever aired in the United States and the episode was also skipped on home video.||May 30, 2002|
Ash and Passimian! Friendly Touchdown!!
|This is the first episode since "The Ice Cave!" and the first one in the TPCi dub to remain undubbed due to inappropriate content, rather than being skipped by TPCi or 4Kids for being a clip show or anything deemed extra, out of the way, and unnecessary for the English version. The most likely reason for this agreed upon among fans is that Ash put on dark face paint reminiscent of the blackface stereotype, which is the same issue that resulted in Jynx episodes being pulled or undubbed, while imitating the appearance of Passimian.||March 1, 2018|