The roar of the crowd and the excitement in the air as Dawn prepares to start off her contest debut. Just kidding. It's just Dawn practising (and failing) at her appeal. Elsewhere Team Rocket stole some berries that belonged to a Golduck, Wooper, Quagsire and Poliwag. Soon after this group finds Piplup and it agrees to solve the problem. Can this plucky Pokémon settle this dispute diplomatically?
Dawn is in a Contest and presents Piplup. Piplup spins and uses Bubblebeam to make an dazzling sight. Suddenly, Piplup is very confused, as it spinned too much and bashes to the ground. This was Dawn's imagination and Piplup is confused, while Ash and Brock tell it was not very impressive. Dawn does not give up and Piplup does the same, but gets confused and attacks everyone, then bashes to the ground once more. Meanwhile, Team Rocket are still depressed from hunger and begin to scout. They do see a bulk of fruit. Meowth goes to eat it, but Jessie stops him, as she sees footprints and thinks someone who gathered this would be very angry... but they steal the fruit, nonetheless.
A Golduck, Wooper, Quagsire and a Poliwag came with the fruit, but see only remians of the bulk they gathered. They are sad and angry about this. Team Rocket are getting the fruit into the submarine. A fruit is dropped from a basket and Meowth goes to grab it, but he falls on a plank and a different basket (that was on the plank) blasts off. Team Rocket search and they hear something. They see 3 Ludicolo dancing in front of the berries that blasted off. Though their footprints do not match the ones they saw before, Meowth thinks the boss would like them as the ones who'd make his day cheerful. Suddenly, they see a Golduck arguing with them. Team Rocket think they could side with the Ludicolo, then run off with the berries. They disguise themselves as judges and Jessie intimidates Golduck, as there is no proof the berries are its own. So, they leave, but Golduck challenges them.
Jessie sends Seviper and James his Carnivine. Seviper uses Poison Tail on Golduck and Carnivine bites it. Golduck is defeated and Seviper uses Haze, so Wooper, Quagsire and Poliwag escape with it. Team Rocket turn to Ludicolo as "friends". The Ludicolo are very happy and spin them around, so they leave without any berries. The heroes have lunch and suddenly Piplup leaves. Piplup trains on its Bubblebeam, but gets spinned too much. Piplup stands up and is pounded by Quagsire, Wooper and Poliwag, who ran over. Piplup is angry and suddenly they all leave. The heroes do not know what they are up to and they go to see what will happen. Team Rocket eat the berries they collected, though Jessie thinks the Pokémon will return.
Piplup comes to the Ludicolo and bargains with them. The Ludicolo are not interested and spray it with a Water Gun. Piplup becomes angry and attacks by pecking, but gets stopped. Piplup fails, but will still continue. Piplup attacks again, but misses and comes to the radar of Team Rocket's submarine. Jessie spins the radar and Piplup is thrown away. The heroes come and Jessie thinks this is a good opportunity. Team Rocket come out of the submarine. Meowth translates that Piplup acts as a leader for the Wooper, Golduck, Quagsire and Poliwag. Piplup pecks the submarine, but with no effect. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Team Rocket go inside the submarine and are protected.
Two nets are released and all Pokémon (except Piplup) are caught. Piplup sees this and goes to free them and even peck the submarine, but with no effect. Meowth releases some mechanical Remoraid, who attacks Piplup. Piplup uses Bubblebeam to destroy them, but there are too many of them. Piplup is depressed, but Dawn reminds it promised to help the Pokémon, so it jumps and performs the combo - it spins and uses Bubblebeam and destroys them. Piplup performs the combo again to spin the submarine. The Pokémon are free and Team Rocket emerge from the submarine and Pikachu explodes the submarine with Thunderbolt. The berries are thrown away to Golduck and seeing this it makes peace with Ludicolo.
Team Rocket go out of the lake and encounter the Water Pokémon, who blast them off with Water Guns. The berries are returned and the heroes leave them. Piplup performs the combo again and succeeds, so Dawn is now bound to go to enter her first Contest in Jubilife City.