There's still a desert to cross before Ash can reach Veilstone City and the next Gym, but our heroes decide to let their Pokemon out to play in the sand. Pachirisu is right on top of a Hippowdon that surfaces from underground and it falls right into Hippowdon's mouth! Hippowdon burrows back beneath the surface, so the chase is on to catch up with it as it pops in and out of the sand. Along the way, the gang runs into the Hippopotas they rescued a while ago. Is this Hippopotas looking for Hippowdon too?
Team Rocket is after Hippowdon too, but it'll take more than just a net to reel in a Pokemon this big and heavy. Unfortunately for everyone, the other Team Rocket, Butch and Cassidy, show up with a giant robot that ought to do the trick. Butch and Cassidy are out to grab a Hippowdon for Dr. Namba, but Jessie and James refuse to be outdone. It's not long before Jessie takes the controls of her mecha Slowbro and starts to slug it out with Butch and Cassidy's robot!
Ash and his friends try to lead Hippowdon to safety while the villains are distracted. Pachirisu is freed and Hippowdon wrecks Butch and Cassidy's robot with Hyper Beam, but then our heroes are caught between both Team Rocket teams! Hippopotas uses Yawn to put all the criminals to sleep, then joins forces with Hippowdon to send Jessie, James, Meowth, Butch and Cassidy far, far away. Now Hippopotas is happily reunited with Hippowdon and Pachirisu is back where it belongs!
Pokémon senryū: あさひるばん たべるかねるか ゴンベかな Asa hiru ban, taberu kaneru ka, Gonbe kana? "Morning, noon, and night, still it's eating all the while, could it be Gonbe?"
This is the first and only appearance of Butch and Cassidy in the Sinnoh region.
This episode marks the final time Professor Oak composes a Pokémon senryū at the end of his lecture. In future episodes, he will instead set a multiple choice question for the viewer. He would only return composing senryū at the start of the Best Wishes series.
This is the last episode to feature a cold opening.
It is also one of the few episodes in which Jessie's Wobbuffet didn't appear.
Ash's Gligar has been added to the ending theme to reflect the events of the previous episode.
Butch and Cassidy now have a new motto. Once again, it is a variation on Jessie and James's motto, this time mimicking their Sinnoh motto.
The dub name of this episode comes from the term "Sleight of hand".
When the Rhyhorn attacks Jessie and James' air balloon, its eyeballs pop out and it smiles.
Despite Ash saying that Hippowdon is Hippopotas's mother, Hippowdon's coloration is for male.
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