Ash and his friends hike through the forest as Dawn tries to sip from her water bottle, finding it empty. She decides to go to a spring to fill it, so Ash and Brock sit down to wait. Dawn approaches the spring and starts to fill her bottle when a wild Aggron fires a Hyper Beam at her. Dawn slips on the rocks, causing her and Piplup to fall into the river.
Dawn washes up downstream, realizing that she has gotten separated from Ash and Brock. She checks her Pokédex and gets information about Aggron. Ash and Brock head over to check on Dawn, finding her dropped water bottle. They realize something's wrong when the same Aggron attacks them. Pikachu tries to defend, but gets knocked aside. They flee the location, losing Aggron. Ash wonders why Aggron attacked them when Brock notices that the local rocks are rich with iron. Since Aggron feeds on iron, Brock assumes that it was guarding territory. To help search for Dawn, Ash summons Staraptor and Gliscor to scout from the air. Meanwhile, while Dawn tries to find her friends, Team Rocket follows her and decide to steal her Pokémon. Dawn runs into a cloud of white smoke as Team Rocket confronts her and recites their motto. Jessie tries to lasso Piplup but misses. She brings out Yanmega as Piplup fires BubbleBeam. Yanmega dodges and fires AncientPower, but Piplup dodges and launches Whirlpool, hitting. Dawn suddenly stops battling and grabs Piplup before running away. Team Rocket wonders why when Aggron appears and attacks Team Rocket with Hyper Beam. They manage to hide from Aggron as it leaves, James using his cards to identify Aggron, realizing that Aggron was the reason Dawn ran off.
While Ash and Brock continue to search for Dawn, clearly getting worried, Dawn decides to bring out Buneary and Pachirisu so they can fire their moves into the sky and attract attention. Buneary's Ice Beam gets Team Rocket's attention while Pachirisu's Discharge gets Aggron's attention. Aggron shows up and attack's Dawn and her Pokémon, making them run away, Team Rocket watching from the top of a hill. Dawn runs until her Pokémon stop at the edge of a cliff, Aggron cornering the group. With no choice but to battle, Dawn brings out Mamoswine and tries to get it to use Take Down, but Mamoswine chooses to lie down and sleep. Dawn tries to motivate it with a Poffin, but Aggron's attack proves to be a better motivator, angering Mamoswine into attacking. Aggron uses Double-Edge to knock Mamoswine back. Mamoswine fires Ice Shard, but Aggron uses Ice Beam to stall. Aggron follows up with another fierce Double-Edge, knocking Mamoswine back. Mamoswine's body mass lands on the cliff in front of Dawn, crushing the rock. The collapsing cliff causes the ground to drop away as Dawn and her Pokémon fall. Mamoswine lands hard on its right side at the base of the cliff while Dawn and the other Pokémon land on top of it. No one notices a large rock smashing into Mamoswine's exposed left hind leg. Team Rocket observed the melee as Aggron attacks them again, making them run off.
At the bottom of the cliff, Dawn checks her Pokémon, noticing Mamoswine now has a severe leg injury. Dawn wants to recall Mamoswine so it can rest, but she discovers that Mamoswine's Poké Ball is missing. Knowing that Team Rocket and/or Aggron could appear at anytime, she decides to move Mamoswine under a large tree, give it a bed and hide it. She summons Ambipom, having her use Focus Punch to break tree branches down, using the leaves to form the bed. Dawn feeds Mamoswine a Poffin and gets it to move to the bed, with the help of her other Pokémon. They use more tree branches to conceal all but Mamoswine's face and the injury. Dawn remembers what Brock taught her about treating her Pokémon. She remains calm and reassures Mamoswine, of which it takes notice of. Dawn finds a plant (presumably Aloe Vera) that in a flashback Brock reveals eases pain in a Pokémon's wound, due to a gel-like substance inside the leaves. Dawn has her Pokémon retrieve more, and she uses the gel to treat Mamoswine's leg injury before wrapping it. Piplup fills a bucket with water using a down-sized Whirlpool, and Buneary uses Ice Beam to freeze it for an ice pack. Dawn remembers that they now need Oran Berries. She goes off with the other Pokémon to search, remembering that she needs to look for moist soil to find them. Dawn spots the berries up on a cliff, and asks Ambipom for help. Ambipom gathers the berries, and at Dawn's request, near-by bunches of bananas for when Mamoswine is feeling better. They bring enough back to Mamoswine and Dawn gives Mamoswine an Oran Berry.
Sunset falls as Ash and Brock find the ledge where Dawn fell, Pikachu finding a Poké Ball. Meanwhile, Dawn and her Pokémon overhear someone approaching. Dawn peeks around the tree and spots Team Rocket. They hear Aggron roar in the distance and want to hide up in the tree that Dawn is at. Dawn asks Ambipom to scare Team Rocket away, which she does by sneaking behind Team Rocket and smashing a rock into the ground to mimic a powerful stomp. The tactic works as Team Rocket flees. Afterwards, Dawn decides to recall her other Pokémon, but they all refuse, wanting to stay with Mamoswine. Aggron approaches nearby, so Pachirisu runs off and rustles some bushes in the opposite direction, luring Aggron away. Night falls as Ash and Brock take shelter in a cave, putting off the search until the next morning. They surmise that the missing Poké Ball may be Mamoswine's, meaning that it is also somewhere lost with Dawn. Back at the tree, Dawn's Pokémon sleep, but Buneary notices Dawn still tending to Mamoswine's injury. Buneary creates another ice pack to replace the first one as Dawn finishes up and goes to sleep.
The next morning, Ash and Brock continue to search as Team Rocket seeks out Aggron in a Golem mecha. They spot Aggron and attack, but Aggron easily knocks the mecha aside. Team Rocket fires a missile, knocking Aggron down momentarily. It gets back up and launches Double-Edge, knocking the mecha into the large tree Dawn is at and revealing Mamoswine. Dawn tries to protect Mamoswine as Staraptor spots them, leading Ash to the spot. Team Rocket fires another missile as Mamoswine suddenly gets up and deflects it with its tusks, revealing that its leg has healed. Ash and Brock reach Dawn as Mamoswine charges and knocks the mecha aside, forcing Team Rocket out. Pikachu rushes forward as Jessie has Yanmega use Steel Wing. Pikachu dodges as Yanmega then turns around and fires AncientPower, but Pikachu dodges again and fires Thunderbolt to roast Yanmega and send Team Rocket blasting off.
Aggron is ready to attack as Mamoswine flips Dawn and her Pokémon onto its back. Dawn realizes Mamoswine wants to battle as a team, which it confirms as the rest of her Pokémon cheer. Mamoswine charges forward and blocks Double-Edge with its tusks on Dawn's order. Aggron's Hyper Beam is also blocked as Mamoswine obeys Dawn's request for Ice Shard, hitting before following up with AncientPower, knocking Aggron down and making it retreat. Dawn celebrates as Ash and Brock praise her. Dawn mentions how she utilized the skills Brock taught her as Mamoswine walks off-screen and Ash hands back Mamoswine's Poké Ball. Dawn decides to feed Mamoswine the bananas that Ambipom picked, but Mamoswine is already happily chowing down. With Mamoswine on Dawn's side, the journey continues.
- Staravia is replaced by Staraptor in the Japanese opening.
- Professor Oak's lecture: Dodrio
- The dub title is a play on the phrase "Trials and Tribulations".
- An instrumental version of By Your Side ~Hikari's Theme~ and To My Best Friend are used as background music.
- After Dawn puts the ice pack on Mamoswine's leg, for a split second, she is depicted with fingernails, which is not typical of the anime's art style.
- This episode is similar to Charizard Chills. Dawn's Mamoswine, who has been disobedient to her since its evolution into Piloswine, begins to obey her after being badly hurt by another Pokémon, and going on to defeat it in a rematch, much like Ash's Charizard did.
- This is the final episode to be only available in a 4:3 Aspect ratio for the English-language dub of the Pokémon anime, due to DP120 being skipped.
- Near the end of the episode, Mamoswine flips Dawn and her Pokémon onto its back. Mamoswine then uses Ice Shard; however, some of Dawn's Pokémon appear to be missing. In the next scene, they are back on Mamoswine again.
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