Electric Shock Showdown (Japanese: でんげきたいけつ！クチバジム Electric Battle! Vermillion Gym) is the fourteenth episode of the Pokémon anime series, except in the United States, after Battle Aboard the St. Anne was broadcast as the first episode. The episode was first broadcast in Japan on July 1, 1997 and in the United States on September 25, 1998.
After a long journey, the heroes make it to Vermilion City. After the lunch, Ash, Brock and Misty go inside the Gym and meet the giant, Lt. Surge. Lt. Surge's Raichu is quite powerful and defeats Pikachu. Ash, not wanting to give up, is offered a ThunderStone to get Pikachu evolved into a Raichu. Will he evolve his first Pokémon or make a different strategy to defeat Lt. Surge?
After two weeks of traveling, Ash, Misty, and Brock have finally reached Vermilion City. Brock and Misty couldn't wait to eat but Ash wanted to go to the gym first. Brock told him to wait because Pikachu wasn't in good enough shape to battle. Ash agreed and they all head to the Pokémon Center.
At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy promised that she would take good care of Pikachu. Nurse Joy noticed that they looked surprised. She explained that all of the Nurse Joys were related and they all look alike. She claimed that she was the cutest one and Brock agreed.
Suddenly, the doors opened up and Chansey and a trainer ran in. On a rolling table was a very hurt Rattata. Brock wondered what had happened and Nurse Joy said that was the 15th one this month.
They are taken to a room with a lot of hurt Pokémon in it. The Pokémon are Caterpie, Oddish, Sandshrew, and the Rattata they saw before. Nurse Joy explains that they all lost to the Vermilion City Gym Leader, Lt. Surge. Ash started to get worried that Lt. Surge would be tough to beat and Misty made fun of him for getting scared.
Misty reminded him that he got his first two badges because the Gym Leaders had felt sorry for him. Ash said that a Badge is a Badge. Misty says that if he's so strong, why doesn't he prove it at Vermilion City's Gym? Misty also reminded him that she and Brock gave Ash his badges, so they would look bad if he got beaten by Lt.Surge. Ash was about to hit her when Nurse Joy stopped him, reminding him that he's in a hospital. Nurse Joy joked that since they were fighting, they must really care about each other. Ash and Misty angrily and quickly denied this.
They all heard the sound that meant Ash's Pokémon were fully healed. Pikachu happily ate an apple and Ash told him that it was time to go to the Gym. Just then, another trainer with a hurt Pidgey came in and Misty said that they must have come from the Gym.
Pikachu got scared and didn't want to go to the Gym. Ash got mad at him for being a coward and Pikachu asked if Ash cared whether Pikachu was going to end up like the Pidgey. Ash said that Pikachu had a point but told him not to worry because they were going to win. Pikachu still didn't want to go and protested so much that he ThunderShocked Ash. Misty says that Ash and Pikachu must care a lot about each other if they fight that much.
Outside the Gym, Misty tells Ash that it isn't too late to back out now, but Ash still wants to go in and win. They ended up fighting again and Brock stopped by asking if they were ever going to go inside.
They enter the Gym and Ash says he's ready to earn his 3rd badge. Lt.Surge's male assistant say there's another one for the ER room and Lt.Surge enters. Lt.Surge says he's happy his next challenger is a cutie and says he will not go easy on Misty. Misty says that she's not the challenger, Ash is. Lt.Surge laughed when he saw that Ash had a Pikachu calling them little baby Pokémon making Pikachu mad. Ash asked why he was making fun of Pikachu and Lt.Surge responded by showing off his Raichu.
Lt.Surge said that it wasn't too late to back out now and Ash said he wouldn't. So did Pikachu. Lt.Surge laughed again and said that an Electric type Pokémon is only useful if it has been evolved and knows all the moves it can learn. Ash said there's more to Pokémon than forcing them to evolve and that he likes Pikachu the way it is.
Pikachu was really mad and was sparking and it wanted to battle Raichu. Brock was surprised when he saw how ready Pikachu was to battle. Lt. Surge said that they would soon learn that fighting the big boys would be a shocking experince.
Pikachu and Raichu were soon battling in the arena and Ash told Pikachu to use ThunderShock. Raichu wasn't affected by it and used ThunderShock itself, knocking Pikachu backward. Brock said electric attacks wouldn't work and Ash should recall Pikachu. Ash called to Pikachu to return but Pikachu refused. Lt. Surge gave Pikachu credit for being gutsy and told Raichu to use Mega Kick, knocking Pikachu backwards again.
Outside, Team Rocket was watching. They thought that since Pikachu was getting beaten up, they shouldn't steal it after all. Meowth said that they should steal Raichu and James whacked him on the head and he and Jessie started cheering for Pikachu.
Lt. Surge told Raichu to use ThunderShock and it defeated Pikachu.
At the Pokémon Center, Pikachu woke up and Ash was happy that it was okay. Pikachu was still sad that it got beat up by Raichu. Nurse Joy came in and said there might be a way for Pikachu to win. She said she had found a Thunderstone and gave it to Ash to use on Pikachu. Pikachu whacked it away, refusing it.
Outside, Meowth started crying, explaining that Pikachu would never want to be Raichu's equal, it wanted to win as a Pikachu for the respect of Pikachu's everywhere and it will defend it's honor and that of its trainer.
Brock had an idea for a way Pikachu could beat Raichu and they all walked over to the Gym to try it out. However, they were blocked by Team Rocket, who said and victory cheer for Pikachu and ran off. Brock said it was disturbing and Misty cheerful waved them off.
They entered the Gym and once again Pikachu was battling Raichu. Lt.Surge laughed saying that they must have come up with a new way to lose. He sent out Raichu and told it to use Tail Whip. Raichu then did a Body Slam. Lt.Surge ordered another Body Slam to finish things off but Pikachu got up and used Aglility. Raichu tried to use Body Slam on Pikachu but it was way too fast. Brock revealed the strategy: Lt. Surge evolved Raichu to soon and it never got a chance to learn Agility.
Lt.Surge got mad and said to use Thunderbolt. Raichu did and it blew out all the windows in the Gym. Lt. Surge saw that Pikachu had dodged the attack by standing on its tail. Lt. Surge told Raichu to use ThunderShock again but it had used up all its electricity. Ash told Pikachu to use Quick Attack and Lt. Surge told Raichu to use Take Down. Pikachu was quicker and defeated Raichu.
Everyone congratulated Ash and Pikachu, even Raichu, embarrassing Pikachu. Ash is given his Thunder Badge and gives Pikachu a victory hug, shocking Ash.
The episode ends with Team Rocket walking towards the sunset and James realizes that they never tried to catch Pikachu and they wasted the whole episode cheering for the good guys.
- "I know why you're surprised. I look like all the other nurses don't I? My first cousin works in Pewter City, and my second cousin works in Viridian City. I think I'm the prettiest one, don't you?" - Nurse Joy
- "Yeah." - Brock
- "Hello, I've come for a Pokémon battle, to earn a Thunder Badge." - Ash
- "Hey boss, another victim for the emergency ward." - Male Assistant
- "Which one?" - Lt. Surge
- "Is he the Gym Leader you have to beat?" Misty
- "Welcome to *hugs Misty* Vermilion Gym! Oh, my next challenge is a cute one. Don't think I'll go easy on you." - Lt. Surge
- "Excuse me, I'm not the challenger." - Misty
- "Then who?" - Lt. Surge
- "Me, that's who." - Ash
- "Hm? Oh you. Ok baby." - Lt. Surge
- "Gr, I'm no baby! My name is Ash Ketchum." - Ash
- "Heh! I call everybody who loses to me baby." - Lt. Surge
- "Pikachu, our lucky star is shining today." - Ash
- "Where? I don't see it. How can you see a star in the middle of the day?" - Misty
- "I don't mean it's actually shining. Let's go Pikachu." - Ash
- "A strategy? So they've been plannin' a new way to lose. Go Raichu!" - Lt. Surge
- "Ok Raichu, give it a Thunderbolt. Shut it down!" - Lt. Surge
- "What a shocking story." - Jessie
- "That was quite a tail." — James
- "And now you've both been pun-ished. *laughs*" - Meowth
- "Drat, we wasted this episode cheering the good guys." - James
- "Ahh!" - Jessie and Meowth
- "Right James. Better luck next time." - Narrator
- This is the first of few episodes where a main characters Pokémon battles its evolved form.
- This is also the first episode where Team Rocket does not try to capture Pikachu.
- The battle against Lt. Surge in Pokémon Yellow is based on this episode. Surge's Raichu has the same moves in Yellow as the Anime.
- Though she was there, and except for laughter, Lt. Surge's female assistant didn't have any lines.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" of this episode is Raichu.
- If you translate the Japanese version of this episode, L.T. Surge uses Profanity.
- James breaks the fourth wall at the end of this episode by saying that he Jessie and Meowth "wasted the whole episode cheering the good guys".
- This is one of the many episodes where Team Rocket doesn't blast off.
- Pikachu whacked the Thunderstone from Ash's hand with its tail, but in later episodes, including Climbing the Tower of Success!, it is shown that if Pikachu even touches the Thunderstone at all, it will evolve.
- When Team Rocket saw the re-match, Jessie's and James' gloves were missing.