A Bout With Sprout (Japanese: 大ピンチ！マダツボミの塔！ Big Pinch! Bellsprout Tower!) is the 14th episode of Pokémon: The Johto Journeys.
After finally reaching Violet City, Ash and co encounter some school children who wanted to play with Pikachu, but just as Pikachu was about to zap them, Ash grabs it and it zaps him. Brock volunteers the group to help Miss Priscilla, the teacher, at Earl's Pokémon Academy. When one boy, Zackie, wants Pikachu, it runs off. As Ash thought Zackie caught Pikachu, a Bellsprout pops out of the Poké Ball. Can Ash persuade Zackie to give up trying to catch his Pikachu? And Why does Team Rocket have to make a rocket out of Sprout Tower?
The heroes run up the hill, as Ash sees Violet City, hurrying Misty and Brock to go as he can have his Gym Battle. As they walk through the city, Ash wonders where the Gym is, so Misty advises him to ask around. Pikachu sniffs some flowers and suddenly, two children pull him. Pikachu goes to electrocute and Ash grabs him, only to be electrocuted himself. The children thought it was a wild one and their teachers arrives, apologizing to Ash for the trouble they caused. Brock tells they did not, flirting with her, patting Ash on the head thinking that he enjoys being electrocuted. The children realize Ash is a trainer and tell him they will be trainers once they graduate from in the Pokémon Academy school. The woman tells them they teach children how to be trainers.
Brock admires the school (still attempting to flirt with the woman) and introduces himself. The woman is Miss Priscilla and Brock tells they were to go to the Gym and see they can teach the children a thing or two, since it is more important (making Ash and Misty surprised at that statement). At the class, a the principal named Earl, tells Ash, Misty and Brock they can teach the children what they know, making Ash, Misty and Brock frightened a bit by his cheerfulness. Priscilla admits she likes men that have that amount of energy, making Brock to dance like the principal. Ash goes to say what a person must do before becoming a trainer, but forgot. The children ask him to tell them about battles. Ash brags he was in the Top 16 of Indigo League, but the child, Zackie, asked why would they listen to someone who is not a winner, making Ash a bit angered about that.
Everyone goes outside to meet the gang's Pokémon. Chikorita comes to Ash's leg and makes a furious face to Pikachu, making him surprised. Heracross goes to drink Bulbasaur's sap, but Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip to chase him away. Brock points to a tower and wonders what it is, so Priscilla tells it is the Sprout Tower, a tower that has a being that moves like a Bellsprout. Ash wonders how come the tower does not move, so Priscilla offers them a trip to the tower, which Brock agrees to. Meanwhile, Zackie tells Pikachu to forget Ash and join him instead. Pikachu is surprised and denies, so Zackie takes him. Pikachu electrocutes him, so Ash stops the event. Zackie orders Ash to give him his Pikachu and when told he cannot, Zackie whines. Ash is unsure what to do, so Zackie pushes him and gets one of his Poké Balls and goes to capture Pikachu, who runs away. While Chikorita pulls Ash's leg, he sees he needs to get Pikachu back and handle Zackie later, so calls his Pokémon back and tracks him down, promising to get him to the Sprout Tower when done.
Pikachu hides from Zackie. Zackie searches for him and sees Pikachu's ears and throws the Poké Ball, catching him. Ash is surprised he managed to capture him, but holds his hand and tells him to drop it. Suddenly, they fall in the hole, so Team Rocket appear. Jessie and James tell the child to give them the Poké Ball so he can go. Meowth recalls they told they were going to leave him there, so Jessie pounds him and continues persuading the child. Ash tells Zackie to give him the Ball, but Zackie refuses and sends Pikachu. To Team Rocket's disappointment, it is a Bellsprout. Team Rocket know Pikachu will help the twerp to come to the rescue. They use megaphones to emulate the twerp's voice. Pikachu comes and Team Rocket throws the net, but Ash warned Pikachu and so they missed. Ash and Zackie climb out of the hole and Ash throws Pikachu up, as he uses Thunderbolt to shock Team Rocket. With an explosion, they blast off.
Zackie is fascinated by the battle. At the tower, Misty and Brock see that the log that supports the tower swings like a Bellsprout. Team Rocket blasted off and hear that the trainers come here to remember who they once were, making Brock and Misty believe the idea of experience the trainers seek here is forgotten by Ash. With in mind that the twerp will come with Pikachu, Team Rocket gladly smile. Zackie is not impressed by Bellsprout he caught. Ash advises he can make the best of it, but Zackie wants Pikachu. In the tower, James sends Weezing to use Smokescreen to get everyone out. Misty and Brock take the children away from the smoke. Zackie proposes they can trade Pikachu and Bellsprout, but Ash refuses. Zackie whines, but laughs seeing Bellsprout moving funnily.
At the tower, Ash sends Squrtile and Misty Poliwag, who use Water Gun, but see it is not a fire. Misty calls Poliwag back and when the smoke clears, Team Rocket appears. The heroes rush inside and see Weezing, Arbok and Lickitung cutting the log with a saw. Meowth declares once cut enough, he'll press the button to activate the bomb. They declare they can stop if Pikachu is given to them. Pikachu approaches and Ash accepts this desperate offer. Jessie picks him up and is not electrocuted, since she, James and Meowth have rubber gloves and boots. Zackie sees they have to get back Pikachu. Ash attempts to send a Pokémon, but Meowth threatens to blow the tower up. He sees that they, as sprouts, are not efficient, but Ash and Zackie know sprouts start and grow. Bellsprout uses Razor Leaf, disarming Meowth from his remote. Arbok goes to get it, though Squrtile pushes it away via Water Gun.
Ash sends Bulbasaur, who gets the remote. Bellsprout uses Razor Leaf to hit Weezing and Lickitung, who cut the log. Jessie and James call back their Pokémon and go with Meowth onto the rocket, who presses the button to start the launch. Bulbasaur and Bellsprout use Razor Leaf to free Pikachu. The leaves cut the rope, causing the rocket to go away, causing it to go out of the building. The beam stabilizes and Ash thanks Zackie, who is proud of his Bellsprout. Team Rocket enjoy the rocket ride, but the rocket explodes, causing them to blast off. At the school, Ash wishes luck to the children, while Brock is saddened to go away from Priscilla. Priscilla says she can, so the principal offers him a contract that he can teach dancing, so Brock refuses. Zackie asks Ash if he can train Bellsprout to be Victreebel and Ash confirms, thinking they can battle someday. The heroes depart, waving goodbye to the children and the staff.
- The Pokémon Academy from the Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold and SoulSilver games is put into the anime, as is Sprout Tower.
- This is one of the few episodes prior to Chikorita's Big Upset to show Chikorita's jealousy towards Pikachu.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Cleffa.