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Pokémon the Series: Ash Catches a Pokémon

In Viridian Forest, Ash catched his very first Pokémon- Caterpie! But Misty is scared of it and tries to hide Soon Team Rocket come and steal Pikachu but Ash stops them with Caterpie and Pikachu.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x3
Production Number: 103
Airdate: Thursday September 10th, 1998

Director: Akihiro Tamagawa
Screenplay: Atsuhiro Tomioka

Alternate Airdates:

Japan Apr 15, 1997 (Premiere!)
Sweden Jan 03, 2000

  • Currently 9.5/10
9.5/10 (2 Votes cast)
Featuring
Eric StuartEric Stuart
voiced Pokedex
Recurring
Inuko InuyamaInuko Inuyama
voiced Meowth (Japanese version)
Recurring
Kouichi SakaguchiKouichi Sakaguchi
voiced Ekans (Japanese version)
Recurring
Mayumi IizukaMayumi Iizuka
voiced Misty (Japanese version)
Recurring
Megumi HayashibaraMegumi Hayashibara
voiced Jessie / Pidgeotto (Jessie Japanese version)
Recurring
Michael HaigneyMichael Haigney
voiced Koffing
Recurring
Rica MatsumotoRica Matsumoto
voiced Ash (Japanese version)
Recurring
Rikako AikawaRikako Aikawa
voiced Caterpie / Metapod (Metapod Japanese version)
Recurring
Shinichiro MikiShinichiro Miki
voiced James (Japanese version)
Recurring
Unshou IshizukaUnshou Ishizuka
voiced Narrator / Koffing (Japanese version)
Recurring
Main Cast
Ikue Ohtani
voiced Pikachu
Veronica Taylor
voiced Ash (Seasons 1-8), May (Seasons 6-8)
Rachael Lillis
voiced Misty (Seasons 1-5), Jessie (Seasons 1-8), Hoenn Pokedex

Recap

Ash throws the pokéball at the Caterpie. It hits the Caterpie on its head and captures it. Ash dances around very goofily at his first catch that he did "all by himself." Ash opens up the pokéball to meet Caterpie, which Misty is absolutely dreading. As Ash offers his shoulder for Caterpie to climb on, it notices Misty and immediately runs over to her showering her leg with affection. Misty is grossed out, screaming at Caterpie and declaring how she hates three things in this world: carrots, peppers, and bugs. Ash argues with her saying how he doesn't like the way she is hurting Caterpie's feelings with her "silly fear." Ash then tries to console Caterpie who climbs on to his shoulder, and they all leave Misty behind. She still follows them claiming that she is doing so to get her bike back. Pikachu is quite exasperated over the argument between Ash and Misty. That night, Pikachu and Caterpie have a pokémon conversation where it is revealed that Caterpie desires to evolve into Butterfree in hopes that Misty will like him. The next morning, Misty wakes up to find Caterpie sleeping next to her. She screams, waking the whole group up and yells at Caterpie to stay away from her. Caterpie is crushed, and saddened, he crawls his way back to the pokéball. Ash tries to change Caterpie's mind, but Caterpie locks himself in the pokéball as Misty requested and won't come out. As Ash and Misty are about to argue again, a Pidgeotto flies by. Ash tries to just throw a pokéball at it, but the Pidgeotto simply swats it away. Misty scolds at Ash for being so stupid - he has to weaken a pokémon before trying to capture it. The only reason Caterpie was capture was because "Caterpie was a weakling, already!" Ash, being sick of Misty's nagging, sends out Caterpie to try and weaken Pidgeotto. Unfortunately, Caterpie is no match for Pidgeotto and is severely beaten. Ash calls him back and sends Pikachu to shock Pidgeotto. He throws a pokéball and successfully captures it. He is quite happy and does his all right scene, but Misty brings him back to reality telling him he has to know about strategy: that putting a worm against a bird is suicide. Ash tries to defend himself, but they are interrupted by Team Rocket. Jesse and James declare they are here to get Pikachu because they are after rare and unusual pokémon. After Meowth shuts them up for giving away their goal, he reveals that Pikachu's power is beyond its evolutionary level. Then Jesse and James beat him up for revealing that secret. After this silly skirmish, Team Rocket sends out Ekans and Koffing. Ash says that's unfair since Pokémon League rules say that battles should be one on one. Misty tells him to fight dirty back but Ash refuses. James orders Koffing to sludge attack Pikachu, blinding it. Ash sends out Pidgeotto and a neat yet fierce battle ensues. However, as is inevitable in a two on one situation, Pidgeotto is beaten. Ash tries to fight them himself, but is knocked away. He is forced reluctantly to ask Caterpie to fight, though he knows it was weak from battling Pidgeotto. Team Rocket thinks it's a joke until Caterpie stops their pokémon with string shot and tackles them away. They are beaten but swear to return to fight another time and capture Pikachu. Ash, Misty, Pikachu, and Caterpie celebrate Ash's first fair victory against another trainer. Misty realizes that Caterpie "isn't a weakling after all," and Ash goads her into patting Caterpie on the head and telling him good job. She reluctantly is about to, when all of a sudden, Caterpie coats itself in its string shot silk to evolve into Metapod. Dexter notes that this particular specimen evolved faster than any other previously recorded. Misty is all freaked out again, but Ash tries to get her to accept Metapod. Pikachu notes that this is Caterpie's first step into fulfilling his dream of evolving into Butterfree. Just then, a Beedrill passes over them and Misty wants to get out of there and away from all the bugs. But Ash wants to capture more pokémon and ventures further into the Viridian Forest, with Misty frantically following behind him...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Caterpie evolves into Metapod.

Only episode where Ash catches more than one type of Pokemon.

Ash catches a Pidgeotto

Not only did Ash catch a Pidgeotto but he caught a Caterpie as well.

In the original version, when Misty was telling Ash how birds (Pidgeotto) eat worms (Caterpie), she slapped him. This scene was cut.

Japanese Title: I Caught A Pokémon

In this episode when Ash sees Pidgeotto, it is eating a worm and this is the first non-Pokémon animal to be seen in the show

This episode is on the VHS/DVD "I Choose You! Pikachu!"

Pokémon Debuts: Caterpie, Metapod, Pidgeotto.

This is the first episode in which evolution is shown.

According to a quote from this episode, Misty cannot stand carrots, peppers and Bug Pokémon.

This is the only time Ash catches a Pokémon that evolves in the same episode.

Misty reads the episode title at the start instead of Ash.

This is the first episode where type advantages are mentioned: Flying-type moves are effective against Bug-type Pokémon.

A real animal appears in this episode, as Pidgeotto is seen eating a regular worm. Real animals were only shown in the first season (due to there only being 151 Pokémon at the time).

This is also the only episode where Ash captures two Pokémon of different species in one episode.

Misty owns a red sleeping bag decorated with bubbles.

Ash owns a blue sleeping bag.

Ash mentions that the Pokémon League has regulations stating that trainers may only use one Pokémon at a time in battles. This could have been retconned years later in Advanced Generation where two-on-two battles are not considered unusual.

Despite the episode title saying "a Pokémon", Ash catches two.

Both Pokémon Ash catches in this episode are released by the time Ash travels to the Orange Islands.

In other languages around the world,
French: Capture du premier Pokémon
German: Ash im Jagdfieber
Italian: Il primo Pokémon catturato
Spanish: Ash Atrapa un Pokémon
Portuguese: Ash Pega um Pokémon.

This is the first episode where Team Rocket attacks and doesn't blast off.

This episode and "Bulbasuar and the Hidden Village," mark a consistency in Ash's pokémon capturing. In every region (not counting the Orange Islands), Ash catches the grass-type starter and a normal-flying type.

Who's That Pokémon? Caterpie



Episode Quotes
Misty: I guess it takes a worm to love a worm.
Ash: Very funny!

Misty: ...the pokemon trainers judgement is more important and unfortunately for you the trainer needs to have a brain!

Misty: Pidgeotto is a bird. Caterpie is a worm. Birds eat worms, Mr. Pokemon Master!

Ash: Well I like carrots and peppers and bugs! What I don't like is you hurting Caterpie's feelings with your stupid fear of bugs!

Ash: What are you following us for?
Misty: My... my bike, I hold you be responsible for my bike.
Ash: When are you gonna get over that dumb old blke?
Misty: For your information, Mr Pokemon Master, you're the dumb one, because you destroyed it in the first place.
Ash: I said I would pay it back. And, if I'm so dumb, how come you're still following me?
Misty: I'm not following you. This happens to be the fastest way to get out of the woods.
Ash: Fine, do whatever you want.
Misty: That's exactly what I'm doing!

Misty: Bugs are one of the three most disgusting things in the world!
Ash: Aside from you, what are the other disgusting things?
Misty: Very funny. Carrots, peppers, and bugs! Everybody has something they don't like and I don't like bugs!
Ash: Yeah, well I like carrots, and peppers, and bugs! What I don't like is the way you're hurting Caterpie's feelings with your silly fear of bugs!

Misty: I've never met anyone like him. He really does love Pokémon...



Episode Goofs
Ekans and Koffing chase Pidgeotto into the sky, but Ekans can not fly.

Ash's Caterpie uses Counter against Pidgeotto, despite that Caterpie can only learn two moves, and Counter isn't one of them.


When Caterpie is looking sad due to Misty telling it to stay in its Poké Ball, the katakana for "Ga~n" (a Japanese sound effect) moves across the screen. This was painted out for the dub.

When Misty is telling Ash that birds eat worms, she slaps him for putting his Pokémon in danger. This scene was cut.



Warning: Pokémon the Series season 1 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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