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Friend or Foe Alike! (081)


Just a member
Well, this sucked! When I watched this episode for the first time, I HATED Team Rocket and I still hate them in this episode whenever I watch it again. Because of those annoying thives, Ash's Pokemon got tired and he almost got disqualified. Whenever Ash tried to make an escape, $@*%ing Team Rocket always comes into his way to steal Pikachu. But thankfully Ash managed to beat them and arrived in time for his match against Ritchi.
When he finally arrived, I thought it was going to be a real showdown.....Man, I was so wrong. Ash sends out Squirtle, but he loses to Ritchie's Butterfree named Happy. Then Ash sends out Pikachu, who makes 'Happy' unhappy by defeating it.
Next, he sends out a Charmender, who defeats Pikachu. Ash was down to his last Pokémon, so it's a tought decision for him. He remembers how his Charizard defeated Magmar during his battle against Blaine, so he decieds to go with Charizard! Charizard takes down the Charmender, so Ritchi returns it and sends out his Pikachu....Zippo. Charizard blows back the yellow rodent at first, then he thinks it as a weak opponent and lays down for taking a NAP! Ash begs his Charizard to battle, but he didn't listen and continiued to disobey him. So the referee makes Ritchi the winner of the match!!

This episode was totally crap! It's the most embarassing way Ash ever has lost in a Pokémon League. If Team Rocket didn't stopped him at the beginning, he would've win the match.....But No! The writers didn't want that, so they made Ash lose in a terrible way.
Charizard shouldn't have took a nap during an Important League battle, I didn't like him in this episode as well.
Overall, this is Ash's worst League lose ever!
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Treasure huntin'
I've always thought Ash loosing was one of the few artistic things the writers did in the first season. We knew he was going to win; he always won. Then he lost. Re-watching the show, I realized the writers did a bit of for shadowing in the episodes before Ash went to the league. Every episode mentioned that Ash's should be training, but he wasn't.

Except he didn't lose because lack of training here.


Well-Known Member
I think it's the fact that Charizard was just lying there and not doing anything that made the referee automatically disqualify Charizard. Also we have previously seen how Charizard barely listened to ash. Remember the match against Blaine?

Why should it matter what Charizard was doing? So long as it occupied the battlefield it was still in the fight, IMO. If it wanted to take a nap, that's its problem. Putting a Pokemon to sleep is a legitimate move and does not automatically disqualify anyone, so why on earth should taking a nap matter?


Active Member
I watched this episode again last night and although my overall score for it has dropped slightly, I still think it holds up really well. It's quite an intense episode because of Ash having to race against the clock and escape Team Rocket so he can make it back in time for the match. People will call me crazy for saying this, but it's probably my favourite league loss episode. When you see him lose for the first time, you can really feel for Ash on how angry and upset he is about Charizard costing him the match. Yeah, the battle isn't that great compared to Johto and beyond, but it nicely demonstrates the flaws in Ash's character and lack of training, which were being developed throughout the season. Remember, we were all expecting Ash to win back in the day, but now that I'm older this will probably remain the only time I appreciate the writers on choosing a unfair way for Ash to lose the league.

If Ash had not fallen for Team Rocket's trick like that, he probably would have won.
However, he still would have sent Charizard out, and he still would have disobeyed Ash's orders to make him lose anyway.


This was one of the rare episodes where I was actually mad that Ash lost a battle. I was never really invested in him even in OS, but seeing him lose to Ritchie in such a sad way was painful. To this day I haven't forgiven TR for their scheme or Charizard for his disobedience here.


New Member
Well it wasn't Ash's fault it was Misty's. If she hadn't fell for that call and tell "I know it is you TR!" Or that if Ash traveled back in time to bring ritchie to the house to make sure that Ash hadn't fallen for that call.

Mrs. Oreo

Aww I felt bad for Ash when he lost to Ritchie cuz of Charizard disobeying him. I also blame Team rocket for making him late to the match and I wish the battle itself had been longer. It was a very frustrating episode for me. ^^;

Mrs. Oreo

Lol what? I can see how TR, Ritchie, and Charizard can be blamed, but Misty getting blamed makes no sense...

Yup and Jessie was using something to disguise her voice any ways, so Misty couldn't have possibly known it wasn't really Ritchie on the phone. :3


Charizard not listening to Ash's commands seemed like a cheap way for Ash to lose especially since Ritchie had an extremely weak team. 5/10

Mrs. Oreo

Charizard not listening to Ash's commands seemed like a cheap way for Ash to lose especially since Ritchie had an extremely weak team.

I didn't like how Charizard basically sabotaged Ash's chances of winning here either, but in a way Ash was at fault as well cuz he hadn't done any obedience training with Charizard thus far. :[


Well-Known Member
You never know, ash still could have lost even if Charizard did listen to him. After all, Pikachu could have loosened a huge thunderbolt on it, KOing it then and there!
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Well-Known Member
And another thing, how the hell was Charmander defeated if it was recalled before it was knocked out? Makes no sense to me!


Well-Known Member
My heart just sank. I can't believe Ash picked his Charizard, ugh.


For the first time ever, I felt that the Rocket-dan went too far with their scheme. Musashi's fake phone call posing as Hiroshi was beyond mean-spirited, and the Rocket-dan kept pursuing Satoshi at such a crucial time. When Satoshi versus Hiroshi finally happened, the result was far too depressing.
I will have to admit, it drove me crazy to see Team Rocket in the Indigo Plateau after the events in the previous episode. They robbed several trainers of their Pokemon not the day before and no one is there to prevent them from coming back? :x