Episode #177 - The Apple Corps
As the gang is travelling, Ash and Pikachu smell something nearby: it's a large apple orchard. Pikachu runs ahead when he hears something, then several apple cores fall from the trees in front of him. When the three friends arrive, they begin to think that he took the apples but Pikachu insists that he didn't.
Suddenly Pikachu is captured by a net, and a girl arrives, accusing Pikachu of stealing her apples. Brock immediately starts to flirt with her. Ash notices that the bite marks on the apples are too small for Pikachu to have made, and the girl apologises for her mistake. Later, she introduces herself as Sharmaine. She tends the orchard by herself, and has planted noisemakers in the trees to stop Pidgey from taking the apples. The gang offers to spend the day helping her gather the fruit.
Team Rocket is nearby, hungry as usual. Meowth uses an extendible arm to grab an apple, but Jessie and James fight over it. The apple disappears from Meowth's hand and is mysteriously replaced by a core, making Jessie and James suspicious. Then something rushes through the trees and triggers the noisemakers, causing Team Rocket to flee for fear of being discovered.
Ash and the others also hear the commotion and investigate. Pikachu chases something into the bushes and discovers a group of Pichu that are being watched by a Fearow. Sharmaine realises that it's the Pichu that are stealing the apples. Suddenly the Fearow attacks! Three Pichu attempt to shock it but aren't strong enough. Then Pikachu intervenes and zaps the Fearow, and it flies away.
Brock thinks that the Pichu haven't eaten for a long time, so Sharmaine offers them some of the apples, which they munch on. She worries that they won't leave the orchard and will eat the apples faster than she can pick them. Ash gets an idea and has Pikachu talk to the Pichu.
Up above, Team Rocket is in their balloon, making a plan to steal the apples. They watch as a flock of Pidgey dive toward the trees, but are repelled by shocks from the Pichu. Pikachu has persuaded the Pichu to protect the orchard and help Sharmaine pick the apples. When the gang takes a break, Team Rocket swoops down and captures Pikachu with a suction device that holds him in the air. He tries to zap the balloon but his electricity is collected into a battery, and eventually he runs out of power.
Fully charged, Team Rocket lowers more suction arms and begins to vacuum up the apples. The Pichu climb the trees and try to zap the balloon but even all together they can't do any damage. Meowth reverses the suction and starts to blow away the Pichu, but they refuse to give up! Forming a chain, they climb up to Pikachu and recharge him with their own electricity. Then they all pump enough electricity into Team Rocket's battery to overload it and send them blasting off again.
The apples have been saved and everyone is okay. The Pichu all hug Sharmaine and she decides to keep them around as partners to help her with the orchard.