Episode #253 - Why? Wynaut!
Ash and his friends enjoy breakfast with Claire, who tells them that the Johto League Silver Conference will be taking place three months from now in Silvertown, which is at the foot of Mount Silver. To register he has to return to New Bark Town.
Team Rocket listens from the bushes. James thinks about stealing Ash's badges and selling them for lots of money, but Jessie wants to keep them so she can enter the tournament. As they argue, a pair of blue arms steals their snacks. Believing Wobbuffet to be at fault, they take their anger out on the hapless Pokemon.
The three friends are about to depart when two "news reporters" show up, wanting to interview Ash. They take him aside and have him change his jacket for a fancy robe for a photo shoot. While one reporter takes pictures, the other backs off and gives the jacket to Meowth, who takes the badges and puts them in a box. Then Ash's jacket is returned to him and the reporters take off. However they can't resist the urge to belt out their motto and abandon their disguises. The kids give chase.
Meanwhile Wobbuffet takes the box to a prearranged meeting place. Seeing a grove of cherry trees, it decides to pick some and fills the box with cherries. It sits down to wait, and two blue arms snatch the box! Wobbuffet dives into the bushes after them to discover a small blue Pokemon that looks like a pre-evolved form of Wobbuffet: a Wynaut. The arrival of Jessie and James distracts it, and the Wynaut disappears with the box. Wobbuffet tries to explain things to its angry teammates and draws a crude picture, which they mistake for a Wooper.
The kids are still looking, with no luck. Claire tells Ash he can get the badges replaced, but Ash says the badges represent his memories of all his Gym battles and replacements wouldn't be the same. They all vow not to give up.
Team Rocket find a Wooper by a river but they can't catch it. Ash sends out Bayleef and Noctowl, while Claire on her Dragonair searches from above. Soon Noctowl and Bayleef come across the Wynaut, who is trying to open its box. Bayleef opens it and out fall the cherries and the badges. Noctowl flies off to find Ash, and Bayleef wraps the badges in a leaf as Wynaut happily eats the cherries.
Team Rocket arrives, still in pursuit of the Wooper, and they don't see the Wynaut grab the rest of the cherries and hide. They recognise Bayleef and tell her to give them the badges but she won't. Arbok attacks, and Bayleef grabs both the Wooper and the badges and runs. Victreebell trips her with a Vine Whip and Arbok attacks again, but the Wynaut dives out of the bushes and blocks with its Counter ability.
Ash finally arrives with Noctowl and Pikachu, but Team Rocket has grabbed the badges and taken off in their balloon. He has Bayleef throw him into the air after the balloon, but they turn up the gas and he misses! Ash plunges toward the ground, but is caught by the timely arrival of Claire and her Dragonair. Pikachu hops onto Noctowl's back and they chase the balloon, and Team Rocket is sent blasting off by Pikachu's attack. The badges fall, and are caught by the Pokemon.
Once everyone's back on the ground, Ash notices he's still missing one badge! Everyone runs off to search, and the Wynaut returns and gives the last badge to Bayleef before disappearing into the bushes again. Ash is happy to have all his badges back. Bayleef and Noctowl are the last ones to see the Wynaut, who waves goodbye from a boat going downriver.
Later at a Pokemon Centre, Ash calls Professor Oak who congratulates him for getting all eight badges. Bidding farewell to Claire, the three friends begin their journey back toward New Bark Town.