Special episode, a sequel to the events in ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'' (while it was aired as a side-story episode in Japan, it was given a direct-to-video release in America)
Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, has caught a clue to the location of the powerful Pokémon Mewtwo and has sent an agent to find him. In the meantime, Ash & co. are passing through the Johto region when they encounter a woman who told them about the vitalizing water of Purity Canyon...coincidentally, Mewtwo's new location. Soon, an all-out battle between Mewtwo's clone Pokémon "family" and the forces of Team Rocket breaks out, with Ash and his friends caught in the middle.
!!This special provides examples of:
* AGlassInTheHand: Giovanni does it twice, first with a glass he's drinking from, and to a walkie-talkie (!) near the end of the movie.
** AGlassOfChianti: Or what looks like whiskey, in this case. Surprisingly untouched by 4Kids for the dub.
* BadassInDistress: Mewtwo again.
* BadassNormal: Domino doesn't seem to have any Pokemon of her own, [[DarkActionGirl but that doesn't stop her from fighting anyway.]]
* BastardUnderstudy[=/=]TheDragon: Domino is very high in Giovanni's favor.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Mewtwo is free, but he is alone again.]]
* BreakingTheFourthWall: James mentions that "this feels like a sequel to a movie I missed."
** Also, at one point Domino looks directly into the camera, winks and says (apparently to the audience) "You just never know! It may look innocent, but a friendly face could be hiding our fiercest foe!"
* BusFullOfInnocents: Mewtwo saves one at the beginning of the movie, [[IWasJustPassingThrough justifying it by saying he didn't want to risk exposure if there was a search for survivors by rescue parties]].
* CloningBlues: All of the clones to an extent, but mainly Mewtwo and the Pikachu clone.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: Mewtwo, who is held in this position while being held captive by Giovanni's robots. [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything After offering himself up to be tortured in his clones' place in order to save them.]]
* CutenessProximity: Domino can't help but find the baby clone Pokémon adorable.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Mewtwo Returns was rated PG, presumably for the aforementioned whiskey, the philosophical themes, and generally having the same dark and serious tone as Mewtwo Strikes Back.
* ElectricTorture: Mewtwo, yet again.
* EpicFail: Domino fights her way past a trio of Scyther and then flawlessly flips over them...only to slip on a wet floor and get her head stuck inside a pail.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Actually part of the story in this case--Purity Canyon's water gives people and Pokémon something akin to a [[CaffeineBulletTime sugar rush...]]
** Also averted with Giovanni, as explained above.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "Let's find someplace quiet where we can line up and find out if we're a match!"
* GreenAesop: Don't pollute water, or you'll be attacked by hordes of angry insects.
* HealingSpring: Purity Canyon.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Although no longer wanting to exterminate humanity, Mewtwo still has a low opinion of "Man" and the other clones seem to have adopted his mindset.
* ImprovisedUmbrella: Early on when Ash and company get caught in the rain, Brock decides to use his frying pan... as a ''[[IncrediblyLamePun drying]]'' [[MemeticMutation pan]].
* [[IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure I Will Punish Your Friends For Your Failure]]: Giovanni is no fool. He knows testing the limits of Mewtwo's power is futile, so he despicably threatens to murder his clone brethren, and all the nearby Pokemon, if he does not cooperate and serve him.
* KickTheDog: Giovanni actually snaps at his precious Persian to be quiet.
** PetTheDog AND KickTheDog in a row: Domino thinks the baby clone Pokémon are cute and even holds and pets one...then she has no qualms knocking out their parents with electric tulips.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Mewtwo does this to all of Team Rocket (as well as Luna and Cullen) except for Jessie, James, and Meowth in the end, though [[FridgeLogic one can't help but wonder why he didn't think to do this beforehand]]. Subverted with Ash and co., as Mewtwo allows them to keep their memories.
* LittleMissBadass: Domino of Team Rocket, who is only around Brock's age. Also a BadassNormal.
* LoveRedeems: Sort of. He was actually one of the good guys, but Cullen Calix was obsessed with studying the spring of Purity Canyon, even if it meant harming it. But once Mewtwo wipes his memory, he realizes that he's in love with Luna and that this is more important than research, so he settles down with her rather than pursue his ambitions.
* NearVillainVictory: One of the biggest in the series.
-->'''Mewtwo''': I would sooner leave this world than serve you.
-->'''Giovanni''': I suggest you reconsider your opinion. If you choose to defy me, your fellow creations will all be used in our experiments and will certainly leave this world.
** Though some might consider those lines as a poor attempt at trying to sound epic and Shakespearean on their part.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Teenage girl Domino acts like a typical DumbBlonde before revealing that she's an [[LittleMissBadass incredibly capable]] agent of Team Rocket.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: A ''massive'' battle undoubtedly takes place while Ash is taking Mewtwo to the spring between Brock and Misty vs what looks like ''every Team Rocket operative''. It's going to start up and...we cut to Ash dragging an injured Mewtwo up the stairs. We NEVER see any of the battle.
* OjouRinglets: Domino's hair is styled this way.
* ParentalSubstitute: Mewtwo acts much like an anxious father regarding the other clones, and debates whether he should let them set out on their own or if he should make them stay where he can guard them.
** Does it count if Mewtwo technically ''is'' one of their parents?
** Yes, since he isn't biologically related to them. He's their creator, but not their father.
** Technically he's more like their father figure.
* PerkyFemaleMinion: Domino, who almost fits the criteria for PerkyGoth...except for not actually being a Goth.
* PermaStubble: Cullen seems to have a bit of this going on.
* PragmaticVillainy: Domino advises Giovanni not to continue torturing Mewtwo because Mewtwo is valuable and it would be a waste to kill him. [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou If they destroy him, it'll take years to create another clone]]. Giovanni acknowledges this, but doesn't care. Its become a battle of willpower, [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou and Giovanni is determined to prove his is the stronger]].
* ProperlyParanoid: The security cameras and prison cell indicate that Mewtwo believes humans are bound to find them eventually. He's right.
* PsychicLink: In the end, Mewtwo for the first time, expresses genuine heartfelt gratitude. To Ash and his friends no less, for saving his clones and himself, and help him see his own self-worth. He establishes a psychic link with Ash, [[DoesNotKnowHowToSayThanks which occasionally echoes this appreciation whenever he thinks of him]].
* RedBaron: Domino, AKA The Black Tulip.
* RightHandCat: Persian, as usual.
* SlapstickKnowsNoGender: So watch out for that wet floor, Domino!
* TheSlowWalk: Mewtwo as he submits and walks into the capture/torture machines. The real shocker, though, is the reveal that Mewtwo is capable of walking in the first place.
* ValleyGirl: Domino speaks like this in the dub before TheReveal that she's part of Team Rocket.
* WalkingTheEarth: Mewtwo decides to embark on this at the end....and with a [[BadassCape snazzy cape]] to boot.
* WhatTheHellHero: A subtle one; Ash needs to save Mewtwo's life by throwing him into the spring. Cullen then tells him not to, because it might contaminate the spring, which he's obsessed with studying. Ash's response is to look pissed at Cullen's selfishness and throw Mewtwo in anyway.
* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Mewtwo wants to know the reason why Ash is trying to save him. Ash replies you don't need a reason to help another. Mewtwo then considers Ash unique, one-of-a-kind. Ash informs the genetic Pokemon, ''everyone is unique'', [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre and that includes him too]].
* ZergRush: By various Bug-type Pokémon after Team Rocket occupies Mewtwo's island home. By the way, Bug is super-effective on Psychic. Until the Psychic gets its turn.