Anime: Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns
Special episode, a sequel to the events in Pokemon The First Movie
(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:
- A Glass in the Hand: Giovanni does it twice, first with a glass he's drinking from, and to a walkie-talkie (!) near the end of the movie.
- A Glass of Chianti: Or what looks like whiskey, in this case. Surprisingly untouched by 4Kids for the dub.
- Badass in Distress: Mewtwo again.
- Badass Normal: Domino doesn't seem to have any Pokemon of her own, but that doesn't stop her from fighting anyway.
- Bastard Understudy/The Dragon: Domino is very high in Giovanni's favor.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Domino might look innocent at first: but she's actually a villain.
- Big Damn Heroes: Mewtwo does this four separate times in the movie. First, he saves the below-mentioned Bus Full of Innocents; second, he stops clone Pikachu from delivering a No-Holds Barred Beatdown to Ash's Pikachu; third, he stops Giovanni just as his enemy is about to capture both Pikachus and Meowths, then frees all the other clone Pokémon; and finally, he saves the healing spring and lake from probable destruction by Giovanni, teleporting the whole darn thing underground.
- Bittersweet Ending: Mewtwo is free, but he is alone again.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: 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!"
- Bus Full of Innocents: Mewtwo saves one at the beginning of the movie, justifying it by saying he didn't want to risk exposure if there was a search for survivors by rescue parties.
- Cloning Blues: All of the clones to an extent, but mainly Mewtwo and the Pikachu clone.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Mewtwo, who is held in this position while being held captive by Giovanni's robots. After offering himself up to be tortured in his clones' place in order to save them.
- Cuteness Proximity: Domino can't help but find the baby clone Pokémon adorable.
- Darker and Edgier: 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.
- Electric Torture: Mewtwo, yet again.
- Epic Fail: 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. Doubles as Irony, since she had previously forced Jessie and James to mop said floor.
- Evil All Along/Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Domino initially appears to be a cute and sweet college girl and Cullen's assistant, but when Jessie and James make the scene, she reveals herself to be an elite Team Rocket agent working directly under Giovanni himself.
- Eviler Than Thou: Domino proves to be as such to Jessie, James, and Meowth, popping their balloon while expressing disgust at their bumbling ways and declaring them a disgrace to Team Rocket.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Actually part of the story in this case—Purity Canyon's water gives people and Pokémon something akin to a sugar rush...
- Also averted with Giovanni, as explained above.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Please, let's find a quiet spot to line up and find out if we're a match!"
- Green Aesop: Don't pollute water, or you'll be attacked by hordes of angry insects.
- Healing Spring: Purity Canyon.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: 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.
- Improvised Umbrella: Early on when Ash and company get caught in the rain, Brock decides to use his frying pan... as a drying pan.
- 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.
- Kick the Dog: Giovanni actually snaps at his precious Persian to be quiet.
- Pet the Dog AND Kick the Dog 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.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mewtwo does this to all of Team Rocket (as well as Luna and Cullen) except for Jessie, James, and Meowth in the end, though 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, and seeing as Ash says "This time we'll both remember," Mewtwo may have at least told Ash and Co. about their memories he wiped in the first film.
- Little Miss Badass: Domino of Team Rocket, who is only around Brock's age. Also a Badass Normal.
- Love Redeems: 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.
- Near Villain Victory: One of the biggest in the series.
- Never Say "Die"
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.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Teenage girl Domino acts like a typical Dumb Blonde before revealing that she's an incredibly capable agent of Team Rocket.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: 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.
- Ojou Ringlets: Domino's hair is styled this way.
- Papa Wolf: Mewtwo, as noted below, behaves much like a father figure to his clones. And he gets very annoyed if you mess with them.
- Parental Substitute: 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.
- Perky Female Minion: Domino, who almost fits the criteria for Perky Goth...except for not actually being a Goth.
- Perma Stubble: Cullen seems to have a bit of this going on.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Domino advises Giovanni not to continue torturing Mewtwo because Mewtwo is valuable and it would be a waste to kill him. 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, and Giovanni is determined to prove his is the stronger.
- Properly Paranoid: The security cameras and prison cell indicate that Mewtwo believes humans are bound to find them eventually. He's right.
- Psychic Link: 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, which occasionally echoes this appreciation whenever he thinks of him.
- Red Baron: Domino, AKA The Black Tulip.
- Right-Hand Cat: Persian, as usual.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: So watch out for that wet floor, Domino!
- The Slow Walk: 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.
- Valley Girl: Domino speaks like this in the dub before The Reveal that she's part of Team Rocket.
- Walking the Earth: Mewtwo decides to embark on this at the end....and with a snazzy cape to boot.
- What the Hell, Hero?: 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.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: 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, and that includes him too.
- Zerg Rush: 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.