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Recap / Pokémon S1E23 "The Tower of Terror"

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Ghost wedgies!

Japanese Title: Capture at the Pokémon Tower!

Original Airdate: September 2, 1997

US Airdate: October 7, 1998

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Ash and company travel to Lavender Town to capture a Ghost Pokémon to defeat Sabrina's Psychic-type Kadabara. After several scares in Lavender Tower, Ash and Pikachu are knocked out by a falling chandelier. Haunter, one of three Ghost Pokémon living in the tower, pulls their spirits out of their bodies and the five fly off for a night of fun where Ash learns more about the fun-loving specters. After they return Ash to his body, he leaves, telling his friends that he couldn't capture any of the ghosts if they didn't want to be captured. While leaving he discovers that Haunter has decided to follow him, so it is back to Sabrina's gym for a rematch!

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This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Ash Face: Happens to Brock when Charmander tries to light a candle for him, and ends up frying his head too. Later, he fries all three twerps in fear.
  • Astral Projection: Ash and Pikachu both experience this after being knocked out/ killed by a chandelier. Apparently Haunter caused it by manipulating their lifeless bodies somehow. Ash can fly, walk through walls, and apparently still carry things, even lifting Misty high off the ground, although neither she nor Brock could see him.
  • Corner of Woe: Haunter and Gengar end up here when Ash pans their comedy act.
  • End-of-Episode Silliness: The episode ends with Team Rocket tied up by Gastly and Gengar, and forced to ride on a Merry-Go-Round.
    Meowth: STOP THE MERRY-GO-ROUND! I WANNA GET OFF!
    All: TEAM ROCKET'S THROWING UP AGAIN!
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  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: A falling chandelier leads to Ash and Pikachu's Astral Projection.
  • Flatline Plotline: The first one of many that Ash experiences over the course of the series. It proves to be instrumental in helping him get to know the resident Ghost-type Pokemon better.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: This is the main reason why the protagonists go in the first place; to get a new party member who can defeat Sabrina.
  • Hollywood Darkness: When the door to the tower closes on the trio, Misty exclaims that it's "pitch black!" It is decidedly not.
  • Humiliation Conga: For Team Rocket, especially Jessie. There were a total of three Humiliation Conga for our Goldfish Poop Gang throughout the entire episode.
    • In the first one, James ends up falling down a floor, Meowth gets scared by Gastly and accidentally scratches Jessie's face in the process, which causes Jessie to kick him down to the hole with James, and Jessie cries about her scratched face only to see Gastly's face in the mirror, scaring her half to death and causing her to fall down in the hole with the others. And then the floor that broke their fall collapses as well, and they fall down even further.
    • The second one is when Ash and his Pokémon investigate the hole Team Rocket has fallen in. Believing that a Ghost Pokémon is lying down there, Ash orders Charmander to use Flamethrower, giving the Team Rocket quite the burn. Then Ash throws a Poké Ball, which lands right onto Jessie's face. As Jessie swears revenge on Ash for ruining her face, Meowth notice that Jessie's hair is on fire, causing her to run around in terror before crashing into her comrades.
    • And then at the end of the episode, Team Rocket gets captured by Gastly and Gengar, who tie them up and force them to go on the Merry-Go-Round for their amusement.
  • Never Say "Die": The dub dances around this. Then part of Misty's relief when Ash finally comes to is her saying, "You're alive!"
  • Ship Tease: Popular Ash/Misty episode due to the Tears of Joy mentioned below as well as ghost!Ash playfully lifting Misty off the ground.
  • Tears of Joy: Misty cries with relief after Ash regains his senses, since her and Brock both thought he was dead.
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