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Recap / Pokémon S1E28 "Pokémon Fashion Flash"

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A Pokémon is like a fashion model, all that counts is a pretty face.
Jessie

Japanese Title: Rokon! Breeder Showdown!

Original Airdate: October 7th, 1997

US Airdate: October 14th, 1998

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pokemon_fashion_flash.png
Misty's turn for Ash Face
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At Brock's persistent request, our heroes stop by Scissor Street, a town of breeders famous for its Pokémon beauty salons. Brock makes a special request to visit a salon called Coron. The owner of the Beauty Salon, Suzie, is a breeder who has received the most superior ranking in the Pokémon Breeder Contest for three years straight. Recently, a store called Salon Roquet has been introducing outrageous fashions, making wild profits and disrupting long-term shop-owners.

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This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: For Brock, making this one of the first episodes which gives him the lead role.
  • Ash Face: Misty gets this twice.
    • First she picks up Vulpix due to Cuteness Proximity, and gets a Flamethrower to her face as her reward.
      Misty: Very...cute... *thud*
    • Later Vulpix uses Fire Spin to defeat Team Rocket, and Misty gets caught in the blaze.
      Misty: Hey, don't Fire Spin me! Help! Help! Help!
  • Butt-Monkey: Misty is not having a good day in this episode. She gets blasted in the face by Vulpix' fire attack, has her face messed up by Team Rocket's clown makeup, gets kidnapped and then burned by Vulpix yet again. To top it all off, Ash laughs himself sick at her ridiculous face, much to her chagrin.
  • Camp Gay: The trainer who dropped his Chansey off at Suzie’s salon is very clearly supposed to be this. 4Kids kept him in the English version too, male voice and everything!
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  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: Ash and Misty get into an argument over the importance of fashion. Eventually, Ash jokingly dares Misty to take her Psyduck to Salon Rocket to get a makeover. She tries, but Team Rocket end up thinking that she wants a makeover. So they put her in weird clothes, give her a new hairstyle, and paint her face with ridiculous clown-like makeup. She thinks it looks good, until Ash sees her and laughs his butt off at how stupid she looks.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: During the climax, Jessie is wearing clothes like a duke while James is sporting a gown and wig.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Vulpix takes out Ekans and Koffing with one Fire Spin.
  • Drag Queen: The Chansey Trainer is identified as Okama-San in the Kids Pocket Trainer Pocket Monster book.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The concepts of Pokémon breeding and fashion are still nebulous at this point. Nothing canon will come until Generation III with their Contests.
  • Eye Catch: This episode, the Who's that Pokémon is Vulpix.
  • Greed: Surprisingly averted with Jessie and James (who seem to be giving Pokemon make-overs because they want to, not to turn a profit), but played straight with Meowth, who was planning on using their salon as a front to scam trainers.
  • Humiliation Conga: Misty's Butt-Monkey treatment in this episode. Overlaps with Break the Haughty given how Misty was acting earlier and Laser-Guided Karma since while arguing for the importance of outer beauty, Misty had taken Ash's remark about taking Psyduck to Team Rocket's salon seriously, only to end up getting a makeover for herself. It's no wonder Ash is laughing so hard at the end.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The final scene of the episode has Jessie, James and Meowth being chased by an angry mob of all their former customers that they scammed.
    James: Now we need a total makeover so no one we ripped off will recognize us!
    Jessie: They're all just jealous because they're not attractive enough to wear our designs!
    All: BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD!
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Misty didn't realize Ash was being sarcastic about suggesting her to take Psyduck to Salon Roquet, though he didn't seem to mind. Unfortunately for Misty, it leads to her ending up in severe distress and humiliation.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: The clown-like facial makeup that Team Rocket gives Misty.
  • Villain Ball: Yeah, Team Rocket, talk about your plan to scam and steal from trainers right in front of them. Though to be fair, it was only Meowth who did this.
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