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Recap / Pokémon S1E37 "Ditto's Mysterious Mansion"

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Japanese Title: Metamon and the Copycat Girl

Original Airdate: December 9th, 1997

US Airdate: October 26th, 1998

Being caught in a sudden rain shower, our heroes are obliged to seek shelter. In the middle of a clearing, they find a small, ghastly cabin. Dragging the reluctant Misty, Ash and Brock enter the cabin, instantly getting the impression that they are not alone. Could this be a haunted cabin? They soon discover that it is the Copycat house in which the trainer of Ditto lives. Intrigued by Ditto, Ash proposes a battle between Ditto and Pikachu. But soon, Team Rocket steal the Ditto and attempt to correct this problem, planning to give it to the boss.

Tropes:

  • Borrowed Catchphrase: The second instance of our heroes performing the Team Rocket motto, though this time they actually manage to say the whole thing.
  • Cast as a Mask: In the dub, when Duplica (voiced by Megan Hollingshead) pretends to be Ash, Officer Jenny and Misty, she even flawlessly imitates their voices (by Veronica Taylor, Lee Quick (via reusing a sound byte from "The Kangaskhan Kid") and Rachael Lillis respectively). The same applies to Ditto, whose natural voice is by Rachael Lillis, but when transformed into other Pokémon it takes on the voice of the Pokémon it's impersonating (though when Ditto transforms into a Pikachu, Ikue Ohtani gives it a slightly different-sounding voice from an actual Pikachu).
    • Averted when Duplica impersonates Nurse Joy, as Megan Hollingshead voices both characters.
  • Exact Words: Jessie angrily tries to get Ditto to transform into a Dratini by pointing to a picture of it in a book...this just results in Ditto transforming into a book instead.
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  • Expy: Duplica is the anime counterpart to Copycat. She's older but her design is similar to Copycat's and they have similar roles.
  • Eye Catch: This episode, the Who's that Pokémon is Ditto.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: When the twerps and Duplica imitate the Team Rocket motto, Jessie and James are none too pleased. They even angrily correct the parts they got wrong.
  • Lost in Translation: The Japanese version of Ash and friends performing Team Rocket's motto includes a few jokes that are missing from the English version. Kasumi refers to the team as "the lovely, charmy protagonists" where Team Rocket would have called themselves "the lovely, charmy villains." And Takeshi calls the group "Poketto-dan" - literally "Team Pocket," which wouldn't have worked in English as the dub doesn't use the term "pocket monsters." In English, Misty and Brock just recite the corresponding English lines of the motto verbatim.
    • The dub did, however, add a similar pun with Duplica using the word "ignite" instead of "unite" in one of James' parts. In Japanese, Imite recited that corresponding line of Kojiro's verbatim.
  • Meaningful Name: Our character of the day, in both Japanese ("Imite", from "imitate") and English ("Duplica", from "duplicate"). Also, in English, Ditto.
  • Mirror Routine: Pikachu and Ditto do this when they first meet.
  • Morphic Resonance: This episode's Ditto is notable for initially being unable to change its face when transformed. Even though this defect was meant to be limited to this specific Ditto, it became popular to portray Ditto's transformations this way in multiple spinoffs.
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  • Spot the Imposter: Averted early on with Ditto, but it became harder to identify it from the original later in the episode. Duplica doesn't seem to have any difficulty with it (although with each disguise she still has her distinctively thicker eyebrows and brown eyes, but these are very minor details). In a more humorous example, Brock proves himself able to tell Duplica's Joy and Jenny apart from the others.
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: Team Rocket steals Ditto and manages to overcome its transformation issues. When confronted with the ensuing Spot the Imposter, Duplica ignores the choice entirely to thank them sincerely for their help.
  • Troll: Ditto messes with Team Rocket while they try to force it to transform into a Dratini.
    Jessie: (points to a picture of Dratini in a book) TRANSFORM INTO THIS!
    Ditto: (transforms into the book the Dratini's pictured in)
    • Duplica as well, particularly during her and Ash's first meeting. She visibly enjoys messing with Ash during their battle, even referring to him as "Ashy boy" in a teasing way.
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