Japanese Title: Resurrection!? Fossil Pokémon!
Original Airdate: May 28, 1998
US Airdate: February 27, 1999
Ash and company have reached the Grampa Canyon on their travels, which conveniently has lots of explorers searching for fossils the exact day they arrive. Prompted by Gary's appearance at the canyon, Ash decides to search for his own fossils, but things go astray when Team Rocket present their scheme to blow up the canyon and steal all of the fossils. Eventually the canyon does blow up and Ash, Pikachu and Team Rocket get stuck underground with all of the fossil Pokémon.
The fossil Pokémon fight back against the new intruders, and things eventually go from bad to worse when an Aerodactyl joins in with the fun. Ash gets captured by the angry Pokémon but his Charmeleon manages to fight back when it evolves into Charizard. Jigglypuff eventually arrives and puts all the Pokémon to sleep, saving Ash but forever trapping Aerodactyl and the other Pokémon yet again. Ash manages to find a rare Pokémon egg, and then the journey continues.
This episode contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adventurer Outfit: Gary dresses up in the archaelogist style for this episode.
- All Just a Dream: Of course, this is what Officer Jenny wanted the people who fell asleep because of Jigglypuff to think.
- Didn't Think This Through: Pikachu quickly realizes why it's not a good idea to use an electric attack on a dynamite fuse.
- The Dreaded:
- The prehistoric Pokémon start running away once Team Rocket run close to Aerodactyl's lair.
- Later on, Aerodactyl runs away when Charmeleon evolves into Charizard.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Ash finding the Pokémon egg, for two reasons - Pokémon eggs wouldn't appear until Generation II, and neither would the Pokémon that it eventually hatches into, Togepi.
- Egg MacGuffin: Ash escapes the episode with an egg.
- End-of-Episode Silliness: As Ash and his friends leave off into the sunset, the scene then cuts to Team Rocket still trapped underground surrounded by the sleeping prehistoric Pokémon, including the carnivorous Aerodactyl. The episode ends with them singing a lullaby to keep the Pokémon asleep only for James to sneeze at the last moment, waking up Aerodactyl.
- Enemy Mine: Charizard's first fight essentially amounts to this.
- Exit, Cornered By Sleeping Prehistoric Pokémon: Team Rocket is last seen trapped underground, accidentally waking up the slumbering (and hungry) Aerodactyl next to them. Of course in the next episode, Team Rocket is back alive and well.
- Eye Catch: The Who's That Pokémon? this week is Kabutops.
- Eyelid Pull Taunt: Aerodactyl to Charmeleon. This pisses off Charmeleon so much that he promptly evolves.
- Face Doodling: After putting everyone to sleep Jigglypuff angrily draws on everyone's faces. Again.
- Face Plant: Gary's reaction when an archaeologist tells him he unearthed fossilized Pokemon manure.
- Hidden Depths: Charizard, despite being a Hot-Blooded Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, is smart enough to shut his ears when Jigglypuff starts singing and saves Ash's life.
- Hope Spot: After Charmeleon evolves into Charizard and chases after Aerodactyl, Ash takes it to mean that Charmeleon evolved so that it could save it's trainer and is finally obeying him at last. However, after receiving a face full of Flamethrower, Ash then realizes Charizard only wants to battle Aerodactyl.
- Hot-Blooded: Charmeleon, who gets so enraged that there's an asshole Aerodactyl taunting him, that he evolves.
- Idiot Ball: Pikachu uses ThunderShock to stop the Dynamite Candle from going off. The reaction on the faces of everyone present just sells it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: You'd think that Charmeleon evolved into Charizard to save Ash from Aerodactyl. Turns out all Charizard cared about was kicking it's butt, with no regard for Ash's safety when it blasts fire at Aerodactyl.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: This is the only episode where Charmeleon actually fights on Ash's behalf. When he's outmatched by Aerodactyl, he basically gets enraged enough to evolve into Charizard.
- My God, What Have I Done?: This is how Pikachu reacts after he impulsively electrocutes the dynamite Team Rocket planted, realizing his mistake a second before the charge detonates it.Pikachu: (Sweat Dropping) Chaaa.
- Never My Fault: After ending up buried underground, Team Rocket blames Ash for the predicament for trying to put out the fuse (and possibly Pikachu for detonating the dynamite). Ash rightly says it wouldn't have happened if they hadn't planted the dynamite in the first place.
- No-Sell: Pikachu's Thundershock attack has no effect on Kabutops. Ironically, Kabutops is part-Rock and part-Water, so it shouldn't have the resistance Rock/Ground Pokémon possess and in fact should be more vulnerable to electricity; this resistance is a rule the anime frequently violates.
- Pet the Dog: Despite still not liking Ash, Charizard is still good enough to catch him after sleepy Aerodactyl drops him.
- Powder Trail: Team Rocket has a long fuse to the dynamite they planted, so they won't get caught in the blast. Unfortunately, Ash and Squirtle race after it to put it out while Team Rocket chases him to ensure he doesn't put it out. They end up racing all the way down the canyon and find themselves in the vicinity of the dynamite.
- Pre-Explosion Glow: Naturally, when Pikachu accidentally sets off the explosives Team Rocket planned to use to blow up the canyon and steal the fossils.
- Ptero Soarer: Aerodactyl is a classical one. It even catches Ash with its claws. Justified because it's obviously not meant to represent any real pterosaur species (though a real pterosaur genus has been named after it).
- Shared Mass Hallucination: Officer Jenny claims this at the end of the episode to attempt to assure everyone that Aerodactyl and the other Pokemon never existed.
- Shout-Out: Gary's outfit in this episode resembles Indy's.
- Shown Their Work: Oddly enough, the "fossilized Pokemon manure" joke—fossilized fecal matter does indeed exist, referred to as "coprolites" in scientific circles.
- Sneeze of Doom: Team Rocket becomes trapped underground, and the Aerodactyl wakes up due to James sneezing.
- Something We Forgot: While Ash and Pikachu manage to get out of the underground cave and escape the prehistoric Pokemon, Team Rocket is still trapped with them by the end of the episode.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Everyone reacts this way when Pikachu electrocutes the explosives in a panic, even Pikachu!
- Took a Level in Badass: Literally. Ash's Charmeleon evolving into a Charizard.
- To Serve Man: Aerodactyl is said to be a carnivore and the first thing it goes after is Ash.Pokédex Entry: Aerodactyl, an extinct Flying Pokémon. Its hard fangs suggest that it was a carnivore. Its sharp claws were probably used to capture prey.