Japanese Title: Pokémon Certification Test!?
Original Airdate: July 30th, 1998
US Airdate: April 24th, 1999
Ash signs up to take an exam to be admitted to the Pokémon League. But judging by his awful score on the multiple-choice quiz, it may be a trivial pursuit. He enters the battling portion of the test hoping to raise his score. Also taking the test are Jessie and James, disguised as nerdy students. But the dastardly duo won't stand for doing anything the honest way, and they each get expelled from the test. Ash battles the instructor with a set of three Pokémon randomly assigned for the test. They turn out to be an Arbok, a Weezing, and a Meowth. What were the chances? Ash knows the Poison-type Pokémon's attacks pretty well from being on the receiving end of them so often. He fights a good match, but loses in the end. Just then, Team Rocket bursts in with the Pokémon James was given for the test. These powerful Pokémon will help Team Rocket nab all the Pokémon at the testing facilityor so it thinks. The Pokémon are obedient to the instructor who trained them, and they turn on Team Rocket. With a little help from Ash, Team Rocket is sent blasting off again. The testing instructor offers to let Ash take the test againhe's sure Ash can pass this timebut Ash would rather enter the League his own way, by traveling, collecting badges, and seeing all the world of Pokémon has to offer.
- Apathetic Student: Jessie doesn't even try; she just answers "true" for every question and assumes that she'll get half of them right.
- Bait-and-Switch Silhouette: One memorable gag has a circular silhouette, with Ash guessing a Voltorb, James guessing a Poké Ball (despite it not being a Pokémon), and Jessie guessing an Electrode. The correct answer is revealed to be a Jigglypuff seen from above. In Japan, the gag was also used for the "Who's That Pokémon" Eye Catch.
- Call-Back: James gets quietly pissed when he hears the name "Magikarp" during the first part of the test, presumably because of his experience with the one the Magikarp salesman sold him.
- Face Fault: Ash and Team Rocket have this reaction over the Unexpectedly Obscure Answers in the second part of the exam.
- Here We Go Again!: Due to Team Rocket's interference, the entire test became invalid and had to be started over, much to the dismay of all the other participants.
- Husky Russkie: The entrance examiner.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As usual, Ash doesn't recognize Team Rocket.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Jessie Rage Quits during part II of the exam, frustrated with the true-or-false questions.
- Swapped Roles: During the test battles, Ash ends up with a Weezing and an Arbok, while James ends up with a Pikachu and a Charizard. Their fortunes, however, are not swapped.
- Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: The answers during part II of the exam, especially the infamous "Jigglypuff seen from above".
- Why Didn't I Think of That?: Upon seeing Ash's first victory using Weezing, Brock comments that even Team Rocket could win with those kind of tactics. Sure enough, Team Rocket is taking notes.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Ash's reaction to getting a Weezing for his battle against the instructor.Ash: Augh! I got a Weezing?
Team Rocket: That's bad.
Snap: I gotta get this! (photographs Ash's "This Is Gonna Suck" face) His face looks just like Weezing's!
- He's not too thrilled about getting an Arbok, either.