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Recap / Pokémon S2E20 "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?"

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Misty: I have a natural understanding of matters of the heart.
Ash: Yeah? How come?
Misty: You're not mature enough to understand.
Ash: I am, too!
Misty: Well someday you'll grow up.
Ash: I already am grown up!

Japanese Title: Nidoran's Love Story

Original Airdate: June 10th, 1999

US Airdate: April 22nd, 2000

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pokemon_orange_episode_21.png
Sometimes love really does conquer all.
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Our heroes are on their way to Trovita Island when they come across two Pokémon trainers who seemingly hate each other, even though their two Pokémon are in love. He has a male Nidoran and she has a female Nidoran and all that the two Pokémon want is to be together. It takes Misty, the true romantic, to see that perhaps it's the two trainers that are in love as well!

Tropes

  • Acting Unnatural: Pikachu acts very conspicuous when he edges his way to the fruit tree while pretending to look for Maria.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Misty is certain that, deep beneath the acrimony at the surface, there are feelings between Ralph and Emily. Tracey thinks the same of Ash and Misty.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the episode, when the Narrator comments that "All's well that ends well", Team Rocket, who somehow got stuck in ringing church bells, respond.
    Jessie: Did he say that all's well that ends well?!
    James: I think so!
    Meowth: That has a familiar ring!
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  • Corner of Woe: Immaturity cracks from Misty put Ash here twice while the twerps are casing Ralph and Emily.
    Misty: Don't you know that love is the most important thing in the world?
    Ash: Not more important than catching Pokémon.
    Misty: You are such a big baby!
    Ash: I'm not a big baby! Am I, Pikachu?
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Nidoran are depicted as a lot smaller than Arbok, but work together to beat it.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Misty makes a reference to the regular world when she says the town looks like "Merry Old England." The series would cease to reference real-world locations after a couple of instances in Johto.
  • Forged Message: Misty sends Ralph and Emily love letters and gifts that seem to be from each other. Naturally, it doesn't work.
  • Never My Fault: Misty claims that Ralph and Emily were responsible for Team Rocket taking their Nidoran, forgetting that the only reason the two were fighting, let alone their Nidoran were in the same place, was because of her forged love letters.
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  • Only Sane Man: For once, Ash gets to play this role. He tries to tell Misty that the fight between Ralph and Emily is none of their business and makes it clear that her schemes to get them together are flat-out crazy (if not borderline illegal: "But couldn't you get arrested for mail fraud?").
  • The Power of Love: After blasting off Team Rocket, the two Nidoran evolve into Nidorino and Nidorina.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Following the defeat of Team Rocket, Emily and Ralph know understand much their Nidoran care for each other, but both are reluctant to release them.
  • Scare Chord: The Death Glare that Misty and Ash give Tracey as part of She Is Not My Girlfriend comes with one of these.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Tracey makes the mistake of comparing the BST Misty thinks exists between Ralph and Emily, with Misty and Ash themselves. They both vehemently deny it.
    Misty: They're not mature enough to admit it, but they really like each other.
    Tracey: Ya know what? It's exactly the same thing with you and Ash.
    Misty and Ash: *both give Tracey a Death Glare* YOU MUST BE CRAZY!!!
  • Shout-Out: The male Nidoran is named "Tony", and the female Nidoran is named "Maria". West Side Story, anyone?
    • To Shakespeare: The title is a shoutout to West Side Story's inspiration, Romeo and Juliet. There's even a balcony scene, after which Emily derisively calls Tony "Romeo" while driving him off.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: While searching for Maria, Pikachu spots some delicious-looking fruit and pretends to keep calling for her while sliding his way towards a snack.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The Nidoran's trainers don't like each other at first. One fight with Team Rocket, and they can at least put their differences aside on behalf of their smitten Pokémon.
  • Time for Plan B: When the Nidoran refuse to go along with Team Rocket's Elopement plan, they just resort to kidnapping them.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Misty rightfully calls out Emily and Ralph twice for stubbornly focusing on their fighting when they knew how much their Nidoran loved each other.
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