Team Rocket

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Team Rocket
R de color Rojo.PNG
Universe Pokémon
Type Criminal organization
Founded Unknown
Location Kanto, Johto, Sevii Islands, Orange Islands, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos
Key people Giovanni (leader)
Purpose To steal/illicitly capture and use Pokémon for profit and in plans for world domination
Technologies Cloning, advanced technology most likely acquired through illegal means.
Powers Powerful Pokémon
Affiliations Isolated

Team Rocket (Japanese: ロケット団 Hepburn: Roketto-dan?, Rocket Gang) is a crime syndicate in the Pokémon metaseries. Their main goal, as stated in the games, is to use Pokémon for profit and in plans for world domination. Most of their technology was acquired through illegal means, and they are known to have at one time cloning technology in the anime.


  • Giovanni is the leader of Team Rocket, in addition to his position as Viridian City Gym Leader. After being defeated by the player as Gym Leader, he decides to disband Team Rocket. In a side-quest in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the player battles Giovanni as he is called by the re-formed Team Rocket of Johto.
  • Jessie (ムサシ Musashi) and James (コジロウ Kojirō): Jessie and James are two operatives of Team Rocket who are the main villains of the anime, along with Keith. They appear as mini-bosses in Pokémon Yellow.
  • Archer (アポロ Aporo, Apollo): The head executive of the re-formed Team Rocket in Johto. He seeks to reunite Team Rocket and bring Giovanni back into the fold. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, he seeks to create Arceus to complete his goals.
  • Ariana (アテナ Atena, Athena): One of the other Team Rocket executives in Johto. She claims herself to be the interim leader of Team Rocket.
  • Petrel (ラムダ Ramuda, Lambda): One of the other Team Rocket executives in Johto. He is a master of disguise and is not as evil-minded as the other Team Rocket executives.
  • Proton (ランス Ransu, Lance): One of the other Team Rocket executives in Johto. He is the most ruthless of the executives, leading the operation in the Slowpoke's Well, but is admired by the others for his actions.

In the anime[edit]

Team Rocket trio[edit]

Jessie (ムサシ Musashi), James (コジロウ Kojirō), and Meowth (ニャース Nyāsu, Nyarth) A recurring trio of bumbling thieves who constantly follow Ash Ketchum around in order to capture his Pikachu, which they consider exceptionally strong. While they are usually antagonistic towards Ash and his friends, they have shown that they are good-hearted at times and willing to put their differences aside when it is beneficial and then fail at an attempt to steal Pikachu. In the series, James is shown to come from an affluent family and ran away due to their high standards. He joined a bicycle gang and then ended up with Team Rocket. He states that he enjoys many freedoms that the "lower class" has, as opposed to the upper class having "rules for everything." They are shown to have set up the first Team Rocket base in the Sinnoh region.

In the Best Wishes series, the trio was more serious about their jobs and accomplished many missions. They were the primary source of comic relief in the original series, the Advanced Generation series, and the Diamond and Pearl series. They were serious and served absolutely no comic relief for most of the Best Wishes! series, but returned to their famous role as comic relief when Ash, Iris, and Cilan left for the Decolore Islands toward the end of the Best Wishes! series. They retained this role in the XY series.

Jessie tends to don the more masculine clothing in terms of costumes or disguises, while James often cross-dresses in very feminine outfits. After failing, they are often sent "blasting off" by an explosion or a Pokémon's attack (usually one of Pikachu's). They are constantly out to appease their boss, Giovanni, though he finds the group to be incompetent. The trio also breaks the fourth wall on a regular basis.

In the Best Wishes! series, Team Rocket are promoted by Giovanni after aiding in the collapse of Team Galactic, gaining new uniforms and a new balloon, and becoming more serious in tone. After the events of the finale of the second Best Wishes season (spanning the episodes "Meloetta and the Undersea Temple" and "Unova's Survival Crisis"), Team Rocket withdrew from Unova, although the trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth return to the region in the following season, starting with the episode "New Places... Familiar Faces!" Upon their return, the trio has reverted to their original, pre-Advanced Generation motto, as well as their original goal of capturing Ash's Pikachu along with any additional Pokémon they can get a hold of. While not appearing in every episode of the season, their appearances became more frequent as the season progressed. The trio returns with their old Meowth balloon, upgraded with rocket engines, and use similar improved technology to capture Pokémon as well as to eavesdrop in Ash's conversations about his plans. They have, up to this point, returned completely to their previous role as comic relief. Like before, their failures again result in them being "blasted off" in the same manner as they have been prior to the Black and White/Best Wishes series.

In the XY series, the trio reunite with Wobbuffet and catch Inkay for James and Pumpkaboo for Jessie. Pumpkaboo evolves into Gourgeist. The blast off gag continues; however, the animations are continuously recycled.

Jessie is the most impulsive and aggressive of the three. She grew up in a poor foster family in the snowy mountains (see Tohoku), while her mother focused on Team Rocket. Before she joined Team Rocket, she aspired to be a nurse; however, the school that she wanted to attend wouldn't accept her application. Undeterred, she attempted to attend a nursing school for Pokémon. There, she befriended a Chansey who seemed to be the only Pokémon in the school willing to be her friend. Jessie ended up failing to become a Pokémon nurse. From there, she moved on to Pokémon Tech, a private school. There, she met her future Team Rocket partner, James. She flunked out of school before joining a biking gang, then Team Rocket. She is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara (replaced on an interim basis by Akiko Hiramatsu when Hayashibara was on maternity leave) in the Japanese version, Rachael Lillis during the first eight seasons of the English anime and Michele Knotz from the ninth season onwards. Jessie is also seen to have been a good singer in the past as well. Jessie owns a Wobbuffet, which she accidentally got in a trade. Wobbuffet participates in numerous Team Rocket schemes, almost to the point of being a fourth member. Wobbuffet is the source of a running gag in which it pops out of its Ball and yells its name, only for Jessie to withdraw it. Wobbuffet was left at Team Rocket HQ at the end of the Diamond and Pearl series, when the trio went to Unova, due to not being native to Unova. Because it is native to Kalos, Jessie was able to bring Wobbuffet with the trio to Kalos when they encountered it by mistake on the way out of HQ to find out where Ash was going next.

James is portrayed as whiny, submissive and effeminate. He finds it very difficult to leave a Pokémon behind or to trade one. He grew up on a vast estate, to an extremely wealthy family, but ran away from home when his parents arranged for him to marry Jessiebelle, a girl that looks just like Jessie, but is considerably more aggressive and obsessed with etiquette. Despite his weak personality, James is shown at being skilled at many things, having been taught by several tutors while he stayed at home. He is also shown as very intelligent, usually functioning as the trio's equivalent to a Pokédex. He has a Growlithe nicknamed Growlie, which Jessiebelle hates. James is usually portrayed holding a rose, which he seems able to pull from anywhere. He owned a Victreebel, which always bites his head when he sends it out, in an attempt to eat him as a sign of affection, and on the occasions when Jessie uses it, her head normally gets bitten too. It is also shown in one episode that it prefers to try to eat him rather than eat Pokémon Food. However, in an episode of Pokémon: Master Quest, James trades the Victreebel for a Weepinbell by the same Magikarp scammer he encountered several times. Coincidentally, it evolves into a Victreebel, which attempts to eat Jessie. She kicks it away, where it bumps into James's old Victreebel and they run off together into the forest, deeply in love. James is voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki in the Japanese version, Ted Lewis for the first eight episodes of the English anime, Eric Stuart until the end of the eighth season, and Jimmy Zoppi (credited under the pseudonym "Billy Beach" and more recently "Carter Cathcart") from the ninth season onwards.

Meowth originally lived in the city, and tried to impress a female Meowth named Meowzie by learning to walk on two legs and speak human language. Instead of being impressed, she regarded him as a freak, so Meowth joined Team Rocket. Meowth usually concocts the overlarge machines and spends their non-existent money on these schemes, all to end up on the boss' lap. Meowth is voiced by Inuko Inuyama in the Japanese version, Nathan Price for the first thirty episodes of the English anime, Maddie Blaustein until the end of the eighth season, and James Carter Cathcart from the ninth season onwards.

In appearance, Jessie and James both have very similar features - they have the same face shape, eye shape, noses, and mouths (when not considering the fact that Jessie is almost always wearing lipstick) and are exactly the same height. However, they are not completely identical as their colouring is quite different - Jessie's hair is incredibly long and fuchsia, whilst James' is shoulder-length and lilac; Jessie has blue eyes and James has green eyes, and finally, James is slightly paler. Despite this, it should be noted that they almost look related.

Despite their constant attempts to steal Pikachu and many other Pokémon, and their self-admittance of being the 'bad guys', all three members of the trio have shown good-hearted natures from time to time - they have occasionally turned on their thieving ideals to help Ash and the gang out of hard situations. Even when this is not occurring, unlike other enemies in the series (such as Team Plasma), Team Rocket have shown that they genuinely care about each other and their well-being - this being particularly noticeable on the various occasions when Meowth has been missing and Jessie and James have gone out of their way to find him.

Jessie and James' English names are taken from Jesse James, an American outlaw. James's Japanese name, Kojiro, is taken from Sasaki Kojirō (佐々木小次郎?), a prominent Japanese swordsman most famous for being killed by his rival, Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵?), the namesake of Jessie. They are based the villainous trio in the Time Bokan series; Jessie is based on Majo, the leader of the group who believes she is the prettiest woman in the world, while James is based on Grocky, the whiny brains of the trio. Meowth is based on Warusa, the clumsy but stronger person of the trio.

The trio, since the Diamond and Pearl dub, has rhymed their dialogue. This was not present in the 4Kids dub, but was added in the TPCi (The Pokémon Company International) dub.


The trio has a tendency to introduce themselves by stating a motto. The most commonly used one is the "classic one" from the original series (the Kanto and Johto arcs, and used again from the second half of Best Wishes and moving forward):

Prepare for trouble
And make it double
To protect the world from devastation!'
To unite all people within our nation!
To denounce the evils of truth and love!
To extend our reach to the stars above!
Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!
Surrender now or prepare to fight!
Meowth, that's right!

In some variations, Jessie's Wobbuffet also appears at the end, proudly stating its name.

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