Pokémon's Team Rocket Jessie & James Had Secret Talents Fans Forgot

The Pokémon anime's infamous Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James and Meowth make a career out of stealing Pokémon. They'll use robots, pitfall traps and just about anything to ensure they get their hands on their target. The only thing they seem to never try is actually tossing a Pokéball at a wild Pokémon, which works better than one would think. That, or anything that would threaten the beloved anime's TV-Y7 rating.

Despite Team Rocket's insistence on stealing Pokémon, it's not where their true (or any) talents lie. The trio instead excels in various other fields. Here are some examples of areas where Team Rocket does well outside of training, battling, or stealing Pokémon.

RELATED: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Trailer Examines the Game's Galactic Enemies

Team Rocket's Disguises Actually Work

Team Rocket's tendency to approach Ash and co. incognito garners mixed reactions. Even when they're fully dressed up, viewers find it easy to tell when it's them. All they have to do is look for Jessie's iconic hairstyle, or Meowth stacked on top of Wobbuffet. It's frustrating to watch Ash fall for the same trick all the time, especially when the deception is obvious.

While Team Rocket may be picked out quickly by fans, they are masters of disguise in-universe. They're almost never recognized and can sometimes get off scot-free depending on the circumstances. Every once in a while, some of their disguises are even good enough to throw off unwary viewers. If one isn't actively looking for them, they can be easy to miss.

RELATED: Pokémon: Why Giovanni Hardly Uses His Beloved Persian in Battle

Team Rocket's James Is a PokéRinger Expert

James shows a surprising talent for PokéRinger competitions in "That's Just Swellow." In PokéRinger, trainers use an airborne Pokémon to retrieve a ring from a hot air balloon and place it on a goalpost. Part of James' childhood involves training with a professional PokéRinger, and his experience shows when he makes it all the way to the finals. It's a moment for fans to go, "Wow! He's actually really good at this!"

Using Jessie's Dustox, James gives Ash an uncharacteristically hard time. This Pokémon generally loses battles against Ash and co. but excels in PokéRinger under James. Ash only wins because his Taillow evolves and outmaneuvers Dustox. Regardless, it's surprising to see James do as well as he did in any sort of competition. He doesn't win, but he does show great knowledge and expertise in something for a change.

RELATED: What Is the Best Pokémon Game for Your Nuzlocke Run?

Team Rocket's Jessie Is a Talented Pokémon Coordinator

No one would expect Jessie to do as well in Pokémon Contests as she does. In Contests, coordinators must put on a captivating performance with their Pokémon in order to advance. The Pokémon anime also features a battle round, but battles are performance-oriented, so this achievement still counts. When Jessie first enters contests in the Advanced series, she generally cheats to win and ends up either losing anyway or getting disqualified.

However, Jessie makes a massive turnaround in the Diamond and Pearl series. As Jessilina (one of her better disguises which lasts the whole series), she manages to clear both the performance round and the battle round and earn a Ribbon. Five times. That's enough to qualify her for the Sinnoh Grand Festival, the Contest equivalent to the Pokémon League. If she didn't have to contend with Dawn or her rivals, she may have even made it past the semifinals and won the Sinnoh Ribbon Cup.

Team Rocket's Meowth Is a Pokémon That Talks

Meowth can talk. That cannot be emphasized enough. After over 1100 episodes of the anime, many fans have grown numb to the novelty of a talking Pokémon. It doesn't help that the movies regularly feature legendary Pokémon that can communicate telepathically, not to mention the Slowking from The Power of One. Even in-universe, people forget how difficult it is for a Pokémon to learn to speak in full, coherent sentences.

Growing up on the street, Meowth tries to impress a female Meowth by acting more like a human. This includes teaching himself to talk and stand upright. According to "Meowth Rules!," learning to talk comes at the cost of being able to learn new moves. Standing upright becomes the norm for all Meowth as of Pokémon Yellow, but not even Team Rocket's Meowth can talk in the games. Human speech remains exclusive to the anime Team Rocket's Meowth.

RELATED: Pokémon Battlers Aren't the Best Trainers in the World – It's Actually [SPOILER]

Team Rocket Does Good Spy Work

Team Rocket's best work comes at the start of the Pokémon Black and White series. Instead of chasing Pikachu, the refreshed trio does some pretty competent espionage work for their organization. They go undercover, meet regularly with a Team Rocket liaison, and perform stunts à la Mission: Impossible. They have a moment like this in "A Lean Mean Team Rocket Machine!," but it's in full effect in Black and White.

This is Team Rocket at their coolest. New looks, a no-nonsense attitude and an air of professionalism. When they inevitably return to stealing  Pokémon, they hardly even blast off, instead getting away with jetpacks. The Team Rocket trio may never steal any Pokémon, but everything they do Black and White is done with style and talent.

KEEP READING: Pokémon: How To Get Started With The Anime & Manga

Komi Can’t Communicate: Komi Starts Breaking Out of Her Comfort Zone
Related Topics
About The Author
image
Marc York (33 Articles Published)

Marc York is a writer for CBR. He possesses an understanding of comics, video games, and movies, and his true expertise comes forth when it comes to the topics of anime and manga. His knowledge spreads to the past, present, and future of both the anime and manga industry, especially when it pertains to titles under the Shonen Jump banner. Marc also likes to write about the movies he's watched in theaters; these aren't officially published articles, but they may be seen on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/marc.york.7

More From Marc York

You May Like Also

  • Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Trailer Examines the Game's Galactic Enemies
  • Pokémon: Why Giovanni Hardly Uses His Beloved Persian in Battle
  • What Is the Best Pokémon Game for Your Nuzlocke Run?
  • battles are performance-oriented
  • equivalent to the Pokémon League
  • being able to learn new moves
  • Pokémon Battlers Aren't the Best Trainers in the World – It's Actually [SPOILER]
  • A Lean Mean Team Rocket Machine!
  • Pokémon: How To Get Started With The Anime & Manga
  • The Official Avatar Cookbook’s Tastiest Sweets - Perfect for Holiday Dinners
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: What Katarina Claes' MBTI Type Says About Her
  • Dragon Ball Super Reveals One Powerful Villain's Incredible New Form
  • Cowboy Bebop: How Jet Black Built a Bounty-Hunting Crew
  • Dragon Ball Z: Who Was Really Stronger in the Gotenks vs. Super Buu Fight?
  • My Hero Academia: Star and Stripe's Defeat Has Global Repercussions
  • Dr. Stone: What Senku Ishigami's MBTI Says About Him
  • DC's Robins #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Star Wars Life Day #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 Comic Review
  • DC's Superman Son of Kal-El #5 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Hulk #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Darkhold: The Wasp #1 Comic Review
  • Dragon Ball: The Real Reason Vegeta Won't Surpass Goku Actually Isn't So Bad
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Kento Nanami's Zodiac Sign & How It Reflects the Sorcerer's Character
  • Kamisama Kiss: How to Get Started With the Anime & Manga
  • Woodworker Renders Naruto’s Baryon Mode in Mind-Blowingly Detailed Sculpture
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun: How to Get Started With the Manga & Anime
  • Blue Period: Yatora Needs [SPOILER] to Be a Better Artist
  • Boruto Manga Reveals Naruto Still Has a Key Power
  • My Hero Academia: What Himiko Toga's MBTI Says About the Villain
  • Platinum End: Mirai Is His Own Worst Enemy
  • Anime Anatomy: 5 Weird Secrets About Saitama’s Body
  • Donghua Series The Daily Life of the Immortal King Renewed For Third Season
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Xeno Trunks' Life Sucks - But It's Better Than the Alternative
  • Watch full movie for free, click here daily update 👉 https://justwatch.cc