The friends arrive in North Petalburg and stop by the Pokémon Center, where May and Max are quickly recognized as the children of Norman. The siblings are swamped by an adoring crowd. Ash and Brock manage to escape and wander off.
Team Rocket arrives in town and they decide to disguise themselves as Norman’s family (Norman, Caroline, May, and Max) to conduct an autograph-selling scam.
When Ash mentions that he’s planning to take on Norman in the Petalburg Gym, a whole crowd of Norman-devotees challenge Ash to battles. Ash easily beats them all, exhausting his Pokémon (and himself). Word gets around about how good he is, so the crowd with the siblings pressures May to battle Ash in order to teach him a lesson. Her Torchic uses Ember on Ash, and he falls over.
The still-disguised Team Rocket disappears, causing another crowd of people to search them out. The two crowds meet, and begin to argue over which version of May and Max is the real thing. May uses Ember to burn away Team Rocket’s costumes, and Pikachu sends their balloon blasting away with Thunderbolt.
The crowd is impressed with the defeat of Team Rocket—by Pikachu. Though Ash is dejected, the kids set off for Petalburg City.