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Friday, December 2, 2022

Butch and Cassidy are Emotionally Insecure, Unlike the Rest of Team Rocket

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Self-worth must come from within.

So far, the Nintendo 64 game I've put the most time into with my Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack has been Pokémon Puzzle League, since I've never actually played it before. (First (and probably final) time it's talked about in any capacity on KoopaTV, too.) Yeah, I've played Panel de Pon-style games before. And I know I'm...terrible at them, so it's not the most fun use of my time. Still, the first thing I did was go to the Spa Service to encounter Team Rocket members Jessie, James, and Meowth. Pokémon Puzzle League's window dressing is based on the first two seasons (including the Orange Islands) of the Pokémon anime, so as a fan, I wanted to see it.

It's quite obvious that Nintendo Software Technology was quite affected by the semi-frequent cross-dressing that went on between Jessie and James in the anime, since the lovable criminals cross-dress disproportionately more in the Spa Service levels than they do in the anime. This is an important point for Jessie and James's...relationship and personalities, and how they choose to express themselves and their identities. See this compilation I put together and mentally note it, because it contrasts greatly with another duo (sorry, Meowth, you're not important for this article):

Pokémon League Jessie James bride groom ballerina crossdressing dress as woman man
Jessie is the groom, while James is the bride.
Jessie is a ballerino, while James is a ballerina. (In the water.)

After a certain point where THE TWERP, Ash Ketchum, beats Jessie, James, and Meowth enough times, Cassidy and Butch show up for some reason to antagonise Ash. If Ash loses, they... um... declare, “We did it!”, and nothing happens. They just go away after. The whole point of Ash fighting Jessie, James, and Meowth is that they successfully stole his Bulbasaur and Squirtle, AND successfully made a run for it all over the village. (Though the Spa Service storyline seems to...forget that this is the point of the plot and it doesn't seem to be revisited, since the ending of the story doesn't result in the twerp reuniting with Bulbasaur or Squirtle.) Butch and Cassidy aren't focused on their jobs, and based on their dialogue, they're not focused on anything about themselves. Their attention is on... Jessie and James?

Pokémon Puzzle League Butch Cassidy Team Rocket 2 intro dialogue Spa Service
You are so much better than Team Rocket? Team Rocket.

What is this “Team Rocket 2” stuff? Even Jessie, James, and Meowth call Cassidy and Butch “Team Rocket 2”...

Pokémon Puzzle League Spa Service Jessie James wedding met Team Rocket 2 do you two know that Ash met them? Were you watching?
...Why are Jessie and James also calling Butch and Cassidy “Team Rocket 2”?
Like, are they officially in another team?

After the self-proclaimed second Team Rocket introduce themselves as Team Rocket 2 and say they're better than Team Rocket, Butch asks, “What are you waiting for?” and Cassidy blurts out, “It's payback time!” You can hear this for yourself in this video embed at 0:16:

Payback time? For what? This is apparently the first time the twerp has met Butch and Cassidy (or else why would they introduce themselves that way? In the “this is who we are” sense, not in the sense of being a second Team Rocket), so what are they getting payback for? People who see themselves as victims of a world that's designed to be against them might be the types who feel the need to lash out against any random twerp for “payback” despite it being their first interaction.

KoopaTV regular commenter and one-time guest post writer Lheticus Videre wrote a comment in that embedded video eight years ago, before he found KoopaTV, saying,

And now for something witty:

Team Rocket 2: Better than Team Rocket 1 at everything...except not getting caught by the po-po. XD

Hey, there's some levity in that, though is there truth? Because Jessie and James are very comfortable in their own skin. They're members of Team Rocket. They're into alternative gender expressions and are happy to dress that way because that's what makes them amused. (Or they think those are good disguises... obviously not.) Even with putting beauty before duty, they still managed to steal Pokémon, too! When you're a master of your own domain and seek and have obtained validation from within, you can do amazing things.

Meanwhile, Butch and Cassidy seek validation from other people. Even though they are Team Rocket members, they're so uncomfortable with it (or with being on the same team as Jessie and James) that they're going around calling themselves “Team Rocket 2”. If a twerp out there has never encountered Jessie, James, or Meowth, and see Butch and Cassidy first, “Team Rocket 2” wouldn't make any sense to that twerp. 2? What happened to 1? Butch and Cassidy have basically based their whole lives around being the enemies of others, which makes their core, inner effectiveness practically nonexistent. That's why they actually are worse than “Team Rocket 1” and didn't even try to steal any Pokémon (Pikachu) from Ash Ketchum...they're even worse at not getting caught by the police.

Butch and Cassidy, when they get another chance, need to completely re-evaluate their lives. They need to exist outside of their enmity for their fellow team members while finding satisfaction within. (And Butch should stop smoking.) ...B-But they need to stay in Team Rocket. Wh-What do you mean they went and quit Team Rocket in the anime? H-How dare they! Hmph, they're twerps to the end.

By the way, Giovanni, Team Rocket's boss, is a total master of being self-assured, self-confident, and self-satisfied. Just check him out:

Pokémon Puzzle League Giovanni Spa Service final boss game over point and laugh Persian
Giovanni is what the kids these days would call a “chad.”
He's just sitting in his chair with his cat dressed in a conventionally ridiculous suit...
...Sticking his finger out and laughing. He's amazing and he knows it on the inside.
(He does the laughing thing when Ash first meets him, too.)

Ludwig is a big supporter (and member, when he's on that planet) of Team Rocket. He thinks Cassidy and Butch have a lot going for them, if only they saw themselves that way. They're attractive and evil—a wonderful combination to have. This article is slightly FAKE NEWS in that Ludwig is incapable of actually beating Butch and Cassidy in Pokémon Puzzle League (he can't beat Giovanni, either), even with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack's save states and abusing pauses. He can beat all of Jessie, James, and Meowth's stages, however. Still, the unrelenting speed of those stages isn't a substitute for true inner peace.


  1. Well of course their insecure, they hardly get any attention so no one knows them. I don't know when their last appearance was but I'd imagine it's been a long time. I only remember seeing them one or two times in the first couple of seasons of the anime. I too think they have a lot of potential as characters but they just aren't being properly utilized.

    1. Butch and Cassidy were the regular antagonists in the special Pokémon Chronicles series of side-story episodes in the RSE era, but in the main series, they appeared once in Sinnoh and then didn't appear ever since until Journeys where their absence was explained by them quitting Team Rocket.

    2. Did they quit because they wanted to be more evil or because they had aspirations of goodness the whole time? I like Jessie and James, but it would be interesting to have new recurring evil side characters for each new season. I've always felt like the actual villain's that the new Pokémon seasons are based on just aren't that great. How can they be when we've had over 20 years of the despicable Giovanni and his familiar henchmen.

    3. Cassidy has a café (with wood carvings), while Butch opened up a bakery and caught a female Meowth.

  2. I saw you name-drop me in today's article and was very confused as to why...then I realized I really ought to have actually gone over this one more thoroughly. Yes, that comment was me--I use Lheticus as my name just about everywhere on the internet, not just here.

    Although, exCUSE me, Koopa Prince, if I don't feel obligated to follow the same standards of truth and levity that I do try to keep to here. Let alone not doing so BEFORE I EVEN KNEW OF KOOPATV!


    1. I was wonderin' why you didn't comment here earlier when I went out of my way to namedrop you. >.>

      Of course, me findin' you in that comment was... pure coincidence.


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