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A Jessie Pokémon Guide will help you get to know what she would call the “better half” of everyone’s favorite Team Rocket duo. When I was a kid, I loved watching the dynamics between Jessie and James.
Today, I enjoy rewatching the original series and noticing things I never noticed before. Jessie is such a well-written character with many fans, but it’s not easy to remember all of her details.
Who is Jessie from Pokémon?
- Age – 20s (10 in games)
- Eye Color – Blue
- Hair Color – Magenta
- Hometown – Unknown (Kanto)
- Favorite Pokémon – Ekans/Arbok
- Affiliation – Team Rocket
- First Appearance – Pokémon Emergency! (S1EP2)
Jessie first appeared in the second episode of Pokémon: Indigo League. She was introduced as a cold and vain villain who wanted to rid the world of truth and love, which she saw as evil. However, her character development is one of my favorites in the anime.
The reason Jessie is the way that she is has a lot to do with her childhood. She didn’t “join” Team Rocket as an adult; she was born into it. Her mother was a Team Rocket agent who died when Jessie was five-years-old. At this point, Jessie was sent to live with a foster mother. Things didn’t change much for Jessie then, as her foster mother was just as poor as her biological mother.
In school, Jessie was often bullied, though she didn’t let this deter her. She tried her best to fulfill her big dreams, even going to nursing school so she could take care of Pokémon. However, she accidentally went to a school for Chanseys, causing her to fail when she didn’t know how to use Pokémon moves.
Still not discouraged, she went to Pokémon Tech – a technical institute where students learned to train Pokémon – where she met James. School did not go well for either of them, so they joined a biker gang instead.
The details about the time Jessie spent in the biker gang are never shared. However, it is known that after she left, she tried her best to “do good” and get her life on the right track. But whenever she decided to join Team Rocket, her life started to go downhill.
Since joining, she has stolen, kidnapped, assaulted, poached, and terrorized Pokémon everywhere. This saddens me, but I still have hope for a bright future for Jessie, who has grown in future episodes.
Jessie in the Anime – Best Jessie Episodes
Jessie appears in a lot of Pokémon episodes, so I won’t list them all. However, I will list my favorite episodes that give us the right amount of Jessie.
Pokémon Emergency – Kanto, Episode 2
Jessie appears in the second episode of the Pokémon anime. She is shown taking pictures – of Viridian City – with James from their hot air balloon. It is clear from the start that they steal rare Pokémon. Officer Jenny eventually announces that Team Rocket is near. Soon after, we get to hear Jessie and James’ motto for the first time.
Electric Shock Showdown – Kanto, Episode 14
Although Team Rocket appears in almost every episode of season 1, this is the second appearance that I always remember. This is the episode when Ash fights Lt. Surge at Vermillion City. I love it because we get to see Jessie and James secretly watch the battle and cheer Pikachu on. They even go undercover as Pikachu’s cheering squad, but Misty recognizes them immediately.
The Punchy Pokémon – Kanto, Episode 29
In this episode, Ash competes in the P1 Grand Prix – a competition for fighting Pokémon in Fuschia City. Jessie hears about the tournament and steals a Hitmonlee from a random trainer, and enters with it.
She also disguises herself with the man’s trench coat. She, James, and Meowth cheat their way through the first few rounds. But whenever Pikachu sees them attempting to cheat against Ash, he puts a stop to it.
The Bridge Bike Gang – Kanto, Episode 36
This episode shows a part of Jessie that would be hard to imagine without watching it. While we see Ash, Misty, and Brock fighting a biker gang early on, we don’t learn about Jessie’s connection right away. When we do, we see that Jessie and James used to be part of the biker gang.
The gang and Team Rocket band together to fight Ash but soon enough, Officer Jenny steps in, and they flee. Later on, whenever Ash needs to get a sick Pokémon medicine from Sunny Town, the gang escorts him, leaving Team Rocket behind.
Princess vs Princess – Kanto, Episode 52
This episode has always entertained me. Jessie – along with Misty – are excited about the Princess Festival. The narrator explains that the Princess Festival gives women “exclusive discounts for various items.” Jessie buys a lot of clothes and gifts for Giovanni. A Lickitung soon appears before Team Rocket and licks up the gifts. Jessie tries to fight back with Arbok but to no avail.
Angry at Lickitung, Jessie throws a Pokéball at it and catches it. Whenever the Queen of the Princess Festival takes place, Jessie enters because the prize is Pokémon Princess Dolls and a picture with Fiorello Cappuccino. The contest turns out to be a tournament.
Jessie enters with Arbok, Koffing, and Meowth. She makes it to the finals before losing to Misty – although when she brings out Lickitung, he almost wins it for her.
The Ultimate Test – Kanto, Episode 56
When the Pokémon League Admission Exam is announced, Jessie – along with Ash – takes the test. She passes the first round – the written phase – by answering all of the questions with “true.” However, whenever she realizes the second round is all about trick questions, she gets angry and stomps off.
I love this episode for Jessie because it shows that she wants more for herself than what she has with Team Rocket. It’s also quite hilarious when Mewoth gets exchanged for a normal Meowth at the end.
The Battle Of The Badge – Kanto, Episode 63
This is the episode when Ash attempts to get the eighth gym badge in Viridian City. The episode starts with Ash talking about getting the badge, but then Togepi is captured by a Fearow, who drops the Togepi on Team Rocket. We cut to Giovanni – the Viridian City gym leader – fighting Gary. When Giovanni sends out Mewtwo, the battle is all but over.
Team Rocket brings Togepi to Giovanni, but he isn’t impressed. Instead, he steps out for a while and leaves Team Rocket to be the gym leader in his absence. Jessie fights Ash with Giovanni’s Pokémon. Whenever Ash begins the fight, he experiences pain from his stand. That’s when James explains that the trainers at this gym experience the same pain that their Pokémon feel.
Although there’s a lot of substance to this episode, this is my favorite part. The concept of feeling what the Pokémon feel is genius and may even be more humane than you’d first think. In the end, Jessie loses against Ash.
Snow Way Out! – Kanto, Episode 66
This is the first time we really see part of Jessie’s backstory. She admits to loving the snow – as they travel through the mountains – despite Meowth and James freezing. She says it brings back good memories of eating ‘snowgasbord.’
She explains that her mother would make her ‘snowgasbord,’ which is simply snow that is sometimes seasoned with soy sauce. James doesn’t believe her, but she says that sometimes snow is all they had.
Ignorance is Blissey – Johto, Episode 131
Another amazing episode featuring Jessie is Ignorance is Blissey. This is when we see that Jessie has a long-term friendship with a Blissey as the two excitedly hug when they see each other at a Pokémon Center. Jessie explains to James that she wanted to be a nurse once, so she enrolled in a nursing school. The school turned out to be a school for Chanseys where Jessie made friends with one of the Chanseys (who is now a Blissey.)
The relationship between the two is precious. Jessie even does her best to prevent Blissey from getting fired whenever Blissey gets in trouble for helping Jessie out and giving Team Rocket food. Everything about Jessie and Blissey in this episode is perfect.
Mounting a Coordinator Assault! – Sinnoh, Episode 479
This is the episode where Jessie disguises herself as Jessilina in order to join the Jubilife Contest. Although we don’t get to see a lot of Jessilina, this is her debut, which is a special moment.
Team Shocker! – Sinnoh, Episode 529
In this episode, Jessie (under the guise of Jessilina) actually wins one of the ribbons fair and square. Although Dawn deserved a win, too, it was hard not to root for Jessie this round.
Crossing Paths – Sinnoh, Episode 541
This may be my favorite Jessie episode. The episode mirrors “Bye, Bye Butterfree,” only this time it’s Jessie and Dustox – the Pokémon Jessie has been using in the Pokémon contests. Dustox falls in love with a shiny Dustox that belongs to another trainer.
Jessie understands her Dustox, admitting that he hadn’t had much luck with love, though she would have liked to fall in love and be with someone.
Jessie’s Dustox and the other Dustox eventually save the town from being flooded. Afterward, Jessie – despite wanting to keep Dustox near – gives up Dustox’s Pokéball and lets Dustox go. Dustox wants to stay, but Jessie encourages Dustox to go be with the other Dustox. Try not to cry during this episode.
Memories are Made of Bliss! – Sinnoh, Episode 657
In this episode, Team Rocket gets promoted, donning black suits that Giovanni gives them. The episode isn’t just about the promotion but the bond that Jessie shares with James and Meowth.
New Places… Familiar Faces! – Unova, Episode 766
Although this episode shows Team Rocket back to their old ways, it’s an important moment in their story. This is the episode where Jessie and James decide to go back to their original plan of capturing Pickachu.
Jessie in Video Games
Although she is simply a trainer that can be fought in the games rather than an ongoing NPC, Jessie appears in the following video games.
- Pokémon Yellow
- Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!
- Pokémon Puzzle League
- Pokémon GO
- Pokémon Masters EX
Original fans can’t imagine Jessie without seeing a snake Pokémon beside her. But her snakes aren’t her only Pokémon companions. She has a few more friends up her sleeves in the anime.
Arbok is both extremely loyal to Jessie, showing signs of separation anxiety whenever Jessie isn’t near. Although it shows signs of distress in certain situations, it never hesitates to do whatever Jessie tells it to do. Jessie eventually lets it go – despite both she and the Arbok being emotional about the situation – to protect a group of Ekans from Pokémon poachers.
Rotom isn’t shown much, but Jessie does have this rare Pokémon that she uses as a phone.
In many ways, Seviper replaced Arbok. Jessie captured the Seviper by physically beating it up on her own. Seviper was taken through Hoenn and Sinnoh, but Giovanni forced Jessie to leave it behind before they went to Unova. He did so because Seviper is rare in the region, and he wanted Team Rocket to keep a low profile.
Out of all of Jessie’s Pokémon, Gourgeist is the most like her. She loves being in the spotlight and has quite a temper as well. However, she is very loyal to Jessie and was offended with Jessie suggested trading her.
Jessie and Dustox have an amazing bond. Dustox was often Jessie’s choice for contests. However, whenever Wurmple evolved into a Cascoon then Dustox instead of Beautify, Jessie was disappointed. But not for long, as she soon started calling Dustox her “dear Dustox.”
Mimikyu is a strange Pokémon. So strange and demented that Meowth refuses to translate what Mimikyu says. Mimikyu hates Pikachu with a passion, showing no mercy when fighting him. Pikachu was the reason Mimikyu stayed with Jessie – because Jessie was fighting Pikachu.
In day-to-day life, Mimikyu enjoys harassing and pranking Team Rocket, often revealing himself to them without his costume. Thankfully, at the end of the Alolan region, Mimikyu decided to give up on hating Pikachu and decided to let the past go. From then on, Mimikyu was a little brighter and happier.
Lickitung – Wobbuffet
Lickitung was with Jessie for quite some time before she traded it for a Wobbuffet. The trade was accidental, but since then, Licktung has belonged to a boy named Benny, and Wobbuffet has been Jessie’s.
When Giovanni told Team Rocket to only capture Pokémon from the Unova region, Jessie takes that seriously and captures Woobat in a cave. Jessie uses Woobat a lot, but the bond they share isn’t necessarily remarkable.
Frillish was captured by Jessie and used on a few occasions. But eventually, she was left with Giovanni at the Team Rocket headquarters.
The World of Jessie from Pokémon
Putting yourself into someone else’s shoes is never a bad thing. Whenever you assume someone from a show is evil, think about their circumstances. Jessie was born to a mother who worked for Team Rocket. When that mother passed away, she was given to a foster mother who could only afford to feed her snow at times.
Whenever she went to school, she was bullied. Finally, she met James – who accepted her – before she got mixed up into biker gangs and Team Rocket. All she wanted was to join people who would accept her. She was tired of rejection and wanted a family. She found that with James and Meowth. Team Rocket didn’t reject her, so of course, she stuck with them.
Jessie may not be perfect, but she does have her bright moments. So here’s to the big dreams, inclusivity, and powerful women that Jessie represents.
Question: Is Jessie in the Pokémon Manga?
Answer: Jessie appeared in the manga along with James and Meowth. Although much of her story is the same, she ends up married to James and pregnant – a huge fan service.
Question: Is Jessie Evil?
Answer: No. Jessie is not evil. Although she is a villain who has nefarious goals at times, she has proven time and time again that she does not have a bad heart.
Question: Which Pokémon Does Jessie Hang With But Not Own?
Answer: There are quite a few Pokémon that Jessie didn’t capture, but she still considers part of her family. These include Pelipper, Bewear/Stufful, and Blissey.