Rocket Minions/Rocket Grunts
These are the nameless flunkies of the Team Rocket organization, referred
to as "Rocket" or "Rocket Grunt". They are called in for backup
on some of Giovanni's largest missions. They usually train Poison
Pokemon like Koffing, Ekans, Zubat, and Grimer. They appear in the
following versions of Pokemon: Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver,
Crystal, FireRed, and LeafGreen.
Several TV appearances include: The St. Anne scheme, capturing Pokemon
that Mewtwo weakened, and doing construction work around Clarity
Lake in Mewtwo Returns. The Japanese-only special Team
Rocket: The Origins of Love and Youth shows Jessie, James, Butch,
and Cassidy starting off as TR minions.
It seems that all Team Rocket members begin their criminal careers
in this position, and then work their way into the higher ranks.
Most of these Rocket Grunts are male, but there are a few female
members as well (maybe the girls just get promoted more quickly?)
In the GameBoy games, the Rocket Grunts carry out most of the actual
work in Giovanni's organization. Some of these schemes include stealing
fossils from Mt. Moon; stealing TMs from people; causing trouble at Silph
Co., Lavender Tower, and Cinnabar Lab; cutting off Slowpoketails and selling
them for high prices; forcing useless Magikarps to evolve into powerful
Gyarados; and occupying the Goldenrod Radio Tower to transmit their own
messages. While your trainer causes TR to disband in R/B/Y with the defeat
of Giovanni, the minions and the Executives continue their criminal activities
in G/S/C, waiting for their Boss to return.
As long as Team Rocket continues to operate, there will always be a need for underlings to do the dirty work. Look for lots more Rocket minions in future Pokemon games and episodes.
Character sketch of the St. Anne minions (taken from the CD Drama)
The first-ever pic of Jessie and James, taken from an issue of Nintendo
Power that previewed Pokemon for the first time.
Probably before they were promoted to Class B (white uniform) members.
From the fourth Butch and Cassidy episode. B&C have backup from Giovanni's
Jessie and James in disguise as common Rocket minions. The look just isn't
working for them.
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