"Iruka's Decision" (イルカの決意, Iruka no Ketsui) is episode 178 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Iruka runs into the forest, recalling how he was told by a fellow teacher that there were still enemy spies in the area. He manages to find Naruto, and attempts to pressure him into returning to the Academy. Naruto tells Iruka that the latter could not possibly understand what his life is like, being isolated and treated like dirt and that he has to do this in order to finally have friends and be accepted. Iruka remains steadfast, prompting Naruto to use his Sexy Technique to distract Iruka as he escapes.
Naruto, hungry, decides to raid a bird's nest when he finds an enemy's kunai. Unaware that the kunai has a secret intel report tied to it, Naruto attempts to return to the village, only to be ambushed by three kunoichi, who demand that he turn over the kunai. Not willing to give it up, Naruto flees, triggering various traps to delay the kunoichi. As he trips and falls over a cliff, he is found by Iruka, who picks him up and attempts to flee. The duo are saved by the arrival of Kakashi, who had been tipped off by Shikamaru, and he defeats the kunoichi with ease using his Lightning Cutter.
Back in Konoha, the Third Hokage muses that the intel contained Konoha's patrol patterns and that by finding it, Naruto had inadvertently saved the village. Iruka thanks the Third for making him Naruto's teacher, claiming that he rediscovered his original passion for teaching and wishes to pass on the Will of Fire to students like Naruto. Outside the Academy, Iruka scolds Naruto for his reckless actions. When Iruka mentions that the Third Hokage is powerful and respected by all of the villagers, and that it was the Fourth Hokage who defended the village from the Nine-Tails, Naruto makes it his personal goal to become Hokage someday; hearing this, Iruka scratches a line into the tree with his kunai and tells Naruto that once he reaches that height, he might be able to become Hokage.
In the present day, Iruka smiles fondly at the mark as he realises that Naruto has reached that height. Yamato, who had been alerted that Naruto had entered into his eight-tailed form, rushes to the village and stares at its destruction. However, Shikaku tells him that it was Pain who had destroyed the village, and that Naruto single-handedly defeated him. Yamato is shocked that Naruto was able to do so, and is even more surprised when Shikaku tells him that Naruto was able to control his transformation on his own. At the same time, an Anbu member appears and tells Shikaku that there is an emergency council meeting being held and that his presence is requested.
Elsewhere, a resting Sasuke wonders where Suigetsu is. At that moment, Suigetsu show up through the door wielding his Kubikiribōchō, revealing that he had travelled all the way back to the Valley of Clouds and Lightning just to retrieve it. With Suigetsu's return, Sasuke mobilises Taka and notifies them that they are to head to Konoha right away. Meanwhile, Zetsu notifies Kisame and Tobi that Pain has been killed and that Konan has left as well. Tobi tasks Kisame with capturing the Eight-Tails while he, needing the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path to further their agenda, claims that he has something to attend to.