In the games
In Pokémon Ruby, they serve alongside the primary antagonists while in Pokémon Sapphire, they assist the player in stopping Team Aqua . In Pokémon Emerald, Team Magma Grunts share the role of the antagonists alongside the Team Aqua Grunts.
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, a former Magma Grunt can be found in Icirrus City during winter, appearing as a Roughneck. He is in a relationship with a former female Aqua Grunt and neither seems to know the other's previous affiliation.
In the anime
Team Magma grunts have made several appearances in the anime, using their Pokémon to infiltrate a target or to help Tabitha out. A group of Magma grunts made their first appearance in A Ruin with a View, where they tried to find ancient Pokémon in the ruins under Oldale Town. They use Professor Alden to guide them there, and after collecting data from the ruins, escape in their helicopter. In A Three Team Scheme!, they dig into a special shrine underground on Dewford Island, searching for Groudon and the Cave of Origin.
In The Spheal of Approval, two grunts, along with Tabitha, try to steal a curious stone linked with Groudon from the Oceanic Museum. They successfully escape with most of the stone. They appear again in Fight for the Meteorite! where they steal a meteorite from Professor Cozmo and use it to power a machine to disturb Mt. Chimney. They battle Team Aqua and win, but their plans are ruined by Ash and his friends. Their last appearance is in Gaining Groudon! and The Scuffle of Legends!, where the awakening of Groudon and Kyogre causes mass destruction before the two Pokémon calm down. No Team Magma grunts are seen again after this episode, with the exception of Brodie, who appears in The Ribbon Cup Caper.
Pokémon Adventures manga
The grunts have made some appearances in Pokémon Adventures often serving their boss and attacking their enemies.