Jessica, usually Jessie (named Musashi in the Japanese series), is the leader of team rocket. Her Japanese name is a spin off of Musashi Miyamoto, a famous samurai. James (Kojiro in the Japanese series), is the more dimwitted male half of the team. James is named after Kojiro Sasaki, a famous samurai whom Miyamoto killed. Meowth (Nyarth in the Japanese series) a Pokemon of the meowth variety; notable for being the only pokemon that can speak a human language, with the exception of some legendary Pokemon.
If one puts the English names "Jessie" and "James", together, he sees that they were named after Jesse James, a famous American outlaw.
Team Rocket are the only characters in the TV show that "know" that they are in a TV show, all the other characters are unaware of this.
Jessie and James enjoy an unfriendly rivalry with Cassidy and Butch, named after Butch Cassidy.
Jessie and James appear in Pokemon Yellow as in-game bosses, although the game doesn't reveal their names.
Team Rocket also refers to a team made in one episode of Rocket Power, a television show.