Pokemon Episode 41 Analysis – Wake Up Snorlax!

Pokemon Ep 41 Title

CotD(s): Hippie – No real name given, Hippie is usually seen hanging out beside the road, playing his PokeFlute. Like his ‘name’ suggests, he’s very much a stereotypical hippie, talking in ’60s slang and being very laid back. He owns a slue of Snorlax which he wakes up with his PokeFlute on a schedule.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Many Snorlax.

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock continue on their journey, they come across a hippie in the path who plays his flute for them. He asks for some food as payment for the song, but they reveal they’re completely out of food.

Hungrily, they continue down the path, and they’re pleasantly surprised to finally find a town where they can get some food. However, like them, the entire town is out of food.

The local mayor invites them over to his house for a meal and explains that the stream, where the village gets all of its water, suddenly dried up out of nowhere two weeks ago. Without that water, they can’t water their plants and they can’t make food. The town will starve soon if they don’t get the water flow back.

Ash and others offer to go upstream to figure out what’s causing the stoppage. After wading through a sea of thorns, they discover that the spring that feeds the stream is dry and that a Snorlax is sleeping on what seems like the source of the water.

Ash, Misty and Brock do everything they can think of to wake it up, but to no avail. Team Rocket shows up with the intent of taking the Snorlax, and Ash and co. believe helping them steal it will solve the problem. Despite not wanting to help their enemies take a Pokemon, they do so. However, the cables they were using to lift the Snorlax with the balloon snap, leaving them back at square one.

They try many other methods of waking up Snorlax until it suddenly shifts, revealing a note which instructs passersby to use a PokeFlute to wake the Snorlax in the event of an emergency.

They come to the realization that the hippie from before was playing a PokeFlute and rush to ask him for help. Team Rocket and Ash and co. clash over who gets to bring him to the Snorlax. Jessie sends out Arbok to attack and Ash sends out Pidgeotto.

Pidgeotto quickly sends them blasting off with a Gust.

Ash, Misty and Brock lead the Hippie to the Snorlax and explain the situation. He states that this Snorlax is actually his and he usually wakes it up once a month, but he’s been running late. He plays the PokeFlute and successfully wakes it up, but the spring is still not flowing.

Shockingly, they see that the stream continues behind where Snorlax was sitting and that the actual cause of the stoppage is a massive pile of thorns. Ash and the others gawk at the horribly large job ahead of them, but notice the thorns starting to pull away. Snorlax has started to eat them. Turns out, thorns are Snorlax’s favorite food, and it quickly clears up the web of thorns, restoring the water flow.

The Mayor praises their efforts with a banquet, and Ash, Misty and Brock collect the fruits of their labor before continuing on their journey to Cinnabar Island.


– I like how they show Pikachu waking up to the sound of the PokeFlute. It’s a subtle hint to its function considering you could just say Pikachu’s waking up to the sound of music.

– Why doesn’t the hippie ask for food as payment and then play the song? I know it’d be more difficult to get people to pay up, but if he’s so sick of giving away free concerts, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

– Why are all of these food based businesses open if they haven’t had food stock for days at least?

– And for the ones who are closed, why are the employees still there?

– You know, for the longest time before this, I would swear the Mayor was actually James in disguise. It just really seems like a person in disguise, and the design reminds me of some of James’ better masquerades.

Pokemon Ep 41 screen1

– I love how Ash and co. suddenly pause while eating and silently feel guilty for eating so much when the town is struggling to get food.

– Mayor: “Oh please, don’t worry. My family and I can live off of our food stores for quite a while yet.” Lives in a mansion, mayor of the town, have plenty of food to go around – but the townspeople can starve.

– Soooo…no one in this town has something like a well or a water tank or anything? They’re entirely reliant on that stream?

– Here is reason one why this episode is complete bullshit. This town has been without water for at least two weeks. The problem is so bad, they’re literally starving (and….dehydrating? They should be dead by now) and their businesses are losing money every day. However, the first people to go “Maybe you should follow the stream and see why it’s drying up” are three children who got there an hour ago.

‘Maybe there’s a reason they can’t do that,’ you ask? Well, the Mayor says “I should tell you, no one dares go upstream anymore. There’s no telling what you might find.” And that’s it. He’s entirely vague on what’s so scary up there just so we won’t ask why they don’t go investigate. And, spoilers, there is nothing big and scary up there.

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Besides, if the problem is so threatening to the businesses and lives of the town, surely some people would’ve braved the journey to see if they can fix the problem. THREE CHILDREN who don’t even live there are risking their lives for this and they barely owe anything to this town.

And, what, is there not a single Pokemon Trainer in the entire town who feels up to the task? I doubt that immensely. Even if there weren’t any in town, this seems like a fairly major road. Why not contract out passing Pokemon Trainers to help, like they did in the Diglett episode? They might not have much to offer in return, but some people have to be willing.

If not Pokemon, why not grab a few guns and a strong, sturdy vehicle and follow it? Don’t show the guns on screen, though.

Why not go to a neighboring town or city and ask for help? I can’t imagine they’re too far out in the sticks. It’s a small town, not an Alaskan homestead. At least ask for some water trucks to come through until the problem gets resolved.

There is the roadblock of the thick thornbushes, but, again, THREE CHILDREN are going through these bushes with not much issue. Misty got scratched, oh no, but they did it relatively easily. Surely a few adults with machetes or a Pokemon or two could get through that no problem.

There are just so. many. options. to help address this issue, but they think the best one is ‘sit on our asses until a bunch of children pass by and offer to help……or die. Whatever.’

– *Misty gets scratched by a thorn bush* Brock: “Be careful. Those things are sharp.” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wha-NO WAY! GUYS! THORNS ARE SHARP! Don’t alert the media just yet, because I’m investigating something that might just lead to proof…..that fire….is hot!

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– Brock: “Hey Ash, let’s get our Pokemon to help us out here.” Now that Misty has shed blood, we can finally choose to do something we should’ve done before crawling around in a bunch of thorns. Keep in mind, these are the same kids who will let out their Pokemon for completely minor tasks sometimes like handing out fliers. But clearing the path through miles of thorns? Pbbbt, we can handle this.

– If it’s so insanely tight in those bushes, how are they doing their regular Pokeball throwing animations? Where did Bulbasaur even fit without getting itself hurt?

– Snorlax is yet another Pokemon Ash should know considering he has a Snorlax doll in his room.

– Why is Misty so excited to see a Snorlax? It’s not a Water Pokemon nor is it particularly cute. I find Snorlax kinda cute, but she later expresses disgust towards Snorlax seemingly on its appearance.

– Even without checking the Pokedex for its weight, Ash should be smart enough to figure that, if it’s hard to move, it’s probably heavy. Is it a secret Snorlax is big and fat? Cuz I don’t think it is.

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– Onix may not have the weight on Snorlax, but surely it has the mass and power to move it a little.

– James: “Ah it’s sleeping. Still sleeping. Watch closely, everyone. This is how Snorlax looks when it’s sleeping.” His delivery of these lines is hilarious to me for some reason.

– Ash: “I hate to let them steal Snorlax….” From most of the evidence we’ve been given so far, this is a wild Snorlax. Taking it away with cables is no more stealing it than capturing it in a Pokeball.

– Heh, Pikachu directing the balloon with landing lights is adorable.

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– I also love Team Rocket and Ash and co. working together to ‘steal’ a Pokemon for some reason. Getting increasingly interested in an AU where Ash and co are villains.

– I think it would be more realistic if the balloon just failed to lift Snorlax instead of having the cables snap. I think the most hot air balloons can usually carry is only around 500 pounds and Snorlax is twice that. But I guess having the cables snap makes for more comedy.

– It’s a bit mean, but I’m surprised none of them have thought to use a Pokemon to attack Snorlax. At the very least, Pikachu should’ve been called upon it to shock it awake.

– I know they’re all desperate, but they’re incredibly stupid to muse, even for a minute, that kissing Snorlax will wake him up.

– Why is she having such trouble finding Horsea’s Pokeball? Even though it’s a pure mystery how any Trainer instantly finds and identifies their own Pokemon’s Pokeballs…they always do it. Immediately.

– Either Psyduck somehow heard what was going on from its Pokeball and really wanted to volunteer to kiss Snorlax…or it had no idea what was going on and just burst out of its Pokeball and kissed Snorlax for no reason. ….And gauging by its reaction, it really liked it.

Hey, I’m not here to judge.

– Psyduck’s expressions after the fact are gold, though.

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– Believe it or not, I actually do think Meowth is the most suitable ‘noble’ Pokemon. Cats have been closely associated with royalty throughout time, so it kinda makes sense.

– I do love how it’s obvious Team Rocket’s just taking the piss out of the situation to prank Meowth.

– Brock: “How would you feel if you were kissed by Meowth?”

Ash: “I’d look for a new mouth.” Hahah! That was pretty funny.

– Ash: *reading the note* “In case of emergency, use a PokeFlute to wake.”

Brock: “That’s right! Now I remember! I heard once that you play a PokeFlute to wake up a Snorlax!” Oh wha—SCREW YOU, BROCK! You’ve been trying to wake Snorlax for hours, and only just now remember a precise method of specifically waking up a Snorlax?! After you read it on a note!? That is beyond even Ash levels of stupid. Go in the thorn bushes and think about what you’ve done.

– And now for even more levels of stupid – why did they never once think about consulting the Pokedex for any Snorlax waking methods? Why did they wait until a note told them about one for them to open Dexter and find out what it was?

Please, guys, stop already. We’re way over our moron quota for the episode.

– Why are Team Rocket and Ash and co. fighting over who gets the hippie? (Why am I watching an episode of Pokemon where the characters fight over who gets a hippie?) I thought they both had the same goal – to wake up Snorlax. Who cares who does it? Will Ash and the others really stop Team Rocket from taking it once they wake it up?

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– Ash: “Great, now’s our chance!” I have nothing to say about this line, but the animation on his mouth during it is absolutely horrid.

– Why is the Hippie running late to wake up his Snorlax? He spends his time sitting on the side of the road waiting to play a flute to passersby in exchange for food. I doubt his schedule is packed.

– Also, I was going to complain about how Ash’s Pokeball doesn’t even open when it hits Snorlax when it’s been known to catch riceballs, but if it belongs to someone else I guess that’s the reason why. I am still greatly confused as to the mechanics of Pokeballs.

– Reason number two why this episode is complete bullshit. Snorlax is not the reason why the stream stopped flowing. There was a blockage of thorns behind him. They just automatically assumed that Snorlax was the cause of the clog without thinking for a second to look behind him and make sure there was water. If that was the case, they could’ve easily redirected the water by digging a trench around Snorlax or something until they figured out how to move him.

This ‘plot twist’ is also cheap and nonsensical because there’s a far away shot of Snorlax a little while ago with a clear shot of what’s behind him and there’s no divot for a stream anywhere.

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It’s even more nonsensical because, what, is it just a giant coincidence that Snorlax is sitting at that exact spot right as the stream dries up?

– Ash: “That means…we’ll have to clear out all of these thorns before the river can flow into town again.”

Brock: “What a job!”

Yeah, if only you had a Pokemon who knew Razor Leaf and could slice through the thorns with no problem. If only you had a Fire Pokemon who could do a controlled burn to clear them out. If only we had adults with brains and equipment for stuff like this back at some town.

– How did these thorns grow this much this quickly? If they’ve always been there, this can’t be the first time the stream has dried up because of it. This is why towns usually carefully monitor and maintain streams and rivers when they’re vital parts of their infrastructure.

– Hippie: “Chow down, Snorlax. Looks like you’ve got a case of the munchies!” …..Did 4Kids just make a pot reference? I don’t know how to feel right now.

– Mayor: “This calls for a celebration! We’ll have a special banquet!” Uhh, the water’s been back for all of ten minutes. Maybe hold off on the huge banquet until the townsfolk can get some water on their crops and actually replenish their food supplies. Unless you have enough food to hold it yourself….in which case, you’re still a dick.


Despite the insane stupidity that is going on in this episode, I can’t deny that the part where they’re trying to wake Snorlax up has many funny and interesting moments. Plus, this is one of those rare episodes where they’re actually trying to mirror something that happens in the games.

In Pokemon Red and Blue, you can’t go to certain areas early on because two Snorlax are blocking two paths. You can’t wake them to battle them until you get the PokeFlute. This was an interesting way of….’realistically’ approaching that because, honestly, having a Snorlax block a path always felt really cheap to me. Can I not just go around? I can climb a rock or a bush or a tree. Surely there are spaces between the trees, I can just wiggle through. I can even get over this fence and these weird…pillars? Please? No? Fine.

Next episode, Electabuzz vs. Scyther!

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