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Illusion Confusion!
Hoho and the Mysterious Forest!
First broadcast
Japan November 11, 1999
United States November 4, 2000
English themes
Opening Pokémon Johto
Japanese themes
Opening OK!
Ending ニャースのパーティ
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
Storyboard 横田和 Kazu Yokota
Assistant director 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
Animation director たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
No additional credits are available at this time.

Illusion Confusion! (Japanese: ホーホーとあやしいもり! Hoho and the Mysterious Forest!) is the 121st episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 11, 1999 and in the United States on November 4, 2000.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


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On their way to Violet City Ash, Misty and Brock have become lost in the middle of a deep forest. Misty and Brock express their dismay about the situation. Ash suddenly, with a huge grin on his face, tells his travelling companions to follow him and proclaims that their troubles will be over in no time. Brock and Misty, however, are not so optimistic.

It's has become dark and the heroes still have no idea where they idea and, despite Ash's persistent optimism, Misty is thoroughly annoyed that they are going to spend the night in the forest. The dark clouds above drift in front of the moon, leaving the trio in almost complete darkness. All of a sudden, eerie sounds come from out in in the trees. Misty initially thinks it's Brock joking around. The sounds continue to echo around them, when the trees in front of them appear to gain menacing faces. Scared beyond belief, they run quickly to another part of the forest but are confronted with the scary looking trees every way they turn. As they are running away, a Hoothoot appears and uses Foresight, quickly returning everything to normal.

A little bewildered, the three stop to catch their breath. From within the trees Gary Oak appears and tells the heroes that everything they just saw and heard was an illusion before commending his Hoothoot on a job well done. Ash consults his Pokédex to find out more about Hoothoot. Gary condescendingly mocks Ash about being unprepared and advises him to get a Hoothoot if he wishes to make his way out of the forest. Misty, a little confused, asks Gary why he is still in the forest if he has a Hoothoot. Gary tells her that he has been busy catching Pokémon and lost track of time. Upon Gary’s departure, Ash, Misty and Brock begin to search for a Hoothoot but their efforts seem to be in vain.

Suddenly, a Hoothoot appears at Misty’s feet. A little frightened she shuffles away from Hoothoot but it keeps following her. Ash tries to talk to it but instead, Hoothoot attacks him and then runs off. The trio give chase until they are led to a bizarre rock formation. Brock suggests that perhaps it's yet another illusion. The heroes continue their chase after Hoothoot and when it looks as if Hoothoot might get away, Ash instructs Pikachu to use his Thundershock. But before Pikachu attacks, Hoothoot turns around and attacks Ash by again, pecking ferociously at his head. Hoothoot suddenly stops and looks up before hopping to the side of a very old lady. Brock, convinced it is an illusion, walks up to it and convinces Ash that something that ugly couldn't be real.

The lady angrily responds to Ash and Brock's discussion, scaring them thoroughly. She then assures the group that she is, in fact, real and introduces herself as she advises them that they will need her help if they wish to safely get out of the forest. Back at her house Hagatha reveals she rents out her Hoothoot to people travelling through the forest as they have the ability to see past the ghostly illusions seen in the forest. Unfortunately, she has only one left and it has never guided a single traveller safely through the forest. Having to wait until tomorrow for a Hoothoot to become available, Ash becomes a little impatient and picks up Hoothoot telling everyone that all it needs is a good trainer like himself. Hoothoot attacks Ash again and jumps onto Misty's lap. Hagatha then explains that since she trained it, it only gets along with pretty girls. Ash comments that there aren't any pretty girls around and is glared at by a furious Hagatha and Misty.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket are having their own problems navigating the forest despite having a map. As Ash, Misty and Brock continue their journey with Hoothoot leading the way, they are spotted by Team Rocket who see an opportunity to steal Pikachu.

Hoothoot leads the trio back to the place where the illusions first began. Hoothoot begins trembling as blue fire balls begin to appear around the heroes. They react by waving their hands around about to try and get rid off them but to no avail. Team Rocket unaffected by the illusions watch on as the three appear to be screaming and flailing their arms around over nothing. Ash asks Hoothoot to do something to help them but is ignored, Misty then asks and Hoothoot immediately attempts to use Foresight. However its attempt is unsuccessful. Ash tells Hoothoot not to give up but Hoothoot doesn't react, Misty pleads with Hoothoot to try for her and immediately Hoothoot makes a second attempt. The fireballs do not disappear but instead combine to create a flaming ghoul. Hoothoot is terrified and runs away soon followed by the also terrified heroes. Team Rocket conclude that the trio have lost their minds.

Upon reaching safety, Ash gives Hoothoot a serious talk about being a Pokémon and not giving up. Misty, feeling sorry for Hoothoot pleads with it to at least try next time, not only for them but also for itself. A rope then gradually makes its way around Pikachu, grabbing him and lifting him up into the tree above. Ash jumps and grabs hold of Pikachu and is also pulled up into the tree. Team Rocket, after announcing their arrival, slams Ash into a tree and he falls to the ground. Team Rocket then escape via a boat tied to a rope between two trees, but the rope snaps and Pikachu falls into Ash’s awaiting arms. Arbok and Victreebel are instructed to attack, but again Victreebel attacks James instead. Ash calls upon Bulbasaur but before he could do anything, Hoothoot begins to go crazy as he did before. Out of the blue, a Dragonite appears and Team Rocket gives chase. Of course, Ash, Misty and Brock couldn’t see anything and are a little stunned by Team Rocket’s behavior. Before our friends have a chance to figure out what is going on, Ash begins appearing everywhere. Wondering which one is the real one, they all being arguing among themselves. Pikachu, very confused responds by shocking them all and eventually the real Ash falls to the ground.

A number of different bug Pokémon then begin attacking Misty. Hoothoot runs away but Ash stops him and gives him a good talking too. Hoothoot turns around and sees Misty in a great deal of distress and fires a huge red blaze right around the forest and destroys all of the illusions. As Hoothoot continues to use his powerful eyes, a number of Haunter and Gengar emerge. Bulbasaur uses vine whip and then Pikachu uses his thunderbolt to frighten off all the ghost Pokémon. Ash, Brock and Misty eventually make their way to the edge of the forest but it appears as though Hagatha is walking towards them and they wonder if they are still lost. But as it turns out, the figure walking towards them was not Hagatha, but rather her twin sister Agatha. Meanwhile. Team Rocket appears to be lying on a beach soaking up the sun’s rays. What they do not realize is that it is all an illusion and they are really lying in the middle of the forest.

Major events





Who's That Pokémon?: Bellossom


  • Ash would later go on to catch a Noctowl which served for similar purposes as the Hoothoot in this episode.


  • When Brock recoils from Hagatha's angry exclamations, he has six fingers on his left hand.

Dub edits

In other languages

  • French: Des illusions et des confusions
  • Italian: La foresta delle illusioni
  • Latin American Spanish: ¡Ilusión y confusión!
  • Spanish: Ilusión, confusión

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