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AG180 : May, We Harley Drew'd Ya!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG182 : Channeling the Battle Zone!
Thinning the Hoard!
AG181   EP455
Haruka VS Harley! Stage On with a Double Battle!!
First broadcast
Japan June 22, 2006
United States December 12, 2006
English themes
Opening Battle Frontier
Ending Pokémon Go!
Japanese themes
Opening スパート!
Ending 私、負けない! ~ハルカのテーマ~
Animation Team Iguchi
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 日高政光 Masamitsu Hidaka
Assistant director ながはまのりひこ Norihiko Nagahama
Animation director 山下惠 Megumi Yamashita
Additional credits

Thinning the Hoard! (Japanese: ハルカVSハーリー!ダブルバトルでステージ・オン!! Haruka VS Harley! Stage On with a Double Battle!!) is the 181st episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 455th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 22, 2006 and in the United States on December 12, 2006.

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


May, Drew, Harley, and Solidad are all competing in the Grand Festival, and it's time for their Pokémon to show off their best moves. Only 16 Coordinators will advance to the next round, so the pressure is on! Although Drew and Absol do a great job, he's not at all happy with Absol's performance. May is shocked to see him angry at his Pokémon, and she's even more hurt when he takes some of his frustration out on her. Drew later calms down, but his tension showed how seriously he's taking his rivalry with May.

The round of 16 sees May sending out Munchlax and Eevee against Harley's Cacturne and a not-so-cuddly Wigglytuff. Munchlax and Eevee team up to knock Cacturne out of the match, but Wigglytuff is an even tougher foe. With its flexible body, it's hard to score a solid hit until May figures out how to get an aerial advantage. Wigglytuff is knocked out and May moves on to the top 4, where she'll be facing off against Drew.

This time May uses Combusken and Squirtle, while Drew uses Flygon and Absol. The battle immediately heats up, and with Solidad still in the competition, the path to Grand Festival victory only gets tougher from here!


The first round of the Kanto Grand Festival has begun as Drew's newly obtained Absol enlightens the stadium with Flash, casting a bright light shimmering from different angles. Furthermore, Absol's pure white fur has absorbed a portion of the light and is sparkling magnificently. Solidad and May compliment the display, noting that Flash is even more difficult of a move than it looks, especially with a Pokémon with a sleek form and such lightly colored fur. Drew calls for Water Pulse, which results in a massive typhoon of water reaching all the way to the roof to begin cycling around Absol. After a few moments, Absol uses Razor Wind to slice and dissipate the water creating a magnificent shimmering over the entire stadium. Drew bows as the crowd applauds his performance, but he strangely has a frown on his face.

Jessie makes a broadcast, with James, Wobbuffet, and Meowth as her crew, as Brianna watches from her residence with several snapshots of Drew and May placed around the house. Drew manages to walk across Jessie's path as she turns around and attempts to interview him. Drew refuses to give a comment and heads off into an adjacent room, earning a remark of sarcastic appreciation from Jessie. Wobbuffet manages to turn his board which reflects the light from James's camera and begins scorching Jessie's face.

Lilian introduces the elegant Harley and his Octillery. His round begins as Octillery launches a Fire Blast attack towards the ground and propels into the air slamming down into the flames. Octillery begins moving its tentacles causing the flames to move in a counterclockwise motion around his body in the shape of a ring, all while taking no damage due to its type's resistance against Fire Blast. The judges and audience are mesmerized by the display. Brock is impressed with Octillery's growth since the last time he saw it, while Max is disturbed by Octillery's dancing.

Meanwhile, Aipom is still evading Ash grasping his hat in her tail and moving it slightly upwards as Ash jumps up and manages to miss. Every time Ash attempts to grasp his hat, Aipom moves it out of his reach. Ash explains to Aipom that he wants to see May, but Aipom only lowers her eyelid and sticks her tongue out at Ash. Ash decides that the only way he's going to be able to stop Aipom's troublesome antics is to capture her. Pikachu blasts forward with Quick Attack knocking Aipom from the tree branch while Ash launches a Poké Ball towards Aipom. As the Poké Ball closes in on Aipom, she manages to evade the object and propel it backwards forcing the Poké Ball to collide with Ash hitting him on the head.

Solidad's round is finally underway as Slowbro uses its Psychic to rotate around the arena on the tip of its shell. Slowbro manages to come to a single point while still rotating and launches Water Gun overhead creating an effect of a fountain. May and Harley watch Solidad's performance, with the latter noting how good he thinks Solidad is. May wonders if Harley is intimidated by Solidad, though Harley merely scoffs. May is announced to the arena for her second round as Ash manages to arrive just in time with Pikachu.

The crowd cheers as May makes her way into the middle of the arena. With a rotation of her wrist, a solitary Poké Ball is released into the stadium exploding with a bright light releasing Munchlax. Munchlax begins collecting energy from the sunlight to launch a Solar Beam. Rather than launching the attacking as a beam, May has Munchlax continue to gather the energy in the form of a sphere, which is shot into the air. As the sphere of energy ascends into the air, Munchlax propels into the air, clashing with the energy with a Focus Punch. As the two forces clash, the sunlight slowly dissipates into the atmosphere creating a glimmering effect, as well as a bell-like chime. Backstage, Solidad is incredibly impressed by May's usage of both visual and auditory effects, and even Harley is forced to admit he thought that May was very impressive.

After her magnificent round, May is nervous - only 16 Coordinators can advance to the next round. Solidad walks upon the ground to give May congratulations. Harley runs over suddenly and announces that something is wrong with Drew. In the woods, Absol is using Razor Wind at Drew, but the attack dissipates, only managing to slightly brush against Drew's hair. Drew scolds Absol, saying that Razor Wind is supposed to be a powerful attack - if Absol wants to use Razor Wind, it needs to put more power and effort into the attack. Ash, May and Solidad catch up to Drew as he recalls Absol back into its confinement of the Poké Ball. Solidad explains the reasoning for Drew's behavior: Drew was not satisfied with Absol's performance and feels like he failed. Drew begins to scold Absol's performance, believing that Absol does not have the passion that the rest of his Pokémon put forth, highlighted by Razor Wind. He says the attack is meant to be powerful, not flashy. May protests at this statement, believing that Absol is doing the best that it can. This strikes a nerve in Drew, and he calls May "a wimp". May is shocked and hurt by these words, while Drew walks off. Hidden in the trees, Harley notices the tense relationship between May and Drew and laughs softly.

That evening, Solidad and Max are sitting with May. Solidad believes that Drew has become intimidated by May's growth after watching her performance. Max notes how he's never seen Drew act in such a manner before. May wonders what will happen next between the two of them. Over by a lake, Ash and Brock approach Drew, who attempts to justify his rude actions to May. Ash and Brock are not upset with Drew, however, choosing to sit with him. Ash begins talking about all of the rivals he has had throughout his career as a Trainer, comparing those rivalries to the rivalry Drew has with May. Drew smiles, acknowledging May as his rival.

Fireworks explode into the air as we are brought into the Battle Stage of the Grand Festival. The next round of competitors is released with May, Harley, Solidad and Drew all advancing. Ash is happy for May and Drew, Brock displays his happiness for Solidad's advancement, while Max notes that Harley "sashayed his way in" as well. The list of competitors is randomly shuffled, pairing May against Harley, much to her shock. Harley calls it "kismet", saying that he will definitely win. May smirks and retorts that she will be the winner.

Harley on the left...
...and May on the right

The countdown timer begins as May calls upon Eevee and Munchlax and Harley calls upon his Cacturne and newly revealed Wigglytuff. May and her team are surprised by the evil glare on Wigglytuff's face, making Max hope he never encounters the Balloon Pokémon in a dark alley. Munchlax and Eevee begin the round blazing forward with Focus Punch and Tackle, as Wigglytuff inflates to two times its size, dissipating the attack and knocking both Pokémon backwards. Wigglytuff blazes toward both the Pokémon as May anticipates the attack, but Wigglytuff propels into the air and Cacturne strikes Munchlax and Eevee with Poison Sting. Both Pokémon are knocked backwards and a fifth of May's score is reduced. Harley calls for Cacturne to use Needle Arm, but Eevee manages to recover and launches a Shadow Ball while Munchlax uses its Focus Punch to increase the speed of the attack. The combination smashes directly into Cacturne for a direct hit. The smoke clears as Cacturne falls to the ground and is announced as unable to battle. Three fifths of Harley's score are removed.

Wigglytuff begins its descent from the air with Body Slam and crashes into the ground with Eevee and Munchlax managing to evade the attack barely. Wigglytuff extends its ears grasping onto both Pokémon's bodies and thrusts them towards the air and begins using Double Slap on both Pokémon with its ears and finally slamming them to the ground. Munchlax charges another Solar Beam and Eevee launches an additional Shadow Ball. Wigglytuff, true to its title as the Balloon Pokémon, evades in the air with ease both attacks while additional Shadow Balls and Solar Beams continue their barrage. The constant misses of big attacks result in a large portion of May's score being removed.

May suddenly has Eevee and Munchlax launch another attack but miss their target on purpose with both attacks colliding behind Wigglytuff and forcing it uncontrollably towards the ground. Marian notes that Wigglytuff may be capable of flight, but it is only the result of inflating its body by inhaling and exhaling air - May's attack has taken perfect advantage of this weakness. Munchlax runs forward and propels off Eevee's tail igniting into the air and striking Wigglytuff down with a Focus Punch, much to Harley's horror. Wigglytuff crashes into the ground and is announced as unable to battle. Harley's score is reduced to zero and May advances to the next round. May celebrates her victory, while Harley is shocked, his surprise quickly shifting to vicious spite.

The round between a young girl and Drew is underway as the young girl's Medicham and Loudred are defeated by Roselia's Petal Dance and Masquerain's Silver Wind, knocking her score to zero and advancing Drew to the next round. Solidad manages to defeat her opponent's frozen Girafarig and Zangoose with a devastating Hyper Beam from Slowbro. The ice breaks, shattering the young man's dream, and advancing Solidad to the next round. The quarterfinals begin with May and Drew being matched up, the two rivals calling upon their Combusken, Squirtle, Flygon, and Absol. Ash is excited for the battle, while Max believes it will be crazy, given May and Drew's history and recent tension.

May quickly starts the battle with Squirtle using Rapid Spin. Flygon launches a Sandstorm towards Squirtle's direction as Combusken jumps onto Squirtle's shell and jumps while charging up for a Mega Kick. Combusken begins gaining altitude while Absol jumps into the sandstorm and unleashes Flash, blinding Combusken, causing the latter's attack to fail. Absol jumps out of the Sandstorm and strikes Combusken with Iron Tail. Undeterred, May has Squirtle launch Bubble, while Combusken goes in with Sky Uppercut. With their battle off and running, will May finally be able to defeat Drew and advance to the semifinals?

Major events

Coordinators who moved on to the Contest Battles
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts






  • In the English dub, before May and Drew's battle begins, Lilian Meridian says that May and Drew made it to the Top 4 of the Kanto Grand Festival instead of the Top 8.
  • In the Latin American Spanish dub, all characters refer to Harley's Wigglytuff as a "Jigglytuff".
  • During the first shot of Solidad's Slowbro spinning around during its appeal round, the Shellder's eyes are missing. However, they are seen in the next shot.
  • When Squirtle uses Rapid Spin, it is upside-down in the close-up shot as it spins toward Flygon and Absol. It is later shown to be right-side-up again when Combusken jumps onto it.

Dub edits

In other languages

AG180 : May, We Harley Drew'd Ya!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG182 : Channeling the Battle Zone!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.