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EP174 : Imitation Confrontation
Original series
EP176 : Ariados, Amigos
The Trouble with Snubbull
Nyarth, Bulu and Granbulu!?
First broadcast
Japan November 30, 2000
United States November 3, 2001
English themes
Opening Born to Be a Winner
Japanese themes
Opening OK!
Ending ぼくのベストフレンドへ
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Assistant director 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Animation director 佐藤まさふみ Masafumi Satō
Additional credits

The Trouble with Snubbull (Japanese: ニャースとブルーとグランブル!? Nyarth, Bulu and Granbulu!?) is the 175th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 30, 2000, and in the United States on November 3, 2001.

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


As our heroes take a brief rest near a river, Ash sees a Snubbull rush by on the opposite bank. This wasn't just any Snubbull either, this one was Madame Muchmoney's! Ash, Misty, and Brock follow Pikachu as it picks up Snubbull's scent and leads them in the search for the wealthy woman's Pokémon. Our heroes are racing against time when Team Rocket sets a trap for Snubbull, hoping to get a cash reward from Madam Muchmoney. Don't miss Snubbull's reaction when it encounters Team Rocket... it's so exciting and new, it's evolutionary!


Ash and his friends take a break by a river. Pikachu ears twitch and Ash looks across the river to see a Snubbull with red ribbons on its ears running past. Misty asks Ash what's wrong and he insists that he just saw Madame Muchmoney's Snubbull run by because of her red ribbons. Brock and Misty look, but they can't see anything. Shortly after, Snubbull spots Team Rocket trudging through the forest and complaining of hunger. She focuses in on Meowth’s tail and grips on to it with her teeth. While Meowth screams in pain, Jessie and James are simply happy to see that Snubbull is doing well. Meowth replies that he hates Snubbull and shakes the Pokémon off his tail.

Elsewhere, Ash and his friends have continued through the forest. Ash says that he was positive he saw Madame Muchmoney's Snubbull, but that it's probably gone now. The group put those thoughts aside after they spot a well-dressed man crouching on the ground. Brock offers the man a sip from his water canteen, and he feels instant relief Ash and his friends then realize that they recognize him as Jeeves from Madame Muchmoney's mansion. Jeeves informs them that he and Madame Muchmoney had split up to forage for food. Suddenly, Madame Muchmoney makes a surprising entrance, she swings in on a vine, carrying a basket of mushrooms. She then invites everyone to a sit down lunch of mushroom soup, where they discuss Snubbull’s whereabouts. Madame Muchmoney reveals that Snubbull had run away several weeks ago, so she and Jeeves went looking for the Pokémon in all kinds of places. During their long search, Madame Muchmoney had developed some muscles she never knew she had. Brock says that since she's now in such great shape, she can become an amazing Pokémon Trainer. He explains that to train a strong Pokémon you have to be strong yourself so that the Pokémon has a powerful role-model. Jeeves points out that she will first need a Pokémon in order to be a Trainer. Ash then reveals that he had seen her Snubbull earlier. He goes on to offer his assistance. Ash then asks for something with Snubbull's scent on it, so Madame Muchmoney produces a ribbon that Snubbull used to wear and Ash gives it to Pikachu. Pikachu picks up the scent and begins tracking the lost Pokémon.

Later, Snubbull sits glumly on a rock, depressed that Meowth said he hated her. She then hears something in the bushes. She thinks it is Meowth with flowers for her and that he will ask her to bite his tail all she wants. She soon sees a tail that looks like Meowth's, so she bites it, but it turns out to be a Mankey's tail instead. The Mankey knocks Snubbull out and then runs off. Madame Muchmoney and the others soon spot Snubbull, and she is shocked to see that she is injured. Following Brock's advice, they rush Snubbull to a nearby Pokémon Center. Nurse Joy performs an examination with a stethoscope and declares that Snubbull is uninjured, and only a bit shaken up. Everyone is relieved by the news. Brock says that Snubbull is really lucky and then tries to flirt with Nurse Joy, but Misty quickly drags him away. Madame Muchmoney informs Snubbull that she can explore all she wants back in Palm Hills without ever having to leave the mansion. Jeeves explains that the estate's gardens are getting a multi-million dollar renovation to turn them into a nature preserve. Ash notices that Snubbull seems unexcited by the news, and Nurse Joy agrees to perform more tests on Snubbull to find out if anything is wrong. Overnight, Snubbull lays in her patient bed. She looks out of her window and sees the moon, and is instantly reminded of Meowth and his tail. Nurse Joy comes in to tell Snubbull that all the test results came out fine, but Snubbull's bed is empty and the ward room’s window is wide open.

The following day, Team Rocket’s stomachs are filled from a night raid on an apple orchard. They walk through a town, but are forced to jump into some nearby shrubs when they spot Ash’s group running through. The trio notice that Madame Muchmoney is calling out for her Snubbull, so they set their sights on capturing Snubbull in order to earn themselves a large sum of ransom money. Meowth is unimpressed with the plan, because his tail will once again be on the line. His teammates soon tie him up and hang him from a tree. Jessie and James perform their motto as they wait for Snubbull to chomp down on Meowth’s tail. Snubbull appears, as expected, but she seems angry. She stares intently at the trio before evolving into a large-jawed Granbull. Meowth wriggles around hoping to free himself as Jessie and James are left shocked by Snubbull’s evolution. Wobbuffet makes an unexpected arrival, but for once Jessie is glad to see him. Jessie orders Wobbuffet to battle, but he begins retreating so she returns him back to his Poké Ball. She sends out Arbok instead. Granbull sees Arbok's tail and, thinking that it is Meowth's tail, bites it. James sends out Weezing and tells it to use its Smokescreen attack. Arbok escapes from Granbull's bite and Meowth frees himself from his bonds. Using a remote control, Meowth summons forth a giant Meowth robot and Team Rocket rushes inside of it. Meowth makes the robot wag its tail and Granbull bites on. He drops a cage and tries to put Granbull in it, but Granbull won't let go of the giant tail.

Ash and the others arrive and notice Granbull. Madame Muchmoney recognizes the ribbons on Granbull's ears and tells the others that it's her Snubbull. Team Rocket notices the new arrivals, so Jessie and James come out of the robot and tell Madame Muchmoney that they had been looking for Snubbull everywhere. Ash and Misty suspect that Team Rocket is up to something while Brock wonders if they've turned over a new leaf; however, Jeeves and Madame Muchmoney thank them, and they reply that no thanks are necessary and that Madame Muchmoney's happiness is their reward. Madame Muchmoney then goes right by them and towards Granbull. Jessie and James hope that they didn't take them seriously about not needing a reward. Madame Muchmoney tries to pull Granbull off of the Meowth robot with Jeeves's help, but the Pokémon won't let go. Meowth, still inside the robot, electrocutes Granbull, but she refuses to let go. Since Madame Muchmoney and Jeeves are both holding Granbull, they get shocked as well. Meowth then tries getting her off by wagging the machine's tail, but this only succeeds in shaking off Jeeves and Madame Muchmoney. Ash, his friends, and Jeeves mistakenly believe that Granbull not letting go is a trick on Team Rocket's behalf.

Realizing that Meowth's blunder ruined the possibility of a reward for finding Granbull, Jessie and James finally return to their machine and announce that they will only give Granbull back if the group hands over Pikachu. Ash wants to use Thunderbolt but Misty points out that this would shock Granbull as well. Ash sends out Cyndaquil instead and has it use its Flamethrower attack on the giant Meowth. The inside of the robot gets very hot, so Meowth tries to cool it down, but instead accidentally shoots the tail of the robot as a missile with Granbull still latched on. Madam Muchmoney tries stopping the missile with her own hands, but she crashes into a tree with Granbull. The Pokémon finally lets go of the robot's tail and falls to the ground.

Madame Muchmoney asks Granbull if she is okay and states that the two of them will battle Team Rocket together. She stops herself from calling Granbull by the cutesy nicknames she normally uses, and Granbull agrees to help her out. Madame Muchmoney orders Granbull to use Take Down while Meowth fires the robot's hands as missiles. Granbull then uses Tackle and Team Rocket gets knocked back. Finally, Granbull goes in for a Dynamic Punch and knocks out the robot’s TV monitor. At this point, the robot goes haywire and crashes into a tree. Pikachu destroys it with Thunderbolt and Team Rocket gets blasted off again. Madame Muchmoney hugs Granbull, telling her that they will be a great team.

Madame Muchmoney thanks Ash and his friends for their assistance. She looks forward to taking Granbull back to Palm Hills. Jeeves asks if she would like him to bring the car around, but Madame Muchmoney insists that they will be racing back home instead, and soon she and Granbull rush off. Ash and his friends watch on and are glad to see that Madame Muchmoney has forged a stronger friendship with her Pokémon.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts

TV episode debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Hitmonlee (US and international), Snubbull (Madame Muchmoney's) (Japan)



  • In the title card, the Pokémon logo is missing.
  • When Madame Muchmoney wants to get Snubbull's head examined, Nurse Joy says, "I wonder if I should bring Snubbull to the Pokémon Center so I can run some tests on it?" This is despite the fact that they are already in the Pokémon Center.
  • The bandage on Meowth's tail disappears when Team Rocket enters their machine, but reappears when they blast off.
  • When Team Rocket notices Ash and his friends, the bottom of Ash's pants are colored blue like the rest of the pants instead of white.
  • When Jessie demands Ash give his Pikachu to Team Rocket, Ash's left shoe has its colors reversed.
  • When Ash tells Cyndaquil to use Flamethrower, the flame on Cyndaquil's back isn't ignited.
  • The bows on Snubbull's ears also glow during evolution despite the fact that they are not part of her body.
  • At the end of the episode, Brock's backpack straps are colored blue instead of black.

Dub edits

  • The original airing of this episode on Hungama TV in India started it directly from the title card, skipping the part of the episode that comes before it.

In other languages

EP174 : Imitation Confrontation
Original series
EP176 : Ariados, Amigos
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.