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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.

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


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 stop by the bank of a river and Pikachu hears something. Ash looks to the other side of the water to see a Snubbull with red ribbons on its ears running past. Misty asks Ash what's wrong and he tells her that he had just seen Madame Muchmoney's Snubbull run by. Brock and Misty look, but they can't see it; however, Ash says that he was sure it was hers since it had big red ribbons on its ears.

Shortly, Snubbull notices Team Rocket talking about how hungry they are while walking through the forest, and bites his tail. Jessie and James tell him he should be happy that Snubbull likes him. Meowth replies that he hates Snubbull and shakes the Pokémon off his tail.

Elsewhere, Ash, Misty, and Brock have continued through the forest. Ash says that he was positive he saw Madame Muchmoney's Snubbull but that it's probably gone now. They notice a man on the road who appears to be injured and they give him some water. They quickly recognize him as Jeeves from Madame Muchmoney's mansion. He tells them that he and Madame Muchmoney had split up to forage for food. Suddenly, Madame Muchmoney swings in on a vine, carrying a basket of mushrooms.

They decide to cook the mushrooms while Madame Muchmoney tells them 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 say that if they use their Pokémon, they can find it. He 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.

Elsewhere, Snubbull wanders through the forest, 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.

Ash and the others quickly find Snubbull laying on the ground, injured. They take her to a nearby Pokémon Center; there, Nurse Joy says that Snubbull is fine, but a bit shaken up. Brock says that Snubbull is really lucky and then tries to flirt with Nurse Joy.

Madame Muchmoney tells Snubbull that once they get home, Snubbull can explore all she wants without leaving the mansion property. Jeeves tells them that the mansion's gardens are being renovated to make it a nature park for Snubbull. Ash mentions that Snubbull doesn't look so happy about this. As a result, Madame Muchmoney thinks there might be something wrong with Snubbull, so Nurse Joy takes the Pokémon to run some tests.

Later, Snubbull lays in bed, thinking about 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.

Afterwards, Team Rocket is walking through the city, talking about food again. Jessie says that Meowth shouldn't have been so mean to Snubbull, but Meowth replies that he had to do it to save his tail. They hear Madame Muchmoney calling out for Snubbull. Thinking that they will be rewarded by Madame Muchmoney if they find Snubbull, they decide to use Meowth for bait by hanging him from a tree. Meowth is not very happy about this. Snubbull hears Meowth crying out to be let down and Jessie tells Meowth that they all have to make sacrifices.

Jessie and James start calling for Snubbull and she comes out; but instead of going straight for Meowth's tail, she just stands there, looking angry. Suddenly, Snubbull starts to evolve and becomes a Granbull. Jessie tries to send Wobbuffet, but the Pokémon backs far away, so she returns Wobbuffet to his Poké Ball. She sends out Arbok instead, who uses Tackle on the newly evolved Pokémon. 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 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, also tries to get Granbull off the tail by electrocuting her, but it doesn't work. 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, Misty, Brock, 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 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. However, Team Rocket is ready for the attack. She 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 uses Dynamic Punch and knocks out the Meowth'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. Granbull, Madame Muchmoney, and Jeeves all decide to have a race home, and Ash and Misty agree that Granbull wasn't the only one who evolved that day.

Major events

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


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 this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
  • This episode's English title may be a reference to the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles".
  • At the end, James cries, "Why did our plan go wrong?" Meowth replies, "You know what they say about the best-laid plans of Meowth and men, Jimmy!" This is a pun on the Standard English translation of the famous line from Robert Burns's To a Mouse: "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley,..."
  • The episode premiered in Japan on Rica Matsumoto's 32nd birthday.


  • 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.
  • When Ash tells Cyndaquil to use Flamethrower, the flame on Cyndaquil's back isn't ignited.
  • At the end of the episode, Brock's backpack straps are colored green instead of black.
  • The bows on Snubbull's ears also glow during evolution despite the fact that they are not part of her body.

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.