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SM015 : Rocking Clawmark Hill!
Sun & Moon series
SM017 : Crystal-Clear Sleuthing!
They Might Not Be Giants!
SM016   EP955
A Small Trio on a Big Adventure!!
First broadcast
Japan March 2, 2017
United States July 1, 2017
English themes
Opening Under The Alolan Sun
Japanese themes
Opening アローラ!!
Ending ポーズ
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 高橋知也 Tomoya Takahashi
Assistant director 高橋知也 Tomoya Takahashi
Animation directors 難波功 Isao Namba
宮田忠明 Tadaaki Miyata
No additional credits are available at this time.

They Might Not Be Giants! (Japanese: 小さな三匹、大きな冒険!! A Small Trio on a Big Adventure!!) is the 16th episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 955th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on March 2, 2017 and in the United States on July 1, 2017, as part of a three-hour special.

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


After practicing with Lana, Popplio has learned how to make a balloon that’s big and sturdy enough to carry a Pokémon. In a series of mishaps, Rowlet and Popplio end up together inside the balloon—which gets swept away!

They’re trying to find their way home when they run into the wild Litten, which agrees to help. Soon, all three of them are trapped in a Team Rocket net, and Meowth wants to recruit Litten to join the gang! With some clever acting, Litten frees the others and sends Team Rocket blasting off just as our heroes are reunited. Ash tries to thank the skittish Litten, but it’s disappeared again...


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Ash, Lana and Mallow are down on the beach watching as Popplio make its balloons whilst Rowlet sleeps in Ash's backpack. Popplio creates a big balloon and goes inside it, Ash is amazed as Rotom notes that its strength, durability and elasticity are in perfect balance with each other. Mallow finds it amazing as Harper and Sarah can ride in it as Ash compliments Popplio on the hard work it put into making balloons. Ash is keen to take a ride but Lana advises him that the balloon popped straight away when she entered it and Ash realizes that Pokémon are small enough and calls out Rockruff as a sleeping Rowlet flies over. Rockruff hughs Ash affectionately as Lana tells them to take turns as they probably won't all fit in at once. Pikachu goes over as Popplio creates another balloon only for Bounsweet to sneeze its Sweet Scent which causes Rowlet to fly at Bounsweet who deflects Rowlet, sending it flying into Popplio and they both enter the balloon as a strong wind picks up sending the balloon into town.

As the balloon flies away, Ash, Mallow and Lana start to run after it as Mallow asks what they should do, Lana becomes determined and grabs Ash by the hand and drags him up the path with Mallow, Rotom and Pikachu following, Mallow explains to Rotom that when it comes to Popplio, Lana switches gear very quickly. Inside the balloon, Rowlet is having trouble keeping calm bouncing around the balloon which sends the balloon in different directions. Rowlet eventually calms down before falling asleep only for Popplio to wake it up. Rowlet realizes they need to get back to their trainers and has a fantasy as to what their reactions will be which leaves Popplio annoyed but Rowlet's jumping leads the balloon to pop sending them falling to the group though Rowlet begins to fly, Popplio isn't able to do the same but Rowlet grabs it by the tail only to drop Popplio when it finds Popplio to heavy to carry. Popplio continues to fall as Rowlet does its best to catch up and manages to grab hold but Popplio has to remind it to flap its wings as their plunge continues.

Outside Bewear's den, Team Rocket are installing a new satellite dish as part of their plans to acquire all of Alola's data and Pokémon. James goes to install a ring on the dish when Rowlet and Popplio crash into it. The dish collapses on top of James, Meowth and Jessie with Rowlet and Popplio on top. Team Rocket aren't pleased with their actions as Popplio and Rowlet apologize profusely, Rowlet discovers the ring that James was holding is caught around its neck and Team Rocket recognize them as belonging to Ash and Lana and vow to catch them and exchange them for Pikachu. James orders Mareanie to use Spike Cannon which Popplio counters with Bubble Beam which sends James, Jessie and Wobbuffet flying. Meowth and Mareanie spot Popplio and Rowlet escaping and chase after them. In town, Ash, Mallow and Lana wonder where their Pokémon went as Ash asks Lana if this has ever happened before but Lana says not to worry as it is fine. Knowing they came in this direction, they all split up to find them.

In the forest, Popplio is running and bouncing Rowlet on its nose as Meowth and Mareanie follow. Back at Bewear's den, Jessie and James recover and prepare to go after Meowth and Mareanie only for Bewear to stop them. Popplio and Rowlet are still on the run when Popplio trips on a rock causing Rowlet to bounce of and send them flying off the hill. They are confronted by Meowth and Mareanie who has Mareanie attack them only to be burnt by an Ember attack as Litten appears on the scene. Litten confronts Meowth who goes to hit Litten with Fury Swipes which Litten counters with its own Fury Swipes which ends up knocking Meowth out. Popplio claps at Litten's performance as Litten investigates Rowlet and sees what's wrong with the ring as Popplio explains what the problem is. Popplio forms a balloon for Rowlet who panics as Litten goes off with Popplio and Rowlet following. Litten leads Rowlet and Popplio to the city and under a bridge by the river which it has made its home with Stoutland. Popplio is startled by Stoutland for a moment before calming down. After a brief recap of the previous time Litten and Stoutland were encountered, Litten takes Rowlet to Stoutland and pops the balloon it is in as Stoutland comes off the couch. Rowlet is nervous as Stoutland approaches and sniffs it as Litten and a nervous Popplio look on as Stoutland gives Rowlet a lick and recognizes it as belonging to Ash which Popplio confirms as Litten goes to rest on a few boxes and grooms itself as Popplio wonders what they will do now and tells Litten and Stoutland they need to get back to their trainers and explains the ring around Rowlet's neck prevents it from flying and becomes annoyed at Rowlet who has fallen asleep next to Stoutland as Stoutland instructs Litten to return Popplio and Rowlet to their trainers. Litten isn't to happy about having to do this but eventually agrees to take Popplio and Rowlet.

In the marketplace, Ash, Lana and Mallow meet up having been unable to find Popplio and Rowlet. Mallow had asked a few people but they hadn't seen them which leaves them disappointed as Rockruff begins to smell the ground. Ash wonders what Rockruff is doing as Rotom explains that Rockruff has a powerful sense of smell and is able to distinguish scents which will allow it to trace Popplio and Rowlet by using their scents. Rockruff needs to get familiar with Popplio and Rowlet's scents. Ash wonders what would have Rowlet's scent as Rockruff jumps on his legs and Ash remembers that his backpack has his scent as Rowlet is always sleeping in there. Rockruff sniffs his bag as Lana bends down for Rockruff to get Popplio's scent from her hands as she is always holding it. Rockruff gets Popplio and Rowlet's scent and finds a trace and leads Ash, Lana and Mallow in their direction but Mallow is puzzled as why it would lead to the forest. At Bewear's den, Bewear is sleeping so Jessie, James and Wobbuffet take this chance to rendezvous with Meowth. Along the river, Litten and Popplio are walking with Rowlet bouncing on Popplio's nose in balloon before Popplio sends Rowlet onto the river where it able to roll along. Ash, Lana and Mallow are following Rockruff along a path but has lost their scent. Ash tells Rockruff not to worry but to keep trying anyway as they continue their search as Litten, Popplio and Rowlet continue their journey. Sometime later, it is getting late as Ash, Lana and Mallow continue their search, unaware that behind them, Litten, Popplio and Rowlet are walking past. The Pokémon continue their journey only for a net to fall on top of them as they cry out, Rockruff hears their cries and wags its tail, alerting Ash, Lana and Mallow that it has found them and heads in their direction.

On top of a building, Jessie, James and Wobbuffet have met up with Meowth and winch the net containing Litten, Popplio and Rowlet to their level and put them in a cage before reciting their motto as Meowth congratulates Jessie and James on catching the trio. Jessie isn't happy at them for ruining their plans as James demands the ring back as they notice Litten with them which James identifies from his book as Meowth explains that he almost caught Popplio and Rowlet before Litten stopped him as Litten tells them to let them go. James sees that Litten has attitude for posing as a hero as Jessie points out to Litten and Popplio that Rowlet has fallen asleep which annoys Popplio who makes Rowlet wake up as Meowth invites Litten to join Team Rocket which Jessie and James thinks is a good idea only to be attacked by Ember as Meowth remembers meeting Litten before as Litten starts saying something which Meowth translate as being some serious backstory which leaves Mareanie, Wobbuffet and Meowth crying as Meowth says he can feel Litten's pain but doesn't tell Jessie or James what Litten has gone through but tells them that Litten is a true leader and has dedicated its life to for the sake of the weak which manages to touch Jessie and James as Meowth invites Litten to put its skills to good use by joining Team Rocket. Popplio and Rowlet try to tell Litten not to but much to their shock, Litten agrees to join them which pleases Team Rocket.

Meowth lowers the bars of the cage and tells Popplio and Rowlet to stay put but once the bars are gone, Litten uses Fury Swipes to break open the net. Now free, Popplio uses its balloons to surround Team Rocket and Rowlet attacks them with Peck which sends them flying as Litten and Popplio attack the balloons with Bubble Beam and Ember which sends them blasting off just as Ash, Mallow and Lana arrive on the roof. They spot Popplio and Rowlet safe as Lana hugs Popplio, Rowlet jumps up and down to draw Ash's attention to the ring around its neck. On seeing the ring, Ash tugs at it and eventually gets the ring off as Ash hears Litten's cry and they see Litten and recognize it as being the one with Stoutland. Litten and Ash stare at each other and Ash guesses that Litten helped Popplio and Rowlet and thanks Litten before asking on how Stoutland is but Litten leaves as Lana asks Ash if he is sad about Litten leaving as Mallow notes that Litten sure is a mystery. Team Rocket are heading for the ground following their blast off but are caught before they hit the ground by Bewear who takes them into its den.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Bewear (US and international), Meowth (Team Rocket) (Japan)



Dub edits

In other languages

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SM015 : Rocking Clawmark Hill!
Sun & Moon series
SM017 : Crystal-Clear Sleuthing!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.