Japanese Title: Fushigidane of the Hidden Village
Original Airdate: June 3, 1997
US Airdate: September 21, 1998
Ash and his friends get lost in a dense forest on the way to Vermillion City. Ash spots an Oddish, which Misty tries to capture. They are interrupted by a Bulbasaur, which Ash tries and fails to capture.
Later they cross a bridge which tips over, dropping Brock into the river. Ash and Misty manage to get by, but they get caught in several traps on their rush to find Brock.
Eventually they find Brock in a hidden village for Pokémon to recover from injury or abandonment. The Pokemon are cared for by Melanie and protected by Bulbasaur.
Later Team Rocket tries to steal the Pokémon at the center, but they are stopped by Ash and his friends. Afterwards Melanie asks Ash to take Bulbasaur with him so Bulbasaur can grow.
- Ambiguous Gender: Pokémon are typically described as being gender-neutral, but Ash refers to Bulbasaur as a male several times in this episode.
- Answer Cut: Ash mentions how stupid someone must be to fall into one of the PitTraps that Melanie set (which offends Misty). Cut to Team Rocket at the bottom of a pit.Jessie: This is the third hole we've fallen into! How come no one ever falls into our traps but we always fall into theirs?!James: Well, this one was cleverly hidden, well made and—Jessie: I'M GLAD YOU'RE ENJOYING IT!Meowth: (in pain) Meowth!
- Debut Queue: The first of three episodes back-to-back where Ash gets the three starters in Pokédex order.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Bulbasaur will only join Ash in the end if Ash defeats him in Pokémon battle.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Inverted. Brock hits Misty twice after she teases him regarding his crush on Melanie, and also later covers her mouth in a somewhat forceful manner. It's Played for Laughs, and 4Kids didn't edit it out.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: A minor one. In the original version, when Team Rocket got themselves caught in the last trap, Meowth exclaims that this is the final straw and decides to bring in their secret weapon to the Hidden Village. It doesn't affect the plot too much when the line was cut in the international version, but it does foreshadow Team Rocket's flying stadium at the climax.
- Dub Name Change: Melanie's name is Midori in the original Japanese.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- Here, Brock's trying to not make his crush too obvious and gets embarrassed whenever Misty brings it up. This is nearly the exact opposite of their later dynamic, where Brock is an unabashed Casanova Wannabe, and Misty, greatly annoyed by his behavior, drags him away by the ear from whatever woman he is hitting on.
- Team Rocket's motto is a tad shorter than usual (at least in the English dub), missing both the part where Jessie and James announce their names. Also, Meowth is the only one who shouts "Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again!" as Team Rocket are carried off by Pidgeotto's tornado.
- Eye Catch: The featured Who's That Pokémon? is Bulbasaur.
- Forgiveness: Misty feels really badly about attacking Oddish after hearing that his former trainer abandoned him. She tell him she is sorry and confesses that sometimes she feels her drive to win might be making her hard. Oddish brushed her tears off her face as a sign of forgiveness for what happened.
- Pit Trap: While rushing to find Brock, Misty falls into a hole dug into the ground which was meant to deter people looking to capture the Pokémon in the hidden village. Later Team Rocket falls into three holes, commenting on how well made they were.
- Properly Paranoid: While all the traps she's laid around the village seem a bit much, Melanie's paranoia about evil people trying to steal and hurt the injured Pokemon she's protecting isn't unfounded: Team Rocket finds the village and almost kidnaps all the injured Pokemon.
- Rescue Romance: Brock falls for Melanie after she saves him from drowning. It doesn't last.
- Scissors Cuts Rock: Pikachu's electricity takes out Bulbasaur—who defeated Butterfree earlier. And after Starmie washed out Oddish.