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Recap / Pokémon S1E43 "The March of the Exeggutor Squad"

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Japanese Title: The Great Nassy Squad March!

Original Airdate: May 7th, 1998

US Airdate: October 30th, 1998

Our heroes continue their Pokémon training without a break even over spring vacation, when what should appear before them but a carnival. Ash, Brock and Pikachu join in the fun, eventually discovering a rather dull magic show being performed in a small cabin. The magician, Melvin, begs Misty to become his assistant, but because of his poor magic skills, he gets fired. Feeling sorry for him, Brock, Ash and Misty suggest working together to create a Pokémon magic show.

Tropes

  • Animal Stampede: In this case, a Coconut Tree Stampede.
  • Brainwashed
    • Ash gets hypnotized by Melvin's Exeggcute. When Melvin realizes this, he sneaks off with Ash to the neighboring forest to help him capture Exeggutor.
    • Team Rocket gets hypnotized by the herd of Exeggutor. They even run off with them during the stampede.
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    • The Exeggutor all accidentally end up hypnotizing each other.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The flamethrowing staff helps wake up the Exeggutor from their collective catatonia, stopping their stampede.
    • An easily missed sign in the Leaf Forest indicates that the place allows Exeggcute to evolve without a Leaf Stone.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: As mentioned above in Chekhov's Gun, there is a picket sign that appears around the middle of the episode showing a picture of Exeggcute and an Exeggutor with an arrow pointing from the former to the latter. While there is sort of a vague picture of Exeggcute evolving into Exeggutor in the forest, what it doesn't show (which was in the Japanese version) is that the forest allows Exeggcute to evolve without a Leaf Stone. This entry on Dogasu's Backpack goes into more detail.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ash pretty much forgets that Melvin brainwashed him into capturing Exeggutors for him.
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  • Foreshadowing: When Charmander evolves into Charmeleon, it tries to fry Ash's ear, indicating the start of its disobedient nature that would persist throughout the Kanto era and up to most of the Orange Islands saga.
  • Happy Dance: At the end of the episode, as Melvin is waving goodbye to Ash and friends, his Exeggutor cheerfully hops from foot to foot.
  • Hypno Fool: After Team Rocket passes out, the Exeggutor accidentally make eye contact with each other, and end up putting themselves under Mass Hypnosis. With no one to issue them commands, they all run about aimlessly in a big group.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Exeggcute's and the Exeggutors' eyes all glow bright yellow when they use Hypnosis.
  • Kick the Dog: Melvin's desperation causes him to have a brief Face–Heel Turn. He first forces a hypnotized Ask to help him capture Exeggutor, then plans on using his new Pokemon to put all the carnival goers under Mass Hypnosis and make them watch his show.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: When Charmander evolves into Charmeleon, his voice is heard cracking and then deepening during the evolution, but given that he was evolving, the voice crack was most likely not that inopportune, but still noticeable.
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  • Lethally Stupid: Melvin causes a lot of damage, from recklessly blowing flames everywhere, to causing a stampede of Exeggutors through town that destroys the carnival.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Melvin's Exeggcute tries to rescue its trainer when it sees Team Rocket tie him up. When James threatens it, it manages to evolve itself!
    • Melvin himself does this when he uses his flamethrower on the stampeding Exeggutor.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Misty wearing that Goldeen outfit. She's not thrilled about it.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: What is the owner of the carnival's solution for stopping the Exeggutors? Blowing them up on the fair grounds. Luckily, Ash and friends come up with a better solution.
  • One-Man Army: Charmander scorches an entire herd of Exeggutor.
  • Produce Pelting: The small crowd of disatisfied people throw trash & food at Melvin.
  • Stage Magician: Melvin, or at least he's trying to be one.
  • Straw Loser: Melvin, a hapless, luckless, talentless hack.
  • Tempting Fate: Ash comments that the Exeggcute doesn't do much. They immediately hypnotize him.
  • That's No Moon!: The Exeggutor stampede is often mistaken for a moving forest.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Charmeleon evolves after the Exeggutor herd flees. This may also count as Took a Level in Jerkass, since this also begins his disobedience of Ash.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Played for laughs when Melvin is run over by his own Exeggutor.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Exeggutor may be Adorkable coconut trees with goofy faces, but they sure have deep, creepy, distorted voices.
  • When Trees Attack: While the Exeggutor never directly attack anyone, they do trample the carnival while running around in a trance.
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