If you were looking for the original EP039, see Holiday Hi-Jynx.
Pikachu's Goodbye redirects here. For the song, see The Time Has Come (Pikachu's Goodbye).
Snow Way Out!
Original series
EP040 : The Battling Eevee Brothers
Pikachu's Goodbye
Forest of Pikachu
First broadcast
Japan April 16, 1998
United States November 20, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ポケットにファンタジー
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
Storyboard 日高政光 Masamitsu Hidaka
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Animation director 酒井啓史 Keishi Sakai
Additional credits

Pikachu's Goodbye (Japanese: ピカチュウのもり Forest of Pikachu) is the 39th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 16, 1998, and in the United States on November 20, 1998. It was the first episode to air after the EP038 incident. Notably, it is also, with EP040, the first hour-long Pokémon special.

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


Misty and Brock continue to journey with Ash as he seeks to become a Pokémon Master. Passing through a beautiful forest, the three of them stop for a rest. As they enjoy the restful mood, Pikachu notices something staring at them from the shadows of the bush around them. Realizing that they are being watched by a group of wild Pikachu, Pikachu bounds after them into the woods. Paying no heed to Ash's call, Pikachu runs further and further into the wild unknown. Though they seem frightened at first, the group eventually opens up to Pikachu and they play together as friends. Will the group be as receptive to Ash when he makes his presence known?


As Misty and Brock rest in a forest clearing, Ash swings on a vine when suddenly he slams into a tree trunk. Pikachu rushes to Ash's side, but notices a small, wild Pikachu nearby. Ash's Pikachu runs after it, as Ash and his friends follow close behind. The pursuit ends at a forest clearing, where they find a whole clan of Pikachu. Ash's Pikachu, eager to say hello, jumps forward, but the wild Pikachu become scared and run off. Ash's Pikachu becomes disheartened, but the small Pikachu comes over and shakes tails to greet him. Soon after, the other Pikachu surround Ash's, and Brock notes that they must have accepted him. Ash, also eager to join the Pikachu clan, runs toward them, but they flee in fear.

Later, Ash asks Brock and Misty why the Pikachu ran away. Brock tells him that he probably scared the Pikachu because they were not used to human contact. The small Pikachu, watching their conversation from a nearby tree branch, falls into a river and Ash's Pikachu jumps in to save it. Before the pair are about to go down a waterfall, the other Pikachu grab each other's tails to save them, and they succeed. As a reward for his effort, Ash's Pikachu receives an apple and is hoisted up by the other Pikachu, who cheer. Brock keeps Ash back from the Pikachu, encouraging him to just observe. Meanwhile, Team Rocket sees the group of Pikachu and decide to capture all of them for their Boss.

Night falls, and all of the Pikachu start singing their Pikachu chant. Ash and his friends watch on and see how happy Ash's Pikachu is. Over dinner, Ash becomes sad and loses his appetite, but when asked what was wrong, he dismisses it as nothing. He stays up, watching the fire, to reflect on his Pikachu's happiness, and concludes that Pikachu should be with his own kind. Suddenly, the Pikachu scream for help, waking Misty and Brock. The group goes to investigate and finds all of the Pikachu captured by Team Rocket in an electric-proof net. James ensnares Ash and his friends in another net while they make their getaway. Ash's Pikachu begins chewing through the net, and the others follow suit before they soon begin their escape. Ash and his friends hold up the net they were captured in and the Pikachu jump into it unharmed. However, Ash's Pikachu, who escaped first, makes its way to Team Rocket and bites a hole in the balloon, sending them blasting off.

Ash catches his Pikachu, though he soon decides to leave him with the other Pikachu. Misty and Brock confront Ash by the campsite, where he announces his plans and claims that his Pikachu would be happier with its own kind. Ash's Pikachu then reappears and starts following him, but Ash yells at him to stay behind. Ash then begins to run away. Eventually, Ash stops running, with Misty and Brock catching up to him. As the sun rises, Ash's Pikachu shakes tails with the small Pikachu and all of the wild Pikachu started chanting, before Pikachu runs into Ash's arms. Ash is touched by the gesture, and he starts to cry.

Explanation of EP038 incident

Miyuki explaining the incident

The first broadcast in Japan begins with Miyuki Yadama formally greeting the viewers while surrounded by Pokémon dolls. Miyuki mentions that the Pocket Monsters anime will be starting again soon. Miyuki then mentions the details of the incident and apologies for the issue and its effects on the viewers.

Miyuki continues by discussing the hiatus and the reason why the anime was taken off the air, mentioning that research was conducted into how the incident occurred with the help of doctors, Japanese government officials, and the broadcasting stations. She highlights that the main cause of the issue was a scene where the colors red and blue were rapidly switched at a rate higher than 24 frames per second. She then notes early hypotheses that had been rejected, such as the effect of strong lights. She mentions that the research found that striped or swirling patterns and the color red should be used with care.

The scene then switches to a board with letters, drawings, and postcards from viewers in support of the anime. After focusing on two of the drawings, Miyuki thanks the viewers for the letters of encouragement.

After the scene changes back, Miyuki makes a request for all viewers to watch television at a distance from the screen and in a room that is well lit. The debriefing ends with a shot of the Pokémon around Miyuki.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Pikachu (US and international), Pikachu (Ash's, and smaller sized) (Japan)

Initial broadcast


  • Miyuki Yamada

Pokémon dolls


  • This episode was not included in the original schedule before the EP038 incident, so it is possible that the episode was created after the incident.
  • The episode aired as a one-hour special (放送再開スペシャル(放送再開スペシャル やっとあえるね!)1時間SP) with EP040 to celebrate the anime's return to airwaves.
  • This was chosen by Asuca Hayashi as the fifth episode of Pocket Monsters Premier 10.
  • Not counting the flashbacks, Pikachu and Meowth were the only two species of Pokémon seen in this episode. This is the lowest number of Pokémon species appearing in an anime episode.
  • The episode's plot later became similar to that of A Plethora of Pikachu!, which also revolves around a location where a large number of Pikachu live. In addition, that episode marked the anime's move from its Thursday 6:55 PM time-slot to a Sunday 6:00 PM slot, the first time the show changed its airing day since the aforementioned EP038 incident.
  • The events of The Kangaskhan Kid are referenced in the beginning of this episode.
  • In this episode, Ash crashes into a tree. In response, Misty says "Watch out for that tree!", a catchphrase from the George of the Jungle series.
  • A short version of Goodnight, My Pikachu is used as an insert song in the Japanese version.
  • This episode was partially adapted into the book I Choose You!.
  • This episode is featured on Volume 1: Pikachu from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • This episode is featured on Pokémon All-Stars: Pikachu from Magna Pacific's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • After Team Rocket finishes their motto, James says, "We'd like to thank all of our fans for their loyalty and support. This victory is for them." This obviously breaks the fourth wall, and possibly references how Pokémon fans in Japan helped get the anime back on air after the EP038 incident.
  • This was the first episode to premiere in the US the same year as it did in Japan.


  • When the wild Pikachu save the smaller Pikachu and Ash's Pikachu from going over the waterfall, all of the wild Pikachu in the chain have a torn tail. This is a result of the animation studio cycling the animation in order to save time.
    • Some care was taken into this scene as only the leader Pikachu has torn ears.
    • Later scenes are inconsistent with the number of Pikachu which have torn tails. This could be up for interpretation as the number of Pikachu Team Rocket steals is much greater than depicted in any other scene.
    • At this time, the leader Pikachu is missing the brown at the base of its tail when its rear end is facing the viewer.
  • The number of Pikachu changes throughout the episode. Although about 30 Pikachu are present when Ash, Pikachu, Brock, and Misty first see the group of Pikachu, the number of Pikachu increases greatly when Team Rocket steal the Pikachu and fly off with their balloon.
  • The episode title is spelled Pickachu's Goodbye on the back of the box of the Australian VHS release.

Dub edits

  • Kanto Pokérap: Day 4
  • In the Japanese version of the scene leading up to the Ash and Pikachu montage, Ash originally yelled at Misty and Brock to shut up when they asked why he's leaving Pikachu. Then, when he was saying his goodbyes to Pikachu, Ash's voice was trembling as he was trying not to cry. Additionally, there was originally no music playing from the moment Ash puts out the campfire until he starts running away.
  • The original montage of Ash and Pikachu is different in both versions. The original Japanese version has clips that are shown in chronological episodic order. The dubbed English version have clips from certain episodes in random order, with many clips missing from the original Japanese version, and it also has some clips not present in the original Japanese version.
  • In the Tamil Hungama TV dub of this episode, there is no voice of the narrator throughout the episode.
  • The Time Has Come replaces Goodnight, My Pikachu during the flashback scene.

In other languages

Snow Way Out!
Original series
EP040 : The Battling Eevee Brothers
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.