Wake Up Snorlax! (Japanese: おきろ！カビゴン！Wake Up! Kabigon!) is the 41st episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 23, 1998 and in the United States on October 28, 1998. It was initially intended to air in Japan on January 20, 1998, but was rescheduled following the EP038 incident.
The further you journey, the hungrier you get. On empty stomachs, our heroes' search for food brings them to a small village, but find there is no food at the bakery nor at the grocery store; even the town restaurant is out of food. Just as our hungry heroes lose the energy even to move, the town elder arrives and offers to feed them. He explains to them that a drought has made it impossible to gather a harvest in the village, but cannot explain why they suffer from drought even though it rains often. In return for the meal, our heroes follow the dry riverbed upstream, investigating the cause of the drought.
Ash, Misty, and Brock are heading for another town, with Pikachu fast asleep. They run into a hippie, who plays a song on his Poké Flute that wakes up Pikachu. He then asks them for food, but they don't have any, so they continue on their way. Shortly after, Team Rocket arrives, and is rude towards the hippie when he plays them a song and asks them for food. After they walk away, he mentions that they give off bad vibes and should learn to respect their elders. Meanwhile, Ash and his friends reach a town, only to find that the local stores and restaurants have no food to sell, as there are no ingredients to cook with. The town's mayor stumbles upon them, shows them to his home, and feeds them. He tells them that the village is unable to get any food because the river has dried up, killing all the produce a fortnight ago. As a result, Ash and his friends decide to head upstream to check it out.
The group discovers a large forest of thorns and decides to crawl through it, but Misty gets scratched in the process. With the help of Ash's Bulbasaur and its Razor Leaf, they get through the thorns, only to find that the flow of the river is being blocked by a sleeping Snorlax, which is very big and weighs close to 1,000 pounds. Ash, Misty, and Brock try to wake Snorlax up using an announcement speaker and moving it. Ash even attempts to catch the Pokémon, but the Poké Ball just bounces off Snorlax's belly. Soon after, Team Rocket arrives and tries to steal Snorlax, which Ash and his friends try to help them with, as it will unblock the flow of the river.
However, their attempt to steal Snorlax by attaching cables from their hot-air balloon doesn't work. Instead, Meowth and the balloon are sent crashing into the dried waterbed after the cables snap. Ash states that he didn't expect anything less than failure from Team Rocket, but his snide comment infuriates them. Further attempts to wake up Snorlax with an alarm clock and a bucket of water prove unsuccessful, so they decide to try the Sleeping Beauty approach and get a Pokémon to kiss Snorlax. After some deep thought, Misty tries to have Horsea kiss Snorlax, as Ash points out it resembles a horse. Instead, Psyduck releases itself from its Poké Ball and kisses Snorlax, blushing afterwards. Team Rocket forces Meowth to kiss Snorlax, which doesn't work either, even though Snorlax seems to flinch when this happened.
Snorlax then rolls over, revealing a card that tells them that only the beautiful music from a Poké Flute will awaken a Snorlax. Ash checks his Pokédex for details, and they remember the hippie had a Pokémon flute. They run over to him and ask him to wake up Snorlax, but Ash, Misty, and Brock get into an argument with Team Rocket. Eventually, Jessie tries to attack with Arbok, but a Gust attack from Pidgeotto, which turns into a cyclone and sends the trio blasting off again. Ash and his friends then take the hippie to Snorlax, which turns out to be his. He wakes Snorlax up with his Poké Flute, but the river is still blocked. The real source of the blockage is more thorns, but they turn out to be Snorlax's favorite snack. The hungry Pokémon eats all of the thorns, successfully unplugging the river and ultimately saving the town. In honor of the group's effort, the town's mayor declares a celebratory banquet.
After eating enough food, Snorlax goes back to sleep again. Team Rocket soon realizes that they won't be able to steal Snorlax, and then Snorlax rolls over on top of them.
This episode has the first occurrence that a main character, in this case Misty, was seen bleeding.
When Jessie explains the story of Sleeping Beauty, an image of Sleeping Beauty is shown that closely resembles Princess Peach in appearance (pink dress with short puffed sleeves, a frilled collar, a gold-trimmed brooch, crown, earrings, and blonde hair).
This is the first episode where two Pokémon are shown to be kissing each other: both Psyduck and Meowth kissed Snorlax directly on its mouth, but this was done to reference Sleeping Beauty and Snow White being awakened by their respective prince's kisses.
When Psyduck is sent out, its left foot is colored the same as its body.
Ash's mouth can only be seen faintly when the Snorlax first wakes up and walks away.
The Pokédex says that Snorlax is a Sleepy Pokémon, not a Sleeping Pokémon.
When the Hippie is seen playing the flute, Ash's and Misty's shoes are completely white.
The tune that the Hippie is playing doesn't sync up with his fingerings.
When the Hippie sees Snorlax for the first time, the cream colored part of Snorlax's body changes tone as it breathes.
When Misty was shocked that there wasn't any bread left in the town, there was originally Japanese text behind her. This background was replaced in the dub.
The town was actually a village in the Japanese version.
The messages on Snorlax's card originally said "Do not wake up." and "If you need me, please wake me up with a Poké Flute."
In the Russian dub by Pilot Studio, the amount of food that Snorlax eats in one day is said to be 900 kg, instead of 400 kg (900 lbs). This error was repeated in Snack Attack. Unit conversions were correct elsewhere, as in Dig Those Diglett! where 186,282 miles was correctly redubbed back to nearly 300,000 km.