The Problem with Paras (パラスとパラセクト Paras and Parasect) is the 44th episode of Pokémon: Indigo League.
A young woman helps Team Rocket's Meowth, causing him to be in love with her. Ash, Brock and Misty meet this woman, Cassandra and Ash tried to battle her Paras to evolve into a Parasect so she can use it to make a potion. Since it is cowardly, Ash and Team Rocket's Pokémon let it win, all but Ash's Charmeleon who starts disobeying his trainer...
Ash, Misty, and Brock arrive in Mossgreen Village, a village that's so small it doesn't have a Pokémon Gym. Since there's no gym here, Ash doesn't want to stay but Brock points out that their bag of potions is empty ad they need more. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is following them, waiting for the perfect time to catch Pikachu. But Meowth is lagging behind and he is very sick. Jessie and James think that losing Meowth is worth it to catch Pikachu. They are yelled at by a girl who thinks they are abandoning Meowth. The girl nurses Meowth back to health and Meowth falls in love with the girl.
Ash and his friends have arrived at a medicine shop to buy some potions. When they enter, they are greeted by an old woman who is grinding herbs. When they say they want to buy some potions, she offers them a snake root that will cure insomnia and grow hair on their nose and tongue. The old woman's granddaughter enters the shop, who is also the same girl that healed Meowth. The girl's name is Cassandra and Brock falls in love with her. Brock tells her that he wants to be the world's greatest breeder and Cassandra says that she wishes she could battle someone. Ash tells her that he will battle her. Cassandra starts the battle by sending out Paras and Ash sends out Pikachu. Pikachu tries to be nice to Paras, but Paras is terrified. Team Rocket is spying on the battle and making plans to catch Pikachu, but Meowth is focusing on Cassandra and trying to think of a way to repay her for healing him.
Cassandra tells Ash that she wants to battle so Paras can evolve and she can use Parasect's giant mushroom to make a super healing potion, but Paras is too afraid to battle. Ash agrees to lose the battle so Paras can gain some experience. Pikachu starts the battle and fires a small electric bolt at Paras, but it easily knocks it out. Misty suggests Ash try using a different Pokémon, so he switches out Pikachu with Squirtle. But just a few drops of water knocks Paras out again. Ash goes for broke and sends out Charmeleon. He tells Charmeleon to go easy on Paras. However, Charmeleon suddenly gives an ominous glare to Ash, and Brock says that Charmeleon apparently doesn't want to lose the fight. Suddenly Charmeleon gets very violent, attacks Paras with Flamethrower and then sends him flying with Tail Whip. Paras runs away crying, causing Cassandra to go after him. Ash is about to reprimand Charmeleon for his aggressive behavior, but Charmeleon blasts fire at his face and then turns his attention to Misty and Brock. Pikachu knocks out Charmeleon with Thunderbolt, enabling Ash to recall him. Ash is shocked by Charmeleon's aggression but Misty tells him to worry about this later and that they need to find Paras.
When Paras runs away, it finds Team Rocket. Meowth, who wants to help Cassandra, convinces Jessie and James to help Paras get stronger because losing is something Arbok and Weezing are good at. Arbok lets Paras knock it out and Weezing does the same. Jessie and James cheer Paras on.
Ash and his friends find Paras soon in a tree, with Team Rocket hiding nearby. Because Paras looks so confident, they think its ready to battle again. Pikachu lets Paras knock him out and Ash sends out Charmeleon and he disobeys Ash again. Ash can't understand why Charmeleon is ignoring his commands and Cassandra's grandmother explains that if a Pokémon's strength exceeds the trainer's skill level, it won't obey its trainer because it no longer respects him.
Ash tries to recall Charmeleon, but it uses Flamethrower on him before turning its attention to Paras. Team Rocket jumps out of the bushes to protect Paras, but Charmeleon launches a Flamethrower at them. Paras defends itself by using its claws to jab Charmeleon in the stomach, knocking it out. Everyone cheers for Paras, which evolves into Parasect. Charmeleon regains consciousness, gets angry at Team Rocket and knocks them with Tail Whip, blasting them off. Then Charmeleon goes after Parasect to avenge his injured pride. Cassandra is yet scared of Parasect getting injured but Parasect uses spore to make Charmeleon go to sleep. Ash can recall him due to this reason, but he was very disappointed with him due to his disobedience.
Ash and his friends say goodbye to Cassandra and her grandmother, who reminds Ash to learn to control Charmeleon. Team Rocket comes by and they ask if Meowth can be the mascot for the company Cassandra is starting for her super potion. Cassandra's Grandmother says she has found a Persian to be the mascot and doesn't need Meowth. Team Rocket walks away sadly as Cassandra promises that she will treat Persian like Meowth.
- "You're super losers if you leave a sick Pokémon!" - Cassandra
- "Hehe, got some root that'll cure insomnia and grow hair on your nose and tongue." - Cassandra's grandma
- "Grow hair on your nose and tongue?" - Misty
- "Does it come in a "No hair" formula?" - Brock
- "Hurry up, we wanna get rich quick." - James
- "I can't let you do that until you loan me Arbok and Weezing." - Meowth
- "What do you need those two for?" - James
- "'Cause losin' battles is their specialty." - Meowth
- "He's got a point." - Jessie
- "They're even bigger losers than the guy who invented homework. How did we wind up with such rejects?" - James
- "Pikachu! (saying not to attack paras) Mmm mmm mmm." - Ash
- "Let's see how it fairs with me. Put 'em up champ!" - Meowth
- "Paras!" - Paras
- "Ouch! Oh, Meowth. I'm a goner. You're too strong." - Meowth
- "I don't get it. Charmander was always totally obedient." - Ash
- "Me." - Charmeleon
- "Heh. Its trainer needs experience. If the trainer is poor, the Pokémon won't respect them and won't obey orders." - Cassandra's Grandmother
- "I'm a hero... but I got zero! *cries*" - Meowth
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Paras.
- In the Japanese version, after Pikachu knocks out Charmeleon with Electric Shock, Ash says "Thank you, Pikachu!" in English.
- This is the first Pokémon episode to air on Kids' WB!.
- When Cassandra checks on Paras after it got knocked out by Squirtle's Water Gun, her shoes are pink while in all other scenes they are black.
- The flame on Charmeleon's tail is completely motionless after it blasts fire at Ash for the first time.
- While Cassandra's grandmother offers Ash and his friends snakeroot in the dub, in original version she offers them Magikarp whiskers instead.
- In the dub, when Charmeleon glares at Ash, Misty and Brock, Brock claims that Charmeleon doesn't look like a loser. In original version he says that Charmeleon is weirdly intimidating.
- In the dub, after Charmeleon blasts fire at Ash for the first time, Ash says "That wasn't nice" while in the original version he says "Why?".
- Also, when Brock comments Charmeleon's aggressive attitude, in the dub he says that Charmeleon went out of control while in Japanese version he wonders why Charmeleon is acting so aggressively.
- In the Japanese version, after Charmeleon blasts fire at Ash for the second time, Misty says that Ash is not at high enough level while in the dub she says that Charmeleon won't obey Ash.
- In the Japanese version, when Charmeleon is about to go after Parasect, Cassandra tells Charmeleon not to come close while in the English version she orders Parasect to stay back.
- In the original version, Cassandra's grandmother says that she got the Persian instead of having found it.
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