Hour of the Houndour (Japanese: ダークポケモン・デルビル Dark Pokémon Houndour) is the 34th episode of Pokémon: The Johto Journeys.
Still on their way to Goldenrod City, Ash and co. decide to have a lunch break. Only to find that Ash's backpack had been stolen. Elsewhere, Team Rocket steals a ham from Nurse Joy's grocery bag, only to have it stolen by something else. Brock comes up with a plan to lure out the thieves. Later that night, the thieves turn out to be the Dark Pokémon, Houndour. A Houndour with a scar on its right eye appears on a ledge. This particular Houndour is the leader of the pack. Why would Houndour want to steal food all of a sudden?
The heroes have a lunch break. Ash returns with water and is asked where the bread is. Ash remembers he put it in the backpack, but sees it is gone. Ash believes someone stole it, but Brock and Misty have not seen or heard anyone sneaking. Ash remembers he has badges, Pokédex and his Poké Balls in the backpack. Brock sees some footprints belonging to a Pokémon, so Ash goes to follow it to find the thief. Joy comes out with Chansey and goes to have an ice cream, leaving her groceries on a bench. Team Rocket appear to steal the buffet, though Jessie calls her Wobbuffet back after coming out on that word. With a rod, James pulls Meowth up after stealing the ham. They go to eat it, though Meowth chews on the whole part. They get in the fight and in the distraction, the ham disappears. Team Rocket sees someone has taken it and accuse Wobbuffet, who confirms he saw who took the ham. Hearing Nurse Joy coming, they all hide.
Joy sees a package of ham and wonders who'd do that. The heroes appear, with Brock being pulled behind by Misty for a familiar scene with Nurse Joy. Joy tells them someone took her ham and Ash tells someone took his backpack. Misty thinks Jessie and James are behind in this theft, but Joy did not see anyone. Pikachu notices the same footprints, so the gang follows them, while Team Rocket are interested in finding the thief. The heroes come to the end of the trail and Brock thinks it is an ideal place since the wind blows here. Brock makes a sausage decoy from wood and boils it with the real sausage. At the night, the gang anticipates the thief to take the sausage bait. After some time, the thief comes and takes the bait and runs away. Brock is pleased, since it will have to come back for the real sausage. Suddenly, they feel something approaching and soon see it is a group of Pokémon, Houndour.
One of them throws the fake sausage and with their leader's permission, they attack the heroes. Ash sends Cyndaquil and Chikorita, Misty goes to send Staryu (but Psyduck comes out) and Brock his Onix. Cyndaquil evades Houndour's Bite attacks, while Misty orders Psyduck to use Water Gun, but fails. A Houndour goes to attack Psyduck, but gets pushed by Chikorita's Razor Leaf. Another Houndour attacks Ash, but misses, then Chikorita uses Vine Whip. Onix goes to Tackle, but Houndour dodge and cling on Onix. Pikachu uses ThunderShock to scare them, while a Houndour hits Cyndaquil, causing Cyndaquil's flames to ignite. Cyndaquil uses Flamethrower to scare them off. The leader appears and the Houndour retreat. Brock thinks the leader wants to battle Ash, to which Ash accepts. Houndour uses Leer, while Pikachu strikes back with the move. Houndour goes to attack Pikachu, who dodges. Pikachu uses Quick Attack, but misses Houndour. Houndour leaps and goes to use Bite, though Pikachu dodges in time and evades its Flamethrower attack. Pikachu uses Thunder, but fails to hit Houndour.
Houndour and Pikachu are exhausted, but Houndour hear a sound and use Smog. They retreat, so the heroes follow them. The Houndour aid another Houndour, who battles a Golem and collapses. The heroes watch the battle and see the food the Houndour were taking to aid their friend. The Houndour leader uses Flamethrower on Golem, who uses Defense Curl and hits the leader with Rollout. Golem strikes, but Ash manages to rescue Houndour in time. Golem attacks once more, so Chikorita uses Razor Leaf to chase it away. After the battle, Brock sees the collapsed Houndour and sees its wounds get infected. Ash uses a potion and sprays Houndour with it. Houndour is stung with it and whimpers in pain, alerting other Houndour. Ash calls Cyndaquil and Chikorita back, while Brock sees Houndour is suffering from a fever. Ash tells the leader he needs to get to the center to treat the wounds. He puts the wounded Houndour on his back, alerting the other Houndour, but the leader calms them down. Team Rocket appear and want to take the Pokémon and the ham they stole, so Misty deduces they stole Joy's ham and the Houndour from them. The Houndour unite to take care of Team Rocket while the heroes go with the wounded Houndour.
Jessie sends Arbok, while James his Weezing and Victreebel, the latter gnawing on him. The Houndour use Leer, scaring Team Rocket and their Pokémon. Nevertheless, Arbok uses Poiston Sting, Weezing uses Tackle and Victreebel uses Razor Leaf, but they all miss and get scared off by a Flamethrower that lit the lower end of their backs. The heroes run and have to take a break. Ash knows he has to get Houndour to the Center, but falls down. Suddenly, the Houndour appear, so they all help to carry the sick Houndour to the Center. Joy immediately treats it and later, she reports the fever is gone. The heroes are happy, but go outside the Center to see Team Rocket, who release the net to capture the Houndour. Ash, Houndour and Pikachu track them down. With Ash's advice, Houndour jumps high, using Flamethrower to cut the net and Pikachu using Thunderbolt to blast Team Rocket off. Because of this, the Houndour confront Ash and lick him on the face for a thank you. At the Center, the Houndour recovered and Brock gives it the sausage. After they go, the heroes encounter the Houndour the last time, who are pleased by the work they did. After saying goodbye to them, the heroes continue their Johto adventure. Meanwhile, Team Rocket are hanging on a branch, while Wobbuffet observes.
- "We've... got trouble." - Ash
- This episode introduces Dark-type Pokémon in anime.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Hitmontop.
- Pikachu used Leer, but Pikachu cannot learn Leer in the games.
- Ash says that his badges, Poké Balls and Pokédex were in his bag and all his "important stuff" were in his pockets as always. Yet, it is his badges, Poké Balls and Pokédex that he has always been shown to keep on his person (on the inside of his jacket, on his belt and in his pocket respectively).