ByDylan Bonds, writer at
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Dylan Bonds

As you probably know, Team Rocket's Meowth possesses an incredibly rare skill in the Pokémon anime series: he can talk. For usually in the world of Pokémon, the creatures are limited to saying their own name with the occasional squeak or squeal, but Meowth demonstrates a great range of human vocabulary, albeit in an odd Brooklyn accent.

But do you know the heartrending backstory behind his language skills? He didn't just wake up like this. It was a tough and lonely road Meowth travelled on his way to mastering the human language.

Meowthie Goes To Hollywood

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]

In the seventieth episode of the Pokémon anime, 'Go West Young Meowth', we learn about the hardships our lovable villain had to face when trying to make a life for himself.

A flashback begins with a Meowth so hungry he tries to eat baseballs, though he gets caught and dangled from a tree with a rope as punishment for his 'crime'. The starving cat Pokémon cries himself to sleep.

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]

Meowth is awoken by an outside film showing another of his kind living the life of luxury in Hollywood. Inspired by the feline American dream, he vows to reach tinseltown and turn his life around.

Hungry Like The Cat

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]

Hungry and broken, Meowth feels forced to steal to survive and gets accepted into a gang led by a Persian. Through the gang he's able to eat and no longer feels as lonely as he once did, but as Meowth would go on to say, in his own words, "I ate and ate, but I was still starving... for love."

He met a girl called Meowsie who he fell head-over-heels for, however Meowth couldn't give her the luxurious lifestyle she desired. "You're not even human, you're just a street Meowth" she explains.

It was then Meowth decided to learn to talk like a human and stand on his own two feet. Literally.

I Wanna Be Like You

By observing various classes, Meowth learns to tentatively stand upright, but his slow speed means he gets caught stealing very often and beatings serve as his punishment.

He crawls his way back to a roof to continue to spy on the classes, though he feels as though things may never click. Then, after countless hours of practice, he manages to accurately enunciate the 'She sells seashells...' tongue-twister which marks a turning point in his studies.

Our boy Meowth can talk.

Love Hurts But Sometimes It's A Good Kind Of Pain

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]

Having mastered his human posture, Meowth returns to Meowsie to try and warm her heart with his dedication, but it's far from thawed as she turns him away saying that he's still not a human, but a dirty street Meowth with no money.

"You're worse than before, now you're a freak" spits Meowsie. After all that work, Meowth was further from his goal than ever.

It was after this he decided to join Team Rocket to gain power and wealth, though along the way he found true purpose alongside Jessie and James, his new best friends.

Everything Will Be Alright In The End

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]

Meowth ends up seeing Meowsie in present day where she tells the story of her abandonment and joining of the gang he was once apart of himself. Meowth declares he'll rescue her as the rest of the gang surround them, looking to take out Meowth.

However, Meowth has come along way from his lonely beginnings and the rest of Team Rocket arrive on the scene to help their friend out.

A rooftop showdown with Persian ends in one of Meowth's rare victories, but Meowsie chooses to stay with Persian as she still sees the talking Meowth as a freak.

Jesse and James proclaim that he may be odd, but "At least he's our freak!" which shows how Meowth has acquired pals for life, not just fair-weather friends who don't truly care for him.

Maybe Team Rocket ain't so bad after all...

See also:

Have you been watching the latest series of Pokémon? Check out the Sun & Moon trailer here:

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]


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