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 (which wakes up Pikachu). He then asks them for food, but they don't have any, so they continue on their way. Then the hippie says, "Oh, well. Another free concert." Shortly after, Team Rocket arrives, and are rude toward the hippie when he plays them a song and asks them for food. After they walk away, he mentions that they should learn to respect their elders.
Ash and company reach the town, only to find that there is no food, as there are no ingredients for cooking any food. The mayor of the town gives them food and tells them that the village is unable to get any food because the river has dried up, killing all the produce. So, Ash and his friends head upstream to check it out. They run into thorns, and Misty gets cut by one of them. With the help of Ash's Bulbasaur and its Razor Leaf, they get through the thorns to find that the flow of the river is being blocked by a Snorlax, which is very big and weighs close to 1000 pounds.
Ash, Misty, and Brock try to wake Snorlax up. Ash even attempts to capture the Pokémon, but the Template:Ball just bounces right off of Snorlax's belly. Soon after, Team Rocket arrives. Team Rocket 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 to their hot-air balloon doesn't work, so they decide to try to wake up Snorlax once again. After an alarm clock and a bucket of water prove unsuccessful, they decide to try the Sleeping Beauty approach, and get a Pokémon to kiss Snorlax. Misty tries to have Horsea kiss Snorlax (because it is the "most noble" of all their Pokémon), but Psyduck releases itself from its Poké Ball and kisses it instead. Team Rocket forces Meowth to kiss Snorlax, but even this doesn't wake it up, even though Snorlax seemed 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. They remember the hippie had a Pokémon flute, and run over to him to ask him to wake up Snorlax. However, Ash, Misty, and Brock get into an argument with Team Rocket, and eventually Jessie tries to attack with Arbok, but a Gust attack from Pidgeotto sends them "blasting off again".
Ash and his friends take the hippie to the Snorlax. As it turns out, the hippie owns the Snorlax. He wakes Snorlax up with his Poké Flute, but the river is still blocked. The real source of the blockage is more thorns, but the thorns turn out to be Snorlax's favorite snack item. The hungry Pokémon eats all of the thorns, successfully unplugging the river and ultimately saving the town.
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 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 was done to reference Sleeping Beauty and Snow White being awakened by their prince's kiss.