Friday, August 11, 2023

Friday Creature Feature - Snorlax

It's 1996, you're playing Pokemon Red/Blue, exploring the world when just outside of Lavender Town you encounter a giant Pokemon sleeping in the road. You try to interact with it only to constantly be told it's sleeping and won't wake up. Further exploration reveals another Pokemon sleeping outside of Celadon City, also unable to wake up and also blocking your path south. Fast forward a massive side quest and finally you obtain a Pokeflute that, when played, wakes sleeping beauty up. 

And then you have your first encounter with Snorlax. 

Snorlax: The Mood Pokemon

Snorlax's lore is not that impressive. He doesn't lure wayward children into swamps. He's not the god of time or a genetic anomaly with X-Men level powers. Snorlax has three different modes: Sleep, eat, battle. 

When he's hungry enough, Snorlax will wander the land eating everything remotely resembling food in sight until he is satisfied (mood). Then he will fall asleep wherever he lands, and considering he weighs over 1000 lbs he becomes a feature of whatever landscape he's decided to sleep in (also mood). When he's awoken by something other than hunger, he will wake up mad and try to destroy whoever had the audacity to wake him up (once again: mood) using a series of Normal type attacks like Body Slam and Hyper Beam until his opponents are either destroyed or he is (you should know what the running gag is at this point but... mood). 

If players end up catching one of the sleeping Snorlax in Red/Blue they will have with them a reasonably powerful ally for a good chunk of the game, as he has hit points for days and some useful heavy attacks, though he's not so overpowered that in the early games trainers were clamoring for him on their team when going up against the Elite 4. 

Later games didn't do much to boost the Snorlax profile. He's never evolved, though he did gain a baby form in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl named Munchlax. He never had a mega form or had any additions made to his lore. He did have a Gigantamax form in Pokemon Sword/Shield but so did a good chunk of Pokemon, The anime had Ash catch a Snorlax, and a few gags were made about how his pokeball was heavier than the other Pokemon's but he never really saved the day in any episode. 

So if he doesn't have an impressive backstory and he isn't a game breaking party member, why do so many people love Snorlax? 


Snorlax is probably the most relatable Pokemon in the entire series, since his entire life cycle basically breaks down to someone's dream day off. He's just a big cute fluffball that looks comfy to sleep on, reminiscent of Totoro who he is often compared to. Thanks to his popularity he is one of the few non-Pikachu Pokemon to get a robust merchandise line as people want to see, cuddle with, or be Snorlax.

Frankly, despite eating an entire Costco trip worth of food every meal, Snorlax is one of the few Pokemon anyone would actually want inside their house, since his mere presence isn't going to burn the house down or open a portal through time and space. He'll just sit there, ready to cuddle whenever you are, won't judge you if you kill off an entire bag of Cheetos in one sitting, and if anyone tries to bother you he'll sit on them for you. 

Let's face it: That's everything you'd ever want in a pet, a Pokemon, or a life partner. 


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