|Episode name pun on: Either the term "Stray Bullet" or the song by KMFDM "Stray Bullet"|
|Airdate:||July 5, 2002|
"Nano of the North"
Stray Bullet is episode 9 of season 4 of the Powerpuff Girls. It aired on July 5th, 2002.
While enjoying some family time in Townsville's local forest, Bubbles saves a helpless little squirrel from a hawk, who attempts to harm the poor creature. As she and her sisters stare at it, the squirrel loses its consciousness. It wakes up again with the girls still gazing at it, only this time the squirrel is in a box in the girls' room. Buttercup then asks what they should name it. Blossom and Bubbles suggest girl names while Buttercup suggests a boy name. They then get into an argument on declaring if it's a boy or girl (the squirrel's gender is never confirmed, but it is mostly referred to as a "she"). The Professor then enters their room and tells the girls that the squirrel may not make it and there's nothing he can do. Sometime after the lights are out, Bubbles gains an idea. She races to the lab and gives the squirrel three drops of Chemical X before getting into bed. The next morning, the Professor awakens the girls and tells them the squirrel is sleeping. Instantly, the girls receive a call from the Mayor. Blossom and Buttercup dash away, but Bubbles stays. With a little support from her father, Bubbles chases after her sisters. When the girls arrive at the Mayor's office, they find evidence that Mojo Jojo has been there and they fly to his lab only to discover they've fallen into his trap. Before he can destroy them, a figure surrounded by orange light defeats Mojo and frees the girls. The orange light is shown to be the squirrel and Bubbles tells her sisters she gave the squirrel Chemical X in order to save it. Instead of being mad, Buttercup says it should fight crime with them, but before it can they have to do something first.
Now at home, the girls hold a ceremony and welcome the squirrel into the family. In the Powerpuff tradition, Blossom prepares to give it a "B" name. Buttercup tries to comment on the name Bruce, but Blossom shushes her for interrupting and then names their new pet Bullet and it begins to fight crime alongside the girls. A few days later, Bullet hears the cries of a baby mouse in trouble and races to save it. The girls follow and watch Bullet battle with the same hawk that nearly killed her. Bullet defeats the hawk and is thanked by the woodland creatures, but Bullet's fame is short-lived when the girls call her to come home. On the way back, the girls notice Bullet looking back toward the forest only to see the squirrel fly back. Once caught up to Bullet, Bubbles talks to the squirrel. Bullet tells her that she's worried about the animals into the forest and wants to stay and protect them. Blossom and Buttercup tell Bubbles to tell Bullet they need her and she should stay with them, but Bubbles tells Bullet to stay in the forest. At first, when they hear this, Blossom and Buttercup are in total shock but after laying some ground, they finally understand and say their farewells to Bullet.
Once the girls have left, Bullet rescues a baby rabbit and the animals welcome the Powerpuff Squirrel as their protector.
- Bullet is the only member of the Powerpuff Girls who is not a human.
- This is Bullet's first episode appearance.
- This is the first episode to air after The Powerpuff Girls Movie's release.
- Despite have being produced by Cartoon Network Studios instead of Hanna-Barbera, it shows the latter's logo at the end.
- Even though she chose to live in the forest, Bullet is still a PPG member.
- This is the second episode where the girls add a new member to their team. The first was "Twisted Sister."
- This is the second episode where the girls miraculously avoid getting hypnotized, the first one was in Beat Your Greens.
- Blossom's summoning of the Girls, Professor, and Bullet with the toy microphone set to celebrate the promotion of Bullet to be a Powerpuff Girl is a direct reference to Sheriff Woody summoning the committee of toys in the Pixar-animated 1995 movie Toy Story. Blossom's line "Testing, testing. Is this thing on?" is identical to Woody's dialogue, and the mic set in the episode is identical to that in the movie.
- This episode is the last episode to use the 2000 circle designs of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, which first appeared in the episode "Cootie Gras".
- This is the first episode to air after the release of The Powerpuff Girls Movie.
- The pose Bullet does in the ending is similar to Bunny's.
- The forest where Bullet lives is essentially a woodland version of Townsville, complete with a gopher/groundhog that resembles the Mayor, a fox that resembles Miss Bellum, and a firefly that acts and makes the same sound as the Powerpuff Hotline.
- There is a Powerpuff Girls DC comic with a similar plot.
- This episode has a few references to the Disney movie "Inspector Gadget". Both Bullet and Inspector Gadget's secret identity (i.e. John Brown) seem to be in intensive care after an accident. Both are also brought back to life and transformed into a brand-new crime-fighting hero. And, the hawk who causes Bullet's accident bears strong resemblance to Dr. Claw (a.k.a. Sandford Scolex), the villain of that movie.
- Buttercup insists throughout the episode on that Bullet should be named Bruce. This could possibly be a reference to the artist Bruce Springsteen, as this episode does have the exact same name as one of his songs.
- The subliminal message that flashes onscreen while Bullet is beating up Mojo Jojo reads, "NUTS".
- This is the sixth episode to have a character gain superpowers. First was Mojo Jojo in "Mr. Mojo's Rising," second was Princess Morbucks in "Mo Job," third was the children in "Mojo Jonesin'," fourth was the Gangreen Gang in "Power Lunch," and the fifth was Professor Utonium in "Powerprof."
- When Powerpuff Girls and Bullet notice crying cats, Blossom's hair bangs are red instead of orange.
- When Buttercup destroys the flasher and during the removal of the three trucks, the girls' dresses are black, with the belts in their respective colors.
- The flypaper in Mojo's observatory isn't shown until he mentions it. Instead, it looks like the girls are standing on the regular floor.
- Blossom has pink hair when the girls are sleeping.
- Although this episode premiered in 2002, it was produced in 2001 according to the credits.