There is no fan base out there quite like that of the widely popular Nintendo series, Pokémon. With over 20 years of history and dedicated players, and 800+ battle-ready pocket monsters, there are so many memories to reminisce on. With so many Pokémon for players to catch, there are those that sport an awesome and creative design while there are those who fall on the other side of the spectrum completely.
Now to be clear this is more about those Pokémon that just leave the player scratching their heads, wondering what the hell they’re looking at. Some of them are just very uninspired and uncreative while others are just stupidly designed. Piles of sludge, two-tailed monkeys, explosive balls, vine monsters, and a keychain; Pokémon has many beloved creatures in its universe, but these are definitely crawling at the bottom of the fictional barrel of animated creativity.
A lot of these Pokémon can be seen as unbelievably unnecessary and painfully uninteresting aside from attempting to catch ‘em all. There are a surprisingly large amount of Pokémon that are definitely forgettable, as well as those whose design just makes absolutely no sense. So let's stop wasting time and get into it…
While there are a ton of cool, yet simple Pokémon designs in the first generation, it’s pretty obvious that we romanticize about the first generation for what it did for the series and our childhoods. One such Pokémon that we love, though we shouldn't, is the adorable little white seal, called Seel.
First of all, let’s talk about the incredibly creative name (that’s sarcasm). It is a seal, called Seel. That’s about as uncreative as it can get when it comes to names for the many Pocket Monsters. His design is also simple, since he is just a white seal with a single horn on his head. Other than that, he is very bland and boring looking. His evolution isn’t any better, since he is just a larger version of Seel with all the same physical characteristics.
There are so many Pokémon that are just versions of everyday things. One of those is Trubbish, a Gen. 5 Poison-type Pokémon who is quite literally a living pile of trash. Pokémon Black & White weren’t very popular to begin with in terms of story and everything, but it was also littered with Pokémon like this where you just really have to wonder what were they thinking.
If a trash bag with arms isn’t stupid enough, its evolution, Garbodor, is just an even larger pile of trash that has grown too large for its bag. It’s like Game Freak just put a New York City street into one of their delightful little pocket monsters. How short on ideas must you be to greenlight two bags of garbage?
Whose idea was this? Lickitung is, without a doubt, the creepiest looking Pokémon to ever be created. Few other Pokémon make you have to stop and take a second to look like this one. It's a human-sized tongue monster whose tongue is perpetually hanging outside its mouth... yeah, there is no way that’s creepy.
Can we also please take a second to talk about how that giant tongue is just about as large as the rest of Lickitung’s body. When its mouth is shut, where the hell does that thing go? Also, its mouth isn’t that large, so that also begs the question of how it is able to eat? There is just very little that makes sense about the overall design of this Pokémon. Even after 20 years, it’s still one of those head scratchers!
The first-generation Grass-type Tangela is a bit of an oddball. It’s a fan favorite who made his way on to quite a few trainers' teams in the original games. It’s nothing too crazy in terms of its overall design, being just a bundle of tangled vines with an adorable pair of red rubber boots (where did it find those anyway). He also holds one of Pokémon’s longest running mysteries in the form of what it really looks like under all those vines.
Fast-forward to the fourth generation and we are “treated” to an unnecessary and pointless new evolution to the fan-favorite vine monster. Tangrowth is nothing more than a taller Tangela with a pair of arms. He is definitely one of the many Pokémon that nobody was asking for.
A walking rock. Honestly, I don't know what else to sat about this Pokémon. He's a round rock with three other rocks protruding from it. It's boring to look at and it's boring to have in your team. The series is filled with Rock-type Pokémon who are nothing more than a pile of rocks and that is exactly what Roggenrola and his evolutions, Boldore and Gigalith, are. While Gigalith looks badass, he starts out as a rough and rugged walking egg.
Plus, let’s just talk about his name. Why the wordplay on “rock and roll?” I just don’t understand what he is supposed to represent or be contributing to the series. Maybe it’s just above my head somehow, but he seems completely pointless and dangerously uncreative.
Pokémon’s fifth generation featured some of the worst designed Pokémon in the entire series. While it helps to bring more Ice-type Pokémon into the series, which were sorely under represented throughout the series, unfortunately for us players, three of those new Ice-type Pokémon are in the same evolutionary chain. This chain is comprised of all Pokémon designed after ice cream cones, from a kids cone to a waffle cone to a double scoop waffle cone.
The bottom of the barrel doesn’t even begin to describe where they got these ideas from. Plus, it must be horrifying for them in the summer time, as they need to see kids eating all these desserts that look just like them. What a horrifying existence in the otherwise happy world of Pokémon.
I imagine the conversation went, “oh crap, we need another Pokémon idea! Just slap some eyes on a Pokéball and call it a day!” There's no Pokémon in the entire series with a more simplistic and basic design than the first-generation Pokémon, Voltorb and its evolution, Electrode.
When Voltorb evolves at level 30 into Electrode, the only changes are that his colors flip and he becomes a little larger. The Electric-type is nothing more than an explosive dual-colored ball. Way to go Nintendo, you really blew these two out of the water in terms of creativity. After all these years, you would think there would have at least been a new, more interesting, addition to the evolution chain.
To preface what I’m about to say about Wailord, it is actually one of my favorite Pokémon. Its size, strength, and sheer power, when you realize how big it is, is crazy. That being said, its size is perhaps its biggest flaw.
While it is a really cool concept to have a Pokémon that weighs about 900 pounds and is just shy of 48 feet long, it becomes really impractical to actually own an aquatic Pokémon that is about the size of a five-story building. In a world whose slogan is “Gotta catch ‘em all,” it’s foolish to own a Pokémon that will almost never be able to be removed from its Poké Ball for fear of destroying a small town. It's a cool concept in thought, but the logistics of it are ridiculous when you actually break it down.
Not all Gen. 1 Pokémon are as creative and cleverly designed as others. Another perfect example of this is the Poison-type sludge Pokémon, Muk. While Muk is a pretty useful Pokémon when it comes to actual battles, you can’t really defend this Gen. 1 Pokémon design when you realize he is just a purple pile of sludge and pollution.
This same argument goes for his pre-evolution stage, Grimer, who is almost exactly the same in appearance, except for the fact that he's a little smaller. I mean what else can I really say about Gen 1. Pokémon that I haven’t already said numerous times; it all comes down to their overwhelming simplicity that is the primary detractor from their designs. Some riskier designs wouldn’t have hurt.
What is better than a monkey with one hand for a tail? A monkey with two hands for a tail! That’s essentially all there is to Ambipom. The design of this Pokémon differs very little from the pre-evolved form, Aipom, and while I can understand why they shouldn’t change too much, I would expect a little bit more of a change than a monkey sprouting a second-hand tail.
It is not clever and just results in an odd-looking creature with hands that resemble extremely long nipples for some odd reason. He isn’t even that powerful, making for an awkward and pretty useless Pokémon that's rarely used. While he is one of the more ridiculous Gen. 4 Pokémon out there, there is still one more that takes the cake for stupid evolution design.
Nosepass was a pretty cool idea for a Pokémon! A Pokémon who is essentially a living compass and whose nose is drawn to the north pole. Clearly there was only one thing missing from this Gen. 3 Rock type and that thing was a glorious fuzzy metal mustache.
Nosepass received this awkward and incredibly unnecessary evolution in Gen. 4, along with many other pre-existing Pokémon, though Probopass is by far the strangest. I understand that the mustache is supposed to be magnetic shavings attracted to the magnetic polarity of his nose, but it’s still unbelievable that they just made a bigger legless Nosepass with a mustache as his defining characteristic. It's a strange design choice to say the least and there had to be a better design option out there. Or they could have just not given him an evolution.
I place Unfezant in the highest regard when it comes to unbelievably forgettable and uninteresting Pokémon in the series. Every generation in the series has their own version of the boring normal-type bird Pokémon that you can catch right at the beginning of the game and Pidove, all the way up to its final evolution Unfezant, are the absolute worst of them all.
It has no real distinguishing characteristics aside from the bright pink mask it wears. Except its only on the female Unfezants. It is an evolution chain that most just prefer to ignore and you will most likely find it on no one’s team.
First of all, I can’t lie, I have a love for Mawile that few other Pokémon can measure up to. However, when you can take away the love and look at it from an outside view, you can see that it’s a very odd and foolish looking Pokémon to say the least. Mawile’s main offensive capabilities have it using its own hair as its main weapon.
It often uses its hair as a distraction, using its hair to throw off opponents before striking and defeating its enemies. However, its hair is really the only recognizable thing about it. It’s stupid looking when you really look at it and that’s all there is to it.
So, you’re going to tell me that Pokémon’s marquee mascot Pikachu is an electric mouse, who has both an evolution and pre-evolution and, somehow, they had the nerve to reuse the exact same idea for another Pokémon in the series when the series’ sixth generation came around?
Dedenne is a small, Electric-type mouse Pokémon that also has a set of electric patches on its cheeks. Somehow, they get away with making the same Pokémon, but smaller and this 'Mon is somehow not related in any way to the face of the franchise. Talk about reusing the same ideas. Dedenne isn’t even the most useful Pokémon when it comes to his offensive capabilities further detracting from his overall appeal.
A keychain. This Pokémon is a freaking keychain. Someone at Game Freak thought that it would be a fantastic idea to make a Fairy/Steel-type Pokémon that is a keychain. I genuinely thought that Gen. 7 would feature a new Pokémon by the name of Hatrakky, which is just a Grass/Fairy coat rack Pokémon.
Thankfully, this is pretty much as bad as it gets within the Pokémon world in terms of crappy and lazy design. While others may be boring, uncreative, or generic looking, Klefki takes the cake for the being one of the few who are just plain stupid looking. Honestly, I see no redeeming qualities to his design. I sincerely hope that this kind of lazy crappy design never reappears within the Pokémon world again.