Over 20 years ago, the Pokémon franchise exploded onto the gaming scene. When Red and Blue came out, we spent our days battling other trainers and trying to catch 'em all ("all", at that point, being 151 'Mons). With each new generation of games, more and more Pokémon have been added to the Pokédex. We've been introduced to new legendaries, had new starter Pokémon to choose from, and seen all kind of weird and wonderful designs make their way into the game. There are Pokémon based on animals, plants, and literal piles of rubbish. Trubbish, we're looking at you.
In general, Nintendo and Game Freak do a reasonable job when it comes to designing new Pokémon. Sure, there's the occasional miss (Klefki and Klingklang spring to mind). However, the fact that we're still getting new Pokémon when there's already over 800 in existence is pretty impressive. For every Klefki, there's a Lunala and a Mimikyu.
As you'd expect with a franchise as popular as Pokémon, there are lots of artistically inclined fans out there who love to put their own spin on various 'Mons. Some people like to make "realistic" versions of Pokémon; others simply like to take existing creatures and rework them in their own unique style. Some of these re-designs work well, and others are a little bit strange. In any case, they're all pretty imaginative!
Here are some fan re-designs of Pokémon that are just too ridiculous for words, whether it's in terms of them being ridiculously good, or ridiculously strange. Some of these designs might just ruin your childhood. You have been warned!
This fan art by Cosmopoliturtle puts a totally new spin on the Generation IV Pokémon Rotom. For anyone who’s not familiar with this intriguing ‘Mon, Rotom is able to change form (and type) according to the appliance it possesses. It can be a washing machine, a lawnmower, or even just its base Electric-Ghost form. However, this reinterpretation of Rotom seemingly gets rid of its Electric origins, which is a pretty bold move. Rotom doesn’t inhabit machines anymore! Instead, it can take the form of a kettle, a washing tub, a scythe, and more. Talk about an interesting twist!
Well, this reinterpretation of Gyarados is ridiculously unsettling! Like, it’s amazing artwork, but this is one fearsome Pokémon. To be fair, Gyarados was always a bit of a beast, especially in its Mega Evolved form. However, Ruth Taylor has taken things further and transformed Gyarados into an actual sea monster.
You can imagine it being the absolute bane of sailors’ existence.
Those teeth could make short work of even the strongest of ships. This depiction of Gyarados makes the fact that it evolves from Magikarp even more incredible. This thing used to be a tiny, ineffective orange fish.
This redesign of Cyndaquil is an attempt to make the Generation II starter look more realistic. Honestly, we think that Twarda8 has done a pretty good job! Sure, you’re probably not going to find an actual shrew with flames coming out of its back… But if you did, it would probably look something like this. To be honest, this realistic Cyndaquil looks a lot scarier than the admittedly pretty cute original. Its sharp teeth and claws are fully on show. It may be small, but it’s fierce!
Oh, Dunsparce. You get so much hate, but it’s not your fault that you’re a terrible Pokémon stat-wise. If you spent hours traversing Johto’s Dark Cave trying to catch this semi-rare ‘Mon, you probably ended up disappointed when you realized how bad it was in battle. Still, at least Shade of Shinon has given Dunsparce’s pretty mediocre design an overhaul in this fan art! Dunsparce is based on the Tsuchinoko, a Japanese mythical snake creature. This reinterpretation seems to reflect the Pokémon’s origins pretty well! It looks much more snake-like than in the games.
If you’re not slightly unsettled by this interpretation of Jigglypuff, you’re lying. Vincent Coviello has turned everyone’s favorite lullaby-singer into the stuff of nightmares. The idea of Jigglypuff being a hairless, fleshy balloon that casually eats wild Drifblims is almost too spooky to bear.
We always imagined Jigglypuff to be a round, fluffy creature.
Here, it’s been turned into a saggy bag of skin. The fact that Wigglytuff would probably be an even bigger version of this monstrosity makes the whole thing even worse. Still, you can’t fault the artist for being imaginative in their re-design!
Talking of slightly scary “realistic” interpretations of Pokémon… Here’s a piece of Bulbasaur fan-art that completely changes the vibe of this Generation I starter! When you actually think about it, Bulbasaur really is a weird creature.
It’s part-plant, part-animal.
It’s basically a miniature dinosaur with a plant stuck on top of it! It also has dangerous vines sprouting out of its body that can do serious damage to other Pokémon. This artwork by SoupAndButter reflects Bulbasaur’s true nature pretty well. It may have been cute in the games, but in reality, this ‘Mon would probably be a bit spooky.
Amongst all of the hundreds of existing Pokémon, Ditto is pretty unique. It’s so genetically unstable that it can transform into its opponent in the midst of battle. The only other Pokémon that can learn Transform is Mew, making some players think that there’s a link between these two creatures. In any case, Ditto’s transformative abilities are pretty strange when you actually think about it, as reflected in this artwork by Tsad. What would Ditto actually look like mid-transformation? Pretty scary, if this art is anything to go by! The Pikachu-Ditto hybrid shown in this image is seriously unsettling.
Ah, Pikachu, everyone’s favorite electric mouse. This Pokémon is arguably the mascot of the entire franchise, mostly thanks to its role in the anime. It’s always seemed like a pretty cute (if dangerously electrically charged) Pokémon. However, in this fan art by Timothy Wilson, Pikachu has clearly hit the gym! It’s now in “hulk mode” thanks to its huge muscles. To be honest, this is an image that we could quite happily have lived without. Why would you put a six pack on a Pikachu? Nobody knows.
17 Meowth And Persian
Meowth and Persian have had an Aztec-style makeover in this artwork by Cryptid-Creations! Meowth looks pretty adorable, although I wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end of those sharp teeth. Persian looks pretty fearsome with its grumpy expression and prominent fangs. The most interesting aspect of this re-design has to be the incorporation of money, though. Ever since Generation I, Pay Day has been Meowth and Persian’s signature move. It causes coins to scatter across the battlefield. These felines’ connection to money is reflected in Persian’s ruff made out of dollars!
In this re-design by Frostlie, the legendary Pokémon Suicune seems to have shape-shifted somewhat. In Pokémon Gold and Silver, it was introduced as one of the Legendary Beasts trio, all of whom are supposed to be dogs.
However, Suicune looks more like a deer in this artwork!
Check out those horns (or are they antlers?). This new Suicune is still connected to ice by the looks of things, and it’s still got a really sleek design. We’d be interested to see what the other Legendary Beasts would look like in this style!
Speaking of legendary Pokémon, it’s time for Generation IV’s Dialga to get a bit of a re-design! In this fan art by Roiuky, Dialga is basically a full-on dinosaur. It looks about as fearsome as you’d expect, considering it’s a powerful beast that can warp time. Still, we’d never have expected it to take the form of what looks to be a stegosaurus! Dialga has kept its original dark blue and silver color scheme, but it’s now got spikes on its back and very sharp teeth. Don’t cross this ‘Mon!
Ludicolo was always a bit of a strange Pokémon. Introduced in Generation III, this Grass-Water type looked like a duck with a lilypad and a pineapple on its head. Its original design is certainly a lot wackier than this interpretation by Vincent Coviello! It’s another “realistic” take on a Pokémon, and it’s predictably creepy. Ludicolo now looks like a fearsome swamp monster. It’s bigger than expected, and its long bill looks pretty dangerous. This Pokémon has been transformed from a gimmick into a monster you wouldn’t want to run into while you’re chilling by the river.
Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam are possibly the most popular Psychic-type Pokémon in the entire franchise. They’ve been part of the Pokémon games since the very beginning, and Alakazam, in particular, is seriously powerful. This fan art by SirHanselot focuses on Kadabra and puts a new spin on this classic ‘Mon. This version of Kadabra still has intense psychic powers (it’s making a spoon bend and float in the air)! However, facially and body-wise, this Psychic-type looks very different. Check out its super-long whiskers!
While Eevee has always been a popular Pokémon, it’s become even more beloved thanks to the release of Let’s Go: Eevee. This cute little ‘Mon becomes your partner Pokémon, and it’s both adorable and powerful. While Eevee’s original design is quite small and cutesy, this re-design by CobaltPlasma gives it a whole new vibe. Eevee is bigger, has a much fluffier “mane”, and looks pretty darn majestic. Its large ears have been exaggerated even further, and its tail has reached new levels of bushiness. We bet all of the Eevee-lutions would look great in this style too!
Along with Kabuto, Omanyte was one of the first Fossil Pokémon to debut in the Pokémon franchise. If you chose the Helix Fossil in Red and Blue, you’d end up with this ammonite Pokémon, which eventually evolves into Omastar. While Omastar’s spiked shell and huge jaws always made it look a little bit scary, this re-imagining by MorkarDFC makes it look even more imposing.
It’s basically a sea monster!
It’s also a lot larger than a regular Omastar. They supposedly only grow to be 1 meter tall, which this beast has clearly surpassed.
Gardevoir has always been a popular Pokémon, both thanks to its power and its design. In its original form, it’s sleek, ethereal, and generally quite majestic. In this fan art by Eoghan Kerrigan, though, it looks more like a character from a Tim Burton movie! That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind. This version of Gardevoir looks suitably unsettling, almost like an evil doll that’s going to use its psychic powers for nefarious means. Maybe it could be a new form of Gardevoir that’s part-Dark type!
If there’s any Pokémon fan art out there that’s going to give you nightmares, it’s probably this re-imagining of Drowzee by Stephen-0akley. We’ve always known that Drowzee has the power to put people to sleep using the move Hypnosis and that it has a tendency to “eat” people’s dreams. However, seeing this process in image form makes you realize just how sinister it is. Pokémon canon confirms that Drowzee prefers to eat the dreams of children since they’re more exciting and thus “tastier”. Clearly, it goes about this by breaking into children’s bedrooms in the middle of the night.
Time to have your childhood totally ruined thanks to one overly “realistic” depiction of a Pokémon. The mythical Pokémon Mew has always given off a cute vibe in the Pokémon games and anime. It’s got a playful nature - quite the opposite of its genetically altered counterpart, Mewtwo.
It’s basically a flying pink kitten!
However, any cuteness that Mew may have once had is nowhere to be seen in this fan art by Twarda8. Instead, Mew’s bug-eyes and seemingly thin skin give it a slightly creepy vibe.
The dual Rock-Ground type Pokémon Geodude has been popular ever since its debut in Generation I. It’s a dependable fighter and a solid bet for an in-game team, even if you have to trade to get its final form, Golem. However, one question has always persisted regarding this rock-with-arms: how does it get around? It has no legs! Does it just float? Well, according to this fanart by Jasper Sandner, it actually walks around on its hands! At least, this reinterpretation of Geodude does. It does make more sense than it simply hovering around every cave in the Pokémon world...
6 Diglett And Dugtrio
Finally, a “realistic” depiction of a Pokémon that’s not completely unsettling! Admittedly, you probably wouldn’t find a three-headed mole in the wild… But anyway! These versions of Diglett and Dugtrio by MrRedButcher look way more like moles than their original designs. They’re no longer just abstract cylinders with oval noses, but living, breathing mammals. You can certainly imagine them digging holes and wreaking havoc across Kanto. It’s an interesting twist to make them star-nosed moles, though! Talk about a thorough re-design!
5 The Generation II Legendaries
If you ever wanted to see the Generation II legendary Pokémon as chickens, well, you’re in luck. MrRedButcher has created this very original fan art that depicts just that! Ho-Oh and Lugia are now very colorful hens, which makes some amount of sense considering they’re both birds to start with. Well, Lugia is more of a bird/sea monster hybrid… But anyway The Legendary Beasts (Suicune, Entei, and Raikou) are cute little baby birds in this scenario. We didn’t know we needed this in our lives until right now. How adorable do they look?
This version of Vaporeon by SoupAndButter is practically unrecognizable when you compare it to this ‘Mon’s original design. Vaporeon has always been a bright blue, very sleek and feline Pokémon. This creature is, for one thing, purple… And it’s also basically a collection of webbed skin and spikes.
In a way, this redesign makes sense.
Vaporeon is a Water-type Pokémon, after all, it would make more sense for it to have streamlined skin than blue fur. However, it’s hard to reconcile our original concept of this cute Eevee-lution with a slimy sea creature.
3 The Original Starters
Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle are three of the most recognizable Pokémon out there, mainly thanks to the fact they’ve been around since the very beginning! They were the starters that we all had to choose from when playing Red and Blue, and they consequently have a special place in our hearts. In this fan art by ChasingArtwork, these three fan favorites have received a mechanic redesign! They’re no longer living, breathing creatures, but robots instead. What would the Pokémon world be like if it were populated by androids instead of actual ‘Mons? A concept for a future game, perhaps...
Camerupt may not be a “famous” Pokémon, but anyone who’s played Ruby and Sapphire will surely recognize it. This Pokémon evolves from Numel and is a popular Fire-type in these games. While Camerupt always slightly resembled a camel, its real-world origins have been played up in this artwork by Turtle-Arts! It’s certainly got a hump, even if it does take the form of a mini volcano that’s stuck to its back. It’s a lot less short and stubby than Camerupt’s original form, and it certainly looks a bit more “realistic!”
Talk about an atmospheric piece of fan art! This work by JoJoesArt depicts Raikou, the Electric-type member of the Legendary Beasts trio. While Raikou has mostly kept its original form from the games, its color scheme has become much more muted, and its eyes are substantially more unsettling! This ‘Mon looks really quite dangerous, it’s harnessing the power of lightning, after all. Its purple “mane” looks more like smoke than actual fur, making Raikou look all the more ethereal. Don’t cross this beast!