For a couple of decades now, Pokémon trainers of all shapes and sizes have been attempting to be the very best there ever was, be it in Pokémon Red and Blue or the modern era, Sun and Moon. One trainer in particular has garnered more attention than most, thanks to being featured as the main hero in the anime series and other media: Ash Ketchum.
Of course, every fan knows about the strongest mons Ash was able to collect on his journey -- from his seemingly humble Pikachu to his temperamental Charizard. Few, however, pay attention to those on the bottom of the pokéball.
Today we are going to take a look at the mons Ash was better off without using -- at least in battle. There is room for interpretation as to what constitutes a win on some of these, as a few battles didn't count, and others were unofficial, so we will primarily be using win/loss records in official arena and gym battles.
Winning and losing aren't the end-all-be-all for this list either, however. Sometimes a mon can have a decent record but still be a liability to the team thanks to epic fails or due to a personality issue. Of course, winning is the most important criterion for appearing on this list, as defeating those gyms is Ash's whole reason for trying to collect them all.
Here are Ash's 15 Weakest Pokémon in the Anime.
Ash captured 30 Tauros when they kept interfering with his attempts to capture as many Kanto mons as he could -- something Pokémon Go players can sympathize with (we’re looking at you, Paras). It was the one species that Ash had more of than any other.
The scene is worth a watch if you haven't seen it in a while, as the Tauros keep running out in front of Ash's balls as he tosses them in vain at other mons. Frustrating and hilarious, it's made all the better by the sheer number of times it ends up happening. However, quantity doesn’t mean quality in this case, as the one he used in battle had a record of 1-3-1 in official battles, putting it decidedly on the wrong side of the column when it came to results.
Still, Tauros remains a popular mon among the fandom thanks to its gregarious and energetic personality.
Now would be a good time to point out that this list doesn’t take into account evolutions of each mon. For example, when the Torterra was a humble Turtwig, and then subsequently a Grotle, it held its own against a handful of powerful opponents, even if it didn’t always come out on top. But as it evolved, it somehow became less effective in the arena, 4-5 in official battles, and an embarrassing 4-11 overall if you count all fights it was involved in.
Much of this can be attributed to a loss in speed -- the Turtwig was a lightning fast little bruiser while the later forms were slower and focused on defense. Heck, as a Grotle it got tired just from walking and carrying its own fat heinie! This problem only grew as it grew, and the slower than slow Torterra was the final result. Needless to say, this is one mon Ash was better off leaving with Professor Oak.
Unfezant was Ash’s first catch in Unova, and it was a disappointing introduction to the region. Boasting a paltry 2-2 record, Unfezant was, however, helpful in other ways, often aiding other mons in their training and was known to be among the first to rush to the rescue whenever a character needed it.
One of its two wins was in its first appearance, immediately after evolving from a beaten down Tranquill. But its desire to help the other mons is what cost it a few times -- most notably when it jumped in to save Iris and a Dragonite from the Kami Trio's Thundurus. Still, it lost to Cameron’s Riolu -- a dubious defeat in which it not only should have been the better mon but also had the type advantage -- which alone qualifies it for this list.
Muk was only used in two battles, where it went 1-1 overall, before having to be shipped off due to its stench. In fact, the odor was so bad that it seeped through the pokéball it was kept in and served only to be a nuisance to the team.
Its first appearance showed that it had too much stank on its flank to be a good traveling companion, as it was found leading a group of the also-pungent Grimers and was almost immediately tossed to Professor Oak.
Here’s a tip: if a mon is so full of malodorous stench that it can’t even come along in a sealed container then it probably isn’t much use to its trainer -- though later appearances showed it coexisting alongside other mons without much issue, so maybe the good professor was able to de-funk it some.
Another mon with an even record at 2-2 in official matches, Gliscor was, like Torterra, abysmal in unofficial duels, going 2-5-1. Additionally, one of its victories was against Byron’s Bastiodon after the ugly little bonehead had already been softened up by two other mons. Other battles showed that even having opponents softened up in advance wasn't always enough, though it fared well against Paul's Drapion when it was the fourth mon in.
Its constant crying and fear of heights -- not to mention that time it didn't want to even battle -- also made it somewhat annoying (seriously, how can a flying type be afraid of heights?!), and it was more of a liability than an asset whenever it showed up. Ash must've been relieved when he shipped this mon off to the professor.
Everybody loves them some Lapras, right? A solid dual water/ice type, the Loch Ness Monster of Pokémon sure was handy for Ash and his squad to get around on -- and that’s about it.
The only two battles Lapras was used in don’t even really count. One was a mutual KO against Drake’s Gengar, when Lapras pretty much just collided with Gengar and they both were knocked out, and in the other it just froze a geyser before getting dropped by Danny’s Nidoqueen.
But hey, if you need a ride, Lapras is your mon, as it was shown to be reliable transportation and even won a race against Cissy and her Blastoise.
It's a popular mon, and it had its usefulness, even if Ash never was able to use it in a proper battle.
Totodile is an interesting case. It has one official victory -- against a freaking Charizard no less -- and it singlehandedly took out Team Rocket in its initial appearance prior to being captured. Unfortunately, its victories end there, as it lost in its subsequent four attempts.
Its real victory, however, was its sweet nature and its attempts at wooing an Azumarill with its charm and ability to spit water into the shape of a heart. Though it failed at that, its attentions were then focused on a Quagsire (hey, there's no accounting for taste) and it was often shown dancing and playing with other mons -- sometimes to their annoyance.
While we love the little mon as much as anybody else, its 1-4 record forces us to reluctantly put it on this list.
Snivy will probably be among the least controversial on this list. Aside from its poor 1-3 record, its personality is somewhat wanting. A bit on the snobbish side, and even a bit of a bully when it comes to a few others on the team, like the cute Emolga, Snivy tends to rub most fans the wrong way. It was claimed that this was simply because Snivy had higher standards for its trainers and its fellow mons, but it mostly just came off as abrasive and snooty.
Still, there are a few fans out there of this grass type -- probably limited to those who used it as their own starter in Pokémon Black and White. For the rest of us, including Ash, Snivy was better off as checking the box in the Pokédex and then forgetting about forever.
Another fan favorite, Palpitoad went 1-2-1 in official matches, though its record in unofficial duels is a much more palatable 3-2-1. In fact, even in its losses, it fought hard and was shown to be fairly tough. Bossy and territorial, Palpitoad was shown to be a leader among the other mons and is well-liked by most. But in the end, its losing record is bad enough that Ash was better off leaving it out of the battle when he needed a win.
Its losses include a brutal beatdown by Roxie's Garbodor, despite being the fifth mon in. Elesa's Zebstrika also took it down despite having a massive type advantage -- ruining Ash's entire plan for the battle and torpedoing his chances at taking the gym.
Heracross finishes just barely under 50% with a 2-3 record. This massively strong mon is kind of a jerk too, always trying to eat Bulbasaur’s sap and pushing some other mons around -- and anybody who comes after our homie Bulbasaur is already suspect.
It also suffers from a very short attention span and can lose battles simply by being baited with jars of sweet nectar, as shown when Team Rocket used some as bait in order to abscond with Pikachu.
While nominally a fairly strong mon with solid battle power and defense, this giant bug was a nuisance. Even without its losing record, this inability to focus on the job at hand makes for a huge weakness that is enough to slide it into this list.
Boldore was only used in three official battles -- but it lost two of them, including a loss to Roxie's Koffing. Like the Torterra, it was more useful in its previous form, the Roggenrola, when it used its super hearing to locate Audino in one case, and helped the team escape Team Rocket by pushing their train cart away.
As Boldore, however, it was ineffectual and didn’t do much either in the arena or in other quests, though it did have an epic finish against Team Rocket in Best Wishes when it launched them away for a final time in the series. Its somewhat friendly demeanor and occasional good showings belie the fact that its usefulness was limited overall -- even if it pains us to include it.
It may seem like we are picking on the water type Pokémon in this list, but they do tend to have a losing record on the show. Oshawott’s 2-3-1 record is a good example of a mon with a lot of charisma, but little capability.
Like Totodile, it was prone to crushing on other mons -- though in Oshawott’s case it actually cost the team when it fell for Meloetta, as did Emolga and Piplup, leading to rivalries between them.
It also fell for Snivy and had a very jealous nature when it came to Ash himself. Team cohesion is enough of a reason for Ash to ditch this cute mon.
Maybe after it matures some under the care of Professor Oak Oshawott will be able to rejoin the squad and journey on without creating love triangles everywher it goes.
One of the original starters and a longtime fan favorite, Ash’s Squirtle simply wasn't up to snuff on the show.
It technically had a winning record at 6-4, but that was the worst among the ones Ash obtained early on besides one -- which we’ll get to in a moment. Not only that, but the mistakes made by Squirtle endanger the team in significant ways, such as the time it got them trapped underground with aggressive prehistoric Pokémon, and when it blew Ash’s cover when it bailed on the “magic box” trick he was trying to pull.
Still, Squirtle is a sentimental favorite for longtime fans of the series, as it was the first most of us obtained way back when, so we are willing to forgive it for messing Ash up once in awhile.
There’s no way to be gentle about this next one, so we’ll just say it: Torkoal sucks. With a record of 2-6-1, it was used much more often than most, but it failed so often that it boggles the mind why Ash kept choosing it. Not only did it lose all the time, but it often was knocked out in one blow -- even occasionally crying over its repeated failures.
It once lost to Team Rocket and was captured, and it was one-shotted by Norman's Vigoroth and even got KO'd in a couple of practice matches between Ash's other mons. Heck, Torkoal couldn’t even kick a soccer ball without falling over.
While the lowly fire-type tortoise was cute and sweet, it was just terrible in a fight. But not as bad as our final offering…
Oh, Pidgeotto, how can you fail so hard? Ash’s first evolved mon, and his second one overall, you would think it would at least serve as an early crutch. Not so much -- it even lost to Team Rocket and got owned by Ash’s Caterpie. It goes on to lose to such dubious opponents as a Pinsir, a Starmie, and even a freaking Weedle gave it a run for its money.
If you think evolving it would save its standing, you would be wrong as Ash released the Pidgeot into the wild almost immediately to protect the pidgeys in the area from the nefarious Spearows, vowing to return. He never did go back for it, and we can’t blame him because of its questionable track record.
Which of Ash's Pokémon do you think is weakest? Sound off in the comments!