With over eight hundred monsters now propping up the Pokémon franchise, not all of them are expected to be stone cold classics. The bulk of these monsters – particularly in the less popular generations – aren’t necessarily bad, just forgettable and unable to inspire the same kind of loyal following that Charizard and Pikachu did back in the day. There are, however, a select few creatures in the Pokémon universe who are more than just forgettable; they're straight-up annoying.
Whether it’s because they're damn-near impossible to defeat, troublesome to catch or just a visual reminder that the Pokémon design team sometimes completely runs out of good ideas, not all Pokémon are created equal. In fact, for every Pokémon that makes players want to grab their backpack, leave home at eleven, and head to the nearest Gym, there’s another that makes you want to throw your Pokéballs away, snap the game cartridge in half and go back to playing Tetris instead. Here at 15 Pokémon That Are Just Incredibly Annoying.
Starting with one of the more obvious annoyances in the Pokémon franchise, Magikarp is infamous for its ability to use the move Splash and... not much else. Of course, most Pokémon trainers will be aware that if they persevere with training this useless flapping fish, it’ll eventually evolve into the mighty beast Gyarados and that reward is certainly worth the toil.
Until the point of evolution however, Magikarp is one of the most startlingly useless Pokémon available and because of this, it takes an age to level up. Battling against them isn’t much fun either as although the fish will likely go down after one swift hit, the puny amount of experience points you’ll receive in return is hardly worth the effort. Special sympathy should be reserved for those first-time players who were tricked into buying one of these creatures at the Mt. Moon Poké Center instead of simply waiting until they received the Old Rod.
Although Vanillish may not be anywhere near as hopeless on the battlefield as Magikarp, the Pokémon has one of the most widely derided designs in the entire franchise. The games had based creatures on inanimate objects before – for example, Magnemite and Exeggcute in Generation I - but Vanillish took that concept and truly jumped the shark with it. Whilst those First Generation Pokémon felt playful and intriguing, Vanillish just looks ridiculous.
And this is incredibly annoying because, appearances aside, Vanillish and its evolutionary counterparts are solid Ice type Pokémon with decent move-sets. But with only six spaces in a trainer’s party, does any player really want to carry around a grinning ice cream? Along with a few others highlighted later in this list, Vanillish was one of the first Pokémon that truly suggested the franchise was running out a good ideas for its new monsters.
There’s nothing particularly wrong about Voltorb - or its evolved form, Electrode – in terms of its appearance or ability in battle but anyone that’s played the original Red, Blue and Yellow trio of video games will know exactly why this Electric type is one of the biggest nuisances in the series.
Although exploring the Power Plant dungeon near Cerulean City is entirely optional, it’s also home to several useful items and rare Pokémon such as Electabuzz and the fabled legendary bird, Zapdos. However, the player’s progress through this stage is hindered hugely by the many Voltorbs and Electrodes scattered around that are indistinguishable from the various items on the ground. Going to pick up a handy Ultra Ball or Max Potion and instead being attacked by a relatively strong Voltorb is far from fun and made even worse by the creature's penchant for using the moves Self Destruct and Explode, both of which causes huge amounts of damage.
There are plenty of amazing Pokémon designs in the Gold and Silver generation but Unown is not one of them. The Pokémon is based on the concept of hieroglyphs and as such, there are twenty six (later twenty eight) separate forms of this creature for players to catch. Unown is visually uninspiring and not a whole lot of use in battle either and so whoever at Game Freak thought players might enjoy catching almost thirty of these creatures was obviously having a bad day when they came up with the idea.
Even worse, after spending hours wandering around the Ruins of Alph collecting all the different Unown variants, the player doesn’t actually receive any tangible form of reward other than a small feeling of accomplishment and growing sense of disappointment. The Pokémon seriously stretches a player’s dedication to the “gotta catch ‘em all” slogan but Unown’s presence in the game might have been improved if it only needed to be caught once and could then morph into different letters.
Early in the Pokémon anime series, Ash has a quite hilarious Metapod vs. Metapod battle with another trainer and the resulting Hardening contest nicely sums up the feelings of anyone who has tried to raise one of these Pokémon in the video game. Although evolving these cocoon beasts from its Caterpie or Weedle forms ensures it’ll know at least one useful move, catching them in the wild means you’ll be left with a Pokémon whose battle strategy is just sitting there and getting progressively harder.
Kakuna and Metapod are also incredibly annoying for trainers attempting to use the Viridian Forest location to grind some levels. The monsters' ability to increase their defense can make them tough opponents for a newly acquired starter Pokémon and unless you have an Ember-using Charmander in your party, these cocoon Pokémon can take a considerable amount of time to beat down using physical techniques such as Scratch and Tackle.
Shedinja is a Pokémon that can be useful to own but incredibly annoying to fight against unless you have the right techniques at your disposal. The bug is a by-product of evolving Nincada into Ninjask, with the idea being that the bug sheds its skin and Shedinja is the result. Although initially appearing to be unremarkable, Shedinja possesses the ability Wonder Guard and is the only Pokémon in the series to own this mysterious power.
Wonder Guard essentially means that Shedinja is protected from any moves that aren’t super effective against it. As a dual Bug and Ghost type, Shedinja is weak against Fire and Flying attacks among others but nevertheless, the Wonder Guard ability shields this Pokémon from over half of the game’s move set. The drawback, however, is that after being hit with a super effective technique, Shedinja will faint instantly. This Pokémon can be incredibly useful in certain situations but in the rare instances you come up against one, it’s also highly infuriating.
They’re just everywhere. One of the most annoying things about the R.P.G. genre in general are the random battles that occur while a player is trying to explore an area and the more a Pokémon pops up under these circumstances, the more annoying they become. Zubat is especially common within the game’s many dungeon areas and its incessant appearances become even more frustrating towards the end where the experience points you gain from battling them become redundant.
Equally guilty of this are the likes of Rattata and Pidgey – both of which Pokémon Go! players will be completely sick of by now – as well as Diglett who makes traveling through the appropriately named Diglett's Cave far more of a chore than it should be. To be completely fair however, it’s these annoying, repeated random encounters that make finally discovering a rare Pokémon all the more exciting and special and because of that, perhaps the abundance of Zubat is a necessary evil.
As mentioned in Magikarp’s entry, having Splash in your move set isn’t exactly an indication of a quality Pokémon. For trainers that actively seek strong and hard hitting creatures to use in an all-out attack battle strategy, Hoppip is little more than stain upon the Pokédex of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Without the use of TMs, Hoppip and its two evolutionary forms - Skiploom and Jumpluff – learn very few moves that cause damage in battle and even those have a relatively low impact. Instead, the Grass and Flying hybrid has an array of status and stat altering moves and while these certainly have their uses, ultimately, they don’t win Pokémon battles.
It’s unusual that a Pokémon with two stages of evolution would be such a weakling in battle and adding to Hoppip’s annoying nature is the fact it looks utterly gormless. Essentially a flying, smiling pink splodge, this Pokémon certainly doesn’t make up for its fighting deficiencies with a cool design.
From its flimsy appearance to that awful name, there are very few things about Luvdisc that aren’t annoying. Introduced in Generation III, this Pokémon is a Water type creature with no evolutions and in terms of design, is merely a pink fish shaped like a heart. The Pokémon games have always been keen on including cute creatures that appeal to younger demographics and there’s nothing wrong with the likes of Jigglypuff and Clefairy that resulted from that. With Luvdisc however, a line was crossed.
In attempting to craft a cute fish Pokémon, the franchise took the lazy option of just slapping some facial features on a heart shape and the reaction was more or less negative across the board. Add to that the creature’s awful name and it really feels like the designers had simply stopped trying when this Pokémon was conceived. If you can get over the aesthetics, Luvdisc actually isn’t too bad of a Pokémon in terms of its techniques but it does have low base attack stats and there are many superior Water types available.
Catching Pokémon isn’t rocket science; you soften the thing up a little, lob an empty Poké ball at it, repeat if necessary and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a brand new pet to raise and battle with. This isn’t the case with Abra however as this Pokémon has a nasty habit of using Teleport to escape battle before it can be ensnared. Since Abra eventually evolves into Alakazam – one of the game’s premier Psychic type Pokémon – it’s quite a good creature to own but to obtain it will require the trainer to either put Abra to sleep or simply throw a ball at one as soon as it appears and hope for the best.
For similar reasons, the legendary dogs in Generation Two can be equally annoying, perhaps more so since they are inherently hard to find. However, the Gold and Silver versions of the game did at least give players additional options when it comes to keeping these skittish Pokémon from escaping. For example, the move Mean Look can be learned early in the game and prevents wild Pokémon from running away, allowing trainers to weaken the monster at their own pace.
There’s nothing wrong with the Pokémon franchise wanting to move along with the times but basing a Pokémon on an electric charger is just uncalled for. The creature isn’t well designed either and resembles a nondescript oblong with barely visible facial features that make Charjabug look like a miniature green bus. As with Luvdisc, the Pokémon’s name is painfully unimaginative and this - combined with the poor design - leads to Charjabug being another annoying waste of Pokédex space.
Perhaps the annoying aspects of this Pokémon should’ve been obvious from the start because Charjabug is arguably Pokémon Sun and Moon’s version of the cocoon Pokémon Kakuna and Metapod – albeit far more useful in a scrap. Happily, Charjabug redeems itself somewhat with a strong, damage-inflicting move set with both Bug and Electric techniques and, unlike many entries on this list, its evolved form is far more intimidating and pleasing to look at.
Another example of a kawaii Pokémon done right, trainers who haven’t had to battle this rare beast might be wondering why Chansey qualifies as one of the most annoying creatures in the franchise. Those who have fought it however, will be aware that this Pokémon has monstrous base defense statistics that make dealing any kind of damage to it a considerable ordeal.
The introduction of Blissey in Generation II made this Pokémon even more formidable and Pokémon Go! players will have noticed an increase in the amount of them sitting atop Gyms since the recent addition of the Gold and Silver Pokédex. Chansey may be about as visually intimidating as a marshmallow and its own attacks don’t really pack much of a punch but just try and finish this creature off quickly and be prepared to get frustrated in the process. Respect where it’s due though, Chansey’s role as a Poké Center assistant make it one of the few creatures to actually have a proper job in the series.
Another instance of a Pokémon becoming annoying thanks to its poor design and conceptualization, Garbodor is as close as you’ll get to a Pokémon based on human waste. In terms of appearance, Garbodor is literally an overly full trash bag that has split and spilled its contents over its own sides. Evolving from the slightly less annoying Trubbish, Garbodor is another product of Generation V which yielded previous entry Vanillish.
Unsurprisingly, Garbodor is a Poison type Pokémon and a pretty good one at that, able to learn some impressive moves through leveling up and possessing an ability that adds status changes to physical attacks. Garbodor certainly could be a useful addition to a trainer’s party. This makes its lackluster appearance even more annoying as the franchise is crying out for cool-looking Poison-only type Pokémon that are also reasonably strong. Things get even worse in the anime series where – in the English dub at least – Garbodor’s voice genuinely sounds like someone throwing up.
As the generations whizz by, the Pokémon franchise has thrown up more and more intriguing type combinations and one of the most notable is the Grass and Water type Ludicolo. This mixture means the Pokémon isn’t weak against Fire or Ice type techniques like a regular Grass Pokémon would be or Electric and Grass techniques like standard Water Pokémon are. As a result, Ludicolo is an especially annoying Pokémon to battle against, particularly for those who rely heavily on exploiting the type advantage.
Ludicolo’s durability is annoying enough but to make matters worse, the Pokémon constantly looks like it’s taunting the player with its big, dumb grin and permanently surprised eyes and is one of the most immediately unlikeable creatures in the game thanks to both its appearance and stubborn refusal to faint. Fortunately, it’s earlier forms – Lotad and Lombre – don’t annoy in quite the same way, redeeming Ludicolo somewhat and if you own one, it’ll surely come in very handy.
1 The Pokemon Sun and Moon Alola Forms
Redesigning classic Pokémon and giving them new color schemes or re-imagining them as alternative types is a fun fan art exercise but many were surprised when the latest games in the series, Sun and Moon, included altered versions of a host of first generation Pokémon such as Grimer and Marowak. The move was likely made to capitalize on the recent popularity of the original 150 thanks to Pokémon Go!, and although some fans might have got a kick out of seeing an Ice type Sandshrew, others saw the gimmick as simply a lazy way of avoiding designing additional Pokémon from scratch.
The Pokémon franchise had already experimented with doctoring the appearance of classic creatures with its ‘Mega-Evolutions’ but the integration of that feature was far more subtle and more successfully executed. Sure, the redesigns hardly ruin the game and there are still plenty of entirely new Pokémon to be found in Sun and Moon but for many players, this transparent marketing tactic was one of the new generation’s biggest annoyances.
Pokémon Sun and Moon are available now.