The first rule of being a Pokémon trainer is that you have to try and catch ‘em all, right? Wrong! Not every Pokémon is created equal, and while every type has particular advantages and disadvantages, some Pokémon are worth about as much of your time as it took to design them in the first place-- aka very little.
Those old enough to have watched the First Generation of Pokémon when it first aired often remember the original 151 fondly, defending them against criticism and calling the influx of poorly designed Pokémon an issue that came with later Generations. In truth, however, every Pokémon Generation has at least one Pokémon that looks like it was designed in 5 minutes on the back of a paper napkin in a restaurant, and those are the just-about-bearable ones.
Just as some have had too little thought put into them, other Pokémon suffer from overthinking from the designers, who have a habit of blinding themselves to the monstrosities they create. Whatever the reason, be it lack of imagination or just plain laziness, these are the 15 Worst Designed Pokémon Ever.
15 Mr. Mime
One of the most memorable Generation I Pokémon for all the wrong reasons, Mr. Mime’s first assault on the eyes was during "It’s Mr. Mime Time", a season one episode in which Ash dresses up like the bizarre looking psychic/fairy type in hope of encouraging one owned by Stella to perform in her circus. With feet that curl upwards at the end and blue tufts of what can only be described as clown hair protruding from either side of its head, this Pokémon is designed to make you laugh, but Mr. Mime’s appearance is too comical to ever be taken seriously.
With the head of the Stay Puft marshmallow man and the body of an Oompa Loompa, Mr. Mime looks as ridiculous in battle as he does while practicing pantomime, which (according to the Pokédex entry in Pokémon Yellow) is something it does constantly. While a Pokémon that can snap its white-gloved fingertips and produce force-fields by manipulating molecules sounds like a keeper in theory, in practice there are better options. If you’re planning on putting on a show for your opponent then great, but if you want to actually defeat them in battle then not so much.
Rock/steel type Probopass first appeared on screen in the Diamond & Pearl series during the episode "Nosing ‘Round the Mountain", named in honor of the spectacular red ski slope it calls a nose. The Probopass in question began the episode as a Nosepass (the slightly less ridiculous unevolved version), changing into its new form during a battle with Ash. Team Rocket inevitably turn up, but instead of trying to steal the Probopass, they use a device to turn it against both trainers in the hope of pinching their other Pokémon instead. When Team Rocket aren’t even interested, you know it’s bad.
The problem with this Pokémon isn’t its abilities (the Pokémon Sun Pokédex entry states that it is capable of creating a handy magnetic field so strong that all nearby electrical appliances become unusable); the issue is with its peculiar design. Its big red nose is made to look even bigger by its beady eyes, and the mustache of iron filings it amasses during evolution make it look like the remit was to create the Tom Selleck Pokémon. To add to the ridiculousness, Probopass comes complete with three so-called "mini noses" that it can control individually. Terrifying stuff.
Just when you thought Magikarp couldn’t get any lamer, they dirty it up a little and call it a Feebas. Like Probopass, this Generation II water type made its first appearance in the anime during the Diamond & Pearl series, featuring heavily in "Ya See We Want An Evolution", an episode that highlights this hopeless Pokémon’s many failings both in terms of ability and design. Feebas can only learn one of two abilities (either Swift Swim or Oblivious) at a time, meaning that (again, just like Magikarp) it is basically useless until it evolves, so those with enough patience to train this dull Pokémon fully deserve their Milotic.
Feebas is described as a “shabby and ugly Pokémon” in the Pokédex entries included in Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, and that short summary pretty much covers it. With its brown-spotted body, deep set eyes, and rubbery pink lips, Feebas is not pleasant to behold, though the lack of imagination is more upsetting than this Pokémon’s grubby appearance. The designers really called it in here, taking what is essentially just a regular fish, giving it blue fins and calling it a Pokémon. The memo must have read “make us a feeble seabass”.
Garchomp looks to be the product of a long, fruitless day in the design room that ended with a “what the hell, let’s just go crazy” moment. A headache inducing mash-up of Scyther, Mewtwo, and a hammerhead shark, Garchomp is covered in primarily blue scales with a red underbelly and a golden star on its snout. It sounds bad already, but the horn-like appendages on the side of its head and the winged claws it calls arms really leave you scratching your head here. The dorsal fins and neck gills definitely give it a shark-like look, yet in many ways Garchomp is closer to a dragon-- a terrifying combination in prospect but a mess in execution.
Despite its garish design, the powers that be decided that Cynthia (Champion of the Sinnoh region Pokémon League in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum) would have a Garchomp as her Pokémon of choice, meaning it made several appearances both on screen and in game. Thankfully, one of its major strengths is its ability to fly at speeds that rival fighter jets, meaning that half of the time we only see it as a blur as opposed to the car crash of ideas that it really is.
To get to Vanilluxe, you have to start with Vanillite, the first and least ridiculous of this sickly sweet ice type’s three forms. Upon first glance, Vanillite looks like a scoop of vanilla ice cream with eyes and stumpy arms, but that would be silly. It is actually made of ice and just covered in a substance that makes it look like a scoop of vanilla ice cream with stumpy arms. This Pokémon’s appearance becomes even more laughable with every evolution, graduating from a scoop to a sugar cone when it becomes Vanillish, equally ludicrous but with a goofier grin.
A third form was needed, however, and the designers decided to simply add a second scoop. The final form of this frozen fail should be known as the conjoined Pokémon, essentially just a larger version of Vanillish that has grown an extra head that tends not to agree with the original, usually leading to wild blizzards. Making its first onscreen appearance during the Best Wishes series under the ownership of self styled "dragon buster" Georgia, Vanilluxe is as absurd as Generation V Pokémon got, and that is saying something.
Luvdisc is a Generation III Pokémon that looks and sounds like something you would buy to spice up your marriage. Used by honeymoon hotels to give their swimming pools a romantic pink glow according to the Pokémon Moon Pokédex entry, this water type has a flat body and is able to momentarily fly when it locks lips with a fellow Luvdisc. With no discerning features barring a pale pink spot located below its beady eyes, this unevolving and uninspired Pokémon is essentially a heart with eyes, yet despite its basic design it has featured heavily throughout the anime.
Misty and older sister Daisy own a pair of Luvdiscs called Caserin and Luverin that eventually fall for each other in "Luvdisc is a Many Splendored Thing!", the sixteenth episode of The Pokémon Chronicles. The species went on to appear in multiple episodes spanning various incarnations of the series and has even popped up in several movies, most recently in first XY Series movie Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction.
Another Pokémon that becomes increasingly ridiculous as it evolves, Aegislash is the third and final form of Honedge, a steel/ghost type that is essentially a medieval sword with a life-absorbing sash attached to its hilt. According to the Pokédex entry in Pokémon Omega Ruby, this Generation VI Pokémon is born when a departed soul attaches itself to a blade. How it came to pass that every single swordsman in the Pokémon universe uses the exact same blade and sheath isn’t explained.
The designers would have deserved a huge pat on the back had they been working on a new weapon for He-Man here, though as a Pokémon this sentient sword is lacking-- too inanimate to be taken seriously despite its ability to suck life from opponents with its sash. At level 35, Honedge evolves into Doublade, which (as the name clearly suggests) is like Honedge only double the blade. When it finally takes the form of Aegislash, that second sword becomes an ornate shield that the Pokémon is able to wield using its cloth-like arms. If it weren’t for the purple eye just above the hilt you’d swear this was just a bunch of possessed junk from the armory.
This creepy Generation V Pokémon looks like it wandered into Hot Topic with too much pocket money. Goth inspired psychic type Gothitelle is capable of using the stars to see the entire lifespan of a trainer according to the Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Pokédex, and the Pokémon Omega Ruby entry even states that starry skies thousands of light-years away are visible in the space distorted by their intense psychic power. For all its foresight, Gothitelle hasn’t been able to predict that black dresses and multiple white bow-ties isn’t going to catch on.
Gothitelle made its first appearance in its own episode from the Best Wishes series entitled The Lost World of Gothitelle! The Pokémon attempts to prevent Ash and his merry cohort from crossing the Skyarrow Bridge, an eyesore that has changed its way of life. Ash manages to persuade Gothitelle to let them cross by reuniting it with its old friend Sally. Gothitelle is obviously a huge The Nightmare Before Christmas fan.
The newest and quite possibly most bizarre Pokémon to make this list, Generation VII fairy type Comfey looks at first glance to be a Hawaiian lei, the flower necklace traditionally given to welcome visitors. It is actually a little green fella with an orange face and a thin blue thread that comes out of the back its head, which it decorates with flowers to give itself the appearance of a lei. As Nurse Joy’s Comfey proved in Sun & Moon episode It's Mokuroh! Catching Pokémon in Alola!, it even acts like one, throwing itself around Ash’s neck like countless admirers have done over the course of his travels.
Unfortunately, it looks as bad as it sounds. Comfey has some cool powers, like being able to omit an oil from its flowers powerful enough to heal both Pokémon and humans, though the fact that it resorts to throwing these flowers while attacking is quite frankly as embarrassing as battles get. According to the Pokédex entry in Pokémon Moon, the “relaxing effect” of its flowers make it a hit with humans, essentially buying their affection by getting them high.
Speaking of drugs, this Pokémon looks like it’s done one too many. With his crazy red and yellow eyes and his bushy tail, Watchog has the look of a Pokémon that has been on a bender that he has no intention of bringing to a close any time soon. Just to add to the illusion that this normal type Pokémon is actually a hardened raver, it comes complete with UV body paint-- strips that illuminate when it wants to frighten enemies or just throw some shapes out on the dance floor.
Despite looking like a Disney meerkat on acid, Watchog has appeared in almost two dozen episodes across multiple series, making its debut under the tutorage of Nacrene City gym leader Lenora in Best Wishes episode "A Night in the Nacrene City Museum!" It most recently popped up in the yet-to-be-dubbed into English episode "The Endless Zero! Until the Day We Meet Again!", the last in the X&Y series in which Ash returns to Pallet Town to visit his mother. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t bring a Watchog along for the trip.
From its name you would expect Roggenrola to be a wielding a Les Paul and taking a hit of whatever Watchog is on, though the designers clearly weren’t feeling that adventurous when they sat down to create this rock type. This Generation V Pokémon is little more than a blue boulder with two brown rocks serving as feet and a third atop its head. Sounds kind of like a Geodude with the limbs switched around, right? Wrong! In place of a face this Pokémon has a single hexagonal opening that functions as an ear, which puts it at a disadvantage when it comes to, well, anything but hearing.
According to the Pokédex entry in Pokémon Moon a Roggenrola will walk in the direction of any sound it hears, but if the sound suddenly ceases, it panics and topples over. Ash actually catches one during the Best Wishes series, though it doesn’t make any meaningful contribution until it evolves into a Boldore mid-battle later in the season. Its final form, Gilgalith (which can only be attained through trading), looks like something that would crap out a Roggenrola, with eyes inside its ear-holes and intimidating red spines all over its body.
Consisting of four interlocking gears that work around the clock to create energy, you’d be forgiven for mistaking a living Klinklang for a piece of machinery. This steel type is the final form of the less complicated but equally uninspired double-gear Pokémon Klink, and despite having a bit more to it than its predecessor, it is still one of, if not the biggest cop-out designs from Generation V. Klinklang makes its first animated appearance in the first Best Wishes movie (the fourteenth film overall) and you get the feeling it was designed simply as a way to make Eindoak Town a little more technologically advanced than the places Ash visits during the anime series.
Klinklang and its previous two forms are often seen in the background (powering music machines and gardening equipment) and are used for advancing the plot, powering the helicopter used during the finale. Outside of that, it really doesn’t have much use. Sure, its red core functions as an energy tank and it can shoot spikes out of its lower gear during battle, but in reality Klinklang is a working Pokémon created to blend the worlds together. If they were living in the Hanna-Barbera universe, they’d be put to work in the Flintstones’ kitchen somewhere.
Diggersby is a real head-scratcher. At first glance, it’s little more than a giant bunny rabbit, though upon a second take you notice that it has Popeye’s arms for ears. Bunnelby, the unevolved form of this normal/ground type Pokémon, featured heavily in the X&Y series under the ownership of bashful scientist Clemont, using its strong ears to dig the gang out of a tight spot on more than one occasion. For want of a better phrase, those ears get roided up during the evolution process, complete with ridiculous muscles and fists that make them capable of bench-pressing up to a ton.
As a Generation VI Pokémon, there isn’t a whole load of Diggersby information available as far as Pokédex entries are concerned, but both Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire make mention of this Pokémon’s prowess on construction sites, calling Diggersby “a power excavator” that can reduce "dense bedrock" to rubble. Dense is the optimal word here, summing up Diggersby perfectly, from its constant buck-toothed frown to its country bumpkin voice.
Beartic makes us want to take back some of the things said about Diggersby. Yes, the giant bunny’s muscular ears look absolutely ludicrous, but at least they make it clear that this is a Pokémon you are looking at. With Beartic, it’s a little harder to tell. Just as many Pokémon are modeled on real life animals, this Generation V ice type is quite clearly based on a polar bear, though there’s a fine line between inspiration and laziness.
The only thing that separates Beartic from a genuine bear are the three icicles hanging from its chin. Well, that and the fact that it can freeze its own breath. Look, there’s no arguing against the fact that Beartic is a handy Pokémon to have in your collection, able to create passage across the oceans and weapons from water. Unfortunately, his bland appearance isn’t anywhere near as exciting as his abilities, left as a blank canvas crying out for a few more icicles here and there. Less certainly isn’t more on this occasion.
Klefki is what you come up with when you have exhausted all possibilities as a Pokémon designer: a kleptomaniacal keychain that adorns itself with keys it likes and jangles them to frighten enemies. As terrifying a display as this is, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that Klefki isn’t much use in battle and, seeing as it isn’t known to evolve into anything, isn’t much use for anything other than storing keys. Pokémon trainers have been known to use Klefki for exactly this purpose according to the Pokedex entry in Pokémon Y, though its involvement in the anime has been limited because of its short-sighted design.
It made its debut in the X&Y Series during episode "Dreaming a Performer’s Dream", holding onto the Princess Keys for Monsieur Pierre before they are awarded, but we had no idea just how bad Klefki’s key addiction was until "Pikachu, What’s This Key?" It’s almost as if whoever designed this Generation VI monstrosity wanted to prove themselves right with this Pikachu short, in which the iconic electric type enters Klefki’s world though (you guessed it) a magical keyhole and finds mountains of keys on the other side.
Did we miss any Pokemon design atrocities? Let us know in the comments!
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