Pokémon: love ’em, hate ’em, if you were around in the ’90s you couldn’t have escaped ’em, and the train keeps on rolling as the franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Yep, it’s been 20 years since Pokémon Red, Blue and Green hit the market in Japan and the US, and we’ve lost count of how many Pokémon there are in existence now (okay we lied, there’s actually 721 individual ‘mons as of Pokémon X & Y).
But with such an influx of new designs flooding into the series over the past few generations, it’s no surprise that not all of them are hits. Here we count down some of the worst designed Pokémon from the games, ones which we’d certainly run from in the wild.
Universally hated for its weird design and cringeworthy naming, Luvdisc is a strange aberration of a Pokémon. The fishy water-type Pokémon doesn’t evolve from or into any other Pokémon, so you’re stuck with this strange looking thing.
Just when you think the design can’t get any more ridiculous, consider this: In Pokémon Chronicles episode “Luvdisc is a Many Splendored Thing!” it is established that Luvdisc can use their flat heart-shaped bodies to fly when two of them kiss. Love lift us up where we belong, we guess, but there’s little love for this Pokémon. And we don’t want to imagine what it looks like when it gets stuck upside down.
Stunfisk became a meme almost as soon as it was discovered, due to its “derpy” looking features and movements. Modeled after a flat-fish, Stunfisk has become as embarrassing to have in your party as a Magikarp, but unlike Magikarp there’s no big pay off once you hit level 20.
Despite looking and sounding like a fish, Stunfisk is in fact a dual-type Ground/Electric Pokémon and — like Luvdisc — doesn’t evolve from or into any known Pokémon.
There’s just something about Patrat that deeply unsettles us. Maybe it’s the eyes, or maybe its because it just brings back too many painful memories of the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.
The normal-type Patrat evolves into Watchog at level 20, which is also pretty freaky-looking. But at least Watchog looks all-over intimidating — or like a disapproving mother — Patrat looks like it’d shank you while you were trying to figure out exactly how the designers got this meth-eyed creature from a chipmunk.
4. Lopunny and Mega-Lopunny
Perhaps the reason Lopunny freaks us out so much isn’t actually much to do with the Pokémon itself, but rather the fault of some of the more salacious fans out there. All we’re saying is, don’t Google Lopunny without a safe search filter on. Unless you’re into that sorta thing, in which case shame on you — children Google this stuff.
Lopunny is a normal-type Pokémon who evolves from Buneary and can Mega Evolve into Mega Lopunny. But unleashing a humanoid-rabbit into the games was always going to be a bad idea — especially with that elbow placement. Poor Lopunny, sorry but you have to go sit in that weird corner of the internet with Gardevoir.
Burmy was bad enough, but its evolution Wormadam is just bizarre looking. It’s an annoying evolution: Wormadam evolve only from female Burmy, and it ends up with a different cloak depending on the location of the last battle the Burmy engaged in before evolving.
The cloaks are Plant, Sandy and Trash (really?), and the type of cloak determines the Wormadam’s specific dual-type, with Plant being Bug/Grass, Sandy being Bug/Ground and Trash Cloak being Bug/Steel. Why is it on the list? Cause it’s ridiculous looking regardless of which cloak it wears, and also we’re pretty sure it wants to eat our souls.
6. Gothita, Gothorita and Gothitelle
Gothika? You mean that terrible Halle Berry movie right? No silly, we’re talking about Gothita, a bizarre Psychic-type Pokémon who clearly shops exclusively at Hot Topic.
Gothita evolves into Gothorita at level 32 and then up to Gothitelle at level 41, and each step of the way it looks like some horrible fusion of a Tim Burton character and a purple Looney Tunes Tweety Bird. For the angsty teenager in us all.
7. Binacle and Barbaracle
What’s going on here? It’s just arms! Two arms with scowling faces! Who approved this design? What drugs were they on? These are the questions which spring to mind upon seeing Binacle, a dual-type Rock/Water Pokémon which evolves into the equally ridiculous looking Barbaracle starting at level 39.
Why do Binacle and Barbaracle have hands for faces? Or is it faces for hands? It’s hard to tell. Just as it’s hard to tell who thought a barnacle-inspired Pokémon would be a good look.
Klefki is a dual-type Steel/Fairy Pokémon, and we’re quite thankful that there’s not any more of these floating around, as Klefki has no known evolutions.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s kinda cute but, a set of keys? Really, Game Freak, that’s the best you could come up with? Do you have to put a beeper on it in case you lose it? Can it be encountered by digging around between the cushions of your couch? So many questions regarding this design choice.
The evolutionary precursor to the equally scary-looking Jinx from Gen I, baby Pokémon Smoochum is a dual-type Ice/Psychic Pokémon.
Presumably Smoochum’s design was supposed to come across as cutesy, but for us it’s just nightmare fuel, and it looks uncomfortably golliwog-like with the exaggerated lips and dark-colored face. Maybe it’s just the blow-up-sex-doll-like Jinx connection ringing through, but we’ll be leaving this one in the tall grass.
Do we really have to explain this one? Look at it! It’s just a giant nose! We’re not giving this one a pass (cue the slide trombone sound effect).
In all seriousness Probopass — which evolves from Nosepass — is just a shambles of a Pokémon. Indeed we can imagine the process which led to its creation went something like this: “We have to get one more design done and then we can hit up a bar.” “Oh f*ck it, it’s Friday afternoon, let’s just throw some random elements together and be done with it.”
And so you have this nose/rock, bird-handed, bushy-mustached, LEGO-hat wearing dual-type Rock/Steel Pokémon, and we all wish that we didn’t.
You made it! To wash away the bad taste check out the all time best line from the Pokémon anime:
Which is your least favorite Pokémon? Tell us in the comments below!
MP Staff Writer, thinking too much about comic books since 1992. Tweet me your favourite superheroes, @katgngr