I’m ashamed to admit that, yes, I’m a Pokémon nerd. I got really into the games back when I first played Pokémon Red on the GameBoy in ’98 and it’s not something I ever really grew out of. Sure, I realized the anime was crap (as most tend to be) and the trading card game was an expensive time sink (…as most tend to be), but I’ll be damned if the main series games aren’t still a ton of fun.
While a lot of the creatures look really cool, there are some Pocket Monsters—from every generation—that either have really terrible designs or just annoy me for some other unrelated reason. For your pleasure (or nerd rage), here are my 10 least-favorite Pokémon.
10. #313 Volbeat: Firefly Pokémon
I hate Generation III’s designs (expect to hear that more than once), but I almost left this one out because it’s so unremarkable. Then I noticed the resemblance it shares with Ian McNeice as Baron Harkonnen and I raged all over again. Never mind that the “Dune” miniseries was an almost five-hour snoozefest. This guy was an asshole! And don’t even get me started on how ham-fisted Frank Herbert’s characterization of this villain was. (You mean he’s a greedy, backstabbing murderer and he rapes little boys? Gasp!) Anyway, you might think by looking at Volbeat that it’s a dual-type (Bug/Electric), but no, it’s just another terrible insect. So much for that glimmer of hope, you ugly cocktease.
9. #310 Manectric: Discharge Pokémon
Another from the third generation. Noticing a pattern here? God, I really hate Generation III’s designs. Manectric looks like Napoleon Dynamite made a furry fan comic about the Coneheads. There have been numerous attempts by fans (and even the trading card game’s art) to make this thing look cool, but they’ve all failed. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s because of its big, stupid head, but I’m not an art critic. Electric-types have traditionally had great designs, but this thing encapsulates everything that can go wrong with one. Also, it looks stupid as hell.
8. #206 Dunsparce: Land Snake Pokémon
I’m going to stop waving my hate boner at Generation III for a second here, taking aim now at my favorite generation. Unlike a lot of these awful things, Dunsparce has a cult following. As for how it managed that, your guess is as good as mine. Apparently, this little guy is based on a Japanese mythical creature called the tsuchinko, which few people have ever (supposedly) seen. If only we could be so fortunate. Dunsparce is considered “rare,” but I couldn’t set foot in Dark Cave without getting gang banged by a horde of these useless turds. And sure, it looks stupid as all hell with its giant, useless eyes and its pitiful wings that let it learn an astounding one Flying-type move (in Generation V, no less)… But really, it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t have such awful stats to boot.
7. #122 Mr. Mime: Barrier Pokémon
Psychic-types are awesome. You’ve got Alakazam, Espeon, Gardevoir… And then there’s this guy. Besides being the objectively worst-designed Pokémon of its generation, Mr. Mime is, well, a mime. Being systematically butchered in Penny Arcade Adventures aside, what have mimes ever done for us? Chances are, you’re like me and came up with nothing. You know how a lot of people complain about later generations of Pokémon having “too much stuff shoved on them”? Well, Mr. Mime is the prototypical overwrought design. The garish pink-and-white outfit, stupid kneepads and curly jester shoes compound to create an unsalvageable mess. By the way, he’s not always a man.
6. #149 Dragonite: Dragon Pokémon
I hate Dragonite so much it’s unreal. I know it’s really popular, but Dragonite was the biggest case of evolutionary blue balls ever to my 10-year-old self. I spent hours leveling my Dragonair, wondering what its next stage would look like. I was excited. I was hyped. I couldn’t wait. Finally, my Dragonair hit 55 and I was rewarded for my time and effort with… this? Are you kidding me!? Dragonite looks like Pete’s Dragon’s uglier cousin. Serendipity the Pink Dinosaur looks tougher than this fat idiot. When my Dragonair evolved into this thing, I punched my GameBoy so hard the batteries flew out. What a waste of time. Fuck Dragonite.
5. #213 Shuckle: Mold Pokémon
It seems like a creepy tentacle monster is a requisite for designing a new generation of Pokémon, dating back to the precedent set by Tangela. It’s Japan, so let’s not rule anything out. Shuckle is supposed to be mold, or a barnacle, or something. Let’s review, for those slower readers: Shuckle is made up of a series of moldy phallic symbols, some erect, others flaccid, in a porous lump of rock. If you think this sounds like porn fodder, you’re right—making this a rare occasion where something is as hilarious as it is disgusting. Think about that for a second: Somebody actually thought this thing was good enough for Rule #34.
4. #505 Watchog: Lookout Pokémon
Every generation needs a NotRattata to fill the shoes left by the far superior (and quite adorable) original and its badass evolution, Raticate. I almost picked Bidoof for this spot, but it’s just too easy a target. Watchog looks like it’s supposed to be some kind of meerkat road worker or crossing guard, but the “vest” of stripes clashes just enough with the rest of its body to make looking at it an eyesore. And speaking of eyes, how much weed did Watchog smoke to get red-eye like that? I haven’t seen a stoner that attentive since my old roommate caught a Yo Gabba Gabba marathon.
3. #108 Lickitung: Licking Pokémon
Do I have to point out why this thing sucks? Lickitung is a fat, pink reptile whose sole defining feature is its gigantic tongue. That’s it! I’ll be among the first to say Generation I had some of the best creatures in the Pokémon franchise—but its bad ones are abominable, and Lickitung is among the worst. The only positive thing I can say about Lickitung is that it at least isn’t as ugly as its evolution. “Why isn’t Lickilicky on this list, then?” some of you may well be asking. Well, Lickitung was slightly more original in its stupidity, while Lickilicky just built on the established design.
2. #569 Garbodor: Trash Heap Pokémon
God, please… Just don’t make me talk about this literal pile of trash. What were they thinking? It looks like Domo-kun and Pippi Longstocking just finished having rough sex in a dumpster! How did Garbodor pass whatever quality assurance test Pokémon undergo? (And why am I asking so late in the game?) I know Poison-types are no strangers to looking stupid, but Garbodor’s design has the important distinction of being both terrible and lazy. I can only imagine the discussion that led to its birth. “We just finished the ice cream cone. What’s next?” “How about a bag of garbage?” “Brilliant! And it can be Poison-type, because… get it… haha, garbage!”
1. #362 Glalie: Face Pokémon
That break from Generation III had to end sometime, and what a terrible Pokémon I chose to end it with. It seems like the artists got on a really weird floating head kick when they made Generation III, because there are a few in there and they’re all fantastically stupid-looking. Glalie is the proud chieftain of the retarded floating head tribe. If looks are any indication, it’s a terrible leader because it’s prone to murderous lakeside rampages. “Glalie” is a portmanteau of “glacier” and “goalie,” which makes sense, considering it looks like—