13 of the worst Pokemon designs of all time
Not all Pokemon are created equal. While there are plenty of ‘Mon we love, there are also some absolutely terrible designs out there. Here are the worst of the bunch.
There are many reasons why the Pokemon franchise remains a global phenomenon over two decades after it was first unleashed upon the world, but it’d be hard to deny that character design is number one on that list.
After all, what would Pokemon be without Pikachu? Or the original starter trio of Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize these adorable little creatures.
While each generation brings with it a wave of new and exciting Pokemon, there are always a few designs that feel a little bit… uninspired. These inevitably lead to criticism, mocking, and memes among longtime fans.
We’ve scoured through all 898 entries in the Pokédex to find what we believe are the worst Pokemon designs of all time, ranging from the Gameboy’s Red, Blue, and Green all the way through to the Switch’s Sword and Shield.
Pokemon tend to fall into one of two categories: Cute or Cool. Trubbish is neither of those things. It’s a literal bag of trash. As far as the design goes, there really aren’t any redeeming factors at play here; it’s the definition of filler and its evolution Garbodor is just as bad.
We normally love the more weird and wonderful Pokemon designs, but we just can’t get our heads around Binacle. What is it, exactly?
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Fortunately, its evolution Barbaracle is pretty cool, but is it worth having to lug this ‘Mon around with you to get there? We don’t think so.
Jynx has always been a controversial design among fans. Some have accused it of perpetuating offensive stereotypes — its skin was changed from black to purple following backlash — while others simply don’t like it because it looks really, really creepy. It’s described as the “Human Shape Pokemon” in the Pokedex, but we don’t want Pokemon to look human; we want them to be imaginative.
There are plenty of fighting-type Pokemon that have a human-like structure, but they mostly balance that out by mixing it with creative design concepts. Sawk just looks like a person in karate clothing — albeit with blue skin — and it doesn’t fit in with the whimsy of Pokemon. Its counterpart, Throh, isn’t much better either.
As far as lazy design goes, Exeggcute may take the top spot. It’s literally a bunch of eggs with faces drawn on them.
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One saving grace is the fact that it evolves into Exeggutor, which at least has some thought put into its design, even if it is one of the ugliest Pokemon out there.
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The actual design of Klefki isn’t the worst on this list, but we’re still a little baffled by the concept behind it. When you think of cool Pokemon, you think of dragons and ghosts like Charizard and Haunter. You certainly don’t think of the keys in your pocket.
Magikarp is proof that even a thoroughly useless Pokemon can have a memorable design, and gain a cult following at the same time. Stunfisk just looks weird, and like Trubbish, it’s neither cool nor cute. This is the first of a few fish Pokemon on this list, and they don’t get much better from here on out.
The original Persian is an elegant, classy Pokemon worthy of sitting alongside the leader of a criminal organization, as we saw with Team Rocket’s Giovanni in the original animated series. Alolan Persian is not that. At all.
Many players have dubbed it the ugliest Pokemon in the franchise’s history, and you know what? We can’t argue with them.
“Pile a few stones together, draw a goofy face on it, and let’s call it a day.” That’s how we imagine the design meeting for Stonjourner went. Aside from being a lackluster Pokemon design, its anatomy is super confusing. How does this thing even walk?
Basculin’s problem is that it’s just not that interesting. It’s basic, it’s ugly, and it doesn’t even have an evolution to make it more interesting. We can’t imagine anyone wanting this on their team.
Cryogonal does not look like a Pokemon. In fact, we don’t really know what it looks like, other than a bunch of shapes that make up an icy hexagon. We usually forget that this one exists, and you probably did too until you read this.
We’re sure some people find Luvdisc cute, but it’s a real contender for laziest design in Pokemon history; it’s pretty much a love heart with eyes and a mouth drawn on. It’s also a fish that doesn’t have gills. No, we can’t explain that one either. Luvdisc gets double points for having an equally bad name.
Nosepass was already a strange-looking Pokemon, but its Nigel Thornberry-lookalike evolution Probopass takes things up a notch. If there’s one thing Pokemon don’t need, it’s a mustache. Ever.
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