Ah, Pokémon. Everyone loves Pikachu, what with its pointy ears, chubby little arms, and electrified cheeks. And Charmander, with its big wide eyes, earnest expression, and flame-tipped tail. Oh, and let's not leave out Squirtle, who in my opinion, just about corners the market on adorable. Heck, even the roadblocks in the Kanto region were cute, because who could forget the first time they ran into Snorlax, that lovable oaf who made power napping and impeding story progress an extreme sport. Boy, Pokémon sure are cute...am I right?
Or are they? *cue suspenseful close-up accompanied by horror movie slasher theme*
As any fan of the original 150 Pokémon knows, not all Pokémon are created equal. Yes, everyone knows about the roly-poly ones, the beady-eyed ones, the puffy and cuddly ones you wish existed in real life. And then there are those other ones. The ones that gave you nightmares. The ones that haunt you to this day, well into adulthood.
Without further ado, we bring you the best of the worst Pokébominations of Generation I. But beware, here be real Pocket Monsters.
Okay, okay. Apart from its brain-dead, glassy-eyed stare, Magikarp doesn't actually look so bad compared to the rest of the nightmare hellspawn on this list. But Magikarp deserves a spot in any mention of the worst Pokémon ever not just for his looks, but for his abilities. Of which he has one, which is to flop around uselessly.
You read that right. Every Magikarp that's ever appeared in a Pokemon game is devoid of all special abilities or attacks save one: Splash, which causes the Magikarp to flop helplessly around like, well, a fish out of water. What does it do? Here's an in-game quote that serves as a protip as to when and where to use the ability to its maximum potential:
It has no effect!
Yup. Splash does absolutely nothing but waste your turn. What's worse, Magikarps are so weak that they're not likely to survive the ensuing turn and are usually killed with one blow from almost anything. To add insult to injury, the Magikarp is mocked by even its own Pokédex entry, which describes it as “a pathetic excuse for a Pokémon.” If you're new to the Pokémon franchise and have just caught your first Magikarp, be prepared to let it sit around your collection doing absolutely nothing for a long, long time.
So apart from collecting its entry for your Pokédex, why bother capturing a Magikarp at all?
Because it evolves into a Pokémon-annihilating Gyrados, a rare Dragon-type species that is to Pokémon as the Death Star is to modern warfare. That's right: after an entire childhood spent being bullied on the playground, your unremittingly useless Magikarp grows up to become Bruce Lee. We've read reports of people evolving a 120 CP Magikarp into a 1386 CP Gyrados. But getting a Magikarp to evolve has classically been a terrible road to tread, and the tradition continues in Pokémon Go: be prepared to either catch and transfer a lot of Magikarp or shell out a lot of cash for candy, because where it takes only a dozen or so candies to evolve most lower-tier Pokémon like Pidgey, a Magikarp requires 400 candies to evolve!
In the meantime, you're stuck with Splash.
A wild Zubat has appeared! Kill it. KILL IT WITH FIRE.
It's been almost a decade since I last donned my training gear and rode my bike across the tall grasses of Kanto. But the very mention of Zubats is still enough to elevate my stress levels from calm to murderous rampage in a heartbeat. If you've played the earlier Pokémon games and gone at least two steps in any direction in a cave, you share my pain. And it seems to be the same way in Pokémon Go: Zubats are everywhere.
Zubats on their own weren't very tough to take out, but what exacerbated their awfulness was their signature move, Supersonic. See, Zubats who had this ability were able to launch a ray that did no damage, but confused your Pokémon for several turns. Seeing my beloved traveling companions bumble around in a dark cave and then hurt themselves in their confusion was absolutely gut-wrenching to witness as a kid, but psychological torture aside, Supersonic was infinitely more terrible because the Zubat could use it over and over and over again.
Swapping out your Pokémon worked some of the time, but there was always a chance the Zubat would simply spam Supersonic again. Since it dealt no damage, and the Zubat's regular attacks weren't exactly heavy-hitters either, all Supersonic did was to transform a tedious battle into a marathon of boredom and misery.
We'll probably never know the name of the specific designer from whose revolting brain-maw vomited forth Zubat, but we can probably bet good money that he hated his job. And Pokémon. And kids. And though you may never meet, he probably hates you, personally.
There's...there's so much wrong with the stumpy, waddling parade of awful that is Jynx, it's hard to know where to begin. For the uninitiated, Jynx is a vaguely humanoid-type Pokémon that resembles a caricatured woman in a red dress with bleached blond hair, huge pink lips, and “golden circles on the chest area of its gown.”
During its first appearances in the manga and animated shows, Jynx's face was colored black, which...yeah, not surprisingly caused quite the controversy when it premiered among the international community of Pokémon trainers. Since then, Jynx has been altered to feature a dark purple face, which...kind of doesn't help much.
Even more horrifying is the Jynx's signature move, creepily named Lovely Kiss, which puts its enemies to sleep. No, but thank you, waiter, I'll have the facehugger instead.
I think we've said enough.
Even more disturbing is that each of these eggs bears a different expression, ranging from angry to bewildered to tragic, to slightly more angry and maybe a little bit surprised. And one of these eggs is always cracked on top, revealing its yolk, or...brains.
For more information about this mystery abomination, we consulted Bulbapedia, the Wikipedia for Pokémon, and they had this to say about Exeggcute's biology: “Despite looking like eggs, Exeggcute is actually more closely related to plant seeds.”
Thanks, Bulbapedia! That was super effective. And super disturbing.
It's hard to look at Electrode and not come to the conclusion that the Pokémon design interns just phoned this one in.
Yes, we get that the Electrode is meant to trick unwary trainers into thinking it's a Pokéball, and when they reach for it, KABOOM! Yes, not only is the Electrode a super efficient troll, it's a suicide bomber.
But what's up with its appearance? It's just a ball with red and white hemispheres, a mischievous cartoon grin, and eyes made up of lines and squiggles. Not exactly inspired art direction.
Poor Cubone. We know you've had a rough run of things, and we're sorry you wound up on this list, little guy. But you're just too creepy to be left out.
At first glance, Cubone actually looks pretty gosh-darned cute. With its stubby little arms, legs, and tail, Cubone's a shoe-in for a huggable dinosaur-teddy bear. You might even be inclined to overlook the fact that it's wearing a skull on its head, and it attacks by clubbing its enemies with a length of bleached white bone.
Maybe Cubey-wubey likes to collect dinosaur fossils? Kids like dinosaurs. And viewing dinosaur fossils in a museum makes for a wholesome and educational pastime that's fun for the whole family. So it's all okay, right?
Cubone's wearing the skull of its mom, guys. We're not even joking. It's all over its description in the Pokémon games, and in Pokémon Go, its species is listed as “Lonely Pokémon.” Turns out, according to Bulbapedia, Cubone is lonely because its mom is recently deceased, and that's her skull it's wearing.
Unable to cope with the untimely and unexplained death of its parent, the traumatized offspring of the maternal Kangaskhan become Cubones, adopting the unhealthy habit of wearing the bones of its dead mother, crying itself to sleep, and surviving by beating its enemies to death with a femur of dubious origin.
The Cubone is so miserably broken that it suffers from hallucinations, seeing visions of his mother in the full moon, which provokes it to howl uncontrollably. Like a werewolf, or a deranged Arkham asylum escapee.
We don't have answers as to why the makers of a kid's game decided that “psychologically broken child mourning over its dead mother” was an acceptable theme for one of its creatures, but hey, who are we to ask questions?
We just know we'll be transferring our Cubone straight to Professor Willow, because the poor kid's not just crying for its mommy, it's crying for help.
7. Mr. Mime
Oh, Mr. Mime. Where to begin? Standing at 4'3” tall, this walking aberration is a bipedal, humanoid Pokémon with light pink arms and legs connected to its round, white body by magenta spheres. In short, it's a horrifying abomination being that's pink and magenta all over, with strange blue tufty growths that resemble hair sticking out from the sides of its head.
At first sight, Mr. Mime resembles your worst childhood nightmares of a clown more than a mime, but upon watching it fight, the horror soon dawns on you that, yes, this Pokémon is actually all the worst parts of clown and mime rolled into one.
You'd think this would be sufficient for Mr. Mime to secure the top spot as the most hated Pokémon out there. According to Bulbapedia, Mr. Mimes are so proficient at pantomiming that they're able to solidify air molecules via micro-vibrations it releases through its fingertips. Through this ability, Mr. Mime is able to create invisible, but very tangible objects through its gestures. Yes, it can actually make things out of thin air through the magic of pantomime.
And Mr. Mimes are jerks. They won't hesitate to punish those who interrupt their acts by slapping them.
Luckily, Mr. Mimes are rare, most likely to be found in suburban areas, where it probably spends most of its time giving children deep psychological scars.
Armed with a muscular, prehensile tongue, the common Lickitung... Really? Really, Lickitungs need no further discussion, right? Can we all just agree that a Pokémon with an oversized tongue and powers that revolve around licking its opponents into a coma is gross and violently wrong and leave it at that? But no, we're not done yet. Not by a long shot.
Here's some random trivia about Lickitung's complex biology, as featured in the anime and manga. The Lickitung's tongue is not only twice as long as its actual body, but it's also prehensile and more than strong enough to constrict and lift an adolescent human. What's more, the tongue is coated with a sticky saliva-like secretion that causes a tingling sensation upon contact with human skin.
With that in mind, it's easy to see why Lickitungs source 95% of the world's natural supply of sustainable organic nightmare fuel.
Okay. Now we're done.
We understand that designing 150 adorable, kid-friendly Pokémon is hard. Some of the Pokémon on this list could be the result of completely understandable brain fatigue and/or 3 am design sessions, others are probably well-intentioned ideas (hey, why not give a bat-inspired Pokémon an ability based off of echolocation? It's edutainment!) that just don't translate into enjoyable gameplay.
And others still are more likely just examples of that particular brand of weird we've come to love, fear, and expect out of anime in equal measure.