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12 Pokemon that just aren't trying hard enough

Game Freak, Inc. did themselves no favors when they made Pokemon Red and Blue 20 years ago. Collecting 150 Pokemon is a great hook when you’re only making one game, but what about when you have to make a second? A whole other game with a brand new army of adorable little beasts? Or how about six games? Making all 721 of your pocket monsters instantly memorable is an impossible task. Still, some of these Pokemon didn’t need to be quite so lame. All twelve of these milquetoast misfits could stand to try a little harder.


GameFreak, take another hard stare at this guy. That is clearly something you traced off a bootleg backpack. No one wants to be a Pokemon Master thanks to using Martial Arts Asia Bear.


“Oh no, what do we do? Why did we ever commit to making 150 new Pokemon every time? Quick, what do you have in your pockets!” “My house keys.” “Perfect. Give them some googly eyes and call the stuffed animal manufacturer.”


I know it’s hard finding work Generic RPG Bad Enemy. Not everyone can land those random battle gigs in Final Fantasy. But seriously, this is Pokemon. If you’re not going to take it seriously, then just leave.


Look at it. It’s a bird. Not something birdlike or inspired by birds, but an actual bird. Not exactly overstuffed with creativity, is it? Sure, you might argue that Psyduck is just a duck, but he's bursting with personality (and neuroses). This guy? He's hanging out at Starbucks hoping to nab some scone crumbs. C- for you, Fletchling.


No one thinks your Everything-in-the-Closet Halloween costume is cool, Regigigas. Pick a theme. Are you old and mossy or are you futuristic with all your chest lights and your face snuggy? Go away.


Sir, you are a dish with eyeballs. You are a child’s nightmare about finishing their vegetables. You sicken me.




Sharks are scary. Creepy little tubes of teeth and cartilage, ceaselessly swimming around the murky depths looking for living snacks? Sharpedo, on the other hand, looks like something painted on the side of the tilt-a-whirl at county fair about to get shut down because of rancid corn dogs. Stop trying to trade on the awesomeness of sharks and try harder, Sharpedo.


This is only slightly better than when you traced your hand to make a turkey in Kindergarten. No….no, it’s not better than that at all. Be gone with you.


Your ability to give people intense headaches is, admittedly, impressive. However, of all the flavors at your disposal, you went with vanilla. Vanilla. The word used to describe things that are so safe and uninspired they’re boring. You could’ve been Rocky Road. Pistachio. Mint chocolate chip - the green kind, not that all-natural white stuff. But no. You chose...vanilla. Pathetic.


This is the very definition of phoning it in. “Look, I had a rough night. It needs to fight, so it’s a sword. No, I don’t know what it does when it’s not fighting. Rubs against rocks to sharpen itself, I guess. LEAVE ME ALONE.”


You’re just looking around the room and putting eyes on things now, aren’t you? And the name, that’s a real winner. You named your dog “Dog,” didn’t you, Captain Obvious?

I've been playing games since I turned four in 1986, been writing about them since 1987, and writing about them professionally since 2008. My wife and I live in New York City. Chrono Trigger is my favorite game ever made, Hum's Downward is Heavenward is my favorite album, and I regularly find myself singing "You Won't See Me" by The Beatles in awkward situations.