Pokemon is one of the most successful video game franchises ever, and if you haven’t at least at one point in your life enjoyed running around Cerulean City capturing and enslaving feral creatures for some perverse sport, you’re either lying or I hate you. (Just kidding. (No I’m not.)) One of the most intriguing parts of the game is, as the slogan suggests, catching them all. There are literally hundreds of species of Pokemon to catch, and you can usually spot a good player by what torturous hell they’ve put themselves through in front of a Game Boy to obtain a Celebi or Mew. Plenty of Pokemon are beloved and universally recognized (even if some could stand to have some new evolutions); you’ve got your Pikachus, your Charizards, your Mewtwos. And then you have these fringe abominations that had to have been conceived on a Friday afternoon when the game creators just wanted to go home and get wasted:
The creators of Pokemon should be lauded for plenty of their achievements. Conceptualizing this horrific, gluttonous miscreant of a Pokemon is not one of them. In fact, just the opposite. The person who is responsible for unleashing this slovenly apparition into the world should be tied down and gagged, with their eyelids forced open while a twisted effigy of Lickilicky looms over him, staring, plotting its next wretched move.
For fuck’s sake, Spoink?! Are you kidding me with that name?
“Let’s see what you got, Jim.”
“Well, it’s really just a doodle, unfinished in every way. It’s really just a disembodied pig head inexplicably featuring a tail that he seemingly uses for transport. Then I drew him balancing a gumball on top of his head because, fuck, why not?”
“‘Fuck, why not’. I like that. In the spirit of ‘fuck, why not’, let’s leave this doodle completely unchanged and name him after a word that sounds like a third grader describing a boner. One down, 400-some-odd to go!”
Ahh, Magikarp. Now we’re getting into the realm of the original Pokemon, where there were still utterly pointless wastes of cartridge space. I get that being useless is sort of his niche; but, wow…what a shitty niche. His one move never appears to do anything. In the Yellow version of the game, he’s described as follows: “Famous for being very unreliable.” In the Blue/Red versions: “In the distant past, it was somewhat stronger than the horribly weak descendants that exist today.” Even the writers of the game hate Magikarp. What chance does it have? I’m surprised the people at Bulbapedia don’t take this as a metaphorical jab at humanity’s eternal struggle with futility.
Nosepass and Probopass are absolutely horrifying looking Pokemon, Probopass in particular, who looks like Groucho Marx raped and somehow successfully impregnated an Easter Island Head. He also for some reason has strange avian visages for appendages, possibly to frighten foes to the point of total paralysis. No, nothing about Nosepass and Probopass make sense at all. I turned to the trusty Pokédex for some more information. Probopass’ entry:
Probopass, the Compass Pokémon, and the evolved form of Nosepass. Its body acts as a powerful magnet. It controls three smaller units called Mini-Noses.
Well, that doesn’t clear anything up, and in fact raises more questions. He’s also a compass, who controls minions known as Mini-Noses? It’s an easy joke, but honestly, what the hell were the designers tripping on when they conceived this absolute horror?
Luvdisc is a Pokemon and amazingly not some strange Kantonian brand of condoms. One part heart, one part one of those weird highlighters shaped like triangles, Luvdisc is all useless. This Pokemon is a living example of how the creators just totally ran out of ideas by the third generation. They ran out of animals to base Pokemon off of, so they moved onto inanimate objects (or in this case, horrifyingly personified, abstract representations of inanimate objects). No thanks.
Trubbish is an anthropomorphic bag of garbage. That’s not some poorly thought out joke on my part or slight at his utility, either: He’s literally just a bag of trash, his ears formed out of the ties at the top of the ol’ Hefty bag. Of course, you being a breathing, cognizant, sentient human being probably could have deduced that from his name, a ridiculous portmanteau of “Trash” and “Rubbish”. Why is there an ostensibly sought-after creature modeled after a sack of waste? The fine folks at Bulbapedia (yes, a Wikipedia for the Pokemon universe) pontificate that very question:
Trubbish is based on a full garbage bag. Trubbish may also be based on the imagined fear that heavy pollution, caused by the leakage and/or improper disposal of toxic/radioactive waste, may result in the creation of new and undesirable life.
While I applaud this kind of filler backstory, just nicely fleshing out the otherwise drab entry in Bulbapedia for Trubbish, I really don’t think we need to wax intellectual about the origins of a Pokemon composed of compost. He’s a bag of garbage. He’s not some social commentary on the importance of recycling by the Pokemon team. If anything, he’s representative of most of their ideas past the original 151.
Bidoof looks like a piece of rejected concept art for Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, and has a name that sounds like a brand of douche bags. He’s also one of the least menacing-looking Pokemon ever created, and I’m including Luvdisc in that comparison. In a world where catching them all truly is life’s greater purpose, I propose that actually owning and in any way associating with this wretched rodent is a blight on any man’s ernest Pokédex.
I like Kricketune for a couple reasons. First, his name is an extremely lazy portmanteau, which is tantamount to 3/4s of every Pokemon in existence. Second, I like to imagine him as some miniature, insect replica of Crocodile Dundee. “KRICKEY! I’mma casting Leech Life, but it doesn’t appear to be very effective, mate!” Third…DAT MUSTACHE. I also am a fan of the fact that the only discernible difference between the males and females of the species are that the females have a slightly shorter mustache. If a male Kricketune runs into the wrong guy with a penchant for good facial hygiene, and thus mistaking him for a girl, he might be in for one interesting night.
And now we come to Weezing, another one of the original, instantly-recognizable 151 Pokemon. I know Weezing and his counterpart Koffing are supposed to be bizarre, floating orbs of pure pollution, but is it me or does Weezing just look like he’s stoned off his ass all the time? He’s like a superhero story gone awry; if a potheaded Peter Parker accidentally came in contact with a radioactive Geodude or something.
“Weezing, use Smoke Screen!” “Smoke? It’s not my turn but hell, why not? I’m so baked man.”
Igglybuff is the devolved form of Jigglypuff and by the transitive property, Wigglytuff. I get that, and that’s fine. But Jigglypuff and Wigglytuff, while having close to completely nonsense names, at least describe the creatures on some rudimentary level. Jigglypuff is jiggly, and looks like a puff. Wigglytuff is, well…wiggly, and is tough (tougher than Jigglypuff, anyway). Using this logic, and without looking at him, what the hell can I surmise about Igglybuff from name alone? Is he iguana-like, or even reptilian in any sense of the word? Nope. Is he a staunch fan of Iggy Pop? I don’t believe so. Is he buff; built; jacked; beefcake-esque in nature? Sure as hell not. Perhaps a Buff Bagwell fan? (Those don’t exist, lolz.) Does he provide great boons; beneficial buffs to you or your party? Nope. Well then WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR DEAL, IGGLYBUFF?!