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The 10 Most Questionable Pokémon Designs

The recently released Pokémon Sword and Shield has been getting some flak recently from fans for its reduced Pokémon roster. At the time of this article, out of the 1,111 Pokémon that now exist, only 400 appear in Pokémon: Sword and Shield. Whether it's due to memory limitations or marketing stratagems, there's no doubt a few Pokémon had to sit this one out. Some fans are outraged, which is understandable, as everyone has their favorite pocket monster. That said, not every Pokémon is made alike.

Due to the nebulous nature of Pokémon, it's fitting to have some pocket monsters look like wild animals under a Snapchat filter, while others look like G-rated abominations. For every adorable electric rodent serving as the face of the most successful franchise of all time however, there are a plethora of pocket monsters based on whatever the animators had in their pockets at the time.

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To qualify for this list, the Pokémon in question had to give us pause in some way, whether that's through a baffling physical form, a bizarre backstory laid out through several Pokédex entries or just by simply being straight-up weird. Mind you, we aren't saying that the Pokémon who comprise this list are necessarily terrible. As a matter of fact, we love a lot of the Pokémon on this list specifically because they are so ridiculous. Whether you love them or hate them, let's explore the 10 most questionable Pokémon designs of all time.

CASTFORM

Pokemon Castform anime

It may sound ridiculous for an entire fandom to be upset about Pokémon Sword and Shield's formidable 400 pocket monster roster, but for fans of the series both old and new, it can be disheartening to learn that your favorite Pokémon like Squirtle or Jigglypuff didn't make the cut. That being said, we can say with 100% certainty that no one is missing Castform. What's really weird about Castform is that despite the diverse nature of Pokémon designs, ranging from super cute varmints to bipedal insect tanks straight out of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Castform somehow doesn't look like a Pokémon.

Castform just looks incomplete, even when you consider its alternative forms. Castform's gimmick is that it is the Weather Pokémon, meaning that its appearance and type will change based on the weather. Truth be told all of Castform's forms looks pretty much like his normal form above, if not worse.

TSAREENA

Though its name is a portmanteau of "Queen" and "Tsar," perhaps "Mistress" would better suited for Tsareena. Whether its the thigh-high stiletto "boots", its literal apple-bottom or the delight it takes in stomping on things, Tsareena is a dominatrix.

Every Tsareena starts out as a Bounsweet, the helpless Fruit Pokémon. Once it turns (level) 18, Bounsweet becomes Steenee, a sweet-smelling dancer Pokémon. Once Steenee learns the move Stomp however it evolves into Tsareena, who is really into foot stuff. Take Tsareena's Pokédex entry from Sun: "Its long, striking legs aren't just for show but to be used to kick with skill. In victory, it shows off by kicking the defeated, laughing boisterously." Shield makes it weirder: "A kick from the hardened tips of this Pokémon's legs leaves a wound in the opponent's body and soul that will never heal." Who...who exactly is writing these Pokédex entries?

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WORMADAM (TRASH CLOAK)

Wormadam Trash Cloak

See, Wormadam's Trash Cloak doesn't appear to actually be made out of trash like the literal Garbage Pokémon Trubbish, rather Wormadam wields what Game Freak considers a "trashy" cloak-- a hot pink number with matching eyebrows.

MEGA KANGASKHAN

Mega Kangaskhan Pokemon Anime

Introduced in Pokémon X and Y, Mega Evolutions transforms certain Pokémon into an exaggerated super form, like putting a Pokémon filter on a Pokémon. For instance, Mega Kangaskhan is just Kangaskhan, except her baby joins the fight. Though the child is taking its first steps out of the protective pouch, it's also taking its first steps into the grave.

We're not being morbid, Mega Kangaskhan's motif is the fleeting impermanence of life. Check out their Pokédex entry from Pokémon Moon: "Thanks to Mega Evolution its child grows. But as the child is good only at fighting and nothing else, its mother feels uneasy about its future." Ultra Moon makes things ultra worse: "When the mother sees the back of her Mega-Evolved child, it makes her think of the day when her child will inevitably leave her." So yeah, Mega Kangaskhan is mega depressing.

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LITWICK

Litwick Pokemon Anime with Yamask

We could use a pallet-cleanser, so here's Litwick, the cute Candle Pokémon. Surely, there's nothing sinister behind this Ghost-Fire type Pokémon's smile, right? Let's check Litwick's Pokédex entry from Pokémon Sword: "The flame on its head keeps its body slightly warm. This Pokémon takes lost children by the hand to guide them to the spirit world." Sounds bad, but that entry is ambiguous enough to interpret it as Litwick guiding already deceased children. Pokémon X removes this ambiguity: "When shining a light and pretending to be a guide, [Litwick] leeches off the life force of any who follow it."

Pokémon Black confirms that Litwick is pretty terrible: "Litwick shines a light that absorbs the life energy of people and Pokémon, which becomes the fuel that it burns." Is Litwick literally a sentient burning glob of people and Pokémon fat? Let's remain in the dark about this one.

PHANTUMP

Phantump Pokemon Anime

While we're on the subject of lost children perishing in forests, there's Phantump. Whenever a Litwick successfully "spirits away" a lost child in a forest, that child's spirit will inhabit a tree stump to become a Phantump. That's so needlessly morbid: Several tree Pokémon exist, so why couldn't Phantlum just be a tree-ghost and not like, the plot of Annabelle? When traded, Phantlum evolves into Trevenant, a protector of the forest that can control plants at will -- basically Swamp Thing, but somehow more depressing.

To recap: a candle Pokémon lures innocent children into the woods so that they can become haunted pieces of wood that could then be theoretically used to defeat and capture God (a Pokémon named Arceus) because the world of Pokémon is as adorable as it is horrifying.

WEEZING (GALARIAN FORM)

Given the British motif of Pokémon Sword and Shield's Galar region, its regional rendition of Weezing is meant to represent the Industrial Revolution of Victorian England, wherein the only thing more boundless than the top hats and facial hair was smog and smoking. Serving as the main inspiration for this list, the Galarian Weezing totally looks like a bong.

We're not even trying to read into this, but Galarian Weezing has two smokestack hat pipes of differing sizes that are constantly billowing out smoke. Mind you, this white smoke is totally different from the clumpy green smoke that forms Weezing's (possibly hipster and/or beatnik) facial hair. The rest of Weezing remains unchanged, but considering his newfound love for jazz cigarettes, Weezing does look high. Granted, Weezing doesn't look as blazed as Torken or Espurr, but there's this glazed over effect in Weezing's eyes that just screams "Tokémon."

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BLACEPHALON

Blacephalon Pokemon Ultra beast anime

Speaking of mind-blowing substances, we have the Burst Pokémon, Blacephalon. Blacephalon doesn't look like a Pokémon whatsoever because it (Blacephalon is genderless) is an Ultra Beast, which is basically a Lovecraftian horror that has torn through the void into the world of Pokémon. Blacephalon is the strangest Ultra Beast, as its whole existence is spent slithering right up to your face to show you its own glowing, exploding face. So, Blacephalon is like if that movie Scanners was a Pokémon.

Here's Blacephalon's Pokédex entry from Ultra Moon: "A [Ultra Beast] that appeared from an Ultra Wormhole, it causes explosions, then takes advantage of opponents' surprise to rob them of their vitality." Gee, "rob them of their vitality" is a clever way of saying "homicide." So, Blacephalon is a clown-themed eldritch invader with weird eyes on the side of a detachable, exploding head? Yeah, Blacephalon is Pokémon's version of Pennywise.

MR. RIME

Mr Rime Pokemon Sword and Shield

You can't have a list of questionable Pokémonand not mention Mr. Mime. Though they are fairly humanoid, at least it's easy to discern that Mr. Mime isn't actually human, right? If Pokémon Detective Pikachu is to be believed, then we know Mr. Mind cannot pass for human. The problem is that Mr. Mime is literally evolving. Introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield as the evolved form of Galarian Mr. Mime, Mr. Rime is an entertainer, specializing in tap dancing and comedy. Those weird growths that serve as "hair" now serve as Mr. Rime's mustache, as if to better camouflage Mr. Rime as a human. Furthermore, Mr. Rime wields an icicle as a walking stick, further selling the illusion.

Why does the lifecycle of a Mr. Rime involve the approval of humans? Does the increasing humanity of Mr. Mime suggest that maybe, not every Pokémon is really a Pokémon?

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KLEFKI

Klefki the key ring pokemon

Though it is officially known as the Key Ring Pokémon, Pokémon number 707, Klefki, truly is the "Tongue-in-Cheek" Pokémon. Klefki is essentially the response to the growing criticism that Pokémon designs were getting incredibly lazy. It's as if Game Freak said "You want a lazy Pokémon design? We'll literally pull a pocket monster right out of our pockets and you will love it." The crazy thing is, we do love Klefki.

Klefki even has a cute backstory: Have your keys ever just vanished? Well, you may be dealing with a Klefki. Klefki loves to horde keys to hang off of its ring-like body, possibly to serve as either jewelry or war trophies. Additionally, Klefki uses the rattling sound of its body to ward off would-be predators and/or comfort crying babies... and we just realized that Game Freak is calling us babies.

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