15 Pokémon That Are So Ugly They’re Cute

Discussing the designs of the title creatures of the Pokémon franchise often leads to disagreements between fans over which Pokémon are cool, which are cute, and which are plain ugly. Plus, even within the world of the franchise, certain critters that are apparently ugly in-universe appear cute to fans looking in on the cartoon world.

RELATED: 5 Of The Strangest-Looking Pokémon Ever (& 5 That Are Still Kind Of Cute)

As a result, some Pokémon are ugly-cute, or have so many seemingly ugly features that fans cannot help but fall in love with the designs. These adorable monsters often have unique real-life inspirations that explain their confusingly cute appearances, but either way, they are a strange joy to look at and coo over.

Updated Feb 5th, 2022, by Martyn Warren.

15 Magikarp


While its evolved form, Gyarados, is a ferocious and powerful water-type Pokémon, Magikarp has remained one of the weakest throughout the entire franchise, only learning how to use the move Splash, which does zero damage.

However, it has made an appearance in nearly every mainline Pokémon game and while its simple design may not initially make it the cutest, it is one of the very few Pokémon apart from Pikachu to star in its own game. In the mobile game Magikarp Jump, you play as a trainer determined to beat the Elite Four with only your trusted fishy friend. Magikarp’s big eyes and bright-colored scales made it the unsung hero of the Pokémon franchise and players of this particular game see past its flaws.

14 Croagunk


Croagunk pokemon

The dual type of poison and fighting, Croagunk first appeared in Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl. Long-time fans will have undoubtedly enjoyed recapturing the memory of their first encounter with this Pokémon in the Nintendo Switch remakes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl.

With its odd humanoid frog design, Croagunk certainly doesn’t turn heads with obvious cuteness. But when the Toxic Mouth Pokémon joined the roster of the fighting game Pokken Tournament, its wacky moveset turned it into an endearing and funny fighter compared to the likes of Charizard and Mewtwo. By using humor, the developers helped to make Croagunk into a funny character that was able to bring a smile to fans’ faces and let them look past its initial odd design.


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13 Feebas


Feebas Jumping Into The Air

Ugly by design to emphasize the change in its evolution into the glorious Milotic, Feebas is a fish with quite an unusual face, featuring sunken-in eyes and a pair of pink, frowning lips. Feebas’ body isn’t much more to look at, it seems, being covered in dark splotches and colored a boring beige.

It’s not hard, though, for fans to see quite a bit of cuteness in this fish, starting with the pops of color in its blue fins and tail. The sunken-in eyes are also a bit of a draw, as they are appealingly blank and innocent, matching this Pokémon’s small size and, with the right trainer, big heart.


12 Alolan Raticate

 


A group of Raticatr in the Pokémon anime

In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, GameFreak introduced Alolan variants, a change of design for older generations of Pokémon and give them a fun, fresh spin. While there were many cute ones with Alolan Raichu and Alolan Vulpix, there were some that weren’t quite as immediately appealing.

Alolan Raticate was one of them. The dark and normal type Pokémon and the evolved form of Alolan Rattata, it develops a dark shaggy coat of fur, red narrowed eyes, large teeth, and a long naked tail. And while it does bear some similar features to its Kanto variant, Alolan Raticate’s large swollen cheeks and bulkier body makes it less menacing, too. It may not be the cutest of the Alolan evolutions, but its big cheeks do invite a squeeze.


11 Goomy


Goomy In Water With Glimmering Eyes

A fearsome dragon that is also a slug-like pile of goop, Goomy is quite an interesting Pokémon, to say the least. Its slimy nature and the fact that its green cheek markings resemble large, insect-like eyes might be off-putting to many, but this little dragon type has quite a bit of cuteness to spare.

For instance, the aforementioned cheek marks look like adorable blush marks when looking at Goomy’s true eyes (the two black dots in the center of its face). In addition, Goomy’s wavy mouth line and lilac color scheme are both quite charming, with the bunny-ear antennae being the cherry on top.


10 Dracovish


Dracovish affectionately bites Ash's head

Much like its other fossilized counterparts in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Dracovish is the result of combining Fossilized Fish and Fossilized Drake. This recent addition to the Pokédex is one of the oddest designs and much like its resurrected counterparts, it has an odd combination of two very different creatures.

But despite its monstrous appearance, the way it expresses itself over the excitement of curry and toys in the camp feature of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield makes it endearing. Waving its small flipper-like arms and smiling widely with its oversized mouth, it’s hard not to look past its Frankenstein qualities and see something innocent and playful.


9 Mareanie


James' Mareanie In Grassy Area

Like many misunderstood ugly-cute Pokémon, Mareanie has a toothy grin that implies danger. In this case, though, some peril certainly is present, as this poison-and-water type is based on a venomous starfish, and both those teeth and the spines along with Mareanie’s tentacle-like “hair” look like they could be quite dangerous.

Of course, though, Mareanie’s toothy grin is actually quite charming when taken in concert with this sea creature’s whole design, which includes beautiful wide eyes and a soft blue-and-purple color scheme. Mareanie’s bundle of “hair” is also very endearing, providing a humanizing element to this Pokémon (and its evolution Toxapex continues the ugly-cute trend).




8 Skrelp


Skrelp In Pokemon Go

Most trainers in the world of Pokémon probably wouldn’t want to cuddle up with a water-and-poison type, given the toxic implications. At first glance, Skrelp doesn’t seem to be an exception, with its wilted appearance and unusual scrawniness, suggesting both weakness and decay.

RELATED: Pokémon: Every Villainous Team, Ranked From Lamest To Most Evil

Based on the weedy seadragon, Skrelp is actually quite cute, if not in an obvious way. Its scrawny figure and expressive red eyes make it fairly endearing as if it needs the protection of a trainer or of its evolved form, the imposing Dragalge. This cuteness is emphasized by its color scheme, tinted here and there with gorgeous light blues and purples.


7 Galarian Weezing


Pokemon Sword and Shield Galarian Wheezing

After the success of the Alolan forms of classic Pokémon, the region of Galar in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield on the Nintendo Switch saw the Galarian forms on the likes of Zigzagoon and Mr. Mime. But it’s Galarian Weezing and its British inspirations that give the original form a new coat of paint with some surprisingly cute features.

RELATED: The 10 Ugliest Electric Pokemon, Ranked

Based on the British Industrial Revolution and the fashion of that era, Weezing was given a chimney-inspired top hat and sported a fine mustache and goatee made out of green smog. Weezing’s Kanto form never caught anyone’s eyes (except for James in the anime), but with its extravagant and exaggerated new features, it does seem to turn it around and made it a worthwhile catch.


6 Archen


Archen Looking Surprised

Fossil Pokémon aren’t always the cute and cuddly type, although many of them have their own endearing features, especially for those interested in extinct species in the real world. Archen, for instance, is a rock-and-flying type that takes its inspiration from the Archaeopteryx, an early bird with some very distinct features.

Archen’s toothy beak and blank eyes might seem a little goofy, but they give Archen a sense of youthfulness as if it hasn’t yet grown into its predatory ways. Many depictions of the Archaeopteryx show its colorful feathers, which are recreated on Archen in fluffy tufts and complimented by adorable little talons.


5 Woobat


This Gen 5 psychic-and-flying-type Pokémon is strange to look at, what with its fluffy blue body, lack of eyes, and enormous nose right in the center of its face. Woobat is certainly unforgettable, but many fans may see this design as a bit of an ugly mishmash of different design elements.

These elements are all very endearing and true to several real-life bat species that Woobat’s evolutionary line takes as inspiration, though. The baby blue fur and baby pink nose (with a sweetheart shape at its center) complement each other quite well, but the main attraction here may be Woobat’s adorable single tooth poking out of its mouth.


4 Gloom


Three Glooms Standing In A Row

As the middle evolution in between Oddish and Vileplume, Gloom is in a bit of an odd position, being between what is typically (but not always) the cute original Pokémon and cool final evolution. The fact that Gloom is based on unwanted plants and is said to give off an undesirable odor does not help this grass-and-poison-type critter’s position.

RELATED: 10 Generation I Pokémon That Make No Sense

Looking past the fact that Gloom is not exactly as flowery as some of its grass-type brethren, though, reveals a fairly charming plant creature, starting with its cute little limbs that are dwarfed by its big face. This face is a tad unattractive at first glance, what with its big, oft-drooling mouth, but the closed, downturned eyes are quite endearing, giving the whole expression an innocent air.


3 Impidimp


Impidimp Sticking Tongue Out At Camera

Typically, fairy-type Pokémon are quite cute, and dark-type Pokémon tend to be on the more menacing side. So, fairy-and-dark-type gremlin Impidimp is a bit of a conundrum, as it seems to be inspired by mischievous fairy-like creatures such as goblins, gremlins, and, fittingly, imps.

With pointed ears, wild eyes, and a mouth full of sharp teeth, and a black tongue, Impidimp is certainly goblin-esque, but these features also all add up to something pretty cute on such a small creature. With a teeny stick-figure body, a big head, and a bold pink color scheme, there’s something endearing about this little troublemaker.


2 Trubbish


Trubbish On Wood Floor

This poison-type Pokémon from Gen 5 gets a lot of guff from certain subsets of the fandom for being an ugly or bad design, as its strange concept is simply a trash bag with eyes on it. This simplicity, though, is Trubbish’s greatest strength, as it betrays a stealthy cuteness that sneaks up on this trash critter’s fans.

Perhaps the cutest feature on Trubbish is its innocent-looking eyes with tiny pupils, a far cry from the typical big, shiny eyes of many traditionally cute Pokémon. These eyes, combined with its cartoonish toothy frown, make Trubbish quite endearing. Plus, Trubbish’s head is topped with what appears to be the knot at the top of a tied garbage bag, but here resemble adorable bunny ears.


1 Snubbull


Snubbull In Front Of Cubone And Marill

Inspired by a bulldog, Snubbull is the perfect ugly-cute Pokémon, combining a bulldog’s adorably unique facial shape with some more traditionally cute features, like a body that appears to be wearing a pink and blue dress. Although its face is fixed with an angry look, this fairy type seems like it would be quite cuddly.

There’s a certain grotesque quality to Snubbull’s face that is incredibly endearing on its little pink body and adorned by its massive, flappy ears. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that bulldogs, despite their name and notably bullish facial features, are quite adorable, a quality which transfers over to this Pokémon.

NEXT: Pokémon: The 10 Cutest Normal-Types

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