Pokémon has hundreds of characters across dozens of games, but not all have created a fond legacy in the community, and there are some characters that give players every reason to hate them. There are dozens of characters that knowingly torment Trainers with their team composition or plots. Unfortunately, most of them are essential for the game to continue and cannot be avoided, meaning players are forced to interact with these disliked characters to become Champion (or fulfill other goals). Over the past two decades, the Pokémon community has developed some extreme feelings for several main and side characters in each game. Reasons for this can range between hurtful dialogue, illegal movesets, overpowered teams, or general rudeness.
Pokémon characters consist of Trainers, Gym Leaders, Champions, shopkeepers, and NPCs scattered throughout various cities. Most are named and have limited dialogue with the player character, but others become recurring characters throughout the main campaign. While some players may despise characters based on their design or personality, others are extremely frustrating with their Pokémon team composition. Despite the community’s constant demand for more difficult battles, hatred for particularly challenging Trainers often surpasses even the rudest shopkeepers. No Pokémon generation is exempt from hated characters, though older generations have had longer to upset the community.
The most recent Pokémon games: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Legends: Arceus, feature some of the most disliked characters in the core series. Some appear more frequently than others, and each game’s unique gameplay influences how often players interact with them. For example, a character in Jubilife Village appears more than a character in Twinleaf Town, since the latter isn’t an important location. However, each Pokémon game provides hundreds of characters with different levels of likability.
Gengar is one of Pokémon‘s most popular monsters and can be a powerful addition to any team. Unfortunately, it’s pretty challenging to obtain Gengar as it’s an infamous trade evolution in most Pokémon games, but friends or NPCs sometimes offer Haunters to trade. Mindy is a cruel, deceptive Trainer who offers players false hope by offering her Haunter up for a Medicham. After gifting Mindy a Medicham, players receive a Haunter that doesn’t evolve. When asked about the occurrence, Mindy laughs in the player’s face and boasts that she made her Haunter hold an Everstone, which prevents it from evolving. Unfortunately, there are no other Trainers in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl to obtain a Haunter from, placing Gengar beyond many players’ grasp. Thankfully, Mindy’s trade isn’t required to complete the game, meaning players can force this deceptive Trainer to wait eternally for her desired Fighting-type.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus‘ Buizel quest is a particularly stressful adventure for many players. A Security Corps member named Dorian stands watch with his Buizel at one of Jubilife Village’s gates. He requests either Akari or Rei to fetch him a Buizel that’s 2’7″ tall, which is a far more difficult task than it may appear. Players’ best chances at obtaining a Buizel of this size is catching an Alpha Pokémon in the Obsidian Fieldlands, which further sours the quest. Dorian’s lively dialogue and increasingly unreasonable quest ensure players will dread passing by this NPC. Dorian is Jubilife Village’s only inhabitant with a particularity for Pokémon he acquires, making his specifications far more frustrating than any other NPC. To make matters worse, players seeking to complete every quest in Pokémon Legends: Arceus must reward Dorian’s picky behavior with several (potentially) powerful monsters. It’s unlikely for Dorian to adjust his behavior after getting what he wants, meaning future Jubilife citizens may suffer the same Buizel fatigue.
Whitney is a Johto Pokémon Gym Leader with a frustrating legacy. As a Normal-type Trainer, some players may underestimate her and her unimpressive team, only to fall victim to Miltank. Whitney’s wrath and frustration from being underestimated is funneled into her Miltank’s moveset, which features Milk Drink and Rollout. Additionally, the pink cow is extremely tanky and can survive super effective moves with little effort.
The worst part about Whitney’s Miltank is its Rollout move, which increases in power after each use and can wipe entire teams in minutes. This forces players to grind levels and defeat Whitney’s Miltank in one or two hits, but the Johto Pokémon Gym Leader’s unlikability doesn’t end there. After being defeated, Whitney throws a temper tantrum and refuses to give players their Badge, prompting a Gym Trainer to try and calm their Leader down. Her childish behavior is even more insulting since players have already helped Whitney win a Radio Card at Goldenrod previously.
Kanto’s Pokémon Champion may be a surprising addition as a most hated character, as his personality, style, and dialogue make him a pleasant enough companion. Unfortunately, when players finally face him in battle, they are faced with one of the most frustrating realizations: Lance has hacked Pokémon and would qualify as a cheater if judged by officials. While his Pokémon battle isn’t particularly difficult, many players were likely surprised by his Dragonites, which both know Barrier. Though Barrier isn’t a damaging move, it sharply increases the monster’s defenses and makes Lance’s Dragonites even more dangerous. The Kanto Champion’s underhanded strategy ensure not even the most well-informed players could be prepared for his Ace Pokémon. There are many other illegal Pokémon in the franchise, but most pale in comparison to the first Champion’s. Thankfully, he accepts his defeat with grace and tact, guiding the player character into the Hall of Fame – which gives him at least some redemption.
Diantha is the worst Pokémon champion in all the games simply for her lack of attention and care for the role. Despite the looming threat of Team Flare and the increasing destruction across her region. While Champions like Lance, Cynthia, or Steven have active roles in protecting their region and people, Diantha admits that her Champion gig is more of a backup gig. Additionally, her cluelessness regarding Team Flare’s danger proves that her strength as a Trainer doesn’t translate into an ability to keep others safe. The most insulting part of Diantha’s character is that she doesn’t even recognize players at first, showing how out of touch she is with some of the region’s deadliest threats. While most Champions thank players for their heroic deeds, Diantha says the following:
While there are undoubtedly many more supporting characters in Pokémon that evoke fury and frustration from the larger community, future titles could likely contribute to the count. Frustrating rivals, bad trades, and immature personalities make many characters a pain to interact with. Pokémon is a series that needs a good heel, however, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are likely to feature more of the same if they continue the series trend.
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