10 Most Underrated Gen 1 Pokemon That Deserve More Love

Generation 1 is where everything began for Pokemon, marking the debut of the 151 original specimens. For this reason, Gen 1 is often held in high regard as the most beloved Generation for longtime Pokemon fans.

However, this doesn’t mean that all Kanto ‘Mons are as popular as the iconic Charizard, Venusaur, and Blastoise or franchise mascot, Pikachu. We’ve rounded up ten Gen 1 Pokemon who often go unnoticed by fans, and deserve much more love and attention than they receive.

Poliwrath

Poliwrath from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Poliwrath is the original final form of the Poliwag evolution line, carrying a fun Dual-Typing of Water and Fighting. Unfortunately for this bulky, brawling tadpole, Poliwrath here has since become quite overshadowed by its cooler younger brother, Politoed. Sure, Politoed is considered to be a ‘king’, and can gather a pack of Poliwag and Poliwhirl to its side by simply calling out, but Poliwrath has its unique appeal, too.

This absolute beast has muscles that will never grow fatigued, no matter how much it exercises, and can even use these muscles to run on water for a short second. C’mon, this ‘Mon is an absolute powerhouse! It deserves just as much attention as Politoed, at the very least.

Dewgong

Dewgong from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Cute aquatic friend alert! That’s right, who remembers Dewgong? I certainly do! This adorable friend is the evolved form of Seel, and an Ice and Water Dual-Type introduced alongside the other Gen 1 specimens. This critter isn’t just a cute face it seems, as it has some seriously impressive skills and abilities, too.

Firstly, Dewgong here is unharmed by even the most intense cold and is capable of swimming powerfully through icy waters and oceans. Dewgong can also store thermal energy in its body and maintain a swimming speed of eight knots even in intensely cold waters. That’s seriously impressive, and most Trainers don’t even recognize this speedy seal friend for what it is!

Abra

Abra from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Aw, just look at this smol little guy. How could anyone possibly forget about the adorable Abra? This Pokemon is like an alien kangaroo pet that I’d (obviously) take in a heartbeat if it were real. Seriously, though; Abra has become much more overshadowed with the addition of recent Pokemon Gens, as there are now many more psychic powerhouse lines to keep up with the Abra line.

This is a disappointment, though, as Alakazam was once undoubtedly one of the most popular 151 Pokemon, and now Abra, who is pretty much baby Alakazam, seems to be long forgotten. Sure, Abra may be a total scaredy cat only capable of fleeing through Teleport, but that doesn’t make him any less endearing — give this little guy the love he deserves!

Dodrio

Dodrio from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Look, I get it. Dodrio isn’t the most badass Pokemon in the world at first glance, sporting the appearance of a big, fuzzy bird Cerberus…birberus? But honestly, this big fuzzball is pretty damn cool. Just imagine some big, overgrown chicken-looing monster running towards you at 40 mph. Yep, that’s right — Dodrio can get some serious speed going.

Not only that, but this three-headed beast has a head to represent joy, sadness, and anger, and combines the power of these three brains to collect data, then establish and execute complex plans. Smart and speedy? This birb is truly underrated!

Golduck

Golduck from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Psyduck has forever been one of the more popular Pokemon due to how lovable its forever confused demeanor is. However, this very same little confused and stressed-out duck evolves into one of the most badass Gen 1 Water Types, Golduck. Golduck is a fiercely fast swimmer thanks to its streamlined body shape and webbed arms and legs, enabling it to sim non-stop for up to two days straight.

Because of Golduck’s abilities in the water, it is often mistaken for the mythological creature known as the Kappa, which only adds another element of coolness to this ‘Mon. Honestly, Golduck is the perfect combination of elegance and badassery and deserves to be recognized as so.

Sandshrew

Sandshrew from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Sandshrew is such a cute little critter, and I will forever stand by this claim. Seriously, is Sandshrew not the most adorable armadillo-like creature you’ve ever seen? This wee Ground Type is known to curl up into a ball when threatened, which can cause any attack to bounce off harmlessly. I don’t know about you, but that certainly sounds like a powerful survival ability for a first-form Pokemon.

Incoming Explosion attack? Sandshrew can apparently curl up and just tank the blow. Talk about impressive! Unfortunately, this desert-dweller has been forgotten in the most recent Pokemon era, with the snowy Alolan form of this ‘Mon taking up much more of the limelight.

Lickitung

Lickitung from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Look, Pokemon wouldn’t be Pokemon without the addition of a few weird or silly creatures here and there, and Lickitung was among some of the first to emerge from the franchise. This Normal Type is literally known as the Licking Pokemon, using its massive tongue to dish out iconic attacks such as Lick, Wrap, and Belly Drum.

This silly guy has a squishy-shaped body and face with beady little eyes, which makes it look both lovable and dorky all at once. Plus, Lickitung’s tongue is twice the size of its body and can be used as a third arm. This friendly ‘Mon is one of the funniest creatures in the franchise and deserves much more love.

Seaking

Seaking from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Next up is Seaking, who is perhaps the best giant goldfish to exist. How could you not love that funny fish face? Seriously though, there are a lot of fishy ‘Mons in existence, and not many of them are all that appealing to look at (I’m looking at you, Bruxish…). However, Seaking here is definitely one of the nicer-looking fishies in the Pokemon world. On top of this, Seaking is totally badass, as far as goldfish go. This guy has a little horn that can spin like a drill, enabling Seaking here to bash its way through ocean boulders and riverbed rocks. Can we just appreciate how cool this scaly fin friend is?

Exeggutor

Exeggutor from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Look, even I’m guilty of forgetting about Exeggutor from time to time, but I love this silly Pokemon. I mean, it’s literally a giant, living, breathing, palm tree with three silly faces. These three heads think independently but are all as friendly as one another. I mean, just look at those big eyes and mouths, so full of expression.

Funnily enough, these heads are also capable of falling off from their tree body, and if this is to happen, any fallen heads will become an Exeggcute. This is probably the most hilarious circle of life depiction ever, which makes Exeggutor an absolute gem.

Tangela

Tangela from the Pokemon anime
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Tangela is another often forgotten, but highly endearing and amusing ‘Mon, hiding its true form behind a mass of vines. All that we can see are Tangela’s red little feet and big eyes, which makes it seem like quite a shy, cute Pokemon. In some parts of the Galar Region, Tangela’s vines are even used as herbs, as they emit a scent and break off naturally and painlessly.

There’s something so mysterious about this critter, and that makes Tangela entirely lovable. Let’s not forget to show our little vine guy the love!

About the author

Grace Black

Grace is a writer and digital artist from New Zealand with a love for fiction and storytelling. Grace has been writing for Twinfinite for one year and in the games industry for two years. She’s an enthusiast of everything spooky, an occasional anime enjoyer, and a die-hard Ghost-Type Pokemon fangirl. Her favorite video games include Overwatch 2, Life is Strange, The Last of Us, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Pokemon – all of which she will never tire of.

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