Hindsight is everything, but it doesn't take 20 years to realize that some mistakes from the Pokémon series never should have happened to begin with. There are a multitude of problems here and there throughout the franchise, ranging from minor flaws such as the name Feraligatr not being able to fit correctly to major errors like the MissingNo glitch. We can debate all day on the poor decision to make the reward for catching all 150 Pokémon just being a stupid certificate and the random appearance of that damn truck near the S.S. Anne, but the subject matter of this article is going to focus on Pokémon that were given the wrong types based off what their characters represent.
Since there are over 700 Pokémon at this point in time, this is going to focus on the set that kicked off the series, Generation 1: Green, Red, Blue, Yellow and their subsequent remakes of Leaf Green and Fire Red. If you'd like to see more articles and for this to become a mini-series that covers the rest, let us know in the comments below.
Note: It's important to keep in mind that things like the Dark, Steel and Fairy types were introduced later on, and this is all assuming Game Freak could go back and retcon types just as they did when those were included. Clefairy used to be a Normal type, but is now Fairy, which makes perfect sense, and this series is going to work under the thought process that even more changes should be made.
I understand the choice to make Charizard a Flying type instead of a Dragon type, but this list wouldn't be complete if the idea wasn't at least presented. After all, it's a fire-breathing dragon, so it's a logical decision for it to be a Dragon type, right? The downside is that it makes Charizard even better in comparison to Venusaur and Blastoise, so nobody would have ever picked those two. At least one of its Mega Evolution forms has the Dragon type, so that makes things better.
Both the male and female Nidoran tree goes from a pure Poison type to eventually a Poison/Ground with Nidoqueen and Nidoking. Considering they're based off some sort of rabbit, they should be pure Normal in theory, but even if they decided to go with the Poison route, why are they part Ground later on? I think it makes much more sense to me for them to have been a Dark type to show off why they get so fierce looking. Nidoking is one of the most vicious Pokémon in appearance and there's nothing to tie it into the Ground type. There aren't many options for Pokémon that could have been Dark from Gen 1, but Nidoking and Nidoqueen fit the bill to me. Also, they evolve with a Moon Stone. The moon is out at night, when it's dark. Fits, doesn't it?
As soon as the Alolan Form of Vulpix and Ninetails came out as Ice/Fairy, it dawned on me that Ninetails should be part Fairy type even in its Fire version. It's a majestic creature and there aren't currently any other Pokémon with this dual-type setup.
This is more of an adjustment than a lot of the other things on this list, but it's something to ponder about. If there was a necessity to add more Dark types into the game, Persian's design could have been altered a bit to make it a black cat, which would go well with the bad luck superstitions that can tie into that typing. Of course, if the Dark type doesn't need any more, then by all means, Persian's fine the way it is as just a regular cat that isn't useful for anything other than the Pay Day attack.
First off, let's address the names. Clearly, Golduck and Psyduck should switch. Why is the gold duck not Golduck and the psychic duck not Psyduck? It makes even less sense than the Venomoth/Butterfree switch, which shouldn't have happened either. Under this retcon, #054 should be Golduck which would be pure Water type, and then it would grow into its psychic powers to become Psyduck, which would add the Psychic type to its cause. Keep this in mind later on when I switch up Starmie and the Slowpoke line, as we can't have too many Water/Psychic types in the same game.
There are far too many Grass/Poison types and there's no need for this trio to be the exact equivalent of the Oddish line. Gloom and Vileplume look like they would be poisonous, but Bellsprout's line doesn't seem so bad. Without a doubt, they're the Grass type, but why aren't they just pure Grass, which would help stave off some of the weaknesses. Only Tangela is pure Grass in Generation 1 and this trio would have worked well to give the Grass type something halfway decent that wasn't weak to Psychic, Ground and so much more.
Just as there are too many Grass/Poison, why was every single Rock type in Generation 1 also a Ground type? That made it 4x weak to water and grass, which made them pretty useless to put up in a fight with a good portion of the opposing forces. If you look at Geodude and its evolutions, they all are prominently displaying fists, and I think that would lend itself well to its supplemental type being Fighting. It took until #639 Terrakion for there to be a Rock/Fighting type and it should have happened much sooner.
If the gimmick of Slowpoke is that it's some kind of a salamander hippo hermit crab otter thing with an incredibly low intelligence, why is it part Psychic type? There's nothing psychic about that type of an animal and it should be as far away from associated with things like Alakazam and Mewtwo on the IQ spectrum as possible. That's why it needs to be the Normal type instead. If Dark meant dim, that would work, but it is more linked with being evil than dumb, so Normal would have to suffice. Slowking later on could be Water/Psychic to compensate for its boost in mental capabilities, but Slowpoke and Slowbro should stay slow.
This is so easy. Why are flightless birds part Flying type? There are more than enough Normal/Flying in the game where that wasn't a combination that needed to be represented anymore. There's already the Pidgey and Spearow lines as well as Farfetch'd (which an argument can be made should have been Flying/Grass to compensate for the leek it always carries around, but we'll let that slide) so Doduo and Dodrio should have been pure Normal birds. Also, there should have been another with just one head named Doduno.
It baffles me that there are only 3 Ghost-type Pokémon in the entire first game and that they are somehow all part Poison as well, making them weak to the one thing they're supposed to be able to nerf, which is the Psychic types. This was just such a stupid mistake to make, and there's no justification in my mind for why they had Poison added to them. Nothing about ghosts is directly tied to poison. If anything, they should be Ghost/Dark!
I can see having Cubone be pure Ground, but once it evolves into something with "whack" in its name which is also essentially known for striking things with its bone, it should be part Fighting for sure.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are just rhinos, right? Since we have the Ground/Rock or Rock/Ground type covered in Onix, but no pure Rock types, this should have been the duo that didn't add Ground into the mix.
Is this a little obvious? Sure. Is it treading on the same ground as Jigglypuff and Clefairy? Of course. But hey, that's what you get when you put 3 evolutionary lines of pink, fairy-like Pokémon in the same generation. I can buy Chansey being pure Normal if Blissey is Normal/Fairy, but why not just make it a pure Fairy type to start off with anyway? We already have our necessary HP tank Normal type in Snorlax, so it's not like Chansey needs to fit that bill, and with it having so many healing properties and being the chosen caregiver for the Pokémon Center, Fairy fits its modus operandi.
Kangaroos are known to fight. Just look at any cartoon of them with boxing gloves and you have your reason why this should be a Fighting type in at least some capacity. Keep the Normal type if you want to add some variety, but Fighting should be a necessity and such an obvious choice.
With Psyduck covering the Water/Psychic typing, Slowpoke, Slowbro and Starmie don't need to do the same thing. I don't see anything that specifically ties Starmie into the Psychic type, but I also kind of understand it as well. This one is the toughest to justify of the bunch, as it could very well stay Water/Psychic and not seem like it's crowding that market. Maybe it could be Water/Fairy, though, since its bejeweled? Maybe Water/Dark if it has a more evil connotation to its gem. If anyone takes issue with something on this list, this is definitely the one I'd be willing to concede shouldn't change.
WTF is Jynx? Why is it an Ice type? It immediately makes me think of a voodoo priestess more than anything related to ice, so Dark/Psychic is a pairing that fits much more in my mind.
Considering Heracross popped up in Generation 2, I would argue that a better dual-type for Pinsir would be Bug/Dark, but I can see the argument people have made for it to be Bug/Fighting. In my mind, though, Pinsir looks like the type of bug that would be found almost exclusively at night, and Bug/Dark would be a real force to be wreckoned with when it comes to Psychic types. Pinsir is one evil looking bastard and if it doesn't make you think Dark, I don't know what to tell you.
This list wouldn't be complete without the main example of this, wouldn't it? Gyarados is perhaps the most well known case of mistyping. It's a stretch to imagine why it is part Flying type instead of Dragon, as it's literally based off a sea serpent and the typical Chinese dragons! I also don't understand why it wasn't red to begin with, since Magikarp is red and Chinese dragons usually associate that color with this type of mythical creature. I also don't understand why its Mega Evolution is Dark instead of Dragon. And how can it learn Thunderbolt and other Electric moves if it's 4x weak to that type? Gyarados is one of the coolest looking and its typing just murders it from being more useful.
What are some other type changes you wish would be made?
Should there be more lists for the other generations?