Having somehow successfully avoided dying of shame, TheGamer’s two biggest public-humiliation-kink-having editors are back to discuss, for all the world and their families to see, which Pokemon they would smash, and which they would pass. They’re aiming for at least a 25 percent success rate, and Editor-in-Chief Stacey Henley and Tabletop Editor Joe Parlock just about scraped that last week in Kanto, with Stacey on 25.83 percent and Joe just one smash behind on 25.17. It’s a bit of an Alien Vs Predator situation – whoever wins, we lose.
Johto though is a very different story. Though the general design aesthetic is more similar between Kanto and Johto than perhaps any other region, a lot of now-common tropes were introduced in Johto, while the games also had to contend with being a phenomenon in ways the original did not. Will that change anything? Is any of that important? Who knows. As a reminder, we’re just using base forms in general, though Megas, Gigantamax, regionals, and any other variants can be used to inform the smash or the pass.
Joe: This is my favourite starter line this gen, but it’s still just a plant thing. Pass.
Stacey: I don’t think I’m ever going to smash the first stage of a starter Pokemon. Pass.
Stacey: The second stage starters tend to be angry teenagers, which again is off-putting. Bayleef is the best of the three, but still a pass.
Joe: I like Bayleef’s energy, but in the same way I’d like a younger sibling. Obviously pass.
Joe: I have to smash. I’m sorry, but I love Meganium to bits. He’s a big, gay dinosaur with a flower and I adore him. Smash.
Stacey: I just don’t see it, sorry. Pass again, my numbers are slipping.
Stacey: I will smash eventually, but not on this ugly burning slug child. Pass.
Joe: I think it’s meant to be a tenrec. Not that’d I’d smash a tenrec, mind. Pass.
Joe: Slightly too child-like, so it’s still a pass, but one I had to put a fair bit of thought into.
Stacey: Nope. I considered Bayleef, but an easy pass. Controversially, the Cyndaquil line is one of my least favourite ever.
Stacey: Which obviously means pass. There’s a smash streak coming soon, don’t worry.
Joe: Hisuian Typhlosion is a hard pass, I hate that pokemon so much. Johtonian Typhlosion is an easy smash though.
Joe: No, that is a child. Pass.
Stacey: Yep. ‘Pass on the children’ is a firm rule I’m proud we’ve stuck to.
Stacey: Nah. Ugmo. Pass.
Joe: Aww, he’s not ugmo. He’s not smashable, but he’s handsome. Pass.
Joe: So far I am 6/6 on every third stage starter, and Feraligatr is one of the easiest smashes so far.
Stacey: And I’m finally off the mark. Smash for sure.
Stacey: Just a little too small and whimsical, so pass.
Joe: I’m not sure how this would work, and Sentret isn’t worth the effort to work that out, so pass.
Joe: Great Pokemon design, but I don’t want to smash a ferret. Pass.
Stacey: Call me Richard Gere, baby. Smash.
Stacey: I hate owls so much. Pass.
Joe: Hoothoot will have its moment, but pass.
Joe: That moment is now, that owl is hot. Just look at that brow game. Smash.
Stacey: Owls. Pass.
Stacey: Ledyba looks less like a ladybird and more like those cheap metal ride-along machines outside supermarkets. I don’t want to smash them, and I don’t want to smash this.
Joe: The blank, dead eyes do nothing for me, pass.
Joe: I almost get it. I wouldn’t judge you if you did want to smash this buggy twink, but it’s not for me. Pass.
Stacey: I think I’m in the same camp, mostly because it looks like a knock-off Power Ranger. Pass.
Stacey: Of course not.
Joe: I’m not into pedipalps. Pass.
Joe: Please reread what I said about Spinarak. Pass.
Stacey: Sticking with ‘of course not’.
Stacey: Sure are a lot of uggos in Johto, eh? Gotta pass I’m afraid.
Joe: Crobat is 5’11”. It’s a big bat boy, but there are better bats to come. Pass.
Joe: Chinhou wouldn’t survive under normal air pressure, let alone the pressure of smashing. Pass for its own sake.
Stacey: Also it looks weird. Pass.
Stacey: This is more like it. It’s also weird looking, but somewhat compelling. Smash for curiosity.
Joe: The most smashable fish to date. Also smash.
Joe: And now we hit the first stretch of baby pokemon. Pass, obviously.
Stacey: Yeah Johto’s baby population is bad news for Smash fans.
Stacey: I think Cleffa would taste the best, but I would not smash it. Pass.
Joe: It’s a baby, and we don’t eat or smash babies, Stacey. Pass.
Joe: Okay yeah Igglybuff does look kind of delicious. Pass for the baby, but I’m warming up to the eating plan.
Stacey: I’m not sure I have the energy or ‘Eat or… hmm, Don’t Eat?’ after we’ve smashed them all, but I do know this is a pass.
Stacey: Out of Babyville for now with another pass.
Joe: It’s a step up from that one gross, smashed Exeggcute, but not by much. Pass.
Joe: Finally, the string is broken with a smash. It’d be like smashing your imaginary friend, which is something I’d want to experience at least once.
Stacey: Oh good, I feel validated now. Also smash, and amazed we agree.
Stacey: Oh come on now. Pass.
Joe: Slightly offended you brushed him off so quickly, but yeah, pass.
Joe: Xatu’s a smash just because I think having the ability to see the future all but guarantees a good time. If you’re smashing, you know Xatu’s seen it was great.
Stacey: It’s a bird crossed with a weird old man. I have to pass.
Stacey: Too much just like a regular sheep, pass again. Johto really needs to step up.
Joe: I have had to lower my standards for Johto, but ‘an actual sheep’ is just too far. Pass.
Joe: I bet Flaaffy feels like one of those hairless cats. It’s gross, pass.
Stacey: I hate that I’m following that image, but I agree on the standards being lowered, so I am going to declare a smash here.
Stacey: A much easier smash. Easiest so far by a distance.
Joe: The flippers put me off, even though Mega Ampharos has incredible hair. Pass.
Joe: This is the most socially acceptable smash so far, but I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s a plant. Pass.
Stacey: Ridiculous logic after making it with an owl. Ampharos is quickly dethroned as the easiest smash of Johto.
Stacey: Johto and the curse of very small, very cute, very unsmashable Pokemon. Pass.
Joe: Smashing Pikachu’s less famous little brother doesn’t have anywhere near the same appeal. Pass.
Joe: Smash for Azumarill though. This is a thicc boy, even if his famous days are behind him.
Stacey: I see it, I support it, it’s not quite for me. It’s like a banana milkshake, I guess. Pass.
Stacey: A relatively straightforward smash, I like the style and the energy.
Joe: He’d give you absolutely nothing in the bedroom though. Pass.
Joe: After Poliwhirl and Poliwrath, how did Johto get it so wrong with Politoed? Absolutely not, this is an inflatable pool toy. Pass.
Stacey: I was all aboard the Poliwrath express, but Politoed takes a wrong turn into Pass City.
Stacey: Okay, look. I really like this line, and I want it to go home with something. Skipping (and jumping) ahead, things go a little haywire. So, for the good of the lineage, I do my smashly duty.
Joe: I’d totally forgotten this line existed. If you got Azumarill, I can get this, but it’s still a pass.
Joe: I love the doofy face, but pass.
Stacey: Doofy little blob, a major step down from Hoppip. Pass.
Stacey: Here’s my conundrum. It’s as cute as Hoppip, but the question is do you allow the hazard of nettles, or of those weird little hairy seed stems. I think this is too much of a risk, so pass. I did think about it though.
Joe: Meanwhile I don’t smash weeds, pass.
Joe: Call me in two generations and we’ll discuss it, but right now it’s a pass.
Stacey: Never call me again. Pass.
Stacey: What? How? Absolutely not.
Joe: The eyes haunt me. Pass.
Joe: If you’d asked me this before Scarlet & Violet, I might have said smash. But that godawful corralling minigame makes me hate these creepy little bastards more than ever, so pass.
Stacey: I can’t believe this is the plant you considered after dismissing the rest so easily. But yeah, pass.
Stacey: It’s actually not too far away from smash, but still a little bit short. Pass.
Joe: I’m concerned that this wasn’t too far away from a smash for you, pass.
Joe: This comes too close to being a child for me, especially when his dad is just around the corner. Pass.
Stacey: And again, weird looking. Pass.
Stacey: I understand why Joe is going to smash, but I am not on that wavelength. Pass for sure.
Joe: Quagsire gives me short king. He gives me himbo. He gives me cuddly, supportive, and kind. Most of all, he gives me smash.
Joe: These are a big step up from the Gen 1 Eeveelutions, but Espeon’s weird fronds puts me off. Pass.
Stacey: I was two out of three in Kanto, and I agree that Espeon is even better. Smash.
Stacey: Worse than Espeon, better than the also-smash-worthy-Flareon, so a mathematically devised smash.
Joe: Don’t let Eric hear you say that. In order to keep the peace at TheGamer, I feel obliged to smash Umbreon, and not because the emo shtick is kinda appealing, I swear.
Joe: Smash, purely because I imagine it’d talk with a thick New Yorker accent which I am not ashamed to admit I find hot.
Stacey: I haven’t decided how I feel about the evolution, but right now, a simple pass.
Stacey: I have fewer ethical concerns than other Slow- ‘mons, but I still find it goofy. Pass.
Joe: Johtonian Slowking is an easy smash now that I don’t have to feel weird about it like I would a Slowbro. Galarian freaks me out though… in a way Parasect probably should have as well, on reflection.
Joe: I will support anyone who would, but it’s a pass for me.
Stacey: I appreciate the support, even if I am really here to get the older sister’s number. Smash.
Stacey: I wouldn’t smash alphabet soup, and I wouldn’t smash this.
Joe: It entirely depends on the letter, I guess. None of them feel sentient enough to qualify though, so an overall pass.
Joe: Somehow, this is my most shameful smash. I don’t know why I’d smash, but I would and I’m so sorry for that.
Stacey: I knew you would, it’s basically yassified Quagsire. Not for me, but I see it.
Stacey: I mean, which end are we even smashing here? Neither, for me anyway.
Joe: My horse phobia from gen 1 rears its ugly head. Anything with hooves is a hard pass.
Joe: I almost want to say yes for the bit, but I just can’t work out how it’d even happen. Pass.
Stacey: We’re saying yes to plants, animals, and egg creatures unprompted, we don’t need ‘the bit’. But still, pass.
Stacey: A big metal ball that’s also a landmine that’s also a tank that’s also an acorn, or something. None of those are smashable things. Pass.
Joe: I just have mental images of this thing slamming shut mid-act. Not taking the risk, pass.
Joe: Dunsparce is 4’11”, which makes it disturbingly big for a worm-drill-bug-thing. Pass.
Stacey: I think if I ranked them all, this might be at the very bottom. Pass.
Stacey: What a handsome chap. Smash.
Joe: I was not expecting you to join me in loving Gligar. A really, really easy smash.
Joe: Sometimes there are Pokemon you wouldn’t smash because it’s too risky. Steelix is the opposite, I want to smash this big hunk of boy because he could possibly crush me to death.
Stacey: I see the crushing appeal in general, but not here. Passed on Onix, passing here too.
Stacey: Designed after what is famously the ugliest dog. A clear pass.
Joe: Snubbull looks like those paintings of Victorian children wearing sailor costumes. No thanks, pass.
Joe: I really hate Granbull, but we’re running out of options in Johto, and this is one I think I could bring myself round to smash in a pinch.
Stacey: I am gearing up to take some for the team, but this isn’t one of them. Gotta stick with passing.
Stacey: This is the toughest one, especially when you get to the Hisui version, but I think I’m going to pass and trust that a smash streak is right around the corner.
Joe: I don’t want to smash a venomous fish, which is more controversial than I was expecting.
Joe: Scizor is Scyther’s hotter, older brother. He has a motorbike, probably. Maybe he’d let me ride it after I ride him. Smash.
Stacey: I feel the same way, for opposite reasons. I love the slightly nerdy energy of Scyther, where we’d stay inside and talk about books while his brother drinks beer and does sports. But he’s enough of a dreamboat that it all falls apart when we have a one-time fling and break Scyther’s heart. A tragic smash.
Stacey: You don’t fuckle with Shuckle. Literally. Pass.
Joe: I’d just feel bad. Pass.
Joe: Finally, more smashable bugs. Heracross looks strong and would know how to treat me just right. Smash.
Stacey: The female Heracross has a heart at the end of her… horn? I’m going with horn. Anyway, that’s very cute. Smash for sure.
Stacey: There are realities in which, in the right light, in the right way, at the right time, this is a smash. So in the binary ‘smash or pass’, I’m going ‘smash’.
Joe: This line will have its time to smash, I think I can pass on Sneasel.
Joe: It’s a baby, and I’m scared of its parent. Pass.
Stacey: Another child. It’s probably good in bed, but not like that. Pass.
Stacey: The differences between the two of us distilled into one answer. Pass.
Joe: Absolute smash. Literally every evolved bear Pokemon is a smash, but Ursaring is the original, and I don’t even have to think twice about this answer.
Joe: …No, I’m too mature to make the obvious joke. But I bet it’d feel good, so smash.
Stacey: I get razz for considering Qwilfish, and then we get this? Not a chance. Pass.
Stacey: If I had to pick one, it would be the other one. Pass.
Joe: Yeah Magcargo is a rare example of a Pokemon getting worse as it evolves. Pass.
Joe: How? Pass, mostly out of practicality.
Stacey: I don’t think that’s a major issue, but I’m still going for pass.
Stacey: It would be the third one in the line if any, and I’m not sure it’s any. Pass.
Joe: I love a strong brow, but this is too much. This is a grandpa with overgrown bushy brows, pass.
Joe: Pretty sure Corsola is protected by some environmental agency, pass.
Stacey: It’s not that far away, but it’s still a pass.
Stacey: A fish that’s kind of a gun but then not really. The worst idea for a Pokemon ever? Anyway, pass.
Joe: I’d never noticed it’s meant to look like a gun. The rubbish design only solidifies my decision to pass.
Joe: Octillery’s a smash though. When you can imagine multiple methods, you can’t pass.
Stacey: Remoraid is a gun and Octillery is meant to be the tank it evolves into. Which is also stupid. And I’m passing again.
Stacey: Smash… into the ground, with a baseball bat. And then drop a piano on it. The single worst Pokemon ever. It gives you its own shit for Christmas. Pass does not adequately sum up my hatred. But it’s all I have. So pass.
Joe: Partly to annoy Stacey and partly because I like the chunky Santa energy, I’m smashing.
Joe: If we can ditch that Remoraid and have some alone time, I’d smash Mantine. But I think he’d just keep inviting his buddy along and ruining the moment. We’ll go smash, but with zero expectations it’d be any good.
Stacey: It just looks a little too charming and wholesome. I know I’m passing on a lot of 50-50s, but I just… can’t. Pass.
Stacey: This one’s easy though. I love the sharp design, the gothic danger of it all. Smash, no question.
Joe: There are better metal birds out there, but Skarmory’s got that utter edgelord punk design to make it a nice, solid smash nonetheless.
Joe: I can’t decide if this one verges too much into looking like a puppy, so to avoid any problems I’m going to pass.
Stacey: Agreed, just a little too much of a baby. A huge problem in Johto.
Stacey: No such issues here. Not at the top of the list, but a fairly simple smash pick.
Joe: Houndoom tries too hard, but also I’m not picky. I’d roll my eyes, then smash anyway.
Joe: At first I brushed Kingdra off as just a wrinkly Seadra, but there’s something distinguished about him, like Hugh Laurie or Hugh Grant or another Hugh. Smash.
Stacey: Last week I passed on Seadra and said I’d be waiting, but my memory of Kingdra was a little more dapper. Still, to honour my words, it’s a smash.
Stacey: A baby. Again. No. Pass.
Joe: Also Phanpy sounds like nappy, which reminds me of poo. I don’t want to be thinking about poo. Pass.
Joe: Donphan would be the one doing the smashing, I’d imagine. But I’d be down, so smash.
Stacey: It’s another close call that sees the night end smashless, I’m afraid. Pass.
Stacey: Porygon2 looks like a rubber duck. It’s Porygon after a Snapchat filter. I might be being catfished, but I’m curious. Smash.
Joe: As I mentioned last week, Porygon is my favourite Pokemon. Porygon2 is Porygon with most of the appeal buffed out. I didn’t smash Porygon out of respect, I won’t smash Porygon2 just because I don’t like it.
Joe: In a dark room, I’d smash. Which, apparently, qualifies it for a smash. But I hate its Droopy face and its tail. Smash to respect the precedent.
Stacey: This is too much of a ‘just an animal’ Pokemon, so I’m out.
Stacey: A stupid little dog with stupid little paintings. Pass.
Joe: Smeargle’s up there as one of my favourites, but not because I want to smash it. I love this little fella and want to see it thrive more than I want to sleep with it.
Joe: Welcome back to Babytown. Population: not me.
Stacey: Sigh. Pass.
Stacey: Better than Hitmonlee, worse than Hitmonchan. Yeah, I can see it. Smash.
Joe: Oh, we’re not quite in Babytown yet. We’ll make a quick stop to smash Hitmontop, then it’s going straight to the high street to not smash anything for a while.
Joe: God… God, this one’s just the worst, isn’t it? Pass.
Stacey: I disagree that it’s the worst, but pass for sure.
Stacey: A baby and also an electric socket. Obviously a pass.
Joe: If Smoochum’s the worst, Elekid’s the best. Not smashing, of course, but I appreciate this chap.
Joe: Sorry, I was wrong. This one’s the worst. Pass, and maybe a kick as I go by.
Stacey: Now we’re in agreement. A pass for sure.
Stacey: The first 50/50 where I have decided on ‘go on then’. A pass of curiosity and circumstance.
Joe: I think we’re about to enter a very smash-heavy stretch soon, so I don’t want to tire myself out. I absolutely understand Miltank, but I’ll survive if I pass.
Joe: I passed on Chansey, but Blissey feels like one I’d want to experience, even if it was just the once. Smash.
Stacey: I did not pass on Chansey, and I will not pass here. Smash. Easy.
Stacey: You have to take the Legendary dogs seriously, but this is the least smash-able, and therefore a pass.
Joe: Raikou is definitely the least smashable, there’s too many conflicting colours going on here. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t absolutely smash it, though.
Joe: Oh my god yes, I’d smash Daddy Entei all the way to Sinnoh.
Stacey: I think Joe is running away with Johto, but I’m just concentrating on my own smash game. When all the Pokemon become pretty ladies for some reason in later gens, I will have the upper hand. Anyway, pass.
Stacey: You’d have to smash one of them though. Especially one that, for a long time, I thought was called ‘Suck-U-in’.
Joe: Meanwhile I spent years thinking it was ‘Sway-Shane’. That isn’t relevant to the task at hand, though. It’s a smash for all three legendary beasts, how could it not? Look at that hair.
Joe: Even though I’m passing on Larvitar, I refuse to consider this as me breaking my smash-chain. I’m not passing, I’m biding my time for a bigger, better boy.
Stacey: I only have a chain of one, but it is broken. Smashed, even. Unlike Larvitar. Pass.
Stacey: Hahaha, yeah, sure. Pass.
Joe: Didn’t you want to smash Metapod? I’m still biding my time, so pass. But soon, my love. Soon.
Joe: The time has come. Tyranitar is a no-brainer smash, this guy would demolish me and I’d thank him for it.
Stacey: I smashed Metapod out of curiosity and, crucial, Metapod is not one of the ugliest creatures ever designed in any game, anywhere. Also a pass, Johto has gone from my favourite region to near the bottom this week. Uggos everywhere.
Stacey: Okay, maybe not everywhere. Lugia is an easy smash, gotta get the Legendaries in early before they become overdesigned nonsense.
Joe: Even if it wasn’t a Legendary, Lugia’s just plain hot. Smash.
Joe: Whereas I think Ho-Oh is more just a Legendary I’d want to smash to say I’d smashed it. A smash is a smash, but it’s no Lugia.
Stacey: It’s always been my favourite over Lugia, but it does not beat it out for Smash-ability. I do agree that it’s still worth a try though.
Stacey: It’s very fitting that Johto’s last Pokemon is basically a baby. Pass.
Joe: It’s an onion and a child all wrapped up into one, easily passable package.
Stacey: 26/100 = 26 percent (overall total 65/251 = 25.9 percent)
Joe 35/100 = 35 percent (overall total 73/251 = 29.1 percent)
Joe turns his one smash deficit into an impressive (well, not that, but something) eight smash lead. As the Pokemon become more femmified, that lead may be in danger. Still, he can always say he smashed the most Pokemon in the region full of babies and ugly dorks. Next week we’ll be in Hoenn, getting wet and wild among the islands. Be there or, if you have any sense, avoid at all costs.