10 Pokémon Trainers Worse Than Ash Ketchum

Ash Ketchum is often portrayed in the Pokémon anime as a model trainer, thanks to the kindness he shows to his Pokémon. However, that doesn’t mean that Ash is perfect. Aside from losing a fair amount of battles, Ash sometimes lets his ego take over. He has even had conflicting relationships with certain Pokémon, such as Charizard and Chikorita.

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However, for all its flaws, there are many Pokémon Trainers worse than Ash. Some openly abuse their Pokémon, while others use them for selfish personal gain. Some even neglect their human loved ones in favor of their Pokémon.

10 The Eevee brothers believed that all Pokémon had to evolve, whether they wanted to or not

the Pokemon The anime was an early proponent of the idea that Pokémon should choose to evolve, such as when Pikachu chose not to evolve in order to defeat Lieutenant Surge’s Raichu. However, not all coaches received the memo. In “The Battling Eevee Brothers,” a young man named Mikey was pressured by his older brothers Sparky, Pyro, and Rainer to evolve his Eevee as they had developed theirs.

Also, Mikey’s brothers believed every Pokémon should evolve and looked down on trainers who disagreed. However, seeing Mikey’s Eevee defeat Team Rocket convinced the brothers to change their minds, and they immediately accepted Mikey’s decision to train Eevee without evolving.

9 Anthony neglected his wife and daughter to train for a Pokémon fighting tournament

Anthony and his Hitmonchan from the Pokémon episode

There’s nothing wrong with being committed to Pokémon training … unless, of course, you neglect your family as a result. Such was the case for Anthony, who refused to return home to his family without first winning the P1 Grand Prix, a fighting Pokémon tournament, with his Hitmonchan.

His daughter Rebecca had to jump in front of Hitmonchan in the P1 tournament to protect him from Hitmonlee so that Anthony would get out of it. After Ash won the grand prize with his Primeape, Anthony, impressed, offered to train Primeape. Ash agreed, while Rebecca promised to make sure Anthony remembered his family commitments as well.

8 Lieutenant Surge was too tough in battle and sponsored trainers and unevolved Pokémon

Lieutenant Surge and his Raichu in the Pokémon episode

Lieutenant Surge is a fairly iconic gym leader and trainer, but his initial treatment of Pokémon trainers and opponents, especially Pokémon that hadn’t evolved, left something to be desired. Virtually any Pokémon that lost to him and his Raichu would end up in the ER, including Ash’s own Pikachu. He would also call any trainer or Pokemon that hadn’t defeated him (even before the battle) a baby and felt that Pokemon should evolve as soon as possible.

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Surge’s tone changed, however, after Ash’s Pikachu defeated Surge’s Raichu. Surge awarded Ash a badge and applause, then told other trainers about his battle.

7 Giselle and other Pokémon tech students treated trainers and classmates like trash

Giselle and other Pokémon Tech students with Misty and Starmie

Going to Pokémon Technical has its perks, including the ability to enter the Pokémon League without having to travel the world and collect badges. However, boarding school students can be quite arrogant.

In addition to badmouthing the trainers who didn’t show up at Pokémon Tech, they’ve also mistreated novice students, for example by making them answer Pokémon trivia while on a treadmill whose speed would increase for every wrong answer. Among the most conceited was the best student in the beginner’s class, Giselle, who believed herself to be superior to all. Giselle became more humble after losing to Ash, though it’s unclear if her classmates did as well.

6 Jessie, James and Meowth use their Pokémon to commit crimes

Team Rocket arguing, Pokémon

Hands down the most recognizable example on the list, Team Rocket’s most infamous trio are the poster kids of How no be Pokémon trainers. However, their relationship with their own Pokémon is more mixed than horrible: although Lickitung and Wobbuffet weren’t treated very well, Jessie and James have had strong ties to Pokémon like Ekans and Koffing.

However, it is what they use your Pokémon because that’s the problem. Being members of Team Rocket, Jessie, James, and Meowth primarily use their Pokémon for theft and similar crimes, including stealing Ash’s beloved Pikachu. Fortunately, they are rarely successful and are often sent “blasting off” by Ash, Pikachu, and their friends.

5 Yas and Kaz: they turned Pokémon training into a gang war

Gym leaders Yas and Kaz from Pokémon

Yas and Kaz started out as a pretty rotten couple. Rival gym leaders from Dark City waged a gang war to see which gym would be officially recognized by the Pokémon League, routinely recruiting Pokémon trainers from outside the city as gang members. Worse still, their Pokémon would attack any trainer who turned down an offer to join them, like Ash when he refused to join the Yas Gang.

Fortunately, a nurse Joy, who was also an inspector for the Pokémon League, arrested Yas and Kaz, stating that neither gym would become official until the two trainers changed their forms.

4 Damian left Charmander behind after teasing him for being “weak”

Damian and Charmander in Pokémon

Ash’s Charizard, a fan favorite, started out as a Charmander that Ash, Brock, and Misty discovered sitting on a rock waiting for their trainer Damian, who had promised to return. However, Damian had lied to Charmander and left him behind forever because he thought the fire Pokémon was not strong enough. Worse still, Damian even rejoiced with his friends.

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At first, Charmander believed in Damian’s goodness. However, when he saw firsthand the true personality of his former coach, Charmander decided to join Ash and his teammates, who had shown him much more kindness.

3 Squirtle Squad Trainers Dropped Their Squirtles

Sure, the Squirtle Squad seemed like a pretty badass bunch when they first appeared. However, there was an understandable reason they turned to crime: Their coaches had deliberately left them behind. While none of the former Squirtle Squad’s trainers ever appeared on screen, the repercussions of their actions were clear as day, as the Squirtles were undoubtedly expressing their feelings of abandonment.

Fortunately, Ash inspired the Squirtle Squad to become heroes (specifically firefighters) and their leader joined Ash on many of his adventures, proving that a good trainer can be just as influential as a bad one.

two AJ whips and overwork his Pokémon

AJ and Rattata overworked in Pokémon

AJ, an undefeated trainer who owned his own (albeit unofficial) Pokemon gym, quickly earned the ire of Ash and his friends when they found out that AJ spanked his Pokemon and overworked them with strenuous exercise and uncomfortable machinery, especially your Sandshrew. Deep down though, AJ cared about his Pokémon, as seen by how concerned he got when Team Rocket accidentally captured Sandshrew, as well as his attention to the proper diet of the Pokémon.

While AJ befriended Ash, Misty, and Brock and helped them defeat Team Rocket, it was unclear if he planned to listen to their objections and change his training methods.

1 Giovanni mistreats Pokémon and leads an entire organization of criminal trainers

Anime Pokemon Giovanni Persa Angry

One of the most nefarious characters in the Pokémon franchise, Giovanni is a poor Pokémon trainer by various standards. In addition to playing favorites (for example, giving Persian preferential treatment over Meowth), Giovanni has also been known to treat certain Pokémon terribly. He has conducted unethical experiments with Pokémon and has exploited their creation, Mewtwo; he also keeps most of his Pokémon in cages.

Of course, Giovanni’s biggest claim to notoriety is leading his Team Rocket legions in various illegal endeavors. In anime, these crimes tend to involve robbery, kidnapping, and exploitation; In the games, Giovanni’s agents have even killed Pokémon.

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