In the world of Pokémon, Grass-types are considered among the big three types as there is always one of them as the starter choice for each generation and region. They may often be overlooked due to their many weaknesses – Fire, Flying, Bug, Ice, and Poison types – but Grass types still find themselves in favorable situations against Ground, Rock, and Water types.
As with every other typing, there are some Grass-type Pokémon that are unable to live up to their potential – whether it’s due to consistently poor performance, losing despite a type advantage, or just not meeting expectations.
10Drake’s Venusaur Loses To Ash’s Debuting Tauros
While the Charmander line has been showcased especially well with strong performances from both Alain and Ash’s Charizards, the Squirtle and Bulbasaur lines have not had quite the same success in Pokémon. During Ash’s battle against Drake, Supreme Gym Leader of the Orange Crew, Ash uses his Tauros, who handily defeats Drake’s Venusaur.
In the heat of battle, Tauros is somehow able to survive a direct hit from a Solar Beam and several Vine Whip attacks. While being a testament to Tauros’ strength and willpower, it is also a sign that Drake’s Venusaur is not strong enough, as the Grass-type would normally be expected to defeat the Normal-type Pokémon.
9An Impressive Performance From Ramos’s Weepinbell Exposes Erika’s Weepinbell As A Disappointment
When Ash’s Charmander eases past Erika’s Weepinbell during their Celadon City Gym Battle, nobody is especially surprised due to the well-known mismatch between Fire and Grass-type Pokémon. However, in the X & Y series of the anime, Weepinbell’s true potential is finally shown off by the Coumarine City Gym Leader Ramos.
Ramos uses Jumpluff and Gogoat in addition to his Weepinbell, but it’s his Weepinbell that manages to surprise, defeating two of Ash’s Pokémon. One of these is the Flying/Fire-type Fletchinder, with Weepinbell overcoming two type weaknesses before eventually falling to Frogadier.
8Ferrothorn Has Shown Glimpses Under Cameron & Rose But Not Enough
In the Pokémon Journeys episode, “Sword And Shield… The Legends Awaken!”Ash faces off against Chairman Rose. Ash uses the small Pokémon Riolu and Pikachu, while rose uses the colossal Steel-types Copperajah and Ferrothorn.
Rose has Ash on the ropes with the sheer power that his Pokémon possess. Ferrothorn proves to be quite tricky with its reliance on the Iron Defense move. Rose ultimately misses his chance of victory, however, when Riolu survives long enough to be able to evolve into Lucario, turning the tide of the battle.
7Grass Types Fail To Live Up To Their Potential Under The Ownership Of Team Rocket
Team Rocket’s infamously evil trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth have appeared in the Pokémon anime almost as much as the main character Ash Ketchum but rarely do they find much success in their schemes. Like Ash, Jessie and James tend to capture new species of Pokémon that are native to the region that they are currently in, meaning that they have amassed quite a collection.
James has taken a shining to Pokémon that are adorable or affectionate but also finds himself opting for Grass-types on several occasions. He has used the likes of Cacnea, Carnivine, and Victreebel, and through association with Team Rocket alone, these Pokémon underachieve, due to constant defeat. Sinnoh Gym Leader Gardenia taking on and training James’ Cacnea is an instance of recognition from all parties involved, that Cacnea needs better guidance to achieve its potential.
6Determination Only Gets Grotle So Far In Its Rivalry With Paul’s Honchkrow
Ash’s Grotle from his Sinnoh campaign is not always talked about as often as its two other forms, with Turtwig being impressive in picking up several wins compared to the slower Torterra being one of Ash’s most disappointing Pokémon of the Diamond & Pearl series.
Grotle got into an intense rivalry with Paul’s Honchkrow, and despite its obvious type disadvantages, it should have picked up at least one victory over Paul’s Flying-type. The first defeat comes after Turtwig evolves into Grotle and immediately struggles to cope with its newfound lack of speed and agility, resulting in a loss. While the rematch sees Grotle suffer from Paul’s expert battle management, utilizing Light Screen to defend his Honchkrow.
5Bulbasaur Has Been A Huge Help For Ash Over The Years But Its Loss To A Bellsprout Will Never Go Away
Over the years, Bulbasaur has proven itself to be one of Ash’s most trusted Pokémon and friends, with it even racking up more than twenty individual victories in the process. However, this prolonged period of loyalty and companionship has naturally yielded several as well.
One of the most notable of Bulbasaur’s defeats is its loss to Jeanette Fisher’s Bellsprout at the Indigo Plateau Conference in Kanto. Bellsprout not only completely dominates Bulbasaur, but also manages to embarrass Ash’s Pikachu. Bulbasaur makes light work of Jeanette’s intimidating Scyther, only to be knocked out in record time by the unassuming Bellsprout.
4Hau’s Decidueye Is Outclassed By Ash’s Rowlet
While the Hisuian variant of Decidueye may have divided opinion in terms of its design and type changes, it cannot be disputed that the original is an impressive Pokémon. In the anime, however, Hau’s star Decidueye suffers a loss to Ash’s Rowlet, the first form of its evolution line.
Hau’s grandfather Hala has to intervene and confirm that Rowlet is asleep and not defeated, but a defiant Rowlet on either side of its nap is too much for Decidueye to handle, despite it not having access to the wide variety of powerful moves that Decidueye has in its arsenal.
3Chikorita Loses To A Metapod
Bayleef is considered to be one of Ash’s most loyal and affectionate Pokémon, but this does not always translate to easy wins when it comes to battling. When Ash faces the Bug-type specialist and Azalea Gym Leader Bugsy during his Johto campaign, Chikorita is excited after defeating Bugsy’s Spinarak and carries this complacent energy into its next showdown with Metapod.
Ash and Chikorita underestimate Bugsy’s Metapod, with it easily blocking and deflecting incoming attacks, before jumping up and landing a major Tackle to knock out Chikorita. Ever since that battle at the beginning of the entire anime where Ash and Samurai pit Metapod against Metapod, the Pokémon has been viewed in an unthreatening light. Chikorita being defeated with such ease just adds insult to injury.
2Juan’s Luvdisc Embarrasses Ash’s Grovyle
Ash’s Sootopolis Gym battle with Juan is one of the Hoenn region’s toughest showdowns, with a 5-on-5 being decided in rounds, consisting of a Double Battle and several single face-offs. Spanning multiple episodes, the second round sees Ash’s Grovyle facing off against Juan’s unassuming Luvdisc.
Luvdisc uses Sweet Kiss on Grovyle, disorienting its opponent, and follows up with a Water Gun to knock out one of Ash’s more reliable Hoenn Pokémon. Not only does Grovyle lose quickly to its opponent, but it loses to a weak Water-type move that is also not very effective against its Grass-types. This is a disappointing defeat for Grovyle, but not the end of its involvement in Ash’s Hoenn campaign.
1Torterra’s Defeat To Electivire Is The Most Disappointing Defeat Of Several
Torterra is remembered as being one of Ash’s worst-performing Pokémon of the entire anime, with it suffering multiple defeats following its evolution from Grotle, but the truth is that it simply faces difficult opponents that surpass its own abilities.
Torterra is felled in one Ice Punch hit by Elite Four member Bertha’s Hippowdon, despite having a supposed advantage as Grass-type facing off against a Ground-type. Torterra also suffers a major defeat to Paul’s powerful Drapion at the Lily of the Valley Conference, and the most disappointing showdown leads to another loss against Volkner’s Electivire in the Sunyshore Gym rematch.