Lickitung and Lickilicky

This'll be a fun one! Lickitung was always one of the first generation's least appreciated oddballs, a freaky salamander-like normal type sandwiched all alone between the Hitmons and our upcoming smog balloons, evolving neither from nor into any other pokemon all the way until the fourth generation.

Lickitung's entire concept is nothing but a thing with a big tongue, and the details offered by its dex entries demonstrate a lot of thought and consideration for what that entails. The tongue is said to be densely packed with nerves, extremely sticky and coated in a numbing salivary toxin, it always prefers to manipulate objects with its tongue over its admittedly vestigial-looking "hands," and it memorizes objects more by taste and texture than by sight or smell. Adorable AND freaky! It's even said that as its tongue extends, its tail retracts. Would that mean the tongue is anchored all the way back in the tail, like how an anteater's tongue goes all the way into its chest?

Even the rest of Lickitung looks appropriately pink, slick and slimy, almost definitely more amphibian than reptile, its face kinda looks like it's perpetually gagging and I always appreciated its total lack of teeth. Every little touch plays back into the theme of a creature that experiences life through its tongue.

It seems likely that Lickitung is one of those "monster" pokemon conceived from whole cloth, but I can't help feeling like there has to be a little dash of Akaname in there. This classic youkai is usually thought of as a humanoid creature, but leaving sticky saliva all over everything with its long, stretchy tongue is its foremost claim to fame and its most famous incarnations have just a single, clawed toe on each foot. It's the combination of these two characteristics, and just how famous it is in its home country, that I think lend a lot of credibility to a conscious Lickitung connection.

It was many years after Lickitung's debut that it finally received a little extra attention in the form of a rather controversial evolution, Lickilicky. Its fatter, more humanoid proportions, cartoonier face, curl of hair-like flesh and shortened tail have all been called uglier, dumber, and less imaginative by fans who loved Lickitung primarily as a creepy newt-like monster, and the fact that Lickilicky shows less of its tongue is a sticking point even for me, but overall?

I actually really like this one, for pretty much all the reasons nobody else does. This one's dex entries all just talk about how much damn spit it produces, how it stores extra saliva in some sort of throat sac and how its salivary compounds can slowly dissolve "anything." I get why some people preferred the more lizard-like 'tung, but the concept of a fat, gluttonous, rubbery, slobbering salamander-man-baby is just too freaking weird for me to dislike. I am a total sucker for bizarre quasihumanoids, and I even like how its chest markings now resemble a bib.

Pokemon can somehow take everything off-putting about babies and make it appeal to me. That is amazing. Now if only Lickilicky had some better moves and abilities so I could use it on the higher Pokemon Showdown tiers...

I really love both of these drooling creep-o's.