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favorite and least favorite gym leader from each gen?

Aug 2, 2023
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  1. He/Him
what the title says. you can explain your reasoning if you want, but you don't have to.
here are my personal picks:

gen i
  • favorite: blue, but if we're talking strictly kanto-focused games then sabrina. erika is a very close runner up though.
  • least favorite: brock i guess, he's just not particularly interesting to me compared to the others.

gen ii
  • favorite: jasmine (unsurprisingly), she's adorable and has such a lovely and kind personality. (plus, well... amphy!)
  • least favorite: clair. maybe whitney isn't a great sport, but at least she didn't send you off on a fetch quest (that can potentially soft-lock your game in gs) in order to actually receive the badge.

gen iii
  • favorite: wallace and winona a million times over
  • least favorite: wattson, i don't dislike him but he's not nearly as standout to me as the rest.

gen iv
  • favorite: roark. not sure why lol, i just like his vibe.
  • least favorite: crasher wake, i can't bring myself to care about him at all, sorry...

gen v
  • favorite: probably elesa or roxie, i can't really pick
  • least favorite: cress i suppose, he's just a little too smarmy for my liking.

gen vi
  • favorite: valerie. adore her otherworldly design and unique personality... and her ace is my favorite pokemon of all time which may help lol
  • least favorite: i honestly like all of the kalos leaders to some extent, ramos just sticks out the least in my head

gen viii
  • favorite: bea for sure, love her design and general vibes. great mix of cute and badass.
  • least favorite: melony simply on the grounds that she pressure(d? s?) gordie into continuing using the ice type instead of pursuing his own favorite. she's fine otherwise, that just irks me a lil d: let the kid do what he wants, he ain't hurting anyone!

gen ix
  • favorite: larry and iono (obvious reasons are obvious)
  • least favorite: kofu, i do not find him interesting at all. i also do not care much for his physical design, it is just uncanny to me. other than him paldea has my favorite gym leaders in the series, so :sadsola:
This is a tough one.

Gen I

Favorite: Sabrina
Least favorite: Blaine

Gen II

Favorite: Falkner
Least favorite: Chuck


Favorite: Roxanne/Winona tied
Least Favorite: Juan

Gen IV

Favorite: Volkner
Least Favorite: Crasher Wake

Gen V

Favorite: Elesa
Least favorite: Burgh

Gen VI

Favorite: Clemont
Least favorite: Ramos


Favorite: Bede
Least Favorite: Piers

Gen IX

Favorite: Tulip (I’d peak Iono if it wasn’t for the sharp teeth)
Least Favorite: Kofu
Kind of hard for me as my favorites sometimes flip-flops often, and depends on replays and/or my mood towards them that time.

Gen I
Lt. Surge, though Brock and Misty are pretty high up still in my favorites from this gen.
Least favorite: None really, I used to dislike Erika but that was mostly from the anime and mainly her gym trainers that soured me on her; now though, I don't really dislike any this gen, mostly indifferent to the others.

Gen II
Morty, his design is so handsome imo. Falkner and Clair are pretty great too.
Least favorite: Chuck, he's really mediocre imo.

Tie between Norman and Juan. The former he's the MC's dad, and that's cool in my book; the latter I just really like him design wise the most. Both are also quite handsome too.
Least favorite: Tie between Wallace and Wattson. I used to like the former, but Juan is a better Sootopolis gym leader imo, plus I'm not a fan of his ORAS design lol; the latter he's just very, very mediocre also.

Gen IV
Fantina, her design is so pretty, and I love her purple hair and dress; her badge design is also really cool. Roark and Volkner are also my favorites after her.
Least favorite: Eh, maybe Crasher Wake. I don't really dislike him much, but I'm not fond of his design tbh.

Gen V
Five way tie between Lenora, Clay, Drayden, Cheren, and Marlon. They're all just so great design wise, but if I had to pick one, then Drayden.
Least favorite: Burgh, he's just been meh for me lately.

Gen VI
Olympia, she has a pretty design and it makes her look so wise imo.
Least favorite: Ramos and Viola, they are two I forget about the most in this gen.

Three way tie between Bede, Kabu, and Raihan. But I'd say Bede as my top favorite because he's so smug and such a jerk at first lol.
Least favorite: Piers, I thought I'd like him because his design is neat, but he just fell short unfortunately.

Gen IX
Three way tie between Iono, Larry, and Grusha. Iono and Grusha have great designs, but Larry actually feels (and is) more realistic, so I'd have to say him for my top favorite this gen.
Least favorite: Kofu, just not a fan of his design personally.
Gen I

Favorite: Blaine(cause of the manga)
Least favorite: Erika

Gen II

Favorite: Whitney and Claire
Least favorite: Pryce


Favorite: Norman and Flannery
Least Favorite: Juan

Gen IV

Favorite: Volkner
Least Favorite: Crasher Wake

Gen V

Favorite: Elesa
Least favorite: Burgh

Gen VI

Favorite: Korrina
Least favorite: Ramos


Favorite: Raihan
Least Favorite: Opal

Gen IX

Favorite: Ryme(She was surprisingly tough)
Least Favorite: Larry(No emotions)
It takes a while to I find it, but I was sure I had already answered the question raised by this thread years ago. Well, here's my answer (I don't think my opinion has changed much):

It is a difficult question. Of course, there are always those characters with whom we identify, be it by the pokemons they use, by the personality they display, the structure of their gyms, the challenge they provide or any other reason. That said, I don't remember to really dislike any gym leader and this is the most difficult part. But, let's go try.

Brock or Misty, they are so relevant to the franchise that is hard don't choose one of them. Nice characters, anyway.
Johto: Whitney, Silver was the first Pokémon game that I played and the normal gym leader was a real pain in my ass. Then, when I finally defeated her, the pretty and wrong-headed girl starts to sob !? Come on, Whitney!! You know how much I suffered too. Honorable mention: Clair and Falkner
Hoenn: Wattson, he is always in a very good mood. Looks like a funny little old chap.
Sinnoh: Volkner or Candice. The first one has a cool design and a sore mood, strong empathy here. The last one is a quirky girl with peculiar habits like talking in third person. I enjoy her quotes and her interactions with Maylene.
Unova: I vouch for Iris in BW and Roxie in BW2. While I dislike Iris in Pokémon anime, the game counterpart save the character for me. I was very happy to see Iris achieve her dreams as a real dragon trainer and become the Champion. Plus, a very nice participation in Pokémon Generations. In her turn, Roxie has a amazing characterization and a toxic song.
Kalos: Korrina, she has a awesome mega-evolution and a very enthusiastic personality, plus she has a more active role in the anime. Besides that, she gives away a Lucario (with the respective mega-stone) of her own to the protagonist. Is there a better gift? Maybe only a kiss of her own. Lol
Galar: Tough one. Bea, she exudes determination, focus, effort and commitment. Serious, when I gym battle against her I wished she could win, looks too wrong beat her :X3:. Honorable mentions: the old grannie (Opal) and Piers.

Least Favourites:
While I like Giovanni, I don't think that he added something as gym leader.
Johto: I don't know, I like them all. Maybe Bugsy or Morty?? They seem the more simpleton.
Hoenn: Brawly, he has very little interactions and no feature that stands out. Obs: I very like Tate and Liza, but their team is ridiculous. Serious, they are the seventh gym leaders and each other has only one Pokémon...
Sinnoh: Roark, simple and generic design. He hasn't a really great feature, the better one is that he has a whole family in game, being Byron, another Sinnoh gym leader, his father.
Unova: I really don't know, all are alright and unique. Maybe Burgh, not much role despite being the leader of the biggest city.
Kalos: Ramos, I think that he should retire. He has a pleasant personality, but has no thrill. I would rather have a warm tea with than battle against him. And I also believe that he prefers the same.
Galar: Gordie, he is quite presumptous and a little snob. His mother looks nicer than him and match better to the theme and environment of Circhester Town.

Well I think I just have to add Paldea's one:

Favourite: Larry, a very unexpected, relatable and refreshing character, I would like to know more about him. Honorable Mention: Brassius! What an incredible design and characterization, the best of the franchise along with Roxie.

Least Favourite: Iono....I am just sick from Youtube and Tiktok, duh.

Addendum: My least favorite Johto leader is Morty. It's not that I have anything against the character, but, as the Gengar trainer and the leader of Johto's most lore-rich city, he should just need be more than simply "handsome".
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  • Favorite: Sabrina. I like her design and the characterization she gets in later games about working to be more sociable. Honorable mention to Lt. Surge for using my favorite Pokemon of all time, Kantonian Raichu!
  • Least Favorite: I don’t dislike any of them, but Erika’s the one I’m the most “indifferent” to.

  • Favorite: Clair. This may just be Masters characterization factoring into my decision here, but it is interesting to see how her relationship with Lance impacts her as a Gym Leader and as a person.
  • Least Favorite: I dunno, Chuck? Same situation as with Kanto’s least favorite.

  • Favorite: Wattson. He mains my favorite type, has intrigue from his involvement with New & Sea Mauville, and is just jolly! Honorable mention to Wallace for… Wallace in general, actually.
  • Least Favorite: Skip :)
In all seriousness though, Juan, if I HAD to choose. I still like him though.

  • Favorite: Volkner. He mains Electric, and he has Raichu. Enough said.
  • Least Favorite: Fantina, solely because of her gym puzzle being dark and forcing me to squint to see the symbols on the floor in Platinum.

  • Favorite: Cheren! He is literally my pfp, of course I had to choose him here. I really like him as a character, and as a Gym Leader he’s no slouch for a first challenge either!
  • Least Favorite: Marlon? This was another tough one, as I like all the Unovan leaders. However, Marlon’s gym battle was a little too easy for my liking (in Challenge Mode).

  • Favorite: I’ll give Korinna and Wulfric respect for doing things outside their gyms (Korinna had the whole Successor thing, and Wulfric checked on Pokemon Village). None of the battles are anything noteworthy, and all the puzzles are solid but not standout IMO.
  • Least Favorite: Valerie, only because IIRC she has a Mawile on her team, serving as a constant reminder of what could have been if Game Freak let more NPCs use Mega Evolution.

  • Favorite: Piers! Close race between him, Opal, and Raihan. They all rock, but Piers felt really unique in SwSh for his banger of a battle theme, his gym’s lack of a Power Spot, and just being the first Dark-type gym leader in the main series!
  • Least Favorite: Milo, I guess? He’s unremarkable to me, but I suspect that’s because his battle and his gym puzzle were intentionally easy as a first gym.

- I didn’t play SV.
Gen 1
Favorite: Sabrina/Brick (im not fixing that)
I love Sabrinas fits she always looks so cool, and Brock is mainly because the anime, 10/10 Ash's best traveling buddy.
Least Favorite: Idk probably Blaine hes boring

Gen 2
Favorite: Clair, pretty lady.. Also she looks cool and uses dragons
Least Favorite: Pryce, hes a dumb boring old man.

Gen 3
Favorite: Whoever the flying leader was im forgetting her name atm, I just really liked her design and her team was interesting. Also she's in the best city in all of Watson

Least Favorite: Watson I just dont like the guy.

Gen 4
Favorite: Byron or Volkner. I loved Byron in the anime, and I think its cool he uses the opposite fossil to his son. I like Volkner because he looks cool, also his match with Ash in journeys was amazing.

Least favorite:Crasher Wake I do not like his design, HOWEVER i like how cracked his rematch team was in BDSP

Gen 5
Favorite: Roxie or Drayden. I want Roxies guitar, also her ace is the best Unovan bug type besides Leavanny. Drayden, ..its Drayden idk what else you want me to say.

Least Favorite: Marlon hes boring as hell.

Gen 6
Favorite: It has to be Korrina, I loved her arc in the XY anime, (I also ship her with Bea). Korrina's actually my favorite gym leader, it'd be weird to not have her as my favorite. I might make her my profile...

Least Favorite: I don't have one because im extremely in different to the rest of them in the games (besides Korrina) or like them in the anime. Uhh Ramos?

Gen 7:
Favorite: If the Kahunas are the gym leaders then I like them all especially Hapu.

Gen 8
Favorite: Bea, her Twilight wings episode is probably my favorite in that web series and I ship her with Korrina. Oh, i also love her rivalry with Ash in Journeys

Least Favorite: Gordie??? he just doesnt do anything for me

Gen 9
Favorite: Larry, Larry.

Least favorite: Uhh the water guy i dont fw him all that much.

(Quick edit, shoutout to Jasmine, Giovanni, Kabu and Iono, oh and Cheren)
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