Ludicolo is a bipedal Pokémon that appears to be a mixture of a pineapple and a duck. There is a green, sombrero-like growth on its head that is similar to a lily pad. Growing out of the top of its head is a short brown stem with a yellow spiky upper portion. It has black eyes surrounded by a patch of green and an orange bill. Its body is covered with shaggy yellow fur and has several zigzagging brown stripes. The female has thinner stripes than the male.
It has large, green hands with two black lines on its palms, and thick green legs with a black circle on the underside of its feet. Ludicolo becomes more powerful when it hears festive music and will appear near laughing children on hikes. As it becomes more energetic and active, it will break into a dance. Being the result of an evolution via evolutionary stone, Ludicolo is rarely found in the wild, though they can be found near the water's edge.
Ludicolo debuted in Gotta Dance!. It kept showing up out of nowhere whenever the Poké-Baton was activated.
Ludicolo made its main series debut in Go Go Ludicolo, under the ownership of Poncho. It battled Ash twice, defeating his Corphish with its defensive skills, and was also the target of one of Team Rocket's schemes.
A trio of wild Ludicolo appeared in Like It or Lup It!, where they became involved in one of Team Rocket's schemes.
They are the only Pokémon that can have the Ability Rain Dish without it being their Hidden Ability.
Ludicolo's evolutionary line can be seen as parallel to Shiftry's family. Both of them are part Grass-type, they first evolve at level 14, and a respective evolutionary stone is used to reach the final stage. Both are version-exclusive between Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and are based on Japanese legendary creatures or yokai: Ludicolo's family are based on the kappa and Shiftry's is based on the tengu. They both also have fur or hair covering portions of their bodies.
Ludicolo may be a combination of ludic (aimlessly playful) or ludicrous (laughable or absurd) and colocynth (a plant that bears a round, yellow and green fruit). Colo may be an anagram of loco, the Spanish word for crazy. The name may also come from paludicolous (inhabiting a swamp or marsh).
Alternatively, it may be a reference to the Spanish word ridículo meaning ridiculous, just as Lombre is a reference to the Spanish word hombre.
Runpappa may be a combination of ルンルン runrun (happy or bouncy) and pappa (the sound of a rapid drumbeat). It may also be a combination of rumba and kappa.