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Because the only moves Magikarp can learn by level up are Splash Tackle and Flail. The only actually useful move is hydro pump. He only learns 5 moves in total.
Magikarp was probably more famous because in gen I you could buy it and people felt trolled at first.
You're always asking trivial questions!
This is much, much less trivial than half of the questions that are asked here.

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Sunkern can actually learn moves. Magikarp learns Splash, the iconic useless move, plus things like Tackle, similarly weak moves. While it does also get Hydro Pump and Bounce, those were given to it in later generations. By that time, Magikarp's status as the weakest Pokemon was well established.

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This is mostly because a difference in movepools which makes Magikarp utterly useless. Bounce, Flail, Hydro Pump, Splash and Tackle is all it gets. With a nice 10 and 15 Attacking stats. While Sunkern actually gets moves, this is what makes Magikarp considered so bad.

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