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Professor Samuel Oak (Japanese: オーキド•ユキナリ博士 Dr. Yukinari Ōkido, Ōkido-Hakase and Orchid are also seen) is a Pokémon Professor and a major supporting character of the Pokémon anime who lives and works at his research lab in Pallet Town. He appears semi-regularly to give Ash Ketchum advice to help him achieve his goal of becoming the greatest Pokémon Master.
In the anime
Professor Oak lives up the road from Delia Ketchum and her son. and the two often appear together as they are good friends. His only known relative is his grandson, Gary Oak.
His often-forgetful attitude and other antics are also notorious. He also has a hobby of composing haiku-like poems about Pokémon or Pokémon-related themes.
In the novelizations written by Takeshi Shudō, Professor Oak comes from a prestigious family. He has two brothers, one of whom is the mayor of Pallet Town while the other is its postmaster, and his grandfather was the first Trainer from Pallet Town to receive widespread recognition. According to Professor Elm, Professor Oak's studies and research mostly focus on how humans and Pokémon interact with each other.
In the original series
When Gary was ready to become a Pokémon Trainer, Oak gave him his first Pokémon which was a Squirtle. That same day, Ash came to him as he was also starting his Pokémon journey and needed his first Pokémon as well. But because he was so late, the only Pokémon Oak had left was a rebellious Pikachu.
Over the course of Ash and Gary's journeys, Professor Oak took care of the Pokémon they captured that were sent to his lab. He would often gloat about how much farther ahead his grandson was to Ash, which often caused him to be extra competitive. During the Indigo Conference, Oak became greatly disappointed to find out that Gary had lost in the third round. But he arrived there anyway with Ash's mother to cheer Ash on.
After the end of the Indigo Conference, Professor Oak asked Ash to pick up a mysterious Poké Ball from his friend, Professor Ivy, who lived on Valencia Island in the Orange Archipelago. He wasn't at all surprised when Ash called him asking if he could compete in the Orange League. Though he wanted to study the GS Ball, he also wanted Ash to compete in the league so that he can get more training. During Ash's adventures in the Orange Islands, he befriended a Pokémon Watcher by the name of Tracey Sketchit who was a great admirer of Professor Oak. When they arrived back in Pallet Town, Tracey asked if he could become his assistant which he graciously accepted.
Not being able to discover the mystery behind the GS Ball, Professor Oak called for Ash's assistance once more and asked him to travel to the Johto region and give the Ball to his friend Kurt. He also explained that there were many new Pokémon out west which made Ash all the more eager to go and catch up with his rival, Gary.
Professor Oak traveled to Johto on a couple of occasions for conferences.
In the Advanced Generation series
Professor Oak made a few appearances during the Advanced Generation as well and was in a few episodes of the Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station's side story episodes.
In Gonna Rule the School, he was lecturing the students of Rustboro's Pokémon Trainer's School via satellite. That's were he first spoke to another one of his admirers, Max. Oak traveled to Hoenn in A Six Pack Attack! to meet with his friend, Professor Birch and brought along the Kanto starters were they interacted with the Hoenn starters.
In The Right Place and The Right Mime, Professor Oak noticed that one of his Squirtle felt most comfortable being with May. That's when he suggested that May keep the Squirtle and raise it into a strong Pokémon. He also said he would watch after her Bulbasaur.
While Ash was trying to earn his final Frontier Symbol from Brandon, Professor Oak visited him and told him about Gary's research in the Sinnoh region. He recommend that he should travel there after earning his final symbol so that he can learn about the Pokémon that lived out there.
In the Diamond & Pearl series
Ash spoke to Professor Oak frequently over the phone while he traveled through the Sinnoh region. Dawn was able to recognize him from television, but it wasn't because of his Pokémon research. He traveled to Sinnoh in A Faux Oak Finish! to give a lecture in Twinleaf Town.
In the Best Wishes series
Professor Oak made plans to travel to the Unova region to meet with his friend, Professor Juniper, in In The Shadow of Zekrom! and invited Delia and Ash to go with him. He has since returned to Kanto as seen in Crisis from the Underground Up! where Ash calls his laboratory from Nimbasa City.
This listing is of Professor Oak's known Pokémon:
- Various Pokémon are used in his lectures, which may belong to him or to Trainers whose Pokémon he cares for.
Gives to new Trainers
| Squirtle is a Pokémon that Professor Oak gives to new Trainers. Squirtle was mentioned in the first episode of the anime, as one of the three Starter Pokémon new Trainers in Pallet Town can choose from. Ash dreamed of owning one, and it was his first choice of a starter. However, when he arrived at Professor Oak's Laboratory, he found out it was too late, as another Trainer who started the same day had already taken it.
In Journey to the Starting Line, a set of the three Kanto starter Pokémon in which a boy named Gilbert was supposed to choose from as his starting Pokémon were scared off by Ash's Tauros. Professor Oak, Tracey, Delia, and Gilbert had to split up and find the three missing Pokémon. Squirtle was the second one found. The Tiny Turtle Pokémon was stuck in a tree that was hanging over a cliff. Ash's Bulbasaur managed to catch the Squirtle before it could fall off the cliff.
Another one appears in A Six Pack Attack! where Prof. Oak shows them to Max. Suddenly Team Rocket capture them along with the other Kanto and Hoenn starters. Max finds them and asks Mudkip and Squirtle to cool the bars with Water Gun which eventually frees them. It then helps send Team Rocket blasting off. Another one appears in The Right Place at the Right Mime! along with the other starters, in the end May claims Squirtle.
Various Squirtle's known moves are Tackle and Water Gun.
|| Pokémon - I Choose You!
Gave away to Trainers
Residing at his Lab
There are various Pokémon that live on the Oak Corral. Only a handful have been seen but there are various kinds of different Pokémon. People like Prof. Oak and Tracey care for them. Other Trainers' Pokémon reside here such as Gary's.
Previously resided at his Lab
- Main article: Sam
He appears as a young boy, Sam (Japanese: ユキナリ Yukinari) in the fourth film, Celebi: Voice of the Forest. Ash Ketchum befriends the young Oak, who, because he time-traveled from 40 years in the past, is around the same age as Ash. The revelation that Sam is Oak, while inferable thanks to disclosure of Oak's first name in The Power of One, comes only at the end of the movie when Oak impliedly confirms the connection through his knowledge of Sam's name despite Ash having never told him of it. Additionally, Tracey finds the sketchbook in which young Sam drew Pikachu sleeping with Celebi in Oak's closet.
Despite the fact that Sam sees many Generation II Pokémon throughout the movie (notably the legendary Pokémon Celebi and Suicune), the Pokédex he gifts Ash in the Kanto arc only catalogs Generation I Pokémon, claiming that they are all the Pokémon that the world knows. This discrepancy is likely no longer canon, instead representing a silent retcon that occurred due to the ever-increasing number of Pokémon; indeed, Pokémon from Generation II, Generation III, and Generation IV are able to be trained in Kanto during the Generation I remakes FireRed and LeafGreen, as well as during the Generation II remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver. Perhaps to avoid a similar plothole, the number of Pokémon as of the current generation is no longer explicitly mentioned in anime-related media.
- Main article: Celebi (M04)
Sam met this Celebi during his time. However, it bumped into him while on the pursuit of a Pokémon Hunter which accidentally transports him to the present time of Ash and company. This time, the Iron-Masked Marauder was after Celebi. After Ash and Sam defeated the Marauder by snapping Celebi out of its dark self and got revived by the other Celebi from the past, this Celebi that met Sam took him back to his own time.
|| Celebi: Voice of the Forest
| Voice actors
|| Kazuko Sugiyama
|| Kazuko Sugiyama
|| Spoilers end here.
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
Professor Oak in The Electric Tale of Pikachu
Professor Oak makes a few appearances in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga. He is a role model to Ash and is Bill's mentor. Unlike in the anime, he does not give Ash his Pikachu, in fact, he does not meet Ash until after he has already begun his Pokémon journey.
Ash meets Professor Oak for the first time in Clefairy Tale. They meet at Mt. Moon after Ash has been wandering lost in the mountains for weeks, searching for a rare Clefairy. Oak, who has been living among the Clefairy, rescues Ash and introduces him to Bill and a tribe of wild Clefairy. The three attend the tribe's evolution ceremony, after which Oak gives Ash the latest upgrade to the Pokédex for free, months before it will be available to the public.
Ash later encounters Oak again in Clefairy in Space, where he is investigating strange activity, which turned out to be caused by another group of Clefairy.
Ash encounters Oak one last time at the Pokémon Research Center in The Orange Islands, shortly before he travels to the Orange Archipelago. Here, the Professor and Bill are researching a giant Slowpoke that was found in the Pokémon Storage System.
This listing is for Professor Oak's known Pokémon in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga.
|| Charmander → Charmeleon → Charizard
| When Ash was telling Professor Oak and Bill on how he wanted to become a Pokémon Trainer, Professor Oak mentions on how he became a Pokémon Trainer and started off with a Charmander. His Charmander evolved into a Charmeleon then into Charizard.
|| Clefairy Tale
|| Reference to
||オーキド ユキナリ博士 Dr. Yukinari Ōkido
||オーキッド Ōkiddo, Orchid. 大木戸 Ōkido is a Japanese family name and placename. Literally, big-tree family.
|English, Spanish, Italian
||Professor Samuel (Sammy) Oak
||Oak tree, perhaps derived from Japanese Ōkido. His given name could possibly be derived from the Salem Oak, a long-lived tree of Salem, New Jersey.
||Chêne means Oak in French.
||Eiche means Oak in German.
||Professor Samuel (Sam) Carvalho
||Carvalho means Oak in Portuguese.
||오용호 박사 Dr. O Yongho
||오 (伍) O is a Korean family name, probably chosen because of its similarity to the first syllable in Ōkido.
||大木博士 Dr. Dàmù
雪成・大木 Xuěchéng Dàmù (full name)
|大木 (big tree) is from 大木 Ōki|
雪成 is from Japanese 雪成り yuki nari, "to become snow".
||ดร.ออคิด Dr. Orkid
||Similar to the Japanese name.
||Profesor Okido (Kanto saga)
Profesor Oak (Sinnoh-present)
|Same as Japanese and English name.