Professor Oak is a name synonymous with the success of the famous Pokémon franchise, that swept the world in the late 1990s and late 2000s with a hypnotically entertaining set of video games and anime series.
Sure, he is not the main protagonist like Ash Ketchum or a fan-favorite for cosplay like Misty, but Professor Oak has held an endearing place in the world of Pokémon for many fans.
Most appreciators of the series know him as a calm, collected scientist with a seemingly mysterious background, but many dedicated fans have investigated deeply into what makes the Pokémon researcher tick.
Sure, the makers of Pokémon want you to think that he is just what he appears to be, but the eagle-eyed die-hards will be quick to tell you just how unique Professor Oak really is in Pokémon.
However, some gamers that have played the games and seen the show will be surprised to learn some shocking facts about him and his shady past (that might reveal some dark secrets about the Pokémon universe).
So be prepared to learn a couple of brand new things about the professor that has been the father figure to the entire series, revealing a brand new look at what was supposed to be the trusted voice of the franchise.
Whether it is fashion choices, canceled escapades, or sinister secrets that will change the way that you look at Pokémon, these are fifteen facts about Professor Oak that you did not know.
15 A Trainer's Worst Nightmare
Professor Oak is not just a professor, he is a former trainer and an activist. These traits have all led him to be the revered figure that he is today and his legacy is only surpassed by his popularity. However, seeing as he has ties with so many different people, it would be clear that Oak is the person that knows the rumblings of anything Poké-related. His seemingly endless knowledge of Pokémon has made it so that very little surprises him, and that is because he is the best trainer in the world. When it comes down to it, no one can call upon the help of Pokémon like Oak. He has the kind spirit that Pokémon always warm up to, and can literally charm any of them to join him because he practically speaks their languages.
14 Money Doesn't Grow On Trees, Unless They're Oaks
Many people seem to associate Professor Oak with the quaint little spot of Pallet Town, where the main character begins his/her journey to catch em’ all. Yes, it is true that the professor takes up residency here to assume his day-to-day work on the life of Pokémon and how they interact with humans. However, a deep glance into the history of the Oak lineage shows that he actually comes from an extremely wealthy family that had their own dynasty. It does not change the integrity of the character, but it just seems like a huge surprise given how down to earth he is. It does make sense, given that he has so much experience with high-end science equipment and seems to have been groomed to be in the world of Pokémon.
13 Who Is His Son?!
Professor Oak is seen helping his grandson Gary Oak throughout the series and they never truly get into details as to who his father is. A popular guess by many fans that use conclusive evidence from the show is that Gary’s father is actually Giovanni, the Team Rocket boss. This explains why Gary and Giovanni never really confront each other (despite a gym battle where Giovanni goes suspiciously easy) in the show and why Oak is never quick to attack Team Rocket. Despite all the humanitarian work that Professor Oak does to mend the relationship between Pokémon and humans, he completely ignores the work of this criminal organization that specifically deals with the inhumane treatment of Pokémon. Most gamers failed to make the connection based on how farfetched it sounds, but connect the dots and have your mind properly blown.
12 His First Name Isn't Professor
This next tidbit was in the 2000 Pokémon movie that seems to go unnoticed when it comes to facts about the Professor. His first name is Samuel, but he prefers to be called Professor Oak. This is probably because he takes great pride in all his research in trying to make the Pokémon world a better place. It does not have the same ring that the professor moniker has, but Samuel Oak is something that he used to go by when he was a young whippersnapper trying to claw his way to being the best trainer that he could be. It just seems to be a fact that the die-hard Pokefans know about, and in this case, the casual fans deserve to know his full name!
11 Oak And Ash's Mom Shippers Unite
Equally mind-blowing, there seems to be some more evidence towards Ash being the illegitimate son of Professor Oak. The facts that support this are that Ash’s mother Delia is almost always with Samuel to the point where it makes Ash uncomfortable throughout the show. This becomes even stranger when one realizes that throughout the entirety of the show, neither one of them acknowledges their close relationship or elaborates on why they are close. Furthermore, the only hints towards the identity of his father are that he left Ash’s home when he was born to pursue Pokémon training. This would explain why Professor Oak has such a strong interest in Ash’s success in the Pokémon world, despite Gary being his biological grandson. Then, Ash holds the same amount of love for his Pokémon that only Oak seems to share, something that has to be hereditary.
10 The Oak Family Tree
Samson Oak is a cousin of Professor Oak from a tropical region that seemingly holds many of the same traits as Samuel, only a little more laidback. He is introduced in the show and made canonical in the games through references, and remains a trivial side character at the best. Still, it is a neat little fact about Professor Oak and his bloodline, seeing as if he needs to, he can call on his cousin to help him out. This also adds to the dynasty of the Oak family and the legacy that they are leaving behind in the world of Pokémon. He might not be much of a trainer, but his exploits in the scientific development and research world (along with a few playful appearances in public events) have made him an interesting character to follow.
9 Pokémon Champion Oak Wants To Battle
Back in the days of the early development of Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Red, it was clear that the developers at GameFreak did not realize how massively popular this series would instantly become. They decided that Professor Oak should serve as the beginning and end of the games, as he would give the player their first Pokémon and then be their last fight of the game. This would get cut for unknown reasons, but a multitude of glitches and hacks have allowed gamers all over to experience the battle the way it was intended to be played. Beware, because Professor Oak has one of the most impressive teams in the entire franchise with high-level type coverage in Tauros, Gyarados, Arcanine, Exeggutor, and Blastoise. He definitely learned a few training tips along the way to becoming one of the most important scientists to ever live.
8 No Grandson Of Mine
Gary Oak is not exactly a humble trainer until much later on in the series when he takes on the role of a professor like his grandfather, but that does not stop Oak from resenting him nonetheless. Even if Gary is snooty throughout the series and openly shows disregard towards those trying to help, his grandfather should stand beside him. It is almost out of his character to do so and especially considering that Gary even ended up getting better Pokédex results than Ash and ascends the Pokémon League much quicker as well. Call it favoritism, but he just resonates with Ash’s intimate love and care towards Pokémon and probably wants it to be clear so that Gary can change. It does not help that when Gary eventually does change, Oak does not seem to change his tune.
7 When Ash Is Away, Adults Will Play
As noted before, Dalia probably had Ash with Professor Oak before he sought off to do research work for years and years. There is no exact explanation as to why he chose Ash to take his Pokémon so suddenly, at the beginning of the show. Whenever Oak tries to reach Ash or vice-versa, Dalia is always with Oak and usually seen in many different outfits. It just seems strange that she would do things like go on vacation with someone at her age and not think about getting together after all these times. Anyone with half a brain can see how obvious it is that they are abnormally close for being labeled as just friends, so why even beat around the bush? It is plain as day that Professor Oak is barely wrapping up the remnants of the family that he left behind to cherish his career.
6 He's Got Style, He's Got Grace
In the anime and video game versions of the Pokémon franchise, Professor Oak is seen in a seemingly normal lab coat and plain, buttoned shirt. In the manga, however, Professor Oak is seen wearing patterned short-sleeve shirts that are remnant of that of Supreme, a brand popular in Tokyo, Japan. This might seem like a stretch at first, but seeing as the political climate of Pokémon in their world is primarily ignorant towards the mistreatment of these creatures, Professor Oak could be considered a hipster. His ideas are different, and he obviously shows that with casual class in the manga. Seeing as the brand launched around the same year that the original game was released, it would be no coincidence that Oak is rocking the box logo.
5 Pokémon! Pokémon Everywhere!
The Pokémon database known as Bulbapedia lists that Professor Oak has over a hundred types of Pokémon along with multiple Pokémon for each type. This means that he can literally have a hundred Kakunas just nesting within his farm, where he keeps a huge range of various habitats for his different Pokémon. There is no exact count because it is not clear how many he has elsewhere or in studies at the moment. There are also numerous Pokémon that are unaccounted for because he is always giving them out! Once the Internet cannot successfully figure something out from a popular television show, there really is no hope towards learning just how many the good professor has. However, if he has as many as we are lead to believe, it has got to be nothing short of ridiculously impressive.
4 The Butterfree Effect
Ash being Professors Oak’s son is a huge mind-blower on its own but in the movie Celebi: The Voice Of The Forest he actually befriends his own son. This happens after Ash travels back in time because of the legendary Pokémon. The weirdness does not stop there. Despite the two roughly being the same age, Oak still takes on a mentorship-type role when he pairs up with Ash. Then Oak actually breaks the rules of the Pokémon universe by handing Ash a Pokedex that only has Generation 1 Pokémon when he had already begun to show up, specifically the main character Celebi. It was nice to see Samuel Oak in a younger age with some spunk in his step, but perhaps the writers of this Anime should have stuck to the professor seeing how it convoluted so much in the story.
3 Who's That Pokémon: Professor Oak Edition
The trading card game that accompanies the Pokémon franchise is full of a bunch of tidbits that would surprise a lot of the casual fans. Imposter Oak is definitely one of those. It is unclear as to what the identity of this character is, or what his motives are, but it is surely an interesting persona. First, Professor Oak is just a research developer and does not necessarily hold any position of power or even get seen in public that much. Second, whoever is doing this is probably doing it for personal reasons. In the manga Pokémon Adventures, however, it is revealed that a Kadabra is taught to dress up as the professor (however there is no official connection between the character from the manga and trading card game).
2 The True Face Of The Franchise
Ash and Pikachu have seemingly become the mascots for Pokémon, with Professor Oak being a loveable face that shows up consistently to much fanfare. This is actually surprising, seeing as the main flow of popularity has stemmed from the actual video game series where Professor Oak actually makes more recurring appearances than any other character. This is even further impressive when realizing that almost every game takes place in a different region. Whether he is handing out starter Pokémon, talking on radio shows, or just serving as a correspondent for other professors, Professor Oak is almost always in the games. That would unofficially make him the actual mascot for the game series, while Ash and Pikachu stand strong as the mascots for the anime, manga, and other media.
1 Maybe He's Not So Pure Of Heart
Piecing together some of the facts in this list, Professor Oak comes across as a jaded man with wisdom brimming from his experiences in the world. His younger self was an example of the innocence he once grasped, but it was clear they wanted to show his past for a good reason. This was to show how the pressures of becoming a trainer and starting a family all seemed to crush him for a time. It was during this time where Oak also decided to disown Giovanni and realized that Ash was the child that actually visited him when he was a child. This would also mean that Professor Oak has severed his ties with Giovanni and allowed him to run rampant all throughout the Kanto region. Professor Oak turns a blind eye to justice, and that negates a lot of what he has done.