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Professor Oak biography

  • Age 33
  • Seen Aug 6, 2023
Name: Samuel Oak


Gender: Male

Trainer Type: Pokémon Professor

Hometown: Pallet Town


Professor Oak is one of the most easily recognisable characters in the Pokémon world, introducing many young trainers to a mystical world inhabited by creatures with whom transformative partnerships and life-long bonds are formed. An apprehensive new trainer stepping through the threshold of his laboratory entrance will be met with kind reassuring brown eyes. However audacious but ill-prepared adventurers recklessly wading out into wild plains of tall grass will be stopped by a stern peremptory voice and a firm hand on their shoulder. While the professor is a middle-aged man with greying hair, he has retained some vitality in his step and stands broad-shouldered and erect while directing his aides over their latest research and delivering lectures confidently to crowded theatres.

He is famous for adorning a white laboratory coat which he normally wears over a collared-shirt, belted trousers and loafers. However, whilst traveling he prefers to sport a golden brown suede jacket with elbow-patches instead of his characteristic lab coat, which he keeps neatly folded and stored away in a briefcase. In his coat pockets he would often keep pens, a notepad and a tablet or some other electronic device to record the latest findings. He can also be frequently seen carrying a book or physical reference material with neat annotations.

In his youth, Oak was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with medium-length chestnut brown hair shaped into a mushroom cut. His hairstyle came complete with bangs and two longer tresses falling on either side of his face and over the top of his sideburns and in front of his ears. He also had thick eyebrows that became only bushier with age and have retained their brunette shade. As was fashionable at the time, he typically wore an ivory-coloured T-shirt and khaki pants which would not look out of place on safari. In his rucksack he carried his personal belongs including a sketchpad to document the wildlife he encountered in his travels.


Revered as the preeminent authority on all things Pokémon, Professor Oak is knowledgeable and self-assured. From a young age, he was ambitious and competitive as a trainer, diligently studying battle strategies and tactics while nurturing strong relationships with his Pokémon. He viewed them as equals, striving alongside humans for greatness and consulted with them often in the heat of battle through subtle unspoken forms of communication. This set him apart from trainers who asserted their dominance over Pokémon or treated them as pets. He quickly rose to prominence among the competitive battling scene and as a young adult became the first Champion of the Indigo League. Success so early in his life fundamentally changed his outlook and relationship with Pokémon, realising they should not be measured by their efficacy in battle alone but each had a unique connection with their human counterparts and the natural world.

As a child, Oak was thoughtful and spent a lot of time observing others, listening to their interactions and reflecting in moments of quiet introspection. He was empathic and naturally drawn towards the misunderstood solitary personalities that society often shunned. His keen powers of observation was what first drew his attention to his childhood friend, Agatha who he perceived as a lonely outcast. Others were quick to judge her on her dress sense, choosing to wear dark gowns as well as her interests in the occult and affinity for ghost Pokémon but Oak was immediately intrigued by her and wanted to know more about her motivations and aspirations. Therefore he was determined to befriend her and spoke to her warmly and frequently despite her rebuffs and initial cold attitude towards him. Eventually they both discovered their mutual interest in Pokémon battles and many evenings were spent training together; Agatha's Haunter and Oak's Nidorino pitting their wills against each other. Eventually Agatha began to cherish the time they spent together and valued their friendship.

His transition from a Pokémon trainer to a Pokémon researcher was a turning point in Oak's life. He was still in his early twenties when he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to science, exploring the mysteries of evolution and studying the deep and intricate relationship between Pokémon and humans. Engrossed in his work, his focused mentality estranged him to those closest to him including Agatha, who eventually became cynical and disaffected towards him, believing him to have grown soft. But Oak's fervent passion had only been redirected and channeled into a career of learning and once he has set his mind on achieving a goal, his resolve remains unfaltering.

After decades of trailblazing research, he has built a legacy through his mentorship of his students and assistants, now luminaries in their own right, such as Professor Elm and Tracey Sketchit. While setting the ultimate quest of completing the Pokédex to the novice trainer is a daunting and understandably demanding task, the professor is magnanimous enough to pass on helpful items and hints to aspiring Pokémon Masters. He is a regular feature on Professor Oak's Pokémon Talk appearing alongside DJ Mary to provide valuable intelligence on the locations of recent swarms.

Though it may at first appear his life revolves around his research, Oak cultivates a broad set of interests. He composes senryū, haiku-like poems about Pokémon as a hobby. Fancying himself a discerning art critic, he has also previously commissioned Todd Snap to photograph various species endemic to Pokémon Island and judged each image on its composition. Widely traveled and maintaining a busy schedule he frequently rides the Magnet Train connecting Kanto and Johto to appear on his talk show. He also likes to stay active within his social circle frequently writing emails to his friends and associates such as Mr Pokémon, Kurt and Bill and relishes in hearing news from the Indigo League. However family is of the greatest importance to the professor and he is immensely proud of his grandson Gary and granddaughter Daisy.

Now advanced in age, Oak has become increasingly forgetful, finding it difficult to pin a name to a face and is notorious for misidentifying people's gender. He spends more of his days reminiscing of his time as a trainer and wishing he could go back to where it all started, stepping out into the wide world again as a ten year old and discovering people, places and Pokémon for the first time.


A native of Pallet Town, Oak was raised alongside his two brothers in a loving family and was known as Sam or Sammy by those closest to him. In his early years he struggled somewhat to find meaning and purpose in his life and could be described as rash and impulsive at times. However, a school trip to the local Pewter City museum left a deep impression on him and while inspecting a fossilised Omanyte shell he contemplated how paradoxical it was that millions of years of evolution could occur spontaneously among Pokémon species in the heat of battle. Not long after he resolved to leave home and travel the world as was a rite of passage for fledgling trainers even then. His chosen Pokémon partner was a Charmander who he nicknamed Char and he soon set off on a raft across Route 27 with the goal of studying at the Pokémon Academy in Violet City.

It was there he first met Agatha, by whom he was greatly intrigued and noticed she would often skulk away, eschewing social situations with other children. He followed her one day in the fading light of day to a graveyard and despite the initial chill of terror gripping him, a rush of excitement possessed him as he watched Agatha summoning a Gastly among the tombstones. Although a misanthrope, Agatha displayed prodigious talent in Pokémon battles, often topping the class while Sam was inauspicious to begin with, preferring to sketch Pokémon in his notebook. However in order to impress Agatha, Sam practised hard. When his friendly advances were met with scorn and Agatha challenged him to battles to repudiate his entreaties of friendship he surprised her with tactics she'd never seen before. As their friendship slowly blossomed they eventually welcomed a third member to their clique, Kurt whose hobby was woodwork and enjoyed whittling small carved figurines of Pokémon.

One summer on school vacation, the trio visited Kurt's hometown of Azalea and it was there that Sam experienced a life-changing event. Only weeks ago a local girl had disappeared into the woods and rumours swirled among the populace warning of a voice calling from the forest that would lure children away forever. Of course, this was a tantalising promise of adventure for someone like Agatha who dared her friends to explore the uncharted depths of the forest. Sam who had been unnerved by a woman named Towa's warnings of a spirit haunting the grove, followed reluctantly and was soon separated from his two friends. Stumbling through the undergrowth for hours he came upon a cave where he sheltered for the night. Delirious in his exhaustion he perceived silhouettes of fairy-like creatures in the gloom who communicated through telepathy imploring Sam to help one of their kindred that was in peril.

When morning came, Sam struggled awake and wandered back into the forest in hopes of finding civilisation again. But his adventure would take an unexpected twist as he encountered a Celebi that was being hunted by a poacher. Attempting to protect the mythical Pokémon, he found himself transported to a different time period, a world completely foreign to him. It was in fact unknown to others what really happened that fateful day for he was missing for eleven days and feared lost to the forest forever. Agatha was especially perturbed despite later downplaying her guilt and concern by feigning indifference. In later life, Oak would seldom recount only vague recollections of his version of events to close family members - an extraordinary tale of meeting a boy his age in a distant future accompanied by a Pikachu and together saving Celebi from the evil clutches of an iron-masked marauder that few believed. The local villagers would nonetheless construct a wooden shrine in the heart of the forest to appease the spirits that dwell within.

Sam's friends noticed a profound transformation in him after that day; he'd adopted a quiet look of determination and equanimity under pressure. He promptly declared his aspirations to travel across Johto proving his skill as a trainer and attain mastery in battle. He was true to his word and no sooner had he reached adulthood than he became the first Indigo League tournament champion. Having achieved this feat, he lost passion for Pokémon battles particularly as he began to view them as exploitative especially seeing his rivals' lust for power and personal accolades corrupt them. Allegedly equipped with a glimpse into the future during his disappearance, he became inspired to create the Pokédex, an encyclopedia on all Pokémon species. This opened a new chapter in his life as he devoted himself to research, completing his thesis on Pokémon evolution which gained wide acclaim in academia. At the age of twenty-five he became a professor at Celadon University where he spent most of his academic life teaching and continuing his research.

On a field trip to the Orange Archipelago, Oak came across many regional variants of common Pokémon endemic to Kanto such as Butterfree and Vileplume with distinct markings. He realised in the wild, Pokémon adapted to their local environment and natural selection forced unique differences in the same species of Pokémon. However his eureka moment came observing the interactions between the islanders and their Pokémon companions who assisted them in daily tasks and realised this partnership induced accelerated development in Pokémon into entirely new forms. He published an influential paper on his discovery titled "On the Orange Isle Species" which received wide acclaim from the scientific world. He would follow up his theory of general evolution a few years later with a theory of special evolutions which postulated as well as experience being a necessary condition, evolution in Pokémon could also be induced through exposure to items such as a Moon Stone.

The government would take notice of his evolutionary theories particularly as Oak was able to show that the evolutionary pressures appeared to be increasing with modern day society as industrialisation and urbanisation led to an explosion in population both in humans and their Pokémon, deepening networks and multiplying their interactions. This has greatly accelerated the evolutionary process resulting in the discovery of new Pokémon species, regional variants and divergences in evolutionary lines at an increasing rate. In order to keep up with the pace of new species appearing, Oak proposed the enlisting of young trainers from the age of ten to assist in the cataloguing of new discoveries. Securing federal funding and private investment from Silph Co, the largest manufacturer of Pokémon goods, Oak would build a prototype of Pokédex as well as start construction of a Pokémon laboratory and corral spanning over a thousand hectares in Pallet Town.

It was while working on secret projects such as the revival of extinct species at the Pokémon Lab on Cinnabar Island that Oak met a brilliant young programmer named Bill who shared his ideas for a teleportation device. Over the next few years Bill would revolutionalise Pokémon storage and instantaneous transportation across vast distances. His system of Personal Computers was launched across all Pokémon Centers and the Pallet Town Lab was integrated as a central nexus allowing trainers to transfer their Pokémon to the lab for safe-keeping under the custody of the professor and his aides. To this day, Oak along with his assistants continue their research at the Pokémon Lab, documenting the abilities and traits of newly caught Pokémon and helping to take care of them until next called upon by their trainers.

Content originally developed by Professor Oak from ZapdosZulu roleplaying forum.