Gary Oak

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This article is about the character from the Pokémon anime and The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga. For his video game counterpart, see Blue Oak.

Character
Name: Gary Oak (Shigeru Ōkido)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer and Researcher
Title/Rank: Trainer
Location: Pallet Town, Kanto (hometown)
Sinnoh (research)
Status: alive
Relationships: Daisy Oak (sister)
Professor Oak (grandfather)
Fandom: Pokémon
Other:
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Gary Oak is a character in the Pokémon anime. He is based on the character Blue from the Generation I video games Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. Like Blue, Gary is the grandson of Professor Oak and is the main rival of Ash Ketchum, Red's anime counterpart.

In Fandom

Gary has become very popular within the internet fandom and even to those outside it. He has developed the epithet "Gary Motherfucking Oak," used both as a sign of affection as well as one of frustration. The term increased in popularity with the creation of the "Gary Oak" meme, which is said to have originated on 4chan's /v/ board in 2007 and is as follows: [1]

I firmly believe Gary should be the rival in every Pokemon game. No, I don’t care if he’s 45 by the time Diamond and Pearl or whatever is out.
He should also continue to be a total dick like he was from day 1. He was 10 years old driving around a convertible and had bitches at his beck and call. This should continue.
Whenever you enter a cave and come out with all your Pokemon are at 3 hit points? Gary appears.
Get through Team Rocket HQ, out of any healing items with your best team reduced to rubble? Gary rolls up in his Mercedes.
When you finally attain all the badges you need, with your favorite Pokèmon battered and beaten? Yeah, Gary.
All your Pokèmon are knocked out and you’re 5 tiles away from the Pokemon Center -- Guess who just blocked the entrance way and says he challenges you to a fight?
Fuck yeah, Gary Oak

The meme tends to combine Gary Oak of the anime with Blue of the games. Blue is infamous for appearing unexpectedly (and usually inconveniently) in the Generation I games to challenge Red, the player character, to a match. In both the anime and the game, Gary/Blue was frustratingly always a step ahead of Ash/Red.

Additionally, a scene in the anime reveals Gary to have ten Gym badges when only eight exist in the video games, leading to the popular saying "There are eight badges to earn in Kanto. [Gary]'s got ten of them". This spawned a surge in Chuck Norris-like jokes to exalt his dominance or his "girth." The term "girth" came to refer to Gary's prowess due to the circulation of a screenshot of an adult roleplay chat, in which someone tried to put "Gary Oak" on ignore and "Gary" replied with "You can't ignore my girth." [2]

Gary was most popular at the beginning of the anime, when he was Ash's main rival and portrayed in canon as a "bad boy." His popularity in fanon declined as he was featured less in the anime and transitioned from being a rival to a friend of Ash, which, in many fans' eyes, caused both Gary and PalletShipping to lose its appeal. Additionally, some fans disliked the Gary's new voice actor when 4Kids took over production of the English dub, as his voice was noticeably higher.

Portrayal in Fanworks

Pairings

Gary is most often paired with Ash (PalletShipping) in fanworks, but is also commonly paired with Misty (EgoShipping) or Dawn (CavalierShipping).

Other pairings include:

Fan Art

External Links

References

  1. the dan. Urban Dictionary: gary oak. 17 February 2008.
  2. Jack Candle. Know Your Meme: Gary Oak. (Accessed 26 April 2011.)
  3. Although there's been a lot of argument about the 'ship name for the Gary/Tracey pairing, the name Oakshipping has been in use, and was coined, by the writers of a popular fan archive back in the early 2000s, thought to be the first Gary/Tracey fan archive in the English language. Check out the link here, at the very bottom under "Sites of Interest: Midnight Horizons".