Pokemon Sleep fans point out Game Freak has a problem with abandoning Professors

Zackerie Fairfax
pokemon sleep professor neroli

Following Pokemon Sleep’s first official trailer, franchise fans have started criticizing Game Freak for abandoning perfectly good yet underused Professors.

Pokemon Sleep had all but been forgotten since it was first announced in 2019. And with each passing year, players’ hope dwindled as a Pokemon Presents would feature news for upcoming titles… but not Pokemon Sleep.

That was until 2023, when the annual February Pokemon Presents debuted the first official trailer for Pokemon Sleep. And with it, an obligatory new Pokemon Professor was introduced that will likely never leave the four walls of our smartphones.

This is because Pokemon, and by extension Game Freak, rarely reuses characters from previous games or apps. No matter how small their role or brief their appearance – we’re looking at you, Grand Oak – there is always a new Professor stepping in while a perfectly capable Professor is placed in the discard pile.

Pokemon could reuse underutilized Professors

This habit was pointed out by Reddit user RisingRobin, who posted a meme to the Pokemon subreddit. “Pokemon Sleep missed a golden opportunity to reintroduce Fennel as a Pokemon Professor,” the image’s text read. The caption accompanied it, “She literally studied dreams.”

Fennel is a Professor in Pokemon Black & White who tasks players with bringing her Dream Mist and guides them while using the browser-based Pokemon Dream World game. But the existing professor, who is deeply rooted in studying sleep patterns and dreams, was skipped over in favor of Neroli.

The comments on the post were filled with fans expressing their annoyance with Game Freak’s one-off characters, while others seem to dominate the franchise. “Every character except Red is shot dead after their debut,” one player wrote. Another replied, “And Cynthia.”

Others pointed out how Game Freak has reused side characters before and how it made the world of Pokemon feel more connected. Professor Burnet, who first appeared in Pokemon Dream Radar, was later featured as a more important character in Pokemon Sun & Moon.

Another instance of a character being reused is Professor Brigette, who appeared in Pokemon Box and later Pokemon Bank. However, she was eventually replaced by another rendition of the ever-popular Professor Oak when the Pokemon Storage System transitioned to Pokemon HOME.

And aside from a few minor appearances or cameos, that about sums up Game Freak’s history of reusing professors. While some may think reusing characters would be lazy, a large number of Pokemon fans seemingly want to see their favorite obscure Professor reprised in a more important role.