Every Pokémon professor ranked by hotness

Serving looks and Pokémon at the same time.

Image via The Pokémon Company

As odd as it seems now, Pokémon professors didn’t always possess striking good looks and great fashion sense. These super-nerds of the Pokémon sphere dedicate their days to studying Pokémon and their world rather than battling, participating in Contests, or becoming the champion of the Pokéathalon. Early Pokémon professors were mostly old, graying dudes who looked like they spent most of their time in a lab, which made sense thematically.

Later generations have upped these professors’ style games dramatically, to the point where fans everywhere are thirsting over them. If you have to sit through yet another three-hour Pokémon tutorial, you may as well have someone nice to look at while you’re doing it, right? As such, we’ve taken on the noble goal of ranking all the Pokémon professors based on their hotness. As a side note, we’ll only be ranking professors who appeared in the games, so anime-only professors are ineligible.

Here are all the Pokémon professors ranked by hotness.

13) Oak

Professor Oak's art.
Image via Game Freak

Professor Oak is more like everyone’s grandpa than a love interest. He’s been around for so long now that he’s a series staple and one of the series’ most recognizable icons. He wasn’t designed to be hot, and that’s fine. He’s smart, friendly, and the grandfather of the one and only Gary Oak, and that’s enough for any one character. Unfortunately, those same aspects put him at the very bottom of our list. We also can’t think of Oak without seeing this.

12) Elm

Professor Elm's HeartGold and SoulSilver key art.
Image via Game Freak

Like Oak, Professor Elm wasn’t designed to rank high on the hotness scale. He’s got a receding hairline combined with some weird spiky fringe, unshaved chin stubble, and oddly thin eyebrows. He also doesn’t seem to have his research organized—he’s literally got papers falling out of his pockets. The first thing he does in Gold and Silver is send you on a chore for him, so it’s clear that he only sees you as his errand-runner. The only thing that puts him ahead of Oak is that he’s not as recognizable.

11) Laventon

Professor Laventon's key art.
Image via Game Freak

Professor Laventon is just silly. His pinstripe pants, crimped vest, and button-up boots might be pleasantly old-fashioned if it wasn’t for his extremely unattractive puffball hat. He also sports an upset expression most of the time. Who would want to hang out with someone whose mouth is always twisted like that? The whole thing makes for a very outlandish image. His getup might keep him warm during the cold Hisui winters, but it’s not doing anything to light a fire in us.

10) Birch

Professor Birch sprints back to his lab.
Image via Game Freak

Birch has a small spark of hotness, but it’s buried underneath yet another example of bad fashion choices. I get that he does field research and studies Pokémon habitats so his clothes need to be practical, but could we replace the dad-fashion cargo shorts and crusty slides with something better? At least he’s rocking that leather shoulder bag and his beard appears to be well-maintained. It’s not much, but it’s something.

9) Magnolia

Professor Magnolia leans on her bird-shaped cane.
Image via Game Freak

Despite the fact that Professor Magnolia is elderly, she looks like she used to be a hottie. You better believe that Corviknight cane was used to whack some numbskulls back in the day, and her necklace has more karats than the other professors could ever dream of. The look on her face says that she isn’t here to play, which tells us that she likely took her love life as seriously as she takes her research. It’s a shame that she’s gained a few wrinkles by the time we meet her.

8) Rowan

Professor Rowan next to his suitcase full of Pokeballs.
Image via Game Freak

Professor Rowan really marked a turning point in the world of Pokémon professor design. He’s dressed much more smartly than the professors before him: The well-fitted vest, tie, and pants are more “clean-cut businessman” than “scruffy nerd.” The suitcase also suggests that he travels frequently, which makes him worldly. The white hair is a bit of a no-go, but he’s absolutely rocking that spiky mustache, which plants him firmly at No. 8 on our list.

7) Juniper

Professor Juniper's key art.
Image via Game Freak

Professor Juniper gives off major mom vibes, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Her hair is reminiscent of ’60s beehive hairstyles without being ostentatious and her earrings actually match her shoes, so she knows how to put herself together. Rather than make her look like a nerd, her lab coat gives flair to her outfit with its dramatic collar. Juniper is officially on the near side of the line between the nots and the hots.

6) Sycamore

Professor Sycamore speaks to the crowd in his key art.
Image via Game Freak

Professor Sycamore is essentially a less-hot version of Lucian, Sinnoh’s famed Elite Four member. With his ’70s-style shirt, bright red socks, and dramatic belt, he and Juniper look like they’re ready to hit the disco together. All jokes aside, his pants are well-fitted, his hair is provocatively tousled, and the bags under his eyes from late nights spent working are strangely endearing. The only thing holding him back is that his chin stubble looks a little too much like whiskers.

5) Turo

Professor Turo's key art.
Image via Game Freak

Now we’re talking. Professor Turo has been setting tongues wagging ever since he was revealed in a Pokémon Scarlet and Violet trailer and for good reason: This man is absolutely chiseled. From his perfectly manicured five o’clock shadow to his suave and trendy undercut and his demurely futuristic gear, Turo looks amazing from top to bottom. He’s a Pokémon professor we wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with in public.

4) Sonia

Sonia's key art from Sword and Shield.
Image via Game Freak

Professor Sonia is probably the youngest Pokémon professor on this list, which means she’s one of the few who aren’t yet sporting wrinkles or overgrown eyebrows. Everything about her is utterly adorable, including the matching hearts on her hair, bag, and boots, as well as her fashionable sunglasses. She’s even got a trendy short jacket that almost looks like it could be a detective’s coat, which fits her well: She’s all about studying the mysteries of Galar’s history. We’ll be interested too if it means getting more time to hang out with her.

3) Willow

Professor Willow's Pokémon Go key art.
Image via Game Freak

While Professor Willow doesn’t make an appearance in the main-series Pokémon games—his domain is the world of Pokémon Go—he was too hot for us to leave off this list. Frosted tips-style gray hair would be unattractive on just about anyone else, but for some reason, Willow makes it work. Maybe it’s his chiseled chin, muscled arms, and a hint of chest underneath his Day-Glo pullover… or maybe that’s just us. We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

2) Sada

Professor Sada's key art.
Image via Game Freak

For those of us who grew up with the likes of Professor Oak and Professor Elm, having even one hot Pokémon professor in our game was an impossibility. Two was completely unfathomable. Somehow, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are blessed with the dynamic—and hot—duo of Professors Turo and Sada. Sada’s cavewoman-chic outfit hits all the right notes, from the tiny shorts and the matching orange crop top to her perfectly manicured orange toes. It’s way too easy to get lost in her eyes—just watch out for all the spikes on her jewelry.

1) Kukui

Professor Kukui's unhinged key art.
Image via Game Freak

How could Professor Kukui not be at the top of our list? He’s obviously the most confident professor of them all: He isn’t afraid to show off his (perfectly chiseled) abs to the world. He looks like he could work in the lab one minute, then go for an impromptu swim in the waters around Alola the next. His tan is impeccable and his facial hair is well-styled without being over-the-top. Somehow, his lab coat adds to the whole effect rather than taking away from it. It’s too bad he’s already married to Professor Burnet.