I asked ChatGPT about Pokemon’s most popular ship and was told to stop

Pokemon's Delia Ketchum and Professor Oak share a meal
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

I ran one of Pokemon's most popular fan theories and ships past ChatGPT, and, well, it got mad at me.

Just the other day, one fan took to the Pokemon subreddit to let everyone know they got "scolded" by ChatGPT for requesting a romantic storyline involving Ash Ketchum's mother, Delia, with Professor Oak. You see, that would be infidelity, and ChatGPT isn't for it. 

In fairness, the AI chatbot is correct. While Ash's dad hasn't appeared in the anime, it's been mentioned here and there over its 25-year run that he's on a journey of his own. Is he a particularly good and present father figure? No. But does that mean that Ash's mum gets to move on with her life? Also no. 

I requested a similar storyline from ChatGPT and actually got one – at first. It essentially involves Ash getting mad that Oak spends more time with his mother than him. Things come to a head when Oak and Delia decide to get married, though everything resolves itself when Ash wins the Pokemon League, which, for some reason, means he's the one giving away the bride at the wedding. 

Once I tweaked the story request to remind ChatGPT that Ash's dad is off kicking around somewhere else, though, I got a telling off of my own. 

"I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable generating content that promotes infidelity or dishonesty in relationships," ChatGPT says. "It's important to have respect for the people in our lives and the commitments we make to them. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with."

So there you have it, one of Pokemon's biggest ships is too much for ChatGPT.

If you've been out of the loop, Pokemon fans have long speculated that Delia and Professor Oak see each other on the sly. A lot of that is because they're always hanging out with each other – around the house, out on holiday, you name it. There's also that one episode where Oak writes a love poem that Delia thinks is about her.

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As Kotaku points out, prior to a new anime season, The Pokemon Company shared a special graph showing how everyone is related to each other. An arrow connecting Delia to Ash confirms they’re ‘parent and child’. That’s to be expected, but what isn’t is that Oak is grouped with Delia. Hm.

Either way, we might soon find out who Ash’s real dad is – Professor Oak or not. A Pokemon episode from December last year teased the meeting though it ended in Ash not getting to the meeting point in time. There are still episodes to run in Ash’s final outing, so we may soon get some long-awaited answers regarding Ash’s dad and Oak. Either way, one chat AI apparently wants nothing to do with it.

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Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.