Mallow and the Forest Teacher! (Japanese: 家出のマオとヤレユータン！Mao Runs Away from Home and Yareyuutan!) is the 39th episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 978th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 24, 2017 and in the United States on November 11, 2017.
Mallow is excited when her family restaurant is featured on TV—but it comes with a rush of customers, and her dad is too busy talking to the reporter to help. Eventually, she gets overwhelmed and storms off into the forest, where she falls and hurts her leg!
Mallow wakes up in the care of a kindly Oranguru, who offers her a Pinap Juice, a sympathetic ear—and a battle partner when Team Rocket steals her Steenee! When Mallow’s dad comes to find her, he happily greets Oranguru, who’s an old friend, and then apologizes to Mallow for taking all her hard work for granted.
In a forest on Melemele Island, an Oranguru is collecting Berries and coconuts. At the Pokémon School, Mallow has to leave school early, much to the surprise of her classmates. Mallow explains that a television company is doing a report on Aina's Kitchen, exciting Ash. Mallow then returns to the restaurant, where Abe asks for her assistance.
Outside the restaurant, Team Rocket have parked up a snack truck but aren't getting any customers. Inside the truck, a bored Jessie is watching a news broadcast where Anna starts the broadcast. Anna points to Team Rocket's truck, much to Jessie's surprise and approaches it with her film crew. Team Rocket start to hog the camera only for Anna to learn that they are at the wrong place and head over to Aina's Kitchen, leaving Team Rocket dumbfounded. The film crew are presented with a table of food as Abe offers them their specialty drink and famous stew. Mallow is in the kitchen, serving up food for the customers on her own as Abe tends to the film crew. Mallow is distracted when Steenee drops a plate on the floor and hurries to help as the food starts to burn. Mallow asks Abe for help but Abe only adds to her work as more requests come in from customers.
Having had enough, Mallow gives Abe her apron and leaves the restaurant as Anna continues her broadcast. Team Rocket watch as they discuss Steenee being a mascot as Mallow runs past, followed by Steenee. This gives Jessie an idea and she closes up the truck and drives off in pursuit of Steenee. Mallow runs through the forest, annoyed that its her doing all the work before tripping on a rock, causing her to drop a snack as she tumbles down a slope. Mallow, now unconscious comes to rest by some steps as a figure approaches her. With school finished, Ash and his classmates make their way to Aina's Kitchen but arrive to see Anna and her crew are leaving. They greet Abe only to learn that Mallow has left with Steenee behind her. Lana suggests that she may have gone to the forest and they all head off in search of her.
Mallow comes round inside a café in the forest where a Shiinotic and group of Morelull are providing lighting. As Mallow begins to recall what happened, she notices her knee bandaged before noticing Oranguru. Oranguru invites Mallow to the Café and hands her a drink which tastes like one that her dad makes. In the forest, Steenee is calling out for Mallow and finds the snack that Mallow dropped, only to be confronted by Team Rocket. Elsewhere, Ash and the others are calling out for Mallow and Steenee with no success as it starts to get dark, Abe decides to go ask his old teacher who knows the forest better than anyone else. At the Café, Mallow is confiding her troubles to Oranguru who listens sympathetically. Oranguru gives her another drink as Mallow says that she wishes her dad would say thanks once in a while. They are distracted when a bang is heard outside and Steenee is heard.
Racing outside, Mallow finds Team Rocket on the ground having fallen where she had previously fell. They have captured Steenee in a net and as Mallow demands they let Steenee go, Team Rocket recite their motto. They refuse to hand over Steenee without a battle and celebrate the fact that Mallow has no other Pokémon when Oranguru confronts them. James looks up Oranguru in his book as Oranguru agrees to help Mallow battle Team Rocket. James calls out Mareanie as Oranguru uses Confusion on Mareanie, causing her to use Spike Cannon on Jessie. Mallow demands they return Steenee but they aren't giving up yet as Meowth goes to attack with Fury Swipes only for Instruct to cause him to attack Jessie, freeing Steenee from the net. Jessie has a go at Meowth only for James to realize what Oranguru was doing.
Having had enough of Team Rocket, Mallow tells Steenee to attack Meowth which she does, with help from Oranguru as Bewear arrives on the scene. Oranguru and Bewear appear to square up against each other only for them to exchange honey for Pinap juice before Bewear picks up Team Rocket and leaves. After thanking Oranguru, Mallow apologizes to Steenee, Ash and the others arrive. After reuniting with Mallow, Abe goes over to her, asking for a fresh start before noticing her knee injury. Abe greats Oranguru as his teacher, which surprises the others as Abe explains that ages ago, he found himself lost in the forest and was found by Oranguru who listened to his plans problems like it did for Mallow. The Pinap juice that Oranguru gave him was what gave him the idea he needed for the restaurant which spread rumors around town which led to the Café being created. Abe tries to thank Oranguru but it stops him and points to Mallow, which makes Abe realize what he needs to do and thanks her. This makes Mallow cry and she runs into his arms. Later, Oranguru's place Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy visit Oranguru's place and discuss the trouble they're having with Gumshoos and Comfey.