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The Oarsman is a Toad and an ally to Mario, Olivia, and (temporarily) Bob-omb in Paper Mario: The Origami King. He is distinguished from other members of his species by his blue-spotted mushroom cap, accompanied by a Chinese straw hat and robe, though in spite of his getup, the Oarsman speaks in a pronounced southern American drawl. He also seems to have an obsession with canned tuna fish, as shown by the large stash of it near his pier, as well as the uncanny ability to row his gondola against powerful river rapids.
Prior to the events of The Origami King, the Oarsman served as a tour guide throughout the Blue Streamer district, offering free rides to anyone who asked. However, when King Olly attacked, he was folded into a monkey and the Eddy River was drained, rendering his gondola useless.
Mario and his party first encounter the Oarsman's folded-up form at Autumn Mountain, while on their quest to destroy the blue streamer, but are unable to rescue him because he is too fast and runs off whenever they get close. Nonetheless, they continue on with their mission and, after Olivia gains the powers of the Water Vellumental, they manage to restore the lake, as well as the following river, to its former state.
Unable to drive the gondola on their own, the gang decides to seek out someone who can do it for them, eventually deducing that the monkey they met earlier could be the key. Grabbing one of the tuna cans, and opening it with the help of the Bone Goomba from the Canned-Food Par-tay Trio, they manage to keep the Oarsman still for long enough to unfold him. Finally free, the Oarsman plays a secondary role throughout the rest of the game, boating the crew between Autumn Mountain, the Eddy River, Shogun Studios, and Sweetpaper Valley whenever they wish.
Following the removal of all five streamers, and the death of King Olly, the Oarsman participates in the Origami Festival at the end of the game, posing on top of a boat-like display alongside Sea Captain Toad. One of the mid-credits screenshots shows him taxiing a bunch of assorted Toads down the Eddy River.