Pour One Out For Popplio, The New Pokémon Starter That Nobody Likes

Pour One Out For Popplio, The New Pokémon Starter That Nobody Likes

Shortly after the starters for Pokémon Sun and Moon were revealed yesterday, the internet exploded with love for the new monsters. Well, mostly.

While Rowlet (the owl) and Litten (the cat) were showered with seemingly endless positive tweets, comments and enthusiastic fan art, one Pokémon seemed to be left on the sidelines: Popplio, the water seal/dog. While most Pokémon fans were freaking out about Litten’s perfect name, or Rowlet’s cute bowtie, Popplio seemed to either attract indifference, hate or worse, straight-up pity. Here’s a small sampling of Popplio’s lack of popularity:

Image credit: Deltrastreamhunter

Image credit: Deltrastreamhunter



[vine id=”i2blxHXZZM9″]

That’s just a small fraction of what is floating around right now. Today however the few Popplio fans out there are coming out of the woodwork to defend their precious clown:

Some Popplio hate is even inspiring all sorts of heartbreaking fan art:








I’ll admit it: when I first saw Popplio, I disliked him. He didn’t seem as cool or as cute as Rowlet or Litten, and there was just something about his doofy face that made it easy to hate him. I realise that’s pretty harsh, especially since we’re talking about an innocent little seal dog, but I’m just being truthful about my initial knee-jerk reaction.

The more I looked at Popplio, however, the more I realised that he reminded me of my actual dog. They both have those sad, meek eyes that puppies sometimes do. They both inspire a sense of helplessness, they both have this strong sense of purity. And you know what, I tease my actual dog endlessly for being so vulnerable to me; I say things about him all the time that make me sound like a total arsehole. He loves me all the same.

Maybe it is not so much that there is something innate about Popplio’s design that inspires disgust, inasmuch as it is that we truly do not deserve Popplio.

He’s a good boy. Yes he is.


  • The original Seel pokemon is one of my sentimental favourites. I don’t mind either of these starters but another seal pokemon interests me.

    What nobody seems to be mentioning is we are all going to just import our original 150 (I haven’t bothered to do the Mew thingy) from the Virtual Console games into S&M anyway.

    • Just realized that the games are going to be abbreviated as “S&M” from your post. That’s sure to get awkward…

  • It’s likely our opinion will change once we know what they look like when fully evolved, I know mine will.

    • Unless you are some sort of massive loser that doesn’t evolve their starter Pokemon.

      (Looking at you Ash)

      • After how Charizard turned out is it any surprise? In the end it worked out but you know a bad experience isn’t something you want to repeat.

  • I’m not a fan of his goofiness. But chances are his evolutions will look incredibly cool, and if you really don’t like him you can always pick another starter.

  • All 3 are pretty bad. The evolutions are going to have to look a lot better to make up for it.

    At least they aren’t over designed like most of the newer pokemon.

  • I’ll admit, this is the first time I have ever disliked the water starter. It just looks.. stupid. It better have a cool evolution.

  • Don’t care how he looks, he’s a water starter so I’ll use him. I can break with a tradition that has carried me through every game since Blue.

  • i hope litten turns into a badass lion/tiger, and not just a grown up cat along the lines of Persian.

    • Don’t worry, I’m sure it will be sufficiently badass when it evolves into a bipedal feline bodybuilder-esque fire/fighting type.

  • That’s a bit harsh. I’m usually a fire starter (see what I did there) but I might have to make an exception and show some love for Popplio.

  • Does anyone make a decision on what Starter without seeing their final evolution?

  • I might be in the minority here but I really wish they would stop making new Pokemon and go back to the orig 150. I really love x an y, but the majority of the Pokemon are so lame.

    • Definitely in the minority.

      As a counterpoint, I would argue that a lot of the Pokemon in RBY are super lame. Voltorb and Electrode? Wigglytuff? Dugtrio? Farfetch’d? Exeggcute and Exeggutor? Lickitung? Seaking? Mr Mime? Jynx? Magikarp (might give it a pass because Gyarados)?

      Every generation has its fair share of duds, greats and forgettables. Including Gen 1. But yes, opinions and what not, just remember that RBY had plenty of sucky Mons too 😉

    • We can be a minirity together coz I’ve wanted to see a return to the original 150 for a long time now.
      So much so that i would be really happy to see a 3DS version of Red and Blue.
      I was far more excited for the VC releases of RBY than any new pokemon games coming out.

  • When i first saw the trailer Popplio was my pick of the bunch i was surprised to see so much hate!

  • I like him. He’s so stupid looking that I actually like the design.
    Sort of like how Pug’s are so stupid looking that they’re cute.

    My only hope is that he’s Special Attack based.
    With the region based off Hawaii, I expect a lot of Surf’ing needed, and having such a well used HM on a main would be nice.

      • Surf and Waterfall are the only HM’s worth having on Pokemon for actual battle purposes. If you can use them on part of your team ingame, it opens up another slot or two on your HM slave for other HM’s.


  • Popplio is beast.
    In Pokémon sun it was my starter and if it wasn’t for popplio, I would of failed the elite four.

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