Popplio is very playful and she likes to make bubbles for fun or claps her hands. At first, she is afraid of people, but under Lana's care, she becomes friendlier and likes to stick with humans.
Lana was using a Poké Ride Lapras and found saw several members of Team Skull intimidating Popplio. Lana had Lapras freeze the grunts with Ice Beam, then came to rescue Popplio. After taking her to the Pokémon Center, Lana fed Popplio and the two have been inseparable ever since.
Lana was fishing with Popplio. Once they saw Ash being startled by a Bruxish, they both started laughing, with Ash laughing as well. Later, Lillie watched over Popplio while Lana rode a Tauros along with the other Trial Captains. Once Ash came to the Pokémon School one day, Popplio made a watery balloon to surprise him, as Lana and others made a surprise party for Ash. Lana also had Popplio race Pikachu. Though Pikachu was quicker than Popplio on land and swam as fast as he could, Popplio was much faster at swimming and won the race. Lana praised Popplio and told her that it was amazing. Lillie later explained to Ash that Popplio could swim up to 40 kilometers per hour. Popplio was with her trainer, who went with Ash to see what new Pokémon he would catch in the forest. Popplio also watched as Team Rocket appeared, who threatened to steal all their Pokémon, and how they were dragged by a Bewear. After Ash's Pikachu got hurt in a battle against Grubbin, Popplio went with her trainer away to report to Professor Kukui what happened.
As Ash went to school, he saw Lana training her Popplio. Popplio tried to make a watery balloon, but failed and fell in the sea. Once she arrived to school, Lana and Popplio heard that Lillie had a secret weapon for fishing. Popplio clapped and jumped into Lillie's lap. Lillie was terrified, so Lana took Popplio back and both apologized to Lillie. Once school was over, Popplio had a race with Pikachu on the beach and won. After Lana told Ash how she met Popplio, she had her emit water balloons, which splashed and soaked Ash. Regardless, she admitted she wanted to have Popplio make a big balloon so they could travel under sea and meet lots of water Pokémon. Ash was confident Popplio was capable of achieving that dream; Popplio tried to make one, but failed and soaked Ash and Lana. During fishing, Team Rocket stole the group's Wailmer and Lapras. Just as Pikachu freed the Pokémon from the net by using Iron Tail, the Pokémon were to fall on rocks. Fortunately, Popplio managed to emit a giant balloon, which saved the Pokémon, who dived into the sea. After Team Rocket's defeat, the group praised Popplio, who emitted one more balloon and enveloped Ash and Pikachu in it. However, the balloon soon splashed and made Ash and Pikachu fall down.
The class spoke about the Rattata and Raticate problem and found out the solution were Yungoos and Gumshoos. Their yelling startled Sophocles' Togedemaru, who ran in circles and knocked Popplio and Mallow's Bounsweet off the table. Pikachu managed to stop and calm her down, but Togedemaru started showing affection towards him. Popplio, along with her trainer, was at the party to celebrate Ash and his Pokémon's Grand Trial of Melemele Island victory. Lana and Popplio spent a day on the beach with Lana's classmates. After the class's task was over, Popplio emitted bubbles to play volleyball with.
Lana and Popplio participated in the Pokémon Pancake race. However, in the third part of the race, Mallow's Bounsweet accidentally bumped into Mimikyu. This caused Mimikyu to fire Shadow Ball on Lana's Popplio's bubble and pierced it (the attack was meant for Ash's Pikachu). This caused Bounsweet, Mimikyu and Popplio to be disqualified. The next day, Popplio watched as Lillie's egg hatched into a white Vulpix and Samson Oak's egg into a red Vulpix. While the white one, Snowy, ignored the group, the red one wanted to play with the others. The next day, after Lillie befriended Snowy and hugged it, Snowy was more interested in playing with the class's Pokémon. Lana and Popplio were at class when Ash explained how Rockruff came to the house wounded the other night. Popplio emitted a bubble, which splashed Bounsweet, Pikachu and Togedemaru. They also watched Ash train Rockruff.
Lana had her Popplio demonstrate creating a balloon and let Pikachu enter inside. Suddenly, Mallow's Bounsweet sneezed, causing Ash's Rowlet to be attracted to her. Bounsweet repelled the attack, causing Rowlet to be bounced away. Accidentally, Rowlet hit Popplio and the two entered the balloon, which flew off on the wind. Popplio tried to calm down Rowlet, who believed Ash deeply cared about it, and thought Lana would scold Popplio. Suddenly, Rowlet, again by accident, pierced the balloon, causing Popplio to fall down. Rowlet tried to grab it and fly away, but Popplio was too heavy for it. Thus, Rowlet and Popplio fell on Team Rocket, who were making a device. As Popplio and Rowlet started apologizing, the latter realized it had a strange ring around it and couldn't fly. James had Mareanie fire Spike Cannon, but was repelled by Popplio's Bubble Beam. As Rowlet and Popplio fled, Meowth and Mareanie chased after them, while Jessie and James were grabbed by Bewear. Popplio had to bounce Rowlet on top of its nose, but tripped over a rock, injuring itself and Rowlet. Meowth and Mareanie appeared, as the latter tried to attack the two. However, the two were rescued by Litten, who knocked Meowth and Mareanie out. Since they had nobody else to turn to, Rowlet and Popplio joined Litten, who took them to a place under the bridge. There, the old Stoutland licked Rowlet, sensing it was Ash's. Popplio confirmed this by clapping, but it was worried where they were even, and even hit Rowlet for getting them lost. Stoutland had Litten get Rowlet and Popplio to Ash's house, though Litten hesitated a bit. After walking through the city, the trio stopped to a building, where they were captured in a net by Team Rocket. Litten burned them with Ember though it wanted to join Team Rocket to let Popplio and Rowlet free. Team Rocket was touched by this and just as they went to unlock the cage, Litten betrayed them by freeing Popplio and Rowlet. Popplio fired Bubble Beam, wrapping Team Rocket inside the bubbles. The trio combined attacks, making Team Rocket blast off. Ash, Mallow and Lana arrived, pleased their Rowlet and Popplio were fine and safe, but also noted Litten's presence.
Lana had her Popplio practice making the balloon. Popplio created one, which Lillie's Snowy entered. Snowy was amused, as Popplio started to bounce the balloon up and down. Seeing Ash was taken inside Palossand, Lana had Popplio use Bubble Beam. However, Palossand recovered from the attack, due to its ability to become stronger from such attacks. Instead, Popplio went to search for the shovel and had Pikachu wrapped inside its bubble to help in the search. After some time, they found the shovel, but as Popplio emitted the bubble to take the shovel, a lot of Water-type Pokémon were in the way and got wrapped instead. After some tries, Popplio and Pikachu returned with the shovel and bounced off the bubble. With Litten's Ember, the shovel stuck into Palossand, and it stopped outraging. During the Pokébase match, Popplio and Lana were on Ash's team. Popplio conjured a bubble to grab the ball. It also used its fin to hit the ball Kiawe threw. However, Popplio's fin got hurt. In the next match, Lana hit the ball Kiawe threw hard, enabling herself and Popplio a home-run and a definitive victory.
While going out camping, Popplio relaxed in the river. Due to Morelull's presence, Popplio fell asleep and was drained, along with others, except Lillie. Instead, everyone had dinner to end their hunger. Not soon after, the group encountered the Morelull, who, once again, made them asleep and drain them. Ash gave some of the energy to feed Morelull, and consecutively ate the curry Mallow made. Morelull was fed up and went to the tree, where everyone, including Popplio, watched as the Morelull evolved into Shiinotic. The Shiinotic Ash fed turned them asleep. The next day, however, everyone woke up and found themselves not hungry at all, seeing that Shiinotic returned the energy it drained from them. Before the class started, Popplio had a race with other Pokémon around the room, a race Pikachu won. During the exchange, Kiawe traded his Turtonator with Lana's Popplio. While working on the farm, Kiawe wondered what he'd do with Popplio, so Mimo decided to spend some time with it. The next day, Mimo reported the Tauros were fighting with each other. Since Turtonator was absent, Kiawe had Popplio emit the balloon to douse the Tauros, preventing their fighting. Kiawe was amazed, and had Popplio use Bubble Beam to wash the Tauros. Returning to school, Kiawe gave Popplio back to Lana and was impressed, seeing how Lana and her sisters cleaned Turtonator's back.
Olivia, who came to the Pokémon School, wanted to meet the heroes' Pokémon, and met Lana's Popplio. Popplio accompanied Lana, who was riding Stoutland to search for the treasures and bring them to Olivia. Since Stoutland disobeyed Lana, she and Popplio left it to sleep and search for the treasures on their own. Suddenly, Popplio was attacked by a Garbodor. Popplio used Bubble Beam to retaliate, and Lana took it and retreated. Lana tripped over a rock, and Garbodor caught up to them. Popplio used Bubble Beam to stop Garbodor, but was injured by its Sludge Bomb attack. Lana nevertheless thanked Popplio, and swore to protect it and Stoutland. The latter defended Lana and defeated Garbodor.
Popplio joined Lana and Ash to fish out a mysterious Pokémon lurking in Brooklet Hill. During the fishing trip, Lana encountered an injured Wishiwashi flopping around. Once it was healed, Lana went back to fishing. When all of a sudden, Lana's fishing line got hooked by a Totem Wishiwashi in School Form. Popplio was terrified by it due to its ginormous size. However, after seeing how much Lana is struggling to reel it in, it eventually conquered its fear and goes to battle it. During the battle, it got blasted away by an Alomomola. But Ash and Pikachu drove Alomomola away and Popplio proceeded to finish the battle with its newly learned move, Aqua Jet. Which also helped Lana clear the trial and earn a Waterium Z.
After obtained the Z-Crystal from Brooklet Hill, Lana and Popplio attempted to perfect the Z-Move, Hydro Vortex. But Popplio was unable to perform it correctly due to not syncing its poses correctly. Later, it met up with Ida and her Brionne and watched them perform in front of a large crowd of people. Lana and Popplio then decide to have some professional training with Ida and Brionne. The training consisted of Popplio trying to pop Brionne's water balloons. But despite failing constantly, Popplio completed its training. Later, when Lana and the gang encountered an angry Dhelmise, Lana and Popplio successfully executed the Z-Move and sent the Sea Creeper Pokémon packing.
Later, when Lana and her classmates visited Cerulean City as part of their Kanto field trip, Popplio teamed up with Steenee in a battle against Misty Psyduck. Steenee started with Magical Leaf while Popplio fired Bubble Beam. But Psyduck counterattacked with a blast of Water Gun. Popplio then created a water balloon during the battle and made Psyduck trapped inside of it. Misty commanded Psyduck to use Confusion, but nothing happens. Steenee attacked Psyduck with another Magical Leaf, but it breaks the water balloon and Psyduck falls in the battlefield, landing on its head. Psyduck's head injury causes it to suffer a headache, which allows Psyduck to fully execute Confusion on Popplio and Steenee. Before Psyduck to do anything to finish the battle, Misty called off the battle and told Psyduck that they had enough.
Later, when the group traveled in Ultra Space, Steenee, Popplio, Togedemaru and Charjabug along with Litten and Rowlet were sent out to battle Lusamine's Mismagius, Milotic and Lilligant. During the battle, Popplio performed Hydro Vortex to defeat Mismagius. But even though it looked like it successfully defeated it, Nihilego made it stand back up again. The battle ended with Ash and Pikachu defeating Nihilego with the 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt Z-Move, which sets all of Lusamine's Pokémon free.
Sometime later, Popplio helped Lana and her classmates complete several Ultra Guardian missions and helped Ultra Beasts return home.And in the process it meets a new friend who is also an Ultra Beast, Ash's Poipole.
When the adults in Alola started to act sluggish, Popplio went with Lana and her classmates to Poni Island where they are to investigate the strange phenomenon above the Altar of the Sunne. It helped power up Faba's machine and clear the skies with its Z-Power combined with Ash's Pikachu's, Kiawe's Marowak's and Gladion's Midnight Lycanroc's.
After travelling through the Ultra Wormhole, the Ultra Guardians enter a strange dimension that used to be the home of Ash's Poipole. As they search for Necrozma, they are attacked by wild Poipole, but Ash's Poipole stopped them and told them they're not bad guys. Just then, an old and weak Naganadel comes out and the Ultra Guardians rush over to help it, much to Gladion's dismay. After nursing Naganadel, Popplio, along with the other Pokémon, listened to its story about Necrozma's connection with the Blinding One, Ash's Poipole, and their homeworld. They learned that the reason why Necrozma possessed Nebby and Lunala was because it wanted a huge amount of Ultra Aura to restore its Ultra form and replenish Poipole's world due to the lack of its light. They also learn that Necrozma is actually the Blinding One the legends spoke about. Suddenly, the gang hears a crash outside and see Lunala still fighting with Necrozma. Gladion and Silvally attempt to defeat Necrozma, but they were immediately stopped by Ash and his classmates. They tell Gladion that if he drives Necrozma away, Naganadel, Poipole and its homeworld will die from the lack of light. Ash and the gang decide that the best way to save Nebby, help Necrozma, and replenish Poipole's world is to transfer their Z-Power. Together, Ash, Gladion, Kiawe, and Lana fired their Z-Moves at Necrozma.
But unfortunately for them, their attempt was unsuccessful. Instead of freeing Nebby, the Z-Moves only increased Necrozma's power and made it stronger. Necrozma goes to attack everyone, but is held off by Lunala. The Ultra Guardians learned from Professor Burnet that according to legend, Solgaleo, Lunala, and the people and Pokémon of Alola shared their Z-Power with the Blinding One when it lost its light. So, the Ultra Guardians as well as with the combined Z-Power of everyone in Alola as well as the Team Rocket Trio, the Guardian Deities, and the Island Kahunas, Necrozma gained enough light to free Nebby from its grasp. But despite their successful attempt, Necrozma became angry at their interference and attacked the Ultra Guardians in a blind rage. Hala, Olivia, and Nanu save the Ultra Guardians by transferring their Z-Power to Necrozma. But Necrozma wasn't giving up just yet. Necrozma then goes after Nebby and Lunala again, only to be held off by Gladion and Silvally. With Necrozma distracted, Lunala gave Gladion the Lunalium Z and Nebby recovers. Just as Necrozma was about to attack again, Ash and Gladion combined Nebby and Lunala's Z-Moves to help Necrozma provide enough Ultra Aura to return into its heroic Ultra form. Necrozma then uses its power to restore Poipole's homeworld to its previous majesty and disappears just as the solar eclipse ended. As they go to leave, the Ultra Guardians bid a tearful farewell to Poipole and returned back to Alola, while also witnessing Necrozma appearing above them in the sky.
|Bubble Beam||They Might Not Be Giants!|
|Aqua Jet||Big Sky, Small Fry!|
|+ indicates this Pokémon used this move recently.*|
- indicates this Pokémon normally can't use this move.
|Hydro Vortex||Balloons, Brionne, and Belligerence!|
|+ indicates this Pokémon used this move recently.*|
- indicates this Pokémon normally can't use this move.
- Like Dawn's Piplup from Sinnoh, Popplio is the only Alola starter Pokémon to be owned by a main character other than Ash.
- Coincidentally, they are both Water-types.
- ^ a b SM061: A Mission of Ultra Urgency!
- ^ a b SM005: Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio!
- ^ SM001: Alola to New Adventure!
- ^ SM002: The Guardian's Challenge!
- ^ SM003: Loading the Dex!
- ^ SM004: First Catch in Alola, Ketchum-Style!
- ^ SM009: To Top a Totem!
- ^ SM010: Trial and Tribulation!
- ^ SM012: The Sun, the Scare, the Secret Lair!
- ^ SM013: Racing to a Big Event!
- ^ SM014: Getting to Know You!
- ^ SM015: Rocking Clawmark Hill!
- ^ SM016: They Might Not Be Giants!
- ^ SM017: Crystal-Clear Sleuthing!
- ^ SM022: A Shivering Shovel Search!
- ^ SM028: Pulling Out the Pokémon Base Pepper!
- ^ SM029: Lulled to La-La Land!
- ^ SM030: The Ol' Raise and Switch!
- ^ SM031: The Island Whisperer!
- ^ SM032: Treasure Hunt, Akala Style!
- ^ SM033: Big Sky, Small Fry!
- ^ SM040: Balloons, Brionne, and Belligerence!
- ^ SM043: When Regions Collide!
- ^ SM053: Rescuing the Unwilling!
- ^ SM054: 10,000,000 Reasons to Fight!
- ^ SM055: The Professors' New Adventure!
- ^ SM069: Rise and Shine, Starship!
- ^ SM078: Twirling with a Bang!
- ^ SM085: The Long Vault Home!
- ^ SM067: Love at First Twirl!
- ^ SM087
- ^ SM089
- ^ SM090