Unmarked spoilers below.
- In the first game, Judd was thought to be the only mammal left on Earth. However, in this game, he now has a smaller cat companion (Li'l Judd) with him! Their relation to each other is never outright stated, but the fact that Judd isn't the last of his kind anymore and even gets to share his judge role with the new cat is extremely gratifying.
- As it turns out, the Sunken Scrolls imply that Judd's owner made provisions to clone Judd so that he wouldn't be the last cat when he woke up from cryosleep. He really did love his cat.
- While you were able to lightly interact with them before, you're now able to make friends with your amiibo and take pictures of your inkling and the amiibo hanging out. Sometimes, they'll even give you gear!
- Marie can be seen enjoying Off the Hook's concert from over her manhole at the end of the Splatoon 2 Direct, so it seems there's no animosity between the Squid Sisters and their Inkopolis Square counterparts. (She does think the Sisters' catchphrase is better, though.)
- One of the members of Off the Hook, Marina, is an Octoling. The possibility's open that some Inklings and Octolings might be on more friendly relations. The second Sunken Scroll implies that Marina is not alone in being an Octarian who wants better relations with the Inklings.
- And Marina is using Octoling tech for good things - she helped make stages exclusive to Splatfests, and Pearl is amazed and thinks the fact that she did is absolutely rad.
- From Version 1.2 and on, Marina's localized dialogue was altered to show her softer, protective side, while some of her snarkier comments were toned down to sound more like friendly teasing than mean-spirited snarking.
- Needless to say, Octo Expansion follows up on this heavily, as detailed below.
- Hero Mode's final boss: Marie starts singing "Tide Goes Out" to snap Callie out of hypnosis, and after successfully breaking her of the brainwashing, the two finally sing a new version of "Calamari Inkantation" after two years of being separated. Even after all is said and done, Marie is clearly grateful that Agent 4 helped her find her cousin.
- Off the Hook's live hologram concert, akin to the one The Squid Sisters did previously, was adorable and awesome at the same time. Midway through, Callie & Marie show up to sing Fresh Start and Spicy Calamari Inkantation as well. Not to mention Marina almost squeeing at the end where all four got to do the Splatfest version of "Now or Never!"
- As of the release of the first paid DLC, Octolings become playable in multiplayer for the first time. Apparently Marina isn't the only one able to befriend Inklings.
- The footage from the Octo Expansion Trailer shows Agent 8's wonder and delight at discovering the bright and colourful Inkopolis Square.
- We also see that Capt'n Cuttlefish is helping out Agent 8, which helps put to rest claims that he's racist against the Octarians.
- Come update 3.0, Callie joins Marie in Octo Canyon and can be talked to, and it's clear she's doing a lot better.
- This little exchange:Pearl: Marina! What's the appeal of using the brella on this stage?
Marina: Protecting my precious Pearlie at all costs!
- As the beginning of the Octo Expansion reveals, Agent 8 expands on an idea introduced with Marina, above. The confrontation between the Squid Sisters, Agent 3, and Octavio was so life-changing for 8 that it's part of what compels them to try and reach the surface and Inkopolis. Even when they forget everything else, that feeling when they heard Calamari Inkantation stays with them - "etched into their soul", as Cuttlefish puts it.
- How the player switches from the Octo Expansion back to the main game is through an option called "Imagine Inkopolis". Youre literally having Agent 8, a lone Octoling and Amnesiac Hero stuck in the dark, depressing, and downright-creepy Deepsea Metro, attempt to imagine what the "promised land" is like, which fades the screen to white in an Imagine Spot-like effect before taking the player back to the control of their Inkling in the bright, colorful, and much-more beautiful-in-comparasion Inkopolis Square.
- Doubling as a Funny Moment, after Marina tricked Pearl into quitting one of their chat sessions, she reveals to Agent 8 that she really thinks her partner is the coolest.
- Also from Octo Expansion shown in the chatroom segments, Cuttlefish drops the bombshell that Marina used to be a high-ranking engineer for the Octarians, before she heard Calamari Inkantation like Agent 8 did and realized that the Inklings weren't the monsters she thought they were. Even learning this, Pearl gives a twofold moment of Heartwarming: the first being that the infighting she and Marina do on Off the Hook is purely for show and that they're thick as thieves, and the second being that Pearl does not care in the slightest that Marina is of a different race or a war criminal. This is especially true in the North American version, where she shows no hesitance in displaying her Undying Loyalty.Cuttlefish: I guess shes OK for an octo
Pearl: I swear, cuttlefish. if you try to splat Marina I WILL CUT A FISH. U GOT THAT?
Cuttlefish: I um ok
- When the final boss of the Octo Expansion goes down, Marina glomps and nuzzles Pearl. And then continues to do so after she ends up knocking the both of them to the ground because she's so much taller than Pearl is. And then there's the smile Agent 8 gives as they look on.
- Once you beat the Octo Expansion story and can unlock playing as an Octoling in general, go look into Pearl & Marina's studio. Remember that when Inklings do so, Marina gives an awkward wave and Pearl scowls before giving a brief gang sign to satisfy the onlooker and let her get back to talking to Marina. As an Octoling? Pearl notices you first, and they both give you a much warmer greeting, with Pearl looking absolutely delighted to see you. They recognize Agent 8, and are happy to see their friend and comrade checking in on them.
- The characterization shift even goes into Splatfest announcements. In Orange Juice With Pulp vs. Without Pulp (the first Splatfest after the Octo Expansion's release), Pearl and Marina are about to break out into a serious argument on the air, but they both stop cold and proceed to apologize to each other.
- Also, just in general, seeing the Octolings in Inkopolis Square, especially since the placement and interaction engine places a mild emphasis on having an Inkling and Octoling interact in pairs, where possible. Scenes of an Inkling and Octoling chatting and smiling over some snacks or after a sporting Turf War match will call to mind, for Splatoon 1 veterans, a century-old photograph of Craig Cuttlefish and a certain DJ-to-be, and you'll know that, despite the history of the two groups, the future doesn't have to look like the past. (Which is even, really, the Octo Expansion's Central Theme!)
- This promo image◊ for Splatoon's collaboration with Tower Records. Whether it implies the two are roommates or just good friends, there's something nice about seeing Agent 4 and Agent 8 hitting it off so well, especially with how recently Octolings have entered Inkling society. A great many fans also love the idea that the explanation for why Eight shares an inventory with Four in multiplayer is "Eight is staying at Four's place, at least for now".
- Another promo image◊ released in celebration of the game's one year anniversary shows the entire New Squidbeak Splatoon, plus Pearl and Marina, posing together for a group photo. It's clear that the motto the New Squidbeak Splatoon goes by isn't entirely true; with True Companions like these, the path of a hero is not a lonely one.
- Pearl states in an in-universe magazine interview◊ that meeting Marina was the best gift she ever got.
- If you were someone who was really sad to see Marina's rather realistic outburst at Pearl during her 3rd consecutive loss in the Fork vs Spoon Splatfest (or just a Marina fan in general), seeing Marina's recent near-constant victories in the Clout era (having only lost 4 Splatfests across all regions since the Clout-based scoring system was integrated) was an absolute delight to see, especially considering how horrible her luck was in the West before that point.
- During the announcement of Frosty Fest (Family vs Friends), Pearl realizes that she might have hurt Marina's feelings after gushing of how holidays are great with family (since as an Octoling defector, Marina has no family to celebrate the holidays with), and then quickly tells Marina that Off the Hook is a family to her. Marina is delighted by this, and declares to choose Team Family as well, meaning that Splatfest is cancelled. Of course, the last part is a joke on Marina's part.Pearl: Oh... Well, uh...
Marina: That's great, Pearl. I'm glad your family makes you happy.
Pearl: And you know what, Marina? You and me? We're Off the Hook! We're totally family!
Marina: Awwwww. In that case, I'm going Team Family too! Sorry, everyone. Pearl and I have both chosen Team Family, so... THE SPLATFEST IS CANCELED!
Marina: Just messin'. TEAM FAMILY IS GOING DOWN!
- Even better, with the Octo Expansion in mind, during the part where Marina herself is gushing about how much friendship means to her, she's clearly talking about Pearl specifically - particularly the part about always staying by each other's side even after learning dark secrets. Which leads to a gag where Marina expects Pearl to pick up on it, except Pearl is daydreaming and didn't catch the hint.
- Also helping matters is, outside of a Big "NO!" once the results are revealed, Pearl is unusually civil about her team losing.
- After the results of the June 2019 Splatfest (Unicorn vs. Narwhal) are announced (Narwhal won), Marina and Pearl allude to Splatoon 2's final Splatfest, reaffirming that no matter what, they'll always have each othernote .:Marina: Uh, Pearl? You feeling OK?
Pearl: You ever just feel like...something big is coming? It's almost like...the end is near.
Marina: Yeah, I feel it too... But whatever happens, we'll always have each other's backs, right?
- There are a few moments from the official announcement of the final Splatfest: Order vs. Chaos:
- It starts with Pearl and Marina discussing why they formed Off The Hook:Pearl: 'Rina, do you remember why we started Off The Hook in the first place? We were sick of hearing the same stale top-20 songs on repeat EVERY DAY. We promised that we'd never stop shaking things up. That we'd never conform.
Marina: Yeah, but Pearl... Remember what YOU said when we first got together? You said that our ink colors aren't special on their own. That they don't become special until you mix them together to create new colors. And that gave me hope during a dark time in my life. Off The Hook means everything to me! It's all I have in this world...
- Pearl gets meta for a moment in regards to her popularity (or lack thereof) compared to Marina's. While it might sound depressing, Pearl actually seems completely okay with being less popular than Marina. This is also likely an acknowledgement from the developers on why the final Splatfest wasn't a repeat of the original game's: Marina would no doubt win.Pearl: You have WAAAY more going for you than just Off The Hook. For one, the fans like you more than they like me. I've seen the Internet. And all the other DJs worship you. Plus Eight and Cap'n Whatshisface.
- When Marina mentions the possibility of Off The Hook breaking up, Pearl immediately shoots it down.
- After Team Chaos's victory, Marina is still convinced that Pearl aims to break the duo up and is panicking at the thought, before Pearl cuts her off and says she meant "break into new genres of music," and once again reaffirming (after a quick joke about getting a solo career) that she never plans on breaking up with the Octoling, causing Marina to cry Tears of Joy.Marina: Pearl... I... I... I'm so happy right now... *sob*
Pearl: It's you and me against the universe, 'Rina!
- Datamined text for the "Order wins" scenario reveals that Marina simply wishes for a world where everyone respects one another, regardless of differences, and as such, she's willing to accept Off The Hook breaking up if that's what Pearl wants. Pearl responses to this with shock and confusion, and reiterates that she won't be doing that.Marina: But you were saying all that stuff about how you wanted everything to change...
Pearl: Yeah, but not Off the Hook! Not US! You and me are gonna rock the mic together until the end of time!
- It starts with Pearl and Marina discussing why they formed Off The Hook: