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The series in general
Splatoon | Splatoon 2 | Splatoon 3

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    Series in general 
  • Broken Base: Picking a Splatfest team based on the question versus picking it based on the idol. Advocates for the former argue that picking based on the idol is disingenuous to the concept of a Splatfest, while advocates for the latter maintain that the choice doesn't really matter and that they'd rather side with the more popular idol if it means a better chance at getting more Super Sea Snails.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Whenever a new weapon released, especially a brand new one instead of an existing weapon with a different sub and special weapon kit/loadout, you can expect to see a lot of people use it for a couple of days (especially in Turf Wars) until the community figures out how to use and counter it.
  • Creator's Pet: Shooters have started to garner this reputation toward the end of Splatoon 2's update cycle. The long short of it is that over an extended period of time, a good chunk of Shooter weapons received multiple small buffs while non-Shooter weapons did not, resulting in an extremely homogenized "4 Shooter" meta and fans complaining about favoritism thanks to their ease of use and popularity, which is worsened by their genericness compared to unique weapon archetypes you won't see in other games and Shooters easily having the most weapons in their class. Splatoon 3 seemed to have reversed these changes alongside other controversial Splatoon 2 additions, but little time was had before these complaints resurged with a vengeance due to the advent of updates, with Shooters not only dodging much needed nerfs (such as having lower Points for Special despite already being better painters than other weapons) but also getting the lion's share of new weapon kits in later updates despite over half of the other weapon classes sorely lacking in both new kits and new main weapons.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience: The band ABXY/Chirpy Chips are very easy to see as all having some form of neurodivergence. Paruko/Harmony is spacey, easily bored or distracted, and has little motivation; Noiji is incredibly chipper and impulsive; Raian is very withdrawn from the spotlight and hyperfocuses on his interests of old and weird stuff; and Shikaku is normally easygoing, but randomly and rarely snaps into being way more irritable.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Annie, the sea anemone girl who ran the headgear store Cooler Heads in Splatoon, and runs the SplatNet store in following entries, became quite popular due to her unique design and shy personality.
    • The Octarians as a whole are well-liked by anyone who actually delve into the series' lore, but the Octoling soldiers in particular had tons of people clamoring to play as one during the first game. Fans got their wish with the Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion DLC, with Octolings becoming a default customization option in the third game.
    • The Octo Expansion also brought DJ Dedf1sh, a sanitized octoling that garnered a fan following for the excellent tunes she provides for the campaign, along with having some of the darkest lore attached to her name.
    • Paruko/Harmony, who is also an anthropomorphic female sea anemone. First seen on the album cover for the band Chirpy Chips/ABXY, she was just one of many musicians who are part of in-universe bands that are only known about and seen through promotional and side material. Despite this, she accrued so much fanart in the community that Nintendo would go on to elevate her to being one of the in-game shopkeepers in Splatoon 3.
  • Evil Is Sexy: A lot of people find the Octoling enemies, in all their various designs, to be attractive.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • There are an untold number of fan works starring an Inkling who has just moved into Inkopolis or Splatsville, usually meeting with some of the shopkeepers and/or an established squad and getting into Turf Wars. Depending on the fic, this Inkling will also either become a member of the New Squidbeak Splatoon (undertaking the games' story modes or an entire new adventure) or be a civilian who unknowingly befriends one of the agents.
    • The Octolings are a fountain of fanfic all by themselves. Common plots involve their life in the underground domes, with early fandom stories also depicting their increasing terror of Agent 3 and occasional forays into Inkopolis.
      • For the same reasons as the above, an Inkling finding/rescuing and living with an Octoling was also a common plotline prior to Octo Expansion and Splatoon 3 having their societies begin to freely interact once again. These stories often than not end in romance as well. Ironically enough, the second game has this serve as Pearl and Marina's backstory, with their early friendship matching the usual staples of such plots almost beat for beat.
      • In addition to fics that explore Off the Hook's backstory, Octo Expansion gave birth to a variation involving Agent 3 taking in Agent 8 (or otherwise serving as her guide to the surface) while Pearl and Marina act as Parental Substitutes, often with the two agents developing a romance. Later on still, the reveal of Splatoon 3's idol group (Deep Cut) led to stories depicting Shiver as a former Octarian solider who was taken in by Frye and Big Man several years ago after being found traumatized and alone in the Splatlands. Once again, often with Shiver and Frye developing a romance, though supplemental material would quickly make such stories Outdated by Canon (all three grew up on the surface, with the trio becoming friends in middle school).
    • Role Swap AU stories where Callie won the Splatfest and Marie ended up with the Octarians instead of Callie.
    • Fans who were unsatisfied with how Splatoon 2 handled Callie and Marie's reunion have plenty of fan-works which portray it as more emotional. Some go as far as to make Callie a Shell-Shocked Veteran post-rescue.
    • How did Marina end up above ground and how did she meet Pearl? Many fanfic try to solve these questions. As mentioned above, Octo Expansion filled in some of the blanks, which actually increased the number of these stories, since writers now had a solid base surrounding Marina's culture shock and tech genius to expand upon and explore in-depth.
    • Some stories bring Agent 3, Agent 4, and Agent 8 together as a Power Trio, usually with Agent 8 as a rookie understudy and Fish out of Water in Inkopolis, Agent 3 as the seasoned, comically serious leader, and Agent 4 as the cheerful Bunny-Ears Lawyer to round them out.
  • Fan Nickname: The competitive scene has a number of terms:
    • Slayers and Skirmishers: aggressive weapons that excel at the very front that either splat enemies or create distractions or openings for other teammates. Most rollers and close-range shooters like the Sploosh-o-matic fit this category.
    • Anchor: weapons that hang around the back lines and make it hard for the enemies to push forwards with long-range domination, in addition to providing a safe super jump spot for allies to reconvene to. Splatlings and Chargers usually qualify as these.
    • Support: weapons that focus on painting turf or farming specials, which aren't great in direct fights nor holding the backlines and help in other ways. The N-ZAP and Splattershot Jr. provide consistent examples of this throughout the series.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: DJ Octavio/Captain Cuttlefish, due to the first game all but stating that they have a long history together and used to be good friends.
  • Franchise Original Sin: On a developer scale. The first game's massive success started a trend of Nintendo embracing the live service model with some of their other multiplayer titles; that is, releasing a game with plans to continuously add new features and modes via free DLC updates in hopes of inciting regular engagement. While the first Splatoon was very light on multiplayer content at launch, it was still seen as having enough to offer overall thanks to both a substantial single-player campaign and an immediate fanbase that was more than willing to stick around for further updates. It was also a new franchise, meaning prior entries didn't exist with which to compare its' launch day content with. When other Nintendo games (specifically, the Mario sports games and Animal Crossing: New Horizons) began engaging in this service model, fans of those series did not take kindly to it. At best, it was viewed as a poor implementation of the approach due to those base games not offering much more than previous series entries, with worries that poor sales would mean Nintendo will stop updating the title and leave the game "unfinished". At worse, it is viewed cynically as Nintendo simply wanting release games faster and with lower budgets to collect money faster.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Not really a surprise, but the Super Smash Bros. community is rather friendly towards their new Nintendo cousins; maybe it's because they're both Competitive Multiplayer games with colorful aesthetics and easy-to-learn-hard-to-master gameplay that break all the conventions of their respective genres (Fighting Game for Smash, Third-Person Shooter for Splatoon). During the official character ballot for Smash 4, the Inklings were often one of the most requested characters on Reddit and other SSB message boards. They were eventually announced as the very first newcomers for Ultimate.
    • The Super Mario Bros. fans are also unsurprisingly fans of Splatoon and vice-versa. For most, the comparison between this game and Super Mario Sunshine is a no-brainer, to the point that rumors and hoaxes about eventual Super Mario Sunshine-related DLC such as a weapon based on F.L.U.D.D. or Delfino Plaza as a stage ran rampunt during the life of the first game. Splatoon 3 would eventually give the game a shout-out in the form of a boss battle.
    • With Team Fortress 2, one of the other very colorful shooters out there. Although tensions were rocky at first, the fandoms of both games started to overlap, thanks in great part to both games being multiplayer shooters with fast movement options focused on objectives and teamwork, with silliness and colorful aesthetics that stand out in a genre that tends to stick to the more realistic side of things. It certainly doesn't hurt for the Team Fortress crew that Splatoon also has a focus on squid fashion and hats.
    • With Jet Set Radio, since both games involve groups of teenagers who live in the Shibuya district and spread paint everywhere. Splatoon's aesthetics are also noted to be similar to that of Sega Dreamcast games in general.
  • It Was His Sled:
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Plenty of fans mainly pick up the games for their solo campaigns, which are regarded as among the best in any third-person shooter to the point that a dedicated single-player adventure spin-off has been in constant demand from this segment of the fanbase since the first game.
    • There's a segment of the fanbase that only plays Salmon Run, which grew once Splatoon 3 made the mode available 24/7.
  • Low-Tier Letdown:
    • The Aerosprays are consistently rated pretty low in competitive metagame. Their inability to focus fire and poor range means that they're only good at splatting when right up against someone's face, which is not very helpful in most Ranked modes and effectively reduces them to a mediocre support that's good at covering the ground, spamming their special and doing little else. They require good kits and a team built around their presence to be functional, which rarely occurs since many competitive teams would rather build around a superior support weapon over an Aerospray.
    • Undercover Brella, introduced in Splatoon 2. A lightweight member of the Brella class, it has the gimmick of not deploying its shield after holding the trigger for a prolonged period of time, meaning the user can continuously shoot while maintaining cover, rather than having to time alternating between an attack and defense mode like the other Brellas. This may seem overpowered at first, but the vanilla Undercover Brella (AKA the Vunder) has a lot of weaknesses that makes it widely viewed as the worst weapon in the series by a wide margin. First, as a trade-off for being able to keep up a shield while always firing, said shield is very weak compared to other Brellas, having a mere 200 HP compared to the middleweight Splat Brella's 500 HP and the heavyweight Tenta Brella's 700 HP. Second, it has the worst DPS in the entire game, needing three well-aimed shots to splat any opponent, with the fastest it can accomplish that task being two seconds, an eternity in a game as fast-paced as Splatoon. Those two things alone mean that a player is unlikely to splat an opponent before their shield is broken, but in addition, it has lackluster ink coverage for a ranged weapon (so tough luck making a quick escape route during an engagement) and poor synergy with its sub weapon, Ink Mine (the Vunder's low DPS means it can't combo the damage from an Ink Mine well). Things don't get much better with its special weapon. In Splatoon 2, it boasts the Splashdown. To be fair, in low-level play, it's a good panic button that will splat anyone nearby. In high-level play, however? Splashdown is an utter joke, as anyone ranked S+ and above can react and take out the user during the brief vulnerability period at the special's start-up. In Splatoon 3, it has the Reefslider, but it is only a marginal upgrade so far that players can use it without immediately being punished since they're activating it from a farther distance; now they get punished afterward, for missing the Reefslider explosion means that they're now in very close proximity with at least one other opponent, which the Undercover Brella can't hope to fend off given all its listed problems.
  • Memetic Mutation: There's enough of them to warrant a separate page for them!
  • Moe: Let's be honest: both the Inklings and the Octolings are adorable. The franchise's colorful artstyle combined with their squid beak smiles (even as they're considered Ugly Cute) and Speaking Simlish voices have endeared them to fanbase as being among the cutest main characters Nintendo owns. A lot of fanart highlights them for this rather than their coolness factor that the games themselves often focus on through their love for fashion sense.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The splattering sound of ink being fired and covering turf is very satisfying indeed. It was lovingly recorded by the development staff. This also extends to the sounds of the various weapons: the whirr of the Heavy Splatling winding up for a burst, the splashing effects of the Brush and Roller weapons being swung, the sharp report of a Charger firing; all of them have a very distinct and enjoyable feel.
    • The Inklings' chatter if they pick up a special weapon or destroy a lot of enemies.
    • The ice cream truck jingle that plays when you are riding in control of the tower in Tower Control. Also, the cheery tune that plays when the Clam Blitz basket is open.
    • The cracking sound that plays when you hit someone with a fully-charged shot from a Charger, or a direct hit with a Blaster or Sloshing Machine, since it usually results in a One-Hit KO.
    • The one-two whammy of your Inkling chattering in triumph, followed by the solid impact of the Rainmaker making touchdown on the pedestal. Bonus points if you're the one doing the touchdown.
    • Splatting a shielded Octotrooper or destroying their shields is announced with a loud, satisfying "-CLANG!".
  • Narm Charm: The general consensus on the North American TV ads is that they're, to make a long story short, incredibly stupid. That said, their cheesiness (especially those for the first game) makes people talk about them a lot, which is what an ad is meant to do anyway.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Anytime you see enemy ink, even a tiny puddle, there could be someone there waiting for an unsuspecting player to splat. This gets even worse if they have the Ninja Squid ability, because now they can easily move through their ink with little indication of such at all. And may Cthulhu have mercy if you're in the same lobby as a player that has mastered moving slowly enough that they can swim completely undetected, with or without Ninja Squid.
    • Getting tracked by a Point Sensor or similar sub weapon means the enemy knows exactly where you are, allowing them to pursue you or ambush you with impunity, while you don't know where they are.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • There, possibly, exists an In-Universe version in regards to DJ Octavio. As much as he seems to hate the "heavenly melody"... well, the fact he calls the Calamari Inkantation that says it all; he can't help but jam hard to the song whenever the Squid Sisters start singing it, despite them being the granddaughters of his Arch-Nemesis.
    • In general, while the series is aimed at children, it also garnered a large amount of adult fans from the moment it was first revealed, thanks to its atmosphere and gameplay being considered a breath of fresh air compared to very other shooter.
  • Preemptive Shipping: The idol groups of each game get hit with this upon their reveal. While the popularity of Pearl/Marina and Frye/Shiver remained strong upon the release of those installments (especially the former pairing), Splatoon 1 didn't have as much luck with Callie/Marie. In spite of their duo name being the Squid Sisters, many people shipped them anyway on the assumption that their idol group name wasn't an actual indicator of their relation. The fans were right on that front — they're cousins, which caused the pairing's popularity sank like a stone for anyone who wasn't into Incest Yay Shipping.
  • Recurring Fanon Character: Verna Rassica is an original inkling created by Rassicas (a fan known in the community for translating No Export for You Splatoon content). The character is a stubborn, alcoholic adult who works as a Grizzco manager. Hes one of the most popular fanmade Inklings, receiving a lot of fanart, and giving a Darker and Edgier interpretation of the world of Splatoon.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Splatfest to both the Wii's Everybody Votes Channel and Conquest in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Everybody can vote and fight for popularity, although there was no fighting in Everybody Votes Channel
    • The relative verticality of the gameplay compared to most shooters, and how the squid mode allows players to swim up walls, caused some to consider it a Lighter and Softer Titanfall.
    • The Squid Beatz minigame is the best Taiko no Tatsujin game made by Nintendo.
    • The main hub areas of each game ultimately became this to Miiverse and similar Wii U features like WaraWara Plaza and Animal Crossing Plaza, with the world being populated by the avatars of other players that can be interacted with to learn about their current stats and weapons, and comment on any artwork they may have posted.
  • That One Level: There is little love for Wahoo World, a map originally introduced in Splatoon 2. The gimmick of Wahoo World is that the center of the map (literally) revolves around some of the most inane design choices in stage design. The ground route through mid is a slowly spinning centerpiece sectioned off into four partitions, which players can attempt to ink and swim through but are at major risk of getting picked off by their enemies above them if they aren't careful. The top of the stage is a tiny circle surrounded by four barriers with exactly one consistent route through it, making bottlenecking a major issue. There are left side routes that open up, but only every so often and not consistently enough to make it a viable flanking option. The stage on the whole is so awkward to navigate and fight on that it's one of the least liked stages in the entire series.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 made a significant paradigm shift in how stage design is handled. Previously, in the first Splatoon, maps were large and varied, with fairly unique layouts to each map and dense with inkable walls and raised terrain. In the sequels, Nintendo began aiming for more "competitive" map design, which meant shrinking their overall size, making "centers" and other spots where opponents are likely to engage each other more flat and open, and reducing the number of side routes where players can avoid detection from their opponents. Players who liked the first game's stages for their fun and unbalanced nature have responded with less than stellar reception to those of the sequels, claiming that abiding by a very similar design philosophy for every stage homogenizes them too much.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Inklings themselves in a sense. While their humanoid forms look mostly normal, their Cute Little Fangs include an extra one in the front bottom tooth. While meant to emulate squid beaks, it also makes them appear in dire need of braces.
    • Prepubscent Inklings. Newly hatched inklings are cute, normal looking squids but everything from toddlerhood to preadolescence are varying degrees of Ugly Cute. They aren't fully capable of becoming humanoid until their teens, so before that they're anthropomorphic but gangly and obviously made of ink.
    • While most Octarians look outright Gonk-ish, basic one-tentacled troops can sometimes be seen inking the ground in front of them with a goofy smile on their faces. It manages to look kind of adorable.
  • Widget Series: Anthropomorphic squids turn into kids with paintguns to shoot paint for the squids to swim through while battling an army of sentient octopus tentacles. The series actually managed to become a critical and commercial darling despite this.

    CoroCoro Splatoon manga 
  • Broken Base: The manga's insistence on using the Inkling/Octoling male over using the female Inkling/Octoling for its main characters. Either you dislike it because it goes against the video games, which push the female variants as the main characters (particularly when it comes to story content), or you like it precisely because the games tend to give the male Inklings/Octolings the shaft in that department, and thus see them taking the lead roles in the manga as getting some much needed attention.
  • Fan Nickname: The manga is often referred to as Coroika by fans, a portmanteau of Corocoro, the magazine that serialises the manga, and ika, the Japanese word for squid.
  • Fanon: Most fans like to believe that Emperor and Prince are related to Pearl as her younger siblings due to all three coming from rich backgrounds, as well as boasting similar appearances.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the first chapter, Rider has all three of his teammates fire an Inkstrike at once, which the narration calls a Triple Inkstrike. A long time after this chapter was published, Splatoon 3 would include an actual Triple Inkstrike as a standalone special.
  • Ho Yay: Goggles likes to pull down Rider's pants.
  • Values Dissonance: The manga's style of humor is common in kodomomuke (i.e., young children's) manga, but some of the jokes can come across as unusual outside of Japan, namely Goggles' Running Gag of losing his clothes and pulling down his friends' pants.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The manga manages to be even more "kid-friendly" than the video game series it's based on thanks to lacking the source material's love of Surprise Creepy and Backstory Horror. However, many of its running gags are of the Naked People Are Funny variety, including the main character pantsing friends and rivals alike (regardless of gender), as well as one-off jokes such as a scene where the main character shoves the barrel of his Splattershot up a rival's ass, and pulls the trigger. Somehow, it defied No Export for You and made it to international shores where it is marketed to the same elementary school demographic as in Japan.

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