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Where does Dawn's Piplup keep his Everstone?

Red Knight

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In DP122 ("Stopped in the Name of Love!" in the English dub), Dawn's Piplup received an Everstone from the Nurse Joy in Sandalstraw Town so that, as per Piplup's wishes, he would remain a Piplup. (He previously had been using Bide to prevent himself from evolving, which was extremely tiring.)

The thing is, Everstones are hold items; at least in the games, they only work as long as the Pokémon is holding them. When the Everstone is removed, the Pokémon that was holding it will evolve at the first opportunity. They seem to function like puberty blockers in that sense (at least, if my understanding of puberty blockers is correct).

The anime isn't necessarily beholden to the games' logic, but there is typically some level of consistency, especially by the DP series. While Brock states that "an Everstone has the power to prevent Piplup from evolving, ever," this does not necessarily mean it does not have the condition that Piplup needs to keep holding it. Assuming this is the case, Piplup would need to keep the Everstone on him pretty much constantly, because his body would be constantly trying to evolve without its influence; over the course of DP122, which takes place across roughly 24 hours in-universe, he needs to use Bide to suppress his evolution 5 times: once the night before the bulk of the episode takes place, once during the daytime, then three times that night. The last of these suppressed evolutions occurs at an incredibly inconvenient time (during a scuffle with Team Rocket) and lasts for well over a minute of the episode's playtime, in contrast to the prior ones that only lasted a few seconds. Even if some of the events that are shown happening within those 80 seconds or so are happening concurrently in-universe, it still can't be much shorter than a minute in-universe. (There is also an instance of Piplup using Bide for its intended purpose of absorbing and paying back damage, but this probably was not also used to suppress evolution.) And these are just the instances we, the viewers, see; in both the first and fourth instances we see in the episode, Piplup is sitting under a waterfall, as though he was anticipating the urge to evolve, and after the third instance, Brock says, based on what he's inferred so far, that "Piplup's been at this [suppressing his evolution] for a while." The five instances we see are not the only times Piplup's had to suppress his evolution, what we see in this episode is just where everything comes to a head.

But after he gets the Everstone, we never see Piplup use Bide to suppress his evolution again, so he obviously is still under the Everstone's influence. And the Everstone's influence would have to be constant to counteract his body's need to evolve, given the events of DP122. So where does Piplup keep it?

Now, the logistical issue of "how does a Pokémon hold an item for an extended period of time" is present in the games as well, but that's pretty easy to handwave for the sake of gameplay. However, this kind of handwaving is a bit trickier to do for Piplup's case. It's not like the Everstone is just chilling in Dawn's bag or something like that; if it did work to suppress Piplup's evolution like that, then that raises a whole lot of questions like "what happens if Piplup gets too far away from Dawn?" or "how does that Everstone not also suppress the evolutions of a bunch of other Pokémon, like Ash's Torterra, while still suppressing Piplup's evolution?" And again, by the time Piplup is given the Everstone, he is needing to suppress the his evolution multiple times a day and at inconvenient moments, so it's highly unlikely that Piplup is only being exposed to the Everstone periodically, unless the Everstone's effect is residual in some way, which would contradict how the Everstone works in the games. Which, again, not necessarily a deal breaker, but it definitely makes this theory a hard sell. This means that Piplup would have to have it concealed on his person.

This might sound implausible at first; Piplup doesn't exactly have pockets. But I would argue that perhaps he has something similar. The Pokédex states that Piplup has "thick down that guards it from the cold," much like real penguins. I could easily see it being kept in somewhere in his down, perhaps in a locket or satchel he keeps around his neck. The Everstone is reasonably sized for that; as we see it in the anime, it could probably fit inside Piplup's beak. (I don't think he would keep it in his beak, though, that would get in the way of his vocalizations and likely his use of moves like Bubble Beam, and just sounds uncomfortable.) In fact, we see another Pokémon do something similar in the anime: the Aura Sphere Riolu from DP071 and DP072 (the two part episode titled "Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu!" in the English dub) carries a memento in a satchel they keep around their neck. And Piplup has the benefit of being able to nestle such a satchel among his down. That might have a few implications for his hydrodynamics, but that's a fairly minor thing in comparison to any other place I can think of that Piplup could keep his Everstone.
 
I just always assumed that it wasn't treated like a hold item in DP. While they kind of did with Rowlet in SM, I thought that it was just absorbed into Piplup and used up much like the evolutionary stones are when they're used. It was never seen or mentioned again after Nurse Joy brought it out and Piplup never had any issues with stopping its evolution, so I just figured that it had been absorbed. The anime never really seemed interested in being accurate to the concept of held items either.
 
@Hidden Mew The only held items that the anime seems to treat like their game counterparts are Mega Stones. Whenever you see a Pokémon that can Mega Evolve, they always have their stone somewhere on their person as an accessory. Not even Z-Crystals have the property, although, the functionality of being able to switch what Z-Move someone wants to use on their ring when they want should not be undermined.
 
@Hidden Mew @Dr. Gro 3001 @UxieLover1994 you raise some good points. (Though I disagree with UxieLover's assessment of Piplup's character; Piplup is egotistical, petty, and short-tempered, yes, but he's not "whiny" or "spoiled," and he does grow as a character.)

As far as I know, we really don't see many held items outside of Mega Stones and Z-Crystals in the anime, and those both came later, so there's not much in the way of precedent that I know of. (Granted, I've only watched the Kanto, Orange, and Sinnoh sections and am only part way through Johto; there might be something in Hoenn or later in Johto I'm not aware of.) So the mechanics of the Everstone in the anime are very much up to interpretation.

Also, @Yash I originally had this paragraph-long spiel about why Piplup probably wouldn't have swallowed it (in short, Piplup's digestive tract wouldn't be equipped to retain something that size, not even as a gastrolith (which Piplup wouldn't even have a need for), and repeatedly excreting and swallowing the Everstone would be terrible for Piplup's health on top of being really gross), but I decided to cut it because it felt too tangential, and in hindsight I was trying a bit too hard to apply real world logic to the situation. (Though I do find that to be an entertaining thought exercise that often leads me down some interesting rabbit holes.)
 
Piplup, as a species, has some kind of outgrowth of feathers along its back and on its tail that resembles a cape. It's not actually a cape, so it doesn't flop up, but that seems a plausible bodily crease to tuck the Everstone into (provided the anime doesn't go by a different logic, as discussed). It probably doesn't need to more plausible than that for the anime.
 
There's also the question of why Piplup needed to repeatedly delay his evolution with Bide when Ash's Bulbasaur, the only other instance in the anime of a Pokémon suppressing their own evolution in a similar way, only needed to suppress it once and seemingly by sheer force of will.

Of course, the Doylist reason is that having Piplup need to repeatedly go to such lengths to cancel his evolution was a good way to induce a lot of tension, and Bulbasaur didn't need to because a) accuracy to game mechanics was even less of a priority in the early seasons and b) for the way that particular episode was structured, having an imminent evolution make Bulbasaur feel unwell was a better fit. But I'm concerned with the Watsonian justification.

My pet theory is that it's because Piplup was exposed to Deoxys a few episodes prior, which mutated him ever so slightly and made him start evolving much sooner and much more violently than usual. Also, Bulbasaur's evolution appears to have had additional conditions; it was somehow tied to the evolution festival that happened to be happening nearby at that time, which is why Bulbasaur never visibly struggled to suppress his evolution later.
 
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Piplup, as a species, has some kind of outgrowth of feathers along its back and on its tail that resembles a cape. It's not actually a cape, so it doesn't flop up...
About that...
(from DP181, Bucking the Treasure Trend!)
piplup cape flapping.png

I was quite taken aback when I noticed this.

I am quite curious what purpose it serves. My main theories are that it aids in buoyancy and/or maneuverability (mainly underwater, but given that Piplup can fly in short bursts because anime logic, it may also be useful in the air), or that it's an instance of Fisherian runaway (the most famous real-world example of this being the tails of male peacocks).
 
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About that...
(from DP181, Bucking the Treasure Trend!)
View attachment 183896
I was quite taken aback when I noticed this.

I am quite curious what purpose it serves. My main theories are that it aids in buoyancy and/or maneuverability (mainly underwater, but given that Piplup can fly in short bursts because anime logic, it may also be useful in the air), or that it's an instance of Fisherian runaway (the most famous real-world example of this being the tails of male peacocks).
I guess whatever in-universe excuse the writers came up with to justify where Piplup keeps his Everstone was inadvertently contradicted by the animators, then.
Fisherian runaway makes the most sense. It is odd that Piplup can reproduce (it's not a baby Pokémon), but that's Pokémon concept design. Watsonian (in-universe) explanations aren't always convincing for design characteristics.
 
The Everstone was probably kept in Dawn's bag but the fact that Piplup needed it to not evolve seemed weird. It's one of those things that makes sense in the games but doesn't in the anime since we know that Pokemon can avoid evolving through sheer willpower alone.
 
...the fact that Piplup needed it to not evolve seemed weird. It's one of those things that makes sense in the games but doesn't in the anime since we know that Pokemon can avoid evolving through sheer willpower alone.
Unless I missed something, we only really have two data points to draw from with regards to Pokémon actively preventing their evolution: Dawn's Piplup and Ash's Bulbasaur. So it's hard to say which of them, if either, is the exception to the norm of anime canon.

Ash's Pikachu and Lillie's Vulpix also choose not to evolve, but they're both stone evolutions, so the situation there is different. And there are plenty of Pokémon in the anime that simply don't fully evolve despite being theoretically capable of doing so (especially a lot of Ash's Pokémon in the earlier seasons), but we don't know how many of those are by choice and how many of those are just a quirk of those particular individuals' genetics or something.

The only other Pokémon that we can confidently say doesn't want to evolve is Team Rocket's Meowth, but he has never been seen actively preventing himself from evolving, and he also apparently has the Gigantamax Factor according to Journeys, which in the games prevents evolution from occuring, so that also complicates matters.

Among people that have responded to this thread (granted, not exactly a huge sample size), it seems that the prevailing opinion is that Piplup is the more exceptional case and Bulbasaur is the more typical case. Personally, I think that Bulbasaur is the more exceptional case, since there seems to have been a lot of external confounding factors for him, and the later seasons make a concerted effort to reflect game mechanics more closely (at least, as far as I've watched, but this is certainly the case with the Diamond and Pearl series). But I do understand why one would argue that Piplup is the more exceptional case. I also think there's a solid argument to be made that both are exceptional in different ways, or that neither are especially exceptional given the level of natural variation among individual Pokémon.
 
In the Diamond and Pearl Adventure! manga, Mitsumi hid an everstone under the cape of Hareta's Piplup early on so it wouldn't evolve and thus be easier for him to train. Also this isn't treated as a held item, I might add. So it could be similar.
 
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