By now, weeks after launch, most have seen Pokémon Sun and Moon’s story to its end. No matter where they are in the plot, though, one thing has stuck out to fans on social media: Nebby, aspiring trainer Lillie’s tiny and mysterious Pokémon companion, needs to get in the bag.
First, some context. Players may experience Pokémon Sun and Moon from the perspective of their silent protagonist, but it’s Lillie who’s really at the games’ heart. Sun and Moon are about the steps she takes on her journey: to prove herself to her mother, to her friends, to herself. She’s also the catalyst for many of the more dramatic events, although it’s not totally her fault.
Know who’s to blame for the trouble Lillie inadvertently causes for the player character and everyone else? It’s Nebby, who lives in secret inside Lillie’s duffel bag. Lillie doesn’t want the Alola region’s more malicious Pokémon trainers getting their hands on the powerful legendary Pokémon, whose real name is Cosmog. Since Lillie isn’t actually a Pokémon trainer quite yet, she doesn’t totally grasp her little Nebby’s power — but she knows enough to want to keep it out of sight.
Nebby foils Lillie’s plan again and again and again and again and again and — you get the idea. This little guy just doesn’t like to stay put, for whatever reason. With an incessant cry of “Pewpy!” Nebby appears at every inopportune moment to send Lillie’s anxiety levels skyrocketing. It’s such a recurrence that it’s no surprise players have seized on it, taking it from an in-game gag to a widespread meme.
A cursory Twitter search of “Nebby, get in the bag” — players’ rallying cry — turns up tons of tweets with that phrase.
nebby get in the bag— I.M (@iimxmonsta) December 6, 2016
nebby get in the bag— 김 Mingyu (@miingyu17) December 6, 2016
nebby get in the bag— . (@KNJBTS7) December 6, 2016
GET BACK IN THE BAG NEBBY— Ditto (@kswagger125) December 6, 2016
get in the bag nebby— Luna ☆25 (@OKLuna_) December 6, 2016
Sun and Moon fans love the endearing and shy Lillie, so that Nebby refuses to obey her orders is frustrating. Nebby may not hear their Twitter pleas, but that won’t stop them.
As all memes do, players’ campaign to keep Nebby safe from Lillie’s foes has gone beyond simple exclamations.
Me: Maybe I should just get in the bag...— ANGRY SANTA Nebby (@NebbyInTheBag) November 28, 2016
Inner me: No keep getting out of the bag and make Lillie mad. pic.twitter.com/ee72hWaFGM
There’s an entire subreddit, Nebby in the Bag, dedicated to putting Nebby in its place. Nearly 8,000 subscribers are doing all they can to help Lillie on her hardest quest. That mostly means sharing memes that imagine Sun and Moon’s best character’s accomplishing her goal by any means necessary.
Players have a chance to get Nebby in their own bag later in the game, as well as obtain an unrelated Cosmog. It’s not quite as satisfying as seeing Lillie pocket the monster, though, and it doesn’t happen before Nebby gets the team in some serious danger.
Lillie’s won more popularity than secondary characters in previous Pokémon games, perhaps because her arc is so rewarding. It’s great to watch Lillie come into her own over the course of Sun and Moon — even if Nebby continues to defy her.