Popeye's only real relatives are his nephews, the look-alike boys named Peepeye, Poopeye, Pipeye and Pupeye. They first popped up in the cartoon in 1940, although in that episode they appeared as Popeye's children in a dream sequence. They reappeared in 1942 and were clearly introduced as the Sailor Man's nephews. Some cartoons feature only two or three nephews, with no explanation about the discrepancy.
In a 1933 comic strip, Popeye received a baby in the mail, whom he adopted and named Swee'Pea -- although there is often confusion about whether the baby is related to Popeye's girlfriend, Olive Oyl. The expressive tot appeared in Popeye's first cartoon short, Max Fleischer's 1936 "Little Swee'Pea," in which Popeye proclaims: "There's no ifs or maybe / I'll never has babies! / I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!"
More on the life and times of Popeye the Sailor Man:
- In the cartoon "Popeye in Goonland" (1938), Popeye tells us that he hasn't seen his Pappy since birth, 40 years before.
- Popeye has a magical dog he calls Eugene the Jeep, but the hound appears to exist in a parallel universe. He answers questions by bowing -- once for yes and twice for no -- and he consumes only orchids.
- Popeye's best friend is the hamburger-loving J. Wellington Wimpy, who first appeared as a referee in one of Popeye's boxing matches.