Animal Crossing

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Yeah, living on your own, being free. It feels great. But living by yourself can be a real drag, too. Still, if you've got some really tight friends somewhere nearby, then you know it'll all work out.
—K.K. Slider

Animal Crossing is a simple but entertaining "life sim" game that takes place in a small town in the country. Amusingly enough, you're the only human character (not counting any other players who share your town) in a town populated by eccentric Talking Animals. There are pelicans working at the post office, a pair of porcupine sisters who run the tailor's shop, a verbose, bug-phobic owl who runs the museum, and a fox who acts as a shady traveling merchant. Your other, less permanent neighbors are likewise an eclectic assortment of other species, from dogs to cats to cows to elephants to about a dozen other species.

In order to pay off the debt on your house to the local shopkeeper (a raccoontanuki named Tom Nook), you'll have to scrounge up things to sell for the local currency, Bells. You can hunt insects, catch fish, gather fruit, dumpster-dive for old furniture, or sell the stuff you earn running errands for your neighbors. You can also put some of your hard-earned money towards buying new clothes, or furniture for your home.

Originally released in Spring of 2001 for the Nintendo 64 as Dōbutsu no Mori ("Animal Forest") in Japan, most American players are probably familiar with the GameCube version, Dōbutsu no Mori Plus, which was released in the US in 2002 as Animal Crossing.

The game later received a version for the Nintendo DS, Animal Crossing: Wild World, which added a few new features, like the ability to get haircuts, hats and accessories to wear, new items to collect, the ability to communicate with friends over Wi-Fi, and a limited increase in interaction with your neighbors.

An anime movie based on Wild World was released in Japan in 2006.

Franchise history:

  • 1.x
    • Dōbutsu no Mori (lit. "Animal Forest") (Nintendo 64; Japan 2001)
    • Dōbutsu no Mori + (GameCube; Japan 2001) Added real-time clock.
    • Animal Crossing (sometimes seen as Animal Crossing | Population: Growing!) (GameCube; North America 2002, Australia 2003, Europe 2004) New holidays based on those of the United States, e-Reader support, and several other enhancements.
    • Dōbutsu no Mori e+ (GameCube; Japan 2003) Everything added to the North America, Australia, and Europe versions and more.
  • 2.x
    • Oideyo Dōbutsu no Mori (Nintendo DS; Japan 2005) Removed several features and hidden NES games in favor of online play with friend codes; changed all holidays.
    • Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS; North America 2005, Australia 2005, Europe 2006) Nearly identical to ODnM, but not interoperable with the Japanese game due to character encoding differences and different sizes of various data structures.
    • Gekijōban Dōbutsu no Mori (Movie; Japan 2006)
  • 3.x
    • Animal Crossing: City Folk (North America)/Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City (PAL territories) (Wii; 2008) As well as the town, the player can now visit a city full of different shops including ones from previous games as well as some new ones. Online play is once again included and the game is the first Wii game to support voice chat and the first online game in the series that supports interoperability between Japanese and Western versions of the game. Holidays return, with versions of the game from different countries having their own sets. Region-specific holidays can still be experienced by people outside the holiday's region using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to visit the town of a friend from another country. Highlands and lowlands in the town return from 1.x.
  • 4.x
    • Animal Crossing: New Leaf (North America)/Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori (Japan) (Nintendo 3DS; 2012): This incarnation of the series made the most changes since Wild World. Besides a complete redesign of graphics, the game boasts several new features. More clothing and customization, wall furniture, and even swimming! You are even the mayor of your town!
      • Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Welcome amiibo (North America)/Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori amiibo+ (Japan) (3DS; 2016): An updated version of New Leaf, it includes amiibo compatibility.
    • Animal Crossing Plaza (Wii U, 3DS; 2013): Allowed players to communicate with each other on Miiverse and to post screenshots from New Leaf. Discontinued in 2014.
    • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS; 2015): A spin-off in which you decorate other villagers' homes as they wish.
    • Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival (Wii U; 2015): A spin-off Party Game that uses amiibo figures for gameplay.
    • Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (Android, iOS; 2017): A free-to-play spin-off featuring a campsite for other visitors to invite.
  • 5.x
    • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (North America)/Atsumare Dōbutsu no Mori (Japan) (Nintendo Switch, 2020): This incarnation incorporates the crafting system from the mobile games, among several numerous new features. Now you have one full island to explore! Currently the best selling game of the franchise, with over 13 million sold within the first two months of release.
Tropes used in Animal Crossing include:
  • Addressing the Player
  • Airplane Arms: The animals do this when they're running.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Blue, purple, whatever--there's a townsperson for every color of the rainbow! (Of course, there are ordinarily colored animals as well -- for example, Goose is white like roosters often are in real life; he's just named after a completely different kind of fowl for some reason.)
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: It's the trope namer, even.

--"And your reward.... Is clothes!"

  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: Some villager rewards can be furniture, carpet, and wallpaper.
  • The Anime of the Game: The Movie particularly picks up on the Slice of Life elements of the games and manages to come up with an original story with its own central character, Ai.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: No more than four humans and 15 (GCN), 8 (DS) or 10 (Wii) animal neighbors per town, not counting the permanent residents such as Tom Nook et al.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Neighbors will sometimes talk to each other, and randomly end up happy, sad, or angry; in Wild World and City Folk you get to listen in on their conversations.
  • Art Evolution: So far, there have been two major changes to the series' art style: Wild World added the now-famous "rolling log effect", and 3DS features redone, slightly less Super-Deformed character models.
  • Ascended Meme: Not an internal meme, but a meme from another popular Nintendo series. If you talk to Grumpy male villagers during the Festivale, they may tell you to DO A BARREL ROLL!
  • Author Avatar: Composer avatar, in this case - Totakeke/K. K. Slider. They even have the same theme song, which must be requested as a secret. The theme song also appears in other games by this composer.
  • Behind the Black: The "Hide and Seek" mini-game from City Folk makes no sense without taking this into consideration.
  • The Blank: A blank-faced cat named Blanca.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Various holiday items. But since there's no real goal to the game, nor an achievement counter, arguably every reward is for bragging rights, or at least for leading you to other rewards.
  • Breakable Weapons: Regular Axe.
  • Brick Joke: Fishing up a squid in Wild World results in the player character saying "Oh no you squidn't!" Three years later, in City Folk, when you catch a squid, you say "Oh yes I squid!"
  • But Thou Must!: Whenever you pay off your current house, Tom Nook will insist on upgrading your house, and charging you for it, whether you want him to or not. This continues until you fully upgrade your house.
    • Similarly, if you talk to Lyle in Wild World, you HAVE to buy the insurance he's selling. The only way he'll let you go is if you don't have enough Bells. Probably a Take That against real life insurance salesmen.
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • The game attempts to avert this in Wild World and City Folk by making sure the "random foods" the townspeople talk about are all either vegetarian or only contain fish. But some of the fish you can catch (which are edible) are frogs and octopi, and some of your neighbors are... frogs and octopi. Erm...)
    • There's also Franklin, a turkey who visits on Thanksgiving. Most of your townsfolk just want to meet him. The mayor, Tortimer, pretty clearly wants to eat him. Franklin is not pleased.
    • Blathers will lampshade this in City Folk when describing the Dynastid Beetle.

"Many species hunt this beetle. Examples include moles, crows, and owls... WOT WOT?!"

    • It's also lampshaded in Wild World with a female octopus named Marina. Though the thought depresses her.

"Do you think it's weird that I like seafood? Since, if you think about it, technically I'M seafood?"

  • Character Development: Several of the special NPCs have backstory speeches that can only be triggered on certain days of the year. Sable has several that occur as your relationship with her grows.
  • Character Customization: The Rover/Kapp'n Quiz at the start of each game.
  • Chaste Toons: Tommy and Timmy resemble Tom Nook in miniature, and he says they are his nephews. Various Animal Crossing websites list them as his nephews, however, as does the deuterocanonical description of their trophy in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl.
  • Check Point Starvation: A few of Tom Nook's tasks (but not all of them) have to be completed in the first game to be able to save using the Gyroid, but later games, which moved the save function to a menu that can be accessed anywhere, do not have this restriction, though they do have one for traveling between towns.
  • Chest Monster: The Walking Leaf insect in City looks like a piece of furniture just lying on the ground at first. But if you go to pick it up, it turns into its true form.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: While almost all notable characters from the first game appear in later installments with the same or similar jobs, Porter, the monkey who works in the train station is never seen again after the first game. However, Champ, a monkey villager from later games (except for non-Japanese releases of Wild World) looks exactly like Porter aside from his clothes and even says "choo choo" as his Verbal Tic, so Nintendo doesn't seem to have forgotten about Porter.
  • City Guards: Well, Town Guards but still...
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Most of the villagers have their moments, but particularly the animals with the "lazy" personality.
    • Pascal.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: If you "time travel" by resetting your system clock, you can actually pull this off in Wild World and City Folk. Your town will suffer for it, though.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The grumpy animals qualify.
  • Desert Skull: This shows up as a furniture item in the "American West/frontier" set. Sometimes cows have them in their homes...
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: One of Resetti's rants includes him making you type out a written apology exactly as he dictates it. If you get it wrong, he simply makes you try again. Type in something offensive, however, and he'll get furious.
  • Dialogue Tree
  • Dirty Old Man: In the original Animal Crossing Kapp'n will tease your character and sing more "love-oriented" sea ballads if she's female. In City Folk, he outright hits on female characters. Relentlessly. And possibly the male characters if you read between the lines.
  • The Driver: Kapp'n.
  • Dummied Out: Several items in all versions of Animal Crossing, a left-out item in the original was even called "dummy".
    • Ironically, the "dummy" isn't actually dummied out, as it can be obtained legitimately.
    • Monkey villagers were dummied out of Wild World outside of Japan for no apparent reason, so they wouldn't move in without being hacked in, though oddly enough their pictures had their text translated. However, City Folk/Let's Go to the City did not do this to monkey villagers, so anyone from any part of the world can have one move in.
    • The NES Games, The Legend of Zelda & Super Mario Bros. are only available via Action Replay.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The original Animal Crossing games are dramatically different from future versions. Many features used in future games weren't implemented until the Japan-only Dobutsu No Mori E+, the first games had acres, Blathers couldn't identify fossils, several special characters didn't exist, you couldn't get photographs..
  • Easing Into the Adventure: But without the adventure.
  • Easter Egg: Where to begin? Also, quite literal in City Folk.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk
  • Edge Gravity: The tools, along with bugs and snowballs, are about the only things in game that can cross over a cliff edge.
  • Embedded Precursor: Variation: the GameCube version includes several NES games as collectible items.
  • Emote Animation: Originally exclusive to NPCs, Wild World and later games added Dr. Shrunk and later Frillard so the player can use them as well.
  • Erudite Stoner: K.K. Slider and Pascal. Especially Pascal.
  • Face Doodling: Blanca.
  • Feelies: The Gamecube edition came with a free 59-block memory card, complete with Animal Crossing-themed stickers. It seemed like a fantastic deal--until you saved your game and discovered that one file takes up nearly the whole card by itself.
  • Fell Off the Back of a Truck: Crazy Redd's goods.
  • Fetch Quest: Getting back loaned items, finding exotic fruit, and delivering packages.
  • Fishing for Sole: Not only do you find boots and tin cans, but TIRES as well.
  • Forced Tutorial: One side says "damn you, Tom Nook!" for forcing it on the player in the first place, while the other side is miffed that it lasts only a half hour.
  • Frogs and Toads: Several villagers and, oddly enough, a species that can be caught with the fishing rod (see below).
  • Furry Confusion:
    • One of the fish you can catch is a frog, and you can have frogs as townsfolk. If one of your froggy townspeople asks to have a fishing competition with you, and asks for a frog--for sushi--it gets kind of creepy...
    • In 2.x onwards, one can also catch an octopus -- and yet a rare few potential neighbors are also octopi. There is also the birdcage item...which comes with a little songbird inside. To add to that is how one duck neighbor, at least in 2.x, actually has one of these birdcages in his house to start out with.
    • The doghouse item has a growling dog in it, as well...
    • Not to mention that Gyroids are actually living creature seen hanging out in front of your house or running the auction house depending on which game you play. Yet, you can still dig them up out of the ground as an item.
    • Some cow villagers may even have cow skulls in their home. Yikes.
  • Gateless Ghetto: The city in 3.x consists solely of a shopping center.
  • Genki Girl: The villagers with the "peppy" personality all qualify.
  • Global Currency: Bells.
  • Gosh Hornet: Every tree you shake has a chance of dropping a beehive on your helpless character. Though the bees can be caught with a net, its always a risky endeavor.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Fish, bugs and fossils, plus all that other collectible stuff.
  • Grid Inventory: Constant size variant, thanks to the ability to transform furniture into leaves for easy transport.
  • Grows on Trees: You can grow a money tree.
  • Grumpy Bear: The villagers with the "grumpy" personality. Some of which are actual bears...
  • Guide Dang It: There are a handful of K.K. airchecks you can only get by request. Most of them don't follow the "K.K. ____" format, so you would have to have seen a walkthrough to even know they existed.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
  • Hammerspace: Your houses appear bigger on the inside due to the Space Compression (details below). Also, the containers that you buy (drawers, dressers, refrigerators) can hold many more items than your actual house.[1]
  • Heroic Mime: Sort of -- when talking to an NPC the player character's side of the conversation isn't shown, but the player character does make comments when interacting with bugs or fish, digging something up, or paying off a debt.
  • Holiday Mode: Non-fruit trees get lights during the December holiday season. That's just one example.
  • Holy Halo: a wearable item from Wild World onwards.
  • Honest Axe:
    • Subverted--because the guy who gives you the axe is a Cloudcuckoolander, you have to ask for the golden axe to get it.
    • Zig Zagged in City Folk. Serena, the goddess of the fountain, seems to be a traditional example, before you take into account that she's very fickle about giving you an upgrade to your axe, whether you're honest with her, you sweet talk her, or even flat out say you hate her. More often than not, your axe will simply be returned to you, if that.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Crazy Redd and, to a lesser extent, Tom Nook.
  • Hot-Blooded: Any of the characters with the "jock" personality, particularly in City Folk.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Your character makes one every time s/he catches a fish or bug.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: If you leave your town and go to another one, there will still be a Tom Nook, a Mayor Tortimer, etc.
  • An Interior Designer Is You
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • The male animals with the "grumpy" personality type. Deep down, they're real softies. If you become good friends with them, they'll even say things like, "I may not be your dad, Insert Name Here, but I do want the very best for you!"
    • Resetti; He yells at you until he's blue in the face if you don't save your game, but, as his brother Don tells you he only does it "because he cares".
  • Just for Pun: All of the phrases for catching bugs and fish. Some are just bad...
  • Justified Tutorial: Your tenure at Nook's store at the beginning of the game.
  • Kappa: Kapp'n; the pun in his name makes it obvious. The translated versions try to call him a turtle, but City Folk also has kappa-branded outfits. He is also referred to as a parrot in the Player's Guide.
  • Kawaiiko: The "peppy" villagers.
  • Kori Kombat: Tom Nook and Redd are based on a tanuki and kitsune. They were once business partners, but their methods contrast each other. Tom Nook often may trick others with fast talk into paying for products and houses but are functional wares. Redd, on the other hand, lies to sells his wares while grifting them when he gets the chance.
  • Kuudere: Sable is a Type 2.
  • Late to the Punchline: In the days leading up to Groundhog Day some characters will say that someone should make a movie about Groundhog Day.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are more than 300 different villagers that can live in your town, across the series.
  • Love Triangle: Pelly at the post office is in love with Pete the postman, who is in love with Pelly's dour, sarcastic sister Phyllis.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Most of the game is randomized, so pretty much everything can be considered this to one extent or another, but some examples stand out more than most:
    • The Fishing Tournaments, as long as they only ask for one kind of fish. In Wild World, you could at least try to catch fish that were somewhat bigger to try and get the biggest fish... But in City Folk, you've got to just keep fishing and hope the fish of type X you angle is the "biggest."
    • Trying to get a silver or golden axe in City Folk. It seems to make absolutely no difference what you say; you lose your axe, get your original axe, get a silver axe or a golden axe pretty much at random. So you just have to stock up on axes and keep trying every day.
    • The paintings, specifically the usually-forged ones you get from Redd.
  • Market-Based Title: The Wii installment has the subtitle City Folk in North America and Let's Go to the City in PAL countries. The entire series is also called Animal Crossing in both of those regions with its title in its original country being Animal Forest.
  • Mascot Mook: OK, so there are no mooks to speak of in Animal Crossing, but the Gyroids are almost as iconic of the series as the people themselves.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The animal neighbors might be justified as immigrants, but the fish and bugs you can catch? There are piranhas in your river. And coelacanths. As for the bugs? You can catch birdwing butterflies, the largest in the world. And the plants are wacky, too--if your town is particularly unkempt, a rafflesia will grow there. These towns are weird.
    • Lampshaded slightly when you actually catch a piranha - your character asks "What river is this, anyway?" In City Folk, though, they say "Bite the bait, not me!"
  • Mission Pack Sequel: The changes between the various versions of the games are minimal - usually adding one or two shops, moving the important NPC shops around (for example, City Folk's city is largely made up of shops that belonged to periodical traveling merchants in the previous games, now made permanent) , and adding new items. The game still hasn't progressed beyond the standard six basic personality types from the first game, for instance.
  • Mythology Gag: A few "new" K.K. Slider songs in each game after the first were sort of in the previous installment -- K.K. Slider would sing "Forest Life," "To the Edge," or "My Place" in the original game if a non-existent song was requested, while in Wild World they became "official" songs that this time would only play if they were either requested or K.K. Slider is asked to pick the song and could be taken home this time, while different songs replaced those three for when a fake song is requested. The songs in question in Wild World are "Stale Cupcakes," "Spring Blossoms," and "Wandering," which became "official" songs in City Folk/Let's Go to the City and only play when requested much like how "Two Days Ago," "I Love You," and "K.K. Song" had to be obtained in the original. Oddly enough, that game ended up having only two truly new K.K. Slider songs -- "K.K. House" and "K.K. Sonata."
  • No Antagonist: Unless you view Nook as a greedy bastard, no one is really against what you try to do.
  • No Export for You:
    • The Animal Crossing Anime Movie doesn't look like it's going to get to US shores anytime soon...if ever.
    • Dōbutsu no Mori for Nintendo 64, though even the first AC for GameCube is significantly improved such that no one is likely to care except perhaps N64 enthusiasts.
    • A more straight example is the third release in Japan Dōbutsu no Mori e+ for the Gamecube which only saw a release only in Japan while not all of it's new features that were introduced in it that were not in the N64 and U.S. and European release have been used in future titles in the series (such as hitting Nook's store door with a shovel when he's closed and being able to shop after hours with Nook half asleep and the prices for stuff being inflated when you do this) a select few of it's features have made it in future titles in international releases (such as being able to eavesdrop on animal villager conversations and them asking you stuff during them) making them first introduced to Western audiences in the Wild World and City Folk releases.
  • Non-Lethal KO:
    • If the player character is attacked by a scorpion or tarantula, they pass out and wake up in front of their house.
    • In every game, when you find Gulliver, he's knocked out and you have to wake him up.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: All outdoor NPCs (Except the static ones such as Tortimer, Gracie, et al) possess this ability. Rarely occurs in Wild World but happens often and particularly jarring in City Folk since townsfolk rarely run around like they did, and often stand in one place at a time... Before warping ahead of you from the other side of town.
  • Old Save Bonus: When you copy your Wild World character into City Folk, you also copy the character's catalog and can mail-order some relatively rare items.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted with Tom Nook the shopkeeper and a cat villager named Tom, both of which incidentally have Punny Names (the former being a pun on "tanuki" and the latter being a pun on "tomcat"). (Additionally, nothing is stopping players from giving the Player Character the same name as an NPC.)
  • Only Shop in Town: Nook's shop is this in the original game. From Wild World onward, the Able Sisters sell pre-made hats and shirts, making it no longer the case.
  • Overly Long Gag: Mr. Resetti's speeches just seem to drag on and on and on and on.....
  • Parental Abandonment: Reversed, actually.
  • Personal Raincloud: When a townsfolk is sad.
  • Plague of Locusts: Both discussed and averted: If you donate a migratory locust to the museum, bug-hating curator Blathers will never miss an opportunity to freak out about their monstrous appetites and the famines that swarms of them have been known to cause throughout history. During seasons where they're active, they're among the most common bugs you can find in your town. Thankfully, they aren't a threat to your crops whatsoever and are content to harmlessly hop around all day.
  • Punny Name: Villagers often have names related to their species. In addition, Mr. Resetti and his brother Don have a last name that references the action that players do to make them appear (which happens to be huge pet peeve of the former, though the latter is more mellow about it).
  • Quirky Town: Self-explanatory, and may account for some of the game's appeal.
  • Random Drop: Tom Nook's inventory changes daily.
  • Retcon: City Folk retcons a third Able Sister into the hedgehogs' backgrounds, managing to add quite a soap opera element to the story. One wonders why they didn't just make her an Able Cousin or something.
  • Revenue Enhancing Devices: A series of collectible e-Reader cards was released to coincide with the game, and could be used to obtain items in the game.
  • Ribcage Ridge: The Movie features an enormous, intact Seismosaurus skeleton embedded in the wall of a sea cave.
  • Save Game Limits: Technically, you're never supposed to have more than one save file, to facilitate the Socialization Bonus inherent in the game's concept. In actuality this has become more stringent owing to the technical aspects of saving on each system- in the original game you could have as many towns as you had memory cards that could fit them; in Wild World, there are no memory cards so you have to get another copy of the game in order to have multiple towns (and need two DS systems to have the towns interact); City Folk saves directly to the system and doesn't allow you to copy the file to the memory card, so you'd have to get a separate Wii to have more towns in the same house.
  • Save Scumming: Lampshaded and averted. You're warned the first time you load a saved game by a NPC to not even consider using the reset button or dropping back to the Wii menu without saving (for version 3.x) or turning the console off without saving (all versions). If you do reset the game (by means mentioned above) without saving, expect said NPC to come by and give you an earful, and at one point in all versions, even feigns deleting your save game!
  • Schrödinger's Question: The questions at the beginnings of the games determine your appearance.
  • Set Bonus: There are several distinct themes of furniture (plus flooring and wallpaper) present in the game, like "Fruit", "Space", and "Snowman". Collecting and decorating your house with all pieces of a given furniture set results in a nice bonus to your HRA score.
  • She's a Man In Japan:
  • Shout-Out:
    • To a number of other Nintendo games, mostly, but there are a few random pop culture references thrown in here and there. For example, an eagle neighbor whose name is Pierce... and whose Verbal Tic is "hawkeye." There's also a frog named Jeremiah (whose portrait in Wild World states that he is, in fact, a bullfrog, with it pointing out that "blue frog" and "bullfrog" sound similar, due to his blue color) and a toad named Wart Jr.
    • Apparently one of the more active Something Awful forum members assisted in the English translation of the DS game. He managed to slip in some subtle references to Internet Memes as well.
    • Also, there's Sow Joan, the seller of Turnips (Treasured for their stalks on the market), who's been in the business for as long as Dow Jones has been on the Stock Market.
    • Gulliver the seagull may mention that his stomach hurts because of "a wafer-thin mint" that he shouldn't have eaten when he was already full, and that he'll never forgive the waiter.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Tommy and Timmy, the kids who work in Tom Nook's store once it becomes fully upgraded.
  • Slice of Life: "...The game!"
  • Sole Entertainment Option: Speak to a neighbor when an event is coming up in game like a fishing contest.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the GCN version, the music that plays from 2:00 AM to 2:59 AM is dissonant and upbeat compared to the quieter, more subdued songs that play during the rest of the early morning. If that wasn't enough, the game does this again between 4:00 AM and 4:59 AM, which is also between much calmer songs.
  • Space Compression: most buildings' interiors are drawn roughly four times the size of their exteriors in each direction.
  • Speaking Animalese: In the original game and City Folk, the characters read the text in speech bubbles one letter at a time, which is sped up and slightly garbled.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • Zipper T. Bunny? A cynical, bitter grouch in a bunny suit who really hates his job and how "perky" he has to act.
    • In that bunny suit there's Phyllis. Talk to her at the Roost after the Bunny Day and she says about how much she hates that Tortimer always makes her wear that bunny costume every year.
    • Lyle in City Folk.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: The fossils you can dig up are, for the most part, all stock dinosaurs. Each of the big "dinosaur groups" is represented, with a few ice age prehistoric animals thrown in. Perhaps the most unusual or offbeat animal is the dimetrodon--a sail-backed creature that, while lizardlike in appearance, is actually more closely related to mammals than dinosaurs (although it still counts for being the best-known of the synapsids).
  • Sugar Bowl: Such a beautiful setting.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Redd is a definite example, but a LOT of the fanbase accuses Tom Nook of running one of these.
  • The Quiet One: Sable
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: The "deer scare" is available as a furniture item.
  • Token Human: Every NPC is a Funny Animal. Only player characters are human.
  • Tsundere:
    • The "perky" females and possibly the "snooty" females, particularly in the earlier games.
    • "Grumpy" males act this way a lot, too.
  • Uncanny Valley: An in-universe example. On Bunny Day, some of your villagers will note that they're seriously creeped out by how "not right" Zipper T. Bunny looks. It doesn't help that he looks noticeably different from the rabbit neighbors.
  • Updated Rerelease: The first game (originally for the Nintendo 64) got a couple on the Nintendo GameCube, with the first of the two being released internationally and the Japan-only second giving Japanese players access to things added to the international release with some extras. Incidentally, at least the first of the two ended up not using much of the GCN's larger storage -- the entire game is loaded into RAM around the time the Nintendo logo fades out the first time, and can be played without the disc after that.
  • Vague Age:
    • Your neighbors: They're old enough to be living on their own, but the various birthday messages they get say things like "One step closer to being an adult!" Although this could just be sarcastic humour. About the only characters with even an implied age are the "grumpy" animals, who are at least suggested to be a bit older than anyone else.
    • Joan. She claims to have been selling her turnips 'round these parts for over sixty years. Assuming she was maybe fifteen when she started her business, she must be pushing the high end of the 70s when you start the game. She's probably an octogenarian in most established games.
    • The protagonist themselves. They look prepubescent (though that could be Artistic Age), have moved out, and are implied to be at least adults.
  • Variable Mix: A different mix of the game's theme song plays, depending on the time of day, though how many tracks are like this depends on the game (Wild World and City Folk/Let's Go to the City do this more often). In the GameCube game, K.K. Slider would sometimes play a version of that game's theme song if a non-existent song was requested. (This song was made into an "official" K.K. Slider song in Wild World, in which it is called "Forest Life," and the other songs he would play under those circumstances got the same treatment as "To the Edge" and "My Place.")
  • Vendor Trash: Everything, mostly, but the most truly Vendor Trash-y items are the mushrooms which grow in the fall in the original, as they literally serve no other purpose. Mushrooms in City Folk/Let's Go to the City serve a similar purpose, though there's actually a reason to pick them in that they sometimes turn out to be special Mushroom-themed furniture that can only be found this way. The fruit in every game is like this as well, but in the original, it did serve one other, arcane purpose--for use in the Animal Island mini-game.
  • Verbal Tic: The various "neighbor" animals; you can even give them new phrases, bucko. Permanent NPCs occasionally have this trait as well (with the exception that their Verbal Tics can't be changed), with the owl siblings, Blathers and Celeste saying "hoo" and "hootie-toot," respectively, and Brewster, the pigeon coffee shop clerk in the basement of the museum the owls work in, tending to say "coo" often. Tom Nook also tends to say "yes, yes" and "hm?" often, but unlike the previous examples, this is unrelated to his species.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can push your neighbors into holes or hit them with a butterfly net or an axe, deny them medicine when they're sick, let garbage stack up all over town without pulling weeds, and send rage-inducing mail in Leet Lingo/foreign language.
    • You can release fish into any body of water, no matter where they would normally be found. This means you can put a fresh water fish into salt water, and vice versa. Where the cells of the fish will shrivel up/burst and most likely be fatal, causing a slow and painful death for the fish. For an E-Rated game... that's pretty damn cruel.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In exchange, though, your former "friends" will see you as a Jerkass. In particular, if you jerk the medicine away from sick villagers, it's positively heartbreaking at times, with the cranky villagers especially being a Tear Jerker.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: In the original, you can buy both pre-made clothes and design your own clothing patterns. In Wild World, hats, masks, and other accessories were added into the mix. City Folk made it so you could change your shoes as well.
  • Visible Sigh
  • Wasted Song:
    • Many (considering that there are some songs that will only play for an hour or so every year), but the most notable is probably the Wild World and City Folk/Let's Go to the City 2 AM theme. A lovely, thoughtful melody that got hidden away in the wee-est of wee hours of the morning. For the non-insomniac among us, though, it luckily got a remix in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
    • 2 AM in the GameCube version, on the other hand, was a wild, funky melody that like its calmer successor was inexplicably mashed in between the minimal melodies that comprise most extremely late night Animal Crossing melodies.
    • 4 AM in the GameCube game, like the track that plays two hours before it, is an upbeat and catchy song that plays when most people won't be playing the game, and is sandwiched between the calmer tracks for 3 AM and 5 AM. 3 AM in Wild World and City Folk/Let's Go to the City fills a similar role, as it is also oddly upbeat for a track at such an hour, except that the track right before it is also quite complex. (4 AM from the same game, unlike the GameCube game's track, is a typical minimal early morning track.)
    • The 9 PM music in Wild World and City Folk/Let's Go to the City is the inverse of this; a really sleepy, minimal melody for an hour when most players would still be awake (and Tom Nook's store is still open with the odd exception of Nookington's in City Folk/Let's Go to the City, which closes precisely when this song starts playing). The music for the same hour in the GameCube game was similarly calm, though slightly more complex.
  • We Buy Anything: Tom Nook, naturally. He doesn't technically buy the garbage you might fish up, but he will take it off your hands for free.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: This becomes more possible in each game, and is equally available for both sexes. Wild World allows you to unlock the ability to have opposite-gender haircuts, City Folk adds the ability to wear opposite-gender shoes, and the 3DS game simply makes skirts, dresses, pants, and shirts different kinds of items rather than altering clothing based on gender. So it's possible to start a game as one gender and eventually work your way to the point where the face is the only thing that shows the original gender.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Blathers is NOT pleased by the fact that the museum has a bug wing. Thankfully, this has been reduced quite a bit since the original game.
  • Wide Open Sandbox
  • Wrathful Wasps: The "bees" are actually wasps, and are one of the series' few hazards. While they can't kill the player, disturbing a nest by shaking the wrong tree will result in an entire swarm of angry wasps chasing after the player. They can't be outrun (unless you're very close to a building you can duck inside of) and if you fail to catch them with your bug net, they'll sting you and cause one of your eyes to swell up for a while.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: The characters with the "normal" personality.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Toy Day, in the Gamecube version- in City Folk, the day is officially referred to as "the night Jingle comes to town", and referred to with a variety of Unusual Euphemisms by various characters.
  1. Well, except in the Gamecube version, where they hold 4 items each. And they only take up one space.