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Video Game: Animal Crossing
Population: Growing.

"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

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

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 or visit you in later versions) in a town populated by eccentric Talking Animals. There are pelicans working at the post office, a pair of hedgehog 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 tanuki 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.

The game received several sequels, including Animal Crossing: Wild World for the Nintendo DS. It added a few new features such as 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, but there are currently no plans to show it elsewhere.

The series is one of many represented in the Super Smash Bros. series with a stage based on a generic town, called Smashville, and a playable villager in the fourth installment. The series also has a minigame based on it in Nintendo Land, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day. It also got a cameo in Mario Kart 8, which features the Villager and Isabelle as DLC characters, as well as a DLC track based on the series.

Franchise history:
  • 1.x
    • Doubutsu no Mori (lit. "Animal Forest") (Nintendo 64; Japan 2001)
    • Doubutsu no Mori+ (GameCube; Japan 2001) Added compatibility with the GameCube's real-time clock, more characters and activities, more furniture items (such as playable NES Games) and basic e-Reader support.
    • 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, better e-Reader support, and several other enhancements.
    • Doubutsu no Mori e+ (GameCube; Japan 2003) Everything added to the North America, Australia, and Europe versions and more.
  • 2.x
    • Oideyo Doubutsu no Mori (Nintendo DS; Japan 2005) Removed several features and playable NES games in favor of online play with friend codes; changed all holidays. Acres, the wishing well, Highlands and Lowlands, and The Island are gone, inter-town transport changed from Trains to Taxi, and train station was removed and replaced by the town gate. Also introduced the "rolling log" effect that the game is now known for. Notoriously, the game also introduced the use of Nintendo Zone DLCs, which are the only way to get monkey villagers, making monkey villagers a case of No Export for You for those who live in places where Nintendo did not roll out the service.
    • 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 Doubutsu no Mori (Movie; Japan 2006)
    • Nolleooseyo Dongmul-ui Sup (Nintendo DS; Korea 2007)
  • 3.x
    • Machi e Ikouyo: Doubutsu no Mori (Japan)/Animal Crossing: City Folk (North America)/Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City (PAL territories)/Taun-eulo: Nolleogayo Dongmul-ui Sup (Korea) (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. Town transport changed from taxi to bus, and the bus-stop structure was added to the game. 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
    • Tobidase Doubutsu no Mori/Animal Crossing: New Leaf/Twieonawayo Dongmul-ui Sup (Nintendo 3DS; Japan 2012, Europe 2013, North America 2013, Korea 2013) This incarnation of the series is making the most changes since Wild World. Besides a complete redesign of graphics, the game boasts several new features and heavy changes in the game mechanics. More clothing and customization, wall furniture, and even swimming! You are even the mayor of your town! See the trailer here. The game also brings back the island and boat rides (albeit In Name Only), reverts the inter-town transport to trains (and replacing the Town Gate and Bus Stop with the Train Station, undoing the change done in 2.x), and the City aspect from City Folk has been refined into the Main Street in this version. However, highlands and lowlands are once again gone. Though if you want to get technical... 
    • Animal Crossing Plaza (Wii U; worldwide 2013) A free app which allows players to post to Miiverse, including a tag for each animal villager. An SD card can be used to post screenshots from New Leaf to Miiverse. You can also share your Dream Suite numbers through the app.


This game features examples of:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Players need one before they can actually do anything as mayor.
  • Achievement System: In New Leaf, Badges are handed out by Phineas the sea lion, who will visit your town whenever you qualify for a badge. They're awarded for things like completing a certain percentage of your bug/fish/diving encyclopedia, saving a lot of bells in your bank account, doing a lot of villager side-quests, or just playing the game for long enough, and each category has Badges available in bronze, silver, and gold versions.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Tom Nook is the only game in town, and he knows it. Your first house will be modestly priced (to draw you in), but expansions will cost exponentially more each time. The final improvement to your house in any given game will probably cost enough money to buy three whole towns, since Nook knows he can charge whatever he likes at that point and the player will cough it up in the name of progress.
  • Addressing the Player
  • Aerith and Bob: Many villagers have common names, like Francine, Pietro, Sally, Bob, Becky and Mathilda, while many have punny names based on their species or appearance, like Ankha (an Egyptian cat), Bones (a dog), Boots (an alligator), Camofrog (a frog with military-camouflage skin) and Pecan (a squirrel). Some can also combine both, like Teddy (a bear), Aurora (a penguin), Lily (a frog), Savannah (a horse who looks like a zebra), and Victoria (a racing horse).
    • Special characters also have theirs: Isabelle, Timmy, Tommy, Gracie, Mabel, etc. against Blathers, Jingle, Pelly, Tortimer, and others.
  • Adorkable: Many of the villagers fall into this category, Isabelle and Digby very much so.
  • All Just a Dream: In New Leaf, as is natural with every dream, anything you do and/or any item you pick up in a town you visit through the Dream Suite will not be carried over on either side.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Blue, purple, whatever—there's a townsperson for every color of the rainbow (Bonus points go to Pietro for being a rainbow sheep)! Of course, there are ordinarily colored animals as well — for example, Goose is white like roosters often are in real life despite being named after another bird, and Kitt is the only normal looking kangaroo, being shades of brown.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • With plumage like he's got (and the fact that he refers to himself as male), there's no denying that Pave's a peacock... But with his sparkly white muscle tee, flamboyant dance moves, and female voice, well...
    • Gracie. She's a Man in Japan. The fact that they changed his gender for the international release must mean something, most likely that people are just way too hung up over gender roles... Saharah also gets a gender change from being male in Japan (where he is known as Roland), but the character itself is pretty androgynous, the change may simply be a result of Saharah's long camel eyelashes.
    • The Smug villagers in New Leaf; they enjoy dance a lot of the time, and several of them even wear heavy makeup and have long eyelashes (e.g. Julian and Ed, who was previously a Jock). They will also flirt with the player regardless of gender.
  • And That's Terrible: Inverted when a Cranky villager buys something in Re-Tail. They say that good deals are good.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The trope namer.
    —"And your reward... Is clothes!"
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: Some villager rewards for errands can be furniture, carpet, and wallpaper.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The gyroids are this, small statues that move and make noises when interacted with. Lloid seems to be this for gyroids as a whole, due to his apparent sentience.
  • 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.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In early games, if you wanted to switch tools, you had to open up your inventory, select the tool you wanted to equip, and close the inventory. If you switched tools a lot, this quickly became tedious. Later games would allow you to cycle through tools you have using the D-pad, saving some hassle.
    • Watering flowers in early games was annoying if you had a lot of them and had difficulty keeping track. When later games made already-watered flowers sparkle, it came as a relief. New Leaf made flower upkeep even easier by making the silver and gold watering cans water multiple flowers at once and introducing the "Keep Your Town Beautiful" ordinance. (See below.)
    • Fruit wasn't stackable in the beginning. If you had a lot of fruit trees, this meant a lot of trips back and forth to the store. Thankfully, the ability to stack fruit (one stack holds nine) was made possible in later games, cutting the number of trips down considerably.
    • The town ordinances in New Leaf are this, allowing players to make the game more convenient for them:
      • The "Keep Your Town Beautiful" ordinance makes the town "decay" more slowly (flowers don't wilt, weeds appear less often, no cockroaches, etc.), lessening the pressure to Play Every Day for players who only have time to play, say, twice a week.
      • The "Early Bird" ordinance makes shops open and villagers wake up earlier for players who can only play/prefer to play during the early morning. Shops open and villagers wake up to three hours earlier, although neither of these will happen before 6 AM.
      • The "Night Owl" ordinance makes shops close and villagers go to bed later for players who can only play/prefer to play during nighttime. Shops close and villagers go to sleep three hours later than normal.
      • The "Bell Boom" ordinance increases buying and selling prices by 20%. This one is less for convenience and more for people who just want to earn Bells quickly.
    • With the addition of the "Save and Continue" feature in New Leaf, avoiding bees is a lot easier (as they despawn after the save). Not only that, but you can actually pick up their beehives and sell them.
    • Or, if you're trying to catch bees in New Leaf, the swarm will freeze in place when you open your inventory. This eliminates the rush to equip your net, allowing you to focus on timing of your swing.
    • Buying an art item from Crazy Redd was basically a Luck-Based Mission in previous games. You never knew if the item was forged or not until you donated it to the museum. New Leaf makes it semi-easy to tell whether an art item is forged or not, though it takes a keen eye to tell (or a strategy guide).
    • Having trouble finding a Villager? Don't know where to find the holiday villagers? Don't remember where you built your snowman? Just buy a megaphone from the Nooklings' shop in New Leaf and say someone's name in the 3DS's microphone; you'll find out where they are from their speech bubbles.
  • Anti-Poop Socking :
    • In New Leaf, if you play for a long stretch of time, the animals will start recommending you take a break.
    • Also in New Leaf, grass decay happens plenty faster if you play more. While it's still not as bad as it was in City Folk, don't expect to see your grass a lot if you're an avid player, even if your town is covered in flowers.
  • April Fools' Plot: One of the holidays celebrated is April Fools' Day. They actually play it straight until New Leaf.
  • 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. New Leaf allows 9 residents initially, then, with the addition of the campsite or by visiting friends towns, a 10th can be obtained.
  • 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. Taken further in New Leaf, where villagers are now able to actively visit shops, use tools, shake trees, et cetera.
  • 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 New Leaf features redone, slightly less Super-Deformed character models and a more "painterly" look to villagers and the outdoors.
  • Artistic License - Biology:
    • New Leaf. Banana trees do not look anything like palm trees. And the fruit grows in a large bunch whose stalk must be hacked up to be split into combs. They don't grow as single combs.
    • Throughout the series: Real life Jacob's ladders look nothing like the Jacob's ladders in-game. The "Jacob's ladders" in the games are actually lilies of the valley. This is due to a translation error, since the Japanese versions correctly refer to the flowers as suzuran, the Japanese name for lilies of the valley.
  • Artistic License - Paleontology: The series tries to avert this with Blathers' lectures, and yet the museum display places Stegosaurus in the Late Cretaceous. Blathers himself makes a blunder in City Folk by bringing up the old aquatic sauropods theory, and in New Leaf a museum plaque implies that Pteranodon was a bird ancestor.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The island villagers in the Gamecube version required a Game Boy Advance connection to even get to before. In later games, many of them became standard villagers; so, extras promoted to a higher tier of extras, basically.
    • Timmy and Tommy, the tanuki twins, only originally appeared once you upgraded the store to its maximum level and were largely redundant as the furniture salesmen on the upper floor. In New Leaf, they're the sole proprietors from the start.
    • Kicks started out as a shoe shiner. In New Leaf, he gets his own store.
    • Blanca goes from a random character that visits your town every once in a while to being the Holiday Animal for April Fools' Day.
    • Even though K.K. Slider had a pretty big role already, his role was boosted even further in New Leaf. Along with playing his guitar every Saturday, every other day, he manages a DJ system, and plays remixes of his songs.
  • 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!
    • The way to obtain Nintendo items was changed in New Leaf. The Player must spend Play Coins to buy fortune cookies, and then the fortune can be exchanged for an item. If the player receives "It's dangerous to go alone. Take this.", they'll get the Master Sword.
    • The fortune that's exchanged for a Blue Falcon is "When all else fails, don't forget to show them your moves."
    • Fortune that gets you a Mushroom Hat is "In both life and love, there's always another castle."
    • You can visit the home of Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo America in NOA's Dream Town. The blanket on his bed is a picture of his face from the "My body is ready" meme, and the same meme is used for his profile quote.
  • Asleep for Days: In New Leaf, Reese says that Cyrus has been "working all night" on a project and needs to sleep. However, he clearly sleeps more than he needs to.
  • Attract Mode: Each game has an attract mode showing a random villager walking around town, possibly interacting with the environment. Rarely, the original game will have an attract mode that shows the Player Character randomly cutting down trees.
  • 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.
  • Bad Luck Charm: The King Tut Mask item, starting from Wild World. Wearing it will cause the player to suffer from bad luck, such as tripping.
    • Good Luck Charm: Conversely, the Celebration Hat from Katrina in New Leaf eliminates bad luck. There's also the rare Four-Leaf Clover, which is a 1 in 40 chance of obtaining it.
  • Balloonacy: There are presents attached to balloons that float in sky. One appears every ten minutes.
  • Bandaged Face:
    • You have the option of wearing bandages on your head.
    • Lucky the Dog has bandages wrapped around his face so that only a single eye is visible.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Some of the animals characters.
  • Beary Friendly: There are bear and cub villagers (the games seem to treat them as separate species), and they're every bit as friendly as the rest of them. Even the grumpy ones are just grumpy.
  • Bee Afraid: 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.
  • Behind the Black: The "Hide and Seek" mini-game from City Folk makes no sense without taking this into consideration.
  • Berserk Button: Giving villagers rotten fruit to eat in New Leaf when they ask for fruit. They'll give you a good verbal lashing for it (even the Lazy and Normal ones!) and walk off in a huff, preventing you from talking to them for a while until they calm down.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: According to Resetti, Don, his older brother, despite being known for being the more patient of the two, is very persistent with giving endless lectures that can last up to two hours.
  • Big Fancy House: While the original game isn't big, they only get bigger from Wild World onward. They're at their biggest yet in New Leaf, where you can have a two-story mansion with three rooms appended on the first floor and a basement, with 8 x 8 as the max size each. That's a lot of floor! But there is one problem: The total cost to getting every single expansion is a whopping 7,595,800 bells.
    • Big Fancy Castle: If a normal house isn't enough, you can easily remodel your house into a full-blown castle!
  • Big "NO!": Peppy villagers will sometimes say that when they step on a pitfall trap.
  • Bird Run: The animals do this when they're running.
  • Birds of a Feather: Cranky and Snooty villagers get along well together, due to their more mature age and view on life than the rest and the fact that they both share a sense of snarkiness. They're frequently seen together, which some villagers interpret that they're dating although they both try to assure everyone that they're Just Friends. The movie plays with this by showcasing a Cranky and Snooty villager's relationship that had recently gone through a nasty break-up.
  • Birthday Episode: Not only is the player's own birthday celebrated, but almost every date that's not a holiday is a villager's birthday.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Tortimer says that the Hide-and-Seek tour in New Leaf "is good, wholesome fun- unlike those newfangled space-age vidya games you kids play."
  • The Blank: A blank-faced cat named Blanca.
  • Black Market: Crazy Redd owns one in City Folk.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The colours that you can choose from when customizing a lava lamp. For some reason, none of the colour options actually give what they say. Green gives red, yellow gives green, etc.. Though every item other than this works just fine, for some reason.
    • Some furniture will not be colored even after painting. For example, the potty will still appear white even after Cyrus paints it.
    • The Regal Series' "body color" can be customized, but it only changes the color of the gold accents rather than the white body.
    • In New Leaf, there's an option in the town hall called "Citizen Satisfaction". However, the Villagers are not the ones that give the satisfaction; it's actually the NPCs. For example: Timmy and Tommy's Verbal Tic of their sentences ending in small letters appear in one, and Blather's "et wot" appears in another.
  • Blush Sticker: One of the player's face styles feature these.
  • 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. Though the badges Phineas gives you in New Leaf plays this trope straight.
  • Breakable Weapons: Regular Axe. The Silver Axe as well, at least in New Leaf.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In all versions, The Resettis. They pop up and berate you if you had not properly save and quit the game, and it just gets longer and longer each time you do that. They'd even make you type out an apology letter, and at one point they'd even joke about deleting your game save. Inevitably, annoying rumors online complete with badly edited videos popped up after this prank by the Resetti's were discovered.
    • In New Leaf, The NPCs will regularly break the fourth wall and give the player character tips without trying to adopt it to the game environment, for example blatantly telling the player outright that the D-Pad on the 3DS can be used to quickly change equipment or look up to the sky. Kapp'n will admonish you for pressing B repetitively while he's singing during the boat ride. Several NPCs will also blatantly tell you that they're connecting your 3DS to the Internet for their desired purposes. There's probably other examples too. Put simply, there is No Fourth Wall in New Leaf.
    • Occasionally a villager will say something along the lines of "The sky is so beautiful today, it just makes me want to press [up] and… wait… where am I?! *sweats nervously*"
  • 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!". Then, five years later in New Leaf, you say "Yes I did!"
  • Bug Catching: You'll spend a lot of time doing this.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In New Leaf, you can be this, as the mayor. Give all your residents silly catchphrases, and dress as outlandishly as you like—heck, you can wear actual bunny ears if you want—you can still be good at running the town.
  • 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. No longer the case as of New Leaf, in which you are allowed to pay off a loan without upgrading your house afterwards if you want to.
    • 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.
  • Call Back: At the beginning of New Leaf, you're on a train for the first time since the original game. Rover will bring this up, saying he hasn't been on a train "since 2002".
  • 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?"
    • In an example of Ascended To Carnivorism, Chip the beaver enjoys eating fish (especially ones caught by the player during Fishing Tourney).
  • 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. Sadly, all of these speeches were completely axed in New Leaf. Though talking to NPC's in The Roost does give some juicy tidbits and depth to them, but barely much at all.
  • 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 sons, however. Some Lazy and Jock type villagers will say that Nook found them in the street. Oddly enough, Tom Nook has also stated that the boys are not actually related to him, that he took them in as his apprentices and treats them like family, so it's unclear which account is accurate.
  • Checkpoint 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.
    • The Island in New Leaf. Which is understandable for the Club Tortimer online version, not so much for going there alone.
  • Cherry Blossom: A festival for them.
  • Chest Monster: The Walking Leaf insect in City Folk and New Leaf 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. Later, in New Leaf, a hermit crab looks like a regular shell until it's approached.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Katie's mom, Kaitlin, in New Leaf, due to changes to the "travelling kitten" minigame mechanics (Katie is now old enough to travel on her own, and can show up in your town on any day so long as you have friends also playing New Leaf on your 3DS' friends list, and will ask you to take her to any of your friends' town).
    • Also in New Leaf, NPC neighbor Champ, a monkey, is absent, although the reason for this isn't clear- the Animal Crossing Wiki think it's because Champ and Porter are one and the same in the Japanese localization of the game, and Champ was coincidentally introduced in Wild World, which changed the inter-town transportation vehicle to taxis and removed the train station (and thus Porter)- the train station was replaced by the town gate. These changes were undone and Porter was brought back in New Leaf.
  • City Guards: Well, Town Guards but still...
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Reese shows this a little bit when Cyrus wakes up and your player, if they're a girl, meets him for the first time. By extension, Cyrus is quite the clingy jealous guy to Reese if you are a male. "I better not catch you makin' goo-goo eyes at my wife, or I'll make ya see things in 4D!"
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Snowman Bingo cards in New Leaf cannot be thrown away or put in storage, taking up an inventory spot. Achieving a bingo or reaching the end-of-winter expiration date (February 25) are the only way to get rid of the card.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
    • Most of the villagers have their moments, but particularly the animals with the "lazy" personality.
    • Pascal.
  • Com Mons: The Sea Bass. To the point where your character lampshades it by saying "What, you again!?"
  • 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.
  • Con Man:
    • Played straight with Crazy Redd in all games, who regularly sells forged artwork.
    • Lyle in Wild World; he's a fast-talker who doesn't take no for an answer, but the insurance he sells is a scam that never pays out more than it costs to buy.
  • Console Cameo:
  • Continuity Nod: In New Leaf, Pete will mention that he doesn't fly to deliver the mail any more because someone used to shoot him out of the sky. Something that was a gameplay element in Wild World.
    • In New Leaf on April Fools' Day, to uncover Blanca's disguise, the player uses a towel which the villagers whipe their faces with. In the original, it was stated that Blanca face came off every time she washes it.
  • Constellations: In Wild World and City Folk, players were allowed to create and name their own constellations via Celeste's part of the museum. At a certain date (at nighttime) they're visible in the sky. Sadly, this mechanic is removed in New Leaf. Instead, Celeste runs a museum shop/'D.I.Y. exhibits' after upgrading to the museum's 2nd floor.
  • Cool Big Sis: The Uchi personality type introduced in New Leaf is essentially this.
  • Cosmetic Award: New Leaf introduces badges, which are rewarded for completing certain tasks (like catching a lot of bugs/fish, filling up most of your fish/bug encyclopedia, or just playing the game for a long time).
  • Couch Gag: Each game has at least one.
    • In the original, the title screen shows one of the player characters doing an activity in the town. Of course, this isn't the case if there isn't a save file yet.
      • On the save file selection screen, a different villager in the town will greet the player. They even say thier catch phrases, and each personality has different dialouge.
      • When using the train station to visit another town, either Rover or Blanca takes a seat across from the player.
    • Starting with Wild World, the title screen is centered on one of the villagers in the town. Again, this isn't the case if there isn't a save file yet.
    • Similar to the original, Kapp'n dialouge when going to the city in City Folk is different each time.
    • In New Leaf, the save file starts out with Isabelle. Before she loads up the save file, she often will announce something happening in the town. This includes a villager moving in, a villager moving out, a building opening, or a holiday.
  • Counting Sheep: Luna does this before the player dozes off to a Dream Town in New Leaf.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference:
    • Even though Fourth of July isn't celebrated, the Bald Eagle Apollo's birthday is on July 4th. Bald Eagles are the USA's national bird.
    • In the Gamecube version, the July 4th is celebrated as the anniversary of the opening of the train station, but there are fireworks, Redd giving out balloons and pinwheels and hand fans, and Tortimer providing a model bottle rocket.
  • Creepy Twins: Tommy and Timmy, Tom Nook's assistants. Their unblinking stares and single-mindedness are contributing factors. Not to mention the fact that they follow you around everywhere you go.
  • The Dandy: The Smug/Gentleman villagers in New Leaf.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The grumpy animals qualify.
  • Demoted to Extra: Several of the constant characters in New Leaf. Sable and Blathers have both been largely decharacterized, and Mr. Resetti is entirely optional. It was because Nintendo acknowledges that Resetti scares and upsets many younger players. Tortimer used to be the mayor in previous games, but since New Leaf gives that role to the player, he's retired to the Island and hosts tours there.
  • Desert Skull: This shows up as a furniture item in the "American West/frontier" set. (Sometimes cows have them in their homes...) An item called the Cow Skull enables you to wear one on your head.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • If you start a new town very early or very late at night, characters will comment on it as they meet you for the first time.
    • 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.
    • Travelling to a town or loading your own in summer while wearing a long-sleeved outfit will make your character fan himself/herself from the heat. Similarly, swimming or loading the town in a sleeveless outfit in cold weather months causes your character to sometimes shiver or sneeze upon exiting the water/going outside.
    • You're able to jump into the ocean from a cliff side if you're wearing your wetsuit. You don't necessarily have to go to the beach to get into the water.
    • Species of animals with unique feet make equally unique footprints in sand/dirt/snow, such as birds leaving talon tracks and octopi leaving three suction cup marks. Likewise, a player being barefoot will leave human footprints behind, and if you happen to trip due to having bad luck that day or wearing King Tut's Mask, it will leave a large imprint from you falling.
    • Dropping the empty can trash item in New Leaf makes a metallic dropping sound instead of a generic one.
    • All of Nintendo's official Dream Town codes start with "0000". Why? Because they're probably among the first created.
    • If you meet one of your neighbors in another town's dream, they will recognize you.
    • Your character will progressively get tanned and darker during the summer, or through prolonged exposure on Tortimer Island. If one wishes to avoid tanning, wearing a hat with a brim or carrying a parasol to shade yourself will prevent this or reverse it.
    • City Folk introduced a new feature where a yellow bird would be perched on top of the bulletin board whenever there's a new notice. In New Leaf, an owl takes its place at nighttime.
    • Most players often dismiss taking a picture for their TPC before showing it to Porter (who is well aware of this error). If the player manages to avoid this mistake and show him a properly completed picture, he'll acknowledge it.
    • Chip, the host of the Fishing Tourney, normally eats the fish he finishes evaluating right on the spot. If you give him a shark, however, he'll just pocket it for later because it's far too big to finish in one sitting.
    • Saying someone's name with the megaphone while you're right behind them will freak them out.
    • While it's a common occurrence for a neighbor to request you any random fish from a specific source (river or ocean), they will react in shock if you give them a rare fish for their request. They'll certainly reward you well in return.
    • Dr. Shrunk has a different reaction when fed chocolate cake (which you can only get on Valentine's Day) or perfect fruit instead of standard foods.
    • In the original, the fireworks festival takes place near the pond. Since there wasn't a button to look at the sky back then, the fireworks' reflections can be seen in the pond instead.
    • If you look at a guide for the Harvest Day recipes, you may think it's a bit unorthodox to have a beehive has most of the secret ingredients. But some villagers will say that it's the honey in the beehive that's being used.
    • When villagers request furniture, they will take refurbished furniture (provided you don't use a custom pattern as the option) and acknowledge it when they get it. It even shows in their house as is!
    • In the English-language version of the GameCube game, if you send a letter to a villager in French, they may send you a letter back saying "Bonjour! Sorry, my French isn't very good..."
    • Nearly all villagers use umbrellas when it rains. Frog villagers, however, don't—frogs are amphibians who require moisture on their skin to survive.
    • In the scenario a major holiday overlaps with the monthly tournament (Summer Solstice 2014 with the Bug-Off for example), Isabelle will be stationed outside the town hall instead of the square. Both events will take place like normal.
    • Each flooring has footstep sounds that correspond to the type of floor it is (wooden sounds for wood floors, metallic sounds for metal floors, etc.), including some of the more unique floors such as the backyard lawn (which uses grass sounds).
    • Tripping while holding a cup of coffee will cause it to spill on the ground and disappear from your inventory.
    • When you do local play in Wild World, shutting the DS to sleep won't shut off the connection. To indicate this, the player's character is asleep to the other players.
  • Dialogue Tree
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: Done in-universe. The songs given to you by K.K. Slider are outright stated by him to be illegal copies, since he doesn't like "industry fat cats" putting a price on his music. (Though in New Leaf you can buy his songs in later expansions of the Nookling's store, so apparently either he sold out, or those are bootleg as well.)
  • 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.
  • Double Unlock: Public works projects in New Leaf. First you have to unlock the PWP in the menu (usually by waiting for a villager to suggest it...which can take a while), and then you have to spend Bells to actually build it.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Snowtyke will only give you a gift if he himself is well-built, but the condition of the rest of his family determines what kind of gift he'll give you. That means to get all of his gifts, you have to build all, some, or none of his family perfectly for each gift. The Fishing Tourneys and Bug-Offs, for catalog completion, require you to place in first, second, and third place (on different events, not on the same day) if you want to have the gold, silver, and bronze trophies for each competition.
  • Downloadable Content: Free stuff in Wild World onward.
  • The Driver: Kapp'n.
  • Dream Land: A new feature in New Leaf is a building that allows players to travel to dream versions of other player's towns. Since it's a dream, anything done to the town is not permanent... but you can't take anything you find back to the real world. But Wendell can give you patterns used in the town.
  • Drop the Hammer: The squeaky hammer introduced in New Leaf.
  • Dub Name Change: It's easier to count which villager names didn't get changed from the Japanese to international versions. Nearly every villager with a Japanese name had their name changed to one more common in the target language (e.g., Miyabi -> Annalisa), with the notable exception of Genji. Some villagers also have many different names across languages; for example, Francine is Francois in Japanese, Nadine in French, Franca in Italian, and Manu in German. In a couple of situations, mostly due to accidental oversights when the localization team had to rename most of the Loads and Loads of Characters, this has led to multiple villagers having the same name, although only across versions/games; there's no cases of two characters in the same version of the same game having the exact same name.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Well, SOUNDS like one rather, but the Snowtyke of the Snowman family is actually a boy, despite using the Peppy villager voice.
  • Dummied Out: Several items in all versions of Animal Crossing. The NES Game The Legend of Zelda is only available in Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori+ via Action Replay. Mario Bros.. and Ice Climber were available through North American e-Reader cards. Japan received Ice Climber as a data transfer "housewarming present", and Super Mario Bros. as a Famitsu prize. These four games were erased in Doubutsu no Mori e+, though the latter three can still be played with Advance Play as an Action Replay code.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: K.K., Tom Nook and Resetti appear as collectable trophies in Super Smash Bros.. Melee with their source games being marked as "Future Release"
  • 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 Doubutsu no Mori e+, the first games had acres, Blathers couldn't identify fossils (instead, you had to mail fossils to the museum's main branch and have them sent back identified), several special characters didn't exist, you couldn't get photographs...
  • Easing Into the Adventure: But without the adventure.
  • Easter Egg: Where to begin...
    • Totaka's Song appears in the game as "K.K. Song", but there are even sneaker inserts of that song. If you have a very slow internet connection while connecting to the Club Tortimer island in New Leaf, Kapp'n will whistle the tune while you wait. In City Folk, he'll whistle it if the player waits a while. Heck, it's even on the official European website, where it can be accessed by clicking on K.K. Slider.
    • If you hit a rock with a shovel or axe, sometimes bells will come out of it. If you hit it with a silver shovel in New Leaf, there's a chance that some ores and gems will come out of it instead.
    • In New Leaf, at 3:33 AM on a Sunday or Monday, if the player turns on thier TV, an alien will appear on the screen. It will then deliver a gibberish message before leaving a minute later.
  • 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 Nintendo 64 and GameCube versions include 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.
  • Emulator: Nintendo Entertainment System games can be found and played in the original.
  • Erudite Stoner: K.K. Slider and Pascal. Especially Pascal.
  • Everything's Better With Bunnies: There are rabbit villagers. There's also an Easter Bunny named Zipper T. Bunny. There's also rabbit-shaped balloons which the player can buy. They also appear in the balloon-popping tour in New Leaf, where they are worth extra points.
  • Everything's Better With Cows: There are cow villagers.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Or their fossils, at least.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: There are monkey villagers, and in the original and New Leaf, the train station is run by a monkey named Porter.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: There are penguin villagers.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: Shaking trees often makes a beehive fall out. The bees... don't like that much.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Inverted in Wild World and beyond, where you can fish for sharks in the ocean, and selling them gets you 15,000 bells a pop. Since sharks are much more common than other expensive fish in the summer, they're easily the most profitable fish in the game.
  • Eye Scream: The result of being attacked by bees is rather gruesome. Fortunately, some medicine can fix that right up.
  • Face Doodling: Blanca has no face, and will let you draw her one.
  • Facepalm: The "Mistaken" emotion in New Leaf, where a star falls on top of the characters' head, stands in this gestures' place.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • In New Leaf, if you work at The Roost long enough, the customers will stop telling you what they want to order. You have to remember what they usually order yourself. To make matters worse, even villagers who have never ordered from you before (and, thus, have never given you any hints) will ask for "the usual" at this point. (The game is fair enough to have visiting villagers give you a fairly complete order at least)
    • In New Leaf, the fact that Katrina and Crazy Redd will show up on random days each week, and that they sometimes won't show up for the week at all. It adds this trope to achieving 100% Completion in the museum art exhibits and getting Main Street fully populated.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the Gamecube Animal Crossing, villagers will sometimes visit your town in igloos during wintertime, and play games with you for prizes. In one game, you can win a furniture item called "DUMMY", a test item which is supposed to be left buried in the game's code, but is somehow accessible through legitimate means!
  • 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.
  • Feather Fingers: Averted. In New Leaf, Pete will occasionally talk about the villagers sloppy handwriting, pointing out how most of them don't have opposable thumbs.
  • 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 itselfnote .
  • 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.
  • Flip Screen Scrolling: In the N64/GameCube versions, where the town is strictly divided into "acres." The later games ditch the system and have continuous scrolling, but still internally keep track of acres for building/planting/spawning purposes.
  • Flushing Edge Interactivity: The "toilet" and "super toilet" chairs, which make a flushing sound when the player leaves them, as well as the "men's toilet", a urinal that flushes when the player presses the use key.
  • Flying Saucer: Gulliver flies one in Wild World and City Folk. The player can shoot it down with a slingshot.
  • 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.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In New Leaf, if the player is male, Cyrus warns the player not to have him catch the player "makin' goo-goo eyes at [his] wife, or [he'll] make ya see things in 4D!"
  • 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...
    • 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.
    • 4.x gives us hamster villagers, and there has been an item of the same name ever since 1.x.
    • 4.x also introduced Tucker, a villager who is obviously based off of the woolly mammoth. Yet, mammoth fossils can be collected since the first game.
    • 4.x introduced two new "fish" that can be caught: Tadpoles and soft-shelled turtles. Being juvenile frogs, tadpoles add an extra layer of creepiness to the same scenarios that frogs are already subject to. As for turtles, Tortimer is an old tortoise NPC that has been in all games except Animal Forest, and depending on your localization Kapp'n and his family might all be classified as turtles. In some island tours, which are hosted by Tortimer and are on the island Kapp'n apparently lives on, you can even catch turtles for fun and profit.
    • Invoked in a picture quote by Goldie, a dog villager, who considers the Lab on the cover of Nintendogs, which is an actual dog, to be dreamy.
    • In New Leaf, an Uchi villager may ask you what kind of pet would suit her best. The options? Hedgehog (a la the Able Sisters), raccoon (Tom Nook and the Nooklings), pelican (Pete, Pelly, and Phyllis), and the actual species of the villager. If you choose the villager's species, she asks if they bite.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • A literal example in New Leaf. Sometimes Grumpy villagers may ask you "If I were an animal, what would I be?". If you choose the first option, their actual species, they'll say that they get that a lot, then remember that that's what they actually are.
    • Frog villagers don't use umbrellas in the rain because they're amphibians who require water on their skin to survive.
    • Sometimes when you talk to Pete in New Leaf, he'll mention that when he gets off, he's going to eat a fish that he's been storing in his bill pouch.
  • Gateless Ghetto: The city in 3.x consists solely of a shopping center.
  • Genki Girl: The villagers with the "peppy" personality all qualify.
  • Ghostly Gape: In the first game, forgetting to save while in another save file's town will render the character without their possessions... including their face. The poor villager will be stuck with holes where their eyes and mouth used to be until the game is started up again. This is to say nothing of the Gyroids and the NPC rabbit named Coco, who all permanently have this expression in all games.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Happens a lot. For unknown reasons, your neighbors may want whatever random item you have (be it clothing or furniture) in your pockets. On the other hand, you'll either get another item or they'll buy it off of you.
  • Global Currency: Bells.
  • Global Currency Exception: The island in New Leaf only accepts the medals you earn on tours. Also, fortune cookies can only be bought with Play Coins earned on your 3DS itself.
  • The Golden Rule: Alice's favorite quote in New Leaf.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny:
    • Watering dried up black roses with a golden watering can will turn them into unwithering gold roses.
    • In New Leaf, you can refurbish some pieces of furniture to have a nice and shiny gold finish should you find a gold nugget. If you have three of them, you can commission a piece of the Golden Series (which was originally City Folk DLC) at Re-Tail. This will set you back 10000 Bells, though.
    • Also in New Leaf, getting high scores in the HHA theme challenge unlocks golden exterior decorations for your house.
  • Gonk: Many. If a villager averts Generic Cuteness, then chances are they're this. Bonus points go to Resetti, who is so Gonk-y (especially when he's enraged) that his appearance apparently ended up distressing several young children in real life.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em 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. They don't always bear bells, however, to prevent the player from literally farming bells.
  • Grumpy Bear:
    • The villagers with the "grumpy" personality. Some of which are actual bears...
    • Phyllis. In fact she's so grumpy that even Grumpy villagers will often complain about how grumpy she is.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Villagers may sometimes ask you for a rare bug that didn't spawn that day, like a centipede or a bagworm.
    • 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. New Leaf remedies this by having the request-only airchecks being sold occasionally at the Nookling stores upon enough upgrades. Also sometimes the villagers will tip off the request only ones to you.
    • Working at The Roost in New Leaf. You have to get all three aspects of an animal's coffee order correct, but they'll only tell you one aspect before you make it, or might not even say anything. They do tell you what was wrong with it afterwards if it's not correct, though, so it potentially becomes Trial-and-Error Gameplay. This can be countered somewhat by talking to your neighbors while they're in the cafe, and they may describe how they like their coffee.
      • Taken Up to Eleven when random villagers that don't even live your town pop in for a cup.
    • Getting a perfect town rating in Wild World and City Folk was this. To do that, you have to do, among other things, plant a certain amount of trees and flowers within acres in your town. How many spaces constitutes an acre in game, you ask? Yeah, good luck figuring that out without a guide since the game doesn't even bother to tell you that other than very vague comments to clue you in from Pelly and Phyllis.
    • New Leaf did away with the acre system, but there is still some experimentation involved. Specifically, you need at least 10 Public works constructed in town (Main street projects don't count). All the game gives you in that regard is a hint that the villagers would like a more developed town.
    • The art system in New Leaf has been slightly Nerfed so that it is possible to detect forgeries by carefully looking at Redd's wares (unlike in previous versions where you won't know if you're getting the real deal until you try to donate it to Blathers). You also need to know how the real pieces of art looks like in order to succeed. If you're not into fine art, this will likely have you looking up GameFAQs at least once a week.
    • In Wild World, you can change your bed by pressing "A" infront of the foot of the bed, and then selecting a bed item from your inventory. Does anyone ever tell you this? No.
    • Blue roses were quite difficult to cultivate, ever since flower hybrids were implemented. Hybrids existed, but what about a hybrid of a hybrid? In Wild World and City Folk, you would have to create at least two purple roses and let those cross to somehow make a blue one, and that in itself requires some luck. It got even more convoluted in New Leaf requiring you to have an orange and purple rose, let those two cross to make a red rose, which is already a basic color. The kicker? Those red roses are what makes the blue rose. While it's justified that true, cultivated blue roses are but a legend in real life, who would think to cross the orange/purple-crossed red roses to make a blue rose?
    • Unlocking Gracie's store "GracieGrace" in New Leaf can be a pain. What does she ask? She asks you to wear an ensemble consisting of one particular style, as part of the Fashion Check. Simple, right? Not really. Gracie herself only appears once a week like Saharah and Redd, except she starts making appearances once you spend enough at TIY. Secondly, the only source of clothing style in-game is attempting to buy said clothing at the Able Sisters store (or Kicks, for footwear.) and the respective storekeeper will tell you what style it is. Unless you deliberately looked it up, you most likely dismissed it as something minor. While you're allowed to mix styles to pass, you can fail it if you mix the wrong styles together, and they don't tell you which styles don't mix. You have to pass the Fashion Check four times. Expect yourself to be a bit of a Rummage Sale Reject if you're trying your best to pass.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: If you go a while without playing, the next time you get on, the villagers will be worried because you were absent, or have moved away because you haven't spoken to them for so long.
    • Don't want to wait through Kapp'n's song as he's ferrying you to/from the island? Just tap B a few times to skip it... but not before he makes you feel bad about doing so, however...
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
  • Hammerspace:
    • Your houses appear bigger on the inside due to the Space Compression.
    • The containers that you buy (drawers, dressers, refrigerators) can hold many more items than your actual house, and is even lampshaded when you try to rummage through a neighbor's drawers.note 
    • Your personal inventory. Furniture is kind of Hand Waved since it turns into leaves when picked up, but what about that shark bigger than yourself you just caught?
  • Happily Married:
    • Cyrus and Reese. Nook even mentions that when he sees those two, getting married doesn't seem like it would be bad.
    • Kapp'n is married as of New Leaf.
  • Heroic Mime: Several villagers in New Leaf ("Peppy" villagers especially) have a tendency to lampshade this at times.
  • Holiday Mode: Non-fruit trees get lights during the December holiday season. That's just one example.
  • Holler Button: Equipping the megaphone tool in New Leaf gives you one of these, letting you press A and yell into the 3DS' microphone in order to find out where a specific villager is, although it only works if the character you're looking for is in the main village and not indoors or on Main Street. It's also the easiest way to wake up Gulliver.
  • Holy Halo: A wearable item from Wild World onwards.
  • Honest Axe:
    • Subverted—because the guy who gives you the axe is a Cloud Cuckoolander, 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. The villagers can also sometimes fall into this, trying to sell you items at higher prices than the stores.
  • Hot-Blooded: Any of the characters with the "jock" personality, particularly in City Folk.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Snowman and the Snowmam, as the Snowman is the largest snowperson while the Snowmam is the second smallest.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: The fortunes in the fortune cookies in New Leaf comes across as this. There's also Pascal the otter's "deep truths" he drops on you every time you get a piece of furniture from him. Finally, the "favorite saying" that's on the back of every villager photo that you can receive from the villagers can veer into this.
  • Identical Grandson: All of the female kangaroo villagers have little joeys who peek out from inside their pouches. Cute, except that not only are the joeys identical to their mothers, but they also share the same facial expressions.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: After giving a sick villager medicine, they often comment about how bad it tastes, and thus, it must be good for them.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The Perfect Fruit in New Leaf. There is a small chance a regular fruit tree will produce one, and they have a slightly different appearance (Perfect Oranges are larger and a more vibrant color, Perfect Peaches and Pears are golden, etc.) than normal. The villagers comment that its flavor is unbeatable and may ask you to find one of them. When you eat one, your character will have a rosy glow for a couple of seconds.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals:
    • If you leave your town and go to another one, there will still be a Tom Nook, a Mayor Tortimer, etc.
    • If you travel from one village to another and they have the same villager as you, a minor lampshade will happen as they comment on you looking very familiar.
  • An Interior Designer Is You:
    • Furniture and other items can be placed, moved, rotated, etc. in your house. You can also change the wallpaper and flooring using any number of preset (or even custom) designs in every room except your basement, which has a permanent wood wall and stone floor. New Leaf adds wall-hung decorations to the mix.
    • In New Leaf, Timmy and Tommy run the general store from the start and Tom Nook is a real estate agent with a separate store that sells various exterior items including different styles of fencing, roofs, doors, exterior walls, and ground paving (for the area inside your house's fence), as well as complete shape changes for your house's exterior, and as Mayor you can place decorations around town, so An Exterior Designer Is You too.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Tied to the system clock and moves in 1:1 time to the real world clock from the GameCube re-release onwards.
  • Irony:
    • Resetti telling you to "SCRAM" after his lectures before leaving, even though he's in front of your own home.
    • Resetti, again, since his job is to discourage you from quitting without saving, but in New Leaf, you have to do that at least once in order to unlock the Reset Surveillance Center. You can't get 100% Completion without breaking the one rule the game shoves down your throat.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Said by lazy villagers if it's raining at night in your town. Then they say that it's still a dark and stormy night.
  • 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". His full depth is exposed in New Leaf; the first time you quit without saving, you find out that the Reset Surveillance Center's been closed and he's been put out of a job. He's obviously very distraught, and you can't see him again until you manually install a Reset Surveillance Center using your mayoral power.
    • Phyllis; She comes off as an aloof, grumpy Jerkass at first and, if you talk to her at the right moment, you discover she's just like that due to being overworked and that deep down she's a very caring person, especially towards her sister Pelly.
  • Joke Item: Some items serve no purpose and are just for the player to hold. These include bubbles, balloons, pinwheels, glow wands...
  • 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 (except for New Leaf).
  • 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.
  • Lighthouse Point: Lighthouses are in the original and City Folk and are part of a Side Quest. It's also a Public Works Project in New Leaf, but lacks the side quest.
  • 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.
  • Lost Forever: Nintendo shut down Wi-Fi functionality in Nintendo DS and Wii games on May 20, 2014. You can technically still get the Wild World DLC items if you know someone in real life with the items who's willing to trade locally (good luck with that), but any online items in City Folk are now completely inaccessible due to that game's lack of local multiplayer.
  • 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 and New Leaf, you've got to just keep fishing and hope the fish of type X you angle is the biggest, as their actual measurement is randomized.
    • 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. (Averted in New Leaf, where forged paintings now have visible differences. To balance things out, however, you can only buy one item from Redd every week.)
    • Gracie's car washing minigame in 1.x. It acts like you just have to mash the A button enough times, but it's possible to fail using a turbo controller.
    • The Bug-Off, for similar reasons as the Fishing Tourney. However, the Bug-Off is even more luck-based; instead of relying solely on the size of the bug, Nat also judges bugs by their rarity and their "color and luster." While you can control the rarity by only giving up rare bugs, the only way you can find out how good the color and luster of your bugs are is by giving them to Nat, and the results are completely random.
  • 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 Doubutsu no Mori (or 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 villagers.
  • Message in a Bottle: An item the player can receive in Wild World. The player can write a letter inside it and throw it out into the ocean, and may occasionally find one themselves. It could either be a randomly generated message, or another player's via Tag Mode.
  • Messy Hair: Starting with City Folk, the player can get a bed head if they haven't played the game in over a week.
  • Minigame Zone: The island in New Leaf lets you go on "tours", where you can play various minigames (such as scavenger hunting, hide-and-seek, etc.) to earn silver medals, which you can trade for exclusive items. For 50 medals, you can also join Club Tortimer, which lets you play online with players all around the world. (The fee is probably to deter griefers from joining.)
  • Minus World: The original has four pre-loaded towns (technically three since one is a test version of the island) that can't be accessed without Action Replay. Some interesting features of them include one with three odd floating yellow boxes, one with a house with all the NES games (minus Super Tortimer, but the forbidden four is there too), and one with an unused squirrel villager, with the Fan Nickname "Blazel".
  • Misfortune Cookie: In New Leaf, when you eat a fortune cookie from the Nooklings' shop, you'll usually receive a fortune that can be redeemed for a piece of Nintendo memorabilia, but there's a 1 in 10 chance of you receiving a fortune with a pessimistic or nihilistic message, which will give you a low-quality piece of furniture. Likewise, during the Sunday fireworks festivals in August, Redd sells you fortune cookies that can be turned in for one of six exclusive prizes or a firework, but the ratio of winners to duds is inverted.
  • 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 in the ocean. 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 in Wild World- your character asks "What river is this, anyway?"
    • In a palaeontological case, the player digs up an Archaeopteryx, a European genus, in Wild World along with North American fauna like Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus. And then City Folk introduces the Asian Velociraptor, and New Leaf the African Spinosaurus.
  • 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. 4.x is shaking things up, however.
    • New Leaf adds the first two new personality types since the franchise's inception in 2001: "Smug" for men and "Big Sis" for girls.
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: In New Leaf, the townsfolk mistake you for the new mayor who was due to arrive that day. Later, you receive a message from the real mayor, who lets you keep the position and wishes you luck.
  • Money Sink: The home loans in all the games, and public works projects in New Leaf.
  • Moon Rabbit: Ruby, known as Luna in the Japanese version, has a moon-themed house with a mochi pestle.
  • Musical Nod: The 5 PM theme in New Leaf is a bossa nova tune, just like the 5 PM theme in the 1.x games.
  • 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."
    • New Leaf has quite a few of these:
      • Rover mentions he hasn't ridden the trains much since 2002.
      • When discussing your first down payment, Tom Nook mentions how much easier it is to make money on your own than to get low-paying part-time employment, lampshading the errands he would force you to do as part of the tutorial in the older games.
      • Timmy and Tommy sometimes say that their store does not have a points system, referencing the one present in City Folk.
      • Gulliver will occasionally mention that he has a hard time convincing others that he's been to space. In Wild World and City Folk he flew in a spaceship, instead of being washed ashore like in this game and the first one.
      • Pete says he doesn't fly to deliver letters because someone at his old job would shoot him with a slingshot.
      • Some characters will also talk about the game in terms of trains, like how the train is the fourth generation version and unlike the last two generations, is completely different, and that it had inherited some of the "DNA" of the first generation. If you think about it, trains and the island hasn't been in the game since the original Gamecube release, and that New Leaf is widely purported to be a complete revamp compared to the previous installments of the franchise...
  • Nature Lover: Leif. He detests weeds and offers weed-pulling services once he is partnered with the Nooklings (TIY). On Grass Day he hands out flower-themed furniture for pulling weeds.
  • Nice Mice: There are mouse villagers.
  • Nintendo Hard: Not the series itself, but trying to catch bees, a tarantula, or a scorpion is a pretty difficult task. They are ridiculously fast and can easily catch up to you and bite or sting you, even when you are running at full speed. Nine times out of ten, you'll be left with a swollen face or unconscious before you can react quickly enough to catch them.
  • No Antagonist: Unless you view Nook as a greedy bastard, no one is really against what you try to do. Though Crazy Redd is closer to being a villain, he's outright admitted to being a sleazy crook, and Lyle in Wild World is implied to be his scamming partner with a "Forgery/Insurance" ring.
  • No Fair Cheating: In a few ways.
    • The game discourages Save Scumming by having Mr. Resetti chew you out any time you quit the game without saving. His speeches berating you for doing such an act get longer each time you do it, and eventually he'll force you to write an apology as well! He's mandatory until New Leaf, where he accosts you the first time, and can only continue if you build a Reset Surveillance Center- which actually is something of an inversion, as you don't get the option of building the Reset Surveillance Center until you've reset at least once!
    • Time traveling, the act of manually setting your system clock ahead or back to take advantage of certain features, is heavily discouraged. Along with turnips automatically rotting, setting the clock too far ahead or back at once can result in wilting of trees and flowers, cockroaches in your house, and villagers moving away. In New Leaf, your villagers will also tell anyone who visits your town that you're quite a time traveler.
    • The gaming community got up in arms about a glitch which allows item duplication. While it benefits those who trade for their items (because they don't have to pay overinflated prices) as rarer items are more common thanks to duplication, it's also seen to remove some of the challenge of obtaining the items. There's also the technical aspects to consider, since it also might lead to save file corruption owing to how the glitch is performed.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Despite being a life simulation game, there's absolutely no relationships, besides rumors and Pelly, Phyllis, and Pete's Love Triangle. Justified because Bestiality Is Depraved.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.:
    • If the player character is attacked by a scorpion or tarantula or...  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.
    • If the player goes for a swim in New Leaf, coming in contact with a jellyfish only stuns you momentarily.
  • NPC Amnesia: Shopkeepers will never question you if you get to buy an item just after you reject it. Also, villagers temporarily feel bad when you insult them or refuses to help them. After some minutes, they act as if as it never happened.
  • NPC Scheduling: Mostly played straight- many characters will appear at specific places throughout the day. Taken to literal levels in that you can actually schedule a time to visit a NPC in his/her house, or schedule a time where a NPC can visit your house. Subverted with Redd and Gulliver in New Leaf though, where both characters seem to appear on random days in the week, and sometimes never at all. Others like Katarina and Gracie also show up randomly at first but can be convinced to settle in the Shopping Area eventually.
  • Off Screen Teleportation:
    • All outdoor NPCs, including bugs and fish (but not 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.
    • In New Leaf, this can happen for you when you save and continue. And sometimes, villagers will already be inside a store when you walk in, even if you enter the instant they open.
  • 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.
  • 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. In New Leaf you have Re-Tail, which is a pawnshop where you can also sell your stuff, in addition to the general store, run here by Timmy and Tommy Nook (though Re-tail buys back old stuff for more than the Nooklings' store).
  • Oral Fixation: The Leaf accessory item gives off the appearance of being held by the mouth.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Mr. Resetti's speeches just seem to drag on and on and on and on...
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • During Toy Day in New Leaf, the player is given the mission to dress up as Santa Claus, the items for which are sold during that day. The player has to wear at least one of the Santa items in order to do the mission, and the villagers will fall for it anyway. Not that the whole outfit is any better... normal villagers will sometimes lampshade this by saying that "Santa" reminds him or her of the cosplaying player.
    • This trope is Downplayed in City Folk, where the player has to change clothes Behind the Black for Jingle to give the player multiple presents. It's eventually Subverted when Jingle realizes the player has been getting multiple presents by doing this.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The island in New Leaf. Selling exotic fruit and nocturnal beetles can net the player hundreds of thousands of a bells in a relative instant, especially if they have the Bell Boom ordinance in effect. Beetle-farming has even been directly recommended as a bell-making method by NoA President Reggie Fils-Aime.
  • Permanent Elected Official: Tortimer in the first three games. You also qualify in New Leaf: you can let your town become infested with weeds and treat all your neighbors like crap, and you'll still remain the mayor at the end of the day.
  • Personal Raincloud: When a townsfolk is sad.
  • Pie-Eyed: Some female villagers feature this. They are Poppy and Blaire the squirrels, Twiggy the bird, Merengue the rhino, Rosie the cat, and Ellie the elephant.
  • Piggy Bank: You get one after deposting enough bells in the ABD.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy:
    • In New Leaf, the pajamas you wear when visiting dream towns are this, as are the Town Pass Cards.
    • Reese and Cyrus are pink girl and blue boy, respectively.
  • Piranha Problem: The player can catch piranha in the games (and lampshade this trope when they catch one). And when it is donated to the museum, it proceeds to bash against the walls of the tank to attack the player. The descriptions, however, claim they are actually quite timid.
  • Player Data Sharing: The Happy Home Academy Showcase and the Dream Suite in New Leaf are implementations of this. The Showcase allows you to buy furniture from the homes of other players you've StreetPassed and the Dream Suite allows you to get new patterns from other players' towns over the Internet.
  • Podcast: In-universe. In New Leaf, when the player gets an octopus, he says to find more about it on his podcast.
  • Pop Quiz: In New Leaf, Gulliver will ask you to help identify his original destination by giving you a few factoids about it. Get it right, and he'll send you a souvenir.
  • Product Placement: In New Leaf, there are items based on the convenience store chain 7-Eleven. Japan only, sorry.
  • Punny Name: Villagers often have names related to their species (like Kidd the goat and Wolfgang the wolf). 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). Some also have one relating to their appearance, such as Camofrog.
  • Put on a Bus: Frillard from City Folk is completely gone in New Leaf. As well as the Goddess Serena, not to mention many villagers were removed from earlier installments such as Weber. Though some have returned, some still haven't seen since the first game.
  • Quicksand Box: You get dropped off in your town, get a quick tutorial, and then the game all but tells you to make your own fun.
  • The Quiet One: Sable, at first.
  • Quirky Town: Self-explanatory, and may account for some of the game's appeal.
  • Randomly Drops: Store inventories change daily. Gifts and trade offers from villagers are also very randomized, not to mention fossils, ore in New Leaf...
  • Retcon:
    • City Folk retcons a third Able Sister into the hedgehogs' backgrounds, managing to add quite a soap opera element to the story. In New Leaf, the three apparently made up because Labelle is now part of the Able Sisters' store and works in the room next door, in the same building.
    • In a more minor case, some of the older villagers in the previous games had their personalities changed to the new Smug and Uchi personalities in New Leaf.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: City Folk and New Leaf allows you to quickly change tools with the left and right button on the D-Pad thanks to alternative methods of controlling the character's motion (the former owing to the nub on the nukchuk and/or the Wii's point-and-click interface, the latter owing to the presence of an additional analog nub on a 3DS). Previous versions required you to go into the items screen to change tools.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • Some of the background songs in the game are rearrangements of each of the games' respective title theme (e.g. 8 A.M. for GC and 8 P.M. for New Leaf).
    • You can create your own recurring riff with the town tune feature. In New Leaf, the town tune plays whenever the clock bell rings, when you talk to a villager, and when you enter a building.
  • Regional Bonus:
    • A few holidays are actually specific to different versions of the game. They can be accessed in other versions via Socialization Bonus though...
      • The NTSC version has Groundhog Day (February 2nd), Earth Day (April 22nd), Labor Day (the first Monday in September), and Explorer's Day (the second Monday of October).
      • The PAL version has Naughty or Nice Day (December 6th).
      • The Japanese version has Setsubun (February 3rd), Hina Matsuri (March 1st), Children's Day (May 5th), Tanabata (July 7th), Obon (August 15th or 16th, depending on the year), Otsukimi (the first full moon of September and October), and Chuseok (15 days after Otsukmi)
  • Retraux: All the furniture in the Mario Set all have 8-bit textures, reminiscent on Super Mario Bros. Subverted in New Leaf, where they were given New Super Mario Bros.-like textures.
  • 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.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: One of the possible mini games with a camper in your town in New Leaf. Also played on Halloween for Candy rewards.
  • Rule of Cute: The Nooklings say that the wrapping paper in New Leaf is to "cutely wrap presents".
  • Rule 34: Despite the cute atmosphere, the whole series gets its fair share of this. Shown in this video (SFW) with Isabelle, who seems to get the worst of this. If you value your innocence, take caution when looking up fan art of her, or any animal for that matter.
  • Running Gag: The Sea Bass. It's a very common ocean fish, not worth a lot, and the player says "Not again!" whenever one is caught from Wild World onward. In New Leaf, the gag begins after the first catch, with the player saying "What, you again!?" whenever it happens.
  • 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.
  • Sentai: The "zap suits". There are also currently four villagers (Kid Cat, Agent S, Big Top, and Rocket) that wear sentai suits.
  • 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.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: While none are actually shown, "Snooty" villagers may recommend that the player wears one so they can be more daring.
  • She's a Man in Japan:
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Everything in the museum gets some factoids spouted about them by Blathers when they're donated. In New Leaf he no longer does so, but the exhibits themselves now have a bit of text describing them, including details like how the coelacanth tastes different compared to normal fish and contains a fat indigestible by humans.
    • The Rare Mushroom item is based on the real life truffle, a rare and prized fungi that is only found underground near trees. Not only are you supposed to dig them up, they sell for a good 16000 bells!
  • Single-Minded Twins: Tommy and Timmy, the kids who work in Tom Nook's store once it becomes fully upgraded and who run the general store themselves in New Leaf.
  • Slice of Life: "...The game!"
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Cast: Type 4, animal cast with human protagonist; the Player Character(s) is/are the only human(s) in the games.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Type 8, most animals can talk. Though the cast is made up of sapient Talking Animals, the Animal Crossing universe does have non-talking animals, most notably fish. Strangely, there also seem to be non-talking birds, hamsters, and dogs (that you can basically keep as pets), even though there are also bird, hamster, and dog villagers and NPCs...
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Level 6—the only stated "goal" you have is to pay off your mortgage, and you don't even have to do that.
  • Sliding Scale of Video Game World Size and Scale: Real-time (literally), small-scale. The games take place entirely in a single, improbably small town.
  • Snowlems: You can create them but unless the proportions are perfect they will not be happy about it.
  • Socialization Bonus: Interacting with people in real life has many benefits, like being able to get non-native fruit which sells for more, and getting the furniture you want more quickly, by being able to visit shops in other towns, or ordering furniture from StreetPassed houses in New Leaf.
  • 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.
    • Wild World and City Folk/Let's Go to the City invert the above, placing its upbeat 3 AM music between the calm 2 AM music and the minimalistic 4 AM music.
  • Space Compression: Most buildings' interiors are drawn roughly four times the size of their exteriors in each direction.
  • Speak In Unison: Timmy and Tommy do this, however one always lags behind the other.
  • Speaking Animalese: In the English versions of the original game, City Folk, and New Leaf (except singing parts), the characters read the text in speech bubbles one letter at a time, which is sped up and slightly garbled. This is because unlike Japanese, where each kana glyph neatly maps to a sound, the Germanic-based English language requires letter sequences be analyzed and matched to a matching sound, taking extra computational power in the process.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Played with in Wild World. Sometimes the player can eavesdrop on conversations between two animals, and a conversation between a lazy villager and a normal villager gives us this:
    Lazy: Yesterday, I had the most amazing dream. I was this HUGE movie star! And I got invited to all these parties! There were all these famous actresses, and we all ate sponge cake together! By the way, you were in my dream, too.
    Normal: Goodness! Really? Was I a famous actress, too?
    Lazy: Actually, you were in the kitchen cooking the sponge cake. Yeah, you were really sweating up a storm! Yep. As usual, you were the star of the party!
    Normal: I guess I could take that as a compliment... Yeah, if I were a total idiot! You're a stupid, sexist jerk! And I thought we were friends!
  • 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). New Leaf, however, averts this with Megacerops.
  • Stop Poking Me: If you talk to your neighbors several times in succession, they'll get upset and tell you to go away. Pushing villagers and hitting them repeatedly with nets or toy hammers will also cause them to snap at you.
  • Sugar Bowl: Such a beautiful setting.
  • Tactical Door Use: The easiest way to escape bees is to run into the nearest building. Assuming that there's a building near you. Subverted in New Leaf, where the player can easily just press "save and continue".
  • Take That, Audience!: Villagers will occasionally talk about and complain about the latest Animal X-ing taking a while to be released.
  • Take That, Us: In New Leaf, Normal-type villagers visiting your home may talk about how they've been "playing this one game where you run your own town but also have to keep all these needy animals happy."
  • Tech Tree: New Leaf introduces a similar concept in that certain public works or buildings can only be obtained if an existing building has been upgraded to the required level, which usually requires certain criteria to be met. For example, to get The Roost, you need to have your museum upgraded to have a second floor. And for that to happen, you must have met the game's criteria of submitting a certain number of specimens (at least one for each category).
  • That Russian Squat Dance: The album art for K.K. Steppe features this.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: The "deer scare" is available as a furniture item.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Your town does quite well for a city with less than 20 inhabitants.
  • Timed Mission: Starting in Wild World, you generally have a defined time limit in order to complete a task for a villager; in New Leaf, usually they just want it done within the day, but they may sometimes ask for it to be done in an hour. City Folk and New Leaf have your villagers offer to play hide-and-seek with you, where you have 10 minutes to find them all. The island minigames in New Leaf are also timed.
  • Time Skip: It's implied that New Leaf takes place a few years after City Folk—Tortimer and Shrunk have retired (the former from his post as mayor to host tours on the island, and the latter from his job as a comedian to open a night club), Katie is now old enough to travel on her own, Kapp'n is married and has a toddler-aged daughter, and even Kicks appears to have aged, occasionally addressing the player as if the player is younger in the coffee barista minigame. Tommy and Timmy seemed to have matured to the point that not only do they not need their uncle to supervise them, but are fully capable of handling the store with only one of them at a time. They seem like assertive teenagers compared to the shy little kids in previous games.
  • Time Travel: The term players use for setting the system's clock just to do different events and holidays on the same day.
  • Token Human: Every NPC is a Funny Animal. Only player characters are human.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The villager lampshades when he or she shows shades of this.
    "I caught a shark!... GAH! Why am I holding it?!"
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Peppy villagers became more narcissistic in New Leaf.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Snooty and Cranky villagers become less mean with every game.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jack, the host of Halloween, loves candy. In New Leaf he has a particular liking for lollipops.
  • 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.
  • Unidentified Items: The game does this with the fossils. You dig the raw fossils out of the ground, mail them off to be identified, then get them back to give to the museum. The later games simplify this by simply allowing you to take them straight to Blathers to be identified right away. A similar thing goes on with Redd's art sales in the earlier games; while you know what you're buying, until New Leaf, you have no way of knowing whether the painting/statue you just bought is real or fake until you try to donate it to the museum.
  • Updated Re-release: 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 seconding 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 Caring Potential: Good heavens, yes. Hard not to when your villagers refer to you with such Affectionate Nicknames as "Cupcake" and "Powderpuff". There's also their joyous reactions when you give them what they asked you for.
  • 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.
    • New Leaf introduced the Hammer, which can be bought at the Island Shop. It serves no other purpose outside of the minigame you use it in other than to smack your villagers senseless with it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • If you jerk the medicine away from sick villagers, it's positively heartbreaking at times, with the cranky villagers especially being a Tear Jerker.
    • In New Leaf villagers may ask you to bring them fruit. Usually when you are giving something to a villager for an errand, irrelevant items in your inventory are grayed-out and unselectable, however for fruit errands you also have the option of giving bugs. If you do try that, the villager will either comment on how unappetizing the bug is or that it's not a fruit and give it back to you, with no reward. A much nastier scenario can occur if you decide to give them rotten fruit. They eat it none the wiser (because it looks exactly like perfect fruit on the outside) until it's too late. They get angry at you for trying to feed them garbage and give you a good yelling before walking off in a huff with no reward.
    • If you push around the villagers too much, they'll eventually tell you off for it and be depressed or angry for a while afterwards.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential:
    • Blanca. Said guest shows up in your town either faceless and asks you to give it a face, or walks around with a face that the game downloaded from Nintendo's servers (but allows you to change it) if internet connectivity is available. Now, the game doesn't perform checks to see if you really did draw a face onto Blanca instead of random scribbles (or worse, offensive images). Also, what you draw on Blanca inadvertently gets uploaded onto Nintendo's servers if the console has internet connectivity. And apparently, Nintendo doesn't do random sampling checks on the faces uploaded into their servers, and there is no way to report offensive images. Hilarity ensues. Protip- . Thankfully, Nintendo finally caught on and removed the aspect of the game in New Leaf.
    • Making a design at the tailor with offensive content in mind, and hope that a NPC buys clothing with said design on it. It's even possible to "nude" an NPC by making a shirt using the NPC's skin color as the base and adding the usual things you would see on a bare chest, be it male or female. Hilarity ensues also.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • The only way to catch bees in all of the games is to anger a beehive and swing your net at the flying bees coming to sting your sorry ass. You somehow only catch one of them but this causes the rest of the bees to flee. Try this in real life and see how well it goes for you.
    • The game has the biological requirements of the Banana tree backwards, where planting the fruit on brown soil would cause the sapling to die but planting the fruit in sand would allow the sapling to thrive. In real life, banana trees require brown soil, and will wither and die if you attempt to plant it in beach sand. (Real banana trees don't look like palm trees and don't grow their fruit in combs, either).
  • 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. In New Leaf, the clothing was separated into tops, bottoms, dresses, socks and shoes were added as well.
  • Visible Sigh: The "Deep Sigh" emotion.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Blanca in New Leaf, as part of the April Fools Day minigame mechanic.
  • 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.
    • In New Leaf, you can sell your items to either Reese at Re-Tail or the Nook Bros. The Nook Bros. don't take everything, though, and give you 20% less than Re-Tail does. You can also sell items to Kapp'n's daughter, but she only buys them at 5% of their normal value. Additionally, there are certain items you can't sell to Reese, who will instead make you pay a fee to dispose of them (or you can dispose of them in a garbage can in your house for free).
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • The villagers will call you out if you give them the wrong fruit, a bug, or rotten fruit when they ask for something to eat. They'll also call you out for pushing them around too much.
    • In New Leaf, if you press the B Button enough while Kapp'n is singing his song through your boat ride, he'll stop singing for you and you'll immediately cut to your destination. Although he will express his annoyance about you not letting him finish his song. Tapping the touch screen has the same effect. Kapp'n even pretty much says "Taptaptap!! Cut it out"
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: This becomes more possible in each game, and is equally available for both sexes. From the beginning, some clothing items (such as the Sailor Uniform) that seem to be made for one gender have been equally purchasable by both, though for most of the series the clothes would be altered based on the character's gender (boys would always wear clothes as shirts, girls would always wear them as dresses) 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 only way to tell the character's true gender is to look at their face (which may not help, since some faces are gender neutral, and are able to be covered up), or the color of their ID card (Pink Girl, Blue Boy, naturally). They even facilitate it by altering the character's running style based on their clothes—if a boy is wearing a dress, they'll still do a Girly Run.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Blathers is NOT pleased by the fact that the museum has a bug wing. Sometimes he makes attempts to overcome his fear of bugs, such as opening the insect encyclopedia and forcing himself to touch every picture of a bug in it. Thankfully, his sister Celeste put a stop to his self-torture, telling him to just accept himself for who he is.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: A relatively small one compared to most games of this genre, considering that all the games take place entirely in a tiny village, but the lack of endgoal and emphasis on doing whatever you want means the series still falls into this genre.
  • World of Funny Animals: With the Player Character as the Token Human.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Justified; having your hair done at Shampoodle includes being able to dye it another color, natural or not.
  • You Have Researched Emotions: Laughing? Frowning? Waving your hand? You'd have to learn them through Dr. Shrunk. In Wild World and City Folk you could only have four of them at a time and would have to forget one if you want another. Fortunately, you get to keep all of them in New Leaf.
  • You Mean Xmas: Toy Day, in the GameCube version and New Leaf; 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.

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