Video Game / Animal Crossing

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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 Petting Zoo People. 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, elephants to octopuses, and over thirty 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. Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS has the first character you create become mayor of the town, and adds the option to upload your town to Nintendo's servers, allowing other players to visit even if you're not online.

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 two Villagers and Isabelle as DLC characters, as well as a DLC track based on the series.

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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. An update for this game will be released in Fall 2016 that adds amiibo compatiblity, including the Amiibo cards, the Animal Crossing Amiibo Figures, and other Amiibo including The Squid Sisters.
  • 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. The app would be discontinued in 2014 with Miiverse support added to the 3DS in late 2013.
  • Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS; 2015) Reusing assets from New Leaf, this spin-off puts you in the role of a home decorator who is tasked by the villagers to decorate their homes to their specifications. The game is compatible with special Animal Crossing amiibo cards that when scanned enable new villager requests for you and allow other villagers to visit the house where you just decorated at for a house party. You can view a trailer for the game here.
  • Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (Wii U; 2015) In this spinoff party game, players use amiibo figures to control famous Animal Crossing characters through a board game-styled map. The goal is to earn the most happiness by collecting money and participating in random events, ranging from bumping into each other and splitting your money in half to meeting a visiting character to initiate a special event.
  • Animal Crossing [working title] (Mobile; 2016) A spin-off for smartphones that will have the ability to connect with Animal Crossing games on Nintendo consoles.


This game features examples of:

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    Tropes # to D 
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Players need one before they can actually do anything as mayor in New Leaf.
  • 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: Your house gets considerably more expansive every time you upgrade. The final improvement of which in any given game will probably cost enough money to buy three whole towns. Fanon claims that, due to Tom Nook owning a monopoly on the town, he gets to charge whatever price he wants.
  • 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... except for the patterns Wendell gives you, but that is justified because your character remembers, or rather was inspired because s/he saw it in a dream.
  • 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 even send you letters about wanting to watch rainbows with you, again, regardless of gender.
  • And That's Terrible: Inverted when a Cranky villager buys something in Re-Tail. They say that good deals are good.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Several villagers resemble food.
    • Zucker seems to be an octopus with a takoyaki head and sausage tentacles. What's really bizarre is that takoyaki is made of octopus, and Lazy villagers like him love food. ...Irony?
    • Merengue is a pink rhino who has a strawberry for a horn, which makes her head resemble a slice of cake.
    • Frita is a sheep whose woolly body resembles french fries and the back of her head resembles a hamburger.
    • Chadder is a mouse who is colored like cheese (yellow with orange spots).
    • Tangy is a cat with an orange for a head.
  • 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. Especially bad in Wild World, as the game didn't pause while you did this, making catching bees almost impossible. Luckily 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, and use the bells on things that aren't affected by the price increase such as Public Works Projects.
    • 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. note 
    • If an animal wants you to deliver a package to another animal who is asleep, s/he'll say to wait until said animal wakes up. Saving you the trouble of going to the animal's house and finding out for yourself.
    • Normally, when talking to the villagers, the game allows you to quickly select the last option by hitting the B button. However, when making an important choice (such as deciding whether or not to release a catch or choosing what to put in someones coffee in The Roost), pressing B doesn't select anything, preventing you from accidentally choosing the wrong thing.
  • Anti-Poop Socking:
    • In New Leaf, if you play for a long stretch of time, the animals will start recommending you take a break.
    • In City Folk, don't expect to see your grass a lot if you're an avid player, as continuous play and travel will cause the grass to wear away. It still happens in New Leaf, but toned down to more manageable levels and can regrow outside of playtime.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Your villagers in the Animal Crossing games barely do anything to make the town better. All they do is stand or walk around and mooch off you by asking for things. As an example, in New Leaf, your villagers will rarely contribute to public works funding, resulting in most of the funding coming out of your own pocket.
  • 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/3DS) 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.
    • The "bees" that occasionally chase after you when you knock over their nest are actually Japanese giant hornets. Their nests resemble the typical football-shaped hornet's nests rather than the lotus pod-shaped wasp's nests seen in the game. The confusion likely stems from the Japanese word hachi, which is an encompassing term for bees, hornets and wasps. Also on the Harvest Festival, Franklin might require honey for a recipe which you apparently obtain from the "bee" nests, all the more jarring since the game also features actual honeybees which do not swarm after you.
    • 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; the Japanese versions correctly refer to the flowers as suzuran (the Japanese name for lilies of the valley), and Happy Home Designer finally uses their proper name internationally.
    • In the real world, "bug" refers to (scientifically) a specific type of insect or (colloquially) any terrestrial arthropod (so spiders and scorpions would fall under this latter definition). What the term actually means for Animal Crossing is "any animal caught using the net", which can range from insects and spiders to hermit crabs and snails. In a similar vein, frogs and tadpoles are "fish". Some dialogue will avoid using specific terms to mitigate this; for example, Celeste refers to the various aquatic donations as "sea and river species".
  • Artistic License – Geography: The summer and winter solstices introduced in New Leaf make no sense. The sun either doesn't set (summer) or doesn't rise (winter) for the whole day...which does happen in real life, but only at the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Needless to say, your town is not located in the tundra.
  • 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.
      • Though seeing how Blanca now appears only one day a year as opposed to randomly anyday, she's downplayed if anything.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • The player character counts as well. Wild World and City Folk play this trope straight in which you can actually see the other players in their beds. In the other games, it's merely implied. Though s/he can overplay this trope by being asleep for weeks, months and years. Or never wake up ever again.
  • Attract Mode: Each game has an attract mode showing a random villager walking around town, possibly interacting with the environment. The original game features a few predetermined sequences of a generic Player Character doing things like fishing or chopping 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.
  • Balloonacy: There are presents attached to balloons that float in sky, appearing 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 Animal: Most, if not all, of the animal 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, it's always a risky endeavor.
  • Behind the Black: The "Hide and Seek" mini-game 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.
    • Also, during the Bug-Off, trying to talk to villagers while they're trying to catch a bug makes them furious.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don Resetti is more patient than his younger brother, but apparently he's known for giving persistent lectures that last for more than two hours.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Once you have all of the rooms built in New Leaf, you can remodel your house into a full-blown castle!
  • Big Fancy House: While the original game's aren't too big, they only grow 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 "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."
    • When you first forget to save in New Leaf, Resetti will demand you explain yourself. Picking "My battery died!" causes him to be more apologetic to you and take an indirect jab at the 3DS' battery life.
  • 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. Just to make it extra weird, Pave of all people is part of this committee.
  • 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: Axes wear down and eventually break after being used enough. The Silver Axe does too, at least in New Leaf, but it lasts a lot longer.
  • Break the Cutie: It's stated that back when he was young and idealistic, Tom Nook tried to enterprise in the big city. Which after many failures and betrayals broke him and in turn made him somewhat colder. In turn, this distanced him from his friend Sable, who also in turn had a huge fight with her sister Label. Label left. Her sister and best friend not part of her life anymore made her cold and distant. It's slowly being fixed in New Leaf, as Sable and Label made up, and she and Nook are starting to patch up their friendship.
  • 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.
    Resetti: Look... Let's forget about other games for a sec, huh? See, we're talkin' about Animal Crossing: City Folk.
    • 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*"
    • For the "In the treehouse" preview discussion YouTube videos. The in-game loading screen is modified, in which Isabelle introduces and concludes the videos. She also advertises her Twitter account and Nintendo's YouTube account, and hints she may have a crush on Bill Trinen.
  • Breakout Character: Isabelle from New Leaf has been very well received, to the point where she's considered to be a main character on the same level as veterans like Tom Nook, K.K Slider and Mr.Resetti. She's a DLC character in Mario Kart 8, an Assist Trophy in the fourth iteration of Super Smash Bros., and the pack-in amiibo figurine for the amiibo Festival spinoff.
  • 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. There are even seasonal bug-catching contests.
  • 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.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • A few villagers that were missing from the series since the very first game make a reappearance in Happy Home Designer, such as Maddie the dog, Claude the rabbit and Ursala the bear.
    • A New Leaf update for 2016 adds an entire slew of villagers via amiibo cards. Up to 50 cards are compatible and from what's been previewed so far, a lot of them are characters from the previous games that weren't in New Leaf.
  • 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.
    • In New Leaf, Brewster will not allow you to let his coffee cool before you drink it.
    • In New Leaf, your neighbors might offer to give or sell you an item. If you refuse, they might give it to you anyway.
  • 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".
  • Canon Foreigner: Lottie the otter, who first appeared in Happy Home Designer. Judging by her reappearance in amiibo Festival, she's here to stay.
  • 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 octopuses, and some of your neighbors are... frogs and octopuses. 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. Thankfully, by New Leaf Franklin doesn't have to worry anymore; he's a chef, cooking up meals for the villagers. There is however a piece of furniture which is an actual cooked turkey.
    • 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).
  • Carpe Diem: Every game has your character make a pun on this phrase whenever they catch a carp.
  • 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 dialogue tree at the start of each game determines your starting appearance, which can then be further modified through regular gameplay. Happy Home Designer forgoes this and instead lets the player simply edit their character's appearance directly.
  • 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 doesn't allow saving. It's understandable for the Club Tortimer online version, not so much for going there alone.
  • Cherry Blossom: The trees grow cherry blossoms every spring, and in the first game, there's even a festival dedicated to 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:
    • Many villagers were dropped moving from the original game to Wild World. Most, but not all of them, were brought back in City Folk and subsequent installments.
    • Katie's mom, Kaitlin, in New Leaf, due to changes to the "traveling 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 thinks 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. It's best shown in New Leaf where villager petitions consist of things such as "Hair-ball Emergency Center" (suggested by uchi villagers. Only one of them is actually a cat), "Knit Sweaters for Trees" (suggested by normal villagers) and "Save The T-Shirt" (suggested by snooty villagers).
    • Pascal, the sea lion, is known for being a bit... out there with his metaphors.
  • Com Mons:
    • The sea bass, to the point where your character lampshades it by saying "What, you again!?" What makes it especially irritating is that they resemble coelacanth, the rarest fish, while in the water.
    • The freshwater Com Mon is the black bass.
  • 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, which 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 wipe their faces with. In the original, it was stated that Blanca's face came off every time she washed 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 their catch phrases, and each personality has different dialogue.
      • 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's dialogue 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.
  • Creature Breeding Mechanic: Hybridizing flowers fits the spirit of this trope, if not the letter. For example, if a red cosmos is planted next to a white cosmos, it may produce a pink cosmos. You can't use just any two different colors though; each hybrid has two or three possible combos that can produce it, and some hybrids are prerequisites for others.
  • Creepy Twins: Tommy and Timmy, Tom Nook's assistants, may be an unintentional example. Their unblinking stares and single-mindedness are contributing factors. Not to mention the fact that they follow you around everywhere you go.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference:
    • Even though the 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, 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.
  • 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. Mr. Resetti is entirely optional, because Nintendo acknowledged that Resetti scared and upset 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. Even Tom Nook could be seen as this. In previous games, he ran the general store and unless his shop was closed, chances are if you played the game, you would be seeing him. In New Leaf, while he still features at the start of the game, he now runs a home improvement store and house upgrades are optional for the first time; it's possible that once you pay off your mortgage to never have to see him again.
  • 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 bone enables you to wear one on your head.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In New Leaf, after you receive your fortune, Katrina will tell the player:
    —"And remember that bad times...are just times that are bad.
  • Developers' Foresight: Has its own page.
  • Dialogue Tree: Albeit a very simple one. Lampshaded during the celebration after you complete a PWP in New Leaf, when Isabelle announces "And now for an incredibly short speech from our very own mayor!"
  • 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. You can buy his records in later games, but according to Happy Home Designer, he donates all of the proceeds anyway.
  • 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. It's largely gone by New Leaf, as he is Happily Married, but he'll still occasionally sing love songs and ask couples about their relationships.
  • Ditzy Secretary: Isabelle is clumsy and forgetful but is the player (The Mayor)'s secretary.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: With the freedom to change your shoes in New Leaf, you can ditch shoes altogether to invoke this.
  • 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:
    • You can download free stuff in Wild World onward. New Leaf also has items exclusive to "Nintendo Zone" locations.
    • In Happy Home Designer, DLC characters include Filly, a Normal Horse with a 7-Eleven theme (or just a convenience store theme in international versions) and a Felyne.
  • The Driver: Kapp'n, whether it be a boat, taxi, or bus.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Tropes E to I 
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • K.K. Slider (under his Japanese name of Totakeke), Tom Nook, and Resetti appear as collectable trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with their source game 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 Bunny: Zipper T. Bunny, who shows up every year on Bunny Day, and apparently hates his job. He'll politely ask you to ignore the zipper on his back...
  • 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 their TV, an alien will appear on the screen. It will then deliver a gibberish message before leaving a minute later.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: Your neighbors are a colorful sort, in more ways than one.
  • Edge Gravity: The tools, along with bugs and snowballs, are about the only things in game that can cross over a cliff edge. The player can do it in New Leaf when wearing a wet suit, however, provided that there's water below to dive into.
  • 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.
  • Emulation: 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 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.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Starting with Wild World, title screen shows a preview of the player's actual town, so it's different for every save file.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: An Uchi villager in The Roost may ask Brewster what his upcoming Winter Blend of coffee is going to be called. Brewster says its name will be "Winter Coffee".
  • 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 up until New Leaf.
  • 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.
  • Fashion Designer:
    • There's the Able Sisters, country hedgehogs who avert the typical tropes for a fashion designer. Sable is quiet and prefers to absorb herself in her work, while Mabel is more sociable and does most of the talking for the two.
    • Meanwhile, Gracie is a giraffe who absolutely lives up to the trope, being very egotistical and 'artsy', as well as very camp (as She's a Man in Japan). One of the Able Sisters, Labelle, used to work for Gracie before reuniting with her family.
    • Of course, this is barring the player's ability to design their own patterns for shirts, dresses, or even hats for a small materials fee. From New Leaf onwards, a QR code reader can be used to save and share designs from other players.
  • 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 aren't exactly legitimate.
  • 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.
  • Four Is Death: After the funky 4 AM theme in the GameCube game and the minimalistic equivalent in Wild World and City Folk, Nintendo decided to reference this by giving the hour an eerie tune in New Leaf.
  • 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!"
  • 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. Other times he'll complain about the fact that the rarity of opposable thumbs leads to a lot of illegibly written addresses.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The museum's blurb for the piranha claims that they're actually fairly docile. You may have a hard time reading the placard—the loud tapping as the piranha slams into the aquarium glass trying to kill you can be a little distracting.
  • Gateless Ghetto: The city in 3.x consists solely of a shopping center.
  • Genki Girl:
    • The villagers with the "peppy" personality all qualify.
    • Isabelle, the mayor's assistant, also qualifies with how excitable she can get.
  • 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.
  • Girly Run: In New Leaf, you do this while wearing a dress, no matter which gender you are.
  • 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 are used no matter what town you're visiting.
  • 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.
  • Good Luck Charm:
    • The Celebration Hat from Katrina in New Leaf eliminates bad luck.
    • There's also the rare Four-Leaf Clover, which has a 1 in 40 chance of being obtained.
  • 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. They may be helpful and tell you both clues, but sometimes they only give one.
    • While there is a concession that regular villagers always have their milk and sugar in equal amounts (if someone asks for no milk, then they also want no sugar), the same doesn't apply for some important NPCs like Tom Nook, who wants a lot of milk but only a little sugar.
    • 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. You can also lose your perfect town status if you have too many trees planted, again the only hint the game gives you is "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" in front of the foot of the bed, and then selecting a bed item from your inventory. Does anyone ever tell you this? No.
    • Ever since flower hybrids were implemented, Blue Roses were quite difficult to cultivate. While it's justified that true, cultivated blue roses are a legend in real life (the family roses belong to naturally lack the pigment needed to make blue petals), actually getting them is completely convoluted and requires a ridiculous amount of luck. In Wild World, it requires Blacknote  and Purplenote  roses. New Leaf changed it to something more ridiculous; Purple and Orangenote  roses are required, and they produce a special type of Red rose that create the Blue rose. They look no different than a regular Red Rose. Unless you looked it up, you would never have guessed that. Even if you have two special red roses to hybridize, there's still a one in seven chance that it'll actually produce a blue rose, as they can produce all the other colors as well.
    • 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 what the storekeepers at Able Sisters and Kicks tell you. While you're allowed to mix styles to pass, they don't tell you which styles clash, garnering an instant-fail. You have to get four passes to unlock the store. Expect yourself to be a Rummage Sale Reject.
  • 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: Most villagers only wear shirts or scarves. The important NPCs usually fall under Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal instead.
  • 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 to a lady named Leilani as of New Leaf.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: One of the very first questions Rover or Kapp'n ask you is your name. You're the one moving into the new town, after all.
  • Heroic Mime: Several villagers in New Leaf ("Peppy" villagers especially) have a tendency to lampshade this at times.
  • Holiday Mode: Conifer and non-fruit trees get lights during the December holiday season.
  • 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—Serena, goddess of the fountain, is a Cloud Cuckoolander. 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In City Folk, if a grumpy neighbor is moving away, they may give you a good piece of advice:
    Roscoe: Never take advice from anyone about anything.
    • In New Leaf Reese tells you not to wake her soundly sleeping husband. By yelling as loud as possible.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: If a villager asks to visit your house, one of the refusals you can give is "My hair hurts".
  • 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.
  • Informed Species: Many villagers may be classified as one kind of animal but may resemble another. For example, Flora greatly resembles a flamingo in design, but is actually an ostrich and refers to herself as such.
  • In-Series Nickname: Wild World onwards, your neighbors may come up with nicknames for you. Whether it's embarrassing or affectionate is up to you, but you're given the ability to suggest your own if you don't like theirs.
  • 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 allows the basement to be fully customizable like the rest of the rooms and 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.
    • Happy Home Designer takes this trope and runs with it. The whole point of the game is to decorate people's houses using wallpaper, flooring, decorations, and furniture.
  • 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.

    Tropes J to N 
  • 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. In New Leaf dialogue with her in the cafe reveals that if you had become mayor much earlier, work would have been much easier for her and she wouldn't be such a grump.
  • Joke Item: Some items serve no purpose and are just for the player to hold. These include bubbles, balloons, pinwheels, glow wands...
  • Justified Tutorial:
    • Your tenure at Nook's store at the beginning of the game has him showing you the ropes of living in the village, while working off the debt you've accrued from purchasing a house.
    • In New Leaf, there are optional tutorials from Isabelle while you're settling in. If you're the mayor, the "approval rating" sidequest acts as one, too.
    • Happy Home Designer teaches you the mechanics of the game through your first client.
  • 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.
    • In New Leaf, Kapp'n has an extended family; his wife, daughter, and grandmother all run the island tours.
  • Kawaiiko: The "peppy" villagers.
  • Leitmotif: Every town has a unique tune. It plays every time you speak to a character, among other instances.
  • Lighter and Softer: The series has lost a bit of its edge over the years. In the earlier games, several villagers were mean or even outright insulting, which has mostly been done away with; most characters in New Leaf are abrasive at worst. New Leaf does imply the passage of time since the earlier games, so Character Development may be a possibility.
  • 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!: You're the only human in a town full of animals.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are more than 300 different villagers that can live in your town, across the series.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: A different track plays when you're in one of the Nookling stores in New Leaf after it closes...but you're forced into a conversation with whomever is in the store with you and the conversation autoscrolls.
  • 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.
  • Metaphorgotten: Villager conversations can end up like this on occasion.
  • 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 so-called "forbidden four" are 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: City Folk to Wild World; there aren't as many changes as there were going from the original to the DS, or from the Wii to New Leaf. You can even import your character when creating a save file. The only major difference is the addition of the city, which is where most of the previous games' travelling characters were moved.
  • 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.
  • Mook Chivalry: It sure is nice of those rampaging New Leaf bees to just fly around in circles while you equip your net.
  • Moon Rabbit: Ruby, known as Luna in the Japanese version, has a moon-themed house with a mochi pestle.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: How do villagers change clothes? They flip in midair and suddenly the new shirt is on them! Same thing for the player.
  • 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."
    • A few of K.K. Slider's songs are also derived from the background music of older games; "Forest Life" is based on the recurring theme from 1.x, while "Spring Blossoms" comes from the Cherry Blossom Festival theme from the Japanese versions of the original.
    • New Leaf has quite a few of these:
      • Rover mentions he hasn't ridden the trains much since 2002, referring back to the first game's mode of travel.
      • 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. New Leaf brought back several elements from the original version of the game, such as trains and the island. It also shook up the series formula after complaints that the last two installments of the series were too similar to each other.
      • TVs in the original Animal Crossing would only play one program based on what the TV was (for example, the Apple TV would have apples rolling across the screen). At certain times in New Leaf, the TV will play a moment of classic programs (the show that plays in this video comes from the Retro TV in the original).
  • 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.
  • Nephewism:
    • The Nooklings to Tom Nook, depending on which story you agree with (see Chaste Toons).
    • Happy Home Designer introduces Lottie, Lyle's niece.
  • Nice Guy: Lloid the Gyroid is an incredibly nice guy who's more than happy to help you with equipment or public works projects. He tends to end sentences with chummy phrases like "my special friend" and "my wondrous buddy".
  • 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.
  • Nobody Poops: There is no requirement to use the toilet, and a lot of the villagers don't have toilets in their homes.
  • No Cartoon Fish: While most of the characters are depicted to be as cartoony as possible, nearly all the fish, bugs and sea creatures are depicted as realistically as possible (the only possible exceptions being the dab and olive flounder, who have googly-eyes). There are also frog and octopus villagers, which are just as cartoony as the others.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened that caused the fallout between Tom Nook and Crazy Redd, as mentioned in Happy Home Designer:
    Tom Nook: I worked with a fox once in my life. Never again. Not after...the incident.
  • 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. Averted 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.

     Tropes O to S 
  • Offscreen 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 the Gamecube version, villagers will sometimes be at their house (location notwithstanding), and then be waiting for you at the Wishing Well despite you going straight there. It's quite jarring when the villager in question is on the other side of town. They also sometimes enter the acre you're in with no warning, even when last sighted on the other side of town. It's rather unsettling.
    • 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.
    • amiibo Festival allows you to import villager houses from Happy Home Designer.
  • One-Gender Race: All the lion villagers are male personalities (five jocks, two cranky, one lazy and one smug). Previously, all the Kangaroo villagers were female until New Leaf introduced two male ones (Walt and Rooney).
  • 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...
  • Palette Swap: Many insects are these, for example the Fruit Beetle and the Scarab Beetle.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Chow, Pinky and Chester are pandas.
  • 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 from the bank after depositing 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.
  • Play Every Day: Very much so. You have events and items that you can get each day, shops change their stock daily, some events happen weekly, and there's special holidays on top of that. The game heavily encourages you to check in every day.
  • 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, they say 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.
    • amiibo Festival has a pop quiz about the series itself; for example, it'll ask you to identify a villager based on their catchphrase or appearance.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the original game, sometimes Resetti will tell you to repeat after him. You can either do as he says, type whatever you want, or even offend him. Two phrases for the latter category are "You suck!" and "Moles suck".
  • Product Placement: In New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, there are items based on the convenience store chain 7-Eleven. They're Japan-only in the former, and they're made generic in the latter outside of Japan.
  • Pronoun Trouble: When villagers are referring to others, the parser is usually smart enough to use the proper pronouns, but occasionally it'll get mixed up.
  • Pumpkin Person: Jack, host of the Halloween event, wears a pumpkin on his head. On Halloween other villagers will dress up like Jack, but with purple and green pumpkins on their head instead of orange.
  • Pun: All of the phrases for catching bugs and fish. Some are just bad...
  • 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, Serena, and many villagers from City Folk are completely gone in New Leaf.
    • Many villagers from earlier installments such as Weber haven't returned.
  • 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. If you keep speaking to her, she'll open up eventually.
  • Quirky Town: Self-explanatory, and may account for some of the game's appeal.
  • Rags to Riches: You start off living a cramped and shabby house with a significant debt, but once you've paid it off, you have the biggest house in town and an ever-growing bank account.
  • 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.
  • Realism: The Resetti scenes are designed to make the player believe that Resetti knows the player personally and is yelling directly at the player.
  • Real Men Take It Black: Discussed. A "lazy" villager will sometimes say "Is it true that "real men" like bitter coffee? I guess I'm just a regular guy then, 'cause I like my coffee light and sweet."
  • 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 New Leaf. 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 (Columbus Day, the second Monday of October).
      • The PAL version has Naughty or Nice Day (December 6th).
      • The Japanese version has the Bean Throwing Festival (Setsubun, February 3rd), Girl's Day (Hinamatsuri, March 3rd), Children's Day (May 5th), Starcrossed Day (Tanabata, July 7th), and Obon (August 15th or 16th, depending on the year).
      • The Korean version has Arbor Day (April 5) and Teacher's Day (May 15).
  • Replacement Goldfish: This can occur with villagers that move in and out of your town. In New Leaf, the game tries to maintain a mix of all the villager types while cycling out older villagers for newer ones. If a villager of a certain type moves out, the next random move-in will never be the same type as the villager who moved out (unless he or she was invited from the campsite, streetpass or another player's town).
  • Retraux: All the furniture in the Mario Set all have 8-bit textures, reminiscent on Super Mario Bros. In 4.x, they were given New Super Mario Bros.-like textures instead.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Ever since the two were introduced in Wild World, player characters have trouble distinguishing a dab from an olive flounder, as pointed out in the text for catching them (more so with the latter).
  • 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. You're warned the first time you load a saved game by a NPC, Mr. Resetti, to not even consider quitting out of the game without saving. If you do reset the game (by dropping out to the Home Menu, pressing the Reset button on the console, etc) without saving, expect him to come by and give you an earful, and at one point in all versions, even feigns deleting your save game!
    • In New Leaf, Mr. Resetti was made an optional feature, resetting the game the first time will prompt him to appear and suggest the Reset Center as a Public Works Project (so you actually need to do this once to get it).
    • In the same game, there's a form of save scumming known as "The Villager Reset Trick". On a day you think a villager will move in to set up a plot of land, you need to create a new save file (Loading an old one will make the game save and lock the location, which may not be ideal). Once you've gone through making a new player character, you can scout around to see if they've set up their plot in a location you like. If they didn't, reset and make a new save file. If they chose a location that you like, you can set up your house location and save the game from there. Then you can delete the save file and the villager will move into the right spot. Of course, there will now be a bare spot...
  • 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.
  • Seasonal Baggage: The seasons gradually change in real-time. Not only do the grass and foliage shift hues, aquatic life and insects are rotated out accordingly. You have to be extremely diligent on catching your insects and fish before they go away for the season to complete your encyclopedia.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • 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."
  • 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.
  • Shark Fin Of Doom: Sharks and the like are easier to spot than other fish because they always have their dorsal fins sticking out.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Saharah and Gracie, apparently. Blanca, too, but it's hard to tell...
  • 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 16,000 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. They also tend to complain when there aren't any events that week.
  • 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 Simlish:
    • The language the characters speak is called Animalese. In the English versions of City Folk and New Leaf, 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, languages written using the Latin alphabet (including and especially English) require letter sequences be analyzed and matched to a matching sound, taking extra computational power in the process.
    • They had a different sort of sound and were a little less garbled in the original game, and some sentences can even luck their way into being audibly intelligible. When saving your game, for example, your Gyroid really does sound like it's saying "Please enter the house".
    • There's also a second "language" called Bebebese that can be selected up until New Leaf; it sounds like a series of "bebe" noises, rather than any specific language. When Animalese is selected, Bebebese is used for a character muttering or whispering, as well as the snowmen and the human character speaking to themselves.
  • Spot the Imposter: New Leaf adds two examples:
    • On April Fool's Day, Blanca appears and will take on the form of one of the villagers, leaving the player to guess which is the correct one.
    • Crazy Redd's art works are on display before you buy them, and the forgeries have a noticeable difference with the real art. Sometimes the difference is blatant, e.g. the Robust Statue depicts a discus thrower holding a U.F.O.; while other times it's more subtle, e.g. the Wistful Painting has a woman in a yellow head-wrap, which is supposed to be blue.
  • 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. Apparently, it's Phyllis the pelican in that suit; talk to her at the Roost after the Bunny Day and she talks about how much she hates the costume she's forced to wear.
    • Lyle in City Folk works at the Happy Room Academy; when not acting professional, it's obvious that he's not happy with his job. In New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, however, he appears much more content with his position at the Happy Home Academy.
  • Stock Beehive: If you shake a tree, a beehive resembling a paper wasp nest could possibly fall out, and the swarm will try and get you.
  • 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: Your town is a beautiful setting where nothing can go wrong. The worst that can happen is a rafflesia growing in, if you're neglectful, a mean mole yelling at you if you try and cheat, or your best friend unexpectedly moving away.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • 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 a Third Option: In City Folk, one possible conversation that you can listen in on between a peppy female neighbor and a lazy male neighbor is them arguing about which one of them is cuter. Eventually, they'll ask you who you think is cuter. Your options are both of the neighbors involved in the conversation...or yourself.
  • Take That, Audience!: Villagers will occasionally talk about and complain about the latest Animal X-ing taking a while to be released.
  • 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. You can give it to your deer neighbors but they don't seem to be scared of it.
  • Threatening Shark: You can fish up sharks from Wild World onward, and your character expresses fear... right before stuffing it into their pockets. And they sell for 15,000 bells a pop, too!
  • 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, now owning a show store and 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.
    • Used in-universe in New Leaf. If a player time travels too much, the villagers will mention rumors of you being a time traveller.
  • Token Human: Almost every NPC is a Funny Animal. Only player characters are confirmed human.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The player lampshades when they show shades of this.
    "I caught a shark!... GAH! Why am I holding it?!"
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Though they're still friendly, 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 "Snooty" females and "Grumpy" males act like this, starting off a bit abrasive to player before warming up to them.
  • 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.
  • Undesirable Prize: Recieving a shirt can be a nuisance at times, especially when given to you without being asked, as you may be more comfortable in the shirt that suits you, it uses up space in your inventory and it usually sells for a cheap price.
  • 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.
  • The Unfavorite: Judging from her letters in the GCN version, your mother doesn't like you very much. Changed in later games.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: A strange example, considering that the games don't have a traditional "win condition" in the first place. New Leaf has bamboo, which can reproduce and spread across town without the player's input, but which (once it's grown) can only be removed by cutting it down with an axe. There are reports of people having to restart their towns after not playing for several months due to bamboo effectively trapping the Player Character inside their house without an axe.
  • 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), but have moved out and are implied to be at least teenage. 4.x makes their appearances look older, and also has them working full-time (as mayor in New Leaf, and at a home agency in Happy Home Designer).
  • 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 also teach them insulting or embarrassing things to say... you will never, EVER be punished for it either. Unfortunately, this also doesn't affect a neighbor's likelihood to move away.
    • 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 neighbors or friends senseless.
  • 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 this 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, you can change your hairstyle, and hats, masks, and other accessories were added into the mix. City Folk made it so you could change your shoes, and wear a Mii's face as a mask. In New Leaf, clothing was separated into tops, bottoms, dresses, socks and shoes; additionally, it's no longer gender-locked, allowing males to wear skirts and dresses and females to wear shirts and pants.
  • Visible Sigh: The "Deep Sigh" emotion.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • The Snowtyke of the Snowman family uses the Peppy voice, despite being a male too. Although, this may be because Snowtyke isn't at the point where his voice matures.
    • Some villagers have species/personality combinations that can cause this. Boone is a big, hulking gorilla villager colored to look like a mandrill, but speaks in the same high-pitched voice all jock villagers speak with. Then there's Hamphrey, who looks like a cute little hamster, but speaks with the same baritone warble used by all cranky villagers.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Blanca in New Leaf, as part of the April Fools' Day minigame mechanic, can transform to look like other villagers.
  • Walls of Text: Mr. Resetti never really goes through with any of the threats that he levies towards you should you reset and incur his wrath. However, the real punishment is time wasted on him going through his spiel. Exactly the thing many players wished to save by resetting the game for better results.
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: Wendell is a friendly walrus who loves art, and travels far and wide selling his artwork. When he comes to the player's town, he is so worn out and hungry that he will gladly give you patterns (used to decorate clothes, walls, and other objects) in exchange for some food!
  • 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 for free).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Kaitlin, Katie's mother, is absent in New Leaf. No one seems to directly mention her, and we only have very vague hints of her presence from Katie.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • The villagers will call you out if you treat them badly in a few ways like the following -
      • Giving them the wrong fruit, a bug, or rotten fruit when they ask for something to eat.
      • Pushing them around too much.
      • Missing a scheduled visit to your or their house.
    • 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!"
    • If you refuse to take Katie to another friend's town, the poor girl will look like she's ready to start crying for her mother.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: This becomes more possible in each game, and is equally available for any gender. From the beginning, some clothing items (such as the Sailor Uniform) that seem to be made for one gender have been openly available, 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 either gender's haircuts, City Folk adds the ability to wear either gender's 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 (visiting friends notwithstanding).
  • 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 Breathing:
    • Laughing? Frowning? Waving your hand? You'd have to learn these emotions 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 onwards.
    • Some of the unlockable Public Works Projects in New Leaf. You can build things like street signs and face-cutout standees right from the get-go, but public trash bins and drinking fountains are unavailable until suggested by villagers.
  • 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.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/AnimalCrossing