"Just imagine... if you had lived your entire life.. inside the house. Then... someone, opens, the door."
—E3 2008 trailer
The Sims 3 is the third standalone game in the The Sims series, released in 2009.In contrast to The Sims and The Sims 2, the game placed more emphasis on the neighborhood by making it all accessible in real time and making all families age and evolve along with yours, but this could be turned off. It did away entirely with the Aspiration meter and removed Fears; instead, when you fulfill a Want, it just adds a positive "moodlet" (Status Buff) to your physical-needs total, thus streamlining gameplay immensely. Lifetime Aspiration Score is retained, but the prizes you get from it are mostly modifications to the Sim's capabilities instead of physical objects (Bottomless Bladder, The Casanova, etc).The Point Build Personality was removed in favor of five "Traits" which had direct and practical effects on gameplay: for example, an Athletic Sim learns the Athletic skill faster and gets more enjoyment out of their workouts; a Clumsy Sim trips everywhere, which can add a lot to transit times; and an Evil Sim can gain enjoyment from messing with other Sims, or use a coffee machine to make Evil Lattes.Relationships were simplified, with Sims sharing a relationship bar so both parties have the same opinion of each other, no longer allowing unrequited feelings. Finally, The Sims 3 added significant flexibility to the Sim and object design and customization options, though at the cost of very reduced support for user-generated, made-from-scratch objects, clothing and hairstyles.
Addled Addict: Make a Sim and assign any/all of the following traits: Absent-Minded, Inappropriate, Insane, Party Animal. Childish and Dramatic can add flavor and more possibilities. Give said sim a bad habit: anything from constantly drinking to playing video games to burning/eating herbs to the bubble hookah to seeking Woo Hoo with everyone in sight. Have said sim do this thing to the exclusion of anything and everything else.
Affably Evil: Any Sim with a combination of the "Evil" and "Friendly" traits.
Ascended Extra: Kaylynn Langerak was just an NPC in The Sims 2, but has a family and backstory in The Sims 3. Goopy Gilscarbo was merely a TS2 townie but in TS3 has a food named after him, an appearance with his family in Monte Vista, and even an implied ex-wife and daughter in Barnacle Bay.
The neighborhood the game ships with is set 25 years prior to the events the first Sims game, but there are a few differences that make The Sims 3 universe irreconcilable with the other two games (see below.)
It's worth adding that you can play those 25 years, or the generations equivalent to that time. You can play, for instance, Bella Goth through all her life until she dies of old age surrounded by grandsons, while never having married Mortimer nor moved out of her home town, nor having gone mysteriously missing. Thus creating an undeniable alternate reality where the people and towns of the other games never existed.
You can create this yourself; any Household created in Create-A-Sim is added to a universal game bin where their original versions will always be, and you can put them in several towns. For example, you can make a Casanova style sim and put him in Sunset Valley first and have him develop multiple relationships, jobs, kids, skills, memories, all the good stuff. But then, you can also put his original, skill-less, childless, memory-less, and dateless form in another town and play him as a Casanova Wannabe instead.
Into the Future gives us a time machine which can send you to three possible versions of Oasis Landings; there's a normal version, a dystopian version and a utopian version.
If you have Blaise Kindle give Alma Drill a hug, she will often get a wish to kiss her.
Their household description also says: "Will their friendship be strengthened by the fact that they are living together or will it lead to things they never could have expected?" which could mean that they are meant to become a couple.
Aurora Skies gives us Jesper Sandstrom and Viktor Valquist, who seem a lot like a gay couple raising an adopted child together (the one who officially adopted her even gives her a Portmanteau Surname) but are presented in-game as best friends.
Anachronism Stew: The Sims 3 contains anachronisms within its own universe. The game is set 25 years before the first Sims game, making Bella Goth a child, but your Sims can go down to the library and read a book titled Where's Bella.
Another book that you can find is called A Pleasantview Murder by Alexander Goth.
There are no aliens in the base game of TS3, yet in TS2 there are premade sisters in the same town with an alien ancestor. And then there's Don Lothario's time machine... The Sims 2 did mention that the Caliente sisters moved into town after Bella disappeared.
The Tragic Clown is a ghost in TS3, yet can be encountered alive in the original Sims.
Somewhat justified that in Sims 1, he is confirmed to be a supernatural being, since he is summoned from a painting. TheWatcher probably promoted him from ghost to supernatural entity.
Also, the introduction of laptops when they are canonically absent in TS1 and TS2.
Egyptian mummies in China and France. Slightly justified for France, given that Napoleon ordered the archeologic explorations of Egyptian ruins. For China, not so much.
The store sets can lead to this as while the game is primarily modern, historical or futuristic content can be bought and used.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: In addition to all the perks that come with your career (money), you'll also unlock any and all career uniforms, like astronaut suits.
Animorphism: Pets allows you to use karma to turn a person into a dog or cat.
Artificial Stupidity: While this is greatly reduced from the first game (definitely less Sims peeing themselves for no apparent reason), there still are some elements of this:
Give a home with two adults and a child only one bed, and anyone left without a bed will complain at those using them. There is no check for the appropriateness of doing so, so the husband may find his wife and daughter sleeping in the only double bed, and order the WIFE out of it.
Oh, and Sims 3 sims will happily sit and eat their dinner on the toilet if there isn't a spare chair. Hey, if you can sit on it, it's fair game, right?
Sims also will leave babies outside instead of in a crib occasionally.
When switching households, you may find that due to story progression, the entire family will be at the beach at 10AM on a Tuesday, children and all, despite needing to be at school/work. This sometimes causes sims to be fired from their job.
Artistic License - Biology: Tons regarding the plantlife. Potatoes, carrots and onions are root vegetables. Bananas do not grow on trees. And so on, and so forth.
In Pets, calico cats are listed as a breed, even though in real life "calico" is simply a term for a feline fur colour pattern, which can be seen in many different cat breeds (calico cats are not a separate breed on their own). In addition, you can create fertile male calicoes, even though calico coloured cats in real life are always female, as the calico coloration is caused by one of her X chromosomes possessing a gene for orange fur, with her second X lacking an orange gene (both X's would have to have an orange gene for her to be fully orange, hence why orange cats are usually male). An extremely rare exception to this rule can occur if a male inherits an extra X chromosome from a glitched sperm cell; in which case, he will almost always be sterile.
Artistic License - Physics: wheeled vehicles in 3 accelerate and decelerate on the spot, don't have to slow down to make right-angle turns, and clip through other objects. While modelling accurate driving physics and behavior is perhaps beyond the scope of this game, They Just Didn't Care enough to even try to hide the fakery.
To build a second floor for your house, you have to provide support for it by way of pillars. Once the second floor has been built however, you can do as you please with them. Yes, you can even delete them.
Awesome but Impractical: Ambrosia, which when eaten increases lifespan by a huge amount, gives the second best moodlet in the game, and turns playable Ghost Sims into regular Sims— but it requires a Life Fruit (rare, requires Gardening skill of at least seven), a Death Fish (easy to find, hard to catch, requires a very high fishing skill or suitable bait, which requires suitable bait , which requires suitable bait, though the starting bait in the series is easy to get) and a Cooking skill of ten, plus the recipe costs 12,000 Simoleons! With some work, though, you can guarantee yourself a steady supply of the ingredients.
By spreading the work amongst a few Sims it becomes very doable. Of course, the family will still have to acquire the recipe and ingredients and reach the necessary skill levels, but no one Sim needs to have all the requisite skills or ingredients. However, it's completely possible for an individual Sim to create ambrosia before they even age to adult, without cheats or any help from other Sims.
Ambrosia becomes somewhat more practical if the player is willing to make use of a glitch with the Food Replicator lifetime reward. The Replicator isn't supposed to be able to replicate ambrosia, but if you halt the cooking process for ambrosia while it's at the bowl stage, it can be replicated anyway.
The Philosopher's Stone lifetime reward can convert items into gold bars for profit. The problem is that not only is it very expensive (costs you 40000 lifetime points) you are limited to only converting small, portable items into gold and that gold bars are actually worth less than some items. Not only that but the Philosopher's Stone has a rather high chance of failing and can end up either deleting your item, or turning your Sim into a gold statue and killing them in the process. note Sims turned into a statue by the Philosopher's Stone can be sold for a lot of money, so hey at least their deaths didn't end up being that fruitless.
The stone's secondary effect is useful though: Being able to forcefully move any ghost sim into the household for free as long as the user already knows them.
Ghosts can't die. Just enslave a ghost and have them do all your transmuting for you, and then dismiss them when their needs get low. Still not very efficient, but if you've amassed a collection of cheap items worth much less then Gold Bars, it can be a profitable side venture. If you have supernatural, reaching 10 Alchemy and completing a chain-request gives you a philosopher's stone for free.
Bamboo Technology: The items are very customizable, down to the texture and material. If you wanted to take this trope literally, you could change pretty much every object, wallpaper and floor covering into bamboo...Even stairs can now be changed.
Banned in China: In-universe example. With World Adventures, if your Sim is a writer, you can get an opportunity saying that your books have, literally, been banned in China.
Bath of Poverty: The cheapest shower will sometimes lose heat partway through use, resulting in a "cold shower" negative moodlet.
Being Evil Sucks: The Emperor of Evil is one of the best-paying jobs in the game in terms of salary-to-work-hours ratio. It also causes your Sim to emit a red glow that causes their relationship with all nearby Sims to steadily plummet. This causes the Emperor to slowly lose all their friends, especially if they're in the Emperor's household and therefore near him or her a lot of the time.
Actually there's only a relationship drop if other sims have the good, friendly, family oriented, coward, loser, neurotic or over emotional trails. Evil, mean spirited or insane sims will experience a raised relationship when an emperor of evil glows.
Bewitched Amphibians: (Supernatural): Witches can learn a curse that turns other Sims into toads (but just their heads; they still walk around like normal Sims, though).
Big Ball of Violence: With Pets, a cat will get into one of these when it goes hunting. If it has low skill levels, it's probably going up against an insect... which will still manage to knock the cat several feet into the air multiple times before finally giving up the ghost.
Sims do this while fighting. Bar fights can create huge ones that any Sim can join and jump into.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Several. the Racket family from Twinbrook being a good example, seeing as they were likely based on a family version of the Mafia.
Birds of a Feather: Brave, good, mean-spirited, and absent-minded get along better with Brave, nice, aggressive, absent-minded and skittish pets, respectively. Also, neurotic sims get along better with skittish horses than other sims.
Body Horror: If you're feeling daring, look at the nightmare fuel image pic. This glitch is freaky as hell. The most common explanation is modders making their own clothing from scratch which can screw up the imaging function, thus distorts the Sims themselves. Mods which allow Sims to perform tasks that don't have correct animations produce a similar effect. And then there are mods that allow you to directly do this.
Bookworm: It's a trait. Sims with it read books faster, have more fun doing so, and often get wishes to read a certain number of books. They also make good writers, especially in the vaudeville genre.
But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Reaction of male sims to being abducted and made alien pregnant; the alien pregnancy moodlet is called "Unexpected Weight Gain" to reference this disbelief. Persists even if the sim in question has had an alien baby (or more than one) before.
Cast Full of Gay: This can happen sometimes in The Sims 3 as the AI for NPC Sims seems to norm to whatever orientation the player's Sim(s) might be (possibly from reacting favorably to low-level "Romantic" interactions such as being complimented on their personalities or casually asked if they're single), which can result in neighborhoods with a lot of same-sex couples after a while.
The Casanova: Hank Goddard, Parker Langerak, and Xander Clavell all aspire to be this.
Casanova Wannabe: Give your sim- at minimum- the Flirty, Loser, Inappropriate, and Unlucky traits and then add a 5th trait of your choosing and voila! If you play them this way, you'll have this trope down to a tee. To cross the tee, make your sim a Pretty Boy with a cheesy French name and dorky clothes.
Celebrity Endorsement: Katy Perry is a huge Sims fan, and has collaborated with the Sims 3 team multiple times, including her own stuff pack (never mind the fact that it's often regarded as the worst stuff pack ever...)
Continuity Nod: The neighborhoods available to buy on the EA website (such as Lucky Palms, Monte Vista, etc.) often include younger versions of sims from The Sims 2
Continuity Snarl/They Just Didn't Care: One of the biggest complaints among older fans in The Sims 3. Many characters origins are off, ages are inconsistent with TS2, and the preference for random new Sims and time-travelling TS2 Sims over old fan-favorites from TS1 are some of the reasons as to why TS3 has a large Fanon Discontinuity.
In The Sims: Hot Date, Agnes' deceased husband was Robert Crumplebottom, a famous puppeteer. In The Sims 3, he's a completely unremarkable man named Erik Darling.
Frida Goth, Gunther's sister in The Sims 2, does not appear in The Sims 3 until the Supernatural expansion.
In The Sims Bustin' Out, Bella Goth's family (the Bachelor family) was described as being made up of "occultists, mystics and decadents" and Bella was the only neighborhood Sim to appear in Magic Town in The Sims: Makin' Magic, strongly hinting that she has magical powers of some sort. This was further hinted at in The Sims 2: Apartment Life, in which a statue of her appears in the mystical town of Belladonna Cove. In The Sims 3, she and her family are as mugglish as possible, and it appears that the Goths are now the magical ones.
Crazy Cat Lady: Hetty Lionheart from the Appaloosa Plains neighborhood. She has the Cat Person, Insane and Loner traits, starts out living alone with four cats, and even walks around wearing a cat hat and apron! Her bio explicitly calls her a crazy cat lady.
Creepy Child: Any Baby/Toddler/Child with the Evil trait. Premade examples include Belisama Hemlock.
Creepy Doll: A bad CC item known as "The Girl Dressed Doll" or "The Girl Doll Dressed" can be considered this.
In fact, it IS considered this amongst many simmers, mainly due to the damage it does rather than its appearance.
For some simmers, the imaginary friend doll newborn sims get in the mail is considered this. It's harmless, but just creepy.
Cursed with Awesome: If your Sim has the Loser or Unlucky Trait, things that would normally kill a Sim will instead lead to them being spared by the reaper. Also, Loner Sims' social need bar will drop much slower, and Sims that Hate the Outdoors will never get the "Stir Crazy" moodlet from staying on the home lot too long, which makes it fantastic for self-employed sims.
Neurotic Sims can Freak Out, where the go into a 10 secondBSOD, which can completely disturb other sims around them. After doing so, they end up with the "tranquil" moodlet, where they are completely relieved of their stress, and will instead be happy for a few hours. Also, insane sims can relieve the social need by talking to themselves, while loner sims have a slower depleting social needs bar, altogether.
Cute Kitten: a Sim who uses the "Awwww" interaction on a kitten will receive the +10 moodlet "Kittens!" for one Sim hour. A cat that had just given birth to a litter of kittens will give herself and her family the +80 moodlet "New Kittens" for one Sim day.
Date Rape: A witch is able to use a love charm that makes the Sim fall in love with the first person they talk with. In addition, If you use a Potent Friendship elixir on a Sim affected with a love charm then interact with them. The Sim has no choice but to love you.
Dark Is Not Evil: Give your Sim the Grumpy, Loner, and Inappropriate traits and dress them in Gothic clothes and give them Delinquent Hair; but, also give them the Friendly and Good traits and you'll end up with this trope. You could also replace Grumpy with Hot Headed for the same effect (albeit with a little more rage)
The Goth family of Sunset Valley could count as this. Despite dressing mostly in black and living next to a graveyard, they're not bad people.
Death by Irony: There was a bug which caused some sims to starve to death ... while competing in an eating contest.
Death from Above: Possible with the Ambitions expansion pack. When a Sim is outside, there is a very rare chance of an immense shadow blanketing them. This is your cue to move them as far away as possible. Thirty seconds later, a Gigantic Space Rock will crash into the ground.
Death Is Cheap: The Science Lab will offer opportunities to resurrect recently-deceased family members, and with Showtime, a genie wish can be used to resurrect them. The only Final Death in regards to playability is dying of old age while already an old age ghost.
Books written by your Sim may show up in the library.
Getting a vampire to use a tanning booth will make them remark on how they can now blend in with the humans.
Disappeared Dad: If one checks the famiy trees for the McIrish or French families, River McIrish and Sandi French have mothers, but no fathers, living or dead, nor are they ever mentioned.
Disproportionate Retribution: Performing mostly harmless pranks in Generations (like placing a whoopee cushion on a chair) will sometimes result in a severe punishment such as revoked privileges or being grounded for two days without being able to leave the house at all, even to go to school.
Also, if your Sim has the appropriate level of Inventing skill, and something breaks, they'll often get a Wish to Detonate the broken object.
In the "Late Night" expansion pack, a celebrity may get publicly disgraced even for minor things like passing out in public.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Occasionally while playing a different Sim, a neighbor will randomly "die on a bus", despite the lack of buses in the game. The "moving out" event, which effectively erases your Sim from history, also applies.
Drunk Driver: Your sims are quite able to jump in their car/truck/on their motorcycle no matter how much they have drank, or no matter what herbs they have consumed and there is no negative consequence for doing so.
Dystopia: One of the possible outcomes of changing the future in the Into the Future expansion—a dingy, trash-filled future under constant meteor bombardment, where it's apparently normal to eat bugs and play in trash piles.
The other outcome, Utopia, is arguably a Crapsaccharine World in which Sims are constantly happy... because they're constantly drugged by "dew" which has been introduced into the atmosphere by the military.
Emergency Broadcast: In Seasons, you can look up the weather forecast on your TV. Sometimes, you will hear the EBS tone, although no emergency ever happens.
Elegant Gothic Lolita: There are two "Harajuku Fashion" packs for The Sims 3 — they're identical, except that one is for adults, and the other is for children and teens. The female outfits from them fall into this category.
Emo Teen: Teen Sims with the Brooding, Loner, and Shy traits are this. You can even style any sim to look like one.
Expy: Gobias Koffi is Tobias from Arrested Development. The name comes from when Gob and Tobias came up with a business plan to invest in coffee shops under the moniker Gobias industries. The name was an unintentional portmanteau of Gob and Tobias and was said as "Go buy us some coffee."
Jebidiah Wilson from Riverview bears a strong physical resemblance to another Dr J. Wilson, of House fame.
The new Supernatural EP and its new neighbourhood take this Up to Eleven (see below).
Fanservice: So much more in this installation. Starting from bunk beds and strollers to breast sliders and body hair.
Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Death is still around, and you can get cursed by a mummy (or even become one), build a Robot Buddy (or a time machine), meet (or become) a vampire, own a living doll or unicorn, or get a genie in a lamp (which, unlike in previous versions of The Sims, can be set free). And that's just before the Supernatural expansion came out...
Fantastic Racism: Only hinted at. If celebrity sleeps with non-human sim (vampire, werewolf, witch etc.) he or she may get publically disgraced. Even if they are Happily Married to said non-human sim.
Feelies: The Collector's Edition comes with a plumbbob-shaped flash drive.
Fiery Redhead: Any redheaded Sim given the Hot-Headed trait, really. Claire Ursine is a premade example.
Free-Range Children: Sim children are able to go everywhere the town alone with a 10:00 pm curfew. (In The Sims 2 kids had to go with an adult or teen)
Free the Frogs: It's one of the pranks a teenager can pull in their school in Generations.
Game-Breaking Bug: Oh, where to start. The cumulative corrupting and memory-sucking effects of a number can force a player to play an entirely new neighbourhood. Compounded with all the minor (and major) bugs introduced by new expansion packs and patches, playing, even with fixes by modders, has become more of a hassle than its worth to some fans of the series. Lag and memory issues can reach a point where the entire town is stuck standing outside restaurants, peeing themselves and starving to death. A comprehensive list of bugs in The Sims 3 can be found here.
Routing issues are the biggest trouble-makers. Dealing with the routing of a few sims isn't too bad, but considering the game is calculating the routes of the entire town, it can and does become a real drain on resources.
Toddlers, other sims interacting with toddlers, and tourists (introduced by World Adventures) have especially terrible routing, often going into another room or outside to start or continue an interaction when there was more than enough place in the first room.
Though the school buildings have multiple doors, sims will only head through the middle one. Cue children and those in the education career missing work, dropping their actions, and having their performance go down.
Certain parts of many of EA's worlds, particularly the ones introduced in World Adventures, have unroutable terrain. Any sims that get in whilst collecting rocks and bugs will be stuck, and the game will attempt to recalculate their routes individually. As many of these spots are outside lots, you'll have to either resort to using the resetsim cheat (which can corrupt sims and objects they're interacting with) or evict that sim from their current house and move them back in. The maps haven't been fixed officially, but a modder has created fixed ones.
Reposims will repossess anything, including objects that a sim is currently using. The sim will often be left inaccessible and must be reset.
The update by the Ambitions expansion pack and its patch have left most excavation sites in World Adventures inaccessible.
The love letters and presents introduced by the 1.42 patch and the wedding gifts introduced in the Generations expansion pack can make mailboxes unusable, if sent by a sim no longer in the town. Good luck paying your bills, and say hello to the reposim.
You can't really play if your entire user interface is gone. This is caused by save file corruption, which can be caused by countless things.
The UI is modified in non-English versions of the game to accommodate more text. Sometimes the localisation breaks the code and leads to certain interfaces simply not showing up.
Occasionally, sims' outfit information becomes corrupted, leading to invisible, unclickable, underground sims. This was exacerbated by the Late Night expansion pack and its patch. Compared to the other bugs in the game, this one is easy to fix—just edit their wardrobe. However, this requires the target sim's household to be active, resulting in the previous households' sims dropping wishes. Even disregarding that, switching household is a hassle that requires many clicks, unless you have a mod that lets you modify inactives' wardrobes. The wardrobes of sims who aren't residents of your town can only be fixed with mods.
Sometimes, when a sim visits a lot, they leave their vehicle on the road and are given a copy in their inventory. In a short amount of time the neighbourhood will be overrun by abandoned cars, sucking up resources and causing lag. This isn't preventable, and all the vehicles must be deleted one at a time through having testingcheats enabled (or, if you have the Ambitions pack, by detonating them for scrap metal) after the fact. Thankfully there's also a mod that periodically cleans up your town.
Adult sims taken to jail can go missing, but baby and toddler sims are the ones that are most susceptible to disappearing.
The most common cause of baby disappearance is kidnapping by a baby-sitter. The baby-sitters are oblivious to the fact that they're taking them, though.
The babies and toddlers of inactive households often disappear on their own. This is most common directly after birth. However, in many cases the babies/toddlers will still appear in the family tree.
If you have the World Adventures expansion pack, you can travel and leave your baby behind. There's no guarantee they'll be there when you come back.
The travelling system in World Adventures is bugged to the point people don't recommend buying the expansion pack, or at least to never vacation. Sims travelling to another country may not actually arrive, leaving the player with no active household to control and stuck in that neighbourhood unless they reload an earlier save. Visiting sims that return home are often corrupted and have new family ties and surnames from the vacation country.
When a sim moves into a new home, the game saves a copy of that sim in a sort of clipboard. Once the sim is moved in, the game often fails to clear that clipboard. Homeless sims (sims that don't live in the town but do various jobs around the town) are often created from that clipboard, making lookalikes. This isn't a game-breaker by itself, but when copies are made of sims returning from vacation, they have the original family ties and surnames of that (now foreign) returning sim. This effectively ruins household structures and relationships.
Simply travelling can actually corrupt your save, leading to issues like a missing user interface and invisible, underground sims.
Late Night and its patch broke the game's moodlets, or buffs and debuffs system. Sims are given an invisible, semi-permanent negative mood impact after completing a certain action (such as sleeping) or a certain number of certain actions (twenty social interactions). This applies to all sims, even NPCs, and eventually causes the entire town to be cranky, depressed, and refusing to do things like homework and cleaning. A modder has created a hot-fix which recalculates the proper mood impact of a sim's moodlets every time it gets a moodlet.
Most of the careers in the game involve a sim reporting to work and disappearing into non-customisable setpiece buildings, termed "rabbitholes". The Late Night and Ambitions expansion packs introduced task-based careers taking place outside rabbitholes, and they're all broken in one way or another.
Gig opportunities for bands aren't pushed, and are extremely rare. A sim who has spent their entire adult life in a band may only see two or three gigs.
As an architectural designer, one can occasionally get a job from a sim that doesn't exist. If you finish the job and call them over to finalise it, your sim is stuck with that one job forever, eternally waiting for a client who doesn't exist to show up. And you can't cancel it from there.
There actually aren't that many fires for firefighters to put out. That's very good for the city, but not for the sim that has the lifetime wish to save 30 sims in the firefighting profession. It's the same problem with the band career—these opportunities aren't pushed and are extremely rare.
For whatever reason, the presence of vampires (introduced in the Late Night expansion pack) causes stuck sims who must be reset. Players are recommended to not have any, or at least closely control their population.
Taking a picture with any sim in the Photo Booth from the Showtime expansion pack instantly makes the two romantically involved. Yes, even parents and children.
Infinite baby loop. Pregnant sims are given the option to name their newborn baby. Over and over again. Creating more babies. Resetting the sim may or may not work. The only sure fix is loading a previous save. This bug has become more common with the Generations patch.
The Late Night expansion pack modified skill learning to make vampires learn faster, but a bug in it prevents some other sims from improving their skills at all.
The Generation expansion pack and patch reintroduced a missing and beloved feature from The Sims 2—memories! The new feature quickly became a bane to many players. Why? Because memories of insignificant things like visiting the grocery store were generated each and every time a sim, including tourists and homeless sims, visited, causing massive save file bloat and resource sucking. And there was for quite a while no way to disable memory generation (you could disable the notifications, but not the memories themselves). Of course, shortly after mods were made for the sole purpose of disabling it, and EA eventually (as of the Seasons expansion pack} allowed memories to be disabled. Also here is a tool that allows you to pick and choose which events create memories and which don't.
It's not clear if this is plain bad design or bugs, but the game's in-built story progression, which maintains the town and lives of inactive sims, is terrible. Inactive households that the active household has a good relationship with and are invested in are sometimes forcibly deported, making them gone forever. Population control is haphazard, inflating population numbers by impregnating many sims within a short span of time, suddenly realising the town is overpopulated when all those babies are born, then scaling back by killing off many of those same babies and toddlers.
The patch that they released to "fix" it did so by making inactive households unable to reproduce at all, with the only way of repopulation being by having new families move in, or having your male sim impregnate all the female townies himself.
The Seasons expansion pack introduced festivals, and with them, pie and hotdog eating contests! The catch is that anyone participating may die of starvation.
Genius Bruiser: The goal of the "Perfect Mind, Perfect Body" Lifetime Aspiration is to perfect both the Logic and Body skills.
Genki Girl / Keet: Sims with the "Excitable" and/or "Party Animal" traits, notably if they are children.
There's still "woohoo" and "juice bars" like in Sims 2, and as of University Life, a juice keg on which one can do keg stands.
In High End Loft Stuff, there's a giant heart-shaped bed called the "Vibromatic LN3000". If you have your Sims relax on it, there's an option to make it vibrate, and there's an increased chance of getting pregnant when you have sex in it.
Vampires in Supernatural can force other sims to think about them or be attracted to them against their will.
There's the love potions and love elixirs in Supernatural and above.
A Social Networking master in University Life can use the Relationship Transmogrifier app to force another sim into a romantic relationship with them or another sim, even counter to existing orientation or relationships.
Some of herbs you can burn in the fireplace and put in food in University Life. While there are some real herbs represented (chamomile, ginseng, licorice, peppermint for example), there are also some very thinly veiled drug expies. There's Buzzberry (amphetamine expy), Bumbleberry (cannabis expy), Sweet Grass (another cannabis expy), and Wonderpetal (speedball expy)
Glamour Failure: Supernatural sims cannot hide their nature from animals. They know.
Global Currency: With the World Adventures expansion, your Sims can travel to China, France, or Egypt. No matter where they are, Simoleons are the currency of choice.
Which becomes Universal Currency with the new Lunar Lakes neighborhood, since it is located on an alien planet.
Global Currency Exception: With the World Adventures expansion, each of the three foreign locations features a Special Merchant who sells adventure-related items, ranging from pemmican to a luxury tent. The payment they each require is Ancient Coins, which are gained by going on adventures and exploring tombs. Also an example of Global Currency, because ancient coins gained in one country are no different from those gained in another.
The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Beatrice and Bianca Crumplebottom of Moonlight Falls, with their sister Belinda caught in the middle (both in age and in the middle of all their fighting).
G-Rated Drug: Your sims can "burn herbs" in the fireplace or put them in food in University Life. The food thing would count for Getting Crap Past the Radar except that many of the herbs are real herbs such as peppermint, licorice, ginseng, chamomile, lavender, and the like.
Hand in the Hole: These show up in some tombs in World Adventures. Some contain treasure, some contain switches that deactivate (or activate!) traps, and some contain bugs that will freak out all but the bravest Sims.
The treatment of Viktor Valquist and Jesper Sandstrom from Aurora Skies comes off as this; their arms are around each other's shoulders in the household image, they're said to be inseparable and often visiting parks and restaurants together, and Viktor even adopted a child named Linn Valstrom. And yet, according the in-game relationships, they're just "best friends forever". This is because the game will never have NPCs autonomously enter same-sex relationships unless the players "seeds" homosexuality by romantically interacting with an same-sex NPC. The NPC can then spread it (which is why your neighbourhood can turn heavily gay/lesbian over time). Which would make sense if they were NPCs, but the Valquist/Sandstroms are playable, and playable sims can autonomously enter homosexual relationships.
Averted in the promotional videos for University Life.
Also averted with Dylan and Audrey Shear, an openly lesbian couple from Roaring Heights.
Hikikomori: Any Sim with the "Hates the Outdoors" and "Loner" traits. The most notable premade characters having these traits are Beau Merrick and Wogan Hemlock, both are vampires from Bridgeport.
Hipster: Any Sim with the "Avant Garde" trait in University Life. They get special interactions like "Condescend the Mainstream" and "Enthuse About Obscure Music".
You can make an Imaginary Friend into a real human with the help of a potion. The Imaginary Friend turned human will become a part of the household and get moodlets for doing "human things" for the first time such as eating or using the toilet.
You can gather several canopic jars in World Adventures to get a mummy to join your house, and then have them sleep in a Blessed Coffin of the Kings until they become human again.
Fairies, witches, vampires and werewolves can turn human if they drink one of the Alchemy potions. They can also be asked to "Forsake the Fae/Witchitude/etc" by the sim they're in love with.
Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: SimBots cannot become vampires. Mummies cannot become vampires. SimBots and vampires cannot become mummies, although one of their traits turns into the Evil trait if they try anyway. Any of the above, however, can be turned into ghosts and then made playable with an opportunity. Of course, this can be averted somewhat with a core mod.
I Meant to Do That: The "That Was Deliberate" lifetime award from Showtime, allows an performing Sim to invoke this trope convincingly if they mess up a part of their show.
I Want My Jetpack: In the first expansion packs, some futuristic technology is available. Literally averted in Into The Future, which allows jetpacks in the present-day world.
Jerk Ass: Jared Frio and Xander Clavell of Sunset Valley are big ones.
To clarify, Jared is described as being cruel towards everyone he meets, even his friends, and also abandoned Claire Ursine while she was pregnant, and Xander sees nothing wrong with mooching off of his elderly parents.
Basically applies to any Sim with the "Mean Spirited" and/or "Evil" traits (unless an Evil Sim also has the "Friendly" trait). Evil sims will take delight in the misfortunes of others, steal candy from toddlers/babies, and will laugh when "mourning" someone, unless they had a close relationship with that person.
Additionally, if left on auto-pilot, Sims with the Mean-Spirited trait will periodically insult or attack nearby Sims (even their friends!), which really hurts their relationship values.
Sinbad Rotter, of Twinbrook. All but one of his traits are outright negative (his Flirty trait is debatable). If his personalbiography means anything, though...
Also, The Grim Reaper will occasionally point and laugh at a Sim that just died. Also it's said that the reason he spares the lives of Unlucky and Loser sims who die prematurely is because he finds their suffering too amusing to allow it to end too soon.
Jerk Jock: Any Sim with the Athletic and Mean-Spirited trait. Bonus points if they have high influence with the "Jock" social group (added in University Life)
Kid from the Future: If a Sim travels in time in the Ambitions expansion, it's possible they might end up with one of these.
Or the past. Which can look strangely like their parent, leading us to...
Lamarck Was Right/Patchwork Kids: Sims' offspring will have whatever hair color the parent Sims currently have. So, if you create a black-haired Sim, later give her purple streaks, then have her conceive a child, this child may very well be born with purple streaks. This effect also extends to facial features, if you use AwesomeMod to edit the Sim after creation. (And thank goodness it does.)
When babies are born, the genetics will trace back at lease 5 generations in your Sim's family tree. This means, your Sim's parents may not have the same genetics, but they will be somewhere along the tree.
This applies even to adoptions. Blue haired woman adopts a kid with ordinary black hair, who himself has children via the normal method? There's a very real chance the grandchildren will be looking like a grandmother to which they have no biological relationship at all...
This is also how the offspring of vampires or imaginary friends inherit their traits. If both of them are paired together, you can even have Imaginary Friend-Vampire hybrid children.
Sometimes hair and eye colors can appear in children even if their parents (or any related family member) don't have them.
This is◊ a couple that has and always had dark hair. Their two older children have dark hair but their youngest child is blonde.note The white-skinned Sim on the far right of the picture is unrelated to the family, but the blond kid in the middle is a game-generated child.
Lethal Chef: Any unskilled Sim without the "Natural Cook" trait cooking on a cheap or mid-priced stove is almost guaranteed to burn the food, start a fire, or both. Hell, even waffles are difficult to make for these Sims.
Loners Are Freaks: Played very straight with Sims that have the Loner trait as well as any socially negative traits such as 'Mean-Spirited', 'Evil', 'Inappropriate', etc. Otherwise averted if they don't but especially so if they have the 'Good' trait.
Mad Bomber: In Ambitions, a Sim with a high enough Inventing skill to detonate objects may get wishes to detonate a certain number of objects. If Late Night is also installed and the same Sim is a celebrity, they will become infamous via public disgraces and have a hard time maintaining friendships if they decide to act on their wish. Bonus points if they are also Evil, Mean-Spirited or Insane.
Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Play with X". Whenever the trailer for a new expansion is released, the trailer will show you how you can play with several different things (i.e. spring flings, the night, romances, pets) at the end of the trailer it will scroll through all of these very fast, and end with "Play with Life".
Mid Life Crisis Car: As of Generations, anyone undergoing a Mid-Life Crisis will occasionally wish to buy a car worth 10,000 Simoleons, and doing so grants a lot of Lifetime Happiness points.
Older Than They Look: Lincoln Porter, one of the pre-made sims from Island Paradise. If you didn't look at his bio, you'd probably never guess that he's an elder. Madeline Buckshot, one of the pre-made sims from Showtime counts too. You'll never believe that she's an elder despite looking a lot younger.
One Game for the Price of Two: Many fans believe that EA deliberately left content out of the game to charge for it via The Sims 3 Store, due to the scarcity of furniture on the disc and the amount that was in the Store on launch day. And the price of Store content. Yeesh.
The Sims 3 expansions Late Night and Showtime each contain half of the content of The Sims 2: Nightlife.
This is one of the things that motivates intense piracy regarding store content and even expansions. Along with the tons of unfixed occurrences of the Game-Breaking Bug - and many unofficial fixes often working best with pirated versions, and that you have to pirate to run the game without frying your CD/DVD drive (or your laptop from the additional heat that drive creates along with the processor heat) if you play for more than one hour (which moviemakers and the like must do), even people who legally buy the game may well also illegally download it to run it in the optimal way.
One of the Kids: Any adult with the Childish trait. They play with toys, play tag, do other things only kids would do, and get on better with children. Premade examples include Zelda Mae, Madison Van Watson, Blair Wainwright and Molly French.
Online Alias: There is a Sim in Sunset Valley who goes only by his online alias, "Cycl0n3 Sw0rd".
Our Ghosts Are Different: They act pretty much like living Sims, other than being see-through, floaty, and (if you don't get a certain opportunity to "restore" them) only coming out after midnight. They can even have "ghost babies" with living Sims.
Our Vampires Are Different: In Late Night, vampires have glowing skin and bright-colored eyes. They do not die from sun exposure, but temporarily lose their vampiric powers, which include reading the minds of regular Sims, making regular Sims think of the vampire-in-play, running at "speed 5," and learning skills faster than regular Sims. Vampire Sims survive off of plasma (blood), which they can obtain from biting a Sim, drinking a plasma juice pack available in refrigerators, or eating plasma fruit; dying from thirst is the vampiric equivalent of a regular Sim dying from hunger, although the ghost is a deep red color. They are also negatively affected by garlic, and can sleep on a platform that makes then float (or they can sleep in a bed).
Pet the Dog: The Sims Pets expansions (Unleashed in The Sims and just Pets in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3) make this literal.
Pixel Hunt: Looking for seeds, rocks and animals scattered on the ground around the town often turns into this.
Playing with Fire: A Sim that is the legitimate offspring of a firefighter has access to 2 hidden traits. The first is Fireproof, which pretty much falls into Boring but Practical territory, but it does gets very interesting when it is combined with the second trait, which is (ironically enough) Pyro Maniac, a trait that enables the Sims who have it to set everything they want to on fire, and even get a happiness boost for doing so. Daredevils can also survive being on fire for 3 hours (others die after one).
A Unicorn in the Pets expansion pack can also ignite anything they want to at the cost of magic points.
In Supernatural, witches can use the Fire Blast spell to set things (and other sims) on fire.
Police Are Useless: Played very straight. There is an operating criminal organization in every town, and the police do not interfere for the most part. Sims can drive vehicles with "drunk" equivalent moodlets, and will not get arrested. Detonating everything in sight or using Fire Blast on everyone in sight will not lead to arrest. Beating up every sim in sight will not lead to arrest. Pretty much the only time the police ever will arrest a sim is if the sim abjectly fails a mission/chance card in the criminal career, or if said Sim is a teen violating curfew/throwing a very noisy house party after hours.
Subverted if your sim is in the police or private detective careers - in which case you can decide how "useless" he or she is.
Also subverted with the Social Worker - while she/he isn't technically the police, if a child sim is near death, he/she will appear and take him/her away.
If a burglar breaks in, you can have your sim call the police. If the police officer doesn't get there in time or loses the fight, the burglar will get away with the stolen goods. Sims with the "Brave" trait can fight the burglars themselves.
Police Brutality: You can invoke this by making a sim that has Evil, Mean, Grumpy, or Hot-Headed traits (and/or all of them), putting him or her in the police career, and having him or her engage in the "slap" and "fight" interactions with people (and if she/he is a witch, do everything from Fire Blast people to turn them into toads).
You can also invert the trope by having other sims fight or fire blast or toadify said sim - with zero consequences for doing so.
Pregnant Badass: There is nothing stopping a heavily pregnant International Super Spy from raiding the 'secret' criminal base.
President Evil: Any Sim with the Evil or Mean traits who happens to be at the top of the political career.
Prequel: Set about 20 years before the first game, the default neighborhood features Bella Goth (neé Bachelor), Mortimer Goth, and Kaylynn Langerak as kids, and Michael Bachelor as a teenager. Mrs. Miss Crumplebottom is a playable adult.
Riverview continues this with Betty Newbie (née Simovitch) and Bob Newbie as teens and Skip Broke as a child.
Product Placement: The University Life expansion pack changes playing games on a computer from some no-name game of an unknown genre to giving Sims the option to play several games. All of which happened to be published by Electronic Arts.
Poke the Poodle: Evil Sims can... TAKE EVIL SHOWERS! And then they can MAKE EVIL WAFFLES, and wash it down with an EVIL LATTE! MUAHAHAHA!!! You can also take candy from a baby, beat people up, and imply one's mother is a llama.
Psychopathic Man Child: Any sim with the combination of "Evil" and "Childish" traits. Premade examples include VJ Alvi of Sunset Valley.
Put on a Bus: Unplayed Sims can randomly "move away", being deleted from the neighborhood, or randomly die. A mod to fix this (and a lot of other quirks) arose almost immediately, and in the tool to customize said mod, Pescado used to reference these tropes directly ("nobusdeaths", etc.)
Robosexual: In Ambitions and Into The Future, SimBots/Plum-Bots can have sex with human Sims.
Sad Clown: Drinking an Origin of the Tragic Clown elixir will force your Sim to become this. Anybody in the same room as your Sim will start sobbing hysterically.
Sadist Writer: Mean spirited Sims seems to be VERY good at writing stories that are focused on belitting or making fun of people and/or their political affiliation.
Screw Yourself: There is a bug that creates two copies of a person in one town. When they then meet at work or school, they quickly become best friends due to having the same exact interests. Naturally, this leads quickly to romance.
Also the Clone Drone Elixir
Separated at Birth: fans have speculated that Davy Cho and Dany Shue in Hidden Springs are really twin brothers, due to their similar age and appearance and the fact they are both adopted.
This might also be the case with Leina Orey and Loki Larson in Oasis Landing; one confrimed to be adopted and one implied to be adopted, and both alleged to expy of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Oh boy... Miraj and VJ Alvi, Connor and Jared Frio, Zoe and Zack Durwood,Ethan and Lisa Bunch...
Slobs Versus Snobs - Both "Slob" and "Snob" are traits, but this is actually averted; the trait that conflicts with Slob is "Neat" and the trait that conflicts with Snob is "Easily Impressed," so not only could two Sims with each trait get along (depending on their other traits), a single Sim could have both.
Spin-Off Babies: A number of popular adult characters from The Sims and The Sims 2 make appearances, with (roughly) appropriate ages considering it's a prequel set 25 years before the first game and 50 before the second. Notable appearances are made by elementary-school age Mortimer Goth and Bella Bachelor in Sunset Valley, and high-school age Bob Newbie and Betty Simovitch in Riverview.
Technicolor Eyes: Create-A-Sim will let you give your Sim eyes of any shade and color you want.
Technicolor Fire: You can give any fireplace an upgrade to give you blue, green, or purple fire. It will still have regular fire if it sets your house on fire though.
The Klutz: The "Clumsy" trait. Sims with this trait can literally trip over their own feet and they are more likely to break objets when using them. If clumsy sims propose marriage, they are very likely to drop the ring.
Tin-Can Robot: The Simbot from Ambitions, as well as Plumbots from Into The Future.
Tsundere: Any Sim with the "Hopeless Romantic" trait combined with either "Mean Spirited" or "Unflirty".
Troll: Of course, there's the option Evil or Grumpy sims have to troll whenever they use a computer. But University Life introduced an entirely new form of trolling, with the Relationship Transmogrifier. A master of "Social Networking" can, with their smart phone, turn lifelong friends into bitter enemies, can hook up all of the men or women in the neighborhood with each other, or more.
Undead Child: It is quite possible to have so-called "ghost babies" by either having a female sim get impregnated by a male ghost or by killing a Young Adult or Adult female, and turning them into a playable ghost via Oppurtunity.
Unicorn: Available in the Pets expansion pack, but they are rare.
Unnamed Parent: Quite a few, such as Miraj and VJ Alvi's mother and Leighton Sekemoto's father.
Vegetarian Vampire: Vampires with the vegetarian trait. There are "plasma fruits" they can harvest and eat instead of drinking Sims' blood. They can also just get "plasma packs" from the fridge, which are apparently vegetarian. Dayvid Musgrave of Moonlight Falls is a premade example. Even more traditional vampires can't kill Sims they drink from, nor can they accidentally turn them.
Vengeful Vending Machine: The University expansion pack comes with vending machines. Slamming into one can cause it to fall on you, causing death by Blunt Force Trauma.
Played straight in the Supernatural expansion. Every full moon your town will become overridden with zombies who will attempt to infect other sims. If you bought the limited edition you can buy peashooters to defend your house.
If you have Late Night, it's possible to have a vampiric variant. Just having even one vampire lounge in town can lead to the entire town's conversion, as the game's default story progression doesn't regulate (or does a very poor job of regulating) the town's occult ratio. If there are no plasma fruits, the entire town could starve to death.
Zombify The Living: In the Supernatural expansion, on a full moon, your still living townies will turn into zombies for the night (dancing to a boom box, eating your plants, and attacking other sims), and then transform back into humans the next morning. You can also use the aptly named "Zombification Elixir" created by the alchemy station to turn a Sim into a zombie for two game days, or the "Potent Zombification Elixir" to turn them into a zombie permanently.