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"Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home?"

If you're reading this, you must be in dire need of a change.

The same thing happened to me, long ago. I'd lost sight of what mattered most in life... real connections with other people and nature. So I dropped everything and moved to the place I truly belong...
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Stardew Valley is a Farm Life Sim for the PC, designed and programmed (in C#) with original pixel art and music by Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone, and originally published by Chucklefish Games. An acknowledged inspiration for the game is early Harvest Moon, and as a result it feels and plays a lot like it, though it also has some additional gameplay elements like a crafting system and co-op play. The combat elements also give it a hint of Rune Factory, which has both farming and combat as well.

The story starts with the Player Character's grandfather dying. They've left them an envelope and advised they wait to open it until they are at their most depressed... Skipping to XX years later, sitting alone in your work cubicle at the Joja Corporation, you have indeed sunk into a deep depression, feeling as if your life has become meaningless routine. You open the envelope and discover that you've been left a plot of land and a run-down old farm in Pelican Town in Stardew Valley. There's also a vast network of caves nearby, where players can go spelunking and fighting monsters in search of loot and artifacts, similar to Harvest Moon DS.

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But even now you can't get away from the Joja Corporation, as the town has recently opened a new JojaMart, and it has already begun threatening local businesses, polluting the area, vying for more land, crushing spirits and probably performing satanic rituals too. You can side with the town and revitalize the economy, making friends and giving gifts, or you can side with Joja, focus on money, and redevelop the town at the price of other local businesses' success.

The game started development in 2012, was officially Greenlit on Steam on May 16, 2013, and was fully released on February 26th, 2016.

You can buy it for Windows/Mac/Linux on Steam or on GOG.com. Since its initial release, the game has gone Multi-Platform; the PlayStation 4 version of the game was released on December 13, 2016, in North America and December 14 in Europe, while the Xbox One version was released worldwide on December 14, 2016, and the Nintendo Switch port was released worldwide on October 5, 2017. Lastly, the Playstation Vita port was released worldwide on May 22, 2018. An iOS version of the game was released on mobile devices on October 24, 2018, followed by an Android version on March 13, 2019.

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An official prequel Comic Book titled Stardew Valley Before the Farmer was published in 2019 and a board game version was released in 2021.


This game provides examples of:

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  • 100% Completion: Added in v1.5: Ship one of every crop and forage, catch every fish, max out friendship level with every villager, complete all Adventurer's Guild quests, reach level 10 on every skill, cook every dish, craft every item, find all the Stardrops, build the 4 magical obelisks, build the Golden Clock, and find all Golden Walnuts. Doing so unlocks a cutscene in which the player character and their spouse/roommate (or Lewis/Morris if single or divorced depending on how the Community Center was restored) sit at the valley's summit and watch a credit sequence with all the characters, and the player character's grandpa and Mr. Qi congratulating them on their accomplishment. It also awards the Statue of True Perfection, which gives a free Prismatic Shard every day - a reward which is, of course, completely useless seeing how you have to have done practically everything the game has to offer, earning over thirteen million gold in the process, in order to obtain it in the first place. They won't even make good gifts anymore: You've already maxed every friendship out!
  • Aborted Arc: Several of the bachelor and bachelorette storylines never get full resolution if you don't romance or marry them— Leah's relationship with her ex, Kel and Harvey's fear of flying are probably the standouts, but Sebastian's troubled relationship with his parents, Maru's robot-building efforts, and Shane's ongoing struggle with depression and alcoholism likewise never get total closure.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Even more egregious than most cases, Pelican Town is made up of only 12 buildings and yet they have sewer pipes even more massive than most cities in media.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: On top of the compressed timeframe for growing and seasons, the game has a few other breaks from real life farming in the name of reducing player frustration.
    • When you purchase a plant that needs to be grown on a trellis (such as hops or grapes), they come with the trellis.
    • If you marry someone and they move in with you, they will be able to harvest and water plants you accidentally trapped with trellises. The Junimos from the Junimo Hut can also harvest trapped plants.
    • Cranberries do not have to be wet-harvested, they're only dry-harvested.
    • Pests are pretty uncommon. The few that the game has show up all have ways of blocking them or dealing with them.
    • You don't have to worry about anything you harvest spoiling or suffering from some abiotic pests like in real life. You can store fruits, veggies, fish, etc. for years, and they will never go bad. That fish you stuffed into a chest three years ago? Not only is it still good, but if you throw it into a pond, it's even still alive.
    • Milk and egg producing animals are capable of breeding despite the apparent lack of any male of their species. In fact, the animals can sometimes breed even if they are the only animal of their species on the farm.
    • The Greenhouse can simultaneously grow plants from every season despite the vastly different growing conditions most plants require which prevent them growing at the same time.
    • Pierre keeping infinite amounts of seeds of every kind in stock makes very little sense considering he runs a grocery store, and there there's only one farmer in town.
    • Speaking of seeds, in real life not all seeds are viable, some seeds will never sprout for any number of reasons and some require special steps to make them sprout (freezing them, scarring them, etc.), Some seeds will need to be grown indoors before they can survive in full sun, etc, etc. In Stardew valley every seed is a guaranteed to grow into a full plant unless struck by lightning or eaten by crows.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • The traveling merchant can sell rare and exotic items, including some very hard-to-find crops, furniture and seeds. However, the prices vary wildly, and can be outrageously expensive compared to their value. The prices also start increasing the further along you get.
    • While JojaMart claims to have low prices, everything there is always more expensive than the mom-and-pop store in town. This can be somewhat explained because of the 50% off coupons Morris hands out, however since you don't take the coupons you're not granted that discount.
  • Aerith and Bob: The auto-name generator for animals offers random syllables to form a name. While most names generated appear totally alien, it is capable of generating perfectly normal names like Jack once in a while.
  • Affably Evil: Much like the real-life corporations it was based on, JojaCorp is perfectly nice and friendly as it angles to take control of Stardew Valley's natural resources and put local stores out of business. Morris seems particularly eager to get the farmer to join them.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: The geodes you can dig up somehow contain perfectly cut and polished gems.
  • Ambiguously Evil: JojaCorp is hinted to be polluting Stardew Valley and is portrayed as soul crushing to work for, but is otherwise very fill-in-the-blank when it comes to everything else. Aside from it being left to the imagination what siding with them would entail in the long run, just the nature of the company itself is ambiguous. It's presumably a top tier soda producer like Coke/Pepsi, but it's also a big box chain and internet provider. In the opening scene it looks like any white collar environment — allowing the player to fill in just about anything that applies to them.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing some events can result in hats, which are aesthetic. One example is winning the Easter egg hunt.
  • And Your Reward Is Parenthood: After getting married, your spouse will randomly ask you when you go to bed if you want children. If you say "yes," then either one of you will get pregnant (in a heterosexual couple) or your spouse will fill out adoption papers (in a same-gender one). Two weeks later, your child will arrive. You can have up to two children (a boy and a girl), and though they don't have dialogue, you can increase their Relationship Values.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating:
    • Completing some events (like reaching certain museum checkpoints) may result in furniture rewards for your home, whose sole purpose is aesthetic.
    • Completing all of the bundles for each room of the Community Center not only lets the spirits there restore the room to its former glory, but also gives you the base reward (like fixing bridges to certain areas) and in the center of the main room a star is put on a plaque that holds up to six. Completing all six rooms restores the Community Center to its former glory.
  • Alternative Calendar: The game is split into four 28-day (4-week) seasons, resulting in a 112-day year.
  • Antepiece: Upon entering the volcanic caves introduced in 1.5, you find magma blocking your path to the first room. On the other side of the magma, a pipe drips water to cool off the spot beneath it, as a clue telling you to apply water to cross bodies of magma. Eventually the local birds will build a bridge there in exchange for Golden Walnuts, but by the time the option shows itself, you'll likely have familiarized yourself with the dungeon.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: This game's got quite a few of them.
  • Art Evolution: The character portraits have gone through many, many changes across the game's many updates, largely starting as a quite crude and flat looking, and gradually becoming more polished and detailed. In many cases, a character's basic design has been drastically changed over time - notable examples include Maru, Shane, Leah, and Penny.
  • The Artifact: After Emily was added as a marriage candidate in version 1.1, the subplot involving Clint's crush on her remained unchanged, even if you married her;. Although her ten-heart event seems to suggest that he's accepted your relationship and given up on her, his own heart events still show him pursuing her, including the event where he finally asks her on a date and she accepts, even if she's already married you!
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Just like the farming sims it takes from, all your poultry livestock is female and lays eggs, which can be incubated to hatch into chicks with no rooster in sight. Can double as an accidental reference when the "all females, yet can reproduce" situation also applies to dinosaurs.
    • Lightning hitting fruit trees on your farm temporarily turns them into coal trees.
    • You can catch a fish, store it somewhere for days, months or years, and then release it on a fish pond or fish tank on your farm where it will continue to swim around happily.
      • Blobfish stand out in particular. Their commonly known appearance which gave them their name is the result of the fish experiencing what amounts to explosive decompression while being brought to the surface; there's no way they should be alive let alone reproducing in a pond.
    • You can also have saltwater and freshwater fish on the same fish tank with no issues.
    • Daffodils and sweet peas can be eaten (although they provide no health or energy boosts), despite both being known to contain toxins.
  • Artistic License – Engineering:
    • The tool upgrade order, starting with a base iron tool and upgrading it to copper, then steel, then gold, then iridium, makes no metallurgical sense. If usability and durability were desired, then simple steel would be the best as copper, gold, and iridium are all either too malleable (copper and gold) or too brittle (iridium) to be used for repeatedly hitting things. They do go in order of corrosion resistance, assuming you treat 'copper' as a copper-nickel alloy and 'steel' as stainless steel, but that wouldn't make the tool any more capable of breaking things or resistant to wear. More likely though is that it's just done to fit the standard copper-silver-gold-platinum progression with steel replacing silver and iridium as the platinum.
    • Iridium, the lustrous purple element which functions as the Unobtanium of the game and is used for crafting end-game tools and items, has almost-supernatural versatility and durability. In reality, iridium is a silvery-white metal that is actually quite brittle, and pure iridium is notoriously difficult to work with because it is extremely hard and its brittleness often causes it to crack.
      • Iridium is however the most corrosion-resistant metal known to man, so it would make sense if tools were plated with iridium instead of being forged from it wholesale.
      • This seems to be the most likely scenario, since Clint takes both the base tool and metal to craft it, so it's understood that he's coating them in the material and not making new ones. It is also referenced by Clint in the Spirit's Eve Festival when he mentions making an "Iridium-infused mace" to kill monsters. The weapon is never made available to you however.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • Prior to patch 1.06, Abigail would appreciatively ask "how did you know I was hungry?" when given any item that she likes, including non-food items like quartz and other minerals. In the updated spouse dialogue in patch 1.06, Abigail was given a new line where she asks you to bring her back something tasty if you're going in the mines. Reinforced further with the introduction of the movie theater, in which Abigail's favorite concession just so happens to be rock candy.
    • Because of the way the game's object file system works (each object being defined by a three-digit number in brackets, which spawns the item whenever the number appears in the code), giving the player a "name" which contains object numbers will cause the corresponding item(s) to spawn whenever a character addresses the player- e.g., naming yourself "[645][499][163]" will allow you to spawn Iridium Sprinklers, Ancient Seeds, and Legends. When update 1.5 added the ability to change your name at will at the Wizard's tower, it also included a list of item numbers for the player to consult as well as special easter egg dialogues that occur when using them, officially turning this exploit into an official cheat code of sorts.
  • Automaton Horses: If you build a stable, the horse you get might as well be a bicycle. Doesn't need feeding, grooming or resting, can turn on a dime, and can run at full speed indefinitely. Is also completely loyal and will remain in the same spot where you left it (in case you decide to take a brief trip to the desert over the day), but will trot back to the stable if you go home and go to bed without bringing it back.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Hops converted into Pale Ale is the most profitable crop you can grow with low upfront cost and can be grown in the greenhouse for year round profit. However Hops use a trellis which limits crop placement and require far more micromanagement due to their daily harvest and short brewing times: You'll need two to three times the amount of kegs because hops grow faster than they process, plus the patience to actually harvest and load up that many kegs every day. Most players will instead stick with the simpler and less labor-intensive wine crops, such as ancient fruit, which produce only a single high value crop every week and when processed into wine still net about 80% the income with only a fraction of the inconvenience.
    • Similarly, Starfruit and its corresponding wine (and jelly for that matter) are the most expensive items of their type, but Starfruit is handicapped by falling in the standard "Only one crop at harvest, must be replanted" category; not helped by the fact that seeds can only be bought in the Oasis (itself locked behind a Cash Gate), and Starfruit's high sell price means that using a Seed Maker to overcome this is actually a net loss.note  Even in the late game, most wine makers favor Ancient Fruit, second-place in terms of fruit price, due to having far less of an immediate investment and not needing to be replanted with each harvest. Planting it in the greenhouse or on Ginger Island means you'll continue to get Ancient Fruit indefinitely with no upkeep costs.
    • Sweet Gem Berries are the most valuable crop in the game, selling for an insane 3,000 gold at a minimum. However, they take nearly all of Fall to grow, the seeds are expensive and hard to come by, and using a seed maker to make more seeds means you'll only be breaking even in the best case scenario. Even the abovementioned Starfruit are a better investment in the long term.
    • Hatching a Dinosaur Egg in your coop to raise your own dinosaur is awesome, but the dinosaur itself is underwhelming. It eats as much as the other coop animals but only produces one egg per week which generates a much smaller long term profit than a chicken's constant egg production. The ability to turn them into dinosaur mayonnaise added in patch 1.4 alleviates this somewhat, as it's the most valuable type of mayonnaise, but this doesn't close the profit gap fully.
    • You can use casks to upgrade cheese and Keg items to Iridium quality, doubling their value...but the process takes a long time, with cheese taking a week at bestnote  and wine taking two months to reach that point. While it's a good long-term investment, if you need money now, it's faster to just sell your wines once they're ready. Also, you have limited cellar space for casks, so if you're making wine/cheese faster than they can keep up with, then you may as well prioritize what'll go into them next and then just sell the rest as is.
    • None of the third-tier fertilizers introduced in the 1.5 update are really worth the effort and resources needed to acquire them. Deluxe Fertilizer and Hyper Speed-Gro require Qi Gems to purchase their respective crafting recipes in the first place, and once you get them, the marginal benefit over the second-tier fertilizers doesn't justify the outrageous crafting costs outside of a few highly specific circumstances. Deluxe Retaining Soil, on the other hand, is much cheaper both in terms of obtaining the crafting recipe and crafting the soil itself; however, by the time you get access to it, you'll be able to craft so many sprinklers that, unless you're playing on the Beach Farm, it becomes completely redundant.
    • Pressure Nozzles and Enrichers can be applied to your sprinklers to improve their effectiveness: A Pressure Nozzle makes your sprinklers behave as though they're one grade higher with Iridium Sprinklers, the best, even doubling in effective area. Enrichers, meanwhile, apply fertilizer for you to save time. But these both require the latest acquirable currency in the game to acquire. meaning neither serves any real purpose: There's no way you won't have enough to Iridium to drop sprinklers wherever you want anyway, meaning you just get about a few percent more crop space. Fertilizer, meanwhile, isn't particularly useful at this point because you should be able to process everything into jam or wine anyway: A normal quality fruit and an iridum quality one both turn into an item worth exactly the same. Plus, you'll be using Ginger Island a lot for your farming needs and the season doesn't change there, meaning you never need to apply fertilizer more than once anyway.
    • Many of the animals unlocked later are actually less profitable per day than earlier animals, or will only be superior with certain skill perks like Rancher. Goats, for example, produce milk that can sell for up to 690g compared to 380 for milk of the same quality. However, they only produce at half the speed and cost more to begin with. Dinosaurs in particular are hard to get, difficult to breed and in the end still make you less money. Plus, goat milk and duck/dinosaur mayo can't be used in many recipes. However, the most expensive animals, pigs, really are the best money makers by a wide margin (unless it's winter) and ostriches are a solid replacement for chickens if you don't want to maintain a separate coop, don't need to be purchased and can be bred as quickly as you want rather than having to fork over a large startup cost.
    • Fruit trees cost a ton of money, won't reach maturity in the same season you get them and have picky spacing requirements. Worse, they don't even sell for a lot and don't produce high quality fruit for several years. Unless you want to cook all the recipes, want them for gifts or just like looking at them, you'll probably never really think about them often.
    • Life Elixirs and Energy Tonics completely restore your HP and energynote , but cost 2000g/1000g each or a bunch of difficult to acquire resources for Life Elixirs. Meanwhile, you can just chomp down a few salads which only cost 220g apiece and get the same result plus you can use it at, say, half health without feeling like you wasted it or to just get a bit more energy to chop down some trees or whatever.
  • Balance Buff: Sheds are useful for storing things like your food-processing machines, but Deluxe Barns have more space despite being intended for livestock. The 1.4 patch introduces the Big Shed upgrade, which provides just as much interior floor space as a Deluxe Barn but with the Shed's slightly smaller exterior footprint. Big Sheds furthermore cost less to build than Deluxe Barns and require less time to complete since only one upgrade is needed rather than two.
  • Baleful Polymorph: It's possible to permanently get rid of your children by turning them into doves using dark magic.
  • Beary Friendly: After 1.3 adds secret notes, one comes from a bear asking for maple syrup. Should you bring it for him, he thanks you and gives you Bear's Knowledge, which triples the selling price of Salmonberries and Blackberries.
  • Behind the Black:
    • The Halloween maze features a path to the golden pumpkin that would be easily visible in-universe, but is obscured by bushes to the player. The hidden path is only somewhat difficult to find because you're looking from a top down view.
    • Ginger Island uses this trick several times, either hiding paths to Golden Walnuts or the Walnuts themselves with jungle foliage that is only a problem due to the camera view. The same holds true for the Pirate Cove entrance which would be readily visible for the player character.
  • Big Beautiful Woman:
    • The mermaid is rather stocky but very easy on the eyes.
    • The same goes for Marnie.
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • All buildings are bigger on the inside - both the buildings and expansions you can buy and every house in town. Even Linus' tent is slightly bigger inside. Perhaps that's part of the magic of Stardew Valley? No wonder JojaMart came to town.
    • Want to create a distillery farm? You can now almost double your output by putting your kegs inside sheds, thereby making more room for crops. (Barns are even bigger for the footprint, but many players dislike the layout required to maximise, and it takes both time and a lot of materials to get them.)
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The conflict between small businessman Pierre and corporate Mouth of Sauron Morris looks like a classic case of David Versus Goliath, but the more you talk to Pierre and his family the more it becomes clear that the only major difference between them is that Morris is in a much better position to act on his beliefs than Pierre is. Also, Pierre is not personally a Jerkass (at least not intentionally) while Morris is, nor does Pierre ever talks about expanding his business or crushing a smaller competitor.
  • Black Comedy Burst:
    • The game has a cheery and relaxed atmosphere where it's impossible to kill your animals (but if you don't feed them and pet them they won't produce food), but in the intro at the soul crushing Joja Corp. there's both one employee who appears to be chugging prescription pills and the skeleton of another employee lying in a cubicle.
    • At the Stardew Valley Fair in the fall, the strength game's lowest possible score is "George's knee".
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • While completing the regular mines isn't necessary either, reaching the bottom earns you the key to the Skull Cavern, a much harder version of the mines that is totally randomly generated (in contrast with the mines, where the monsters and drops are randomly generated, but each floor's layout stays the same) and has (effectively) no bottom.
    • And v1.5 introduced "dangerous" versions of both dungeons, which are even harder, and they're the only places where radioactive ore can be found, which is used to craft powerful end-game items.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Chickens and Cows, the first animals unlocked for Coops and Barns, also offer some of the best utility. Eggs are used in a number of dishes and mayonnaise is a good gift for most of the town. Milk can be converted into cheese, an efficient food for recovering health and energy without losing any food buffs. They also outperform most other animals on a pure profit basis as they produce a product daily while ducks and goats only produce every other day.
    • The most reliable way to get to the desert is to just pay 500 gold to take the bus. It only runs from 10 AM to 5 PM with return trips available any time, but the driver is there 111 days a year out of 112 and all the alternate methods of getting to the desert require rare resources, such as Iridium. Later on these resources do become less valuable, but then you also don't have as much need to go to the desert anymore either. This is averted if you've unlocked the Skull Cavern; you can trade Omni Geodes, which are exceedingly common in the Skull Cavern, for Desert Totems, which teleport you there immediately for free, and function all day. This allows you to warp there at the crack of dawn and spend an entire day engaged in some highly-risky but highly-rewarding desert spelunking.
    • The best way to make money isn't to have a diverse field or a lot of different resource types such as cows here or bee hives there but rather to just find out what the most profitable crop is, plant a lot of it, water it and go about your day.
    • While cumbersome to take care of in large numbers, tappers offer reasonable profits and good crafting materials with a low start up cost while using space outside your farm, which is otherwise of no particular value to the player. You can also remove the tappers at any point and just chop all the trees down and then replant them to get thousands of wood for free in a single day, then do the same thing again in a week or two.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • If you sell out the community center to JojaMart and buy every available upgrade, Morris gives you a vending machine that produces Joja Cola. Not really all that useful, since everyone in town but one person hates the soda, it doesn't even restore that much energy, and sells for cheap. Also, you'll miss out on the other smaller rewards that completing the bundles would give you, and the "Friendship" reward that boosts all of your affection rating with every villager by two hearts becomes unavailable. But hey, free soda!
    • The Statue of True Perfection you get for 100% completion. It awards you with a Prismatic Shard every morning, which is neat, but to get it you have to accomplish literally everything the game has to offer, and there's not much need for them anymore other than for cosmetic things.
    • Golden Eggs, which become unlocked after achieving 100% completion, you can incubate them and hatch a golden chicken which will lay golden eggs that can be sold at 500-1200 gold, but at that point there's not much else to do.
    • Zigzagged with the secret buildings. If you complete the quest for the wizard to enter the witch's hut, he unlocks several buildings you can place on your farm. These buildings might be nominally useful if they didn't cost so much money and resources to create. The warp pillars for the mountains and the beach each cost 500 thousand gold (one million prior to 1.5) in addition to the other resources needed to craft them. And while instantaneous warping is nice, it's to pass over a minor inconvenience, and it's possible to create Totems that do the same thing which can be used anywhere. Desert and island pillars are added later on and cost a million and some resources, mainly serving to skip paying a fare and enabling off-hours travel while their respective Totems will, again, serve the same purpose. Totems however, have only one use and require gathering materials to build.
      • The Golden Clock is the most "bragging rights" of these buildings. In addition to requiring the Double Unlock, it's the most expensive thing in the game at ten million gold, and the only thing it does is stop debris from appearing on your farm. By the time you can earn that much money, debris is a pitiful concern.
  • Brick Joke:
    • During the Stardew Valley Fair, Willy will comment that Mayor Lewis doesn't seem to like fish. Sure enough, during the Festival of Ice, while he's judging the ice fishing competition, Mayor Lewis gags at the smell of the fish.
    • Upon completing the Community Center, if you choose "Let's be reasonable" when Pierre confronts Morris, one of the things the citizens will reminisce about is Willy dealing with a crab infestation and Gus solving the problem with a crab leg feast. If you choose to befriend Willy and enter the beach at a high enough friendship level, he'll ask for your help dealing with such an infestation; before Gus shows up, buys them all, and sneakily tells you that he'll be running a special on Crab Cakes at the Saloon (which you can buy at the bar for the next week). This is an interesting example, as the order these two events can be seen is determinant on what the player prioritizes, but the connection is there regardles.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • Get out of the rat race and go live a simple life in the country. Rediscover the things that matter, like love, friendship, and connections with nature. And make a million gold, because that's the biggest single part of your grandfather's evaluation.
    • You can choose to sell out the Community Center and turn it into a Joja warehouse, putting more of a focus on getting rich with the bundle rewards becoming purchasable, or you can keep the Community Center and instead offer items to a bunch of nature spirits to restore the town in a more healthy manner. Oh, and you need to make and pay a fair amount of gold to the spirits as one of their objectives, so either way you've got to put some focus on profit.
    • Big Predatory Business is bad, mmkay? Except that Joja gets results, and working with them is a faster, smoother and simpler way to restore the town than trying to fix up an old community center that nobody in the town really cares about anymore. And if you work with Joja, you can get that million gold much quicker and spend the rest of your time exploring, making friends and getting married. Grandpa can still give you the highest evaluation if you do this. While he likes it if you do restore the community center, he ultimately cares more about results. The more you know Pierre, the more you realize he's almost exactly like Joja Mart, just less rich. He even mentions creating new holidays to drive sales.
    • Communities need to rally together to preserve their identity and way of life in the face of hostile outside interests. However nobody in Pelican Town actually seems interested in doing so on their own until you, an outsider, intervene and rebuild what the villagers let go to waste.
  • Broken Bridge: Sometimes literally:
    • The bridge to the mines and Adventurer's Guild is blocked by a rockslide for the first few days.
    • The stairs to the train tracks and Bathhouse are blocked by a rockslide as well until an earthquake in the first Summer clears it.
    • The entrance to the Secret Woods is blocked by a large fallen log, which requires an iron axe to clear. Similarly, the dwarf is behind a rock that requires a bomb or steel pickaxe to break.
    • The bus to the desert area is out of service and the bridge to the quarry is broken until you complete certain Community Center objectives.
    • The short bridge on the beach can be repaired simply by finding enough wood.
    • You cannot access Ginger Island until Willy's boat is repaired after you see a cutscene, which in turn only happens after completing the Community Center. The materials for the repairs can be delivered onsite.
    • The local birds in Ginger Island will occasionally offer to perform certain tasks and open up more of the island if given enough Golden Walnuts.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp:
    • The sewer has a small cave dungeon in it, consisting of islands with parasite enemies and which are surrounded by stagnant water.
    • The Witch's hut is on a peninsula in a swampy cave with equally dead water.
  • Call to Agriculture: The game opens with the player quitting their dreadful desk job at Jojacorp and moving to the farm their grandfather left them.
  • Capitalism Is Bad:
    • The closest thing Stardew Valley has to a driving antagonist is an Expy of Walmart/Amazon which greedily extracts natural resources from the valley and dumps polluting waste back in, over-works the locals into exhaustion and depression, attempts to drive local mom-and-pop stores out of business with underhanded business tactics, and generally just strangles the community spirit.
    • Even the local mom and pop business does things like constantly pressure you for seeds.
  • Cash Gate:
    • Most of the bundles indirectly require you to spend money so that you have the seeds and tools needed to complete them. But of note are the Vault bundles, which are completed by paying money upfront; 42,500 Gold is needed to complete all of them and access the Calico Desert. And then every time you want to go there, you have to pay 500 Gold to take the bus, or use Desert Warp Totems which must be bought for 3 Omni Geodes each or crafted, and the crafting recipe itself costs ten Iridium Bars and each crafted Totem uses even more Iridium alongside other ingredients.
    • Buying a Joja membership to replace the Community Center with the Joja Warehouse turns the bundle system into this. Instead of offering the required items, you just pay cash to have Joja Corporation complete the projects that the Junimos would otherwise do.
  • Cat Scare: The summer movie "It Howls In The Rain" has, among other horror movie tropes, a rustling bush that scares the characters before the reveal that it's just a rabbit. Then there's a noise, and the screen turns to static.
  • Chain of Deals: "The Pirate's Wife", a sidequest introduced in the 1.5 update, involves you following a chain to help Birdie, the old woman living on Ginger Island, get back a keepsake that belonged to her late husband.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: Farming and ranching earn more money than foraging and use less time, but they also require a larger initial investment, so early in the game you won't actually make that much money with what you grow, especially with early game tools. Instead, you'll be running around the map finding dandelions or fishing up anything you can pull out of the river: A good day of fishing at the beach in the summer can easily earn you several thousand gold, but you can't hope to make that much off of actual farming until you can get something like coffee or blueberries. But when you can, even a relatively small field can earn several times that with only a few hours of work compared to spending the whole day on the dock.
  • Charged Attack: Non-combat version. Several tools, when upgraded, use the "hold" type charge, which will increase the AOE, decreasing both stamina and time usage to achieve a particular goal. For example, charging the gardening hoe once will create 3 tiles of furrow instead of one. Note that how high a tool can be charged is based on how upgraded the tool is, maxing out at the fourth charge level.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: The Traveling Cart that stops at Cindersnap Forest is pulled by a large purple pig in a fez.
  • Cheap Gold Coins: The economy in town uses nothing but gold coins, and you can buy everything from seeds to a bus pass.
  • Chest Monster:
    • There's a variety of rock crab found in Skull Cavern that disguises itself as an iridium node. If you kill them they still have a decent chance of dropping iridium, but it's not guaranteed.
    • In the volcano dungeon of Ginger Island there's a monster that looks like a regular Magma Cap mushroom unless you look closely.
  • The City:
    • Zuzu City, located on the other side of the desert outside Stardew Valley. Many characters are either from the city or express a desire to leave the Valley to go and live there. The skyline of the city is visible from atop the summit of the mountain, and you can even visit the city (along with many of the other villagers) when Sam's band gets a gig there or when Shane has tickets to a Tunnelers game.
    • The player character is from The City, but it's unclear as to whether this is Zuzu City specifically or just a generic large city.
  • Chilly Reception: The small town is wary of newcomers, and characters like Shane, Sebastian, George, and Linus will be particularly stand-offish and hostile until you raise their heart level. Even the friendlier sorts aren't particularly inclined to chat for long at first, and you'll probably be spending the first Flower Dance observing, as you're not close enough to anyone to participate. Later in the game, if you get married, the Mayor will admit he had concerns as to whether you'd ever fit in. The only characters that seem to be instantly friendly are Robin and Pierre. Y'know, people that live from selling you their products/services.
  • The Coconut Effect: Tomatoes are classified by the games as vegetables and turn into pickles and juice when put into Preserves Jars and Kegs, respectively (rather than jelly and wine like when you input other fruits), even though there's an event where Demetrius and Robin get in an argument over whether tomatoes are fruits (which is the correct scientific classification) or veggies.
    • Justified: botanically tomatoes are fruits, but culinarily they act more like vegetables (imagine trying to make Tomato Wine).
  • Commonplace Rare: The only way to get a tea set is by gift during the Feast of the Winter Star, on one day of the entire in-game year. Any adult other than Clint, Evelyn, Marnie, Robin, or Willy may give you a tea set, but there's no guarantee.
  • Constantly Lactating Cow: This game features cows and goats who will give the farmer regularly if they're fed and cared for every day. Given the best care, the farmer will be given Iridium quality Large Milk.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you lose all of your health in a dungeon, you'll wake up at the dungeon entrance with a sizable chunk of your cash and several of your items gone, and Marlon will only let you get one of your lost items back - the rest are gone for good. Have fun giving up a huge pile of hard-earned iridium ore so that you don't lose your expensive sword. Because of this, many players will simply quit and restart the day if this happens.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The farmer has a knack for being nearby when townsfolk are discussing sensitive or embarrassing subjects, even in places the farmer should have no logical reason to be, to let them react to hearing it. In one instance Marnie asks the farmer why they were in such a strange place to begin with, only to be confused when the farmer runs away without answering.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The Volcano Dungeon on Ginger Island has multiple lava pools that the farmer can stand next to without suffering any negative effects, and the top of the lava can be temporarily cooled enough to use as a bridge with the watering can.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Available since 1.3, players can connect via LAN or the internet. The amount of cabins available dictates how many players can join, with the maximum of 3 extra cabins; Robin can build more cabins if the host provides the money and materials.
  • Cosmetic Award: The Stardew Hero Trophy, which can only be obtained by completing every bundle in the community center. While it looks pretty, it doesn't do anything even nominally useful.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Pelican Town and its surroundings look bright and cheerful, the inhabitants are friendly and the music is peaceful and idyllic. Dig deeper though and you'll find that it's not all sunshine and lollipops: firstly, the country you're in is at war with another nation, and when Kent returns in year 2 you find he seems to be suffering from PTSD; Penny lives with her alcoholic mom in a trailer; Shane also has a drinking problem due to being miserable working at a dead end job and attempted suicide; Alex lives with his grandparents because his mother died and his father hated him; Linus lives in a crappy tent and has to rummage in trash cans to find food to get by (although he admits he lives like this by choice); Sebastian hates his half-sister because he thinks (not wrongly) that his step-father is giving her preferential treatment; and finally more than half the town doesn't have any kind of a job - and those who do like Shane or Pierre, you can run out of town. For those unaware, it can be quite different from the casual farming game they expected.
  • Creepy Doll: At the Witch's Hut, you can get rid of your children by using the Dark Shrine of Selfishness to turn them into doves. On Fall 26, if you choose the "???" option while watching TV, an Ancient Doll will appear on the screen and deliver an eerie message, "You've brought this upon yourself... now I'm free... Hee hee hee!", after which it pops out of the TV. When you return to the Witch's Hut, an Ancient Doll waiting there will fly around and attack you. It'll respawn if you kill it, leave, and reenter the hut.
  • Crutch Character: Or mechanic, rather. In spring you have easy access to spring onions and salmonberries, which sell for very little but are good ways to restore energy. Given that you have crappy tools and skill levels at that point, you're likely to need them. In the fall you can also get blackberries for the same purpose, which are even better. However, while these do help with leveling, they also don't restore very much by themselves, so most players will typically opt to stock up on a cheap food like salad for when they're heading into the mines. Salmonberries may restore enough energy to keep you going just a bit further, but any enemy will smack through the HP it restores in a single hit and then some.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Although the Yoba faith is clearly pagan, the aesthetic of the Yoba chapel in Pierre's shop draws heavily from Christianity. Bonus points for having a symbol that is similar to a cross with a couple bends.
  • Cute Slime Mook: Slimes are round and have cute, simplistic faces. Green Slimes are some of the weakest enemies in the game, but there are other colors of Slimes that are stronger.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Abigail's fourteen-heart event. The player, who may well be a seasoned spelunker wielding an Infinity +1 Sword with dozens of monster kills under their belt, is caught off-guard by a monster in the Backwoods. They proceed to stare blankly at said monster until it claws them in the face. Abigail arrives just in time to save them.
  • Dating Sim: There are twelve eligible bachelors and bachelorettes - six male and six female - who can be wooed and married by the player character(s).
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Some NPCs are placed in unreachable locations for some of the town festivals (such as the Wizard and Linus at the Spirit's Eve maze), but nevertheless have unique dialogue about the situation if the player manages to somehow reach them anyway.
    • Similarly, the caged skeletons and penned animals that show up during certain festivals can be talked to if a player no-clips past the fences. (They just say "Hi.")
    • The mine carts, which are repaired as the reward for completing the boiler room bundles (or paying 15,000 gold), can access the quarry if the player has also completed the crafts room bundles. If the player hasn't, the mine carts can go to the mines, the town, and the bus stop, but the quarry will remain locked until the player has completed all of the craft room bundles and repaired the bridge.
    • You can display any item on the Grange at the Stardew Valley Fair, including objective-based ones. Such as the Mayor's shorts. Starting in Version 1.1, the Mayor gets offended, bans you from competing, and offers you 750 stars as hush money to take it down, and Marnie gets flustered when she realizes what that "strange purple cabbage" is.
    • An Anti-Frustration Feature allows the player to push past characters that may be in the way. Attempting to push the desert casino bouncer out of the way, though, will result in him not budging and saying "Nice try."
    • Trying to use the out-of-bounds bug to reach the casino staircase results in the bouncer catching you, throwing you out, yelling "you little punk!" and hitting you with a Mega Bomb.
    • Using a pile of staircases to complete the 100-level quest in Skull Cavern gets you a reprimand that you were supposed to do it the hard way... but he'll give you the reward anyway, for having the chutzpah to cheat. If you do the quest fairly, your benefactor is sincerely impressed and remarks that he expected you to cheat.
    • If the player avoided getting cloth until after marrying Emily, she has different dialogue in the scene where she allows you access to her sewing machine.
    • Patch 1.5 allowed you to move your bed to a new location, as well as replace it with new styles of beds. If you make a house with no bed, your spouse will have something to say about that.
    • Since Linus never goes to town outside of cutscenes and events, it's nearly impossible to get caught dumpster diving by him. 1.3 added the Night Market, which he does have to cross town to go to. He has a different reaction to seeing you elbow-deep in a trash can.
    • If you're married to Penny when you purchase the community upgrade, extra dialogue is added to the scene should you choose not to remain anonymous. Both Robin and Penny are baffled as to why you didn't tell your own wife that you were building a house for her mother to replace Pam's old trailer.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: A few of the marriage candidates (particularly Haley, Abigail, Emily, Penny, and Sam) have ten-heart scenes that suggest more than just cuddling was going on between them and the main character. Emily's is probably the least subtle; in her 10-heart scene, your camping trip is interrupted by a bear, forcing you to hide with Emily in the tent. Then you realize the second sleeping bag is still outside, so you have to share one. Then the tent shakes before a Fade to Black.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Twice with the Mermaid's song:
    • After her performance, clicking on the sea shells on her stage in a certain order will play her song's notes and reward the player with a pearl.
    • On Ginger Island during rainy days the Mermaid can be seen on a rock at the beach, if the player character lays musical note blocks that play her song she will give 3 Golden Walnuts as a reward.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Fishing Minigame earns a lot of complaints from players for being hard, but if you get the hang of it early on, it'll be the bulk of your income for the early game, giving you the funds you need to get the farm up and running.
    • A later update added the "Training Rod" purchasable at Willy's, which gives you similar stats to having level 5 fishing, making it much easier for new players. (It's quite cheap, but limited to common fish.)
    • Ancient Fruits. Getting the first Ancient Seed is tricky. You have to get lucky with either a Seed Maker giving you one instead of the crop you actually fed it, or have the artifact version drop from a bug monster for you to donate to the Museum in exchange for the plantable version, both of which have a 0.5% chance of happening. Then they take a full season to reach maturity. Once you have that first producing plant, however, you can chuck the first fruit into a Seed Maker and watch it snowball until your Greenhouse is filled up. Ancient Fruit and its derivatives are second only to those of Starfruit in terms of raw sell price, and can beat out Starfruit in terms of net profits when you take the cost of new Starfruit seeds into account and that Ancient Fruit produce more quickly over an extended period. It's a waiting game, but well worth that wait.
  • Difficulty Levels: Of a sort; multiplayer mode has a "Profit Margin" option that serves as a multiplier for gold earnings, which can be set to 100%, 75%, 50%, or 25%, to counterbalance the increased manpower. If you're feeling masochistic, you even can do a solo run on a multiplayer farm with the profit margin turned down. That said, reducing the profit margin also reduces the costs of seeds.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The 1.4 patch adds the Pepper Rex monster to the Skull Cavern. It looks vaguely like a stegosaurus and drops fossilized bones and dino eggs, and attacks by belching a stream of fire.
  • Disappeared Dad: Absent fathers appear to be a theme among the children and young adults of Pelican Town.
    • Alex's father walked out on his family.
    • So did Penny's.
    • Jas is an orphan in the care of her godfather and his aunt and has been for years.
    • Sam and Vincent's dad spends the first year out of town as a prisoner of war.
    • Sebastian's biological father isn't in the picture, and his stepfather won't acknowledge his existence.
    • Haley and Emily's parents never seem to return from their world travels.
    • Then there's the matter of Abigail's dubious parentage
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • Reaching the bottom of the Mines unlocks Skull Cavern in Calico Desert which is even more difficult.
    • Grandpa's evaluation at the end of Year 2 became this retroactively with new content that was added.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Fishing is a great source of early game money when the player can't afford to expand their farm. By spending the entire day fishing it's possible to rake in more than $100,000 in the first Spring which can then be invested in the farm.
    • Fishing also offers a chance at catching the mid-game weapons Neptune's Glaive and Broken Trident. They do more damage than anything the player can obtain in the Mines until Floor 60.
    • Salmonberries are the perfect early game food for recovering energy. While they don't provide much energy individually, during Salmonberry Season a diligent player can gather hundreds of the fruit. This should tide a player over until they can get a more reliable source of food.
    • Insect enemies have a tiny chance to drop an Ancient Seed. This is one of the most profitable crop types in the game, and insects roam the early mine levels. Some players make it a habit of grinding for insects to get at least one sample in Year 1.
    • Abusing Staircases to complete the Mines early will net the player the best boots in the game and the fifth strongest sword. These make farming for copper in the early game much easier.
    • The Statue of Perfection which is awarded after achieving maximum score in Grandpa's Evaluation, it gives iridium ore everyday. In early versions of the game it was more of a Bragging Rights Reward, but thanks to additional content added in subsequent patches, it becomes a tremendously useful asset.
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    • Emily's dance number in her 6 heart event, it quickly becomes a colorful screen display.
    • The Mermaid's song performance also becomes this.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect
    • If by chance you complete the Bulletin Board bundles before the end of the first yearnote , every non-romanceable NPC with a friendship meter that you know will receive 500 friendship points (two whole hearts)...but Kent is guaranteed to miss out, because he doesn't return to town until the start of the second year. That said, given the difficulty of trying to do this bundle within your first year (Red Cabbage in particular can't be grown until Year 2, it can only be bought from the Travelling Cart), you'd have to be trying for this to be a problem.
    • Three Golden Walnuts can be earned in the Pirate Cove by scoring exactly 301 points in darts. This is far from the maximum possible score, but going over your target doesn't get you anything.
  • Double Unlock: Earning achievements unlocks different hats...which you then need to buy from the hat-selling mouse in the forest.
  • Dramatic Irony: A player who chats with everyone can become aware of relationship dynamics that the people in that relationship aren't aware of. As a result, the player listens to characters make assumptions that the MC knows are wrong. However, in most cases, you have no option to correct mistaken assumptions or help characters reconcile.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Downplayed. The winter season forces you to go 28 days without access to crops other than Winter Wild Seeds, thus limiting your means of income and food. Any fruit trees you've planted will persist, but none of them will grow fruit. This can be circumvented with a greenhouse which can grow out-of-season crops and trees, but it's very hard to get one in your first year. You also can't grow grass and thus your animals will rely solely on hay during this season, nor can you get honey from beehives. However, there's still plenty of stuff to do, and if you had a profitable Fall, you can use the time productively to catch up on building, fishing, mining and upgrading tools.
  • Dumpster Dive:
    • Rummaging through the bins won't endear you to anyone who sees you do it, but the trash you find can be reprocessed, and once in a while you discover something nice that's been carelessly thrown out.
    • Linus's first Heart event involves discovering him rummaging through George's garbage, claiming he doesn't want the food to go to waste. After agreeing to leave George's trash alone, he proceeds to go after the Saloon's trash instead. Gus immediately catches him and refuses to accept his explanation, instead offering Linus a free meal whenever he's that hungry again.
    • Combining the above two, Linus is the only character who doesn't react badly to seeing you go through a trash can, instead asking if you've found anything. This only comes up once in the game, as Linus does not frequent the town outside of scripted events.
  • Dungeon Bypass: One of the craftable items is a stairway which you can place in a dungeon to immediately move to the next floor. In the Skull Cavern, there are also shafts you can jump into to descend multiple floors at once, but will also cause you to lose health.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Pelican Town really is as neighborly and wholesome as it appears, with nothing in the way of skeletons in the closet… at least, on a community level. In private, each family is a mini-Crapsaccharine World to themselves. The dysfunction is less dramatic than usual, but it's still present. For example:
    • Jodi's family consists of two playful but generally decent and well-behaved boys who care about each other immensely, and their doting mother. However, their father is away fighting a war in Year One, and returns a Shell-Shocked Veteran in Year Two. And the doting mother regrets marrying so young and is either constantly complaining about the housework, or fantasizing about living on her own, without a family.
    • Robin and Demetrius are Sickeningly Sweethearts who are thriving in their chosen fields. They have a sweet-natured prodigy daughter and a perfect life... if you ignore the isolated and depressed Emo Teen in the basement. Which is exactly what Demetrius does (except when he scolds Sebastian for harmless fun such as his snow-goon). Sebastian mentions multiple times that Demetrius doesn't like him and that he feels like Maru is the preferred child of both Robin and Demetrius and despises her for that. Meanwhile, Maru wonders why her half-brother avoids her. ConcernedApe has also claimed to be considering making Robin a possible love interest, which would require the player to break up her marriage.
    • Pierre's got as traditional a nuclear family as you can get, and their store is the center of life in Pelican Town, with the only apparent downside being Caroline occasionally complaining that he spends events selling things. If only he could be sure that his daughter is biologically his...
    • Despite being the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits of the Pelican Town families, Marnie, Jas and Shane all love and care about each other. However, Marnie's affair with Lewis dominates her life, and Shane's working and drinking himself to death, which is why poor Jas is so self-sufficient.
    • Evelyn, George and Alex are a sweet set of grandparents with their grandchild and each of them is clearly very proud and happy to be part of this family. Yet George complains (especially in summer) that is disability makes it impossible for him to play with Alex, and Evelyn suffers from George's bad health as well as the loss of her daughter. And Alex has to deal with his deceased mom and drunk/abusive, absent father...
    • Lewis is obsessed with his role as Mayor of the town to the point that it dominates his entire life. The reason he keeps his relationship with Marnie a secret is that he's paranoid it will ruin his credibility, even as Marnie is obviously hurt to play second fiddle to his job.
  • Dying Town: Pelican Town downplays the trope; it isn't there yet, but it *is* on the road to becoming one. As seen by the presence of the old Mines, and George's backstory, it was formerly a mining town. After the mine closed and JojaMart set up shop there, the town's economy is stagnating, its sense of community is on a downwards spiral, and Lewis is on the verge of selling the derelict Community Center to JojaMart, who want to bulldoze it and build a warehouse there. The game's plot involves helping to revitalize the town - either by befriending everyone and restoring the Community Center, or by paying cold hard cash to JojaMart.

    E-L 
  • Early-Bird Cameo: On the opening cutscene of your Grandpa in bed, a Junimo statue can be seen in the fireplace, hinting that your Grandpa may have met them too.
  • Early Game Hell:
    • You start a fresh file with only your own two feet for mobility options, meaning that walking across town takes several in-game hours. As you progress in the game, you gain ways to speed up your travel, such as the minecart, warp totems, a horse, and speed-boosting food items (and yes, the effects of the latter two can stack).
    • You only have access to a basic watering can at first, and you'll likely use up so much energy just watering your crops each morning, with rain being the only way to mass-water them. Later on, sprinklers and upgraded watering cans make the job far easier (and with enough sprinklers, you can fully automate your watering, leaving you free to use your energy for other tasks) as well as access to cooking recipes to replenish your energy.
  • Easter Egg: The opening screen contains a few whimsical clickables, and the game itself contains obscure Easter Eggs that require very specific conditions to unlock.
    • There are three interactive boxes that are partially hidden around Pelican Town that reward the player with unique statues if they are given certain items. Before the 1.1 update added a hint in the library, the only way to even know the existence of these Easter Eggs was through trial-and-error. It didn't help that there's a fourth box that doesn't interact with any (known) item.
    • There is a furniture item that can only be gotten on the last day of a month, at exactly 12:00 PM, by interacting with a specific nondescript bush.
    • The Strange Capsule and Owl Statue items can spawn in-game as a Random Event. For the longest time, however, meeting their requirements was so unlikely that the odds for the items to spawn naturally were essentially zeronote . This was eventually rectified with the 1.5 update.
    • Inputting "ConcernedApe" or anything with "Stardew" in it will generate unique (albeit slightly bugged) Stardrop messages.
    • Typing /cheat, /cheats, /imacheat, /money, /showmethemoney, /freegold, /debug, or /rosebud into chat gets you a message from ConcernedApe saying "Nice try..."
    • On the end-of-the-day earnings screen, clicking on the moon several times will make The Man in the Moon face to appear.
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • While fishing may be notoriously difficult for some, going to the mountain lake and fishing for carp, a fish so easy to catch that you can often nab one by simply sitting there and not touching anything, is a fast and reliable way to raise your fishing level until the fishing bar expands far enough to make catching more lucrative fish less of a hassle.
    • In Journey of the Prairie King, Fector is a dangerous enemy who only gets more dangerous as the fight progresses, spawning mobs to soak up your shots while filling the screen with bullets. However it's entirely possible to kill him before he can become that dangerous. Get two Ammo upgrades and save either a Sheriff Badge or Heavy Machine Gun before reaching the boss fight. When the fight starts, step just out of Fector's line of fire, hit the powerup, and hold down the fire button; the boss will die before he can do anything more than move to the middle of the map.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Buying the Joja Mart membership and changing the community center into a warehouse may make upgrading it more straightforward, but all you get after completing it is a Joja cola vending machine. One that's no different from the one at the Saloon. You also don't get the prizes for completing individual bundles, and the "friendship" bonus you'd get from completing the bulletin board is locked out.
  • An Economy Is You: Justified, since you're running the only local farm in town. Since JojaMart moved into town, it's damaged the local economy. NPCs go in and out of the local shops and will comment on them, and you can examine items on shelves. Shane works at the JojaMart. If you repair the Community Center, people will add it to their routines. Notably, if you sell your crops directly at Pierre's, you will see that he in turn has your products for sale himself (at a mark-up of course).
  • Elemental Crafting:
    • Most of the tools (axe, pickaxe, hoe, and watering can) start with a generic variant of an unspecified material, and can later be upgraded to copper, steel, gold, and finally to iridium. Each upgrade makes them stronger or cover a larger area.
    • Fishing poles go through bamboo, fiberglass, and iridium, gaining the ability to apply bait and tackle on the way.
    • Weapons avert the trope, however, as the materials they're made out of are all over the place, from more common metals like iron and steel to less common materials like insect parts and bone.
  • The Empire: The Gotoro Empire, currently at war with the Ferngill Republic in which the game is set. According to Kent, who was their POW, they really are just as vile as propaganda would make them out to be; otherwise, the conflict with the Empire is entirely off-screen and there's a deliberate ambiguity as to what they're really like.
  • Endless Game: You can't get a Game Over in Stardew Valley. The worst that happens is running out of health or energy, as doing so costs you some money and some items. But even that can be recovered from with enough work. Theoretically, you can keep playing the game for decades (both in-universe and in real life), and it will never reach an end point.
  • Ethereal Choir: The Mermaid song, which can be seen as a performance during the Night Market.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The player character(s) can get together with any of the twelve eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, regardless of the sex of either partner. However, all of the bachelors and bachelorettes seem to default to "straight" (each of them tends to be shipped with an opposite-sex counterpart), and if you pursue a same-sex relationship with any of them, several will note that they've never felt this way about another guy/girl before. Leah and Elliot are exceptions: depending on your player's gender, Leah can be seen as either straight or gay, because Kel, her ex, is always the same gender as the player. Elliot, meanwhile, admits to having feelings for a male farmer, but being afraid to act on them in case of Incompatible Orientation.
  • Everybody Is Single: There are a surprisingly large number of unattached characters in the valley. All of the bachelors and bachelorettes tend to be sorted into "mating pairs" but none of them ever into a proper relationship in order for them to remain available for the player character:
    • Sebastian's feelings for Abigail are relatively muted (but then he's not the sort of character who makes grand romantic gestures anyway), but he does draft her to join Sam's band, and if you marry either Maru or Sam (Seb's sister and best friend, respectively), both of them will muse that they think the two of them should get together.
    • Haley has a blatantly obvious crush on Alex and often follows him around; despite otherwise being girl-crazy, he is Oblivious to Love and never notices (although if you marry Haley, Alex will comment that he found himself jealous and had to learn to live with missing his chance with her).
    • Harvey (the town doctor) and Maru (his nurse) seem to have a strictly professional relationship, but if you marry Penny (her best friend), she'll comment that there's something between them… but Maru is going to have to make the first move. From her part, Maru says that while Harvey is nice he's "not her type".
    • Elliot and Leah often drink together at the Stardrop Saloon (although Elliot, being the gentleman that he is, will stop doing so if your relationship value with her gets high enough); both are similar personality-wise, loner creative types who live in solitude (they're the only bachelors who live and work alone).
    • Shane and Emily tend to recruit each other for their creative projects, and are oddly quite cordial toward each other for having such diametrically opposed personalities. It should be noted that Shane and Emily were not romanceable when the game was first released. They were made available as partners together thanks to fan feedback.
    • Ironically it's Sam and Penny, who are otherwise seldom seen together, who have the most blatant reciprocal interactions of any of the bachelor pairs, though you only learn about this once you start getting serious with Penny, when Vincent comments he saw the two of them climbing trees together. (ConcernedApe, despite his usual tendency to invite player interpretation of events, made the point of defending her honor and insists nothing serious happened.)
  • Evil Is Easy: The community center is a long-term project that requires you to put a lot of effort into doing stuff in every arena of the game to rebuild Pelican Town. The Joja Community Development Program will turn the community center into a warehouse, and then let you buy the upgrades as soon as you can come up with the dough, which a good farm will make far more quickly than they'll get that fishing or greenhouse bundle finished. Who needs some old junimos, anyway?
  • Exact Eavesdropping: The player character has a distinct tendency to walk in on revealing moments.
  • Expressive Health Bar: This game features an energy bar and health bar. When the player character is exhausted, an icon showing a tired face appears above the energy bar, and in-game, the character moves slowly. When the character's health is very low, the bar shakes while periodically erupting red droplets.
  • Expy: The Junimos are definitely the Stardew Valley equivalent of Story of Season's Harvest Sprites.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Several reactions to receiving gifts imply that the recipient intends to eat them, which makes sense if their particular Likes/Dislikes are food, but they also say the same line for anything else, edible or not. Abigail is the standout example for (apparently) eating Amethyst and Quartz, but you can get some unintentionally amusing responses, like Kent claiming he was fed explosive ammo as a P.O.W. or Harvey claiming he may be allergic to ancient fossils and statues.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Both the player character and non-playable characters use the same outfits through all seasons (the only exception is while at the island resort where they change to swimsuits).
  • Fanservice:
    • The bath house. Described by ConcernedApe as such: "Fun setting for events, place to relax, and an excuse to see characters in their bathing suits."
    • The beach resort in the 1.5 update is a better example, where after you get it built, villagers actually will show up and change into swimsuits to hang out at the beach.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • Some of the notices on the notice board by Pierre's shop have an NPC needing a certain item within at latest two days. Doing these can give you favor with that NPC.
    • Some special weekly missions revolve around fetching a certain amount of items. In most cases, the items must be delivered to certain spots. Players will be rewarded with crafting recipes or some other item that makes farm life easier.
    • A woman in Ginger Island seeks a Tragic Keepsake from her departed husband, and gives you a photo that has washed up to start the fetch chain going.
  • Fictional Sport: Gridball, which so strongly resembles American football (also known as gridiron football) that it might as well just be an alternate name for it. Zuzu City has a professional gridball team, the Tunnelers, and several of the NPCs are fans. Alex even dreams of playing for them someday, and if you get close enough to Shane, he'll take you to a Tunnelers game. (They apparently aren't very popular, since a guy working a minimum-wage job was able to get two front-row tickets and the stadium is half-empty.)
  • Fishing for Sole: Anything from trash bags to unopened cans of JojaCola (which is in-game categorized as trash). Oddly enough, they still use up bait.
  • Fishing Minigame: After responding to the fish tug, the minigame is then pulled up. In a sense, the player has to play an endurance 2D version of Missile Lock-On with a tug-o-war style progression. While the lock is maintained, the player gradually gets closer to catching the fish while lessening the fish's escape progression. On the other hand, failing to maintain it will not only hurt the player's progression, but also increases the fish's escape progression. Random treasure may also be included and will only be gotten if both the treasure and fish are caught. There are two proper minigames of the same sort during two of the festivals, but you don't get to keep the fish.
  • Flowers of Romance: To start dating someone you must give them a flower bouquet when your relationship with them is 8 hearts.
  • Foreshadowing: There's a line of dialogue from Jodi in which she warns you that if you're not careful, all traces of your old lifestyle will be wiped away once you get married. In the original version of the game, this happens to several of the love interests if you marry them, including her own son, Sam (who loses all interest in his music), and Sebastian (who decides that his beloved motorbike is too dangerous for a family man to have around). In contrast, Abigail seems to take the opportunity to realize her dream of being an adventurer; she will randomly mention on some mornings that she went adventuring for a bit, and will give you some monster drops. She will also occasionally give you bombs and buffing food to help your adventuring along. The 1.1 update has alleviated some of this. For example, a married Sebastian has apparently changed his mind about his motorbike, as he now keeps it in your shared backyard and can be seen working on it from time to time, and Sam's private room contains his keyboard.
  • From My Own Personal Garden:
    • You can give produce as gifts or as your contribution to the Luau. Of course, as you're a farmer, this is completely justified and not a sign of any kind of villainy. Pierre can also claim this when reselling your stuff.
    • Befriending Caroline will make her sometimes send you crops that she grew in her own garden.
  • From New York to Nowhere: The Player Character is from The City, but after suffering at a soul-sucking desk job, they decide to leave everything behind to take over their grandpa's old farm.
  • From Stray to Pet: Your pet is a stray found by Marnie. She'll ask if you want to adopt them.
  • Fungus Humongous: During Fall a Mushroom Tree can spawn on the farm. It's the same height as a standard tree, spreads seeds like a common tree, and can be chopped or tapped for mushrooms.
  • Funny Background Event: In Sam's eight-heart event, his band finally gets a gig in Zuzu City, and he takes everyone he knows to see him perform. During the concert, Linus can be seen investigating a nearby dumpster.
  • Fun with Acronyms: A TV channel that can be unlocked via Special Orders is abbreviated F.I.B.S., short for Fishing Information Broadcasting Service.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The Playstation 4 Pro can be corrupted if it's put into sleep mode while running the game. Notable in that it's only the Pro - the vanilla and Slim versions don't suffer from this. Turns out this was Sony's fault and was addressed in a system update.
    • In all versions of the game, there is a bug where if you buy an item from any shop with a full inventory, you cannot place the bought item in your inventory. You also can't empty anything from your inventory. There is no way to cancel or refund this transaction. Doing this leaves you with no way to get out of the shop menu except for closing the game, which means that you lose the current day's progress and have to start the day over again.
    • In a strange, inexplicable bug that even the creator of the game is having difficulty finding the cause of, Pam can randomly disappear from the game. Not only does this mean that the player will not be able to befriend her, it also means that, if she disappears before the player restores the bus to the Calico Desert, they will be completely unable to go there. This prevents the player from ever being able to meet Sandy, get to the Casino, find desert-exclusive collectibles, and explore the Skull Cavern.
    • There seems to be a console-exclusive bug that makes the drop rate of the Mummified Bat incredibly low, with several players reporting difficulties in getting this Last Lousy Fossil. Bizarrely enough, one reported workaround is having the Qi's Crop sidequest active, but this could be confirmation bias.
  • Game Gourmet: Basically, all your crops are edible. Food available includes various types of fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, fish and animal products. There are also a variety of processed goods, like beverages, mayonnaise, cheese, as well as a range of cooked goods.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Tiger Trout are stated to be a rare hybrid of fish that cannot breed. If you toss one into a fish pond, it will not multiply to fill the pond like any other fish would; you have to catch more yourself.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Despite the player being repeatedly informed that JojaMart's "low prices" are threatening to drive Pierre out of business, JojaMart's items are all more expensive than Pierre's store (presumably for balance purposes, since JojaMart, unlike Pierre's, is open from 9 AM to 11 PM 7 days a week). Even if the player purchases the Joja Membership, prices simply become the same. However, in a cutscene we learn that Joja can afford to do things like give away 50% discount vouchers right in Pierre's shop. This could be explained as the things you aren't shopping for being much cheaper, however.
    • Earlier versions of the game had it so that if the player causes the JojaMart to shut down by restoring the Community Center, Shane would still go to "work" there every day. This issue was fixed in a patch.
    • Regardless of your spouse's supposed intelligence, due to their A.I. Roulette nature when they "help" out on the farm, they are all apparently incapable of understanding how a sprinkler works (they water the plants next to them anyway) or that your upgraded barn/coop has an automated feeding system (claiming they've fed the animals). Justifiable to a degree for Haley, but not for the rest of them. Especially Shane has no excuses, considering he lived on Marnie's farm until marriage and was raising chickens of his own while doing so.
    • Both Sam's eight-heart event and Shane's ten-heart event make use of the bus, even if it hasn't been repaired yet through the Community Center.
    • It is possible for your spouse to tell you they'll remain indoors during a rainy day...only to see them visiting the beach resort later on the same day.
    • On her 8 heart event Penny asks you if you'd like to become a parent, this regardless if you already have children of your own.
    • You can have the minecarts around town fixed up to allow you quicker movement around the map, but you still can't go to the quarry until you've fixed the bridge to it. The minecarts don't actually use said bridge at all but instead come through an otherwise inaccessible mineshaft.
  • Gameplay Automation:
    • Sprinklers will automatically water surrounding tiles every morning, saving the player time and energy. Higher-quality sprinklers water more surrounding tiles but require increasingly scarce resources.
    • You can buy an Auto-Grabber item that, when placed in a barn or coop, will harvest resources from animals residing in the same building every morning and hold them for you. However, it costs 25,000 gold, and it cannot collect truffles (that pigs find) because truffles are only found outdoors.
    • If you're married, your spouse may water crops, feed animals and repair fences for you.
    • As of v1.5 you can buy an Auto-Petter that will automatically pet your animals preventing any relationship decay. However, you need to take the Joja route to do so. Otherwise, just hope you get lucky in Skull Cavern.
  • Gathering Steam:
    • Plants that grow multiple crops without the need to replant them are this. Like every plant they need to grow to their full size first and once they do their crop typically sells for less money. But then they regrow their crops every couple of days, until they die at the end of their season (unless planted in a greenhouse, which makes them regrow forever, or if they are fruit trees that only become inactive out of season).
    • Fruit trees produce crops with increasing quality the older the tree is. Bringing one up to iridium quality requires three in-game years.
    • When a new animal is born, or bought from Marnie, it first needs to grow up before it can produce its goods. Increasing friendship with the animal, which takes several weeks, also improves the quality of the good and adjusts drops for some animals.
      • Cows, goats, and chickens upgrade their products to Large versions which are worth more and the only way to produce gold cheese and mayonnaise.
      • Rabbits and ducks increase the chance of them dropping their more valuable rare item, rabbit's feet and feathers, instead of their standard drop.
      • Sheep normally require three days between shearing, but with high friendship this drops down another day. With a perk from Rancher this drops down to daily shearing.
  • Gay Option: Rectifying a common criticism of the Harvest Moon games, same-sex relationships (and marriages) are possible. There are twelve total eligible love interests — six men and six women. The player can romance any of them, regardless of what gender their farmer is.
  • Ghibli Hills: The region of Stardew Valley fits this to a T: The small Pelican Town is surrounded by a lush forest on the west, mountains on the north, cliffs on the east and an ocean and beach to the south.
  • The Ghost: At the beginning of every morning, a rooster crows, even if there are no chickens on the farm.
  • Global Currency Exception: Instead of gold, the Fall Festival Fair stall requires you to use tickets, and the casino requires Qi tokens.
    • The desert merchant added in 1.4 will only accept various resources and rare items, such as Iridium Bars and Omni Geodes.
    • Version 1.5 added Golden Walnuts, which are used to unlock new areas and various services on Ginger Island, The Island Trader, which only accepts various resources like the Desert Merchant, and Qi's Walnut Room, where you can spend Qi Gems on rare and powerful late-game items.
  • Good Capitalism, Evil Capitalism: The Capitalism is Good side of this trope is represented by the Player Character, who has given up a job as a White Collar Worker to pursue the Call to Agriculture, and to a lesser extent by Pierre the Workaholic owner of the Pelican Town General Store. The bad side is represented by Joja, a Mega-Corp that pollutes the area around Pelican Town with its activities, seeks to drive Pierre out of business by undercutting his prices, and wants to demolish the town community centre and replace it with a warehouse.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • Inverted. A compendium of items will slowly become unlocked as you sell the item in question. Which you first need to collect/catch.
    • Played straight with the "Rarecrows", 8 collectible scarecrows available to unlock or purchase from certain events. Collecting them all will earn you the Deluxe Scarecrow, which has twice the range of any other scarecrow.
    • Played literally straight with the fish (you need to actually catch them in order for them to show up on the collections screen; finding them elsewhere such as picking up shells on the beach don't count) and the artifacts (which also need to be donated to the museum). Completing either awards you a Stardrop.
  • G-Rated Sex: If the player character has a spouse of the opposite gender, every night after going to bed there's a chance of the latter asking them if they want to have a baby. If the player agrees, the female spouse member will become pregnant and deliver a baby 14 days later during the night.
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • The Dwarves and Shadow People have only recently ended the Elemental War, a thousand year long conflict which has left both sides bitter. Based on the conversation between Krobus and the Dwarf, the Shadow People launched the first attack in response to the Dwarves forcing them out of their homeland.
    • Stardew Valley is located in the Ferngill Republic which is currently at war with the Gotoro Empire across the sea. It is mostly mentioned in passing with the most direct references being related to Kent, a soldier who spent time as a prisoner of war.
  • Green Aesop: There's a heavy vibe about pollution caused by big corporations, and sustainable farming. There's pretty much nothing on your farm that can't be used for something else, and you can even build a recycling machine that processes fished-up trash into useful materials.
  • Green Around the Gills: In certain circumstances, such as using Monster Musk, player character has an animation where they turn light green and they put their hand to their mouth.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: After the player is married, a spouse has a small chance to get jealous if you give a gift to another bachelor/ette, which lowers their affection rating for the player character—though the 1.1 update changed it so that your spouse will never get jealous if you give another villager a gift on their birthday.
  • Guide Dang It!: A whole lot of basic but convenient functions are never explained.
    • Upgraded watering cans and hoes can be used to affect larger areas: copper affects 1x3 squares, steel is 1x5, gold is 3x3 and iridium is 6x3.
    • Holding the Shift key while right-clicking on an item modifies how much of an item is selected. For an item in the inventory/chest, half of the items are taken. For an item in a shop, the item is purchased five at a time.
    • Ginger and Ginger Ale can cure the Nauseated debuff, all introduced in 1.5. The only in-game hint you get is some dialog from Birdie. Doesn't help that the Nauseated debuff is only caused by one mob in the Dangerous Mines; so even if you're able to puzzle this out thanks to Real Lifenote , you're not likely to think to bring Ginger with you for that particular quest until too late.
    • There are several different criteria involved in Grandpa's evaluation at the start of year 3. Good luck figuring out what those are without consulting a guide.
    • Fish ponds yield different products depending on which type of fish occupies them. Some fish can provide incredibly useful and/or rare items, while others produce only trash and/or cheap roe and are pretty much worthless. Good luck figuring out which fish fall under which category without consulting the wiki.
    • While a few of the shortcuts Robin adds with the second community upgrade are fairly obvious (like a pathway that connects the path between the farm and the upper part of the map and the bus stop) others are harder to find. It doesn't help that several of the pathways are narrow or out of the way. It also doesn't help that Robin gives no indication where any of the paths she's making are or even how many there will be.
  • Harmless Electrocution: In Maru's eight-heart event, the player will be shocked with electricity from one of her experiments. Though Maru has to apply some burn cream, the player is otherwise unharmed.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: During character creation, players can name their PC, farm, and favorite thing. In addition, each new farm animal can also be named by the player, and you get to name your pet when Marnie shows up with it.
  • Healing Checkpoint: Going to bed for the day will restore your health and energy, and is the only way to save the game. Collapsing from exhaustion will have one of the town members find you and bring you home at the cost of medical fees and some of your items.
  • Healing Spring: Remaining in the pool at the spa (without moving around) will gradually refill the player's health and energy bars.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Penny and Leah can be wooed by the player if they so choose.
  • Hidden Depths: The people of Pelican Town have more to them than initial first impressions might lend you to believe. The main way to really discover this is through raising your affection with them, although you can also raid their bookshelves for some hints on their major life issues once you get them to two hearts. This is particularly prominent for certain characters who are outright abrasive or unpleasant at first glance, such as Shane and Haley. The Farmer is also capable of playing a mini-harp, as seen during Abigail's 4-heart event.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: In almost every cutscene where you have the choice to lie or tell someone else to lie, the person being lied to will see through it and lose Friendship Points as a result. Conversely, telling the truth will turn out for the best, as the other person appreciates the honesty and is willing to forgive simple accidents. In the few cases where it is better to hide the truth (such as the Twerp Sweating moment with Demetrius in Maru's 2-heart event), it's generally because you're doing it to allow someone else to save face, rather than lying on your own behalf.
  • Hugh Mann: If Krobus joins you for a movie, he will pretend to be a human and appears in the theater in a Conspicuous Trenchcoat.
    Hello! I am very excited to be at the visual entertainment center and to consume the popped corn... Just like you!
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Low on health/stamina? No problem, just scarf down on food! Eat that whole pizza in one bite, you'll be fine!
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: In Haley's four-heart event, she's having trouble opening a jar. As your character walks in, she asks for your help. You manage to open the jar, impressing her. (Your character can do it regardless of gender.)
  • I Ate WHAT?!: The player character can use Mayor Lewis' undies as an ingredient for the Luau soup, the Governor will then take a sip and then be nauseated after seeing the purple shorts floating in the soup nausea.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Lava Katana, which can be purchased at the Adventurer's Guild after reaching the bottom level of the mines. It's considerably more powerful than nearly every other weapon in the game—the next-strongest sword does about half as much damage on average—although slightly less powerful than the Galaxy Sword.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Galaxy Sword, and the hammer and dagger variants that go on sale after you find it. Requires you to use the rarest drop in the game in a Prismatic Shard, along with several other rare drops to be able to read an old inscription to get a clue to what do with it once you have it.
    • 1.5 adds a forge where you can enhance equipment. By enchanting the Galaxy weapons with three Galaxy Souls each, they become the Infinity weapons.
  • Interface Spoiler: When enchanting tools at the Forge, you usually don't know what you're getting until you finish enchanting. The exception is the Bottomless enchantment for the watering can, as you'll see a filled purple bar in the preview sprite before you click the Forge button.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Ten in-game minutes for approximately every seven real-time seconds, though more accurately the twenty hours of in-game time that comprises one day takes 14 minutes and 20 seconds to elapse (approximately 84:1 time compression). Originally this was ten game minutes for every five real-time seconds (120:1 time compression) but it was slowed down after the Chucklefish pre-release stream due to widespread complaints about the pace being too rushed.
  • Irony: Every barn animal can potentially reproduce if there's free space in the barn, chickens and ducks can be hatched from eggs in the coop, fish ponds will slowly breed more fish (except the Tiger Trout, which is specifically noted as being unable to breed), and even slimes will produce slime eggs over time. The only livestock animal that will never produce offspring on your farm? Rabbits.
  • Item Crafting: Collecting material allows you to craft items to use around your farm, such as fences.
  • It's Up to You: While some things happen by themselves, most of the outcome is determined by the farmer. For example, the taste of the Luau's communal soup is solely based on what ingredient the farmer puts into it (being bland if none was added.)
  • Just Train Wrong:
    • Railroad companies usually don't run passenger trains mixed in with freight trains. And if they did, they would try to group them together and not have passenger coaches placed randomly between freight cars like you see in the game.
    • One of the sound effects for a train passing by the valley is a diesel air horn, but you only ever see steam trains.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: This can become a huge hassle when trying to befriend certain townspeople. Some of them have schedules that will keep them in their rooms for most or all of the day, making them hard to find in order to befriend, and you can't go in their rooms until you have at least two hearts with them. Elliott and Sebastian are the most notorious for this, as they rarely leave their respective dwellings, and thus are very hard to make friends with. The Beach Resort in 1.5 provides a slight remedy for this, as it's possible for these more reclusive villagers to spend the day there instead of in their homes, but it's still a crapshoot.
  • Killed Offscreen: Farm animals that are left outside overnight have a chance to disappear; it's implied that they are killed. You don't actually see it happen; the only indicators you get are the sound of what sounds like wolves or dogs when you go to sleep, a random animal no longer on your farm, and the same mood message for all of your animals about how "it seems like something bad happened last night."
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Completing the museum collection (donate 95 items) and obtaining every stardrop which requires completing said collection, on account of half the items you need to donate being entirely up to RNG whether you get it or not.
    • Several players (mostly on consoles, oddly enough) have reported issues with obtaining the Mummified Bat for the Island Field Office sidequest, even with best-case-scenario setup.note  It got to the point where ConcernedApe began to suspect it was a drop rate bug, with so many people having the same problem.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: A lot of them in regards to the NPCs. Pelican Town is very private and close-knit, and many characters won't tell you basic information about themselves (like Leah being a sculptor or Elliot being a writer) until you build a friendship with them, but it's hard to discuss the game in any detail without mentioning such things.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid:
    • The lava lake on floor 100 of the mines kind of has this look to it. You can even fish in it! For all intents and purposes it seems to be mere water with red light reflecting off of it, as if it was literal lava it would disintegrate your fishing line, although that doesn't stop creatures called Lava Eels from residing in it.
    • On Ginger Island, there's a volcano mine with a caldera can both visit and fish in to catch Lava Eels. Within the mines, Lava Lurks can swim through lava pools as if they were in water, and the lava makes the same splashing noises and animations as ordinary water.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During the Night Market which was introduced in v1.4, Evelyn can say that it is one of the "most recent traditions of the valley".
  • Le Film Artistique: "Mysterium", one of the shows available if you unlock the movie theater, is composed of a series of bizarre scenes in black and white accompanied by cryptic narration.
  • Lethal Lava Land:
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Befriending the local NPCs can net nice goodies, like new crafting recipes or goods. Certain quests also win favor with them, like getting a certain item within a time limit.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Very quietly. If you level up a skill, you'll wake up the next day with full stamina, unaffected by the penalties for overworking or staying up late.
  • Life Meter: The health meter only appears in areas where you can take damage. Much like stamina, it can be recovered by eating food. Running out of life will have a random villager bring you back home at the cost of some money and some of your items.
  • Lite Crème: One of the products on JojaMart's shelves is "maypul" syrup, and one of the concessions available at the movie theater is "JojaCorn", which is described as corn food slathered in a "b'utter" sauce.
  • Local Hangout: The Stardrop Saloon, run by Gus. On Friday night you'll find about two-thirds of the entire valley's inhabitants gathered there. It's one of the best ways to boost your affection with so many characters at once.
  • The Lost Woods: The Secret Woods, an area to the west of the player's farm. It's one of the most reliable places to gather hardwood if you don't have a Forest Farm, and it also has slimes to fight, rare foraging items, and a mysterious statue searching for the "perfect sweetness".
  • Luck Stat: This stat is randomly generated at the beginning of each day, viewable from the fortune telling channel. It affects certain aspects of the game, like the drop rate of mine ladders. This can also be temporarily modified by certain items like cooked meals.
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: A sufficiently befriended rabbit will occasionally drop a Rabbit's Foot instead of wool and the item description says that some consider it lucky. While carrying it does not affect the player's luck, it can be traded for a charm that does increase your luck. It also has one other beneficial use: if you've made all the bachelors/bachelorettes fall in love with you without marrying them, the Rabbit's Foot averts the cutscene where they all dump you.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: One of the fisherman stories in the library ends with the revelation that Gordy was Tex's father all along.
    *Dramatic Music as the curtains fall*

    M-Z 
  • Mage Tower: The Wizard lives in a tower in the western part of Cindersap Forest.
  • Magic Realism: The setting at the begining seems to be pretty realistic with Mega-corporations, cubicle offices and a farm, but soon fantastic elements are added like the existence of wizards, witches, ghosts, goblins, shadow people, dwarves, mermaids, Talking Animals...etc.
  • Magikarp Power: Ancient Fruit are a weird variant of this. At first, Ancient Seeds are incredibly difficult to come by; your best bet is to farm bugs in the mines, and even then they only have a measly 0.5% drop rate, or to just load up a seedmaker with as many crops as possible and just hope for that .5% rate. However, once you've managed to scrape together a few seeds and plant them, you can craft some seed makers and put your first harvests in them, getting roughly twice your fruit input back in seeds each time. Plant those, rinse and repeat, and over the span of around a year or two, you'll have accrued more than enough seeds to fill your greenhouse and island farm to capacity with them, at which point all you pretty much have to do is plop down a few sprinklers, sit back, and watch the insanely huge profits roll in on a weekly basis.
  • Mana Meter: The more general Energy, instead of Mana. It decreases with tool use, consumption of energy-lowering foods, and a few other things. Energy is regained at night, and restored mid-day mainly through eating food and using the Spa. In multiplayer, a character can also regain energy by laying in their bed.
  • Mega-Corp: Joja Corporation, of course. From what we see in the intro, it's a large, soulless company that cares little for its employees. In the game proper, they've temporarily blocked off the mines after some reckless drilling caused an avalanche, produce two types of soda (one that's merely not very healthy and one that may or may not damage your stomach lining and turn your skin blue), have polluted the waters with old Joja Net CDs, and intend to drive the local competition out of business.
  • Money Multiplier:
    • The quality of a good will increase its value. While mostly random, there are ways to increase the chance of getting a good quality item, like using fertilizer (crops) or casting the line further away from any landmass (fish).
    • The processed version of something sells for more than the basic version (mayo sells for more than eggs, cheese sells for more than milk, etc), encouraging you to craft processing machines for your farm.
    • Casks increase the quality and thus price of cheese and alcohol over time. Otherwise, there is no way to produce alcohol with any star or cheese above a gold quality.
    • Skills act as multipliers in two manners. First, higher levels of Farming, Foraging, and Fishing increase the chance of getting quality crops, foraged items, and fish respectively. Using food items to increase the level adds to this. Second, several of the Profession choices at Level 5 and 10 of skills offer a flat increase to the sale value of items.
    • Bear's Knowledge triples the sell value of Blackberries and Salmonberries, making the raw fruit worth as much as the wine. Similarly, Spring Onion Mastery increases the sell value of the item five-fold. This is done for balance: These are meant to restore energy in your first year and sell for much less than comparable forage items due to the large number of them you can find.
    • Planting flowers next to bee houses causes the honey produced to have a higher sale value based on the type of flower. The value of the honey can increase enough that it's worth more raw than processed into mead.
  • Money Sink:
    • Four Obelisks can be purchased from the Wizard's Tower. The Earth and Water Obelisks each cost 500 thousand gold (prior to 1.5, they went for one million) while the Desert and Island Obelisks each coast one million gold. They can be used to transport you instantly to the forest, the beach, the Calico Desert, or the Fern Island an infinite number of times.
    • The Gold Clock costs ten million gold, also found in the Wizard's Tower. Placing it on your farm prevents debris from showing up.
    • Krobus sells a Return Scepter for two million gold. The Scepter is essentially an infinite-use Warp Totem that transports you to the front door of your farmhouse when used.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the end of year 2, your grandfather evaluates your work on your farm, and it can be surprisingly dark and harsh depending on how much or how little work you've done. In an interview with PC Gamer, the developer admitted outright that the harshness of the evaluation clashed too much with the game's overall relaxed, casual tone, and he changed it with the patch 1.05 update.
  • Mun Danger: For a relatively cutesy-looking Harvest Moon/Rune Factory expy, Stardew Valley's inhabitants have some pretty mature issues to deal with:
    • Your protagonist was trapped in the horror and isolation of the Joja Corporation's cubicle rat race, with no way out until their late-Grandfather's farm gave them an escape.
    • Shane is trapped in a similar path as a shelf-monkey in the aisles of Joja-Mart, and he's falling apart from alcoholism to deal with his depression, causing both Marnie and Jas to worry a lot for him. He goes as far as seriously consider suicide at one point.
    • Jas, as an orphan, only has Shane and Marnie to be her family, and is sometimes neglected due to their worklife and personal issues. She has some serious worries about Shane's depression, and has witnessed his drunken ranting at least once and has left an impact on her.
      • A subtle hint found in Jas' room indicates that she may have been abused by her grandfather - a possible reason why she now lives with Marnie.
    • Several villagers are dealing with very mundane and real personal issues, from family tensions to worries about their future.
    • Leah left the city for the country because she was escaping an abusive ex who didn't support her dream to be an artist.
    • Lewis refuses to make his relationship with Marnie public because he says it would affect his authority as Mayor - even though there's nothing scandalous about it and they're both mature and single adults. Instead, he strings her along, keeping their affair a secret and depriving her of the companionship she really wants.
    • Sebastian has literally become a basement dweller just to stay away from his family. Demetrius seems to dislike him and wants Maru to stay away from him and Robin does nothing to fix this situation. The only people in town he appears to like are Sam and Abigail.
    • Alex might seem like a stereotypical airheaded jock, but he had a physically and emotionally abusive father who eventually walked out on his family. After that, Alex's mother passed away and he moved in with his grandparents.
    • Penny has self-esteem issues from living in a trailer with her alcoholic mother, and their relationship has gotten soured by the closure of the town bus, which left Pam jobless and with nothing to do but getting drunk at the saloon, which (as you can witness yourself) makes her aggressive, which she takes out on Penny.
    • Kent is shown to have PTSD after returning to the Valley from his stint in the Army. While it's clear that he and Jodi care for each other, there is some tension in that he has difficulty re-adjusting to civilian life after his stint as a POW, while she has some regrets about getting married and becoming a mother too early in her life.
    • There are some dialogue hints that all is not necessarily well in Demetrius and Robin's marriage, and ConcernedApe originally planned for Robin to be a romanceable character. Which would naturally require breaking up Robin and Demetrius to do it.
    • Clint expresses frustration with his career path, he became a blacksmith because he comes from a long line of blacksmiths but he hasn no love for it and feels like he is now stuck in a career he didn't choose, he also feels he's wasted his youth and there's nothing else left for him.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: There are no boss enemies in the dungeons. The closest you get to them are the floors where the exit appears when all enemies are defeated, including one type of floor in the Skull Cavern where Pepper Rexes make their only appearances, but they're encountered in squads and go down just as quickly as other enemies.
  • More Friends, More Benefits: Increasing relationships with the locals will result in them sending you gifts and recipes in the mail. Several of these recipes can't be obtained any other way.
  • Mummy: Mummies appear as enemies in Skull Cavern, they must be killed twice (the second time with a bomb) for them to stay dead.
  • Mundane Utility: Invoked by the Haymaker enhancement for weapons. Want another way to gather up hay for your farm animals? Just swing your enhanced weapon to cut some weeds. This becomes more apparent when the weapon is an Infinity +1 Sword.
  • My Local: The Stardrop Saloon, which includes an arcade "for the youth to hang out". The arcade features multiple playable minigames.
  • Mysterious Past: Relatively little is known of the Farmer's past before they came to Stardew Valley. Oddly enough, Grandpa left them the farm, but they don't seem to have ever actually visited it. Nobody in Pelican Town recognizes or remembers them, not even close friends of Grandpa, like Mayor Lewis.
  • Nerf: The 1.1 patch reduced the value of several crops, and of artisan goods across the board. Cranberries in particular were pounded with the nerf bat until only a reddish-purple goop remained, becoming less than half as profitable as they were pre-patch.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: Consuming a Stardrop permanently increases the size of the farmer's energy bar.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: If players pick the wilderness farm, monsters will spawn at night. You can also toggle monster spawns at the farm if you offer a strange bun at one of the Witch's Shrines.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Restoring the Community Center is well and all, except in running JojaMart out of town, you've forced Shane out of a job.
  • Nobody Poops: There isn't so much as a bathroom to be found in any house of Stardew Valley. The only place you can find one is in the communal spa which does have toilet stalls.
  • No Fair Cheating: A Hello, [Insert Name Here] exploit causes the game to give free items whenever an entity with item codes in its name is mentioned, including the player. The 1.5 update added an Easter Egg acknowledging this — when using the Shrine of Illusions to change the player's name to contain item codes, a message admonishing the player will appear in the chat log.
  • No Full Name Given: Nearly everyone in the game is known only by their first name, if any name at all. Two characters have known surnames but not first name: M. Rasmodius, who everyone calls "the Wizard" anyway, and the mysterious Mr. Qi. The only two characters whose full name is revealed are George (Penny calls him Mr. Mullner) and Evelyn (a note in Penny's handwriting calls her Granny Mullner).
  • Non-Combat EXP: Combat is one of the five categories with experience-based skill levels. The others are Farming, Mining, Fishing, and Foraging.
  • No-Sell: Equipping the Slime Charmer Ring renders you immune to damage or slows from slime enemies. This makes it a surprisingly popular endgame item, as it makes farming slimes less of a hassle, especially when the ability to combine rings was added to the game.
  • No Stat Atrophy: Zigzagged.
    • Skill points play the trope straight. After increasing a skill stat to a certain level, even if you never do that activity for the rest of the game, the stat doesn't go down or make you lose any levels.
    • Averted with friendship. It'll decrease at a rate of two points a day if you don't talk to someone.note  However, this stops once a player reaches max friendship with someone, which is either eight or ten hearts, depending on if the player character is married. The exception to the max friendship rule is a player's spouse. If a player doesn't talk to their spouse, their friendship goes down by twenty points a day, and it never stops decreasing as long as the player continues to ignore them.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: You can play the game for as many in-game years as you desire, but no one will ever get any older. This is most noticeable with the two kids Vincent and Jas, as well as any children that the player has with their spouse.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Vampiric Ring allows you to regain a tiny amount of HP whenever you defeat an enemy, but the ring slots are typically reserved for better items like the Iridium Band, which increase attack power by 10%, lights up the area and increases your pick up radius. It's made even more pointless by healing items being much easier to get and working a lot faster. Even with the Combined Rings of patch 1.5 your Iridium Bands are more likely to get combined with something like a Burglar's, Lucky or Slime Charmer Ringnote . However. There is one challenge mode where this item shows a good deal more use: Qi's Hungry Challenge, which bans the player from using any restoration items while in Skull Cavern and then making it to floor 100. While it's possible to kill big slimes to gain some HP back sometimes, it can be hard to get by on that alone. Thus, this item finally has a use because you need to focus more on survival than resource extraction or fast killing speed.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Pre 1.4, Sheds were overshadowed by Barns of all things, as upgraded Barns had more storage space for the outer footprint. The Big Shed was introduced in 1.4 to address this.
    • The Four-Corners Farm is meant to encourage multiplayer, with each player having their own little corner to work with. However, it finds its niche with indecisive solo players who favor the map for combining aspects of a few different farms (namely Standard, Forest, Hilltop, and some shades of Riverland) instead of making them pick one; plus the fact that each corner is already physically divided means it's easy to designate certain areas for certain things (such as keeping one corner exclusively for farming, one for fruit trees, etc.).
    • Wheat, being a crop that can be planted in both Summer and Fall, more often than not sees use as a cheap and effective means of occupying empty plots at the end of Summer so that they don't fill in with dirt and have to be retilled and refertilized at the start of Fall. Fiber plants, being the one crop that can be planted year-round, sees a similar use; on the last Monday of Winter, plant them wherever you plan on putting crops in Spring, and they'll be ready to harvest when the new year begins, saving you a ton of tilling.
      • Pre 1.5, Winter Seeds were used for this purpose. The plants die on the first day of Spring, leaving a dead crop which can be scythed down to reveal tilled, watered soil.
    • It's not uncommon for players to ignore the intended purpose of large empty areas like the beach, quarry, mountaintop or desert and simply turn them into massive tree farms fitted out with tappers. While there's certainly plenty of room on the farm to fill up with trees, you might want to use that space for crops or buildings whereas there is basically nothing of interest in the open desert area or up on the mountaintop. It's especially helpful in that trees are slow to grow but also low maintenance, meaning you can plant and forget about them until you either need more wood or want to put up some tappers.
  • NPC Scheduling: Characters go about their business irrespective of what the player character does. While it does make the town feel more alive, it can be annoying when you need to buy something and that NPC shopkeeper is spending the day at the doctor or taking an exercise class.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: You can't plant Ancient Seeds in garden pots, presumably to keep people from factory-farming Ancient Fruit in their house or in sheds. Use pineapples instead.
    Her roots grow too deeply. She wouldn't be happy in there.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Your pet goes into the house at night to sleep, but is never actually seen walking into it. Which means you can see it sleep out on your farm, then ten seconds later walk into your house and see them curled up on your bed like they've been there the whole time.
  • Ominous Television: In the Spirit's Eve Festival, one of the creepy items in the maze is a television that plays static, with the occasional frame of a Nightmare Face. You find one of the NPCs standing in front of the TV, transfixed.
  • One True Faith: The Yoba religion seems to be pretty universal in the game's world, with Krobus (a shadow person) being a devout follower of it, in addition that it's implied the dwarves also follow it since the "Sign of the Vessel" is also visible on a plaque in the forge at the volcano on Ginger Island.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The game has references that say elves once existed but they're believed to be extinct, they're described as "nimble and skilled craftsmen", and some artifacts can be found that say they're elven in origin, but no elves' remains have ever been found.
  • Palette Swap: Levels 41-80 and 81-120 of the mine are the same layout as levels 1-40, just swapped with an ice and a fire aesthetic, respectively.
  • Parasol Parachute: Once the raccoon in south Cindersnap Forest receives all the food it requested, it opens up an umbrella and floats away in the breeze.
  • Parental Abandonment: Functional nuclear families are a surprising rarity in Pelican Town. Among the characters who still live at home with their families, the following have one or more absent parents:
    • Sebastian's biological father is no longer a part of his life, and his fate is never mentioned by any character, not even Sebastian himself (who's too busy dwelling on how much his step-father Demetrius doesn't seem to like him).
    • Alex is an orphan; his abusive father abandoned him and his mother, and then his mother died. He lives with his maternal grandparents.
    • Penny's father left her and Pam to fend for themselves when she was a girl. Pam, meanwhile, is a drunk who doesn't seem to notice how much her drinking affects Penny's life.
    • Haley and Emily's parents are world travelers, leaving their two daughters to look after the house in their absence. They never appear in the game, not even at their daughter's wedding should the player marry either of them.
    • Sam and Vincent at first play this straight, because their father Kent is away serving in the military. However, he returns at the beginning of the second year, though he's clearly not the same man he was when he left.
    • Jas' parents were friends of Shane's, but they both died tragically, leading him to take her in; she lives with him and her "Aunt" Marnie.
    • Maru and Abigail are the only characters to avert this, as they live with their two parents from the outset of the game, unless and until you marry them. However, Abigail often clashes with her parents, especially Pierre. This would make Maru the only character who lives with both of her biological parents in a stable, happy relationship. Also, it is often hinted that Pierre is not Abigail's biological father, and is possibly the product of Caroline's dalliance with the Wizard.
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs: Regular chicken or bird eggs are usually inconspicuously brown, white, or a pale yellow as in real life, but the player can obtain special animals with appropriately specially marked eggs.
    • Void chickens (red and black) lay black eggs with red spots.
    • Dinosaur eggs are marked with green polka dots, matching the green Pepper Rexes they eventually hatch into.
    • Golden chickens lay golden eggs.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Before the 1.1 update, several key items could only be found once and were unrecoverable.
      • The Mermaid's Pendant could be bought only once, and if it was destroyed somehow before the player used it, the player would be locked out of marriage.
      • The Galaxy Sword could only be created once, and losing it meant the player lost the at-the-time best weapon in the game.
    • Sam's three-heart event can only be triggered during the first year, since his father Kent comes home in the second.
    • Rarecrows can be blown up from bombs, without any means of replacing them. All the more reason to keep bombs off the farming grounds! They can also be lost "naturally" by debris on the farm expanding randomly each day and destroying them. All it takes sometimes is for you not to pay attention to the wild growth on some remote corner of your farm for a few days. Fortunately, an Anti-Frustration Feature was added to the game that allows purchasing additional copies of previously once-per-game rarecrows after one has been acquired.
    • Clint's six-heart event will be lost if the player did Emily's eight-heart event first, or if Emily marries the player. This is because the event revolves around Clint's crush on Emily.
  • Power-Up Food: Many food items not only restore energy and health, but also bestow temporary Status Buffs like increased levels in Farming, Foraging, etc.
  • Precursors:
    • The Dwarven civilization is said to be this, the player character can find multiple buried artifacts and devices, some of them still working. In fact you can craft a computer with one.
    • There are also a few artifacts that are said to be elvish in origin, but it's mentioned no elves' remains have ever been found.
  • Predatory Business: Joja Corporation's JojaMart retail chain is obviously a pastiche of Walmart, and they even have a flagship product called "Joja Cola". Their business moved into Pelican Town in the hopes of driving Pierre's shop out of business and turning the Community Center into a warehouse. Hell, before the PC quits their job there, the skeleton of a former employee nobody's bothered to do anything about can be seen a couple cubicles in front of theirs. One almost has to wonder if Morris meant it literally when he said "I'm done for" after the community center was fixed up and he realized he lost the battle for the town.
  • Premium Currency: Qi Gems are are a form of currency distinct from regular money, that can only be obtained by trading Golden Walnuts, completing weekly quests found in Mr Qi's challenge room, or as a rare drop from monsters killed in either the mines after the shrine of challenge is activated, or in the cavern during the Skull Cavern Invasion quest. In return, they can be traded in for some of the best items and crafting recipes in the game.
  • Production Throwback: Joja Cola originates from a panel of Eric Barone's previous webcomic, Wumbus World. Said panel shows a newspaper ad promoting the soda as having "3x more aspartame" than before, which would make it ridiculously sweet, possibly explaining why the villagers all hate it so much. Wumbus World is referenced again at the movie theater, introduced in version 1.4, which will sometimes screen a movie called Wumbus that evidently stars the comic's title character.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • The most powerful tier of items are purple. The best tools are Iridium tools, the best quality is Iridium quality, and the best weapons are the purple Infinity weapons.
    • The Wizard, who seems to be fairly adept at magic, has purple hair and clothes.
    • Prior to 1.5, the most valuable mushroom was the Purple Mushroom. Eating a Purple Mushroom of Iridium (purple) quality gave more energy than any prepared meal, and was in fact one of the most nutritious objects in the game. 1.5 adds a new mushroom that is more powerful and valuable than that: the Magma Cap, a magenta-colored mushroom found in the volcanic cavern on Ginger Island. A basic quality Magma Cap restores as much health and energy as a silver quality Purple Mushroom.
    • The Governor, the most powerful politician seen in the game, wears a purple suit and hat.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Dwarven artifacts appear to be computers, still powered and active. You find them inside geodes. That is to say, they've been lying in the ground long enough to be encased in geological structures, and the battery's still good. Even moreso in 1.5; a crafting recipe obtained from a Special Request is a working computer that gives you helpful farm stats when used (such as whether the cave or greenhouse is ready for harvest). The ancient Dwarven Artifact is a crafting ingredient for this. (It does need a Battery Pack too, though, indicating that had to be replaced.)
  • Random Event: There is a wide range of semi-random events that can occur. Some occur on dates randomly determined when a save file is first generated, while others occur if certain conditions are met.
    • A crop fairy can visit the farm at night and cause all planted crops within a set area to instantly reach maturity.
    • A meteor can crash into the farm, destroying anything it lands on and requiring a gold pickaxe to harvest.
    • A UFO can visit the farm, leaving a capsule behind. After three days, the capsule will appear broken, unlocking another rare event where you can sometimes see a shadowy figure in town that quickly runs behind an inaccessible tree.
    • An owl statue can appear on the farm.
    • When the player has a coop or slime hutch, the Witch has a chance of cursing it at night. This causes a Void Egg to appear in the coop or turns all slimes in the hutch black.
    • During fall, a Mushroom Tree may appear on the farm.
    • If you have any farm animals out overnight and you don't have the doors to their homes open, there is a chance that one of them will be killed overnight by wild animals.
    • A train may pass by during the daytime. You'll hear the distant sound of a whistle and see a text notification. Get there before it passes by completely and you can salvage whatever items fall out of it.
    • A sea monster can sometimes appear in the ocean by Willy's and swim away.
  • Randomly Generated Levels:
    • The cave system, which is divided into "floors" (you must find the way down to the next level in order to proceed). Though the caves themselves are designed the same way every 40 floors, the rocks, enemies, and ladder locations are randomized.
    • The Skull Cavern borrows level templates for each floor, but the order in which you encounter them is randomized.
    • The volcanic cave in Ginger Island has a randomized layout for most of the dungeon. The only floors that remain the same are the entrance level, floor 5 (which holds a shop), and floor 10 (which houses a forge that lets you combine rings or enhance your gear).
  • Rare Candy: The Stardrop fruits permanently increase your maximum energy. They're quite rare, generally presented as rewards for accomplishing difficult tasks like catching one of every fish or getting to the highest possible relationship value with your spouse.
  • Really Gets Around: As of 1.3, if you get ten hearts of friendship with every bachelor or bachelorette in the game but have yet to marry, the town will take note of this and perceive the player as this. And the next time you visit Emily and Haley's house or Gus' restaurant, all of the bachelor/ettes will confront you. Normally this ends very poorly for the player, and everyone will be angry with them for at least a week. However, if they have the Lucky Rabbit's Foot in their inventory at the time of being caught, instead of a hostile confrontation, the respective group greets the player with open arms, either gossiping or playing pool without a hint of resentment. (Did they not compare notes, or are they just willing to share? Who knows.)
    • The fortuneteller at the Fall Festival will also chide you if you have 8+ hearts with multiple love interests. "I sense that you'll be leaving more than a few broken hearts. Are you playing with the emotions of those who trust you?"
  • Refining Resources: Certain raw items can be refined into other items, in particular, ore to ingots. As of 1.1, Alcohol and Cheese can be refined further through ageing in casks. Note that some crafting recipes still require the raw ingredient.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Giving someone a bouquet at 8 hearts officially makes you a couple. Even if you do this with multiple characters in one playthrough, which will get you called out.
  • Relationship Values:
    • For almost all NPCs, regardless of their marriage-eligibility status. Bachelors and bachelorettes have eight "hearts" of affection that can be increased to ten if the player undergoes a Relationship Upgrade with them. Everyone who can't be romanced can reach ten hearts by default. The player's spouse has their maximum affection rating increased to twelve hearts. The only regularly-recurring NPCs who can't be made friends with are Morris (because he's the villain of the story) and the two men who work in the Adventurer's Guild.
    • There also exist less nuanced relationship systems with the animals the player can adopt and raise; both livestock and pets (with five and four hearts to fill, respectively). The former determines how high-quality the goods they produce (such as eggs and milk) are, while the latter has no in-game benefit except for potentially boosting Grandpa's evaluation score if you care for your pet enough but is a great source of Video Game Caring Potential.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: Both Pelican Town, and the farm Grandpa leaves you.
    • When you first arrive in Pelican Town, it's a small, down-on-its-luck village; either fulfilling Community Bundles or paying hard cash to JojaCorp allows you to revitalize it. Over the course of the game, the player can repair bridges, re-activate public transportation, and rebuild the old community center.
    • The player's farmhouse starts off small and slightly-decrepit after having been abandoned since Grandpa passed away. The farm itself lies in ruins, covered in weeds, fallen trees and rocks. The Farmer can contract Robin to upgrade their house with features such as a kitchen and a nursery. Unlocking the latter upgrade makes the house much larger and much nicer, both from the inside and the outside. It goes without saying that reclaiming the farm itself from entropy and turning it back into the profitable powerhouse of Pelican Town's economy is the central goal of the game. This is a Farm Life Sim, after all!
  • Repressive, but Efficient: Say what you like about their methods, there's no denying that Joja gets things done. JojaMart is open 14 hours a day, seven days a week. By contrast, Pierre's shop is open eight hours, and it's closed on Wednesdays and weekends. Also, if you buy a membership, the Joja Community Development Program is significantly faster, smoother and easier than restoring the Community Center, requiring a fairly trivial amount of gold to completely rebuild the town. You miss out on the bundle rewards, of course, but you can always make those yourself.
  • Reset Button: Can be Invoked by making use of Dark Shrines in a Witch's Hut to pay to either reset a bad friendship or relationship, even including a divorced spouse (making them forget everything about you), or permanently get rid of your children (by Baleful Polymorph), callous though it may be.
  • The Republic: The game is set in the Ferngill Republic, which is mentioned most often in contrast to the opposing Gotoro Empire; the two countries are actually at war.
  • Ribcage Ridge:
    • On the Calico desert there's the skeleton of a dragon, Placing a solar essence in its mouth is part of Mr. Qi's quest.
    • In the volcano dungeon of Ginger Island the player can encounter even bigger dragon bones and skulls.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Downplayed compared to most examples of this trope, but new farm buildings still go up relatively quickly, with Robin doing all the work by herself in just two days.
    • On Ginger Island, feeding the birds enough Golden Walnuts will make them summon a swarm of birds that build anything from a bridge to an entire beach resort in a matter of seconds. When Leo finally decides to move to Pelican Town, they'll also make him a tree house this way.
  • Rescue Romance: Even given the exceptions above, many of the romances have an element of this, particularly the ones where someone has a strained home life (where moving in with you alleviates the problem and gives them their own space) or feels unloved and neglected (in which case marrying you gives them the affection and security they craved). Penny, Sebastian, Alex, Shane and (to a lesser extent) Abigail all have shades of the rescue romance.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Junimos. Their design is similar to an apple with pixelated doe eyes and small limbs to boot.
  • Save-Game Limits: With the exception of the iOS version, which supports saving at nearly any time, you only save when you go to bed, which takes you to the next day. The closest the game offers to a suspend save is auto-pausing whenever you un-focus the game.
  • Saving the Orphanage: The Pelican Town Community Center is rundown and Lewis is almost ready to sell the land to JojaMart, who will tear the building down and replace it with a warehouse. Completing "bundles" for the juminos inside the Center restores the building and saves it from destruction.
  • Schizo Tech: The eponymous Stardew Valley has a very strange level of technology, featuring a couple of cars but no major roads, a modern gym and hot springs, internet access, and high-tech tools, but monster hunting is done with swords and slingshots, and nobody appears to have ever heard of a tractor. Sprinklers are advanced tech that has to be unlocked, everything else on your farm is done with hand tools, and your starting gear is roughly Stone Age. On the other hand, an Iridium Axe is undoubtedly better than a modern chainsaw for cutting down trees.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The idea of the casino is to get some tokens and gamble enough to purchase stuff at the shop. Or you can just spend the gold to buy enough tokens outright to buy what you want.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If you choose to restore the Community Center, Morris appears in one final bid to bring customers back to Joja. If you choose to settle things the "reasonable" way, Pierre explains how much of a close-knit community Pelican Town was before the arrival of Joja; Morris, who realizes that he can no longer compete with the local businesses, packs up shop and leaves the town for good.
  • Scripted Event:
    • The various Heart events are triggered by the player reaching a certain relationship with a villager and then going to a location when certain conditions are met.
    • At the end of Spring Year 1 an earthquake occurs which opens the path to the spa and train tracks.
    • On the first day of Year 2 Kent returns to Stardew Valley and becomes a regular NPC.
    • The prices of construction materials sold by Robin and Clint permanently increase on the first day of Year 2.
    • At the end of Year 2, Grandpa's spirit visits the farm and evaluates the player, considering factors like if they're married and have kids, friendship levels with all villagers, if the Community Center has been restored...etc.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: If the player character is married, in the ending cutscene at the summit, their spouse will say how far they've come together in the last years and how happy they are, then they kiss and the credit sequence rolls.
  • Sequence Breaking: You can make use of getting gifts from villagers with friendly relations to get ahead in developing the Community Center. Most notably, Emily's Raw Wool presents, which can help immensely in getting the Greenhouse within Year 1.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A couple of the player character's shirt choices are clearly references to Link's attire (one based on Ocarina of Time, and one based on a A Link to the Past).
    • Abigail has posters of Crono and Ecco the Dolphin in her bedroom.
    • At the Fall Village Fair, there is a test-your-strength minigame which nets you one single Star.
    • One of the 8 special scarecrows is Turnip Head from Howl's Moving Castle.
    • One of the mine monsters is a tiny ball of soot who jumps around and squeaks. Usually travels in packs.
    • The Broken CD: "It's a JojaNet 2.0 Trial CD. They must've made a billion of these things." Anyone who's lived in the US in the 90s will likely remember the sheer volume of trial CDs they received in the mail. However, it's probably specifically a send-up of AOL's CDs, which were the most notorious.
    • Sebastian has a poster of the player's avatar from the early Harvest Moon titles.
    • The way the Junimos put up the stars on the wall in the Community Center is reminiscent of the Star Piece screen in Super Mario RPG complete with the star spinning sideways and going up from the bottom and the Junimo in a similar Item Get! pose to Mario. Eventually you will have six stars in a hexagonal layout, with the exception of the seventh star in the center, as in SMRPG.
    • A randomized name for your pet is Kupo.
    • One of the wallpapers you can put on your walls has some very Minecraft-esque dirt-and-grass block terrain.
    • If Abigail is your wife and you name your daughter Cirilla, she'll mention having a dream of your child growing up to be a monster hunter. (Though this may work for any name, or at least a number of different ones.)
    • The Pepper Rex enemy is suspiciously similar to Peek from Dinosaur Adventures, although most people will recognize him from the infamous "Yee" video.
    • On Ginger Island, in the hidden Pirate Cove, there are two pirate brothers of Italian descent arguing about who was Mom's favorite, and another pirate with hooks for both hands. A third pirate looks pretty much like an older Guybrush Threepwood.
    • The "putrid" variety of ghost enemy encountered in the Mines has a colour hue, shape and attack that makes him very reminiscent of Slimer.
    • As of version 1.4, the copper pan can be worn as a hat.
    • Stardew Valley is located on the coast of the Ferngill Republic.
    • It's possible to tailor in the game Charlie Brown's shirt which is appropiately named "Good Grief" and described as "a good ol' shirt".
    • Joja's logo has more than a passing similarity to Amazon's.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Each of the bachelors and bachelorettes has a character of the opposite sex who they get a varying degree of Ship Tease with; the pairings being Abigail and Sebastian, Penny and Sam, Haley and Alex, Maru and Harvey, Leah and Elliot, and Emily and Shane. None of the pairs except Abigail/Sebastian, Haley/Alex and Maru/Harvey have an unambiguous romantic air to them, though, and there's no Matchmaker Quest for the player to engage in, either.
    • The Heart events up to 8 hearts with every bachelor and bachelorette are this for them and the player character, it's up to the player to decide whether these moments turn out to be romantic or platonic.
  • Show, Don't Tell: You can learn a lot about the townspeople from their environment and routines, especially once they trust you enough to let you into their bedroom and you can inspect some of their belongings.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • The in-universe TV series Livin' Off The Land, which provides useful tips to farmers, including the Player Character.
    • There's also The Queen of Sauce, a cooking show that teaches the player new cooking recipes.
    • Version 1.5 adds a channel with tips on exactly when/where to catch various fish.
    • You can unlock a movie theater where you can go to watch a show, either alone or with a neighbor. It displays a variety of films that cycle with the seasons, from the animated family film The Littlest Sprout to the nature documentary Natural Wonders: Exploring Our Vibrant World to the horror film It Howls In the Rain.
  • Shown Their Work: The women's locker room in the spa has a pad and tampon dispenser. (Though the game doesn't specify whether it is perpetually empty with a nonfunctional coin slot, which would be the true mark of accuracy.)
  • Show Within a Show:
    • You can watch the TV in your house, which has content that changes daily: Weather Report, Fortune Teller, The Queen of Sauce, Livin' Off the Land, and the Fishing Information Broadcasting Service.
    • Update 1.4 added a movie theater. There are eight films available depending on year and season. You can invite one of the villagers to watch a movie with you, and bringing people to a movie that they enjoy and buying a snack that they like will increase friendship.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sebastian and Maru fit the dynamic perfectly. Even their interests correspond; both are into technology, but Maru prefers robotics and Sebastian prefers software development.
  • Side-Effects Include...: A poster you can read in Harvey's clinic describes a drug with an array of hilarious side effects. Whenever he talks to you, he gives you health advice - in the summer, he tells you to put on sunscreen.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: Near the Tiger Slime Grove on Ginger Island is a cave with colored crystals. Interacting with the statue in the back initiates a Simon Says game where the crystals light up and play notes. Successfully repeating five rounds of sequences yields three Golden Walnuts.
  • Sinister Surveillance: During the opening cinematic, the Joja Corporation cubicles each have a camera observing the employee.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The game subverts the usual mechanics associated with this world, but floors 40-79 of the mine apply, with a snowy white aesthetic, frozen slimes and blue bats, and breakable crystals everywhere.
  • So Proud of You: Said to the player from the spirit of their grandfather, who appears on the first day of Year 3, if they have done well on the farm and in making friends with the people of Pelican Town.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: The mine applies this, starting with generic caves for the first floor or so, leading into jungle, leading into ice caves, and ending with lava caves. The desert caves, bizarrely enough, are the hardest of all, but come in a completely different cave.
  • Soul-Crushing Desk Job: The Player Character starts off working at Joja Corporation, which is seen as monotonous and depressing when they were working prior to moving to Pelican Town in Stardew Valley.
  • Sprint Shoes:
    • The horse is thirty percent faster than your normal running speed, but it requires you to build a stable on your farm before you can use it.
    • There are several food items that can temporarily increase your character's movement speed, such as coffee. Under this effect, you move about twenty percent faster (and it buffs your horse too).
  • Status Effects: Some food gives an additional buff such as increased max hp. Some of them also have a negative effect, such as beer giving the "tipsy" status effect to reduce speed. Also, running out of energy gives the exhausted status effect which causes reduced energy restoration for that night.
  • Steam Never Dies: A part of Stardew Valley's Schizo Tech. The trains that pass by are always pulled by steam locomotives.
  • Stock Food Depictions: Many of the cooked food items have a "stock" appearance: pancakes are in a stack with butter on top, the burger appears to have red meat and greens (despite being made of eggplants), ice cream is three multicolored scoops, and maki is four identically-sized rolls. Fruits and vegetables are also mostly "stock", with red apples, red tomatoes, long yellow bananas, a pair of red cherries, red jelly, and green pickles.
  • Stock "Yuck!": Joja Cola is hated by every single NPC (Sam, who likes it, being the only exception), and is categorized as trash by the game.
  • Summon a Ride: The Horse Flute, added in patch 1.5, instantly transports the horse to the farmer's side when played.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: The Farmer will abruptly produce a mini-harp to play during Abigail's 4-heart event. Their ability to play it is never hinted at prior to this, and never brought up again afterwards.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • "The world-class science team at Joja Headquarters have determined that 'Joja Bluu' does not cause a significant erosion of the stomach lining."
    • Joja also claims that their digging operations are completely legal.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: You'll have to do this for Shane in his six-heart event, when he contemplates throwing himself off a cliff while in an alcohol-driven depressive low. Regardless of whether or not you succeed, he'll thankfully pass out before anything bad happens, after which you take him to Harvey's to get his stomach pumped.
  • Taught by Television: The PC can learn new cooking recipes from the cooking channel. In addition, the player can occasionally also get helpful Tips-of-the-Day hints, like when and where to catch a certain kind of fish.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: One of these appears among the attractions in the Stardew Valley Fair during the fall season. Instead of a hammer, a pickaxe is used. Perfectly timing the bar with the top of the meter nets one star token. You'll also get a token for hitting the absolute bottom just because the guy running it is actually impressed by how weak you are.
  • Three Quarters View: Since the game graphically resembles many from the 16-bit era, it should come as no surprise that it uses this perspective.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: In the grand tradition of the genre. The whole of Stardew Valley - let alone Pelican Town - has about three dozen souls all told. It's a wonder JojaMart even bothered to set up shop here with such a tiny potential market to exploit.note 
  • Timed Mission: The Special Orders posted on Pierre's and the town's billboard and on Mr. Qi's Walnut Room, consist on collecting and/or shipping a certain number of items within the time given.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Sebastian and to a lesser extent Shane can be seen as this considering how popular they both are as marriage candidates.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Life Elixirs, which completely restore health and energy. You get one by merit of requiring one of each uncommon mushroom to craft. This includes the Purple Mushroom, which you aren't likely to get a ready supply of until later in the game and mines (or via the farm cave with the mushroom option, or the forest farm map in autumn).
    • The Mermaid's Pearl and the Golden Pumpkin are two of the only items that everybody in town loves, no exceptions. At most, you can only get one of them per in-game year, because they're festival-exclusive items. Chances are you'll just sell them for profit or hang onto them until someone's birthday some months away.
    • Magic Rock Candy is one of the most powerful food items in the game, restoring a whopping 500 Energy and 255 health and giving massive boosts to your skills: +2 to mining, +1 to speed, and +5 to luck, attack, and defense. It's also hard to come by; you get one as a reward for donating 90 items to the museum, but the only way to get more is as a rare drop from Haunted Skull enemies, or from the Desert Trader (who only sells one a week every Thursday in exchange for three Prismatic Shards, one of the rarest minerals in the game).
  • Translation Convention: The Dwarf only speaks Dwarvish, but their dialogue will show up in English once you acquire a translation book.
  • Treasure Room:
    • Downplayed. At certain mine checkpoint levels, there may be exactly one treasure chest that contains a lootable item of varying usefulness. In addition, some mine levels (usually found right before a checkpoint level) will have an area with a large number of breakable treasure chests. However, the usefulness of these items may vary.
    • Each day, one floor between 80 and 120 in the mines spawns a large number of rare mushrooms.
    • In the version 1.3 Skull Caverns, you'll randomly come across rooms with a treasure chest in them. These chests can give out various seed packets, food items, useful farming devices, valuable items (such as iridium bars and slime eggs), and even red and blue cowboy hats that can't be obtained anywhere else.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
    • Figuring out when and where to catch certain fish - some tips are given in-game by a TV show, but they're not comprehensive or often repeated.
    • Gift-giving. Each character has only a few "loved" gifts, which are often rare and/or expensive, and outside of a few specific hints from characters the only way to find out whether they love a specific gift is to use it up and give it to them. Add to this the fact that you can only give them a gift two times per game week and if you get it wrong you can even lose hearts with them, figuring out gifts without using a guide can get quite frustrating. Even the few "universal" loves tend to have exceptions (e.g. everyone loves Prismatic Shards except Haley, who hates them). The one exception to this is the Mermaid's Pearl, since everyone loves it, but you'll only ever get one (this was changed later but it's still pretty rare), and the only thing in the game that tells you how to get it may never show up (though there's another hint kind of Hiding in Plain Sight).
    • This was somewhat mitigated in the 1.4 update, which doesn't make this process any less trial and error, but does add a tracking system so that you don't have to keep a spreadsheet of who likes or dislikes which items after you give them out.
  • Unfinished Business: Alluded to in Grandpa's evaluation. If you get four candles on a second or later try, in addition to saying that you're a better farmer than he ever was, he'll mention that his spirit is free now, and he won't return again.
  • Useless Useful Spell: All weapon types have a special secondary attack with a cooldown, and all of them are considered less effective than just swinging the weapon.
  • Vague Age: No character is given an explicit age in the story, a deliberate design choice by ConcernedApe to help players make their own subjective interpretations of characters, events, and relationships. This is especially true of the bachelors and bachelorettes: many seem to be fresh out of high school or the equivalent (Alex, Abigail, Haley, Maru, and Penny in particular) whereas others are clearly meant to be somewhat older (Elliott, Leah, Emily, Shane, and Harvey in particular). ConcernedApe has said that all the characters are "legal" and that he envisions most of the younger bachelor(ette)s to be around 20 years old.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: As you befriend characters, you help make positive changes in their lives. Many players also opt to "rescue" the characters they feel the most sympathy for via marriage, such as marrying Penny to save her from her unhealthy relationship with her mother. Alternately, a great number of people romance and marry Sebastian, who barely HAS a relationship with his whole family as The Unfavorite.
    • At the end of the first week, Marnie brings a stray dog or cat to your door and asks you to keep it as a pet. You can pet it and fill the watering dish every day, and it will do nothing for your farm except be adorable and get in the way.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can do some pretty horrible things to the characters that play on their worst fears and insecurities, such as calling Alex "worthless" (shortly after he's revealed to you that his abusive father hurled that specific insult at him on a regular basis).
    • The 1.1 update adds a few more callous ways to interact with other characters. You are free to divorce and marry all the eligible villagers if you so choose to. And while they will hold a grudge against you after you divorce them, you can activate a dark shrine in the Witch's hut to erase their memories, causing them to forget that you were ever involved with them and letting you start fresh. And by offering a Prismatic Shard to another dark shrine you can turn your children into doves, permanently removing them from your life.
    • On top of all of the above, you can even romance Emily in the update, after pushing Clint to ask her out!
    • You can also anger people by using the slingshot on them, or building things in their walking paths.
    • If you don't give back Lewis's Lucky Shorts immediately, you can use it in the Luau pot, grossing out the Governor and royally pissing off Lewis. You can also use it for your display at the Stardew Valley Fair, causing Lewis to bribe you with 750 stars to get you to keep quiet about it.
    • With the addition of the movie theater, you can take one of the kids to a horror movie. Surprise, they dislike it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: There are several things you can do which cause people to lose friendship points with the farmer.
    • Shooting people with a slingshot causes a drop in friendship, since they'll be annoyed with you.
    • Using an item with a negative energy value (such as a Red Mushroom or Void Mayonnaise) in the potluck soup at the Luau will cause a substantial hit in your friendship values with everyone in town.
    • Rejecting Penny's Anguished Declaration of Love in her ten-heart event causes her to lose 1,500 points of affection for the player (a full six hearts) and prevents the player from romancing her. Saying you don't like kids in her eight-heart event causes the same large affection drop.
    • Selling the community center out to JojaMart replaces the items you need to bring to the community center with money. However, the player can no longer earn the smaller rewards from completing bundles, and the "Friendship" bonus that would have increased everyone's friendship with the player by 500 points will no longer be available.
  • Video Game Randomizer: Patch 1.5 added Advanced Game Options to, among other things, randomize the requests in the Community Center bundles.
  • Video Game Time: The compressed time ratio means that getting from your house to the mountains can take an hour, which seems reasonable if you were to interpret the overworld map as not to scale. But then there's the matter of taking 10 in-game minutes just to get from your bed in an upgraded house to the front door and characters taking hours to use a microwave.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: At launch, players would choose the appearance of their shirt and pants at character creation which would remain fixed for the rest of the game. The only cosmetic changes were adding hats and stat-boosting boots. Patch 1.4 introduced the Tailoring system which lets the player create new shirts, pants, and hats, as well as swapping the appearance of boots while maintaining the stats.
  • Walking Spoiler: Krobus and the Dwarf might count. Seeing as they're meant to be secret characters that even have their own secret shops, simply mentioning their names can prove to be a spoiler.
  • Warp Whistle: Once unlocked, the mine cart can be used to quickly travel around. Similarly, various craftable one-time-use totems can be used to travel to a certain location, depending on which totem was used.
  • Water Wake Up: One of Shane's heart events involves you finding him passed out drunk. To wake him up, you have to splash him with your watering can.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • If you hit any of the townspeople with your slingshot, your relationship will drop with them and they will call you out on it if you talk to them afterward.
    • As of the multiplayer update, it is no longer possible to date all of the eligible bachelors/bachelorettes at once without them calling you out on it. If you do this, you can trigger a cutscene where they all vow to "give you the cold shoulder". Should you be doing this and talk to Welwick at the fair, she'll also mention it.
  • White Collar Worker: You begin the game as this, an overworked, under-appreciated cubicle monkey at (where else?) the Joja Corporation. Your decision to give it all up and seek a new destiny on your grandfather's old farm is how it all begins.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Once you restore the Community Center Morris charges in and complains sales are plummeting. Pierre takes this moment to rally the townsfolk against JojaMart, and it's said Morris and the JojaMart cronies aren't seen again. Either Pierre can Win Back the Crowd by reminding them of their community leading to a JojaMart boycott with "let's be reasonable," or he can use Good Old Fisticuffs against Morris with "let's settle it the old fashioned way" and get Cool Shades after knocking out Morris.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Gameplay is open-ended, with no requirements put upon the player(s) to complete any story objectives (not even the main Joja Co. storyline). In fact, it can take several in game years to complete the main storyline, so that player is all but encouraged to take things at their own pace. The only thing that has a "time limit", so to speak, is the evaluation that your Grandpa gives you at the end of Year 2, but as of patch 1.05, you can get re-evaluated at any time afterwards at the cost of a diamond.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Due to the way the Fishing Minigame works, it's occasionally possible to reel in a fish (and even get a perfect catch) by not doing anything at all after you've cast the line.
  • Wingdinglish: The Junimo language, which appears on a scroll in the Community Center and occasionally in Junimos' speech balloons, is composed of symbols that replace the letters of the alphabet. The scroll in the Community Center reads:
    Crafts Room
    "We the Junimo are happy to aid you.
    In return we ask for gifts of
    the valley. If you are one with
    the true nature of this scroll."
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Which is why we need to preserve it from the ruthless forces of capitalism so we can all enjoy it with the people close to us.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: While most of the villagers have plausible hair colors, several also have odd ones, like Caroline (green), Shane, Jas and the Wizard (purple), and Emily (bright blue). Interestingly, Caroline is dismayed that her daughter Abigail dyes her hair purple, despite being green-haired herself.
  • Wrench Wench: Maru as one of the potential female romance options who is the local scientist's daughter. She bonds with you over building a robot as a pet project, and eventually accidentally electrocutes you with it. Fortunately, she doubles as a Hospital Hottie. If you marry her, she moves in and often can be found tinkering with gadgets in the bedroom.
  • You Mean "Xmas": The Egg Festival, Spirit's Eve, and the Feast of the Winter Star are analogous to Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving/Christmas respectively.

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