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Video Game / Tamagotchi

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Tamagotchi is a series of handheld toys created by Bandai. The handhelds are Virtual Pets that the player can play with; the pet starts out as a little baby and can grow into a variety of different adult types from there depending on how much the player takes care of it.

The first toys were sold in Japan on November 23, 1996. The company didn't expect much, and produced them in small number. But the toys became a big fad overnight. By the time they were producing enough to meet demand, the popularity had died down and Bandai ended up suffering financially. In 2004, they relaunched the toys with new infrared technology, allowing two Tamagotchi toys to communicate, letting them play games, exchange gifts, and even marry and produce children.

The relaunch has proven to be successful, spawning an entire franchise of Tamagotchi-related media. Despite remaining a Cash Cow Franchise in Japan, it's declined in popularity internationally, though Bandai has attempted to bring it back worldwide.


The Digimon franchise was Bandai's effort to create a Spear Counterpart to Tamagotchi, in order to tap into the male market. It... succeeded, shall we say.

For other Tamagotchi media, including the Animated Adaptations, see the franchise page. Also see the character page.

The Tamagotchi toys provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • The US release of the Morino Tamagotchi (a vintage Tamagotchi product) called Tamagotchi Garden was cancelled after the fad ended.
    • A successor to the Music Star, called the Music Star: World Tour Edition, was meant to feature raising a Tamagotchi, forming a band, and then travelling around the world to become internationally famous. It was planned for a fall 2009 release, but never materialized.
  • The Alcoholic: Oyajitchi is obsessed with sake, which was replaced with coffee for international versions.
    • Also applies to Horoyotchi, who is fashioned after a gourd of sake, carries around a sakazuki glass, and has red cheeks and squinty eyes.
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  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: From the Tamagotchi Ocean to the Tamagotchi Connection.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: All of the buildings, trees, and most objects on the Tamagotchi Planet are alive, or have a face at the very least.
    • A lot of the tamagotchi characters themselves also fall under this, such as Crackertchi (a party cracker), Yakantchi (a tea kettle), Mousetchi (a computer mouse), Belltchi (a bell), and Shelltchi (a clam shell).
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Tamagotchis sleep at night (falling asleep as late as 11 P.M.), so there's no point on checking on the toy again until morning.
  • Anyone Can Die: It's grim, but a Tamagotchi can die as a teen, child, or even as a baby should the user neglect it enough. On older releases, adults could die as well.
  • Art Evolution:
    • In Japan, the artwork used to be cruder and had black outlines. Beginning in 2004, the artwork looked better, but had blue outlines and several older characters who originally had black body parts had said parts recolored to match the new blue.
    • In the USA, the artwork looked even cruder than the original Japanese artwork, looking like it was colored in by a preschooler. In 2004, they later received the 2004 Japanese style, but later switched to the anime designs with the Tamagotchi Friends.
  • Asexuality: The Osutchi and Mesutchi gives us Sutebotchi and Tsuketchi. They refuse to marry any Tamagotchi, no matter how old they get. Ojitchi and Otokitchi, who had debuted on this device as well, were also incapable of marriage until the Connection came out seven years later.
  • Back from the Dead: On the Keitai, Akai, Entama and Uratama toys, the user can summon the soul of a previously deceased Tamagotchi (if one had died before) to save their current Tamagotchi from death.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: The Tamagotchi invaded Earth by accident (fleeing their drunk planet and having their UFOs suffer engine problems and crash), but both humans and Tamagotchis ended up benefiting from the incident. The Tamagotchi deliberately returning to Earth later on is a more straight example of this.
  • Big Eater: Kuchipatchi is the most notable breed characterized as this - others include PetitChocotchi and Kuishinbotchi.
  • Bindle Stick: Nazotchi is always seen carrying one.
  • Break the Cutie: When you don't take care of your Tamagotchi (giving it medicine when sick, feeding it, making it happy, cleaning up the poop), and if you don't do something about it quick, it might die.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Mesutchi and Osutchi had no restrictions on who they're allowed to marry, so the user could potentially marry the same two units over many generations with no consequence. Doubles as Twincest, as the two babies are identical and born at the same time. The modern releases until the 4U made it so both babies are the same sex.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor:
    • The Tamagotchi Planet, which itself is a living Tamagotchi. It's roughly the same size as Earth, but one sip of of a regular-sized bottle of sake is enough to get it drunk.
    • On the Keitai and Akai toys in Japan, the player can give sake to teenage characters. One sip makes them immediately get dizzy and throw up.
  • Cap: The Keitai and Version 2 toys, which introduced money to the toys, capped the money at 9999. The cap got higher for each succeeding version, with the Music Star's cap at 9~ billion. Meanwhile, prior to the release of the Tamagotchi On, generation and age numbers, meanwhile always capped at 99. This can cause problems on releases where evolutions are dependent on the generation being odd or even.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Two Tamagotchis who have known each other since they were babies can then later get married and have kids when they're adults.
  • Chocolate of Romance: On the Entama and Uratama toys, a chocolate heart can be purchased in February. Consuming it temporarily greatly accelerates the rate at which the Tamagotchi builds a relationship with another Tamagotchi.
  • Confused Question Mark: Giving a Tamagotchi certain toys can invoke this.
  • Controllable Helplessness: On the earlier 2000-era Japanese toys, if the Death Spirit appears and you're not prepared with the right item to send it away, you'll be stuck sitting and waiting for your Tamagotchi to die.
  • The Corruption: Severely neglecting an Angel can result in it turning it into a Deviltchi.
  • Creator Cameo: The Bandai logo can be obtained as a toy on the Music Star.
  • Creature-Breeding Mechanic: Most of the post-2004 models feature infrared connection. If two adult Tamagotchis of opposite genders are connected, they can "marry" and lay eggs that will eventually replace them. This allows players to begin the Tamagotchi life cycle over again. The Osutchi and Mesutchi were only vintage release outside of video games that used this feature, performed with the metal prongs used on the Digimon virtual pets several months prior.
  • Crossover:
    • Prominently with Aikatsu! and Sanrio. The Tamagotchi P's has several add-on that feature Aikatsu and Sanrio characters, while Aikatsu's Datacardass game features a Tamagotchi stage; and there's an entire m!x version dedicated to Sanrio characters.
    • The 1997 Mothra Tamagotchi, released as a tie-in to Rebirth of Mothra 2, allows the player to raise various kaiju such as Mothra and Godzilla.
    • There's also the toy Doraemontchi and the functionally-equivalent Doramitchi.
    • The Tamagotchi Nano model, introduced in 2010, has been reused for numerous crossovers since. These include Tokyo Disney Easter mascots Usatama and Usapiyo, Gudetama, Eevee, Pac-Man, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Crystal Ball: Gypsytchi the fortune-telling Tamagotchi has one.
  • Distaff Counterpart: As of the V5, many characters have a counterpart of the opposite sex (for example, Mametchi and Chantotchi).
  • A Dog Named "Dog": There's a character that looks like a Tamagotchi...and his name is Tamagotchi.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Because the critter your egg grows into is based on how you care for it, getting a specific creature can be a tricky task. The second-best characters on vintage releases are reputedly the hardest to get.
  • Domino Mask: Masktchi wears a black domino mask.
  • Dualvertisement: Around the time of the release for Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, a special Japan-exclusive Eevee version of Tamagotchi was released. Fittingly, the evolutions that the Eevee Tamagotchi can undergo are the same as from the series it hails from (Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon, etc.).
  • Dub Name Change: The most bizarre change was for Flowertchi. She debuted on a Japanese toy and was recycled for the American V2, except they had already named a character on it "Flowertchi" (both were originally debug-exclusive characters on the Connection/Plus). So Flowertchi was renamed Korotchi, then Leaftchi, and finally Violetchi, which has stuck. Come the anime dub, it reverted back to Flowertchi, but a number of the English-release devices continue to use Violetchi.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: In the Tamagotchi M!x and On, when breeding it's possible to get a male Tamagotchi that inherits more parts from the mother than the father, and thus looks extremely feminine, and vice versa for female Tamagotchi.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Looking into a Tamagotchi's ROM or activating debug mode typically results in seeing characters that never made the cut to the final toy, but can still be accessed and raised if hacked.
    • An absurdly extreme case on the Tama-Go; there are nearly as much characters dummied out as there are ones the player can actually obtain.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: In North American releases of the original 90's Tamagotchi toys, Mametchi was a blue-colored female rather than a yellow-colored male like in modern releases. The Japanese versions of the 90's releases avert this, as they made him a yellow-colored male right from the start. His name was also pronounced "muh-MEET-chee" instead of "muh-MEHT-chee", at least in Tamagotchi Video Adventures.
  • Eating Contest: On the first few Connection versions, this was one of the games played when two Tamagotchis connected.
  • Edible Collectible: From the Keitai (Japan) and Version 2 (worldwide) onward, different foods could be collected, many of which don't do anything special when consumed.
  • Endless Game: The 2000 era toys can be played for as long as the player can keep the pet alive and make sure it marries and starts a new generation.
  • Expansion Pack: The Tamagotchi P's in Japan feature USB-like items called a "pierce", which downloads new characters, items, destinations and backgrounds into the toy. The Tama-Go in the US had a similar thing with the "Gotchi Figures"; when plugged in, they added new games and items.
  • The Face of the Sun: Sunnytchi is a living Tamagotchi sun with a face that floats around the planet.
  • Face Plant: On the Version 1, failing at the "Jump" game will make the Tamagotchi trip over a hurdle. Many of the adult characters on other Connection releases also face plant as they walk across the screen in their idle animations.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: Bill is modeled after American foreigner stereotypes, and is named after Bill Clinton, US president at the time the Tamagotchi toys launched.
  • Fat Slob: Debutchi (on the Mesutchi and Osutchi toys) drools in its sleep.
  • Fattening the Victim: There's nothing stopping the player from overfeeding their Tamagotchi until their weight reaches 99, though some of the toys have consequences.
    • On the Mesutchi and Osutchi, doing this will turn the Tamagotchi into Debutchi, and if the weight's not shed off in 24 hours, it dies.
    • On the Tama-Go, the characters will visibly fatten up and become lethargic. Giving them medicine makes them crap out a massive pile of poo and lose 10 points off their weight.
  • Flatline: Part of the death sequences of most vintage releases. The heart rates gradually slow down before the flatline occurs, so it's not as bad as most examples in media where the change is instantaneous.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: A commercial for Tamagotchi Angel takes place here with two girl angels.note 
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Oyajitchi's sake addiction is replaced with coffee for US toys.
  • G-Rated Sex: When two Tamagotchis are about to mate, they kiss and then the screen turns black. Fireworks will appear on the screen, and when the light comes on again, the babies appear.
  • Game Over: The death screen serves as the Tamagotchi's game over screen. On certain modern releases, certain progress like items and amounts of money are kept when restarting the game by pressing A and C to get a new egg.
  • Genius Loci: The Tamagotchi Planet and its sun are Tamagotchi themselves, a specific kind referred to as a Gaiatchi.
  • The Good King: The Gotchi King.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • The 2010-era toys keep records of the different Tamagotchis you raise, and some give rewards for raising a certain number of different characters.
    • The L.i.f.e. and Classic apps reward you with new shell and background designs for raising numbers of characters and their color variations.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Death Spirit, which appears on the Japanese toys when the Tamagotchi is about to die. It looks like a small, black ghost with horns.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: If you don't tend to your Tamagotchi, it will die. On later versions, extra animations appear if the Tamagotchi is left alone for too long (sulking in the corner, begging for food, etc.).
  • Haunted House: One is in the park in the Tamagotchi & Earth EXPO. On the Plus Color, a theme park with a haunted house can be visited.
  • Improbably High I.Q.: Mametchi and Mimitchi are characterized as having IQs of 250 and 200, respectively. While they are shown in multiple media to be geniunely of above-average intelligence and capable of creating devices humans have yet to, it may be justified as their IQ is measured among other Tamagotchis, not humans.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Mushitchi (a subspecies of bug Tamagotchi) resemble many conventional Earth bugs. There are a number of normal Tamagotchi who resemble insects as well.
  • Item Crafting: The Entama and Uratama have a cooking system. Ingredients can be purchased on the E-Tamago site or the toy's shop, and can be combined to create new foods.
  • Kill the Cutie: When you don't take care of your Tamagotchi.
  • Killed Off for Real: Your Tamagotchi when it dies. Interestingly, this trope and Kill the Cutie were subverted by the later release of the Tamagotchi Angel. Your care would determine whether they ascend to the higher heavens, or become Devilgotchi.
  • Kissing Cousins: Could happen if you're attentive enough. It requires a long explanation, but try to keep up. If you have two tamagotchis mate with each other, the mother will give birth to two babies, one of which goes to live with the father. Both will always be of the same sex (probably to avoid any squicky possibilities once possible with the Osutchi/Mesutchi). Later, you will raise the babies and eventually they will grow up and have their own kids. If their babies are a boy and a girl, respectively, they can mate.
  • Little Green Man in a Can: They live inside their plastic digital egg, as they can't survive Earth's atmosphere in some media, primarily the vintage age ones.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • The left/right game has a coin flip decision as to which direction your Tamagotchi will face.
    • Obtaining Lucky Unchi-Kun on the Tamagotchi Angel is pure luck - it is decided if an Obaketchi 2 can evolve into it the very moment it is born. Unless of course, you get Sabotenshi/Kitsutenshi's rare farewell screen or you completely ignored your angel for a solid week from birth to uhh... Pooifying. Not even neglect. You have to completely ignore the poor little guy and press no buttons throughout its entire life.
  • Market-Based Title: The Tamagotchi Meets, as it is known in Japan, was released in the West as the Tamagotchi On. The Korean version goes by the name Tamagotchi Some (in Korea, the term "some" is used as a euphemism for an ambiguous romantic relationship between two people; it's a shortened form of "something", which is used to ask if a given couple are romantically affiliated with each other).
  • Mating Dance: The Mesutchi and Osutchi dance around when they connect to marry and reproduce.
  • Mirror Match: A non-violent example; it's possible to connect two toys that have the same character, and have them compete with each other in a minigame.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Many releases are basically additions to the previous version's base. The 4U+ is the most prominent example, being a straight-up upgrade to the 4U.
  • Mood Whiplash: One minute, you're playing with your Tamagotchi, the next minute, you get to watch it die. This is especially bad on the first Game Boy game, as a perfectly healthy Tamagotchi that has never been neglected may suddenly die.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Oyajitchi (in the US).
  • Never Say "Die": In most English toys, the Tamagotchi is referred to either as "returning to its home planet" or "running away", and the gravestone and ghost from the Japanese version is replaced with a UFO and stars (or a letter reading "Goodbye"). The sequence leading up to the screen, however, was left completely unchanged (a slowing heart rate with a skull), making it clear that the pet was dying.
    • This was averted on the original Connection models; the Tamagotchi is outright stated to die, turning into an egg with wings. However, it was played straight again on the English Version 5 models, where they get angry and fly away in a UFO instead. This was done again on the Tamatown Tama-Go and the Friends models along with the color versions from the iD to the 4U, where they run away instead of dying.
    • This was averted with the 2017 rerelease of the Tamagotchi Mini and the 2019 Tamagotchi On, both which keep the original death screen (a grave and a ghost), and the instruction manuals plainly mention death.
  • Ninja: Gozarutchi, his family members and most breeds originating from Gozaru Village all dress and act like ninjas.
  • No Mouth: Gozarutchi and Knighttchi both have their mouths obscured, the former by his ninja hood and the latter by his knight helmet.
  • No Smoking: Several characters have been seen smoking, which have been censored later on. Helmetchi (Morino Tamagotchi) is missing his cigarette in Tap & Hatch. Memetchi's father, Memepapatchi, had his cigar replaced with a cup of coffee.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: Initially played straight, as Tamagotchi life was much simpler before meeting humans. Completely averted after visiting Earth, as much of the planet changed to resemble Earth, including a massive influx of pop culture, and several breeds came into existence as a result of mimicking the planet's cultures.
  • Office Romance: On the Music Star, the Tamagotchi may fall in love with and marry one of their bandmates.
  • Off-Model: For a long time, Mametchi was depicted in LCD form with Black Bead Eyes instead of the larger, almond-shaped eyes he has in official art. This was eventually fixed in later models.
  • One-Hour Work Week: The Entama/Uratama and V4/V4.5 all have the Tamagotchi growing up and getting a job, but the Tamagotchi can only go when you tell them to. Furthermore, they'll only be there a few minutes, and on the English toys, the job is a minigame and the daily pay depends on how often this minigame is played.
  • One-Word Title: Tamagotchi is only one word.
  • Paparazzi: Paparatchi and Scooptchi.
  • Parental Abandonment: For each new generation, the parent from the previous one simply leaves, with no explanation - from the Plus Color onward, the parent doesn't even stick around for more than a couple of minutes. Averted for the Version 5 series, where the parents do stick around.
  • Patchwork Kids: The main gimmick of the m!x and On.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy:
    • The Mesutchi (girl) and Osutchi (boy) toys initially came in pink and blue, respectively.
    • On the m!x, since all of the teens are available in both genders they have the same sort of coloration patterns in their base forms.
  • Portmantitle: A bilingual one, interestingly enough. The title Tamagotchi is a combination of the Japanese word "tamago", meaning "egg", and the English word "watch", plus an extra "i" added at the end.
  • Potty Emergency: On My Tamagotchi Forever, your Tamagotchi will send you a warning saying "I have to go to the toilet. Quick!" when its' toilet meter is low. If you ignore this message after two hours, the Tamagotchi will poop on the floor (though sometimes the accident will occur beforehand).
    • A similar Japanese game, Discovered on LINE! Tamagotchi also uses this feature, with your Tamagotchi sending you a message via line that it has to go to the bathroom with a unique phrase, ranging from phrases shared among characters like "I'm gonna have an accident!" (which just so happens to be the most common one) and "I want to use the bathroom now" to character-specific ones like Violetchi's "It's not gonna smell like flowers soon...".
  • Potty Failure: If you don't catch your Tamagotchi squirming when it has to go to the bathroom, this will happen.
  • The Professor: Papamametchi and his colleagues. On the Earth, Professor Banzo, who developed the Tamagotchi device.
  • Raising Sim: It's a simulation of raising a pet.
  • Real Person Cameo:
    • The band GLAY appears on a limited edition version of the Tamagotchi Plus.
    • The two Hanerutchi releases feature characters based on the hosts of Japanese variety show Haneru no Tobira ~You knock on a jumping door!~.
    • The band Exile appears on a special version of the Tamagotchi Plus Color.
    • Rolatchi is based on the actress of the same name.
  • Regional Speciality: For the Keitai and Akai toys, food from different regions of Japan could be collected.
  • Rejected Marriage Proposal: If you choose to propose to one of the Tamagotchis you meet with Tamagotchi On, there's a 50/50 chance this will happen. Generally they're more willing to reject if their friendship level isn't high enough.
  • Rhythm Game: The V4/V4.5 and Music Star feature these.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The original releases may say that neglect can cause a Tamagotchi to grow up to become ugly, but at worst the characters are Ugly Cute. Nonetheless, most Tamagotchi are no more than two feet in height and are usually very friendly creatures.
  • Rule of Three: The V5 and V5 Celebrity allow you to raise up to three pets at once.
  • The Runaway: On later English versions of the Tamagotchi starting with the Music Star, instead of dying, the Tamagotchi would get fed up with your mistreatment and run away from home. This eventually became the case for the Japanese versions as well, though the original death sequence returned with the M!X. A fully-grown Tamagotchi would get fed up and try to run away, and catching it before it goes gives you a chance to win their love back.
  • Santa Claus: Initially, the Tamagotchi Planet didn't celebrate Christmas. But Tamagotchis returning from Earth had picked up on Earth traditions, including Christmas, and wanted to celebrate it. A mayor of a snowy northern village, realizing there was no Santa Tamagotchi, decides to take on the role and evolves into Santaclautchi permanently.
  • Series Mascot: Mametchi, Mimitchi, Kuchipatchi, and Oyajitchi have all served this role.
  • Shout-Out: A Hello Kitty doll is possible to obtain on the Keitai Tamagotchi.
  • Simulation Game: A simulation of taking care of a pet, to be specific.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The levels in Tamagotchi 'Round the World are several different planets, each hosting their own unique biome.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome:
    • Chamametchi, Kikitchi, and several other teen characters were popular enough with the target demographic that Bandai bumped them up to adults, so that the kids could play with the character longer. Though now this means Chamametchi, who is a very young girl and still in diapers, can marry and have children.
    • Possibly subverted with Kiramotchi of Tamagotchi Friends, as she already starts out as an adult despite being a very young girl herself.
  • Solid Gold Poop: The Angel Tamagotchis produce this. Lucky Unchi-kun and Super Unchi-kun are living variations.
  • Stellar Name: One character the player can get on some Tamagotchi devices is named Hoshitchi. "Hoshi" is Japanese for "star"; befitting of the name, the character resembles a shooting star.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Gozarutchi's character artwork depicts him holding a shuriken/ninja star.
  • Stop Motion: A Korean commercial for the Tamagotchi On depicts Mametchi, Lovelitchi, and a m!xed child of theirs in this animation style.
  • Sugar Bowl: The Tamagotchi Planet.
  • Take Me to Your Leader: Zuccitchi says this as a joke in the intro to the CD-ROM adaption. He never gets to say it to a human though.
  • Temporary Online Content: Many of the modern toys involve connecting with an online website or, in some Japanese cases, an arcade machine or cell phone game in order to obtain certain items. Without them, the unlocks on the toy are no longer available.
    • The most jarring example is the Music Star toy. In order to earn the special items to get the toy's secret characters, the player needs to visit the Tamatown website, earn points, buy the items, and transfer it to their toy. The website was taken down in February 2013, making them impossible to get.
    • Thankfully averted with the Japanese Entama and Uratama toys. While they did have the online website, logging in and out of it required a 14-digit number to be entered, generated by the toy. The patterns used to generate the login and logout codes was cracked, and now a freeware program known as Enwarehouse is readily available online.
    • Averted again with the Family line of pets (Version 5, V5 Celebrity). While it does have web connectivity, each item has its own unique item number, and a list of the codes has been made available online.
    • The 4U has certain characters that could only be unlocked via events in Japan involving a special NFC touchpoint. This is required to unlock Miraitchi and Cululutchi, for example.
  • The Tetris Effect: Tamagotchi effect.
  • Ultimate Job Security: On the Entama, Uratama, and the Music Star, the Tamagotchi can never lose their career once they obtain it. Subverted on the V4 and V4.5, when the Tamagotchi automatically loses their job and retires if they reach the senior stage.
  • Undying Loyalty: In the earlier versions, the Tamagotchi would stay with you, no matter how badly you treat it, until it dies. In the later versions (Music Star, Tama-Go, Tamagotchi Friends), the Tamagotchi will get fed up with you and run away.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: This is one of the game's main selling points. Of course, you can go the other direction and do horrible things.
  • Virtual Pet: The hand-held virtual pet that set off one of a thousand fads in the mid-to-late '90s. They were often banned from schools for being distracting. This didn't stop a lot of kids from setting them on silent and checking on them between classes. It also had a number of video game adaptations, the first of which was on the Game Boy in 1997. They could also be "paused" by going into the menu and choosing the option to set the time, then leaving it run in that manner.
  • Weird Crossover: As of 2020, there is a Tamagotchi toy themed around Neon Genesis Evangelion. You can now raise the Angels from this serious, dramatic, action-packed, and not-very-child-friendly anime on a toy that's part of a series that not only is child-friendly, but is much more cutesy and doesn't concern itself with as much action most of the time in comparison!
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside:
    • Each day that passes is one year on the Tamagotchi.
    • Averted with the Santaclautchi, which measures the days, and is the only Tamagotchi to do so.

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