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The Sims is the first game in The Sims series, released in 2000 with seven expansion packs.

This game introduced the core features of the franchise's "people simulation" mechanic, including simulation of households, a large neighborhood of families you could control, purchasing increasingly expensive and increasingly efficient household objects, and a comprehensive house-building feature which even trained architects enjoy using. Having said that, there was no aging in the game: children remained children forever, nobody died (unless you caused them to), and once you had made your Sims fat and rich, there wasn't much else to do to or with them.

Sim personalities worked on a Point Build system using five ten-point scales with a total of twenty-five points to distribute between them: Outgoing/Shy, Grouchy/Nice, Playful/Serious, Neat/Sloppy, Active/Lazy, which tied in with star signs based loosely on the astrological signs of the Western Zodiac.

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The Sims is known to be extremely addictive in most and/or all of its variants. The game includes tools which allows you to export your houses, Sims, and neighborhoods as Downloadable Content for other people; and, as mentioned, there is a huge variety of unofficial Game Mods which change the way the game functions.


The Sims provides examples Of:

  • 20% More Awesome: The description for the wall-mounted plasma TV introduced in Superstar mentions that it will make a household 3 times cooler than one without a wall-mounted plasma TV.
  • Absurdly Elderly Mother: Since, unlike subsequent games, elderhood doesn't technically exists, being just part of the head selected for a given sim, it's completely possible for a female sim who looks like a granny to have a baby.
  • Aerith and Bob: You can have a household with names like Bob and Chris alongside Ignotius and Aife.
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  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Happens to Werewolf sims.
  • Art Evolution: As noted in the YMMV section, while the graphics never changed (which was a point of contention for reviewers) the object sprites and details increased whith each subsequent Expansion Pack. This is specially noticeable in the flora, which went from pretty simple designs in the base game to sprawling, growing and really beautiful drawings in the Makin' Magic Expansion Pack.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Drew Carey. One episode actually had the characters of The Drew Carey Show behaving as Sims. Check The Cameo below as well.
  • Beehive Hairdo:
    • One of the pre-set head skins sports one, and is used by two pre-made playables (Melissa Roomies and Sylvia-Marie Mashuga).
    • The beehive fails to return in any version of The Sims 2, but is a hidden accessory in the base game, and can be seen on a number of thumbnails for deceased characters, including Irma Oldie.
  • Benevolent Genie: Livin' Large features a magic lamp that houses one of these, and he can be asked to fulfill a wish once a day. Unfortunately, his benevolence does not equal competence, and his attempts at fulfilling your wishes tend to backfire spectacularly.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: In Makin' Magic, the Toadification spell.
  • Big Fancy House: The ultimate objective in the console ports.
  • Boring, but Practical: Benches for naps. Showers in the gym. Fruit and veggies in the community garden lots. Friends who have places you can Stay Overnight.
    • Maid service costs peanuts (initial fee of §10 + an additional §10 per hour once a day) and ensures that your Sim can focus on more pressing or productive tasks than cleaning up old newspapers or mopping up puddles in the bathroom.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Possible with Michael Bachelor and Bella Goth in this game, as they weren't revealed to be siblings until The Sims 2.
  • Burglar Wear: The clothes burglars wear are kind of obvious.
  • The Cameo:
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: In the original Sims, babies arrive all swaddled and diapered, laying in a bassinet, in a shower of daisies.
  • Controllable Helplessness: If a burglar breaks into the house while your Sim is asleep, both the buy mode and build mode are turned off, and while you can still follow the burglar with the camera, you are unable to do anything else. You can theoretically stop them without the alarm, but it requires teleporters (slower than stairs), the burglar to steal items specifically from upstairs, downstairs, and then upstairs, a big house, and a phone close enough to the Sim you woke up. It doesn't help that loud, frightening music plays at the same time.
  • Cool Shades: Gnomes (along with red clothes and missile-shaped hats), after you max out your skill in The Sims Bustin' Out. Rocket Gnomes blast off and explode into a firework display.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The aptly-named Goth family are just ordinary Sims with a dark aesthetic; most of them have a decent amount of Nice points. Especially the daughter, Cassandra, who is, no pun intended, a Perky Goth.
  • Dead Person Conversation: In Makin' Magic, Sims can talk with ghosts by using the Shed Your Skin spell, which turns living sims into ghosts for a while.
  • Denser and Wackier: The base game lacks almost any fantasy elements (the sole exception being ghosts) and takes itself very seriously compared to later games. The first expansion, Livin' Large, started this trope by adding potion machines, genies, alien abductions, the Grim Reaper...
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Once a sim reaches the level 10 job of their career, there is a random chance after every workday that they will be demoted to a mid-level job in another field: for example, a military general will become a SWAT team leader, or a movie star will become a congressperson. While this can add variety to the gameplay and keep things fresh, it's extremely annoying if you just want to rake in the cash, not to mention that the new career path will probably require them to build more skills and make new friends to get promotions. To avoid this, many players simply have their sims stay at the level 9 jobnote  while never meeting the requirements for the last promotion.
  • Dramatic Thunder: The Goths' mansion in the console version.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Aside from babies (which are treated as objects instead of a life stage) growing up into children, Sims do not age naturally. Adults will never die of old age and children will never grow up, barring the Age of Instant charm that magical children can create and use in Makin' Magic.
    • Relationships are a lot simpler than in future installments. Marriage is a one-time event without any long-lasting effects and familial bonds are not tracked, meaning that from a technical standpoint siblings don't exist and a child is not considered to be related to their parents.
    • Same-sex couples can't get married in this version of the game. The Sims 2 would introduce a form of civil union only for same-gender partnerships, and from The Sims 3 onwards any couple could get married as long as both parties were of age and not married to anyone else. It's worth noting, however, that the fact that the original Sims allowed same-sex romances to take place at all was considered highly progressive in the early 2000s.
    • A Sim who reaches the final level in a career is eventually forced into a new career, albeit halfway through.
    • Electrocution in this game is considered an instant death, also it is impossible to save a Sim who was set a-lit; the moment they are set on fire, they are doomed no matter what. Even if a fire has been instantly extinguished by a spell attained from a Black Crystal..
    • The game is fairly grounded in reality - with most of the fantastical things (such as the genie lamp or voodoo doll in Livin' Large, or the magic societies in Makin' Magic) being fairly easy to ignore or just being there for humour. See also Earth Drift.
    • The Grim Reaper is much more menacing here, as his entrance and sound effects are chilling, everything about him (apart from one occasion where he'll perform a doorbell prank and giving Bonehilda his autograph) is played much more seriously, and depending on his mood may actually turn down a Sim's plea.
    • This is the only game where cats and dogs can be starved or burned to death unlike in later games where they can only die by old age. In addition, children can be starved to death, or die by a disease whereas in all games after, they'll be taken away by a social worker.
    • A Sims' scream whenever they burn or starve to death (or by disease), is much more realistic and agonizing, rather than comedic. Their "Slap" interaction is also not comical, if used on sims of the same gender with the cartoonish multi-hand slap (which is a standard for later games) being reserved for sims of the opposite gender.
    • A Sims' Simlish is not as flexible like in the later games which results in them speaking the same phrase, as evident when using certain interactions.
    • It's the only entry where the Japanese version was given the Dub Name Change to SimPeople (to be more consistent with the Sim title. Accordingly, the player families (except the Goths) and homes were altered to give them an East Asian flavor. Later games kept the original name, and the playable household and homes unaltered.
    • It also applies to the unpatched base game, which had some oddities that were patched out or changed on later expansion packs:
      • The Grim Reaper didn't exist, so sims died instantly with no choice to save them.
      • All lights had the option to turn them on or off; it probably was considered so unpractical that the first patch made all of them automatic. Plus, they didn't have graphical fading and weren't dynamic.
      • Changing clothes was a pie menu option on every dresser; the sims would turn over and change their clothes, and you had to do it until the character changed into the clothes you wanted. It also didn't make any distinction between body types. A patched game would spawn a menu in order to view all clothes options and choose what you wanted.
      • On the base game, there was no option whatsoever for sims to have sex, and children would spawn from two sims of opposite genders kissing a lot; Livin Large introduced a heart-shaped bed for that purpouse that had a chance to spawn a baby whenever two opposite-gender adult sims used it. And nearly every subsequent expansion gave options for sims to play.
      • Calling a neighbour only gave the option to invite them. All subsequent expansions let you either talk or invite them over. Also, each family on the neighbourhood had a pie menu option; once townies (non-controllable neighbours) were introduced from Hot Date onwards, a phonebook interface would spawn in order to choose who to call.
      • There was only one relationship bar, that would periodically be reduced if two sims didn't interact. From Hot Date onwards, there would be two bars: one representing the "historic" relationship of the characters, that would be reduced moore slowly, and the original one, representing the "instant" feelings of both sims, thus making relationships both easier and more complicated.
      • Speaking of which, each social interaction had a single pie menu option (like "kiss") and sims would sometimes play different animations depending on the relationship level towards the target sim. From Hot Dste onwards, interactions were grouped in categories, and the player could choose different types of one (for example, "Kiss... Peck"). Plus, an entire array of new interactions was added with that expansion and each subsequent one.
      • And speaking yet more of which, an interaction disappeared with Hot Date: "Give gift". This is because those gifts were not physical, and only appeared with the interaction; each subsequent expansion introduced shops with buyable items that made the original interaction redundant.
      • The UI had just five buttons (Mood, Personality, Relationships, Work, House), and the last three had a bar of up to ten points to quickly see the level of each one. From Hot Date onwards, two more buttons were added (Interests and Inventory), and the point bars were eliminated. The inventory one would be further modified with the last Expansion, Making Magic, which subdivided it into "Magic Items", "Ingredients" and "Other items".
      • Sims had conversation interests right from the first version, but they were invisible and unmodifiable; all expansions from ''Hot Date'' onwards made them visible on the UI.
  • Earth Drift: The first game is far more grounded in our reality than later ones, even if it still featured aliens and later, magic. For example, it mentions real world history, and the downloadable Agent Household name's are from real world government organizations rather than a Sim equivalent (i.e. SCIA).
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the console versions, Malcolm Landgrabb goes nuts after the player's mom divorces him.
  • Flavor Text: Nearly every item. Some examples are:
    • Birthday Cake:
      Talk about an instant party!!! What better way to cheer up a Sim on their birthday than a Yumko Cake Corp. birthday cake? Patented aspartame technology yields cakes 500 times sweeter than other brands! Serves 12. Candles included. Contains: Refined Flour, Milk, Saturated Fat, Corn Starch, Aspartame, Methyl Cellulose, Lecithin, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Phosphoric Acid, Citric Acid, Limonene, natural flavoring.
      • Makin' Magic:
      • A Sim's Guide to Cooking:
        Why waste precious time and energy trying to follow that cryptic recipe scrawled by your great-great grandmother? The Busy Baker's Association has spent years collecting the best and most popular recipes to make your life that much easier. Printed in large, clear text on plastic coated pages, there's absolutely no better resource for your cooking needs.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Even though Gunther and Cornelia Goth Sr's bios establish them as Mortimer Goth's parents (and therefore, Bella Goth's parents-in-law and Cassandra Goth's grandparents), they don't know each other in-game.
  • Germanic Depressives: The Goth family are rather dour and spooky and though their nationality is never stated, Goth is a German surname.
  • Global Currency Exception: MagiCoins in the Makin' Magic expansion pack. Necessary to buy anything magic-related, up to and including the residential lots in Magic Town.
  • G-Rated Sex: To have a baby, two sims only need to do enough romantic interactions (such as kissing) with each other until a pop-up appears asking if they should have a baby appears. The "Livin' Large" expansion pack, however, introduced a heart-shaped bed that has the option for a couple to "play" under the covers, a precursor to the "WooHoo" present in The Sims 2 and onwards.
  • Hammerspace: Sims apparently carry around everything from screwdrivers to mops to shovels in their pockets and can whip them out as needed.
  • High-Voltage Death: This is one way your sims can die, by trying to repair electrical appliances with poor mechanical/handiness skills, or while standing on a puddle. Comes complete with X-Ray Sparks.
  • Hobos: Bobo the bum appears in the console versions. He will show at your door asking for food.
  • Horrible Hollywood: According to the descriptions for Superstar's "Fame" career, Studio Town is this. Artist Disillusionment and Lonely at the Top are both par for the course for Sims looking to become celebrities, or that's what the game tells you, anyway.
  • It's Always Spring: Sim children go to school every day, and the plant life is always leafy and green. (The Makin' Magic expansion pack breaks the pattern by being set in the fall, although the most you can do to bring the change of season back to the main neighborhood is to use its orange-leafed flora in regular lots.) A mod allows kids and teenagers to get the whole summer off.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Malcolm donates the player a spare mansion in the console version, only to evict you in the sequel. He is later chased out of his new house by your mom, allowing the player to move in.
  • Light Is Not Good: Malcolm Landgraab, the antagonist in the console games, is decked out in an almost entirely white outfit. This does nothing to prevent him from being one of the most evil Sims in the entire series.
  • Losing Your Head:
    • The console version has a head in a jar as artwork that you can buy.
    • The computer version has a head in a jar on a vaguely human-body-shaped metal stand that can be bought as a statue.
  • Lost in Translation: The spanish version of Unleashed replaced all Old Town families' surnames with generic spanish surnames. This actually makes the relation between the Goth and Goth Sr families lost in the translation, as the latter is instead the Fernández family (while the former is the Lápida family), while Gunther and Cornelia's bios talk about their son Mortimer... who's called Homero in the spanish version.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The fame-boosting minigames introduced in Superstar. In order to succesfully use the average-level objects, you have choose the correct sequence of three "moods". You get three tries, so it's possible to always find the right sequence once you get the hang of it. The high-level ones, however, only give you two tries, making them this trope. In return, you only need to guess two "moods" correctly to pass the minigame and the pay is much higher than with the mid-level objects, but it's still a gamble as failing the minigame too many times will result in your star rank lowering... or worse, Nervous Breakdown.
  • Loony Fan: Not paying attention to fans (the Anybodies) will result in an Obsessed Fan stalking a famous sim throughout the lot. Snapping pictures on residential lots and craving for your attention on community lots.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Apart from deaths by starvation, fire, drowning, etc. that would also appear on this game's sequels, there are some kinds of death that are unique to the first game, such as being launched to the sky by the skydiving simulator or by being eaten after being turned into a toad. note 
  • Market-Based Title: The Livin' Large and Vacation expansions were renamed Livin' It Up and On Holiday, respectively, in most European and some Asian releases. The Japanese release renamed the entire game to Sim People, but the sequels went back to using The Sims.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • A number, but Malcolm Landgraab wins points for not only having a punny surname but for even having the significance of his first name lampshaded in his bio: "If he were meant to be a good guy, he'd probably be called 'Benedict'" ('Mal' and 'Bene' being the Latin roots for a number of words connoting 'bad/evil' and 'good', respectively).
    • A family in one starter neighborhood are named Mashuga. This is notably close to "Meshuga", the Yiddish word for "crazy," and while craziness is sometimes hard to define in Sims, their house and clothing aesthetic are certainly a little out-there.
  • Military School: Kids whose grades linger at F for several days are shipped off to such an institution for the rest of their lives and disappear from the game forever.
  • Modern Stasis: No matter how long you play for, the world never changes at all.
  • My Beloved Smother: "Mom" in the console version.
  • Parental Incest: As a result of Gameplay and Story Segregation, Mortimer Goth is unrelated to his parents, Gunther and Cornelia, the Goth Sr family. There is nothing preventing Mortimer from falling in love with either of them, or even marrying Cornelia.
  • Prank Call: Randomly featured in the original base game. Later versions and expansions would patch them out.
  • Product Placement: Some free Downloadable Content included:
    • A Pepsi vending machine (which after the deal expired was replaced with a generic soda vending machine).
    • A McDonald's food stand.
    • A new gaming PC with the "brand new" Intel Pentium 4 processor.
  • Prophetic Name: The Goth family.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Zigzagged. There are very few differences between a female or male Sim, all romantic interactions can be performed between any two adults, and anyone cohabiting in a romantic relationship will occasionally receive the option to adopt a child. Only three minor game-play mechanics are affected by a Sim's gender: only opposite-sex couples could propose marriage or conceive a child through kissing (though same-sex couples could achieve the same outcome by moving in together and adopting children), and gender determines which bathroom door a Sim can enter (from Hot Date onward).
  • Rascally Raccoon: El Bandito is a raccoon that only appears in the night and will rummage through the lot's trash bin, waking up all sleeping sims, though pets can drive it away with a fight. Invoked as El Bandito has the same danger sting as burglars when it appears.
  • Remilitarized Zone: The Octagon. Unlocked if you pursue the Military career in The Sims Bustin' Out.
  • Rich Bitch: The Landgraabs in the console version. Malcolm might be more evil, but Mimi/Dudley is more of a Hate Sink because of the work your Sim has to do in the story level.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: In the expansions, pleading for a Sim's life would involve playing Rock–Paper–Scissors with death (though your chance to win was actually based off of how much the pleading Sim loved the dead Sim).
  • Sad Clown: If you have his painting on your wall and one of your Sims gets depressed enough, Sunny the Tragic Clown will show up to try and cheer him or her up. Since Sunny is every bit as depressed as the Sim he's trying to cheer up, this only makes things worse.
  • Save Scumming: Makin' Magic prevents the player from doing this if they cast the spells that allow children to grow up or pets to become human sims; the game is automatically saved. A savvy player can avert this by manually backing up the save files however.
  • Shout-Out: Has a page.
  • The Slacker: Dudley Landgrabb. His mobile home in The Sims Bustin' Out is the second rung up from Mom's House.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: When the raccoon El Bandito comes to eat from the outdoor trash can, the same scary music plays as when a burglar comes. It also plays, for some reason, when the Clown Catchers arrive even though it's a positive event for the active family.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Trope Namer. Although Simlish actually seems to have some aspects of a Conlang: among other things, there is a set word for "baby" ("nooboo"), which works just like the English word (i.e. can be used to refer to an actual baby or as a term of endearment) and "Vadish" seems to mean "Thank you".
  • Sting/Scare Chord: There are various "danger" themes that play when a burglar or raccoon shows up, a Sim or pet dies, there's a fire, or a ghost shows up.
  • Sugar Bowl: The whole game world. Though one can easily make a Crapsaccharine World out of it.
  • Take That!: The congratulations prompt for attaining the "Broadway Star" job. Maxis can't resist the obvious jab at Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • Super Serum: In the Livin' Large expansion pack, Sims can create a variety of different potions using a chemistry set, which causes different effects when drunk depending on its colour:
  • Surprise Creepy: The music tracks that play when something bad is going on. Hear for yourself.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Not only does it take up lots of time, but if you want to engage another Sim in a conversation, you can't multitask while doing so (Sims will chat if they find themselves eating at the same table or something, but you can't control the conversation that way).
  • Useless Useful Spell: "Banish" might have been a very valuable spell.... except it cannot be used on the Burglar, the Obsessed Fan, and the party crashers Pete and Paulette Dropinsky.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential/You Bastard!:
    • Cruel Player-Character God: Somewhat obvious given that you're taking almost complete control over the lives of several people. You can easily and intentionally kill your Sims through starvation, burn their house to the ground as a result of bad cooking, and if you prefer to keep them alive, prevent them from going to school, force them to flirt with their (attractive or unattractive) neighbors, drive them into bankruptcy, and start familial and neighborhood conflicts that last a lifetime. Also, this. Or this list detailing the various ways you can be cruel; the basement one is rather disturbing.
    • This fake trailer takes the above and runs with it.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: There are several adult mods/custom content out there, but due to the limitations of the first game most of them were limited to taking away censor blurs and adding sexy clothes.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Mortimer Goth. Also Drew Carey.
  • Wimp Fight: The "Slap Fight" interaction is essentially this. How the one being attacked responds is dependent on their mood.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: The chance of starting a fire is based on Cooking skill, not on what you're trying to cook and whether it would be a likely cause of a fire in real life. So you need Cooking skill even to use simple appliances like the toaster.

 
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The Sims Superstar

Repeated failures in Studio Town in the Superstar expansion pack in the original The Sims, may result in your sim having a breakdown, assuming the fetal position. What's worse, it'll be noted in the paper.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

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Main / TroubledFetalPosition

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