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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Linus' 4-heart event involves him inviting the player inside his tent because he wants to "show you something". Both walk into the tent but the camera doesn't show us what's happening. All we hear are some very nasty squishing noises. It turns out he was just showing you how to make a special fishing bait out of bug meat but it didn't take long for the fandom to start making jokes about how it sounded like he was doing something naughty to the player.
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    • It can be hard not to giggle when one of the female townsfolk posts a request for a phallic-looking sea/super cucumber and refuse to explain why they need it. Or even worse, an octopus.
    • Maru's casual dialog to the farmer to come up to her room and "play with her gadgets".
    • In Abigail's 2 Heart event, doing well at the game has her playfully comment you really know how to "handle a joystick".
    • The Dummied Out spouse weapons. Haley's is supposed to be a hair curling iron, but if you're not reading the description it's very easy to mistake it for a vibrator. She's also the usual suspect for the purpose-unspecified item requests mentioned above.
    • Robin's special order for hardwood so she can design a lavish 4-post bed results in Demetrius, Robin's husband, confusedly asking what the four posts are for. Cue a lot of fans making suggestions.
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  • Adorkable: Maru, a nerdy science fanatic who squeals with glee when you ask her to marry you.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Demetrius: Malicious or just oblivious? Sebastian considers him an evil stepfather, but his actual behavior is mostly just awkward, such as his laughably bad Twerp Sweating moment in Maru's 2-heart event. He also has a guide to being a step-parent in his and Robin's room implying he at least tried to interact with Sebastian.
      • There is an implication that Demetrius is on the Spectrum, such as him bringing tomatoes when Robin asked him to bring fruit (technically correct, but not what Robin meant) and following up if you agree with him by saying it's sometimes hard for him to just "know" what Robin actually means when she asks him this. While somewhat stereotypical, science related careers are also believed to be popular choices for those in the autistic community. Either way, this implies that his behaviour around Sebastian is not intended as malicious.
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    • Sebastian claims to dislike the Flower Dance and will gripe about having to attend in the lead-up, as well as on the day itself. However, if the play asks him to dance and does not meet the heart requirements, he says no because he wanted to ask Haley. If the player does meet the requirements, he smiles happily and expresses excitement. This could suggest that he secretly enjoys the Flower Dance and only complains to uphold his image.
    • Emily's callous treatment of Clint's crush and 8-heart "costume therapy" event can read as uncomfortably manipulative. Though her later comments where she seems upset he isn't talking to her, and her somewhat Cloud Cuckoolander behaviour, both imply a naivete on her part as to his having a crush on her.
    • A few players have given the romanceable characters a more sinister motivation to wanting to marry the player - because they have one of the few farms around town, which produces food and earns money... of course regardless of any ill intent, they genuinely love you by the time you hit 8-10 hearts with them.
    • Pierre: a struggling salesman just trying to keep his business afloat, or a greedy liar who neglects his family, and passes off your products as his own? We do know that he resells your produce, which he admits to, but it's also implied by some villagers that Pierre claims he's grown the highest-quality items himself - blatant theft of credit. This is even more off putting if you consider that he might be doing the same thing during the Stardew Valley Fair.
    • Caroline also mentions Pierre gets "jealous" whenever the wizard is brought up and by Caroline spending time around his tower. However, given implications in game that Abigail is not Pierre's daughter, this may very well be her just trying to cover up her own misdeeds.)
    • Some players have also come to view Mayor Lewis as an egocentric Corrupt Politician thanks to his shiftier behavior, namely him wanting to keep his and Marnie's relationship a secret from the town so as not to endanger his position as mayor (which he's had a stranglehold on for over 20 years) and emotionally exhausting her by treating what should be a happy relationship as a shameful secret. Then, there's the matter of him blowing funds on constructing a golden statue of himself in secret as opposed to using them for something more benevolent, like fixing the community center or improving all the broken infrastructure around the town...
      • Related to that, some fans see Lewis as an outright Bastard Boyfriend cheating on Marnie with Robin, thanks to some rare dialogue of hers being suspiciously similar to Marnie's when she briefly mistakes the player for him. While some players don't see it as anything deeper than Robin expecting Lewis to check up on her business, others have pointed out that having secret affairs with two different women at the same time could certainly contribute to Lewis wanting to keep his relationship with Marnie a secret.
      • The Community Center and Bus issues around town paint Lewis as not being very good at his job anyways. The broken down bus resulted in Pam losing her job (and hurt the nearby Calico Desert according to Sandy who hadn't had any customers in a long time until the Bus is repaired by the player). He also calls the run down Community Center an eyesore and blames its dilapidated state on people "wanting to stay home and watch TV" instead of spending time with their friends and neighbors, something easily disproved by the fact that virtually the entire populace of Stardew Valley spends their Friday nights at the Saloon together and use the community center once it's repaired. It's hard not to think that people aren't lazy, they just stopped using it once it became rundown. Considering that Lewis personally collects the town's taxes from all the local businesses and apparently has enough money to give you gold right out of the treasury as a "thank you," he could reinvest it in the town, right? Oh, and he wants to sell it to Joja Mart, ya know, the villains.
      • Also not helping is that during the Luau, Pierre mentions that Lewis is hogging the visiting Governor's attention even though he would like to have a word with him too. Considering the economic and infrastructural issues the town is facing and the fact the Governor is fond of Pelican Town, it's not hard to view Lewis as an extreme narcissist wanting to get praise from the Governor instead of using the opportunity to help the town out when it really needs it.
    • While the player never finds out just who has been harassing Linus and destroying his tent, the limited pool of suspects means that just about any of the local villagers could have a far nastier side to them not displayed in-game; it could be entirely possible, however, that the culprit is someone visiting from outside town.
    • A lot of the bachelor(ette)’s romances can seem very lacking due to limited dialogue and little to no changes in their interactions with you once married, so a lot of the fans seem to try to find different interpretations to how each of the love interest will differ in their married life with the Farmer.
    • Jas's room is mostly normal, except for the fact that the grandfather doll in her dollhouse has been separated from the rest and jammed under the bed. The game never offers an explanation as to why. Some have taken it to mean that Jas was abused by her grandfather, thus explaining why she lives with Marnie instead of her own relatives, while others believe Jas must have seen Lewis hiding under Marnie's bed at some point.
    • Between her Accidental Innuendo "you know what it's for" item requests and Dummied Out spouse weapon, and her wholly intentional Ready for Lovemaking lines as a wife, it's easy to spin Haley as a Covert Pervert.
    • The game as a whole also applies. Is it a realistic game where dysfunctional families exist? Or is it overcompensating because every single family has problems?
  • Anvilicious: The game's "big-name brands bad, mom-and-pop businesses good" theme can feel very strong sometimes. The man running the JojaMart, Morris, is almost Dastardly Whiplash levels of cartoonishly evil, apparently wanting to run Pierre's store out of business for the heck of it, and restoring the community center can be done in the name of ruining him - Pierre definitely sees it this way. He is also a totally Flat Character, something made even more conspicuous by the game he's in having a strong focus on Character Development and Hidden Depths. There are other characters who are MUCH more actively unpleasant than Morris is, but they all turn out to have Freudian Excuses and Hidden Hearts of Gold.
    • The game's Green Aesop is just as prevalent. Several characters will drop everything, apropos of nothing, to lecture the Farmer on how they need to be environmentally-conscious and aware of their impact on the environment. Vaguely-defined "environmental pollution" is considered to be one of Joja Corporation's many dastardly deeds, but this is never shown in-game, other than litter strewn around sewage outlets, most of which probably came from the town's inhabitants. Furthermore, none of the characters who talk about the environment are ever seen doing much to improve things, not even picking up the aforementioned-trash.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • From the game's launch, a common point of criticism was the fishing minigame, which many players considered far too difficult to be worth bothering with. Update 1.4 added in the Training Rod, which can be bought from Willy's shop for dirt cheap (25g) and makes the game far easier from the start, at the acceptable expense of only catching the most basic fish.
    • An update gave some much needed buffs to Dagger weapons which previously had a quick three-strike ability that was almost useless since the first hit would knock the enemy away. Now the first two hits lock enemy in place and only the last one knocks it away.
    • The Forge introduced in 1.5 also makes certain styles of combat much more viable, namely making use of Critical Hits which were extremely uncommon even with the right set of skills. The same update also introduced weapons with higher Critical Hit Rate as well.
  • Awesome Ego: Alex. Turns out later it's masking some major issues.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • While many players are fans of Shane and the side of him he shows once he warms up to the protagonist (plus the blue chickens), there are still some who think he's too prickly to bother trying to befriend. Some have also questioned the mixed messaging of Shane's romance arc - helping a man wrestle with his alcoholism and poor mental health, and keep in mind one of the most accessible of Shane's favoured gifts is beer.
    • The fandom is pretty divided when it comes to Haley. Her fans see her as an adorable Girly Girl who doesn't make a good first impression but warms up to the farmer once she gets to know him/her. Others will take her at face value and see her as a shallow Alpha Bitch who isn't worth your time.
    • While Sebastian does have arguably the biggest fan base out of all the characters—mainly due to his socially awkward disposition, family issues, and geeky interests making him seem relatable—a lot of other people think he’s so overrated that he overshadows the other well-written characters, and even find his brooding attitude far too repetitive and boring to put up with.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Maru's ten heart event has her reveal she created a robot named MarILDA that gains self-awareness within a minute of activating. A few minutes later and it takes off to space, never to be seen again. The only real purpose it serves seems to be showing that Maru is impossibly smart, even if you consider that there's a minor level of magic in the setting. If you go on to marry Maru, very rarely they'll be some dialog from her referencing it, such as wondering if a shooting star is MarILDA flying by to check on them, but that's about as random as any other dialog option.
  • Breather Level:
    • Rainy days automatically water all of your outdoor crops (though if you have a greenhouse, you still need to manually water the crops in it or use sprinklers), which for early-game players, beach farm players (since that particular farm disables spirinklers), and other non-users of sprinklers saves them a lot of time and energy and lets them focus on other tasks and projects.
    • Mine levels that are multiples of ten have no monsters and usually contain treasure boxes. Floors 20, 60, and 100 will have fishing spots for rare fish.
    • Can also apply to Winter, as it's the only season where you aren't able to grow anything (without the use of the Greenhouse or garden pots, that is), and as such can spend the entire season clearing the farm of trees and rocks, exploring the mines, going fishing, or anything else that the player is usually too tired to do after spending an entire day tending their crops in every other season.
  • Broken Base:
    • The decision to release the game with single-player mode only, with the much-vaunted co-op mode to follow several months later as a free DLC, has been controversial ever since ConcernedApe first floated the idea, and the official announcement has triggered support and criticism. The co-op mode has been the focal point for most of the game's hype from the very beginning (finally, a chance to play a Harvest Moon-style farming simulator with multiplayer!), and many people have commented expressing their enthusiasm for playing alongside their loved ones; on the other hand, many prospective players always intended to stick to single-player, and were far more excited at a successor to Harvest Moon with added gameplay elements the original wouldn't dare include (most notably same-sex relationships), and were vocal in their desire to not have to wait several more months (if not longer - ConcernedApe has yet to meet a single deadline he's set for the game's development) for a gameplay mode they never planned to use. The latter group ultimately won out, and not without the former group expressing some... disappointment at ConcernedApe's decision.
    • The fishing in the game has been a debate among the fanbase as well. Some people do enjoy it and say it'll get easier, and that fishing is a pretty good way to make extra cash, especially in winter. Others hate it because it can be very challenging to catch the highest-level fish. Plus, barring some really good luck with the travelling sales cart, you've got to do it to restore the community center, which has a whole section dedicated to fishing. Higher-level rods and lures help a little bit, but it ultimately comes down to player skill, timing, and a lot of luck. (Of course, you can always use debug commands to simply give yourself the fish...but that rather defeats the point, doesn't it?).
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Given that prices are static, it's rather expected that people will just grow as many crops that sell for as much money as possible. Voila, fields of Cauliflower, Melons, Pumpkins, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Ancient Fruit and Sweet Gem Berry.
    • Ancient Fruit wine with the Artisan perk is generally seen as the end-game money-maker of choice due to its profitability and infinitely-renewable nature with the use of the Greenhouse.
    • Unless someone is doing something very specific, expect to see nothing but the Standard or Forest Farms for reasons discussed under That One Level.
    • Most farm plots will eventually be laid out in grids of either 3x3 or 5x5 due to those being the watering dimensions of the upgraded watering cans (1x3, 1x5, 3x3, 3x6) and Quality (3x3) and Iridium (5x5) sprinklers, and the hoeing dimensions of the upgraded hoes.
      • Once a player unlocks the ability to buy magical farm buildings from the wizard, expect to see eight 5x5 plots (each with an iridium sparkler) ringed around a Junimo Hut.
    • Players generally stick with the Galaxy Sword as their go-to mining weapon, as it comes for free when unlocking the Galaxy weapons in the desert. You'd have to fork over a lot of money for the Galaxy Hammer (which isn't bad - they're handy for crowd management, but not worth the asking price), and Daggers, even with many buffs in updates, are usually seen as worthless.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • You can put Mayor Lewis's shorts on display at the fair. This earns you a visibly angry face from him, a disqualification, and 750 star points as incentive never to do it again. For many players, it's worth the trouble just to see him flip his crap.
    • Similarly, you can drop the shorts into the potluck soup at the luau, which results in making the governor nauseous and Lewis giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the whole community and ending the luau early. While you do manage to get away with this stunt anonymously, the results are damaging to your friendship levels with the town. Still, many players like to do this at least once for a laugh.
    • After the tailoring feature was added, you can now make the shorts wearable... by embroidering them with a gold bar's worth of trim. While you're wearing them, Marnie laughs too hard to talk to you, and Lewis screeches like a bat.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • While the other monsters in the Skull Cavern are a little stronger than the ones in the Mines, the Serpents are wickedly fast and agile, and suffer from Hit Box Dissonance with high offensive and defensive stats.
    • This gets worse with the Haunted Skulls, which appear in random levels in the mines once you've unlocked the Quarry. They are even faster than the Serpents and harder to kill, and unlike the Serpents they are highly unlikely to drop anything even with the Burglar Ring and a very lucky day (though when they do drop something, it's usually a rare object or an Artifact Trove).
    • The "Danger in the Deep" sidequest (and subsequently activating the Shrine of Challenge) turns a lot of mobs into this, but the Putrid Ghost stands out. It's not particularly strong, but it has a chance of inflicting the Nauseated debuff, which prevents you from healing with food and drink for two real life minutes (just shy of three hours in-game). Unless you're stocked up on Life Elixirs or Energy Tonics, you have no way to heal until this wears off, allowing the other mobs to invoke Death by a Thousand Cuts. The saving grace is that this can be remedied with ginger or ginger ale, but even if you puzzle this out thanks to ginger's reputation as a nausea cure in real life, their mediocre healing abilities means you probably didn't think to bring any until too late.
    • The Magma Sprites found in the volcano dungeon, on their own, merely qualify as Goddamn Bats; they're fast and move erratically so they're hard to hit, and their high HP means they take forever to kill, but individually they don't do a whole lot of damage and are more of a nuisance than anything. The problem is that they're absolutely everywhere, and they just love to swarm you from all directions, especially when you're occupied with more dangerous enemies like Tiger Slimes or Lava Lurks. It gets even worse in the second half of the dungeon, where you're introduced to Magma Sparkers, a yellow, even more dangerous version of the Magma Sprites. These not only have a ramming attack that's extremely difficult to avoid, but they can also randomly inflict the Burn debuff, which both slows you down and reduces your defense - perfect for the other nearby monsters to run over you like a truck.
  • Designated Villain: Joja Corporation, and Morris specifically. We are assured that they are very evil and mean and probably kick puppies and kitty cats around at every opportunity, as well as typical Green Aesop-pushing, nebulously-defined environmental pollution. However, they never do anything particularly malicious on-screen. The biggest Kick the Dog moment any Joja member gets is Morris's incredibly condescending letter to Pierre and the comically-low wages they pay their Joja Mart employees. However, many fans will argue that Pierre doesn't exactly come out of a contest-of-character smelling like a rose. Morris himself is never anything but (possibly a little bit too) polite to the Farmer, and if you do get a JojaMart membership you can still revitalize the town and valley through cold hard cash.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Haley's Responsible Sister Emily absolutely dominated this poll held by ConcernedApe to become the next female bachelorette. She was made marriageable in version 1.1. It also helps that she can provide raw wool as a gift, which greatly helps circumvent That One Sidequest when it comes to getting the Greenhouse.
    • Alex and Sebastian are also quite popular on the Stardew Valley subreddit, mainly for their character development (especially in Alex's case) and good looks. The same goes with Abigail and Penny, who are similarly attractive with the former's adventurous nature and the latter's troubled family life making them popular marriage candidates.
    • Robin left a good first impression on players thanks to being an attractive nice girl who is one of the few characters to give you a warm welcome when you first arrive in Pelican Town. It's not uncommon for a new player to be heartbroken upon discovering that they can't pursue a romantic relationship with her in the vanilla game.
    • Krobus, the shopkeeper for one of the unlockable shops. His politeness, adorable "shadow monster" design, and incredibly useful stock are very endearing to many players. It's not uncommon to see fans wishing he was a marriage candidate whenever he gets brought up. As of 1.4, it's possible to make him a platonic roommate if you have no love interests.
  • Epileptic Trees: A bizarre theory that Elliot is secretly a junimo given human form spawned on Reddit in 2021. The evidence for this includes a.) his house uses a similar ambient noise soundtrack to the one heard in the Community Center, b.) the painting he has in his cabin looks vaguely like a junimo, and c.) he "acts strange." Other commenters suggested that Elliot is actually a were-junimo and Gunther is three junimos in a trench coat.
  • Fanon: Linus being a disillusioned founder or co-founder of the Joja Corporation who became disgusted with what he created is a popular headcanon among fans.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Of course, all the bachelors and bachelorettes are likable enough (regardless of debate) and it depends solely on you, the player, to choose who you’d like to romance, but the majority of the fandom seems to like pairing the female farmer more often than the male counterpart, especially with Shane or Sebastian for obvious reasons.
    • Also, despite Seb and Sam having their own respective love interests, a lot of fans like to pair the two friends together instead due to their close friendship and the appeal of Opposites Attract. They are by far the most popular pairing on Archive of Our Own that does not involve the Player Character.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Naturally, a lot of players of this game also enjoy Harvest Moon.
    • Thanks to the two games coming out fairly close together and being developed mostly by one person, there's a lot of overlapping between Stardew Valley's and Undertale's fanbases on various message boards.
  • Game-Breaker: So many that it now has its own page.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Sheds can be used to store extra items, most notably items that produce Artisan Goods like Kegs and Preserve Jars. Or one can use a Deluxe Barn instead to get even more inside real estate (rather than using it for livestock like intended), although the cost to make one (including the initial Barn and the Big Barn upgrade) is quite steep. This was squashed in the 1.4 update that introduces the Big Shed upgrade.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Each tier in the mines has some kind of enemy that fulfills this purpose. At first, they come in the form of flying bugs that can spawn from maggots if you don't act quickly enough. Literal bats can and will annoy the hell out of you in the deeper levels of the mines. It gets worse with the occasional miasma that causes bats to briefly spawn at a higher rate than normal. In the Skull Cavern, there are the flying serpents (see Demonic Spiders above).
    • Shadow Brutes, a type of monster located in the deepest parts of the mines, aren't hard per se. But thanks to having huge amounts of HP and being immune to knockback, fighting them can be a slog, since you have to constantly back away from them after getting one or maybe two hits in, and it's easy for them to hit you if you try to rush it. And if you simply decide to ignore them, they prove to be surprisingly agile and will not leave you alone.
    • Activating the "Danger in The Deep" quest replaces the Mines' usual enemies with even more dangerous ones:
      • Jumping Spiders that jump and land randomly everywhere and appear in high numbers.
      • Blue Squids that move in extremely fast bursts of speed and can easily swarm the player.
      • If you thought the Shadow Brutes mentioned above were annoying, meet the Shadow Sniper. They have a long-ranged attack that has a chance of inflicting blindness on the player character, making them vulnerable to other mobs of enemies. Fortunately, they can only attack horizontally or vertically.
    • A non-combat example: Fishing can sometimes give you junk items like driftwood, broken CDs, and seaweed, and irritatingly these items will still use up bait and tackles, not to mention they waste valuable time. At the least, algae can be used for some bulletin board and fish pond requests, seaweed can be used to make Maki Rolls, CDs and broken glasses can be put in recycling machines to make Refined Quartz, and soggy newspapers have a small chance to recycle into cloth rather than a torch.
  • Good Bad Bugs: There's quite a few of them in a game this large. While some of the amusing ones get left in because of humor value, Game Breakers and other strange behaviors are often patched out.
    • If your ride horse parallel to a fence that runs up and down (by the orientation of the screen) and quickly shift directions into the fense, you can pass through it. Mostly just amusing, but depending on your farm layout this can actually save you a bit of time when traveling to the forest, the town or the mountains.
    • There was once a glitch with the AI where naming a new NPC after a preexisting NPC character would cause the new NPC to adopt that NPC's characteristics and behaviours. It didn't take long for some people to get the hilarious idea to name their farm animals after a bachelor or bachelorette, allowing their character to romance them. This has unfortunately been patched out.
    • Prior to patch 1.06, there was a glitch/developer oversight which meant Abigail would appreciatively ask the player "How did you know I was hungry?" when being given various non-food objects, including gemstones, making her seem like an Extreme Omnivore. In the updated spouse dialogue in Patch 1.06, this seems to have become an Ascended Glitch.
    • There's also a humorous bug where, if the player is married to Maru, she may occasionally be found wearing her nurse outfit to bed after a festival that ends at night. If the player speaks to her, Maru will say "Shhh! Don't let the doctor see you!" The fandom was quick to run with all kinds of jokes about it. The same bug while married to Shane has him bringing his pet chicken to bed.
    • In the summer, Alex can be found by the museum selling ice cream from a small stand. Because of how the game checks that a shop is being tended, the player could leave their horse by the ice cream stand (as the 'shopkeeper') in Alex's place to purchase ice cream, even if it wasn't summertime. This was a quick way to get everyone to like you, since most people liked ice cream (Demetrius in particular loves the stuff), and it's sold on the cheap. Once again, this eventually got patched out.
    • It was possible to plant fruit trees everywhere in the game, including in some interesting places, such as the bathhouse. This got fixed with the 1.1 update, but the same update reverted the previous fix for planting fruit trees inside the greenhouse and outside the dedicated soil area, making it an example of an Ascended Glitch. However, patch 1.5 removed this, and trees can now only grow in spaces that could support them.
    • If you get a Joja membership before Lewis talks about the Community Center, it's possible for him to lament about how nobody uses it and how Joja wants to turn it into a warehouse...even though it's already been turned into one and even has the logo on it. The dialogue inside is also unchanged, despite it being full of Joja products! However, you get stuck in an infinite loop of trying to walk somewhere that's blocked by crates.
    • It was possible to get an infinite amount of gold pumpkins by having a full inventory when completing the Spirit's Eve maze and dragging the pumpkin out of the chest so that it ends up on the ground. Since this didn't count as you obtaining the pumpkin, opening the chest again produced another pumpkin... which repeated until you freed an inventory spot. The amount of pumpkins underflowed if you had too many in your inventory, but you can just drop them and get more if you accidentally did that, provided you didn't throw away the item you removed. This has since been fixed, however.
    • Due to how string parsing works, %name, %adj, %noun, %place, or %rival results in other NPCs calling the player character a randomly-generated name every time it would occur in dialogue.
    • It's possible to obtain items using numerical name codes for certain items for NPC dialogue name mentions, which are compatible with player and animal names alike. By using the right codes, it's possible to obtain any item, including late-game ones, like an Iridium Sprinkler, Prismatic Shard, Ancient Fruit, etc. every time someone says your name. Patch 1.5 even lets you change your name to such item codes via a makeover in the Wizard's Basement, but also has a message that admonishes you for doing this.
      • Gus, the bartender, uses recycled dialogue over and over that has your name in it when he asks you if you want to buy something. Talking to him over and over will net you an increasing amount of items, breaking the game wide open.
    • A certain wallpaper has the same numerical value as a Prismatic Shard, meaning you can get the legendarily powerful Galaxy Sword... from a wallpaper. Similarly, another wallpaper has the same numerical value as a Dinosaur egg. Meaning that you can put one in a stage 2 coop, and after enough time, it'll hatch into a dinosaur. This has been fixed, though.
    • Facing a loading zone and constantly slashing your sword or scythe can allow you to bypass the loading zone and go out-of-bounds. This is usually humorous, but can be extremely useful in the cellar and beach, as you get more room to place casks/crab pots.
    • Sometimes, NPCs can appear on walls or out-of-bounds. Usually your pet and children do this, but sometimes, normal NPCs do this as well.
    • Using the club's special attack and regular attack immediately will cause both attacks to hit simultaneously. However, until the special attack cools down, you have to deal with the club's regular (slow) speed.
    • Planting Grass Starters on Winter 28 will cause them to multiply explosively—up to 40x according to the wiki—when Spring 1 rolls around, provided you don't exit the game inbetween. This makes it much easier to get grazing land set up for the year.
  • Guide Dang It!: A mild case. 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: JojaMart being driven out of town after completing the Community Center is portrayed as a positive outcome for the future of Pelican Town. More recent investigations have shown that when its real life counterpart WalMart ends up pulling its business out of small towns, the result is absolutely devastating to the local economynote . The game itself acknowledges this - Shane is extremely distraught over losing his job and no longer being able to help Marnie financially support him and Jas.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Some fans have pointed out Joja Corp. logo looks very similar to the WatchMojo logo.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Shane is very standoffish and rude at first, but it's impossible not to feel for him once you learn about his life, including his struggles with alcohol and depression.
  • Junk Rare: When you go to bed, there's a tiny chance of a random event occurring. Two of these are the strange capsule and stone owl event. The chances of either of these two occurring are extraordinarily rare, since they only occur after year 1 and require your farm to have 50 clear tiles after their 1% probability is triggered. However, the game may choose tiles you can't access nor even control, making this event nearly impossible to occur without mods. On the chance of them actually occurring, the item that spawns from these two events are nothing more than decorations.
    • 1.5 not only made these items much less rare, hut even added a small Easter Egg for after the Strange Capsule breaks.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Thanks to the game allowing players to romance and marry characters of the same gender, unlike the series it was based on.note 
    • In terms of characters, Leah seems to be a hit among lesbians/bisexual women due to her nature as a tomboyish outdoorsy artist.
  • Love to Hate: Morris and JojaMart. How satisfying is it to see either the Stardew villagers banding together to force them out, or Pierre fighting Morris hand-to-hand and finishing it by punching him through the Community Center ceiling.
  • Moment of Awesome: Finishing the Community Centre bundles will result in the nature spirits restoring the building to its former glory and the JojaMart cronies being run out of town by the community. Depending on your choice, Pierre either rallies the townsfolk behind him in a boycott which convinces them to leave, or alternatively he dramatically punches Morris through the roof.
  • Memetic Loser: Thanks to being fat, dumpy, and at one point describing himself as a "nice guy" when complaining about being unlucky in love, Clint is the fanbase's favorite punching bag and often subjected to jokes comparing him to incels. And because his obsessive crush on Emily is doomed to never go anywhere thanks to her being a romance option, particularly spiteful players have been known to make sure their and Emily's wedding and subsequent anniversaries are on the same day as Clint's birthday just to rub salt in the wound. He's also the last character in a year to have a birthday, the day after the Feast of the Winter Star, but he often gives a few scripted missions that already improve his relations with the player, which often means his birthday is skipped because the bonus isn't really needed at that point; On top of that, once you max upgrade your tools there's little reason to continue interacting with him other than to occassionally have him crack open artifact troves or golden coconuts (which can't be opened otherwise).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Abigail really likes rocks. Explanation 
    • THE SHANE TRAIN.Explanation 
    • Anything involving Mayor Lewis's shorts. Explanation 
    • Grandpa's fucked-up bed. Explanation 
  • Minmaxer's Delight:
    • Sprinklers, especially those of Iridium quality. Once you can acquire them readily, you'll no longer have to water your crops manually, saving you a ton of time and energy. Patch 1.5 made them even more valuable with upgrades that either automatically add time-saving fertilizer to their watering or increase their range, making sprinklers even more useful.
    • Auto-Grabbers and fully upgraded Coops and Barns make gathering resources from animals a cinch.
  • Misaimed "Realism": You will gradually become exhausted by using tools in the farm or the mines, and you'll collapse if you push yourself too far. Okay, but combat does not make you exhausted, no matter how much hard labor you did before hand. This leads to the ridiculous situation where you can spend all morning clearing your farm, becoming completely exhausted, and then you spend all afternoon fighting monsters in the mine, and finally collapse after chopping up a single fallen tree branch when you return home in the evening. You also can't sprint if you're exhausted. Though, oddly enough, you can work yourself to the edge of exhaustion and still be able to sprint at top speed all day.
    • You also can't stay up indefinitely and do need to sleep...which makes sense. Except you will immediately collapse and fall asleep at 2 AM on the dot, even if you've done nothing all day. And of course, you can never pull an all-nighter or even just stay up a little later.
  • Moe: Penny, due to her adorable design and sweet nature.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The sound of a star triggering when you score an achievement.
    • The sound of rain pouring, which means Mother Nature just saved you some time and energy that would otherwise be spent watering all of your crops, especially during the early game when watering them can easily take over half of your energy, or if you have a beach farm and thus can't use sprinklers.
    • The sound when you collect a Golden Walnut on Ginger Island.
  • Narm: Choosing to dance in the Flower Dance. The player is not in costume unlike all of the NPCs, and not in sync with the other dancers. Male farmers just do their normal walking animation to the beat, and female farmers just duck and raise their arms in time with the music. It all makes the farmer look very out of place, and it becomes hard to take the dance seriously.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The Help Wanted requests outside of Pierre's store are created through random algorithms. As such, some of the requests can be so ridiculous that they are hilarious. Such as Demetrius wanting to dissect a grape, Pam wanting to use Joja Cola in a casserole, or Kent wanting to serve an Iron Bar for breakfast.
    • During Shane's six-heart event, you can find him passed out in the forest amid a pile of beer cans while it's raining or storming. It starts off absolutely cheesy ("I'm just a p... piece of soiled garbage fluttering in the wind *bluurp*"). But it quickly drops all humor when you realize you're interrupting a suicide attempt, and literally end up trying to talk him off the ledge. Suddenly, the emotional impact of the scene changes.
    • Alex's eight-heart event features him crying over his dead mother's music box, complete with an image of his mom holding Alex as a baby floating up across the screen, with Alex lamenting that twelve years ago, his mother died, and he feels like he Never Got to Say Goodbye. The visual is a little silly, but considering the emotional weight of the scene, it still works.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • You have to personally pick up Lewis's underwear and deliver it to him for a quest. Oh, and if you wanna gross out the entire town and yourself, you can put them in the Luau soup, with the Governor reacting appropriately when he has a sip then notices the shorts in the broth.
    • Jack-o-Lanterns are nice for decorations and all, but come winter and they abruptly turn into slimy, disgusting Rotten Plants. Rotten Plants can also be obtained by leaving out Lewis's gold statue out somewhere in town and then coming back to its spot the next day, only to find the statue gone (Lewis took it back) and an inexplicable non-plant blob in its place.
  • Not-So-Cheap Imitation: Depending on whom you ask, Stardew Valley is this to Harvest Moon (now known as Story of Seasons). It started out as a fan-game aimed specifically at Harvest Moon fans but became a Sleeper Hit upon release. This is largely because it has a PC release (thus allowing for modding), because it's on more consoles than the mainly Nintendo Harvest Moon franchise, and because it was under twenty dollars. While which series is better is up to debate, Stardew Valley has sold over five times as many copies as the best selling Story of Seasons title.
  • Quicksand Box: One of the draws of the game was that it is a Wide-Open Sandbox that gives you a lot of content available. To some, however, this actually can be quite stressful, as the sheer amount of content available to you with little explanation or guidance can be overwhelming.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Some players ignore the main story and just focus on building the most amazing farms they can.
  • Porting Disaster: The console versions have many issues in regards to running smoothly and consistently. They also have a mouse cursor to select choices, despite the fact that it would be far more efficient to control menus without it (though some things do use buttons), and that it doesn't do anything outside of allow you to check the numbers of your stamina/health bars and act as a slow way to open menus. They've slowly been given better treatment over the course of the game's development, though, adding in better controller functionality.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The sentiment's far from universal, but some fans admit to respecting Pierre for punching the cartoonishly evil Morris through the ceiling in one of the endings to the community center sidequest.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Of all people: Jas! Thanks to an infamous mod that makes her a Yandere love interest who will murder anyone who gets between her and the player character.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Pierre is not much liked amongst players, especially because he is the most obnoxious competitor in the Grange (he's the winner if you don't meet the points quota), and he has a tendency to Steal the Credit for your high-quality produce if you sell it to him. A popular fan theory combines these two, theorizing that he might actually be trying to outcompete you in the Grange with stuff you have sold to him.note  It gets worse with the special orders, as one of his quests ends in him not only underpaying you for your produce but turning around and trying to sell it at a ridiculous markup. Fans of Abigail have an additional disdain for him because of the Stay in the Kitchen attitude he has towards his wife and daughter.
    • Demetrius, as well. While his relationship with Robin seems mostly stable, it's clear that both his daughter and stepson have issues with him. Maru, being the favorite, gets all his attention and he wants her to leave the town to follow her dreams. Her dreams involve her staying there, which has caused some friction. If the player develops even the hint of a romance with Maru, he'll also passively threaten you during a heart event and get annoyed at you if you tell Maru about it. Sebastian is completely ignored by Demetrius (he never even discusses his stepson with the player), but Sebastian mentions that when he and Maru made snowmen, Demetrius told him to tear his down for being a snowgoon (which isn't an offensive snowman), but Maru got to keep hers up. Combined with the fact that Sebastian drops his Emo Teen personality and depression, as well as giving up his smoking vice, after marrying and moving in with the player, really paints a picture that Demetrius is not a very good parent. One wonders what the context would have been for ConcernedApe's considered romance of Robin that would have involved breaking her and Demetrius up... On a different note, Demetrius often posts the mission that involves killing the difficult-to-find rock crabs on the bulletin board (see That One Sidequest below).
    • You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who likes Pam either. She has very little personality beyond her alcoholism, and she's also rude to her daughter Penny, leaving her to do all the housework and then chewing her out for accepting help from the farmer.
    • The subreddit also hates Clint, due to his awkward work hours, creepy crush on Emily that persists even if you marry her, and his much reviled "nice guy" attitude. It's not uncommon for people to marry Emily just to spite Clint.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Marnie's schedule makes buying anything from her shop extremely difficult. She's closed two days in a row. On Tuesday she goes to fitness class with most of the other women in town. Monday is more frustrating, as she goes shopping in the morning, goes home, then spends a chunk of the day staring at the microwave even though you want to buy pigs for 16,000g or need 200 pieces of hay. Clint's shop has a similar problem as mentioned above. Most places open at 9:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM. Except for Clint who closes at 4:00. If you don't remember this, it gets really annoying going back into town after a productive morning of mining geodes (which involves walking across most of the map if you don't have the minecarts repaired, by the way), thinking you have an hour to spare to get them processed before everyone closes. Think again! Then once the community center reopens, he's completely closed on Friday.
    • Sometimes you may walk into a store during business hours only to discover that its respective owner is not present, so you can't conduct transactions. This means you could load up on stuff to sell, haul ass halfway across town (to get to the fish shop for example), and end up not being able to sell your wares, leaving you with backpack clutter that you have to dump back at your house. While some store owners will give you hints as to when they'll not be around (such as the ladies who are part of the exercise club that meets on Tuesdays), this is something a new player will likely not know unless they take the time to talk to as many NPCs as they can every day. (This is different from visiting a store outside of its business hours or during days where it's stated to be closed, like Pierre's on Wednesday; in those cases, it's your fault for not checking the map.)
    • Once you've built the resort on Ginger Island, certain townspeople will go there to hang out on certain days. One of these townspeople is Pam, who is your primary means of getting to the desert. Want to go mining in the Skull Cavern on a day with high luck? If Pam decides to go that day, too bad; unless you've got a Desert Totem handy or have gotten far enough in the game to have built the Desert Obelisk, you're completely So L.
    • If you want to propose to your significant other, you need to buy a special shell from the Old Mariner, who's only found on the right side of the beach when it's raining. You have to use 300 wood to fix the bridge to reach that side of the beach (not hard to do, but time-consuming all the same), and the fact you have to wait until it rains to see him makes the random nature of it a pain. Also, want to see the Old Mariner in winter? You can't, because it doesn't rain in winter; it snows. You can use a Rain Totem to get rain, though. The idea of having to wait weeks to buy the shell just to propose, up to and including an entire season, is one that can get really annoying if you didn't reach your chosen mate's ten-heart event in time, even if you did everything else correctly.
      • Doubly-frustrating is that you can't even buy it unless you're at 10 hearts already, so if you happen to be doing a replay, already certain on who you're going to romance and marry, and figure you'll take advantage of an early rainy day to buy it sooner as opposed to later... well, you can't. Simple as that. The Old Mariner won't let you buy it unless you're actually able to marry someone already.
    • The jealousy mechanic was this before the 1.4 update all but removed it. If you continued to give gifts to the other single bachelors and/or bachelorettes after you got married, even if it was just to maintain your level of friendship, your spouse might get jealous and complain, lowering your relationship level with them. While the chances of this happening were somewhat low (between 20 and 40 percent each time), the fact it happened at all was rather annoying. 1.1 alleviated this somewhat by making birthday gifts exempt, and then 1.4 nipped it even further by only applying it to townsfolk of the same gender as your spouse whom you're currently dating. At this point you have to be actively cheating on your spouse for the jealousy mechanic to kick in, so now if you get smacked by it, it's safe to say that you probably deserve it.
    • Fences inevitably decay, and the pieces that fall off sometimes destroy items that are too close. Particularly conspicuous in a game where no other buildings require maintenance. Thankfully, Hardwood fences last for long enough that it doesn't matter, and your spouse will sometimes fix them and reset their decay timer for no cost.
    • Spouses can randomly redecorate your house — which wouldn't be so bad except for how only one/two types of wallpaper and flooring are available per day, and it can already take forever for the ones you want to turn up. As of 1.1, this is not as big of an issue anymore, as Pierre sells a Catalogue item, from which you can receive any wallpaper or floor covering you want without cost, though the catalogue item itself costs 30,000 gold, which is a rather steep price.
    • Marriage in general is often considered disappointing by many fans. While the spouses might cook you food and repair your fences for no cost, they seldom ever do anything you can't do yourself, occasionally watering the crops that by that point are already watered by sprinklers. This has resulted in mods that make spouses more useful, such as having them harvest crops or perform their helpful actions more often. It was worse in the earliest versions, where there was little differentiation in dialogue and players felt all the characters with unique interests and dreams had been squashed into generic supportive spouses (i.e. Sebastian no longer rode his motorcycle).
    • A lot of fans find the concept of having children to be pointless because they don't grow up past toddler-age and there is very little you can do with them. They're essentially animals that walk around your house.
    • Timed requests. Specifically because some of the fishing requests can ask you to catch fish that are out of season, or like in the case of catfish, only available during certain weather conditions, or are simply a pain in the ass to complete and register (such as the rock crab hunting mission). Same goes for some impossible crop requests during year 1, like Melons on the first day of summer.
    • The random nature of luck for each day. There's no real control over how each day will go in this regard. At times, there will be a streak of bad luck days when the player really needs to go mining (where luck shines the most), and good luck on festivals where the player will spend the majority of the day at the festival, resulting in a huge waste.
    • On a related note, it's entirely possible to go through an entire season without any rainy days (not counting Winter, of course), given the random nature of the weather. While the use of a Rain Totem can guarantee a rainy day the next day, this item requires Truffle Oil to be crafted, which is a late-game item. Some events, such as a number of Heart events and buying a Mermaid Penant, require rain, and are often best done as quickly as possible, but droughts can prevent this from becoming an option. Inversely, there can be times where there's many rainy days in a row, and there's no such thing as a Sun Totem. This can be a real pain in the ass when one has to hand in requests for people who often spend their time in buildings that can't be accessed until they're at two hearts' worth of affection (such as Leah and Elliot).
    • For some players, the whole concept of the In-Universe Game Clock is this. Time ticks at about 10 in-game minutes for every 7 real-life seconds, and early on you lack the mobility options to quickly get around town. It can make the game feel more demanding than a farming game ought to be, and a common mistake is forgetting to take something important with you to a shop across town (like a tool you want to upgrade or the materials for it), meaning you just wasted half the in-game day for nothing. Because of this, there are mods for the PC version that make the in-game clock more forgiving.
    • The combat system is notoriously wonky, mainly in that there's no consistency in whether your attacks follow the direction you're facing or the direction of the cursor. Sometimes you can swing the cursor all around the screen and your character will continue attacking in the same direction, whereas other times moving your cursor even a few pixels off-center causes you to turn to the side and start swiping away from the enemy you're trying to kill. Simply having an option to have weapons stick with one or the other at all times would go miles towards making monsters less frustrating to fight.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • The slingshots. The aiming controls are reversed, for one, which makes it hard for those that don't use inverted view to get used to how it works. That aside, it's also hard to tell what you're aiming at and whether you'll hit it, and it doesn't even do that much damage if you manage to hit your target. Annoyingly, they're also the only ranged weapons in the game, so if you don't like how they work, you're forced to use melee. On the bright side, it's very effective at destroying rocks or killing mummies when armed with explosive shots, and you can have fun harassing the NPCs with it.
    • Daggers are pretty much worthless, given that you mostly fight smaller enemies in large numbers, while Daggers focus on critical hits while having an abysmal reach and attack strokes. It's unanimously better to focus on brute force with swords or hammers/clubs that can decimate enemies in fewer hits.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • It's entirely possible to rebuild the Community Center within your first year, a feat that requires meticulous planning, Min-Maxing to buy the Vault Bundles, and generous purchases from the Travelling Cart, which is the only way to get red cabbage in year 1 (you can't buy seeds for it until year 2).
      • 1.5 added an option to make the Community Center completable in a year by making red cabbage seeds guaranteed to show up at least once in the travelling merchant's cart that year.
    • One Youtuber took it on himself to complete the Community Center without leveling any of his stats. This requires ridiculous amounts of Min-Maxing, grinding, and Save Scumming. And it turns out to just be a futile task in single player.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The early game can be rather tedious because you first have to clear the farmland for planting, then you use half of your energy daily watering your cheap crops one at a time. By the time the second year comes, you'll hopefully have the tools to improve farming efficiency and automate your crop watering, allowing you to rake in tons of gold for your projects, which in turn will help you make even more money, and devote your energy bar to other tasks like dungeon-crawling.
  • That One Achievement:
    • Getting the "Craft Master" achievement, which requires you to craft at least one of every item available. Which would be fine... except there's currently no in-game way to keep track of exactly what you have or haven't made. Players have been pulling out their hair and wasting masses of resources trying to find that one object they still needed to trigger the star.
      • This was fixed in later updates with an Anti-Frustration Feature that shows how many objects of each type have been crafted.
    • "Polyculture" requires that the player "ship 15 of each crop". It can be challenging to get because the achievement description is vague on which crops are needed and which are not. A rule of thumb tends to be that any crop available at Pierre's or at the Oasis is counted toward the achievement, but this doesn't include flowers and fruit trees, and post-1.1 update, coffee beans are required despite being only available from the Traveling Cart or through monster drops.
    • "A Complete Collection" requires the player find and donate every donateable item to the Museum. This achievement boils down to a Luck-Based Mission for the last few items. Most Museum items can be gamed; the player can hunt for the right Geodes to fill the Minerals collection, and most Artifacts can be found in fishing chests. However, there are a few Artifacts that can only be acquired from an Artifact Spot that spawned in a specific area on the map, with a 1% chance. Players can spend in-game years running around town, digging up Artifact Spots as they appear, in hopes of finding the last few Artifacts.
    • "Fector's Challenge" requires you to beat Journey of the Prairie King...without dying. It's so notoriously hard that it's the sole reason the game's achievement/trophy list is a 9/10 in difficulty instead of a 1.
  • That One Level:
    • Skull Cavern. It's the best way to get Iridium, but good lord, the enemies are a nightmare. Mummies that don't stay dead unless you use a bomb (or explosive slingshot ammo) AFTER killing them (or kill them with one in the first place), slimes that jump about, invincible bugs, and as of 1.3, a crab that pretends to be an iridium rock (although if you kill it, it drops Iridium).
    • Certain levels in the Mines and Caverns are shaped like a long spiral, with you starting at the top left and having to work your way around clockwise to the center. When first visiting a spiral level, the center will have a load of barrels, potentially containing all sorts of gems and other resources and thus making the trek inwards worthwhile. On subsequent visits to the same level, the center is not guaranteed to contain anything special at all. If you encounter a ladder early in the spiral, but want to find out whether there's anything worthwhile at the center, you could end up wasting a whole hour of in-game time just trekking inwards and then back to that ladder. In most circumstances it's better to just immediately start mining as soon as you enter a spiral level and take the first ladder you find.
    • Suffice to say, if it isn't the traditional, Forest, (which has the actually beneficial gimmick of extra Hardwood sources and foraging items in addition to not being too restrictive with land availability), Beach (which has the benefit of yielding beach fish from its shores, saving potential trips to the actual beach, and generally has extra foraging items and a reasonable amount of space in exchange for the non-functionality of sprinklers on the sand tiles), or the Four Corners Farms (which is a Jack-of-All-Trades setup catered towards multiple players that has the benefits of multiple farm types with far fewer hassle), it'll be considerably more difficult to make a profit.
      • The Riverland Farm map looks beautiful, but it significantly cuts your growing space, in favour of river fish that could easily be caught in town anyway.
      • The Mountainous Farm map is similar in that it breaks up the farm with cliffs and a river going through it, while only sporting a mini-quarry that's trash to anyone who frequents the mines/caves.
      • Finally, there's the Monster Farm, which looks no different from the traditional Farm, but has monsters that constantly impede your progress.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Mining for Iridium is a Luck-Based Mission where the best odds are in the Skull Cavern, since the odds in the Mine are pathetically low. It'll be years before you can get enough to upgrade all your tools and then you'll need it for Iridium Sprinklers. It can be made easier by hunting purple slimes with the Burglar Ring equipped though, or getting the Statue of Perfection, which gives free Iridium ore every day, with your Grandpa's evaluation at the beginning of Year 3.
    • Qi's Challenge. To get the cash reward, players must reach level 25 of Skull Cavern. The monsters down there are much stronger than in the mines (the mummies won't even stay dead unless you blow them up with a bomb), there's no elevator so you have to start at the beginning every time, and unless you a) get lucky with shafts or b) bring masses of stone to craft staircases, it can be tough actually getting there before the day runs out. Nor does it help that unless you've totally ignored the farming aspect of the game, by the time you're reasonably well-equipped to think about taking on Skull Cavern, Qi's reward of 10 grand probably won't be all that much money to you anymore (you have to drop four times that just to unlock the area, and spend another 500 every time you want to visit it).
    • A quest from a Secret Note requires the player to reach level 100 of the Skull Cavern. As if it wasn't hard enough just to reach level 25 for "Qi's Challenge", going four times as deep in one day is close to impossible. You've either got to be beyond luckynote  with finding holes to let you drop multiple floors (at the expense of some health), or play with three other friends and all load up on "Stair" items to go down quick enough. Your reward for making it to level 100 feels like a total Bragging Rights Reward, as Mr. Qi gives you a potion that increases your maximum health. If you're good enough to go down a hundred levels in the game's hardest dungeon, you definitely don't need a health boost. Finally, this will invariably take so much time that you'll have to jet back to your farm or use a Warp Totem if you don't want to collapse from exhaustion, which is a massive hit to money and items.
    • Catching the Legendary Fish, which takes the fishing mini-game (already hugely divisive due to its difficulty) and cranks it Up to Eleven. The fish itself is very valuable, selling for 5000 gold at minimum, but it might not be worth it for how hard it is to catch.
      • Similarly, the lava eel is also a notorious pain to catch. Not only is its appearance rate abysmally low (resulting in you just catching heaps of garbage), but when it finally does show up, it puts up a good fight, likely getting away and making the whole day a waste. If you can catch it, it's best used in a fish pond, as it produces the most valuable roe.
      • The Octopus is far and away the hardest fish to catch in the entire game, beating out even the Legendary Fish which are supposed to be tough by design. For starters, it only shows up in Summernote , and then only until 1:00 PM, basically forcing you to bolt for the beach the moment you wake up if you want to maximize your chances of catching it. Then it's got an astoundingly low spawn rate, meaning it's possible and, in fact, quite common to spend every minute between 6:00 AM and 1:00 PM fishing non-stop and not get even a single Octopus to so much as nibble on your line. Then, if the off-chance that you do manage to hook one after all that, it's a right bastard to catch, practically necessitating the use of skill-boosting food and/or tackle to have even a remote shot at landing the damn thing. For most players, the Octopus will likely be one of the, if not the, last fish they catch for the Master Angler achievement, which is rather egregious considering there's otherwise absolutely nothing special about it.
    • Demetrius often posts missions that involve hunting the rock crabs in the mines. The problem is that they're difficult to come across and identify immediately, and by the time a player has somehow met the quota, Demetrius is locked in his house at night, thus rendering the mission impossible to hand in.
    • Nearly all of Mr. Qi's Special Order quests have absolutely ludicrous requirements. Thought reaching Level 100 of the Skull Cavern was already tough on its own? Try doing it with even tougher monsters, or without using any healing items, both under a seven-day time limit. Or if that doesn't suit your fancy, try catching all five Legendary Fish again in only three days. The worst part is that, once you've spent all of your extra Golden Walnuts, completing these quests is the only way to earn Qi Gems, which are required to purchase some of the crafting recipes for 100% Completion along with some of the most useful items in the game, like the Horse Flute.
    • One that applies to the board game: the "Explore the Mines" goal is notoriously difficult on a solo playthrough. The problem here is that, unlike every other goal in the game, this one doesn't scale with the number of players; you have to reach level 12, whether you have four players or just one. Given how a solo player has an extremely limited number of actions to work with and how the mines are entirely determined by dice rolls, getting this goal basically forces you to take the Miner profession and the pickaxe so you can swing the odds in your favor as much as possible.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The driving force behind the Shane Train. Fans were pretty desperate for the poor guy to get a better ending than the one he had, since he was just kind of left hanging even at ten hearts. This was fixed in patch 1.1, where he and Emily were added to the characters the player could marry. People are still not fully satisfied, since his Character Development gets a small set-back once Shane is married as he shows hints of falling back to alcohol, as well as his room being a complete mess.
    • Despite being a friendable character, Sandy gets very little in the way of character development other than wishing she could take time to go to Pelican Town and spend time with you, and she appears in no cutscenes for heart events, whether it be hers or someone else's. She mentions being friends with Emily, but this is never followed up on. Finally, she seems like she could be a marriage candidate, given her apparent similarity in age to the player character and the lack of any known pre-existing romantic relationships; ConcernedApe did put out a Twitter poll to decide which existing character should become the next candidate for marriage, with Sandy as one of the options, but she lost out to Emily.
    • Many fans are quite curious about Gunther, as, despite having an interesting design and some hints of a likable personality, he never appears at any events nor leaves the Museum building at all. It's impossible to befriend him, as there isn't a way to reach the other side of his counter to talk to him or give him any gifts. The same applies for the cashier at JojaMart, who doesn't speak and is never given any identity, but is nonetheless memorable for her exhausted, miserable appearance.
    • The Dwarf, much like Krobus, is an unlockable non-human merchant isolated from the rest of town. They have an interesting design and there's a lot of potential for insight surrounding their people, but they never become more than just a lonely shopkeeper and can't become the player's roommate like Krobus can.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Although it's not a big plot thread, not much really comes from the Pierre vs Morris conflict. The most you get is seeing Morris barge into Pierre's shop and poach his customers, then you don't see them interact until the community center is repaired.
    • Those who don't flat-out dislike Clint wish they could further solve his confidence problems with Emily and not end up being mistaken for stealing her away from Clint during Emily's final heart moments for completion's sake.
    • The Feral Child, Leo, comes to live in Pelican Town if you raise his friendship with him enough, this could have opened a lot of interesting plotlines, like meeting Emily and the parrot she saved on her early heart event.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Sebastian and to a lesser extent Shane can be seen as this considering how popular they both are as marriage candidates.
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • Usually when you put something into a keg, the output is wine if it's fruit or juice if it's a vegetable. There are a few unique items you can get: Hops make Pale Ale, Wheat makes Beer, Honey makes mead, and so on. Many players were disappointed to find that putting Potatoes and Unmilled Rice into a keg only output juice and not vodka or sake, respectively. This was lampshaded in-game with the 1.5 update, which added Special Requests from various characters. One of them is Pam asking you to put a dozen potatoes in kegs and give her the results, as she'd heard it'll make a spirit that "really packs a whallop". Upon completing the request, she's extremely disappointed to discover it's just potato juice.
    • Panning for ore. Not only is it fairly difficult to complete the bundles that even unlock the ability to pan, ore doesn't appear in water particularly often, hauling the copper pan with you takes up an inventory space and the amount of ore you get from panning is pathetically small compared to what you get from mining. It's common for players to unlock panning, then completely ignore it for the rest of the game outside of the Professor Snail sidequest, where it is necessary.
    • Ostriches. A barn animal that produces eggs has the potential for some very interesting farm set-ups, particularly with the mayonnaise machines, but can't raise them until completing the Professor Snail sidquest AND finding the rare Ostrich Egg item. By that point, the game is basically over.
    • The Slime Hutch doesn't really have any practical use, especially for anyone who spends a decent amount of time in the mines. All it does is generate Slime Balls that, when harvested, grant Slime - as in, the same Slime you've probably already amassed hundreds of just by killing Slime monsters in the mines. On the rare occasion, you might get a Petrified Slime, a mineral that sells for an underwhelming 120 gold. It's not even like the Slime itself is profitable, selling for a paltry 5 gold each. To add insult to injury, it has one of the steepest construction costs of any standard farm building - one of the resources required is an Iridium Bar, which isn't exactly easy to come by. The money and resources it takes would be put to better use contributing towards just about anything else.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • It's hard to feel bad for Pierre struggling with his business considering his Scrappy traits listed above. It doesn't help that when his business is not in immediate trouble, he comes off as boastful and greedy. Most players will still side with him over Joja, however.
    • Demetrius's awkward situation with Sebastian and the evidence that he's trying to be a good father would make him sympathetic, but that's undermined by his Overprotective Dad Parental Favoritism towards Maru and his complete lack of acknowledgement of Sebastian making him look like he's not even trying. Not helping his case is the fact that he orders Sebastian to take down an inoffensive snowgoon while saying nothing about Maru's snowman, which is hard to justify outside of him being an abusive dick.
    • On paper, Mayor Lewis is a nice, reasonable politician with character flaws that aren't any more severe than anyone else's. But for a lot of players, he comes off as a self-centered power hungry scumbag thanks to making an obviously unhappy Marnie keep their romantic relationship a secret despite there being no good reason to do it other than paranoia over having his 20+ year reign as mayor be potentially challenged, which is completely unfounded due to how much the townsfolk like him. Then there's the secret golden statue of himself that he's been working on, which comes off as little more than an expensive vanity project that has likely leeched off funds better spent elsewhere.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Some of the spritework (most notably, the plant sway animations) are very beautifully done.
  • The Woobie:
    • This is what attracts a lot of players to Penny. The cute girl admits to feeling shame about living in a squalid trailer instead of a real house, but what's worse, she also has to share it with her aggressive, irresponsible, alcoholic mother. Many players marry her just out of feeling sorry for her and wanting her to come live as a farmer's wife. One (notably very well-received) player feedback to ConcernedApe on the game's official subreddit even made a suggestion: If the player marries Leah, have Penny move into her now unoccupied lake cabin.
      • In the 1.3 update, you can build Pam a house, and regardless of your actions, Pam declares she's going to turn her life around and treat Penny better.
    • Shane is very popular for this reason as well. He works a terrible dead-end job that he absolutely hates, he's obviously depressed and hopeless with his lot in life, he self-medicates with alcohol, and he's very cold and standoffish to you at first, but he will warm up to you considerably if you take the time to get to know him. His character arc seems so much like that of a potential love interest that many first-time players were surprised that he isn't an actual bachelor - the farmer marrying him and rescuing him from a life of drudgery stocking shelves at JojaMart (or unemployment, if you complete the Community Center) feels like the natural conclusion to his story arc. As a result, there have been loads of requests for ConcernedApe to make him into a bachelor in a future update, and these seem to have won him over; he describes himself as "already on board the shane train" in response to a question on his AMA thread. As of v1.1 Shane is now romanceable too.
    • Linus is either a lazy, homeless bum or another shining example of this, depending on who you ask. The fact he is often mocked by others, made to feel like an outcast and has had his tent destroyed several times goes some way to cementing this.
    • Alex's childhood firmly cements this status for him; between dealing with a verbally abusive father who later walked out on him, as well as the death of his mother, it's hard to not feel at least a little bad for him. It doesn't help matters that he has some serious self-esteem issues in regards to his intelligence, and at one point in his path even outright calls himself worthless.
    • Sebastian falls here for similar reasons as Alex: having a rather difficult family life. His step-father is neglectful and makes it clear Sebastian is The Unfavorite, he thinks his sister hates him, and his mother while loving is rather oblivious of these issues. Unlike Alex, however, Sebby hasn't escaped from that hell. Read above under The Scrappy for why. It's also worth noting that Seb after marriage immediately drops the Emo Teen personality without losing any of his unique personality (he still rides his motorcycle, though admittedly late at night when he gets insomnia while the player is asleep; he still smokes; and he still hangs with Sam and Abigail at least once a week), resulting in the emo kid becoming a well-rounded version of The Pollyanna. There's a reason he's considered a Rescue Romance by many in the fandom.
    • Due to being a traumatized veteran who spent time in a hellish POW camp, it's not hard to feel bad for Kent. He can't handle hearing his wife make popcorn anymore thanks to it triggering his PTSD, he's lost the ability to bond with his sons, and he tends to spend his days aimlessly wandering around town feeling lost and purposeless due to not having a war to fight. And unlike similarly troubled individuals such as Shane, there's no helping him through his trauma.
      • 1.5 does give you a couple things you can do to help him a bit. First, you can give him a photo of one of the friends he lost in the war so he can at least remember what one of them looked like. Second, opening up the beach resort will have him say he feels a rare sense of peace whenever he visits.

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