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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.
  • 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 Shovel Talk in Maru's 4-heart event.
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    • Emily's callous treatment of Clint's crush and 8-heart "costume therapy" event can read as uncomfortably manipulative.
    • 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. Considering more than half the town doesn't have any kind of an income... of course regardless of any ill intent, they genuinely love you by the time you hit 8-10 hearts with them.
  • 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 is done in the name of ruining him.
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  • 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.
  • Awesome Ego: Alex. Turns out later it's masking some major issues.
  • Awesome Music: Its soundtrack is gorgeous
  • 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.
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    • 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.
  • 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. There isn't even some post-event dialogue mentioning anything about this, despite even some insignificant heart events having some.
  • 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?).
  • Breather Level: Mine levels that are multiples of ten have no monsters and usually contain treasure boxes. Multiples of 20 will have fishing spots for rare fish.
  • 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.
  • 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 1,000 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, this 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 wearing them, Marnie laughs too hard to talk to you, and Lewis screeches like a bat.
  • Demonic Spiders: While the monsters in the Skull Cavern are a little stronger than the ones in the Mines, the Serpents are wickedly fast and agile 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).
  • Disappointing Last Level: Winter is the season where everything slows to a crawl. Fitting for a farming simulator where only winter seeds will grow outdoors, but unless one is careful enough to unlock the greenhouse on Year 1, profits are virtually nonexistent during this period. Even with thorough preparation with the greenhouse and farm animals, the greenhouse can only provide so much farming space, and the quality of animal goods will stagnate without the animals being able to graze outdoors. Year 2, despite it providing plenty of opportunity to unlock the greenhouse and other utilities, is just as slow going, as the player has likely completed the community center/Joja Mart contracts at this point, and has developed relationships with the whole town. It's not uncommon for players to immediately skip the day in the early afternoon knowing they completed everything on their agenda.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Naturally, a lot of players of this game are those who 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: Patches have changed these for time to time, but a few of them still stand out.
    • Every season has a very profitable multi-harvest crop:
      • While you can only get them in the second half of spring, Strawberries are very profitable. They grow relatively fast and produce very valuable harvests. Plus, most of the family in the mountains likes them, making them quite handy to hold onto if you want to improve your relationship with Maru and/or Sebastian. It's a smart idea to use the seed maker for Strawberries in advance for the next Spring, where they can be used to their full potential (ie four harvests in the year as opposed to two from the Egg Festival).
      • Blueberries are the most profitable plant for summer, since they produce several at a time and can be harvested over and over.
      • Cranberries in the fall are even more profitable than both Strawberries and Blueberries, grow faster, and also provide three per harvest. The only catch is the ludicrous cost per seed, but it's well worth it.
    • Coffee. All you need is one bean to start, which can be bought or fished. You get multiple beans per harvest, which can be planted. Then you can re-harvest in two days. And on top of that, you can pop the beans in a keg and get Coffee, which gives you a decent speed boost when drank. While brewed Coffee and beans don't fetch a great price, it brews in two hours and then you can refill the keg. It makes for a great gift too, since almost everybody in town likes it. Oh, and it stretches through Spring and Summer. Save your beans, and it can last you through Fall and Winter.
    • The Ancient Fruits and Sweet Gem Berries yield an immense amount of wealth when obtained, especially when combined with the Seed Maker. Though they take a whole month to grow (plant wisely!), they sell for high prices. The Sweet Gem Berries can often be purchased from the traveling merchant during the spring and summer while the Ancient Fruits constantly produce after reaching full growth (until winter hits) and are compatible with the Kegs/Jars. Ancient Fruit Wine is especially profitable.
    • In the late game, Kegs absolutely dominate for making profits. Especially since when you get the final house upgrade, you can place wines in casks to push them up to Iridium quality, drastically increasing the value of them. Iridium-quality Starfruit and Ancient Wines are the most profitable, though you have to wait half a year in-game to get them to that level. Then, stack this with the Artisan profession (40% increase in sale price on Artisan Goods) and you'll hit that million Gold target without even noticing.
    • Preserves Jars. While Wine certainly sells for more than Pickled vegetables and Jellied fruits, you need a lot of Oak Trees and Tappers, in addition to Copper and Iron Ores and Furnaces, to get a reliable amount of Kegs. Preserves Jars take less resources to make, require a lower level to craft, and all their materials can be bought from the town. Not only do cheaper crops yield higher profits from this, they finish faster too.
    • The Greenhouse allows you to grow any crop in any season, including the above mentioned Strawberries, Blueberries, Cranberries and Ancient Fruit, allowing them to produce fruit forever without withering from the new seasons. It's also completely crow-proof, and you can make a setup with six Iridium Sprinklers, with only four touching the dirt, allowing for an impressive 116 crops. You can also plant trees on the borders of the greenhouse. Of course, this is obtainable only by completing the second hardest set of bundles in the community center, which requires growing crops of every season, all but one of the high-quality animal productsnote , and five gold-star-quality crops of a certain kind from every season, making the greenhouse feel like a Bragging Rights Reward.
    • Krobus sells a random food item with a randomly selected price each week. Due to the random selection of price it's possible for him to sell an item at below the price you can sell it for. In the most extreme case a Fish Taco that sells for 500g could be bought for only 50g, returning the initial investment ten-fold. And due to how Krobus's stock resets every time the store is opened players can buy an unlimited amount of the food for resale at a profit.
    • The Burglar Ring can make a huge difference in gathering items, as its purpose is to raise the drop rates from monsters. Purple Slimes in particular drop Iridium ores, making Iridium harvesting far easier. That's not getting into the even more valuable Ancient Seeds from bugs or Coffee Beans from Dust Sprites. The only catch is that a whopping 500 Dust Sprites must be slain to unlock this ring (though killing Dust Sprites in of itself is a good source of coal).
    • Hops take 11 days to grow, and then produce every single day. By itself, Hops aren't worth much at only 25g sell price and the Starters each cost 60g, but put them in Kegs and you get Pale Ale, which will make you 300g. And Pale Ale takes less time to finish than other Keg items, at only a day and a half. Granted, Hops use trellises meaning that you have to be careful where you place your Hops Starters, but even just having enough to use all the spaces of a Quality Sprinkler will let you make enough Hops to last you for a few months. And if you get the Greenhouse mentioned above, you can keep making Pale Ales forever on just eight Starters.
  • 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).
    • After the update, the Skull Cavern has new enemies, and one of them is the Iridium Crab. It's like the Rock Crab in the Mines, which disguised itself as a rock, but it has an enticing Iridium shell, so you run up to it with pick in hand, and unlike the Rock Crab, doesn't show itself until you're right next to it, so it'll almost always hit you. And because it drops Iridium, just like iridium rocks, you have to take that risk.
    • 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 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.
    • Because of how the game checks that a shop is being tended, the player can leave their horse by the ice cream stand (as the 'shopkeeper') to purchase ice cream out of season.
    • 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.
    • 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.
      • 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.
  • 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.
  • Junk Rare: When you go to bed, there's a tiny chance of a random event occuring. Two of these are the strange capsule and stone owl event. The chances of either of these two occuring are extraordinary 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 occuring, the item that spawns from these two events are nothing more than decorations.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some players ignore the main story and just focus on building the most amazing farms they can.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Thanks to the game allowing players to romance and marry characters of the same gender, unlike the series it was based on.
  • 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 Mutation:
    • Abigail really likes rocks. Explanation 
    • THE SHANE TRAIN.
    • Anything involving Mayor Lewis's shorts. 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.
    • Auto-Grabbers and fully upgraded Coops and Barns make gathering resources from animals a cinch.
  • Moe: Penny, due to her adorable design and sweet nature.
  • Misaimed "Realism": The energy bar is depleted as you perform energy intensive actions and continuing to perform energy intensive actions after it's empty will cause you to collapse from exhaustion. All well and good, except that you will collapse from exhaustion the moment the clock strikes 2 AM, even if you have a full energy bar. You also can't sprint when the energy bar is depleted but you can sprint indefinitely without depleting the energy bar when it's full. There's also no difference to how fast you can run depending on how much stamina you have left, just as long as you haven't fully depleted your energy.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The sound of a star triggering when you score an achievement.
    • The sound of rain pouring, which means 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.
  • 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, 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 of 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*") and quickly drops all humor when you realize you're interrupting a suicide attempt.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 been slowly been given better treatment over the course of the game's development though, adding in better controller functionality.
  • 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.
  • 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 a 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 die unless you use a bomb AFTER killing them, 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.
    • 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.
      • Suffice to say, if it isn't the traditional or Forest Farm (which has the actually beneficial gimmick of extra Hardwood sources and foraging items in addition to not being too restrictive with land availability), it'll be considerably more difficult to make a profit.
  • 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...
    • Qi's Challenge. To get the cash reward, players much 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 the area).
    • 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 lucky with finding holes to let you drop multiple floors, 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 to catch it is.
      • 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.
    • 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, thus rendering the mission impossible to hand in.
    • If Willy asks you to catch more than one Octopus for a randomly-generated quest, it's a good idea to just ignore it. In fact, most players should refuse the quest even if he only asks for one octopus. For one, by the time you get the quest from the bulletin board you probably only have a couple of hours left before the octopi disappear from the ocean for the rest of the day, so you'll have to go there as early as possible the next morning to have a chance to even encounter one. Beyond that, octopi are incredibly difficult fish to catch even with a fishing skill of 10. You could waste resources on temporarily improving your skill beyond 10, but the reward for the side-quest typically won't offset the sacrifice.
  • 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 Stealing the Credit for your 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  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, its 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 above).
    • You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who likes Pam either. She has very little personality beyond her alcoholism, but she's also rude to her daughter Penny, 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 some people to marry Emily just to spite Clint.
    • In-universe, except for a handful of outliers, everyone in the game refuses to touch black licorice as their movie snack.note 
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Marnie's schedule makes buying anything from her shop extremely difficult. She goes shopping in the morning and 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!
    • 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.)
    • 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 increase the chances, but that still won't work in winter. 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.
    • The jealousy mechanic. If you continue to give gifts to the other single bachelors and/or bachelorettes after you're married, even if it's 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 are somewhat low (between 20 and 40 percent each time), the fact it happens at all is rather annoying. 1.1 alleviates this somewhat with the new ability to divorce your current spouse, and also prevents a spouse from getting jealous if you give someone a gift on their birthday. This can also be circumvented by maxing out every spouse's friendship before getting married.
    • 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.
    • 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 equivalent counterpart to the Rain 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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 has currently. Right now he's 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 charcter 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 friend him, as there isn't a way to reach the other side of his counter to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the 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. Its 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.

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