The 15 Most Interesting, Innovative and Hilarious Things People are Doing in Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Cute game. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s responsible for recently propeling the value of that resilient little start-up Nintendo about 400% further into the stratosphere. But what makes AC so damn compelling? And how does a franchise that’s been around since 2001 and the GameCube era, and never really moved beyond former-Tamaguchi-owner levels of followers, hit the mainstream with gale wind force in 2020? I think grand-pappy said it best: “When the universe gives you lemons, turn to the metaverse for lemonade.” Forward thinker that guy. Also predicted the popularity of Crocs, which is odd since he never left the old country.

So in the spirit of an ancestor’s optimism, let’s do a recap of the strange and wonderful things that creative people are doing inside Nintendo’s global hit.

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1. Selena Gomez sang a song and was a great talk show guest

No doubt inspired by her ex The Weekend’s recent Tik Tok show, Selena decided that without live events anywhere on the horizon, it was a good time to go on the brilliant AC-based talk show Animal Talking to perform one of her new songs and talk about…whatever. Yeah, we’re in love. Your loss, The Weekend…if that is your real name.

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2. The Simpsons intro was recreated

Not much to say here except wow. And that we want anyone with this level of dedication to a task working on finding a COVID vaccine.

3. Pro-democracy Hong Kong activists held a protest

Pro democracy advocate Joshua Wong said it best, “Animal Crossing is a place without political censorship so it is a good place to continue our fight.” And we couldn’t agree more. Using gaming for good, in this case raising awareness of the duplicitious work of Hong Kong’s government leader Carrie Lam, is what the platform can and should strive to be. Kudos to these bravest of the brave individuals.

4. T-Pain took good care of his wife

“My wife was runnin low on bells so i had to hop over to her island to make sure she was set for the week. Go get yaself somethin nice lol”

You don’t just hook someone up when they’re short of bells unless you love them, so we now know what we’ve always suspected: T-Pain is a pretty decent guy.

5. Police in Taiwan returned a stolen Switch to its owner

Yes, you could file this under “don’t y’all have anything more important to do with your time” but that would be missing the real point: that when Taiwanese police recovered a stolen Switch console with no proper ID, they simply fired up Facebook and contacted the owner’s friends to help reunite human and device — thus creating the most adorable invasion of personal privacy ever!

6. Givenchy made an in-game line of cosmetics

Problem: you can’t go out because of COVID, but you have the relentless urge to buy makeup anyway. Solution by Givenchy. Simply pick up and apply the cosmetic giant’s special line of in-game Animal Crossing makeup and throw it on your avatar. Gorgeous! Please though, try and remember the wise words of Marge Simpon’s mother the night before her first date with Homer, “Ladies pinch. Whores use rouge.”

7. Frodo transformed into Elijah the Turnip Profiteer

The man shows up on a stranger’s island to sell turnips. You know, like you do. Elijah Wood is a national treasure and he must be protected at all costs. And don’t forget his unsuspecting customer who vowed to put the event on her resume. I’d hire her if I saw that on her CV!

8. A young activist found his voice

While most of us will look for any excuse not to get up and get involved with righting the world’s wrongs, young gamer Ollie Frank-Scott had no such reservations. When the 12-year-old New York native learned about the struggles of those being exploited and killed in the Africa’s ongoing conflict gold and mineral crisis, he took to his island Tiger Bay and built The Rose Gold Factory to raise awareness of the issue. Ollie’s been playing the game since its beloved New Leaf days, but New Horizons has been the game to match his budding activism with the proper platform. The world could use a lot more Ollies. Just saying.

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9. Xbox chieftain Phil Spencer was inside a Nintendo game

What’s next? Master Chief making a guest appearance in the Last of Us III? This is the crossover event we didn’t know we needed but ended up enjoying immensely. And again, shout out to the amazing Gary Whitta. The man writes a Star Wars movie and THEN goes and creates/hosts the most innovative talk show of the year. Talent.

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10. An opera happened

We’d say that recreating the opera Hansel and Gretel inside Animal Crossing would be a great way to expose kids to the magic of opera and classical music, but who are we kidding? It’s a great way to introduce US to the magic of opera and classical music! And yes, the entire performance can be seen and heard above. Kind of addicting.

11. The fashion industry got a boost

Recently, wackadoo-but-oh-so-lovable fashion designer Betsey Johnson unveiled her new collection inside AC. The craziest thing about it? It wasn’t big news — since several other major fashion events had already happened in-game. At a time when you ain’t doin’ a socially-distanced Milan Fashion Week, the game has provided a place to work that runway.

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12. Proud people showed their pride

The ability to communicate love from within Animal Crossing may just be it’s greatest feature. Case in point, the loving detail that went into Pride Island. A masterclass in sharing a message in the most positive way imaginable.

13. The virtues of a fake phone were extolled

It’s a surreal testament to the immersive nature of the game that people continually marvel at the numbers of bars they get on their Nook phone despite being, you know, not a real phone…drawing a fake cell signal…on an island that isn’t real. Guess it beats complaining about the iPhone 11.

14. Chrissy Teigen was OG Original Animal Crossing gangster

And with the tweet above, also cemented her reign as the most enjoyably unexpected human on the planet.

15. We all got a chance to be…normal

The best thing about Animal Crossing: New Horizons may just end up being how normal it makes us feel. In a world where we seemingly have little control over our lives, AC: NH is a place where you can still do “x” to produce “y” — and that feels mighty good on the island or anywhere else when forces all around us are seemingly looking to do us harm.

On a related note: wrestle control back from said forces. Vote in November!