Animal Crossing Lore Secrets and Theories

Top lore theories from the Animal Crossing franchise
Top lore theories from the Animal Crossing franchise | Nintendo, edited by Jack

Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo's most lore-complicated franchises on the market. While it may look cute and unassuming on the outside, those willing to dive below the surface will find a deep interconnected web of relationships, rumors, and secrets between their villagers.

Here's your first lesson into Animal Crossing lore, courtesy of yours truly—Lorekeeper Jack.

Best Animal Crossing Lore Secrets and Theories

1. The Able Sisters' Family Drama

Sable discusses her family history with the player character
Sable discusses her family history with the player character | Nintendo

The Able family was once made up of five hedgehogs: The unnamed parents, Sable as the oldest, middle child Label, and youngest sister Mable. At some point before their shop opened, the trio's parents passed away, leaving Sable in charge of the household and raising her siblings on her own.

It's believed that shortly after this, Sable and Label got into a fight that caused the latter to take off to the city—where she remains until City Folk. Talking to Sable will reveal that Label (known in this title as Labelle) abandoned the family to pursue her dreams as a fashion designer.
The drama will eventually come to a head when Label begins to send letters to her youngest sister, Mable, in an effort to rekindle the family relationship. Label will admit she now believes she has done wrong by her sisters and wants to make amends.

New Leaf sees Label working in the shop with Mable and Label and in New Horizons, she has gone full circle to using her birth name "in public"—though she still retains "Labelle" as a designer alter-ego. From this, we can assume the sisters have finally come together again.

2. Sable and Tom Nook's Relationship

Tom Nook laments his loss of a friendship with Sable
Tom Nook laments his loss of a friendship with Sable | Nintendo

Allegedly, from context gained via conversations with Sable and Tom Nook, players have pieced together that the two had a prior relationship.

The story goes that the two are around the same age and so they grew up together in the same town—the player's town. They would spend time stargazing together and talking about their lives. It's believed that Sable grew a soft spot for Nook during this time. However, whether this was strictly platonic or romantic is up for debate.

However, these feelings were quickly crushed when Nook relocated to the city to follow his passion in business. When asked, Nook will comment that the city changed him and that he "lost a friend" in the process.

In this same vein, Sable will tell the player a story where she recalls Nook buying her the "best pair of scissors" she had ever owned while he was away and laments what's become of him.

After returning to the city, defeated, Nook spent years in a depression where he pushed away his friends and biggest supporters (Sable) due to his own internal conflict as a "failure." This is most likely the largest nail in the coffin for their relationship.

3. Tom Nook's Business History

Tom Nook and the "Nooklings" in New Horizons
Tom Nook and the "Nooklings" in New Horizons | Nintendo

Tom Nook's past has got to be one of the most complicated stories to unravel in the entire franchise. He supposedly grew up in the player's town with Sable where he found a passion for business and moved to the city.

From there, he suffered dearly for this passions. He worked long hours under horrific working conditions just to make a living in the world. This experience completely changed him as a person to make him more concerned about profits over anything else. Additionally, player can uncover that Nook also suffered a deep business betrayal that robbed him of all the bells he had earned. Many believe the person behind this was Crazy Redd.

Nook made his way back to town in a deep depression and severely damaged his friendships during these years. This may be the factor that gave him his negative reputation.

In recent years, however, it seems that Nook has tried to turn this around. He's taken in two boys he calls his nephews—Timmy and Tommy—as well as donates 90% of his earnings to an orphanage "a few towns over." There's even a wing of the building named after him. Maybe Tommy and Timmy aren't just his nephews after all, hm?

4. K.K. Slider taught Isabelle music. Personally.

Slider frequenting Brewster's cafe
Slider frequenting Brewster's cafe | Nintendo

This is a relatively new theory that has begun to hold weight in the community. The primary elements of this are Isabelle's amiibo card and her newly found musical knowledge acquired between New Leaf and New Horizons.

Isabelle's amiibo card states that she has a bit of a crush on travelling musician K.K. Slider. We now know she can sing and seems to enjoy it and that both she and Slider frequented Brewster's cafe enough for the barista to take note of their coffee preference.

What was to stop them from possibly meeting and sharing a night lesson or two? Resulting in her ability to sight read music come New Horizons.

Some fans have gone as far as to speculate this is part of the reason Nook brought Isabelle on so quickly—her connection to Slider and his desire for a private island concert.

5. The True Identity of Zipper T. Bunny

Zipper, a veteran furry, asking the player to not ruin the magic
Zipper, a veteran furry, asking the player to not ruin the magic | Nintendo

Nintendo hasn't said much about Redd's appearance in New Horizons. Longtime players will know him from his art counterfeiting ways and bad blood with everyone's favorite tanuki, but what if we told you he could be found in New Horizons under a disguise?

Many have speculated the true identity behind Zipper T. Bunny—which we know is just someone in a costume. I mean, come on, you can clearly see the giant zipper on his back.

There's a growing population of fans who believe Redd is the one in the costume. They say that he's simply acting a part in an attempt to make amends with Nook—or hide from him completely while he scopes out the new island venture.

It should also be noted that players have noticed Zipper's behavior changes depending on whether their avatar is close by. If they leave the frame, Zipper will stop hopping and let out a long sigh before continuing the roam the island at a normal walking pace.

Of course it would be Redd tormenting us with candy-egg-tastrophy.