Animal Crossing: New Horizons Players’ Weirdest Tom Nook Theories
Tom Nook has been a mainstay of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series since its conception in 2001, but while the tanuki appears fairly innocuous at first glance, like most Animal Crossing villagers, that hasn’t stopped players from theorizing about whether Tom Nook is as nice as he seems. In fact, there are now several weird and wonderful theories on the internet that delve that little bit deeper into Nook’s character and business practices.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest entry in the charming Nintendo series. It has been lauded by many as an emotional boost during troubled times, thanks to its tranquil gameplay. But despite hours spent in New Horions collecting bugs, fishing, and buying turnips, some players can’t quite shake the feeling that there’s something a little off about Tom Nook.
The unexpected rise is sales for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, combined with people generally having a bit more free time on their hands over the last 16 months, has given multiple players plenty of time to pause and think more about what is actually going on behind the scenes on these apparently idyllic islands. Tom Nook has always been subject to humorous speculation throughout the series’ lifetime, but some theorize that there is much darker and less honest side to the banal businessman.
This Animal Crossing theory has been around for nearly as long as Tom Nook himself, but it gained further traction following the release of New Horizons. The tanuki’s constant need for bells, labor, and more bells has resulted in speculations that he not above some nefarious deals. Many outlets have even gone as far to label Tom Nook as one of the greatest villains of all time.
In 2020, rapper T-Pain released an Animal Crossing Nook parody with Cardboard Cowboy & Jayteehazard from the tanuki’s own perspective, called “Nook’s Bells.” Here, Nook is portrayed as a savvy criminal mastermind, with lyrics that pull no punches.
Don’t Animal Cross me (No), that’ll get you wastedYou just paid off the loan, don’t get buried under that basement (Woah)Don’t hold my money, just trust me, I need duckets (Yeah)Keep playin’ with me, I’ll have you swimmin’ with sea-pluses (Woo, woo)
This was maybe not what Nintendo was going for when it launched its wholesome series, but it’s also one Animal Crossing theory that’s likely not going away any time soon.
This theory first started gaining momentum after the release of Animal Crossing: Wild World. When conversing with Dr. Shrunk, the axolotl that gives players their emotions, the traveling therapist notes that everyone wears masks, including Nook, but that Nook “wears a racoon’s suit, but it serves the same purpose,” as reported by Looper. This has lead many to still believe that Tom Nook is, in fact, a human pretending to be a tanuki to further his control over the island’s villagers.
However, Dr Shrunk has been known for making questionable jokes during his Animal Crossing appearances, and given that there is never any mention or evidence of Tom Nook’s “suit” having a zipper, it is safe to assume that he truly is just a tanuki.
Timmy and Tommy, Tom Nook’s apprentices, are two of the most diminutive Animal Crossing characters. They are incredibly hard to tell apart, as they are identical twins. However, there are many on the internet, such as cooli9474, who believe that the two small tanukis are actually Tom Nook’s clones. This theory is based on the fact that they have a remarkable likeness to Tom, just on a smaller scale. However, there is also never any mention of Tommy and Timmy’s family. So even more darkly, some have speculated that the lack of mention of the twin’s familial history means that Tom Nook is holding the small tanuki children on the island as illegal laborers.
Even though Animal Crossing is certainly a friendly series for all ages, fans sometimes seem truly determined to scratch away its wholesome veneer to find something creepy beneath the surface. These fan musings, however, remain mere theories, and there’s nothing concrete to indict Tom Nook as a loan shark or criminal mastermind. But the theories certainly do make one think.
Next: Animal Crossing: What Happens If You Don’t Pay Back Tom Nook
Sources: Looper, cooli9474