Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fans Have a Use for its Silliest Item Thanks to Tiger King

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fans Have a Use for its Silliest Item Thanks to Tiger King

Netflix's true-crime documentary about big cat traders is spurring odd and occasionally concerning Animal Crossing crossovers.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, is a seven-part Netflix documentary series that debuted on March 20. The hit show has likely come to your attention in the days since, even if you've been preoccupied with another March 20 release, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Naturally, there are some fans of both, and it's led to numerous strange true-crime tributes in Animal Crossing's pleasant, no-cruelty world.

For those not in-the-know, Tiger King focuses mainly on the lives of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin. Exotic, a big cat breeder and owner of a private Oklahoma zoo, has an enemy in Baskin, who runs a sanctuary for tigers and lions. Without getting into the details—documentaries don't have "spoilers," but I digress—the story Tiger King tells does involve attempted murder, animal abuse, a seven-figure court order, and more.

Those might seem like odd things to pair with Animal Crossing, but whether it's the synchronicity of their releases or just plain irony at play, lots of folks are making homages to Joe Exotic and Tiger King in their New Horizons games. Polygon first spotted the trend last week, but a quick search on the Animal Crossing subreddit reveals tons of new tributes that have cropped up since:

While there are a handful of custom designs capturing Joe Exotic's showy wardrobe and even one disturbing Harv's island photoshoot featuring poor Lionel trapped in a cage, it's clear that the silly open-mouthed tiger is by far the most desirable item for people who want to mix their true-crime obsession with their Animal Crossing devotion:

It's hard to imagine a better use for the silly tiger statue, really. It's no Froggy Chair, but if you find yourself with one of these wide-mouthed tchotchkes, let the Tiger King fans in your New Horizons network know.

Really, whether it's morally dubious documentary subjects or the ultraviolence of Doom, people seem energized by the creative freedom New Horizons offers in letting you mix the adorable and the profane. That's not the direction all or even most players are taking the latest Animal Crossing in, but I must make an admission: I dug up some fossilized dinosaur poop the other day, and in a little joke to myself, I put it behind a extra-large stuffed panda on my island's northern ridge. I'm sorry, Nintendo.

Lead image via nancydr00l on Reddit.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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