Tom Nook & Sable’s Relationship & Backstory


Two familiar faces in Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Tom Nook and Sable of the Able Sisters – share a complex a history in previous games.

Two popular NPCs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons share a backstory newer Animal Crossing fans may not be aware of. Tom Nook and Sable of the Able Sisters used to be childhood friends, but New Horizons has yet to expand or even mention the two’s history together.

Tom Nook takes on the role of a travel agent in New Horizons, but like all previous titles, he’s known for being a driven businessman. This oftentimes earns Tom Nook the reputation as a greedy, Bell-grubbing capitalist in the Animal Crossing series. Sable, on the other hand, comes off as a shy, introverted character who is rather standoffish when initially meeting her. By talking to her everyday, she will eventually warm up to players and share details of her past.

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When players befriend Sable in New Horizons, she brings up some hardships of her early life, but she doesn’t mention anything about her history with Tom Nook. Indeed, these two have such different personalities that it may be shocking for players to learn they actually used to be very close when they were younger.  Here’s what Sable has to say about Tom Nook in earlier games, such as Animal Crossing: Wild World, as well as more details about her past in general.

Animal Crossing: Tom Nook & Sable Able’s Secret Backstory

Animal Crossing New Horizons Sable Able Tom Nook
Image Source: Siliconera

When the Able sisters were very young, their parents tragically died, although the specifics have never been divulged. The oldest sister, Sable, took on the responsibility of raising young Mabel. The middle Able sister, Labelle, moved away to the city to pursue her dreams of being a fashion designer (and changed her name to Label). The whole ordeal caused a lot of tension between the two older sisters, as Sable alone was left with the responsibility of raising Mabel. This is briefly mentioned in New Horizons, but the tension between Sable and Label is sugarcoated in comparison to other Animal Crossing games. Label and Sable eventually made amends, and all three sisters appear to have a healthy relationship in New Horizons.

In Wild World, Sable gets sad around winter time. If befriended, she tells the player she and Tom Nook were childhood friends. Yet one day, Tom decided to pursue his dreams and leave for the city. Sable describes Tom Nook as once having such a pure spirit that others thought it would prevent him from fulfilling his dreams outside of their rural home. This is a somewhat comical idea, considering the reputation Tom Nook has gained in Animal Crossing over the years. But Sable herself was so concerned about this that she would pray at night to protect Tom Nook’s purity in the big city.

According to Sable, Tom Nook once sent her a pair of orange scissors when he was away – a rather sweet sentiment, given the Able Sisters’ line of work in Animal Crossing. Sable describes these as the best scissors she has ever had. Tom gifted them for her birthday, which she herself had forgotten while consumed with taking care of Mabel. Sable mentions that just looking at the scissors would make her so happy she would cry.

Related: Why Animal Crossing Needs Romance Options

Tom eventually returned from the city, and his change in personality strained his and Sable’s relationship a bit. However, they would still speak about one another from time to time. Sable even tells the player Tom has a nice singing voice. It would be neat if Animal Crossing: New Horizons elaborated on this a little more, but the previous games’ insights at least add some touching depth to these two notable faces of the franchise.

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