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Animal Crossing fans keep joking about ‘Raymond in boxes’

Just gonna need your mother’s maiden name...

Raymond in Animal Crossing sitting on a stool. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

At this point, it might not be a stretch to say that the wider Animal Crossing: New Horizons economy revolves around a smug cat. Raymond, the feline with heterochromia, is likely the most expensive thing you can buy on the black market. If you dare say you’ve got Raymond available for adoption, you’ll get inundated by hopefuls who want the grey villager on their island.

The fervor around Raymond is hot enough that one viral post saw a players receiving seemingly unhinged messages from other Raymond fans trying to pressure them into giving the cat up because they don’t “deserve” him. Another viral post purports to show a scam through which someone tricks another player into paying for the privilege of merely looking at Raymond, not getting him.

These stories are hard to verify. One of the Twitter posts recounting an exchange has been deleted and the account is down, but more broadly, popular posts about Raymond and his hard-to-get status aren’t always true. A month ago, for instance, there was a viral post that claimed Raymond was being sold on eBay for $1,000, which is vastly over the general market asking price for the villager. Regardless of the truth, however, the mythos around Raymond has had a visible effect on the Animal Crossing community. While Raymond remains a highly-valued villager for the fandom at large, there’s also a growing backlash against Raymond and the people who want him.

A new meme sees fans joking about having “Raymond in boxes” — that is, having him ready to move or to be purchased — except the asking price is absurd, impossible, or just plain silly. Sometimes, the joke is literal, with Raymond drawn or photoshopped to be in or around actual boxes. All of these jokes point toward a general weariness of the Raymond phenomenon, if not a critique of the out-of-control way people can act when they want the villager.

Is Raymond truly worth all this commotion? I don’t know, but the jokes are good, at least.

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