History Of The Able Sisters Is Animal Crossing’s Saddest Secret Lore

The Able Sisters shop may be in every Animal Crossing game, but the tragedy of their backstory is little known. Sable and Mabel, the two hedgehogs who run the store, serve as the series’ tailors; their other sister Labelle works in a joint company with her siblings. Though the three of them get to enjoy their cozy clothing shop by the time of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the turmoil they went through to keep their small business alive is heart-wrenching.


Players really only need to look to Sable to see that something has gone wrong in the sisters’ past. The brown hedgehog almost always wears a solemn look on her face, hardly speaks to anyone, and buries herself in her work. Here and there, traces of what may have happened to her crop up with references to a past friendship with Tom Nook given in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but she, Mabel, and Labelle usually keep their misfortunes to themselves.

Though Sable’s mystery and complexity make her one of Animal Crossing‘s best characters, players can piece her and her sisters’ backstories together with lore from the previous games. After players have befriended Sable in Animal Crossing: Wild World, she reveals the sisters’ parents died in a car crash when they were children. Mabel, being the youngest of the bunch, was too young to even remember what had happened. This meant that Sable was left to take care of her sister at a young age. What’s worse, she was left to take care of her parents’ business (what was later to become Animal Crossing‘s Able Sisters) all by herself. While this is sad enough, the loss of their parents only marked the beginning of a long history of abandonment for Mabel, Labelle, and especially Sable.

The Misfortunes Of The Able Sisters In Animal Crossing

After the death of their parents, the Able sisters split up. Label – who would later become Labelle – had aspirations of becoming a big fashion designer in the city. After she had an argument with Sable, she left her and Mabel so that she could chase her dreams. This placed Sable in a very difficult position. She was only thirteen when she had to take on her parents’ roles as a business owner and a caretaker for Mabel, and because Labelle left, she had to do this all on her own. Before New Horizons, in Animal Crosssing: City Folk‘s lore, Labelle’s desertion of the family causes a conflict between her and Sable when she finally returns into her sisters’ lives.

Sable experienced yet another desertion when her closest friend left her to similarly pursue his dreams in the city: Tom Nook. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, Sable becomes depressed in January if the player is friends with her, and Mabel shares that she thinks it is because of her past relationship with Tom Nook. Before Tom Nook became Animal Crossing‘s lovable, greedy capitalist, he was a much more easygoing person who was best friends with Sable. He used to stargaze and come up with designs with her. However, Tom Nook had dreams of starting his own business in the city, which he left to do before the first game in Animal Crossing series. He managed to keep a strong relationship with Sable while there, sending her letters and a pair of orange scissors that Sable treasures to this day. But once Tom Nook returned from the city, his personality had shifted to the business-oriented person fans know him for, which resulted in the end of his friendship with Sable.

Luckily, by Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the Able Sisters are all friends again, and Sable and Mabel even support Labelle’s dreams of becoming a big fashion designer. Hopefully the next Animal Crossing game will allow players to help her and Tom Nook reunite in a big way. Enough has happened to the Able Sisters before the Animal Crossing series started, so seeing the player become a presence that can bring happiness into all of their lives would make for a compelling game.

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