Zell Animal Crossing

Zell is one of my favorite characters in the Animal Crossing world. I do have a soft spot for all animals with a smug personality; two of my top three all-time favorite villagers have this personality type. However, Zell is one of my favorites because he is so unique. Zell falls under the category of deer but he more closely resembles his namesake, the gazelle. He has spiral horns instead of the typical straight horns that all of the other deer’s don. While Zell wasn’t one of my original villagers (unfortunately Zell can’t be a starter villager), I was lucky enough to eventually find him and get him moved to my island. I can’t imagine my island without him now!

Bottom Line Up Front

  • Animal Type: Deer
  • Personality Type: Smug
  • First Game: Animal Crossing New Leaf
  • Birthday: July 7th
  • Favorite Colors: Purple, grey
  • Favorite Style: Cool, gorgeous

Appearance and Personality

I knew I was going to love Zell the first time I saw him at my campsite in Animal Crossing New Horizons. He had such a uniquely cool look, I knew I wanted him on my island right away. He is dark brown with snowy white feet, hands, eye patches, and right ear. His dark brown fur is so dark that it almost looks black, which is what I usually would describe him as. He looks great in grey or black clothing, which complements his contrasting-colored fur. As mentioned earlier, he has his signature spiral horns, which makes Zell stand out from other deer in the animal crossing world. His horns are a light cream color, with ringlets of a slightly darker cream evenly spaced throughout them. He has “sleepy eyes”; he is one of the villagers with his eyelids always half-closed. I often think that the half-closed eyelids design doesn’t look good, but on Zell, it brings out his aloof and cool nature. His eyes are an ocean blue color, which looks very nice against the white patches of fur surrounding them. 

Zell has a smug personality. The smug personality belongs to 37 animals in Animal Crossing New Horizons. Smug villagers get along well with most other personality types, the one exception being cranky villagers. Smug villagers are my favorite because their personality seems to be a good mix of all the personalities. They are kind, cool, relaxed, and just a little bit pompous sometimes. Smug villagers like to talk themselves up, but as nice as they are to themselves, they will be even nicer to the player. Zell is always full of compliments; mostly about himself, but I don’t mind listening to Zell talk about Zell as much as he’d like to. 

Zell’s original catchphrase is “plonk”. I don’t like a lot of the starter catchphrases and change them at the first chance, but Zell’s is ok. “Plonk” is a funny noise, and it seems so random coming from him. The Zell on my island now says “dolla bills yo” because it matches his ‘cool’ attitude. 

I particularly like seeing Zell interact with Lionel and Raymond on my island. Zell and Raymond have the best fashion sense, and Lionel is one of my other favorite villagers personality-wise. They are all so cute!

Why You Should Bring Zell To Your Island

Zell gets along well with almost all the villagers. He’s a low-maintenance islander if you’d rather pay more attention to other island drama. Zell is a gentleman, like most animals with the smug personality type. He is polite and very nice to the player and other villagers. Zell always has something interesting to say. Just the other day Zell told me that he thought we needed a “mid-week weekend”. I can’t say I disagreed! Zell is great for late-night players like myself. Zell doesn’t go to sleep until 2 AM; most smug villagers have this same late-night schedule. 

Zell also is a good visual addition to your island. I’m not a huge fan of the camo tee that is supposed to be his original outfit. When I met him, he had a grey blazer on, and now that he is on my island, he wears a dark green button-up sweater. However, Zell is always looking to be as stylish as possible. He will wear almost anything you give him. Whatever you think Zell will look best in, I’m sure he’d agree. 

I also really like the idea of themed islands, particularly with certain species of villagers. I’m a fan of all cat islands, cow, goat, or deer islands. If you are a fan of most deer villagers like I am, Zell is a great addition to your themed island. 

Home Appearance 

Zell’s home is one of my favorites in both Animal Crossing New Horizons as well as Animal Crossing New Leaf. In both versions, Zell’s home is the epitome of class. His wallpaper is of a city skyline, and he has a modern checkered floor pattern. The two signature items in Zell’s home are his grand piano and his billiard table. These two large items exemplify Zell’s personality perfectly. He has a passion for music; he is the last animal on the list of characters with a music hobby. He is also laid back, he seems like the type of guy who you could play a really fun game of pool with at a bar. 

To accentuate Zell’s home décor, I like to give him items that I think work well with what he already owns. Items that are either black or grey. 

The exterior of Zell’s house matches his character color scheme quite nicely. It is dark brown, with a bright white door, and a grey roof. 

Zell’s home in Animal Crossing New Leaf is relatively similar to his place in New Horizon’s. The only difference is instead of having two rattan chairs with a small table, he has a red sofa. The exterior of his New Leaf home is a log cabin kind of look. It has a dark grey roof with a bright silver metal chimney. 

Best Gifts For Zell

Zell likes the cool and gorgeous styles. If you are trying to increase your friendship with Zell, looking for some of these items at Mable and Sable’s is the way to go. His preferred colors are purple and grey, which he looks great in! I particularly like the python print jacket in grey, the space parka in purple, and the tiger face tee in grey. The chesterfield coat in black looks amazing on Zell as well, but he likes it less than the aforementioned items. Grey is a secondary color in this case; while Zell will still appreciate the gesture, it won’t wow him as the other options would. 

If you are interested in giving Zell furniture there are a ton of great options he will love! Zell has an affinity for anything elegant. The antique series makes great gifts for him. While this series is a bit on the expensive side, the dark wood with light fabrics makes great accents in Zell’s house if he chooses to showcase your gifts. For smaller items, Zell likes fancy houseplants; the bonsai tree is my personal favorite to give him. He also responds well to cat grass and the terrarium. 

Ultimately, if you are looking for gifts for Zell, and you don’t want to keep track of a list every day, the best thing to remember is that he likes elegant items in grey or purple. If you find an item with the grey and purple color combination, Zell will absolutely love it. 

Zell on Animal Crossing Tier Lists

Every Animal Crossing Tier list will be slightly different, with some of the same consistencies in the “S” tier categories. Everyone who has followed Animal Crossing New Horizon’s news from the game release knows that Raymond became an overnight sensation, locking in his S-tier status and making him more or less the face of the game. Ankha is another villager that will always be at the top of tier lists, along with the bearcub Judy, Sherb the goat, and Shino the deer. 

In my opinion, Zell is at least an A-tier villager. His unique look and his gentlemanly attitude make him a must-have for me. On average Zell is ranked a B-tier villager. Some lists have him at A (where he should be) and some have him ranked at C. 

Animal Crossing is such a personal game, I think every player should have the islanders they connect most with on their islands. Angus is consistently ranked low on tier lists but I adore him. I haven’t been fortunate enough to get him on my island, but if I ever had a chance I would jump at it. The cows aren’t universally loved in the Animal Crossing fandom, but they are my favorite animals in real life, so of course, I love them! I don’t pay a lot of attention to tier lists. However, if having an island full of the most wanted villagers is important to you, Zell probably wouldn’t be a great choice for you. 

Zell in Pocket Camp

I am a huge fan of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. It’s such a great way to have a little bit of Animal Crossing with you wherever you go. I’ve had the game since it first came out. While I have taken breaks from it here and there, it is one of my most consistently played Animal Crossing games overall. 

In Pocket Camp Zell wears his trademark camo tee until you invite him to your campsite to change it. He gives you modern and elegant essence, which I think showcases his personality perfectly. His signature furniture piece, which you can earn at friendship level 15, is the Taurus bathtub. His favorite theme in Pocket Camp is pretty much what you’d expect after seeing Zell’s home in New Horizon’s or New Leaf; modern. To attract Zell to your campsite you will need 5 items with a total crafting time of 34 hours. These items are pothos, an espresso maker, a study rug, a stool, and a gorgeous counter.  

Zell’s Amiibo Card

Zell’s amiibo card is number 159. He is posing with his hands on his hips, and flashing a sassy look. The background is a bright orange, which highlights his dark brown fur and white patches. His hand sign is rock, and his request is for a themed hotel.

Amiibo cards are great, cheap, collector’s items. I don’t own any myself, but that is only because I know I would somehow manage to lose them. I can’t count how many pokemon cards I lost when I was younger. Amiibo cards are cool because not only do you get to take a little piece of Animal Crossing into the real world, but you also get in-game benefits from having one. Zell’s amiibo card can run anywhere from five to ten dollars, depending on where you get it from. 

Zell Merchandise

Unfortunately, with Zell not being one of the most popular animals in the series, there isn’t a whole lot of great merch for Zell fans. However, there are a few neat stickers and a couple of cool tees that I would recommend for anyone looking to showcase their love for this stylish deer. 

The Zell Classic Tee Shirt is one of my absolute favorite Zell items. This shirt is well designed, with just Zell’s adorable face on the front. The designer makes Zell look a little bit more chibi than he does in-game, but that adds to the adorable nature of this tee. The shirt is sold for both men and women and comes in whichever color you prefer. You can even get it in purple or grey; Zell’s favorite colors! Priced at only 20$, this shirt is a great way to express your fondness of Zell. 

This Zell sticker is a must-have item for me. I love to put stickers of my favorite characters on my laptop, DS, water bottles, and even my corkboard. Every time I see my favorite characters’ stickers, I get to smile a little bit. This is one of few Zell stickers that shows his full body, in his original animal crossing design. He wears his original outfit from Animal Crossing New Horizons, instead of his camo tee that he appears in for every other Animal Crossing game. I prefer this look on Zell, as I think it elevates his style quite a bit. 

The deer icon sticker pack is another great option if you are looking for stickers from Zell and friends. I am a huge fan of all of the cute deer in Animal Crossing, and this chibi sticker pack showcases all of their adorable faces. If you don’t want stickers of all the deer, you can also get Zell’s face alone. However, I think that the solo face sticker looks a bit out of place, and I wouldn’t want Zell to be lonely! 


Question: Is Zell a Rare Islander? 

Answer: A lot of players ask about the rarity of specific villagers, believing that some are more common than others. However, this is untrue and all villagers have an equal chance of showing up at your campsite or on a random island you can fly to. There are 393 animals in Animal Crossing New Horizons though, so the chance of seeing a particular villager is always relatively low. The best way to get Zell on your island is to purchase his amiibo card. 

Question: What is Zell’s Favorite Song?

Answer: Zell’s favorite song is K.K. Swing. You can score some major points with Zell by getting the K.K. Swing album and gifting it to him. Zell appears on the cover of K.K. Waltz, but this is not his preferred K.K. song. Zell does have a music hobby, so it is no surprise that he has inspired K.K. Slider on a few of his best songs! 

Question: What is Zell’s Birthday?

Answer: Zell has one of the most unique birthdays in Animal Crossing because he shares his special day with Timmy and Tommy! These characters all have their birthday on June 7th. Some players may find this to be difficult; do you spend the day with the little rascal raccoons, or do you spend your time with Zell? However, I’ve never found this to be a problem. As long as you have about thirty minutes to dedicate to the game on the 7th of June, you should be able to stop by Nook’s and wish Timmy and Tommy a happy day, as well as stop by Zell’s place to give him a birthday gift and partake in his birthday festivities. 


Zell is a special animal in Animal Crossing for many reasons. He has unique horns which make him stand out from the other deer, and he has a smug personality that makes him stand out from other villagers. Zell is a perfect gentleman. He is always polite and kind, even when he is being a little bit arrogant. Zell will get along well with almost any character you bring to your campsite, except the occasional cranky villager, but not many characters get along with the cranky villagers anyway. Zell is a low-maintenance islander, but if you put the time in, he will turn out to be one of the best friends a player could wish for. He is stylish and elegant, and he can be hilarious. Overall, Zell is a great addition to any island!

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