“The doctor is OUT!”
― Dr. Shrunk, City Folk
Dr. Shrunk (ししょー, Shishō?) is an Axolotl and a special character in the Animal Crossing series who has appeared in all games since Wild World, but was excluded from New Horizons. He gave the player the ability to use emotions in all of the games. His name could refer to the word "shrink", a slang term for a psychologist.
Dr. Shrunk's Outro
Dr. Shrunk is a pink axolotl. He has round blue eyes, a big smile with buck teeth, and six gills on either side of his head. From Wild World through City Folk, he wears a comedian's jacket. In New Leaf, he wears a white shirt, purple vest, red bow tie, and black pants. He has also grown a mustache, which may be mistaken for a nose. In Happy Home Designer, he wears his comedian's jacket as his alternative outfit.
In Wild World, Dr. Shrunk visits the town occasionally on a day from Monday through Friday, between 6:00 AM and midnight. The player learns emotions from Dr. Shrunk, depending on the randomly chosen emotion. In his first visit, the player can learn only one emotion. But later, the player gets to choose one from four emotions to learn. The first emotion a player will get from him is 'shyness'.
In City Folk, Dr. Shrunk hosts comedy shows at the Marquee, which can be viewed after paying the clerk 800 Bells. A possible villager might appear in the audience, usually complaining about it because his shows aren't very good. Sometimes, the villager will actually like the show. Shrunk will teach the player an emotion afterward. The emotion taught can be chosen while paying the clerk, when they ask the player which show they wish to see. Shrunk is occasionally replaced with Master Frillard.
In New Leaf, Dr. Shrunk owns Club LOL, a new entertainment venue where he and K.K. Slider both perform. He once again teaches the player "jokes". He will give the player a joke book, which the player can learn all forty of his "jokes" instead of just having 4 "jokes" and having to forget them to get new "jokes". He accepts food, such as fruit to perform instead of Bells. He will only perform to teach the player a "joke" once a day, but only when Club LOL is open from 12pm to 8pm. During K.K. Slider's songs on Saturday, he can be seen dancing in the club. After learning all forty "jokes", Dr. Shrunk will teach the player the Shrunk Funk Shuffle (video here) and give the player his old comedian jacket.
He has grown a small mustache since his last appearance in City Folk and become friends with Lyle who ‘studies’ under him learning puns. At some point, he challenged Tom Nook to a joke-off saying that ‘you’ve got to have a good sense of humour if you want to be a good buisnessman’. According to Lyle this was a ‘bitter pill for Mr Nook’, to which Tom Nook retorts that he ‘simply didn’t have enough time to prepare.' Despite this there is apparently no bad blood between the two of them with Nook considering Dr Shrunk ‘an amazing fellow who has accomplished a lot’ and wants to learn his ‘secret for being loved by all’.
In Dōbutsu no Mori (film)
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
He occasionally pops up in Smashville map as a background character that waves.
Dr. Shrunk's Background
In his spare time, Dr. Shrunk is a comedian, which leads to him telling jokes often. He is usually cheery, but because of his role in the game, his emotions fluctuate whilst he tells stories. He is a forgiving character, even cheerily explaining who he is if the player forgets. The character can be seen as ambitious, as in City Folk he realizes his dream of becoming a professional comedian, and works at the Marquee. It is known and heavily implied that most people do not find Shrunk's jokes funny. He does not seem to notice, saying in his glee joke, that he was called daring for showing up on stage when nobody laughed at him.
It is hinted at several times that he has a wife, and it appears that she treats him badly. He also mentions that he has a son that takes after him, as well as a daughter (or more than one, as implied by the Bashfulness joke). However, since he only mentions his wife and his son during his jokes, it's possible that they don't even exist and he only made them up to make his jokes seem even funnier.
Emotions are facial expressions or whole body expressions the player's character can do. Dr. Shrunk can teach/show the player how to do them with his jokes. In City Folk, the player can only have four different emotions and can switch them out by going to the Marquee and going to the selected show. In New Leaf, the player can obtain a joke book and they can learn all forty-one emotions.
- His Japanese name is a simplified spelling of "master" or "teacher" (師匠 shishō?).
- His Spanish name is based on the word "Doctorcito", which means "Little doctor".
- According to his sneezing joke, Shrunk is allergic to humans.
- Dr. Shrunk's favorite food is chocolate cake.
- In Wild World, he is a psychologist that can help players get in touch with their emotional side by allowing the player to choose emotions to show off to their friends.
- In City Folk, he is a comedian that works in the Marquee in the city.
- In New Leaf, he is the manager for Club LOL and a retired comedian.
- It is implied that some of Shrunk's jokes come from his mentor Frillard. In New Leaf, he retells a joke (The Bashfulness Joke, specifically) originally told by Frillard; however, it doesn't make sense in context, as Shrunk is much younger than Frillard. In fact, he made his own version of the Sleepiness joke in New Leaf, while the other five he imitated his mentor. (My old teacher's [emotion] joke is what to CURE what ails you!)
- When talking to him at The Roost in New Leaf he mentions the gyroids up on stage and how he never put them there. "Have you ever seen those gyroids up on the stage at the club? It's weird, but I didn't actually put them there. They just appeared out of the blue one day. How bizarre!"
- Dr. Shrunk is an axolotl, which is an amphibian related to newts and salamanders. However, real axolotls do not have large teeth.
- If the family Dr. Shrunk speaks about in his comedy routines is real, then he is one of the few Special Characters to be parents.