There are two different types of events. One type of event usually revolves around a single occasion in reality which is then emulated and altered to make it relevant in the game. For example, the Animal Crossing event Toy Day mimics the real-life event of Christmas, by having a themed special character called Jingle similar to (Santa Claus) Father Christmas distribute presents throughout the day. However, some events are purely made for the purpose of Animal Crossing, such as the Fishing Tourney, which is a fishing competition held monthly in some games.
The only Animal Crossing game which does not hold single events that mimics real-life events is Wild World, which was designed to be culturally neutral. However, Animal Crossing based events such as the fishing tourney still existed.
Some events in the series involve special characters which only appear during the event. They act as the host of the occasion, often distributing special series of furniture relating to the event. However, some events involve special characters which frequently appear in the player's town. For example, Tortimer hosts many events where another special character is not needed. These events usually involve a celebration that affects the entire town, such as New Year's Eve.
During events, villager conversations will begin to focus on the occasion, usually mentioning key facts about the event. The different personalities of villagers will also prove a useful insight into how each type of villager reacts during the day.
- Lazy and peppy villagers will appear excitable and competitive when talking about an event. Particularly if the event rewards the player furniture or items which are unobtainable during other days of the year.
- Normal villagers tend to prove their enthusiasm for the event with less excitement than the younger acting lazy and peppy villagers, but with enough to focus their conversations on the day.
- Jock villagers tend to act the most competitive during events. During events such as the Bug-Off or Fishing Tourney, where the aim is to find the most impressive item, a jock villager will tend to act as if directly competing against the player.
- Snooty villagers will act differently depending on the type of event. If the events involve a competition, they will tend to not act as if they want to get involved. They will only mention any involvement to prove their importance, as well as mention it as an excuse to get dressed up.
- Cranky villagers, similar to jock villagers, act competitive during events with competitions. However, they tend to act with knowledge and wisdom, which may belittle other personality types.
In City Folk and New Leaf, some events which are not programmed into each game may be celebrated by Distributed Items sent by Nintendo to the player through their consoles internet connection. Although the game may not actively celebrate certain events, the player may celebrate them with the items.