“GL-L-L-KSK! KEH-KEEH!♫ FST! FST! RrrrrrrrrrrrKLAGH!♪ CH-CH-ch-ch-mmmMMMmmm!♫ Oh, well, it is very old and in the language of my ancestors, which happens to be Raccoonish, yes, yes.”
― Tom Nook, New Leaf
Tom Nook is a tanuki (a raccoon in Western versions) with brown fur. His eye area has a dark brown mask-like shape for his raccoon eye characteristics. His nose tip, his hands, feet, and his tail are dark brown. The apron he wears over his lower half is inferred to be for modesty, a reference to the legends of the tanuki.
In New Leaf, Nook wears a white shirt with a red necktie and a green sweater vest over it. His sweater has a left-sided pocket protector with a pen sticking out. He also wears black pants. Whenever outside of Nook's Homes, such as the player selecting their new home spot or at The Roost, Nook is seen with a yellow jacket over his sweater.
When the player first arrives in town, Tom Nook will greet them and introduce them to their new house. He will give a quote to them on the initial mortgage of the home. Tom will hire the player to work part-time at his shop to help pay off the loan. Eventually, he will run out of tasks for the player and will lay them off, letting them free to find other methods to make Bells, in order to pay off the rest of the debt. Following the job, the player can shop at Tom Nook's store, and can sell items to him, for which he will pay for in full value.
In New Leaf
In New Leaf, however, Tom Nook has become a real estate agent, leaving the management of his store, now known as Nookling stores, to his "nephews", Timmy and Tommy. The responsibility of welcoming new players has been given to Isabelle. Like in previous games, Tom will be responsible for orchestrating the construction of the player's house and providing the mortgage the player pays off via the ABD machine in the Post Office. Tom Nook runs a real estate agency called Nook's Homes, which also provides house customization and renovation services. The office also functions as the headquarters of the home inspection organization, the Happy Home Academy, ran by Lyle. Tom Nook also assists the player in searching for a plot to build their house when the first move in. Once a plot has been chosen, he will pitch his tent for the player to use as temporary housing while they are gathering funds to pay off their first home loan. Tom Nook's agency is also responsible for building the house's neighbors live in, as well as assisting them with moving in and out.
Tom is noted to be very work-driven, and many years ago he left behind his friends, most importantly Sable, to travel to the big city. His dreams of success are quickly broken by the harsh life there. After making nothing of himself, he returns to the player's town to set up his store. Nook no longer appears to be as good of friends with Sable as he used to be, though the two often mention each other to the player.
Nook seems to have a varied reputation among the villagers, with some speculating that he is, in fact, a man in a suit. In fact, when asking Dr. Shrunk about one emotion, he talks about how we all wear masks, and then says that Tom Nook "wears a raccoon suit, but it serves the same general purpose". Many will say that he has a checkered past, hinting at illicit activities - the fact that he seems to have a history with Redd (who describes Tom as a "raccoon in an apron" and treats him as something of a business rival) supports this, this is further hinted in Happy Home Designer as talking to Tom in his house he says he worked with a fox in the past and it was a horrible experience.
In Animal Forest e+, the player can wake up Tom Nook after hours by banging on the doors three times with the shovel. He will be in his pajamas and allow you to shop, but he will move much slower. Not only this, anything the player sell to him will be lowered from its base price by 30%. Similarly, prices of items in the shop will be inflated by 17%, and the player is only allowed to either sell or buy what is on display. The catalog and other options will not be available either.
In New Horizons, Nook has become a travel agent and it is through his company you purchase a get-away package to a deserted island - starting the events of the game. Tom Nook is the founder and owner of Nook Inc. Alongside this, he runs the Resident Services building. In this role he acts as the leader and developer of the island, and it is through his that you are allowed to upgrade the island and various buildings that can be built.
Timmy and Tommy are shown to be sort of employees of his. At the start of the game, they are usually seen in the Resident Services Tent alongside Tom Nook, with Tommy roaming freely outside for most of the day. However, after completing construction of Nook's Cranny, they will always be found inside the store from 8am to 10pm.
In the City Folk's game guide this description is given:
"A kind raccoon with a heart of gold (well, pockets of gold even though he only owns a shop, if ya know what I mean), Tom Nook helps you get started when you first move to town by loaning you a home to live in. Tom also runs a little supply shop in town that sells all the basics, including furniture, tools, and gardening supplies. Tom will help you in a variety of ways as your life unfolds, and you'll help him as well: keep shopping at the store and it'll get bigger and bigger. Eventually, old Tom will even need to hire his two nephews, Timmy and Tommy, just to keep his business running!"
After a period of time with Nookington's, Tom Nook will ask you a question to better serve his customers. Based on the answer you give, Nookington's can close and reopen as a previous store to better suit your needs. Periodically, after the first questioning, Tom Nook will ask again, and the player can change their store again. This event only happens in City Folk.
In amiibo Festival
Tom Nook is a playable character in amiibo Festival, available when the Tom Nook amiibo is scanned on the Wii U. Sometimes when the player playing as Tom Nook lands on an event square in the Amiibo Festival Board Game mode, a random event specifically related to Tom Nook may appear.
Tom Nook has 6 unlockable costumes for the game, unlocked through leveling up the Tom Nook amiibo:
"This guy's the friendly neighborhood shopkeeper who kindly helps the player set up their first house. He has a nose for business, and his customer service is second to none. During the course of the game, his store starts as a corner shop, expands to become a convenience store, and finally becomes a thriving supermarket and stalk market."
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Tom Nook also appears in the sequel to Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in the background of the Animal Crossing themed stage Smashville.
Tom Nook appears in the fourth and installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. He appears alongside his nephews Timmy and Tommy as part of the Villager's final smash, which sees Nook construct a house on top of other fighters causing massive damage.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Tom Nook reappears in the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros. series. He appears once again in the Villager's final smash, but he also appears alongside his nephews once again in Isabelle's final smash, where, instead of building a house, they buildd a town hall on top of other fighters. Tom Nook also appears as an enhanceable spirit. When his spirit enchances, he dons the suit he wears once his shop becomes Nookington's.
Taiko Drum Master: Atsumete Tomodachi Daisakusen
In Taiko Drum Master: Atsumete Tomodachi Daisakusen, Isabelle, Resetti, and Tom Nook are unlockable by using their respective amiibos to listen to the Animal Crossing: New Leaf Melody (とびだせ どうぶつの森 メドレー).
Warning: Non-canon information ends here.
Sometimes, upon entering his store, he will appear in thought, and may tell you a story when approached:
"...Well, actually, I was just thinking about the good old days, hm?
I know it seems that the world is my oyster, what with my fine shop...
But in my childhood, I lived the kind of life you couldn't even imagine!
Yes, yes, but this was all some time ago, but this was all some time ago, before I moved to this town, hm?
Of course, I was born in our lovely [town name], but I moved away for a time...
Yes, yes, the city years, I like to call them. I was a raccoon of action, hm?
The big city certainly had its charms...but it had its pitfalls, as well.
Indeed, I had to endure certain hardships that I've never spoken of, hm?
...Hard to believe, yes?
You're probably asking yourself, what the heck is Nook talking about, hm?
For now, maybe it's best that we forget we ever talked about this."
In New Leaf, Isabelle refers to Nook as the Real Estate Agent. When she calls him in Welcome amiibo in the startup preparations, she also refers to him as "Mr. Nook".
Also in New Leaf, Saharah calls Tom Nook "King Nook" when you interact with her.
His English name is derived from "tanuki" (often written as "Tanooki" in English) and his last name is likely a pun based on a myth about the Tanuki. His Japanese name, Tanukichi, is a mix between Tanuki and the Japanese word, kechi, meaning "stingy."
Tom Nook fancies himself to be quite the financial genius. He owns the town store and dabbles in real estate. He'll out you a deal on your first home, but you'll owe him, and he won't let you forget it.
Tom Nook has been feeling mighty pleased with himself ever since he remodeled Nook's Cranny into the Nook 'n' Go. He has to work longer hours- seven A.M. until eleven P.M.- but hey! That's big business!
Tom Nook is a huge fan of the monthly raffle. Not only does he get a day of relative leisure -all he has to do is turn a wheel- but the desire for prizes really drives furniture sales. People buy stuff just for tickets!
In New Leaf, Tom Nook has the voice of a lazy villager.
In Happy Home Designer, talking to Tom Nook in his home, he debunks the claims of him being a corrupt businessman (which was a popular theory amongst fans) though he adds that he'll willingly embrace the idea of people thinking him as "scary" if it encourages them to pay off their debt.
He also mentions that he donates 90 percent of his proceeds to an orphanage three towns over, where he even has a wing named after him.
In the 2003 Annual Nintendo Power Awards, Tom Nook was nominated as one of the top villains in a Nintendo game, despite him not actually being a villain.