Maxis gave us the chance to create new species and lead cities fearlessly into the future with its wide variety of simulators, but none of them have had the wacky, wide-spread appeal of the now-Electronics Arts owned Sims franchise. Whether you're a casual player who just wants to check in on Mortimer and Bella Goth every once in a while or a hardcore Sims devotee with loads of expansion packs and folders bursting with custom content, The Sims has been a fun digital dollhouse for nearly 20 years.
The charm of The Sims is not just in the fantasy of sky-rocketing to pop superstardom or achieving home-ownership. It's in the wacky language and weird AI that EA seems to push to even wackier limits with each installment of The Sims. And of course, there's the myriad ways especially devious players can orchestrate early ends for their least favorite Sims under suspicious circumstances. Players across the world are constantly sharing the weirdest moments from their games, and CBR has collected 20 of the wildest Sims memes to remind you of just how dark this game can get. As they say in Simlish, "Veena fredishay!" Let’s play!
20 SIMS FLAMBE
Wouldn't it be great to be as invulnerable as a Sim? Sure, there are plenty of ways for a Sim to meet an unfortunate end, but they're shockingly resilient, as this meme hilariously shows. If your Sim is a low-level cook, it's easy for that simple grilled cheese to turn into a Sim flambé. Let's be real though: we've all been there in our own real kitchens, and that's what makes this meme so relatable.
There's so much to learn from this poor Sim. Don't cook in a bikini, keep a fire extinguisher handy, and maybe train your family and friends to understand that "extremely singed and surrounded by smoke" is a call for help and not just this season's hot new look. Does this count as a charcoal mask?
19 LA DERNIER PETITE MORT
The Sims games treat the death of your poor characters with all the dignity and decorum they deserve, even under more unusual circumstances. In the moment of their passing, the game will offer a somber in memoriam to help you mourn, leading to cringe-worthy (or maybe inspirational) moments like the one immortalized in this particular meme. Yes, that's right, even a Sim can be overcome by deadly passion.
Usually "death by woohoo" just means you've had your Sim get their freak on a few too many times without stopping to check on their other needs, like food or even just a minute to rest. If you're ever inspired to get in a little marathon woohooing of your own, drink plenty of water and take a few naps. An IRL memoriam like this probably wouldn't have the same goofy appeal.
18 WINTER IS COMING
Kids do the darnedest things, even in The Sims! You can help your Sim kids get into all kinds of fun, child-friendly hijinks with the help of countless expansion packs. With The Sims: Seasons expansion pack, your Sim family can even learn to build a few different kinds of fun snowmen. Then there's the spooky snow reaper in this meme.
He's a very real snowman, by the way! In The Sims 3: Seasons, your Sims are able to build different types of snowmen based on their attributes. Unfortunately for elderly Sims or Sim families that have recently lost a family member (including pets), that means there's a good chance you might wind up with this wintery Grim Reaper taking up residence in your yard for the winter. Is it spring yet?
17 SURPRISE VISITOR
Speaking of rambunctious kids... it's true that Sims players have a lot of ways to choose to keep their family Brady Bunch cute, but sometimes your more nefarious choices can come back to haunt you. If you give up a baby in The Sims because it's not cute enough for family photos, do you deserve this kind of comeuppance?
Sims that leave your family don't automatically disappear from the game. A prodigal Sim can pop up anywhere as a coworker or new neighbor or, in the case of this slightly spooky meme, your Sim child's new best friend from school. Did the rejected Sim child recognize their birth family? Is this the start of a decades-long, Single White Female style slow burn revenge arc? Only time will tell.
16 NO EXIT
These baby stories just get weirder and weirder. Imagine loading up the Tumblr app, taking a casual scroll through the dashboard, and stumbling across this gem about... a trapped baby? There are plenty of eyebrow-raising circumstances in The Sims. Most of them are pretty recognizable -- build a pool and remove the ladders! -- but it's easy to see why this person felt compelled to go back and clarify.
This meme captures at least three of the weirdest unintended features of The Sims: hiding a fussy baby, locking a Sim somewhere by removing the exits, and trapped NPCs who wind up unable to fulfill their one true purpose thanks to the player's actions or quirky glitches. It's possible those CPS agents are still in that Sim house, wandering around to this day, waiting for the door to turn back up.
15 THE DUALITY OF MAN
There are two types of people in the world: those that play The Sims for the fun of raising a nice, goofy family, and those that play The Sims for the fun of making that family's life as complicated and miserable as possible. This meme captures them both. The daily grind? Only a truly callous Sims player could look at a monstrous hedge maze like this and call it a grind!
No, merciless god is way more accurate. It took seven hours to walk to the car and back, meaning this poor Sim spends 14 hours a day just trying to get to and from work, and one hour a day on the job. How can anyone even afford to maintain these hedges on a pay check like that?
14 STRETCH GOALS
This one feels familiar, right? The winter chill is still in the air and the blankets are so warm and comfortable that staying in bed almost sounds better than just getting up for breakfast. What if you could just stretch your face out to the kitchen, the way this Simfant is trying to do? Sims glitches are an especially unsettling genre of The Sims meme.
Every once in a while, either through a game bug or issues with custom content, a Sim's body just takes on a weird new life of its own. This one is pretty relatable though. Everyone's dreamed about how great it would be to have the fantastic elastic abilities this little Sim has developed. This meme just goes to show we should be careful what we wish for.
13 MAKE GOOD CHOICES
Speaking of goals, when you boot up a family in The Sims, how closely do your goals line up with this trolling chart? Plenty of players pick up the game to create fantastical worlds where they can be a benevolent force for good in the fleeting digital lives of their Sim charges. Then there's everyone else, who loads up the game to wreak havoc without consequence.
Whether you're locking your Sims in the basement or stirring up soap opera style turmoil by goading your Sim into woohooing themselves to death with someone who isn't their spouse, there are plenty of ways to cause unimaginable chaos in the wide-ranging world of The Sims. There's no harm in needing to blow off a little steam though. After all, what happens in The Sims stays in The Sims!
12 FOR EVERYTHING ELSE, THERE’S THE SIMS
And here's a little of that chaos: the most infamous chaotic evil Sims activity of all time. Sims work tough jobs at long hours to bring home those sweet Simoleans, and it's up to players to be responsible caretakers of their funds. Build a comfortable house, create a beautifully manicured lawn, install a luxurious pool ...
Then, after you've lured in a Sim or two with the promise of some cool relaxation on a hot summer's day, you just delete the ladders. Sure, it's a little callous. Sims can hang out for a surprisingly long time before they meet their unfortunate end. But if there's a rogue Sim wreaking havoc in the lives of your family, what better way to get revenge on them than with this devious trick?
11 DOWNRIGHT TOASTY
Depending on where you live, this meme is closer to chaotic or lawful neutral than downright evil. There are plenty of custom mods that will allow your Sims to get into all kinds of devious activities. Sometimes, though, Sims will get themselves into weird spots all by themselves, with no player intervention needed. This guy seems to have found a great place to stash himself.
The meme's puns aside, what could be so appealing about a spot like this for a Sim looking to take a load off at the end of the long day? Furniture in The Sims isn't known for being the most avant garde or stylish, but this hot seat is really taking things too far. Just because the seats aren't cute doesn't mean they won't be way more comfortable.
10 GET YOUR DREAM BODY
The Sims lets you pursue all your dreams, from home-ownership to glamorous careers in art, television, or petty crime. Thanks to custom content, players can create almost any Sim they want. Load up the characters of Riverdale and see what takes shape, and then create yourself to give Archie a choice besides Betty and Veronica. Tall, short, covered in faces, The Sims gives players almost limitless choices!
Yes, we did say covered in faces. The Sims glitches manage to generate some seriously impressive (and truly disconcerting) body horror, like this strange body where the head seems to have taken a trip down the spine. Who are we to judge, though? Maybe someone just really wanted to invite the Face of Boe over for a nice dinner.
9 SUCKER PUNCHED
Sometimes a Sim glitch just feels too real. This is definitely one of those glitches. At first glance, the sight of an arm through a Sim's midsection might be good for a chuckle, but this meme is 100% accurate. Cramps are a sucker punch right to the gut.
Hopefully, most people don't have room for comparison when it comes to whether or not cramps are "arm of your housekeeper lodged straight through your midsection" bad, but honestly? They probably are. If you've got someone in your life who has to deal with this feeling once a month, be extremely nice to them. If you can get past the wacky comedy of a maid's misplaced elbow, this meme definitely has a few valuable life lessons it can offer.
8 IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT
Much like the bendy baby earlier in this list, this Sim has found an exciting way to make their life even more efficient. Forget bending! Forget lifting! Real heroes strengthen their cheeks to the point of being able to pucker their whole face directly into the bowl from an upright position. This meme proves it: there's absolutely nothing creepy about ambition.
At a second glance though, the star of this meme does bear a suspicious resemblance to the spies of Spy vs. Spy fame with their curious conical face. Some great Spy vs. Spy custom content would surely be a great way to spice up a game of The Sims. Is this a cook whose taste testing has gone awry, or a clever spy whose mask has started to slip?
7 LET OFF SOME STEAM
Like most video games, The Sims can be a great way to let off some steam at the end of a difficult day. Whether you just want to run the game at high speed and help Sims move up the career ladder as fast as possible or even just spend an hour or two redecorating their house, The Sims offers a low-key outlet for any kind of frustrations.
Of course, any kind of frustration includes the ones that come from dealing with real people day in and day out. The powerful character creator gives players the ability to not just introduce versions of their favorite fictional characters into the neighborhood, but as this meme shows, their exes as well. Hey, if setting a Sim house on fire is what helps you move on, who are we to judge?
6 MY MIND’S TELLING ME NO
So far we've given examples of Sim bodies gone haywire, but sometimes the most unsettling glitches are the ones that barely change anything at all. Imagine you're approaching a hot tub on a beautiful moonlit night, ready to spend a little alone time with someone special... only to come face-to-face with this unusual display. Are you still climbing in for a night of romantic relaxation, or would this have you wishing you'd swiped left?
Now, everyone is different. Folks have all kinds of physical quirks! But there's something about the combination of this Sim's intense eyes, not to mention the fact that his hand seems to have turned itself inside his arm (check out that thumb), that makes it seem like a bad idea to spend much time alone with him. This might be a delete the ladder moment.
5 BETTER OFF ALONE
Ouch! This meme is a little too real -- feel free to scroll on by if this one hits too close to home! One feature of The Sims is the ability to check out your Sims' personality traits, which impact everything from their career aptitude and social life to what kinds of snowmen they can build in expansion packs like The Sims 3: Seasons.
While it's probably great for a Sim to never have to reflect on the way their personality impacts their day to day life, this meme lays things out so starkly that it's hard not to feel called out. It's hard to believe anyone could be single just because they're a cat person, but some of these other personality traits would certainly do it. How many of these boxes would you check?
4 THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Of course, another reason someone might be single is because their partner died right in the middle of a photo booth session, instantly turning into a ghost. It usually isn't that much of a surprise when a Sim passes on: they're exhausted, hungry, or of course, have had any number of nefarious things done to them as outlined in this list. Hauntings aren't that weird either. They should probably be expected when the Grim Reaper shows up to escort Sims to the other side!
What is weird, though, is having a Sim die in the middle of an activity and wind up memorializing their ghost forever. Players can decorate their Sims' houses however they'd like, but having a haunted set of photos take up pride of place in a living room seems like a spooky decision. This would tick up the evil" in a Sim's personality trait for sure.
3 SONIC THE… HEDGEHOG?
Custom content creators for The Sims are some of the most talented and underappreciated digital creators on the internet. Some creators can work magic with the 3-D design tools it takes to create new outfits, furniture, and even entire Sims models for other players to enjoy. Some creators, however, work dark magic, delivering weird and wild creations that rival Frankenstein's monster when it comes to making us ask, "Just because we can, does that mean we should?"
In the case of this utterly bizarre Sims incarnation of everyone's favorite meme speed demon, the answer is absolutely no. This is one time when we don't gotta go fast: this creator should have slowed down, and maybe just stopped completely. There's something truly haunting about this Sims meme that will have you rethinking all of your character creation choices the next time you boot up the game.
2 HARD RESET
Sometimes your simulated life spirals out of control, and there's only one thing left to do. The Sims will let players inflict all manner of weird circumstances on their Sims, including ones that can result in their early demise -- but every single time, the game gives players a chance to reconsider their decisions and offer mercy to the digital townsfolk of the neighborhoods they've created.
Sure, the kinds of players who are going to delete all those ladders and doors are the kinds of players who are going to click accept here without hesitation. But surely there are players who take a moment to consider all the good times: the increasingly beautiful paintings their Sims create, the sweet or spooky snowmen that have turned up in their yards, all those hours spent reading just for one promotion. What choice would you make?
1 LITTLE MILLENNIAL THINGS
Of all the Sims memes on this list, this might be the darkest one of all. The Sims offers all kinds of escapism, from the weird (Bizzaro Sonic) to the light-hearted. The craziest might be getting to help someone land a full time job that they keep through retirement, where they make enough money to not only buy a house, but keep building onto it forever, Sarah Winchester style.
While the weirder elements of The Sims are probably the biggest draw for most players, there's something engaging and delightful about a virtual dollhouse with limitless resources. The Sims players have created some of the most interesting and eye-popping mods for almost any game, giving everyone who picks it up the chance to push their imaginations to the limit at the click of a button. Maybe we can get an avocado toast mod next.