The best pearls of wisdom in Animal Crossing: New Horizons from Pascal the Otter

(Image credit: Nintendo)

When the first Animal Crossing: New Horizons summer update was announced, I suddenly felt a renewed sense of purpose wash over me. I've never missed a single day since I started island life on my very own little sandy shores, but before the update came out, I could feel my interest start to wane. Iced Tea island was in good shape, I'd paid off a lot of debt, and while I still had my heart set on some items I didn't own yet, it didn't feel like there was anything that could hold my attention for large chunks of time. 

The summer update changed all that, though. As soon as I saw the new Animal Crossing: New Horizons sea creatures and the mermaid themed furniture set in all its pink and purple glory, I was caught hook, line, and sinker all over again. I (literally) dived back in with more enthusiasm than I had done in the past few months, but what really ended up reeling me back in was the new face that pops up each day on my island: Pascal the Otter. 

Now, in order to get your hands on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Mermaid DIY recipe set, you have to dive for scallops each day. When you find one, Pascal the otter will pop up and ask you for it, and bestow you with either a pearl to craft said recipes, a mermaid-themed item of clothing, or a recipe for a new piece of furniture. What I didn't expect, though, was just how much I would enjoy encountering this otter as I looked to complete my collection. 

As adorable as this scallop-loving otter is as he swims away on his back to dine on your catch, I came to really appreciate his philosophical musings. For giving up your scallop, he also gifts you with not just actual pearls, but pearls of wisdom. Throughout the month since the update first went live, I've dived each and every day and put together a collection of my favourite deep musings from the one and only Pascal. 

A wise otter once said 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

When it comes to Pascal's deep truths, you never know just what the red otter will come out with next, and that's half the fun of it. From the most philosophical truth bombs, to lighthearted motivators, each and every day Pascal surprised me with something new. On my first deep-sea dive, Pascal finally gave an answer to one of the most asked questions we've all posed at one time or another: 

"People ask, "Where does the time go?" But I know, maaan. There's a used-time store near my place." 

There you have it. Every time a second ticks by, it goes on its merry way to a used-time store near Pascal's abode. It does however leave us with the question of what his place looks like and where it's located, because I sure would like to get some of that used time back. Pascal is also all about phrases, and one day the laid back fellow asked why we used certain terms when it comes to the land of nod: 

"Why is it called falling asleep? Sounds painful, maaan. Floating asleep… that's what it's all about!" 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Then there's the universal mystery of the missing sock. It's happened to everyone at some point when you wash your socks. Those pesky foot coverings love to pull a disappearing act, and if it's not invisible sock gremlins, then just what is happening? Well, Pascal has a pretty sweet theory. 

"Do lost socks end up in a sock dimension? Maybe that's where they meet their perfect match, maaan…" 

I love the idea that a sock isn't with its right partner yet, so they jump to the sock dimension to find their perfect match. 

Life lessons 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Outside of missing socks, lost time, and sleeping, Pascal takes the time to remind you that life isn't all about racing to the finish line, only focusing on Bells, and trying to be something you're not. Of course, a lot of it can be left up to how you read them, but for me, this quote about a lizard's desire to be a dragon makes me think Pascal is trying to say that you're always going to be disappointed if you try to be something you're not. Just be yourself. 

"Dragons are what every lizard aspires to be. Maaan, those lizards must be so disappointed." 

From lizards to forming friendships, Pascal also makes a pretty compelling case for comparing making friends to making music. 

"Makin' friends is a lot like makin' music. It's a soundtrack for your life, maaan, wrong notes and all."

(Image credit: Nintendo)

And of course, he's also not afraid to throw out a real life lesson from time to time. One deep truth reminded me that sometimes you just have to accept that there will be bumps in the road, and try as you might, things won't always go your way. But, as Pascal puts it, you'll get there when you get there. I like to think the following quote is his way of telling you to take things at your own pace. 

"Whether you walk or run, you're gonna get there when you get there. That's why I backstroke, maaan." 

If only I could be as laid back and breezy as Pascal and just backstroke my way through life. But, alas, we can't all be beanie-wearing otters who spend our days eating scallops. What we can do, though, is try to channel the inner Pascal in all of us and take the time to appreciate the little things.

Hammocks and pancakes 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Sure, some ruminations are a tad more philosophical than others, but there's also beauty to be found in simplicity. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our problems and everything that's going wrong, that we can forget to appreciate the smaller things in life that can bring us a little pocket of joy. Pascal puts a lot of stock in just loving the simple things. Take this short and sweet quote about pancakes because… well, pancakes

"Pancakes, maaan… Just… Pancakes." 

During our island adventures, it's easy focus on trying to make as many bells as possible. Whether it be through the stalk market, or by selling off everything you collect on your island to pay off your debts and buy all the goodies you can get your hands on, Pascal is here to remind you that it's not all about the Bells, it's about enjoying how you make them (this is not Tom Nook approved). 

"It's not all about the Bells, maaan. There's also weeding, and fishing, and crafting, and bug catching..." 

And finally, I'll leave you with this final musing from this lovably chill otter, which just makes me want to immediately order a hammock. 

"Remember, even if things are bad, there are always hammocks."

Wondering what's going to be happening on your island this month? Then you'll want to keep up to date on all of the major Animal Crossing: New Horizons events

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.