If you play an Animal Crossing game long enough, you’ll inevitably get a neighbor you don’t care for. Whether it’s a personality clash, a cosmetic issue, or simple capriciousness, you’re guaranteed to one day have an animal you want to kick off your island. Don’t feel bad about it: it’s human nature.
For me it was a cow. She was nice but she was still a cow. I already had a cow—and a cow who was a dear, dear friend. Why would I need two cows? I’m not a dairy farmer. I’m not selling milk. I only need one cow, Animal Crossing.
Here’s what I did to make her leave. Note that, as with many things about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this is not an exact science. These techniques seem to work, although you’ll need a little bit of patience.
The most important thing is to just not be their friend. Don’t visit them. Don’t talk to them. Don’t do anything nice or friendly for them. Treat all the other animals like your friends, but single this one out and do everything you can to make them feel unnoticed and unloved. It might be cruel—that cow did nothing to me, other than take up a house in a village that already had a cow—but it’ll get results. If you know how to follow up, that is.
After a period of icing them out, you’ll eventually have an opportunity to straight-up encourage them to leave. If you see the animal you want to axe looking confused—you’ll see a little cloud over their head—or if they come running up yelling your name, go ahead and talk to them. There’s a good chance they’ll ask you if they should move or not. All you have to do is give them a friendly nudge and they’ll take the jump and move out. Now, this conversation can happen with any animal, at any time, so be careful that you don’t accidentally tell somebody you like to take off.
You might think Isabelle can help you out, as you can “report” problems with villagers to her. There’s no proof that does anything in relation to moving, though. I reported my cow every day for a week with no sign of anything happening on that front. Isabelle’s reports seem solely designed to get an animal to change its clothes or its catchphrase, and to encourage them to leave.
There’s another way to get an animal out of the picture, and it even lets you directly pick which one to kick out. It takes a little bit of time, though, and requires you to have the campsite on your island, a full island of 10 animals, and an Animal Crossing Amiibo card.
When you use an Amiibo card at Tom Nook’s ATM, that character will come visit your campsite. Like most Animal Crossing critters, they’ll be a little needy, and ask you to work on some DIY projects for them. If you help them out a few days in a row, they’ll eventually hint around about wanting to move to your island. If you encourage them to, they’ll point out there’s not a vacancy, at which point you’ll be able to choose what animal you want to leave from a menu. This process takes a few days to complete, but it’s the only way known for you to directly pick an animal off a list and tell them to take a hike.
If you do these things, it’ll only be a matter of time before your unwanted neighbor is packing up and shoving off to a new island. Hopefully you don’t run into them again on a mystery island—that could get really awkward. Here’s to new beginnings, and ending old friendships!