- The Sims 3
- The Sims
- The Sims 2
- The Sims 4
The Sims launched in February 2000 for PC and was fundamental in defining the life simulator genre as gaming became more common. But of course, as with any new style of game, players were going to need to get the lay of the land, and how better to give it to them than with a trial family of their own to usher them through the tutorial? Enter, Bob and Betty Newbie.
The pair are newlyweds in the first Sims game, but since the timeline of the series gets tangled and twisted, Bob and Betty’s story isn’t always cut and dry. They’ve lived with different people, in different towns, and in different life stages throughout the course of the series, so we wanted to look back and see where they’ve been since helping us learn to play the games, and where they’ve ended up.
The Sims 3
Although we meet Bob and Betty for the first time in the original Sims, their story, given the twisted nature of the series' timeline, technically begins in The Sims 3. Here they are found in the town of Riverview, where longtime fans will recognize several of the 50 total Sims added with the town, the Newbies included.
This explains why you’ll meet Bob Newbie as an awkward teenager, living with his parents, Robert and Mags, out on Farmer Valley Road. His father is a man’s man, always wishing Bob would put down the books he loves and join him out fishing. His mom, meanwhile, is always keen to cook up the catch of the day.
Also available in Riverview was Betty Simovitch, living with her parents, Vadim and Fatima. Betty’s a wonderful musician with a level six guitar skill, but doesn’t want to turn it into a career, much to the mounting irritation of her mother, who’s trying to live out long-lost rock star dreams through her daughter. Fatima was a great musician in her youth, too, but gave up her budding career in exchange for family life when she and Vadim got married. Betty, however, is more interested in falling in love than being a star.
When you download Riverview, the pair of teens are already best friends, so developing this into their canonical romance is fairly easy for anyone who wants to keep their game lore intact.
By the time they become our tutorial family for The Sims, which canonically happens after The Sims 3, Bob and Betty have married and recently moved into their infamous home on Sim Lane. You learn to play the game by assisting them in adjusting to life in their new town. This is where they got their most recognizable appearances, with Bob being bald and overweight, and Betty with short hair and her purple/teal outfit.
They’re meant to be a take on traditional, 1950s suburban living, with you finding a career for Bob by using the newspaper or computer and Betty being intended to be a take on the role of a housewife. In some of her console appearances, she’ll even begin with a level three cooking skill to lend to this notion.
While the pair are indeed married, checking their relationship bar still shows them as only friends. The game treats them like spouses, but players can choose to tweak their relationship in whatever way they’d like after they’ve completed the tutorial, toward romance or ruin.
The console editions of the game are slightly different, however, with Betty coming from the Roomies household. Her biography states that she’s a loyal go-getter, attracted to only the fittest men. Both are known for being rather active in the console iterations, but with Bob also armed with a love for reading, silence, and sitting, it’s not hard to see the progression.
The Sims 2
While Bob, Betty, and their parents are all deceased by the time the storyline for them picks up again in The Sims 2, their legacy still lives on, albeit without them. Sometime between The Sims and The Sims 2, Bob and Betty had a daughter, Brandi, who is still alive and playable when the game begins.
Her story, though, begins in an unfortunate place. Brandi was married to Skip Broke, son of Flat and Flo Broke. It’s uncertain if the newlyweds renovated Bob and Betty’s house or simply purchased a new one together, but they're known to have lived with the Newbies at one point.
Upon moving out, Brandi and Skip had two children together, Dustin and Beau Broke, and when you load into the family, you’ll soon learn that Brandi has recently become pregnant with a third child as well. However, she’ll have to go through parenthood alone this time – Skip died shortly before the game picks up.
His death is listed as a “suspicious pool ladder accident,” a nod to Simmers’ storied history with killing Sims by drowning them in ladder-less pools in the first two installments of the series. The pool in the backyard of their home, you’ll notice upon loading onto the lot, still doesn’t have a ladder.
Dustin, the couple’s eldest son, is a teen going through a rebellious streak following the loss of his father, while Beau is still a toddler whose skills are notedly lacking, given the recent family upset. Dustin has a part-time job, but Brandi is unemployed, formerly a housewife – to lend to this, she has a level 2 mechanical skill, level 3 cleaning skill, and an impressive level 8 cooking skill. All four of the boys’ grandparents are deceased when the game begins, too, leaving Brandi to pick up the pieces on her own.
The Sims 4
The members of the Newbie family were all notedly missing for the first several years of The Sims 4’s lifespan, which is set in an alternative timeline. Eventually, they were recreated by Maxis and loaded into the Gallery in honor of the series turning 19.
The family consists only of Bob, Betty, and Buddy, the dog the couple owned in the console version of The Sims 2: Pets. If you don’t have the Cats and Dogs expansion for The Sims 4, Buddy will be omitted from the family, but Bob and Betty will still be available. However, Bob having an animal-centric aspiration seems like Buddy is canonically intended to be included.
Both are unemployed young adults who come without any preloaded skills, but their traits are filled in. Bob, true to his previous depictions, has the Slob, Lazy, and Bookworm traits, in addition to Animal Affection as part of his Friend of the Animals aspiration. Betty, meanwhile, is Creative, Unflirty, and Active, as well as having the Muser trait from her Musical Genius aspiration.
It seems Betty has now changed her mind about music. Part of her aspiration requires writing and licensing songs, meaning that she is indeed earning an income from her musical talent, so her (very) late mother would surely be proud. Interestingly, there's also a Sim named Dustin Broke who shipped with the Get Famous expansion, but with his looks changed and The Sims 4 taking place in an alternate reality, it's not confirmed if he's their grandson or simply a Sim with the same name.
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