It might be indulgently silly, but I — and many others in the Stardew Valley community — have a years-long obsession with one particular bed. It’s not some rare item with a low drop rate, nor does it have any special powers. I’m talking about Grandpa’s bed, which is shown in the early cutscenes of the game.
For those unfamiliar, Stardew Valley starts off with your grandfather bequeathing you a plot of land where you can build a farm. In one of the early cutscenes, the game shows your grandpa lying in his bed. The bed looks… well, uncomfortable. It basically resembles a table with little to no mattress on it. It looks hard to sleep on, and to be honest, a little ugly for a game known for its stunning pixel art.
That bed looks so bad that it has essentially become a recognizable icon and meme in the vast community of Stardew Valley players. Players have created mods for the game that “fix” Grandpa’s bed and make jokes about it. So when Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, primarily known by his alias “ConcernedApe,” shared an image of his next game called the Haunted Chocolatier, and the image showed an old man in bed, some fans couldn’t help but fixate on that single detail.
“In my head, I would like to believe that we all made fun of his bed drawing skills so much that ConcernedApe put so much effort into drawing this bed so nicely,” one fan said on TikTok.
For those obsessed with the bed, this single question brought out plenty of important and philosophical questions. What did Barone think of his bed art? Did he try harder to draw this bed? Is this new game a chance to prove his bed-drawing skills? Well, instead of wondering, I asked Barone himself about whether or not he added the bed on purpose. Turns out, he didn’t even realize the visual parallel.
“The funny thing is, I don’t think Grandpa’s bed ever crossed my mind when I was drawing this. It wasn’t until I posted the screenshot and people commented on it that I realized I have some weird inclination to draw old guys sleeping in beds,” Barone told Polygon via email. “If my latest bed is looking better, I think it’s simply because I have more pixel art practice than when I drew Grandpa’s bed.”
So, there we have it. As it turns out, working in game development and pixel art for over a decade has the effect of improving someone’s skills. Who would have thought?