NPCs in The Sims 2 are sims that perform special functions. There are two general types of NPCs, Non-social and social.
Non-social NPCs exist only to perform their job and nothing else. They cannot be interacted with like normal sims and cannot be added to a household either.
Service NPCs are hired with the telephone and each perform a specific task for your sims. There are two types of services; ongoing and one-time. Ongoing NPCs perform a task, charge you, leave and return to your house at a preset time, depending on NPC. One-time NPCs charge you for their service and leave after that. To get them again they must be called again. You have the opportunity to socialise with them although socials are limited. Socials include
- Talk. Talk interactions are available.
- Flirt. More flirts are unlocked as daily points are gained.
- Tip. Choose an amount of money to give to the service.
- Dismiss. Sends an ongoing NPC home for the day.
- Fire/End Services. Cancels a contract for the NPC.
When a relationship becomes high for an NPC, they will start to ask to hang out after their work is done. If you let them, they become normal visitors to your house. Eventually, you can even marry them or become roomies if you want. If they become household members they no longer perform their service. They're also unemployed. If you cannot pay a service, they will take objects as compensation and cancel the contract. They then become unhirable for a few days.
There are other social NPCs as well. They function about the same, although conditions for socialising them are different. What follows is a list of NPCs and their functions.
Bartenders can be called at any time. They are a one-time service intended for use during parties. They will stay on the lot for six hours. After they leave they charge you for the service. An initial fee of $10 and a daily fee of $15. If there's no bar on the lot, you'll be charged $10 for calling and wasting their time. During the party, the bartender makes drinks and walks around with a tray of drinks.
Burglars are random NPCs that come every so often. They can come between 10pm and 4am. There are two ways to deal with burglars. The first way is to buy a burglar alarm and place one in each room accessible from the sidewalk. The second is to wake your sims up and call the police. If the police are not called, the burglar steals several valuable objects from your sim's house. Buy and build modes are always disabled during a burglary. Once the police arrive, they attack the burglar and a fight begins. If the burglar wins, they make of with their loot. If the cop wins, they get $500 if no objects were taken and insurance if objects were taken. Burglaries cause memories.
After the burglar has been arrested, your sims can become social with them if certain steps are taken. Have one sim talk to the police. With another click on the car and select Open Rear Door. You can then socialise with the burglar. After he or she leaves, you can then invite him or her over as a normal sim. Burglars are unemployed if they are added to household.
Cashiers are spawned on community lots by the cash register object. Their main job is to ring you up. They are social and can become visitors if you start a relationship and invite them over. On a community lot, their socials are limited.
The delivery person can come any time you order an object. You can order pizza or groceries. Pizza costs $40. Groceries cost $50 for the delivery plus the value of the groceries. It might be easier to buy groceries from a community lot if your money tight.
Drivers are non-social NPCs. They only appear in carpools, cabs and school buses. Essentially, they're only decoration
The exterminator can be called any time. However, they only come if hours are between 9am and 5pm. If called, outside those hours, they'll come at the next possible time. The exterminator comes to your house and sprays all roaches. Sims can spray roaches but the exterminator is quicker at it. The exterminator charges $10 per visit and $15 per hour and stays until all the roaches are killed. The exterminator does not clean up the dead roaches, however. That's for your sims to do.
Firefighters come under two conditions. The fire alarm goes off or your sims call them. If there is a fire, the firefighters will put them out. They do it quicker than your sims. If there's no fire, your sims will be charged $500. If you want to socialise, take this short opportunity to add them to your relationship panel. After that firefighters can be called like any other sim.
The gardener will come when called between 9am and 5pm. If called outside those hours, he or she will come whenever possible. When they come, they will trim shrubs, pull weeds and water any flowers your Sims have in their gardens. The fee is $5 per visit and $10 per hour. After, they come, they wait three days before going back. Gardeners are extremely inefficient, and hardly ever do what you want them to
The Grim Reaper comes whenever a sim dies. He is non-social and the only interaction is Plead for Loved One which can only be done if they didn't die of drowning or old age. If you plead, the grim reaper plays a game. While the outcome may seem random, the chances of winning are actually increased by your sims relationship. The higher it is, the greater chance of winning. If your sim loses, the other sim dies, and his body is replaced by an urn or tombstone.
The Headmaster is a social NPC that is summoned by the Invite Headmaster interaction on the phone. For full details on headmasters see this page. After they've been met, they can be socialised with like normal sims after the initial headmaster scoring mini-game.
Hula girls appear with the grim reaper if a sim dies of old age and dies in platinum aspiration. They are non-social.
The maid can be either male or female. Like the other services, they can only come between 9am and 5pm. Once their they will clean any object with the Clean interaction, pick up trash and make your sims' beds. In short, they will do whatever they can to raise environment score. The charge $5 per visit and $10 per hour. If the house is clean, they charge you, leave and return the next day.
The mail carrier comes every Tuesday and Thursday to deliver bills to your house. After you pay the bills, he or she will come the next day. When they come, they can be greeted and become visitors for a while where they can be interacted with.
The nanny is always an elder female. When called you can select one time or ongoing for the service. If you choose one time, she'll come and stay for eight hours. She can come any time of the day. If you choose ongoing, she will come whenever the caller is out at work and children and under are at home. She charges $10 per visit and $15 per hour. When she comes, she will work to fulfill toddlers and babies needs. She can use the high chair, the crib, the fridge and the changing table. She will also cook meals for the family. As well, she'll clean any dirty objects in the house and will socialise with the kids.
The delivery man/woman will delivers the newspaper daily. When a new newspaper is delivered, the old one becomes limited in interactions. If there are three newspapers on the lot, the he or she will not deliver the newspaper until you get rid of one. When they come they can be greeted into the house and function as visitors for a while.
Policemen can be summoned by the phone or the burglar alarm. If there is a burglar, they will try to apprehend him or her. If not, your sims will be charged a $500 fine. They can also disrupt late night parties and catch teens that have snuck out. In all those cases, they can be added to the relationship panel and invited like normal sims in the future.
The repairman or woman is always an elder and is a one time service. Like the other services, they only come between 9am and 5pm. Once at the house, they will repair any broken appliances, electronics and plumbing objects. If nothing is broken, they charge the initial fee of $10. As well as an initial fee, they also charge an hourly fee of $50. Once everything is fixed, they charge you and leave.
The repo man comes if you don't pay the bills on time. Once the bills turn red and explode, the repo man turns up and takes objects that value the same amount as the bills. The repo man is non-social.
The Sim Shrink appears to sims with the lowest aspiration score. They can only be seen if the proper sim is selected. For other sims, he appears faded like a ghost. When he arrives, he performs a therapy which raises the sim's aspiration by an amount.
The social bunny appears to sims with completely red social and stays until the social need is raised to halfway. Like the shrink, he or she will appear faded if a different sim is selected. The bunny can be pink, yellow and blue and can be interacted with. They also interact with household objects. If there are several bunnies on the lot, they will interact with each other.
The social worker can appear to deliver adopted children or to take children away. She is non-social. She takes children with low hunger, low social and those that have received an F. When one of them meets those conditions, she takes all the children. If a child is taken away and another sim adopts a child, then the children might be the same.
Townies are a group of social sims that have no special function. They appear anywhere in the neighbourhood and act like normal sims. They also act like normal visitors and have skills, careers, aspiration and personality. However, they do not age like your sims. Initially there are 30 townies. Once you move townies into your household, more will be generated. When townies enter a household, they age normally.