Interactions are a defining characteristic of every species’ "milieu". Indeed, no individual organism exists without participating in some sort of ecologically relevant interaction during its lifetime. By definition, the more species and individuals in an ecological community, the more potential interactions that could potentially take place between them. But does this imply that ecological models must fully embrace this apparent complexity in order to work and, more importantly, to work well? In this talk, I will highlight recent research in which our conclusion is a resounding yes and other recent research in which our conclusion is a resounding no. Finally, I will discuss how our completely rational desire to stick to simpler models can help us rethink how best to unify those models with experimental data.