TV Tropes Needs Your Help
View Kickstarter Project
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here
and discuss here
Characters: Grand Theft Auto V Protagonists
This is a partial character sheet for Grand Theft Auto V. Visit here for the main character index. Subjective tropes and audience reactions should go on the YMMV page.
open/close all folders
Voiced by: Shawn "OG Solo" Fonteno
An ex-gang banger from the Chamberlain Hill Gangster Families who yearns to leave the lifestyle he deems destructive — by working as a repo man for Premium Deluxe Motorsport in Vespucci Beach (the equivalent of Venice Beach).
- Affably Evil: He's a pretty likable guy as long as you aren't an idiot, jerk, enemy, or any combination of the three.
[Michael and Trevor are repeatedly bickering]
Franklin: Hey! Hey! Enough! You got me out here! You roped me into your crazy world of bullshit! If it was lies, New Age shit, and arguments about how good life used to be, I could have stayed my ass in Los Santos!
Lester: Hello Franklin.
Franklin: [Completely changes his tone] What's up?
- All the Other Reindeer: Gets antagonized by his friends and family for not submitting to the status quo of gang banging lifestyle.
- At Least I Admit It: His response to Lester's rant about making the world a better place by killing people. Franklin knows he's doing something terrible, but isn't going to delude himself that it's for any other reason than money.
- Badass Biker: Overlapping with his Badass Driver skills. Pre-release screenshots frequently depicted him riding a dirtbike, and Lamar (after stealing it from a repo job) gives him a WMC Bagger early on in the story.
- Badass Driver: Has the best driving skill of the three protagonists, and has a special ability for cars.
- Bad Liar: In the ending where he kills Michael, Franklin denies he had anything to do with it. Nobody buys his words for a second.
- Black Best Friend: To Michael.
- Jimmy also thinks Franklin is this to some extent.
- Broken Pedestal: For Michael, by the time of "I Fought The Law", a mission that involves stealing cars, racing them, and not being paid for either... which is exactly what Franklin was doing before he met Michael. Franklin followed Mike specifically to get out of that game, but is right back where he started thanks to being wrapped up in Michael's baggage.
- In ending A, he clearly loses all respect for Michael after seeing him betray Trevor so callously, especially when there's no guarantee he wouldn't do the same to him.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: Things get better later in the game, but only if you choose Option C. Any other option will lead to Michael either being A: openly hostile toward Franklin or B: dead.
- Bullet Time: His special ability allows him to activate this ability in cars, similar to Need for Speed's Speedbreaker.
- Calling the Old Man Out: While he's very receptive and grateful to Michael showing him the ropes with regards to organized crime, he's savvy enough to point out when Michael (or occasionally Trevor) is getting out of control.
- Captain Obvious: Some of his random dialogue during missions comes off this way. For example, he's sometimes given to shouting, "I guess we shooting our way out of here!" ...after the shootout has already been going on for several minutes.
- Catch Phrase: The word "What?!"
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Will drop what he's doing to help out his friends in the hood, Michael and his family, and Trevor. Lamar thinks this trope is very subverted.
- The Comically Serious: See the Straight Man entry.
- Consummate Professional: Definitely compared to Trevor and Michael. While Franklin has his own issues, he leaves his baggage at the door. Which is why Lester uses him for a few missions as an assassin.
- Cool Pet/Right-Hand Attack Dog: Chop. Technically, he's Lamar's dog, but he effectively becomes Franklin's dog after Lamar asks Franklin to dog-sit for unspecified reasons early in the game and never comes back for him.
- The Cracker: Not Hollywood Hacking territory by any means, but when it comes to computers he's more or less competent enough to be able to keep up with Lester and the heist crew hackers. And during the Union Depository Heist, he and the hired hacker hijack the traffic control network to keep Merryweather mooks away from the trucks.
- Cuckold: Unmarried version. His girlfriend left him for a man who (A) is rich, (B) is a doctor, (C) leaves her "fulfilled and satisfied, if you know what I mean", (D) treats her like crap in front of people.
- Cultural Rebel: A gangbanger who wants to get involved with organized high level crime?
- Danger Takes a Backseat: His introduction to Michael.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially when it comes to Lamar's Get Rich Quick Schemes (and his blindness to Stretch's obvious disloyalty), Jimmy's Pretty Fly for a White Guy attitude ("Enough with the F-Dog shit!"), and his aunt's outlandish attempts to get in touch with her femininity. He's not as sarcastic as Michael but he's more subtle with his remarks.
- Did Not Get the Girl: End of the game, Tanisha still gets married to her doctor and Franklin's left with either his strippers and hookers, or no one at all.
- Drugs Are Bad: With the exception of potnote , he seems to believe this. He has a particular disdain for crack, as he watched his mother destroy herself with it.
- Establishing Character Moment: When he and Lamar first appear, they're arguing about the legitimacy and profitability of their current job. Franklin has doubts about both, while Lamar mocks him for not hustling anymore. The two then repo two cars and race through Los Santos, cementing Franklin's Badass Driver skills.
- A foil or even deconstruction of some aspects of Carl "CJ" Johnson. Like Carl, Franklin is a black ex-gangster dissed by his friends for apparently leaving the gang to earn money by means other than gangbanging. But whereas Carl is a major player for a gang with a firmly-established turf, Franklin is but a footsoldier for a gang branch with no real advancement opportunities despite his skills and intellect.
- His attitude of genuinely ditching his gang-banger lifestyle for a high-society position also has shades of Luis Lopez, with an older mentor figure (Tony for Luis, Michael for Franklin) and a couple of Gang Banger buddies who give him grief for abandoning his "heritage" - one of whom is a Kindhearted Simpleton/Dumb Muscle (Henrique/Lamar), and ones who's an unapologetic Jerkass (Armando/Stretch). Incidentally, both Franklin and Luis are also accused of being sexual partners of their mentors, which irritates them to no end. Further, both make friends with far wealthier associates from more affluent walks of life. And just like Luis, he's forced to choose between killing his mentor and almost certain death if he stays with him.
- Extreme Doormat: He pisses and moans about it, but he never refuses a request, no matter how stupid or dangerous or how little reason he has to go along with it. He even lampshades it when he meets Dom.
Franklin: Man, shit. I gotta learn how to say "no."
- The Fatalist: Ultimately he's no better than Lamar on this. He may want to get out of the gang life, but he has no real desire to go straight, either. The only options he sees in life are on the wrong side of the law. As he puts it, his choice is between working with Mike on high risk heists, or slinging dimebags on the street. It's all down to which gets him paid.
- Fat and Skinny: Has this dynamic with Lamar, although he's more muscle than fat.
- Formerly Fat: It's not emphasized, but a conversation with Michael Franklin mentions that he used to be "bigger" before he started working out.
- A Friend in Need: Franklin is an exemplar of this trope. He comes to the aide of Lamar, Tonya, and many other friends and associates from the hood out of either loyalty or guilty conscience. Later in the game, when he stumbles across the O'Neil brothers hunting down Trevor, Franklin leaps in to help, warns Trevor, and helps fight the O'Neils without a second thought. To note, Franklin has no idea who the O'Neils are, why they're after Trevor, or what they may be capable of. They're against his friend, and that's enough. This Friendship Moment gains Trevor's immense respect.
- This ultimately ends up becoming a Deconstruction of sorts: since Franklin is the one character who actually has everyone's trust, he ends up getting forced into either killing Michael or Trevor. H He can potentially choose a third option though.
- Freudian Trio: The Ego to balance out Michael's Superego and Trevor's Id.
- Gang Banger: He is trying to escape this life, viewing it as self-destructive. In reality, he just wants a more lucrative criminal lifestyle.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: If you think about it, really, he was this to Lamar before he started working with Michael. Franklin may have been the only thing keeping Lamar alive, but Lamar was the one who actually came up with all their various jobs, plans, schemes, and scores. There's no indication that Frank did anything of his own initiative until he went to go see Michael.
- Franklin lampshades this in his relation to Michael and Trevor. Despite being "new blood," Franklin states that since he's the only one capable of keeping his emotions in check, he's on equal terms with the other two.
- Immune to Drugs: When he takes a toke of Barry's weed, instead of experiencing a Mushroom Samba like Michael and Trevor, Franklin, a regular weed-smoker, just coughs a little and remarks on it not being that strong.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Michael, Trevor, and Lester.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Despite despising the hood lifestyle, he frequently returns to help out his old friends.
- The Lancer: To Michael.
- The Leader: Becomes the trio's leader after Michael and Trevor turn on each other. It's up to him to bring them together to do missions and to stop them from killing each other during the missions.
- The Kirk: Is forced into this role by Michael and Trevor's infighting, to the point of playing the unofficial leader later in the game. The ending forces him to choose between Michael's Spock and Trevor's McCoy. Or not, since he can refuse the choice altogether and help both of them.
- Like a Son to Me: Michael calls him "the son I always wanted."
- In one post-game conversation, Trevor refers to him as "the kid that [Michael] and I share." Franklin is nonplussed by this.
- Simeon Yetarian says that if he had a black son, he would want him to be Franklin, though he's decidedly less honest about it.
- Lonely at the Top: Lamar and Tanisha cite this trope as Franklin's inevitable future should he continue to pursue his dreams of being a big-time crook and abandon the hood, though Lamar's motives for claiming such are decidedly selfish.
- Meaningful Name: Franklin is the most frank of not only the main characters, but the entire cast.
- Mistaken for Gay: Apparently after he starts hanging out with Michael, the people back in the hood assume he's acting as a "rent boy"; i.e., whoring himself out to a rich white guy.
- Morality Pet: His best friend Lamar. And even though he complains about it, he also takes his time to help out Tonya despite her being an Ungrateful Bitch.
- Same with Tanisha, who, at the start of one mission shames Franklin into saving Lamar (again) from a Balla ambush in a sawmill.
- Franklin himself assumes this role for Michael, who always makes a point of looking out for him.
- My Parents Are Dead: Both are at the start of the game. He doesn't talk about it, and doesn't seem too emotionally affected, but switching to him sometimes results in arriving at his safehouse solemnly looking at a picture of his mother hugging him. Also, when you take a hit from his bong, he'll occasionally think back on his mother, fondly at first before becoming angry with her for turning to crack and killing herself with it.
- N-Word Privileges: Boy howdy, does he and Lamar use it when together — almost every sentence in any of their conversations.
- Nerves of Steel: As opposed to Michael and Trevor, Franklin tends to keep his emotions in check (when he's not snarking on the idiocy of his homies.)
- Heck, even when Trevor seems all set to turn on him at the beginning of "Fresh Meat", Franklin seems mostly unfazed, and apologizes mostly to be able to continue the conversation rather than out of fear.
- New Meat: When compared to Michael and Trevor.
- Nice Mean And In Between: The in-between; generally speaking, he's more pragmatic than Michael, but not as ruthless as Trevor. If you're being robbed by the three, he won't interact with you much at all.
- Noodle Incident: When Trevor scans his ID, he notices that Franklin was previously arrested for "public exposure". Frank utterly refuses to elaborate further, only making a vague implication that he had "a high ass"; his pants were sagging, and the cops arrested him for this minor offense due to him being black.
- Not So Different: In the "Kill Michael" ending, Franklin pulls off a job which results in the death of his former partner just like what Michael did in the prologue. In both cases, they did it as an out to protect their own skin. Franklin really is setting down the same path as his mentor in this ending.
- One-Man Army: Considering his low shooting status and poor marksmanship, a shotgun with a flashlight was all he needed to take out a crew of Ballas and a couple of police helicopters after a deal gone wrong.
- In the mission Fresh Meat Franklin singlehandedly breaks into a warehouse and mows down a army of Chinese Triad members to save Michael.
- Only in It for the Money: His primary concern with any mission is being paid. Justified, because he's tired of being a career criminal sans the "career". This is most noticeable in an early conversation with Lester, where he defies Lester's Utopia Justifies the Means rant.
- Only Sane Man/Only Sane Employee: The more realistic and normal of the three. Also tends to happen when surrounded by Lamar and his crazy aunt.
"You can't repo the assets of a dead man, 'bitch sitting chief asshole'!"
- In a literal sense, Franklin is also the only one of the three protagonists who doesn't have any psychological baggage... at least, any that really affects the plot. See My Parents Are Dead.
- Hidden Depths: He actually does have his fair share of issues; he think's he's empty inside, that he doesn't have any real friends, that he doesn't feel anything, and no one likes him, as well as some pent up anger at his mother for turning to crack. He just only touches on these when he's high; take a hit from his bong at his safehouse and you can hear his inner thoughts.
- Professional Killer: After successfully completing the first heist, Lester recruits Franklin to become an assassin on the side.
- Really Gets Around: One of the scenes you can see when switching back to him is sending his latest booty call home in a taxi.
- Franklin also has the most potential options for booty calls in the game; aside from the four available strippers at the Vanilla Unicorn, which are available to all three PC's, he can also pick up Ursula, who's restricted to either him or Trevor, and Liz, who's exclusive to Frank, as he gets her number as part of one of his taxi cab missions.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Lamar's and Trevor's red.
- The Reliable One: Michael takes Franklin under his wing when Franklin helps him to save his son. Michael flat out calls Franklin the most reliable member of the trio, and when both Michael's and Trevor's baggage start raining down on the team, Franklin says that being the Only Sane Man makes him feel like more of a "senior partner" rather than the new blood.
- During the first heist, if the player choose poor teammates to save money, Franklin is the only member of Michael's heist to perform competently.
- Religious Bruiser: Implied. Pre-release art depicted him with a neck tattoo that showed praying hands holding a cross (strangely, this tattoo can't be purchased, although a somewhat similar one can), and he briefly discusses the Bible with Michael in the mission "Marriage Counseling".
- Roaring Rampage of Rescue: The mission "Fresh Meat", in which Franklin fights his way through a large force of Chinese Triad gangsters to save Michael from being killed via a giant meat grinder.
- Sadistic Choice: He is given the choice of how to resolve the issue of the bounties on both Michael's and Trevor's heads. However, he is of freely given a third option which is explicitly stated to be a death wish, in which instead of killing Trevor or Michael, you kill everybody who wants them dead .
- Shaggy Dog Story: Kill either Michael or Trevor, and Franklin ends up back to banging in the hood with Lamar. The survivor will cut off all ties with Franklin.
- Then again, by the end of the game, he is a multi-millionaire, and probably has a few businesses on the side, as well as a mansion, so he's probably doing pretty well for himself, all things considered.
- Smug Snake: Gets accused of being this by both Denise and Stretch because of his disdain for the CGF. If Franklin returns to his old neighborhood after moving into his fancy new house, even random CGF hoodlums will accuse him of being this.
- The Sociopath: As mentioned in the entry for Hidden Depths, he personally believes that he fits a lot of the criteria for being one, and it frightens him.
- He might be on to something here. Despite his status as the decidedly most "heroic" protagonist (or should we say less villainous?), he frequently shows signs of being unable to form real attachments to people; Lamar is his only friend at the start of the game and he shows open contempt for him most of the time (he seems to stick with him only out of fear of being alone) and his love for Tanisha comes off as very self-serving. However, his leanings on the sociopath side are best seen in ending B when he chooses to kill Michael; as he chases him on the railings, his reasoning comes straight out of the book of Spock, claiming it's "the only way, after thinking about it" and even genuinely asking Michael why he's running.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Can perfectly understand what dogs are saying. It even weirds him out — after he's well into his conversation with the dog.
"I have officially lost my damn mind."
- The Stoner: He's a habitual pot smoker.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: He tells everyone from his hood this. But, Tanisha, whom he really seems to like, tells him the same.
- Straight Man: Plays this role to virtually every character in the game.
- Supporting Protagonist: Though he's a playable character and the ending hinges on the decision he makes, Grand Theft Auto V is really Michael and Trevor's story. Franklin's role is more akin to that of an Audience Surrogate.
- Surrounded by Idiots: How he feels being surrounded by people who don't seem to realize the futility of holding onto their lifestyle.
- Take a Third Option: For the Golden Ending. He puts it best himself.
- Token Good Teammate: Compared to Trevor and Michael at least.
- Took a Level in Badass: Kind of understated, but Franklin goes from a low ranking gang banger and repo man, to a One-Man Army Professional Killer. And he does all of this without the excessive baggage that Michael and Trevor have.
- He also goes from taking orders from Michael and Trevor to being able to take command and direct them and they accept his lead.
- Tritagonist: To Michael's Protagonist and Trevor's Deuteragonist.
- Ungrateful Bastard: If Ending B is chosen. Despite Michael taking him on as a protege and making him a lot more money than he would have seen otherwise, Franklin still opts to kill him in an attempt to cover his own ass.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Teetering on the edge. He will help out his friends and others in need no matter what, but his main motivation is getting money through different means, even if they are no different from the gangbanging he used to do. Even if he kills Trevor or Michael, he at least feels some regret, but tries to justify the action.
- Verbal Tic: "Homie", which almost every non-black character mockingly repeats at least once.
- Vigilante Man: He can play this role at the end of the Letter Scraps sidequest. While Michael and Trevor can also collect scraps, only Franklin can decipher the mystery of the gruesome murder of 70s starlet Leonora Johnson, and confront the man the papers point to, controversial director Peter Dreyfuss.
- Villain Protagonist: He comes across as more of an Anti-Villain and Punch Clock Villain than Michael and Trevor, being Only in It for the Money.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Has this relationship with Lamar, and Michael and Trevor to a lesser degree.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Sincerely believes that he (and his homies) can leave behind the life of drug trafficking, gang wars and foul run-ins with the law. The rest of his gang chew him out for this, claiming he has gone "soft".
Michael Townley/de Santa
Voiced by: Ned Luke
A middle-aged ex-robber currently retired and under the FIB's Witness Protection
, living in a posh mansion in Rockford Hills (the game's equivalent of Beverly Hills) with his dysfunctional family — disrespectful daughter Tracey, lazy son Jimmy, and spendthrift wife Amanda, whose habits force him to return to a life of crime. Or at least, that's what he says; in truth, Michael is bored and frustrated by his domestic life, his only outlets being whiskey
, watching old Vinewood action movies, and trips to his therapist. He serves as the "brains" and leader of the gang, and is described as a "smooth operator".
- Abusive Parents: According to Amanda, Michael's father was a drunk who beat Michael. Mike doesn't seem to angst about it at all.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: If you fail to save Michael from the meat grinder in "Fresh Meat," or if you watch the whole thing unfold) he'll yell for the Triads to stop the meat grinder at the last second. They don't listen.
- The Alcoholic: Out of boredom and his depressing family life.
- Acrofatic: He's pudgy (or so we're told), but Michael seems to do most of the legwork during group missions, beats exercising demon Mary-Ann in a footrace, and has the highest initial stamina of the trio.
- Angst: Grows more and more cynical and irritable over his living situation as the game progresses. Eventually gets called out on it by Franklin, who notes that he's been given a clean slate after a life of stealing and killing, now lives a live of luxury and comfort, and has friends who are willing to help bail him out of all the bad situations he finds himself in with no strings attached.
- Anti-Villain: Arguably the most harmless GTA protagonist so far, as his only "professional" interest is in making a few big scores. He'll kill law enforcement and Merryweather troops but both agencies are corrupt and his two primary villains are an FIB agent and the partial-owner of Merryweather. Even though he chases Molly down when she steals his movie, he wasn't planning on getting her killed and regrets that she died. The only truly innocent people he kills are at the orders of Steve Haines and Devin Westin. Even when there are witnesses to his heists he either threatens them or bribes them when it would be easier and safer to kill them.
- Ascended Fanboy: He's a huge geek for Solomon Richards films. When Solomon proceeds to name him Associate Producer after killing Rocco for Meltdown, Michael is positively giddy. It practically borders on Adorkable territory.
- Awful Wedded Life: To Amanda, with whom he trades curses and screams. They eventually patch things up towards the end of the game.
- Though if you play tennis with her they do admit their marriage may suck but tennis is a good way to distract themselves.
- In the "Kill Michael" ending, things tragically get much better for Michael at home before he gets killed off.
- Brains and Brawn: The Brains to Trevor's Brawn.
- Because I'm Good at It: Subverted. He claims to come out of retirement because he doesn't have any talents except bank robbery but really he's only making excuses to jump back into the game so he doesn't have to put up with his fractured and mundane domestic life.
"Doc, why is it I only ever feel competent with a gun in my hand or a price on my head?"
- Berserk Button
- He doesn't really mind Amanda's cheating — in fact, he also cheats on her quite frequently, and both are pretty honest about the fact that their marriage had ran its course. What does rile him up, however, is the fact that she had to cheat on him in their house, on their bed, with a guy he is paying to spend time with her.
"If I have to use a motel, she has to use a motel!"
- He knows that he isn't the greatest dad in the world, but the second somebody messes with one of his kids, it's a certainty that he's about to deliver an ass kicking.
- Despite their strained marriage, never show disrespect toward his wife; Fabien learned this the hard way after he tells Amanda that she must pay for his new leotard.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: If you try to have Franklin rescue Michael in the "Kill Michael" ending, Michael decides to fall to his death anyway.
- Blood Knight: Subverted. It's suggested by Dr. Friedlander that Mike enjoys killing people attacking him, but Michael says he actually gets the rush from narrowly avoiding death. Killing just happens to come with it.
- Bullet Time: His special ability, Max Payne style.
- Catch Phrase: Turns out it isn't a great idea for a career criminal to have a signature catchphrase, but Michael can't resist, seen above.
- "Fuckin' A!" When he does something awesome.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: According to Trevor, he took the first catch phrase from an old movie.
- Character Development: Michael begins the game as a terrible husband and father who betrayed others to save himself. If you choose Ending C, he not only begins to win back the trust of his family, but also rekindles an old friendship.
- Chronic Villainy: He is bored by civilian life and cannot come to terms with it, and therefore uses Amanda's spendthrift lifestyle as an excuse for him to return to a life of crime.
- Climbing Climax: The "Kill Michael" ending concludes with Franklin pursuing Mike up an industrial catwalk, trading gunfire and accusations. Michael eventually topples over the edge and dies.
- Cuckold: His wife constantly cheats on him with any man she can. Though Michael is just as bad with his girlfriends, there's not much drama or conflict about that. Of course, treating this as a normal thing speaks volumes about their married life...
- Deadpan Snarker: A strong personality trait of his, which he tragically claims as all he has left early on.
- Death Faked for You: How he got to where he is now in Los Santos, courtesy of FIB agent Dave Norton.
- Dirty Coward: How Trevor sees him and his decision to leave the life of crime behind in favor of raising a family, more so when he discovers that Michael sold him and Brad out in exchange for a new life (although it was at least as much for his family's sake as his own, and Trevor and Brad were not exactly stable individuals). Depending on the ending, he and Trevor may reach an understanding and patch up their friendship, or Michael may betray him again.
- He actually offers to help the Triads hunt down Trevor together in "Fresh Meat," if they spare him. One wonders if he was serious.
- Disney Villain Death: In the Kill Michael ending, Franklin ultimately finishes off Michael by pushing him off of a tower in an industrial complex.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He catches Amanda's tennis instructor in bed with her. So he chases him down and tears down his house. Except it wasn't his house.
- Driven to Suicide: In the Option B ending, Frankin can try to save Michael when he's hanging from the catwalk, but Michael will headbutt Franklin and fall to his death rather than be rescued. It's likely that Michael did this because he knew that he was a dead man anyway with Devin Weston and Merryweather Security coming after him.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Michael drinks frequently because he's unhappy with his life.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- The scene where he first speaks his Catchphrase, warning the guard to walk away and then bemoaning Trevor's decision to kill him. Doubles as one for Trevor too, since he mocks Michael for his concern.
- The first scene after the Timeskip, where Michael quickly rants with exposition about his new status quo.
- Expy: To Neil McCauley of Heat as well as his actor, Robert De Niro. See here.◊
- His bio reads a lot like Tony Soprano's.
- His missions with Solomon Richards are a bit like Chili Palmer's work with Harry Zimm in Get Shorty (except that Richards is actually a reasonably nice and intelligent guy).
- Up until the release of the game, his appearance and position as a wealthy criminal-in-retirement lead to quite a bit of speculation that he might actually be Tommy Vercetti.
- The Bullet Time abilities combined with his jaded nature and love of drinking make it seem like Michael could pass for Max Payne's evil twin. Their outfits and hairstyles are even similar at times.
- Faking the Dead: Apparently killed by the cops during a past operation with Trevor in North Yankton. In fact, he was put into Witness Protection by the government and sent off to live in Los Santos, where he and his family had to change their surname from "Townley" to "de Santa".
- Fanboy: Michael is a big fan of legendary movie producer Solomon Richards, and jumps at the chance to meet his idol when Devin Weston offers it.
- Fat Bastard: Trevor, and initially, his family, clearly see him as such.
- Fatal Family Photo: The "Kill Michael" ending hammers this home with a phone call from Amanda: Their daughter got accepted into college. Mike is elated at the prospect of reuniting his family. Franklin, who is preparing to dispose of Mike, keeps his game face on, but has trouble hiding his guilt.
- Fatal Flaw: Michael has a Hair-Trigger Temper that gets him into all sorts of trouble. In one of the endings, he's also the cause of his own death because his anger over Franklin stabbing him in the back causes him to fall to his death.
- Fragile Speedster: To contrast with Trevor being a Mighty Glacier (see below). Michael's easily the weakest of the three stat-wise (though it doesn't stop him from laying the smack down on Simeon Yetarian and Rocco Pelosi), but he also has the highest stamina despite supposedly being overweight. His special ability allows him to be quick on the draw and outgun opponents before they can react.
- Freudian Trio: The Superego, although he has his fair share of flaws and hypocrisies.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He grew up poor and started out as a small-time criminal. He went on to become one of the most infamous bank robbers in the midwestern United States. Michael's reputation was so fearsome that when Dave "killed" him it gave a tremendous boost to the latter's career.
- Gentleman Thief: The most sophisticated of the three criminal protagonists.
- Good Is Boring: Although the initial cause of his troubles is due to a mistake with a cartel, he really does want to return to a life of crime. May cross over with Being Good Sucks seeing how his family life has gone down the tubes during his "retirement".
- Grey and Black Morality: Has a very troubled conscience, whether with regards to his criminal life or his domestic life.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Not as pronounced as Trevor, but Michael also tends to fall into an Unstoppable Rage when wronged.
- Happily Married: In a post-game cutscene, a prostitute propositions him, but he turns her down and says he's happily married now. The player can have him turn right around and change his mind, though. Other cutscenes show him living a much happier domestic life than the start of the game.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Trevor before he faked his death.
- Hot-Blooded: Especially early on in the game, Michael has rather poor impulse control. Compared to Trevor, though, Michael seems well-adjusted.
- Hypocritical Humor: He constantly makes fun of Steve's' polo shirts, but one of his default outfits is, yes, a polo shirt.
- In Harm's Way: Dr. Friedlander diagnoses him with an outright addiction to chaos.
- Informed Flaw: Michael is often mocked as being out of shape and overweight by his friends and associates. However, he looks to be in relatively good shape for a man at the cusp of his fifties, starts out with the most stamina out of the three characters, and is often made to do the most physically strenuous parts of missions involving the three characters.
- His alcoholism is often mentioned, but he drinks during a cutscene precisely twice and never during a Random Event. All other times when he drinks, it's because the player made him do it.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Solomon Richards. And on the other side, with Franklin.
- It's All About Me: Several characters call out that Michael is just as selfish and impulsive as Trevor, but with a deluded sense of sophistication. This is most noticeable after he meets Devin. Michael is given the option to walk away from the entire situation, which would also put Trevor and Franklin off the hook, but changes his mind when Devin offers Michael the chance to work with his favorite producer. In the next mission for Devin, Trevor questions Michael's suspicious decision to work for Devin, but Michael tries to justify it by saying it's all for Franklin's benefit. Franklin himself wants no part of it. So in truth, this is totally about Michael and Michael alone.
- I Was Never Here: His "You forget a thousand things every day. Make sure this is one of them" catchphrase, serving as a threat to would-be witnesses.
- Jaded Washout: He has gone through two rounds of this. In high school he was an all-state quarterback and loved every second of it, and his turn to a life of crime was originally motivated by the bitterness of being unable to continue his football career. Then he found out that he got the same rush from the dangers of crime as he got from being on the football field, and came to enjoy that too, so it was another bitter pill to swallow when he was forced to retire.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A ruthless thief who would rather avoid collateral damage as much as possible, and while he's not exactly the best husband and father, at least he's aware of it and is consciously trying to set things right.
- Karmic Death: In Ending B, Michael gets killed by a partner-in-crime and someone he considered a close friend. All because Franklin claimed he had no choice if he wanted to save himself.
- Killed Off for Real: If the player chooses Option B.
- Large Ham: Turns into one when he gets upset. His reactions to getting into car accidents are especially hilarious.
piece of shit!"
- His attempt to fake his death was also incredibly hammy, shouting out at the top of his lungs that he's going to bleed out and die, then instantly going limp.
- Lazy Husband: For most of the game, Michael spends his time at home drinking and smoking on the couch or by the pool, much to his wife's dismay. Once he's back in the game and in his element, he's as active as you would expect.
- Lonely at the Top: One of the defining aspects of his character. He openly tells Franklin not to idealize the life he lives, knowing firsthand the consequences of achieving it.
- The Mentor: To Franklin.
- Mis-blamed: In-Universe, Amanda blames their failing marriage on his criminal activities; however, it was falling apart long before he got back into the game. Jimmy also admits to Franklin that the only reason he's so hard on his father is so he can blame all of his (non-existent) problems on him.
- Mistaken for Gay: Because he's alone with Trevor at certain points, the Triad believes him to be his lover.
- The Movie Buff: Up to the point of (according to Word of God) basing the armored car robbery in the mission "Blitz Play" off a scene he saw in a movie. Lester even makes fun of him for liking films made during the golden age of Vinewood, pointing out that ended over 30 years ago.
- My Greatest Failure: Despite his attempts to justify it, Michael is deeply haunted by his betrayal of Trevor and Brad.
- Nice Mean And In Between: Tries to pass himself off as the nicest of the trio, and is the most likely to spare a witness rather than kill them. If you're being robbed by the three, he's the one you want to negotiate with.
- Noble Demon: Even while he was a career criminal, Michael makes a point of leaving as little bloodshed as possible in his wake, preferring to bribe or intimidate people into submission rather than outright killing them. He also tends to feel guilty for the deaths he causes.
- Not So Different: Franklin gives him a speech about how at the end of the day, he's not so different than Trevor; they both have a problem keeping a lid on their emotions when it counts, and they both have a habit of antagonizing powerful forces. If anything, Michael's temper has gotten the crew into more trouble.
- This is illustrated rather darkly and subtly in Ending A if you stop to pay attention to Michael's words. After Michael makes sure that Trevor is dead, either by his own hand or Franklin's, he goes on a rage fueled rant about how much of a monster Trevor is; citing how the man never cared about anyone, nothing held him back from his 24/7 insanity, and all around had no meaningful standards that gave him any decent sense of restraint. Michael briefly acknowledges that he himself is a piece of work but at least he has a line he can draw in the sand, where he can say that's enough, but the cruel irony is that by killing his best friend Trevor, who is probably the only man who has ever truly understood Michael and was so close that everyone considered him a member of his family Michael has proven that he too is willing to kill literally anyone, albeit for different reasons, making him ultimately not much better than Trevor in the end.
- Oh, Crap: His reaction when he realized that he ended up offending Martin Madrazo and his cartel (and saddled with a $2.5 million debt) by destroying one of their houses, where the tennis instructor whom Amanda cheated on him with hid, and later when Trevor tracks him down on his house.
- One-Man Army: His special ability is bullet time similar to Max Payne.
- Overprotective Dad: Much to his daughter's dismay.
- Papa Wolf: He might not be on good terms with his children, but the moment he finds they're in danger, or potential danger, he leaps into action. In one case, he does leap off a pier and swims a couple hundred yards to "rescue" Tracey.
- Parents as People: While Michael's nowhere near being a great dad and is far from being the greatest guy ever, he does try to bond with his kids throughout the game and be a good dad. He's not very good at it, but he tries.
- Parental Hypocrisy: There are numerous lines of dialogue where he'll admit that it's hypocritical of him to give his kids hell for being lazy when he's a murderer and a thief, but he says he can live with it. Taking a hit from Jimmy's bong will also have him berate himself for yelling at his kids for doing drugs, when he gets high himself (and on their stash).
- Parental Neglect: He has a hard time understanding his kids, and therefore he often leaves them to their own devices. A lot of his conversations with Jimmy and Tracey have him lament that he does want to be more involved in their lives, but simply doesn't know how to.
- The Protagonist: While there are three playable characters, Michael is the one who undergoes the most Character Development and the story by and large revolves around him and the choices he's made in his life.
- Rage Quit: He does this (complete with Cluster F-Bomb) when trying to play Jimmy's video game.
- Retired Outlaw: Again, initially.
- Rich Boredom: Is suffering from this badly by the time he's introduced.
- Saw It in a Movie Once: Word of God says Michael got the idea for the "Blitz Play" heist from a movie he saw, presumably Heat, or the GTA-verse equivalent.
- Self-Deprecation: He takes snarky pot-shots at himself just as often as he does for other people. He'll even reference his own supposed weight problems.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: In contrast to the more casual Franklin and the extremely casual Trevor.
- Shotgun Wedding: According Trevor, he originally married Amanda because she was pregnant. Their current relationship is pretty complex.
- Small Name, Big Ego: After Solomon Richards gives him an Associate Producer credit in one of his pictures, the Random Event when you switch control to him will sometimes be him yelling at the Richards Majestic gate guard that he is the man's boss now.
- It's implied that he's officially in the business after Solomon asks him to look over his notes. And the fact that he's always at the studio means someone is letting him in.
- After the ending, switching over to him can show him on set, working on Richards Majestic's latest picturenote . So yes, he is, in fact, in the business. However, his attitude when talking to the guard, as well as another random event where he'll yell at a club bouncer who's not letting him into the club, shows that his ego is a tad inflated, all things considered.
- Smoking Is Cool: When switching to Michael, he can often be seen smoking a cigarette before the player takes control.
- Something Only They Would Say: Trevor realizes that Michael must be alive when a witness to his jewel store heist mentions that the robber said Michael's catchphrase.
- The Spock: A rather complex example. He's, generally speaking, more rational than Trevor's McCoy, but he has his own Hot-Blooded tendencies and his pragmatism is sometimes taken to a selfish, cowardly, extreme.
- Split Personality Oh boy. When he's not the melancholic, rich-but-miserable, "your-mistakes-will-follow-you-to-your-grave" Michael, he's the choleric, aggressive, thieving, murdering, cheating Michael. It could be attributed to his midlife crisis, but it all really comes down to his inability to compromise between the family life and the life of crime - the very reason he sold out Trevor and Brad in Ludendorff.
- The Stool Pigeon: His situation in exchange for the FIB's protection.
- Stout Strength: He used to have it, since Trevor describes him as "kinda fat, but strong underneath" when recalling their first meeting. Even as an older man, he beats up two other characters on-screen.
- Take My Hand: During their last standoff in the "Kill Michael" ending, Mike's scuffle with Franklin sends him toppling over the rail. Franklin appears to relent and tries pulling Mike up from the scaffold. He still plummets to his death.
- Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: "Tell Trevor I said 'Bite me'."
- Tempting Fate: He repeatedly expresses his certainty that Trevor is dead and buried. Naturally, Trevor is not only very much alive, but lives less than ten miles from Michael's house.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Most of the conflict in the main plot is (at least in part) generated by Michael's lack of self-control, e.g., destroying Martin Madrazo's house before he confirmed whose it was, using his Catch Phrase on a whim, volunteering Trevor for Madrazo's "favor," and chasing Molly Schultz to her death.
- In Ending B, should the player choose to pull Michael up from falling to his death, he headbutts Franklin purely out of spite causing him to drop Michael anyway.
- Troll: He knows full well how much Trevor loathes hipsters. So obviously, the next best thing is to call ''him'' a proto-hipster.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Becomes this if Ending A is chosen; unable to cope with the guilt of betraying Trevor yet again, he tries to place the blame on Franklin entirely and distances himself from him.
- Vague Age: The game can't decide whether he was born in 1965 or 1968.
- Victory Is Boring: Rockstar describes him as a GTA protagonist a few years after "winning" the game. They don't mention how exactly he won it, but we gradually find out. hint: betrayal.
- Villain Protagonist: Compared to Franklin and Trevor, Michael is a career criminal and prefers the thrill of the chase more than anything else. Despite his work making him an admitted thief and murderer, he does have some standards, preferring to go in smart and avoid collateral damage, if possible.
- Villainous Breakdown: Before Franklin saves him in "Fresh Meat."
- We Used to Be Friends: Used to work together with Trevor before his apparent death, only to be reunited after pulling a heist that gets TV coverage.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Franklin if one of the crew dies during "The Bureau Raid," since he seems to have forgotten that fact in his rush to pat himself on the back for how well it went.
- Why Are You Not My Son?: Feels this way toward Franklin.
- Witness Protection: Currently under the FIB's aegis in exchange for his cooperation.
- You Bastard: If the player goes around killing people or having sex with prostitutes when playing as Michael, he'll mention it in his therapy sessions and admit to feeling like a monster for it. He'll go as far as to say that it seems like he's two different people, one of whom is excessively violent.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Michael's relationship with Trevor is strained at best, but when Trevor compliments Michael, it's usually a sign that Michael's gone off the deep end.
- Your Cheating Heart: Is cheating on his wife with various strippers, according to comments on his Lifeinvader page. He gets better post-game.
Voiced by: Steven Ogg
A former airman, career criminal, and Michael's old best friend and partner in crime, now a mentally unstable drug addict living in a trailer park full of meth heads and biker gangs by the Alamo Sea (based on the real-life Salton Sea) in Blaine County.
- Abusive Parents: Trevor mentions that his dad was "not nice" to him and that he abandoned him in a mall (which Trevor promptly burnt to the ground) when he was 12. Meanwhile, his mother was overbearing and condescending to him (and it's even implied at a few points that Trevor and his mother may have had an incestuous relationship).
- Ace Pilot: The team's designated pilot.
- The Alcoholic: It's not given as much play as Michael's drinking, but Trevor clearly has a problem with booze. One of the most common Random Events to accompany switching control to him is to find him waking up from a blackout (often in unusual circumstances), empty liquor bottle still in hand.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Though it doesn't even begin to justify his many reprehensible acts, Trevor's instability, impulsive behaviour, mood swings, substance abuse and his emotional dependency on others (most notably Michael) coupled with his massive fear of abandonment seem to indicate that he suffers from borderline personality disorder.
- Angrish: Most of his dialogue in Crystal Maze is some variation of "AAAARRRGGH!"
- His chat with Ms. Marcy on PsychicShoutout.com becomes increasingly illegible when she accidentally mentions his mother, and refuses to answer his questions.
- Anything That Moves /Depraved Bisexual/Extreme Omnisexual: Not only does he frequently make sexual passes at people (regardless of gender), but he even carves holes into Floyd's teddy bear so he can have sex with it. Sometimes, should the player jump to Trevor, he can be seen getting out of bed with Floyd, who is curled into a fetal position and crying.
- If he gets a double dance at the Vanilla Unicorn, he'll comment "If only we had another guy join us. That would be a real party."
- His relationship status on his LifeInvader page is "Any hole's a goal".
- Arch-Enemy: The Lost MC. Long after the missions against them are over, he'll continue to commit acts of violence against them in Random Events, and their members will attack him on sight outside of missions.
- Arms Dealer: His second biggest source of income, after meth cooking, is smuggling guns to The Cartel in Mexico.
- Ass Shove: If Trevor's retelling of his own childhood is to be believed, while growing up in Canada he once sodomized his hockey coach with a hockey stick in a fit of rage.
- At Least I Admit It: Uses this logic to justify being an Ax-Crazy psycho, as opposed to other, more "upstanding" people and organizations which he considers to be just as vile as he is, if not moreso.
- Ax-Crazy: Even when not under the player's control, he can still be seen roaming around and killing people, such as the Los Santos chapter of The Lost MC.
- Badass: To give just one example, in one of his Rampages, he takes on the Marines... and wins.
- Badass Grandpa: He's around the same age as Michael, so almost 50 years old. He kicks the most ass of any of the protagonists.
- Badass Mustache: Wears one in the game's prologue, and can be customized to have another at the barber shop.
- Heartbroken Badass: When he's forced to return Patricia to her husband.
- Bad Boss: It must suck to work for Trevor Philips Industries. He generally treats his minions like crap and is constantly threatening them with violence. As noted below, he controls them through fear and intimidation and luckily for him they're too stupid/scared of him to do anything about it.
- Balding of Evil: Most of his hairstyles don't cover that bald spot.
- Berserk Button: He pretty much has a Hair-Trigger Temper, meaning there are probably too many Berserk Buttons to count. However, here are some notable ones:
- The Berserker: It's hard to imagine Trevor not being a combat maniac.
- Blood Knight: He loves violence and chaos. Does he remind you of someone?
- Brains and Brawn: The Brawn to Michael's Brains, although when solo he tends to come across as a Genius Bruiser.
- Brief Accent Imitation: He makes a habit of this. It's often hard to tell whether it's a sign of affection, an attempt to wind someone up, or both.
- Bromantic Foil: Strange as it sounds, he seems to play this role to Michael whenever the two are alone and discussing the latter's home life. Whereas Michael at least wants a stable marriage and family, Trevor is…Trevor, and it's not until he meets Patricia Madrazo that he shows any interest in romance at all.
- Bros Before Hoes: He never states the phrase outright, but Trevor is clearly resentful of Michael for giving up the life and selling him and Brad out in order to raise his family. He speaks of Michael and Amanda's relationship with disdain and rarely treats Amanda herself with anything but contempt and thinly-veiled jealousy. He does, however, love their kids.
- The Brute: Picking a fight with Trevor is going to result in someone having a very bad day. Unless you're Michael or Franklin.
- The Bully: He's quite proud of his ability to bully other people into doing his bidding. He lampshades it himself.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: If the fact that he isn't utterly batshit insane hasn't been established yet, here's another reminder. That said, he's still an extremely efficient thief, surprisingly insightful, and despite their obvious issues, a loyal friend to Michael.
- Canada, Eh?: He is definitely not Canadian. OK, barely Canadian. In fact, he was born so close to the border that he probably doesn't count as Canadian at all. Long story short, he's deeply ashamed of his heritage, and bringing it up is a major Berserk Button. Merges a bit with Actor Allusion, since Steven Ogg himself is Canadian.
"'ABOOT'?! I DON'T EVEN SOUND THAT CANADIAN!"
- The Chessmaster: Surprisingly, he is extremely good at planning out heists and attacks that are Crazy Enough to Work.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Aside from his Ax-Crazy behavior, he's just plain weird.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Works as a Torture Technician for Steve Haines in "By the Book."
- Comedic Sociopathy: While he's not a true sociopath, Trevor is a murderous, drug-dealing, andsadistic Ax-Crazy criminal. He's also pretty hilarious.
- Companion Cube: Mr. Raspberry Jam, Floyd's teddy bear. In Trevor's mind, at least, they are Friends with Benefits. After Trevor murders Floyd, Mr. Raspberry Jam becomes a permanent fixture on the hood of his truck.
- Cool Uncle: He is seen as this to Michael's two children. Jimmy calls him "Uncle T" and Tracey is outright delighted to see him after 10 years. In her case, Trevor made a vow to "rip the skin" off of anyone who treats her badly.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Anything planned out by Trevor will inevitably be this.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : On the other hand, something always happens in the end to screw him out of the score. Pull off a heist of a freighter with top secret cargo guarded by a PMC? It's a nuke, and you have to put it back or be killed by the government. Hijack a plane full of weapons you can sell at a nice profit through your Mexican contact? Plane gets shot down by the Air Force. Rob a train that carries a car full of rare and valuable items? Your partner only grabs one thing, with the expressed intention of giving it away.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Whatever or whoever he takes a shine to, if somebody else has it, they're bound to lose it and wind up dead. Case in point; he met Wade when he randomly picked him and his friends up while they were getting drugs, he took a liking to Wade for whatever reason, and he decided to kill his friends on a whim and make him his personal assistant.
- Deadpan Snarker: When not being psychotically violent, he's got a surprisingly dry and acerbic wit.
- Death Seeker: Implied. He has a tattoo of a dotted line on his neck with the words "Cut Here." Brad had the same tattoo.
- Despair Event Horizon: Michael's (faked) death seems to have been this for him, as evidenced by his attitude and "RIP Michael" tattoo.
- Deuteragonist: Much of the drama is linked to the broken friendship between he and Michael, making it just as much his story.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Trevor is a criminal who routinely comes up with plans that are crazy enough to work.
- In his first heist in the game, he successfully plans and executes the theft of a Top Secret device from the United States Government, which turns out to be a nuclear warhead.
- In the Online game, a small-time Quest Giver named Gerald gives a mission to steal an RV of meth from some rednecks in Sandy Shores. He warns you, however, that the guy who controls the meth game in that area is a "serious player".
- Didn't Think This Through: Plans a heist around stealing government property based only on the fact that it's government property that's being moved quietly but under armed Merryweather guard, figuring anything treated like that's going to make him a fortune when he sells it. It's a nuke, and he can't sell it without guaranteeing government retaliation he couldn't hope to survive.
- On a smaller (more comical) note, during Ending C, you can see it slowly dawn on him that after Franklin and Michael take off that he has to walk all the way home because they just pushed his car off a cliff with Devon in the trunk.
- Dirty Old Man: Age has certainly not dulled his libido.
"Who's your creepy uncle now?"
- Disproportionate Retribution: Murder seems to be his default coping mechanism when challenged, however small the offense.
- The Dreaded: Oh dear Lord yes. Every character who knows him speaks of Trevor in cautionary tones, and some (like poor Floyd, Ron and Wade) do whatever he says purely out of fear. However, Trevor tries this on the Online Protagonist and, when it fails, he is both bewildered and pissed off that they are completely unafraid of him. To emphasize this point, when you complete his first mission, he sneers at you like he's about to say something belittling, but simply says "Thank You".
- Michael is, at least initially, terrified of him and the chaos he may/will cause. Michael (rather accurately) describes him to Franklin as "Hell walking on Earth."
- Martin Madrazo is so scared of Trevor and vows never to harass Trevor or the other protagonists again. To elaborate why he's suddenly terrified of Trevor, the latter did cut off one of Madrazo's ears — before returning Patricia to him.
- Dynamic Entry: He professes his love to Mary Ann by drop-punching a cyclist in the head from out of nowhere.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil/Hates Everyone Equally: For an Ax-Crazy, drug-addicted, murderous criminal who operates in racist redneck towns, he's remarkably fair-minded, until he decides to murder you in a horrible way.
- Establishing Character Moment: Several early on.
- When you first take control of Trevor during the Action Prologue, he shoots a bank guard holding Michael hostage in the head. Michael says he didn't have to do that, but Trevor mockingly tells him to grieve later. And yet later, when Michael gets shot, Trevor stands by him and holds the cops off for a good while before finally listening to Michael telling him to flee.
- When we first see Trevor in the story proper, he's banging meth-head Ashley, threatening to rape Johnny Klebitz, stomping the latter to death during a tantrum, and then racing off to kill the rest of his gang while the moment is opportune.
- And while racing off, reprimands Wade for calling Ashley a bitch, "You think it's clever to disrespect women?"
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Trevor loves his mother enough to steal a van full of Deludamol for her just because she asks him to... She also refused to let him back into his trailer until then. Either way, it can't be argued that he dotes on her... Which makes it all the more sad when, after he brings the van back to the trailer, he runs in and calls out for her while he searches all of the rooms. When it's clear that she's nowhere in the house, he falls to the ground screaming with his hands on his head.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Trevor falls in love with Patricia and is heartbroken when he has to return her to her husband. It's also implied that Patricia has strong feelings for Trevor, but takes her marriage vows seriously enough that she won't leave her husband for him. The two will continue to contact each other throughout the game via phone calls, e-mails, and text messages.
- Also, Trevor is very fond of Michael's children. And Tracey even treats him like a favorite uncle.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Believe it or not, he does. The most noticeable example is racism and bigotry, as he is Equal-Opportunity Evil.
- Once he takes over the Vanilla Unicorn, he doesn't abuse his power by forcing any of the women who don't normally sleep with the guys to have sex with him to keep their jobs, which puts him ahead of the curve when it comes to strip club owners.
- Another good example are the Minute Men. Apparently, the idiot redneck and deluded Russian are too crazy even for him. So much so that he genuinely feels bad about his association with them when he confronts the poor Mexican that was tazed off his ATV.
- He also is very loyal, if only to a handful of people. One of his biggest goals was to break Brad out of jail. He also was truly torn up when Michael "died" 10 years ago. Of course, those people are still terrified of him, even when they think they are on good terms with him.
- At one point Jimmy will send an email to "Uncle T" asking him to take him out drinking sometime. Trevor refuses to take Jimmy out drinking because Jimmy is still underage. He then goes on to tell Jimmy to smoke meth, not weed.
- When offered sex with an off-screen woman in exchange for helping a down-on-his-luck real estate agent, Trevor is visibly horrified to discover that the woman is the other man's wife. Subverted moments later, when he realizes he'd have had no problem with it if they'd been upfront about it.
- Following the "Kill Michael" ending, Trevor will be disgusted that Franklin killed his mentor and the only person who ever showed him any respect. Trevor will then sever all ties with Franklin.
- Evil Feels Good: Word of God says that, like Michael, he's an examination of a "victorious" GTA Protagonist. But unlike Michael, he has no desire to retire because he revels in chaos and crime. In fact, he views Michael's retirement with contempt.
- Evil Is Petty: In addition to his brutal and bloodthirsty nature, he's also the most foul-mouthed character in the game, bullies his mentally challenged sidekicks into obedience, frequently take potshots at friends and foes alike, and enjoys throwing stones at people to get a rise out of them.
- The very first mission he sends you on in multiplayer? He sends you to steal a Lost MC van. Not because there's anything valuable in it, but rather so he can fuck Ashley in it as a middle finger to Johnny K.
- Evil Old Folks: Unlike Michael, the adjective "retired" is not in Trevor's vocabulary. Nine years after the events of the prologue, he remains as active in the criminal lifestyle as ever, despite being in his mid-forties at least.
- Evil Virtues: Loyalty. If Trevor has one redeeming quality to him, it's that he values friendship greatly. Michael's own lack of loyalty to both he and Brad is why the two have such a strained relationship right now.
- He places so much value on loyalty that he'll angrily cut ties with Franklin if the latter decides to betray and kill his mentor, Michael, even though Trevor was really wanting to off him as well.
- He also admits in a post-story conversation with Michael that he actually hated Brad, and was planning on killing him sooner or later, and he was really only angry at Michael because he had gotten Brad killed through an act of betrayal.
- Expy: His look and mannerisms seem to borrow a lot from Jack Nicholson - in particular, the actor's more psychotic roles, such as The Joker or Jack Torrance. The latter is even referenced in an identical-looking item of clothing that Trevor can buy◊.
- Foil: To Michael in nearly every way. Both are career criminals who are incredibly intelligent, charismatic, and have very short fuses. Unlike Michael, who wants out of the business, Trevor delights in his criminality and psychopathy. While Michael spent ten years retired, Trevor spent them digging deeper into a life of crime. While Michael prefers a life of posh luxury with a big house and expensive clothes, Trevor lives in a trailer and dresses like garbage. While Michael is typically a controlled Deadpan Snarker, Trevor is erratic and unstable Even their signature colors (blue for Michael and orange for Trevor) are complementary. And yet, somehow, these two manage to be "friends".
- For the Evulz: Trevor doesn't commit crimes and cause chaos out of necessity or because he wants to get rich, he does it because he enjoys it. And throughout the game he frequently criticizes Michael for retiring and getting soft.
- Freudian Excuse: Seems to have turned to drugs and become addicted to them (thereby developing his Ax-Crazy behavior) due to his hard childhood. Of note, he remarks that his father "wasn't very nice" to him, and if the hallucinationary meeting with his mother is anything to go by, she didn't treat him very well either, and one mission implies that he was molested by a clown when he was a child. It's also fairly clear that he's suffering from an actual mental illness. It's heavily implied that his mother showing up was a complete hallucination, and that he was entirely sober at the time.
- Michael calls him "A sweaty, dirty, psychotic, hypocritical great big ball of Oedipal reality."
- Friendship Moment: In the intro, he refuses to leave the injured Michael behind to the mercy of the police, despite being heavily outnumbered. Michael has to repeatedly beg him to run and save himself before Trevor finally agrees to do it.
- First Name Basis: Well, not with anyone in the group, but apparently, the cops know him well enough to refer to him by his name. Think of that if you will.
- Freudian Trio: The Id, through and through.
- Functional Addict: Being both a meth addict and an alcoholic doesn't stop him from being an otherwise competent criminal.
- Genius Bruiser: Don't let his looks fool you — the most dangerous thing about Trevor isn't his military training or psychosis: it's his intellect and charisma, a fact that becomes evident within the first twenty minutes of playing as him.
- One notable example occurs when he accompanies Franklin and Lamar to buy bricks of cocaine. Even though Lamar tries a sample from one end of a brick, Trevor is savvy enough to ask for a sample from the opposite end and becomes suspicious when the seller refuses. Unsurprisingly, what was supposed to be a kilogram of coke turns out to be closer to an ounce.
- His surprisingly impressive vocabulary and (admittedly curt) eloquence are telltale signs as well.
- As shown several times, he's actually pretty skilled with numbers. When informed of the current exchange rate of the gold they're carting out of the Union Depository, he calculates the rough total value in his head even faster than the bank manager does.
- As a former Air Force pilot, Trevor would have had to go through four years at the military academy. This makes him the first GTA protagonist with a college degree.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Most of the visible ones are presumably from his skin breaking out as a side effect of his meth addiction.
- Good with Numbers: He knows exactly how many dollars worth of cargo comes through the port of Los Santos every year, and in the "Subtle" approach for the final heist, after being told how much each gold bar is worth he instantly calculates the total amount they're carrying. Wade even says this of him.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We see him having sex, and later torturing somebody else, but it's never shown exactly what happened with Floyd and Debra. The blood on his shirt afterwards probably says enough about it, though. Happens again a bit later with the owner of the Vanilla Unicorn.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The triggers themselves are often hilarious.
- Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: While still fuming over Michael's apparent betrayal, he tells Wade the story of "Trisha and Michelle", a clever young would-be pilot who was ensnared in a web of lies by a thieving, silver-tongued troll with pendulous man-breasts, and his ugly ex-stripper troll wife with even larger fake breasts, and... well, the narrative goes a little off the rails by the end.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Michael before Michael faked his own death. The two men were such good friends that Trevor even got a tattoo that says "R.I.P. Michael".
- Hidden Depths: He can be surprisingly eloquent in his speech at times, and it's implied he knows quite a bit about economics.
- Despite his vulgar personal habits and abominable sense of hygiene, he's actually an avid golfer. He even claims to have been the Canadian under-18 national champion, which is the only time he acknowledges his original nationality in a positive light.
- Honorary Uncle: To Michael's kids. They seem to actually like him and in turn he's quite protective of them.
- Speaking to Lazlow (about Tracey): "Well, that little girl sat on my lap when she was two years old, and I swore to God that I would rip the fucking skin off anyone who fucking wronged her."
- That being said, while he does love the kids, he fully recognizes the flaws in both of the kids, believing they've grown up to be spoiled, entitled, useless people. He fully blames Mike for this, which Michael accepts.
- Hot-Blooded: The most energetic of the trio.
- Hypocritical Humor: One of his Hanging Out conversations with Franklin has him go on a rant about how much he hates self-absorbed people, how no one ever asks him about his day, and how people should just learn to get along. Franklin says "You know what I hate? People with a lack of self-awareness". Trevor responds "I don't care what you hate! We're talking about me!"
- I Control My Minions Through...: Fear. See The Dreaded above. It fails when he tries it on the Online Protagonist, though.
- I Love the Dead: One Random Event sees him being tossed out of a mortuary for cuddling with some stranger's corpse. (He claims that he was "just holding him" and that it was "very respectful.")
- I'm a Humanitarian: He denies it, but a lot of other characters (including his partners-in-crime and his best friend) accuse him of having a literal taste for human flesh. Judging by some of his actions in-game, such as discussing the finer cuts of meat when shooting the breeze with a guy in zombie makeup or making a pot of stew with an eyelid floating at the top, he's certainly suspect.
: *vomiting into a fountain* Never... eat... Indian... people.
- He also picks up hitch hikers and sells them to a cannibal cult on a regular basis.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Falls heads-over-heels in love with Mary-Ann Quinn for the "craziest goddamn chick I've ever met!", and also hits it off well with Ursula if he performs a Rescue Romance for her. He also professes his love for the Online Protagonist if they're a female (and even claims that he's getting a "semi" for a male), despite them having the balls to mess up his businesses - in fact, possibly BECAUSE they have the balls to mess up his businesses.
- Insistent Terminology: He is not a motherfucker. It's not legally "fucking" if you do not "penetrate".
- He also takes offense (though not nearly to the same degree) when his fellow criminals refer to their lifestyle as "the game"; he thinks it belittles what they do.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Franklin and Lamar.
- Irony: Trevor has a highly romanticized admiration for the auto-mobile and those who make a living on the road, such as truckers. Trevor is far and away the worst driver out of the three protagonists.
- It Amused Me: Pretty much his MO.
- It's All About Me: With regards to Michael. He openly considers the guy to be a bad friend and a terrible person solely due to how Michael wronged him in the past. He either doesn't acknowledge, or deliberately ignores the fact that Michael ditched him to try and protect his family, and that Michael is very supportive towards Franklin.
- It's the Principle of the Thing: In a post game conversation with Franklin, Trevor admits that Brad was kind of a dick and he was playing with the thought of killing him. Franklin questions why it would cause so much conflict, and Trevor justifies it with this.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Deep, deep, and very deep down residing in him, there are traces of goodness still left in Trevor. He is quite the Papa Wolf when it comes Michael's children, utterly humiliating Lazlow when he tried to embarrass Tracey, and post-game kindly accepts Michael's apology for everything he's done, rekindling the fact that they'll always be best friends.
- This can be invoked by the player themselves if they choose to help civilians get a ride, stopping a thief and returning their possessions than stealing it, and save a man from a gas leak in a construction site whilst he's trapped in a truck when heavily barred.
(on returning something stolen) "Don't thank me. I would've killed him anyway."
- Karmic Death/Man on Fire: In the "Kill Trevor" ending, he crashes his truck into a gasoline tanker, which is ignited by Franklin's pistol. Mike bitterly comments on this being a fitting end.
- Karma Houdini: Over the course of the game, Trevor does several things unpleasant enough to probably warrant some comeuppance even by the standards of a GTA protagonist, but he doesn't get any in Ending C. Compare Ending B, where he loses his best friend and presumably still has to contend with Wei Cheng, and Ending A where, wellï¿½see the above entry.
- Kick the Dog: When he viciously kills Johnny Klebitz, and the rest of the Lost MC.
- Killed Off for Real: If the player chooses Option A.
- Klingon Promotion: How he took over The Vanilla Unicorn.
- Knuckle Tattoos: He has "F U C K Y O U" tattooed across his hands.
- Ladykiller in Love: Trevor will have sex with just about anything (consent optional), but he forms his first romantic relationship with Patricia Madrazo.
- Large Ham: Has a lot of moments where he becomes one, usually when his Unstoppable Rage kicks in. All the things considered, Trevor is the hammiest of the three by a considerable margin.
- Doubly so whenever he gets to play a role.
Trevor: (Dressed as a motorcycle cop) Whoa! Hey, stay in the car there, "homeboy"! We'll deal with you later.
Franklin: (Bemused) Yeah, fuck YOU, too.
- Laughably Evil: Has his moments. Where else can you see a man butchering people one day, then found lying on the beach half-naked and stoned out of his wits the next?
- Lean and Mean: He's described as "thin" a few times, in contrast to the pudgy Michael and muscular Franklin, though it should be noted that Trevor has the highest starting strength of the three.
- Likes Older Women: Hits on and expresses interest in quite a few, including Patricia, who's 57. The Parental Incest entry below casts a rather disturbing light on this.
- Limit Break: His special ability activates a "Frenzy" mode, where he deals double damage and receives half as much.
- Love Hungry: Oh, God, yes. He demands affection from everyone he meets, from his partners in crime (one of his stock responses when turned down for a friend date is to scream, "Nobody loves me!") to random hookers on the street (he pledges his love to literally every single woman he has sex with). And when he doesn't get the affection he craves, he gets very, very violent (as Floyd and Debra found out to their sorrow).
- Manipulative Bastard: While his usual methods are anything but subtle, Trevor can be surprisingly manipulative when he wants to be. He purposefully keeps Wade in the dark about the fact that he killed his friends, telling him instead that they "abandoned" him, and that he is the only one Wade can trust.
- Marry Them All: Trevor proposes this between him, Floyd and Debra when he finally meets the latter. It makes..., Well, no, it really doesn't.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: With Patricia Madrazo. Michael even lampshades it.
- The McCoy: To Franklin's Kirk and Michael's Spock. While perfectly capable of long-term planning, loyalty, and his own moral code, he's very much a creature of the present, often murdering people with little justification beyond annoying him.
- Metaphorgotten: On the long drive from Sandy Shores to Los Santos, Trevor passes the time by telling Wade a "story" about a boy named "Trisha" and his friend "Michelle". By the time the two are close to their destination, Wade is confused by the fact that their names have suddenly changed to "Trevor" and "Michael".
- Mighty Glacier: In a manner of speaking. Between the three protagonists, Trevor has the highest strength and the least stamina at the beginning; he can hit hard, but he can't sprint for long. His special ability also improves the damage he doles out and takes, making him the most overall damaging and durable character as well.
- In "The Paleto Score," he dons a bomb suit and packs a minigun. He's nearly invincible, mows everything down with ease, and runs slow as molasses.
- Morality Pet: Patricia Madrazo, wife of ruthless Cartel boss Martin Madrazo. Despite his original intent to kidnap her and use her as leverage because Martin refused to pay him, the two genuinely ended up bonding. Given how abusive Martin is with her, she likely loves him.
- Mr. Exposition: Trevor provides a lot of the Backstory surrounding he and Michael's past in two separate conversations he has with Wade and Lamar.
- Mugging the Monster: All of Trevor's rampage missions begin with somebody either making fun of his accent or calling him a motherfucker, not knowing that the man they're antagonizing is a dangerously unstable psychopath.
- Mundane Made Awesome: While switching over to him may involve him riding on a Scooter. Seems simple enough. However, he would be riding behind someone else who is riding another Scooter. Trevor, being himself, would keep shouting "Scooter Brothers!" all day long as you ride along with the other Scooter driver. Scooter riding never felt so epic.
- My Beloved Smother: Although Trevor is loud and controlling with most people, he is absolutely terrified of his mother. When she shows up in the post-epilogue mission "Mrs. Philips", Trevor is so intimidated by her that he is unable to form coherent sentences or answer questions. And when she tells him to steal a truck of drugs for her, he rushes off to do it without question.
- N-Word Privileges: Trevor doesn't really have them, but still lampshades this when he sometimes greets Franklin with "My N-Word, huh?"
- Nice Mean And In Between: Definitely the mean one. If you're being robbed by the three, he'll kill you for any reason, or no reason at all.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His fashion "sense" and some of his mannerisms seem to be at least partly based on Hunter S. Thompson.
- No Indoor Voice: Holy shit, yes.
- Noodle Incident: Trevor has a lot of these if you switch to him after not playing as him for a while. Some of the things you can stumble upon him doing include flying a stolen police helicopter while drunk, vomiting Indian food into a fountain at a public park, aimlessly wandering through the desert while wearing a dress, or (perhaps most memorably) waking up on a beach in his underwear surrounded by dead bodies.
- Nose Nuggets: One of his idle animations involves flicking green stuff out of his nose.
- Nostalgia Filter: He views his time with Michael and Brad through one. If he survives the game, he eventually concedes that Brad was a dick and that he probably would have killed him eventually himself if Norton hadn't beaten him to it.
- Not Hyperbole: "...but ask anyone, they'll tell you. I run the crank in the Alamo Sea. Really, ask 'em and if they tell you otherwise, I'll bury them to their neck in the desert."
- Not So Different: When Trevor meets Mary Ann, her volatile temper and general craziness causes him to fall in love with her (although, given Trevor's sense of humor, it's also possible that he's just mocking her).
Trevor: You are the craziest fucking chick I've ever met. I love you!
- Odd Friendship: With Lamar. They are genuinely fond of each other.
- With Michael. While Michael prefers planning and avoids collateral damage, Trevor is a creature of the moment and prefers lots of bloodshed. Their friendship started when they realized that despite their vastly different approaches, they both worked surprisingly well together.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Kicked the crap out of Madrazo and cut off his ear.
- Oh, Crap: See the first example of OOC Is Serious Business.
- One-Man Army: His frenzy mode is a reflection of this.
- Most gangs in the franchise follow a typical structure of a boss leading a handful of captains, who in turn lead dozens of soldiers. Trevor Philips Enterprises only has one soldier: Trevor (and occasionally Chef, but only if the meth lab is under threat).
- He's also the only one who can do the traditional style Rampage mini-game and unlike the weed hallucination the amount of bodies he racks up on those are real. The fourth rampage involves him fighting the US Army on a highway by himself and even blowing up tanks that come his way.
- Only Mostly Dead: During a conversation with Jimmy, they'll talk about Michael faking his death. Trevor says that he's never been dead — but corrects himself, remembering a time for about five minutes after he hit a power cable with an axe.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Has this attitude towards Michael after their falling out towards the end of the game. He says as much when he shows up to rescue Michael from the FIB/IAA Mexican stand-off.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- Even though he still taunts them like his usual adversaries, Trevor has a slight lapse in confidence when it's shown that fighter jets are on his tail after he hijacked a Merryweather weapons plane.
Trevor: Um, Ron... I got the fuckin' Air Force on me.
- When forced to return Patricia to her husband, he's sobbing uncontrollably as he drives her back to his house. Played for Laughs, however.
- He is visibly stunned at Josh revealing that it was his wife Trevor just slept with. Predictably, of course, he quickly snaps out of trying to justify his actions a moment later, laughing, "Who am I kidding?"
- Parental Incest: He gets very defensive when someone calls him a "motherfucker". It's probably best not to speculate further.
- The Pig Pen: Personal hygiene is not high on his list of priorities. His most frequent outfit is a filthy white v-neck t-shirt, an equally grubby pair of either gray sweatpants or jeans, and a pair of well-worn hiking boots.
Mary Ann: Being downwind from you is not a good thing!
- His starting trailer home looks the same before and after it was ransacked. When he forcibly moves into Floyd's condo, the condo becomes more dilapidated as time moves on, with a hole punched in a closet door, knick-knacks thrown about or broken, sewage tracked around the floor by Wade, and all sorts of litter all over the place.
- Pet the Dog: Despite his insanity and immorality, he seems to genuinely care for Michael's children, or at least Tracey. He is infuriated when he learns that a television show plans to embarrass her in front of the nation, and she even seems happy to see him! He even drives off Mr. K — the guy he viciously tortured minutes earlier on Steve's orders — to the airport, instead of killing him as Steve wanted, urging him to leave Los Santos for good. Although, the latter case might have been more about disobeying Steve, since Trevor hates authority more than he enjoys killing random schlubs (and he REALLY loves killing random schlubs.)
- After making him his personal punching bag for the whole game, Trevor eventually rewards Wade by having a couple of strippers from The Vanilla Unicorn fawning over him the rest of the game.
- He's nothing but polite and respectful to Maude, the bounty hunter sidequest giver and at the end when she retires, he wishes her the best.
- Poisonous Friend: Trevor repeatedly insults, belittles and physically abuses his "friends" under the auspices of "helping them".
- Ron suffered the breakdown of a twelve year marriage after meeting Trevor (Trevor threatened to disembowel his wife) and turned into a paranoid conspiracy theorist and Trevor's chief lackey.
- He told Wade that he is the only person he can trust despite the fact he murdered his friends from the ICP, and later Floyd and Debra and lied to him about it.
- He abused Floyd both mentally and sexually and forced him to be implicit in a major crime, only to say that he was doing it to "save him from himself".
- He was allied with Johnny Klebitz and Ashley Butler before the events of the game, and got them addicted to meth.
- Pragmatic Villainy: If Trevor's the one who finds Taliana on the road, he opts not to bring her to his "friends in the mountain" because she would likely bleed out and die before he gets her there.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Says various ones when his special ability is triggered. Contrast with Michael and Franklin who are silent with their abilities.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: When rolling with Franklin and Lamar, most notably in "Hood Safari". Lamar even sends him an email after the mission saying that he finds Trevor weird, but kinda cool.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Trevor's very ingrained fear of clowns, fits of temper, and extremely submissive behavior towards his mother strongly imply that he "never grew up" in a lot of ways, which is probably a reflection of how Rockstar sees a good portion of its fanbase; see You Bastard.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The mission "Crystal Maze", in which Trevor retaliates against the O'Neil brothers for stealing his clients from him. Trevor murders most of the O'Neil brothers and burns down their house, and for the first portion of the mission Trevor is so enraged that most of his dialogue is nothing but screams and growls.
- Self-Deprecation: He has his moments.
- Self-Made Man: If there's one thing Trevor takes pride in, it's being a Rags to Riches capitalist - even if his trade is one of the most deplorable imaginable:
- Serial Killer: Very heavily implied to be just another one of his many "hobbies". A few references are made in game that point to him often picking up hitchhikers and doing God knows what with them. Also, one of his switch scenes involves him in the desert, freshly done refilling a hole and another shows him shoving a foot down the toilet in his trailer. Notably, it seems he met his personal Professional Butt-Kisser Wade after picking him and his friends up hitchhiking and likely murdering the others, which somehow he hasn't seemed to piece together yet.
- Sixth Ranger: While he's one of the two first playable characters in the prologue, Trevor only meets up with Michael and Franklin after the Jewel Store Heist.
- Small Name, Big Ego: The self-proclaimed CEO of "Trevor Phillips Enterprises", which by the start of the game is simply a drug/gun-running operation consisting of him, Ron, Wade, and Chef. His listed occupation on his LifeInvader page is "International CEO".
- Smarter Than You Look: Despite his ugly, disheveled appearance and psychotic behavior, Trevor is actually very intelligent and clever.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Combining very pronounced violent tendencies with a surprisingly vast vocabulary, this should come as no surprise.
- Sore Loser: While he's playing golf, there's at least a Precision F-Strike when he gets a bogey. And he always insults the winner after the game.
- Speed Sex: When he calls up a girl for a booty call, he'll sometimes say "Are you ready for the best two minutes of your life?"
Amanda: I miss every girl calling you the one pump chump.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: When Trevor kidnaps Patricia Madrazo from her husband the two actually end up falling in love with each other. In the end Patricia returns to her husband not because she loves him, but because she feels obligated to obey her wedding vows. Even after Trevor and Patricia part ways, Patricia will occasionally contact Trevor via telephone calls, emails, and text messages to let him know that she still thinks about him.
- Stronger Than They Look: Despite his wiry frame, Trevor starts out with the highest strength stat of the three protagonists (he even has more strength than Franklin, who appears quite muscular).
- Stuff Blowing Up: If you play as another character, you can occasionally find Trevor at his trailer in Sandy Shores, drunk of his ass, throwing grenades repeatedly in his front lawn. No, the cops do not come, meaning that this is a disturbingly common occurrence.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: No, he is not a 'motherfucker'. To qualify as sex, it has to be penetrative.
- Tattooed Crook: The only of the three protagonists to have tattoos by default, and he has plenty. Some of the more notable ones include one on the neck reading "CUT HERE"◊, one on his left shoulder reading "RIP Michael", and two reading "FUCK" and "YOU" on his right and left knuckles respectively.
- Teach Him Anger: A lot of the time he antagonizes Michael and Franklin simply to get them to show some backbone. This is only the case with Mike and Frank, however. Anyone else who stands up to him will be beaten down. Poor Floyd and Debra.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: For poor old Floyd.
- This Asshole Is You: Not surprisingly considering Rockstar themselves based him on the average GTA player, who prefers to complete the game by going in guns-blazing, intent to cause as much carnage and mayhem as humanly possible.
- Token Evil Teammate: While Michael and Franklin seem more like Anti Villains, Trevor is an unrepentant psycho.
- Tranquil Fury: Not most of the time, but his first meeting with Michael (after ten years of believing him to be dead) is dripping with this. Throughout most of the scene Michael treats him like he's trying to disarm a nuclear warhead, and no one else in the room says anything to him unless prompted.
- Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Very much so. You'd be hard-pressed to find a character who's so equally dirty in hygiene and morals.
- Undying Loyalty: If anything can be said to be a redeeming quality in Trevor, it's his loyalty to those he cares about. His loyalty is in fact the main source of his friction towards Michael: finding out he faked his death and bailed after he spent years believing him dead and grieving for him leaves a horribly bad taste in his mouth. Finding out Brad was Dead All Along and that Michael not only knew, but used his corpse as the one that got buried in his stead, drives Trevor to full-blown Roaring Rampage of Revenge mode.
- The Unfettered: And he's fully aware of it too.
looking at it rationally! There are people who are useful to you and people who ain't, and the people who ain't got to go
. Me? I'm not
rational. I don't care
if you're useful or not! I feel
like taking you out, Devo
so that's what I'm doing!"
- Unflinching Walk: Does this away from the O'Neill Bros. family home/meth lab after blowing it up.
- Unknown Rival: Constantly played with. At first, it seems like Merryweather has no idea that Trevor is the man behind their recent misery. Then Steve Haines insists that Trevor be killed because of the trouble his anti-Merryweather crusade is stirring up. But then it turns out that the guys in charge of Merryweather don't really give a crap about Trevor and are far more interested in getting rid of Michael.
- Unstoppable Rage: Trevor's rampage missions. Also, his special ability causes him to become twice as destructive while also making him even harder to kill.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The epitome of this trope.
- Villain Protagonist: While Michael and Franklin are a career criminal and Punch Clock Villain respectively, Trevor's motivations tend to range from a desire for wealth, revenge, alleviating boredom, or a combination of all three!
- Villainous Breakdown: If you choose option A at the end of the game, an enraged Trevor will berate and curse Franklin and Michael for betraying him before he is killed.
- Villainous Crossdresser: He can wear dresses.
- Villainous Friendship: Him and Chef, his meth cook, seem to just get along. This is in contrast to the rest of Trevor Philips Industries, who follow him out of fear.
- Helps that Chef is a certifiable badass, with even Trevor referring to him as a "consummate professional" gunman.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite being best friends, he and Michael are constantly bickering with each other.
- Subverted later on. He spends a good portion of the game wanting to kill Michael. It's just always one step down his list...
- Wall Bang: Trevor smashes his head against a wooden pallet repeatedly when he finds out that the government cargo he just boosted is a nuke, and there's no way in hell he can make any profit off it without the government having him killed.
- We Used to Be Friends: To Michael, whom he thought was dead for 9 years, at least until they reunite at the start of the game.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In the second "Grass Roots" side mission, it's implied that he has a phobia of clowns.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Trevor threatens to return and cut off Madrazo's other ear if he ever mistreats or cheats on Patricia again.
- Would Hit a Girl: Trevor clearly respects women in general and puts them on an equal level with himself, but that doesn't mean he won't kill them in ways too gruesome to be shown on screen if he's sufficiently pissed off. He also candidly tells Patricia Madrazo that he'll kill her (and cut up her body) if necessary, which she accepts.
- You Are What You Hate: Trevor abhors hipsters. He eats them for fun. But as Mike illustrates, he's really Not So Different from them.
- To a lesser extent, Trevor also takes pride in being the most rebellious and chaotic of the three, but much of the plot revolves around him doing dirty work for the government. Even aside from that, his work as a bounty hunter for Maude Eccles makes his professed love for anarchy ring a little hollow. When one of the bounties in question calls him out on this, Trevor does not take it well.
- You Bastard: Word of God confirms that Trevor is, essentially, the average Grand Theft Auto player incarnate, with all the unpleasant characteristics that would come with such a person in real life.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: A big believer in this, and one of his main motivations for going after the Lost and the Aztecas early on in the game. Later, it would appear that strip clubs in Los Santos work under this principle.
- You Make Me Sick: He's positively disgusted to learn that the L.S.P.D arrested Franklin for Public Exposure. What's the country coming to?
- Considering that switching to Trevor will sometimes find him chasing somebody in a car while shouting "I'm sorry I showed my thingie!" This may be a case of Hypocritical Humor.
- You Should Have Died Instead: According to Michael, the wrong guy died on the last job he, Trevor, and Brad pulled, which ended in the latter's death.
An out-of-towner who is fresh off the plane when introduced in GTA Online
. S/he is friends with Lamar, whom they met on LifeInvader and invited them to take advantage of criminal opportunities in Los Santos.
- All Female Protagonists Are Prudes: Every female protagonist will become invariably pissed at Lamar's attempts to hit on her. However, he is being kind of an idiot about it, and furthermore, this may be a case of Incompatible Orientation; see Ambiguously Gay below.
- Ambiguously Gay: It's either this or the developers didn't account for straight female players. The female protagonist, just like the male protagonist, can visit the strip club, feel up the strippers, and pick up (universally female) hookers, but the game doesn't offer any option to hook up with a man, suggesting the female protagonist may well be a lesbian.
- Ax-Crazy: With the new DLC, there's a Sanity Meter where your stats are that shows your character's mentality. The higher it is, the more of a target you'll become.
- Badass: Duh. How much of a badass, and what kind for that matter, is the player's choice, but some of the actions the protagonist can perform makes them very qualified.
- Badass Normal: Compared to Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. No bullet time for shooting or driving. No berserker rage without bullshark testosterone. Still a badass.
- Badass Crew: The player is encouraged to build a "Crew" of friends and associates to help tackle the tougher activities, or just to have a posse at their back.
- Bounty Hunter: You can choose to hunt down other players that have a "bounty" placed on them and collect the reward money. Of course, if you're the person with the bounty, good luck with that.
- Class and Level System: In the form of "Reputation Points". Ranking up gains you new missions, weapons, and abilities.
- Closet Key: Chastity, a stripper at the Vanilla Unicorn, will give her number out to a female protagonist despite claiming to be straight in the main game.And then subverted; turns out she's just giving her number out to come over and give private dances.
- Combat Stilettos: Literally. "Combat boots" for a female protagonist come with stiletto heels.
- Competition Freak: Well, think about it. Early missions involve competing in races, sports, shooting games, and fights to the death with complete strangers. You have to do a lot of these, and win, in order to gain more Reputation Points.
- The Dreaded: Once the Online Protagonist reaches the higher levels, s/he is feared and respected as one of the most dangerous criminals in San Andreas.
- Featureless Protagonist: Just about everything is customizable, from skin color, daily habits, gender, clothing, and even parentage.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Most female outfits hug the figure very snugly.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Lampshaded by several in-universe characters. Particularly Lester. The Online Protagonist goes from being an outsider known by no one except Lamar to one of the most dangerous people in San Andreas.
- Gendered Outfit: Most clothing and accessories look different if bought by a male or female.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: If you put a lot of hours into illegal work during character creation, you'll end up with some fairly nasty facial scars.
- Hero of Another Story: The hero of their own story, set a few months before Story Mode.
- Heroic Mime: Well, not that "heroic" since you're a criminal, but still a protagonist. Averted if you have a headset and use game chat; it causes your character's lips to move, and in some circumstances actually affects gameplay; i.e., flirting with the girls at the Vanilla Unicorn and shouting at clerks during stick-ups.
- Hired Guns: How you and your Crew can operate, if you want. Some missions specifically give off this vibe.
- Informed Attractiveness: No matter how fugly you make your female character, Lamar will call you fine and try hard as he might to tap that. This could be hand-waved by saying Lamar is the same guy who repeatedly tells Franklin how much he lusts for his aunt in Story Mode, but at the same time, the Female Protagonist can still get the phone number of Chastity, Fufu, and Nikki at the Vanilla Unicorn strip club; the latter being especially notable because she claims to be straight in single player.
- Butter Face: Whatever the female protagonist's face looks like, she has a pretty nice body.
- Informed Equipment: Inverted, unlike the single player protagonists, if they're supposed to be wearing armor it's visible, though it can be hidden if the player so chooses.
- Inter Generational Friendship: If created at the higher age ranges, then their friendship with Lamar counts as this.
- Jerkass: Some of the Online Protagonist's actions quickly cement them as a bit of a dick at times.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Generally online, what goes around usually comes around.
- Made of Iron: As per GTA Protagonist tradition, injuries that would kill or maim normal people only "Waste" the Online Protagonist. To get a good picture of how tough s/he is, though, notice how many civilians are outright killed or KOed from automobile accidents, while you can just drive or walk away right after.
- Near Death Experience: When the player gets Wasted by another player early on. This allows them to enter "Passive" mode, and Spectator Mode, which is justified in-universe by saying they watch other players as a spirit or ghost or something without being to affect the game world.
- Nerves of Steel: S/he is completely unafraid of Trevor upon meeting him for the first time. When the protagonist is male, this pisses Trevor right off; when she's female, Trevor expresses his affection for her.
- New Meat: Like Franklin (and pretty much every GTA protagonist before him) has to work their way up the criminal ladder.
- Nipple and Dimed: The female protagonist showers with her bikini on, despite having her back to the camera the whole time.
- Not So Different: As mentioned on the main page, Lamar is a deconstruction of the standard GTA protagonist; going in guns blazing and taking jobs from anyone in hopes of a payday. In that sense, the online protagonist is what Lamar would be if he were actually competent. Makes sense why you hit it off on LifeInvader.
- One-Man Army: At later levels, the Online Protagonist will be a walking armory.
- Professional Killer: Martin Medrazo sends you on missions to this effect.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can choose any gender you wish to play. For the first time making a female playable protagonist—sorta. While they are statistically the same, there are still some differences; several NPCs (Lamar, Simeon, Trevor, etc.) react differently to the female protagonist than they do the male, clothing is different, and the female protagonist gets more accessories (necklaces and earrings), and different clothing types (camisoles, bustiers, skirts) than the male.
- Remember the New Guy: Apparently, you're Lamar's online friend.
- Shout-Out: One optional setting for your Dad is John Marston. Or, if you have the Collector's Edition, Claude or Niko.
- Improbable Age: Although these are almost certainly non-canon, they still qualify. Niko is stated to be 30 in GTA IV, which would put him between 34-35 at the time of Online and V; the youngest you can make your protagonist 21, meaning Niko would have fathered him around age 13/14. Of course, you can make your protagonist up to 40 years old, meaning you'd be older than your own father. On the flip side, John died six decades before the earliest the protagonist could have been born; even if he survived the events of RDR in this timeline, he'd have died of old age long before being able to father the protagonist.
- The Stoic: The Online Protagonist never speaks in cutscenes, and seems to be able to communicate just by facial expressions and body language.
- Stripperiffic: Much of the clothing for the female protagonist is very revealing or ridiculously sexy for no reason. For example, a simple shirt, jacket or t-shirt is ridiculously low cut, shows off a ton of midriff and/or is incredibly tight. Hell, freakin' combat boots come equipped with stiletto heels!
- There Can Be Only One: Deathmatch games have a setting which makes death permanent until the match is over. Also Last Team Standing missions.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: You can even create your avatar's parents and decide how much you do or don't look like them. And by extension, your grandparents as well.
- Victory Pose: You can choose from several. Most are some sort of vulgar action, like wanking/jerking or a middle finger.
- Violation of Common Sense: The daily activity function in character creation. For example, sitting on the couch all day makes you one hell of a pilot, and getting more sleep increases your height considerably.
- Villain Cred: Made into an actual mechanic, via "Reputation Points".
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Can be invoked but only as a male.
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: If you choose to run around in nothing but a bikini as a female.