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Brooklyn Underground 77.7 — Trance, Techno, Jungle The Fix FM — Techno, Apartment The Fergus Buckner Show FM — Country Head Radio FM — Pop, Rock It's Unleashed on 93.5 FM — Alternative, Hard Rock N-CT FM — Hip Hop, Rap Radio '76 (on 197.6 FM) — Funk, Retro
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969/1961
Boosh Sounds Groovy Baby Monster Sounds Blow Up Radio Kaleidoscope Out on Beat Primary Performance Radio Endora Westminster Wireless
Head Radio — Electronic Music, Rock Rockstar Radio — Pop, Rock KREZ — Hip Hop, Rap Lo-Fi FM — Oldies, Pop Futuro FM — Dance, Jazz-Pop, Funk Funami FM — Drum and Bass Acid Lithium FM — Oldies, Dance KING 130.7 (Rebel Radio) — Punk Rock Osmosis Radio — Modern Dance Heavenly Radio — Jesus-Pop, Soft KGBH — Classic Rock
Double Clef FM — Classical, opera Flashback 95.6 — 1980s Pop Game Radio FM — Hip-hop Head Radio — Pop and adult contemporary K-Jah — Dub reggae Lips 106 — Pop MSX FM — Drum and bass Rise FM — Trance Chatterbox FM — Call-in talk radio (first appearance by Lazlow [host] and Fernando Martinez [guest])
Emotion 98.3 — Power ballads (first chronological appearance of Fernando Martinez) Radio Espantoso — Latin music Fever 105 — Dance Flash FM — 80s pop music V-Rock — Hard rock and heavy metal(hosted by Lazlow) Wave 103 — New Wave Wildstyle Pirate Radio — 80s hip-hop and electro K-CHAT — Celebrity talk radio Vice City Public Radio (VCPR) — Talk radio, dominated by Pressing Issues political debate show hosted by Maurice Chavez
Bounce FM — Funk and R&B Contemporary Soul Radio (CSR) 103.9 — 90s R&B and new jack swing K-DST — Classic rock K-Jah West — Reggae K-Rose — Classic Country Master Sounds 98.3 — Rare groove, songs sampled in hip-hop Playback FM — East Coast hip hop Radio Los Santos — West Coast hip hop and gangsta rap Radio X — 90s alt rock San Fierro Underground Radio (SF-UR) — house West Coast Talk Radio (WCTR) — Talk radio, divided into eight segments: WCTR News, The Tight End Zone (sports), The Wild Traveler (travel), Entertaining America (showbiz; hosted by Lazlow after the original host, Billy Dexter, was accidentally killed on-air by Jack Howitzer at the end of the first segment), Gardening with Maurice (gardening), I Say/You Say (political debate), Lonely Hearts (love advice, hijacked by Fernando Martinez in the third segment) and Area 53 (conspiracy theories)
Double Clef FM — Opera Flashback 96.6 — 1980s Pop Head Radio — Pop and adul contemporary K-Jah — Reggae The Liberty Jam — Late 90s rap (original incarnation of III's Game Radio FM) Lips 106 — Pop MSX 98 — Drum and Bass, Jungle Radio del Mundo — South Asian and Middle Eastern music Rise FM — 90s dance Liberty City Free Radio (LCFR) — Talk radio, divided into five segments: The Electron Zone (technology), Chatterbox (call-in talk show, hosted by Lazlow; his show would later take over the entire station in 2001), Heartland Values with Nurse Bob (counseling), Breathing World (spiritual enlightenment) and Coq o Vin (cooking)
Emotion 98.3 — Power Ballad Espantoso — Latin music Flash FM — 80s pop Fresh 105 FM — Oldschool hip-hop and electro(original incarnation of Vice City's Fever 105) Paradise FM — Post-Disco VCFL — Funk and R&B V-Rock — Hard Rock and heavy metal (first chronological appearance of Lazlow) Wave 103 — New Wave Vice City Public Radio (VCPR) — Talk show, divided into five segments: Pressing Issues (political debate; this segment would later take over the entire channel in 1986), New World Order (conservative-oriented foreign affairs and call-in talk radio), Bait and Switch with Larry Joe and Bobby Ray (fishing), Moorehead Rides Again (hard-boiled detective radio drama), and The Time Ranger (superhero radio drama)
The Beat 102.7 — Contemporary hip-hop The Classics 104.1 — Classic hip hop (IV-exclusive) Electro-Choc — Electro house and club hits Fusion FM — Jazz fusion (IV-exclusive) IF99 (International Funk) — Funk and afrobeat (IV-exclusive) JNR (Jazz Nation Radio) 108.5 — Jazz (IV only) The Journey — Ambient, chillout (IV-exclusive) K109 (The Studio) — Disco LCHC (Liberty City Hardcore) — New York hardcore and crossover (IV), Extreme metal (EFLC) Liberty Rock Radio 97.8 — Classic rock Massive B Sound System 96.9 — Dancehall (IV-exclusive) Radio Broker — Alternative/indie rock San Juan Sounds — Reggaeton and Latin American music Tuff Gong Radio — Reggae and dub from the Marleys (IV-exclusive) The Vibe 98.8 — R&B (IV-exclusive) Vladivostok FM — Eastern European music (IV) Western European dance music (EFLC) RamJam FM — Reggae, dub (EFLC only) Self–Actualization FM — Ambient and chillout (EFLC-exclusive) Vice City FM — 80s Pop (EFLC-exclusive; hosted by Fernando Martinez) Independence FM — User music (Exclusive for PC version) Integrity 2.0 — Live talk radio (hosted by Lazlow) Unusually, in IV the station is not available from the start, it is unlocked after the bridges to Algonquin are opened PLR (Public Liberty Radio) — Liberal talk radio, divided into three segments: The Séance (call-in psychic), Pacemaker (healthcare debate) and Intelligent Agenda (political debate) WKTT (We Know the Truth) 1066 — Conservative talk radio, divided into three (with two EFLC-exclusive) segments: The Richard Bastion Show (call-in talk show), Just or Unjust (radio court), Fizz! (showbiz news), The Martin Serious Show (call-in shock jock, The Lost and Damned-exclusive) and Conspire (conspiracy theories, The Ballad of Gay Tony-exclusive)
Television Shows — CNT
A History of Liberty City Two-part historical documentary (second half is EFLC-exclusive) I'm Rich — Celebrity reality show, based on MTV Cribs The Men's Room — Low-brow men's chat show, based on The Man Show Princess Robot Bubblegum — Parody of seinenanime (EFLC-exclusive)
Television Shows — Weazel
Republican Space Rangers — Saturday morning cartoon, parody of The War on Terror (with EFLC-exclusive episodes) The Serrated Edge — QVC-esque infomercial show selling knives Split Sides — Stand-up comedy Venturas Poker Challenge — Competitive poker program, that desperately tries to invoke Mundane Made Awesome.
Prairie Cartel — Alternative Rock Truth+Soul — Jazz, Funk Deadmau5 — House Ticklah — Reggae and Dub Alchemist — Hip Hop Tortoise — Post-Rock (PSP/iOS-exclusive) Anvil — Heavy metal (PSP/iOS-exclusive) DJ Khalil — Hip Hop (PSP/iOS-exclusive) SinoWav FM — Traditional Chinese (PSP/iOS-exclusive) Turntables on the Hudson — Worldbeat (PSP/iOS-exclusive) DFA — Dance-Punk (PSP/iOS-exclusive)
The Blue Ark — Reggae of various genres Channel X — Hardcore punk East Los FM — Mexican music FlyLo FM — Alternate electronic music and IDM Los Santos Rock — Classic rock The Lowdown 91.1 — Classic soul Non-Stop-Pop FM — Pop Radio Los Santos — Hip hop Radio Mirror Park — Indie Rebel Radio — Country Soulwax FM — Techno and house Space 103.2 — Funk and R&B Vinewood Boulevard Radio — Alternative Rock West Coast Classics — Oldschool West Coast hip hop WorldWide FM — Ambient and chillout Blaine County Talk Radio (BCTR) 96.5 — Conservative talk radio, divided into three segments: Blaine County Radio Community Hour (conspiracy theories, hosted by Ronald "Nervous Ron" Jakowski), Beyond Insemination (agricultural advice), and Bless Your Heart (cooking and politics) WCTR (West Coast Talk Radio) 95.6 — Liberal talk radio, divided into three segments: Chakra Attack (alternative medicine), The Fernando Show (current affairs, hosted by Fernando Martinez), and Chattersphere (call-in celebrity talk show, co-hosted by Lazlow and Michelle Makes)
Capolavoro — Italian art film, parody of Le Film Artistique The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain — Parody of dark British animation Meltdown — Thriller about the Great Recession, parody of Hollywood blockbusters co-produced by Michael de Santa
In San Andreas, Forth Right MC, the self-righteous Malcolm Xerox host of Playback FM, is voiced by Chuck D of Public Enemy, a band famous for its militant lyrics.
In IV, the host of Studio K109 is "DJ Karl", an arrogant eurotrash Cloudcuckoolander constantly ranting about fashion. He is voiced by fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld.
The Ahnold: Many of the Jack Howitzer films are Schwarzenegger movie parodies, such as Commando (Evacuator Part II; both are soldiers with their families kidnapped), Terminator (Annihilator, possibly in name only) and Kindergarten Cop (Special Needs Cop).
All-Natural Snake Oil: Waylon Mason, who appears on the Pacemaker segment of IV's liberal talk radio station Public Liberty Radio (PLR), promotes his "home remedies" and attacks the other two guests — Sheila Stafford and Wilson Taylor, Sr. — as agents of big pharmaceutical and insurance companies, respectively. The show ends with him giving both of them involuntary trepanations in order to remove the "demons that are controlling them."
Alternate Continuity: Averted. Even as IV jettisoned the established canon and started from scratch, GTA Radio's continuity went on, with Lazlow making a return and several gags and characters from previous games (Love Fist, the Epsilon Program, Marvin Trill) being referenced. The radio is arguably the only point of continuity between the III canon and the IV canon.
Although V suggests that this may in fact be the case, and that the changes for the lives of the radio hosts are simply less major than the changes in continuity for the rest of the world. Notably, Fernando Martinez states in V that he's an illegal immigrant, where as in the III continuity, he was from upstate Liberty, putting on a faux foreign persona.
Anachronism Stew: Although the radio does a good job of being strict when it comes to keeping to the years the games are set in, there are occasionally a few examples of this trope:
Vice City uses Crockett's Theme which is possible as it was composed in 1984, but it didn't get a commercial release until 1987, one year after the events of Vice City.
On Wildstyle, Mr Magic claims that he is playing a world premiere of "More Bounce to the Ounce", a song which came out in 1980.
San Andreas also has two songs by Ice Cube which were released in 1993. In addition, both "It Was A Good Day" and "Killing In The Name" were created in response to the 1992 LA Riots, the GTA equivalent of which doesn't occur until the ending.
Episodes From Liberty City uses many songs created in 2009 despite taking place in 2008.
Ancient Astronauts: Mentioned occasionally by Nervous Ron in V when he mentions the "Anunnaki" mentioned by the Sumerians in their ancient tablets.
As Himself: Lazlow and Couzin Ed, although the two are much friendlier in real life. Bas Rutten, though, is not much of an exaggeration.
Ass Shove: A caller leaves a message on Ron Jakowski's radio show that he followed his advice on preparing for an alien invasion by storing various rations in his ass.* Items include a pound of rice, two energy bars, a commemorative plate, a tiny saw, a deck of cards, a tiny radio, loose change, a prophylactic, a masonry bit, a first-aid kit, a nudie magazine, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, a copy of his medical records, and a mammogram pillow.
V's Beyond Insemination has Duane Earl getting getting a call from a guy who wants advice on cows so he can jerk off to them more easily. Earl is outraged at this and complains about his show attracting sexual deviants.
One of V's commercials for Pißwasser lager takes this trope Up to Eleven, showing an obviously drunken man implicitly raping a pig.
Bishōnen: Parodied in Princess Robot Bubblegum with the blind swordsman, to the point where he even has a effeminate-sounding voice.
Brick Joke: Due to the nature of the medium, which part is the setup and which is the punchline varies.
On III's Chatterbox FM, a man calls in to talk about eating wildlife, especially pigeons, noting that some of them have "little notes attached, like a fortune cookie with wings". Later, a woman from anti-technology pressure group Citizens Raging Against Phones (CRAP) calls in, mentioning the difficulty of organizing meetings without phones, resorting instead to using carrier pigeons that mysteriously disappear.
Another part of the show has a disturbed British immigrant calling in to tell Lazlow about how he was spanked by his nanny as a child and that he needs one again because he's "been a very naughty boy". A few minutes later, a woman calls to complain about video games warping children's minds, mentioning that she's told her hired nanny not to allow her kid to play games while she's out - the very next caller is the British man again, still going on about nannies for five seconds before Lazlow cuts him off.
Also on III a caller calls Lazlow about Killer Bees and on LCFR a caller who is disgusted about honey because it contains "bee shit" warns Lazlow about the killer bees.
On a national level, Australia gets this treatment, mostly as a dig to its infamous censorship laws (of which both the III and IV sagas were affected, due to the presence of prostitution). With the loosening of restrictions by the time V rolls out, however, the mockery is somewhat relaxed in favor of turning to France for national jokes.
Axl Rose voices Tommy "The Nightmare" Smith in San Andreas's classic rock station K-DST, yet Guns N' Roses clearly exists in the game's continuity, since the song "Welcome to the Jungle" plays on modern rock station Radio X. Adding to the humor, Sage, the station's host whom Tommy publicly dislikes, claims to have slept with the entire band before Appetite for Destruction was released.
Played with on The Beat 102.7 in IV. The station features real-life Hot 97 DJs Funkmaster Flex, who claims Liberty as his hometown. Flex also implies that the universe's version of Nas is from Dukes.
Cluster F-Bomb: Jimmy Gestapo, DJ of IV's LCHC (Liberty City Hardcore). Luke (voiced by the man of the same name from 2 Live Crew) on Vice City Stories' Fresh 105 FM is this as well, as is Iggy Pop of IV's Liberty Rock Radio.
At one point, The Wild Traveler receives a phone call from an obviously suicidal man.
Suicidal Man: I'm gonna jump! James Pedeaston: Yes, I know what you mean. Jump into the unknown! How can it be a sin if it feels good?
Ron in his show tends to take his submitted messages out of context to fuel his Insane Troll Logic. One example is him interpreting a message from a guy performing South American rituals that involves the killing of virgins to better fit with his Illuminati bank theories.
Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: This is the world according to Ron Jakowski in V's "Blaine County Radio Community Hour" segment of BCTR, and even calling it that is quite an understatement.
Continued in V with Ron's Blaine County Radio Community Hour podcast, focusing on David Icke-style Lizard People conspiracies and "Big Pharma."
Concepts Are Cheap: Parodied when a guy by the name of "Jeff" calls in, advertising a rally at Liberty City Park. However, when the show's host asks what the rally's actually about, Jeff responds with an escalation of otherwise meaningless phrases and appeals, including "for justice", "for the future", and "for hope". The host continues asking, only to be met with more cheap concepts and pleas for attendance, until it turns out the guy doesn't know what it's about.
Continuity Nod: Sometimes tiny off-hand mentions get expanded upon later. In GTA III Lazlow mentions he started hosting talk radio after he got kicked off the rock station, and comments to one caller that his show isn't Gardening with Maurice. In Vice City he is indeed hosting the rock station, and the soundtrack album for that station has a bonus track which tells what exactly Lazlow did that got him fired. As for Gardening with Maurice, that is on the air in San Andreas.
Corpsing: When the lady representing Citizens Raging Against Phones starts calling Lazlow childish insults, the voice actress sounds like she's trying not to break down laughing.
Deadly Game: Liberty City Survivor, advertised in III. The ad, complemented with fan footage from IV, can be listened to here. Arguably the basis for Manhunt.
Deadpan Snarker: Lianne Forget, anchor of San Andreas's WCTR News, doubles as announcer to show titles, and she snarks quite a lot there, particularly in news intros.
(WCTR News #01): Next up on WCTR — the news. We tried to make it interesting and not depressing. (WCTR News #03): Next up, we've got the news. This time, some of it's true! Who are we kidding? (WCTR News #04): Next up, it's sensationalist propaganda. I mean, the news. (WCTR News #06): Is the world ending? We hope so — we need the ratings. The news is next!
The Ditz: Amy Sheckenhausen from Vice City's K-Chat fits this trope perfectly, flirting with her famous or attractive guests and, until the end of an interview, being completely oblivious to the fact that one of her guests was promoting bestiality.
Early Installment Weirdness: All of the DJs in Vice City have artwork to accompany them, which is useful as without it we would not know what they look like. In every other game there is no artwork of the DJs, with the odd exception of Karl Lagerfeld in IV.
Fake Band: A staple in early GTA games, it was mostly dropped by the time III came around with all but two music stations (Head Radio and Lips 106) playing licensed music. In Vice City, Hair Metal parody band Love Fist had two original songs — "Dangerous Bastard" and "Fist Fury" — on V-Rock (the game's rock station), and Unaesta and Alpha Banditos had three on the Espantoso station, (Yo te mire by "Tres Apenas como eso" and "La vida es la un lenteja" by Unaesta and "The Bull Is Wrong" by Alpha Banditos). Liberty City Stories was the last game in the series to have original music.
Fanservice: Parodied and lampshaded as much as possible in Princess Robot Bubblegum.
Vice City has commercials on its radio stations for the Degenetron game system, which features such titles as Defender of the Faith ("Destroy the blue dots with your powerful red square!"). In San Andreas, they appear on retro arcade machines. You can't play them, but you can play the "emulator" on the defictionalisedDegenatron "fansite."
III also has ads for Pogo the Monkey, which is later referenced by a Pogo the Monkey arcade in the cab firm from Vice City.
IV has Civil Service, a parody of SimCity which encourages the player to favor big business and keep down minorities. Episodes from Liberty City also has ads for Deity, a god game in the vein of Black & White.
Frivolous Lawsuit: In San Andreas, there is a news story of a man suing the Renaissance Fair because a replica catapult he purchased didn't have a label warning him not to fire it at his insurance agent's house, accidentally setting the entire neighborhood on fire.
I don't wanna work very hard so I've hired a lawyer. I'm gonna be rich!
Hanging Judge: Judge Grady, host of court show parody "Just or Unjust" segment of IV's right-wing talk station We Know the Truth (WKTT). The show's introduction has him fining a man a million dollars for "wasting the court's time," and he uses duels and gladiatorial combat between plaintiff and defendant as a means of settling disputes.
Jerry: Some liberal doctor gonna tell me I have diabetes? I call bullshit! Goddamn liar, I eat what I want, motherfucker! Just like my great-grand-pappy. He was in the Donner Party! Now that's some American ingenuity right there!
I Am Not Spock: In-Universe. Vice City's Claude Maginot, a classically-trained actor who is incredibly dismayed about how he is best known as the star of the sitcom "Just the Five of Us", which he calls "commercial dross". In an interview on K-Chat, he tries to steer the subject toward his interpretive dance show, "In the Future, There Will be Robots", and breaks down into a rant when Amy keeps trying to push the subject toward his show.
Idle Rich/Upper-Class Twit: Many celebrities featured in IV are nothing more but directionless heirs with absolutely nothing to do but waste money on ostentatious stuff, such as Cloe Parker, Jill Von Crastenburg, January Natasha Vasquez, Samantha Muldoon and Kerry McIntosh, direct Expies of Nicole Ritchie, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Madonna and breakdown-era Britney Spears, respectively.
I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: In San Andreas, Jack Howitzer accidentally shoots interviewer Billy Dexter, first host of WCTR's Entertaining America segment (he was replaced by Lazlow after a long hiatus). It's implied that he was sentenced to death after doing this. The Ballad of Gay Tony reveals that he was eventually paroled.
In-Game TV: Starting with IV. In past games, there were also ads for various TV shows, although you couldn't watch them.
Medium Awareness: Played with; Ron's paranoia has convinced him that the instant you "open an account", a virtual cyberspace replica of yourself, who you must continuously level up and buy stuff for, is created, and there's even a doppelganger of himself out there somewhere. Rather than discussing V's Online Mode, though, he thinks this what happens when you invest with a bank.
Heavily and mercilessly parodied and lampshaded in Princess Robot Bubblegum. The end of the second episode lists all the merchandise based off the series.
Metaphorgotten: Lampshaded by Ron when he tries to explain the low bee population with a tangent about getting a semen sample from a horse and giving Too Much Information about it.
Mood Whiplash: All stations in San Andreas have a completely different set of scripts and reactions that play during the riots. Most of them are deadpan serious though. K-DST's Tommy "The Nightmare" Smith even shows genuine concern for the citizens and urges them to try to stay out of harm's way. The scripts return to normal once it ends, and due to the open ended nature of the game, cannot be accessed again unless you start a new game and go through the whole story all over again.
Naked People Are Funny: One of the guests on Vice City's "Pressing Issues" is Barry Stark, a nudist whom Maurice keeps behind a screen (the other guests on the episode are The Fundamentalist Pastor Richards and soccer mom Jen Brown). When Barry insists on coming out from behind the screen, Richards shoots him in the genitals and Jen faints.
III has a nudist caller on Chatterbox FM. He's implied to be the same guy.
Network Decay: In-Universe: In The Lost and Damned Liberty City Hardcore has started playing extreme metal instead of hardcore punk, though the ident at the beginning of the radio stream implies that it's a show on LCHC.
From Vice City's K-Chat, Pat "Mr. Zoo" Flannerdy is a transparent Steve Irwin parody with an unconventional "love" for animals. He is later removed from the studio by his doctor who reveals to Amy that he is just a mentally sick man and is dragged to a mental clinic. The game was released before Irwin's death.
Similarly, Crow's single name, activism, and love of tantric sex means he is likely a parody of rock star Sting. He used to be the lead singer of "Ambulance" and describes his music as a "power pop reggae afro-beat".
Bobbi June, the uber-Southern host of the cooking show Bless Your Heart in V, is a vicious parody of Paula Deen.
Also from V, Hugh Harrison and Anita Mendoza, two of the three smarmy judges of the talent search TV show Fame or Shame, are obviously based on Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, respectively. Lazlow's job as the host of the show is also reminiscent of Ryan Seacrest.
Nostalgia Filter: Samantha Muldoon's song "I Like Things Just the Way They Are" in V is a Deconstructive Parody of this trope, particularly its use in contemporary (late '00s/early '10s) Country Music. It attempts to invoke Type 1 Eagleland with its idealization of Everytown, America, but instead becomes the very definition of Type 2 with its display of all manner of viciously bigoted sentiments.
In Vice City, San Andreas, and Vice City Stories. However, it's averted in III, Liberty City Stories, and the HD-era games, where Rockstar went out of their way to get independent/underground artists for many stations. They also used original music for some stations in III and, to a lesser extent, Vice City. The classic rock and oldies stations, of course, are a justified example; even in III, Flashback FM's playlist was composed entirely of songs from the Scarface soundtrack.
This is lampshaded by the bumpers for Non Stop Pop FM in V, which is composed of pop hits from The Eighties through the Turn of the Millennium, saying that it's the music that will last forever. Even then, though, it's an aversion of sorts, as its playlist includes a number of artists who have already faded into obscurity (does anybody remember Amerie or Jane Child?), as well as a few who only had hits in the UK (like Mis-Teeq, N-Joi, and All Saints).
Odd Couple: I Say/You Say, a political debate show hosted by husband-and-wife team of Peyton and Mary Phillips. Peyton is a borderline communist while Mary plays the greedy capitalist. For example, when dealing with a caller who has recently buried corpses of illegal immigrants in his backyard, Mary advises him to use them to evade taxes while Peyton mentions recycling and organ donation. Their irreconcilable polarity inspired WCTR's station announcer to quip in the outro to their first segment...
Only Sane Man: Lazlow and his Vice City counterpart, Maurice Chavez. Over time, Lazlow became less of a Straight Man and was unmasked as something of an attention whore, whose current job on Chattersphere in V is richly deserved.
Our Founder: The "Salvation Statue Organization", which promises salvation (in the form of a radiation-proof giant living space/effigy of Richards) to all those who pay him large donations. He later reveals that he was actually planning on using the money to build himself a mansion in Hawaii.
Ow, My Body Part!: Pastor Richards snaps, and, disgusted by Barry Stark's nudism, pulls a gun on Stark and shoots him. Barry survives and "is in need of a proctologist".
The Mainframe, which is fully lampooned on The Electron Zone and in ads.
"IMHO The Mainframe is the greatest movie of all time! Partially because it's so close to reality, especially the robot that defecates, and the bit about the dork that saves everyone!"
Phony Psychic: IV's "The Séance" segment in left-leaning Public Liberty Radio (PLR) is strongly implied to be nothing more but a vessel for the show's host, Beatrix Fontaine, to embezzle money from callers. Fontaine herself is also implied to be a former Romanian prostitute who slept her way to a radio slot.
Police Procedural: Parodied in IV with The Science of Crime, complete with the tagline "It's forensically boring". Specific segments also parody CSI: Miami, complete with an obvious Horatio Caine parody dropping bad one-liners and noting how his acting "sucks ass", down to a barely-disguised version of The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again and its trademark Big "YES!". It has fifteen spinoffs, including ones in Vice City, Las Venturas, Ohio, Djibouti, Fairbanks, Panama City and Santiago.
Political Correctness Gone Mad: Fernando Martinez's show on WCTR in V is heavily constrained by this, as the station's standards department forces him to cover up his lecherous Latin Lover attitude and run a dull political/current events talk show. Going by his frequent Freudian slips, it's not working.
Sequel Escalation: GTA 1's tiny handful of radio stations had around three songs each. By the time the IV saga rolls out, it had expanded to several hours' worth of licensed music, dedicated chat shows, celebrity DJs, advertisements, websites and TV channels. This also extends to how the radio itself is implemented — while a radio station in previous games was simply one long audio file, San Andreas stored songs, DJ chatter and commercials separately, allowing the game to randomize them. IV takes this even further, with a dynamic radio system that changes shows, songs, advertisements, DJ chatter and news depending on the weather, time of day or how far along the storyline you are.
Jimmy Gestapo, DJ of IV's punk station Liberty City Hardcore, rants at length about the extremely hard-drinking, hard-partying lifestyle that he feels punk should be. Also, Iggy Pop, DJ of IV's classic rock station Liberty Rock Radio, talks about how a lot of the best music was made on drugs, and bemoans the fact that fewer rockers nowadays use them.
Tommy "The Nightmare" Smith of San Andreas' classic rock station K-DST is fond of this trope as well. Hell, the station's identifications are all narcotic plays on its nickname of "The Dust".
Station ID: If the police can't stop you... (*police siren and gunshots*) you must be on... The Dust. Station ID: When all your drinking friends have gone to rehab, we encourage you to stay on... The Dust.
Sage of modern rock station Radio X very much counts as well.
Sage: I smoke! I smoke cigarettes, I smoke cloves, I smoke anything that can go up in flames! I'm crazy! That was Danzig. Slept with the whole band.
In addition to his wild, likely drug-induced mood swings, Hans Oberlander of house music station SF-UR frequently references his habits between songs:
Hans: It's getting dark out there. Kind of like in my lungs. Come, we party for ten more years, then we all go to rehab. Cool? Hans: Has that dealer turned up yet? Where is he? Andreas? Andreas, where are you? Hans: Daddy, please, don't make me go to rehab, I beg you! Everyone takes these pills, it looks worse than it is! YOU! Okay, I learned it from watching you!
Direct references aside, Boy Sanchez' (of Rise FM circa Liberty City Stories) speech patterns sound like he's high while on the air.
Boy Sanchez: I hope you're all having fun out there, but not as much fun as me. In here, by myself, with a plate full of drugs...again.
"H-hi, Ron! Yer show is great! I listen t' it when I'm out metal detectin'! 'Case y' don't know, metal detectin' is huntin' fer metallic objects... usin' a detector? I find all kinds a' stuff! Mostly made a' metal."
Also, Jack Howitzer is Jack Howitzer in Jack Howitzer.
Shout-Out: The Republican Space Rangers' suits are a pretty blatant Halo reference. An actual Halo Installation appears in one episode.
Flashback FM in III has Toni mentions that she once woke up on the Duran Duran tour bus. This is only in the radio preview as the final version has the name of the band covered in static for a second. Vice City lampshades this when Toni mentions being on a tour bus, but she can't say with who. Interestingly, in addition to being mentioned by name in Vice City (During the intro cutscene of "Psycho Killer") and aside from a Dummied Out song ("Serious") in V, Duran Duran has never had a song in a GTA game.
Show Within a Show: One of the most elaborate ever made, stretching across every game in the series and multiple (in-universe) media.
Vice City brings us Pastor Richards and Alex Shrub. The former is a corrupt televangelist with an outsized ego who rails against moral degeneracy while, going by his Freudian slips, keeping multiple mistresses and embezzling money from his church to build himself a mansion in Hawaii (any similarities to Jim Bakker or Jimmy Swaggartare purely coincidental). The latter is a thinly-veiled Take That at "Reaganomics", an empty suit who uses blatant spin to cover up Vice City's decline under his term, supports stripping away regulations and legalizing dangerous consumer products proven to kill their users, and calls for a ban on pornography while simultaneously engaging in cross-dressing and an affair with famous porn star Candy Suxxx.
San Andreas has Peyton (liberal) and Mary (conservative) Phillips, husband-and-wife hosts of WCTR's "I Say/You Say" segment, are a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of James Carville and Mary Matalin, political consultants of opposing beliefs who started dating (and eventually married) while working on behalf of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, respectively, during the 1992 Presidential elections.
The entirety of KGBH in GTA 2. Its constant technical problems are Played for Laughs.
In Vice City Stories the public radio station has a couple of old radio plays from the 1930s and 40s which take the sexism and racism of the eraUp to Eleven. The host even apologizes for them and explains that they are only playing them because they didn't have the budget to fill the airtime with all original content, and are forced to fill the time with old public domain radio plays.
Summer Blockbuster: The film Meltdown in V is a scathing parody of both these sorts of films (especially Wall Street and, to a lesser extent, its sequel) and of modern Hollywood filmmaking in general. It's a thriller about the Great Recession... mutated, by the Hollywood machine, into a shallow good vs. evil tale about two rival yuppies in Liberty City. It's shot entirely on green screen for no good reason, it features a Satellite Love Interest who only appears once before she completely disappears (until the end, at least), late '00s buzzwords like "subprime" and "derivatives" are thrown around with little understanding as to what they mean, and it has an action-packed finale that comes out of nowhere.note Also, a talking chimp, because... hey, why not? Furthermore, through Michael's connections to Solomon Richards, we get to witness first-hand how this hot dog is made. The kicker is that, going by news reports after it comes out, it was apparently a smash hit with audiences nationwide, even though critical reception was mixed.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Vice City's Amy Sheckenhausen, host of K-Chat, is a ditzy teen who gushes over her celebrity guests; they usually prove to be perverted or deranged or both. Her avatar in Liberty City Stories is Melissa Chowder of LCFR's Breathing World, a hyperactive Granola Girl. Weirdly, both girls end up interviewing Australians: Pat "Mr. Zoo" Flannerdy and Crow, respectively.
Jack: Oh, there's only one thing to do — I gotta defend freedom! No time to cry, only time to die! <three gunshots> WELCOME TO THE LAND OF FREEDOM, BITCHES!!!YAAAAAAHHHHH!!! <starts firing his gun into the air; the station then goes static>
Narrator: "After running residential facilities in Germany, Switzerland, and then Brazil..." Herr Gruber: Haf you not read ze book? Strength good, veakness bad, badbadbad!
Token Minority: Parodied in Kung Fu Rainbow Lazer Force, where the black team member's name is "Quota".
Took a Level in Jerkass: Though he was fairly sympathetic in the beginning, Lazlow grows more loathesome in each incarnation.
Totally Radical: invoked Parodied with the Ego Chaser energy bar in V. Its advertising showcases extreme sports like BMX, off-roading, and base-jumping, yet it is marketed to middle-aged schlubs who want to feel like "warriors".
True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe — in V, one of the movies you can watch is "Capolavoro", a staggeringly awful Italian subtitled art film with incredibly Mind Screwy visuals, a barely-coherent plot, constant breakage of the fourth wall, and actors that speaks French and Spanish. Emanuelle Pasorelli, the director, appears at the end to outright declare that it's incomprehensible on purpose.
Moorehead: Before she was tragically killed, the daughter said her father was unarmed and never wore a gun. You know what that means? Molly: Yes! Moorehead: That's right, Molly — means he's a sissy. I imagine when he hears his daughter is dead he'll cry. Molly:What kind of a man cries, Gordon?! Moorehead: I don't know. One that loses wars, I think. Probably the kind of man who raises a $2 tramp for a daughter, Molly. A very sick individual... and probably a communist. Molly: I don't like to express strong emotions, but I think I hate this fisherman, Gordon! Moorehead: Don't hate him, Molly — pity him. And help me kill him. Molly:Oh, I shall!
By the 2010's, the show's subsequent Animated Adaptation is now airing on the in-universe AMC analogue "CNT", and is advertised as being from a time when misogyny and racism was cool - parodying AMC's occasionally tone-deaf promos for Mad Men, where the sexist nature of Don Draper and his associates is completely glossed over in favour of romanticizing The Sixties.
Vapor Wear: Sage, host of San Andreas's Radio X, notes she has freed herself from the tyranny of society by not wearing underwear.
Very False Advertising: World of Tomorrow warns that owning the latest and greatest technology can mean the difference between fulfilling your dreams... and not.
"Hey, I just won the Nobel peace prize!" "I didn't upgrade my personal organizer, and two days later I was diagnosed with a terminal illness!" (hacking cough)
Wham Line: Generally, no DJ has ever appeared physically in the games. That all changed when Trevor said this during a story mission:
Announcer: "Bait and Switch — Vice City's only radio show devoted to water sports, power boats, water skiing, free flounder fishing and dialecticalmaterialism." Ugh, wrong script. Who wrote this shit?!"
Announcer: Yeah, that's more like it. "And tits!"
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: In order to explain why Lazlow appears in nearly every game since III, the host has been fired from no less than six shows — in three separate states.