Video Game: Grand Theft Auto V
In search of the almighty dollar.
"You know I've been in this game for a lot of years. And I got out alive. If you want my advice, give this shit up."Grand Theft Auto V
is a game released for the PlayStation 3
and Xbox 360
on 17 September 2013, the PlayStation 4
and Xbox One
on 18 November 2014, and Windows
PCs on 24 March 2015. The latest entry in Rockstar Games
's Grand Theft Auto
series, it is set in the Los Angeles
pastiche of Los Santos and its surrounding countryside of Southern San Andreas based on the greater Southern California
, primarily the Mojave Desert. In a first for the series (unless you count Grand Theft Auto IV
's Episodes from Liberty City
adding in new characters), the game features three
playable protagonists as opposed to just one; all from different backgrounds, they are (in order of unlocknote
- Franklin Clinton, an ex-gang banger in his twenties who works as a luxury car repo man, and lives with his aunt in Strawberrynote . He feels trapped in the ghetto by his friends, who in turn see him as having gone "soft" and unfaithful to his roots. He is described as "the young and capable one of the bunch." After a job repossessing the car of 20-year-old deadbeat Jimmy De Santa, Franklin meets the guy's father...
- Michael De Santa,note a 45/48-year-old ex-bank robber who, after a job gone bad, decided to retire; disappearing into FIB's Witness Protection, he is now living in a mansion in Rockford Hillsnote with his unfaithful wife Amanda and their disrespectful children Tracey and Jimmy. Try as he might, he's soon forced back into crime after his wife's cheating makes him step on the toes of very powerful criminals. Michael has a long history with...
- Trevor Philips, an ex-military pilot permanently grounded for being mentally unstable; left without a job, he soon befriended Michael, which led them to be partners in crime. Unlike Michael, Trevor never retired, instead remaining a drug-abusing career-criminal, living out in a trailer in the small town of Sandy Shoresnote . Learning that Michael has been residing in the city nearby, he decides to track him down and partner up again.
Together, They Cause Crime
. Players can switch between the three at any time once they meet the characters (with a few mission-related exceptions), and a major part of gameplay are heist missions in which all three characters take part. On the fly, the player can switch between, say, the guy taking hostages inside the store, the guy sniping cops outside, and the guy rappelling down the side of the building, while the game seamlessly takes over control of the character just vacated.
The first teaser trailer, released in November 2011, can be found here
and a second trailer
was released a year later in 2012, with three new trailers
released on 30 April 2013. More info here.
Alongside GTA V
, several weeks after release of the base game, the multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online
, launched. GTA Online
is structured similarly to an MMORPG
, with character customization, player housing, and a story to go with it. It promises to revolutionize multiplayer games in the same way that Grand Theft Auto III
revolutionized single-player open world games. The gameplay trailer was released 15 August 2013 and can be seen here
To date, there have been several DLC packs for the game, consisting of item packs that grant new vehicles, weapons, and clothes for Online
players. While the clothes aren't in the campaign for some unknown reason, players get all the new cars for free (Just head to a garage and open the menu) and the guns are mostly free, bar the occasional one. Heists for Online Mode have been confirmed, but fans have been waiting for... quite a while.
- Social Club Gear: Adds in a new SMG and Sports Car. Requires a connection to the Rockstar Social Club.
- Collector's Edition Vehicles: Anyone with a Collector's Edition version of the game gets some special vehicles, weapons and a friggin' blimp. The special edition got the same stuff minus the vehicles and most pre-orders for regular versions got the blimp.
- Stimulus Package: Released as an apology by Rockstar for the buggy launch of Online- anyone with an account before October 2013 got $500,000.
- The Beach Bum Pack: Added in a new pistol and a broken bottle melee weapon, beach-themed clothing and vehicles. Released 19 November 2013.
- The Christmas Update/Holiday Gifts: On Christmas Day, Los Santos was covered in snow- hope you've got an all-wheel drive car. Also had Christmas themed masks and suits which, if not bought, disappeared after Christmas. Released, obviously, around Christmas Day 2013.
- Capture Mode Creator: Added in in Spring 2014. Adds the Capture multiplayer mode in, and allows players to make their own.
- The Valentine's Day Massacre Special: Added in some spiffy new 1920's mob-styled suits, a classic 1920's limousine and a Tommy Gun, the Gusenberg Sweeper. Released on 13 February 2014 to celebrate Valentine's Day, but the ability to buy the clothes was removed on March 2nd. If you bought clothes from the pack before then, you keep them.
- The Business Update: Released 4 March 2014. Added in the first new plane, three high-performance cars, a new high caliber pistol and assault rifle. Also put the Interaction Menu into Single Player.
- The High Life Update: Adds a new assault rifle called the Bullpup Rifle, a new motorcycle, two high performance cars and a sport SUV. For Online players can now purchase two new properties, something people had been waiting a while for, as well as new apartments. Players also now have a "Mental State" which increases when killing civilians and cops — this is to help keep separate players who kill others for the sake of pissing them off, and players who want to simply explore. Released 13 May 2014.
- The "I'm Not A Hipster" Update: Released 17 June 2014. Adds in new Hipster-themed cars (seven of them) and clothes, alongside a new dagger and pistol. Several of the exclusive single player vehicles (Including the ones the playable characters drove) were made purchasable through in-game websites.
- The Independence Day Special: Released 1 July 2014. Made to celebrate the Fourth of July. Contains new America-themed clothes, a monster truck, a motorcycle, fireworks (and a launcher to go with them) and a musket. Like the Valentine's Day Massacre Pack, any clothes not bought in Online were removed in August.
- The San Andreas Flight School: Released 19 August 2014. Adds in the Flight School for Online, allowing players to level up their Flying levels faster (Normally it takes a long time to do this- as in, some reports say you get one percent to your skill for ten minutes of flying). Also adds in a new Corvette Stingray style muscle car and new helicopters and planes.
- Last Team Standing Update: Released 2 October 2014. Adds new jobs for the Last Team Standing game type, new 'soldier' themed clothing, reserve parachutes, a new Sniper Rifle and Shotgun, two new motorcycles and a new supercar.
- Festive Pack: Released 18 December 2014. The first full content pack for the eighth-generation consoles, added new Christmas-themed clothes in Online, two new cars and new weapons—the Proximity Mine and the Homing Launcher.
- Heist Pack: Announced for early 2015, apparently before the March 24th PC release. Will add single-player-esque Heists into Online mode and more Heists in Single Player. Job Points earned after other activities factor into this somehow. Originally intended to be included at launch, but design issues and shifting priorities delayed it for over a year.
Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online provide the following tropes:
open/close all folders
Single-Player Tropes A - D
- 100% Completion: A major goal of the game. Contrary to the very disappointing reward for scoring 100% on Grand Theft Auto IV, this time there are a number of cool rewards for completing the to-do list (and for once the to-do list isn't near-impossible, well as long as you have a walkthrough guide handy!). Among those rewards: A number of cool-looking flying saucers appear at certain locations on the map, and an exclusive single-player mission is unlocked.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Occasionally when switching to Trevor, he can be seen having an orgasm over a toilet bowl before unceremoniously wiping his fingers on the door frame.
- Switching to Michael occasionally results in him walking into his bedroom and catching his wife going to town with a "personal massager."
- Aborted Arc: During one mission, Trevor hijacks a cargo plane full of weapons with the intention of selling them to one of his contacts. The plane is shot down by the airforce and goes down into the Alamo Seanote . Ron mentions that if Trevor can get some diving equipment, he could salvage the cargo, but Trevor only mentions that that will take time and that they'll have to cancel the immediate deal. No mention of salvaging the cargo is ever made again.
- It's not a main mission, but you can steal a boat with scuba gear and dive down to the crashed plane. It contains weapons that periodically respawn.
- Action Prologue: The opening of the game takes place during a Bank Robbery in North Yankton, where you play as Michael during a basic tutorial and then switch to Trevor, who has a high-powered assault rifle with lots of ammo. After you switch to Franklin (a character not involved in the bank robbery), it takes a while again before you can get that kind of weaponry. However, it is not a Cold Open, as it explains how Trevor became so unhinged and how Michael faked his death.
- Adaptational Villainy: In San Andreas, the Varrios Los Aztecas were focused on cars and defending their territory, were allies with the Grove Street Families, and Cesar was CJ's best friend who helped him during his exile from Los Santos and eventually was a hand in the revival of both gangs. In this game, they are focused on drug trafficking and act as an enemy for Trevor Phillips Industries.
- Against the Setting Sun: The ending for Option C has the characters part ways, until the next heist anyway, while the sun is setting in the background.
- All Psychology Is Freudian: One character notes that Trevor's mental state probably stems from mommy issues, to which he urgently changes the subject. Shown to be (probably) true when Trevor's mother shows up in a epilogue mission, where Trevor runs an errand for her and visibly has a borderline phobia of her.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Michael's house gets attacked by Merryweather mercs in the mission "Meltdown".
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: A new major feature of the game. Instead of playing as a single protagonist throughout the experience, you switch between three different characters at the press of a button. Each character has their own unique strengths, attributes and storylines that all intertwine.
- It's also subverted in the tutorial, where you play as two faceless goons in a Bank Robbery who turn out to be Michael and Trevor.
- For several missions, you can look from Chop's point of view. Chop being a dog, however, all the player can actually do is see what he sees.
- Anger Born of Worry: It's heavily implied that at least part of the reason Michael's family give him so much shit for his actions is because they're afraid he'll end up getting himself killed.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Many missions give the player the option to skip past difficult sections if they fail a mission more than a few times in a row. Although the player is penalized in terms of being able to attain a "gold" rating for the mission, otherwise there is no direct penalty given and the mission or the storyline continues as if they completed it on their own.
- Unlike Grand Theft Auto IV and other GTA games where being killed or otherwise failing a mission often ends up with the player at a hospital, police station, etc and having to make their way back to the mission trigger location and start over again, most missions in GTA V have checkpoints. Restarting a mission from stretch is only necessary in most cases for those wishing to attain a gold rating (and even then, missions can be replayed later). Most notably, the checkpoint system means being wasted or busted during a mission does not result in the player character losing money or ammo unless the option to "quit" is chosen over "retry".
- There's a lot of unique dialogue in the game, and it is impossible to hear it all on one playthrough. Missions often have multiple conversations possible during driving sequences (Trevor's introductory mission is a good example) so you don't get bored when you replay that mission for whatever reason. Michael's introductory yoga mission has a lot of different snark from his wife, too.
- Vehicles that flip onto their roof can almost always be rolled back onto their wheels by holding the joystick left or right.
- If you arrive at a mission location at the wrong time of day, the game will fast forward the time, then start the mission.
- Anything That Moves: ...And pretty much anything that doesn't. Trevor doesn't seem to really care who or what he has sex with, or how. Including inanimate objects like a stuffed teddy bear. Add onto this the fact that people and/or things he wants to have sex with aren't usually given much choice in the matter.
- Arc Words: "Social Darwinism".
- Lester is first to say it, saying that sabotaging Jay Norris is putting is putting the "Darwin back in Social Darwinism".
- Trevor later says that the world needs more guys like him, because "shit would get done" and the world would be "Darwinian".
- Devin Weston describes himself as a "Darwinian" sort of guy.
- A voice ad on GTA Radio is for something called "Darwinian Yoga".
- Armor-Piercing Question:
Trevor: Let me just ask you something, something I've been thinking about. Up in North Yankton... exactly who was buried in your place?
- Ascended Meme: Some times when switching over to Trevor, he will be chasing random persons on scooters with a scooter of his own while shouting: "We are scooter brothers! Scooooooooter brothers, yeah!", which is a reference to Brad Simons' (4PP) most infamous video; literally almost every line in the video is repeated by Trevor.
- Aside Glance: In the opening cutscene for "The Long Stretch", when Franklin opens his door to leave after walking in on Denise and her friends doing, erm, vagina clenching exercises, only to find Lamar and Stretch coming to see him, he gives a brief and irritated "Oh God..." look to the camera.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Depending on which ending you choose.
- Ending A — Trevor's death. On one hand, one might not feel so bad about killing Trevor considering some of his actions... on the other hand, being burnt alive, screaming his head off, is a horrible way to go even for him. That Trevor's implied to be more surprised and hurt by Franklin's betrayal than anything else is rather heartbreaking on its own, because he clearly trusted him completely.
- Ending B — Michael's death. From his distraught voice as he screams how Franklin was like a son to him, to the shot of his corpse on the ground and Franklin looking like he's just fighting back tears when he sees what he's done.
- Averted, however, with Ending C, as two of your targets are reprehensible beyond repair — an FIB agent so sociopathic Trevor jumped on the chance to snipe him when the chance arose, and a corrupt businessman who sics bloodthirsty mercenaries onto anyone he doesn't like.
- Asshole Victim:
- The targets of the assassination missions, according to Lester. He may have not been exaggerating too much. One of them, a miserly billionaire who takes the bus every day to save money, steals some poor schmoe's bike to ride to work when he thinks the fares have been raised to $1.50.
- Most of the hitchhikers are incredibly annoying and/or terrible people. So annoying that if you're picking them up as Trevor, you probably won't feel bad for dropping them off at the Altruist cult spot in the mountains for whatever it is they do up there (Trevor is unsure whether his "friends on the mountain" are just reforming the people he drops off or straight up eats them, but he's not too picky as long as they keep giving him money).
- Jokingly exploited by Trevor in the mission "Minor Turbulence", who mentions to Ron it's okay to steal a cargo plane of Merryweather weapons because they were likely being shipped to an African warlord or something of the sort.
- The Rampage groups often are the first to pick fights with Trevor.
- As the Good Book Says:
Michael: It's a foolish man who builds his house on the sand, baby!
Franklin: I don't think my boy Matthew was thinking trucks when he wrote that shit.
- Atomic F-Bomb/Cluster F-Bomb: The protagonists and many supporting characters drop the f-bomb loud and often. Considering this game is based off of Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, which is known for this trope, this had to be taken in full effect.
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: You'll hear the words "millennial", "entitled", "ironic" and "hipster" a lot. Often in the same breath.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Michael's family - he hates his son's laziness, he hates his daughter and wife's bitchiness... They agree to attend a therapy session with Michael and when that doesn't work, Michael and Amanda simply come to terms with each other on the ride home.
- During "The Third Way" (Ending C), despite Michael and Trevor being this close to killing each other earlier, Michael becomes really worried when Trevor goes silent on the comm.
- If you opt to kill Michael, he gets a call from his wife, saying his daughter just made it into college. While you're trying to kill him. Ouch.
- Awesome but Impractical: It's possible to purchase the golf course for the staggering sum of one hundred and fifty million dollars. If you actually manage to do it, all it does is generate a small amount of revenue per week and allows you to play golf for free.
- Owning properties in general is far less lucrative here than it's been in past games, often requiring waiting at least 100 in-game weeks and/or completing dozens of tedious side missions to so much as break even. A couple provide a few nice perks, like free cab rides and car mods, but most of those properties can only be bought by Franklin, leaving Michael and Trevor with not a whole lot of reason to invest in real estate. This is what puts properties like the movie theaters and the golf course firmly into Bragging Rights Reward territory. That said, there are two properties worth owning: the boatyard (available to Michael) can earn you a hefty profit in the hundreds of thousands pretty quickly, though once you've completed its associated sidequest, it stops earning you money period; and Trevor gets the strip club for free as part of the story, with it netting you a respectable $5000 a week. Trevor can also buy an airstrip which unlocks a series of fun weapons trafficking missions that can be replayed indefinitely. There are also hangars and helipads and boat docks available that allow for parking of specialty vehicles. On top of all this, a certain number of properties must be purchased in order to achieve the coveted 100% completion.
- There are a lot of Cool Cars in the game, like the Cheetah, Entity, Adder, and Z-Type. However, only one of them the Adder spawns down the street from Michael's house at a specific time; other than this, they can only be purchased for extremely high amounts of money. But unlike aircraft, boats, and tanks, purchased cars don't respawn when lost or destroyed, unless one counts the impound fee if the player didn't jack others cars and lose them before they retrieve it.
- Cars from updates like the Turismo R and Zentorno make the above vehicles even more impractical since they are free, infinitely respawn in each character's large garages and have performance that can rival the fastest cars in the game.
- The Lazer jet is fast, but it handles like a brick, making it extremely hard to line up cannon shots or even get a missile lock when dogfighting. The four-star wanted level it incurs can also last a very long time, because the new wanted system will spawn police helicopters in front of your jet as you fly.
- Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Michael's attempts at going bike-riding with Jimmy and accompanying him to buy drugs go about as well as you'd expect.
- Back for the Dead: Johnny Klebitz, Terry Thorpe, Clay Simons, Rocco Pelosi, and The Contact return from IV just long enough to be killed off (though the latter is optional). Ashley Butler also dies offscreen.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: One of the options for carrying out the "Bureau Raid" mission is an extended, literal example, wherein Michael impersonates a janitor to plant incendiary bombs inside the FIB building, then leads the rest of the crew in disguised as firefighters after the bombs go off to retrieve a hard drive loaded with incriminating evidence.
- The "subtle" approach for "The Big Score" also counts, as it involves Michael and Trevor impersonating Union Depository guards in order to remove gold from the vault.
- Because I'm Good at It: Michael and Trevor both use this excuse for their criminal lifestyle. The difference is that the former bemoans the fact that crime is the only thing he knows how to do well, while the latter is content and proud to have something he can excel at. A conversation with Jimmy reveals that this is also true of Franklin, who says that stealing things is all he's ever been good at.
- Berserk Button:
- Trevor basically has a Hair-Trigger Temper; however, two of his most prominent Berserk Buttons are either calling him motherfucker, or making fun of his Canadian heritage.
- Cheat with Micheal's wife and he'll bring your house down. Literally. Even if the house belongs to somebody else, he'll still bring it down.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: In the "Kill Michael" ending, after Michael is thrown off the water tower, Franklin has the choice to let him fall or to pull him up. If Franklin tries to pull him up, Michael headbutts him and falls to his death. Given that Devin Weston and Steve Haines, who have access to an army of Federal agents and military contractors, ordered the hit on him, Michael is implied to know he is going to die either way.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Stretch, Wei Cheng, Devin Weston and Steve Haines. They all get confronted in the C ending.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: One mission is a gigantic Take That to Facebook, and yet the game itself has a big tab for Facebook connectivity. Let's hope they have a sense of humor.
- Black Comedy Rape: When staying with Wade's cousin, Floyd, Trevor is called out by him for putting a bra and underwear on a teddy bear before using a knife to cut a sex hole into it. Before he made an eye-socket to screw.
- Also, should the player jump to Trevor while he's in Floyd's apartment, he sometimes sits up in a bed containing Floyd; since Floyd cries about cheating on his girlfriend, but is also sobbing in the fetal position, it'd dubious as to what has specifically upset him.
- A random encounter involves stopping to help a broke down van; it's a trap, with the driver taking whichever character started the encounter down with a stun gun while saying how "close" they're going to get. They wake up in his underwear hours later, on the train tracks as a train is hurtling towards them.
- When you watch Jimmy play Righteous Slaughter, one of the possible death screens is of an enemy humping the player's dead corpse.
- Book Ends: The game's story kicks in when you control Franklin, then you become reacquainted with Michael and Trevor. In Ending C, they leave the sunset-bathed Paleto Cove in the order they're introduced.
- Trevor's first mission is titled "Mr. Philips". If endings B and C are chosen, a post-game mission featuring his mother will become available, titled "Mrs. Philips".
- One of Franklin's random encounters, an adrenaline junkie named Dom, is first met when a dog tells you about him forgetting to use his parachute after a high jump. His last mission features similar circumstances, and you even meet the dog again. This one involves basejumping off the Land Act Dam, albeit without a parachute.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Purchasing the Golf Club for one hundred and fifty million dollars. The return investment is terrible, and if you have enough money to buy it, you probably have more than you'll ever need for the rest of the game.
- The three cinemas as well to a lesser extent, they cost 10 million, 20 million and 30 million for a grand total of $60M altogether and like the Golf Club, give you very little return investment for much you put into them.
- However, at least the reward for 100% completion is more substantial than in Grand Theft Auto IV. Going through all the hoops wins you (among other things) An exclusive extra mission and cool UF Os that spawn in several locations around the state. If you hold out on doing Franklin's assassination missions, which are not necessary for 100% completion, the characters can make immense amounts of money in the stock market, making things like the golf course easy to afford. There is also speculation that something UFO-related might also unlock at Mount Chiliad but players have yet to actually confirm this. All this is better than the "infinite ammo that you still have to pay for" reward for completing GTA IV.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the "Stag Do Running Man" random event you find a guy tied to post in just his underwear. He has trouble recalling the bachelor party that led him to that predicament, but he thinks there was a stripper there. Or a midget. Or a stripper midget. He's not sure.
- Broken Bridge: Averted. Unlike past main entries in the series, the entire map is open from the start. What limits your exploration is simply the fact that initially, you don't have a reason to explore past the big city.
- However, there is a period about halfway through the game when Trevor and Michael are exiled to Blaine County and will be pursued by a relentless Border Patrol if they enter Los Santos proper.
- Bullet Time: Michael's special ability allows him to use it in combat, while Franklin's allows him to use it when driving cars.
- Butt Monkey: While Wade may partially qualify, it's Floyd who gets it the worst. Trevor invades his home, his job and his life, systematically destroying all three during his time in Vespucci Beach, for no real reason other than because he can and Floyd is (understandably) too terrified to stand up to him. It's also implied that Trevor regularly rapes Floyd when he's bored. Then, to cap it off, just when Floyd thinks he's finally been left alone, Trevor returns (again, for absolutely no reason) and causes an argument between Floyd and his shrewish fiance which culminates in Trevor brutally murdering them both.
- But Thou Must: Your first job, after the playable prologue, has you working as a legitimate repo man. So you just need to drive carefully and get the car back to the dealer in good condition, right? Nope. If you don't participate in the race with your colleague and he gets too far ahead of you it's game over time. Other than for purposes of your grade, it doesn't matter how many counts of vehicular homicide you commit or how banged up the car gets. The game forces you to act like an idiot.
- Averted with the mission where you torture Mr. K. As long as you shoot the right guy, you can skip all but the first bit of Cold-Blooded Torture
- Call Back:
- Early on, when planning a heist, Lester will mention an Eastern European who made waves in Liberty City's criminal underworld before suddenly going quiet.
- In-game radio will mention a civil war within The Lost MC back in 2008 that nearly destroyed the club.
- One news report discusses Brucie Kibbutz from IV, revealing his bull shark testosterone product was a success — and it unsurprisingly makes everyone as aggressive, hormonal and insecure as him.
- Marnie, one of the random characters you can encounter in IV, shows up as a member of the Epsilon program.
- One celebrity name mentioned in IV is Samantha Muldoon, known mainly for adopting lots and lots of children. This time around, she's underwent a Genre Shift to country pop.
- You can possibly find someone in the strip club wearing a track jacket that says "Hopkins" on it.
- Also there's Poppy Mitchell, one of several celebrities Luis had to help out in The Ballad of Gay Tony. Here, Franklin has to help some paparazzo catch Poppy receiving anal sex or getting arrested for drunk driving. Which is particularly humorous when you remember that Poppy told Luis that her agent was forcing her to clean up her act.
- And then there's Al Di Napoli. Trevor helps two old English people track down and abduct Al. And then in the follow-up mission, Trevor drives around with Al in the trunk. You either eventually release Al to pocket some money... or take him to some railroad tracks and let an oncoming train kill him.
- The Truffade Z-Type will be a surprise call back for GTA 2 players. For those who are unaware, it was the gang car used by the Zaibatsu Corporation, a corrupt pharmaceutical company who offered the player jobs throughout the game.
- One of the main protagonists is a black gangbanger who hails from a green-colored gang named "Families" and has two allies in his storyline, one of whom betrays him for a rival purple-wearing gang called the Ballas. The main antagonist is a corrupt authority figure who forces the protagonist(s) to work for him in clearing up his illegal activities. Now, when were we last in Los Santos?
- Remember the Bigfoot myths from San Andreas? After obtaining 100% in the game, a hunter will inform the player about a Sasquatch lurking around the countryside and implores you to hunt it down. Granted, it wasn't actually a Bigfoot. Better yet, this mission can only be completed by Franklin, who in some ways is CJ's Spiritual Successor.
- Also, the hunter looks similar to the same Sasquatch hunter from Red Dead Redemption, with more modern clothing. He states that he has been hunting it down for 9 years, which is the gap between San Andreas (2004) and V (2013).
- In III, Freddy, a disturbed British man, would call Lazlow's radio show saying he needs a nanny. In the in-game movie "The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain", the robot's boss has a breakdown and says "Tell me nanny loves me! Tell me nanny loves me more than Freddy!"
- In a nod to the game he originally appeared in, the mission in which you kill Rocco is called "The Ballad of Rocco".
- Similarly, the Gold achievement in "Mr. Phillips" for killing Terry and Clay is called "Lost and Damned".
- The Cameo
- When discussing potential thugs for a heist, Lester mentions a notable Eurasian in Liberty City, but remembers he eventually left the business. It's also possible to see Niko's Life Invader profile from Jimmy's laptop.
- Patrick McReary appears in an early random event robbing a store with an accomplice but without a getaway car. If Franklin successfully helps them, Patrick shares some of the money and can be used later on as a heist crew member.
- Expanding on the Lost MC mention, Trevor's début mission has him dealing with Johnny Klebitz himself. Trevor promptly settles his dispute with Johnny by beating him and stomping on his head until his dies, before killing any Lost MC bikers that don't flee the city.
- Karen ("Michelle") has a short but memorable cameo as the female IAA agent who threatens to shove a flashlight up Mr. K's ass in the Three's Company mission.
- The UL Paper contact from IV appears twice.
- Rocco Pelosi returns from The Ballad of Gay Tony. This time around, he gets killed off (by Michael).
- During the mission "Hood Safari" you can see three guys who look like CJ, Sweet and Cesar riding bicycles.
- Canada, Eh?: Trevor is revealed to be Canadian. It later crops up as the cause of "Rampage 4":
: Oh, I'm sorry, you're clearly a tourist. From our friends up north, eh? Aboot? Trevor
: We don't even say it like that! Soldier 1
: There's a moose loose aboot the hoose! [the two soldiers laugh] Soldier 2
: Fuck off you hoser, eh? Soldier 1
: Eh, what's that aboot? Trevor
: [pulls a grenade launcher
] FOR FUCK'S SAKES!!! Soldier 1
: Jesus! [the two soldiers begin to run away] Get out of here! Trevor
: It's a faint fucking accent!!! You can hardly tell!!! Soldier 1
: C'mon! C'mon! Insurgent! Insurgent! We have contact! We have contact!
- Catholic School Girls Rule: Tracey often wears a schoolgirl outfit.
- Cats Are Mean: Cougars prowl the countryside, just like in Red Dead Redemption. If you're in a vehicle, they're pretty harmless, and will probably run from you. If you're on foot, however... just make sure you're armed before venturing into the wilderness.
- Central Theme: Several.
- Money: Word of God says that "pursuit of the almighty dollar" is the game's central theme, and wanted to capture the feel of a post-recession world and its obsession with debt and reclaiming wealth.
- Heists: After getting positive feedback on the heist mission in IV, Rockstar decided to make it a central part of the gameplay in this game.
- Intersecting plots: Fans really liked how the three Video game/Grand Theft Auto IV games told the same story, from three different POVs. So, the developers took that to the next logical step by putting all three POVs in one game.
- Where Are They Now: They were interested in exploring what happens to GTA characters after the game is over. Michael, Trevor, and Johnny all emphasize this.
- Loyalty: The source of inner turmoil for all the protagonists is traced back to this. Michael is torn up for turning on his friends nine years ago (despite futile attempts at justifying it). Trevor, for all his flaws, values it above all else and is angry at Michael for his previous betrayal. Franklin's loyalty to the hood is challenged by his friends due to simply wanting more out of life, and his own loyalty to it is diminishing in turn. And the Golden Ending is achieved when Franklin remains loyal to both Mike and Trevor, even if it means bringing down the wrath of the FIB and Merryweather upon him. In turn Trevor reaffirms his friendship with Michael, who decides to atone for his past treachery by helping them both.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Union Depository. It's where Franklin and Lamar finish their race in the first mission. Lester later names it as a possible heist he and Michael can undertake and it indeed becomes the site of the last heist in the game.
- Michael has a Chekhov's Catchphrase: "You forget thousands of things everyday... make sure this is one of them."
- Chromatic Arrangement: Each of the three protagonists has a signature color. Michael's is blue, Franklin's is green, and Trevor's is orange/red.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Regardless of the character's personality, you can use the random events to help dozens of people out of particularly hairy situations. These may include purse-snatchings, kidnappings, and even being buried alive. You can subvert this by keeping the money, turning over the hostages to cannibals, or just killing them all.
- Trevor, notably, is the only one who can do the worst of these actions.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Averted. Both the FBI and the CIA's stand-ins the FIB and the IAA and their agents waste tons of money and put America in danger to justify getting more funding and furthering their careers.
- Click Hello/Danger Takes a Backseat: While Franklin is repoing Jimmy's SUV, Michael, who had been hiding in the backseat to get away from the family, presses a gun to his head.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: One of Michael and Trevor's missions involves a controversial torture mission. You have the option of smashing the hostage with a wrench, pulling a tooth with pliers, electrocuting him, or water-boarding him with gasoline.
- Comically Small Bribe: When Trevor shows up at Franklin's house at the beginning of "Hood Safari," he breaks up the argument between Franklin and Denise by sweet-talking the latter and giving her some money to "get [herself] something nice." It's seven dollars. Denise is not amused.
- Conspicuous Consumption: The Z-type car costs a whopping 10 million dollars to buy and while its performance is good, its real purpose is to show how rich you are.
- Continuity Nod: Lester mentions "some Eastern European guy" who made waves in Liberty City's crime world, but also mentions that he has been quiet for years. If you hire Packie for the Paleto score, he'll talk about how he robbed the Bank of Liberty wth Niko, but theorizes that he's probably dead by now.
- Willie a former member of Love Fist, is one of the targets of a Strangers and Freaks mission for Trevor.
- Franklin and Lamar ponder what could have happened to the Grove Street Families after a botched drug deal with the Ballas.
- Contrived Coincidence: Trevor and Michael both moved to San Andreas sometime after the prologue, and are in fact less than ten miles apart in gameplay. It's less contrived in-story, however, where they live hours away from each other.
- Country Matters: The word "cunt" is used a number of times in the story (a notable example was when Trevor stomps Johnny to death, yelling the word four times in succession). Given the prominent use of certain other words in the game, it's not really that surprising.
- The Crime Job: The Jewel Store Job.
- Cult: There's a bunch in this game. Michael has a long and involved series of complicated missions where he gets inducted into the Epsilon Program (he's mostly following along just to see where it'll go), Trevor can deliver hitchhikers to the "Altruist" cult at the top of a secluded mountain, and Franklin can complete an online seminar for the unrelated "Children of the Mountain" cult in exchange for a special t-shirt being added to his wardrobe. The "Cult Watch" web page in the in-game internet also lists the ersatz Facebook "Lifeinvader" as a cult!
- Cutting the Knot: Michael draws the ire of a couple of drug dealers after he disrupts their yacht party to remove Tracey from it. The game then sets up for a extended Chase Scene, but it is actually a valid response to just have Michael straight up shoot and kill the drug dealers, but doing this scares the hell out of the Tracy who accuses her father (and by extension the player) of being a complete psycho.
- The entire Paleto Bay heist is this: Since the bank being hit is used to launder money for various drug cartels and the towns corrupt police force, they have a vested interest in defending the bank from would-be robbers. The banks security system is far more advanced than what a small-town bank would normally have. Should the alarm be triggered, even without signs of escalation such as "shots fired", the dirty cops will send a four-car response team with a 60 second reaction time. They also install roadblock checkpoints and tight patrols for even a false alarm. Avoiding the security system would be impossible, disabling it would cost more than the entire take, and slipping out before the police arrive and stealthily evading them is out of the question entirely. They instead opt to take the police head on, boosting bomb-suits, LMG's and a minigun, and mowing down everything the cops can throw at them.
- Damned by Faint Praise: You can tell that the priest delivering Michael's eulogy at his fake funeral in the prologue is really reaching for flattering things to say about him.
- Deadpan Snarker: All three protagonists are all equally snarky in different ways.
- Michael could easily rival Niko in the snark department as well. Even when he loses his temper, he still makes sarcastic comments while yelling. Trevor and Amanda call him out on it.
- Decon-Recon Switch: The game begins as a harsh deconstruction of the GTA lifestyle, and gives a more realistic interpretation of the main 3 GTA player archetypes- The Newbie in Franklin, the Veteran in Micheal and the Lunatic in Trevor. See directly below for more details. It ruthlessly tears apart all of these lifestyles, and shows just how empty and meaningless constant betrayal and manipulation is. Then, towards the end of the game, if you pick ending C then the trio reconcile their differences, realize that they're true friends, and then violently destroy all who oppose them. Played straight as a deconstruction if you pick endings A or B, though.
- Deconstructed Trope: Since this is social commentary, the protagonists here embody the typical GTA players' mindsets, with a far more realistic take on their characters as a whole.
- Michael is the traditional GTA protagonist who has already won, aka The Veteran. Having "beaten the game," so to speak, he's decided to get out, settle down and raise a family, but he finds "normal" life boring, so he finds excuses (like his wife's wasteful lifestyle) to go back to the one thing he knows how to do - free roaming, drive-by crime sprees.
- Johnny Klebitz serves a similar purpose, though he's something of a foil for Michael, as he too won "the game", but all it got him was meth addiction and a violent death.
- Trevor is a representation of people who ignore the game's storylines and play them for what they're most infamous for. He is the Lunatic through and through. Video Game Cruelty Potential is embodied by him more than anything else, and it's not a nice thing to see.
- Franklin appears to be the classic GTA protagonist wanting to better his lot in life, aka the Newbie. However, unlike past characters, he's trying to get out of the gang lifestyle, rather than delve deeper into it, though by going professional.
- Lamar represents the other side of the classic GTA Protagonist. He goes into situations guns-a-blazing, accepting "missions" from anyone in hopes of getting a payday and is constantly set up.
- Meanwhile, Jimmy parodies the real life of many GTA fans. (Though, his favorite game is "Not-Call-of-Duty". )
- Most of the game itself deconstructs the Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster trope. Unlike previous games, very few missions actually get you any money. Sometimes it's because you did something that isn't inherently profitable, sometimes it's a moneymaking venture that gets botched, sometimes you're blackmailed into doing others' dirty work, and sometimes your bosses just won't pay you because they know they can get away with it. The only way to produce any real cash is via heists... and not even all of those will pan out.
- Defenestrate and Berate: One random event available to all three characters involves a man being kicked out of the house by his wife for cheating, with his possessions, including his favorite golf club, being tossed out the window. He can be taken to the golf course, or, if you're playing as Trevor, the Altruist Cult.
- Depraved Bisexual: Trevor makes sexual advances on several men through the course of the story and has an obvious fetish for mature women.
- Destroy the Evidence: Several missions require you to use a specific vehicle then destroy it at the end.
- Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The prologue mission takes place during the holiday season (though not necessarily on Christmas itself), judging by the presence of a Christmas tree and decorations in the bank Trevor and Michael rob. No characters point this out. Considering that this was a bank robbery though, it seems much more justified.
- Diminishing Villain Threat: The Ballas are nowhere near as threatening as they were in San Andreas, with more focus put on the FIB and Merryweather as the main opposing factions.
- Dirty Cop: The local law enforcement in Blaine County extorts money from the pot farmers, whore houses, and meth labs in the area. One of the heists involves robbing the bank where the dirty money is stashed.
- Disc One Nuke: Most of the weapons that you acquire with the Special/Collector's Edition, from the Rockstar Social Club, or from the updates to the online mode. They will all be among your primary weapons in the early-mid game before you get access to the more powerful assault rifles.
- The Assault SMG is immediately free at Ammu-Nation from the start of the game to anyone who linked their PSN or Xbox Live account to their Rockstar Social Club account. Not only is the Assault SMG the best submachine gun in the game, all of the upgrades that come with it are free.
- Likewise with the Pistol .50 and the Bullpup Shotgun, which come with the Special and Collector's Editions.note Like the Assault SMG, both the guns themselves and all upgrades are available for free at the start of the game. The Pistol .50 is the best handgun in the game until you unlock the full-auto AP Pistol (before the introduction of the Heavy Pistol; see below), while the Bullpup Shotgun is by far the best in its class until you unlock the (again) full-auto Assault Shotgun.
- Updates to the online mode have brought the bottle, the SNS Pistol, the Gusenberg Sweeper, the Heavy Pistol, and the Special Carbine. While the bottle is, like other melee weapons, largely ineffective against armed enemies, and the SNS Pistolnote is almost a Joke Item, the Gusenberg Sweeper and Special Carbine are very powerful at close-to-medium range, while the Heavy Pistol is second only to the Pistol .50 in power and is tied with the AP Pistol for largest pistol magazine capacities (18 standard, 36 extended). While all of these weapons must be purchased in the online mode, they are all free in single-player (though, unlike the above, their upgrades are not).
- Disposable Pilot: The getaway driver in the prologue gets killed by the police, forcing Michael to take over. This can also happen during The Big Score if your driver's skill is not high enough. Either the pilot you have chosen to fly the second helicopter will crash in the obvious route, or the driver will crash and get arrested in the subtle route.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Trevor's rampage missions. They usually begin with armed assholes making fun of him and, due to his being Ax-Crazy, results in him murdering them and any backup that arrives.
- Michael's response to finding his wife in bed with her tennis coach is to destroy what he thinks is his house.
- Do Wrong, Right: Trevor has this reaction if you're playing as him during one of the thief-related Random Events.
"You call yourself a bank robber? You're a disgrace."
- Downer Ending: The outcomes of Endings A and B are considerably bleaker than Ending C. One of the protagonists dies, the relationship between the ones that survive completely shatters, the villains of the game get away with all their crimes, and it's only a matter of time before they come gunning for the main characters again. Even the post-game is depressing, because Franklin will be ostracized from his friends and the surviving character, and activities such as friend outings will be restricted.
- Even Ending C has a bit of this because Trevor undertakes a post-game mission involving his mother that is so depressing you almost regret not putting Trevor out of his misery.
- Combining with Distant Finale, this applies to The Lost and Damned; seeing the last of Johnny's chapter become nothing but trailer-trash meth-heads is bad enough before Johnny himself is killed by Trevor. Making this even worse is the fact that in the following mission, where Trevor bombs the gang's trailer park base, you can overhear a few bikers talking about how inferior of a leader they thought Johnny was compared to Billy Grey, not believing he was a rat.
- Also the end of "Did Someone Say Yoga?" Jimmy has drugged his dad and Amanda has moved out his family, leaving him alone. Fortunately for him it gets better by "Reuniting the Family".
- Down L.A. Drain: "The Jewel Store Job" has the player escape the cops through the sewers and onto the Los Santos River.
- Dragon Their Feet: Whilst numerous villains are seen up to the ending, Devin and the FIB end up turning against Michael and Trevor respectively, finally reaching "Dragon" status when they demand Franklin kill the respective protagonist.
- The Dreaded: The trio becomes this at the end of game if Ending C is chosen. After killing Devin, Donald, CEO of Merryweather, mails them, begging them to leave his company in peace in exchange for a standing order to stay away from the trio for the rest of their lives.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Alan McClean, a former U.S. Marine, right-wing fanaticnote and author of the Old-Testament-style parenting handbook "Hitting Kids Works Wonders". There's also a boot camp in the works, where undisciplined sons can be sent to receive ritualized abuse at the hands of him and their own fathers.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Endings A and B, wherein Franklin picks the contract on either Michael (for Devin) or Trevor (for the FIB); it either results in Michael falling to his death, or Trevor getting covered in gasoline and being set aflame.
- Drugs Are Bad: Meth, naturally, is shown to have destroyed the lives of every character it touches. This is quite vivid in the way Johnny, the protagonist of the Lost and the Damned, is depicted as having deteriorated from its use.
- Marijuana also gets this treatment, causing Michael and Trevor to hallucinate and turning Franklin into a self-loathing mess.
- That said, Michael's alien-attack hallucination and Trevor's similar clown attack, probably qualifies as a lampshading due to the situation being so ridiculous. It's also lampshaded by Franklin, being the only one of the three to actually smoke weed, not reacting at all to the drug (in fact, he comments on its lack of quality).
- Dude, Where's My Reward?: In contrast to all previous GTA games, a large percentage of the missions in GTA V end with the protagonists receiving no cash reward; this fact is noted several times during the game, with all three characters at one point expressing variations of the trope.
- In fact, in this game the only real way to make lots of money is to invest in the in-game stock market.
- Dynamic Entry: The counterpart to the Optional Stealth heists is usually this, wherein the characters simply barge in theatrically.
- Also appears in attack form too, as pressing attack after jumping makes the character ragdoll through the air, injuring both the player and anyone they land on.
- Dysfunctional Family: Michael's. His primary communication with Amanda consists chiefly of expletives, Tracey doesn't respect him, and Jimmy spends most of his time in his room smoking weed and playing video games, and later steals his dad's car and fools Michael into drugging himself.
Single-Player Tropes E - N
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The best ending is Option C, which requires surviving a difficult three-way firefight against Merryweather mercenaries and corrupt FIB agents. The three protagonists manage to tie up all loose ends, and while they aren't perfect, they're more or less settled that they're stuck with each other for other heists in the future. Deathwish is the most difficult of the three missions, but it's so worth it.
- Easter Egg: Playing past 100% Completion unlocks an entire subplot about FIB and government conspiracies about Flying Saucer cover-ups.
- There are some easter eggs related to Rooster Teeth. They have custom-made patches that resemble the Achievement Hunter logo and sometimes a small dock will spawn four boats colored red, white, black, and yellow (the colors associated with the four main characters of Monty Oum's RWBY web series).
- Unique to single player, if one drives clockwise around the Alamo Sea a man will spawn near a boat dock, tap dancing to a piece of music. This is actually an avatar of Jesco White, one of the in-game radio hosts.
- In the next-gen version of the game, they are Peyote plants scattered around the map that you can eat. Doing so makes you hallucinate into a random animal, which you can roam the map with, including the ability to attack pedestrians and gain a wanted level.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: The advanced rifle is a ridiculously good weapon that does not become available to purchase until the single player campaign is nearly over.
- The RPG likewise doesn't appear until rather late, unless the player takes part in an optional side mission where one becomes available.
- Empathic Radio: Much of the radio is keyed to play at specific times, and when driving character-specific cars. In most cases, they reflect the character's personalities. Franklin's radio station always stays in the same rap station he listened to. Michael's radio station starts with 80s Rock, but then moves to Newer and/or Standard Rock by the end. Trevor's radio station is the anti-government punk rock before switching to Rock Ballads and Love Rock when Patricia comes in that switches back to the anti-government punk rock by the Golden Ending with some lighter rock on the side. Special props to a specific song ("If You Leave Me Now" by Music/Chicago) that plays when returning Patricia Madrazo and multiple times after that.
- Establishing Character Moment: A few for each of the main characters.
- Michael gets his mask taken off by a zealous guard during the Ludendorff heist, and advises him to just walk away and forget what he saw. Michael is a criminal but a relatively pragmatic and merciful one, the kind of guy who (as he says later) may be no angel but, compared to his companions, may just as well look like one.
- This mercy goes right out the window when Michael's family gets involved, leading to smashed TV screens, houses turned to ruin, betrayal...
- Franklin's kind of a blank slate but contextualized by his friends and coworkers. We are introduced to him performing a repo job on a car, and Lamar takes this as free license to have a joyride with the repossessed vehicles. Frank's boss is a schmooze, and Lamar's attempts to branch out usually end up in shootouts and police chases. Franklin's master plan to "get out of this bullshit" is to "get serious", i.e. move up the organised crime ladder, rather than get caught up in the dead end of petty street gang rivalries. His rare conversations with his Amicable Ex, Tanisha, where he usually gets told off for disrespecting his old friends and living a life of crime, are pretty big ECM's.
- Trevor's introduction (In which he is found rutting with a fellow Meth user, in a filth-encrusted trailer) has him realise that Michael is still alive. This revelation tips him over the edge, causing him to brutally curb stompthe Meth head's biker boyfriend for daring to confront him. Without another second's hesitation, Trevor decides the most pragmatic thing to do is to completely wipe out his fellow bikers immediately before they can retaliate and, just for good measure, wipe out a local latino gang as well, giving him control of all the drugs and guns in the area. Trevor: Insane, remorseless and violent, but also intelligent enough to do speed chess gambits and come up with audacious solutions to his own nutsoid problems.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Every character can agree that, even though they're all conniving bastards that have killed and manipulated for selfish gain, at least they're not Trevor.
Michael: "There's gotta be a limit, kid. Y'know, a point where even assholes like us say, 'Enough is e-fuckin'-nough.' Human. Stew. That's my limit. I know that now."
- Even Trevor has some form of moral boundary, in particular when it comes to women. He falls in love with the abused wife of a Mexican crimelord — who reciprocates.
"You think it's clever to disrespect women?" Wade:
"Disrespect? What? I wasn't disrespectin'; I was just sayin' we should kill 'er.
"You called her a bitch
! Ain't you got a mother?!"
- He's also very protective of Michael's children. He immediately puts his plans for revenge against Michael on hold when he hears that Tracey De Santa is about to be humiliated on Fame or Shame. In addition, when Trevor Hangs Out with Jimmy De Santa, he won't (and can't) take him to bars or strip clubs, and flat out refuses if Jimmy suggests either option.
- During one mission, Trevor is ordered to kill a man he'd been torturing for information, after the victim gave up the intel. That's too much, even for Trevor, so he helps the man escape instead. This isn't even presented as an option for the player; Trevor just does this.
- Should Franklin choose to kill Michael, Trevor will be furious with him over his choice, not only because Franklin just killed his best friend, but also, and arguably more because Franklin betrayed Michael, who was considered a father figure to Franklin and arguably one of the only people who actually trusted him.
- In addition, one of the "Strangers and Freaks" he gets to know is Josh, a mediocre real estate broker who rewards Trevor's helpful efforts by letting him sleep with several women. The second one Trevor sleeps with is revealed afterwards by Josh to be his wife, after which Trevor spends the next few minutes debating himself over the moral repercussions of what he just did.
- Everyone Has Standards: The United States government is deeply corrupt when it isn't incompetent, but it doesn't recognize Epsilon as a proper religion and hence retracted its tax-exempt status.
- Evil Genius: Lester Crest, an incredibly talented hacker and planner who uses his skills to assassinate certain Corrupt Corporate Executives, manipulate the stock market, and come up with heists within a matter of days.
- Evil vs. Evil: At the end of the day, the protagonists really can't claim much in the way of moral superiority over the members of the Big Bad Ensemble, at least not nearly enough to make it a case of Grey and Black Morality.
- On one side you've got a trio of unrepentant criminals who kill and steal for their own benefit. On the other side you've got a corrupt, murdering government agent and a billionaire who commands a private army with a record of human rights abuses.
- Excuse Plot:
- The main storyline begins with a deconstruction. Once the Villain Protagonist duo has accomplished their initial goal of settling their debt to Madrazo — which happens very early in the plot — their only motivation for their continued crime spree is pure greed and self-interest...which also solves the problem of Gameplay and Story Segregation by demonstrating just who would casually run people over and steal cars without a shred of guilt.
- The Rampages parody the trope. The player must kill as many of a certain character group (gang members, soldiers, etc.) before the time runs out, but unlike with earlier games in the series where the Rampage just starts up, this time they're reframed as Trevor having a psychotic episode, going on killing sprees over very minor insults.
- In general, the game plays with the trope just about every possible way before the end, with subversions, lampshades, straight examples, etc. The characters' motivations vary widely depending on the mission, from the comically thin (e.g. the aforementioned Rampages) to ones that are not excuses at all (e.g. a corrupt government agent forces you to do his dirty work).
- Trevor's fury at Michael's betrayal often centres around the fate of their former crew-member, Brad...Except, if you achieve the Golden Ending and then have Michael, Trevor and Franklin hang out a few times, Trevor apologises to Michael for getting so angry about the whole thing, Michael and Trevor both admit that they thought Brad was a dick, and Trevor tells Franklin that he never really liked Brad and probably would have killed him eventually anyway. This renders a lot of the animosity between Trevor and Michael during the second half of the game pretty much moot.
- Trevor is a dead ringer for Jack Nicholson, with a slight resemblance and several of his mannerisms, and is similar to Jack Torrance. Taken further with a jacket exclusive to Trevor, which is the same jacket that Nicholson wore in The Shining. (Some of this may be unintentional, given that Trevor is an Ink-Suit Actor of the man who performs his voice.) A slight resemblance to Richard Nixon has also been noted.
- Michael is a middle-aged, white thug unable to escape his awful past, and even has the unique power of Bullet Time, all just like other Rockstar protagonist Max Payne. Of course, if you think it's a bit of a stretch, you could always give him the exact same shaved hair, beard, sunglasses, and Hawaiian shirt from Max Payne 3.
- He also looks and sounds almost exactly like Frank West.
- A middle-aged, chubby criminal visiting a shrink who lives in a lavish house with gold digger wife, fat lazy son and smart-yet-often-dull daughter who all hate him? Ever since the first trailer, Michael seemed awfully akin to Tony Soprano. Even his house layout is very similar.
- Lester has much in common with Kelso from Heat, both being physically disabled, but brilliant men who help other professional crooks plan heists.
- Jesse for Jesus Christ. He initially just looks and sounds like a long-haired, bearded stoner, but his lines are modern phrasings of Christ's life and parables from the Bible. Visually, he is identical to most modern depictions of Christ (except for his blue jeans and conspicuous crucifix).
- Peter Dreyfuss is an aging film director who is infamous for his drug use and his lust for young girls. He is likely based on Roman Polanski.
- Jay Norris, the CEO of LifeInvader, appears to be a cross between Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.
- Dr. Isiah Friedlander, Michael's therapist, seems to be one for Dr. Phil McGraw (except with the down-home folksiness replaced by Bob Ross's white-guy 'fro and aura of pleasant calm). His final session with Michael even has him confessing that he has an upcoming TV talk show and he plans to use his sessions with Michael as a selling point.
- The Epsilon Program is a thinly disguised parody of Scientology.
- Fake Longevity: The first time you play a mission, there's no way to know the requirements for the gold and silver completion medals, meaning that unless you happen to fulfill the requirements by luck on the first playthrough (or have a game guide handy), you're going to have to replay each mission at least once if you want to score gold on each one. Fortunately, achieving gold or silver on missions is not required for 100% completion.
- In the original build of the game, flying school is entirely optional. However in some updates of the game, Michael had to pass all of the lessons (Some of which are extremely difficult) with at least a Bronze medal to enable further storyline progression.
- Fan Disservice:
- During one of Trevor's missions from Floyd's apartment, Trevor demands that Floyd drop his pants. Floyd refuses and Trevor drops his, exposing his bare rear end. When he bends down to pick them back up, you can clearly see his genitals dangling between his legs.
- Lester in the hospital gown after the Merryweather Heist.
- Trevor's wardrobe can include various women's sundresses that only reach down to his upper thigh. Should the player equip him with said sundress and proceed to jump and roll around, they will discover that he's not wearing anything underneath, and that Jiggle Physics are in full effect.
- Failure Is the Only Option: In "Minor Turbulence", it's (unsurprisingly, really) impossible to complete the plan as conceived by Trevor. The cargo plane will be shot down, and you'll have to bail out without the loot. However, it's possible to retrieve what you wanted from the wreckage later, so it's not a complete waste.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Michael and Trevor start to patch things up in Ending C after they fight side-by-side against an overwhelming force of corrupt FIB agents and Merryweather mercenaries.
- Five-Bad Band: Trevor Philips Industries/Enterprises
- Flipping the Bird: The first time Michael goes to see Lester, Lester watches him through a security camera. Michael flips it off with both hands and says "Fuck you, Lester. You gonna let me in or what?" Well that's one way to greet a friend you haven't seen for nine years.
- If the player selects the Unarmed option while driving a vehicle, the fire button will make your protaganist flip off passing motorists and pedestrians.
- Fridge Brilliance: In-Universe. If you pick a driver with good "Vehicle Choice" skill on a particular heist which involves heavy collateral damage, he'll arrive in an ambulance. This initially confuses the crew, until they realize that an emergency vehicle can get in and out of the scene unnoticed and is fast and durable to boot. Michael compliments the driver on their choice.
- Flying Saucer: The game's signature Easter Egg. There are tons of them, with some of them hidden through very obscure clues, and only available if you acquire 100% Completion.
- There is a restaurant in Vinewood with a mock saucer stuck in its roof.
- A collection side-mission involving Franklin requires him to collect pieces of a UFO that exploded over the state (this is also referenced in a news report).
- After being drugged by his son, Michael experiences a hallucination in which he imagines being abducted by a flying saucer.
- An optional "strangers and freaks" encounter ends up with Michael, under the influence of potent marijuana, hallucinating an attack by aliens in a city park. However, Michael can actually be killed if the "hallucinatory" flying saucer actually sucks him up into the air.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Merryweather. A harmless-sounding organization that uses deadly force when screwed with.
- Foe Romance Subtext: The Chinese gangsters, witnessing Trevor and Michael's frequent arguing, assume they're actually a bickering gay couple.
- Foil: Tanisha to Franklin. Both of them want to get out of the hood life. However, Tanisha wants to get out because she's sick of the gangster lifestyle, while Franklin just wants to get out of the hood because he's the one pulling the weight out of all his fellow thugs. He wants a competent crew.
- Franklin's first mission has him and Lamar briefly driving through the Union Depository, which is the setting for the game's biggest and most climactic heist. Similarly, when Michael reunites with Lester at the beginning of the game to discuss locations for a new heist, Lester's first recommendation is the Union Depository, but Michael winces and says he had a much smaller job in mind.
- If you bother watching the TV you can watch Steve Haines' show long before he makes an appearance in the main story. Furthermore, if you call Dave Norton shortly after taking control of Michael for the first time, Dave will mention that he has a new supervisor - Steve.
- In the mission "Caida Libre", Trevor will say that he misses Blaine County (which he's tearing through on a dirtbike in hot pursuit of a crashing plane) and that he wants Michael to come visit him. Michael declines, but little does he know that at the end of the mission, Trevor will kidnap Patrica Madrazo, getting both him and Michael on Martin Madrazo's bad side and forcing them to lay low in... yep, you guessed it, Blaine County. In Trevor's trailer home, even.
- Going on Weasel News after destroying the deck of Martin Madrazo's house will have Weasel News briefly talking about two vigilantes calling themselves the "Civil Border Patrol" who crack down on illegal immigrants. They are among the Strangers and Freaks Trevor can meet.
- Forged Message: Trevor has been keeping contact with Bradley via email while the latter is in prison for their botched heist. It's later revealed that Bradley died in the shootout following the heist and the guy he's actually been emailing is FBI agent David.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Michael is melancholic with shades of choleric, Franklin is phlegmatic, Trevor is definitely choleric, and Lester is leukine.
- Freudian Trio
- Trevor: impulsive and hedonistic (Id)
- Michael: older and wiser (Superego)
- Franklin: balanced (Ego)
- Game-Breaking Bug: There's a glitch involving dying after finishing a Stunt Jump, Under the Bridge, or Knife Flight, but before it registers on-screen, that can make it impossible to replay missions and thus earn Gold rankings on the affected save file (you just get stuck in an infinite loop of trying to save the restart point, and cancelling it renders your character completely immobile until you reload). This is especially possible with the last of the three, so it you get credit for a Knife Flight without it appearing on the screen and you haven't gotten Gold on every mission yet, you're better off just reloading and trying it again... assuming you did a manual save beforehand.
- Gameplay and Story Integration:
- The heist mechanics are much more consistent and developed than in previous games. Every action you take during a heist and every decision you make prior to the heist (such as who to bring with you) has tangible consequences. Compare that to, say, the heist in Vice City, where the player must complete nearly a half a dozen missions to recruit the heist crew...only to see the majority of them do exactly jack squat once the heist proper begins.
- For better or worse, the game's payment mechanic is also a lot more consistent with the plot this time around. Whereas earlier games in the series would have the Player Character receive money at the end of virtually any mission, even when there was no in-universe justification for it (e.g., GTA 4's infamous "Snow Storm" mission), as described in Deconstructed Trope above, it is now entirely possible (and fairly likely!) for the player to receive no payment at all from completing a mission.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the "subtle" version of the Vangelico heist, the whole point of dressing the crew up like exterminators is to avoid drawing attention with the gas masks they wear. Then they hop out of the van openly carrying assault rifles.
- In-game, two real minutes equate to one GTA hour. This leads to some discrepancies. For example, story-wise, Trevor and Michael live hours away from each other in different parts of the state and several times it is implied that Michael has never visited Blaine County and Trevor has rarely if ever visited Los Santos. Gameplay-wise, they live mere minutes drive away from each other, and by the time they meet up in the story, the player will have likely used both characters to thoroughly explore the game map.
- This leads to the odd situation when casing the Bank in Paleto Bay, where the cops take at least one real-life minute to arrive when the alarm goes off, which Lester states is too tight a window to make a clean getaway. Just to be clear, if the game followed its own time structure, that would give Michael and co. roughly half an hour to escape.
- Gameplay Grading: Much like TBOGT, the player's performance is evaluated at the end of each mission, medals are awarded to the player, based on how well they did during each mission (bronze, silver and gold).
- Genius Cripple: Due to a wasting disease, Lester requires a wheelchair or a cane just to get around. It doesn't affect his intelligence, however.
- Glory Days: The recurring theme is meta-textually about the series itself as much as it is about the characters. Michael especially is longing for the glory days since retired life is suiting him terribly, and this theme extends to the other in-game media too, like the internet. There's a web page about nostalgia for old movies (even admitting how terribly racist and misogynistic they are, they're still just better) and Jack Howitzer, the kooky actor who can't tell reality from fantasy, has a reality show built around how much time he spends wandering around howling about how the eighties can't end until he's ready to let them go. The logo for Jack's show even mimics the logo for The Expendables. Ouch!
- And let's not even start on Lazlow's issues.
- Golden Ending: As mentioned elsewhere, if you choose ending "C: Death Wish", not only does Michael, Franklin and Trevor finally mend their broken friendship, but also help each other take out their enemies — Steve, Cheng, Stretch and Devin. The player also retains access to all recreational activities, friendship outings and non-storyline side missions that may otherwise be denied with the other two endings.
- Gory Discretion Shot: When Trevor stomps Johnny Klebitz to death, we don't actually see his foot connectï¿½but the sound effects and the shot of Johnny's busted head afterwards don't leave much to the imagination.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Trevor has a stated preference for the older ladies, most particularly the gangster's wife.
- Grey and Black Morality: Michael's family life in a nutshell. They criticize him for being a distant husband and father, a womanizer, a drunk, a murderer and a thief, whose reckless actions will inevitably get himself and all of them killed. But Amanda is no better of a mother to the children than Michael is a father, and neither Jimmy or Tracey are remotely receptive to Michael's attempts to bond with them. Amanda cheats at least as much as Michael does, mostly with people Michael is paying to spend time with her, and Tracey's an amateur porn star. Jimmy, the only one who isn't promiscuous, is not due to lack of trying, and is a chronic masturbater. All three of them drink at least as heavily as he does, and on top of that, they indulge in other addictions; Jimmy and Tracy both smoke weed, and Tracy and Amanda both abuse prescription drugs. Jimmy and Tracy also both engage in reckless behavior that nearly gets them killed over the course of the game, and both Jimmy and Amanda engage in theft. The only — only — aspect in which his family holds the moral high ground over Michael is that he is, indeed, a murderer, but as he's quick to point out, none of them complain about the money his criminal activities earn him. note
- This extends to the antagonists as well. Neither of the three protagonists (especially Trevor) qualify as saints, but compared to the people they are often up against, Haines and Devin in particular, they might as well be.
- Guide Dang It:
- There is no hint of how to increase Chop's happiness meter in-game, or even mention of there not being a way. Just a vague mention of a smartphone or tablet app.
- The stock market's fluctuations are arcane. You can get tips from the news on the radio and the internet to help you out with what's probably going to rise, but it's a little confusing to track the rates at which stocks rise and fall.
- Don't have access to the internet or forgot to invest in BAWSAQ stocks before doing Lester's missions? Better yet, do invest in the stock market, but do the missions too early, when you don't have a lot of cash to invest? Good luck scraping together the $150 mil you need to buy the golf course.
- Finding all 50 scraps of paper to figure out Leonora Johnson's murderer, as well as finding all 50 spaceship parts for Franklin's Omega side mission, among other collection missions.note
- If you don't research various online walkthroughs and play guides, there's no way to otherwise discover that Chop can be used to help locate most of the on-land collectables.
- The Epsilon missions. Starting them requires you to visit a specific website as Michael (which is given no prompt and isn't always listed on the main page). One mission in particular requires you to steal five extremely rare vehicles, which can be very time-consuming if you don't know where they spawn. And the missions can be buggy; if the player does certain things, then the entire chain of missions could end up Unwinnable by Mistake.
- Most of the Random encounters have fairly trivial rewards such as a small amount of money or a a new suit. However, there are a few random events such as helping out Heist members that are very cost effective consistently or helping out a businessman who gives you a stock trading tip off. These can be extremely lucrative when used correctly, but good luck finding them when their location is never pointed out and they're not guaranteed to spawn there when you pass by.
- And, while some random events respawn occasionally, some are believed to only be offered once, and if you kill the wrong person, or simply miss the mission, that's it. ( The GTA V forums are filled with debates over whether the encounter that introduces GTA IV character Packie McReary to the game is a one-time event or not; some players report that it respawns, while others have reported playing the game for weeks on end without it triggering again - or even for the first time.)
- The requirements for scoring gold on each mission are also this when you first play them - the game doesn't show you said requirements until after you finish the mission. At least you can just go back and do them again. This is fixed in the Next Gen version.
- Ha Ha Ha No: If you kill Trevor during a friend activity or otherwise outside a mission, he sends you a text:
Trevor: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! pay my hospital charges.
- Handshake Substitute: Michael and Franklin always exchange fist bumps whenever they greet or depart.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: After killing a seemingly endless barrage of Triads during his return to North Yankton, Michael still ends up getting kidnapped.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Michael and Trevor, in a Like an Old Married Couple kind of way. Lamar teases Trevor about sounding like an jilted ex-girlfriend, and later the Triads kidnap Michael because they think he is Trevor's boyfriend.
- Trevor sometimes plays with this. If you switch into him at one point you might even encounter in snuggling up with a male friend in a bed! (But only because he's playing with the guy's mind.)
- Honest John's Dealership: The car dealership Franklin works for, whose owner is a sleazy Armenian guy who pressures yuppies into buying expensive cars clearly beyond their purchasing power, then sends Franklin to take them back when the payments stop coming in. His favorite method of disarming marks by guilt trip is accusing everyone that they're racist against him (he even tries this once while being beaten up) and he's a bit of a huckster to his own employees, too, showering them with faint praise and insincere motivational speeches.
- Hotter and Sexier: During private dances, strippers are completely topless, unlike in previous games, where they'd wear pasties. It's also possible to seduce the strippers and take them home, in stark contrast to Grand Theft Auto IV, where Niko would comment on how pathetic and frustrated he was for visiting strip clubs in the first place.
- Prostitute interactions are particularly more explicit than earlier games (particularly in the dialogue).
- Thanks to improvements in graphic and character design, there are a lot more physically attractive male and female non-player characters (especially near the beach) than in previous games. Sapphire, a particularly attractively designed stripper (and optional "booty call") by 2014 was on the verge of becoming a meme with a number of videos in her honor appearing on YouTube.
- I Have a Family: If you're playing as Franklin and you hang out with Trevor after Ending C, Trevor gives this as the reason he could never go through with killing Michael.
- I Have This Friend: Michael tries to discuss the intense psychopathy of Trevor with Dr. Friedlander by introducing him as a hypothetical associate, "Tony", before he's reminded that he already mentioned Trevor in-depth in a previous session.
- I'm a Humanitarian
- Trevor is implied to indulge in this from time to time. A stew he offers Michael has an eyelid floating in it. He does throw up violently after eating it, so it was probably down to another of his drug/alcohol/rage induced episodes more than them actually enjoying it. Sometimes, when switching to Trevor, he wake up saying that he needs to find a hiker to eat.
- The Altruist Cult is this by its beliefs, preferring to eat people born after the Baby Boomer Generation. They abduct Trevor after he delivers another person to eat for the fourth time and attempt to sacrifice and eat him.
- Immune to Drugs: Trevor. While every other Methamphetamine user in the entire game is ruined, mentally and physically by their addiction to the substance, Trevor seems to positively thrive on the stuff.
- Played for laughs when Franklin encounters Barry: While Trevor and Michael are sent into horrific, drug-induced hallucinations after smoking some of Barry's weed, Franklin doesn't even get a mild buzz and actually chastises Barry for wasting his time.
- Infinity–1 Sword: The Taser. Available about halfway through the plot, it's a cheap, infinite-ammo pistol that can One-Hit Kill anyone with a hit anywhere.note The only reasons it isn't the best weapon available are due to its very limited range and recharge requirement. The decidedly less subtle minigun and Assault Shotgun may also qualify, as they also become available midway through the story and can tear through vast numbers of mooks easily.
- Vehicle-wise, the Rhino tank is this to the Lazer fighter jet - it's never called for during the story, but instead of having to steal it, it can be purchased online for 3 million dollars, easily doable with the payout from the final heist, or you could scrap together the cash the hard way through grinding the stock market and properties and have the cash before finishing the story.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Lazer fighter jet. Never flown by the protagonists during the story, it requires an attack on the local Air Force base to obtain.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Several characters are modeled closely after their voice actor. It is especially prominent with the player characters◊, due to the fact the actors performed most of the motion capture themselves. This is particularly noticeable when characters from Grand Theft Auto IV appear, as ink suit actors were not employed, and as such the characters look less realistic when seen side by side with the GTA V characters.
- Ironic Echo: Ending A: "You always liked gasoline, Trevor!"
- When Michael is trying to defend his choice of betraying Brad and Trevor back in the day, he describes the situation as being like "running... and then your legs, they just give and you can't run anymore." Franklin uses the same metaphor after killing Michael in Ending B.
- Ironic Echo Cut: Used in the TV spot:
: We're all professionals, we all know the score. We're gonna move quick, and we're gonna keep cool. (Cut to Trevor prying a briefcase from Michael's hands.) Trevor
score, get your own!
- Instant Death Bullet: Averted; as in real life, you can still be killed even by severely wounded enemies, who will often sit up and squeeze off several more shots before finally expiring.
- Played completely straight with any headshot, however. INCLUDING those inflicted on the player characters, regardless of armor. This includes being launched from a car and hitting your head hard enough, or nose diving off a sufficiently high building.
- Interservice Rivalry: Probably one of the most irresponsible in history is played out between the IAA and the FIB.
- Just Plane Wrong: In "Minor Turbulence," Trevor is somehow able to take his cropduster to the same height as a cargo jet. Real-life cropdusters don't have the performance to reach the heights typically flown by jets. Oh, and he somehow manages to stay conscious when in real life he would pass out from hypoxia due to the open cockpit exposing him to the stratosphere.
- In "Caida Libre," when Javier Madrazo's private jet is going down, the pilot says he is ditching. In real life, the term "ditching" is used for emergency landings in water, yet Javier's jet touches down on land.
- Karmic Jackpot: One of the random encounters involves someone having their bike stolen from them. You can leave it, get the bike and take it for yourself, or give the bike back. Initially, this doesn't yield a reward... Until you receive an e-mail from the victim, who was the owner of a major corporation, and has only repaid that character with $100,000 in that company's stock.
- Kick the Dog
- Once again players have free reign, which can include unprovoked assaults on civilians. Additionally, this notably extends to animals, as players can harm or even kill animals, including Chop the dog. Unsurprisingly, PETA had a problem with that.
- In a non-player example, we have Jimmy. He ends up drugging his own father in order to mug and carjack him, all because he wants to elope with his cheating mother and asshole sister.
- Trevor's Establishing Character Moment is a Kick the Dog moment, when he stomps Johnny Klebitz to death.
- Killed Off for Real: Either Michael or Trevor in endings A & B respectively, causing them to become unplayable save for replaying old missions or starting entirely over.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "I barely exist outside this store," says the Ammu-Nation guy.
- Michael tells his psychiatrist, "One minute I'm one person, and the next I'm another person."
- When Michael is leading against his son in the bike rice (mash a button to move faster), he will sometimes say "you're not Button Mashing now" in regard to his gaming habits.
- Once Wade takes up permanent residence in Vanilla Unicorn, one of his lines of random dialogue is "They only play like, six songs in here. It's kinda making me crazy."
- Level Grinding: Whilst each character is balanced for different skills, it's possible to grind challenges to decrease their shortcomings (such as using the shooting range to increase accuracy or the flight school for flight control).
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the Darker and Edgier path that followed the company in Vice City Stories and the IV saga, this sequel has been designed with a conscious push for less cynicism.note
- The game might be seen as a Reconstruction of Lighter and Softer. While the protagonists are among the least sympathetic in GTA history (Trevor especially is one of the darkest characters Rockstar has produced), GTAV brings back a sense of fun, wackiness, and hijinks that was missing from GTAIV, such as over the top heists, earning your happy-ish gangster ending, and goofy Easter eggs such aliens, and Bigfoot.
- Like a Son to Me: Michael and Franklin have this sort of relationship. Michael sees Franklin as the son he always wanted, respectful, dedicated and eager to prove himself. Rather than the lazy, whiny, Never My Fault son he has.
- Franklin in turn treats Michael as a sort of father figure in the absence of the one he never knew. Admiring the man's skills and willing to prove himself to the man who will help him get ahead in life.
- Limited Wardrobe: While this has been averted for player characters in most of the games since Vice City, this game marks the first aversion of this trope to NPCs in the series. The same characters are often seen with different outfits on, both in artwork and trailers. It's also inverted for the player characters, too; switch to one after not seeing them for a while, and they might have changed outfits on their own time.
- Long List: A caller on Blaine County Community Radio lists all the objects that he's storing in his ass. It sounds plausible at first, but he just keeps going.
- Low Clearance: Some overpasses have signs displaying the clearance height, with an obvious dent in them where tall vehicles have hit them.
- Ludicrous Gibs
- Molly Schulz, Devin Weston's lawyer, dies from being sucked into a plane engine and leaves a massive splatter on the floor as a result.
- One of the Triads can be sent into the meat grinder in the slaughterhouse when Franklin is rescuing Michael.
- Lumber Mill Mayhem: Late in the story the Ballas kidnap Lamar at a lumber mill out in a rural area of the map and Franklin, Michael and Trevor have to save him by storming the place and getting into a massive firefight with them.
- Made of Iron: Taken to absurd levels with Trevor's special ability. With it, he can survive attacks that would normally kill the protagonist in one hit ranging from mauls by mountain lions to multiple head on explosions that send him flying away.
- Magikarp Power: Of the unlock-able heist crew members you unlock, Rickie has cruddy hacking stats gives you barely enough of a window to complete the job if you take him on the Vangelico Heist. However, his cut starts and stays low and he'll get better with each heist, meaning you can have a rather decent hacker by the later jobs who works for peanuts.
- Male Frontal Nudity: To an extent with Trevor. Whilst you only get explicit shots of his butt, one mission has him creeping out Floyd by removing his pants; the shot remains behind him, but when Trevor squats to lower and raise his pants, you get a glimpse of his genitals through his legs.
- There is a hippie commune in the Chiliad mountains. If you walk around the fort wall you can get in. If you go to a ledge on the far end of the camp you find a completely naked older man. Yes you see it all. And it is indeed as creepy and funny as it sounds.
- One random encounter in Blaine County has you finding two men committing incest inside their RV. They both don't wear pants.
- Marijuana Is LSD: there is a "Freaks" mission that Michael can take on where he comes across a man trying to get marijuana legalized in San Andreas, and keeps insisting Michael, a man who typically only smokes cigars, to try his "home grown" joint. Upon reluctantly doing so, Michael suddenly goes into a bad trip where he is shooting aliens with a minigun (which is fully playable). After the trip ends Michael tells the marijuana guy to screw off and says he'll never try a joint ever again. The same thing happens to Trevor as well, only with clowns instead of aliens. Franklin however is unaffected since he's already a habitual pot smoker; in fact he somewhat justifies the trope by indicating that the weed is poor, suggesting its impact on Michael and Trevor is due to it being doctored in some way.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Played straight with the Golden Retriever in Franklin's side missions. Franklin finds the dog barking at him for help, and while it starts as a funny Lassie parody, it starts getting creepy when Franklin understands complete sentences speculating about human morality and civic duty from the Dog's barking. When Franklin asks the man the dog led him to about the dog, they say there wasn't any dog that found them at all. Later on in Mary-Ann's triathalon mission the same Golden Retriever appears for a brief moment before its owner asks Franklin where it ran off to. Whether it was a hallucination or some supernatural being is left up in the air.
- Played with in the case of Bigfoot. When you complete "The Last One" mission, you find that the sasquatch you've been hunting is just a guy in a costume. However, in the "Predator" story mission, you can briefly see Bigfoot through thermal vision for a few seconds before it vanishes out of sight. Was that Bigfoot the same nut in the costume? A trick of the eyes? Or did you just catch a glimpse of the genuine article?
- Mexican Standoff: Up to Eleven. The confrontation at the Kortz Center is insane. You have Michael and Dave, Steve and Andreas, the FIB, the IAA, Merryweather Mercs, a friggin gunship, and eventually Trevor all pointing guns at each other. Allegiances also change on a whim, with Andreas turning on Steve, and Trevor barely managing to hold back the urge to shoot Dave.
- Mistaken for Gay: Michael and Trevor by Lazlow, and later some Chinese gangsters.
- Trevor's own mother seemed to perceive her son as being homosexual, if "Mrs. Philips" is anything to go by (she hoped for such a thing, in fact, believing it would make him more devoted to her). One walkthrough lampshades this by having Trevor enter the trailer wearing nothing but a filthy sundress.
- As a result of Franklin being seen suddenly hanging out with Michael, a wealthy older Caucasian man, there's a rumor going around his neighborhood that Franklin's become a "rent boy" to make ends meet.
- Mole in Charge: The post mission news article for The Bureau Raid, regardless of which path you take, reveals that Steve Haines was put in charge of investigating the break in, while he was the one who ordered it in the first place to erase evidence of his corruption.
- Money for Nothing: Inverted to a degree. In contrast to previous GTA games, the majority of storyline missions pay no cash reward ( this is brought up as a plot point numerous time, including during a mission strand that requires the trio to steal a number of vehicles for a millionaire). Although one can make do with the money received from missions and from optional side missions, if one wants to purchase the larger properties and expensive vehicles (before the game ends), it's necessary to make money through other methods, primarily the stock market.
- Monkey Morality Pose: The three main characters assume this pose, with Michael being "hear no evil", Trevor being "see no evil", and Franklin being "speak no evil", in response to being told that the government in the GTA world is (gasp!) corrupt!
- Monster Clown: Encountered by Trevor in one of the side-missions during a Mushroom Samba.
- Mood Whiplash: Depending on how the player has been completing missions, it's possible to, immediately after the torture sequence in "By the Book", play a mission that features Michael doing Wii Fit-esque yoga poses on the patio with Amanda and her trainer, while tranquil Eastern music plays in the background. Or going on a booty call. Or doing any number of relaxing activities. Jarring, yes, but sometimes one needs a little break from all that violence.
- The scene where Michael is drugged by his son and hallucinates that he's flying has its humor dampened somewhat with previously-heard clips of Michael's family yelling at and disparaging him constantly playing in the background.
- Mook Horror Show: The slaughterhouse level, as multiple mooks happen to fall into blades and grinders. One guy even buys it by falling into a vat of acid.
- Morton's Fork: Whilst heists tend to give the option of either a stealthy approach or a direct approach, they almost always result in a loud, lengthy chase sequence at the end. The FIB HQ mission is this in trumps, as both sneaking and using disguises result in you getting found out and chased for most of the mission.
- Mrs. Robinson: Mrs. De Santa.
- Ms. Fanservice: The strippers and hookers encountered in the game are more realistic (and anatomically correct) than similar characters in past GTA games. Some of them are even given names and personalities this time around. In addition, there are many attractive non-player characters roaming the map wearing bikinis, etc.
- Amanda, especially during the tennis matches.
- If you don't mind the squick factor, Michael's daughter from time to time, though just don't let Trevor or Michael hear you say that.
- Mugging the Monster: Aside from a handful of times it happens in the actual story, several random events involve the trio getting mugged and dealing with it accordingly.
- Multiple Endings: Three endings are available, depending on what choice Franklin makes from the options that Devin has proposed:
- A: Killing Trevor. Frank calls Trevor, but as with Michael, ends up chasing him. Michael agrees to put down Trevor for good, and they chase him down to an oil field, with Michael crashing Trevor into a gas tank, covering him in gasoline. Franklin puts him down, but the shot causes Trevor to catch on fire and burn to death.
- B: Killing Michael. Franklin calls Michael to meet up with him, culminating in a chase. The chase ends with them both on a high platform with Michael hanging from Franklin's hand. The player can choose to save him or drop him. Either way Michael falls to his death. The mission ends with Frank quoting Mike from a previous mission.
- C: Death Wish, in which Franklin gets the gang together and ties up each of their own loose ends, including Devin.
- Mundane Utility: Michael's Bullet Time ability can also be used to close pop-up windows much faster in one mission.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Despite being noticeably buffer, Franklin has a lower starting Strength stat than Trevor, who has muscle but not as much as Franklin.
- Mushroom Samba: Michael and Trevor have particularly hilarious ones after smoking a marijuana legalization activist's homegrown sample. Franklin, being a regular smoker, isn't affected at all — he even calls it "weak".
- Michael has a much more involved and even more trippy experience after getting tricked into drinking a drink spiked with ketamine.
- Mythology Gag:
- Franklin's neighborhood gangs, the Chamberlain Hill, Forum Drive, and Crystal Heights Families wear green, and are the 'HD Era' successor to San Andreas Grove Street Families.
- Remember Jock Cranley, professional Vinewood stuntman and star of the hit 1980s TV series Stuntman, who did an anti-drug PSA in Vice City Stories? Well, he's back, and he's running for governor of San Andreas.
- Moorehead Rides Again!, the 1940s private eye radio drama from Vice City Stories, returns as a TV cartoon in the style of the late '50s/early '60s.
- One of Franklin's missions has him involved in a shootout with the Ballas on Grove Street. Speaking of Grove Street, it's under control by the Ballas in this continuity.
- Ballas gangsters can be heard talking about talking about "OG Johnson".
- During Franklin and Michael's first mission together, Franklin comments that he thought they could "hang out, throw some darts, have drinks...", both activities featured in GTAIV's notoriously unpopular friendship missions.
- In the "C" ending, a car is pushed off a cliff, landing upside down, directly on its roof. After a few seconds, the car explodes. This is a reference to the PS2-era games, where cars would explode upon being upside down for several seconds.
- This time, Sasquatch is in the game. And so is a Samara rip-off, among other supernatural occurrences.
- If you call Tracey after she, Jimmy, and Amanda temporarily move out, in her voice message she refers to herself as "Tracey Suxxx".
- Franklin owns a Shepard Fairey-style poster of Madd Dogg.
- Just about every major media figure in past games has a star on the Vinewood Walk of Fame. Notably, this has done nothing to ease the rampant theories that the "HD Era" games are simply an Alternate Continuity of the "3D Era" games.
- A car based on the Bugatti Type 57-C is called the Z-Type.
- In a covert reference to Vice City, Trevor gives an absolutely bizarre giggle when looking over their uniforms for the armored truck heist.
- The opening scene in "Mr. Phillips" has Trevor stomping on Johnny Klebitz's head in a way very similar to the stomp attack in Grand Theft Auto III and the rest of that GTA era.
- There's an area in the city named El Burro Heights.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: Solomon Richards references this during his first meeting with Michael. He has his own saying: Never work with actors or directors.
- Next Sunday A.D.: Going by calendars found in several missions, the game takes place over the course of several months, starting in August (a month before the game's release date) and ending in November of 2013.
- Nice to the Waiter: You can make Michael greet his maid and gardener when they are around.
- No Dead Body Poops: Averted
- Nervous Ron mentions seeing a man (whom Trevor presumably killed moments earlier) void his bowels. Trevor comments that it happens to everyone.
- If you kill a driver as Michael and then jack the car, sometimes he'll say "I hope you didn't shit yourself!"
- Nobody Poops: Averted
- If you get the setup call for the mission "By the Book" as Michael and either drive to its starting point as him or switch to Trevor, it opens with Trevor squatting behind a dumpster and taking a rather noisy shit. And during Michael's time in Blaine County, it's not uncommon for Mike to walk into Trevor's trailer and see him on the toilet.
- If Chop isn't trained with the iFruit app, he can occasionally be found near his doghouse with a large pile of feces.
- The in-game TV Show "Republican Space Rangers" has an episode that ends with one of the Rangers taking a rather huge shit on a small replica of the U.S. Capital.
- On Jimmy's LifeInvader wall, in one post he boasts "Biggest shit ever dude! Almost broke the bowl!"
- No Fourth Wall: Simon Richard's movie, Meltdown.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In "Eye In The Sky," if you decide to spare Chad Mulligan while stealing his car, he calls the cops, giving the player a two-star wanted level.
- Not Enough to Bury
- Devin's legal secretary, Molly, by means of Turbine Blender. All that's left is a hand and scraps of flesh.
- Defied by Chef when he recounts his first hit with Trevor. They managed to bury what's left of the gold salesman they robbed after hacking him apart.
Single-Player Tropes O - Z
- Oddly Small Organization:
- Franklin's green-wearing CGF gang is scattered and leaderless. It's so broken-up that Lamar says that they ought to start their own gang (consisting of two guys named after Forum Street).
- "Trevor Philips Industries"note consists of Trevor, Ron, Wade, Chef, and whoever else he can bully into working with him at the moment. Yet he expects to fully take over all the drug and gun running in Blaine County. It's no wonder that his main competition, The Lost MC and the Aztecas, can't take him seriously at all (until after he's killed them all personally).
- Oedipus Complex: Trevor. Just don't call him a "motherfucker."
Trevor: [Enraged] It's not legally "fucking" if you do not penetrate!
- Off Screen Villainy: Aside from their aggressive use of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, we never really see any evidence to support Steve Haines' claims about the IAA's villainy.
- Oh, Crap: The reaction from the Blaine County Sheriff when Michael, Trevor, and their accomplice walk out of the bank wearing bomb suits and carrying Heavy Machine Guns (in Trevor's case, a minigun) is just priceless.
"Sweet... mother of... shit!"
- Opponent Switch: A unique case in that it's not a single fight, but the entire climax is resolved this way. To boost their chances, the trio decide to each go after the antagonist they least personally know, which Michael going after Stretch and the Ballas for Franklin, Franklin going after Wei Cheng and the Triad for Trevor, and Trevor going after both Steve Haines and Devin Weston for Michael.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: Like other Grand Theft Auto games, the player can pick up prostitutes and have sex with them. Additionally, being successful during the lap dance minigame at the strip club often results in the stripper inviting the player over to her house for a booty call. As a bonus, having sex with a prostitute not only replenishes your health, it also improves your character's stamina stat.
- Optional Stealth: Sneaking around and giving guys a "Hey, You!" Haymaker is a part of many missions now. This even extends to heists, which come with the options of this or going in loud.
- The game allows this most of the way through save for one heist, which always ends up loud. The FIB raid ends with you trapped inside a skyscraper and fleeing into the streets — regardless of your approach choice, the only differences (save for the outfits) mean either a "survive for 2 minutes" objective or getting separated from the group.
- Ordered Apology: One of Michael's missions has him helping out a producer he's a fan of rough up his current director and lead actor over a contract dispute. Just for fun, Michael forces the director to apologize for being difficult.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Would you believe a wild-eyed psychopath with meth-induced facial scabs and a neck tattoo reading "CUT HERE" would be working as a highway patrolman, or a security guard? Lampshaded in the "subtle" version of the UD robbery, where the bank manager takes a very long time staring at Trevor's fake ID badge before finally waving him through.
- Parking Problems: Many of the tow truck missions involve towing vehicles misusing handicapped spaces. In one of them, the driver gets out and pretends to walk like a crippled person.
- The lead up to the "Obvious" method of the Big Score requires you to find a getaway vehicle and park it in a certain parking garage. The marker for the spot is over a handicapped parking space. Given the position of the marker relative to how you enter the garage, it's likely you'll end up parking the vehicle across two handicapped spaces.
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Trevor and Michael go through this in the game's final act when Trevor discovers that Brad has been dead all along and that it's his body in Michael's grave. Trevor is enraged at the revelation and he and Michael come close to killing each other over it a couple of times. If option C is chosen at the end of the game the two men will reconcile.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: During the shootout at the Ludendorff cemetery, the Chinese gangsters (who have mistaken Michael for Trevor's gay lover) keep shouting that they know he is "weak and feminine."
- Poor Communication Kills: A literal case in "Legal Troubles". Devin Weston wants to sell Solomon's studio and shut down his film so he can build condos, Molly takes the physical copy of the film and Michael chases after her since it's the only copy. Or so he thinks. After Michael chases Molly into an airport hangar and she gets sucked into a turbine engine, Michael takes the film back and gets a call from Solomon, who only now informs him that he has digital backup copies of the film. The story tries to Hand Wave it as Solomon just assuming Michael knew there were multiple copies, even though the way Michael had just stormed out of Solomon's office to hunt down Molly should have made it pretty obvious that he didn't know. Solomon could have saved Michael a lot of trouble by clarifying that and sparing him the guilt of indirectly causing Molly's death.
- Post-Mortem One-Liner: Should Franklin decide to kill Dreyfuss, he mutters, "Say hello to Leonora, motherfucker."
- Potty Failure: The opening sequence of Impotent Rage ends with the title character grabbing an old lady who's squirming desperately until she shits all over the screen.
- The Power of Friendship: Ending C. Despite the great risk to his life, Franklin decides to save his mentors, Michael and Trevor, with some backup from Lamar. Trevor reaffirms his friendship with Michael, who in turn makes up for betraying him and Brad nine years ago by helping him fend off the FIB and Merryweather, before the trio split up to take out their antagonists. This reaches its logical conclusion when the three of them together push Devin Weston's car off the cliffside of Paleto Cove, with him in the trunk.
- Power Trio: The three protagonists.
- Prison Rape: Implied when Trevor sends a somewhat effeminate fraudster o jail.
- "Oh. When in Rome... You'll get it."
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Pretty much a hallmark of the GTA series. It is also possible for the player to lampshade this based on making optional choices. For example, it is possible for Michael to have sex with one or more strippers or a hooker (certain strippers can even be recruited for "booty call" availability), and then immediately proceed into the mission in which his Berserk Button is pushed when he discovers his wife has been sleeping with the tennis coach, causing him to commit actions that push the plotline into full gear. note
- Pulling The Thread: See Wham Line below.
- Punny Name: The town the Cold Open takes place in is called Ludendorff. Most probably named after this guy, a German WW1 General and a supporter of Hitler.
- Since North Yankton (the state it's in) is based on North Dakota, that would make it the equivalent of Bismarck.
- The Los Santos soccer team is called The Benders; "bender" is British slang for homosexuals, equivalent to "faggot" in America.
- In one that was likely intentional in-universe, one of the purchasable properties is a gay bar called Pitchers. This refers both to the pitchers drinks are served in, and slang for a gay male who penetrates instead of being penetrated (the catcher, as it were).
- The in-game equivalent of NASDAQ is called BAWSAQ, which is derived from the Scottish slang word "bawsack", meaning ballbag or testicles in general. Rockstar North are, of course, based in Edinburgh.
- How about the female athlete's brand of exercise wear, Pro Laps? It's a pun for a medical condition.
- Random Event: Returning to a character after a long period increases the chances there'll be something happening. Also, don't expect an explanation as to how they got there beyond a few clues and a comment. For example, it's entirely possible to find Trevor either: A) demanding a body-builder prove he doesn't stuff his leotard crotch; or B) drunken and falling asleep on a rooftop without a ladder.
- Or Trevor waking up on a beach, with a bunch of dead bodies, in his underwear and hung over.
- Or Trevor in the middle of a high-speed chase with a two-star wanted level, screaming, "It was self-defense!"
- Or Trevor chasing after a man in a burning car while apologizing for trying to show him "His thingy".
- That said, a lot of the in progress random events for characters other than Trevor are more slice-of-life events: Franklin playing fetch with Chop, or drinking a soda, or cleaning his car, Michael getting bored with watching TV, or enchanted by watching the ocean from the pier... or either of them just stuck in Los Santos traffic.
- Michael can sometimes be found in a park, speaking to someone who has apparently raised concern about his smoking habits.
Michael: If I were you, I'd be concerned about more immediate causes of death. Go the fuck away.
- Or possibly speaking to a state trooper who just wants him to smoke somewhere else.
Michael: Oh, you are concerned about the fire hazard? How about I find out where you live and burn your fucking house down?!
- Reunion Revenge: Subverted to hell and back. After a lengthy mission where Trevor relocates to Los Santos and swears to find Michael, Michael's missions take the center, giving hints that he's going to slip up again and encounter Trevor. Come to his first mission after Trevor moves, which seems like a normal family situation where he has to save the day. Cue Trevor standing non-chalantly standing in the hallway and cracking jokes to the whole family, followed by a mission of the two working together to kick a sleazy producer's ass.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given out like candy.
- Ret Irony: One random event involves a construction worker on the phone talking about how he only has a day before retirement. Cue pipes falling off a crane, trapping him in his truck and triggering a gas explosion. Thankfully you can save him.
- While walking by the police station, you can sometimes overhear them discussing their soon retirement.
- Right Through the Wall: When switching to Michael at night and walking upstairs in his house, his daughter can occasionally be heard having loud sex in her room.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Government surveillance factors heavily into a few missions (one where you use a police chopper to eavesdrop on civilians, and another where you break into the FIB headquarters to steal dossiers from their network), notable given that the exposure of Prism brought government surveillance to the forefront of the public consciousness not long before the game's release.
- Think the Paleto Bay Heist is way over the top and could never happen in real life? It's actually not dissimilar from the 1997 North Hollywood Shootout.
- Many news stories heard or read during the game reflect real-life issues facing the US during the several years the game was in production, from government bail-outs of companies to damage being done to Liberty City following a hurricane (reflecting real-life damage done to the New York City area by Hurricane Sandy. Numerous references are also made to the US being in recession; although this was not so much the case by the time the game was released in 2013, the game was in production during the years following the economic downtown of 2008.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After defeating a small army of Merryweather Security mercenaries and FIB Agents in "The Third Way", the protagonists decide to tie up all loose ends by assassinating all of the game's major antagonists in a brief period of time. Michael kills Stretch, Trevor kills Steve Haines, and Franklin kills Wei Cheng. Trevor then kidnaps Devin Weston and the three protagonists give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech before locking him in the trunk of a car and pushing it off a cliff.
- Rubber-Band A.I. : A minor case with Franklin's street-racing side missions. If the runner-up isn't far behind you as you're at the home stretch, you might be surprised to be suddenly beaten in a photo finish. On the other hand, if you crash early in the race, as long as you're trying to catch up, the AI cars might slow down accordingly.
- A major case with the third triathlon, although it's so long, it is possible to catch up and win, even if it appears the competition is miles ahead of you.
- Rule of Symbolism: In-game, there's quite a few nods to The Illuminati - Ron and Chef represent the paranoid Conspiracy Theorist viewpoint, what with their ramblings about government mind control drugs and Annunaki, whereas the newly successful Franklin is referred to by multiple characters as "Illuminati" in the context of urban black slang popularized by rappers like Killer Mikenote .
- Sadistic Choice: Invoked both in-universe and out-of-universe with the final decision of the game. From Franklin's POV, an extremely powerful and well-connected villain just directed him to betray and kill one of his closest and most reliable partners, but he has to pick which. From the player's POV, that choice remains, but there's another side to it. If you take into account the Third Option, you can either go after the Big Bad Ensemble or give a Karmic Death to one of the Villain Protagonists. You can't do both; someone is going to get away scot-free.
- Scripted Event: Of the good variety. Picking certain people for heists, increasing your skills when asked, picking up loot shares from downed allies, and numerous other factors can influence conversation between characters.
- Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: A non-comedic example in Molly concerning Devin. She gets extremely touchy when Franklin calls her out on it, especially since it's very obvious that Devin doesn't really care about her that much.
- Shaggy Dog Story:
- Most of Trevor's most spectacular thefts end with him empty-handed, for one reason or another.
- Franklin's series of missions for Barry ends with Barry's "smoke-in" being called off on account of him having smoked all the weed and forgotten about it.
- The entire "Legal Trouble" mission is revealed to have been totally pointless, since Solomon Richards has lots of extra copies of his film on reserve.
- The entire game becomes this for Franklin, if he chooses either A & B. In both endings, it's heavily implied he cuts off contact with the survivors and goes back to his old life, thus making the story a moot point.
- Shot to the Heart: Trevor administers one to Kerimov during the torture sequence if his heart gives out.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The reason why Tanisha doesn't want to settle down with Franklin.
- Signature Move: Each character has their own certain animations, skill specializations, and their own special move; however, the skills can all be increased as necessary:
- Franklin has higher stamina and driving, and can use Bullet Time in cars and motorcycles. When carjacking, he throws them out the vehicle. He's also quickest to break into locked vehicles, jimmying the lock if he's able to and hotwiring so quickly bystanders won't even call the cops unless the alarm goes off.
- Michael has higher stealth and shooting, and can use Bullet Time when shooting. When carjacking, he threatens them out. When stealing locked cars, he elbows the window.
- Trevor has higher strength and flying, and can become enraged when shooting to gets a higher pain threshold and deal more damage (when in rage mode, he is the only character who can survive a mountain lion attack, which otherwise kills the others instantly). When carjacking, he assaults the occupant. Before he steals a locked car, he looks to his sides for anyone watching and then openly punches the window before slightly struggling to hotwire, taking the longest overall.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: All three protagonists drop the F-bomb like it's going out of style.
- Sixth Ranger: In Option C, Lamar assists the crew in the Foundry shoot-out.
- Slice of Life: The character swapping feature allows players to witness some aspects of the main characters' lives when not using them, such as Franklin buying weed, Michael and Jimmy getting home after a bike ride, and Trevor waking up in his underwear, on the beach, surrounded by dead bodies.
- Small Role, Big Impact:
- Albert Staley, a security guard that's encountered on the first heist. Michael gives him his Catch Phrase: "You forget a thousand things everyday. Make sure this is one of them." When the guard recites this quote on the news, it serves to tip Trevor off that Michael is still alive.
- Brad is hardly on-screen (alive) but his death and burial in Mike's grave is the major source of tension between Trevor and Michael and, until Trevor discovers that he's dead, his assumed incarceration is one of Trevor's main motivators. It also leads to the stand-off in North Yankton and Mike's subsequent capture by the Chinese.
- Kyle Chavis the tennis coach disappears from the story after an early mission. However, by sleeping with Amanda and inciting Michael's wrath, he pretty much sets off the chain of events that put the plot into motion.
- Smash Cut/Smash to Black/Gory Discretion Shot: Used for drama. When Debra comes back into Floyd's life, they both insult Trevor and Debra ends up pointing a gun at him. Cue Trevor saying "You people are not very fucking nice." A few seconds of black screen later, Trevor walks out of the house, covered in blood.
- Something Only They Would Say: It's how Trevor finds out that Michael survived the North Yankton job. The policeman who witnessed the Vangelico heist, when interviewed on TV, quoted the exact words that Michael (whose identity was concealed by a gas mask) had told him when he and Franklin left him, which were the same as the ones he said to a security guard who unmasked him in the bank job (that, in-game, are said to be from a movie Michael enjoyed):
You forget thousands of things every day. Make sure this is one of 'em.
- Spanner in the Works: Invoked. In Option C they even lampshade it.
I picked C! Ain't that a bitch.
- The Social Darwinist: Noted by Trevor:
: This is why this country is screwed! There's not enough [people like me], there's too many [people like you]! Michael
: [scoffs] Yeah, a country of you's
— that's just what this world needs. Trevor
: Shit would get done! It would be Darwinian!
- Lester also states that "It's time to put the Darwinism back in Social Darwinism" at the the start of a mission to assassinate Jay Norris.
- Devin Weston also describes himself as a Darwinian type of person when he first meets the group. Ironically, Trevor is the one to hate him instantly.
- Standard Female Grab Area: Michael grabs Tracey in this area with one arm and holds a guy's neck with the other while getting off a yacht.
- Story Breadcrumbs: You can pick up a lot of details on the side characters by reading their comments on LifeInvader.
- "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: The C Ending. Played with somewhat in that at least one of the victims knows his murderer (but is not aware of it about to be committed — specifically the murder of Haines by Trevor).
- Stupid Crooks:
- Franklin's 'hood associates are dumb. Really dumb. If he wasn't pulling their dead weight, they'd all be in jail or full of bullets. They embrace their idiocy, too. Notably, they all call him soft after he disappears from the 'hood after his first heist, despite the fact it earned him more money than all their shenanigans put together, for less strife overall, and the reason he's been absent is getting to live in a very ritzy tax dump property to legitimize his windfall.
- Some of the low-level crew members are definitely this, but at least they're cheap. Packie is first seen screaming at his partner about being so stupid that he couldn't even get a getaway car for a drug-store robbery. Thank God he's much better on the actual heists.
- Stylistic Suck: You get to go to the movies and see Meltdown, the film that Michael helped get made. It really is a piece of shit.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Johnny Klebitz, the protagonist of The Lost and Damned episode of GTA IV appears as soon as we're introduced to Trevor - and gets killed by him, no less.
- Super Strength: Trevor's special ability gives him this, able to knock down people with bloody punches. He can even blow up vehicles by hitting them repeatedly with melee weapons. He can also withstand attacks that would otherwise kill him (or the other characters) instantly.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: The radio often plays music relevant to the scenes going on at the time - sometimes a Theme Music Power-Up when the characters are doing something badass, sometimes just plain oddly underscoring tunes: like Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now", while Trevor brings Patricia back to her husband, or The Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes", after Michael and Trevor have totally broken apart and Franklin is trying to decide who to trust. There's also The Alan Parson Project's "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" playing after Trevor puts Devin Westin in the trunk of his car in the Option C ending.
- Swiss Cheese Security:
- As expensive as Michael's mansion looks, it doesn't appear to have any sort of security system. Both Franklin and Trevor are able to gain unannounced access to the interior of the house without much effort. This also explains how Merryweather could easily infiltrate Michael's house later in the game.
- The NOOSE base off Palomino Highway. It has security guards and electric gates, but no one will stop someone (even someone who looks like Trevor) from wandering in, climbing to the roof, and stealing the Buzzard attack chopper on the helipad.
- Sympathy for the Devil: While Trevor is a monster through and through, this happens to him several times over the course of the game. Two of the most heartbreaking are his betrayal by Franklin and Michael in one of the endings, sending him into a sobbing, raging mess, and his side-mission at the completion of the story where he meets his mother, and promptly breaks down.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: Franklin is constantly subjected to this by his friends for trying to find a more productive criminal career, no matter how willing he is to still help them with their problems.
- A Taste of Power: The prologue mission where you play as Michael and Trevor equipped with Carbine Rifles, which you won't unlock again until after the first heist.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Michael and Trevor, especially during the last heist, when what remained of their friendship has all but dissolved.
- The Triads and the Tongs: Trevor manages to piss off a group of Triads at the beginning of his story after they screw each other out a few business deals. Later, the Triads kidnap Michael to get to Trevor, necessitating a rescue by Franklin.
- True Companions: Trevor feels that he, Brad, and Michael were this back when they were a team, and holds the concept of being loyal to your friends to the bitter end very highly. It's particularly why he and Michael's relationship is so strained now, as he feels the latter betrayed the friendship they had when Michael faked his own death and retired from the game. Ending C of the game effectively solidifies all three protagonists as this.
- Trunk Shot: One piece of artwork.◊
- The shot appears during the last mission in the game, if the player chose ending C.
- Trust-Building Blunder: The "Children of the Mountain" website has one anecdote about this. This is what they have to say:
When I attended that seminar and we did the thing where you are blindfolded and have to fall backwards and your teammates are supposed to catch you, I learned a lot - especially when they didn't catch me and I got a concussion and learned to never trust anyone, only myself.
- Turbine Blender: Michael, chasing Molly for the movie reel, pursues until she runs into the path of a jet engine, reducing her to chunky goo.
- Uncanny Valley: Invoked in 'Meltdown'. To simulate the film being shot in front of a green screen, the film is recorded using GTA V's character models in front of GTA IV's lower quality scenery.
- Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay:
- There are optional tow truck missions where you have to save a car that's stuck on train tracks. This is a pain in the ass because you need to drive in front of the car, lower the hook, and back up squarely until the hook is attached, and then drive away ASAP before the train hits it... Or you can just push the car out of the way with the tow truck first. This won't fail the mission, and it's a hell of a lot faster.
- You can also tow antagonizing vehicles, pretty much bringing any vehicular combat to an abrupt end.
- A fast way to lose the cops is to switch vehicles or change clothes (without them seeing you do it). Even if you get spotted in their field of vision, they will ignore you. However, if they find your old car, they'll spot you no matter what you're driving.
- Convenience store clerks will recognize you if you try to rob them more than once and sometimes will have the cops lying in wait for you... unless you wear a mask they haven't seen before.
- Taking off or putting on a mask while out of sight will instantly drop a Wanted Level by one star.
- In GTA IV, it was possible to survive falls from any height into a body of water. In GTA V the result of falling from a great (or even moderate) height into a body of water is the same as in real life - fatal.
- The protagonists can be take damage (or, at least, see their armor decreased) in motor vehicle collisions. They can also be directly killed by gunfire while driving enclosed vehicles, which differs from most GTA games.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Michael's family at first, though they do get better later on.
- The Unreveal: You never do find out who (or what) Josh Bernstein's "wife" is since you end up killing him in your final mission with him after he turns on Trevor.
- Unexpected Character: A variation: seeing Lazlow on-screen, in the flesh.
- Also, Trevor showing up during "The Wrap Up".
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: While these were present in IV, they're being much improved for V, allowing characters to additionally roll from cover to cover.
- Vandalism Backfire: This is what starts the first major conflict in the game. Michael and Franklin chase after a tennis instructor who was sleeping with Amanda. They find him in a house on stilts, and Michael uses a truck to tear it down. But it turns out he was just hiding there. The house actually belongs to a notorious criminal.
- Vapor Trail: Players can do this in-game, strategically pouring the gasoline themselves.
- Variable Mix: The mission-specific music tends to build up track by track the further in the mission you get.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Several times you may see a random pedestrian getting their wallet or car stolen. You can take the thief out and keep the stolen item for yourself, or you can actually return it to the victim. Even Evil Has Standards in this case, and yes, that does include Trevor, who'll even admit to being disgusted in a thief's pettiness if you do so.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: There are story missions that give you the choice, or you can just run around town wreaking havoc on everyone unlucky enough to be near you. In-universe, Trevor seems to enjoy this more than anything, even firing off jokes whenever the player kills someone.
- And inverted, surprisingly. While not quite Video Game Caring Potential, at times you'll come across people in need of help, such as mugging, purse snatching, even store robbing. While you can just ignore them, or even kill the robbers and take their steal for yourself, it's also possible to instead hand it back to them, earning a small reward but resulting in a minor heartwarming moment where the person you've helped becomes a mess of thank-you's.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you choose to kill either Michael or Trevor, "hanging out" will pretty much be over for you, since the survivor cuts off contact with Franklin, Michael's family does the same, and Lamar goes into hiding from Stretch. Even worse, certain "hanging out" activities are required, so if you don't remember to do them before you do the deed? No 100% Completion for you!
- Villainous Breakdown: Peter Dreyfuss has one of these when Franklin confronts him over the brutal murder of Leonora Johnson.
- War for Fun and Profit: Possibly the only antagonistic force to make our sociopathic trio look good by comparison. The Merryweather Company ships classified nuclear superweapons through the port of Los Santos with very little security or oversight, and doesn't require any sort of government approval to act as as a personal army for its CEO. The public sector, on the other hand, isn't much better. The FIB and IAA compete to kidnap, torture, and assassinate any suspected Islamic terrorists (Read: Brown People) on American soil while turning a blind eye to much of the wanton chaos committed by the protagonists.
- We All Live in America:
- Trevor's first mission has him tracking the local chapter of The Lost biker gang. When you get close to their bar, Ron will will say "They're meant to be at this bar". "Meant to be" being an alternate way of saying "are" in the UK, where Rockstar is based, but it's not a phrase you'd likely hear an American saying.
- On the Non Stop Pop station, the DJ at one point refer to the Turn of the Millennium as "The Noughties" which is a term used in the UK and Australia, but not much in America due to the word "nought" fading from American English, which means, to American ears, it sounds more like "The Naughties".
- "Towards", "forwards" and "backwards" crop up in speech a lot, though Americans would normally omit the final "s" in each of these words.
- Wham Line: For fans of GTA Radio, this line regarding the host of Fame or Shame, who appears in person soon afterwards.
Trevor: "WHERE THE FUCK IS LAZLOW?!"
- What Happened to the Mouse??: What happened to the tennis coach that was sleeping with Amanda? After Michael destroys Martin's house thinking it's his, he's just kind of forgotten. Also, what about Michael's boat?
- The tennis instructor (Kyle Chavis) may be gone storywise, but he still pops up on LifeInvader. By the end of the game, he's chased out of Los Santos after being caught with another man's wife.
- Unless you choose Option C, Trevor's beef with the Chinese gang will go unresolved, as will Stretch's story. Option C resolves both of these issues, as well as giving a better ending to the FIB/Devin story.
- What the Hell, Hero?/What the Hell, Player?: When Franklin is given the choice to either off Michael or Trevor, both give Franklin a "What the heck?"-speech, although Michael is much more understandable, since he made Franklin go from being a simple repo-man to what he has become now. Trevor's more pissed about being betrayed once again by someone he trusts, especially when Michael shows up to help Franklin off him, although Michael reasons why Trevor should be killed.
- The inverse also applies. In Ending A, Michael berates Franklin for showing too much mercy to Trevor, but his criticism is brief. In Ending B, Trevor is furious that Franklin is going to kill his own mentor and father figure, betraying the only man that ever showed him respect; he severs his ties with Franklin from then on.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: Franklin is introduced to a stranger, Michael, and is then introduced to Michael's old friend (for lack of a better word), Trevor. The mission "Hood Safari" also sees Lamar and Franklin (friends) teaming up with Trevor (who's just met Franklin, and is a stranger to Lamar).
- With Friends Like These...:
- Franklin's friends are shit. Lamar is even dumber (and more Trigger Happy) than Ryder, Stretch seems to think that doing jail time somehow gives him seniority (not to mention that he's actually in cahoots with the Ballas), and Tonya is a flirty washed-up crackhead who keeps cajoling Franklin into covering her even lamer boyfriend JB's tow truck shifts for no pay because the latter is in bed smoking. Of course, every time Franklin says he wants to do something more profitable and than this, they all sneer at him and say he's getting all uppity and acting like he's too good for them. Let's face it, he is.
- The mutual relationship between Michael and Trevor: Michael sees Trevor as an Omnicidal Maniac, while Trevor sees Michael as a Dirty Coward.
- The Worf Effect: Trevor effortlessly killing Johnny Klebitz, who was possibly the toughest GTA protagonist, and the former Liberty City Chapter of the Lost MC in his opening mission demonstrates exactly why he is The Dreaded.
- Worf Had a Meth Addiction: Johnny's meth addiction had taken a visible toll on him both physically and mentally, most tellingly, he's unable to look at Trevor in the eye when confronted face to face.
- You Can't Go Home Again: This is the final fate of Ferdinand Kerimov. Once his torture is over, Trevor brings him to the airport and urges him to get out of the country. Since the government expects him to be dead, Mr. K now has to disappear off the grid and leave his family behind.
- Your Cheating Heart: A subplot involving Michael and his wife.
Grand Theft Auto Online Tropes
- Adventure-Friendly World: Online Los Santos has tons of crap to do at any time, and you can find yourself caught up in someone else's adventure at any time. Walk down a particular block and you'll find a squad of cops chasing another player, a shoot out between players, an impromptu drag race, or a heist in progress. If you choose, you can even play favorites—for example, involving yourself in a police chase by ramming the cops of the escapee's trail or screwing the other player over just for the hell of it.
- Rockstar themselves have said Online aims to revolutionize online multiplayer gaming the same way Grand Theft Auto III revolutionized single player games!
- Already Met Everyone: Familiar people show up for the "first" time in this story such as Lamar, Lester, Trevor, Simeon, etc.
- American Dream: There's an achievement for it, obtained by owning an apartment, garage, and an insured vehicle.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different/Another Side, Another Story: The story of Online follows your silent custom character in events that happen a few months before the single player storyline.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: When leveling up, cosmetic items, such as various outfits, hats, and haircuts will be unlocked.
- Anti-Frustration Feature:
- The Passive mode prevents other players from randomly gunning down the passive player whilst they're on foot. Doesn't work while in a car, and you can't return fire either.
- Zig-zagged with the Simeon vehicles, as while it is possible to force the list you've been given to refresh in case you can't find any of the cars on the list, you cannot 'deny' the request and as such may end up with a two-star Wanted rating because you're stealing a car Simeon wants, even if you have no intention of delivering it.
- Anti-Grinding: Robbing stores too often causes the wanted level for each robbery to gradually rise. Likewise, after selling a stolen car to a mod shop, they won't accept any more for a period of time. You can also only export a Simeon vehicle once every 24 hours from the list he gives you.
- They quickly patched being able to immediately replay the same job request over and over after some players grinded their way to earning the most expensive apartment.
- Aesop: Having your character smoke will damage your health a tiny bit, much like Metal Gear Solid.
- Ascended Meme: A "shed" was seen by fans in many pre-release screenshots and some trailers, prompting players to speculate what could be inside it. While it turns out it was actually a cable car station, the parachuting mission involving diving off it is called "The Shed".
- Beach Episode: The free Beach Bum update, adding a number of beach-themed clothing, vehicles, and Jobs.
- Boom, Headshot: Killing an enemy with a head shot results in the player immediately gaining 25 reputation points.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory/Microtransactions: In-game money can be purchased for real money. This is, however, somewhat balanced out: you still have to reach a certain level before you can purchase and use some items.
- But Thou Must: In the mission "Diamonds are for Trevor", you have to make your escape with Trevor's boat, even when you could take a helicopter or any other faster, much better transport.
- Butt Monkey: An entire faction gets this. The Lost must have fallen severely out of favor with the Plot Gods, because they are a constant and recurring target for various quest givers (Trevor especially).
- Capture the Flag: Added to the game sometime after release. In an update, players can make their own CTF missions with the Mission creator tool
- Cash Gate: Subverted. The game will keep telling you to get an apartment or garage, but it's possible to reach the highest level in the game without having one. It does make it difficult or impossible to get certain things, like cars you only can purchase through the Internet namely any high end or luxurious sports cars you can't merely steal off the streets and take to a mod shop to buy insurance.
- Checkpoint Starvation: The multiplayer missions. Some of them tend to be quite lengthy, and have all of them have no checkpoints at all. Do a mission where you must ambush a drug deal, go to the mountains, hack the computer, and then run to the other side of town to ambush more Mooks at the airfield? Failing will be quite devestating.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tolerated, if not flat out encouraged by the game mechanics. Some jobs allow the person who completes it to keep all the cash for themselves, players can rob each other for money, and can put a bounty on each other. Of course, you Troll, you can just do it just to piss people off, too. If you get too carried away, you will be labeled a "Bad Sport".
- Cool Car: Many of the fancier rides in the game such as the Infernus, Entity XF, Cheetah, Turismo, etc are these. Unlike single player, you unfortunately can't just steal them off the streets and take them to your garage or to LS Customs for modification. You have to save up your money and then purchase them off the ingame website LegendaryMotorSports.com
- Cooperative Multiplayer: In addition to deathmatches and other standard multiplayer modes, you can plot your own heists, stick ups, and other missions with friends. Interestingly, the person who actually grabs the money is the one who decides the payout between the other members of your crew, so it's possible to take all of it for yourself and completely screw everyone else over.
- Disproportionate Retribution: It's rare for a game mode to have an objective that actually warrants the amount of force being employed (especially by the authorities). Criminals escaping via motorbike into the hills? Send fighter jets after them!
- Double Unlock: You have to reach a certain level to unlock some items, and then you have to buy the item with in-game currency.
- Emote Animation: There's a handful of emotes, most of them used to gloat or offend someone like Flipping the Bird and saluting with a smug look on your character's face.
- Excuse Plot: Most game modes give a flimsy reason for teams of players murdering each other. Cops confiscated our weed? Start a massive shoot-out in the streets. Crooks made off with important evidence? Storm their HQ and kill every last one of them. The most blatant is probably Deathmatch, which just tells you to kill as many people as possible for their money.
- Experience Points: Successfully completing missions, pulling off robberies, winning races, and other activities will earn you Reputation Points that allow your character to increase in rank and unlock better weapons, vehicles, and other purchasable items.
- Expy: The online character never speaks much like Claude from GTA 3.
- Game-Breaking Bug
- In the days after launch, the overloaded Rockstar cloud servers began to break down and prevent players from accessing their created characters. Players were instead given an innocuous prompt to start a session with a new, generic character, not realizing that this would overwrite all previous online character data and reset their progress. Rockstar was forced to put out a PSA warning against the generic-character feature before patching the whole thing out.
- The servers themselves are a continuing problem; Rockstar released a large sum of money to all Online players as an apology for the server woes early in release, but they missed the original stated date by several weeks because they were worried the servers would nullify the deposits.
- The original update that added Online Mode caused a little-known bug for a number of unlucky players who found their single-player games utterly broken, with all mission hubs inaccessible and progress rendered impossible as a result. Additional updates have corrected this bug but those affected must still replay from the beginning to get their progress back.
- There's currently a money hack running rampant that allows players to attain billions of GTA dollars from store robberies and bounties. The hack is so easy to do that some players believe it to be a honey pot* .
- Rockstar responded and removed the ability to hack yourself or other players to multi-millionare-dom. All hacked money was removed from players' bank accounts. Those who were hacking also had penalties applied while innocent players who just got the money were left alone.
- When the Capture the Flag game mode was first released, players discovered that hovering over the capture point in a helicopter with the objective in tow resulted in millions of experience points per hour. Rockstar responded by removing every CTF map containing a helicopter.
- Griefer: With a name like Grand Theft Auto Online, its to be expected that other players will try to wreck your shit for the lulz factor at any given moment. Obnoxious players in particular (preferably with a high bounty on their heads) will often patrol the streets of Los Santos in a Rhino Tank blowing up anything that moves land or sky. Unless you have an RPG, expect to get killed repeatedly even if you are just minding your own business and have no intention of trying to kill said griefer.
- You can also be said griefer if you so choose though ironically repeating said behavior will likely put you in the "bad sport" lobby complete with a dunce cap!
- Heroic Mime: Zigzagged. The multiplayer protagonist doesn't speak during the cutscenes, for obvious reasons. But they can "speak" during gameplay if the player talks through a mic, complete with generic mouth flaps.
- Hold the Line: The Survival missions in Online require the players to hold off 10 increasingly difficult waves of computer-controlled enemies.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Whether they're shooting at you from a moving vehicle while your behind cover, or from a chopper about 200 feet in the air, the enemy NPC's WILL end you.
- Karma Meter: The High Life update introduced a stat called "Mental State", which starts at 0% and works its way up whenever a player kills other players, NPCs or blows up cars. Harming other players causes it to rise the most. Staying out of conflict and/or playing anything outside of Free Mode empties it.
- Macguffin: Any game mode involving a "package" that has to be captured or protected. What the actual package is (money, drugs, evidence, etc.) is completely interchangeable and exists to give both sides something to fight over.
- Level Editor: A relatively simplistic one, called the "Content Creator", was launched soon after the game, allowing players to create their own deathmatches, races, and Capture missions, some of which may be "Rockstar Verified". It's currently in beta, but later updates will expand on it.
- Nipple and Dimed: Just like in the main game, you can visit the Vanilla Unicorn. Unlike the main game, the girls keep their tops on during private dances. A female protagonist will also shower with a bikini top on, which is odd considering due to camera angles you only ever see a character's back when showering.
- Bizarrely, Online does still contain nudity; if you go to the Playboy mansion lookalike, you can encounter a woman wearing nothing but her bikini bottoms.
- For a while at least, there was a glitch a player could do to make their female character appear topless!
- Non Indicative Name: Most mission names are appropriate and often have a nice pun to them, but a few have no apparent relation to what's going on. Rooftop Rumble, for instance, has nothing at all to do with rooftops.
- Obvious Beta: How many players feel about Online, since there are several Game Breaking Bugs and exploits that still haven't been patched, several Game Breaker vehicles and weapons that still haven't been balanced, and the pervasive use of mods that can easily give one God Mode with virtually zero repercussions. Most speculate that this constant rebalancing and bug-fixing is the #1 reason why heists, the most-anticipated feature of Online, are still MIA over a year after Online's unveiling.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: Like in single player, you can pick up hookers. Unlike in single player, they have a strange habit of running screaming from your car after you're done. You can also get the numbers from the girls at the Vanilla Unicorn once you've gotten an apartment, but they'll only answer if you've got a particularly high end apartment. And then subverted; turns out they're just there to give you a free private dance with constant touching.
- Police Are Useless: Zig-zagged. In some missions where the police are explicity involved, they can do a very good job of shooting you dead or trapping you, but in all the rest they're entirely absent.
- Police Brutality: Entirely possible depending on who's playing as a cop in most game modes. Since the cops are basically just palette-swapped versions of the crooks, it's likely to see police as much wanton destruction and death than the crooks themselves.
- The Power of Friendship: It's more profitable to tackle missions as a team than alone. Not only are they easier to accomplish, you get twenty percent more EXP for completing them as a team, and you get even more for doing them with members of your Crew. Of course, just watch out for that "Disorder" mentioned above.
- Reality Ensues: Some guy won't stop killing you? Simply call the Police, and they'll take him down for you.
- Schmuck Bait
- The high-priority vehicles. Woe betide the newbie who picks one up, goes through all the trouble of losing the cops, and pays all the money to repair/respray it, only to be gunned down the second they leave the Pay 'n' Spray and have it swiped from underneath them.
- If you know that someone is lying in wait to kill you and steal the high priority vehicle, however, the schmuck status can be inverted by placing an ignition bomb on the vehicle so that if you get gunned down after exiting the Pay n' Spray, you'll get the last laugh when they blow themselves up.
- Custom deathmatches with titles such as "100000 RP + $$$ + Rank Up". More often than not, these deathmatches are rigged so that the creator almost always wins. Everyone spawns in an enclosed area armed with only melee weapons, but there is a tank, helicopter, or stash of guns in some hidden area that only the creator knows how to get to. The creator will then proceed to rush to his hidden weaponry and continuously spawn kill you.
- Something Completely Different: In the meta sense; virtually every character in the single player story, and especially the three protagonists, are deconstructions of the standard GTA game protagonist. The online protagonist, however, is the standard GTA protagonist played completely straight.
- Troll: You can be an uber dick to other players if you so choose given the name of the game. i.e grab a random car off the streets or one of your fancy rides (that has insurance for obvious reasons), drive to the nearest LS Customs, order an ignition bomb, park it outside the entrance to said mod shop to where its impossible to enter it without moving the blocking vehicle and wait for an unsuspecting player to try and move it out the way.
- Another popular method of trolling is to join high paying missions, such as Rooftop Rumble, pick up the package that needs to be delivered, kill the other players by running them over, and then refuse to deliver the package.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Unless avoiding the cops is specifically part of the challenge, the police will never be alerted during missions. This is especially glaring in Rooftop Rumble, in which you'll get into a large shoot out right down the block from a police station.