Video Game / Persona 5

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You are held captive.
A prisoner of fate to a future that has been sealed in advance.
This is truly an unjust game...
Your chances of winning are almost none.
But if my voice is reaching you, there may yet be a possibility open to you...
I beg you. Please, overcome this game...
...and save the world.

Persona 5 is an Urban Fantasy Role-Playing Game, and the fourth numbered sequel in the Shin Megami Tensei JRPG franchise's Persona sub-series, developed by Atlus for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It is the first mainline entry in the Persona franchise following Sega's purchase of Atlus in 2013 and the first numbered Persona game to launch on multiple consoles.

Things are not well in Tokyo. Psychotic and mental breakdowns are becoming more common amongst the general public, leading to a string of high-profile accidents and crimes. Public confidence in the government and justice system is falling, and the powerful elites of the city plot to turn these incidents to their advantage.

You are an Ordinary High-School Student who has been falsely convicted of assault and sentenced to a year-long probation in Tokyo. On your first day attending Shujin Academy, you and a fellow outcast accidentally stumble into a mysterious Mental World known as the Metaverse: a place where cognition becomes reality, and real-world locations are twisted by the thoughts of humans. Within this world, the most corrupt humans have subconsciously created mental fortresses called "Palaces" where their innermost vices and desires are allowed to run rampant. If someone is able to steal the "Treasure" that forms the heart of the Palace, then the Ruler's corruption will be vanquished in the real world.

With the aid of a mysterious smartphone app and the inner-power of "Persona", you decide to use the Metaverse to strike back against the rotten society that has unfairly stigmatised you, forming a crew of Phantom Thieves dedicated to stealing Treasure and reforming the corrupt.

Persona 5's core gameplay is a refinement of the formula established in Persona 3 and 4, with the game being evenly split between turn-based dungeon-crawling and Dating Sim-esque social simulator. However, a few elements from the first Persona and Persona 2 also make their return; all party members are able to use both melee weapons and firearms, and you can negotiate with enemies for Personas, money, or items. Additionally, the dungeon-crawling itself been overhauled; the main quest Palaces are all 100% pre-made instead of being randomly generated, and feature platforming, puzzles, stealth, and traps, making them much more elaborate than previous games' dungeons. The one exception is Mementos, a sprawling randomly-generated Palace which serves as the main setting for sidequests.

An anime special, Persona 5: The Day Breakers was released on September 4, 2016 along with a manga adaptation available on both Shogakukan's Manga One app and the Ura Sunday Website. The game was released in Japan on September 15, 2016, with the North American and European release on April 4, 2017.

Previews: Teaser, Teaser 2, Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3,Trailer 4

You are held captive...a prisoner of Tropes.

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  • 0% Approval Rating: The Phantom Thieves' approval rating, as evaluated through polls on the Phan-Site, is shown during loading screens and increases with each palace cleared. Following the Medjed incident their popularity skyrockets to the high 80s, but after being framed for killing the principal and Okumura, their ratings spiral down to 3%. The Phan-Site is even littered with death threats during this period.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: A humorous meta example. Major Persona 5 spoilers were leaked before the game even came out in its home country. The date? September 13th, 2016.
  • Action Bomb: Alice's unique "Die For Me!" Special Attack involves an army of giant Killer Teddy Bears with bombs in their chests rushing the enemy before they explode.
  • Actually Four Mooks: A single Shadow on the field can transform into 2 to 6 enemies when you engage them in battle.
  • Adults Are Useless: One of the big themes of the game is that the Phantom Thieves formed due its members losing faith in adults, most of whom are at worst abusive, greedy and cruel, or at best, just plain apathetic. At the end of the game, Sae promises to make good and damn sure to defy the trope.
  • Adult Fear: Despite the supernatural elements, most of the threats providing tension in the story are very much ones that exist in the real world:
    • Having your civil liberties violated by law enforcement, including being beaten, drugged, and potentially shot and killed, with the entire event being swept under the rug.
    • A well respected school teacher turning out to be an abusive sexual predator, whose actions are being covered up to avoid scandal. Leading at least one student to believe their only option for escape is suicide.
    • Your parent taking the money and credit for your hard work, and having no way to speak out about it.
      • Also, that same parent is responsible for the death of your birth mother, so he could steal her final gift for you for his own profit.
    • Having your family think of you as a burden.
    • Being blackmailed for something you didn't even do, with the threat of ruining not only your hard-earned reputation, but that of your uninvolved family.
      • Being kidnapped, drugged, raped or sold into prostitution by criminals, or watching a friend nearly suffer the same fate.
    • Being trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage that you didn't even choose for yourself.
      • Watching your parent die in an accident or outright murder, and suffering from crippling feelings of stress and guilt as a result.
    • Discovering your younger sibling is involved with a dangerous criminal group, while you failed to realize it.
    • Being betrayed by someone you've come to trust and rely on.
    • In general, teenagers being unable to believe in their teachers, their parents, the police, or most other adults, to the point they're willing to engage in larceny and violent assault. The heroes discuss this at a few points, wondering if justice is entirely on their side, or if that even matters.
    • The feeling of being trapped, powerless and with no-one to turn to doesn't stop once you reach adulthood. Plenty of the adults get screwed over by institutions meant to support them.
    • Sojiro gets a particularly nasty one: social services or the courts removing your child from your custody, despite your efforts to keep them safe and well. Especially when this would result in said child being sent back to abusive relatives.
    • This extends to Mementos targets, and the ones antagonizing Confidants.
      • Tae's boss felt like a fraud who only got his job through his connections, compared to a prodigy like her.
      • The old friend blackmailing Iwai is afraid of becoming obsolete as a new generation begins to take over.
  • Adventure-Friendly World:
    • The Mental World of the Metaverse responds to the hidden desires of evil humans by creating massive dungeons, giving you an excuse for Dungeon Crawling and Boss Battles. Its Clap Your Hands If You Believe properties also makes it so even toy guns and fake melee weapons work like real ones, giving your party a way to obtain weapons to fight the monsters that inhabit the Metaverse, despite the heroes being teenagers in Japan, where real weapons (especially guns) are usually extremely hard to obtain. The monsters in it even drop real money, despite being essentially figments of the imagination.
  • Affably Evil: The bandit leader in Futaba's palace. A perfectly cordial monster who's disinclined to violence and offers to join forces with you to share the plunder; he's perplexed as to why else you'd be there, if not to raid the tomb.
  • A Friend in Need: When in the end the Protagonist turns himself in as leader of the Phantom Thieves so he can testify against Shido, the other Phantom Thieves spend the next month and a half trying to find a way to save their leader. Any Confidants that have been maxed out will also be shown tapping their connection, rallying others and generally doing everything in their power to prove the Protagonist's innocence and earn him his freedom. It pays off in the end, and the Protagonist's record is wiped clean, allowing him to leave juvenile hall a free man.
  • After-Combat Recovery:
    • The "Victory Breath" and "Victory Cry" auto skills restore part or all of a party member's HP and SP after battle.
    • The Persona 3 DLC "Evoker" accessory will automatically restore one bullet to your gun clip after battle if equipped.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Goro earns some sympathy from the party during his final battle, and they're even willing to bury the hatchet and join forces with him against his Arch Nemesis Dad. Okumura's brutal death also inspires some pity from the thieves, especially since he was their newest member's father. And while they don't have any noteworthy redeeming traits to speak of, it's not hard to feel bad for Principal Kobayakawa and the SIU Director after the Big Bad discards them like garbage the second they're more useful to him dead than alive.
  • Alertness Blink: Blocky white lines will pop from various characters when they first notice you.
  • Alice Allusion: Alice returns yet again, this time as the ultimate Persona of the Death Arcana.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Haru joins the Phantom Thieves because she wants to atone for her father's actions and redeem him. This ends up for naught as her father is murdered by The Conspiracy and Haru spends the rest of the game having to cope with the guilt. Doing her Confidant also reveals that Haru's fiance is still trying to go through with the Arranged Marriage, but Haru gets out of that with the help of the company's management.
    • Despite everything the Phantom Thieves are unable to move the public through their heists alone, with Shido's change of heart and confessions failing to stop the corrupt system or wake people up. Ultimately, they're forced to steal the Treasure of the entire population at the core of Mementos to have any affect.
  • All in a Row: Party members not only follow around your player character, but will also Take Cover! behind him and help out when you open treasure chests. Walking or running in a straight line long enough will cause party members to move with you in formation.
  • All Myths Are True: Downplayed. Shadows and Persona take the form of mythical figures from every religion and culture on the planet, due to being Anthropomorphic Personifications of the collective human psyche.
  • Almighty Janitor: The ultimate Bonus Boss and toughest enemy in the game, the Twins, are two prison guards in a run down gulag. One of whom is an admin with nothing but a clipboard on her. Since they're directly related to Elizabeth (and Theodore) as well as Margaret, this is to be expected, as each of them were the most powerful bosses in their respective game as well. Their comments should you win includes a hint at this.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: What drives the Phantom Thieves together is that they were all treated as outcasts by people. In particular, Joker's arrival in Tokyo started with pretty much everyone wanting nothing to do with him due to his "record". In fact, Ryuji only becomes his first friend after they're both nearly killed in the collective unconscious.
  • Alternate Reality Game: As part of the Tokyo Game Show 2015 marketing, the Japanese fanbase was tasked with tracking down and scanning QR codes at various places throughout the country, presented as finding information for the police force against the thief team. Scanning these unlocked the party's character bios on the official website for everyone to view.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Discussed In-Universe by Sadayo, who believes Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter was a Femme Fatale who asked for fancy, impossible gifts and led men to their doom For the Evulz before running away to the moon. (Of course, her version completely ignores the fact that the reason Kaguya set impossible tasks before her suitors was so she wouldn't form any more attachments, knowing she would have to leave Earth behind.)
  • An Aesop: Society can be oppressive and corrupt, but that doesn't mean you have to accept that it has to be this way. You may have to do things that you or other people may not think is completely morally right, but if you do nothing, then you're no better than the villains.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Played for Laughs, as you'll discover dirty laundry in some of the game's Inexplicable Treasure Chests, leading your party members to question who would bother putting dirty clothes under lock and key.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Ryuji gives the Phantom Thieves quite a scare after his apparent death in Shido's Palace.
  • The Anime of the Game: Persona 5: The Day Breakers, a 30 minute animated special released shortly before the game that shows the Phantom Thieves of Hearts performing a caper in Mementos.
  • Animorphism: In one dungeon, the party occasionally get turned into mice while you're exploring. Yes, even the cat.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The guard command is mapped to the same button as cancelling out of menus, so in case you accidentally mash the button too many times, the game asks for confirmation when you select the guard command so that you don't accidentally waste your turn guarding. This also applies to the localized versions, where the "attack" and "guard" commands were swapped, along with the confirm and cancel buttons.
    • Once you reach The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you can't go back to the real world. Since the players would have no other way to refill their SP once they run out of items, going back to the entrance gives the player a method of fully restoring their HP and SP.
    • Seeing how detailed and vital the elemental weakness system is to the game, going into a fight with a character or group that is weak to enemy attacks is going to get your ass kicked. Luckily, you can now switch party members during battle. However, you first have to unlock it by starting the Star Confidant.
    • In the previous games, you could only switch Personas once per turn, so if you accidentally switched to the wrong Persona, you were stuck with it. That restriction still applies, but skills and Personas are now the same menu—you will get locked into that Persona for the rest of the turn, but the lock doesn't activate until you actually choose a skill.
    • Like Persona 4, visits to the Palaces or Mementos take place after school, and also make you too tired to do most of your evening activities. However, this time, more Confidants are at night, and if you call Sadayo after maxing out her Confidant, you will be able to get a massage that re-energizes you and allows you to spend your evenings normally.
    • Your party members, while anxious about any impending deadlines, will still hang out with you to progress their Confidants, unlike the previous game where they refuse to socialize until the dungeon is cleared.
    • If you're having trouble clearing the minigames that allow you to progress on video games, you can read a book that will allow you to input what is essentially a cheat code to make them easier, usually by extending your time limit. Morgana lampshades it by saying that he can understand how you might be frustrated by being unable to beat the game.
    • After defeating a Shadow, any other Shadows who were in the immediate area move quite a ways away so you don't accidentally trigger another encounter. This is especially useful in Palaces, where getting caught too many times would be a Game Over.
    • Haru's Confidant starts really late, only starting towards the end of the game. To make up for this however, her Confidant should be fairly easy to rank up as a lot of the answers the player chooses will give the most amount of notes.
    • Confidants now give social stat points as well, making progression for both less time-consuming.
    • There's a series of very long cutscenes after Shadow Sae's boss fight, so it's broken up by two save points, one after the story catches up to the prologue, so that you don't have to fight the boss again if you trigger the bad ending. And another one right before the date changes which allows you to save and take a break so you don't have to go through another lengthy Info Dump in one sitting.
    • One of the New Game+ bonuses is a bigger boost to Confidant building with a matching Persona, meaning it's much easier to finish them all without having to worry about time management or picking the correct conversation choices. In conjunction with this, maxing out a Confidant during a playthrough allows you to receive a special gift from that person just before the game ends if you remember to get it (Morgana will remind you before you commit to the finale). These special items will allow you to have certain skills for the corresponding Confindants automatically unlocked as soon as the Links are initialized in the NG+, allowing the player access to some very useful options much earlier than they would otherwise be the first time around.
  • Anti-Grinding: The Protagonist's Personas gain experience slower than he does, making it easier to fuse new Personas to get new abilities than fighting random Shadows.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • Discussed. Many of the villains bring up the fact they can do the horrible things they've done because the general public are more interested in being told what to do than doing what's right on their own. The Phantom Thieves also decide to continue their activities after the first dungeon to shake others out of apathy.
    • Made a plot point by the final dungeon. Even after getting Shido to confess everything he's done, the public doesn't listen. The Phantom Thieves ultimately have to steal the Treasure of all of Tokyo to get the people to snap out of it.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only four party members can be used in battle at a time, per series standard since Persona 3. For the first time in the series, you can switch out your party members in battle, but you need to begin the Star Confidant in order to do so.
  • Arc Villain: The first few months of the game has you finding a series of new corrupt target for the heroes' Heel–Face Brainwashing. And while you begin to learn The Conspiracy has been messing with the Mental World of the Metaverse as well, your targets aren't actual members of the group, and are by design acting on their own personal twisted desires.
  • Arc Words:
    • "It's unforgivable" gets dropped a lot, especially during Persona awakening sequences.
    • "Deal" and "contract" are also bought up a lot, the later during Persona awakenings and the former during Confidant links and important plot points.
    • When the villains gloat, they often talk about "stealing the future" of young people through their machinations. In retaliation, the thieves use the "Steal your heart" catchphrase.
    • The villains who make a public confession after having their heart stolen usually start their announcement with "I have committed acts unbecoming of a [profession]."
    • Igor and his assistants frequently speak of the events that take place as an "unfair game", and always find a way to mention "ruin" and "rehabilitation". When Shido mentions "ruin" in a cutscene, you know things are getting serious.
    • The word "justice" gets brought up a ton throughout the game. A central theme of the game is exactly what justice means to different people and whether or not the Phantom Thieves' vigilantism falls under that category.
    • The series-wide "I am thou, thou art I" gets alot more millage in this game. Not just the protagonist, but each party member gets their own Persona awakening cutscene, and ranking non-party member Confidants to max level also invokes the words when unlocking the ultimate Persona for that Arcana.
    • "The game is rigged", something that appears at the beginning and the very end, and becomes prominent in places such as Sae's casino palace.
  • Art Shift: Compared to the previous games. The art direction uses comic book-esque thick lines, bright colors, complex shading, Speech Bubbles and Speed Stripes to accentuate the Phantom Thief motif.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • Apparently in Persona 5's universe, a thunderstorm in Los Angeles will redirect a plane back to Hawaii. Hawaii is a five hour flight from Los Angeles and a plane flying from Japan to Los Angeles would not have an additional five hours worth of fuel aboard. Meanwhile there are a significant number of airports in California that not only have runways long enough for a typical wide-body jet used for a NRT-LAX route, they're also well within the extra 2 hours flight time that aircraft for international flights carry reserve fuel for. A bit more justified in that in a weather report that can be viewed on the TV in Leblanc right before the trip says that it's a typhoon (or rather, a hurricane) about to hit California, not a thunderstorm.
    • Also, the modern Egyptian town in Futaba's Palace has signs that are clearly written using the Devanagari alphabet, which is used for Indian languages, not Arabic. Somewhat justified in that it's just a Mental World, but it's strange that a supposed genius like her wouldn't know the difference.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Despite employing demonic avatars of the Seven Deadly Sins as a central motif, the story only uses a few of the standard demons associated with a given sin as popularized by Peter Binsfeld: Asmodeus (Lust), Leviathan (Envy) and Mammon (Greed). Meanwhile, Beelzebub (Gluttony) uses the name of the Semitic god he was a demonized form of, Bael. Belphegor (Sloth), Satan (Wrath) and Lucifer (Pride) are completely replaced by Mementos, the Sphinx and Samael. (Of course, the reason Lucifer is absent is probably because of his repeated appearances in the main Shin Megami Tensei series, and his treatment there being confusing if applied to a Shadow here.)
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: In Persona 4, the party members' Shadows came from repressed teenage anxieties and were Obliviously Evil over a desire to be accepted. This game, however, shows what the Shadow of a truly evil person looks like... and it isn't pretty. The Starter Villain's Shadow alone is a sadistic, hedonistic tyrant who takes great pleasure in torturing and killing anyone who wanders into his mental world.
  • Ascended Meme: At some point in the game, it's possible to catch "I've been waiting for this!" among the Phan-site comments, referencing Akihiko's infamous All-Out Attack line.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The Phantom thieves specifically target adults who have abused their position and taken advantage of others.
    • The Conspiracy has its own members killed when they're no longer useful to them, such as Principal Kobayakawa and the SIU director, but considering what the victims were responsible for, it's difficult to feel sorry for them.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The final battle against Yaldabaoth takes place on Christmas Eve.
  • As You Know: The reason why, on 11/21 Akechi and Shido have an extensive conversation where they detail their actions and motivations and go over their involvement in the events of the plot to each other.
  • A Taste of Power: The prologue sequence has you enter a single fight using a much stronger Protagonist with access to a far more powerful Arsene than what you'll get at the proper starting point which is perfectly logical as this is the kind of strength the player will eventually build towards if not exceed by that point in the story.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • Asmodeus isn't quite on the scale of some of the others, but he still towers over the Thieves.
    • Bael's second boss form is a giant vault shaped like a Piggy Bank.
    • Sphinx is about the size of the Pyramid itself.
    • Samael's first boss form is a giant golden lion made up of human bodies.
    • The final form of the Big Bad is a 20 story tall giant robotic god covered in gold and crystal armor.
    • The protagonist's Ultimate Persona, Satanael, who appears to finish the final boss, is even taller than him.
  • Aura Vision: The "Third Eye" ability lets you see the danger level of enemies, which receptacles are hiding treasure, and the identities of potential Confidants by displaying various color-coded auras around the person or item in question.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Most of the Boss Battle themes are techno rock tunes with plenty of electric guitar.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The speed reading book allows you to read two chapters of a book at once, theoretically massively speeding up your stat gains. However, to unlock it, first, you need to visit a location that only unlocks either at the fourth level of a confidant who's only available starting in late June or by reading a book that's not available till September. Next, you need to read three books that require three readings each to finish, and only then can you buy the speed reading book, which you then have to waste one more time slot actually reading. And the game gives you no indication that reading the three-reading books will unlock anything but more three-reading books. Unless you know about it ahead of time and are aiming for the read-all-the-books trophy, you'll probably have all your stats either maxed or close to maxed by the time you unlock speed reading.
    • Haru's Vegetable Garden skills; which allows for the growth of potent SP curatives at no cost other than a few days growth time (which can be sped up if Haru is leveled as a Confidant). Unfortunately, by the time she's available as a Confidant, it's so late in the game that the garden's potential can never be really utilized to its fullest. At the time you can start talking to Haru as a confidant, there will only be two Palaces remaining before the endgame. This can be eased somewhat if you max her Confidant out and receiver her farewell gift which carries into a new game plus - the item unlocks all garden skills as soon as she's available again. That said, it still doesn't help that she's locked to only being available until well after 3/4's of the game has been completed.
  • Background Music Override: "Life Will Change" plays on any day you go to challenge the boss of a dungeon, overriding the regular dungeon, safe room, and battle themes. In fact, it only turns off when you challenge bosses or mini-bosses.
  • Bad Boss: Several targets are important business owners or politicians who are abusing their power. Perhaps the most notable example is Shido, who is so meticulous in tying up his loose ends that he plots the murder of every single person with any insight into his bloody rise to power, even if they happily helped him get there. His personal assassin, his own son, is the final name on his list. Ironically, he won a competition for who people would most like to have as a boss.
  • Bait and Switch: Futaba having a Palace heavily implies that your party has to face her Shadow like the others. However, due to Futaba actually desiring a change of heart (the obstacles presented by the Palace are noted to be manifestations of Futaba's guardedness), her Shadow is not evil—the boss ends up being Futaba's mistaken, demonic cognition of her dead mother instead. Futaba's Shadow, meanwhile, forces Futaba to face her past and distorted memories and becomes her Persona.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Similar to the Fly and Bat statuses in the Shin Megami Tensei series, this game comes with the "Rattled" status, where a character is transformed into a rat, lowering their defense and making them unable to attack. This can be temporarily inflicted by Mot's "Trapped Rat" spell, and also during Shido's Palace when the party is in the same room as an "activated" statue. In the latter case, it also acts as the level gimmick by allowing the party to travel into small air vents.
  • Battle Couple: If you romance Ann, Makoto or Haru, Joker and his lover can participate in battles together, and gain all the Level-Up at Intimacy 5 bonuses pursuing a romance nets you. In a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, the three of them learn "Protect" at the same time their Confidant turns romantic, which is a passive skill where they shield Joker and withstand an otherwise fatal attack in his place.
  • Battle Theme Music:
  • Beach Episode: Your party goes to the beach with Futaba at the end of August, which involves the members of your party hanging out on the beach in swimsuits, Yusuke buying a pair of lobsters to paint, and other hijinks, including the return of Operation Babe Hunt. Your Class Trip also has you traveling to Hawaii, with a couple days involving the members of your party hanging out on the beach in swimsuits, and an evening spent with an available Confidant of your choosing.note 
  • Beneath the Mask: Shadows and Persona reflect the true feelings of their other selves. For the villains, they generally show the characters' true sociopathic, twisted desires. For the heroes meanwhile, they generally expose their Revenge Before Reason, Well-Intentioned Extremist desires to change the society and adults that've wronged them. And, taking the trope to its logical conclusion, Futaba's Shadow is the positive side of her personality that's been repressed beneath the crushing weight of her guilt and depression.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Shadow Selves your party targets are often ridiculous looking, but they rule their own Palace and serve as major Boss Battles. They include:
    • A giant headed pink demon wearing nothing but a crown, cape and underpants.
    • A gray haired man dressed like a Jidai Geki lord in a tacky golden kimono, too much white face paint, and giant fake eyebrows.
    • A purple fly man with a mustache, bad comb-over and white tuxedo.
    • A gigantic sphinx with a sorely mismatched woman's head.
    • A man wearing a copyright free version of Darth Vader's armor, with a generic space helmet instead of the mask.
    • A woman wearing trashy gothic makeup and a leather dress that borders on being Vapor Wear.
    • A man wearing an overly-elaborate general's uniform and a helmet that resembles the Statue of Liberty's head.
    • Not to mention the traitor himself, Akechi, who has the campiest All-Out Attack in the game, some of the most ridiculous costumes (including DLC), and his Berserk outfit is a direct reference to Featherman. Yet he's still a Wild Card and "Black Mask", the one behind all the deaths caused by the Palaces.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Each Arc Villain (barring Kamoshida) was being pressured into The Conspiracy by someone in a "Black Mask". Black Mask was in turn working for politician Masayoshi Shido. Then later we learn that the villains and the heroes were being manipulated by the real Big Bad, Yaldabaoth, God of Order.
  • Bishie Sparkle: When you gain charm points, three small diamond sparkles form next to Joker's eyes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The True Ending. Masayoshi Shido and his allies have been thwarted, Yaldabaoth has been vanquished, and the Protagonist finally gets to clear his name. However, putting Shido away for good requires the Protagonist to testify against him, which in turn means admitting to all the things he did, resulting in him going to juvenile hall for several months. By the time he gets out, he only has a month to enjoy life as an Ordinary High-School Student before it's time to say goodbye to all the friends he made over the course of the year. Also, Morgana manages to survive the collapse of Mementos, but as a cat, not a human. Finally, it's ultimately left ambiguous just how much the destruction of Mementos affected the public consciousness - while the ordinary citizens' apologism for Shido seems to have gone away, the authorities appear just as corrupt as ever and are eager to send Joker to jail to save their own reputations. To drive the point home, the last poll on the Phansite comes back at an even 50%.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The protagonists' Heel–Face Brainwashing methods would come off as crossing a line if it weren't for the fact their targets are various kinds of serial abusers of power who would otherwise never pay for their crimes, and a girl who was going to commit suicide otherwise (the latter of whom actually wants the Protagonists to do it to her). The protagonists are in fact completely aware of the implications of their methods and refuse to use it at all during their first mission until it becomes clear that things have in fact already gotten so bad that a student tried to commit suicide as a direct result.
  • Bland-Name Product: The party can be seen eating a bag of Calbee Potato Chips and drinking bottles of Coca-Cola and Sprite at some points, only with the nondescript labels "Potato", "Nice Cola" and "Lemon" printed on them. Similarly, an ad can be seen for a tablet computer called the "Next P.A.D." that bears a striking resemblance to the Apple iPad. Coca-Cola, Boss, and Kirin vending machines become Cracker Energy, Oyabun, and Kitten. The only legitimate Product Placement in the game is for Calbee's Jagariko snacks.
  • Blank White Eyes: Humans whose Shadows are destroyed end up with pupil-less white eyes and dark blood bleeding out of their mouths. This includes the subway conductor who crashes a train near the beginning of the game, Principal Kobayakawa around the time of the Hawaii trip, and Haru's dad after the Phantom Thieves steal his Treasure.
  • Blessed with Suck: The player themselves on Merciless difficulty. 2.5 times damage when you strike weaknesses and get critical hits sounds good, right? Have fun downing Shadows so you can negotiate with them instead of accidentally killing them outright. You do eventually find a workaround through the Tower Confidant, but that doesn't come until September at the earliest, about halfway through the game.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The protagonist is beaten by police at the beginning of the story, various characters bleed black blood when awakening to their Persona, you sneak attack enemies by ripping the masks they use for faces off, and the game's main Color Motif is vivid blood red.
  • Body Horror: Human shaped Shadows bloodily erupt into demons when you start a battle with them. In a number of Palaces, human shaped Shadows will also transform into Humanoid Abominations.
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of the bosses encountered will willingly waste turns reacting to stat buffs and debuffs. This means that having someone constantly ready to reapply buffs or vice versa may allow the player to bring on the damage with (near) impunity.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • In New Game+, you can optionally fight Caroline and Justine, who serve as the toughest boss fight in the game.
    • If you wait for 5 to 10 minutes on a floor in Mementos, you can fight the Reaper, an insanely powerful Shadow meant for end game parties.
  • Book Ends:
    • "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" plays at both the intro and post-credits sequences of Persona 5.
    • Early on in the game, Sojiro drives the main character home from meeting with the school, complaining about having to be saddled with the burden of looking after him. Near the end of the game, Sojiro picks up the protagonist after his release from juvenile hall and goes home with him on friendlier terms. He even lampshades how this moment reminds him of the first time they met.
    • The first and last bosses both have a chalice of sorts that is a part of how they regain health, and their connection between them and the people they hope to abuse as an energy source that needs to be severed in order to beat them. Kamoshida's is the cup based trophy he eats his female victims out of when using "Libido Boost", while Yaldabaoth's "Holy Grail" form is where he can get healed by the parts of humanity who want the "order" he'd give them by making them his slaves. Fitting as in Tarot the Suit of Cups is not only based on the Holy Grail but over time it became the hearts suit of modern playing card decks, on top of both cups acting as a "heart" you need to take from them in the fight to finish it; so the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts" begin and end doing that on more than just one level.
  • Boom, Headshot: In the Bad Ending, Joker gets shot in the head. In the Good Ending, Joker shoots the false god behind this whole mess in the head.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Similar to Persona 3 in Tartarus, you can end up in a random encounter with the insanely powerful Reaper any time you sit around a floor in Mementos for more than 5 minutes.
  • Bottomless Bladder: As in previous games, there are bathrooms in the game, but you never need to use them - in fact, there's even a toilet in Joker's cell in the Velvet Room, and he can sit on it, but it's used for pondering instead of its intended purpose...
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Averted. You can only fire a certain amount of ammo before you run out.
    • Played straight with the Bullet Hail confidant ability that has a chance to trigger a gun based All-Out-Attack at the beginning of battles that doesn't consume your ammo pool and is limited only by time.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • As per series tradition, the Omnipotent Orb, an accessory which blocks all damage other than almighty. However, you have to have already finished the story once and won the toughest fight in the game against Bonus Boss Justine and Caroline to even get it.
    • Also as per series tradition, the protagonist's ultimate Persona, Satanael, can actually be fused - if you've reached New Game+ and can manage a Level 95 fusion. If you're at that point, most of the game's difficulty is already moot unless you're fighting the aforementioned Bonus Boss, which it ironically seems tailor-made for. Think of it as fusing Orpheus Telos to fight Elizabeth with.
    • The Eternal Lockpick is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a lockpick that won't break after use. By the time you can craft it however, it's trivially easy to have at least a dozen spare lockpicks on hand. Making one isn't really necessary beyond getting the trophy for crafting all infiltration tools.
    • Valentine's Day Chocolate restores all SP to 1 ally, but to get it you have to defeat the Final Boss. Even on New Game+ there's never a real reason to use it, considering you most likely have better management of your time or SP restoring equipment from the last playthrough to use.
  • Break Up Demand: A man is pressured to break off his engagement to the woman he loves because his boss wants him to marry the boss's daughter. It's not clear whether an actual ultimatum was issued, but it's clear that his career is in danger if he marries the woman he loves although Joker inspires him to follow his heart anyway.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Atlus published an ad in an actual Japanese newspaper, appearing as a Cut-and-Paste Note, that proclaimed "The Phantom" (Joker) would appear at the February 2015 event that revealed new Persona 5 footage. Sure enough, he ended up appearing, "shot out" the lights, and proceeded to reveal the very first gameplay trailer for Persona 5.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The game's paid DLC include accessories that boost your EXP or cash after battles, and overpowered Personas with end game stats and elemental protections that you can summon once for free, even in the very first dungeon.
  • Brick Joke: In Madarame's Palace, once the group reaches the Treasure spot, Ryuji thinks the treasure is a self-portrait of Madarame. Later, when the group takes the treasure outside the palace, they find it really is a self-portrait, except it's not the treasure, because Madarame switched it with the real treasure.
  • Broken Aesop: Right up to the end, Persona 5's message is quite clear: "You have to stand up to corrupt people in power, because everyday society largely doesn't give a flying curlywhirly about injustice: they're just a pack of idiot lemmings who will keep their heads down even if the world is falling apart around them because they don't want to make life harder for themselves and they'll let corrupt people get away with anything. Oh, and kids can't trust adults, especially the ones they depend on: they're just trying to exploit you or worse." One of the Bad Endings takes this message to the logical conclusion, with the Phantom Thieves letting their misanthropy and dissatisfaction with society get the better of them and throw their lot in with Yaldabaoth so that they can rule as despots through fear of forced heart-changing. In order to get the True Ending, you have to break this rapidly-decaying Aesop and make it into something like "You have to stand up to corrupt people in power, because everyday society has become apathetic, but since they're overall good people, they can be inspired to do the right thing. You can't just give up on it and do whatever you please without regard for others, because then you're no better than the corrupt people you claim to be above. While many adults are corrupt, there are genuinely good ones, so don't write them off at large."
  • Build Like an Egyptian: One dungeon has you trying to infiltrate a pyramid in the middle of a desert.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of the game, the protagonist completes his year long probation, and leaves Tokyo to return to his hometown.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: A glowing blue butterfly appears each time the protagonist is about to die in the story, urging him to overcome his impending doom. This includes when he's about to be executed in Kamoshida's Palace and when he's brought into the interrogation room where the conspiracy intends to assassinate him. Similarly, glowing butterflies surround a fallen character when you use revive items or magic on them.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • If you refuse to accept the opening This Is a Work of Fiction disclaimer, Igor proceeds to say "Well, then you can't play this game" and returns you to the Start Screen.
    • Quite a few dialogue options, particularly to IM conversations, have two or three responses that are essentially the same thing. Also, even if the protagonist says things that seem counter-intuitive, like arguing against taking down a target, the other party members will scold him, then continue like nothing happened.

    C 
  • Call Back:
    • The Pyramid, Futaba's Palace, is a massive one and subversion to Persona 4 as well as to Persona 3 FES. Unlike the other Palaces up to that point, the Phantom Thieves are seeking to help someone by healing their mind using the Palaces, just like the characters in 4. At the end, Futaba accepts her Shadow which becomes her Persona. However, the fact that Futaba's Shadow is her repressed positive feelings is a Call Back to The Answer scenario in 3's Updated Re-release where Metis, Aigis' repressed humanity, is undoubtedly a positive influence on her.
    • Ryuji is a track team member who suffered a crippling leg injury, just like Kazushi. For bonus points, they both represent the Chariot arcana. He also has a distinct penchant for meat, which means he'd probably get along well with his immediate predecessor, Chie (or fight with her over the last bit of steak).
    • Two of the paintings in Madarame's Palace bear more than a passing resemblance to the protagonists of the third and fourth Persona games.
    • A lot of the endgame is reminiscent of Persona 2 Eternal Punishment. Shido and Goro are basically what would happen if the Sudous were working together and Tatsuya Sudou survived longer. The Conspiracy is extremely similar to the New World Order, with both extending far in places of power. Both Tatsuzou and Shido are confronted on a cruise ship, and shortly after they are defeated, a supernatural villain playing a game with the Big Good after having weakened him is revealed.
    • When using any of the DLC legacy Personas, Joker's call-outs are references to their canonical users. For example, he has an education-related line when using Ariadne, adopts a more cruel tone with Magatsu Izanagi and Asterius, and makes a "Sho"-themed pun with Tsukiyomi.
  • Calling Card: Played with. You send out a calling card to the target, but it's required in order to materialize the palace's treasure, and unlike most instances of the trope you only send it out after you've already made your way through the palace to find where the treasure is.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Characters shout "Persona!" or the actual name of their Guardian Entity when summoning them, and sometimes the party Combination Attack.
    • Asmodeus will tell you he's about to use his "Super Death Spike" exploding volleyball attack the turn before he actually hits you with it.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The Metaverse Navigation app keeps reappearing on the Protagonist's phone no matter how many times he deletes it, and forcibly sends him to the Metaverse twice.
  • The Cameo:
    • Rise and Kanami appear in individual advertisements at subway stations. Ann even gives you the poster of Rise if you hang out with her at Harajuku, which can be put up as decoration in your room.
    • Haru gives you a kumade of Teddie if you hang out with her at Asakusa.
    • You're able to buy goods from Tanaka if you buy a busted laptop from the second-hand goods shop and fix it up.
  • Camera Abuse:
    • The screen will momentarily "crack" whenever you perform an All-Out Attack.
    • One of Morgana's victory animations has him bump into the screen.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: The protagonist always has to be in your party. Every other party member is completely optional, to the point you can even switch them in and out mid-battle.
  • Caper Rationalization: The protagonists conduct heists in order to literally steal pieces of people's psyche and induce a Heel–Face Brainwashing. The people who are targeted are also very corrupt and largely unsympathetic, to the point that their abuse of power ends up ruining the lives of the main cast unless they are dealt with.
  • Cassandra Truth: As part of his interrogation, the Protagonist tells Sae all about the Metaverse and working with a talking cat right from the start, while leaving out details that would incriminate his allies. She has a hard time believing him at first, but is willing to hear him out.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Persona Physical and Gun skills require a percentage of your HP to use.
  • Catchphrase: Used by the hacker organization Medjed. "We are Medjed. We are unseen. We will eliminate evil."
  • Central Theme: Thieves, Rebellion and Justice.
    • Each protagonists' starting persona is inspired by a historical or literary thief, and the party themselves become thieves to reform corrupt or broken members of society.
    • The party's ultimate Personas are based on mythological figures that rebelled against their respective gods and were cast out of the heavens for it.
    • A person's reputation might not reflect his or her true character.
  • Character Customization: You get to pick your hero's name, and personality through Dialogue Trees. Further, the skill card and expanded fusion systems let you customize the skills and stats of his Personas.
  • Chekhov's Classroom:
    • Class lectures cover topics like the Cognitive Representation concept that serves as the basis for the cognitive projections you encounter throughout the Palaces, Plato's tripartite theory of soul that explains how you're able to heel-face brainwash the villains, and so on. They are also very conveniently timed. For example, a few days after you recruit Makoto, you'll get a question in class about Pope Joan, her Persona and the figure thought to be depicted on the La Papesse tarot card, her Arcana.
    • In a rather realistic and justified example, any random question you hear in class may be asked on the next exam, so pay attention.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • As early as the first dungeon, it's explained that the people in control can create "cognitive existences" of other people. Basically copies of a person that's shown as the master of the palace sees them (such as the sexily clad copy of Ann that Kamoshida makes), or wants them to be, and this comes up from time to time. This is later used to save the Protagonist from the traitor, because the police station is Sae's Palace, and she is the master of it, so the team relies on her having a ccognitive copy of the protagonist in that room, so that the traitor "kills" them, then thinks they're dead.
    • Used again in a darker note after that. In Shido's Palace, a cognitive version of Akechi as Shido sees him (an expendable but obedient underling) appears, and because Shido was planning to kill him in the end, he ends up killing the real one.
    • In the Casino, Futaba makes two identification cards. The alias for the first, "Taro Tanaka," is considered too generic to use (since it's more or less equivalent to "John Doe"), so she gives it to Akechi for him to throw out. Akechi secretly keeps the card, and uses it to win 900,000 coins on his own, enabling the group to meet even the revised total of 1 million needed for the final passage.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • You can find Makoto hanging around the library at school long before she has any involvement in the plot.
    • You can find some of Junya Kaneshiro's henchmen in Shibuya, asking if you're interested in one of the "part-time jobs" that it later turns out they're using to Blackmail students, months before it actually becomes a plot point.
    • TV shows will mention Hifumi Togo, one of your later confidants, as early as June.
    • You first see Haru very briefly during the fireworks festival cutscene, and you meet her again during the Class Trip to Hawaii.
    • The head of The Conspiracy, Masayoshi Shido, turns out to be the guy responsible for the Protagonist's probation. Justified by the fact that Shido was inadvertently getting in the Big Bad's way, and thus they gave the person Shido had most recently wronged the power to eliminate him.
    • The woman that Shido molested at the beginning of the game is brought up again near the end of the game, where she testifies against Shido to ensure his imprisonment.
    • Akechi is mentioned on television as early as April.
  • Chest Burster: Shadows in dungeons change from human forms to demonic ones by having their demonic selves burst from the chests or out the backs of their human bodies, reducing it to a puddle of back and red.
  • Chucking Chalk: One of the protagonist's teachers hits him in the head with a piece of chalk from straight across the room in one scene. It's possible to get a stat gain by dodging it if you have enough Proficiency.
  • City of Adventure: Unlike the fictional settings of previous installments, P5 takes place in the very real city of Tokyo.
  • Class Trip: Partway through the year, the party members who go to Shujin High School get to go on a trip to Hawaii. Futaba and Morgana stay at home. Yusuke, who goes to a different school, ends up joining them in Hawaii due to plane issues on his school's trip. While the third-years aren't supposed to attend (due to exams), Makoto and Haru end up coming to serve as chaperones, since the senior faculty are tied up with the Phantom Thieves investigation.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In series tradition, regular, "heroic" Personas have a blue sheen with white highlights, and they are summoned in bright blue flames, while the aura of Shadows and evil Personas is Red and Black and Evil All Over.
  • Color Motifs: Red, in opposition to the somber Persona 3's blue and the upbeat Persona 4's yellow, to underscore P5's themes of danger and rebellion. It also heavily uses black and white for a pizazz-filled "black with white highlights" look.
  • Combination Attack:
    • The "All-Out Attack", where all standing party members attack every downed enemy.
    • "Random Fire", where the entire party showers random enemies in bullets.
    • "Baton Pass", where one character gives their turn to another to gain bonuses like enhanced stats.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Protagonist defeats the Big Bad by combining the seven deadly sins into a bullet, which the ultimate Persona, Satanael, then shoots through its head.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • The Shujin High School boys' volleyball team (and honestly, the entire school) is so used to Kamoshida owning the place that they're in complete denial about his physical abuse of the students. They call it "training".
    • On a slightly more amusing note, if you take your time completing Kaneshiro's Palace and draw close to the deadline, Makoto will remind you to get it done ASAP, because she has been getting her own friendly "reminders" daily via text. When asked if she's okay, she will reply that she's gotten used to it.
    • Discussed during Okumura's palace, when the group wonders why the robots that serve as the cognitive versions of his employees don't try to resist. Yusuke says that the more present oppression is, the harder it is to live without it, and he learned that while living with Madarame- even after Madarame's exposure and fall from grace, Yusuke can't help but sometimes remember his teacher fondly.
  • The Conspiracy: The Phantom Thieves' activities eventually attract the attention of a secret, wealthy organization that seeks to eliminate them for their knowledge of the world inside the collective unconscious.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Goro Akechi is known as "the second advent of Detective Prince". The original Detective Prince was Naoto.
    • Posters of Rise Kujikawa and Kanami Mashita can be found in the Shibuya subway station.
    • The traitor's black knight outfit is a corrupted version of the costumes from Phoenix Ranger Featherman R, the Persona series's Super Sentai TV Show Within a Show that first appeared in Persona 2.
    • Futaba has a set of Phoenix Ranger Featherman R figures in her room.
    • Similar to Persona 3, you can occasionally catch shows on TV that are talking about or outright interviewing characters from previous games.
      • Persona 2: A detective who wears distinctive red glasses (Katsuya Suou).
      • Persona 3: A legendary gumshoe who claims to have punched a bear (Akihiko Sanada). Also, Yukari Takeba is still in college and still acting on the Ranger Featherman show.
      • Persona 4: A female police cadet who apparently can use kung-funote . A convicted killer who claims he did it just because "the world is a shitty place" (Tohru Adachi). The beautiful, young proprietress of the Amagi Inn (Yukiko Amagi). Rise Kujikawa still working as an idol at 20 years old, with a sultry and sexy persona nowadays. Taro Namatame has returned to politics.
    • Yukari is still working on the Neo Featherman show.
    • You can get DLC packs that let you wear the uniforms of students from St. Hermelin, Seven Sisters, Gekkoukan, and Yasogami.
    • In Takemi's Confidant, she makes a phone call and speaks to someone she calls "Uehara-san." Considering that Takemi's calling a hospital, it's entirely likely that she's calling Sayoko Uehara, a nurse who is the Devil Social Link from the previous game.
    • One of the news bulletins on the train mentions an incident at Wild Duck Burger.
    • The theme park Destiny Land comes from Shin Megami Tensei I (and was also occasionally mentioned in other games).
    • The pharmacy in Shibuya is called the Aohige Pharmacy. This was also the name of the pharmacy at Palownia Mall in Persona 3.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • School lessons have a weird habit of relating to whatever's going on in the story, don't they?
    • The characters themselves note the astronomical odds of the fact that the man responsible for the false charge against Joker, The Man Behind the Man to Yusuke and Makoto's abusers, and the man who murdered Futaba's mother and Haru's father are all the same man - Masayoshi Shido.
  • Cool Mask: All the characters' Persona turn into nifty thief masks when not in use.
  • Copy And Paste Environments: Most of the Mementos dungeon is a set of blocks of warped subway tunnels stuck together by random generation. The rest of the game however, and the bottom of Mementos, is custom made.
  • Cosmetic Award: By taking certain confidants on a date to the right place, the player may receive a gift from the confidant. Some of these confidant/location combinations can be difficult to figure out, only occurring between certain confidant levels, on certain days of the week, or after the player has already taken that confidant on a certain nuber of dates before. However, these gifts can only be used to decorate Joker's room — there isn't even an acheivement associated with them. And to make it even worse, the shelf where most of the decorations are kept is on the wall to the camera's right in Joker's room, making them hard to see if you're not in the decorating menu.
  • The Cracker: Medjed, a global organization of "hacktivists" who claim to be just by targeting corrupt businesses by stealing and destroying data.
  • Crapsack World: There's a reason the Thieves are willing to risk everything to reform the world — they really do have no other choice if they want to live a halfway normal life. Physically and sexually abusive predators are employed as teachers — something both staff and parents are fully aware of and choose to do nothing about. Random accidents caused by "psychotic breaks" could end your life in an instant. The police are in the pocket of corrupt monsters, which sees innocent people arrested and real criminals allowed to go free thanks to their connections. When tragedy or injustice strikes, authority figures can't or won't protect you, bystanders are too apathetic or scared to get involved, and by the end of it you'll be so Conditioned to Accept Horror that you'll probably be one of the faceless masses who just keep their head down in the hope that nobody dangerous notices them.
  • Critical Hit: Physical attacks have a chance to deal extra damage, which is accompanied by an extended attack animation where the party member uses both their melee weapon and gun, or pops a creepy Slasher Smile if they used a Persona's physical skill instead.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens in the final battle with Satanael vs. Yaldabaoth. The latter uses his strongest attack on the party, only for Satanael to completely No Sell it, and Satanael finishes the fight with a single Sinful Shell to Yaldabaoth's head.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When most characters awaken to their Persona in a cutscene, they tend to incapacitate or kill every nearby Shadow instantly, which they then can't reproduce in following battles.
    • Prologue Arsene has access to Eigaon and Brave Blade, two moves that are well beyond what the Arsene you ultimately start with can ever naturally learn.
    • Ann uses a Shadow's BFS when she first awakens, but can only equip whips for the rest of the game.
    • Goemon uses an area of effect freezing attack when Yusuke first awakens, only for Yusuke to lack Mabufu or any other multi-target ice magic in the mini-boss battle that happens seconds later.
    • Satanael, despite being the single most powerful Persona you can fuse in the New Game+, can't obtain its Sinful Shell skill because that what it uses to kill Yaldabaoth in a very memorable cutscene. To make it available elsewhere would render everything else completely moot.

    D-F 
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Due to the interface overhaul in Persona 5, players who later return to previous Persona games after playing it find themselves accidentally wasting turns due to being overly familiar with the newer combat controls. Most notably, in 5 Personas are summoned with the triangle button, and in Persona 3/FES/P 4/G that same button rushes the enemy. Using skills and attacks is based on a simpler list-scrolling based UI which makes it counter-intuitive for players familiar with 5.
  • Dancing Theme: The main characters can be seen dancing around the city in the opening animation that plays before the title screen. The poses and spins make it look like they're ice skating on concrete.
  • Dare to Be Badass: How the Persona awakenings go. The Persona reaches out to the character, urging them to be honest with what they want, form a contract, and cut loose on those holding them down.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Compared to Persona 4, with characters receiving visible, bloody injuries, regular use of Body Horror, the heroes being Anti-Hero thieves, much more dangerous antagonists and some fairly dark plot twists. As just one example, Ann's early game plot really kicks off when her friend Shiho, who is being terribly abused by Kamoshida to start with (to the point of having dead-looking eyes), leaps to her death off the top of a school building, in full view of all her classmates, including Ann. That pretty much sets the tone for the entire game.
    • It's still Lighter and Softer than Persona 3 tone wise. The topics of the game are as dark or darker than P3's, but the game manages to be generally more upbeat than the rather melancholy P3, ending with an unambiguously happy ending compared to P3's Bittersweet Ending.
  • Dark World: The Metaverse is a warped version of the real world that grows and transforms based on human desires.
  • Deal with the Devil: How Persona awakening sequences are presented in this game, with a Magnificent Bastard version of the character's own voice offering them a "contract" for power in exchange for unleashing their hidden vengeance / rage / etc.
  • Death by Despair: Present as a game mechanic — the despair ailment causes the afflicted to not take any actions, lose SP with each turn, and eventually kill themselves. For players, this can be both useful and terrifying; in the case of the latter, should Joker get hit with this and not cured in time - it's an immediate game over. In the case of the former, during Flu Season days, enemies encountered in Mementos have a random chance of being hit with despair as soon as a fight is initiated...this extends to ALL enemies excluding bosses. Which means that yes, the REAPER can be have a case of despair and kill itself in an encounter. Using this to the your advantage is accepted as the best way to rapidly gain levels.
  • Death Glare: The Persona critical/weakness-hitting eye cut-in is now closer to this, showing the characters' pissed off expressions from a more dynamic angle. Special contenders include Yusuke and Makoto.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In the seventh dungeon, the player has to fight five mini bosses throughout the dungeon before securing the treasure route. After defeating the fifth mini boss, the Phantom Thieves are ready to return and call it a day. However, the Goho-M item, which normally warps the Thieves back to a dungeon entrance, cannot be used. This is so that the player cannot skip the upcoming showdown with The Dragon.
    • The Non Standard Game Over scene you get for failing to complete a palace on time has slight variations depending on which palace you failed, reflecting things like which characters were involved and how Sojiro feels about you at that point.
    • If you button-mash your way through the menus in the Velvet Room, there's a chance you'll cut off Caroline or Justine's dialogue, to which they'll snap at you for your rudeness and impatience.
    • The silhouettes during area transitions change depending on the environment and various contexts. Sick season shows various people wearing face masks. Hot weather has people dress more lightly. The Hawaii trip will show obese people, buff people, and other styles less commonly seen in Japan. At school, there's even a chance you'll see one of your teammates like Ryuji or Ann instead of faceless silhouettes.
    • If you solo the fight against Shadow Sae, you won't be able to continue since you can't do the special op to expose the boss's cheating. Instead, after awhile, Futaba calls the boss out and this enrages them enough that they immediately go One-Winged Angel, allowing you to proceed with the fight.
    • Aside from the boys, the player has the option of hanging out with several female Confidants during the last period of free time they have in Hawaii. Ryuji, Yusuke and Mishima are there by default if the player hasn't met the following requirements: Ann and Kawakami are available if their Confidants have been maxed out and they have been pursued romantically, while Makoto and Hifumi are available if they have at least Rank 5, given that they need certain social stats maxed out for the player to continue further. As such, the dates are treated differently between those groups; while Ann and Kawakami's events are appropriately romantic, Makoto and Hifumi's equivalents aren't since by this point, the player might not have the stats needed to rank their Confidants up enough to pursue them romantically, thus explaining their more friendship-based events.
    • An interesting narrative one: In the sixth palace, you will have to temporarily leave, the reason being similar to the second and fourth palaces. In this case, you'll be attending a trial in the real world to help erase a gate further in the dungeon. The narrative foresight comes into the potential date: If you go through the palace on November 2nd and reach the barrier, the trial is held on November 3rd, which is also Culture Day (a holiday), so normally trials wouldn't be held. This actually gets discussed by the party should this come up.
    • In the fourth and seventh palaces only, your characters can be afflicted with the Rattled status that turns them into mice, with each character's mouse form retaining their rebel mask and imitating their human form's idle pose as a way to tell them apart. Akechi can't be in your team during either of these palaces, but he still has a fully functional mouse model (complete with mask and pose) just like the other characters.
    • Just as in Persona 4 Golden, the game has prepared for situations in which the player has more than two girlfriends. Yes, this also includes one where they have relationships with every single female Confidant.
  • Dialogue Tree: Talking with party members, answering questions in class, doing part-time jobs, and negotiating with demons all involve picking multiple options from a list of potential responses.
  • Diary: As part of his probation, the protagonist is forced to keep a log of his activities in a little black book he stores in his back pocket. However, the game also uses it as a meta-narrative stand in for your Save Point.
  • Difficulty Levels: You can play the game on Safety, Easy, Normal, Hard and Challenge/Merciless. Each mode gives enemies higher stats, and makes damage from elemental weaknesses more punishing, making battles tougher.
  • Dirty Cop: The cops who apprehend the protagonist drug and beat him to try and get information on his accomplices. The head of the department is also a member of The Conspiracy, and plans to kill the protagonist and their friends to protect his illicit activities. It's also mentioned that the police and prosecutors are likely to plant evidence and frame the thieves in order to pin the various deaths on them.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: There are three different ones leading up to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon (assuming you get the true ending). The first is Niijima's Palace AKA the Casino Palace from the beginning of the game. You know how everything will end, only now you start to see the full picture of what happened. Assuming that you avoid the Bad Ending after this dungeon, you then proceed onto Shido's Palace, the Palace of the Big Bad of the game. It features climactic battles against the Big Bad and Akechi. However, assuming you've been keeping up with exploring Mementos, after that is Mementos Depths, the very bottom of Mementos and what Morgana's character arc has been building up to. However, despite The Very Definitely Final Dungeon feel and the confrontation with the Greater-Scope Villain, the boss fight is a Hopeless Boss Fight and the dungeon only really serves as a set-up for the actual final dungeon (assuming that you don't go for the very obvious Bad Ending choice).
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • Swift Strike is available as early as level 19 for Joker, but causing a guaranteed 3-4 light hits to all foes is a lot more powerful that it sounds. Don't be surprised if you find yourself keeping this skill on most new Persona you upgrade from.
    • As expected by their Downloadable Content status, the Legacy Personas (Orpheus, Izanagi, Thanatos, Kaguya, Magatsu Izanagi, Messiah, Ariadne, Tsukiyomi, Asterius) are overpowered for how early you get them in the game — you absolutely destroy the < level 10 enemies with the level 20-81 Personas, even on Hard or Merciless difficulty. What really drives them into this territory however isn't just their strength, it's that the first summoning of any of them (even the lvl 80 personas) is entirely FREE of charge. Any summons after this should you use them in a fusion must be paid for of course, but still a free courtesy summon is insane to ignore.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Most targets of the Phantom Thieves, while not all on the scale of the main bosses, generally are pretty horrible people with crimes ranging from physical abuse to power harassment. Meanwhile, the Mementos mission required to unlock the Tower Confidant involves...a guy who cheats at video games.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Futaba first awakens Necronomicon, it produces tentacles that abduct her and bring her inside, simultaneously changing her into her Phantom Thief outfit.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Twice.
    • The one behind the mental shutdowns of several people is Masayoshi Shido, who was the drunken guy the protagonist ran into that lead to his arrest.
    • And then the true villain, the one behind everything for all the events in the game. Who is it? Igor, the guy who's been your main support for creating new personas throughout the entire game. What makes this a even bigger twist is that it's not even the real Igor.
  • Dojikko: The staff at the Akihabara maid cafe seem to be going for this deliberately, contributing to the creepy artificiality of the place's attempts to be cute and charming.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Because of the recent hit to their reputation, the Thieves can't send the usual Calling Card to Masayoshi Shido. Futaba's solution is to hack into all of Japan's airwaves to broadcast their denouncement and challenge of Shido.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: After narrowly escaping from Shido's Palace, Ryuji meets up with the Phantom Thieves. After he mockingly teases Ann, Makoto, Futaba, and Haru, the girls menacingly approach him while he pleads for them to stop and the screen then fades to black for a few seconds before showing Ryuji beaten and unconscious propped up against a light pole, implying the girls had mercilessly beaten him up. They were just torn up and crying over his apparent death 5 minutes earlier and were furious that he was teasing them for crying.
    • Don't date more than one girl. Don't. Do. It. When they catch you on Valentine's Day, Sojiro and Morgana abandon you to your fate, and the game cuts to your broken and beaten ass lying on the floor of LeBlanc.
    • This is notably averted more often then not however compared to previous games, especially with the many minor female targets in Mementos, which consist of a lot of Abusive mothers/girlfriends who need to be changed for their actions.
  • Downer Beginning: Both the In Medias Res prologue and the actual beginning of the game.
    • The prologue shows the Thieves completing a caper at the casino... only for Joker to be arrested due to a member of the team selling them out, and suffering violent Police Brutality once caught.
    • The game proper opens with the protagonist being framed for assault by a man who he stopped from sexually assaulting a woman. When he arrives at Shujin Academy, he finds out the gym teacher Kamoshida basically owns the place: he physically abuses males who stand up to him and sexually abuses female students, and everyone is too scared to stand up to him. The protagonist and Ryuji accidentally stumble into his mental world, where his Shadow immediately decides to have them both killed, and the two barely escape with their lives. Shortly afterwards, Ann's friend attempts suicide due to Kamoshida's advances, and the three decide to become vigilantes to take him down.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Compared to previous games, where the downer only came through Fridge Horror, the bad ending is far more overtly brutal as the protagonist is sadistically murdered by Akechi.
    • Technically, there are multiple Downer Endings- one for each Palace if you fail to clear it by the in-game deadline, as well as the one described above, and one for if you choose to accept Yaldabaoth's bargain towards the end of the game.
  • Downloadable Content: The game has multiple digital content that can be bought from the psn store.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: There are also some common sense oddities and mistranslations here and there in the English translation of the game, such as:
    • In Sae's first appearance, a police officer is telling Sae in the original Japanese that they got a call from her boss, telling them to allow Sae to interrogate their prisoner. In the English version, it's translated as if the officer's telling her she's about to get a call from her boss, despite how odd it sounds for him to ask the police officer to tell Sae he'll be calling her on her personal phone, rather than asking the officer to hand Sae their own phone, or something similar.
    • Shadow Kamoshida chides his guards for "mistaking [his] Ann for someone like her [the real Ann]", which is confusing because what happened was the exact opposite of what he's complaining about: his guards mistook the real Ann for his cognitive version instead of realizing she was just another "Intruder" like Joker and Ryuji. Essentially the dubbing team swapped the two Anns in this dialog somehow and didn't catch it, as in the Japanese he correctly mocks them for mistaking the real Ann for his "Princess" which was why Ann is brought to him, while the resulting line sounds more like the guards tried to take Princess Ann to the dungeons like the other intruders thinking she was the real Ann.
    • Ryuji will mention his "Folks" at some points in the English translation, despite it being a plot point that his Dad left years ago and he lives alone with his single mother, who explicitly feels ashamed for having to raise him as such, even now.
    • Failing to complete one specific Palace has notable differences; in the Japanese version, authorities arrive to arrest Joker after the relatives found Futaba dead and blamed Joker for it. In the English version, they arrived because Joker was charged with blackmail, and whoever filed the complaint isn't even mentioned.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: You get the bad endings by failing to stop one of the abusive adults, giving up your team or Confidants to Sae, and accepting Yaldabaoth's offer to use the Metaverse for their own ends.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At first it goes for a Bittersweet Ending with the Protagonist turning themselves in as leader of the Phantom Thieves so that he can testify against Masayoshi Shido and ensure that he gets a guilty verdict. Because of his prior record, he'll be sent to juvenile hall, however, Shido's crimes can be bought to light and his friends will be safe. However, thanks to the efforts of the rest of the Thieves and the Confidants, they manage to clear him of his prior record, allowing him to go free early.
  • Easier Than Easy: Safe Mode. In addition to making the enemies weaker and the players stronger, it's also impossible to lose. However, choosing Safe Mode locks you into that difficulty for the remainder of that playthrough.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Metaverse, a region inside the collective unconscious that warps into massive, unstable structures called palaces based on the warped desires of humans and is reached using a cell phone app.
      • Mementos in particular, a manifestation of the Metaverse tied to the Shibuya subway station that's described as "everybody's palace." Its layout is constantly shifting and changing, strong winds are perpetually blowing through it, and it starts looking more and more distorted the deeper into it you explore.
    • The Velvet Room, an ever-changing location existing not in space or time but inside the collective unconscious of the human psyche, returns.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Satanael, the protagonist's Ultimate Persona, is called forth with the aid of Yuki and the entire populace of Tokyo choosing to defy authority and believe in the Phantom Thieves, spurring Joker to break the chains holding down Arsene to reveal his true form. In the final battle he only has one move which headshots the final boss, but like previous games, he can be summoned using the maximum amount of fusions in the New Game+.
  • Epiphanic Prison: A major theme of the game is finding how to free yourself of the metaphorical chains society puts on you.
    Katsura Hashino: We may feel some sort of suffocation in this world today, but as long as the world is comprised of relationships among humans, it is a person's character, or a group's character, that will provide the "power" to destroy that "feeling of entrapment".
    • Mementos Depths is the embodiment of this. The entire place is styled as a giant prison, and all the cognitive representations within it express relief that they're stuck inside because it means that they'll be safe, representing humanity's collective Bystander Syndrome.
  • Evolution Power-Up: Along with the standard stat and elemental resistance upgrades, your Guardian Entities identities actually power up when your party members reach Rank 10 in their Level-Up at Intimacy 5 "Confidant" sub-plots; each Persona transforms from an Anthropomorphic Personification of a Picaresque hero to a Rage Against the Heavens mythological figure.
  • Explosive Decompression: Discussed in the Space Station palace. Futaba cheerfully informs the rest of the party that they won't explode when out in space, but they'll last 30 seconds, tops, if they cover their noses and mouths. Thankfully, since it's the Metaverse, the party can (and must) travel through space between airlocks without problems.
  • Extra Turn: Battles use the "One More!" system from Persona 3 and 4 - getting a Critical Hit or exploiting an enemy's elemental weakness gives you an additional action. The new "Baton Pass" mechanic meanwhile allows you to pass this turn to any party member you've reached Confidant level 2 with.
  • Eyed Screen: Once again, a cut-in of just the character's eyes will appear when you perform powerful Persona attacks.
  • Face Death with Dignity: If you execute Arsene to fuse a new Persona, he confidently states that he'll meet you again at the end of your journey and ends his speech with an Evil Laugh. It probably helps that you can bring him back for a small amount of yen. Noticeably, he's also one of the very few -if not only- Personas who don't enter a despairing pose when facing the Fusion (guillotine), Strengthening (hangman's noose), or Itemization (electric chair) devices.
  • Faceless Masses: Non-important NPCs are generally far less detailed in model, most easily observed by comparing the protagonist to other generic student NPCs since he actually wears his uniform to code as they do. Look and it's easy to notice all kinds of details missing from their uniforms compared to the protagonist, theirs will come off as blurry.
  • Facial Horror: When characters first awaken to their Personas, they have to rip off masks that are part of their faces, causing blood to erupt as they for all intents and purposes rip their own skin off.
  • Fake Difficulty: More in the "time management" aspect of the game than the combat, but the game uses quite a few shortcuts to raise the player's blood pressure:
    • You are regularly cheated out of free time to socialize and build stats. This is to be expected with major plot events, but even running a five minute errand can take you a full day. For example, as in Persona 4, Golden Week is a bust after Sojiro hijacks you to work in the cafe, then you spend all of the next day selling your loot. You're not even allowed to use the evening to do as you please as the game will show an evening cutscene, then jump to the next day. After that, the plot element of your celebratory dinner will eat up yet another day. Afterwards, Morgana will take over the role of denying you free time, constantly nagging you into going to bed. As a result, it is very difficult to max all stats and clear all social links without either a guide or New Game+, even if you're familiar with the series, even if it's the same as the rest of the series.
    • Persona negotiation is largely a matter of chance — you may eventually work it out, but probably not until well into your playthrough.
      • With a little investigation into the Personas' moods on the Enemy Analysis screen, though, you can at least get an idea of what statements to make to which creatures. If a Persona is Timid, be nice and understanding. If they're Irritable, show 'em who's boss and take no crap.
    • The nature of Palaces saps SP, even you're stealthy. Thanks to Magic Is Rare, Health Is Cheap, a lack of magic is likely to be your main reason to retreat...which means you'll probably need to spend at least two days on a Palace even before the Calling Card is sent. Just to be sure, the puzzles often involve backtracking through areas you've already cleared out, with the Shadows having respawned in the meantime.
    • The Calling Card mechanic drains an additional two days out of your calendar, as you will be unable to do anything on the day you send it, then have to commit to fighting the next day (and therefore be unable to do anything in the evening).
    • Bosses will frequently use moves that you need to guard against, but will take several turns to charge up. There's not any indication that they won't do the attack immediately, so most players would typically waste turns defending because they don't know when the attack is coming.
  • Faking the Dead: In order to avoid the Bad Ending where he dies, the Protagonist exploits a phone modified by Futaba to activate the Meta-Nav app remotely, and a section of Sae's Palace that looks like the real world in order to make Akechi kill a mental projection instead.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Kamoshida has a harem of topless female volleyball students in his Palace, all writhing and moaning in ecstacy over their "king". Even Ryuji is disturbed.
    • Asmodeus is a fat, misshapen demon in nothing but a crown, cape and pink speedo.
    • Samael is a muscular shirtless man whose muscles keep growing more and more grotesquely huge as the battle continues.
  • Fan Community Nicknames:invoked In-universe, as the popularity of the Phantom Thieves rises, the Phantom Aficionado Website becomes known as the "Phan-site," with its users known as "Phanboys."
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: You can press start to skip cutscenes and fast forward through dialog. the dialogue fast forward even imposes VHS fast forward effects on the screen.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Invoked. Morgana, Lavenza and Igor spend the entire game trying to help the Protagonist use his abilities to destroy the very Big Bad that empowered and manipulated him.
  • Females Are More Innocent: There are seven palaces, two which are made by women: Futaba Sakura and Sae Niijima. The men who own Palaces and get reformed (Suguru Kamoshida, Ichiryuusai Madarame, Junya Kaneshiro, Kunikazu Okumura, and Masayoshi Shido) have long abused their positions of power and the people around them. Meanwhile...
    • Sae's only real "crime" is her ardent Second Place Is for Losers mentality that has stemmed from pressure at her job and being unfairly compared to her sister, and she's otherwise by-the-book when taking on the Phantom Thieves case. Unlike the other targets, whom the Thieves seek to punish for their crimes, the Thieves target her at Akechi's suggestion, to prevent the investigation from closing in on them, and Makoto also does so in hopes of helping her sister be happier and rediscover her sense of justice, even if she finds it quite painful to face Leviathan. Not only is Sae the only target who doesn't get her treasure stolen (as she reforms on her own), but she allies herself with the thieves after Akechi is outed as the traitor.
    • As for Futaba, she deliberately targeted herself, as she wanted the thieves to steal her heart so that she could be rid of her suicidal impulses and put an end to her shut-in lifestyle. In fact, the main problem was that Futaba was blaming herself for something that wasn't in any way her fault.
    • Regarding the Shadows of women who appear in Mementos, however, this is still present, but downplayed. There's a much closer to even mix of men and women culprits in that dungeon, and the women are legitimately bad people who need to change - but there's a gap in how evil the men are versus how evil the women are. The women range from stalkers to abusive mothers and girlfriends, while the shadows of men in Mementos include murderers and sexual abusers.
  • Flash Step: One of the Protagonist's field abilities allows him to quickly move from cover to cover in the blink of an eye.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Shortly before the climax of the fifth palace, Kawakami comments during a lesson on the danger of crows — cunning creatures who shouldn't be underestimated.
    • Among the seemingly unimportant lessons towards the end includes one that brings up the Holy Grail, which turns out to be one form of the Final Boss.
    • There are numerous hints that Goro Akechi is not who he seems to be.
      • He overheard the group discussing pancakes at one point. Except it was Morgana who said it. And only those who been to the metaverse can understand him.
      • At one point, you have the option to respond to his statement that Joker and his friends are suspicious by saying that he's the suspicious one. For a second, Akechi freezes up in shock before laughing it off. For a moment, he may have thought the Phantom Thieves were on to him and panicked before realizing Joker was being sarcastic.
      • Despite his appearance on the main poster, he's the only one who doesn't appear in the opening.
      • The library carries books on the Persona of each party member as they join. You can never check out a book on Robin Hood.
      • In the chat program, everyone's icon is a color of the rainbow (protagonist's is red) except Akechi's, which is a shade of gray.
    • There are numerous hints that Igor is not who he seems to be.
      • When you first meet him, he says, "Welcome to my Velvet Room" instead of "Welcome to the Velvet Room".
      • He is never shown fusing Personas, always leaving the dirty work to Justine and Caroline.
      • He's extremely vague about what the protagonist's "rehabilitation" actually entails, and dodges the question every time you try to ask him to clarify.
      • In the game over messages, Igor generally laments your demise. In this game, Igor mocks you and calls your end "foolish".
      • The Velvet Key, something the protagonist of every Persona game since Persona 3 gets upon their first visit to the Velvet Room, is never given to the protagonist by Igor. Instead it's given by Lavenza (though it's called the "Cell Key" in this game) on the last day of the game as the Friendship Trinket for maxing out the Strength Confidant.
      • And of course, the most obvious giveaway is that his voice is drastically different from the real Igor.
    • TV programs report on employees of various fast food companies losing their minds and committing various crimes as early as May, hinting at reveals much later in the story regarding Haru's father being involved with the conpiracy and the nature of Black Mask's abilities.
    • On the school trip overseas, Mishima gets dragged around by Ryuji to hit on girls all day long. By the evening he regrets that decision due to seeing Ryuji as too different from him and wonders if getting a girlfriend would be the only way to escape from future events. By the time Valentines Day rolls around, you discover that he is too busy to hang out with you and Ryuji, implying that he got some chocolate from a girl.
    • During the arc where you are being threatened by Medjed, your research reveals that Medjed is the name of an Egyptian god. Then, seemingly unrelated, Futaba's dungeon is Egyptian themed. And she is a big computer whiz. Turns out that Futaba was the original Medjed before copycats started co-opting the name and she changed to a new, also Egyptian themed, name.
    • One of the skits in Mementos has Haru praising the Morgana-mobile's interior, to which Makoto comments "If I were to buy a car, it would be one like this." Sure enough, in the Good Ending's epilogue, Makoto is seen driving a Citroën Type-H, a.k.a. the real life panel van the Morgana-mobile is based off.
    • Both Shadow Madarame and Shadow Kaneshiro remark that there's another Metaverse-user running around. Shadow Kaneshiro also warns the Phantom Thieves that 'a chance encounter with them may prove fatal.' Sure enough, encountering them does prove fatal in the Bad Ending.
  • The Four Gods: The four elemental animal guardians Seiryu, Suzaku, Byakko, and Genbu return as enemies and recruitable Persona. You can also fuse Kohryu after completing Sojiro's Social Link.
  • Framing Device: The protagonist's interrogation is an interesting variation of one. All but one of the in-game months that make up the protagonist's probation are recanted to Sae during his interrogation, which starts at the beginning of the game. Whenever you advance the story by taking out a big target, and every time you initiate a Confidant link, the game skips forward to the interrogation, where Sae asks the protagonist to give her the details. While it's made clear that the protagonist mentions how the targets are taken out and all of the supernatural elements that entail, he leaves out names (both party members and Confidants) for everyone involved - in fact, if you decide to sell out your friends and confidants at the very end of the interrogation, you get a bad ending. Eventually you get to the point where you infiltrate the same casino Palace seen at the very beginning of the game and get captured, and it's revealed that the thieves deliberately let the protagonist get captured in order to get Sae on their side and out detective Goro Akechi as a member of The Conspiracy. Should you successfully answer Sae's questions correctly, the protagonist (who had been addled with drugs up until this point) remembers his plan and initiates it, successfully escaping with Sae and going into hiding. Once the final arc begins, the framing device is no longer used.
  • French Maid Outfit: The servers at the maid cafe all wear the standard frilly black and white maid outfits, as does Sadayo Kawakami in her second job.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Treasure in every Palace represents one for the owner, being the physical embodiment of the desire twisting the owner's actions. By stealing it, the Phantom Thieves remove its influence, causing the owner to return to their senses.
    • Kamoshida's is a crown which turns into his Olympic medal, representing all the pressure he was under to live up to everyone's expectations as the hero who brought home the gold for Japan.
    • Madarame's was a representation of the Sayuri painting, showing the inadequacy he felt as a fading artist compared to his younger and more talented students.
    • Kaneshiro's are stacks of gold bullion that turn into a briefcase of fake bills, representing his insecurity from being a helpless nobody growing up.
    • The fourth palace's is actually the owner, Futaba herself, who's utterly ridden with guilt and thinks she's to blame for her mother's death.
    • Okumura's is a mysterious metallic orb, which turns into the model rocket he was denied as a child due to his family's unfortunate financial situation.
    • The Sixth palace's is unrevealed, but suggested to be the police journal of Sae's father, representing the combined weight of his death, the burden of taking care of her sister, and trying to succeed in her career.
    • The Seventh palace's is the steering wheel to the cruise ship the palace is on, which turns into Shido's legislator's pin, representing Shido believing deep down that despite all his evil actions he truly can lead Japan to a better future.
    • The general populace's treasure at the Depths of Mementos is the Holy Grail, representing their subconscious desire to remain apathetic, and free from having to take responsibility for their actions.
  • Friendship Trinket: In your last day in town, any character whose Level-Up at Intimacy 5 "Confidant" side-quest you have maxed out will give you an item to remember them by. These items also automatically unlock late-game bonuses from their side-quest if you start a New Game+.

    G-L 
  • Gambit Roulette: The entire casino heist and everything after was all part of a plan by the Thieves to expose Akechi as a traitor, find out who his boss is, turn Sae to their side and fake the Protagonist's death so that The Conspiracy will stop chasing the thieves for awhile. However, as everyone points out, nobody knew what would happen past the Protagonist's capture and the entire plan hinged on the Protagonist appealing to Sae's long lost sense of justice. And then there's the fact that the drugs the interrogators used messed with his mind so much that he didn't even remember that there was a plan until the last minute.
  • Game-Over Man: Velvet Room attendants Justine and Caroline bring your corpse to their Eldritch Location and read various poems lamenting the end of your journey whenever you die.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Igor having a different voice actor is justified because he isn't actually Igor, but an imposter that's the Big Bad of the entire game.
    • If you don't abuse of the Quick Travel feature, Makoto can be found conspicuously following the protagonist, hiding her face behind a manga magazine after being told to find the Phantom Thieves.
    • Most of your party members' initial personas resist the element their persona specializes in. However, Akechi specializes in both Bless and Curse, and, unlike Naoto from Persona 4, does not resist both of his elements...in fact, Akechi is actually weak to curse. This makes more sense once you learn Robin Hood is not Akechi's primary Persona.
    • The Judgement Confidant is formed and Ranked up in the periodic interrogation scenes throughout the game, but the experience bonuses do not kick in until the plot reaches that point, even though you technically have the Confidant levels before that point in the game. That said, most Personas of the Judgment Arcana tend to be too high leveled to actually be fused before that point in the game.
    • The Game Over screen changes once you reach the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, where Igor and Lavenza lament how there's nobody left to stop Yaldabaoth now.
  • Game Show: You can occasionally catch quiz shows on TV. Guessing the right answer to a question ahead of the contenders will even net you a bonus parameter point to knowledge without spending any time.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Like in Persona 4, your party members with high enough Confidants can smack each other to cure certain status aliments. Unlike in Persona 4, they do this by pulling a giant Paper Fan of Doom out of nowhere.
  • Giant Mook: Most of the mini-bosses are regular Shadows / Demons with upgraded stats and elemental protections.
  • G.I.F.T.: Since the posters on the Phan-site are anonymous, a lot of the posts can get quite nasty. When Okumura is killed, for a few days, people rejoice over his death, but soon, opinion turns against the Thieves, and people start calling for them to be tracked down and executed for the murder that they didn't commit.
  • Glass Cannon: The "Merciless" difficulty turns everyone into this thanks to adding a 2.5x multiplier to critical damage. If you get a critical hit, technical or exploit a weakness, just about every opponent and party member other than bosses can be killed instantly.
  • The Glasses Come Off: The protagonist loses his Purely Aesthetic Glasses any time he enters the collective unconscious to fight Shadows. Particularly played up at the start of the game, where his glasses are knocked off by a guard right before he awakens to his Persona.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: While the Greater-Scope Villain creator of the Metaverse seems to be spreading access to his Eldritch Location to multiple individuals and filling an entire underground labyrinth with monsters, the Big Good Igor just sits in his room and fuses new Guardian Entities for you. Subverted when it turns out: a) the Greater Scope Villain has been impersonating Igor, explaining his general disinterest. b) The real Igor created Mr. Exposition Morgana to help you, and his assistant Lavenza has been appearing to you as a Butterfly of Death and Rebirth throughout the game.
  • Going Through the Motions: Animation tailored to a particular scene isn't uncommon, but there are several canned animations that are used reliably for each character. One noticeable wrinkle is the fact that a character model's lip flaps don't seem to be timed or tied to any sound clips—there are many, many occasions where someone's mouth will simply continue to move even when they're not actually speaking in the scene at moment.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: After the protagonist turns himself in to the police, all of the party members and max-ranked Confidants do their part to ensure the charges against him are dropped. While the party members manage to track down a key witness to prove the protagonist is not guilty of assault, the Confidants use all of their available connections to stir up a massive public support campaign, which manages to convince the prosecutors to drop the case.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Sojiro's Cafe Leblanc serves a the protagonist's home, a hangout for his friends, and later in the game, a hideout.
  • The Goomba: Pyro Jack, a jack-o-lantern in a wizard costume, and Pixie, a tiny fairy girl, are the two weakest enemies in the entire game, to the point they serve as Video Game Tutorial fights during your first few days in Tokyo. You'll only encounter them in the first few areas of the very start of the game, and they are the lowest level Guardian Entities behind your Starter Mon Arsene.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: Unlike P3 and P4, awakening to your Persona abilities in P5 also grants you a cool thief outfit in a blaze of magical blue flames. Morgana explains it by being a side-effect of the Mental World - your outfit is what you think a 'rebel' looks like. In Haru's case, she has her thief outfit before she can actually use her Persona, as she awakened to her potential by going into the Metaverse, but her Persona was unable to take form until encountering her father's Shadow.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The screen turns blood red and your characters can be seen blasting holes in their enemies' silhouettes when you perform an All-Out Attack.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Generally averted, especially with Ryuji who has the foulest mouth on the team, but for whatever reason he only drops a single full on F-bomb the entire game (in a text). Otherwise he restricts himself to saying "eff" and variants thereof, which he says frequently. Other characters outside the party drop F-bombs throughout the game however.
  • Gratuitous English: Even if it's surprisingly good, English litters the UI even in the Japanese version, and almost everyone peppers their speech with random English phrases.
    • Ann tends to pepper some English both in and out of battle ("Get ready!"), but this can be justified since she's been raised overseas for most of her life and is said to be fluent in the language (not that it shows in her actual voice acting). Not so much Ryuji, however.
    • Ms. Chouno tends to call people "Mr." and "Ms." in the Japanese version, rather than using Japanese Honorifics. While it's partially justified since she's an English teacher, she refers to her co-workers with the English addresses, making it this trope.
    • Several characters call Sojiro, proprietor of a coffee shop, "Master" in the Japanese version. In the English version, it's changed to calling him "Boss," or "the chief" in Morgana's case.
    • Shoji Meguro finally revealed in an interview that the reason the battle themes in the series are in English: it's treated as a background instrument while a song in Japanese might distract Japanese players.
  • Gratuitous French: The tarot cards go by the French names, fitting since the designs draw heavily from the Marseilles designs. Fitting with that deck, though, the Death card has no name.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Played with. "Beneath the Mask", a slow, quiet ballad where the singer laments their Loss of Identity, plays on any day it rains.
  • The Grim Reaper: "The Reaper" from previous Persona games now stalks the halls of the underground Mementos dungeon, forcing lower level parties to not stay on one floor for too long if they don't want to face an untimely death. As in previous games, the monster wears a white bag over its head and long black jacket, to invoke the standard grim reaper black cloaked skull imagery.
  • Growling Gut:
    • Ryuji after exiting Kamoshida's palace when he gets his Persona for the first time has his stomach audibly growl.
    • Happens to Yusuke at a certain point in Joker's bedroom.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • For most players, the first instinct upon seeing the boss charge up a powerful attack is to put everyone on guard. However, there are several instances in the game where this is actually the worst possible option, either because the attack takes more than one turn to charge (this is actually a plot point in Futaba's dungeon, as the Sphinx's attack can take multiple turns, but can't be accurately predicted until Futaba joins the party) and/or there's something you can do to stop or minimize the attack. Most prominently, doing this against the Last Ditch Move of the Final Boss means that the attack will be too powerful and inflict a Total Party Kill (what you need to do is destroy its Cognizant Limbs or debuff its Attack stat in order to weaken the blow to manageable levels). And since it's a Last Ditch Move, it means you'll have to go through the whole boss battle all over again.
    • Whenever a new Palace infiltration starts, you're given a specified number of days to complete it which is shown in the top right corner. What the game doesn't tell you (Unless you look at your Calendar in the menu) is that you need at least three whole days to fully beat a palace. You can get to the treasure in as low as one day, and afterward you need another day to send the calling card, and then you fight the Palace's boss the following day. So even if you secured a route to the treasure, and sent the calling card, it's possible to still get a game over if you ran out days.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Even outside of the Bad Endings, the game makes use of this:
    • Going for an all-out attack instead of negotiation becomes more of a moral dilemma when a Shadow is begging for its life (unless, of course, your name is Haru). That the shadows have distinct voices and personalities doesn't help either.
    • Beware of falling for Morgana's guilt trips about how you need to infiltrate the Palace now and why are you wasting time?!! It can cheat you out of valuable Social Link time. He gets particularly antsy about this in the December Palace, even if you're trying to acquire last minute Social Links and the skills that come with them.
    • Occasionally, the game will make you feel guilty about something it forced you to do. For example, you don't get to opt out of hitting on the girls at the beach, but it will still press a Jerkass Realization on you. There is also a point where the thieves admit to having become Glory Hounds, even if you've been playing Joker as cautious, altruistic or circumspect.
    • As they're all teens who you then choose to bond with, each of the girls on the team take rejection as well as one would expect a young woman at that age: Futaba is quick to sublimate her crush on you as "teammate friendliness" and Haru takes it so poorly she goes cold for a moment. Even being a loyal boyfriend (or unattached bachelor) won't save you from a guilt trip. On the other hand the older female options, perhaps to show their more experienced world-views (as well as them all being aware of the age gap issue) don't take rejection anywhere near as badly.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Knocking down all enemies will allow the party to hold them at gunpoint, after which Joker can negotiate with an enemy to give him items, extort money, or make them become your Persona. Or you can just hit them all with an All-Out Attack. If a negotiation is going south, a Confidant skill also allows Joker to fire warning shots to get the enemies in line.
  • Harder Than Hard: The "Merciless" difficulty, which makes enemies even stronger than on Hard while also raising damage to elemental weaknesses and technical attacks, forcing you to play more strategically to survive. However, it also results in enemies also taking massive damage from critical hits, weakness exploitations, and technical damage, crossing into Non-Indicative Difficulty as several opponents can be destroyed in a few turns with some lucky crits.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Palaces can rip you apart if you aren't careful, and a lax player can easily become overwhelmed and killed if they head into a fight unprepared or are ambushed. The bosses, however, are fairly easy, with a large number of them being gimmick based. Madarame is the exception to this, but after him no boss is really threatening outside of the Bonus Boss.
  • Haunted House: Your party initially thinks Sojiro's home is this, as Futaba doesn't bother turning on any of the lights during the day. It doesn't help that they go in during a thunderstorm.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: In the finale, the power of your connections with your friends and accomplices summons a 20 story tall demon king who uses the Seven Deadly Sins in bullet form while the Phantom Thieves are protected by the hopes of the people of Tokyo to shoot a giant mecha god in the head and save Christmas.
  • The Heartless: This game builds upon Persona 4, with your party targeting dozens of Shadows that represent corrupt individuals' repressed emotions, who can in turn be forced into seeing the error of their ways in order to reform their human selves. Further, you can talk to pretty much any Shadow now, as they all are pieces of human consciousness. And as usual, the Big Bad turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination-level Shadow. This time, he was born from the collective desire to maintain social order, but has gone so out of control he plans to absorb reality and "save" humanity from The Evils of Free Will.
  • Hero of Another Story: When Joker gets sent to juvy, the Phantom Thieves and the Confidants band together to help clear his name of the crime he was convicted of before the game began. This event happens during the Time Skip at the end of the game.
  • Hero Antagonist: Naturally, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department opposes the protagonists for their illicit activities. This includes entirely well meaning characters like consulting detective Goro Akechi and public prosecutor Sae Niijima. Akechi is one of the main villains, however, and the head of the Public Prosecutor's Special Investigation Department is also in on the conspiracy.
  • The Hero's Journey: The basic structure of how each party member ends up joining the Phantom Thieves, with the character falling into the Palace, where they have to overcome Shadows by awakening to their Persona, eventually leading them to confront the boss of the current dungeon and in the end leave having gained new friends and the power to help others. The Protagonist meanwhile undergoes a larger, more detailed version of the arc over the course of the entire story.
  • Historical-Domain Character: In addition to Shin Megami Tensei staples, the main characters' revealed Personas veer away from standard mythological figures and include a few real life characters that fit the roguish theme of the protagonists:
  • Hold the Line: Some boss fights have "special operations" where one party member is sent to expose a vulnerability in the boss while the remaining party members keep up the offensive to distract the boss. Success depends on both whether the right party member is sent and whether the remaining party can keep attacking enough so that the boss doesn't notice what the missing party member is doing.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The first fight against the Holy Grail is unwinnable, as it will constantly heal itself.
    • In the finale, you get a preview of the Bonus Boss fight against Caroline and Justine. Unfortunately, they'll automatically reduce you to 1 hp in two turns, ending the battle.
  • Hypocrite: The cop at the beginning of the game tells Joker that one must take full responsibility of their actions... after beating and drugging him. This is meant as a darker take on those words being uttered in previous games.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Ryuji will give this line as a justification for dropping various Phantom Thief cliches throughout the story.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: The Protagonist and Ryuji initially bring this up as their reason for not Heel–Face Brainwashing the school's physically abusive PE teacher Suguru Kamoshida. If the process goes wrong, the teacher could die, which would make the heroes far worse than even a monster like Kamoshida. On the other hand, others like Ann know killing them isn't as much of a punishment as forcing them to live.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Due to the Your Mind Makes It Real nature of the Metaverse, even prop weapons, such as a toy gun Ryuji gave the protagonist, are able to work as fully functioning weapons that can damage Shadows, although the amount of ammo it can fire is still limited. This would also explain how Akechi is able to use laser swords as his weapon.
  • Inciting Incident: The Protagonist tries to help a woman being assaulted by a drunk, only for the woman and drunk to say he attacked them to protect their own reputations. This not only gets the Protagonist sent to Tokyo but also attracts the attention of Yaldabaoth, who gives the Protagonist the Metaverse Navigation app that sets the rest of the plot in motion.
  • In Medias Res: The game begins with the protagonist pulling a caper on what appears to be a swanky casino, only to get caught, arrested, beaten, and drugged before being made to recount his vigilante activities to a public prosecutor.
  • Indy Escape: One dungeon has the team running down a staircase as a giant boulder pursues them.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: How the Protagonist and Morgana find the traitor. Akechi mentions something Morgana said when you first meet him at the TV station on June 9th. As only those who have entered the Metaverse can understand Morgana, it allows your team to later deduce he was lying to you from the start. Funnily enough, there's a cop drama on TV the Protagonist and Morgana can see on TV starting May 2nd, with a detective figuring out a guilty party was at the scene of a crime because he mentions a "gunshot" no one else had brought up.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: While you do play as a Phantom Thief exploring a Mental World, there's still no real explanation for why a museum, or subway station, or cruise liner, or a bank with actual vaults, would bother securing valuables in treasure chests you can lockpick.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Some of the most powerful Personas can be turned into the strongest equipment for your party, usually with the highest stats and with the greatest effects. For instance, Satan can become an armour that has very high Defense and has high magic damage mitigation as an effect. Or Metatron can become a gun that grants +5 to all stats, usable by Joker.
  • In Medias Res: The game begins at the peak of the Thieves' efforts. After a Downer Beginning sequence where the Protagonist is captured, the game flashes back to the beginning: half a year ago.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Satanael kills the Big Bad with a single gunshot to the head using the attack Sinful Shell, who was otherwise unstoppable until this point.
  • Institutional Apparel: The Protagonist is dressed in black and white pinstripes inside the Velvet Room's prison.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Every Confidant has a skill entry in the Confidant menu, listing what skills have been unlocked and which skill will be unlocked next. Goro Akechi's Confidant, however, has the entire skill menu blanked-out with "Unknown", a dead giveaway that something is up with said character. Said Confidant also mostly progresses automatically with the story, which is unusual for characters who aren't intimately tied to the plot. Once he joins as a party member, players might be a little suspicious to find he unlocks all his Confidant battle bonuses at once, at only Rank 6. Once he joins, he also is listed in the menu by his last name, the only one to do so, reflecting that the party didn't trust him from the get-go.
    • Akechi is also included with the rest of the Phantom Thieves on the box art, splash screen, and start menu, but doesn't appear at all in the animated opening, another subtle clue that something's up.
    • Finally, unlike the other party members, he doesn't get a book at the school library about his persona...
  • Ironic Echo: "Will Power", the track that plays as your party members awaken to their Personas and get some snazzy new duds in the process, also plays during the second phase of Goro's boss fight, after he reveals that he's got a secret second Persona and goes through an Evil Costume Switch.
  • It Amused Me: One of Yaldabaoth's reasons for hijacking the Velvet Room and setting the plot in motion. He thanks the protagonist on one occasion for "entertaining us thus far" and, at the climax of the game, he states that he sees the fate of mankind as "sport."
  • It Can't Be Helped: The game rips this particular mindset apart. Unlike Persona 4, where characters usually learned to tolerate/rise above unjustified rumors and general poor treatment, Persona 5 takes the view that by adopting an "it can't be helped" mindset in the face of corrupt authority figures, you are not proving your own sense of forbearance: you are letting terrible people get away with atrocious acts and, worse, letting them inflict the same horrors on other people. The people who adopt this approach, such as the volleyball team, the track team and the workers at Okumura's businesses are reduced to puppets in their tormentors' Palaces — a reflection of their lack of action in the real world.
  • It's All My Fault: Most of the good guys will have a moment like this. Ryuji, who was antagonized and permanently injured by Kamoshida, still holds himself responsible for the fate of the track team. Ann blames herself for not directly intervening to protect Shiho, despite having already taken fairly drastic action in order to try and shield her. The most drastic case, however, is Futaba, who thinks she caused her mother's death.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If you fail to complete a Palace in time or sell out your friends when you catch up to the interrogation, you are treated to a scene of a Very Bad Thing happening; Sae leaves to give you some time to metabolize whatever shit the cops put in you, during which time a mysterious man (Goro Akechi) murders you in captivity.
  • It's Personal: There are personal motives behind almost all of the Thieves' heists.
    • Kamoshida broke Ryuji's leg, ending his promising track career and causing him to become an uncaring delinquent, tormented the student body with impunity, sexually harassed Ann and many others, and molested Ann's friend Shiho, driving her to attempt suicide.
    • Madarame abused Yusuke, stole his work, and indirectly killed his mother by purposefully letting her die.
    • Kaneshiro blackmailed Shujin High School students, causing the principal to force Makoto to get on the case. He also manages to blackmail her and the Thieves. His Shadow, representative of his inner thoughts, threatens her sister as well.
    • Kunikazu Okumura, Haru's father, started putting his company before his family. He failed to realize how much he was neglecting her and put his needs before hers by forcing her into an Arranged Marriage with a guy whose ties would improve his business.
    • Sae's ambition and cynicism got so bad that it was straining her relationship with Makoto, who could tell how unhappy she was and really wanted for Sae to be able to live meaningfully rather than slave endlessly after promotions.
    • Masayoshi Shido personally screwed over Futaba, Haru, and the Protagonist, had The Conspiracy mess with Sae on the job so much that she became disillusioned enough to have her own Palace, and had his aide push Ryuji out of the way so he could steal Ryuji's elevator ride. Pretty much only Ann and Yusuke have no real beef with the guy. And let's not even talk about how he's also practically responsible for everything that went wrong with Akechi's life.
  • It Only Works Once: When the Phantom Thieves send a Calling Card to their victims to make the Treasure materialize, they only have that day to steal the treasure. The effect of seeing the card and having your desires threatened won't last long, and can never be recreated.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the party and the accomplices, as their mistreatment at the hands of society has turned them into misanthropes.
    • Sojiro Sakura is extremely distrustful of you for your first few months, despite being a man willing to take in both you and Futaba.
    • Ryuji acts like a delinquent due to the rest of the school doing nothing when he was physically and emotionally abused by a teacher, but is also willing to whatever it takes to protect other students from said teacher and other corrupt adults.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • A minor one. Although Ryuji and Morgana ribbing each other is usually Played for Laughs, an increasingly depressed Morgana is hurt and uncharacteristically silent when Ryuji flippantly comments that Futaba, the newest addition to the team, is a much better navigator than the team's "stupid cat".
    • As part of his campaign to discredit Takemi and ensure that she continues to be blamed for his mistake, Oyamada lies to her and says that her old patient, a young girl, died.
  • Killer Teddy Bear:
    • This time around, Alice's unique "Die For Me!" Special Attack involves an army of giant Action Bomb Teddie bears rushing the enemy before they explode.
    • Bugs (a.k.a. Bugbear) also returns and has this motif.
  • Large Ham: Personas and Shadows are all completely over the top, due to representing their human selves hidden emotions.
    Arsene: For the sake of the justice you believed in, make the blasphemers repent! Hahahaha!
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Most seemingly minor characters and scenes play into the overarching plot or one of the other character's backstories
    • The drunken molester who got you convicted of assault? He's the leader of the conspiracy.
    • That stupid conversation about how the TV station building is shaped like a pancake? Eventually allows Morgana and the Protagonist to deduce Goro Akechi is the traitor.
    • That blue Butterfly of Death and Rebirth that keeps showing up? It's Caroline and Justine's real personality, trying to help you expose the Greater-Scope Villain.
    • Those chains in the summoning fires of Personas, namely Arsene's? Joker breaking Arsene's chains in the finale allows him to unleash his true self as Satanael, this game's Ultimate Persona - and the one who ends the last fight.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Wanna complete the Persona Compendium? Better look for every Treasure Demon in the game. Yes, this time around you need to collect the resident Metal Slimes for 100% Completion.
    • Getting every skill in the game is a Luck-Based Mission due to four of them (Almighty Boost, Almighty Amp, Magic Ability, and Soul Chain) being exclusive to results of the the Network Fusion system.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: You can rent dvds and go to movie theaters to watch parody versions of Beverly Hills 90210, Ghost (1990), The X-Files, Ugly Betty, ER, Prison Break, The Walking Dead, Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight Rises, Before Midnight, Les Misérables (2012), Doraemon, The Godfather, Back to the Future, Mission: Impossible, The Avengers (2012), Saw, Die Hard and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. As Atlus doesn't have the money to license all those works, each have silly names like "I, Miserable" or "Mansion Impossible", and you can hear dialogue making fun of tropes from the given work as your character watches the show or movie off-screen. The only exception was Yakuza (known as Like a Dragon in Japan). Seeing as Sega owns Atlus, this was never an issue.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The protagonist will stick his hand out to the screen when you open the menu, with text reading "Don't look at me like that" in the corner of the screen. This is often done in Japan when making eye contact with fictional characters. The fact that the protagonist is doing it implies that he's not the fictional one...
  • Lesser of Two Evils: At the end of the game, the Phantom Thieves are hailed as heroes and Shido is going to jail for his crimes, but without testimony he won't stay for too long. Plus, the people in power will probably frame the Thieves for some crime to save face. In order to ensure that Shido goes to jail and that his friends are safe, he has to turn himself in as the leader of the Phantom Thieves so he can give testimony. However, due to his prior record, he'll most definitely be sent to juvenile hall. Luckily, his friends manage to get his prior record cleared, allowing him to leave early and Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The twins kick your ass with super-powered versions of low-level Personas, such as Bugs, Agathion, or the Jack Bros. Then again, an amped Jack Frost is nothing new.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Similar to the social links in previous games, you get bonus levels when you fuse Personas, new abilities, discounts at shops, and so on by hanging with the Phantom Thieves and their various accomplices.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Most of the party has four outfits apart from their thief costumes- casual clothes and school uniforms, each of which has a variation for summer (June through September) and for winter (the rest of the year). Just about everyone else has one outfit. For instance, Sae Niijima wears the exact same clothes (a dark pantsuit) in April as every other time you see her, like half a year later when she interrogates you.
  • Literal Metaphor: In previous games, Personas were described as metaphorical "masks" as a tie to Jungian psychology. In Persona 5, the party's Personas literally transform into personalized masks when not in use.
  • Living Shadow: The aptly named Shadows, inky blobs of shapeshifting negative emotions that can transform into humans, animals, and demons at will.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Because the Palaces are the result of the owner's warped cognition, when the Shadow is defeated, the Palace begins to collapse, meaning the Thieves have to escape as soon as the fight is over. Shido attempts to weaponize this by stopping his heart temporarily, but the Thieves barely manage to escape.
  • Lost in Translation: Or just plain omitted. A lot of signs in backgrounds went untranslated and those who wondered why Akechi and Makoto were at a school on Sunday June 12th, it was because they were at a mock examination with nothing but a sign at the entrance pointing that out.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: In true series fashion. This time it's the regular battle theme, "Last Surprise", an extremely upbeat song about how the target has been Out-Gambitted and about to be silently assassinated, while also functioning as a bit of a Bragging Theme Tune for Joker.
    You'll never see it coming!!
    You'll see that my mind is too fast for eyes!
    You're done in by the time it's hit you; your last surprise!

    M-N 
  • The Magic Goes Away: In the good endings, the Thieves recognize that destroying Mementos and defeating the Big Bad means that they will lose access to the Metaverse and their Personas, and accept that this is a price they must pay. One of the Bad Endings reinforces that this is necessary, since retaining their powers would apparently lead to a He Who Fights Monsters scenario, with the corrupted Thieves appointing themselves judge, jury and executioner of everyone in Tokyo. Give the nature of the Persona games, however, it remains to be seen if their powers will stay gone.
  • Magic Is Rare, Health Is Cheap: Nearly every shop in the game sells HP-recovering items. The only places you can obtain SP-recovering items from are Tae's clinic, certain vending machines (the items themselves only being available once or twice a week), and by leveling up Sojiro's and Haru's Confidants (in those you learn how to make SP-healing coffee and plants, respectively.).
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The new "Sacrifice" fusion mechanic allows you to power up any low level Persona to insane levels. However, as they only get part of the experience and one randomly selected skill from the sacrificed Persona, it will take dozens or hundreds of sacrifices to get them there.
    • The same "Sacrifice" fusion also allows for Min-Maxing of a your Persona of choice, since stat points are allocated randomly on level up. This is preferably performed on low-level Personas as they have the potential to grow to become even stronger damage dealers than those with high base level. However, the rerolling process will take an absurd amount of time and money.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Akechi plans to pick off the remaining Phantom Thieves one by one through this method once everything dies down after his attempt to kill the Protagonist. It can be assumed that it comes to pass in the Bad Ending where the Protagonist is Killed Off for Real.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Many shadows take the form of humans with the various arcana masks in place of a face in dungeons. Once battle starts they burst apart and change into demonic forms.
  • Manual Leader, AI Party: You can use the "orders" menu in battle to switch the majority of your party to AI control. The only exception is the protagonist, whose actions you always have to select manually.
  • Mask of Power: This time around, characters' Personas turn into masks after the first summon, and can then be resummoned by the character ripping the mask of their face. You can similarly weaken Shadows by ripping the masks off their faces.
  • Meaningful Name: Social Links are now called "Confidants". The meaning behind this is suggested during each Confidant's storyline, and becomes apparent once you max out a Confidant: in addition to them being able to confide their secrets with you (such as Kawakami having to moonlight as a Meido to make ends meet), through your actions in changing the hearts of people making their lives miserable, they come to realize that you are a Phantom Thief. They agree to keep your secret, in doing so making the bond you formed with them unbreakable.
  • Mega Meal Challenge: The Big Bang Challenge at Big Bang Burger, which involves eating increasingly oversized burgers to win accessories and parameter gains in all 5 categories.
  • The Men in Black: The Shadow Operatives DLC outfit puts your party members in futuristic looking black dress suits and sunglasses similar to Mitsuru's Spy Catsuit in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, or the Agent Suit set from Persona 4.
  • Mental World: The Metaverse is parallel version of reality inside the collective unconscious that warps itself to reflect the way humans with particularly twisted desires see things: a gym teacher who sees his school as his fiefdom creates a castle, a painter exploiting his understudies sees his home as an art gallery where his disciples are his works, a teenager who sees himself as a Chaotic Good rebel against the corrupt transforms into a classy Phantom Thief, and so on.
  • Metal Slime: The rare Treasure Demons, which drop tons of experience and money and can be recruited for a Persona that can't be used in battle but is generally quite useful as a fusion material. Unfortunately, they're generally being resistant or immune to all but one type of damage, so defeating them involves either getting a critical hit or finding their weakness, whichever is possible.
  • Meta Twist:
    • Futaba's dungeon is set up exactly like one from Persona 4, a mental world created by the inner thoughts and insecurities of a future party member, controlled by their Shadow. It's all flipped on its head once you reach the end: Due to Futaba's outward self-loathing, Shadow Futaba is a Hero Antagonist who represents Futaba's repressed positive side, and only fought the Thieves because she thought they were trying to harm Futaba. She's not the boss of the dungeon, the real boss is a monster born from the feelings that caused Futaba's depression: the belief that she's responsible for her mother's death. Shadow Futaba pulls a Big Damn Heroes to help the party defeat the boss, by convincing Futaba of the truth and becoming her Persona.
    • On a double meta level. It's very easy to attribute Igor's much deeper voice as a result of his voice actor's death and the people in charge choosing to respect his performance by not even trying to replace him. It turns out that it's actually been a fake Igor all along and when the real one returns his voice also has similar pitch and eccentric dressings as his original performances.
  • Minigame: Various human parameter increasing activities like the batting cages and video games involve lining up UI elements, hitting buttons at the right time or hitting them as fast as you can. This is a notable evolution from the last two installments, which featured no such thing when doing after-school activities (other than 4's Fishing Minigame) and were instead passive.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: After escaping from Kamoshida's castle the first time, Joker and Ryuji run into two police officers, who accuses them of ditching classes. When Ryuji tries to explain they were in a castle, the cops immediately asks them to hand over their bags to inspect for drugs.
  • The Mole: The game begins with the police revealing there is a traitor in your midst who tipped the police off to Joker's location. As such, one of your goals over the game is to find out if and why one of your friends or accomplices would betray you. It's Akechi.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: The "Sayuri". Art critics have tried to figure out the meaning of the expression of the woman in the portrait for years to no avail. It turns out the painting is a self-portrait of a mother who knows she will soon die to illness and leave her infant son behind. Madarame painted over the image of her child in her arms to invoke this trope because he knew that the missing element would create an unsolvable mystery that people would obsess over like in Trope Namer's case and thus make the painting and the rest of "his" art more sellable.
  • Mon: In a return to Persona and Persona 2, you recruit enemy Shadows to become your Personas. And as in all games, you can fuse your existing Personas together to gain more powerful ones.
  • Monster of the Week: The game's story was modeled on serial novels and TV dramas. Each dungeon involves the Protagonists stealing the hearts of a new target in order to reform them. This comes in contrast with other Persona games, as each one had a main goal and target to stop. Though this eventually catches the attention of a conspiracy with knowledge of the Metaverse, to serve as the overall Myth Arc.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In the first raid into Okumura's palace, you find Morgana with a mysterious girl (who later turns out to be Haru) in a thief costume. Tense music plays as she stares you down... but then it fades once it turns out that the girl actually is trying to remember the lines she'd rehearsed with Morgana. Yusuke lampshades this when he points out that the tension has suddenly faded.
    • After stealing Okumura's heart, the group has a celebratory outing to Destiny Land, and while there, watches Okumura give a press conference as a changed man, during which Okumura dies as a result of the villains killing his Shadow.
    • The group is shocked by Ryuji's apparent death in Shido's palace. Only for Ryuji to walk up completely oblivious, and tease the girls, getting beaten and left against a lamp post by his teammates.
  • More Dakka: The "Random Fire"/"Bullet Hail" attack, where the heroes can unleash a barrage of gunfire on the entire enemy party.
  • Motif:
    • Hearts. Arsène has heart symbols on his sleeves, enemy Life Meters are shaped like hearts, the party calls themselves the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts", and your goal is to reforming corrupt adults by metaphorically "taking their heart".
    • Masks, in keeping with previous titles and the series' Jungian themes. the word "Persona" is latin for "mask", the party's main Persona all wear some form of a mask, Persona now transform into personalized masks when not in use, and Shadows appear as humanoid figures with masks on during exploration.
    • Chains, can be found everywhere from the transition to the Velvet Room, to being part of the glowing aura of your Personas, tying nicely to the theme of all the party members desiring freedom in some way.
  • Moving the Goalposts: The Casino Palace has the target repeatedly changing the rules on the Phantom Thieves. Just as they're about to reach the boss room by paying a toll of one hundred thousand tokens, the target increases it to a million tokens. Too bad for her that she gets Out-Gambitted by Akechi.
  • Multiple Endings: In contrast to Persona 4, the game has a normal ending, true ending, two bad endings, and several Non Standard Game Over endings where a member of the conspiracy kills the protagonist off screen you can get if you don't complete each Palace by the given deadline, starting with the first.
  • The Musketeer: The main characters can switch between melee weapons and firearms, like in the original Persona and many other Shin Megami Tensei games.
    • The Protagonist uses knives and handguns.
    • Ryuji uses bludgeons and shotguns.
    • Ann uses whips and submachine guns.
    • Morgana uses curved swords and slingshots.
    • Yusuke uses katanas and assault rifles.
    • Makoto uses knuckles and revolvers.
    • Haru uses axes and grenade launchers (bonus Points for actually being dressed as a musketeer).
    • Akechi uses laser sabres and ray guns.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Samael is quite physically strong in addition to being muscular, and Futaba points out that the muscles are not for show.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Played with early in the story. After seeing the effects of their Heel–Face Brainwashing on Kamoshida, the protagonists are actually somewhat terrified of the implications of their actions, and wonder for several days if what they've done can really be called "right".
  • Mythology Gag: P5 has a number of references to other Atlus-made games.
    • The main characters thief name is Joker and just like all previous characters with that moniker, he is being directly manipulated by a supernatural higher power.
    • The ultimate Persona of a wiretapping party member is Prometheus.
    • Ryuji's thief outfit is a Whole Costume Reference to the recurring Demon Hell Biker.
    • The enemies are mainline SMT Demons, a la Persona and Persona 2.
    • The protagonist can play a video game called Star Forneus 1988. Forneus is a recurring Demon in the SMT series, appearing ever since Shin Megami Tensei. The "star" is another Goetia Demon, Decarabia, who was a friend of Forneus in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
    • The Battle Arena in the sixth Palace consists of three back-to-back fights. While this may sound coincidental up front, it becomes a Mythology Gag when the third opponent is revealed to be Thor.
    • In one scene, Yusuke and the protagonist pose like the demon Orobas in the first Shin Megami Tensei I.
    • The midbosses in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon are made up of Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael, the four archangels from Shin Megami Tensei II.
    • When Satanael descends from the heavens, he pops the iconic arms wide open Ass Kicking Pose used by demon Lucifer in Shin Megami Tensei II and the games that followed it.
    • The DLC costume packs include Karukozaka High School uniforms from Shin Megami Tensei if... (the Spiritual Predecessor of the Persona franchise), the school uniforms of Raidou and Kaya from Raidou Kuzunoha VS The Soulless Army, the casual clothes of the cast from Catherine, and the samurai uniforms of the heroes from Shin Megami Tensei IV.
    • When the party members' Personas awaken, they give a little speech about their user's situation and philosophy like the Personas in Persona 2.
    • Futaba's nickname for Yusuke, "Inari", might be one to Persona 3 Portable, where you can visit Naganaki Shrine to meet Inari and duplicate a Skill Card (which is what Yusuke does in this game).
    • Way back in Shin Megami Tensei II's Chaos Route, Lucifer defied YHVH's orders to destroy the world with Kuzuryu and tells him as such in the final attle. The ultimate antagonist of Persona 5 is Yaldabaoth, the Gnostic interpretation of the Abrahamic God (as well as other monotheistic deities), and in the best ending, Satanael descends from the heavens doing Lucifer's pose, harnessing the power of Chaos (The Seven Sins) to kill him.
    • One of the news broadcasts you can watch on TV in early December mentions "a handsome detective in red glasses", "a legendary gumshoe that took down a bear" (presumably Akihiko, if he followed through with his intention of becoming a legit officer), and "a girl in the academy who knows kung fu."
    • The ambient music for the Triple Seven grocery store in Shibuya's Central Street is an electronica arrangement of the ridiculously catchy Satomi Tadashi Pharmacy song.
    • The Crane Game jingle at Akihabara's Arcade is a cheery arrangment of the Junes Department Store song. The Crane Game itself can also reward you with a Jack Frost Doll, the most elusive prize at Paulownia Mall's own arcade.
    • At one point, you can purchase both a broken laptop in Akihabara as well as the tools to fix it. If your Proficiency is high enough, you can repair it and enter the "Dark Net"... which is basically the new online storefront for Tanaka's Amazing Commodities, theme song included.
    • During your visit to Asakusa with Haru, you acquire a kumade (good luck charm), which is one letter away from "kuma da", and, therefore, is topped with a tiny figure of Pungeon Master Teddie .
  • Nerf:
    • In this game, the Tetrakarn (reflects physical attacks) and Makarakarn (reflects magical attacks except for Almighty) spells can now only be cast on one person at a time instead of on everyone by default.
    • Doing well on tests is much less beneficial than in the previous game- instead of getting points in all your school-related Social Links, you get a boost to Charm.
    • The ability for a party member to take a mortal blow for you, an ability you get immediately upon starting an S. Link with a party member in Persona 4, is now an ability that you have to reach Rank 9 Confidant in order to unlock, like in Golden.
    • Futaba's after-battle SP recovery skills are much weaker than Rise's, recovering 1 and 3 percent of the party's SP rather than 5 and 10 percent, not to mention that Futaba's skills only affect sidelined members, which has the main drawback of being completely unable to benefit the protagonist, the one character that is most likely to need the extra SP given his Wild Card versatility.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Futaba apparently never will forget the time that Makoto freaked out upon seeing Futaba in her dark house, in large part because of how unlike her it was.
  • New Game+:
    • After finishing the game, you start a new one where you get to keep your social parameters, Confidant bonuses, Persona compendium, cash, and equipment. You'll also unlock the ability to fuse a new Ultimate Persona, and the option to fight a new Bonus Boss.
    • Because of the new confidant system, if you visit your available confidants before the game ends, you'll receive farewell mementos of them. In New Game +, having these items unlocks confidant perks you'd normally have to wait for until that link reaches the proper rank. Some examples are having Kawakami's massages available at any point, ability to easily negotiate with demons via Toranosuke, and having Gun Customization and discounts earlier from Munehisa. The only two catches is that you don't have ALL the perks of the character S.Links and you'll have to re-establish the confidant link before those perks become available- for example, you only have Hifumi's ability to escape immediately, and must unlock the others, such as swapping party members mid-battle.
    • The present that the protagonist receives from his girlfriend on Christmas Eve also carries over. This item grants bonus Relationship Values with the respective Confidant (similarly to how carrying a Persona of the matching Arcana does), allowing them to Rank Up faster in subsequent playthroughs.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Most of the villians confessions, though particularly Madarame's crying press conference, borrow liberally from a Memetic 2014 press conference by a Japanese politician named Ryutaro Nonomura, who broke down crying while confessing to misappropriating 3 million yen, or approximately $300,000, of taxpayer funds.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: As part of the Crapsack World the characters find themselves in. While there are plenty of corrupt authority figures shown, the adults who try to do the right thing end up blamed for crimes/misdemeanors that they were totally innocent of, because someone with more power or authority was actually responsible. Examples include a teacher who wanted what was best for a student getting blamed for and blackmailed over that student's death, a doctor who saw her research hijacked by a superior only to take the fall when he screwed up, and an earnest politician with high ideals getting a name for scandal when his superior stole public funds.
  • No Indoor Voice: Ryuji Sakamoto. A boisterous delinquent who becomes your first party companion (though second if you count the characters in the order they acquire their Persona). It can be argued that Ryuji is the sole - or, at least, chief - reason that a large portion of the people the Protagonist meets face-to-face learn - or come up with the theory - that he's a Phantom Thief. In fact, Makoto and Ann - half of the female party members - likely catch onto what's going on because they overheard Ryuji's loud exclamations and got suspicious/curious.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Three variations.
    • Like in Persona 4, if you fail to complete the dungeon in time, you're shown a sequence of what happens afterwards, however what happens in unique to each dungeon. Possible consequences include: Ann being left to the perverse whims of Kamoshida, Yusuke remaining stuck in a life of being exploited by Madarame, Makoto ending up at an "illegal services shop", Futaba committing suicide and Haru being forced into an abusive marriage. However, these are false memories caused by the drugs the Protagonist was under during the interrogation with Sae after the Casino Heist. They all end with Sae leaving the room to give the Protagonist time to recover from the drugs so that he can give a truer account, but he ends up getting killed when she leaves.
    • A similar version of this happens if you fail Shido's Palace. Akechi comes to LeBlanc and arrests you. What makes this ending interesting, however, is that this will happen even if you've already fought Akechi (and he sacrificed himself to his double), and the filter on the ending is hazy, similar to the other failed dungeon endings, leading to more theories about what ''really'' happened after Akechi's boss fight.
    • Finally, during the Final Boss fight with Yaldabaoth, if you opt to leave his Holy Grail form alone, he cuts a deal with the protagonist: in exchange for letting him live, he grants the Thieves eternal access to the Metaverse with the intention of seeing where society goes from there. This kicks off one final Bad Ending where the Thieves are in control over both Tokyo and its people, with all of them blindly believing in the Thieves. There's the implication that the other Thieves eventually give in to abusing their powers, making them no different from either Akechi or the targets they took out. Unlike the rest of the Bad Endings however, this ending is accompanied by a full credits roll and the game ending for good.
  • Not Himself: Shadows in the Metaverse, are enslaved and distorted into doing the bidding of the Palace masters. Joker can snap them out of it via Negotiation, at which point they will remember their true nature as originating from the sea of souls and offer themselves to him as masks to wear. The exception are the Guard Captains that defend the Palaces, who remain firmly loyal to their defeat.
  • Notice This: Quest Givers have a red speech bubble with an exclamation mark over their head. NPCs with general dialogue have a black speech bubble or 3 white sound lines popping out from around their heads. Available Confidants have a speech bubble with a card over their heads.

    O-R 
  • Once More, with Clarity!: You eventually replay the opening Casino escape sequence, now knowing who all the characters are, what you were doing there, and why the entire police force was waiting for you.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Hama and Mudo skill lines return, which have a 20-80% percentage chance, depending on the skill, to instantly kill an enemy if they don't have immunity to light and dark magic.
  • Le Parkour: Dungeon traversal now has you jump between chandeliers, leap out windows, launch yourself over Bottomless Pits, and leap and dash between various forms of cover.
  • Permanently Missable Content: One of the main plot points is once a palace's treasure is stolen, the palace will vanish forever, along with everything that could have been picked up there.
    • If the player does not access and build ranks with a Confidant early enough it may become impossible to max them out and gain their full benefits.
    • There is no hint that you can access the black market by buying the laptop from the second hand shop, and fixing it with a repair kit.
  • Player Nudge:
    • If you don't realize you can attack Shadow Kaneshiro to stop Piggytron's rolling attack, Morgana will point it out the second time he uses the attack.
    • If you make one of the two dialogue choices that leads to a bad ending (selling out your friends to Sae or cutting a deal with Yaldabaoth), someone will ask you if you are sure this is what you want to do.
  • Point of No Return:
    • Played with. (Effectively the "Nasty" type, but with an escape clause.) Upon reaching a dungeon's "treasure", you get the option of sending a Calling Card to the target. Once you do so, you're locked in: you're forced into the dungeon the next day and won't be able to leave until the boss is defeated. However, you are given the option to go back one week should you lose against the boss, in case you jumped into it before you were ready (and so preventing Unwinnable situations). Also, once you beat the boss, you won't be able to explore the dungeon again.
    • On the path to the True Ending is a Tough type. You'll be stuck in Mementos until you reach the end, and you can only exit the dungeon to directly travel to certain shops to restock, but Caroline can provide free heals at the entrance. When you do return to the real world, it's The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and you can't go shop anymore, but Lavenza still provides healing.
  • Police Are Useless: They are generally either too inept or corrupt to actually bother stopping crime or protecting the public. Part of the reason the Phantom Thieves become so popular among the public is them being able to do what the police have repeatedly failed or didn't bother doing.
  • Police Brutality: The protagonist is beaten and drugged by police at the beginning of the game, after he is caught at the end of a heist. Notably, a police detective will threaten to break one of your legs if you refuse to sign a False Confession.
  • Portal Picture: In the Art Gallery dungeon, the party can hop into paintings to use them to sneak around foes.
  • Post-Modern Magik: The heroes use a phone app called "Meta-Nav" ("Isekainavi", or "Otherworld Navi(gation)" in Japanese) to access the Metaverse and the Palaces.
  • Powerful but Inaccurate: Lucky Punch and Miracle Punch have an increased chance to inflict a damaging Critical Hit, but also have a much higher chance of missing completely.
  • Power Glows: Persona are now covered in a glowing blue aura of flames when summoned.
  • The Power of Friendship: P5 has the "Confidant" system, where every character you get to know over your year in Tokyo gives you cheaper rates at shops, new items, or new abilities in battle, along with the standard ability from previous Persona games to fuse stronger Guardian Entities.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: When using DLC Persona, the protagonist will occasionally drop lines from those games before using a signature Special Attack. For instance, the Protagonist will drop a line from Persona 4: Arena Ultimax right before summoning the damaging "Wings of Purgatory" to cut enemies to pieces with giant wings of darkness.
    Protagonist: Showtime!
  • Preexisting Encounters: Enemies now have dungeon specific forms, like knights, security guards and police officers, who wander the maps. Battle starts when you attack them or they attack you. However, in keeping with the game's Phantom Thief themes, you now sneak up and Back Stab enemies to get an advantage in battle, instead of just hitting them.
  • Press X to Die: During Shadow Sae's boss battle, she will warn you that while the roulette wheel is spinning, you cannot attack her. If you do, she'll hit back harder, shaving off a large chunk of your HP if it doesn't kill you outright.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Due to how their heists result in what basically amounts to Brainwashing for the Greater Good, this gets discussed at several points throughout the story.
  • Public-Domain Character: Always the case with Demons and Personas in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Whereas 3 and 4 used Classical Mythology (usually Greek) and Japanese Mythology for its Personas, 5 uses Lovable Rogues and famous thieves from contemporary folklore that match the party's own personalities:
    • The main character's initial Persona is Arsène - as in, Arsène Lupin, the archetypal Phantom Thief. Arsène the Persona dresses similarly to famous depictions of the original thief, with a top hat and other formal wear.
    • Morgana's Persona is Zorro, a pulp hero and cunning outlaw who defends commoners and other innocents from an oppressive government. The fact Zorro has the Animal Motif of a fox and Morgana is a cat is probably a joke.
    • Ann has Carmen, the star of a French opera of the same name and a gypsy woman loved by men for her exotic features and hedonism. Ann is a quarter-white girl who is the subject of some nasty rumors at the school regarding her ethnicity.
    • Futaba's Necronomicon takes the form of a person and livestock abducting UFO, reflecting both her fascination with programming and feelings of alienation from the rest of society.
    • Akechi has Robin Hood, representing his desire to help people and find the truth. This is a lie, however, and his true Persona is Loki, representing his hatred of society.
  • Punny Name:
    • The Protagonists attend Shujin High School. Its name can be read as "The People's High School" or "Prisoner High School".
    • The Gay Bar in Shinjuku is named "Crossroads" (as in Wholesome Crossdresser) in the English version and "Nyukama" (a combination of "newcomer" and "okama", a Japanese term for gay men) in the Japanese version.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Azazel Boss Battle has the Shadow hidden behind 4 paintings. The eyes and nose absorb magic attacks, and the mouth absorbs physical damage, forcing you to hit each with the right attack to get to Azazel himself.
  • Rare Candy: The enormous burgers at Big Bang Burger can raise all your social traits.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The protagonist's backstory starts out with saving a woman from being raped by startling her attacker, causing him to stumble to the ground. However, the man has a ton of connections to the police force and political world, so the protagonist gets arrested, sued by the man he 'assaulted', and ends up with a criminal record.
    • The Phantom Thieves don't take many precautions to hide their identities. The supernatural nature of their work results in almost zero decisive, physical evidence, of course, but there's more than enough circumstantial evidence for several characters to independently put two and two together:
      • Once Kamoshida, a teacher at Shujin whose crimes only involved Shujin students, is taken down, much of the public suspects the Phantom Thieves are Shujin students. Mishima in particular immediately pegs Joker and his friends as the Thieves since he knows they were the ones with the most beef with Kamoshida.
      • The fact that the most notable victims of each Phantom Thief target hang out regularly in public together is highly suspicious to Akechi and the police.
      • Joker inadvertently tips his hand to several of his Confidants by using Mementos to solve problems that they only told him about.
      • Ryuji has No Indoor Voice, and an incredible lack of tact. Makoto and Akechi both learn who the Phantom Thieves are because his loud mouth inadvertently reveals the identity of the group.
      • The group's masks are less than useful disguises, and Clark Kenting is averted—the group is able to identify the rival "Beauty Thief" in one sitting by looking through the Shujin student directory. Fortunately, Shadow selves don't share memories with their real-world counterparts, so this only comes up in the narrative during Haru's case.
    • Late in the Star Confidant, Hifumi, determined to prove her skill in shogi and redeem herself after learning that her mother had fixed her matches, goes up against a pro player... and loses, proving that underdogs don't always win.
    • The protagonist misses about a month of school due to having to lay low after faking his death in order to take down Shido. Once he returns, he immediately has to deal with exams, which include material that was covered in class while he was out. Naturally, it goes to show that when you miss class, you obviously won't do as well on tests.
    • Even after Shido's heart is reformed, the corrupt system still tries to cover for him and makes new plans to exploit the Metaverse, forcing the Thieves to destroy Mementos so that nobody else can exploit it. Furthermore, even with Shido's confession, without proper evidence linking him to his crimes, he can't be declared guilty. And the only one who can testify against him is Joker, which means that he also has to confess to being the Phantom Thieves' ringleader and go to juvenile hall. It is only then that Shido's guilt is locked in, and finally destroys the plans his Conspiracy have made for good.
    • Late in Sojiro's Confidant link, Futaba's estranged uncle claims that Sojiro is an abusive parent to Futaba (so he can get money from Sojiro) and that Joker attacked him. The lead detective doesn't arrest Sojiro or Joker, instead asking a series of questions to everyone involved, including Futaba. By the end, it's clear to him that the uncle filed a false police report, so the detective bids the group good day and leaves with no one getting arrested.
    • In Haru's confidant, the hardest thing about her father's death is not the grief, but rather the fact that she's become the majority shareholder of Okumura Foods. And unlike Mitsuru, she is not prepared to run the company. Her employees keep trying to manipulate her for their own benefit and because of all the rumors flying around, she can't figure out who to trust. This, combined with the fact that she's still being pressed into an unwanted Arranged Marriage, leads to considerable stress, to the point where one rank-up event has her nearly pass out from the sleepless nights she's been having. In the end, after asserting her own idea of what direction the company should take, she surrenders her shares and decides to go back to her family's roots and open a cafe instead.
    • In the Hanged Man confidant, Iwai, an ex-Yakuza, is being forced by his former Yakuza friend Tsuda into making guns for him. When Iwai figures out the the reason for this because he's trying to cover up that he got stiffed on a gun deal, he confronts Tsuda with this and brings Joker as a witness, relying on the Yakuza codes to protect him. Instead of dropping the deal, Tsuda just pulls a gun on the two of them and threatens Iwai with force.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite there being no shortage of corrupt adults who end up getting their hearts stolen, there are exceptions to the rule:
    • Sojiro, despite his initially cold and distrustful attitude toward the protagonist, cares more for him than he initially lets on, and keeps his and Futaba's involvement in the Phantom Thieves a secret.
    • Sae, the prosecutor who interrogates the protagonist, disapproves of the police's more extreme methods, is willing to listen to him, and ultimately plays a major role in saving his life and helping the Thieves against the conspiracy.
    • Takakura, a high-ranking executive in Okumura Foods who helps manage the company after Kunikazu dies. While Haru has heard some unsettling rumors about him, and distrusts him after he tries to convince her to hand over her shares to him, he turns out to be a Nice Guy who's willing to listen to her, consider her feelings and even help her get out of her Arranged Marriage once he learns that she actually wasn't OK with it.
    • Late in Sojiro's link, Futaba's uncle attempts to extort money from Sojiro by claiming that he was abusing Futaba and that he was assaulted by the protagonist. When a pair of detectives show up to investigate his claims, the lead detective doesn't start with the assumption that the accused are guilty (as is usually the case in such incidents in fiction), but instead asks questions about Sojiro's parenting to the protagonist and Futaba, as well as what happened between the uncle and the protagonist, before coming to the conclusion that the report was obviously false and wishing the group a good day.
  • Recurring Element: Multiple elements from Persona 3 and 4 return:
    • A primary Color Motif throughout the UI and other art. For this game, it's a vivid red.
    • The protagonist arrives in town by taking a train.
    • The Velvet Room has a new silver-haired, gold-eyed female attendant - though there's two of them now.
    • The game opens with the protagonist signing a contract that says they take responsibility for their actions (in this case a police confession) and seeing an otherworldly blue butterfly in their dreams.
    • The protagonist gets into trouble with a teacher after he transfers to a new school.
    • The protagonist is given a key to the Velvet Room, only this time he's given it as Lavenza's max Confidant gift because of Yaldabaoth hijacking the Velvet Room.
    • The boys come up with a plan to hit on girls only to fail miserably.
    • The normally serious looking girl of the group is absolutely terrified of ghosts.
    • Gossip and rumors play a major role in the development of the plot (this time harnessed via the Phan-site), and there is An Aesop about how fickle and unreliable public opinion is.
    • Peer pressure leads to disaster or near disaster. For example, this is how Kamoshida gets away with blatantly abusing pupils, and how The Conspiracy leads the Phantom Thieves into a trap through pressure from the general public.
  • Recurring Riff: Bars from the opening theme, "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There", reappear in the heroes' Phantom Thief theme, "Life Will Change". Parts of the Confidant Sidequests max rank theme also reappear in the Final Boss's theme "Yaldabaoth", the World Arcana theme "Swear to My Bones", and the Closing Credits theme "The Stars and Us".
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Persona game starring Anti-Hero Phantom Thieves also has a predominately red and black color scheme for menus, costumes, and area designs.
  • Red Herring:
    • The game tries to do one with Makoto, implying she might be the Traitor. She's given a decent motive (protecting the Thieves' next target, her sister, from both the heart stealing and assassination) and is seen acting suspicious, taking care of "offscreen business". However, she's not the real Traitor, and it should be noted that the party suspected the real Traitor from the beginning.
    • The game drops what appear to be hints of something sinister about Morgana throughout, though they're so blatant as to be almost too obvious to count as this. You get multiple chances to call him suspicious, he has dreams about being born with yellow shadow eyes, and even at one point asks "There's no way I'd turn out to be bad at the end, right?" Naturally, he doesn't.
  • Refusal of the Call: The Protagonist attempts to delete the Metaverse Navigator app for a good three days before actually using it to willingly enter the Metaverse.
  • Relationship Values: The "Confidant" feature works similar to the Social Link system in 3 and 4, giving bonus actions to your party members as you increase the rank. However, the non-party member Confidants also give bonuses, like granting additional Exp, or allowing you to fuse higher level personas, in addition to strengthening fused Personas of that arcana.
  • Relax-o-Vision: When Okumura has a Mental Shutdown on live television: the conference frantically cuts to a still image of a cute puppy romping in a field as jingly music plays in the background. It's...not funny at all.
  • The Relic: Some elements of What Could Have Been (which you can see on the YMMV page) were left in here and there. For instance, when first hearing about Hifumi, Morgana and Ryuji gush over how awesome it would be to have a strategist on the team right after you just got one (Makoto).
  • Retgone: When Yaldabaoth starts overlaying his Palace onto the real world, the Phantom Thieves start disappearing since nobody believes that they exist, and the other world runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe, which means that they really don't exist. The Thieves only barely manage to hang onto existence.
  • Required Party Member: Done in a unique way during the first boss fight. At one point, you are able to send one of your party members to knock Kamoshida's crown off of his head to severely weaken him. If you try to send Ann, she will automatically fail due to Kamoshida's perverse fixation on her, so she must be placed in the main party to keep him from noticing when one of the boys quietly disappears from the fight.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Phantom Thieves were well aware of Akechi's ulterior motives from the day they met, and they had been taking the necessary steps to get him off their backs from that very moment onwards.
    • The traitor is Goro Akechi, who is actually A) Masayoshi Shido's bastard son, and B) a Wild Card just like the protagonist.
    • Igor, who has been helping you since the very beginning of the story, is a fake. He's actually Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge, the real Big Bad of the game.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Revisiting the game after beating it, the sight of the early-game cutscene where Akechi looks at his smartphone as Sae approaches him takes on a much darker context, when you consider that A) People whose Shadows have been crippled or killed go blank-eyed and unresponsive and ooze black goo from their mouths, B) the Metaverse Navigator app can be accessed by a Wild Card or Persona user as part of Yaldabaoth's Game, and C) Akechi is the Black Mask responsible for the murders in both worlds.
    • When Ryuji calls Yusuke "Inari" in the opening sequence he isn't using his code name, but the joke name Futaba gave him.
    • Early on, when the player meets Igor, hearing him with a drastically different and deeper voice, as well as hearing him say "Welcome to MY Velvet Room" as if it is his to own rather than the guest's subconscious, it is the first telling sign that something is wrong with Igor from the very start.
    • The drunken Shido mentions "steering the country" in the early flashback while attempting to harass the woman. This line comes back much later in giving hints to his Palace.
    • The beginning has Morgana mention Mementos and finding secrets in the depths. The depths of Mementos is the final dungeon and reveals Mona's origins.
    • Early on, an unknown man harasses Sojiro in Leblanc and the conversation mentions "her". Later, the "her" is revealed to be Futaba and that man is Futaba's biological uncle.
    • Prior to their first visit to the Meta-Verse you'll notice that the Protagonist accidentally activated the Meta-Nav when they first meet Ryuji. As well as Ryuji unknowingly entering Kamoshida's keywords.
  • Romance Sidequest: You can enter into a relationship with the majority of the female confidants in the game through their Level-Up at Intimacy 5 side-stories, assuming they like you enough from your interactions and you express an interest in the later stages of their questline.
  • R Rated Opening: The game wastes no time in letting players know it's Darker and Edgier, with the protagonist suffering violent Police Brutality (also involving drugs) in the prologue, and the Starter Villain of the game proper being a sexual predator teacher.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Palaces are not subtle about the psychology of their rulers. For example, Kamoshida's Palace is basically a game of phallic-symbol bingo.
  • Running Gag:
    • Morgana getting thrown by party members.
    • When the Phantom Thieves awaken to their Personas for the first time, after things calm down from the awe-inspiring demonstration of their powers (see the Awesome page for details), they'll quickly realize that their clothes changed and comically react to their new outfits.
  • Running Gagged: For the third Persona game in a row there's an Operation Babe Hunt. It initially plays out exactly like it's done in the past with the guys consistently getting shut down and it getting Played for Laughs. When they return to the girls they see them getting hit on by a couple of skeevy guys, similar to how they were just acting. Seeing this happen to their friends makes them admit the ugly side of their actions.
  • Russian Roulette: The "Russian Takoyaki" that Haru gets at the Culture Festival is a relatively harmless food variant with one of them being incredibly spicy. However, the spicy one is a very distinct bright red. Akechi shows up and ends up eating it whole, despite being warned, and ends up regretting it.

    S 
  • Save Point: This time around, you use an activity log you're supposed to keep as part of probation to save your current progress through the game, meaning you can save anywhere it's safe enough to take it out and write down what you're doing. During Dungeon Crawling however, this means you can only save if you find one of a small number of safe rooms where enemies won't attack you.
  • Save the Villain: The heroes attempt to save The Heavy for the villains, "Black Mask" after the Shadows turn against him in the Big Bad's Mental World. Black Mask instead shoots out a bulkhead door, trapping him with the monsters so the heroes can escape.
  • "Save the World" Climax: The game starts out with small-scale conflicts, and the stakes periodically rise until the same teenagers that were exposing a sexual predator less than a year ago are now reclaiming humanity's freedom from the clutches of an evil god.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Madarame, the second boss, is maybe the hardest in the game; not because of having outrageous stats, or an unbalanced movepool or anything like that, but simply because he's harder than the first boss, Kamoshida, the player lacks many of the options and tricks they gain later in the game, and Madarame isn't a Warm-Up Boss like Kamoshida is - he actually presents a real threat. After him, the player's strategic repertoire has expanded so much that there are few challenges remaining, except The Reaper.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the Phantom Thieves defeat the cleaner in Shido's Palace, he commends them on their strength and gives them his letter, much to the thieves surprise. He no longer sees a point in bothering to stop them, as they're probably going to succeed in bringing down Shido anyway, saying, "the captain was great and all, but he's gonna have to go down with this ship alone."
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Igor, the Big Good of the Persona franchise, spends most of the game sealed away by the game's hidden Big Bad, who's been impersonating him. It's only after discovering the villain's deception that Igor is freed and lends you his full aid in the Final Battle.
  • Secretly Selfish: Presented as a positive. Several Personas — most notably Milady — will only form the contract when their summoner admits what they really want, beyond more noble and nebulous concepts such as justice. The game does not see "self interest" as a bad thing: in fact, it's often a motivating force. Ryuji and Ann's desire for revenge, Yusuke's need to have his talent acknowledged, Makoto's desire to change her sister's heart and Haru's desire to not be sold off to an abusive husband are shown as not only understandable, but perfectly legitimate reasons for doing what they do.
  • Sentai: The Heavy for the bad guys, "Black Mask", dresses as an Evil Costume Switch version of heroes from Phoenix Ranger Featherman, Persona's Japanese Saturday morning superhero Show Within a Show. One of your party members, Yusuke Kitagawa, also has a side-story vignette where he and the protagonists do Super Sentai Stances while trying to figure out how to repair some superhero team action figures he accidentally broke.
  • Sequel Escalation: Persona 5 adds Stealth Based Gameplay to dungeon traversal, a wider selection of stat improving minigames, a larger overworld filled with hundreds of NPCs, completely remade enemy/demon/Persona models, and even more stylized Videogame Interface Elements.
  • Serial Escalation: In Persona 3, the first entry of the soft reboot of the series, Shadows were mostly just monsters of another world with the aspect of reflecting humanity only touched upon at the end. In Persona 4, this nature is elaborated on, with Shadows established as the unseen sides of the human soul, the parts of which that are kept buried beneath the surface. However, Persona 5 shows this isn't black-and-white: not that the repressed feelings may only be that which a good person doesn't want to face, but the hidden, distorted desires that a malicious soul might just be keeping from the public eye... in other words, a malevolent Shadow on the antagonist's side.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: As shown in the opening and the Achievement System trophies for beating each dungeon, the Metaverse, a Mental World shaped by warped desires, is filled with avatars of the standard 7 deadly sins and 2 non-standard ones, represented by nine Latin words:
    • Luxuria (Lust) - Asmodeus/Suguru Kamoshida, a teacher who uses his position to pressure his students into sleeping with him.
    • Irritum (Vanity) - Azazel/Ichiryuusai Madarame, a con-man who has spent decades passing off his pupils' work as his own to pretend to be a genius painter.
    • Gula (Gluttony) - Bael/Junya Kaneshiro, an overweight mafia boss obsessed with blackmailing others to accumulate more and more money, despite having no plans for it other than to have more.
    • Ira (Wrath) - The Sphinx/Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki, the representation of a teenage girl's self-hatred over surviving a car accident where her mother was hit and killed in front of her.
    • Avaritia (Greed) - Mammon/Kunikazu Okumura, the president of a fast food company engaged in questionable business practices and putting his own daughter in an Arranged Marriage to grow his massive food distribution company.
    • Invidia (Envy) - Leviathan/Sae Niijima, a rising public prosecutor insecure about proving the equal of her co-workers and providing for her sister, leading her to a Second Place Is for Losers mentality.
    • Cavum (Emptiness) - Loki/Goro Akechi, a Sociopathic murderer with a dead mother, and father who couldn't care less about him, and no real friends, to the point despite having the All Your Powers Combined Wild Card ability, he only has 2 Personas.
    • Superbia (Pride) - Samael/Masayoshi Shido, a politician who believes the horrible things he's done to complete innocents, including half your party, are entirely justified and that he is God's chosen, simply because he managed to get away with it.
    • Acedia (Sloth) - Mementos/The people of Tokyo, a massive underground dungeon representing the city's collective Bystander Syndrome where the Big Bad imprisons the hearts of those who will not adhere to his Knight Templar order, to wallow away forever.
    • Yaldabaoth, the God of Control and creator of the Metaverse, meanwhile represents all the sins, to the point he has skills named after each of them.
    • Satanael represents all seven, but as a positive force rather than malicious.
    • Quite a few of the Mementos targets represent them, particularly Greed and Envy.
  • Shipper on Deck: In some Confidants, various characters may assume that you and the Confidant in question are going out. It's up to you to decide whether to prove them right.
  • Shout-Out: A full page for them.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Making coffee at Leblanc will sometimes prompt Sojiro to visit you and give you a history lesson on different types of coffee beans and how they're grown.
    • Related to that, making curry at Leblanc can also net you actual real world tips and tricks for cooking up Japanese-style curry (specifically Japanese-style mind you, as the tips don't work as well for other curries from around the world).
  • Show Within a Show: One of the minigames the protagonist can participate in is playing a video game called Star Forneus 1988.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The heroes use chairs littered around their school's roof for their first "hideout" to secretly plan their Phantom Thief activities, before people notice they've been hanging up there a lot, forcing them to relocate. It's also a rare occasion in which the fact that the roof is off-limits to students is openly acknowledged in-story.
  • Skeleton Key: Sort of. The Eternal Lock pick item isn't exactly a key, but it ignores the one use limit on lock picks allowing it to unlock every chest.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: As usual, Shoji Meguro's themes are in English, despite Meguro not being entirely fluent, and sung by a non-English speaker, resulting in hard to make out lyrics.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Mostly played straight. The two ladies who own palaces each break the pattern, but the overall order in which targets and members of The Conspiracy are faced is true to the trope.
    • First up we have Suguru Kamoshida, an abusive PE coach who makes life hell for his volleyball team, any female students who catch his eye, and pretty much anyone who looks at him the wrong way. He has the ear of the school principal, who covers up his abuses for the sake of prestige and pedigree, and it's even suggested that parents and guardians are also aware of what's going on but do nothing for the same reason. He is a very personal antagonist for three of the four founding members of the Phantom Thieves, having beaten one, sexually harassed another, and attempting to expel the third, but is completely unrelated to the overall conspiracy and is small fry compared to what's to come — small consolation that may be to the broken children he leaves behind.
    • The second target is Ichiryuusai Madarame, a famous artist well-known to the media and the art world. A cynical man with a perpetual Artist's Block, he steals his students' work, tweaks it to make it more financially marketable, and passes it off as his own. Although nowhere near as monstrous and utterly detestable as his predecessor (though he is morally bankrupt enough to allow one of his acquaintances to die so that he can steal her painting and her son), Madarame holds much greater influence and is a nebulous financial backer of The Conspiracy, although he himself is being used unwittingly. He is the first person to imply a deeper and more sinister use for Palaces, revealing the existence of a dangerous black-masked assassin rampaging through the Metaverse who won't be dealt with until much later.
    • The stakes are raised again with the third target, Junya Kaneshiro, a brutal mobster who runs the underground of Shibuya with an iron fist. He extorts money from many a citizen, and has his goons approach and blackmail students to traffic drugs and even sell themselves. Worst of all, his cautious and elusive nature has essentially put him beyond the reach of the law. Not only is Kaneshiro an explicit backer of The Conspiracy, taking him down is what really puts the Phantom Thieves on the map.
    • The fourth target is a nebulous group of vigilante hacktivists who attempt to discredit the Phantom Thieves by threatening cyberwarfare against the city unless the Phantom Thieves disband. This leads to the Phantom Thieves crossing paths with the fourth palace ruler who completely smashes the pattern, being a reclusive, heavily depressed young girl who blackmails the thieves into stealing her own heart. Ironically, it turns out that she, through her mother's research, has perhaps the strongest ties to the Metaverse and the Man Behind the Man using it who was partly responsible for orchestrating the hacktivist attack to begin with.
    • Things are back on track with the fifth target, Bad Boss Kunikazu Okumura, the president of popular food chain Big Bang Burger, who's preparing to leave his company behind and begin a political career. He is both personally wealthy and a member of The Conspiracy, using their connections to eliminate key rivals and put himself ahead in business. However, having grown too big for his breeches, the Man Behind the Man sets him up for a fall and has him murdered at an opportune time, completely destroying the Phantom Thieves' public image.
    • Zigzagged with the sixth palace ruler, Sae Niijima, who is an Unwitting Pawn to The Conspiracy and not so much "evil" as a good person who's lost sight of her values, but still provides a major threat to the Phantom Thieves' existence both inside and outside the Metaverse. Her pragmatism and lack of scruples in solving the case at any cost make her a dangerous enemy, but ultimately she regains control of herself without requiring a change of heart and becomes a major ally of the heroes against the real villains. Speaking of...
    • At last we come to the head of The Conspiracy, Villain with Good Publicity Masayoshi Shido and his bastard son/personal assassin Goro Akechi. Using his vast web of influence, research into the Metaverse, and a very eager Persona-using assassin on a tight leash, Shido meticulously carries out a bloody bid for Prime Minister. He is ultimately behind the mental shutdowns and psychotic breakdowns, which were used to remove and implicate key individuals whose downfalls his campaign would benefit from. He was directly and indirectly funded by several of the above enemies, although not all of them knew exactly what he was doing. After some personal setbacks and a grueling battle, the Phantom Thieves triumph over Shido and Goro, the latter of whom reveals himself as The Starscream and leaves the story on a Death Equals Redemption note. This is also an ironic case of Book Ends, as the head of the Conspiracy ended up being the petty sexual harasser who sued the protagonist at the very start of the game — an astronomical coincidence that our protagonist, at the end of the game, believes to have been preordained by a higher power. And perhaps with good reason...
    • The final Palace ruler, Yaldabaoth, AKA the Holy Grail, AKA the Treasure of Mementos, is an Eldritch Abomination who usurped the Velvet Room before the story started and began posing as Igor. The "game", as he puts it, was to see whether humanity had a future; if they could be moved to embrace the righteous thieves, embodied by the Trickster, against the chaos and the corrupt establishment, championed by Goro Akechi. As they did not — as they turned against the thieves to the point of removing them from cognition, choosing instead a life of indolence, passing off all responsibility to the Holy Grail — Yaldabaoth concludes that they do not deserve to exist. His menace is a threat to the entire world, and he is the fiend that Lavenza, the Velvet Room's true avatar of power, had warned the protagonist of at the start of the game. He also extends a sincere We Can Rule Together offer to the heroes, promising to suspend his plan of destruction and rebirth and simply observe the continued actions of the Phantom Thieves provided the Holy Grail is left alone. If he's refused, his defeat comes only after the Darkest Hour, and requires the protagonist unleashing his Ultimate Persona, Satanael.
  • Speech Bubbles: Multiple parts of the user interface will pop up as white bubbles with black text in them.
  • Speed Stripes: White lines appear around the edges of the screen when the characters move at high speeds.
  • Spit Take: Ryuji does this during an optional evening confidant event at Leblanc's if the protagonist mucks up brewing coffee and it ends up way too bitter (by putting some love into it, instead of doing it as instructed).
  • Spoiler Opening: Zigzagged. The game's opening sequence hides your future party members in shadow so as not to explicitly give their names, appearances, and thief costumes away. This would probably be a little more meaningful were it not for the "let us start the game" image that appears every time Persona 5 is booted up, which gives us a nice look at every single one of the thieves in their metaverse attire, up to and including Goro Akechi, whose addition to the team marks a fairly major turning point in the story. Atlus seemed unsure of just how far to market Akechi in general; he was conspicuously absent from a good chunk of promotional material that would've given his addition to the group away, but occasionally showed up in costume previews alongside the other playable characters, along with the box art, which made him joining the gang a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Standard Status Effects: The game introduces many status effects, some similar to status effects from previous Persona games, and others exclusive to the current iteration of the battle system.
    • Burn - Caused rarely by fire skills, deals minor damage to the target after they complete their turn. Induces bonus "Technical" damage from wind and nuclear attacks.
    • Shock - Caused rarely by electric skills, inflicts paralysis as well as capable of being spread through physical contact (such as attacking via normal attack) and inducing bonus "Technical" damage from physical and nuclear attacks.
    • Freeze - Caused rarely by ice skills, prevents the target from acting during their turn, reduces physical resistance, and induces bonus "Technical" damage from physical and nuclear attacks.
    • Dizzy - A stand-in for blindness; severely drops physical and magical attack accuracy as well as induces bonus "Technical" damage.
    • Forget - A stand-in for silence; disables use of any Persona skills.
    • Sleep - Disables all actions, yet recovers HP and SP each turn. Induces bonus "Technical" damage but wears off immediately afterward.
    • Hunger - A new status effect which severely drops attack power for the afflicted target.
    • Confuse - Afflicted target either does nothing, throws away money, throws an item at the enemy, or uses an item.
    • Fear - Afflicted target is likelier to ignore commands and/or run away from battle.
    • Despair - A unique stand-in for Doom; afflicted target has disabled actions and loses SP every turn, and is eventually incapacitated after three turns.
    • Rage - Also known as berserk; afflicted target can't be controlled, can only use basic attacks, and has their attack power increased while their defense is decreased.
    • Brainwash - Also known as charmed; afflicted target can't be controlled, can heal or cast buffs on the enemy, as well as attack allies.
    • Rattled - Unique status effect in which the target is turned into a rat and takes increased damage and cannot act.
    • Madarame's paint attack causes a unique status that makes a character weak to all elements.
    • Yaldabaoth inflicts unique status ailments via use of the Seven Deadly Sins. Vanity causes the same effect as Madarame's paint attack while Greed causes Hunger.
      • Lust causes the afflicted to skip a turn, but only lasts a single turn.
      • Gluttony doubles the party's cost of using skills for a few turns.
      • Wrath appears to be a less serious version of Rage/Berserk. It increases attack power and decreases defense, but the afflicted can still be controlled, and it only lasts one turn.
      • Envy causes a unit to become jealous for a turn, making the affected attack an ally for assisting another ally.
  • Starter Mon: Arsene, the only level 1 Persona Guardian Entity, who you get at the very start of the game and starts with nothing but a weak physical attack and a weak darkness spell. Leveling him up will take longer than any other Persona in the game, and you'll have to sacrifice dozens of stronger Personas to give him enough high-end skills to make him useful beyond the first dungeon.
  • Stealing the Credit: One of the most common abuses of power featured in the game.
    • Madarame has passed off his underlings' work as his own for years.
    • In Ryuji's link, the teacher who is supposed to take over the track team has every intention of hiring a coach to do the actual work, but claim the credit himself.
    • Tae Takemi's boss hijacked her research so that he could lay claim to a breakthrough discovery.
    • In a sidequest, a woman's boss tells her to accept that her male coworker stole the credit for her work because she's a woman and that's "the natural order of things".
  • Stat Grinding: Training in either LeBlanc's attic or at the Protein Lovers gym increases Joker's HP and SP each time. Continued training at Protein Lovers will eventually unlock harder training regimens that further increase these stats, and drinking a Protein Shake beforehand will add even more gains per session.
  • Stealth-Based Game: In dungeons, you can sneak around foes by flash stepping behind walls, hopping into paintings, and so forth. This allows you to perform Back Stabs to give your party the first turn in battle.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Ann and Morgana are both burglars that dress like/actually are cats.
    • Futaba's Palace is an Egyptian pyramid and her Shadow is an Egyptian princess half wrapped in bandages. This is because she has "mummy" issues.
    • In dungeons, you can find dirty clothing in locked chests. It's as though you are finding the target's dirty laundry hidden away.
    • Joker's wears bright red gloves that stand out against the muted, almost black color scheme of the rest of his outfit. Since he's a thief, this means that if he's found out, he'll be caught red handed.
  • Stock RPG Spells: Notable for adding complexity to the Persona 3 and 4 set of spells. They are:
  • Summon Magic: As in previous Persona games, all your special attacks and magic are performed by summoning a Guardian Entity representation of a character's psyche. This time around, the Persona will appear as soon as you start looking through your skill list.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: A cut-in of the character's eyes will flash onscreen any time your Persona performs a critical attack.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Shadow Selves once again sport glowing yellow eyes, even when appearing as Doppelgangers of their human selves.
    • As always, the attendants of the Velvet Room sport glowing eyes just a shade lighter than that of Shadows. Caroline and Justine draw even more attention to theirs, since they both wear an eyepatch.
    • Interestingly, the protagonists themselves have shadow eyes when they summon their Persona, both in cutscene and in gameplay.
  • Surprisingly Good English: A number of songs, which include battle themes and background music, feature English lyrics that actually aren't complete gibberish and suit the part of the game it goes with.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Mementos is a randomly-generated, multi-floor dungeon you can go to any time to level up and which is stated at the start of the game to be the focus of a game-long game quest to uncover its mysteries. It's the location of Sidequests, is divided into "paths" named after concepts in Hebrew Mysticism, has calendar-based gates that only clear away by proceeding with the plot, and the bottom serves as the not-so-optional penultimate dungeon, making it a mirror image of Tartarus in Persona 3. And like Tartarus, if you spend too long in one floor, the Reaper comes after you.
    • On floor 7 of Mementos' Harmony section, you fight a short haired school girl's Shadow, who as it turns out is a total sadist and who drops a whip as her treasure, a la Chie's Shadow in Persona 4.
    • The sixth dungeon of the game was created by a party member's relative, is ostensibly the last dungeon, has a theme song with lyrics and the choices you make in regard to the fallout determine which ending you get, something that applies to Heaven from Persona 4 and the Casino from Persona 5.
  • Sweat Drop: Any time characters are suddenly worried, their character model will have 3 little drops of water pop out from their forehead. any time they're embarrassed, an oversized drop of water pops up on the side of their temple instead.

    T-Z 
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Inverted. The Velvet Room, which changes into a location tailor-made for its current guest, becomes a prison for P5's Protagonist.
  • Take That!: Sadayo basically calls The Tale of The Bamboo Cutter a story about a woman making unreasonable demands to her suitors, sending them to get expensive shit for her, and then high tailing it to the moon. (This conveniently ignores the fact that the reason she set them an Impossible Task was so that they would give up, as she couldn't afford to get attached... but given Sadayo's Confidant link, that's not surprising.)
  • Take Cover!: The protagonist can hide behind walls and furniture while sneaking around.
  • Take Your Time: You can ride trains all across Tokyo, a process that in real life can take hours, without the sun or moon ever moving an inch. Until you actually engage in a side-story quest or a mini-game, time will never change. Additionally, the loading screen invokes the name of this trope.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Whenever one of the party members awaken to their Persona, they are surrounded by shadows who have been recently given orders from the Palace ruler which are some variation of "kill them." Each time, the awakening party member is cornered, but then stands up and delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the villain before awakening to their Persona and entering battle, and the whole time while they go through the motions (the declaration of rebellion, contract, etc) the Shadows and Palace ruler simply stand there and watch them rather than making any sort of motion to stop them.
  • Talk to the Hand: The protagonist will stick his hand out to the screen when you open the menu, with text reading "Don't look at me like that" in the corner of the screen.
  • Tarot Motifs: As in previous games, Personas / Shadows, party members and various NPCs are divided into the 20-odd major arcana of the Tarot deck.
  • Tear Off Your Face: When party members first rip off their Persona masks, their face becomes appropriately bloodied as if it were their actual face. Ripping the mask off Shadows also hurts them, giving you an advantage in battle.
  • Technicolor Fire: Blue flames are a major visual motif in the game.
    • In the second teaser, an otherworldly blue flame can be seen in the distance once time stops.
    • Each protagonist bursts into blue flame when they first awaken to their Persona.
    • Persona are now covered in blue flame when they are summoned.
  • Thematic Theme Tune:
    • "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" by Lyn Inaizumi. The lyrics are about stepping out of one's comfort zone to confront the wrongdoings and evils in the world when others are content to just stand by and watch, and that if someone wants change in the world, they have to do it themselves rather than waiting on someone else.
    • "Life Will Change" by Lyn Inaizumi. The lyrics have characters who have now gained strength by discarding the masks that once held them back to challenge the established order, inspire others, and change the world around them with their own hands.
    • "Rivers in the Desert", which has the hero and villain switching off verses giving their motivations for fighting each other, only to come together in the refrain to declare their Not So Different, Well-Intentioned Extremist desires to change the world.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • "Awakening" kicks in any time a character awakens to their Guardian Entity and destroys a bunch of Mooks.
    • "Life Will Change" plays on any day the heroes pull off their latest heist. Notably, the game uses two variants: the early Palaces all use an instrumental version, the final set of Palaces (starting with the Sae's Casino, as heard in the prologue) on the other hand make use of the lyrical version.
    • An instrumental version of "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" plays when Futaba hijacks all of Japan's airwaves to send out their calling card to Shido.
  • Theme Table:
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In the end when the now-disbanded thieves drive off celebrating their newfound freedom, Makoto turns on the radio and "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" first plays from the radio, before carrying over into the background music.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The party Combination Attack has your team hitting the enemies so many times that they errupt into sprays of blood. Even if the opponent is one hit away from death.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: All Shin Megami Tensei games begin with one of these, but this game stands out in particular by incorporating it into the narrative, with Igor asking the player directly whether they accept the disclaimer. Selecting "no" boots the player back to the title screen.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: The Protagonist, Ryuji and Ann start as a three man team that are constantly hanging out together, before recruiting the rest of the party.
  • Time Stands Still: When the protagonist first activates the "Metaverse Navi" app, everyone around him in a crowded intersection freezes, leaving only the protagonist and his Persona / Shadow still moving.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A central conflict in the game. The Phantom Thieves become criminals to reform those who have manipulated the rules of society to exploit others, and are thus untouchable by traditional authorities. Akechi's Face–Heel Turn also first appears to be caused by his desire to uphold the law instead of doing the right thing, only to turn out to be the opposite: He takes the Phantom Thieves' methods to the extreme, killing people in order to propel his father to Prime Minister, then revealing said crimes to punish society as a whole for allowing Shido's abuse of others.
  • Tokyo is the Center of the Universe: Being an Anthropomorphic Personification of Knight Templar order, the Big Bad could have basically manifested anywhere in Japan, or even the world at large. The game implies Shido's collective unconscious research and the Japanese public's tendency to think of themselves as one entity and not question authority much (compared to a country that actively glorifies various types of individualism, like The United States) helped, but there's no direct reason given.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Due to the game being explicitly set in Tokyo, Japan, various cultural references are untranslated. This includes things like Senpai Kohai, food names, most Japanese Honorifics with some exceptionsnote  and so on.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Played for Laughs. When you go to a fancy buffet at multiple points throughout the story, female party member Ann will get nothing but desserts, and male party member Ryuji will get nothing but meat.
  • Traitor Shot: After the game gets to the present from the Protagonist's flashbacks, it's revealed who sold him out after Sae Niijima leaves the interrogation room. Goro Akechi says he's down there to question the Protagonist, but as Sae walks past, he chuckles and says "Foolish woman," with his in-game portrait looking very menacing.
  • Transformation of the Possessed:
  • Translation Convention: Naturally, since the game is set in modern Japan, the English script still behaves as if everyone is speaking Japanese and English is merely being heard for the benefit of the Anglophone player. Granted, this does make a few scenes where Ann has to read things that are natively in English a little odd, since everyone sounds like they're speaking English and then they need Ann's help...with English.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The Phantom Thieves' "Life Will Change" theme is a faster, more upbeat version of the opening "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" theme. It also replaces the questioning, lamenting lyrics of the opening with a triumphant promise that the singers will change the world themselves.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: In the escape from the pyramid dungeon, Ann throws Morgana so high into the air it results in Morgana temporarily disappearing in a tiny flash of light before landing at the base of the pyramid.
  • Two-Teacher School: Subverted. In the first arc of the game, it appears the only two named teachers at the school are Starter Villain Suguru Kamoshida and your homeroom teacher Sadayo Kawakami. However, all your teachers end up showing up in Pop Quiz sections, and even have Character Portraits.
  • Underground Monkey: Subverted. On the field, enemies are slightly retextured versions of one or two enemies. For instance, the first dungeon only has a knight in silver armor, and the exact same knight with a gold armor texture on him. In battle however, the enemies are all custom models from several decades of Shin Megami Tensei designs.
  • The Unfought: While Medjed is built up to be a serious threat, the real objective of that chapter is to help Futaba. Who deals with them by herself off screen.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • One of the Personas you can use is Bugs/Bugbear, a minor enemy from Devil Summoner Soul Hackers. No, really.
    • A few of the Ultimate Personas have appeared previously in Shin Megami Tensei, yet not terribly often. These include Satanael, the Protagonist's Ultimate Persona, whose only seen form previously was in Soul Hackers while possessing Spooky, and Mercurius, Morgana's Ultimate Persona, who was previously a Breather Boss in the prologue of Shin Megami Tensei II and was meant to be destroyed by Cerberus. There's also Astarte, who actually did appear in the Persona series before. That is to say, she was the persona of Kanaru Morimoto, a character from the now considered non-canon anime Persona -trinity soul-.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: The Protagonist has the unique "Wild Card" ability, that lets him change his Guardian Entity at will and recruit Shadows to his cause. Subverted when it turns out "Black Mask", The Heavy for the villains, has the same power.
  • Unmoving Plaid: In the traditionally animated opening, the plaid pattern present on Joker, Ryuji, and Ann's uniforms is static. This is a stylistic choice, as the plaid used for traditionally animated cutscenes both looks different and matches the characters' movements.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Justified. Anything involving the Protagonist's plan to fake his death and expose Akechi and his boss isn't shown until the Protagonist is putting it into motion. This is because the Protagonist was heavily drugged, thus he legitimately did not remember that there was a plan until the last minute, and the game fades to white before any scenes involving the plan.
  • The Untwist:
    • In-Universe, most of the Confidants find out the player is a Phantom Thief, and treat it as this, casually revealing that they've known for a while during their rank 10 scene. Ichiko Ohya in particular laughs at how obvious it is.
    • Also in-universe, none of your party members are actually caught off guard by Akechi's betrayal.
  • Urban Fantasy: The game revolves around high school students in contemporary Tokyo, Japan who can summon an Anthropomorphic Personification of their psyches that take the forms of various fictional and mythological figures. So monsters bearing the appearance of demons and gods are fought both with melee weapons and modern fire arms.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • The "Hama" and "Mudo" light and dark One-Hit Kill attacks have even less utility compared to previous games, as there is now an entire line of light and dark attacks that still exploit enemy weaknesses, deal actual damage, and have a near 100% hit rate (instead of 70-80% tops). This is somewhat mitigated by the instant kill spells being able to take advantage of enemy weaknesses to Bless/Curse and have a higher hit rate.
    • This trope is otherwise averted, as usual for the Shin Megami Tensei series: although status effect spells are useless against the major plot-relevant bosses, they have surprising accuracy (even the slightly less accurate all-targeting versions still hit most of the time). And as it turns out, many of the bosses in Mementos ARE vulnerable to ailments. And, as veteran SMT players know, stat buff and debuff spells have a very large effect, are 100% accurate, and are not resisted by any enemy, making them absolutely vital.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: The opening tutorial seems to suggest that stealthing past enemies can be a viable strategy when it forces you to hide until an agent talking on his cell phone leaves, but in actual gameplay sneaking past enemies will deprive you of experience, money, and items. Unless you're running dangerously low on SP, stealth is primarily useful for ambushing enemies.
  • Vacation Episode: Your Class Trip involves the party traveling by plane out of Japan to Hawaii.
  • Vendor Trash: Most of the treasure you steal from the various Palaces, include the main Treasure each of your heists are targeting, can only be sold at the weapon shop for cash. They have no other uses and stay in a seperate tab from equipment and other usable items.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Assuming that you've reached the path to the True Ending, the final dungeon is Qliphoth World, where Yaldabaoth is starting to overlay his Palace onto the real world.
  • Victory Pose: Party Members not only have various poses they strike after winning a battle, but unique splash screen poses that'll pop if an All-Out attack they initiated wiped out the enemy party: The Protagonist tightens one of his gloves and pops a Slasher Smile, Ryuji does a devil horns Hand Signal, Ann does a V-Sign, Morgana does a Chair Reveal with a cigar, and so on.
  • Victory Quote:
    • Your party members will randomly drop various lines when you enter the battle results screen.
    Ann: Total victory, yay!
    • If you win with an All-Out Attack, you also get a quote in the background of the character you were controlling when you won.
    Joker: "THE SHOW'S OVER"
    Ryuji: "FREAKIN' BORING"
    Ann: "OMG! We are SO awesome!"
    Morgana: "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"
    Yusuke: "IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED, GOODBYE"
    Makoto: "JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED"
    Haru: "Adieu"
    Akechi: "MY SOLE INTEREST IS IN UNCOVERING THE TRUTH."
    Justine & Caroline: DON'T GET COCKY
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Failing to complete a dungeon or betraying your friends to Sae will result in you getting a Bad End, all of which end with you getting shot in the head. You monster.
    • If you enter the women's bathroom in the first half of Madarame's museum Palace, a female Shadow Mook will be waiting to get a surprise attack on you.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Calling Card is meant to illicit this, forcing your target to be confronted by their twisted desires and, in turn, causing a shift in cognition that makes the treasure materialize in such a way that it can be pilfered. Doing so also causes security in the Palace to be automatically set to 99%.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Sympathetic Inspector Antagonists like Sae and Akechi will show up at Cafe Leblanc for coffee throughout the story. For Akechi, this is actually a part of his Confidant.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The ability from Persona 4 Golden to equip your party members with different sets of clothes returns. Unlike in that game, though, the costumes are DLC.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Ann and Ryuji. While they can give each other a hard time, they're much closer and more affectionate friends than Yukari and Junpei or Chie and Yosuke from the previous games.
    • Ryuji and Morgana have this dynamic as well; it actually becomes a plot point. When Morgana's insecurities and uncertain origins are exacerbated by Futaba taking over his role as navigator, he begins to take offense to the flippant comments Ryuji is prone to making and is genuinely hurt, while he usually gives as good as he gets. This eventually comes to a head and Morgana temporarily leaves the group, feeling he's no longer wanted or needed.
    • Futaba and Yusuke. The former likes needling the latter, while the latter often responds in kind, but Yusuke's one of the first thieves who manages to have an actual conversation with the highly introverted Futaba. That said, Makoto once tells them to cut out their bickering over IM during a particularly tense time.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Shadow Kamoshida/Asmodeus is the first real boss of the game and demonstrates that boss fights are going to be a lot more complex than previous games. First, you have to figure out that you need to take out his cup or he'll just heal himself. Second, he can buff his attack, allowing him to hit for very high numbers, teaching the importance of buffs and dubuffs. Third, both veterans and newcomers will be introduced to special operations, forcing them to learn how to keep up the offensive against the boss with a reduced party.
    • Shadow Madarame/Azazel starts the fight as four separate parts that you have to defeat in order to expose his real body. Each part gets a turn and they each have their own resistances and attacks. The first time isn't too much trouble, the second time though, the boss gains a new attack that gives a random party member a weakness to every attack, which you can definitely expect the boss to exploit, and any living parts will use up their turns to resurrect downed parts if you don't take them all down at once.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Your party spends their days going to school and their afternoons and nights reforming corrupt adults and trying to dismantle a criminal conspiracy.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Reaper dies very quickly when infected with the flu.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: How the concept of gunplay introduces itself into the game; on your second venture into Kamoshida's Palace, after reaching the first safe room, Ryuji reveals that he planned ahead and got some medicine and a toy (if incredibly realistic-looking) gun in the hopes that you could scare enemies off with it. However, given the manner in which the cognitive world works, the model gun can hit as hard as a real gun as long as the Shadows believe it's the genuine article.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: If the protagonist is defeated during battle, the game ends, even if your party members are at full health. The reason is because if you die before 11/20 it means the drugs Joker was injected with knocked him out in the current time; which means that Sae leaves him and then you get shot in the head by the traitor. In the current timeframe, you just lose Yaldabaoth's game.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Akechi lived his entire life feeling unloved and unwanted, and the primary motivation behind his actions is to gain the respect of his deadbeat father, Shido, before backstabbing him and exacting revenge for ruining his life.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: When Sae asks why the Phantom Thieves didn't upfront tell her that Akechi was working for a conspiracy that was using the Metaverse to commit crimes, the Thieves reply that 1) Sae wouldn't have believed them and 2) they needed Sae in the dark for their plan.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Kunikazu Okumura's death, which breaks Haru's heart, lands the Thieves in hot water with the authorities since it seems like they were responsible, and leads to revelations that The Conspiracy is much more powerful than the Thieves imagined.
    • The entire sequence of events after the story finally catches up to the present day. Goro Akechi was a traitor and he tries to kill the Protagonist after Sae's interrogation; however, the Thieves were suspicious of him from the start and bugged his phone, meaning that they knew of his plans. It turns out Joker's capture was part of a risky Gambit Roulette to convince Sae to join the good guys, use the Metaverse to fake Joker's death, and figure out who the leader of the conspiracy is.
    • During the Star Confidant, the confrontation with Hifumi's mother Mitsuyo's Shadow reveals that she isn't just trying to use Hifumi's career as a stepping stone to make Hifumi an idol (all so that Mitsuyo can live vicariously through her daughter)- she fixed several of Hifumi's matches to ensure her rise to fame.
  • Wham Line: Lots of them:
    • During the final confrontation with Madarame's Shadow, Yusuke reaches an epiphany that surprises even the party.
      Yusuke: I've heard that you destroy your "art" once they outlive their usefulness... Did that include my mother as well?
    • It's minor in the grand scheme of things, but when trying to pinpoint Kaneshiro's Palace, the Thieves hit the right answer by accident... and this answer reveals exactly what they're getting into, and just how dangerous he is compared to their earlier targets.
      [What Kaneshiro sees as his bank is] "all of Shibuya."
    • As the interrogation begins to catch up to the present day, Sae pulls out the last Calling Card that was sent and reveals who the Thieves' last target was.
      Sae: This was addressed to "Sae Niijima"...myself.
    • After the story catches back up to the present, the Traitor's identity is at last revealed after a confrontation with Sae:
      Goro Akechi, sporting a Psychotic Smirk: Hmph, foolish woman.
    • Followed shortly thereafter by the revelation of the guy pulling HIS strings:
      The Traitor, on the phone: Shido-san, my task is complete.
    • In the good ending, a cutscene shows the reaction of the surviving Phantom Thieves to the Protagonist's arrest and apparent "suicide". They are all appropriately concerned and horrified by the turn of events, and then...
      Ryuji: You're shitting me....we got 'em.
    • The final big one, during the game's Darkest Hour.
      Igor: In accordance to the game's rules, the defeated must pay a price. Your life is forfeit. I sentence you to be executed.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The cutscene entering Sae's Palace for the first time places the thieves a good distance away from the actual palace, in a minimally distorted area of the Metaverse. Then the camera pans up to show us a familiar-looking casino, and we realize we've been here before...
    • A similar effect takes place when the crew enters Shido's Palace; it at first looks the same as reality, and their clothes haven't yet changed... until the camera pulls out to reveal the Diet Building on the deck of a ship, afloat in a sea that has sunken Tokyo. The music especially assists hammering home its impact.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • If you enter the women's bathroom in the first half of Madarame's museum Palace, Ann will comment on it and ask you to leave.
    • On a heavier note, if you choose to accept Yaldabaoth's deal towards the end of the game, Lavenza expresses her disappointment at you. After which she laments that neither her nor the true Igor saw this turn of events coming, and sadly confirming how Joker really is a Trickster.
  • What Would X Do?: A variant. When the Protagonist has to turn himself in so that Shido can be found guilty, the other Thieves imagine Morgana (who they believed to have disappeared with the other world) making fun of them for giving up too easily. This encourages them find a way to save the Protagonist.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The Shadows Selves in the Palaces represent the twisted hidden feelings of the respective adults you target. Similarly, when characters' Persona first awaken, they encourage their other selves to ignore society's expectations and unleash their true rage/vengeance/etc. on those who have wronged them.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Of the How We Got Here variety. The prologue shows Joker's capture by the police after a recent heist, before backtracking six months to his arrival in Tokyo and the start of his adventures. At regular intervals, the story cuts back to Sae and Joker discussing the events that led up to the current situation.
  • With This Herring: The game starts with your sum total of equipment being nothing but a knife, a toy gun, a giant toy sword, and a giant toy slingshot. In fact, figuring out how to exploit the Your Mind Makes It Real properties of the Mental World you're traversing and getting better weapons from a military hobby shop end up being such a big issue they get their own Sidequest.
  • Woman Scorned: Cheating on your Love Interest was already a bad idea in P4 Golden, but doing so here will result in the girls finding out in the epilogue. It does not end well for Joker.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The treasure from Okumura's palace turns into a model spaceship he wanted as a boy. Subverted as it turns out to have become a valuable collector's item since then.
  • Year X: Rather than being a specific year as previous games, the in-story calendar is dated 20XX. Though if one correlates calendars, and given other hints in the game (like Rise still releasing albums while not looking terribly much older than she did in Persona 4, and a TV broadcast later stating that she's 20, it's pretty clear the game takes place in 2016. note 
  • You Are Already Dead: When you perform an All-Out Combination Attack that wipes out the enemy party, the enemies will freeze in place for a few seconds so a member of your party can pop a Victory Pose and drop a Bond One-Liner, at which point a Gory Discretion Shot shows the enemies' silhouettes erupting into a spray of blood.
  • Younger Than They Look: The Phantom Thieves as a whole are all like this barring possibly Futaba, thanks in part to Shigenori Soejima's character design style. They could all realistically pass for young college-goers as opposed to high school students with how they were proportioned. Take the main character for example, who is listed at 16 years of age; which means he's exactly in line with his two predecessors who are also listed at 16. On first glance he could easily be seen as two to three years their senior. This even plays into height where amusingly, he's supposed to be all of 5'9" meaning he's only two inches taller than the protagonist of P3 (noted as 5'7") while two inches shorter than the protagonist of P4 (noted at 5'11") but it'd hard to tell that from looking at his in-game model where he looks to be should-to-shoulder with most of the adults barring Sae.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Cognition allows for anything to beccome real if influenced by a strong enough person's will or a collective. The Metaverse and items there like "red phosphorus", an extremely explosive powder that in real life is only an urban legend. This includes creating perfect versions of objects that also exist in the real world. Morgana's words before he disappear also makes it clear that everything is influenced by Cognition, and that what humans consider the "real world" is no more real than the Metaverse. Likewise Morgana thinks it's the Phantom Thieves' Cognition of him that allowed him to continue living even as a cat. His words and the concept strongly suggest Cognition is Persona's equivalent to Shin Megami Tensei's Observation.


"Your rehabilitation begins now. Welcome...to my Velvet Room."
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