YMMV / Persona 4

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     A-E 
  • Acceptable Targets: Gonks. If you're ugly in Persona 4, chances are you're not a very nice person either.
    • Kubo has unsettling fish-like eyes and a gormless expression. He's a creep from his very first appearance, when he hits on a reluctant Yukiko and then shouting at her when he doesn't get his own way. He then murders Morooka in cold blood, just so he can take blame for all of the murders and make a name for himself.
    • Hanako is an extremely overweight student with a pug-like face, and she's an awful person. She looks down on other girls and considers them unattractive, and will badmouth them sheerly because she's jealous of them. Interestingly enough the anime made her a much nicer character, even though she looked the same.
    • Kashiwagi is treated as being ugly by her students, when she's actually somewhat attractive; she just spoils it by trying to dress much younger than she is. She's a poor teacher, treats her female students badly because she sees them as a threat, and is more than willing to take advantage of teenage boys.
    • Morooka has buckteeth, a bowl haircut, and a downright weird appearance. He's also a brutal teacher, yelling at his students when they've done nothing wrong, and belittles people without a second thought. However it's implied that he's a somewhat decent guy deep down; a student who says he gave her a sweet when she was sad, and another student mentions he's great for career advice.
    • While not immediately obvious, Adachi's nose and mouth are somewhat misaligned. Guess who turns out to be less than nice after all.
    • Aversions include Igor, who has a long nose and bulging eyes, as he is extremely helpful to the player, and Old Lady Shiroku, who gives the MC a job at her pub and treats him quite kindly.
  • Accidental Aesop: "Be what society expects of you" shows up for multiple characters. Chie wishes to be feminine, which is what's considered normal for girls in Japan. Yukiko ends up going back on her plan to leave town and instead decides to inherit her inn, which is what's expected of her. Kanji and Naoto drop their distinct appearances in Golden's epilogue, instead becoming more "normal" members of society. Yumi accepts the father she never knew that abandoned her and her mother, which is what Japanese society would expect. Whether this is a good aesop or if they were written well doesn't change the fact that it's a recurring theme.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Chie: "Alright guys, pile on! Are you ready?" And if refused: "We're not gonna do it? Aww…"
    • To say nothing of "Yosuke pounded an enemy!" With emphasis put on "pounded".
    • Yosuke: [to Yu] What, really? I know you were always good with your hands and— uh, never mind...
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Saki really hate Yosuke? As the battles with shadows have shown, they are an exaggeration of the character's true self rather than their true embodiment, such as Kanji being Camp Gay, Rise being promiscuous, and Chie resenting Yukiko. It's possible that Saki hating Yosuke was just an exaggeration of her frustration with her situation (working for Junes when the department store is taking business from her family's liquor shop) or was present in a mild sense and exaggerated by her shadow, like Chie's resentment of Yukiko, likely also being a source of shame for her. This is supported by the fact that the only time Saki is portrayed as hateful towards Yosuke is her Shadow Self's lingering thoughts, and of course she'd be freaked out by a rambling weirdo saying she'll die and a police officer who is leering at her, so her reactions to them are justified. The one scene she has with Yosuke she legitimately seems worried about him making friends due to being both new in town and the son of the manager of Junes. And since she is being pressured herself about the latter both at home and by strangers, it's just as likely that she actually means what she says about Yu looking after Yosuke. Alternatively, it was all an illusion by Yosuke's shadow, representing what Yosuke feared she thought of him.
    • Is Izanami a judgemental figure legitimately doing what she thinks is best for humanity, or is she a lying, scheming, vindictive bitch?
    • Tanaka selling gas masks and medical kits during the fog. Is he filling a need in a difficult time, or trying to profit off people's panic?
    • What was the most relevant reason behind Naoto's dismissal from the police investigation? Was it because as a female and a teenager, the police didn't take her suggestions seriously and resented the implication that they needed her help? Was it because Naoto's sometimes abrasive personality didn't win her many favors with the others? Or was it perhaps because the police, having arrested a juvenile as a suspect in the case, weren't willing to admit that they were wrong?
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Marie is controversial in the American fandom, often compared to Poochie from The Simpsons, due to her tsundere personality and somewhat aggressive inclusion in the remake and spinoffs (to the point that Persona 4 Golden: The Animation is largely focused on her). However, perhaps because of her seiyuu's current popularity, she is much more popular in her native Japan.
    • To a lesser degree, Yosuke, who within the western fandom is more of a Base-Breaking Character and is overshadowed by Kanji. His tendencies to needle his friends, particularly Kanji, have been interpreted as both sexist and homophobic. He does have a respectable western fanbase but many were surprised to see him win an official character poll focusing on Persona 4 Golden characters.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • Much like the previous game, you have Teddie for an announcer during battles, who gives you information about damage taken or status effects. Unfortunately, much like Mission Control in the previous game he. Just. Won't. Shut. Up. It is made slightly better by the fact that Teddie is replaced midway through by Rise, but she also never shuts up and neither she nor Teddie ever tell you anything you couldn't already see on the screen. This also becomes irritating because they never stop talking about the number of enemies, who defeated what enemy and what a cool move the character made. Unfortunately, one of the trophies in Golden requires you to hear 250 of Rise's navigation lines, which is Guide Dang It! for more annoyance. Rise does get more useful if you max out her Social Link, when she gets the Weakness Scan ability which causes her to randomly reveal one enemy's weakness or immunity at the start of battle.
    • If you go up to your room on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, the game will remind you if you haven't bought anything from the shopping network. This gets annoying in December, when Tanaka begins selling gas masks and medical kits because of the fog, and you don't even have the option to buy anything.
    • Similar to the above, the game will repeatedly remind you on the days when you can work at a part-time job, even if there's other things you'd rather do on that day.
  • Anvilicious: The game hits pretty early and pretty hard with the message that it's better to face your true self than to live in denial, from the murder mystery premise to the way the characters gain their personas.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In the original game, Izanami. Literally everything up to that point pointed to Ameno-Sagiri being the ultimate mastermind of the murders, but then, at the last possible moment, a completely new entity appears to take credit for everything, and the only bit of foreshadowing that she got was a minor event at the very beginning of the game that most players likely forgot about, along with Mr. Edogawa's story of Izanami and Izanagi, the player's initial persona, during school trip. Note that Golden avoids this trope via the Hollow Forest, which explains more about the specific links between Izanami, Marie, and Ameno-Sagiri - specifically that they are all aspects of a greater whole.
    • Nanako's resurrection. There really wasn't much explanation for it aside from the fact that you didn't kill Namatame.
    • Teddie's sudden burst of power allowing him to take down Shadow Rise (and that despite the fact that she was scanning them specifically to avoid their attacks) was neither explained, foreshadowed nor mentioned again afterwards.
    • Speaking of Teddie, the revelation of his nature as a Shadow. After the entire game building up to finding out what exactly Teddie is or what's up with him, this comes off as rather lazy and ineffective as anything really mind-blowing. It also doesn't make sense given many things in the story: his own Shadow and Persona, most notably, which definitely jar this outcome a little as it happens midway through the game. More time could have been spent finding out why he knows what humans are despite having never seen one at the beginning of the game, and how he can conjure up television exits.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The original game was criticized for its use of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male and Unprovoked Pervert Payback that bordered on Unfortunate Implications for how the girls are written, particularly with the camping trip and Amagi Inn scenes. In Golden, there's another Hot Springs Episode during the ski trip, and Teddie and Yosuke get caught peeping. However, this time, only the guilty party is punished, so the Protagonist and Kanji avoid another Guilt by Association Gag.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Yosuke. He's either the most hilarious character in the game, or he crosses the line over his treatment of Kanji and his chasing after the girls.
    • There are two kinds of people when it comes to Adachi: either he's an obstructive dumbass with little to no relevance to the plot, or he's a hilarious comic relief. There's also him being granted a Social Link in Golden, which is loved by his fans but considered little more than Pandering to the Base by those not into Adachi's character.
    • Marie. For some fans she's a refreshing addition to the game, a good-looking, 'emo' styled Tsundere with a mysterious past and a decent character who adds a lot to the story and pacing, particularly during the "Hollow Forest" segment. For others she's rude, clichéd, writes bad poetry, and feels forced upon the player as an Implied Love Interest.
    • Dojima. Many found his negligence towards Nanako groan-worthy, due to his tendency to leave her home alone when there's a serial killer on the loose. Just as many consider Dojima one of the game's most tragic characters, and are impressed by the competence he displays in the plot.
    • Chie. While she has fans due to being more of a normal girl compared to the other female party members, there are others who found her Jerk Ass behavior annoying. One point of contention for her was her tendency to mooch off of Yosuke because he broke a DVD that could have easily been replaced, and then got defensive when she used his money on an expensive suit for Teddie without asking, showing that she can't take what she dishes out.
    • Izanami is either a great villain or a pointless Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
    • Teddie. Some find him to be an amusing Plucky Comic Relief character. Others find his bear puns (or ending his sentences with 'kuma' in the Japanese version), his period as the game's Mission Control, perverted antics, and blatant attempt to be a marketable mascot character annoying.
    • Rise. Her personality and character arc are fairly well-liked, but she does get some flack for her Annoying Video Game Helper status, and from people who may not like how she constantly flirts with the player character even if you're in a relationship with someone else (considering that she joins midway through the game, it's entirely possible to get into a relationship with someone else by then).
    • Hanako. Some people find her humorous and give her slack for occasionally giving the player useful items, but others hate her for being a walking fat joke in a day and age where the overweight have become Unacceptable Targets. It's especially jarring after Persona 2 had an overweight girl that was depicted in a more sympathetic light.
    • Yukiko. Some enjoy her Yamato Nadeshiko tendencies and the fact she also subverts them with her quirky sense of humour, along with her beautiful appearance and her inner strength. Others find her bland and boring compared to the other female party members, and her social link can be considered as one of the weakest in the entire game. Even Yukiko's over-the-top laughter tends to receive mixed reactions from fans, who either find it endearing or irritating.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Shadow Rise doesn't have much HP, and while she's the first boss to use multiple elements, she doesn't have any particularly troubling abilities. It's mainly a lead-in to the fight with Shadow Teddie.
    • Shadow Naoto is relatively simple in comparison to the bosses that come before her, being vulnerable to Silence and only getting one turn per round as opposed to the previous boss's two.
    • Considering the build-up to their confrontation and the level you go through to get to them, Adachi is mostly just a warm up for the fight afterwards.
    • Marie and Kusumi-no-Okami in the Hollow Forest. The first phase is relatively short and easy, compared to Shadow Rise. If you have a good stock of the "(Element) Breaker" items, the second phase can end relatively quickly, and equipping a powerful SP recovery stone on your healer should provide you with enough SP to keep healed up.
    • On the Hermit Social Link the second-to-last quest is the easiest, as it can be completed in the course of a single day. You only need to search two locations for the wallet.
  • Broken Base:
    • There is a divide between fans of the original Persona 4 dub cast and fans of the various replacements for that cast made over the course of the newer Persona 4 related releases. The first camp dislike the replacements and wanted the original cast back, the second camp likes the replacements and understands why those recasts were made.
    • In general, the comedy scenes in the game are divisive. Some fans of the game like them because they add levity to the plot, allow for more character interaction in the downtime, and are fans of the humor involved. The problems other people have with them is that they can be very mean spirited at times (The Amagi Inn and Camping Trip scenes for example), they sometimes drag on for 20-40 minutes (particularly with the camping scene and the school festival leading into the Amagi Inn scene), and that they provide a lot of Mood Whiplash (like Yosuke announcing that he needs to pee during the tense scene of when they discover the TV World and Rise's comedic crying when the Protagonist goes home at the end).
    • The issue of whether or not Kanji is actually gaynote , and whether Naoto is a crossdressing girl, a Transgender female-to-male individual, or is really neither of these and her plot is instead more about how tying one's self-worth to "gender identity" at all is unnecessary and a bit sillynote . Fans and critical reviewers have taken all sorts of sides in this debate.
    • Nanako's death and subsequent resurrection. Was it a powerful moment in the game, or was it tasteless of the writers to stuff a child in the fridge in order to emotionally manipulate the player into picking the Bad Ending? Did Nanako's resurrection make sense, or was it a massive Writer Cop Out?
    • Social Links with party members wound up being surprisingly divisive. On one hand, the majority of players appreciate the fact they can choose to spend more time with their favorite characters and get more Character Development, coming to terms with the issues in their lives that gave rise to their Shadows. On the other hand, detractors claim that it results in characters' development being at best stuck to the Social Link and at worst superficial and flat, as any development has to be able to fit in at any point in the game's story, leading to Status Quo Is God. There is very little middle ground.
    • Whether or not the game's story and characters blatantly rehash Persona 3's. While there are similarities that some fans can agree on (Yosuke being similar to Junpei, for example), there are several points of disagreement as well (4 having a very different story than 3, for example).
    • Whether Tracy Rooney (P4 on PS2) or Erin Fitzgerald (everything else) was a better voice for Chie.
    • The girls' treatment towards the boys (particularly, Chie to Yosuke). Are they hilarious, or are they Love Hina-levels of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male?
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Naoto being a girl. Her dub voice doesn't even try to sound like a boy, but even if that weren't the case, some figured it out just by looking at her. Somewhat subverted in the anime's dub, where she was subjected to The Other Darrin. Her dub voice in that version at least made more of an effort to sound like a boy. Shinjiro in Persona Q slightly lampshaded this by stating he could tell Naoto's gender just by looking at her.
    • Adachi being the killer, particularly in the original PS2 version, as he was the only major character that didn't have a Social Link, much like Ikutsuki in Persona 3. Golden subverts this by giving him a Social Link, but with a non-existent Arcana.
    • It is very obvious that Mitsuo Kubo was not the killer. By the time he was arrested, the game was halfway finished and it continues to go on making the players aware that something was not right.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Small town setting? Check. A main cast mostly consisting of high school students? Check. Mental projections with supernatural powers that represent the inner selves of their summoners? Check. A serial killer with serious issues regarding women? Check. Persona 4 is stunningly similar to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable, right down to being the fourth increment of its respective franchise, and it might not a coincidence, given Personas were inspired by Stands in the first place.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • The Japanese fandom has a large following for Adachi/aged-up Nanako, however little sense it makes.
    • Rise and Kanji have also turned into a surprisingly popular one as well. Interesting in the fact that, story-wise, the two have crushes on different characters (the Protagonist and Naoto respectively) and that Kanji is explicitly uninterested in her to the point that it irritates her in Golden. They do seem to get along quite well in the game (the game notes it may be because the others in the team are second years whilst the two of them are the only first years in the group until Naoto joins) and people may see them as an alternate Yosuke and Chie pairing without the UST. Oddly enough, this pairing might have been referenced in Persona Q, where Yukiko, at one point, believes that Kanji has a crush on Rise and should confess to her. The player has a dialogue option that supports this pairing.
    • The Japanese fanbase is quite fond of pairing Naoto and Rise together. This is actually because of the voice actor connection. Rise is voiced by Rie Kugimiya and Naoto is voiced by Romi Park: they've had many roles where they worked together, notably Ed (Romi Park) and Al (Rie Kugimiya) Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Romi Park once stated in a behind the scenes interview for FMA that she wanted Rie Kugimiya to come and cook for her in nothing but an apron. There tends to be a fair bit of teasing subtext between them during interviews together.
    • There is numerous fanart for the protagonist and, guess who, grown-up Nanako. It doesn't help that, if you max her and Dojima's S-Links, you can have her get a Childhood Marriage Promise from him.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Any Shadow with the word "Basalt" in its name. They resist (and later outright nullify) physical attacks, have unpredictable weaknesses, and while they don't have many skills, their regular attack hits like a ton of rocks. Oh, and there's one type of them that resists Almighty. You will, more often than not, drain half your collective SP getting everyone's health back up after fighting a group of Basalts. It's worth noting that the All-Out Attack is of Almighty affinity. Yes, they resist the All-Out Attack.
    • Basalts themselves tend to be Fake Difficulty in the making. More than one of them is actually quite vulnerable to a regular physical attack. What is a demonic spider though, is the Steel Machine in Void Quest. It is extremely resistant to literally everything you throw at it, no matter how powerful, and its basic attack hits like a brick to the head, nevermind its actual moveset. Compensating this are the fact that it actually does have very low health, disguised by the incredible resistance, and that it is quite vulnerable to critical hits and has poor aim, leading to good all-out-attack opportunities, not that this will help, as it is just as resistant to the Almighty affinity as anything else. So uh, yeah. Luck-Based Mission.Hint 
    • The Intrepid Knight in Heaven. Nulls both Hama and Mudo skills, and resists both Almighty and Physical. But at least it has a Lighting Weakness, right? Nope; it takes less damage from electric attacks, and since it resists Almighty, All Out Attacks are pointless. Throw in the fact it's got Power Charge (the boosts its next attack 250%) and the very strong Virus Wave (that hits all party members and may poison them), this guy is a pain in the ass even in a New Game+. In Golden, it's even worse, as the Virus Wave is replaced with Blight—basically the same thing, just stronger. Cementing this is that all of its resistances are the ones that can't be broken with a spell.
    • The Noble Seeker in Magatsu Mandala. Previously a pushover, as of Golden it's a nightmare. It has no weaknesses and repels physical attacks, meaning it's impossible to knock it down. Its magic stat is a little bit monstrous, its health and SP have been improved, and it possesses Galgalim Eyes (HP to 1, inflicts enervation).
    • The Minotaurs from the same dungeon as the above hit hard, have lots of health, possess powerful skills like Diarahan(single-target full heal) and have a fair number of resistances.
  • Designated Hero:
    • The reason why Yosuke is such a Base-Breaking Character. He is perverted to the point of misogyny (right after a girl he had a crush on was murdered), and his tendency to make fun of Kanji's insecurities make him look like a huge homophobe. However, unlike the former, he never faces karma for the latter.
    • While Yosuke is no saint, Chie's treatment towards him doesn't paint a pretty picture of her either. She'll often assault Yosuke (and the protagonist and Kanji on some occasions) for minimal offenses, even if he apologized beforehand, she mooches off of him, and she charged money to Yosuke's credit card for an expensive suit for Teddie without asking him.
    • The rest of the Investigation Team may not be as bad as Yosuke and Chie in the Jerk Ass department, but they still have their moments, like Yu and Kanji coercing the girls into competing in the beauty pageant, the infamous Amagi Inn scene, and the times they took swipes at Kashiwagi and Hanako for their looks. Another point against them is their tendency to make short-sighted decisions, as mentioned in Idiot Plot below.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Many of Yosuke's views on gender roles and sexuality don't endear him to western audiences. Given that he consistently suffers Laser-Guided Karma it's likely that the writers meant for Yosuke's attitude to be a character flaw that he largely overcomes by the end of the game.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Zig-zagged. Even though Adachi is very popular, part of his sizeable fanbase doesn't romanticize him, just finds him a fun character. On the other hand, there are other fans who play it straight; there's actually fanfiction where he reforms, takes the main character's place in his absence, and ends up with Nanako. Some even blame the main characters for not helping him face his inner issues.
  • Ear Worm: Notably the main theme song "Pursuing My True Self", and "Your Affection". "Jika Net Tanaka" (returning from Persona 3) and "Junes' Theme" are also contenders. In fact, the Junes jingle counts as an in-universe example.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • This particular game is notable for spawning even more than games of its franchise usually do, thanks in no small part to leaving certain side-mysteries from the main plot tantalizingly half-answered or unanswered at all (in order to leave plot hooks for the inevitable sequel, in all likelyhood). Naoto being a descendant of Raidou Kuzunoha and/or a relative of Persona 3's Protagonist (and the two are not mutually exclusive), the exact nature of Teddie - as he's clearly not just a joe shmoe Shadow who wants to be nice to humans- and the nature of the TV World and how it relates to the Dark Hour and Abyss of Time from Persona 3 are especially popular targets for tree-planting.
    • The strange eye symbol that can appear on a party member's status screen. Whilst it was eventually revealed to just be a glitch and had no effect on gameplay, just what it was meant to do before the mechanic was removed from Persona 4 is unclear and has never been explained by anyone, with Atlus being reluctant to even admit to it being a glitch - something they only did in 2013, a full half-decade after the game was released.
  • Escapist Character: Yu definitely qualifies as he can romance school and TV idols, is an uncontested leader, a Supreme Chef, a Warrior Therapist and generally comes out as an all-around cool guy for absolutely everyone he meets.
  • Even Better Sequel: The gameplay is miles better than its predecessor. Most notably not having to wrestle with uncooperative ally A.I. in battle. Ironically, the Portable remake of Persona 3 had a number of refinements that were directly inspired by Persona 4, including the ability to instruct your teammates.

     F-J 
  • Fandom Rivalry: Between fans of Persona 4 and fans of the other games, especially the first two, who feel that this game is overrepresented in spinoffs due to being Adored by the Network.
  • Fanon:
    • Being a Heroic Mime, the protagonist's personality is ultimately determined by the player, but some personality traits have become recurring in fanfiction, such as him being a Badass Bookworm, a Deadpan Snarker (His dialogue options tend to head towards Only Sane Man most of the time, but sometimes head towards this), a Nice Guy and the Only Sane Man (Literal non-example, he's the only member of the party whose persona does not stem from having resolved his own mental issues since he hasn't got any. If you pay attention, most of his dialogue choices tend to edge towards this as well.) Many of these traits would become canon after future games established the anime's Yu Narukami as "canon".
    • There are exactly two moments when Naoto's bust is brought into question; one vague hospital scene where she's embarrassed to have her measurements read, and again during the Hot Springs Episode. Fanon decided to take this ball and run with it straight outta the stadium, and the grand bulk of her fanart depicts her with downright tremendous assets, easily surpassing D-cups. Meanwhile in Canon, the hot springs character cut-out and the anime of the game show only a slight elevation, nothing more than a modest B-cup. However, the Hot Springs cutscene added in Golden actually shows all four girls in nothing more than their towels, and makes it explicitly clear this is the case, with Naoto being the largest of the group and roughly a large C-cup.
    • "Naoto is Transsexual" has become a popular topic of debate and interpretation. Note that, unlike with Kanji, this aspect was actually unintentional. The non-canon Naoto spinoff, and additional story elements for Golden have jossed this theory entirely, as she's shown to give a try to embracing her feminine side, but that hasn't stopped certain sections of fandom from holding this interpretation.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Kanji/Naoto, to the point where people who haven't played the game think they're an official couple in the game. They even have a ship name: Kannao (完直). The popularity of the pairing has gotten to the point where Atlus has taken notice (despite originally treating it as a one-off in the original Persona 4), and added a lot of ship tease material in Persona 4 Golden (like the scene in the ski trip where Naoto falls on top of Kanji when they're out in the snow). Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth even includes options for Yu to spur on their relationship. Recently it seems to be the most popular het pairing for the franchise.
    • The most popular Het pairing for the Protagonist has actually varied over the years. When the game initially released, Naoto was the clear front runner, though her subsequent Ship Tease with Kanji has caused the popularity to cool over time. Later on, there seemed to be a dead set tie between Rise and Yukiko, but then Chie started to rise like crazy and, by the time of Persona 5 was released, she seems to have become the new preferred option.
    • The protagonist and Yosuke. Easily one of the most popular ships in the fandom (both for western and eastern fans), which is largely because of the considerable Ho Yay vibes between them.
    • Outside of the protagonist, Chie is usually paired with either Yosuke or Yukiko. It helps that Chie has something of a Belligerent Sexual Tension going on with the former and Les Yay vibes with the latter, particularly in the anime.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The Amagi Inn scene, whether it be because it was a pointless comedy scene, because the girls Took A Level In Jerk Ass, because of it basically being a torture porn scene for the guys, or taking what many consider to be one of the most annoying anime cliches, but somehow make it even worse by having the girls refuse to own up to their mistake, many consider it the worst scene in the game.
  • Filler: A common complaint about the story is that it would often come to a screeching halt for high school shenanigans that don't add to the story, but are mandatory to sit through in order to progress it. The most notable examples include the camping trip, the school festival, and the Amagi Inn scene. In a game where time is of the essence, these scenes cut into days that could be used for level grinding or building Social Links.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Izanami used to be Izanagi's wife, so naturally, some fans have taken the concept of the whole mess in Inaba being a really ugly spat between two divine exes and just ran with it.
  • Fountain of Memes: Adachi. He has a lot of odd expressions and memorable lines especially once he's revealed as the killer that fandom have latched onto.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • On certain days Mitsuo can be found standing across the street from Tatsumi Textiles. Talk to him, and he'll suspect Morooka of being the murderer. If you know what happens later in the game, this is either amusing or disturbing.
    • Near the beginning, Chie is somewhat relieved to hear that the only reason the player character transferred over was because of his parents' work, having been worried that it was something more serious. In Persona 5, it's indicated that the protagonist transferred to his new school as a result of getting on probation for assaulting a molester, which would definitely qualify as significantly more serious.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Chie, in Golden, as she gets Apt Pupil and Auto-Tarukaja. Her Black Spot and Rainy Death skills both have a 35% Critical Hit rate, the highest in the game, and with Apt Pupil and Rebellion, it reaches a 70% Critical Hit rate. By spamming critical hits, Chie can trivialize entire encounters. The only problem is that Rainy Death is only around for 3 levels before God's Hand comes along, which is arguably still game-breaking.
    • The infamous "autoleveling" trick — if you equip a Persona that nulls physical attacks and fight a group of Great Kings, they'll continuously summon Mooks. The trick? Attack a Mook once, turn on Rush mode and leave the game running overnight, and wake up to a godlike EXP reward. This was Nerfed in Golden, where after summoning a few Mooks, it'll start tossing Megidola until it runs out of SP and will keep casting it, forcing you to kill it.
    • Golden Hands now hand out tremendous amounts of cash when you kill them as well as fantastic experience for beating them too. Early game requires Chie's Rebellion/Revolution to earn the critical hits (or buying items from the Shiroku store to help get around the higher defenses), but once you start getting the Megido line of spells, then your only challenge is to kill them off before they flee. The prizes are too good, and it becomes really easy to power level.
    • Also from Golden, advancing Rise's Social Link now grants her even more abilities that turn the game into a cakewalk: once per battle, she can summon a Beehive Barrier to completely nullify a multi-target enemy spell that would have killed an ally, and if the hero is defeated, she can revive him once with full health and SP. She can also randomly pop in to heal your whole team, restore your SP, or cast a Ma-kaja or Ma-taru spell. Not to mention that your all-out attacks can sometimes get a power boost, which is just the icing on the cake.
    • Fusion and the Persona Compendium, if you've got money to burn, especially on Golden. Many of the higher level Personas, such as those obtained from completing S. Links, like Beelzebub, are extremely powerful, and with the right skills they make the game trivially easy. A few notable Personas that aren't final S. Link are available as soon as you have the money and level to put them together:
      • Black Frost comes with no weaknesses, handily absorbing Fire and Ice and reflecting Dark. It also naturally learns Mind Charge, Agidyne, and Fire Amp, meaning it can set off some powerful Fire attacks.
      • Yoshitsune learns the best attacking skill in the game: Hassou Tobi. It hits all enemies eight times, more than enough to offset the weaker power of the individual strikes, compared to single target attacks like Primal Force. Buffs like Power Charge and Tarukaja can help augment this further, and if you somehow give it Victory Cry, it can wipe away all enemies and then heal your HP right back up.
      • Trumpeter has a multitude of resistances, so if you fuse it with Null, Reflect, or Absorb Element skills, you can essentially make it invincible, making it so that only the seldom used status ailments and Almighty attacks can damage you. On top of that, it learns two very useful skills for buffing and debuffing. Heat Riser raises all of the stats of one character, while Debilitate reduces all of the stats of one enemy.
      • Alice, due to her powerful Die for Me! skill which is a Dark instant kill type skill. Combine that with Mudo Boost to increase its effectiveness, and she can clear away enemies with ease. She can also have a very magical oriented moveset with skills like Mind Charge and Megidola for enemies who aren't immediately destroyed by Die For Me!.
    • The ability for skills to randomly change during fusion. It is random, yes, but it is also possible for a Level 45 or 50 persona to get Victory Cry, which can normally only be gotten by Lucifer at Level 99. This makes the rest of the game a cakewalk in terms of grinding. A trick with the Persona Kaiwan, normally around Level 25 or so, can be fused on a specific day some time during June, and with enough patience and luck, it can acquire Victory Cry, which can then be fused onto other Personas.
    • Spell Master halves the SP cost of all skills that use it. This is quite useful in the Hollow Forest, in which if you have a Persona with that ability, you can essentially throw around high-level spells while your accessory recoups the cost.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This holds true in relation to Persona 3. Persona 3 was a little better received in Japan and is generally considered the better of the two games, and got far more spinoff merch due to the incredible demand; Persona 4, meanwhile, still got a decent reception but not a great one and not much secondary merch. The opposite holds true in America and Europe, though; while Persona 3 did basically bring real mainstream attention onto the franchise, Persona 4 was reviewed much higher and is generally considered to be a whisper away from total perfection and quickly became the best-selling SMT title in the West ever (which actually had the effect of making Persona 4 the best-selling SMT game ever due to worldwide sales). This may actually be spilling back to its homeland as well, with several spinoff merch and sequels that are about equal with Persona 3. And hey, Atlus sure didn't call the crossover fighting game Persona 3 Arena.
  • Glurge: Most of Nanako's character revolves around her being The Woobie, to the point where her death is the driving point for the decision the player must make for either the good or bad endings.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Contrarian King, the Bonus Boss in Shadow Yukiko's dungeon. He has insanely high Attack power for his level and his Rampage attack can kill the entire party in one hit if you go back and attempt to defeat him immediately after clearing the dungeon the first time, even if defensive buffs are in play (oddly enough, it's several times stronger than his other moves). However, he becomes rather easy if you grind through another dungeon or two and then return, have a Persona with Null Physical on a New Game+, or simply get lucky and never see him use it.
    • Shadow Teddie, given his massive amount of health. His attacks are easy to recognize if you know his tells, so it's more of an endurance contest.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Achieving the best ending in this game. In order to get yourself on this track you must select six specific dialogue options when your party members are contemplating on throwing Namatame in the TV World. The game doesn't indicate that choosing at least one wrong option will prevent you from seeing the good ending and it can be hard to figure out which option is the right one. Even after you defeat the killer when you have said all of your Social Link farewells, the game will try its hardest to keep you from getting to the best ending by constantly asking if you'd like to go home.
    • You'll most likely need a guide for answering all of the questions in school correctly. While some of them you'll know from simply listening to the teacher or from your own personal experience, others you won't because they're based on Japanese history and culture. The exam questions also have a nasty habit of being differently worded than the question you first learned the answer from, meaning that you can't rely on simply remembering the correct answer.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The scene where Chie charges Teddie's wardrobe to Yosuke without his permission becomes this in Golden — in the original release Yosuke complains that he's trying to buy a motorcycle, but in Golden he's recently done so at this point in the story and complains that he's broke and doesn't have the money for it, with Chie's reaction being a non-plussed "Well, then it's not like going into debt is going to be problem!" Keep in mind that when Golden was released, there was a global recession taking place due to this sort of spending.
    • Yumi's New Year's date has her making a small prayer at the shrine. During it, she thanks God for bringing the two of you together and makes it known that she's glad that you're alive. Considering what closely preceded this and the events of the True Ending, it can be seen as a bit of foreshadowing, especially considering what the series as a whole has a knack for doing to its protagonists.
    • In a throwaway comedy scene during the summer, Teddie and Yosuke help with Nanako's homework by providing proverbs. Teddie's is "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think, therefore I am". Once you learn his backstory and witness his entire character arc, this is considerably less funny.
    • In Ai's Social Link, after hearing that the guy she likes isn't interested in her, she threatens to throw herself off the school roof, but you talk her down. In Persona 5, Shiho, after being sexually assaulted by Kamoshida, attempts suicide in the same manner, surviving but being injured and going into a coma.
    • Also from Ai's Social Link, the part where she rejects a suitor for not being good-looking enough and expresses her belief that looks are all that matters. Initially, it comes off as a Kick the Dog moment that makes Ai seem shallow, but later on, you learn that she also feels that way about herself, believing so strongly that looks are her only redeeming quality that she becomes suicidal when she's rejected, and this revelation says volumes about Ai's self-esteem (or lack thereof).
    • Mr. Yamada casually makes slips of the tongue implying that Yukiko, one of his students, is cute, something that passes without comment. In Persona 5, Mr. Kamoshida lusts after Ann, retaliating against her friend Shiho by sexually assaulting her when Ann spurns his advances- his attraction to her isn't portrayed as being acceptable in the least, and he comes off as one of the most despicable characters in the game.
    • Marie, Igor's Golden-only assistant together with Elizabeth, is revealed to be a pawn of Persona 4's Greater-Scope Villain. Apparently, Atlus decided to do it again in Persona 5, although this time it's the Greater-Scope Villain of that game himself who places himself in the Velvet Room, impersonating Igor no less.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • During the Okina event where you, Kanji, and Yosuke compete to pick up girls, you can talk to a religious fanatic. While it's clear she's nuts and has no idea what she's talking about, she does mention despair being the source of human suffering and hope being the path to salvation. This could very well be a reference to the whole plot of Izanami's plan—Namatame is the piece representing Despair, and drives most of the plot by kidnapping people and is the source of most of the conflict in the game. You, the player, are the piece representing hope and are indeed the only one able to save the world.
    • Yukiko joking that Teddie wearing a cape would be silly. The joke pays itself off in Persona 4: Arena where she sees Teddie in said costume and bursts out laughing.
    • Golden has Feathermen outfits for the Investigation Team, which is triply hilarious because of Johnny Yong Bosch's well known role as the Black Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, was introduced as a transfer student to Angel Grove, and that Power Rangers Operation Overdrive episode "Once a Ranger" had him leading a team of assorted Power Rangers. Taken even further in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, with the returning Persona 3 party member Yukari Takeba being revealed to be the actress portraying Phoenix Ranger Featherman R's Pink Argus, and that she's wearing her Pink Argus costume as she wanders around Inaba.
    • Theodore's Fan Nickname "Flight Attendant Kanji" can be this if you let Kanji wear the Deep Blue Clothes.
    • Hiimdaisy's webcomic has Chie using Bufu on Shadow Yukiko, one hit KO-ing it (which in the original isn't weak to Ice and thus qualifies as the original's Wake-Up Call Boss). Now in Golden, Shadow Yukiko is weak to Ice.
    • There was a lot of fan art of Izanami joining the Investigation Team, or at least playing a bigger role in the overall story. When Golden was released and Marie turned out to be a part of Izanami, this came true.
    • The common comparison that Ameno-Sagiri looks like a giant disco ball has become this after the announcement of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, a rhythm game featuring the Investigation Team.
    • 3 has Personas being activated by having the user shoot themselves in the head with a pistol. Fast forward to this game, and we have Naoto, whose Weapon of Choice is a pistol, which is used for the Persona Activation scene by shooting the card.
    • Nanako asking if the weather forecaster decides the weather becomes this after the ending of Golden, when Marie becomes a weather forecaster who really can decide the weather.
    • During Rise's Social Link, you frequently hear about her rival idol, Kanamin, such as from a group of people who say that Kanamin's true to herself, unlike Risette. In Dancing All Night, it turns out that Kanamin's main appeal is her manufactured character, and in terms of appearance and personality, the difference between Kanamin and the "real" Kanami is perhaps even larger than the difference between Risette and the "real" Rise. Similarly, Nanako says that she tells all her friends that "Rise-chan's way better" than Kanamin, but ends up bonding with Kanami during Kanami's B-plot.
    • Morooka states that "This town is miles away from your big city of perverts and assholes, in more ways than one" when berating Yu on the first day of school. Come Persona 5, which is set in Yu's hometown of Tokyo, and through Suguru Kamoshida and Masayoshi Shido (among others), we learn that Morooka may have had a point.
    • Naoto's Social Link has you aid Naoto in investigating a culprit known as the "Phantom Thief". Come Persona 5, whose main characters operate under the name "Phantom Thieves", with one of their enemies also being a detective.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Hollywood Homely:
    • Ms. Kashiwagi is widely derided among the students as ugly, when she looks like this (though more likely they're talking about her desperate attempts to "regain her youth").
    • Rise, when she's working at her family's tofu stand. Presumably it's meant to show how different she is from her idol persona, but characters genuinely believe she's an old lady just from the fact that she's wearing a kerchief on her head.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • The first time the player fights a tank.
    • Margaret seems to dedicate their boss fight to seeing how badly they can screw the player over in the most over-the-top manner possible, per Shin Megami Tensei tradition.
  • Hype Backlash: Want to know how beloved this game is? Even Noah Antwiller, one of the most jaded internet reviewers, praised this game. Naturally, this game has to be victim to this trope on that fact alone.
  • Idiot Plot: The plot really tests the player's Suspension of Disbelief with how stupid the characters are to get it going. First, you have Saki's murder, which was committed at a police station, which has you wonder why nobody was taking better care of the underage witness or the golden horseshoe Adachi had up his ass to not get caught. Then you have Namatame blindly assuming the TV world is safe without actually going in it. Finally, a good number of the kidnappings were caused by the Investigation Team's own ineptitude. Kanji got abducted because Chie was too dense to play along with Yosuke's claim that they were dating, leading to him chasing them away. Rise got abducted because she thought it was a good idea not to have a bodyguard with her at Inaba, thinking that just because she's taking a hiatus, her stalkers and the tabloids will too. Nanako got abducted because of Dojima's kneejerk reaction to the threatening letter, leaving her home alone and vulnerable. The Protagonist also gets idiot points for not sticking his hand in a TV to prove to Dojima he wasn't bullshitting him when there was one around.
  • Informed Wrongness: Kashiwagi is often treated like she's worse than Morooka when her worst crime was getting jealous of Rise. Even flirting with her students would at worst get her fired since her students are well-within the age of consent. To be fair though, most of this might be because she's flirty to an uncomfortable degree, doesn't seem to be a very good teacher, and generally just comes off as being pushy, desperate and just unpleasant in general.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Kanji's ambiguous sexuality. Especially since any outcome would determine whether a Kanji/Naoto pairing is possible or not.
    • Persona 3 vs. Persona 4. Or better yet, which of the two protagonists is better?
    • The new opening for the PS Vita Port. Apparently just saying you don't like it will have others calling you a non-Fan.
    • Naoto's gender; you'll find people asserting either that she's female-to-male or that she's simply a woman trying to survive in a field where women are not taken as seriously as men.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Now that Atlus has built up a franchise around Persona 4, this type of Hatedom has come out the woodworks. Taken Up to Eleven with the 2013 Persona event, which announced a grand total of four Persona games, three of them P4 related. This event pretty much shattered the Shin Megami Tensei fandom due to Atlus' focus on P4; for comparison, three non spin-off games were released since 2000 while Persona had five, counting remakes. For all intents and purposes, P4 has become Atlus' equivalent of Final Fantasy VII.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Naoto's gender. It was actually supposed to be a surprise, but between all the fanart pairing a feminized version of herself with the Protagonist or Kanji and her American VA's poor job of disguising her gender it couldn't be helped. The secret was much better concealed in Japan, giving Romi Park's long history of voicing young male characters. The spinoffs not concealing this at all don't help matters, either, so at this juncture it's basically not even worth tagging as a spoiler.
    • Teddie's human form also isn't treated as a spoiler these days, and like Naoto spinoffs make no attempt to hide it.
    • The murderer's identity has become one of these, mainly due to it being very difficult to discuss the character without revealing this, and the character appearing as a DLC playable fighter in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax with a moveset that makes no attempt to hide their psychotic nature.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sometimes Yosuke's status as Butt-Monkey goes too far, especially when it comes to Saki, but then he also does things like mock Kanji's sexuality and sign the girls up for a Beauty Pageant against their will. There's many times when he doesn't deserve what happens to him, but also many others when he does.
    • Mitsuo Kubo. Though on the surface he seems to be an irredeemable, sociopathic murderer, one ought to stop for a moment and consider the kind of isolation he must have gone through to make him that desperate for attention that he would kill a person who we're given reason to believe had expelled him for a minor infraction and take credit for two other murders just to prove that he exists. Voices in his dungeon such as "Sadness increases by 5" and a long scream of "I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING" don't help matters either. Though his actions aren't justified, those who can see past their hatred might still wish things could have turned out better for him, or at least that he had thought twice.
    • Saki Konishi, considering how her family endlessly berates her for her decision to work in Junes, as the opening of the store is ruining her family's liquor store business. She's also the subject of gossip from her classmates and friends, and her friendship with Yosuke ended up complicating her life even further. Sure she comes across as a cold-hearted girl in reality (although this is debatable, as seen under Alternative Character Interpretation), but she certainly didn't deserve to die.

     K-O 
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • The protagonist. No, really. Probably doesn't hurt that he can canonically end the game with six girlfriends (seven in Golden) and inspire crushes in his cousin, a 27 year old nurse, and — if you know where to look for the dialogue — Hanako.
    • Kanji's ambiguous sexuality and chemistry with everyone on the team has resulted in fans shipping him with everybody. Naoto's still the most popular ship for him, though.
    • Naoto herself is also one of these.
  • Love to Hate: Tohru Adachi who is a Laughably Evil and a quite monstrous but his Off-Model facial expressions and lines make him a very entertaining villain.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Izanami, who has both protagonists and antagonists doing her will without even needing to lift a finger.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Kanji. Not unreasonable, given that in canon he managed to take down an entire biker gang while he was just fifteen.
    • The Fox is jokingly interpreted as one. They will get all your yens.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Igor has a very creepy expression that looks like he's going to molest you. Doesn't help that he summons you from your dreams.
    • Adachi also qualifies. "Bitches and whores", indeed.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Critical Hit to the Nads! (said by Yosuke after Chie's Groin Attack in revenge for ruining her DVD)
    • All-out attacks. Enough parodies of it exist that Danbooru has a tag for it that spans 4 pages.
    • Bitches and whores. (a reference to a fan edit of a doujin featuring Adachi saying the line)
    • "I'm Jack Frost, HO!" (a reference to Jack Frost's (and related demons/personas) recurring Verbal Tic where he appends "ho" or "hee ho" to the end of all his sentences)
    • "RISE END, CONFIRMED", "YOSUKE END, CONFIRMED!", etc. (Shipping. Nuff said.)
      • "______" is best girl! note 
      • "Chie best girl" tends to be used by people who don't like the game, due to generally being the least appealing heroine for reasons under Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
    • Kou looooves them balls. (A reference to Kou's snarkily complaining about having to put away the basketballs at the end of practice because the rest of the team bailed.)
    • Virtually any line that comes from Hiimdaisy's Persona 4 comic has been turned into a meme, usually by sheer force of Youtube commenters posting them anywhere they're even remotely relevant (and a lot of places they're not):
    • Shut up Adachi. (a reference to Dojima frequently scolding Adachi for telling the team too much about the investigation)
    • ALL YO YENS, YIP YIP YAP (a reference to the fox's rather steep prices for healing your SP)
    • YOU SAYIN' I LIKE DUDES?! (a reference to Kanji's doubts about his sexuality and borderline Armored Closet Gay behavior in response)
    • I HAVE TO PEE!!!! (brought up a few times by Yosuke the first time you enter the Midnight Channel)
    • TRIAL OF THE DRAGON!!!!!!!! (Chie's favorite movie)
    • I'M GOING BEARZERK!!!!! (a reference to Teddie's Incredibly Lame Puns in the English version.)
    • Thanks to all the Female Gaze Yosuke got during the anime his often well drawn/animated butt has become an in joke with fans.
    • Aspects of the game like the dialog box and the weather indicator are splicted to videos like this.
  • Memetic Troll: Yukiko Amagi. Usually a Ditzy Genius Yamato Nadeshiko, the time she has Kanji get gag glasses not once but twice, and the event at the Amagi Inn where she messed up the schedules of the boys by accident and makes their stay at her inn just hilariously unpleasant has made people think she's a rather sneaky lovable Troll.
  • Misblamed: Yukiko is often blamed for the Amagi Inn incident because she forgot the time, but it was Rise who suggested to just keep it a secret.
  • Moe:
    • Rise, Nanako, and Ayane.
    • Depending your preferences, many of the other girls can qualify as moe, especially during their respective social links and even more so during their Christmas date events. It doesn't even have to be a girl: Yosuke's been referred to as moe by several people, and for good reason, too. Teddie (especially when cross-dressing in human form) is also a qualifier.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In Golden, the Protagonist can cross this by burning the evidence needed to implicate Adachi.

    • At the beginning of the game, Morooka was a grade-A Jerk Ass, but he crossed the line when he called Saki and Yamano sluts at the former's memorial ceremony.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The squeaking Teddie does when he walks. It's enough that some players refuse to use him on dungeon crawls for specifically that reason. The footstep sound can thankfully be removed in Golden with many of his costumes.
    • The high-pitched "ding!" sound when you miss hitting an enemy.
    • The Draining and Reflect/Countering noises.
    • The 8-bit noise that Mitsuo's Shadow makes in Hero form before attacking. And you will hear it a lot in that battle.
    • Okay Teddie/Rise. We know. You don't have to narrate everything we just saw.. As one player put it,
    "I hope Persona 5 has a way to shut off Dora Mode."
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Nanako: "Welcome home, Big Bro!" Once it's gone, you will miss it.
    • The music that plays when you max out a social link.
    • Just like 3, the sound cue that plays along with a Eyed Screen cut-in when a team member lands a critical hit or strikes a weakness. As of Golden, after January you can hear it as often as you like.
  • Narm:
    • In Golden, the choice to trigger the new accomplice ending comes after a flashback to the good times you've had with Adachi in order to make the idea of betraying your teammates more appealing. Except that Adachi doesn't get that many scenes, even with his new Social Link, so the game is pretty much trying to get you to team up with the killer by reminding you that you went grocery shopping with him and invited him for dinner a few times. Somehow, the choice ends up not being as difficult as the developers intended it to be, so players who head down that path are probably just doing it to get 100% Completion.
    • In the hallway on December 3rd, right after Nanako seemingly dies, Kanji punches a wall and screams in frustration. But due to the timing of the character animation and the dialogue, he punches the wall first, so it looks more like he's screaming from the pain of punching the wall. Worse, Kanji stays in his wall-punching pose until his next line of dialogue, and a couple of other characters have lines before him. It's probably to prevent him from distracting from other characters' dialogue, but if you keep your eye on him holding that pose for several seconds it goes from "evocative" to "incredibly awkward" very quickly.
    • While not nearly as bad as Fuuka's English voice in Persona 3, many take issue with the Japanese voices for Rise and Teddie due to them being on the... shrill side.
    • Speaking of Rise, her Shadow's first appearance on the Midnight Channel could be a contender. While many shadow selves are meant to have one or two humorous qualities, this is a very serious moment, where the shadow self zigzags between talking in a low, successfully seductive tone, and...a shrill, exaggerated "Yaaaay!" that will have you burst out laughing.
    • During a scripted portion of the final battle, your party members push you out of the way and sacrifice themselves to Izanami's attack. It's all very dramatic, except that you being pushed is accompanied by a rather cartoonish and comical "Punch!" sound effect. It's even better if one of the party members is Kanji, whose method of "pushing" you is literally jumping through the air and dropkicking you with both feet.
    • In Golden, going to the Velvet Room will occasionally have a scene where one of Marie's wangsty, melodramatic poems is read. This is Played for Laughs. However, those same bad poems are later played for drama in Marie's dungeon, the Hollow Forest, where they get read intermittently.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The reaction you'll get besides horror at Berserk Shadow Rise.
    • The random fridge events, which involve, among other things, white miso that used to be red and an entire mushroom growing out of one of the food items. And yes, the game gives you the option to eat these mysteries, while providing Courage for doing so (at the cost of using up all your time in the evening).
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The guys crossdressing. Take a wild guess as to how much fanart there is of it. In Golden, their "crossdressing" outfits are all selectable costumes the party can wear while dungeon diving, and Rise has a number of (mostly complementary) comments she can make about them.
    • And then we have the One-Scene Wonder with Adachi eating cabbages because he's on a budget. Fans can't stop making fun of this, exaggerating by making them an actual pairing.
    • The infamous "Yosuke brings real swords to the public cafe" scene. Even the staunchest of Yosuke fans admit this was an incredibly boneheaded move on his part.
    • Yosuke's Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? moments, which are actually few and far between, have gotten flanderized by the fandom to the point where he is the character with the Transparent Closet. His close relationship with the protagonist plays a part in it too.
    • The Amagi Inn scene, in which the girls throw washtubs at the guys to force them out of the hot spring, only to realize after the fact that they'd gone in at the wrong time. With how some reacted to that scene and their behavior during the camping trip, you'd think the girls do nothing but make the boys' lives a living hell.
    • Dojima is, for the most part, a fairly good detective for a case in which the standard rules don't apply, quite trusting of the protagonists despite his concerns about Yu getting involved in the investigation, and tries to raise Nanako well in spite of his issues and his workload. Quite a few people, however, tend to focus on his actions on November 5, and see him as none of these things.
    • Naoto initially comes off as an Insufferable Genius, and some people find it hard to forgive her for that. While Naoto does sometimes exhibit those qualities (calling the investigation a "game" for the main characters), it's implied that some of the police who dislike her are influenced by how 1) she's a lot younger than they are, 2) she's a girl, and 3)they don't want to admit that the young suspect that they arrested isn't actually the culprit for the first two murders.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • Adachi proves that confronting a brutal killer becomes notably less frightening when he's wearing a smile, both his model and portrait, that just screams "heavily intoxicated". He can switch between chilling and hilarious within the space of a minute, so he's prone to getting this reaction. Golden probably brings in the biggest example with this face.
    • Ameno-Sagiri, lord of fog and master of oblivion. Aka the giant disco eyeball smoke machine.
    • Shadow Teddie. Sure, he may sound menacing thanks to Wittenburg's performance, but you can't help but bust out laughing when he could easily be compared to Hannibal Lecter in a bear suit.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Chihiro Fushimi, whom you encounter during the school trip to Gekkoukan High.

     P-T 
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • So you're saying a secret hell populated by demons that actively try to carry out gruesome deaths hides behind that television screen?
    • Sometimes, when you go to the police, they will help you. And sometimes they will manipulate you into condemning innocent people who you think you are saving to an almost certain death, and they will do it all for fun. Good luck talking to the right officer!
    • As if walking through heavy fog wasn't creepy enough, this game comes along to drive home the idea that monsters are lurking in it and their world is merging with ours.
  • Player Punch:
    • Nanako's kidnapping, and her subsequent dungeon. Not to mention her apparent death. And the utter silence when you come home after that, without Nanako's cheerful "Welcome Home, Big Bro!" to greet you. Even worse, take revenge on her behalf... and get a one-way path to the bad ending, where she permanently dies.
    • There is also Valentine's Day in Golden. If you maxed out at the lover's route with all the ladies, now you have to reject all of the girls save for one. As you dash the other girls's romantic hopes, they will sullenly attempt to mask their disappointment. What hammers it home is Naoto saying to herself "You'll only get hurt" when she gets rejected.
  • Plot Hole: Near the end of the game, especially in regards to Teddie, it seems like the writers were trying but failed a few spot checks. A good example is when Rise is unable to locate Adachi, but Teddie can despite having subpar sensing power compared to her. This is given an attempted explanation in that Teddie recognizes it because the location is where the IT first went when they visited the TV world for the first time. This falls flat on its face—while Teddie does meet the team soon after, he never was in or saw that room until the end of the game.
    • It does regain some credibility when you listen to the Exact Words of Teddie's explanation. He says it's where he first sensed the IT. Not where he first met them. If the MC, Yosuke and Chie had never stumbled into that room, tracking Adachi might have been rendered impossible.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Rainy days. Most social links can't be done on rainy days, dungeons have extra (annoying) enemies, but on the upside you can get (mostly worthless items) from a capsule machine, and increase random stats via Aiya's Rainy Bowl. However, if you're on a New Game+, those upsides are completely worthless, making you simply waste an afternoon. Golden adds some viable alternatives with movies for leveling up your party members (and maybe some social link points) and a cafe to get skill cards, though this comes with having to wait for bikes to get unlocked first (although you can do the bike rides on rainy days).
    • The capsule machine itself, not only because the items you can get of it are of negligible value, but doing so will send you to evening afterwards. While the game tries to justify it in that the machine is faulty and that you need to get the shop staff's attention, it still doesn't make much sense that it takes many in-game hours just to get one prize out of it.
    • Unlike in Persona 3, where you can do social and stat-raising activities and your part-time job during the day and then go to Tartarus at night, you do your dungeon crawling in this game in the afternoon, and if you choose to do it, you cannot do your part-time job or go fishing afterwards as the game states that you're too tired for them. Note that in this game, several part-time jobs are also Social Link activities, two of which can only be done at night. On top of that, most other Social Links are only doable in the afternoon, so you have to decide between dungeons or social every day, unlike in P3 where you can do both in the same day. For what it's worth, the game removes the "condition" mechanic from 3, so it balances out a little.
    • Once you've maxed out a stat, there is no point in raising it any further. This doesn't stop mandatory stat-raising events or notifications that such-and-such stat has increased, which are a pain to click through.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Hooooo boy. Yu has camps for all four of his female allies, with the bigger contenders being Yukiko and Naoto, in addition to a large division of shippers pairing him with Yosuke. Naoto is the most controversial for a slew of reasons that can be found all over this page, further compounded by the fact that Kanji canonically has a crush on her, naturally leading to Kanji/Naoto going up against Yu/Naoto. Yu/Rise also has their fair share of shippers, most of them coming off from the manga where they were the Official Couple. As for Chie, she and Yu are part of the ˇThree Amigos! who founded the Investigation Team, although as with Yu/Naoto, Yu/Chie has issues with Yosuke/Chie and Yu/Yosuke. And with Golden adding Marie, and with Marie being favored by Atlus in general both in the story (she's now DLC for the upcoming sequel to Persona 4: Arena and is bumped up to Deuteragonist for Persona 4 Golden: The Animation) and as a Love Interest (she'll always kiss Yu and love him, even if you don't pursue her romantically), a whole new can of worms has opened up. It's not helped that Marie is extremely divisive in the West. Granted, the anime and spin-offs don't make any of the pairings canon, and are implied only through small bits of dialogue, but even the small moments of Ship Tease Yu has with the girls do not help matters.
  • Shocking Swerve: The revelation of Adachi as the true murderer comes as a big shock to some players. You either had to pay incredibly close attention to every bit of their dialog, or use a process of elimination when given a list of suspects and go from there. While your list of suspects isn't terribly hard to eliminate (i.e. it can't be a party member, a social link, or the guy you just proved innocent), the revelation itself is barely hinted at. In Golden, Adachi is a Social Link, but will only move past Rank 6 at story mandated points, which could clue the player in on there being more to Adachi than at first glance.
  • Spiritual Licensee: A group of young adults and a nonhuman solve a supernatural mystery, and the Big Bad is a human. This is basically the best Scooby-Doo game ever made.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guy: The revelation of a Very Easy mode in Golden pissed off a lot of players who believe that Atlus games have to be absolutely Nintendo Hard and led to experienced players frothing at the mouth at the idea of players who wish to play the easy modes. Never mind that Very Easy and Easy are completely optional, or that the same game included a Very Hard mode for their masochistic pleasure. Similar complaints were leveled at the way fusion inheritance is handled in Golden: the player can now select what skills carry over from Persona to Persona to get the fused Personas the player wants. To the hardcore crowd, it took the "fun" out of unpredictable results and dealing with what the RNG spits out.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • Especially with the benefit of hindsight, Persona 4 was one of the games that elevated game dubbing to the next level and began to put the "sub vs. dub" debate to rest. While there are still a few shaky performances from secondary characters (who the actors just don't have time to dig into) and Tracey Rooney's original performance of Chie was infamously uneven (and even then still had fans), the main cast all turn in exceptional performances that boosted their careers - Yuri Lowenthal, Johnny Yong Bosch (which also helped prove he had range), Dave Wittenberg, Amanda Winn Lee, and Laura Bailey all saw a boost in their careers after their killer performances. And most notably, Troy Baker's Kanji was so incredible that the fame from this performance propelled him to the heights of stardom and led to him becoming one of the most famous voice actors in the world. The game overall marks a major point at which dubbing was taken much more seriously, and also set a significantly higher bar for other works to reach.
    • If anything, cast changes in later versions and adaptations have proven controversial because of this - while Erin Fitzgerald's Chie is more consistent than Rooney's, many fans feel Rooney's Chie had more charm. And the less said of the debate between Wittenberg's Teddie and Sam Riegel's, the better, perhaps (however, it is agreed that the difference between them isn't substantial or bad). And while Matthew Mercer has done his best to fill in for Baker after Baker became so well known and busy, they're still massive shoes to fill. Also, Ashly Burch's performance for Rise in Persona 4: Dancing All Night was criticized for having Rise's lines come across as a Dull Surprise and poorly delivered, and many fans considered Laura Bailey's performance significantly superior.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: From a gameplay standpoint, pretty much everything from Persona 3 has been greatly improved and refined and several new features have been added as well. The story is more divisive with the fanbase, however.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: One is done at the Scrappy Mechanic from the third game, in which you could only control your main character. Shortly before the fight with Shadow Chie, Teddie will contact you and suggest that you switch Yosuke to manual control if you haven't already, because "Compared to you, Yosuke stinks" at fighting. Yosuke, while annoyed to hear that from Teddie, concedes that Teddie has a point, and asks you to control him. Considering that Shadow Chie frequently targets Yosuke's weakness, you'd do well to take their advice.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Most of the time her scenes are genuinely heartwarming, but other times Nanako crosses the line straight into this.
  • That One Attack:
    • Last Resort for the dice-type Shadows. The good news is that it not only kills the user, but also harms its allies. The bad news is that it does incredibly high damage to the entire party, and will likely be a Total Party Kill on higher difficulties. Some dice-types will only use it when at low health, but others won't give you any such warning
    • Contrarian King's Rampage, which for some reason is many times stronger than the typical Rampage, and the King's other attacks. Brought Tarunda and Resist Physical? Your MC might survive a single hit of Rampage, though that says nothing for the rest of your party. But if it lands two or three hits you will die regardless of buffs and resistance. Nothing short of Null Physical can truly protect you, but the only way you will have that at this point in the game is either getting really lucky in Shuffle Time or being on a New Game+.
    • Whenever Shadow Mitsuo throws a bomb, as it inflicts Exhaustion on hit.
    • Shadow Mitsuo also has the combo of Evil Smile (which inflicts Fear on everyone and Ghastly Wail, which kills everyone with Fear. If he puts Fear on everyone, he's essentially already won.
    • Izanami-no-Okami has Summons to Yomi, which instantly kills any party member with any kind of status effect. She also has several status effect-inflicting spells. And she gets two attacks in a row. If she puts a status on the main character and then uses Summons to Yomi, you're basically screwed with no way to prevent it. The World End and Summons to Yomi combo she uses later in the fight telegraphed by Mind Charge, but it's still deadly to those who aren't prepared.
  • That One Achievement: Hardcore Risette Fan, which requires you to listen to 250 of Rise's navigation lines in one playthrough. The comments are randomized, and if you engage in too much Level Grinding many of them will be lost.
  • That One Boss:
    • It wouldn't be an Atlus game without them. The first one of many is Shadow Yukiko, having a lot of HP compared to the previous boss Shadow Chie. Her Burn to Ashes attack deals high damage, even while guarding. When she reaches half health, she'll summon a Charming Prince that will inflict your party members with status effects and leave your party members open to Shadow Yukiko's Shivering Rondo, which is nearly guaranteed to kill a Fearful target in one hit. In the original Persona 4, she didn't even have a weakness - her servant was weak to ice. It's easier in Persona 4 Golden where she has a weakness to Ice and her servant is weak to Elec, but the Charming Prince can still Silence Chie with Makajam. And did we mention Shadow Yukiko has more than twice her original health now?
    • Shadow Mitsuo is even worse, being able to give himself a free 1400 HP every few turns, dealing high damage, inflicting Exhaustion, and having the dreaded Evil Smile (inflicts fear on all enemies) + Stagnant Air (increases ailment susceptibility) + Ghastly Wail (instantly kills ALL fearful enemies).
    • Shadow Kanji is pretty hard too. He starts off with two assistants, one with healing and buffing spells and one that deals high damage. The assistants have a decent amount of health, and no weaknesses in the original Persona 4(and if you're playing on Golden, they'll put up Wall spells to prevent their new weaknesses from being hit). Shadow Kanji himself deals high damage, continuously poisons male party members and enrages females, and has a massive amount of health - and no weaknesses, Golden or no.
    • Also, Shadow Teddie, although he becomes extremely easy if you have a Persona with Null Ice or actually do what Rise says and guard. It's also possible to interrupt Nihil Hand by doing enough damage to the boss while he's charging up, but it's unlikely that you'll be able to manage this unless you're very high level and/or on a low difficulty setting, so guarding is the safer option.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Margaret's Social Link (The Empress) requires you to fuse Personas with specific abilities. Prepare to sink a lot of spending money into the Compendium, looking up the correct Arcana combinations, praying that the resulting Persona inherits the right moves, etc. After first getting the Personas in question, however, the whole thing can be done in a day on subsequent playthroughs. Thankfully it comes with an inherent Anti-Frustration Feature in the "reshuffle" mechanic; deselecting and then reselecting the same Personas will cause the potential skills of the fusion to be reset, so a player doesn't need to constantly repurchase the base Personas required. Unfortunately, not only is this little fact never mentioned in-game, one still has to trust to the Random Number God, and many of the requested moves have low inheritance values (Matador with Mahama is particularly guilty of this). Averted in The Golden, where Inherited Skills for fusions are manually selected.
    • Ai (The Moon) is the easiest Social Link character to piss off. One wrong move, and you can have a Reversed or even Broken Social Link. There is also the fact that as long as you don't ruin the Social Link, you can end up dating her only to break up with her or vice versa. This can cause problems either way; you could end up with her breaking up with you if you actually wanted her for a girlfriend, or you can end up with her sticking with you even when you were interested in someone else, which is fairly annoying if you don't want to be cheating.
    • Believe it or not, Nanako can fall under this. Her social link progresses from Rank 6 to Rank 7 after three holdover visits (ahead of everyone else in the game), and that's with a Justice Persona equipped. The amount of effort needed to get this kid to talk is astounding, since you need a maxed out Expression stat to complete the link. What's worse is you have to complete the Link before she gets kidnapped, or it's lost.
    • The Hermit social link. It involves many quests that take several days to finish, and some of them require you to spend time. The last quest requires you to fish up the two rarest fish in the game, which requires bait that's fairly rare and doesn't become available until you get to the point at which you have to fish them up.
    • The Temperance social link. While it's available relatively early on and the Understanding requirements are relatively low, it's quite slow to advance. You don't even establish the link until your second day on the job, most of the rank-ups require holdover visits (partly because in some of the events, none of the questions give points), and there's no way for you to spend time with Eri at night.
  • That One Level:
    • Hello, Void Quest. It seems straightforward enough at first, but wait until it starts randomly changing your direction at every intersection, made a lot worse if there are shadows nearby ready to trigger Preexisting Encounters with Enemy Advantage while you're getting your bearings back. Plus, that's also the floor where you have to find a very easy-to-miss key item required to proceed to the boss chamber.
    • The Hollow Forest. The idea of limiting players and upping the difficulty might have been a great idea, and Shin Megami Tensei fans were looking forward to the idea (the level was designed by the Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey staff, after all. However, in effect, the level is just tedious. Limiting players' SP just makes battles annoying and frustrating, and enemy levels are so low that even without using SP the fights aren't difficult, just annoying. Same with taking players' items. Taking away players hard earned items, both expendable and equippable is just irritating, turning items that are usually Boring, but Practical into precious rares (just leaving the dungeon to go to the Velvet Room requires the uncommon Sacred Branch). Throw in Marie's poems every time you go to a new floor, a visually repetitive design, and the fact players are stuck with default costumes (even though this is the first dungeon since several costume options are given to the players) and you have a dungeon that's just a pain.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • You'd think Naoki, somebody whose sister was one of the murder victims, would have more importance to the plot than just a Social Link, especially since Yosuke had a crush on his sister. Somewhat averted in the manga, though, where several scenes of his Social Link are shown, essentially giving him prominence comparable to the Dojimas in the plot.
    • Izanami in the original PS2 version. She had little build-up, coming off as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. She seemed to only exist to give the game a final boss. This is averted in Golden, where she is at least built-up better.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Some felt Nanako coming back to life was a bit of a Writer Cop Out. If she stayed dead, it would have given more gravity to the scenes when the Investigation Team confronted Namatame and Adachi, and it'd drop the harsh, but realistic message that even heroes aren't perfect.
    • The Investigation Team never has to confront the fact that not everyone is a good person deep down, despite both Mitsuo and Adachi having their true selves be negative. The latter in particular, since while he does reform in a later game, he wants nothing more than to murder people for the simple reason of being bored. Having to confront that someone being themself instead of hiding it will result in people dying is never brought up.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Although well liked, Naoto falls under this in original version of the game because she only learns Light and Dark spells and Almighty spells, which even with her Mind Charge spell, makes it impractical to use for a boss fight. This is fixed in Golden as she now comes with elemental skills, leaving her just enough to phase out the Useless Useful Spell her arsenal is filled with.
    • Golden does this to Chie because despite keeping her Glass Cannon setup with God Hand and Power Charge, she gains only Critical Hit increase buffs, unlike Kanji who gets Power Charge and Regenerate 3. This means that Kanji will still out-do her in physical damage, and Teddie will do more damage with his Bufu skills. The mid-game slowdown that plagues her skillset also is not well liked, and is so well-known that Google and Bing searches on her turn up "chie black spot phase" with people complaining that she gets no heavy-hitting moves.
    • In Golden Yosuke falls here due to the changes made to all the characters. Unlike most characters, Yosuke received very little changes from the original game aside from some very minor buffing and debuffing skills, which, given the buffs made to Teddie and Kanji, prevent Yosuke from catching up at end game. Since he's a Jack-of-All-Trades, which was his biggest strength in the base game, this means his use in the party is better used by someone else, like Naoto or Teddie.
  • Toy Ship: Errand Boy and Spacey Girl.

     U-Z 
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Yukiko's ascended persona, Amaterasu, is pretty cool-looking, except for the fact that it has no face.
    • Rise's radar-face persona, Himiko. It looks like somebody took her face off and installed wires.
    • Mitsuo Kubo's horrible dead eyes qualify as well.
    • Namatame's usual expression; staring like that can be a little creepy, although his backstory at least makes it justified. His boss form has this pretty bad as well.
    • Any Shadow that resembles a baby, especially Shadow Mitsuo.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Dojima can come off as this due to his behavior late in the game, which doesn't change regardless of whether his social link is completed. When someone sends a threatening letter to the Dojima residence, he is rather quick to distrust the Protagonist, so he takes him to the station to interrogate him. Seven-year-old Nanako is left home alone after the threatening letter is received, and gets kidnapped, resulting in her ending up in a life-threatening coma. Not once is Dojima ever called out for his shortsightedness. Sure, he's devastated, but but he never once thinks that part of the incident may be his fault.
    • Chie often acts like an unrepentant Jerk Ass to Yosuke (and on some occasions, the Protagonist) regardless of whether he deserves it or not, but the game always seems to want you to side with her. She assaults Yosuke for minor infractions (like for breaking her DVD that he promised he'd pay her back for beforehand). She often extorts him as a way to pay her off for her DVD, even though what she gets off of him paid her back many times over. She even uses Yosuke's money without permission to buy Teddie an expensive outfit and got defensive when Yosuke rightfully called her out on it. Despite her behavior, she always gets away with it, which is why she's such a Base-Breaking Character.
    • Namatame, who callously endangers multiple lives by throwing them into the TV based on a blind assumption that they would be safe without actually checking to make sure.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • After Mr. Morooka is killed, some students at school will mention how he was looking forward to Rise's attendance and even bought a calendar of her. This is supposed to show us that he had Hidden Depths beyond his harsh and abusive exterior, but to western audiences who may not be all that adapted to how the Idol Singer industry works and the culture behind it, and maybe even if they are, this just comes off as creepy. In any case, though, it does make him come off as a bit of a hypocrite, particularly in that he's trying to keep it secret.
    • Japan's strict views on gender roles tend to crop up in this game, most notably with Naoto (who is female, but presents as male because despite her dreams of being a detective, the Japanese police force is male-dominated and she feels that no one would take her seriously as a detective if she were female) and Chie (a tomboyish girl who is insecure about not being feminine enough; the English localization tones this down somewhat, since in the Japanese version there's a lot more emphasis on how she wants to be told she's "girly" and "docile", which would likely rub a lot of Western players the wrong way).
    • Naoto, it should be noted, does run into this especially hard, thanks to her Shadow. The intended thrust of her plotline is that tying "gender identity" to her wider sense of self-worth as a detective and person is pointless no matter how you slice it; as she herself says, she can be a woman, and a detective, and there's no true inherent conflict there, and society is wrong to think otherwise. That's all progressive and positive no matter where you are... but to American audiences who are familiar with modern discourse about trans issues Naoto can, thanks to the tack her Shadow takes, come across as a closeted trans-male. The answer is supposed to be that she's ultimately uncomfortable with how she's regarded as a woman, but the presentation can make it very difficult to see that, especially at first.
    • Dojima has earned some ire from the Western fanbase for often leaving 7-year-old Nanako home alone, even while a serial killer is on the loose and after their household receives a threatening letter. It's not illegal and not even particularly uncommon for young children to be left home alone in Japan; while the game does portray Dojima as a less than stellar parent (more for distancing himself from Nanako than for not being home), this aspect was likely not intended to come off as harshly as it did. It's also pointed out that Nanako knows not to open the door for strangers, which provides an important clue as to her kidnapper's identity.
    • Some of Kou's angst in his version of the Strength Social Link carries Japanese values toward being adopted, particularly when he concludes, after receiving a forged letter saying that his birth parents are dead while believing that his adoptive family intended to replace him with his 2-year-old sister (even though she can't carry on the family name) that he has no one. On the other hand, Kou eventually realizes that the Ichijos are his real family, and his parents, best friend and the player all criticize/make fun of him for thinking otherwise.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • The Fox, who's consistently referred to with gender neutral dialogue. They have children at the end of the game, and the Official Design Works confirms it's female.
    • The gas station attendant. In the original Japanese they had a distinctly male voice, but their English equivalent is a lot more ambiguous. The fact that they're revealed to be the female Izanami can also lead some fans to confusion.
  • The Woobie:
    • While most of Yosuke's "moments" are funny, there are a few moments where the laughter just has to stop (pretty much anything involving Saki after the second murder, especially since after she's killed you find out she hated Yosuke all along even though he fell in love with her.)
    • Namatame's pretty damned pitiful as well. Getting the love of his life murdered by a madman, getting caught up in said madman's plot as a pawn, being wrongly framed for the murders he was trying to stop... nothing seems to go right for him. You can add to his suffering by throwing him into a TV, but you'll be punished for it with the bad ending.
    • 2011 was a really bad year for Naoto. She has no friends in Inaba, the police only tolerate her when they need her, and the Investigation Team may as well have neon signs advertising that they are somehow connected with multiple murders. Oh yes, her age, gender and isolation issues are as bad as Kanji's. You feel glad when she finds people who will like her for who she is.
    • Kanji is another one; he acts like he does because he wants to be accepted and because people made fun of his hobby (later, job).
    • Dojima is yet another one. He's gone through more in the past six years than most could handle in their lifetime. Having his wife killed in a hit-and-run, which caused him to become so devoted to his job that he barely interacted with his only daughter to the point that she's practically able to take care of herself at only 6 years of age (and he admits it's due to fear of their relationship breaking down and him losing the only family he has left if you go for his S-Link), seeing her kidnapped right before his eyes, and watching her slowly die (though thankfully only temporarily) can be pretty rough on a person. And to top it all off, he finds out that the person who had orchestrated the kidnapping was his own partner, whom he trusted and had been good friends with. And through it all, he remains completely strong and stone-faced. Almost.
    • And of course Nanako, whose sadness and loneliness whenever she's left to take care of herself by her dad is utterly heartbreaking. Her happiest moments came from a commercial jingle before you came to live at her house. It's no wonder that she latches onto you as a brother instantly. Her Woobie powers are so great that a group of teenagers are repeatedly willing to hang out with a 6 year old kid just to cheer her up.
    • Nearly all of the Social Links have endured a lot of pain. The only ones who don't suffer from some sort of claim to Woobie-ism are Margaret and Adachi. From Ai, who creates the image of a social dominator to conceal the fact that she's suicidally depressed due to the bullying she went through in her past, to Hisano the self-loathing widow, they should all be really glad that the MC is a Warrior Therapist.
    • The surviving members of the Konishi family deserve a mention. Naoki was hit hard by his sister's passing, to the point at which he'd rather pretend that he doesn't feel anything than face the full brunt of it. His problem isn't helped by how his parents aren't taking it any better, since according to him, they don't talk about her, but cry themselves to sleep over her. To make matters worse, his family business is going through some hard times after Junes' arrival, and he's painfully aware that many of their customers only come out of pity.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Teddie's verbal tic was changed from adding the word "-kuma" to words in his sentences to making bad puns, many involving the word "bear" in some way. This arguably counts for his name, too, since the connotations of a cutesy bear calling itself "Kuma" ("Bear" in Japanese) don't translate well into English. Although even in Japanese, Teddie also made bear puns (just less often than the English version). This even goes so far as that when fan-subs of The Animation were being made before the dub was released, fans would insert bear puns into Teddie's dialogue rather than retain his use of "-kuma".
    • Changing "Mayonaka TV" to "The Midnight Channel".
    • "Everyday Younglife Junes" to "Every day's great at your Junes!"
    • You get to engage in some Woolseyfication of your own if you take the part-time job as a translator. You'll often be asked about how you want to translate something culture-specific, like idioms or children's speech patterns, and basically have two options — do it literally, or creatively improvise. You have a chance to get paid much better if you improvise (assuming you don't screw it up), one of the "double or nothing" opportunities that determine how much you get paid.
    • The item that instantly transports you out of a dungeon was originally called "Kaereiru", from the Japanese "kaeru", meaning "return." Stateside, it's called "Goho-M." This also counts as a Stealth Pun that most people don't get until they say "Goho-M" out loud. Go on. Try it.
    • The Take That! to Twilight was most likely a creation of the translator.
    • The final scene for the Fortune social link, originally about the choice of pronoun, is changed to the pitch of voice.
    • The mention of Naoto's family being like Raidou Kuzunoha the 14th is the result of the translators lacking any other option to translate Chie's reference to a Japanese book series about a family of Legacy Character detectives. Does not stop the line from fueling insane levels of Epileptic Trees.
    • Shadow Kanji in the Japanese version speaks with more stereotypical gay "quirks". In the American version he sounds more Camp Gay, which is the North American stereotype for homosexuality.
    • Golden's new Lust arcana (from Crowley's Thoth deck) was renamed "Hunger" to avoid any confusing implications that Adachi was lusting after the protagonist. It's supposed to represent "lust for life" rather than just carnal desire (never mind that it has the Mother Harlot of Babylon for its illustration.)


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Persona4