YMMV / Persona 4

  • Acceptable Targets: Gonks. Morooka, Kashiwagi (while not exactly ugly in the eyes of fans, is still treated as such by the characters), Hanako, and Kubo are unattractive, and they're all Jerk asses. By comparison, though, Igor, while unattractive, is quite helpful to the player, and so is the old woman in charge of the Shiroku pub.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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. Of course, that's not exactly a bad message.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Breather Boss:
    • 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' 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.
    • 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).
  • 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 disinterested 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 FMA. 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. It's magic stat is a little bit monstrous, it's health and SP have been improved, and it possesses Galgalim Eyes (HP to 1, inflicts enervation).
  • 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.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: 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.
  • 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:
    • Mr. Morooka has quite a few fans who find him funny and/or good at teaching. Some even joke that he should have been a party member.
    • The "Spacey Girl" and "Funky Student" NPCs (the latter likely helped by his prominence in the Endurance Run).
    • Shadow Yosuke and Shadow Naoto tend towards being the most popular of the Shadows. Particularly notable in that the former is only part of the tutorial and doesn't have a special venue like most of the other Shadows, while the latter is, as mentioned above, a Breather Boss.
  • 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.
  • 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 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. Nowadays, it seems to be a dead set tie between Rise and Yukiko, with Chie also becoming a more viable 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: Several scenes and sub arcs add nothing to the plot or characters and could have been dropped from the game completely and relatively little would have been lost in the characters or the central plot of the game. Examples include the camping trip, the school trip, the Amagi inn scene and the school festival among others. Golden proceeded to include even more.
  • 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.
  • Freud Was Right: Persona 4 is much more Jungian than Freudian, but that doesn't stop fans from interpreting the Investigation Team's shadows in Freudian fashions.
  • "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, acquired from a special fusion using Belial and Nebiros, is a BEAST, when fused properly. First, she reflects Dark spells and is only weak to Light spells, Second, she has Mamudoon (an multi-target, Dark, insta-death spell with a 40% hit rate), Mudo Boost (Dark spells are 1.5 times as likely to connect) and Dekunda (Nullifies stat penalties on party) standard, giving her a 6/10 chance to One-Hit KO anything she faces short of bosses and third, she'll gain Endure Light (Survive any one Light attack per battle with one Hit Point) which lessing her weakness, Megidola, (Heavy multi-target Almighty attack) Mind Charge (Increases the power of your next Magic attack by 250%) and her Signature Move, 'Die For Me' (Mamudoon but with a 60% hit rate). Add 'Die For Me' and Mudo Boost, together and every 8/10 enemies will fall on turn one and with Megidola + Mind Charge to mop up the rest. But Wait, There's More!. If Belial and Nebiros are fully leveled before fusing, Alice can gain even more power. This includes Dekaja, (Nullifies stat bonuses on all foes) Null Light, (Self-Explanatory) Spell Master (Cuts all SP costs in half) Maragidyne (Heavy, multi-target Fire spell) Fire Amp (Boosts Fire damage by 50%) and Myriad Arrows (Deals heavy Phys damage to all foes 1-3 times). Who knew such a cute. little girl could be such a shredder?
    • 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.
  • 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. However, he becomes rather easy if you grind through another dungeon or two and then return, or have a Persona with Null Physical on a New Game+.
    • 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.
  • 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 it's protagonists.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The squelchy noises Shadow Rise makes when she's moving.
    • The only hint the Reaper's on the same floor as you? Some groaning and the rattling of chains. Which you might not hear over the BGM. Thankfully, unlike Persona 3, he's merely a Chest Monster (and you do get warned if you find the chest he's in) and not wandering around the floor you're currently on.
  • 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.
  • 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 conflict would have been halfway resolved if the group just showed Dojima they could enter the TV and explain how Personas work, nobody who watches surveillance footage for a living notices Adachi attacking people who are already on watch by the police, the victims would often get kidnapped simply because the heroes let their guards down for a moment, and nobody thinks that after at least the third time they faced a character's Shadow to stop them from denying that it's them, a mistake that still carries over in Persona 4: Arena. The team's inability to stop someone from denying their Shadow gets so bad, that by the final time it happens, Kanji even suggests that the party just let it happen, and they'll just have a boss battle like they always do. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, however, has Naoto and Yosuke suggest that it's essentially impossible to avoid fighting the Shadows, since people cannot easily accept those parts of those personalities.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and probably the most canon.
    • Naoto herself is also one of these.
  • 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 the manga 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 
    • 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.
  • Memetic Troll: Yukiko Amagi. Usually a Ditzy Genius Yamato Nadeshiko, the event at the Amagi Inn where she messed up the schedules of the boys on purpose 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.
    • Adachi crossed it when he murdered the first two victims because they wouldn't put out for him.
    • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Don't lie to yourself.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Contrarian King's Rampage, which for some reason is many times stronger than the typical Rampage. 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.
    • 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. It's 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 Forever.
  • 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.
  • 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 Forever.
    • 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.
    • 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:
    • Early in development, Dojima was originally going to have been the killer. Some people felt like him being the killer makes a lot more sense. He'd have a good motive (maybe he believed that the first victim potentially killed his wife), and some of his more questionable behavior throughout the game (like being quick to distrust Yu was actually him trying to get him out of the way and leaving Nanako home alone because he didn't take Namatame into account), and the player got to know him better than the real killer. Combine that with Adachi's rather flimsy motive, it makes you wonder just how late in development the change was made.
    • 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.
  • 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 set up with her God Hand and Power Charge combo, 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.
  • Toy Ship: Errand Boy and Spacey Girl.
  • 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.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Ms. Kashiwagi. While she's not exactly a saint, her students treat her like she's worse than Mr. Morooka. To put it in perspective, Morooka regularly berated his students, often complained about modern society despite getting drunk during a class trip, and made an incredibly disrespectful comment about Saki at her own memorial service. Kashiwagi's worst crime was being unattractive (even though she looks like she jumped out of a hentai) and act jealous towards Rise (or any student more attractive than her). Her envy could easily blamed on how she's often berated for her looks, where as Morooka didn't have a reason to act like a dick.
  • 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. Six-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.
  • 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 adapt 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 6-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 hr kidnapper's identity.
  • 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 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.
  • 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).
    • 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