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You'll never see them coming.note 
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The protagonists of Persona 5, the Phantom Thieves of Hearts are a group of high schoolers (and a cat) in Tokyo out to rid the world of evil by "stealing the hearts" of corrupt members of society. Their Personas are styled after various picaresque heroes, both fictional and real.


In general

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    #-C 
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Subverted. The Phan-Site tracks, via a percentage, the Phantom Thieves approval rating. It becomes close to 100 percent only to fall because of manipulation by the Big Bad. In the final battle, for a brief moment, all of Shibuya believes in the Phantom Thieves. It is the only moment it reaches 100%. After the world is saved, the police continue to bear a grudge against the Phantom Thieves.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: After nearly being wiped from existence, the team is shaken up by the experiences and filled with doubt when Joker finds them in the Velvet Room after exposing Yaldabaoth and restoring Igor and Lavenza. In the bad ending where Joker sides with Yaldabaoth, this results in them being Ret-Gone for real, with Joker becoming his pawn. However, in the true ending, Joker goes to each one to help them confront their doubts and reaffirm their drive, helping them to rekindle the rebellious fire within.
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: Most of the Thieves' surnames are pronounced differently from the original Japanese in the English localization. This was allegedly at the insistence of ATLUS Japan, who wanted the characters' names to sound "more American" for the dub.
    • Ryuji's surname, Sakamoto, is pronounced SA-KA(as in the word "soccer")-mo (as in motor)-to (as in tow truck) in Japanese. The English localization stresses on the second syllable and puts less emphasis on the first syllable, resulting in sa-KA-moto.
    • Ann's surname, Takamaki, is pronounced TA-KA-ma-KI. Like Ryuji, the first syllable isn't stressed in the English dub and neither is the last "ki", resulting in ta-KA-maki.
    • Makoto's name is also pronounced differently in the English dub. In Japanese, the emphasis is on the first and third syllables, so MA-ko-TO. The English dub puts emphasis on the second syllable, resulting in ma-KO-to.
    • Haru's surname, Okumura, is properly pronounced O-ku-MU-ra. The English dub pronounces it as o-KU-mura.
    • Ren's surname (In the anime adaptation), is pronounced a-ma-MI-ya in Japanese. In the English dub, it's pronounced a-MA-mi-ya.
  • Achilles' Heel: All of them have a critical elemental weakness that will put them in the dirt. However, their Ultimate Personas, with the exception of Akechi, all give them appropriate Evade skills to give them a good chance of dodging their weaknesses.
    • While the protagonist's weakness shifts a lot due to his changing Personas all the time, Arsene is weak to ice and bless skills. Satanael, on the other hand, has no weaknesses. Raoul has a bless weakness.
    • Morgana is weak to thunder.
    • Ryuji is weak to wind.
    • Ann is weak to ice.
    • Yusuke is weak to fire.
    • Makoto is weak to psychokinesis.
    • Haru is weak to nuclear.
    • Akechi is weak to curse. While he never gets Evade Curse in Persona 5, in Persona Q2 his upgraded Robin Hood drops the weakness to curse. In Royal's third semester, he's weak to bless instead.
    • Kasumi is weak to curse.
  • Action Girl: Ann, Makoto, Haru and Kasumi. Futaba on the other hand is a Support Party Member - yet in Royal, she occasionally helps the team out in ways beyond her role's usual scope, such as Necronomicon dropping a giant bomb for her added All-Out Attack win screen.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Part of what draws the group together is that they're all more or less outcasts with nowhere to belong.
    • Joker is a magnet for negative attention due to having a criminal record for a crime he didn't commit, and everyone from students to even faculty members talk badly behind his back.
    • Ryuji has embraced the delinquent image that the school pinned on him after comments Kamoshida made about his dysfunctional family led to him assaulting Kamoshida. This resulted in Kamoshida breaking his leg in "self-defense" and shutting Shujin's track team down.
    • Ann attracts disdain, envy, and scorn because of her natural good looks due to being quarter-American and the rumors that she's sleeping with Kamoshida.
    • Morgana has no memories of who he is, believing that he was a human who became what he is now. He throws his lot in with the group and teaches them the ins and outs of being the Phantom Thieves in the hopes that they can help him regain what he lost.
    • Yusuke is abused and exploited by his guardian, Madarame. The other students at his school treat him differently due to both his association with Madarame and his behavior in general, and after Madarame is arrested, he's actively shunned. In one recurring Mementos conversation, he casually mentions that keeping a low profile at school isn't a problem for him, because no one ever talks to him anyway.
    • Makoto's parents both died before the events of the game, her mother from causes that are never explained and her father being a cop who died in the line of duty. This leaves her to be raised by her older sister Sae, who pressures her to succeed in a society that doesn't value women as much as men. Furthermore, Shujin's principal twists her arm to investigate the Phantom Thieves, with the implication that it will affect her future, while ignoring what she wants. She has no real friends and little relations with the student body she is supposed to be representing, leaving her pretty isolated.
    • Futaba suffers from an extreme case of Survivor's Guilt (given to her by others that wanted to shift the blame for her mother's death onto her) and anxiety to the point of becoming a complete shut-in and almost never leaving her room. She mentions that even before her mother's death, she had almost no friends at school.
    • Haru is the heiress to a multinational fast food company and is being forced into an arranged marriage with a man who is obviously an abusive asshole. She has nobody to support her through it, with her father focused on advancing his career at the cost of harming his relationship with her and his employees, and after his death at the hands of the Conspiracy, Haru becomes the company's majority shareholder but feels even more isolated; she mentions more than once that she doesn't know who she can trust, feeling that her father's advisors are only using her to get to his money and take control of the company.
    • Akechi seems like a bright prodigy and Great Detective, but privately reveals to Joker that his mother was a sex worker and that his father abandoned her when he found out she was pregnant. She later committed suicide when Akechi was very young, and he grew up being passed around from one abusive, neglectful, or indifferent foster home to the next, and has been alone since his mother died; his birth is actually a mistake and his celebrity status only exacerbates his loneliness. It also comes to light that Shido is his father, and everything he's done over the course of the game— causing the mental shutdowns, betraying the Phantom Thieves, getting Joker arrested and trying to kill him— was all part of a plan to betray Shido and force him to take responsibility for abandoning Akechi.
    • Kasumi plays with this. At first glance, she isn't much of an outcast, but then it's revealed that she isn't Kasumi, but her sister Sumire. While Sumire was already suffering from an inferiority complex towards Kasumi and thus was plagued by suicidal thoughts and mental instability, to add a nail in the coffin, Kasumi died saving Sumire from being hit by a car when she absentmindedly tried to distance herself from Kasumi. Sumire blamed herself for her sister's death and underwent cognitive manipulation from Maruki to make her think she's Kasumi so she wouldn't kill herself out of sheer guilt. While she might think that she is Kasumi, other people think she is just insane for impersonating her dead sister. As such, the one making her the outcast is herself.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe; the public opinion's divide on whether the Phantom Thieves are unsung heroes dealing with scum beyond the reach of the law or callous terrorists trying to force their own views on society through brainwashing drives a major part of the plot.
  • Anger Born of Worry: The female thieves are quite upset over Ryuji's apparent death, and are thus infuriated when Ryuji nonchalantly shows up, making fun of them for worrying.
  • Animal Motifs: Akechi, Ann, and Yusuke have bird, cat, and fox Persona masks; Ann and Yusuke's respective Metaverse outfits even have tails attached to them that match their respective animals. This leads to Ann, Yusuke and Akechi have the heist code names Panther, Fox, and Crow, respectively. This also dips into Japanese Mythical Motifs for Akechi and Yusuke, as Akechi's mask is based on a Tengu, a crow based Yōkai known for having red faces and ridiculously long noses, while Yusuke's is a traditional Kitsune style mask.
  • Anti-Hero Team: A group of teenage criminals who use the collective unconscious to force Heel–Face Brainwashing on the corrupt by destroying the embodiments of their sinful hearts.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Whenever a Phantom Thief uses a Persona skill in battle, they'll cover their now-unmasked face with one hand and strike a rather JoJo-esque pose. This is briefly brought up in one of the Mementos bus ride conversations:
    Ann: Persona, huh...? I wonder if I'm using mine right.
    Futaba: You gotta have the right pose! Everyone have theirs down?
  • The Atoner: Various members of your party also cite past failures as their reason for joining your Heel–Face Brainwashing scheme: Ryuji was previously unable to protect other students from being abused by the gym teacher who abused him, Ann felt complicit for not standing up to the physical and sexual abuse that drove her best friend to attempt suicide, Haru feels responsible for letting her father take advantage of others to increase his own wealth, and Makoto feels responsible for all the fellow students she couldn't stop from being abused or blackmailed by various adults in her time as Student Council President.
  • Arc Words: Whenever the cast awaken their Personas, the Personas always ask them to sign or make a contract. They don't have a set Catchphrase, but the Personas will drop the word "Contract" somewhere during the scene.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Subverted in regards to their outfits. Despite their appearance, they don't seem to impede their movement or slow them down in the least, as Ryuji and Futaba mention. Presumably due to it being in the world of mental cognition, where Rule of Cool runs rampantly.
  • Badass Crew: Shadow-slaying, gun-slinging, heart-stealing thieves.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: You'd never expect that this rowdy Ragtag Bunch of Misfits brainwashes criminals in order to help the helpless.
  • Beneath the Mask: It's a series with Jungian psychology as the central theme - what else would you expect?
    • Joker tries to keep his head down in public in an attempt to stay out of trouble and not make his situation any worse, but deep down he's an illusive rebel who loves the thrill of living a dangerous life, and his normal meek public persona gives way to a suave, confident attitude when he's Joker. Both of these masks crack when he's imprisoned in the Velvet Room, as he freaks out and rattles the bars of his cell.
    • Ryuji at first glance is a lazy troublemaker, but turns out to be extremely passionate, motivated, dependable and cares deeply about his friends and seeing people treated fairly.
    • Ann starts uninterested in her day-to-day life - it's only when she's performing her thieving antics she lets herself be energetic and free. She also comes better to terms with her sex appeal and doing things for herself.
    • Yusuke comes off as aloof and standoffish, but is passionate about art and deeply fascinated with finding beauty in the mundane aspects of day-to-day life while also being quite philosophical.
    • Makoto's straight-laced in her day-to-day life, but as Queen she's noticeably more aggressive and violent. More humorously, she is also rather easily spooked.
    • Futaba's shut-in public personality hides a Cute and Psycho private personality she shows online and eventually to her friends, starting with Joker.
    • Haru seems fragile and unreliable on the surface, but in reality, she can be quite emotionally strong and independent. Case in point, she loses her father in a manner almost identical to that of Mitsuru from Persona 3; but unlike her, she handles the loss in a much better fashion. While the former breaks down horribly in her game, Haru sees her problems as tiring, though given how Mitsuru had a much better relationship with her father than Haru did with her own, this is to be expected. However, this is completely flipped in regards to their mutual situations as the inheritors of large corporations, however, which Mitsuru takes in stride while Haru struggles.
    • Goro's public image as a charming minor celebrity Great Detective covers up a crushing sense of loneliness and isolation while also confessing more selfish reasons behind his justice, hiding the same anger at society the Thieves do. He even admits to the Thieves later that he doesn't really care much for the job; he just likes punishing criminals.
    • While outwardly kind and gentle, Kasumi is hiding severe psychological issues resulting from the stress of trying to succeed. In reality, it's even worse. She's actually Sumire, Kasumi's twin sister. Sumire's inferiority complex over her envy at Kasumi's talent was made worse by how Kasumi held the dominance in their relationship. She hits rock bottom when Sumire was nearly hit by a car because of a fit of jealousy... only for Kasumi to push her out of the way and die in her stead, causing Sumire to plummet to such angst that Maruki had to resort to using his powers to make her think she's her own sister so she wouldn't actually attempt suicide for real. However, only she thinks that as most people who knew both of them thought Sumire has gone insane.
    • Zenkichi might seem like a shady police officer hiding malicious intent like Goro Akechi before, being sent by the police and ordered to sell them out if possible. In reality, not only is he one of the few good cops in Persona 5, he's actually dealing with the grief of being unable to bring his wife's killer to justice and having his daughter hate him as a result.
  • Big Eater: Whenever the gang is shown eating, they usually consume a ton of food. Similar to the previous game, Joker can participate in a Mega Meal Challenge where he devours increasingly comically over-sized burgers.
    • Ryuji and Joker regularly get into contests with each other to see who can eat the most.
    • Ann also has a massive Sweet Tooth and is constantly craving cakes and crepes. Even after Joker and Ryuji are stuffed, Ann wants them to try dessert.
    • Kasumi can partake in the Big Bang Challenge like Joker, and doesn't seem to have much trouble with it. Justified by her being a gymnast; the intense physical activity requires gymnasts to eat a lot more than other people.
  • Birds of a Feather: Discussed — Joker, Ann, Ryuji and Yusuke bond over their similar pasts and shared status as social misfits.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: They forcibly enact Heel–Face Brainwashing on genuinely cruel people who feel no remorse for their actions and abuse the legal system to make things go their way. The Thieves recognize the moral ambiguity of their actions, though, and while they feel uncomfortable with it, it's often their only option due to the scope of their targets' power over society. Justified, as it was later revealed that the Greater-Scope Villain Yaldabaoth intentionally screws with the Change of Hearts to make sure that they can no longer commit evil by making them regress into ignorant masses under his thrall, and if Joker ever strikes a deal with him to ensure his well-being under the expense of the rest of humanity and his teammates, this plays to its most cynical conclusion, where he ends up becoming a ruthless Tautological Templar who brainwashes anyone he deems sinful enough, not to say the rest of the Thieves are abandoned by him.
  • Bond One-Liner: Whenever a party member prompts an All-Out Attack, they will drop one of these after the enemies have been cut to pieces, punctuated by a written message that displays behind them:
    • Player Character/Joker: THE SHOW'S OVER
    • Ryuji Sakamoto/Skull: FREAKIN' BORING
    • Ann Takamaki/Panther: OMG!! WE ARE SO AWESOME!
    • Morgana/Mona: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
    • Yusuke Kitagawa/Fox: IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED, GOODBYE
    • Makoto Niijima/Queen: JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED.
    • Futaba Sakura/Oracle: GIT GUD
    • Haru Okumura/Noir: ADIEU
    • Goro Akechi/Crow: MY SOLE INTEREST IS UNCOVERING THE TRUTH. / I DECIDE THE TRUTH.
    • Kasumi Yoshizawa/Violet: BEAUTY IS DEVOTION
  • Born Unlucky: As luckless as the Inaba crowd (especially Yosuke) may seem, they lead charmed lives compared to their successors, especially the boys.
    • On a general note, very few of the big "special events" pan out well for Joker and friends. Joker spends the whole of Golden Week working unpaid for Sojiro, their first celebration dinner turns out to be an opportunity for adults to sneer at them, and then Joker and Ryuji are conscripted as unpaid camera assistants on their school trip, then have to sit and listen as Akechi denounces them. The fireworks festival they attend gets rained out, they spend the whole summer worried about Medjed, and even their school trip to Hawaii is incredibly dull because the school was so busy dealing with media and police investigations that they didn't have time to organize any student activities, and the students couldn't afford to go on any activities independently because of their budget. Unless Joker secures a date with one of the girls, he spends the whole time wandering around with his friends and doing exactly what he does in Japan.
    • After clearing Okumura's palace, the team finally seems to get a stroke of good luck that allows them to celebrate by having an entire theme park to themselves. Then as they are celebrating, Okumura dies on national television, and later on the Phantom Thieves are blamed for it.
    • What are the odds that the random sleazeball you prevented from assaulting a woman in your rural hometown turns out to be a prominent politician with terrifying power and a vengeful streak, who has both the will and the influence to get you wrongfully arrested? Ask Joker.
    • Ryuji was minding his own business when Joker's Nav kicked in for the first time and dragged Ryuji into a nightmarish dimension where his teacher's alter-ego was ready to decapitate him.
    • Yusuke is suspected of bringing some kind of weather-curse with him wherever he goes. His school trip getting diverted due to a typhoon only confirms the girls' theory. It doesn't help that his mythological Persona is the Japanese god of storms, Susano-o.
    • This trope doesn't even stop in their debut game. Their summer vacation reunion in Scramble is effectively ruined when they discover the Metaverse is back and they're being blamed for sudden, unexplained cases popping up around the country. They're under police scrutiny to the point they have to be monitored by an investigator for their entire break, and that's not even getting into the fact that a new maniacal god figure is threatening Japan and its population once again.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Their M.O.: they target corrupt adults who are essentially beyond the law, entering the mental worlds created by their warped desires and fighting monstrous manifestations of their vice (each based on one of the Seven Deadly Sins), literally stealing the corruption of their hearts. This results in the target having a sudden change of heart that causes them to openly confess and try to take responsibility for their crimes. This is deconstructed, however, in that several characters in-game do point out that this feels very much like Protagonist-Centered Morality, and this amorality is deliberately invoked by the conductor to remove chaotic elements of society he despsies but practices himself to prove that without him humanity will forever be doomed. During the events of Scramble, however, this was played straight as they started to combat more sympathetic figures whose crimes consist of brainwashing masses of people to cope with their personal disdain, and even then the Phantom Thieves don't need to brainwash their targets to repent at all, they convince them to willingly surrender with no strings attached.
  • Breaking the Fellowship:
    • With the Conspiracy and Yaldabaoth taken care of, the Thieves are forced to disband but remain close friends. In the True Ending, they agree to bring Joker back to his hometown with a road trip that essentially serves as their last hurrah for the time being.
    • In Royal, the gang all go their separate ways after stopping Maruki. Ryuji moves to take up physical therapy so that he can restart his track career. Ann transfers schools as she will be study abroad with her parent. Yusuke decides to continue his artwork with a renewed focus on his adventures with the Phantom Thieves. Makoto is moving onto college with a major in law enforcement. Haru leaves for America to practice her English and manage the global branches of Okumura Foods. Kasumi/Sumire leaves for a few months to participate in competitions, though it's likely she'll move anyways. While the situation is still as ambiguous as it was in the original, the ending for Royal heavily implies that Akechi is still alive as someone with his uniform can be seen amongst a crowd. Futaba is heading back to school while Joker and Morgana move back home together.
  • Bully Hunter: Crooks, abusers, and murderers are their quarry.
  • The Cameo: Barring Kasuminote , all of the Phantom Thieves appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with Joker's inclusion as a Guest Fighter.
    • Ryuji, Morgana, Ann and Yusuke make vocal cameos in Joker's reveal trailer.note 
    • In the game proper, Morgana appears as part of Joker's taunts, and shows up in his bus form alongside the other Phantom Thieves in the Mementos stage. There's even a hat based on him that can be worn by the Mii Fighters.
    • Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Makoko and Haru all appear on the Mementos stage. While Futaba doesn't appear on the stage, she does have voice lines during Joker's All-Out Attacks.
    • All Thieves (again, bar Kasumi) appear as Spirits, both individually in their civilian attire and in a group Spirit with their Metaverse outfits. Akechi however is excluded from the group illustration, so, while he has representation in-game, nothing gives away his eventual involvement with the Thieves.
  • Camp: Bar none the most fabulous player party in the entire franchise, no questions asked. As repressed loners outside of school, their flashy, dramatic Phantom Thief alter-egos give them avenues to express all of the hammiest parts of themselves.
  • Caper Rationalization: Their entire M.O. involves stealing critical pieces of people's psyche in order to induce a Heel–Face Brainwashing as a result. However, the targets of the heists are all corrupt and largely unsympathetic people who abuse their positions of authority and power with impunity, to the point of directly ruining the lives of the main cast if they aren't dealt with. And despite this, they're still a little iffy on the idea of messing with people's minds at first, until their first target's abuse causes Ann's friend Shiho to attempt suicide to get away from him.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Even while driving through Mementos, an Eldritch Location teeming with Shadows, the thieves will just casually chat about whatever little thing pops into their heads.
  • Chained by Fashion: Whenever one of them awakens their Persona for the first time, chains can be seen surrounding their Persona, symbolizing how they feel trapped by society.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: The Thieves all feel compelled to save others when possible. They readily agree to risk their lives in Mementos to take on the burdens of random strangers who post on the Phan-site, even to address problems as small as someone cheating in videogames.
  • Clingy Costume: When they receive their masks, they find out the hard way that it's practically welded to their faces when awakening their Persona for the first time.
  • Code Name: They all use an alias when moonlighting as the Phantom Thieves - including Morgana, who doesn't even need one.
    • Protagonist — Joker
    • Morgana — Mona
    • Ryuji — Skull
    • Ann — Panther
    • Yusuke — Fox
    • Makoto — Queen
    • Futaba — Oracle/Navi
    • Haru — Noir
    • Akechi — Crow
    • Kasumi — Violet
    • Sophia — Sophie
    • Zenkichi — Wolf
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each Phantom Thief wears different-colored gloves in their costumed alter-egos (except for Mona who does not wear any) that correspond to the elements or roles their Personas represent — Joker's gloves are red (curse), Skull's are yellow (electricity), Panther's are pink (fire), Fox's are blue (ice), Queen's are grey (nuclear), Oracle's are green (rear support), Noir's are purple (psy), and Crow's are white (bless), which get swapped out for black gauntlets to represent him now specializing in curse skills. Kasumi is the odd one out; she has red gloves despite using bless attacks. Their icon backgrounds in the texting app are also color-coded to match their gloves except for Makoto, whose background is dark blue instead of grey, and Akechi in Royal, who uses a tan background.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While no party from any Persona game had any troubles ganging up on an opponent, the Phantom Thieves take it a step further. They might negotiate with Shadows to get them on their side or maybe just to extort some money or items from them, they have no troubles using guns and melee weapons in tandem, and whenever they fight a major foe, they usually use special operations in order to weaken them to make the fight easier on them.
  • Combat Stilettos:
    • Carmen wears high heels, matching the rest of her fancy attire.
    • Arsène has knives for stilts, which reach way past the shoes' soles. They're not just for show: he uses them in his attack animations. His third-tier form, Raoul, also has these.
    • Cendrillon and Ella wear glass and crystal styled heels respectively.
    • Panther and Violet sport very prominent examples in their thief attire. Queen and Noir also have slightly heeled shoes, though nowhere near the extent of the former two.
  • Combination Attack: Royal adds a new battle mechanic called "Show Time" where two specific Phantom Thieves work together to pummel all enemies into submission.
    • Mona and Panther: Mona presents a bouquet of roses to Panther in a confession scene not unlike what is seen in a Shoujo romance manga. Panther goes for the bouquet as if accepting Mona's proposal only to reach inside and grab the SMGs that are stashed inside, using them to blast all the enemies surrounding them while Mona finishes the job with a well-thrown bomb.
    • Panther and Fox: Panther and Fox are shown in a pisquarete Japanese drama scene, where Panther twirls her parasol around before revealing her whip, which she uses to dislodge the tatami mats. Using the tatami as a cover, Fox slices up the unsuspecting opponent along with the tatami.
    • Skull and Fox: Skull walks inside Fox's beef bowl establishment utterly famished. Fox then whips up a meal for Skull to eat out of while Fox attempts to capture the moment. They end up being interrupted by enemy shadows, leading Skull and Fox to fill them up with lead. Skull finishes by throwing a grenade which Fox detonates with some well-placed shots from his assault rifle before going back to Skull's meal.
    • Skull and Queen: Skull and Queen assault the shadows in a Wild West setting, with Queen opening up with a flying kick and Skull bashing the shadow's brains in before sending them back in Queen's direction, allowing her to finish the job with a flurry of fists.
    • Queen and Noir: Queen and Noir's Show Time takes place in a wrestling ring, where they tag-team against Shadows. Queen rushes in with a clothesline followed up by Noir jump-kicking the shadow while Queen sets up for a chair shot much to Noir's concern. They then climb up the ring and finish them with a double elbow drop.
    • Mona and Noir: The spotlight shines on Mona and Noir as they leap off a building with Mona transforming into the Morgana Mobile, driving while Noir lands and fires at the enemies with her grenade launcher. Noir jumps off of Mona while he continues driving towards the enemy, getting caught up in Noir's attack much to her worry.
    • Joker and Crow: Crow begins laughing maniacally as he makes himself psychotic and begins to rush at his enemy. Joker uses his grappling hook to maneuver around the rooftop and swings at his target using his knife before jumping out of Crow's rampage, who proceeds to slash the enemy all over with his blade. Joker lands behind Crow after his phase is over and shoots the enemy with his gun.
    • Joker and Violet: Violet runs up a stairway and calls for Joker, jumping up as he uses his grappling hook to catch Violet and leave the corridor. They remain airborne for a while as Joker reorients the grappling hook and Violet latches onto his back. Joker then shoots at the enemies with his gun before launching Violet up into the air, where she enters an Imagine Spot of her sister, where she recreates a dance they once partook in while slashing at the opponents using her rapier.
  • Composite Character: The Phantom Thieves as a whole could be considered this compared to SEES and The Investigation Team. They carry around an air of professionalism similar to SEES with how they operate but are much more open about their friendships when not on the clock like the Investigation Team.
  • Conflict Ball: They literally can't go a month without having their livelihoods being put in danger at the hands of men more powerful than they are—thus forcing them to head into the Palaces of said men to steal their hearts away.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: In terms of motifs and themes, they're quite different from the folks at Inaba. While Persona 4's party are detectives on a quest to bring one person to justice, Persona 5's party are thieves who go after multiple people and bring them to justice. The similarity is that the party members join up after gaining their Persona during an emotional conversation with them, but the contrast is that, whereas Persona 4's Personas were their Shadows and must be reasoned with by accepting who they are inside, Persona 5's Personas are the ones who are reasoning with the party and even offer them a contract. Although this pales in comparison with the fact that all members of the Investigation Team have completely normal lives, most likely have healthy families, and the only mental hangups are those reflected in their Shadows, while the Phantom Thieves, with one notable exception, had suffered from psychological trauma or ordeals related to their family members or friends in one way or another.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Thieves constantly find themselves in the company of shamelessly unpleasant people no matter where they go. This would be expected, given that their mission is to seek out corrupt individuals and steal their hearts away, but even in the real world, they just repeatedly happen upon unnecessarily rude or malicious individuals often without any intention of even doing so. Not to mention the fact that the random guy Joker confronted for trying to sexually assault a woman just so happened to be a candidate for Prime Minister and the leader of the conspiracy to exploit the Metaverse and control public opinion.
  • Cool Mask: The party's main Persona each become a mask the thieves wear, and most have masks of their own.
    • Arsène becomes a bird mask, and his own "face" is a semi-transparent horned mask.
    • Carmen becomes a red panther mask that she herself also wears.
    • Captain Kidd becomes a skull mask, matching the skull that serves as his head.
    • Zorro becomes the black bandanna he wears on his own face.
    • Goemon becomes a traditional Japanese fox mask, and wears an armored face mask of his own that leaves his mouth and hair exposed.
    • Necronomicon becomes a pair of Night-Vision Goggles that look like giant alien eyes.
    • Johanna becomes a metal mask, and Johanna's own face is a feminine mask on the front of the bike that serves as her body.
    • Milady becomes a black domino mask, and uses a ball gown mask for her "head".
    • Robin Hood turns into a red mask with a bird beak.
    • Loki becomes a deep red mask with horns that resembles a crow's skull.
    • Cendrillon becomes a black mask with white patterns around the eye holes.
  • Cosplay: What the paid DLC costumes amount to is cosplay for the previous Persona games, SMT if..., Raidou Kuzunoha, SMT IV, and Catherine. In Persona 5 Royal, three more paid DLC costumes are added that allow the Thieves to dress in the Demonica suits from Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, as well as dress up as Velvet Room attendants and cosplay as characters from the In-Universe Sentai show Phoenix Ranger Featherman.

    D-H 
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The whole team, with the exception of Sophie and Morgana, pretty much has them and these shared pains is another thing that bonds them to one another:
    • Ryuji had an abusive father who beat both him and his mother, leading to their divorce, and is very aware of the difficulties his mother is facing as a single mom. Kamoshida also broke one of his legs, causing his Career-Ending Injury, after spreading rumors of his home life that provoked Ryuji into punching him, which in turn resulted in the track team being shut down, with the other members blaming Ryuji.
    • While Ann might have better times in the past, quite recently, she was harassed with gossips and rumors for her heritage and appearance and became the unfortunate Lust Object of her own teacher. Her refusal to get involved and help others (including her own best friend, Shiho). This led Shiho to attempt suicide.
    • Yusuke is abused by his adoptive parent and his own art being plagiarized as well. Worse, his adoptive parent is the reason his mother died, namely by refusing to help her in the incident that led to her dying.
    • Makoto never knew her mother, and her father was killed by an organized crime family when she was little. Since then, she's only had her well meaning but workaholic older sister. Said sister drives her to succeed, but tends to neglect her emotional needs and her own problems have caused a rift between them. Makoto also grew up pretty friendless as a result.
    • Futaba witnesses her own mother die in a car accident in front of her eyes and gained a guilt complex. She was also abused by her mother's brother until Sojiro adopted her.
    • Haru may have been raised in wealth, but this did her few favors, as people were constantly trying to get into her father's good graces by being nice to her, which led her to uncertainty as to whom she could trust and who was just looking for a step up the ladder. It's also unclear as to how long Okumura had embraced the business practices that led to the events in the game. If you spend time with her during Christmas, she talks about having spent an unknown number of past Christmases alone or at boring Christmas parties of her father's.
    • Akechi's mother died when he was little, after his absentee father Shido disowned him, and he was passed between various foster homes as an unwanted child. Naturally, this resulted in him developing some serious abandonment and self-esteem issues, and his attempt to overcome them through fame and fortune as a Great Detective just left him even more lonely. To make things worse, in Royal it was revealed that he's conceived randomly when Shido molested a whore.
    • Kasumi isn't even Kasumi; she's actually Sumire who has literally no self-esteem and felt inferior to her sister, the real Kasumi, and when she had a fit that nearly got herself killed by oncoming traffic, Kasumi sacrificed herself to save her. Then she underwent cognitive manipulation therapy to essentially become her sister, as otherwise she would've only tried to really kill herself from the grief.
    • While Zenkichi might look really shady at first, he's actually on the receiving end of this. A year ago prior to Persona 5 and 2 years prior to Scramble, his wife was killed in a hit-and-run by a corrupt Shido lobbyist named Owada, who was drunk driving during that time and ran over his wife in front of his daughter, then conveniently staged a suicide on his secretary to shift the blame from him. When he tried to investigate, he was sent a death threat which may get him into trouble with Shido, something that would not end pretty for him or Akane. Eventually, his inability to reveal the truth to Akane or properly investigate his wife's death, combined with being unable to spend time with her due to work, has caused her to hate and resent him.
    • Sophia is the notable aversion of this, since she has no past to begin with, and was merely a scrapped prototype of EMMA that Joker happened to find. Her creator Ichinose, however, clearly has one, where she couldn't feel emotions as an innate trait and caused people to get creeped out and distance from her, leading her to create Sophia to better understand herself only to throw a fit and scrapped her in favor of a much, more dangerous AI when she asked her a question that triggered her insecurities.
    • Another aversion is Morgana, who doesn't have a past to begin with. He's a sleeper agent created by the real Igor to guide the protagonist into exposing Yaldabaoth, who was impersonating him.
  • Death of Personality: If the protagonist accepts Maruki's deal in the Third Term, all of them bar the protagonist and probably Akechi will go through this because they won't have anything to fight or strive for, as all of them will be fulfilled via Maruki's reality warping. Especially Sumire, since she is now a perfect copy of Kasumi with all of her athletic prowess, effectively killing off the inferior Sumire in a metaphorical sense.
  • Decomposite Character: Makoto and Haru are this to Mitsuru from Persona 3. Makoto has Mitsuru's position as Student Council President with a similarly serious personality, while Haru has Mitsuru's arcana and a similar role in the story.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Each character deconstructs certain character tropes:
    • Joker deconstructs the Chronic Hero Syndrome trope. In his backstory, he saves a woman from being assaulted by her boss, but the man turns out to be an influential politician and it's Joker who gets arrested for assault instead. Also, no matter what he does, the general public still treats him as a violent punk due to his record and Yaldabaoth keeping tabs on him.
    • Ryuji deconstructs the Japanese Delinquents trope. He looks like a delinquent, but he only styles himself as such because everyone treats him like one. He's a genuine Nice Guy (vitriolic relations with Morgana aside), and the only reason he got saddled with the reputation in the first place is because Kamoshida ruined his life until Ryuji reached his Rage Breaking Point and punched Kamoshida.
    • Ann deconstructs the But Not Too Foreign trope. Despite being born and raised in Japan, her quarter-white heritage gives her an "exotic" appearance that fuels nasty rumors about her, and earns her the unwanted attention of people like Kamoshida because she was hanging out with him to prevent her friend Shiho from being molested, which only adds more fuel to the rumors and Slut-Shaming she gets.
    • Morgana deconstructs the Token Non-Human trope. He believes strongly that he Was Once a Man and gets really touchy when people call him a cat. The growing evidence that he was never human only leads to even more denial and makes him question his place among his human friends to the point where he temporarily leaves the Phantom Thieves after a particularly nasty argument with Ryuji.
    • Yusuke deconstructs the Starving Artist trope. The reason his conditions are so poor is because Madarame steals all the credit and profit from his art, leaving him overworked and literally starving. Presumably also because how Madarame used to care for him to a great extent in a deliberate attempt to inflict Stockholm Syndrome onto him, he still has issues understanding that Madarame was corrupt by the time he raised him. While Yusuke does stick to his guns about creating art for its own sake, this also earns him the scorn of adult artists, including those who want to foster his talent. Part of Yusuke's confidant is getting over the idea that making artwork for the sake of earning money inherently means he's somehow less of an artist or a "bad person."
    • Makoto deconstructs the Student Council President trope. Her position only makes her a glorified gopher for the Principal, with no actual power to do anything, and everyone else sees her as an Academic Alpha Bitch that is helping cover up the abuses by the school staff (neither of which is true). Meanwhile, the constant pressure from her older sister to succeed has made Makoto question if all of her efforts are even worth it.
    • Futaba deconstructs the Hikikomori trope. She shuts herself in because she was traumatized by one of Shido's most glaring Kick the Dog moments that killed her mother and blamed the incident on her. She's well aware of how unhealthy her lifestyle is, but is too afraid to leave the house, and she's suicidal, to the point where her own self-hatred creates a Palace, feeling like the only way to break out of it is to have her heart stolen by the Phantom Thieves. Also, her foster father is in danger of losing custody of her due to him being unwilling to pay her abusive former caretaker's imposed debt.
    • Haru deconstructs the Ojou trope. While she did used to have a much better time with her father, by the events of the game began, the relationship between the two has degenerated into a Gilded Cage where her father dictates her life down to the letter, including an Arranged Marriage with an abusive fiance, and she finds it hard to trust people since she isn't sure who likes her for who she is or who only wants her for her money. And once her father dies, Haru is suddenly saddled with all the pressures of running the company that Okumura never prepared her for, or likely even intended for her to inherit at all. This presents several issues as her personal goals are far more humble and down-to-earth, and all of this happens while she's still grieving over her father's death, because he did genuinely care for her up until some time ago. Naturally, the pressure begins eating away at Haru's psyche almost immediately.
    • Akechi deconstructs the Great Detective. All of his fame and fangirls are ultimately just superficial - he's just as lonely and friendless now as he was growing up, except now people expect greatness from him. He privately reveals to the thieves that he isn't even all that enamored with the job - he only keeps doing it because he finds punishing criminals cathartic.
    • Kasumi deconstructs Successful Sibling Syndrome. Emphasis on that is not Kasumi, but Sumire being brainwashed into thinking that she's her dead sister just to prevent her from offing herself for a while. Sumire's mindset is that if she wasn't Kasumi, she should probably just...die. Aside from making her delusional, there's also an element of selfishness to this, as Sumire wanted to live Kasumi's life, even when the latter was alive. Without Maruki's Cognitive Therapy, the guilt from the incident that resulted in Kasumi's death would have caused Sumire to render herself catatonic or commit suicide.
    • Zenkichi deconstructs the Papa Wolf trope. While he was always for his family's well-being, his wife was being ran over by a drunk Shido lobbyist who could cover everything up simply because he was backing Shido, and his daughter hated him and the police in general because she didn't have any idea who her father could be facing when he tried to investigate the culprit during that time. He even chides himself for his weakness when he confronted his daughter when she was being driven insane by EMMA.
    • Sophie deconstructs the Interspecies Friendship trope. She's an AI who wants to become a friend of humanity, but doesn't understand why she has to do that. It turns out that this is her only memory; she was not given a purpose otherwise since her creator ditched her within minutes post-creation for her own selfish reasons.
  • Delinquents: All of them beside Morgana and Futaba are high school students who moonlight as criminal vigilantes. Granted, only the founding group (Joker, Ryuji and to a lesser extent, Ann) fit the traditional profile and reputation at school. Yusuke is merely considered an eccentric, Makoto is student body president, Haru is a well-off young lady, Akechi is a good student and detective, Kasumi (Sumire) is an accomplished gymnast, Zenkichi is a public security officer and Sophia is an open-source AI. (However, Akechi note , Kasumi/Sumire, Zenkichi and Sophia joined them not to moonlight in criminal vigilantism, but to investigate and put a halt to Metaverse-related incidents after the first one.)
  • Disappointed by the Motive: After a Motive Rant from their target, the Thieves will usually respond with a speech of their own that calls the target out on their attitude, all of which can be summed up as "That's it? That's why you're doing this? We're not impressed." In general, the Thieves scoff at the reasons someone would choose to make the world a worse place, especially if a target is taking out their aggression on a family member or loved ones, seeing the target's motives as selfish, petty, and pointlessly self-destructive.
    • Subverted in Scramble with the Jail Kings. They are much more empathetic and saddened to learn about the struggles the Kings endured, to the point they even thought about leaving one of them alone when they realize her motives and circumstances. While this doesn’t stop them from doing their job, they're more considerate and it teaches them that not all supposedly corrupt adults are completely heartless, rather misguided and desperate.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: For the final calling card, they hijack all the channels to announce that Joker's not dead and that they're going to steal Shido's heart.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of them have issues, to be blunt:
    • Morgana didn't have much issues at first save for constantly desiring to become human under the impression that he was one. Then Futaba began taking over his role as navigator and his constant bickering of Ryuji became a fall-out when Ryuji told him that he was useless, causing him to defect away from the Phantom Thieves into solitude with a partially awakened Haru. This didn't end up well for him, since he can't infiltrate a Palace on his own.
    • Ryuji had his career as a track star destroyed when Kamoshida broke his leg after the latter goaded him into a confrontation by spreading rumors of his home-life (a single-mom and his abusive a-hole of a father.) Beforehand, he was sabotaging him and the rest of the track team for upstaging the volleyball team by working them to the ground.
    • Ann faced bullying and harassment over her heritage and tends to be distrustful and distant as a result. Unfortunately, the latter behavior causes her to ignore her best friend's problems who then tried to commit suicide after being sexually assaulted by Kamoshida.
    • Yusuke lost his parents at a young age and his mentor exploited him. It is later revealed his mentor basically murdered Yusuke's mother as well.
    • Makoto has a lot of repressed anger issues over being made to stand on a pedestal by adults who don't follow the same standards themselves and exploit her for her talent. She becomes a bit more even-tempered after her dungeon/episode is complete (even if she still fights like a hellion). She also has a tendency of trying to do everything herself, something she lampshades before the climax, even as she gains her strong group of friends.
    • Futaba is severely isolated socially partly due to her Survivor Guilt over her mother's assassination and the subsequent blaming of her death. She was also raised by an abusive uncle briefly.
    • Haru was nearly sold to an unwanted marriage to a hateful man by her father for political gain, then quickly lost him tragically. She spends the rest of the game struggling with her guilt over the incident.
    • Goro suffers from some serious Bastard Angst (which, given the setting in Japan, is actually a far more serious issue than in the West) and desperately seeks the approval of others as a result. In Royal, we also learn that his birth is...shameful, to put bluntly, so he had every reason to resort to such extremes so he can expose his father.
    • Kasumi is actually outright delusional and suicidally depressed, since this is not Kasumi but the real Kasumi's sister Sumire, who voluntarily had a false personality overlaid over her because she was unable to live with being the surviving sibling.
    • Zenkichi lost his wife to a drunk Shido lobbyist, and his daughter had grown to hate him for failure to investigate her death because of the opponent that he might be potentially facing if he ever went after the culprit. This went to the point where her daughter was unwittingly being tricked by public opinion and driven insane by an autonomous AI application afterwards, to the point that Zenkichi awakens a persona and joins the Phantom Thieves himself to save his daughter.
    • Sophia plays with this. She suffers from self-loathing for unknown reasons, but it turns out that she didn't have an issue, her creator is the one who had. Namely, her parents died to unknown reasons at a very young age, and it was so traumatic that she shut off her emotions and became a delusional misanthrope, to the point that when Sophia asked what a heart was, her creator responded by trashing her and being written off as a failure.
  • Elemental Powers: Like every game, each (except Futaba) specializes in a particular element. However, there are enough this time where every member has their own.
    • Joker: He can technically use every element due to the Wild Card ability, but Arsène's main elemental attacks are Curse spells.
    • Skull specializes in Zio spells.
    • Mona specializes in Garu spells.
    • Panther specializes in Agi spells.
    • Fox specializes in Bufu spells.
    • Queen specializes in Frei spells.
    • Noir specializes in Psy spells.
    • Crow specializes in Bless spells, but also has access to Curse and Almighty based magic.
      • Black Mask Crow has Curse and Almighty skills, although he largely subverts this since his skills are mostly gun and physical.
    • Likewise, Violet also specializes in Bless spells.
    • Sophie specializes in Bless spells as well, like Violet.
    • Wolf subverts this, since his skill set is fully Non-Elemental.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: All have a resistance to their main element, and a weakness to the opposite element, creating a juxtaposition with every playable character you get. Evolved Personas No-Sell their main element and gain resistance to another.
    • Joker, being the Wild Card, has varying weaknesses and resistances. Arsène resists curse and is weak to bless and ice. Raoul blocks curse and is weak to bless. Satanael absorbs curse, blocks bless, and resists every other element.
    • Ryuji resists electricity and is weak to wind. He gains a resistance to fire when his Persona evolves.
    • Morgana resists wind and is weak to electricity. He gains a resistance to bless when his Persona evolves.
    • Ann resists fire and is weak to ice. She gains a resistance to electricity when her Persona evolves.
    • Yusuke resists ice and is weak to fire. He gains a resistance to wind when his Persona evolves.
    • Makoto resists nuclear and is weak to psychic. She gains a resistance to curse when her Persona evolves.
    • Haru resists psychic and is weak to nuclear. She gains a resistance to ice when her Persona evolves.
    • Akechi resists bless and is weak to curse. In Persona Q2, he becomes immune to bless and drops his weakness to curse when his Persona gets upgraded. In Royal's third semester, he's immune to curse and weak to bless, and gains a resistance to psychic when his Persona evolves.
    • Kasumi resists bless and is weak to curse. She gains a resistance to nuclear with her third-tier Persona.
  • Escapism: There is a level on which their burglar antics are a way to escape from the doldrums of their everyday lives. Subverted by near the end game as they are fighting for their lives against Shido when the conspiracy moves against them and then for all of Tokyo when the Final Boss makes their move.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Becomes something of a plot point; despite his harsh criticism of them, Akechi's careful study of the Thieves' methods leads him to realize that they were framed for killing the principal and Kunikazu Okumura and offers to help them find the real culprit.
    • Our Phantom Thief protagonists seem especially willing to help against Domestic Abuse.
      • Notably, in Scramble, the Thieves are quick to assume Akira is a no-good scumbag since he's the one behind the Jails and Kings all over Tokyo. Their attitude do an immediate 180, when they learn that his Freudian Excuse, was that as a child, he was abused by his father to the point where he had to kill him in self-defense. All the Thieves are horrified at what he's been through, and Zenkichi has to remind them that this doesn't excuse all of the crimes that he's committed when they seem conflicted at how to proceed with this new revelation.
    • Although the Thieves have to develop their own sense of justice against societal corruption, they don’t try to enforce their own ideals on everyone.
    • In the True endings of both the Vanilla game and Royal, they will never turn their backs on society, even if society turns their backs on them. Joker, and by extension the whole Phantom group, refuse to hand over Japan to a God-like figure out of spite towards the public’s apathy/"desires" of everyone under the being's control, even if the God-figure has good intentions.
    • The Thieves generally hate the police for their corruption and incompetence. Emphasis on corrupt, as they learn in that some people, like Sae Niijima from the first game and Inspector Zenkichi Hasegawa from Scramble, are trustworthy, and are fine with teaming up with them to reach the same goal.
      • As tired as they are of corrupt police, they refuse to take said authority’s place because they know it’d make them no better by taking power for themselves. This is why they refuse to go along with the troubled Akane Hasegawa’s desire for the Thieves to dismantle the police and become the sole enforcers of justice.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Once the Phantom Thieves found out that they are Unwitting Pawns for Yaldabaoth to remove the corrupt that he deliberately set up for them to be demolished so he can justify his totalitarian rule, they pull this on him.
  • Famed in Story: Unlike in the previous games, our heroes' exploits become known all across Japan. During the field trip to Hawaii, they find out that even the Americans have heard of the Phantom Thieves.
  • Firing One-Handed: Joker, Ryuji, Ann, Akechi, and Kasumi all fire their guns with a single hand.
  • First-Name Basis: Like the Investigation Team before them, all the members are on a first-name basis with one another. The two third-years in the group, Makoto and Haru, also immediately dismiss the seniority hierarchy and do not want to be referred to as senpai. Akechi is the one exception; while he refers to everyone by their first names, the rest of the team and even the game's own interface only stick to calling him by his surname.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The Thieves adopt this mindset on their targets. Usually, after a target gives a Motive Rant about how Society Is to Blame, the Thieves counter that they themselves have suffered from hardships at the hands of society too, but they didn't let it corrupt them or make them take their anger out on people who didn't deserve it.
  • Game Face: They all indulge in this while in the Metaverse, where they have nothing to hide:
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Once everyone's joined, there are four guys and four girls excluding Token Non-Human Morgana, who is implied to be male but admits that he isn't sure (the party just refers to Morgana as male for the sake of convenience). If you count Morgana as male, Sumire in Royal evens out the number of girls in the team.
    • If Morgana is counted as male, Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers also equals out the team's gender ratio with Sophia and Zenkichi, who join in that game in place of Akechi and Sumire. Likewise, counting Morgana as male and including both Akechi and Sumire equals the team's gender ratio overall to six guys and six girls.
  • Good Counterpart:
    • To the Masked Circle from Persona 2, a mysterious group who would grant the wishes of their clients who are led by a man named Joker. The difference is that there are no strings attached in regards to the requests given to the Phantom Thieves, while the wishes granted by the Masked Circle come at the cost of the client's dreams.
    • They could be viewed as this to Strega, the antagonistic group of Persona users in Persona 3. Strega uses a website where users can request vengeance towards a victim, which they do by using the Dark Hour. Similarly, the Phantom Thieves can take requests from the Phansite and change the targets' heart using the Metaverse, the biggest difference being no harm comes to the targets.
  • Good Feels Good: While all of them are good people, most of the Thieves (barring Joker, Makoto and Ryuji) join up with the Phantom Thieves initially to resolve their own personal issues and remain afterwards for their own reasons, such as Futaba to find out the truth about her mother and Yusuke for his art. However, they all develop an appreciation and a sense of pride in taking down rotten authority figures and giving people a sense of hope.
    Futaba: Risking our lives to stop rotten adults... that's why we're Phantom Thieves!
  • Good Is Not Soft: For the most part, they are genuinely kind and affable people doing what they feel is right. However, their experience with the severe corruption of authority figures and a society that keeps protecting them has ensured that they will not hold back when punishing those who abuse their authority for selfish gain and hurting others.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: Most of them enter this pose when first awakening their Personas. The exceptions are Joker and Ann, who are physically restrained at the time, and Futaba, whose awakening is far less painful than the others.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Their modus operandi. By stealing a target's Treasure, they effectively force their targets to have a change of heart, repent their wicked ways, and become better people. The Phantom Thieves do note the rather twisted morality of this, but justify it as doing what they have to do because no one else will. Their targets are either too powerful or too well-connected for the law to do anything about it, and the apathy of the Japanese public to these problems means nobody's coming to stop these terrible people. So while the Phantom Thieves do feel kind of bad about forcing people to change their minds, their targets are all such scumbags that they can justify it. Part of this need also stems from Yaldabaoth manipulating the public to worship these figures and allow them to get away with their crimes, and he actually forces them to to give up their autonomy to him should the Phantom Thieves defeat one of them. After the Phantom Thieves bring down Yaldaboath for good, they downplay the brainwashing aspect and focus on convincing their targets to genuinely change themselves, with much better results for both sides.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Interestingly enough, all of the thieves that join after Kamoshida's Palace are all actually introduced in more antagonistic roles before properly joining:
    • Yusuke, after realizing that Joker, Ryuji and Ann are trying to dig up information on his master, threatens to sue the trio for trespassing in his home unless Ann agrees to model nude for him.
    • Makoto is pressured by the School's Principal to uncover the identities of the Thieves. After she succeeds in doing so, she blackmails them into helping her dig up information on Kaneshiro.
    • We learn during the month of July that Futaba had Leblanc bugged since Joker's arrival, and when the thieves hit a snag upon learning that their next opponent is a hacktivist group, she anonymously contacts Joker and strikes a deal: Steal Futaba's heart and she'll take on the group—if not, she'll rat the thieves out to the police. While Futaba's introduction is less antagonistic in tone, especially after the thieves learn about her from Sojiro, blackmail is still involved, and not completing her palace shows Joker falsely recollecting that she made good on her threat.
    • Haru is introduced as a rival Phantom Thief and initially refuses to join the group because of how Morgana briefly left the group on bad terms.
    • Goro is a detective who consistently holds firm that the thieves are criminals that should be tried under the law. When he joins them during the latter half of the game, it's as a temporary alliance which later becomes permanent during the third term events of Royal.
    • In the sequel, Zenkichi is assigned to investigate them when people start acting brainwashed across Japan, and the Phantom Thieves are immediately suspicious of his intentions. Ultimately subverted since Zenkichi was only acting antagonistic because it was part of his job. He's far more interested in finding the actual culprit than the rest of the police and is pretty easy going and considerate, becoming a trusted ally before he joins full time.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: In most animated cutscenes, their masks are raised so that the viewer can properly see their faces.
  • Henshin Hero: The Thieves all get an Instant Costume Change as they enter the Metaverse, giving them access to their Personas, allowing their model guns to work like real firearms, and making them stronger, faster, and tougher than they would otherwise be.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • Zigzagged, the news media often calls them villains and criminals, but they still get some public support for their actions. This is played further straight when they are framed for murder and their public approval rating plummets from the 90s into the single digits. Then zigzagged again when by the end, where 50% of the population voice their support once everyone is completely free of Yaldaboath's influence.
    • Among the Phantom Thieves, Joker and Ryuji in particular have this problem in their civilian lives. While Ann's reputation gets repaired after they steal Kamoshida's heart, Joker and Ryuji only get a new crop of rumors started about them, with the student body convinced that the two must have physically threatened Kamoshida into confessing to prevent their expulsions.
    • Akechi gets a bit of this as the Phantom Thieves become more popular, taking the stance of "they may be doing good, but the law is the law." As such, there are quite a few people calling for Akechi's head on the Phan-Site, though the rest of the Thieves consider Akechi a minor nuisance at worst before he joins.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Phantom Thieves spend 90% of the game forcefully Heel–Face Brainwashing adults because they're honestly left with no other options: the people of Tokyo are simply too apathetic and weak-hearted to stand up to corrupt people in power. At the end of the game, it was revealed that it's a deliberate design by Yaldabaoth which sets everything into motion just to make sure anyone placed into his "game" really didn't have other options and to make sure none of the Thieves' targets actually atone. Once exposed, he gives Joker the opportunity to cooperate with him and continue using Mementos and the Palaces for these forceful reformations, with his argument being that humanity cannot resist its darker impulses and will continue succumbing to its desires. Taking the offer has Joker decide that indeed, Humans Are Bastards who can't care for themselves and he and his crew descend into full-blown misanthropic Knight Templar territory, netting you a Bad Ending. Defying this and trusting in society's ability to change without supernatural intervention or Yaldabaoth's influence is necessary for the True Ending.
  • Historical Domain Character: Ryuji and Yusuke have real people as their Personas - William Kidd and Goemon, respectively. Note that Makoto, despite appearances, does not - Pope Joan is not a historical person, and the historical John VIII was nothing like the legend.
  • Hope Bringer:
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    I-R 
  • Implausible Hair Color: Surprisingly averted. Most of the cast look realistically Japanese with plausible (often dyed) hair color. Futaba and Ryuji's hair colors are explicitly stated to be dyed, with it being heavily implied that Haru and Akechi dye their hair as well (as brown is an extremely common hair dye choice in Japan), and Sophia being an AI with floating red hearts as pigtails is definitely a justified exception. This trope only comes into play for Yusuke (who has deep blue hair), Ann, since despite being 1/4 Caucasian, it's extremely unlikely that she would have natural blond hair, and Kasumi (who has red hair).
  • Informed Flaw: The game makes the claim that they'd lost sight of their goals by going after Okumura, but this is not the case. For starters, Okumura was guilty of many serious crimes- exploiting his workers, asking for mental shutdowns and planning on giving his daughter away to an Arranged Marriage with an abusive fiance- so he would have been targeted otherwise. The Phantom Thieves are notably uncomfortable with the sudden surge of people asking for Okumura to have a change of heart, but realize they have valid reasons to target him.
  • Instant Costume Change: After awakening to their Personas, the party's outfits change into their Phantom Thief outfits upon entering the Metaverse.
  • Internal Reformist: They wish to reform their world by stealing the hearts of "corrupt" people. While they eventually make their presence known to the public, they keep their civilian identities secret. So while the Thieves become famous, the people behind the masks remain complete nobodies to everyone except The Conspiracy.
  • Invisible Parents: The only parents that are seen on-screen are Haru's father, Sojiro (aka Futaba's adopted father), Shido (aka Akechi's father), and Kasumi's father. Justified in the case for a lot of them as Joker is away from his parents, Ann's parents are overseas and she was raised by hired help, Ryuji's father abandoned him, Akechi's birth itself was a mistake and his mother committed suicide, and Yusuke and Makoto are orphans. However, Ryuji's mother never actually shows up in the story, and it's never outright stated whether Haru's mother passed away or she and Kunikazu are just divorced, only that he "raised his daughter alone." In addition, while Futaba's birth mother died before the events of the story took place, nobody really knows anything about her birth father as according to Sojiro, Wakaba would not say a word about him.
  • It's Personal: A number of the Thieves have good reason to want to get back at Shido and The Conspiracy due to the ways in which their lives were negatively affected:
    • Ren was falsely accused by Shido of assault, thus being put onto probation. All of this was because he (Ren) was attempting to protect a woman that the man in question was sexually assaulting.
    • Makoto was forced to suffer from her sister's unintentional neglect due to the government's insane caseload being foisted onto Sae. The Niijima sisters are later implicitly targeted by The Conspiracy for working together to fight against it. Additionally, Makoto herself is also used as an unwitting pawn to help deduce who the Phantom Thieves are before she herself becomes one.
    • Futaba's mother was murdered by Goro on Shido's orders due to her research on cognitive psience, with members of the Conspiracy then needlessly blaming Futaba for her mother's death for no other reason than to make a child suffer. Because of all of this, Futaba suffered crippling anxiety and became a shut-in.
    • Haru's father became a pawn of the Conspiracy, and was murdered by them after his Heel–Face Turn in order to sow public outrage against the Thieves.
    • Even Goro has good reasons to want to take down the Conspiracy. Because of the societal taboos surrounding his birth, Goro's mother died in depression, and he was sent to live at a group home, all while the Conspiracy knew this was happening, and didn't care.
  • Irony:
    • Morgana's Persona is Zorro, a famous rogue who's well-known for his fox Animal Motif. Morgana is a cat.
    • Despite being a criminal who wishes to escape the chains of society, Joker actually finds his high school's uniform to be rather stylish. He tends to wear some of his DLC school uniforms more casually, though, such as with an open blazer.
  • Jumped at the Call:
    • Although Ryuji stands out specifically for his eagerness, each of the Phantom Thieves display this to varying degrees once they accept their respective Personas; the moment they make their contracts being the points where each of them finally overcome whatever issue is holding them back, and once they do, they don't turn back.
    • Before Haru manifests her Persona, she enters the Metaverse to help Morgana and to protect herself from her father's abuse.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: All the thieves sans Joker lose their memories of fighting Caroline and Justine after the Bonus Boss fight. This is one of the rules the two specifically imposed before facing him.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: At Rank 8 of their Confidant, non-Protagonist party members will be able to endure one lethal attack per battle.
  • Literal Metaphor: A "persona" is described in Jungian psychology as the "mask" a person wears in society to protect themselves. In the Metaverse, the team's personas become physical Masks of Power.
  • Lovable Rogues: They may be thieves, but that doesn't mean they're bad people.
  • Mask of Power: They don Cool Masks when going into dungeons, similar to the heroes of P4 donning Specs of Awesome in the TV world. The masks are actually their Personas in physical form, dissolving into blue fire when the Personas are called out to fight.
  • Mind Rape: As shown when each member first encounters their Persona, the initial process to accept them really hurts.
  • The Mole: The game opens with the police stating that someone within the Thieves sold you out, leading to your capture and interrogation.
  • Morphic Resonance: While there's no transformation involved, most of the party's other selves still mirror their appearance in some way:
    • Arsène shares Joker's penchant for classy attire and black and red color scheme. Tying into the mask motif, Arsène looks to have a mask for a face.
    • Carmen has twintails like Ann, but makes them much larger. The vines she carries mirror Ann's whips, and her panther mask copies Ann's cat motif (and presumably provides the inspiration for Ann's codename).
    • The Nose Art on Captain Kidd's boat mirrors Ryuji's own razor sharp teeth in his All-Out Attack portrait, and Ryuji's skull mask obviously references Captain Kidd being a skeleton. Captain Kidd also has a metal brace on his right thigh, likely the same place where Ryuji's leg was broken by Kamoshida.
    • Both Morgana and Zorro are comically top heavy. In a more traditional shapeshifting example, Morgana, naturally, shares his fur color and patterns between his humanoid and house cat forms. Less noticeably, his house cat collar is the same yellow as the bandana he wears in his other form.
    • The mask Milady carries is identical to Haru's, sans it being pink as opposed to Haru's black.
    • Robin Hood's Chest Insignia mirrors Akechi's initial printed on his briefcase.
    • Cendrillon has a hair bow, similar to the one Kasumi uses to tie her hair back. When it evolves into Vanadis, the bow dissappears and its hair comes down, similar to Sumire's (This Kasumi's true identity).
    • Futaba's thief clothing has linings with similar color as the Necronomicon. The linings are also shared by some of the panels in her Palace, and similar-looking patterns also appear on Maruki's persona, who shares the same Lovecraftian origins as Futaba's Persona in one of its forms, albeit with noticably worn-out coloration.
    • When party members are turned into mice via either a status effect or a dungeon gimmick, they retain their masks, eye colors, and idle stance. Haru also keeps her hat.
  • The Musketeer: All party members can switch between melee weapons and firearms, in a return to the combat system of the first Persona and its SMT ancestors.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • The founding members of the Thieves are horrified at the effects of the Heel–Face Brainwashing on Kamoshida, while also justifying it by saying he had it coming. It continues to be a point on contention with them for a while. Depending on the player's choices, Joker can be remorseful or apathetic to Kamoshida.
    • To a lesser extent, after hearing Akechi's interview at the TV station where he compares forcing a change of heart to brainwashing and forced confessions, Joker, Ryuji, Ann, and Morgana are angry at first but start to question again if they're really doing the right thing. Taking on Kaneshiro strengthens their resolve.
    • After they realize that the Conspiracy arranged for them to become famous by defeating Medjed, and then be framed for the deaths of Okumura and the principal, the Thieves don't take it well.
    • Both Makoto and Akechi realize that they had some part, however small, in Sae becoming obsessed with catching the Phantom Thieves. It helps strengthen their resolve to change Sae's heart once they see she has a Palace.
    • All of them, minus Akechi and Sumire, feel absolutely horrified when they realize they allowed themselves to become enthralled by Maruki’s world where their dreams come true, and unintentionally made the counselor the new Memento’s ruler after they took Yaldabaoth’s place as the public’s “gods”. All of them privately hate themselves for betraying Joker and their group’s ideals, even if it was an accident. Joker helps break them out of their funk.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Almost every party member shares a first or last name with a Japanese historical or literary figure. Some even have an almost identical full name, sans one or two letters. This overlaps a bit with Meaningful Name, naturally, and for anyone with a basic grasp of Japanese popular culture and history (so almost every gamer in Japan), some of these characters become a Walking Spoiler the moment you read their name.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Arsène wears an extremely tall metallic top hat.
    • Captain Kidd wears a standard pirate hat.
    • Haru wears a fancy musketeer hat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • By the end of the game, it is implied that Kamoshida, Madarame, Kaneshiro, and Shido were all put under Yaldabaoth's control thanks to the Phantom Thieves changing their hearts. The thieves don't let this get to them, however, and successfully take down Yaldabaoth himself in the true ending.
    • Following the defeat of the Final Boss it's revealed they become the new masters of Mementos and the Metaverse. Their inability to realize this, combined with their subconscious desire for their wishes to come true, empowers Takuto Maruki by making him the new master of Mementos due to confiding all their wishes to him. They don’t take the revelation well, and vow to return to their reality.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: Defied. Though Akechi brings up the more unethical implications of the whole "changing hearts" thing, the Thieves are constantly placed within scenarios where the only way the problem can be solved is by stealing a Treasure from a Palace. Even with the implication that everyone whose hearts they stole were put under Yaldabaoth's control, the Thieves respond again by just destroying Yaldabaoth, the "Treasure" of Mementos.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Similarly to past Persona high schools, both Shujin and Kosei appear to be lax on how students wear the uniform. Only Joker and Akechi wear their school uniforms properly. For instance:
    • Ryuji wears his winter uniform with the jacket open and trades off the school turtleneck/polo for a Fun T-Shirt. He also rolls up the cuffs of his uniform pants, has a visible white belt, wears sneakers instead of dress shoes, and discards the suspenders of his uniform, making them hang from his waist.
    • Ann wears her blazer open. Rather than a regular shirt, she wears a zip-up hoodie underneath it, with red leggings and brown lace-up boots. Her style of wearing the uniform in particular is deliberately flashy and improper because she stopped giving a damn what the crowd thought of her. Although she does wear the summer uniform at near regulation, having the polo shirt untucked, a blue jacket tied around her waist, black knee-length socks, and brown loafers.
    • Makoto wears a black halter-styled vest instead of a blazer, full length black leggings, and dark brown ankle boots during the winter. For the summer, she replaces the polo shirt with a women's dress shirt with symbol of the High Priestess Arcana on the collar, capri length black leggings, and black loafers.
    • Haru wears a short sleeved pink sweater in place of the blazer along with white patterned tights and black Mary Jane shoes for her winter uniform. For the summer, she replaces the polo shirt with a pale lavender sleeveless turtleneck blouse.
    • Yusuke forgoes the blue blazer style uniform worn by other Kosei students during winter in favor of a white gakuran with a fleur-de-lis on the left chest, while in the summer, he wears a non-regulation dark-blue dress shirt instead of the standard light-blue dress shirt. No matter the season, he also never wears the school's standard striped tie (or any kind of tie, really).
    • Interestingly enough, Kasumi from The Royal comes the closest outside of Joker to wearing their uniform the proper way, but she wears custom red loafers rather than the proper black. She's also folded her skirt to a shorter length like Ann. Subverted for her summer uniform, where she adds a yellow cardigan, custom white socks with a black stripe and orange loafers instead.
  • Not a Game: This phrase is occasionally thrown around when some party members aren't taking things seriously. For instance:
    • During a randomly occurring exchange in Mementos, Ryuji will ask Morgana to hurry up, and he'll respond, "This isn't a game, amateur!" and tell him that they have to be careful. Considering that the Reaper can appear if you wait around too long, Morgana has a point.
    • The Thieves use an argument along this lines when trying to dissuade Haru from unilaterally trying to steal the Treasure with Morgana's help. Played with in that Haru's very serious about this, even if she's out of her depth.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Deconstructed in the sense that these characters are well aware of the morally grey implications of their Heel–Face Brainwashing activities, and do indeed display discomfort with their actions, particularly in wishing there were other ways to resolve the issues that they face, both before and after dealing with them. But at the same time, every major target that they face (save Futaba, Sae, and Maruki) turns out to be so irredeemably and outlandishly evil, and have the power and/or "support" of people to allow them to get away with their acts (making conventional methods pointless, and in some cases dangerous), that the Thieves always end up with no other choice regardless.
  • Opposing Sports Team: In Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight. Since Elizabeth's objective is to prove that her guest is a better dancer than Caroline and Justine's, the Phantom Thieves assume this role offscreen.
  • Outlaw: They are all this, though it helps that many of their Personas were as well. Morgana even seems to model himself after the western outlaw motifs while Joker takes more a modern approach.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The Phantom Thieves are comprised of former victims of the group's targets, they regularly hang out with each other in highly public areas, can often be found staking out the properties of their intended targets, and often talk about their activities as Phantom Thieves in public and through cell phone texts. This gets them in trouble a number of times throughout the game, as anyone who puts even a minor amount of effort can easily deduce their identities.
    • In a more literal sense, their masks in the Metaverse function this way: despite not hiding a lot of their more identifiable features like Ryuji's and Futaba's distinctive dyed hair, ordinary people who enter the Metaverse don't recognize them, and only realize who they are by their voices.
  • Parental Abandonment: True for most of them.
    • Joker, Ryuji, and Ann still have parents but they are either never seen or rarely brought up. Somewhat justified with Joker's case with them back home while he's with Sojiro. Meanwhile Ryuji's father left him and his mother and Ann was raised mostly by hired help while her parents worked.
    • Yusuke and Makoto are orphans. Yusuke was taken in by Madarame while Makoto lives with her sister.
    • Futaba has a very Missing Mom. Meanwhile, Sojiro is her adoptive father, and during the period in the game where you're trying to find out who Futaba is, Sojiro mentions that her biological father was never in the picture - Futaba's mother Wakaba became pregnant one day and took it upon herself to raise Futaba alone.
    • Haru's mom is unseen and her dad is killed during the events of the game.
    • Goro's mother died when he was young and his father abandoned him, resulting in him being passed around from foster home to foster home. It's made even worse when he was revealed to be born because Shido molested a whore in Royal; Judging from what kind of man Shido is, it wouldn't be suprised that it happened, to begin with.
    • Subverted with Kasumi, as while her mother is unseen, her father is very concerned for her. And for good reason too, considering she's actually a depressed, suicidal Sumire. He also mentions that her mother and grandmother are still around.
  • Phantom Thief: They're collectively known as "The Phantom Thieves of Hearts" (as it's the name given on their first calling card by Ryuji, though you can change the name afterward) and for good reason: their ability to travel into the collective unconscious makes them untraceable by conventional security measures and law-enforcement.
  • Price on Their Head: Following Okumura's death, the Phantom Thieves are deemed Japan's #1 threat, with a ¥30 million reward available for anyone with information that leads to their capture.
  • Public Domain Character: Joker, Ann, Morgana, Makoto, Haru, Futaba, Akechi and Kasumi have classical literary characters as their Personas - Arsène Lupin, Carmen, Zorro, Johanna/Pope Joannote , Milady de Winter, H. P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon, Robin Hood and Cendrillon respectively.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The party's ultimate Personas are based on mythological figures from various cultures who were cast from the heavens, forced into servitude, or imprisoned in The Underworld by their higher powers: Satanael, Seiten Taisei, Hecate, Mercurius, Kamu Susano-o, Anat, Prometheus, Astarte, and Loki. Kasumi plays with this with her Ultimate Persona Vanadis. While a popular goddess from Norse mythology, she is also associated with Freya, who suffered from the gods in the past.
  • Rage Breaking Point: The founding thieves have a collective one during the Kamoshida arc. Ryuji is openly worried about the possibility of accidentally killing Kamoshida while messing with his mind, while Ann is pretty much resigned to being his Lust Object. Then Kamoshida rapes Shiho, and the enraged party decides that he has to be removed from power no matter what.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The thieves are a bunch of high school students (and a cat), that include a boy on probation for assault, a self-styled Japanese Delinquent, a quarter-white part time fashion model, a painter's apprentice, the Student Council President, a recovering Hikikomori, an eccentric rich girl, a teenage Great Detective who is actually a treasonous criminal, a mockery of a renowned gymnast and, again, a cat. In the sequel, they're joined by an adorably naive and literal-minded AI, and a middle-aged inspector who was ordered to investigate them before opting to fight with them instead. Not the best material for becoming world famous Phantom Thieves or fighting a well-funded criminal conspiracy, the Anthropomorphic Personification of society's apathy, a Well-Intentioned Extremist who seeks to over-write reality with his Lotus-Eater Machine, or an A God Am I complex service app brainwashing all of Tokyo.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Downplayed. The Shujin Academy School uniform is black and red, and all of the party's thieving outfits and Personas have red and/or black on them. But the Thieves are all Anti-Heroes at worst.
  • Ret-Gone: After his reveal as the Big Bad, Yaldabaoth attempts to use his influence over the population of Tokyo to inflict this on the Phantom Thieves. With Mementos being the people's "super-Palace" with him at the center, he induces enough of a change in the collective cognition to compel them to refuse to acknowledge the Thieves' existence. It's only through the intervention of the real Igor and the Velvet Room that this manages to get undone.
    • Some minor Foreshadowing: around the time of the Thieves' invasion of Shido's Palace, Mishima leaves IMs on Joker's phone, saying that - in order to prop up what remains of their good name - he's going to change the poll question on the Phan-Site. He changes it to "Do you believe the Phantom Thieves exist?" And, right as Yaldabaoth's antics erase the Phantom Thieves one by one, the poll pops up. Just so the player gets to powerlessly watch as it ticks down to zero while Joker and the rest of the Thieves fade from existence.
    • And to invert the previous point: Mishima leads a rallying cry in Shibuya to empower the Thieves. This time, when the poll pops up, it rapidly increases to 100%, allowing Joker to summon Satanael.
  • Revenge: Part of their motivation is to get back at adults who have wronged them, and most of the Thieves end up targeting someone who has done them harm at some point. This is especially true for Shido, who was responsible for Joker being put on probation, Akechi's horrible life experience (as well as his apparent death), and the deaths of Futaba's mother and Haru's father.
  • Road Trip Plot:
    • How their story ends in the original game. The Phantoms decide to bring Joker home themselves, but Ryuji remarks that they aren't going to bring him directly there, implying that they're going to stretch their trip for as long as possible.
    • This is the entire setting for the sequel game Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. When cases similar to the mental shutdown incidents start occurring randomly around Japan, the Phantom Thieves travel around the country to clear their names when the police start suspecting them (again). They also use it as a means to enjoy their summer vacation that was more or less ruined by the Metaverse Jails.

    S-W 
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: When turned into mice from a status effect, their mouse noises are literally just saying "squeak" in a falsetto. Special mention goes to Makoto, whose "squeak" is deadpanned in a tone barely higher than her usual voice.
  • Scoundrel Code: Early on they lay down a few rules that govern how they conduct their heists.
    • 1.) A target must be unanimously agreed upon before they act.
    • 2.) They don't kill their targets.
  • Secret Art: Upon obtaining their third-tier Personas in Royal, the Thieves will learn a skill unique to themselves, which is usually a multi-target variant of a skill the Persona normally learns. Joker, Kasumi and Akechi are unique in this regard as all three learn a unique skill before they get access to their third-tiers.
    • Joker's ultimate Persona, Satanael, learns the passive skill Tyrant's Mind, which strengthens every type of attack. He also learns Black Viper, a severe Almighty single target spell, which was originally inheritable in the vanilla game, but became exclusive to Satanael and Satan in Royal. Joker's third-tier Persona, Raoul, learns Phantom Show, which has a high chance of inflicting the sleep ailment on all foes.
    • Ryuji's third-tier Persona, William, gets access to Fighting Spirit, a full-party Charge buff.
    • Morgana's third-tier Persona, Diego, gets access to Miracle Rush, a multi-target Physical attack with a high Critical chance.
    • Ann's third-tier Persona, Celestine, gets access to High Energy, a full-party Concentrate buff.
    • Yusuke's third-tier Persona, Gorokichi, gets access to Hyakka Ryouran, a full-party Heat Riser buff.
    • Makoto's third-tier Persona, Agnes, gets access to Checkmate, which acts as a multi-target Debilitate.
    • Futaba's third-tier Persona, Al-Azif, gets access to Ultimate Support, giving Futaba a chance to fully restore the party's health and cure any non-special ailments inflicted on them.
    • Haru's third-tier Persona, Lucy, gets access to Life Wall, which gives the party a one-use barrier each that repels any non-Almight attack.
    • Akechi's ultimate Persona, Loki, learns Laevateinn, which he had in his boss fight, but is now a colossal Physical attack instead of Almighty. Akechi's third-tier Persona, Hereward, gets access to Rebel's Blade, a colossal Almighty single target spell that deals increased damage to downed foes.
    • Kasumi's initial Persona Cendrillon learns Brave Step at Lv 80, which increases the critical hit rate of the entire party. Her third-tier Persona Ella learns Masquerade, a severe Physical single target attack that hits the foe twice.
  • Secret Identity: High school students by day, picaresque heroes by night.
  • Senpai Kohai: Makoto and Haru are among the eldest of the Thieves, but unlike previous upperclassmen Persona party members, they prefer being on a First-Name Basis with their comrades as a show of equality and solidarity. Averted with Akechi, who despite being the same age as both of them is only referred to by his last name by the other Thieves. In Royal, Kasumi refers to everyone as her senpai, including Futaba, who for all intents and purposes would've been in the same year as her if she did attend school.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Yusuke's Persona, Goemon, has "Ixicava" written on his clothes, a nod to the inaccurate transcribing of "Ixicava Goyemon" his name was given after his execution.
    • Ann's Persona Carmen is constantly smoking a cigar. In the original novella and play, Carmen worked in a tobacco factory and is often depicted as smoking.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Morgana can only be understood by people who have heard him speak in the Metaverse, i.e. the entire party.
  • Status Buff: This time around, the buffs and debuffs are spread evenly among all the party members. (Ma-)Rakundanote  is exclusive to Joker.
    • Mona: (Ma-)Sukundanote 
    • Skull: (Ma-)Tarukajanote 
    • Panther: (Ma-)Tarundanote 
    • Fox: (Ma-)Sukukajanote 
    • Queen: (Ma-)Rakukajanote 
    • Noir: Heat Risernote 
    • Crow: Debilitatenote 
    • Violet: Brave Stepnote 
    • Oracle: Potentially any Ma-kaja, party Heat Riser, Ultra Charge, Mediarama, or a small SP refill.
  • Super Mode: Their third-tier Personas in Royal are Palette Swap upgrades of their initial Personas despite being formed from Fusion Dances.
    • Raoul is Arsene dressed like Lupin III and with a pair of mechanized bat wings, complete with a fedora for a hat.
    • William is Captain Kidd in Delinquent clothes with a sailboat and a modernized Arm Cannon.
    • Diego is Zorro with a white shirt, blue gloves, and a bigger rapier
    • Celestine is Carmen wearing popstar clothes with Braids of Action and backup dancers.
    • Gorokichi is Goemon in a Glam Rock punk getup wielding an oversized cigar.
    • Agnes is Johanna as a black and gold sports vehicle.
    • Al Azif is Necronomicon resembling a Star Destroyer.
    • Lucy is Milady in a Badass Longcoat with a suitcase and Cool Shades.
    • Hereward is a Darker and Edgier Robin Hood in a special ops suit.
    • Ella is Cendrillon in a Fairytale Wedding Dress and holding a boquet of flowers.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Their eyes turn bright gold, like Shadows, when they all first awaken to their Personas. Sans Arsène, all of their Personas have golden eyes.
  • Taking the Bullet: At Rank 9 of their Confidant, non-Protagonist party members will gain the ability to tank one lethal hit for Joker per battle. The sole exception to this is Akechi until he gains it after he rejoins the party during the third semester in Royal.
  • Tarot Motifs: Each character is linked to one of the major arcana, and the meanings of the cards inform aspects of their personality and/or the circumstances of the conflicts that they face:
    • Joker is the Fool, a card of new beginnings, open possibilities, and undiscovered potential. As the player character and wielder of the Wild Card power, Joker's personality and powers are something of a blank slate that can develop in any number of directions.
    • Morgana is the Magician, a card of active energy, knowledge, and turning the natural elements into personal power; fitting for an Exposition Fairy who knows the ins and outs of personas and the Metaverse, and can teach the player to hone their powers and craft tools.
    • Ryuji is the Chariot, a card of strong will, mastery of the self, and earning the respect of others. Ryuji is a strong-willed and passionate character, but struggles with a delinquent's reputation, and he learns to focus on his own goals without worrying over others' perceptions. On a more literal level, the Chariot can refer to travel, and Ryuji is a trained runner (not to mention that his initial Persona, Captain Kidd, rides a ship and his ultimate person, Seiten Tensei, rides a cloud).
    • Ann is the Lovers, a card of choices, relationships, and love in all its forms. A prominent struggle she faces throughout the game relates to how her beauty makes her an object of desire, and how she must work harder to connect with people on a less superficial level and treasure the relationships that she can form.
    • Yusuke is the Emperor, a card of responsibility, structured authority, and taking charge of one's life. Yusuke's mentor abused his paternal authority, and Yusuke found he could only grow and move forward when he stopped ignoring it and became independent.
    • Makoto is the High Priestess, a card of passive energy, intuition, and guidance. Makoto is more reserved than other characters, as she keeps her emotions from affecting her calm exterior and thinks things over with herself before making decisions, and she becomes a valued source of insight when the team is determining their courses of action. At the same time, she has a lot of repressed anger over her inability to do things and becoming better at dealing with that while also helping people out is a subtle part of her development.
    • Futaba is the Hermit, a card of isolation, maturity, and internal reflection. Futaba shut herself away from the rest of the world, but she is only able to grow and mature once she opens herself back up to it — and that involves confronting and analyzing her existing conceptions and determining the truth of them.
    • Haru is the Empress, a card of passion, sensuality, and a love of nature. She feels stifled by her duties to her father and his company, instead finding happiness in gardening, where she is free to feel her full passion without worrying about the complexities of business and whom she can trust.
    • Akechi is Justice, a card of justice, truth, and honesty. As a detective, Goro is dedicated to uncovering the truth and punishing the wicked, but has a hard time taking a level look at himself and his own faults.
    • Kasumi is The Faith, representing faith in self and others. However, she doesn't actually have faith towards herself, for she is actually the suicidally depressed Sumire with absolutely no self-esteem and always overshadowed by the real Kasumi. She does get better in the third semester, and learns to value her own self a lot better since then, however.
  • Theme Naming: While each of them are still specifically named to reflect the characters of their summoners, the third-tier Personas from Royal all have their names be based on the "true self" of the original Personas they're upgrades for, reflecting how just like people accepting their Shadows (the "true self") will make them stronger and grant them Personas, the Personas revealing their true selves makes them stronger and brings out their true potential.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: While they go after Shadows with impunity, they try to avoid actively killing anyone. Even Ryuji, who absolutely despises Kamoshida, confesses that he doesn't want to kill him in spite of all the terrible things he's done. The Thieves still get blamed for the death of Okumura, but even Akechi (before he joins the Thieves) thinks someone else did it because the Thieves had never shown a predilection to murder before.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Almost definitely thanks to Joker and Cafe LeBlanc, everyone in the team has a liking for curry, coffee, or both.
  • True Companions: The Phantom Thieves quickly become like a second family, not only trusting each other to go on life-threatening heists with, but helping each other deal with various personal traumas and regrets.
  • Übermensch: What the Thieves end up becoming by the end of the game, notably while they did ignore society's rules and use methods against the law, they still cared about the opinion of the fans and often wondered whether what they did was truly justice or not, but by the end of the game they stopped caring all together whether they would be seen as heroes or villains, resolving to see their own justice through.
  • Underrated and Overleveled: Like in the last two games, almost all of the party members beyond the first few are far stronger in gameplay than their background and level of experience justifies.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Their rise to fame was orchestrated by Shido's conspiracy, which arranged for Medjed to threaten the Thieves and hacked into the poll to push Okumura to the top, so that they could eventually be framed for all the crimes they committed using the Palaces.
    • However, unlike past groups of Persona users, they are this as a whole like nearly anyone else in the game. It turns out that Yaldabaoth had deliberately set up the most stupid and repulsive of people possible to the heights of fame and form a seemingly untouchable conspiracy despite their repulsiveness and foolishness, only to order the Phantom Thieves to carry out their dismantling; The Thieves thought that they made their targets better people by changing their hearts only to see them turn into weeping husks, and it turns out that by "changing hearts," they never reformed people, but only carry out public executions for Yaldabaoth. Once nobody is left, Yaldabaoth plans on deleting the Thieves from existence as well so he can reign over and prove that without his rule, the world will forever be in chaos thanks to the foolishness of humanity....Unless the Thieves remove him as well.
  • Victory Pose: Each phantom thief has one after an All-Out Attack.
    • Joker tugs on his gloves while flashing a Slasher Smile.
    • Skull gives a devil horns gesture.
    • Panther flashes a peace/victory sign.
    • Mona drops into a swivel chair and lights a cigar.
    • Fox looks back at his foes while gesturing as if to say "What was the point of challenging us?"
    • Queen turns her back to the camera and glares defiantly.
    • Oracle/Navi winks and gives a thumbs up, while being blown away by an explosion from the bomb she set up.
    • Noir stops to enjoy a soothing cup of tea.
    • Crow channels Michael Jackson and busts a few dance moves. He later adopts an Ax-Crazy grin when he rejoins the party in Royal.
    • Violet dances around with a ribbon in hand.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: When confronted by someone with a Palace, the Phantom Thieves will invariably have to enter the Palace and steal the person's Treasure, which will always coincide with beating up the Palace owner's Shadow (or in Futaba's case, a manifestation of her guilt and self-loathing).
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: With the exception of Morgana and Futaba, everyone in the party is a high school student.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: During a trip to the beach and the Class Trip to Hawaii, they all wear swimsuits. They can be made to wear these swimsuits during battle through free DLC.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the second bad ending in which Joker makes a deal with Yaldabaoth, none of the other Phantom Thieves except for Joker actually appear in the ending. Sojiro's brief scene hints that he no longer has any memories of the past events and since Joker is now working as an accomplice to Yaldabaoth, it's possible the others are still trapped within the Velvet Room.
  • We Help the Helpless: Their motivations primarily stem from them actively wanting to help people suffering from those willing to abuse their station in society for their own gain.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: There is never a problem in-game that the Phantom Thieves can't solve by just jumping into a Palace and stealing the Treasure away. Whenever they end up in conflict with needlessly malicious adults, corrupt politicians, or even manifestations of humanity's desire for freedom from all responsibility, all the Thieves have to do is steal the distortion away. This does get averted in the true ending epilogue however, wherein the rest of the Phantom Thieves successfully bail Joker out of his prison sentence even after having lost access to the Metaverse.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: This becomes their new modus operandi in Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. They discover that the Kings of the Jails don't have a treasure to steal because they don't have distorted desires, but if they don't get rid of the King then they'll just come back and steal people's wishes again. Instead, they convince the King that revenge won't accomplish anything, and that they are strong enough to fight their problems without the Metaverse. The Thieves still desire for their targets to repent, but this time because they know that the Kings are still good people deep down, rather than horrific scum like most of the palace rulers.
  • You Are Not Alone: A recurring theme among them, and invoked whenever the group adds new members. They all want to make it so that no one has to go through what they did again.


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