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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 
  • 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 becoming his pawns. 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 On 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 oddly 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Action Girl: Ann, Makoto, Haru and Kasumi. Futaba on the other hand is a Support Party Member - yet in The 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 the Other Reindeer: Part of what draws the group together is that they're all more or less outcasts.
    • Joker is a magnet for negative attention due to his criminal record and everyone from students to even faculty members talk badly behind his back.
    • Ryuji has embraced the delinquent image that the school placed on him after snide comments made by Kamoshida towards his broken family status led to him assaulting Kamoshida and the subsequent shutdown of the track team.
    • Ann is ostracized due to both her appearance and Slut-Shaming rumors; specifically, attracting disdain for her natural good looks and being rumored to be sleeping with the school gym teacher, Kamoshida.
    • Yusuke is abused and exploited by his guardian, Madarame. The other students at Kosei High treat him differently due to both his association with Madarame and because of 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 talks to him, anyway.
    • Makoto is pressured to succeed by her older sister Sae in a well-meaning but ill-thought-out attempt so they could take care of themselves in a society that doesn't value women as much as men. Furthermore, she is used by the Principal and her superiors to do tasks with implications of it affecting her future while ignoring her 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 a severe case of Survivor's Guilt (given to her by others that wanted to foist the responsibility for her mother's death on her) and social anxiety to the point of being a Hikikomori. She mentions that even before her mother's death, she was almost completely friendless at school.
    • Haru is forced into an engagement that she does not want and the person she's supposed to marry is obviously an abusive asshole and she has nobody to support her through it.
    • Goro seems like a bright young Great Detective, but privately reveals to Joker that he grew up being passed around from one abusive, neglectful, or indifferent foster home to another and has been alone his entire life, with his celebrity status only exacerbating the latter issue.
  • 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 Yokai 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.
  • 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 Band 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.
  • Big Eater: Whenever the gang is shown eating, they usually consume a ton of food. Ryuji and Joker in particular 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. Similar to the previous game, Joker can participate in a Mega Meal Challenge where he devours increasingly comically over-sized burgers.
  • 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. That being said, the Yaldabaoth Bad Ending plays this to its most cynical conclusion, where the Thieves end up becoming ruthless Knight Templars that brainwash anyone they deem sinful enough.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: With the Conspiracy and Yalbadoth 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.
  • Bully Hunter: Crooks, abusers, and murderers are their quarry.
  • The Cameo: Barring Akechi and Kasumi, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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). 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 bandana he wears on his own face.
    • Goemon becomes a traditional Japanese fox mask, and wears an armored facemask 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.

    D-H 
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The whole team 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.
    • Ann was bullied and 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 Kunikazu 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.
    • Goro's mother died when he was little, after his absentee father 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.
  • Decomposite 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.
    • 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.
    • 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, 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. 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 a previous incident. 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 her unhealthy lifestyle.
    • Haru deconstructs the Ojou trope. Her life is 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, even though her goals are far more humble and down-to-earth, and all of this while she's still grieving over her father's death, despite their broken relationship. 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.
  • 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 and Goro is a good student and detective.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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 death from saving her in a car accident. She was also raised by an abusive uncle briefly.
    • Haru loses her father tragically, and 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.
  • 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.
    • Likewise, Kasumi also specializes in Bless spells.
  • 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. 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. While he never gets an evolved Persona in Persona 5, in Persona Q2 his upgraded Persona becomes immune to bless and drops its weakness to curse.
  • 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.
  • 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, and Akechi fire their guns with only 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 only sticks 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, Kasumi in Royal evens it out.
  • Good Counterpart: 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 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.
  • 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 her making 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 Lawful Neutral 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, Yaldabaoth 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.
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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). This trope only comes into play for Yusuke (who has deep blue hair) and Ann, since despite being 1/4 Caucasian, it's extremely unlikely that she would have natural blond hair.
  • Instant Costume Change: Awakening to Arsène changes Joker's school uniform to his Phantom Thief outfit. Same goes for the rest of the main party members.
  • 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 were seen were Haru's father, Sojiro (aka Futaba's adopted father), and Shido (aka Akechi'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 mother committed suicide, and the parents for Yusuke and Makoto are dead. 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 wearing his high school's uniform to code 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 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.
  • Motive Decay: A rare heroic version of this. Initially the Phantom Thieves formed to fight against the injustice in society. Over the course of the game though they slowly buy into their new found popularity, and instead base their targets on what would most raise their notoriety with the public. While this is downplayed in the sense that the thieves still never target anyone who's been falsely accused, the Conspiracy does end up baiting them into targeting Okumura, so that they can frame them for his murder.
  • 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.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Almost very 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 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.
  • 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, Shujin seems to be rather lax on how students wear the uniform. Only Joker wears it mostly properly (he wears dress boots instead of dress shoes, and wears his summer uniform polo shirt untucked). 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.
    • For his part, Yusuke doesn't really adhere to Kosei High's standard uniform. In the winter, he forgoes the blue blazer style uniform worn by other Kosei students 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.
  • 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... but then again, every single person they target (save Futaba and Sae) turns out to be so irredeemably and outlandishly evil that the Thieves end up being presented as wholly justified, anyway.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pride Before a Fall: The group gets hit by this with the Okumura incident. In the time leading up to it, the Phantom Thieves have become celebrities, and they end up falling right into The Conspiracy's trap because of their desire to continue feeling wanted and loved. They quickly go from heroes to wanted criminals, and it just goes downhill for them from there.
  • 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 Susanoo, Anat, Prometheus, Astarte, and Loki.
  • 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, and, again, a cat. Not the best material for becoming famous Phantom Thieves or fighting a well-funded criminal conspiracy.
  • 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, and the deaths of Futaba's mother and Haru's father.
  • Road Trip Plot: How their story ends. 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.

    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.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Joker, Ryuji, and Ann are second years at Shujin Academy, as is Yusuke at Kosei High. Makoto and Haru are Shujin third years, and while it's not stated what school Akechi attends, he mentions being a third year during an interview on TV. Futaba, meanwhile, would be a first-year, but hasn't attended school since her junior high graduation.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: What with the game being part life/dating simulator, Joker gets Ship Tease moments with plenty of female characters, but mostly with his female party members since he spends the most time with them.
    • Ann, Makoto, Futaba, and Haru all have Ship Tease moments outside their Confidant Links.
      • In May, Sojiro will ask Ann if she has a boyfriend in a way that it's clear that he's actually asking if she's dating Joker, and she is the only female in story Joker can make a comment about finding attractive. The scene where Joker meets Ann is shot in an implicitly romantic manner that actually hints at attraction on Joker's part, as it focuses on his perspective staring silently at her, and is accompanied by a soft piano+string theme (aptly named "Encounter") reminiscent of Catherine's music style. Ann is also among the girls who evidently develops a crush on Joker early on in her Confidant Link (as noted under Chick Magnet, as the Park happened in her third event), and confirms it with her own words should he invite her into his room at any point after romancing her. During the brief time Goro Akechi joins the team, Ann and Joker appear to be secretly texting each other at the hideout while everyone else is busy doing their own thing. The manga adaptation adds to the teasing where Joker comments on Ann's beauty in a Thought Bubble when he meets her. The anthology also seems to put more focus on Ann and Joker's relationship as well.
      • During Futaba's story arc in August, Sojiro mistakes a terrified Makoto clinging to Joker (See Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies in Makoto's section for details) as an embrace and outright asks if they're dating. During the boss fight in Futaba's Palace, Joker saves Makoto with a Diving Save, and they briefly have a Held Gaze. On top of that, Makoto's Confidant Link involves her and Joker going Undercover as Lovers regardless of whether or not you have any interest in pursuing her.
    • Haru and Futaba are also clearly crushing on Joker and Cannot Spit It Out for a majority of their Confidant Links, long before the option of a romance is possible. Haru's in particular:
      • Haru has a scene where her company's new president reveals that he thought she was eager for her engagement as he assumed it was a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, but now sees that she'd clearly prefer to be with Joker. She shows hints of having a crush on him at the cultural festival by inviting him to a date, which is before her Confidant even begins. Sojiro also suspects something is going on between her and Joker when she first comes over. And finally, if the player goes for the friendship route, she's clearly heartbroken.
      • Futaba gets very flustered when Joker pats her head in Rank 8. And in a case similar to Haru's, should the player pick the friendship route, Futaba, who was just talking about how Joker makes her feel, backpedals into an Aborted Declaration of Love. During the beach scene, when Futaba comes out in her swimsuit, the shot gives her a lengthy pan up, before specifically showing her looking at Joker's reaction and the pair exchanging smiles. Before she gets comfortable with the rest of the party, he's the one she clings to when forced into social situations. She's also one of the few to have an unavoidable Rank 1 Confidant event, where she wonders why she only feels comfortable going out with him and decisively considers him a "key item" in her life. Sojiro even thinks there's a chance Joker might be interested in her in his Rank 10 Confidant, and wavers between discouraging it or not.
  • 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 
    • Oracle: Potentially any Ma-kaja, party Heat Riser, Ultra Charge, Mediarama, or a small SP refill.
  • 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.
  • 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 cloistered herself away from the rest of the world, but she is only able to grow and mature once she opens herself to the outside world — 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.
  • The Team: Some of them can wear multiple hats:
    • Joker is The Hero as the main character of the story, and The Leader as the one who leads their operations and makes the tactical maneuvers, like swapping out party members mid-combat and ordering the others to perform an All-Out Attack or using Random Fire, on top of being the most powerful member bar none. It's not limited to fighting, either. He has plenty of other talents that make him a Guile Hero and The Social Expert, including flair bartending, negotiation, and info-gathering. He can even work as the personal lookout for a black market Arms Dealer while getting the others their equipment.
    • Makoto, being the most politically-minded member, takes the role of The Strategist of the group, frequently offering insight on the situation at hand, in battle or otherwise, making her also The Smart Guy. She will even take Futaba's place in the corner of the screen to give advice at the beginning of a turn, making her the first active battle character in the series that shares the navigator's job with the actual navigator. Personality-wise she's the Team Mom, though she also knows how to lay down the hammer when it's necessary.
    • Ryuji is The Big Guy, being loud and impulsive, having the most health in the party and an inclination towards blunt weapons, and compensating his lack of flourish and skill with raw power. At the same time, he also functions as The Lancer to Joker for being the second one to join (yes, technically before Morgana) and generally being Joker's "right-hand man", much as P4's protagonist had Yosuke. Meanwhile, Haru closely matches the Cute Bruiser variety, potentially having the most immediate destructive power in the party outside of Joker himself, as well as carrying the heaviest and largest weapons in the game, despite her being only slightly taller than Futaba.
    • Both Yusuke and Ann could qualify as The Chick, as they are frequently shown to be the most empathetic members of the team and tend to contemplate the moral loopholes of their actions before the others do. As far as combat goes, both are quite powerful, but also fragile and generally lack adaptability. Ann boasts the highest magic, but she's the physically weakest melee fighter and only has a single-target healing spell. Yusuke is both faster and stronger than Ryuji, but not as resilient.
    • Morgana certainly looks like the Team Pet, and it doesn't help that he and Joker are virtually inseparable, but he's actually closer to the Mentor Mascot archetype. His extensive knowledge of the Metaverse, outlook as a natural-born thief and general grasp of cognitive psience easily makes him The Smart Guy. However, he also shares The Lancer role with Ryuji since he is usually being a second-in-command at the start, which may partially explain his spats with Ryuji. As mentioned above, Makoto is the one who gives advice on the enemies' weaknesses, and when plotting the crew's latest heists. Geeky computer genius Futaba is the straightest smart guy example, though.
    • Akechi is obviously The Sixth Ranger, being the last to join. He's not really part of the team, only joining them for a single heist after he blackmails his way into the party.
  • 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.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: The initial trio consisting of Joker, Ryuji, and Ann.
  • 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.
  • Victory Pose: Each combat-ready 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.
    • Noir stops to enjoy a soothing cup of tea.
    • Crow channels Michael Jackson and busts a few dance moves.
    • Kasumi 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.
  • 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 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.


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