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The Playa/The Boss/The President/The God Emperor for Life of the Universe (all incarnations)

Played By:
Male Voice 1: Uncredited (1), Charles Shaughnessy (2), Troy Baker (3 and IV), Nolan North (Gat out of Hell)
Male Voice 2: Uncredited (1), Kenn Michael (2, 3, IV and Gat out of Hell)
Male Voice 3: Uncredited (1), Alex Mendoza (2), Robin Atkin Downes (3, IV and Gat out of Hell)
Female Voice 1: Katie Semine (2), Laura Bailey (3, IV and Gat out of Hell)
Female Voice 2: Gina Bowes (2), Tara Platt (3), Diane Michelle (IV and Gat out of Hell)
Female Voice 3: Rebecca Sanabria (2 and 3), Sumalee Montano (IV and Gat out of Hell)
Zombie: Steve Blum (3)
Nolan North: Nolan North (IV)

Appearances: Saints Row | Saints Row 2 | Ultor Exposed | Corporate Warfare | Saints Row: The Third | Genkibowl VII | Gangstas in Space | The Trouble With Clones | Saints Row IV | Enter the Dominatrix | How the Saints Save Christmas | Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

The fully-customizablenote  protagonist of the series. An anti-heroic (except in the second game) sociopath, the unnamed protagonist, usually referred to as "Playa" in the first game and "Boss" afterwards, rises from an anonymous citizen on the streets of Stilwater. First recruited by Julius Little into the Third Street Saints, then to a lieutenant of the aforementioned gang, the eventual leader of the Saints, an international celebrity, and finally, the freakin' President of the United States. By the time of Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, they eventually become God-Emperor of the Universe.


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    Main Tropes 
  • '90s Anti-Hero: The Boss in Saints Row: The Third.
  • Accidental Hero: If there's ever an event where the Boss does something good for the city, it's usually by accident. Usually. The Boss still saves millions of people from a nuke and is pretty damn insistent on finding humanity a new home in Saints Row IV.
  • A Father to His Men: Arguably their best quality. So long as you remain loyal them, they'll be sure to repay the favor or, at worst, make sure to honor your sacrifice.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Can potentially be invoked by the player on the Save Shaundi ending. Yes, the Boss may still be a crime lord who isn't above drugs, robbery and sexual slavery, but this ending shows their best qualities while unintentionally saving a prized monument of Steelport. Meanwhile, the STAG Initiative destroyed half of the city, killed hundreds of civilians, and were part of a giant False Flag Operation / Batman Gambit to play on the Boss' selfishness in order to get the confirmation to wipe them out. Monica Hughes sums it up really nicely:
    Monica Hughes: "You declared martial law and knocked down half the city. The Saints just saved a treasured monument. Who the fuck do you think the public will side with?"
  • Ambiguously Related: Downplayed, but one exchange between them and Kinzie vaguely implies that The Boss may be directly related to Matt Miller's girlfriend.
  • Anti-Hero: On good days...they don't come often.
    • Mellows out considerably in the third game, and not quite willing to commit as many atrocities as in "Saints Row 2", with several Pet the Dog moments. However, the Boss is still quite the nasty piece of work and therefore, remains a Villain Protagonist. Depending on the choices made they can revert back to their old ways or even worse, as they let a friend of theirs die just to kill a defeated gang leader and take over Steelport.
    • Veers straight into Unscrupulous Hero in "Saints Row IV", wherein they not only expresses concern for the people under their jurisdiction as President, but also spends the entire game working to save people and take down the Big Bad. And as the game takes place largely inside a simulation, technically they never commit any crimes at all.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The Boss working for Burt Reynolds.
  • Attention Whore: Signed him/herself on a poledancing contest solely for the spotlight
    Male Voice 1: Let me hear your adulation, let me feel your adulation.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Obviously. The Boss is the single-largest Badass in the entire series, the leader of a very powerful and influential gang, and eventually, the United States of America.
  • Badass Biker: Can be played this way; just give them a Hell-Bent for Leather outfit, a couple of guns, and a Cool Bike and boom! Instant Badass Biker.
  • Badass Boast: Lots of voice options means a lot of boasting.
    Female 2: (Defending against Zin) I will kill enough of you to build a ladder back to Earth!
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: One of the possible starter clothing choices in Saints Row: The Third. The Boss was also depicted in suits for the pre-release teaser pictures for The Third and IV.
  • Badass in Charge: It's telling that there has never been an attempt to dethrone the Boss after assuming power from within the Saints.
  • Badass in Distress: In Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, they are kidnapped by Satan. The entire plot is to go To Hell and Back and save them.
  • Badass Normal: In Saints Row IV, the President is able to go hand-to-hand with Zinyak, an alien twice their size. They appear evenly matched until Zinyak invokes their psychic powers.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The Boss simply cannot act, at all. Either on movie sets, or when their life really does depend on it while they're impersonating Cyrus Temple.
  • Benevolent Boss: Despite being a Sociopath, Boss is very protective and fair to subordinates so long as they stay loyal.
  • Berserk Button: The Boss's love of Biz Markie. You don't butcher Biz Markie and get away with it for long. Especially if you're Nolan North.
    "Zinyak! Zinyak, you leave Biz Markie alone! You leave Markie out of this!! Oh, you sunuvabitch...I'M GONNA FUCKIN' KILL YOU! IT'S NOT OPERA!!!!!"
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Even their crew points out that they are ridiculous what with all the fashionista sense, wacky hijinks, and problem catching up with technology, they are also a hardened killer who know about gang warfare tactics.
  • Big Good: In Saints Row IV onwards.
  • Book Dumb: Zig-zagged. At times, the Boss comes across as downright stupid, but there are occasional hints that it's of the obfuscating variety and every once in a while the Boss says something genuinely insightful or smart (which almost always results in a shocked reaction from the other characters).
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When you call up Keith David and Maero as homies, Keith tells Maero that he has never heard the Boss talk about him or the Brotherhood. Maero thinks it's because of this trope and figures the Boss probably doesn't bother thinking twice about the people they have killed. It's then subverted when Keith points out that the Boss has talked about the other gangs, their respective leaders, and even Donnie Wong.
  • Byronic Hero: On the best of days, which don't come too often. Let's see... complete and total disregard for authority? Check. Walking Disaster Area? Uh-huh. Cold, selfish, brutal and a total Jerkass? Yep. Causes tons of wanton destruction in their activities? Mm-hmm. Goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge? Bingo. Cusses a lot? You got it. One-Man Army who knows no concept of mercy? Totally. A wanted criminal? You don't even know...
  • Canon Name: Played for Laughs in Saints Row IV. If you choose the Nolan North voice, he says his name is actually Nolan.
    • Also, when it came to light that his Production Name was Mikey (pronounced "Mickey"), fans went with that.note 
  • Catchphrase:
  • Character Development: Goes from Julius' lieutenant to a borderline psychopath in the second game. The range of voice options can elaborate this further. The third game has Boss come across as more level-headed than Shaundi, helped further by player input on certain decisions (nuke the Syndicate's headquarters or keep it as a base, use zombie gas to create more homies or dispose of it, sacrifice Shaundi to go after Killbane or save her). In the third game, the Boss isn't as bitter or vengeful with Julius dead, enjoying the power and celebrity status earned from taking over Stillwater and fighting the Syndicate head on. By Saints Row IV, the Boss admits they honestly, genuinely, care about their crew and would do anything to protect them.
    • At least one voice in the third game mentions having a therapist, so that could be a contributing factor.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The Boss is supposed to be a normal human, but in Saints Row 2 is able to rip a payphone out of the ground with his/her bare hands.
  • Chick Magnet: Slightly, Apart from Ship Tease with Lin and Shaundi, in 2 they also effortlessly picks up a girl working the bar (who they uses as a shield when gunfire breaks out) and hooks up with random girls, have moments which Jenny Jaros in 3, and they can romance anyone in 4.
  • Combat Pragmatist: No matter the danger or absurdity of the situation, the Boss will find a way to win. In addition to taking hostages, false surrenders, and having truly ludicrous proficiency with improvised weapons (fire hydrants, giant purple dildos, bricks, etc.), Boss is a master of psychological warfare. The Boss is perfectly willing to target loved ones, use humiliation tactics like winning a televised wrestling match against an enemy, or making demoralizing public media declarations.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Finished most of the gang leaders in the series like this. Benjamin King briefly allies himself with the Saints after being betrayed by Warren and forced out of the Vice Kings in the first game, then gets Put on a Bus until IV, Matt Miller in The Third bribes the Boss into allowing him to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! instead.
  • Cultured Badass: Supporting the idea that the Boss' Book Dumb aspects are mere Obfuscating Stupidity, they call themselves a "Puckish Rogue" in Saints Row IV (referring to Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream), and are repeatedly mentioned to be fans of Jane Austen (on top of the Troy Baker Boss voice confessing that he read Jane Eyre 13 times near the end of Saints Row: The Third).
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!.: Tells Julius this more or less before his death.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even in the first game where he barely talks.
    Gat: I'm gonna skull-fuck that bitch!
    Playa: (smirks) ...Hope you don't mind hepatitis.
  • Determinator: Might as well be a walking-talking death machine. Even when stoned, the Boss can still fight off enemies en masse.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Given the impossibility of keeping the Boss dead or in jail.
  • The Dragon: To Julius Little in the first game.
  • Dragon Ascendant: The Boss reconstitutes the Saints under their own control after awakening from their coma in Saints Row 2.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: The Playa is much, much tougher than Julius. So much so that Julius tries to kill them because he's so frightened of their growing power.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Of course, this depends on how you play.
    • Regardless of how you play, it's Lampshaded by almost every character who rides shotgun with you. Characters from the first game give a familiar Continuity Nod in regards to it. And Jane waxes poetic about your vehicular carnage.
    • Here's something well hidden. Call up a homie then when they arrive dismiss them. They will get in their vehicle and take off. You can jump in the passenger seat and now Boss will give them crap over their driving. It's best to have a load of flashbangs to freak out your homie and any driver\passengers to encourage accidents.
    • These same lines are also used if riding shotgun in Co-op mode.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: The Boss gains superpowers in Saints Row IV, though only in the simulation and in the finale thanks to Powered Armor.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: In the second game, it was revealed that Julius tried to kill the Boss by destroying the Yacht seen in the finale.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Boss might be an amoral crime lord, but is still horrified after seeing the corpses of people experimented on by Ultor in the Ultor Exposed DLC.
    • Again in the third game. Murder, theft, human trafficking, insurance fraud, and wanton destruction are all fine. Hypercommercialisation, on the other hand, is something the Boss starts having doubts about. This may or may not stick depending on the ending chosen.
    • In "Takeover the City" mission of The Third the Boss is noticeably disturbed when Pierce talks about collecting sex dolls.
    • Also in the third game, Boss doesn't like the way the Prima Donna Director of the movie (that they happen to be starring in) treats the co-star actress, and quickly begins trying to screw with him in an effort to get him to stop. This is even though the director does nothing but praise whatever Boss does. They also try to get the poor girl to stand up for herself so he won't pick on her so much.
    • In The Trouble With Clones Boss becomes kind of heroic, fighting off an army division that's attacking Pierce and Johnny Tag, even showing remorse for the Saints failing Gat.
    • Boss also draws the line at nuclear war and human genocide.
  • Every Man Has His Price: The moral system in the third game isn't based on good or evil but if the Boss would accept a bribe over mayhem. The game starts with Johnny expressing that they have gone soft since becoming a franchise which the Boss replies that franchise gives them a lot of money. By the fourth game he dropped the gangster life and used his P.R to become president instead.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Make no mistake, the Boss has a sadistic streak underneath that "puckish rogue" persona. Best shown is in the second game where they are flirting with a bar maid but the moment a shooting starts they use her as a human shield and burn her body to distract the attacker. Even after they mellow out in the later installments, they still have no problem beating people up or killing innocents.
  • For the Evulz: By the time of the second game, Boss made it clear that liberating the city for peace wasn't a priority anymore. The final lines of Saints Row 2 confirm this. "This is our city [now], we do whatever the fuck we want." Downplayed somewhat in later games as fame and money is sexier to them than rampant murder.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The first game begins with the Playa just walking down a street before being caught in a gang fight and co-opted into the Saints. Needless to say, Boss takes to the lifestyle like a duck to water.
    • With the Boss' election as President of the US in Saints Row IV, they may very well have become the full-fledged champion of this trope. And then the same person becomes the President/God-Emperor for Life of the Universe after taking over the Zin Empire, as shown in Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell.
  • Garbage Wrestler: The only way the Boss was able to fight Killbane in Murderbrawl.
  • The Grinch: As shown in How the Saints Saved Christmas, they are not a Christmas fan. Getting them out of this is one of the main plot points of the DLC, and both Shaundi and Future Shaundi did in fact refer to them as such, with them retorting that they don't know what it is.
  • Gun Nut: Most evident in the Mission "We're Going to Need Guns"
    Shaundi: You think we got enough guns?
    Male Voice 1: No such thing.
    Male Voice 2: Would I ever say "yes" to that?
    Male Voice 3: That was a rhetorical question, I hope.
    Female Voice 1: Do I really need to answer that?
    Female Voice 2: Perhaps for now. We'll see.
    Female Voice 3: Please. You know what my answer to that is going to be.
    Zombie Voice: (sneers)
  • Heel–Face Turn: Of sorts. The Signature Song in Saints Row 2 and Saints Row: The Third were Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster! and Villain Song in tone. Two of the signature tracks in the fourth game are positively heroic and play when Boss commits positively heroic deeds, and even if they do make one strange President, there's no question Boss is a lot better than before.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Inverted, the Boss starts Saints Row 2 as a vengeful gangbanger out for power and revenge. By the time Saints Row IV happens, the Saints are acknowledged as the closest thing Boss has to a family, and goes so far as to save America from a nuclear strike and fight an alien invasion. Still a jerkass, though.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After escaping the 50's simulation in Saints Row IV, the Boss complains to Kinzie that the clothes they are wearing are horrible. Much later, after saving Kinzie from the same simulation, the Boss makes fun about the clothes that Kinzie was wearing in this simulation. It is especially hypocritical if you play a female Boss, because in her version of the 50's simulation, she is herself wearing a Palette Swap of the poodle skirt.
  • Implacable Man: Both in and out of gameplay, assuming you do enough diversions. Blowing up the Boss just gets them pissed off, and in the second game, the full complement of perks means that the Boss can jump out of a plane, get hit by three exploding trucks on fire, and take a point-blank shotgun blast to the face without going down.
    • "The Third" turns this Up to Eleven once you get around max respect level, with several upgrades making them immune to each type of damage. It can get to the point where Boss can only be harmed by melee attackers.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Throughout all the games, we never get anything more than tantalising glimpses into their Mysterious Past, never anything concrete that explains just how some random schmuck remade themselves into the most deadly person on the planet.
  • Insistent Terminology: They prefer the term "puckish rogue" to "sociopath", which makes sense. Despite some of their more questionable actions, by Saints Row IV the Boss cares too much about the other Saints to be deemed as an actual sociopath.
  • It's All About Me: Starts to have this attitude in the second game as they do things for their own benefit and personal reasons. It levels out somewhat in third game, but by the fourth game, the Boss' selfish attitude rises to a new level; the game opens with the Boss, the President of the United States, suffering a massive PR disaster since they proposed that the phrase "One nation under me" should replace "One nation under God". When helping Asha escape from her personal nightmare, the Boss keeps thinking that by having an evil twin in Asha's nightmare, it's about the Boss overall. CID also questions why the Boss keeps giving Pierce no respect at all, despite how Pierce always stayed loyal and gave ideas to help the Boss (The Boss claims they rag Pierce in good fun rather than malicious intent). It isn't until the Boss gets called out for their selfish attitude and taking advantage of others by someone who had stayed loyal to them that the Boss starts to think about others for a change.
  • Jerkass: On a bad day. And that's putting it lightly...
    The Boss: Evil Me is kind of an asshole.
    Asha: Good You is kind of an asshole.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the third game, shows sincere affection and concern for their allies. Of course, the degree to which the gold shows in gameplay is dependent on the player.
    • Largely Subverted in IV, where the Boss is much more consistently pleasant to others than they've ever been before. It also helps that everything is in a simulation and they're technically not committing any crimes at all.
  • Kick the Dog: Many view killing Jessica by locking her in a car and having her boyfriend unknowingly run her over at a monster truck rally as this, even though she was the one that ordered Carlos to be chained to a truck and dragged to near death, forcing the boss to Mercy Kill him.They also cripple Matt's hand with fireworks. Matt had nothing to do with The Brotherhood other than doing their tattoos and being close friends with Maero.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The Boss is fond of doing this, starting from the second game. They helped Gat burying Shogo alive and throw a drug crate at a junkie's wound after the junkie told them what they want.
  • Large and in Charge: In Saints Row 2, The Boss is taller than almost every other person in the game by default; the only person taller is Maero. Gets really noticeable if you put Boss in heels as well. Less noticeable in Saints Row The Third, as the other Saint's are now almost the same height, but according to their mugshot, they are 6ft2 (1,88m) tall, even the female protagonist.
  • Literal-Minded: Occasionally shows signs of this. Take this instance in Saints Row 1, for example:
    Jack: Hey, kid, how'd you like to make some quick cash?
    (Playa approaches Jack's table and reaches for the money Jack had just been counting)
    Jack: Evidently, you aren't familiar with the no-touching rule...
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Played for Laughs in the fourth game, during Pierce's rescue mission.
    Kinzie: Okay, now get inside the statue of Joe Magarac.
    The President: Now the statue has a name?
    Pierce: Seriously, you didn't know that?
    The President: Nobody tells me anything!
  • Made of Iron: Leaps from a moving plane to another moving plane. With no parachute, or cables, or common sense. Plays in traffic for petty change, drives around an angry tiger at high speeds for training.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Obviously none of the Boss' voice actors are sadistic murderers in Real Life.
  • Mercy Kill: Did this to Carlos after the Brotherhood mortally wounded and disfigured him.
  • No Name Given: Usually just referred to as the Boss.
    • In the third game, pairing Boss with Zimos may prompt some dialogue where Boss asks Zimos what his real name is when Zimos says it's "Need to know and you don't". When Zimos asks Boss their name, the Russian female boss says her name is classified.
      • Male 3 tells Zimos that his name is Winston Churchill. He doesn't buy it.
      • Also, Female 1 tells Zimos that her name is Martha Washington. He doesn't buy that either.
    • The last Heli Assault activity against the Deckers reveals that Kinzie found the Boss's real name by digging around on the internet. She starts to say it, only for the Boss to cut her off.
    • Was originally planned to be "Mikey" (pronounced Mickey) in the first game, but they scrapped it.
    • In the fourth game, using the Nolan North voice makes it clear that your character is, in fact, Nolan North. So it's possibly to assume that, all this time, the player character was just Nolan North all along.
  • No Party Given: As President, their political leanings are never discussed, though considering that they run the nation like they run their gang they're essentially a Kleptocrat.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Maero originally believes that The Boss is just a washed-up gangbanger and therefore gives them a pitiful proposition. He REALLY regrets this as the gang war between them becomes increasingly brutal and vicious.
  • One-Man Army: Boss is a striding engine of destruction. You can run, but you'll just die trying.
    Dex: I have you outnumbered!
    Boss: Doesn't seem to be helping.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: But of course. Most of the time, they're referred to as "Boss" and sometimes "Player".
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The Cockney voice (Male 1) in "Saints Row 2" was particularly guilty of this, especially because the cutscene dialogue barely changes from one voice to another, which leads the Boss spouting sentences that no English person would ever use. In "Saints Row: The Third" and "IV", Male 3 takes over as the Cockney voice. The newer voice actor is far more authentic, especially since more English slang words and phrases are inserted in place of Americanisms and any fixed dialogue in cutscenes is written to fit around all the voice characters.
    • The fourth game has this happen deliberately for some of the voice sets during the 1950s simulation early in the game: the Boss will switch to a much more refined, upper-class version of their accent while the illusion holds, preserving the Boss's appearance as a suitably refined sort on a Leave it to Beaver type sitcom. As the Boss fights back and the illusion breaks down, their real accent returns.
    • Especially with the Cockney accent, which goes from the usual gravelly "street punk" Cockney to a smoother, high-nosed voice you would expect to hear from a member of the Royal Family, which makes the gradual decomposition back to the default roughness all the more hilarious.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: In Saints Row IV, they become POTUS. They are a combination of various tropes ranging from President Action to President Lunatic, but since they're also a major criminal would also be President Evil.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The Ronin and Brotherhood missions especially consist of increasingly bloody games of tit-for-tat between the Boss and whoever's stupid enough to try and hurt the other Saints. The Boss' main motivation for total war against the world's largest criminal syndicate was due to the death of one Saint.
    • Especially present in the Brotherhood questline. At first the Saints were attacking the gang itself as a whole, i. e. going after their resources, to challenge their power. That all changed when the Boss contaminated Maero's tattoo ink and disfigured him, making it personal for Jessica, Maero's girlfriend. In revenge, she had Carlos tortured to near death, and in revenge for that the Boss set Maero up to kill Jessica by accident...and it pretty much goes downhill from there.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: By the end of Saints Row: The Third, the Boss is able to blow up a skyscraper, sink an aircraft carrier, take on a well-armed paramilitary group, bring down a flying warship, set up a city state, aside from killing a truly ungodly number of people. And in the fourth game they get superpowers...
  • Pet the Dog: Seems to show genuine care and concern for the Saints, especially the lieutenants. This is especially apparent with their reaction to having to Mercy Kill Carlos.
    • In the "Gangstas In Space" DLC, Boss is extremely nice to the actress they have to work with. They coach her throughout the DLC to stand up for herself and not take shit from the Jerkass director who insults and belittles her at every chance he gets. Soon, they even become friends and she can be called as a homie upon completion of the last mission. By the end, Boss may have rubbed off on her a bit more than they intended...
    • Gets a big one with Matt in the 4th game. Since they are the last living world leader, they give Matt, a big Nyte Blayde fan, all rights to the entire Nyte Blade franchise. Matt is left nearly speechless. Admittedly this is after Matt accomplished the near impossible feat of making the Boss a fan of the show.
    • If you think about everything Boss does over the quadrilogy, there's a lot they don't have to do to be nice, but does so anyway. Help out those who they're friends with, befriends a number of allies, lots of little and not so little strokes of the pooch throughout the four games.
    • According to Keith, the Boss holds Donnie Wong in higher regard than Maero. Which is touching in a way, considering all they ever did was bully the poor guy.
    • In Saints Row IV, French Boss in particular comes across as very gentle and kind when speaking to her lieutenants.
    • In IV, Pierce's loyalty mission involves the Boss finally letting him do one of his needlessly complicated plans for once. They even refer to Pierce as "Boss" throughout.
  • Protagonist Without a Past: In the first game, he's just an ordinary schmuck who happens to walk right into a gang war, without any backstory. Was he a criminal beforehand, or a law-abiding citizen seduced by the criminal lifestyle? We don't find out. However, along with having way more dialogue, we get some small tidbits of info. For example, they mention coming to a bordello since they were a teenager, one of the male voices in the third game implies he's been killing people from a young age, and one of the female voices reveals that her father loved guns and told her that you could never have enough. Plus, the events of the first game are your protagonist's past now. Lampshaded in IV when the Boss says flat out that no one cares who they were before they joined the Saints.
  • Red Baron: The Butcher of Stilwater.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Slighting them is not a good idea; the easiest way to the top of their shit-list is by fucking with their crew, but other ways you can sign yourself up for Death by Boss include offering them a crappy deal and talking down to them, trying to betray them to the cops, or by butchering their favorite Biz Markie song. Those who happen to catch their ire soon find everything they know, love, and care about burning down around them just before the Boss themselves delivers the killing blow.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In all of the pre-release/teaser images for The Boss always shows him in a very nice tailored black suit with the Saints Fleur-de-Lis as buttons (and the pattern on his vest).
  • Shipper on Deck: The Boss seems to ship Shaundi/Pierce.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Zinyak, by ripping his head off.
  • Silent Bob: In the first game, the Boss only has four spoken lines, in the sequel, they speak just as much as any other character. This is also lampshaded in the second game.
    Julius: Jesus... you haven't learned a goddamn thing.
    Boss: Wrong! I learned that being in charge was better than being a bitch who kept his/her mouth shut and does what s/he's told!
    • Also,
      Aisha: Oh my god, it's you!
      Boss: Surprised, Aisha?
      Aisha: What, that you're here, or that you're talking?
      Boss: Pick one.
    • Lampshaded again during Saints Row IV, during a throwback mission to Saints Row 1, where they say, "I was too scared to talk back then."
      Kinzie: (her under breath) That must've been nice...
      Boss: What was that?
      Kinzie: I didn't say anything!
  • Stalker with a Crush: Female 2 in the third game makes no effort to hide this from Pierce: Among other things, she considers installing cameras in his room and buying him a sex machine, offers to be his dominatrix, and eventually admits that she wants to make love to him in front of a live studio audience.
  • Squee!: Has this reaction big time over Burt Reynolds.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Oh so much in the second game. The voice options are absolute gold.
  • Talkative Loon: Talks even more in the third game.
  • Team Dad: Shows shades of this in Saints Row IV towards Shaundi. Both of them. Attempted this with Carlos but he died too soon.
  • The Captain: After the first incarnation of the Saints.
  • The Sociopath: Cares for lieutenants, but makes it clear that they're in the gang scene for the perks and power. Has nothing but contempt for Julius's attempt to be a "killer with a conscience," with no loyalty to his supposed crew.
    Julius: Don't you get it? The Saints didn't solve a goddamn thing. Drugs were still being pushed, innocent people were still being killed... all we did was turn into Vice Kings that wore purple.
    Playa: Jesus Christ, you sound like a pussy!
    Julius: I sound like someone who's not a sociopath...
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Saints Row 2.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Also in Saints Row 2.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Saints Row: The Third, The Boss was noticeably far less sadistic than before even at their worst. in Saints Row IV, The Boss is a very good man, starting from sacrificing themselves to stop the missile and then cares nothing but the safety of their friends. In How the Saints Saved Christmas, The Boss learned about being nice from the Santa Claus himself, and the story ends with him as the Nice Guy.
  • Training from Hell: Angel submitted them to one where they had to drive with a tiger next to them to master their fear. The boss wasn't too pleased.
  • Tranquil Fury: When the Boss get their revenge on the people who killed some of their teammates. They are calm, but what they do to the Brotherhood or to Killbane (if they gets their ends on him) is especially gruesome and mean-spirited.
    Evil Boss: That so-called puckish rogue didn't even shed a tear when his best friend's girl was beheaded in front of him!
    Boss: Is that what you think?
  • True Companions: With the Saints, on a good day.
    • Definitely with Gat. The Boss leaps into action as soon as they learn about his murder trial in Saints Row 2, and in The Trouble with Clones in Saints Row: The Third. There's no question the Saints are going to go help Johnny Tag, even though he's a flawed clone of Gat and not actually him, and in Saints Row IV, as soon as there's even a whiff of a chance that Gat is bouncing around inside the Zin Matrix, the Boss is demanding to go after him. So much so in fact, the Boss nearly beats Matt to a pulp just for questioning whether this was a good idea.
    • All in all, one thing you should never do to the boss is fuck with their crew. It doesn't matter how much belittlement, abuse, humiliation, and occasional violence they dish out on their lieutenants, if you so much as touch a single hair on their head, the Boss will be coming at you like a maelstrom of violence and fury that will leave you as a smear on the pavement and remind everyone that, yeah, they're an ass at times, but their crew is everything to them.
  • The Unfettered: Can become this if you choose the kill Killbane ending, as it cements that the Boss prefers killing their enemies over saving their friends and will lead them to turn Steelport into their own city state. Otherwise their friends can stop them from going overboard with their project.
  • Undying Loyalty: This is the Boss' most important redeeming quality. If you work for them, and they like you, they will gladly take a bullet for you. If you die, be assured that no matter what happens, your killer is going to pay for it with serious interest.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Maero bringing up Carlos pisses the Boss enough to overpower the much bigger man and when Matt intervene to save Maero the Boss bashes his head with a brick and throw the brick at his corpse again for good measure.
  • Villain Protagonist: Not exactly one of God's best children, being a murderer, drug trafficker, thief, and possible jaywalker. Still, most of the people the Boss kills certainly deserve it.
    • Of course, that's in the second game. In the first and third games, the Boss is more of an Anti-Hero.
    • Surprisingly averted in Saints Row IV. The Boss still does their usual thing, but it's on an alien Overlord simulation, hence the only victims are combatant or programs.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In 2. Despite all the atrocities that the Boss commits, random people on the street with occasionally stop to cheer them on, especially for killing the various lieutenants of the other gangs.
  • Walking Wasteland: In Saints Row IV, the Buff power allows the Boss to set people on fire, freeze them solid, or electrocute them just by standing near them, while the Sprint Tornado power allows you to destroy whole streets just by running up and down them.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Can adopt wrestling moves in the second game from the Brotherhood.
    • The third game, while doing away with four separate fighting styles, incorporates wrestling moves into the Boss's fighting style by default.
  • Your Size May Vary: In 1, they're of average height, in 2, they are a head height taller than almost every character. In 3 and IV, they are about the same height as 2 (still taller than NPCs), but the other Saints have increased in size to match.

    Gender, Race, and Playing Style Selection Tropes 
  • Absolute Cleavage: With the female boss' sex appeal set at maximum, and while wearing one of several outfits that become available. The "Elegant Couture" dress provides a textbook example of this trope, even if the Boss is virtually flat-chested.
  • Acrofatic: You can make your Boss fat (ranging from "chubby" fat to "DAMN!" fat), and they'll still be able to sprint and jump without a hitch. Regarding the sprint, you can unlock infinite sprint... meaning you can run laps around the city and still look like you're in danger of having a heart attack at any minute. And of course, this is taken Up to Eleven in IV with its super speed and super jump
  • Action Fashionista: Given the large variety of outfits and Character Customization in the series, the Boss can easily be played this way if you change their clothing often.
  • Action Girl: Whether the boss is a man or a woman, they kick lots of ass.
  • Adam Westing: Or to be more specific, Nolan Northing. The boss with the Nolan North voice is Nolan North.
  • Adolf Hitlarious: The third and fourth games allow to create a Hitler look-alike as a player character (complete with a toothbrush mustache). Combined with the goofiness of the game, the effect is interesting.
  • Adorkable: Unusually for a mass-murdering sociopath, Female 1 boss shows shades of this in most of the games after 2, examples including her aforementioned interests in movies, dancing, art, and Burt Reynolds, and her gleeful, maniacal laughs when she starts learning superpowers in IV.
  • Afro Asskicker: There are afros available for customization.
  • Amazonian Beauty: It's possible to make your female Boss one. Even better, the Boss is taller than almost every other character by default (and height is more or less the only thing about them that can't be altered), so a beautiful Boss with muscles also automatically co-qualifies as a Statuesque Stunner.
  • Angry Black Man: The default character in "Saints Row 2". Kenn Michael is also the only voice actor to appear in every post-Saints 1 game.
  • Anime Hair: The "Anime" hairstyle in The Third and IV is a more subdued version, while a wig in 4 that resembles Super Saiyan hair plays this straight. The Anime Pack DLC in 4 also includes Mega Twintails and a hairstyle taken from Cloud Strife.
  • Anything That Moves: IV gives players the option to "romance" more or less the entire supporting cast, regardless of gender or race. Even a robot.
  • Ambiguously Gay/Depraved Bisexual:
    • Female boss definitely likes girls, even if there's one voice, when stoned, asking if Pierce was interested in her. The same voice also ask Johnny if a hospital is a good place to pick up guys and later remarks on phone watching two strippers perform.
    • Female Voice 1 in The Third flirts with both Shaundi and Kinzie, but tells Kia (while disguised as Cyrus Temple) "I like men".
    • Can be possibly confirmed in Saint's Row IV as both the Male and Female bosses can romance all their crewmembers (yes, ALL of them), regardless of gender.
  • And This Is for...: In the third game, Female Voice 1 Boss will give one when planting each explosive during the final mission of the "Shock and Awe" ending. Makes it all the more poignant.
    One for Shaundi...
    One for Viola...
    One for my crew...
    And one just for me...
    • In Saints Row 2, Female Voice 3 (Hispanic) will shout "Let's do this for Carlos!" when storming the Brotherhood's HQ with the Saints.
  • Author Avatar: Obviously, it is possible to create one.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Badass Grandpa/Never Mess with Granny: You can make your Boss be an old person, which calls Cyrus Temple's eyesight into question when he boasts "I've been a soldier longer than you've been alive!" to someone who looks even older than him.
  • Bald of Awesome/Bald of Evil: You can choose to make them bald, and the default Boss in 2 is a Bald, Black Leader Guy.
  • Bald Woman: Another possible creation.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Depending on clothing choices, a boss of either gender can wear these outfits.
  • Bishōnen: Can appear this way depending on the player's choices.
  • Blood Knight: Female Voice 1 of The Third clearly loves fighting, with Bond One Liners in combat either deriding her kills as being disappointing or occasionally commending them as a good fight.
  • Boobs of Steel: Possible for a female Boss with the Sex Appeal slider all the way up. Even if they aren't, they're still pretty good sizes.
  • Butter Face: Mess around with the sliders enough and you can create this.
  • Bigger Is Better In Bed: With the "sex appeal" slider all the way to the max, your female Boss will have Boobs of Steel and the male one a Gag Penis... Both with a wide variety of tops/pants to make it all the more obvious!
  • Call-Back: When drunk, the Hispanic Female Boss will laugh, and laugh, and laugh at the joke she made to Gat in the first game.
  • Combat Stilettos: These can be given to the boss, regardless of gender. Note that in some cutscenes, the Boss will be shown walking properly in them; in others, they will be walking flatfooted despite the shoes being actual heels.
  • Corrupt Hick: Female Voice 3 in IV.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Each game allows you to get tattoos from rival gangs' logos. First, you'd wonder why a gangster who's all about loyalty to their gang would get such things forever marked on their skin... Then, you realize that getting those tattoos after eliminating said gangs and viciously killing off their leaders means you basically show them off as trophies, the same way you do when you unlock rival gang cars (such as Maero's monster truck) to drive around in after you finish their storylines.
  • Cultured Badass/Wicked Cultured: Female Voice 1 in The Third may mention having danced or painted in her Bond One Liners.
  • Dark Action Girl: Possible after the first game.
  • Daywalking Vampire: In the Third, if the Bloodsucker pack is installed. What specific KIND of vampire the Boss is outside of that, and any Vampire Tropes that would apply would take too much room on this page to catalog. All we can say for certain is that Friendly Neighborhood Vampire is averted.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Female Voice 3 in IV has some quotes like this, particularly in the Mayhem activities.
    This neighborhood used to be nicer...
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: And they can't be altered to look different.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Male Voice 2 mentions that he should call his mother more often
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Female Voice 2 in Saints Row IV has a French accent.
  • Evil Albino: If you're making an albino character, this is what you're getting.
    • By Saints Row IV, however, this character arguably turns into a Heroic Albino.
  • Evil Brit: Voiced by Charles Shaughnessy, no less! In Saints Row: The Third, there is also the option of a British voice, this time voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.
  • Fat Bastard/Fat Girl: You can make your boss fat.
  • Fat Idiot: The Boss' moments of stupidity becomes this trope if you decide make them fat.
  • Fan Disservice: Comes naturally should you decide to turn your character into a Gonk and especially if you strip them naked. People on the street will be far from impressed.
  • Fiery Redhead: If you chose red hair.
  • Foreshadowing: Female Voice 1 muses that when this is all over, she might get into politics, and mentions an interest in dancing. Lo and behold, now she's the President and cannot pass up amateur night at a strip club.
  • Four More Measures: When singing "What I Got" with Pierce early on in the game, several of the voices will have Boss singing a line too early and noting that they always mess that part up.
    • If you listen closely to the Saints Row 2 Hispanic Female Boss when she tries to sing "Take On Me," you might notice that she starts singing along to the keyboard intro several measures too early. Twice. And then when the keyboard part does start, she nearly misses her cue.
  • French Jerk: Female Voice 2 in IV. Though it only applies to enemies; she's always very friendly and polite when talking to her fellow Saints.
  • Gag Boobs: Set the sex appeal on a female Boss to maxmimum, and she's more buxom than any female NPC.
  • Girly Bruiser:
    • Female Voice 1 of The Third and IV, who says things that relate to stereotypical feminine traits of herself unashamedly... as Bond One Liners. She's also bummed about her apartment being destroyed in IV, because her shoes went with it.
      "Damn, chipped a nail!"
      "That's no way to fight a lady!"
      "After that I could use a massage."
    • Female 2 voice from IV mentions wanting to go shoe-shopping.
  • Gonk: Can appear this way depending on the player's choices.
  • Gratuitous French: All over the place in Saints Row IV should you select the Female Voice 2. Sadly, the voice actress isn't a native speaker, making those frequent French bits sound really awkward to the native ear.
  • Guttural Growler: Male Voice 3 in The Third and IV is far raspier than any of the other voices.
  • Hidden Buxom: Both the third and fourth games in the series have an opening scene before character customization where the Boss is covered head to toe in thick clothing which could believably hide an average-proportioned woman underneath. Or you can give the female Boss F-cups and spend the rest of the game wondering how she managed to squeeze those into the outfit.
  • Hidden Depths: Depending on the voice you use s\he be may drop interesting tidbits. Collecting glass unicorns for example. Female Voice 1 apparently went to college and was on a co-ed curling team, while Male 1 has read Jane Eyre thirteen times. The Zombie voice in The Third, during "Three Way", briefly drops the snarling to say that he's fluent in 6 languages.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Russian/Female Voice 3 Boss. Dear God.
    Russian!Female Boss: When I was a child, my father would make me fight the dogs for food. <sighs> It made me who I am today.
    • The Cockney/Male Voice 3 Boss also drops hints of this during the "Gangstas In Space" missions:
      "This is worse than finding out the tooth fairy was just my drunk uncle with a pair of pliers..."
  • Hime Cut: One of the hairstyles available in Saints Row IV.
  • Hunk: Can appear this way depending on the player's choices.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: In the third game, with the Zombie voice option.
  • Kavorka Man: Come Saints Row IV, the Boss can romance (almost) every Saint member in the game, even if they are physically repulsive.
  • Knife Nut: It's easy to play such a character in the first and second game; in the Third and fourth games however, there is only one bladed weapon and both are swords.
  • Large and in Charge: Though the Boss no longer towers over everybody in "Saints Row: The Third" and "IV", you can still make them more freakishly muscular than any of the other Saints. (Well, besides Oleg)
    • And of course you can make them so fat that they become intimidating.
  • Lean and Mean: Though from the third game on, the shoulders' width cannot be changed, meaning even the skinniest Boss possible will still look strong to a certain degree.
  • The Lad-ette: Played straight with all the female voices in Saints Row 2 and the Russian and Latin voices in "The Third". Female Voice 1 in "The Third" also counts, but she does occasionally show a feminine side. The Latin voice in IV is this trope to a T, though.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Along with Easy Sex Change, you can change your Boss' appearance and gender easily and no one bats an eye.
    • Exploited in 'The Third, using it to look like Cyrus Temple to infiltrate an aircraft carrier for the purpose of rescuing Shaundi imprisoned there.
  • Magic Skirt: Even when the Boss wears tiny miniskirts, it's very difficult to get a pantyshot.
  • The Mean Brit: Male Voice 1 in Saints Row 2 (courtesy of Charles Shaughnessy) and male voice 3 in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV (courtesy of Robin Atkin Downes).
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: The "Russian" voice in "Saints Row: The Third" skews to this. "Is exciting, yes? Like attacking a tiger with a knife!"
  • Mr. Fanservice / Ms. Fanservice: You definitely can the up ante by wearing some risque clothes that show off your physique, regardless of gender. You can even be naked, with passerbys expressing praise (or disgust). And because scenes will play out with the protagonists in whatever custom attire they wear, they could be this at all times.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: The flip side of the Acrofatic option; you can be skinny as a rail and still throw people around like rag dolls and kill Brutes like it's nobody's business.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: To different degrees, depending on the voice set. For example, the Boss is insistent in the Christmas DLC that they don't know what a Grinch is. Yet, if you pick Female Voice 2 (French), she often uses a very eloquent vocabulary. Most voice sets mention having been to college during the "Ho Boat" mission in "Saints Row: The Third". And Male Voice 1 (American) is a big fan of Jane Austen. So, it's not very clear how much is for show and how much they actually understand. It's a pretty safe bet they're being honest about their technology-ignorance, though.
  • Old Money: Southern Boss in the fourth game repeatedly alludes to having grown up in wealthy, genteel Southern society. She comments that the fire buff superpower would have made her debutante ball much more tolerable.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Johnny Gat, if you play a girl. They're very close friends, but there's nothing sexual going on, and Johnny is hooked up with Aisha until "Bleeding Out" anyway. Can be averted in Saints Row IV, however.
  • Poirot Speak: Russian Boss in The Third and French Boss in IV; especially jarring for the latter since she was voiced by an American voice actress instead of a native French speaker like Philippe Loren in The Third.
  • Pretty Boy: Can appear this way depending on the player's choices.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The Boss can be a Scary Black Man, a Silver Fox, a Dark-Skinned Redhead, a Meganekko, a morbidly-obese gender-neutral pig-human thing, anything else in between, and it literally affects nothing. Not character interactions, not gameplay, not clothing options, not even The Boss's views on stripper poles and their regular operators. Hell, returning characters from the first game will only comment on your "haircut", even if your character is female (in the first game, the player character still had a wide variety of customization, but could only be male). Word of God has stated that if you play as a female Boss in Saints Row 2, she was a woman in Saints Row canon-wise.
  • Really Gets Around: If you so wish. There are (somewhat obscure) "hoe-ing" minigames in Saint's Row 2 where you can have the Boss hookup with random strangers in bathroom stalls, adult stores, etc. In IV, you can also have the Boss hookup with every Saint on the ship if you want (well, everybody except Keith David and Ben King).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: From Saints Row: The Third on, the Protagonist can have red eyes and it can even be justified if you make an albino character.
  • Retcon: It's been stated by the creators that, if you choose a female character in Saints Row 2, it is to be assumed that she was always female.
  • Sassy Black Woman: In Saints Row 2, you have a Female African-American voice, but it was replaced in the following games by a Russian and French voice, respectively.
  • Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: In the final mission, after Pierce asks the Boss if they've got anything to get off their chest, a Boss speaking with Male Voice 1 will admit that he's read Jane Eyre thirteen times.
  • Scary Black Man: The default player character in Saints Row 2.
  • Sensual Slavs: In The Third, it is possible to be one of these.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Russian Boss in The Third is rather shameless with confessing her obsession towards Pierce, of all people. Pierce is understandably creeped out while Shaundi gets a lot of snark value from all of this.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Common to both the French and Southern female Bosses in the fourth game. Other personalities tend to be more crude in their humor.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Southern Boss in the fourth game, for a certain definition of "genius."
  • Spicy Latina: Think of the hottest food you've ever eaten. She's even spicier than that, like the other voices, the female Spanish voice in the second and third games make Boss this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Statuesque Stunner: The height is one of the few things about the Protagonist that cannot be changednote  (probably to prevent scaling errors in cutscenes). Thus, female Boss' height is set at as least a foot taller than Shaundi, placing her at somewhere in the 6'2 - 6'5 range. Strangely, Shaundi in The Third: is now almost Boss' height, possible thanks to her high heels, and by IV most of the Saints are approximately the same size. However, a female Boss will still tower a head height over most NPCs.
  • Stripperific: Entirely possible, but you could also go for broke and get covered only by pixellation.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Can appear this way depending on the player's choices.
  • Technicolor Eyes: You can choose the eye color, which ranges from common eye colors, to things like Purple Eyes, Red Eyes, completely black eyes, completely white eyes or even green eyes with cat pupils.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In the first game's epilogue, the boss mentions that he wanted to go to Freckle Bitch's, and in the fourth expresses surprise that Freckle Bitch's never opened in Steelport.
  • Twofer Token Minority: It's possible to make your boss female and/or of a different race. Regardless of gender and race, they seem to be canonically bisexual, especially the female boss.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Can be achieved by playing as a male Boss while wearing female clothes, makeup, and jewelry. Do not, under any circumstances, confuse him for a Sissy Villain, though...
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Thanks to the many options in clothing and body builds, you can make your own Boss rather easily. And making it resemble to another character is far from impossible. Pick up long purple hair, a tanktop, some shorts, and pretend you're in Roanapur.
    • Blonde ponytail, red tank, and black trousers, or jacket and jeans and you have Buffy. Crop top and cargoes, Kim Possible. With a little work, you can pull off John Cena and Ric Flair (replete with their signature taunts). All part of the fun of course. There are even tutorials on how to make your Boss into a doppelganger of one of the other Saints, leading to cutscenes with two Johnny Gats conversing with each other, the only concrete difference being the voice and the height.
    • With the Boss being the President in IV, it is very possible to make him look like Funny Valentine.
    • Want some extra meta-Fun with Nolan North as Nolan North? Dress your character up as Deadpool (who Nolan voiced over for his animated and video game appearances).
    • With a properly-colored Shonen suit, dark indigo hairstyle, and Laser Razor, a female Boss voiced by Female 1 could be Lucina's much more vulgar and violent incarnation.
  • Vocal Dissonance: You can mix and match bodies and voices for the Boss. You can have a male body with a female voice, or the other way around. And then there's the zombie voice from The Third...
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The French Female voice for the Boss in IV will sound very awkward to a native French speaker, due to the fact that French isn't the voice actress' first language. Also doubles as Gratuitous French.
    French Boss : I am tré puissant !
  • When I Was Your Age...: Parodied; one of the lines demonstrating the "Male 1" Voice in the third game complains about kids playing video games, saying that when he was young, he would've been playing outside... killing people in real life.
  • White Gang-Bangers: Or black, or Latino, or Asian, or any other nationality or even colors of the rainbow.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: The Boss certainly can, and it's not restricted by gender either.
  • Yandere: The Russian Female voice in 3 has a...thing for Pierce. As in a "wants to put government-grade surveillance equipment in his bedroom and anonymously deliver him a sex machine" thing. She's also as violent and sociopathic as the rest of the Boss versions and eventually openly admits to wanting to make love to him in front of a live studio audience.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Optional.

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