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Tropes present in both Single-Player Mode and Online.


  • Action Girl: Although the only playable characters in the storyline game are male, for Online it's possible to create playable female characters. These created characters can also be imported into the single-player version's Director Mode where they and a host of pre-generated playable female characters can be chosen to play free-roam havoc.
  • Adult Fear: A couple of the random events you can come across revolve around people luring you into traps; two of them are women that seem to be asking for help, only for you to be led into a robbery attempt. However, if you go in armed, they'll quickly drop their pretense and make a break for it. Most new players will only be taken in once tops, those playing with a guide will know better and completely avoid the trap.
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    • Coming home to find heavily armed men invading your home and your daughter being held at gunpoint in her own bedroom
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Los Santos was designed to be spacious yet easy for the player to get what they need for their shenanigans. Case in point: despite the sky-high crime rate, the Ammu-Nation gun store will happily sell players whatever they need. No background checks, no waiting period, no paperwork, no questions asked. Despite this, funnily enough, Lamar still feels the need to point out that Franklin is the one who's paying for his and Stretch's shopping expenses, since they both have a criminal record and Franklin doesn't. It's later revealed that he does. What for, well, you'll have to find that out yourself.
  • A.K.A.-47: While the guns themselves have generic names like "Pistol" and "Sniper Rifle," viewing them in first-person mode will reveal Bland-Name Product manufacturer names like "Hawk & Little" and "Vom Feuer".
  • Amazonian Beauty: The female bodybuilders seen on Vespucci Beach, both buff and dressed in revealing bikinis.
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    • In Online, it's possible to create a female character that fits this bill; simply max out her height (and choose an outfit with heels) and she'll tower over virtually everyone else either in Online or the Director's Mode.
  • Anachronism Stew: Some of the licensed music added to the radio stations in the 2016 "next gen" version post-date the 2013 or earlier setting of the game (i.e. Lorde's "Team" which hadn't been released yet when the original game came out, much less when it was made).
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The Action Prologue is set during Christmastime, as shown by the bank's lobby (the very first area you start in) being decked out for the occasion with lights and a tree. And Online celebrated Christmas by covering the entire map in snow and giving players access to Christmas-themed clothes and masks.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Averted more than usual, in that various citizens will now actually call the police on their own if they see you steal a car (that, or they will come and beat you up themselves) or stand near them for too long.
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    • Park a cool car on the sidewalk and listen to some compliment it or pull out their phones to take a picture.
    • It's a lot easier to antagonize a citizen. Look at them the wrong way and they'll attack you.
    • Some citizens even seem to employ racial profiling; entering a convenience store as Franklin could result in someone attacking him or calling the cops, even if he hasn't done anything and isn't even armed.
  • Artificial Stupidity
    • An easy way to lose police helicopters is to go to the wind farm (the place with the giant windmills). The helicopters will stupidly follow you in, and will promptly be smashed to pieces by the blades on the windmills. If you picked a good pilot for the "Obvious" route of the final heist, they'll actually exploit this, flying into the turbines in an attempt to lose the helicopters (which works).
    • A well-demonstrated case of enemies not detecting a fence in front of them in this Rooster Teeth video.
    • When playing as Michael or Franklin, you can sometimes find Trevor drinking and tossing grenades at a specific spot on his yard. While they function just like regular grenades, NPCs standing near that specific spot won't notice Trevor's grenades even if they're thrown right next to them.
    • NPCs don't seem to notice cops nearby when they try to start fights with you or steal your vehicle. This often leads to them getting shot.
    • AI drivers can't seem to handle ramps well.
    • The LSPD dread the train tunnels so much that they will stop chasing a player with a five-star wanted level if he/she enters one.
    • Firemen will always try to extinguish any fires they can see, even ones coming from a vehicle that's on the verge of exploding.
    • Paramedics will always closely examine a corpse even if it's on fire or placed near something ready to explode.
    • Cops and other NPCs often seem to ignore basic hazards, such as people on fire or even their own tear gas and will walk through/over said hazards, even if it kills them. Holing up in a space with a single entrance and killing a few officers with some explosives will lead to the creation of a flaming barricade that only perpetuates itself as subsequent waves of officers come to breach the entrance, only to fall, screaming and on fire, over their still-burning comrades.
    • In Online, If you sell off a car you stole, any wanted level you had at the time will immediately plummet to zero. This can be exploited pretty easily if you're being pursued and happened to be in a car that was stolen, are near a garage and you have not sold any cars for the last in-game day, and were planning to pawn off the stolen car for cash anyway.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • The soldiers in and around Fort Zancudo wear Army-style grey camouflage and the symbol of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, but they often shout "Semper Fi" and call themselves Marines.note 
    • They sometimes use the Type 56-2 Assault Rifle, a real-world Chinese version of the AK-47 imported in small amount during the 1980s for training purposes. This is mostly for balancing because the in-game AR-15 variant is too powerful for the player to fight.
  • Ascended Glitch: The in-air handling on the bikes isn't the most realistic, but it does allow for some insane stunts. An entire "stunt community" emerged in the game to see who could pull off the best and most over-the-top jumps and tricks. As a result, when Rockstar patched the physics in the game so that motorcycles and bicycles handle more realistically when they're in the air, there was such an outcry that they went back to the old physics. Then they acknowledged the stunt community with an Online update totally dedicated to stunts.
  • Attack of the Political Ad: As early as late 2013, the runoff to the 2014 midterm elections is already underway, so naturally we get web, radio and TV campaign ads from Jock Cranley (Republican) and Sue Murry (Democratic), candidates for governor of San Andreas, which, like John Hunter and Michael Graves before them, focused on attacking their respective opponents over explaining their own agendas (which are no better than their opponent's).
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The high-end military hardware (the Rhino tank, Buzzard helicopter and LAZER jet) are all incredibly expensive pieces of kit that are hard to acquire and have no practical use beyond causing mayhem. In fact, it's actually quite hard to use the latter two, as the guided missiles often miss and lining up shots with the cannons is extremely difficult. This is somewhat mitigated in Online, however: once purchased, the Rhino and Buzzard are available for use in Missions, which in some particularly frustrating cases makes them a lot easier.
    • The Rat-Loader, a hard-to-find junker truck based on a 1930s round-nosed pickup, is highly sought after by players due to its wide array of outlandish, "rat-rod" style customization options. Performance-wise, though, it's the very definition of The Alleged Car: it suffers from massive understeer (especially at high speed), takes forever to reach its top speed, always has trouble starting up no matter what condition it's in, and always looks rusted out no matter which custom paint job is applied.
    • The Declasse Tornado. Yes, it does have some pretty cool modification and a pretty slick 50's coupe look, but without any engine mods it's just not practical for anything other than slow city cruising around the city of Los Santos. Plus it can only seat yourself and one person, making even the Sentinel look good by comparison.
    • The Pegassi Zentorno. It has unholy top speed, acceleration, and handling. The latter? The handling is too good. It's way too sensitive around corners, which can send you careening into a pole or wall. And like most supercars in GTA 5, it's not practical for maneuvering around busy roads and streets. And its super low suspension can pose a big problem when curbs are involved.
    • The minigun isn't quite what it used to be. While it can blow up vehicles, it doesn't do so nearly as fast as the grenade launcher or RPG. It can't be fired from cover either, so you have to stand out in the open to use it, which is often a death sentence. Furthermore, it chews up ammo really fast, and while it's certainly lethal against people, it's really more overkill than anything. Other guns can kill just as well without nearly as many drawbacks.
      • Using it also slows you down, and aiming for the weapon is permanently set to free aim, meaning that most of your shots are probably going to go off screaming into the wild blue yonder.
    • Motorcycles are this when it comes to chases. They're quick and agile but because NPC drivers are always fast enough to ram you no matter what they're driving and can match you turn for turn it's only a matter of time before they ram you off your bike which is instant death in this game.
    • The gold-painted Swift and the gold-painted Luxor are this, given that while they retain all the features of their more ordinary counterparts and gain a few extras, they're still $5.1 million and $10 million, respectively.
    • The Declasse Moonbeam. The only van in the game to have proper sliding side doors, which means that players can use their heaviest non-explosive weapons by leaning out of the side of the van. Great in theory, except that even when upgraded it's still a big, sluggish van with large windows allowing clear shots to the occupants. The sliding doors also leave the passengers in the back completely exposed to gunfire they can't always return due to restricted aim.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Michael, having the most affluent lifestyle of the protagonists, has been depicted like this, several heists have the three protagonists don suits, and, naturally, a suit is an option for your Online character. As you can choose what the protagonists wear you can put Franklin in nice suits when he has enough money to shop at the mid and high end clothing stores. Try this with Trevor however and he tends to end up looking like an awkward used car salesman.
  • Ballistic Discount: Technically possible to do this at Ammu-Nation, but not recommended for a few reasons. First, it's not possible to loot stores after killing the NPC's. Second, you can steal some money from the register, but it's so little compared to the amount you usually pay for a weapon that you might as well not bother. Third, the shopkeeper will pull his weapon out and headshot you the moment he detects gunsights on him.
  • Bank Robbery: A major part of this game involves this trope. How you pull them off is up to you.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Zonah" is Hebrew for "prostitute".
    • In addition, many of the fake products featured in the game appear to be bilingual puns. For example, the beer Pißwasser (ß is pronounced s, wasser=water), or the effeminate male fashion Hommegina line (Homme=man).
    • The security vans are from a company called Gruppe 6. It sounds like a Bland-Name Product unless you pronounce 6 in German. 6 is sechs, thus the company's name is actually Gruppe Sechs (Group Sex).
  • Black Comedy: And how.
  • Bland-Name Product: iFruit, Lifeinvader and Bleeter are the obvious ones and a few from Grand Theft Auto IV make a return as well. The three playable characters have a phone based on the three leading brands of smartphone (Michael's is based on the iPhone, Franklin's on the Samsung Galaxy range (although with the Bittersweet branding- with Bittersweet being the game's expy of Blackberry, largely due to the rumor of Samsung planning to buy out Blackberry circulating at the time) and Trevor has one based on Nokia's Lumia range running Windows).
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: For the first time averted regarding the Spanish translation of the game: Unlike previous games, when only English or European Spanish subtitles are provided, the Latin American version of the game uses this time the Latin American dialect, rather than the European one. This also creates another problem: The "Latin American" dialect turns out to be Mexican street slang (and not the one from Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Chihuahua, Michoacán or Sinaloa, but the one used in Mexico City), so non-Mexican Latino players had lot of problems trying to figure out all the slang. Interestingly enough, the Latin American Spanish subs are used in the Steam version, when traditionally European Spanish subs or dubs are used instead.note 
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: All ranged non-grenade weapons can be given gold or platinum tints. The Ill-Gotten Gains update adds very flashy finishes to a selection of weapons.
  • Border Patrol: There are sharks located around the edges of the map that will kill you if you swim too far out. If you try to fly or drive a boat to the edges of the map instead to bypass the sharks, once you reach a certain point your boat or plane will crash or stall and proceed to sink, leaving you surrounded by half a dozen or more sharks with no escape (although if you're in single player mode, you can switch to another character and the character you will playing will manage to get back to land by his own devices if you wait a while before switching back).
  • Boring, but Practical
    • The Carbine Rifle. Nothing fancy about it, but it has good firing rate and accuracy, can hold up to 60 rounds with extended magazines and has a very good zoom with the scope mod. In the single-player, you'll be using it for the majority of the game, as you unlock it upon completion of the first heist and its successor, the Advanced Rifle, isn't unlocked until after the final heist.
    • The Micro SMG. It may have inferior accuracy and damage to your first pistol but it shoots much faster and just as far, making it a good weapon for drive-bys. It's also one of the first weapons you unlock in GTA Online and in single player mode and its superior, the AP Pistol, isn't available until much later.
      • The Machine Pistol, a DLC weapon, comes pretty close to to the AP Pistol. It's a submachine gun, but it basically functions as an automatic pistol, hence it's name, and thus has good accuracy, damage, and can be used with one hand, so it can be used for drive bys. In addition it's a DLC weapon, so you basically get the AP pistol early with it. It also uses SMG ammo, which is a small perk but one that can come up more frequently than would be expected.
    • If you want to count weapons from updates the Heavy Pistol has this in spades. Kills most enemies in two shots, accurate and has a large 18 round magazine making it able to take down large amounts of enemies quickly before reloading. In single player it's unlocked immediately for free in your inventory when the update is installed and can be bought at any rank in GTA Online.
    • The Elegy RH8. It's not the fastest or fanciest sports car, but it has good handling and most importantly is free to purchase in GTA Online if you have a Social Club account, making it a great vehicle to use if you're trying to save money but want an effective transport or are just starting out.
    • The Marksman Pistol. As stated above the pistol is slow and takes a long time to reload, but at the same time that reload makes it one of the best defensive weapons in a shootout. Reloading causes your character to duck back behind cover making you safe for that duration. It may not cause much carnage, but its slow and steady style it has can help you stay out of the line of danger long enough to survive.
    • The Jester from The Business Update. Its stats might be slightly lowly in comparison to other sports cars (Average speed and mediocre acceleration) but in the handling category, it's a force to be reckoned with. It has amazing traction in any condition, doesn't go flying when you try to handbrake on a turn, easily corrects itself in case of a spin-out, and can outmaneuver almost every sport and super car in the game (except maybe the Elegy and the Coquette).
    • The Marksman Rifle bridges the gap between assault rifles and sniper rifles perfectly, with good rate of fire and exceptional accuracy. It may not be able to zoom in, but its semi-automatic action makes it perfect for use with Michael's special ability, unlike normal sniper rifles, where the Bullet Time actually slows down the bolt-pull action and increases the time between shots.
    • The Armored Kuruma has a lot of uses in Online. It's biggest deal is it covers up the windows with metal plates leaving only a small area to hit anybody in the car with and can stand up to normal gunfire indefinitely, which is the only offensive that NPCs have 99%. A lot of strategies for events/missions that let you use your car in some say boil down to "load everybody into the armored Kuruma, clear out the area with the pistols/SMGs you can use while in the car" or "drive away with impunity while the enemy can barely hit you".
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played with-while there is a limit on how much ammunition you can carry, said limit is still higher than what one should realistically be able to carry on their person. Michael and Trevor carry close to 9500 of every ammunition type, while Franklin carries roughly 925. Maxing out all three's shooting stats allows them to carry a whopping 9999 bullets for all weapon categories.
    • Also, the Sawed-off Shotgun has a capacity of eight shells, even though its cut-down tube magazine should only able to hold two.
  • Broken Bridge. The first GTA game to avert this. GTA V lets you explore the entire map (certain mission-specific interiors excepted) from the moment you gain control of a character.
    • Most interiors are not accessible in Director Mode, unfortunately.
  • Call-Back: In the mission "Father/Son," Jimmy is hanging from a moving vehicle and Michael has to drive underneath to catch him. In the final mission of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl has to rescue his brother Sweet the exact same way.
  • Camera Perspective Switch: The eight-generation ports allow the player to freely switch between third-person and first-person modes.
  • Cap:
    • The maximum amount of money any character can carry is $2,147,483,647.
    • For weapons that use bullets or shotgun shells, the ammunition cap is 9,999 rounds once the "shooting skill" stat is maxed out. For the rocket launcher and grenade launcher, the cap is 20 rounds and for most thrown weapons, the cap is 25. For DLC weapons, the homing rocket launcher is capped at 10 rounds and the proximity mine is capped to 5 units.
  • Car Cushion: Averted to an extent. Fall from a high enough height onto a car and the impact will make the car explode.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Los Santos is an expy for Los Angeles, Alderney for New Jersey, and San Andreas for California. There are songs on the radio that mention California, Los Angeles Neighborhoods, and the song "Convoy" mentions the Jersey Shores.
  • Church of Happyology: Three different versions, one per character.
    • Accessible to Michael is The Epsilon Program, making its return from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, is seriously weird. Since the game is taking place in a Los Angeles Expy, it's a Take That! at The Church of Scientology itself, right down to the church's main building being an almost-exact replica of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center in LA, and one of its ads mentions how its female members sleep with male movie stars "so they can convince themselves they're straight."
    • There's also the Children Of The Mountain run by Brother Adrian, whose site Franklin can pay thousands of dollars to, answer various questions (giving them a lot of personal info) and eventually get a T-Shirt. The website for it is filled with similarities to the real thing.
    • Trevor can be involved with the Altruists who are the strangest of the bunch.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Franklin is light green, Michael is light blue, Trevor is orange, and the multiplayer character is dark blue (the space was yellow during the two weeks before GTA Online went live).
    • The Epsilon Program (accessible by Michael) has light blue as its main motif. Everyone working for them wears light blue (including the special robes Michael has to buy for later missions), the cars and helicopter they drive in are light blue, the website background is light blue, and the logo on their building is light blue as well. This is probably to parody the fact that one of the Scientology buildings in Los Angeles is painted light blue.
  • Commonplace Rare: The Declasse Asea sedan. Logically it should be very common, being based off a Chevrolet Aveo/Dacia Logan but it doesn't spawn in the traffic at all — there are only two appearances of it in single player (and only one instance of its appearance lets you take it, if you miss it or destroy it it's Permanently Missable) and it can be only obtained at the start of GTA Online (and chosen in sedan races). Averted as of the Business Update in March 2014, in which several cars previously unavailable for purchase, including the Asea, can be purchased from one of the two in-game dealerships. Also averted in the eighth-generation version, where it appears in traffic fairly frequently.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
    • Enemy NPCs are able to blindfire from cover and still be able to hit you at sniper rifle range. This can be especially annoying in Online, where it's not uncommon to be immediately gunned down the moment you step away from cover by NPCs who are a long distance away. This is especially prevalent when the police start sending helicopters after you. If you kill the pilot or destroy the tail rotor without killing the gunmen in the chopper, they will continue to shoot you as the helicopter crashes.
    • Furthermore, the various updates to Online buffed enemy NPCs even more. They have the durability of a tank, faster reflexes, and their bullets do more damage to you even when you're wielding the same gun as them. Try to 1v1 an enemy on hard difficulty, and he'll gun you down before you can even raise your weapon.
    • Aerial attackers are often also gifted with pilots who have discovered the secret to avoiding the wobble that plagues every helicopter the player flies.
      • AI controlled fighter jets & attack choppers can fire their machine guns in any direction, regardless of where the nose of the aircraft is aimed.
      • The homing rockets are noticeably worse at tracking AI controlled aircraft than player controlled ones. It's not uncommon for homing rockets to curve around their target missing them entirely even if they are hovering in place or flying in a straight line.
    • Police Cruisers are able to chase you down and ram you spinning off the road even if you're driving in a Truffade Adder, the fastest car in the game (if you're driving in a straight line). Even more egregiously, if you come up behind one and try to pass, he'll match you turn for turn.
    • The same is true when you're being chased by gangs. Their clunky SUVs and lowriders have no problem keeping up and ramming your supercar.
    • Police cars and helicopters spawn very quickly and can even do so with you just outside their visual range. You're going to have a hell of a time shaking them off at the higher wanted levels.
    • In concept, when you elude the authorities and get the Wanted Meter to start flashing, the cops have no idea where you are and will be on high alert as they patrol the area and look for you. In truth, they do know where you are and will circle straight to your position, going so far as to get out of their cars and walk into the alleyway, up the hill, or on top of the roof you just so happen to be hiding in, regardless if anyone actually saw you in the area. The only differences between this state and "high alert" are that they move more slowly than when they're on "alert", and they're less likely to do a 180 degree turn toward you. One (not 100%) reliable exception is train tunnels and similar covered areas, which they are disinclined to investigate.
      • A good example is if you manage to lose the police, somehow, and hide in a bush (A good idea for this is further away from the city, where police tend to spawn further away and from fewer directions) and watch. Even though the game does treat you as invisible in the bush as long as you don't come out of hiding, the police will still make their way in front of the bush and walk right up to it, still not seeing you and thus not restarting your wanted level, but still walking around it until your level vanishes.
    • Hell, if spawning cops right in front of you doesn't work, the police will sometimes be able to refresh the wanted level regardless if anyone could realistically see you (like if you were hiding underground where they typically don't follow you into) or in really infuriating cases if there aren't even people in the area at all. The chances of this happening increases as the wanted meter goes up which makes losing a five star wanted level impossible at times.
    • The tanks in Fort Zancudo seem to have sharpshooters controlling them, being able to hit sports cars and muscle cars going over 100 mph.
    • Flying the blimp (available as a DLC in some early promotions) has a major risk. Not only is it Made of Explodium, but if you fly over restricted airspace (specifically the military base), you will be warned to change course, as per usual, but a jet fighter will instantly spawn behind you and blow you out of the sky before you have a chance to react.
    • Vehicles tend to be more durable if NPCs are driving them. The most egregious example is Police Mavericks which if flown by police can easily soak up hundreds of assault rifle rounds without showing signs of damage, yet if you are flying one all it takes is a dozen or so rounds from pistols for it to start smoking. Vehicles driven by NPCs can start up and operate with few problems no matter how damaged the engine is ignoring the usual aversion of Critical Existence Failure.
    • Sometimes NPC characters, especially cops, can survive being in an exploding vehicle (which in every game in the series is fatal no questions asked for the player), getting out after the explosion, but on fire, which is rarely fatal. Especially annoying if NOOSE does this when you try to use explosives to thin them out.
    • Some curious people looking at the code to give players wanted levels found that pedestrians can get the police sent after players without even pulling out their phones. What's worse, even wild animals can contact the police!
  • Combat Pragmatist: The players are obviously this if they choose but the AI does this too. Beat down enough gang members with a melee weapon and the rest of the gang will pull out their guns and gladly ignore Mook Chivalry.
  • Continuity Nod: Works with Broad Strokes and Alternate Universe. There's enough nods to imply events similar to the 3D universe happened.
    • Radio host Lazlow more or less continues his downward slide from GTA IV, in which he appeared to be the only character who remembers some of the events that happened in the GTA III universe.
    • Another GTA III character, Fernando, also rejoins the franchise and makes reference to his behavior in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
    • A number of dialogue references are made to characters and events in Grand Theft Auto IV (with several characters from that game and its DLCs appearing).
  • Continuity Snarl: The online portion of the game is set several months before the single player story but the TV shows Tracey De Santa on Fame Or Shame's finale with Lazlow saying he's being threatened to get Tracey to win, which happens in single player.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Nervous Ron's show on Blaine County Talk Radio, which is less Alex Jones and more The X-Files with a bit of The Matrix.
    • Ironically, achieving 100% completion in single player actually proves some of the conspiracies true!
  • Cool Car: This being Los Santos, there are a few cars that are just begging to be plucked.
  • Cool Plane: Planes (including fighter jets) make a return.
    • A flyable version of the blimp was made available as a DLC in some early promotions.
    • The Vestra which appears in both Online and Single Player after the Business Update. It's almost worth a million dollars in Online, but it's the fastest plane, even faster than the Luxor and has the agility of a Mallard, making it one of the better planes to own.
    • For the first time, it's also possible to pilot large aircraft such as cargo planes and passenger airliners.
    • The San Andreas Flight School gave us the Besra training jet. It has the best agility of any plane, even outperforming the Vestra and Mallard, making it perfect for stunts and fancy maneuvering.
  • Cool, But Inefficient:
    • The Musket introduced in the Independence Day Special does high damage and has good accuracy and range, but it's slow to reload (roughly 5 seconds) after only one shot. Not an ideal weapon to use against cops.
    • The Fireworks Launcher from the same update does decent damage, but the player is better off with other explosive weapons that will guarantee kills. It's just there to make, well, fireworks. Also, ammo is only available during firework related holidays, otherwise your stuck with the limited ammo that you managed to buy.
    • The Homing Launcher introduced in the Festive Surprise. It's basically like the standard rocket launcher, with the added effect of being able to lock on to moving vehicles. However, the player can only carry 10 rockets at a time (as opposed to 20 for the standard rocket launcher), it takes a few seconds to lock on, and it's still possible to miss if the target is moving right.
    • The Vintage Pistol from the Hipster Update is a cool antique pistol with custom engravings and a shiny nickel finish but has terrible range, accuracy and a very small magazine size that is only better than the SNS Pistol. Probably intentional considering the little respect hipsters get in this setting.
    • The MG. Overall, it's a good weapon. It has good damage, good range, and with extended mags, a large 100-round magazine. However, in singleplayer it falls into this trope. Why? Because its superior, the Combat MG, is unlocked before it.note  This, combined with the MG's lackluster stats compared to the Combat MG, means that the only time the average player might actually use the MG is in Online.
    • The Advanced Rifle, for being an 11th-Hour Superpower. As mentioned below, it's unlocked after The Big Score, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't the second-to-last story mission in the entire game. Furthermore, depending on which ending you chose, you might not even be able to use the gun in the final mission.note  Subverted if you picked the Obvious route for The Big Score, where Mike & Frank are given Advanced Rifles with extended magazines. The Bullpup Rifle, a DLC weapon, is also unlocked at the beginning of the game, and is only held back by the prohibitively expensive attachments.
    • The Marksman Pistol from the Ill Gotten Gains Part 2 Update is a powerful Hand Cannon, taking down any NPC in one shot, even if it's a body shot; however, it has many of the same drawbacks of the Musket, such as being a single shot weapon and having a slow and cumbersome reload.
  • Crapsack World: Ho, boy. Basically, the setting of the game is a conglomeration of all the worst people and all the worst traits in American culture: fame and celebrity obsession, materialism, social Darwinism, xenophobia, narcissism, and more, with virtually every character — including many minorities — exhibiting at least one of these. Naturally, the negative portrayal of the minority characters landed the game into quite a bit of controversy, some of it from Poe's Law, some of it because negative portrayals of minorities are (to some) unacceptable in ANY circumstance, setting and context be damned.
    There are in-universe efforts to fight this corruption and lack of good nature, and as with GTA IV some character exhibit morality that would be admirable even in the real world. These people usually suffer at the hands of the corrupt and unjust, however, and at times on the whole it seems they simply cannot stand against the bleak world they live in. A man leading a protest against gun violence, after a protester is killed the day before by a shooting, gets killed by a knife during his own protest. Things just don't go right for good people.
    • All that said, Los Santos itself isn't that awful a place when taken on face value, with a number of beautiful neighbourhoods, vibrant nightlife, and close proximity to natural areas. However we learn during the course of the game that Liberty City, local of GTA IV, has been devastated by a hurricane.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted with the NPCs in this game in regards to gunfights. Shoot them enough times with a weak pistol and they will be on the ground moaning in pain until they bleed out, sometimes trying to shoot back. Played straight in fistfights, however.
    • Overall the player takes fairly low damage when hit by cars (though significantly more than in IV), except ones going at very high speeds; even these rarely take away more than 50% of the player's health. However, if you get caught under a vehicle or its tires roll over you even once, it's instant death. (Jumping out of a fast-moving car also may result in instant death.)
    • As it turns out, even just one gunshot wound from the default pistol can kill some enemies, such as cops and even NOOSE. While they probably won't react at first, over time their movements will become more sluggish and fatigued, until they finally keel over dead. Relying on just one shot to drain them dry is still risky, though, since they'll keep attacking like normal as long as they're able.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Play a rousing few hours of Grand Theft Auto IV and then switch to V. Call for a taxi, and curse in frustration as you accidentally jack the taxi when you meant to get in as a passenger.
    • Players used to the control scheme of the previous game may also run into trouble when trying to switch weapons or radio stations.
    • And unlike GTA IV, there appears to be no option for reverting to the GTA III-era control scheme, likely due to the addition of new controls such as a weapon wheel and character switching.
    • The so-called "Standard FPS" control scheme from the Next-gen version only switches the sprinting and sneaking buttons. To add insult to injury, you have to hold the thumbstick button down to keep sprinting.
      • Also, the button for switching the traffic lights during the Subtle version of The Big Score changes with the sprint button.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist
    • Perhaps more than ever before. You don't lose any inventory, and just respawn at the nearest clinic minus a not-insignificant percentage of your cash (boo hoo, it can never exceed $5,000 which is chump change if your character has millions). And with the cops more trigger-happy than ever, you may never even find out what happens when you get busted.
    • It's not even an issue in missions anymore. If you are wasted or busted during a mission, a "Mission Failed" screen appears and the player has the option of retrying from the last checkpoint which means no penalty at all. And, after three fails, there's even the option to skip that section of the mission again without penalty. However, certain gold medal objectives must be cleared on a single clean playthrough; using a checkpoint/skip will lock those objectives out unless replayed.
    • Also the creation of Lifeinvader, a parody of Facebook, which can be used to get in-game deals and bonuses.
  • Deep South:
    • Many of the residents of Blaine County speak with deep southern accents.
    • Lampshaded by a radio ad for an upcoming video game called Pride, Not Prejudice, a first-person shooter taking place in the South and employing every Southern stereotype this trope covers.
  • Developers' Foresight: This being a GTA game, it's part of a large sub page.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Supercars and high end sports cars tend to be this, due to the high speeds they can crash with relative ease and their somewhat low braking making it more likely that you'll stop by hitting, say, that wall in front of you or other drivers than the breaks doing their job. That said, if you can figure out when to apply the brakes such that you don't stop dead at the turn or miss it completely, they quickly become very worthwhile.
  • Easter Eggs: Oh so very many, with many visible in both the online and single-player versions. There are websites devoted simply to unravelling some of the cryptic clues involving UFOs (and possibly even a jetpack) scattered around the game map which have nothing to do with the storyline. The game world also includes countless shoutouts to past GTA games and characters, other Rockstar games, and there's even a surprisingly accurate recreation of the Playboy Mansion (complete with grotto) if you know where to find it. There are also many locations that can be explored that have no actual gameplay function in either single-player or online; they're just there to make the world more complete.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: As per series tradition. This time around, the player can pour a Vapor Trail of gasoline and watch the fireworks but only if it's powered by an engine. And even then, electric vehicles can explode when shot with explosives or if you land the vehicle wrong from a high height.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: The Altruists' web site is entirely in Morse code except for the title.
  • First-Person Shooter: The Next-Gen version now allows you to see from a first-person perspective and not only shoot like in a FPS, but also drive, fly, and swim as well.
  • Game-Breaking Bug
    • There is one where accessing the home page using the in-game browser causes it to close immediately, messing up the HUD and disabling access to most of the functions of the cell phone, including the internet. This makes it impossible to do the Epsilon missions and purchase vehicles and property in Online mode with that save.
    • Occasionally the player's skill bar "breaks" and refuses to fill up. The only solution is quitting the game and restarting from the last save point.
    • Using phone numbers to skip certain taxi missions, once purchasing Downtown Cab, disables any other taxi mission, including the special fares required for 100%Completion and an achievement/trophy.
  • Gatling Good: The minigun (albeit a more realistic version) reappears, after being absent from IV.
  • Gender Flip: GTAV features female cops for the first time in the series, though usually they're only found hanging around hospitals and police stations. (Female cops did exist in GTA IV but only their voices were heard, even during battles.)
  • Glass Cannon: All player characters are like this compared to the ones from earlier installments. You overall die faster and there are far more things that instantly kill you (compare explosions which were survivable with full armor and in the outer area of the blast in the previous game but are always death here) but the weapons you can get are more destructive and you can carry every weapon in the game.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: As per usual for GTA, there's an insane amount of collectibles that need to be tracked down in order to reach 100% completion. Unlike GTA IV, though, which offered a whole lot of nothing for the effort, getting 100% completion in GTA V unlocks an exclusive mission as well as some cool aesthetic features in the game world, including a "100% completion" T-shirt that is otherwise unobtainable and the appearance of UFOs in certain locales.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: In addition to the FIB and NOOSE from IV, there's also the IAA serving as a stand-in for the CIA, apparently carrying on an Interservice Rivalry with the FIB. In comparison to IV, NOOSE is essentially Demoted to Extra, not playing any role in the storyline- they're pretty much just generic SWAT-types.
  • Guide Dang It!: Due to the size of the map, walkthroughs or other guides are pretty much the only way of finding the locations where some of the random events/encounters may take place, especially those that may result in valuable crew members being added, unless the player is willing to aimlessly drive up and down every street on the map hoping for something to happen.
    • A guide is definitely required for locating weapon, armor and collectible pick-up locations, especially as the former two are very rare. And if you want to locate the knife flights, you pretty much need a guide too as unlike stunt jumps (usually denoted by ramps) and under the bridge stunts (which are the easiest to locate because, duh), where knife flights need to be done are not obvious in any way (hint: tall buildings are not a prerequisite. Now find them all on your own).
    • Or for knowing who not to kill, or deliver to the Altruist Cult, among the random characters encountered.
  • Hacker Cave: Lester has two: his house, and an old textile factory in La Mesa.
  • Hand Cannon: The Marksman Pistol from the Ill Gotten Gains Part 2 Update. It can take down even armored NOOSE agents in one shot, but the weapon has a slow reload.
    • For an idea on how strong it is, the marksman pistol's shot is tested to be stronger than the heavy sniper rifle, which, in Online, can one-shot a player with a hit anywhere on the body.
      • A new heavy revolver was released. It's not quite as powerful as the Marksman Pistol, but it's still heavier than most pistol, making it a far better option for "one shot pistol" against Non Player Characters than the Marksman.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Averted, finally. After being only featured as a radio voice (and real-life behind-the-scenes script writer) since GTA III, Lazlow finally appears on screen as part of several missions. The player even gets to do nasty things to him, though he can't be killed.
  • Hide Your Children: GTA V continues the tradition of children being totally absent from the world, despite the existence of playgrounds. Also, like Red Dead Redemption, juvenile and baby animals are totally absent from the world. However, two of the four TV cartoons featured in the game have children and teens in them. There is a newsboy who shows up in very beginning of "Gordon Moorehead Rides Again," a boy in the ad for the show, and a girl and a boy in the Redwood cigarettes commercial. There are teens in "Kung Fu Rainbow Lazer Force," including the five main protagonists of the show. Michael's daughter is also implied to be underage. There is also a picture of a black boy on one of the questionaires on the Children of The Mountain in-game website that Franklin has to complete.
  • Hipster:
    • Trevor absolutely hates hipsters, to the point where his final Rampage side-mission has him shooting up the hipster enclave of Mirror Park. Of course, as Michael is keen to point out, Trevor fulfills pretty much all the items on the hipster checklist — his lifestyle, his manner of dress, his total rejection of good taste, the place he lives, and of course, the fact that he's adamant about not being a hipster.
    • The online mode also added a hipster-themed item pack, which includes hipster fashions and hairstyles, "ironic" tattoos, retro cars, and even an antique cavalry dagger and a old-fashioned pistol as new weapons. Its name, of course, is the "I'm Not a Hipster" pack (named after something Trevor says when he rants about Michael calling him a hipster during a storyline cutscene).
  • Holler Button: If you enter a car without a weapon equipped, pressing the drive-by button will cause your character to flip the bird at anyone passing by. In single player, pressing right on the D-Pad will also make your character speak to NPCs near them, with unique dialogue depending on the NPC you're speaking to.
  • Hollywood, California
  • Hollywood Silencer: Silencers are an available weapon mod for every weapon except the Sawed-Off Shotgun, the Heavy Sniper, machine guns, and heavy weapons.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: In the proud GTA tradition. At the end of the vanilla game alone, the player is likely to be carrying six melee weapons, three handguns, two/three SMGs, three assault rifles, three shoutguns, two sniper rifles, two machine guns, a minigun, a rocket launcher, and a grenade launcher-and that's before getting into the DLC weapons. To make weapon selection less tedious, a Red Dead Redemption-style weapon wheel has been added.
    • Made even more obvious at points in the game where Michael or Trevor find themselves wearing only their underwear — but they have complete access to their entire arsenal, including the gargantuan minigun.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The Pißwasser ad is a full-on racist tirade lashing out at immigrants and plays all Eagleland Type 1 tropes (as well as glorifying the Type 2 ones). Then at the end, the ad proudly announces that the beer is brewed in Germany.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Annoyingly, enemies seems to possess this. Many a player has been iced from dozens of feet away by a Mook with a basic pistol. Making matters worse, and unlike previous GTA games, the player can be shot while sitting inside a vehicle (previously damage would only be done to the vehicle).
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Incredibly, despite all the improvements in gameplay and improved abilities, the player still encounters ludicrously low obstacles all over the place that cannot be simply hopped over. In fact, occasionally the protagonist will even take damage when trying to jump over such things.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: In "Friends Reunited", the Lost MC hold a funeral for their slain brothers in the middle of the night during a heavy thunderstorm. And then Trevor shows up. With sticky bombs.
  • Irony: The description for the Rhino on Warstock Cache N Carry states that it's "One of the few vehicles still manufactured in America." The irony is that the Rhino is based on a German tank.
  • Joke Item:
    • While it's amusing to see someone die from tear gas, it takes way too long for the gas to deploy to cause death. It is also very obvious, so it gives plenty of heads-up for would-be victims to get away. If you want to flush someone out of cover, you're better off using something less obvious, like a grenade, or faster, like a sticky bomb, or molotov cocktails (provided you can find them). Though it did get a buff in an update which makes killing slow/dumb NPCs more likely to happen. (Part of the joke is also the fact that tear gas is by definition not supposed to be lethal.)
    • The Stanley Tractor. It's very old, rusted, and it's the slowest vehicle in the game. You can get a unique one with a license plate from the Epsilon program, however.
    • The Firework Launcher from the Independence Day Special update. While it does decent damage killing pedestrians with a direct hit and setting fire wherever it hits, you're better off using the Rocket Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Grenades, and Sticky Bombs against vehicles. (To be fair, however, the fireworks launcher was never intended to be used as an actual weapon.)
    • The Musket from the same update isn't much better. While it does tremendous damage per shot and is very accurate it needs to reload between each shot and has a very slow reload time (just like the real thing) making it only a bit more effective against multiple armed assailants than melee weapons.
    • The SNS Pistol from the Beach Bum update. Only having slightly more damage per bullet than the AP Pistol doesn't make up for its pitifully low accuracy, range and 6 round magazine size. Though it is based on a real life joke weapon so it may be justified.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Actually averted for once. The woman on the phone on the cover and in game artwork is a stripper who is inconsequential to the plot, but at least she exists in the game (and, unlike the infamous prostitute Lola from GTA IV, who appears on the box cover but cannot be located in the game, players can not only interact with the stripper but she can become an optional "booty call"). The lady cop arresting the Love Fist fan, and the fan, are the only two characters in artwork who do not appear in the game, though GTA V does feature a number of female cops.
    • According to the GTA wiki, the lady cop appears in Online as the target of an assassination mission. Perhaps as a Shout-Out, her surname is "Vasquez".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Often when the player crashes a vehicle into something, the protagonist will complain ("My car!" etc.) Some of these complaints are clearly directed at the player. On the other hand, the protagonists will also compliment the player if he/she executes some fancy driving and avoids hitting anything.
    • Leading up to the Merryweather heist, Michael dreads what a world full of Trevors would be like with people killing each other all the time while, naturally, Trevor loves the idea and says things would get done. This sounds a lot like GTA Online.
    • During his sessions with Dr. Friedlander, Michael says that he's had a series of sudden violent episodes and that that he feels he's not himself. One moment he's fine, the next "the red mist descends". Friedlander questions whether Michael is enjoying the mayhem and whether he feels like he's in control of his actions. Which makes sense at face value as a conversation about what it's like to be a violent nutcase, but it also makes sense as a conversation about what it's like to be a player character in a videogame who gets taken over by a foreign entity (i.e. the player) at random times and made to do awful things for that entity's entertainment. It also reflects the fact that the game itself alternates between Michael doing missions that are relatively benign and non-lethal and missions where killing someone and causing mayhem is required).
  • Lethal Joke Item: Snowballs. They're meant to be a joke, but 3 successive snowball hits will kill an NPC! They're also effectively in limitless supply during festive events.
  • Limited Loadout: Gloriously averted. You can carry any weapon in any category all at the same time.
  • Made of Explodium: If the Jerry Can catches fire while being held, it will make a powerful explosion somehow.
    • The DLC blimp. One hit from enemy aircraft fire and boom.
  • Made of Plasticine
    • NPCs that are not hostile Mooks or the police can't seem to handle head-on collisions when driving, even from certain hits that wouldn't damage the protagonists.
    • Any NPC that is sitting down will die from any contact they can feel, even from a small bump to the leg.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The railgun appears in the Next-Gen version of the game and acts as a sort of high velocity RPG.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Most of the single-player heists have the protagonists donning masks for them. Online takes it a step further: you can equip and remove masks on the fly. If you remove your mask while wanted by police (or put it on in case you committed a crime "unmasked"), you'll even lose a wanted star. This not only works with masks but with any accessory (except parachutes) that can be changed on the fly, i.e. glasses, hats, masks, and helmet.
    • Hilariously, this also works the other way around. If you've already lost a star by donning or removing a piece of accessory and then remove it or put it back on so you look like you did previously, you get that wanted star back again; e.g. rob a store wearing any mask to get a 2-star wanted level, remove mask to lose a star, put that mask back on to get back up to a 2-star level again.
  • Mayan Doomsday: Referenced by Ron in BCTR's "Blaine County Radio Community Hour" replay, stating they are less than three months away from that event, clearly dating the replay to originate from around September 2012.
  • Mock Hollywood Sign: Vinewood (inspired by Hollywood) has its own HOLLYWOOD-inspired sign. It provides said trope's page image.
  • Mood Whiplash: Due to the shuffle nature of the radio playback engine, the game can do this. Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E playing right after Ozark Mountain Daredevils' If You Wanna Get To Heaven and Chicago's If You Leave Me Now playing right after Alannah Miles' Black Velvet are just some of the examples that have happened.
    • Since the game usually allows players when to trigger missions or other activities, it's possible to follow a sad event (such as Michael's family leaving him) or a tense, violent event (such as the infamous torture mission) with something light-hearted like a round of golf, or a humour-tinged mission like the cannabis-hallucination ones.
  • More Dakka: GTA V loves this trope. You can increase the dakka output of most weapons by attaching extended magazines, up to & including automatic shotguns & light machine guns. The Minigun from GTA III series also made a comeback, and military jets & choppers can be used to rain dakka from above. Hell, there is even an achievement for firing more than 4000 bullets in the fourth heist.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: Some cars available in Online do not show up in Singleplayer: specifically the Hijak Khameleon and Grotti Stinger GT from the core game.
    • The Heists Update's gear as well. Wanted to drive an armored sports car for free? Too bad. Want to use a jump jet? No dice. Want a bike with KERS on it? Nope.
      • The last one is averted with the Vindicator from Ill-Gotten Gains part 2 being available, but the KERS doesn't even work as it would in Online.
  • The New '10s: This game is the series' period piece for the early-to-mid 2010s, as did the IV saga for the late 2000s. The game takes place during an economic downturn, where class divisions are stark. By this time, smartphones have also become prolific, with Michael, Trevor and Franklin using expies of the iPhone, Nokia Lumia, and Samsung Galaxy (albeit with Blackberry branding), respectively. Finally, in-game media takes into account the surge of interest in gender equality and gay rights, legalization of marijuana, gun rights, and a lot of people discuss misogyny one way or another, especially on the radio (and this being the ludicrous GTA Radio, a lot of people argue in favor of it, of course).
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Outside of the mission "Derailed", you cannot stop a moving train. No matter how many tanks or dump trucks are used to block the tunnel it goes through, the train will plow right through them. It can even take several sticky bombs and RPGs! This can be averted, though, with some well placed stickies in Online mode.
  • Offscreen Inertia: Averted. The other two characters you aren't in control of tend to do their own thing. So you can switch from Michael in his house to Franklin playing with Chop to Trevor throwing someone off a bridge. They also change clothes if you don't switch to them for a while, which is a rather subtle way of giving you a sense of them being "alive".
    • If you switch to a character and hurry over to where you left the previous character, you can actually witness them get into their car and drive away. Sometimes you can even randomly encounter them driving around the city (which triggers interaction and the option for the two characters to share an activity).
    • This feature comes in very handy if you get a character into a location where it's either impossible to leave or would require a very long drive/walk. (For example, sitting in a submersible miles off shore, or wandering around a remote mountaintop in the middle of the night in your underwear with no ammo and with mountain lions stalking you. What, this doesn't happen in real life?)
    • It's also handy if you have a long drive ahead of you and want to do something more interesting: Set the GPS location in the map and then switch out to another character - when you switch back you'll find the first character on their way to the location you've marked for them. Leave them long enough and they'll get there on their own.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you've got the game on the Seventh Generation consoles and connected to the Social Club, and then get the game for the Eighth Generation consoles and connect them to the Social Club as well, you get numerous bonuses, largely the ones available to the Special and Collectors editions of the previous games.
  • Player-Generated Economy: Through the BAWSAQ stock market, handled by the Rockstar Social Club. If a lot of players are buying weapons from Ammu-Nation, or clothes from a particular shop, then their stocks will rise. A stock market is also available to non-Online players in the single-player game, but it's not as lucrative (unless one does the Assassination Investor missions) .
  • Police Brutality: The cops in this game are much more relentless than in previous ones, especially to NPCs, where they would kill them outright all the time instead of arresting them. They will even attack and hunt down unarmed civilians if they do something as scratch their police car or accidentally hit them while panicking from other acts of violence.
  • Polluted Wasteland: San Andreas is shown to have serious environmental problems: As an exaggerated version of Los Angeles, Los Santos is depicted as having a smog problem, which is occasionally referenced or seen in game (One Weasel News report is about Los Santos competing with Beijing to see what city can have the worst air, and heavy smog sometimes covers the city). The Alamo Sea in Blaine County is described as being "a putrid, salt-rich lake whose waters are unlikely to be home to anything you'd want to go fishing for" with waters that can "burn through a man's lower intestine in seconds", though it is safe for swimming in-game. One of the single-player side-missions requires the player to retrieve 30 barrels of nuclear waste from the ocean floor, which were the result of a shipping accident detailed in a Weasel News report.
    • However, at the same time the game averts this by often showing clear, bright skies, and beautiful unspoiled scenery.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Downplayed. While headshots do leave a visible wound unlike in GTA IV, they're generally small and hard to notice, even if you use a high-caliber weapon such as the Pistol .50 or Heavy Sniper.
    • Averted with shotguns, which leave multiple small holes that add up to nasty looking wounds.
    • Also averted with Sanchez when Haines shoots him in the face. The resulting exit wound is large and very gruesomely detailed, with exposed brain tissue and and a virtual fountain of blood spraying from the hole.
    • In Director Mode, if a character is hit in the head by enemy gunfire (with the invincibility cheat turned on), their face is often covered in blood, making them look more like a zombie.
  • Rated M for Manly: GTA V is considered the biggest selling game of all time, and is arguably the most puerile and adult. It would have one of if not the record for language, the game and community encourages you to be the worst type of player you can be, and it glamorizes being such an immoral and criminal psychopath (in-game).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Not so much the "plot" per se, but dialogue references. The game was released in 2013 and is set in that year, as such news media in the game make reference to a major storm decimating parts of Liberty City (the setting for GTA IV); this is a reference to the real-life Hurricane Sandy that hit New York City in 2012.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted. Most characters stutter, correct themselves, or repeat what they say while talking.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • If not approached with care, the stock market is a very easy way to lose money.
    • Jump at a wall while sprinting. Unlike in IV, your character won't suddenly switch to an animation of them climbing up the wall: they'll jump right into it, fall over, and take minor damage.
    • Fall into water from any significant height, and you die. In GTA IV it was possible to bail out of an aircraft sans parachute but survive so long as you landed in the water.
    • A major example of this trope in contrast to previous GTA games: no longer will police magically forget about you if you enter a safehouse. They will not only follow you inside, but the ability to save is disabled if they still see you.note  In previous GTA games, saving your game while in a safehouse automatically removed any wanted level regardless of whether you were seen or had a full wanted level bar.
    • Pulling a gun on an NPC in a vehicle will usually result in them panicking and attempting to run you over.
    • Averted in one respect: you can play golf during a raging thunderstorm. In real life, of course, this is a bad idea.
    • Also averted in that it's possible to drive cars and trucks up impossibly steep terrain and through areas where, in reality, no off-road vehicle should be able to go. (For example, it's possible to drive a semi or a muscle sports car to the top of Mount Chiliad, even without using the trails.)
    • Complete a heist mission and look at the amount of money obtained; then watch that amount plummet as team members take their cut and, if applicable, hospital bills are paid. A prime example is the final heist where more than $200 million is stolen, but depending on actions taken and options chosen, the main characters might only get $40 million or less each.
    • Some radio stationsnote  have limited range and cannot be heard across the whole map.
    • Bail out of a moving vehicle and you take heavy damage, often enough to be fatal if you don't have health and armor maxed out (this even applies during a side mission where bailing out is a requirement for gold). In the pre-HD GTA games, player characters could bail out taking little to no damage.
  • Regenerating Health: Only up to 50% of your character's health regenerates. After that you'll need to find health kits (or other methods) to restore the rest.
  • RPG Elements: Skills return from San Andreas, albeit in a much improved form.
  • Rule of Cool: The major upgrades from IV include this, from being able to swim underwater to sliding across the hood of a car.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: The most damaging shotgun, and has the added benefit of being able to be fired from motorbikes, but has a ludicrously short range.
  • Scenery Porn: From the numerous skyscrapers of Los Santos to the vast countryside, this game is a feast for the eyes. Head up to the Vinewood sign (especially at night, when everything's all lit up) or to the top of Mt. Chiliad, and just sit back and enjoy the amazing draw distance (which is even farther in the Xbox One/PS4 version).
    • There's even an in-game tour bus you can hop aboard to see the landmarks of Vinewood (including a fantastic ground-level view of the sign). It serves no game purpose; it's just there (though the game does treat it as a "random encounter" so taking the tour can count towards 100% completion). And depending on when you hop the bus, you can enjoy most of the tour at night.
    • Some versions of the game come with a DLC download of a pilotable blimp (the "enhanced" version for Xbox One and PS4 come with it available by default). Once you learn (often the hard way) which areas not to fly over, it can be used to enjoy the scenery from above in a more leisurely way than the fast-flying planes and helicopters (it's also quieter). And it's a good way to reveal most of the game map, which earns a trophy.
    • Not only can you enjoy the map from above, you can also (in the blimp, and in a plane or helicopter provided they can go high enough) go high up into the sky, above the clouds, and it is beautiful. Especially during a sunny day and at dawn or dusk.
    • A number of scenic locations, including one of the protagonists' safehouses, come equipped with telescopes that serve no game purpose other than to let players enjoy the scenery.
  • Sequel Escalation: Rockstar has described the map as being bigger than those of San Andreas, IV and Red Dead Redemption put together, and then some to spare. On top of having a full-sized city, the game also features the surrounding countryside (much as was done with San Andreas) and a vast, detailed ocean to explore. The primary difference is that there's just one very big urban area instead of three; no San Francisco or Las Vegas analogues. In a side-by-side comparison, the urban area of Los Santos in GTA V is approximately the same size as the entire map of GTA: San Andreas; some players have noted the illusion of the GTA:SA map feeling larger due to areas being separated by large bodies of water, the separate and distinctive cities and towns, and the fact that it takes time to unlock the entire map, whereas the complete map of San Andreas in GTA V is available from the start, a first for the GTA series.
    • New side activities include scuba diving, buying stocks, customizing cars to your liking, riding on AT Vs, tennis, yoga, nine-hole golf, biking, etc.
    • The multiplayer has escalated too. In addition to the usual death matches and races IV had, V will let players buy things with their hard earned cash much like in the single player campaign such as a place to call their own. Players can also join gangs or form their own much like in Max Payne 3's multiplayer. GTA V also features a much larger array of character design options.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Jack Howitzer Is Jack Howitzer In Jack Howitzer.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted and played straight. The Sawed-Off Shotgun is crazy deadly at close range, but significantly less so further away. The Pump Shotgun and Assault Shotgun are slightly less damaging, but have great range - not quite as good as the assault rifles, though. The Sawed-Off Shotgun then gets trounced by the Heavy Shotgun, which combines the sawed-off's per-shot damage with even greater range than the next longest-reaching shotgun, the Bullpup Shotgun. This is because the weapon fires high-caliber slugs.
    • And all of them are capable of scoring headshots at respectable range, since enemies will die if so much as a single pellet strikes them in the head.
  • Soft Water: This clip spectacularly illustrates this trope's aversion (though it should be noted that it shows someone attempting to fall into a shallow swimming pool; had the target been the ocean, the result would have been the same. In GTA IV it was possible to fall from such a height into a large body of water - though not a pool - and survive unharmed).
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The radio can frequently lead to these moments, just like in past GTA games.
    • West Coast Classics mostly plays hardcore west coast gangsta rap. But then there's Too $hort's "So You Wanna Be a Gangsta" and MC Eiht's "Streiht-Up Menace", which really don't glorify the gangsta culture. Which is fitting, as the Too $hort and MC Eiht (as part of Compton's Most Wanted) songs featured in San Andreas didn't, either.
    • Los Santos Rock Radio features a lot of laid-back soft rock. Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now" especially sticks out, except for its use when Trevor has to drive Patricia Madrazo back home to Martin. Amusingly, much earlier in the game, the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes" starts to play as Trevor is in a rage, but he yells that "This music's all fuckin' wrong!" and dodges this trope by switching the radio to Channel X's more mood-appropriate punk rock.
    • Try listening to Rebel Radio while trying to do a race. All's fine until Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E, a massive tearjerker of a song, starts to play. You'd best change the channel.
    • Non-Stop-Pop FM is likely the biggest offender, allowing you to conduct violent criminal acts to songs like "I Want It That Way". The same station also plays "New Sensation", which would have fitted better on Los Santos Rock Radio.
    • A non-radio example happens in "Unknowing the Truth," where the Epsilon program's theme-a serene synthesized ambient track-continues to play even if you choose to gun down the Epsilon security.
  • Shout-Out: In this page.
  • Statuesque Stunner:
    • A lot of the attractive girls that reside up in North Los Santos that reach up to at least the protagonist's shoulder, since all the protagonists are established to be at least six feet tall.
    • The female Online Protagonist can count since she's also established to be around six feet tall - more than 6 feet tall in heels. She is noticeably taller than pretty much every other female NPC encountered - as well as many of the men, too. The "stunner" part of the equation is subjective depending on how attractive the player chooses to make her in the customization. Or not.
    • Molly Schultz, a character who appears in several missions, is depicted as being rather tall.
  • Super Cell Reception: Your smartphone will work perfectly anywhere on the map, including subway tunnels, remote country roads surrounded by hills, the top of the tallest mountain in the state, or even in a submarine deep underwater.
    • Also, strangely, your radio still works inside a tunnel. Try listening to FM or satellite radio in a real tunnel and see how well that goes.
    • Strangely, however, GPS does not. Enter a tunnel and the GPS will cut out briefly.
  • Take Cover!: A much improved cover system from IV returns.
  • Take That!: Every website, show, movie, poster, commercial, not-plot-important line, and comment on the radio is an unfriendly dig or parody of something.
    • Weazel News is back, and as blunt as ever.
      Weazel News: Confirming Your Prejudices!
    • The Republican Space Rangers return, once again keeping future America safe from encroaching feel-good socialism by becoming part of the "Coffee Grinder" political movement. They also gain a limousine-liberal counterpart in "Impotent Rage", a smug Small Name, Big Ego-type superhero who angrily derides those he disagrees with for being Neanderthals and brutes, yet solves all his problems with violence. It's also implied that he actually is impotent, which is the reason for his outbursts, making his moniker a Meaningful Name.
    • The official website's travelogue for the Los Santos area contains a slide advertising the city's healthcare. It notes that "Thanks to recent legislation, if you receive something as harmless as a scratch or as serious as a bullet wound, any of our state certified medical centers will patch you up and make sure the healthy bill is picked up by taxpayers", a possible take that at Obamacare.
    • While Blaine Country Talk Radio's Duane Earl is more of a general parody of conservative radio personalities (he usually sounds more like Ghost than Rush), the cooking program "Bless Your Heart" and its hostess Bobbi June are very obvious digs at celebrity chef Paula Deen.
    • A parody of Facebook called Lifeinvader, whose founder and CEO, Jay Norris, is a thin mix between Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, who brags about how he has gotten rich on getting millions of people to voluntarily give up their private information. In the single-player, one of the early missions has you blowing his head off on live TV with a bomb in a cell phone.
    • An internet advertisement for a book that is totally not Fifty Shades of Grey titled "Chains of Intimacy", that is soon to be a motion picture. The blurb reads as follows:
      Imagine if feminism never happened. Imagine a woman treated like a doormat covered with DNA. Imagine sex where she has to go to the hospital.
    • MyRoom, a very detailed website in Grand Theft Auto IV has now virtually shut down because no one is going there anymore. What happened? Lifeinvader happened.
    • A lot of things in the game is a complete jab at pop culture staples, right from gamer's teabagging, to movies being green-screened more and more.
    • Since this is a Hollywood, California Expy, several potshots are aimed at paper-thin parodies of celebrities, and the Strawman News Media reporting about their lives. For example, MC Clip, a rapper who was reported to have held a 3-hour concert where he only spent 30 minutes actually performing, while he spent the other two-and-a-half hours preaching about how he is the most important American icon of the present, is pretty much a Composite Character of many modern rappers who frequently rant about how important they are.
      • This game could easily be considered the biggest middle finger to its real world setting out of all the GTA games. This may be because L.A. just happens to be the biggest T.V. and Movie center of America (both industries that at one point in time criticized the video game industry and GTA in particular) or because a New York mayor made a fuss about GTA IV's Liberty City and Rockstar just doesn't care about pulling punches anymore.
    • During one side mission, Michael smokes a joint of marijuana given to him by a legalization activist. His subsequent hallucination has him fighting aliens with a minigun in a purple haze, a likely reference to the purple-themed, alien-including Saints Row: The Third (Saints Row IV came out a month before GTA V). Made even funnier considering the marked gameplay similarities between GTA and the Saints Row series.
    • Beverly is a Take That! towards paparazzi and gossip journalists like Perez Hilton, who are obsessed with finding out every single detail of celebrities(even if it's through illegal means) and invading their private lives all for the purpose of "juicy" exclusive stories. Franklin calls Beverly out on this, asking him why he care so much what celebrities do in their own time and saying as much that it's none of their business.
    • One news story on the radio talks about Los Santos' new "red and white" tram system costing billions of dollars and shutting down busy streets for years. This is a not-so-subtle dig at Edinburgh's trams, which held up a number of busy streets, including Leith Walk, where Rockstar North's offices are located. In real life, Los Angeles' subway system (the fact one even exists often surprises people) is also much-maligned.
    • Michael says that First-Person Shooter games are "all the same." Becomes Hypocritical Humor in the eighth-generation version, with its available first-person mode.
    • One political ad heard on the radio calls for laws making it mandatory that every man, woman and child should be armed to the teeth, in order to make Los Santos a safer place. Of course lampshaded by the many gunfights that seem to erupt at random throughout the game world, above and beyond what the player might decide to do between missions.
      • Of course the other side of the debate doesn't get off scot-free-one news report mentions a gun control activist being stabbed to death, lampooning how real-life gun control activists ignore other forms of violent crime.
    • "Toe Shoes" are a brand of foot-like shoes that are seen advertised throughout the game and are based on the Real Life Vibram FiveFingers which some people find tasteless and ugly. The advertisements clearly think so too with slogans like "Run like a caveman." and "Shoes for toes and twats."
    • In Director Mode, many occupation-based NPCs have a number of variant appearances. One of the few that doesn't is the supermodel, which is perhaps a subtle dig at the fashion industry's notoriously narrow standards of beauty.
  • Threatening Shark: The vast ocean is home to huge sharks that look like a mix between a bull shark and a tiger shark, but have the size of a great white (during a hallucination, Trevor refers to them as tiger sharks, but Abigail Mathers refers to them as San Andreas white sharks). If you're swimming in the ocean and a red dot comes up on your radar, you'd better have a boat handy, or the shark will realistically circle and stalk you before darting in for a one-hit killing chomp. Averted, however, with the hammerhead sharks introduced in the enhanced version of the game. They may look threatening, and like to swim in schools, but are harmless and will swim away if you approach them.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Grenades and other explosive-based weapons can be this at times, due to their limited ammo capacities.
    • The Karin Futo. While it is mostly based off the badass looking Toyota Corolla AE 86, its tendency to drift makes it very hard to use with inexperienced drivers. It does, however give the benefit of being able to conserve a lot of speed around corners when drifting, which can make a big difference in races.
    • The Hakuchou. It has amazing top speed, great acceleration (When modified) and can wheelie with ease, which makes the bike a great stunter and VERY fun to drive. The big downside? The handling. It often understeers around corners, doesn't corner very nicely around them, and has a very wide turning circle. This makes the bike, like the Futo, an expert's toy. Despite these problems, it is a very common bike in GTA Online, along with the Akuma (A streetfighter style acceleration rocket).
  • Too Fast to Stop: A lot of the vehicles with high top speeds, but low traction and braking fall into this category. Most vehicles can be modded, but there is a limit to how much every model can be improved. The expensive Super vehicles, like the Cheetah, Entity, and Adder, as well as super-fast motorcycles like the Bati and Akuma, can have their amazing speed rendered completely useless as you skid, slide, and slam into everything in sight. Acquiring the aforementioned mods, and lowering the suspension will help somewhat, but players still need to be careful with elevation changes, because nothing can help you once you're airborne. Even a high Driving skill can't stop you from flying headfirst into a building.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The cops in the previous game frequently got attacked for their almost hilariously bad AI. This game's cops are far more aggressive, make far more impossibly good shots, and are much better at hounding you. If you decide to play sniper from a rooftop, better make sure there isn't a way to climb up nearby.
  • Unorthodox Reload: The reload animation for the pump, sawn-off, and bullpup shotguns shows the player inserting only one shell, regardless of how many the player fired.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: There are lots of clothes to choose from in both Single Player and Online. Doubly so in Online since you can create both male and female player characters.
  • Wanted Meter: Going up to five stars instead of the traditional six. The system has been improved over IV, making the police search area less rigid and harder to evade, and giving the player new options - for instance, changing cars without the police seeing will allow you to drive right through the vision range doing anything that wouldn't get you one star normally. Until they find where you dumped the old car, anyway, at which point they get really jumpy.
    • You can even avoid line of sight with a little luck on a moving freeway if the police are moving on the opposite side from you and you can keep a semi truck or bus or other large vehicle between you and their sight line. Line of sight avoidance also works with parking garages.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: It's GTA, of course. The sandboxing is taken to a new level, with a slew of incidental side missions and random encounters to find. It's also the first non-DLC console GTA to not have a Broken Bridge in the single-player, so the complete map is open from the start. After the game's initial release there were forum reports of players spending weeks just exploring the map before even starting the storyline missions.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Aside from the fact any computer-controlled character is fair game if you want to play it that way, in GTA V there are also female cops. While GTA IV had the voices of female police officers, only male cops ever appeared on screen. In GTA V if you get into a gunfight with the police, odds are some of your victims will be female.
    • There is also a side-mission that gives Michael the option of letting a woman go or killing her, with no penalty either way (though the killing option allows him to obtain her rare vehicle).
  • Worst Aid: Paramedics are completely useless in this game. Whenever there's a pile of limp bodies lying around on the street, they'll just inspect them, immediately conclude that they're all dead, even if they were simply knocked out in a fight, and just leave the bodies there.
    • And if you drive into the back of an ambulance, they'll all pile out, haul you from your car and proceed to beat you up. Presumably the Hippocratic Oath is optional for LS medics.

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