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Grand Theft Auto V / Single Player Tropes 0 to D

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  • 100% Completion: A major goal of the game. Contrary to the very disappointing reward for scoring 100% on Grand Theft Auto IV, this time there are a number of cool rewards for completing the to-do list (And for once the to-do list isn't near-impossible, as long as you have a walkthrough guide handy!). Among those rewards: A number of cool-looking flying saucers appear at certain locations on the map, and an exclusive single-player mission is unlocked.
  • Aborted Arc: During one mission, Trevor hijacks a cargo plane full of weapons with the intention of selling them to one of his contacts. The plane is shot down by the airforce and goes down into the Alamo Seanote . Ron mentions that if Trevor can get some diving equipment, he could salvage the cargo, but Trevor only mentions that that will take time and that they'll have to cancel the immediate deal. No mention of salvaging the cargo is ever made again.
    • It's not a main mission, but you can steal a boat with scuba gear and dive down to the crashed plane. It contains weapons that periodically respawn.
  • Acquainted with Emergency Services: If Trevor is pursued by the police of Blane Country, they will call him out by name over speaker, implying that they already know him really well.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: "Trevor Philips Industries" kicks off with Trevor meeting some Chinese gangsters at a bar to discuss business; naturally, he assumes the formally-dressed and polite man who first walks in the door is the boss, Tao Cheng. The man informs him that he's only Tao Cheng's interpreter; Cheng himself is a strung-out junkie manchild who clumsily dances to the jukebox. Trevor takes one look at him and has to be talked out of walking away from the deal.
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  • Action Prologue: The opening of the game takes place during a Bank Robbery in North Yankton, where you play as Michael during a basic tutorial and then switch to Trevor, who has a high-powered assault rifle with lots of ammo. After you switch to Franklin (a character not involved in the bank robbery), it takes a while again before you can get that kind of weaponry. However, it is not a Cold Open, as it explains how Trevor became so unhinged and how Michael faked his death.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In San Andreas, the Varrios Los Aztecas were focused on cars and defending their territory, were allies with the Grove Street Families, and Cesar was CJ's best friend who helped him during his exile from Los Santos and eventually was a hand in the revival of both gangs. In this game, they are focused on drug trafficking and act as an enemy for Trevor Philips Industries.
  • Against the Setting Sun: The ending for Option C has the characters part ways, until the next heist anyway, while the sun is setting in the background.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Depending on which ending you choose.
    • Ending A — Trevor's death. On one hand, one might not feel so bad about killing Trevor considering some of his actions... on the other hand, being burnt alive, screaming his head off, is a horrible way to go even for him. That Trevor's implied to be more surprised and hurt by Franklin's betrayal than anything else is rather heartbreaking on its own, because he clearly trusted him completely.
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    • Ending B — Michael's death. From his distraught voice as he screams how Franklin was like a son to him, to the shot of his corpse on the ground and Franklin looking like he's just fighting back tears when he sees what he's done and not to mention that Michael's life seemed to finally be going well, with his family seeming to start to come together, with Tracey going to college.
    • Averted, however, with Ending C, as two of your targets are reprehensible beyond repair — an FIB agent so sociopathic Trevor jumped on the chance to snipe him when the chance arose, and a corrupt businessman who sics bloodthirsty mercenaries onto anyone he doesn't like.
  • All for Nothing: Trevor's attempt to steal Merryweather's cargo to sell ends up amounting to a big nothingburger when it turns out his quarry is actually a weapon of mass destruction, and he had to give it back unless he wanted to end up a fugitive.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: One character notes that Trevor's mental state probably stems from mommy issues, to which he urgently changes the subject. Shown to be (probably) true when Trevor's mother shows up in a epilogue mission, where Trevor runs an errand for her and visibly has a borderline phobia of her.
    • Michael's therapist also has a bust of Sigmund Freud on display by the door of his apartment/clinic.
  • All There in the Manual: Aside from the fact having a walkthrough is just about the only way to complete the various collection side-missions, players who don't read up on the game are left unaware that, after completing the game at 100%, a new mission is unlocked that doesn't trigger until a random length of time has passed - sometimes several hours worth of game play, well after some players might have moved on to a new game or switched to the Online version.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Michael's house gets attacked by Merryweather mercs in the mission "Meltdown".
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The final heist, loud approach, is based on the 2006 heist that happened in Argentina, which became the movie The Heist of the Century.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The events of "Hang Ten." It's not shown what really transpired or who exactly killed who; only the aftermath is seen, with a couple broken, blood-splattered windows and Trevor walking out of the apartment covered in blood. The obvious answer is that Trevor killed both Debra and Floyd in a mad rage, but a news report claims that a man was found shot dead and a woman stabbed to death, making it possible that Debra and Floyd killed each other, or that one killed one and Trevor got the survivor.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The Prologue. On a freezing December night in 2004, a snow storm is moving through North Yankton. Christmas decorations adorn Ludendorff's bank. It's a perfect night for a heist that culminates in an epic police chase into the countryside.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: A new major feature of the game. Instead of playing as a single protagonist throughout the experience, you switch between three different characters at the press of a button. Each character has their own unique strengths, attributes and storylines that all intertwine.
    • It's also subverted in the tutorial, where you play as two faceless goons in a Bank Robbery who turn out to be Michael and Trevor.
    • For several missions, you can look from Chop's point of view. Chop being a dog, however, all the player can actually do is see what he sees.
    • At the end of "Scouting the Port", you very, very briefly play as Wade, of all people, when choosing between options for the Merryweather heist.
  • Anger Born of Worry: It's heavily implied that at least part of the reason Michael's family give him so much shit for his actions is because they're afraid he'll end up getting himself killed.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Many missions give the player the option to skip past difficult sections if they fail a mission at least three times in a row. Although the player is penalized in terms of being able to attain a "gold" rating for the mission, otherwise there is no direct penalty given and the mission or the storyline continues as if they completed it on their own.
    • Unlike prior GTA games, especially those preceding Grand Theft Auto IV, where being killed or otherwise failing a mission often ends up with the player at a hospital, police station, etc and having to make their way back to the mission trigger location and start over again, most missions in GTA V have checkpoints. Restarting a mission from the beginning is only necessary in most cases for those wishing to attain a gold rating (and even then, missions can be replayed later; also, objectives stack, meaning the player doesn't have to meet all of the requirements in one playthrough). Most notably, the checkpoint system means being wasted or busted during a mission does not result in the player character losing money or ammo unless the option to "quit" is chosen over "retry".
    • Vehicles that flip onto their roof can almost always be rolled back onto their wheels by holding the joystick left or right.
    • If you arrive at a mission location at the wrong time of day, the game will fast forward the time, then start the mission.
    • Given how big the map is and the protagonists have a small number of safehouses, the game allows you to quick save anywhere at any time off mission.
    • The story-branched Multiple Endings is executed much more transparently, and the game explicitly informs you of what you lose, such as who gets Killed Off for Real, in each ending at the time you choose between them. You get to choose your ending right before the final mission starts, and finishing this mission straightforwardly gives you the chosen ending. This is stark contrast to Grand Theft Auto IV, which does not inform you that its branches amount to "kill off Kate McReary" and "kill off Roman Bellic" until two missions after you get the choice between the two ending paths.
  • Anything That Moves: ...And pretty much anything that doesn't. Trevor doesn't seem to really care who or what he has sex with, or how. Including inanimate objects like a stuffed teddy bear. Add onto this the fact that people and/or things he wants to have sex with aren't always given much choice in the matter. Naturally, his LifeInvader profile states under preference: "Any hole's a goal."
  • Arc Words: "Social Darwinism".
    • Lester is first to say it, saying that sabotaging Jay Norris is putting is putting the "Darwin back in Social Darwinism".
    • Trevor later says that the world needs more guys like him, because "shit would get done" and the world would be "Darwinian".
    • Devin Weston describes himself as a "Darwinian" sort of guy.
    • A voice ad on GTA Radio is for something called "Darwinian Yoga".
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    Trevor: Let me just ask you something, something I've been thinking about. Up in North Yankton... exactly who was buried in your place?
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: On "The Underbelly of Paradise", Haines briefly discusses crimes committed by upper-class residents of Los Santos: stock market manipulation, loan sharking, identity theft, assassination, and swinging.
  • Artistic License – Physics: In the game you have no problem hearing radio stations in a submarine or getting cellphone reception. In reality, just a few meters of water will very effectively absorb the kind of high-frequence radio waves used in normal commercial applications. (Interestingly this is averted if you travel to/from LS and Blaine County; availability of stations will change depending on whether they have broadcast towers there or not.)
  • Ascended Meme: Some times when switching over to Trevor, he will be chasing random persons on scooters with a scooter of his own while shouting: "We are scooter brothers! Scooooooooter brothers, yeah!", which is a reference to Brad Simons' (4PP) most infamous video; literally almost every line in the video is repeated by Trevor.
  • Aside Glance: In the opening cutscene for "The Long Stretch", when Franklin opens his door to leave after walking in on Denise and her friends doing, erm, vagina clenching exercises, only to find Lamar and Stretch coming to see him, he gives a brief and irritated "Oh God..." look to the camera.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The targets of the assassination missions, according to Lester. He may have not been exaggerating too much. One of them, a miserly billionaire who takes the bus every day to save money, steals some poor schmoe's bike to ride to work when he thinks the fares have been raised to $1.50.
    • Most of the hitchhikers are incredibly annoying and/or terrible people. So annoying that if you're picking them up as Trevor, you probably won't feel bad for dropping them off at the Altruist cult spot in the mountains for whatever it is they do up there (Trevor is unsure whether his "friends on the mountain" are just reforming the people he drops off or straight up eats them, but he's not too picky as long as they keep giving him money).
    • Jokingly exploited by Trevor in the mission "Minor Turbulence", who mentions to Ron it's okay to steal a cargo plane of Merryweather weapons because they were likely being shipped to an African warlord or something of the sort.
    • The Rampage groups often are the first to pick fights with Trevor.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Michael during "Marriage Counseling" after pulling down Madrazo's house.
    Michael: It's a foolish man who builds his house on the sand, baby!
    Franklin: I don't think my boy Matthew was thinking trucks when he wrote that shit.
  • A Taste of Power: The prologue allows you to play as Michael and Trevor and equips you with Carbine Rifles loaded with thousands of rounds of ammo. After the opening credits, you'll have to wait a few missions before you get to play as Michael again, and Trevor and the Carbine won't be available until after the first heist.
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: You'll hear the words "millennial", "entitled", "ironic" and "hipster" a lot. Often in the same breath.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Michael's family - he hates his son's laziness, he hates his daughter and wife's bitchiness... They agree to attend a therapy session with Michael and when that doesn't work, Michael and Amanda simply come to terms with each other on the ride home. Michael shows his love for his family throughout the game, and even after Amanda leaves him, Jimmy says she constantly worries and asks about him.
    • During "The Third Way" (Ending C), despite Michael and Trevor being this close to killing each other earlier, Michael becomes really worried when Trevor goes silent on the comm.
    • If you opt to kill Michael, he gets a call from his wife, saying his daughter just made it into college. While you're trying to kill him. Ouch.
    • When Michael is told by Jimmy that Amanda, after leaving him, has an abusive lover, he promptly goes to protect her and stand up against the lover, driving him off. This rekindles their romantic feelings for one another.
    • If Michael survives the main story, his family life dramatically improves. He and Amanda vow to remain faithful and become much more friendly to each other, even lovingly sexual. Jimmy and Tracey both show more respect and care for their parents, and in turn both Michael and Amanda's attitudes take a significant positive upturn. If Michael does not survive the main story, Amanda informs Franklin that she knows what he did and will become enraged at him, threatening him to stay away from her family.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • It's possible to purchase the golf course for the staggering sum of one hundred fifty million dollars. If you actually manage to do it, all it does is generate a small amount of revenue per week and allows you to play golf for free. It takes nearly eleven in-game years to get a return on investment, making it clearly a Bragging Rights Reward.note 
    • Owning properties in general is far less lucrative here than it's been in past games, often requiring waiting at least 100 in-game weeks and/or completing dozens of tedious side missions to so much as break even. A couple provide a few nice perks, like free cab rides and car mods, but most of those properties can only be bought by Franklin, leaving Michael and Trevor with not a whole lot of reason to invest in real estate. This is what puts properties like the movie theaters and the golf course firmly into Bragging Rights Reward territory, although the two less expensive cinemas are easier to turn a profit on relatively quickly. That said, there are three properties worth owning: the boatyard can earn you a hefty profit in the hundreds of thousands pretty quickly, though once you've completed its associated sidequest, it stops earning you money period; and Trevor gets the strip club for free as part of the story, with it netting you a respectable $5,000 a week, and Franklin has the Smoke on the Water dispensary, which is relatively inexpensive at $204,000, earns $9,300 weekly and turns a profit after only 22 weeks. Trevor can also buy an airstrip which unlocks a series of fun weapons trafficking missions that can be replayed indefinitely. There are also hangars and helipads and boat docks available that allow for parking of specialty vehicles. On top of all this, a certain number of properties must be purchased in order to achieve the coveted 100% completion.
      • The scrapyard initially looks like it'd be a good investment, since it pays $150 per car destroyed and only costs $275k. That's 1,834 cars to blow up, but this is GTA, shouldn't be a problem, right? What the game doesn't mention before you buy the scrapyard is that the scrapyard's income is capped at $5,000 per week, meaning it will take at least 55 weeks to turn a profit, assuming the player destroys at least 34 cars each week.
    • There are a lot of Cool Cars in the game, like the Cheetah, Entity, Adder, and Z-Type. However, only one of them (the Adder) spawns down the street from Michael's house at a specific time; other than this, they can only be purchased for extremely high amounts of money. But unlike aircraft, boats, and tanks, purchased cars don't respawn when lost or destroyed, unless one counts the impound fee if the player didn't jack others cars and lose them before they retrieve it.
      • Cars from updates like the Turismo R and Zentorno make the above vehicles even more impractical since they are free, infinitely respawn in each character's large garages and have performance that can rival the fastest cars in the game.
    • The Lazer jet is fast, but it handles like a brick, making it extremely hard to line up cannon shots or even get a missile lock when dogfighting. The four-star wanted level it incurs can also last a very long time, because the new wanted system will spawn police helicopters in front of your jet as you fly.
    • Rickie as a heist crewmember. In theory, putting up with his awful hacking during the Jewelry Store job and subsequent mediocre hacking during the Bureau Raid will give you a top-of-the-line hacker for the Big Score that costs a full 11% less than the normal top-notch hacker. In practice, this has two problems: One, the Big Score only requires a hacker for the covert approach, and the Obvious approach only requires four crewmembers as opposed to the covert's five, the money he'd save you is offset by the fact that the other approach has one fewer crewman to pay - and two, while having a powerful hacker does make a certain section easier, it doesn't actually affect the total amount of money obtained, meaning, that, if one does pick the subtle route, the hacker's stats don't really matter.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Michael's attempts at going bike-riding with Jimmy and accompanying him to buy drugs go about as well as you'd expect.
  • Back for the Dead: Johnny Klebitz, Terry Thorpe, Clay Simons, Rocco Pelosi, and The Contact return from IV just long enough to be killed off (though the latter is optional). Ashley Butler also dies offscreen.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Steve Haines, only if you choose Ending A, and Devin Weston, only if you choose Ending B.
  • Bait the Dog: Trevor's Establishing Character Moment after the Time Skip has him offering a hug to Johnny Klebitz as a means of apology after the latter has a breakdown over Trevor screwing Ashley behind his back... only for Trevor to throw Johnny onto the ground and stomp him to death. This sets up Trevor's even more insane, unforgiving personality.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: One of the options for carrying out the "Bureau Raid" mission is an extended, literal example, wherein Michael impersonates a janitor to plant incendiary bombs inside the FIB building, then leads the rest of the crew in disguised as firefighters after the bombs go off to retrieve a hard drive loaded with incriminating evidence.
    • The "subtle" approach for "The Big Score" also counts, as it involves Michael and Trevor impersonating Union Depository guards in order to remove gold from the vault.
  • Batman Gambit: Jimmy pulls a subtle one on Michael in order to steal his car, anticipating that he will tag along on an outing and ingest a spiked drink while driving.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Michael and Trevor both use this excuse for their criminal lifestyle. The difference is that the former bemoans the fact that crime is the only thing he knows how to do well, while the latter is content and proud to have something he can excel at. A conversation with Jimmy reveals that this is also true of Franklin, who says that stealing things is all he's ever been good at.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Trevor basically has a Hair-Trigger Temper; however, two of his most prominent Berserk Buttons are either calling him motherfucker, or making fun of his Canadian heritage.
    • Cheat with Michael's wife and he'll bring your house down. Literally. Even if the house belongs to somebody else, he'll still bring it down.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In the "Kill Michael" ending, after Michael is thrown off the water tower, Franklin has the choice to let him fall or to pull him up. If Franklin tries to pull him up, Michael headbutts him and falls to his death. Given that Devin Weston and Steve Haines, who have access to an army of Federal agents and military contractors, ordered the hit on him, Michael is implied to know he is going to die either way.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Stretch, Wei Cheng, Steve Haines, and Devin Weston. They all get confronted in the C ending.
  • Big Good: Grand Theft Auto IV's resident Big Good, the United Liberty Paper Contact, returns in the missions Monkey Business and The Wrap Up. In the latter, he'll take part in the Mexican Standoff against the FIB and IAA, and proves that he's just as skilled at using firearms as he is running the IAA.
  • Big Fancy House: The De Santa house in Rockford Hills.
    • Franklin's pad in Vinewood Hills, though it's only unlocked after Franklin completes the "Hotel Assassination" mission.
    • Being a billionaire, Devin Weston has one in the Tongva Hills.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: One mission is a gigantic Take That! to Facebook, and yet the game itself has a big tab for Facebook connectivity. Let's hope they have a sense of humor.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Michael's family life in a nutshell. They criticize him for being a distant husband and father, a womanizer, a drunk, a murderer and a thief, whose reckless actions will inevitably get himself and all of them killed. But Amanda is no better of a mother to the children than Michael is a father, and neither Jimmy nor Tracey are remotely receptive to Michael's attempts to bond with them. Amanda cheats at least as much as Michael does, mostly with people Michael is paying to spend time with her, and Tracey's an amateur porn star. Jimmy, the only one who isn't promiscuous, is not due to lack of trying, and is a chronic masturbator. All three of them drink at least as heavily as he does, and on top of that, they indulge in other addictions; Jimmy and Tracy both smoke weed, and Tracy and Amanda both abuse prescription drugs. Jimmy and Tracy also both engage in reckless behavior that nearly gets them killed over the course of the game, and both Jimmy and Amanda engage in theft. The only — only — aspect in which his family holds the moral high ground over Michael is that he is, indeed, a murderer, but as he's quick to point out, none of them complain about the money his criminal activities earn him. note 
    • This extends to the antagonists as well. Neither of the three protagonists (especially Trevor) qualify as saints, but compared to the people they are often up against, Haines and Devin in particular, they might as well be. In fact, if you pick Option C, Trevor lampshades this in the same conversation where he admits he could never kill Michael because the latter had a family:
    Trevor: I don't quite know. I suppose it was a long time ago and I suppose we had some fun here and I suppose I made up my mind here—he's a dick but the people against us were worse so I killed the bigger dicks. And Michael lucked out.
  • Black Comedy Rape: When staying with Wade's cousin, Floyd, Trevor is called out by him for putting a bra and underwear on a teddy bear before using a knife to cut a sex hole into it. Before he made an eye-socket to screw.
    • Also, should the player jump to Trevor while he's in Floyd's apartment, he sometimes sits up in a bed containing Floyd; since Floyd cries about cheating on his girlfriend, but is also sobbing in the fetal position, it'd dubious as to what has specifically upset him.
    • A random encounter involves stopping to help a broke down van; it's a trap, with the driver taking whichever character started the encounter down with a stun gun while saying how "close" they're going to get. They wake up in his underwear hours later, on the train tracks as a train is hurtling towards them.
      Trevor: (upon waking up) "Oh no, not this again..."
    • When you watch Jimmy play Righteous Slaughter, one of the possible death screens is of an enemy humping the player's dead corpse.
  • Blatant Lies: In the introduction to the "Mr. Philips" mission, Michael de Santa tells Dave Norton that he believes that Trevor is dead, so that he doesn't have to worry about him. This is despite Dave Norton having already found that Trevor is alive from intercepting an attempt by Trevor to communicate with the actually-dead Brad.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Given the graphic improvement of the game, the scenes of violence are much more detailed. Not only that, the game also gave us a torture mission, where you are the torturer.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The game's story kicks in when you control Franklin, then you become reacquainted with Michael and Trevor. In Ending C, they leave the sunset-bathed Paleto Cove in the order they're introduced.
    • Trevor's first mission is titled "Mr. Philips". If endings B or C are chosen, a post-game mission featuring his mother will become available, titled "Mrs. Philips".
    • One of Franklin's random encounters, an adrenaline junkie named Dom, is first met when a dog tells you about him forgetting to use his parachute after a high jump. His last mission features similar circumstances, and you even meet the dog again. This one involves basejumping off the Land Act Dam, albeit without a parachute.
    • The game proper starts with Michael bemoaning the fact that he lives in a Big Fancy House with nothing to do, is isolated from his family and is lonely and bored and full of self-loathing. If Franklin offs Michael then the game ends with Franklin in exactly the same situation, owner of a fancy house and riches beyond his wildest dreams, but friendless, isolated and full of self-loathing as well. He even starts to quote the father figure he just killed, repeating Michael's sentiment about "one day your legs give out and you can't run any more".
    • In Franklin's first proper conversation with Michael, the older man states that if Franklin stays in the game, he might become a three-bit gangster if he's lucky. He then advises him to go to college so he can rip people off legally, which he calls "capitalism".
      • In ending B, Michael accuses Franklin of being a three-bit gangster who let success go to his head.
      • In ending C, Michael gives Devin Weston a long speech mocking the type of American capitalism he practices before shoving him off a cliff.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • Should Franklin decide to kill Dreyfuss, he mutters, "Say hello to Leonora, motherfucker."
    • In Ending A, after killing Trevor, Michael quips, "You always liked gasoline, Trevor!"
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Bravado Buffalo S. (Franklin's default, personal vehicle). Since it's a personal vehicle, it will almost always be conveniently with Franklin when you switch to him. It's also reasonably fast and when fully modded it can actually compete (and win) in the street races. It's also got pretty decent handling too, making it relatively easier to control compared to the more exotic sports cars in the game.
    • By some extension, the Canis Bodhi, which is Trevor's personal vehicle. It may not look like much, but it's surprisingly tough and quick (especially when fully modded). Trevor's Bodhi also can handle off-road driving pretty well, which comes in handy for the landscape in Blaine County and Sandy Shores. And since it's a personal vehicle, it will conveniently be with Trevor when you switch to him (most of the time).
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Purchasing the Golf Club for one hundred and fifty million dollars. The return investment is terrible, and if you have enough money to buy it, you probably have more than you'll ever need for the rest of the game.
    • The three cinemas as well to a lesser extent, they cost 10 million, 20 million and 30 million for a grand total of $60M altogether and like the Golf Club, give you very little return investment for much you put into them.
    • However, at least the reward for 100% completion is more substantial than in Grand Theft Auto IV. Going through all the hoops wins you (among other things) an exclusive extra mission and cool UFOs that spawn in several locations around the state. If you hold out on doing Franklin's assassination missions, which are not necessary for 100% completion, the characters can make immense amounts of money in the stock market, making things like the golf course easy to afford. There is also speculation that something UFO-related might also unlock at Mount Chiliad but players have yet to actually confirm this. All this is better than the "infinite ammo that you still have to pay for" reward for completing GTA IV.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the "Stag Do Running Man" random event you find a guy tied to post in just his underwear. He has trouble recalling the bachelor party that led him to that predicament, but he thinks there was a stripper there. Or a midget. Or a stripper midget. He's not sure.
  • Brick Joke: At the end of Franklin's first story mission following the prologue/tutorial, Simeon is seen selling a yellow SUV to a loser named Jimmy de Santa. A few missions later, he is sent to repossess said yellow SUV, which brings him face-to-face with Jimmy's father and his eventual partner-in-crime, Michael.
    • After he and Michael chase down Lazlow, Trevor states that Michael should be wanting to rip Lazlow's ponytail off. Guess what Michael does when he encounters Lazlow again later in the game.
  • Broken Bridge: Averted. Unlike past main entries in the series, the entire map is open from the start. What limits your exploration is simply the fact that initially, you don't have a reason to explore past the big city.
    • However, there is a period about halfway through the game when Trevor and Michael are exiled to Blaine County and will be pursued by a relentless Border Patrol if they enter Los Santos proper.
  • Bullet Time: Michael's special ability allows him to use it in combat, while Franklin's allows him to use it when driving cars.
  • Buried Alive: A random event has two hicks trying to do this to a young woman. You have to save her and give her a ride to Vinewood Hills. On the way there, she reveals that she's a Mafia Princess, and a little after the rescue, she has $60,000 wired to the rescuer's account as thanks.
  • Burying a Substitute: Part of the Back Story of Michael is that he decided to retire from crime, became an informant for the FIB, and sold out the gang of bank robbers he was working with. The FIB faked his death in the wake of the shootout they had with his crew, buried another member of the bank robbers in his place, and put him into Witness Protection.
  • Butt-Monkey: While Wade may partially qualify, it's Floyd who gets it the worst. Trevor invades his home, his job and his life, systematically destroying all three during his time in Vespucci Beach, for no real reason other than because he can and Floyd is (understandably) too terrified to stand up to him. It's also implied that Trevor regularly rapes Floyd when he's bored. Then, to cap it off, just when Floyd thinks he's finally been left alone, Trevor returns (again, for absolutely no reason) and causes an argument between Floyd and his shrewish fiance which culminates in Floyd snapping and drawing a knife on both her and Trevor, who reacts by...being Trevor and brutally murdering them both.
    • In terms of heists and big scores, poor Trevor himself seems to be getting the short end of the stick whenever he tries to do something big and profitable without prior input from Michael or Franklin. To date, his first possible big break falls through when his Chinese investors cut a better deal with his rivals, his next big score, despite succeeding, ends with him being forced to return the loot or risk ending up on the front page of every most-wanted list in the world, his third heist almost succeeds only for the plane carrying the loot to be shot down and crash into the ocean, and his fourth, while going off without a hitch, ends with him having to part ways with his love interest, rather tearfully too.
      • Even in GTA Online he doesn't get a break; the "buyers" who he was setting up a big drug deal with turn out to be undercover narcotics officers, and he's forced to flee amid a hail of gunfire with the only thing he could salvage: an Impotent Rage figure filled with a menial amount of molly pills.
  • But Thou Must!: Your first job, after the playable prologue, has you working as a legitimate repo man. So you just need to drive carefully and get the car back to the dealer in good condition, right? Nope. If you don't participate in the race with your colleague and he gets too far ahead of you it's game over time. Other than for purposes of your grade, it doesn't matter how many counts of vehicular homicide you commit or how banged up the car gets. The game forces you to act like an idiot.
    • Averted with the mission where you torture Mr. K. As long as you shoot the right guy, you can skip all but the first bit of Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Call-Back:
    • Early on, when planning a heist, Lester will mention an Eastern European who made waves in Liberty City's criminal underworld before suddenly going quiet.
    • In-game radio will mention a civil war within The Lost MC back in 2008 that nearly destroyed the club.
    • One news report discusses Brucie Kibbutz from IV, revealing his bull shark testosterone product was a success — and it unsurprisingly makes everyone as aggressive, hormonal and insecure as him.
    • Marnie, one of the random characters you can encounter in IV, shows up as a member of the Epsilon program.
    • One celebrity name mentioned in IV is Samantha Muldoon, known mainly for adopting lots and lots of children. This time around, she's underwent a Genre Shift to country pop.
    • You can possibly find someone in the strip club wearing a track jacket that says "Hopkins" on it.
    • Also there's Poppy Mitchell, one of several celebrities Luis had to help out in The Ballad of Gay Tony. Here, Franklin has to help some paparazzo catch Poppy receiving anal sex or getting arrested for drunk driving. Which is particularly humorous when you remember that Poppy told Luis that her agent was forcing her to clean up her act.
    • And then there's Al Di Napoli. Trevor helps two old English people track down and abduct Al. And then in the follow-up mission, Trevor drives around with Al in the trunk. You either eventually release Al to pocket some money... or take him to some railroad tracks and let an oncoming train kill him.
    • The Truffade Z-Type will be a surprise call back for GTA 2 players. For those who are unaware, it was the gang car used by the Zaibatsu Corporation, a corrupt pharmaceutical company who offered the player jobs throughout the game.
      • A similar nod was made with the return of the Furore GT sports car, and, on the other end of the cool scale, the Panto.
    • One of the main protagonists is a black gangbanger who hails from a green-colored gang named "Families" and has two allies in his storyline, one of whom betrays him for a rival purple-wearing gang called the Ballas. The main antagonist is a corrupt authority figure who forces the protagonist(s) to work for him in clearing up his illegal activities. Now, when were we last in Los Santos?
      • Additionally, a recreation of CJ's Grove Street is present; it's the location for the mission Hood Safari. (Apparently CJ's efforts were all for naught, as Grove Street is now full of Ballas).
    • Remember the Bigfoot myths from San Andreas? After obtaining 100% in the game, a hunter will inform the player about a Sasquatch lurking around the countryside and implores you to hunt it down. Granted, it wasn't actually a Bigfoot. Better yet, this mission can only be completed by Franklin, who in some ways is CJ's Spiritual Successor.
      • Also, the hunter looks similar to the same Sasquatch hunter from Red Dead Redemption, with more modern clothing. He states that he has been hunting it down for 9 years, which is the gap between San Andreas (2004) and V (2013).
    • In III, Freddy, a disturbed British man, would call Lazlow's radio show saying he needs a nanny. In the in-game movie "The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain", the robot's boss has a breakdown and says "Tell me nanny loves me! Tell me nanny loves me more than Freddy!"
    • In a nod to the game he originally appeared in, the mission in which you kill Rocco is called "The Ballad of Rocco".
      • Similarly, the Gold achievement in "Mr. Philips" for killing Terry and Clay is called "Lost and Damned".
    • Lester mentions working with someone in LS, but dismisses them as being "too unpredictable". Sounds familiar to the Online protagonist.
    • One of the places you can drink with your friends while hanging out is "Bahama Mama West."
    • On Radio Los Santos, the radio DJ may mention the "Domestobot"
  • The Cameo
    • When discussing potential thugs for a heist, Lester mentions a notable Eurasian in Liberty City, but remembers he eventually left the business. It's also possible to see Niko's Life Invader profile from Jimmy's laptop.
    • Patrick McReary appears in an early random event robbing a store with an accomplice but without a getaway car. If Franklin successfully helps them, Patrick shares some of the money and can be used later on as a heist crew member.
    • Expanding on the Lost MC mention, Trevor's début mission has him dealing with Johnny Klebitz himself. Trevor promptly settles his dispute with Johnny by beating him and stomping on his head until his dies, before killing any Lost MC bikers that don't flee the city.
    • Karen ("Michelle") has a short but memorable cameo as the female IAA agent who threatens to shove a flashlight up Mr. K's ass in the Three's Company mission, and then again in the Humane Labs Raid heist in Online.
    • The UL Paper contact from IV appears twice.
    • Rocco Pelosi returns from The Ballad of Gay Tony. This time around, he gets killed off (by Michael).
    • During the mission "Hood Safari" you can see three guys who look like CJ, Sweet and Cesar riding bicycles.
    • When planning the Jewel Store Job, Lester mentions the Online protagonist before dismissing them as too unpredictable for the job. Shame.
  • Canada, Eh?: Trevor is revealed to be Canadian. It later crops up as the cause of "Rampage 4":
    Soldier 1: Oh, I'm sorry, you're clearly a tourist. From our friends up north, eh? Aboot?
    Trevor: We don't even say it like that!
    Soldier 1: There's a moose loose aboot the hoose! [the two soldiers laugh]
    Soldier 2: Fuck off you hoser, eh?
    Soldier 1: Eh, what's that aboot?
    Trevor: [pulls a grenade launcher] FOR FUCK'S SAKES!!!
    Soldier 1: Jesus! [the two soldiers begin to run away] Get out of here!
    Trevor: It's a faint fucking accent!!! You can hardly tell!!!
    Soldier 1: C'mon! C'mon! Insurgent! Insurgent! We have contact! We have contact!
    • and later in the same rampage...
    • And...
  • Cap:
    • The game has a hard cap for how much money any character can have: $2,147,483,647. That's the maximum positive value that can be saved in a 32-bit signed integer, and yes, it's slightly more than two billion dollars (if you consider 147 million dollars peanuts) - more than enough to buy every single thing there is in San Andreas and still have tons of cash remaining. Playing your cards right during the important heists, followed by clever use of the stock market, can easily result in all three protagonists hitting or exceeding this sum, but the game won't let you sell their stock if the profit would push their assets above this threshold. Hint in case it happens: shares can also be sold individually, not just via the "sell all" button.
    • As is customary for the franchise, 9999 is the maximum amount of ammo that can be carried for any ballistic weapon type (pistols, rifles, etc. including the minigun). The grenade launcher and RPG are capped at 20 rounds, the homing missile launcher at 10. Grenades, mines, bombs and other handheld explosives have caps of 25 (30 in Online).
  • Caper Crew: While planning heists, you also have to hire certain people for specific roles (specifically, at least one gunman, a driver and a hacker). The better stats a crew member has, the higher their cut of the profits, though it's possible to find crew members in the open world who are both highly skilled who demand lower profits. Aside from that, Michael is typically the team leader, Trevor is typically the muscle as well as a pilot when needed, Franklin is typically a driver and Lester handles logistics and planning.
  • Car Hood Sliding: The player can perform hood slides on cars.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Tracey often wears a schoolgirl outfit.
  • Cats Are Mean: Cougars prowl the countryside, just like in Red Dead Redemption. If you're in a vehicle, they're pretty harmless, and will probably run from you. If you're on foot, however... just make sure you're armed before venturing into the wilderness.
  • Central Theme: Several.
    • Money: Word of God says that "pursuit of the almighty dollar" is the game's central theme, and wanted to capture the feel of a post-recession world and its obsession with debt and reclaiming wealth.
    • Heists: After getting positive feedback on the heist mission in IV, Rockstar decided to make it a central part of the gameplay in this game.
    • Intersecting plots: Fans really liked how the three Grand Theft Auto IV games told the same story, from three different POVs. So, the developers took that to the next logical step by putting all three POVs in one game.
    • Where Are They Now: They were interested in exploring what happens to GTA characters after the game is over. Michael, Trevor, and Johnny all emphasize this.note 
    • Loyalty: The source of inner turmoil for all the protagonists is traced back to this. Michael is torn up for turning on his friends nine years ago (despite futile attempts at justifying it). Trevor, for all his flaws, values it above all else and is angry at Michael for his previous betrayal. Franklin's loyalty to the hood is challenged by his friends due to simply wanting more out of life, and his own loyalty to it is diminishing in turn. And the Golden Ending is achieved when Franklin remains loyal to both Mike and Trevor, even if it means bringing down the wrath of the FIB and Merryweather upon him. In turn Trevor reaffirms his friendship with Michael, who decides to atone for his past treachery by helping them both.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Union Depository. It's where Franklin and Lamar finish their race in the first mission. Lester later names it as a possible heist he and Michael can undertake and it indeed becomes the site of the last heist in the game.
    • Michael has a Chekhov's Catchphrase: "You forget thousands of things everyday... make sure this is one of them."
  • Chekhov's Skill: It's revealed during an optional Smuggling run that Trevor has a very loose understanding of Spanish, but may often not know what he said. It's implied that after witnessing Martin Madrazo berate his wife in Spanish that he understood the entire conversation or at least the context, which convinces him to kidnap her.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Each of the three protagonists has a signature color. Michael's is blue, Franklin's is green, and Trevor's is orange/red.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Regardless of the character's personality, you can use the random events to help dozens of people out of particularly hairy situations. These may include purse-snatchings, kidnappings, and even being buried alive. You can subvert this by keeping the money, turning over the hostages to cannibals, or just killing them all.
    • Trevor, notably, is the only one who can do the worst of these actions.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Averted. Both the FBI and the CIA's stand-ins the FIB and the IAA and their agents waste tons of money and put America in danger to justify getting more funding and furthering their careers. Though the FIB does have the slight moral ground seeing as how they're not planning to release chemical weapons on Los Santos as a False Flag Operation.
  • *Click* Hello: While Franklin is repoing Jimmy's SUV, Michael, who had been hiding in the backseat to get away from the family, presses a gun to his head.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The protagonists and many supporting characters drop the f-bomb loud and often. Considering this game is based off of Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, which is known for this trope, this had to be taken in full effect. One gamer counted a little over a thousand instances of the f-word in just the main missions.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: One of Michael and Trevor's missions involves a controversial torture mission. You have the option of smashing the hostage with a wrench, pulling a tooth with pliers, electrocuting him, or water-boarding him with gasoline.
  • Comically Small Bribe: When Trevor shows up at Franklin's house at the beginning of "Hood Safari," he breaks up the argument between Franklin and Denise by sweet-talking the latter and giving her some money to "get [herself] something nice." It's seven dollars. Denise is not amused.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: The Z-type car costs a whopping 10 million dollars to buy and while its performance is good, its real purpose is to show how rich you are.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Lester mentions "some Eastern European guy" who made waves in Liberty City's crime world, but also mentions that he has been quiet for years. If you hire Packie for the Paleto score, he'll talk about how he robbed the Bank of Liberty wth Niko, but theorizes that he's probably dead by now.
    • After the final mission, Michael's family may be gathered around the table in his home together at random. In this little "event" Jimmy will be browsing Lifeinvader on his phone. Close inspection of the phone screen will show that he's looking at Niko Bellic's profile page. According to it he's still alive and well, working for Roman's cab company in Broker. A very recent status is a happy birthday wish to Roman, which displays likes by Little Jacob and Mallorie.
    • Willie a former member of Love Fist, is one of the targets of a Strangers and Freaks mission for Trevor.
    • Franklin and Lamar ponder what could have happened to the Grove Street Families after a botched drug deal with the Ballas.
    • After her undercover work in IV, Michelle, real-name Karen, returns, officially working for the IAA. After the past 5 years she's become significantly more cruel and ruthless than before.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Trevor and Michael both moved to San Andreas sometime after the prologue, and are roughly a few in-game hours' drive away from each other. Their other old partner, Lester, also just so happens to be living nearby as well.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: In the mission "Scouting the Port", when Trevor and Floyd tries to get inside the Los Santos Naval Port, they're stopped by Merrywater mercenaries who quickly surround them. Floyd tries to talk things out with the guards but they knock him down and assault him while Trevor uses this opportunity to sneak into a guardhouse and steals a briefcase containing a shipping manifest and then abandons Floyd with the guards who continues to beat him.
  • Corpsing: A meta example: in the opening cutscene for "Fresh Meat", Steven Ogg, the voice and mocap actor for Trevor, tripped over a low fence, causing Shawn Fonteno, the voice and mocap actor for Franklin, to burst into laughter. Instead of cutting the scene, however, Ogg launched into an in-character rant, which Fonteno played along with in-character. The scene worked out so well that the developers decided to Throw It In!.
  • Country Matters: The word "cunt" is used a number of times in the story (a notable example was when Trevor stomps Johnny to death, yelling the word four times in succession). Given the prominent use of certain other words in the game, it's not really that surprising.
  • The Crime Job: The Jewel Store Job.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jimmy is a fat, lazy idiot for most of the game, but he proves his worth during the "Merryweather" mission when a mercenary gets the drop on Michael. What does Jimmy do? He knocks the guy cold with his bong and attempts to teabag him. OK, he teabagged Michael by accident, but knocking out a security company mercenary? That took guts. There was also the time during "Reuniting The Family" when he stamped on Fabien to shut him up. Justified in the latter case as he hated Fabien to start off with.
  • Cult: There's a bunch in this game. Michael has a long and involved series of complicated missions where he gets inducted into the Epsilon Program (he's mostly following along just to see where it'll go), Trevor can deliver hitchhikers to the "Altruist" cult at the top of a secluded mountain, and Franklin can complete an online seminar for the unrelated "Children of the Mountain" cult in exchange for a special t-shirt being added to his wardrobe. The "Cult Watch" web page in the in-game internet also lists the ersatz Facebook "Lifeinvader" as a cult!
  • Cutscene Incompetence: In "Bury the Hatchet", Michael slaughters a virtual army of Triads, but is still somehow captured by three remaining gangsters after Trevor sabotages his car.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The Diamond Casino & Resort confirms that Ending C is canon, as Tao Cheng recalls almost being killed at the Pacific Bluffs Country Club, where Franklin kills his father. Keep in mind that it takes place in 2019.
    • This was hinted at as early as in Smuggler's Run, which takes place in 2017, when Ron mentions that Trevor has "gone Vinewood" and is now a lifestyle guru. Speaking of Trevor, The Diamond Casino & Resort also implies that Trevor is still selling meth on the side in 2019.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • Michael draws the ire of a couple of drug dealers after he disrupts their yacht party to remove Tracey from it. The game then sets up for a extended Chase Scene, but it is actually a valid response to just have Michael straight up shoot and kill the drug dealers, but doing this scares the hell out of Tracey who accuses her father (and by extension the player) of being a complete psycho.
    • The entire Paleto Bay heist is this: Since the bank being hit is used to launder money for various drug cartels and the towns corrupt police force, they have a vested interest in defending the bank from would-be robbers. The banks security system is far more advanced than what a small-town bank would normally have. Should the alarm be triggered, even without signs of escalation such as "shots fired", the dirty cops will send a four-car response team with a 60 second reaction time. They also install roadblock checkpoints and tight patrols for even a false alarm. Avoiding the security system would be impossible, disabling it would cost more than the entire take, and slipping out before the police arrive and stealthily evading them is out of the question entirely. They instead opt to take the police head on, boosting bomb-suits, LMG's and a minigun, and mowing down everything the cops can throw at them. Said cops have an apt reaction to being the ones who are outgunned for once.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Occurs in "Complications". Franklin has snuck into the De Santas' house to repossess Jimmy's car. However, when he drives away from the De Santas' house, Michael reveals himself to be hiding in the backseat and forces Franklin, at gunpoint, to drive to and straight through the window of Yetarian's dealership. If you refuse to do what Michael says, he won't actually shoot Franklin; instead, Franklin will receive a Pistol-Whipping but you still get a Game Over.
  • Darker and Edgier: Ironically enough, this game is edgier and more violent than IV in some ways. While it's MUCH less serious, its content is much more explicit, dirty, violent and graphic. That, and the sheer amount of Black Comedy and Comedic Sociopathy. If anything, this is a Reconstruction of the Lighter and Softer trope and Michael's backstory in this game is by far less dark than Niko's backstory.
    • There is also the fact that one of the protagonist is explicitly a drug dealer, like in Chinatown Wars, although the drug trade is less explicit than Chinatown Wars.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: You can tell that the priest delivering Michael's eulogy at his fake funeral in the prologue is really reaching for flattering things to say about him.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Occasionally when switching to Trevor, he can be seen having an orgasm over a toilet bowl before unceremoniously wiping his fingers on the door frame.
    • Switching to Michael occasionally results in him walking into his bedroom and catching his wife going to town with a "personal massager."
  • Deadpan Snarker: All three protagonists are all equally snarky in different ways. Michael could easily rival Niko in the snark department as well. Even when he loses his temper, he still makes sarcastic comments while yelling. Trevor and Amanda call him out on it.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The game begins as a harsh deconstruction of the GTA lifestyle, and gives a more realistic interpretation of the main 3 GTA player archetypes- The Newbie in Franklin, the Veteran in Michael and the Lunatic in Trevor. See directly below for more details. It ruthlessly tears apart all of these lifestyles, and shows just how empty and meaningless constant betrayal and manipulation is. Then, towards the end of the game, if you pick ending C then the trio reconcile their differences, realize that they're true friends, and then violently destroy all who oppose them. Played straight as a deconstruction if you pick endings A or B, though.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Since this is social commentary, the protagonists here embody the typical GTA players' mindsets, with a far more realistic take on their characters as a whole.
    • Michael is the traditional GTA protagonist who has already won, aka The Veteran. Having "beaten the game," so to speak, he's decided to get out, settle down and raise a family, but he finds "normal" life boring, so he finds excuses (like his wife's wasteful lifestyle) to go back to the one thing he knows how to do — free-roaming, drive-by crime sprees.
    • Johnny Klebitz serves a similar purpose, though he's something of a foil for Michael, as he too won "the game", but all it got him was meth addiction and a violent death.
    • Trevor is a representation of people who ignore the game's storylines and play them for what they're most infamous for. He is the Lunatic through and through. Video Game Cruelty Potential is embodied by him more than anything else, and it's not a nice thing to see. At the same time, however, he is deconstructed though the simple fact that he never gets anything done; most of the plans he comes up with himself fail rather spectacularly, and leave him in the same place he was before, or worse off. It's not until he actually works together with the other two that he sees an actual payoff.
    • Franklin appears to be the classic GTA protagonist wanting to better his lot in life, aka the Newbie. However, unlike past characters, he's trying to get out of the gang lifestyle, rather than delve deeper into it, though by going professional.
    • Lamar represents the other side of the classic GTA Protagonist. He goes into situations guns-a-blazing, accepting "missions" from anyone in hopes of getting a payday and is constantly set up.
    • Meanwhile, Jimmy parodies the real life of many GTA fans. (Though, his favorite game is "Not-Call-of-Duty". )
    • Most of the game itself deconstructs the Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster! trope. Unlike previous games, very few missions actually get you any money. Sometimes it's because you did something that isn't inherently profitable, sometimes it's a moneymaking venture that gets botched, sometimes you're blackmailed into doing others' dirty work, and sometimes your bosses just won't pay you because they know they can get away with it. The only way to produce any real cash is via heists... and not even all of those will pan out.
  • Defenestrate and Berate: One random event available to all three characters involves a man being kicked out of the house by his wife for cheating, with his possessions, including his favorite golf club, being tossed out the window. He can be taken to the golf course, or, if you're playing as Trevor, the Altruist Cult.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Trevor makes sexual advances on several men through the course of the story and has an obvious fetish for mature women.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Several missions require you to use a specific vehicle then destroy it at the end.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The prologue mission takes place during the holiday season (though not necessarily on Christmas itself), judging by the presence of a Christmas tree and decorations in the bank Trevor and Michael rob. No characters point this out. Considering that this was a bank robbery though, it seems much more justified.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: The Ballas are nowhere near as threatening as they were in San Andreas, with more focus put on the FIB and Merryweather as the main opposing factions.
  • Dirty Cop: The local law enforcement in Blaine County extorts money from the pot farmers, whore houses, and meth labs in the area. One of the heists involves robbing the bank where the dirty money is stashed.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Most of the weapons that you acquire with the Special/Collector's Edition, from the Rockstar Social Club, or from the updates to the online mode. They will all be among your primary weapons in the early-mid game before you get access to the more powerful assault rifles.
    • The Assault SMG is immediately free at Ammu-Nation from the start of the game to anyone who linked their PSN or Xbox Live account to their Rockstar Social Club account. Not only is the Assault SMG the best submachine gun in the game, all of the upgrades that come with it are free.
    • Likewise with the Pistol .50 and the Bullpup Shotgun, which come with the Special and Collector's Editions.note  Like the Assault SMG, both the guns themselves and all upgrades are available for free at the start of the game. The Pistol .50 is the best handgun in the game until you unlock the full-auto AP Pistol (before the introduction of the Heavy Pistol; see below), while the Bullpup Shotgun is by far the best in its class until you unlock the (again) full-auto Assault Shotgun.
    • Updates to the online mode have brought the bottle, the SNS Pistol, the Gusenberg Sweeper, the Heavy Pistol, and the Special Carbine. While the bottle is, like other melee weapons, largely ineffective against armed enemies, and the SNS Pistolnote  is almost a Joke Item, the Gusenberg Sweeper and Special Carbine are very powerful at close-to-medium range, while the Heavy Pistol is second only to the Pistol .50 in power and is tied with the AP Pistol for largest pistol magazine capacities (18 standard, 36 extended). While all of these weapons must be purchased in the online mode, they are all free in single-playernote  (though, unlike the above, their upgrades are not and are much more expensive).
    • Later builds (of the PC version at least) avert everything that's mentioned above by pairing almost all of these weapons with vanilla guns that require the completion of specific story missions to unlock. They must then be purchased like everything else, and they're extremely expensive (like the cavalry dagger for about $8500 whereas the equally powerful combat knife costs $100). The Assault SMG is still free, but its upgrades (just like those of all the other update guns) cost more money than any character will be able to invest in them until well into mid-game.
  • Disney Villain Death: Occurs in two of the endings.
    • Ending B has an example where the falling antagonist is not a villain, but is still a target to assassinate. Franklin slays Michael by forcing him to fall to his death.
    • Ending C has the three player characters shove Devin Weston, who is locked in the trunk of one of his own vehicles, off a cliff to kill him. Nobody else ever finds out this happened.
  • Disposable Pilot: The getaway driver in the prologue gets killed by the police, forcing Michael to take over.
    • This can also happen during The Big Score if your driver's skill is not high enough. Either the pilot you have chosen to fly the second helicopter will crash in the obvious route, or the driver will crash and get arrested in the subtle route.
    • If you choose the "roof entry" approach to the Bureau Raid, you'll be expected to access the FIB headquarters by parachuting from a chopper containing a completely superfluous pilot who's blown up by a Buzzard shortly after the crew steals a hard drive, which forces them to rappel down to the street and escape in a getaway vehicle instead. To add insult to injury, the pilot doesn't even fly the crew to the jump zone to begin with; Michael does, which means that you do.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Trevor's rampage missions. They usually begin with armed assholes making fun of him and, due to his being Ax-Crazy, results in him murdering them and any backup that arrives.
    • Michael's response to finding his wife in bed with her tennis coach is to destroy what he thinks is his house.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Trevor has this reaction if you're playing as him during one of the thief-related Random Events.
    "You call yourself a bank robber? You're a disgrace."
  • Downer Ending: The outcomes of Endings A and B are considerably bleaker than Ending C. One of the protagonists dies, the relationship between the ones that survive completely shatters, the villains of the game get away with all their crimes, and it's only a matter of time before they come gunning for the main characters again. Even the post-game is depressing, because Franklin will be ostracized from his friends and the surviving character, and activities such as friend outings will be restricted.
    • Even Ending C has a bit of this because Trevor undertakes a post-game mission involving his mother that is so depressing you almost regret not putting Trevor out of his misery.
    • Combining with Distant Finale, this applies to The Lost and Damned; seeing the last of Johnny's chapter become nothing but trailer-trash meth-heads is bad enough before Johnny himself is killed by Trevor. Making this even worse is the fact that in the following mission, where Trevor bombs the gang's trailer park base, you can overhear a few bikers talking about how inferior of a leader they thought Johnny was compared to Billy Grey, not believing he was a rat.
    • Also the end of "Did Someone Say Yoga?" Jimmy has drugged his dad and Amanda has moved out his family, leaving him alone. Fortunately for him it gets better by "Reuniting the Family".
  • Down L.A. Drain: "The Jewel Store Job" has the player escape the cops through the sewers and onto the Los Santos River.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Whilst numerous villains are seen up to the ending, Devin and the FIB end up turning against Michael and Trevor respectively, finally reaching "Dragon" status when they demand Franklin kill the respective protagonist.
  • The Dreaded: The trio becomes this at the end of game if Ending C is chosen. After killing Devin, Donald, CEO of Merryweather, mails them, begging them to leave his company in peace in exchange for a standing order to stay away from the trio for the rest of their lives.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Alan McClean, a former U.S. Marine, right-wing fanaticnote  and author of the Old-Testament-style parenting handbook "Hitting Kids Works Wonders". There's also a boot camp in the works, where undisciplined sons can be sent to receive ritualized abuse at the hands of him and their own fathers.
  • Drives Like Crazy: What exactly are the traffic lights for, anyway? The other drivers in the game sure don't pay attention to them. Nor do they stay in their lanes much, or yield to oncoming traffic, or pedestrians... you're just as well off ignoring traffic laws yourself. And in order to complete many of the timed missions, you pretty much have to.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Endings A and B, wherein Franklin picks the contract on either Michael (for Devin) or Trevor (for the FIB); it either results in Michael falling to his death, or Trevor getting covered in gasoline and being set aflame.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Meth, naturally, is shown to have destroyed the lives of every character it touches. This is quite vivid in the way Johnny, the protagonist of the Lost and the Damned, is depicted as having deteriorated from its use.
    • Marijuana also gets this treatment, causing Michael and Trevor to hallucinate and turning Franklin into a self-loathing mess.
    • That said, Michael's alien-attack hallucination and Trevor's similar clown attack, probably qualifies as a lampshading due to the situation being so ridiculous. It's also lampshaded by Franklin, being the only one of the three to actually smoke weed, not reacting at all to the drug (in fact, he comments on its lack of quality). Possibly includes a bit of Truth in Television as one reason some people want weed legalized is to prevent unwanted substances from being added to it (as is implied here).
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: In contrast to all previous GTA games, a large percentage of the missions in GTA V end with the protagonists receiving no cash reward; this fact is noted several times during the game, with all three characters at one point expressing variations of the trope.
    • In fact, in this game the only real way to make lots of money is to invest in the in-game stock market.
  • Dummied Out: Princess Robot Bubblegum and its voice actors are credited in the 7th Gen version of the game, even though the actual content would only become available a full year later on the 8th Gen Updated Re-release of the game.
    • Radio playlists that include songs never added into the game, as well as files for an entire cut radio station, can be found in the game's files.
  • Dynamic Entry: The counterpart to the Optional Stealth heists is usually this, wherein the characters simply barge in theatrically.
    • Also appears in attack form too, as pressing attack after jumping makes the character ragdoll through the air, injuring both the player and anyone they land on.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Michael's. His primary communication with Amanda consists chiefly of expletives, Tracey doesn't respect him, and Jimmy spends most of his time in his room smoking weed and playing video games, and later steals his dad's car and fools Michael into drugging himself.


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