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    Tropes G & H 
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Even if you max Dojima's social link, he still refuses to believe you even if you decide to tell him the truth, and takes you in for questioning. Granted, the main lesson he learned was to stop running from Nanako, and the issue of the case remains unresolved.
    • When you max out any of your party members' social links, they never treat you differently in story scenes.
    • After the final battle against Izanami, where she used "Thousand Curses" to kill your entire party and drag their bodies off who knows where, the camera pulls out to show...everyone standing there perfectly fine, with no mention of how any of them got back. Of course Izanami is a Master of Illusion so it may very well have all been in the team's minds.
    • The anime expands on your party members being dragged into darkness. Thousand Curses is shown as an illusion to force Yu into the fog.
    • Romancing anyone is never referred to by anyone besides the girls themselves in private events. This gets especially harsh in the True Ending if you've decided to romance Rise, who will burst into tears when you leave with Kanji telling her to stop crying. It's implied that you and they are keeping the relationship secret, given that talking with your girlfriend in a dungeon will have the other person nearby note that she's acting strangely around you, but never figure out why (for example, Chie thinks Yukiko made a mistake around you, while Kanji's offended at Naoto's seeming rudeness toward you, as her senpai).
    • Due to story reasons, anyone you have to rescue from the TV world will always recover on the same day (within a few days of the deadline), meaning that the time it takes them to recover is inversely proportional to how long they spent trapped. Nanako, however, remains hospitalized from when you rescue her in November until January 20, except for a bit of time out of the hospital for the holidays.
    • In the last month of the game, fog obscures the entire city. Of course, none of the social link events acknowledge this fact beyond a single additional preface textbox stating that "Fog has enveloped the area". This can produce some paradoxical dialogue whenever vision is a factor in the original scene, such as Rise pointing out distant sights from the top of a hill that obviously cannot be seen.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The genesis of all the events that occurred over the year was... the bumbling, slacking, and seemingly-incompetent detective Tohru Adachi. Beyond that, the true origin of the events, and the events that gave both the protagonist and Adachi their powers, is the result of... that person working at the gas station who shook your hand on your first day in town? Justified in that Izanami really didn't do anything other than shake your hand and watch for the majority of the year, so there was little to no reason to suspect her. She doesn't even get a character portrait until her reveal.
  • Game Show: Teddie's Midnight Trivia Miracle Quiz, which is accessible after completing certain parts of the story in Golden.
  • Gender Bender: Shadow Naoto tries to do this on the original, but your party stops it before it happens.
  • Genius Ditz: Yukiko consistently aces school exams and often makes insightful comments about the investigation, and yet manages to get the wrong end of the stick on more than one occasion - for example, when the group discusses a biker gang: Yosuke mentions that a student from their school, rumoured to be a member of said gang, is considered a legend. Yukiko immediately assumes he means that kind of legend. Not to mention that in Golden, Yukiko is the ONLY one out of the four members in Teddie's Midnight Trivia Miracle Quiz that is actually EAGER to get the show started. The other three (Yu, Yosuke, and Chie) were essentially called in.
  • Genre-Busting: It's an RPG Urban Fantasy about saving the world and the true self and romance and horror and psychology and resolutions and with dating sim mechanics.
  • Genre Savvy: After defeating the second form of Kusumi no Okami at the end of Golden's secret dungeon, the ground starts rumbling. While the party wonders what is happening, Yosuke points out "This is the kind of thing you see in movies, killing the boss and the castle starts crumbling".
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Once their Social Links get high enough, your party members can actually do this to each other to "cure" certain status effects. The cure for "Panic" is literally them slapping you in the cheeks.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • When starting Sayoko's Social Link, she openly flirts with him. The protagonist can actually choose to accept her advances, although it's nothing more than a blank screen and some text saying "You spent some time" with her. You also don't get any points toward advancing her Social Link if you go this route.
    • If you romance Naoto on Christmas Eve, she'll give you a watch that tells you how far apart you are from her, albeit with a fairly short range. The scene ends fading to black and with the watch saying that you're less than a meter away from each other...
  • Ghibli Hills: The true form of the TV world, revealed after you finish the Final Boss of the True Ending.
  • Giant Mook: The miniboss Shadows are essentially "upgraded" versions of the normal enemy Shadows.
  • The Glasses Come Off: The scripted portion of the battle against Izanami-no-Okami in the True Ending.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The glasses Teddie makes can see through the fog inside the TV and in Inaba during the December events.
  • Going Through the Motions: Even though the game uses 3D models, a lot of the gestures wind up like this.
  • Gonk:
    • Hanako is morbidly obese and quite unattractive.
    • Mitsuo looks mostly normal, but has black eyes, which are his most defining characteristic.
    • Morooka would probably fit the trope as well. That guy is in serious need of a dentist.
    • The Shiroku owner is fairly overweight and has odd lips and hair.
    • And, of course, Igor. The recurring epitome.
  • Golden Ending: The True Ending. The culprit is apprehended, and the truth behind the fog, the TV World, and the power of Persona are all brought to light. The goddess Izanami was behind it all, and is promptly defeated. It gets expanded upon in the updated rerelease Golden, where in Marie explains that she is an aspect of Izanami herself, and was meant to exist to absorb the fog instead. There is also an extended epilogue where the main characters sport new outfits and hairstyles.
  • Golden Super Mode: Golden adds a new golden third form for Yukiko's Persona, dubbed Sumeo-Okami. Most of the other party members' persona get at least some gold or white colors.(except Yosuke)
  • Good Is Not Nice: There are a variety of possibilities for the MC to be a dick to his Social Links, although doing so is not recommended. Usually.Hint 
  • Good-Times Montage: In Golden, the time between February 15th and March 19th is shown as such, including a ski trip with Nanako, the Investigation Team having dinner at the Dojimas' , the preparation and the giving out of chocolate on White Day, and, finally, a scene where the original picture is taken place. The montage ends as the player character packs up the picture, in preparation for returning home.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Due to the protagonist forgetting to watch the Midnight Channel early in the game on a rainy night, he didn't see Saki's death.
  • Gratuitous English: In the Japanese version.
    LOAD GAME: Former game data is read.
    NEW GAME: Game is begun newly.
    CONFIG: Various setup is performed.
    • Rise also gives an "OK!" when she pitches in on an All-Out Attack in Golden.
    • The soundtrack is predominantly in English. You'd be forgiven for not knowing that.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Geez, where do we start?
    • All of the girls act this way if you date more than one of them. If you have more than one girlfriend on Valentine's Day...
    • Rise is the most obvious example, because you don't even have to touch her Social Link for it to shine. She often appears in other girls' S-Links (especially Marie's) just to express disapproval.
    • Kashiwagi-sensei feels this way about Rise and all the attention she gets. As she's past forty, she has real issues about her age.
    • Ai Ebihara will have at least one example during the course of her Social Link. She'll admonish you for daring to talk to another girl while on a "date" with her. In another, she'll despise Chie for being Kou's crush if he's your Strength arcana (although she does eventually come to terms with the fact that he's not interested in her), since the idea of him liking a seemingly unattractive girl like Chie turns Ai's belief that you have to be beautiful to be loved on its head. And lastly, she will show hostility to your other female S-Links if you've advanced to the point that she's in love with you.
    • Chie feels this way about Yukiko for being beautiful, feminine and popular, and secretly derives pleasure from Yukiko being dependent on her, which, in turn, makes Chie dependent on Yukiko for her sense of self-worth.
  • Groin Attack:
    • "Critical hit to the nads" indeed. This is usually Chie's preferred method of teaching Yosuke a lesson. In the Persona 4 Manga, Chie's Shadow does this to Jiraiya, Yosuke's Persona, complete with both getting Blank White Eyes. Congrats, we now have a Running Gag.
    • Once you hit a certain rank in Chie and Yukiko's Social Links, then go through a dungeon you've already cleared, and the conversation will reveal that this is what Chie did when Kanji came into their tent on the night of the campout.
  • Group Picture Ending: The game ends with the protagonist looking at a photo of the Investigation Team. In Golden, if the player has met the criteria to unlock the epilogue, this will happen again with the cast’s updated looks.
  • Growling Gut:
    • Happens to Yosuke and Chie during the night at the camping trips after the "Mystery Food X" incident
    • Later happens to Teddie hoping Nanako will survive after the Heaven dungeon.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • While it's quite possible to realize the True Ending exists given Ameno-Sagiri's comments and some Interface Spoilers, the game practically forces you away from it by pestering you many, many times to go home and get ready to return to the city. And the Good Ending? Picking the exact set of dialogue options to defuse Yosuke in just the right manner so that the group thinks that there's still something going on? Easy to screw up.
    • You cannot fight the New Game+ Bonus Boss unless you finish the Empress S. Link before 12/24 and then visit the Velvet Room twice before you enter the true final dungeon. And destroy all the bonus shadows. And rescue Marie in Golden.
    • Overall, the Social Links themselves can be a pain to complete. You have a rather limited time to max them all, meaning you'll have to get almost every response during the level up sequences spot on (and they're not always obvious). Almost every Social Link can only progress on certain days of the week, and are unavailable on rainy days. Add to this that some Social links cannot advance until you reach certain levels of the protagonist's personal stats (you need maximum Courage and Knowledge just to even start Naoto's link) and the whole thing can be very frustrating to the uninitiated.
    • Wind Boost, a passive skill that strengthen Wind-based damaging skills by a 25%, is notoriously hard to come by. Unlike its Fire/Elec and Ice counterparts that can be obtained from Personas reaching level 15 and 18, respectively, Wind Boost can be obtained at level 40 at the earliest. Complicating matters three of the five Personas that learn it require lots of Level Grinding because they belong to Arcanas whose Social Links either rank up automatically (Star) or are available very late in the calendar (Fortune), and the other two are even higher levelednote . The dev team seemed to have realized this and they set a Fusion Forecast recipe in the PS2 version that specifically grants Wind Boost on June 9th, which isn't hard at all to miss without a guide, and in Golden the Skill Card is relatively easy to acquire.
    • Golden adds another in the form of a bonus dungeon. All of the guides say that you just have to max out Marie's Social Link, and then ask Margaret where she vanished to after New Years Day. However, they fail to mention that it's possible to still botch it. Margaret mentions that tracking Marie down could be dangerous, and that you have an option not to go. This can easily be misunderstood as Margaret offering to transport you to a difficult dungeon before you're fully prepared, thus giving you a reason to turn down the offer and spend more time gearing up. This is your only opportunity to activate the side-quest, and turning it down accidentally will affect how certain endgame events play out, as well as deny you the True Ending Epilogue. That's a lot of content riding on a single mistake.
    • Golden has a trophy that requires you to read all the books in the game. Three of them can only be acquired through spending time with Kou and Daisuke when they call you on three specific dates. The game doesn't tell you this, of course. Say you'll pass and the book in question is lost. At least your friends will call you automatically, so the invitations can't be missed, right? Not in this case. If you don't go back to your room at evening on one, very specific datenote , you won't get called and you won't even know you missed an invitation. Oh, and did you join the basketball club? If that's the case, you also won't get called if the Social Link is at rank 4, 5 or 6 (the first invitation) or 5 or 6 (the second invitation). Naturally, if you complete the Social Link before that, it's also lost. Now have fun figuring all of this out without a guide.
    • Getting Adachi's Social Link past rank 8 in Golden. On December 7th, you're given a yes or no prompt for whether you want to go talk to Adachi. Choose Yes, he'll later rank to 9 and 10 for no time investment at all. Choose No and you're stuck at rank 8 for the rest of your playthrough. Seems intuitive, right? It would be, except it comes two in-game days after a similar option where choosing to go talk to Adachi leads to a bad ending, and only a few minutes after your best friends make you promise not to go see Adachi alone under any circumstances. Your reward for honoring your promise to your friends is missing out on the possibility of fusing Magatsu Izanagi.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming:
    • Just go ahead and try not to save the victims in time and see what happens. Especially with Nanako. You Jerk.
    • Used to a much more comical effect when you eat Nanako's pudding in the fridge, even though the game technically rewards you for it. (See Violation of Common Sense below.)
    • Leaving the TV World before Teddie joins the party leaves him despondent that he's being left alone again.
    • New to Golden, if you romance more than one girl, all of them (save Marie) will call you out for it come Valentine's Day.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Played straight with Kanji and Naoto.
  • Hand Wave: And a pretty notorious one at that—how does the Investigation Team conceal their weapons while in Junes? They hide them in their uniforms. How do they conceal the protagonist's katanas and Kanji's giant shields? They hide them in their uniforms. And that's all the explanation we need.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: A decent amount of fanart has Naoto's hair as black because of this.
  • Hard Gay: Kanji's Shadow boss has a pair of these flanking it, as well as a embedding itself in a torso based on this, and surrounded by roses. The various Gigas enemies may count, especially the ones that resemble Hulk Hogan in rainbow tights.
  • Hard Work Fallacy: Adachi during his speech before his boss fight, complains about this, saying that you wouldn't get anywhere in society if you didn't have talent.
  • Harmful to Minors: When Teddie is about to take his head off in the real world for the first time, Yosuke tries to stop him because there are kids watching and that they'll be scarred for life if they see an empty mascot.
  • Hate Sink: Kinshiro "King Moron" Morooka, the resident Sadist Teacher, is one of these In-Universe, as every student hates him for his Jerkass attitude and foul temper.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Yosuke, although he wears them around his neck to show that he's not totally cut off from the world.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Lose to Shadow Rise and it's Game Over, but once you get its HP down to a certain amount, it does an Enemy Scan on your party and goes to a Cutscene where it blasts the crap out of you. Just when it's looking dire for the group, Teddie rushes in and saves the day, and Rise gets her Persona. So everyone turns around to leave... But not so fast! Teddie decides to take that moment to pay attention to your own ability to tell two different people two different things about life, and his Shadow manifests. Cue a Boss Battle with Rise taking over as Mission Control (and a party at full HP and SP, suspiciously enough).
  • Healing Winds: Cool Breeze is a passive effect that recovers a small amount of HP and SP after every battle.
  • The Heartless: The Shadows.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • After a character's Evil Counterpart is defeated, if they choose to accept it, it becomes a Persona.
    • Kanji himself, as he tries to reform his thuggish delinquent ways after joining the heroes.
      I'm gonna tear this place apart so fast you won't have time to file for the insurance! Wait... I mean... I'm gonna tear it apart and rebuild it twice as good! I-I'm gonna RENOVATE your ass!
    • In the True Ending, Adachi sends a letter to the protagonist and gives the team the clues they need to completely solve the mystery. Whether this is a Heel–Face Turn or not may depend on interpretation.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Lampshaded, as an NPC who mentions the square button as a way to quickly get around asks you not to tell anyone, since what she's saying would come off strange.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The protagonist has to be provided with a name in the beginning. During voiced cutscenes, other characters refer to him as "Senpai" (mentor), or sometimes "Leader". The manga calls him Souji Seta, while his official name (used in the anime, Arena, and Dancing All Night,) is Yu Narukami.
  • Heroic Second Wind: The S-Link flashbacks sequence during the battle with Izanami.
  • The Hero's Journey
  • Hidden Depths: Your party members if you follow their Social Links, particularly Kanji. Yukiko also surprises Yosuke by going into one of her laughing fits after joining the team.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: This is done posthumously after the death of Saki Konishi, the girl Yosuke had a crush on and worked at the store his father managed. When they visit her death site, her last thoughts are broadcast loudly. He finds out that she found him to be a real pain in the ass and hated how much he flirted with her, and was only nice to him because he was the boss's son. He takes the news hard at first, but later still tries to respect her opinion and bring her killer to justice. One possible interpretation, though, is that this is how Yosuke subconsciously thought Saki viewed him.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The fight against Adachi and then Ameno-Sagiri takes place high above Inaba, or at least a replica of it.
  • High School: The game's main setting.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: Rise's Persona Himiko is depicted as a woman with a satellite as a head, complete with hexagonal patterns.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The game will try to set this up on you near end levels, throwing enemy sets at you where one's only weakness is a light/dark spell and another repels it—which would mean a good chance of it backfiring and one-shotting you if you cast a ma-version. It's actually a pretty flat example though, because almost any Persona in the game that uses Light or Dark attacks will be immune to them, including those of your party members, and this follows through for elemental spells. (On the first playthrough though, this can be more dangerous, if you're mixing light/dark spells into new Personas.)
    • One way to seriously screw this up, however, is to have Kanji try to mow down an enemy that repels physical attacks. Kanji has absurd HP, but his strength stat is so high it'll probably be one of the few scenarios to get him down to low HP or unconscious. Of note is that Kanji's ascended Personas don't gain an extra null like the others do, instead only getting an extra resistance (to Physical attacks) at third stage in Golden.
  • Holding Hands: Probably unintentional, but the protagonist and Yosuke keep their hands together after their handshake when the Magician link first starts.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Yosuke's father is the manager of Junes. While Yosuke often finds his father embarrassing, Mr. Hanamura is principled enough to refuse to profit off people's fear by selling gas masks when the fog descends, a move Yosuke respects.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: A dream sequence near the beginning of the game has you fighting someone (presumed to be the Big Bad); it lasts all of six turns before you wake up, the last three not even letting you hit the boss.
    • Also occurs against Shadow Rise and in the final battle.
  • Hope Spot: The True Final Boss. You're in the last leg of the fight, Izanami is at her last sliver of health, and an epic Theme Music Power-Up is playing in the background. Then Izanami goes "oh fuck this" and starts spamming an unavoidable One-Hit Kill attack.
  • Hospital Hottie: Hello, Sayoko!
  • Hot-Blooded: If Kanji ever bled, it would eat through metal. "BRING IT ON!"
  • Hot for Student: Ms. Kashiwagi's self-confidence is so completely down the toilet that this actually comes up at one point.
  • Hp To One: The Death Arcana Chance does this to the party along with fully restoring the party's SP. The reversed card does the exact opposite. Either one teleports you out of the dungeon and resets the floors.
    • Galgalim Eyes does this along with inflicting Enervation.
  • Humanity on Trial: As revealed in the True Ending, Izanami gave the power of Persona to people representing emptiness, despair and hope in order to ascertain what humanity truly desired. Thanks to Adachi, she thinks humanity wants oblivion and it's up to you to beat the crap out of her in order to prevent her from making it happen.
  • Humans Are Bitches And Whores: Implied by the game at times, especially before the final battle against the Big Bad during the True Ending. Though Izanami put everything in motion, she created the Midnight Channel as a portal into the human subconscious. The Big Bad sees evidence that what humankind really wants is to live in a permanent delusion without any real-life distress or struggle, so she decides to give that to them. There are hints and discussions of this galore throughout the game, sometimes completely randomly. If you win the fight, though, you see the world that really exists in people's hearts is rather lovely.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Played straight, but with minimal effectiveness: food items do restore HP, but the restoration is so little (e.g. 25 HP from a Steak Croquette) that you're better off using medicinal items for that purpose. Played straight with the rare Tater Longs item, which restores all of a character's HP. However, it still can't be eaten during combat.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • After Morooka is murdered, it is revealed through gossiping classmates that despite complaining about how his students are apparently obsessed with getting laid, he still takes the time to buy Rise's pinup books.
    • In Golden, Kanji complains that it would really mess with his head if Chie came up with good ideas.
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    Tropes I-L 
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Adachi says something like this after arresting a stalker of Rise's.
    • Margaret gets one after being able to welcome you while Igor is away.
  • I Lied: In Yumi's Social Link, she gets told that her mother collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Upon arriving, she's furious to learn that her mother is fine and that her father was the one being hospitalized. Her mother admits that she lied because she knew that Yumi wouldn't have come if she knew her father was hospitalized, and Yumi's still upset that her mother spends so much energy on someone Yumi doesn't think deserves it.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: This trope, both inverted and played straight, is what ends up revealing Adachi. The characters have no evidence at all when they first confront the killer; he's just the only person they can think of who interacted with both of the initial victims, could have left the warning notes at the Dojima house, and would not have been noticed as suspicious regarding either of these. Once they start asking questions, however, inconsistencies start popping up, first when he plays dumb and claims not to know or remember things he should know about, such as the threatening letter that got the player character into trouble with Dojima. When the characters refuse to let him leave and continue questioning him, Adachi gets angry enough that he inadvertently describes the victims being "put in [to the TV]," a phrase that only the Investigation Team and the killer would have any reason to use.
  • Idiot Ball: Dojima and the protagonist pass it back and forth a few times in one scene, which directly leads to Nanako getting kidnapped.
  • Idle Animation: The protagonist will scratch his head, yawn, and look around. In addition, all the party members have their own animations in battle: the protagonist will relax his stance and roll his neck, Yosuke will fiddle with his weapons and nearly drop them before grabbing them at the last second, Chie will constantly bounce in place and strike a martial arts pose, Yukiko plays with her hair, Kanji lays his weapon down and cracks his knuckles, Teddie constantly rocks back and forth, and Naoto's revolver is twirled.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Deconstructed. The Big Bad's motivation for wanting to turn the entire human race into Shadows bascially comes down to "If humans are happier by hiding from truth and living blissfully in ignorance, their true desire must be to live as mindless drones whom are ignorant even of their own existance".
  • Impossibly Awesome Magic Trick: A mundane example, but in one of his S-Link scenes in Golden, Adachi manages to make a coin appear in the protagonist's pocket from across the table.
  • Improbable Age: Nanako is seven years old. Yes, the girl who's home alone more often than not, AND does all the laundry, AND does all the grocery shopping. Parental Abandonment really does wonders for one's independance.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Played straight in all except the worst possible variation of the bad ending.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most of the weapons in the game are fairly realistic: the Protagonist favors "two-handed weapons", which are usually swords (although early in the game can be slightly more esoteric things like golf clubs or baseball bats); Yosuke dual-wields knives; Chie using "shoes and shinguards" may seem odd at first but given that she's an accomplished martial artist it makes sense; Teddie uses claws built into his suit; Naoto favors pistols. Yukiko and Kanji, however...
    • Yukiko uses hand-fans, of the traditional hiogi type, exclusively as her weapons; most of these aren't even of the "iron fan" variety (one early one you can get for her is basically made out of peacock feathersnote ), and yet they have as much base damage as any other weapon type. Only her fairly abysmal strength score prevents Yukiko from hitting as hard as melee heavies like Kanji or Chie, despite her weapon typically being made from wood and paper. (Even more unusually, she doesn't use them as a melee weapon; she throws them.)note 
    • Speaking of Kanji, his weapon of choice is a "shield", or a large, wide, blunt weapon. This is already fairly unusual (using a shield as a weapon isn't totally unheard of, but using it as a primary weapon is), but early on... metal shields aren't available. This means that Kanji will use whatever large and flat objects he can lay hold of as a weapon... including folding chairs and desks at his school. This gets particularly hilarious in light of the fact that, technically, the heroes are supposed to be using their school uniforms to conceal the weapons and armor that would otherwise get them arrested... so how is Kanji concealing a desk?
    • Honorable mention also goes out to Teddie's initial Persona. Kintoki-douji is traditionally depicted as using a tomahawk. Wellllll... Teddie's Persona has one too, but we don't mean the hand-held hatchet variety, either. Sadly, once upgraded the Persona simply uses the same claws Teddie himself does.
    • The Golden has even more unusual weapons. You can equip Yosuke and Kanji with grilled corn and the River Guardian respectively, for instance.
  • Improvised Weapon: Except for Naoto, everyone's starting weapon is this (Kanji's entire fighting style revolves around this). Some of the later weapons are this as well (such as a titanium golf club for the protagonist, or a pair of fish for Yosuke).
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Not even Yukiko finds Teddie's bear puns funny, and she's the type to go into a laughing fit over any joke.
    • Also Rise: "It's weak against wind, this'll be a breeze!"
    • Margaret is prone to these when she asks you to fuse a certain Persona for her.
  • Infallible Babble: Zig-Zagged: it's rumoured that the Midnight Channel appears at midnight when it's raining (which is usually true), and shows you your "soulmate" (which isn't - it shows who the next person to end up in the TV is/will be) or rather, what everyone in town is thinking of..
    • You will occasionally hear students talking about rumors in the entrance of the campus. Most of which reflect the current state of the city, or plot. While some would give a hint about newly-introduced characters, clubs, or stores - a clue about a potential Social Link that you might unlock from that day onwards.
  • Informed Ability: Rise is an Actress/Idol Singer, and during her Rank 8 Social Link, her former manager proceeds to gush about how talented she was, but (Aside from a commercial right at the start of the game) the player never sees her in action.
    • Averted in Golden, which has Rise perform at a concert being hosted by Junes with the rest of the Investigation Team as her band.
  • Inn Security: Averted for the most part: you sleep in your own house (most of the time) and a fairly trustworthy fox provides healing services in the dungeon proper (for an outrageous price, which becomes less outrageous as you build your link with him).
  • Instant Runes: Light ("Hama") and Darkness ("Mudo") skills utilize this.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • If you took a glance at the tracklist for the soundtrack CD bundled with the original game before playing for the first time, you probably already knew what the game's dungeons were going to be, and in what order.
    • Though it's possibly an example of Foreshadowing (it can be hard at times to distinguish that trope from this one at times), the intro video has a series of introductory vignettes for each member of the investigation team grouped by gender; first the three boys, then the three girls the last of which is Naoto, which the first hint of many about her true gender.
    • The fact that you cannot reach MAX in the Judgement Social Link until after you've finished the "final" dungeon is one of the only tip-offs that Ameno-Sagiri is not the final boss after all. Enjoy figuring our how to reach the truth after that. Corrected in Golden, where the final rank up occurs when you all celebrate your victory, but you can't get the final Jester Social Link rank until you read Adachi's letter after choosing to go to Junes.
    • Why does the controller rumble when you shake the hand of a gas station attendant?
    • Why does that creepy guy hitting on Yukiko have a profile picture while talking with him? This is averted with the gas station attendant, who doesn't have one until you unlock the true ending.note 
    • The fact that the game keeps going after beating Shadow Mitsuo and Kunino-sagiri is probably a hint that Neither of them is the killer.
  • Intoxication Ensues: During a school trip to Tatsumi Port Island, courtesy of drinking at the local nightclub. Yukiko, Rise, and Teddie get particularly sloshed, with hilarious consequences. Subverted in that, as Naoto repeatedly insists, the nightclub isn't even permitted to serve alcoholic drinks - amusingly, the three of them are too "drunk" to care.
  • Invocation: The protagonists will sometimes call the names of their Personas before Evoking them complete with an Eyed Screen cut-in: when this happens, you know you hit the weakness of or landed a critical hit on at least one enemy.
  • Ironic Echo: If you choose to hit on Yosuke during the school Culture Festival, Kanji mocks him with the same speech Yosuke used on him earlier.
    Yosuke: [To Yu] Okay, we get it! You're good at role-playing! Now quit it! You're creeping me out...
    Kanji: "There are many forms of love..." Didn't you tell me something like that?
    • In the days leading up to the Culture Festival, Chie confronts Yosuke with "You'd better have a damn good explanation for this!" when she learns that she and the rest of the girls were signed up for the pageant without their permission. Yosuke repeats the phrase when he learns that in retaliation, the girls signed up the guys for the cross-dressing festival.
  • It Amused Me: Basically Adachi's sole reason for killing both Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi, tricking Nametame into taking over his murder attempts, and generally setting the entire plot of the game in motion while he sat on the sidelines watching like a spectator at a football game.
    Yukiko: "Why...? What reasons could you have for doing that!?
    Adachi: "Reasons...? None, really. I could do it, that's all. And it was fun... I guess that's my reason?"
    Chie: "Y-you murdered people just for the fun of it!?"
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Reach Out to the Truth
  • It's a Wonderful Failure:
    • Can get some fairly interesting ones by not saving victims before the fog rolls in. Not catching the killer when you are about to leads to a particularly disturbing one, where Naoto calls you to warn Shadows are invading the real world, only to stop mid sentence and start screaming.
    • All of the Bad Endings have this sequence (spoilers!). They also play "Corridor", a somber piano theme which plays during the Credits sequence and Izanami's dungeon. If you have the latter happening, you're already at the True Ending.
  • It's Personal:
    • Yosuke takes the case seriously and very personally when it comes to his Saki-senpai.
    • Yukiko, Kanji, Rise, and Naoto all join the Investigation Team after their kidnappings made it personal to them, with Kanji outright stating he wants to join the team to get revenge on his kidnapper.
    • The best example of the case being very personal however is when Nanako gets kidnapped.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Midnight Channel only shows up on these nights, same with the murders. The gas station attendant also only shows up in the rain.
  • Jerkass:
    • Morooka. King Moron indeed.
    • Yosuke dips into this category occasionally throughout the game, especially during the confrontation with Namatame, but for the most part he can more accurately described as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Really, it comes with being a teenager. A good example is his reaction to just how bad the curry is on the school camping trip, and that he never lets Chie or Yukiko forget it.
    • The killer is one of these, but he hides it pretty well, except during his Social Link.
    • Maybe subverted with the Main Character himself. Sure, he has a variety of asshole phrases you can use in the social links, but saying them more often than not will discourage your S-linker from wanting to talk to you again, unless you do something nice, like hang out with them or invite them to lunch.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Kanji. He's short-tempered and can sometimes be abrasive, but he cares a lot for his mother, and develops a deep respect for the protagonist over the course of his Social Link.
    • As is Shu. Initially, he seems like a proto-Insufferable Genius, but after working with him, he soon shows a much more compassionate and trusting side.
    • Ai Ebihara. Hate her for being a Tsundere that's astoundingly heavy on the "Tsun". Then max her S-Link beyond level six and hate yourself. At the end of her link, she also expresses a desire to become nicer.
    • Yumi. She's fairly harsh with some of her less dedicated clubmates, and resents her father, but she has a good heart, seeing as how she cares for the protagonist and her mother, and even finds it in herself to forgive her father.
  • Jump Scare: The random killer chests that drain your HP or SP when opened, accompanied by a very sudden "punch" sound effect and a red flash. These chests are not present in Golden for some reason.
  • Just a Kid: Naoto's Shadow berates her with a rant to this effect. Also, the real killer tells the protagonists that "Students should stay home and study."
  • Just for Pun: An item named 'Goho-M' will instantly transport your party from the dungeon back to the entrance area. At first glance, it appears to just be another strangely named item in the game with some roots still stuck in the original Japanese (see Woolseyism on the YMMV tab), however, it can also be read as 'go ho-M', or 'Go Home'.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The murderer in the bad endings, getting away with the murders committed. It can take a turn for the worse in Golden, as there is an exclusive Bad Ending where the player can actually destroy the evidence that implicates Adachi, thus making the player the reason why Adachi becomes a Karma Houdini.
    • Izanami, the Greater-Scope Villain, isn't exposed as the true orchestrator of the plot in any ending except for the True one. Her plan to engulf humanity inside a fog and turn them into mindless Shadows is also implied to be a success in the BadEndings.
    • A more light hearted example, the girls during some of the Breather Episodes.
    • The driver of the hit-and-run that killed Nanako's mother, given that it was likely a tourist who's long since left Inaba and there were no witnesses, it seems unlikely he or she will ever get caught. That Dojima refuses to let this stand and continues to hunt the killer long after the trail's gone cold, sometimes to the point of neglecting the family he still has, makes up a large part of the Justice Arcana's story. However, if you get the best ending available in Golden, Dojima tells the party that he's found a lead in the case.
  • Keep It Foreign: In the Japanese version. One of your available reactions to Teddie after the girls dress him up is 'brilliant', said in English. In the English version it's 'Ces't Magnifique.' Both are references to Mitsuru Kirijo's speech in Persona 3.
  • Kid Hero: Everyone in the main character's party.
  • Kill and Replace: If a Shadow-Self is rejected by his/her human counterpart, the shadow will invoke this and will try to kill him/her and take his/her place. However, if the first couple of victims are any indication, the Shadow stays in its world while the victim's body reappears in the real one.
  • Kotatsu: There's a whole sub-plot about obtaining one. It takes a more prominent role in Golden when the Protagonist ends up getting extremely sick right after New Year's and ends up bed-ridden. Who puts him under the kotatsu? Teddie (although he's questioned for doing so by everyone else).
  • Lampshade Hanging: Several. At one point, a girl comments on the improbable items they sell on the weekly shopping show with her friend, "Who would buy a sword over the phone?"
  • Lap Pillow: One of the possible actions that the Protagonist can invite one of his party members (Rise) to do during the King's Game.
  • Large Ham:
    • MC, the pink-afro wearing announcer of the culture festival.
    • The Shadow Selves, especially Yukiko and Naoto. One teacher even asks the class if they know where the term "ham" originated from. (Pay attention when it comes up, too; it's on the exam.)
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Golden, Teddie's Casanova Wannabe antics come back to bite him in the ass during the summer festival, as two days after taking all three of the girls as his dates, he winds up drawing the unwanted attentions of Hanako after he gets carried away hitting on anything that moves. In-Universe, this is even stated by Yosuke as Teddie's karma catching up with him, but in reference to Teddie bringing Yosuke's "private reading material" to the Hanamura breakfast table that morning.
  • Lazy Backup: Surprisingly averted in The Golden. Party members that aren't in your active party may sometimes appear out of nowhere to attack your opponent after you knock down an enemy, if their Social Links are high enough.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • There's a bit during Rise's Social Link where her ex-manager says something about how "the cult of personality" controls one's life and schedule. No kidding...
      Inoue: Your schedule fits together, minute by minute, like a jigsaw puzzle... Every day you're squeezed utterly dry...
    • The first non-voice acted line in the game (outside of battle) is Morooka shouting, "Be quiet, you idiots!"
    • Golden adds an exam question about atlases, along with this dialogue:
    Mr. Yamada: Note the spelling. It's spelled A - T - L - A - S, okay? I mean, how else would you spell it? note 
    • When the group confronts Adachi in the midnight channel:
    Adachi: "Games like this gotta have surprises or they get boring fast."
    • If you get the semi-bad ending, Dojima's dialogue to the MC as he's about to return home could just as easily be interpreted as asking the player if they're sure they made the right decisions in the game.
    • In one of Eri's Social Link events, she says "We're just little robots following the program our creator made for us. So, whenever anything happens, there's nothing you can do about it... It was already decided for you." In context, she's talking about how fate is defined (and making excuses for not doing anything despite not being happy with her present situation), but it seems a very apt line for an NPC in a game to say.
    • On a return visit to the Void Quest dungeon, adding Yosuke to your team results in him saying "Yosuke joined your party! ... or something like that, right?"
  • Left Hanging: Epileptic Trees aside, the Good and True endings to the game seem to do this quite deliberately for a couple plot points, which is what leads to so many shaking branches in the first place. Most prominent by far is the fact that, very much unlike the resolution to Persona 3 wherein the Dark Hour ceases after Nyx is beaten, even after Izanami has been defeated the TV portals still work. Naoto even intends to continue investigating Ame-no-Sagiri and Izanami, and there's a little worry that someone might try to abuse the realm beyond the TVs again. Could these be hooks for another sequel? Oh, perish the thought...
    • The True Ending isn't that bad about it. Izanami states that she has been completely eradicated and the other world is purged of all fog and presumably shadows. While it's still available, it doesn't look like much could be done there but take a vacation.
    • It is implied that the world has always existed, being something of an Urban Fantasy equivalent to the Collective Unconscious. Considering it lies in people's hearts, it probably is true.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Chie, Rise, and Yukiko. Yukiko is bad enough on her own (she uses the hero as a guinea pig during her S. Link events), but when they team up during the camping trip segment, the result is the infamous "Mystery Food X," which takes out both Yosuke and the protagonist when they try to eat it. Rise can cook but tends to add a lethal amount of spiciness to her meals. The three of them get it right in the end, but probably only because Naoto helped out (and after two failed attempts).
      • The Omelette challenge thankfully separates all three girls at the time, which while it doesn't replicate Mystery Food X, it shows how each of them handles a dish: Chie's omelette is just described as "awful", Yukikio's is pretty much harmless, in lieu of any flavor whatsoever, and Rise just made hers spicy.
      • Painfully subverted on Valentine's Day in Golden. The girls inadvertently trick Nanako into creating a lethal chocolate creation for Yu. The result? One strike. note 
      • Golden also takes Yukiko's case Up to Eleven in the Valentine's Day event, where she reveals that she wanted to try using Octopus Ink to give an extra flavor to the chocolate. The reason? Because they are the same color. Thankfully, the chefs at her inn did most of the work, and make very good chocolate.
    • Yet another lethal chef can be found outside the Dojima residence on some days, and will give you her creations (bait).
  • Lethal Joke Character: The King Frost Persona. Level grinding will quickly unveil his completely worthless stats except for his sky-high luck stat, affecting instant kill rate, critical rate, evasion rate, and status effects chance. Applying Hama or Mudo skills to him, or sticking him with more dangerous status effects like Old One, can make him a formidable Persona.
  • Lestrade: Adachi is responsible for much of your knowledge about the police investigation of the case and he's the guy who did it, using this information to mislead you. Ryoutarou Dojima is in a position this would be expected from, but is not an example.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After the disastrous school camping trip comes up in a conversation, Kanji says something along the lines of "I thought we agreed never to talk about that."
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: The Social Link system returns - but this time, with more immediate effects on combat when you develop your links with party members, culminating with their Persona evolving at the max S. Link.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the rest of the SMT series, hell compared to P3 which had Personas threatening to and killing people among other things. Compared to the rest of the series, Persona 4 is incredibly cheerful and upbeat, and the true ending is completely happy. No catch. Even the method of summoning a Persona is toned down from using a gun-shaped object to shoot yourself in the head to simply smashing a card.
  • Limit Break: The supporting characters' follow-up attacks:
    • Yosuke, Yukiko, and Teddie only target and critical a single non-downed enemy, or kill it if low on health.
    • Kanji and Naoto multi-target 1-3 enemies to critical hit.
    • Chie just kicks them out of the battle, which works on any non-boss enemy.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Subverted in town, where PCs wear a variety of seasonal clothing, but played straight in battle. The latter is supposedly explained by the need to conceal their equipment under their school uniforms. (Though in P4G, there are more outfits to wear in battle, just like Persona 3).
    • Lampshaded by Marie in Golden, when taken on a shopping trip with Yukiko and Chie. They are utterly incapable of buying anything not red or green, respectively (or in Chie's case, blue and yellow, which makes green).
    • Of course, Marie is one to talk. (Justified in her case by the fact that everything she has is "borrowed" from the Velvet Room.)
    • The Golden Epilogue changes their looks completely. Kanji no longer dyes his hair, wears glasses, and dresses more modestly due to his change in attitude, Chie and Naoto dress more femininely, Yukiko ties her hair up, and Rise has returned to dressing more like a Teen Idol. Even Nanako has changed her appearance to look more ladylike. Yu, Yosuke, and Teddie all dress up practically for the season.
  • Logic Bomb: One Social Link has you complete wishes for a fox so people would put money into an offertory box (Long story) in return for a healing station similar to the clock in Persona 3. At the very end of the quests, you visit the fox, to find that the money in the offertory box will go to making the shrine a shinier place. Cue the construction workers who replace most of the stuff in less than a day.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Deconstructed in that Naoto knows damn well that the Investigation Team is withholding information about the kidnappings. The frustration from this situation leads to her getting herself kidnapped in order to find out the truth.
    • Dojima, though he has his suspicions. It leads to Dojima taking in the protagonist for questioning near the end of the game when he finds the second warning letter from the Killer, giving Dojima the proof he needs that the protagonist is involved in the case. It doesn't help that when the player gets the first letter, Naoto advises against showing it to him, warning that if Dojima puts his nephew under surveillance, the team will be unable to act.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Yukiko was this until she became friends with Chie. Naoto also has elements of this, but gets better after joining the investigation squad, especially if you complete the Fortune social link. Ai has elements of it tied into her also being the Alpha Bitch.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Mitsuo Kubo, a somewhat Gonkish loner who wanted attention ends up becoming a copycat killer.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: One of the many arrangements of "I'll Face Myself" includes "I'll Face Myself-another version-". It plays in exactly one, fairly brief scene: after Dojima is injured in a car crash and, while in his hospital room, he's asking the Investigation Team to find the kidnapped Nanako. This is especially bizarre as nearly every other song in the game appears in numerous scenes, and there was already a version of "I'll Face Myself" that would have fit well with the scene.
  • Look Behind You: Yosuke does this to Rise's stalker if you choose "Tackle him from the front". "Look, a Martian!" He falls for it completely.
  • Loophole Abuse: In Dojima's Rank 6 Social Link event, he'll tell you that the accident that killed Nanako's mother is something that he can't talk about under his roof. You can say "Then let's go outside," and he'll remark "...Hah. You win...", while giving you a good amount of relationship points.
  • Love Hotels: Ms. Kashiwagi rents rooms at the Clamshell Inn, a motel-turned-hotel formerly known as the Champs de Fleurs Love Hotel from Persona 3. Deliberately, as far as we can tell, considering that it's pretty much the same place with a new name and catering to a broader clientèle. Even the Yasogami students recognise it as one at first glance.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Congratulations! You completed a Social Link and have a very close bond with your girlfriend! Now say goodbye to her before leaving Inaba at the end of the game.
    • In Golden, the game will guilt trip the player if they've been cheating when Valentine's Day rolls around.
  • Love Letter:
    • The protagonist receives these if he does well on tests. They're usually filled with useful items.
    • Naoto gets one in the third rank event of her Social Link and coldly discards it without reading it, declaring that the sender does not truly know her and saying that love affairs are a waste of time.
    • The second rank sidequest for the Hermit Social Link starts when you find a girl who accidentally put a love letter into your locker, and only realizes her mistake when you approach. Upon returning to her and admitting that you read it, she's mortified, but gains the courage to successfully confess to her love interest.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The Personas used to fuse Izanagi-no-Okami are fairly random and unrelated but the first kana of each from each one top to bottom reads " Izanagi-no-Okami tsukurenote ". This only barely (the first one or two levels of most spell "Isanagi-no-Ookami" phonetically identical to the created Persona) works in English.
    • Teddie's saying that he wants to "score" with one of the girls, a term he learned from Shadow Yukiko. In English, "score" as used in a sexual context is gender-neutral; however, the word he uses in Japanese, "gyakunan" specifically refers to a woman hitting on a man, meaning he doesn't fully understand what it means. As a result, he comes across much more like a creep in the English version, when he was meant to sound more naive in the Japanese.
    • The final boss has a seeming example. It hearkens back to the original myth of Izanami and Izanagi, where Izanami swore to curse 1000 mortals each day, and Izanagi swore in turn to give life to 1500 mortals each day. In game, this manifests as Izanami's attack Thousand Curses and Izanagi-no-Okami's counter Myriad Truths, which was 10,000 Truths in the original Japanese. However, myriad has a little used alternate definition in English, a specific reference to 10,000 as in the original Greek.
  • Luck-Based Mission
    • Defeating the Contrarian King when it first appears. Your victory is completely dependent on how many times it decides to use its overpowered Rampage move; a physical attack that targets the entire party and hits each target up to three times, except each hit deals a ridiculous amount of damage and two or more hits is guaranteed to KO a party member regardless of defensive buffs and/or physical resistance. Its one weakness is the relatively low accuracy of its attacks, so a semi-effective strategy is to maximize your evasion with Sukukaja and Sukunda. But although those moves bring the odds more into your favor, your success is still not guaranteed and it's not unheard of for Rampage to still hit and wipe your entire party even with those buffs in play. The only way to guarantee victory is to come in with complete immunity to physical attacks; something which is only possible on a New Game+.
    • There are points in the game where it is entirely possible to hit a common Shadow from behind (which doesn't guarantee you'll go first, but is the best way to engage with an enemy) and still get killed before you can do anything, if you're really unlucky.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Averted. Though Kanji's primary weapons are shields, his guard animation has him using his arms to block attacks.
  • Luminescent Blush: Most character portraits have a "happy", "surprised" and "infatuated" variation.
    • Crush Blush: The infatuated Luminescent Blush, as mentioned above. From about Rank 5 and on, most female Social Links (and some guys) sport this for our protagonist; some sooner, some later. Some do this in the Rank 10 dungeon conversations, which usually get misinterpreted by the other party member.

    Tropes M & N 
  • Magic Is Rare, Health Is Cheap:
    • The only SP-restoring items you can purchase are cans of soda, which restore a measily 5 SP each, and are in limited supply. If you don't finagle your way to getting Victory Cry early, your best bet for SP restoration is probably getting a Persona with the Spirit Drain skill.
    • In Golden, it's possible to acquire a Cup card, which restores your party's HP and SP based on the card's number.
  • Magic Skirt: Subverted - Chie wears black bike shorts when in combat. It's not always easy to tell with a lot of the taller boots, but they're easy to see when she wears sneakers. Avert with Yukiko as well. Her Fan Assault follow up attack reveals that she wears black short shorts.
  • Magikarp Power: Izanagi—low stats and skills that are okay early game, but lame later on (and don't compare to other personas, even Yosuke's and Chie's), and fairly slow at leveling, meaning even if you ditch him and bring him back for endgame levels he still qualifies. He is also not fuse-able in the Velvet Room, negating the possibility of social link rank-up. Grind him long enough though and he'll turn out some phenomenal strength, agility, and endurance, and decent magic and luck to boot, meaning all that's left is to reassign skills.
  • Male Gaze:
    • When Shadow Rise first appears on the Midnight Channel, the camera focuses on her chest and thighs, with the game commenting that you can't even see her face. Could also apply to Shadow Yukiko's intro. This point gets driven home later, when you learn that in the absence of a victim, the Midnight Channel shows whatever the public consciousness is thinking of, with the clarity tailored to each viewer. Not only is her figure apparently of immense interest to the folks of Inaba, but her breasts are exaggerated.
    • In Golden, the Investigation Team's trip to the Hot Springs after the School Festival features an animated cutscene of the girls entering the Hot Springs in nothing but towels, complete with a pan upwards of Yukiko & Chie, a shot where Rise runs past the just-below-waist-high camera & Chie subsequently walks (And stands) directly in the shot after her, and finally, a close-up of Naoto's chest.
    • During the second trip to the Hot Springs in Golden, there's a prolonged shot of Marie from the back, as the camera pans up her naked body, before going in for some closer shots as he pours water over her body. The other girls are very obviously naked in the same scene too, with their bodies being hidden by steam.
  • Man Behind the Man: If you get the True Ending, you find that Namatame, Adachi and the protagonist are all being manipulated by the Big Bad Izanami-no-Okami.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: The default battle setting—you can choose your party's style of attacks (offensive, healing, general) but not control their actions directly. However, you can opt for manual control of every party member.
  • Masochist's Meal:
    • Mystery Food X and pretty much anything the girls cook until the end of the game.
    • The protagonist can also eat Nanako's science project, which is a pot of grass. The game rewards you for doing so.
    • There is a bag of wasabi in the fridge. ...Lick it?
  • Meaningful Echo: The final battle between the protagonist (using Izanagi-no-Okami) against Izanami-no-Okami can be interpreted as Izanagi returning to Yomi to put his wife to rest after abandoning her during his previous visit.
  • Meaningful Name: One of the meanings of Tohru (透) is "transparent". This fits well to Adachi as he constantly keeps muttering about things about the case which were meant to be police secrets as well as representing "emptiness". Although tohru (透る) itself, if it is a verb, has multiple meanings.
  • Mega-Corp: The Junes Department Store.
    • Subverted. Not only is it just an ordinary department store, Yosuke is the son of the manager. In fact it is actually DOWNRIGHT HELPFUL at times. Its TV section serves as the gateway into the TV world while the food court is their meeting place. It also provides a place for Teddie to work in since he would stand out in the bear costume.
    • Played straight in the opinion of many Inaba citizens, especially those whose family stores are closed as a result of Junes' arrival, and many of the residents shopping there. The vast majority of the shopping district is boarded up closed shops that presumably went out of business thanks to Junes. In the epilogue, however, it's implied that relations between Junes and the local merchants are better now, since Junes is hosting locally produced goods.
  • Mega Meal Challenge: The Rainy Day Special Mega Beef Bowl Challenge.
  • Meganekko: The cast visits Gekkoukan High School, on Port Island, where they are greeted by Chihiro from Persona 3. She's had two years in which to shed her moe traits in exchange for just damn hot. Also, technically all your female party members since they wear attractive glasses inside the TV.
  • Megaton Punch: Chie's follow-up attack. Of course, it's more like a Megaton Kick, but the enemy goes flying either way.
  • The Men in Black: The "Agent Suit" costume set allows you to dress as these. If you talk with Yukiko about them while Naoto is in the party, they'll discuss how the suits make them stand out, and Naoto's somewhat annoyed when Yukiko brings up the entire part about them searching for aliens.
  • Metal Slime: Wealth Hands appear in every multi-level dungeon. They'll attack you instead of running away or disappearing when cornered, and if you can kill them before they escape, they drop a lot of money and a key for the locked golden chests you'll sometimes find. Unfortunately, they tend to resist most elements except electricity, which is their weakness, and have fairly high defense.
  • Mirror Boss:
    • Adachi fights by summoning a Persona, just like the main characters. Better yet, he summons a dark version of Izanagi called Magatsu Izanagi.
    • The Bonus Boss is also an example, having even more similarity to the player's method of fighting, including the protagonist's Wild Card.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Nanako's mother died in an accident. Dojima still tries to chase down whoever did this despite it being a cold case. Golden notes that a lead has been found.
    • Eri, the main focus of the Temperance Social Link, is a woman who married a man with a young son named Yuuta. What happened to Yuuta's mother is unclear, but Eri says that the former Mrs. Minami "is no longer here."
  • Modesty Shorts: Chie wears bike shorts under her skirt — good thing too, considering she's a Kick Chick.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The hints about the Good Ending are only (relatively) easy to pick up without having it being spoiled for you. The True Ending... yeah, have fun with that.
  • Mood Whiplash: This is easily one of the most cheerful games centered around murder. Then November and December happen. It's painful.
    • Lighter and Softer: Persona 4 is extremely optimistic and upbeat for a Shin Megami Tensei game. It even has two happy endings. The Normal Ending is quite cheerful itself; it is only detracted if one bothers themselves with Fridge Logic.
    • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: For a game centered around murder, this game takes the scale and slams it hard against the idealism end.
    • What is interesting to note is that this mood whiplash is also seen in how characters summon their Persona, compared to Persona 3. Persona 3 has people initially terrified of summoning it (due to the whole "shoot yourself" thing) and take it morbidly. In comparison, Persona 4's characters summon their Persona by doing things they find fun (Chie kicking the card, Yosuke doing the stylish flip thing, etc) and are actually happy when they first receive their Persona.
  • More Friends, More Benefits: The Social Links. Unlike Persona 3, you are never forced into a romantic relationship if you want to complete the Social Link. On the other hand, the game doesn't punish you if you cheat either. The worst that happens is some awkward dialogue in the dungeons.
    • And, in Golden, heart-rending conversations on Valentine's Day with every girlfriend you DON'T spend it with except Marie. Fully voiced.
  • Multiple Endings: This game has at least three endings, all accessed through different means.
    • The Bad Ending can be seen in these three ways:
      • The first way is to throw Namatame into the TV. He and Nanako will die, while the case remains unsolved. You return home without much fanfare.
      • The second way is to not throw Namatame into the TV, but fail to look further into the case. Nanako lives, but remains in a coma.
      • The third way is to not throw Namatame into the TV, but fail to identify Adachi as the culprit. Nanako still lives, but remains in a coma.
    • Golden added another Bad Ending: Also known as the Accomplice Ending, where you identify Adachi as the culprit, but you defend him and cover up his tracks. You betray your friends and everything you've worked on for about a year, and no matter where you run, Adachi will find you.
    • The regular ending: You identify Adachi as the real killer and you stop him and Ameno-sagiri in Magatsu Inaba. The fog is lifted, and you bid farewell to your friends and Inaba.
    • The True Ending: You stop Adachi, but you stay behind long enough to figure out who is behind the Midnight Channel and the truth of the TV World and the power of Persona. You defeat Izanami, the real mastermind of the game, and the Midnight Channel reverts back to its peaceful state where Teddie once lived in.
    • Golden expands upon the True Ending: Also known as the Golden Ending, you complete Marie's Bonus Dungeon and defeat Izanami as well, then you get an extended epilogue where you return to Inaba after a few months to reunite with your friends and family.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • The Dragon, and the Shadow possessing psycho For the Evulz Adachi is a disco eyeball. A DISCO EYEBALL!
    • You defeat the True Final Boss starting with what looks like a dance move, and ending by defeating a physical god.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The girl in front of the library at Yasogami High School eventually tries to do this after spending the entire game pining for her senpai, but whom she has a falling out with when he starts spending time with another girl late in the game. Luckily, all the girl does is opening the window so the allegedly poisonous fog can seep in, hoping the other rival girl will take a deeeeep breath.
  • The Musical: A fanmade one was in production, titled Midnight Channel: The Musical.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Namatame does this after realizing that his efforts to "save" the victims actually put them in a mortal danger. On a smaller scale, Rise does this after Naoto deliberately gets herself kidnapped by Namatame, in the hopes of proving that the killer is still out there. Rise is upset because the last thing Naoto said to the group before enacting this plan was "This is not a game for me either", answering Rise's earlier accusation that Naoto was only working the case for her own vain enjoyment.
    • The protagonist in the Accomplice Ending, as it sinks in that he is the only reason the killer's getting away with his crimes.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Just like in Persona 3, October 4th is a really bad day for everyone in the playable cast.
    • The Persona Alice is created by fusing Belial and Nebiros. This is a reference to the original Shin Megami Tensei, in which the demons Belial and Nebiros summoned Alice for their own designs. Similarly, Ardha is fused via Shiva and Parvati, a reference to Digital Devil Saga which featured Serph and Sera merging into Seraph and gaining Ardha as the single being's Atma form. This itself being a mythological reference to Shiva and Parvati fusing into the god Ardhanarishvara.
    • The requirements to fuse Mahakala, the Ultimate Persona of the Death Arcana, are one big reference to the Fiends the Demi-Fiend fought as Bonus Bosses in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: Matador, Daisoujou, Hell Biker, White Ridernote , Trumpeter and Mother Harlot.
    • Yukiko seems to resemble the old, SNES-SMT-era (and later Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey) design of Amaterasu (who serves as her ultimate Persona).
    • There are references, both subtle and not-so-subtle, to several SMT games, both in and out of continuity. These range from the pink alligator of Persona 3's Sun Link and Rise talking about a mysterious power failure two years ago during her show at a Port Island night club (same game, Hermit Boss Battle), to the Fox's Macca leaves or the explicit mention of Detective Kuzunoha.
    • The protagonist has a Persona 3 calendar on the wall in his room.
    • The appearance of Magatsu Izanagi looks like the berserk starving demons of Digital Devil Saga. It also seems to be a reference to the enemy used "Reverse" Personas featured in Persona 2.
    • Right before Naoto's dungeon, the MC can reply in on conversation with "I do not comprehend".
    • The P3 MC's Persona from Persona 3 was Orpheus, this game's protagonist's Persona is Izanagi. These two share a similar story: they both went to the underworld to rescue their lover from the clutches of death, but had to leave them behind. Orpheus screwed up and lost his lover, but Izanagi actually left Izanami in the underworld after he realized she was all rotted from spending too much time in the Death World. "Learning when to let go" is a big part of "Facing the Truth", which is Persona 4 's big theme.
    • In the instruction manual of the American version, the protagonist is named Raidou Kuzunoha.
    • Another nod to Digital Devil Saga, one of the drinks you can get from a vending machine is Cielo Mist.
    • One of Teddie's weapons is the "Strega Claw," described as a weapon for an "agent of revenge."
    • In Golden, one of the costumes you can equip is the Gekkoukan High School uniform. Your party members not only imitate the end-battle poses of SEES, but even their end-battle quotes.
    • A new event in Golden involves the protagonist, Yosuke, and Kanji going to Okina to try and fail miserably at picking up girls. This is a Shout-Out to the Operation Babe Hunt from Persona 3.
    • Long Way sounds a bit like Monado Mandala if one pays close attention.
    • The subplot where Rise was supposed to be in the town and act as the chief of the lone station for a day is very, very familiar.
    • In Kubo's dungeon, you hear a dialogue warning not to go out due to fears of a killer on the loose. On the surface, it sounds like it's referring to this game but word-for-word, it's a recreation of the opening scene in Shin Megami Tensei I.
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: Chie's initial Persona, Tomoe, uses a double-ended naginata. While neither Chie nor Tomoe are excessively feminine, Tomoe is partially borne from Chie's repressed femininity.
  • Nerf: Golden, in order to compensate for all the new abilities your partners get, no longer lets your party members' Persona lose their weaknesses, although they do get an "Evade (Weakness)" skill with their second-tier Persona to compensate for that. They do gain new resistances for their third tier personas, though.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe:
    • The guys, mainly Yosuke, make damn sure the girls never forget their past exploits in the kitchen.
    • Teddie never lets Yukiko forget about her Shadow going "stud hunting."
    • Yosuke will not let Kanji live down the things his Shadow did and said in the TV World.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Kunino-sagiri wears a shirt with a heart and the peace sign on it, and is supported in the air by a gigantic peace sign wrapped around its head. Doesn't help that he looks a thousand bloody years old.
  • New Game+: Allows you to carry over the Persona Compendium, your characteristics, and your money into a new game. Golden also allows you to retain your costumes. Unfortunately, there is not much to do with all that - the only new things that become available in the New Game+ are one new Bonus Boss fight and a single Persona, and they are only available if you got the True Ending - which requires completing almost everything else there is to complete in the game - on the previous cycle.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The game was released in 2008 (or 2009 if you're European) and takes place in 2011-12.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Choose to throw Namatame into the TV as revenge for Nanako? Congratulations, you just killed her. Oh, and Izanami gets to destroy the world unopposed.
    • Generally speaking, Shadows want to be accepted by their owners. At the same time, it's part of their nature to expose their owners' faults for all to see, which leads to their owners violently rejecting them and their going berserk, ultimately killing the person in question if left unchecked.
  • Nintendo Hard: A hallmark of the series. Persona 3 was difficult, moreso in the updated re-release, but complaints about some easier parts of it lead the developers to jack the difficulty of Persona 4 up to 12. Of course, they also gave you a bunch of tools to make it easier, too. Party members are now directly controllable, the Nonstandard Game Over condition is much more forgiving than Persona 3's (if you weren't ready for a Full Moon Shadow in P3, you were roadblocked if you saved over your file - if you fail the rescue in P4, you can flash back a week and try again).
  • Nominal Importance: At the climax of the story, the game will ask you directly who the killer is and then provide you with a list of every single named person in the game to choose from. The killer is on that list somewhere.
    • Subverted heavily in the true ending, where it's revealed that The Big Bad is in fact the nameless, portraitless gas station attendant you met at the beginning of the game, and who's shown up every rainy day to watch the events unfold. As soon as you Pull the Thread enough to expose her, she gains a portrait, and then finally a name.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: If you fail to rescue someone, there'll be an event where one of your party members calls you, telling you that said person is now dead (except for the last deadline: Naoto calls, warning you that Shadows are appearing in the real world - and is promptly killed off by Shadows herself). This leads to a Heroic BSoD and a dizzy spell, which causes the Protagonist to begin to collapse... And then you're in the Velvet Room, with Igor offering to rewind time back one week in order for you to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Non Standard Skill Learning: Several of Rise's skills are obtained through Social Link instead of leveling up.
    • In Golden, every party member gets a unique skill that is obtained through talking to them on a certain date after maxing their Social Links.
    • All the party members have Social Link skills. Golden also adds "Bike Ride" skills, which allow the party members to learn new skills late in the game by going on a trip to a spa with the protagonist.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Averted, unlike Persona 3, Social Link characters will have a handy voice over when they first say their name.
  • Nosebleed: Kanji gets one of these at the swimsuit scene during the camping trip. It's heavily implied to be from the beatdown he got last night from trying to sneak into the girls' tent.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Inaba before the main character arrives. Town residents will bemoan their boring lives. Some even get excited that horrible things are happening, because at least it's something worth talking about. Yosuke's Shadow gets special mention. Still others, though, actually liked Inaba the way it was, and are worried that Junes will change it for the worse.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When you're deducing who the killer might be, absolutely no music is played at all when going through the list.
  • Not What It Looks Like - A meta-example - One FAQ for Persona 4 laid the games conversation choices out with only the lead in question. The last question for Yukiko's girlfirend Social Link, the point where they're in an intimate relationship, was given solely as "So.....the couch, or the futon?". Play through it, and they're just sitting.
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